Tag Archives: food

Vegan Eating: Days 10 &11

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I’ve been a really bad vegan. No meat or cheese but carbs, yes carbs. I’ve been rationalizing it in my mind by saying I’m working out so I’m burning it off. And that’s probably partially true but not as true as I’ve made it in my mind. Breakfast, Thursday was interesting. We did it by the book and soaked dried apricots in soy milk. We added blueberries. It was good and then it was not good. I thought it would make us sick. It had a weird smell. But it tasted like a sweet cereal. I’d probably eat it again.

Lunch I had falafel from Alon’s. Strike one. Yes it’s hummus and tahini and all kinds of diced up onions, cucumbers and pickles and chickpea but the chickpea is fried and the pita bread is amazing. For some reason on this diet, we can have pita bread. I don’t know if you use eggs in pita bread, but you probably do, or at least they probably do at Alon’s.

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Dinner was the best dinner we’ve had since we started the diet. It was tofu chow mein. Diced onion, cabbage, mushrooms mung bean sprouts, tofu and snow peas. I marinated the tofu in sriracha, hoisin sauce and citrus soy sauce for about an hour before sautéing it in the pan with the veggies. It was spicy and healthy and delicious and will absolutely find it’s way into my regular meal plans. We paired it with a super floral Gewurtztraminer from Banyan. The residual sugar helped cool off the spice a great deal but next time I think I’ll opt for a more citrusy Riesling. The finish reminded me of swallowing a bottle of perfume.

Then my girlfriend brought eggless cake home. We split a piece. I have some potentially exciting news brewing so I rationalized that I deserved it and since it was eggless, I assumed it was okay.

Breakfast sucked yesterday. I cut up fresh pineapple and oranges. The pineapple was underripe. It also made the outside of my mouth itch for 9 straight hours. Ugh!

Lunch sucked too. I ordered guac from Taqueria cause that’s the only thing they make without meat. I ordered a side salad too; the regular leftover iceberg lettuce and tomatoes with some kind of strange spicy vinaigrette. My co-worker gave me a bit of rice. I blended it all together with tortilla chips and ate. Probably should have left the chips out of it.

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Dinner was awesome. We made bean burgers from the book. It calls for red beans, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, chili powder and ketchup. Bake it for hella long hours and eat. My girlfriend made acorn squash stuffed with garlic and olive oil quinoa and pistachios. DELICIOUS!!! I was impressed. Lol.

She wouldn’t let me have dessert though because we missed our workout. It was for the best.

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Vegan Eating: Days 8&9

I attempted to step on the scale this morning, Day #10 of the vegan diet. The battery is dead. Serves me right, it’s not Monday.
Anyway, these are meals from Wednesday and Thursday.

I neglected Wednesday because I absolutely hated my dinner.
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Dinner: White grape gazpacho from MetroFresh. It’s not that MetroFresh is bad or anything, I just did not want cold soup with celery and cucumbers and grapes and withered pecans. Does that sound delicious? Does that even look delicious? Heck no!  Should have been the marinade for a ceviche.

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Yesterday’s breakfast was fun and super easy. I made some adjustments, as I must to insure that my girlfriend will eat on this diet. Her palate does not play well with bland flavors.

Breakfast: blended frozen banana and almond milk smoothie topped with flaxseeds. I didn’t want them ground, (they didn’t call for ground) because they add a fun texture to the smoothie…a kind of crunch.

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I loved lunch but she HATED it. She returned lunch to me bludgeoned with a spoon. I felt bad. I knew mine was more edible because I got majority of the black bean dip.
Lunch: Raw veggies: carrots, red, yellow and orange peppers, broccoli, basil and pita bread. The bean dip was just a can of beans with a bit of juice from the can with chili powder, garlic and cumin blended together.

Like I said, I liked it. She was plenty pissy.

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I tried to make up for it with dinner.

Dinner: Lentil stew (lentils, celery, tomatoes, onions, seasonings), iceberg lettuce with red onion and tomato (I had pomegranate vinaigrette dressing and she had parmesan peppercorn) with garden veggie crackers and broiled and salted with garlic string beans with apple juice.

The juice was wrong, I admit. But damn’t I wanted it! I also had a small bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips. It was 130 calories. I ate it with blueberries as a mid day snack. It made me forgo any eating of the dark chocolate granola cereal I love so much. I am still alive.

