Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Or read the book? Julie Powell became an internet celebrity with her 2004 blog recording her yearlong adventure cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I am taking on a similar challenge, only I am blogging my way through a very healthy cookbook! And I will learn to master the art of healthy cooking! The book is called Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I will cook every recipe start to finish in four weeks just as they are laid out in the book. I will write about the recipes, show you pictures, and tell you how my SAD (Standard American Diet) eating, carnivorous husband likes them too. (See archives below.) He is behind me 100%!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner yesterday, and plenty of leftovers for today! Yum!! We went off the Eat For Health book and cooked a few recipes from the Dr. Fuhrman website (www.drfuhrman.com). I am sooooooooo proud of myself, and so proud of Haze for sticking with this. My Mom and Dad finally watched the movie Julie and Julia yesterday (they loved it) and then they called me to find out what I was cooking! My Mom laughed as she heard my tiny little electric chopper spiinning away in the background while we were talking. I was in the middle of chopping some mushrooms! Anyway, it was great fun cooking yesterday and here is what we had:

Three Greens Salad with Fruit and Nuts with Creamy Pumpkin Salad Dressing

Stuffing Stuffed Pumpkins (I used Acorn Squash)

Thanksgiving Non-Meat Loaf, with Vegan Version Gravy

Mashed Red Potatoes with Wilted Spinach

Delicious Guilt-Free Pumpkin Pie w/Oat & Almond Crust and Cashew Whipped Cream

Wow--what a spread! The salad was spectacular--it had some raisins and pear added. The Pumpkin Salad Dressing was not as weird as it sounds (or as it looks). It has almond butter, soy milk and dates along with the pumpkin (and a few other items), and so it was not as pumpkiny as you would think.

The Stuffing Stuffed Acorn Squash was soooo yummy. It has whole grain bread, cranberries, mushrooms--lots of other tasty ingredients too. I added Poultry Seasoning as the main spice (because that is how Dad makes stuffing). Next year I will add some type of cornbread--I think that would be better--again cause that is how Dad does it!

The Thanksgiving Non-Meatloaf was spec-friggin-tacular!! OMG was it good. It was made with brown rice, tons of mushrooms, walnuts, celery, onions and lots of other things. And the Vegan Version Gravy was perfect on top!! YUM!! We added tons of shitake mushrooms to the gravy and then pureed the whole thing at the end. The Mashed Red Potatoes were wonderful as well--totally guilt-free. They were made creamy and delicious using only soy-milk! Really yummy!

For the grand finale we had Guilt-Free Pumpkin Pie with Cashew Whipped Cream. Sooooo good! I added a whole banana instead of half of the tofu to make it a little sweeter, and it came out just beautiful. I covered the whole thing with foil while I baked--it was really pretty!! It was made with pumpkin, lots of dates, raisins and spices all pureed and poured into a crust made from oats and ground almonds, with tiny amounts of oil, water, and whole wheat flour. What a treat!

We were completely stuffed and totally felt Christmassy and full!! IT CAN BE DONE!! Happy holidays to everyone!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 9/ Phase 2/ Week 2

So, I sort of had a small meltdown yesterday. No tears (ok maybe like 2). I wondered if this was the right time to do this project. I mean, I started this like one week before Christmas. And every time I go to the grocery store I am bombarded with smells, free sample pushers, and treats everywhere you look. But is there ever a good time to start anything? There is always something. Does anyone remember Roseanne Roseannadanna from Saturday Night Live? "It's aaalways something, Jane. If it's not one thing, it's another." There is always going to be a holiday, a birthday, a party--some special event. And I guess if we can make it through Christmas, we can make it through anything. Phase 2 offers less desserts (sometimes he wants you to just have plain fruit for dessert), but we are still making dessert after dinner (the same ones that were in Phase 1). I have my Christmas menu all prepared--all recipes from the website. So I will let you know how it goes! (You have to be a "member" of Dr. Fuhrman's website to view the recipe catalog--which is quite extensive! There are also Discussion Forums, Ask the Doctor--and many other benefits. It is well worth the small monthly fee!) Here is what we had yesterday...

No recipe--fruitshake and oatmeal

Raw Veggies
Orange Cashew Dip
Leftover bean soup
Fruit and Berry Compote
Ok, I just do not like the dressings made with orange and cashew. For me (and for Haze) they are just too sweet. It called for 2 oranges and I only used 1--so it was thicker, but still we did not like it. We gave it a C-. This is not to say that you should not try it, I think it is just not our taste. The leftover Quick and Creamy Vegetable Bean Soup was even better the 2nd day! And even better--I didn't have to make it!!

