Please Standby

March 11, 2009

I’m going to be dashing around town for the next couple of days, doing cooking classes (short notice, but if you’re in the Toronto area, I’ll be at the Bayview/Sheppard Loblaws tonight at 7:00–would love to meet you!), and then my friend Babe is coming to town tomorrow, so I won’t have much time for cooking (except for other people, that is). 

When we were undergraduates, my friend Babe had a roster of what she called “permadates.”  These were straight guys who were no more than friends, but were willing to stand in whenever a male presence was required–at a work function, say, a family wedding or bar mitzvah, a school reunion, etc.  She’d call up the permadate and he was always happy to receive a free meal, free booze, and maybe some dancing in exchange for allowing Babe hang on to his rippled bicep and elbow for the evening.  A win-win!

I think the same concept extends to foods as well.  Don’t we all have our own favored dishes, the go-to recipes that we whip up when we need something that will impress, will look good and taste good–and which won’t expect any “favors” at the end of the evening?  These are the “permadishes,” the old standbys that never disappoint.

I’ve been relying a lot on “candida standbys”–simple foods that are compatible with the ACD–this week.  A lettuce wrap here, some baked tofu (without soy sauce, of course) there, here a roasted veggie, there a baked sweet potato, raw almonds and pumpkin seeds everywhere. 

Then I realized I’ve already got quite a few candida-friendly dishes right here on this blog–dishes that are already in my repertoire, but happen to be suitable for the ACD.  These are great for anyone who’s battling candida, but even more, for anyone who’s seeking a cleaner, less toxic, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting diet as well. 

Until I cook again, I’ll leave you with some of these reliable favorites.  Nothing like a good permadish to get you through a busy week!

ecleancpaw1

Mum, how about considering us permadogs?  You know you can count on us.  And of course I always rely on my big sister to take good care of me, too.” 

“Aw, zip it, Chaser–you’re making me blush.”

chaserkisselsie

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“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

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Hmmmnnnn. . . . so what does this say about me?  I am surrounded by boxes.   Right here, in my office, the towers of boxes around me–leaving a path just barely wide enough to traverse to get to my computer–resemble a child’s game of war and fortress (I can almost see over the top of the cardboard wall, peeking out at the doorway–wait!  Here comes the enemy cloathed in black fur!–no, wait, that’s just Elsie .  But I digress).  The house is in total chaos, and no wonder–we are moving in FOUR DAYS.  Half my food is packed away.  Almost all my books are packed away (I saved four favorites to comfort me until I make it to the new place).  There are piles of papers, cardboard, old magazines and other detritus strewn about the hallway, slated to be dumped in the recylcle bin before we leave.  The kitchen floor hasn’t been mopped in over a week (oh, well, wait a second, that has nothing to do with moving–we’re always more or less slobs that way). 

And amid all this entropy, what do I want to do?  I want to bake.

So, finally, here is the first dessert of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  Most of my supplies are packed, I’ve got very few ingredients left in the house, but when all else fails, I bake.  It’s comforting, it’s familiar, it’s creative, it’s a way to distract myself (which is actually one of my successful diet strategies, come to think of it).  So when the urge hit earlier today, I decided to allow it to run its course.  It seems an impossible goal, in any case, to adhere to any kind of healthy eating regimen while undergoing the upheaval and concomitant stress I’m experiencing at present, so if I feel like eating cookies, dammit, I’m going to eat cookies.  Even if I have to bake them myself, in a kitchen full of boxes, devoid of most utensils, bowls, spoons, or other usual amenities.

I ended up making these Cashew Chocolate Chip cookies, a variation on a recipe I created for the baking company.  Like everything else I make, they are primarily organic, made with natural (unrefined) sweeteners, and no eggs or dairy (ie, vegan).  They are similar in texture to an old-fashioned shortbread cookie (though perhaps a bit more delicate), with that slightly crumbly, slightly sandy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency, and the smooth, creamy sweetness of the chocolate chips dotted throughout.  They are divinely rich tasting, and yet not cloying.  (I deliberately made a quarter recipe so that I’d have only four cookies, just in case I had the impulse to eat them all–which, of course, I did.  Luckily, I remembered to take a photo before they were all gone.) 

And now, here’s the bonus–they are gluten-free!  While I don’t have a problem with gluten, the NAG diet naturally gravitates toward gluten-free grains, and I’ve done a bit of experimenting with grain-free cookies.  I think you’ll love these. 

Do excuse the photo–I am not only new to blogging, but completely unskilled with a camera as well. (Oh, and the plate in the picture is our last one left unpacked, bland as it may be).  But I think you can get the idea.

cashewchochip11

Gluten Free Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

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