Saturday, August 28, 2010

How To Lose Weight Without Hunger - article

The following article is by my good cyber pal Erin, who knows all kinds of wonderful things to do with vegan food. It is published with his kind permission and encouragement.

How To Lose Weight Without Being Hungry All The Time

Many people find it hard to stick to a diet. There are a lot reasons for this, including social pressure from friends and family urging you to indulge in a false sense of moderation. (You know, the “Just this one treat won’t hurt” line?) But, perhaps the biggest reason for giving up on a diet is feeling hungry. However, hunger is not a requirement to losing weight!

Now, you’re probably thinking I’m going to recommend sweating it all off in an exercising frenzy, but that’s not it at all. Instead, there’s a simple, healthy, trick to what you eat that ensures you won’t be hungry and yet still consume fewer calories than you currently do (which means weight loss will follow naturally).

The secret is to consume only whole foods in their original, unprocessed state. For example, instead of a slice of apple pie, grab an apple — or even two if you want! Instead of carrot cake, some carrots.

The thing is, in both cases, the sugars in the whole foods are carried along in a complete package of fiber and nutrients, thus slowing their absorption and leaving you satiated (i.e., feeling satisfied) versus loading you up with empty calories that do nothing to physically fill you up.

Better yet, eat LOTS of green, leafy vegetables, like kale and collard greens, and cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower. These wonders of nature pack an even greater concentration of nutrients into still fewer calories, and their extra volume makes it almost impossible to overeat!

And, don’t just add them to your meals, start out your meals and snacks with these foods. Serve up a huge salad or a big bowl of bean soup with kale, and before you know it, you’ll be so stuffed you won’t even want to think about a greasy burger or sugary and fat-laden dessert. It really works. Give it a try!

By the way, you can even have “pasta” on a diet too. That’s because there exists such a thing as calorie free noodles made exclusively of fiber. They have zero net carbs and are very filling. Just add a hearty vegetable pasta sauce or stir-fried veggies and maybe some tofu for protein, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal.

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Erin Dame is the author of Vegan Done Light, a low-calorie, low-sodium cookbook and long-running monthly nutrition newsletter, as well as several guides on health and diet.
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Getting Back To Blogging

It's been a strange summer. We've done some travelling - New York and Paris plus various places in Canada - and we've moved house, selling one and buying another within days of each other, refurnished, etc. etc. It all takes time and somehow this blog got lost in the shuffle :(

I am, however, back 'at it' as it were, and just today arranged for organic produce to be delivered to our door each week to inspire me to new recipes. With all the lovely things growing right now there's so much opportunity to eat well, whether it's simple salads and cold soups or gourmet meals.

Hope everyone has enjoyed a good summer - next weekend is Labour Day so it's officially over, I guess, then, unless you are very trad and wait until the 21st to declare the onset of autumn. If you drop by this blog, please leave a brief Hi so I know you've been here, okay? All comments (well, almost all :) but you know what I mean!) very very welcome.

Happy compassionate eating,

River

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Red Chard On Wheatberries, Tofu Stir-Fry Two Ways.

Simple meals: Vegetables solo or combined with others are quick and easy to prepare and full of flavour. A little tofu or tempeh can provide an interesting contrast of texture. We try to eat lots of greens.



RED CHARD ON WHEATBERRIES

This was a lovely twist on steamed greens. For this I used red chard, because it's so pretty (and was available at the market, let's face it!), which I cooked very lightly and treated with Japanese seasonings - rice vinegar, light soy, a little wasabi, a touch of pickled ginger and a few drops of sesame oil - all to taste. The seeds are just a scattering of sesame seeds more for appearance than anything else (although I love sesame).

This was all tossed together while the chard was still hot and placed on a bed of previously cooked (and hot) wheatberries - in lieu of rice.

Most successful, and to be repeated :)


Stir-fried vegetables with tofu are a stand-by when there's not much else hanging around the refrigerator and I lack the energy or time to make something inventive.



BUTTERCUP SQUASH STUFFED WITH TOFU AND STIR-FRIED VEGETABLES

Obviously the squash had been previously prepared and was waiting in the refrigerator to be discovered and made the centre of attention. While reheating the baked squash in the oven, I quickly chopped bell peppers/capsicums, onions, mushrooms, celery and whatever else I had lying around and stir-'fried' (okay, cooked in a little water) them together with cubed tofu, garlic, ginger and a little light soy sauce. These were kept pretty crisp, stuffed into the hollow part of the squash then returned to the oven while we had our salad course. This is tasty and the presentation, which is no trouble at all, makes it seem rather more special than just a plain stir-fry. You could serve this with rice or another grain, but we don't usually bother except to add sometimes some steamed spinach or kale.




GREEN BEAN AND TOFU STIR-FRY

Another simple meal. Left-over Chinese vegetables - bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and if you have them handy some of those baby corn cobs (I didn't have them here), are added to green beans and some onion and quickly stir-'fried' (I try not to use oil, as you know) with the usual suspects - ginger, garlic, crushed chilies and light soy. There are a few walnut pieces on top for crunch and interest. Serve with rice, alone, or with some homemade bread (as below).