Salad with Sesame Fig Dressing
Salsa Salmon over Wilted Spinach

A+ dinner all the way around. We LOVED this salad dressing. It was creamy and very flavorful. A perfect match for the Salsa Salmon. I was very worried that I would not like the salmon--we usually prepare it "blackened" which means tons of salt. I thought it would be bland. But surprisingly after over a week with no salt, the salmon tasted very salty just on it's own! The salsa topping was sooooooo good. It was just a fantastic dinner.

Supposed to be grapes but we had Banana/Walnut Ice Cream--a recipe from the website. It was a very simple mixture of frozen bananas, a small handful of walnuts, and vanilla soymilk whipped up in the Vita Mix. OMG it was good. I swear--you have not tasted anything until you have tasted one of these frozen "ice creams" made from fruit!! They are truly heavenly!!

Happy Holidays!! Thank you for reading my blog!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 8/ Phase 2/ Week 2

So it was the first day of Phase 2--and we made it through! I feel wonderful!! Haze's issues have still not subsided at all--he is getting a little annoyed. But he is sticking with it. In case you haven't noticed it is Christmas Eve tomorrow and so here is what we are doing... We are taking a 2-day break from Eat For Health and we will make some of the holiday recipes listed on the website. I will still post and let you know what we had and how it looked!! Here is what was on the menu for yesterday...

Creamy Fruit and Berry Smoothie

The breakfast shake was dynamite!! YUM!! I have not had one of these fruit shakes with soy milk added--and wow did it taste good. A+

Tasty Hummus
Whole Wheat Pita with Veggies

I didn't have any pita so I used whole grain bread, toasted and spread the hummus on top. Excellent! "A"

Mixed baby greens
Dijon Date Salad Dressing
Quick and Creamy Vegetable Bean Soup

Haze said that the Dijon Date Salad Dressing was the best salad dressing he had ever had in his whole life!! Wow!! I thought it was very tasty too--we gave it an A+! The bean soup was fabulous and very rich with the added puréed cashews. Very tasty. We gave it an "A". We also had some leftover dip from the artichokes so we used it with steamed asparagus.

Supposed to be fruit but actually we made Jenna's Peach Freeze again!! YUM!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 7/ Phase 1/ Week 1

So...the other day Haze said to me, "Wow, you are looking extra skinny!" and I said to him (trying to be nice) "Your face is looking slimmer!" (it really is) and he said, "OH GREAT, I've lost face weight! Now I can tell all my friends I've lost 10 pounds of ugly face weight!" We laughed and laughed! Ok, mostly I laughed!! But seriously after only 7 days I can feel a difference in myself (I did not weigh myself yet), and Haze truly is looking slimmer. Not just his face!! he he he !! So here is what we had on the last day of Phase 1...

No recipe so again it was a delicious fruit shake and oatmeal

Mixed Green Salad
Marian's Tofu Chili
This was very good! This time however, we both said that it needed salt! ha ha. I think we are both just used to really salty chili. But we had brown rice with it and it was warm and filling. We were both starving--we got home late for lunch so it was really perfect! We gave this a "B"

Artichokes with Dipping Sauce
Steak and Roasted Veggie Salad
Balsamic Vinaigrette
This was a solid "A" meal. Really yummy! I did not have the steak but the roasted veggies were fabulous. I love roasted vegetables, and this was a combination I am not used to and so it was really extra speical tasting. It had fennel in it--which I had never had before. Really great!! The artichokes were yummy too with the dipping sauce. Great combo!

