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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Very Vegan Day

I guess all days around here are vegan, but today was especially so. I had to pick up groceries for the dinner party tomorrow so I had a quick breakfast of a banana with almond butter and a few raisins because I wanted to get to Trader Joe's early before work (they get pretty crowded on the weekends).


I also didn't pack a lunch (crazy, I know!) so on the second round of groceries (Whole Foods on lunch break) I picked up some ready-made "Macro Sushi."


I've gotten this stuff a few times before - it's not made at WF, but by a company in Sunnyside (NY) and I really like it. It always tastes fresh, everything they make is vegetarian, it's really filling and not too much money (no more than $4.50, depending where you go). Plus, 6 big rolls are only 280 calories, 4% fat and have all the Vitamin A you need for the day, plus a lot of iron and Vitamin C. If you see them in a store near you, I recommend them. I think the company is just called Macro Vegetarian. Anyway, the filling in these is kale, daikon, carrot, tofu, and rice.
I ate these in Union Square park and since it was such a beautiful day, Sabra was there giving out free samples! They gave me two bags of Stacy's pita chips and two sample hummuses. Hummi? One went to G, and the other was a pre-dinner snack. It was a very decent size! What's your favorite brand of hummus?


Then, coming back from lunch, I saw a guy in the store wearing an Oi Polloi t-shirt! For those of you who DIDN'T spend your teenaged youth in combat boots scowling and pogo-ing (if you exist at all), they're an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic punk/oi band who also support environmental groups, notably Earth First (the logo of which I have an alluded-to tattoo of). Basically, they are awesome. Anyway, the guy's t-shirt said "Go Vegan" on the back, which was exciting enough. Then he turned around and the front said "Oi Polloi"! Another girl at work was wearing a Siouxsie shirt that also made me happy, but that's another story.
And dinner:



Collard wraps! You guys are going to be seeing these a lot because the bunch of collards I bought is the biggest damn thing I've ever seen. These are filled with red pepper, tomato, cucumber, carrot, hummus and tofu - because I feel like I don't eat enough protein. Not veganism's fault but mine. These were delicious, if really hard to keep together. I made a very tasty mess. Oi Polloi would approve!



(the lyrics to this song, if you can hear them, are a vegan recipe!) Riot on.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Wrap is Back! (And I am too)

Life is so side-trackey sometimes. Sometimes ya just gotta read a book about a giant whale. Or watch a gin-soaked movie. Or get two beers with a friend and feel far too woozy to blog. Are you guys reading anything good?
Anyway, here are just a few photos of what I've been eating lately - and! you'll notice that the collard wraps are back!








So, yeah. Also a few cookies. Three! of my co-workers quit on the same day, so I made blondies from VCIYCJ and orange chocolate chocolate-chip cookies from V'con. It was sad. Well, not the cookies, but them leaving. The baked goods came out well, if I do say so myself.
Sunday G and I are having another dinner party and this one should be the best so far! It's a springy menu and hopefully the weather will be nice and all shall be happy.
I'm catching up with your blogs, and here are my answers to the survery. Thanks to everyone who played along. I really love reading people's answers to things like that!

1. What is the most extravagant food item you've purchased of late?
Hmm, Calimyrna figs today as a snack! Almost 5 bucks, though I guess a bag lasts me two days.
2. What was your favorite meal growing up?
My mom made some really good garlicky crispy broccoli! Best burnt!
3. What food item do you most wish you could expertly make every time?
Yeasted things, I guess. I'm okay with them but they could be better.
4. Do you have a favorite dish you've ordered at a restaurant? Which restaurant?
Cabbage and potato burrito! I rarely eat out, so that's pretty much all I can think of for now...
5. What do you eat that makes you feel healthiest?
Smoothies, Greg Salad
6. What was the first cookbook you obtained?
Vegan with a Vengeance, I'm pretty sure.
7. What is the oddest meal you've ever cobbled together?
Sweet potato and black bean mash was...interesting.
8. Best sandwich concoction?
Hmm...I don't eat a lot of sandwiches anymore! I had a really weird tahini, sauerkraut, arugula, and sundried tomato sandwich a while ago. It was actually delicious.
9. Quick! What is the last food you just ate?
Oh, I made leftover orange chocolate cookies! And then ate it!
10. Describe your usual breakfast scenario. What, when, where, why...
Well I guess it's usually some sort of fruit and tea early.
11. What, if anything, would you like to change about your diet?
Fewer sweets! And probably fewer fats (nuts, seeds, chocolate)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Less Food, More Talk

Today was a day of leftovers and too much bread and chocolate plus I'm about to head out to watch G bang on a drum so in lieu of food I have a survey for you. I'm genuinely curious as to what your answers will be, because I'm a food snoop. Fill it out if you so desire, or just one or two answers either in the comments section or in yr own separate post. If you make a post, let me know! I'll probably post my answers next time. If you care.

