Can you eat… butter?

8 Nov

Oh man, so the longer it goes without being exposed to dairy products (although I did get some cross-contamination at a restaurant two weeks ago and felt bad for 24 hours or so), the more I start to feel like I’m crazy and I’m probably not actually allergic.  But then I remember that I was tested for the allergy so it is actually a real thing, and I remember how sick I was for years not knowing what was wrong with me.

I suppose this has to be a normal feeling.  I was talking to my mom the other night about Thanksgiving foods.  She wanted to try some new recipes and I am all for that.  But as she was reading through recipes she said to me, “so, can you eat butter?”  And I had to explain that no, I can’t eat butter, but there are butter alternatives that we could use.  She went back to looking and then said, “Well, can you eat ricotta cheese?”  “No… no ricotta cheese either.”

And I wasn’t mad, definitely not mad.  I was more sheepish.  I felt bad, like my allergy was an inconvenience or that I’m just a big drama queen making things up so people pay attention to me and my dairy allergy.

But then I remember all the bad times I had and how much better I feel now.  And I know I’m not crazy and not making it up.  Do other people with food allergies feel this way?

In other news, my mom is so cute.  On election night, I was about ready to go to bed at 11pm, as Paul and I were sure it was a done deal and that we weren’t going to wake up in a nightmare scenario where Mitt Romney was elected president, I got a Facebook notification from my mom.  Here’s how the chat went:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, my mom is awesome and adorable.

Okay, on I go to dinner.  Maybe I’ll even take a picture of it!

Back to Running!

5 Nov

So, after my surgery in September, my goal was to start running before the first snow fell here in New Hampshire.  I’m now on my third week back to running, no snow, and I’m feeling even better than I did before my surgery!

Since I was not able to do a lot of aerobic activity, and couldn’t (still can’t – but soon) lift weights, I relied on a lot of body weight strength exercises for my legs.

I feel like they’ve done me a lot of good, so I’m keeping them up!  Once I’m able to do work with my arms again, I will add in a day of arm strength a week too.

Eventually I’d like to join a gym again and get myself TOTALLY BUFF.

It’s made me so happy to be back to running.  It’s something I never thought I would enjoy, but I do, and I’m happy for it.

I don’t like being out in the cold much, but since I hate treadmills more (I have weird balance which makes me fall off of them.  A lot.), I’m trying to get myself a nice base of colder weather running clothes.

Here’s a nod to my favorites so far:

EMS Thunderhead Rain Jacket- This thing is great.  It has armpit vents and a hood with a bit of a brim on it, and it’s very lightweight.  I considered just running in the rain with a trash bag on me, but I think this was worth the money.  Went back and bought one for Paul for his birthday month (yes, birthdays last a whole month around here).

EMS WindBlast Vest - Also great!  I wore this on Sunday for a quick 2 mile run.  It was about 45F out with 12mph winds.  I put this vest on over my shirt and my core was so very comfortably warm.  So happy!  I probably could have worn capris instead of shorts, but my knees weren’t cold for long.  Also a birthday month gift for Paul, what a spoiled.

C9 by Champion 1/4 Zip Jacket – I WANT TO WEAR THIS ALL THE TIME.  I actually haven’t run in this yet, as I just bought it last night, but I tried it on and it is everything I want in a light running jacket.  Vented armpits, a vented back, a pocket that zips (!!!!!), and thumbholes.  $39.99 is a little pricey, but I’ve seen jackets like this at the fancy running stores for double the price or more.  Love love love.

Next up, I plan on getting some cold weather tights that I can wear 30F or below.  I have a pair of Saucony’s picked out, and I think they’ll do the trick.  But if anyone has any suggestions, send them my way!

Halloween!

1 Nov

Hooray! Yesterday was Halloween! And today I am sad because I have to wait a whole year for it to happen again.

We started our celebrations early by heading to Rochester last weekend to visit friends and have fun. It was great! We got to hang out with friends, sleep in (!!!!!!), go to a museum, eat sorbet/frozen yogurt with ENDLESS TOPPINGS, and drink lots of cider with whiskey.

Before we left on our journey, I made a tasty dinner:

 

This is yet another meal from Appetite for Reduction, Unfried Fried Rice and Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu.  I’ve made the tofu before, and it is one of my favorite things.  The rice was new.  It came out perfect!  I cooked the rice earlier in the day so it had some time to cool down before I unfried it, and it was wonderful.  To bulk it up a little, I added some steamed carrots and butternut squash cubes.  The butternut squash was a random thing and I wasn’t sure how it would taste.  It worked, though!  It gave a little bit of sweet, and the added sriracha added heat.  So good.

