You guys ROCK!
You were so gracious to give me such helpful feedback about eating well. I'm looking forward to implementing your ideas. I'll give you an overview of what everyone shared...
Lunanik suggested Kale which I've been reading about but haven't had the guts to try since it's not a "mainstream" vegetable. She says to saute some onion and garlic (I'm already there--is there anything that smells better than onion and garlic while they are cooking?) keeping the pan wet with a little low sodioum chicken broth. Wilt the kale, but leave some curliness to it. Don't cook it down to nothing. Serve it on top of mashed potatoes. I would have never guessed mashed potatoes, but hey, I can count on Lunanik to pull some surprises. I've been considering kale recently and read that it's a nutritional powerhouse, so I'll be branching out. Thanks for stretching me, Lunanik!
InTheFastLane suggested incorporating black beans in different ways, like, grinding them up like meat and adding them to lasagna, soups and chili. All I can say is...Duh! Why hadn't that occurred to me? I agree with her that black beans on rice w/ salsa and cheddar cheese (add sour cream to mine please) is also one of my faves and I'm planning on doing that one this weekend! Yum! (Ooh, I bet a squeeze of lime juice would jack that up a bit and I just remembered! I have FRESH cilantro in a pot outside! OMG! Can this get ANY better?!)
Mrs. Blogoway gave me a link for a homemade Caesar salad that sounds divine: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/12730 I just want to know if you go the whole nine yards and make the croutons too?
Sweet (how appropriate is that name!) is a HUGE fan of stevia and clued me in to some of the variety of flavors available in Sweet Leaf Stevia: vanilla creme English toffee, Valencia orange and root beer flavors, just to name a few. Go here to see more. I found the packets of stevia at the (small) local health food store. The only liquid she has available is plain. But I'm keeping my eyes peeled for more! (Sweet, I would love to come visit, do you have a page? If you don't want to leave a comment to that effect, my email is on my profile page.) Another friend added that you can bake with stevia too! I'm wondering if you substitute it equally?
Now, I'll tell you my new favorite breakfast. Two of them. A bonus one because I love you so much.
1 Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel 4:9 English muffin split and toasted (flourless, sprouted grains)
slather on some Smart Balance peanut butter
about a teaspoon of apple butter on each slice
One of the variations on my protein shakes:
1/2 cup non fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup 2% milk (or lower percent)
1 teaspoon honey
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup frozen cherries
whir and serve
voila! A healthy chocolate covered cherry!