Friday, December 17, 2010

Yellow Squash

Simple food.

Yellow squash cooked in a pan with a dash of salt. I don't even put oil on these.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Soba Noodles and Sauce

This meal is a little bit of a miracle. Do you know how much stuff they put in tomato sauce? By "they" I mean those companies that process tomato sauce and put it into jars. I make really good tomato sauce (I lived in Italy. I did learn a few things). But sometimes, especially now, I really need something simple that actually feels like a meal.

By doing some finagling on my daily rotation, I was able to eat this tomato sauce. It is the most basic tomato sauce I have ever seen in a jar. Just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, and basil. The brand is Monte Bene and it's the plain tomato and basil sauce. I found it in the gluten-free section of my local health food store.

I generally like a chunky tomato sauce. This isn't chunky, but it has really good flavor. And it has some chunks of garlic, which satisfies the desire for chunks a little bit.

The brightly colored noodles are a package of soba noodles that are 100% buckwheat. The brand is King Soba. Again, I found them in the gluten-free section of my health food store.

A note about soba noodles. The first time I made these, I realized that there is definitely a reason why they are used in Japanese preparations exclusively. They are not at all what you expect when you are thinking Italian pasta. And if you put tomato sauce on them, you can't help but think Italian pasta. Be sure to cook them long enough so they loose the little bit of slimy-ness. Also I wound up just cutting mine with my kitchen scissors. They were a little hard to bite through.

There isn't really a recipe here, but I am recommending both of these brands.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes

For most of my life I hated sweet potatoes. I wouldn't ever eat them. Then I had a friend in grad school who told me that marshmallows on top wasn't the only way to eat sweet potatoes. Really?

Now I love sweet potatoes. It got so bad last year, I started to turn orange. Does that memory stop me? No!

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and dry the sweet potato. Drizzle a little oil and rub it in. I think I used olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Cook until a fork easily pierces the potato.

Cut it up and sprinkle with a little more salt, paprika, cumin, and maybe some coriander.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cranberry Millet

I'm pretty sure that with this recipe I am adapting some things that I have read on the great internet. But I'm not sure who to attribute it to specifically.

Cranberry Millet
1/2 cup millet
1/2 cup (or more) fresh whole cranberries

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and add the millet. Slice the cranberries into pieces and add them to the millet, don't stir them in yet. Add a dash of cinnamon (or two). When the millet has absorbed almost all of the water, then stir in the cranberries.

I was surprised that this wasn't as tart as I was expecting it to be. But most of you would probably prefer this sweetened a little, so I'll recommend a drizzle of honey or maple syrup over top of your bowl.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mashed Pumpkin

Since I am going with simple food these days, I'm also going with simple pictures. Yes, I will show you that I do most of my cooking on my stovetop because it is flat. I will show you my cutting board where I chopped my toasted walnuts and the debris that is left on that. This is simple food and this is how I make it.

I was still using up the rest of my pumpkin, so this is another recipe for it.

Mashed Pumpkin
2 wedges of roasted pumpkin
walnuts, toasted
sunflower oil
dried sage

I just chopped the pumpkin into a bowl. I toasted the walnuts in a pan on the stove. Be careful with that. Then I added those to the pumpkin, drizzled with oil and sprinkled in a little sage and salt and mashed everything together.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rice with Pumpkin

I've been thinking this weekend that maybe I should change the name of this blog (again) to "Simple Food." I won't, but simple food is all I eat these days. I'm pretty impressed with myself if I make a dish that has more than two ingredients in it (not counting oil and salt).

This dish came together because it was a Sunday evening and I opened the fridge and just tossed stuff in a bowl. It was delicious.

Rice with Pumpkin
2 wedges of roasted pumpkin
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
sunflower oil
dried sage

I roasted a pumpkin a couple weeks ago by just cutting it into wedges and roasting it at 425. I think I had grand plans for the pumpkin, but they never materialized. I just froze the wedges instead.

So to make this, I cut up two of the pumpkin wedges, dropped them into a bowl with rice, heated that up in the microwave. Then before everything was completely warm, I took it out, drizzled it with oil, sprinkled salt and about a 1/2 teaspoon of sage, and heated it again. Then I stirred, and ate it.