We were back in New Hampshire for real Halloween, and I celebrated during the day by doing a Zombies, Run! mission on my lunch break.  I had sore legs from weight training the day before, but I managed to evade the zombies anyway.

Paul and I both had crummy days at work, so I wasn’t sure we wanted to do anything for Halloween night.  But we managed to put our grumps away for a while, and headed out to Portsmouth.  It was our first time there, but I had heard that they know how to do Halloween right.  And they do!  There was a Halloween parade going on, but we missed most of it.  No worries, though, we had other plans.

We headed for a quick bite to eat at The Friendly Toast, a diner-style restaurant that my friend Colleen had raved about.  They have a decent selection of vegan-friendly foods, good beers available, and the most wonderful, kitschy decor.  It wasn’t very crowded, thanks to people being too busy cavorting in the streets, so our food came quickly.  We both had the Vegan Valhalla – a burrito filled with brown rice, portobello mushrooms, and tofu.  I had mine with home fries, which I was so glad to hear were not cooked using butter!  Yay!  Paul had sweet potato fries, and they were fantastic.

It was also nice that they had soy milk for the coffee.  Yeah, it’s such a small thing.  But Concord seems to not know that soy milk or any non-dairy milk drink is a thing.

Anyway, our main plan for the night was to go see Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the Portsmouth Music Hall Loft.  One of my favorite movies, and one Paul had never seen before.  The crowd was small and full of friendly people, and they had special cocktails available for the night (you can even bring them right into the theater – holy crap I love this place!)

We both had a drink called the Massacre:

 

It was made of vodka, tequila, and ginger ale.  Whaaaat?  Tequila and ginger ale?  I know ginger ale (or beer) goes well with a lot of liquors, but I’d never tried it with tequila.  And well, it worked.  Now, to make them at home.

We had a lot of fun at the movie, people were really into it and I left feeling happier than I have in a while.  Thanks, Portsmouth!

More apples!

24 Oct

So, we’re making another batch of applesauce tonight.  To mix with the Winesapp apples we picked up in Rhode Island, I headed to our local orchard (Apple Hill Orchard, to be exact – they are awesome!) to pick up some others.

I had just been there once before in the summer to pick blueberries, so I was not aware of the wonders I was about to see.

Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures.

I’ll let the Google Chat message that I sent to Paul when I got back describe my excitement:
me:  oh man, i got 1/2 bushell of honeycrisps for sauce (it was only $13!!!) and then i filled up a small bag with a mix of all of these fancy apple varieties i’ve never heard of!
i’m eating one and it tastes like an apple pear
:OOOOOOOO
i left the big bag in my car, maybe you can get it when you get in

The “apple pear” apple was a Hudson’s Golden Gem.  Woah.  I am having an apple party.  All alone, right now.

Anyway, that’s all.  I don’t really have much for you right now, other than to let you know that I am moving my blog to a less poop-centric name!  Stay tuned!

Life Gave Me Apples

22 Oct

Actually, an orchard gave me apples.  Well, actually Paul gave an orchard some money in exchange for apples.  When life just starts handing me apples, well, that will be a standout day.

Last year we made enough applesauce to last us almost a year, even with giving some to family members.  This year, family demand is up and New York State apple production was down.  So we’re going to have to do this in batches.

Batch one: about 15 pounds of apples

Yield: About 4 quarts of unsweetened, chunky, cinnamon applesauce

Canning is one of my favorite things to do.  It’s fun, I’m good at it, and I like having cupboards full of foods that I’ve canned myself.  And applesauce is one of our favorites; we’ll eat it plain by the spoonful, warmed with rice whip on top,  and swirled into oatmeal (my favorite).

This is the recipe I follow, and is by no means a tutorial on canning.  If you want to learn how to can, I suggest picking up a Ball canning book and reading some Cornell Cooperative Extension materials.  Worked for me!

Chunky Unsweetened Applesauce

makes 4 quarts

  • 12 – 15 lbs. apples
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 – 6 tsp. cinnamon

1) Prepare your canning jars according to your canning book/other materials.

2) Peel, core, and quarter your apples.  I make this easier by using a hand crank apple peeler, and a handheld apple corer.  You could probably get one piece of machinery to do both operations at once, but I like my method.

