Posts Tagged Bauman College

Out with School, In with Detox

I’m this close to being done with the Natural Chef program at Bauman College.  Our group final-slash-graduation-ish dinner was last night, and we just have one more wrap up class on Tuesday.  While I’m extremely happy that I took on the five month program and I have greatly increased my cooking skills and knowledge, my personal diet for the past few months has been less than ideal, and I’ve gained a few pounds.  So, now that I have time back on my hands I’m going to embark on a cleanse.  It’s a little more stringent than the last cleanse I did just before school started, and a little less intense than the Adventure Cleanse Tune-up that both Bianca and Jessy did recently.  I didn’t have a juicer when I cleansed back in August, but now I do (thanks again, mom!) and I’m excited to include a green juice as a part of my daily menu.  I also didn’t have the guts to completely knock out coffee and alcohol last time, so this time I’m going to give it a go.  We are going on vacation on the 20th, so I expect the cleanse will last 19 days.

Here are the guidelines:

– NO gluten
– NO sugar (maple, agave and stevia are okay in small amounts)
– NO coffee
– NO alcohol
– Very limited processed foods (I will use almond milk, green powder and hemp protein powder in smoothies)
– Abundant fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of protein and fat, and limited whole grains
– Increased “booster foods”:  hemp, flax and chia seeds, seaweed, nutritional yeast, sprouts, fermented foods, umeboshi plum, etc.

Menu plan
– first thing in AM:  warm water with chia seeds and lemon juice
– breakfast:  fresh green juice, green or black tea
– mid-morning snack:  smoothie (fruit, omega-3 oil, hemp protein powder or nut butter, and green powder)
– lunch:  salad, mostly raw, with cooked protein optional (beans or soy), OR a totally raw meal of some sort
– afternoon snack:  raw veggies with hummus OR raw energy bar OR trail mix
– dinner:  cooked meal including whole grains or starchy veggies and other vegetables, possibly with protein and/or topped with a sauce
– after dinner: herbal tea

That is the plan, and I intend to stick with it.  Better than last time.  No cheating.  I have thought about the possible cravings and weaknesses I may encounter, and have plans for them.  If I feel like having a beer, I will try either fruit juice mixed with sparkling water or herbal tea instead.  My snack cravings tend to be salty/crunchy, so I have a jar of Bubbie’s dill pickles for emergency snacking.

As to not leave this post picture-less, here are two juices I have made recently.

Orange, apple and ginger.  So tasty.

This one was mostly red cabbage.  I know I put other stuff in too, but I remember it tasting mostly like essence of red cabbage.

Comments (4)

Homework #4

The fourth section of the Natural Chef program at Bauman College focused on ethnic cuisines, specifically European Mediterranean, Levantine Mediterranean/North African, Japanese, Indian, Latin American and Thai.  Our homework assignment was to turn in one recipe representing each of these cuisines.  I figured that there are plenty of authentic recipes out there that are much better than I could do, so I focused on using the ingredients of each region in what might be a non-traditional manner.  I also wanted to make each recipe a one-dish meal to make things easier on myself.  Here they are!

White Bean & Vegetable Bake with Herbed Polenta Crust

If using dried herbs instead of fresh, be sure to use half the amount called for.  This is great for dinner, but also makes a good breakfast.

2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 leek, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 bunch swiss chard, stems sliced and leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/8 tsp celery seed
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup dry red wine
28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbs capers
2 cups cooked white beans
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup polenta or coarse ground cornmeal
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1/2 tsp minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place a large pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onion, carrot, leek, sliced chard stems and a few pinches of salt and sweat the vegetables for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are becoming translucent.  Add the garlic, fennel seeds, celery seeds and red pepper flakes and continue to saute for 2 minutes.  Add the wine, tomatoes and capers, turn up the heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the chard leaves and white beans and cook for a few minutes, until chard is wilted and beans are heated through.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
3. Place the vegetable broth or water, polenta, herbs, salt and black pepper in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened.
4. Transfer the bean mixture to a baking dish and spread the polenta evenly on top.  Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Servings: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 482.56
Calories From Fat (13%) 63.71
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.22g 11%
Saturated Fat 1.14g 6%
Cholesterol 1.03mg <1%
Sodium 1353.81mg 56%
Potassium 1356.33mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 83.8g 28%
Fiber 14.55g 58%
Sugar 8.4g
Protein 16.07g 32%

African-Spiced Rice & Lentil Salad

4 cups vegetable broth or water, divided
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 cup green lentils
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup raisins
juice and zest of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbs juice)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp agave nectar
5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

1. Bring 2 cups of the vegetable broth or water to a boil in a medium pot.  Add the rice, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 40-45 minutes until rice is done.
2. In a separate pot, bring the remaining 2 cups of vegetable broth or water to a boil.  Add the lentils, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender.  If any water remains in the pot, drain the lentils.
3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the dried apricots and raisins and soak for 5 minutes.  Drain and slice the apricots thinly.  Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.  Whisk together the lemon juice, ginger, spices (coriander through cayenne), salt and agave nectar in a small bowl.  Drizzle in the olive oil slowly, whisking constantly.
5. When the rice is done, immediately transfer it to a large bowl.  Add the dressing and stir to coat.  Allow the rice to cool a little then add the lentils, apricots, raisins, cucumber, carrot and pistachios and mix well.
6. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Servings: 4 as a main or 8 as a side.

Amount Per Serving (for 4 servings)
Calories 604
Calories From Fat (33%) 196.38
% Daily Value
Total Fat 22.48g 35%
Saturated Fat 3.13g 16%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 259.09mg 11%
Potassium 956.01mg 27%
Total Carbohydrates 84.89g 28%
Fiber 19.12g 76%
Sugar 14.87g
Protein 18.79g 38%

(I forgot the scallions when I took the picture – it’s much prettier with them!)

