A Fresh Dille

pancakes for one. oats for two.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on February 20, 2011

Ever since starting a commercial at the beginning of last week, I’ve been craving bowls of warm steel-cut oats. Waking up at 5 a.m. just doesn’t give me adequate time to prepare a quality bowl. Instead I’ve been eating packed overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond or coconut milk, chia seeds, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and all the berries I can find in my fridge. After the initial craziness that takes place as soon as I arrive on set, I take a few minutes to eat my cold breakfast while the steamer heats up to prep the wardrobe for the day. Eating breakfast before 7 a.m. always makes me hungry  for lunch very early, as it should. I grab fruit, nuts, and all the bars in my snack drawer for days like these. By the time lunch rolls around (1-2 p.m.), I feel like I’ve eaten quite a lot for the day already. Of course that doesn’t stop me from making the caterer’s scratch their heads when I ask for anything vegan from the three entrée options of fish, poultry, and red meat. Usually this means I receive a plate full of the rice (or other grain) and whatever  side veggies they can find prepared without butter. I’m difficult, but that is their job. Commercials, with a much smaller crew, have less choice, but the quality is usually better than when they are feeding an entire film crew. This week I had a delicious meal of brown rice and beans topped with grilled asparagus, and a spinach, beet, and walnut salad on the side. It was one of the best catered meals I have had to date. There are also the days where I am off doing errands (returning wardrobe, picking up alterations, etc.) where I miss lunch entirely. These are the days I actually prefer, because I get to go off and find my own lunch from places I enjoy in LA. The best meals I’ve had while working were Native Foods and M Cafe. These are easily two of my favorite veggie places in Los Angeles. I can’t get enough.

As soon as the weekend hit, I knew oats would be on the menu. I still wanted to make pancakes for V since he prefers them over oats, but my sister chimed in that she also craved a bowl of oats after being without them all week. For the pancakes, I used my go-to recipe from Angela, the spelt pancakes. V has a pretty hearty appetite on the weekend mornings, so I doubled the recipe. He ate every last bite.

They were filled with bananas and walnuts and he poured delicious maple syrup on top.

Lily and I ate comforting steel-cut banana oats with almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla in my new small Anthropologie Lotus bowls.

We poured California organic berries on top and I sliced up some raw walnuts from the farmer’s market for satiety. I really shouldn’t go that long between warm oats consumption, it was a little bit of torture.

For the long weekend I am going to relax and enjoy the California sunshine by hitting up the flea market and reading in a nearby park today. There may be some vegan baking involved too.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

– Do you ever feel deprived of warm oats, even when the weather isn’t chilly?

-What is your favorite long weekend activity?

multiple views.

Posted in ENTERTAINMENT, FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 5, 2010

Although belated, tonight is actually going to be our official BBQ for the Fourth of July at my parents house. I’ve already received the phone call notifying me that my father bought a veggie burger from the prepared foods section of Whole Foods to throw on the grill for me. Of course I was hoping to whip up something special for myself and whoever wanted some tasty vegan fare, but this weekend has been another hectic one.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am not your typical American sports fan. Actually, I am pretty far from one. Soccer and Tennis are more my thing, but when V told me he was given four free tickets to a Detroit Tigers game, our second of the summer, I eagerly agreed. There were a few reasons why I knew it was worth going and one was that he was told “they will be the best seats you’ve ever had.” The last time (and my first baseball game ever) we sat maybe nine rows back and I was pretty satisfied. This time though, we were in the first row behind the Tigers dugout, which was a prime viewing spot for seeing each player’s facial expression. There were also quite a few foul bowls that I made sure to duck from, while the rest of the fans jumped up in hopes of catching one. The highlight of the night was the fireworks show set up post-game on the field. By the time the wonderfully long and loud show came to a close, we were slightly covered with firework residue and had a little too much for our eyes to handle. However, it was really a special night and I met a few people V is working with on his current film who were great company.

There was no way I was going to miss another Farmer’s Market trip, so we woke up early Saturday morning to head to a different market than usual on our way to Ikea. The organic stands were pretty minimal which disappoints me a little, but I did pick up some broccoli, multiple cucumbers, kale, beets, raspberries, and the blueberries I’ve been craving all week.

You know what had to come next…patriotic oats for the holiday of course.

After eating my way through my Scottish Oats recently, I knew it was time to change things up. One day I will take photos of my obsessive jar collection, but one was full to the brim of Steel Cut oats that were begging to be prepared. With Amanda’s steel-cut oat creations (and tutorial) in my mind, I decided to make a batch for me and V covered in raspberries, blueberries, and coconut butter. They took about ten minutes longer than my usual oats, but they were extra creamy and just as delicious.

I also must mention the coupons I won from Wendy for Turtle Mountain Products. So far I’ve been enjoying the Plain Coconut Milk Kefir with berries and puffins. It has been added to my steel-cut oats two mornings in a row with a slightly sour result V and I both enjoy.

