Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

The changing of the seasons and of other things

Friday, October 19th, 2012

I’m sitting here listening to the rain playing drums on our roof, and it feels like Seattle again. We had an absolutely incredible summer with endless sun and no significant rain from late July to mid-October, but now autumn is here and it’s time to lounge around in front of the fireplace, reading books and ingesting myriad pumpkin-spiced foodstuffs.

For once, the rain was welcomed, as it seemed like half the state was on fire. Unfortunately, the Table Mountain A-Frame burned down (poor Pooperine!), but obviously that’s inconsequential when you think of all the people who lost their actual homes.

Mazama Ridge

In personal news, I’m still trying to find the root cause of my pain problem. My doctor’s new theory is that it could actually be a musculoskeletal thing, which would be preferable to a scary internal organ thing.

I tried total rest, but that didn’t help at all (and it turns out that chronic pain is much more difficult to handle without a regular influx of endorphins), so I’ve been doing easy but wonderful hikes and lots of slow (as if I have much choice) runs. Just in case the doctor is right, I’ve also been doing pitiful, Fondaesque adductor exercises to strengthen and stretch the area in question.

Labyrinth Mountain

I’ve been hesitant to mention this online or to most of my friends, but I’ve stopped eating gluten. I know, I know, it seems like such a fad, right? Originally I tried it because of anecdata showing it might help with my pain problems. Well, it didn’t, but three days after going cold turkey, I woke up feeling clear-headed for the first time I can remember since my teenage years. No brain fog, no headache, no lethargy. I didn’t want to say anything at first since I figured it might be some sort of placebo effect (and I can practically hear the exasperated sighs all the way from Norway when my parents realize that I now not only eschew meat, but also bread), but a month and a half later I am still going strong.

It’s been surprisingly easy so far, but I could see problems arising during the holidays – no Norwegian Christmas cookies? No Field Roast?? No gravy??? No onion-rosemary rolls???? Hnnngh. But really, I would rather feel this great than eat a cookie. Besides, I can still have sweet potato soufflé. Mmm. I should probably do a test where I eat something really glutenous and see how it affects me, but I just feel so damn good now that I don’t want to risk it.

Homeward bound

Due to this new-found energy, I have started running more consistently and really enjoying it (mostly). And…I signed up for the Orcas Island 25K in January! I’m hoping it will keep me from hibernating all winter long. This will be my first race of any kind ever, so the only person I will actually be racing against is myself. As long as I’m not last, I’ll be happy (but, honestly, there’s a pretty big chance that this could happen).

Actually, I’ll be happy if I make it to the race at all, if it turns out I do have some sort of musculoskeletal failage. Maybe my uneven-legged, pigeon-toed gait and crooked back has finally caught up with me.

Sleeping in for the win

So, this was an update of sorts, complete with photos from different hikes we’ve done which I will get around to writing about at some point. I guess going gluten-free didn’t magically turn me into a better blogger…but I’ll try not to let an entire month pass before my next post.

October on the beach

Curried White Bean Stew with Kale and Mushrooms

Monday, November 21st, 2011

My favorite food at the moment – I’ve been making a batch of this stew every week and eating my way through it for lunch almost every day, mixed with a fresh batch of the kale and shrooms. Once you get used to preparing the kale, it’s very simple.

Curried White Bean & Veggie Stew...

Curried White Bean Stew:

1) Heat (medium) 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil. Stir in 1 tablespoon curry powder (I use Simply Organic Curry Powder)
2) Stir in 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger and your preferred amount/type of chili pepper (I like this stew spicy!)
3) When onion is softened, add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 chopped red bell pepper and 2 cans rinsed white beans
4) Stir and let simmer until reduced to your preferred stew thickness. I like to add 1-2 cups of chopped fresh spinach towards the end, then smash things up a little bit with a potato masher
5) Salt and pepper to taste!

Garlicky Mushrooms and Kale:

Follow the recipe from Appetite for Reduction (change amount depending on how much kale you want). The recipe is also available here.

