Tag Archives: plant based diet

Craving Something Unhealthy?

Well, I was too! I wasn’t craving the worst thing, Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, but there are things on the ingredient list that just don’t work for me. The corn is most likely GMO which is a controversial subject, but I choose to err on the side of caution and avoid it when possible. And the pasta is made with wheat which I try my best to avoid because it causes me grief, and eggs (probably not pastured and who knows what the chickens ate) and sugar which shouldn’t be necessary to cut the acidity of the tomatoes because there are carrots in the soup.

All of which left me in the lurch so I started checking around and found Amy’s Organic Fat Free Vegetable Soup which was delicious once I added a squirt of olive oil, but pricey at around $3.60/can. That can was enough for one nice-sized bowl and I definitely bought it, then found it for a around $2.50 online through Walmart.

One day a few weeks ago I was walking through the grocery store and spotted a package of mixed veggies. That’s something I hadn’t looked at or purchased in years, but the picture got my attention because it is exactly what’s in Campbell’s or Amy’s vegetable soup. The light bulb came on! I checked out the ingredients on Amy’s can and knew that with a can of tomatoes and a few spices I could duplicate the veggie soup of my craving! And, it works! Here’s how:

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/3 bag of frozen organic corn*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen edamame*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen spinach
  • 1-2T reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • Dehydrated onion flakes, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today's lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today’s lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Using a large pot, put all of the ingredients together along with 1 1/2 tomato cans of water. Heat it all up and then simmer for a couple of hours.
I like extra corn and wanted a bit of protein thrown in. Use organic when possible and practical. You can use onions, garlic and celery, I just didn’t happen to have any on hand when I put mine together.
The second time I made it I cleaned out the bits and pieces of veggies in my freezer and added some okra, peas and kale. Play with it and enjoy!

So, the moral of the story is, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a healthy version, nor does it have to be difficult to create. I’d love the challenge of finding healthy alternatives for you. Visit my website http://www.nancyoglesby.com and click on Contact Me.

Bon Apetite!

 

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Nancy’s Soon-to-Be Famous Accidental Chili

I’ve found a combination of ‘secret’ ingredients that make meatless soup, chili and spaghetti sauce taste, for lack of a better word, meaty. I’ve tested my recipes on diehard, meat-loving dudes and they are all shocked when they find out there’s no meat in them.

So, add this to your meal rotation and save the money for a grass-fed steak! (For more on reasons to add in meatless meals see Breakfast for Dinner.) The story explaining the name is in the recipe instructions below.

This recipe is high in protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Enjoy!

(Gluten Free)

1 Can (28oz)     Diced Organic Tomatoes
2 Cans (15oz)   Kidney Beans (I like Light Red)
1 Can (15oz)     Pinto/Black Beans
1 Can (15oz)     Pizza Sauce (I use Muir Glen Organic)
2 Med                 Onions (chopped how you like them)
2 Cloves            Garlic (crushed)
6-8 Small           Red Potatoes (quartered, unpeeled)
1 Cube               Edward & Sons Not Beef Bouillon (or a brand you prefer)
1 T                     Bragg Liquid Aminos (available either online or in the health section
of your grocery
1.5T                   Smoked Paprika  (or to taste)
3 T                     Chili Powder  (or to taste)
2 T                     Cumin  (or to taste)
1.5 T                  Coconut Oil (I use raw, organic, extra virgin)

Rinse & drain the beans, toss everything in a crockpot, cook. J I have to confess that I don’t always use a raw onion or garlic cloves. If I’m in a hurry and don’t have either, I add dried, minced onion and garlic powder. (There, I said it. Confession over.)

Okay, here’s how the accidental, fabulously delicious potato chili happened:

I was at the grocery store and googled ‘chili’ since I can never remember the ratio of tomatoes to tomato sauce or paste. I checked out three and all of them had only 1 large can of tomatoes so that’s what I bought. I got home and started adding ingredients and quickly realized that I needed another tomato product so I looked in my cabinet and the only thing I had was a can of Muir Glen Pizza Sauce. I read the ingredients and thought, “That should work. The Chili Powder and Cumin should do a good job of covering up most of the basil and oregano.”

