Monday, February 11, 2013

Domestic goddess?

I would say a large part of my week is devoted to food. What I'm going to eat, what I'm going to shop for, options for when we are going out, prepping food for the week, logging my food on myfitnesspal, etc. It seems a little obsessive, but it's pretty much the only way to survive on the new diet.

Perhaps I'm becoming a domestic goddess... I might need to start wearing an apron.
And pearls.  (Except I just realized I don't own any.)

I started to get a little frustrated because while I'm excited to try new recipes, a lot of them were not successful, and I was finding that I was completely forgetting how to make a "three piece meal" (protein, starch, vegetable). I have cooked vegetarian for one for so long that I have forgotten that other people don't want to just eat a side of vegetables for dinner.  And since I have so many restrictions, I completely forgot how to cook and plan meals! We took a step back to figure out the basics and I think I'm getting back on track.  

Some of my go-tos:
  • Tofu or tofu/veggie scramble with potatoes
  • Rice bread (actually really good) or a gluten free waffle with nut butter (my go-to has been sunflower seed butter since I can't have peanut, and yum!)
  • Vegan overnight oats* (1/4 cup of gluten free oats w/ 1c almond milk, 1 mashed banana and cinnamon that sits overnight in the fridge.  In the morning add fresh/dried fruit and 1T of nut butter.  DELICIOUS and filling!)
  • I just discovered a recipe for gluten free vegan pancakes (oatmeal based) and they were great! I like these better with a savory "main" because they are a little sweet by themselves.
**before the gluten free diet, I was never a big fan of oatmeal. I think it was a texture thing? I've really started to appreciate them and Trader Joe's has a great gluten free/wheat free/dairy free bag of rolled oats for super cheap.

This is often leftover from dinner the night before, because I can make a larger portion and split it in half. 

  • Old stand by: tacos/fajitas.  Veggies or tofu/meat, beans/rice.
  • Pasta: I've been experimenting with lots of different sauces, usually involving nuts and tomatoes.  Fusilli has been the most successful with the most normal texture. Spaghetti is good, but a little sticky.
  • Roasted/steamed veggies, with tofu or fish
  • Chili: Without kidney beans or white beans, we've used black beans and pinto.  I want to experiment with adding squash or lentils.
  • Grill: We are going to start grilling more. Think it might be easier overall.
  • Burgers: I found a black bean patty that I love! Black beans, red pepper, carrot, cilantro, brown rice, and spices, with blueberries thrown in it.  Made a bunch and stuck them in the freezer. 1 gram of fat and high in protein. WIN.
  • Warm black bean dip! This was actually a dip, but we ate it with corn chips and fruit and it became an awesome lunch.  (Black beans, corn, salsa, jalapeno, garlic, seasoning, and nutritional yeast.)  Freaking amazing.
  • Pizza: Still experimenting with the pizza recipes.  The mixes are awful.  I tried an almond-buckwheat one that was tasty, but super dense.
I'm still trying to figure out the flour chemistry.  I did find this info which was helpful:

Substituting gluten free flour in recipes:
Think of gluten free flours as three different types: Heavy, medium, and light.
Heavy:  Buckwheat, quinoa, millet, nutmeal, bean/legume flours - equate to whole wheat flour. More dense.
Medium: Soghum, brown rice - equate to all purpose flour.
Light: white rice flour, tapioca, cornstarch, potato starch 

The best flour is a combination of the different weights for optimal texture and protein.

Things I've been running into issues on:
  • Anything "asian" inspired.  Gluten free soy sauce (tamari) is a god send, but we are stuck when trying to make stirfry, etc. because of the lack of sesame.  No sesame seeds, paste, or oil. Things just taste a little different and a little too salty, because it's missing something. Same with fried rice, which used both sesame and egg.  We're still playing with it.
  • Seasoning! Why does vegan or gluten free need to be paired with "sugar free" or "fat free?" This a lot of times means not enough seasoning. I make an attempt to the try the recipe first "as is" and then futz with it later, but the result is often bland and I end up wishing I experimented solo.  
What I learned? Trust my own cooking abilities and take these recipes as a suggestion and not the final word. Oh, and don't experiment every night of the week. :/

In keeping with this, I'm always hungry, because we're still working out all the time.  Trying to keep up an active workout schedule, so that when we start training for the next Half Marathon (PF Changs - Jan 19th 2014 - it's already on the calendar!!) we aren't destroyed by exhaustion.  Also, strong muscles mean strong runners that don't get injured.  :)

Current schedule:
Monday: Gym in the evening (10-15 cardio, 45 min core and squats)
Tuesday: Medium length run after work, 3-5 miles (take advantage of spring while we can!)
Wednesday: Gym before work (30 minutes cardio/cross training, 30 minutes back/chest/shoulders)
Thursday: Short run at lunch around work neighborhood (2-3 miles)
Friday: Gym at lunch break (20 minutes biceps/triceps)
Every other Saturday, or 1-2/month: Long run, 5-6 miles plus

Trying to insert planks and ab work in each workout, if possible. 

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