Happy New Year! Black Eyed Peas With Kale

4 Jan

My husband insists on us eating black eye peas on New Years Day (bleh).  I try to find a way to make them that I will easily eat them.  The goal is to eat as many as you can.  The tradition is, the more you eat, the wealthier your year will be.  So after researching many recipes, I created the following (and we ate the whoooooole thing):

4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
2 organic carrots, diced
2 small red bell peppers, diced
2 cans of BEP, discard liquid
2 heads of Kale, deveined and torn to pieces

Mince the garlic and add to a warm pan with olive oil. Saute until you really smell the garlic.  Then add the onion.  Saute until soft.  Add carrots and peppers.  Saute until everything is to a desired texture.  Add peas and kale.  Stir/cook until kale is still a nice green, yet wilted.

Serve over brown rice and enjoy the wealth that the upcoming year brings :)

Red Beans and Rice with Collard Greens

21 Apr

Ok…I was worried about this recipe.  I normally am not a beans and rice girl, and have never tried collard greens. I honestly did not think I would like this, and had some roasted tomato soup on stand by for dinner.  I took one bite, and was hooked!  This dinner will be repeated a number of times.  Big hit in our household.

Serves 2 (2 LARGE servings)
(from Dr. Barnard’s Kickstart book)

½ onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups cooked red beans with at least 2 tablespoons liquid
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups sliced collard greens
Cooked brown rice
Hot sauce for garnish

Instructions: Over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and celery until the onion is lightly caramelized, only using water, no oil or butter.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.  Add the pay leaf, red beans with liquid, pepper, thyme, and salt.  Add water to  create enough sauce to look like a stew (about ¼ cup).  Simmer the sauce for at least 10 minutes, though the longer you let it simmer, the better it gets.  Replace the water as it evaporates.  Smash the beans until the sauce thickens, but don’t worry about getting every bean smashed.  The sauce should have a lot of texture.  While the sauce is simmering, steam the collard greens.  Combine the collard greens with the finished bean sauce.  Serve over rice and top with hot sauce

Per serving: 493 calories, 21 g protein, 97 g carbohydrate, 5 g sugar, 3 g total fat, 6% calories from fat, 21 g fiber, 295 mg sodium

Balsamic Zucchini Sandwich

21 Apr

Serves 2
(from Dr. Barnard’s 21 Day Kickstart book)

2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into ½’ thick strips
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 cup rinsed white kidney beans (cannellini beans)
1 large roasted red pepper
2 whole wheat sandwich rolls (mini baguettes or bolillo rolls)
6-8 fresh basil leaves
½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions: over medium-high heat, sauté the zucchini strips for about 1 minute (do not overcrowd the pan, use water instead of oil).  While sautéing, puree the white beans and roasted red pepper.  Toast the buns. Now back to the zucchini strips. Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar and stir immediately.  Sauté this for about 30 seconds and remove from the heat.  Spread the pureed beans on the bottom bun, then add the basil, then the zucchini, and finish off with a garnish of black pepper.

Per serving: 380 calories, 19 g protein, 76 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 12 g total fat, 5% calories from fat, 14 g fiber, 465 mg sodium

My variation: I sauté the zucchini a little longer than 1 minute.  Enough time for pureeing and toasting.  I’m also thinking of adding some more beans to the puree, and maybe some seasonings.  They suggest that if you don’t have time or ingredients for the puree, you can use store bought roasted red pepper hummus.  I also think I’m going to try this as a wrap instead.  I feel it was too much bread, and it overpowered some of the other flavors.

Portobello Fajitas

21 Apr

Stephen and I went to Coyote Grill inFairfaxwith our two great friends, and I tried the Portobello Fajitas.  I could not rave about them enough!  They were AMAZING!  I was so excited when I found a recipe in Dr. Barnard’s 21 Day Kickstart book!  We had them last night, and they are super tasty!

