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Cooking diet food humor vegan

Wake Up Smoo-Teas: The Caffeinated Smoothie

SpaghettiBolognese (8)

Skip the bloggy bit and SHOW ME THE RECIPE!

I’ve written about my love of smoothies previously. I have two a day. One at 6:30am before I get on the bus to work and one at 4pm before I get on the bus home. I find they are filling but don’t make me feel stuffed. They’re the perfect light breakfast for me as eating a full breakfast and going on a 1hr bumpy bus ride don’t really mix all that well. The afternoon one keeps me sated enough to last from afternoon snack to dinnertime. And again, no throwing up on a bumpy bus ride home. #win

The addition of tea came about because in the mornings I liked to have a cup of tea and a glass of water and a morning smoothie. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever woken up at 5:20am and tried to stuff that much liquid into your body and then jump on a bus but…let’s just say it works out well for no one. 

No. 

One. 

Moving on. 

It’s been a year of these smoothies and I looooove them. I have the same thing, every morning. I thought I would get bored but I didn’t. It became a habit. The day we ran out of bananas one Friday and I couldn’t make my smoothies, I didn’t know what to do. Do I just drink the tea? Do I put the tea with the strawberries? Am I going to miss my bus? I’m going to miss my bus. I gotta go. 

30 minutes into my bus ride, I was tired, hot, starving and had a migraine. 

Now we buy 15+ bananas a week. 2 a day for me. 1 a day for The Canadian One. #potassiumoverload

Oh except when I have my period, I crave vodka and bananas….and only one of those I can consume at work.

I have to eat the third banana at home.

I’m kidding. 

I’ve lovingly named these Smoo-Teas…get it? Cos it’s a smoothie AND a tea….Nevermind. 

Smoo-Tea for One

(Double ingredients for 2…and so on…#math) 

Black or Green Tea cooled. I usually brew mine in the evening and cool it overnight in the fridge. I use Barry’s Original Blend Irish Tea my brother sends me in the mail. I’ve also used orange pekoe tea (Tetley) and green tea. 

1/2 cup of mixed berries (I buy frozen berries, I’m lazy) 

1 Banana

An approximate shot glass of Orange Juice 

I also add a shot of Kombucha when I have some, chia seeds when I remember or GF oat flour when I have some lying around after a cooking session 

Throw everything in a blender. 

Blend. 

Drink. 

OR put into mason jar, bring to work, consume at your leisure. 

Do you say lee-jure or leh-jure? Genuine question. It’s like my continuing Pap-er-us v Pap-i-rus debate. (Card-shop people will get that!) Like….WHICH IS IT?!! 

Also, if anyone is curious about the Kombucha I use when I remember to buy some, I like this one. I’m going through their cocktail flavours since my boss got one free at an event and, by poxy, it became mine! (THAT’S MY TREE IN THE BACKGROUND!!! I OWN A TREE!!!) 

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Categories
Cooking diet food humor vegan

Lazy Lemon Iced Tea

Lazy Lemon Iced Tea

This 30+ degree weather has really tipped my iced tea addiction over the edge. I recently went through this heart thing whereby I had to wear a fun heart monitor for 48 hours and couldn’t shower. (full disclosure: you should read the word fun as if it were in sarcastic font)

Anyway, I was told not to drink coffee for the month of tests so I switched to tea. And like any good Irish girl, I took to tea like..well…a girl who’s coffee has been taken away from her and she’s left with little option.

Incidentally, this was not the first time I was told to give up coffee.

When I was experiencing acid reflux, I was told to quit coffee and alcohol or take pills for 30 days. I choose the pills. What? I sense you judging me! I get up at 5:20am. I would die. I told my doctor this. I didn’t even bother making up a story. I just said no. He gave me the pills. When I returned 30 days later, he asked how giving up coffee went. I told him I did not do that. He gave me more pills. I got better. I stopped taking the pills. I still drank coffee.