 

3) Once all of your apples are prepared, place them in a large saucepan and add enough water to just cover the bottom of the pot.  Cook over medium-high heat, bringing to a boil.  Once boiling, continue cooking until the apples have softened.  Some apples will soften faster than others.  It probably wont take more than 30 minutes.  Stir while the apples are cooking, don’t let them scorch or stick!

4) Blend half of the apple mixture so that it’s velvety smooth.  Mash the other half of the apples so that they’re chunky.  Mix the blended apples back with the mashed ones.

5) Add the lemon juice and cinnamon, and return to a boil.  Let cook for five or so minutes.

6) Ladle the applesauce into prepared canning jars, and process according to what your canning book says (for the quart jars, I did ten minutes at full boil, then let them sit in an uncovered pot with the heat turned off for five minutes before removing from the canner).

7) Keep covered and away from drafts for 24 hours, then check to make sure the seals have set.  If they haven’t transfer to the fridge and eat soon!  This won’t be hard, but I’ve never had a jar not seal.

 

So tasty!

I ate a bowlful when I came in from my afternoon run today.  This was a momentous run.  It was my first one back since I had my arm surgery (I was out for six weeks!), and my run today took me over the 200 mile mark since recovering from my last surgery!  I was pretty amazed that I put in nearly 200 miles between June and September (half marathon training is an amazing thing).

This run was much easier than after my last surgery.  My arms didn’t even hurt afterwards, which was nice!  They feel a little puffy and swollen, but it’s not bad.  My lungs though, they will need adjusting to breathing hard in this crisp fall air!

Eating Other Blogs

18 Oct

I made the most fantastic dinner last night.  But I didn’t come up with the idea myself.  Actually, dinner goodness was thanks to two great blogs: The Vegan Crew and A,B,C, Vegan.

Usually when I see a recipe online, I start thinking about ways to make it different, or better, or how to remove animal products to make it vegan.  But this was perfect – Mushroom Alfredo Sauce with Chik’n and Mushrooms.  I didn’t change a thing, other than using a product other than Beyond Meat because I can’t get that in the backwoods of New Hampshire.  I also threw a little crushed red pepper on top because I like my sweet with spicy.

 

Paul said it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever made.  I agreed!

I want to put this pumpkin alfredo on more things.  I want to eat cauliflower rice more often (our cauliflower is usually mashed).  I want to eat chik’n and mushrooms with spinach.

Thank goodness there are leftovers!

Make this!

Squash, Apples, Wine, Cows

15 Oct

Those are all things that I like a great deal.  Needless to say, I am a very happy girl about now.

This past weekend, Paul and I visited my parents in upstate New York.  We had a very relaxing and fun time with them, and even got a day of sunshine to enjoy things outdoors!

We ventured out on Saturday to find some apples.  Not many orchards are doing pick your own apples this year, due to the low yields.  That was okay though, because my arms aren’t completely healed and I’d be stuck with the low hangers anyway.  So we stopped at a local orchard and purchased about 20 lbs. of apples.  You see, Paul and I make fantastic homemade unsweetened applesauce.  Time to get canning!

My mother wanted to stop at a local bakery, but that ended up being closed for a family wedding.  However, we found two wonderful things as we turned away from the abandoned bakery: so many cows, and a sign pointing us towards a winery.

The winery is called Johnston’s Winery.  We followed painted signs pointing us to a private residence in the middle of nowhere (we were already in the middle of nowhere, this took us a bit more in).  None of us had much hope, but a very nice gentleman showed us into his brewing room and showroom.  He had a number of fruit and grape wines, and I have to say they were some of the best New York wines I’ve had.  Now, I’ve never really been a fan of New York wines to begin with.  Some of them aspire to be too much like Boone’s Farm.  Anyway, we were really surprised, especially with his Chardonnay.  It was delicious and fruity and nothing like Chardonnay wines usually are (I’ve come to decide they usually taste like fermented bath water).  This guy knows his stuff.  He even let us check out his brewing set up!  It was a thing of dreams, really.  We left with a mixed case, which I can’t wait to dig into.  If you’re ever in the Galway/Charlton area of New York, you should check it out.

We stopped on the way back to say hello to the cows.  I sure do love cows.  Now sadly, we were separated by an electric fence that the cows would not get within ten feet of (can’t blame them), so we were just able to trade some moos back and forth.  I have a whole slew of pictures of cows looking at me funny.  But this one was my favorite.  Her attention could not be taken from the grass.  Chew chew chew.

 

Before we left for my parents’ house, I had some squash to cook.  Every fall, I get so excited when all the variety of squashes come out and it’s just mountain of gourds and they all look beautiful and delicious.  One squash I’ve never tried is the weird dinosaur looking one.  Hubbard squash.

