Monthly Archive: May 2012

I did it again

After a less than amazing pasta performance by teese cheese, I decided to go back to the OG use.  Why mess with perfection?

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Pizza!

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Dough recipe here

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I was really in the mood for a kale salad on the side, but we didn’t have any kale.  I could have just used spinach, but I wasn’t feeling it.  Luckily I had these kale chips on hand. 

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These kale chips are so good.  They snap off like deliciously fresh, crispy baked greens, and the nutty tahini coating makes them melt in your mouth like buttah. 

I know kale chips are easy to make (I’ve done it a few times), but they are so much better when the professionals do it. 

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And snackLets does it oh-so-right. 

And they are local too (shout out to Studio City!?!). 

And as you can see they are vegan, raw, and FODMAPs friendly (no garlic!).

Note to self: get smoked paprika.

Aside from the few handfuls Kyle swiped, I ate the entire bag in one serving.  I couldn’t stop!  Yummmm…

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If you can find snacklets near you, try them, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Time and a half

Knowing my friends are frolicking in the sun while I’m begging patients to go on walks and administering suppositories…it’s tough.  It doesn’t matter HOW much you love your job, when the weekend arrives and others are not working and you are, it’s just a bummer.  Holiday weekends are especially difficult. 

My three day weekend was spent in the hospital.  Wah wah.  Ordinarily, I avoid 3-in-a-rows like I avoid C. diff, but knowing I was getting Memorial Day pay (time and a half) and the weekend differential made it sort-of okay.  After all my income has to support my eating habits [which are far from cheap].  My credit card statements are 99.9% grocery bills.  Clearly I have my priorities straight.

I packed food, as per usual, but for some reason I felt the need to “treat” myself to cafeteria food instead.  It’s my weekend indulgence.  I don’t even know why I’m bothering to feign shock about it.  I’m not deceived, you’re not deceived.  Let’s all just call it what it is: a lack of self control a reward for being at work when most of the nation is not. 

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None of these were eaten for breakfast.  But they were mighty fine snacks.

I wish I had a photo to show the hospital’s French Toast.  It’s thick and fluffy on the inside, toasted and crispy with egg on the outside, and only barely greasy.  I dunk each bite in maple syrup.  It’s a wonderful weekend tradition.  And I enjoyed two fat slices three mornings in a row.  Saturday morning.  Sunday morning.  And Monday morning.  There’s nothing coincidental or impulsive about that.  I’m no legal expert, but I’m certain in the court of law, they’d call it premeditated. 

Even as I packed those bowls of oats and bags of granola (above), in the back of my head, I knew all along I wasn’t going to eat them for breakfast.  Kinda defeats the purpose of working the holiday, but whatever.  Budgets suck. 

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Lunch highlights:

The only “recipe” worth sharing, though, is the mustard tempeh salad bowl.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 block tempeh (I used LightLife flax)
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 tbsp course ground Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp plain almond milk (optional*)
  • chopped parsley

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Directions:

Combine everything and mix and mash.  I left some tempeh chunks bigger and smashed some to create a varied texture.  *You may want to reduce or omit the almond milk if you’re going to eat it as a sandwich spread. 

Then I added 1 cup cooked (and chilled) quinoa and a fist of spinach and shook so the extra juices coated the quinoa and greens.

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Yeah.  That was pretty much the best thing I made this weekend.

My Monday lunch was so uninspired, I didn’t even bother photographing it.  Instead I walked to Whole Foods on my break.

To buy this.

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Sweet potato fries and vegan cheese pizza (with Daiya).  Talk about an unbalanced vegan meal!  In my defense, I ended up saving most of the fries for later and had carrots instead.  I do crave some crunch with my meals.

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But I definitely finished off all three cheesy (read: oily) slices of pizza.  And since it was pay-by-weight, I’m all too aware of the damage I did to my wallet.

I was pretty impressed by how well it held me over.  I ate at 1 pm and wasn’t hungry again until 7 pm.  I got off work and flew home (no traffic on holiday weekends) and immediately threw my leftover fries in the oven.

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They re-heated and crisped up while I showered.  And 15 minutes later…

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Fries and a scramble.

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Eggs with quinoa and spinach.  Ready in under five minutes.

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I had seconds and thirds of the fries until all 253.7 pounds of them were gone.

Local take-in

Even though we live blocks away from some of the finest veg-friendly establishments in LA, who can deny the fun in being 100% lazy. 

Vegging on the couch in PJs with dinner from Real Food Daily.  Yes please.

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On the left: Kyle’s RFD burger with the works.

On the right: my Salisbury seitan with mashed potatoes and gravy.

