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Posts tagged ‘recipe’

Getting Fit

A few weeks ago I told you that I was going to get P90X and do it. I may not have mentioned it since then, but I have certainly been thinking about it, almost every day, in fact. I’ve also been working hard to get ready for it. Every week I have increased my average workout time by 10-15 minutes, so that this week I am doing 50-60 minute workouts.

There has not been a day in the last 2 1/2 weeks that I have not been sore somewhere. Near the beginning of the month, I got so sore from a half-hour cardio workout that I could barely walk up and down the stairs at church two days later! I haven’t been that sore anywhere since. However, I have been mildly sore in various places–legs, abs, arms, shoulders… the soreness just moves, never leaves. :) And I’m sure it’s only going to get worse starting next Sunday! LOL!

I’ve been watching some of the P90X videos to get an idea of what they will be doing, and I have learned some things from them and also from the videos I have been using on I noticed that the trainers would do circuits. They would pick 3 or more sets of exercises, and do either so many reps or so many seconds (30, 45, 60, etc) depending on the exercise, and whether it were strength training or aerobic. Well, I decided to apply that to my strength training at the gym.

Something else I learned was about working to failure, meaning you lift a weight heavy enough that at either 8-10 reps or 12-15 (depending on whether you want to build bulk or lean muscle respectively), you cannot life it one more time. Then you rest that muscle by doing other exercises, then come back and do it again.

This is the machine I was using.

So I took those two things to the gym last week. The first exercise I did was the machine bench press . I picked that and two other machines and did 1 set on each machine 3 times. Then I picked 3 more machines and did the same thing, for a total of 9 machines last Thursday. I was able to benchpress only 22 pounds with that machine.

Now, not only is 22 pounds a very small amount, but considering that when I started in late May, almost exactly 4 months ago, I started out at barely being able to do the 20-pound minimum, that’s really bad. I mean, gaining only 2 pounds in 4 months… But all summer whenever I would use that machine, I would do as many reps as I could, then rest for a minute, then do as many as I could again (usually about 12-14).

Tonight I went again. I started out at 22 pounds, but it was too easy. I got all the way to 15. So on the second round, I put it up to 24. That was still too easy, so I put it up to 26. I should have put it up to 28, because I still got up to 15 reps! So that’s a 4-6 pound gain in just 5 days! I worked the muscle to the max, let it rest, then did it again, and sure enough, I improved!

I also improved how much I could do with the bicep curl machine by a couple of pounds, so I was very happy. :)

That’s what P90X seems to be about. Only much more intense!

I can’t wait to get started. I’ll keep you all posted, probably with video posts. And I’ll post my modest before and after pictures (no guys except my husband will ever get to see the immodest ones I took yesterday) once I get them taken. And I’ll try to talk about other things on this blog other than just exercise. It’s just on my mind right now. Including my recipe for a homemade recovery drink. I need to actually make it first, though, and see how it turns out, before I post the recipe!

So are you planning a workout to get ready for the holidays? Why not share it?

Rye Sourdough

When I first tried sourdough many years ago, I fell in love with it. The tangy flavor really appealed to me. I especially liked the crusty edges (even though I rarely eat the heels of regular bread). Unfortunately, most sourdough is 100% white flour, and I have been trying to avoid white flour as much as possible. In fact, I managed to go 4 or 5 months here in Aloha without it. When I did buy it, it was for a recipe for my husband to take to work for his coworkers. And with the leftovers, I attempted to make playdough (that turned out to be a failure–the recipe with cornstarch was much more like the real thing). But now I’m rambling…

Since I have developed an allergy to wheat, I try to avoid it for the most part. That means no more bread at potlucks, for instance. So all the fancy sourdoughs that show up there don’t show up on my plate. And I don’t buy it, white or whole grain or otherwise.

But I thought, now that I’ve found a good recipe for 100% rye bread, maybe I could find a recipe for 100% rye sourdough, and a way to make a starter.

Sure enough, I found a site that explains exactly how to make a rye sourdough starter, and then how to make bread with it. Granted, the recipe it shows in those steps uses 50% wheat, but I wrote the author, and he shared a sort of recipe for 100% rye (something about 78% hydration, 1% salt and 1% caraway, I think it was). I still have a lot to learn, it seems.

