Monthly Archive: April 2012

A three-fer

IMG_1334

Not meatballs.

I should have made a bigger batch of these coconut macaroon things because Kyle ate half of them before I even tried one.

IMG_1335 

Work food.  Banana.  Carrots.  Macaroons.

It would probably blow your mind to know how many carrots we go through in our little hippie household.  I eat half a pound a day, minimum.  If our fridge were bigger it would be packed with orange.  As it is, we have one crisper drawer solely devoted to those two pound bags (plural).

Almond milk is another thing we seem to restock at a insane rate – three or four cartons a week!  I’m telling you guys, we are keeping Blue Diamond in business.  I’m curious about the new Silk almond milk with 35 calories (per serving).  Anyone tried it?  I loved the older Silk almond milk, but the nutritional stats on Almond Breeze’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk are better (0 g sugar vs 15 g sugar).

IMG_1333 

A break from my breakfast routine!  Not oats!!  I didn’t stray too far – I swapped brown rice for oats, which I mashed with greek yogurt and vanilla almond milk.  Then I added (home-made) no-grain-ola and fresh strawberries.

IMG_1331

Yum!

IMG_1332

It was really really good.  Held me over until lunch. 

IMG_1330

Spinach, brown rice, General Tso’s soy chicken (from Whole Foods). 

This is the meal I enjoyed in the gorgeous sunshine.

Unpictured dessert: the best chocolate ever.  Stay tuned.

IMG_1374 

I got home and threw together my go-to combo of seitan, quinoa, and carrots. 

IMG_1377

I swore I was going to stop taking pictures of this combo since it is something I eat at least once a week (which makes for highly repetitive blog material), but I seem to have an influx of new readers lately (hi!), so I felt like showing a classic hippie bowl.

IMG_1389

For dessert I had a few slices of warm banana bread.

IMG_1390 

There’s no need to share a recipe here since I made it while I was on the phone with my sister (in Australia) and didn’t measure anything.  Not only was I hardly paying attention to the baking process, but I forgot to use an egg/“egg” substitute.  Accordingly, it turned out pretty dense.  Kinda like banana pancakes.

IMG_1392 

But whatever, it tasted good. 

I had some on the way to work the next morning too.

IMG_1391 

If you’re thinking this pre-packed collection looks a little sparse it’s because I have a confession.

I have become addicted to the french toast from our hospital cafeteria.  I’m sure it’s made with the most nutrient void white bread, but it’s so fluffy and yummy.  For a variety of reasons, I never buy anything from the cafeteria.  First off, they don’t really have much that interests me.  Second, it’s more economical to pack my own stuff.  Third, running downstairs to get food is almost always impossible with the work load and patient care.  And finally, it’s a gamble eating things that I didn’t make since I can’t account for the exact ingredients or cross-contamination (which is a real gamble given my GI sensitivities).

All that considered, I bought french toast both days this weekend.  I think my co-workers almost fainted in shock.  I dunked each bite in real maple syrup and it was delicious. 

IMG_1383 

For lunch I had the same thing as the previous day but with quinoa instead of brown rice.

IMG_1384

And because my appetite was still thriving, I had my packed breakfast parfait as an afternoon snack.  It had berries, greek yogurt, & home-made no-grain-ola.

IMG_1387

I snacked on Cocomo Joe CocomoCorn on the way home from work.  Oh my gosh this stuff is good.  Really really good.  I had no idea how they were going to replicate the flavors of caramel corn with healthy ingredients, but they definitely did.

IMG_1388

It’s sweetened with coconut nectar and coconut sugar so it’s both vegan and FODMAPs friendly. 

IMG_1327

Now I’m reallllly excited to try the rest of the goodies they sent me :)

All of them are vegan, gluten free, organic, and paleo (I’m not following a paleo diet, but I know tons of people are – and as an aside, I’ve noticed many overlaps in the paleo diet and the low FODMAPs diet).  Many of the Cocomo Joe products are raw too. 

I wasn’t that hungry when I got home from work, so I made a quick scramble with eggs, seitan, and spinach.

IMG_1393 

I had a piece of Rudi’s GF bread on the side. 

IMG_1361 

Taste-wise it’s really good (reminds me of a brioche-like egg bread).  However it tends to crumble more than gluten breads, which means it’s not great for mopping up leftover stir-fry seitan juice or runny egg yolks. 