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Travel: The United States of Georgia

So over the weekend I had the opportunity to see just a spec of how truly fantastic and gorgeous my state actually is. A one hour trip to Dahlonega revealed all.  Dinner in downtown Dahlonega at Piazza with a bottle of easy drinking Chianti from Banfi.  Wine prices were stellar, only $26 for the bottle.  What a mark up!  I was so proud, my student/girlfriend correctly guessed the vintage of the wine based on some information I gave her about the color of the rim and its connection to age.

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The pizza, a concoction of spinach, roasted garlic, prosciutto, pepperoni, mozarella and ricotta was pretty good too.  For the price it was fantastic but of course it was no Antico.  Breakfast at the B&B proved lovely as well.  I loved her place settings and the mug of Bavarian chocolate.
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Cream cheese pancakes are the truth…and we love kielbasa. But in no way do these compare to Elaine’s pancakes with orange steeped blueberry compote from the B&B in Savannah. Those were/are still the best.

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Full and ready for take off, we decided to celebrate our small vacay and her finishing her first major medical school exam with a bottle of Special Club Champagne. Special Club is a designated group of small wine growers in Champagne who select their best lots every year for bottling of a vintage release, this is a 2006. Yes, those were coffee cups but with the lemon and vanilla almond macaroons, it was a showstopper.

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So we sat by the pond with our army of gnat buddies and sipped and giggled.

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30 minutes later we took a hand drawn map headed towards Amicalola Falls but got sidetracked here at another winery. A Tuscan masterpiece deadsmack in the Georgia countryside. Say what?

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There were rolling hills covered in vines and a small community of Tuscan style homes nestled in the forests  behind the vineyard.

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It’s lovely and for a moment you almost feel as if you’ve traveled abroad…although we almost traveled down the road of no return. A house was for sale and we opted to check it out. The door was unlocked BUT the owner was home. Luckily he wasn’t afraid of the two girls who just walked into his house somewhat unannounced. #hotmess

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These two lucky escapees fled to Amicalola Falls state park to go hiking. My girlfriend wanted to see bears. I did not want to see bears. We did not see any bears. Yay for us.

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There isn’t much I can say other than go here now…or this weekend or whenever you have 4-7 hours to spare for nature.

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It’s breathtaking. It will make you stare. It will challenge you. You will climb 175 stairs to see this 600 ft.  drop of magnificence.  You will be in awe that you are standing in Georgia and you will realize that Georgia is beautiful.

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Then you will climb an additional 425 stairs to see this fantastic vista from the top of the waterfall.   “The view is certainly different from the top,” she said.

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Whoever was in this car 50+ years ago maybe got too over zealous about being at the top and crash landed to the bottom. Eeriest and creepiest part of the trip seeing this old vintage truck crashed and rusted on the side of the mountain.

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But the sun was out and shining brightly.

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A beautiful day to wash away all the stresses of the city and enjoy a little cool mountain breeze.

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Galas and Stuff

i have been busy. like insanely busy. just started wine school this week and the weeks leading up to it, i was housed up preparing for it, only to discover i knew nothing.

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i wanted to be sad but lucky for me, my lady friend decided we both needed a break and a moment to be attractive for each other, instead of seeing each other everyday with sweats and tired eyes on full effect.

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so here’s an unfortunately blurry shot of a lovely evening at the Georgia Aquarium for the Morehouse School of Medicine Gala. food by Wolfgang Puck. dress by BCBG.

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and my date in her perfectly tailored, super cool “maroon” tux. is that maroon? i don’t know. but it fit like a glove; OJ’s glove.

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and lovely kisses from our second date, Nemel (spelled wrong i’m sure). i love this guy. he’s a hardcore foodie just like me and we’ve got a date planned to Chef Lou’s coming soon, complete with Riesling.
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i really had a great time and i felt so pretty, like my mommy.
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thank you Sugar.

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Gooey

i have a small crush on one of our distributors.  a feisty brown woman with lots of charm and wits.  she brought me a Talenti container filled with black rice.  supposedly it has as much fiber as brown rice and 18 different amino acids and zinc, and copper, and iron and carotene.  all i know is she gave it to me so i had to try it.

black rice porridge

i did some research on recipes and found a porridge recipe.

i loved the way the black pigment oozed out of the grains while it sat in the water preparing to boil.

it takes forever to cook.  three separate cooking orders; first one lasts for 45 minutes.  the second lasts for 30 minutes and then you have to let it cool to room temperate for another 30 minutes.

it looks like chocolate mash when it’s ready.

