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    • My Personal Announcement and the BEST treat EVER!

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    •  9/24/2012 6:42:55 PM
    •  

       

      I have a confession to make!  Most of the time I feel like "Weight-loss Mommy" instead of Maintenance Mommy. 

       

      There, I said it.

       

      The truth is that I have probably lost and gained 300 pounds!  I just so happens to be the same 5 pounds :)

       

      Well, the 5 pounds are back on, and it's time they came off!

       

      The first thing I have decided to do...and I mean REALLY do...is keep a food journal.  Yup, every little thing that I eat.  The scary part is that I've decided to make it public to YOU (and I also reveal my weight...yikes)!

        People at my cooking classes ask me all the time, "So what you do eat,...I mean what do you REALLY eat?"  Well, now you'll find out.  I guarantee I don't eat as healthy as they probably think I do.  Overall I would consider myself a very healthy eater, but one of my problems is that I am an OVEREATER, and the other is that sugar is my crack cocaine!

       

      So I figured that a food journal would help me stay on track.  Not to mention, studies say that keeping a food journal is a Keystone Habit, so I'm looking forward to the other improvements that will fall.

       

      You can follow my food journal at charitylighten.wordpress.com. 

       

      Mostly, what I eat are recipes that will simply link you right back here.  People also ask me if there are any cookbooks that I would recommend.  Truthfully, I tell them this site is what I recommend, because only the good recipes make the cut here!

       

      I recently discovered a fabulous site called chocolatecoveredkatie.com.  And this recipe was completely inspired by her.  It was her original idea; I just adapted it to my liking.  I absolutely loved this treat and so did most of my kids!

      Oh and on a total side note, I was thrilled to see that Costco has now started carrying their own brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips....and they are DAIRY-FREE!  Nice work Costco :)

       

       

       

       

       

      Cookie Dough Dip

       

      1 can of white beans, rinsed and drained

      1/4 cup of Almond butter

      1/4 cup of Almond milk

      3 TBS pure maple syrup

      2 packets of stevia

      1/2 cup oat flour (simply grind oats in a blender)

      1 1/2 tsp vanilla

      1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

       

      Combine all of the above ingredients into a food processor except for the chocolate chips.  Puree it very well until the mixture is nice and smooth.  Then stir in the chocolate chips.  I serve this will pretzels and on whole wheat toast.  My kids thought it was better with the pretzels, but I preferred the bread.  Graham crackers would also be good.  

      I am pretty sure I am serving these at the next dinner party :)

       

       

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    • Mock Tuna Salad

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    •  9/14/2012 9:10:44 PM
    • I saw this link on Facebook and it just looked too awesome to not share here!  I've haven't tried them yet, but I definitely will!  It came from this link!



      As a longtime vegetarian, people sometimes ask me what I miss the most about my meat-eating days.  It’s an easy answer.  I miss turkey sandwiches…and seafood.  All seafood.  Shrimp, lobster, clam strips, scallops, swordfish, steamers, haddock, salmon…and yes,  tuna fish. 


      A few years ago I heard about a “mock” tuna salad recipe using mashed chickpeas.  It’s eerie, but the chickpeas do have a bit of a tuna taste and aroma.  You wouldn’t mistake it for the real thing, but it’s still delicious.  I have updated the recipe over the years to suit my taste based on the way I used to make tuna salad.


      The basics are chickpeas (aka garbanzos), mayo, spicy mustard, celery, and red onion.

      Mix everything together and then get out the potato masher to break down the chickpeas.  You can mash them first if you want, or pulse them a few times in a food processor, but I like mashing everything together the old-fashioned way.

      Once the consistency is to your liking, get your bread of choice, lettuce, and potato chips ready.

      Yes, I said potato chips.  For saltiness and crunchy texture, I love a few kettle-cooked potato chips on this kind of “salad” sandwich.

      Not too many, mind you, and make sure you press down on the top slice of bread a bit to break the chips before you bite.

      Then, my friends, you are ready to eat a mock-tuna salad sandwich.  The chickpeas lend a hearty, nutty flavor while the mustard gives it a kick.  The celery, onions, and potato chips provide the crunch.  You bring the appetite.

      Mock-Tuna Chickpea Salad

      1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas/garbanzos, drained
      2 celery ribs, diced
      1/2 red onion, diced
      2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use a light version)
      2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard

      Combine all ingredients and mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork.

      I suggest enjoying chickpea salad on a bed of lettuce, topped with potato chips.  I am sure, however, that it would taste just as great if you made substitutions based on however you normally enjoy tuna salad.

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    • Potato Sagu - curried potatoes

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    •  9/11/2012 1:53:34 PM
    •  

       

      Last month I got to go to San Francisco for the very first time!  I absolutely love seeing new cities.  It was a quick weekend trip and one of the highlights was renting bikes and riding over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito.  I also had a blast going to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's market - I seriously love a good farmer's market! 

       

      A few months ago VegNews did a little spread about San Francisco and some of their favorite eateries in the Mission District.  When I realized that we were staying just a few miles away from the Headquarters I asked my hubby if we could go and find it - and possibly eat at one of the recommended places.  I had to ask REALLY nicely, since we were there celebrating his 40th birthday and since the idea of vegan eateries isn't all that appealing to him :). Luckily the other couple we were with have recently transitioned there diets more closely to mine than his!!

       

      Well he obliged and we drove around with our friends until we found it.  This was it:

       


       

       

       Yep, that's all.  Just a cute little awning.  They laughed; I was slightly disappointed :)  Oh well - wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting to see anyway!

