Archive for ‘Dinner’

April 26, 2013

Polenta with Portabellas and Asparagus and a salad

I love a meal filled with complex flavors and textures. But sometimes a simple meal just hits the spot. Last night I made Jim and I a simple dish of polenta with vegetables. We both love polenta, and granted, usually when we eat it, Jim’s step dad makes it and fills it with mozzarella and covers it in marinara and it’s to die for! But it’s not the healthiest way to eat it, especially since we’re not really doing cheese anymore.

This simple recipe uses fresh ingredients and is still packed with flavor. It may have been enhanced by adding some marinara, and I’ll probably give that a try next time.

asparagus polenta2

Polenta with Portabellas and Asparagus

1 cup polenta

1 portabella mushroom cap, sliced

1 bunch of asparagus, cut into short spears

1 tbsp oil (I used truffle oil, but you could use olive or coconut or whatever you wish)

1-2 tbsps Bragg’s liquid aminos

Salt, pepper, garlic, to taste

Cook polenta according to directions on the package. It takes about 30 minutes and constant attention, so plan accordingly. Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in the oil. Sprinkle with spices and liquid aminos. Heap veggies over polenta and serve with a small salad.

Simple, right? You can easily add a protein or some Parmesan cheese to the top of this or it’s pretty delicious just the way it is.

asparagus polenta3

And I promised a salad.

This salad is simple, let delicious and accompanied the polenta nicely. It’s light and perfect for summer.

Steph’s Spinach Salad

1 large handful of spinach

8-10 strawberries, sliced

1 large handful of walnuts, chopped

1 large avocado, cut into small cubes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp orange muscat champagne vinegar (From Trader Joes…you can use any vinegar, though. This one is just my fave!)

salt & pepper, to taste

Toss spinach with strawberries, walnuts and avocado. In a glass measuring cup whisk olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. Dress salad.

spinach salad1

It was really a delicious and refreshing dinner. It kind of made me excited for summer, which I never am. Summer heat and I don’t get along at all. But this year I’m actually a little excited about it.

I love summer produce. We have the boat this year, and we plan on taking it out a lot. We also plan on taking Katie to the lake to see what those webbed paws of hers can do!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday!

P.S. I lied. I actually made this for dinner two nights ago. Eeeeeep! Don’t hate me.
April 25, 2013

Mr and Meatless’ Thai Noodles and a little update

I love Thai food. Jim does not. I mean he’ll eat it every once in a while, but we don’t go out for it nearly as much as I’d like to. So when I decided to make a Thai-inspired dish for dinner last night, I was a bit apprehensive. I needn’t have worried, though, because Jim loved it. And I think you will too.

thai noodles1

This really is the simplest dish to make. Which is a good thing because Jim and I got home late last night. And honestly, I’m super proud of myself because in the past, after an hour and a half yoga class followed by grocery shopping and returning home after 8 p.m., I would have abandoned my dinner plans and picked something up while we were out instead of cooking. We would have spent more money and inevitably put crap into our bodies that we didn’t want there.

I must be making progress. This new lifestyle Jim and I have been living must be working. That alone is proof of it.

Anyway, I promised you a recipe and taunted you with a photo, so here we go! The update can wait.

Mr and Meatless’ Thai Noodles

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (you can use whatever oil you want, I just like the sesame flavor for this dish)

1 tbsp red curry paste (more if you want…or less. But don’t worry, it’s not that spicy)

1 heaping tbsp peanut butter

A few squirts of Sriracha sauce

1/2 can coconut milk (I used full-fat for a creamier texture, you could probably use lite too if you wanted)

1 1/2 cups veggie broth

As many veggies as you can stand, cut into spearish shapes (I used carrots, zucchini, little mushroom guys, broccoli and spring onion)

Handful of rice noodles (again, use as much or as little as you want)

Water for boiling

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Add noodles and leave them while you do the rest of your preparations.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add red curry paste. Mix it all around and let them mingle for a moment. Add your firmer veggies (carrots, onions and broccoli for me). Let them saute for a few minutes. Add more oil if you need to.  Add the rest of the veggies and saute for about a minute. Add veggie broth. Cover and let the steam cook your veggies a little bit more, maybe 2 minutes. Remove lid. Add coconut milk. Let the milk warm, about a minute. Stir in the peanut butter and Sriracha. If you like it a little thinner, add more  broth.

