Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Food for life....

Since I got some for Christmas and was sharing with friends I just had to do a search to find out the best way to enjoy it. My exploration of wine allowed me to find out....
1) A person does not drink wine to get drunk.
2) Usually wine is most remembered by a special event and the people it was celebrated with.
3) It's okay if a person says I do not like red wine or any other for that matter, no need to convince them otherwise. I don't like most wines either, but the fruit wine we bought is pretty tasty.

2007 is here.
Empty Red Raspberry Wine and Blushing Pink
Champagne bottles complete with empty glasses.
Bringing in the new year, we anticipated the event with two neighboring families whom we played Yahtzee (I won) and Clue (I accused and lost early in the game). One neighbor couple brought their three children so they watched the movies THE INCREDIBLES and SPY KIDS. About 9:30 pm we opened and shared the fruit wine between the 6 of us and then at midnight we popped open the bottle of bubbly. I had Dreena's Mushroom and Wild Rice soup in the crockpot to munch on through the evening. One neighbor brought some organic blue corn chip along with a cheesy salsa (non vegan) combination and the another brought chocolate pretzels, probably not vegan.

To begin the year I have a few personal growth goals as well as a few family financial goals.

#1) Personal goals: DH and I are at a time in our life when we transition into me going back to work after leaving the workforce to be a homeschool mom for seven years. I used to be a social worker before going pro mom, but over the last couple of years I returned to school to prepare myself for the transition of children beginning to grow up and out. Of course I will be going into a food and family related work now with my family and consumer science degree and teaching certification, but for personal satisfaction and enjoyment I blog. Thank you for an enjoyable 2006 and I look forward to inspiring and being inspired by fellow bloggers out there whom I might otherwise not have the opportunity to meet.

#2) Food goals:
Okay over the past month we have went all out on sugar and wheat in our house. My clothes still fit, but I feel the sluggishness of what I have done to myself. I'll offer some recipes and thoughts about this below. I'd love to understand more about cleansing or fasting ... tips and links welcome.

Concerning goal #1: I left the paid workforce seven years ago when I discovered a I had a son with special needs... actually, several of them... Asperger's syndrome, ADD w/o hyperactivity, social anxiety disorder, asthma, food allergies, and hypoglycemia. For us we realized that there came a time in life that QUALITY of life was more important than staying in the mainstream system where our evenings and weekends were set by assignments given at school which in actuality had nothing to offer his life after this "education". This journey lead me into exploring food "cures" and I learned a great many things. Unfortunately food has not been the "cure" but our whole family has benefited as we changed our diet and lifestyle into an organic, back-to-nature with home grown produce, whole grain, vegan, etc and still learning. My son is improving and he is able to attend a college level computer networking and technology program in "the big city" living the week away from home and returning on weekends. He still has some issues, but they are more manageable and we have found that food does have a very important role but is not the only factor.

Food has been good to us. As a family we started the small whole organic grain bakehouse and worked it for the past five years. It was not the sole source of our income as DH works elsewhere but managed all aspects of our business, my job was to learn to live on his one income, and together we worked baking, selling, growing, living, etc. A couple of years ago we were to the point that we either needed to hire employees (and start a small factory) or reduce and stay a specialized mom and pop business that we could enjoy. We decided to down size and continue to do only what we enjoyed. Now that my children are growing up I intend to take my knowledge of food and business into the public sector to help students and later families with my experience and area of knowledge. This is the year for this to begin and today I look forward in anticipation.


I use 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick), 1/2 cup water, 1 cup water, and a sprinkle of cinnamon sweetened with KAL stevia extract powder to taste. I microwave the dish for two minutes on high (watch to make sure it doesn't bubble over and leave it sit for 2-3 minutes while I prepare coffee and make a sweet tofu yogurt sauce to eat on top of my dish. This is a wonderful weight watchers core recipe and with lite silken tofu and a little xanthan gum you can make an incredible VERY low calorie, satisfying drink. ( LINK TO 1 point: MOCHA SMOOTHIE and more oatmeal recipes) You may think to yourself that you ate an very big meal, but if you are a ww point keeper the total meal is only 3 points.... of course you will be hungry for a snack later, think of how few calories your just ate. Want to make it a few more points to make it to lunch add 4 - 6 English walnuts or almonds. Maybe a square of my favorite dark chocolate will be satisfying also... this will only add a point or two (depends what kind you use).

LINK TO WAFFLE RECIPE also includes another smoothie recipe

Every new years DH and I are up on New Years Day preparing healthy waffles (which happens to also be a ww core item), Bryanna's TVP S'SAGE patties, and strawberries (which we use as syrup). I buy some sweetened strawberries and some whole without sugar and sweeten them myself with stevia. I melt a little of my homemade sugar free chocolate syrup for the top and also use my homemade soy yogurt, however one of my family members brought their own organic dairy yogurt.

The best thing about this day is that I have the time make up a bunch more. I multiply the recipe by 4 and make up a bunch ahead to freeze. The pile of waffles in the picture are actually leftover after feeding 9 people. They are also ww core or 1 ww point (i believe) and in general plain healthy and full of fiber. They are not your typical light and fluffy buttermilk stuff, but they are light enough very tastey. I do sweeten my batter with a touch of KAL stevia extract powder and have left the sugar completely out of it.