I tossed everything in the Crockpot and cooked it several hours before dinner. I fixed myself a bowl, took a bite and realized that the bouillon cube added way too much salt … Hmmm, potatoes will absorb that, so tomorrow I’ll add some potatoes.

The next morning, I tossed it all back in the Crockpot and cubed 6-8 small red potatoes and added them. Several hours later I had the best chili I’d ever tasted … NancyO’s Accidental, Fabulously Delicious Potato Chili! But you don’t have to believe me. I demonstrate this in my cooking classes while the students eat some that’s already cooked. This is what I hear:

“OMG – the chili was AWESOME! … That is a recipe my meat-eating hubby would like too!”

“This chili is really amazing!”

“I can’t believe there’s no meat in this. It’s delicious!”

I hope you get a chance to try this because it is really good and the perfect answer to Meatless Meals!

THANKS!!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Just a quick disclaimer: I make a small amount if you purchase from the links I provide. However, primarily I add links because it allows you to know exactly what product I’m talking about when I identify brands that I like and use.

Breakfast for Dinner?

Breakfast for Dinner?

Research overwhelmingly shows that a plant-based diet is the best choice in reducing and preventing chronic disease. In some cases, it can totally reverse existing disease. Being the Practical Health Coach, I understand that few of my clients, or their families, are willing to make the choice to eliminate meat from their diets, so my approach is to encourage and support them in reducing their reliance on meat-centered meals.

One popular suggestion is to have breakfast for dinner. Not only can breakfast be prepared quite easily and quickly, the ingredients are often inexpensive, and done properly can be quite healthy. Hearty cooked breakfasts bring back memories of relaxing weekend mornings or spending the night at Grandma’s … A nice way to ease some of the stress from a busy day!

My favorite is what I call a Scrambled Egg Omelet, fried potatoes

Photo by Jeremy Keith

Photo by Jeremy Keith

and fresh fruit. To make the omelet I caramelize onions, add in broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and spinach (broccoli first as it takes a bit longer to cook). While they’re cooking, I whip up the eggs. After the veggies are cooked to the point that I like, I add the whipped eggs and stir until cooked. Season to taste and serve.

I cook thin sliced gold or red potatoes in a very small amount of coconut oil, over medium heat until browned on one side, then turn to brown on the other side.

Sometimes I cut and mix several fruits but if I’m in a hurry I slice and serve just one. If I’ve planned this out, I might have stopped at the salad bar or the veggies and fruit, then prep is simple! (See Get Yourself a Prep Cook)

If someone has to have bacon, or breakfast just doesn’t taste right without the smell of bacon cooking, crumble a half slice onto the top of their serving of either the omelet or the potatoes. (Buy nitrite/nitrate free bacon either from or Whole Foods or similar source near you.)

This is an inexpensive way to reduce your meal costs allowing you to use that money to buy a better, grass-fed, organic meat.

Next up: A meatless chili that leave no one asking, “Where’s the beef?”

THANKS!!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach
 

Just a quick disclaimer: I make a small amount if you purchase from the links I provide. However, primarily I add links because it allows you to know exactly what product I’m talking about when I identify brands that I like and use.

5 Freezer Hacks to Save Money

My freezer isn't always this organized. It's often totally out of control! Here we have some different gluten-free, vegan burgers, homemade broth, chili, pumpkin, green beans and a loaf of gf bread.

My freezer isn’t always this organized. It’s often totally out of control! Here we have some different gluten-free, vegan burgers, homemade broth, chili, pumpkin, green beans and a loaf of gf bread.

This is going to be short and sweet: Freeze Everything!

Okay, maybe not quite everything, but if you’re like me, there’s often a banana that’s about to go bad, oranges that you can’t possible eat in time or you can’t take advantage of the sale on grapes because there’s no way you can use them soon enough. Maybe you bought that bag of kale with good intentions, but the intentions didn’t follow you home from the store.