IMG_1402 

When it comes to sandwiches, it’s better to toast the bread first.  I’ve found that helps it hold together better.

IMG_1362 

As far as gluten free breads go, it replicates the fluffy sandwich bread quality of wheat bread pretty well.  It’s a far cry from the dense Food For Life millet bread (or my brick-like home-made attempts).

IMG_1363 

And it’s soy free and gluten free.  I bet it would be excellent for french toast…just sayin ;)

Instead of dessert I had hot cocoa (Chatfield’s cocoa + NuNatural stevia + almond milk + water) with one massive home-made marshmallow

IMG_1398 

Since I was extremely exhausted and Kyle was out at bars with friends, I went to bed almost immediately after eating.  My shift was so insane, I just wanted to collapse in my pillow.  So I did. 

Then I woke up and started the entire routine again.

IMG_1399

I brought three pieces of banana bread to snack on over the day. 

And a AB&J sammie.  I brought it as a back-up knowing full well I was really going to buy french toast again (if I could find the time to get to the caf).

IMG_1400 IMG_1315

Un-processed through and through.  From the home-made almond butter to my mom’s home-made plum jam to the home-made wheat bread.

IMG_1405

But I definitely got the cafeteria french toast again.  I’m considering it my weekend treat.  I have to have something to look forward to when I’m at the hospital and everyone else Kyle is off. 

IMG_1407 

I’m happy to report, my Sunday shift was MUCH better than my Saturday shift.  Generally speaking, the pace of weekend shifts is slower.  But that was not the case on Saturday.  Not one bit.  Which is why I didn’t know what I was going to come back to on Sunday.  But even after completely chaotic shifts (playing that never-ending catch up game), at least by the next day you know the patients and are already familiar with their plans of care, their meds, their tests, etc.  So I hit the ground running.  As a result, the day went much more smoothly.  What can I say, I like routine just as much as the next person.

IMG_1395

Check out my bomb lunch. 

Kyle drove over to the hospital to meet up with me on my break.  It was awesome.  He knows my lunch “spot” in the village so he was there waiting for me. 

IMG_1397 

This tofu dish was another leftover Whole Foods dish.  I added it to a massive portion of brown rice (which you can’t see from this photo).  The sauce was sticky savory perfection and coated the rice so nicely.  I ate all the rice but mostly just picked out the tofu.

Kyle finished off the leftover onions and peppers that I didn’t eat.

We walked to TJ’s to grab some necessities before I headed back to work.

IMG_1415 

This is what I mean by necessities.  I almost didn’t want to share this for fear that my curse would result.  I’m going to go back to Trader Joe’s and buy the entire stock just in case. 

I came home to BBQ leftovers. 

IMG_1409 IMG_1410

Zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Pus tofurky Italian sausage.  And brown rice in the cooker.  Can you believe this is the fare chosen by three boys?  What a time-saver not having to make a separate meal for myself (I hope this trend means plant based eats are gaining popularity among the carnivorous). 

IMG_1411 IMG_1414

I started with a moderate serving, but once I discovered how spicy the vegan sausage was I added another two scoops of rice and zucchini to help my taste buds out. 

IMG_1413 

I had another chunk of the dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt for dessert.  Plus more marshmallow-ed hot cocoa.

IMG_1416 IMG_1417 

Since I know I’ll get some questions about it, no the chocolate is not vegan (the caramel has small amounts of dairy), but eaten in moderation it’s not enough to kill me.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, being low FODMAPs means I’m able to enjoy certain amounts of things I previously completely avoided (because I didn’t understand the pattern of why/when they would cause GI symptoms).  Now that I know how to eat to keep the FODMAPs load on my gut low over the course of the day, it’s allowed me to savor these small things (like pieces of chocolate). 

Get Outside

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I always always make a point to leave the hospital on my lunch break.

Me + grassy area + yummy food = mid-shift mental vacation

On weekend shifts especially, the village is slow and things feel mellow (regardless of the chaos that’s going down on the unit), so it’s nice to sit in the sun and Vitamin D it up.

Do you eat at your office?  Work cafeteria?  Desk?  Or do you break away from the job for meals?

Brocc in the crock

Here’s how dinner turned out. 

