Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curried Tofu Salad with Grapes, Apples and Celery

My esophagus hates me. It just won't cooperate, it flares up and burns all the time and makes eating and drinking way too difficult because I never know what food or beverage is going to make the scary angry things in my throat come to life and make the whole tract of my throat feel like one big forest fire. It's been terrible, so tomorrow I have to go for a gastroscopy.

I never should have googled gastroscopy, and I most definitely should not have watched one on UTube, especially the part where they snake the long ass tube down the unconscious man's throat while he lays there completely unaware that there is a ten foot snake sliding down his throat. Ugh - the worst part is I can't eat after midnight tonight, and my scope thrust is at 8:30 and I won't be released from outpatient until 10:30, and by the time I get home it will be noon and it will have been 12 FLIPPIN HOURS since I've eaten anything and I will be super cranky, and my throat will hurt and man could I just get some damn food please. I can see it now.

Also, my leg hates me. I started physical therapy for my horrible cranky IT band, and man does using a foam roller hurt like ever living hell. Sweet Baby Jane that shit hurts. And now I have to do it everyday to work out the IT band, it's enough to make a grown girl cry, seriously. Oh, yeah, and when the woman sticks her forefinger in your hip where the IT band starts, well, she might as well have shoved a white hot poker into the socket because that's what it felt like people.

On a lighter note. Memorial Day weekend was fantastic, it was a cool breeze, lemonade sipping, grape snap of a weekend and it was even more beautiful up in Vermont where we made delicious, fresh and healthy meals everyday. This was a modification of the Curry Chicken Salad that I used to make when I was eating chicken. I made it pretty much the same, but I winged it. Here's what I did.

Curried Tofu Salad with Grapes, Apples and Celery.
1 lb firm tofu drained
1 granny smith apple diced
1.5 cups grapes (cut into thirds)
2 ribs celery, halved down the middle, chopped fine
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 c honey
1 tbs curry - or to your liking
salt and pepper to taste

I took the block of drained tofu and cut it in half width wise and then cut it into about 1 inch strips. I pan fried the strips so that they had a bit more structure to them and would keep their shape in the salad.

Combine the mayonnaise, honey, curry, salt and pepper. Add the tofu, grapes, apple and celery. Stir to coat. This is best made and let set overnight in the refrigerator. We served them in pita pockets with chips and pickles on the side.

Rating - So Damn Good

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Limoncello Berries with Mint

I have just been diagnosed with acute IT band syndrome, which has sidelined me from running for at least two weeks (minimum). I have to go to physical therapy to try and alleviate the sever inflammation in my right leg and try to get my range of motion and weight bearing ability back. There was no warning that this was going to happen, I was just out on my daily run when WHAM! my whole right leg started to ache and burn and I couldn't put any weight on it. Thank God I wasn't far from home and was carrying my T pass or I would have been thoroughly screwed trying to hop a mile on one leg.

So now I'm in a cycle of stretch, ice, ibuprofen (Repeat) everyday and it's terrible, I feel like I'm going to go crazy without my daily dose of running. I also feel that my ass will expand to gigantic proportions without my calorie burning exercise. Not one to shy away from dessert though I decided to make one of Giada's (get this) "bikini ready desserts". It was good, it's no gelato in a cone, but it can satisfy the longing for something sweet after dinner, without causing me to have all my pants taken out during my rehab.

Mixed Berries with Limoncello Giada DeLaurentiis
4 cups mixed berries (like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
2 tablespoons Limoncello
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Serve in individual serving dishes.

Rating = Good

Monday, May 12, 2008

Living Among the Boxes

We've begun the unenviable tasks of places the pieces of our life in brown cardboard boxes. We've bought what I think and truly hope will be our dream home and we move on Monday, next Monday, a week from today. Problem being, the previous owners of the house that we bought aren't moving out until July 25th, so CB and I need to move to a "temporary home" until our new home is ready for us to make our own. I don't mind the double move, especially because we are moving to a virtual retirement village for 30-somethings, with a 24 hour fitness facility, a heated outdoor pool, a movie room all hooked up to cable tv so we can watch the Celtics and Red Sox in a theatre setting, a restaurant, a day spa and free wi-fi, and our unit has two bathrooms.

