Sunday, June 29, 2014

My 40 plants food challenge #40plantfoodschallenge

This past week I joined up with Happy Healthy Mama in her #40plantfoodschallenge to see if I could manage to get in 40 different plant foods into my menu during the week. 

I hope you will follow my link and read her original post... good information about why we need variety in our diet and why plant foods are so necessary.


She defines a plant food as

“ anything that’s a non-processed plant food counts! So nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, beans, fruits, and vegetables all count. “

I know that I do eat a LOT of fruit and vegetables, herbs, seeds, and nuts, so I thought I might hit the 40 mark quite easily… and it turns out, I did.

The fresh green Spring mix that I like to use as a base for my lunch salads actually has 21 different plant ingredients listed on the box… so that helped a lot, but even without some of the, I think I would have achieved the 40 count.

I kept track by listing the ones I ate on Sunday.. and then each day, added only what I ate that day that I had not already eaten earlier in the week…my final count was  
  • lemon
  • blueberries
  • banana
  • white mushrooms
  • white onions
  • cucumber
  • tomatoes
  • red bell pepper
  • green cabbage
  • purple cabbage
  • carrots
  • mixed Spring greens which includes these ingredients:
    • spinach
    • green romaine
    • tango
    • green oak leaf lettuce
    • green chard
    • mizuma
    • red romaine
    • red oak leaf lettuce
    • red chard
    • lolla rosa
    • arugula
    • radicchio
    • brunia
    • perella
    • cocard
    • amaranth
    • little gem
    • beet tops
    • sangria
    • mache
    • kale
  • avocado
  • sweet potato
Day’s count = 33

  • navel orange
  • peaches
  • cashew nuts
  • raisins
  • celery
  • green bell pepper
Day’s count = 6

  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • garlic
  • snap peas
  • dates
  • hemp seeds
  • green peas
Day’s count = 7

  • peanuts
  • kiwi
  • basil
  • zucchini
  • white potato
  • tarragon
Day’s count = 6

  • sunflower seeds
Day’s count = 1

  • oregano
  • cranberries
  • apple
Day’s count = 3

  • walnuts
  • prunes  
  • almonds
Day’s count = 3

Grant total for the week = 59

Other things that I might normally eat but didn’t this week include: parsley, cilantro, ginger, wheat grass, edamame, thyme, pumpkin, butternut squash, apricots, chia seeds, milled flax seeds, pears.

How about you?

How many plant foods do you eat in a week?

Do you tend to eat the same foods over and over, or do you like a variety?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

High Protein Breakfast Puff

I love to play with, and create, new breakfast recipes.  I am always looking to get lots of protein into my first meal of the day, and this is a recipe I have been having a great deal of fun with for the last couple of weeks because I do love eggs!  This High Protein Breakfast Puff has many possibilities for variations, too.

I have made this puff with vanilla whey powder, and with chocolate whey powder so far.  It is delicious and quick… and so easy, which is a nice bonus.

And once you have the basics down, you can start to get very creative with it. You can change the spices in the basic recipe… for instance… use cloves and nutmeg and put stewed apples or applesauce on top.  Or make a chocolate puff with almond butter smeared over it… or how about a vanilla puff topped with with chocolate chips and a spoonful of peanut butter?  I have also had one with just a drizzle of sugar free syrup… and honey would be lovely, too. You get it…

High Protein Breakfast Puff

Here is the basic recipe:

High Protein Breakfast Puff
Makes 1 serving
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • dash of vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Put the egg whites into a smallish bowl and beat with a whisk till a bit frothy.
  2. Add the protein powder, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well.
  3. Stir in the baking powder till blended.
  4. Heat a small non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat.
  5. When the skillet is warm, add the egg white mixture and cover.
  6. Let cook about 4 or 5 minutes till the edges are dry.
  7. Flip and cook the second side a couple more minutes.
  8. Remove to a plate and top as desired to serve.
Per serving without toppings.
Weight Watchers P+ =  3.
Calories 116; Protein 24g; Carbohydrate 2g; Fat 1g; Fibre 0g.

Of course the N.I. for your puff will depend on the protein powder you used, and your choice of toppings.

UPDATE.  I have recalculated this recipe to give you the nutritional information for the Weight Watchers SMART POINTS program as follows:

Per serving without toppings
Weight Watchers SP = 1.
Calories 116; Saturated Fat 0g; Sugar 0g; Protein 24g.

Again, I stipulate that you should do your own calculation for the protein powder you use and the toppings you choose to add after.

