Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rounding the Corner into Home - or the Last Day of the Fat Blast!

Sorry for the sports analogy.  I'm not into sports so I'm prone to misusing terminology if I venture into sports analogies so I'll apologize in advance if I continue in this genre and blow it.  Ok - huddle up and let's talk about our fav recipes from the past 14 days.  I'm hoping that everyone found a few things that they'd like to try.  For me, I'm going to have to wade through my favs and decide what gets a second time at bat tomorrow because Ani's book has our day 15 as an all star day where we get to pick our favorite meals from the past two weeks.  See - that whole spreadsheet thing is going to come in handy. That's usually my biggest problem - remembering what I liked and more importantly, where on earth is that gem stashed?  So - if you get the book you can always copy my pages here that have the different spreadsheets.  Or if you really want to be complete just ask me to e-mail the excel file to you.  Then you can fill in your own rating and I'll never be the wiser!

So - in addition to wading thru all these yummy recipes I'm also going to try and weed out some of the left over produce I've accumulated and come up with a happy medium.  Anyone want to place bets as to which five recipes are going to make the hit parade?  Probably not too hard since I only gave a couple of A+s and not that many A's.

Tomorrow we have to start getting prepared to switch gears to the diet book called Raw Revolution.  This is a more obscure book that is written by a raw vegan chef that runs a cooking school in Northern California. I follow her blog and  I got her book several years ago. I've enjoyed the few recipes I tried but now is our chance to really dig in and see how well we can follow this raw chef's suggestions for eating.  It's a seven day program but I may only get through five since my sister is coming out from the east coast - no problem - but we're going to be driving up the coast of California to Monterrey to see her son graduate.  I'll have to see if she wants to follow one of my crazy plans or if we'll just try to adhere to a great diet via help from Happy Cow. I think I mentioned this site on the first day but I love, love, love Happy Cow and use their app on my phone, too!  You can put in your zip code and find veggie stores, restaurants, etc... pretty much anywhere in the world.  Yup - I've used the app in Paris.  Wonderful invention!

So more on our next tack tomorrow after I've dusted off my book.  On with today's recipes! Here's the menu:

Today was the last day of my conference so I didn't have as much food to prepare last night and this morning.  So much easier!  Plus, nice to not haul my cooler bag everywhere with me although I felt like I was racking up righteousness points whenever I looked at my cheery green "Picnic at Ascot" cooler bag.  

First up in the morning we have the Beauty Berry Shake which gave me an opportunity to use up the rest of the strawberries I had in the fridge.  In addition we use pumpkin seeds, coconut oil and vanilla. This is a nice shake but nothing special.  So sorry my phone didn't like this picture either!  Not sure whether it's temperamental in the morning or I'm just not awake enough to realize it's not working despite making all the right noises. This seems to be happening with way too much regularity each morning when I make my breakfast.  This shake is a pretty pink color with bits of strawberry as a nice surprise each time you take a sip.  I enjoyed this on my drive to the conference.  It gets a B, I suppose.  

Our mid morning snack is another extremely sweet dessert like item - Trail Mix Cookies. I'm the first to say these sound beyond yummy since it's rare cookie that I don't just fall in love with each bite.  Yeah - I'm the cookie monster. But just like yesterdays brownies I think this is more of a dessert for me.  
Speaking of last night's brownies!  Yikes!  I think all that chocolaty goodness was enough caffeine late in the day to keep me awake for a lot of hours.  :(  Yes - I got about 4 hours of sleep last night.  My apologies if this comes off more dis-jointed than normal.  I only ate what I had in the picture last night and tried some of the left overs this morning while making my shake.  Nope, still no.  Even on an empty stomach I couldn't do this.  Aaand!  I discovered in reading this recipe I used up the last of my figs on the brownies so I can't make the cookies until I go shopping again anyway - so my plan is tomorrow night's "grad" dinner will have Trail Mix cookies for special dessert.  

For lunch we have another slaw salad.  It's well established that slaws are not my favorite.  Yeah - don't expect to see a slaw for tomorrow's lunch!  But this one was not bad and I ended up eating most of it which I could not say for any of the others.  This Cumin Slaw with Miso Vinaigrette. Is quite good tasting and much more attractive than our previous all white slaws.  This iteration has the usual cabbage and carrots.  There are also diced pieces of tomato, cucumber and some scallions.  Very colorful!  The dressing is the star that makes this dish. I bought two types of miso last time I went to the store.  I LOVE the mild yellow miso and could probably eat it plain with a spoon!  But it really doesn't add a lot of taste to the dish it's incorporated into.  So, I also got some of the mellow red miso.  This has a much stronger taste so I've been using it in dressings and some soups that I think could use a stronger taste.  So the dressing is red miso, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.  Mixed together this is quite tasty and refreshing.  For a slaw it's on the top of the heap.  I give it a B.  