But I can’t do anything until I have a ripe starter, and that will take the better part of this week, it seems, so I have plenty of time to figure that out. I had everything I needed except for distilled water and a kitchen scale. Apparently, the kitchen scale is very important, because the water and flour need to be mixed in equal weights–such as 50 grams each–and it’s very difficult to be accurate with measurements. And when it comes to actually making the bread, the only way one could figure out 78% hydration, which means more flour than water, so that instead of 50:50 rye:water it’s now 100:78. It seems I’ll get to use some math for the process–my favorite subject it was, so that will be nice.

Anyhow, I stopped at the Goodwill on my way home from shopping today and found a small kitchen scale for $1.99! I also found a number of other things I hadn’t planned on buying and ended up spending over $25, but that’s okay, because they were all things we more or less needed. Okay, the $10 family-sized swimming pool probably wasn’t really needed, but then, the neighbors loaned us their kiddie pool, and it got a big hole and it’s not fixable, and it was worth $10, so now we can replace it, so I guess it was needed after all.

Oops, I’m rambling again. Sorry…

So I picked up a gallon of distilled water and mixed up 50 grams each of 100% organic rye flour and water in a widemouth canning jar, screwed on a lid (a plastic one–not too tight), and set it in the kitchen.

My only concern is that the temperature of the house fluctuates dramatically. Right now it is about 80 degrees (the A/C doesn’t work), but this morning it was 65 (thanks to all the open windows). I hope this doesn’t negatively affect the culture. Maybe it will just slow it down at night.

Anyhow, I can’t wait for morning to see if it has any bubbles. I’ll take a picture then–it’s late now and I’m ready for bed. It’s been a long day!

All I can say is that a rye sourdough starter looks a whole lot easier to make than a wheat one, so maybe it’s a blessing I became allergic to wheat. And there’s nothing better than rye bread with caraway. Unless it’s more rye bread with caraway!

If you have any interest in rye sourdough, I would encourage you to take a look at the site I found. They have a lot of interesting information, including pictures of the bread they have made. It looks so good!!!

At least, that’s what I think Manny would say if he could talk. I found a recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes the other day and made them for my son this morning. At first he didn’t want to try them. He’s not used to eating anything that looks like things he never eats… that doesn’t make sense. Let me try again. He’s only used to eating beans mixed with cereal, with either fruits or veggies. So at first he refused them. But I poked a bit in his mouth and he decided he liked them! He ate 4 for breakfast and almost 5 for lunch! I decided to snap some pictures:

As you can see, they seem to be disappearing! Oh, and yes, he does use his sisters old bibs. At least they have green on them! [Ducking and running for cover]

Just thought you would like to see that!

This recipe makes a very tasty roast or loaf that is high in protein and very cheap to make—especially in contrast to the veggie roasts you can buy. It’s one of the ways I can get my husband to eat garbanzos—because it doesn’t taste anything like them. It would be very easy to make soy-free as well—just add more salt in place of the soy sauce and use a soy-free beef seasoning.

2 cups soaked garbanzos (about 1 cup dried)
1 ½ cup bran water (or water or broth or whatever)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp beef seasoning (I use Bill’s Best Beaf Seasoning)
½ cup gluten flour
1 cup chopped onion (may be sauted first, but I never bother)
1 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped Brazil nuts or cashews
2 Tbsp wheat germ

Soak garbanzos until fully soaked (at least 4 hours, overnight best). Drain and blend with oil, 1 cup of the water, soy sauce, and all seasonings on high until fine. Pour into bowl, and rinse blender with remaining ½ cup of water, adding to mixture. Add onion, celery, nuts, and wheat germ and mix.

Stir in gluten flour and beat until gluten develops. This will take several minutes. You will notice the mixture becoming stringy—that is when the gluten is ready. It won’t get stiff until it bakes. The garbanzos thicken as they cook.

Put into greased glass loaf pan or medium sized baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour at 350°. Remove foil for last 15 minutes to allow roast to brown on top. Serve hot. Reheats well.

Doesn't that look good?

How about a close-up?

This is a great potluck dish. Or if we’re eating it at home, I will serve it with rice—wild rice is my favorite—and a vegetable. It is very satisfying. It could be sliced and served with gravy, though it has plenty of flavor on its own. The pieces of nuts add interest, though they could be ground with the garbanzos for a smoother texture. The original recipe didn’t call for beef seasoning, but I found the recipe needed a little more seasoning than it called for—at least, for our family.

Before trying this recipe, I had never tried making anything with raw soaked garbanzos. I was surprised how wet the mixture was—nearly pourable, nothing like any roast I had ever made before. But then I saw in the book that you can use raw soaked garbanzos blended up to thicken things. I actually thickened pumpkin pie with them once! They can be blended and frozen ahead of time as well. Just a tip that you might find handy some day.

Next week I’m going to share the recipe I love for chicken nuggets. A friend of mine posted the recipe on Facebook, and it was the end of my quest for a good chicken nugget recipe! Watch for it!

This recipe is my slightly modified version of the recipe found in the Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley cookbook.

Col Slaw

This recipe is my modification of the Col Slaw recipe in the cookbook Total Health Cookery. The original recipe calls for yogurt in place of the soy sour cream. I’ve made a few other modifications as well.

 Several cups of finely shredded cabbage (I never bother measuring)
1 grated carrot
About 1 cup soy cream base with a little garlic and onion powder added
A little pineapple juice (1/4 cup, more or less)
Pineapple chunks (the smaller chunks)—as many as I feel like, half a can, maybe
1 heaping Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
several dashes each of caraway and celery seeds (either or both optional)

Combine all ingredients. Stir well. Chill and serve.

I should comment that my husband does not like this recipe. I should also add that he isn’t very fond of coleslaw in general, so that’s not very surprising. I, on the other hand, find it very delicious. Cabbage is very good for you, and this is a tasty way to get it down raw, where you can reap more benefits. It’s also very filling, since it’s got protein and lots of fiber. Add a sandwich and you’ve got a meal!

Next week I’m going to share my quick-and-easy, no-need-to-plan-ahead recipe for mayo.

This recipe is very versatile. It is my version of a “sour cream” recipe that is rather tasteless as given (especially when I used canola oil), but can be flavored to suit many different recipes. Keep in mind that the oil you use will also affect the flavor and color.

1 cup chilled soy concentrate
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil (I like to mix extra virgin olive and grapeseed oils)
Lemon juice
2 tsp potato flour

Whip soy concentrate in blender until nice and fluffy. Add salt, then drizzle oil while blending. Then carefully drizzle in lemon juice, watching the consistency, until you see it thicken slightly. It won’t be thick, because it doesn’t have enough oil, but that’s okay. Don’t add more lemon juice, or it starts to get runny again. Alternately, you could use 1/4 cup of oil, and then you would be done, but I am into low fat lately, so I must go on to the next step.

Put the potato flour in one teaspoon at a time, waiting between each spoonful. It will thicken slightly for several seconds after you add it, so don’t add more unless you want it really thick! Add too much and you could almost slice it!

That’s it. That’s the basic recipe. Now, think what you could do with it. Add a little onion and/or garlic powder when you add the salt, and it will make a nice mayo. You could add a little bit of manzanilla olive juice when you add the lemon juice. It won’t help thicken, but it will add some flavor (we’re talking a teaspoon or less). You could even blend an olive up in it (add that early, so it gets thoroughly blended).

What about sweet creams? Cut down on the salt and add sugar or honey and vanilla. If you want it runny, cut down or eliminate the potato flour. I’ve never tried it, because I have a husband who is not into sweet meals, but I’ll that a nice creamy sauce made from this concentrate would taste delicious with strawberries over waffles. Someday I think I’ll just do it, whether he wants it or not!

Next week I’m going to post my Col Slaw recipe. It uses this soy cream base, so keep that in mind.

Note: The recipe this is based on comes from the Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Cookbook. They have a number of uses for soy concentrate, especially specific recipes for things like whipped soy topping or sweet soy cream. I highly recommend this cookbook! I’ll be borrowing from it again next month.

Green Drink

I’m sorry if all my recipes lately aren’t exactly recipes you would make for dinner! I mean, my Sore Throat Remedy isn’t even something most people would even need in summer.