Instead of your typical BBQ/beach/family gathering Fourth of July, V and I had work errands and an Ikea trip on the agenda. By the time dinner rolled around (yes, we ate lunch yesterday too but it was nothing exciting since we were building our new apartment purchases) we were starving and looked through some bookmarked dishes to prepare with minimal ingredients. Susan’s Polenta Pizza was one I’ve had my eye on for a while and we had a jar full of Polenta which made the decision easy.

It was rather dark by the time we ate since it was past 9 PM but it was a tasty treat we both loved.

Lighting was scarce in the usually well-lit apartment, but I still captured what I could of the polenta pizza baked with our own basil, rosemary, and chives. Spread on top was organic tomato sauce, garlic, onion, red pepper, and broccoli. My half also had mushrooms but V steered clear since he is not a fan of cooked mushrooms due to the “weird texture.” Well, more for me…

After dinner, we made our way up to the roof and realized that we had views of multiple firework shows around Detroit. When counting them all, we saw ten different shows across the skyline. It was such a magical experience and made up for all the missed shows in the last few years.

-Have you missed Fireworks shows on past July 4th or similar holidays? Are you a fan? I must admit that I completely thought they were overrated and much more fun when I was younger on Martha’s Vineyard. Since we saw them two nights this weekend, I am reminded how wonderful they are!

-Are you a polenta fan? Any good recipes? I really love it. Usually I prepare it simply creamy topped with pesto or tomato sauce and roasted veggies. Really, I am a fan of most things corn related.

As I am already late for my parents dinner, I must head out. I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July Weekend! I have missed all things blog related recently!

ciao for now.

6 months left…

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 2, 2010

Excuse my absence.

Since moving and beginning to prep my next project, I have been quite the pitiful foodie, runner, yogi, etc. Many meals have centered around leftovers that we were able to carry upstairs to the larger apartment in which we are now situated in. There have been many moments in the last week where I’ve reached in the freezer for leftover soup. ATT is now in my nightmares and hopefully all issues involving scattered or non-existent internet will be resolved today mid-morning. However, yesterday was the first day I have felt “at home.” Waking up with the sun coming in the sliding door to our new roof deck is making each morning a little easier. This is usually after previously waking up by V’s departure in the darker morning hours and re-attempting to get a few more hours of quality sleep.

It is still strange for me to live in a city where I don’t feel completely comfortable going out solo in the evenings. I’ve said this many times but Detroit needs so much help and maybe the film industry will be beneficial for the area. The few grocery stores within the city tend to be dirty, overpriced, and filled with processed junk. It is frustrating to have to drive to the suburbs to obtain good groceries from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. We have decided that a Farmer’s Market run is a must-do tomorrow morning because my fresh produce has been pretty minimal this week.

Although the move was not very far, we spent two days moving all our items up many stairs. V is pretty good at lifting heavy objects like bins of camping gear and racks full of clothing (yes, we use rolling wardrobe racks for our clothing…just like work), but I was incredibly tired. I am now at the sore stage, which isn’t making these any easier.

In order to ease some post-move soreness, I brought the yoga mat out for the first time in a while yesterday evening. Actually, it has been used in other ways in the last week, one being dinner on said roof deck since we have yet to buy patio furniture.

I spent thirty minutes doing Sun Salutations taught by Dave Farmar, specifically this class form yogadownload.com. It has been much too long since I’ve let out stress on the mat and I’ve decided this has to change for the second half of 2010. Can you believe that we are already halfway through the year? I certainly can not. Due to my upcoming crazy schedule of prep and shooting through August, training for a marathon may not be possible. Fitting in at least 30 minutes of yoga a few days a week is a much more rational goal for the upcoming weeks filled with 10-14 hour work days running around set. I do miss studio classes, but schedule-wise, I rarely can make a class. Besides, roof deck yoga doesn’t seem too awful.

The downstairs of our loft is pretty bare right now and I have been rushing upstairs to eat my oats in the sunshine. Coconut butter is something I will make from now on. It melts so nicely over warm oats and forms a great shell on overnight oats.

Of course I still love my raw almond butter and cacao bliss. V’s Surfer magazine was the perfect backdrop for these overnight oats. Apparently, strawberries are the only berries present in our fridge. I’ve been craving blueberries and because July is Blueberry Month, I better find some this weekend!

Angela and Ashley have been making overnight oats with banana soft serve that have made me swoon these last few weeks. Already a huge fan of Gena’s banana soft serve, I was dying to try a new version with cherries or berries. This did not disappoint. The only banana left was frozen and I whipped it with some organic frozen berries to layer between the overnight oats made with coconut milk and chia seeds. Cacao bliss and coconut butter were both poured on top to form a shell on the cold strawberries.

