Ah it feels SO good not to be at work right now! I love just lounging about and relaxing…and its that kind of night, for sure, because the weather is really poopy out right now. All windy and rainy. So, I wasn’t going to announce this today because I like to keep the blog positive, but my migraine came back hard-core after lunch. I was not a happy camper. This often times happens when I get migraines. I’ll think they go away and then they come back worse than the first time. Not fun. Anyways though, a miracle happened!!!!! I went to the health food store, and in my pain and grumpiness, talked to the manager of the wellness department. He recommended I try “Feverfew” caplets, an herb known to maintain normal blood vessel tone. In short, when we get migraines our blood vessels are constricted. This herb has known powers to actually open those vessels up and ease the pain. I took a tiny pill with my water and, 45 minutes later, was HEALED! NO medicine EVER has worked that fast or that well so my excitement at finding these is so immense. For all you migraine sufferers, try this!!!!!! If it works for me it might work for you. It truly is absolutely amazing and now I feel great. After I took the pill I snacked on a cherry pie larabar I bought inside for a treat! I wish I could afford to buy these bars in bulk, they really are the best snack I know of…..this one kept me going for about four hours, if you can believe that!
On to dinner!
I was craving something goooood tonight. Its been a crappy few days and I just wanted something comforting and tasty! VeggieGirl was kind enough to email me an interesting interview with a vegan cookbook writer. Her name is Isa Chandra Moskowitz and she wrote the bestselling cookbook, Veganomicon. The interview is here if anyone is interested (the recipe is included)! Anyways, I was intrigued by her “chickpea cutlets” that were made up of chickpeas, garlic, spices and wheat gluten. I bought the gluten at the store today and had all the other ingredients so I gave it a go—and I’m SUPER glad I did because these were phenomenal!!!!!!! They looked gross when I was “kneading” them, but after the first bite, it was heaven. They are like little mini meatloafs—quite firm and you def. needed a knife to cut through them. They are full-bodied and very tasty!! I made an Agave-Dijon sauce to go on top (agave nectar + dijon mustard) and the tastes went together perfectly. It was an awesome dinner and I’m already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow! These little patties really pack a punch. They are SO filling!!! Seriously! I had to put my second cutlet back and save it for tomorrow because the first really filled me up! I wanted to eat it because it was so good, but I knew I would appreciate it more if I didn’t stuff myself and had some for tomorrow. With my cutlets, I made some simple steamed carrots and brussel sprouts tossed with promise light and agave nectar (my new favorite ingredient if you can’t already tell. I actually prefer the taste to honey!), as well as some couscous. It was a super dinner and made me feel so good!
After dinner I baked more cookies!!! I used the same recipe as the other day, but doubled it so I would have some take home to give to Ryan. I had to try one as soon as it came out of the oven to see if it “was okay” of course!!! Yum!
The migraine miracle!!!!
YUM!!!!!!! I could only eat one of these cutlets so I saved the other!
Cooking vegetarian meals is totally opening up a whole new interesting world for me! I just LOVE it! There’s SO MUCH MORE than meat and potatoes, guys, and its just waiting for you!!! These cutlets were fabulous and something I never would have batted an eye at before. We take for granted good, simple foods that can be put together to make outstanding meals that are great for our bodies and souls! Makes me a happy girl, for sure!
Due to my amazing readers (that would be you all!), I have got some recipes back on the recipes page. Its just a selection but I’ll be adding to it and making it a bit easier to navigate through as well. THANK YOU all SO very much for sending me the ones you had saved. It helped out immensely (Erica and Alison, y’all are lifesavers!)
AshleyPFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:02 am
Thanks for the recipe, the cutlets look delicious! Your enthusiasm really has motivated me to think outside my normal eating box 🙂
VeggieGirlFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:07 am
See, Jenna?? Look at how much more positive today has been for you – I KNEW that you would not have another
And THANK YOU for demonstrating in the blogging world how delectable and varied a plant-based diet can be, when planned properly. Before I became a vegan (and even before I was a vegetarian), I literally ate the same foods everyday – I now eat such a wide variety of foods, and even foods that I never used to like when I was younger (i.e. chickpeas, coconut, bananas, apples, vegetables of any kind, haha). I feel healthier, I look healthier, and I cook/bake (something else that I developed an interest in, after “going veg”). There’s no need to feel guilty about what I am putting in my body, because it’s pure nourishment – it’s so nice knowing that what I like and choose to eat has either a short (or basically nonexistent) ingredients list full of nothing but REAL foods/ingredients (no chemicals). Here’s to eating deliciously, feeling great, and looking amazing!! :0) Happy Wednesday, for sure!!
isisFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:10 am
this is the first time i’m posting a comment, yay!
i’m was so pleased to see you jump back on the vegetarian bandwagon, as i’m one myself (vegan kind though). but despite how good i think this is, i’d like to make a suggestion of not eating so much processed food (faux meats and such), not only beacuse i’ve heard they’re very expensive (which i’m not quite sure as i do not consume them- they’re not available where i live), but also because there are other protein sources like beans for example (a lot cheaper, healthier and, why not, versatile!)
anyway, i’d still like and visit your site whenever i can if you keep doing what you’ve been doing so far =)
KatherineFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:17 am
I went on the food for life website to look at their breads. There breads seem to be made with soybeans. I thought you avoided soy for medical reasons? So do I.
SamFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:19 am
Also, I am hoping you know the answer to this question. On eat like me she said that she made her butternut soup with skim milk. Wouldn’t skim milk curdle?
isisFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:22 am
(i guess i must have missed the chickpea cutlets paragraph somewhere, hehe…. i didn’t point that out, i’m sorry!!!! those are so nice (so nice i thought they were store bought….))
SamFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:26 am
Also, do you think bread crumbs could be substituted for the vital wheat glueten (veggie girl you may know the answer)
jennaFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:27 am
Bread crumbs are also in the recipe, Sam. The wheat gluten is important for the texture..so def. don’t leave that out!!!
KJOFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:28 am
It is awesome that the Feverfew tablets worked well for you! I have heard some really great things from migraine sufferers trying these tablets. I just thought I would remind everyone to be really careful with these (even though they are an herbal product). Feverfew has effects on platelet aggregation, which can cause bleeding in some people. They should be discontinued prior to any surgical procedure. Feverfew also causes premature uterine contractions and should NOT be used in pregnant women!! I’m not trying to be negative about this product….just thought I would put some important warnings out there!
anaFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:34 am
wow! that sounds really similar to falafels! (they’re made out of ground garbanzo beans) and you can buy the dry mix at any grocery store. i LOVE Fantastic World Food’s falafel mix. the ingredients are: garbanzo beans, yellow and green peas, dehydrated veggies (onions, potatoes, garlic), spices, sea salt, expeller pressed canola oil, soy sauce powder (wheat, soybeans, salt), sodium bicarbonate, yeast extract, and natural flavor. they taste great and are so easy to prepare! all you have to do is mix it with water, let it absorb, shape into patties, and fry! and it’s only 130 calories for 1/3 cup! if you haven’t tried them yet, i highly suggest them as a yummy main course or excellent side (i usually stuff them in pitas with laughing cow cheese). anyway, jenna’s dinner just reminded me of them and thought i’d share!
SamFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:38 am
Thanks Jenna, do you by any chance know the answer to my other question (don’t worry if you don’t have time to answer tonight)
VeggieGirlFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:44 am
I avoid soy for gastrointestinal reasons (since I have Crohn’s Disease), and because I am able to get protein from a plethora of other foods (so I don’t need it/miss it) – I rarely eat that bread anymore (or any bread really – I stick with the least-processed whole-grains for my high-raw vegan diet), but when I do, Ezekiel is the best choice. Since you have a soy-allergy, I would advise against the bread, unless it doesn’t give you any trouble/cause discomfort. sorry for the misconception!
RachieFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:45 am
I’m so glad you found something that works for you for migraines, I know what a pain they can be! Just as a reminder though to all you migraine sufferers, just because an herbal remedy is “all natural” it does NOT mean that you won’t have side effects, especially if you take other medication. People should consult their doctor before taking any substance, herbal or not.
RachieFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:47 am
Sorry to be a downer (I’m a med student), I do love your blog though!!!
jennaFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:50 am
I have cooked with skim milk a lot in the past and never had it curdle. Usually substances such as milk curdle if an acid is also present (such as vinegar or lemon juice)….cooking with heat does not *usually* make milk curdle. I know this because I used to cook my oatmeal every morning with milk and the milk would boil on the stove and still be fine!
jennaFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:50 am
Rachie, you are absolutely right! Thanks for mentioning that!
EricaFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:58 am
jenna, all of your meals are so inspiring, not only because they all look SO delicious, but because they’re easy to prepare as well! i think i might go ahead and try this dinner out for myself tomorrow night.. it looks fabulous!
i made that amazing quorn “chicken” salad tonight for tomorrow’s lunch, and i can barely wait! it smells and looks incredible.. i was so happy with the end result because it looks exactly like yours! 🙂
and i’m so glad i was able to help you with the recipes after all of your hard work typing them out! i’ll make sure i save them all from now on just in case!
Lori- the pleasantly plump veganFebruary 14, 2008 at 2:44 am
hey! thanks for visiting my blog. glad you like it! yrs is pretty rad too. are you thinking about going vegan? might be hard going to culinary school for baking and pastry. i would love to go to a vegan directed pastry/baking school. it’s actually very easy to make vegan baked goods. anyways . . .enough preaching.
don’t you just adore those chickpea cutlets. we make them like once a week in our house. and thanks for the tip on migraines. I am a some times sufferer of migraines and they are probably the worst things ever. i’ll have to keep that stuff around just in case.
as far as Tampa places to eat, there’s Trang which is a Vietnamese place near USF. Thai Terrace is very good, it’s on Dale Mabry (near all the strip clubs). honestly, thats pretty much the only places we ate at . . . the rest, we just ate home. Atlanta is AMAZING for vegans and vegetarians (not as good as Portland but really nice).
awesome blog! talk to you again soon.
Sara MFebruary 14, 2008 at 2:58 am
Just wondering if anyone could venture a guess on the cutlet calories? THANKS!
Heather(II)February 14, 2008 at 3:05 am
In an effort to eat less meet, I am seeking suggestions. I like garden burgers and the morningstar farms meal starters (meet crumbles and beef strips), but haven’t found a good chicken substitute. What do you all recommend?
EricaFebruary 14, 2008 at 3:19 am
The quorn “chicken” cutlets that Jenna used for her chicken salad are fabulous. They may not be the most physically attractive chicken substitute, but they sure do taste good!
CourtneyFebruary 14, 2008 at 3:45 am
Question for all of you vegetarian/vegans: what is the best meatless deli meat you have tried? I know Yves makes deli “ham” and “turkey” slices, are these any good? I would love new ideas for meatless sandwiches! THANK YOU!
NatalieFebruary 14, 2008 at 3:59 am
About Lara bars. I typically would not buy them because they are so expensive…but Amazon has these sales sometimes which really cut down the cost. I buy them when it’s a “spend 39 dollars on bars and get 10 dollars off” sale, plus free shipping. So instead of spend 1.30 or more on a bar, I’m getting them for about 80 cents…(still expensive…but worth it.)
SerenaFebruary 14, 2008 at 4:03 am
Courtney – The Yves deli *meats* are really good!
I think I agree with the poster who said that it’s important for vegetarians to avoid a ton of processed foods – it’s so easy to just use those meat substitutes, but they do have a lot of ingredients and are highly processed. But… while they are processed and not whole foods, if something is all natural and has good for you ingredients, surely it’s better than other processed foods, right? Maybe the answer is just to find a balance between lots of different foods, but I’m interested in hearing what others think about this one!
EricaFebruary 14, 2008 at 4:14 am
jenna, i have a quick question.. at what times do you eat your meals (including snacks) on the average day? thanks!! 🙂
martha annFebruary 14, 2008 at 5:22 am
can i just say kudos on all the dinner prep??? i love that you use so many flavors in your meals and are looking for creative ways to incorporate them into recipes. you make cooking seem not quite so scary.
andreaFebruary 14, 2008 at 5:27 am
jenna, i was also wondering like erica how long you go between meals. also, do you plan your entire day in the morning usually? i tend to find myself doing this every morning and i can’t tell if it’s obsessive or not! (my sister would definitely think so, as she eats what she wants when she wants it and is healthy and thin). another question i have is that i am currently a college sophomore and i have a really hard course load that requires me to stay up real late. i usually get 5 hours of sleep each night and end up drinking at least 1 coffee and 1 coke zero a night. i want to cut down on my diet soda intake (and splenda in coffee) but i am afraid of withdrawal headaches and not being able to get everything done! do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions?
karlaFebruary 14, 2008 at 7:24 am
so glad your migrane went away….sometimes we forget that natural treatments can be soo much more effective
im addicted to your website!
and since i started reading it ive been cooking sooo much more, making vegan muffins and cutlets….and of course…oatmeal in the morning!
thanks for the inspiration! = )
LeahFebruary 14, 2008 at 8:21 am
Made the olive oil cake last night as a Valentine’s surprise for my fiance. It was great!
