What the cucumber?

14 Aug

As of the beginning-ish of May, Paul and I have lived in an apartment complex here in New Hampshire. It’s a nice place, a little small, but very quiet and full of nice people. One of the perks of this place is the garden plots.

We were able to snatch one up upon moving in, and have been tending to a good sized plot of dirt, trying to grow things. Our pole beans seem to be positioned in just the right spot that they are doing very well, but our cucumber plants (that we were sure would die shortly after planting) have been doing great! We put in a bush variety, not ever hearing of a cucumber bush. Sure enough, we needed to trellis them. But anyway, our first cucumber looked like a lemon!

What the heck, cucumber?!

Upon slicing, we found that it looked more like a cucumber inside. And it tasted good, as have the subsequent cucumbers that look more like cucumbers than lemons.

Last week, I found out how easy it is to make your own nut butter. I’ve been on a long search, trying to find the best natural peanut butter (I think I found it – Once Again Crunchy, no salt, opinions?), but I had a feeling I was missing something. So I headed out to my co-op to buy a pound of almonds. I went with the dry roasted, no salt almonds, instead of raw. I could have roasted them in my oven, but I was feeling lazy and didn’t know how this was going to pan out.

After less than ten minutes in my food processor (with a pinch of sea salt added), voila! Almond butter! The best I’ve ever had? Indubitably.

I’ve been putting it on everything lately, even just on spoons that go directly into my mouth.

And then I try to justify it with the “you’ve been training so hard for this half marathon you need calories” talk. More on that tomorrow.

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Blueberry Jam Workout

9 Aug

So you guys, I’m trying to start up a homestead jam making business.  Just to sell at farmers markets and on etsy.  I have my homestead license paperwork almost all filled out, I have my $50 to give to the state of New Hampshire, and I have a name for my little business.  I need to talk to my awesome artist friend, Jon Schnapp, about artwork for labels.

It’s a lot of work!

I’ve been trying out all sorts of different recipes, finding what tastes best. After bringing back like seven pounds of blueberries when Paul and I visited my parents, I decided to try my hand at blueberry jam.

I’m not going to give you the recipe, but I will say that if you are ever looking through the Ball Canning Book, and you see a recipe for blueberry lime jam that uses apples.. maybe you can find a better recipe.

Don’t get me wrong, this jam tastes amazing! It’s almost like a blueberry marmalade.

But the recipe. Oh man, sweat and tears. No blood!

I’m not sure why the recipe requires you to cut up the apples, peel and all, and then push it all through a sieve to make applesauce. Would it be different if I peeled, cored, cooked the apples and then pureed them? Is there more pectin in the peel and core? I need to research. Pushing cooked apples through a sieve is hard work.

But the apple pectin worked wonderfully! The jam came together quickly and set well.

I think next I’m going to try a more traditional blueberry jam. But this one was not a wasted attempt.

I like it swirled into oatmeal. Yum yum yum.

What I Ate Wednesday – Birthday Edition!

8 Aug

Hey I had a birthday not long ago! I’m 31! My birthday was actually at the end of July, so this is a bit late. But anyway. My birthday day was very relaxing. I went on a 3.1 mile run for my 31st, which is something I want to make a habit of for birthdays to come!

Paul came home with a bag full of goodies from Cafe Indigo, like really a bag full. We shared a piece of vegan fudge before going out to eat sushi. After sushi we headed to a bar that I had heard has many beers on tap, and then we went galactic bowling! I haven’t been bowling in years. I’m still terrible at it, it seems!

But this What I Ate Wednesday is about what I ate the day AFTER my birthday! Paul and I headed down to Boston, with plans to stay at a swanky hotel and go see a play in a park in Chelsea.

We woke up late-ish and had breakfast. Judge me if you want, but I eat egg white omelets sometimes. Paul makes really good omelets, what can I say.

This one had spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and vegan cheese in it. We had toasted pitas with homemade blueberry lime jam (more on that tomorrow!) and fruit salad.

