Day 20 and 21

Great weather in Houston! But it’s supposed to get to 29F by tomorrow night! What the what? I guess I dragged it down here!;)

I just realized I haven’t needed caffeine as much as i used to, I have more energy and haven’t felt bloated or sluggish. I don’t crave diet cokes or any kind of sweets!
Tonight my friend Shannon and I made “Birthday quinoa salad”, a recipe she got from her trip to Napa.

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So refreshing, I could eat this every day!

Day 19

I’ll tell you what!… If they don’t understand you, they judge you! But that’s ok! It’s a normal human being defense mechanism. If it’s out of the norm it must be weird! I remember not understanding why people do the things they do and maybe judge them secretly, or if they were close to me I would ask questions to figure out why they are different. But.. I have never ever been a cookie cutter! I love life and I love my family and my friends, and I love my job- being around women all unique and beautiful in their own way- I love cooking and when I set my mind to something, you bet your marbles it would get done!

So 19 days in, I had my first encounter with one of the best restaurants in Deer Park, TX. Gringos is the best tex mex restaurant ever! The waiter was very knowledgeable , let me know what I can or cannot have and of course they have the best margarita in the world! Had corn chips with salsa and guacamole, and veggie fajitas on home-made corn tortillas! I had just one and was full! Left overs for tomorrow at th e spa. Full day tomorrow too. I love being surrounded by beauty!
Like they say here:” I’ll see y’all soon!”

Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen: http://gringostexmex.com/  check out the gluten guide on their home page.

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Day 18

I’m not sure why I was nervous about being away and still be able to keep up with this new way of eating. I think maybe I didn’t have faith in myself, but I just realized I can do whatever I want! I’m in control and that feels great! Another great day!

I had a banana and half a pear for breakfast, half of a baked potato(a huge potato) with vegan cream cheese and Pace picante sauce. For dinner I had zacusca(Romanian eggplant relish) and sautéed vegetables with jalapeño salsa! Happy girl! I haven’t figured it out how to post pictures without a computer yet! 😦

Day 17

I woke up really early this morning to make my flight to Houston. Got to the airport in plenty of time, and went straight to Starbucks. My first time since this challenge begin! My order used to sound like this: “I’ll have a triple grande, three splenda, wet cappuccino…”! Fancy, right?!?! But instead, I ordered a grande coffee with a splash of soy, bought a cup of fruit and a green smoothie. The green smoothie was way too sweet and I ate only had half of the fruit cup. On the plane I ordered the hummus snack, gave the pita chips to the person next to me, and I enjoyed a really good Bloody Mary! 😉

I got to Deer Park and my girlfriend and I went to the local HEB grocery store to stock up on some wonderful veggies and fruits. I looked for Vegenaise but couldn’t find it! When we were checking out, the funny check out kid was great and asked:
“Did you find everything okay?”
I said : As a matter of fact I couldn’t find any Vegenaise!
“What is that?” he asked.
It’s vegan mayonnaise.
“That sounds terrible!… I’m glad you didn’t find it!”
Lololol! So cute, loved him! I should go back in a couple of days and ask him again!

I’m not able to post pics tonight, but we roasted baby potatoes with olive oil and rosemary, and carrots with zucchinis. We jullienned the carrots and cut the zucchinis a bit thicker, olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed garlic! Oh, so delicious !
First day away was a success!!

Day 16

I’ve been doing great being home, having time to cook, but let’s see how I do when I’m out of town working 12 hrs a day! I have faith! I cannot wait to go back to the spa and see everyone. 

This morning I had my first chocolate banana smoothie. I used one banana, one square of 70% cacao chocolate, 1/2 cup almond milk and a cup of ice.

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So delicious!

My husband came from out of town and he absolutely loved the yam cashew burger.

For dinner we decided to eat fresh salad. I could eat this salad every day! Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper, white onion,  radishes, kalamata olives, sunflower oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

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My next post will come to you from Deer Park, Texas. Until then, stay healthy!

Day 15

Today I’m trying to recreate the cashew yam burger we had at The Coup last weekend. I bought their cook book by Tabitha Archer and Dalia Kohen.