JanaFebruary 14, 2008 at 9:19 am
Yay for vegan cooking! I loved your blog before, and I’ve been kind of lurking without commenting.. and now I really love it with all the delicious vegetarian meals and had to come out and say it!
I introduced my parents to the Veganomicon as well as Vegan with a Vengeance and they have been hooked instantly. The stuff is SO good, even for regular meat’n’potatoes folks 😉
ibex hkFebruary 14, 2008 at 11:45 am
so so glad you’ve found something that works! yea, for another amazing looking batch of cookies, I’m sure Ryan will eat them up 🙂
Heather(II)February 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm
Serena, The processed food subject interests me, too. I feel like I would rather eat a natural chicken breast than something made to be like chicken. Sometimes I make my own bean burgers at home (similar to Jenna’s dinner, but without the gluten) and think that’s a good option. I can’t do that every day though, so I am struggling with the natural v. veggie thing, too. Seeing Jenna’s ideas makes it easier though!
VeggieGirlFebruary 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm
The Tofurky brand and especially the Field Roast brand *(which is soy-free)* of “deli meats” and such are quite good. Here’s links to those two brands’ sites:
Everything in moderation – the “imitation meats” are great for people to eat once in a while, but the everyday diet should be made up mostly of WHOLE foods.
VeggieGirlFebruary 14, 2008 at 12:24 pm
The Tofurky brand and especially the Field Roast brand *(which is soy-free)* of “deli meats” and such are quite good.
Everything in moderation – the “imitation meats” are great for people to eat once in a while, but the everyday diet should be made up mostly of WHOLE foods.
JanieFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:27 pm
I just have to say that I have always had the misconception that vegan food/vegan cooking is next to impossible, but after reading your post from last night and reading the article about Veganomicon I am very intrigued! I downloaded the recipe for the chickpea cutlets and I definitely plan on trying it soon! Thanks for inspiring me to try new things:)
jennaFebruary 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm
I did some math for those that were interested, and each of those cutlets were ABOUT 177 calories!
GenaFebruary 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm
Aren’t the chickpea cutlets incredible!! Other vegan cookbooks standards you may want to try our are Dreena Burton’s EAT, DRINK AND BE VEGAN, which is amazing, Sarah Kramer’s LA DOLCE VEGAN, and Nava Atlas’s VEGAN EXPRESS. They’re all full of wonderful meal ideas and are basically simple to adapt from.
Also, a blog you might like: http://www.blog.fatfreevegan.com. Susan has come up with some incredible recipes and it’s worth checking out!
one food guyFebruary 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm
CourtneyFebruary 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm
thank you serena and veggiegirl!
Comrade GoGoFebruary 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm
It is so cool to read about how your culinary world seems to have expanded rather than shrunk with your decision to become vegetarian. I’m looking forward to reading about your future veggie discoveries. I’m not a vegetarian myself, but I’m open to the idea and these recipes sounds delicious.
Now I just need to learn how to cook!
AshliquaFebruary 14, 2008 at 7:49 pm
Glad you are feeling better. The Veganomicon is amazing! My roommate got it for me for Christmas and I haven’t even scraped the surface of all the amazing recipes that are in there yet!
PS-I made the vegan chocolate chip cookies using the recipe you recommended the other night and they are out of this world!
I agree with VeggieGirl on the Field Roast brand…they have fantastic flavors! For simpler deli “meat” I like to use LightLife’s Smart Deli brand. The turkey kind is my favorite, but they also have “ham” and “bologna”.
ReganFebruary 14, 2008 at 10:22 pm
I really want to try and make those chick pea cutlets this weekend, but I was wondering if there anything I can use to substitute for the wheat gluten? Or can I just leave it out? Thanks! 🙂