Posts Tagged fruit

August Cleanse: Days 22-30 & Wrap-up

I’ve been putting this post off because I knew it was going to be a monster, and also between preparing for a friend to visit, said friend’s visit, and preparing for Dave’s birthday party this weekend I’ve been a very busy girl.

Day 22

This breakfast smoothie had banana, strawberries, peanut butter, flax, cocoa, agave, coconut milk.  This is probably my favorite smoothie combination, and for that reason I don’t let myself have it very often.  Saturday mornings are a good excuse!  I also took my multi and coQ10 and had coffee with coconut milk.  After breakfast I headed to the farmers market with no particular plan in mind.

kale, spinach in the back, persian cucumbers, celery, corn and okra

blueberries in the bag, peaches, baby eggplants, carrots, shallots, zucchini (they’re yellow and light green!), multicolored potatoes and a canary melon

When I returned home I had napa cabbage salad with spicy peanut sauce and smoked tofu.  I skipped my morning and afternoon snacks to keep it light in preparation for the evening’s activities – a vegan potluck housewarming party hosted by Megan and Kelly, The Sisters Vegan!  I decided in advance that I was going to cheat on the cleanse a little bit (how could I resist trying everything at a vegan potluck???), so I tried to make my contributions as healthy as possible.  I made my Potato & Fava Bean Salad with Miso-Mustard Dressing, except there were no favas at the farmers market so I went with lima beans instead.  A good substitution, but not at all the same as favas.  I didn’t get to snap a picture of the dish because I was running late.

I also wanted to make a wheat- and sugar-free dessert, so I consulted Diet, Dessert and Dogs and found a good looking recipe for Jam-Filled Turnovers.  Of course, I didn’t have any sugar-free jam at home, so I made my own and it probably wasn’t quite thick enough.  I also didn’t have coconut oil and couldn’t get any without driving almost an hour round trip, so I substituted canola oil and hoped for the best.

They didn’t turn out so well.  I could tell when I rolled out the dough that it was much too oily and soft, but I tried to put together some cookies anyway.  They were edible for sure, but not potluck party worthy, so I bagged ’em up and left ’em at home.  I don’t think this is the recipe’s fault at all – I think it’s a good recipe and I just made bad substitutions.

Oh, did I forget to mention that while I was baking and cooking I had two vodka tonics?  Yeah?  Well, there it is.  Again, that’s what Saturdays are for!  I had a great time at Megan and Kelly’s place, their house is super-cute!  Here’s my plate o’ food.

Sorry for the crazy redness, I couldn’t get my camera to take it any other way.  From top left going clockwise, this is hummus and some jalapeno sauce with pita chips, a delicious bagel bite with the new Daiya cheese made by Melisser, fruit salad, pesto pasta, my potato-lima bean salad, part of a sundried tomato scone, part of a blueberry muffin, and TWO types of corn dog nuggets with an awesome spicy-sweet mustard.  (Thanks for sharing wheat products with me Melisser!)  This was a really great meal, and far more than I should have eaten.  Now I see why people rave about those sundried tomato scones – so good!  I didn’t take a picture of dessert, but if memory serves me I had a snickerdoodle, a small chocolate thing (truffle?), a brownie, and there may have been another cookie involved.  This is why I shouldn’t wait almost three weeks to write blog posts.  Aaaand I had a few beers at the party too.

Day 23

Sunday morning, I didn’t have anything I wanted to put in a smoothie, so I made fruit salad.

Strawberries, banana and grapes with flax meal.  I also had coffee with coconut milk, a multivitamin and b complex supplement.  Lunch was napa cabbage salad with spicy peanut sauce and smoked tofu, along with spirulina and (four) jam turnover cookies.  Afternoon snack was a grapefruit.  I was planning on leftovers for dinner, but when I went to pick Dave and a friend up from bart and he suggested that he might pay for taqueria if I took them…

…this happened.  Rice, beans, salsa and chips.  It’s technically cleanse friendly, except for the rice not being whole grain.  It was also technically delicious.  Along with dinner, I had a beer or two.

Day 24

I woke up with a raging headache Monday morning and decided to stay home from work.  I don’t get migraines or anything, but I could tell this was the kind of headache that was going to stick around all day.

