Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tight budget, tight jeans

That's where I find myself after these past few weeks. Sitting around studying, while munching on carby, less-than-healthy snacks has taken its toll on my body... and with me being out of work until late August, I find that my checkbook is being slowly depleted. So it seems like the perfect time to try and detox, and turn back to the basics: Whole, fresh foods, including plenty of grains and legumes and raw or lightly cooked veggies and fruits. I'm trying to drink nothing but water and the occasional ginger tea, until my body forgets that it ever wanted caffeine like it sometimes does. I'm trying to limit my intake of soy, as it's more highly processed. And I'm trying to sever my sweet tooth by eating nothing refined or having added sweetness of any kind. I've been going at it a couple of days now, and I'm doing fairly well except for the blasted cheesecake left over from Bob's birthday, from which I keep sneaking little nibbles. But I think it will be gone soon!

I made this quick soda bread from La Dolce Vegan--Sarah's Sandwich Spelt Bread. The green flecks you see are sunflower seeds. So far I like this bread a lot--and there is one tablespoon of maple syrup in the entire loaf, which is no cause for alarm as far as added sweetness goes, methinks.

A slice of this bread toasted and topped with Vesna's satarash makes an excellent breakfast...

And as per the name of the recipe, it's good sandwich bread too. This sandwich consists of SusanV's white bean pesto, which is really not so much a pesto as a white bean spread, topped with plenty of sprouts, mushrooms, and local cucumbers, and a bit of dijon mustard.

I asked Bob what he wanted for his "birthday dinner," and he requested beans and rice. Fine by me! I made a huge crockpot full of black beans, and we had them with brown rice and kale. Bob loves it when I put green peppers in the beans--it sort of lends a ranchy flavor that's quite nice.

For the kale, I used another recipe from LDV--Emira's Speedy Gourmet Kale & Tofu Delight. That's a long name for sautéed kale with little tofu cubes. It was absolutely delicious... my new favorite way to make kale. A sprinkling of toasted pine nuts adds a lot of flavor.

This is unusual for me, but today I have not had much of an appetite. I ate a little bit of granola for breakfast, but around 2:00 PM I decided I should probably really have something to eat. I can't understand why, but I've been jonesing for miso soup like none other, so when I found a recipe in LDV called Quick Miso Soup For One, I knew that it had been placed there just for me.

It made a gigantic portion of soup for one person, but I ate it all up. I skipped the tofu and just added carrots and baby spinach... It was the perfect soup for a rainy day.

It actually is a rainy day... I'm sitting next to the window right now, listening to the thunder rumbling in the distance. The rain was so good for our hot, thirsty land... I can see little eddies of steam rising off the asphalt, from being cooled so abruptly by a half-hour downpour that just slowed to a sprinkle. Georgia summers can be unbearably hot and humid, but an afternoon thunderstorm makes it all okay. I hope you all are enjoying your day, wherever you may be!


Courtney said...

Everything looks fantastic! Whole fresh foods sound good to me--I will look forward to reading about your meals!


mare said...

There is no sugar in this yeast bread or is it not a yeast bread?

I am seeking ideas for GF sugar free breads and if you can confirm that this is a yeast bread that would allow maple syrup in place of refined sugar (I want to use stevia, but don't think the yeast will react as it should) I will remain hopeful.

I am GF, my SO is sugarfree.

maybepigscanfly said...

Whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies are always good. No sugar is really not that hard once you get used to it- your taste buds really do change. I wish I knew how to make awesome bread loafs like you- I bet that would save me lots of money.

KALE is my HERO!

Sorry about the strange appetite. I say blame it on the weird weather.


laura jesser said...

Courtney, thanks - they sound good to me too! :)

Mare, sorry - this is not a yeast bread, it's a soda bread. I'd like to find a sugar-free yeast bread recipe myself... If you want the recipe just e-mail me and I'll happily share it with you, though I'm sorry it's not what you were hoping.

Teresa, this bread loaf was actualyl super-easy... I'd be deceiving you if I tried to pretend like it took any special skill! Just mix it up and poomph it in the pan... I like making yeast breads but when I made this I was running short on time. I hope my tastebuds do change, but they love sugar! LOL - Kale is my hero too.

Johanna3 said...

looks great!

aTxVegn said...

That bread looks fabulous! I've got to go through my copy of LDV again. Your healthy eating plan is off to a great start.

Carrie™ said...

I'm sure your summers are worse than ours, but after stiffling days of sticky, heavy, hot air, we got rain and a reprieve with some nice cool temps.
I enjoyed catching up on posts I missed. Bob had an excellent b.day, I must say. The cupcakes look amazing!! I have LDV and was curious about the bread. I must try it since it got a good review from you. I totally missed the kale recipe so I'm going to check that one out too.

KleoPatra said...

Happy belated b'day to Bob!!! i wish you were here so we could take a hike together. Detox, girl friend! Detoxing never had it so good as what you're showing here.

Food's looking scrumptious as always!

Thinking of you!!!


Vegan*asm said...

I'm glad my spelt bread wasn't the only one that turned green. It freaked me out a little the first time I made it. It is so quick and easy to make, and a really good wheat free bread.

Kati said...

I like the look of all your LDV recipes. I don't have that cookbook, but your post makes me want it! I'm intrigued by a soda bread that is savory - most seem to be sweet, you know? Why are the sunflower seeds green, though? Mine are always brown...

Good luck with your detox plan! It looks like you're off to a great start. Fruit smoothies are another great way to feel full on fewer calories - especially when it gets hot outside.

Oh yeah, and I love summer thunderstorms, too. =)

laura jesser said...

Johanna, thanks!

Diann, knowing you are GF I would definitely recommend this bread to you!

Carrie, I hope those recipes work out for you if you decide to try them. Rain really is a refreshing reprieve from this oppressive summer heat, but we need MORE - it's still dry as blazes down here.

Kleo, I feel certain that we will have a chance to hike together someday! :) Thanks for your sweet comments, as always.

Vegan*asm, thanks for that! I was weirded out by the sunflower seeds turning green, and I'm glad to know it happened to you too!

Kati, I was really excited to find a spelt soda bread that would work for sandwiches - it was just what I needed at the time. If you want to try any LDV recipes, drop me an e-mail and I'd be happy to share a few - that way you can give them a test run before splurging! Oh, and your smoothie recommendation really hit the spot - I just finished up a nice berry smoothie... yum.

scottishvegan said...

Looks very healthy! I need a bit of inspiration to eat healthier as my jeans are getting a bit tighter too! Thanks! I am jealous of your thunder storm…I love them! I thought (wrongly) that there would be loads of thunder storms when we moved here, but there’s only been one in 3 years! Pah!

laura jesser said...

Scottish vegan, one thunderstorm in three years? I can't imagine! I love them too - they're so comforting on a lazy summer day, especially when I'm feeling lonely...