24 July 2012

what i eat is moving

After a lot of consideration, I have decided to roll my What I Eat blog into my life, travel, and fitness blog Where in the World Am I?. Fitness and food go together, as well as food and culture in the places we visit and live. It's becoming difficult to run more than one blog, especially deciding which posts should go with food and which should go with other parts of my life. They should all go together!

I'll be leaving this blog up for reference and over the next few weeks I'll be reposting some of my favorite posts and links at Where in the World Am I?. My gluten-free updates will still appear on Twitter and on my Facebook page.

So, if you are not yet a follower, please go to Where in the World Am I? and sign up for RSS or email updates. The food fun will continue!

16 June 2012

long run fueling friday

Our internet has been down for several days so once I get this post up I'm all caught up.

I do my long runs on Saturdays so Fridays are a big eating day for me.

Breakfast: Rice Crispies with dried cranberries; coffee with milk.

Second Breakfast: Iced coffee with milk, biscotti, and a glass of nonfat milk.

Lunch: Baba ganoush and Orgran quinoa crispibread.

Second Lunch: Pizza bagel with half an Udi's gluten-free bagel, tomato sauce, and feta cheese.

Snack: Handful of chocolate chips and a cup of tea.

Dinner: Leg of lamb and potatoes roasted with rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper; zucchini sautéed with cumin, salt, and pepper, and quinoa.

Snack: Some chocolate and a glass of nonfat milk.

just me and the bats thursday

I woke up early Thursday morning for a run -- 5.4 miles. When I left it was still dark out and there were bats flying around my head. By the time I got home this guy had gone to sleep in the electrical wires by our house:
He was about 12 inches long from head to toe.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with soy milk, dried cranberries, almond meal, ground flaxseed, and maple syrup. Coffee with milk.

Snack: Biscotti and a Mochachillo.

Lunch: Pizza bagel with half an Udi's gluten-free bagel, tomato sauce, and feta cheese; the other half of the bagel with peanut butter; glass of nonfat milk.

Snack: Handful of corn chips

Dinner: I wasn't too hungry and I was at a cocktail reception so I had some veggies and dip and some veggie pakora (which are fried little yummies in a lentil-flour batter). Two glasses of white wine.

caffeine day wednesday

Food thought for Wednesday: Alcohol is easy to cut back on. Caffeine is not.

Mmm, toddler leftovers.
Breakfast: I wasn't too hungry after a big dinner on Tuesday night so I just nibbled some of the muffin and banana from Muffin's breakfast plate. When I sliced her apple for her school snack and ate about half of it. I had a cup of coffee with milk.

Second Breakfast: While Muffin was at school I sat at a coffee shop and read. I had an iced mocha (aka the Mochachillo at this particular chain) and I brought a Pamela's gluten-free almond anise biscotti.

Pre-lunch: Drinking chai (made by Muffin and my housekeeper) while catching up on emails and blogs.

Lunch: Homemade baba ganoush on Orgran quinoa crispibread with cucumber and red pepper slices. I put the extra cucumber slices in a bowl with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper for a little side salad. I set aside the extra pepper slices to use as a pizza topping later on.

Snack: Half an Udi's gluten-free bagel with peanut butter and a banana.

Dinner: Pizza with a Chebe bread crust, olive oil, tomato slices, feta cheese, garlic, onions, red peppers, and fresh basil. There's no photo available. The family was so hungry we ate before I remembered to take a photo. I also had a glass of white wine. I wasn't planning on one tonight, but I burned my thumb on the baking pan and Muffin insisted on sitting on my lap which made for messy eating. I felt I deserved it.

Snack: I had a little chocolate before bedtime.

13 June 2012

what-i-ate wednesday

I'm going to start participating in What I Ate Wednesdays as a way to motivate my running and healthy eating. For those of you new to the blog, I'm gluten-free and I live in India. I'm training for a half marathon in August. (We do have a housekeeper here in India who does some wonderful cooking for us. But I also have her do a lot of the prep work -- like chopping the veggies -- and do the cooking myself, often with the help of my almost-two-year-old daughter.)

Here's a summary of my Tuesday.

Breakfast: Two banana-coconut muffins baked with the modified Pamela's gluten-free pancake mix banana bread recipe. Coffee with milk.

I took Muffin to school and then met the playgroup moms at our weekly breakfast date. I had two unsweetened iced coffees with milk and a small plate of bacon.

Lunch: A pizza bagel with half an Udi's gluten-free bagel, tomato sauce, and feta cheese (still sipping one of my previously mentioned iced coffees) and an apple.

Snack: Homemade baba ganoush (from the Moosewood Cookbook ) with Orgran quinoa crispibread.

Afternoon Running: About 3.25 miles pushing Muffin in the jogging stroller around the park.

