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The return of food diary

July 12, 2011

My people! Hello!

I’m almost done unpacking (I always promise myself it’ll be finished tomorrow) and have therefore returned to a life of computer-less blogging. There are two big changes:

1) I have a fancy new phone that functions like a little computer. Therefore, I can make (or at least start) WordPress posts on the go.

2) Now I’m only cooking for one.

Yeah, #2 is the biggest adjustment. It’s already a huge lifestyle change, but now when I cook I have leftovers! I can use chicken eggs, chickpeas and sesame!  Yet for the most part, I genuinely enjoy eating the way I was. A paleo and raw-inspired diet did my body very, very well. Grain-, dairy- (except butter) and sugar-free makes me feel good. Let’s celebrate my new single life and return to a sense of normalcy with an approximate, hazy memory of what I ate this week.

Food Diary for the week of July 3rd-11th

or: what I ate when I stopped unpacking and embraced bachelor living

  • Boxed mac and cheese. I ain’t ashamed. This right here is the most supreme of comfort foods (which is also a culmination of everything I don’t eat, but whatever). I chopped up a chicken sausage and used coconut keefir + ghee for the cheese sauce to ease my tummy. Annie’s, baby.
  • Green smoothies. The blender got unpacked first, of course. I’ve had a lot of spinach, bananas, orange juice, sprouted rice protein powder, cacao nibs, frozen berries, kale, almond butter, etc etc…
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Oh jeez, who am I kidding? I fell — face planted — off the wagon this week. But they have Mission to Marzipan at my local Grocery outlet, so I am powerless. And stressed. I’m lucky they don’t have the Cake Batter flavor because that’s all I’d ever eat. I need an ice cream maker STAT.
  • Egg & veggie scrambles. Dark leafy greens, onions, garlic, sometimes a little meat and lots of eggs. Delicious every time.
  • Salmon croquettes. My stand-by cheap, chewy good protein snack recipe.
  • Stuff from my mother’s fridge. Thanks, ma! Love you!
  • Sunbutter. Just spoonfuls of the stuff. A friend and I found a jar in his parent’s kitchen, which we promptly abducted and ravished. I wish I had a more powerful food processor so I could make my own.
  • Raw blueberry cheesecake. You know the drill — soaked raw cashews, blueberries, lemon juice, tahini, stevia, almonds… just google that shit to find a million different versions. I didn’t even use a recipe because I make these so much.
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches. With Daiya, sweet mustard and OlyKraut, oh yes. This is about the point in the week where I feel my throat getting a little sore because I’ve had too much wheat and sugar. Hmm.

Take a gander at yesterday’s breakfast/lunch: Green smoothie (OJ, cacao nibs, protein/green/magnesium/chia powder mix, coconut keefir, spinach, raw honey), sliced tomato, sliced apple, two softboiled eggs from the chickens of one of my mom’s coworkers, more OJ in an old kombucha bottle and a bacon/beef patty cut up into strips. I’m not usually feeling red meat, but it was in my moms’ freezer from the local butcher so it is fairly tasty and very free. (Thanks again, mom!) Then I wrecked my guts by eating more Ben & Jerry’s when I got home. Oops.

June 29, 2011

Sweet little cooking blog — I haven’t forgotten about you! But it has been a rough month, and I am in the middle of moving. Then I will have a new (tiny) kitchen and a much better camera phone and so many more recipes for you. ❤

I know it’s good for me but it tastes like poop

May 26, 2011

People, I need some serious help here. Why do I keep picking protein powders that taste like sand?

I love a green smoothie with protein powder in it. That is a staple in my life. But lately… I haven’t been finishing all of my smoothies. Blasphemy, I know! It’s full of good ingredients and makes me feel good, but they’ve all been uninspiring lately. I’m sure it’s got everything to do with this:

I bet this powder has all kinds of fans. It’s dairy and soy free, no added sugars, has protein from three kinds of plants, looks full of good stuff on the label, but… no. I just can’t eat it anymore. It absolutely overpowers the flavors of whatever else I have in my smoothie, drowning out everything. The delicious oranges I put in there? Gone. Strawberries? Where? It tastes a little off, too; not like it’s spoiled, but it just isn’t as pleasant as everything else I put in there! This morning I made a big-ass smoothie with coconut milk yogurt, half a cooked sweet potato, pumpkin pie spices, an apple, a few baby carrots, psyllium, water, sorrel and this protein powder. Doesn’t that sound AMAZING? Well, it’s not. It tastes gross. And I know it ain’t the fruit and veggies’ fault.

