Thursday, May 23, 2019

Vegetarian Recipe Diet Plan to Lose Weight This Month

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Welcome to my vegetarian diet plan that you can use at home to lose weight. Make this month a month to remember by following this plan to switch to a healthy vegetarian meal plan that helps you reach your weight loss goals!

Breakfast

RECIPE: LATE POWER-BREAKFAST

One of my favourite late breakfast recipes. If it’s hard to eat a good breakfast, try getting up earlier—it’s hard to eat a good meal when you’re rushing. If that doesn’t work, try this healthy mid-morning alternative, which is better than a cereal bar, which may not contain any nutrition.

INGREDIENTS

  • favourite flavour organic bio yogurt
  • chopped fresh seasonal fruit (apple, banana, summer/autumn berries, peaches, pineapple. cherries, etc.)
  • crunchy granola or muesli (toast the muesli for extra flavour)
  • sprinkling of linseed and flax seed (toast for extra flavour)
  • a little wheatgerm

METHOD

  • Mix all the ingredients, coating all the fruit in yogurt (prevents discolouration)

VARIATION: If you don’t like yogurt, try orange juice and pour it on before eating. It is really delicious, especially if you freshly squeeze a couple of oranges yourself. The Swiss eat their muesli soaked in orange juice, which I think it makes it more appetising than milk.

RECIPE: TIGER SHAKE — BREAKFAST DRINK

Great for sporty teens. Whip it up for a power-breakfast, or send in the lunchbox.

INGREDIENTS

  • Seasonal soft fruits (strawberries, mango, blackberries, blueberries, papaya etc.)
  • Banana
  • Ground almond powder
  • Strawberry yogurt (or other favourite flavour)
  • Milk/Soya milk)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

METHOD

Measure out the milk and yogurt, about half and half, until you get the consistency you want. Then blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Freeze in a plastic drinks container (not completely filled) and take out the morning you want to use it. Otherwise throw in a cube of ice.

TIP: Nicer drunk with a straw. If sending for lunch, make sure to send with an ice pack.

RECIPE: SEASONAL MUESLI MIX

I think this is my all-time favourite recipe ever, because once I worked out the right muesli mix to suit my family, I stopped ever having to think about breakfast again—other than to decide if I would make the winter, or summer version! If the muesli isn’t enough to fill everyone up, make some brown bread toast and serve with a delicious sugar-free organic jam, or Dr Karg’s crackers, and some fresh juice, a smoothie, or some apple tea to drink.

RECIPE: WARM WINTER BREAKFAST

INGREDIENTS

  • Good quality delicious organic muesli mix (containing loads of fruit)
  • Cinnamon
  • Water
  • Topping:
  • Maple syrup
  • Any chopped fresh fruit you fancy

METHOD

Pour muesli into a heavy-based saucepan. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and pour in enough water to just about cover it. Heat slowly on a very low hob, while stirring with a wooden spoon. When the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and pour into bowls. The purpose in cooking it is to warm it not to really cook it. This way it retains its crunch. (If you want something smoother, cook for a little longer, using a little more water.) Pour on maple syrup and add fresh fruit.

(Okay, this is a version of porridge, but don’t call it that, or you might put the children off!)

TIP: Put everything except the water in the saucepan the night before to save time in the morning. If you like something more creamy and closer to traditional porridge you can add the water the night before, let it soak in and top it up in the morning.Regarding the muesli, I cannot emphasise how important it is to source a high quality organic muesli mix. It really does make a difference to the taste. I have never found a muesli that is perfect for me, so I buy the one that is closest, remove the nuts, which my daughter detests, and add in loads more dried fruit instead. I recommend you customise yours too. Otherwise you can just buy the oats and dried fruits separately and make up your own combination from scratch.

RECIPE: COOL SUMMER BREAKFAST

INGREDIENTS

  • Good quality delicious organic muesli mix (containing loads of fruit)
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice (or the closest you can get)
  • Any chopped fresh fruit you fancy (cherries are delicious)

METHOD

  • Combine all the ingredients.

TIP: If you like, you can do as the Swiss and let the muesli soak in the orange juice overnight for a softer texture, but my experience is that children prefer the quick crunchy version.

Vegetarian Snacks

RECIPES: TRAIL CRUNCH MUNCHIES

Use this for healthy snacks instead of biscuits.

