I have to admit that I've always been a little leery of making tamales, I mean, leave it the experts right? I'm fully confident of making desserts, pastries, and other main dishes but never once have I even attempted to make one of my favorite foods, the tamale. That is, until I was given the chance to check out a copy of Vegan Tamales Unwrapped: A Step by Step Guide to Savory and Sweet Tamales from Dora Stone of Dora’s Table.
Then, as fate would have it, I also happened to catch an episode of Diners, Drive-ins & Dives which featured a lady making tamales! It didn't look too hard. SO with my new found confidence and ebook in hand, I committed to making Dora's Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales.
A group of my friends are doing a month long challenge, incorporating both food & fitness. Each have 3 daily goals to hit every day related to food while the fitness side of it is basically getting their bottoms to the gym at least 5 days a week. It was fun to hear all their goals and how varied they were, however there were a few consistent themes.....
No sugar/sweets/desserts, etc.
No wine, alcohol or sodas.
No fast food, fried food, packaged food.
Less coffee (notice how I just said "less").
What I love about this is that it simply cuts out all the crap food and allows their bodies to focus on nutrient rich, whole, real food.
It's funny how much we like to categorize things and put it in a neat little box, unfortunately, it just doesn't really work that way. Most things are more complicated than that.
Take diets for instance. There are over a 100 different dietary theories (many piggy-backing off of another) which I studied for my health degree. What I learned from this was that there is not a 1-size-fits all. Kinda like how every girl hoped they could fit into Cinderella's glass slipper and yet, it was made ONLY for her!
I know what your thinking, "what does this have to do with Pie Crust?". Well let me tell you!
I'm reminded recently that we are in the months of winter. Up until now, Tulsa has had a fairly warm season and there hasn't been much need to run to those typical comfort foods. But now, I'm cold!
I wake up cold, I turn on the little heater next to my desk to warm my toes, I keep a hot coffee with me most of the day (it's like a hand warmer with benefits). Because of that internal chill that is so difficult to shake, I'm starting to turn to soup and stew and chili to warm myself and my family on the inside.
This Sweet Potato Gnocchi did the trick! Not only was it nice and hot, like most soups should be, but the combination was quite enjoyable. I never had gnocchi in a soup before but I wanted to do something other than topping it with pasta sauce (although that would be delicious as well).
What if I told you that making pancakes was as simple as making a smoothie, would you believe me?
Well, I surely wouldn't lie to you about this one.
Berry smoothies are one of my absolute favorite, post workout drinks. It's also my sons favorite breakfast options, so I was messing with an idea of starting with a smoothie then adding to it for a naturally sweet, allergy friendly (dairy, egg & nut free), filling breakfast. Then "tada" the Berry Smoothie Pancake was born!
Dinner doesn't have to be difficult, sometimes the best ones are simplest.
Several nights ago, I went all out with this elaborate dinner. It was this lentil & butternut squash dal with homemade chia seed (gluten-free, flour free) bread. It may not sound crazy fancy, but it was time consuming, used a ton of ingredients & made a complete mess in the kitchen. Needless to say, NO ONE liked it! In fact, my husband, called my oldest son at work and asked him to pick up tacos on the way home. I opted to eat pity instead of tacos.
That next night, I didn't make the same mistake, instead, I opted for making something I knew would win them over, something that wouldn't disappoint their taste buds. Veggie fried rice.
One of the my most requested soups to make is Dirt Soup, especially from my youngest. Boy, does he love his Dirt Soup. So much so, he's on his 3rd large bowl right now.
We're having a "Mom & Me" hang out afternoon since he's not feeling well and of course, I had to make him his favorite, feel good soup.
In case you've never heard of this soup, it actually Miso Soup but growing up, my husband always called it Dirt Soup because of the cloudy, light brown color. It is actually, one of the first Korean dishes he made for me when we first were married, but over the years, it has transferred hands and now I am the maker of this simple and delicious soup.
I cannot believe in all my 42 years of life, I never had Lasagna Soup. OH had I missed out,,,,,and so have you if you haven't ever tried this before.
Two favorites during these cold months, rolled into one!
It's a rich & robust lasagna but in the form of a warm & comforting soup...can you see why it's simply amazing?
AND...I only had to use 1 pot to make this!
But it gets even better......it's vegan, gluten-free & free of dairy, eggs, & nuts.
Have you ever had a truffle? Bite-size, chocolate confectioners candy, covered in an assorted choice of toppings, YUM!
Typically, some fancy restaurant or candy shop will give you access to such a treat, but not anymore!
You can now make your own truffles, allergy-friendly ones, in just a simple Two-Steps.
Everywhere I turn, Christmas is already happening. The store aisles are full of decorations, neighborhood homes are all lit up in beautiful twinkling lights and every toy catalog has found its way into my living room. It is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas,,,,,although Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet.