Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Granola, Salad Rolls, & A Typical Imperfect Girl Lunch

Last Friday I got hit hard with that very unpleasant flu. I woke up projectile vomiting and it just kept on going.  Then came the body aches, the kind that at moments make you actually long for death.  I don't think I got a temperature, but the last symptom was the chills so maybe I had a slight temperature.  I laid a blanket & cushion on the bathroom floor and just slept there for the afternoon.  Then about 10-12 hours later in like a lion & out like a lamb...  It was just intense fatigue and a very sore stomach.  I slept A LOT, I think I was up for a total of 11 hours between Thursday night & Sunday morning.  I was drinking water & coconut water when I was awake but it just wasn't helping.  I felt fine as long as I was sitting & not moving around.  If I started to get too ambitious and mobile I got lightheaded & a wave of nausea.  Monday after kidding myself & thinking I was ready to go back to work I realized how silly that was, invested in some pediatric electrolyte, and went home to rest some more.  Fast forward to Tuesday I was finally able to eat solid food again!  And with that ability came a desire for food.  It was intense!  All I wanted was smoked salmon.  How weird is that?

I finally got back into the kitchen for a bit and yes I think I've got my groove back!

Healthy Low Fat Granola
I can't remember for the life of me where this recipe came from, but we have been using it for the past few years.   My favourite combo uses maple syrup, raisins, dried cherries, & almonds but we have also used dried cranberries, dried apricots, dates, hazelnuts, and walnuts.

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free spelt flakes work well too)
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups chopped dried fruit
3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl combine oats, nuts, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, & nutmeg.   


Once evenly coated spread the granola out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (I use 2 baking sheets).


Bake at the center of the oven at 275 degrees for 1 hour, stirring half way through baking time.
While the granola bakes I cut up the fruit with scissors if necessary.  This time I used raisins and cut up dried cherries.


Once the granola has cooled down it will be very crunchy.  Stir in fruit, and then store in an airtight container.


Salad Rolls
I made these for dinner and made 2 extra to take to lunch the next day.  I'm actually going to make a couple for lunch tomorrow as well, although slightly different.  I use these rice papers, which I purchased at the Asian Market.


I prepared my ingredients: romaine lettuce, mashed avocado with lime juice & cilantro, and I took a peeler to a cucumber & carrot to get thin pieces.


I cooked up some vermicelli rice noodles


I decided rather last minute to take the peeler to a beet as well.  I felt like a punch of colour!
Then I took the rice paper & ran it under water until it was pliable and laid it out on a wet paper towel.  Once it was smoothed out I put the carrot & beets shreds on.

 
 
I spread some of the mashed avocado on the lettuce & placed it on the beet & carrot.


I then added more beet & carrot as well as cucumber.


Topped it with fresh cilantro & mint leaves.  Herbs must be fresh!


I folded the ends in & rolled it up.  Pretty & delicious!  I used a peanut 'type' of sauce but it wasn't very good.  I took 3 attempts as Dairy Free Betty's Peanut Sauce, but I failed at achieving the right combination & wasting too much nut butter so I gave up.  I ended up eating them without any dip.  I know when something becomes regular & routine you don't have to measure but going from scratch & clueless, I am hopeless!


I have no idea if my lunches would be of interest or not, so I figured hey why not?  In the fall I started to get a bit lazy with my lunches & grabbing it on the go, and was making too many stops by Starbucks (damn those seasonal drinks).  Well enough of that.  Since cutting out wheat it's more difficult to just eat out, and I was spending far too much unnecessary money.  So here's my lunch for today, which would be a fairly typical packed lunch for me.  I am often eating in the car on the go, so it's handy to have food that easy to eat while on the move.

When my sweetie is home (which honestly just isn't often enough for me) he makes me the best smoothies!  He will even start my car for me in the morning & get it nice & toasty, have my tea in one cup holder & my smoothie in the other cup holder and my breakfast on the passenger seat (prior to cutting out wheat this would be a piece of toast with almond butter & jam).  What a great way to get the day started.  He's sweet and yes I know how lucky I am!

Since he is away this week I'm managing just fine on my own, but I miss his smoothies because they are always better.  Today's smoothie is pretty tasty it's 1 medium sized carrot, a handful of frozen pineapple, 1/2 an apple, a handful of spinach, a scoop of frozen blueberries, 1/2 a banana, some ground flax & flax seed oil, and some water.  This is enough for 2 smoothies.


I have some regulars in my lunch that don't vary for the most part.  Now anyone who knows me knows I drink A LOT of water.  They know this because I frequent the loo;)  Anyway, I digressed...    Lately, I have been having 1/2 a Clif Builder's Bar.  I also enjoy some David's Tea.  Right now my favourite is Jasmin Pearls.  It's a black tea, but I don't need to add anything to sweeten it or whiten it, which is what make sit stand out for me.   I take Vanilla Oikos Greek yogurt, with my granola, and some ground flax for my mid morning snack.   I always have unsalted mixed nuts in my car to snack on.  My fav is Ann's House, Unsalted Mixed Nuts; they have 50% cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, & Brazil nuts.  The rest of my lunch varies.  I also have Luna and Lara bars.  I also stash some portioned out rice crackers.

*FYI if there is ever a natural disaster, there is enough food & water for me and one other person for about 3-4 days in my trunk:)  And that's just part of my trunk's earthquake kit.


So today other than my usual (water, smoothie, tea, builder's bar, yogurt & granola with ground flax)  I also have my smoked salmon dip (the recipe is in my last post) with rice crackers for dipping, and some grapes and a mandarin orange.

I try to eat every 3 hours & feel better if I carry more food than not enough.  Anything I don't eat will just carry over to the next day's lunch.  If I'm really hungry & don't seem to have enough I can have some nuts.

FAVOURITE THINGS: Live Clean Clean Air Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner
My hair had a shift in it around Christmas time, and became very greasy.  It's always greasy & I have to wash it every day, but it was disgusting!  So I decided to try a different shampoo & conditioner to change things up a bit.  I change my hair products pretty consistently so this wasn't actually a big shift.

These products are made from 96% plant derived ingredients with Certified Organic Botanicals, Vegan, Biodegradable, Petroleum free, Paraben free, Phthalate free,  Phosphate free, has never been tested on animals, and the packaging is recyclable.  Sign me up!  I have been using it for about a week and am very happy with it.  I purchased it at Country Grocer.


QUOTE:  The part can never be well unless the whole is well. ~Plato

 

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