Friday, February 6, 2015

celiac girl on the go

Here's a peek at how I eat when on the go! Last night I met a friend for drinks, planned to stay at her place and then go directly to a philosophy conference for volunteering - and when I say "planned", I  of course am referring primarily to the food!

Packing up muffin mix to take overnight.

Bits & bites packed for my volunteering gig: cheese sticks, a veg bag, an apple, sardines, crackers, a cereal bar.

Got up after five hours of sleep and made muffins in a strange kitchen! Both of its usual inhabitants were sweetly slumbering. They even have an old-school oven like my mom's old one - when preheated, the light goes off! So 90s!! 

Brekky in a bright kitchen reading Pride and Prejudice on my phone. 

Then off to UQAM I trotted for the Philopolis conference - conference volunteering is pretty much the best part of academia; I highly recommend it if you've never given it a shot. They had a very nice refreshments table! 

The floor of UQAM we were on was awesome. Super rad. Here's the Café Aquin menu.

The café is adjecent to a cozy lounge area. It was adorable! 

The following aren't directly food-related but I just had to share!

It was really a fantastic day! I am actually also feeling sick as a dog, but despite that am contemplating going to one of the last conferences tomorrow:

Oh, Aristotle!

So all this to say - celiac makes things a bit harder. Life takes more planning. But it's doable! If you're new to gluten-free, you might grieve a good year - but then it's time to grab the bull by the horns and get back to living. No apologies! No self-pitying comparisons to the ease and cheapness of your old way of living & eating! Say yes to what you want in your life and make it work!

Weeknight Suppers

I've been pretty absent around here since being back at school, but on Sam's last trip she exhorted me to try to post more. I'd like to only post long, helpful things with recipes and gorgeous photography, but that's not my life, and not really what this blog is, so I am going to try to turn over a new leaf and share bits and pieces, even if the pictures are badly lit and a bit grainy. So here I am, checking in, and today am sharing two meals we've had this week.

For make no mistake - the meal plan chart in the kitchen is no longer functional. Sunday we almost always have roast chicken. Leftovers on Mondays. Tony cooks every Tuesday (his day off). The other days, we either defrost meat in the morning, or we throw something meat-free together in the evening. Maybe once a week we use the crock pot. Thursdays I get Ambrose fairly late, because my yoga class ends at 5, so we try to crock it that day, but sometimes that doesn't happen. So here are a few things we do on non-meat days. If I'm really tired, it might be eggs, or crackers & cheese, with veg, but if I have a little more energy, this would be typical...

We use these salad boxes for 2.99$ a lot. Easy. Don't love the plastic, but it's a compromise we can do.

Cheesy mint pasta with salad and a rosé wine vinegar dressing. I've also been making sprouts consistently this winter, so we have sprouts in salad regularly as well. We really don't eat pasta very often, despite what non-celiac folks tends to assume; maybe every two or three weeks. We rely a lot more on rice.

Tonight - cheesy veg quinoa. I soaked it a few hours before cooking; the brand we buy tends to run pretty bitter, so either it needs a lot of rinsing, or a quick rinse, a soak, and a final quick rinse. It also gets nice and soft and fluffy after soaking.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Leftovers: rice, chicken tandoori, and the most amazing saag paneer with cheese curds subbing for paneer- first fried. Amazing. I just want a plate of Tony's version of saag paneer for lunch on my birthday. 

Clinic Week 1 and 2 in Food

It's 3:30 am and I can't sleep--clinic has been taking over MY LIFE BUT NOW I can finally catch up on posting!

Because of Matt's allergies, we rarely go out to eat. If he gets so much a drop of dairy, egg, nitrates, etc., in his food, he has severe headaches and brain fog. The night I flew back to Columbia, he was feeling gregarious enough to try Kobe again, a Japanese resto, that he hadn't been to since his allergy testing. We had a great time. We took pictures together, enjoyed the chef's shenanigans, and skipped back to the car when we were done. I'd always taken eating out for granted before I'd met Amy and before Matt and I dated, but his pretty extreme intolerances truly demonstrate what a privilege it is to eat and enjoy without the fear of getting sick--all the time.

This has nothing to do with food, but srsly look at this cat. He wanted to sit near me while I studied.

The garlic was on sale. I bought 7 heads of garlic to mince and freeze. Samson had never been so fascinated in food.

There is a Walmart and local butcher chain in the area where Matt's home church is. The prices are low. The shrimp was on sale. I grabbed a bag and sautéed some in minced garlic, olive oil, salt and peper for Matt. He was like "WHAT DID YOU PUT ON THIS?" 

One thing I miss the most about Montreal is its abundance of independent, locally-owned grocers. You know--the Espositos, the Marchés Green Punjab, the Greek bakeries. While we DO have some locally owned grocers in Columbia (a Vietnamese lady who has an epic garden/urban homestead, a Fillipino grocer, and an Eastern European grocer all pretty much on the same strip), but I never get around to visiting them much due to their lack of fresh produce. Here is a photo of one of the grocery chains, Gerbes, where I get my flowers. 
First roses of 2015

Guys. GUYS. INSTANT, "fat-free" PB & J. I had to pick some up, I was struck by the novelty. And it's actually delicious. 

Attempting Amy's burger recipe

My man can cook. The most tender pork chops ever tasted smothered in caramelized apples and onions. Side salad of "African Spinach Salad" (FACEPALM WITH ME EVERYBODY) he sampled at a faculty get together.

I think I got home late that day from clinic? I don't know. I was just happy to see him..  
Amy's burgers marinated and ready to bake!

I can't really tolerate nut milks, but I had a weakness. Maybe Quinoa would be better?? It was on sale. 
Weakness #2: Grandma used to buy this cereal, and it reminds me of her. I hadn't had cereal in years. Of course, I paired it with the quinoa milk as soon as I got home!

Matt decided we should celebrate my first week of surviving clinic and suggested Red Lobster (uncharted allergy territory for him). His plate came with salmon, which he can't eat, so I had it. IT WAS ACTUALLY THE BEST SALMON I've had in maybe 10-15 years, before I think factory farming was as big a thing as it is now. But the mussels were terrible. The manager came by to chat us up and revealed that all of the fish was wild-caught, mostly from Alaska, save for the tilapia. My BS radar went off, but I was so impressed with that salmon. I asked how they kept prices so low if all the fish was wild-caught, and he replied, "We work well with our suppliers". I felt a pang of regret--how much do those fishermen make for getting all that fish? Man.

The crab legs were on sale. Matt loves these and is always pining for them.

Making cashew milk

I'm making a HUGELY conscious effort to use food as fast as possible so as not to waste it. Hence the absurd amount of mushrooms in my egg scramble.
Food solution for every grad student ever: STUFFED PEPPERS. 

I came home yesterday at almost 9 pm from clinic to find dinner (almost) prepared. Matt has been waiting for me after work several days a week recently and damn, it's an amazing feeling to find someone you love waiting for you at home after an exhausting, soul-crushing day. Especially when what's also waiting is a grilled flat-iron steak topped with sweet onion!