Giving it a go

I am brand new to the blogging world.  But am started on a new adventure that I want to chronicle and decided that blogging it would be more fun.

So here is a little back story, to get us caught up to today…

My mom and step-dad park their motor home in our driveway every Christmas time.  I was pretty surprised this year when they rolled in and shared their new diet with me and my family.  See, my step dad has Type 2 Diabetes and has been taking all the pills and eating what he wanted for several years now.  But he just hasn’t felt quite the same. It just wasn’t working for him.  While visiting some friends they had heard about a diet for reversing diabetes and had seen the proof in their friend.  So why no look into it, right? And that is just what they did. They found a movie called Forks over Knives, watched that, found a couple of the books by  the different doctors in the movie and decided to give this new way of eating a go.  They just committed to trying it for 3 weeks, as it is a pretty extreme diet change.  After less than a week my step dad eliminated 1 of his 3 diabetes medications.  After another week he eliminated a second.  Toward the end of the third week he even eliminated the one for his high blood pressure as those numbers had come back down into the healthy range.

The diet??? Whole Foods, Plant-Based eating.  What does that mean?? Vegan, in its healthiest form.  Low-fat veganism to be precise.  You can’t just throw out the fatty meats, milks and eggs, you also have to limit your intake of oils and plant-based fats as well.  Now, I am a meat and potatoes girl, a very devoted one at that.  And food has always been love.  Emotion attached to my fuel.  I take great pleasure in cooking great meals and sharing them with those I love.  So much so that I also cater and make specialty cakes (I’ll share those along my journey too).

So here is what we did, Mom and me, we would prepare dinners together, she would make a low-fat vegan dish and  I would cook up some chicken or fish to go along with it, cause there was NO WAY my meat loving family would ever go for a Vegan  meal.  So we did that for a week or so, then my husband and daughter did something that surprised me.  They told me how much they were enjoying the vegan food.   So I decided we should give it a try, but ease on into it.  You know, cut out some stuff but not everything, and little by little wean off our omnivore ways.  Mom says, you need to just do it, just go head first into the new way of eating, commit to 3 weeks and see what you take from it at the end of those 3 weeks.  Cause something so daunting is much easier to face with a definitive end in sight.  3 weeks, I can do that, that’s not even a month.  But what about the kiddo?  What about the hubby?? To my surprise BOTH of them are willing and EAGER to do this.  But why?  What’s in it for you?  The kiddo wants to become better at her horseback riding, she wants to have more energy and shed a few pounds to make her lighter in the saddle and lighter on the field, less weight to lug around the soccer field and less weight to heft into the saddle.  By no  means is she a FAT girl, she just has a little extra, pre-puberty weight that she’d like to shed.  As for the hubby? He’s been a bit vague as to his reasons but it sounds like as he’s barreling towards his fortieth birthday he is finally seeing his mortality and wants to live longer.  He said he wants to live a long life, and living the way we have been is just asking for a  whole slew of health problems, more and more as we age.

So we’ve been eating 90% vegan since Christmas.  On New Year’s Eve the Hubs and I went to a friends party and I was so ready to indulge in my old meat and cheese ways.  I ate, salami and cheeses, buffalo chicken dip and chocolates.  All my favorite things.  And all I could think was, I wish she had put out more fruits and veggies, maybe some hummus. Anything cause all this dairy and meat just isn’t doing it for me.  SHOCKING!  After just being mostly vegan, and only for a week, I  was over the meat and cheese.  So maybe I can do this, cause I really want to, and I am already finding myself craving the Whole-Foods, Plant Based diet staples.  YIKES!  what a strange feeling!

I am already creating new, Low-fat  Vegan versions of some of my family’s favorite meat dishes.   I thought I’d kick off my blogging with my first recipe.  Sorry, no pictures but I promise for future recipes I’ll do them up all cute like so many other blogs.  So for now i give you Shepherd’s Pie….

The Garden Shepherd’s Pie

Filling:

8 oz. Portobello Mushrooms, chopped into 1/4″ cubes

8 oz. White Button Mushrooms, chopped into 1/4″ cubes

1 shallot finely chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Broth

1 teaspoon Bragg or Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrots (or any mixed veggie’s)

Potato topping:

6-8 red potatoes, washed and cut into large cubes

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup plain soy milk

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

preheat oven to 350F degrees

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.  Add potatoes and cook until tender.  Drain, return to pan or place in a large bowl and  smash the potatoes.  add in the vegetable broth, soy milk and salt & pepper and continue to mash  and mix until creamy but still lumpy.  Don’t over mix potatoes as they will become gummy.

Meanwhile, place the mushrooms, shallot, garlic and 1 tablespoon vegetable broth in large nonstick skillet. Heat over medium-high heat  Saute the mushrooms until they give up their liquid, then add the Bragg or soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and continue cooking until all the liquid is gone. Stirring occasionally. Once the liquid is gone, remove from heat, stir in the frozen  veggies and place in a pie plate. Use a spoon  to dollop the smashed potatoes on top of the filling, making sure to  seal all the edges.  Don’t smooth out the potatoes, leave  them all spiky  and messy  so when you bake the pie they with get all golden and crunchy.

Place pie in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a heated through  and golden brown on top.

Serve hot. Great with a tossed salad on the side

I served this next to my meat version and we ran out of this one first.

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