For afternoon snack we have a lovely soup of Kreamy Tomato Gazpacho.  I think I've mentioned that I'm not a fan of tomato soups but this one is a definite winner.  In addition to the tomatoes there are almonds and the ubiquitous miso.  I think I also used the red miso on this as well since I thought the flavors could stand up to it.  There's pepper and garlic to give it a lively kick.  Very, very nice.  Since I don't really like tomato soups I don't believe I'll ever make this again so I won't give it an A but if you do like tomato soup and especially if you like things more on the spicy side this would probably be an A in your book despite being a B for me.  

For dinner we have Mushroom rolls with Root Rice. This recipe has a few steps to make these sort of California rolls.  The mushrooms are marinated with agave syrup, soy sauce and some sesame oil.  While these marinate we make the very interesting pseudo rice for the rolls. Taking the white jicama and dicing it and then pulsing it in a food processor with a bit of miso and it becomes little chunks that do resemble grains of rice.  This also has a nice mellow taste and a lovely crunch.  In order for the filling to not rip holes in the nori seaweed one uses for a California roll she has us line the nori with a half of a Collard leaf, which is quite thick.  After layering the collard on the nori, we then put the "rice" on the collard and then the marinated mushrooms and a few other julienned veggies.  Roll up sushi roll style and cut into bite sized pieces and eat.  
I think this would have been infinitely better without the nori sheet.  Having both of them was just too much, in my opinion.  The rice isn't sticky enough to hold the rolls together, the nori is dry and doesn't get any moisture from the "rice" because it is on the collard instead of the nori.  I ate one small roll and threw the rest away.  This gets a D from me.  I think it really pales in comparison to the pesto that we had the other night and since I had some left overs in the refrigerator I could at least put that on a collard with the rest of the "rice" and mushrooms that were left over.  This - was actually quite wonderful and I was glad I had something delish for dinner.  

So - time to think of what to have for tomorrow's menu since we finally get a choice for the first time in over two weeks!  
  • Breakfast: _______
  • Mid morning snack: ________
  • Lunch: __________
  • Mid afternoon snack: ________
  • Dinner:  _________
What are your picks?  What do you predict I'm going to choose?  Since the pesto is gone I guess that easy choice is now off the table!  

Here's the last entry for the Blast Off portion of the spreadsheet:

Name Category Diet Day Page number   Rating
Vanilla Blueberry Shake Shake Fat Blast  eight 128 D
Red, White and blue berry salad Salad Fat Blast  eight 166 B
Kreamy Chipotle Salad Salad Fat Blast  eight 136 A
Kreamy Cucumber Soup Soup Fat Blast  eight 146 A
Zucchini Noodles Dinner Fat Blast  eight 160
Pineapple Cilantro Shake Shake Fat Blast  nine 124 B
Cucumber Guacamole Dip Fat Blast  nine 158 B+
Cabbage Salad with Cucumber Miso Dressing Salad Fat Blast  nine 131
Garlic Bell Soup Soup Fat Blast  nine 142 A
Celery Almond Pate' Dip Fat Blast  nine 158 A
Pear Lime Ginger Shake Shake Fat Blast  ten 122 B
Watermelon Grapefruit Salad Salad Fat Blast  ten 168 A
Zucchini Hummus Dip Fat Blast  ten 159 B
Curried Cilantro Cucumber Soup Soup Fat Blast  ten 141 C-
Mixed Vegetable Seaweed Rolls  Roll Fat Blast  ten 154 B
Green Grapefruit Shake Shake Fat Blast  eleven 119 A
Shredded Sesame Salad Salad Fat Blast  eleven 137 B-
Coconut Miso Soup Soup Fat Blast  eleven 140 A
Collard Rolls w/ Cashew Pate Wrap Fat Blast  eleven 152 A+
Orange Vanilla Shake Shake Fat Blast  twelve 121 B+
Peach Crumble Crumble Fat Blast  twelve 163 C
Italian Salad Salad Fat Blast  twelve 135 A
Curried Zucchini Cucumber Soup Soup Fat Blast  twelve 145 A
Marinated Mushrooms in Lettuce Wraps Wrap Fat Blast  twelve 153 C
Avocado Shake Shake Fat Blast  thirteen 114 B
Fudge Brownies with Fresh Berries dessert Fat Blast  thirteen 161 C
Fennel Slaw with Dill Vinaigrette Salad Fat Blast  thirteen 134 B
Carrot Ginger Soup Soup Fat Blast  thirteen 139 A
Pesto Wrap Wrap Fat Blast  thirteen 156 A
Beauty Berry Shake Shake Fat Blast  fourteen 115 B
Cumin Slaw with Coconut Miso Sauce Slaw Fat Blast  fourteen 132 B
Kreamy Tomato Gazpacho Soup Fat Blast  fourteen 144 B
Mushrooms Rolls with Root Rice Wrap Fat Blast  fourteen 155 D

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