Still, I can’t decide if it’s worse than this was:

I know this stuff was good for me. I FELT good when I drank it. But dang… it tastes like mud. For real. Everything I put it in tasted like dirt.

My all-time favorite protein powder has probably been this one:It’s pretty fuckin’ vanilla-y, but not in a way that tastes weird like the Life Time one. Instead of overpowering the other flavors, it creates a nice creamy background. One of my favorite smoothies in the world is (made to split with my boyfriend) two scoops of this blended smooth with about 2 cups of almond milk, a few dates and two handfuls of spinach, and then throw in 2 frozen bananas. Done! Instant vanilla milkshake! It really is so, so addictive. They’ve got an organic one, too! And chocolate! I think I’ll buy the choco one next, just to spice it up a bit. In my brain it’s basically the cheaper version of Sunwarrior Protein, which everyone gets retarded for but I’m not spending $50 on a container. Nope! My beloved NutriBiotic is $20/container, so for now I know where my food stamps are going.

Dehydrated pizza

May 16, 2011

Sounds appetizing, right? After my whole last post about “fake food go home,” I tried to make some raw vegan pizza. Of course. I guess that I consider pizza to be something I NEED. All that cheese and wheat ain’t doing me so good, but the combo of bread-like base + sauce + toppings + cheese (optional) = heaven. Epic once told me, “If I could only ever eat one thing again, it would be pizza.” True dat.

Well, last night I got stoned and thought it would be a great time to whip up some raw pizza dough! So into the food processor I threw:

  • 1 1/2 c sprouted buckwheat
  • one small zucchini
  • 1/4 c almond butter
  • 2 T Mediterranean spices
  • 1/3 c H20 with two sun dried tomatoes and a pitted date soaked in it
  • a pinch of salt
  • a couple pinches of shredded coconut
  • 1 clove garlic
  • roughly 1/4 c sprouted salt & vinegar pumpkin seeds
  • maybe 3 T flax seeds
  • a dash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 t chia seeds? I think?
  • some olive oil

Anyway I obviously don’t remember everything I put in there (thanks drugs!) but I ground it up real fine and spread it out in a big wide round circle on a paraflex sheet. After it dried for about 6 hours, it smelled good. I’ve tried buckwheat crusts before and they get a little chalky and dry. But the texture on this wasn’t awful!

However: when I flipped it after about 2 hours, I put it on a mesh sheet. Dumb. Dumb dumb dumb. It started to seep through as it dried, and it kind of… dried around the sheet. This combined with the fact that I spread it a little thin made my crust break when I tried to peel it off this morning! I freaked out for about 30 seconds, but decided to  make due with what I had. I cut four pizza slices out of what was salvageable and spread ’em with raw pumpkin seed pesto, diced garlic, tomatoes and nutritional yeast. Too bad I didn’t have any daiya.


I dumped the rest of the crumbs in a blender with water, more almond butter, a little agave and some more flax. After it was all good and mixed I poured it on a new paraflex sheet (thicker this time) and popped it back in, flipping an hour in. We’ll see what happens.

Dietary Kryptonite

May 13, 2011

Let’s talk about food weaknesses.

I’m usually pretty fucking great at eating stuff I can’t process in moderation. When I first found out I was lactose intolerant, I cried and binged on mac and cheese and farted a lot. These days, I make my various cheezy cashew cream sauces to pour over rice noodles and veggies. It might not have that same rubbery texture, but in this case it’s more about sauce + noodles than cheese. So, I’m satisfied.

