Straight Up Food. Damn Good!

It will be 9 months at the end of July since I changed the way I eat. Along with losing weight, getting healthier and reeducating myself on nutrition, I have found many great recipes and received wonderful information from others who fancy this lifestyle. The difficulty for me came in the kitchen. Thankfully I know my way around a kitchen and cook most every meal for the family. The problem, as I have discussed in the past I initially tried too hard to “McDougalize” all my meals by finding replacements for the meat and dairy, while omitting oil.

I was trying to fit this diet into the bad habits I was trying to break. Using soy products and other replacement or “natural” or “fat free” products wasn’t the answer. Keeping the cooking simple was. As I wrote a few days ago in Food Blogging there is an endless list of recipes available to how I have decided to eat. While I have only touched on a few there are many that I do want to attempt.

The past two nights I have tasted success using Cathy Fisher’s Straight Up Food site, twice to my wife’s satisfaction! Her blog “represents the recipes created and demonstrated at True North Health Center and at the McDougall Program, both in-patient nutrition facilities in Santa Rosa, which advocate better health through a low-fat, plant-based diet” (source). While not the only author/chef I have used recipes from, it’s comforting to see the relationship with Dr. McDougall.

On Friday, after a falafel discussion at work, I decided to give this smashed chickpea sandwich a try. It was a good sandwich, one I am sure I will make again. It had me looking further for more chickpea recipes and I happened upon Tu-no Salad Wraps.Vegan tu-no salad in corn tortillas Looking at the recipe I knew I had all the ingredients on hand, but best of all it was quick and easy and required no oven or even a microwave on a hot, summer night.

Using chickpeas as the basis of this “salad” you add celery, red onion, basil, parsley and avocado. The dressing started with cashews with lemon juice (Thanks to Eileen for fresh Meyer lemons), rice vinegar, mustard and garlic powder. I put the ingredients in my Silver Bullet and whirled it up. Once I had pulsed the chickpeas mixture I slowly added the dressing. I didn’t use it all, but probably could have. It reminded me of tuna salad! It had a wonderful flavor. One of the best recipes I have made since changing to this way of eating. I served this on a bed of romaine lettuce in a freshly pressed corn tortilla.

The best part of this meal, my wife. She was raving about this tu-no salad. I had not seen her talk so highly of a meal since she discovered potato enchiladas! She ate 2 for dinner and had more for lunch the next day. Thankfully I got home from work and was able to lick the bowl clean. I will be making a double batch of this salad, to be used as a dish for pita chips on the 4th of July.

Veggie burger with baked french fries. More easy good vegan cooking.Prior to downloading Cathy’s tu-no salad recipe, I had printed copies of her veggie burgers and salt free ketchup with baked french fries with intentions to make them on Saturday, but was short on ingredients. Yesterday I made sure I bought the missing ingredients and started to cook. The 60 minute boil time on the pearl barley provided me enough time to mix up the kidney bean/rolled oats with spices. During the cook time I cut 5 potatoes into matchstick fries and prepped them on a cooking sheet. I also whipped up a batch of tri-colored couscous salad, which is a staple in my diet.

I combined in the pearl barley with the kidney bean and rolled oats before pulsing half the mixture in the food processor. I didn’t have a yellow onion, so I substituted 1/2 cup of dried, chopped onion, which probably left me a bit short of liquid, so I added some extra water while pulsing. Once the entire mixture was puled I started forming patties (using 1/3 measuring cup). In the end I finished with 7 patties. I baked them for about 8-10 per side and served.

I had used many different burger recipes, including those from the newly released DVD by Jeff Novick, Fast Food: Vol 2. – Burgers & Fries. Yet I found myself eating off all of them. This was the first burger recipe that brought a smile to my wife’s face. Maybe it was the accompanying french fries, but it was a satisfying meal for her. This after struggling for a few months trying to find more recipes that she enjoys to eat. Thanks to Straight Up Food I have two new recipes that will become more frequent at the dinner table.

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  1. Thanks again for your suuport Steve, I’m so glad you’re finding recipes that work for your family. It sounds like you’re well on your way. Happy eating and thanks again 😉 Cathy

    • You are welcome Cathy. I made more of the tu-no salad as a appetizer for the 4th of July party. I came home with none and everyone wanted the recipe.

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