Tastes Just Like My Mom’s Soy Sauce Chicken (Minus All the Effort)

A less than stellar picture for a pretty stellar (and easy!) dish.
Background:  I grew up on my Mom’s soy sauce chicken that she prepared by cooking chicken drumsticks (or wings) in a pot filled with soy sauce and variety of spices.  To this day I don’t know how she prepares it (and can’t really find out since the proportions she uses are based purely on gut and experience).  However, I found something pretty close!
One of the ladies at work recommended marinating chicken in equal parts of Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce and Kraft zesty Italian overnight before popping the chicken in the oven.  I gave it a shot expecting something completely different and was pleasantly surprised to see that it tasted exactly like my mom’s chicken.  Who would have thought?   Definitely not E-diet friendly (having soy and all), but soy sauce chicken (or something similar) is a staple in my family.
Other than that, my day was filled with lots of tasty eats:
Kamut puffs with blueberries.  My coworker also noticed that I eat my cereal without milk.  Always have and always will – milk makes it soggy and gross 🙂
This is where it starts to get fun:
Amy’s no cheese pizza – I added chicken breast and Daiya Italian blend cheese.
Then it was off to my 1 month meeting with my mentor Karen to talk about the world of work.  We met at our favourite place, La Petite Thuet.  It’s usually nice and quiet there, plus they have a nice assortment of baked goods:
These meringues are huge – think the size of my head (granted, you probably don’t know how big my head is, but imagine the size of an average adult head  :)).
Before I left, I had one of the breakfast tea cakes.  These were filled with berries:
It appears that I will have to break my vow to not work out on Fridays.  Tomorrow demands a good session of cardio to address the indulgences I’ve been having lately.  Not to worry, I’m trying to have my fun before going back to the Ediet and eliminating the major allergens in my diet.
Good night!
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Whirlwind Week

Sorry for my absence, the last few days have been crazy.  I’ll summarize in a few pictures:
As of Friday night I learned that I would be getting a new roommate.  So my aunt and I spent all of Saturday cleaning out one of the bedrooms.  There was some pretty retro stuff in the room from when my aunts were teenagers.  For example, all along a signed photo of David Copperfield had been hanging on the wall.  (We took it down when my sister moved her stuff in though)
We were both pretty tired after packing and moving boxes and furniture all day so my aunt treated me to dinner at a great restaurant called Momo’s:
I had a grilled veggie platter with 1 shishtawook  chicken skewer, tabbouleh, lentil rice, hummus and a pita.  The food was delicious and I loved the cozy decor:
I was so exhausted that I literally crawled into my sheetless bed (unfortunately they were all in the dryer) and fell asleep.
On both Saturday and Sunday I also snacked on copious amounts of sour cream coffee cake that I had baked:
Most of Sunday was spent doing much the same – my new roommate (aka my younger sister) moved her stuff in that morning so we helped her to set up her bed.  I also took the opportunity to catch up on a number of errands (sadly the BH was studying for exams and wasn’t able to hang out on the weekend).  It was weird to have so much more time – very rarely I’m bored, but the cooking and cleaning just seemed routine.  In the future, I should just go outside and take a walk (being cooped up inside all day was probably not wise on my part).
On Monday night I saw my friend Tavishe from high school.  It was great to see her!   We met up at Java House:
Source
The food there is cheap and tasty!  Tavishe had the curry with tofu and rice, while I opted for the all day breakfast with bacon and fruit salad.
I told her about my recent allergy woes and journey with the elimination diet.  She was very surprised to hear that my naturopath hadn’t eliminated gluten; apparently gluten allergies are quite prevalant and are quite common among Asians as well (who knew?!).  Tavishe has been gluten free herself for a few years and was telling me that a lot of the health problems she was experiencing cleared up as soon as she eliminated gluten from her diet.  She was able to give me a pretty good rundown on typical food items that contain gluten (i.e. french fries, most breads, desserts and even chicken stock).
While I’m willing to give it a shot, I almost feel like I’m taking 2 steps backwards.  I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t overwhelmed and unhappy that I need to eliminate yet another food group.  Please bear with me for the next while as I try to find some viable and now gluten free elimination diet options.  A lot of my time now is being spent educating myself about gluten free diets and I’m really trying to keep a positive attitude.
In the meantime, I’ll finish off the items in my fridge that I made for the week before I officially attempt going gluten free next week.  I’m not a fan of wasting food (especially if I don’t know if it’s been the cause of my allergies).
Let me know though if you know of any great gluten free resources for newbies – I need all the help I can get at this point!
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Blacktop Muffins

