Posts Tagged The Plan

VeganMoFo: Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers

A quick post about tonight’s dinner.  It was chilly last night and this morning and I was craving soup, so I perused the list of recipes that fall into my plan.  I decided on Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers from Veganomicon, which I have been wanting to try for a while.

The soup is very good!  It’s nothing blow-your-mind phenomenal, but it’s a nice twist on split pea soup.  The peas, red pepper and ginger lend a fresh flavor that split pea doesn’t normally have.  Although next time I might try it with fresh bell pepper instead of roasted to make it even more fresh.

I thought about making rolls to eat along with the soup, but wasn’t feeling up to making more than one recipe tonight, so I picked up Trader Joe’s harvest multigrain loaf.  It was a perfect complement to the soup.  It’s not 100% whole grain, but it tastes very hearty and healthy.  It has seeds and crunchy grains throughout, and sopped up the soup really well.

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VeganMoFo: Sticking With The Plan

It’s been four days since I started focusing more on eating healthily, and I think I’m doing…okay.  I did really well Friday, including doing a 45 minute pilates video.  Saturday I only walked for 25 minutes or so, and ate pretty well except for some bbq chips.  Weekend are always hard for me, we usually have people over and barbeque and hang out, and there’s usually a bag of chips out.  In comparison with Sunday though, Saturday was great.  We went to a sports bar to watch the Raiders game at 1, so I found myself stuck and hungry, and the only thing there that I could eat was french fries.  So that was my lunch.  And dinner ended up being blue corn chips with salsa, and a whole wheat hamburger bun by itself.  I don’t think I ate too much necessarily, but the quality of food was pretty bad.  But it happens, and I’m back on track today.

As an aide for the plan, I spent some time compiling a list of recipes that either fall within my guidelines or can be adjusted to.  I’m posting them below mostly for my reference, but also as a tool for anyone else who might be looking for the same kinds of recipes.  I started in on the list over the weekend.

A few weeks ago Megetarianmade the VegNews Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and upon searching just now I see that Jessy just tried it too.  For anyone who hasn’t seen the recipe, you can find it here.  The sauce is made from blended potato, carrot and shallot.  I knew it was going to be plenty good, but had a hard time refraining from throwing a bunch of nutritional yeast in it.  I did make a few changes – I used brown rice veggie spirals pasta (in the attempt to vary my grains), and instead of blending margarine with the breadcrumb topping, I left the breadcrumbs plain then sprayed on some olive oil when the dish was assembled.  Oh, and I added steamed broccoli.

The texture was right on, but if I make it again I will definitely add nutritional yeast and maybe another thing or two to pump up the “cheesy” factor.  As is it seems like more of a saucy casserole than a mac ‘n’ cheese.  The recipe says it makes six servings which is probably a good size for a side dish.  It definitely only made four full-meal servings for us.

For grilling Saturday night I made Jerk-Spiced Portobello Steaks from Vegan Planet.  I wasn’t sure how well the rub technique would work.  I was worried the spice mix wouldn’t really stick, but it definitely stuck well enough.  These “steaks” were sweet, spicy, mushroomy, and downright great.  Served on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and grilled peppers – red, green and jalapeno.

We bought a whole bag of potatoes, so Sunday morning I tried my hand at hash browns.  Hash browns are hard to do right.  I think maybe I’m afraid to use as much oil as good hash browns would require.  They didn’t look very nice at all, but they tasted good enough.

And now, the longest list of mostly healthy vegan recipes anyone could ever need, in no particular order.

Squash Spice Bread – VT (Vegetarian Times) Oct 07 pg 82
Sunset Sweet Potato Biscuits – VT Oct 07 pg 66
GF Tempeh Stroganoff – VT Oct 07 pg 78
Vegan Moussaka – VT Nov/Dec 07 pg 64
Eastern European Red Lentil Soup – VT Nov/Dec 07 pg 81
Slow Cooker Vegetable Vindaloo – VT Nov/Dec 07 pg 37
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes – VT Jan 07 pg 77
Seitan Meatballs with Winter Tomato Sauce – VT Jan 07 pg 74
Oven Baked Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms – VT Nov/Dec 06 pg 35
Three Sisters Casserole – VT Nov/Dec 06 pg 61
Spicy Tofu Bento Bowl – VT Nov/Dec 06 pg 84
Crispy Breakfast Bars – VT Oct 05 pg 77
Corn & Quinoa Chowder – VT Nov/Dec 05 pg 28
Marinated Kale & Cabbage Salad – VN (VegNews) Jan/Feb 08 pg 58
Creamy Golden Potato-Squash Soup – VN Nov/Dec 06 pg 67
Cheddary Cheese Soup – VV (Vegan Vittles) pg 83
Chickpeas A La King – VV pg 119
Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf – VV pg 126
Unrolled Cabbage Rolls – VV pg 127
Miso Soup with Edamame – YRR (Yellow Rose Recipes) pg 48
Cajun Spiced Tofu – YRR pg 158
Hot & Sour Soup – LDV (La Dolce Vegan) pg 104
Beauty & the Beet Borscht – LDV pg 116
“Chicken” & Rice Soup for the Soul – LDV pg 121
Winter Vegetable Bisque – VP (Vegan Planet) pg 85
Savory Amaranth Porridge – VP pg 221
Adzuki Beans & Winter Squash Saute – VP pg 277
White Bean Cassoulet – VP pg 290
Tofu Vindaloo – VP pg 312
The Ultimate Veggie Burgers – VP pg 462
Indian Split Pea & Vegetable Cake – VV (Versatile Vegetarian) pg 46
Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage with Peanuts – VV pg 46
Thai Salad with Tofu – VV pg 97
Falafel Sandwiches – VV pg 112
Chili sin Carne al Mole – VWAV (Vegan with a Vengeance) pg 68
Black Bean, Mushroom & Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers – VWAV pg 83
Black-Eyed Pea & Quinoa Croquettes with Mushroom Sauce – VWAV pg 88
Chickpea Broccoli Casserole – VWAV pg 96
Orange-Glazed Beets – VWAV pg 117
Ethiopian Seitan & Peppers – VWAV pg 167
Chickpea Mash Stew – EV (The Everyday Vegan) pg 84
Spicy Thai Stew – EV pg 88
Mushroom Pecan Burgers – EV pg 114
Creamy Potato Leek Bake – EV pg 124
Baked Herbed Spaghetti Squash – EV pg 146
Apple Swirl Loaf – EV pg 163
Cinnamon Cornmeal Muffins – EV pg 166
Simple Whole Wheat Pancakes – PP (The Peaceful Palate) pg 22
Oatmeal Waffles – PP pg 25
Antipasto Salad – PP pg 60
Green Velvet Soup – PP pg 72
Winter Squash & Hominy Stew – PP pg 83
Pilau – PP pg 97
Chinese Bulgur – PP pg 101
Pasta Primavera – PP pg 108
Cabbage Rolls – PP pg 123
Mjeddrah – PP pg 124
Tofu Croquettes – PP pg 126
Neat Loaf – PP pg 128
Yellow Split Pea Dal – PP pg 131
Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes – VCON (Veganomicon) pg 60
Creole Stuffed Peppers – VCON pg 61
Lower-Fat Cauliflower Hummus – VCON pg 68
Snobby Joes – VCON pg 98
Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf – VCON pg 115
Mexican Millet – VCON pg 118
Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans – VCON pg 121
Seitan Cutlets – VCON pg 132
Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers – VCON pg 140
Baked Potato & Greens Soup – VCON pg 146
Tempeh Shepherdess Pie – VCON p 167
Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca – VCON pg 178
Braised Seitan with Brussels, Kale & Sun-Dried Tomatoes, VCON pg 182
Pumpkin Saag – VCON pg 184
Spaghetti & Beanballs – VCON pg 189
Almond-Quinoa Muffins – VCON pg 227
Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins – VCON pg 229

