Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beans, Lentils and Chickpeas Oh My!

Yes I do realise that Chickpeas are actually beans but was having trouble coming up with a title for this post. LOL. Thank you all for your great suggestions for adding beans to my lunchtime salad.

I started off with chickpeas as I had 2 cans of them in the pantry. The first day they went down okay. I think they'll take a little bit of getting used to. :-) I think it's more the unfamiliar texture than anything. I put the remainder of the chickpeas in a container with some apple cider vinegar (using what I had on hand). I'm not sure whether I was getting used to the texture or whether the vinegar gave them that extra bit of zing but I quite enjoyed them in my salad on the second day.

I didn't have a salad for lunch the next day but when I got the munchies mid afternoon I pulled out the container of remaining chickpeas and ate them all by themselves. One at a time with a fork. I really quite enjoyed that. :-) How's that for a transformation? LOL.

I am now keen to try some of the other suggestions although it will have to wait until I have a chance to purchase those particular items.

I've also been experimenting with increasing pulses in our evening meals. Twice I've tried to make a chickpea patty (basically the patties made for falafel). The first time I served them with vegies as I would a regular meat patty. They went down okay but not brilliantly. The second time I used them in hamburgers with salad etc etc. Again they went down okay but not brilliantly. So, it's back to the drawing board with that one. I figure by the time I've finished experimenting we'll at least have consumed quite a number of meals. Hopefully by then we'll have found something we can enjoy. I'm all for healthy eating but I also think it needs to be enjoyable so I will keep persisting until I find the right combination that we can all enjoy.

I was quite proud of my success last night though. Friday nights are our "fake take away" nights and quite often I'll make homemade pizzas. The last few times I've made them I've gotten quite experimental with the toppings with quite a lot of succes. My pizza experiments are probably a topic for another post but I did want to post this particular success here given it's relevance to this topic. Last night I made a vegeatarian pizza and put Cannellini Beans on it. That went down surprisingly well (with DH and I - the kids aren't really keen on my pizza experiments yet lol). So, I will continue to experiment with adding beans to our pizzas in future and let you know the results. :-)

For some time now I've been adding beans to our spaghetti bolognese sauce and that is going down quite well. The kids baulked at them to begin with but they're getting uesd to them now. I love it as now I'm getting 3 meals out of 500g of mince. Very frugal as well as lowering fat and adding quite a bit of nutrition.

All in all I'm quite happy with the progress I'm making with adding beans, lentils and chickpeas to our diet. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this topic in the future. :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Brand New Window

On this day 5 months ago our bathroom window mysteriously cracked and shattered into a lot of tiny pieces. Living in a rural area we weren't sure who we could get to come and fix it. DH discovered that the plumber does them so he arranged with him to order the glass and come and fix it. In February (a little over 2 months after it broke) he finally got here only to discover that the glass he'd been sent was too small. Back to order some more and after a LOT of phone calls from my DH to him, he finally made it back today and fitted the right piece of glass. Phew!!! I was beginning to think we were never going to get it fixed. The joys of living in the middle of nowhere! Now to wait for the bill.....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Favourite Foods

I have discovered a great combination of foods for a dessert that I LOVE and is fairly healthy too. Cut up apple (green apples work best but it's still nice with whatever apples you have), several dollops of natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. It's such a great mixture of flavours and textures. I've never really been a big fan of honey but have been using it more in my attempts to reduce the amount of white sugar we consume. I think it's kind of growing on me as a "sweet treat" and because it really is very sweet, you don't need to use very much.

My other favourite food at the moment is celery pieces with cheese. No idea why I'm craving celery but at least it's a real food. It actually seems to be quite a good substitute for my chipaholic cravings.

With Easter having just past, I can't say my attempts to keep white sugar out of my diet are going all that well. :-) Chocolate chip hot cross buns - way too yummy for my waistline!!! LOL. But I figure the most important thing with improving our health through diet is to keep learning and trying new things.

My next experiment will be to find a bean or legume that I like cold to have on my lunch time salad. That will be interesting as I'm a fairly new convert to eating legumes and beans much at all, let alone eating them cold. Coming into winter we'll probably eat more soups for lunch and they're much easier for including beans and legumes. If I get game enough to try them cold, I'll let you know how it goes. :-)