20 Pounds Less and a New Outlook

20 Pounds Less and a New Outlook

So there have been many changes in our household. Our new house is finished. Well, almost finished. I finally have my dream kitchen that is equally as beautiful as it is functional. The best part? A loss of 50 pounds between my husband and myself. We are both (believe it or not) at our high school weights. Really? Yes, really. I lost 20 pounds (almost 15% of my total weight!!!) and the Mr. lost 30 pounds (also about 15% of his total weight.) I don’t want to tell you long it has been since high school, except that we’re closer to 40 than 30. So we’re awfully proud of the weight loss and are striving to KEEP it off!

We’ve also adopted a mostly plant based diet. Whatchusay? Yes, Mrs. I heart meat is giving up meat. Most days. OK… I might have the occasional steak, but on a daily basis, it’s veg with a side of veg. Watch this documentary, Forks Over Knives, and you’ll understand why. This is a whole new lifestyle for me. It means I have to cook more and eat at restaurants less. It also means that I need to try new recipes, which means I’ll be blogging more! :)

This is a delicious recipe for a wild rice pilaf that I found on Epicurious and adapted it to my liking. Served up with some yummy grilled vegetables, who is missing meat? I also used the pilaf to stuff acorn squash, which was oh so delicious AND healthy. Stay tuned for that blog post in the near future!

1 c pecan halves, coarse chopped
3-4 tbs cup olive oil
1 large onion, large dice
1 yellow bell pepper, large dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 c wild rice (about 1 pound), rinsed well in several changes of water and drained
4 c chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
3/4 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small baking pan toast the pecans in the oven for 10 minutes, or until they are crisp and fragrant. Set aside.

2. In a heavy flameproof casserole, cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until they are just softened, and with a slotted spoon transfer them to a bowl. Add the rice to the casserole and cook it, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.

3. Bake the mixture, covered, in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture, continue baking the pilaf, covered, for 30 minutes more, or until the rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed, and stir in the pecans.

Note: this makes a LOT of pilaf… but good news: It freezes very well and is yummy eaten hot or cold.