       

      I had a copy of the VegNews suggested restaurants to choose from and we all finally agreed on a UDUPI PALACE.  It was a little Indian restaurant and the description of a scrumptous 2 foot rice crepe is what convinced me.  When we sat down and looked at the menu my hubby was a little dismayed to see that it was a COMPLETELY vegetarian restaurant.  (I giggled a little inside and wanted to say - "Now you know how I feel!!' - I refrained). 

       

       

      Well here is a picture of the Paper Masala Dosa we ordered.  Inside is a bowl of some of the BEST curried potatoes that I have ever had.  The dipping sauces were wonderful and everything was delicious. We all left delighted with our restaurant choice - my sweet hubby included!

       

       


       

       

      Well once we got home I had a serious itch to try and create at least a portion of the food that we ate.  I decided to start with the potatoes!

       

      As luck (or divine providence :) would have it, the next weekend my husband and I discovered an Indian spice store less than 10 minutes from our house (104th South and 1100 West in South Jordan, UT).

       

      I LOVE LOVE grocery stores (in fact when we travel I often would rather go and see the local grocery store than the local museum!) - especially stores that are completely unfamiliar to me..like Indian.  I had so much fun going down each aisle.  We bought a few fun things and this potato masala spice was one of them.  I was anxious to get home and whip up a batch!

       

       

       

      I found a great recipe on the back of the package that I wanted to try.

       

      I started with about 2 pounds of baby potatoes from the garden.  I washed them (left the peels on), cooked them in my pressure cooker and mashed them with a fork.

       

      Then in a saute pan I cooked:

       

      1 large anaheim pepper, chopped

      1 tsp of fresh ginger, chopped

      1 onion, chopped

       

      I cooked these for about 5 minutes and added 4 tsp of the masala spices and the juice from 1/2 a lemon.

       

      Next I added the mashed potatoes to the dish and stirred it all together.

       

      That's it!  Really quite easy!  And it was SO SO delicious.  A bit on the spicy side, but there is sugar in the package also, so it offset the spiciness a little!

       

      The kids thought it was great (as long as they had a glass of water close by) and it is something I will definitely make again.

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    • Potato Sagu - curried potatoes

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    •  9/10/2012 2:32:19 PM
    •  

       

      Last month I got to go to San Francisco for the very first time!  I absolutely love seeing new cities.  It was a quick weekend trip and one of the highlights was renting bikes and riding over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito.  I also had a blast going to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's market - I seriously love a good farmer's market! 

       

      A few months ago VegNews did a little spread about San Francisco and some of their favorite eateries in the Mission District.  When I realized that we were staying just a few miles away from the Headquarters I asked my hubby if we could go and find it - and possibly eat at one of the recommended places.  I had to ask REALLY nicely, since we were there celebrating his 40th birthday and since the idea of vegan eateries isn't all that appealing to him :). Luckily the other couple we were with have recently transitioned there diets more closely to mine than his!!

       

      Well he obliged and we drove around with our friends until we found it.  This was it:

       

      photo.JPG

       

       

       Yep, that's all.  Just a cute little awning.  They laughed; I was slightly disappointed :)  Oh well - wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting to see anyway!

       

      I had a copy of the VegNews suggested restaurants to choose from and we all finally agreed on a UDUPI PALACE.  It was a little Indian restaurant and the description of a scrumptous 2 foot rice crepe is what convinced me.  When we sat down and looked at the menu my hubby was a little dismayed to see that it was a COMPLETELY vegetarian restaurant.  (I giggled a little inside and wanted to say - "Now you know how I feel!!' - I refrained). 

       

       

      Well here is a picture of the Paper Masala Dosa we ordered.  Inside is a bowl of some of the BEST curried potatoes that I have ever had.  The dipping sauces were wonderful and everything was delicious. We all left delighted with our restaurant choice - my sweet hubby included!

       

       

      https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=4ca461f564&view=att&th=139993ccf560fa32&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P91JqWIBjnh7a5ToLIZYUrT&sadet=1347301156279&sads=Gys0xjcBvBHeu1YfTk53E1Sx_xM

       

       

      Well once we got home I had a serious itch to try and create at least a portion of the food that we ate.  I decided to start with the potatoes!

       

      As luck (or divine providence :) would have it, the next weekend my husband and I discovered an Indian spice store less than 10 minutes from our house (104th South and 1100 West in South Jordan, UT).

       

      I LOVE LOVE grocery stores (in fact when we travel I often would rather go and see the local grocery store than the local museum!) - especially stores that are completely unfamiliar to me..like Indian.  I had so much fun going down each aisle.  We bought a few fun things and this potato masala spice was one of them.  I was anxious to get home and whip up a batch!

       

       

       

      I found a great recipe on the back of the package that I wanted to try.

       

      I started with about 2 pounds of baby potatoes from the garden.  I washed them (left the peels on), cooked them in my pressure cooker and mashed them with a fork.

       

      Then in a saute pan I cooked:

       

      1 large anaheim pepper, chopped

      1 tsp of fresh ginger, chopped

      1 onion, chopped

       

      I cooked these for about 5 minutes and added 4 tsp of the masala spices and the juice from 1/2 a lemon.

       

      Next I added the mashed potatoes to the dish and stirred it all together.

       

      That's it!  Really quite easy!  And it was SO SO delicious.  A bit on the spicy side, but there is sugar in the package also, so it offset the spiciness a little!

       

      The kids thought it was great (as long as they had a glass of water close by) and it is something I will definitely make again.

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