Day 4 – Sunday, July 14, 2019

Day 4 – Sunday, July 14, 2019

Meeting morning – I skipped breakfast, Ed had leftover beans and Ezekiel flax bread toast, but we both had coffee. Left the house for our meeeting at 0830.

After the meeting, at about 1030, we went to Gnome, our downtown vegan cafe for a breakfast burrito and coffee.  On the way home, we stopped, as planned, at Whole Foods for major food shopping.

We divide and conquer for these expeditions. There are some things that Ed chooses in the store, some things (like produce) that I choose. Luckily, we care about different things—he gets the beans, bananas (for Yonanas), and other middle aisle things like olives and balsamic vinegar, and I pick out the produce because I like to inspect the fruit and veg pretty closely, like getting the most intense color and the freshest kale. I have a list of all the things we ever get, shorter than what you would think, on my iPhone in Notes, and I put *** after each item we need to buy. When we put it in the basket, I delete the ***, so at the end of shopping I know I didn’t forget anything. 

Whole Foods has discontinued our balsamic vinegar, but the replacement is even better than the one we had before. On the internet, I found out that to have “aged” on the bottle, the vinegar has to be aged at least 12 years. Also, the ingredients are only the following: cooked grape must, which consists of crushed grapes including the skin, seeds, and stems cooked and put into wooden barrels to ferment and age, and wine vinegar. A cheaper balsamic-like vinegar has also been produced, but other ingredients will be present on the label.  If the label doesn’t say aged and if it has other ingredients, and it’s cheaper, it’s not going to knock your socks off when you taste it.  So our new favorite balsamic vinegar is ELSA, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Aged.  It costs about $2.25 per ounce, about $19 for an 8.5 oz bottle. But, hey, it’s a choice.

2:45 p.m.  Coffee and raisin toast for Ed, pita toast for me, watching the recorded “CBS Sunday Morning” from today.

4:30 p.m. Flower rounds, dead-heading and watering plants on back porch and outside. I gave up on trying to grow kale or anything to eat because the bugs like it more, and I’d rather let the experts grow organic food—they need my support anyhow. I like bees, wasps, spiders, frogs, and anything else that won’t kill us, to live around our house without being disturbed by pesticides.

Thinking about the main meal today, I’m going to the kitchen to make a plan. But I already know that kale with our new vinegar is on the menu.

I didn’t feel like cooking really, but I started reading a recipe for potato casserole, the one I tried on Wednesday but forgot to put the onions in, and it was too dry. I changed the recipe a little, but kept the basic ingredients of sliced potatoes, onions, garlic, and bell peppers  with a sauce of chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, chopped chickpeas, aquafaba (bean water from the chickpeas), Herbes de Provence, parsley, Konriko Greek Seasoning, and I added extra water. With kale, it made a good supper; however, some improvements will be made next time: more chickpeas and aquafaba, change bell peppers to green beans, use more aquafaba and chickpeas, instead of the extra water and use veg broth if more volume of liquid is needed. Add some low-salt Tamari to the liquid also. I will layer the potatoes, onions, whole and chopped chickpeas, and green beans, pouring the liquid gravy over each layer, with the top layer having onions and chickpeas. I’ll bake it covered for 45 minutes at 400F and finish with 15 minutes uncovered. That should do it nicely, roasting to a crispy brown the top chickpeas and onions. 

Update: I tried this the next week, but I used too much liquid which turned it into a stew. It was ok, but I didn’t love it. This is one of those recipes that sounds better than it eats.

A half hour after supper, dessert was,cherry and strawberry Yonanas, a toasted pita later.

You can see, while we are learning a new way to eat and cook, unless you follow every recipe to the letter (which I consider way more trouble than it’s worth), there is experimentation with this plan, and it can be frustrating. But still, even when it’s disappointing, it’s edible and still good for you. And, as they say, another meal’s coming!

I am a 75 year old retired M.D. radiologist, always interested in staying healthy by eating natural foods and avoiding pharmaceuticals, four years ago converted to the Whole Food Plant Based diet and lifestyle by watching Forks Over Knives and Fed Up. This blog follows my path in sticking with this rather extreme program and keeping it simple, hopefully useful to others who want to live long and prosper without open heart surgery and chemotherapy.

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