Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dairy- and soy-free life for me

Due to babies with sensitive tummies, I am completely off dairy for the next seven months or perhaps longer. And for the next week or so I'm told to avoid soy as well - then I can reintroduce it and see what happens. The end result here is that I'm at a loss as to what to eat most of the time! I mean , whole foods obviously - but that's such a lot of work that I'd love to find good snackie things that are soy and dairy free... and man, there is pretty much nothing. All-wheat crackers are about it... ohand Clif nectar bars which are all friut and nuts.

The big benefit of this is, WOW to healthy eating! Talk about being forced into eating your fruit and veggie requirements. ;) But I hope I get soy back. I don't even get many options for margerine. Anyone who knows of good soy-free options, pls let me know!

The downside is that if Luke's tummy troubles don't clear up soon, I may have to stop breastfeeding. :P But we're being optimistic!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Veggie Burgers From Scratch

Happy Labor Day, everybody! A day late.

We didn't do anything special in the Phil-Charlotte household- Phil's been working everyday, so when he got from work we decided to just relax together. We did, of course, get some beer and movies and make a lot of food.

I bought Happy Herbivore's Backyard Vegan E-Cookbook a few months ago and still haven't made anything, so I thought Labor Day (what I always think of as the last weekend in summer) might be a good opportunity to try out some recipes. I made the mushroom burgers and the potato salad. We loved both!

Here's Phil's:
His has mustard, sprouts, avocado, tomato (that's the thick green thing-- they were heirlooms) and onion.

And mine:
Same as Phil's but with lettuce instead of sprouts and the addition of ketchup.

I baked ours, then panfried them (without oil-- still frying?). They turned out well for the most part, but next time I might reduce the amount of water in the recipe. I had to bake them for a really long time for them to firm up enough to not fall apart, and even then only the outside was firm. Biting into them was sort of like biting into a casing full of mush ... that tasted good. The whole thing was really satisfying, however, and we have leftovers shaped up in the freezer for another night.

I really liked the potato salad. It was incredibly simple, but great. I also made garlicky sauteed kale. Here's my whole plate:

We devoured our food while watching the first disc of season 3 of Dexter, our new favorite show. All in all, a good night.

BTW, the buns we used are made by Ultimate Grains, and are 100% whole grain and "all natural". For a product review, check out my blog!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lightlife Foods Lemon Flavored Tempehtations

I tried something new this past weekend. While shopping at Whole Foods recently, I noticed this little package of lemon flavored tempeh made by Lightlife Foods. I like tempeh but I wasn't exactly sure what to do with this stuff. So I let it sit for a few days until I got some inspiration. What I ended up doing was making the usual, a rice salad full of vegetables from my refrigerator and pantry that I thought would go well with the lemon-flavored tempeh. Since the tempeh was already flavored, I felt that there was not much need for me to add much in the way of seasonings. Basically, I started by making 2 servings of rice in the way I usually cook rice, that is, by sauteeing onion, adding the rice and then cooking the rice in vegetable broth for 15-20 minutes. While the rice was cooking, I chopped some garlic and sauteed that in a saucepan or skillet with enough spinach to serve 2 people. I added quartered artichoke hearts and some cherry tomatoes which I had heated in a pan with some olive oil until the tomatoes got a little bursted looking. I added everything to the spinach mixture, rice and all and then gave it a big tossing so that all was combined and then I ate half of it since it was essentially 2 servings. Personally, I have to say that the rice salad itself was delicious, but the tempeh with the lemon flavoring was so strong that I don't think I could have eaten it without the rice or artichokes or spinach. The tempeh was good in combination with those foods, but by itself I think it would almost have been unpleasant. But then I guess that's the way it is with tempeh. I ate the second half a couple of days later for lunch and it was a bit better. Very satisfying and very filling! Plus, I was surprised to find that it was not very high in sodium. That's always a good thing!