Archive for the ‘Eating & Veg*nism’ Category

The freezer that wouldn’t.

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Sometime between yesterday morning and this morning, our freezer had an identity crisis. It decided it was a refrigerator, and that it would act accordingly.

So this morning, we had goddess-knows-how-many pounds of thawed food to figure out what to do with. I cooked up all the fake breakfast sausage and had FIVE pieces (yum!) along with a once-frozen blueberry waffle and some conveniently pre-thawed berries. We transferred as much of the food as would fit into the real fridge, and are feverishly making meal plans for the next several days to use up as much of the food as possible.

Even with good planning, though, we’re going to lose some food. So if anyone in the vicinity of near-north Nashville would like some thawed veggie burgers, veggie bratwurst, or veggie ground “beef”, or some formerly-frozen fruit, come on over. We’ll be cooking and feasting all day.

The definition of summer cool

Friday, June 27th, 2008

is a Blue Coast veggie burrito followed by a blueberry chocolate chip paleta. I’d be supremely relaxed right now if 1) I didn’t have so much crap to do, and 2) I hadn’t eaten quite so much of said food.

Now they tell me!

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Did you know that there are substances called “goitrogens” which can inhibit the production of thyroid hormone and, the theory goes, contribute to the enlargement of the thyroid?

Maybe you’d heard of this, but it’s news to me.

And what’s more, there are two main types of foods that are most associated with goitrogens and, consequently, with thyroid disruption: soybean-related foods and crucifers.

Get it? Tofu and freakin’ broccoli, two of my favorite foods. Oh, hardy har har, universe. That’s a good one.

Now, I realize I’m doing research on the interwebs, and that my findings are therefore suspect. And I do recognize that most of the sites that talk about goitrogens make it clear that most people would have to consume “excessive” quantities of these foods before their effects would be likely to cause problems.

But, well, I do eat a LOT of soy-based products — I’m a vegan, after all — and I LOVE broccoli. I could eat it all the time.

It’s just very interesting, you know? And it just reinforces that thing my mom always used to say: everything in moderation, some things not at all. Because weirdly, even things most people think of as very healthy can cause trouble in large quantities.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make a soy-and-broccoli-less dinner.

Even Google can’t make your turkey cook faster

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

I’m so amused by the numbers of top searches in Google today that have to do with preparing a turkey. People, if you’re just now starting to wonder about how to cook it, it’s probably a good idea just to join me and Karsten at Baja Fresh.

It’s finally soup weather

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I know they say not to blog about what you ate for lunch, but Karsten and I just shared the soup Jon made and gave me to sample. It was great!

And I had to write about this because I want to tell you, dear reader, about the cute name Jon gave his soup.

“Armagarden.”

Not that I’d want to be a staff writer, but still…

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

After a lovely dinner at Rosario’s (I mean it! it was good, despite what that mean old Chris Chamberlain would have you believe), we decided to drop in to Edgehill Studios Cafe across the street to see who was playing. It was two guys who sounded pretty good so we stuck around, but we couldn’t determine what their names were — there didn’t seem to be a schedule posted anywhere. (We also spotted Karen Keely from 95.5 The Wolf hangin’ out with a “Cutie Wolf” t-shirt on.)

Anyway, one of the writers announced a song called “Makes Me Wanna Pray” by saying it was on hold with Martina McBride (and I couldn’t help but think of Lindsay). The song wasn’t bad, but I was more interested in how much he sounds like Collin Raye.

Both writers were enjoyable, but Collin Raye Guy got me curious so I looked him up. His name is Jared Johnson and it turns out he’s with Big Loud Shirt. Staff songwriter at Craig Wiseman’s company? Now that’s a gig to have. I’m betting that “Pray” song gets cut, and I’m even betting it’s a single, and heck, why not, I’ll even bet that it charts. People seem to love sad songs that make them feel all holy.

Serious question

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

No really! I want to know. Food is very serious to me, y’all.

So, rawfoodists don’t eat food that’s been exposed to heat over 100 or 110 degrees or whatever (I’ve seen a pretty broad range cited, actually), right?

So does that mean that produce grown during a heat wave is out of the question? Or does the heat restriction only apply once the fruit or vegetable is removed from the plant or the plant itself is no longer in the ground?

(Yes, the attentive among you will surely point out that I should know as I myself kept to a raw diet for a short period of time once. I felt great, too. But it was too much work and I got lazy.)

Strike 2 for Plumgood

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

I got home from work, excited to tear into the crates from Plumgood with all the (hopefully) yummy produce and other stuff… only to find my empty totes from last week still at the back door and no new totes anywhere in sight.

I emailed customer service and let them know that I can only conclude that the driver didn’t follow my instructions to deliver to the back door, and that the new totes were stolen.

Grr.

