Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I.F. Day Two

I didn't sleep very well last night. I remember waking up a couple of times and just laying there, trying to put myself back to sleep. This morning though, I woke up feeling pretty swell. I expected some sort of bizarre hangover-like symptoms from eating so close to bed time, or a headache from waking up so often, but nope! I felt good.

Today, my eating began at 7:30 a.m. I had chocolate pancakes (GF + V, of course) and a green tea latte from Starbucks. Before I fell asleep last night, I made a note to myself to remember to make chocolate pancakes for breakfast. Well, mission accomplished, but they weren't up to par. I blame the flour. I really need to find (make) a flour that tastes less like beans a lot more like yum. I also asked Coco yesterday if she would accompany me to Starbucks this morning before History because it sounded good at the time. I wasn't craving anything from there, per se, I just really got snuggly with the idea of having a hot cuppa something as I sat next to her in History class on this lovely Wednesday morning.



Not only do I hardly ever eat pancakes for breakfast as they don't keep me full long enough, I also hardly ever order lattes from Starbucks because of the fact that they have nearly as many grams of sugar in them as my parents' age! Of course, some higher (and purely evil) power thought it'd be a great idea for me to knock back both rarities out in one shot. 11:00 rolled around and BAM. Sugar crash of the century. Jitters, weakness, and an uncontrollable desire to eat tofu consumed me (pun not intended) during the last stretch of our History class. As soon as I could, I booked it to my car and scarfed down my tofu and quinoa...although to onlookers, I was probably eating as slow and leisurely as a turtle in the hot summer sun. For some reason, a half hour after eating that, I was hungry again! So I ate the cannellini beans with more quinoa and zucchini  that I had packed to eat at 3. Nope, it was devoured by 2. Then disappeared the spinach salad and mushrooms and almonds down the hatch. 2:45 rolled around and I was hungry yet again! So I took a short walk to the snack store on campus and discovered absolutely no options that did not contain gluten or dairy other than these:
"Dirty" is quite the appropriate word to describe this greaseball of a "snack."
Literally, this was the only item that I could have eaten. Well, that's a lie; there were also Naked juices, but I wasn't about to dish out five bucks for yet another sugar crash. No flippin' thank you. 

Anywho, upon my first bite into the chips, I was greeted with a wonderful crunch and crisp that is undeniably inviting, but after the initial crunch came a flood of awkward-tasting oil into my mouth. TMI time: I had to spit them out into the nearest receptacle. I gave the chips a second chance, and the second chip was definitely less greasy than the previous, however, the 3rd chip was just as nast. Sure, these chips were salty and crunchity and crispity, but my heck to the goodness, I will not be paying this company another dollar for two grease-produced pimples (that's right, TWO on the [face] cheeks within 30 minutes of consumption) and a stomach ache to follow.

At least I stopped being hungry once I finished the chips at around 3:20ish. Surprisingly, this lack of hunger has been effortless. I naturally drink a lot of water, so that's all I've been having since then. It's now 8:51 and I don't even want food! This is my prime time to raid pinterest and try out new dessert recipes right before bed and I don't even care to do that! What is haaaappppeeeennnniiiinnnnnggggg?!!!! I'm not quite sure, but I have a whole lot of mental clarity right now and I'm not complaining. :) 

Time to figure out what to do with my life (obvz homework is not happening right now...let's not kid ourselves) since I've watched practically every food/health documentary on Netflix. 

Love, peace, and dirty potato chip grease,


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Intermittent Fasting?

Mother calls it starving yourself.
Some call it unnecessary.

Others call it a healthful way to improve digestion and prolong your life.
I call it experimentation time.

My favorite time. :)

For some slightly-creepy reason, I get a real kick out of trying fad diets for a day and then going back to my naturally better eating habits. I've been reading so much information lately about intermittent fasting and I've decided to see what all the fuss is about. There are far too many comments on internet forums for me to reference, so I will just summarize all of them like this: some people are huge fans and have adopted this way of eating as a lifestyle, others think you may as well say "goodbye" to the universe because it's a guaranteed way to send yourself straight to the grave. A little dramatic, dontcha think? If that's the case, why can people live to be one hundred years old by spacing their meals out pretty far apart? I'm not saying everyone who partakes in intermittent fasting will live to be one hundred, and I'm not saying that someone who eats 18 meals a day can't live to be one hundred either. Point is: I'm on a mission to see how intermittent fasting affects my body and mind. I don't plan on weighing myself, I simply want to feel my best.

Free Yogurtland happened last night. Red velvet cake batter on taro on strawberry on pistachio...ouch.

