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G'morning July 22, 2005

I am knitting lace.


It is the summer for it, isn't it? More on it later, but can I just talk about row eleven? The poorly written, problematic row eleven, which for the first 5 repeats NEVER worked (but did I rip it out? Heck, no. Don't you know me at all?) but now suddenly works just fine. Nine is a little wonky sometimes. I just add another stitch or purl two together and it evens out, and no one will ever notice, but still. I'd like to know how I did it wrong so many times (searching the internet for the errata, finding none, thinking a-HA! I'm the only one to find this error. And indeed I was. The error in my head).

Also, my tummy hurts. I've been eating well lately in the Battle of the Triglycerides, and apparently I don't do much eating well, or at least my stomach is telling me that. Suddenly asked to digest things like broccoli and brown rice and fruit, it's rebelling. Give me a nice coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, and I'm fine. Salad, not so much.

Plus, I don't cook, so I'm at a loss. I throw myself on your cooking knowledge, tines down. Can you help?

I need ways to eat veggies that don't suck. Also, I need methods that are EASY. Keep in mind that steaming veggies and then stir-frying them is do-able, but one step more than I'd like. In fact, I went to work last night with broccoli and beans in a bag, brown rice pre-made at home, tamari at hand to stir-fry up, and I was too lazy. Well, not technically true. I was strapped to the police radio most of the night and unable to dash to the kitchen to cook, so I ate premade salad and apples with peanut butter (peanut butter is a vegetable, right? In Rachaeland it SO is).

So. Tell me. What's your favorite, low-fat, easy way to eat those stupid things grown in the ground? (Ann confessed to me recently that she likes red bell peppers more than chocolate. That is just sick and wrong, darlings, much as we love her. Not as wrong, however, as when I told Lala about this, and she said, "Wow. What about red bell peppers WITH chocolate? That could be good!")

Please? And can you tell me why row eleven evened out while you're at it? Mysteries.


You're getting more fiber, and sometimes it takes the tummy a bit to get used to that. You should be fine soon. My favorite healthy dish that I make every week and bring to work just about every day is a bean salad - rinse and drain a can of black beans and a can of dark kidney beans, and then add to it what you will - diced peppers, red onion, scallion, cucumbers, avocado, etc, and mix it together with a dressing of balsamic vinegar and brown mustard whipped together. Its good and healthy and filling.

My favorite, super-easy veggie recipe is this: take a can (yes, can!) of good green peas (the LeSueur ones in the silver can are best) or green beans, and heat them with a splash of white wine or vermouth and a healthy dose of Penzeys shallot pepper. Melt an eensy bit of butter over top (I'm sure you could use something more cholesterol-friendly if necessary) and you're done.

I don't know if y'all have Penzeys spices out there in CA, but honestly they are the greatest thing in the world. If not, and if you wanted to email me your mailing address, I might be able to send you a sampling... :)

Put it on a pizza! Cover the pizza with vegetables, and put a sprinkling of cheese on top that will melt and LOOK like there's a ton of cheese (when there isn't). I prefer to make my own crust, and it's SO EASY, but if you're really pressed for time the Boboli ones aren't too bad.

Also, in soup. Just buy store bought soup (I like Progresso's Vegetable Classics Minestrone) and put in a little something fresh - some potato and onion, maybe, or some carrot? Just leave it simmering for an hour and voila~! Instant veggies! :)

My OTHER standby is a sandwich. This is how I get my meat-loving boyfriend to try anything. He loves all things sandwichy, so slipping an avocado on there, or some red onion and hummus only serve to please him, rather than bewilder. When in doubt, on bread with spread!

I love doing bad things to vegetables like making a small skillet of frozen hashbrowns and adding cut peppers, onions, and broccoli while cooking them. One pot, a little melted cheese on top... perfection. The other trick I have is to use low-fat chicken boullion and boil it, adding whatever vegetables I have on hand and some noodles. I prefer rice noodles. Garnish with some sambal olek and hoisin sauce.

Not exactly the ideal summer veggie dish, but - oven-roasting is my favorite, easy, yummy way to prepare those things that grow in the ground.

Step one: Buy bag of already-cleaned, already-sliced broccoli or cauliflower. Brussels sprouts work too, as does eggplant, carrots, and squash, but these require some cleaning and slicing :)

Step two: Preheat oven to around 450-475.

Step three: Dump veggies into oven-safe pan, drizzle with a couple glugs of olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. You can get creative with spices here - sometimes I toss in dried red pepper, or use garlic infused oil, or fresh herbs - whatever.

Step four: Cook until desired level of roasted goodness - twenty to thirty minutes or so.

This method converted me from a broccoli hater to a broccoli lover. It's that good!

I was going to give you essentially the same recipe as marielle, but she she's done it already, I'll only add that it is always a winner in our house! We do this on the grill during the summer to keep the heat out of the house.

And nothing, nothing beats fresh corn on the cob! Just boiled or steamed with salt and pepper. I can forgo the butter and still think it's wonderful.

At this time of the year, throw those veggies on the grill with a little olive oil! They sell a veggie basket for this, but you can also cover the grill top with heavy foil so they don't fall through! I make them in large batches and keep them in the fridge. Reheat them in the microwave for lunch or dinner. This also converted me to a veggie lover!

Wow, all great suggestions in the comments above. My tip is Beano tablets. They definitely help with digesting fibery things. (Without it, brown rice and raw peppers would do me in.)

I like to make little veggie pita sandwiches - cut a pita in half and throw in lots of green veggies and onions, some feta cheese, and some salad dressing. Alternatively, grilled cheese with veggies is pretty tasty and quick, (but can be a pain in the neck to flip in the pan).
I'm a new commenter delurking - love your blog!

I always buy cucumbers, red bell peppers, mushrooms, baby carrots, broccoli, and snap or sugar peas for the week and cut them all up when I get home. That way I have them all ready to throw in nice big salad, sandwich or stirfry. A good stir-fry is quick and easy. Should take less time than cooking the rice. I buy jarred chopped garlic and ginger (separate, not together) for my stir-frys. Also use a tsp of sesame oil and at least a tbsp of oyster sauce (trust me) along with the garlic and ginger and it'll make all the difference in your 'wanting' to have stir-fry for dinner. It's not too bad as leftovers either as long as you don't nuke it too long and make the veggies soggy. Ok, long-winded. I know. Hope it helps. Good luck.

I like the frozen green beans with the little packets of almonds. And I splurge on made-to-order salads.

I do a pizza thing-y, but using a tortilla wrap. I lay the wrap on the tray for the toaster oven, spread something on it like a sun-dried tomato cream cheese, then cover it with corn, cut up zucchini, cut up yellow squash, green peppers. Add a very few sun-dried tomatoes (few because I buy them packed in oil!), then sprinkle a reasonable amount of shredded cheese on top.

Toss it in the toaster oven at about 400, then go off and do something else for 20 minutes until the wrap is a little crispy around the edges. Cut up like a pizza, and enjoy.

You're getting great suggestions, and I plan to use them!!

it's hot right?
i'm not a big fan of the hot food in the hot weather. i cut up tons of cucumbers, peppers and such and sit down with a tub of hummous and call it lunch. it's all really good for you, easy, and coolio! just make sure you get the natural-like hummous without any extra garbage in it and you're miss healthy lunch 2005.

Do you like chickpeas? Oven-roasted chickpeas are so yummy and crunchy.

Open 16 oz. can of chickpeas. Rinse. Toss with a little olive oil and whatever seasoning you like (I think cajun is tasty). Put on cookie sheet and roast at 425 for about 25-30 min (until brown). I make a whole bunch and store in an airtight canister for snacking.

The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas has some great recipes too. Granted some of the recipes are super-complicated and require the use of every dish in the house. Many are quite simple and involve roasting or baking in a simple marinade.

I was going to suggest a litany of vegetarian cookbooks, but then re-read your post and realized you don't want to cook so much. So, is there a whole foods or local food co op nearby? You can often get great premade things there - just read the labels to watch out for hidden fats. Also, stir fry at home, microwave at work. It might not be as super fresh, but you may have better luck eating it if you don't have to cook at work. Most grocery stores have bags of fresh cut veggies, tiny carrots and broccoli, you can purchase to stir fry, or to have raw with a healthy spread or dip from the store - white bean spreads, hummus, Fat free cream cheese spread, fat free salad dressing, crushed avocado with some fat free yogurt mixed in, whatever's handy for a nice dip. Also, what kind of flavors do you like? I'm a sucker for garlic, ginger, and sesame, for example - find a recipe for one sauce, with no oil, that has the flavors you like and whip up a jar of that. Keep it in the fridge, and then bring in your rice and steamed veggies ready made, top with the sauce, sprinkle on some chopped green onions, almonds, whatever sounds good and is crunchy, and you're golden. frozen edamame (shelled) are the bomb, good fiber and soy, and you can put them on just about anything. I also second the beano suggestion. good luck!