Menu Plan

Last week (the one right after Thanksgiving) I did not do a good job of planning. I had some unexpected meetings at work, and so all my planning time was taken up. It made it a harder week.

So for this week, I sat down and planned really well. I made a list of what I would eat on each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then I made a shopping list based on all of that. Then I realized there were only 12 days until I get to go home for Christmas, so I bought enough food for 3 rotations (it's a four day rotation).

Here's the plan:

Day 1
Breakfast: soymilk. banana.
Lunch: black eyed peas w/ rosemary. carrots
Dinner: cod. or tofu and sardines
Snack: pistachios. carrots. banana.

Day 2
Breakfast: millet with cranberries
Lunch: brussels sprouts
Dinner: lentils. tuna steak.
Snack: hazelnuts. apple. cucumber

Day 3
Breakfast: lima beans
Lunch: sweet potato
Dinner: buckwheat pasta and tomato sauce
Snack: brazil nuts. kiwi

Day 4
Breakfast: okra
Lunch: shrimp
Dinner: rice and pumpkin or other roasted veggies
Snack: walnut. sunflower seeds. orange

Monday, November 29, 2010

Split Pea Soup

Over the past week or so, I've just been eating really simple food. A piece of fish, slow simmered. Vegetables either chopped and roasted, or just raw. Handfuls of nuts. Pieces of fruit.

I've discovered some interesting things. First, almost any vegetable is good roasted with salt. This works with fish too. I've never eaten a wide variety of fish, but I like the different flavors of all of them. But flounder is a little weird. On the downside, I've discovered that I don't like radishes. They are fine and crunchy when you stick them in your mouth, but then it starts burning. Yuck.

Moving on from things I've learned to things I've cooked, today, I decided to mix it up a little. And make yet another soup.

I know, you are probably thinking that soup is not really mixing it up for me. But I like it.

Split Pea Soup
1 1/2 cups dried split peas
3 cups water
1 leek, sliced
3 small radishes, diced small
2 cups spinach
dried oregano

Bring the water to a boil. Add the split peas and reduce to a simmer. It will take about a half hour for the split peas to soften and get tender. Add the salt - 1 or 2 teaspoons, the leek, the radish and the oregano. Raise the temp to medium heat and cook the soup until the leek and radish are tender. Add the spinach, just to the top of the soup, don't stir it in yet. Cover the soup with a lid for 3-4 minutes until the spinach wilts. Then stir it in, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lentil Dahl

On Day 2 of my rotation, I can have lentils and tomatoes. So I decided to try for the Lentil Dahl recipe that I have posted here.

Of course it needed some tweaking.

My portion is all ready to be taken to work for lunch.

Lentil Dahl
1 cup lentils
3 roma tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
1-2 tsp ginger
dash of paprika

Boil 2 cups of water and add the lentils. Turn down to a simmer. Cook until the lentils have absorbed the water and are soft.

Add a 1/3 cup of water, the diced tomatoes, peeled and smashed garlic, olive oil and spices. Allow the mix to simmer until the tomatoes are tender.

Puree half of the mix (with an immersion blender) and stir everything together. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Note: this could be served over rice.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tilapia and Cod

I told you not too long ago, that I have adjusted my fish cooking technique.

I used this for all the fish I cooked this week, and it worked out beautifully. The fish was all moist and flaky and really quite delicious.

I had Tilapia

And Cod.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roasted Carrot Soup

A little wrench got thrown into my meals plans. I discovered that not only do I have to eat only from the green list, but I have to eat the foods in a rotation. This makes things a little harder.

To my surprise and relief, I still found good things to eat. And of course, I'm going to share them.

Roasted Carrot Soup
Inspired by this recipe
8 carrots
2 ribs of celery
Safflower oil
5-6 cups of water
3-4 bay leaves

Wash and chop the carrots into halves. Put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle with safflower oil. Bake at 400 until the carrots are tender. Check and flip them about halfway through.

In a stock pot, sautee the celery in a little safflower oil. Add the water, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil and drop to a simmer.

Add the carrots. Simmer for just a little while. Puree everything (using your handy immersion blender -- or a real blender). Sprinkle in some cumin and coriander, and a little salt if needed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Acorn Squash

I had a lovely acorn squash. I have seen a lot of recipes recently for stuffed acorn squash, so I altered the idea and did it how I can.

Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash. Cut it in half and bake it in a pyrex dish with about an inch of water at 350 until the flesh is tender.
Walnuts, toasted
Olive oil

After the squash is cooked, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the toasted walnuts, oil, and spices and mash everything together.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

It's been a very busy week, so when I finished the soup from last week, I was left just eating salads. I had a few veggies still in the fridge though, so I roasted up the rest of the brussels sprouts. It was quick and easy on a cold, rainy night.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Washed brussels sprouts, sliced in half
Layer on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking, turn the brussels sprouts.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Roasted Veggies

I needed a simple weeknight meal. So I just chopped up a bunch of veggies that were in the fridge and roasted them.

My friend came over and looked closely, poked everything, asked me to identify all the veggies, and after being very uncertain, said everything tasted great.

Roasted Veggies
1 leek
1 beet
1 large carrot
1 turnip
3 cloves of garlic
10-15 small brussels sprouts

Cut everything into chunks about the same size. Put on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss so everything is evenly coated. Spread in a thin layer. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adzuki Bean Patties

I was trying something a little different.

Adzuki Bean Patties
This recipe is slightly modified from Meghan Telpner's 5 Days Vegan.

2 cups cooked adzuki beans
1/2 cup brown rice
1 medium sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 leek
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp ground mustard seed
1 tbs dry oregano
sea salt to taste

Boil 1 cup of water. Add the rice and beans. About halfway through, add the sweet potato.

In a skillet, heat the oil, add the spices and sliced leek.

When the rice and beans mixture is done, add the leeks. Mash everything together.

Form into patties and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for 20 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 20-30 minutes until dry.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

I thought about these pancakes all weekend. I knew there had to be some way that I could eat some baked good.

I can't eat corn right now, so I can't use baking powder (if you have tips on that, let me know). That means that these are not fluffy light pancakes. Sometimes you see pictures of pancakes that double in height. That's just never going to happen here.

Now, some of you know that I live alone. The huge perk is that I can completely control what food is in my house and when I have to change stuff up, I don't have to worry about anyone else's preferences or likes. The downside is that I don't have anyone to be a second taster. So I thought these pancakes tasted good, but I don't know if they would pass for anyone else. But I'm sure with enough maple syrup, anyone would love these!

Pumpkin Pancakes
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup rice milk
2 tbs oil
1 flax egg = 3 tbs boiling water + 1 tbs ground flaxseed (add together and let sit for at least 2 minutes)

Mix your flax egg together first, so it has time to sit. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients. Adjust liquids as needed.

As you cook this, there won't be air bubbles like normal pancakes. Watch carefully and you will see the edges start to firm up when the pancake is ready to flip.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mahi Mahi

I kept cooking salmon and other fish this summer, and thinking that I am really not good at cooking fish. When I went to a restaurant, the fish was really tender and smooth, and when I cooked it, it was generally pretty dry and not very tasty.

I read this post the other day, and thought, hm, I should really try that.

This is my Mahi Mahi
2 Mahi fillets
drizzle with olive oil

Bake at 200 for about 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lima Bean Soup

And the day wouldn't be complete without a delicious bowl of soup.

It's called "Lima Bean, Zucchini, and Spinach Soup" from a cookbook called Seriously Simple.

Some of you may be thinking, "Lima beans. Ew..."

But look at how fast I finished it.

It's tasty.

Lima Bean Soup
2 tbs olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
2 cups frozen lima beans
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tbs parsley
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs salt
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the leeks and saute for a few minutes. Add the squash and saute for a few more minutes. Add the lima beans, water, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft.

Add the spinach and cover for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted.

Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Use your fantastic immersion blender to puree.

***This is linked to Amy's Slightly Indulgent Tuesday***

Split Pea Puree with Rice

I said that I am eating off the "green" list. That doesn't really mean that all of my food has to be green.

