The Dinner: Deconstructed Vietnamese Bahn Mi Salad/Sanwiches--Adapted from Quick-Fix Vegan
The Dessert: Blueberry Banana Oat Bars--Adapted from Katelin Petersen & Cathy Fisher
The Movie: Safety Not Guaranteed (click here if you can't view video)
If you received this post via email, click here to get to web-version with the movie trailer, photos, links, & to comment, of course. Love the feedback, for sure.
Summer has barely begun & I'm already feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day to fit everything in that I want to do.
It's called F.O.M.O--Fear of Missing Out. Maybe you're feeling it, too!
Lazy afternoons on the porch, with a book in hand is what I want more of. Hasn't happened yet.
Picnics, outdoor concerts, family vacations, hikes, bike rides, out-of-town company, weddings, gardening, day trips, weekend trips, local wineries, berry picking, and long after-dinner walks. Summer's just too short to fit it all in.
Almost every weekend through Labor Day is booked for me & LR--so expect fewer & shorter blog posts until after Labor Day.
It's definitely hard to find the extra time needed for blogging when gorgeous weather & summer plans beckon.
So, if you want to keep up with what I'm reading, cooking, & learning about everyday, make your way over to the Happy Healthy Long Life - The Healthy Librarian Facebook page occasionally & catch up on my daily posts.
You don't even need to be on Facebook to view the page! It's open to everyone. You can also link to it on the blog--by clicking on my FB picture in the upper right-hand corner. If you "like me" you'll get updates--but, I know that can be very annoying for some of you.
I promised myself I'd definitely write a blog post today. I've got a list a mile long of posts I want to share, but in the end, I decided to share two fantastic recipes the Lab Rat & I enjoyed last night--and the movie that knocked our socks off!
Here's on my MUST-POST list---when I've got the time:
- A presentation by Dr. Mladen Golubic of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute: "Take Control of Your Health: A Proactive Approach to Wellness & Aging" Diet, Exercise & Stress Reduction will make it happen.
- This week's "Gal Pal Getway": So, how do you travel to the middle of nowhere & find decent food? Don't count on it. We brought our own and it was spectacular.
- The "Strong Bone" diet. It's not just Vitamin D & Calcium. A summary of three recent articles that spell out the protocol for strong bones--the right nutrients & the questionable supplements.
- How our gut bacteria work for us: protect us from heart disease, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes, clear out the toxins, & boost our immune system. What kind of a diet promotes a healthy gut microbiota? And what kind doesn't? When do you need to take pre or probiotics? It's definitely not daily.
- Two cardiologists and one cardiovascular surgeon who decided to follow Esselstyn's plant-based no-oil diet. What's their story, why did they decide to take this route for themselves, and how has it benefited their health.
- Out of Lund University: How oats can help protect us from atherosclerosis.
- My 2-year eating plant-based no-added-oil update & the Great Clothes Closet Purge
- More on plant-based athletes--how the diet improves performance, promotes weight loss, & better health.
- Success stories from HHLL readers!
- The 100% plant-based Washington, DC trip and how eating out will make you fat in a flash, even in walk-friendly city.
- Lifestyle & diet in the prevention of prostate cancer--recent research update.
- A recent large study on the synergistic effects of vegetables, fruit, & exercise on cutting mortality in older women.
- My B-12 test results update. What one B-12 expert told me.
- A summary of the People's Pharmacy interview with Harriet Lerner, a wise grounded long-married clinical psychologist. Wise common-sense advice. Her recent book is Marriage Rules & the interview is "Making Marriage Work".
- Russian Kale Rules! The best vegetable we've ever grown in our garden. Kale all summer long.
- The five new books I'm reading that are changing how I think about everyday life: Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life & Business; Anna Quindlen's Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake: A Memoir; Thomas Sterner's The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life; Dr. Martha Herbert's The Autism Revolution: Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be; Gretchen Reynold's The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, & Live Longer.