Breakfast Puff 1
Rising nicely, and ready to flip.  If the battter is still runny, it will not flip easily.  Leave it to cook a bit longer.

Breakfast Puff 2
The second side only takes a couple of minutes and you don’t need to cover the pan.

Breakfast Puff 3
A cooked and plated puff, waiting to be dressed.

Breakfast Puff 4
A bit of Greek yogurt and some blueberries…

Breakfast Puff 5

What do you think?  Easy, right?

Monday, June 09, 2014

Cook Once, Eat Twice… or More

I like to have cooked food on hand in the refrigerator, or now that we are no longer living on the sailboat, in the freezer.  This is especially true in the warmer months of the year, when I am likely to push the envelope on spending as much time outdoors as possible, and cut it fairly tight on getting lunch or dinner together.  And so too on days when I work a split shift, it is nice to get something on the table quickly. 

I do like to make up batches of things such as soups, pulled pork, shredded chicken, and even dishes such as Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, and chilis or stews… these things freeze really nicely and thaw easily to get a meal together in a hurry.  Add some rice, or sweet potatoes, and a veggie, and dinner is ready pretty quickly.

Another thing I like to do is roast several boneless skinless chicken breasts at the same time.  We may have a couple for dinner with veggies and potatoes  the day I make them.  Then I put the leftover pieces in the fridge and use them in a variety of ways… my favorites are sliced for salads, and for sandwich fillings for The Captain.  If I know I am going to use them in a particular way, I might marinate them with appropriate spices before cooking, but usually I just bake them plain.

Chicken Breast on Salad

Extra lean ground beef is another protein I like to prepare in batches.

We normally buy our beef in one-pound packages and freeze them.  I like to thaw a single package, and place the meat into a large skillet along with about a half cup of diced onions and 4 or 5 cloves of peeled, smashed and minced garlic.  It only takes about 15 minutes to cook… I may or may not season with salt and pepper…  and then I let it cool a bit before dividing it into 2 portions.  Each portion will be used to make a meal for the two of us, and there are so many ways to eat it.

If you want a pasta or zoodle sauce, you can saute more veggies such as mushrooms and bell peppers to add to the prepared meat in a skillet. And then add some some canned tomatoes… diced or crushed, and some Italian seasoning.

June 8 dinner ground beef new bowls 001

Or you can put the meat mixture in a skillet and add a shredded coleslaw mix and some grated ginger,  and after the cabbage has cooked, add either a teriyaki sauce or a mixture of tamari (gluten free soy) sauce, some rice vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil.  Pineapple bits or mandarine orange slices oranges on top, or a few cashews really dress it up.

Asian Beef Slaw

Another of my very favorite meals is  to heat the meat mixture and place it on a plate with some guacamole and salsa on the top of it and serve sweet potato ‘chips’ alongside.  We eat this a lot.  If I know I am going to be serving the beef this way I often add extra garlic while I am cooking it.

Sweet Potato Nachos

You can also use it as the base for chilis, or soups, or even use it to top pizza, or perogies, or fold it into an omelet.  So versatile and so tasty and filling.

What is your favorite food to batch cook and have on hand to make quick meals?

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Al Fresco Lunches

Doesn’t everything just taste better when you eat it outside? 

We live in a fairly moderate climate where our temperatures are never extremely cold during the Winter months, so we enjoy being outdoors most of the year round.  A jacket or a sweater are often required during December and January, but at least we can be out.

But once April and May roll around, and our temperatures warm even more, al fresco meals become so much more appealing.  We love to sit outside and watch the world go by… and to enjoy the lovely view of the park across the street.

March 27 2014 park 003

Our patio balcony faces South South East so we have sun from early morning till about 1:30 every day.  Sometimes we take our morning coffee outside… and sometimes even breakfast. But my favorite meal to take outside is lunch.  And, it doesn’t have to be fancy… even the simplest fare somehow becomes special when you take it outdoors.

May 31 Lunch outdoors 001

Yesterday we opted to wait till the sun had moved around the corner a bit so it was a bit cooler… you can see we are still making good use of our melamine boat dishes!

May 31 Lunch outdoors 002
A tuna salad sandwich with veggie garnishes for The Captain.

May 31 Lunch outdoors 003
And tuna on greens with a cup of my Cauliflower Coconut Soup alongside.  At our house we normally make our own weekend lunches!

Do you like to eat outdoors where you live?  What is your favorite patio meal?