A Fresh Dille

autumnal mornings.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on September 26, 2010

Although I have been raving about all the fall produce making its way into farmer’s markets & grocery stores, I must admit the sadness that also comes when I can no longer find some of my favorite summer goods at the market. Of course it is partly my fault that I am holding onto my dear peaches, berries, and sungold tomatoes for fear of finishing them. You see, I didn’t manage to arrive at the farmer’s market on saturday until 15 minutes prior to closing. Fortunately, some stalls weren’t completely closed up and I still made it out with kale, cucumbers, zucchini, and raspberries. After circling a few times, I realized I missed the peaches and apples I was most eager to come home with.

The peaches from the week before are on their last leg, but I’ve been decreasing the quantity in each serving of steel or scottish oats each morning to keep savoring the summer flavor.

One day I made delicious coconut milk steel-cut oats with chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla topped with peaches and naturally nutty cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter. It has been a few months since I last ate the sweet, frosting-like nut butter, and I was reminded how wonderful it was.

Today, I woke up with ideas of raspberry and peach flecked scottish oats. These were cooked in the usual way, with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. The raw almond butter, one of my favorites, made it extra tasty.

Although our blueberries are now gone, I can’t forget my summer combo of choice, peach and blueberry topped oats. The only meal I often had time to prepare for work was this combination. Again, raw almond butter made an appearance on the cinnamon-vanilla-chia-almond milk steel-cut oats.

Although I had oats for breakfast hours before, I wanted to make V some pumpkin pancakes to celebrate the end of the movie he has been working on every week night since July.

When finding the trader joe’s pumpkin yesterday, I knew it was going to be a pancake day today. Isn’t that what sunday’s are for (and it just happens to be national pancake day) ?

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

1 cup spelt flour

1 t baking powder

2 T sucanat (or other sweetener)

1 t chia seeds (or flax)

1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

1 cup nut milk (I used a mix of almond and light coconut milk)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 banana, sliced (optional)

-Heat a large pan over medium heat.

-Mix flour, baking powder, sweetener, chia seeds, and spices.

-Add milk to well mixed dry ingredients.

-Stir in pumpkin and add optional nuts and banana slices.

-Coat pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup sized pancakes onto the warm surface. Cook 2-3 minutes each side.

-Serve warm topped with earth balance and maple syrup.

V ate the majority but I was able to steal one away for myself that I topped with some earth balance and real maple syrup. These were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Although cooked through, they were still soft in the middle from the pumpkin and the crunchy walnut flavor melded wonderfully.

I hope you enjoyed some of my recent breakfasts. The next post will be dedicated to the more savory dishes I’ve been eating.

Now, it is time to head out for an early dinner at my favorite nearby pub with local produce. Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Other things:

I can’t wait to make this delicious sounding pizza hummus. Do you have a preferred spin on classic hummus flavors?

There is still close to 6 months until my next birthday, but I think I just found my next birthday cake recipe. Peanut butter and chocolate, yes please. What is your cake of choice? Instead of typical fluffy cake, I always opt for a more mousse like dessert with chocolate.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin? I think pancakes might just be mine. Yes, the muffins were truly great, but pancakes really do it for me.

getting through it.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on July 14, 2010

It certainly can be challenging getting through these pre-production days. The uncertainty of each day’s tasks tends to be unsettling to my psyche. There are a few little things I have been as of late to make sure that I handle my days better. To be more efficient, we all know that morning workouts and packing snacks keeps on our toes, but that does not mean we always take part. After the massive Whole Foods shop, I am more prepared for these next few weeks. Things are still a work-in-progress until the crazy days of shooting and this explains why I am able to post around 12 p.m. on a Wednesday. While V is sleeping until his 6 p.m. call time (after getting home at 5 a.m.), I am up planning meals ahead and snacks I know will keep me energized. Instead of stowing my yoga mat in my car, where it has been stored while hoping to attend a nearby class, I am now leaving it rolled up below my bed. When I come up the spiral stairs I am more aware of its need to be rolled out and put to use. This is obviously for my own well-being, not just because of feeling bad about its neglected state.

Instead of sipping on multiple mugs of coffee (don’t you hate how one mug is really 2 + cups of coffee?), I’ve been drinking more of these.