Luckily, I had already prepped my smoothie with spinach, banana, raspberries, chocolate hempshake, udo’s oil and coconut milk.  I also took my multi and coQ10 and had blueberry green tea.

For a snack, I cut into the canary melon from my CSA.  I had never had canary melon before, but apart from the bright yellow rind, I’d say it’s really similar to honeydew.

Lunch was the last of the napa cabbage salad with spicy peanut sauce and smoked tofu, as well as a probiotic, two blueberry jam turnovers and wild sweet orange tea.  My afternoon snack was also what I had prepped to take to work – carrot sticks, squash slices, red bell pepper and cucumber with white bean pesto dip.  Dinner was the last of the sesame tofu scramble with greens, yams, mushrooms and dulse over savory oat bran, two blueberry jam turnovers and camomile tea.  I was feeling much better by the end of the night and was able to work on some food for the next day.

Day 25

I was running late for work, so no picture of the smoothie, but it had spinach, banana, strawberries, berry pomegranate hempshake, udo’s and coconut milk, and I took a multi and b complex.   Morning snack was canary melon, a nectarine and black tea.  Also no picture of my lunch salad, which had leaf lettuce, baby romaine, mexi-millet from Veganomicon, black beans, guacamole and salsa.  There’s a picture below under Day 26 of basically the same salad.  I also took a spirulina with lunch, and my afternoon snack was carrot sticks, red bell pepper and cucumber slices with white bean pesto dip.

For dinner, I made a curried stew with many of the veggies I bought at the farmers market, plus some stuff hanging around the fridge.  This stew included onion, garlic, ginger, red jalapeno, curry paste, zucchini, eggplant, okra, corn, swiss chard, coconut milk, tofu and cilantro.  I was really happy with how this turned out and kind of wished I had written down a recipe.  After dinner I had two blueberry jam turnovers and wild sweet orange tea.

Day 26

This very tasty smoothie included spinach, banana, raspberries, vanilla rice protein, almond extract, udo’s, almond milk and agave.  I really liked adding the almond and vanilla flavors, and also took my multi and coQ10.  The morning snack was a peach, canary melon and black tea.

Here is a picture of the salad mentioned above – leaf lettuce, baby romaine, mexi-millet, black beans, guacamole and salsa, with bonus cilantro and green onions.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the mexi-millet, but I quite liked it.  It was nice and flavorful and moist.  With lunch I took a probiotic, and had almonds for an afternoon snack.

The curried stew thickened significantly sitting in the fridge overnight, but still tasted great.  After dinner I had the last four blueberry jam turnovers and sugar plum spice tea.

Day 27

Thursday was a great day, if only because I was taking Friday off to hang out with our friend Mike who was visiting from Florida.  This smoothie was made from spinach, banana, strawberries, chocolate hempshake, udo’s and almond milk, and I took my multi and b complex.  At work, I had coffee with almond milk and more canary melon.  Lunch was a similar salad to the day before, with leaf lettuce, baby romaine, mexi-millet, black beans, avocado, salsa and lime juice, and I had almonds for an afternoon snack.

After work I headed downtown to pick up Dave and Mike, who had been afternoon-bar-hopping, and went straight home to have time to prepare for our first fantasy football draft.  I always get really nervous before drafts for some reason, so I cracked open a beer pretty soon after arriving home to sooth my nerves.  After a few beers and what I consider a pretty good draft, I had more of the curried summer veggie stew.

Day 28

Friday morning I slept in, and we were too busy chatting and planning our day’s activities for breakfast.  To introduce Mike to the taqueria experience, we went pretty soon after they opened for what would have to be considered brunch.  I had chips and salsa and a taco salad (lettuce, tomatoes, rice, beans, guacamole, salsa).  I took only a few nibbles of the fried tortilla taco shell.  We stopped by the grocery store to pick up tailgating supplies for the Giants game, and upon returning home I had coffee with almond milk.

We left for San Francisco in the early afternoon to meet Dave’s bandmate Brendan at Anchor Brewery, where he works.  He was finishing up a tour, just in time to give us a few samples and our own private tour!  It was very cool to see the inner workings of Anchor.

