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!

 

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apples!

Back in early October, my fiance and I went apple picking out near Asheville, NC and acquired quite a bit of apples. I’ve been making various things with them, some note-able, most not. A lot of the apples were just eaten as is.. But! Since I’m going to be out of town until like a day before Thanksgiving and since there were only like a dozen apples left, I decided to make Apple Cinnamon Rice Pudding!

I know I’ve showcased rice pudding before.. but this is even better than the last one.

I used my regular rice pudding recipe but made a few tweaks to it.

Apple Cinnamon Rice Pudding

5 cups soy milk (plus more to your liking)

2/3 cup brown rice

5 shredded apples

¼ tsp salt

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup raisins

Combine everything but the raisins in a large pot. Cook on medium high heat until bubbly and then switch the heat to low. Simmer until the rice is tender and there’s still a good amount of liquid/creaminess (I found with the brown rice that it took wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy longer than with the white rice. In fact, I ended up just shutting the heat off and calling it done with some of the rice kernels kind of crunchy.. it seriously cooked for over 2 hours. I had to keep adding soy milk too and probably added an additional cup). Add the raisins and cook until desired tenderness and creaminess. Devour immediately.

I still enjoy my rice pudding with a pad of butter on top, the saltiness balances the sweetness.

Tomorrow, I’ll have another post about what we had for dinner tonight… it was absolutely amazing and blew my mind.

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.

rice puddinz

So I was always one of those people who couldn’t stand rice pudding. I never understood it. Why would anyone want to eat cold mushy nasty rice? And that stuff you could buy out of the tub on sale every week at the grocery store? Forget about it!! Nasty nasty nasty!! It wasn’t until recently that I became a lover of rice pudding. One day I was asked specifically to make homemade rice pudding and being the nice person that I am, I obliged and took a stab at making it.

I was a little hesitant at first, with all the horrid experiences I’ve had with it… but let me tell you, it was a life changer. It’s still mushy rice. But when it’s warm and right off the stove, raisins all plump and delicious… I don’t see how it could be made or enjoyed any other way. And actually, I’ve even enjoyed it at a few diners or two since then as well.

It’s been ridiculously cold here lately, with the snow and ice and persistent slush that covers the road and for some reason I decided that tonight would be a good night to devour some comforting rice pudding, cuddle with my Fernie and get to bed early.

Here’s the recipe I use:

5 cups milk

2/3 rice

¼ tsp salt

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup raisins

Combine milk, rice, salt and sugar in a medium sized pot. Cook on medium high heat until bubbly and then switch the heat to low. Simmer until the rice is tender and there’s still a good amount of liquid/creaminess (it takes a stupid amount of time, I’m usually super anxious by the time its half way there). Add vanilla, cinnamon and raisins and cook to desired thickness.

I of course, always tweak the recipe. Tonight I halved it, since I was the only fatty eating it and I also pretty much dumped enough raisins in to scare any normal human being. But I do love me some raisins.

ps: I always add a little pad of butter on top of my pudding. Something about the saltiness of butter always makes it taste a hundred times better to me.

Also also also, after I had already started it and it had almost finished simmering, I opened up my fridge and realized that HELLO! tazo chai tea concentrate would probably be freaking awesome in the pudding and that will probably be my next experiment. It’ll probably be heaven in a bowl. Yummm.