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.


20 Responses

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  1. lisasfoods said, on June 3, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    It’s definitely hard to say goodbye to friends and family who head far away. But if it makes you feel any better, I have a few friends who have become PeaceCorps Volunteers in the last few years, and I felt like they were really good about staying in touch. Two of them have blogs that are updated fairly regularly. I think that while PeaceCorps Volunteers are still fairly isolated, they are not as much so as they were in prior decades.

    You food always looks delicious. I hadn’t seen that article until you mentioned it, but I believe when I read Diet for a Hot Planet, Lappe mentions the attempts by the UN to encourage people to cut back on meat and dairy. Good stuff!

  2. Mandiee said, on June 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I used to be obsessed with the Seeduction bread, too. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I was faced with the same question of if it was vegan or not. The Whole Foods manager emailed me back and said that it contained honey (sadface), but that a team member would be happy to find me a vegan substitute. I know some vegans aren’t strict about honey, but I guess it’s up to you. Personally, I decided to forgo it because I don’t want to discriminate about bees but not other animals. Anyway, I’m with you on the romaine love. I just got some Michigan romaine from the Eastern Market and it’s sooo good! Raw and lightly steamed veggies have been rocking my socks lately.

    Have a lovely day!

  3. Amy said, on June 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I rarely eat bread . . . at all really . . . but WF Seeduction loaf is a different story. It is AMAZING! I’m so glad to see you enjoy it, despite its unknown ingredients.

    I am sending good luck to your friend. I know how hard it is to be separated from a best friend.

  4. Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries said, on June 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye to your friend, that must have been so hard. But how amazing that she is doing Peace Corps! And I love that traveling quote. I also LOVE the french toast photo! Gorge! As is all your food, but you knew that. 🙂

  5. Amanda @ . seek . said, on June 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Your friends sound like some amazing people, girl, and I can totally understand why it would be hard to say goodbye to them. I think it’s great that you made it a goal to travel, because there is so much we can learn from visiting different places and taking in different cultures. I’ve always loved to travel, and can’t wait to get back into it again.

    I do have a juicer but, like you, I don’t use it all that much. I used to when I first got it, and then I slowly lost interest. It’s kind of a pain in the butt to clean, and I guess I’m not really a juice person; I don’t even really buy juice from the stores. I’m more a smoothie kind of gal 🙂

  6. SentimentsbyDenise said, on June 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Love the “seed” bread from Whole Foods! (I even blogged about it a few posts back!).
    I’m not a strict vegetarian or even vegan – just eating healthier and doing my best to keep disease away (cancer, hypothyroidism, etc).
    I have some cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter coming my way from Open Sky – can’t wait to give it a try in my morning oats!

  7. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said, on June 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    wow this post, where do i start

    ok traveling and people who are really traveling the globe, i think it’s wonderful and had i to do my youth of early 20s over, i wished i had done more of that. most i did was 5 weeks in costa rica

    the food, french toast and cookies.. soft f. toast is not for me BUT soft cookies ARE! yum! i never cook from her recipes though b/c she uses spelt/gluten flours and tofu in seemingly everything. sigh.

    The UN stance. Hey, if THEY Want to do it, fine. I dont push food choices on anyone and actually hate talking about mine w/ ppl IRL. On the blog, yes, IRL , i prefer to say nothing 🙂

  8. Katie said, on June 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Ugh, I hate saying by to people I love. Your friend sounds pretty cool, though… maybe you can travel with her!

    That grilled portobello looks SO GOOD. I made one this weekend and ever since haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!

    I don’t have a juicer… but I really want one. I do not, however, want to clean it.

  9. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine said, on June 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Those cookies look incredible. I’ve only ever tried the super charge me cookies from ED&BV because they’re so dang good, but I definitely need to start branching out more!

    The UN article is definitely interesting stuff. I support that idea 100%, but I think expecting people to go off meat and dairy completely is unreasonable and gives them an all-or-nothing mentality. If people cut back their consumption even my a quarter, we’d make so much of a difference for the planet!