INGREDIENTS

  • toasted oat cereal
  • rolled oats
  • dessicated coconut
  • chopped almonds
  • wheatgerm
  • flax seed
  • sunflower seeds
  • sultanas
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • a little sunflower oil to bind
  • ground cinnamon
  • pure vanilla extract

METHOD

Preheat oven to 160 C. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cereal, oats, coconut, almonds, wheat germ, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and sultanas. In another bowl, blend the wet ingredients. Then add these to the dry ingredients, stirring well. If your mix is too dry, add a little more honey or oil. Spread evenly over a greased baking sheet about a quarter of a an inch thick and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and break into pieces. Store into an airtight container.

RECIPE: SUMMER BERRY SPREAD

Keep this in the fridge to make healthy snacks with,

INGREDIENTS

  • Cream cheese
  • Blueberries/strawberries/raspberries
  • Honey

METHOD

Mix well, or whizz in a blender. Voila! Use this delicious spread on toast, bagels or crackers.

TIP: When fresh berries are out of season, use frozen ones available in supermarkets. They are almost as good and you can put them in the food processor straight from the freezer.

RECIPE: FRUITY SPREAD

INGREDIENTS

  • Chopped mixed dried fruits (apricots, dates, peaches, mango etc.)
  • Lemon and orange zest
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh orange juice

METHOD

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the mixture has reduced to a paste. If it gets too sticky, stir in some more juice. Mash well with a fork. Spread on oat or rice cakes for a healthy dessert or snack.

RECIPE: PEANUT BUTTER EXTRA

If you despair at your child’s propensity for eating nothing but peanut butter, try this. It actually turns peanut butter into one of your healthy snacks, provided you use good quality 100% peanut butter with no added oils.

INGREDIENTS

  • peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • raisins or sultanas
  • grated carrot
  • sunflower seeds
  • flax seeds
  • linseed
  • a sprinkling of wheatgerm

METHOD

Mix all the ingredients and spread over bread or oatcakes.

RECIPE: APPLE BAGEL

INGREDIENTS

  • Cinnamon and raisin bagel
  • A little butter for spreading
  • Sliced apple
  • Maple syrup

METHOD

Slice bagel in half. Toast and butter. Arrange apple slices on grill tray and cook until soft. Put inside bagel and drizzle with maple syrup.

RECIPE: A DATE WITH HALVA

This must be the easiest dessert in the world and is one of my favourite healthy snacks. You can give it to your children guilt-free! If you are not yet familiar with this middle eastern combination, you will be amazed that something so delicious can be so nutritious. Halva is fantastic if you have a child with a sweet tooth and you are trying not to give them sugar.

It is made from pulped sesame seeds and honey, and nothing else! The sesame seeds are rich in calcium, which makes it deliciously creamy, and the honey makes it sweet. Like rich chocolate, a square or two is enough to round off a meal. Halva can be bought in health food shops. Both halva and dates keep well, so do like the Sahara nomads crossing the desert on their camels—stock up on supplies before heading off into the long school term!

INGREDIENTS

  • Halva
  • Dates

METHOD

Cut the halva into cubes and stone the dates for a young child. Voila!

VARIATION: Older children may enjoy the novelty of a small glass/flask of green mint tea with this dessert. (Use green tea and add a sprig of mint.)

RECIPE: HOME-ROASTED NUTS

Ready-bought packets of nuts have far too much salt and often not very good quality oil. Try this delicious substitute and your child will easily forget packets of peanuts. Almonds are a great source of calcium, and the skins provide fibre. If you need to wean children off unhealthy TV snacks, this is a good thing to begin with.

*Not suitable for young children who can choke on nuts.

INGREDIENTS

  • whole almonds (with skins)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt (optional)

METHOD

Spread the almonds over a wide, dry cast iron frying pan and toast over a medium heat, turning them until they are nicely browned. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool. Coat lightly in olive oil and sprinkle sparingly with sea-salt. (Delicious also without salt.) Store in an airtight container. If you have the oven on, pour the nuts over a baking tray and bake them instead.

VARIATION: Almonds are my favourite roasted nut, but this recipe also works beautifully with raw peanuts, raw cashews, and any other nuts and seeds. Instead of olive oil, you can also use canola oil, sesame, walnut, or avodado oil.

***TIP: Do up a large batch on a baking tray in the oven and fill airtight containers to keep them fresh. Then you always have a handful ready for the lunchbox or for after-school healthy snacks.

Vegetarian Lunch

RECIPE: JACKET POTATOES

When sandwiches are ‘boring’, switch to potatoes for your healthy lunch ideas. Anything that can go into a sandwich can go into a jacket potato for a quick healthy lunch!