- More awesome plant-based-no-oil recipes for Cheesy Kale Chips; Sicilian Orzo Salad with a No-Oil Dressing; Farro Salad with Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes, & Onions; Almost Instant Vegetable Biryani; and Saag Aloo.
- And that's just for starters! Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. If you've been keeping up with my FB page you've read summaries of a lot of these already. Love to hear which ones of these pique your interest. Tell me. I really want to know.
Friday Night at the Movies
The Mission Has to Do Mostly with Regrets, Mistakes....and Love
The Lab Rat & I have been seeing the trailer for this must-see movie for months now. Well, let me be clear. It's a must-see movie only if you like a crazy quirky sensitive mixture of science fiction, time travel, tender love story, personal growth, characters you adore & root for, laugh-out-loud comedy, and a plot with surprising twists. This one really works. For me & LR, that's is.
We absolutely both agreed 100% that we were going to see this one. True embarrassing confession: When we were 20 years old we spent an entire day at one of the best libraries in the country researching time travel. Neither of us can remember what we were possibly thinking---but, we actually spent a day researching time travel. Hey, we were 20 years old!
Here's the "Safety Not Guaranteed" pitch:
"When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he¹s solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon.
Together, they embark on a hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly heartfelt journey that reveals how far believing can take you."
I'll say no more. I don't want to give away a thing. If the trailer has you intrigued, check out where it's playing, here.
In three words: Charming, hysterical, sensitive.
So....the movie was starting at 7:05 last night.
It was already 5:00 pm & we hadn't given a single thought to what we were having for dinner.
I opened up Quick-Fix Vegan & decided on "The Deconstructed Ba'hn M'i Salad".
The Lab Rat got started on the seitan and the prep, while I ran to the grocery store to pick up pre-shredded cabbage, cilantro & a baguette. We used what we had on hand: Upton's Chorizo Seitan--even though this was a Vietnamese salad. It really worked.
We put the whole amazing delicious salad/sandwich fixings together in 30 minutes. We ate & headed out the door with plenty of time to spare. I cannot wait to devour the left-overs for lunch.
And those "man these are fantastic" Blueberry Banana Oat Bars. That was dessert when we got home.
Quick-Fix Vegan Adapted Deconstructed B'ahn Mi' Salad/Sandwiches
I Call It a Cancer-Fighting Salad of Sorts--With Cabbage, Garlic, Green Onions, & Maybe Cilantro
Deconstructed Vietnamese Ba'hn M'i Salad Sandwiches, Adapted from Quick-Fix Vegan
Click here for a copy of the recipe on one page
8 ounces of seitan (ground crumble style, like Upton's preferred) or extra-firm tofu, pressed & thinly sliced or soy crumbles or thinly sliced baked tofu. NOTE: We used Upton's Chorizo Seitan, which is what we had in the refrigerator. It makes for a spicy salad, just the way we like it. Use plain seitan, if you like less spice. Finely chop your seitan, if the ground crumbles aren't available or use ground soy crumbles.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger NOTE: I'm tired of throwing out dried out ginger. Penzey's Dried, Sliced China Ginger Root worked well in this recipe. We ground it in the coffee grinder.
3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (aka Rooster Sauce) Note: use less if you prefer less heat
1 teaspoon of sugar (or substitute of your choice)
2 tablespoons seasoned or plain rice wine vinegar
3 cups of finely shredded cabbage (I used pre-shredded cabbage for convenience, my local store has freshly shredded cabbage)
1 large carrot, shredded (or use pre-shredded carrots for convenience)
1/2 English cucumber, peeled & chopped (I used 3/4 of a large regular cucumber)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (can chop or not)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/2 baguette, cut in half, & sliced into 4 serving sizes
1. Note: If using tofu, wrap it in a clean dish towel, press it under heavy weights for 20 minutes & slice it thinly.
2. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth or water to keep the seitan, soy crumbles, or tofu from sticking. Add the seitan (I used Upton's Chorizo crumbles), or soy crumbles, or sliced tofu & cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes or less per side. Add small amounts of additional broth or water to deglaze the pan & prevent sticking, as needed.
