Happy Pi Day! (3.14)

Yes I know I’m late. It’s not exactly Thursday (Pi Day – 3.14) anymore and yes I know that the REAL Pi day will actually be in 2015 (3.14.15)  but I wanted to tell ya’ll about my pie tradition I’ve been doing for a few years on March 14th. I know that technically it’s a day for the mathematical number Pi (3.14159265359), but it’s the perfect excuse to make a delicious PIE! And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the last few years… Last year I made chocolate crème pie and the year before that I’m pretty sure I made cherry… anything beyond that I can’t remember… but this year I made a Black Bottom Banana Crème pie and it was amazing!

Look at those delicious chocolate shavings and that luscious home made whipped cream!

It had a shortbread cookie & butter crust, a decadent layer of dark chocolate pudding (might I add it was home made), a layer of perfectly ripe bananas, a layer of vanilla custard and then luscious home made whipped cream. It was heaven in a pie plate. Seriously. I love all things banana and I absolutely love pudding too.. and seriously, home made pudding is so easy to make it’s ridiculous. I would much rather make home made pudding than buy the box (although on super super lazy days I will cave and buy the Jell-O brand pudding… it’s good, what can I say?)

 

And then, just because I believe in writing and broadcasting our cooking failures too, I present to you the most disgusting smoothie I have ever had in my whole entire life.

It’s called a “Clean Breeze Smoothie” (I believe it came out of an issue of EatingWell magazine) and it’s disgusting. Usually I love green smoothies and I frequently request my best friend to make me kale and peach smoothies, but this thing was repulsive. It had everything I usually love in it… kiwi, cucumber, cilantro, ginger kombucha…. but something about the mixture of everything with the extremely tart greek yogurt… Can I tell you how nasty it was anymore? haha If you’d like to try this beast out for yourself, here’s the recipe.

Bon Appetit!

 

Two of My Favorite Things

Today I just wanted to talk about two of my favorite things to eat.

Cookies and Salad.

Yup, I said it. A pretty much guaranteed unhealthy item and a fairly healthy item. They cancel each other out, right?

So anyways… one of my favorite cookies ever are the Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread cookies from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Book. When I first got this cookbook I was super excited because I loved the lay out.. I loved how in the glossary there was a picture of each cookie… so you didn’t have to go to the recipe to see what kind of cookie it was (if you were unfamiliar with it). Well… needless to say, the book is a 50/50 in my opinion. I’ve had some really awesome cookies and I’ve had some that were yucky and didn’t come out like she says they’re supposed to. But these gingerbread cookies, yum! Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorites and to add big chunks of chocolate, delish!

They’ve got sugar on the outside to make them a bit crunchy, yet they’re soft and chewy in the inside. They are definitely a cookie from heaven.

Alright, now I’m going to admit something that I’ve never heard of anyone else doing.. It’s got to do with my salads. And no, I don’t crumble my cookies into them… although, chocolate chip cookies dipped in mustard are amazingly good… but that’s a different post.. (..maybe…?) Anyways. Here goes, I hope ya’ll don’t think I’m too weird..

I absolutely love, love love LOVE steaming hot brown rice or quinoa on top of my salads. I love it when it wilts the lettuce and makes the cucumbers all warm and toasty. I love how the dressing gets soaked right up into the grains and flavors them intensely. Every time I make a salad and throw steaming grains on top people look at me like I’m a weirdo. I used to do it at work on my lunch break and people would be “grossed out”, the boy thinks I’m weird and nasty… I’ve just never met anyone else who does it. Do you? Have you ever tried it? Am I as weird as everyone makes me out to be? Who knows.. but I highly suggest it to anyone who loves salads and hot steamy grains.

Mmmmm… yummy.

 

Bon Appetit!

 

 

week 1 of work down!

So today marks the end of the first week of work without gluten or dairy. It’s definitely a lot harder without the gluten or dairy at work since I work in a bakery/cafe. There’s tons of bread and cookies and pastries that are always calling my name, screaming at me to eat them as I walk past. Especially the croutons.. those little buggers have like 50 calories a piece and it’s super easy to just grab 10 or 12 or a 100 and munch on them periodically. Their smell is just so intoxicating when they come out of the oven and I swear they put crack-cocaine in them because how else would they be so damn addicting?! So obviously, I’m hoping after these 2 weeks I won’t even be phased by them. I’m not going to start eating them again, I can tell you that!