INGREDIENTS

  • Large potatoes (choose a tasty floury variety suitable for baking)
  • Filling Ideas:
  • Hummus and roasted vegetable leftovers
  • Cottage cheese with cinnamon and honey
  • Guacamole
  • Grated cheddar and pineapple
  • Fromage frais, sweetcorn and apple
  • Chilli sauce
  • Any salad

METHOD

Preheat oven to 230 C. Wash and scrub potatoes and prick all over with a fork or skewer. Dry and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake until done. Test with skewer that they are nice and soft right through. Cut in half and fluff them up with a fork. For the lunchbox, allow to cool before adding filling. Wrap in tin foil.

HEALTHY LUNCH IDEAS TIP: For extra nutrition and fibre, eat the skins too. Baking without tin foil makes for nicer crispy skins, especially if you coat them lightly in olive oil.

RECIPE: BEJING BRUNCH

What a lovely healthy lunch idea this is. Try it and see!

INGREDIENTS

  • sunflower oil
  • sesame oil
  • chopped onions
  • chopped garlic
  • chopped ginger
  • chopped celery
  • chopped Chinese leaves
  • chopped bok choy
  • chopped scallions
  • bean sprouts
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • light soy sauce
  • pitta bread
  • peanut butter

METHOD

In a wok, heat the sunflower oil and add a few drops of sesame oil. Stir-fry the onions, garlic, ginger, and celery until soft. Then add the leaves, bok choy, scallions and bean sprouts. Sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame seeds.Warm pitta bread and cut in half. Line the inside of each pocket with peanut butter and fill with stir-fry mixture.

RECIPE: CIABATTA REGATTA

INGREDIENTS

  • Aubergine
  • Red pepper
  • Yellow pepper
  • Courgette
  • Red onion
  • Sundried tomato
  • Stoned olives
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Black pepper
  • Ciabatta loaf
  • Hummus
  • Shaved cheese (pecorino)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200 C. Slice the vegetables chunkily. Add garlic and toss in olive oil until they are all nicely coated. Sprinkle with pepper and rosemary. Roast until all the vegetables are cooked. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Cut ciabatta loaf in half and hollow out the insides. Line with hummus and fill with roasted vegetables. Top with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

VARIATION: Use a baguette and press down in a sandwich maker for panini.

RECIPE: TEX MEX WRAP LUNCH

INGREDIENTS

  • Flour tortilla
  • Tin of drained refried beans
  • Grated cheddar
  • Salsa
  • Cooked sweetcorn kernels
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Serve with guacamole and some tortilla chips.

METHOD

Warm the tortilla both sides on a dry pan. Spread with beans. Top with cheese, salsa, corn and lettuce. Roll and cut in two. Wrap tightly.

RECIPE: SAUSAGE ROLLS

INGREDIENTS

  • Puff pastry
  • Cooked vegetarian mini-sausage (tofu sausage or sosmix)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200 C. Wrap the cooked sausages in pastry and seal the edges using a little water. Cook in the oven until pastry is done.

TIP: Unfortunately, these don’t freeze very well after cooking, as they become soggy and need to be heated up again. However, you could make up a batch and freeze them uncooked.

RECIPE: EAZI-PIZZI LUNCH

INGREDIENTS

  • French bread batons
  • Shredded cheese (mozarella/cheddar)
  • Shaved parmesan
  • Jar of pasta sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder

METHOD

Toast the bread under the grill, just enough to crisp it up. Spread a little olive oil over the inside of the batons to seal them. Then spread the sauce and seasoning on top, followed by the cheese. Put under the grill again until the cheese sizzles.

RECIPE: BEJING BRUNCH LUNCH

INGREDIENTS

  • sunflower oil
  • sesame oil
  • chopped onions
  • chopped garlic
  • chopped ginger
  • chopped celery
  • finely chopped Chinese leaves
  • finely chopped bok choy
  • chopped scallions
  • bean sprouts
  • sesame seeds (preferably toasted)
  • light soy sauce
  • pitta bread
  • peanut butter

METHOD

In a wok, heat the sunflower oil and add a few drops of sesame oil. Stir-fry the onions, garlic, ginger, and celery until soft. Then add the leaves, bok choy, scallions and bean sprouts. Sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame seeds. Warm pitta bread and cut in half. Line the inside of each pocket with peanut butter and fill with stir-fry mixture.