I know that the holidays has probably got most of us thinking about less food or more veggies due to all the rich treats we ate over the past month. However, I want to add that I do enjoy baking and I rarely ever buy snacks, because of it. After that introduction I present (with anticipation of the next cookbook) more baking...

Drumroll for Dreena ...
Here I share a couple of cookie pictures for her upcoming book that I had the opportunity to test in December and they were wonderful.

She says the new book will be out in Fall 2007. I'll be waiting... I have really enjoyed cooking from the two books she currently has out.

The following muffins come from the book Vive Le Vegan
Orange Poppy Seed Muffins. They are made from 1 1/4 C oat flour and 1 cup barley. Weight watchers fans will like that these flours are CORE foods, although they do contain a minimal amount of oil I think this could be subbed easily. This muffin batter started rising immediately in my mixing bowl, so I really heaped it in the muffin cup. .... obviously a good thing I did because they did not rise much in the oven. I have discovered several of Dreena's muffins have this "poofy" nature. These muffins made a pretty presentation and the oat flour gave them a somewhat nutty flavor, they were filling also and had that "stick with you" quality. If I personalized this recipe I would do away with the syrups and use stevia, maybe add some real oranges so that the orange pulp would be included .... however you know this is the season for cranberries. Family rating: C-, they didn't care for the lack of flavor but texture was good as long as you had a drink to sip on with it. I guess I am not as picky with foods... I liked the ingredients in it and went to the work of making them so of course I ate them. I did add fresh cranberry relish to the top in place of jelly foer added flavor and I had to freeze them until I could get through them since I am the only one who ate on these.


Julie said...

Wonderful post! Your blog inspires me so much. I love how you make all of your family's meals from scratch.

erica said...

Dori, I am so with you on the sugar and wheat - my immune system is so worn out it's pathetic.

I am curious as to whether you will have a big garden again this year, with your teaching going on. I got a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living for Christmas (which I really wanted!) and am hoping I will be able to get things to actually grow this year with it's help. I don't have much garden space at all, but I really want to try. I have terrible luck with any thing that doesn't have "berry" in it's name.

bazu said...

I enjoyed reading your resolutions, they are very thought-provoking. Best of luck on everything, work- family- and food-oriented! And I look forward to seeing more of your lovely recipes (with no sugar and wheat- yay!)

Nikki said...

You never cease to amaze me Dori! :)

Good luck to you-I wish you and your family nothing but the greatest happiness and success in the coming year!

Vivacious Vegan said...

Great resolutions! I hope that these new transitions are stress free and happy for you.

It sounds like you had a really fun evening. I haven't played Yahtzee in so long.

Those waffles sound delicious and healthy. If I only had a waffle maker...

Dori said...

Hi Erica,
We are planning on a big garden this year. I chose education to re-enter the workforce because I would have summers of so DH and I could continue doing the work we enjoy. Although I enjoy the fresh produce, DH is more of the gardener than I. I just tell him the kinds of food I want and help weed until harvest. He does the composting and other soil problem solving.

erica said...

Wow, I wish my guy was handy. I'm looking forward to garden updates :)

Midwest Vegan said...

Nice post - it's always fun to see what resolutions everyone comes up with. I'm going to try to cut back on the white flour/white sugar myself this year.

Urban Vegan said...

I'm also experiencing a post-holiday sugar low....snooooze. Slowly, but surely, my old healthy habits are replacing the sugar overload, thank goodness.

Have fun on your wine exploration. Omniman and I love a glass of wine with dinner. When you think about the fact that all tastes except sweet are aquired, you may surprise yourself at what you end up liking. Most dry wines are an acquired taste, but once you taste them paired proerly with the right foods, watch out!

One variety I find very easy to drink is a Portuguese wine called Vinho Verde (Green wine). It's inexpensive, has a lower alcohol content than most wines and goes great with spicy foods. It's also ever-so-slightly fizzy, which is kind of fun.

Happy New Year and good luck on your resolutions!

Emmy said...

Happy New Year Dori & Family :)

The waffles you made look like a great way to start the day. The Orange Poppy Seed muffins sound good. I have that cookbook but haven't tried that recipe.

Good luck with your New Years resolutions :)

Melody said...

Lovely entry...

I am not doing the CORE program, although I eat mostly CORE foods... it helps me to measure the portions.. I'm hoping that one day soon, I'll be able to trust myself on the CORE program.. of course, I love the CORE recipes, since this makes up the bulk of the food I've been eating..

Harmonia said...

Seriously...would you come over to my house and teach me how to bake and make wraps, rolls, and stuff having to do with phyllo! lol HELP! Everything looks great, as usual! :)

aTxVegn said...

What a wonderful post, Dori, and happy new year! Your breakfasts look so delicious. My body hates me after the holidays so I look forward to your upcoming recipes to help me get back on track.

- Diann

bazu said...

Hi Dori,

Just popped back to ask you a baking question, if you don't mind. I am not the most experienced bread baker! I want to bake whole grain breads as part of my detox, but a lot of recipes I see call for a mixture of white and whole grain flour. What can I expect to happen if I make the whole recipe with whole grain flour in that case?

Or, do you know of good vegan whole grain breads that don't call for any white flours?

Thanks so much!