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SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day Five

07/27/2011 1 comment

Day five has been by far the best day, thus far!

I got out of bed at around 5:45am (I was awake much earlier) to kiss my honey goodbye, then I checked my tongue and I’m happy to report, there was no white fuzz (AWESOME). Since I had to go to work, I started to prepare juice #6 for breakfast and lunch.

Because it was my first day back at work since I started this adventure, I was feeling a tad bit nervous.  It’s so weird, even though I’ve been juicing during the day for the past few days, I felt apprehensive about not packing any lunch and only bringing juice.  It’s like I felt “naked”.  So, I brought along some blueberries and strawberries as back-up.

I managed to get through the day, without eating any of the fruit.  I drank the remainder of my juice at around noon and then I went to Whole Foods Market and got myself a shot of wheatgrass.  Though not reliably substantiated, It has been argued that wheatgrass helps blood flow, digestion and general detoxification of the body.  For more information on wheatgrass, please see here.

OMG! All I drank was a 1 oz. serving and as soon as it hit my system…

POW!

It was as if I drank an 8 oz. cup of espresso.  I was wired (in a good way), I was ready for action and most of all, I felt no hunger.

That lasted for close to two hours and by the time it was quiting time, all I could think of was the veggie stir-fry we had planned for dinner.  I tell you, I couldn’t get home fast enough.

I basically tossed in a bunch of veggies into a large pan (I don’t own a Wok) along with some sesame oil and low-sodium tamari sauce.

YUM!! It was delicious! Sam loved it and said we should definitely have it at least once a week.  Mind you, there was no rice or noodles and yet it satisfied us both.  How can you go wrong when you have such a beautiful array of colors and textures from such guilt-free ingredients in every bite? As an end to our lovely meal we ate the blueberries and strawberries.

Well ladies and gentlemen, this post concludes my minimum of five days of juicing/eating only fruits and vegetables commitment and adventure.  It’s been a wonderful, eye-opening experience and I thank you for letting me share and I thank God for allowing me to survive it without any issues.

While I (and Sam, of course) do plan to continue this path of primarily eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains (minimum of 80% of the time) and exercising 4-5 days a week (like I used to), I will not be posting daily.

Instead, I will update you once or twice weekly and share any notable changes that may occur (like my return to my pre-wedding weight).  I will also share healthier and delicious dishes.  Although…I am likely to include some naughtiness…like dessert ;-).

Oh, and another thing…I truly feel really, really great!

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”  – modified from : Edward Stanley (1826-1893) from The Conduct of Life

Juice #6

Yields about 2 quarts

4 granny smith apples

1 beet

5-6 celery stalks

4 medium carrots

ginger (approx. thumb size portion)

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Veggie Stir-fry

Yields approximately 4 servings

1 stir-fry veggies package (broccoli, snowpeas, etc)

3 garlic cloves

1 small onion

2 small yellow squash

1/2 red pepper

1 package of snow peas

1 zucchini

1 package of mushrooms

1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons of low-sodium tamari sauce

To prepare:

Wash, dry and cut up all veggies.  Toss into pre-heated (very hot) pan with sesame oil and tamari sauce.  Stir all ingredients around for just a few minutes, serve and enjoy.

As mentioned in previous posts, I journaled and shared the past five days of this experience to make myself accountable.  I am not a doctor, or a professional in the field of nutrition.  Therefore, I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO FOLLOW WHAT I’VE DONE.  If you’re interested in fasting, detoxing, juicing, etc., please consult your doctor.

Thank you and God Bless!

SamCyn’s Blueberry-Coriander Muffin Experiment…

05/12/2011 2 comments

When using blueberries in lieu of pumpkin to make muffins from the delicious Honey Walnut Pumpkin muffin recipe I made a while back, I was not sure which spice to use in place of the pumpkin spice.

I know I could have used cinnamon, but I wanted something different.  So, I asked my buddy Google to tell me “what spices work with blueberries“.  I got the idea to use coriander from this site and decided to go into unchartered territory and experiment.

I had purchased ground coriander to use for an Indian recipe (that I never got around to making), so it’s not a spice I’m very familiar with. 

After some research, I learned that the use of coriander is native to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions and has been known in Asian countries for thousands of years.  It was used as a spice in both Greek and Roman cultures, the latter using it to preserve meats and flavor breads. 

The coriander seeds have a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage.  The early physicians, including Hippocrates, used coriander for its medicinal properties, including as an aromatic stimulant.  Coriander leaves (cilantro) (which I love) are featured in the culinary traditions of Latin American, Indian and Chinese cuisine.

Duh! I’m sure I’ve had this in sooo many dishes and didn’t even know it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I just made a new friend…the experiment was a winner! My husband, sister and mother all agreed they were really moist and DA-LISH. 

