Food! And a new Recipe

So, as I said before, I’m changing my diet again to be gluten free.  As the elimination of soy, gluten, meat and dairy from my diet leaves not a heck of a lot I can eat,  I’m relaxing my standards a bit, out of necessity.  Gluten and soy seem to be major problems in thyroid disease, so those are non-negotiable.  Eliminating dairy has helped me loose a lot of weight and my digestive system seems better, so dairy goes to the “very rare cheat” list.  Which leaves meat as the most flexible “cheat” area.  So last night we had hot dogs and potato salad, and I must say, boy, did they taste GOOD!

That said, I still want to stay mostly with a plant based diet.  So protein sources are mostly beans and quinoa.  Yesterday I came up with a salad  that’s high in protein, cool for those hot days, and actually yummy!

Jicama Quinoa Salad

  •  1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 tbl sesame oil
  • 1 cup grated Jicama
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • ½ lemon, Juiced
  • ½ c Peas ( use frozen peas, thawed)
  • ¼ c dried cranberries

 Soak quinoa in water to cover for 15 minutes.  Simmer on low, covered, in enough water to cover about 30 minutes. Drain, and allow to cool.

 Open can of mandarin oranges and drain, reserving about half of juice.  Fold into quinoa. Add Jicama, onion, peas, cranberries, sesame oil, and toss lightly.  Season to taste.

 I served on a bed of raw spinach.  I flirted with the idea of making rolls with the spinach leaves, but I was too hungry!

 This recipe lends itself well to experimentation and substitution. I plan to try cooking the quinoa in broth rather than water, trying with other fresh fruits (sliced strawberries, blueberries perhaps) keeping with the savory/sweet theme.

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Back to Cooking!

Soccer practice night in our house is always hectic.  Back and forth to school, homework, lunch, the trip back to school because someone forgot to bring their guitar home… you know what it’s like if you’re a parent.  Then comes soccer practice, right at the time you want to collapse and have dinner. So what do you do?

In our house, sloppy joes were reserved for practice nights.  All that energy expended running around deserves something yummy and filling, and they did the trick.  Hold the phone though, how do you make sloppy joes vegan?  Vegan, but still yummy to the anti-vegetable, picky children you really want to reward for all that activity?  Here’s my method for vegan sloppy joes, or as we call them, Sloppy Steves.  The beauty part is you can hide a ton of veggies in them, and the kids never know!

The first order of business is to find a substitute for the ground beef.  TVP works beautifully. I used two cups, soaked in two cups of hot water, with a tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet added to the water.  This gives the TVP a meaty flavor and color, and makes it even more like ground beef.  Soak for about ten minutes or longer, while you prepare the veggies.

I start with onion; one medium onion, chopped fine.  Then the fun part begins.  You can add any kind of veggies you want; the secret is to chop them really really fine.  You might want to use a food processor.  I’m lazy, and would rather chop them by hand than wash the processor.  I used a couple of big handfuls of spinach.

 

I heated some oil in a huge pan, then added the spinach and onion.  If you’re using other hard veggies, such as broccoli, add them in now too.   Then I added my liquid ingredients – one can of tomato sauce and one bottle of chili sauce.

Next, I grated some carrots. Again, I used the fine side of my box grater; I used about eight baby carrots.

Next, drain any extra liquid from the TVP (I didn’t have any, but you might, depending on your conditions) and add the TVP to the pan.

Next comes the seasonings, about a tablespoon each of chili powder and Worcestershire sauce.

 

 

You’re done!  Put the heat on low, and let it simmer for a while.  The longer it simmers, the better.

 

Now comes the fun part; the eating!  Grab a bun of your choice, load up the Sloppy Steves, and eat. YUM!!

 

Then, in less time than it took the chop the onions: