Snack Attack, Boston Recap, and Daily Eats

I know. It’s been almost a week since I last posted. So sorry!  Our plane was delayed coming home from Boston and the past two days have been me attempting to catch up.  It always seems to take me at least a week to catch up on everything after I have been on vacation and even then, there is still the perpetual list of things that need to get done that I avoid like the plague. Fun stuff. Speaking of fun stuff (totally lame transition, I know)….

I am going to add another component to the blog!  In addition to the recipes and goodies, there will be a “daily eats” section!

I enjoy reading other food journal type blogs such as Carrots N Cake, Healthy Tipping Point, and Meals and Moves and I think they can be very helpful to healthy eating motivation.  Honestly, when I first when gluten-free I wish I could have found a daily eats gluten-free blog to help guide me (which I’m sure they exist, I just never found them because I never really went looking). At first, living g-free is overwhelming and every meal is a chore and it can be really difficult to navigate. With that said, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, or anything like that so anything I post about healthful eating/exercise is strictly from my experience and opinion. I am by no means any type of fitness or health expert either – I just happen to like exercise and nutrition. This section is more for me than for anyone else, but the previous Daily Eats post seemed to get a large amount of traffic so I’m guessing some others may be interested.  I’m pretty excited about adding this section because one: I get to be even more camera awkward happy than I already am, two: there really are not a lot of food-journal type blogs that feature a completely gluten-free diet, three: I’m hoping it will help me to reach my wedding shape-up goals. So check out the new “daily eats” section that will be up tomorrow! I will post my eats later in the night and will post everything I eat, everyday. Scout’s honor.

I would really, really love your feedback on this new section via comments or email Gabbysgfree@gmail.com

With that said – I was a lame food blogger this weekend in Boston.  I took tons of pictures, but not really of things that I ate! I was too busy walking, catching the T, drinking Irish cider, and having a good time!  I love Boston. I really do.  I could live there in a heartbeat.  It has all the things I love about big cities, with all the charm of smaller cities.  Even though Boston is a pretty big city, it is still hard to eat gluten-free.  One thing I did notice though, was that everyone knew what gluten-free meant.  Even the little old waitress at a diner knew what it was.  In Richmond, a lot of people know what gluten-free means but I have also encountered a fair amount of people who ask me: What’s gluten? Le sigh. Ohhh, one day eating out gluten-free will be easy.

Despite the challenge of eating gluten-free while traveling, we had some pretty damn good food.  And, I did remember to take some food of my favorite treats while we were there ….

Honey Roasted Nuts

Oh.my.god. We bought these as a mid-day snack from a snack cart while walking to the harbor and they were amazing.  We bought almonds and cashews and both varieties were insanely tasty. They weren’t too salty or too sweet. They were juuuuuust right. I could have eaten five bags of them in a cool 3 minutes but I refrained.  I knew pretty much immediately that I had to make a batch of these to have at home.  I plan on doing that this week - I’m going to be surprised if they last a whole day.

Lobster Clambake

On Saturday, we went to Salem which may be the cutest town ever.  I looooved it.  And yes, we did go to the witch museum which was pretty good.  I wish we could have done some more stuff while we were up there but we got up there a little later in the day and it was really cold and windy, so we kept it short and sweet.  Brad and I went to a late lunch at a restaurant right on the water because he was determined to get clam chowder and I was determined to eat some seafood!  For lunch, we each had an appetizer (Brad had clam chowder, I had sautéed calamari which they graciously made gluten-free for me) and we shared this monstrous platter of deliciousness.  It was a whole lobster, clams, mussels, roasted potatoes, green beans, and sausage.  The seafood was super fresh and delicious.  Brad didn’t care for the sausage, he said it was way too smokey. He’s a pork snob, especially when it comes to sausage.  Overall, it definitely satisfied our seafood craving.

After three full days in Boston, I was ready to get back to Richmond and get through this week.  It’s been busy and hectic and a little sad.  When I get super busy, I turn into a snack monster. True story.  For the past few days, I have been obsessed extra occupied with making delicious little snacks.  Snacking is actually pretty easy when you’re gluten-free, if you’re prepared. It gets ugly when you’re starving, trapped somewhere (like an office or three hour long graduate class or at the DMV), and there is not a single thing you can eat.  Let’s face it – vending machines aren’t exactly g-free or waistline or wallet friendly.  And sometimes you just get tired of having the same boring snack over and over and over. Banana burnout anyone? Remember when you were 5 and snack time was awesome?  Why can’t snacks be exciting as an adult?  Try out a batch of these tasty little snacks, invest in some cute Tupperware (BPA-free of course), and get excited about snacktime. Now, if only we can institute adult naptime…

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Sweet Onion Jam

This jam is insane.  It’s like caramelized onions rolled around in a bath of sweet, sticky goodness and jumped into the jar.  It does take a little bit of time to make but it is well worth it. It is super easy - the most difficult part is trying to control the tears from cutting the onions.  You will become obsessed with this stuff and put it on everything. Or just eat it straight from the jar.  Either way, get on it.

I made this jam for my future sister-in-law (hey Sara!!!) as a thank you for watching our dog while we were in Boston.  She loves onions more than any person on the planet. Seriously, I would not bet against that statement.  This jam received her onion connoisseur stamp of approval.

1 Tbsp butter

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup apple juice

¼ cup red wine

sprig of rosemary

salt + pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat.

2. Add in your thinly sliced onions. Saute for about 5 minutes to soften them up.

3. Add in the rest of the ingredients.

4. Bring up to a low simmer and let it simmer away for about 30-45 minutes, stirring every once and awhile.  You want nearly all the liquid to evaporate until you have some sticky, sweet goodness.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week - if it lasts that long.

 

 

Hummus

Hummus is yummus! I really love hummus but really dislike the high pricetag that comes along with it.  I mean at the core, hummus is just chickpeas and tahini – why is it so pricey?  Try to buy all the ingredients for this hummus from the bulk section of the store – you will save big bucks.  A pound of chickpeas in the bulk section of my store is $1.99/lb and the tahini is about $5.99 per container.   If you don’t feel like cooking the chickpeas, feel free to use the canned stuff! Also adjust the levels of ingredients to your liking! That’s the nice thing about making hummus at home – want less tahini? Add less. Want more lemon? Squeeze some more in.  Play around with it, it’s delicious.

I made this hummus after coming home from a farewell shindig for my bfffff/maid of honor since she is moving to California! California – consider yourself lucky, you’re getting one of the most amazing people I know. Richmond will be a bit greyer without you Cecily!  After coming to the realization that I no longer can call up my friend and go to impromptu sushi dates and have Comatose Tuesdays anymore, I got pretty sad.  To distract myself, I made hummus. At 11:30pm. Because I’m a little strange and making food is therapeutic.

Yield: approximately 2 ½ cups

2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas

¼ - ½ cup of water or reserved chickpea cooking/can liquid (Add as needed to smooth out the hummus)

4 Tbsp. tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves, pressed

Salt + pepper to taste

Paprika + olive oil, if desired

1. Whip out the food processor, you're going to need it.

2. Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic cloves to the food processor.

3. Whirl around until a thick paste forms.

4. Add in water a little at a time, until you reach the consistency you like - a thickish consistency.

5. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

6. Store with a swirl of olive oil and paprika for a butter snack!

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for a week.