Saturday, May 22, 2010

A rich and creamy lunch or, what to do with cauliflower.

While standing in front of my open refrigerator, hearing my mother's voice, "Just get in and close the door behind you if you are going to keep looking in there for so long," I spotted a head of cauliflower that needed to be prepared sooner than later. I cleaned it and steamed it and set it out in a bowl, but it just did not appeal to me today.

My leaning was toward something Indian, or spicy or creamy.


I decided to make a raw sauce that was creamy but had a little kick.


I soaked one cup of raw cashews in water for a hour
Then added them to my food processor with:
3/4 cup of water
2 TBSP of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teas. of garlic powder
a nice slice of Vidalia onion
a hit of Chipolte powder
and sea salt

and I let her swirl around until creamy

Then I tossed in a few leaves of fresh basil, and an equal amount of chives and pulsed it into the mixture so it would blend, yet maintain its character.

To my bowl of steamed cauliflower pieces, I added one drained can of petite peas, mushrooms and pearl onions.

Then I added the creamy sauce over all the veggies and blended them gently.

To plate, I was fortunate to find in my refrigerator some Organic Girl (brand name sold at Publix) Herby Romaine. I filled my plate with this leafy mixture and then topped it with the creamy cauliflower, peas, mushrooms and onions.

The marriage of flavors was yummy. I like the Herby Romaine because I the various herbs just surprise my palate whilst I am eating. There was enough savory flavor to the sauce to really enhance the flavor of the veggies.

This is a KEEPER!

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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.