Soba Noodle Stew

3 quarts water
2 pieces kombu
1/2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
2 1/4-inch slices ginger, peeled
1/4 cup tamari
8 oz soba noodles, 100% buckwheat
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium heat napa cabbage, finely shredded
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/4 cup white miso
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. Place the water, kombu, dried shiitakes, ginger and tamari in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes then remove the kombu, ginger and garlic.  If the shiitakes are whole, remove them from the broth, allow to cool, thinly slice and return to the pot.
2. Turn up the heat and bring the broth to a boil.  Add the soba noodles, carrot, napa cabbage and rice vinegar.  Cook for 8 minutes, until noodles are done.  Remove from the heat and carefully ladle some broth into a small mixing bowl.  Add the miso to this broth and whisk until smooth.  Add the miso mixture and edamame to the soup and stir to combine well.
3. Serve the soup hot, sprinkled with the sliced scallions.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 322.04
Calories From Fat (9%) 30.45
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3.76g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.54g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2149.96mg 90%
Potassium 697.66mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 63.43g 21%
Fiber 4.37g 17%
Sugar 3.46g
Protein 18.28g 37%

Chickpeas and Vegetables in Almond-Coconut Curry Sauce

1 cup almonds
1 Tbs virgin coconut oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs ginger, minced
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup water
13.5 oz can coconut milk
14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, diced with juice reserved
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15.5 oz can
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 cups loosely packed spinach, rinsed and chopped

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready.  Add the almonds and boil for 1 minute.  Drain the almonds and plunge into the ice water until chilled.  Squeeze each almond to remove the skin, and pat off as much water as possible.  Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until ground into the size of breadcrumbs.  Set aside.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the coconut oil, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and cook for 1 minute, shaking the seeds around the pan.  Add the ground spices (garam masala through cardamom) and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring the spices to distribute.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened.  Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes and water in a large, wide pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  You should be able to pierce the potatoes with a fork easily, but they should not be falling apart.
4. Transfer the onion mixture to a blender.  Add the coconut milk, tomato juice, salt and a few grinds of black pepper and blend until smooth.
5. When the potatoes are cooked, add the sauce, ground almonds and diced tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.  Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until potatoes are soft and sauce is thickened.
6. Add the chickpeas, peas and spinach and cook for a few more minutes, until the chickpeas are heated through and the spinach is wilted.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
7. Serve hot, with basmati rice or flat bread if desired.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 634.33
Calories From Fat (50%) 314.73
% Daily Value
Total Fat 37.52g 58%
Saturated Fat 22.23g 111%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1050.61mg 44%
Potassium 1578.4mg 45%
Total Carbohydrates 65.46g 22%
Fiber 14g 56%
Sugar 9.08g
Protein 18.07g 36%

Mole-Style Sweet Potato Chili

1 dried ancho chile
4 prunes
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, juices reserved
1 Tbs virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 small sweet potatoes or 2 large, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 tsp sea salt
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 avocado, diced
fresh cilantro

1. Wearing a glove if desired, use scissors to halve and stem the dried chile, shaking out as many seeds as possible.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Remove from the heat, add the chile and prunes and let sit for 30 minutes.  Drain.
2. In a food processor or nut grinder, grind the pumpkin seeds into a fine powder.  Transfer to a blender.  Add the drained chile and prunes and the juice from the diced tomatoes.  Blend until smooth and set aside.
3. Heat a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the coconut oil, onion and green pepper and saute for 8 minutes, until onions are becoming translucent.  Add the garlic, cumin, paprika and cinnamon and saute for 1 minute.  Add the sweet potatoes and salt and continue to cook for 10 minutes.  It is okay if the vegetables start to brown a little.
4. Add the chile mixture, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chocolate and vegetable broth or water and mix well.  Raise the heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the pinto beans and corn and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  If the chili is not spicy enough, add a dash of cayenne pepper.
5. Serve the chili topped with the diced avocado and cilantro.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 465.91
Calories From Fat (27%) 125.9
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15.04g 23%
Saturated Fat 5.64g 28%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1488.2mg 62%
Potassium 1901.14mg 54%
Total Carbohydrates 78.29g 26%
Fiber 17.47g 70%
Sugar 17.77g
Protein 13.01g 26%

Mango and Rice Noodle Salad with Tamarind Baked Tofu

1 cup sweet tamarind pulp (from 4-5 large tamarind pods)
2 cups water
2 Tbs vegetarian fish sauce (recipe below)
2 Tbs tamari
juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbs)
1/8 tsp sriracha
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 lb extra-firm tofu
7 oz rice noodles
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 mango, diced
1 bunch radishes (8-9 radishes), julienned
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, lightly toasted and chopped

1. Place the tamarind pulp and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to medium.  Simmer the tamarind for 30 minutes, occasionally using a fork to press the tamarind against the side of the pot, separating the flesh from the seeds.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl, using a spoon to push through as much tamarind flesh as possible.
2. Add the vegetarian fish sauce, tamari, lime juice, sriracha and ginger to the tamarind juice and whisk together.
3. Press the tofu gently with paper towels to blot off some liquid.  Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch.  Add the tofu to the bowl with the tamarind mixture and submerge the tofu as much as possible.  Place a small plate on top of the tofu to weigh it down.  Marinate for at least one hour, stirring after 30 minutes.
4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and use tongs to move the tofu from the marinade to the baking sheet, reserving the marinade.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.
5. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half.  Allow to cool completely.
6. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to package directions.  Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water until chilled.  Drain and set aside, shaking off as much water as possible.
7. Place the romaine, mango, radishes and cilantro in a large bowl, reserving some cilantro for garnish if desired.  Add the rice noodles and mix together with your hands, separating the rice noodles if they are sticky.  Pour the reduced marinade over the mixture and mix with your hands until well combined.
8. To serve, top the salad with the tofu, peanuts and reserved cilantro.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 473.6
Calories From Fat (19%) 91.29
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10.56g 16%
Saturated Fat 1.51g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1051.73mg 44%
Potassium 830.18mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 82.84g 28%
Fiber 8.54g 34%
Sugar 28.22g
Protein 17.38g 35%

Vegetarian Fish Sauce
from the Bauman College Natural Chef Cookbook

1 cup dried seaweed (any kind)
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup tamari
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs brown rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp palm sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1/8 tsp chili powder

1.  Add the seaweed and water to a pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
2.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for another 30 minutes.
3.  Remove from the heat and cool.  Strain and use, or store in refrigerator.

