Monday, October 15, 2012


Here is a fun website describing all the types of winter squash.   So far I've tried acorn, buttercup, butternut, festival (=carnival?), delicata, kabocha, and red kuri.  The only one I didn't especially like was red kuri.  I think my favorite was kabocha, with buttercup a close second and acorn third.   Actually I haven't tried delicate yet, just prepared it for tomorrow.   And I will be giving festival a couple of more tries this week.  Butternut is nice but not as complex in texture and flavor as my top 3.

this week's food

This week my lunches are even simpler than last week's!  (I broke my wrist and I'm still doing one-handed, or as easy as possible, food prep).

Breakfast continues to be a large bowl of oatmeal.   That is also getting more spartan.  Sometimes I add a banana but usually just some cinnamon, ground flaxseed, and a splash of plain soymilk.  I may stop using the soymilk soon because I don't use up the 1-qt container before it goes bad.  I'm going  to try some ideas from this post, especially the idea of infusing the water with an herbal teabag before adding the oats.  Interesting, eh?  and nutritional yeast. I gotta try that once.  I'm not so interested in the sweet concoctions but I'm also not interested to add greens to my oats.  I pretty much just want oats.  I also eat several handfuls os spinach while preparing housemate's smoothie.

We are now getting local sweet potatoes so I changed up my lunch a bit.   On Saturday, the sweet potato was so large I just had that with collards:

I ate the sweet potato like a burrito:  :)

Today I had I smaller one, a baked potato, some broccoli, and beans.   The rest of the week will be the same except substitute collards for broccoli.  I prepare them every week as described here.

Dinner is still baked squash with a veggie.  Last night the veggie was frozen okra cooked in tomatoes from a can.  That was great and super simple.  

Tonight was acorn squash with cabbage.   Tomorrow will be brussels sprouts on delicata squash.  I'm trying out all varieties of squash.  Sometime I'll post on my ratings of them.  I should try them more than once to account for individual variations.  Ripeness is a factor and I don't know how you pick out a ripe one.

Snacks are carrots, celery, a small apple, and salad fixings eaten with my fingers:   lettuce and red bell pepper.

Have a good week!

some good links

1)  For diet I think this is website has useful tips:

If you sign up for the free 100 days or one-year challenge, you can get some free materials including monthly calendars.  I like this--print out this month's calendar, then mark each day with a green, yellow, or red mark, depending on if you lose, maintain, or gain weight.   This can be modified for healthy choices or exercise, you get the picture, right?   I think it's fun.   Try to get as much green as possible.  Try to get better each month.

2)  this 3-page document explains how to do a plant-strong healthy diet--concise and simple!

3)  For info on how to live your life, this free online series of interviews looks pretty good:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

this week's food prep

Today I made a big batch of collards, onion and mushroom for the week--see last week's post on the method.  This time I chopped the onion and mushroom myself.   That was enough for me and that's all the chopping I plan to do until next time I make this.   I made 8 1-cup servings which I froze.

I made a double batch of burgers.   I really like the sausage seasoning in these (Jeff Novick describes how to mix this seasoning on his DVD).  I also added onion and garlic powder and arizona seasoning (sort of a Mexican mix).  it's good!  and will be even better with my ketchup which I also made up today.  I made 8 balls and froze them too (will smash into patties after thawing)

I ground up some flaxseed, added some chia, and put that in the freezer.

I made yogurt last week, should have enough to last another week.  If not, it is really easy to make any day.

That was tiring enough for me.   It's work to do things with just one arm and hand, and even more so when it's not the dominant hand---though I think my hand is really enjoying getting to do everything.

My daily chores will be to bake my squash and potatoes and prepare my oatmeal each night for the next day; then assemble my meals in the morning (will probably eat lunch and dinner at work).   Should be easy.

barb's ketchup

This is inspired by cathy's ketchup but that is too thick and apple-y for my tastes.   so here's my version.

1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/2 16-oz can tomatoes, drained mostly (I use the rest of the can to make burgers with)
1  Tbsp high-quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider or juice

blend in high-speed blender until smooth.   I pour into 4 bowls to freeze.   one bowl lasts two meals for me, allowing for a generous sugar-free, salt-free portion in each.

one-armed meals

I'm eating variations on a theme until I get tired of it.

breakfast:  big bowl of oatmeal.   soak overnight 3/4 cup oats, 1.5 cup water, 1 Tbsp raisins, 1 Tbsp flax/chia seed, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and a fruit or 1/2 baked sweet potato mashed in.   Favorite fruit choices (still experimenting) have been 1/2 ripe banana or 1/2 cup blueberries and/or sweet cherries.   heat in microwave until steaming.   Let cool a bit (cooks the oats).  Add 1/4 cup nut-milk or water as it thickens.   yum.

Burger and fries, and a veggie.   sometimes top with soy yogurt (e.g., for curry burger and fries with indian spices)...

...sometimes top with homemade ketchup, salt-free mustard and cucumber soaked in d'angou pear vinegar and dill.   

My favorite veggies of late have been collards, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and okra.

Dinner:  baked squash, a veggie, corn, peas or beans.  (no pic--I'll try to remember to snap one tomorrow)

snack:   some subset of lettuce, spinach, red italian fry pepper (even better than red bell pepper), celery, maybe a small apple or 1/2 large.   I don't make a salad because chopping is a pain with one hand.  We're getting local salad greens and spinach which I just eat with my hand like snack food--it's delicious.

I bake my potatoes and squash (whole) the night before, 375 F for 1.5 hours.

I logged my food in cronometer for a few days to guide my calcium intake (for healing my broken bone).   My high-calcium foods are the green veggies, especially the collards, and squash.   Yea squash!   Okra is also high in it which is why I bought a bag of frozen,   So I've been getting about 800 mg a day which is a lot!   With my diet, little should get leached away (no salt, caffeine, animal protein) so this should be plenty.

Monday, October 1, 2012

One-armed food prep

To get ready for the week I cooked up 2 big pots of kale and collards.  Fortunately this only required hammering a couple if big bags of frozen greens:
Housemate had to chop the onion and mushrooms though.

I also made a batch of soy yogurt.  easy peasy:

Then the daily food prep will will be easy.  Here's tomorrow morning's oatmeal (oats, banana, raisins, flax and chia seeds).  slicing bananas is easy enough.  I'll add a splash of soy milk after cooking.

 Here's tomorrow's squash and potatoes (one for housemate).
We harvested a bunch of collards from the garden.  Housemate just had to rinse them and stuff them into plastic bags for freezing.  We also harvested some broccoli that we'll have for lunch tomorrow with potato fries and carrots.

For salads, I'll snack on romaine leaves, salad greens, and these fabulous italian fry peppers--they are like red bell peppers only way better!  no chopping, just eat 'em with my hands.

one-armed dinner

yep, I've done it again.  Broke my arm mountain biking on vacation.  came back early.  I've decided to retire from mountain biking.   I've already started bragging about how good I was, which I never did before, but I'll do it a lot now.  :)

A good thing about one-armed meals is:  no high expectations.  makes it easier.   here's tonight's meal:

That's festival squash , corn and chickpeas.  I also had cooked collards.  Greens and beans are high in calcium so I plan to eat a lot of those.

Housemate doesn't like squash so I made her rice, chickpeas and corn.  Fortunately she's easy to please: