Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sushi Tonight!

I LOVE sushi.  It might be my favorite meal (along with many others).  My spouse makes the BEST sushi.  She doesn't like to make it a lot because it's kind of a pain in the ass, but I am so lucky when she does.  It's one of those meals that she just makes better than me (pizza is another one of these meals).  We are going to have sushi tonight!  These are some of the ingredients that go into the sushi rolls:

-Red or orange bell pepper
-Oven baked tofu
-Tofutti vegan cream cheese

These ingredients make the perfect sushi roll!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chocolate Haystacks

Since I joined Weight Watchers at the end of June, I have been hearing about these "haystacks" that you can make with Fiber One cereal.  So I decided to make a vegan version of these tonight.  They were very tasty at 1 point a piece for those of you counting WW points.  The recipe I made was pretty small b/c I couldn't have too many in the house.  It made it a lot easier on me having a food scale to measure out the chocolate and butterscotch chips.  I used chocolate and butterscotch chips but just chocolate chips would work just fine and may actually be better anyway.  Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks
Makes 10 haystacks

1 cup Fiber One (original) cereal
60 grams (or 4 servings) Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
28 grams (2 servings) Food Lion brand Butterscotch chips (they are an accidentally vegan product)
Splash of soymilk (or any other non-dairy milk)

I melted the chips in a glass bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds-then added the soymilk and melted for about another 45 seconds.  I stirred up the chips really well and then threw in the Fiber One cereal and mixed it up well to make sure all of the cereal was coated with the chocolate and butterscotch.

I then took my cookie scoop and made the haystacks into individual pieces and placed them on a cookie sheet with wax paper.  I placed them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so they could set up.  And that's all!  

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goals and Rewards

I have recently decided to give myself little (and some big) rewards when I reach different weight goals. This past week, I hit the 40 pound weight loss mark, so I decided when I hit that goal, I would buy the Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. I have found that this is making my weight loss more exciting when I have rewards to look forward to. My next reward at 45 pounds will be these awesome vegan Saucony shoes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Tofu and Spinach in Peanut-Coconut Sauce

This recipe turned out great! However, b/c of the peanut butter and coconut milk, it was pretty rich and higher in WW points. About 1/2 a cup is a serving based on how much it made and my calculations and that was plenty enough along with 1/2 cup of brown rice and some steamed broccoli. It turned out to be about 6 points for 1/2 cup on WW. It may end up being a weekend recipe but it was delicious and super easy!

Tofu and Spinach in Peanut-Coconut Sauce
(Adapted from

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 2–3 hours in slow cooker

1 13.5-ounce can light coconut milk

1/4 cup smooth, unsweetened peanut butter (The recipe calls for 1/3 cup but I lowered it a little bit)

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (I used powdered ginger)

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 bunch scallions (I used green onions), thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)

3 teaspoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Juice of 1 large lime

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 pound extra-firm tofu (NOT silken), cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large handfuls prewashed baby spinach (about 2.5 ounces)

Brown rice

1. Place first nine ingredients (coconut milk through soy sauce) in slow cooker. Stir well to combine. Place tofu cubes into sauce. Cook on low setting for 2–3 hours.

2. During last 15 minutes of cooking, place spinach in cooker. Periodically stir gently as leaves wilt to incorporate into tofu mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls over rice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Overweight Vegan

Many people might think this is an oxymoron-an overweight vegan, but unfortunately it's not. I have always been overweight. My weight has constantly been a struggle. When I was in college, I lost a lot of weight-around 80-90 lbs doing Sugar Busters and then Weight Watchers. This was before I was vegan or vegetarian. Once I was out of college and working and going to graduate school full time, my healthy eating habits started to slip. I thought I was too busy to focus on my weight loss journey. My weight started creeping back up. Then I became a vegan in 2005 for ethical reasons but I naively thought that it would solve my weight loss struggles. I thought I would no longer have to worry about my weight. However, being vegan does not equal being healthy. Proof of this, here are some vegan foods:

-Reeses ice cream shell topping
-Krispy Creme Fruit Pies
-Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Doritos
-Lays Potato Chips

......and the list goes on. Vegan, yes. Healthy, no. And when I first became vegan, I had something I like to call the "Vegan Survival Instinct." When I found vegan foods, I would eat them. I would have never eaten the Reeses Ice Cream Shell topping or Oreos before I was vegan, however, all of a sudden I felt like it was my vegan obligation to indulge in these foods now. The weight continued to creep up.

Fast forward to the summer of 2009 and I have gained all but maybe 5 pounds of the 80-90 pounds I lost in college. This was quite an eye opener. I knew I had to do something. Half assing my way through Weight Watchers wasn't cutting it. Following the points in the morning and then falling off by evening just wasn't working. I knew I had to join and I had to jump in head first in order to be successful. I had to attend meetings, get online on the vegetarian message board and be a "super Weight Watcher." The summer was a perfect time for me to do this since I am a school counselor and have summers off. I was able to join WW, get organized and figure out how to be successful.

Now it's January 2010 and I am sticking to Weight Watchers. I am down 38 pounds since the end of June and have a long way to go. But I feel so great about the progress I have made. I try to cook at least one new recipe a week. I get excited about finding new, healthy foods and recipes. I am figuring out how to make being healthy a way of life. I want to be a healthy vegan. I feel like my veganism has evolved. I enjoy vegan recipes that have all kinds of produce in them whereas before, I only liked the "trashy" vegan recipes. I feel like I am moving in the right direction. I also turn to the veg message board a lot for advice, tips and support. It has been an excellent resource.

Welcome to my blog. I plan to share recipes, pieces of my weight loss journey and my quest for health here. Thanks for reading!