I've been waiting for my own bathrooms since I was a in utero.

I've never had my own bathroom, I grew up the middle child of three girls, and we had one bathroom in our home, five people getting ready for school and work in the morning with one bathroom required serious scheduling and no doubt resulted in a lot of arguing and raised voices in the morning, SO, the second bathroom is pure nirvana for me. I shouldn't get too comfortable, it is temporary, but I will revel in the glow of having my very own shitter for the next three months.

I want to cook, and I want to bake, but all my kitchen crap is wrapped in newspaper and sitting in boxes waiting for the big burly men to come and take it to the retirement village on Monday. I'll try to eek some recipes out between now and next week, but please bear with me while I make this transition. And then in July, please bear with me when I do it all again.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Vegan Chocolate Ginger Hazelnut Banana Bread

First let me say this is the best banana bread I have ever made.
Second. I went to see Lewis Black last night at the Opera House, very funny. The show started about 15 minutes late, and there was a local comedian who opened up for Lewis. He was actually pretty funny. After his 30 minute act he let the audience know that there was going to be a 15 minute intermission, and then Lewis would come out to do his act.

As with every show or event you go to, intermission means, every woman in the whole building will now scramble to the bathroom, and the line will snake around the whole building for miles on end. I waited in this line, because I'd had a few glasses of wine, and thought it best to go to the bathroom so I wouldn't feel the need to go in the middle of the show.

I waited in the line for a while as it snaked through the hallway, other rooms, and then finally into the bathroom. When it was my turn and a stall opened up, I entered the stall only to realize that the door latch didn't work, therefore, if I wanted the door to stay closed while I went to the bathroom, I needed to extend my left hand (I wipe with my right) and manually push the door closed. This was not that big a problem, the problem was when I realized that I needed both hands to pull up my pants, and now needed to use my head to push the door closed while I shimmied up my pants and buttoned them. I just couldn't help but laugh at myself, arms working feverishly, legs doing the one two jog while I tried to hoist my pants up over my hips, all the while maintaining enough forehead contact with the door to keep it closed.

Good Times.

So the show was good, I'm a little tired today because I got home way past my normal bedtime, and when the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning it took all my willpower to drag my tired limbs out of bed and put on my running sneakers and head outside for my morning run. And it also doesn't hurt to mention that I was so tired that I was at work a good hour today before I noticed that I never zipped my fly up this morning. Peek-a-Boo, I see you. Smooth Move Jules!

So, onto the recipe. I got this recipe from a Vegan website that I've been reading recently called Yeah, That Vegan Shit I took her recipe and made some minor modifications. See below.

This is her recipe:
2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas (I used only 2 small and it still came out fine)
1/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. molasses
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolat chips


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan (or muffin tins)In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate.Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet/dry ingredients are just combined. Fold in chocolate chips/nuts if using.Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 45-50 min. The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted should be clean.
This is how I altered it.
1/8 Cup chopped candied ginger
1/4 Cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
Add a few more tablespoons applesauce
Rating = So God Damn Good

Friday, May 02, 2008

Tropical Granola

I wrote down the ingredients on a yellow slip of paper while I was making up this recipe. I have no friggin clue where that yellow slip of paper is now; most likely found it's way into the recycle bin and is floating around a recycling center somewhere. So I will try to remember everything that I put into it.

Here goes:

Tropical Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup flax seed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/4 cup chopped dried mango
1/3 cup dried banana chips (crushed)
1/8 cup chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix everything except nuts, dried fruit and coconut together in a bowl.

Bring syrup, oil, water and any flavorings and spices to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes.

Stir in dried fruit, nuts and coconut. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool.

Shove in your face by the handful.

Rating = So Damn Good