A Fresh Dille

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.

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produce & peanut butter.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on June 21, 2010

The small local Farmer’s Market I went to today near my parents house has to be one of my favorites because of one farmer. After picking up my bounty of organic vegetables from him, I wished I had snapped a photo of him. He is everything you would imagine a farmer to look like. He is overly tan with a scruffy beard, and wears cutoff shirts when it is stifling and flannel on the chilly mornings. His stand is the last on my route around the market, and today I only had a few peppers before making my way to his station. Upon reaching his veggies, I noticed he was nowhere to be found. After a quick glance around the market, I saw him running toward me with a big smile on his face. This guy knows how much I love my greens. There were garlic scapes, romaine, kale, collards, chard, radishes, and snap peas. Since V and I are working a lot and moving towards the end of this week, I made sure to not go overboard.

My fondness of peas is because of my father’s influence, without a doubt. I have delightful memories of sitting next to him shelling english peas from their fibrous pods at our summer home. Snap peas, the less fibrous variety, are a vegetable I prefer to eat raw. They do make a great addition to a simple stir fry, but eating them fresh is especially refreshing.

Oh, radishes… what an awfully beautiful vegetable with the perfect crunch for summer salads.

Kale is a vegetable that I just can’t say no to. I adore it almost always. In fact, my mother once asked me which foods I could eat daily and kale was one. Chocolate was another, of course. The small bell peppers were too adorable to pass up.

These warm days are upping my raw veggie consumption and everyone around me is always amazed when they see me make massive salads only to claim them as my own.

This showcased the farmer’s market romaine, radishes, and snap peas. Cherry tomatoes and cucumber were also thrown in there before it was tossed with Goddess Dressing. Leftover Indian from our early Father’s Day dinner was served on the side for lunch. Last night, I ordered Chana Saag (chickpeas and spinach) instead of my usual, Channa Masala. Although it was tasty, it didn’t compare to my favorite. Dal was also ordered and I used a brown rice tortilla to scoop up the two Indian dishes and eat with my hands.

Although not incredibly photogenic, the Indian dishes were better than the night before. The spices seem to become more pronounced after a night left in the fridge.

Since my family proclaimed there would be “no more cookies” allowed in their house, I was weary of baking but the craving was there. Let’s just say, I went for it. A new recipe was tried for Peanut Butter Cookies and everyone seemed to forget the ban they had made on these little delicious treats. Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks, was one of the first I stumbled upon when entering the online foodie world. I have yet to buy her beautiful book, but have tried many of her recipes with much success and rave reviews all around.

Before baking, I made sure to use a large fork to create the criss-cross that makes a typical peanut butter cookie appear different from all other cookies. The recipe was one of the simplest cookie recipes I’ve found, containing spelt flour, maple syrup, baking soda, peanut butter, olive oil, vanilla, and salt.

For an afternoon snack, we ate them with the delectable So Delicious Coconut Milk.

Watching the World Cup with my father, combined with baking, didn’t leave much time for dinner. The recent sale on Rising Moon pastas at Whole Foods made for an easy dinner. Many of the Ravioli’s are vegan, and my weird desire for warming winter squash meant that the Butternut Squash would be the ravioli of choice. Kale and orange bell pepper were cooked with some basil, olive oil, tomato sauce, and garlic and then poured onto the pasta.

‘Twas a scrumptious meal.

Thanks so much for the kind words about the photos I included in my last post of my father. It is funny that a few mentioned he looked like Steven Spielburg since he is a director for commercials, not film. He is such a creative individual and aspire to be like him everyday. His stubbornness and drive are two things that have rubbed off on me tremendously throughout my life. I only hope to be as happy as he has been with his choice in line of work. He always told us growing up that he just wants us to be happy in all aspects of our lives, and I am unwilling to stay in any situation where I don’t feel content. He makes sure to travel abroad each year, even with his busy schedule, because he knows it is one thing that has made him most happy throughout his life. I can only dream that will be possible in my future because I miss it dearly.

Other things:

-A delicious looking Radish Salad recipe on Tartelette.

-This Chilled Soba with Tofu and Sugar Snap Peas recipe sounds absolutely delicious.

-These two raw recipes using bell peppers are wonderful: Gena’s “Cheese” Sauce and Averie’s Raw Vegan Kale Chips (you can bake them too).

-Make your own Chana Saag from Vegan Dad’s blog or some delicious Channa Masala.

mem day deliciousness.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on June 1, 2010

After writing about my tendency to be uncomfortable in extreme heat yesterday, I was stuck in a thunderstorm in a Whole Foods parking lot when venturing out for Memorial Day Dinner ingredients. I didn’t mind though, because within a half an hour, the weather dropped ten degrees. The only thing that changed in the night’s festivities was that our feast was moved indoors. Everyone contributed to the preparation of the meal and it turned out to be a tremendously delicious, yet overly filling night.