Yield:  2 cups

I’d also like to share some of the food that we made during the ethnic foods classes…

There were two Mediterranean classes, encompassing western Mediterranean, the Levanth, and Northern Africa.

Cannellini Beans with Chard

Provencal Artichoke Ragout

Fennel, Orange and Mint Salad with Herb Roasted Olives

Baked Falafel with Tahini Sauce (my first time making falafel!)

Tunisian Beet Salad

Whole Wheat Pita Bread with Zataar

Fall Vegetable Tagine over Couscous

North African Carrots with Harissa

Levant-Style Stuffed Cabbage

Japanese class was seaweed-tastic.  Wakame salad.

Veggie Sushi

Kinpara Gobo (Burdock Root and Carrot)

Soba Noodles

Rice Balls with Umeboshi Plum

Indian class was super duper delicious, especially this South Indian Vegetable Curry.

Vegetable Biryani

Moong Dal

Latin America class was nice and spicy.  This is a Grilled Nopales Salad, made from fresh cactus.

Plantains

Mushroom Tamale with Mole Poblano

Lastly, Thai class…starting with Miang Kum, or Thai Lettuce Bites.

Tom Kah – Lemongrass and Coconut Milk Soup

Pad Thai!  I got my own little serving, without the egg and other non-vegan stuff.

Red Curry Squash with Jasmine Rice.  We made the curry paste from scratch and it was hard work, but the flavor was sooooo worth it.

Comments (16)

Homework #3

My third homework assignment for Bauman College was to come up with two recipes for breakfast and three recipes for dinner, including one with seaweed.

For some reason, I made one of the breakfast recipe incredibly complicated, with multiple components.  Luckily, most of them can be made the night before and you can throw it together for an easy breakfast in the morning.  This breakfast kept me full twice as long as my normal breakfasts.  If nothing else, try the avocado cream the next time you make Mexican – it’s ridiculously good!

Breakfast Fajita Bowls with Spanish Millet, Mango-Radish Salsa & Avocado Cream

1 cup pinto beans, soaked overnight
Spanish Millet
1 cup millet, soaked overnight
8 oz can tomato sauce plus water to equal two cups
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
Mango-Radish Salsa
1 bunch radishes (8-9 radishes), finely diced
1/2 large mango, peeled and finely diced
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Avocado Cream
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup water
1 medium avocado
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
Fajita Vegetables
1 Tbs high heat sunflower oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper (green or red), sliced
1 medium zucchini. cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 paprika paprika
1 dash cayenne pepper
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Drain pinto beans and place in a medium pot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, checking for doneness after 1 hour.  Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, drain the millet and place in a medium pot.  Pour tomato sauce into a 1-cup measure and add water to equal 1 cup.  Pour into pot with millet, then add another cup of water.  Add cumin, onion powder and garlic powder and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
3. In a small bowl, combine the radishes, mango, lime juice, chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt and chopped cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Drain the cashews and place in a blender.  Add 1/2 cup water and blend until mostly smooth.  Add the avocado flesh, lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt and blend until completely smooth.  Thin with extra water if desired.  Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
5. When all other components are ready, heat the sunflower oil in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, zucchini, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook for 4 minutes.  Add the spices and continue to cook for 6 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add the pinto beans and black pepper and cook just to heat through.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
6. To serve. place some of the millet in a bowl and add some of the vegetable/bean mixture.  Top with salsa and avocado cream and garnish with extra cilantro.  Serve with hot sauce if desired.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 767.94
Calories From Fat (35%) 270.96
% Daily Value
Total Fat 32.12g 49%
Saturated Fat 5.17g 26%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 865.43mg 36%
Potassium 1830.52mg 52%
Total Carbohydrates 99.92g 33%
Fiber 19.93g 80%
Sugar 14.08g
Protein 27.11g 54%

To go with my fajita bowls: spiced pumpkin seed milk.

Pumpkin Seed Milk

2 cups pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight
3 cups water
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt

1. Drain the pumpkin seeds and place in a blender.  Add 2 cups of the water and blend until very smooth.
2. Add the third cup of water and the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is well incorporated.  Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag over a pitcher and squeeze all of the liquid out.  Discard the solids or reserve for another use.
3. Refrigerate the milk until ready to drink.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 148.66
Calories From Fat (35%) 52.29
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.24g 10%
Saturated Fat 1.19g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 260.04mg 11%
Potassium 300.83mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 18.4g 6%
Fiber 0.19g <1%
Sugar 0.84g
Protein 5.95g 12%

The rest of my recipes turned out just okay, so I’m not sharing.  I’ll show you what they looked like though…

This was supposed to be napa cabbage rolls with dipping sauce, but I didn’t like how the rolls tasted, so it turned in to…

Butternut Squash Skillet with Rice, Beans & Almond-Miso Sauce.  Unfortunately,decent but not really worth repeating.

This is Gomasio Green Beans, my side dish with seaweed.  It’s good, but you don’t really need a recipe – buy or make some gomasio and toss it on cooked green beans.  Yum!