I also experience migraines, have since I was 19. I’ve been told several times over the years to give up coffee, it will help with your migraines, it will reduce them, you might get better, blah blah blah…

Turns out, a by product of giving up coffee for this heart monitor thing is a reduction in migraines.

So…

I was wrong.

(Or those weird weather phenomenons called Chinooks that happen in Calgary have ended and it’s a coincidence. We’ll find out for sure next winter.)

Moving on.

Back to the iced tea.

I decided to learn how to make iced tea and very very rapidly decided I loooove iced tea. I made pitchers of it. I put it in the fridge. I hung around waiting for it to cool, for it to absorb the lemons, to become icy liquid gold. However, I happened upon a problem. A daily iced tea for one was the problem.

Now, there are multiple recipes for iced tea online and believe me, I have tried many of them. When I don’t feel lazy, I make iced tea with a pot on the stove with cut up lemons and measured out sugar but when you wake up at 5:20am and are already sweating from the heat, you want a caffeinated drink with iced. Or at least I do anyway.

And it was a problem.

Until I came up with a solution. (The fizz is from my addiction to Starbucks Iced Tea Lemonade…you can leave out the fizz if you want)

Lazy Lemon Iced Tea

(originally I called this Lazy Girl’s Lemon Iced Tea but thought I might get emails…but I just wanted you to know, that’s what I call it when I’m not on the Internet)

2 Orange Pekoe tea bags

250ml hot water

1-2 tsp lemon juice

250ml Club Soda or sparkling water (or regular cold water if you don’t like fizz)

1tsp of sugar (optional)

Handful of ice cubes

Place both tea bags, sugar (if using) and hot water in a 500ml mason jar (or some kinda 500ml holding, hot water resistant vessel)

Allow to steep for 4-5 minutes and then take out the tea bags. At this point, depending on how much of a hurry I’m in, I will either place the tea in the fridge to cool down or I’ll just shove a bunch of ice cubes into the mason jar and hope for the best.

Mix in the lemon juice and add enough Club Soda to fill the mason jar.

Add straw. Drink.

Sometimes I’ll use flavoured tea bags like Black Tea with Blackcurrants or Black Tea and Raspberries and will omit the sugar and lemon.

(I am not driving in this photo…just to be clear! I also, when I posted it on Facebook, needed to clarify we are not drinking alcohol. It is just iced tea!)

Categories
Cooking diet recipes vegan

Vegan Chickpea Curry Soup

Vegan Chickpea Curry Soup(Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free)

I always try to keep chickpeas on hand. I buy dried chickpeas in bulk, soak 3-4 cups of them overnight and then rinse them and boil them for 1.5 hours the next day. Once cooled, I freeze them in 2 cup measurements in Ziploc baggies. Then, whenever I want chickpeas, I just defrost a baggie and boom, the chickpeas are ready to go. I throw them into curries, soups, sprinkle them over our salads, mush them up to make falafels or roast them until crispy and snack on them. Sometimes when it’s just a soup, however, I’ll skip the defrosting step and just dump the baggie of frozen chickpeas into the hot liquid and allow them to defrost while cooking. 

This recipe was more of a what-do-I-have-in-the-fridge type of meal more so than something I set out to purposely make. It was late, I needed something for lunch the next day and wasn’t feeling venturing out in the snow to the grocery store for supplies. I’ve since tweaked it and cooked it many times since and we now frequently take it to work for lunch. 20160405_180903-2

1 tbs coconut oil

2 cups chickpeas

2-3 tomatoes, diced

1 onion, diced

1-1 1/2 tbs Yellow Curry Powder

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup of water

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp each of ginger, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Salt and pepper

  1. Fry the coconut oil over a medium heat with the onions and garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add curry powder, ginger, ground coriander, turmeric and garam masala (and cayenne if using) and stir. 
  3. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and stir for 1 minute. 
  4. Add coconut milk and water and bring to the boil. 
  5. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add more water if you think it is too dry. 

Serve with alone or with rice. 

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This refrigerates well however the coconut milk will solidify a little in the fridge so be sure to heat it up before eating it. It is also freezer friendly. I separate it into 2-person portions in Ziploc baggies, label and freeze flat. 