This one, however, isn’t because I’m sick, but because I have decided I need to eat better. But I’m not fond of greens. I really dislike cooked greens. Yuck! Okay, I had cooked spinach once that was so good I took seconds, but it was cooked with coconut milk and onions and garlic or something, but as a general rule, I don’t like cooked greens.

Then on a walk recently I saw some mullein and thought of something we had done briefly in my teenage years. By briefly, I mean for a few days. But it really impressed me. We made green drinks. Mom would go out and pick random edible greens (I distinctly remember alfalfa being one of them), blend them with water, strain them with a fine mesh strainer, add a little pineapple juice to make it palatable, and drink it. I remember it wasn’t so bad with enough pineapple juice.

My thoughts went something like this: This would be a great way of getting more greens in my diet without having to eat a lot more food. Plus if I could get most of the greens from outside, it wouldn’t break my budget either!


So on a walk one sunny afternoon, I picked 4 big (but not too big) mullein leaves. When I got home, I added a couple of kale leaves I had on hand, water, and blended them. When it was rather fine, I strained it out into a strainer, dumped the fiber back in the jar, added more water, blended some more, then strained again. Then I added a tiny bit of pineapple juice, divided it in half (because it was too much for me), and gave some to my husband and drank the other half.

As I was blending it, I saw a dandy lion plant outside—you know, the kind with smooth leaves, and thought I should have put some of that in too. But I didn’t this time. Next time I will. When I don’t have kale or spinach or some other store-bought green on hand, I’ll get all my ingredients from outdoors. Summer is such a good time for that.

I guess I already gave the recipe above, but here it is in case you want to print it:

Green Drink

A handful or two of greens—edible weeds are the best
Enough pineapple juice to make it palatable (though other kinds of juice could work) or try throwing in a carrot or an apple

Blend with as much water as needed so that it blends freely. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (a cloth is not necessary). If you want to, blend the fiber with more water. Add juice and drink.

 I dare you to try it!

This is one of my favorite sore throat remedies. One of my friends shared one with me that has more stuff in it, but I never buy radishes and only rarely have red onion around, and besides, it’s got so many things in it that it would take a year of making it when I’m sick to remember it without looking up the recipe. Not to mention that I don’t have Internet anymore, so looking up the recipe would consist of writing it down on my need-to-do-online list and waiting until the next Friday or Sunday to get it. And then going to the store for ingredients. And considering that this cold I am just getting over started on a Monday. . . well, you get the picture.

This remedy is one that I sort of invented myself. It’s quick and easy to make, and it really helps a sore throat. I’m sure it also helps the cold too, but then colds are usually viruses that just need to run their course, so it might not shorten it much. Could help the intensity, though. Anyhow, here goes:

Lisa’s Sore Throat Remedy

About ½ cup lemon juice (I always estimate this)
A little water (maybe a quarter cup or less)
3-4 cloves of garlic, mashed, minced, or pressed (so they blend better)
As many dashes of cayenne pepper as I think I’ll be able to handle, plus a couple more
A little honey (maybe a tablespoon—I never measure)

Blend the above, gargle, and swallow. Simple.

Now here’s the theory behind why I made it. Garlic is a good antibacterial and I think antiviral too. I don’t know where my Green Pharmacy book is to check. Well, I do know where it is. . . somewhere between 5 and 10 feet away from me, in one of those boxes that are stacked about 5 high. . . But I think it’s common knowledge that garlic is good for you, and that it kills bad things in you, so that’s why garlic. Lemon juice is soothing to sore throats—at least in the long term. I sometimes use fresh lemon, but it about doubles prep time trying to avoid the seeds, and I rarely have fresh lemons around anyway, so I just use the stuff in the jar. Maybe if I got a citrus juicer. . . Anyhow, it’s good for you too.

Cayenne pepper is a stimulant that attracts blood to whatever it touches (they say to put it in your socks to warm your feet—but I’ve never tried it). It dilates the blood vessels, allowing more oxygen and white blood cells to reach the area. Also, the capsicum (I’m so proud that I remember that word without looking it up!) is a pain killer. Once the burn dies down (in less than two minutes, I assure you), the pain-killing part has begun to work.

