Monthly Archives: September 2011

Madras Lentil Curry

The boyfriend was inspired by something he ate at a local falafel place, which reminded him of something we ate in Palestine. He said it was something like madras or madrassa. So we googled and found out that what he was thinking of was Madras curry. There is a little convenience store/Indian market downtown, so we stopped in and picked up a bag of the stuff. We finally got around to making this Madras Lentil Curry a few nights ago. It was so good! We served it over brown rice.

I keep forgetting to take pictures of our food. I just get so hungry that I eat it without thinking about the blog. Oops.

If you like Indian food or curry at all, give this a try, because it’s easy and I’m sure you’ll like it. :)

My next curry challenge is yellow dal. Oh how I love yellow dal. Mmmmm….

Windham County Humane Society Walk for Animals

Last Saturday, the humane society in our town had a walk for animals. I convinced the boyfriend to walk with me to keep me company. I raised a little bit of money, and apparently that was enough for me to win a prize at the end! I was shocked. I don’t win things!

I had fun petting dogs and taking photos of them. Here are the good ones.

August in Photos

Now that September is mostly over, I’m finally getting around to posting my photos from August. Enjoy! :)

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

It’s been dark, gloomy and rainy all morning. It’s a perfect day for baking. If you still don’t have a job, that is (I have an interview on Monday, so cross your fingers for me). This is the third time I’ve made these cookies in less than a month. They’re that good.

I had the pleasure of enjoying these cooking for the first time at a casual dinner party hosted by the HR director of the organization I worked for over the summer. They’re GF, and delicious. I had her send me the recipe. I’m not sure where it originally came from, unfortunately.

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

¾ C Almond flour (or 1/3 C white flour and 1/3 C whole wheat flour, if not making them GF)
1 ½ C Gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ C packed light brown sugar
1 C dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped [I usually use a little extra…haha]
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix flour, oats, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl, stir with whisk.
Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add brown sugar, stir until smooth.
Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. [Or with your arm and a wooden spoon.]
Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate.

Drop by tablespoonfuls, two inches apart, onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
(Dough doesn’t stick together well so use spoons to shape as best you can.)
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes – watch closely so they don’t burn.
Remove from oven and let cookies cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm.
Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. [Or space them out as best you can on plates or a platter, if you don’t have racks like I don’t.]

Makes about 30 cookies.

Enjoy!

July in Pictures

I got way behind on this whole blogging thing. I suppose I was a bit busy.

Looking for a place to live…online-without being able to see anything in person before committing.
Trying to find a job…again, online (still unsuccessful)
Working (the internship was still in full swing until the second week of August)
Going on trips to Duluth, Minneapolis, and the Ingall’s-Wilder Homestead in SD
Driving back to AZ from SD (alone)
Packing, organizing, and trying to see everyone as much as possible in one week before leaving for VT.
Driving across the country (in four days) with The Boyfriend’s wonderful, talented, awesome sister.
Setting up house here in West Dummerston (a small village-how quaint, right?-outside the town of Brattleboro, where he is attending the New England Center for Circus Arts).
Continuing the job hunt.
Exploring Brattleboro.
And so on.

Busy, busy.

I took almost as many pictures in July as I did in May! That must mean it was a fun month. While I always know how much fun I had without a measurable unit, it’s still nice to be able to sort of measure it anyway. :)

Here they are! I hope you enjoy looking even half as much as I enjoyed going, doing, and shooting.

What I’m Eating

A super sweet, lovely acquaintance from high school (We were folder partners in choir! Ahh, the memories.) is going gluten and dairy free for one month, at the request of her doctor. They did the blood tests, but they were negative. Her doctor suggested maybe she had intolerances to these foods, rather than full-blown allergies. Smart doctor! How refreshing.

Being new to the GF scene (And dairy free at the same time? Oof. Rough.), she’s struggling a bit, as most of us did in the beginning.

So, that has me motivated me to blog more, especially about eating at home. Even if posting what I had for daily meals seems mundane, maybe it will help her, or someone else. :)

A few nights ago The Boyfriend made some veggie stir fry (broccoli, carrots, green pepper, and water chestnuts) and some Quorn Chick’n Tenders, which we put on a bed of brown rice, then smothered with La Choy orange ginger sauce.

The Boyfriend is a vegetarian, and while I’m not, I prefer to eat vegetarian meals most of the time-for ethical and environmental reasons. Alas, my body does not like being full-on veg. It doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, if I don’t throw some animal protein in there every week or two, I start to feel really terrible-brain fog, fatigue, weakness, etc. And I don’t deal well with eggs, so meat it is. Anyhow. When I was a vegetarian I loved Quorn products. When I went GF, I discovered that their products were sadly off limits to me. That is, until I found out that Quorn chik’n tenders and beef style grounds are indeed GF! They’re not something I’d buy all the time; they’re definitely a splurge, but they are SO GOOD. They can be found in some “normal” grocery stores, as well as health food stores.