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it’s lovely.  the coconut milk and sugar and the chewy texture of the cooked rice are all so mild and mouth coating.

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the strawberries “were just the right touch.”

Recipe courtesy of epicurious.com

Bring 3 cups of water, 1 cup of rice and 1/4 of a tsp of salt to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 of a tsp of salt, 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (13.5 oz can is good), bring it to a boil again, then reduce the heat and let it simmer again for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

…then remove it from the heat and stir it occasionally for 30 minutes before spooning it into bowls, covering it with the remaining coconut milk and adding strawberries.

Sounds tedious but it’s an exceptionally yummy and filling dish and very easy to make.  (Until I made this, I had never successfully cooked rice the first time…always a do over).

Try it out!

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Strawberry Swing

i remember the day i started actively choosing to taste and smell fruit when i ate it.  i was tasting wine, and smelling so many aromas i could not identify.  and then i decided i had to cultivate my palette and my sensory perception.  as i told my boss, you’ll never smell wine and say, i smell McDonald’s chicken nuggets.  you might however smell grapefruit, cherries, banana, pineapple and strawberries.

so Publix is having a glorious sale on strawberries.  3 pints for $5.  they are likely not organic.

The Cut

i cut them and the fresh, tart aromas started filling up my space.  i stuck my nose into the container and inhaled.  eventually i’m going to easily identify that smell in wine.

then i tasted them.  it was the most fun part because i could remember these flavors in some of my favorite Oregon Pinots.  a few were not quite ripe and left my mouth feeling tart and dry.  a few were ripe and pleasant.  a few were mouth gushingly juicy and amazing and everything you want your strawberry to taste like.  and a few were past their prime but still pleasant, almost like a stewed strawberry.

and then it occurred to me, that that’s what this whole wine thing is about, seeing what earth, grapes, producers, sun exposures, elevations, distances from mountains and seas etc. will make a wine that gives you the sensation of biting into a mouth gushingly juicy strawberry, or iodine and chalk and lemons, or savage.

it was fun.

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Tasting: Boucasse Wins

It’s tasting season again! How I’ve missed thee.

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Yesterday I attended a tasting of Loire Valley and Rhone wines at Violette;

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a cozy little French restaurant in the Druid Hills area that I’d like to take my sugar to for some down time.

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I was excited to be there. This tasting was my first ever wine tasting last year. I was terrified, overwhelmed and palette fatigued by the oh so evolved wines featured here. Tannat for goodness sake! Give that stuff to a rookie and they’ll cry from the punch.

But not this year!

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I kept my palette clean with yummy spiced cheese and sumptuous pâté filled with pistachios. And even though I was a little buzzed, all that juicy goodness in my new favorite Chateau Bouscasse Jardins made the tortuous hours spent at the store all the more bearable.

Think mouthfilling, juicy white. Think fleshy and big. Think honey and peaches. Think gulping good. Think obscure as hell.

Grape: Petit Courbu
Origin: Pacherenc du Vic Bilh, France

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Themes

Two sweethearts came and visited with me yesterday. They listened to me vent and whine. They helped me with food pairings and drank wine.

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And food was prepared the right way. Light salt, fresh herbs and fruit, no butter.

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And even though a dining room table seems to be a luxury of the future, sitting on the floor, eating and drinking Viognier put a lot of things into perspective for me.

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Things need not be so heavy to be enjoyed; and if they are, lighten them up. And if they can’t be lightened up, remove them.

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Pomp and Circumstance

As a child I was bred into tradition. I had the type of old school grandmother that forced us to eat dinner together every night for 14+ years, even if Full House was still running and I was missing the 30 minute resolution by having dinner with my family.

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There is much to be said about that life. The setting up of dinner tables to decompress with family. Bonding through conviviality and closeness. Filling up the soul with spices and lectures.

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Trying to cook a meal and failing terribly (re: biscuit chips and mashed potatoes for breakfast…yikes!)

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I can still happily say, I like where this is going. Still life. Perhaps I am finally seeing what home means to me.

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Marion Berry

my Valentine’s Day date set me up! we’re suppose to be on a raw food cleanse.

she told me i could pick this or sushi; as in sashimi and seaweed salad. that’s not a choice! not when your other choices are short braised ribs and lobster mashed potatoes.

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