Drain the noodles and divide them between your bowls. Spoon vegetables and sauce over noodles. Enjoy!

 

thai noodles2

*Note: This recipe is very versatile, and you’re not going to mess it up by changing things, adding things, etc. Jim likes his extra spicy, so he added a bunch more Sriracha. If I’d had some cilantro, I probably would have put some on top to garnish. You could add shrimp or chicken if you feel it lacking in protein. I actually sprinkled a little bit of salt into mine. You could add soy sauce. It’s not terribly Thai, but then again, I don’t think salt is either. I don’t claim to be any kind of an ethnic cook. That’s why I said this recipe is Thai-inspired.

We both thoroughly enjoyed this meal. There was some sauce leftover, so we’re excited about using it with some brown rice and veggies on nosh night this weekend.

A Little Update

As of April 18th, Jim and I have been juicing, eating mostly vegan, avoiding caffeine, working out weeks we don’t juice, getting enough sleep, I’ve started doing yoga, and overall putting our health before anything and everything else. Mostly. Hey! We’re not perfect! And honestly in those moments of imperfection, I’ve paid dearly. For the pizza and alcohol I consumed last weekend, my tummy paid all Saturday night and most of Sunday. For the hash brown casserole we ate all day the Saturday before, I paid dearly. And when I finish this lovely soy latte my amazing little brother brought me at work (and forgot to get decaf) I’ll be paying dearly this afternoon with jitters, a racing mind and a need to run nine miles. My body is losing it’s ability to handle having crap inside of it. I’m healing!

But mostly, I feel amazing.

I have energy. And without a daily morning latte!

I have a clear mind. I have control over my mind.

I have motivation. To workout. To eat well. To write. To work on my business. To do crafts and hobbies I lost the will to do long ago.

I have a positive attitude. Even about this job which drives me mad but is necessary for, well, every thing.

I have confidence. I KNOW I can succeed. At yoga. At photography. At getting my novel published (you know, once it’s finished).  At losing weight. At being a good wife. Maybe even someday a good mother.

I’ve lost 12 lbs.

I’m happy. Content. Looking forward to the rest of my life. Looking forward to seeing my husband tonight, to going fishing with him on Sunday. To my lovely friend Stephanie’s bridal shower this weekend. And her wedding in June!

I’ve never felt so good in my life.

And that’s your little update for today.

And while I’m feeling so damn positive, what’s your favorite thing about life right now? Anything. Tiny or huge. Share with me!

March 15, 2013

Food Truckin!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m lovin’ the food truck craze that seems to be going around. Gone are the days where you can only find a hot dog or a burrito in a food truck. Now they come in all shapes, sizes and varieties of gourmet cuisine.

food trucks8

Every second Thursday of the month, Sacramento Mobile Food Events (SacToMoFo for short) comes to downtown Roseville and sets up shop on Vernon Street (Roseville’s main drag) where people flock in for a delicious culinary treat. There are about thirty different trucks that make the rounds with SacToMoFo, and about seven of them were on Vernon last night. Jim and I and my good friend, Reanna, took to the streets in search of the perfect food truck dinner. Jim and I had never been to the event before, but they also go to Reanna’s place of employment sometimes, so she was a seasoned pro. We had our choice from wood-fired pizza, tacos, southern BBQ, hot dogs, burgers and, of course the one we had to pick: gourmet grilled cheese.

food trucks6

Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen is famous for their “Hemi” sandwich. I did not get the hemi because, along with some delicious items like mac and cheese, grilled onions and cheddar, it also includes pulled pork. You can probably guess that Jim did order this one.

Reanna ordering all expertly

Reanna ordering all expertly

I ordered the “Prius.” Of course the veggie sandwich would be named after the “greenest” car known to man. It had green apples, smoked almonds, brie cheese and honey between two slices of wheat bread. And, of course, it was grilled.