My third recipe is still a work in progress – a vegan, soy- and gluten-free cheesecake.  It’s been a really long time since I had real cheesecake, so I asked my coworkers to help evaluate.  The flavor was good, but the texture was too grainy, so I tried again.  The first one had a really nice persimmon sauce, and…

The second one got a simple strawberry sauce.  This one had a better texture but could still use some work.  If I get it perfect I will surely share it with everyone!

Now I will regale you with pictures a classmate took during the third section of classes.

For the Grains, Legumes, Nuts & Seeds class I worked on this Pecan Loaf with Creole Glaze, which we paired with mashed cauliflower.  Tasted better than it looked!

We also enjoyed Hearty Greens in Cashew Curry Sauce.

On Sea Vegetables day we started with Sea Vegetable Caviar, which was actually very good, although I couldn’t compare it with “real” caviar.  Check out the adorable lemon flower.

Ruby Slaw with Sea Palm, a lot better than it sounds 🙂

Sesame Yams with Arame

Italian Bean Soup with Wild Nori

And for dessert, Apple-Pomegranate Kanten with Cashew Cream.

We didn’t get many pictures from the Alternative Ingredients class for some reason, but these are the gluten- and sugar-free Banana-Nut Blueberry Muffins I worked on.

This is a very pretty deconstructed Vegan Caesar Salad.

Our Breakfast class was heavy on eggs, but I got to try this Homemade Granola with Fresh Almond Milk.

And Spiced Amaranth Porridge with Coconut Blueberry Topping.  Amaranth has become one of my new favorite things since then.

Vegetable Proteins class was awesome!  It was one of only a few classes where I could taste everything since everything was vegan.  This Asian Salad with Ginger Marinated Tofu and Almond-Sesame Dressing was topped by some of the tastiest baked tofu I’ve ever had.

A classmate garnished this African-Style Quinoa Stew with pretty leaves made from leftover leeks.

Cranberry Braised Tempeh

High-Protein Lentil and Millet Burgers with Cheesy Cashew Sauce

I was a little more at a loss for dinner after the Fish and Chicken classes.  While my classmates practiced their filleting skills I made Lemon-Scented Quinoa with Oyster Mushrooms and Snowpeas.

To help feed the other vegetarians (including our kitchen manager), I made an Asian-inspired tempeh salad using what I could find in the fridge.  It was really tasty for something thrown together at the last minute.

During Chicken class, I got to improv.  I made a salad which was good but nothing crazy impressive.  I put most of my effort into this dish, Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Chard, Lentil Puree and Frizzled Leeks.  That’s what I’m calling it at least.  The lentil puree was silky smooth (thank you Vita-Mix), flavored with worcestershire and champagne vinegar among other things.  The presentation was a little sloppy because I was rushing to finish on time, but the flavors really came through.

And finally, desserts.  I didn’t work on as many desserts as everyone else because many of them included eggs, but I did work on this Pumpkin Tart with Coconut Cream.

And this is Raw Fall  Fruit Cobbler with Cranberry Coulis.  One of the girls that was in my group that day is pretty wild with presentation (in a good way), so we let her do her thing and just provided persimmon stars.

I hope everyone had Happy Holidays and a great New Year’s Eve.  I’m a lucky duck – I get about two weeks off of both work and school, so I’m home now relaxing but starting to take care of business again.  I’m working on some projects for school, organizing the pantry (pictures to come if it goes well), and continuing to relax as much as possible (meaning not thinking about the mess of work that awaits me when I return to the office).

Comments (7)

Homework #2

For my second homework assignment at Bauman College, I was to turn in recipes for a complete meal – appetizer, soup, salad, entree with sauce and vegetable side dish.  This was a lot for me to handle at the time, so for the side dish I wrote out a recipe for simple roasted beets.  Everything else was from scratch!

Polenta Crostini with White Beans & Arugula Pesto

1 18 oz tube organic prepared polenta
olive oil spray
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups arugula, packed
2 Tbs parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or 1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed
extra parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut polenta into 12 slices.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or brush with olive oil.  Place the polenta slices on the baking sheet, spray or brush the tops with olive oil and season lightly with sea salt and pepper.  Bake the polenta slices for 20 minutes, flipping and seasoning again after 10 minutes.  Broil for a few minutes if desired to brown the polenta.
3. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan frequently, just until fragrant and lightly browned.  Remove from the heat.
4. Place the arugula, parsley, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a food processor.  Process until finely chopped.
5. Drizzle the olive oil slowly into the food processor while running, until the pesto achieves a paste-like texture.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
6. Place the white beans in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the pesto, stir and cook just until heated through.
7. To serve, place three polenta crostini on a plate.  Top each round with a spoonful of the bean mixture, and garnish each crostini with a parsley leaf.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 370.18
Calories From Fat (39%) 143.5
% Daily Value
Total Fat 16.6g 26%
Saturated Fat 1.9g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 515.85mg 21%
Potassium 547.36mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 43.78g 15%
Fiber 7.85g 31%
Sugar 2.07g
Protein 13.82g 28%

Acorn Squash & Caramelized Onion Soup with Wild Rice

1/2 cup wild rice
2 cups water
3 Tbs high heat sunflower oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 acorn squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp coriander
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch ground red pepper
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place the wild rice and water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45-50 minutes until rice is tender.
3. Heat 1 Tbs of the sunflower oil in a large pot.  Turn heat to low, add onions and stir to coat.  Cook for 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.
4. Meanwhile, coat the squash, carrot and garlic cloves with 2 Tbs sunflower oil and place in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast for 25 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
5. Put half of the roasted vegetables, all of the onions and half of the broth in the blender and blend until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the pot used to cook the onions.
6. Put the rest of the vegetables and broth, the spices and a generous pinch of salt in the blender and blend until smooth.  Add to the soup in the pot.  Cook the soup over low heat until heated through, stirring often.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
7. To serve, ladle soup into bowls.  Spoon wild rice into the center and garnish with paprika.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 231.68
Calories From Fat (41%) 94.3
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10.69g 16%
Saturated Fat 1.17g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 23.95mg <1%
Potassium 584.61mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 32.29g 11%
Fiber 4.13g 17%
Sugar 2.83g
Protein 4.55g 9%

