Category Archives: gluten-free

Leftover Lentils

What do you know? It’s crock pot time!

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When I planned my meals for the week, I knew I would have a lot of leftover veggies, so I knew a lentil stew would be the perfect way not to let it go to waste….

So, all I did was put lentils in the crock pot with some vegetable broth, added two left-over vegan sausages, carrots, celery, and green peppers, plus some spices, and let it do its thing overnight.

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The result: a delicious hearty stew that lasted us for days. During stormy and chilly fall days, this is pretty close to the ideal office lunch. Leftovers made from leftovers — winning.

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, leftovers, low carb, lunch-prep, vegan

Creamy Avocado Spaghetti Squash

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After tackling my first squash in the slow cooker last week, I was ready to take it one step further: spaghetti squash.

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After slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds, I brushed the halves with oil and sprinkled them with sea salt and pepper before roasting them in the oven face down for 40 minutes.

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While they were roasting, I made the creamy avocado sauce (two avo halves, 3 cloves of garlic, juice of half a lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, fresh basil) in the blender. A food processor would have worked better, but who owns such extravagancy?

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Once they finished roasting, the fun could begin. I took a fork and carved out the strings, which was really easy and gave me much more flesh than I expected.

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And here it is: the perfect alternative to pasta – vegan, gluten-free, and amazingly nutritious and tasty. Between the squash and the avocado, the nutritional profile of this dish is out of control awesome.

I really needed a nutritious boost too after my workout class tonight. I am still following my fitness plan pretty much perfectly. Friday, I was supposed to run 3 miles, but I had more dental work, which left me in pain, so I switched out Friday for my planned rest day on Sunday and made up for it then.

The goal for the month of November is to be able to run 3 10-minute miles comfortably.

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Filed under gluten-free, low carb, vegan

New Yoga Endeavors

I went to a 90-minute “Power Yoga Flow” session at a new yoga studio downtown this morning – PYP Studio in State College.

Afterwards, I rewarded myself with this.

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But more on that after my Yoga recap:

It was insanely hard – maybe harder than a running my half-marathon in April. I hadn’t been expecting such a high intensity class, so I found myself utterly unable to put my best effort into most poses. Such things, at least for me, require mental prep time.

For at least the first hour, all I could think was, “these people are insane,” and “I’m never coming back here again.”

I had never been to a yoga class set up like this one. It started out with everyone in child’s pose, and the instructor, a tiny British lady with a fierce voice, gave kind of an opening “sermon.” Or a dramatic monologue maybe? She spoke about how we constantly reach outside of ourselves, searching, wanting, trying for more, when all we need is right here in the present. She challenged us to stop seeking approval from other people and to appreciate the perfect, innocent human being buried inside of us amidst the daily craziness. Throughout the session’s resting poses, she always came back to this theme, reiterating her points, and dramatizing them in the context of our movements.

During savasana at the end, which I enjoyed so much in my complete exhaustion, she played “Let it Be” by the Beatles. Tacky, yes. But still somehow in line with everything else she was doing.

Dave, of course, said all of this sounded terrible when I told him about it at brunch. And yes, it was definitely different and intense. But during the last 30 minutes of the class, as the exhaustion had broken me down enough, I discovered new, refreshing thoughts within myself. One of them was that it makes complete sense to me that in a “church-like” format, in which we challenge the mind to center itself and connect with its core, we would challenge the body at the same time to go to its limits.

So then, after yoga, I picked up Dave and we went to Pine Grove Mills, which is about 5 minutes from our house, to try the new breakfast place that opened there on Monday, Naked Egg Cafe. A co-worked told me about it yesterday, and I was so excited when I looked at their menu and discovered they have salmon Eggs Benedict!

In light of my new plan to stop drinking coffee, I ordered a pot of Irish Breakfast tea. By the time our food arrived, I had finished the entire pot, about five cups or so, because we waited for about 45 minutes!!! Sure, they recently opened and the place was packed, but waiting that long for breakfast is not acceptable in my opinion. When we got the food, we couldn’t believe the small portions. I paid $12.99 for the salmon benedict and there wasn’t really as much smoked salmon under the egg as I would have expected. Plus, why wouldn’t they serve some sort of potatoes on the side? Pretty disappointing. It tasted good, but not great. On the plus side, the food is all local. That’s why I wanted to like the place so much. We’re thinking we’ll give them one more chance and come earlier in the morning when it’s not as crowded and order something else. But it’s still a bummer because no other place in town that I know of makes salmon benedicts or even has a breakfast menu with smoked salmon on it.

Enough complaining. After brunch, we went to the Farmer’s Market to stock up on some organic produce. I bought eggplants, onions, tomatoes, and parsley. We also each bought a pastry from an Amish woman, plus I had a macaroon and Dave a gluten-free brownie. Splurge alert.

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Filed under eating out, gluten-free, seafood, yoga

Vegan Chili with Gluten-Free Cornbread

Dave took on food duty today and it was a smashing success.

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Breakfast was an almond-milk omelette with tomatoes, onions, and salsa. Avocados on the side.

I had to work on my Turkish homework all morning because I was meeting with my tutor later in the day.

