Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, Fatso

It's officially 2011, and I cannot ignore the scale any longer.

We spent the eve eating fried avocados, tacos, and beer at Columbus' own all-vegan bar, Hal & Al's. Then, continued our night at a friend's party where we drank even more. Not to mention my binge baking in the past two months. And those damn starbucks peppermint mochas.

Oh, and the amazing bread maker (which I'll post about later) that's caused me to carb-load for a run I keep failing to go on (due to hibernation).

Anyway, the point is: I've been a bad vegan. And my body has suffered from it. A few pounds and a lot of rapidly disappearing thigh muscles later, it's time to reinstate the regiment. Andrew has quit caffeine again, which makes me go less frequently, which cuts out a good 500 calories per day in beverages alone. Not to mention a whole lot of money from our budget. And next to go is eating out for every meal.

To help keep lunches interesting and to ensure that I won't revert to eating out all the time, I like to trick myself... with this salad, for instance. The dressing is a very light caesar salad dressing that I've taken from "The Conscious Cook" by Tal Ronnen. While there is a whole cup of olive oil, and he claims only 4 servings per batch, I choose to limit myself to about 1-2 tablespoons of dressing per massive salad and just do a phenomenal job shaking it up. Plus, I add 1 tsp chipotle powder to bulk up the flavor (thus, making me not notice the lack of dressing). And let's face it, I add chipotle powder to pretty much everything, anyway.

Another great addition to my salads is gardein. In these photos I'm using the scallopini cutlets, but I usually use the crispy tenders. I love the tenders, because each tender is only 90 calories, and I've tricked myself into thinking I'm eating something worse than I am. They're breaded in whole wheat, and you bake them instead of frying them. (Although, this winter we did deep fry some, and they were awesome). Here's the complete how-to:


Chipotle "Caesar" Salad with Gardein Crispy Tenders
Makes one salad

- 2-3 Gardein Crispy Tenders
- 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup spinach
- various toppings: diced orange bell pepper, soy beans, chopped broccoli, and finely diced shallots
- 2 tbs caesar dressing, made with 1 tbs chipotle powder
*I highly suggest getting a copy of "The Conscious Cook" - very good recipe
- some black pepper or red pepper

1. Combine all vegetables into one container with a lid, or get a bowl (you can use a plate for a lid).
2. Top with your dressing, cover with the lid, and shake your money maker.
3. Top with your fresh-from-the-oven tenders. You can season the tenders with a little onion powder and chili powder. I like to do that. Top the whole salad with some fresh pepper or red pepper flakes if you like.
4. You can either eat it fresh or refrigerate it overnight and eat it for lunch the next day. The tenders are very good cold, too.
*** If you want to use the scallopini gardein, just heat 2 tsp olive oil in a non-stick pan. Season the scallopini with a dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, ancho chili powder, and chipotle powder. Then cook 2 minutes per side on medium heat, until golden brown.

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