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Since it’s hard to tell what the burger looks like in the container, here’s a zoom of it (mid-grub).  Or you could see his order in this post.  He sure loves that burger.

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We each got Caesar salads as side dishes, as well as an entree sized Caesar salad to share.  Clearly we were in Caesar moods.

At first glance, I was a little bummed with my order.  It looked small compared to Kyle’s burger.  And kinda suspect in appearance. 

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The fact that the “golden gravy” came on the side, didn’t help sell the dish one bit.  And as much as I looove seitan, these wheat meat cutlets looked more like frozen TV dinner grub than the gourmet vegan fare I have come to expect from RFD.  Yes, I was craving hearty comfort food, but this was not what I had in mind.

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Luckily, the dish tasted better than it looked.  Geez Elise, judge a book by it’s cover much?

It was good, but I don’t think I’ll order it again.  The mashed potatoes were really dry and needed major help from the gravy.  By contrast, the sauce on the seitan was completely overwhelming.  My taste buds didn’t even stand a chance with the amount of salt involved.  I actually had to hold back on adding any gravy to the seitan because the sauce coating it was more than enough. 

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The salad was good, but not $9 good.  For romaine lettuce and dressing?  I want a mountain of blue corn croutons with that price tag. 

At least we had extra dressing left over.

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I used it a few days later to recreate the same(ish) salad.

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I added carrots and plain tofu to some on-it’s-death-bed lettuce.

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I just realized how much this photo looks like an Irish flag.  Too bad I didn’t think of making it on St. Patty’s Day.

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It was yummy but still missing something.  [Carbs]

Next time I think tossing in some quinoa would be beneficial. 

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Maybe I’m being overly picky, but I’m used to being wow-ed by restaurants.

If my amateur take on a dish is better than the chef’s creation, well, that’s a problem.  I enjoy the convenience aspect of ordering take-out, but I don’t like compromising satisfaction, so there’s a fine line in finding the balance.  Don’t get the wrong idea about RFD though – their brunch definitely wins the award for the best vegan breakfast in LA.  I guess some meals (particularly ones with dressings and/or sauces) aren’t meant for take-out. 

Photos of food

I’ll own it.  Since last weekend, I’ve been phoning it in here on HHH.

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Just plugging along as per usual – work work work with free time filled with potting plants and cheering on my husband.  And eating.

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I’ve been poking my head into the Food Revolution truck every day on my lunch break to see if Jamie Oliver is there…still no sighting though.  I really want to show my lunches off.  Or ask for a job.

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This was a salad with spinach, quinoa, & blackened tempeh.  So I think he’d be a fan.

The whole day of food looked like this:

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Pre-breakfast: Chia Ginger raw sprouted granola by Living Intentions 

It’s gluten and nut free and sweetened with coconut sugar and dates.  I found it to be a bit heavy on the pumpkin seeds (they have a very distinct taste that can be semi-overpowering), but I loved the crunchy clusters and easily could have snacked my way through the whole bag.  Our co-op has several Living Intentions products in the bulk bins so I can try their various products in whatever amount I want.  This is a blessing and a curse since it’s both incredibly convenient and incredibly expensive.  The cacao crunch is definitely on my radar.

Breakfast: peanut butter oatmeal

This was a very decadent oat creation.  I used plain Greek yogurt and unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of water and added almost the same amount of peanut butter as oats.  Then I topped it off with raisins and my last home-made marshmallow.  Once heated at work it turned into a delightfully rich batter that tasted like cookie dough. 

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Pre-lunch snack: fruit salad

Lunch: aforementioned salad plus yellow carrots

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Lunch dessert: candied ginger

Pre-dinner snack: salty roasted nuts

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Classic hippie dinner.  Quinoa, seitan, and carrots topped off with Bragg’s aminos.

I had seconds of this exact plate.  I always have seconds.  Always.  I’m starting to think I’m unable to stop after one plate and it has nothing to do with the portion.  Can you be addicted to the act of getting another serving?  I may have to start a trial (smaller vs. larger first helping) paying attention to how my appetite really plays in to it.

I had dessert too, which was a terribly wonderful cupcake from Sprinkles.

I say terribly wonderful because it tasted amazing, but it ruined my otherwise perfectly wheat free day.

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It was [bleepin] delicious. The red cross on the top is because it was a gift to the nurses.  Not a gift to my gut though.  At least I had the presence of mind to bring it home with me to eat when I’d have access to bathroom (and the next day off work).  Trust me, the punishment was noted. 

Stupid wheat.  I’m either an idiot or a glutton for pain.  Or both.  Stop it Elise!