Tag Archive | falafel

So Far So Good

Day Two! So far, so good!

Just to keep myself honest with getting back to healthier eating, I’m going to try to get back to posting menu plans and recipes… I’ve tried so many new ones over the past few months, there is a lot to share!

I did receive 3 new cookbooks for Christmas.  I had actually asked Santa for “Straight From the Earth” (by Myra & Marea Goodman) and so far I have enjoyed both recipes I tried.  I have to admit, however, that both were a bit more time consuming than I would prefer, especially on a week night.  So I’ll save those for days that I have a little more time to cook.

Over the weekend I made Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce.  My only modification was to reduce the olive oil. The dish was quite tasty, but I have made a similar dish from Forks Over Knives (Mushroom Stroganoff) that I liked just as much with, seemingly, less work — and no oil. I will admit to using regular sour cream in place of the tofu sour cream in the FOK version, but that’s only because I’m intimated by tofu.  (I definitely need a class!)

The second recipe I tried from this particular book was Baked Falafel Pitas with Chopped Greek Salad and Roasted Cashew Sauce. I should have guessed by the long name that this was going to take a while…3 separate pieces.  None of hard, but collectively longer than I would spend on a school night meal.  This one had a few modifications, mostly just to reduce the oil.  Next time I try this one, I am going to try for a complete elimination of the oil.  I also did not bother to roast either the cashews or the pine nuts.

Chopped Greek Salad: I eliminated ALL the oil and didn’t miss it.  I actually enjoyed this and would eat it as a side salad just by itself.

Roasted Cashew Sauce: I clearly didn’t realize this part called for 1/4 cup of oil. Yikes, that’s a lot of nutrient free fat! Because I was afraid of ruining the consistency, I reduced it to a 1/8 cup. But next time I think I would eliminate completely and see how it goes.

Falafel: Again, I eliminated the 2 tablespoons of oil in the mixture, and I did not grease the pan (I used a Pampered Chef stone and had no issues with sticking. Use parchment if needed, but skip the oiled pan.)

I actually really, really enjoyed these! Plus leftovers for lunch!


Tonight I opted for quick and simple, borrowing from fellow McDougaller and recipe creator extraordinaire, Michael Klunker.  He’s got a slew of great recipes on his site, Klunker’s Kitchen.  I love a recipe where you throw everything in one pot and just cook. Easy clean up, easy prep.  For his Insanely Easy Potato Corn Chowder, I love that a few of the ingredients were frozen, so that makes prep even easier. Limited chopping (potatoes, carrots, onion and celery), one pot, 13 minutes in the Instant Pot, and a quick spin of the immersion blender, and this was done in short order.

The soup was delicious as is!  I think my only tweak for my personal taste is a bit less onion and I would add some more corn.  Enough for 3 for dinner, plus leftovers!  When you check out this recipe, you should see what else Michael has on his page.  Would love to hear if you find any others you enjoy!


IMDb: So Far So Good (2012)



Forever, Darling

Despite asking for a copy of my CT scan report, I never did receive it. I thought about calling the imaging facility a few times but, unfortunately, I never thought of it at a time they were actually open. My paranoid brain said “there must be something wrong… why didn’t they want me to see it?”  My more rational brain said “no news is good news… surely if something was wrong, they would have called by now.” And since my blood work was perfect — everything in normal range — that led me to believe all was ok. It has been 7 years since I had my partial nephrectomy (8/13/2008) but I still hold my breath a little waiting for the results.

So at 7:30 this morning, I got to confirm what I was already hoping for — the results were excellent! The images showed “an almost perfect picture of what kidneys should look like”. Not even a kidney stone in sight! In fact the report talks mostly about all the things that aren’t there… no alveolar infiltrates in the lungs. No hepatic, splenic, renal, adrenal or pancreatic masses (the best news, of course!). No gallstones. No pathologically enlarged para-aortic lymph nodes (whatever that means). No intestinal obstructer, appendicitis, or diverticulitis. The only things of note: multiple small cysts in the right ovary (no surprise there) and “fatty infiltration of the liver”. I suspect the latter is related to my former diet and hope to see improvements in that over time. It was certainly nothing the doctor was worried about. And with my cholesterol and triglycerides in great shape, I’m not worried either.

More good news from the doctor:  He thinks this was my last CT scan.  He said I can do an MRI (with blood work and chest x-ray) next year and then switch to just ultrasounds after that. Yea! No more radiation!  I asked how long he would continue follow ups on me and he said “forever”. (Ok, he didn’t say “darling”, but I liked the title anyway!) I take comfort in having him check each year, but I thought at maybe 10 years or so, he would cut me loose!


I haven’t posted any recipes lately, so here are a few new ones:

Crispy Quinoa Cakes from Oh She Glows – These were quite tasty and I loved the texture. Instead of over a salad, we ate these as wraps — whole wheat tortillas, fresh spinach and tomato, and a bit of organic ranch dressing. I’m sure there are other vegan dressings that can be used instead. I served these with a side of corn on the cob. A nice light summer supper. And the best part, the sweet potato (which my husband detests) was so well hidden, he didn’t even notice. I really need to learn to take pictures, but you can see there on Angela’s site.

Also from Oh She Glows, Falafel with a Twist. I enjoyed the taste of these, although they weren’t quite as yummy as the falafel I order at my favorite Lebanese restaurant. These, I did serve over a salad and I think my boys were a little shocked that this was “it” for dinner. I have to admit I preferred the quinoa cakes over the falafel, which ended up being a little too oily for me, since fried. I think I will try to bake them next time instead.

Not a recipe per se, but a college friend of mine, the 40 year old vegan, (be sure to check out her site for more great recipes!), wrote about using Field Roast sausage to have an old fashioned sausage and peppers sandwich. I had never heard of Field Roast, so I was sure to look for them on my next trip to Wegman’s. I found them in the frozen foods’ case in the healthy section of the store. I purchased Mexican Chipotle, which was great if you like spicy. These had a quite a kick, but we all enjoyed these with a hefty servings of grilled onions and red peppers on a whole grain roll. I also bought the Smoked Apple Sage. Ethan ate one and didn’t seem to mind it; David said it wasn’t as good as the chipotle. But if you were ever a meat eater and are looking for a familiar taste, definitely check these out. This week’s grocery order including the Italian flavored sausage, which I think will be awesome, and their hot dogs. I’ll let you know!

IMDb: Forever, Darling (1956)