Yowzah – these guys were looking a little charred.   Maybe it had something to do with putting them in the toaster oven.
The blog world had raved about this recipe for whole wheat, fat-free carrot cake muffins so I thought I’d give it a shot.  But when I took them out a half hour later they were dense and still rather raw tasting.  I didn’t want to heat the oven up again so I threw them in the toaster oven…
Anyone have any tips on this one?  (Or are they meant to be mushy?)
It’s getting late so I’ll just show a roster of today’s eats:
Then I started playing with my food.   Unfortunately I didn’t have the foresight to rifle through the bin for a W 🙂
Good night!
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An Aversion To Crowds

I don’t like crowds.  Luckily living in a relatively large country ( land mass wise) with a relatively smaller population helps a lot.  I’m not claustrophobic, but something about jostling people for oxygen and a marginally greater amount of elbow room really isn’t my thing.  You know?
In my effort to avoid the crowd at the subway I decided to walk home in the rain.  Although I was soaked I didn’t really care because I had these:
A not so small package of Maynard’s fruit salad sour candy.
Picked up from this lovely jaunt after work:
I absolutely love candy so I was in heaven.  I’ve even spotted a few chocolate free varieties that I’ll be sure to sample the next time I’m there :).
Candy aside, today wasn’t a bad day.  Got up this morning kind of late again and didn’t have the time to run for 1/2 an hour. So I tried running 1 mile spurts as fast as I could timing myself after each mile.
Mile 1:  8:00 min
Rest (400 metre walk)
Mile 2: 8:06 min
I really need to improve my speed so I’m glad I pushed myself through mile 2.  My lungs were seriously burning (no surprise since I’ve been known to run at a speed of 10 miles per minute when running outside).  I think my next goal would be to complete this activity 3 times (running 3 miles) AND getting a time of under 8 minutes per mile.   But all in all I think it’s a good start and I’m a lot stronger now that I’ve been working with Marcia.
In addition to ingesting fruit salad candies I did have some real food as well:
The last of the vegan carrot cake cupcakes.  I’m making more of these soon!
1 full pita with roasted turkey, bruschetta, spinach, cucumber, hummus and sunsprouts.
One of the pita halves had a big hole in it, so I ripped it apart and assembled it like regular sandwich bread.  The jury’s out on which half held more stuff.   The half that remained intact was fuller along the top of the pita while the other had a more even distribution of filling.  Either way, I still think eating it pita style was more satisfying and made for easier cleanup and assembly.  I just need to learn the secret of protecting my pita from ripping!
Sweet tooth hit me, and I tried to calm it down with celery sticks that I’d precut.  Unfortunately the fridge at work is a little strong and froze the poor guys.  I ended up having ryvita and more sunbutter:
Love the retro plate (we have a couple of funny things kicking around my department’s kitchen).  For example I know there’s a Holly Hobbie mug somewhere and some Swiss Chalet plates that look like they’re from the early 90s.  (Having gone to Swiss Chalet recently I know the plates have since been re-released to look more modern :)).  Sometime this week the Hollie Hobbie mug will make a guest appearance.
After visiting the candy store, walking in the rain and blog lurking, I heated up the liquidless chili and added a few sprinkles of Daiya cheese:
Despite being liquidless this chili was really good!   (See Recipe below).  Note:  I used half of everything because I live alone.
Beef Chili
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (Along with crowds I have an even stronger aversion to ground beef.  I used stewing beef cut into cubes instead)
1-2 tbsp canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small sweet green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can  (28 oz, 796 mL) tomatoes, diced)
1 cup beef stock
1 can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in frying pan and brown beef over medium high heat until no longer pink.
Lower heat to medium.  Add onions, garlic, celery, green pepper and spices.  Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
Stir in tomatoes with juice and the stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.
Add beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes more (I like my beans a little bit firmer, so I added them in without simmering them).
Recipe courtesy of the The Comfort Food Cookbook by Johanna Burkhard.
Time to relax now.  But not until I iron my clothing for tomorrow morning (a big time saving tip!).   If only all my clothes were wrinkle free.   I would save so much time!  Granted there are a few items that don’t require ironing, but they tend to be the more synthetic and less comfortable fabrics.   A definite tradeoff, but I think synthetic loses on this front!
Good night!