This lady’s pumpkin hummus tortilla pizza was another thing I’ve been meaning to make for a while and yesterday I made a pumpkin-less version with red pepper hummus. On top of the hummus, I layered mushrooms, leftover asparagus, and vegan lentil walnut loaf crumbles. This is definitely a lunch worth repeating. The crispness of the baked tortilla and the creamy hummus makes a tasty base for a bed of veggies I can’t wait to experiment with.

Our dinner celebrated another July Foodie holiday (unintentionally), Baked Bean Month! Baked Beans were a dish I ate a lot growing up. My dad enjoys his with toast (and sausage) like any other Brit, but I opted for sweet potatoes and a refreshing salad for the first night of July’s dinner.

Since we still have yet to grocery shop, I relied on the canned version of Baked Beans by Eden. They are the good but not as good as homemade. Eden is local, BPA free, and GMO free; therefore, I have no problem relying on them when in need. This VegNews recipe for Tempeh BBQ Baked Beans sounds great though.

The salad was composed of baby spring mix, shaved carrots, radishes, avocado, and better than bottled balsamic vinaigrette.

This was ready at least an hour before V came home but after some quick re-heating of the sweets and beans, we sat outside and ate while viewing far away fireworks from Windsor, Canada in celebration of Canada Day.

Now, it is time to head downstairs for the last of my Scottish oats and strawberries and another crazy day ahead. I am still trying to catch up with all things involving the blogosphere, but I hope everyone is having a great start to July and the second half of 2010.

Other things:

-Do you have any exciting weekend plans for the fourth? Do you have a special menu or dish planned? We have more furniture shopping to do, world cup watching, baseball game (second this summer = second game ever) attending, and hopefully some time spent with family and one of my best friends in town from Guatemala. As far as planned menus, I am unsure of where we will be Sunday and Monday evenings but I have many bbq type dishes bookmarked like these Portobello burgers and Grilled Bananas.

-Are you craving any certain fruit or veggies recently? Are they the ones abundant within this season or do you find yourself wanting out of season produce? For the most part, I am wanting seasonal berries and veggies. I can’t wait for some organic tomatoes and peaches but I still crave avocados and bananas which are never “in season” in the midwest.

-Do you have any goals you wish to accomplish by the end of 2010? Are you re-evaluating resolutions? I don’t tend to make resolutions for the year but I know that things such as adding more yoga into my life will be extremely beneficial for my physical and mental health these next few months. I miss racing so much and still hope to run a half marathon by the end of 2010, but if it isn’t possible, I will try to fit in smaller races.

long weekend loves.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 4, 2008

How can you not love fresh berries? Berry picking is a wonderful experience and everyone should try it at least once in a lifetime. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries…it is hard to like one more than the other, in my opinion. Berries obviously go with yogurt and granola and this may be one of the only breakfasts I can stomach in the hot summer heat.

Hemp Plus granola has to be one of the tastiest of all “healthy” granolas. Nature’s Path has done it right. The Pumpkin and Peanut Butter are other flavors I’ve tried that are equally as delectable. The yogurt buried beneath the toppings is a new favorite. Typically, I choose the Vanilla Silk of the soy yogurts, but I knew it was time to venture out and try the Whole Soy cherry flavor. The real cherry taste was light, however, in comparison to the many artificially-sweetened yogurts I have tried over the years, this was a real joy to eat.

The tempeh bacon sandwich or wrap never fails. Paired with tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and a vegan mayo, the tempeh bacon smokiness is not overpowered. When cooking this “bacon” in my apartment, my friends asked what the incredible smell was and when I explained it as a vegetarian bacon, they could not believe it. The best part about the flavor is that it does not seem to be mimicking actual bacon. It could just be called smoky tempeh. Soon I hope to be eating this product in other ways, maybe even in a bacon peanut butter sandwich like my mother used to make. Yes…bacon…and…peanut butter.

I was playing with my mini mandoline again and sprinkled the wrap with shredded raw zucchini. Tomorrow I plan on making the Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles by Lolo at VeganYumYum with Zucchini Noodles. I will be sure to post on how it turns out. Friday is Farmer’s Market day here in Boston and I hope to be picking up some fresh produce. I will be sure to post about anything exciting I may find from the Massachusetts farmers. Recently, I have been contemplating whether or not I should buy my own pot of fresh herbs. The market is the perfect place to find them in pots and freshly cut, so it shall be interesting to see what feels right. Heidi Swanson’s new recipe for Lime & Peanut Coleslaw is another fresh spin on cole slaw that I am eagerly waiting to make after the market.

Doesn’t this scare everyone into wanting to be a vegetarian, or at least cutting out red meat?

Fabulous Recipe’s I have tried this week:

Banana Date Muffins @ Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Double Chocolate Cookies @ have cake, will travel!

I hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th.

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