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December 6, 2007

Good morning. I'm at work and my eyes are tearing from yawning so much and I made my coffee just a touch too strong, and I'm having some kind of allergic reaction to something. My lower lip is itchy, but I don't think it's blowing up in my normal MSG reaction. I have been so careful lately with food -- it seems that some additives in cheap chocolate are now settting off my face/lip/eye swelling thing. Whoppers did it one day at work, and then Reeses PB cups another day. No, we can't talk about it. It is too sad. I refuse to be allergic to Reeses. Will not think about it.

But in the meantime, I'm trying to be good about cooking well and eating good stuff. I got the new book Veganomicon, not because I'm trying in ANY way to be vegan (no cheese? Please!) nor even a vegetarian, but because I want some new ways to cook veggies. My new favorite thing: Brussel sprouts cut in half, chopped up potatoes, and cubed butternut squash, thrown in the oven with olive oil, salt and chopped garlic, roasted at 400 for 40 minutes, pine nuts thrown in during the last ten minutes. WHY DOES THAT TASTE SO GOOD? I've never liked brussel sprouts before, but now I'm dying for them. And beets. Never been a beet fan before this year, but now, oh, give me some beets with some spinach, poppyseed dressing, yum. I don't recognize my cravings anymore. Weird.

Last night I made a marinated portabello avocado spicy mustard salad from the book. Took like forty minutes, including cooking the mushroom, which was a lot for me on a work night, but it was so damn good. Also, the book itself is hysterical. I read most of it yesterday at work, and kept reading bits of it out loud to the annoyance of my coworkers. I mean, really, anyone reading a vegan cookbook out loud is the HEIGHT of pompous arrogance and deserves a good pinch. But the authors, they're irreverant and casual, traits that I value in anyone, but in cookbook writers I find particularly charming.

Now I'm going to stop writing and go back to knitting. I'm working on a scarf for a coworker that I drew in the work Secret Santa exchange -- normally I would never knit for a coworker, but I lurve her, and she deserves a nice scarf even though I am SO bored of knitting k1p1 rib. Looks pretty, though, in blue merino Arucania.

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Comments

i have been so in love with brussel sprouts too lately -- since having them at Thanksgiving. yum! beets, not so much, the aftermath still surprises and scares me :)
oh, and i miss that caffeine kick sometimes, though not the heart racing thing, so i stick with decaf.
and now, back to my fingerless mitts (did you hear the yarn thing podcast where they talked about fingerless mitts being for angry people - ha!)

I tend to eat vegetables in the same old way, mostly out of laziness. I think I will have to try roasting a variety together more often. It would warm up the house, too. And being allergic to Reeses and/or chocolate has to be bad.

Mmmmm pine nuts. Sorry, that's all I can think about now. Mmmm.

Brussel sprouts LOVE YOU, that's why they're so tasty! I'll have to try this recipe this weekend.

In return for the faboo 3-hour baked potato you turned me on to (so crispy and festive!), here's Roasted Beets (much more concentrated and beet-y than steamed or boiled): wrap each washed but not peeled beet in its own piece of aluminum foil. Put seam-side up on baking sheet with lots of other beets (roast a lot - they're so good!). Bake at 300 degrees for about three hours (no hotter than 300 or they'll burn, the little sweeties). Let cool and peel. YUMMY SALAD: beets, cubed mango, cucumber w/ olive oil, orange juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. The vitamins! The fiber! The goodness! You'll plotz - I do. ;D

EEE! I just bought Veganomicon, too! I went through it the other night and marked all the recipes that sounded good with a post-it, and when I was done, I swear every single page was marked. I can't wait to hear what you make from it and like.

Mmmm, brussel sprouts. I cook 'em on the stove, cut in half in olive oil with seasoned salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder until they're golden brown in places. Yum! (Now I have to try your recipe - it sounds delicious!)

I highly recommend the cookbook: "Chez Panisse Vegetables". Maybe not such a joy to read out loud, but chock full of those beautiful Chez Panisse drawings, and everything is so simple and splendid. Also, "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" By Deborah Madison. It's a billion pages (I counted) and has just about everything. Including cheese. And the risotto recipe I make all the time.

hmm, sounds like a book to check out! i would rather give up alcohol than cheese, but i am always looking for different/ interesting veggie recipes! hooray!

Try Trader Joe's peanut butter cups! Tasty and fewer additives. Our best recipe with them (besides just eating them): bake them into brownies. YUM! A book that I really like is Mollie Katzen's Vegetable dishes I can't live without. She's got a great roasted brussel sprouts recipe.

Argh! Dietary restrictions! Don't get me started! Seems like I have to carry food with me wherever I go, 'cause ya never know what's in it unless you make it yourself.

I recommend Vegetables Everyday by Jack Bishop. The chapters are organized alphabetically by vegetable. Many ideas..not too fussy either.

soy lecithin. or however the heck you spell it. it makes my mom's face swell when she eats cheap chocolate. but she can do soy milk... perhaps? hope you feel better.

Yeah, there's something going on with cheap chocolate lately... it hurts my teeth like I've been eating aluminum foil. Just one more reason that life's too short for bad coffee or cheap chocolate.

You might be needing some vitamins that you get from those veggies. Listen to your body!

Thanks for the brussels sprouts recipe, I'll try that one tonight!!

OMG... Brussel sprouts, califlower, and carrots, olive oil and a little kosher salt, 400 degrees. 10 minutes THE BEST! Asparagus is excellent that way also... will try pine nuts, but pecans and walnuts also work. I could probably eat my shoe roasted like that... anyway... we veg heads gotta stick together and yes horay for beets, even though they make for mildly scarey bathroom moments....Will try the book.. my fav is Vegan with a Vengence...

I've never commented before on your blog. I am not a big commentor! Your positive voice is really inspiring to me. I have learned a lot from you.
Anyways, I don't know that much about your allergy history, but I developed an allergy to raw peaches, cherries, nectarines, plums, and apricots that is somehow connected to my nasal allergies to related trees. Same thing happens to me when I eat them: my lips and the inside of my mouth totally swell. I'm just wondering if it's something like that?

Bummer about the food allergies. I don't have food allergies, but I do have an environmental allergies and about a year ago I started randomly breaking out in hives all over my body for no apparent reason. Thank god for Zyrtec. I still get them, but thankfully not as often. I know how frustrating allergies can be! Hope you are able to find lots of recipes you like and can eat without reactions!

I love brussel sprouts. I can't wait to try that. My kids will complain, but that just means more for me.

It could be worse: you could be allergic to good chocolate.
I think that you're liking things like beets and brussel sprouts because we're spoiled with beautiful fresh local produce here.
I second the recommendation for Vegan with a Vengeance. Or, of course, you can always hit me up for recipes.

I tried this brussel sprout thing last night, only with zucchini because I've never been able to find butternut squash here (Gothenburg, Sweden). So good! Especially with chèvre.

its all roasted vegetables here all the time - except when tis lentils and rice.
I'll try your combo next time.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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