1. What is the most extravagant food item you've purchased of late?

2. What was your favorite meal growing up?

3. What food item do you most wish you could expertly make every time?

4. Do you have a favorite dish you've ordered at a restaurant? Which restaurant?

5. What do you eat that makes you feel healthiest?

6. What was the first cookbook you obtained?

7. What is the oddest meal you've ever cobbled together?

8. Best sandwich concoction?

9. Quick! What is the last food you just ate?

10. Describe your usual breakfast scenario. What, when, where, why...

11. What, if anything, would you like to change about your diet?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

Happy Easter! The day was beautiful this morning. Clear and bright and fresh and I was up early and went to church. The Mass was very nice. I got home and made a smoothie and got to work making one last dish for today. Most of it I made last night, including zucchini bread for G's family - not made by him contrary to what his facebook status updates would lead one to believe.
My contributions for Easter:
Asparagus and Carrots in Walnut-Miso Dressing from Color Me Vegan by Colleen-Patrick Goudreau.


Wild Rice Salad from the upcoming cookbook by Dynise Balcavage


and Sesame Seed Cookies, also from the same upcoming cookbook.


The Wild Rice salad was a hit and even though I burned the cookies a little, I think people liked those too. I bring dishes to be sure I'll have something to eat but it's always unnecessary. My talented, kind, and very aware aunt set aside "untouched by meat potatoes," there was also an awesome roasted vegetable ragout, grilled turnip and squash, and steamed green beans. The salad had bleu cheese in it, so I didn't eat that but I was pleased at least that they told me, and there was also some sort of British fish pie (my aunt and uncle just coming home from a vacation to England) that I obviously didn't eat. More than enough, and all delicious!
My family is wonderful, if a little crazy. They are also far too smart for me. I did a lot of listening and some of it went over my head but I think for tonight, I'll take away the mental image of my mother as a kid pumping her little arms and legs, running down the street after a streetsweeper for fun on weekends. I'm pretty sure children in the 50s with 5 brothers and a sister had plenty of entertainment but my mother chose to run after streetsweepers.
I didn't drink much (one glass of champagne) but I did eat about four of these little chocolate bars from Trader Joe's.


I hope everyone had a great day, however you celebrated your Sunday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Raw Week, Day 5

Try not to be too jealous of my foods today:


Warm lemon water to wake my cells up while I waited for G to wake up.
I took immense pleasure in the breakfast smoothie.


Spinach, mango, banana, kiwi, lemon, ginger, water to blend. This made a lot and I gave some to G.
I worked on some stuff for a bit but felt pretty sick. I'm glad I took the day off. I laid down and napped for about an hour maybe. When I got up, it was time to go to church. I'm doing this cleanse/fast/whatever to clean myself up and really go strong on the last days of Lent to understand what Jesus was struggling with for 40 days out there in the desert. Also, because I'm a little crazy and enjoy pushing myself too far sometimes. However, I am also a human and all I could think about in church was how much my head hurt and how I just wanted a banana. Cry me a river, I know.
I picked up an outfit for Sunday after church and when I got home, had more tomato juice mixed with nooch and cayenne.


Now I think I'm going to eat the banana and give some serious thanks. Tomorrow will most likely be back to solid foods, but still raw.
If you're celebrating, what are you all planning on making for Sunday? I'm still sort of on the fence about the dessert I want to make.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Raw Week, Day 4

Okay, so today didn't feel so well as raw actual chew-food does. I wanted to sleep a lot. And my head hurts. I'm guessing it's caffeine withdrawal and drinking tea with raw agave (hey, it's a liquid!) now to make up for it.
Anyway, no super special pictures today, but a lot of glasses:
Breakfast was a smoothie, no complaints here.


