Monday, January 9, 2012

On a Roll

Man, every night, one meal better than the last. Even last night's, which I grumped about, was better than a lot of meals I've eaten. Tonight was wonderful -- AND it was quick and easy. Can't beat that!!!

First, I will link to the recipe. Then I will tell you how to make it better.

The dish is called Mushroom and Spinach Stroganoff. (One gripe -- the dish calls for garlic, but it is not listed in the ingredients list. I hate that. It's no big deal because I ALWAYS have garlic, but still. It's annoying.)

The recipe calls for 4-5 cups of sliced mushrooms. This is about 12 ounces of 'shrooms (I bought two 8-ounce containers and I have half of one left). Go ahead and use all the mushrooms. Up the liquid by a cup (use 1 1/2 cups of nondairy milk and 1 1/2 cups of broth). Taste the sauce at this point to see if you need to add more soy sauce. My sense is that you won't, but your mileage may vary. Up the cornstarch to three tablespoons (and the accompanying water by two tablespoons).

This would be a good recipe to add broccoli to, for those who like the stuff. Sundried tomatoes, maybe. Or (maybe better) a can of chopped tomatoes.

Anyway, this was excellent just the way it was, don't get me wrong. We ate a TON of it. But I would've liked just a little more sauce, and that's what I've done with these suggested changes.

I used whole wheat spaghetti because God forbid Publix should have whole wheat fettuccine. I dumped the pasta in a bowl and then dumped the sauce on top and started to toss the pasta before I took a picture. So the picture does not show a lot of the sauce -- some of it is buried under pasta. :)

Do not lose focus! If you stick to the program it will get easier. Your tastes WILL change. It takes a few months -- between three and four -- but your brain will reset and the things that you used to crave will fade away. I asked Bruce tonight what he craves. He thought for a few minutes and said, "Bacon. I like the way bacon tastes. But I don't crave it -- I don't crave anything."

I am the same way, although my relationship with food is different than Bruce's (who is much wiser than I am). For me, food is comfort and boredom relief and reward, and it's hard to shift that paradigm. So I have cheated more than he has (although not in 2012!), but my rewards have been even greater. And even for me it has become easier. Remember why you want to eat this way -- I think for most people reading this it is health reasons, but if you are concerned about factory farms or the environmental toll that raising animals takes -- whatever it is, remember!

One of the best things about eating this way is that you can feel good for a LOT of different reasons. You are making a big difference in your health. You are making sure that you don't get heart disease (or if you have heart disease you are on the way to making yourself a former heart patient). You are refusing to participate in the cruelty that is inherent in the factory farm system. You're saying goodbye to diabetes and obesity. And more important than living longer, you are living better. Your grocery bills will decrease. Now that I've made the initial switch I spend far less at the grocery store, especially when I stay away from processed foods. You make a positive impact on the environment -- growing crops for people to eat takes far less energy than raising meat to eat. And the more you do this the more grocery stores and restaurants will take note and will start providing more options for plant-based diets.

Every day I hear about someone else going vegan. The latest: Venus and Serena Williams. Not a lot of people, I grant you, but more every day. Wallow in it. Go to the grocery store and fill your cart with beauty. Don't get in a rut. Make variety your theme. Ask questions -- I'll answer. I want to help. I can recommend books, recipes, anything to help. I know that it takes determination and that you feel like you're out there all alone, but it's worth it. I promise, it's worth it.

More later...


  1. Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah! I thought I was the former cheerleader. Thanks for the encouragement. Be sure and attach a copy of this post when you apply for that Food for Life position. I will definitely try this recipe this week.
    Is Bruce a coffee drinker? We are having a hard time finding a suitable coffee creamer substitute (non-dairy). None of them seem to have the creaminess that we are accustomed to getting from ...cream (imagine that).

  2. Irene: I use Silk Soy creamer. It comes in plain and French vanilla (my personal choice)

    "Is Bruce a coffee drinker?" Seriously?

  3. Bruce,
    Is it thick and creamy?

  4. Bruce says it's similar to half and half.

    I don't drink coffee, but when Bruce made the switch over to a plant-based diet he never complained a bit about his coffee (the man is insane about his coffee). Publix sells Silk creamer in regular and French vanilla flavors.

  5. I just finished watching Forks over Knives on Netflix. Thank you for telling me about it. I have decided (don't laugh) to research how to put Bear on a plant based diet. We have noticed that he has lost weight since we went on our plant based diet. We didn't have steak fat, hamburger fat/juice, etc. to pour on his food. I want him to live a long and healthy life, too! Call me crazy, but I will be heading over to the Natural Pet Food store tomorrow. Next in my Netflix queue is "The Engine 2 Kitchen rescue".