The same thing goes for bread. As a child (and especially in the first years of being a vegetarian), I LIVED off of wheat and cheese. Bread was my favorite food ever. But ugh, I used to have a lot of… lady problems. Ahem. I slowly gave up white starch/sugar high glycemic foods, and once I dropped bread they practically disappeared.

But I really do like bread and sometimes cheese and especially fried foods, so I have a golden dining rule: I don’t cook it at home, but when I go out it’s okay. This works in my gastrointestinal favor because A) I eat most of my meals at home, and B) I don’t go nuts “depriving” myself. Whenever I can’t have X, all I can think about is X.  And really, is a torta still a torta if it’s not in a delicious oily Mexican bun? Or cheese and wheat free pizza ever quite as elastic as what it imitates? Both of these things are *good* without those elements, but I hate fake food. I hate fake meat, fake cheese (except Daiya) and most commercial gluten-free bread.  I don’t even take advantage of this rule most of the time and prefer to stick to my usual stuff. Since there’s no psychological block to avoid these “evil” foods, I don’t stress about it! But when I crave it I’d rather eat the real thing, or if I don’t wanna suffer the consequences, avoid it completely. Yoda knew what I was talking about: “Do… or do not. There is no try.” Damn straight.

So with this little zen mantra, I do good! I eat good food, I don’t count calories, I don’t obsess. I usually avoid the things that make me feel shitty, but when I do eat some? Meh! These sometimes foods aren’t a staple in my diet.

There are, however, some things I CANNOT avoid no matter how hard I try. So I stop trying, because it turns into that creepy obsessive depressing deprivation cycle. I mean, I won’t always seek it out — but if it’s there, or within reach even, it goes in my mouth. Every goddamn time. My biggest culinary weakness is probably Japanese food and Asian junk food:


Today for lunch I scarfed down shrimp chips, white sushi rice, eggs, kimchi, pickled garlic and Japanese mayo. It was SO GOOD. I’m gonna get crazy exploding heart palpitations and headaches later from the MSG, but agh! I can’t help it! I think that Japanese food and Asian junky snacks are my ultimate comfort foods and a health nut would tell me that it’s psychological, and I need to stop binge eating and get real with myself, and blah blah blah but hey shut the fuck up. I love opening a bag of chips with a label in a language I can’t read and experiencing the different flavors. I love international beer snacks (and I also love international beer). I love white sushi rice. I love garlic, taro, ginger, galangal, lotus seeds, five spice, octopus, mystery pickled veggies and seaweed.

And now I’m going to the Asian market.


chermoya for breakfast

May 10, 2011

breakfast & snacks: black tea with almond milk, grain-free bread, vegan mac n cheese with brown rice pasta and veggies, chermoya, a tangerine and the last cupcake from mother's day.

There’s a mysterious fruit at my co-op called a Chermoya. It’s priced a bit steep — somewhere around $6.50 a pound — but every month I treat myself to one weird food present, so I decided to splurge. This was a terrible decision, because now it’s the only thing I ever want to eat. Apples? Satsuma? Pshaw! Why the hell would I put any of those in my mouth when I can eat something that tastes like a banana and a pineapple made sweet, sweet creamy babies? The flavor is also similar to Jackfruit chips I like to buy from the little Asian market. I think I’m in love.

I tried to make the Rosemary Garlic Sandwich Bread from The Spunky Coconut this morning. I substituted the four chicken eggs for three large duck eggs, xanthan gum for 1/2 t chia meal, almond milk for cashew milk, honey for agave and dropped the rosemary and garlic. It, uh… well, I wouldn’t call it bread, exactly. Don’t get me wrong, it really is tasty. The loaf is overall nice and non-offensive. But it reminds me more of coffee cake, and the texture is DEFINITELY cakey. Sponge cake.  Seriously, when I squish it it sounds like a moist sponge. It’s also quite flat, which Kelly warned about but dang, my slices look like biscotti. FLAT. It’s really not the texture I’m looking for but I’m glad it’s a quick, reliable recipe (which would be a lot more “bread” like if I bake it in a smaller pan) when I need something to smear butter all over. That’s the real reason I crave bread — I just don’t have anything paleo or grain free that’s quite as good of a butter vehicle.