Here’s the recipe:
550 g yam
1 1/2 cups smoked tofu crumbled
30g garlic -roasted
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashews – crushed
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fresh dill

First I crushed the pumpkin and sunflower seeds with the cashews.

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Cut yams into wedges. Mix in bowl with canola oil, 1tsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper. Place on a bake sheet. Roast in pre-heated oven at 350F for 35-40 min.

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Roast garlic bulb at the same time, keeping the skin on.

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In a large bowl, I hand-mixed cooked yams, smoked tofu, peeled garlic, sesame oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, salt and pepper. I only used half of the amount of sesame oil the recipe calls for.

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The garlic bulb I cut off the top and then squeezed out all that goodness!

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Form patties (approx 100 g each) and roll in sesame seeds.

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Bake in oven or pan with a very small amount of canola oil for 10 min.

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The book says it goes best with garlic aioli and dill. I agree!

Garlic aioli:

1 cup vegan mayo
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

I had a dilemma on what to serve it on, so I used for one dish GF bread, and for the other GF plain tortilla. At the restaurant they served it with arugula, so I did the same even though it doesn’t call for it in the recipe. Also added a green onion, just because!:)

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Day 14

Wow, two weeks!

I’ve been on a vegan GF diet for 14 days. I honestly didn’t think I could do it without slipping at least once, but I did! I’m so proud of myself!

Today I had papaya for breakfast, another wonderful fruit!

My mother in law sent me a kale chips recipe, and oh so good they turned out! I used one bunch of Kale, 1TBS olive oil, 2TBS nutritional yeast, 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp smoked salt, 2 pinches of chipotle pepper. What?… I love the taste of anything smoked! 🙂

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I took the kale leaves off the stems and put them in a big bowl. The rest of the ingredients I mixed all together in a little bowl, and then mixed that with the kale leaves. I used my hands making sure  all the leaves were coated. I put them in a single layer on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

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I baked them at 300F for 30 min . They are addictive! The nutritional yeast gives them a cheesy flavor.

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Day 13

Today I had one of my favorite fruits: naseberry! You’re probably wondering where in the world would you find naseberry in the middle of January in Calgary, Canada? Thanks to my father and mother-in-law I have a “stash” of dehydrated frozen naseberries . All it takes is a little bit of water and 10 hours in the fridge and I have “fresh” naseberries for breakfast!

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It’s a wonderful fruit, if you ever come across it, try it! I even use cosmetics that contain naseberry.

For lunch I wanted a BLT! Obviously I cannot have the “B” so I added a “J” instead- pickled jalapeños! So I had a JLT!

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I used GF bread, vegenaise, romaine lettuce, sliced tomato and few pickled jalopenos. Yummy !

For dinner I’m so excited about making tacos!
I sautéed green pepper and onion with a little bit of taco seasoning.

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I sautéed veggie chorizo, and soy “ground meat” with 1TBS of taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup water. I cooked it like i would ground beef.

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I used GF plain tortillas.

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I warmed the tortilla up for 20 sec on each side.

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Served it with pico de gallo, guacamole and veggie cheese.

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I was going to have a glass of wine or a beer after that but I’m stuffed!!!!!

Day 11

Skiing/snowboarding was so much fun today! We went to Sunshine Village in Banff and the mountains again took our breath away.

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We needed a snack when we came back so I roasted sweet potatoes. I rough chopped them, added 1 tsp olive oil, salt and garlic pepper.

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Baked them for 25 min at 450 F.
Last night at The Coup we had sweet potato fries with miso gravy. We bought their cook book and I was so excited about making this but got home and realized under miso gravy it says:”it’s still a secret!”. I researched the web and here is what I came up with:

Miso tahini sauce:
2tbs miso paste
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
3 garlic cloves crushed
Enough water to make it have a sauce consistency.

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I mixed all the ingredients and this is the delicious result.  It”s not like what I had last night but it came out very good.

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This was the perfect snack while we watched the Golden Globes 🙂