More Recipes: 

Irish Stew

Lucy’s Mum’s Chilli Con Carne

Spaghetti Bolognese 

Categories
diet food funny humor lactose free vegan

‘So, wait, what CAN you eat?!’

Photo by: depositphotos.com/lisovskaya
Photo by: depositphotos.com/lisovskaya

I read an article today – 8 Things I’ve Learned About Cooking Without Gluten, Dairy, Nuts and Sugar – and I totally related to the author when she said ‘The funny thing is that friends and family seemed more sad about my new diet it than I did!’. Personally, I find, more often than not, the one question I’m asked when I tell people I can’t have dairy, soy, sesame or some preservatives in meat and The Canadian One has diabetes is: ‘So, wait, what do CAN you guys eat?’, like they imagine us sitting around eating salad all day with a balsamic dressing. I think people forget that I know how to cook!

For example ,today we had Steak Fajitas with Homemade Salsa. They were so-so, the fajitas not the salsa. The salsa was nice. I was trying out a new fajita recipe and it didn’t enthrall me. I won’t be making it again. Yesterday, we had Soy-free, Sugar-free Beef Teriyaki with Basmati Rice which The Canadian One SWEARS tasted like seolleongtang! I’m skeptical. Oh seolleongtang how I miss you…A LOT…Although I just bought Maangchi‘s Korean cooking books so I’m hoping her recipe is good. Apparently her Soegogi-muguk is good and looks crazy simple! If you wanna learn to cook easy Korean food check out her website!

Tomorrow we shall be eating Shepherd’s Pie and later in the week, we have Beef and Lentil Tacos and some Irish Stew coming up. Irish Stew is basically just to use up all the leftover vegetables we have before we move on Saturday but still! Speaking of moving, my God, I never realised how much stuff we had until we had to cram it into small boxes. I mean, we’ve only lived in Canada for 18 months, how did we amass so much stuff in such a short period of time?!

Moving on.

Back to the dietary needs, I feel it makes people awkward. They don’t know what to feed me. But the thing is, I don’t feel left out of things. Ever. OK, yes, I once brought my own mayo to a friend’s house back when I was banned from eggs and my own bun to a BBQ but that’s the extent to which this has affected me. I just avoid things like free food days at work or if there is free food, I claim it and then give it away to someone else. But then again, a wonderful manager at work made me a soy-free, dairy-free cake for my going away last day of work last Friday (words cannot express how awesome a: having cake was and b: this cake was!) and whenever we got pizza, my team’s fantastic manager would get me a tiny no-cheese vegetarian just for me. No sharing! It was great. At Thanksgiving this year I had my own separate mashed potatoes and butterless green beans and it wasn’t a big deal. I also had Smirnoff Raspberry Ice Vodka with Moonshine Cherries, just to throw that in there too.

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Now, I always bring my own snacks wherever we go – movie theater, trips, friends houses – and most of the time, if I don’t trust a menu of a place, I’ll go with fries! Ah, potatoes, the food of my people. I buy fries so often in the cafeteria, the cashier just now says ‘Small fries?’ whenever she sees me. That’s all I ever get, despite the many many other delicious looking things on the menu.

Has my cooking style changed? Yes.

Do people look sad when I tell them I can’t have many foods? Yes.

Do people get confused and look at me with a sad when I tell them what I can’t eat? Oh yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Though that’s mainly when I tell them I can’t have chocolate.

Has it changed my life? YES! Yes, of course it has! I’m no longer spending my evenings curled up in a little ball hugging my hot bottle telling people I’m never eating again. I’ve gained back the 5kg I lost earlier this year during tests – discussed here – and am maintaining a healthier looking weight. I’ve slowly reintroduced breakfast into my diet and have begun to eat oats again, having FOR YEARS thought I was intolerant to oats but it turned out to be the milk with the oats that was the problem.

And beside, another thing I think people forget is, it could be worse, I could be allergic to vodka.