I enjoyed it. I was half tempted to order the “Hemi” sans pulled pork, but I figured I’d give the offered veggie option a try first. It did sound good, after all.  Along with the sandwiches we got an order of tater tots. Yes, tater tots. Jim and I are, well, kind of tot crazed right now, so when we saw they had garlic rosemary tater tots, we had to try them. We had already made our way through half of them before I thought to take a photo. They were delicious, too, and I’m still tasting garlic this morning.

Garlic Rosemary tots

Garlic Rosemary tots..they look a little lacking in toppings in the photo, but trust me, there was PLENTY of garlicy goodness.

Lastly, and probably my favorite part of the entire meal, we got the s’moreski. It’s like a grilled s’mores sandwich. It was fantastic. Marshmallow fluff, nutella and graham crackers grilled between two slices of bread. I could have eaten three all by myself.

mmmm.....s'moreski

mmmm…..s’moreski…

Don't you hate it when you have someone take a cell phone photo and it comes out all blurry?

Evil s’moreski eaters!

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience…with the exception of the hoards of mosquitos that came out for the event. The food was delish, the weather was perfect, the atmosphere was great. I can’t wait for next month!

December 31, 2012

Carrot and fennel soup

As I was going through my refrigerator last week searching for things to make for dinner, I came upon a realization: I had a ton of carrots! And I had just gotten my Farm Fresh to You box which had even more carrots…and fennel. So the creation of this soup was pretty much inevitable.

carrot fennel soup1

Carrot and Fennel Soup

A bunch of carrots (I had three large and about twelve smaller ones)

1 large onion, chopped

2 small fennel bulbs, chopped

Garlic, chopped (I used about six cloves, but measure on your own taste. Garlic is kind of personal)

3-4 tbsp olive oil

Sprinkling of sugar (maybe 2 tbsp)

5 cups vegetable broth

Thyme (Again, to taste. I just sort of sprinkled a small pile in the pan)

Salt and pepper

1 cup heavy cream

Heat olive oil at the bottom of a large soup pot. Add carrots, fennel, onion, and sugar to the pan and caramelize the vegetables. After about five minutes add the garlic. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and let cook, stirring frequently for another five minutes or until veggies start to soften. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let it boil away for about 30-45 minutes or until all veggies are soft. Transfer in small batches to a blender and whip until it’s all a big pile of orange mush (or use your fancy immersion blender…you know, the one I got rid of because I didn’t think I needed it anymore?). Return it to the pot and gently bring it back to an edible temp. Mix in heavy cream (you can skip this step if you want. It’s not necessary but it sure makes it taste more substantial). Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and a personal-sized baguette (courtesy of Trader Joes…as in I bought it there, not as in they donated it to my cause). If you have the energy, which I did not, make up a nice salad to go with it. Or grilled cheese when you serve the leftovers for lunch the next day.

carrot fennel soup2

I hope everyone is having a wonderful last day of 2012. My day would be better if I wasn’t working, but so far I have no complaints.

Does anyone have fun New Year’s plans tonight?

October 29, 2012

Crazy weekend #4: Disneyland

Last weekend we was our final crazy weekend in October. And it sure was a doozy!

Friday night when Jim got off work, he and my mom and I piled into my car with our formal wear and a giant sack of healthy snacks and hit the road. Sevenish hours later, we pulled up to our hotel and couldn’t fall into bed quick enough (with one exception: we stayed at the Doubletree and they have those yummy chocolate chip cookies? Yea, Mom and I had to eat ours before we slept).

The next morning we forwent arriving at the park when it opened in favor of sleeping a few more hours, which I ended up quite grateful for. More on that later.

We got to the park just after 10 a.m. and spent a few hours with BJ and Ashley before they went back to their hotel for naps (they DID arrive at the park when it opened).

You can tell my coffee hasn’t hit me quite yet in this photo! I did love all the pumpkin decorations they had up for fall though. You can see Minnie Mouse in the background.

After lunch, Mom and Jim and I took off on our own and hit up our favorite rides: Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion (which had insanely long lines due to its new holiday makeover), and we got fast passes for Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Unfortunately, when we went to use our fast passes BOTH rides had just broken down. What the heck kind of bad luck is that? Not to mention, the rides I listed above are pretty much the only ones we got to ride. We didn’t even get to California Adventure because there were SO many people. I haven’t been to Disneyland in the past few years when it’s been this packed.
It really rather put a damper on our day, and made me both thankful and regretful that we slept those extra hours. If we hadn’t, I’d have been cranky as a hungry bear, but we’d also have had more time to go on rides in the morning. Oh, well. It is what it is.

