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.