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151  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: March 23, 2012 12:23:18 PM
-pokes head in and looks around- Helllllllooooooo? Anybody home?

Sorry, it looks like it's been eerily quiet around here. I'm hoping it's because you've all been as busy as I have! (But I also hope you've still found time to eat healthy!)

So I thought I'd share my breakfast with you this morning (well, it's lunch time now, but whatever).

I present to you: Toast with Ricotta and Banana



2 pieces of Whole Wheat Toast with Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese, and about 2/3 of a Banana (the rest of the banana went to the guinea pigs, who were happy to oblige finishing it off for me!)

In other news, we finally finished up the rest of the all-purpose white flour and have switched over to whole wheat flour. We bought whole wheat spaghetti in preparation to switch over (have about 1 more meal's worth of the normal spaghetti noodles). We've been looking at sugar alternatives for when the time comes (still have a lot of sugar. Need to make some baked goods for a bake/yard sale tomorrow anyway, so some will get used up). Also, we're hoping to harvest our first romaine lettuce from the garden this week for salad! Yay!

How have you all been doing with eating healthy? Any meals you wanna share?
152  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: March 12, 2012 12:58:24 PM
Yes, we've tried nutritional yeast, Daiya brand "mozzarella cheese," some soy hot dogs, fake butter, and different kinds of "burgers." Unfortunately, we've come to the conclusion that this just isn't working for us. We both feel so tired and sore, and the only thing that's changed is our diet. We're going to finish the month out with vegetarian dieting instead (which is what I was doing before, but it will still be hard for Sean to turn down sausage and steak!). We discussed it at great length over the weekend, and decided that we couldn't compromise our health for the pride of finishing out the month... That being said, Sean thinks he'll probably stay vegetarian even after the month is up, and perhaps just allow himself a "cheat" meal every couple weeks to a month or so to satisfy that craving (though I think after a month or two, he'll stop craving it so much, and it just won't taste the same if he DOES eat meat).

Sorry if we disappointed anyone (I know we're a little disappointed in ourselves), and props to anyone who can keep up a healthy vegan diet and their mental and physical health!
153  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: March 09, 2012 11:00:52 PM
So, I kinda fell off the face of the planet (but not the bandwagon!) the last week or two. Sorry guys.

My fiance and I are "going vegan" for a month. He's doing it mostly to prove he can, I'm doing it to see if it is a sustainable choice for me for the future (2.5 months vegetarian now). Yesterday marks the start of week 2, and it is HARD. I already think this isn't going to work in the long run, but I keep telling myself that maybe I just don't have enough GOOD vegan recipes yet. We keep trying to "remake" old tried-and-true recipes and MAKE them vegan, and it just isn't working (btw, vegan cheese is AWFUL). We need to start trying out actual vegan recipes, or we're never going to make it through this...

Maremare, you asked about pre-planning and pre-logging foods. Since we're doing our vegan "challenge," I haven't been logging my food and counting calories. However, the night before we go grocery shopping, we plan all of our meals for the week. Breakfast is easy (I eat puffed rice cereal, and he eats oatmeal). Lunch is pretty consistent (baked quinoa patties or sandwich for lunch, with several healthy snacks like apples, carrots, granola, and roasted nuts). Dinner is where we get to be a little creative. There's almost always a pasta night of some kind, and usually a salad. And we also try out at least one new recipe a week (sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes we find it needs work...).

Last week our new recipe was a cherry tomato couscous. Neither of us had tried couscous before, but both of us liked it a LOT. We weren't crazy about the cherry tomatoes and cucumber in it (though it did give it a refreshing flavor. Perfect for a hot summer day!), but even having another whole grain that we really like and can experiment with is good.

This week we will be trying TWO new recipes. Brown rice + barley (probably won't have a problem with that one. It's a "safe" recipe), and a recipe for black eyed pea fritters. That one will be the real experiment. Hopefully it goes well.

As for HOW I keep track of all these meals, I have 2 copies of the dinner schedule. One is on a whiteboard in our room (white boards are perfect for those trying to go 'no waste'), and the other is on a notepad in a cabinet in the kitchen (so I don't have to go upstairs to remember what's for dinner). The notepad also has a column on the side so I can jot down NEXT week's grocery list as we run out of stuff. Being more organized has really been helping in the kitchen, and in the wallet!
154  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 27, 2012 12:33:04 AM
I have been doing really well with my new vegetarian diet! Sean and I have been making almost all of our meals (including breakfast, which I used to skip), and bringing our lunches to work. I /did/ try a bite of flank steak Sean cooked up last week because it smelled SOOOOO good (I had been /dreaming/ about eating meat). I was hoping the one bite would satisfy my craving. It did the exact opposite! It tasted terrible to me! So glad I did it, though, because I haven't has a SINGLE meat craving (or dream) since then!