RECIPE: BOMBAY CHAPATI

A little different, yet quick and easy to rustle up.

INGREDIENTS

  • Indian chapati bread
  • mashed hard-boiled egg
  • curry powder
  • mayonnaise
  • fresh chopped coriander
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • thinly sliced cucumber

METHOD

Toast the chapati briefly, under a grill, or on a dry frying pan, but not so much as to make it brittle. Allow to cool. In a bowl, mix the egg, curry powder, mayonnaise and coriander. Refrigerate until ready to use. Then spread over the chapati and top with cucumber and lettuce. Roll up and wrap tightly.

***HEALTHY LUNCH TIP: better to make several thin rolls than one thick one which may fall apart.

VARIATION: also great with Naan bread.

Vegetarian Dinner

RECIPE: PANCAKES

Leftovers can be easily rolled into pancakes to make up a good next-day meal. This recipe is also good as a dipping batter.

INGREDIENTS

  • Flour (half wholemeal, half white)
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Grated apple
  • Cinnamon
  • Sunflower oil (for frying)
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup

METHOD

Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break an egg into the well and mix into the flour with a wooden spoon. Add the milk, small amounts at a time, stirring it in and smoothing out any lumps. Continue until the mixture becomes thick in texture—when you take out the spoon, it should first cling to the spoon and then drop back into the bowl. Add either more flour or milk until you get the right balance. Whisk with a hand-whisk for a minute. Add the apples and cinnamon. Use lots of cinnamon, but don’t completely stir it in. It’s nicer when you get dark swirls of cinnamon through the batter. Then let the batter stand for as long as possible before cooking, up to 24 hours. Heat enough oil to lightly cover a heavy-based pan. When it begins to smoke, ladle in a measure of the batter and tilt the pan until it covers the base. (Take care not to spill any oil if you have used too much of it). When you see little bubbles appear on the surface, it’s time to turn the pancake—no need to flip, just use a spatula! When cooked remove from heat and butter lightly. Drizzle with maple syrup and roll.

VARIATION: For other healthy meal recipes, instead of apple, try banana or blueberries. Or, for more sophisticated tastebuds, try a delicious savoury pancake, filled with cream cheese, chives and button mushrooms.

TIP: To lighten your batter, add a little sparkling/still water, (or in snowy weather, a scoop of snow, to delight your children!). You will taste the difference, as the pancakes will not seem so stodgy.

RECIPE: CAULIFLOWER CHEESE TART

A delicious hot or cold healthy meal recipe, but does not freeze well.

INGREDIENTS

  • Rolled shortcrust pastry
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Black pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Beaten eggs mixed with a little water (enough to cover cauliflower in flan dish)
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Breadcrumbs

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a flan dish with pastry and bake for about 7 minutes until it begins to turn golden. Remove and turn the oven down to 180 C. Steam or boil cauliflower until cooked, using as little water as possible to retain the flavour. Drain well. In a bowl, mix the seasoning, spices, eggs, and half the cheese. Cut any large florets in halve or quarters lengthways. Place cauliflower over pastry and pour egg mixture on top. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs on top again. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Test that it is cooked through with a skewer. Slice into triangles.

RECIPE: LO MEIN LA MAMMA

If you feel you can’t compete with the Chinese takeaway when it comes to pleasing your children, try this. You can make Lo Mein, a takeaway staple, even more delicious by home-cooking it with healthy, crunchy, fresh ingredients and no MSG! Children love this with Fortune Cookies.

INGREDIENTS

  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chopped ginger
  • Shredded white cabbage
  • Grated carrots
  • Sliced green beans
  • Baby corn cut in half
  • Soy sauce
  • Stock powder
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped scallions
  • Cooked noodles
  • Serve with fortune cookies

METHOD

In a wok, heat sunflower oil and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Briefly stir-fry the garlic, ginger and vegetables. Add soy sauce, stock, pepper, scallions, noodles and another small dash of sesame oil.

TIP: For protein, throw in some cashew nuts, or fried tofu.

RECIPE: PASTRY PARCELS

INGREDIENTS

  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chopped yellow and red peppers
  • Chopped courgette
  • Chopped aubergine
  • Mixed chopped herbs
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Can chopped plum tomatoes/passata
  • Tomato puree
  • Cooked cannellini beans
  • Rolled shortcrust pastry

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200 C. In a heavy-based wide saucepan, soften the onions and garlic. Stir in peppers and courgette. When soft, add aubergine and toss until coated with oil. Add herbs, black pepper, lemon juice, tomatoes and tomato puree. Add beans and simmer until cooked, adding more water if necessary, but remember you want a nice thick sauce at the end which won’t drip through the pastry.

