Saturday, May 7, 2011

Food & eating

I've been having fun exploring vegetarian recipes and experimenting in the kitchen the past couple months.  Trying new techniques and different ingredients make spending time in the kitchen an adventure.  Recently, in talking with my mother, we thought I might have a wheat issue.  I won't go into explicit details, but it would make sense.  My mom also has cut out gluten from her diet and has been feeling a lot better.  So over the past week, I've been trying that, too.

Going both the vegetarian and gluten-free routes will be a challenge.  I looked through all my faux meat in the freezer and most of them contain wheat of some sort.  (I learned last Friday night, by accident, that seitan IS wheat gluten.  Ouch - gotta stay away from that!)  Thankfully our favorite vegetarian restaurant down the street has a lot of gluten-free options.  Stonehearth Kitchen also offers a gluten-free pizza crust (yum - margherita!) and other gluten-free entrees.  Earlier in the week I did some grocery shopping at Market Basket (one of my faves.)  Their gluten-free items are all clearly marked with neon-green tags at the edge of each shelf.  I couldn't believe how easy it was to find things and loved the neon markers.  I'm one of those people who could be sharing right at what I'm looking for and not see it.  The neon ensures that does not happen.  So, along with identifying gluten-free ingredients and trying vegetarian recipes, I'll be having quite the time in the kitchen.  The exciting life I lead!

Over the past couple of weeks I've been making myself the same thing for my late breakfast/early lunch: an egg quesadilla and fruit/veggie smoothie.  I can't take all the credit for being creative.  I got the quesadilla idea from this recipe and tweak it based on what I have on hand.  I never thought of white corn tortillas.  When I hear "corn tortilla" I think yellow. The white ones are almost a little nuttier in taste; I can't describe it.  And then placing the tortillas on top of the cooking egg is genius - and easy.  Lately I've been making them with spinach and a little soy cheese.  I had been throwing in avocado slices but went a little overboard one day.  The past couple days I've chopped up some grape tomatoes and throw those in the egg mixture.  Of course there are photos!
Some of the ingredients: eggs, white corn tortillas & some pesto because I love it
the scrambled egg on the skillet with some baby spinach leaves, salt & pepper
Placing the tortilla on top of the eggs, making sure the egg adheres
the eggs flipped over so the tortilla can brown
As the egg business is going on, I like to throw together a fruit & veggie smoothie.  I've been trying to add as much of each as possible - without the smoothie tasting gag-tastic.  Using spinach and carrot juice is an easy way to do this.  Spinach is so bland-tasting, it just adds a little earthiness to the flavor of the smoothie.  Many carrot juices are pretty sweet.  Of the three brands I've tried so far - Trader Joe's, Bolthouse Farms and Odwalla - the Bolthouse Farms carrot juice is the best.  It's great to use in a smoothie for a little added sweetness, especially if you're using fruit like blueberries, which can be tart.  For fruits, I use the aforementioned blueberries, frozen peaches or mango, and a diced-up apple.  To round out the flavor and texture - and to add a little protein - I throw in a tablespoon of vanilla Greek yogurt and some soy milk.  Sometimes I also use some ground flax seeds, bee pollen and ground cinnamon for added flavor and nutrients.
blueberries & baby spinach

the other stuff
Viola! Egg quesadilla & F/V smoothie!
I feel very healthy when I eat this.  I haven't actually broken down what sort of calories this meal packs, but many food groups are represented - and it's an easy way to ingest a few servings of fruits & vegetables. 

Stay tuned for more kitchen fun... I have a recipe from Ram's Kitchen I made a couple months ago to report and yesterday I made some delicious spaghetti squash.  I'm sure you're dying to hear about those!  After you read about them, you'll be happy you did.  Trust me.

Now, I'm off to paint some pottery in my new home studio space.  Maybe I'll fold some laundry, too.  See, the exciting life I lead!

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