A few weeks ago, I was sent some coupons for free chips from Food Should Taste Good. In the past, I’ve had the Multigrain variety and seriously loved them. They were the perfect balance of sweet and nuttiness from the sunflower seeds, flax, sesame seeds and other grains. Last night, we tried the new Blue Corn Chips and Jalapeño flavors. I preferred the Blue Corn Chips because they had a similar sweetness as the Multigrain, with the addition of the same seeds. I’ve always loved Blue Corn chips but have never had them with quinoa, brown rice, oat fiber, and seeds before. I could eat them daily. However, the Jalapeño were also very tasty and paired perfectly with the Corn Salsa my mom had made. Both would be great with Guacamole too. But what isn’t? In all honesty, I know that I will be buying these Food Should Taste Good chips again. I adore the nuttiness from the seeds and grains too much to not let myself enjoy them again soon.

A slightly messy & partially consumed corn salsa photo…

For our Memorial Day meal, I wanted to make a very simple salad focusing on two local ingredients.

My mother has said that she never has really enjoyed radishes fully. In hopes of changing her mind, I sliced them very thin (without a mandoline because of a horrible experience last summer) and tossed them on top of the local lettuce my parents also picked up at the farmers market.

Earlier in the day, I made Angela’s Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette that she had adapted from a Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan. Often, I make a simple balsamic dijon vinaigrette, but this dressing was knock-your-socks off good. Really, just make it. It may be the maple syrup that makes it incredible, and a little sweetness never hurt anybody.

My father had picked up the worlds largest rib eye steaks for the rest of the diners to feast on, but my sister decided to go the veg route and share some marinated grilled tempeh with me. The inspiration for the Tempeh was from Kathy’s Lunchbox Bunch blog, my latest obsession. She created a great compilation of her favorite bbq foods for the weekends festivities that will come in handy for the upcoming summer. We also had sweet potato fries, a staple in our home.

Notice the raindrops on the plate? I tried to snap these in the only remaining sunlight I can find, on our back steps…

A favorite seasonal dessert, a Martha Stewart recipe for Apple Berry Crumble, was made by my mother. I asked her to swap the butter for Earth Balance buttery sticks and she used whole wheat pastry flour in place of white. Although she was hesitant to make such changes, we all agreed that it tasted just as wonderful as before. The five of us devoured this spooned over So Delicious Vanilla Bean coconut milk ice cream.

Lets just say, we went to bed with full, happy bellies.

Other things:

-Do you consider yourself a traditionalist when it comes to desserts? My father, the Brit, who called our dessert “pudding” wouldn’t allow oats to be added to the crumble topping tonight. We all knew it would be a great idea since oats could add the perfect crunch, but we decided not to because it was already veganized.

-Look how tasty this Gluten Free bread recipe looks on Aran’s Cannelle et Vanille blog. I haven’t ever made a yeast bread, and am unsure of what I am really afraid of. Unfortunately, most gluten-free baked items use an abundance of eggs. Maybe this will be a challenge for this week, a veganized gluten-free yeasted bread recipe. Do you bake your own bread?

-The No Meat Athlete’s post about The Vegetarian Diet for Athletes was tremendous. He also interviewed an inspiration of mine, Brendan Brazier, about All Things Energy. I love reading about other athletes who feel they can adequately fuel themselves with a plant-based diet. Of course, I am an advocate of finding whatever works best for the individual, as well.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week so far. I may be heading to one of my favorite spots next Tuesday with V. I really am wishing it works out as planned.

a full plate and circle salad.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 8, 2008

Strange cravings came about this weekend. A sunny courtyard was the place for this meal and I carried my plate down just as so:

This quick but pleasing lunch was a spinach salad with shaved radishes and a sliced chioggia beet, a tempeh bacon wrap with homemade cilantro sauce (cilantro, silken tofu, garlic, pine nuts) and tomatoes, and a side of favorites, sweet potato chips. My taste buds still favor tempeh sandwiches with avocado, romaine, and tomato. It must be the notion of a mock BLT that really appeals to me.

I couldn’t help myself. The mandoline I bought is too much fun to put down and the abundance of circular produce I have makes me giddy with pleasure. Layered above torn romaine hearts, I placed thin slices of, the probably apparent, veggies: cucumber, radishes, and carrots. Dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette, I ate this with my new lunchtime staple, the nearly raw tahini noodles. Cooking for one, with an incredibly petite refrigerator filled with a roommates processed foods is getting pretty aggravating. The small shelf that holds all my food is like a maze these days. Considering I find myself to be constantly interested in new foods and recipes like many foodies, I always want new food even if I have a full fridge or cabinet. I guess this may have to wait a few years.

* It is about time for a first fashion post covering a few things I love from the Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear collections. I will apologize in advance for my lack of posts in this upcoming week, I will be back to class until mid August. For all the vegans and foodies out there reading this blog, I want to let you know that my editorial dreams are divided between a few subjects of obsession: fashion, food, travel, and fitness (specifically running related). In the next few months, I hope to evenly divide the blog to pursue all passions and maybe even come up with columns for the week. Any ideas? I was thinking a few ideas but none are definite: recipes to try that week, a new look or new food, accessory or beauty wish-list items, designer inspiration of the week, favorite high-fashion editorial, city (or destination) ideas for adventure, and workouts to keep things interesting.

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