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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spiced Chicken with Black Eye Peas and Rice

People ask me all. the. time. "what do you eat" or "what can you eat" or some variation on those. I have been a recipe collector for many years--I don't make the majority of them but I sure do have a lot of them! I have a collection of cookbooks that I'd like to thin out. And I'm looking at buying a couple more.

I went to Half Price Books to see if they have a book I borrowed from the library. I didn't have a chance to make any recipes from it but I think it will be a good book for me to use: Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals (Mark's Daily Apple). I also wanted to check out Practically Paleo (Balanced Bites) but there seems to be a waiting list; it has great feedback everywhere I've looked and it has an autoimmune protocol section so I think I might purchase it as well. I didn't find what I was looking for but they had some Mark Bittman books on the clearance rack. I have How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and I almost always check them when I have a random ingredient that I'm not sure how I want to use. So I thought, eh, I don't need another but I'll check out these two they have for $2 each. And I got How to Cook Everything Quick Cooking. It breaks my "must have many photos rule" but his other books do too, and as I flipped through this one, he kept the recipes simple enough that I don't have to make a lot of substitutions on many of them.

When I had lunch with J last week, she mentioned that her guy had made dinner and she commented that it was something I could eat, just as it was, no modifications. Apparently they have the 'what can V eat' conversation when I'm not even there. A lady I used to work with would tell me that she would think that while they were making dinner at her house--can V eat it? So J's comments reminded me that I want to keep going back to my old cookbooks to see what I really have that I can make without minimal changes.

I love, love, love Cooking Light. I got their magazine for years and still have stacks of them as well as a binder and a box of pages I tore out. Yes, seriously. Have I not told you that I'm a recipe hoarder? I do not lie!

Tonight, I pulled out one of my CL cookbooks and found a recipe for Spiced Chicken with Black Eye Peas and Rice. I read the recipe, considered what I had in the house, and got started. I started some Trader Joe's quick cook brown rice which takes about 10 minutes. I did it with just water and a little salt so I'd have leftover rice I could use later.

Next I trimmed the chicken, mixed my spices (Old Bay is gluten-free). I heated my brand new 12 inch cast iron skillet, brushing the olive oil up the sides since I haven't used it before. (It is seasoned but still, that's me, okay.) Then in the chicken went. Ah, I've missed you, cast iron. I waited a couple minutes and turned it, waited again, then put it in the oven.

When the chicken was done, I put it in a dish with a lid to stay warm while I "fried" about half my rice in the skillet, adding the seasonings (Franks Hot Sauce is also gluten-free) from the recipe. I knew that Mick wouldn't want the black eye peas so I added a half can of peas and carrots. After I had his out of the pan onto his plate, I added black eye peas to mine to warm.
This is his; mine is better!
The verdict: naturally gluten free and very, very tasty. That's some yum--expect repeats. The hot sauce does NOT make it spicy; it just adds some flavor.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Eggplant Sauce

I have a crazy amount of eggplant coming in so I picked a couple with a couple of bell peppers and some basil from the garden.

 I chopped everything up with some portabello mushrooms and started cooking it. I added a jar of marinara sauce.
 I served it over spaghetti squash.
 And added green olives.
 Pretty good.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Turkey Tomatillo Stew

It was one of those days when I was supposed to be at three places. I chose to volunteer at an annual event with some colleagues.

When I got home, I started the crockpot. We were heading to Costco to buy Halloween candy and other supplies. I hoped I'd find something I could use for a costume but there wasn't really any inspiration. We did see a $550 outdoor nativity scene. Wow, that's a lot of money for something that's going to be stolen outta your yard.

When we got home, I had some soup. This was the Chicken Tomatillo Soup I made from my Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook a while ago, but I used turkey breast and I had the poblano chilies this time. It was good but it didn't look like the previous soup OR the photo. Hmm. I think it would have been better if I made it without the meat and blended it some and then added the meat. It was too chunky but brothy for me. I added some corn and avocado at the last minute to make it better.

Surprisingly comfortable dance shoes
I put on my ASU pajamas and my Bugs Bunny slippers and called it a costume for the neighborhood Halloween party. The neighborhood parties are interesting. We found out that the empty house across the street has coyotes hanging out in the backyard. (The neighbor who owns it stopped by and found 2 laying in the yard. She used to feed the feral cats; we didn't tell her that we really haven't seen any cats recently.)

One of the neighbors had their Halloween decorations stolen out of their yard. Several neighbors said they just put their stuff out the one night. Some said that it's sometimes pranks--their kids are in high school--but the kids don't realize that it's still stealing. Wow. I'm never buying anything new for yard decorations. Unless it can be anchored somehow...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What stress?

I was supposed to get information from my endrocrinologist at my last visit about the difference between the thyroidectomy and the radiation options as well as information about doctors they recommend. Of course, after I left the office, I realized that I was empty-handed.

Mick is anxious for me to take steps; he already had his helper pull surgeon information. So today I called the endo office to have the promised information sent to me. Except I got their voice mail. Then someone called back. It took awhile but I thought she (maybe a front office person) understood what I was asking.

I needed to drop some shirts at the dry cleaner so I told my friend J that I'd be at Babbo for lunch. She met me although it's a tad far for her. I had my usual roast chicken pesto primavera, no cheese, no pesto with a mista salad, no cheese, no bread. J had the same but will all my no's.

I had an appointment with Dr. M, the naturopathic chiropractor, with a new student and a student I've met before. They talked about cerebral cranial syndrome or something like that. I had explained that the popping in my shoulder actually feels like it's popping halfway down the upper arm but that doesn't make sense--it's a straight bone there. But Dr. M says that is a direct line to the neck, where I carry stress. Hmmm, interesting. Everything that hurts originates elsewhere.

My contact fell out of my left eye this morning while I was talking to someone in the office. It's so damn freaky. So Dr. M ended up pressing a point on my left eyebrow, almost to the inner edge, for a long moment, and it did NOT feel good. In fact, most of the adjustments he made on me did not feel good today. I seemed overly sensitive or something. I wanted to curse. Instead, I was more quiet than I would usually be. But I still talked with them. I just didn't want to sound all Tourett's-like: shit, that fucking hurts, damnit. So I limited my "ow's" that I was sure would turn into "fuck you's."

I think I'm sleeping okay but I'm under a lot of stress. I'm behind on everything. A big project at work that I was only supposed to have minimal involvement in got me some interesting (not in a good way) feedback. Then the person who was going to "finish" the project didn't work on it right away so when the person was done, well, come on, get those letters sent out NOW. Of course, that meant a lot of rework once everyone actually had a chance to look at it and question it. But it was still under the direction of send it NOW. And something else that was "not urgent" suddenly became urgent, pushing something very important and slightly urgent to the back burner. Where it could simmer and boil over. And then of course, the many small projects that aren't urgent but are important are just sitting on my list. Waiting patiently-ish.

I felt achy, but I had already promised a coworker I would go to his "tapas" party and he had asked about what I could eat so I felt obligated. He sent an email with his phone number but not his address, so I had to go look it up. And then I passed it. Twice. And I was late, the last to arrive. Because I was working.

He had proscuitto, dates, plain almonds, pork skewers, and goat cheese stuffed sweet peppers for me to eat and also manchego (he said it was sheep's milk but I don't know that I can have that--I'm allergic to whey, not lactose), croquettas, and bruschetta. I had a little red wine. He also offered a bubbly white wine and he explained that they use yeast in the fermentation process to make the bubbles but there's no yeast in it. I decided not to try it.

After I left, I felt a little bad or unsocial. I barely said "I'm leaving" to him and didn't really say bye to anyone else that was still there before I took off. It probably seemed rude. I hope not. I was just fuzzy brained by then. I had moments of clearness during the conversations but then I was back in the fog.

I'm utterly exhausted. And my arm hurts.

Update: I actually have a bruise on my arm where he used the adjustor. That's unusual. It hurts.

Friday, October 19, 2012


A few days ago, I was contacted about an all day meeting I was obligated to attend today. I was contacted because the lunch order is being placed. The caterer is bringing enchiladas. The person coordinating it asked if that was okay for me since they are using corn tortillas. *sigh*

That would be a no. I gave her my no list and offered to bring my own lunch. There was also some breakfast provided. I thought I would stop at the gluten-free bakery for something, but they don't open till 9 so I went to Lucy's to get a smoothie. I found out that the protein powder has amaranth powder so I can't have that but I had a berry smoothie which was a little weird because they use lemonade.

I brought my own creamer so I could have some coffee. For lunch, I brought an Amy's frozen tamale dinner (one of the non-dairy ones) with a Wholly guacamole packet and Garden of Eden chips. There was guacamole provided but I wasn't sure of what was in it. Same for the rice. But I did chance it and have some the salsa. But I ignored the beans. And the giant bowl of Halloween candy. And the chocolate chip cookies.

Life belongs to those who participate.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Craniosacral is the word

Dr. M was running quite late so the student questioned me from head to toe. My knee had been hurting and of course, my shoulder, so those were my primary complaints.

Dr. M had two new students for this session and he did a lot of instruction for them. A lot was over my head but I caught craniosacral when he was adjusting my face bones. I keep having pain in my right ear and I'm pretty sure it happens when I've been clenching my jaw during sleep. I felt good when I left but I lost all my eyeliner and mascara on the paper on the face rest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Garden update

When I got home and let the dogs out, they went crazy over by the fig tree. I went out and the mesh covering was half pulled off and they were trying to get this:
 I let him out and picked my one fig (a couple had been bird attacked):
*Is* one the loneliest number?
I can't figure out when the pomegranates are ready, so I picked one red specimen. It wasn't ready. I pulled another off that had been bug attacked.
Apple tree-ish
The things are growing! (may include some weeds...)
Who knew eggplant was a bush that could kill mint and marigolds?
Theeeyyyy'rrrreee coooommmiiiinnnggg!
Strawberry fields forever. And tomatoes. And stuff.
Pecan tree stick.
Gah! Walnut tree. (sunflowers started behind)
Black-eyed peas. And lots of grass weeds--have to be dug up, can't be pulled.  Sigh.
Blurry okra. More grass weeds.
And there are new ant piles between the garden box and the (dry) water retaining basin. Yay.