7 day challenge

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been slack as of late in updating this blog. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t been up to anything, and certainly doesn’t mean I have had no interesting thoughts, but I’ve been getting enough sleep lately so that has cut into my blogging time. In order jump-start my writing for 2013 I’ve decided to institute a seven-day blogging challenge for myself, that is, I’ll publish a new post every day this week. At first I thought I should do a 30 day challenge, but then I realized that might be biting off more than I can chew. Plus I’ve already committed to a month-long diet turn around, you know, one of those New Year’s resolutions, which seems enough of a challenge for the next 30 days. But even that I’ve broken up into manageable week by week chunks.

The diet thing goes something like this: one week, focus on cutting out sugar and white flour (bad carbs) and pre-cooking a weeks’ worth of stir fry with black rice for my lunches, and bison burgers (sans bun) with salad for dinner . Weekends, no restrictions, and I’ll be using Weight Watchers points plus as usual. Week two, vegetarian pre-cooked meals. Week 3, dairy free and all organic and pre made meals. Week 4, vegan no sugar no white flour, pre made meals. My reasoning behind this is, by the end of the month I’ll have the massive cravings for sweets and carbs brought on by holiday feasting under control, instead I’ll be craving fresh veggies and homemade meals. Plus, I’ll have touched base with all of my dietary aspirations without having to take them all on at once. Going from cheesecake and turkey smothered in gravy to vegan, no dairy, no white flour or sugar, and all organic might be TOO much of a shock to the system. Just to clarify: I am unlikely to do vegan for more than a week, however much I respect the vegans. I do, however, aspire to someday to all eating all organic food. Heck, I could see eating all organic food grown by me, but that would require a bit more land and time than I currently have.

Along the same topic, I recently volunteered to cook soup and bread for the Re-evaluation co-counseling day long women’s workshop I’m going to. The organizer asked me if I could bring something organic and vegan for the event, and not being in the habit of vegan cooking I panicked a bit. I really like me some chicken or beef broth in my soups (or both together!) and I hadn’t planned on doing a special shopping trip. So I took stock of what I’ve got and made a soup that was totally vegan, and as close to organic, as I could manage. After conferring with the workshop organizer that mostly organic was ok, here’s what i came up with:

3 cartons of organic rice milk

4 cans of low-sodium V8 juice

Bragg liquid aminos – I kept adding this liberally throughout the cooking process but is was probably about a quarter cup

Organic no salt seasoning

3-4 kaffir lime leaves (organic, grown by me, and very exciting because it is the first time I’ve used leaves from this little tree)

1 tsp thyme (organic, grown by me)

1 tsp rosemary (organic, grown by me)

1 tsp oregano (organic, grown by me)

1 cup shelled runner beans (organic, grown by me)

1 cup green runner beans frozen, minced (organic, grown by me)

a small pinch of frozen lemon grass

a couple of slices of fresh ginger

1/3 cup organic yellow sweet corn

1/3 cup lentils

1 cup black rice

1 cup  Quinoa (organic)

1/3 cup shelled hemp seed (organic)

It came out really well. My son said it tasted like it had meat in it. I do have to say, the rice milk added a better flavor/texture than I expected, but the kaffir lime leaves really made it for me. I am SO glad I decided to buy that little tree as it is going to become a favorite cooking herb.

Have you recently tried inventing a new recipe born of a need to use what you have on hand? If so, how did it turn out? I’d love to hear about it!

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