So… Of late, my diet has become such that I rarely go a day without these five things in moderation: Coffee, water, alcoholic beverage, cheese, and meat… Not surprisingly, I often ate only one full meal a day. My rather toxic diet was, at least, self-regulating, certainly habitual
There were other things involved-veggies, fruit, breads, pastas, rice, fish… Healthy snacks etc. And generally I’m a quite healthy cook, with very little frying, salting, breading, or sugar-loading in my approach.
But somehow, some seasoned chicken or a sprinkling of cheese seemed to find its way into darn near every entrée I made. Don’t judge.
Out of the blue, I recently decided to do the Daniel’s fast for ten days… Then dive head first into Thanksgiving glory.
This essentially means all veggies, fruits, herbs, whole grains, and natural spices are fair game.
Knowing myself well, my approach to this was to prep to the hilt, making it as easy as possible to indulge myself whenever I fancied. ’Cause if at any point it felt like I was fasting, otherwise known as starving, it wouldn’t bode well. My little effort would go down in a vodka-fueled spiral of cheese-stuffed chicken flames.
I didn’t expect however, to somehow, turn on the top speed chef veggie culinary challenge. Each meal has become a chance to speed-experiment with new flavors and combinations. I even tried and liked, mushrooms! (I’ve harbored a strong aversion for them since early childhood. Something about the texture…)
I’ve been loving this food so darn much, and not feeling like I’m missing out anything, that I figured it’s only right to share some of my discoveries.
Too many are misguided into thinking vegetarian cooking is bland, unseasoned steamed greenery and it’s not. Not that I condone belly-stuffing, but you can feel the same satisfied tummy warmth with all veggie, healthily prepared foods that you can with unhealthy comfort foods… Only you can eat MORE! And, more frequently!
‘Cause you know, after some turkey, mac ‘n’ cheese, collards, cornbread, mashed potatoes and chocolate cake you’re neither moving nor thinking about food until at least 8 hours later… Which is the last thing you’d wanna do to your body but the only thing you’re capable of.
On day 9 of my ten-day fast, I’m feelin’ fine. Well. That’s not true, I’m getting over a cold. That had everything to do with the illness trifecta: Unrest and underdressed in unseasonably chilly California, and nothing to do with my water guzzling, veggie and fruit.
If you’ve ever dreaded the thought of eating more vegetables fear no more, you can do it!!!
Here’s what I bought from my local grocer…
Fruits and Veggies:
- Romaine lettuce
- Tomato paste (no sugar added)
- Frozen yellow corn
- Fresh roma tomatoes
- Russet potatoes
- Fresh Cilantro
- Mango salsa (no sugar or additives)
- Red bell peppers
- Brown rice rotini pasta
- Whole wheat penne pasta
- Red onions
- White onions
- Olive oil
- Tony Chachere’s (creole seasoning)
- Minced garlic
- Sea salt
Here are a few Top-speed veggie recipes with said ingredients… (15-20 minutes or less) I’ll add more regularly. If you have any to share please do!
Ensalada de Gloria (Rinse and drain all veggies first)
- Chop or slice tomato: dust with basil, garlic powder, chachere’s and set aside
- Chop 1 head romaine lettuce and place in a medium-sized bowl
Cut these veggies and add to bowl:
- 1/8 of a Red onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 a cucumber (Slice)
- 10 red grapes (quartered)
- 1/2 a Bell pepper (Diced)
- 4 Mushrooms (Sliced)
Dust over lightly with these seasonings and toss:
- 2 tablespoons mango salsa
- Fresh garlic
- Chop 1/4 white onion
- Chop cilantro (need 1/2 teaspoon)
- Sauté onion in olive oil until carmelized
- Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- Add 2 tablespoons mango salsa
- Add corn
- Add cilantro, mixing onion-mango in evenly
- Serve hot, or chilled with salad recipe above.
Zucchini and mushroom over brown rice with tomato sauce
- Chop 1/2 red onion
- Chop 1/2 red bell pepper
- Slice 1 small zucchini
- Slice 7-8 mushrooms
- In a sauce pan, cook garlic, onion, 1/2 teaspoon of basil and oregano in 4 tablespoons olive oil until onions soften
- Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste, stir until evenly mixed
- Add one tablespoon water
- Cook on low heat, stirring frequently
- In a sauce pan, cook garlic, 1 cup brown rice, 1 teaspoon tomato paste and sauté until slightly browned
- Add 2 1/2 cups water, bringing to slow boil
- Cover and cook on med-low heat 15 minutes (until rice is fluffy, water absorbed)
- Sauté garlic and half the chopped onion until carmelized
- Add zucchini, dust lightly with chachere’s, stirring to coat
- Add bell pepper, stirring to coat
- Add mushroom, stirring to coat
- Turn off flame.
Serve vegetable mix over rice, pour sauce on top.
Yummy in my tummy.
Next up: Stuffed peppers, spicy tomato soup, 4 variations of breakfast potatoes, and fruit salad.