18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Carb Loading

Tomorrow I am running the Chase Corporate Challenge in Rochester. It's a packed race of 3.5 miles, with over 9,000 participants, many of whom are walkers. So, anyone who runs at all can feel like they're fast.

Dinner tonight was angel hair pasta, baby bellas, yellow peppers, Morningstar burger crumbles, and Enrico pasta sauce. The pasta sauce was a departure for me, because I'm so used to Prego, which is loaded with added sugar.

Now I am carb loaded and ready to run!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Training Progress

Whew it's been a hot few days! Yesterday, I was up at 6:30 am to do a 45-minute run before it got hot out. Today I swam indoors and then went for a 2-hour bike ride with the Bettys, a local group of women who ride on Tuesday evenings from the local bike shop. I like when I can do my workouts with other people; it makes things more interesting.

It's going well. Each week I'm biking about 45 miles, running about 15 miles, and spending one dreaded afternoon swimming about 1300 meters in the pool. I don't really like swimming in a pool -- I feel like a rat on a wheel.

My coach Mary puts together a training plan for me. At first I thought it was a bit ambitious, with me working out every day, and with about 8-9 hours of training each week. But, I'm doing it. And if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be pushing myself this hard.

My first triathlon is on Sunday. We'll see if it all pays off.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cold Food for a Hot Day

It was hot today -- over 90 degrees! I was in no mood to fire up the oven.

The hummus is supposedly California Pizza Kitchen's recipe. It's probably the best hummus that I've ever made in my kitchen. I also made my version of a spinach dip. Most recipes for vegan spinach dip call for a lot of Vegenaise and vegan sour cream. I use a pound of spinach, about a tablespoon and a half of Vegenaise, and then add water chestnuts and soup mix to give it flavor so you don't miss the extra fat.

Farm Sanctuary

This weekend, I was on call for a small town hospital. I had some free time on Sunday, so I drove the 35 miles to Farm Sanctuary!

I've visited before, but it's always so much fun to see the animals and hear their stories. The animals are absolutely beautiful. It's a reminder that a vegan diet is the most compassionate diet for the animals.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Coconut Curry

I have had a can of lite coconut milk sitting in my cabinet forever and decided to put it to use.

I sauteed orange and yellow peppers and cauliflower in a little canola oil. Then I poured in the can of coconut milk, added sliced organic sweet potatoes and extra-firm tofu, salt and pepper, Bragg's sauce, and some spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, and chili powder. I covered and cooked this for about 30 minutes.

This dish went well with Indian roti bread.


I love being in the cardiac cath lab, but the job has its inherent hazards. One day this week, while removing the sharps from our cath table, I was stuck with a sharp needle.

Fortunately, the needle was only used to draw up medications and had never touched our patient. But what if it had? The small wound in my hand is healing well, and my risk of contracting anything is exceedingly low.

From now on, I'm going to be much more careful.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Organic Alley

Organic Alley has been open for five months. My first visit was on Monday evening after a run along the Erie Canal with a couple of friends. I had the Zen Delight, which had tofu marinated in teriyaki, onions, peppers, and greens -- Yum!

They also have a yoga studio and a small grocery store with organic items.

I'm thrilled that Rochester can support an organic place. I'll be visiting them often!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Stir Frying

My favorite kitchen toy by far is my wok. Woks are great because stir frys come out so well and the vegetables stay so crisp.

Here, I used about a tablespoon of canola oil, an organic cooking onion, red and orange hydroponic peppers, organic baby bella mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli. The cauliflower and broccoli were blanched in hot water for about five minutes before I added them to the stir fry. At the end I added Morningstar Farms Chik'n Strips.

For flavor, I used Bragg's sauce, but found the taste weak, so then added my standard sesame garlic sauce to the recipe.

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Letter to the Editor

Baked Beans

I attend the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society meetings every month, and there is always a baked bean dish there, and I've always enjoyed these. However, I've never prepared them at home.

I sauteed an onion in canola, then added a can of Heinz vegetarian baked beans, some frozen corn, and two chopped veggie dogs. A serving of this made for a terrific in-between workouts snack.

Speaking of my triathlon training, I am sitting here with an ice pack on my knee, which I hope helps before meeting up with my friend to go running this evening. Otherwise, everything is great!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Indian Wedding

A friend from residency got married this weekend. She's Indian, as were most of the guests. Another friend's mother, "Auntie", offered to dress me for the occasion. It was a fun wedding. I love the music and the outfits.

The food was mostly vegetarian, but with heavy emphasis on the "lacto". The ghee (clarified butter) was omnipresent. There was one dish that appeared to be some form of green vegetables in oil, and I think the rest had meat or a cream sauce. I also enjoyed some whole wheath paratha bread and basmati rice, so even with the limited vegan selection I ate well. Ok, I am pretty sure what I ate was vegan; I do my best and don't want to be a difficult vegan guest.

