iscribblings

Charting life's circuitous path


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Miso Glazed Eggplant – A fitting end to an experiment

duskSeptember has been a good month.  I’m starting to feel like I can really love September, if the looming threat of snow and cold weather wasn’t apparent in every brown leaf scattered across my doormat.

I’ve been able to get in a lot of great runs so far this month and while I’ve yet to topple the 5 mile mark (I do get really close with 4.5 mile jaunts), I’m not worried about breaking or setting any records.  The random surprise deer spotting, the (sometimes) invigorating music beating away each stride and the crisp air cooling my breath make running one of my favorite ways to unwind.  The spectacular summer evenings are also a good reason why I am an evening runner.  🙂

dorayakiThe whole “what can we eat?” question is also starting to become clear.  Here’s what we think we’ll stick by until further notice (or headaches get worse, whichever comes first).

  1. Gluten is “okay” IF (and that’s a huge, Kilimanjaro, IF) we only have it rarely and in small doses.  Pizza one night a month is fine.  Sandwiches and other gluten items from restaurants once a month or so is “okay”.  I know that large doses of gluten sets my tummy aching and even small doses make me crave like I’m going to have twins for days afterward.  I’d rather not crave or ache so we’re keeping the gluten to “special” times (aka restaurant trips where non-gluten items are hard to come by or that piece of cake begging to be eaten). Our house, though, is gluten free.  And you know what?  That’s actually just fine with me. 🙂
  2. Soy is “fine”.  Neither of us saw any reaction to soy, so it’s back on the menu!
  3. Dairy is “okay”.  My hypothesis about feeling blue once eating dairy didn’t pan out the other times I’ve had it, so I’m bringing it back in.  We’re not chugging it down like we used to (now we get through 1/2 a gallon of almond milk a week vs the gallon of milk), but we’re having things like yogurt or the odd slice of cheese here and there. We don’t really react to it, but I’d like to keep it in moderation.
  4. Chocolate is “OUT”.  We’re going to give it one more test later this month, but the hubby’s had a “test” day twice now and both times have landed him with 3 day migraines.  😥 That seems pretty definitive to me, but chocolate is the hubby’s first love and it’s hard to give up.  Personally, I don’t react at all except to the craving the sugar inspires.  It’s fine with me if we do give it up, but it does make baking non-chocolate goodies a bit harder. I didn’t quite realize how much chocolate based food there is out there.  We tried to go to a local coffee shop to have an iced drink and NONE of the options were without chocolate.  :/ Still, I’m managing to bake yummies for us that fit all of our diet needs.

This little experiment is about to come to a close and I’m so glad we did it.  Our menus are more varied (I made delicious gluten free dorayaki for dessert the other day) and we’re actually eating and buying better balanced food (like the miso glazed eggplant below).  I’m especially happy to see the hubby getting more “normal” headaches from time to time (like stress, dust, etc), than the repeated migraines.  People might think we’re crazy, but at least our lives are happier for it.

misoeggplantWe don’t have a lot planned this month, but that’s okay. I’m soaking up as much cool air as I can before the weather turns and scarves come out.  It’s also pie season soon, so I’ll be brushing up on my gluten free crust making!  🙂

Miso Glazed Eggplant

(Note: Recipe is adapted from The Adaptable Feast by Ivy Manning.  All of the ingredients I used in this recipe were gluten free and it came out beautifully.)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large eggplant or 4 Japanese eggplants

Directions

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Cut eggplant into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.  Quarter each slice.
  3. Turn on oven broiler.  Move rack close to the top of the oven.
  4. Place eggplant cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Brush half of the glaze over eggplant and place in oven.  Broil for about 5-10 minutes until it begins to brown.  Watch closely as it might burn.
  6. Turn eggplant slices over and brush with the remaining glaze.  Broil for about 10 minutes, again, watching carefully so as not to burn.  Once nicely browned, take out the pan and serve eggplant with rice.


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Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip – Gluten Free

Blue cupcakes, curely wurleys and jammie dodgers.

Throw in a trivia game, big screens and a lot of people and we’re talking Doctor Who Season 8 Premiere!

What did you think?

I liked Capaldi.  Obviously, I’ll have to see more to get an idea of how he’ll develop, but in all, his performance was what kept me watching.  The rest of it?  Not sure I really cared an awful lot. :/ I really wanted to see more Capaldi and less of everyone else, even though there were some really funny scenes (Strax’s fall and Jenny’s posing scenes got a big laugh out of our group).

This was definitely an episode that was FOR the audience.  It spoke directly to us and it wasn’t ashamed to do so.  We were Clara as she  watched this new (older) man who was “not our boyfriend” anymore dash about and act so much differently and yet familiarly like the “old” Doctor (the phone call scene was well done and sweet).  It told us that we need to accept change, to help and be there for others as they go through change and that relationships aren’t just one dimensional.

It told us to re-evaluate who we are and to question our expectations.

I quite liked that. 🙂 It was refreshing, maybe a bit preachy at times, but very much befitting a first episode.

And the intro sequence.  Can we just say it was fantastic? 😀 I LOVE the intro and while the original black and white intros are still the best, in my book, this one was right up there as one of my top intros.  SO much better than the time tunnel effect.  Blah!

