Diet for a sensible planet

I think anyone who enjoys cooking, being defined as something other than warming the Mean Cuisine with a side order of pizza rolls in the microwave, has gone through a stage where they strive to maximize not only enjoyment, but also health.  I warrant a good percentage of those have taken the side road of Diet for a Small Planet, a vegetarian primer with an emphasis on complete proteins and how to achieve them. 

I will count myself in with that lot and say that although there were some lovely meals (a mushroom souffle comes to mind), the item which will forever stand as a monument to that phase of my cooking is what we referred to as “Belly Buster Bread.”  Augmented with grains and soy nuggets and all sorts of other very healthy, high protein ingredients, it was the type of food which succumbed easily to gravity, rocketing down the trachea and hitting the stomach with a resounding THUD!  In my mind, I envision seas of stomach juices having a sudden tidal retreat of fear.

Perhaps the moment which defined the end of my relationship with that cookbook was when my then-husband and I were driving to Salt Lake to visit my parents.  Being frugal, we had packed sandwiches.  Mounds and mounds of them.  And a box of satsumas.  The plan was to not stop other than to use the bathroom, thus making the 18 hour trek in 17 1/2 hours.  I knew the bread was hopeless when after a valiant effort at a couple of sandwiches, and after the box of oranges had been consumed, there was a request by my very thrifty then-husband to stop for fast food.  We went and I’ve not cooked from that cookbook again.

Sarah, my adorable niece is currently researching nutrition, and putting feet to her knowledge.  In a previous post she linked me to some books she’s reading and although I didn’t go quite back to Diet for a Small Planet, nonetheless I was reminded of some of the things I had previously known but was not putting into practice.

One of them, In Defense of Food, has the motto “Eat Food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”  I like that.  Don’t eat fake food, don’t eat too much and focus on fruits, vegetables and grains.  It dovetails nicely with another book which was a hallmark of my recent years, “The Weigh Down Diet” by Gwen Shamblins.  In this faith based book she advocates eating food you like, in moderation, only when you’re hungry and only to the point of being “politely full.”  It’s harder than it sounds, but got me through some major weight loss.

Both of these books advocate eating food.  Real food.  Not synthetically altered to make you think you’re being healthy, but food.  It reminds me very much of the midwife who delivered my 2nd son who said, “If God designed it, it’s good.  Don’t mess with it.”

So God didn’t make white flour.  And God didn’t make processed sugar and doggonit, I should make some whole wheat bread, but I haven’t had much luck with 100% wheat flour, especially in my bread maker, which is what my schedule called for that day.

Thank goodness for the Internet.  I located a recipe which purported to be good.  I tried it — it was.  I pass it on to you.  Eat it, it’s food.  Don’t eat too much.  Stop when you’re politely full and always remember, if you have to stop for fast food when your own is inedible, there’s something wrong!

God Made all the Parts Bread

Adapted from La Cocina de David
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c hot water
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 3 T honey
  • 1/4 c dry milk (God left it out in the sun too long)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

Put the ingredients in your bread machine and hit the button.  My machine is older than some so the only options I have are light or dark crust.  I chose light.

If you prefer to shape and bake your own, use the dough setting and figure out how hot and how long, because I was lazy and didn’t.

Bread that begs to be eaten
Bread that begs to be eaten

6 thoughts on “Diet for a sensible planet

  1. Diane,

    Your bread looks lovely. I love whole wheat bread, but end up using gluten to make it lighter. My bread doesn’t use eggs. I wonder if they accomplish the same purpose.


    1. I had never used eggs before either. It may indeed be why it worked. Did you notice the green backdrop in the picture? That’s the sweater from one of our DI trips :D. When it’s good and cheap AND multi-purpose, then you truly have scored!


    1. Sooo weird. Clearly Patti saw it, but when I went to look, the bottom part of the post was gone. Trying to fix that now 😛


  2. Good post! The bread looks like it came out very lovely. I’ll give it a shot some time. I made graham flour apple sauce bread yesterday. Yum! High five bread buddy.


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