I saw a yellow sauce next to one of the breads, so I put some on my plate thinking it was mango. I dipped my bread in it and found the flavor quite dull. On my next trip to the buffet, I saw the label that I missed the first time: ghee. Whoops!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mock Egg Salad

The egg salad is made from extra-firm tofu. I squeezed out the excess moisture and mashed it with a potato masher. Then, I mixed in one stalk of organic celery chopped finely, half an organic cooking onion, paprika, turmeric, and a quarter cup of Vegenaise.

I put the egg salad on toasted whole wheat bread with an organic yam that I had microwaved for about 5 minutes. Since organic yams are sweeter than the conventional ones (at least I've found this.... has anyone else?), I only topped the yam with a little bit of Earth Balance Buttery Spread (vegan margarine).

This felt like the perfect dinner for my first week of intense triathlon training. I am calling 8 1/2 hours of training intense, which for some may be a walk in the park, but I'm definitely feeling like I'm working hard!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Adam Durand Sentenced to 6 Months Jail

I read this today:

Adam Durand, the Compassionate Consumers investigator who revealed egregious animal cruelty at Wegmans Egg Farm, was today sentenced to six months in jail for trespassing. Adam should be applauded, not sent to jail, for his courageous efforts to bring to light the suffering of animals perpetrated by Wegmans. Wegmans requested the harsh sentence received by Durand—-a first time offender-—in an obvious attempt to silence critics of the company’s inhumane practices.

You can read more in the article from Newsday.

I am really mad about this. Adam isn't a criminal, he didn't harm property, he's just someone trying to educate the public about where their eggs come from, and that there are better more humane ways to do things.

For the first time ever, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Democrat and Chronicle, our Rochester newspaper. I hope it's published. More importantly, I hope Adam Durand is able to successfully appeal his sentence.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chop Suey

I saw Kai-Vegan's chop suey post from May 11, and I decided to give it a shot. My version has garlic, onion, celery, carrot, cauliflower, baby bellas, and seitan for a little extra protein. I forgot (whoops!) the corn starch, so it's a little watery, but nonetheless very good. I ate this with Indian paratha bread for a superb post-workout dinner.

My little speaking tour

Back in February, I spoke to Heartbeats For Life, a group of people interested in preventive heart health and Dean Ornish's lifestyle program. I talked about women and heart disease and the importance of diet and exercise. As a result, I was invited to present to Oasis, an educational program for older adults. I'm also giving the talk on Sunday to the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society.

Yesterday, I went to Oasis to present the talk. I guess the brochure made me sound like this would be a good presentation, as I had a full audience. Everything that could go wrong did. My computer wouldn't boot up, since unknown to me there had been an update to the system last week and all the logins were wiped out. So, here I am, standing in front of an audience of 40 people, and I can't present my slides! To burn time while one of the staff members tried to hook up a computer system that I could use, I introduced myself, and offered to answer questions about women's health and heart disease. Slowly, the questions came in, enough so that I could ad-lib until I had a functional computer that would run my slides!

First I discuss women and heart disease. That gets lots of interested looks and questions. Then I talk about obesity and how Americans are getting fatter since we eat badly and don't exercise.

And then I talk about vegetarian diets. Blank stares. More about the Ornish diet, how vegetarians live longer and are healthier. More blank stares. Then about dairy and the myths behind it, that milk doesn't reduce osteoporosis. Continued blank stares.

And finally, I get to the topic of exercise and cardiac rehabilitation, and it looks like my audience is now with me again. I finish and answer several audience questions.

In all, I'm not so sure how well it went. I had some positive feedback afterward from some of the participants, but I wonder what some of the others were thinking. Maybe the vegetarian stuff was too much? Perhaps it challenged too many preconceived notions, particularly the dairy part? The dairy industry has its hooks so far into the American public that milk is necessary for bone health, and yet there is no single study that shows that increased dairy consumption reduces osteoporosis. In fact it's the exact opposite -- countries with the most dairy consumption have the most osteoporosis.

Perhaps if I give the talk again to a non-vegetarian group, I'll tone down the vegetarian/dairy stuff a bit. I'm not sure. I'm very interested to hear what people had to say.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Indian Lunch

For lunch, I made chole, along with some some paratha bread and samosas that I picked up at the Indian grocery store yesterday. Now I have all the energy in the world to go rollerblading... let's hope it doesn't rain!

What to do with Chick Peas

Herself75, my dear sorority sister from college, wants to know what to do with chick peas. Oh, I could go on all day! You can make hummus, a veggie stew, cover with spices and bake in the oven as a snack, or use in place of meat in recipes.