I've had it up to *here* with lethargy from eating a huge sugary snack right before bed or feeling sick from my (at least) once-weekly froyo binges. So, here I go, in addition to my total freedom from gluten (which is effortless now), I'm also cutting out eggs, meat, fish, and dairy (FROYO) for the improvement of my own health and the health of the environment. Call me crazy, but I'm not a huge fan of the whole eating something that more than likely had a panic attack before it entered my body deal. No eggs or frozen yogurt, my main breakfast and dessert until recently? How ever will I live without them?! Upon pondering these questions, I realize that this is precisely what people ask me on a weekly basis about gluten. After a short while, it becomes effortless! I know in my heart of hearts that, when I eat gluten or dairy, my body disagrees with me in more ways than you can probably imagine. We won't go into that right now, but let's just say I feel my best (mentally & physically) when I don't eat wheat bread, steak, cookies, chicken, red velvet cake batter frozen yogurt, etc. My digestion runs far more smoothly (pun in...ten...ded....?)

I am one of those people who are always "in their head." I analyze everything and anything, and I've noticed that the more unhealthily I eat, the more tension I harbor in my mind and body. Anxious thoughts cloud my mind when I'm glutened, my eyes itch and feel foggy when I have dairy, and I feel like there is a rock in my gut when I consume meats. Caffeine gives me migraines the day after I have it. Chocolate, especially dark, prevents me from falling and staying asleep at night. Peanut and sunflower seed butter give me horrendous acne on my face, and pinto beans, bananas, and oils of any kind disagree with my tummy. Apples make my stomach rumble when eaten alone. Too much nutritional yeast (I'm talkin' over 1/4 cup consistently everyday) makes me break out in puffy hives, beginning with my scalp and ending with my elbows and knees. I know my body very well, to say the least.


Ohhhh trust me. I have plenty that I can eat. Protein shakes that literally taste like brownie batter for breakfast? Check. Quinoa and black bean tacos for lunch? Check. Endless vegetables for snacks and sides? Check. Gluten-free vegan baked goodies, vegan nachos with homemade nooch nacho cheeze sauce and guac on top? Yes friggin please, in moderation ;). Basically, the idea behind my eating habits is that I literally do eat whatever I want, whenever I want it. The more vegetables I eat, the quicker my "I'm full!" signal activates. The more vegetables I eat, the less sugar and salt I crave. The less sugar and salt I crave, the more incredibly delicious vegetables and fruits taste. Kinda cool, huh?
While I'm not the fattest pig in the pen, I'm always trying out different ways of eating. This is because I am always on a hunt for mental clarity and energy. I like to see what works best for me. When my energy is up, my anxiety level and negative thoughts subside. This, in my opinion, is far more important and desirable than any particular weight or body type.

So, with this quest for mental clarity and physical fabulosity in mind, I will now embark on a new journey--one that requires me to eat any amount of whatever I want in an 8-10 hour time period. Today, I had breakfast (brownie batter milkshake and toast) at 7a.m., lunch at 11:30 (black beans, tofu, salsa, nooch, cholula, tortillas), and second lunch at 2 (quinoa, slow cookered zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and sweet potatoes, spinach salad with balsamic, almonds, and mushrooms). To say I was stuffed was an understatement. Because I eat so slowly, I finished eating lunch #2 at around 3:15 (don't h8) and my eyeballs felt as though they were going to pop out of my face. I usually don't eat a big lunch, so I'm thinking it'll take a bit of time for my body to get used to eating all of my day's worth of calories in a very short period of time. Eyes popping out aside, I feel much better now (it's 4:29 p.m.) I'm about to enjoy a hot cuppa TJ's organic ginger pear white tea. Not my absolute favorite, but it'll do :). If I get ravenously hungry tonight, I'll check back in on this bloggity blog and write about it. As for now, I'm feeling fresh and fancy and may even pay a visit to the gym with my boo before my evening class. Time to wrap this up with a toodle-oo and an unconvincing promise to post here more often. :P

Love, peace, and bacon unrefined coconut grease,

UPDATE: I became exceptionally hungry around 8 p.m. and couldn't think straight. After chugging two fat glasses of water, I gave in and ate. A lot. Sesame seed butter + banana + a slice of GF bread, and some black beans with slow cookered veggies. Oops. Better luck tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baked Maple Oats with Peanut Butter Dream Sauce

Hi again!

Wow, it feels like an eternity since I've posted on here. School and, well, life, have gotten in the way of my ability to just sit down and spend some leisurely time on the interwebz! Papers, midterms, get the picture. Luckily, I have some of the best roomies I coulda asked for who keep me sane through my rugged journey through the mountains of homework I have! In addition to the fabulous ladies I live with, I think that what has really been keeping me sane for these past few months is peanut flour. Yup, I said it, peanut flour does a happy Christygee make. I've used it in everything, from a quick peanut sauce on spaghetti squash, to oatmeal, to breakfast oatmeal peanut butter shakes. For FOUR tablespoons of this stuff, you get a whopping 16 grams of protein for only 110 calories. I don't know about you, but I'm a protein fiend and I'm always keeping my eyes open for low-cal, high-protein treats. In addition to the peanut flour, which you can find here, I have also been experimenting with some Walden Farms Calorie Free Pancake Syrup. It's surprisingly much cheaper than I expected it to be and a fantastic complement to the peanut flour. I've used it on pancakes, roasted squash, and oatmeal.