And with ending the first work week without gluten or dairy, let me tell you how freaking easy this is. I thought it’d be crazy hard since I’m already a vegetarian and I’ve obviously got a bunch of stuff already that I can’t eat.. and I’ve never really gone full out vegan before.. and as I stated above, I love me some bread. But honestly, I’m not missing any of it. The biggest thing I suppose is the fact that I’ve really been wanting pasta lately.. and even with that, as long as I get my butt to the grocery store I can just buy some quinoa pasta or gluten-free pasta to get past my craving. I honestly feel a lot better.. I really do, I feel like I’m eating a lot healthier and I’m hungry at appropriate intervals.. I do feel like I’m eating  more, but it’s really  not that big of a deal because what I’m eating is super healthy for me and not full of chemicals and preservatives and all that garbage. I’m eating more fresh fruits and vegetables (not that I wasn’t before, but now I am cramming them into my mouth like they’re cookies) and the grumblings in my tummy when I’m hungry feel like good ones, not the “hey, I’m growling because all you did was eat a bunch of junk and now I want mooooooore!” kind of grumblings. But anyways. Let me tell you what I’ve eaten the last few days.

One: A LOT of guacamole… and tortilla chips. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. I made the guac Wednesday with 2 avocados that I had sitting in the fridge and on Wednesday I ate a ton and then yesterday I went to Moe’s for lunch and ate tortillas and salsa and guacamole and then never ate a real dinner but then stuffed my face with even more tortilla chips and guac.

Two: Tonight I made vegetable stir fry with dry-fried tofu and rice. I used the sauce for the tempura vegetables from the other night to coat the vegetables. Have you ever dry-fried tofu? Megan showed me the ways of dry-fried tofu and let me tell you. It’s soooo good. It smells like fresh popped pop corn and it gets all crispy on the outside and miraculously soaks up the marinade a hell of a lot easier once it’s fried. Pretty much all you do is press your tofu, dry it off with a paper towel or something and then smack it into a super hot pan (no oil!!!!) and leave it there untouched until you smell popcorn and it easily comes off the pan. Flip it and repeat! Eat as is or use it like you normally would tofu. My stir fry tonight consisted of broccoli, snow peas, carrots, scallions, tofu and rice.

Three: Vegan Chocolate Pudding. Yes. Amazing. Simple. Luscious. All I did was throw a box of silken tofu into the food processor with like 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of agave nectar and whip it up. Stored it in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm up and then chopped some strawberries into it and then devoured. Also, can we talk about how good agave is? Not gonna lie, I actually licked the side of the jar where it had dripped down the side. I could probably just eat spoonfuls of agave. Sooo so good.

So there you have it! My last few days in dairy and gluten free land. I’m not sure what this weekend will entail, but I think I might have an encounter with some Moroccan Red Lentil soup. Meggy you know what I’m talkin’ about =P ohhh yeah.

last few nights!

So the last few nights I’ve been cooking up a bunch of “in the head” kinda food… Meaning, I don’t necessarily have a recipe, I’m just combining whatever it is I have in the fridge that’s either going bad or is an oddball out or whatever.

So Monday night I combined roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli and orecchiette pasta (did you know that orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian?! I learned that from Rachael Ray haha I’ve never forgotten it though!) with a balsamic cream sauce. Pretty much I combined an equal amount of half&half and vegetable stock with a bunch of minced garlic and a couple of tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar. I add a bay leaf and some herbes de provence and it was pretty freaking fantastic! I know I always say things are fantastic, but what can I say? I’m cocky about my cooking haha

And of course, we made a big ol’ salad too… for some reason I can’t eat pasta without salad… something about how heavy the pasta is compared to the lightness of a good salad… I don’t know, makes me feel healthier!

So then last night, my brother and I decided we were going to make dinner and then go see The Artist. We needed something quick and easy and that we could run to the grocery store, make, devour and get to the theatre in 2 hours. He’s been on a wicked kale kick lately so we brainstormed and decided to make a kale pasta dish.

Soooo what we did was, minced a bunch of garlic, sauteed the kale, added a can of cannellini beans and a added a whole jar of Prego (ugh, I know! but he loves it! and it was actually really good) chunky marinara sauce. We boiled some spiral shaped noodles and threw them into the pan and called it dinner. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Also paired with leftover salad and big huge honkin’ pieces of bread (my brother is the king of everything Italian bread… choosing the loaf, slicing it, eating it, devouring it and finishing it off).

the sauce!

the whole dish!

the whole shebang!

So anyways, like I said, my bro and I went and saw the Artist last night… It was phenomenal! It was so strange seeing a silent film, it took a little getting used to.. their facial expressions were so exaggerated… I like going to the movies with him though, who else is going to smuggle in two very large pieces of Italian bread and a ziploc baggy of dried cherries for a snack?!

Annnnd then tonight, the boy and I made some sort of asian style noodle dish that I made up. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of it, but I can promise you it was delicious. Marinated some tofu in an asian style marinade and sauteed broccoli, snow peas, carrots and scallions. Used some of those thai style rice noodles and combined it all together. We also boiled a bag of edamame in the pod and salted them a ton. Between the two of us, we finished off the whole bag. yum yum.

I’ve been wicked craving chocolate lately, been scouring the internet for a simple one serving brownie recipe (I don’t need a whole pan of brownies sitting around!). Any suggestions on a single serving brownie or chocolate cake recipe?!