Monday, June 28, 2010

It's all about texture

Something about this day brought memories of a time I was in Tiberius, Israel, and went to an open air market for lunch. I had the very best falafel and hummus sandwich in the world for all time. Really.

There is no way for me to ever reach this paradigm again, so I won't even try.
But in calling back the memory of this orgasmic mouthful -- sorry, but true, I remembered that the texture of the ingredients had a lot to do with the enjoyment of this sandwich.

So today: Texture it is.

I wanted a smooth and creamy spread for my creation. If you scoff at this -- just go read the ingredients on a jar of mayo and come back to this posting. I can remember having mayo sandwiches -- now the thought makes me gag. So here is my creamy spread alternative.

Easy peazy:

Just add to the bowl of a food processor with an S blade:

1 drained can of butter beans
1 drained can of artichoke hearts (the non-marinated can)

Spin until creamy.

This mixture tastes good in and of it self, but it SCREAMS for self expression.
Today I mixed in Vindaloo seasoning from Penzeys to give it an Indian kick.

My sandwich tonight therefore is TEXTURE, Texture, texture!

I took the mid-size whole wheat pita pocket - the one that is the size of a fist, and added my creamy dreamy spread,
then some boiled sliced red skin potatoes with skins
some match-stick carrots
a few oiled and herbed but thoroughly drained and patted with a paper towel, sun dried tomatoes.

Wrapped it up and it awaits me during my night shift.

And in case I am still hungry,into a tupperware container:

I chopped up another boiled red skin potato
tossed in a chopped yellow pepper (1/2 -- I saved the other 1/2 for breakfast tomorrow)
more carrot match sticks
and lots of thick, chunky, gourmet salsa (Jack's is my fav)
I shook up the container to mix well, and added it to my lunch bag along with several clementines for dessert.

Easy -- tasty -- full of texture so I can mindfully chew and savor each healthy bite.

And why aren't you vegan? Okay, okay -- I am waving the proverbial green bean again. Sorry.

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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.