I discovered one cool thing though: there’s a boat with my name in Pirates of the Caribbean!

Cool, huh? No, we didn’t get to ride in it. Our day wasn’t that lucky.

After we waited for about half an hour for Space Mountain to get back up and running, we gave up and went back to the hotel to change for dinner.  BJ and Ashley picked us up a little early and we headed back to the park for Rome Valley Vineyards’ annual winemaker’s dinner at Club 33.

We rode the train from the main gate back to New Orleans Square

We took our annual photo by the door. (Don’t you love how the humidity got to my hair? I look kind of creepy)

Last year’s photo

I believe this was our second…third?..course. Lobster Bisque and Asparagus Baklava. So delicious!

Dessert!!! So yummy! And so sad I only got two bites. 😦

BJ and Ashley. The girl peeking out from behind Ashley is Rachel, the manager (who was very cool, by the way). The guy is Matt. He was our server for my bachelorette party last year. And me and Mommy.

Bachelorette party: Matt’s hiding in the back, third head from the right. He was quite a trooper that night! 🙂

So back to last weekend. Dinner was amazing. So many courses of delicious food, such good wine and a great group of people. Despite some hiccups during the day, the evening turned out really well. Ashley turned 21 a couple of days before, so we celebrated her birthday as well as the new wine from the vineyard. I wish someone had gotten a photo of it, but BJ actually presented me with a really nice framed copy of the new label which I helped design as well as helping name the wine.

We left the park well after closing. It’s one of the coolest things. Picture this: it’s dark. It’s quiet. There are no people anywhere, except those who are cleaning and getting everything ready for the next day. Main Street is deserted. It’s one of the most bizarre and fascinating things I’ve ever seen.

Once back to the hotel, we took another annual photo:

The four of us girls.

Last year’s photo.

And one with Jim, because he’s pretty important too. 🙂

The next morning we got up, met BJ and Ashley and some of their other friends for breakfast and then started our seven hour drive home.

The weekend was short and crazy and fun and exhausting and it made me soooo glad to stay home and veg (and pack!!) this past weekend.  Now we’ve got more craziness ahead as we get to the end of our escrow period just in time for the holiday madness to begin. I guess I’d better start working on controlling my stress because the end is nowhere in sight!

Have a great Monday!!!

September 25, 2012

End of Summer Stuffed Squash

I didn’t have a garden this year. Our 983 square foot apartment’s tiny little deck had room for little more than a few tomato plants, which we gathered precisely ZERO tomatoes from. I think it was because there wasn’t enough sun on that side of the building. I grew the crap out of some tomatoes on the deck of my old apartment…which happened to face the opposite direction. Anywhoo, just because I didn’t have a garden of my own doesn’t mean I didn’t have plenty of fresh homegrown vegetables from the garden’s of various other people in my life. And as of last night I had 3 different kinds of squash, a couple of sweet peppers, a small tomato, an onion and several garlic bulbs left. Not wanting any of it to go to waste, I decided to throw it all together in one delicious meal.

Please excuse the crap photo. I just didn’t have the energy to get the camera out last night. But you get the gist anyway.

End of Summer Stuffed Squash

Serves 2

1 largish squash (it doesn’t really matter what kind. I’m not even sure what kind mine was. It just came in a lovely bag from one of our employees)

1 small onion, chopped small

1 small tomato, chopped small

1-2 other small squashes, chopped small (I had two other small squashes. That’s why I added them. You can adjust based on what you’ve got)

1 small sweet pepper, you guessed it, chopped small

1 clove of garlic, chopped small

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup quinoa (cooked in two cups water, per the instructions on the box)

1 heaping spoon of greek yogurt (or sour cream if you wish)

1 handfulish parmesan or asiago cheese (or a mix, like I used), shredded

1 slice of bread (I used gluten free bread), broken up into pieces

1 sliver of butter

Seasonings to taste

Cooking Spray

Spray a cookie sheet with your cooking spray and set it aside. While you’re cooking your quinoa, broil your bread chunks until they start to darken and become “toasty.” Put bread chunks into your food processor (or your Ninja blender, if you weren’t so lucky as to get your food processor from your wedding registry) and make bread crumbs out of them (feel free to just use bread crumbs if you want. I like this way better because they’re a little coarser..and you know, all around tastier).

