Kabuli Pizza Crust – The Best Veggie Pizza So Far

pizza1

I found and tried a Kabuli pizza crust after reading about it on the Engine 2 Diet website. It was listed as one of the “allowable foods” for that plan which stresses “plant strong” foods.

The Kabuli crusts were hidden in the frozen section of Whole Foods (about 45 minutes away) but when I went to another location today (about 30 minutes away) they didn’t have them. So, apparently not every WF carries them.

I did see where you could order 16 crusts for $49 plus shipping from their website (UPDATE: I can’t find Kabuli anywhere anymore! After some research, trying this soon! Will let you know how it compares!) which is a good deal considering I paid $5.67 I think for just one? Warning…pizza crust is amazing, website is horrible, but it looks like they have decent customer service via phone.

I used Dei Fratelli pizza sauce which I found at Publix and tasted really delish. Next time I will use less sauce because 1) I thought a pizza without cheese “needed” more sauce. Not true. 2) There are 4g of sugar per serving in this sauce. Tastes great, but too much sugar. I think I will cut this sauce in half next time with some no salt added tomatoes. Since I was making the pizza for more than just myself, I had to be a little bit flexible.

I topped the pizza with basil from my happy basil plant (which is just temporary until the basil my mom planted grows a bit more) also from WF for $2.49.

happybasil

Then I added green peppers, onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and sundried tomatoes (no oil). It was so Yummy! Having a pizza like this really makes you rethink the Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s I used to get. This had no grease, no added fat, and lots of veggie power.

Hopefully I will find this Kabuli crust again when I go to the far away WF. I will post the nutritional info when I get the next crust as I already threw the wrapper away! Enjoy! ~Amanda Rae

 

Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Split Pea Soup Review

peasoup2

I decided to try Dr. McDougall’s vegan split pea soup as a potential pantry back up for when I don’t have the time or the energy to cook.  I also need something I can keep in my desk drawer. There are several flavors but I was feeling adventurous and decided to try the split pea first. I got it at my local Publix and it cost about $2.50.

With 120 calories and 300 mg of sodium, I thought it seemed like a doable option. I was nervous about the packet inside because it reminded me of those Ramen Noodle Packages O’ Salt. Fortunately, this one was not nearly as bad.

When you pull off the lid, there are little bits of chopped and dried up veggies. The ingredients are listed as Pre-cooked Split Peas, Barley, Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Garlic, Parsley), Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor (Non-animal Source), Potato Starch, Lemon, Citric Acid, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt. Add the flavor packet and microwave and here is what you get…

peasoup1

Not very appetizing is it? There were some diapers in my past that looked similar to this so I was quite hesitant. But I knew I had to at least try it. The first spoonful was a bit grainy.

It is definitely not a smooth soup. However, the taste was not bad. The second bite tasted a bit better than the first and so on and so on. Until I ended up with this…

peasoup

So clearly I ended up enjoying it. Practically licked the container! It tasted hearty and most of the veggies got really soft and liquified, but there was still that grainy texture that was a little off-putting at first.

I am amazed at how much my taste buds have changed with eating healthy foods. Anything new and unfamiliar gets adjusted to rather quickly. I would probably buy this soup again, but I have a few more flavors to try too. Next will be black bean! ~Amanda Rae

What People Eat Around the World

EatWorld

If I asked you to think about your weekly groceries (either for you or your family), what would the typical haul look like? Would it look something like the photo above? Would it include fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of whole grains?

For most Americans, the answer would be no. Instead, the standard American diet (SAD) includes a lot of plastic, a lot of packaging, unrecognizable ingredients and chemicals, and obscene amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. But a really creative and insightful photo blog on Imgur is making people think about what they eat in relation to the rest of the world.

Featuring families from countries such as Mexico, Bhutan, India, Mali, and Chad, the photos feature families with a spread of their typical weekly groceries. They are incredibly telling, especially when many of the photos include the familiar 2 liter bottles of fizzy soda. There are also many appearances of Tony the Tiger. Some of the photos show families eating a primarily plant-based diet with a lot of color and variety.

So think back to your groceries. What would be included in your photo? How does it look now? How would you like it to look in 3 months? 6 months? One year?

For those of you doing Eat to Live, McDougall or some other plant -strong diet, sometimes you may feel that vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are too limited. In a hyperpalatable food environment, it is easy to begin to feel that you are “missing out” on the fun stuff. This is when you should definitely return to these photos and realize how fortunate you really are. After all, most of us are able to afford to eat a relatively healthy diet once we get our priorities straight.

However, not everyone in the US is so lucky to have accessible, affordable produce nearby. Those that live in “food deserts” may have difficulty in obtaining many of the foods recommended by Eat to Live, the Ornish Spectrum plan, or by Dr. John McDougall, which results in more SAD choices. Next time you give to a food pantry or a shelter, consider giving frozen bags of vegetables (many have freezers and can accommodate), bags of beans, brown rice, or quinoa, or raw nuts and seeds. Food for thought! ~Amanda Rae

There are scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases; in countries where people eat a pound or more of vegetables and fruits a day, the rate of cancer is half what is in the United States.― Michael Pollan

How to Start Your Weight Loss Journey

ThrowOutJunkFood

The way to start your weight loss journey is with a trash bag and a few hours to kill. Above you can see some of the things I threw away on January 14, 2013, the day before I started my Eat to Live with Dr. Joel Fuhrman program. Now I know some of you are looking at that picture and you are thinking “What’s wrong with sugar free jello?” Well…lots of things it turns out, with the first being artificial sweetener. Everything else is salt, sugar, and fat. Salt in soy sauce, pancake syrup, butter you can spray that has no calories!” Who was I kidding?

It WAS difficult to throw so much food away. There were other bags that went to a food pantry and some I gave to my dad, but it is hard to throw away hard earned money. But I knew it was important. I knew I couldn’t have the tempations and I had to create space for success. For those of you who have family members who aren’t going to be eating the same as you, I have one shelf in the pantry (the top one so it is harder for me to reach) where there are a few “snacks” for my boyfriend. Other than that, it is a healthy eating zone for me. Maybe your kids can have their own mini-fridge somewhere? Can your hubby keep some of his snacks at work instead of at home? You will find that they will start to eat more like you when they see the great results!

I cleared out my kitchen and made room for the staples of my new diet:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • low sodium vegetable stock
  • brown rice, quinoa
  • oats
  • 100% whole grain pasta
  • cans of low sodium or no sodium beans and tomatoes
  • frozen vegetables for quick dinners
  • fresh salsa
  • bottles and bottles of water (I am working on changing this…too much plastic!)

Whole Foods Salad Bar – Dinner on the Run

SalsaSalad

A little something I picked up for dinner one night at the Whole Foods salad bar. I looked for options that had the “health starts here” label. These were plant-based and nutrient dense foods.

Whole Foods provides all of the ingredients on each dish which is great because there were a few I had to pass on due to oils. I try to swerve away from all oils right now, even the “healthy” ones like olive, sunflower, etc.

This meal was great though. Fresh, lots of flavor, bursts of cilantro and mint, colorful and very satisfying! It is also fun to eat at Whole Foods – everyone around you is eating healthy and shopping for unique foods.

I love to look in people’s carts there! So refreshing to not see Dorito’s, Coke, and fattening chips everywhere. [Read more…]