IMG_0987 

And here’s how it came to be.

IMG_0971

Crock-pot Teriyaki Tofu & Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 block extra firm/firm tofu (organic, non GMO please!)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce (or 1 tbsp maple syrup + 2 tbsp tamari)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot (or cornstarch) (split into 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp portions)
  • optional: garlic and onion

IMG_0972 IMG_0973 IMG_0974 IMG_0975 IMG_0976 IMG_0977 

Directions:

Add oil, teriyaki sauce, and sesame seeds to tupperware.  Cube drained and pressed tofu.  Add tofu to tupperware, place the top on and shake so all the ‘fu is coated.  Then add 1 tbsp of arrowroot, cover and shake again. 

Then add chopped broccoli and remaining 1 tbsp of arrowroot and shake again.

Repeat with chopped red bell pepper.

Basically you shake rattle ‘n roll between each ingredient’s addition to the tupperware.

I kept it in the fridge to marinate overnight (this is seriously the most massive tupperware we own).  If you don’t have a humongous tub, you could keep it the a freezer sized ziplock or the crock-pot itself, but I do recommend letting it marinate a while. 

While I was at work I gave Kyle idiot-proof instructions on what to do with it.

photo 1 

Pour in slow cooker and set on low for 5 hours.

IMG_0982 

Not the most photogenic of meals, but who really cares about that (besides food bloggers)?

IMG_0984 IMG_0988

Served over a bed of brown rice, it was the perfect thing to come home to (for the record “perfect” means anything I don’t have to cook).

Hippie notes:

  • I recommend making extra sauce on the side to pour over the rice.  Note I said on the side as opposed to simply doubling the teriyaki in the recipe.  You don’t want to end up with teriyaki soup. 
  • Ginger, onion, and garlic would be delicious additions.  You can leave the onion in chunks, but mince the garlic and ginger and blend it into the sauce.
  • You can use less sesame oil if you want, but I was in the mood for greasy (but still healthy) Asian food when I was making this.  If you’re craving a more authentic Asian recipe, the crock-pot is definitely not the way to go.  Get out the frying pan.
  • Tweaks for FODMAPs people: eat broccoli in moderation, use tamari and maple syrup instead of teriyaki, don’t add garlic or onion.

Day 14: The long trip home

Previous South American vacation posts can be found here:

My concerns for travel to South America

A Buenos Apartment

Veg Friendly Dining in Buenos Aires

Day 1: Dining at Quimbombo

Day 2: Late late meals

Day 3: Picnic

Day 4: Bio

Day 5: Mimosas & Mexican

Day trip to Colonia, Uruguay

Day 6: Parrilla time

Day 7: Bye Bye Buenos

Day 8: En Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Day 9 – 13: The Hotel L’Auberge

Day 10: Day trip to town

IMG_4684

And now, for the final installment…

We had 3 alarms set for Tuesday morning.  My iPhone, Kyle’s iPad, and the hotel’s wake up service.  After sleeping til noon every day, getting up at 5 am was as foreign to me as the gym.

Fortunately, everything went smooth and a few hours later we landed in Buenos Aires.

Let the layover begin.

IMG_4687

We actually had over 10 hours to kill in BsAs…it was just the way our flights worked out.  Not ideal, but I was actually really excited to see Argentina again.

We killed the first few hours in Starbucks…caffeinating, playing words with friends and enjoying the free wi-fi.

We tried to store our luggage at the nearby Hilton, but when they realized we were guests, they weren’t keen on the favor.

So we sat in the ‘bucks with our suitcases…

IMG_4688 IMG_4685

I got a soy misto and an organic quinoa bar.

After killing major time, we both were so bored we decided to walk along Puerto Madero and find a place for lunch.

I wasn’t really hungry yet, but it was better than listening to Kyle whine the third rotation of the Christmas cd.

IMG_4695

We wound up at i Fresh Market, which had a nice outside area perfect for people watching and a long drawn out meal.

IMG_4693 IMG_4692

To start, agua con gas and an array of bread options.

IMG_4694

The menu had 4 salads I wanted and 4 sandwiches Kyle wanted.  So we agreed to divide and conquer.  What an idiotic idea.  I wasn’t even hungry and Kyle had already mowed through the bread basket by the time the waiter took our order.  In other words, disaster zone straight ahead.