Hi there.

Anywho, I woke up early this morning, as I always do, to make my favorite baked oatmeal with peanut butter cream dream sauce. It's gluten-free and vegan, which means it makes my tummy nothing but full and happy! It's also high in fiber thanks to the oats, and high in protein thanks to the fantabulous (yup) peanut flour and *drum roll please* tofu.

Here's what I used:

For the oatmeal:
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1  TB calorie free syrup
  • 1/8 tsp maple extract
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup unsweetened plain almondmilk
  • pinch of sea salt (I never use table salt! Not a fan.)
I mixed everything together and poured it into a sprayed ramekin at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then I broiled it for about 5 minutes, until the top got nice and golden. While it baked, I made the peanut sauce.

For the sauce:
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp maple extract 
  • 1 ½ TB Walden Farms calorie free syrup (feel free to try real maple, honey, agave, brown sugar, etc. but I can't make any promises as I haven't tried it)
  • 3 TB unsweetened plain almondmilk (or more if your blender disagrees with the thickness of the sauce)
  • About 3-4 oz tofu (I used TJ’s organic firm, but silken would probably work better!)
  • 3 TB peanut flour 
  • pinch of sea salt
Throw everything into a blender and give it a good whirl until it's silky smooth. The peanut flour soaks up moisture in my blender quite a bit so it may need a little encouragement in the form of a spoon pushing the sauce toward the blender blade. But BE CAREFUL, I don't want you doing this while the blender is ON and ending up with blade-spoon intermingling. No. Bad idea. Obviously.

Once the oatmeal is cooked to your liking, you can either dirty more dishes by removing it from the ramekin (in case you can't tell by the photos, I get an abnormally large amount of satisfaction watching the sauce flow down the lava...delicious peanutty lava cream...) can be boring cool too (I guess) and simply pour the peanut butter sauce directly onto it.


Pardon my awkward white balance in this one...I promise  I don't have blue lights in my house.

I mean, this is a nice presentation and all, but...

When I flip it out onto a plate...

Then flip it back over onto the ramekin...
Things like this happen.

Or this.

and this.

Too dramatic and unnecessary? Um, never.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pizza Rolls

This week, I have the honor of spending my days with the two best little cousin chefs around, Brianna and Lexi. I'm "babysitting" them, but I gotta be honest, this does not feel like work at all! We've been pigging out on frozen yogurt, popsicles, and making different culinary creations for every meal! I've been using the two fabulous divas as my guinea pigs for my food experiments, and I'm happy to say, they've liked it all so far! For example, Brianna's breakfast yesterday was this:
Banana-honey-coconut oil-vanilla-cinnamon sauce on a waffle

And today, she had this:
Mango-coconut oil-vanilla-honey sauce on a waffle

And Lexi had this:
Applesauce, cinnamon, coconut oil, and vanilla with nanners, berries, and cool whip!

While our breakfasts have been yummy, what we've been looking forward to most has been lunch!
Like Monday's GF barbecue chicken pizza:
Using essentially the same recipe as the previous post, but I caramelized the onions and used red peppers instead. I also used shredded rotisserie chicken mixed w/ bbq sauce.
and yesterday's pizza rolls!
OKAY. So here's how I made them:
I used 1/2 batch of the Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust mix I referred to in the previous post. We spread the dough out into a big rectangle using wet hands. We used well-oiled wax paper. The dough will be more batter-like, and if you've ever made tamales from scratch, it's pretty much exactly like the masa. Don't worry, they'll cook up like regular bread, I promise.
 Then we sauced it and cheesed it using my new favorite marinara sauce (see below), parmesan and sharp cheddar cheese (not a fan of mozzarella).
 Then comes the tricky part. I rolled the dough into a spiral, the way you would make a jellyroll. The dough was so batter-like and sticky that the oil on the wax paper couldn't prevent it from sticking...but whatever, I scraped it and filled in the holes along the way!
 Then I carefully sliced the log width-wise into ~1-inch pieces and laid them snuggly into an oiled glass dish. This would also work in a round cake pan. You can also place each one in a cupcake tin slot or a ramekin for perfectly round buns!
 We tightly wrapped em with plastic wrap and let them rise in the sun for about 20 minutes.
Then we convection baked them at 375 for about 20 minutes, THEN we topped them with sauce and more cheese, and baked for an additional 5 minutes.
 I then turned on the broiler to high for about 4 minutes until the cheese got nice and...well, glorious.

And then we ate.
 And ate and ate and ate.