After packing up our things for the night, we made a pit stop at the local running store. I picked up a new pair of Mizuno Inspires, since the Brooks Adrenaline were just not working out for me (not enough room in the toe box for my freakishly long second toes). Across the street is this cafe called Planet Marshmallow that sells homemade marshmallows. We picked up a bag. Again, feel free to judge! I ate eggs and gelatin on the day after my birthday. It happens sometimes. I ate some with a banana on the way to Boston

We checked into this totally swanky hotel that had bath robes and slippers waiting for us (I think rich people have freakishly small feet?) and it started looking like it was going to rain. We were pretty sure the play in the park was off, so we decided to walk around. We had a small snack and some coffee before heading out

The plan was to walk in the direction of Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge. I am obsessed with this place, they have the most amazing food and I have to eat there every time we’re in Boston. We made it about a mile before it started raining. I saw this shortly before getting on the T.

Don’t forget!

So it started POURING! Stupid us, we brought umbrellas with us, but didn’t take them on our walk. Of course, a little corner store had some for us to purchase. We made it to Veggie Galaxy mostly dry.

And then we ate so much.

We skipped the vegan frappe this time, sadly. It is so delicious but so filling.
I ordered the Vegetable Pot Pie with smoked tofu, covered in pesto, with mashed sweet potatoes and arugula. We ordered a kids portion of the vegan mac and cheese because it is too good to not order. It had to be done. And Paul had the Beer Battered House Smoked Tofu, which came with red cabbage slaw and the most delicious black pepper french fries. I mean, how awesome does this food look? It tastes even better! They even make their own ketchup. Seriously. Love you, Veggie Galaxy.

After eating, it was still raining. We made it over the Charles river, but not without getting drenched. So, we decided to pick up some booze, get a cab back to the hotel, and just relax for the night.

Mission accomplished! We shared a bottle of cider, and some black IPA. The IPA went so well with a Cafe Indigo brownie:

We spent the rest of the night curled in our bath robes, watching the olympics. That was a fine birthday for me!

What I Ate Wednesday – Cool Slaw Edition!

25 Jul

Hey Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

This is what I ate yesterday!  Happy What I Ate Tuesday!

My food was not all that exciting on Tuesday, but it was pretty tasty.  I started work at 8 instead of my usual 9am start, since I was quitting earlier to go to a doctor appointment. I woke up and scarfed down some Ezekiel toast with chunky natural peanut butter and a smoothie made with mixed tropical fruits, plain unsweetened almond milk, vanilla brown rice protein powder, and stevia. Good stuff!

Around midmorning I got really sleepy and not so great feeling. I sort of moped around for a while until lunchtime.

Guess what? I ate a salad! Yep, I always eat a salad. This one had lots of veggies, edamame, and red pepper hummus. I picked up a random tub of hummus at the not-so-great grocery store across the street and I think I might throw it out. Not so great.

I went to my doctor appointment and didn’t really think I’d be out long. But I ended up sitting in the waiting room for a long time, which was no big deal. Like three ladies were in labor. I wasn’t in labor. I can wait!

When I got home though, I was hungry. I had a run coming up, albeit a short one, so I had some fruit to try to keep my belly calm. Nectarines are so good!

I forgot to take a picture of my pre-run coconut date roll. Whoops!

Paul and I ran our short three miles at around 7. I felt like I was working way harder for the speed I was going at. But it was super windy and wind makes me breathe funny. We both felt, well, winded when we were done. But we got it done and that’s what counts! Tonight is five miles. Whoop whoop.

After watering/fertilizing the garden, we came in to make dinner. I had this idea that portobello mushrooms and guacamole would go together well, and Paul wanted cool slaw. I hadn’t made cool slaw in a while, so we both got what we were craving!

So we grilled portobellos, sliced them and ate them in pitas with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. Yum! The cool slaw was awesome both on the side, and tucked inside the pitas Baha-style. You might be wondering what cool slaw is. Well, it’s only the most awesome low-fat vegan coleslaw recipe around. It’s Cool Slaw!

