When I was a kid we used to spend the holidays at my mom’s best friend’s house down the street and aside from it being one of my favorite nights of the year, it was also the night that I got to indulge in my favorite party snack: artichoke dip. I would eat so much of it that I would feel ill in minutes. To this day, I still repeat the same routine when it’s in front of me. Throughout the years I’ve adapted a few family friends’ recipes and always cringe when I see the amount of cheese and mayonnaise that I’m about to dig into. Yet, I still cannot resist it. Tonight, I decided to try to health it up a bit, with hopes of not sacrificing flavor. Read more:
Last week was the week of beans. Between my bean demo and practicum at school and my vegan challenge, I’ve been consuming a lot of them recently. One of the perks to being in culinary school is taking home leftovers. There were a ton of soaked black eyed peas left over at the end of our practicum class, so I tossed them in a baggy and brought them home to cook. Up until now, I’ve been a canned bean kind of girl. I had never soaked and cooked dried beans before — it seemed like too much of a time suck. After taking this class, I now know there is a world of difference when you make them from scratch.
So, I’m a week and 3 days into this vegan challenge and here’s the hardest part: eating out. Not because I’m eating strictly vegan, but because I also try to avoid gluten. So, at most restaurants, that leaves me with some very bland options. Thankfully my wallet doesn’t allow for me to eat out very often, but I did this week. I went out for vegan pizza with a friend and while it was delicious and I avoided the thick crusts, I paid for the gluten indulgence later. A few other things I’ve noticed while eating this way: 1. I can’t stomach as much alcohol as I usually can. Read more:
Well, I had 2 glasses of wine at dinner the other night, along with a smidgen of gluten and dairy and I woke up with a headache. I’m blaming the headache on the wine because my gluten and dairy consumption was so minuscule. Interestingly enough, I found that while I normally could drink a whole bottle of wine with dinner, after two glasses I felt my body say “no more, please.” I’m still feeling like my body is not feeling the alcohol. I’m only on day 5 and my cravings for cheese are growing. But thus far, I’ve resisted temptation — including the ball of fresh mozzarella staring at me in my refrigerator day after day. Read more:
I was introduced to burdock root in one of my first classes at Natural Gourmet. I had seen it in my local market before, but I never knew anything about it. During this veggie demo class, our teacher sliced up the burdock and sauteed then with some shiitakes, sesame oil and shoyu. It was so simple and yet so delicious, and chock full of health benefits. So when I came across some burdock at my market this week, I decided it was time to try cooking with it.
Last night, I was catching up with a close friend and during a conversation about health supportive eating and my new adventures in culinary school, she brought up a woman named Kris Carr. I googled her and when I landed on her website I was met by what looked like an infomercial for healthy eating — one that wanted my money. But I decided to dig a little deeper and by the time 1am rolled around, I had watched her full length documentary, browsed her recipes and watched all of her YouTube videos. I suddenly found myself sucked into a deep and wonderful hole of inspiration. This, coupled with a lovely conversation with another friend about making an effort to write more, led me to a a realization that it was time to check in with myself. I’d had intense nightmares the previous few nights and have been feeling a general tension in my neck, stomach and even calves, and with this inspiration pushing me forward, now felt like a better time than ever to start to really dig deep and explore the root of all of this tension.