Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Getting into healthy cooking

I've been doing a lot of healthy cooking lately, but haven't taken a lot of pics.. here are the ones I took. (I really need to get a memory card for my camera, I can only take 8 pics at a time) I made some "Pepperonish" type seitan log based on the recipe from Vegan Vittles (I kept the proportions the same, but added quite a few more spices and increased them). I was very please with how it came out.

I used around 1/4 of one log in my veggie soup. I make a big pot of low calorie vegetable soup so round out my meals. That amount only added around 200 calories to the pot (which contains 16 cups). Here's the soup. Nothing special, but it is helping me to stay on my "diet". I used zukes, green peppers, onions, garlic, chiles, lime juice, cilantro and the seitan. Good stuff. I change it from week to week. Last week, it was an asian based soup.

This next dish was really, really good. I wanted Pad Thai, but wanted to make it lower calorie. (for the longest time, I've been making two meals, one for myself and one for my family. I am sick of that, so I have been working on some good, lower fat/calorie foods for all of us.).. I made a sauce, based on thai flavors out of tomato sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, lots of chili garlic paste, soy sauce and just a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil. I served it over whole wheat spaghetti and pan "fried" in my beloved cast iron 14 oz of firm, lite tofu, coated with bragg's. I sprinkled an entire bunch of cilantro and scallions over it just before serving. My family LOVED this. The next day, I used some leftover seitan from my last post with this and it was really ,really good. Yay for lowfat cooking! I am making things that taste just as good as they used to!

The food pics end there... but the cooking doesn't. When I was a kid, my mom used to make us bulgur (I can never figure out the right spelling for that! I've seen it spelled so many different ways) all the time. Our breakfasts were a steamy bowl of raw milk (gag), molasses, bulgur, brewers yeast, raisins and almonds. I loved it sans the raw milk. Now, with soymilk it is so good. I do not add the yeast and sub flax meal for the nuts, but it is so good and comforting. I often add a granny smith apple, nutmeg and cinnamon as well. Bulgur is actually lower in calories that brown rice. It was around 150 calories per cooked cup and a whopping 8 grams of fiber! I've been using it in place of rice in dinner dishes as well. It is so good and comforting. I love sesame tofu, zucchini and bulgur with lots of hot sauce, cilantro and scallions. Total comfort food for me.

Yesterday, I boiled up a pound of organic chickpeas ($ and from that pound of beans, I made 12 Chickepa/Oat burgers based on the recipe from Vegan Vittles. I made them smaller, so I got 12 out of the recipe and worked the calories out to 130 per burger. So good. I also made 4 CUPS of Hummus! I like to substitute fresh lime juice for the lemon. My 15 year old son ate over a cup after school both yesterday and today. I'm glad I have more chickpeas.

I also made a batch of Isa's Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy! This is a miracle, because my youngest son hated chickpeas, but loves this gravy. I do puree the chickpeas though, but that is so I can leave out the oil and flour in the sauce. I served half the batch over some eggless noodles with broccoli and cauliflower for my kids/husband and used around 1/2 cup for my own dinner.. I smothered 2 of my oat burger with peppers, mushrooms, onions and the gravy and roasted green beans for myself and baked a sweet potato. I love this gravy and I even have almost 2 cups leftover!!!

I feel like I'm really finding a balance here that enables me to enjoy my loved of cooking (and blogs!!) and stay on a program that allows me to lose weight. I have not lost any weight in a month, but.. I haven't been quite on plan either.. but I started getting really serious again this week.. so I'm sure I'll see a loss next week.

Finally, like a lot of the country, we are covered in ice.

There are some who feel like that conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is 'bring them on'."

- George W Bush

July 2, 2003


  1. Melody, your mock pad thai sounds awesome! I love pad thai, and really need to pound out a recipe at home -- it can't be THAT tough, right? Your weekly veggie soups sound lovely, too, and those ice photos are incredible! We just have snow and cold here in MN (finally!)

  2. How do you make fake peperoni? it looks almost like real peproni! All your food looks delicous, and healthy! I really like your blog! Good luck with your diet, hang in there!

  3. Wow, everything here looks so wonderful! It's AWESOME that you are finding out ways to still have flavorful, delicious foods, and make them healthier!

    The pad thai looks incredible, and I will probably take some inspiration from it myself! And I love what you did with the chickpea gravy--right on!

    The ice pics are beautiful. I know ice can be dangerous to our modern-day lives, but I still think it's lovely. We're supposed to have some heavy ice tonight--I wish it would look that beautiful here in the morning!

  4. That pad thai looks really, really, really good... like, really good! It's great that you're integrating you and the rest of the fam's needs :)

  5. I'm glad to hear how well you're doing, managing to stay on plan.

    I make a mean pad thai, and the recipe comes from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry cookbook. It comes out to 6 points per serving, and I bulk up the servings with extra veggies.

    Your soup sounds great too. I always keep some 0-point soup in the freezer, it's so good to have around.

    Don't get discouraged by not seeing a loss for a few weeks - better to see nothing than to see a gain!

  6. I am happy to hear that you have been finding a balance in eating/ blogging and satisfaction because i have always enjoyed what you have to say and to peek inside your kitchen. :)

    Today, however, I wish to sneak inside your kitchen and grab that large tube of seitan!

  7. that soup sounded really good. my mom used to make us lentil soup (hate lentils but love this soup) with chunks of kielbasa and your soup reminded me of that. yummm...

    those pix are pretty...oh and my diets going at a SNAILS pace. actually at a frozen tree branch pace. but i have to look at it as i need to get strong so i'm not in a wheelchair or walker when i'm 65. ya know?

  8. I am inspired by your low fat cooking. I have to slim down my recipes. My metabolism is changing thanks to aging (boo)--and maybe some adjustments in my cooking prep methods will help.

    That spicy log looks amazingly versatile and fun to make.

  9. Oh my goodness. Your faux pepperoni looks wonderful. Please can you post the recipe or email it too me! I have tried twice to make seitan and I have had 2 failures, but I refuse to give up. Your food looks so yummy. I think i need to go do some cooking now, :o)

  10. Great job on finding a balance so that you can eat better, and also serve the same foods to your family! You're keeping everyone healthy over there! :) I love the pad thai! :)

    Those are beautiful wintery photos!

  11. Love hearing about the healthy cooking, Melody! Thanks for the inspiration :-)

  12. i'm sure you're thawed by now...where are you?

  13. the pad thai looks very good!

    great work!

  14. those trees are magical!


  15. Congrats for hanging in there even though you say you haven't lost any weight for a month. At least you didn't gain! Your low-fat, WW friendly meals looks and sound great! Keep up the good work.

  16. that soup looks scrumptious!

  17. mmmm Pad thai! truly one of my faves!
    I have tried the pepperonish type seitan log too .. thought it had a great texture but, laking in flavor..

  18. There's another recipe for me to try from VeganVittles. The soups look great and seitan in your other posts looks super yummy as well.

    Bryanna over at Vegan Feast kitchen has been posting a lot of WW recipes.
    If you haven't checked out her blog, you might want to head over.

  19. in fact the most of my food are vegetarian, is not that I don't like the meat, it's just an habit, sometimes my weight up other down, but my health keep a good level.