Or, here are a few older posts from this blog that use chick peas:
Veggie Stew (use chick peas instead of cannelini beans, as they're very similar)


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Vegan Pizza from Two Paisans

I found myself craving pizza, and I've been dying to try out Two Paisans' vegan pizza. Yes, a pizza place in little 'ole Rochester with a vegan menu. Here it is, with Follow Your Heart cheese, seitan, spinach, and roasted red peppers. I finished off the whole thing, with a mango and a brownie for dessert.

Grilled Tofurky Sandwich

Whole wheat bread with Tofurky, avocado, sliced tomatoes, and a little Vegenaise (vegan mayonaise), placed in a sandwich griller, and voila!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Good Tempeh... finally!

The secret to tempeh is to boil it for about 45 minutes. That softens it and gets the bitter taste out. Then I sauteed an onion and some frozen broccoli in my wok with canola oil, then some Sesame Garlic sauce, then added the tempeh to cook for another 5 minutes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Primetime Live Tonight

Tonight (Thursday) ABC's Primetime at 10 PM is scheduled to air a segment on Compassionate Consumer's undercover investigation of the conditions hens endure at Wegman's Egg Farm, a battery cage operation.

Vegan Food in Israel

This is from the buffet at Village Green (see the next post down). From upper left, there's sweet potatoes, tofu, couscous, eggplant and mushrooms, brown rice, and some sort of veggie medley. There was plently more on the buffet too.

Here's a typical Israeli salad bar meal. I have hummus, a tomato stew, cabbage, and a whole wheat roll. This is a meal that you can probably get at any salad bar or gas station in Israel.

Even El Al Airlines takes good care of the vegans! This is my breakfast on the plane -- a potato blintz with roasted eggplant and zucchini, some cold veggies, a whole wheat roll, some fruit, and vegan vanilla pudding.

Village Oasis

That's me (in the yellow) and some people from my group that I talked into coming with me to Village Oasis in Jerusalem, a vegetarian restaurant. It's fairly informal, with a buffet setup. The food was really good. Whenever I travel, I always make it a habit to eat at one vegetarian or vegan restaurant. or are great sources for veg travel.

Ani Tivoni

That's how you say "I'm a vegan" in Hebrew. Similarly to in the states, they understand that it's more than just being a vegetarian, but still aren't sure if I eat fish, dairy, etc., so it still usually requires explaining.

Needless to say, I'm back from Israel. It was a terrific trip. And, from a vegan perspective, I ate very well, so well that I'm afraid to hop on the scale. Traditional Jewish cuisine is either milchik (milk and dairy) or fleishig (meat), and the two are not mixed. So, if I go to a milchik restaurant, I'll know the soup isn't made with beef broth, and if I go to a fleishig restaurant, I'll know that the ice cream is dairy free. And, hummus, falafel, and pita are abundant, which I could absolutely live on.

Also, I did some awesome running -- along the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv, by the Dead Sea, and through the hilly streets of Jerusalem while strange men yelled stuff in Hebrew to me that I didn't understand and I somehow avoided being hit by cars, car doors, or angry rushed Israelis.

Huge thanks to Mary Ruth for keeping the blog running in my absence! Mary Ruth, I hope you'll continue to post occasionally when you have a chance.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Leftovers from Dinner Out

The three of us went to dinner with friends last night. These are our leftovers and probably close to what VeganDoc is eating on her trip. Kevin says the leftovers are making the kitchen smell, so this is likely what I will have for lunch today. Among other things, we had pita, hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, cabbage salad, the pomegranate stuff, stuffed grape leaves, rice pilaf and some other grain (maybe bulgar) pilaf with chickpeas. I apologize for any spelling errors.
I set the containers out to take a picture, and Sami must have thought she was still hungry:)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Greetings from Israel!

Hi everyone!!!!!!! I am blogging live from a kibbutz (communal farm) in northern Israel.

I am having an amazing time here. It is incredibly easy to be a vegan traveller here -- even easier than in the U.S. There's tons of falafel and hummus, and Israelis are big on salads, fruits, and veggies. So I'm eating well, perhaps too well.

Mary Ruth, thanks again so much for filling in!

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Yesterday was a little hectic and dinner ended up being cereal at 11:30 last night. I also had trail mix on the way home from work, so I wasn't starving. I could eat breakfast all day. The pictured cereal is Trader Joe soy and flax clusters (which has honey, so some vegans may want to avoid) with soy milk. But, I will eat anything that does not cost more than $3 a box, has a good amount of protein and fiber, and does not have any weird colors (Kevin eats Fruity Pepples - disgusting!). I hope everyone else out there had some great Mexican food yesterday. By the way, Sam is 9 months today. I can't believe it!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Easy Dinner

