Bustling Ball of Busy-ness…

Helloooo Everyone! (a la Julia Child)
Wow… where has July gone? This month has literally flow by. It seems like just yesterday I was packing to go to my friends’ wedding. School will be starting soon. Everyone is trying to squeeze in their last minute family vacations. And here I sit. I still can’t believe I don’t have to pack my suitcase and head out on the road again. The fact that the mere thought of not traveling makes me giddy only proves that GF Guy and I made the right decision not to tour again. I love my home, my family, and my life. It may not be what other people think I should be doing, but I don’t care. I am so happy with the simplicity of it. Every day offers a new chance, a new opportunity. I can only move up from here, and I plan to! LE SIGH… I love this feeling of contentment.
My eats yesterday were grabbed on the fly and completely devoid of inspiration. There… I said it for you! ๐Ÿ™‚ hahaha I was bustling around all day. I am a very regimented person when it comes to my meal times. Well… yesterday, I was so busy I didn’t even notice it was over an hour past my lunchtime until… well… over an hour past my lunchtime! I literally did not stop running up and down ladders and in and out of storage rooms all day. (I secretly LOVED it!) When I finally arrived home around 9:00 PM, I just couldn’t muster up the will to cook anything, mainly because I didn’t feel like cleaning the pans. Now that’s laziness for ya!
Breakfast: GF Oats with PB2, Cinnamon, and Strawberries (I am almost out of my Cream Hill Estates GF Rolled Oats! NOOOO!!!! No one sells them around here. I am going to be forced to order them from Canada. I hate shipping fees! GRRRR….) Why, oh why, did Cream Hill Estates make me an oatmeal snob?

Snack: O.N.E. Coconut Water (Lets here it for electrolytes and potassium!)

Lunch: Leftover Chicken In A Pot, No Pie… Please

Dinner: 1.5 bowls of GF Cornflakes and Almond Milk and a few random, unpictured pieces of steamed broccoli and carrots

Dessert: Roasted Banana Coconut Ice Cream with a Crumbled Chocolate Brownie Cookie (Dairy and Gluten Free, naturally!)


Today, I am off to St. Pete to celebrate my dad’s birthday. (Happy Birthday, Old Man!) hahahahaha! He is the best daddy in the world, and I love him so much! He taught me what a man should be. He has never raised his voice around me (except at a hockey game), always shown how proud he was/is of me, and makes me feel loved every single day. I thank God for making him my daddy. I am one lucky little girl! We will be going to the beach and a baseball game. By we, I mean both GF Guys entire family AND my entire family. Now that’s a party! My little brother even flew down from Massachusetts for the event! (He’s isn’t exactly “little” anymore. In fact, he is over 6 feet tall and over 200 pounds of pure muscle. He is an ice hockey player. I’m so proud!) I FINALLY found the charger for my little camera so I can take pictures of the whole event. YAY!!!!!!!!!! I have felt completely naked without it, and have missed so many photo ops.
In other news: Tomorrow, Kim Hopkins over at http://thefoodallergycoach.blogspot.com will be hosting a GF Blogger Carnival. One of my posts will be featured. Be sure to check it out.
Okay… got to run! Bye!

Soup and Swine…

‘Sup Peeps?

How have you all been? Sorry for my inconsistent posts. A lot has been happening in this Gluten Free household. My little sister contracted Swine Flu. Thank God, she is recovering quite nicely. And, I have been working pretty much non-stop. My body has been craving extra sleep for about 5 days now, and I have been listening. I was also craving a cup of coffee when I woke up. I know, I know… I gave up coffee for Green Tea. Well, I wanted coffee this morning. You’ve got to live a little!

Yesterday, I started my morning with a small bowl of Gluten Free Corn Flakes and Almond Milk.

A strength workout, focusing on my core strength, followed.
Lunch was a simple, but stupendous affair consisting of Cold Shrimpies with BBQ dipping sauce (I didn’t really end up using much, if any.) Steamed Broccoli and Carrots, a few Diced Tomato Slices, and Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries.

GF Guy and I LOVE Sweet Potato Fries. Can you believe I had never eaten a sweet potato before going gluten free?! Crazy, right? I also ate a delectable organic peach.