Broccoli & Apple Salad with Tahini Dressing

1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar, divided
1 bunch broccoli (3-4 stalks), cut into florets and stalks saved for another purpose
1 medium apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup tahini
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs tamari
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the sliced red onion in a small bowl and add 1 Tbs of the apple cider vinegar.  Add water to cover, stir and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready.  Submerge the broccoli florets into the boiling water for 90 seconds.  Drain the broccoli and plunge into the ice water.  Once cool, drain the broccoli again.
3. Whisk the remaining ingredients (including 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar) in a small bowl.  The dressing will be thick.
4. Drain the sliced onion.  Place the broccoli, onion and apple in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.  The dressing will thin out when mixed with the water remaining on the broccoli.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 132.84
Calories From Fat (47%) 63.05
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.54g 12%
Saturated Fat 1.06g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 400.03mg 17%
Potassium 347.51mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 14.33g 5%
Fiber 2.57g 10%
Sugar 3.78g
Protein 5.55g 11%

Braised Tempeh with Garlic-Peppercorn Smashed Potatoes & Orange-Vanilla-Fennel Sauce

1 Tbs virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored and sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 lb tempeh
1 orange, supremed, juices reserved
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs nutritional yeast

Garlic-Peppercorn Smashed Potatoes:
4 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp peppercorns, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
sea salt

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large, wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the fennel and saute for 4 minutes, stirring often.  The onions should be starting to brown slightly.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, slice the tempeh in half so that you have two thinner pieces of the same size.  Cut these halves into four rectangles, then those rectangles into triangles so that you have 16 pieces.
3. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of the broth, scraping up all of the vegetables.  Add the remaining 3 cups of broth and 1/2 tsp salt, turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil.
4. Add the tempeh to the pan, submerging in the liquid as much as possible.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. With a slotted spoon, remove the tempeh to a plate and keep warm.
6. Transfer the broth/vegetable mixture to a blender and add the orange segments and juice and vanilla extract.  Place a towel over the top of the blender and hold with one hand.  Blend until smooth.
7. Carefully remove the top of the blender, as steam will escape.  Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel if necessary, then pour the mixture back into the pan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced to a saucy consistency.  Remove from the heat and stir in nutritional yeast.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
8. To make the smashed potatoes, place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and add a generous pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil at medium-high heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  Drain.  In a small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and peppercorns, swirl the oil to combine and cook for 1 minute, shaking and swirling the pan often.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the oil mixture, almond milk, nutritional yeast and a pinch of sea salt to the potatoes and mash, leaving the potatoes slightly chunky.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
9. To serve, mound the potatoes in the center of each plate.  Spoon the sauce around the potatoes, lean four pieces of tempeh up against the potatoes and garnish with fennel fronds.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 512.86
Calories From Fat (32%) 161.99
% Daily Value
Total Fat 19.12g 29%
Saturated Fat 5.91g 30%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 311.11mg 13%
Potassium 1748.73mg 50%
Total Carbohydrates 63.3g 21%
Fiber 9.38g 38%
Sugar 6.03g
Protein 29.72g 59%

Overall, this “meal” was much too large for me – I split it into two evenings.  I thought the recipes turned out really well though.

Before school started, I had decided that I would leave my camera at home and not bother trying to get pictures of stuff that we cooked there.  Lucky for us, one of my classmates has been documenting everything, so I though I’d share some of the dishes we made during the second module.

Soups class – Curried Red Lentil Stew

Mexican Chilled Avocado Soup with Sweet Corn Salsa

Tempeh and Wild Mushroom Stew

Sauces class, an array of sauces!  I worked on an adobo sauce.

During salads class I made this Mixed Green Salad with Smoky Shiitakes and Raw Ranch Dressing.  It was really flippin’ good.

Appetizers and Garnishes class – Polenta and Wild Mushroom Crostini with Balsamic Reduction

Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce

Tempeh Meatball Skewers with Barbecue Glaze.  It was harder to get them to stick together without gluten flour, but they worked!

Greens and Vegetables class – This was a really good Steamed Baby Artichoke Salad with Spiralized Beets and Herb Dressing.

Each week two people worked on an improvisational dish.  My partner and I made this “yin and yang” soup when we were given a butternut squash and celeriac to work with.

More to come soon!

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Homework #1

For my Natural Chef courses at Bauman College, I have to turn in a homework assignment at the end of each section.  These homework assignments involve either creating or adapting recipes, preparing at least one of them (I prepare them all), and writing up some different reports such as health benefits, recipe scaling or cost analysis.  I won’t bore you with those drab details, but I do plan on sharing my homework recipes as school goes on.  I always like to give myself an extra challenge, so I am trying to create all my homework recipes from scratch rather than adapting.

For our first homework assignment, we were to create three recipe for one meal – either breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I chose dinner and used some ingredients that had arrived in my CSA box that week.

Multigrain Sesame-Beet Pilaf

I designed this recipe to make for dinner after work, thus the short soaking time for the grains.  If you have more time you can soak the grains for up to eight hours, although they may need less cooking liquid.  The flavor is earthy and almost bland in a good way.

