Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chloe's Kitchen *sigh* *sigh* Me, Oh, My :)

Ok, I’m one of those “practice what you preach” types. I’m not about to be hypocritical and suggest some sort of passing fad or steps toward healthy living without actually trying it myself. For several years my husband and I have been eating organic and we bought our meats from Wallace Homestead Farms before they moved to Canada due to their farm being ravaged by the fracking and gas drilling going on here in Northeast, PA. Since then we've been eating meat only on rare occasions and buy grass-fed beef from Wegmans.

In the here and now, I've been reading The China Study. Given what happened to Billy and the heart problems that run rampant in both sides of mine and my husband’s family I decided to give veganism a try. There has to be something to the radical diet changes that Bill Clinton and Ellen Degeneres have implemented after their own experiences. I researched a lot of cookbooks before deciding on one. Based on reviews I decided on Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli.

Her recipes were easy and used ingredients I could actually obtain without living in a major metropolis city. The second reason I bought her book is that she won the Cupcake Wars on the FoodNetwork. I’m a decent cook. I didn't used to be. My mother notoriously cooked boxed foods, canned, and delivery was her middle name. As someone who worked shift work, I could hardly blame her.

Ok, so I started “going vegan” Thursday of last week. To be honest, giving up meat hasn't been an issue because we really didn't eat a lot of meat to begin with. What I have really struggled with is dairy—me likes my cheese. The other staple that I've really had a hard time giving up is seafood. See I’m originally a Maryland girl. We love our seafood. Well most of us anyway. Now that I've moved to Pennyslvania giving up crabs isn’t all that hard (At least the seafood. Thank heavens I’m married) but I love my sushi! ;)

How hard could it be?

I tried going vegetarian for two weeks when I was nineteen. I was fine until someone ate a Cheesesteak in front of me.

Anyway, I started using Chloe’s Kitchen cookbook after meal planning and grocery shopping this weekend. Monday night I made her ‘Best-Ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese’. My son who will be two in July made a face similar to this:

My daughter put her head down on the table. My husband was the only one who made it through the entire bowl which was only made possible by dumping a ton of Tabasco sauce on it. In fact, my son Caelan, actually cried. I've never seen him cry over food. Not ever.

I can follow a recipe. I've made many more technically difficult recipes off of Epicurious. You should see my Shrimp Risotto. Her Mac and Not Cheese recipe didn't burn yet if I flipped the glass dish over it was such a congealed mush that it stuck to the pan. That should have been my warning, “Danger, Will Robinson do not eat those elbows.” However, mine turned out more ‘orange’ than her picture on page 126. So I’m guessing that despite using her measurements I added too much nutritional yeast flakes.

Tuesday night we tried her Fettuccine Alfredo recipe (page 135). I have to say it was a major improvement except for my husband. Chloe uses raw cashews as the base for this dish. Honestly, I couldn't tell a difference and my daughter asked for a second dish. You could obviously tell there was a nutty taste rather than cream but it didn't matter. My husband is Italian. Hardcore. *Sigh* Imply what you will.

He said the sauce tasted like potatoes even though I explained it was just nuts. He said I was nuts for trying to get him to eat this food. j/k Then he proceeded to pile a ton of cayenne pepper on top of it and wonders why he got sick. When you've been eating a ton of hot peppers for days that’s bound to happen. So tonight he asked me what I was cooking. I told him his choices were Penne ala Vodka or BBQ and Pineapple Pizza compliments of Chloe. Then he told me he wasn't eating anything that came out of my kitchen and came from Chloe.

So we compromised.

Mom and dad were leaving for a cruise. Mom didn't want to mess up her kitchen before going away. I was frustrated because my husband has stopped eating my food. Thus we ordered a cheese pizza down the street for me to pick-up for a Friday night on hump day instead. *Smacking Hand to Forehead* I’ll get there and you should too. My take away on this one—be careful with nutritional yeast flakes!

BTW... It's my birthday! Extra points if you comment on this blog post guessing my age and astrological sign correctly :) 

Attention AARP: You have been sending me a membership offer, in my maiden name, for the past two years—since my 30th birthday *hint, hint (on guessing my birthday)* I already called two years ago and told you to take me off your list. If you continue to send me this spam, by the time I am eligible, you can guarantee I'll be so sick of hearing from you that I won't be signing up. Although, my husband gets a good laugh every year. So thanks!

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