Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rainy Day Spice

I am cooking today because

a) it is raining and that atavistic gene to "put the kettle on the stove" has kicked into gear,

b) because my cupboard is bare and I am too lazy to go to the store,

and, most importantly,

c) I want supper tonight.

I lucked out -- my bare pantry produced everything I needed for this quick and easy and deliciously spicy meal.

If I were more ambitious, I would serve it over wild or brown rice or couscous -- but I scooped it into its Tupperware carry case just as is, and it is yummy -- lip smackin' good.


1 Vidalia Onion
1 can of white beans -- any kind, folks with empty cupboards can't be fussy
1 can of diced tomatoes
sweet potatoes -- 2 bigs or a bunch of littles

Slice the sweet potatoes and deal with the peel according to your own sensibilities ( I like to leave it in -- again, lazy, but I say it is "because the peels have nutrients.") Drain and set aside if they finish before you are ready.

Into the skillet, I tossed my chopped sweet onion and let it start sizzling. I added the slightest touch of water.

1/4 teaspoon each of cumin, cinnamon and chipolte powder -- all Penzey's, of course.

And gently stir adding tiny hints of water to help marry the spices with the onions. It smells exotic and heady and you will feel so worldly and sophisticated.

Then I tossed in a can of the white beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and the chopped sweet potatoes, which were boiled to the point of wanted to mush up a little, and that made the mixture better, in my opinion.

Since I, make it: LOVE fresh cilantro, and since the squirrels are leaving behind the spindle flowery spikes (after demolishing the rich earthy leaves), I cut up the remaining bits and tossed them in.

If I had some limes, I would garnish with a slice of lime.
But then again, if I had wheels, I would be a wagon.

It is as it is -- a quick (less than 15 minutes from raiding the pantry, including steaming the sweet potatoes, to finishing and tasting) and easy, inexpensive and tasty dish. And I bet the flavors are getting to know each other as I blog this -- and by tonight for supper, it should be killer good!

Wishing you all spice in your life and occasional rainy days for your yard and spirit.

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The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.