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Pesto Mac + Cheese

5 Oct

Tonight I got home from dance class wanting something a) fast b) caloric. Belly dancing? Makes you hungry. 

Can we take a moment here and just step back, and look at anorexic ole me knowing my body needs to replenish after burning calories? Yeah, that’s some motherfucking recovery. 

Okay, so, I really really love both pesto and mac n cheese. I figured they’d be rad together. Spoiler: Holy God. SO GOOD. 

I’m pretty sure this recipe cannot be made vegan, but, if one of y’all wants to take up that challenge, feel free. 

I did a small batch, but you could really easily double this. 

1/2 box medium shells

1 1/2 tablespoons each butter and flour

1 cup milk (I used 2% so I felt better, but given the amount of cheese. . .)

1 cup good smoked gouda (microbial or vegetable rennet)

1/2 cup whipped cream cheese

large handful basil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/8 cup pinons

salt, pepper, cayenne

Bring water to a boil, add shells. While they cook, make a roux with the butter + flour. Add the milk (I do that shit cold. I am too lazy to add an extra step AND more dishes by heating the milk up separately). Bring JUST to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add garlic powder. IT’S NOT TOO MUCH. It’s pesto. You need garlic. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. And then more pepper. And then more pepper. Let cook while you shred the gouda. Turn the heat off under the bechemel + stir in all the cheese. Yes, I know that’s twice as much cheese as you should put in that amount of bechemel. Trust meeeee. Put cream cheese, basil + pinons in a blender or food processor. Don’t forget the pasta! Drain it when it’s done, and immediately add the sauce. The rest of the gouda will melt that didn’t melt in the bechemel. Stir in the cream cheese/basil mixture. Test for seasoning. Go forth! Eat pasta! 

I can’t take a picture because my husband ate all of it. WIN.

Be careful out there, my friends, and remember: nothing is hopeless if my sick anorexic ass can grow up to celebrate the need for calories after exercise. 

-C

Homemade Hot Pockets

30 Sep

I live a long way away from my best friend. This is a fact that brings me fairly regular grief. I miss her many times a day for many different reasons. Recently, she started raving about this recipe from Choosy Beggars:  http://www.choosy-beggars.com/index.php/2010/04/09/pub-night-philly-cheese-steak-buns/ for buns stuffed with meat and cheese. Now, one, I love a stuffed bun. Holy kamole do I. Two, I like eating things she’s eating, because it’s a little bit almost like maybe we were cooking together. But, clearly, meat is not a thing with which I am willing to stuff a bun (That sounds dirty).

Changes I made from the original: 

1) I forgot to buy bell peppers, so, I didn’t put any in. Also, my far away bestest hates bell peppers with a vengeance, so, it was more like what she would eat to do it without them. 

2) I mixed mayo and dijon and used it in place of the ketchup, because I am almost out of sugar free vegetarian ketchup and that shiz is expensive. 

3) I used a mix of seitan (I did not make my own, I used a package) and italian “sausage” (that new brand that comes in links wrapped in plastic. It’s yummy).

4) I couldn’t find a block of provolone at the store (where is the provolone love, Safeway?!) so I mixed what was in my fridge: provolone, swiss and american. 

They’re delicious. They’re easy. The recipe makes a ton. They keep and reheat well. I’m really excited about them, and I’m going to make some with a spinach/artichoke/olive/feta/sundried tomato thing. I’m pretty stoked about it. My husband points out that it is basically just a homemade hot pockets. Yeah dude, people have been making hand pies for as long as they’ve been making bread, basically. That doesn’t mean it’s not WAY BETTER than a Hot Pocket. Like, a million, trillion times better. Quality control, flavor, fresh dough, all of it. 

The best part is, I get to eat what my best friend is eating (sort of) and we can talk about how awesome the recipe is. 

It’s hard to be a long distance best friend. It’s easy to make hot pockets at home. 

