February 2010

21 Day Cleanse Diet Wrap Up

February 26, 2010

Many of you have been following along with the 21 Day Cleanse Diet I’ve been doing. You’ve seen the vegan recipes. You’ve heard the highs and lows, the trials and tribulations. Now here’s the recap.

I did it! Three whole weeks and I stuck to the plan without faltering. No sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no gluten and no animal products.

People keep asking me if I feel “better” or “different.” The short answer is yes, but maybe not for the reasons you would think.

First, I feel great because I accomplished something I wasn’t sure I could, so I’m proud of that. Physically, I feel better because I lost a little weight (and I continue to lose).

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I Cook Because…

February 24, 2010
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Respected food writer Michael Ruhlman recently wrote an interesting blog post about why he cooks and threw down the gauntlet to other bloggers to “spell it out” why we cook.

I cook because:

  • Because I love it, plain and simple. I love food, eating and almost everything that surrounds it. This extends to my other passion, travel. Because I love to cook and eat, when I travel I always focus on seeing what people in other places eat, how they shop and how their food impacts the culture. Sometimes I even cook when I travel utilizing the best local ingredients.
  • Because I can. A lot of people are intimidated by cooking and while certain aspects of cooking still intimidate me, throwing together a quick dinner made with fresh ingredients is not one of them. This is also why I blog about cooking; because I want to show people it’s
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Tofu Tacos (a la Kogi BBQ)

February 22, 2010
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I never thought these words would ever come out of my mouth;
“Oh my God, these tofu tacos are so good!”
But that was before the 21 day Cleanse Diet, before I was desperately hungry one night after working late, and before the Kogi BBQ truck entered my world.

For those who are not aware of the gourmet food truck phenomenon which had gripped Los Angeles, the Kogi truck is credited with starting the frenzy about a year ago. Sure, LA had always been home to many traditional taco trucks, but in a stroke of pure genius chef Roy Choi decided to combine the flavors of Korean BBQ and Mexican tacos. When they started with their first truck they brilliantly utilized Twitter to let people know where they were going to be and the lines were legendary. Now they have 4 trucks and it’s easier to get a taco …

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Cleanse Diet Week 2

February 15, 2010

Week 2 Observations:

It’s been an interesting week filled with highs and lows.

The week started with an epic cooking fail on my part. I tried to make a vegan, gluten free, “sugar” free “cheesecake.” Really. What was I thinking? The cheesecake was made with vegan cream cheese, silken tofu, egg replacer, agave syrup and cocoa powder. I made a crust out of finely chopped hazelnuts and vegan butter and topped it with the vegan sour cream. It was baked. The result? The center section wasn’t chocolate or sweet enough but the texture was actually pretty good. The crust and topping were horrible. I threw most of it in the trash.

Then I came across an article about agave syrup which made me question if it was indeed something I should even be eating. Which for about a day led me to have a crisis of confidence in this whole …

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French Green Lentil and Spinach Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

February 15, 2010
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There’s been a movement lately called “Meatless Monday” (it even has a website, http://www.meatlessmonday.com/) where people are making the conscious decision to eat once a week without meat. This tradition goes back to World War 1 when the government urged people to go one day without meat to aid the war effort and it continued during WW2. Today, the goal is “goal is to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”
The website says, “going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.” For me, while I’m on the 21 day cleanse diet, every day is Meatless Monday, at least for the next week.

Many people assume that with …

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Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

February 13, 2010
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Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

Most people think the creamy texture in risotto comes from the addition of lots of butter and parmesan cheese. This can be true, especially when you order it in a restaurant where they may take shortcuts or have a heavy hand with the cheese. In reality, it’s the natural starch surrounding the arborio rice kernel and patience while cooking which creates this effect.

The slow stirring of the rice releases starch which binds with the cooking liquid (stock or water), resulting in a creamy texture without adding a lot of butter or cheese. Traditionally, risotto is finished with a small knob of butter and a few spoonfuls of parmesan, so if you want to add those in, by all means do so. I left them out because I’m still doing the 21 day cleanse diet.  The earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the bright taste of the fresh asparagus …

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