Cool Slaw
adapted from Appetite for Reduction

Ingredients
1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked at least one hour
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
5 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2-4 Tbsp. reduced fat Vegenaise, to taste
1lb. packaged cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage

Directions
Add the drained cashews, water, shallots, vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula if needed.

Combine the coleslaw mix or cabbage to a bowl, and add the dressing from your blender. Mix well to combine. Add Vegenaise to taste.

So good! I like the recipe without the Vegenaise, but with it is a whole ‘nother level. But I put Vegenaise on lots of things, so. Blush.

So there we go. I capped the night off with a skinny person beer.

Vegan Quiche, Blueberry Picking, and Parents!

23 Jul

So, last Wednesday, for What I Ate Wednesday, I posted a picture of the vegan quiche lorraine that I made for dinner.  I used to love the quiche that my Nannie (that would be my mom’s mom) used to make.  She made the most delicious and buttery pie crusts, and her quiche was always perfect.  It was filled with eggs, cream, swiss cheese, bacon, and with tomato slices on top.  I always really liked the slightly dehydrated tomato slices.  I could eat pretty much none of that anymore, but this crustless vegan quiche is a nice substitution.  I didn’t put tomato slices on top, but I will try that next time around!

 

Crustless Vegan Quiche Lorraine

adapted from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food

Ingredients

24 oz. light silken tofu (I used the refrigerated, water packed kind from Nasoya)

1 Tbsp. tahini

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. Spike seasoning

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1/4 large white onion, diced very small

1 vegan sausage, diced (I used the Sweet Seitan Sausage from this same cookbook, delicious!)

2 minced garlic cloves

Directions

1) Preheat your oven to 375F, and spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.  Set the pan aside for later.

2) Place the first eleven ingredients in a blender and blend until combined and smooth.  Using a spatula to scrape down the sides, empty the mixture into a medium sized bowl and set aside while you assemble the remaining ingredients.

3) In a medium sized frying pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and the sausage and cook them for 3 or four minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant, don’t let it burn.

4) Add the onion-sausage mixture to the blended tofu mixture and stir well to combine.

5) Transfer that mixture to your prepared springform pan, and cook in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.  If you toothpick test the middle, it should come out clean.  Let it rest in the pan for about ten minutes, then remove from the springform until ready to serve.

I served it at room temperature and warmed up, and they were both delicious!

This weekend was another really nice weekend!  Paul and I took a journey back into New York on Friday to spend the weekend with my parents.  Vermont was right these standing between us and New York, and when we drove through the Quechee Gorge area, we decided to stop and look around.

 

It’s a very nice area, with a wide trail going down to the bottom of the gorge, and what looked like well-blazed trails off of it.  I think I’d like to go back there for more exploring.

Once we got to my parents, we had even more of a fun time!  We got in late on Friday due to various pit stops, so Saturday was our day of fun.  (As an aside, Paul and I entered Moe’s Southwest Grill as a very hungry couple right before closing on Friday night.  They took my dairy allergy very seriously and I really appreciated all the extra steps they took to make sure I wasn’t going to get any cross-contaminated food.  Thank you guys again!)

On Saturday, Paul, my mom and I went to Schuylerville.  We drove up to the cemetery where my Nannie and grandpa are, since I haven’t visited in a while, and walked around the town a bit.  There are a few really neat stores in this super small town, especially thrift store and a used book store.  I got a nice polyester flower print shirt with ruffles on it, and copies of Viktor Frankl’s The Unconscious God and Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard.  I love me some Frankl.  And some Russian authors.

On top of all of the awesome books, this store has great decor.  I especially liked this skeleton in the horror section:

 

He’s reading The History of Orthopedics, of course.

We also went blueberry picking!  We each ended up with six or so pounds of blueberries.  My mom is a picking machine:

 

She filled up her bucket at least ten minutes before Paul and I filled the one that we were working on together!  Geesh!

