Saturday, September 8, 2012

Finding Comfort

I've been thinking alot about comfort lately.

As a nurse it's my job to give it to my their families...
Sometimes, for the sick and weary, it's hard to find...

For the grieving it may even be harder...

But comfort comes in many forms...

An outstretched hand to hold...a kind word...a tissue given in a moment of sadness...

Some much needed pain medicine...a warm bath...soothing words...

I am blessed to be able to bestow comfort upon others in their time of need.

But what about those who aren't sick?  How do they find comfort?

For some it's a soft blanket...a warm bed...a hot bath...a cup of tea.

For others it's in the arms of their loved ones...or the table of their best friends sharing stories over a glass of wine (holla!)

Still...for others...

It's in food.

Can you guess where I find my comfort???

Only half kidding...I've been known to find it in all of the above, but I do appreciate some good comfort food.

Once I went vegan I figured my days of real comfort food were over...


Was I wrong...there is an entire book devoted to vegan comfort junk food (comfort and junk are not always synonymous, but for this purpose they are).

Also, as I became more talented at cooking up my own fabulous vegan/gluten free food I was able to experiment and create some of my staple comfort foods in vegan fashion (partly how I became a food blogger of course).

In my normal life (i.e. when I'm not at the hospital) I still yearn to comfort others...and now I am still able to do that with healthy, nutrient dense, soul warming food. 

Also with kind words, encouraging posts (isn't that why you read this??), helpful hands, and a kind heart...or you can just cook up a batch of my staple comfort food...chili.

This recipe actually came about from my dad. 

He went vegan years ago and is a fabulous cook.  He also tends to dole out comfort to his family in the form of food.  This is his newly modified recipe.  He took some of the heat out so that the kids could enjoy it, but feel free to put some in in the form of peppers, soyrizo, whatever your heat loving soul desires!

Vegan Chili

by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients (1 large stockpot)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions diced
  • 2 yellow squash diced
  • 2 gloves garlic chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (any color you choose) diced
  • 2 cans organic pinto beans (drained)
  • 2 cans organic garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 2 cans organic kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 cans organic black beans (undrained)
  • 1 can organic refried black beans
  • 1/2 C dried lentils (I used red but any color is fine)
  • 5 tomatoes diced (from my garden!) OR 2 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 C cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 C chives chopped
  • 1 C huumus (I use Trader Joes original)
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
Place oil in large stockpot or dutch oven and heat. Cook onions, squash, and garlic until onions are translucent. Add carrots and bell peppers and cook for approx. 5 more minutes. Add all drained beans then add 2 cans black beans including liquid (be sure to look for BPA free cans such as Eden's Organic line). Add dried lentils, tomatoes, and remaining ingedients to pot. Bring to low simmer and cook, covered, for 2 hours until vegetables are soft (can cook longer). Be careful to stir frequently so as to prevent burning. Serve over quinoa, brown rice, or grain of choice. Top with avocado, vegan sour cream, or whatever sounds good! Enjoy!
Powered by Recipage

Thursday, September 6, 2012

TILT - Sweet Snack Edition!

In this edition (edition #2 if you are counting) of Things I Love Thursdays I'll be giving you a quick peek into some of the awesome gluten free snack foods I've found and loved over the last 4 years of gluten-freedom.  I figured I'd focus on the sweet tooth side of the house...well, because currently that's what I'm craving!


Get excited with me!!

Ok, so it's not that exciting for most...but if you are new to the gluten free world and feeling lost without your fav snack goodies...then this really IS exciting!

So without further ado (and because I need to high tail my behind to bed before work tonight) are some of my favorite gluten free sweet snacks (note, they are not all vegan...I have gluten free kids too that are not vegan).

I was recently inspired by Heather at Kiss My Broccoli to take a closer look at the KIND granola I've been spying on the commissary shelves...finally, when I saw this flavor at TJ Maxx I knew it was kismit and had to pick it up...thankfully I did because it turned into this...

That would be fresh figs from my CSA that were delivered fresh to my door yesterday with some of this yogurt (also a fav snack)...