Berries with Macadamia Whipped Cream
Wow--this was fabulous. The Whipped Cream was made with just macadamia nuts, dates, and soy milk (whipped up in the Vita Mix). It was thick and creamy--a perfect topping for mixed berries. Really exotic! Solid "A"!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 6/ Phase 1/ Week 1

I can't believe we started this over Christmas!! I went to Whole Foods yesterday and they have free samples at every corner of EVERYTHING!! (I did not taste anything--except for a carrot) But really, to be perfectly honest, this has not been very hard. We have had delicious meals and scrumptious desserts. We are always full and totally satisfied. There is always plenty o food--really huge portions. The hardest part is getting in the rhythm of shopping and cooking. But I can already tell that Week 2 shopping trip will be much smaller (and cheaper) because I already have a lot of the items. So.... this is what was on the menu yesterday:
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes
The breakfast egg dish was sooooooo yummy! Haze actually used the same ingredients and just made it into an omelet. He also used some vegan cheese. It was really yummy! A+ breakfast!!
Speedy Vegetable Wrap
Tropical Fruit Salad
Lunch was FABulous. Dr. Fuhrman said to take a whole grain wrap, broccoli slaw, vegan cheese, and a dressing of your choice. I was not sure what type of dressing to use, so I chose pasta sauce and made these into pizzas! They were soooooooooooo good!. I sprinkled garlic powder on whole-grain pita with and baked them until crispy. I used pasta sauce with tons of added fresh chopped tomatoes. Then I steamed the broccoli slaw. And used vegan mozzerella on top. I assembled them and then put them under the broiler to melt the cheese and they were soooooooooooooo good!! We were in a huge hurry and this was very fast. We had fruit for dessert. A+ lunch!
Raw VeggiesGarbanzo Guacamole
Tuscan Pasta and Arugula
Dinner was pretty good. I loved the Garbanzo Guacamole--Haze said he does not like tomatoes in his guacamole. Too bad for him! The Tuscan Pasta with Arugula was just a little bland, but it was warm and very filling. HUGE portions to eat! I think next time I will add more garlic, more crushed red pepper, and maybe some sun-dried tomatoes. We gave the whole meal a "B".
Frozen Banana Fluff
Dessert was heavenly!! It is made with only frozen bananas, vanilla, and vanilla soymild. But it is creamy and sweet and tastes like banana ice cream!! YUM!! A++

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 5/ Phase 1/ Week 1

Hello! Hooray for Day 5!! There were some comments that I received telling me that I should have told Haze to take his healthy lunch to the restaurant and join his friends! And I tried to get him to do that but he would not. But all is well and he loves me again!! ha ha!! He laughed when he read the blog entry!! But as far as taking food to restaurants--I do it all the time too. I will bring brown rice if they do not have any, or whole grain bread/ tortillas etc. I'm not shy!! My purse is a leather backpack--and it will hold just about anything!

We were so happy that Day 5 fell on a Saturday--because it was a perfect Saturday night meal. I worked out at my Red Rocks Boot Camp ( http://jamieatlas.wordpress.com/all-about-atlas-boot-camps/ ) and Haze skiied all day and so we were both starving for dinner which was good because there was tons of good food! Here is what we had...

Blueberry Orange Smoothie
Oatmeal with leftover dessert
Well, we did not like the Smoothie so much. I think we are so used to my fruitshake that any other kind of tastes weird. The Blueberry Orange shake was kind too orangey for us. We gave it a C+. The oatmeal however, was spectacular! I just made regular oatmeal with some vanilla and cinammon, and then we poured the Mango Reisling dessert from the day before on top. Yum!! New recipe!!

Leftovers from the night before

Balsamic Mixed Greens with Apples
Dijon Chicken
Spaghetti Squash Primavera
Baked Potato Fries
California Creamed Kale
Lemon Zest Spinach
Let's just start with the grade--the entire dinner was an A+!!! Wow!! The salad dressing was so easy to make (balsamic, olive oil, fig preserves) and was a perfect topping for the greens and apples. Haze loved the Dijon Chicken--of course he commented that it "needed salt!" But really I think it is getting better for him. The Spaghetti Squash Primavera was really yummy--I think it tastes better than it looks! Make sure to follow Dr. Fuhrman's directions by mixing the squash with the pasta sauce because it made all the difference. I was supposed to make one or the other (Lemon Spinach or Creamed Kale) but I'm glad I made both of them. I thought the kale needed lemon so I kind of ate them both together and it was wonderful! Now I don't think I can ever make one without the other!

Jenna's Peach Freeze Ice Cream
If there was a score higher than A+ we would give it to Jenna's Peach Freeze! OMG it was soooooooooooooo good!! We put it in pretty little ceramic cups and ate it on the couch while watching Elf!! Just like a creamy bowl of peach ice cream!! Wow that was good!! If you do not own a Vita Mix, I'm telling you that it is worth every penny. I seriously use mine every single day if not twice a day!

What a great day of food! Can't wait to find out what is next!!