Dr. Fuhrman's Holiday Challenge











You can get a free six-week membership to DrFuhrman.com if you join his Holiday Challenge before Dec. 4! This is a great way to see if the membership is useful to you without having to spend a dime for six weeks. The challenge is also a great way to be in community with others who would prefer to eat healthy during this time of year when we are surrounded by the most unhealthy foods. See this link for all the information about the challenge.

Mexican Raw Stew

This was suggested by a reader, Gigi, and boy is it good! Her description is given in the comments of this post. This is the first time I liked a raw soup. Today I tried the Mexican version. Next time I'll try her Italian style. I varied it a bit from her description, so you might want to compare.

Ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes or one 16-oz can of tomatoes (from the garden if you are so fortunate)
1/2 large cucumber or 1 small
1 large celery stalk
2 medjool dates, or 3 tsp date syrup
1 head romaine lettuce (or similar amounts of spinach or kale, or mixture)
1 small leek or piece of onion (optional)
1/2-1 clove garlic (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice from 1/4 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
red bell pepper, chopped
1 can pinto or black beans
1-2 cups frozen sweet corn
chopped celery (optional)

The base is the tomatoes, celery, cucumber and dates. Blend these in the blender, but do not use high speed. Let it stay a little chunky. Add in the greens, spices, garlic, onion, lime juice, and cilantro and blend some more, not at high power. You can pour the stew into bowls and add the chopped bell pepper, celery, beans, and corn. Or mix it all up in a big bowl. Here' s a serving with everything mixed in:

















I really liked this. One thing I'd like to do different next time is substitute a fruit for the dates. I'm thinking frozen mango (or fresh and ripe if you are so fortunate) or maybe an apple or pear? I might not use garlic if I add fruit. Also, I really like purple cabbage as we get it locally and it's downright sweet. I wonder if I could add this in. It might not have enough liquid though. The romaine is nice because it's tender and full of water. I also think I'll add some seeds. I hope to experiment a lot with this!

Thanksgiving pudding



















If I named this according to the ingredients, it probably wouldn't be as appealing (mashed carrots and bananas anyone?). But this is super easy and for me, as yummy as pumpkin pie. This was inspired by a couple of other recipe ideas: A reader of this blog pointed out that she likes using steamed carrots rather than canned pumpkin in her Thanksgiving desserts. Well, we get really good local (sweet) carrots here so I thought that is a great idea! And a recipe on the Fuhrman forums uses banana instead of dates as a sweetener so I thought I'd try that.

Ingredients:
2 large carrots, steamed until tender
1 very ripe banana
1/2 oz chopped walnuts
pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to taste (about 1/4 tsp?).

Mash the carrots, banana and spice with a fork. Stir in the walnuts. Eat heated or cooled. If you want it sweeter, add some date syrup (or dates soaked in water and mashed). This will probably be a weekend treat for a while.

guacamole & chips

This is a good game-day treat.

Here are the ingredients:














That's:
Sprouted corn tortillas, about 4
an avocado (only the pit is remaining in the picture)
Then just a little bit of these:
scallion
cilantro
lime juice
tomato (from a can or fresh)
pinto or black beans (optional)

Here they are before mixing. You can see the amounts I used are pretty small:

















Here's another version without beans or tomatoes, before smashing:


















Mash it up with a fork. Cut up the tortillas, toast in the oven at 350 F for about 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully at the end.
















Yum!

microsalads

Today's microsalad was sooooo good. I was thinking it's as good as any Thanksgiving treat. It's pretty much what I posted a week or two ago, so I just updated the post a bit and added a few pictures. Maybe I'm just insane to think this is so good, but hey, as long as I'm happy with it.

holiday treats

I'm visiting family over Thanksgiving, and don't have the time or inclination to prepare anything complicated so will just be eating my usual travel fare. But when I return, I might be in the mood for some Pumpkin Pie pudding. Here are some other recipes from Dr. Fuhrman's website (you have to be a member to see them): Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pineapple cookies , and Sweet potato apple bake. I'm too lazy to make the pie, but I will probably make the sweet potato apple bake sometime this season. Actually I described the recipe in this post. Those cookies look good too. I wish I liked baking more, or I wish someone would make these for me! For the really lazy cook, there's the mashed sweet potato with pumpkin pie spice.

