Tag Archives: diabetes

Recipe remix

5 Sep

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long at all, then you know I repeat meals a lot each week. I don’t mind the monotony — it makes my life easier, and if a meal is good once, it’ll be good twice — but I do try to make little tweaks when I can. Here’s an example: on Saturday, I made us both soft tacos with zucchini and portobello mushrooms (see this post). On Sunday, we used the same basic concept but made some changes, which gave us these:

Lentil Vegetable Soft Tacos

  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cherry peppers (or 1/2 a jalapeno), chopped and seeded if you want less heat
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cumin to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • Suggested toppings: salsa, green onion, cilantro, nooch or cheese, sour cream, avocado

Bring lentils and one cup of water (or vegetable broth, if you prefer) in a small pot. Simmer until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes typically. Drain, lightly mash, and set aside.

Heat a saute pan misted with spray oil (or us about a teaspoon of olive oil, if you prefer) over medium. Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook for two or three minutes, or until mushrooms soften and release some moisture. Stir in the lentils, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until combined and heated. Pile into corn tortillas with your favorite toppings.

I served the summer squash on the side this time:

(I forgot to take a picture until I had taken a bite of my taco!) And for dessert, we had incredibly juicy and sweet watermelon from the CSA box:

Another remix were these bean patties I first made on my solo Saturday:

They featured leftover black-eyed peas, shredded squash, a little flour, and some spices. While they were tasty, the texture was borderline terrible. I was following a method, and though I thought for sure I should salt and drain the yellow squash, the recipe didn’t say to, so I went against instinct. It was a big mistake, and the resulting patties were way, way too moist. So I redid them
for lunch on Monday:

It looks the same, but it tastes and feels a million times better. I didn’t measure anything, so this isn’t much of a recipe, but I wanted to include the basic method — what Caitlin fittingly called a Formula Meal earlier today — for reference.

Bean and Summer Squash Patties

  • 1 medium or large shredded summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan, whatever you have)
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans (or 1 can), lightly mashed
  • ~1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • ~1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Other chopped veggies: carrots, peppers, and/or green onion are all basic additions
  • Preferred spices: cumin and oregano for Mexican-inspired, thyme and tarragon for something a little Provencal, sesame seeds and ginger for Chinese, cinnamon and allspice for Caribbean, curry for Indian, etc.
  • Fresh herbs: cilantro, basil, and/or parsley are all good choices
  • Oil for frying

Salt your squash and place in a bowl or colander to drain for about 30 minutes. When ready to cook, squeeze out additional liquid and pat dry.

In a medium bowl, combine everything but the oil with your hands. If there is too much moisture, add more oats or flour a little at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add more liquid a little at a time. It’s highly unscientific, but that’s the best way to achieve the right texture.

When the consistency is to your liking, form into patties. You can make them bigger for veggie burgers or smaller to fill pitas or eat on their own.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil (per batch) in a pan over medium or medium-low heat (the bigger the patty, the lower the heat should be to ensure the insides cook as well as the crispy outside). Add the patties to the pan and cook, flipping every couple of minutes, until they are browned. Serve however you prefer — on a bun, in a pita, or by themselves with a dipping sauce (ketchup, cashew cream, or tahini sauce all come to mind).

Makes about four servings.

I forgot to take a photo of our lunch, but we served them with lightly sauteed chard from the CSA box.

Do you often do recipe remixing? Have any favorite “formulas” to share?


Cucumber flower

27 Aug

Here’s a make-up post of a couple of dishes I made using CSA Week 1 goodies.

For our other dinner last week, I did something Thai-inspired involving lentils, barley, coconut milk, and a bunch of CSA vegetables:

Thai Lentils and Barley

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 6 to 7 cups vegetable broth or water, or a combination
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 bunch of kale, cleaned thoroughly and chopped/torn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of Thai basil, cut in a julienne

In a large pot, heat coconut milk and 6 cups of broth/water to a boil. Add the barley and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point, add the rest of the ingredients, return to a simmer, and cook until the barley and lentils are softened and the liquid is absorbed. Add more broth or water if the liquid dries up before the texture is to your liking. Makes about 5 servings.

As you can see, we served ours with Refreshing Cucumber Salad (lightly tweaked to swap scallions for red onion, omit the agave, and just mix the dressing by hand). We used the Armenian cucumber, which might be the cutest thing ever:

It’s like a flower! I’m really not a big cucumber fan, but I really liked the Armenian variety. They are crisper, firmer, don’t need to be peeled. and the seeds are far less offensive. I’m excited to have more this week.