But today that is what is happening.

This recipe is adapted from this site.

I'm going to give it a new name:

Split Pea Puree with Rice
2 cups dried green split peas
4 bay leaves
1 leek
1 cup rice
extra-virgin olive oil

Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the split peas and bay leaves. Bring it to a boil again and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 40 minutes until the peas are soft. When they are ready, there should be a little water left in the pan. Keep a small amount of water and add 2-3 tbs of olive oil, parsley and salt to taste. If the peas are soft enough, they will tall apart as you stir, or you can use an immersion blender to puree them.

While the peas are cooking, cook the rice.

For the leek, cut it into thick slices. Put them on an cookie sheet and coat them in oil and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees.

Serve a scoop of rice topped with peas and a few leeks.

Breakfast Smoothie

At work I am part of a leadership group. One of our projects was taking the StrengthsQuest. This test tells you your 5 strengths so that you can begin to play to your strengths. One of mine is "Deliberative" which means I think very carefully about what information to share.

On a food blog that doesn't really play out as a strength!

So here I am disclosing more.

This is breakfast. It's a smoothie.

My morning smoothie required some adjustments after I got the results of my food allergy test.

Here is the recipe for now:
1 cup rice milk (this is feeling really watery to me, so next week I am trying regular soy milk)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 banana
1 leaf kale
1 leaf romaine lettuce
2 handfuls spinach
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs wheatgrass powder
dash of cinnamon

According to my Runner's World magazine, this order that I have written the ingredients is the best order to put them in the blender. My blender is a little weak, so I load the food in and get it all ground up and then I add the ice. I also like my smoothies thick and milkshake-like, so I freeze the banana and then add a good amount of ice.

New Food

This week I got results back from an extremely extensive food allergy test. It tests 200 common foods and gives you four categories. For the next three months, I am only eating foods from the "green" category.

After I got my results, I came home and cleared out the pantry and fridge.

All the unopened non-perishables, I donated to the food pantry at work. I bagged up the perishable stuff, but it's hard for me to throw it away. Especially the unopened stuff.

I also sat down and made a big list of recipes, stuff I already make and new stuff that I have seen that fits the requirements.

Thursday was a big grocery shopping day. I was going to take pictures of my haul, but I was too tired after class. My grocery cart looks different than everyone else's. Mine is full of all kinds of produce... and nothing else.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Food Collage

Look at all I've been eating!

Funny story, I'm actually packing on the pounds these days. It's how it rolls sometimes. But I was a little worried about my pants fitting because I get ready for the day at the gym. So I was at the gym one day, and pulled on a pair of jeans.

As I was easing in, I thought, oh geez, these are a little tight today. That sucks.

And then I looked down and realized that the fly was zipped up.

On to the food.

In the gorgeous picture above:
Top row: Adzuki bean chili, Red lentil lemon soup, and under that olive tapenade
Third row: Minted carrot salad, Garbanzo and spinach

I've put links to my inspirations for these different meals. Those that I haven't highlighted are recipes from Meghan Telpner's 5 Days Vegan.

I'm still making adjustments and modifications, but all these things have tasted really good.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mashed Cauliflower

Most people would consider this a side dish. I thought it was really good on the side of my salad...

This isn't a real recipe, because you just want to adjust the seasonings based on what you like.

Look at that. It's a great fake-out for mashed potatoes.

Mashed Cauliflower
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
olive oil

Boil the cauliflower until it is fork tender.
Drain it.
Blend it, I used my immersion blender, which still left it a little chunky.
Add the spices to taste.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tempeh and Broccoli

One of the unusual things about my restrictive diet is the recommendation to eat more tofu. Since I basically never ate tofu before, any amount is "more." And it's also an adventure to try some different things.

I have read different recipes and articles and mostly tofu is stir-fried. I have also read about this stuff called tempeh. It is fermented soybeans and some contend that it is better for you than regular tofu. I decided to try it, and I like it because it is not as mushy as tofu is.

