Monday, January 21, 2013

January Focus

We are more than halfway through the month of January, how's everyone doing on their resolutions? I myself don't make resolutions per se; instead I choose a word as an affirmation for the year.

This year I chose three: Focus, (Self)Nurture, and Transformation.  I'm thinking that the first two will naturally lead to the third; at least, that's my plan.

I've spent most of the month in post-holiday recovery mode, cleaning & organizing my home(s) and personal spaces.  This has required a bit of mental tidying as well, needed to brush out some cobwebs to make room for new thoughts/ideas that will help me reach my health & fitness goals.  The process hasn't been easy, but it'll be worth it in the end.

There's also been a bit of healthy cooking...

Breakfast al fresco, camping in Titusville

 and a lot of marvelous beach-walking..

I went back to Weight Watchers on January 3 and faced the proverbial music, am ready to get back on track and finally lose these extra pounds.  I do not want to be a fat, frumpy 50-year old, so I've got a year and half to ensure that doesn't happen!

Today's plan:

Stay 100% on program
Set up treadmill which my hunny was kind enough to drag up here for me
Minimum of 30 minutes of exercise

Wish me luck! Have a beauty-full day,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On My Hearth: Mushroom Stroganoff

On a particularly chilly Florida evening, I was craving some hearty comfort food, something that would warm the body while filling the tummy.  As is often the case, I looked to the Laura Theodore, aka the Jazzy Vegetarian for inspiration.

Her Mushroom Stroganoff was hearty and filling, and "meaty" enough for my non-vegan hubby.  The Broccoli with Lemon Sauce (see website) provided light, crisp flavors, perfectly complimenting the heavy entrée.

Note: I used whatever pasta I had on hand, but definitely think a rotini or other curly shape would've held the sauce better than the penne.  

                           Mushroom Stroganoff

                       ½ to 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1                     bermuda onion -- chopped
  8             ounces  cremini or white button mushrooms -- sliced
  8             ounces  Portobello mushrooms -- sliced
  1           teaspoon  dried basil
  1           teaspoon  reduced-sodium tamari
  1              Pinch  cayenne
  3               cups  vegetable broth -- plus more as needed (3 to 4)
  1         tablespoon  whole wheat flour -- plus more as needed
                        Sea salt
                        Freshly ground pepper
  8             ounces  whole-grain rotini -- fusilli (or pasta of your choice), cooked and drained (8 to 12)
     1/2           cup  chopped fresh parsley -- for garnish

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Portobello mushrooms, basil,
½ teaspoon of the tamari, and the cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, adding a bit of broth as needed to prevent sticking. Add the crimini mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the broth. Decrease the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, adding more broth as needed to keep the mixture very moist.

Put the flour in a small cup or bowl, whisk in
½ cup of the broth, and stir into the mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has thickened to form a gravy. Season with the remaining ½ teaspoon of tamari (if desired) and salt and pepper to taste.

If the gravy is too thick, thin with additional broth to achieve the desired consistency. If the gravy is too thin, thicken with additional flour to achieve the desired consistency. Serve immediately over the rotini, garnished with parsley if desired.

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NOTES : VARIATION: Replace the 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms with 8 ounces of tempeh.