My food at the tailgate and game weren’t nearly as interesting as the game itself.  For a snack and dinner I brought a peach, a banana and leftover curried summer veggie stew.  In the game I snacked on some peanut, pistachios and a few garlic fries, and of course I had a few beers.

Photo essay on the wonder that is Tim Lincecum:

I love watching Lincecum pitch, but I’ve gotta say that the kid needs a haircut!

Dave and me after the game.

Day 29

I was seriously running out of fresh fruit by Saturday morning and had no time to shop, so this smoothie included baby romaine, banana, blueberry jam leftover from making the turnovers, mango pomegranate amazing meal, udo’s and  almond milk.  We were leaving for the whole day, so I took all my supplements in the morning too – multi, coQ10 and probiotic, and had coffee with almond milk.

The reason we were leaving was to go to our second fantasy football draft, at Dave’s cousin’s house about an hour away in Manteca.  Manteca also happens to be home to Taqueria Menteca, the sister restaurant to Taqueria Ripon, which is my second favorite place for Mexican food in the world next to Las Margaritas in Gainesville, FL.  I had had enough with taco salads and just went for the burrito.  However, I still tried to be good by cutting it in half and saving part for later that night.  It was nice to have leftover burrito, but that didn’t stop me from grabbing some handfuls of pretzels and tortilla chips.  We had some beers during the draft, and afterwards headed to a luau party also going on in town.  I did the limbo, tried to hula hoop, and had two veggie spring rolls prepared by the hostess for me and the one other vegetarian there.

Day 30

We got home really late Saturday night, and I slept in far past breakfast time on Sunday.  I was really, really out of fruit anyway.  I skipped straight to lunch and had another mexi-millet/avocado/black bean salad, as well as my multi, b complex, spirulina and coffee with almond milk.  Even though our guest was still in town, I needed to go grocery shopping to prepare for the coming week.  He wanted to go shopping for souvenirs, so we headed to Berkeley and he explored Telegraph Ave while I went to Berkeley Bowl.  When I picked him up we were both hungry and feeling too lazy to cook, so we picked up some Japanese food from a place just north of campus.  I had inari sushi and soba noodle soup with tofu and veggies.  It was quite bland, but I was hungry enough to not care much.

Conclusions

I figure I’ll report some conclusions, for anyone who might want to do a cleanse like this, or just for anyone who is curious.  I gained a bit of weight the last week (I suspect it was the lack of exercise and extra beers while our friend was visiting), but overall I was still just over three pounds down which is pretty good for a month.  After going back to “normal” with exercise and eating I dropped back down a bit fairly quickly.

Energy-wise, I didn’t feel any difference.  This was one area I was hoping to see a difference.  I get a good amount of sleep and have decent energy all the time, but I was hoping between the b complex and coQ10 supplements, healthy eating and exercise I would feel energized.  Not so.  I still needed my caffeine every morning and had those evenings here and there where all I wanted to do was sit on the couch.

Digestion.  I thought for sure my digestion would be great on this cleanse.  In reality, my digestive system was…ahem…unhappy the whole time.  Soon after starting the cleanse I noticed my…ah…number two was not in a good state, and this continued through the whole month.  For someone who normally does well in this area, this was a definite negative result.  I also had digestion pains a few times, probably from increasing the amount of raw vegetables I ate.

The other negatives were the amount of time spent prepping food, and the amount I spent.  My grocery bill was a full 30% higher than normal for the month.  I’m sure this was due mostly to buying supplements and a ton of fresh, organic fruit.  I felt like I spent a LOT of time prepping, especially for my daily lunch salads.  I was very happy when I could go back to taking dinner leftovers for lunch.

One positive was that cutting out wheat forced me to try new grains.  I tried buckwheat for the first time ever and liked it, and gave millet another shot after having it only once and not being a fan.  I will keep these grains, as well as spelt flour, regulars in my diet.  I was also shocked to find out how many products I was eating regularly had sugar.  All types of soy yogurt, for instance, are made with sugar.  So is soy creamer, and a few other products that I regularly consumed.  I’m going to stay off yogurt and take a probiotic supplement every once in a while instead, but I’m going back to creamer full force.  Coffee is just no good to me with “regular” milk.  Creamer is a deal breaker.

