What's for dinner - Whole Life Challenge VEGETABLE edition

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I wanted to try to highlight some of the veggies we are enjoying during the Vegetable challenge week of the Whole Life Challenge.  The challenge is to eat a different vegetable every day this week.  No problem!

Day 1 was a beautiful simple meal of Tilapia with sauteed onion & garlic, avocado and broccoli:

Day 2 the featured vegetable was Butternut Squash, via a variation of this chili that I'd made on Sunday (hey, no rules against cooking it in advance!).  I left out the chopped chipotle in adobo because the can said the ingredients included corn oil, wheat flour and a couple of other disallowed ingredients.   I added diced fresh jalapeno, cayenne, chipotle chili pepper powder and some red pepper flakes, and still went back for some Tabasco to splash at the time of serving.  It was OK, but I think the chipotle in adobo would have rounded it out more.  I also added a dash of cocoa powder to the mix toward the end to give it a little more depth of flavor, which I think was good.

Day 3 (today) we kept it simple and just nuked sweet potatoes for our meal.  Sweet potato + butter & salt = perfect.

I guess I need to get my game plan together to use up all the other veggies we have around here!  We got another CSA share today which included a turnip (greens attached) and some spinach, so I suspect there may be some cooked greens in our future - that's one that John's been on a kick with for a few weeks now.

Here's some photos of other recent meals:

I got John to make this recipe of the egg inside an avocado.  It was REALLY hard to tell when the egg was cooked, was the one observation.

I like to take random leftover vegetables and cook them together, which is what you see below, made a few weeks back after that Saturday tailgate.  Leftover celery and peppers mixed with some squash and broccoli, some beans and I think a can of tomatoes, some spices...  It was pretty good!

This is a recipe John made, I don't know what was in it (other than garlic and butter, which I remember particularly because they were so delicious), but damn it was good:

Another random vegetable mash-up of mine, this was dinner one Wednesday when John was off at dart league.  Peppers, radishes, turnips, beets, cooked in butter with some salt.  A touch bitter (I blame the radishes), but overall pretty tasty.

WLC Vegetable Challenge!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm not gonna lie, I was super excited to see that the coming week's challenge was all about VEGETABLES.  Since I eat mostly veggies anyway, I hope I've got an edge on this one :).   It gives me a great reason to prepare them in a variety of ways.  I also love that I get some new stuff from our CSA from Glade Road Growing.  I've never tried Celeriac (which we got with our share last week), and am looking forward to trying it!

Here are some of the vegetables I've got in the house at the moment (a few of which I picked up for the challenge):

The standard "side" vegetables -

Bell Pepper

And these -

Brussels Sprouts
Butternut Squash

Yellow crookneck Squash
Pak Choy
Curry Squash*
Peas (frozen)**

* I'd never seen one before and had to buy it when I spotted it in the Glade Road Growing tent at the Farmer's Market.
** I bought these for the challenge.  In the spring we just eat the whole pod fresh off the vine and the rest of the time I forget that vegetables can come out of the freezer.

I'll try to get some shots of what I wind up making with the veggies throughout the week.

Whole Life Challenge observations

Saturday, October 20, 2012

During the course of the Whole Life Challenge, I've observed some interesting behaviors on the discussion forums.  Part of the challenge is that every single rule can't possibly be made 100% crystal clear.  One such area of discussion relates to receiving communion, and whether the wine and cracker count as lost points for alcohol and grain ingestion.  This is ONE of many, many examples where certain competitors come out to play, saying "OF COURSE" it is a point, you're obviously NOT COMPLIANT.

I am not a Catholic, and I do not receive communion, so this is NOT a personal issue for me.  It is a really good representation of something that I want to talk about. Here's my response to this example and the numerous others I have witnessed.

There are two types of competitor:

  1. People who believe that the competition is for (and against) everyone else.
  2. People who believe that the competition is for (and against) ourselves.
I call Type 1 "zealots."  Excess competitive juice juice sends Type 1 into holier than thou debates (or statements) about "the "right" way to do each thing, interspersed with posts and responses that are designed to highlight how lame and weak other people are.

Type 1 competitors:  If the competition takes you to a place where you find yourself putting down other people to show off how great you are by comparison, then you have lost sight of the purpose of the challenge.  One of the challenge's greatest opportunities is to share this journey with others and support each other toward individual progress and achievements.  Look in the mirror.  You are an asshole.  Stop it.

I "get" the rules, and I respect them.  Beyond that, I have been trying to be sure that I respect other people and their choices, whatever they may be.

For type 2 competitors:  If the rules aren't 100% clear*:
  • If YOU think it is cheating, it is cheating.
  • If you don't think it is cheating, then it is not cheating. 
In the end, you have to be accountable to yourself.  The person I am in the competition to "win" for (and, yes -- often, against) is me.

* You know what they are; don't cheat yourself and stretch the boundaries.  If you know that it's a stretch, then it's probably cheating.

Whole Life Challenge: What's for Dinner updates!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's been a while since I posted any updates on food for the Whole Life Challenge, and how everything is going.  We are about 1/2 way through and I've lost about 1 pound a week, which is OK I guess.  I didn't go into it to lose the most weight (but I was sort of hoping I would!).  I went into it to get fit and healthy, and push myself to "eat clean", and I've been totally winning at that.

Here are a couple of catch-up pics on meals past - First, a lovely salad with the last tomatoes from our garden, and black bean soup from this recipe (which was OK but pretty bland, a hearty dose of Tabasco, which is totally compliant, helped):

Then I made these Mahi fillets and some greens with the spinach from our CSA and some chard from the garden:

Experimented with some crackers:

Finally figured out how to make mayo (using the LOWEST blender setting, only ONE type of oil / I'd run out and mixed on the prior attempt, and letting the egg and lemon juice come fully to room temperature):

And tonight I made up TWO soups, since the coming week's challenge is all about providing for yourself for every meal (which I do 99% of the time anyway).   The first one was Sweet Potato-Cauliflower soup, which we had for dinner tonight.  Quite good!

And the other is Curried Pumpkin Soup, which I had a little sample taste of, and is AMAZING.

The finished product yielded 10 very orange and similar-looking servings (pumpkin on the left, and sweet potato-cauliflower on the right).  Frankly these are pretty hearty servings, so they may even go further than that.  Not bad for a couple of hours' work!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Posted this on my Facebook, but want to keep it more 'handy' to refer back to...  Something I need to remember and work on.

I tend to get impatient with people for not seeing something that seems 'obvious'. I really need to work on my compassion and remember that every person sees things differently, and things that seem 'obvious' to me aren't necessarily even visible to others, and vice-versa...

I think it is very rarely the case that people make a conscious choice to make things more difficult for someone else*, it is just that they are seeing through their own world lenses and don't see through mine.

*ok, so sometimes they are, but certainly much less often than it feels like!

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