Here’s our stash.  Paul’s “letting” me make a small batch of blueberry jam with them, but he mostly wants to cram them into his face unaltered.

 

Four quarts!

The last thing we did on Saturday was run.  We were scheduled for a nine mile run based on our half marathon training.  My farthest and longest run ever!  It was not pretty, let me tell you.  But I did it!  My parents have a mile loop around their neighborhood, so we ran that nine times.  It was funny, and we got encouragement from other people in the neighborhood as we kept going around and around.  But man, old and compact asphalt is hard.  And afterwards, I felt so weird.  It took an hour and a half or so for my stomach to be able to handle more than little sips of water or chocolate soy milk (this will definitely never be my after-run food of choice).  Paul is much more used to the long runs than I am.  Well, he’s done them before because he ran a marathon a few years ago.  So he hit his groove during this run.  Afterwards, while I’m rocking back and forth wondering whether or not I’m going to be spending the next little while with my head in the toilet, he’s pouring himself a big glass of wine!  Ugh!

Anyway, I recovered and became so ravenously hungry.  Good thing we had picked up food from Antipasto’s, which has some of the tastiest vegan and vegetarian Italian food in the capital district.  Granted, there’s not a lot of choices, but this is still a solid one.  I would have taken a picture of my tofu parmesan (the Paul McCartney, as Antipasto’s calls is), but I was busy rocking back and forth post-run.  Whoops!

Hanging out with my parents was super fun.  Even sitting on the couch and watching the Comicon movie and Saturday Night Live was pretty awesome.  Thanks, parents!  (I told them I was blogging again and my dad got annoyed at the name.  Again.)

What I Ate Wednesday

18 Jul

Hey!  I’ve always liked going through random What I Ate Wednesday posts, so I thought I’d get in on the fun!

It hurts my brain a little that What I Ate Wednesday is not always things that people ate on Wednesday, blogged about on Wednesday, but rather things that people ate one day of the week, posted on Wednesday.

I get it, I get it.  Anyway, here is what I ate on Wednesday!

Food AND Fitness this month?  Well you don’t say!  Those are my favorite things!

My breakfasts rarely change.  They usually include a smoothie.  Here are today’s ingredients:

Yup, pretty simple.  I love my Nutribiotic protein powder.  I’m curious about Sun Warrior, though, so I might try that when this tub is finished.

So here’s my breakfast:

Smoothie and a small bowl of Kashi Go Lean with frozen blueberries and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  I’d rather be eating some sugary kids cereal, but you know.  Health!  Go Lean is actually pretty tasty.  And my breakfast water!  Water before coffee!

So I have a confession to make.  I don’t drink much coffee anymore.  I had surgery back in March, and I cut out caffeine and lots of other things to keep my post-op swelling down.  Since then, coffee just isn’t much of a thing.  But I went back to drinking a cup a day.  So, it may be gross, but I brew half a pot on one day, but it takes me two days to drink it.  Old coffee, is that gross?  It still tastes good to me:

I had an apple as a snack a little later.  I try to only snack on fruits if I get hungry between meals.  I almost forgot to snap a picture!

Lunchtime!  I usually have a salad for lunch.  My salads are INTENSE.  I’m actually running low on veggies at the moment, but I made do.  I topped it with dry-fried tofu (the BEST way to make tofu) that I had covered in a little bit of barbecue sauce, and two kinds of hummus.  Lentil and black bean!  And I had a glass of diet arnold palmer.  Yep, my life rocks.

Fruit Snack!

No, I didn’t eat a bag of Gushers.  Just a plate of delicious fruit.  Nectarine, pineapple (I opened a can just for the juice to use in a recipe last night, so we’re working our way through pineapple rings), kiwi and strawberries.  It was sad to leave the other fruits off of my plate.  Too many fruits!

