A glimpse into my daily food life...

So, I generally post about new creations or exciting meals or new food ideas/combinations when I do a recipe post here. But I realized recently that this leaves out a lot of the yummy stuff I eat on a fairly regular basis. The stuff that sort of creates my base from which I start from when experimenting, or reintroducing food, or whatever. The silent heroes of my food world.

And so, I dedicate this post to them - the little guys of my daily menus. Hope you enjoy!

Crispy Brown Rice Cereal with Bananas

...aka the breakfast of champions. I love this breakfast. It's just satisfying enough to get me through the morning without filling me up and making me sluggish (I've already got enough of that going on from the mere act of getting out of bed in the morning).

1 cup rice crisp cereal (Not Rice Krispies. Kiss those guys goodbye - they're horrible for you! I use Erewhon's Wheat-Free Crispy Brown Rice Cereal. No particular reason for the wheat free other than that they don't make it with wheat. There's a gluten-free version as well, if you need that.)
1 medium-sized banana
1/2-2/3 cup vanilla soymilk

I keep a 1-cup measuring cup with my cereal box in the cupboard. No joke. Measure the cereal out. Slice the banana into really thin slices on top (because I think it's more fun to have thinner slices than thicker slices). Pour soy milk on top. Fold bananas underneath the cereal, and enjoy! Sometimes I'll have some applesauce/puree with breakfast, but most mornings this cereal-banana combination is all I have.

Tunafish & Peas Open-Face Sandwich

[Note the slight black tinge to some of those peas - that's no shadow! See below for more...]

It's one of my all time favorites for lunch. I pair it with some thinly sliced apple pieces (sans peel, of course) and a glass of water, and I'm good to go for a good 2-3 hours until my next mealtime! The idea comes from one of the old hotdishes Mom used to make when I was little. We called it Creme Tuna on Rice (purposely spelled wrong for some reason...) - it had tunafish and peas mixed into a can of cream of mushroom soup - and then all of that got put on a pile of rice. Delicious!

But, since I can't go for the cream of the mushroom soup, or any of the other bad stuff in the Campbell's can, I thought I'd use a few elements and lighten it up for my enjoyment. I always make it using a whole can of tuna (because really, what am I gonna do with leftover tunafish from a can?) and it generally lasts me the work week. Perfect!

1 can tunafish - in water, no salt or low salt (we're talking under 80 mg of sodium in the can here)
~2-3 servings frozen peas (honestly, I really have never measured this - it's usually "enough to make the colors of tuna (pale pink) and peas (green) balance out" - however much that is...)
~2-3 Tbsp low-fat, vegan mayo (okay, you can use any mayo you like, I found this stuff at Whole Foods without any high fructose, hydrogenated awfulness)

1. Put peas in small pan with a very small amount of water - like not quite enough to cover the base of the pan. Cover and simmer on very low heat for about 6-8 minutes. [You may want less time to cook the peas, actually - I like my peas just a tad charred on the bottom, so I generally leave them over the heat until there's not an ounce of water left and they start to sizzle - right before they start to turn black on the bottom. I think it gives the mixture a nice, slightly smoky taste. But to each their own.]
2. While the peas are cooking, open tuna can and use the cover to squeeze out as much moisture as you possibly can from the tuna. Once done, empty the tuna into a small bowl, breaking up any large chunks.
3. Mix in about 1.5 Tbsp mayo - or just enough to get the tuna moist and mixed together nicely.
4. When the peas are done, let them cool for a minute or two (not completely cool, but enough so you wouldn't burn yourself if you ate one), then dump them into the tuna mix.
5. Gently fold the peas into the tuna, adding a 1/2 Tbsp of mayo at a time until you get it just moist enough to all hold together.
6. Spread on plain bread or toast and enjoy! [This is where apple-cinnamon or pear-cinnamon bread is fantastic! Toast up a slice and spread this tuna mixture on top and you have a sandwich swirling with flavor - especially if you took my advice after all and charred those peas a little bit!]

Steamed Fresh Green Beans

[These ain't no store-bought "fresh" green beans shipped from who knows where - these are genuine Massachusetts-grown beans from the local Farmers' Market! Mmm...]

I will often steam a bunch of these for dinner one evening, and then use the rest for snacks throughout the week. Refrigerate them, and they're good to go for about a week. 1 serving is 1/2 cup of green beans. Now, seeing as you can't really shove these in a measuring cup all that nicely, I've found that about 10-12 beans (uncut) are roughly 1 serving - perfect for a midday snack!

Ingredient list? Just green beans from the Farmers' Market, and um, some water...

1. Steam the green beans. This can be done in any number of ways. I have a large stock pot with a fitted steamer to put the beans in. You can buy one of those insertable fold-out steamer things, too. The point is to have the water not touch the beans directly.

2. Eat 'em, put 'em in stuff, refrigerator and munch on 'em later. However you dish them up, they are beyond delicious!

Mashed Potatoes with Brown Sugar

[Simple, yummy, easy to make, and it's have brown sugar - is there any possible way that this isn't the perfect dish?]

I've come to enjoy playing with side dishes just as much as I enjoy playing with the main course of my meals. And I've found that side dishes are only as boring as you make them. You can spruce up anything and make it suddenly taste infinitely better - even things you know you already like! This is my new favorite for mashed potatoes...

A couple of potatoes - I used some Yukon Golds from the Farmer's Market
Regular soy milk
Brown sugar

1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into 1-inch cubes and boil until very soft.
2. Drain the water, then put the potatoes back in the pot over extremely low heat. Mash the potatoes most of the way, then pour in a little soy milk and mix. Continue until you get them as creamy as you like them.
3. Put them in a teacup and sprinkle some brown sugar on the top. Voila! Spruced up mashed potatoes that look adorable with any meal! This also does very well as a mid-evening snack if I'm going to be up late and need something else after dinner to keep my energy up.

[Ha, that's right, folks. I said teacup. Think about it - usually those poor just sit in a formless blob on your plate, looking rather colorless as well. Kinda drab. Put 'em in a teacup, and they're suddenly way more fun to eat! Also, this is a sneaky way to get yourself to eat only one serving of potatoes. Because filling up the teacup will make you think you're eating way too much, but filling 1/2 to 2/3 full is about 1 serving of potatoes. Wha ha ha - portion control is all about tricking the brain into thinking it's eating enough food!]

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