Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane, Schmrricane!

What do you do when a stupid hurricane (which actually ends up to NOT be a hurricane) ruins your weekend plans?

If you're me, you make (diabetic-friendly) bread and eat soup!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread with Flax

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp apple sauce
2 tbsp brown rice syrup (or sweetner of your choice)
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax seeds, grounded
1/4 cup whole flax seeds (for texture)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Optional throw-ins: walnuts, dried fruit, etc.

1. Preheat overn to 450 degrees
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. You can choose to process the oats to a flour if you'd like a finer bread.
3. Mix in all wet ingredients. Stir until well combined.
4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Scatter small pads of butter over the top.
5. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until brown and golden on top.

Best warm out of the oven, toasted, or dipped into tomato soup.

You don't have tomato soup? Well good thing my fat kid survival skills kick in during natural disasters and I cook my ass off. Because now, I have an easy tomato soup recipe for you.

You can thank me later.

Quick Tomato Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/2 can evaporated fat free milk
Optional: 1 cup prepared brown rice (I had extra in the fridge)
Garnish: 1 tsp prepared pesto (also, extra in the fridge)

1. Saute onion, garlic, carrots, and oregano with olive oil in large pot until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften. Salt and pepper as you go.
2. Add canned tomatoes and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and use immersion blender to puree soup, leaving it as thin or as chunky as you like. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree some of it in a regular blender.
4. While still off the heat, add the evaporated milk. It gives the soup a nice creaminess without adding fat.
5. Place back on the heat for a few minutes to warm through, but don't boil once milk has been added.

Enjoy with fresh homemade bread while waiting for a "hurricane" to pass over your head!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Not Suitable for Parents

This post may contain content unsuitable for mothers. Parental discretion is advised. Meaning, you may want to skip this one, Ma!

One of the questions that immediately popped into my mind when considering the insulin pump was “How am I suppose to have sex with that thing on?” You know you thought it too!
For those of you that know me, you know that I’m a fairly upfront person. I say what I think with the rare self-edit. It’s what makes me so likeable! I’m a pretty open person who talks about most topics. That's the reason I feel compelled to write this post. Not necessarily to give you the gory details of my intimate moments (but send me an e-mail you want some! :)) but because sex is a part of life and happens to be grossly absent from this blog!

At first glance, one wouldn't think that the insulin pump impacts on my sex life. After all, it's only attached to my side and not any of my valuable lady parts. But having to say, "Wait, I have to remove my insulin pump" sounded as attractive to me as "Hold on! I have to take out my retainer." There’s no smooth way of doing it. Plus, having what essentially looks like the plug to an inner tube inserted into my side doesn't really make me feel sexy. It makes me feel weird. And then there's Jerry to worry about! Would he be grossed out by this plug that suddenly appeared on his girlfriend’s body? It's just another feature to be self-conscious about. 

On that first night, when these thoughts floated around my head, I started to cry. Don’t worry, Jerry’s use to that! When we “finally got down to business” (don’t you love my euphemisms?), I went to remove the plug from my side. Jerry seemed alarmed, “You’re going to take that off?!”

“Umm, yeah, having a 23 inch long tubing attached to a subcutaneous filament imbedded in my side that if ripped out could cause blood loss seems a little dangerous for sex, don’t you think?”

Okay, I didn’t actually say that. Because the only thing that would have ruined the mood more then crying and massive blood loss would be me talking about it!

Despite my insecurities and anxieties, no blood loss occurred, insulin was delivered, and sleep promptly followed! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

White Girl.

I received this photo message from Jerry the other day.

"Holy crap! What is that eggplant grown with gold?!" was my response to Jerry. Followed with, "However, if it's actually 79 cents, pick me up some!"

I think I may have discussed my love of eggplant before. I have always loved eggplant parmesan, but recently learned that eggplant can go way beyond greasy fried cutlets drowned in tomato sauce and cheese (though that is delicious too!). I have started making burgers, dips, all sorts of things with it. Until the price of eggplant skyrocketed as high as $3.50/pound! What the fuck?!