If you really want to go all out and make a full thanksgiving feast, here's a link to the Fuhrman recipe site (member only) for all the recipes in that feast. It would be fun to plan a nutritarian meetup and have everyone bring one of these dishes. What a feast that would be.

weekend cooking

whew, I did a lot of food prep today. First made a batch of housemate's smoothies. then some nachos for the football game (we won, yea!). Then some chili for a potluck tomorrow. Then prepped a big pot of beans for taking to work for the next couple of weeks. Then a huge batch of apple sauce for the family--and a small batch for myself. Okay, I'm ready to eat for a week!

this week's beans

This week I went back to my old easy way of preparing beans.

Ingredients:
2 lbs beans (from my Rancho Gordo selections)
juice from 7 lbs carrots (about 45 oz) (5 lbs is fine, I just had extra)
1 lb mushrooms (oyster, crimini, shitake)
1 lb leeks or onions
1 sweet potato
1 lb collards or kale (optional).

chop the mushrooms and onions and sweet potato in a food processor (or with a knife). Combine everything in a large stock pot. Soak overnight in fridge. Cook the next day for about 4 hours. Add some chopped greens to the pot if you'd like, at the beginning or within an hour of finishing cooking.

Update on the beans after cooking: the mushrooms definitely add a meaty flavor, which is actually a nice touch in winter--feels more hearty. It's good as is, or with some frozen sweet corn added to it (then warmed of course!), or combined with steamed veggies.

apple sauce

I've been making lots of apple sauce for family members. Ingredients is Cortland apples and sugar. I happened to have some date syrup (dates soaked in water) on hand for making house-mate's smoothies, so I thought, hey, I can make a small batch of apple sauce for myself.

Ingredients:
2 cortland apples
2 tsp date syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 oz chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds (optional)

Cook the apples in about 1/4 cup water for about 10 minutes after boiling. Add the date syrup and cinnamon. Add some walnuts or sunflower seeds if you want. yum!

nachos

This was our football-watching lunch. I should have taken a picture, sorry...

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz, no salt) pinto beans
1 can (16 oz, no salt) tomatoes
1 avocado
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
few Tbsp chopped onion or scallion
1-2 Tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro
1 tsp lemon juice
1 oz chopped walnuts and/or pignolias (mediterranean pine nuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Drain the tomatoes (save the liquid for soup if you want). Drain the water from the can of beans, then blend the beans, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Add the onion and parsley/cilantro and pulse until chopped. Pour into a bowl and stir in the tomatoes. Chop the avocado, and stir into the dip.

Cut the corn tortillas into bite-size pieces. Place on a metal tray. Heat in the oven for about 5 minutes. Then remove and spoon the dip on top of the tortillas. Top with the chopped nuts (my version of cheese). Heat in the oven for another 5 minutes. Then eat!

Three-bean chili

This is an easy recipe. I made it for a potluck. Since I don't add salt, I added things to make it taste sweet. I think regular people would like this (hence, a good potluck dish). I put the amounts as ranges because it depends on what you have an hand and what you like more--it's hard to ruin it with too much or too little of something.

Ingredients:
1-2 onions
1-4 garlic cloves (to taste)
1-2 large sweet potatoes
2-3 large carrots
2 16-oz cans of tomatoes
3 cans of beans, different kinds: I used black soy, red kidney, and chick peas. pinto would be good too, and black beans too.
1-2 red or green bell peppers (optional; I didn't have any today).
2-3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon or cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1-2 Tbsp date syrup (optional)

Run the carrots, and onions through a food processor. The resulting texture after cooking is a bit similar to the ground meat in chili. Add the spices (except cinnamon), and some water and start cooking the carrots and onions. Run the sweet potatoes, peppers, and garlic through the food processor too (or chop with a knife if you prefer). Add the tomatoes, veggies, and water to the pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the beans, cook some more. Add the cinnamon stick for about 5 minutes (then remove), or add the ground cinnamon. Add the corn and date syrup in the last 5-10 minutes. Total cooking time is about an hour.

this week's meals

My weekday meals are very repetitive but that is because I love them. I've been making micro-salads lately, still following this recipe. I love how every season has a fruit that I love. Right now it's pomegranates! man o man, they are so good. This post describes how to peel them and extract the seeds. So I have one of these microsalads for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I supplement 2 of the meals with a bowl of bean soup. And I add some yummy carrot and kohlrabi sticks, both locally grown and very yummy. However, I think kohlrabi season is ending as there were none in the store this morning. That is very sad. Then I need a snack before bed usually (otherwise I lose weight and I'm already thin), so I eat orange remainders (weird I know), or some frozen peas and corn. This brand of corn is very sweet, like candy. I like this way better than anything else I've tried (except fresh-picked corn on the cob). Their peas are also good and have no added sodium, unlike almost every other brand.

