Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Menu Planning

The worst part about this whole diet is menu planning.  I feel like I'm having to come up with 4 or 5 new recipes each week.  It sucks!
That is all I have to say right now.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dinner tonight: Chicken, potatoes, and corn

Chicken drumsticks for dinner tonight, simply because hubby does not know the difference between drumsticks and legs.  We're at the grocery store and I ask him to go get me some chicken legs.  He throws drumsticks in the cart and I don't double-check, because then he'd accuse me of not trusting him.  Instead, I'll just prohibit him going to the grocery store with me from now on.  Take that!

The chicken was seasoned with this recipe from recipezaar.com

Copycat Lawry's Seasoned Salt

2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon celery salt - added because the comments said it made all the difference.  I don't know if it did, but it was good!
1.  Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
2.  Pour the blend into an empty spice bottle to store.

This comment is just to prove that I'm not fool proof either.  While at the store, I was buying the spices from the bulk section because I hate paying $5 for a bottle of spice when I only need a tsp or two.  My spice list was:  allspice, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder.  I mixed together the onion powder and garlic powder into one bag, so I only needed one (because why waste more plastic) and then decided to do the same thing with the allspice and the turmeric, not realizing that they were for different recipes.  So, my beef stew (recipe in a day or two) had a little turmeric in it, and my seasoned salt had a little allspice in it.  I didn't really taste a difference, but if you want to make it exactly like mine, add in a little allspice.

I heavily oiled and seasoned the chicken, with the skin on.  It baked in the oven for 90 minutes or so, at 375, until it wasn't pink.  My oven may not be working properly, so yours might not take as long.  
The potatoes are pretty easy.  I cut them into small pieces, with the skin on (because that's where all the nutrients are, right?) and boiled them for 15 minutes or so.  I drained most of the water, and smashed them with a potato masher.  Then, I mixed in hemp milk until they looked creamy and smashed them a bit more.  No butter substitute needed, but be generous with the salt.

The corn was frozen, from my corn shucking days this summer.  I heated it on the stove in a bit of water until hot.

Ostrich Egg

MySpace Codes

What do I want back...

My list again, just to depress myself:


In thinking about all these products, I think the one I can not live without is egg.  Eggs and lamb are also the reasons I will never, ever be vegan (although I'm rather fond of buffalo, too).  How do you live without eggs?  It's hard for me to wake up in the morning and not cook a fried egg to throw on top of my sourdough pancakes.  And holidays without deviled eggs just aren't holidays.

I know there are millions of people out there not eating eggs every day.  I just don't want to be one of them.

I'm crossing my fingers that I can either tolerate an egg or so every few days, or that I can tolerate a funky egg like duck or ostrich.  Mmmm, ostrich eggs.

Product Reviews: Soy-Free Vegan Ice Cream

This weekend I stopped by Whole Paycheck to pick up some soy free GF Miso paste.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'll let you know how it is when I do.  While I was there, I also bought some of this:

MySpace Codes

and some of this:

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I was thrilled with the So Delicious, until I noticed today that it contains soy. I don't think I even looked, because who would make a coconut ice cream and put soy in it? I was some what peeved about it until I went to their website and noticed that not all of their coconut ice cream has soy in it. They have a pdf that tells you what is in what here. As soon as I can get back to Whole Paycheck, I'll have to grab one of the ones that doesn't have soy or almond.

The Coconut Bliss, Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge, did not live up to it's hype. There was more coconut flavor than chocolate flavor and a distinct coconut aftertaste. It's still good enough that I'll eat it, but it isn't as good as the soy brands I used to buy. Hopefully other flavors aren't as coconutty.

And, the fail in today's post goes to me - for failing to read labels. I've got to get better about that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Non-Dairy Chocolate Pudding

Thank you Vegan Chef for this recipe inspiration.  I needed pudding in a pinch, and this worked great:


Non-Dairy Chocolate Pudding

2 cups vegan milk - I used homemade sunflower seed milk (1 part seeds to 4 parts water.  Blend for a long time then strain.  Slight aftertaste, but the chocolate covers it up).
1/4 cup unbleached cane sugar - I used 1/4 cup of maples syrup.  The doc says to cut down on refined sugar, to 4 tsp a day.  Not going to happen, but I can at least make an effort
3 T. cocoa powder or carob powder - used dutch cocoa - this makes it extra rich, but it is processed with chemicals. Trade-off I guess.
3 T. cornstarch
2 t. vanilla
Chocolate shavings - used Dagoba's Conacado bar - vegan and soy free.  Hold bar (or section of bar) over an empty bowl.  Use a vegetable peeler to remove thin layers of chocolate until bar becomes a stub.  Eat stub!