Last night's dinner was born out of a desire to use up some left-over edamame and red wine. I would have much rather put the red wine in a glass and drink it, but I am still nursing the baby, so I'll wait for that. Someone brought the wine to a dinner party and it was not finished. So, I sauteed some red onion, mushrooms and zucchini in a little oil, added a can of diced tomatoes and about a cup each of edamame and wine, and reduced it while the pasta was cooking. Other than chopping the onion and zucchini, this can be made with one hand. That's what I look for these days:)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Vegan Cheese and Marshmallows

What did I do to deserve Kevin taking me to lunch two days in a row? I'll assume it is a sign of his love, and not that he could not get a better date:) Well, we have not been cooking vegan dinners for the last couple days (we also eat cheese and eggs), so here is a picture of my lunch yesterday. It is an avocado and soy cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts and dill spread from Tierra Cafe, a little vegetarian place within walking distance from our offices. The key to a good sandwich is the bread, and this is yummy bread. I am not a huge advocate of soy cheese, but this is good. Maybe the difference is that it is not melted. Anyone out there have a favorite soy cheese? I think VeganDoc likes FollowYourHeart. We have FollowYourHeart market and restaurant out here. I like the restaurant, but I think the market is overpriced (though they used to be the only place to get vegan marshmallows here). By the way, does anyone know where to get good vegan marshmallows? We have been ordering them from PETA, but they aren't the best.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lunch Out

Yesterday for lunch, Kevin and I went to Skew's. We try to only go to vegetarian restaurants, but we needed something quick and in walking distance. Skew's is nice because you can get any of their burritos, bowls, etc. with tofu instead of meat. Pictured is the Aloha Bowl with rice, tofu, salad and pineapple. Kevin had the BBQ burrito, which has BBQ tofu, mashed potatoes, corn, black beans and veggies. I made something similar last week, but in a shepherd's pie. I used Gardenburger BBQ Riblets, corn, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes topped with garlic mashed potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes.

On an unrelated topic, does anyone have any good ideas for Mother's Day?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thanks VeganDoc

Thanks for the warm introduction, VeganDoc. Hope you are having a great trip! If you are checking in, let us know how its going.

I think I am in a different time zone than most of your readers, so I thought I would post last night's dinner first. But I forgot to take a picture. So, here is a picture of the baby waiting for breakfast. Anyway, last night we had "meatball" subs: Whole Foods vegan meatballs, sauteed mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes with a little Newman's italian dressing on a french roll in the oven for 12 minutes. It's fast, and I can make it with one hand if the baby does not want to play by herself.

Did anyone participate in the immigration rallies yesterday? I did not, because work was crazy. But, I have friends and family who did. I have never seen as many people as were marching through downtown L.A. yesterday. I am on the 47th floor, so I could see the crowds and hear the chanting. I love it! I think it is a worthy issue, and regardless of your views, it is great to see so many people voicing their opinions (and having an opinion, for once).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Introducing.... Mary Ruth!!!

I'm going to be unable to blog for a little while. Mary Ruth will be posting some amazing food and stuff in the meantime.

Mary Ruth is my brother's girlfriend, and mommy to their adorable 8 1/2 month-old Samantha. She's also a heck of a cook, an attorney, a yoga buff, and a tax guru. All in all, she's a renaissance woman, and I'm honored that she's agreed to blog here.

Curried Lentils

A month or so ago when I was raving about Starport Foods' Garlic Sesame Glaze, I e-mailed the company to tell them how much I love the stuff. I expected maybe some corporate form letter response, but instead I got a personal e-mail from Cheryl Tsang, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Starport Foods!

She tells me that not only is she a vegan, but all Starport Foods products are vegan as well! In addition, she sent me a recipe for Curried Lentils, and I *finally* got around to making it tonight. This lentil curry, which uses their Coconut Curry Sauce, turned out awesome! I followed the recipe below, with the exception of the Thai chili pepper (because I'm a big wuss when it comes to hot stuff) and I didn't blend the liquid at the end (because I'm too lazy to wash my blender):

1 sweet potato, cubed,
2 russet potatoes, cubed
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 Tbl minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chiopped
1/2 c. red lentils, rinsed
1 red Thai Chile pepper
1/2 c. Starport Coconut Curry Sauce
2-1/2 c. water, boiling

Cheryl says: "Saute all of the items (except the sauce and water) in a pan that has a lid for 3 min. Add Coconut Curry Sauce and water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 min. After cooking time, I removed 1 cup of mixture and blended it, then returned it to the pot as a thickener. My lunch guest ate her curried lentils over rice. I had mine in a bowl, like soup."

Awesome. Thanks Cheryl!

At Work Munchies

This is what I'm bringing with me to work today. I have organic celery and peanut butter, pineapple, and edamame (soy beans in pods). Also, I have half of an Alternative Baking Company cookie -- I ate half yesterday, and saved the rest for today, since each half of a cookie has 240 calories. And, finally I have an easy-to-prepare lunch entree, just in case there is no vegan option at our noon teaching conference.