Anyway, I worked the closing shift at the health store. Then, I rushed home to prepare dinner. GF Guy began the veggie chopping and bagel defrosting for me. He’s the best!
Before I get to the recipe, I want to do a product review for the BEST Gluten Free Bagels on the planet. Seriously, I am not exaggerating.
Joan’s GF Great Bakes

A while back, the wonderful Ken, of Joan’s GF Great Bakes, sent me a few products to try. I loved their English Muffins (see review here) and Chocolate Chip Cookies (see review here). But, nothing could have prepared me for the gloriousness of Joan’s Bagels. Why, oh why, did I leave them sitting in my freezer for so long? Joan’s Bagels are shipped frozen and uncooked. However, they are extremely simple to prepare. You simply defrost and bake for 22 minutes at 425 degrees. Voila, Bagel perfection!

Pros: Texture, Springy-ness, Taste, Convenience, Ease of Preparation
Cons: I have to mail order mine
The Verdict: on a scale of 1 to 5 YUMS; 5 YUMS That’s right… 5 YUMS! I have never given a product a full 5 YUMS before.
Joan’s GF Great Bakes Bagels are by far the best gluten free bread product I have ever tried. GF Guy even declared them better than “real” bagels! He practically inhaled his. If that isn’t a testimony to the brilliance of these bagels, then I don’t know what is! The bagels come in a variety of flavors- Plain, Everything, Egg Onion Poppy, Sesame, Poppy, and Cinnamon Raisin. You can also order any flavor of bagel Dairy Free! Thank you so much, Ken, for giving me the chance to try Joan’s GF Great Bakes products. All you gluten free readers out there, order yourself some Joan’s products. Trust me, they will change your life!

Now, on to dinner. I was craving soup and a bagel (obviously). So, I converted an old favorite Rachel Ray recipe to suit my gluten free needs. Here is my version of Ms. Ray’s Chicken In a Pot, No Pie. This is a great, quick, week night soup recipe. The picture may not look like much, but trust me on this one. This is a thick hearty soup. I just like mine extra with a lot of broth for dipping purposes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chicken In a Pot, No Pie… Please (my version is more polite!)

Ingredients:
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 2 tablespoons Dairy Free Butter Substitute
– 2 Idaho Potatoes, skin left on and diced
– 1 medium Onion, chopped
– 2 ribs Celery with leafy green tops, finely chopped
– 2 Carrots, peeled and diced
– 1 Bay Leaf, fresh or dried
– Salt and Pepper
– 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
– 3 tablespoons Sorghum Flour
– 1 cup Dry White Wine
– 5 cups Chicken Stock (I use low sodium)
– 1.5 pounds organic, free range Chicken Tenders, chopped
– 1 small bunch Pencil Asparagus, cut off woody ends and cut into 2 inch pieces
– 1 cup Frozen Peas
– 5 sprigs, Fresh Tarragon (key ingredient!)

Heat a medium soup pot over med-high heat.
Add oil and butter substitute. Melt together and add potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots, adding them to the pot as you chop them.
Add bay leaf and season with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, cook 5-6 minutes. Add sorghum flour and cook another minute, then whisk in the white wine and cook a minute more.
Add stock. Put a lid on the pot and raise heat to bring it to a quick boil.
Slide in the chicken and cook 5 minutes.
Stir in the asparagus and cook 3 minutes more.
Turn off the heat and add the frozen peas and fresh tarragon.
Stir to combine and adjust seasonings to taste.

Enjoy!

Dessert was a bowl of Roasted Banana Coconut Ice Cream

and a crumbled Soft Baked Brownie Cookie from Enjoy Life.

Nummy!

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Winners and Winning Recipes…

Hello and Happy Sunday! GF Guy and I had a wonderful date night on Friday. For dinner at The Columbia, we both had the 1905 Salad (mine was sans meat, cheese, and dressing) and split the Paella Valencia (I gave GF Guy all the chicken and pork and he gave me all the seafood.) The show was great fun, and I LOVED getting all dressed up! I am such a girly, girl! ๐Ÿ™‚ I worked all day Saturday, but still managed to create 2 new recipes when I got home. (recipes found at bottom of post) Today, we went to church, Pop and Tita’s, and to see HARRY POTTER! Nerd alert! It was quite enjoyable. They did cut a lot from the book though. Oh well, we still enjoyed it! My meals (that I was able to take pictures of) were basically different combinations of oatmeal, leftovers, and cereal. I will spare you the boring details and just post a “slide show” of the food pics. I am still off dairy. So, any milk products are either coconut of almond based.