One rule I will continue to stick with for weight loss purposes is alcohol on weekends only.  It’s a good policy for me that keeps me from having a glass of wine on Tuesday here, a beer on Thursday here…it certainly aids in keeping my calories down.  I’m also continuing to exercise four to five days a week, and have started weight training again in addition to cardio.

Overall, I’m happy I did the cleanse (even though I “cheated” more times then I would’ve liked to), if for no other reason than to prove to myself I could do it!

Comments (11)

Weeknight Meals

May is a busy month for me this year – I’m going out of the state twice, once for fun and once for work, my birthday falls in between those trips, and there’s the usual baseball games and other stuff going on.  So I haven’t had a lot of energy to focus on my cooking.  I still eat well I suppose, but it’s been more of a matter of just getting decently healthy food in my belly.

I’m calling this Cheater’s Channa Palak Masala.  Method:  Steam-fry or saute a diced onion, add minced fresh garlic and ginger, add chickpeas and a can of diced tomatoes, put in a whole lot of whatever seasoning you find appropriate (I used curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, dry mustard and cayenne), and add spinach to wilt at the end.  Delicious, quick, easy, and nutritious.  I was going to serve this over rice but was too hungry to wait the hour for brown rice, so I used whole wheat orzo, which didn’t really go with the masala that well.  On the side are roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with coriander.  The coriander is a tip I picked up from Vegan With A Vengeance’s sweet potato fries, and I will probably never roast sweet potatoes without coriander now because it’s so good.

I had a laugh when I saw that Lindsay from Happy Herbivore made Channa Masala just a few days after I did using about the same recipe, with an option to add spinach.  This was even funnier because as I was making mine I decided to steam-fry the dish with water rather than using oil and this made me think of her.  Great minds think alike!

One of my favorite ways to use up random veggies, tofu scramble!  I don’t follow a recipe, nor do I write one down, but my scrambles usually involve turmeric, about a ton of nutritional yeast, yellow mustard, a splash of soy milk and maybe some soy sauce.  This one also had zucchini, carrots, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms and fresh basil.  Yum yum.

I had planned to also make strawberry corn pancakes (a la VCON blueberry corn pancakes) and have full on breakfast-for-dinner, but by the time I got home I had neither the energy nor the patience to actually cook two things.  So I threw together this fruit salad, which made me realize that I don’t eat fruit salad enough.  I always have singular fruits and rarely put them together.  I liked adding the orange sections because the juice acted like a dressing and kept the bananas from turning brown.

I found myself with a lot of fresh herbs in the fridge threatening to go bad, so I had decided to make some pesto pasta.  But then that day I got a MAD craving for tomato sauce, so I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to have both marinara and pesto, and whether that was even a good idea.  Turns out it is!

I made this meal completely from what I just happened to have at home.  The pesto was made with a little bit of mint, thyme and oregano, a lot of parsley, pine nuts, and no basil whatsoever.  The crumbly stuff on top is supposed to be tofu ricotta but I used frozen and thawed tofu, which I knew wasn’t a great idea from the beginning.  I wanted tofu ricotta though, and the frozen tofu was the only tofu I had.  So the tofu stayed crumbly and spongy and didn’t get creamy like normal, but bf said that he actually liked it that way, so go figure.  (On a side note, bf ate what I ate for dinner TWICE last week.  I think it was a freak coincidence, or that he was just feeling lazy and cheap.  Fine with me!)

Anyway, I mixed cooked whole wheat spaghetti with organic jarred sauce, layered it in a casserole dish with the pesto and ricotta, and baked it for 20 minutes.  I’m calling it spaghetti casserole.  I wasn’t sure how this would turn out – I knew it would be edible, but didn’t know how great it would be.  It was great!  The pesto really did the trick.  Parsley pesto is good.  Oh, and this dish totally reminded me of the spaghetti pie my mom used to make with leftover spaghetti when I was young.  Vegan spaghetti pie?  Hmmm…..

With the bisketti, I had a side salad from whatever-I-could-find-in-the-fridge:  lettuce, carrots, radishes, corn kernels, clover sprouts that surprisingly had lasted a long time, and goddess dressing.  A fine side salad, indeed.

Here’s a weeknight meal made out of necessity, but then actually remade and written down cause it was so good.

This is  Salad Stirfry, and I’ll write more about it soon.  I love how colorful it is!

