Whole Foods and a Sweet Veggie Cashew Stir-Fry

I’m off to a good start with this whole foods/plant-based diet thing. Since I’m literally just getting started, it has actually been more fun than anything, because I am exploring new foods and recipes. I have even convinced Greg to make some changes with me. That couldn’t make me happier because the times it is most difficult to eat healthfully is when G (or someone else that I’m with for that matter) is chomping down on a burger, creamy pasta dish or slice after slice of three-meat pizza. Mmmmm.

Where else to start our grocery shopping than the most stereotypical place we could choose?
Whole Foods of course. 
We went right at lunchtime yesterday and needed to fill our bellies at the cafe before we could shop. I headed straight for both the hot and cold salad bar.
I filled my bowl with a mix of baby spinach and spring greens, red onion, grape tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, chopped boiled egg (one food that I will most likely continue to keep in my diet despite cutting out most other dairy), and an edemame and pea salad. Finally, I had a couple of rosemary sweet potato wedges on the side. I just LOVE those things!

G had a pimento cheese sandwich from the deli counter. The sandwich obviously contained dairy, but was also topped with bacon. He isn’t quite ready to eliminate all meat, and asked me, “Is one piece of bacon okay?” Haha. I told him he can do whatever he wants, but one piece of bacon should be fine 😉
I took a bite too, but avoided getting any bacon in my bite.
Greg was feeling extra healthy by keeping hydrated with a gigantic bottle of water to drink.

The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was a big bottle. And only 69 cents! WHAAAAT? Bottled water is never that cheap. Too bad I couldn’t say the same for the rest of Whole Foods. After our lunch, we browsed the aisles for a good ten minutes, but decided prices were a little to high for our liking. Sorry Whole Foods. I love the cafe, but would rather save more money on groceries. Trader Joe’s here we come! We stocked up on all kinds of fresh produce, whole wheat tortillas, nuts, brown rice, and wine (duh). 
I cooked a veggie and cashew stir-fry for dinner made with TJ’s Island Soyaki Sauce (a blend of soy and teriyaki with other flavors like garlic and pineapple- YUM!). The nuttiness from the cashews and the sweetness of the sauce was delicious and filling. Meat is not missed here!

Sweet Veggie Cashew Stir-Fry
Makes about 3 servings
1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 zucchini squash, diced
5 small bell peppers (any mix of yellow, orange, red or green will work), diced
1/4 yellow onion, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cashew halves
1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki Sauce
1. Prepare rice according to package directions. While it is cooking, chop vegetables.
2. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all vegetables and Soyaki sauce. Stir to coat veggies in sauce. Continue to cook about 5-7 minutes, until veggies start to become tender.
3. Add cashews and stir. Cook another 3-4 minutes. 
4. When rice is finished cooking, add about 1/2 cup to each plate. Top each with 1/2-3/4 cup of vegetable mixture. Shake with more sauce if desired.

Stuffed Steaks and Oreo Pie

Steaks stuffed with cheese and spinach? Pie made out of OREOS?!

Sign me up.
This was the dinner Greg and I cooked for my mom and step dad on Sunday night. I can’t take the credit for stuffing the steaks myself. I bought them that way from Publix. But I did grill them on my George Foreman.

That counts for something, right? 

The spinach didn’t really add much in my opinion, but the cheese was amazing. 
For the rice, I cooked about 2 cups (dry) of plain ole brown rice and added about 3 tablespoons of margarine, 2 teaspoons of “Extra Spicy” seasoning, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. 
The seasonings really brought to life an otherwise boring side dish. 
Greg made the asparagus, as usual. He sauteed the spears in extra virgin olive oil and add mined garlic at the very end. 
Dinner was great and all, but you know a night is not complete without dessert!
And dessert is not taken lightly around here, as you probably know. One of my favorite desserts from the cafeteria in college was Oreo Pie. I was all over that Oreo Pie. And now I have found a way to relive that delicious dessert in such an easy way…pudding and a store-bought, pre-made graham cracker crust. 
They make Oreo pudding these days. Did you know that? Well you do now, and I think you should buy some. And a box of Double Stuf Oreos while you’re at it. Actually, I have only heard good things about the Birthday Oreos, so maybe grab those too. 

I followed the recipe on the side of the pudding box to make the pie, except I had to halve everything (except the crust), because I didn’t realize until I had started that the pie uses two boxes of pudding mix, not one like I had. It is essentially a mixture of the pudding (milk added to the mix) and Cool Whip, poured into the pie crust and frozen for a couple of hours. Easy as pie! 😉 

Since the pie was going to be extra thin by only using one box of mix, I compensated by adding crushed Oreos on top. It gave the pie extra height, but honestly you can never go wrong by added more Oreos anyway.
I am dying now, because I gave up chocolate for Lent. In my church/family, we were always taught you can “break” Lent on Sundays (I stand strongly by that today. If you count the days from Ash Wednesday until Easter, it’s more than 40 days. Take out the Sundays and you have yourself 40 days, the length of Lent. But I won’t get into that argument here). Anywho, the remaining slice or two of pie is taunting me from the freezer. Hopefully Greg forgets about it and it’s still good come next Sunday!