All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017
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So – my last post was a month ago. It was my Clean Cooking & a 21-day Arbonne Healthy Eating Detox – Vegan or Vegetarian Style post describing a 21-day detox/cleanse I was launching on. I never posted about it again for a few reasons: the fact that the recipes from the Arbonne site made GINORMOUS quantities & I ate the same thing for days & because I just had no passion for cooking while on it. I ended it two days earlier than my 21 day goal because – Superbowl party. After nearly 3 weeks of deprivation – I lost 4 pounds. 4 miserable pounds. I should not complain because one friend of mine lost nothing & another gained 4 pounds. So – that cleanse is what you make of it but it was a great jump start to shock me out of deeply-entrenched habits. Now – I am obsessed with TEA and pay way more attention to what I eat & where calories are coming from. Which brings me to my day yesterday.
I was at the mall exchanging a birthday gift & realized it was lunch time & that I was hungry. My choices were mainly a sushi spot & the Cheesecake Factory. Since I no longer eat fish, I Googled the Cheesecake Factory’s menu to see if they had any HEALTHY (reading – low in calories) options. The Cheesecake Factory is notorious for shockingly caloric options (see HERE) and I did not want to eat a 2000 calorie lunch – as I am still trying to keep my daily calorie intake to about 1200. I was pleased to see a skinny cocktail menu and a super food menu. So – I went in and I ordered a skinny margarita & the vegan Cobb salad. I got the Cobb because I did not want to eat any of their 490 calorie “skinny” menu items. I thought I would be really good & get a salad with proteins (garbanzos & quinoa) and the healthy fat avocado.
The drink was small but tasty & only clocked in at 150 calories. Very happy with that. The salad was not gargantuan, not over-dressed & was quite good. Looks good, right? Looks healthy. Proud of myself, I considered ordering a second cocktail as I entered the stuff I had just consumed in My Fitness Pal. It was then that my world came shattering down around me. That fucker of a salad had 1210 calories!!!!! 1210!!!! I could go to McDonald’s and get a Big Mac, medium fries & a medium NON-DIET Coke for under 1100. Don’t believe me? Look HERE on McDonald’s own site. How the FUCK is THAT possible??? A salad? Without a creamy dressing or any cheese or meat or bacon or croutons or fried wontons or ANYTHING naughty? Avocado is fatty but it is not cheese & bacon fatty! It is not BIG MAC fatty! And that photo shows the salad with dressing on it. It really was NOT soaked in dressing. I was SO freaked out! I felt SO cheated! For 1200 calories I could have gotten pizza & wine. Or almost anything on the menu. Seriously. What the fuck? So – almonds & sunflower seeds in addition to avocado & boom! An ass like Kim Kardashian. I felt like I had undone 3 weeks of deprivation with one Goddamn SALAD! Ugh. I complained about it all fucking day. And I am complaining now. I will never EVER enter the CottageCheesecake AssFactory again. I swear it.
So – driven to compensate for that outrageous lunch – I made this VERY healthy stew today. I used a bunch of sketchy veggies cresting their use-by dates & it came out delicious. You can add or remove produce to suit your tastes. I only used bit of olive oil to roast the veggies & that was it. You could eliminate even that by NOT roasting them & just throwing them in the pot to boil. Your call.
I served myself a hearty portion of this stew today over a very carefully measured 1/4 cup of mixed ancient grains. Truth be told – this stew does not need a grain to make it satisfying so – serve it naked or over the grain of your choice.
Turmeric is a very healthy spice. Here are some of the benefits of turmeric. Look at that list or THIS one. It will make you want to use vibrant turmeric as often as possible.
Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew
Makes a LOT – enough to feed 6-8 (even without a grain)
1 head cauliflower – cut into bite-sized florets
10-15 carrots – chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion – chopped
1 red bell pepper – cut into matchsticks
2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)
2 (15 oz) cans of garbanzo beans (drained)
2 (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
10 garlic cloves – chopped
10 oz broccoli (VERY optional – I only used the broccoli rabe I had because it was wilting)
1-2 TBS turmeric (start with one & add more if you like)
1 BS ground cumin
1 TBS ground coriander
2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom (LOVELY but can be omitted if you cannot find it)
4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
Chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish
If roasting the vegetables:
Heat the oven to 475.
Toss the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, onion & jalapenos in a light coating of olive oil & some S&P. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add them to a large stock pot with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.
If not roasting them – just throw them in with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit. Add water to thin it if it gets too thick. Cook it down if it is too watery. Season with S&P & garnish with parsley or cilantro.