Along with some of this protein powder mixed in (great for snack-like smoothies!)...

There was also a banana and possibly a bit of this sprinkled on top...for good measure (great for snacking cinnamon toast with GF bread!)...

This healthful snack was sorely needed after I completed a long brick workout (meaning I rode my bike and then got off and legs felt like bricks, hence the name)...20 mile ride, 5 mile was hot, I was hungry...but I feel ready for my race next weekend!

I also snacked on one of these bad boys along the way...get them, they are like crack...not that I would actually know, but you get the darn point!

After the grueling, hot workout I acted a bit juvenile and cooled off for a minute...can you blame me??


Ok...a bit offtrack...back to the snacks!!

These bad boys get me through many cravings for something sweet and quick...see, not just for kids!

They make gluten free grown ups happy too!

Another great cookie is by Enjoy Life...they make great GF treats but we love these little lemon guys, they are tiny and totally scrumptious!

Alright, lastly...again cause naptime is calling my kiddos fav snack that I though was lost forever in gluten cream sandwiches!!  Before I figured out how to make my own I found these goodies at Whole Foods and was super stoked!!

Sorry about the sideways-ness of the pic...the tired girl is winning over the OCD girl here and I'm not turning it!  Besides, it doesn't change the flavor of these yum-o get to it already and buy some!

That's all for today recipe today since I'm still trying to perfect a few...I'll get some out soon!  Have a great day and this tired girl is heading to dreamland!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My First WIAW!!

What is a WIAW you ask??

Well...WIAW means "What I Ate Wednesday"

I know, I you are asking..."Why the heck do I care what she ate on Wednesday?  I don't even pay attention to what I eat on Wednesday!"

That's the point!!

Jenn over at Peas and Crayons created this amazing idea as a way to hold herself accountable for what she ate...and it just snowballed!

She even themes each month!  This month is about falling into good habits (get's fall???  Smart girl, eh?)

But really, go to any great food blog (hello...I have a ton of links for you here!) and you will see a WIAW post somewhere. 

I want in!

I want to share my food with the world (duh...I'm sure you know that by now).

But I want to do it in this real, honest way...not the sugar coated recipe that's been tried a million times way...

Nope, the way I eat...sometimes really well and all veggie/crunchy/vegan.

Sometimes not so well...kinda veggie...not so not vegan.

I'm human, I'm not perfect...I'm a mom, wife, nurse...geez, I'm just plain busy and I struggle with my diet too.  I want to share that with you all.  I want other busy moms, wives, nurses, etc to be inspired to keep trying despite that darn doughnut setting you back for breakfast.  There is always another meal...another chance to eat fuel your body correctly.

So here it goes...

First, I should express the habit I wish to fall back into is regular training...I have goals and I have to work hard (and regularly) to reach this fall I recommit to this goal...alright...ONTO THE FOOD!

My Wednesday in pictures (and of course some words cause if you know me you know I don't stay quiet long!)

Started the day with my favorite cup (full of awesome coffee) and my favorite creamer...what better way is there to start??

Almost had a rice cooker explosion!  But all was worked out fine in the end...


Yummy Aloha Oats with almond milk and blueberries...and some veggies...

Lunch was on the go after the gym.  Bento box with almonds, cherries, grapes, blueberries, huumus, carrots, figs, and tomatoes.  And a smoothie with kale, spinach, banana, mango, peach, almond milk, and Life's Basics green vegan protein powder.  Great post workout meal (see, got the training in today)!

I may or may not have snacked on these little goodies during my day...hey...the chips are Chilean, it's like a salute to my heritage!  I had to!
Dinner was amazing (see for yourself with the following recipe)...vegan mexican bowls with cashew sour cream (though I added more cashews then this recipe says), daiya cheese, and guacamole.

I cheated and made it the easy way with premade lentils and rice from Trader Joes.  I really see this recipe as an easy weeknight meal that is hearty and filling but quick to fix in a time crunch...but if you aren't crunched for time you could easily make that all from scratch as well (though not gonna lie, premade frozen brown rice is my friend!).

To top it all off I made a batch of these (using vegan butter and applesauce instead of eggs)....

