Category: Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet

100 Day Project, Days 29 & 30 – Cake & Chemo

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

At some point between Monday and Tuesday this new round of chemo decided to take effect in a big way and I woke up feeling like I didn’t sleep at all. I’ve got those heavily lidded eyes that sound romantic in cheesy novels but mostly just make me look slow and sleepy – which is exactly what I am. I made Lazy Cat Kitchen’s Vegan Chocolate Torte with Amaretto yesterday but I ate too much at lunch to have any of it – or to even eat dinner. Today at lunch I tried not to eat too much but I’m once again uncomfortably full which means it has less to do with the amount of food I’m eating and more to do with chemo side effects. I thought it was homeschooling and chores that were kicking my butt but it’s the combination of everything mixed in with my medication.

I will admit I’m not the biggest chocolate fan so I wasn’t really making this cake for me anyway. I mean, I made it because I wanted to make it, but I also made it with the chocolate lovers in the family in mind. It is luscious and fudgy and definitely a hit. It would probably be a good cake to pull out for Father’s Day or Mister’s birthday since he’s a big chocolate and almond lover.

The reason I searched out this recipe was a very large bag of slivered almonds in our pantry. I’ve decided right now is the time to start going through our over-packed pantry and find uses for all the obscure ingredients that have been gathering dust. The other day I made barley pudding for breakfast (kind of like rice pudding) because of an abundance of barley, a bag of stale raisins, and a can of peach halves.

I will probably make the barely pudding again so I can tweak it and then post the recipe if anyone is interested.

(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)

100 Day Project, Day 23

Well I did it. I made very ugly untraditional Onigiri today. I didn’t have any Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums) but I did have mushrooms and fake chick’un from a local company. I used short grain brown rice too which has always been sticky enough for sushi and it worked fine for this. They don’t look pretty but there were no leftovers and Oonagh declared it the best lunch ever.

Now that the days are nice I’m trying to spend as much time sitting outside as I can. That still doesn’t amount to much time but there is something satisfying about taking my tea outside for a while. It would probably be even more satisfying if I left my phone inside instead of feeling the need to take photos of everything but it’s a hard habit to break.

Tonight the Mister took me for a drive so I could play PokemonGo for a while. I hadn’t been away from the house since Friday. He gets out every day for a run or a walk and we get the girls out most days (they all go for a walk or a bike ride around the neighbourhood) but my life had already shrunk before this isolation happened and I have to remind myself that there is a world out there beyond my walls and my phone.

We even had a dumpling fairy in the form of my friend Jocelyn show up for a chat (and dumplings from Hearts Choices vegan cafe) today. She has been spending a lot of time running errands/getting groceries for people who cannot and added us to her list today even though I told her we didn’t need dumplings (although we always want them). Visits have been far and few between and I’m usually okay with that (especially these days when there are children around all the time and half the day is spent in lessons) but seeing a good friend made a nice change.

I don’t know if it is the dexamethasone that has given me so much energy this week. It’s an anti inflammatory steroid that I used to take with my IV chemo. It makes my face red and keeps me awake all night (or would if I didn’t have sleeping pills to help) but seems to be making me able to do more this week. Not sure I want to be on it long term though – steroids can be tricky. Plus it gives me heartburn so I’m trading one thing for the other. And I’m still in pain most of the time but obviously less pain (or in a different location than last week) or I wouldn’t be able to get as much done. I guess one good week is a decent trade off for all the crappy weeks I have had leading up to this week.

We made more Sunshine Sauerkraut today too. Moira and I are addicted. It doesn’t help my heartburn at all to eat it but it is just soooooo good. This is currently my favourite breakfast. I need to go to bed now so I can get up and eat it again.

(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)

100 Day Project, Day 22 – More Cake

I kinda want to say, “this week’s cake is…” but it is only Tuesday and there are five of us so half the cake is already gone. So today’s cake is the Pumpkin Apple Upside Down Cake from the Minimalist Baker‘s cookbook (which I have taken out of the library many times but don’t own – which I should really remedy although her website is an amazing resource of recipes).

We decided to take a break from: working (Mister), playing on the Switch (all the girls – Moira’s main birthday present Animal Crossing just arrived yesterday so it is a very exciting day in our house), and laying down on a heat pad (me) to have tea together outside. I think tea and cake breaks are a necessity to our mental health right now.

Moira is trying her hand at creating recipes these days that she hopes to enter in to a competition. This morning we were treated to this: Apple Pie Vanilla Chia Parfait:

The use of the glass jar is purely for aesthetic reasons – this was a lot of parfait and Moira and I ended up splitting it. Everyone else ate theirs in small bowls. I’m already teaching her the “life skill” of taking photos of your food I guess. The day isn’t over either – we still have plans to make pumpkin buns (because I opened a big can of pumpkin) and possibly have a cookout later if the wind can contain itself (we have been trying to do this for a couple days but no one likes a fire outside in the wind.)

I know everyone who has a bit of free time between working from home and attempting to contain children and fitting in homeschooling and lessons is making sourdough bread and baking their way through this pandemic – but I honestly can’t think of anything I want to do more than bake and eat cake right now. I usually say I’m not even a fan of cake. I think it really depends on the type of cake though and I’m willing to expand my boundaries. Still haven’t made the Onigiri yet but the Mister got some mushrooms on his last trip to the grocery store so I think I will marinate them tomorrow and give that a try as long as my body will let me. I might pull out the fake chick’un from Hearts Choices (locally made plant-based meats and other goodies) and use that to stuff the Onigiri too. Cooking and feeding my family makes me happy even if I can barely stand upright at times. Fake it ’till you make it, right?

(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)

100 Day Project, Days 17 thru 19 – Cake

I’ve been having weird food cravings lately. Maybe not even cravings – more like fixations? I’ve been really wanting to make sushi rolls for the past two weeks but I’ve been in too much pain to do much of anything (especially anything that calls for standing for any length of time). And then my mum mentioned that she had made a cinnamon loaf and I immediately wanted to make a cinnamon coffee cake of some sort. Today, with a lot of help from Moira, I managed to accomplish this task. I followed the Cinnamon Streusel Cake by Vegan Richa. The only alterations I made were using all whole wheat flour and adding pecans to the streusel topping.

I also started thinking longingly of the Onigiri that we by from a small vendor at the Salt Spring Saturday Market when we have traveled to Salt Spring Island, B.C. They are always so fresh and delicious (and meat free) and come with a wonderfully umami miso dip. Just thinking about it is making me hungry. Anyway, this resulted in my watching videos today trying to figure out if I can make them at home. Someone pointed me towards a video thread of author Hiromi Goto giving a short demonstration on how to make them on Twitter. So not only is she a wonderful author but she is now my inspiration to make these and since I wanted to make them with mushrooms (like one of the ones I get on Salt Spring Island), I’m going to have to call them a Chorus of Mushroom Onigiri in honour of Hiromi’s brilliant novel.

“I like cooking because it is so rewarding,” said Moira about five minutes ago. I have to agree.

(These current blog posts are part of my #100dayproject and are written quickly and posted without significant editing. They are what they are, mistakes and all. Much like me.)