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.



  • Lilly Echeverria 7 YEARS AGO

    Hi Candace. Glad you are going to be blogging more about cooking. I also have changed my eating habits this past year. Whole foods, tons of vegetables, very little meat. I haven’t watched that documentary, but I know what it’s about. I’m also drinking protein shakes and a lot of tea. I’ve slimmed down, am sleeping better, and feel great. I would love to see posts about cooking gear and appliances as well as recipes. I cook at home almost every day, and I’m slowly building my cooking arsenal. I’ve got quite the wish list!

    • Candace 7 YEARS AGO

      Lily, that’s great! Slimming down is great, but feeling good is better! :) I’m really experimenting with whole grains and grilling veggies. Keep up with the blog. I’ll be doing much more vegetarian fare!

  • Michelle Bolooki 7 YEARS AGO

    So glad you’re blogging your new healthy recipes! Congrats on all the weight loss, it’s inspiring! :)

  • Ali Atchison 7 YEARS AGO

    Hi Candace. Love this site. I recently watched Forks Over Knives too and have made some changes in the household. Minimal meat has forced me to be much more creative. Thanks for sharing. I hope you are doing wonderful.

  • fastronomique 7 YEARS AGO

    Right with you, Candace! This is the year for the body I had at 17… I’m targeting a plant-based diet for those results, too… and because I suppose it’s time for my habits to match my environmental ideals, too. *sigh. Though I don’t think anything will ever replace pork at the center of my heart (does one ever really get over a first love??!), I’ve discovered a new-found appreciation for super fresh spices and herbs in my veg-o cooking. Found this awesome site for just that… little family-owned company out of Seattle who source their stuff directly, and their spices and blends are the best I’ve had. Actually used their Italian Sausage Mix (http://www.worldspice.com/blends/italian-sausage-mix) in this pilaf and stuffed zucchini with it… Seriously awesome.

  • Tracy 7 YEARS AGO

    Hi Candace-
    You should read the great article by Mark Bittman published a year or so ago. I think it was in Bon Appetit. He is an absolute foodie/chef/restauranteur but had to get real about his health. I totally subscribe to his new way of eating. Most of the time it’s veggie and whole grain based. And I can do that, and love that. But then an occasional splurge once in a while–a fabulous steak or a really great burger. I really love great food and depriving myself would take away from my quality of life. It seems to be a good balance for me.
    Oh, and i”m 42 and in the best shape of my life…I got tired of feeling sludgy and got to the gym and now I love going. I truly feel like I am honoring my body and fueling it the way it needs to be. Best to you!

Recent Comments

  • I visited your blog after a long time today and was so thrilled to see all these new posts and the new design. As always, your food looks gorgeous.
  • The best!
  • wow great pictures! the filling sounds really interesting.. I have lots of leftover egg whites that I've been wanting to use up...I'm definitely making them! thanks for the recipe : )
  • I did have this salad when we visited the Philippines! It was certainly delicious and very fulfilling. Although this dish is more Japanese in origin, that restaurant gave it its own twist. The Filipinos really have a good palate for excellent food! Anyway, thank you for the recipe. I will surely give this a try!
  • Absolutely mind-blowing. I tried doing spoons once.....do your spoons have a rounded bowl or a flat surface. Did many break if you were trying to push it in a little to make it have a little depth.

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