Thankfully, the price has come down some and my love affair of eggplant can continue. Come here, baby!

I have had this "Indian" inspired eggplant dish in mind for quite some time. I use "Indian" in quotes 1) because I like to be obnoxious with my punctuation marks and 2) really it's just this white girl's attempt at "Indian" by throwing a bunch of spices in a pan and hoping that it resembles something curry-ish. It doesn't usually come out the way I want it to.

For this recipe, I used a kitchen sink approach to it. There were a bunch of things I needed to use up and they ended up in this dish.

Eggplant Chickpea "Curry" - notice the obnoxious quotation marks again!

1 diced onion (red and white mixed)
1 large eggplant
1 medium diced tomato
1 can of diced tomato
1 c. chickpeas
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
salt and pepper, to taste1/2 c plain yogurt (optional)
1 handful of cilantro, chopped

1. Roast eggplant whole at 400 degrees for an hour, turning after 30 minutes. After an hour, let eggplant cool until able to be handled. 
2. Add onion to pan with oil and start to brown. Add garlic and ginger until they become fragrant. 
3. Add fresh tomato to pan. Cool for few minutes. 
4. Cut eggplant in half and scoop out flesh. If you like the skin (the way I do), then you can slice it up and throw in the dish as well. 
5. Add the can of tomatoes and chickpeas. 
6. Add all of the spices. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes so flavors can combine. 
7. Take pan off heat. Add yogurt and cilantro to the pan. Cross your fingers and say a little prayer that it taste like curry, then serve. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's Get Physical....

In my quest to be beach ready for our trip to Mexico, I have started the "Feel Better Naked" exercise plan. While I'd like to take credit for that cheesy name, it's actually a book produced by Women's Health Magazine that I took out of the library. Recently, I have been very turned off to magazines, in general, as I feel that they're just 100 pages of pure advertisement. Like I can't really trust anything they say or suggest since someone is paying them to say or suggest it.

Paranoid New Yorker? Maybe.

However, after looking through the Feel Better Naked book, I realized it wasn't that bad. At least the exercises. I just skip the chapters about what beauty products are great for my skin and what's going to keep my man happy in the sack. Don't you worry Feel Better Naked book. I've got it under control! :)

Anyway, the workouts suggested are a series of two different strength workouts combined with one metabolic workout, which actually has been kicking my ass a little. It's something simple and easy that I can do at home. I thought I'd share.

Feel Better Naked Metabolic Workout - Week 1

This is a circuit workout, meaning each exercise is done one right after another with a 30 second break in between. Do each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest of 30 seconds. Complete the whole circuit 6 times for a total of 24 minutes.
  • Squat Jumps - or just squats with light weights
  • Plank to Push-up - starting on your elbows in plank position, straighten each arm until you are in push-up position. Drop each elbow, one at a time, to get back to starting position. Then repeat.
  • Stationary Lunges - you can also use weights
  • Jumping Roping - or just jumping in place like I did since I kept whipping myself like Kunta Kenta each time the rope got caught on the rug.
I use an online timer to help me keep track of the 30 second intervals. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Asked Permission. :)

I dedicate this recipe to Jerry's brother, Tom. He knows why.

And I'm not telling you. Jeez, can a girl have a little privacy?

This is a very simple and easy salad, that also happens to be very pretty. And could possibly be enjoyed with a margarita. :)

Roasted Red Pepper Salad

3 red peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 small handful basil, chiffonade (fancy way of saying cut into thin, long strips)
1/2 c fresh mozzarella, cubed
2 - 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Place halved red peppers, skin side up, in your broiler. Let the broiler do it's thang for a few minutes until the skins on the peppers are black and charred. Flip and broil a few minutes longer. You won't actually get any color, but I think it helps the peppers to cook through. You can also use your stove top burner by placing the peppers over the flame and charring the outsides. 
2. Place peppers in brown paper bag and let sit for 20 - 30 minutes. If you don't have a brown bag, you can also put the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  
3. Once the 20 - 30 minutes is up, remove skins from peppers. They should come off rather easily. 
4. Slice peppers and add all the ingredients, except the cheese, to a bowl.  Toss. 
5. Once well combined, then add in cheese. I do this just so the cheese doesn't get all turdy looking from the vinegar. 