Tempeh and Broccoli
1 block of tempeh, cubed
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 tbs oil

Put a large frying pan on high heat. Get it really hot and pour in the oil. You want enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Add the tempeh, and cook until it starts browning and getting a little crispy around the edges.
Add the broccoli. You may need to add a little more oil. Cook the broccoli until it turns bright green and even gets some darkening.
Season with salt.

You could serve this over rice or on its own.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lentil Soup

I've been making some super easy recipes this week. And other than being easy, this soup doesn't need much introduction.

Lentil Soup
1 carrot, sliced
1 rib of celery, sliced
about 1/2 inch of leeks, sliced
1 cup brown lentils
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbs oil
2 bay leaves
4 cups water

Take all the ingredients and dump them in your crockpot. I cooked mine on high for about 3 and a half hours. You can do it for about 8 hours on low. When it is done, the lentils will be soft.

This is my favorite way to store things -- in reused glass jars. They don't leak!

This recipe is just enough to fill my little crockpot and yields 3 jars of soup -- which is 3 servings. It also freezes really well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

Since it's time for fall, I decided pumpkin muffins would be good. Now I know, I already have a pumpkin muffin recipe. But unfortunately that one is not working with my restrictive diet. So I just modified this zucchini muffin recipe slightly.

(Secretly, I think it's better with pumpkin).

As you saw in the last post, I bought a pie pumpkin and roasted and pureed it myself. I used that for this recipe. I can't find canned pumpkin in the stores yet.

Pumpkin Muffins
1 cup pureed pumpkin (this was my entire pie pumpkin)
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
2 tbs almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 3 tbs almond flour
3 tbs coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spiced squash

Somehow it is suddenly fall. I have been rejecting the whole back-to-school equals fall mentality. But it suddenly hit me this week that it is actually fall. Here are my indicators: Monday morning when I went to the gym it was 44 degrees. And when I went to the grocery story there were huge displays of all kinds of squash. The apples were on sale, and the peaches were pretty sad.

I bought a delicata squash and a small pumpkin (the kind they label a pie pumpkin.)

Here's how I cook my squash:
Step 1. Cut it in half lengthwise.
Step 2. Scoop out all of the seeds.
Step 3. Place flesh side down (or skin side up) in a 9x13 pyrex baking dish.
Step 4. Fill the dish with water until the water is up to the first knuckle of my index finger.
Step 5. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is tender.

When it is done it will look like this:

This is the pumpkin. I scooped it out of the shell (what do you call that really?) and dumped it in a bowl.

Then I pureed it with my immersion blender.

You can use the squash either before or after you puree it.

Spiced Delicata Squash
1 cooked delicata squash
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix the spices into the delicata squash. Serve warm or cooled.
I actually like this the best when the squash is kind of chunky. I just scooped the squash out of the shell and used a fork to mix in the spices.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Menu Plan and Squash

Hallelujah! The restrictive diet now includes 3 pieces of fruit per day. I'm in heaven. I've had peaches, pears, honeycrisp apples (my fav type), bananas, and an orange. Not all today though.

Menu Plan:
Roasted delicata squash mashed with cumin, curry powder, tumeric and sea salt
Broccoli and Tempeh
Mashed cauliflower
Peas and rice
Lentils (Probably in soup)
Pumpkin muffins -- unexpectedly so good!
Mahi mahi

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend's Worth of Dinners

Linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

I've been pretty impressed with myself this weekend. My grandparents were visiting, and after completely panicking about what to feed them, I think I have done pretty well. I managed to feed them well -- hopefully well enough that they didn't realize everything that was missing -- and stick to my diet and get my gut healing.

Dinner 1: Stir Fry
At first my plan was to do fried rice. But that didn't pan out because I didn't have time to cook the rice beforehand. This was actually fine. I stir fried a huge pan of vegetables, added shrimp, and had some good sushi rice.

Snow peas
All veggies were chopped and sauteed in a little canola oil. At the end of the cooking time I added a dash of gluten-free tamari.

Shrimp: pre-cooked, frozen shrimp. Thawed in cold running water (per package directions) and then tossed in with the veggies at the very end. Just to get a little warmer.