Spinach, chocolate Vega protein powder, 1 banana, ice, frozen strawberries, and water. I ran out for my break early at work, anticipating getting hungry, but this smoothie kept me full past 12!
I sipped on some Trilogy Kombucha until lunchtime, read, looked for an Easter dress (so much more free time on lunch!) and stopped into Liquiteria for an "All Greens" fresh-pressed juice:


Kale, romaine, spinach, parsley, celery, and cucumber. A little bitter but refreshing.
More kombucha....and dinner:


Tomato juice, into which I mixed a little nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper. I actually think I drank too much. I feel full; hunger wasn't the problem today so much as fatigue and this headache.
A NEW! Michelle made a good point yesterday in the comments about what I drink depending on what I want to get out of the detox. Seeing as how I haven't really figured that out - there's no specific goal beyond a cleanered-out body - my liquids are all over the place (not literally, that would be messy). I'm off tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. Some homemade juice would be nice...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Raw Week, Day 3

Goot evenink. I bought 2 exercise DVDs from work (Element Power Yoga and Denise Austin's Shrink Your Fat Zones Pilates - I know! Leave me alone!) that I want to watch and not actually do, so let's get down to business.
Breakfast was really delicious and fresh:


Fruit salad of a banana, kiwi, 1/2 a mango and some goji berries, topped with lemon juice, a little raw agave syrup AND powdered ginger, which was an amazing addition. Really freakin good. The mango wasn't quite ripe but it was fine with everything else. The one problem I have with lighter breakfasts like this is that after I take a vitamin, I get really sick. I got queasy and lightheaded on the train to work (NOT where you want to get sick.) Does anyone else notice anything like this? Luckily, it wears off pretty quickly.
I got hungry around 11 and ate an Amazing Grass bar. No, not that amazing grass, all ye 4/20 revelers. The kind that made me NOT be hungry anymore.
Lunch was more of the raw no-tuna topped with carrots, romaine, arugula, and tomato.


This filled me up pretty well, but that didn't stop me from eating a ton more figs on and off until I got home (with best intentions to exercise, really!).
For dinner, I'm finishing off Sarah Kramer's raw slaw, doctored up, and a salad of arugula, cucumber, raw leek, and tomato topped with nooch, balsamic vinegar, and cayenne pepper.






If yr gonna do the raw slaw, let me tell you - this version was way better than the original. I added about 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp curry powder, and maybe 1 TBs tahini. It was a nice combination of sweet (carrot, raisins, apple, sweet potato), salty, creamy (tahini), crunch, AND spice. Raw's got it all.
Now I'm gonna try to do some pilates. On this very full, happy stomach.
Tomorrow begins the liquid half of this detox! I'm excited and a little nervous. What liquids would you consider acceptable on a liquid detox?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Raw Week, Day 2

Better than yesterday, when I mostly stuffed myself with dried fruit (seriously, I ate raisins, goji berries, dates, figs, and apricots!). Days off usually are like that. I really admire those of you who don't eat every second that you're bored.
Breakfast was a banana (no pic, cuz duh) and a small mixed handful of trail mix-y stuff: goji berries, raisins, pumpkin seeds.


I snacked on an apple around 11:30 and lunch was the raw no-tuna from Raw Food Made Easy over romaine and arugula and a buncha tiny tomatoes.


I like that recipe a lot because it's easy and quick, and as with a lot of raw recipes, it's more of a guideline than actual directions. I added nori and raw chopped leeks instead of onion. After lunch I had a Raw Revolution 100 cal. Cashew and Spirulina bar.
And dinner was just an easy salad to use up some stuff in the fridge.


Romaine, spinach, broccoli, more leeks, red pepper, cucumber. With balsamic, lemon juice, nooch, and black pepper. Also a small forkful of the raw slaw. Dessert was more trail mix (gojis and raisins).
And...I feel good!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raw Week, Day 1

Breakfast:


An actually green smoothie, this time around. Spinach, 1 frozen banana, 1 kiwi, lemon juice, ginger, and a squirt of agave. Also, a few figs...
I cleaned for a while and found more cat shenanigans.


This turndown service does not come with mints. Mostly because cats can't eat chocolate anyway.
Then my best brother came and picked me up to drive into the city to get a desk G and I had bought. I AM SITTING AT IT RIGHT NOW WHOOOAA and I'm gonna be mad productive. Starting tomorrow. What better way to thank him for his help (really, thanks, Will) than to feed him? He had some of the leftover Spring Lima Bean salad from yesterday and I made Sarah Kramer's April calendar recipe to go with it. It just so happened that the recipe was raw, so I chowed down too on her Raw Slaw, made with grated sweet potato, carrot, and apple and mixed with nuts and raisins. My brother actually seemed to like this. I thought it was good but it was a little bland for me. Maybe it'll improve after sitting for a while.


