Fudge Pops!

Image

Oh my sweet tooth, my sweet tooth! I have deprived it too long! We have been following Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live program for almost 7 weeks now, and we (my husband and I) FEEL TERRIFIC!! I ran across this “recipe” on my facebook feed and thought I would modify it a bit. Here is my modified recipe:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 banana
2 Tlbs unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. vanilla
16 ice cubes
2 Tlbs. agave syrup

Put this in the blender (we use our Blendtec) and mix as if it were a smoothie. I originally began eating this as a “milkshake” but became too much for me. So, I pulled down my Popsicle molds, washed them out, and voila! YUMMY!!!

Healthy Taco Salad

ImageMMMMMM!!!! Now this was just divine!  It tasted too good to be healthy for you 🙂  What I did was made some homemade salsa to begin with.  Here is my recipe:

1 onion

1 jalapeno pepper

2 cloves garlic, roasted

1 bunch of cilantro (washed and dried)

I place these ingredients into a food processor before adding the rest.

1 quart tomatoes (these were from my garden last summer)

1 16 oz can tomato sauce

juice from 1 lemon

salt to taste

I put the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and viola!  Perfect!

Next, I made some homemade guacamole.  It’s really quite simple and so delicious!

1 avocado

1 sliver of onion, finely minced

1/4 jalapeno, finely minced

1 small handful of cilatro leaves (I remove the stems for the guac), finely chopped

juice from 1 lemon

It’s easy from here!  First you smash the avocado meat with a fork, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Be sure to stir it well to mix in the flavors together.  I add a little salt for taste as well.  My daughter Amber tells me that if you store the excess guacamole with the seed from the avocado, then it lasts a little longer.

Now for the taco salad.  I put about 1/2 cup brown rice on the bottom, then place about 3/4 cup black bean on top of that.  Next, romaine lettuce that has been cleaned and torn.  I like to add chopped green onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.  Finally, I top this with a generous portion of homemade salsa, and a big spoonful of guacamole.  For garnish, I put the chopped cilantro leaves on top.

Oh my my my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  This was DELICIOUS!!!

Checked in!

Hello!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  School inservice began (school BEFORE school, for the teachers) and then of course, school itself began.  Let me just throw in here, I have great classes this year!  It’s going to be a SUPERB year (I can tell already).

Exercise has become a challenge with the lack of time and sleep that I have been getting.  I am bound and determined to find a way to fit it in better this coming week!

Also, I wanted to check in and let everyone know that I (in fact) have NOT fallen off the wagon.  Actually, I’m more checked in than ever.  We just watched “Forks Over Knives” last night and WOW!  Can I just recommend that to EVERYONE who reads this?  Today (Saturday) has been spent canning black beans for the upcoming week, making A TON of marinara sauce for canning later today, and also putting together an okra dish.  My dear friend at school Collette Berry surprised me on Friday with a box full of fresh okra and purple hull peas.  YUM!  She went on to say that she was thinking of us, and brought us some “meat” I had lunch with my dear friend and co-teacher Margaret George who said that she loved to eat okra steamed with fresh tomatoes (skinned).  Also, cooked along with some diced boiled red potatoes.  I am working on that right now.  I intend to water saute (sweat) some onions and garlic, carmelizing them and adding vegetable broth if needed.  Then I will add sliced okra, chopped tomatoes (skinned) and diced potatoes.  I will season that with some Tony Chatcheres (salt free!) that we found earlier.  I hope it turns out as good as it sounds right now!

Meanwhile, I need to keep up with the laundry, clean the kitchen, and grade papers.  Tonight I will drive to the stake dance (in Louisiana!) and chaperone that.  Tomorrow, teaching the Young Women lesson.  Pfew.  Does it ever slow down?

Delicious Marinara Sauce

Image

I just had the best experience with this sauce. I read a couple of recipes, combined them, added a few of my own ideas and came up with this marvelous dish.  It had to be the best dinner I’ve had in a long while.  First I will list the ingredients (trying to remember the proper proportions).

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red peppers
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed basil
  • 1 quart (or 28 oz. can) tomatoes

First, thinly slice the garlic and place in a skillet with 2 Tlbs. vegetable broth.  Cook over medium heat.  Stir, adding more broth as it dries up.  Once the garlic cooks, add the onions and the remaining 2 Tlbs. vegetable broth.  Stir and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft.

Image

Add the mushrooms.  Cook a little longer to soften the mushrooms.  Add the cooking wine.  Cook until the wine condenses down.  Add the spices and the tomatoes.  Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens up.

Image

Serve over whole wheat pasta and zucchini.  Mmmmmmm sooo good!

Weight Loss Update

Today I can’t believe it!  I weighed in and it showed a total loss (since July 1) of 27.0 pounds.  We are just beginning week 6 of Eat to Live and I feel phenomenal!  I have way more natural energy than I’ve ever had.  I can’t say that my cravings are 100% gone, but they can be overcome.  I have a GREAT coach with my daughter Amber, and a wonderful teammate in my husband Steve.

This also marks the beginning of the 4th week of exercise. I  am so much stronger than I have been in a while and my body is actually craving a good workout.  I am doing things I never thought possible.  Let me give you an example.  Before, I would go to the gym and do water aerobics because with my weight, that is all that I thought I was capable of.  Amber talked me into trying out the elliptical machine.  First day, I set the timer for 20 minutes and thought I was going TO DIE!  Now… I set the timer for 35 minutes and breeze through it. I  actually had to move up the resistance a notch or two.  This makes me feel so great in both mind and body.