How many times do you end up throwing away produce? If you’re like I was, it’s a lot. What you buy will have a better chance of staying out of the the landfill when you begin to rely on your freezer. Here are five ways to get started:

  1. Buy a bag of already washed and chopped kale, and if you only use it in cooked dishes and/or smoothies, just toss it right in the freezer when you get home. This works for spinach as well. (It doesn’t work at all if you’re going to eat it in a salad or raw since when defrosted it gets pretty mushy.)
  2. Cookie sheet magic happens with most fruits and veggies that you want to use for smoothies or in cooked dishes. Are your bananas looking a bit beyond their deliciousness? Slice, lay out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and slide in the freezer. When they’ve frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This works for apples (which don’t turn brown when cut up and frozen), peaches, cherries, orange sections, grapes, strawberries, mango, melon, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, snow peas, green beans … Well, just about anything! These won’t be good for eating thawed out, but they’re great for purees, smoothies, syrups, stir fries, soups and stews. You can even add frozen fruit to beverages for a pop of color.
  3. If you haven’t already tried it, eat grapes and cherries frozen. It takes you longer to eat them (reduced sugar intake) and they taste great!
  4. A treat with frozen bananas is to dip them in melted, dark chocolate (70% or higher) and refreeze … good for your health and fabulous for that chocolate craving! (Eat frozen)
  5. Can’t possibly go through a loaf of bread in time? Open the bag, fan out the slices, set in the freezer. Once frozen, put the loaf back together and seal the bag. You won’t have to jackhammer the pieces apart ever again!
Bags of kale and spinach, an ice cube tray of chicken broth, jars of soup, and fresh frozen basil ... handy!

Bags of kale and spinach, an ice cube tray of chicken broth, jars of soup, and fresh frozen basil … handy!

There you have it … Tips to help your budget, your health and the landfill!

If you’re in the Kansas City area, check out my upcoming events. They can be found on my website’s Events Page.

Thanks!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Pilaf … The Versatile Side Dish

One of the best things you can do to streamline your dinner prep is to always have a batch of already cooked rice on hand.(I cook mine in a big batch then freeze it in single serving sizes.) This will provide you with opportunities galore!

Pilaf … However you want it!
This is something you can make all your own. You don’t need a recipe! Using the salad bar as your prep cook, toss in whatever veggies and/or fruit appeals to you. Some of my favorites are a Mediterranean-flavored pilaf with spinach, garlic, onion, tomato and chickpeas tossed with olive oil, balsamic (lightly), oregano and basil. If you eat dairy, a touch of feta cheese would be lovely.

My favorite sweet pilaf has a drizzle of walnut oil, cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar, diced apples, carrots, celery and walnuts. If the cinnamon flavor isn’t enough for you, sprinkle on a bit of pumpkin pie seasoning.

You can add just about anything to rice to make it a delicious side dish: Onions, carrots, peas, peppers, radishes, edamame, beans, chickpeas, beets, mushrooms, bean sprouts, tomatoes, dried cranberries, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts …

You can dress it with whatever you like including, Asian style, Italian, Balsamic, Russian or French dressing. You can create your own dressing by combining oil and vinegar, soy sauce, spices … Bottled dressings often have a ton of additives or sugar so I usually make my own.pilaf nourish network

For pilafs, I just add what I think will work. I use either olive or walnut oil, then add spices to flavor it. For a Southwest feel, I’ll add chili powder, peppers, onions and cumin. If I feel like a trip to Italy I’ll add garlic, onion, parsley, basil, tomatoes, lemon, a touch of fresh parmesan and olive oil.

If you’re looking for specific recipes, just click on the pictures and you’ll be taken to the recipe on another website (not mine).