And then topped them with So Delicious coconut vanilla bean ice cream...hello vegan ice cream sandwiches!

And there you have it!  My first WIAW!!  Hope you enjoyed it...or at least got some ideas...until next time :)

Oh's that recipe!


Vegan Mexican Bowls

by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients (Serves 5)
  • For the lentil "meat":
  • 1 package lentils (or approx 3 cups cooked lentils according to directions on dry lentil bag)
  • 2 red peppers diced (any color is fine)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced finely
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • For the rice:
  • 3 packages frozen brown rice (or approx 2 cups dry brown rice cooked according to directions)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Vegan sour cream (I made one with cashews but you can buy this in stores as well)
  • Guacamole (I made my own but again you can buy this in the store)
  • Salsa (I bought this from the store)
  • Cilantro to taste (I sprinkled it in the bowl)
  • Daiya cheese
For the meat:
Heat oil in a large skillet. Place peppers and onions in pan and saute until onions are clear. Add lentils and mash gently with a fork or potato masher. Add cumin and salt. Mix together and warm through, set aside.
For the rice:
In a saucepan mix cooked rice with oil, salt, and cumin. Cook until warmed through.
To assemble bowls place rice on the bottom, put "meat" mixture on the top of rice. The rest of the toppings are to taste (I used all of them for my bowl!).
Powered by Recipage

Sunday, September 2, 2012


My monsters kiddos heading to school

I really love that Aloha has two meanings...of course, as most people know, it means hello.  But it also, thankfully, means goodbye.  So in the case of today I say Aloha with the alternate meaning of goodbye.

Now you may be wondering what I'm saying goodbye to.  See those adorable little children in the photo above?  Well I said goodbye to them this week as they headed back to school...which was awesome. 

I also say goodbye to this handsome man several times over as he has been diligently training to become a Chief.

The hubby doing Chiefly things like washing cars

But what I would REALLY like to say goodbye to is this...

In full on tantrum mode...please note clenched fist slamming ground

Yeah, for those of you who don't know the joy of children...this is known as a tantrum.

There have been several this week.  One so bad from my older child it kept me up for hours into the night with screaming, kicking the wall, tears (on his part AND mine). 

It's been awful.

Sleep has been limited.

But now I say Aloha to it.

Sounds simple, right?  Say aloha and it's gone? 

I know, not that easy...but luckily daddy came home for a day and laid down some law (and substantial threats)...and things have been a bit calmer.

Plus, I get to escape to work for a few nights...and earn some holiday pay to boot!  I'm not complaining!

All this Aloha-ing though had me dreaming of Hawaii.  We are headed there ourselves in 37 days (not that I'm counting).  We will be oogling half naked people volunteering here and then chillaxing on the Big Island for 2 glorious weeks!

So in order to bring myself to a more zen-like state I started reading some of my favorite blogs and was inspired by Ms. Lindsay Cotter and her steel cut oats in a rice cooker to pick up some of this yummy L&A juice...

Which then made it's way into some oats reminiscent of a warm Hawaiian day...make them...I swear, you can feel the ocean breeze on your skin...

Or that may just be the fan on full blast to combat this heat wave. 

Either way, they are pretty tasty if I say so myself!

Aloha Oats

by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 C steel cut oats
  • 4 C L&A coconut pineapple juice
  • 2 C raw cashews soaked overnight
  • 1/3 C agave
  • 1 mango diced
  • Almond milk to taste (or desired consistency)
  • Could also use coconut milk
Soak cashews overnight in just enough water to cover them. Set aside.
Place oats and juice in rice cooker (if you don't have this amazing, cheap piece of equipment cook oats according to package directions using juice instead of water...but really, I recommend the rice cooker).
Meanwhile place cashews and agave into food processor or high power blender (e.g. Vitamix or Blendtec). Mix until can add small amounts of soaking water in order to blend better, but don't overdo it!
Once oats are cooked place in bowl. Mix with almond milk to reach desired consistency (some like it thick, some like it runny). Sprinkly mango pieces on top. Dollop with cashew cream...mix and eat! ALOHA!!
Powered by Recipage