Saturday, August 30, 2008

Medical downtime

On Thursday, August 28th I had a Laproscopic Supercervical Hysterectomy. I will probably not be cooking or blogging much until I recover a bit more.

Sorry for the lack of posts!

Just as a recap though, my discretionary eating went on quite well and I think I will do my best to continue to eat seconds only when hungry and to cut sweets down further in my life. Thanks Chile Chews for the great challenge. I wish I could have posted more about my experience.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I had intended to post more!

Honest, I did.

And tonight I turned on my home computer and got the blue CHKDSK screen of death, indicating that my hard drive was toast. LB has plans to try to resurrect it tonight but until then it makes my computer centric life difficult. No surfing (work blocked) web comics, no playing EQ2 and not being able to upload photos.

I have all of last week's lunches, Monday through Wednesday, on film. As well as dinner last night and today's lunch. Until I can get them here I will share my recipe from last night's dinner. It was a complete improvisation.

Smoked Tofu with Lemon Pepper Broccoli over Mixed Grains

2 cups Water
1 Knor Vegetarian Vegetable Bullion Cube
1/2 cup Brown Rice (10 minute 'instant' version)
1/4 cup Amaranth
1/4 cup Quinoa, Inca Red - rinsed
1 package SoyBoy Smoked Tofu
2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 - 1 cup water
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice, concentrate
1 tsp Lemon Pepper no salt seasoning
2 cups Broccoli florets
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil with the bullion cube to dissolve. Rinse the quinoa and add it and the rice and amaranth to the boiling broth. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, with a lid, bring the oil to medium heat. Slice to tofu horizontally to make 4 pieces out of the two and then diagonally. Place these in the heated pan and sear both sides. Add the lemon juice to the pan and shake to get all the tofu in the bubbling sauce. This will brown up the bottom of the pan but don't worry, the extra water deglazes it in a moment.
Add half a cup of water to deglaze the pan. Quickly add in the spice and broccoli and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for 3 to 5 minutes to your preferred doneness. Add in the Earth Balance, salt and pepper and cover for another minute.

Plate the grains and mound the tofu and broccoli on top.

This was fantastic. Smoky hints making the tofu taste slightly like bacon. The sharp hint of lemon simply enhanced the flavor of the broccoli and the grains were a smooth yet chewy texture with a mild background flavor. I need to find a local source of smoked tofu or make my own because I hope this recipe is on the menu frequently!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Wonderful Weekend

Our weekends in August and September are taken up by our attendance at the New York Renaissance Faire as I have probably mentioned. I wanted to journal my eating for the weekend in one post real quick.

Saturday morning we got up leisurely and gathered our necessary items. Breakfast for me was leftover General Tso's Tofu, rice and the last spring roll. Unfortunately this set my tummy to nauseous and made for a difficult morning. I did run out to the bank and grabbed a Blue Raspberry Icee to soothe my tummy. Don't ask me why, but it works for me!

I had packed the cooler with water bottles, two PB & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams and Strawberry spread sandwiches, a bowl of chickpea salad, as well as the last of my crudities just so I could have something to nibble on should the need arise.

I drove to the hour plus way into New York and we grabbed a room at the new Hampton Inn in Harriman. Lovely hotel that has only been open 10 days! We garbed up and headed to Faire. I think the rest of the afternoon was full of booze but no food. I might have gotten an order of Spicy Fries but I just simply don't recall! I was drinking Mead and occasionally some Hardcore Apple Cider.

We staggered back (except for LB who drove us) to the hotel and got changed for dinner. TGI Friday's really had three options for vegans that I have eaten: Bruscetta Pasta with mushrooms subbed for the chicken, large garden salad with vinegar and steamed broccoli. My pasta was good but then at that point I was ready to gnaw on the table! I did sip on a Lynchburg Strawberry Lemonade but while it was fantastic in flavor I just couldn't drink any more. Finally we went back and slept the sleep of the heavily intoxicated.

Breakfast was bright and early at the hotel lounge from their complimentary spread. I had a packet of Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, a sesame bagel with peanut butter and jelly and a tiny cup of apple juice.

I was not that full unfortunately and ate one of my sandwiches a few hours later as we walked into the faire. I stuck to water for the most part on Sunday just because I knew I would have to be the driver on the way home. In the Friends of Faire garden I nibbled on crackers with hummus, pretzel chips and a peach.

Stupidly I let myself get overheated and was sitting in the shade nibbling grapes, crackers, one stick each of carrot and celery, and some spicy fries. After that it was lots of water and hiding from the evil day star.

The drive home was brutal as I was nauseous again and way too hot. Dinner ended up being very late leftover chickpea cutlets with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.

The weekend turned out to be great overall. I did not over eat, though from listing it here it sounds like I did. Trust me, the amount of food in the servings are small or shared. The drinking was probably excessive calorie wise but I have high hopes for hitting the gym 4 days this week, just as I did last week!

Lets see though about my discretionary eating challenge. . . I needed to cut sweets back 50% and I definitely did that. Seconds only when hungry is a big obstacle for me but I think this weekend I went hungry more often than overfull. And even though I did imbibe a lot of mead I don't really count that against my 100% Veg as I still eat honey. Maybe that makes me not a vegan but I feel the only perfect vegan is a dead vegan. My veg line in the sand includes booze of any type or make except dairy.

I am not sure if I will continue to food log on a daily basis. It's been fun but I am sure no one really cares about what I ate all week. haha I hope to have some pictures next post of my first laptop lunch!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Foodstuffs!

Once again my repetitive nature hits!

Again a breakfast sandwich of whole wheat bread, chickpea cutlet, LightLife Bologna slices, Soyblu slices and tomato filled me up for hours! The flavor combination is so perfect, the mild cutlet pairs beautifully next to the juicy tomato and sharp soy cheese flavor. The textures work well too as the bologna gives such a great soft chewy mouth feel. I think this sandwich is more filling than the version with the Boca chik patty.

Lunch was leftovers of Bacon Spaghetti and the last of the watermelon. Crudities and hummus made for a lovely afternoon snack.

Dinner was out at a Mexican Restaurant near our old condo. We nibbled on chips and salsa while sipping margaritas. Well, I tried very hard to only eat a few of the chips and had one strawberry marg! My dinner was a lovely Veggie Fajitas spread that I ate with some of the chips, the hot salsa and a fork. So yummy to scoop up carrot, mushroom, broccoli and a zucchini slice with a chip dotted with refried beans, rice and salsa. Occasionally I even got some guacamole on that pile. So good.

It is always interesting to me to frequent the same restaurants. Some days their service is great others mediocre, some days their food is passable but others, like our experience on Friday, the food is phenomenal. We both left full, happy and raving about the goodness.

Also I received my Laptop Lunchbox in the mail yesterday. I am so excited to give it a try. I hope to do some cooking early Saturday so that Monday morning packing just needs a few minutes. My train reading book has been Vegan Lunch Box for the past week. The first few recipes I want to try are the Samosas and the Cornish Pastry.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Consumption

I am worked from home Thursday so my meals were a bit different from my normal routine, but not completely!

Breakfast was a lovely sandwich of whole wheat bread, a thin chickpea cutlet, three LightLife Bologna slices, two tomato slices, and two thin slices of Soyblu Cheese. Very good and filling.

I was able to run out for lunch and picked up General Tso's Tofu from an awesome Chinese place. I only ate half the order and one spring roll. Though I did have a can of 7-Up.

Since I did work from home my meals were all rather late and I had a small helping of last night's leftovers for dinner at 8pm. Romaine lettuce, quinoa salad and a chickpea cutlet went great as I watched Sweeny Todd on On Demand. I loved the costuming and the dark story. So great.

I didn't get my work out in but I hope to grab a quick one on Friday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday Bites

Today I broke out of my pattern! I had a Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter and Strawberry jam sandwich for breakfast. I did need a pre-gym snack of a small bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cerial with soy milk. It kept me going but as I was changing and heading back to my desk my tummy was grumbling loudly.

Lunch is a bowl of leftover Bacon Spaghetti, carrots, celery and green beans in hummus. After yesterday's debacle I decided to skip getting anything from the cafeteria. I did splurge and eat 3 Oreos.

At 5pm I nibbled on some pretzel chips and had a sprite as my tummy was very unhappy. I think all the crudities were a bit much. Ok fine, it was the cookies! Happy?

Dinner was an awesome salad of Quinoa, raw corn kernels, pimento, avocado and tomato in a lime and chili dressing. I did top it with a baked chickpea cutlet strip, just because cutlets are that awesome.

The cutlets in all their glory!

The salad in its zippy goodness:
I mixed lime juice, crushed red pepper, chili powder, olive oil, salt and a bit of pepper for the dressing. It was tangy with that citrus bite but a slow heat in your mouth afterwards. The quinoa was lovely but still hot so it made the avocados disappear unfortunately. But it all tasted divine. The crisp romaine was a lovely crunch with the softer salad and chewy cutlet bites.

I am going to make this again. Possibly with shelled edamame and cold quinoa.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Nibbles

It appears my diet is quite repetitive. Quite.

Breakfast was a sandwich of whole wheat bread around a Boca Chik Patty and three slices of LightLife Bologna with a small squirt of ketchup for fun. I ate this on the train today and pulled off all of the crust.

Snack time once again was roasted nuts and rice crackers. I just love the wasabi peas and spicy chili crescents!

Lunch brought nothing new as I finished up the last homemade burrito that I had frozen last week. Tortilla, brown rice, beans, LightLife Taco Meat and hot sauce. I did raid the cafeteria for some salsa that added a bit of spicy heat to my otherwise mundane lunch.

I had a huge array of options for snack time, mushroom barley soup (another cafeteria score), cut watermelon, celery, carrots, green beans and hummus. I was not quite sure which would win over my tummy at 3:30.

Amusingly enough I was not in the office at 3:30 as I was out helping a coworker with a project. I had sampled some of the soup earlier and it hurt my stomach so that was out. Instead at 4:50 I enjoyed a small bowl of cut watermelon. So cool, crisp and juicy. Perfect for the afternoon munchy attack!

Dinner was a favorite standby that has not been made in a month at least. Bacon Spaghetti but made with a nutritional yeast cheesy sauce thickened with unsweetened soy milk and Tofutti Cream Cheese. Its full of mushrooms, small slices of soft LightLife Smart Bacon, and thin angelhair pasta. So good. Our veggie side was sauted kale. Probably not quite a perfect match but delish in its own right.

So my quest to cut back on prepackaged items is a flop so far. But I will continue to try to cut back while keeping up with my discretionary eating.

Monday Eats

I was thinking I would keep a food log here in hopes that the guilt will keep me honest on the discretionary eating challenge. So without further ado, and a severe lack of pictures, let me blather on!

Breakfast was a sandwich with two slices of whole wheat bread nestled around a Boca Chik patty, two slices of LightLife Bologna and slice of Tofutti American Cheeze. This got eaten while awaiting the train amidst the throng of commuters. I know they were jealous.

I had a 10:30am snack of roasted peanuts, cashews, almonds and rice crackers. I wanted something to give me some energy to survive my first work out in several months. The gym was lovely like I knew it would be and I spent a good half hour on the bike pedaling happily. I did do a few arm reps on lats, biceps and triceps but not too much as I do not want to induce week long soreness.

Lunch was a lovely homemade burrito with brown rice, beans and hot sauce. I also indulged in a strawberry fruit cup from the cafeteria.

Snack time came around at 3:30pm and I ate hummus, carrots, celery and a few pretzel chips. I think working out at noon kept me awake and motivated in the afternoon which is always a welcome change.

Dinner happened quite late as I had to go to the grocery store for foods for the week. When you get home at 7:30 all you want is something fast and filling. Enter in another Boca Chik Patty, steamed broccoli and smashed cauliflower.

I have not quite gotten away from prepackaged foods just yet. But I hope to make some chickpea cutlets tonight after work for my morning sandwiches. If I wasn't eating them at or on the train I would so love to layer slices of tomato and avocado on them. Oh yeah, delish!

Cross your fingers for me! I am hoping that this becomes a habit over all rather than just a month long challenge. We full figured vegans get almost as many rude comments as the super skinny ones.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Meals for the week

This week has not been my best. I have been sick as can be, exceedingly tired and quite uninspired. I did manage to make a few dinners though my camera is MIA after a weekend at the New York Renaissance Faire.

Sunday we had a lovely dinner out at a local Japanese restaurant, Ichiro. I enjoyed my favorites, spicy veg miso soup, vegetable gyoza and avocado sushi. So good. Monday was burrito night with Lightlife Taco meat, kidney beans, spicy brown rice, salsa and shredded teese. It was good but I was not quite in the mood to eat.

Tuesday I schlepped down to the kitchen in my jammies for a leftover burrito and a bowl of So Delicious Neopolatine Ice Cream. This was the only night I ate dessert so this is a huge improvement over the five nights last week!

Wednesday Tofurky sausages sauted with potato, peppers and onions. Very yummy and served with a side of green beans. Thursday was Seitan Noodle Soup, with leeks and ditali noodles. It so hit the spot. I felt so much better I caved and had two bowls when I shouldn't have.

I think I have done the great with the discretionary eating challenge. I have only caved twice so far this week in over eating and eating sweets. My goal is to continue this weekend with only eating when hungry and cutting down on sweets. Tonight we are eating out with friends and going to the Faire again this weekend. My weekend eating is always light as there is almost nothing I can eat so that wont be a big problem. I do plan on making some seitan to take with and some crudities.