Also, my tea is terrible. Like, fucking awful. Since this is the first time I’ve made it, I can’t tell if it’s the tea itself, Basilur’s Nuwara Eliya (I taste-tested Epic’s glass and it was fine, albeit bitter) or maybe my glass. I have their Uva tea and it’s really, really delicious. To be fair, when I got to work and went to unscrew the lid a black ink-like substance seeped out. EWW. Where is that even coming from? And it smells like the bleach I use on my hair. Let’s… let’s not drink that, okay?

Salmon croquettes, Mother’s day menu & cupcakes

May 9, 2011

I haven’t done too much cooking lately. I got hit with some nasty bronchitis that put me out for over a week, and while I felt like cooking… well, when you’re coughing all over the food nobody wants to eat it. I had a lot of tea and hot & sour soup last week.

When I did feel better the cupcakes came OUT. I baked three batches of cupcakes in the past few days. The first was an altered version of the Lower-Fat Chocolate Bundt Cake from Veganomicon, which I spiced up with some cinnamon and cayenne pepper for a Cinco de Mayo potluck. All the drunk people loved ’em! I tried to recreate it totally grain-free for mother’s day but the testers came out a little… gummy. Too much tapioca flour, and I think the date sugar I used soaked up all the liquid. I just threw a little extra almond meal in there and put the batter in the freezer for future (very fudgy) brownies. I don’t think Epic will get sick of chocolate anytime soon so he’ll get put through a lot of test batches while I master that recipe. I NEED to because it is so, so dense and dark and rich in its chocolate-ness.

I did get it together to make this lovely spread for Mother’s day:

left to right: salad, cupcakes and salmon croquettes

The lettuce/purple cabbage/carrot salad with raw garlicky-tahini herbed dressing is from the Summer 2010 issue of Purely Delicious Magazine, and with a squirt of agave the dressing went from bitter to great. I’m not sure why I buy that magazine — the articles are fucking terrible and I don’t end up making most of the recipes. It’s not like my subscription to Bon Apetit, which is inspiring but mostly food porn.

Next up are the cupcakes. When my initial batch of grain-free chocolate got too fudgy (usually never a problem) I decided to make the Strawberry Cupcakes from Elana’s Pantry. I used duck eggs instead of chicken, doubled the amount of strawberries and used 1/3 c honey instead of 1/2 c agave. Whoah! These are sweet. Moist, delicious, and definitely a lot more like a conventional cupcake in terms of sweetness than what I’m used to baking. Topped with almond butter frosting (almond butter, cow butter, agave and vanilla) and a slice of strawberry… oh wow, sugar bomb. Totally worth it. Totally making them again.

The protein to go with our salad is little salmon croquettes with lemon-mayonnaise dip. I’ve had the Salmon Korokke from Mummy, I Can Cook! bookmarked for a while. Canned Alaskan salmon is always available at my love Grocery Outlet, so I made a gluten-free, egg-free tester batch for dinner last week. They were really delicious and, uh, really gummy. I added too much tapioca flour again. This time around they were perfect!

Mini Salmon Croquettes

Egg-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. Makes about 15. Good for an appetizer.
  • 1 15 oz can of salmon
  • 3 T pickle juice
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic diced real fine
  • 2 T mustard
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 c tapioca flour
  • breadcrumbs of choice — I used Ener-G’s gluten free breadcrumbs, but in the future I’ll probably just use almond meal to keep it grain free.

Drain your can of salmon into a little bowl and give this water/fish juice to your cat. He will love you forever.

Place everything except the breadcrumbs into a bowl and stir until it’s all well mixed. Place about 3/4 c of breadcrumbs into a smaller bowl.  Scoop out little balls of mixture about 2T big, form them into balls and then roll in the breadcrumbs. I flattened my balls (ha! Ha… yeah.) so that they would cook faster. In a lightly oiled pan (just enough to make sure nothing sticks), cook 4-5 little patties at a time on medium, flipping at some point, until each side turns a dark gold. It takes a little while to cook them — about 15 minutes for the whole batch — but they’re otherwise quite easy and very, very tasty.