Using The Beets!

Beet and Potato Roesti

I got Beets in my Door to Door Organics box last week. We have never cooked Beets, nor had I eaten many Beets as a kid. Both Mr. Gaunt and I weren’t sure if we even liked Beets all that much. I searched around Food Gawker for a Beet Recipe, and this one stood out “The Only Way I Can Get My Husband To Eat Beets” Well if it works for her husband, it should work for my boyfriend!

The recipe was pretty easy to follow and pretty quick too. Even the “flipping” of the Beets wasnt to scary (and I usually HATE flipping things). The only thing that I would mention was that her recipe say to use 4-6 Beets that make 1/2 a cup of shredded Beet, but I used 4 (maybe kinda big?) Beets and it made about 2.5 cups. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the shredded Beets so I threw them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I’ve never frozen any starch product like that, so who knows if it will keep.

Pink Beet Hands!

I used low-fat butter and Fat Free Sour Cream to reduce the calories.I also used Whole Wheat Flour, because that’s all we even have anymore. My feeling is if I can’t make it with Whole Wheat Flour, why bother.  I still thought they had a definite Beet taste (which isn’t bad, just unique) but Mr. Gaunt freaking LOVED these, he ate almost the whole thing! He thought they tasted like a big potato pancake. I was thrilled to see him gobbling up Beets, and I’ll definitely make this again. It says its more of a “side dish” but we just had two slices with a big salad and we were full.

This recipe could also easily be made vegan, just use vegan Butter and vegan Sour Cream!

The recipe is as followed (taken from Dinosaur Dishes: Delicious easy, healthy meals on a shoestring budget):

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Beet and Potato Roesti

serves 4-6 as a side

Ingredients

4-6 medium beets, About a 1/2C when grated
2 small potatoes, scrubbed
salt and pepper
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

Trim and scrub the beets then peel them. Grate them into a medium bowl. Start preheating a large (12″) skillet over medium heat. Working fast, so they don’t discolour, grate the potatoes into the same bowl as well. Add the salt, pepper, and scallions and combine well. Then add the flour a few tablespoons at a time until well combined.

Melt the butter into the skillet until it foams. Put the mixture into the middle of the pan and flatten out with a spatula. It should be a centimeter or thinner. Cook for 8-10 minutes until nice and crispy.

You will need to flip it over. To do this place a large plate over top and flip the frying pan over then slide the roesti back into the pan. Cook until the other side is crispy about another 8 -10 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature with green onions on top.  We also like to dollop some sour cream or plain yogurt on each slice.

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Shredding Beets. Be careful because it's so red you can't tell if you cut yourself.

In the pan.

Like a Beet Pizza!

Q&A With Mr. Gaunt (being a healthy man)

I have a number of friends who live with their boyfriends or husbands, who are sturggling to get the healthy food movement into their homes. I know MOST women want to be in better shape (and eat better), but it seems many guys are highly un motivated to follow suit. When I decided to lose weight the first things I said to Mr. Gaunt was “I cant do this unless you do it too.” Luckily Mr. Gaunt is a total doll and told me he was here to support me. However I have had many comments from girlfriends asking for advice on getting their men to go along with them in eating healthy. I decided to interview Mr. Gaunt about how he has dealt with this, and am posting it here to see if it helps other guys. Sorry its so long…lol, he had a lot to say. Oh and before we get the interview, here are some old and recent pics of Mr. Gaunt:

Mr. Gaunt December 2007

Mr. Gaunt March 2010

Mr. Gaunt March 2010

HEIGHT: 6’4”
STARTING WEIGHT: 312
CURRENT WEIGHT: 245 – 250

1.How did you feel when Morgan wanted to join Weight Watchers?
I felt supportive of it because her weight is something we both knew she struggled with, and it was good to talk about it and get it out in the open. I felt that it was a diet that both of us could easily stick to, back when I thought it was “just a diet” not a lifestyle.  And I was excited that she was so passionate about doing something about her weight, and I am always here to support her.
2.Had you wanted to lose weight before?
I did want to lose weight, but it never felt like a realistic possibility because (like morgan) neither of us wanted to go to the gym, and it didn’t seem like realistic behavior for us to change our eating. I also had no idea how to eat better, I thought that you just had to eat less. I never really thought my weight was a problem, yes it bugged me, but I wasn’t too worried.
Now I notice that it was a health issue, I had bad sleep apnea (says Morgan) and heart burn daily, if not every meal. Now I hardly snore (says morgan) and I maybe have heartburn once a month. Which is good because both of those things are scary issues.
3. What was your original Weight loss goal?
I would say my ideal weight would be 235, but I thought 250 would be a step in the right direction. Now I would still like to be about 230 (ditch the man boobs).
4. Was it hard to change your eating habits?
I thought it would be, but the Weight Watchers plan made it easy at first. You just eliminate the major fast food, the cheese on a sandwich, little things like that. You have Points, and once you eat them all you stop eating. Any dummy could do it. Once we started cooking for ourselves it became a fun challenge to make the best meal for the least amount a Points. We had fun learning how to reduce the calories in our food. I also learned what to look for on the back of packages, how bad a bag of Cheetos are when you really look. Eating out too, when you know the calories it really grosses you out. A Whopper Jr seems so small, but really its total shit. I would eat these as a snack on my way home from work, no wonder I was fat. now its hard for me to eat a bag of Cheetos, I still love them, but its not worth it.
5. What was the hardest thing to give up food wise?
It really didn’t seem hard for me. I knew I had to give up eating Mcdonalds breakfasts every day. I thought eliminating cheese from sandwiches would be a big deal, but you really don’t notice. All these things I used to eat (like hungry man dinners, and whoppers) would be hard to give up, but we were both so excited that I really didn’t care. The things I would think would be hard (burgers and steaks) I still have them on occasion, but now its a treat and you like it so much more! I also always liked chicken and whole wheat bread, and healthy cereals, so it wasn’t a huge change for me.
6. What new foods have you discovered you like?
-Quinoa
-Lean Ground Turkey
-Skim Milk (I use to swear I would never drink this)
-Kale
-Cous Cous
-Fish (a lot more)
-Acorn Squash
-Spinach
-Mushrooms
-Pizza (thats mostly veggies, not cheese and meat)
-Fruit (for breakfast)
-Hummus
-Sushi
-Whole Wheat Pasta
7. Do you cook?
Sometimes, Its wonderful that Morgan has taken a liking to it, everyone sees the amazing things Morgan makes me on this blog.  Its really helped me when she makes such good food. I have learned to modify what I cook to make it healthier, plus Morgan really only buys healthy ingredients, so its hard to go wrong. I make a mean Turkey Chili, and all those years working at Dominos helps me make a good pizza. Im just not into cooking anything big or fancy, I leave that to her. But if she ever needs an ingredient Im the first one to jump and go get it for her, its how I can do my part.
8. What do you like to snack on?
-Cereal (whole grain, low sugar)
-Carrots and Hummus
-Sunflower Chips
-Baked or POP Chips
-Almonds or Almond Trail mix
-A turkey Sausage with Marinara
-Cliff Bars
-Pop Corn
-Cut up Fruit
-99% Fat free Turkey Pepperoni on a Healthy Cracker
-100 Cal packs

9. Any foods you had trouble giving up?
-Hamburgers (I try not to eat them more than once a month)
-Beer
-Chips
-Cheese (adding cheese to EVERYTHING)
-Soda
-Alfredo Pastas
10. Any Foods you refused to give up?
Burgers, but not the fast food kind. If Im gonna have a burger I want it to be a really good burger.
11. How about drinks? What do you like? What have you changed?
I drink diet soda now. I’ve never been a huge beer drinker, but when I do its light beer. I don’t drink glass after glass of milk anymore. I have taken up drinking water, and I get Powerade ZERO and Vitamin Water 10 (which is sweetened with Stevia) when I want something sweet.
12. How did friends react to your weight loss and change in diet?
Friends are pretty shocked at how drastically I dropped weight. People all the time tell me how skinny I am, how good I look. When I go out to eat with friends its easy because they have seen my results so they know Im going to order something healthy, and they don’t criticize. You notice the un healthy choices others make, but I keep my mouth shut unless they want my opinion. Sometimes when you go out its hard to not order un-healthy things, but if you do you just know you have to cut back later that day. People at work ask me a lot about eating healthy, they want to know if their making good choices, and I tell them what I know, I’m no expert.
13. Is it hard to be in social situations and still eat healthy? How do you do it?
You kind of have to pre-plan for this. If your gonna go to a BBQ you just don’t eat much more that day, so it tastes amazing cause your hungry. We sometimes bring a light desert when possible. If you cant prepare for it, you get somewhere and there are no options, then you just eat slow and try not to gorge yourself. There will be days when Im not perfect, I just try to make up for it later.
14. What do you eat for lunch?
Most of the time I bring WW Smart Ones microwave dinners. If I go out to eat I get Chic-Fil-A (which has no sandwich over 500 calories, and whole wheat buns and grilled chicken) or Subway (Whole bread, veggies, Chicken, lite mayo. Or the BLT -cheese). I usually bring Sunchips and a piece of fruit too. Because I eat breakfast I don’t have to gorge myself at lunch.
15. What is the best part about having lost 60+ pounds?
Clothes fit better (Im 38” waist now, from a 44-46” waist) I can wear T-shirts without an undershirt (to cover my tummy and man boobs) I have a nicer side profile. Seats at stadiums are comfier. I could probably fit on the rides at Elichs (amusement park) that I couldn’t fit on before. Its always nice to see people I haven’t seen in a long time, they always say “what’s up skinny” and that Im an inspiration to them. Its also fun to look at old fat pictures.  I also don’t go through a bottle of Tums a week which is awesome.
16. Are you done losing weight?
Umm I hope not, I haven’t lost a lot in the past couple months. Both of us have notice its slowed down, but I agree with Morgan that we want our bodies to ease down to a healthy weight. I wont ever eat like I did before, its a life decision, and I think over time I would lose the rest of the weight.