Weekends are less structured. I eat lots of fruit on Saturday while making house-mate's smoothies. I savor eating a pomegranate all by itself. And then whatever is in the fridge that I feel like cooking up. I still have a lot of soup in the freezer so don't have to make that this weekend. I'll make another big batch next weekend.

salsa or tomato soup

It's football season so I've been making housemate dips for her tostada chips on the weekends: guacamole, salsa, bean dip. Salsa is probably the wrong word for today's tomato dip, but it was a yummy dip. It also would make a good cold or hot soup.

Ingredients:
1 16-oz can tomatoes, drained (from the garden, if you are so lucky)
little bit of onion or scallion (to taste)
little bit of garlic (1/2 or less clove)
little bit of parsley or cilantro or chives (or nothing)
little bit of carrot (say, 1/4 medium carrot)
1/3 cup frozen sweet corn
1/3 cup frozen sweet peas

Blend the tomatoes and carrot until smooth. Add everything else except peas and corn, and blend enough to chop them but don't need to pulverize. Add the corn and peas. serve.




final garden harvest

Today I decided to harvest the rest of the produce from the garden. Here it is!














That's two garbage bags and a big bowl of collard greens, kale, swiss chard, brussel sprouts and their greens, parsley and dill. Here are the brussels sprouts uncovered:


















I washed everything, chopped (not finely, just enough to pack), and stuffed into ziplock freezer bags. I wonder how long they will last. They will definitely get eaten before they get too old. Then I'll finally have to resort to buying collards and kale at the grocery store--not nearly as good. No surprise that dinner tonight was steamed brussels sprouts and greens.

brussels sprouts

Today I harvested a brussels sprouts plant.


















I chopped the leaves in the food processor, cooked them for a bit and added them to tomorrow's micro-processor salad. Steamed the brussels sprouts and had them for dinner.

Fall microsalads

Here's what my microsalads have been like lately.

Chop in a food processor and stir into a big bowl:
1 head romaine lettuce (about 1/2-1 lb total)
1/4-1/2 lb broccoli
1/4 - 1/2 lb cauliflower
1/4 - 1/2 lb purple cabbage
1/4 lb bok choy or baby bok choy

puree in a food processor and add to the bowl:
1-2 oranges (2 if small), peeled, remove seeds
1 banana peeled
1 apple and/or 1 pear (or 2 small apples)

Then stir into the bowl:
1 oz ground seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, hemp) and pignolias
pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate

optional
add 1/2 cup edamame

This fits into three 3-cup tupperware bowls. Total calories (without edamame) is about 1000 so it's substantial! This tastes like dessert to me. It's crisp, fresh, inviting, zingy (from the pomegranate), and sweet (banana, orange and apple!). It's real yummy! This post describes how to "peel" a pomegranate and extract the seeds.

Here's the fruit I used one day. At left is a persimmons--I left that off the ingredients list because I use it rarely but it's a nice treat when you have a ripe one.















Here's the final product. It may not look like much but boy is it tasty:















this week's food

For the last few weeks, I've been in this sort of pattern for my weekday meals--that is, salads and bean soup, and my wonderful local carrots and kohlrabi. The salads have fruit in them along with veggies. This week I'm changing it up a bit.

Breakfast is bean soup, and a delicious pomegranate, and today I added in a kohlrabi because I realized I like them so much I may as well have two a day while they last. Oh, the pomegranate is soooo yummy. It's hard to believe, but this beats out ice cream from the old days.

Lunch is micro-salad--that post I'm linking to was written in the summer when fresh berries were plentiful. Now the fruit is apples, maybe an orange or grapefruit, maybe a pomegranate. I haven't had these in a while and I'm in the mood for them again. And I might have a little bean soup or a piece of fruit.

Dinner depends on how much of a hurry I'm in. Tonight will be a more rushed, so I will have a smoothie and some bean soup. When I have more time, like tomorrow, I'll have micro-salad and bean soup. Wednesday will be rushed again so another smoothie/soup day.