 

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Consumer Watchdog

Haha.  I’m definitely not one of these.  But I really felt like one when I received the following email:
Dear Mrs. _____,
Thank you for taking the time to email us regarding our Joe Fresh Line.  I apologize for the delay in responding to you.
I was disappointed to read that you have been having difficulty finding the jeans that you are interested in.
Our full Joe Fresh Style Collection is available only in select stores.  Unfortunately, we do not have access to inventory systems for our apparel at this time. Please note that clothing items are shipped to stores in certain allotments and may sell out quickly.
However, we suggest speaking to the apparel manager in your area to find out when new shipments arrive in order to get the most selection.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact us in the future with any other questions or comments.
Regards,
Johanne Edwards
Senior Customer Relations Representative
Joe Fresh Style
1-877-525-4762  ext. 617467
File # 795380
In case you were wondering it was in response to this:
Respond Type : email
Phone :
Address : , Toronto, ON, , CA
Comment : My husband’s favourite pair of Joe Fresh jeans was ripped when he went on a motorcycle ride. Where can we find more of the men’s styles in a 30 inch inseam? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 Many thanks, Erin
Damn – no coupon?!   I’ve never really written a semi-complaint before, but maybe times have changed 🙂  While I’m not a Mrs., the BH and I figured that they’d take me more seriously if I referred to him as my husband.
Managed to crawl out of bed at around 6:15 am and did this workout.  Pretty much kept everything the same, with the exception of an increase of 10 lbs on every exercise other than the bicep curl.
Here are today’s eats  (I skipped forward to lunch because my morning consisted of more raisin bread and sunbutter and 2 carrot cupcakes :))
1 pita with hummus, bruschetta, roasted turkey, cucumber, spinach and sun sprouts.   Only 1/2 of the pita is pictured above (I was hungry!)  🙂
1 fuji apple
Was feeling lazy and didn’t want to wait for dinner to finished cooking,  so I bought it:
Unfortunately the $4.99 Tuesday special is no longer available at the local cafe bakery (fyi: it’s a huge roasted chicken leg dinner with 2 sides).  Sigh – when I met with my friend last week it was still available!  Maybe it’s because it’s patio season now.
But sweet and sour chicken with rice and greens was tasty (just not quite what I had expected to have).
Then I came home and proceeded to make the chili.  In a wok.   Not typical, but all my pots were in use so I made do with what I could.  I just took it out and while it smells okay, the liquid seems to have completely evaporated.  I think it has something to do with the holes that were punched in the lid of wok.  We’ll have to see how it tastes AND in the case that I end up making it again, I will be sure to use a pot with a lid (and no holes).
I’m so not an experienced cook :).  Time to start getting ready for work tomorrow – the plan for tomorrow morning is 3 miles of cardio (and a review of the liquidless chili).
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Why I Want to Be a Taste Tester