Serves 2

½ onion, thinly sliced
Splash of water (about 3 tablespoons)
2 large Portobello caps, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 large roasted red pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Corn or whole wheat flour tortillas
Salsa or lime wedges

Instructions: Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it turns a rich, dark, brown color (no oil/butter).  Add a splash of water and quickly stir.  The liquid will evaporate in just a few seconds.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the Portobello’s and garlic and sate until the mushrooms glisten and loose their raw, whitish look.  Add the cumin and chili powder; sauté for 15 to 30 more seconds.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Immediately add the roasted red peppers and cilantro.  Serve with tortillas as well as salsa or lime wedges.

Per Serving: 286 calories, 10 g protein, 60 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 3 g total fat, 10% calories from fat, 5 g fiber, 668 mg sodium

My variation: I also added some avocado slices.  I find avocado gives a creamy texture to most dishes, so it often replaces my need for cheese.  Next time I’m thinking of sautéing some green peppers along with the mushrooms and onions.

French Onion Sourdough Soup

21 Apr

Makes 2 servings

2 yellow onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup red wine, divided
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
2 slices whole wheat sourdough bread

Instructions: slice the onions into pieces roughly 2 inches long.  Put a wok or pot on medium-high heat.  Add the sliced onions and salt and sauté’ until the onions are heavily browned (remember, no butter or oil.  If they start to stick to the pan, add some water).  Add in 2 tablespoons of red wine and stir quickly.  Once it completely evaporates, allow the onions to cook for another minute and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of red wine.  Allow it to evaporate, allow the onions to sauté’ again, and repeat this twice more, using 2 tablespoons of water each time.  Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the pan, along with the thyme, pepper, and bread; allow the soup to simmer for about 2 minutes.  You should find that the bread starts to roughly dissolve and thicken the soup.  Once that happens, it’s ready to serve.

Tip: try this browning technique in other dishes where you want a sweet, heavy onion flavor

Per serving: 149 calories, 4 g protein, 28 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 1 g total fat, 7% calories from fat, 3 g fiber, 435 mg sodium

(found in Dr. Barnard’s 21 day kickstart book)

Day 8: I can do this!

21 Apr

Just a little update.  The vegan thing….not so bad :)  I feel pretty much full all the time, with not so many cravings.  The hardest part is the Easter candy.  I’m not supposed to have peeps, and I’m sure no Cadbury cream eggs.  I will admit, I have cheated.  They don’t seem as tasty anymore.  However, I did try the chocolate peeps dipped in chocolate…heaven!  Luckily I only found them once, and don’t plan to hunt anymore.

I’ve been having great fun trying to find some tasty recipes.  Some new things we tried was Portobello fajitas, red beans with rice and collard greens, quinoa with veggies, french onion sourdough soup, and balsamic zucchini sandwiches.  I will post the recipes for all of these.  Well worth it!

Today’s weight: 195.8

Day 1 of being vegan, Recipes attached

13 Apr

Day 1:
Ok, April 12th was Day 1 of being vegan.  Easy Peasy.  Here’s what I had:

Breakfast: Organic TJ’s Cereal with Almond Breeze Almond Milk. Coffee w/ almond milk
Lunch: Garden burger with thin layer of BBQ sauce, tomato, sautéed mushrooms, pickles, lettuce, with a side of sweet potato fries.
Snack: Surprisingly, I didn’t need a snack
Dinner: Dr. Barnard’s Perfect Portobello Burger, baked sweet potato fries, and brussles sprouts

I went to bed so full.  What was the most surprising thing is when Stephen finished eating it, he looked at me and said, “Ugh, I hate you…” with a side smile.  “Why do you hate me???” “Because you’re making it hard not to become a vegan…this was so good, and I’m full…what are you doing to me??? I didn’t even miss the meat in a the burger”  Meet Stephen, a steak loving, potato eating, cheese devouring man…who just enjoyed a total meatless, dairy missing meal.  Ah, success.  We can do this.  Now I’m determined to try more dishes.  Let me share with you the very easy recipes from dinner.  