The coriander offered a nice, mellow citrusy note (smelled really good too!) that paired really well with the blueberries and caramelized walnuts.  And the best part is, because they are low-fat (no butter or oil), you can freely smother them with butter (like I did), take a bite and go to tastebud heaven.

One of these hot, buttered muffins with a good cup of coffee (or tea) makes for a good breakfast or afternoon snack :-).

“And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” Exodus 16:31

Blueberry-Coriander Muffin

(yields about 12 muffins)

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup light vanilla soymilk
  • 6 oz. package of fresh blueberries (mashed)
  • 1 medium ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dark agave nectar

To Prepare 

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 12-muffin pan (or muffin cups) with cooking spray and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Toast walnuts in saucepan on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, then add 1/3 cup of agave nectar.  When mixture starts to bubble, stir to prevent burning, cook for about another 1-2 minutes.  Spread covered walnuts onto the waxed paper, allow to cool and break up clusters.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, coriander, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a second large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, honey, soy milk, mashed blueberries and banana, egg and vanilla.

Add this mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared muffin pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan and set aside to let cool completely.  Or you can pop one out of the pan, slather on the butter and enjoy!

I Cheated!…w/Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins

03/12/2011 3 comments

I’ve got to tell you, I’m a bit  very ashamed and disappointed in myself :-(. 

In addition, I’ve learned that I can play a really mean game of DENIAL.

On my third day of Lent, I cheated with the Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins that I made yesterday…and like Eve, I brought my husband down with me.

As you may or may not know, Lent in the Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My husband Sam and I, both agreed to deny ourselves the following foods, for the 40-day period of Lent:

  1. Pizza (OUCH!)
  2. Gelato, Ice Cream (DOUBLE OUCH!)
  3. Cakes, Cookies
  4. Candy bars
  5. Bread (I’m alone on this one)

I knew this would be challenging (not to mention good for the waistline) and feel truly sacrificial, considering how the above mentioned are staples in our home, that are consumed at least 5-7x a week.

No, not the pizza… that’s just once a week…okay, maybe two if there are leftovers ;-).

Before I even started Lent, I asked myself, “Can I still bake muffins???”

Are they synonymous with cupcakes or bread???

This is what I learned, AFTER I baked the muffins. 

A muffin is an American English name for a type of bread that is baked in small portions. Many forms are somewhat like small cakes or cupcakes in shape, although they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting. Savory varieties, such as cornbread muffins, also exist.

Ah, Ha!

See the part about cornbread muffins being considered savory? That means muffins fall into the savory category, not sweet, like a cupcake. 

Therefore, I should be in the clear right??? 

WRONG!

It’s in the bread family…Hence, I totally lost this game of denial.

However, for those of you not denying yourselves bread, cakes or muffins.

I’ve got a new addiction for you!

The original recipe (for Lemon Cornmeal Breakfast Cake) I got from Joy The Baker.  You may want to read her story, it’s hysterical.

I made a few of my own adjustments (see below in red) and made muffins, not cake.

Yes, I know…I was completely blind to the word “cake” in the recipe’s name, all I saw was cornmeal and breakfast (I told you I was in denial).

Without a doubt, the citrusy, buttery aroma that perfumes your home will get your attention.

Then…your first to last bite will be met with a lovely…moist…slightly sweet…warm, nutty butter flavor, that is sure to make you fall in love.

You won’t know if you want it for breakfast or dessert.

I shamefully ate two and prayed for strength not to eat the rest (which I’ve given half to my mother-in-law and the rest go to my mom and sister).

The best part of it all, is that it is so simple to make!

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

“Two old Bachelors were living in one house; One caught a Muffin, the other caught a Mouse.” – Edward Lear

Lemon-Berry Corn Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour) 
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (I added another 1/3 due to the addition of fresh fruit)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used light plain soymilk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus one tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned then cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries cut into small pieces

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

In a 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat until browned and fragrant.  Use a potholder to grab onto the cast iron and carefully tilt back and forth so the melted butter greases the sides of the pan.  Remove browned butter from the cast iron to cool, and set the buttery cast iron aside.  That’s what we’re going to bake the cake in!

OMG! The smell of the browned butter (a first for me) was intoxicating!!!

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, simply butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.  Set aside.  Brown the butter in a skillet over the stove top and incorporate into the recipe just the same.  I lined a 12-muffin pan with baking cups and used baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, carefully whisk together eggs, buttermilk, lemon zest and butter. Add the wet ingredients, all at once, to the dry ingredients and fold together, (along with berries) with a spatula.  Fold until very few lumps remain.  Pour batter into the prepared buttered pan and place in the oven.

While the cake bakes, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze.  Set aside.

Bake for 30 minutes (20 minutes for muffins) or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Use a skewer or the tines of a fork to poke holes in the bake.  Sporadic holes here and there will do.  Pour over the glaze, spread evenly and let rest for about 30 minutes before serving. This cake will last for up to 4 days, well wrapped, at room temperature.