1/4 cup long grain brown rice, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup millet, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup amaranth, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup quinoa, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup arame
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 Tbs minced fresh ginger
4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
greens from four beets, sliced thinly and rinsed
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs tamari
2 Tbs sesame seeds

1. Drain and rinse the grains separately and set aside.
2. Place the arame in a small pot and add just enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, turn the heat off, and allow the arame to soak for 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, Bring the vegetable broth or water to a boil in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add the brown rice and ginger, stir, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low.  The water should be just barely simmering.  Cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the millet, amaranth and diced beets.  Stir, cover and continue to cook for 10 more minutes.
5. Add the quinoa and arame.  Stir, cover and cook for 20 more minutes.
6. While the grains are cooking, place the sesame seeds in a small pan over medium heat, and toast just until fragrant and turning darker, shaking the pan often.  Remove from the heat.
7. When there are only a few minutes left in the cooking time, add the beet greens to the grains and mix well.  The greens will wilt quickly.
8. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and tamari.  Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 310.06
Calories From Fat (21%) 65.12
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.54g 12%
Saturated Fat 1.33g 7%
Cholesterol 1.23mg <1%
Sodium 1191.41mg 50%
Potassium 778.37mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 51.19g 17%
Fiber 9.24g 37%
Sugar 5.81g
Protein 11.1g 22%

Spicy Daikon Slaw

2 medium daikon radishes
2 medium carrots
1 small head of red cabbage
juice of 1 small orange (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 Tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp ground allspice
pinch ground red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the vegetables in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Combine all of the remaining ingredients except olive oil in a small bowl.  Add the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well.  Serve immediately.

Servings: 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 143.53
Calories From Fat (53%) 76.27
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.65g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.16g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 252.63mg 11%
Potassium 524mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 16.6g 6%
Fiber 4.09g 16%
Sugar 8.92g
Protein 2.34g 5%

Asian Pear Crisp with Sweet Sake

300 ml organic sweet sake, or about 1 1/4 cups
1 Tbs agave nectar
4 asian pears, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbs spelt flour
3 Tbs rolled or old-fashioned oats
2 Tbs virgin coconut oil, softened
2 Tbs Earth Balance, softened
pinch sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place five 5-6 ounce ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. Pour the sake and agave nectar into a small pot and stir.  Heat over medium high heat until boiling then reduce heat to medium.  Boil, stirring often, until liquid is reduced by 1/2.  Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
3. Place the diced pears in a medium mixing bowl.  Pour the cooled sake over the pears, and sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg over the mixture.  Mix well.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour, oats, coconut oil and Earth Balance.  Mix well.
5. Divide the pear mixture between the ramekins.  Spoon the oat mixture over each portion, dividing evenly.
6. Bake the crisps for 30 minutes, and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Servings: 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 273.38
Calories From Fat (35%) 95.05
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10.84g 17%
Saturated Fat 6.34g 32%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 106.22mg 4%
Potassium 195.3mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 26.96g 9%
Fiber 5.36g 21%
Sugar 10.15g
Protein 2.97g 6%

I had decided not to take any pictures during class so that I could focus, but luckily for me two of my classmates have taken it upon themselves to take pictures and share with the rest of us, so I will be able to share some of the dishes I am enjoying in class.  There wasn’t much from the first section though, as we were focusing on very practical things such as knife skills, sanitation and culinary math.  I will definitely include some school food pictures in future posts.

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New Stuff

It seems like I’ve got a lot of new stuff going on lately.  I’ve also received some new stuff and bought some new stuff.  Stuff!

Firstly, I started the Natural Chef program at Bauman College last week.  Although I haven’t actually cooked anything yet, I’ve been enjoying it a lot.  Our sanitation and knife skills classes are this week, and after that we can get into the kitchen.

Yesterday after class I headed into San Francisco to check out Economy Restaurant Fixtures for some supplies.  They have just about everything you could need to start or run a restaurant, right down to salt and pepper shakers or menu covers.  It was kind of funny to see it all lined up on shelves.

Apron, chef’s pants, knife roll, paring knife and knife covers.  I’ll look so official!  I also picked up some small stuff for home cooking – ramekins, a fine wire mesh strainer and large piping tips.

It was recommended to purchase a recipe management program, and I went with Living Cookbook after reading lots of reviews on Amazon.  So far I’m very happy with the software, and am working on importing all of my collected loose recipes.  One of the great features is having nutrition information for each recipe, like you can see at the end of this post.

I found myself with just a bit of extra money last month, so I bought some e-books that were on my wish list for a long time.

Sneak Peak and Pudge-Free Holidays by Lindsay of Happy Herbivore, and Impossible Pies and Lunchbox Bites by Hannah of Bittersweet.  I haven’t made anything from any of them yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

I also ordered Swell zine from A-K of Swell Vegan, and bought The Joy of Vegan Baking as a total splurge at Rainbow Grocery yesterday.  Haven’t even looked through either yet!

I don’t get over to Rainbow very often, but I happened to be in SF yesterday so I made sure to swing by to stock up on Teese and other such specialties.  I wasn’t looking for creamer, but I saw this coconut milk creamer by So Delicious and figured I’d give it a try.  I normally use Silk or Trader Joe’s brand soy creamer, but I’m not in love with either.  I tried the coconut creamer this morning and the verdict isn’t quite in yet, but I think I’m going to like it.  The flavor is pretty natural, with a little hint of coconut, and I only had to use about a Tablespoon, as opposed to the soy creamers which it seems I need to use more than one serving to achieve my preferred creaminess.  I haven’t seen this coconut creamer on my side of the bay yet, so I’m hoping that Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods will pick it up soon.

A while back, my mom asked if I wanted anything from Pampered Chef because she was going to a Pampered Chef party.  I said there was nothing I needed, but made a few small suggestions.  A few weeks later she sent me a big box full of stuff!  It included a garlic peeler, garlic slicer, bamboo cooking tools, a stoneware baking sheet, chow chow relish, rice chips, glazed pecans and Southern Living magazine.  It also included a cookbook published by my parent’s church, chock-full of good old southern recipes.  My mom is the best!

