The Amazing Homemade Heirloom Tomato V-7 Juice - Dr. Preston Maring's Recipe
"A well known vegetable juice blend (can you guess which one?) has 480 mg of sodium in its "classic" version. In response to new national guidelines about sodium intake - 2300 mg per day for many, but 1500 mg per day for all people 51 years of age and older, African Americans of all ages, or anyone with heart disease, kidney disease or hypertension - they offer a lower sodium version that has 140 mg per cup.
Here's a homemade Farmer's Market knock-off I call V-7 for obvious reasons. As a teaspoon of salt has about 2300 mg of sodium, you can make your own low sodium version with a half teaspoon of salt for 8 cups. The heavy dose of Tabasco doesn't add that much sodium as it only has about 30 mg per teaspoon."
-Dr. Preston Maring, a Kaiser Permanente physician and surgeon with 36 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology. Because of his passion for organic local produce & cooking, Maring started the Friday Fresh Farmer’s Market at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in May 2003-
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The Healthy Librarian Hits the Road Again - to the Hills of Kentucky
Back on the road again! Just got back home on Sunday night after spending 9 days vacationing with the family-- first with a too short stop-over in Cincinnati--and then on to Western Kentucky. Anyone ever hear of Lake Barkley or the Land Between the Lakes? I hadn't a clue until this trip. It was a convenient place to rendezvous for the St. Louis gang.
It was a good thing we planned to make all of our meals in our rented lakeside cabin, because we would have been in big trouble if we had planned on eating out everyday in Cadiz, Kentucky. Yikes! And that's even if we ate burgers & pizza.
And the local Food Giant--definitely was not a giant! It made me realize how incredibly fortunate I am to live in an area with a fabulous family-run grocery store, a Whole Foods, a Trader Joe's, & plenty of local farmers' markets.
Let's just say the fresh produce at the Food Giant was slim pickings--mostly iceberg lettuce, packaged romaine, bagged apples, Idaho potatoes, bananas & cellophaned carrots. Plenty of fried chicken, chips, candy, and meat & cheeses of all kinds. A rural food desert.
The cashier said, "You guys sure must like to eat lots of fruit & vegetables." That's all we had in our grocery carts. My husband couldn't even find raisins on the shelves.
Since we had arrived a day earlier than the rest of the family, I put in an emergency call to Son #1 in St. Louis. "Bring whatever fruit & veggies you can fit into your car!" He didn't disappoint! He arrived with baskets of tomatoes from his garden, basil, beets, blueberries, and bags of bounty from his C.S.A.
Thankfully, the Walmart in Paducah (Nice town, Paducah! Home of the National Quilt Museum) supplied just about everything else we needed for the week.
Let's just say I was glad I had planned ahead--bringing everything I thought I wouldn't be able to find in Cadiz.
The Partial Portable Pantry--Complete with Vita-Mix, Air Popcorn Popper, Zester, Lemon Juicer, & Recipes.
The Great Hematite Lake Hike--Land Between the Lakes
But, I'll save the family vacation story for a later post. Wonderful relaxing week with the kids & a special guest appearance from Nashville Cats, Fran & Dick.
But, this post is all about our return home.
An instant meal.
What's for Dinner after 10 Hours of Driving and the Fridge is Empty?
The 15 Minute "Real Italian Unmeatballs" with Fettucine & parma! Vegan Parmesan
By the time we'd unloaded the car--emptied the cooler--and the "Portable Pantry"--it was 8:00 pm.
We were starving.
What crazy person decides to cook dinner after driving all day? This crazy person.
All the way home I had a vision of baking MATCH Italian meatballs in the oven--and serving them up with the left-over jar of Trader Joe's fat-free marinara sauce, over fettucine. Best laid plans. Foiled. The leftover package of MATCH was still a solid frozen brick--even after 10 hours of sitting in the cooler in the car.
But, lucky me--tucked away in the refrigerator's "meat & cheese" drawer--I spotted Plan B.
It was an impulse buy I picked up at Trader Joe's before I left for vacation. A brand new product--at least new to me. Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef.
OK--if you're dead set against using fauxs--this isn't for you. Stay away. But, hey, when you want food fast--this turns out to be amazing stuff. It comes in a refrigerated package--12 ounces of textured wheat & soy vegetable protein (TVP) , onions, spices, a teeny tiny smidge of expeller-pressed canola oil, and some added vitamins & minerals--like B-12.
Why they bothered with the vitamins & minerals is anybody's guess. I guess they wanted a real meat substitute--complete with iron & B-12.
Six servings to a package weighing in at 60 calories, .5 grams (that's 1/2 gram in case you miss the decimal point) of fat, 250 mg of potassium, 2 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein.
But, unlike MATCH, there was no way this "beef" is made to be rolled into meatballs--it's the crumbly kind.
So here's what I whipped up in 15 minutes for the "Post-Trip Crash" Dinner.
The Unrecipe for 15 Minute "Real Italian Unmeatballs" with Fettucine & parma! Vegan Parmesan
This super-simple meal was spicy & perfecto--so good in fact, that my husband wanted to go back for a third helping. There was no way--I was saving that last serving to take to work for lunch the next day. Remember, my fridge was bare!
1 12 ounce package of refrigerated Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Oregano, dried (to taste)
Whole fennel seed (the secret ingredient of Italian sausage) (to taste)
Lemon juice from 1/2 squeezed lemon
Add whatever other Italian seasonings you like in your meatballs (basil, parsely)--or to replicate an Italian sausage taste.
