A Fresh Dille

getting back to it all

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, SHOPPING, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 30, 2010

It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.

This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.

First, I add one cup water  and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.

I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.

Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.

Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.

The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.

I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.

One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.

Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.

Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood”  on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.

Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.

Getting back to some savory eats…

Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.

On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.

Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.

This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.

Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…

My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.

Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.

why “we blog”

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WRITING by clairedille on May 7, 2010

I am always interested to read why a certain blogger blogs. I also can relate to having “blogger guilt” or writer’s block. Since starting this gluten free challenge week, I have reevaluated why I choose to blog and have come up with a few thoughts.

-The community: So many blogs have me coming back for more, that at all times my google reader is filled to the brim. The commonalities between us, as well as differences is incredibly intriguing. I think Ashley coined the term “blends” for blog friends, and I like it. I also admitted in my about me section to a much too long blog hiatus that made me feel out of the loop when returning.

-The recipes: I read certain blogs mostly because I am so inspired and impressed by one’s cooking abilities. Most of you are foodies. You understand.

-The stories: Whether someone writes about their food history or their crazy day, I love to read stories. After all, I love to write and read.

-The fitness: There are days where I can not get myself to work out and feel completely uninspired. Many times, blog reading has helped this. I love to read about races and training. After being on teams for years, I am not used to creating my own workouts and schedules. Blogs definitely help with my fitness goals.

Of course, there are many other reasons I choose to blog and read blogs, but I am fairly certain I am not an every meal, every day type blogger. My career at this point in time is project to project. For the past year, I have been working 12 hour days for 2-4 months and then have had time off to recover and find another freelance position. This is a new field for me (film) and I still have many things to learn about the industry, and how to make it work with blogging. However, I really like to read daily food blogs just as much as a recipe blog or a photography blog (or both!). Hopefully, people continue to read my blog after the gluten free challenge, to continue discussion about all things related to food, fitness, eco living, travel, fashion (need to post about this soon) and many more things I love to share with the world and with others who also are into these subjects.

The last thing I feel that is important to remember: we all blog for some reason or another but should not feel like we need to conform to a certain blogging type. I have respect for all types of bloggers and even like to see them transition over time. Gracie, from Girl Meets Health, wrote a wonderful guest post for Teri’s blog that talks a lot about not comparing your self and your blog to others. Check it out here.

Before I post my eats, I will admit that the film industry has completely insane hours. Some days your call time is 5 a.m., others it is 8 p.m. When your call is at 6 p.m., then lunch is automatically 6 hours later. I have worked on films where I did not have “lunch” until midnight or later, it is a weird feeling. My boyfriend, currently working on a film, is living this way and sometimes it means I am as well. Even when not on a project. I try to eat normal hours, but when you are trying to stay up as late as possible, in order to sleep in close to call time, it is quite hard. I hope I didn’t lose any of you whether you know about the film industry, or not.

Now, onto the eats…

The late breakfast was gluten free oats cooked with chia seeds, almond milk, and banana. Afterwards I topped it off with more banana, raw creamy almond butter, and frozen berries (all I could find!).

See a small leaf from his plant? It is becoming a small jungle in his apartment. I don’t mind.

After lounging around, trying to stay calm before his late night on set (now!), I munched on an undocumented orange before heading to target and home. I may have bought something at target on sale that isn’t gluten free (oops), but I am saving them for later, no worries.

It was time for a very late lunch at 4 p.m., so I kept it somewhat light. I knew I wanted to run in the next few hours, and didn’t want to eat super late dinner. Between two sprouted corn tortillas, I stuffed more of the baked sweet potato and refried bean mix from last night, spinach, and chipotle cashew cream. It was delicious, but messy yet again. Halfway through I picked up each tortilla half and ate as soft tacos, dipping in salsa as I ate.

A small glance of the filling…

This lunch was tasty, but not as filling as I hoped. After my run, a yogurt mess was necessary. I mixed So Delicious coconut milk yogurt (the only non dairy yogurt I have liked) with original puffins, and Crofters Superfruit North America.

Before…

After messed…we all do it.

When dinner rolled around, I knew what the star ingredient would be when someone bought me this beautiful bunch of  golden beets.