For dessert, we enjoyed half the honeydew melon and one of the Valencia oranges (sorry it’s so dark):

It was a perfect summer meal that used seven of the goodies from the CSA box. That’s definitely a winner!

Meal planning for August 13-17

12 Aug

Hey all. This post will probably only be useful and/or interesting for me, but I thought I’d share it anyway. Here is my meal plan for the week:



  • Breakfast — Ditto
  • Lunch — Ditto
  • Dinner — Ditto



  • Breakfast — Ditto
  • Lunch — Ditto
  • Dinner — Ditto


  • Breakfast — Ditto
  • Lunch — Leftovers
  • Dinner — Using our free $25 gift card at District 13 (vegan sausages!)

I’m trying to get back into the swing of proper meal planning, and if I’ve learned anything about myself, simplifying breakfasts and lunches is key for me. It’s much, much easier if I embrace a little monotony throughout the week. As long as the choices are dishes I really like, then I don’t mind a bit. I will report back on how this week’s attempt at staying on track (and budget) pans out. Happy Sunday!

Meal Planning for May 29-June 1

29 May

I thought I would ease back into posting with some meal planning, which, frankly, is probably more interesting for me than you. Baby steps!

Here’s what I intend to consume and feed my diabetic this work week:


  • For me: Tofu scramble; banana
  • For him: Multi-Grain Cheerios with almond milk


  • For me: Vegan cornbread casserole
  • For him #1: Asian Noodle Salad with Shirataki instead of pasta
  • For him #2: Hummus with carrots and celery; strawberries


  • Tuesday: Free vegan sausages from a nearby bar (but really)
  • Wednesday: Vegan white chili; pineapple
  • Thursday: Vegan white chili; pineapple
  • Friday: Mushroom-barley risotto

I will share the cornbread casserole recipe later this week — it’s a winner!

What’s on your menu this week?


I did it!

18 Jun

Friends, readers, country(wo)men — I took the leap. You are now viewing this little blog on her own domain: http://www.veggingoutinttown.com! Eek! I’m excited, as you can tell. One day, I will upgrade to my own hosting, too, but for now, I’m basking in this first little victory.

I told you about my first foray into diabetic meal planning two weeks ago but was remiss in sharing the actual eats. My apologies. Between the ShakeDown in T-Town Shakespeare Festival 2011 and the crushing pain that refuses to leave my head (16 migraines in 35 days and counting — for realsies), I’ve been a bit negligent. So here’s what we’ve been eating round these here parts lately. I will note that I still consider myself a failure at the diabetes thing. It’s really, really hard and contrary to how I — a carb-loving borderline hypoglycemic — normally plan meals. I am picking up Dr. Barnard’s book on diabetes today, though, so hopefully I will gain some insight.

OK, here was the boy’s favorite meal of last week:

Clockwise from left: Swiss Chard with Garlic Chips (topped with a splash of balsamic instead of the reduction), Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing (minus the onions), and “Dry” Red Lentils (recipe below). He raved about the whole meal. I enjoyed it, too, though the following morning’s repeat Swiss chard performance was not ideal. (For the record, I blame my own acid reflux problems, not the green or the recipe.) I adored the dressing on the cucumber salad and plan to use it again on something else. Here’s the super-easy-basic lentil recipe.

“Dry” Red Lentils (adapted from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey)

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into fine half moons
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse and drain lentils, then place them in a bowl with water to soak. The original recipe says three hours, but I only did one and it was totally fine. Drain when you’re ready to cook.

Place a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onion and garlic, stir frying for about 4 minutes, or until the onion browns a little. Add the lentils, stirring for a minute. Add 1 cup of water and the salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Now cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook until lentils are tender mush, about 20 minutes.

The recipe is pretty much fool-proof, and it’s completely delicious, despite the very small ingredient list. I recommend trying it as is before you start spicing things up.

After dinner, I whipped up some Pumpkin Pie Mousse.

I am total crap at food styling, but this was my attempt. Almost pretty, eh? The mousse is layered with banana slices and topped with a little coconut cream (from the top of the can of coconut milk) and cinnamon. The only changes I made to the original recipe were omitting the maca (didn’t have any) and sweetening with a little honey.

Another successful meal was what I’m calling Continential Breakfast for Dinner.