I know most of you are reading this post thinking “blah, blah, blah… get to the Green Giveaway Winner announcement!”.

So, here it is: GF Guy randomly chose the winner by pulling a random number. The winner: Elizabeth Wilkinson King! Email me with you mailing address. I am sure you will love reading Sleeping Naked is Green just as much as I did.

Shrimp and Pineapple Stir-fry

Ingredients:
– Stir-fry Veggie Mix (cabbage, daikon, zucchini, squash, snap peas, carrots, bell
peppers)
– 1/4 pound pre-cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
– Cooking Spray
– 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
– Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, to taste
– splash of Rice Wine Vinegar
– 1 teaspoon Agave Nectar
– 1/2 cup cubed fresh pineapple
– splash pineapple juice
– 1 teaspoon Ginger Powder (I was going to use fresh Ginger Root, but I forgot…
whoops!)

Spray a wok with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and saute for 2-4 minutes.
Add stir-fry veggies and sesame oil and cook over medium to medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add Bragg’s, Rice Vinegar, and Agave Nectar. Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Stir in Pineapple cubes, pineapple juice, and Ginger Powder. Cook about 3 minutes.
Add Shrimp and cook just until heated through.

We ate ours over a leftover blend of rice and black eyed peas. I plan on eating the leftovers over either steamed veggies or quinoa. Yummy!

Dessert was SPECTACULAR! My picture may not look like much, but trust me. You WANT to make this! The recipe was based on one I found at Elana’s Pantry. I didn’t have the exact ingredients so a improvised with what i did have.

Roasted Banana Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients:
– 5 Bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces
– 2 dried Figs, chopped
– 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
– 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
– 1 can coconut milk (full fat, NOT light)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bananas, figs, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a casserole type dish and roast for 35-40 minutes until caramelized and fragrant.
Pour roasted bananas and coconut milk into a blender. Combine on high speed until completely smooth. (I scrubbed the roasting dish while the mixture blended away.)
Place the mixture in the freezer to cool.
Once cool, pour into an ice cream maker and process about 25 minutes.
Enjoy as soft serve or transfer to a freezer safe container and harden to the desired consistency.
GF Guy and I sprinkled ours with chopped walnuts.
This is a super rich, creamy recipe. It’s hard to believe their is no added sugar!

I hope everyone enjoys these recipes. Have a wonderful week!

Doing a Double…

Hello on this gorgeous Friday afternoon! I have the day off and am super excited about tonight. But before I fill you in on the glorious details, here are my munchies from yesterday.

Breakfast: GF Oats topped with PB2, Cinnamon, and Frozen Strawberries (thawed and chopped)

Lunch: Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, Alfalfa Sprouts, Shredded Carrots, a Chard Cigar topped with Raw Sunflower Ginger Pate (FAB!), and Balsamic Vinegar

Snack: a Kiwi

Dinner: the exact same thing I had for breakfast (There’s the Double) and a bowl of Watermelon

How boring was I yesterday? It was what I was craving, so I just went with it. This AM I enjoyed a slice of Watermelon

and a small bowl of GF Corn Flakes and freshly made Raw Almond Milk
before hitting the mat. That’s right folks! I did yoga again! This time the podcast was a Power and Hot Yoga Fusion class. Again, it wasn’t as challenging as I would have liked. I finished up with a few ab and butt strengthening exercises and hit the showers.
So… here is the plan for tonight….

GF Guy is taking me on a date! That’s right… a real, live, “get dressed up and wear eye liner” date! We are going to dinner at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception, The Columbia. Then we are going to see a musical called Respect . I am super excited! The Columbia has a gluten free menu on line and was very accommodating at our wedding reception. It should be a stellar meal and an awesome time at the show! YAY! OH, and speaking of musicals… GF Guy will be working on a new musical production starting in October and guess who is the composer…
FRANK WILDHORN!!!!!! He wrote the music for shows such as Jekyll and Hyde, Civil War, Scarlet Pimpernel… you get the idea. Anyway, he will be here working with GF Guy and I will get to meet him!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am having such a geeked out musical theater nerd moment! Anyhoot,… I should probably get going. I’ve got a load of laundry that is just about finished in the dryer. Ah… the glamorous life… ๐Ÿ˜‰

3 "R"’s…

Hello, Loves! So… I did a 20 minute yoga podcast yesterday. It was lovely, a little easy, but lovely just the same. BUT somehow, I am sore! I know I haven’t done yoga in a while, but seriously?! It’s mostly my arms. I LOVE it though. There is something so satisfying about being sore from a workout. In other news… Yesterday, I started my morning with a tiny bowl of Mesa Sunrise Flakes and Coconut Milk.