I ate it over some spinach and arugula.
Had this Amazing Greens bar for a snack not long after:


Dinner was more Raw Slaw, not so much because I didn't make anything else - I have soaked nuts I might blend up for raw vegan tuna tomorrow - but I wasn't too hungry and didn't feel like eating anything else.


I added lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt and topped it with more raw sliced leeks and it was better. Red pepper on the side (on top, really). Hannah really got me going on raw leeks! (Not least because now I have three leeks to use up in the fridge) They're good and less of a bite than raw onion, which I also might throw into this slaw next time. I guess I like it for how adaptable it is, anyway.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Calm after the Storm, Food before the Fast

Happy Magnetic Fields Day, everyone! And Happy Palm Sunday to those of you who celebrate it. It certainly was a perfect day for it: after the rains of last night (and best to those of you in NC!), the weather was really nice this morning and I was up early for a short run! I got back, showered, and went to church for a nice service.
When I got back, I was pretty hungry and made short order of a green (blue-gray, really) smoothie for two:


This was spinach, 1 banana, ice, blueberries, a package of Vega vanilla powder, water, and lemon juice.
I worked for a bit on my zine and then made lunch, Hannah Kaminsky's delicious fava bean salad. Except I didn't use fava beans.


She might be best known for her sweet stuff, but I love pretty much anything Hannah posts, and this sounded perfect for a green, fresh, spring meal. I'm always down with salad "recipes" because I definitely wouldn't have thrown this together on my own (artichokes, leeks, and beans are a great match apparently) but also because as Hannah says, mixing and matching ingredients to what you have is totally acceptable. The only changes I made were to sub frozen lima beans for fava beans, because I couldn't find any, and to use half spinach and half arugula for the greens because I like it! I DID use pine nuts and am still taking ideas on how to use them up. This was a delicious, flavorful, and filling but light midday meal. The dressing was especially awesome.
Oh yeah, and red pepper, carrots, and tomatoes on the side.


I haven't had dinner yet. It'll probably be another salad of some sort, and then I may or may not do some prep for tomorrow, since the next three days will be raw. Any easy raw recipe suggestions? I WILL be partaking of some Duvel tonight (last sips before Easter!), courtesy of my friend Joe.
Before I go, here are two photos I took this afternoon with the about 15 minutes of sun we get in the kitchen on good days when it shines down the air shaft! I had put my coffee down randomly, as I am wont to do, and wandered back to the kitchen to find this beautiful (or I thought so anyway) shot!



And, ha! That "Looks like Fatty didn't screw up" poster was actually crammed in a rental returned to work from SNL when Zach Galifinakis hosted recently. Cool, right, I KNOW!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Damn Bananas

"What a thrill -
My thumb instead of an onion."
--Sylvia Plath

Everyone who cooks has a few kitchen battle wounds we wear with pride: pulling the brownies out of the oven burn scar, chopping vegetables with too much gusto scar, psychological scars from confusing the salt with sugar in cookies... but I am the biggest, dopiest klutz sometimes. I have a scar in the middle of my palm from trying to jab an avocado pit out of the fruit with a very sharp knife (dumb, dumb! I use spoons these days) but yesterday I actually got a really bad splinter from a bunch of bananas! Is that even possible for anyone but me?? I was trying to shove them in my bag and the woody part at the top cut into my hand and now I'm freaking out about if it's possible to get some tropical disease in my bloodstream that was carried on those bananas! G says I have three days, tops. Do you guys have any klutzy food scars that you care to share? Boy-o.
I guess I'll stop wasting my precious moments blathering and show you what I ate. One of my last days on Earth and I didn't even eat anything interesting. But I did call my mom!
Breakfast was a banana with almond butter and a few raisins on the side.


Lunch was last night's salad with spicy roasted chickpeas.