The sauce is apparently a new product La Choy is making, along with some other flavors. I’d rather make everything myself, but we splurged and tried it. It was really good too. It’s no Panda Express orange chicken sauce, but it’s a close second. =p La Choy doesn’t advertise their products as gluten free, but if you read the labels, you’ll find that they are. Or at least some. I’m not entirely sure. La Choy has a gluten free soy sauce, which I always keep on hand (either that, or tamari-but I’m partial to La Choy for no real reason in particular-maybe because it’s the first GF soy sauce I ever saw). I’m not a huge soy sauce person, but I end up cooking with it quite a bit.

It’s nice to know these sauces are out there for those who don’t want to make everything from scratch or don’t have time. Then there are those nights where you’re just exhausted and don’t have much left in the fridge so you wander into the store on your way home from work (or wherever), with no plan and hope you can find something at least moderately healthy to tide you over until you can find the time and energy to go grocery shopping. These kinds of packaged foods are also helpful for those who are having a GF dinner guest and not used to preparing GF foods. They can simply grab something and know they’re providing you with a safe meal.

Then it was sloppy lentil poser night, which I posted the link to the recipe for in my last post.

I ended up eating that again the next night, with some corn tortillas instead of Udi’s bread. Still extremely good!

I ate a late breakfast (cereal with soy milk), then a vegan/GF apple bar (SO GOOD) from Mocha Joe’s-a local coffee shop here in Brattleboro-so I had a late lunch of leftover stir fry/rice/ginger orange sauce concoction and a salad. It was a really simple salad. Just lettuce, tomato, a bit of red onion and some cucumber slices with Kraft Green Goddess dressing.

Normally I stick with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but I was getting tired of it. I pretty much never buy Kraft anything, because it’s almost always krap (hardy har). I’m going to start making my own dressings, but I was already at the store and hadn’t looked up a recipe yet. This bottle of dressing surprisingly met my criteria for not being full of much crap. It’s super tasty. There are plenty of more natural versions out there, but price was a priority, second only to real food ingredients. Just a heads up-the Annie’s brand is sadly not GF (because of the non-GF soy sauce in it).

For dinner tonight, I think I’m making cheese enchiladas. I should have gotten some spinach to throw in there, but I forgot. That will consist of corn tortillas, shredded Mexican cheese, and green enchilada sauce from a jar (I haven’t been ambitious enough to make my own enchilada sauce yet). There will be a salad on the side, with some corn, beans and tortilla chips (organic blue corn, on sale at Target) thrown in. Easy, right? Again, pretty processed. We are not on a roll here. I guess that’s what happens when you’re just settling in to a new place.

Speaking of enchiladas, be careful with enchilada sauces, and sauces in general, because many of them have wheat flour in them. We found one green sauce in the entire array of sauces that was GF. Hrmph. I always have to ask about the tortillas and sauces the enchiladas are made with when I go to a Mexican restaurant. Enchiladas are usually one of the safer items on the menu, but always, always check. I hate asking about the gluten free-ness of foods at restaurants, but it’s necessary. I’m getting better.

The cheese enchiladas is not a helpful suggestion for my dairy and GF friend, but there are always fajitas to be had instead! Or enchiladas with faux cheese, but I’m skeptical of that stuff. =/

Somewhere in the last few days I also ate a veggie sandwich on Udi’s bread. I threw some vinegar on there. So good. Messy, but good. I try to limit my bread intake (because it’s so expensive), but it’s so hard! I love bread. I always have. I’m quite sure I always will.

I’ve snacked on Greek yogurt (for the dairy free, there is soy yogurt and coconut yogurt), carrots with Green Goddess dressing (again, not dairy free but there are substitutions to be made), corn tortilla chips with salsa, Luna protein bars (new and GF-unlike the regular Luna bars), apples (with and without PB-almond and other butters are good too, but I don’t have any right now), and PB sandwiches on Udi’s bread (k, so that’s not so much a snack but a small meal). There has also been a lot of smoothie making going on here. Our favorite seems to be peanut butter, banana, and yogurt. We use ice in our smoothies. For dairy free, just sub dairy free yogurt, or perhaps just a splash of dairy free nut, rice, or soy milk. Or coconut milk!

Don’t forget about nuts and seeds, especially raw ones, as snacks. I’m partial to Kind bars too, but they’re kinda spendy. You can find them, as well as Two Moms in the Raw bars at Starbucks usually.

Sloppy Lentils

I made these Sloppy Joe Lentil Posers from Nourishing Flourishing for dinner tonight and they were absolutely amazing.

They were quick*, easy, and did I mention delicious? Because they were. They were so much better than I expected. I thought they’d be so-so, but they were so super awesome! Lentils are one of my favorite foods, in pretty much any form, so that made it even better.

Make them! Right now! Go!

*Ok, so lentils aren’t that quick, but if you put them in your rice cooker, you can forget about them and go do something else, so it kind of doesn’t count toward the total prep time, in my opinion.

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