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Lunch was leftover spinach salad from yesterday, but I added an apple for some extra freshness. Still delicious.

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And the highlight when I came back from my lesson: vegan + soy-free chili made in the crockpot with cornbread. The best cornbread I’ve ever had (Dave used oat flour and corn starch), and the chili was amazing too. He made enough so we’d have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. What a win!

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Filed under gluten-free, vegan

Leisure-Time Marathon

I love Saturdays just as much as the next person, and this week was especially delicious, both literally and figuratively speaking. We packed so many activities into today that I feel like the weekend should be over already. And it’s not. So I’m winning.

It all started with a 7 a.m. workout at our apartment complex gym. I did the elliptical for 30 minutes while Dave ran and lifted weights.

This made us pretty hungry, so we had sweet potato pancakes for breakfast.

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3 eggs and one mashed sweet potato – bam. The trick is to use plenty of coconut oil for frying and keeping them small-ish to make them easy to flip.

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I topped mine with almond butter and maple syrup. The flavors of this mixed with coffee flavor put me in heaven. We went over German dialogues while eating.

The next stop was Cafe Lemont for some lattes (regular for Dave, almond for me).

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Dave studied German vocab and I worked on a freelancing project. Coffee shops and Saturdays are a dream combo, if you ask me. Especially if they have non-dairy, non-soy latte options.

Around noon, we left to go grocery shopping. On our way to Trader Joe’s, we realized we were both starving, so I introduced Dave to this all-you-can eat Asian buffet. I had been there before and wanted him to experience the insanely large variety of food.

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It was $10 per person for the lunch buffet, which included an appetizer bar, a Chinese buffet, a salad bar, a huge selection of sushi, and a ton of desert options. They also have a Mongolian-Grill style setup, but I stuck to pretty much appetizers and sushi.

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Contentment.

Afterwards, we went to Trader Joe’s before returning home for some reading and TV time. I think every weekend needs several hours of couch-time. It was hard not to take a nap, that’s for sure.

Around 6 p.m., we decided to play tennis on our apartment complex courts. It was much colder than it has been today and pretty windy as well, but we wanted to give it a try.

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I had to wear a headband and a jacket, but once I warmed up, I could take those off. We played for about an hour and the score at the end was 15:1 for Dave. I really suck at tennis, but really enjoy it at the same time. I have great ambitions for beating Dave one day. Maybe this “season” will bring more success than last summer.

Back in the apartment, I made dinner and we watched The Mindy Project. Have you guys seen it? It’s hilarious and so current. It’s one of the few shows Dave and I enjoy equally.

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Dinner was spinach salad with avocados, toasted cashews, goat cheese, and dried cranberries, The dressing had balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds, sugar, cayenne pepper, and poppy seeds in it. Desert was chocolate coconut ice cream, naturally, though no pictures were taken.

Not too shabby for a Saturday in State College, if I do say so myself. Getting up early is my new favorite thing.

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Filed under Breakfast, dairy-free, deserts, eating out, gluten-free, recipes, salads, seafood, vegan

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salmon Cakes Vol. 2

Dave had class tonight, so I got a little over an hour for some full-power mid-week cooking and cleaning. I danced in the kitchen to a strange mix of music on Spotify – from 90s to high school classics to German pop.

I gave these salmon sweet potato & quinoa cakes another attempt – this time, I remembered to put the eggs into the mix instead of having to put them on top fried.

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After cooking a medium sweet potato and half a cup of quinoa, I mixed them with 6 oz. of wild Pacific salmon, half a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal.

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Then I seared them in olive oil for about 4 minutes per side.

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They held together a little less well than last time, despite the eggs! I think that’s because I didn’t cook the sweet potato for long enough. It was less doughy and sticky than last time.

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Deliciousness. If you make this, make sure to add enough salt and pepper. Also, I think it would be even better with green onion than just with regular onion. Yes, now that I think of it, definitely use green onions or scallions.

Six cakes meant we have leftovers for lunch. Yay!

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch-prep, recipes, seafood

Early Morning Lunch Prep

I woke up at 5 this morning to cook our lunches because I didn’t have time the last couple of nights and we were running out of options (no jelly for PB&Js, no bread in the house, no leftovers).

What did I make? This. Veggie, kale, and rice casserole with Tofurky sausages (the sausages were a substitute for chorizzo). I love this recipe because it has a lot of filling ingredients (eggs, tofu, rice) and is easy to make. And we all know I have to have at least one Hungry Hungry Hippie dish on the menu every week 🙂

It was kind of fun cooking in the morning. I got caught up with my German soap and was much more efficient because my time was limited.

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I just mixed all the ingredients up in a bowl, poured them into a casserole dish, and let it bake for 35 minutes while I showered.

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Perfect lunch, and now we have leftovers again. Who doesn’t love leftovers?

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I’m getting really excited – less than 48 hours until my half marathon. Here is the link to the race, by the way. The route will be really nice the first 6 miles and then get super challenging and hilly. I hope I’m ready! I’ve been stretching and icing my shins. Tomorrow, I’m supposed to run two miles, which I’ll do after lunch, and then we’re heading down to Lancaster County right after I get back from work.

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, running