Wheat Free Journey Part V.

17 11 2012

I know, I thought it was weird at first too…  But now that I think about it, why not?  Chocolate covered pretzels or popcorn are nothing new, and honestly, chocolate covered anything is bound to be a good idea, right?

But the best part about chocolate covered potato chips? They are wheat free!

Kind of an acquired taste.. I remember when I first tried it, I was a little confused. A mix of chocolate, saltiness, and crispy potato chips…who thought of this?? I’m not saying that everyone would love it, but I think it’s worth a try, at least once! You would be surprised at how well they go together!

I of course, prefer mine dipped in dark chocolate!

They come in fancy packages too! Though, I’m sure it’s not too hard to make it yourself at home.

I remember an episode on Modern Family, where Manny was advised to put some salt in to his milk chocolate. I guess it’s the same idea? That bit of saltiness just adds some depth to the already amazing chocolate taste.

Have you tried these? Let me know what you think!

On a side note, how come we can’t resize the images without using the percentages here anymore? :(


Wheat Free Journey Part IV.

22 05 2012

It is no secret that I like to eat. I enjoy good food, I love cooking, and I love exploring cool places to wine and dine. If you are visiting a certain city that I am familiar with and you ask me what are some of the things to do here, 9 out of 10 times, I would mention what they must eat, before anything else.

But recently I have had a realization that it is about time I start paying attention to my health as well. While my decision to partake in my wheat free journey was more of me accepting a challenge to prove my boyfriend wrong, it really has helped me eat better, despite how many times I cheat, just because I’m more aware of what I’m consuyming. My current wheat free favourite? It is one of the easiest meal you could prepare, one of the healthiest, and definitely, one of the item on the menu that you will keep coming back to this summer!

If I have it my way, smoothies would be my go-to dinner most nights of the week, especially on the nights that I don’t exercise. What I put in them is completely random, based on what is available but here are some of my favourite ingredients:

They just make any smoothies, because of its subtle, yet sweet touch, and its creamy consistency. It just goes with absolutely everything. The problem though? I have to wait for it to ripe first, and since my boyfriend can enjoy his bananas green, he barely leaves any for me. I guess when you snooze, you lose!

Any type of yoghurt (though I prefer vanilla), is a good substitution for when my bananas are not ripe enough, or when my other half finishes it before it ripens. Same idea, they are sweet, with good consistency, extra calcium, and still easy on your body.

Okay, this is a weird one, but a handful of baby spinach is kind of magical. It adds that much more nutrient, gives some depth to the flavour (you really can’t taste the spinach), and it turns anything in to my favourite colour! Gosh, I sure hope my future kids will appreciate the beauty of anything green like me.

Milk is my choice of liquid for when making smoothies. Soy, Skim, 1%, anything goes, and I would love to try almond milk too. I’m a little against using water.. And since I use frozen fruits most of the time, I don’t even need that extra ice!

Other than that, I just put in whatever types of fruit I find in the fridge or the freezer, usually a mix of berries, mangoes, or peaches. I have once tried using chopped Granny Smith apple as the main fruit, and I was surprised by how well it blended! I wasn’t a big fan of its consistency though, it was somewhat grainy (hehe, get it?). The two ingredients that I would love to try right now is matcha powder, and soft tofu!! Okay, maybe the soft tofu might be a little weird, but don’t you think it could work?? And maybe oatmeal. Apparently it’s quite common to mix oatmeal in to smoothies now?

There is so much beauty in seeing so many layers of fruits in your blender, don’t you think?

Did I also mention how you absolutely don’t need any extra sweeteners? Not even after you add a handful of green leafy spinach! A lot of people put extra seeds or powders in it, but I like mine au naturale. Yum.

Wheat Free Journey Part III.

25 04 2012

I feel like it’s been a while since I posted on my wheat free journey, so I thought I would update you guys a little.  But let me remind you that I am still camera-less so you have to bare with my over the top descriptions and some internet pictures!

So for the most part, avoiding wheat hasn’t been too too hard, except for one of those  ridiculous craving times. These are some of the unsung accessories to my wheat free meals that has been making the journey more bearable for me. After all, the secret to having a successful diet is to enjoy what you can eat!

Creamy poppy seed salad dressing. I don’t actually remember the brand that we use at home, but I’m sure it’s not hard to find in your local grocery store. It’s the type of dressing that is on the sweet side, but not overwhelming, and definitely not greasy despite its creaminess. I’ve always enjoyed salad but never quite enough to look forward to it, until I discovered this one!  The key to making your salad more enjoyable is to have plenty of stuff in it. My favourite bowl includes the usual greens, corn, cucumber (they really make a difference), some type of meat for that extra protein (bacon, chopped steak, shredded chicken, everything goes!), and sliced hard boiled egg. They really are quite delicious.  And filling! My other go to salad dressing? Japanese style sesame dressing, and sweet onion dressing.  My mom used to make her own dressing which was delicious too.. I should ask her for the recipe. Feel free to share yours too!