Be Careful Out There

-C

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The Quest for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffin, Batch 1

23 Sep

 

My Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of people having their first Pumpkin Spice Lattes of the season. I cannot eat pumpkin spice lattes, and this makes me sad. I can, however, make muffins, now that it is finally cool enough for me to want to bake. At first, I thought I would make a pumpkin spice muffin, and went looking for recipes. I found a ton, but none that caught my fancy. Then, I had a shower epiphany that what makes a pumpkin spice latte great is the COFFEE. So, I went looking for pumpkin spice latte muffin recipes, and found this one: http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/?p=25862

This recipe appealed to me because it looked like it would be super easy to make sugar free. I figured while I was playing with it I’d do it with soy flour to up the protein and replace the eggs with a soymilk and flaxmeal mixture to add some sweetness. Instead of a strusel topping, I went with shredded unsweetened coconut and walnut pieces.

There were some issues.

1) The coop didn’t have any soy flour, so I bought gluten-free all purpose flour

2) I thought the coconut and walnuts would get nice and toasty on top of the muffins but they didn’t, really, and didn’t end up adding much. Maybe if they were in the filling?

3) The pumpkin flavor barely came through at all

4) They are really just not sweet, so they taste more like moist spice bread. Which is pleasant, but in no way even vaguely approximates the pumpkin spice latte experience.

I intend to eat these (duh, they’re muffins) and then make a second batch replacing the pumpkin with sweet potatoes and putting in a cream cheese center to play up the “latte” aspect. I will probably not use vegan cream cheese but you EASILY could. I am going to post the recipe changes I made, in case you are looking for a nice moist breakfast spice bread. I also think this would be an excellent banana muffin recipe (of course, there are a gajillion of those) if you subbed out the pumpkin for ripe bananas.

Original recipe from Healthy Food For Living with my changes in green:

adapted from Annie’s Eats Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I will use less next time)
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • a mixture of 2 tbsp flaxmeal + 6 tbsp unsweetened vanilla soymilk
  • 1/4 cup room-temperature brewed strong coffee or espresso
  • a teeeeensy splash of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (or in a large bowl, using an electric mixer), beat together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, and canola oil, scraping down the sides as necessary. Beat in the egg substitute. Beat in the brewed coffee (or espresso). With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, slowly beating just until incorporated.
  4. Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a large spoon, fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full.
  5. Top with a mixture of unsweetened shredded coconut and chopped raw walnuts
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Place muffin tin on a wire rack and let muffins cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove muffins from tin and cool completely.

After I’ve had a chance to make a new batch, I’ll post the results. Onward, healthy soldiers!

Be careful out there. -C

Southwest Bruschetta

6 Sep

I had a friend over for dinner (I finally have friends in my new town!) and decided to do an appetizer, a thing I rarely do. 

Peach/Black Bean Salsa:

1 large peach, in small cubes

1 avocado, diced

1 small can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 handful cilantro, chopped

the juice of 1/2 a lime

1/4 purple onion, finely chopped

1/4 wheel cotijo cheese

1/2 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped

1 splash red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix salsa ingredients, cover and chill while toasting bread

Cut 10 thick slices from a loaf of good baguette, drizzle both sides with good EVOO

Toast on a griddle/in a toaster oven/whatever

Top toast with salsa, eat fast while bread is hot/salsa is cold. 

Share with friends. 

-CImage

Arroz con frijoles d’estate

15 Jun

I originally called this a primavera, but, it’s summer, so, estate is the right word, I think. 

I was daydreaming about something really fresh and non-processed and full of veggies. I wanted something that would make a filling lunch without being heavy. With lots of protein, but without soy meat. Wild rice and lentils! Are delicious, but not very summery. What do I do when I want to lighten something up? Add lemon juice. What goes great with lemon? Parmesan. What goes GREAT with lemon and parm? Asparagus. NOW we’re talking summer flavors. 

This isn’t really a recipe, so much as it is, hey! Quality ingredients cooked well taste great without doing anything fake to them! I put wild rice in the rice cooker with veg stock. I put lentils in water and cooked them. I added some roasted asparagus, corn and carrots. I threw in some peas, because there were some in my freezer. I mixed in lemon juice and parm. Here is the essential part: I chopped fresh green onions on top. 

Crazy simple. Crazy cheap. Mass leftovers. Good the next few days. Good with an egg fried on top.