I took this wonderful recipe from Joanne’s website to the party and it was delicious!  I changed it up a tad by using quinoa instead of the bulgur and I omitted the mint (not keen on mint) and swapped out half the lemon for half a lime. 🙂 It was a fast and really pretty dish to bring to the party and one of the healthiest items at the table!

hummus

Bring on the Doctor!  I think we’re ready to see how he stands up to the Daleks. 🙂

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water with a dash of salt
  • 12 oz container of regular hummus (Joanne uses Pacific but I used Lilly’s)
  • 12 oz container of roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped parsley
  • 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded

Directions

  1. Add water, salt, and quinoa to a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook about 15 mintues (or however long your packet says).  Set aside and let cool (I popped mine in the fridge to speed up the process).
  2. Mix together chopped parsely, juices, tomatoes and quinoa.
  3. In a serving dish (about the size of an 8×8 pan), layer regular hummus, half the tabbouleh, the roasted red pepper hummus and then the rest of the tabbouleh.  Serve with your choice of chip.

 

 


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To Thine Own Self

I’m in my 30s.  I’ve gone from being the burrito eating couch potato teenager who hated to even walk across the parking lot let alone down the street, to a woman who’s realized that her body isn’t entirely her own.

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It doesn’t belong to someone else, either.  Apparently, it belongs to itself.  I only live off of it like a camper van with limited access parking on someone’s land.  I just take up residence and from time to time, stomp all over it, mow it, tidy it and generally live off of it.

And I had no idea what it was going through. 😮

I still don’t, not really.  Yesterday, my mood decided to pack its bags for the south and I turned into a short tempered, upset and angry ball of sap.  I dripped malaise everywhere and brought our entire house down with me.  Had anything happened to make me mad?  No.  Everything was going really well and in fact, just hunky-dory!  But I was back to where I had been during the winter: verge of tears, shaky emotions and short of wick. 😦

What I had done was eat dairy on Thursday.  For the first time in over two months, I had milk, cheese and butter.  I was expecting typical lactose intolerance reactions – bloated tummy, stomach pains, etc.  What I got instead, was a revisit of Winter Hell 2014.

pickles2I’m not 100% sure if the dairy caused my emotion spiral, but there are apparently a lot of people who have experienced the same thing.  I just never knew that something so inconspicuous could be so dramatic.  I’ll be giving the dairy thing a go again later in the month, but this time I’m going to pay attention to how I really feel.  If dairy does cause me to experience a mild depression for two days after eating it, trust me, it’s gone.

And that’s the funny thing about this whole elimination diet thing.

I never knew that I would be so sensitive to food.  When we reintroduced wheat/gluten last week, I had the most horrible stomach cramps.  I had to clutch my blue heated rice bag to my tummy all night to get to sleep.  The experience was so bad, that I don’t think I want to go through with it again, but we will at least once more to see if I react the same way with only a “bit” of gluten.

pickles3

How’s the hubby, you might ask?  He’s actually doing better than me and I was only doing this to go along with the ride!  We both felt bloated from the gluten, but the dairy hardly fazed him.  Except for a bit of tummy twinge, he did okay.  No headaches, no nothing, really.  Disappointing, since that would have given us at least something.

Then there’s me.  All in pain and with a shattered emotional well-being.

Go figure.  🙄

And you know what really upsets me about all of this?  It isn’t that I might have to be gluten and dairy free for the rest of my life.  Sure, it’s a bit of a social pain to be the dreaded triad of any guest list (no, sorry, I can’t eat that bread with butter or the steak you lovingly prepared…).  But that’s not really all that bad.  What’s really bad is that I didn’t even have a clue that the food was doing all of this damage to my body and all the while it was just trying to do its best.  The poor thing had to deal with the constant barrage of gluten and dairy and I was ignoring all of it.  😥 Just thinking about all of the stress it had to go through when I was a teenager makes me want to cry.

Well, not any more.  I’m going to be better at helping my body be the best.  I’m going to try to listen to it more carefully and not ignore the subtle shouts to “just stop it!” it sends my way.  Try is the key word here.  I’m nowhere as in tune with my body as I ought to be.  But at least I’ll stop to listen. I think it deserves at least that. 🙂

picklesHere’s a recipe for pickles that’s easy and delicious.  I tweaked it slightly from the Flour, too cookbook.  They’re amazing on salads, sandwiches and on their own.  Both slightly sweet and tangy, they fit the bill for complex flavors.  Oh, and those croutons poking out behind my spinach leaf?  Ian’s Gluten Free Italian Croutons. They’re so delicious that I plan to buy them regardless of whether we’re gluten or dairy intolerant.

Pickles

Ingredients

  • 4 English cucumbers (or homegrown cucumbers that are at least 6 inches in length)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp Ball Dill Pickle spice (or your own pickling spice, if you have some)
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Directions

  1. Slice cucumbers about 1/4 in thick and place in a large container with a tight lid.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and vinegar and heat on medium until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add all of the spices.  Pour over cucumbers and let cool to room temperature before you refrigerate.