Perfect Portobello Burger, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Brussels Sprouts








Perfect Portobello Burger (2 servings):

3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced along the length
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tsp paprika (smoked paprika preferred)
2 large Portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed (not necessary to remove the gills)
2 whole wheat buns
Malt vinegar (I used Balsamic vinegar)
1 roasted red pupper, cut in half
2 pieces of romaine lettuce (I used spinach)

Sweet Potato Fries (makes 4-6 servings):
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced to French fry size
Nonstick cooking spray
¼ tsp coarse salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls diced parsley

Brussels Sprouts:
As many as your heart desires
Non stick cooking spray
Sea Salt
Lemon Pepper (I used the TJ’s grinder)

Instructions: Cut a red pepper in half (clean out the innards), and put it on a baking sheet, in the oven at 425 until nicely roasted (about ½ hour, or until you smell the peppers).  While cooking, cut the sprouts into ¼ pieces and put in a bowl.  Spray with cooking spray, and toss with salt and lemon pepper then put in corning wear (or any oven save container with top).  Then prepare your cookie sheet (cover with foil, easy for clean up).  Cut potatoes into French fry size, and put in bowl.  Spray with cooking spray and toss with garlic, salt, and parsley.  Then spread on cookie sheet

After they’re peppers are done, remove and set aside.  Reduce the heat to 375.  Place potato fries  and sprouts in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.  While sprouts and sweet potatoes are cooking, start on the mushrooms.

Add about ¼ inch of water to a sauté pan and bring it to just above medium heat.  Add the garlic, salt, and paprika to the water and stir. Add the Portobello caps.  Cook until Portobello is no longer raw on either side (about 10 min).   Replenish water as necessary so the mushroom doesn’t cook on a dry pan.  Once done, remove the mushrooms and set aside. Let the water evaporate so that the garlic/salt/paprika are left in an almost marmalade form.  Take that and spear onto the mushrooms.  While cooking the mushrooms and evaporating the water, you can sauté some onions on another burner.  No oil or butter needed (I know, Julia Child would be so disappointed in me).  All you do is cut up the onion thinly and put them in a dry pan (I used a non-stick pan). All veggies have their own natural oil.  Put the onions on medium heat.  Be patient :) Stir the onions around a bit.  If they start to stick, or burn the pan, add about a shot of water to the pan.  Keep doing that as necessary.  The onions should be a nice, soft texture, light brown in color.  This should take about 10 minutes as well. 

While all of this is cooking I like to start preparing the “fixins.” I set aside the spinach, cut up the tomato slices, and avocado.  I poured some balsamic in small bowl and set out the brush.

During the last 5 minutes of the sweet potatoes cooking, I put the buns in the oven for a nice toasting.

Once done, brush the buns with the vinegar. Then place the mushroom caps on, pile on some onions, spinach, tomato, and end with the avocado slices. Place bun on top, give it a nice smush J  Add your sweet potato fries and sprouts to your dish, and bon appetite!

Sweet Potato Fries: 173 Calories, 3 g. protein, 40g carbs, 8 g sugar, 0.2 g total fat, 1% calories from Fat, 6 g fiber, 370 mg sodium

Portobello Burger (without avocado): 149 calories, 7 g protein, 28 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 3 g total fat, 16% calories from fat, 18 g fiber, 421 sodium

Sprouts (I made this recipe up, so just on cooked brussels sprouts, 1 cup): 65 calories, 5.6 g protein, 12.9 g carbs, 3.2 g sugar, 0.6g total fat, 1% calories from fat, 6.4 g fiber, 23 mg sodium

Total dinner nutritional break down (rounded): 400 calories, 15.6 g protein, 81 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 3.8 g fat, 30 g fiber, 814 mg sodium

Based on my 1350-1700 daily allotted calorie intake (that’s to loose 5 lbs a day, and to maintain the healthy weight):

This meal consists of 23% of my daily calories, 31% of my daily carb, 6% of my daily fat, 11% of my daily protein, and 35% of my daily sodium

Awesome dinner!

Today’s weight: 196.2 lb


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