As for the fitness, today was a longer short day – 4 miles!  Yesterday we had our planned short three miles, but the skies opened up and we worked on our sprinting to get back to the house.  So we only got two miles done.  But!  The first mile was my fastest continuous (not speed work) mile ever!  Whoop whoop.

Today, however, I just wasn’t feeling it.  I had a crummy day at work and all I wanted to do was roll around on the couch doing the woe is me type deal.  But I did get out and run four miles.  Not my fastest time ever, but not my slowest either.

Coming back into the house, all we wanted to do was scarf down the dinner I had made.  Paul had a work meeting all day with a catered lunch and didn’t get any veggies.  So he requested salads.  I already had my salad for the day, but another one wasn’t going to hurt me.  I had made a vegan crustless quiche (with homemade vegan sausage!) earlier in the day, and I was really craving one of the two egg rolls left in the fridge.  What a weird dinner.  The quiche was awesome, though, and I will post more about it later.

In our hungriness, all I got was this lousy photo:

And to end out the day, I bought presale tickets to see The Afghan Whigs at the House of Blues in Boston in September.  It’s sixteen days after I have my second and last surgery for the year, so I hope I’m up to it.  Ohh dear, Greg Dulli.

That’s my day!  What I Ate Wednesday is exhausting!

Badwater, and Coconut Date Rolls

17 Jul

Rest days are turning into restless days.  I feel weird when I’m not running.  And even though it was a scheduled rest day and I tweaked my left ankle yesterday and it was about a million percent humidity today, I wished I was running. I guess that’s the way things go now!

I’ve been occupying myself with gardening, Breaking Bad, furniture assembly, and obsessively checking the Badwater Ultramarathon splits table.  While running Badwater is not something that I’d ever really want to do, I can’t not admit that the people racing are complete badasses.  But I never thought I’d be running at all, so who knows.

The other day Paul and I were discussing marathon and beyonds.  If I can push a marathon out of me (hopefully next year), I can probably get through a 50 miler or so at some point.  My body does all sorts of things I’d never imagined!

But I have to keep it fueled.  Aside from the milk allergy, I have a very sensitive belly.  My very sensitive belly does not take well to certain foods before a run.  i found out, the hard way, that bananas before running are not for me.  But everyone says they’re a great pre-running food!  Why am I so weird?  So I had to find another source of carbohydrates for a quick snack an hour or two before i run.  So I switched to dates.  They have carbs and potassium just like bananas, and they don’t make my belly hurt!  Great!  But I got bored.  So I bought these delicious date rolls from my local co-op.  I got maybe five of them in a container, and paid a pretty penny for them.  So I thought, I could create my own.  And so!

Coconut Date Nut Rolls

makes 15 – 18 rolls

Ingredients:

8 oz. pitted dates (any kind, I usually use medjool because they’re tasty)

1/2 cup slivered raw almonds

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided

Instructions:

This one’s easy.  Add the dates, almonds, and 1/2 cup of the coconut flakes to your food processor.  Process until it forms a big, sticky lump.  It’ll take a few minutes, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t look very sticky at first.  If your dates are particularly dry, you might have to add a couple of tablespoons of water.

Once it’s done processing, form the dough into ping pong ball sized balls.  I get between 15 and 18 at a time.  Roll those balls between your hands to form a log, and roll that log into the reserved 1/4 cup of coconut.  That keeps the rolls from sticking together when you store them!

Keep the rolls in the fridge!  I keep them in a pyrex container, and they last at least two weeks that way.

I eat one an hour and a half or so before running, and they’ve done a good job of keeping me energized without tummy upset.  I haven’t tried keeping them in my pack for quick energy in the middle of a run, but I might try that instead of a Gu pack next time.  I do love my vanilla bean Gu, though.

Weekend!

15 Jul

What a nice and relaxing weekend!

It all started on Friday.  Paul came home from work and we headed to the pool.   He’s teaching me how to freestyle swim properly, and how to rotary breathe.  It’s not nearly as hard as I thought it looked!  I practiced for a bit, then we just splashed around for a while.  What a hot summer!

