Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home and climbing

I've been home for a few days, and I've basically been sleeping, climbing, and breathing fresh air. I also saw some really amazing stars. So worth the trip home, especially yesterday climbing in Yosemite. I went with my buddy Brian from the gym, and we did two routes. The first was Munginella, which is a 5.6 climb in Five Open Books. That was the best climb I've been on yet, definitely my favorite out of every route I've climbed. Beautiful view, beautiful holds, fun yet slightly challenging at places.

Next we jumped on Nutcracker in the Manure Pile (name of the rock section), but did the 5.9 variation. Crack climbing is such a painful, new experience for me, so the first pitch was the hardest. After climbing a couple of pitches, we got stuck behind some more inexperienced climbers, and had to hang out for a quite bit. We ended up passing them eventually, but we walked off when it was getting dark.

This trip was so worth the plane ticket home.. I'm back to NYC today, where there aren't amazing views like the ones below. Enjoy these pictures!

Hope everyone had as good of a weekend as I did!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

gluten free reeses and California!

I'm going home tomorrow to California!!! Although it's sunny and beautiful here in NY, it's even more sunny and beautiful in California. On Saturday, I believe I'm going to Yosemite to get on some real rocks.. I am so excited I can't even begin to explain...

Before I left, I wanted to make my suite-mates something to nom on while I'm gone for 4 days. I keep telling them that I can make reeses, so I ended up doing it. I've made reeses before on my site, but these are gluten free.

I got inspiration from something I found at whole foods the other day..

It is in fact vegan, but not gluten free. I know I can make better, especially since I've made it before.

-1/4 cup applesauce
-3/8 cup unsalted peanut butter
-3/8 cup graham crackers (gluten free)
-1 packet truvia
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
-2 tablespoons chocolate milk (soy milk)

-smash graham crackers into the smallest pieces you desire, or into crumbs.

-add applesauce, peanut butter, and truvia

-Mix well

-press into a muffin tin, or any mold

-mix chocolate chips with soy milk, and microwave for 45 seconds, or until they are melted. Mix, and spoon over peanut butter mix.

-Freeze for at least 2 hours, or until hard.


I'll post next from CALIFORNIA!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

guest post... with soup!

My sister Irene, who is vegan conscious, made some soup in her home in LA. Here is her guest post- thanks for being awesome Irene!

Autumn has officially arrived in Los Angeles.  It rained for half a day and the world freaked out.  The temperature briefly dropped below 70 degrees.  They're selling butternut squash the size of houses at the supermarket.
I bought one, giggled with my roommates about its unequivocally phallic shape, and then enlisted them to help me peel and cut it.  
It was time for soup.
I'm obsessed with both butternut squash and puréed vegetable soups, so butternut squash soup is the ultimate nirvana for me and I jumped at the first, tiny sign of the season to recreate the dish I most recently had at Fresh Corn Grill in Westwood.   I looked online for suggestions and came across a recipe for butternut squash soup with apples, which piqued my interest.  I never would have thought to add apples!  My modified, vegan-ized recipe is as follows:

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • half a large onion or one small to medium-sized one, finely chopped
  • 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (approx. 6 cups) (I have no idea how many cups or pounds my squash made, but it was enough to fill a medium-sized mixing bowl.  And by fill, I mean pieces kept tumbling off the top.)
  • half an apple, peeled and cut into chunks (this is all I had, but feel free to add a whole one!)
  • one sweet potato, peeled and cut into medium-sized chunks
  • one leek, chopped
  • one small potato, peeled and cut into medium-sized chunks. (I used one I had lying around from a bag of mixed small potatoes from Trader Joe's... don't use the blue ones for this!)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot (I used baby carrots and didn't bother to chop them so this is another ballpark estimate)
  • vegetable broth/water (the ratio of this is up to you; I used mostly vegetable broth)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ground ginger
  • cayenne pepper
  • nutmeg

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and cook the onions until onions are tender.Add the squash, apples, leek, carrots, and potatoes, and stir around.  Let these cook with the top on for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables get a little color.
Add vegetable broth and/or water until it just submerges most of the vegetables.  Add a few shakes of salt, two or three grinds of pepper (can you tell I'm not too big on exact details?), a dash of ginger (but ONLY a dash), a dash (or more, if you like heat) of cayenne, and about a teaspoon of nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until all the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor, and taste!! Adjust the seasoning as desired.
Ladle into bowls, sprinkle some cinnamon on top (seriously amazing addition, thank you genius roommate), give it a quick stir, and enjoy!

I had an interesting time of it because we don't have very big pots in our apartment, so I used two medium-sized ones and tried to cook them exactly the same. The batches came out relatively equal, although one was a little spicier than the other.  Oh well, they all got mixed together anyway.
Vegetable puréed soups are so fun because once everything cooks, you pop it in the blender and it turns into purée in five seconds.  So easy, and such a great comfort food.  It saves for about three days in the fridge, and although I've never tried, this kind of soup apparently freezes well. 

Enjoy, and happy autumn!

Monday, October 3, 2011

salad and gluten free

For the past week we've had a friend stay here in our dorm, to see the city, and hang out with my roommate. It was an awesome week- and I enjoyed having him. One interesting thing is that he has celiac disease- which is being allergic to gluten products.
At the start of the week I had an appointment with a stomach doctor, since I've had stomach problems for a few years. They said I might possibly have celiac disease as well- so living with someone who has celiac was very informational. Today I went back to the doctor and found out I'm 95% negative for celiac disease, so I'm really happy. However, the week of almost gluten-free eating really felt good- so I may just continue it- especially since there's a 5% chance that I have celiac.

My roommate and I (and her friend) also enjoyed tons of sweets this weekend- to show him the true NYC. For the next two weeks, we are going on a sort of detox. Not completely raw, but something of the sort. Here's our first meal:

Quinoa Kale Salad:

-1 cup red quinoa
-2 cups vegetable broth
-any amount of kale
-red bell pepper
-balsamic vinegar

-cook quinoa as directed
-mix guacamole, salsa, and balsamic in big bowl- to your preference of taste
-add kale and mix thoroughly
-let kale sit for five minutes
-add all the other vegetables and stir

-add quinoa when it cools

This salad was more delicious than I can explain.. My roommate loves it too! We're off to a great start of our detox.. :)