Sunday, November 1, 2015

In my Kitchen - November

We are all about the manias here at Casa del Aguas. When we get interested in something be it painting, woodworking, modelbuilding or cooking we go all out.

For the last couple of months I've been obsessed with vegan cooking. I've been a vegetarian for a long time so I never worried too much about my cholesterol or anything like that. But I guess my love of cheese and pasta caught up with me because at my last checkup the doc told me I need to lower my numbers or I'd have to start taking meds.  I'm rubbish at taking pills so I decided to try to clean up my diet big time. I have to go back in December for another blood test but so far I've lost 21 pounds by eating lots of veggies.




My new Staub grill pan works a treat on peppers and mushrooms. It's great for asparagus too.

 I finally found a Crockpot that works, only twelve bucks at Target. One of the challenges of being a herbivore is that by the time I cooked everyone's carnivore food I was left with a microwaved potato. So now I set this up in the morning, so by suppertime I have something delicious too.

 I've also started prepping a lot of food for the week on Sundays. This is a broccoli, bean and corn salad that will keep all week. So easy, just blanch the greens and add a can of beans and some frozen corn. Dress the salad in lime juice, balsamic and a bit of maple syrup. Nummers!



It helps to have sharp knives.


 Here's yesterday's haul from Grower's Ranch, a local family market.  http://growersranch.com/home.htm Baked sweet potato fries are great!


This morning I made these banana, berry, oat breakfast bars. I'm not going to lie, they're no fudge brownie, but for a quick breakfast in the morning, they are perfect.

 

 My favorite breakfast is an almond milk smoothie with spinach and ginger. I keep the freezer stocked with Ziplock bags of frozen bananas, berries and mangoes.


Crockpot veggie chili... warm and satisfying.
 
 I also prep for the week by roasting a few taters. I recommend these small waxy ones.


The last couple of sourdough loaves that I baked came out like hockey pucks. I was saved from bread baking despair by an actual phone call from Australia from my mate, Celia, aka the Bread Whisperer. It was so good to hear her voice. She figured out that the humidity here in California was making the dough too moist. I increased the amount of flour and I was back in business! The loaf on the left is from before, the one on the right was after.

If you aren't following Celia's amazing blog, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, then you should. It is the tastiest, loveliest place on the internet. 

So that's what I've been up to... what's in your kitchen?

Best thoughts,

Marilyn.
--

"Happiness, not in another place but in this place...not for another hour but for this hour." ~ Walt Whitman.

15 comments:

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    1. Thanks, ma'am. I'm told it sears a tasty steak too. The only fail I've had with it was tofu, stuck like plaster.

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  2. I am in awe of Celia's bread ~ she certainly deserves the title "Bread Whisperer"! All your veggies look very delicious. I hope they do the job of lowering your cholesterol.

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  3. I just love that you said 'I'm not going to lie, they're no fudge brownie'. I like a bit of honesty! The knife block is a thing of beauty.

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    1. Thanks, Fiona! Having a knife drawer right by the sink is a handy thing. And we've had most of the knives since our wedding 25 years ago. The hub keeps them sharp.

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  4. Inspirational! I too should make some changes, thanks for some tips :)

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  5. 21 pounds, that is wonderful! Hope your cholesterol responds as well. My bread also sometimes is a hockey puck, I'll try adding more flour.

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    1. Liz, the rise can depend on a lot of things. Use a good bread flour and make sure that your starter is nice and bubbly. Your bread could be flat from too much flour or not enough rising time. It could be too humid or too cold. It all depends. :-)

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    2. You're a veggie dynamo. Hope your cholesterol does the right things and backs off.

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  6. Thanks for being honest, that made me chuckle :-) I'm liking the idea of your green smoothie, might have to try that too.

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  7. Enjoy the honesty, it may not be a brownie but still good for breakfast! All your veggies look delicious. Living in South Carolina I've definitely had to conquer humidity and sourdough baking!

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  8. how lovely to get a call from celia. i guess we all feel we are her friends or that she is ours but you certainly did well getting a call:) Good on you for the veggie fest and losing the weight.

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  9. Sounds like your "Maz-Mania" is working well! Best wishes on the upcoming re-check. (I so hear ya on balking at taking pills when a few lifestyle/eating modifications can work wonders.) Loved your dressing for the broccoli salad, and also that you're taking care of YOU with a crock pot full of veggie goodness!

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  10. Our favourite cookbook (vegan of course) is "Oh She Glows" by Angela Liddon. Everything we've made from it we've loved. The soul-soothing African Peanut Soup is my favourite.
    My only regret about being vegetarian for 15 years is that I didn't go vegan from the start.

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    1. Christine, I'll have to check that cookbook out. I've seen recipes from it on Pinterest and they look delish.

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