Dinner: Boneless chicken breast with roasted tomatoes (from Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook ) and quinoa and a (not pictured) watermelon-feta salad (modified from a Martha Stewart recipe -- this is a super-refreshing post workout salad).

Dessert: Glass of chocolate milk.

Second Dessert: Glass of white wine.

For more running fun, follow me on dailymile and at my blog Where in the World Am I?.

(Some links are amazon affiliate links.)

19 April 2012

what I eat while running

If you read Where in the World Am I? then you know that I'm running again, with goals and everything. I'm running a 10K in May and the Hyderabad Half Marathon in August. I have a training plan for the running, but despite all the nutritional articles I love to read I still feel like I'm not quite there with an eating plan. I know I eat too much sugar and salt. I know I need to eat more proteins and vegetables. I'm working on it.

Muffin doesn't eat any vegetables right now so it's been easy to slack off on preparing them. To inspire her and to force me, I am offering her one veggie per day, whether it's pepper slices on a pizza, chunky tomato sauce, carrot sticks, or steamed broccoli. She can say "No," and I won't force her but I'm making myself eat them. She watches me carefully and she tries a bite or two but she rarely asks for more. I know it's just a toddler phase but I can't use that excuse. Much like I read in Hungry Monkey, Muffin loves picking out the vegetables at the store and she loves to help prepare them, but she doesn't want to eat them.

I'm taking advantage of having a housekeeper to help prepare food. Surprisingly it's a lot of work to come up with meal plans and shopping lists and decide which foods I want my housekeeper to make and which I'll do myself. She washes the fruits and vegetables and I have her cut up the fruit so it's easier for me to make smoothies. She prepares meat rubs and marinades, then I pop the meat in the oven or onto the grill for cooking at dinner time.

In order to eat properly before and after running and to make sure Muffin is having wholesome meals as well, I've starting planning out my eating and running schedules a few days in advance. I don't stick to it strictly but it's a nice reminder of what leftovers are in the fridge and which meals needs to be prepared. It reminds me when I need to eat in order to be ready for a run and I plan certain snacks and meals to eat while Muffin is sleeping because I don't want to share every single bite that I eat. It sounds like a lot of work and it might even sound silly but if I don't do this I sit around eating chocolate all day behind Muffin's back and then I'm crabby and don't have the energy to make a healthy dinner so we end up eating macaroni and cheese.

I follow Anja's Food 4 Thought, the blog of a woman training for marathons in Saudi Arabia, for healthy, gluten-free, runner-friendly recipes and for inspiration for running in hot weather. All the recipes look yummy but I keep making the same chocolate-carrot muffins (another veggie for Muffin!) and apricot-pecan cake over and over again. They are great post-running treats with a glass of milk.

Speaking of hot weather, coconut water is my new best friend. I've heard it's a trendy, expensive sports drink in the United States. Here, I can walk about a quarter of a mile to a guy who sells coconuts on the side of the road, chops it open with a machete for you, and gives you a straw -- for about twenty-five cents per coconut. Despite that, I prefer the convenience of a little plastic bottle -- for about fifty cents -- that I can put in my gym bag to drink as soon as I hop off the treadmill.

Knowing the right things to eat and actually eating them are two different issues. I'm integrating small changes into my daily routine. One step at a time, just like running.

*I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the Hungry Monkey link and ultimately decide to buy it, I will receive a few cents. I was not paid for this post; the book was purchased by me for personal reading.

17 January 2012

all kinds of coconut cake

After my failed almond bread (which was nicely recycled as French toast sticks, but I never got the chicken sandwich I really wanted) I decided to try something fun. I'd recently seen Coconut Bars from Elana's Pantry. There's a lot of coconut here so they should have been great.

They were just okay. They were not what I expected and I'm calling them cake because they seem softer than what I think of with bars.

Almond meal, shredded coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil where no problem for me to find. The coconut flour here is not as fine as American commercial coconut flour, but a few seconds in the mixer takes care of that. (Notice all the coconut products? That's why I've renamed it "all kinds of coconut" cake.) There's no stevia here, and I don't like it much anyway, so I just omitted it.

Maybe I over mixed the batter, but it was much runnier than I expected. As it baked, huge bubbles rose. After the specified thirty minutes I took it out of the oven and popped the bubbles. The batter was under baked so I put it back in the oven. After five minutes, though, I could see that the bottom was going to burn.

The dish was supposed to cool on the counter for thirty minutes and then go into the refrigerator until "chilled." So I trusted that maybe the mushiness would disappear after chilling for a little while. Several hours later I cut a little piece. Hmmm. Coconut. But something was missing from the flavor and the consistency wasn't quite right.