17. How do you feel about working out? Do you participate in any activities?
I don’t think I could ever become a “Gym Person” I understand people say once you get into it it becomes addictive, but I find no pleasure it. I don’t ever want to be a gym rat (even though people say I have a good body to lift weights) its just not my thing.
On average I walk about 2 miles a day at work. I also golf regularly and we walk the course, never use a cart. I play a lot of Wii (golf and sports). We also play softball once a week, plus practice. Now that the weather is getting nicer it will be easier, I want to take up riding my bike too.
18. How has your relationship with Morgan changed?
I think its really brought us closer together. We have both been very committed to it, its a cause we have both taken action into, not just with us, but with america. We don’t have a lot of similar hobbies, but this gives us something to bond over. We have to think about it 3 times a day, its nice to work together.

19. Do you see Morgan differently now?
It make me very proud of her that she has stuck with this for so long. It makes me see her as a stronger person and an inspiration. She is so committed and creative. I notice that she’s happier and in a better mood, just generally happier person. I like that she has her blog and how important it is to her. She’s a fantastic blogger.
20. How do you feel about Clean Eating? Do you participate in this?
I participate as much as morgan wants me to. Clean eating is something that seems pretty difficult, and maybe some day I will be a 100% clean eater, but right now I want to take baby steps towards it. It seems healthier, and everything morgan makes thats “clean” is good, Im just not ready to give up my artificial ingredients yet (Diet Mt. Dew).
As for Organic foods I do support Organic eating, especially after seeing Food Inc, I hate to sound like someone who is just influenced by the media, but its not all fluff and bullshit. We try hard to buy local and organic. I wish it wasn’t more expensive, its never gonna be the popular thing if it costs people more. At this point we are willing to pay more for it knowing we aren’t eating pesticide and such.  At the end of Food Inc the guy says “The more people demand it, the less expensive it will be” and I hope more people follow this. Morgan has also said that paying $1 more a pound for Organic Apples is WAY cheaper than paying for a Triple Bypass surgery in 20 years, and I agree.
21. How do you feel about going Vegetarian or Vegan?
Im all for eating more vegetable, but I love meat. Maybe some day it will happen, but it seems highly unlikely that I will willing chose this. Eating less meat is fine (she cooks Turkey instead of beef) but I love burgers. The fake food is good, but I don’t think it would ever be a 100% substitute meat. I don’t think its a bad thing to be a carnivore, everything in moderation.
22. How do you plan on caring on a healthy lifestyle into the future, especially as your family grows?
Morgan and I have discussed that feeding our babies healthy from the get go is the best option. We want to put Kale in their mac n cheese, so they just think it comes that way.  It worries me that they will be out in the world and learn about Mcdonald and chips and love them (because who doesn’t) I just hope that we can provide a good base for them to go off of. That they will prefer vegetable, but I know that they will still want to eat kid stuff from time to time.
As for me I don’t ever plan on going back to eating garbage. I think over time I will become an even better eater. I know more about portion control, and really listening to my hunger cues. Its sad to see people that eat only garbage, and I just don’t think I could regress back into that. Knowing what I know now I just don’t see why I would ever go back. Healthy food tastes just as good, you just have to get use to it.
23. How about Hula? Does she eat healthy?
She does! We have recently changed her food to Blue Buffalo Cat Food, when we saw their commercial and went to their website and saw what we were feeding her we knew we had to change. She is like our baby, we need to feed her healthy too!
24. What would you tell other men who might want to get healthy, or men who have spouses that want them to get healthy?
Its definitely not as hard as I thought it would be. The fact that Morgan has been so committed to it makes it easier. Its something I take pride in every day. It feels good to look at yourself in the mirror. It makes you feel more in control of your life. Proud that you have more knowledge than others about what’s going in your body.  If your in a committed loving relationship you should do whatever you can to make you and your spouses life a healthier happier life. Is eating garbage that makes your girlfriend or wife fat and depressed really worth it?  Just that we have done this together and achieved so much is the greatest reward.

