Sunday, June 6, 2010

dear teacher...

...please excuse Natalie; she's been sick.

So, it looks like I used up the last of my energy on the mega-post I used to greet June!  The very next day, I developed a painfully sore throat on my way home from work.  I stubbornly resisted any/everyone's attempts to classify me as "sick," and bravely went to work again on Wednesday.  By the time I got home, it was clear that denial is not just a river in Egypt (da Nile, get it?  yes, it was stupid), it was a way of life for me.  Even though I alternated between my two health elixirs:

Yogi Tea Detox Tea (I'm sure it's not meant to eradicate colds, but it does that pretty well!)

Echinacea Tea, which is probably useless once you're already sick, but give me my sugar pills

And even though I ate my Magical Don't-Get-Sick Fruit (an orange) and made myself a healthy dinner with miso, carrots, greens, and rice:

I still got sick.

Being the brave and stupid stubborn soul that I am, I decided to try to "tough it out" and go to work on Thursday, despite mounting evidence that all systems were not go.  Mister was battling the same enemy and got as far as crossing the threshold at his job before giving up and coming home.  Fortunately for him, that meant trudging four blocks back.  When I made it 5 hours into my day, I couldn't take it anymore and drove 30 miles home, complaining bitterly about the fact that our sub-zero A/C at work made me cold even when I had the foresight to bring (and wear) a sweater and cover my neck.  I may have made the same bitter complaints to my boss as I was leaving...

Mister was generous enough to pick up a ready-made (by someone else) dinner from one of the fine establishments near our home, so there was no cooking Thursday, just sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and eating heartily.  I did my best to turn our home into a sweat lodge on Friday while Mister was at work and I truly think my efforts to sweat out the illness [kind of] worked.  After a short[ish] nap, I found the energy to actually make a tasty and nutritious dinner:

I made Penne with Roasted Vegetables and Garlic Puree from Vegan Italiano.   It absolutely hit the spot for me - I think Mister would have liked the flavors to be a little more pronounced and for it to have had a little less zucchini and yellow squash.  I know he doesn't care for them, but the roasting brought out a delicious sweetness, complemented by the little grape tomatoes waiting to pop in your mouth (some couldn't wait and popped in the oven).  I had a glass of Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes with mine and must admit, I was a little taken aback by the first taste.

I had done a little research about Torrontes because I had seen this specific wine so many times in my continuing attempts to find the Crios Malbec I enjoyed with my salad in October.  I've mentioned before that one of the only whites I'll drink willingly and regularly is Riesling, but I still keep an open mind.  I've liked most South American wines I've tried, though they've all been red, so I wanted to see what this Torrontes was all about.

All the descriptions emphasized the fruitiness and crispness of the wine, so I was able to completely overlook the teeny-tiny mention of the wine being "quite dry."  After that shocking first sip, I looked on the back of my bottle and found that this popular Argentine wine can most closely be compared to Sauvignon Blanc...probably the white I hate the most.

Anyway, between the one glass I drank and the effort of making dinner draining me more thoroughly than I thought, I found myself quite ready to sleep a couple of hours later.  When I woke up the following day, 12 hours later, I felt completely rested, energetic, and all-around better!  I still coughed my way through my lessons, but that was all.  I'm pretty sure my peppermint Americano aided my energy level, but either way, I was happy to flit about the kitchen last night and prepare Moroccan Chickpeas with Couscous from One-Dish Vegetarian Meals.

It did not pair especially well with the Torrontes, but it seemed to go better than it had with the pasta dish (and I did not feel like opening my new bottle of Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo just yet).  This dish is easy, but nothing special, so I will move on to two links (yes, more!) and my new menu.

First, I'm not sure how I stumbled upon this site, but I am so glad I did - I have mentioned before that all of my logical arguments about why I chose such a "difficult" diet/lifestyle tend to fall right out of my brain when someone demands I explain myself.  I don't know why - I don't actually owe anyone an explanation for MY dietary choices.  I guess I see it as my opportunity to help someone else make this amazing change and I don't want to blow it.  Regardless, How To Win an Argument with a Meat-Eater gives a great breakdown of all the knowledge I encountered that helped me make my decision.  It's a great resource and a helpful reminder of why I chose this path - give it a read, you might learn something!

The second link is an absolutely brilliant article written by Sherry F. Colb, regarding a recent petition from the dairy industry to stop labeling non-dairy dairy substitutes as the thing they are replacing.  In it, she points out that the dairy-substitutes are not actually riding the "success" of the dairy industry, as much as they are adequately labeling themselves as an alternative product for people seeking to avoid dairy for one reason or another.  The whole article is just so well written - you will seriously do yourself a disservice if you don't read it, regardless of your own [present] feelings about dairy.

It's nearly time to start dinner, so let me share the new menu that I managed to get the goods for prior to the skies opening up with the gale-force thunderstorms we aren't actually having right now (thanks for putting the fear of God and a sense of urgency in me, though,

1. Mediterranean Rice Salad with Roasted Red Peppers from One-Dish Vegetarian Meals and also from last week's menu.  That whole getting sick thing threw a wrench in the works, but I'm pretty sure that's dinner tonight.

2. Granada Paella from The Urban Vegan.  When I was scooting through some old posts to find the information I shared in my round-up, I decided to just go back and read some of them.  My nostalgia lead to most of this menu, as well as some new treats I hope to cook up (ha, ha) for the next one.

3. Orecchiette Con Broccoli also from The Urban Vegan.  This will probably be dinner tomorrow primarily because I was wrong about the broccoli being done with being gross and I don't think the two crowns I picked up will last more than a couple of days.

4. Spaghetti Carbonara also from The Urban Vegan.  I haven't made this before, unlike 2, 3, and 5 (hang on, I'm getting there).  In fact, I've never made a carbonara sauce, so we'll see how this bacon-free one comes out!

5. Seitan and Polenta Skillet with Fresh Greens from Vegan Express.  I never know how long Dynise's recipes will take, but I know they don't usually go all that quickly, so I like to have one blink-and-it's-dinner recipe in my back pocket.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link on 'milk' labelling, great read!