A Fresh Dille

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?


still platin’

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 13, 2010

The oats situation isn’t letting up…

Before heading out for work errands today, I knew that the only breakfast that would satisfy me would be the Scottish oats I finally picked up. Again, they were plated to ensure no overheating while eating them. We went to one of the larger Whole Foods in Michigan on Saturday after working until the early evening and found all sorts of goodies.

After the realization that I also love steel-cut oats, I now have two favorites. Scottish Oats are quicker on the stovetop than steel-cut oats and create a wonderful fluffy texture when cooked with lots of water, almond milk, chia (or flax) seeds, and half a banana. Of course I always add cinnamon and vanilla as well, but I also usually add a tiny amount of stevia for a touch of sweetness. Since I was out of my NuNaturals stevia and couldn’t find any at the store, I picked up a new sweetener that V picked out.

Today, I tried one half teaspoon in my oats but didn’t feel it sweetened them as much as my usual packet of stevia. This Vivagave powder clumped when heated, similar to stevia, but had even smaller granules. I may have to try adding this after cooking so that it spreads more evenly. Another way I sometimes sweeten my oats is with banana mashed with splash of maple syrup.

Often writing that I am sad to finish off pints or more of berries, it is quite silly considering that I make sure to pick up more as soon as I know that I am almost without. The raspberry container was the one that went today, but I still have many blueberries and peaches to fill up my oats for the next few days. The butter topping of choice was coconut butter that I made sure to swirl around my oats soon after photographing. I won’t pretend that anything else compares to oats in the morning. They really do the best job at staving off any morning hunger and please my taste buds at the same time.

Another place we had to go this weekend for work and apartment (mirrors for fitting rooms) essentials was Ikea. It seems that we have yet to make a trip to Ikea without picking up more jars. V is just as into them as I am and bought large ones for all our rice and dried beans. My favorites are the little ones that I’ve filled with nuts, seeds, and the granola I made yesterday.

Nothing compares to my Salvation Army Ball Jars though. The classic jars sit lined up on my shelves with all my lentils and grains. We didn’t seem to have any dried fruit for granola except for dates which resulted in some googling for a recipe. One of my all time favorite sites, Epicurious, was the place I found a recipe for Chunky Date, Coconut, and Almond (Pepita) Granola. Although not as good as my favorite recipe, it sure is a tasty crunchy granola.

Thank you for all the Vegan Pizza topping suggestions. I am saving them for a pizza planned in the next few days using these…

garlic scapes. Angela’s garlic scape pesto will most likely be involved.

Other things:

-Although I am disappointed the Netherlands lost the final World Cup game, I found the game pretty unexciting. I had much higher hopes for the game and felt it was kind of a let down. There have been much more thrilling matches in the past (2006 France vs. Italy, etc.) and Sunday’s was just a dirty game with no real power play moments. Did you watch? Were you excited or disappointed?

Have you ever had Garlic scapes? Any other recipe suggestions using them?

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gluten free number three

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on May 4, 2010

Lunch rolled around before I knew it and a visit to Whole Foods to pick up some Gluten Free baking ingredients was the perfect excuse to grab some lunch. I had stowed two small apples in my purse and was craving these delicious spring rolls. A few weeks ago, I tried these Whole Foods rolls for the first time and have been searching for rice roll wrappers ever since. I am not sure how they make these if they don’t sell the rice wrappers but after asking an employee, it was clear they did not have them in the store. I just might have to find a specialty Asian grocery store soon.

The basil I had brought from V’s was used to prepare vegan pesto for dinner. I used Ashley’s recipe as a guide, but used the traditional basil and pine nut combination.

I had never made a pesto this bright green before and I think that the nutritional yeast Ashley included in her version made it so beautiful.

Unfortunately, the gluten free noodles I had purchased did not work out as planned. I was surprised to find they had completely broken apart while cooking within a few minutes. This was a fail and I had to switch them for buckwheat soba noodles last minute.

A tablespoon of pesto was whipped with silken tofu before tossed with the warm noodles. I also sautéed kale and mushrooms with oil and balsamic vinegar to eat with the pesto noodles. In the fridge, I found a few sun dried tomatoes that I chopped up and added to the top for some sweetness and lycopene goodness.

‘Twas delicious…

To finish off my third day Gluten Free, I ate half of my favorite Endangered Species dark chocolate bar.

Other things:

-I don’t like the way my photos look at night without natural lighting…do you care about your photos not turning out as planned? Do you think that I should post these unflattering shots?

-Could you go a week without dark chocolate? I don’t think I could go more than one day…expect a chocolate post like this one soon.