Since Hubbards are HUGE, we jumped on the chance to buy just a piece of one.  The whole ones can be a bit intimidating

 

Squash usually does well in soup, so I did some digging around to find some ideas.  I settled on a pinto bean and mixed squash soup.  So thick and beany and squashy!

Pinto Bean and Mixed Squash Soup

adapted from Cooking Light; makes 6 large servings

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cups winter squash, chopped 1/2″ (I used Hubbard and Butternut)
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (low or no sodium optional)
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. dry roasted pumpkin seeds

1) Prepare beans: place beans in a pot and cover with water so that beans are below 2″ of water.  Let sit for 8 hours.  After beans have soaked, drain them, then place in a pot with 4 cups of water.  Bring beans and water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, cover the pot and let simmer for another 30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and cook the onion, carrots, squash and chipotle until the onions are softened and starting to brown.

3) Add the onion mixture to the beans, then add the thyme, sage, crushed tomatoes, and vodka.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and cook at a reduced heat for at least ten minutes, but as long as you’d like, making sure that the squash is tender.  Stir occasionally.

4) Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the pumpkin seeds

 

So, in this soup, the Hubbard squash tasted much like the butternut.  The texture was a bit different, maybe a bit more grainy.  I liked it, but because of its bumpy skin, it’s a bitch to peel and chop.  I might just stick with the butternut in the future.  But still, adventure!

Note on the vodka: my boyfriend is a chemist.  He taught me all about esters and how tomatoes react with alcohol to release these wonderful things called esters that make things taste more flavorful and complex.  You can do it with any alcohol, vodka is just a relatively otherwise flavorless booze that you can use with any flavors.  I’d try this again with red wine!

Hey, I’m back! And less of a person!

10 Oct

Hey!  By now, it’s not unusual that I disappear.  But this time it was not for lack of trying!

It’s been four and a half weeks since I had surgery on my arms, and recovery has not been the most fun thing.  The worst part: not being able to cook.  Nope, no lifting heavy pots and pans, no chopping, no stirring.  It has been very sad.

But I’m back, baby!

My arms are healing nicely, and I’ve been doing some cooking.  Not really making any grand experiments in the kitchen, but I have been cooking some other blogger’s food.

On Sunday night, Paul and I had just gotten back from a weekend wedding in Cape Cod/Rhode Island.  It was a very nice wedding, but we were tired.  There was no grocery shopping to be done.  Paul had a cold, and I had arm ouchies.  Hey, but I had everything on hand to make this Crispy Tofu Sandwich with Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Spread, which was delicious.  I don’t even like sandwiches.  I like the idea of them, sure.  But I either feel like I’m eating too much or too little food.  This was a good balance, though.  I made some changes and dry-fried the tofu, and doing a spice rub, along with some other changes.  Oh hell, maybe I’ll play around with it a little more and post about what I did.  That’s the point of a blog, right?

And on Monday, we decided on pizza night.  Usually we make them on whole wheat pitas, but the pita bread we use is high in sodium.  I’m trying to keep my sodium on the lower side, as I’m still having a little swelling from my surgery.  Instead of a salty pita, I opted for a potato!  I used Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s recipe as a guideline.  Best pizza, maybe ever.  This is totally my go-to pizza crust from now on.  Susan V’s blog is still one of my favorites ever.

Tuesday night I cooked from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s awesome cookbook, Appetite for Reduction.  I made the Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes.  I’ve cooked this before, but it might be my favorite way to make tempeh.

And now, I have a pot of pinto beans cooking away on the stove.  I’ll let you know what I make with them!

As an aside, I’ve been thinking of renaming my blog.  Before it was Poop will never not make me laugh, but it might be keeping my blog from getting non-poop joke attention.  But if I change the name of the blog, will I be lost in a sea of post-hipster vegan bloggers?  I don’t want to be lost at sea.

I’ll think about it.  Until then.  Bean time.

HOLY SHIT VEGAN NACHOS

18 Aug

This is really exciting, guys.  Vegan nachos.  I gave myself a belly ache with these things.

I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I frowned a bit because I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I ate them and I was happy again.

 

There’s not a whole lot to this recipe.  For my birthday, Paul bought me some Nacho Teese.  I love Teese.  I was holding onto it for a special occasion.  This was it.

