hee hee

Can you find the picture of me in this post from diseaseproof?

I'll give an update this weekend about how my meal prep is going with my new gone-all-day-and-night schedule. I just had to make a few tweaks to the plan.

weekend cooking

I started a new job on campus (doing the same thing as before, just not working from home anymore); and I'm gone from 7 am until 9 pm every weekday. yikes! (Don't worry, that includes fun in addition to work). So I'm trying to work out my food prep. I think it involves a lot of weekend cooking. Here's what I tried out this weekend.

First I had a snack because I was hungry after yoga:

These are some of my favorite foods: frozen mangos, romaine lettuce, carrots, and sugar snap peas.

Then I made housemate's smoothies. Here's a gigantic bowl of fruit, mostly frozen, with a bunch of fresh grapes. I kinda went overboard on the fruit but that's okay, it just turned into 13 smoothies instead of 10. We have a visitor coming this week so I made extra.

Next I assembled yummy beans in carrot juice. I tried out my new juicer. Housemate was irritated with me for getting a new juicer since I already had a good one. But I sure like this one. It's easy to use, smaller than the old one, and easy to clean up. Here's the juicer in action:

Then I couldn't resist playing some more so I tried out an apple. First slice (using an apple corer/slicer):

Then juice. Here's the juice from one apple. The apples are local, fresh, and yummy:

This is just a treat. Whole apples are healthier because they have all the fiber.

Okay, that was Saturday. Sunday morning I put the beans on to cook and went to church. Sunday afternoon, the weather was too nice, so I went biking. Then Sunday night it was time to make the veggies. The garden is overflowing with collards so that was the main ingredient, but it also included kale, swiss chard, eggplant, lots of herbs, onion, and garlic. Here's some of the produce left, after most was processed in the food processor:

I seriously used a ton of collards, so the only way to fit them in was to chop them tiny with the food processor. I just chopped everything with the food processor, because it was fast and it compressed the food more. This was a ton of veggies! At left is my big pot and at right is housemate's---she has much fewer veggies, and some potatoes added in. Oh, and this was before all the greens were added to my pot:

While these were cooking I made tomorrow's salads. I forgot to take a picture: romaine lettuce, yummy fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and kiwi, and a few pumpkin seeds. I'll add D'angou pear vinegar when I'm ready to eat them.

Now time to assemble the veggies: the cooked greens&veggies, the cooked beans, some canned tomatoes (from the garden), and just a bit of date syrup (leftover from the smoothies):

Put them in the freezer (joining the smoothies):

Here's tomorrow's food in the fridge:

oh yeah, that's housemate's spritzer in the back. Ignore that. For brekky and lunch I'll have salad, cooked greens, and my favorite raw veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas, and kohlrabi. For dinner, sweet corn & mashed avocado and salad. I'll have something similar every day. The salads and raw veggies I'll prepare every night for the next day, and the cooked stuff will come out of the freezer. We'll see how this works.

high-calorie foods

I had a guest stay with me for a week, and he's a skinny young guy, and I worried I wasn't feeding him enough. I realized I wasn't giving him any grains so I went and bought some manna bread (sprout wheat grains with raisin and carrots to sweeten it up). This is rich and sweet and delicious---it's like a muffin or cake only better (at least to a nutritarian). Here's what the package looks like:

I thought this would be good with a nut butter of some sort but I didn't have any, so I tried my hand at making some out of walnuts. I used the "dry-blender" container that goes with my vita-mix blender. It looks like a regular container but the blades are backwards so it blends the stuff upward rather than downward. That seems to work pretty well for nuts along with the plunger. I found I needed to add a lot of nuts to make it blend well. I used 2 cups of walnuts. This compacted down to probably only 1/2 cup of walnut butter! Talk about calorie-dense! It was a bit crunchy but I actually liked that. Here's the nut butter:

As it gets ground up, the oils release and it becomes, well nut butter.

It was great on the toasted manna bread. I also made this fun treat to take to work with me:

That's a banana walnut-butter sandwich! ha. it was yummy. and the peel keeps it protected until ready for eating.

The nut butter was also really good on (sweet) corn on the cob. Oh my gosh. decadent.

But now my guest is gone and the nut butter won't re-appear for a while because that is some rich food.

summer meals

We have this every day from about July 4 - Sept. 4. We get it fresh picked from a local farm, and they are nice enough to locate their stand a few blocks from our house.

I am sorry to have to tell you that there is nothing better than Wisconsin sweet corn. I'm sorry you don't get to experience it. We don't eat much else at this meal since the corn is filling and we require two ears to satisfy our desires. We might have some cooked veggies with it. Notice the avocado at upper right in the picture. That is a mashed avocado, nothing else. It is our "butter", only better. Our SAD (Standard American Diet) guests agree. The tomato is fresh picked from the garden. I also make a rockin' collards dish from the garden too. I'll post that soon. And oh my god, the eggplant from our garden is fabulous. It's our first time for eggplant. When you pick it fairly small, it is almost sweet. There is no bitter taste! Yes, we are enjoying our summer produce!

quick meals

This took all of 5 minutes to make:

Notice I hardly even chopped the lettuce. I ate a lot of it with my fingers, heh heh. The ingredients were: whatever was in the fridge, which was lettuce, cabbage, orange bell pepper, musk melon (local version of cantaloupe), blackberries, pumpkin seeds, and D'angou pear vinegar (my absolute favorite).

I must have liked it because I had a similar one a few days later. This time I chopped the lettuce. I must have decided the previous one was a bit messy with the fingers. The musk melon was gone, but kiwi arrived on the scene to replace it. yum.

no-coffee no-cream yummy "latte"

Okay, anyone want to come up with a name for this? It's really good. You do need a high-speed blender, sorry. Okay, it's not so good that you will be missing it if you can't make it. It's just an occasional psychological-mostly treat.

few tsp Chicory root (ground)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 date, pitted (optional)

I get my chicory root from the herbal section at my co-op. any of those coffee-substitude drinks would probably work too. Teeccino makes one.

I steep the chicory root for a minute or less, just like tea. Here's the chicory root and the tea bags I use:

Here it is after steeping. I'm not sure how long 30 sec, 1 minute. It gets strong fast.

Next, remove the tea bag, put everything in the blender and blend on high, for 30-60 seconds. This makes a smooth drink with a nice froth, just like a latte or espresso. I usually don't have dates, but I tried one today and it was good. It tastes good either way.