I fully planned on eating more after yoga, but I got distracted. Mid-shavasana, I looked up, noticed the TV stand, and thought “my that’s dusty”. My “zen-ness” is overwhelming isn’t it? Well, immediately after yoga, I grabbed my trusty dust bucket and rag and went to work. I dusted the entire apartment and scrubbed the bathroom sink before realizing it was 11:00. My mom was picking me up at 12:00 to go to a Marketing Seminar/Class at her office. I still had to shower, eat lunch, etc…. So that’s exactly what I did. Lunch was a cold leftover Chard Cigar (I think I like them better cold), half a Roma Tomato, and steamed Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts. DELISH!

After the class, my mom came back to the apartment to hang. She was a little hungry so… I MADE HER HER FIRST EVER GREEN MONSTER! (3 frozen strawberries, 1 frozen banana, a handful of spinach, 3/4 cup raw almond milk, a squirt of agave nectar) She LOVED it! YAY!

People are so reticent to try Green Monster’s, but always love them in the end.
Now, for the BIG exciting portion of this post, the three “R”‘s…. a Recipe for Ratatouille Risotto! That’s right my friends. I made a dinner that would have made Remy a proud little mouse, and you get the recipe. This is a 100% Gluten Free and Vegan Gourmet meal! I must warn you. This is a rather time consuming dish. Be prepared to spend a few hours in the kitchen. It is worth it, though!

Ratatouille Risotto

Ratatouille-

Ingredients:
1 Zucchini, thinly sliced
1 Yellow Squash, thinly sliced
1 Tomato, thinly sliced
Salt
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1/4 cup Tomato Paste
healthy splash of Sherry
2 tablespoons dried Sage
2 tablespoons dried Basil
Salt, Pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lay out thin slices of veggies and sprinkle with salt.

This will draw out the moisture. Allow to sit about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add sherry, tomato paste, sage and basil. Stir until combined.
Spoon into a shallow, oven safe baking dish

and top with layered vegetables. Start layering from the outside and work your way in.

Top with a little salt, pepper, and sage.
Bake about 1 hour, or until risotto is ready.
After removing from the oven, drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Risotto-

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
2 1/2 cups Water
1/3 cup Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio Rice
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Sherry
Sage
1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes packed in Oil

In a large pot, bring stock, water, and tomato paste to a simmer. Keep at low heat until all of the mixture is used. Mixture should be added to the rice 1 cup at a time.
In a pot with a large surface area, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and rice. Cook until onion is a bit translucent and rice is slightly browned.
Add the sherry and sage. Stir until rice absorbs the liquid.
Begin adding stock mixture one cup at a time. Stir each cup until it is absorbed by the rice. Then add another cup.

The risotto must be stirred constantly. (GF Guy helped stir!)

After the last cup of the stock mixture is added and slightly absorbed, add the sundried tomatoes. Continue stirring until the rice absorbs the rest of the liquid. It should be a velvety, creamy consistency.

To Serve:
Spoon risotto into a dish and top with a bit or ratatouille. Parmesan Cheese may be added if desired. I didn’t use any, but GF Guy did. To each his own.

We loved this dish. I am so excited about the leftovers!

Dessert was a bowl of Organic Nectarine slices and Blueberries.


So… So You Think You Can Dance was a bust the first hour, but second hour was brilliant! What did you think of last night’s show?

Giveaway: Don’t forget! My Green Giveaway ends Saturday!

