alright…

So unfortunately, my whole plan for the no dairy/no gluten posts failed miserably. I had planned on posting the delicious food I was eating and updating regularly and actually doing this whole blog thing right.. But unfortunately, in the middle of the two weeks my boy got really sick and I spent a few days taking care of him (I actually made REAL chicken noodle soup for the first time in my whole life and I had to tear the chicken apart with my own fingers and I haven’t touched chicken in like 6+ years and it was the strangest thing ever.. but I’ll admit, it smelled fabulous in my house) and then since we’re so inseparable, I ended up getting sick as well and missed some work and he ended up taking care of ME (making me some delicious spicy black bean soup) and then we had like maybe… two days? before he got a massive stomach bug that led me to taking care of him again and now I’m on the verge/brink of having it or not having it, just feeling plain ol’ weird.. SO!

Anyways, the whole non-dairy, no gluten thing was fantastic. I loved it, I felt great and I actually felt GUILTY eating gluten and dairy again! I had thought I ruined it the last day, we all went to the movies to see The Lorax (great movie!! I’d recommend it to anyone!) and had some popcorn, where I would have bet money on the fact the dry popcorn had butter on it, but apparently it didn’t! So I actually lasted the whole 2 weeks and I feel accomplished. But, of course it was a Monday the first day off the 2 weeks and all you Moe’s lovers out there know about Moe’s Monday and how you can get a burrito and drink for 5 bucks.. so the boy and I went (of course) and I had a burrito.. I can honestly say though that my tummy felt a bit off after eating the gluten… like it was pissed I was eating it again. But oh well.. I have been nibbling on cookies at work, even tried eating a piece of baguette (didn’t even taste good, I threw it out after a bite) BUT, I haven’t eaten ONE CROUTON. Which, you all should be especially proud of me for. They don’t even smell good anymore.. the crouton addiction is officially, OVER.

I still want pizza.

And I’ll be devouring it as soon as we’re all done being sick.

So anyways. I did end up making my Morrocan Red Lentil soup.

It’s a recipe I developed while working at the organic market I used to work at.. It was derived from a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks with numerous changes. I’m not going to post the recipe, for some reason I’ve still got it in my head that I must hoard my own recipes, call me selfish.

I also made potato wedges that night to dip into the soup.

I love potatoes. In any form. Love love love them. I just baked them with a little olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. yum!

I also made sweet potato hummus!

I used this recipe, without the cumin flat bread chips because obviously I wasn’t eating gluten at the time. I dipped mine with rice chips, which were absolutely fantastic and I would continue buying them always. The hummus was amazing though.. seriously, it was. I had some the first night I made it while the sweet potato was still a little warm and it a creamy, well spiced dip. I then proceeded to devour it in the few days afterwards, while it was cold,  and it was still fantastic. I could probably admit though that it was a TAD better when warm. But I’ll definitely be making it again, for sure.

I recently re-organized my 1000+ bookmarked recipes on my computer, so I’m going to start (hopefully) bulldozing through those recipes in the near future.

Tootles!

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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.

sushi & the zoo

So yesterday I was let out of work super early so the boy and I decided to hit up the zoo and spend the day outside. I hadn’t been to our zoo in a really really long time so I was excited to go. They have a few new exhibits and surprisingly all of the animals were out and about even though its February and pretty cold out. My favorite animals are of course any of the kitties and I took a few photos of the lions (because they remind me of Munky).

This photo was taken while they were howling/meowing/whatever you want to call it at the glass and all of the people. It was really bizarre.. I’m not sure what their problem was!

So after the zoo we went to the grocery store and got the ingredients to make vegetable sushi and gluten-free tempura vegetables. Usually I use the tempura recipe out of my Moosewood cookbook, but since it’s made with flour and I’m avoiding gluten for a while.. I surfed the web to find something that used a gluten free flour. This is the recipe I ended up using. We battered and fried sweet potato chips, green bean strips and broccoli florets. They were sooo yummy!!

This recipe wasn’t as good as my usual, but it was pretty darn tasty! It uses rice flour and I feel like it fit perfectly with having sushi. I also made a ginger-soy dipping sauce that is pretty much drinkable in my opinion. It’s got soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic, scallions, mirin and sesame oil. Sooo sooo sooo good!

The sushi had avacado slices, cucumber sticks, shaved carrots, scallions and a few of them had sweet potato tempura chopped into it. The boy was in charge of making the sushi and it was all very delicious =) I have a very love/hate relationship with nori, sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it.. yesterday I ate like 8 pieces of sushi before the flavor of the nori caught up with me and was making me gag. So in the end I ended up peeling away all the nori and eating the rice and vegetables dipped in the sauce with just a little hint of seaweed. I’m not sure why I have such a problem with it.. I do enjoy it usually!

And as you can see in this photo, we had pickled ginger, wasabi and STAR FRUIT with dinner!