Comments (9)

Trying to Eat Well

I’ve been here for a week now, and despite my eagerness to get back to clean, creative eating, there isn’t too much that’s blog-worthy.  The kitchen here is limited, as are my funds, and there is still much that draws me away – there are a taqueria and a pizza place that are both quite good, and bf’s old friends to catch up with.  For now, I do what I can.

My first full day here, I made the lunch I had been craving, a tofu salad sandwich with lots of veggies.  It wasn’t the best I’ve ever made, but for throwing it together with no recipe and a limited pantry, it was right decent.

Only bad part was that I was so used to being a piggy that this didn’t fill me up, at all.  I’m slowly coming back around.  I also had it open faced on toast with avocado.

I had been craving spaghetti, so one night we cooked it up.  Whole grain noodles, plain jane store-bought marinara jazzed up with spices, and sauteed chopped baby bella mushrooms.  One the side, zingy lemon pepper zucchini made with earth balance, red pepper flakes, black pepper and lemon juice.  This made for many leftovers.

I’ve also been munching on cherries, which I found at a good price.  They’re big and juicy, but unfortunately not too flavorful.

Yesterday bf and I jaunted off to San Francisco and the East Bay to explore a bit.  Around lunchtime we were in Berkeley and wanting Asian food, and we came across Boat Noodle House on Shattuck Ave.  All the noodles sounded good, but I went for a green curry, which was moderately spicy and very tasty, just like a green curry should be.  Plenty of fresh veggies and basil.  (Don’t know why I didn’t scoot the bowl closer to the rice for a better picture, I always feel awkward taking pictures in restaurants and try to do it as quickly as possible.)

When we came in view of a Whole Foods, I squealed and we had to stop.  I know a lot of people don’t care for Whole Foods, but my stance right now is that I think it’s amazing.  I’ve never been in a place with so many options.  Everything I would normally have to order online or go to a specialty shop for, they have.  Right there.  And premade things like bagels and salads and hot food.  Maybe once I’m used to it it’ll lose it’s charm, but for now:  I ❤ Whole Foods.

We were going to watch bf’s beloved Oakland Athletics play that night, so I bought some food to carry me through the game.  There were so many choices that I had a hard time (not to mention the prepared foods are pretty pricey), so I settled on this meatless chicken salad sandwich.

The sandwich was good, but not great.  The veggies were fresh and everything tasted nice, but I’m not sure I’d buy it again.  Unless I was going to another baseball game and needed a quick dinner.

I also got a vegan banana blueberry muffin out of the bakery case.  (The everything bagels are vegan too, I will definitely be eating my fair share of those.)  The sandwich filled me up before the game, so I brought the muffin in to eat during.  It was huge, moist, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet.  A good deal for the price, though I think I’ll go back to making my own muffins when I can.

I wasn’t planning on buying any other food at Whole Foods, but when I saw the mangoes I knew I had to have one.  They were the hugest mangoes I have ever seen, and on sale two for $3.  Here’s my mango posing with his fruit friends, to show off his size.

I’ve just seen that the kitchen has a blender, so perhaps tomorrow morning I’ll see if it’s powerful enough to make them into a smoothie.

Comments (22)

Whirlwind Weekend

Greetings.  I had a great food and friends weekend, and I wanted to write this post Monday morning, but I woke up with a terrible sore throat.  Soon it became the kind of sickness that completely knocks you out, and by nighttime I had a fever.  Yesterday I went to the doctor and found out I have strep throat so I filled her prescriptions, took the pills, and again was knocked out.  Last night I was far too lethargic and nauseous to type anything, so here I am Wednesday morning, pre-med ingestion, to write out this post that’s been hanging over my head then resign myself to another day of boredom and nausea.