You can eat this just as a salad or use for a topping on a burger or sandwich. 

Friday, August 19, 2011


To my insulin pump, that is!

Yesterday was the first part of my insulin pump training. I met with my CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) to learn the pump basics and to put it to use! Right now, I'm actually using saline instead of insulin just so I can get the pump features down, etc. Sitting in the office, going over all the many steps of filling the pump, putting in the injection site, programming all the features, I had the slight need to cry. I was feeling a little overwhelmed.

While my stupid pancreas and I have come to terms, there are still moments where I think, "Shit, I can't believe I'm a diabetic!" A year ago, I didn't even know what an insulin pump was! I had never seen one, heard one, let alone think that anyone used one! And now here I am, excited to be owning one. It's bizarre and, at times, still seems unreal.

This is part of my life now. And I'm okay with that. Even if I feel the need to cry about it every once and again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Starting Now!

Jerry and I are leaving for Mexico in three weeks! Three weeks!!!! Yay!!!

With that, I need to get my ass back into shape. This summer has been awful as far as gorging and indulging have gone. I think I have eaten more cake in the last 6 months then I have in the last 6 years. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. It as though I became diabetic and decided I need to prove to my pancreas that I can still eat dessert! I'll show you stupid pancreas....and fat tummy and flabby thighs. Yeah!

I have three weeks to be bikini ready. Three weeks of getting back on eating track, eliminating desserts, and yes, even my beloved alcohol. I may share some of the workouts I'm doing at the gym. Not because I think anyone really cares, but because this is my blog and I get do whatever the hell I want it. :)

Your readership is much appreciated though! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Naughty Cupcakes

My friend, Charles, recently had a birthday party picnic in Central Park. I volunteered to make cupcakes for the occasion because I'm a good friend like that! I was perusing different recipes that used peanut butter or vanilla in some way as I was told that was Charles' preference.

There were a few recipes I saw and liked, but was concerned about having to take frosted cupcakes on the subway with me. And the idea of manhandling cupcakes in the park to ice them once I arrived grossed me out a little bit (bleck! Yucky subway hands). When I came across these cupcakes, I thought they were perfect. They were peanut butter. They were self-frosting. They were vegan.

Oh yeah. Did you notice that vegan slipped in there? Naughty little vegan.

Now, obviously, given my proclivity to nutritional yeast, tempeh, and tofu, vegan food does not scare me. However, I knew if I told people that these cupcakes were vegan, they'd be less inclined to try them, assuming that they tasted like turds. Rather then not make them, I figured I would go the more honorable route and deceive! Well, more like withhold information until Happy Birthday was sung and cupcakes were consumed.

This also helped me avoid the non-compliment compliment, "They're pretty good for vegan."
Gee, thanks, I think.

Self-frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes - Vegan!
from My Sweet Vegan

Cupcakes Ingredients
2/3 cup plain soymilk (or almond milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup plain soymilk
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line one dozen muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. In your stand mixer, combine the soymilk and vinegar, and let sit for a few minutes before whisking vigorously until frothy. Mix in both sugars. You can also use a handheld mixer or even a whisk.
3. Grind the flax seeds into a powder with a spice grinder, and whiz them together with the water.
4. Stir the flax seed mixture, peanut butter, applesauce, and vanilla into your mixer, and beat until thoroughly combined.
5. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until there are no more lumps, but be careful not to mix more than necessary.
6. In a separate bowl combine all of the ingredients for the frosting, and blend until completely smooth.
7. Divide your batter equally between the prepared muffin tins. Drop a dollop of frosting into each cup of raw batter, and swirl it around with a toothpick, covering the entire top.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. When testing for doneness, be sure to find a spot that is free from frosting, as it may cause the toothpick to appear wet, even if the cupcakes are ready.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


My frugality has been well-documented on this blog, like when it comes to oat bran and discount salad. However, there are times when my cheapness doesn't even make sense to me. Case in point, it's summer time. Basil is growing like wild flowers. My parents have four large basil plants growing rapidly in their garden. Whole bunches are on sale at the supermarket, fruit and vegetable stand, farmer's markets, etc.