HOMEMADE RYE BREAD

In our house, it goes with whatever we're serving, although we have it much less often than we used to do. I usually save it for one of those evenings when soup seems the simplest and most obvious choice.

Getting lazy you say? Too right! LOL.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rapini With Spiced Turtle Beans, Tuscan Beans With Kale And Craisins, Bean-Stuffed Squash, Oven-Baked Tofu



RAPINI WITH SPICED TURTLE BEANS

Way back when, I posted a variation on the bean recipe HERE - using back then soy beans rather than the turtle (or black) beans pictured here. I may have added a few extra little bits of this and that for interest, but the idea is the same: spicy hot (but not too hot) beans gently simmered with a sweetener (maple syrup works nicely, as does agave nectar, but I like organic molasses for this one to go with the rich taste of this kind of bean.) along with various spices (see recipe) to produce a delicious bean dish that keeps well in the refrigerator and can be used for a variety of dishes.

In this case, I served rapini (broccoli rabe), lightly done with a little garlic, to complete the Beans 'n' Greens meal. The contrast of the slight bitterness of the rapini with the beans is sensational.



TUSCAN BEANS WITH KALE AND CRAISINS

This is an old favourite, but I can't resist adding it in here. The recipe I have posted before, as HERE, although I, like most of people reading this blog, don't follow the recipe slavishly. Using lightly cooked shredded kale steamed with a touch of onion or garlic and some dried cranberries (craisins) not only looks wonderful and is good for us, but the slight sweetness of the cranberries turns the kale into something even more special than usual. As you will have gathered by now, I love putting slightly sweet dried fruit with 'cabbage-like' vegetables. One could used chopped dried apricots here, or raisins, currants - whatever. Again, it's Beans 'n' Greens in a simple but not boring way.




BEAN-STUFFED SQUASH

Now this was nearly a disaster. I used the photo to make the point that either of these bean recipes would be good, if there are any leftovers, in all sorts of ways - on toast, on a split baked potato, etc. Our preferred way is to stuff them into a small pre-baked squash (you choose your fave) and serve with whatever other leftovers or salad seem appropriate. In this case, I had some tofu that needed to be used quickly, the baked squash and the beans (and a green salad - always have the makings of a green salad here). But it was indeed nearly or perhaps actually a disaster. I left them in the oven that bit too long and the tofu, which was also marinated and then baked, got too much heat and the edge of the squash turned a little darker than was aesthetically desirable. Wanna see my disaster in the uncropped version? Here ya go:



Not a dish I am proud of! I actually can bake tofu successfully, however (and usually don't scorch my squash). Later in the week I made tofu to go with greens (much more sensible than adding it to beans, but as I say it needed to be used) and managed bake my marinated fingers of tofu enough to get just the right degree of colour and texture.




OVEN-BAKED TOFU

So simple, but it is easy to answer the phone and let it over-do. This was frozen tofu (makes a different texture) lightly squeezed to removed excess liquid after defrosting, then marinated in minced garlic (you can used the dried flakes if you are in a rush), ginger (powdered is a different taste, but it works for heat), crushed or powdered chilies - totally optional - a little mirin or other sweetener (just about half a tsp, but to taste), a shake of Bragg Liquid Amino/All-Purpose Seasoning, and a little water to help it not be too strong. Marinate in a flat dish and turn a couple of times while you're preparing something else, then put in a 375 F oven for as long as it takes - it depends on how thick you have cut the tofu strips or logs or fingers - turning once. You can used a light spray of oil on an oven tray or cookie sheet or put it all on top of a sheet of parchment paper. I find the spray of oil works better.

Serve hot with a drizzle of whatever you fancy and decorate according to your whimsy. Leftovers make great additions to a wrap or, cubed, a salad. We rarely have leftovers. *sigh*

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wheat Berry Squash Salad, Cauliflower Corn Curry, Tofu and Pea Tops in Black Bean Vinaigrette



Wheatberry Squash Salad

This was a meal fairly recently (so, I'm a little behind), the recipe gleaned from a non-vegetarian cookbook by Canadian Chef Bill Jones, Chef's Salad. This one required cooked wheat berries (delicious and tender and chewy all at once) plus Squash, garlic, and a wonderful maple-sunflower dressing. We cut down on the amounts (just for two persons rather than the four to six the recipe aimed for) and did a little tickling for flavour but it was a hit even before we started messing with the recipe. Served at room temperature, the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and sunflower seed dressing, carefully blended with a little water and garlic, just enhanced the already delicious roasted squash something to shout about. We want this one again!




Cauliflower Corn Curry

This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook - a must for anyone who loves good food from around the world. We had made it before then forgotten about it (how could that happen!) until I looked at half a cauliflower in the vegetable crisper and wanted something special. I keep a can of corn niblets up the cupboard most of the time, for 'just in case', and that was what we added here, along with the usual (Indian) things plus some chopped cilantro at the end. We made enough for four, by accident, and had the delight of enjoying it again at another meal. What I like about this one is that by cutting the cauliflower into small florets and using the already-cooked corn, it is all ready in a hurry and can be served with salad and crusty bread if the traditional rice, raitas, etc., isn't on the cards.





