Monday, March 14, 2011

Chili Dogs

When I was young, chili dogs were my favorite food.  I didn't even have to think about it when someone asked me the question.  On my birthday, my parents used to take me to King's, a restaurant that served foot-long chili dogs.  Heaven!  (That restaurant is now a Perkins.  They do not have chili dogs--let alone veg chili dogs.)

Buns out of the oven
So I had some leftover homemade veg chili I made the other day--really good, with black beans, zucchini chunks, sweet potato, lots of spice--and I had delicious apple sage sausages.  All I needed was the buns, so I whipped up these lovely creatures using half King Arthur's Bread Flour and half whole wheat pastry flour.  They were a bit too big so I had to trim them down for chili dog size, but they were fresh and so delicious.  Even better than I remember!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Working lunch

As I finish up my next book, I am eating lunch at my desk on Saturday.  Bummer!  But that's o.k. because I get to eat two pieces of wholegrain sourdough toast. I topped one with mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, and pink salt.  The other got the almond butter, bananas, and raw cacao nibs treatment.  Another cup of coffee, and I'll finish this thing in no time!

Lenten update:  I am lame.  Last night at Happy Hour, I had a shot of Patron with club soda and a lime.  But just one, and nothing when I went out for dinner later!  I'm not going to throw in the towel, I'm going to consider that a single slip and try not to do it again.  Still no sugar.  Interestingly, I noticed that I wasn't constantly hungry all day yesterday--likely a product of reduced sugar intake.  Note the delicious natural sweetness of my lunch--who needs cane sugar when you can eat like this? 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Curry soup, sushi rolls, and sesame coleslaw

I've been eyeing a recipe in Vegetarian Times for Chickpea and Greens Curry Soup.  Last night I finally made it, leaving off the suggested yogurt garnish.  Basic method:  Saute onions and a lot of spices (curry, cinnamon, turmeric, chili powder, nutmeg), then add chopped greens (I used lacinato kale, the recipe suggests spinach), then add can of chickpeas, 1 chopped tomato, 4 cups veg broth, 1 can coconut milk, and simmer for an hour.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro .  It was good but not salty enough for me, so I added a bit of soy sauce towards the end, which made it perfect. 

As that simmered, I made sushi rolls, one flavor with marinated tofu, avocado, and green onions, the other with sweet potatoes and sauteed mushrooms.  Deliciousness.  My teenager devoured most of the sweet potato rolls--he's not very good at sharing.  Finally, chopped red cabbage tossed with chopped scallions, cilantro, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, a pinch of 5-spice powder, and sesame seeds.  

Lenten update: So far, so good.  No sugar, no alcohol.  We'll see how it goes when I meet a friend for happy hour today and order a club soda with lemon.  Will I be able to handle the inevitable peer pressure?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Deprivation, or Discipline? (On the occasion of Lent.)

No more glasses of this for awhile...
Or any of these...
I'm not Catholic, and yet, I go through this every year:  What to give up for Lent.  I think I'm obsessed with Lent because I am not someone overwhelmed by a sense of personal discipline.  In fact, I'm kind of lax--hedonistic, one might even say.  I'm not good at deprivation.  Lent seems like an opportunity to work on what is arguably a failing.  (Not that arguable, really.)

As is my custom, I had no problem feasting on Original Field Roast Grain Meat Company Apple Sage Sausage, homemade pancakes (from VwaV) with maple syrup, and tofu scramble (freestyle, lots of curry powder) with fresh pico de gallo and avocado cubes and spinach, along with a couple of homemade Hurricanes (orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, white rum, spiced rum, amaretto, strawberry syrup, angostura bitters) on Fat Tuesday.  (Sorry, I was festive without a camera.)

But then, I had to face the yearly dilemna:  What to give up.

I'm never very good at this.  I've tried unsuccessfully to give up sugar for 40 days oh...enough times to make me want to bake a batch of cupcakes to forget.  In fact, I don't think I've ever once been able to give up anything for Lent and make it all the way to Easter.  Not a very good track record, I guess, looking back on it.


Every year, however, my health habits have gotten a little bit better.  That's why, this year, I've decided to try giving cane sugar and alcohol the boot.  For 40 days.  Until Easter.

DEFINITELY no more of these...
I chose cane sugar specifically for two reasons.  One, I eat too much of it.  Two, if I just said "sugar" and could not take occasional refuge in Rice Dream Pies or maple syrup, I would surely fail.  And I'm adding alcohol because I just can't take it like I used to, and I don't think it's doing me any favors.  It won't kill me to give it a 40-day rest.  As I told a friend the other day, I can have a chocolate martini on Easter, right?  It's not like it's forever. 

It's only going to feel like it.

Not even any of these...sigh...

So here is my pep talk to myself:

"I can do it!  Go Hungry Yogi!  You don't need no stinkin' sugar.  And the next time you cook something good, take a darned picture!"