Holy Shit Vegan Nachos

Ingredients
 
vegan pita breads, as many as you want to eat
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa (whatever you like, I used Hot Green Mountain Gringo
1 cup Boca crumbles
1 Tbsp. curry paste
pinch of cayenne pepper
diced tomatoes, to taste
Nacho Teese, to taste
jalapeno slices, for topping
extra salsa, for topping
reduced fat Vegenaise, for topping

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Cut each pita into triangles, I got six from each pita. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, place the pita triangles on it, and spray with a little more cooking spray. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes or so.
2) While the pitas are toasting in the oven, place the black beans, boca crumbles, 1/2 cup salsa, curry paste, and cayenne pepper in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until the crumbles are cooked through and the combination is thickened.
3) Heat your Nacho Teese in the microwave, until molten and awesome looking.
4) Assemble! Place your pita wedges on a plate. Top those wedges with some of the black bean-boca mixture, some diced tomatoes, and your Nacho Teese. Top that with some more salsa, jalapeno slices, and some vegenaise (sounds gross? It’s good) and whatever else you might want to top it with.
5) Fuuuuuck. Eat that stuff.

Also, I like this article so much. Thirteen mile run tomorrow! It will be “slow”. I’m saving the .1 for my official half marathon :)

What I Ate When I Ran Twelve Miles for the First Time (WIAW #82)

15 Aug

Oh hey there! I do a lot of What I Ate Wednesdays. I wasn’t going to bother this week, until I realized that I was running 12 miles on Sunday for my half marathon training, and I figured why not do a 12 mile run WIAW. Otherwise known as WIAWIR12MFTFT. Catchy!

I tried to get a lot of calories in me before the run. We started out at around 5pm. So I had the whole day in front of me! Or I did, until we decided not to wake up until around 11:30-ish.

Oh well. Long run day breakfast is pretty much always oatmeal.

I cook my oatmeal funny. I add lots of liquid to it! For each serving of oats I add 1 cup water and 1 cup almond milk. Plus a little sweetener and cinnamon. Also usually some ground flax seed, but in my sleep overdosed state I forgot it. Then I cook it for a real long time! Then it gets glomped in a bowl and things get added to it before it is eaten. BAM! RECIPE!

I added a tablespoon of my homemade almond butter and some maple syrup. So good. Not pictured is the nectarine I also ate with it.

I can’t eat real close to running time, so I made some lunch around 3:30-ish. Paul’s parents had been here the day before so we had sandwich fixings. I don’t usually eat sandwiches. I love them, but I always feel like I finish them too quickly. I’m all about having a huge plate full of food. Salads are better that way. Anyway, I had some veggie turkey and my home pickled sweet pickles and lettuce on a lavash with veggies (the tomatoes are from Paul’s parent’s garden!) and hummus. Good stuff.

As the run came closer, I had to get our stuff together. Camelbaks, Gus, and a sodium shot. What’s a sodium shot? It’s awesome, I’ll tell you that. I’m going to dedicate a whole post to them at some point.

I’m surprised you can’t see the stink lines coming off of my camelbak, actually. I am not dainty. It’s since been washed, though!

I only went through one of the Gus on the twelve mile run. What a run, too. As soon as we left the house, it started pouring, with thunder in the distance. We waited ten minutes, and it looked like it was letting up so Paul was like, “hey let’s just go.” So we did, and it started pouring again! For the first mile and a half or so. Then it lightened up some. And there was a rainbow! It was awesome! Awesome except for my soggy feet. Twelve miles in waterlogged socks. Imagine the blisters. Okay, now imagine more of them. Ugh.

Anyway, we made it! And I came back inside and was ravenous. Which is weird, because my long runs have been leaving me nauseated for hours up until now. It looks like my stomach is getting used to long distance running! Go stomach!

This is stuff that I ate before my shower. Honey roasted peanuts, a crumpet, and some maple kettle corn. Oh and water!

Shower and stretch before dinner time. Dinner was easy, pita pizzas! With veggie pepperoni, spinach, and vegan cheese. Pretty yummy!

Once dinner was over, I still had about 1400 calories left to eat for the day. Crazy! So Paul and I went to Walmart (the only thing open late in New Hampshire) like a couple of stoners on a mission. Junk food! We actually wanted to get decadent tofutti ice cream bars, but Walmart… you know. So, cookies and candies it was!

Disclaimer: we didn’t eat all this. Actually, we didn’t touch the chocolate and Paul brought most of it into work the next day for the vultures to eat. But it felt good to buy a bunch of junk food.

Before bed we also shared a bottle of cider. Mmm, cider.

So yup, that’s what I eat when I run twelve miles.

See what other people eat here!:

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