Baby Got Back.

Who in the world doesn’t DREAD having a backside photo taken of themselves? Anyone? Yeah didn’t think so. I would rather chew off my hand then have a picture of my ass taken. Seriously, this is NOT cute:

August 2009

But then something crazy happened, and this photo was taken of me and Kelli walking down town Bellingham. I’m not appalled, not at all. Hmm…is it possible that my back side is no longer revolting? I’m sure another 25 pounds taken off those thighs wouldn’t hurt, but things aren’t looking too shabby.

Me and Kelli March 2010

In other non ass related news, I took a 15 hour sleep last night and lost 4 pounds. This pretty much takes care of any weight I had gained over the lat week or two. I’m please. Oh and in exciting news, a Mr. Gaunt post will be coming soon! Pictures and a Q&A!

Happy Saturday!

I went to the gym this morning (GO ME!) even when I pulled in the parking lot and saw that it was FULL and people were parking on the side of the road. First thing I thought was “fuck it, I’ll just go home” but I found a spot and parked my car and went inside. There was a little note on the desk that read “OPEN SATURDAY – BRING YOUR KIDS OR A FRIEND FOR FREE!” Oh shit. Yeah so there were small children running everywhere! All the good elliptical machines with the arms were taken so I had to use the ones without the arms, my arms were bored. I did my workout and felt good afterwards. I swear I’m trying people.

In other fun and exciting news Mr. Gaunt and I will be going to Washington for TEN DAYS in July! Yay! We will be staying the weekend of the 4th in a cabin on Harstine Island with my family…sooo excited! Then we get to spend some time in Olympia and then up to Bellingham for the rest of the week. I always get so excited to go home, and I havent been since July for Manda’s wedding (when I had only lost 27lbs) and I hate to go a whole year without seeing my mom! I actually think I might take a long weekend and fly out there in the next month or two. Anyways I’m REALLY hoping that I am wearing a size 9/10 and at goal weight by July. I have plans to see my extended family (grandma, aunts, cousins) who havent seen me in a LONG time and it would be great to be looking good.

I also have another fun thing planned for that trip. I have made an appointment to have my friend Jen Martin take professional photos of Mr. Gaunt and I while we are in Bellingham!  Im sooo excited! Jen is an amazing photographer (and person) and I have always wanted to have her take my picture but never really had a reason to. Now I feel like I want a nice picture to capture Mr. Gaunt and I looking our best! Its gonna be great, here’s a taste of some of her work:

I’ve Never Made Orzo.

But I love it!

Orzo (from Latin hordeum, sometimes called Italian rice) is Italian and means “barley” , from which orzo was originally made. However, in common usage in the United States, orzo is understood to mean rice-shaped pasta, slightly smaller than a pine nut. It is frequently used in soups and baked casseroles. Despite its rice shape, orzo is made not of rice but of hard wheat semolina.”

I got this Whole Wheat Orzo at Whole Foods a week or so ago and decided to pair it with veggies and fish. It was a fun change to our typical Brown Rice or Quinoa. I would definitely do it again.

This recipe is grilled Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes. Toss in Orzo, olive oil, a little light Parmesan and light Feta. Salt and Pepper to taste. Top with Grilled fish of your choice.

Oh and I leave you with some adorable shots of Mr. Gaunt and our fave little guy Liam on Broncos Sunday!