He had never had star fruit before and since it’s one of my favorite fruits we bought one yesterday. If you’ve never had one before the best description is if you combined a kiwi and an apple. It’s very mild and very juicy, super crunchy and soo very delicious. Plus! It’s super cute! I think we’ll be hooked on them for a while… He bought another one today =)

Today consisted of leftovers and grilled cheese sandwiches for the boy. Although, I did make him drink a green smoothie. I usually only have green smoothies when other people make them for me.. but today I decided to try them out for myself. I added a big handful of both kale and baby spinach, some frozen peaches, a few strawberries and an apple. It was awesome! He and I both had big glasses and finished them both. I unfortunately do not have a picture, but you get the idea.. it was a super green drink. We also made home made guacamole and munched on that with some of my favorite tortilla chips.

So far this whole ‘no dairy, no gluten’ thing is going awesome. There were some broken cookies at work today that I wanted to eat terribly bad, but I refrained and stepped away and went about my merry way. I’ve been eating pretty healthy (not that I really don’t anyways) and we’ve been walking every day. I had to have something sweet and indulgent though so since I can’t make cookies or cake or eat candy, I chopped up a banana and microwaved a small block of semi-sweet chocolate with a tablespoon of peanutbutter and chocolate soy milk and drizzled it all over the banana. So simple yet so satisfying. Tomorrow I’m probably going to make vegan chocolate pudding with silken tofu and try that out.

 

some stuff!

This past week or so I’ve been cooking quite a bit…

Friday I went out to my moms and made her dinner.. she’s newly a vegetarian so I wanted to make her something with tempeh so she could try it out. I decided to make my special version of shepards pie.

Pretty much I made a “beef” mixture with tempeh, green lentils and carrots slow cooked in “beef” broth until everything was soft and delicious. I of course added some onions and garlic, thyme, bay leaf and some Worcestershire sauce. I don’t like corn and mashed potatoes mixed together so the next layer was peas and then the mashed potato topping was red skinned potatoes and yams mashed together. Sooo good. I also steamed some broccoli and bought a loaf of Italian bread to go along with it.

Sunday I made my favorite to make cookies again.. the ones from Vegan with a Vengeance… the ginormous peanutbutter oatmeal ones.

I made like 16 cookies or so and then froze like 20 little cookie balls so that I can have them to make whenever I want. These cookies will probably pop up on my blog a lot.. I make them when I’m down in the dumps, on rainy days, when I have to entertain people, when I’m requested to bring a dish etc etc. I always add chocolate chips but this time I added chocolate chips AND reese’s chips! Sooo good!

I also made home made pizza dough for pizza. I thought it was going to turn out terrible because I mixed whole wheat flour with all purpose flour and didn’t really pay attention to the recipe very well.. I ended up having to add almost 2 extra cups of flour and it was a horrible texture when raw but surprisingly it turned out amazing. My boy rolled it out for me into the most perfect circle and I made home made pizza sauce. The sauce consisted of something like a can of diced tomatoes, half a can of tomato paste, like 4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar plus Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes (threw it all in a food processor too). We let that cook for a while until it thickened and was luscious and delicious. For the toppings I did the sauce, basil pesto swirled into the sauce, broccoli, roasted garlic, roasted tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese and Herbes De Provence.

And tonight, I made haddock piccatta with wild rice and sweet and sour carrots. The piccata recipe came out of an old Racheal Ray magazine and the sweet and sour carrots came out of this months issue. The wild rice was simply just made in the rice cooker. The boy got me hooked on wild rice. It’s so delicious, it seriously doesn’t need anything on it whatsoever to be yummy.

And since I’ve been wanting to showcase these guys for quite some time.. Let me introduce you to my three babies.

This is Myrtle. We call her Myrt the Squirt. She’s camera shy. She’s also what I call “my loyal one”. She follows me around the house, sleeps on my head and consistently scratches at the bathroom door whenever I’m in there for longer than 0.025 seconds. She’s a fan of warm clothes out of the dryer, chewing on hair, her 1960’s hippy chair and my boy.

This is Hunk. But we don’t call him Hunk. He is Munky, or Munk, or Munk the Chunk. He’s very camera happy, always trying to take a model-esque picture. But he’s so insanely shy it’s impossible to get near him unless he’s extremely comfortable with you. He’s everyone’s favorite and has a feather duster for a tail. He’s a fan of sitting on his lower back/butt like a human (especially in chairs), playing PS3, clawing at your face at 3 am, purring louder than anyone else, chasing twist ties and rubber bullets around the house and sliding on the hardwood floor.

And last but not least, this is Fern. Also known as Fernie, Pumpkin or The Butt. She’s the baby and was the runt of her litter. She sleeps under the covers with me, greets me at the door, sits on your shoulder and drinks out of the faucet. She’s a fan of anything in the bathroom, including attacking you while you shower, attacking Munky and Myrtle, collecting all the kitty toys in the house and hiding them under the blankets, being combed, chasing ghosts, eating cantaloupe and raspberries and being super cute.

Hope you enjoyed this post of foods and kitties. I decided that starting today I would not eat dairy (aside from eggs) or gluten for 2 weeks. So I’m going to be blogging about that and my adventures in temptation. So far so good and I’m hoping I’ll be feeling super awesome by the end of the two weeks. Tootles!