Archive for February, 2012

Daily frustrations

I’m an archaeologist, a job that requires me to be outside for about eight hours a day. Luckily, I live in the SF Bay Area, so while it’s certainly not particularly warm, it’s rarely rainy and never snows.

My usual day goes something like this: wake up at 5, slam about three or four cups of coffee, head out to the site I’m haunting that day. Work either begins at 7 or 8, depending on the construction schedule* and four hours later, without fail, I’m starving.

Herein lies the problem: I’m trying to be good about not eating gluten and limiting my carb intake while still maintaining the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet I’ve been following since I was nine years old. I’m also usually completely filthy and wearing a combination of mens’ fleece jumpers, thermal gear, and a pair of boots that completely evoke 30 Rock by being “lesbian Frankenstein” gear. I’m also makeupless, pre-showered, and look a bit crazy toting a hot pink hard hat.

I can’t go somewhere nice and fancy and California gluten-free-locavore-free-range-oh-my-god-the-smell-of-my-own-farts-is-just-divine, which would probably be the easiest way to get substitutions. A tacqueria wouldn’t mind the grunge so much, but many of the good ones don’t listen if you say “no beans, corn tortillas only, no rice” or they don’t quite understand. Grocery stores never seem to have salad bars and the prepackaged deli counter stuff is usually pretty gross. I can’t pack my lunch because I would have nowhere to eat it and besides, I’m already lugging enough stuff on MUNI and making everyone hate me and my filth. Plus, there’d be no way to keep it clean. Trust me, I’ve picked enough dirt and sand out of my teeth that I’m sure of this.

Thai food is usually an okay bet; a veggie curry with no rice is still satisfying. My husband gets a Korean bibimbap with extra broccoli and no rice (if I ever see a Korean place around my worksite, I’ll try that). All-day breakfast places are good for eggs, if you can manage to take potatoes out of the equation.

My question, though, is this: why, in this land of fartsniffery and culinary self-congratulation, has no one opened a restaurant that is gluten-free AND low-carb AND vegetarian?

Oh, right. Because it’s a stupid and terrible combo and it makes even me tired and no one else would subject themselves to this.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go chew on a moist teabag.


*I work in an archaeological subfield called Cultural Resource Management, meaning that construction companies have our technicians out monitoring as they dig in the ground. If they’re lucky, the worst they have to deal with is a sleepy archaeologist. If we’re lucky, we find something- but can delay a construction project for YEARS.


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Fried Rice

I was inspired by a number of different recipes- mainly because they all, without exception, looked awful. Here’s what the lower-carb side of the internet thinks goes into fried rice:

– Mint
– Basil
– Teriyaki sauce (made with Splenda- say it with me now, “eeeeewwwww!”)
– Corn (I suppose you COULD put corn in fried rice, but after two years in Japan, I don’t like corn anymore)
– Miso (This was on a paleo blog. For chrissakes.)
– Seaweed
– Bacon
– Mayonnaise
– Xanthan gum

And here’s what internet doesn’t want in their fried rice:

– Soy sauce
– Tofu
– Anything good

So, I banged together the following madness (as usual, nearly everything is lacking an assigned volume because I have never in my life been happy with a recipe that demands “A QUARTER OUNCE OF SCALLIONS” or whatever the fuck dumb shit; just make what you like how you like it!) (baking is different):

1 medium cauliflower
1/2 red bell pepper
1 bunch cilantro
1 egg
Sesame oil
Olive oil (I cook everything in olive oil if it wouldn’t work with butter. Someday, I’ll start using coconut oil, but only when my abject hate for coconut flour subsides.)
Chiu chow chili oil (optional)
Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Meat product (optional)
Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
Black pepper
Ginger (the real shit, powdered ginger is evil)
Half an onion
Garlic (as much as you want, Brosephus. I did a paltry two cloves this time.)
Cayenne/chili/whatever to make it spicy (optional…you weakling.)

1. Make the cauliflower into the oft-touted cauliflower rice. If you don’t know how, here’s how: how. Haaa, okay, seriously- put raw cauliflower into your food processor and zoop it until it gets grainy-looking. On my machine it was roughly .00000000001 seconds. And wash it first, you filthy animal.

2. If you’re gonna cook meats and use meat drippings as your cooking fat, do that now and extract the tender meat particles. If not, well, ‘sup?

3. Take your egg, which I’m sure you knew already has to be whisked or beaten or whatever into a gooey yellow glop, and pour it in your fat of choice. Set it aside once cooked.

4. Plop in the veggies and/or tofu, along with the soy sauce, fish sauce, and liquid flavorings. Add spices (including your ginger) beforehand to toast them in the delicious lardmeats or veggie oils, if you like. Otherwise, just put ’em in with the vegetables.

5. Cook the veggies until they are tender, then add the cauliflower.

6. Cover, lower the heat, and leave it alone for five minutes.

7. Add your eggs, meat, cilantro, and any other fresh things that you don’t want cooked to a mush. This is the time to add things like Sriracha or the Chiu Chow.

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Okay, so full disclosure: this is obviously not vegetarian, because it is mostly bacon. But for those of you looking for a fun snack, it’s great. 

This was, as you might have guessed, something I whipped up for my husband. I got the idea from Nom Nom Paleo (http://nomnompaleo.com/post/2538959456/bacon-guacamole-sammies-dont-these-bacon-and” title=”Nom Nom Paleo”>) but my guacamole recipe is a little different from hers (read: I make lazy guacamole.)


Avocado-Bacon Mouth Orgies

  • Avocado (I used two medium avocados and it was more than enough for two people, even with me eating half of it out of the bowl)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Chipotle (powdered)
  • Mayonnaise

As usual, let your tastebuds decide ingredient volume for you. I like my guacamole chunky, acidic, and not so creamy. You could also throw some cider vinegar in here if you like yours a little more runny and sour, and you can use as much mayo as you want. I used about 3/4 of a tablespoon because I fucking hate mayonnaise and it goobs me out bigtime. You could put sour cream in it, instead, but I warn you: coconut milk/oil has no place here. You’re not an idiot, are you?

DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Smoosh the fuck out of everything, taste, and make sure it’s blended. Use a food processor or blender if, unlike me, you are not too lazy to unpack the blender you got for Christmas.

Now that you ROCK-amole (dur hur hur hur) cook the bacon and make sure it’s crispy. When the bacon is cool enough to handle without burning yourself in a salty manner, spread the guacamole on each piece, put two together, and HOLY SHIT BACON-AVOCADO SAMMICH.

Here is an artist’s representation:

ohfuck lookit that shit yeah

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