Tofu and Pea Tops in Black Bean Vinaigrette

This is another of Bill Jones's warm or room-temperature salads, and I must admit I had my doubts about this one - until I tasted it! - and was luckily talked out of my hesitation by my husband.

Black bean paste, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil (I used just a smidge, and only at the end, for the aroma) are put into a pan with ginger, chopped cilantro, hot sauce and a spoonful of water until looking cooked, then tofu and pea tops (pea tenders) are added just enough to wilt along with bean sprouts. Toss the lot together and garnish with cilantro and green onion. The result is a warm salad which is also good at room temperature. A very nice way to take your sprouts!!!


There's more to find in this excellent book.

For my next trick . . . . :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Catching Up

This is embarrassing. I had meant to publish here what I am eating, whether or not it was accompanied by a recipe (some things are made up on the spur of the moment and don't get written down at the time), with the idea that it might make other people interested in eating our way or, at the very least, it may explain to family and friends the kind of foods we like to eat. It might also reassure a few people that there is no reason to go hungry just because you're eating vegan!

What has happened is that I've got busy about some things and lazy about others. This blog has been neglected. But here at least are some quick pix I took of some of the things on the menu in the last while, with a promise of more up-to-date postings in future.



NOODLES AND VEG IN MISO BROTH

First of all, I can't call this Miso Soup with a straight face and any Japanese cook could and should laugh me out of the kitchen. But this is a tasty way to have a healthy snack in a hurry.

There's no real recipe here. I cheated, in this case, and used a vegan miso stock cube, which has, in addition to miso, various vegetable flavourings in there to help things along. Added to this can be a number of things, but the most usual things I now add are: sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced celery, pieces of baby spinach, ginger, tamari, chilies, skinny noodles, sea vegetable of some kind and anything else I fancy, all barely warmed through let alone 'cooked to death'. There was more of the broth to add to my bowl here (and I did add it), but I photographed it as you see it so that the ingredients would show a little better. I love quick and easy things, and this certainly qualifies.





BANANA BREAD

Okay, don't panic, it isn't meant to go with the soup above :) I just thought I'd remind you and myself that the Banana Bread recipes found in the excellent Barnard and Kramer cookbooks are not to be beaten. This is one that took the most bananas and is somewhat adapted from the original (but maybe not quite enough to make it fair to publish the recipe here). Lovely stuff!





ROOT VEGETABLE AND BARLEY STEW

I make a lot of variations on this theme, and it isn't quick although it is indeed easy. I take a varied mix of carrots, sweet potatoes, potato, whatever, and cut up smallish. Then I add onion, garlic, perhaps some grated ginger, vegetable broth or water, Bragg liquid aminos, herbs (varies), chillies (always like to use chillies), a little turmeric when the spirit moves me, and barley. This cooks, usually in a slow cooker but can be made on the top of the stove, until well and truly done, at which time I add such frivolities as vegan Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, more garlic and/or fresh chopped herbs to give zing to the dried herbs previously added to the pot, and maybe even a little red or white wine. It all depends and there truly can be no recipe, although I'll be happy to write it all down next time I make it.

A few more minutes to let the newly added ingredients spread throughout the stew, and it's ready to serve (or for that matter to keep until later - all the better as a 'leftover'.

A good variation on this is to add some cauliflower florets, chopped green beans or the like to the roots, but I prefer to keep the 'roots' theme on this one.

The whole dish is rather old-fashioned, unglamorous, thick and hearty. True comfort food.





EGGPLANT AND TOMATO BAKE

This is almost too easy to mention, but it works just fine. I had an eggplant begging to be rescued from my fridge and I had some homemade tomato-based pasta sauce in my freezer. I sliced the eggplant thinly and baked it in the oven on a flat tray until just tender. (In the past I have simply softened the slices in a pan on the stovetop.) Thawed, the pasta sauce was put in a pan to heat. While waiting for this, I took panko crumbs (but any kind would do, I should think, as long as they're not sweet), some crushed cashews (optional), and nutritional yeast and mixed them together in fairly equal parts, along with sprinkles of herbs and spices, salt and papper - all to taste. (These mixes keep well in a jar in the fridge, by the way, if you need such toppings on a fairly regular basis.)

When the pasta sauce was warmed and the eggplant softened, I layered it in a baking dish, sprinkled with the crumb topping and popped it in the oven at about 375, covered at first and then, half-way through cooking, without its cover. This shouldn't take long - half an hour or so (keep an eye on it) until it bubbles around the edges and the top is a little crisp. Ovens vary and sizes of baking dish vary, so it's hard to be exact, but we all know when things are 'done'.

This simple casserole goes well with green vegetables or a crisp salad - or simply with crusty bread.

I've also made this with a mixture of eggplant and zucchini or eggplant and mushrooms, but I don't put more variety in there because I'm not trying to fake up a ratatouille (although not a bad idea, eh!). Red wine with this one :)

I have more photos still in the camera and I'll post again as soon as I rescue them.