We watered our garden, ate homemade burritos and then went out to the movies.  The independent theater near us does a random movie every Friday, and they were showing The Innkeepers, so we went to that.  It was funny, since the theater only has two theaters, they show their special Friday night movie in a little conference room.  Everyone there sits in banquet chairs in a semi-circle around a projection screen.  I was a little bit put off at first, but it was a really neat experience.  It was almost like watching a movie with friends except everyone there was a stranger.  And The Innkeepers is an excellent ghost story.  It struck me as a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark type story.  I left with a smile on my face.  Then we came home, drank beers, and played board and card games until 3am.  We are such boring, old farts.

Saturday was also fun!  We got up, at breakfast, and headed to Manchester.  I needed a new pair of running shoes, so we went to Runner’s Alley.  Paul’s never gotten shoes at a real running store (and runs in New Balance shoes, which amazes me because New Balance always feels like alien shoes on me), so he wanted to see what it was all about.  I ended up trading my Mizuno Inspires in for a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12s.  I think they’re similar to the Inspires, but I’m about to give them a good 5 mile test run in a couple of hours.  I also picked up a foam roller, which feels amazingly good and hurty on my muscles.

Then we headed to Hooksett, to go to the 2012 Southern New Hampshire Brewer’s Fest!  We like beer, and I used to drink too much of it.  So on a weekly basis, I pretty much only drink MGD64, but if I’m treating myself, I’ll go for something a little more heavy.

So we spent about an hour and a half sampling various beers in 90-something degree heat.  Most of them were not summer beers!  I wouldn’t normally be drinking a stout on a hot summer day, but I really enjoyed Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero.  I wish I had been able to try the other beers they had to offer, because they seemed like a solid brewery.

We also tasted a nice Maibock from The Prodigal Brewery, and a ginger wheat ale from 7 Barrel Brewery.  I am very regretful that I didn’t manage to get a taste of the Rhubarb Wit from Throwback Brewery.  I can’t believe I forgot about them!  I’m going to remain hopeful that our beer store carries it.

Also, a nice gent from the Woodstock Inn Brewery took this picture:

Thanks dude!  Also, nice brown ale!

There was food at the ‘fest, too.  Sadly, all of it had meat and/or dairy.  People seemed to be enjoying it, though!

And now, to conclude our weekend, a hot and humid 5-mile run!

Hey baby, come here often?

11 Jul

Hey!  Remember me?

I’m Ellen.  If this is your first time here, hello!  Nice to meet you!

This was my blog a long time ago, and then I wanted to start it up again and failed.  Now, I want to start it up again.  But differently, this time.

A lot has changed in the years since I started this blog!  I don’t live in New York anymore.  I live in New Hampshire!  With my lovely boyfriend, Paul.  You’ll probably hear about him a lot.

Paul has turned me into a runner.  Or well, he encouraged me to run when I was interested in what it was like and had never run ever in my life before.  It’s been a year and a half of running now.  He still runs with me and encourages me even though he’s way faster than I am and could leave me in the dust every single time.  I’m almost ready for a half marathon!  Then a full one!

I’ve always been interested in healthy foods.  It’s weird, now that I’m running (on nearly a vegan diet, more on that later), I’m very interested in the foods that fuel me.  I can’t eat the same things over and over again, though (other than my daily big huge lunch salad), so I’m looking for creative ways to fuel myself.  It’s fun!