I am thrilled with my new health journey.  Not only am I physically able to do more things, but my mind is also more clear and focused on things that I need to accomplish.  I would encourage everyone who is interested in improving their health, to give Eat To Live a try.  It will change your life!  It has mine 🙂

African Stew

Image

First and foremost, I have to say… I’ve become addicted to exercise!  I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT!!  I’m getting stronger and stronger.  I have noticed that I have more energy to do things around the house.  I can feel the absence of the weight that I’ve lost.  It’s just a GREAT feeling of health!  This is ALL worth it!

Today, I made African Stew.  I was introduced to this on Sunday when my family went over to our neighbor’s house to eat.  My neighbor’s sister was so excited about these new vegan recipes that she had just made, that she ran quickly to her house to get a sampling for Steve and I.  We were delighted with the new tastes and new possibilities for our diet.  So today, I decided to try out one of them.  This recipe came from the Forks Over Knives website (I take no credit for the recipe).  It’s an awesome website that everyone should visit.  http://forksoverknives.com

Here is the recipe (then I will explain):

½ cup water

1 onion, chopped

1-2 tablespoon(s) Anaheim or jalapeno pepper, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, ground

1 tablespoon garlic granules

2 teaspoons cumin, ground

2 teaspoons coriander, ground

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 yams, peeled and chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

24 ounces tomatoes, chopped

14 ounces garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

14 ounces black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter, unsweetened

1½ cup corn

6 cups collards, chopped

Serves: 6-8

Instructions:

In a large pot, sauté onion and pepper with water for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring

occasionally.

Add ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and red pepper.

Cook and stir for 1 minute.

Mix in yams, vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans and nut butter.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in corn and collards and cook for about 10 more minutes, until yams and greens are tender.

The first thing I did was chop up the onions, jalapenos, yams and collard greens

Image

Then I gathered the spices that I needed:

Image

I noticed that I did not have ground coriander, but rather coriander seed.  So, I came to the conclusion that I would have to do this the hard way.  I took out our HUGE mortar and pestal and began grinding away.  Oh my goodness the scent that these seeds gave off was just delightful!  It had a strong lemony smell, very pleasant.

Image

Earlier, I had soaked and cooked some black-eyed peas.  I took them out of the pot so they could be measured for the recipe.  Then, I grabbed a can of chick peas.

Image

When I grabbed the chick peas, I also grabbed the canned corn.  I was GREATLY distressed as I read the ingredients… SUGAR.  So I grabbed another can of corn.  Much to my dismay, the ingredients listed included SUGAR as well.  I was just about to run to the store AGAIN when I thought of the bag of freezer corn we had.  Reading through the ingredients provided a lot of relief…. NO ADDED SUGAR OR SALT! Just beware of the sugar content in canned corn please.

Image

Finally I took out our organic peanut butter (we have some JIF brand peanut butter for the boys).  It is unsalted and all natural.  Perfect!

Image

One more thing… my pride and joy!  The recipe called for 24 ounces of canned tomatoes.  I was glad to use the bottled tomatoes that Steve and I put up from our bounteous tomato harvest earlier this summer.  I actually included the whole jar.  I drained the tomatoes well, then chopped them up and threw them in the pot when the recipe called for it.

Image

Once my ingredients were all in place, I followed the recipe as outlined.  This recipe has lots of starchy vegetables (sweet potato, corn) and also peanut butter.  With this in mind, I limit myself to one cup (and yes I measure it!) a day.  I hope that you enjoy!  I know that I sure did :):)

Delicious Mexican Dinner

Image

Dinner tonight was fabulous!  I soaked some black bean this morning.  This afternoon I rinsed them, covered them with new water, and put in one chopped onion, and one chopped garlic clove.  After the water started boiling, I added about 1 tsp. ground cumin.  They had to cook on medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours.  DELICIOUS!  For the rice, I chopped 1/2 onion, 1 large jalapeno, and a good size handful of fresh cilantro.  I made sure these were chopped up nicely.  Then I measured one cup of vegetable broth, and 1 1/2 cups of water.  I put in one cup of brown rice.  I cooked it like normal rice.  I brought it to boil, then placed a lid on it and turned down the heat to low.  I let it simmer for about 45 minutes.  Just divine!  We put the rice and beans over a bed of lettuce, then put tomatoes and avocados on top.  We garnished it with salsa and some cilantro/lime vinegrette fat free dressing.  SOOOOOO GOOD!!

Rainier Cherries

This is one of my all-time favorite summer treats.  The problem is, they can be kind of pricey.  Today I was shopping at Sam’s for my weekly produce when I spotted these. I admired them and drooled over them a bit before I noticed the price!  It had dropped one dollar since last week.  I decided to indulge and so I grabbed them quickly before I changed my mind.  Today, they were only $3.99 a pound.  The skin of this fruit is much more delicate than the regular Bing cherry (which I love as well) and the flavor of the flesh is milder, more mellow, and just divine.  I couldn’t help myself but to eat a few on my ride home from Beaumont.  If you haven’t tried these yet this summer, you might want to.  I think you will be pleased.

a