Rollin’ Along…

Happy Hump Day, Everybody! Can you believe it’s already Wednesday? I have the day off and plan on spending some QT with my mommy this afternoon. We are going to a seminar about networking. It should be informative and interesting. I’m just excited to hang with my “heart friend”, my mom.
Yesterday’s Eats-
Breakfast: Muddy Monster (3 frozen strawberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, 2 handfuls spinach, 1/2 cup raw almond milk)

Lunch: leftover rice and blackeyed peas from Tita’s, half a roma tomato, steamed broccoli and brussel sprouts, and roasted veggies (and a Harvest Muffin…)

Dinner: Homemade Sushi!!!!!!!! Our sushi was “special” looking at best. Rolling those little dudes up is harder than it looks! My sister in law was the best out of the group. To mix things up a bit, we made Meghan’s Sunflower Ginger Pate, which was fabulous! Our other ingredients were avocado, cucumber, carrots, and alfalfa sprouts. DELISH! Here are a few pictures of our sushi extravaganza.

Nori Time!


The insides of the traditional veggie roll

The first rolling attempt

Not too shabby

The raw roll with Sunflower Ginger Pate on the inside instead of rice on the outside

…I told you the were “special looking”

The first bite. YUMMY!

“L” decided to wear hers. It’s a “Sushi ‘Stache”!

Our knives had difficulty cutting through the nori. Make sure you have VERY sharp knives on hand or you will end up wanting to do this…

GF Guy enjoyed his share of sushi

Even the dog wanted some!

Sushi Night was an unmitigated success. It was a mess, but a success none the less. Thanks to “L” for making it happen! Now we just have to think up our next foodie experiment.
That’s all she wrote for the moment. Don’t forget to enter my Green Giveaway and have a fabulous day!

A Literary Review… (pretentious much?)

I just finished reading one of the best books I have read in quite a while.

Sleeping Naked is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days is a non-fiction work by Toronto writer Vanessa Farquharson. Vanessa challenged herself to make one green change every day for a year. Now, mind you, Vanessa does not consider herself a tree hugging hippie. She loves a good bottle of champagne, a great tube of mascara, and a little smut reality TV every now and then. Was it possible for this regular, 20 something year old woman to go green without going gaga? In this refreshingly honest look at Vanessa’s journey, you will be surprised by just how accessible greening your life can be. I’m not saying I could accept all of the changes Vanessa endured, (I’m sorry, but toilet paper is considered an essential part of my life.) but I was definitely inspired to make some changes.
In honor of Vanessa and “going green” I am hosting a Green Giveaway. Recycling, reusing, borrowing, and sharing are core fixtures of the Green Movement. For my Green Giveaway, I will be sending my copy of Sleeping Naked is Green to one lucky reader in an effort to both spread the word about this though provoking book, as well as promote reusing, etc…. To enter, simply leave a comment with one green change you will commit to making this week. I will announce the winner on Saturday, July 25th. If you can’t wait until then, click here to purchase Sleeping Naked is Green on amazon.com. TWO THUMBS UP AND A STANDING OVATION!!!

Late and Liking It…

Hi you guys! I am moving nice and slow this morning. LOVES IT! I slept until 7:45, leisurely brewed a cup of Citron Green Tea,

and checked my email. This tea is the same kind I had yesterday morning. I have had no problem with coffee withdrawl. The tea seems to be doing the trick. Now, to catch you up on yesterday’s fine dining frenzy.
Breakfast: GF Oats with PB2, Cinnamon, Almond Milk, and Blueberries (PB2 is rockin’ my socks more than usual as of late)

Lunch: Romaine Lettuce, Roasted Vegetables, Tomato Slices, a Chard Cigar, Herb-y Hummus, and Balsamic Vinegar (Scrumptious!)

Snack: about half a Kombucha (They give me so much energy)

Dinner: Roasted Vegetables, Tomato Slices, Steamed Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts, a few Beet Slices, and a Baked Sweet Potato (unfortunately the sweet potato tasted weird and i couldn’t eat it… BOO!)

Dinner #2: Mesa Sunrise Flakes Cereal with Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Not much happened last night other than watching Conan O’Brian.

This morning, I had my cup of tea (as I already mentioned) and a delightful bit of watermelon and blueberries.

I plan on hitting up the newly remodeled gym and then coming home for a Green Monster. I don’t have to be at work until 4:00! Awesome, huh? I might actually get a few things accomplished around the house. Tonight is an exciting night…. WE ARE MAKING HOMEMADE SUSHI!!!!! My sister in law and I will be putting together some raw and regular veggie rolls, and we are so excited! Okay, enough squealing. Later friends!