I had a hard time figuring out a dressing for the salad that wouldn't be too overwhelming and clash with the spices. I ended up just putting on lemon juice and a little tahini. It was kind of dry, but still pretty tasty. The chickpeas got a little soggy in the salad, though. I realized later it would have been great to have had Kristen's curry dressing. Maybe I'll make this soon.
I snacked on a green Raw Revolution bar, a delicious pink lady apple, and two figs throughout the day, too. This is my favorite brand that I've tried:


I like their Calimyrna figs a little better, but I get these more often because they're cheaper. Fig fans, anyone?
And dinner, yes, after all that food, was more salad and chickpeas, if you can believe it. I had the chickpeas on the side and made this smaller (than lunch) salad with spinach, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes, carrot sticks, red pepper, and arugula! I love arugula but never buy it. It's nice and peppery.


Dessert was chocolate chips, raisins, and a few goji berries. Oh and cawfee, cuz I'm gonna work on something now.
PS Hi Greg.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lots of Everyone's Favorite Legume

You, as vegans, don't need me, as a vegan, to tell you vegans the wonders of the chickpea. That would be preaching to the choir. They're great. Instead, I'll show you my super chickpea day:


Lunch leftovers from last night's VYY Golden Chickpea and Artichoke Salad, with baby tomatoes. (I just found out that Vegan Yum Yum is next at the plate for Lindsay's cookbook club and I am quite excited. Get yr copies on reserve now - it starts in two days!)


Roasted chickpeas: tossed with olive oil, coriander, cayenne pepper, and curry powder. Roasted in a 400* oven until crispy. So good! These added a nice flavor and texture when thrown on top of a (very beety) salad:


All hail ye, mighty chickpea.
One other thing I loved today was fresh-pressed juice from Liquiteria: All Greens (romaine, kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsely) with apple, lemon, and ginger. Oh MAN! That place is great. I'm doing a raw into liquid fast next week in preparation for Easter and I am STOKED if it means Liquiteria everyday.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making Me Make Meals

Sometimes after a frustrating day at work, it's nice to come home to a meal already made. But sometimes you come home hungry to dishes in the sink and someone who stayed home all day asking what's for dinner.
At times like that, you can really only open a your pantry and starting chopping as quickly as possible. And maybe eat a few dried apricots and crackers in the meantime. Remembering a can of artichoke hearts I had bought for no reason last week and recalling a recipe G and I had considered for a dinner party a while back, I pulled Lauren Ulm's Vegan Yum Yum off the shelves to make Golden Chickpea and Artichoke Salad. You can actually find the recipe online here.
Yes, I did have to back outside to buy chickpeas and use up the rest of my greens, but I appreciate that G knows what he likes and what will taste good. He suggested adding a grain (quinoa) and greens (kale and spinach) to the dish to make it a little heartier and healthier, but otherwise I stuck almost exactly to the recipe, only not toasting and grinding the almond slivers but leaving them whole and subbing cilantro for parsley because that's all we have (from a pot! Outside! Growing and live!).


This is our finished product. And it was damn tasty. The almonds were a nice crunch and artichokes are delicious, although I rarely buy them. The meal was put together fairly quickly and it's not like I had any real plans for dinner anyway, so thanks, G. I didn't blog yesterday because I just eat the same thing all the time and it gets tedious to post. But this, THIS! Try it!
G, thank you for forcing me outside of the usual, gripe though I might. I needed to buy more groceries anyway and it's good to use my cookbooks, too. Let's do this more often.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kale Storm

My sister called me yesterday just to chat (which I'm not so good at - sorry, Liz) but mentioned that she reads the blog sometimes and commented, "Yo - you eat so much kale!" I don't really feel like I eat it all that often. I love it, of course, but spinach is more ubiquitous and is cheaper and is therefore generally my green of choice. But today I was looking at my food, and I guess I do eat a lot of kale. Because it's a bit tougher than spinach, a little goes a long way but it also goes bad pretty quickly so when it's around, I try to incorporate it into meals as much as possible, for sure.
Breakfast was greens-less though:


Raw, soaked steel-cut oats, banana slices, walnuts, and a few dried apricots.


Lunch was a huuuge salad of kale, spinach, red bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, and carrots topped with some homemade sundried tomato hummus, lemon juice, a little olive oil, salt and pepper.


And dinner: red quinoa with some leftover lunch salad (told you it was huge! I couldn't even finish it!) and sauteed broccolini with tomatoes cooked in shallot, garlic, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar over more kale and zucchini. Oof. Honestly, it might have been too much but now I have delicious leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

What is your favorite way to eat the good greens?