4. Add the garlic & ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Splash with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Set aside & cool.
5. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with the hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, sugar, and vinegar, stirring well to blend. Set aside.
6. Spread the shredded cabbage of a large platter, sprinkle evenly with the carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and scallions. Arrange the seitan (or tofu or soy crumbles) on the top.
7. Serve with sliced baguettes & pass the dressing to spoon on top of the salad. We piled the salad on top of our baguettes, then spooned the dressing on top, & messily ate them by folding each baguette in half. Don't worry, you'll figure out a way to eat it. Just have plenty of napkins available.
8. Enjoy a truly unusual & healthy no-oil taste sensation.
Blueberry Banana Oat Bars Adapted from Cathy Fisher & Katelin Petersen
It's blueberry season around here, so I couldn't resist trying Cathy & Katelin's Bars.
But, when I got all the ingredients prepped, I noticed that their recipe only called for 1/2 Cup of berries. Not enough for my tastes. I used a whole pint--2 cups of berries and ended up adding extra oats to thicken up the too wet batter. I also baked mine in an 8 X 8 square silicone pan, so that meant extra time for baking. Adapt as you see fit.
These bars are absolutely fabulous. Not too sweet, and perfect for breakfast, a travel treat, or dessert. Since they're made just with oats, I'm bringing them to a pre-play picnic to share with a friend who has celiac disease & is on a gluten-free diet. She's OK with occasional oats that aren't specifically labeled "gluten-free".
As for the bars, the Lab Rat says, "Man, these bars are fantastic!" That's testimonial enough for me.
All Mixed Up & Ready to Go into the Baking Pan
Out of the Oven
Ready to Eat
Blueberry Banana Bars
Servings: About 12 nicely-sized bars (bake in an 8 X 8, 9 X 9, or 9 X 13 inch pan--adjust cooking times accordingly)
Click here for a copy of the recipe on one page
1 cup plump medjool dates (mine were small & I needed 12 to make a full cup, Cathy used just 7), pitted & diced
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice (water is OK, but bars will be less sweet)
1 cup oat flour (OK to process rolled oats into flour, if you prefer)
2+ cups of rolled oats Note: I needed about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of additional rolled oats because my batter was too wet with only 2 cups. The ripeness & size of my bananas may have accounted for my too wet batter.
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 medium-sized ripe (speckled) bananas, diced.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries, fresh preferred, but frozen are OK, too.
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Place pitted & diced dates into a small bowl with the apple juice. Set aside & let these soak for at least 20 minutes.
2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Use an 8 X 8, 9 X 9, or 9 X 13 silicone pan, if you have one. If not, line the pan with parchment paper, making sure the sides are lined as well, cutting slits in the corners of the paper so that it overlaps & fits well.
3. Combine the flour, just 2 cups of the oats (for now), cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl & set aside.
4. Place the diced dates & apple juice mixture, bananas, & vanilla, into a blender (high-speed preferred) & blend until creamy.
5. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredient bowl & mix with a fork.
6. Fold in the blueberries & walnuts. You want the batter similar to a muffin batter, rather than too wet. Add some extra oats if your batter is too wet. Mine was. Sorry for this cryptic instruction.
7. Bake for 25-45 minutes depending upon the size of the pan you use. Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes by poking the bars with a knife or a fork. It's done when the fork or knife come out clean. Katelin's 9 X 9 pan took 30 minutes. Cathy's 9 X 13 pan took 25 minutes. My 8 X 8 pan took 42 minutes--but the added blueberries + the smaller pan may have accounted for that. My oven temperature is accurate, so just start watching for doneness at 25 minutes, depending upon the size of your pan.
Note: If you use water rather than apple juice, your bars will be less sweet, but even with the apple juice, this was a "just right, not-too-sweet" bar for my tastes.
Please let me know which of the posts on my "To Post on the Blog List" you'd most like to read about! It will really help.