  10. kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com said, on June 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    wow interesting article!! this is the first ive heard about it.

    im so sorry love about saying goodbye to ur friend, ive had to do this a few times and it hurts now to even look back and remember it.. i was really young and i didnt understand much about why they were leaving.

    spelt oatmeal cookies!!!! im sure that would bring a smile back to ur day!! ❤

  11. Emma said, on June 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    ah, Don Quijote Cruiser made the post, I LOVE IT! It’s sad to see mandy moo go but I am also so proud of her and I know she will rock Mongolia.

    as far as whitney and soj’s entrapment in guatemala… i’ll just say that the logistics were stressful, but we did enjoy a lot of eating, drinking and sightseeing in the meantime 😉

    the country is now left in shambles and there is so much work to be done, but at least the worst is over.

  12. adrienmelaine said, on June 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I think urging someone to go Vegan is like urging someone into a religion; they need to do it on their own time.

    That being said, I think if the word ‘vegan’ wasn’t attache to a plant based diet it would be a lot more popular with the general public. I’m working on consuming a more plant based diet, but I have a hard time because I’m not living on my own and need to be open and accepting of everyone in my family.

    When I move though, in a month, my diet at home will be mainly plant based, meat (if ethically raised) eaten while out or if at a friends place and my only other option is dessert or chips!

  13. Michelle said, on June 5, 2010 at 3:01 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend moving for a while. My best friend has been in Alaska in the middle of nowhere so absolutely no communication for two weeks and I’m already going crazy. I feel like knowing that I can talk to them whenever through phone or text is so reassuring.

  14. wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas said, on June 5, 2010 at 7:17 am

    I prefer smoothies to juice, because I like to keep all that good fiber in there…

    I’ve left more friends than I can count, and it’s very hard. I just tell myself that it’s a gift to have friends all over the place! I could never see them all if they lived right near me anyway. True friends are always friends, even with distance between you.

    Food pics are lovely, as usual. I fully agree that a plant-based, meat and dairy-free diet is the way to go for so many reasons, but it is very, very difficult to achieve 100% of the time. I feel very guilty if I dwell on the fact that I can’t always follow through, so I try to advocate for doing the best you can on a daily basis.

  15. therabbitrunner said, on June 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

    i hate saying goodbye to friends…since im going off to college next year im really not liking the idea of just seeing my best friends like 3 times until next summer…goodbyes are never fun.

  16. Lauren @ Health on the Run said, on June 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I’m sorry you had to say goodbye to a good friend. It’s always hard — even when you know they’re off to exciting things. Two of my best friends from college moved away recently and it was pretty tough.

    I’ve never tried the seeduction bread but it looks amazing. As do the rest of your meals/desserts. 🙂 I also find that I eat a lot more raw veggies in the summer time. They just seem so refreshing to me.

    And that article was really interesting. I hadn’t seen that report. I’m also like you. I chose not to eat meat, but I don’t push that diet onto anybody (well…besides when I make the boyfriend try my vegetarian creations haha) And while the facts are a bit staggering, I honestly am not sure how something like this would (could) happen. It’s hard enough getting the majority of people to consume a healthy, balanced diet — not sure how they would even go about starting a global push for an entirely plant based diet. (I realize that sounds negative, but I’m just sort of wondering out loud…)

  17. Jennifer said, on June 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Sorry you had to say goodbye to your friend 😦 That must be so tough, I can’t even imagine. Those cookies look AMAZING though!!

  18. caronae said, on June 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Lovely post! I mus say I am a very big fan of seedy, grainy bread. Sorry your friend left! But you are wise to point out that this will be an incredible experience for her. And you can make new friends too!

    I must say, that last bowl of oats is one of the best looking I’ve ever seen on a blog! The gooey berries, the pretty bowl, the perfect drizzle of nut butter…Me likes.

    The article was interesting! I wholeheartedly agree that our current diet is destructive to the earth, the climate, to other cultures. But I also think that we can cut down without going completely vegan. I believe that some people genuinely do need higher protein diets (like me) for health reasons. With that said, I am probably vegetarian about 3 days a week and vegan 1 day; red meat maybe 1 day, fish/chicken 2 days. I think that the “solution” lies in emphasizing small-scale local agriculture and genuine home cooking!

  19. […] is one of the places that you love the most? As I wrote the other day, traveling is something that is most important to my own well-being. However, places like New York […]

  20. […] too hungry and they take a little longer to cook than your average egg-y french toast. I’ve made them before with bread, but I preferred the english muffin […]

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