Some may say that they are ugly, but I really find beets beautiful. Especially after peeling and slicing them to see the true color in full view. Look how neon they are. I peeled and cut one golden beet, as well as a red beet I already had stowed in the fridge, then sprayed them with coconut oil.

After a half an hour of roasting at 350 degrees, I added them to my already assembled rice vinegar sautéed kale and beet greens, and a quinoa-wild rice blend.

And a close up…I love when red beets bleed onto other roasting ingredients. Scarlet hued roasted vegetables are always delicious.

The chocolate chunk cookies were even better today. The coconut oil flavor was more pronounced and the chocolate was truly decadent. For dessert, I had two with a few pieces of a new-to-me flavor of Endangered Species dark chocolate, Organic Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs, Yacon and Acai. The flavor was good but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the grittiness from the cacao nibs. I prefer my nibs straight up and chocolate bars smooth.

My yogi tea said…

Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too.

Some other things:

-Do you feel stressed at times due to blogging? bloggers quilt? feeling like you should be more like other bloggers? Sometimes I wish I was trained in photography, or had a better camera to document recipes, etc. with.

-Are you interested in stories that go along with a post? whether they correlate of stray on another path? Sometimes I feel posts are too wordy or too photo heavy, but then I realize, every post is different for a reason.

-Do you know anyone or you, yourself work in the film or tv industry? Did you know about “lunch” always being six hours later? My father is commercial director but those shoots are nowhere near as long or grueling. I have learned the hard way that eating in the middle of the night is more important than not eating at all when working on all-night shoots.

Kelsey reminded me today, that I should talk about how I feel as a result of eating gluten free. I will do a post at the end of the week about the affects, but so far so good. The only negative today was that I had a lack of energy in the afternoon. However, this is the first day that has happened.

Goodnight everyone. Happy Friday.

if you’re causing no harm, then you’re alright with me

Posted in FOOD by clairedille on April 21, 2010

I awoke this morning to a big empty house with my puppies nose perched right up on the edge of the bed and the sun gleaming in the windows. This week I am at my parents house, watching our dog, while they are off in Barcelona (jealous!). It is always such fun to cook in their kitchen where they have an old AGA, that came with the home when purchased, and all the spices I could ever ask for.

Opening the fridge, I saw a bowl and another container full of strawberries. Of course I was ever-so excited to see that fresh berries could top my usual morning oats and grabbed them with extra enthusiasm. After glancing over the container, my heart sank when I couldn’t find a USDA certified organic sign in sight. These also were definitely not farmers market fresh and I have been pretty consistent in buying frozen organic wild blueberries in the winter months. Ideally, I prefer to pick my own during their season and freeze them. I struggled with whether or not I wanted to eat them because I am quite aware that they are on the dirty dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides. I have often thought about not being too rigid on myself when out or at others homes when it comes down to organic eating. It is very unlikely that most restaurants we go to are organic, even vegetarian ones, unless clearly stated. When working, I have to eat catered meals or craft services on set, which usually entails finding the most colorful fruits and veggies I can find and maybe a whole grain or nuts if I am lucky. Last year I read up on Orthorexia, and wanted to steer clear of that world. It can be a tricky one, the obsession with clean and pure food. We all want it, but if it is not easily obtainable, why not let go a little and work with what we’ve got. After all, being healthy is about nourishing ourselves.

Thinking about this, I concluded that when buying things for myself, I will continue to buy most things organic. When it comes to berries, I won’t buy conventional ones but will buy the frozen organic ones if I really crave them and the fresh ones aren’t available. I started singing some wise words from Mr. Ben Harper when stirring my oats on the stovetop…

“My choice is what I choose to do and if I’m causing no harm, it shouldn’t bother you.
Your choice is who you choose to be and if your causin’ no harm, then you’re alright with me”

I cleaned these berries to the best of my ability using my homemade veggie wash. After this tasty breakfast of steel cut oats cooked with coconut milk and chia seeds, I chose to freeze the rest of the berries for my parents. After all, my mother has gotten into the habit of drinking a green smoothie every morning now with spinach, almond milk, and lots of other healthy supplements (chlorella, bee pollen, burdock root) from the encouragement of a friend. She can feast on them when returning.