And as a private “fuck you” to whoever stole the totes, I’m snickering at the fact that they got a bunch of tofu and produce rather than meat and fun junk food. Not that I can prove that people who steal prefer meat, but that’s the way my imagination prefers it as some sort of consolation.

Grr again.

Edit: It’s not as bad as all that, actually. The Plumgood driver just delivered our totes to our neighbors’ house. The customer service person who called me was apologetic and refunded the delivery charge. I still don’t know if we’ll use the service again, but we probably should — now we’ve gotten the kinks worked out!

Take the good (veggies) with the bad (veggies)

Monday, August 14th, 2006

You know how I was talking about ordering that CSA basket from Plumgood Food? Well, it showed up Thursday and it was a bounty of vegetables. Something like 20-25 tomatoes, 20-25 okra, 8 ears of corn, 3 cucumbers, 3 leeks, 1 zucchini, 1 crookneck squash, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 1 head of cabbage, 1 eggplant, and 1 cantaloupe. It barely fit into the fridge. And then I got overwhelmed by the idea of how to cook it all up and not waste any, so over the weekend we only ended up using, like, 2 ears of corn, 2 tomatoes, and the cantaloupe. I planned to make a big pot of ratatouille but it was always too much to think about.

Eggplant stir-fry
Well, I’m home sick today but I had a little energy, so while I was taking a break from writing use cases, I started chopping some vegetables. And once I had the eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and okra chopped, I didn’t feel like going any farther. So I tossed them gradually into my big frying pan and sauteed them. The outcome is this:

I don’t think the picture does it justice. I tasted it a few times as I was finishing it up, and it’s amazing. I hardly added anything to it — just a healthy dollop of safflower oil at the beginning to get the juices goin’. It’s all veggie-flavor-power from there, baby.

And the bad news? After that little victory, I started to attack the tomatoes and found out they’re nearly all bad. Well, all the ones that the cats hadn’t already eaten since Thursday, that is.

Oh well. I have delicious eggplant stir-fry to enjoy for lunch for the next several days, and I’m happy.

Vinny’s

Saturday, November 27th, 2004

Months ago, a songwriter named Kirsti Manna (whom country fans may know as the writer of the Blake Shelton hit “Austin” as in “…P.S. if this is Austin / I still love you”), when Karsten asked her if she could recommend good pizza in Nashville, preferably Chicago-style pizza, recommended Vinny’s Pizza in Hermitage. Karsten has been begging to go there ever since.

So finally, tonight, we went. 28 minutes there, 28 minutes back. And for what? For cracker pizza. I kid you not. Wafer-thin crust, extra-crispy at the edges and soggy in the middle, with barely any sauce or cheese on it. The veggies were nice, but I could’ve been happy with grilled veggies sans cracker crust, thanks.

After this experience and many others like it in the past year and a half, I can only conclude that Nashvillians don’t understand pizza.

Which is sad, really. I love Nashville for many reasons; I plan to be happy here for a long time. But I must now plan to rely on homemade pizza and trips to Chicago for any chance at decent pizza from a restaurant.

[Incidentally, the one perk that driving to Bumblefuck and back affords is this: during such a long trip, you might get to hear nightfly's voice on the radio, as I did. Which is cool. (I think it was that Opry Mills "shut up and drive" spot again, but I only caught the tail end of it so I'm not sure.) ]

I’m back at home now, sipping hot cocoa, feeling full but disappointed. Oh well. They can’t all be Gino’s East.

Vacation, day #6

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

We received word from our apartment property manager yesterday that they were doing some work this morning requiring us to move our car from the lot by 8:00 AM, so it seemed like a good morning to go out for breakfast. Headed over to Murphy’s Loft Cafe (formerly the Red Rooster Cafe) for day-old muffins (only $1!) and coffee & juice. We enjoyed the opportunity to sit outside and leisurely sip our drinks.

Then, since all clothing at Salvation Army is 50% off on Wednesdays, it was time to do a little thrift shopping. Didn’t really find anything, which is just as well since I just bought a zillion new-to-me articles of clothing a few weeks ago.

Alright, now this is kind of embarassing. I had a coupon from the back of a Kroger receipt for a week free at Curves, which is right down the street. I thought, hey that’s convenient — I won’t have to go the office and I can still work out. I didn’t know. I swear I didn’t know! I thought it was a gym. It’s not a gym. It’s some kind of demented 30-second rotation half-hour fitness program and weigh-you-in and take-your-measurements thing. I listened politely to the woman give me the tour of the place but as soon as she said “Alright, let’s take your measurements!” I said “I don’t think I need to waste any more of your time. I don’t think this is right for me. I thought it was a gym. I was looking for treadmills. Cardio equipment. Things like that.” And she said, “Yeah, I can look at you and see you don’t need to lose weight, but I didn’t want to say anything.” She didn’t want to say anything? Until what? Until I actually did lose weight? That place is weird. Weird weird weird.