Cut your large zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the innards. Chop the innards a bit and add them to your other chopped squashes and your chopped peppers and garlic.

Put your olive oil in your frying pan and when it gets warm, add your onions. When they start to soften, add the other veggies (DO NOT add the tomatoes till the end of they’ll be gross and mushy) and whatever spices you’re going to use (I used Jim’s step dad’s magic spice mix, which I’m not exactly sure of all the contents, but I know salt, garlic, rosemary, parsley, I think?? That’s all I got for ya. Sorry. You can wing it). When your veggies start looking opaquish, add the cooked quinoa and let it fry away for a few mins. Meanwhile, melt the butter and mix it up with your bread crumbs. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan at the last minute, just to warm them up a bit.

Mix in the cheese. Then mix in the Greek yogurt. Place your squash halves onto your prepared cookie sheet and fill them as full as you can with the quinoa/veggie/cheese/yogurt mix. Top them with your buttered breadcrumbs and bake for about 20 minutes at 400ish. Your crumbs will be browned and your squash will be softish (try stabbing it with a fork).

Sooooo good.

I used the veggies I had in my fridge, and since I don’t eat meat, I didn’t add any. I’d imagine sausage would be good in this if you’re into that kind of thing. I also might try carrots, Jim suggested mashed potato instead of quinoa. You can probably stuff pretty much anything into a squash. Use your imagination…and whatever you’ve got on hand.

Speaking of the end of summer, is anyone else beyond excited for fall? I’m SOOO ready to bust out my sweaters and scarves and boots and drink steamy drinks and eat pumpkin everything. We even already put up our cute little fall door sign.

Isn’t he cute and welcoming?

What is your favorite part of fall? Are you as excited as I am for it’s true arrival?

June 1, 2012

weddings and allergies and acupuncture, oh my!

My life has been in kind of a whirl-wind lately. And as I type that, I know I’m searching for excuses as to why I haven’t posted in over a week. All I can tell you is that I’ve opened wordpress a handful of times, stared at the blank screen for hours (between doing other things at work, of course) before giving up and closing the window, vowing to try again tomorrow.

It probably hasn’t helped that I haven’t stopped moving in over three weeks. I haven’t had a weekend where I could just sit back and relax and recharge for the next week. Sure, we spent last weekend at my family’s house in Shelter Cove, but between packing and cooking and walking around at the tide pools and the 11 hours of driving there and back, it’s a fun weekend, but not necessarily a relaxed one.

I’m not saying that the past several weeks haven’t been good either. They, for the most part, have been very good. Last Wednesday I photographed my first wedding. (I’m gonna sprinkle some photos in between my text)

It was stressful at times, but it went really well. The bride and groom and their families were amazing. So friendly, so easy to be around. No one was cranky or weddingzilla-y at all.

I had my first round of acupuncture last week, and another one this week. It’s a big thing for me because I hate needles. Hate them. And I realized that the reason I hate them is that nervy feeling you get when they go in. Well, that’s what acupuncture is all about. So I more or less dislike it. I know it’s going to help me feel better, and I’m going to keep going, but I don’t enjoy it. I’m hoping I’ll grow to though. My mom has been doing it for a while, and she enjoys it. Maybe I just need to get over the initial newness of it. I’ll keep ya posted.

And since I don’t have any acupuncture photos to share, I’ll post ya another wedding photo.

I am also kind of still getting used to eating things without wheat and corn. In and of itself, the change isn’t hard. I’ve been eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, straight up. I’ve found some crackers I like and I’ve been packing string cheese and bard boiled eggs to take to work. With the hypoglycemia, I’ve pretty much eliminated the concept of “lunch” and snack on what I pack throughout the day.

