Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Well Life has certainly gotten in the way this last month!! Even longer! YIKES!
I have been getting back on track with the food had a few slips but oh well it happens. Last day of vacation for me this year today and then back to work. We have worked a few weeks of 10 hour days, then a couple Saturdays etc. so it takes it's toll on me. I have to do things for myself also so sometimes I suffer if things seems to be quicker than standing in a kitchen all day on your only day off!!!! I think not.
It is not the end of the world though however I do see how you can get so quickly addicted to the fast food idea and the foods are also calling your name.
So with that said I am off for some of my spaghetti with tons of veggies, a good read today and some R&R with my artwork. I am also an artist the job just lets me buy supplies :-)))
Until next time
Keep it Plantiful

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Nutribullet Life

Well it has been awhile since I was here. I have been really working at getting my routine back which is working out every other day besides the job. Learning all of my new gadgets and the one above is fantastic.
It makes hot things in 7 minutes no timer just runs by itself just awesome!!!!! Getting ready for fall to show up which it has we are under freeze warnings for the next couple days. I am now running a mile every other day or so and plan on a 6 mile walk this weekend. Got the yogurt from a website and it is the best ever so no more agar agar it is tart, tangy goodness from cashews! I love my cashews, next up to learn how to use some of the other things I have acquired. I am cleaning out a couple cupboards this weekend and will be getting my old coffee pot out to make up some herbal teas to use in my nutriblasts. I love those things and have one every morning. Lunch will now be a soup and a few crackers which is a nice change and easy gee 7 minutes to make a hot lunch! WOW. 
I am also learning to use my Vitamix a bit more also they are all getting used and it is just me here. I am losing my weight and loving it. It does not come off as easily as it used to but at 59 years young well I keep the pounds at bay eating this way. I am pretty raw most of the time though. 
Next up hot chocolate in the Rx it makes smaller amounts than a Vitamix so there are uses for all of these machines and this one they say makes nut butters. I will use my Vitamix for that it has the power LOL. You just need so many nuts though but I am going to give it a try and make some maple walnut butter. 
Until Next Time
Keep cookin'
and Keep it Plantiful

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September is here

Well it has finally arrived and you can feel it in the air FALL is upon us. We still have a few summer like days but the mornings are all fall for sure. I am glad to see the seasons here that is why I live here! I am also excited for the foods that are associated with the seasons. I have 11 acorn squash sitting here from my one plant I have up at the garden at work. There are a LOT more on that plant. I have tomatoes ripening in a bowl (yep pick them green they will ripen beautifully) and am stocking up  on seeds and nuts sounds like I am a squirrel LOL. I will share some of the recipes with you but most of them you can find on line anyway so I think I will just do some reviews of recipes and tell you about some of the tweaks I have done for them.
I did do a slurry for my yogurt yesterday I actually followed the recipe but alas it is not quite what I wanted so I will use it in my smoothies. I think if I had just a bit more agar agar though it would have been the perfect yogurt. I have to say this is the best ever tasting yogurt I have ever had it does not go to waste at all.
I LOVE cashews. 

Today is also the day I order my Nutribullet Rx I can only imagine what it can do. I will be thrilled to be able to make soups while I am in the shower after work. I can come out to a steaming bowl of soup at night WOW and it is not nearly as noisy as the Vitamix. 

What are your new gadgets? I picked up a cherry/olive pitter at Bed, Bath and Beyond works super go tmy cherries pitted and in the freezer. I also bought frozen cherries at Costco so now I can also have a cacao cherry shake. I love my Nutriblasts and Bed, Bath,and Beyond sells the superfoods  packets so now I won't have to order online however sometimes it is best as I do have a 26 mile drive and with gas at $4 a gallon well it is not my everyday trip. 

Life is really really good right now and yesterday I made the oat groats from the back of the Bob's Red Mill package sans the oil they are the best ever. I made the mushroom gravy from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by  Caldwell Esselstyn it is excellent. I did add some dried onion to it but it worked!!!

Today is apple something bought some Braeburns and usually I just peel, slice and toss with pumpkin pie spice and a bit of sugar like a raw apple pie. Today I think I want an apple crisp or something. 