This is possibly the best BBQ sauce in the world. I don’t know who Diana is, but hats off to her because this will simply be the star of any barbecues I host this summer. She has a lot of products though, from sauces to marinades to gravies, and I can’t vouch for all of them, but this one, divine. Make sure it is Gourmet Original though, with its orangey colour. While other ones are good, this one’s my favourite. It’s on the sweeter side, which is what I prefer in my BBQ sauce. If you prefer the smokey rich tangy flavour, you might want to try the western smokehouse, which is darker in colour and in flavour. My other favourite store-bought marinade? Sweet ginger teriyaki!

When it comes to healthy, wheat free cooking, I find myself turning to Oriental cuisine quite a bit, because of their rice based meals which means wheat free! Most Asian restaurants that I know use a ton of oyster sauce as their basic seasoning, but since my dear mother discovered the vegetarian oyster sauce, I never went back to the oyster-oyster sauce. I prefer the vegetarian kind (or mushroom sauce, I think they are called) because of their milder flavour, with no hint of fishiness, even though this might all just be in my imagination. I just prefer its taste, and I think it’s healthier too. For stir fries, this really is all I need and since I have introduced this to my man, this is now a staple at our home. I stay away from soy sauce when it comes to stir fries just because it has too much tang in it in my opinion. I like the falvour of Hoi Sin sauce though, but do any of you know if it makes good stir fry?

Potatoes make very filling and nutritious meal while being extremely easy on your budget. You can bake them, boil them, tot them, mash them, the opportunities are endless and they somehow end up delicious no matter what you do with them. How I’ve been handling them lately is saute them lightly with olive oil and butter, then season it with salt, pepper and some herbs and spices (or you can just use those store bought mixed seasoning) and then bake them in the oven for that extra crisp edges. For those days that I need extra creaminess to it, I go easy on the seasoning but add a few scoops of white pasta sauce (yes, Classico Alfredo sauce IS wheat free!) to it before baking, and voila, a comforting meal so quickly and easily!

Magic drink, green tea! No extra calories, but a boost of energy and lots of antioxidants! It helps with your metabolism, and lowers cholestoral. I’m a little worried about its caffeine content though because I pretty much drink it like water…

Here are some other ideas that are on the top of my to-do list! And yes, they could be wheat free!

Meatloaf stuffed baked potatoes.

Why cupcake pans are essential to your home. You can even make it healthier by adding vegetables in it, and wheat free by substituting the pastry with potato perhaps? Or cut the carbs altogether and have eggs as the base? Perfect for portion control too!

Any Harry Potter fans here?

1. Melt the butter and sugar together to make caramel.
2. Add milk, vanilla, and cinnamon to stir and combine.
3. Bring mixture to a boil and pour in to a mug.

I think I would actually add coffee in to this though, sounds terribly sweet. But where is the ‘beer’ in this?

Wheat Free Journey Part II.

8 03 2012

Heaven’s gift for those that can’t/don’t eat wheat. I didn’t even know these existed, when I “gave up” wheat, I really thought that I had to start using Asian noodles for my pasta dishes. Thankfully there are such things as rice pasta! 

I’ve only tried the brown rice kind though, just because this was what my neighbour had, and I LOVED it! Brown rice pasta for the win! It looks a lot like normal pasta, but a little “curvier”? The edges are just rounder, and the consistency is chewy which I thoroughly enjoyed. A little bit like rice cake maybe, but it is a good enough substitute that I am okay with never going back to the normal pasta! My man doesn’t even like pasta and he enjoyed it so that says a lot. The only downside though, is that it’s still not as common so they only come in the mainstream forms. Like if you want them in ravioli or in squid ink, you’re probably out of luck. I don’t think I’ve even seen them as lasagne! But my fellow blogger suggested using tofu as substitute, so I think we don’t have to cut lasagne out of our diet just yet. Still to try it out though!

I also found in the store corn pasta! I am curious to try it, but I feel like it might have a distinct taste of corn to it, which might interfere with the flavour of the entire dish. Or maybe not, since tortilla chips are darn good with everything. I should eat more of those now actually!

My current favourite sauce: Roasted red pepper!

Such a wonderful addition of flavour to the usual tomato sauce. I just buy the jarred one and season it further, add some meat, finish it with some shredded cheese. Delicioussss!

Wheat Free Journey Part I.

29 01 2012

I didn’t think it was going to be that hard, cutting wheat from my diet. I mean, it’s one thing to cut carbs out completely, but wheat is just a small fraction, right? I can still have potatoes and rice and egg noodles, so my meals will still be somewhat filling, so how hard could that be?

Not easy, as it turns out.. I don’t know what it is, but I’m so drawn to whatever it is I can’t eat! What an uncooperative craving.. It’s not impossible though, but so far, I haven’t seen much differences in terms of benefit yet. Perhaps because I keep cheating…? But here is a glimpse of what I have been making, because it’s just easier to control what you’re eating when you know exactly what’s in it!

BBQ pork chop and egg, with green beans for lunch.

And I kid you not, this was my dinner. Roasted cauliflower and roasted yam. That is one thing that has been growing on me though, yam chips! Slice them reallllly thinly, toss them in olive oil and bake it in the oven until crispy. This is easy, requires very little supervision, a lot healthier than potato chips, and can help with any cravings for dessert!

I am so tired right now with life and human relationships.. Any cure for that?