So anyway, I left, but I was all psyched up for a workout, and now I had to decide if it was worth it to me to go to the office and risk feeling stress on my vacation just to work out. And then it dawned on me that I could run in Centennial Park instead! But I was nervous about that because I haven’t run on pavement since my injury. And then I remembered that I had my rollerblades in the trunk. So I got good and warmed up by rollerblading five laps on the mile loop and then felt comfortable running two laps.

Got back home, showered, dressed, and went out with Karsten to Kalamata’s. I ordered their baba ghannouj for the first time, and it was wonderful. Nice and smoky, just the way I like it.

Went furniture-browsing (”furniture-ogling” is more like it) at Nouveau Classics and 2 Danes. Must get rich so I can afford cool mid-century modern and contemporary Scandinavian furniture in my home. Someday.

Dinner at Tayst. Yum! We started with the Chickpea Cake, which was served in some kind of delicious sauce. I can’t remember how it was described on the menu and I know I can’t do it justice, but it was unbelievably good. Followed that with the Bibb Salad with (I think it was) fennel-infused walnut oil vinaigrette. For the entree, we split a very elegant baked potato with vegetable spears marinated in a ginger sauce and served in a half-red, half-yellow pool of gazpacho and ginger sauce. I finished with a scoop of raspberry-black licorice sorbet, which was just about the best thing I’ve ever tasted. It was spectacular, although Karsten says it was a bit dada for his preference. Still, he had to admit that the service was outstanding and even if the menu was a bit pretentious, the service certainly was not.

After dinner, we decided to swing by the Commodore Bar & Grill, which is one of the writers’ nights venues that became popular after several of the other ones mysteriously shut down last year within several weeks of each other. Anyway, after all this time, we’d still not checked it out. We ran into a friend who was playing a feature set tonight, so that was a nice surprise.

And then it was back home. And now I’m getting sleepy. It’s been a good, long day.

Vacation, day #5

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

Cheekwood rocks the house. Can’t believe we’ve lived here this long and yesterday was our first visit. I knew it would be nice, but that’s as far as my expectations went: “nice.” In fact, it was spectacular. Beautiful. Tranquil. Loved the sculpture trail. Loved the Japanese garden.

So we bought a “Family” membership, which means we now get in free as often as we want, and we can bring two guests with us. And we plan to go back frequently. Yay!

Lunch was at Baja Burrito (as was dinner, thanks to the magic of huge burritos and reheated leftovers). We gave up on trying places we’d never been before: they were all turning out to be so disappointing!

And I mostly finished my CD ripping project. I have a small stack remaining, and they should be finished by the end of today. Feels great to finish a household project finally. I’ve had so many of these kinds of things in limbo for, well, for years, really. Should have done this vacation at home thing a long time ago. Maybe not a whole week, maybe that amount of time is too much. But a few days and a weekend, that should do it. I’ll have to plan for that again in maybe a year or so.

Vacation, day #3

Monday, July 26th, 2004

Yesterday was another peaceful morning of organizing MP3s and writing songs. Finished a draft in the morning — that felt good. Organized my office and closet somewhat.

Then it was off to a god-awful lunch at U.S. Border Cantina, a party-hearty Mexican place apparently popular with Vandy frat boys who drink too many margaritas on Sunday afternoons to leave peacefully. Ugh. Never going back there again.

A little grocery shopping at Wild Oats, and then home again. I was determined that it would be a restful day, in spite of the efforts of Vandy frat boys.

We ate pasta for dinner and watched America’s Sweethearts, which is one of the DVDs we bought for cheap at The Great Escape. It was better than I remembered. The ending was a little smarmy, but I laughed out loud several times prior to that.

I’ve been using some of this vacation time to rip the rest of my CD collection so I can sell it and be done with it. I’ve made a lot of progress, but I have probably over 100 to go.

Vacation, day #2

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

I’m counting yesterday as the start of my vacation ’cause that makes it seem longer.

Spent a lazy morning organizing my MP3s. I deleted a bunch I never listen to and swapped in some new workout music onto my Clie.

Went out for lunch at Cafe Coco. Disappointing. Greasy. Pricey. Small portions. (I only ever eat small portions, but I like to take home leftovers.) But we sat outside and that was nice.

Next stop: The Great Escape outlet and the main store. Finally found The Thorns CD and for only $3.99! Also picked up some super-cheap DVDs and a book on how various songwriters got inspired to write certain songs. I love books like that.

Quick trip to the zoo for Ice Day! Many of the animals got frozen treats appropriate to their diet, such as bloodsicles for tigers and fishsicles for otters. (The otter looked as eager for the treat as Karsten was to see the otter eat it.) Karsten’s favorite animals there are the meerkats and mine are the clouded leopards — and neither of them seemed to have been given any icy treats that we could see, so that was kind of a bummer.