Well that is about all of the news I have for today anyway. 
Oh and I watched Food Matters again and am trying very hard to drink at least 2 glasses of water before anything in the morning working my way up to 2 liters!!! Then coffee time. 

Have a great day
Until next time
Keep it Plantiful!!!!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Whole Wallet is right

Just got back from my shopping trip to the Whole Foods, Costco etc. Yes I live 30 miles away so I do not get there often. I have to say I am EXTREMELY disappointed in Whole Foods they have become a mecca for processed foods!!!!!!! Just crazy and the prices at this one were outrageous. I could not find a raw cashew there but even if I did it would have been close to $10 a pound (I get them at my local little health food store for $5.19 a pound!!!!!) I found spirulina for $60 REALLY!!!!!!!????????????? WTF is going on my wages have not gone up so I can not afford any of their stuff. I bought I think 3 things and the bag $22 the least I have ever spent there in my life time. I doubt I will ever go back no need. Costco is right next door made a huge score of fresh power greens, frozen cherries, frozen organic broccoli florets, walnuts, almonds, pecans etc. I will be back for more frozen fruit-- was saddened I could not find the bag of delicious apples but maybe next time. Got my supergreens for smoothies at Bed, Bath and Beyond right next to the Nutribullet display so I am good for green now.
Just needed to vent as my shopping sprees are usually better I even stopped at the Target (have not been a target store for years either) and walked back out it was filthy!! Stuff all over the floor so no need to go back there either. I am funny that way if it looks dirty it probably is so I don't go same for Wal-Mart have not been to one for almost 10 years and no plans to ever go into another EVER!!!!!!!
I am home and have the next 3 days off so I am going to head to the local grocery which is 4 miles away for some produce and start cooking. Yard work tomorrow then just hang out. I will get some of my things online instead at least I know I get what I am looking for and don't have to spend anything on gas which this trip costs me about 4 gallons at $4 a gallon so shipping is cheaper. NO chance of an accident either LOL.
Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend I know I will.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Feeling Fall

Well I can feel it in the air in the mornings now. FALL is coming upon us and I can hardly wait. Should feel more like it this weekend. I have my shopping shoes on headed to the Big Town LOL. Well for me anyway I am 30 miles from the nearest Costco, Whole Foods etc and with gas prices so high here I rarely get there well this weekend I make the trip!!! I have my list-Almonds, Walnuts, Apples, some peanut butter and hopefully a huge bag of spinach. I am hitting some of the other stores also looking for Spirulina powder, maybe some Mucuna if I can. I am losing my weight and have 7 pounds to go I am now 5 lbs lighter than high school!!!!! Who would think that at 59 years old. I feel really good and am loving my Nutribullet the drinks it makes are fantastic and the recipes are super. They use a lot of the superfoods so I did yesterday Maca, Chia, Goji Berries etc. If you have not tried these please do I got some at the local stores but I order from Nuts. com  they have super products, great service, fast delivery and things I would not normally have where I live. Their prices are also really pretty good. I can get my cashews cheaper here at a local store as well as the agar agar powder so I also support the local guy. 

What gadgets do you own, superfoods have you tried or just your favorite recipes? I love my Buckaroo beans so they are on the lists of things to make this weekend I have 4 days off so cleaning the house, my yard and lots of cooking is on the list of to do's. Oh and order a Nutribullet Rx is also on that list. I also plan on getting a few books The New Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook is one of them by Anne and Jane Esselstyn. Check it out on Amazon it looks amazing their recipes are always great. 

So for now I am just focusing on my health, my weight loss and to prove that this can be done on a plant based diet without calorie counting. I know I am not eating as many calories either but a good 400 calorie nutriblast in the morning, a small and I mean small lunch of melon and saltine crackers(5) then home for some vegggies and rice or potatoes and another blast well I am full, I am getting what I need and the weight comes off. I will be turning some of those nightly veggies into a soup instead when I get the Nutribullet Rx though. I can make soup while I take my shower when I get home from work how nice is that!!!! 

So with that thought in mind I will leave this blog done for today. I hope you enjoyed the recipe for the caponata I made a huge batch and eat it over Bob's Red Mill Brown and Wild Rice combo. 

