Friday, May 20, 2011

Asparagus and Jicama - I felt like I was on a European Vacation!

I don't know why, but I felt a decadent pleasure eating this veggie dish - like I was sitting under an umbrella at a Parisian street cafe.  It was quick and easy to make and counts as a keeper in my book.

I used the following ingredients:

extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice

Why no amounts?  Because it is fun to just wing it with this recipe

I used equal amounts of asparagus spears, and julienned jicama, and with a healthy fistful of each, two diced shallots works.

To save washing dishes, I used my large skillet and added the asparagus and some water to steam, put a lid on it and steamed until they just started to wilt and change color.  Then I removed the asparagus and drained the water.

Next I put about a tablespoon of evoo in this pan, and added the diced shallots and the julienned jicama and sauteed until the jicama started to get transparent and bronze - for my taste buds, I gave the jicama a BAM of cayenne - this is optional.  Then I added the asparagus and mixed everything up and finished off with a healthy squeeze of lemon.

Easy peazy, lemon squeezy -- a real taste treat.  (I had never experienced cooked jicama - but it was like an exotic french fry.


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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.