In a pan, place the soy milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and cornstarch, and whisk well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil (no higher than medium), while stirring constantly, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the pudding to a glass bowl, small individual glass bowls, or to small individual airtight containers. Allow the pudding to chill several hours before serving. Top pudding with chocolate shavings before serving.

Serves 4 

No pictures, sorry.  It was so good, it vanished.

Update 1/1/08 - When I made this today I used cashew milk (which is an excellent cream substitute) and honey for the maple syrup, and added cinnamon and chili powder to taste.  I also increased the corn starch to 3 TBSP, which I updated the original recipe to reflect.  This made it much thicker; more like real pudding.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Vegan Soyfree margarine

So it appears that no one on the planet has yet managed to create a truly soy-free vegan margarine.  It looks like I'll be without buttery flavor for a while.  This makes me sad.  If you happen to know of a brand that does make a soy-free vegan margarine (no lecithin), please let me know.


French Bread Pizza

I thought I'd throw this one out there for all those normal eaters.  Someday, I hope to be able to recreate this using allergen free ingredients.  Not happening anytime soon, though.

The first time I made these, the bread was a little soggy from the sauce.  I remedied that problem by toasting the bread prior to topping, for a few minutes in toaster oven.  

French Bread Pizza - serves 4

1 baguette of high quality french bread - not the .99 stuff from the grocery store, but the real stuff from your local bakery.
Tomato sauce - I used a pint of home canned sauce, but any leftover spaghetti sauce would work
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced - these were made with block mozzarella.  That's the only thing I regret about this recipe.  Use the fresh stuff instead.  Buy from your local Farmers Market or from the refrigerated case of an upscale grocer.
Toppings - we used sun-dried tomato chicken sausage from PCC, and black olives.  Use whatever floats your boat.

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Slice baguette in half and then down the center.  You should have 4 pieces now.  If you're like me, you can cut off the pointy ends and munch on those pieces while you cook.  Toast slices in toaster oven on the medium setting (doesn't need to be golden brown, just crispy) or throw in the oven on a cookie sheet until crispy and slightly browned.

After removing from oven, place slices on a heavy duty cookie sheet with sides (in case sauce spills.  You don't want to be scraping that off your oven).  Cover with 2-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce each.  Add toppings, then add cheese (This is just how I did it.  You can do whatever you want).
Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Turn oven off, and turn on the broiler.  Turn on oven light and watch closely.  You want the cheese to start puffing and turn brown, but don't let it burn.  The bread might turn slightly black in spots.  This is okay.  After cheese is brown and crusty, remove from oven.  Let cool for a minute or two (because boiling cheese does gnarly things to the roof of your mouth).  While pizza is cooling, heat up a cup or so of the tomato sauce for dipping.  Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

So awesome!  I miss these already.

Intro to me

I'm sitting here, eating rice crisps, and thinking how they taste nothing like Triscuits.  Eventually, I may forget what Triscuits taste like and then I'll think rice crisps are the best.  Right now, I want Triscuits.
I've been throwing around the idea of creating a food blog for a while, but I haven't simply because I'm the world's best procrastinator.  Seriously!  Just ask the hubby.  What finally got me started was my most recent visit to my Naturopath.  I'd had a Celiacs test done (runs in the family) and a food allergy test.  I was expecting to have to give up wheat, rye, and barley.  I was okay with that.  I wasn't happy about it, but I was willing to do that because I was sick of feeling like shit all the time.
On Friday, I went to her office to get the results.  The first thing she tells me is the Celiacs test came back negative.  That, and my cholesterol levels were the good news.  The bad news was the new list of foods I have to avoid, potentially forever, due to my gut's inability to digest them:

Cow Dairy - I might also be lactose intolerant which would eliminate all dairy
Gluten (wheat, barley, and rye)
Peanuts - this one is borderline.  I might be alright.

The whole walk home, I was thinking, " Pineapple.  WTF!  Seriously, who can't have pineapple!"

Over the last four days, I've been thinking of all the foods I can't ever eat again (many of which are still in my fridge).  It's depressing!  They really should give you Prozac before they hand over these results.  I want to burst into tears every time I open up the fridge, or the cupboard, or think about my favorite restaurants.  What good is living, if one can't indulge in crispy garlic chicken (ie crack chicken) once in a while.

So, I started this blog for two reasons.  One, I'm hoping for some kind of therapeutic relief.  I have two weeks until my next visit with my therapist and these are going to be a long two weeks (damn you Christmas Vacation!)
Also, another vice of mine is disorganization.  I manage to put on a good show at work, but at home I don't even try.  I'm constantly losing recipes, or edits to my recipes.  Hopefully posting everything online will help keep me from going nuts.
I really don't care if anyone ever reads this.  It might be better that way.  I'm not planning on focusing on the potential reader, or even attempting to always be coherent when I post.  We'll just have to see what happens.