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VeganMoFo: The Plan

I’ve always struggled with my weight.  From the time I was born until the time I graduated college, I gained weight.  I didn’t eat healthy foods and I didn’t exercise, although being in marching band in high school and college probably helped.  Band practice is grueling in Florida’s August heat.  During college I took a full load of classes, worked part time, played in a touring band and was in a relationship, and by the time I graduated college in May 2003 I had reached 200 pounds and was pretty miserable.  It seemed like the first time in my life I could decide how to use my time, so I started exercising and eating better.  I don’t remember exactly what I ate back then.  I was vegetarian, but I don’t think I was incredibly healthy in the way that I think of healthy now.  There were a lot of salads with fat free ranch, veggie dogs, anything that was low cal.  Whatever I did, it worked.  I lost over 70 pounds in 15 months.  I even became a self proclaimed gym rat.  I was in the best shape of my life, and looking back, I was probably a little too skinny.  I’m a curvy girl, big boned if you will.  I’ve realized since then that I’m just not meant to be skinny, and that’s okay.

I’ve gained back more than I would’ve liked to since then.  I’m nowhere near my top weight, and I’ll never be that big again.  But in the past year or so, specifically the past few months, I’ve gotten lazy.  I always eat fairly healthfully, with lots of veggies and such, but what with all the major changes in my life recently I may have turned to the taqueria more often than I should’ve.  Now that I have a place to live and will hopefully have a job and the return of a regular schedule soon, it’s time to shape up and slim back down a bit.

I don’t believe in diets.  I think most of them are ridiculous.  The last time I started a weight loss effort I devised my own plan based on common sense, and that is what I’m doing again this time.  Eat less, eat the good stuff, and exercise more.  There’s not much more to it than that.  I like to call it a “plan” rather than a diet, because it’s not a diet.  I’m still going to eat plenty, trust me.  It will just be the right kinds of foods, and not too much of them.

So here are the “rules”, which are more like guidelines.  I’m not going to get all upset if I go outside the parameters every once in a while.  These are my goals:

– Only eat when hungry, and stop eating when full.

– Exercise often.

– Unlimited fruit and veggies as long as they’re prepared in a healthy manner.

– At least one serving of raw veggies a day.

– Only whole grains.  No refined flour.

– Rely less on wheat, eat other grains more often instead.  (I don’t have an issue with wheat, I just think I fall back on it too often.)

– Get fats from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, avocados and oils in moderate amounts.

– Minimize use of refined sugar, use alternatives like maple syrup, agave nectar and stevia.  (This shouldn’t be an issue except for baking.  I already use stevia in all my tea and coffee.)

– No soda.  (I always drink diet so it’s not the calories that are an issue, but I’m sure I’ll be better off without it.)

– No alcohol on weekdays.

– No eating out.  (This won’t be an issue for a while since I’m broke.)

– Eat seasonally and locally as much as possible.

– Eat foods in their whole forms, no processed food.

– If I want, I will allow one “cheat day” on the weekend.  We grill and tailgate and have people over for sports, so this will allow me some freedom.  I’m not planning on going wild though, I still have to be sensible.

So there it is, The Plan laid out in bullet form.  It’s common sense.  I know all these things, it’s just a matter of doing them, and I’m starting tomorrow.  I’ve gone through about half of my cookbooks and started a list of recipes that either fall within these parameters, or that I can adapt.  That will be another post.  I’m definitely planning on keeping my cooking interesting and blogable.

Wish me luck!  And strength.  Anybody have any tips or recipes that might help me out?

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