12 ounces of Bionaturae 100% Organic Whole Wheat Fettucine
25 ounce jar of Trader Giotto's Fat-Free Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms
parma! Vegan Parmesan--made with raw organic walnuts, nutritional yeast, & Celtic sea salt (low-fat, low-cal)
1. As the water boils for the fettucine, heat up a non-stick 12 inch frying pan.
2. Add the "beef", seasonings, & a squeeze of lemon juice.
3. Stir occasionally until the "beef" is well-warmed & mixed well with the spices. Taste & correct. You want it spicy--Italian sausage-like. At least, I want it spicy, Italian sausage-like. I'm obsessed with that taste.
4. If the meat mixture starts to stick to the pan, add a very small amount of veggie broth or water to deglaze the pan & unstick the "meat".
5. Cook the fettucine according to package directions--9 minutes
6. Add the jar of spaghetti sauce to the "unmeatball" mixture & heat thoroughly, as the fettucine cooks. Let it simmer.
7. Serve in bowls, fettucine topped with plenty of unmeatball sauce, and sprinkled with parma! parmesan.
Dr. Maring's Amazing V-7 Juice
When you go away in August, you better believe you come home to loaded-down tomato plants.
Before even unpacking the car, my husband headed out to the backyard to see how his beloved tomato plants were doing. He filled baskets with mega-giant Brandywine heirloom tomatoes and plenty of sweet 100 cherry tomatoes.
On Monday morning before heading off to work I spotted Dr. Maring's recipe for V-7 juice on my RSS feed & printed it off for my husband to see. Hint! Hint!
He fell for the bait. When I got home I found 2 half-gallon jugs filled with this gorgeous amazing anti-oxidant orange-colored smoothie concoction. OMG! Fabulous!
Of course he improvised a bit. He added more garlic than Dr. Maring. Maybe more tomatoes. And a dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce. But, this is just a template. Create your own V-7 Juice.
I think even Dr. Esselstyn would approve of this all vegetable smoothie. He's not a fan of "Green" smoothies because they're usually made with fruit--and for some folks that quick rush of sugar can be a problem for their blood sugar &/or their triglycerides--and maybe not much different than drinking fruit juice. And Esselstyn is a firm believer in chewing fruit--not drinking it--to get that amylase in the saliva flowing, I think. And then there's the issue of added calories with the fruit in smoothies.
Dr. Maring's V-7 Juice (modified by my husband)
Click here for the original recipe
Makes about 8 or more cups — about 2 servings of vegetables per cup
8 heirloom tomatoes, cored and chunked (our heirlooms were gigantic--so my husband used about 4) NOTE: I think the fresh heirloom tomatoes are the secret to the delicious taste.
6 medium carrots, chunked
4 celery stalks, chunked
1 medium yellow onion, chunked
About 1/2 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed
1/2 bunch spinach (about 4 cups)
4 cloves garlic (my husband grew his own this year--OMG what a difference from the grocery store variety. He used Georgia Fire garlic for this juice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (to taste)
Worcestershire sauce to taste (vegan or regular)
Note: He made ours in a Vita-Mix (of course), in batches, as Dr. Maring suggests.
Dr. Maring suggests doing this about 4 cups at a time in your blender or food processor. Divide the veggies — 1/2 the tomatoes, carrots, etc. Put the squishier vegetables in first, e.g. tomatoes and onions. Add the rest of the vegetables then water to make four cups. Blenderize. Transfer to whatever storage container you are going to use in the refrigerator. Process the remaining vegetables with water. Mix all together and stir in salt and Tabasco. Chill. Maring says his turned out sort of a weird green color but it sure tasted good.
As you can see, ours was a gorgeous pinky orange.
Low Sodium V7 Juice
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
Honestly, after tasting this savory blend of juice, I just might start making fruit-free savory smoothies a regular habit!
And maybe tonight I'll turn some of the leftover V-7 into a super-healthy Bloody Mary!
1. I've finally started my "at-home" weight-training routine. Definitely a challenge. Don't worry, you'll get the full review. Easy equipment. Stability ball, 5, 8, 10, 15 lb. weights. Yoga mat. 10 lb. kettlebell. I'll add a Bosu later.
2. Upcoming: My "first" 14 months on the Dr. Esselstyn Plant-Based, No-Added Oil Diet will follow soon. Still going strong. And, in case you missed it--Bill Clinton is going to "tell all, too!" to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta (at least I think so) on Sunday, August 21.
Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish, & Agatston will be interviewed, too. The new one-hour documentary, Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: The Last Heart Attack - a Mission Possible focuses on the latest heart disease prevention science. It debuts Sunday, Aug. 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET and PT, and replays on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET and PT on CNN/U.S.
Dr. Esselstyn explains to Dr. Gupta, “We’re never going to end the epidemic with stents, with bypasses, with the drugs – because none of it is treating causation of the illness.” But, we all knew that already. RIght?
3. And then there's my Brendan Brazier, Thrive Fitness recipes & review update--haven't forgotten about those, either. Hint: We're fans. My husband--the more serious athlete in the family--finds them pretty incredible. Definitely missed them in Kentucky.
4. Got my Peas & Thank You Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family WIll Love Cookbook yesterday. I really like Sarah Matheny. She's funny, down-to-earth, and has created quick & delicious kid and husband-friendly vegan meals--but they just aren't exactly Esselstyn-friendly. Some will work--but many won't, because they rely on Earth Balance margarine, Daiya cheese, Veganaise, tahini, some oil, and nut butters. Lots of muffins, cookies, & baked goods. I've liked whatever I've tried from her Peas & Thank You blog--but, of course, I hand-picked the Esselstyn-friendly recipes. I will still give this a chance, and see what I can modify--but I was surprised to see so many not-so-healthy recipes in her cookbook--but I know, my standards are ridiculously tough to meet. If I still had kids at home--I know I would use this cookbook! Very kid-friendly.
Traveling again to New York & Boston this month--so intermittent postings until September. Whew!
It will really be nice to finally just stay home and veg for awhile!