What’s hard is making dinner. I’m still experiencing a lot of fatigue, and dinner has always been my hardest part of the day. I can’t tell you how many pizzas we’ve ordered in the past simply because I was too tired to cook (and Jim was coming home at 8-9 pm every night).  I can’t do that anymore. I have to think it through, I have to have ingredients on hand. I need to find some time to make up a bunch of tomato-basil pancakes to throw in the freezer so I can just pull them out and heat them up when I feel like I can’t cook.

Last night after the acupuncture rendered me more or less useless, I lied on my bed wondering what the heck I was going to eat for dinner, straining my brain, like so many other nights recently, to come up with something easy based on what I had in the fridge and cabinets.

I would up throwing together a little “Breakfast for dinner” of sorts. I threw some potatoes and butternut squash into a pan with some olive oil and spices, then added zucchini, onion and peppers once they were almost done. I mixed in some vinaigrette dressing and some dijon mustard and topped it with two poached eggs, 1/4 of avocado and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese..oh and salt and pepper. I thought it turned out pretty tasty for a meal thrown together with only half of my brain engaged.

(this photo looks kind of funny with all the wedding ones. lol)

With any luck, I’ll get a little relaxation out of this weekend, although I doubt it’ll be much. It’s funny because when we’ve had a long string of boring, sit-at-home style weekends, I wish like crazy we had something to do, somewhere to be. But now that I have just that…all I want is to sit at home! Jim and I haven’t had a Sunday afternoon nosh on the couch with a Nancy Drew game or reruns of Storage Wars in months.

This weekend I have to test out gluten-free strawberry cake for the cupcakes I’m making for Tucker’s 1st birthday party next weekend. Then on Sunday Jim plays basketball and we have an event to go to at the vineyard. I feel like I may be able to sneak a few hours of relaxation in on Saturday. Although I do need to go grocery shopping and plan meals for next week, so I don’t end up in a frenzy like I did this week.

I’m hoping that my weeks start slowing down a little. I miss spending time with my blog (and with other people’s blogs! I’ve had no time for reading either!) And sleeping. I miss that too…..

Happy weekend, everyone!

May 16, 2012

Tomato Basil Pancakes with Avocado and Balsamic Drizzle

So far this whole corn-free, wheat-free thing hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Sure, its tough to get rid of the foods in my kitchen that I bought because I wanted and can no longer eat. And yes, memories of that french bread from the weekend are still fresh in my mind. But overall, it’s a pain in the butt, but I’m not missing the corn and wheat that much.

Granted, ask me again in a few weeks and I may be singing a different tune.

In the meantime, I’m doing okay, and trying to find interesting recipes that can accommodate my newly discovered dietary restrictions.

I was pointed in the direction of Clean Eating Chelsey, who has similar restrictions. On her blog I found a bunch of interesting recipes and decided to give her tomato basil pancakes a whirl…with my own tweaks, of course.

Tomato Basil Pancakes with Avocado and Balsamic Drizzle

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free flour

2 tbsp flax seed meal

seasoning of your choice (I used Jim’s step dad’s, of course. Recommended: salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary)

1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)

handful of basil leaves, chopped

1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped small and dried (I just patted the pile with a paper towel)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 avocado, sliced

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add almond milk. Stir until combined. Add basil and tomatoes. Boil balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and set aside (it will thicken as it cools). Heat a griddle pan (or non-stick frying pan) with a little bit of olive oil. Pour batter onto griddle. Cook each side until its golden brown. Stack pancakes, lay 1/2 sliced avocado on top and drizzle with balsamic. Makes two servings (approx 6 pancakes, as shown above).

I actually flipped these over again to brown them a little more. Just fyi.

This was the first time I’d used the gluten-free flour, even though I purchased it back at Christmas time to take a shot at making some gluten-free cookies for a few friends with celiac disease. I was surprised at how good these tasted. Even my husband enjoyed them. Of course, if you aren’t sensitive to wheat or gluten, I’d probably recommend whole wheat flour. That’s what I would have used a week ago.

After dinner, we went out and played some tennis, and I took Monday’s photo (I know, I know. I’m supposed to take one every day, but I forgot my camera and my phone and I wanted this one for the 14th photo).

