Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cold Weather = Soup Weather

In keeping up with the leftovers theme, I made a batch of soup yesterday. I've been buying quite a bit of celery lately and when I just eat the stalks, I'm left with the top stalks and leaves. Not wanting that to go to waste I decided to make soup. I used the leftover celery, 1 medium onion, a clove of garlic, and 1 bunch kale. I seasoned the the soup with Mexican seasoning, chipotle cayenne, salt, and pepper. I also added about a 1/4 cup of black beans to help give more of a creamy consistency. Adding the chipotle cayenne made it spicy but so good. I added a dollop of Greek yogurt and cilantro for my lunch today. One of the nice things about making soup is that the measurements don't need to be exact. It's always fun making a batch because I end up adding more ingredients as I go along. I'm thinking of some variations I can do with this so a real recipe will be up soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving. Hope everyone ate delicious food and enjoyed their day with family. My day was spent with my mom. I was in the kitchen while she was in the living room watching movies (her favorite thing to do.) She would frequent the kitchen to see if I needed any help, and she cut the veggies for the stuffing and gravy. Since I'm still trying to stick with the Candida diet as best I can, I planned a gluten and sugar free menu. We also did without a whole turkey. I picked up a bone in half breast at the health food store. It was the perfect size for two people with some leftover. 

Our dinner consisted of roasted kabocha squash mash, quinoa stuffing made with Julian Bakery dinner bread, steamed green and wax beans, turkey, cranberry sauce sweetened with xylitol, and a gravy made from carrots, celery, onion, and shallot that were roasted with the turkey breast. Everything was so yummy. The traditional Thanksgiving food I grew up on was not the healthiest so being able to prepare such a healthy meal is something I am thankful for.

Here is another pretty shot of the Valley I took on my walk this morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

The mood of this week has been wonderfully different. I always love when my normal routine gets shifted. Sunday, which was my Friday, was spent working at the shop. It was a cold and rainy day but people still came in to get some yummy cupcakes. Even though I'm in the kitchen, it's when I work in the shop I really crave a cupcake. The flavors were so good this week and two months with no sugar made me want one even more. I gave in and ate a mini pumpkin cranberry. It was amazing. I also had some wine that night. I was worried that once I consumed sugar again I would get sick or have a flare up but I felt fine. I know it's something I just really need to monitor. I've also been house sitting since Sunday. It's like a mini vacation for me which I love. The rainy Sunday evening was spent making dinner with the boy I have a crush on and watching movies.

Brown rice pasta with chicken, broccoli, and an arugula salad.

The next night I made chicken enchiladas. Daiya vegan cheese is my favorite for this recipe. He was a bit worried when I said I would be using vegan cheese. I think he liked them though.

From both dinners we had food leftover. For the past two days I have been using these leftovers to make my lunch and dinner.

An arugula salad topped with a chicken enchilada, brown rice and beans, more Daiya cheese and ancho chile powder.

I mixed together the last of the enchilada, rice and beans and reheated in the oven with more Daiya cheese sprinkled on top. I really love this cheese. I served it on a bed of spinach with a side of avocado, cilantro and tortilla flax chips. Lots of lime juice made this extra yummy.

For the pasta leftovers I sauteed some green and red bell peppers. Served over a bed of spinach and topped with pine nuts. Pasta and pine nuts are quite the combination.

As for tonight, I ate the rest of the pasta over a bed of arugula with steamed broccoli.

Here is a shot from today's walk. It was chilly out but I very much enjoyed it. I think Fall might be my favorite season.

 Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stir Fries and a Scramble

 I haven't been doing as much experimental cooking lately but I have been keeping up on making some yummy dinners. I also haven't been cooking in my own kitchen. I made a new friend who I happen to have a crush on. We've been making dinner at his house a lot. I thought it was going to be difficult eating together since I have so many restrictions but he's really accommodating and respectful of my dietary needs. Since my diet consists basically of veggies, protein, and grains, stir fry seemed to be a good choice. We've been making them a lot but each time a little different depending on the veggies or protein used. I wouldn't say I'm bad at preparing meat or poultry but I definitely don't take the time to season it when it comes to making a stir fry. It's amazing how proper seasoning can tie the entire dish together and add so much extra flavor. He is in charge of the protein portion of the meal and I take care of the veggies. The rice portion is a team effort. Cooking is such a love of mine and being able to share that experience with someone else who I enjoy spending time with is really nice. 

In addition to our stir fry dinners we made a veggie scramble for breakfast one morning. He's into adding serrano peppers on everything and it's starting to rub off on me. It's so incredibly spicy but so good.