Coming out of lurkerville here --

Don't know what's wrong with the lace -- but here's a good salsa recipe that we like.

5 or 6 tomatoes -- chopped
3 green onions -- chopped
1 8oz can of green chilies
1 can of black olives chopped
2 cups of shreaded mozarella cheese
good seasons italian dressing -- make according to package instructions, using red wine vinegar

stir all the above together and eat on tostitos scoops

not exactally the healthiest -- what with the olives, dressing and corn chips -- but pretty good and better for you than a bunch of fried stuff.

My husband adds frozen mixed veg to everything, pasta sauce, canned soup (especially good is the Soycutash from Trader Joes).

I'm more of a steamer. Corn of the cob is great if you barbecue it in the husk. Just wrap it in foil. THere is not under or overdone, just take it off when you like and enjoy.

Oh, take an acorn squash, cut it n half and clean out the seeds, sprinkle with a little bit of butter or replacement of choice and brown sugar, bake (I don't know , 375?) until the squash is tender. Guilt free and very yummi!

Oh, I thought of another thing I've done that my teenagers eat like candy (because they don't know it's good for them). You can't imagine how easy it is:

One can of black beans, rinsed and drained. One can of chopped tomatoes, the kind that's flavored with Mexican, or Cajun, or whatever -- not drained. (This is the kind that already has onion, jalopenos, peppers, whatever, in it.) One can of Mexi-corn, drained. Stir it up, put it in the fridge overnight so the flavors can get to know each other.

I know it sounds like something the Brownies would do on a camp-out, but I beg you to try it before dismissing it -- it's really yummy.

You can heat it and call it a side dish, you can scoop it with pretzels, or you can melt cheese over it and eat it on Tostidos. Some people have been known to stand over the sink and eat it with a spoon, but those people always deny it if asked!

Coupla things...

Sweet Potatoes:

Wash, stab with a fork and wrap in tin foil, bake in the oven at 350 for about 30-45 min, until soft. They taste as sweet as candy when you bake them inside their skin and if you make a few of them at a time and throw the extras in the fridge they're very portable for lunches.

Collard Greens:

I don't know if this is too much cooking for you but I love these collard greens. They take me about 15 minutes to make including all the prep.

Take two large bunches, rinse them and roughly chop. Take a whole lot of chopped garlic (I usually use a whole bulb but I love garlic) and sautee with olive oil in a large, deep pan for a few minutes until cooked. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of lemon juice and heat that, then throw the collards in and turn until wilted and bright green (only takes a few minutes). Dump the greens into a bowl and viola! I like to garnish them with a fistful of toasted pine nuts but that may be too fiddly for you. They're great hot and very good cold right from the fridge too.

De-lurking, finally.

The NORma thing has me in hysterics. Hilarious!

First, make sure that you do get good fats, your body needs them. Olive oil, nuts (and nut butters), avocados are all good ways to get them. Second, don't try to cut *every* thing yummy out, just cut it down. You have some great advice already and I'll just add a couple (restate, maybe?).

Think of some "bases" that you like. Quesadillas, salad, stir-fry, burritos, etc. Then some ingredients that you like and just add them. Use a little cheese, lite sour cream or low fat yogurt (I would never recommend using non-fat, it tastes horrible). Canned things are your friend. Canned beans are wonderful (I'll add our chili recipe in a bit), refried beans, frozen vegetables.

We make large batches of taco meat (turkey would be fine) and freeze it very thin in zip loc bags (I know it's cooking, but it's once and not that hard. Thin because you can just break off a chunk and defrost in the micro). We then use this in salads, quesadillas, chili, burritos, nachos, etc. All very quick and easy (microwave only).

Chili. Take about 4 cans of beans (black, kidney, navy, whatever), one jar of salsa, and some of that taco meat. Mix it all (do drain the beans), let it meld for about 15 minutes on low. Freezes beautifully and tastes amazing. Cornbread begs for this...

