• Hello, it’s me.
    I’ve thought about us for a long, long time.
    Maybe I think too much but something’s wrong.
    There’s something here that doesn’t last too long.
    Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine.

    Do you remember this song by Todd Rungren? It came to my mind when I began writing this blog entry. It’s been a few weeks and I miss being in touch.

    My life has just been crazy lately. A lot of traveling for work and personal reasons. Not a lot of time to blog, though I took lots of pictures. Hmmmmm, where shall I start?

    How about with the picture of the marvelous looking English Muffin, complete with nooks and crannies? Oh, did I forget to say Gluten Free English Muffin!!!! Looks pretty friggin’ good, doesn’t it? Pre-Celiac, my snack of choice was almost always a Thomas’ English Muffin smothered with a thin layer of creamy peanut butter. I could say those were the days. But now, having discovered these English Muffins, I am once again a happy camper. These lovely round discs of deliciousness are made by Joan’s GF Great Bakes. Take it from me, they are worth every single penny. They come frozen, carefully packed in dry ice – it’s obvious that this company cares a great deal about making sure your order arrives in perfect condition. Frozen, ready to pop in the freezer. They are pre-sliced – I microwave for about 15 seconds on high (the amount of time will change depending on your microwave) and then toast it until crisp and ready to meet whatever it is I’m spreading on it. Ah, yum, wonderful. I ordered a few other of her items: bagels and cookies and one other thing I can’t remember. I will blog about them as I try them. If they’re anything like the English Muffins, they will be winners.

    Rissoteria: a restaurant in the NYC, in the village, worth the trip from anywhere. First thing you get when you sit down, before you even open the menu: gluten free breadsticks. Heavenly. Just enough salt and garlic and dried something else (parsley or oregano). I could’ve stopped right there. Dayenu. Then we ordered a Caesar Salad and GF pizza with a very thin crust and dark chunks of portabello mushrooms, oozing mozzarella cheese, and a coating of a thin, sweet tomato sauce. I could barely talk. I almost hugged the owner. Oh yeah, and the other cool thing – it seemed like there was a least one person at every table in the restaurant that was talking about being Celiac. I felt like I was at a reunion, except I didn’t know anyone!

    Continuing on my quest to ease tofu into our diet, I have hit payday, thanks to Seamaiden over at Book of Yum gluten free blog. This is her recipe for Yummy Grilled Tofu and she hit the nail on the head with her title. It is yummy indeed. And for those of us who eat chicken but would like to eat more tofu, this is a great way to do it. Doesn’t it even sort of look like grilled chicken tenders? Check out Book of Yum’s blog – it’s one of my regular reads. She is very knowledgeable, has an extensive repertoire of recipes, especially vegetarian, and is a very entertaining writer.

    Yummy Grilled Tofu

    1 lb of firm tofu (Chinese Style is best for this kind of recipe, says SeaMaiden. I have been enjoying Trader Joe’s firm tofu – I find it less watery than others)
    2 tbsp GF soy sauce (preferably San-J Low Sodium Tamari)
    1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
    1 Tbsp rice vinegar
    1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
    1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    2 pressed cloves of garlic

    Drain water from tofu, and cut horizontally in thirds or half. Wrap in towel and leave for 30 minutes or so until water has absorbed into towel – says SeaMaiden. Note by Ellen: after draining tofu, I place it on a plate, place another plate on top of it, place a very heavy cast iron pot on top of that, and let it sit for about an hour or so until the tofu is sitting in a pool of water which has slowly drained from it. I then slice the tofu horizonally into three sections.

    Mix marinade ingredients, and marinate tofu for at least 30 minutes. If possible, grill, if not, broil or pan fry.

    Perhaps the find of the century? Or one of them anyway. A seltzer maker for home use. I swear, this is not a gimmick. It is absolutely the real thing and does an incredible job of making seltzer. It’s made by a company called SodaclubUSA and can be found at their website. Fill the bottle with water, attach to machine, push button 5 times. Done. Say no more. It was a gift and I am so grateful to have gotten it. We drink seltzer all the time. Now we can make it in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

    If you’ve been reading some of my previous posts, you know that I’ve been exploring raw foods. There is a huge movement of people who eat only raw food. I used to think they were totally weird, not any more. Again, I’m not at the point yet (and not sure if I’ll ever be) where I would consider eating a totally raw diet. But I have to say that I have found it very, very satisfying. The picture above is from the Green Earth Institute website. The recipe is for Raw Mediterranean Kale Salad. I am going to include the recipe, but with my own rendition of it.

