the weekend escaped me (and gluten free week recap)
I hoped to write a post last night to close off the gluten-free challenge week, but somehow never got around to it until now. So my apologies, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and maybe even some mama time.
Yesterday, I started off with a comforting bowl of gluten-free oats mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, half a frozen banana, and flax seeds. In V’s fridge, I found a neglected jar of Trader Joe’s raw creamy almond butter. I have been so into the Naturally Nutty nut butters deliciousness that I forgot about this tried and true favorite. The raw creamy Trader Joe’s almond butter was the first almond butter I fell in love with. Look how nicely it melts right into the oats…mmm. The lack of fresh berries called for a mixture from the freezer that I warmed up in a pan with maple syrup. Delish…
We planned on celebrating Mother’s Day yesterday at my parent’s so that V could enjoy a meal with us before a day of work (today). I browsed the recipe for the Candle Cafe Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie (made before) and realized that the only non-gluten free ingredient was the spelt flour in the crust. After a quick shop at Whole Foods, I subbed in buckwheat flour hoping for a comparable result. The crust is baked and then crumbled into the pie dish after cooling, but I could already tell the buckwheat was considerably different than spelt flour by smell and texture alone. I had only had buckwheat in pancakes or waffles before, my fingers were crossed. The recipe calls for a few tablespoons of chocolate chips sprinkled and pressed in the crust. Un-yum-believable.
The mousse filling is a mixture of a few of my favorite things- vegan chocolate chips, maple syrup, almond milk, cocoa powder, and organic silken tofu.
Okay, I could seriously just eat this chocolate mousse straight. If you have ever had the Whole Food’s vegan chocolate mousse, this is similar, but better. I definitely recommend you get this book or even better, head over to the Cafe. You won’t be disappointed. Even my super non-vegetarian parents are big fans.
I was a starvin’ marvin by the time the mousse was ready to be chilled. Leftovers were the first thing to come to mind. I sautéed some mushrooms and spinach and had the remaining Trader Joe’s punjab eggplant, kale, and brown rice from the night before. A farmer’s market apple made its way in there too. We are almost done with all of them already!
The early mother’s day dinner was inspired by this guy…
How about now?
Yes, that would be a Tajine my mother picked up…not sure where, she has her places. Dinner was inspired by this because there was no way that this tiny tajine could fit enough for four hungry stomachs + leftovers (who doesn’t love ’em?). After browsing the web for ideas, I went with a Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine by the Culinary Institute of America…couldn’t be that bad, especially considering it is the top culinary school in the U.S. Sweet potatoes, chickpeas, butternut squash (uh oh, none at the store…frozen organic chunks…I guess…), tomatoes, carrots and Moroccan spices simmered while I prepped some millet to serve on the side for my last “mandatory” gluten-free meal. I don’t think anyone at the table minded the couscous to millet swap.
Bellies were eager so I managed to take a quick shot of my meal. For the rest of the diners (parents and V, my boyfriend), I spooned the tagine over the millet to soak up the liquid. On the side, I threw together (emphasis on the threw) a golden beet, spinach, and red onion salad with a pomegranate balsamic dressing.
We finished with Chocolate Mousse Pie of course. I must admit, the buckwheat flour was not as good as the previous times I have made it with spelt flour. Maybe another multi-purpose gluten-free flour would have been less intense. Next time I may experiment again.
Now, I feel that it is time to discuss this gluten-free challenge week I embarked on. Kelsey originally sparked my interest when she posted about benefits of a gluten-free diet. I also have had many friends in the past have to switch to a gluten-free lifestyle due to celiac. I have never been tested and honestly, don’t feel I need to eat gluten free, however, I could definitely feel some changes that were similar to those Kelsey had brought up over this last week. Nicole also had wonderful effects when she ventured on a week gluten-free (and vegan).
Some thoughts about the Gluten Free Week:
-For the first few days, I didn’t feel any significant changes other than decreased appetite. This was strange for me because I usually have such a fast metabolism, making me hungry every few hours.
-Half way through the week I was more energized throughout the day than usual. One day I worked out three times just for the fun of it. I was feeling great and had increased workout stamina/tolerance.
-I slept much better throughout the whole week. This was a really important change for me since I have always had trouble sleeping.
-Finding gluten free alternatives to pasta didn’t work out as much as hoped. I emailed the company that put my hopes down, maybe they can change my mind. Any suggestions for a good gluten free spaghetti/noodle?
-But, I found out that Puffins, one of my favorite cereals was already gluten-free. How did I not know this already?
-Some gluten-free alternatives worked out more than others. The Brown Rice tortillas were tasty but cracked after a few days in the fridge, similar to the other Ezekiel tortillas I usually buy. I would still buy both.
-Any day I can eat chocolate, I am happy. Dark chocolate is more important to me than most gluten filled foods, so I ended each day satisfied.
-Grains galore: I ate millet, quinoa, brown rice and more. I never felt carb deprived due to lack of gluten. Most people I know with celiac are true carnivores. I am far from one and didn’t have any problems. In fact, quinoa is a complete protein by itself.
Will I be sticking with it?
-To be honest, this is something I am unsure of right now. Today was my first day I didn’t feel obligated to eat gluten-free, however, the only thing I ate that “may contain gluten” were the Scottish oatmeal I was eager to have again. Averie wrote a great post about why she doesn’t necessarily buy “gluten-free oats” because she is gluten-sensitive or intolerant, but doesn’t have Celiac Disease. I think that the increase in price is definitely worth considering. The price of “certified” gluten-free oats can be triple the price of normal oats, and I have never felt negative affects from choosing my usual organic non-gluten-free oats.
This post is already pretty wordy, so I will just leave with you with some Sunday eats. When I wrote about why “we blog,” I admitted that I don’t feel I am necessarily a daily eats type blogger, but I must say that it can be fun as well. Here is what I ate today (yesterday…why am I still up?).
Scottish oats cooked with almond milk, banana slices, vanilla, and cinnamon, topped with banana, raspberries, and hemp seeds. My father placed a nice awkward photo of me on the dining room table the night before. Here I am, gripping for my dear life. I was terrified of rides at the Martha’s Vineyard Fair every summer and still have memories of being too little on most of the rides and fearing I would fall out. Once, I almost did. I am happy I finally grew to a normal size after years of being the tiniest ‘lil thing in every grade. My mother remembers the many tears involved in the teen years, as she brought up last night during her mother’s day meal. Sorry Mama, I love you! I am a big kid now (not really)!
Moroccan chickpea vegetable tagine with roasted red pepper hummus and spinach in a brown rice tortilla. The flavors were more developed after a night of melding together in the fridge. Unfortunately, the brown rice tortilla was its leg and there is one left for future use.
Two Yogi Teas and some So Delicious coconut milk yogurt + puffins + raspberries + ground flaxseed. Feeling seedy today…
Dinner and dessert will be posted tomorrow. Here are some two wonderful Yogi Tea quotes.
Don’t take pride in taking. Give and you will be given virtues.
To be healthy: eat right, walk right, and talk to yourself right.
Goodnight, and apologies for the lengthy post. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!