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, January 29, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child/ Day 5

I had a nice conversation with my friends on the Dr. Fuhrman Website yesterday (on the discussion forum). We decided that they need a good vegetarian show on Food Network. Chef AJ? Let's get it done!! I also got a request to post my grading scale again--so here it is!

A+ Totally enjoyable meal--can't wait to make and eat again! Guest worthy.
A or A- Will happily make again and it will be a staple in our house.
B+ or B I know it's good for me and it tastes really good too--will be a good week-night meal
B- Will make again but I won't be that excited about it!
C+ or less Will probably not make again, or I will try to modify more to my liking
I don't think anything has been a D or F, well, except maybe the Nutrient Rich Chocolate Pudding from Eat for Health!! But actually--Haze ate that!! But it was just not to my taste at all. Oh well--I think overall Eat for Health is a FANTASTIC set of recipes and will be making those dishes for a long long time!! Dr. Fuhrman gets an A+ for EFH!! Hooray!! Here was yesterdays dishes:
String Beans and Almond Dust
Quinoa in Color
Quick Soy Cheese Pita Pizza
Vanilla-Carob Fudge
For the String Beans and Almond Dust I used haricot verts (love those) and I had no almonds so I used pine nuts. It was very light and easy to make. I thought it needed some zing so I squeezed some lemon on mine. Haze liked them as is. We gave them an A-
I can't believe how much I love Quinoa! I had never had it before until I started this project. I have loved every recipe with it! I did not have all of the "colors" for the Quinoa in Color so I used the veggies I had on hand (asparagus was one) and it was just really yummy! A-
I pretty much like any kind of pizza--so the Quick Soy Cheese Pita Pizza was no exception. Whole wheat really bothers me and I had no idea what to use for the crust so.......I took some Ryvita Rye and Oat Bran Crispbread crackers (like Ryecrisps) and used those! Not sure if these are Fuhrman Friendly, but they actually worked pretty well. They got just a tiny bit soggy in the middle--but it was pretty good!! I am excited to have a pizza "crust" that is not whole wheat. We gave this an A-
The Vanilla-Carob Fudge was pretty darn tasty--but I felt like I gained 10 pounds just licking my fingers while I was making it! It is super rich--and I am finding that I prefer the fruity/ lighter desserts much better. Also--I used cacao powder (instead of carob). The fudge got
a B.
Pics are:Plate of String Beans with Almond Dust/ Quick Soy Cheese Pizza/ Quinoa in ColorVanilla-Carob Fudge

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child/ Day 4

Want to be as strong as a Texas firefighter? Chef AJ, whose recipes I cooked right here from her DVD Healthy Made Delicious, has a friend named Rip Esselstyn. Rip Esselstyn has a very popular book out called The Engine 2 Diet. As you know, I am a nutrition bookworm, so I just had to get this book to read it. I am only a few chapters in, but I think it's motivating and fun and I have decided to blog through it next! One of Rip's mottos is: Melt away the pounds, look terrific and become bullet-proof to Western diseases. I love that!! The food sounds hearty, manly, and totally yummy. Haze is very excited about this one!! So stay tuned for The Engine 2 Diet! For more information, you can go to Rip's website: http://www.theengine2diet.com/
Here is what we had yesterday:
Broccoli with Garlic
Squash Fantasia
Quinoa and Nut Loaf
Banana Nut Cookies
The Broccoli with Garlic was simple as pie to make and really just so good!! It really just took a few minutes! Haze and I both loved it and gave it an A+ We will be making this easy recipe lots.
I think I have decided that I just don't like sweet squash that much (like Butternut or Acorn types) But I do LOVE yams And Haze is just the opposite--does not like yams, but likes squash. So... the Squash Fantasia was not my favorite--but Haze liked it!! He gave it a B. I would have liked it more with yams, I think.

The Quinoa and Nut Loaf was really good, but a bit of quinoa overload. It could have used more ingredients like more veggies. Also--it really didn't need to be a "loaf"--it could have just been a mixture. It was a little odd--guess we are used to a different type of loaf now--like the Lentil Loaf. Anyway, it tasted really good! Next time we will add more veggies and just serve it as a mixture/ salad type dish. We gave it an A-

There are some ingredients even in the Dr. Fuhrman books that I refuse to eat, and I usually just omit or add something else. Like, for example...shredded coconut. I do not eat shredded coconut ever since I was 6 years old and there was ... let's just say... an "incident" involving me, a very large German Chocolate cake, and then me barfing. So I just work around it. That being said, The Banana Nut Cookies were supposed to contain coconut, and I think I pretty well explained above that I do not eat shredded coconut. So instead I added a few more nuts, and a few handfuls of oatmeal, and a few currants too!! These dessert recipes are really almost impossible to screw up!! They turned out fabulous and we gave them an A!

Pics are:Plate of Broccoli and Garlic/ Squash Fantasia/ Quinoa and Nut LoafQuinoa Nut Loaf

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child/ Day 3

Here was yesterday's menu:
Cabbage Raisin Soup
Veggies with Hot Russian Dressing
Apricot Brown Rice
Banana/ Pineapple Sorbet
Soooo... I think I need to stick to the planned out menus because this meal just did not harmonize together--which was my fault! I may have got a little spoiled on Eat for Health which I think was really beautifully all planned out. Anyway, here are my thoughts.
The Cabbage Raisin Soup is just fantastic. It was a solid A. I did not puree all of the cabbage--I left some chopped up in the soup--I love the velvety texture of cooked cabbage. And it was a bit sweet, but in a raisiny kind of way--not a carrot juicy kind of way (which I liked). I had to add a bit more liquid than called for--actually a lot more. But overall it was really wonderful and easy to make, but looks and tastes like it was really hard!! I did not add the nuts--but just sprinkled some on top. I think it should be served with a nice big salad with a creamy dressing (not sweet), and/ or some lemony greens.