Oatmeal is a great cholesterol friendly breakfast, just use the real stuff and do it in the microwave. We add date crumbles and walnuts to ours, amazing.

If you cooked one thing per week that you could freeze, you would really be set and not have to cook for a while. If you want a great taco meat recipe, let me know. You can also just use the packaged seasonings, but I find them too salty. Oh, yes, and watch out for too much salt, we don't need blood pressure problems ;-)

My only other big advice would be to stay away from highly processed food. Try to eat whole (brown rice is great!) foods. White sugar and white flour are awful.

What a de-lurk, eh?

Colleen, in Portland

Veggies are a pain in the ass. I've given up on veggies during the day cause it's hard to get them to taste good when they're warmed over in the microwave, is what I think. so, I eat tons and tons of fruit - don't know if that will help with the triglyceride thingie. I make me a nice fruit salad before I leave for work - or, if I don't have time, I just grab some grapes, cherries, and an apple. if I do have time, I like to cut up mango (or use the pre-cut mango) and mix it with strawberries, maybe some sliced nectarines. another favorite mix is cut up bananas and blackberries. but grapes and cherries are totally good daytime snacks all by themselves.

Also, I think it does take time for your stomach to adjust to more fruits and veggies. I had some tummy aches when I started eating healthier, but I have them much less oftener now.

Asparagus roasted in the oven with balsamic vinegar and garlic! I have ulcerative colitis, and veggies are no longer my friend unless they are cooked WELL. (Used to be a vegetarian, one hell of a lifestyle change, let me tell ya!)

Oh my, you are getting some excellent responses on this! I'll have to "steal" the suggestion of hummus and raw veggies for lunch - that sounds yummy.

Wish I had suggestions for the lace, but I am a Lacetard, if ya know what I mean.

Yes to Meg's suggestion of roasted asparagus, only I usually add a sliced red bell pepper, a few olives, and a little olive oil. Pretty and tasty, too.

Also, ever sautee'd green beans or asparagus? About 1 tbsp. olive oil, lots of minced garlic, and the green beans and just cook'em in the frying pan. Add a little salt and Herbes de Provence and you have a yummy, fast dish.

Spinach fan? Try sautee'ing spinach with the above mentioned garlic and olive oil, add a handful of pine nuts, a little salt and some raisins, cook until wilted. My favorite. Spinach alla Romana.

You wanna come over for a cooking lesson?

I get a lot of my low fat recipes from www.mealsforyou.com and www.meals.com . They have pretty good stuff that is easy too. I don't really care for cooking so that is a must for me :)

I'm with Anne on the frozen green beans with almonds. You just fire those babies up on the microwave, and about 1.5 minutes later, you're done "cooking." I've also had the frozen asparagus, which was great (albeit a little mushy). And as for lace - well, lace has a funny way of always kicking my ass. Weird, when you think of the granny stereotype that goes along with lace making.

Sorry, I am not all interested in your eating, but I am terribly interested in your lace pattern and problem. I have been downloading and knitting lace doily patterns and there are sometimes mistakes.
What pattern are you knitting?
Is anyone else interested?

It is not really a "dish" per se but I think snacks are important too...

I love getting baby carrots and eating them dipped in hummos. Totally yummy.

It is my experience that row 11 of all lace patterns sucks. Just sayin'.

I'll third and fourth the recommendation for oven roasting - really easy, as you just cut everything up, and then forget about it while it cooks.

Oven roasted brocoli is a huge favourite, and it's amazing how "non brocoli-like" it tastes. Use the bagged florets if you're feeling really lazy. Drizzle with olive oil, and I like to put some kind of spice - cumin usually - and a pinch of sugar over them. Then roast until the edges turn deep brown and crispy. It never gets a chance to cool in this household.

Haven't a clue about the lace though. But if you're fudging it and it's working, then I don't see a problem :)

What wonderful ideas for food! I have written them all down and shall try them soonest.

Another view of Marielle's most excellent receipe: toss a handful of raw veggies (which might have been cut up earlier and stored in fridge) with oil, seasonings of choice, a little raw garlic, etc. then cook on one of those lean mean fat reducing grilling machines (you know the drill) - these are wonderful eaten right off the grill, put in pita pockets with or without a little cheese sprinkled on top and maybe some fresh lettuce, as pizza topping, sprinkled on basic salad, and a hundred other ways you will surely think of -

Guilt free.

