DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Date Night, er, Day

I got up early enough to make pancakes for breakfast.  I misread the amount of oil so I added the rest of the mix I had and some more rice milk, and the pancakes came out great.  Since I'm supposed to be eating more protein at breakfast, I microwaved some cashew butter and spread it between the pancakes and then topped with some maple syrup.  It looked weird but tasted great.

I was unsure that my husband, Mick, was going to go with me to the Gluten-Free Expo, but he did.  We were kind of surprised that no one else wanted to go.  I've never been, so I didn't know what to expect.  It was very small, maybe 10 or 15 vendors, so I talked to most even if I wasn't sure I wanted to.  There was a hair salon giving free samples of shampoo and conditioner, and there was a couple of skin care product tables.

Innocent Indulgence was giving small samples of some of their raw desserts.  I had a cocao nib square which was interesting, kind of like a chocolate chip cookie, but not.

Sprouts had baskets of freebies.  Many (MANY) I could not use because they had soy, including the Larabars (they were of the chocolate varieties, not the ones I typically get).  But I got some Food Should Taste Good sweet potato chips and a "shake and go smoothie" mix in Vanilla Almondilla and Chocolat.

Next we visited the table for Wei of Chocolate.  Oh, yeah, that is for me!  She asked us to pick a picture of a flower we were drawn to and I chose a yellow flower which led to the Chai chocolate, and he picked a pink orchid which meant spicy and led to the chili infused chocolate.  We tried a couple samples each and they were awesome.  It seems expensive but I have to think about whether it is worth it.

I briefly stopped at a bakery table but moved on as soon as I confirmed that was not going to happen, and then passed by the Udi's table since I already know that won't happen!  Mick checked out the Planet Ale table and joined me at the Nourish table, where we were able to speak with the chef for a while.  I bought their new book, Freak at the Table--I can eat almost everything in it!

I went to the Arbonne table and got a sample of a "Digestion plus with prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes" which the lady said was great to take if you accidentally have gluten or something your body reacts to.  I also got a makeup makeover from the makeup artist, using all Arbonne products.  Mick was skeptical of the benefits of makeup that is gluten-free; I can see the sense in using better products, I'm just not sure I can see spending the money!  I really liked the foundation primer and mineral powder foundation she used, but I don't typically wear foundation.  (maybe I would if I liked it?)

We went to Nourish for lunch, and based on the chef's earlier suggestion (and the fact that I haven't had teriyaki in many months since it "always" has soy), we both had the teriyaki rice bowl, his with chicken and mine with wild salmon.  I also had white ice tea which was very good and he had another Planet Ale gluten-free beer.  I was almost disappointed with the first bite of my rice bowl, since the salmon was on top, and there was no teriyaki flavor that I could discern.  Then I realized the teriyaki was in the brown and wild rice mix underneath, so I mixed it up and ate it.  We both thought it was very good, although he gave me his broccoli and snap peas.

My precious...
When we looked at the menu, I knew I was going to have dessert.  Because I could!  I thought I would order something with chocolate, but when I heard lemon cheesecake--no wheat, dairy, eggs, or soy--I could not resist.  It is made by Innocent Indulgence; it had a nut crust and the lemon cheesecake was creamy and tart.  I really liked it but he thought it was too lemony.  We agreed that the lunch was good, but for $60 (including tip), it seems like a major splurge.  It is nice to see that "safe" food can be tasty enough for people who don't need "safe" food.  Before leaving, I also bought a jar of apricot preserves, mango vinaigrette, and coconut vinegar, all products that they use in the restaurant.

We returned to the Expo to see if we could catch the Innocent Indulgence Raw Food demo.  It was already taking place so we went in and sat in the back.  It had started a lot earlier than we thought, so we were just in time to see the presenter make a green smoothie.  We were given a small piece of paper with 2 recipes and, as the helpers gave out samples, the presenter said that she used the recipe on the right.  I checked the recipe and then tried the sample.  After a couple of "sips" (it was thick), someone asked if there was banana since it wasn't in the recipe.  YES, there was banana.  Are you kidding me?!  You can't go to something designed for allergic people and then give them something, with a recipe, that does not follow the recipe!  I am not denigrating Innocent Indulgence as I think it's a great company, but the presenter did not really seem to know her stuff and made a pretty big mistake.  (Warning: TMI!!!  I had terrible gas the rest of the day.)

She also made a chocolate cherry smoothie, which we thought was more like a dessert, almost like an ice cream substitute.  She used a protein powder which she passed around (a couple people immediately asked about what was in it); it was okay but had stevia, which I usually don't consume.  I would consider making something similar at home using frozen cherries and cacao nibs.

After such an exciting day at the Expo, we went to another Expo--the Home Show at the Cardinals stadium.  We knew there would be a lot that we had seen already, but a few things we would want to look for.  Someone gave us free tickets on the way in so we didn't pay admission.

In one area, there were a few gardening groups, and I stopped to look at the succulents.  I've never seen anything like them.  We also looked at a supplier of organic seeds and transplants.  I was interested in some of the hot peppers but I don't need a whole packet of seeds so I'll have to check out their website.

We talked to a solar heating guy for a while about solar heating for a pool.  It was very interesting and informative and he showed us several photos to give us ideas of where we might be able to put the panels after we get a pool.

I also picked up another shade loving plant for the area by our front door where we couldn't get roses to grow.  Several people were checking it out but they weren't looking for a plant for a shady spot, so I came home with it.  We planted it when we got home, and then worked on the garden.

I made tacos for dinner and they were so tasty, I ate too much.  I also poached some chicken for chicken salad.  Once it cooled, I added chopped celery, apple, kiwi, a tiny bit of cilantro left over from the tacos, a little lettuce from the garden, and some of the mango vinaigrette from Nourish.  (And I have the recipe for it now, too!)  Later, I remembered to add the chopped walnuts.

Chicken salad, pre-walnuts
Chicken Salad

2-3 chicken breasts (I used one package of the 6 pack from Costco or Sam's), cubed and cooked
3/4 diced celery
1 large apple, diced
3 kiwis, chopped
cilantro or herbs to taste
1/2 cup mango vinaigrette
15 medium lettuce leaves, chopped
3/4 cup walnuts

Divide chicken in thirds (about a scant cup each) into mason jars or other lidded containers.  Add 1/4 celery, 1/3 of the apple, 1 kiwi, 1/3 of the lettuce, 1/4 walnuts, 1/3 of the vinaigrette, and herbs to taste.  Add lids and shake.

If you will not be eating the salads quickly, leave dressing in separate container until ready to serve.

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