So the vegan thing.  I’ve been a vegetarian for a long, long time.  Sometimes dabbling in veganism, sometimes not.  At the end of 2011, I started feeling sick.  Not just physically sick (headaches, tiredness, stomach problems), but I felt like the end of the world was coming.  It was horrible.  I went to doctors, and no one knew what was wrong.  I was pretty sure I was going crazy.  Then, one day in early 2012, I drank some kefir after coming in from a run with Paul.  A little later, I was sick.  Very sick.  All the gross toilet things you could possibly imagine, and stomach cramps worse than when I had food poisoning the first time I met Paul’s family in Florida (funny story, maybe I’ll tell it sometime).  It took a few days for the stomach cramps to go away, but once they did, I was stuck with heartburn.  Constant, searing heartburn. I started taking Prilosec after going to urgent care about it.  They told me I had GERD.  Okay, I started cutting all the typical GERD no-no foods out of my diet.  I wasn’t getting better, the Prilosec wasn’t helping.  I still felt terrible.  After a flare-up that came on after eating a white cheddar rice cake one day, it dawned on us.  Maybe it was dairy?  Was I lactose intolerant?  Was it an allergy?  So I cut all dairy out of my diet.  Everything.  I was starting to feel better.  So many things have dairy in them.  I went to a GI doctor about my heartburn, and told him that I cut dairy out of my diet and that it was making me feel better.  He ignored me and sent me for blood work and wanted to do a colonoscopy and an endoscopy.  Bleehh.   So I went to an allergist and said “hey allergist, I think I’m allergic to milk.”  They did a scratch test and the allergist was like “hey guess what, you’re allergic to milk.”  So I’m allergic to milk.  No dairy.  Ever.  It’s not as bad as you’d think.  And I feel better now.  Better than I have in years!  It’s amazing what a milk protein can do to a person.

You’re going to hear me complain about how no one understands what a dairy allergy is.  If you’d like to learn about what a dairy allergy is (it is NOT lactose intolerance), go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_allergy

Pay close attention to this part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_allergy#Difference_between_milk_allergy_and_lactose_intolerance

Thank you!

Okay, so you’re going to read all sorts of things about my life here.  Food, running, health, personal junk.  All of that.  I’m not very interesting but I have lots to say.  Let’s do this!

The Freshest Bread and Vegetable Soup

2 Dec

Wooo, bread and vegetable soup.  Sounds boring, right?  Yeah, it sounds boring.  But when everything is fresh and home made, holy geez there was a party going on in my belly.

I’ve still been working my way through The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 but the bread chapter is so large!  I can only eat and give away so much bread.  Really, bread is becoming a treat for me, not something that I’m going to eat regularly.  But, I had bought a bag of rye flour and wanted to put it to use.  Rye bread is my favorite bread.

I’m still working on my bread baking skills.  I can do anything with white flours, but when I turn to whole grains I end up with something a bit more dense than I would expect.  Does anyone have any tips?  Or is this just the way it is?

The rye bread was actually a mixture of unbleached bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour and oatmeal.  The overwhelming flavor ended up being wheat.  Disappointing, but not bad.

To offset the carby carbs, I decided to start the soup chapter as well.  Soup is, afterall, one of my favorite things.  And with the snowy Rochester weather, it’s a perfect time to start cooking some up.

The vegetable soup recipe in The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 is really just a loose outline  of a soup.  Here’s what I did with it.

Fresh Vegetable Soup

makes six very large servings

1/2 medium eggplant, peeled

1 red bell pepper, seeded

1 medium potato

2 medium zucchini

a handful of mushrooms

3 scallions

1 medium onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 large dill pickle

1 1/2 cups baby spinach

2 medium tomatoes

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to taste

1) Chop the eggplant – onion into large chunks.

2) Slice the garlic and pickle into thin slices, and chop the tomatoes into 6 – 8 wedges each.

3) Add all of the vegetables to a large stock pot.  To this, add about 12 cups of water, the oil, vinegar, bouillon cubes, and spices.

4) Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for at least 30 minutes.  The longer this soup goes, the better it is!

Really, it’s silly to write up a recipe for this.  Throw whatever vegetables you have in a pot and season them to taste!  I meant to put some corn in there too.  I would try seasoning this differently, using some vegetable stock/broth instead of water or using some Braggs.

Regardless, this makes a very brothy and chunky soup.  Incredibly filling, especially with some bread torn into pieces and thrown on top!

Hey, that exciting news I mentioned before is still coming!  Woo woo woo!