    Raw Mediterranean Kale Salad

    2 small bunches kale, stemmed
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1 ripe avocado, roughly cut into chunks
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon wheat free tamari (San-J)
    ¾ teaspoon raw agave nectar
    1 tablespoon curry powder
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    ¼ cup pine nuts
    ½ cup quartered roma or cherry tomatoes
    cayenne pepper

    Stack two leaves of kale and roll tightly. Cut the kale crosswise into very thin strips. Repeat with the remaining leaves of kale. Add ½ teaspoon of the sea salt and massage the kale well with your hands, in order to soften it. Add avocado and massage it into the kale with your hands until there are no more visible pieces of avocado left.

    Add the lemon juice, olive oil, tamari, agave nectar, curry, and black pepper, and toss well with your hands, working the dressing into the greens. Gently toss in the pine nuts and tomatoes. Sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper, to taste. Mix well.

    There you have it! What an exciting life we lead! So glad you checked in with me. Be well until the next time we meet.
    • Sea

      Well hello there, Miz Ellen! Thank you for the mention. 😉 I’m happy you enjoyed the tofu. I like Trader Joe’s firm organic tofu as well.


    • Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF)

      I love Joan’s Great bakes..her bagels rock…I love having them as sandwiches..nothing better. I keep meaning to blog about it, but I eat it before I can take a pic…..

      Hamburgers are great on them too…

    • Mike Eberhart

      Wow, I’d say you’ve been busy!
      That’s a whole lot wrapped up into one blog.
      One the English Muffins side of things, have you ever tried the “Foods by George” ones? My daughter (non-Celiac) is hooked on them now – particularly the Cinnamon/Currant ones. They are quite tasty!
      The tofu and other dishes all look great by the way!

    • Ellen

      Hi Seamaiden (someday you’ll have to tell me where the name comes from!) – I’ve made tofu three different ways in the last week (your Yummy Grilled Tofu being one of them)and have liked each one. She likes it, Mikey, she likes it!

      Slacker Mom – ooh, burgers on bagels, now that is a great idea! I just picked up the latest issue of Vegetarian Times and it has three yummy sounding vegetarian burgers. I know what we’re grilling this weekend!

      Mike – the Foods By George E.M. – I will have to try them. As long as there are nooks and crannies, I am happy:).

    • jill elise

      i love risotteria! I just wrote about them literally 5 minutes ago. I went there a few months back and their breadsticks made my day.

      I also back the foods by george english muffins, having found them while I was in NYC at the union square wholefoods!

    • ~M

      This kale salad looks so good. What type of kale do you use in your salads and smoothies? It looks like dinosaur kale, but I’m not sure. I tried purple kale in a berry smoothie but the green bits didn’t get ground up enough, it was bitter, and left me with an upset stomach. Also, what are the purple bits in the salad? Onion? Take care & shabbat shalom!

    • Ellen

      M – I think the kale I used was a variety that has some pinky red veins running through it. Shabbat Shalom to you!

    • Tina

      Hi Ellen!

      Great kale salad recipe! I am going to use it minus the avo and tomato, just so it will keep for a few days in fridge. I love those ingredients, but am looking for a salad over the next few days. I cut up two hugs bunches of kale, so just wanted a new salad. I Googled and came upon you! By the way, I love so many of your suggestions…the soda thing, the budget thing – good stuff! I too am gluten free (since about 1999), but have since turned raw (2007), so the gluten issue is not a concern anymore.

      Thanks for a great site – I will post it on my site and I will return!


    • Ellen

      Hi Tina – Have you had a chance to make the kale recipe yet? It’s fantastic! It’s my new favorite recipe for salads. You can’t beat it – you get your greens in a delicious and easy dish. The sodamaker has been in regular use in our house. We make seltzer at least every other day with it. The budget – well, that is already helping us enormously. And eating raw – I can’t say I’m 100% raw, but I’m trying to do more and more. And loving it. Yesterday I made dehydrated buckwheat bread and raw almond hummus – came out great!

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