I like to buy a zucchini, slice it in half longways, score it across. Then spray it with the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and some Italian herbs. Pop in microwave for about 8-10 minutes and it comes out yummy. It can also be baked for about 30 minutes at 350 but I don't want to use the oven if that's all I'm cooking in it. Also, the Molly McButter sprinkles are a good way to lower your fat intake. They work great to season cooked vegetables, baked potatoes, etc.

These veggie suggestions are great!

I would add that spinach salad is my very very favorite, and spinach is so good for you I don't feel bad about adding avocado and bacon to it. The only thing you have to cook is the bacon, and that's in the microwave.

Also, Trader Joe's has excellent frozen veggies in my experience - fire-roasted peppers, french green beans, and edamame. The green beans are great lightly sauteed with garlic, almonds, or pine nuts. The roasted peppers are good for all sorts of things, especially quesadillas. Edamame is great with sesame noodles (there are a couple of mixes for those, or you can buy at Whole Foods or TJ's) or on its own, IMO.

My veggie-eatin' standby is to cut up whatever's in the house and saute it together. Then cook some rice or other grain and toss 'em together with some soy sauce or herbs. My favorite incarnation of this dish is sauteing yellow and orange bell peppers, onion, chives, and mushrooms, spiced with a bit of cayenne. Then serve the veggies over quinoa and long-grain rice. Top with a little feta, and you're in yummyville. The best thing is to make a HUUUUGE amount and reheat for lunch after lunch.

On the veggie-acquisition front, there are lots of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs that serve the Bay area, giving you a broad selection of locally-grown in-season produce every week. Some even deliver to your doorstep. We live in Berkeley and get veggies from Capay Organic; they have a few different box sizes if you don't want a mountain of veggies every week. It's been great to learn to cook things I'd never heard of before.

Viva Las Veggies!

Grilled Pizza!

I just this week posted a step by step on my blog with a dough recipe.


It's easy, yummy, and keeps the heat outside.

One of my favorite ways to stir-fry is to get assortments of frozen veggies (they even have bags of stir-fry veggies!), and just toss 'em in the wok straight from the bag. Don't bother steaming them first - the heat from the wok will take care of cooking them and burning off the water.

When I started eating a fruit salad every morning for breakfast and a bigger, main-dish salad every day for lunch (gotta love closing at McDonald's, we get to take home leftovers!) my stomach rebelled at the sudden fibery goodness. You'll adjust.

My favorite veggie is a little bit of work, but you can make up a whole bunch at a time and they keep for quite a while. Japanese-style pickled carrots! I know, I know, pickled carrots sounds odd, but I love sour things, and they're a little sweet too, and since I make mine from halved baby carrots, they're an excellent snack. If you want to try them, let me know and I'll send you the recipe.

dude girl! you've gotten a ton of suggestions! I don't have much food wise to add, but I totally dig you on the tummy gurggling. Whenever I'm on a healthy kick I have to stay home by myself b/c if I went out in public I'd clear the room. beano helps, but not always. so really, i'm not a vegatarian for the public good. :)

Okay...so here's what you do. Keep miso paste in the fridge at all times. It's a staple. So now, quick veggie soup meal:

Steam broccoli, tofu, and leeks in the microwave (fast and allegedly preserves more nutrients) or stovetop steamer basket. Put two tablespoons of miso paste into a soup bowl. Bring water almost to a boil but not quite boiling and pour about a half cup of it over the paste. Mix the paste into the water until it's all disolved. Add the steamed veggies and tofu to the soup bowl and pour in the rest of the water. Mix.

You can also do this with frozen peas (organic, please!) or spinach or just about any other veggie. It's also really good with brown rice or quinoa added.

