A Fresh Dille

a hard but proud evening.

Posted in FOOD, TRAVEL, VEGAN by clairedille on June 3, 2010

Last night was especially difficult for me. I had to say a goodbye to one of my best friends. I can’t say that I haven’t done this many times in my life. I moved many times throughout my childhood (across the country) and then went to a college without knowing anyone and in a city I’ve never lived in. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences but it never gets any easier, does it? The hardest part about this friend moving is that although we’ve been separated on and off for many years, we’ve always been able to communicate with the help of phones, email, or skype. However, Mandy left for the Peace Corps this morning in Mongolia. She is unsure about her future ways of reaching her friends or family, but took her computer along in case she has a rare chance to email or skype when she makes her way into the capital, Ulan Bator. After working for Habitat for Humanity and leading her own builds in Central America, she has been bitten by the travel and volunteering bug and I am so incredibly amazed and proud of her. It is ironic that the friends I stayed closest to from high school are the ones who are traveling the globe. A different friend spent six months traveling Eastern Europe and Asia over the last year, and another has been living in Guatemala with a recently opened bike shop. There are a few more scattered around right now and all their adventures are so inspiring for me. I have yet to embark on traveling throughout Central and South America, but hope to get a chance within the next year. Another great friend has been spending time in Nicaragua and now El Salvador and I eagerly wait for each email with news of his journey. Because of the recent natural disasters in Guatemala, two friends have been stuck in the country for an extra week. It is scary to be worried for these friends whom I can’t see or communicate with, but at the same time, I wish I could be on these adventures with them. Most of my own travels have been spent throughout Europe, which is a completely different, but still enlightening experience. This is why I have made it a goal of mine to travel to some place within North America and Cape Horn within the next 12 months, even if it isn’t for as long as many of my friends have been away. Traveling is incredibly wonderful for the soul and as St. Augustine said,

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

I did win the “most likely to travel the world” award at a senior year of high school event so please excuse my very idyllic & adventurous thoughts.

Now, onto some lovely eats that have healed my inner foodie these last few days…

If you’ve ever had the Whole Foods Seeduction bread, you know what I am talking about…but this bread is truly delicious. It may even be the perfect bread with the dense seed interior and chewy, yet crunchy crust. Just upon looking at it, you find millet, pepitas, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds.

I probably should have asked about the ingredients within this bread, but my mother had raved about its deliciousness, and I hopped on board. I am unsure if it entirely whole wheat flour or if it is honey free. As someone who tries to eat an entirely plant-based diet, I don’t use honey or eggs, but with something like this bread that may be infused with the slightest amount of honey, I won’t let myself stress. It is how we choose to eat and prepare things for ourselves that is more important. We can’t always have organic ingredients when out to dinner with friends, but sacrificing some things is more important for our happiness than others.

So with this Seeduction bread, a yummy french toast was made with this recipe from (never home) maker I had seen Ashley make and rave about the other day.

The french toast did come out more soft than the egg variety, but the banana flavor and texture of the bread made for an amazingly yummy breakfast, one that I will be sure to repeat. Maple syrup, coconut oil, and frozen organic blueberries were poured on top and I ooh-ed and ahh-ed throughout the whole meal.

With a craving for some baking, something I adore, even in the warmer months, I made a batch of Dreena’s spelt oatmeal raisin (really used chocolate chips) cookies and added an overly ripe banana. Without any other changes to the recipe, the cookies texture was softer than I had hoped due to the addition of a banana. They were still enjoyed by three of us later in the evening.

For dessert one night, I had some Coconut milk ice cream, leftover apple berry crisp, and a cookie. It was bliss.

Oh yeah, I might have had some veggies this week too…

I am still eating a lot of the local lettuce we bought at the farmer’s market. It makes me realize why I prefer to buy organic baby spinach most of the winter and save the best romaine and bibb lettuces to the warmer month when I can find it local and better than ever. I dressed it with the better than bottled vinaigrette, and leftover corn salsa. The wrap contained a usual mixture of spinach, hummus, carrots, tomato, and some leftover grilled tempeh.

This was a quickly compiled dinner that involved a stuffed portobello with red quinoa, baby spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, V’s basil, and a basic marinara sauce. It was simple, yet tasty. Alongside, we had some more salad. We just can’t seem to get enough of it these days. The warmer days always equals more raw veggies in my day.

This morning I mixed a steel-cut oats with rolled oats, hoping they would mimic my favorite, Scottish Oats. I used 2 T of Scottish oats, which simmered on the stove top for 10 minutes with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup of rolled oats, half a banana, and lots of water. The entire thing took a good 20 minutes, but the results were not as creamy as Scottish Oats. Yes, they were great, but I think I may have to just purchase some more Scottish Oats to satisfy the craving soon. On top of the oats were some more frozen wild blueberries and the cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter I had hidden in the back of my fridge for much too long.

Other meals this week have been of similar nature. Fresh berries and juice have been on my mind, so I may be juicing before heading out now.

My still current blog obsession just wrote a great post about juicing…read it here.

-Do you have a juicer or shell out cash for fresh veggie juice? I got one for Christmas from my parents but must admit it doesn’t get quite as much use as I had planned. Maybe these warmer temperatures are just the push I needed to use it more.

-Have you seen this article about the UN urging a meat and dairy free diet? I would love to read your thoughts…I don’t try to make friends or family eat a certain way. Often, I find myself keeping quiet about the matter unless someone else brings it up. These days though, I really feel that some need more urging and things like this may help people realize that just one or two days a week is a great step for our future environment.