Ever since hearing about the wonder of Kala Namak (black salt) on the internets and reading about it in Vegan Brunch, I’ve been looking everywhere for it.  For anyone who doesn’t know about black salt, it has a sulfuric aroma and flavor, which helps to simulate egginess.  I finally decided to just order it on the internet, and did so at Salt Works.  This 9.5 oz jar was only $7.95, and they offered free shipping in September, so I think I scored a pretty good deal.  This jar will last me a long time…

…making dishes like this!  This is the tofu omelet from Vegan Brunch.  I made the mushroom filling with white and shiitake mushrooms because the store was out of cremini, and substituted chard for the spinach because it’s what I had.  I also added some shredded cheddar Teese inside and on top, and broiled the omelet for a few minutes at the end to melt the Teese.  In the back is a roasted sweet potato hash with ketchup.  I had high hopes for these omelets after reading rave reviews, and they lived up to them.  It’s not exactly like a real omelet, but I think it’s the best simulation you could make without actual eggs.

This isn’t new, per say, but it’s new for this year.  I caught a glimpse of Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale and had to have it!  It’s my favorite pumpkin beer, although Shipyard Pumpkinhead is really good too.  Gotta get it while it’s available.

And finally, a first for me:  I won a blog contest!  Alisa over at One Frugal Foodie hosted a contest to get rid of some cookbooks she didn’t need, and I won a copy of Nonna’s Italian Kitchen by Bryanna Clark Grogan.  Score!

That’s it for today.  Between going to school and working full time, I’m unfortunately not going to be able to post as often as usual, which wasn’t that often anyway.  I’ll probably have some interesting things to share from school – I have to make some recipes at home and write up reports for homework.  Either way, I’ll try to keep posting at least a few times a month.

Speaking of the upcoming month, it’s time for VeganMoFo!  I won’t be able to participate this year, but for a full list of participants check out Kittee’s post.  I will certainly be perusing the list and hopefully discovering some new blogs.

Bonus Jake pictures!

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Announcements!

1.  I have been accepted to, and am officially enrolled in the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College in Berkeley.  Yay!  Starting in late September and going through February I will be attending classes nights and weekends while holding down my 40-hour-a-week job and hopefully still cooking at home a bit (other than homework assignments).  Sadly, I probably will not be able to pay much attention to my blog during this time.  But at the end I will be a trained natural chef!  I am hoping to turn this into a career change sooner than later.

2.  With my crazy schedule impending, I’ve decided to take the month of August to clean up my diet through a “cleanse”.  It’s not a diet, per say, but my feelings won’t be hurt if I lose a few pounds in the process.  I lost 8 pounds between the beginning of this year and April, then went and gained it all back on my vacations in May and June.  Doh!  Mostly I want to focus on nutritious whole foods, and NOT CHEAT!  Details on the rules and first four days below.

3.  This one is inconsequential, but I feel like listing it anyway.  I’ve always referred to my boyfriend as bf on the blog because I thought he would prefer it that way.  It turns out he doesn’t care one way or another, so from now on he shall be called Dave, which is his name.

Now, here is the outline of my cleanse:

– first thing upon waking is a warm glass of water with the juice from a quarter of a lemon
– breakfast is a smoothie including fruit, greens, Udo’s DHA oil blend or flax or chia seeds, protein powder or nut butter and unsweetened almond milk, a multivitamin and either a CoQ10 or B complex supplement
– green or black tea or coffee with stevia at work
– morning snack is fruit or nuts or both
– lunch is a salad including some form of protein (open for interpretation – veggies salad/grain salad/bean salad, etc.) and a probiotic supplement a few times a week
– afternoon snack is raw veggies and hummus or nuts
– dinner is whatever I want, as long as it all fits in a normal dinner-sized bowl and is not high in fat
– decaf tea with stevia before bed
– minimal, if any, processed food
– no wheat (grains that may contain gluten are okay)
– no sugar or artificial sweeteners (stevia, agave and maple syrup are okay)

This is my own design, but I was inspired by a number of things including Jessy’s Adventure Cleanse Tune-up and re-reading Gillian McKeith’s You Are What You Eat.  Jessy did so amazingly well sticking with her cleanse, but I’m not making mine quite as intense.  She cut out everything I am, PLUS coffee, alcohol and gluten.  I generally only have coffee two or three times a week and tea the rest of the time, so I think it’s not that bad.  And I do like my beers on the weekend, so I’m keeping them but watching my intake.  (Geez, that makes me sounds like an alky!  I’m not, I promise, but I have to be honest about it if I’m going to detail my intake day by day.)  I will not be drinking any wheat beers though.  Speaking of wheat – I say “no wheat” because I’m not worried about gluten so much, so I may eat oats or other stuff that may contain gluten.  I just want to take a break from wheat and kind of force myself to eat other grains.

All that being said, I had a plan in place to start the cleanse off right on the morning of August 1st.  I was going to go grocery shopping and buy everything I needed for the first week on Friday night so that I could get going on Saturday.  I had planned my first few meals and written out a huge grocery list, and as I headed out the door I realized I didn’t have my keys!  Through a series of unfortunate events, Dave had gone to band practice in San Francisco with my keys in his pocket, so I couldn’t leave the house.  So much for being prepared!  I ended up going Saturday morning, but it left me a little stressed and wasn’t the way I wanted to start.

Day 1

Since I didn’t have my special smoothie making supplies yet or any greens in the fridge, I had a pear and some cantaloupe for breakfast along with my multivitamin.  Not exactly a power meal, but it’s all I had.  I also drank some blueberry green tea on the way to the store.  By the time I got back I was ravenous, so I ate some apple slices with peanut butter.

The first day presented me with a challenge because we were tailgating for the A’s game.  Normally I would have a veggie burger or dog and do some grilled veggies on the side, so I had to figure out how to fit grilling into salad form.

My solution was to take a salad of iceberg, tomatoes, shredded carrot and sunflower seeds and top it with grilled mushroom and squash and a squeeze of lemon.  (I only used iceberg because I had it leftover from a work bbq.)  This salad didn’t have as much protein as it probably should’ve and didn’t really fill me up, so I had some pistachios as a snack soon after.  I also had a few beers.  Told you I was going to be honest!