Despite the fact that basil is all over the place, there is a piece of me that still feels guilty using a whole basil plant to make pesto. Why? I have no idea! But I just can't bring myself to do it. Maybe it's because basil is too pretty to chop up beyond recognition. Or maybe it's because I'm just too cheap to use up all of something in one shot.

When I saw my basil plant whithering away in this ridiculous summer heat, I knew I had to act. Can you feel the urgency? It would be a shame to let that basil go to waste. But I couldn't bring myself to use all of it, so I cut it with arugula. I've been on a bit of an arugula kick lately. It has a nice peppery flavor.

Thus (isn't that a great word?), Basil-Arugula Pesto was created!

Basil-Arugula Pesto

1 large bunch of basil leaves
1 large handful arugula leaves
1/4 c walnuts
1 - 2 garlic cloves
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried oregano
zest of 1 small lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 c olive oil (or until desired consistency is reach)*

*You can also halve the amount of olive oil and use veggie broth instead. It makes for a thinner consistency, but is a healthy, delicious alternative.

1. Throw everything, except the olive oil, into a food processor.
2. Blend together and slowly add in olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
3. Serve over grilled veggies, fish, or pasta!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Have you ever noticed that for the several days before your hair cut appointment your hair looks awesome?

Or as soon as you make a dentist appointment that sore tooth stops hurting?

Or as you're on the way to the mechanic that clanging noise under the hood goes away?

Or as soon as you decide that you're going on the insulin pump you have awesome blood sugar numbers?

I believe it is what the song would call "ironic."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grillin' Meaty Non-Meats

My mother recently purchased me a grill pan/griddle that you can put your stove top. It. Is. Awesome! I've been grillin' all sorts of things! I'm a Grillin' Machine! Which is funny since I've never had any interest in using an actual grill.

Now that I have had my fill of grilled veggies and fish, I wanted to come up with some other creative things to put on my grill pan. Watch out Jackson! Because they don't just give out the title "Grillin' Machine" to everyone, you know!

I had some tempeh in the fridge and had been craving barbecue sauce! I figured why not put the two together! Tempeh is fermented soybeans that are formed into a cake/block, which I know sounds really unappetizing. And on my initial tryings of tempeh, I wasn't a fan. However, once I played around with how I prepared it, I have started to crave it occasionally.

In reality, I think, at times, that it has almost a chicken-y taste to it. Either way, I think it's a nice meat alternative that, prepared this way, really doesn't make you miss meat at all.

BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches

1/2 block of tempeh, slice in 1/4' pieces
2 - 3 tbsp barbecue (see below for recipe)
1/4 cup shredded mozzeralla
1/4 cup arugula
2 slice of bread (preferred: 1 Trader Joe's whole wheat english muffin)
smoked salt and pepper

1. Heat up your grill pan!
2. Spray grill pan and place sliced tempeh on grill.
3. Grill until browned then flip and brown on the other side. Meanwhile, toast bread.
4. Toss tempeh with barbecue sauce.
5. Layer mozzarella, tempeh, and arugula on bread.

If you're feeling frisky, you may want to consider making your own barbecue sauce! may think this barbecue sauce looks remarkably like ketchup. That's because all barbecue sauce really is is glorified ketchup! It starts with tomato paste the same way ketchup does! We're just not use to seeing barbecue sauce this red.

You know what's in your store-bought barbecue sauce that makes it that dark brown color...crap! Yes, crap. And possibly some molasses. But if you check the labels of most commercial BBQ sauces, you're going to find a lot of extraneous ingredients that probably don't need to be there.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

1/2 onion, chopped (1 large onion)
2 garlic cloves, chopped (3 cloves)
 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 6 oz can tomato paste (10 ounces)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sweetner of your choice (I used brown rice syrup)
2 - 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 - 2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
smoked salt and pepper

1. In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. 
2. Add the rest of the ingredients. 
3. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge. You can also put this in the freezer.