Picked up our holds at the library, some goodies at Kroger, and then swung by Big Lots for some English muffins. Karsten noticed that they had the Kellogg’s Strawberry Mini-Wheats with the AAdvantage miles again, so we bought all 25 boxes of them. I felt like Adam Sandler’s character in Punch-Drunk Love buying all the yogurts or whatever… but it really makes a lot of sense when you break down the cost per mile. And you’re getting all that tasty cereal, to boot!

Cooked up some homemade pizza for dinner and watched “Nicholas Nickleby,” which was OK, but not fantastic.

And now I’m posting this update while munching on Strawberry Mini-Wheats. I have enough of them to eat them all the time. :-)

Vacation evening #1

Saturday, July 24th, 2004

Last night we kicked off our Nashvegas vacation by hanging out on the Demonbreun strip. For non-Nashvillians, this strip (pronounced something like “duh-MUN-bree-un” or “deh-MON-bree-un” — no two native Nashvillians pronounce it the same way) is what used to be a line of so-tacky-they’re-funny gift and souvenir shops. Now they’re so-trendy-they’re-not-even-cool bars and restaurants. Like Christopher Pizza Company, where we ate dinner, and Caffeine, where we had coffee and juice afterward. It’s great people-watching, though — some of the best this town has to offer. And last night, Gary Allan was scheduled to play at an outdoor concert series for one of the bars, so the strip was mad packed.

We got bored with it eventually and couldn’t think of anywhere else we were dying to go, so we went home and watched our DVD rental: “Along Came Polly,” which was OK, but it was very obvious that it was the same screenwriter who did “Zoolander” and “Meet the Parents” — he rehashed a good many gags. Jennifer Aniston was great, though. She made a role that could have been a little hard to get across — someone flakey and commitment-phobic — seem endearing and credible.

Oh, and I gave myself a mud mask facial last night, too. That was nice. Except Karsten made fun of my mint-green face. Bastard. ;-)

Not sure what’s on for today yet.

I don’t do resolutions…

Friday, January 2nd, 2004

but here are some things I’d like to accomplish this year.

Run a half-marathon, at least. I had hopes of running the Country Music Marathon in April, but between the weather and my wicked work schedule, I lost a lot of valuable training time in November and December. With only three months left to train (and at least two months of bad weather left, and still a fairly wicked work schedule), I won’t make the marathon. I’m still hopeful about the half-marathon, though. And even if I don’t manage that one, I’m intent on being able to do it by the end of the summer.

Increase the amount and diversity of raw veggies I eat. I already do fairly well at this, but I’d like to be better about it.

Increase my nutrient:calorie ratio. Same as above, and will certainly be aided by implementation of above.

Decrease the amount of useless fat I eat. Again, I’m pretty good about this, but I still munch a little too much chocolate a little too often, and french fries never did anything good for anyone, even when they’re only eaten once in a great while.

Improve my guitar skills. I let this slip because of my wicked work schedule, but I really need to work on my guitar playing. It could be such a valuable songwriting tool, and I just haven’t taken the time to practice and improve.

Make more time for songwriting. My day job has been top priority for a few months, and that’s fine because it pays the bills. But once the big push is over (and it should return to normal by the end of March), I need to get back to spending serious amounts of time on writing songs.

Accelerate debt reduction plan. As of yesterday’s session with Quicken, my… our… THE debt will be paid off in May 2005, which is thrilling (only a few months ago I was excited to think it would be paid off by September 2007!) — but I’m a never-settle-for-less-than-everything kind of person, and I want to see if I can make it go away even faster.

Organize my clothes. This seems so minor in comparison to the others, but it’s really such an annoyance. I have a fairly generous closet space, but I have a lot of clothes because I basically have four wardrobes: my smart-and-professional work clothes, my sexy-and-stylish out-and-about clothes, my ever-growing collection of workout wear for all seasons, and my comfy-and-hip stay-at-home clothes. I need to find a way to make it all tidy and easy to access.

Snarf!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

I’m working late, and my boss gave me permission to order some food and expense it. So I got some Chinese delivery and invited Karsten to bring his portable keyboard and stuff and come have some food too, as he sometimes does when I stay late at the office.

So anyway, I just ate two platefuls of greasy, delicious broccoli with spicy garlic sauce, and I mean it really was good, but I feel gross! I can’t remember the last time I ate that much grease in one sitting. Yeesh.

But did I mention how good it was?

OK. Back to work. (But bleah! But mmm!)

I’m such a good little wife

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

I left the office at lunch to work from home the rest of the day, and while we were eating lunch, Karsten mentioned that he had a craving for sweet corn muffins. So I made them. Vegan ones. They were not very sweet, though, so maybe I’m not such an ideal wife, unless it really is the thought that counts.