Oh yeah, this is the sauce I used. There's nothing I hate more in marinara sauce than SUGAR! WHY do most companies add SUGAR to their SAUCE?! Come on, people! I don't want my sauce tasting like candy. I want it to taste like tomatoey beauty. That's why this one is my new favorite:

Enjoy :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BBQ Tofu Pizza!

Ah! I'm so terrible at keeping up with posting. So I'm forcing myself to sit in the kitchen as I blast Ray Charles and write out how I made lunch today.

Fakeout cheese! Ha!

Barbecue Tofu Pizza

These amounts made a pizza in a 9” round cake pan about ½” thick, but you can always spread it thinner and/or use a regular pan.

·         ½ batch of pizza crust using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pizza crust mix*
·         About 1/3 package of extra firm tofu, grated as you would grate cheese

Get creative with your toppings; here’s approximately what I used:
·         ½ cup barbecue sauce**
·         ½ roma tomato, sliced thinly
·         ½ small onion, sliced thinly
·         ¼ cup chopped cilantro
·         ¼ green bell pepper, sliced thinly
·         2 orange mini sweet peppers, sliced thinly
(Feel free to top this with the cheese of your choice—I just hate the texture and taste of melted cheese on pizza…weird, I know!)

Prepare the dough according to the package directions using half of the ingredients in the package. I wanted a perfectly round crust so I baked it at 425F for 7 minutes in a 9” cake pan sprayed with olive oil spray. I then removed the crust from the cake pan and placed it on a cookie sheet and topped it with about ¼ cup BBQ sauce, then veggies, shredded tofu, then cilantro, and finally more sauce (I’m obsessed). I baked it for about 15 more minutes, then served it with more fresh cilantro on top.

*To make it vegan, follow the directions on the package and use a flax egg instead of a real egg. I actually prefer the taste of using a real egg, but both work fine. You can also use any pizza dough, premade or not, I’m just gluten-free so I find it cheaper to use dough mixes. If you’re not gluten-free, I highly recommend Trader Joe’s herb pizza dough! It’s like two bucks a pop.
**Use a sauce you REALLY love. I’ve used the two in the photo below. Both are vegan and gluten-free, but I prefer the taste of Sweet Baby Ray’s. Unfortunately, that one has high fructose corn syrup (which I try to avoid) but pick whatever sauce tickles your fancy! Peanut sauce would also be *glorious* on pizza...with some crushed peanuts...oh man...


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Garbanzo-Apple-Pepper Salad

For lunch today, I made  The Vegan Stoner's simple apple tahini salad.
Here's what I used, but this recipe is super easy to modify however you want!

  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 5 mini sweet peppers, chopped
  • 5 grapes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon each of balsamic vinegar, tahini, and lemon juice (although next time I'll reduce the lemon to 1/2 T)
  • 1.5 teaspoons honey (use agave to make it vegan)
  • pepper, to taste
Mix the liquid ingredients in a bowl, then add the fruits, veggies, and beans. EAT!

This would be great with raisins, nuts, cubed tofu or chicken, and so much more...go crazy!

Cherry-Almond and Cashew-Vanilla Mamababies

Ever had a Larabar? Probably. At around 2 bucks a pop, they're a tasty treat I simply can't afford! I've come across lots of recipes for homemade ones and they all seem to have the same basic ingredients: Dates or raisins, nuts, dried fruit. Simple. So I made some for Mama because I told her that I highly disapprove of her work snacks! Granola bars with high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients I can't even pronounce? No thank you! Anywho, these are essentially baby-sized Larabars, but since I made em for Mama, I'll call em Mamababies. Deliciously oxymoronic :)

Cherry-Almond Mamababies:
Makes 15 at 1 packed tablespoon each.

WARNING: the scent of the roasting almonds is simply intoxicating.
  • 16 dates, pitted (I used this kind)
  • 2/3 cup dried bing cherries
  • a little over 2/3 cup almonds 
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. I prefer the convection roast setting.
2. Spread the almonds onto a cookie sheet and bake them for 7 minutes, but check on them to ensure they don't burn, as this can happen very quickly. Let them cool off for a few minutes.
3. Place the nuts in a food processor and give it a few pulses until they're in large chunks.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and pulse everything together.

It should be finer than this, so that everything will stick together:
 5. Line a mini cupcake pan with papers and fill each one with 1 packed tablespoon of the mixture. Press it down to pack it in. Refrigerate for about an hour and enjoy!

Vanilla-Cashew Mamababies:
This only made 7 but can easily be multiplied.

  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces (I used TJ's roasted & lightly salted) 
  • 10 dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions are the same as above! Remember, roasting the nuts makes a huge difference, in my opinion, but you can just use raw nuts. I roasted the cashew pieces for about 5 minutes.

All packed up in the fridge for Maaa!
Happy nut roasting!