Have a wonderful weekend 
Until Next Time
Keep it Plantiful

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Busy Month

Whew!!! It has been a very busy three weeks for me. I have worked two Saturdays and was in a parade on one of the other Saturdays'. Just too busy and am still trying to catch up on things. Being all by yourself makes it a bit more difficult as my bird is really not good at housework LOL.

Today is Anne Burrell's Caponata recipe sans the oil and sugar. I love that stuff it is just the best I even made a special trip to get the eggplant. I do not roast the eggplant I just cut it up and pretty much put it all in a pot and let it simmer-- I have tons of zucchini as you can see from the picture that is from the garden I have at our work place. I have 8 Acorn squash sitting here that will also be very good stuffed with the caponata her recipe is the best thing I have ever eaten.
I will put it below just remember you do not need to use the oil or the sugar and it still comes out beautifully.
I can feel fall in the air which is a great sign for me as we head into my favorite months of October, November and December. They are my favorites. I like September too it feels like a new year is beginning with school starting that sort of thing time to reaffirm my plant based ways. I am finding it much easier anymore to just eat this way the weight stays away, I can eat tons of food and like what I get.
I am also excited to be ordering the New Nutribullet Rx

I will be doing that in a week or so.  It makes hot things!!!!!
Then next up another order from Nuts.com they have the best stuff ever that will be a LOT of pitted dates. Time to get some books also. I have a lot on my plate and keep my Walk Live Leader certification so a busy time for me. .

Here is the recipe and until next time ---Keep it Plantiful

Caponata-Anne Burrell

1 large eggplant, peeled, alternating with 1-inch strips of skin left on, cut into 1-inch dice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 bunch mint, cut into chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss the eggplant generously with olive oil and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is soft and mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve.

Coat a wide deep pot with olive oil. Toss in the onion and crushed red pepper and season with salt, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the onions are soft and aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the fennel, celery and garlic and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt, to taste, and cook until the zucchini and all the veggies are soft and aromatic and starting to come together as a stew, about 5 to 6 minutes. Toss in the eggplant, 1/2 cup of water and the tomato paste. Cook until the water has evaporated. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Stir in the raisins, capers, pine nuts and mint. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.

Let cool and transfer the caponata to a serving bowl. Serve immediately or even better tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cashew Yogurt

Well it has been an interesting week to say the least. This picture was my first batch of Cashew Milk  Yogurt ever. It was delicious!!!
I have never worked with agar agar before but it turns out beautiful yogurt. That was a bit too thick for me but that is okay in a smoothie it won't matter! I also just ate it layered with some grape nuts I had around here but perfect with granola. I had put in some chunked up peaches in this batch. I will need to work on the flavoring part of it a bit. I just turned out my second batch yesterday I of course forgot to get the agar agar working well so I reheated and WOW it thickened right up. A bit too much so I have some of the base in the fridge waiting for the next batch. The next batch will use some of the new batch as the culture and I will see if that works.
The machine is awesome!
I got the Cuisinart machine that also cools it down it is wonderful-- the yogurt that came out of this machine is like no other I have ever had. Easy to use, holds a LOT and worked perfectly. Takes 8 hours to culture then they say let it cool for 12 hours but I let it cool for a few hours then put it in the fridge. The taste is unbelievable. I have another yogurt maker but it is not like this one. I got this one at HSN.com on flex pay it is $129 plus shipping but still a wonderful machine. I have used it 3 times already in a week! It is also fairly small so it stays on the counter top. 

The recipe for the yogurt will be coming as I need to tweak the agar agar a bit to get what I want and I think I need to strain the cashew milk, or soak the cashews(I am really bad for that one) anyway with cashews being so neutral in flavor they work the best.

What have you been cooking or making? It has been warm here so this makes a great dessert or smoothie, after it is done I was planning on adding it to some frozen bananas in my Dessert Bullet and see if I can get some frozen yogurt out of it. Alternating with yogurt and banana it should work. 

I had better head out and get ready for work today it is very very hot in our building and yesterday my air conditioner died here so the house will get warm also. NOT FUN but I will survive. 

Until next time
Keep it Plantiful