2 cups wild rice mix

1 lb lentils

1 lb asparagus, trimmed 

1 ear corn with kernels cut off (I put the whole thing of corn, with husks, in the oven while I was roasting the asparagus and carrots.)

some carrots, in coins

frozen or fresh peas (who can find fresh peas?)

Cauliflower would have been good but I was out

Veggie stock

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup grated parm

green onions for garnish

That’s seriously all that’s in it. SO, SO GOOD, you guys. Filling but not heavy, crazy flavors, that nice lentil silkiness, tons of veg. . . and very little actual work on your part. Try it!

Freedom Day

1 May

On May 1st, 1999, I admitted that I wanted to quit starving, and I haven’t starved a day since. God removed the compulsion from me that day. It took another 6 years for me to give up sugar and be relieved from the compulsion to binge eat, but for 13 years I have been free every day from the physical impulse to starve. That doesn’t mean I’ve been “over” anorexia for 13 years. I am anorexic every day. I look in the mirror some days and hate my body, hate it with a profound deep hatred most people reserve for Nazis. I don’t want that hate, and I pray to be kind to my body, but the hate bubbles up. But I eat. Every day. No matter what. And I wear shorts out in public, and I go swimming (well, not very often, but I am vain about my hair coloring) and all sorts of things I thought impossible once. For 13 years, I have been an anorexic and a woman, not just an anorexic end stop. 

You guys, I can’t even. Nothing has ever been a greater gift than the one I was given that day. 

FA, ED, Feminism and fat shaming

14 Apr

I feel like I keep having a similar conversation with people about the Fat Acceptance movement, and how it relates to feminism and eating disorder recovery. I thought maybe if I blogged about it I could just point people to the blog post instead of trying to articulate my argument over and over. I’m not by ANY means an expert on the FA movement, and am open to being schooled. I am also not an expert on feminism, or for that matter on having an eating disorder, although I am a feminist with an eating disorder so I feel somewhat more comfortable addressing those issues. I do have some concerns about the conversation around FA, and I want to talk to other thinking people about it because I think it’s a huge deal. 

Rather than a coherent essay I am going with a list of points, which are not in order of their import to me or the world. 

1. I am a HUGE FAN of the idea that we cannot judge someone’s health by looking at them. I think this is a really important issue both for body acceptance and feminism. The following two points are probably preaching to the choir and also nowhere near the whole story but I want to establish that I am on board with a lot of the points made by the FA movement. 

2. It’s important for feminism because women’s bodies tend to be assumed to be public property, with people making all kinds of judgments about women based on their looks, and thinking those judgments are justified and valid and important. Women who won’t put on mascara don’t care about looking professional and it’s ok to look down on them, fat women are lazy and selfish and it’s ok to look down on them, skinny women should eat a damned sandwich and it’s ok to look down on them. This smug condescension is divisive and hurtful and plays a role in keeping us oppressed. 

3. It’s important for body acceptance because those of us who hate our bodies often judge our insides by other people’s outsides, and assume that someone else is healthier than we are, or less healthy than we are. It’s SO SO important for me as an eating disordered woman to separate out my eating, my health, and my weight. My eating can cause me to gain weight and my weight gain can cause health problems, but it is not all interchangable. 1st, my eating disorder sometimes causes me to lose weight, which would cause most Americans to believe that I am healthier, when in fact, I am deeply unhealthy. Second, duh, skinny women can have terrible cholesterol and fat women hearts as strong as horses. What both of these mean if I can internalize them is that I can hopefully let go of the hatred of my physical fat, because I can let go of the emotional baggage attached to it. Fat has no moral value and no inherent good or bad. That’s one of the most life-altering beliefs I can adopt. 

4. That being said. When I personally gain weight in any noticeable way, it is a very worrisome thing. This is because I gain weight when I am eating compulsively, and when I am eating in a healthy way I stay pretty much the same weight. I personally, when eating in a way that is sane, am not fat. That’s not because being fat and unhealthy are synonymous.It’s because my body’s set point is where it is.

5. It is also a very worrisome thing when I lose weight past a certain point. The worst part is people’s “you lost weight! You look great!” reaction. Thanks dude. What did I look like before? 