V (if you watch True Blood you may get why I call him V since he used to work on the show)  is to blame for my shot addiction. While working on his last film, the caterer brought many of these Sencha and Oolong shot teas. We are constantly in search of filling our fridge with more, since they are the perfect size for traveling and offer an abundance of antioxidants. Of course they are quite pricey when you drink multiples a day (not me…), but we have found where they are cheapest in the area, and I try to limit to 1-2 per day. Maybe brewing my own tea and storing them in to-go cups would be more ideal, but I don’t always have time for those practicalities.

However, there are some things I do make time for.

Stovetop oat making is a process I truly enjoy most mornings. Like many other bloggers, I too prefer to wake up earlier to eat a more tasty breakfast. I am making the most of these prep days because I know that it is very rare I manage to make oats mornings before reaching set when I had only been off set for 8-10 hours (and sleep reigns supreme). Still fitting in 7-8 hours of sleep, I woke up yesterday to prepare steel-cut oats cooked with half a banana, cinnamon, vanilla, unsweetened almond milk, and a pinch of vivagave. When I told V to get a few peaches and avocados while at Whole Foods on Saturday, I realized a few meant 5 or more. This means there will be many days ahead of peach covered plated oats and I can’t say I mind it too much. The blueberry and peach combo is one I am such a fan of and the cinnamon vanilla frosting sunflower butter brought this breakfast to a whole new level. Bliss.

Have I told you that we don’t have cable? I don’t even miss TV watching when working, simply because time doesn’t allow moments for it. But…I have been needing a TV show fix recently, which has resulted in online watching. I know that one hour every few days is nothing crazy, but watching some mindless TV is another way of unwinding I have forgotten about these last few months. Often, when I am  not working, I get completely sick of TV/movies, but when I am working, I cherish the moments I can sit and watch. The last thing I watched was a new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I pretty much love that vegan-hater…and I am one.

It has been much too long since I’ve allowed myself adequate baking time, but I did finally get around to making some of Angela’s delicious Garlic Scape Pesto.

This lemon had more seeds than I thought possible, but the pesto didn’t disappoint.

My mini food processor didn’t do such a wonderful job with the large quantity of vegan parmesan, or the scapes and spinach actually, but the flavor was there. It will be great on the pizza crust we bought when time allows V and I to eat a meal together.

In the meantime, I’ve had it on many dishes made in a jiffy (may be the first time I’ve said that, but I have jiffy steamers on my mind thanks to work).

Last nights kale, mushroom, quinoa, and garlic scape pesto dinner was eaten at 10 p.m. I don’t believe in the “don’t eat past 8 p.m.” rule and quite frankly, it would never work with my work schedule. In October, I worked from 7 p.m. to around 8 a.m. for two weeks. That means “lunch” is at 1 a.m. It may not sound like much fun, but working without fuel is even less fun.

This mornings steel-cut oats were the same as yesterdays, with coconut butter substituting sunflower butter.

These oats are perched on top of the tank I preceded to put on after taking this photo.

Packing lunch for a hectic afternoon in the production office with tasks I have yet to know of is one way I am getting through today.

The brown rice tortilla is topped with red pepper hummus, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, and sea salt. On the side I packed a new larabar and some broccoli, beets, and chickpeas. I never know what the veggie options will be when working, so why not bring my own while I still can, right?

Other things:

-How do you make it through your crazy days? Yoga, packing snacks and meals, allowing minutes to watch TV and unwind, drinking my antioxidants, and sometimes running seem to be helping calm my nerves these days. I do hope to add in more strength training because I have realized that I am somewhat weak recently while picking up boxes of racks, steamers, clothing, etc.

-When was the last time you had a pasta night? Any favorite mix ins? This pasta night post by Kathy has me craving some. Good thing I have much too much vegan parmesan these days. She also wrote about pizza after we just bought some crust…now I am even more excited to make some.

-Do you add any sweetener to your oats? What is your sweetener of choice? Have you read Gena’s post about Agave? I am usually a stevia girl (NuNaturals is preferred), but I have been known to also use maple or agave on occasion.

-Do you try to limit your coffee consumption? Do you drink lower caffeinated beverages or cut all caffeine? I skip coffee very rarely, but it is even more rare that I drink more than 1 or 2 cups a day. When filming all night though, I have had to use it to keep awake. I still think it is better than those who are gulping down the red bulls…but I could do better. Gena wrote another great post about coffee worth checking out.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! I can’t believe there is less than a month until the Healthy Living Summit. Are you going?