Sunday, November 28, 2010

This is why I've gained 5 pounds

A scale at Ikea (I furnished my room/apt finally!!) in one of the bathroom models says I've gained 5 lbs. I imagine it's because I've mostly been eating pie, peanut butter and chocolate chips...

oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies from

1/3 cup smooth nut butter (I used peanut)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup soymilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oat
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 425°F Oil a large baking sheet; set aside.
2. Whisk together first five ingredients until very smooth. Mix together dry ingredients, then add them to the wet.
3. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until tops just begin to crack. Remove sheet from oven, and wait 10 minutes before transferring cookies to a plate or wire rack.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

thanksgiving, conference, papers and more

A lot has happened since my last blog post. I saw a ton of science in San Diego, wrote a couple of papers, sorta kinda of started a relationship with a good friend (hence the last blog post), missed a therapy appointment which cost me $150, and decided to make thanksgiving dinner for the left behind misfits like myself.

I'm using Thanksgiving break as a way to catch up on my life. I have a paper that is long over due to write, I need to buy a bureau, a desk, a nice sized table, cushions and a few odds and ends, I need to do laundry, I need to clean my apartment, I need to wash my dog, I need to unpack boxes, and I need to sleep.

Here's some of the stuff I've been eating and some of the stuff I'll be making for tomorrow.

2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup H2O
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 cup of salsa
1 red/orange bell pepper
1 pablano peper
1 jalapeno
2 cups black beans
1-2 cups diced stewed tomatos
2 cups corn
salt, pepper and cilantro to taste

1. Cook the onions and garlic int he water on high for 5 minutes.
2. Add cumin and coriander, gook 1 minute
3. Stir in salsa and chopped peppers, lower heat and simmer covered for 5 min.
4. Add the black beans and tomatoes, simmer 10 minutes
5. Add the corn, simmer 10 minutes.
6. Add salt, pepper to taste
7. Serve with cilantro optional.

Creamy Butternut Squash Penne from Chef Chloe

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups roasted butternut squash or 1 14-ounce can organic pumpkin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup (optional for sweeter flavor)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crispy Sage
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 fresh sage leaves, whole
sea salt

1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Butternut Cream Sauce
Sauté the onions with oil, salt, and pepper until they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and let cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. For the cream sauce, puree the onion mixture, butternut squash, tomato paste, non-dairy milk, nutmeg, agave, and 1–1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a blender until smooth. Add black pepper and more salt to taste.

Crispy Sage
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet until a small piece of sage sizzles when added to the oil. Fry the remaining sage leaves 4 at a time, flipping once, until crispy (about 1 minute total). Watch the sage leaves carefully to make sure that they do not burn. Let them drain on a paper towel and season lightly with salt.

Toss hot pasta with Cream Sauce, toasted pecans, and fresh sage. If you like your pasta a little creamier, add more non-dairy milk. Garnish with crispy sage and dig in!

Harvest Stuffed Mushrooms from Chef Chloe

1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In large skillet, sauté the onions and cashews with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)
4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of the stuffing. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)
5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.

Roasted Cruciferous Vegetables from Chef Chloe

brussel sprouts, colorful cauliflower and broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (or 10 grinds of) black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2.To prepare the brussel sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, cut off the stems, and cut in half.
3.In a large bowl, toss the brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Once all of the brussel sprouts are coated in oil, spread them into a 9x13 (or larger) baking dish or sheet tray to roast. Note: You may want to line your sheet tray with foil for easy cleanup because the caramelizing process leaves a sticky residue.
4. After 15 minutes, stir the brussel sprouts around with a spatula or large spoon to even out the browning. After 30 minutes, stir in the maple syrup.
5. Continue to roast the brussel sprouts for about 15 more minutes, or until they are fork tender (about 45 minutes total roasting time).
6. Toss the roasted brussel sprouts with the hazelnuts and devour!

Pumpkin Pie from
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Have ready, one 9" unbaked pastry crust

Blend in blender:
2 c. solid-pack canned pumpkin (if you use home-cooked pumpkin, drain it for
several hours hanging in a cloth bag, so it's thick like canned pumpkin)
1 c. non-dairy milk (preferably a rich soymilk)
3/4 c. brown sugar or Sucanat
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 T. molasses or blackstrap molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice or cloves

Pour the filling into the pastry and bake 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

Pecan Pie from tablespoon
preheat oven to 350

1 pie crust
2/3 cup barley malt syrup
2/3 cup maple syrup
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups pecans
1 tablespoon golden flax meal

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Poke the pie crust all over with the tines of a fork. Pour pecans into the crust and pre-bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven to a rack.
In a medium saucepan combine the barley malt syrup, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes and remove. Whisk in the golden flax meal. Pour the mixture over the pecans.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and allow to cool before cutting with a sharp knife.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I am having a fabulous time in San Diego!!!!! It's sunny and warm and beautiful. I do NOT want to go back to the east coast where it's freezing and awful. The science is overwhelming. There are soooo many posters.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm stress eating Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica, straight chocolate chips, and chips and salsa. I have to write a 10 page paper, finish my grant proposal, and GO TO SAN DIEGO at 6:30 am for the Society for Neuroscience meeting. AHHHHHHHHHH.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm leaving for a conference in San Diego on Friday and it's cold, so I needed to make something that used all the vegetables in the world. I think I might bring my kale with me because I might not have anything else to eat for 5 days.