I usually reheat some stew in the microwave, then top with 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (for healthy fatz) and stir in the kale mix. Very chewy, flavorful, filling, warming and perfect for cold November days.

Red Lentil Dhal

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Between not going on any challenging hikes since October, cancelling our gym membership, abusing the fact that they finally opened a Trader Joe’s in Redmond, and generally having a non-stop eating fest over the last two months (the period of time called “the holidays” seems to get longer and longer every year), it is no surprise that I have gained a fair amount of blubber lately. I didn’t realize quite how much until I was foolish enough to step on the scale this morning. Oh dear lord.

So since this is January and I am presumably not the only one who is trying to shed some lard, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes. It’s very easy, very tasty, very healthy.

Dhal

Red Lentil Dhal:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 400 grams (yes, I’m European) red lentils
  • 8 dl water
  • 2 cubes vegetable stock (I use powdered stock, so I just throw in whatever amount seems reasonable)
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger (I quadruple this amount, but then again I have a disturbingly passionate love of ginger)
  • 2 tbs fresh cilantro (coriander) (I add more of this, too)
  • 1 tbs red curry paste
  • a wee bit of oil for sauteeing
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat the onion in a smidge of oil in a pot. Add the tomatoes and let them simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

    We usually eat this with brown rice (or quinoa) and lots of broccoli or greens. Nom nom nom. The best part is having leftovers the next day; I usually mix the dhal and the rice/quinoa, add a little bit of chickpea flour so that everything will stick together, and voilà: lentil burgers!

    Leftover dhal and rice = burgers!

    Green Monster Madness

    Friday, December 18th, 2009

    Thank you so much for all your well wishes! Bobby is doing so much better; he’s eating up a storm and getting lardier by the minute. I think he might even be ready to go on some little walks around the neighborhood soon. He’s our little Christmas miracle!

    Speaking of miracles, I have fallen in love…with a vegetable. I’ve had an aversion to spinach ever since a regrettable episode four years ago involving me, a salad, and some slightly soggy spinach that had been in our fridge just a tad too long. Did you know that when spinach is past its prime, it tastes like fish? Nas-tay.

    Well, after reading about green smoothies all over Bloglandia for about a year now, I decided it was time for me to grow up, get over my gag reflex and give the Wonder Green a chance. That’s right – I’m putting spinach in my smoothies! I’ve adopted Angela‘s term for the concoctions, Green Monsters. The most shocking thing is that they taste good, and after having them for breakfast a couple of days, I actually started craving them. I usually only crave chocolate and potatoes (in various shapes and forms), so this was a welcome surprise.

    Breakfast I like mushy foods too, mama Mango Monster

    My basic recipe is:

    Green Monster

  • 2 tbs frozen berries (you can add more, but it will make your smoothie look very…brown)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup hemp milk (or soy/rice milk)
  • 4 cups spinach and/or kale
  • 1 scoop Amazing Grass (hippie superfood stuff)
  • a couple of ice cubes
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • In order to mix it up once in a while, I use different greens, add some extra stuff like parsley or cucumber, and I also made a very good holiday themed Green Monster where I used pumpkin instead of berries and added cloves and ginger. Mmm. I’ll have to make that one again for Christmas. For your first couple of smoothies you can use more berries and less spinach so you can get used to the taste.

    I’ve been drinking these for breakfast for about a month now, and it feels great to know that I’ve consumed about 326 servings (ballpark figure) of veggies before the day has even begun. I’ve also had much fewer headaches and migraines even though I’ve been fairly stressed out these last few weeks, which makes sense since I am finally getting some nutrients into my body.

    Popeye

    Even Bobby likes Green Smoothies – when he was at his worst and wouldn’t eat any of the tasty things we tried to give him, I caught him licking the leftover smoothie in my glass. After some quick googling (sorry honey, “binging”), I found these pet safe green smoothie recipes and started making him a mini Green Monster every day. Whenever I used the blender, he would come up to me and wag his tail! It was pretty much the only thing he would eat before he got his medicines and his regular appetite back.

    Hopefully eating all this spinach is going to make both of us as strong as Popeye (but without the unfortunate medical problems):

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