We didn’t end up actually going into the game (long story), and instead went to Dave’s uncle’s house for some chatting and board games.  On the way there I ate some carrot sticks, celery & cucumber slices with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Hummus from Yellow Rose Recipes as “dinner”, and then had two glasses of wine at their house.  So my dinner didn’t exactly fit into the dinner rules, but I felt it was the best I could do since we were very rushed that morning.

Day 2

Sunday went much more smoothly.  Dave took off to go fishing with his buddies (blech) and I slept in a bit.

My breakfast smoothie had a banana, strawberries, mango, kale, udo’s and almond milk and despite being a bit thick and me forgetting to add the protein powder, it was very tasty.  I also took my multivitamin and CoQ10.  The smoothie kept me full all morning, so no snack.  I also had some coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch was a second take on the salad from day 1 with iceberg lettuce, carrots, squash, mushrooms and chickpeas and a dressing of balsamic vinegar, mustard and agave (there was already oil on the grilled veggies).  It was more filling this time with the chickpeas – I couldn’t even finish it!

My afternoon snack was more of the roasted eggplant and garlic hummus with carrot sticks, bell pepper and cucumbers.  I have to say that this hummus is kind of weird.  It tastes really good and blended up smooth, but after sitting overnight in the fridge it had kind of gelled together, as if it had agar agar or something.  I had to stir and mush it up with a fork, and it was never again as smooth as when I first made it.

For dinner I made the Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango from Veganomicon and served it over spinach.  My first impression of this dish is that it was just a bit oily.  I get what the recipe is going for, and it tastes good and is easy to make, but it didn’t blow me away or anything.  After dinner I had camomile tea, which I’ve never had before, and was pleasantly surprised.

Day 3

My Monday breakfast was this tasty banana, cherry, kale, udo’s, almond milk and amazon acai hempshake smoothie along with my multivitamin and b complex.  It was actually more brown than red, this picture makes it look much nicer than it really was.  My morning snack was a pear, almonds and darjeeling tea.

Lunch:  leaf lettuce, green pepper, carrot, red onion, snap pea sprouts, cherry tomatoes, sauteed cajun tofu and Honey Mustard Dressing from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, and a probiotic supplement.  This dressing is wonderful!  I never would have though to use lemon juice in honey mustard and it gives the dressing the perfect tang.  No actual honey is involved – it calls for agave nectar instead.  The tofu was just sauteed in a little bit of oil and sprinkled with a cajun spice blend.

My afternoon snack was more of the eggplant and garlic hummus with carrot sticks, green pepper & cucumber.  Beginning to notice a trend?  A whole batch of hummus lasts me forever if it’s just for snacks.

Dinner was precisely the same as Sunday (quinoa salad with black beans and mango over spinach) with sweet wild orange tea to follow.  I thought the quinoa salad might be the kind of dish that improves overnight, but it was still just kind of “eh”. The orange tea, however, is awesome.  It’s by Tazo.

Day 4

I’m into this green smoothie thing.  This one had banana, mango, kiwi, kale, udo’s and almond milk, and I forgot to add the dang protein powder again.  This used up all my mangos – I got five small ones for 99 cents at Berkeley Bowl that were all ready to go mushy, so I didn’t want to let them go to waste.  I took my multivitamin and CoQ10 and had a pear, a plum, cashews and earl grey tea as my morning snack.

The lunch salad was much like the day 3 lunch salad, minus the onion, sprouts (they went bad) and cherry tomatoes (I don’t like ’em!), and plus sunflower seeds.  Also had a probiotic supplement.  Afternoon snack was celery, green pepper & cucumber slices with more roasted eggplant & garlic hummus.

Dinner was a challenge.  I was going to the recently re-opened Souley Vegan in Oakland to meet up with some PPKers and was hoping they’d have enough decently healthy options for me.  I meant to take my camera and forgot it like a dufus.  I ordered a three-item combo plate with collard greens, black eyed peas and yams.  The collard greens were very good, and different from any greens I’ve had – they were quite spicy and had a combination of spices that I could not put my finger on.  It drove me a little crazy that I couldn’t figure out the spices.  The black eyed peas were also good.  The yams…were incredibly sweet.  I’m fairly sure there was about a ton of sugar in them.  But I tried to stick to the cleanse, and I think I did pretty well for being at a place that has delicious chicken fried tofu and mac n’ cheese, and life goes on.  When I got home I had camomile tea.

(Souley Vegan’s Yelp page says they’re closed, but they’re not.  They are very much open at 301 Broadway, near Jack London Square.)

I hope that this style of posting doesn’t bore you all to death!  I want to post everything I eat, day by day, to hold myself accountable and to show anyone who may think I’m crazy that it’s completely do-able.  I’m hoping to post every two or three days, as opposed to four or more, so that there’s not so much redundant content.

So far I haven’t noticed much of any change in my energy or anything like that.  I do feel more hungry in general than before I started, but it’s not the kind of hungry where I HAVE to eat something, it’s just a little lingering hunger that tells me I didn’t totally fill up my tummy.  I’ve been cooking less in general but spending more time preparing food, which I guess is what happens when you eat more raw foods.  The only way I can make it in the mornings is to prep everything the night before, including putting the greens and fruit in the blender jar in the fridge, which kills a good amount of time at night.

Here is my latest CSA delivery.

cherry tomatoes, cherries, pears, an eggplant, tomatoes

pattypan squash, onions, peppers, basil, a cucumber,
a crookneck squash, grapes

And just because I can, some pictures of Jake from this weekend.  He’s taken to squishing his face on the arm rest when he’s trying to nap on the couch.

Kitty paws.

I love how his body looks humongous from this angle.

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