Healthy Girl's Kitchen Plant-Strong Potluck Extravaganza
Chef AJ was in Town & Cooking Up a Storm
Curried Caulifower, Chickpea, Sweet Potato Soup (Who Made This Soup???)
This Delectable Soup was a Crowd Pleaser--Here's the Recipe
Wish I Knew Who to Credit! Mystery Solved. It's Val the Librarian.
Bengali Curry of Cauliflower, Kidney Beans served on top of Chipotle Whipped Sweet Potatoes (My Contribution) Recipe Here
Chef AJ's Thai Noodle Salad Deliciousness Loaded with Blanched Veggies
(Get the recipe here)
Jane Esselstyn's Tasty & Easy 4 Ingredient Barbecue Tempeh Pineapple Tacos
Chef AJ's German Chocolate Cake
Spicy Sweet Potato Italian "Sausage" Hash - Served at Sunday Brunch (Get the recipe here)
It's Thursday morning--6:00 am.
I'll be leaving the house by 9:00 am and I won't get home until, maybe 9:30 pm. Yup, I'm working late tonight.
But, before I leave home, I need to make breakfast, pack my lunch & dinner, & whip up a Green Smoothie. (Here's what I packed: a green smoothie, a soy yogurt & berries, left-over Moroccan-Spiced Pumpkin Soup, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, & left-over Bengali Cauliflower Curry, of course)
And....before I leave home, I also need to tidy up the house a bit--and make sure the guest room is in "company order"--fresh sheets, enough blankets, blah, blah, blah.
On the way home from work I'll be picking up my friend Barb, who'll be sleeping over so we can high-tail it out of town before daybreak on Friday.
So, where are we headed?
We're off to Columbus, Ohio for the Fall Wellness Conference. Remember?
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Ralph Moss, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Ann Esselstyn, Dr. Janice Stanger, Chef AJ, & others will all be speaking---Friday through Sunday. Six friends, and my husband will all be there. And it get even better. For once I don't have to pack lunch, or breakfast, or snacks, or anything. Nada. There will be gourmet plant-based no-added-oil breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Yay!
Thank You, Wendy of Healthy Girl's Kitchen!
Before I head out-of-town, I just want to give a BIG THANK-YOU to my friend, Wendy, of Healthy Girl's Kitchen, for hosting the best plant-based potluck you can imagine! OMG! The most intersting mix of guests, the most creative dishes, and I barely had a chance to scratch the surface of all the dishes atop her kitchen island.
Thank you Wendy. Thank you Chef AJ. You're the best.
What a Week It Has Been
1. Saturday night was my turn to host the book club. What is it now--twenty years? All plant-based, no-oil and delicious. French Lentil Chipotle Dip, Oil/Egg Free Chocolate Chip Walnut Zucchini Bread, Moroccan-Spiced Pumpkin Soup, and I totally forgot to serve the Blood Orange & Raspberry Sorbert I had bought. Oh, the book? Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.
2. Sunday morning was a vegetarian brunch at Myra & Rick's with the Friday night dinner group. A gorgeous blue-sky 65 degree day--and an extra hour to sleep in. So much fun & another food extravaganza. I'm totally loving my riff on a Robin Robertson recipe from Vegan Planet. A spicy, sweet potato & yam, onion, red pepper, Field Roast Italian 'Sausage" Hash. Perfect for brunch. Cooks up in a jiffy with pre-roasted sweet potatoes--and this is a 100% man-pleasing dish. Trust me on this. Click here for the recipe.
3. Tuesday night was Wendy's Plant-Strong Potluck with Chef AJ. The best part? I got to meet a number of local blog readers who I had never met before Tuesday--didn't even know they were reading my blog. What a wonderful group of interesting warm people. The craziest part--it turns out that at least 4 of them also work-out at the community gym I've gone to for over 30 years. Another reader I met is the manager of a local library, and another lives almost down the road from me.
4. Food-Photo-Texting. Son #2, the single-not-much-of-a-cook-omnivore-lawyer sent me two-texts on Sunday with food photos. What? Now, that's a surprise. Must be rubbing off on him. Home-made steel-cut oats with berries for breakfast, and an awesome sandwich of baked tofu, avocado, tomato, & spinach on Ezekiel bread.
5. And the newbie granddaughter? She gained 2.5 pounds in one month---Woo hoo, miss cutie.
6. I made my own seitan barbecued brisket (from scratch, I'll have you know) and it was out-of-this-world. Think barbecued brisket sandwiches for lunch. (pictures & recipe will follow in another post)
7. I'm now on a mission to make my own Field Roast-style Italian, Apple Sage, & Chipotle Mexican Sausages--so I can enjoy "wheat meat" sausages without the oil that's added into the Field Roast. Anyone want to join me in this experiment??
8. Lots of exciting new medical research in the news this week. I really need a separate post to give you all the details of each, but here are a few of my favorites. News we can all really use!
- Yoga trumps traditional medical care for chronic & recurring lower back pain. This article appeared in last week's Annals of Internal Medicine 2011;155:569-578 and I definitely took notice. But this wasn't just any yoga. This large, well-designed 12 month British study employed an Iyengar-style yoga that was practiced at multiple study sites, where students attended 12 weeks of yoga classes. The movements are careful and slow. Instructor's make sure that the students' positions are correct, and they teach safe postures & body alignment, along with relaxation. But, gee whiz! Why were the researchers surprised to find out that in order to keep back pain at bay--the students had to keep attending classes & practicing? All the students received a book of detailed postures & routines for home study, as well as a relaxation CD. Interested? Here's the good news: the book & the CD used in this study will be available for purchase around December, 2011. Go to this website for all the details. Go to this link for 2 short videos that explain the results of the study, and the specific yoga techniques that were used. 
Oops--I've run out of time! More on the medical news....later.
Medical Research that piqued my interest this week:
1. Al Mheid I, Patel R, Murrow J, Morris A, Rahman A, Fike L, Kavtaradze N, Uphoff I, Hooper C, Tangpricha V, Alexander RW, Brigham K, Quyyumi AA. Vitamin D status is associated with arterial stiffness and vascular dysfunction in healthy humans. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Jul 5;58(2):186-92.
2. Aronson WJ, Kobayashi N, Barnard RJ, Henning S, Huang M, Jardack PM, Liu B, Gray A, Wan J, Konijeti R, Freedland SJ, Castor B, Heber D, Elashoff D, Said J, Cohen P, Galet C. Phase II prospective randomized trial of a low-fat diet with fish oil supplementation in men undergoing radical prostatectomy. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Oct 25
3. Heymach JV, Shackleford TJ, Tran HT, Yoo SY, Do KA, Wergin M, Saintigny P, Vollmer RT, Polascik TJ, Snyder DC, Ruffin MT,4th, Yan S, Dewhirst M, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB, Demark-Wahnefried W. Effect of low-fat diets on plasma levels of NF-kappaB-regulated inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors in men with prostate cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Oct;4(10):1590-8.
4. Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, Kang'ombe AR, Chuang LH, Jayakody S, Aplin JD, Semlyen A, Trewhela A, Watt I, Torgerson DJ. Yoga for chronic low back pain: A randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Nov 1;155(9):569-78.
5. Zhu H, Guo D, Li K, Pedersen-White J, Stallmann-Jorgensen IS, Huang Y, Parikh S, Liu K, Dong Y. Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation in overweight African Americans. Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Oct 11