Clockwise from left: Italian-style Eggs, salad with homemade goddess dressing, and French-inspired Breakfast Potatoes. I didn’t use a recipe for the former, just sauteed two yellow squashes in olive oil and garlic then added four beaten eggs (sourced locally and cruelty-free), two chopped scallions, five or six chopped and seeded cherry tomatoes, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and a little shredded Asiago cheese. It was incredible, if I do say so myself. I will share recipes for the other two dishes in a separate post so this one doesn’t get too cray-cray.

For my lunches, I made a nutrient-dense salad:

It was inspired by the salad I always get at Chipotle, but mine was awesomer. I made black beans from scratch in the slow cooker, precooked some red bell pepper and portobello mushrooms in a little olive oil, and made salsa. When it was time to eat, I heated up the cooked stuff, piled it on top of greens, and topped it all with salsa and sliced avocado. *Heavenly.* If anyone would like the full recipe, I’d be happy to do a separate post. I was a nice girlfriend and shared this salad for one of my diabetic love’s lunches, but it was hard to part with.

So those are a few of last week’s mostly healthy meals, and I promise there is more to come as I finagle this bidness. On an exciting note, I FOUND MY CAMERA CHARGER! Now all I have to do is find . . . my camera. For real. Sigh. Soon, though, I promise pictures will improve.

What’s your favorite breakfast-for-dinner meal? I’m not a big pancake fan, so I usually stick with something savory.

Lentils on FoodistaLentils

Diabetic meal planning

6 Jun

This is the week I get serious about serving diabetic-friendly meals at home. A doctor visit last week saw an increase in his medication, and I just flat-out don’t like it. So, after doing some research, I have set out to prepare foods that are tasty, mostly vegan, and low in carbohydrates. Luckily this effort coincides with my desire to clean up my own eating and save money. Meal planning and cooking certainly helps with both of those goals, too.

First, let me say that I don’t eat a particularly low-carb diet. When I first started trying to follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s eating plan, I discovered that I actually have a very difficult time getting enough calories when following a very clean vegan diet. He encourages very little fat and grains and puts a big emphasis on veggies and beans. I tend to agree, but I quickly learned that I cannot physically eat enough raw or cooked vegetables to take in at least 1,200 calories a day. My solution has been more fat (almost entirely olive oil and nut butters) and more grains. I know neither are as healthful as vegetables and legumes, but there are only so many cups a day of raw, crunchy veggies that I can physically eat.

Adapting my style of eating to the needs of a diabetic who requires way more calories a day than I do is proving a big challenge. In no way do I think this week’s meal plan is perfect, but it’s a starting point. If any of you have resources or ideas to share, please do! I’m still very, very much a novice at this whole thing. Without meal planning assistance from his doctor (he’s supposed to get this info at his next appointment in three weeks), I’m winging it and aiming for 10 servings of carbs a day (or 150 grams). Here’s this week’s plan for both of us (I’ll share recipes later this week):


  • For me: Oatmeal (either lazy-girl or overnight oats) with peanut butter, almond milk, banana, and coconut milk creamer – This is just for me since he doesn’t get up terribly long before the lunch hour. 358 calories, 58 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber.


  • For him: Salads (with either spinach or baby romaine) topped with two hard-boiled eggs, toasted cashews and homemade goddess dressing. 402 calories, 19 grams of carbs, 31 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.
  • For me: Burrito bowls with black beans, Portobello mushrooms, red bell pepper, avocado, lettuce, and homemade salsa. 348 calories, 45 grams of carbs, 14 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, and 18 grams of fiber.

Dinner (for both of us)

  • Two nights: Sautéed Swiss chard, cucumber salad, and red lentils. 372 calories, 34 grams of carbs, 24 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fiber.
  • One night: Breakfast for dinner! Scrambled eggs with yellow squash, tomato, and garlic and breakfast potatoes. 391 calories, 42 grams of carbs, 24 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber.
  • One night: dining out at a pizza place. I haven’t figured this out yet!


  • Small banana – 93 calories, 24 grams of carbs, 0.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.
  • Pineapple – in one cup: 76 calories, 19 grams of carbs, 0.7 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.
  • Watermelon – in one cup: 49 calories, 11 grams of carbs, 0.7 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, and 1 gram of fiber.

Dessert (for both of us – probably once or twice during the week)

  • Vegan Epicurean’s Pumpkin Pie Mousse. 318 calories, 37 grams of carbs, 17 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fiber.

As you can see, my breakfast and lunch alone go over the carb count I want for him. Today, his total will be 53 from lunch and dinner, leaving him plenty of leeway for snacking on fruit. I haven’t decided if I’ll make the pumpkin mousse tonight or not. We shall see.

Are you a carboholic like me, or do you watch your intake?