I've been doing really bad with remembering to drink enough water. I keep trying to bring my water bottle to work with me, and then forgetting it in the car, or leaving it on the table and stuff... I think I need to make one of those water tracker charm bracelets, because that seems genius.

As for new goals, Sean and I have decided to "challenge" ourselves, starting March 1st. We are going vegan for 4 weeks (this coming from me - who 2 months ago was eating huge prime rib and t-bones, and Sean - who is a "man's man" who likes 3 things: boobs, beer, and BEEF). It is going to be a rough 4 weeks, but after watching "Forks Over Knives," and knowing the health problems that both of us already have (I'm 22, he's 29), we feel that this will be a good 'experiment,' if nothing else. Afterward, I plan to at least continue being vegetarian, but this is really to see (1) just how hard it is, and (2) if some of our health problems go away. If you guys want to follow the saga (I will be posting in a lot more detail on there), I'm posting about it on "Our Home, Your Home," and my blog has a link to Sean's blog as well.
155  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 23, 2012 12:45:53 PM
I'm going to be trying out a high-protein, no-oil "pesto" tomorrow. Got the stuff today, and I'm excited. Also, tonight we're making more quinoa patties (I think we're gunna try baking them this time).
156  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 21, 2012 11:10:31 PM
So I know I'm a little late, but last week's prompt was to try a new food. And while I didn't actually DO anything to it (cook it or anything), I tried rose hips. Straight off the bush in the front yard. Very interesting flavor and texture. I think I will try to make some tea out of them (I guess that's the popular thing to do?). I dunno if different types of roses mean different flavors of rose hips, but the ones I had tasted sort of like a mix between a pink lady apple and a strawberry... and the texture was sort of like tomato paste, with these stingy bits in it. Bizarre, but yea.
157  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 17, 2012 10:31:09 PM
So my friend shared an AWESOME guilt-free treat idea yesterday, and I knew I just had to pass it on to you guys.

Peel a banana. Freeze the banana. Blend. = Awesome banana "ice cream"

She said it has the same consistency of ice cream, but the only thing in it is banana! I haven't tried it myself yet, but I think I'm just going to have to.
158  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 15, 2012 08:22:22 PM
There are vegetarian and vegan varieties of gelatin available, you just have to search for it (and do some research). you can try Agar-Agar or Carrageen. Both are made from seaweed instead of animal. Also, many Kosher gelatin is vegan-friendly, but you need to do a little research by brand, because SOME use fish or beef.
159  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 12, 2012 12:11:56 PM
Haha yea, I was just working on it. They took my picture away cuz it had a link to my blog. Oops. I'll edit this post to include it in a minute.

*EDIT*
Sean got off work early today, which is weird on a Saturday. It left us rummaging around the kitchen looking for lunch. The fridge and pantry are starting to look pretty bare because I go shopping on Tuesdays, and most of our dinners this week were leftovers from last week.

Last night I had pulled out the leftover cooked quinoa from the freezer, and put it in the fridge to defrost. I had thought to make some more yummy quinoa patties with it, but today I had another idea. Totally on the spot, pulling things out of the fridge and cabinet, and handing them to Sean to mix with the quinoa, this is what we came up with (Please forgive the Christmas bowl they are one of two sets of dishes we use in the house, and both are necessary year-round (6 college-age people there are never enough clean dishes)).



Cali Style Quinoa (makes 1 bowl)

Ingredients:

Quinoa (pre-cooked, add as much as you want)

1 Egg

Black Beans (pre-cooked, add as much as you want)

1/2 Avocado

Handful of Mozzarella Cheese

Salt, pepper, and soy sauce

Directions: Put the quinoa and egg in a frying pan, cook like you are making fried rice. Add the cooked black beans near the end (to warm them up). Add avocado at the same time if you want it warm, add it after if you want it cold. Put in a bowl and stir in the cheese. It should melt in and sort of stick everything together. Add salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.

There are lots of other things you could throw in, too. I just used what I happened to have on hand. Other things that sound yummy: mushrooms, spinach, onions, bell peppers, garlic (will definitely put garlic in next time!), tasty herbs, tomato, corn, etc. Youre really only limited by your imagination and whats in your kitchen.
160  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: February 11, 2012 11:41:50 PM
I've heard Costco carries it, if you have one of those?? I wouldn't know from personal experience, because I don't have a Costco card, and can only go when I borrow my mom's (cuz I look just like her >.>) but yea. Might be worth a shot.
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