I let the dish sit in the refrigerator for a couple days, mocking me and my weekend of baking failures. This morning I took it out again and offered a piece to Muffin on a whim. She's had a cold, which has made her a picky eater, and I wasn't expecting her to even try it. She loved it. I cut her a piece and it's not the end of the world that she had coconut cake for breakfast. The consistency was much better after being refrigerated for a longer amount of time.

I like the coconut flavor a lot but something is still missing from the overall taste of the cake. I have two solutions to that. I'm going to try a batch with golden syrup instead of honey. It's not in the same universe of being healthy, but it has a nice toasted marshmallow flavor that I really like in some baked goods. I'm also going to try a batch with dark chocolate chunks mixed in. I need something to complement the coconut.

One long weekend, two baking projects to take back to the drawing board. 

13 January 2012

failed almond quick bread

This afternoon I decided to turn off Pinterest and actually make something I'd pinned. I hadn't had a sandwich in several months so I chose almond quick bread. I make sweet quick breads all the time and I liked the idea of not having to turn on KitchenAid mixers or bread machines in order to get a loaf of bread that could be used for savory sandwiches.

I failed on so many levels. I couldn't find tapioca starch so I used corn starch, wondering if it would be the same thing. I don't know if that's what went wrong or if it's because I used the wrong size pan (my own fault for not paying attention) in an oven that is wildly inaccurate. Even though my pan was well-greased, the loaf stuck. It wasn't burned, just browned and dry. The loaf is too narrow to make the chicken sandwich I was hoping for (due to the wrong size pan). I snacked on some of the crusty bits I was able to free from the bottom of the pan and they were pretty tasty.

Either we'll have French toast sticks for breakfast this weekend or I have a nice new batch of breadcrumbs.

You can't win them all.

26 November 2011

thanksgiving wrap-up -- cranberry breads!

Our internet was out most of the day on Wednesday so instead of telling you about the cranberry breads I planned to make, or telling you that I posted a Thanksgiving article at Gluten-Free Works, I spent the day making a This-Isn't-Really-How-Pilgrims-Dressed dress for Muffin:

So now I will give a summary of my Thanksgiving cooking: Yum.

We were invited to a potluck dinner with some friends and our contribution was rice and cranberry bread. I cheated a bit and had my housekeeper make a rice pilaf (from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook) while I made the cranberry breads.

Earlier in the week I tried a cranberry apricot nut cake from Anja's Food 4 Thought. There's no flour in it and if you use unsugared dried fruit then it's sugar-free as well. I had to substitute some of the nuts and I used cranberries that I'd brought back from the United States with us last summer. Ocean Spray Craisins can be found here sometimes, but I didn't want the expense and the inconsistent supply chain to keep me from making cranberry bread at Thanksgiving so I've been saving them to use since September. Anja calls for a mix of pecan and hazelnuts, but I haven't seen hazelnuts here in months so I used all pecans -- which hadn't been around for a few weeks and miraculously arrived on the shelves last Sunday. I bought enough to get me through Christmas. You could fool around substituting different fruits and nuts. (I bought some amazing dates this week, too, that would be good.)

Muffin and I ate most of that cake, which was evidence enough that it would be a good Thanksgiving dish. I had chopped and pre-measured the fruits and nuts when I made the first loaf so on Thursday morning I could make a fresh loaf in less time.

For my second bread I went back and forth on whether I should add cranberries to either the Pamela's baking mix banana bread or zucchini bread recipes. I went with the banana bread. I know the recipe by heart so it was quick to make on Thursday morning. I made it as muffins to ensure it cooked evenly and to save time and mess from having to cut it up.

Muffin tossed all breads and muffins aside once she got her first taste of turkey. Last Thanksgiving she was too young for real food. This year she inhaled the turkey off my plate and took a few bites of mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, and broccoli as well. We thought giving her a turkey leg to play with would make a funny photograph and we were surprised to see her bite right into it. She is definitely a Thanksgiving eater.

13 November 2011

flaxseed as an egg replacer

Maybe this is well-known to vegans and those with egg allergies, but it's news to me. I recently read on a package of flaxseed meal that it can be used as an egg replacement in some recipes. Here in a Hindu society, eggless recipes are a must. Alongside the regular Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker cakes mixes on the grocery store shelves, you'll see eggless varieties.

I tried the flaxseed replacement with a loaf of bread. A risky move, given the delicate balance of bread ingredients. For each egg I mixed 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water. I let it sit for a couple minutes to thicken up, then I added it to my bread at the time when I would have added the eggs. It worked! I never would have known there wasn't egg in the dough. I didn't notice any change in the taste or texture of the bread at all.

I think this could work well for a variety of baked goods. I'm surprised that news of this flaxseed replacement hasn't hit the bakeries here yet. Flaxseed is difficult to find, but I do see it occasionally in grocery stores. If more people knew about it, maybe there would be more flaxseed on the shelves.



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