1st, please dont use veggies from a can. not a lot of nutrients left in there. really. 2nd, simple, simple recipe. buy some french green beans( haricots verts) whole foods and farmers markets have them. snap off the squirrely ends and throw them in a skillet of boiling water for about 2 or 3 minutes. rince with cold,cold water to stop the cooking,dry off,put in a bowl with 1 bay leaf, tbl spoon of olive oil,fresh lemon peel and garlic (if you like). let sit for an hour or so to marinate. yum! also, saute spinach with olive oil for a minute or so until just wilted. add a few raisins and toasted pine nuts. yum! try Beano for the tummy. :)

I tried to scan through the other comments and didn't see this suggestion, but my scanning abilities aren't great, so sorry in advance. Do you like edamame at all? I love it, all you do is steam it and put a little salt on it, plus they have the bonus of protein in there. Maybe not an amazing work lunch/dinner choice, but good for at home and not hot. I have to second the no steaming veggies if you're going to do stir fry- I just dump 'em in the wok frozen and they cook just fine. Also good for the tummy- those mango tablets.

There was a thread at naturallycurly.com about ways to incorporate more vegetables, with lots of good suggestions.


And, your lace looks great!

Okay - here's one I make in a big batch and freeze in portions.

Get the "brick" packages of frozen spinach - put 2 of them in a bowl in the micro for about 12 mins (or whatever the package says for nuking time). Don't add water.

In a skillet, throw in olive oil, garlic (Lots of this if you are me) and cook on med while spinach is nuking.

Once the spinach is done, just gently tip the bowl to get the water out (strain it if you want - I don't) and then put it into the skillet with the oil and garlic.

Optional: Take one of those boxes of pre-cooked/sliced chicken (I get the original roasted) and throw it in with the spinach/chicken/garlic. Stir it all together for about 3 minutes or so.

Last: Squeeze a bunch of lemon all over this.

This usually makes about 3 servings, and each is plenty for me for lunch or a light dinner. I freeze it, and carry it with me to work (so long as I don't really have to see a lot of people that day - I use a lot of garlic!!)


Amy's frozen dinners. All I'm sayin'.

I'm with Ann. Bell Peppers rock. They're the only food I've found where your farts smell like the food.

I go to Trader Joe's and get the Asian Stir Fry (in the blueish package in the freezer section) and throw that in the pan. Combine with white rice and it's almost as good reheated as fresh. It's two or three girl portions. Their frozen broccoli with garlic powder in the cooking water is pretty good and fast too.

Do you have a grill? Peppers & onions w/ a pad of butter, salt & pepper and wrapped up in tin foil is quick and yummy. I make a big batch and can use the peps & onions on my [boca] italian sausages. Okay, that part isn't so healthy but...

You sound like you need this book. My best friend got it for me last Christmas and it has thick cardboard pages and veryvery easy recipes even a non-cook like me can make!

Try roasting your veggies...or broiling. It's easy, keeps all the goodness in, and tastes yummy. Throw a bunch of chopped up potatoes in a roasting dish mixed with 1-2 Tbl of oil, maybe 1 tsp minced rosemarry, and 1-2 cloves of minced garlic. We call it Papa's papas. Asparagus lightly coated with olive oil and drissled with balsamic vinigar...salt and pepper...then placed under your broiler for a couple minutes are divine. What else? Oooo! Cauliflower broken up into bits, sauted in a pan with bacon...and maybe some garlic, eaten with pasta. Oh! I'm hungry now. E-mail me if you want more ideas. : )

Um, ok, you already have like 50 veggie suggestions, but I can't resist adding my own. Roasting. You may find it heats the kitchen up in the summer but its worth it. Cut up in big pieces bell peps, mushrooms, zukes, eggplant, red onion, (add other veggies if you must) spray liberally w/ Pam, throw in whole garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper, then roast at 450 for about 20 minutes. Then stir in that miracle substance, fatfree sour cream, and if you want to go crazy a little feta or bleu cheese. Then eat.

Nth-ing the suggestion of roasted veggies (although I usually leave the oven at 375 and swirl the veggie bits and olive oil and basil, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl before putting them on the baking sheet) and the point that you don't have to pre-steam things before stir-frying them, even if they're not frozen (at least if they're not potatoes). Oh, and the mixed sauteed veggies and some sort of grain as a salad. I'm particularly fond of that one using quinoa and corn and bell peppers. For really easy, though? Get veggies that you don't mind eating raw. Celery, maybe, baby carrots, sugar snap peas...maybe you like tomatoes. Celery and bell peppers work nicely for dipping into salsa, as long as it's not too watery.

Ditto, Naomi said it. Fresh with dip. I also love them grilled on shiskebob sticks with Kraft Raspberry Vinegarette as baste. Yum, had some tonight. Red, yellow peppers, mushroom, onion, tomato, zuccini rock cooked like that.