Sushi rice: cooked according to directions. What made this good was a hearty dash of rice vinegar after cooking.

Dinner 2: Pasta two ways
This time I tried the Deboles gluten-free multigrain spaghetti. I am NOT recommending this. I really liked the penne style and the taste is good. But somehow, in the process of cooking, the spaghetti-style broke into a million tiny pieces. Definitely not spaghetti.

Sauces: Parsley pesto and a tweaked tomato

Parsley Pesto
fill the bowl of the food processor at least half full of parsley. (I thought this was a fantastic use for my slightly wilted parsley).
1 clove garlic
2 handfuls of toasted pinenuts
1 tsp salt
olive oil
Just drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until everything blends and starts getting smooth.

Tweaked Tomato Sauce
I make good tomato sauce. I lived in Italy. I learned. However on my current diet, I can't have most of the things that you put in tomato sauce (I can't eat the tomatoes either). So when I planned this meal, I thought I had a jar of tomato sauce in my pantry. Turns out it is salsa.

Since I can't eat many of the "normal" things, like onions. I simply don't have them in my house any more. So here are the on-the-fly changes I made.

1 can diced tomatoes
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 rib of celery, sliced
1/4 leek, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
Sautee the carrot, celery and leek in the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and seasoning. Bring to a boil and then simmer.

This dinner was served with a large salad.

Dinner 3: Salmon
For Sunday dinner, I got a little fancier. I made Salmon with cucumber relish, green beans, and brown rice.

The salmon. Hmmm... now that I look back at that original recipe, I realize that I cut my cucumber much larger. Perhaps next time I will try it smaller.

Green beans
Wash and trim the green beans. Fill a large frying pan with a little water, just enough to coat the bottom. Bring the water to a boil and add the zest of a lemon. Add the beans and steam until bright green.
This time I didn't bother zesting the lemon. I just used my peeler to slice off pieces of the peel. I added those and a little juice.

All in all it was a good and tasty weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Zucchini Muffins

In the movie Get Smart, Steve Carell's character figures out that there is a problem with some Russian because he ordered a muffin at a cafe. The comment Carell makes is, "Do you know how many calories that is? Why would he risk it?"

Well that's just not how I feel about muffins.

Everyone in the blogosphere is writing about summer produce and talking about how they have heaps of zucchini. I'm not growing zucchini (and frankly my plants are a little "Charlie Brown"-ish), but I thought that zucchini muffins would taste great.

I want to give credit where credit is due, so this recipe came about because I baked the cinnamon bun muffins that Elana has posted on her site. I needed to change them so there was absolutely no sweetener. As I kept thinking, it came to me. Zucchini.

On that note, this is a warning. There is absolutely no sweetener in these muffins. They are not sweet, so it is not the taste most of us expect from zucchini bread. They are working for me though. And they will be great to take on the plane.

Zucchini Muffins
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
2 tbs almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tbs almond flour
2 tbs coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix the wet ingredients (including the zucchini) together. Add the dry ingredients. Mix well. The mixture should be slightly wet looking. Scoop into muffin tray.
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Yield 12 muffins

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Road Trip Snacks

I went on a road trip this weekend. I had to take a bunch of food with me, and I meant to take a picture of it. Unfortunately I forgot.

Usually road trip snacks look like this:

But of course I couldn't take anything like that. So here's my list:
Rice Snax crackers. These were actually pretty good.
Vegan "cheese." This was weird. And not at all cheese flavored.
Baby carrots
Celery sticks
Sliced cucumber sticks
Sliced zucchini sticks
Mixed nuts (I like the Archer Farms raw nuts blend. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios)
2 apples (Yay for being able to eat fruit!)
Almond butter (I had to explain to my friend that it is like peanut butter)
Hardboiled eggs
Rice salad
Bean salad

What makes this list so extensive is that I had to have food for breakfast and lunch when the rest of my group was having picnics. I knew they wouldn't provide anything that I could eat. So during the trip I ate the bean salad for lunch #1. I had an egg and apple for breakfast. Rice salad for lunch #2. And the rest just as we were driving.