IMG_4696

Grilled brie and mushroom sandwich.

IMG_4697

With fried potatoes.

IMG_4698

Kyle was all over this one…meanwhile the first salad arrived in all it’s glory.

IMG_4699

This had mixed greens, walnuts, dried cherries, and salmon with a light vinaigrette.

IMG_4700

It exceeded my expectations in both size and deliciousness [twss].  But in all seriousness, the bowl was super grande and I was so sad that I had ordered another dish because I wanted to polish off every last bite.

Speaking of salad numero dos.

IMG_4702

This one had grilled mushrooms and caramelized onions on a bed of greens (we got the cheese on the side).

IMG_4701 IMG_4703

The onions and shrooms were hot off the pan with mega oil, which somehow worked wonderfully with the fresh lettuce.  And once again, the portion was way larger than I was prepared for.

I did my best with both salads, trying not to play favorites and still get my money’s worth without setting myself up for the most miserable flight home ever.

I used the leftover brie and bread to make Kyle some cheese sammies for the flight, so we managed not to waste too much of the food.  I actually had a random empty ziplock bag on hand, believe it or not.

IMG_4704

I went inside to take some photos of the market goods, but got scolded for my photography after a few shots.

IMG_4709

I don’t know what they have against me taking pics of their baked goods, but whatever.

IMG_4710

Alfajor de dulce de leche.

IMG_4705

Pastries for days.

IMG_4706

Above, the front lines.  Below, the reserves.

IMG_4708

Yum.

Finally we headed to the airport.  We left way early to avoid Buenos Aires’ rush hour traffic, so once we were in the terminal, we still had another few hours.

Tick tock tick tock.

I used all our remaining dinero to buy chocolates and alfajores…which explains why I STILL have candy from Argentina.

I don’t have any pictures from the red-eye flight (or any of the rest of the day for that matter), but guess what I got at our next layover!?!

IMG_0679

Nothing says welcome back to the states quite like Starbucks’ oatmeal with the works.

And that’s it!  Hope you’ve enjoyed my vacation recaps.  I realize they may not be as interesting as recipes or reviews of products you actually have access to on a daily basis, but I think it’s still fun to see how food options differ internationally.  My dietary choices weren’t always completely in line with the ones I make at home, but sometimes you have to go with the flow and embrace the hiccups along the way for what they are – once in a lifetime opportunities.  My kitchen will always be waiting for me when I want it, but traveling abroad is a unique gift.

The End.

Stretching soup

I figured a break from DC posts was due. 

IMG_0947 

This beautiful meal can be made effortlessly – and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already!

Who doesn’t have a few cans of soup lying around?  Or (brown) rice. 

IMG_0930 IMG_0943 

It doesn’t really matter what soup you use.  Anything bean or lentil based is perfect.  But that’s not to say a chunky vegetable and tomato soup wouldn’t work wonderfully as well. 

I’m partial to Dr. McDougall’s because they are vegan (many are gluten free too) and I like supporting his efforts to help Americans get their health on track through diet.  He is a real role model. 

IMG_0944

Soups are one of the best ways to season a grain – using the broth rather than water as the liquid I cook it in.  It’s a cheater technique really, but it’s kinda awesome because each time you can use a different soup or a different grain. 

Goodbye soup, hello hearty stuffing. 

This combo was 1 cup brown rice, 18 ounces (2 cups) black bean soup, 1 cup veg broth (water will work too).  Cooked in the crock-pot (lined in olive oil/non-stick spray) for 5 hours on low, then scooped into corn tortillas with avocado on top.

IMG_0948 

It’s crazy simple.  And you end up with a taco (or burrito) stuffing that tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen marinating beans and seasoning rice. 

The leftovers were eaten solo, so tortillas aren’t even necessary.  It’s a very versatile shortcut. 

Other winning combos:

Dr. McDougall’s lentil soup + Lundberg Farms GF couscous (see this post)

Amy’s Thai Coconut soup + quinoa

TJ’s split pea soup + brown rice

Amy’s Indian Golden Lentil Dal + quinoa

Dr. McDougall’s roasted red pepper soup (or chunky tomato) + millet

Basically I love Amy’s, Dr. McDougall’s, & Trader Joe’s products.  What are your favorite soups?