Weekend Wrap-Up…

Wow… I can’t believe it is already Sunday night! This weekend flew by. I worked from 12-7 on Saturday and Sunday was the usual church, Tita’s, veg.
I received a surprise Saturday morning when I arrived at our apartment gym. It was CLOSED! I forgave them though because they closed it so they could renovate it! SWEET! I hope we get new equipment. So what did this little bear do? Well, I trotted my happy little butt home and baked a practice round of gluten free, dairy free Harvest Muffins!

Don’t forget to bid for these little beauties tomorrow! They will be one of the items auctioned off at Lil Runner’s blogger bakesale to benefit Cancer Research! Oh, I almost forgot! Before attempting to hit up the gym, I ate the most amazing organic grapefruit I have ever had.

And yes, I eat my grapefruit like an orange. LOVES IT! My official breakfast was a delicious bowl of GF oats with leftover pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

I was feeling a bit “harvesty” after baking the muffins! Can you tell? My lunch for work was just a boring repeat so I’m going to skip it. I arrived home from work FAMISHED as usual. GF Guy and I pulled the leftover Chili Sorpresa out of the freezer, reheated it and dove it with equal enthusiasm. I decided to test the dairy theory again and added a little dollop of FF Sour Cream to my serving which I enjoyed with a Harvest Muffin and a soft corn tortilla.

The verdict…. yep…. it’s the dairy… lesson learned… again! I am so stubborn sometimes. I don’t like food groups being taken away from me! Oh well, I will simply focus on the amazing foods I can eat versus the few things I need to avoid. Plus, I was dairy free for a year after I was first diagnosed (as a precaution), so I know most of the good dairy substitutes. (Suggestions are always welcome, though!) Dessert was a bowl brimming with luscious organic pear slices and blueberries.

Then… I promptly fell asleep on the sofa and drooled on the cushions until GF Guy moved me to the bedroom. I am soooo sexy! hahahaha
I slept for a solid 9 hours and awoke to an empty coffee canister. So, I got to thinking… (yes I can think at 7:30 AM) I really should quit coffee. I did it once before with no problems, so I can do it again. I do, however, enjoy a cup of something warm in the morning. Enter this lovely new friend of mine: Yogi Chai Green Tea

The spicy blend of cardamom and cinnamon were absolutely delicious and the perfect thing to wake up my taste buds. After showering and getting ready for church, I whipped up a couple of Green Monsters (1/2 frozen banana, frozen mango, 1/2 cup raw almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach) for the hubby and myself

and hopped out the door for a little Jesus time. Tita made a pot roast today with a side of rice and black-eyed peas. I loaded up my plate with rice and black-eyed peas, a smidgen of pot roast, tomato slices, steamed green beans, raw radishes, and sliced avocado.

Then I had a bowl of watermelon, cantaloupe, and cherries. YUM!

Now for something fun…. A NEW RECIPE!!!!
This recipe is my take on a Lebanese recipe, Malfoof Mehshi or Cabbage Cigarettes. Traditionally, its is a combination of lamb and rice rolled in cabbage leaves. I made my recipe vegan and since I didn’t have any cabbage handy, I used Green Swiss Chard. The resulting meal was a light dish, perfect for a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Chard Cigars

Ingredients:
1 bunch of Green Swiss Chard
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, chopped

Cover dry lentils with 3 cups of water in a med-large saucepan. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes, with a tilted lid.
Drain cooked lentils.
Combine brown rice, lentils, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
Wash Swiss Chard and remove stem, cutting an upside down “V” shape for ease of rolling. Blanch chard and lay out on towels. Allow to dry slightly.
Put a small amount of brown rice, lentil mixture in the center of each chard leaf and roll into a cigar shape. (Fold top and bottom in first, then roll in the sides)
Place Chard Cigars in a 9×13 casserole dish and top with mixture of hot water, salt, lemon juice, and garlic.
Cover dish with foil and place in an non-preheated oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Serve topped with marinara sauce.

We enjoyed our Chard Cigars with roasted vegetables and fresh tomato slices.