Because it allows me to justify eating a few cupcakes.   And yes, I know a true taste tester really needs to take just one bite in their evaluation – what can I say I’m just an amateur 🙂
There’s nothing like having a craving and then being able to satisfy it with the exact food item that you want.  In my case it was these:
Vegan carrot cake cupcakes.
This recipe was courtesy of the Queen of the Babycakes empire which I got from here.   And my god, it was SO worth it (don’t let the picture fool you).  I even tried 3 of them just to be sure :).   Fresh out of the oven, these bad boys melted in my mouth AND they were free of the usual allergy badness that can accompany carrot cake!  I will definitely make them again – perhaps with tofutti cream cheese icing?
While tofutti’s cream cheese substitute contains soy protein and soy lecithin, I learned yesterday that soy lecithin is apparently a minor source of soy protein.  As a result, many people with soy allergies are able to tolerate small to moderate amounts.   Of course, the above does not apply if your are anaphalactic in any way to soy.  Not too sure how my body feels about soy lecithin, but in my case there’s no other way to find out other than experimentation (and I might as well try with something on the tasty side).
Because carrot cake is one of my favourite desserts, the above was easily the highlight of my day.    Here is the majority of the other (less exciting eats):
Breakfast was more Kashi raisin bread and sunbutter (I warn you that this will be on repeat for the next couple of days until the loaf is finished)
1 whole toasted pita, several baby carrots eaten with hummus for snack
Raw spinach, homemade bruschetta, cucumbers, roasted turkey and sunsprout salad.
Despite a large mug of tea and a sizable Fuji apple, my sweet tooth still refused to let up, so I finally indulged it.
The kamut molasses cookie from Naturally Yours.  I keep saying this, but I really need to learn how to make these.  They’re huge and are like soft gingerbread.
Dinner was asparagus and asian mushrooms sauteed with a bit of oil and garlic served with a small can of lemon pepper tuna and a side of couscous (still lurking from my tagine days last week).
In case you’re wondering, I still intend to make the chili, but haven’t done so yet because I need to plow through the items that have been sitting in my fridge for the past week.   Chili is definitely on my menu plan for this week and I’m very much looking forward to having it with some Daiya cheese sprinkled on top ;).
Time to sleep now.  I really need to get to the gym tomorrow morning because I wasn’t able to make it there today.  I had everything packed and ready to go for this morning, but was derailed by my inability to sleep last night which caused me to stay up much later than usual.  Not to worry, I passed the time by watching some more Chuck 🙂
Good night!

 

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Will Walk for Cheese

Today was a great day – I slept in until about 10 am before having two slices of Kashi raisin bread with the Nuts to You Nut Butter sunflower seed butter.
(Clearly I took a bite before remembering to snap a picture)
I also didn’t realize until yesterday that the sunbutter only has 1 ingredient in it:
In an age where products tend to have a lot of additives you can’t really beat this nutritionally.  I will buy this brand again once my other jar runs out!
I followed this up with 1/4 of the cantaloupe:
Then it was off to Kensington Market to pick up some produce.  Altogether I spent about $12 for a green pepper, 2 quarts of blueberries, 1 onion, fresh basil, alfalfa sprouts, 1 cucumber, 6 plum tomatoes  and 3 bulbs of garlic.  Pretty good, right? I keep asking myself why I didn’t think of doing this sooner.
Then I went home and dropped off my groceries, before heading out to Panacea to pick up this:
Daiya cheddar cheese – this stuff is legendary.  Funny enough, late last night while blogging I was informed that this product is an excellent non dairy, non soy cheese substitute.
The company also promotes the fact that its cheese melts and even stretches.  A big deal, if you remember my last rice cheese fiasco.  I also learned online that Panacea is one of the few health food stores in Ontario that offers said cheese.  This morning I had to go!
The lady at Panacea and I chatted about the cheese at the register.  She swears by it as the best fake cheese out there and assured me that I would love it.  Apparently Whole Foods in Canada doesn’t even offer it due to a number of compliance related issues as a result of its size (i.e. in Canada products require English/French packaging and labelling) which has prevented it from offering it here.  Which is really too bad, given that Daiya is a Canadian company AND the fact that Whole Foods in the US offers it.  Maybe Daiya will figure out a way of distributing it officially here in Canada?  Panacea apparently has been working through a distributor in the U.S. to have it shipped here.
When I got home, I knew I had to try it, so I made my favourite sandwich.
An oven roasted turkey sandwich with homemade bruschetta, spinach, cucumber, sprouts and Daiya cheese.
Verdict:  she was not wrong!  For a fake cheese this is definitely the best I’ve tasted.  It definitely melted and had the stretchy texture of cheese just out of the oven.  I’m definitely going back to Panacea to buy the other varieties (mozzarella and italian).  The world of dish possibilities has suddently opened up for me so I’m a very happy camper :).  A little of this stuff also goes a long way so you don’t need to put in as much as you normally would with the real stuff.
Then because my sweet tooth was calling me I finished off the last 1/4 of the cantaloupe.
Time to start prepping the chili for lunch next week – I’ll be sure to test the recipe before posting it!
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