Friday, May 25, 2012

Meatless Monday photos

I've been putting some photos on Facebook with our dinners for Meatless Monday and I thought I'd share them here. I try to focus on color for our menus.

Here's a taco salad using the wonderful salt-free low-fat Guiltless Gourmet organic tortilla chips. I made a ancho lime dressing and served it with mango, watermelon, and raspberries.

I made some spring rolls with cucumber, pre-sauteed mushrooms, avocado, scallions and plenty of cilantro and mint. I served them with my favorite dipping sauce - equal parts low-sodium soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. (I saw Jacques Pepin do that on tv and it really is good.) I served them with watermelon slices and this Asian Coleslaw with peanut butter (I omitted the oil) that was really good.

I make tempeh salad quite frequently. I simmer tempeh cubes in a mixture of water, soy sauce, and ground coriander. Then I mix the steamed tempeh with grated carrots, scallions, mustard, and low-fat vegan mayonnaise and serve in a pita.

Finally I made this Tofu Cacciatore recipe from Healthy Girl's Kitchen and served it over brown rice spaghetti. I added some mushrooms and kalamata olives. I served it with a green salad and some thinly sliced zucchini marinated in lemon juice, garlic, and scallions.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reducing Fat

Sorry this post took so long but I wrote it once and then lost it somewhere. sigh So I'll try again.

I believe the right diet is different for everyone. DH the avid hiker for instance can drink gallons of coffee with no ill effect and I get jittery after 3 cups of decaf green tea. I really pay attention to how I feel after I eat something. Am I falling asleep? Do I feel bloated or have a headache? I think our bodies can tell us a lot about how to eat right if we pay attention.

I have a family history of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes and I'm learning the best way for me to eat is low-fat and plant-based. I'm trying to focus on vegetables, beans, grains (whole grains only), fruits, and nuts/seeds (in that order). After doing Dr. Fuhrman's holiday eating challenge last November/December and losing 10 lbs I no longer use cooking oils. I eat fats (in limited quantities) from nuts, avocado, seeds, coconut, and olives. I generally put a tablespoon or two of flax seed on my morning oatmeal and then may have a sauce or salad dressing with a little tahini or nut butter for dinner.

I thought I'd post some resources I've found helpful in reducing the oil in my diet.

Silpat and Parchment paper - DH surprised me with a Silpat one day. He'd seen me ogling one at a cooking store and secretly bought it for me. I use mine all the time especially for baked goods. I also like parchment paper for roasted veggies and kale chips.

Low-Fat Plant-Based Cookbooks - Here is a good selection of cookbooks that do not use any oils. I use them all regularly and I'm looking forward to a second Forks Over Knives cookbook this summer.

How to Water Saute/Steam Fry Vegetables - Scroll down for the Steam Frying video from the Whole Foods Market Health Starts Here program. The secret is to use a preheated pan, continuous motion, and to not add liquids until after the veggies have started to brown.

Limit Vegetable Cooking Spray - I was in the habit of using cooking spray a lot until I saw the Engine 2 Diet Kitchen Rescue DVD on Netflix. Rip Esselstyn was talking about the nutritional info on a can of vegetable cooking spray. I checked the stuff I buy and it says it has something like 500 servings per can and you should only spray something for 1/4 second - far less than I was doing. Now the only time I use it is for browning tofu although I may even try doing that in the oven with my Silpat.

Silicone Bakeware - I've been buying more silicone bakeware - so far I have muffin tins, muffin cups, a loaf pan, a square pan, a round cake pan, and a silicone baking sheet. I've found that silicone bakeware stains less when you do not use vegetable cooking spray.

No-Oil Salad Dressings - I try to eat one or two green salads daily and I either make my own salad dressings (here's a nice selection of easy recipes you can print out from the Healthy Girl's Kitchen blog ) or I use Trader Joe's Fat-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette.

For recipes and further info check out the Fatfree Vegan blogDr. McDougall's Online Discussion Board, the new Forks Over Knives blog, the Engine 2 Diet site, Whole Foods Market Health Starts Here , Julieanna Hever's blog, The Plant-Based Dietician (includes the cooking videos she makes with Chef AJ), and Dr. Fuhrman's blog, Disease Proof.



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