6. I am not getting into the potential health concerns associated with weight gain, because I am not a doctor and just don’t know enough about what is media hyperbole and what is medically legitimate.

7. Here is the concern I have, and it is maybe none of my business, except that I think a lot about how to help women who are suffering from ED find some recovery: I worry that the advocacy has gone from “there’s nothing morally or aesthetically or inherently physically wrong with being fat” (TRUE) and “women can be healthy at any size” (TRUE) to “because there’s nothing wrong with being fat I should not be concerned about whether or not my eating behavior is healthy.” Now, many women are fat for reasons that have nothing to do with their eating behaviors. And many women do not have eating disorders but do have poor access to healthy food/ nutritional information/are living in poverty/ a million other reasons. BUT some women do have eating disorders, and eat in a way that a) makes them emotionally, spiritually, and mentally miserable b) is nutritionally unsound c) happens to lead to weight gain. In that case, weight gain WHILE NOT THE PROBLEM is a red flag that there is behavior going on that is a) and b) and those problems have a right to be addressed. I worry that the FA movement is, in its vigilance, giving women with ED a hiding place to avoid looking at the causes of their weight gain. 

8. Clearly I do not think our culture’s fat shaming is a better solution for women with ED. I would god damned love it if I could go an hour without being reminded that I am supposed to want to lose weight, so that I fit into the patriarchal confines of sexual attractiveness. The shame that we internalize about our bodies, our lack of willpower, our inability to be attractive, it makes it a gajillion times harder to recover. I don’t believe that fat shaming is the last acceptable form of social prejudice. The amount of socially acceptable misogyny I see daily, the institutionalized racism against Native Americans that surrounds my daily life, the off-the-cuff jokes about little people and the transgendered convince me otherwise. But certainly many, many, many otherwise thoughtful progressive people engage in unintentional fat shaming language and behavior with astonishing regularity. Our whole lives are seeped in it when you start paying attention. Fat shaming helps anorexics hide their disordered eating behaviors. 

9. I am not suggesting that “we all just stop talking about a woman’s size and focus on helping women be happy.” First, that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world where fat people are mocked, shamed, and both socially and economically discriminated against. We need to talk about that, obviously. We also live in a world where women have been told since birth that “fat” = “unhappy” so we have a lot of work to do talking about THAT to unhook the two. I AM suggesting that, for each of us, the issue is both political and profoundly personal, comes with a lot of baggage and hurt, and is intricately complicated. 

10. It’s so hard you guys. It is. I felt like I had won the god damned lottery the other day when I actually thought to myself, about my workout, “But I don’t WANT to lose weight, I just want to be STRONGER.” Seriously, I heard angels singing. Because I was able to look at my body and think, “Nope, don’t care if I’m skinnier, do care if I can run longer.” Recovery is a thicket, y’all. My beliefs (being thin != being pretty or good or smart or competent) and my gut reactions (I NEED TO BE THIN OR I AM NOTHING) are so often out of synch with each other. I can’t unchain that from the political discussion of fat and feminism. I can’t look at the issue without seeing the gray.

11. The black and white language of the FA movement, I find, sometimes leaves no room for the complexity of the ED experience and therefore invalidates the experience of women who are miserable being fat not because of the fat, but because of how they feel about how they eat. Now, I know, it’s none of my business how healthy anyone else is. They have a right to be unhealthy without my judging them. But IF they are unhappy because their eating is disordered, and IF they want to stop being unhappy, then that, as a woman recovering from ED, is my business. It’s my business to be of service to women who want to recover. 

12. Feminism needs healthy, emotionally supported women. Women in the depths of eating disorders do not, in my experience, have the energy to fight anything else, like the patriarchy. Eating disorders are a feminist issue.

13. I don’t really have any suggestions for what I’d like to see happen, I just want the conversation opened, because I’m uneasy with some of the rhetoric I see from the FA movement, and I think talking about FA without giving any voice to ED is disingenuous and backwards-thinking. 

TL/DR: But what about MY SPECIAL VALID EXPERIENCE?!

Please to comment. 

Be careful out there. 

-C