The honey does more than just help it taste better. Honey also has antibacterial properties. If I don’t have time to look up proof sites before posting this, do the research yourself. But suffice it to say, though liquid, it never spoils, so that has to count for something! Anyhow, it also tends to coat things, and I have found that the cayenne burns a tad bit longer (not much, though) when I use the honey, meaning it’s staying there a bit longer, doing it’s work. I have made this without honey, but it is much harder to get down.

So even though I have had a bad cold, I have not endured much of a sore throat—only first thing in the morning, before I got around to making this concoction. And that was usually the last I felt of a sore throat until the next morning. I always make it fresh for me, and gargle a mouthful every 5-15 minutes (often during breakfast preparations), until it’s gone. That would be 4-5 doses. I don’t think I’d want to take them one after the other. I like hot food, but not burning in my throat, and thanks to the gargle, that’s where this stuff burns!

Also, I always swallow, so that I can get the full benefit of the garlic. Some people don’t believe in taking cayenne internally. That’s fine. I won’t argue with you. Let me just say that #1 this is a medicinal use, and #2 if you don’t want to swallow, you don’t have to! As far as I’m concerned, it has benefits, especially medicinal ones, and I will use it from time to time, especially medicinally.

I have made this for my daughter, minus the cayenne and about triple the honey and the water, and after about 3 days she started liking it. She didn’t at first. So I started using it as a way to make her stop complaining about her nose.

“Every time you say, ‘My nose bothers me,’ I’ll have to give you some medicine.” Then I would follow through. It took some work to get those first few doses down (including some threats of sitting on her and pouring it down her throat). I should clarify that a “dose” for her was less than 2 ounces, and since it didn’t have cayenne, and since she didn’t gargle it, I made her drink it all at one sitting. Well, today just before lunch, she said, “Ohhhh, my nose hurts. Mommy, I need some medicine.” Bless her heart! Too bad I didn’t have any and was just about to sit down to lunch! But I told her that the main ingredients in the medicine were in the sour cream that I was putting on her salad (lemon and garlic), and that seemed to satisfy her. :)

Bring to almost boiling, then reduce to low and cook for 20-30 minutes (stirring occasionally):
2 c amaranth
3 ½ c water
1 tsp salt (or 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp Bragg’s Aminos)

Stir and allow to cool a little before continuing. It should be nice and thick.

Mix together:
1 shredded parsnip
1 shredded carrot
1-2 c nut fiber, soy fiber, or other fiber*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c onion, minced (opt)
1 tsp sage
salt or Braggs Aminos to taste
½ c minced bell pepper
Add cooked amaranth, stir well.
Add gluten-free flour, such as garbanzo or rice flour, as needed to form a thick paste. You should be able to sort of kneed it, but it should be much wetter and stickier than bread dough. Alternately, you could soak garbanzos or split peas (yellow is better) and then blend them smooth with as little water as possible. This will make the mix more moist, but it will firm up as it bakes.

With wet hands, make balls slightly bigger than golf balls, shape into patties, and place on greased cookie sheet. They should be about 3/8” to 1/2″ thick. You will need to wet your hands again every 3-4 patties.

Bake for 30 minutes each side, or until they are how you want them. Great in sandwiches, or even by themselves.

* This is a great way to use up the fiber left over after juicing veggies.


This recipe is a modification of one I found on The original recipe is delicious (made with Veganaise), but I rarely have mayo around anymore. I think my husband actually created the version below. It’s not quite as simple as the original, but it’s still very easy.

1 Eggplant, washed and sliced in 1/2″ slices
soy sauce
Coconut oil (preferably solid but not too hard)

Dip the eggplant in soy sauce, both sides, then spread coconut oil on it as thinly as possible. Then dip it in the breadcrumbs and put on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400° about 20 minutes or so until it sinks in the middle and is thoroughly cooked. There is no need to flip it part way through unless you want to.

We usually serve these with pasta. Let me tell you, these taste so much better than the Olive Garden’s fried eggplant, not to mention they are so much better for you!

You can use just about any breading for this. Sometimes I mix dry breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast flakes. If I don’t have bread crumbs handy, I often just pour out roughly equal portions (I don’t usually measure) of yeast flakes, wheat germ, and coarsely ground corn meal and mix. This is by far the cheapest breading I have ever used!

Check back every Monday for more of my delicious Vegan Recipes, or just subscribe to the blog so you will never miss a post! Next week, Vegetarian Guiso.