When I was in high school, if I spent a Friday night alone I would get really depressed.  Now I find I’m perfectly content to spend an entire Friday night at home cooking, and that is what I did on Friday.  I knew Saturday I was going to have no free time, so I cooked and prepped everything Friday night.  I also made pesto pizza for dinner using farmers market basil and tomatoes and VWAV pizza crust from the freezer.

pesto pizza

Upon taking the crust out of the freezer, I was reminded how awesome I am, because I had included this note to myself on how to bake it, so I wouldn’t have to look it up again.

pizza note

The pesto recipe and tofu ricotta were also from VWAV.  I put the red onion on sparingly, but afterwords wished I had put more on, because it was really yummy.

pesto pizza

Janeen had invited me to brunch Saturday morning, so I got up and finished up the food to take to her place.  I made what I’m calling Monkey Rolls – banana-chocolate-walnut cinnamon rolls.  I made the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from the Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk zine, subbing mashed banana for the pumpkin and adding chocolate chips and chopped toasted walnuts to the filling.  I also subbed canola oil for the margarine in both the rolls and the filling, as Janeen is allergic to soy.  I was most nervous about that substitution, but they turned out great.

monkey rolls

I had intentions of icing them with both vanilla and chocolate and almost skipped the chocolate part for lack of time, but I’m glad I went with both because I think the chocolate icing was the part that really took them over the top.

monkey rolls

I also made what I envisioned to be baked black bean & sweet potato taquitos.  Friday night I made the fillings, which were Refried Black Beans from Yellow Rose Recipes, and a sweet potato mash with lime juice, cilantro and minced chipotles.  Saturday morning I made my first homemade wheat tortillas from this recipe.  I made 12 tortillas instead of the 8 the recipe calls for, to make them smaller.

tortillas

They turned out really well for a first attempt, but they weren’t as pliable as I had hoped.  I wrapped each one around some of the black beans and sweet potato, secured them with a toothpick, and baked for about 15 minutes.  Right around the time I was trying to finish photgraphing and pack up for Janeen’s house, a crazy storm started rolling in and took all my light.  So I skeedaddled to Janeen’s just in time to beat the rain and took the rest of the photos by flash, and candlelight because Janeen is romantic like that.

taquitos

So the taquitos didn’t wrap up as I had hoped, but they tasted really good.  I served them with a quick guacamole and homemade enchilada sauce.  I like the enchilada sauce you can buy at the store (Old El Paso?) but felt like trying homemade.  I figured it couldn’t be too difficult.  I was skeptical about just how much a roux would do for an enchilada sauce, but it really did the trick.  The sauce had a silky mouthfeel that couldn’t have been acheived by just mixing ingredients together.  The only change I made was to add 2 tsp of sugar.  I like a sweet sauce.

Janeen made some excellent potatoes, cooked with a bruschetta mix and mushrooms.  These were really good.

She also put together a pretty fruit plate.

fruit plate

Here’s our candlelit spread.

brunch spread

We had planned a bike ride after brunch, but since it was storming we stayed in and ate like piggies.

brunch

Afterwards we went to watch bf’s band play at an afternoon benefit show, then retired to his house for a bbq.  I came home in between to clean up, and by the time I got there this was the spread on the coffee table.  Normally we’ll have out a bag or two of chips, but apparently that day we were partying like there were 20 of us even though there were only really 8.

chips

And for further exhibit of “how we roll”, here is the top shelf of the beer fridge.  Yes, there are two fridges and one is just for beer.

beer

For the bbq I made Apricot BBQ Sauce from VCon.  I was skeptical about how good this could be with no vinegar and such a small amount of tomato, but this is really good.  Make it now while apricots are in season!

apricot bbq sauce

I used this sauce to baste FatFree Vegan’s Barbecued Seitan Ribz.  So good.

ribz

I also made squash pickles.  You may recall that I first made them a while back, and wasn’t quite happy with the seasoning.  This time I got it right.  Nobody else seems to like these as much as I do, but I do like them.  So if you like squash and pickles, give them a try.

squash pickles

Squash Pickles

2 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, or 4 yellow squash, sliced
1 c vinegar (1/2 c apple cider, 1/2 c white)
1 c sugar
heaping tsp kosher salt
2 c water or enough to cover squash
medium to large shallot, very thinly sliced
1 tsp pickling spice
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp celery seed

Put all ingredients in a non-reactive container and stir. Refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.

For crisper pickles, salt the squash slices and let sit in a colander for a half hour. Rinse before adding to other ingredients.

My plate, with some grilled asparagus.

bbq

That’s it for now.  I have friends visiting this weekend and am concentrating on getting well before then.  And maybe going back to work, since that’s how I get paid.

Comments (26)