When creating sweet pilafs, I often blend fresh pineapple (usually from the salad bar) with yellow mustard and honey (in my NutriBullet) to create the dressing. It is DELICIOUS!! Just play with amounts. Start with the pineapple, give it a squirt of mustard and a teaspoon of honey. Blend, taste, adjust, blend, taste, adjust. Be adventurous!

pilaf epicuriousI hope you enjoy creating pilafs of your very own! Let us know the outcome and what flavors really worked for you in the comments below.

Are you wanting to taste an impromptu pilaf? Check out my Cooking … Fast, Easy, Healthy classes being held all over the KC Metro Area. You’ll find the list on my website at www.HealthWorksKC.com. Just click on the ‘Events’ tab at the top of the page.

Thanks!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Get Yourself a Prep Cook

Get Yourself a Prep Cook!

Get Yourself a Prep Cook!

The number one thing that stops me from preparing a healthy meal at home is the prep work. All that washing, peeling, slicing and dicing is not what I want to be doing when I get home from work.

One solution would be to hire a Prep Cook. Unfortunately, I’m not Oprah. My wallet currently does not support hiring a kitchen goddess. However, I’ve figured out the next best thing: Use the services of someone else’s Prep Cook. The salad bar at your favorite grocery store is the perfect place to find most of the ingredients you’ll need to create a delicious meal.

There are no signs up at the salad bar that say, ‘SALADS ONLY!’ Go ahead and load up on washed, peeled, sliced and diced onions, celery, carrots, beets, cabbage, mushrooms, snow peas, bean sprouts, spinach, kale … whatever you need. Going for a sweet dish instead of savory? They have cranberries, melon, strawberries and nuts as well. You can also get small amounts of cheeses and meats.

Kitchen Prep Made EasyThe per pound price might be higher, but I’ve saved a bundle by not buying the full-sized package or bundle of ingredients that I don’t need and often never use. After all, how many mung bean sprouts can a single person use in a few days? This choice also keeps a lot of food out of the landfill.

Want one more tip? While you’re there, pick up a salad for tomorrow’s lunch!

If you like these ideas, and are in the Kansas City Metro, check out my Class Schedule at HealthWorksKC. Just click on ‘events’ at the top of the page.

Next up? Make mine pilaf!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Wednesday’s Word is Moderation

How can you impact your health and the health of the planet, the animals and global hunger? Practice moderation.

Wow! Simple.

To see a significant improvement in your health and impact the world at the same time, moderate the processed foods and increase the whole foods. First decide what processed foods you want to keep in your diet. It can change from week to week. Go with your desires.

Do you salivate at the idea of freshly baked bread? Eat it. Savor it. Rejoice in its perfection … Once a week. Is your idea of heaven apple pie? McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese? French Fries? A juicy steak cooked to perfection? French toast slathered with butter and syrup? Barbeque? A crazy bleu cheese-bacon-double cheeseburger? Eat it. Savor it. Rejoice in its perfection … But choose carefully and only indulge once a week … Moderation.

Americans have forgotten the life-giving nature of whole foods: Blueberries and strawberries, oranges and melon, lettuce mixes, red peppers, radishes, celery and carrots, beautiful colorful vegetables; the colors of the rainbow nurture our health and give us incredible energy.

You can’t take a supplement and get even close to the same benefits as eating the food. Scientists have discovered that it’s not about one nutrient in a food; it’s about the interaction of all of the nutrients in that food.

Great news! It doesn’t require much effort to create a healthy meal. Most grocery stores have salad bars loaded with whole foods. Just pass up most of the heavy, creamy, pasta salads in favor of fresh, whole foods. Top your colorful salad with some beans and dress with vinegar, olive oil, some seasonings and a scoop of sunflower seeds or almonds. DINNER!

The United States has become a nation of gluttons eating with abandon whether hungry or not, choosing to ignore the horror required to fill each plate and willing to defer the high price of their choices: Poor health; physically, psychologically and monetarily, and a planet that cannot sustain the destruction.

Michael Pollan, author of “In Defense of Food,” said it best, “Eat less, mostly plants.”

I wish you good health … physically, psychologically and monetarily!