Hi there! Does it feel like Monday instead of “What I Ate” Wednesday to anybody else? I hope you did something fun yesterday, whether it involved Christmas or not. My gym was open until noon so I was able to get some good exercise and then I just spent the rest of the day doing random work and house-related things. I loved it though because I plenty of time to do what I wanted. What a gift not to feel rushed for time.
Let me back up. I started off the morning with some leftover green smoothie that had all kinds of fruit and a ton of raw kale:
And, lest you think I am the perfect “nutritarian,” I gave in to a major sugar/chocolate cravings I’ve been having recently. My friend Deb had given me a sample of some ground cacao nibs that you brew like coffee into a choco-tea so I tried making that in my husband’s French press:
It made a very weak version of hot cocoa, even after I gussied it up with some unsweetened soy milk and packets of stevia:
Yes, that’s right, I’m not sure how this has happened, but in the last few weeks, I have slipped back into using stevia in my hot morning tea AND by using cacao powder a lot more liberally in my morning smoothies. I’m not beating myself up about it except for noticing that the stevia awakens my sugar cravings and the cacao powder is somewhat addictive as well. I will likely take a break from both of these at a near point in the future, but not today (spoken like a true addict, no?).
Lunch included a big green salad with tempeh:
And two gorgeous persimmons for dessert:
I made a batch of black bean brownies using carob powder in the early afternoon so they would have time to chill in the fridge to be eaten after dinner. I left out the spinach this time and you can see the batter (top picture) was not green and they came out just perfectly (bottom picture):
I made an icing from macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, carob powder, date sugar, dates, vanilla extract and unsweetened soy milk so the final dessert when served after dinner looked like this:
I decided to try using the pressure cooker for a Fuhrman-esque stew for last night’s dinner. I think it was faster than using the regular stove-top method, the squash definitely cooked faster. Unfortunately, between making the fresh vegetable juice and cooking the beans from scratch (albeit also using the pressure cooker), it is just a lot of work to make such an involved soup, but it is sooooo worth it!
I’m calling this recipe my New Year’s Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Stew because apparently black-eyed peas are associated with good luck. I’m not superstitious, but it was kind of fun to make a themed dish and I wanted to post it enough ahead of time in case you want to try making it for New Year’s.
If you are going to make this stew, do yourself a favor and cook the peas ahead of time or use a canned version. It also helps to juice the veggies earlier in the day so you don’t have to mess with your juicer when you make the stew.
Here are some photos from the cooking process:
Here is the recipe:
New Year’s Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Stew
Makes 8 servings
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ cubes (about 3 cups)
1 cup reduced or no-sodium vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 green cabbage, chopped roughly
4 cloves garlic
3 cups carrot juice (I also juiced a cucumber), divided
2 large bunches of bok choy (about 4 cups chopped)
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
Use at least a 5.5 quart pressure cooker for this recipe. To start, add the butternut squash and the vegetable broth to the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 2 minutes. Use the quick release and add the onion, mushrooms, cabbage, garlic and 1.5 cups of the vegetable juice. Bring back to high pressure for 45 seconds and use the quick release again. Lastly, add the remainder of the vegetable juice, the bok choy and the peas to the pot and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the bok choy has wilted. Carefully batch-process the stew in a high-speed blender until the desired texture is achieved. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or vinegar to brighten the flavors.
The stew ended up looking like this:
Served in my bowl with chopped red onion:
Dr. Fuhrman was right that using carrot juice as a base for soup makes it very sweet and delicious. The butternut squash also helps in that regard. I have stopped adding blended nuts to my soups because I find they are creamy enough without them, and I prefer to save my nut consumption for desserts or salad dressings.
This year has been full of quite the adventures and challenges and I am already looking forward to 2013. If there is any truth to the abundance associated with eating black-eyed peas at this time of year, then I hope we all experience it. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll be back here on Friday with my 2012 wrap-up post where I’ll also be discussing my resolutions and hopes for the new year.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my recipe app, Vegan Delish, for all sorts of healthy and easy recipes; I added three new ones yesterday!