The Hot Russian Dressing first of all, is not hot. And I kind of wished it was hot! I've had Dr. Fuhrman's Russian Fig Dressing so much (from the Eat for Health cookbook)--that this tasted to me like an early version of that dressing. I think the Russian Fig is much better! I did not like the Hot Russian Dressing and gave it a C. My pic for this did not turn out--sorry! I took 3 and they were all 3 fuzzy!
I think I am not a good judge of the Apricot Brown Rice so I am not going to grade it. To me it tasted sort of like an Indian brown rice pudding dish, which I do not like anyway. I think lots of people do like brown rice pudding--and if so, you will probably like this dish very much! It was definitely not the right side dish for the Cabbage Soup because it was also a bit sweet. But do try it!

Banana/ Pineapple Sorbet--what can I say but A!! I swear this "ice cream" method works with any fruit you can think of. You can add cinnamon, dates, nuts, vanilla, other extracts--there are just endless ways to make this. They are all wonderful!!

Pics are:Raisin Cabbage SoupApricot Brown RiceBanana/ Pineapple Sorbet

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child/ Day 2

My kitchen is tiny! They did not make em big back in the 1920's. All they needed room for back then was one pot, one pan, and a big spoon (I think--don't quote me on my facts.) Everything is crammed into cupboards and I think it's time to clean out. One cupboard down below is filled with various layers of pots and pans and glassware. Every time I pull something out of there it makes a loud "CLANG!" and sends my manly dog Alfie running to the back bedroom to hide. But the sad part is the loud clang scares my deaf dog Violet as well! Maybe I will just pull it all out, then put it all back in a neater stack. I need all that stuff!
Here is what I made yesterday:
Tomato Tornado Soup
This recipe was super easy to make (which I love!) and it tasted great! I love anything tomato. It would be easy to add other veggies like mushrooms, spinach, zucchini--I can see it will be very versatile. I gave it an A- (the ease of the recipe pushed it from a B+) I served it with Chef AJ's Hail to Kale (yes again) but this time AJ suggested it with (instead of kale) broccoli and/ or qinoua--and so I just added all 3! Will show you a pic too!! (Chef AJ's Hail to the Kale recipe was posted here on the blog--let me know if you can't find it!)
Whipped Banana Freeze with the optional strawberries
Holy cow these are all just so wonderful. A+! It's soooooo much better than ice cream--it feels wonderful after you eat it too. There is no guilt, no indigestion, no 5-pound weight gain!! It is just pure pleasure!!
Pics are:Tomato Tornado Soup(Chef AJ's Hail to Kale with Quinoa and Broccoli)Banana Whip with the optional strawberries

Monday, January 25, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child/ Day 1

Hello Everyone and bon appetit! I want to start by saying that I am going to take my time going through this book!! I did Eat for Health in 30 days--and that was about 130 recipes. Wooohoo!! That had to be a record. DPYC has about 50 recipes, and I will be doing them sort of randomly--not exactly in the order in the book. In between books, we cooked lots of our favorite recipes from Eat for Health. After cooking like a lunatic for 30 days, the easier/ faster recipes were top on our list --like Vegetable Burritos and Yummy Banana Bars. They are easy to make and oooooh soooo good. We also ate the California Creamed Kale, and AJ's Hail to the Kale Salad almost daily!! (Chef AJ graciously gave us her delicious Hail to the Kale Salad recipe and it is posted on this blog.) And then over the weekend we went to one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants. I ordered my favorite dish as is--just to see how it tasted to me now, and it tasted really very salty. Next time I will be more careful and ask for sauces on the side as we do love the food there and want to be able to continue dining out! It kind of makes me sad to know how much salt I was happily and unknowingly eating before--and how unnecessary it is. It seriously took me only a few weeks to not even notice the low sodium anymore. If you are curious about the dangers of salt and why I keep bringing up salt, go to Dr. Fuhrman's website and please read: http://drfuhrman.com/faq/question.aspx?sid=16&qindex=1

Here is another article that just came out today (as I was typing this!) on Dr. Fuhrman's blog...
Summary: On Wednesday, January 20th, about a week after NYC Mayor Bloomberg proposed his controversial salt reduction initiative, evidence was presented in the New England Journal of Medicine that salt reduction truly can save lives.
So to begin--here is what I made yesterday!
Split Pea and Tofu Dog Soup
What is up with cooking peas, beans and lentils in the state of Colorado!!?? I soaked the crap out of the split peas PLUS I cooked them for an hour longer than the recipe said--and they were still not done. I know it takes longer because of the altitude, but that was ridiculous. I do have a pressure cooker--I will definitely use that next time. Anyway, my tofu dogs got waaaay over cooked, so Haze and I fished them out and started over. I cut up 2 new tofu dogs, and sauteed them in a tiny bit of olive oil and then sprinkled them on top. Beside the fact that the split peas were still slightly undercooked--we gave the recipe an A-

Healthy Potato Fries
The Fries were a nice treat with the soup! We added a big sprinkle of Mrs. Dash to them, and they were very tasty!! We gave them an A. I served this meal with the steamed kale version of AJ's Hail to the Kale Salad--and it was all just a perfect combo. (You seriously have to try this kale recipe!! Kale is one of the healthiest foods on the planet!!)

For dessert I made Eat for Health's Yummy Banana Bars, and added pureed raspberries to the center (per Haze's request). They were awesome!! Will show you a pic of those too. All for now and have a happy day!!