After a hot yoga session and my first day of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, that has received such great reviews in the blogosphere, I sat down to a tasty lunch of baked beans over a sweet potato à la Caitlin over a bed of fluffy kale.

Spy Bessie’s lovely gams?

Somet other news:

My boyfriend and I were quite surprised to find out that his loft building didn’t recycle when he first moved in. After both living in cities and towns with an easy recycling program, we decided to do some research ourselves. It was exciting to see so many others recycling everything from bottles and cans to electronics at a place we found around the corner.

Speaking of electronic recycling, Alicia Silverstone wrote a great post about where to find places in your area to bring them.

Aren’t you jealous of San Francisco’s recycling and composting program? Does your city recycle everything? Maybe I should buy my own composting pail like Kath.

P.S. Can you take me here this weekend (more photos)?

vegan pleases.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on June 30, 2008

Hectic is the perfect word to describe the last two days. However, I am determined to keep up with this blog. The little bit of time you give yourself to relax and do whatever you want is a wonderful way to keep your work ethic alive. No one can be inspired to work without time to let yourself vent. I have learned this over the last few years and cherish “me time.”

Yesterday, I was in an extreme hurry to fit in a run and because of the fact that I was rushed, I did not enjoy it as well as I normally would. Running is great sport because it is almost entirely mental. In high school, my coach once told us that distance running is 90% mental and 10% physical. It is obviously just an idea, but I do feel my best when I go out for a run with no expectations except to give it my all. Of course, this may be the reason why I have be injured so many times within my running career. I love to see what I am made of.

After my run, I was too tired to cook a meal so I stuck with some basics. The above photo is a simple stir fry with kale, peppers, baby bok choy, and broccoli with a touch of teriyaki sauce and garlic. I also had a veggie burger with vegan mozzarella. The meal really hit the spot at that time, although burgers and stir fries may not seem to go in unison.

Today, after I had worked all day on a magazine assignment, I knew if was time for some “me time.” I ran speed intervals in a grassy field by my apartment and it began raining on the way home. I will admit right now that I love rain, especially after a hard run. Rain smells incredibly fresh and clean. The lily flower above is a photo I took on the way home. Also, I really want one of these:

Actually, I would love a real Vespa in a cream or baby blue. I don’t know how good they are for the environment, but considering how much I walk around Boston, it is pretty ridiculous. Today, I must have walked at least 5 miles. I also saw a beautiful old yellow scwinn bike that reminded me of Amsterdam:

After running, I knew it was time to hit up Whole Foods. I do not know how anyone rushes through that place. I may be the slowest grocery shopper alive. Fruit-wise, I bought plums, lemons, limes, gala apples, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, avocado, and tomato. Vegetable-wise, I got zucchini, portobello mushrooms, red onion, a sweet potato, rainbow chard, and carrots. I already have a ton of frozen organic veggies from trader joes that I have been meaning to eat for too long (asparagus, butternut squash, broccoli, and edamame). All the produce I bought today was organic. I read something about trying to buy bananas that are organic because the pesticides still leak through the peel and I do not know about you, but I do not rinse actual bananas. I bought tempeh bacon, three different companies kinds of soy yogurt, whole wheat pastry flour, ezekiel wraps and english muffins, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, raisins, and peanuts.

For dinner I knew I should taste the swiss chard. The best part of the chard (other than the beautiful colors) was that it was from a local farm. I cut the stems and sautéed the chopped stems in some olive oil and garlic for two minutes and then added the chopped leaves and a tablespoon of vegetable broth. After 3 minutes, I plated the chard and topped it with some pine nuts. For another side, I decided to slice half a sweet potato really thin with my new mandolin from crate and barrel. They were baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Then I made the tempeh wingz that I have been dying to make. I first saw the recipe on Celine’s blog, and they are originally found here. These were more tasty than I could describe. The mix of hot sauce and thyme, with a crisp from the panko whole wheat bread crumbs was delicious. I have many leftover as well, and they will definitely be included in my lunch tomorrow. I missed the step of slicing the tempeh in half but my big wingz were fabulous. Here they are:

Eating a fabulous meal is one thing, but I cannot believe this whole dinner was vegan. I loved every aspect of it. I cannot wait to create some other exciting things this week with all the fresh ingredients I bought.