Naturally this got a lot of attention. Sometimes that kind of attention gets annoying.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Breakfast, Crackers, and Flying Snacks

On my menu plan I had Millet and Cinnamon for breakfast. So first I just cooked the millet with cinnamon. That's gross. Here's the new recipe.

Whole grain breakfast
1/2 cup whole grain of choice (millet, rice, quinoa, whatever)
"milk" - rice, soy, coconut, almond, hemp (I am using Unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk. It didn't have anything added that I can't have. Usually I use Blue Diamond Unsweeted Almond Milk, but it's got stuff in it).
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
[dried fruit like raisins is an option here too if you can have that right now]

Cook the grain. Put a portion of the grain into your bowl or portable breakfast container. Pour milk over it until grain is covered. Add the seeds. Add the spices -- in a 2-1-1/2 ratio so that it is mostly cinnamon. Stir thoroughly.

This can be eaten with the grain warm or straight from the fridge. I cook a batch of the grain at night and then portion it out into individual serving sizes. Each night, I take one portion and add the rest of the stuff, so the grain only sits in liquid overnight.

I made Elana's cinnamon muffins without any sweetener of any kind. But that needs some tweaking -- good texture, no flavor -- so I'll get back to you with a new modification of that soon.

But in the success column, I made Elana's Rosemary Crackers and they turned out really well. I was able to make them by exactly following the recipe. My center could have been rolled a little thinner, but the thickness didn't hurt the taste, they just weren't crispy crackers.

Besides needing some snacks to get me through these days, I am getting a little concerned about my upcoming flight to Japan. It's a very long flight and I'm not sure what I will be able to eat.

Here's what I am packing so far:
Crackers -- these Rosemary Crackers, but I also found two brands of rice crackers at my local whole foods store that I can eat.
Packets of peanut and almond butter
Rice cakes
Carrot sticks -- big question mark. Will security let me through with carrot or celery sticks?

If you have some suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Menu Plan

Once step harder with my new diet. So before I despair, I am writing a menu plan for the next two weeks.

This weekend:
Breakfast: Millet with Cinnamon
Lunch: Salmon with Cucumber Relish (I changed the Mahi Mahi to Salmon)
Dinner: Salad (My friend made me homemade citrus vinegar, it's quite good as salad dressing)
Snack: Hummus and veggies, nuts, Elana's muffins

Next week:
Breakfast: Millet or Quinoa with Cinnamon, Eggs
Dinner: Salad
Snacks: Same, with Veggie Hummus, sprouts

Week of the 18th:
Breakfast: Same
Lunch: Pesto over rice or quinoa
Lunch: Fried Rice
Lunch: Salmon or other fish
Dinner: Salad
Snacks: Same, with Rosemary Crackers

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cooking with Elana's Pantry

I mentioned last week that I stumbled across Elana's Pantry and was set to try two recipes.

First a note: In her FAQ section, Elana strongly discourages substituting ingredients. She recommends a particular brand of almond flour and repeats that the results will not be the same if you don't use the same ingredients that she uses.

I can respect that. She worked hard to create recipes that work in a specific way.

But of course, that's not how I roll. So naturally I modified.

Both recipes were still surprisingly good.

My modification was to replace the agave nectar with applesauce in the muffin mixture. The muffins were really moist and lighter than I would have expected.

I took them on my road trip and made my friend eat one so I could get the opinion of someone not on a crazy diet. A few hours later she asked for another.

Recipe #2: Breakfast Bars

Once again in this recipe I replaced the agave nectar with applesauce. It gave good sweetness, however, the agave nectar would add some stickiness and binding to the bars. The applesauce doesn't, so my bars were very crumbly.

Instead of the raisins, I used a combo of dried figs and prunes, cut into small pieces. Simply because it's what I had in my pantry.

These were just crumbly and I discovered that all the seeds kind of bothered my poor sensitive system. So I froze most of the pan.

Fried Rice

I was inspired by this post over at Ginger Lemon Girl. I decided that fried rice is easy and can totally work with my new diet.

My Fried Rice
1-2 Eggs
Coconut oil
Olive oil

Fried rice is really flexible, so I just used the sad looking vegetables that were in my fridge.