Day 14: Grass

I know it’s not grass. It’s a dandelion, but I look at it creeping up through a crack in the tennis courts every day when we play and it somehow inspires me…photographically speaking. I couldn’t get the exact shot I was hoping for with the phone camera, but I wasn’t going to bring my nice camera out when we were going to be haphazardly whacking balls all over the place. Not a smart move.

Day 15: Love

This is a double love because I love my little nephew and I love strawberries! Oh, and my mom in the background. I guess it’s a triple love!

Today’s photo is “what you’re reading,” and you’ll have to wait for that one because my books are at home!

May 15, 2012

Corn and wheat free, day four

As I mentioned yesterday, I just found out I’m allergic to wheat and corn. I want to clarify that I do not have celiac disease. I am not allergic to gluten but to wheat specifically. And, to add a little extra fun, I’m hypoglycemic.

So for the past two days, I’ve been making sure I pack a good amount of snacks to get me through 8 hours at work. I used to just ignore my body telling me it was time for me to eat. I would argue with it, bargain with it to hold off until it was “time” to eat. But I can’t do that anymore. It makes sense now why my body was acting the way it was. It needed food. Granted, now it feels like all I’m doing all day is eating. But I’ve decided that if I can pack a reasonable amount of food for the day, as long as I don’t eat more than what I pack, I should be good.

This is what was in my snack pack today (and yesterday, pretty much). Strawberries, carrots (I ate about half of them before I took the photo), rice crackers (I also ate a few of), tofu (Its teriyaki flavored and may have trace amounts of wheat, but I threw away the package and I didn’t want to waste the rest). Also in there is a cappuccino flavored Lara bar and a couple of Dove chocolate hearts.

Yesterday this combination, along with some of this salad, got me through the day quite nicely.

It’s the Mediterranean Crunch salad from Whole Foods, and ti’s got all sorts of deliciousness in it including chickpeas, red peppers, zucchini, kale, kalamata olives, onions, lemon juice and tomato among other things. It’s not something I would have normally picked up, but since it was “clean,” I figured I’d give it a whirl.

Last night before Jim and I went out to play tennis, we ate frozen pizzas for dinner. This was one section of Whole Foods I almost broke down in the other night because all the pizzas seemed to have either wheat or corn in them. Finally I found two that were “clean” and I tried this one last night:

As an added bonus, this pizza was vegan. Although I fixed that by adding some goat cheese to the top for the last five minutes of cooking time.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. My mom has dealt with food allergies, including wheat, for a long time, and I’ll tell you, some of the stuff she used to have to eat, I wouldn’t touch with a 35 foot pole. But this pizza? It surprised me. I think I actually enjoyed the rice crust more than I enjoy wheat crust. It was crispy and had good texture as well as flavor. The sauce was really good and the veggies, although not quite as pretty as the ones on the front of the box, were pleasant enough.

Eventually I plan on making a lot of my own food. Pizza crust and breads and such, but I also count on some of my energy coming back as well. My philosophy, as of now, is to get by. To eat what I can eat and stress as little as possible so I continue to stick with it instead of getting frustrated and quitting, and giving my life back up to exhaustion. I feel like I may finally be able to live a little, to feel like I’m experiencing it and not just going through the motions, and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew (ha ha) and get overwhelmed at the start.

So even though they’re not the greatest for you, I figure I’ll eat a lot of frozen pizzas…and prepared salads from Whole Foods and bento lunch boxes full of fruits, veggies and rice crackers. I just have to get through each day. And when I feel better, and not so much like just plopping on the couch when I get home, I’ll start to experiment with my own corn and wheat-free creations. So stay tuned!

Do you have any food allergies? Or sensitivities? Have you ever tried rice crust pizza?

April 18, 2012

Adventures in Spaghetti Squash

I think the last time I had spaghetti squash was….well, I can’t remember it, so it’s been a long time!

But I keep hearing people talk about using it as a substitute for spaghetti, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.

I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The squash doesn’t really have a lot of flavor of it’s own, so it picked up the flavor of the sauce and the capers I added to the top quite nicely. I paired it with some roasted vegetables for a simple, yet delicious meal.

With a sufficiently full belly, the couch and American Idol (and some leftover Easter candy) are calling my name! Go Hollie!

Goodnight, Friends!