Cut pastry into circles. Place a dollop of vegetable mix in the middle and fold over into semi-circles. Seal the edges by dabbing a little water along the inside edges and pressing down. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

RECIPE: SUMMER GARDEN TART

Visual appeal is as important when cooking for children as for adults. Prettily arranged vegetables can be enticing to children who normally shun them.

INGREDIENTS

  • Rolled shortcrust pastry
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Thinly sliced courgette
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Grated gruyere cheese

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 C. In a greased flan case, bake the pastry in the oven for about 7 minutes until it starts to turn golden. Remove from oven. In a large bowl, toss the tomato and courgette with the garlic, pepper and a little olive oil.Sprinkle the cheese and basil onto the pastry. Place the vegetables on top in a single layer of overlapping slices, arranged in circles. Brush with another coating of oil. Return to oven for a further 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Allow to cool and divide into triangles.

VARIATION: Use any other colourful vegetable combination your child likes, such as baby corn and mange tout etc.

TIP: Make enough for tomorrow’s lunch also, and if you feel like it a couple for the freezer.

RECIPE: VEGETARIAN NUT BURGERS

INGREDIENTS

  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped garlic
  • Finely chopped mushrooms
  • Finely chopped celery
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped chives
  • Black pepper
  • Crushed toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Crushed toasted almond flakes
  • Crushed toasted cashew nuts
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Chopped almonds
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Toasted wholewheat burger buns
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Ketchup

METHOD

Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onions and garlic. Add mushrooms and celery and stir until cooked. Remove from heat and stir in herbs, black pepper, seeds and nuts. Add soy sauce, egg and breadcrumbs. Mix well and mould into burger shapes. Fry until golden and crispy. Place in toasted burger buns with lettuce and ketchup.

***TIP: If you’re out of breadcrumbs cook up some rice and use instead.

Serve with spudulicious potatoes. See this recipe in the Side Dishes Section of the Healthy Recipes Index.

RECIPE: CHEESE AND TOMATO TART

INGREDIENTS

  • Rolled puff pastry
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped garlic
  • Goats cheese
  • Beaten eggs
  • Cream
  • Chopped oregano
  • Chopped parsley
  • Black pepper
  • Sliced vine tomatoes/sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • Grated parmesan

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200 C. Grease a flan dish and line it with pastry. Cook in the oven for a few minutes to crisp it up, so it won’t turn soggy later. In a pan, soften the onions and garlic. Drain on kitchen paper. In a blender, mix the cheese, eggs, cream, herbs and pepper. Add onions and garlic and blend again briefly. Spread this mix over the pastry. Arrange tomato slices in circles on the top and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until top is nicely browned. Cool and cut into triangles.

RECIPE: RAINBOW RISOTTO

I love this healthy meal recipe. Risotto is such a versatile dish—you can throw anything into it that your child likes. It tastes delicious hot or cold, served with a little salad and garlic bread. Smooth creamy arborio rice is ideal for children, but you can use other rices if you prefer, such as crunchy whole shortgrain. If your child likes coloured rice, throw in some tumeric. Cook up a large batch of risotto and freeze in portion-size sealed freezer bags. There is no great mystery to cooking risotto. The trick is to add the stock already heated and stir it in gradually. In other words you have to stand over it while it cooks, but arborio rice cooks very quickly.

INGREDIENTS

  • Stock powder
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chopped vegetables
  • Chopped herbs
  • Arborio rice
  • Serve with green salad and garlic bread

METHOD

In a saucepan, make up some vegetable stock and heat. Keep it on a low heat, ready to pour in to the risotto. In another, heavy-based saucepan, heat oil and soften onions and garlic over a low heat. Add vegetables and stir for a few minutes until vegetables soften. Add the herbs and rice and stir until covered in oil and juices. Add in a little warm stock and stir it in. When this has been absorbed by the rice, add some more and continue stirring. Keep repeating this until the rice is cooked.

VARIATIONS: Mushrooms and fresh parsley/fried tofu and green beans/grated cheese and peas.

TIP: For the green salad, any selection of green leaves is good, but spicy rocket is really good! Remember, adding salad makes it an extra healthy meal recipe.

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Emily Murdoch
Hi I write about health and fitness for women! You may contact me at [email protected]

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