What about fruit? It's as good for you as veggies, just more sugar. I love fruit cut up with low fat yoghurt. Also, I lightly steam veg like beans, asparagus or brocolli and serve it in a salad with green leaves (young spinach, rocket, lettuce), cherry tomatoes, chopped peppers, spring or red onions etc, and take a container of vinagrette dressing to add before you eat. Add a simple sandwich on wholegrain or rye (ham, cold cuts, cheese, peanut butter) and you have a decent meal. And soup; I love soup, but I guess it's not soup season for you.

Anything sauteed in a bit of butter and some lemon squeezed over top. This works really well for asparagus and zuchini (my new favourite veggie). Trust me, I do not cook. And if I can do this, you can too! (my fiance has kept me fed for years...)

two more... dice up zucchini, saute in a bit of olive oil until soft, top with fresh parmesan. or... slice zucchini in 1/2,put on a small bit of butter or olive oil, top with fetta cheese and broil until cheese has browned. voila! i will stop now.

I'll confess I didn't read all the comments so if this has been said forgive me.

You're taking fish-oil capsules right? That might also be hurting your tummy. All winter I was bloated and crampy and had to even buy bigger jeans to accommodate the pot belly. I went to the Dr. and she couldn't find anything.

Then when we moved I misplaced the pills for about a month and I had no symptoms, bought smaller jeans, felt good.

I found the pills and starting taking them-two days later I was back to bad and I figured out the problem.

Just something else to consider in the mix. I think extra fibre and veggies does take a bit to get used to as well.

Something fast that can be lunch or a side at dinner....
Get about 3 tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, a peeled cucumber with the seeds scooped out, and an avacado. Dice everything into 1" pieces and put in a bowl. Squirt with the juice of one lime, add a little salt, stir.

My summertime favourite is the cous-cous salad. I usually make it with feta cheese and olives. Most of the year though (I'm Swedish, we have two warm months) we eat stir-fry. It's our back-up food, what we cook when we don't want to cook. No need to steam the veggies first, and noodles cook a lot quicker than rice. May not be as healthy though. Boil rice for a few days at once, it's actually better if it's a day old when you put it in the stir-fry.

oops, sorry about the premature send, I'm at home and not on my ergonomic keyboard...

As far as vegetables go, it's all about the spices. I like to steam fresh greenbeans and put a little garlic salt on them. Or steam carrots and put brown sugar and butter on them, or steam zucchini and yellow squash and put a wee bit of pepper and cumin on them. Simple, easy, but very good. :)

I'm glad to hear other people have the same solution to lace mistakes as I do -- knit 2 together if I have too many stitches, or do a single instead of a double reduction if I have too many, and hope it doesn't matter

Mix some rice vinegar with some sugar then add thinly sliced cucumbers (oh, so good) or grated carrots. Quick and tasty. Actually, you don't have to even add the sugar, but it tastes slightly better if you do.

Do you like eggplant? If you do, slice an eggplant into approx. 1/2 in. rounds, salt and let sit for about 5 minutes (to leach any nasty bitter oils out), rinse, pat dry. Lightly, LIGHTLY brush with olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and broil for 10 minutes on a side or until the top of the eggplant is nicely browned. Then, when both sides are toasted, put a small dollop of salsa on each one, top with some shredded mex. cheese, and broil for about 5 minutes more until the cheese is melted and browned.

Food in under a half an hour, tastes great, and not bad for you.

hi the knitter! i know it was a whole month ago but i had a great time at your birthday party.

I'm going to be a crazy cult lady and suggest you check out Eating for Life by Bill Phillips. I've been doing his eating & workout program since January and I have lost a bazillion pounds and I now feel like I am eating like a responsible human being for the first time in my life.

The cookbook is for people who do not cook, because Bill himself HATES cooking. There are 150 recipes in there, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snax & DESSERT, and they're all low fat, high fiber, and so far at least 85 of them have been really damn tasty and contain a ton of veggies. Plus there are pretty pictures, an explanation of how the whole diet works, and instructions for people who can't or don't cook on how to do everything from boiling eggs to how to purchase dessert glasses.

I love love love this diet, even though it contains none of my favorite food substances, because on Sundays? You get to eat whatever you want.

P.S., I am knitting.

the other other Laura

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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