Swiss Chard is a super hero of the vegetable world. WHFoods.com extols the health benefits of Swiss Chard with a most impressive list:
“Both the leaves and the roots of Swiss chard have been the subject of fascinating health studies. The combination of traditional nutrients, phytonutrients (particularly anthocyans), plus fiber in this food seems particularly effective in preventing digestive tract cancers. Several research studies on chard focus specifically on colon cancer, where the incidence of precancerous lesions in animals has been found to be significantly reduced following dietary intake of Swiss chard extracts or fibers. Preliminary animal research also suggests that Swiss chard may confer a protective effect on the kidneys of those with diabetes through reducing serum urea and creatinine levels. Our rating system awards Swiss chard with excellent marks for its concentrations of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. Swiss chard also emerges as a very good or good source of copper, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid.”
If that doesn’t convince you to give Swiss Chard a try, I don’t know what will!
Dessert was a simple bowl of the juiciest peach EVER and blueberries.

I have had the best luck with fruit this week!

Also, for those car people out there. Here are pics of GF Guy’s new project.

He and his dad spent all day Saturday ripping out panels, flushing the breaks, and being little grease monkeys. (aka having “man time”) It still needs a bit of work, but they are both loving it! hahahaha I don’t understand boys and their toys. My personal favorite part of the car is the groovy license plate.

Chic, no?

Have a happy and healthy week!

Lazy Days…

Hello everyone! I am going to start this post by apologizing. These past 2 days I have been Lazy with a capital “L”, the definition of lazy…

Oh wait, that lady is the definition of lazy! I haven’t been that bad. I just haven’t felt like cooking. I fully planned on trying a new recipe Thursday night, but our plans changed. My parents invited GF Guy and I to go on a double date out to dinner and to see The Proposal. (which was hilarious!) As you may have noticed, I have been eating vegan for the past few days. My stomach was acting funny so I thought it would be best. Well, the restaurant my parents chose for dinner was non other than Outback Steakhouse. (GF friendly, not exactly vegan friendly) I was in a near panic over what to order when my darling husband came to the rescue. He suggested I order two sides as my entree. I could have kissed him… and did! I ordered just what I was craving: steamed vegetables with no butter or seasoning and a baked sweet potato also with no butter or seasoning. In the past, I never would have ordered a meal like this. I was too afraid someone would label me an anorexic. I dealt with a lot of eating disorder accusations before they diagnosed my Celiac’s. Plus I have a small frame to begin with! I am proud to tell you, I no longer care what people will think! I will proudly order and enjoy my food no matter what! It is so nice to finally come to this place of self acceptance. YAY!!!!
Friday morning, GF Guy and I went to officially buy his “new, used car”. I inhaled a quick bowl of Mesa Sunrise Flakes and Coconut Milk

and a few bites of GF Guy’s apple and headed out the door. Our outing ended up taking 6 hours! We ended up swinging by his parent’s house for a little lunch. (Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Cucumber, Tomato, half a Beet, and Balsamic Vinegar and some Cantaloupe) We arrived home in time to leave again to get some work done on the car. Basically, when dinner time rolled around cooking was not on the menu. Instead we picked up the usual Brown Rice Veggie Sushi

and a bottle of Murphy-Goode wine (in honor of Jenna; Good luck this weekend!)

After dinner, I decided to give dairy a try. My stomach has been back to normal for 2 days, so why not. I’ll tell you why not! We got some Fro-Yo with berries. About 30 minutes after eating it, I was a bloated, gassy mess! I ended up going to bed at 10:30 curled in a little ball of misery! Maybe it’s because my stomach got used to no dairy. I’m not sure. What I do know is that I am back off dairy, or at least fro-yo, for a bit longer.
Today, I hopped out of bed at 6:45, bounded into the kitchen, and promptly started a fresh batch of Raw Almond Milk whirring in the blender. I hope to hit the gym soon, too. I work until 7 PM, but I hope to have the energy to cook something for dinner tonight. I have all sorts of gorgeous veggies lounging in my refrigerator just waiting to be used! I need kitchen inspiration, folks!

PS- Natale at Lil Runner is hosing a blogger bake sale on July 20th with proceeds going to help Cancer Research. I will be donating a batch of my fantabulous Harvest Muffins,

so be sure to check it out!

Giveaway: Check out this adorable cardigan giveaway!