Tonight I made the french peasant dish mmm. From "Vegetarian" by Linda Fraser

1 eggplant, roughly chopped
2 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 sliced onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 sprig of rosemary
1/2 tsp coriander
2 skinned plum tomatoes
4 basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1. Sweat the eggplant and zucchini for 30 minutes (put a lot of salt on them in a colander covered with a plate).
2. Saute the onions in the oil for 6-7 min and add garlic.
3. Rinse the salt off of the eggplant and zucchini and pat them dry, add them to the pot and increase heat for a while.
4. Add coriander and rosemary, cover, simmer for 40 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and salt. Cook for 10 more minutes, add the basil and turn off heat.
6. After a few minutes of cooling, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

homework and pumpkin bread

Tonight, I'm reading "Molecular Anatomy of the Development of the Human Substantia Nigra", "The pars reticulata of the substantia nigra: a window to the basal ganglia output" and "Differential short-term plasiticity at convergent inhibitory syapses to the substantia nigra pars reticulata". I'm also making pumpkin bread, which came out surprisingly well despite the fact that I only put in about half as much oil and twice as much pumpkin as is required by the original recipe.

Pumpkin Bread (adapted from the PPK)

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1.75 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy milk

1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees F. Grease and flour a 8″ x 4″ loaf pan.
2. Toast the pecans in an ungreased skillet. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and soy milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in toasted walnuts. pour batter into pan.
4. Bake for ~1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover loaf tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely.

I should probably mention that I'm on a "I want to quit graduate school" kick right now. I'm half in love with the idea of working for a food policy NGO and being a freegan. I wish I had more time for cooking and gardening. I'm really really stressed here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

baby's first winter

My dog Heart is from Florida, and this morning she saw snow for what I presume was the first time. She FLIPPED out. She started jumping around like crazy and doing mini dashes to-and-fro. It was super funny and adorable. I wish I could have taken video. Maybe next time.

Breakfast this morning:

Pear spice oatmeal!

1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup water
1 pear, cut into smallish pieces
maple syrup to taste

put the oats and water together in a small sauce pan, cover, and put on medium-low heat. When it's almost absorbed all the water, add the pears while it finishes cooking. When it's done, add maple syrup and cinnamon to taste. enjoy

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I'm in a weird state. My overall level of anxiety is exceedingly high, but my happiness is not so low. I'm still not sleeping much. I'm barely able to focus on my school work. I feel pretty terribly alone. I feel panic about getting all my work done (which is a lot. And I mean, A LOT). My skin is breaking out. I'm convinced that I have a million different diseases (multiple sclerosis or lupus, definitely ADD, possibly cancer of some type), and I'm only sort of kidding. But I don't think I'm sad. Not being sad is a good thing: at least I have one less thing to panic about.

Tonight, I had a special make up session for my seminar in cell fate (self-hate. hahaha) and Brown University generously provided us all with Thai food from our class budget of $700. I had vegan pad thai (it was actually written "VEGAN Pad Thai" on the menu under a special section!!) and mango sticky rice.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

uh oh.

I just found out (link starting around minute 40, other link) that non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) kill the microvilli in the small intestine, thereby reducing my body's ability to discriminate incoming nutrients (the bad ones that get thought that shouldn't prompt an immune response), putting me at greater risk for autoimmune disorders, which my family is prone to... I'm going to have to be more diligent about my stretching for my sciatica and stop taking my anaprox.

cheese is gross.

Cheese is so bad for you. Don't be fooled by advertisers/governments who tell you to eat it! Dr. Fuhrman knows where it's at.

Every now and then I wonder if I'd still like cheese if I ate it. I'm not sure I would. I've gotten to the point where vegan stuff tastes normal to me, and I can't really imagine eating something as fatty and carcinogenic as dairy (this link too). When I hear the name of a cheese I used to love, I definitely remember it as being delicious, but I very seriously question whether I could consume it again.

Dinner tonight: PIZZA!!!

1 purchased Pizza dough- whole wheat from whole foods
1/2 cup tomato pulp or stewed diced tomatoes
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 cloves of garlic diced
1/2 a small onion diced
2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1 bunch of spinach
salt, pepper, dried chili flakes
some flour for dusting work space

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough to your preferred thickness and put it in the oven to do a little precooking (crust takes longer to cook than veggies do). Saute the garlic and mushrooms together and then add the spinach to wilt it a little. Take dough out of oven. Spread tomato pulp across the crust, sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes. Cover with nutritional yeast, then add veggies evenly across surface. Bake for 20 minutes?

This morning I made oatmeal blueberry pancakes for me and Adrian.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup soy milk
2.5 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together the dry then add the wet. Pour onto preheated skillet. Serve with Earth Balance and maple syrup.

Friday, November 5, 2010

best thing ever

Cinnamon sugar popcorn is the best thing to happen to me since coffee this morning.

step 1- pop some popcorn on the stove
step 2- melt some earth balance (I used 1 tbsp because of the amount of popcorn I was making)
step 3- put brown sugar in melted earth balance
step 4- pour sugar/margarine over popped corn
step 5- smother with cinnamon
step 6- mix
step 8- EAT

Monday, November 1, 2010

detox fail

I have an exam tomorrow for my neuroanatomy class, and I pretty much just finished off a box of kashi autumn wheat. so much for only eating more greens. I did well for my other meals though. Lunch was a kale, watercress and avocado salad with a bit of humus and pita on the side