Life is a Gallery

“How on earth is this considered art?” Andrea tilted her head to the side as she stared at the set up in front of her.

         “It obviously meant something to the artist,” Victor shrugged and continued to study the display. The bedroom looked normal enough. A bed, a mirror above a long dresser, and a nightstand beside the bed. “There is a lot of animal print though, kind of freaky,” he continued. “If you were to do that to our bedroom, I would probably disown you.” Victor’s voice was bubbly and playful.

         “Well, I won’t,” Andrea answered sharply.

         “I like the wall colour though; not as dark as pure black, it’s muted and a bit more on the grey scale.” He pressed on with his rambling, uneasiness sinking into him.

         “It doesn't excite me,” she folded her arms across her chest, her head averted from the bedroom display. “Seriously, what’s the point of having this in an art gallery? It’s pointless and uninteresting,”

         “Geez, are you sure you aren’t talking about our relationship?” Victor meant it as playful banter, but he knew Andrea was growing bored of their three-year relationship.

         “No, because we aren’t supposed to, remember,” she hissed through her teeth. “We are suppose to pretend as if we’re the perfect couple, that things are exciting and wonderful.”

All Victor wanted was a fun date, outside of being at one of their houses. That’s all they did these days, stay indoors and watch movies—Andrea had changed this past year, she wasn’t her usual cheerful, happy-go-lucky self. She often complained about their relationship, how it was boring her. They weren’t going anywhere, there was no foreseeable future together, according to Andrea.

         “Why is this piece of art upsetting you so much, Andrea?” Victor turned to face her and grabbed her shoulders, which forced her to look him in the eyes. Andrea sighed and rolled her large grey eyes.

         “You’re only asking me to move in with you because you think it’ll save this relationship.”

         “What if it does?” Victor heard the disbelief in his own voice. “At least I’m trying!”

Andrea scoffed. “It’s not what I want. I don’t want to share a bedroom with you, or a kitchen, or a living room.” She was aware of the hurt that passed across her boyfriend’s face, but it didn’t affect her. “I don’t want to look at this anymore.” She walked off into another room of the gallery. Victor glanced back at the bedroom set up, and he suddenly wanted to be a part of that display. At least there, things wouldn’t change. The bedroom wasn’t that bad, the animal print was a little overwhelming, and there wasn’t enough lighting; but it didn’t mean it was awful. There were some things off about it, but the room didn’t deserve to be treated as if it wasn’t art or something worthy of being in a museum. Victor liked it, Andrea wasn’t interested. Very typical for both of them.


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Katerina Glowienka

I'm a twenty-year-old avid writer, who has recently been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and newly turned vegan. I'm attempting to help others learn how to cook and eat healthy, while on a college student budget.

TwitterVideo Game Blog Instagram


Guilt Free Snacking 101

                                     photo credits

                                   photo credits

With the windchill increasing and the temperature dropping, I've suddenly taken to comfort snack foods. Plot twist, they're actually healthy and good for you. I've recently discovered coconut flour, and it's the best thing I think I've ever come across—I'm cursing myself for not discovering it sooner. My mother—who I've mentioned isn't a fan of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan foods—actually enjoys the snacks I've made with this flour. Don't be alarmed by its "organic" label—it isn't as expensive as you would think. I only bought this particular brand because I had no idea what I was getting myself into with coconut flour. But, as it turns out, the bulk store does sell coconut flour for cheaper than what you can get in grocery stores.  

Moving onto the cookies, I found this recipe and decided it sounded pretty amazing to test out. My Natural Family has a wide range of healthy recipes. Now, despite the title of the recipe, Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies, with Paleo being the scary new word, I looked it up. Nom Nom Paleo has the best and easiest description of it: paleo is a lifestyle, focused on what you eat—it's basically a form of diet. But the word diet scares many people, myself included. Paleo is a certain way of eating so that you're taking in as much nutrients and whole foods as possible. Final word before we get going, I just wanted to say that almond and tapioca flour are required in this recipe because they'll give the coconut flour a bit of body and added flavour. I am also aware that there are eggs in this recipe, but I skipped out on them, replacing them with a ¼  cup of coconut milk.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, mix together maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs (or milk), and vanilla. Once the liquids have been mixed together well, slowly add the dry mixture. Continue to mix the batch until everything is well blended. Let the dough sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquids, and prevent it from being too crumbly. With a teaspoon, scoop out the dough and drop onto the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges and tops are golden. 

  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • ¼ cup of coconut flour
  • ¼ cup of tapioca flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature (or if you prefer what I did, feel free to use ¼  cup of coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¼ cup of chocolate chips (You can buy vegan, all-natural and gluten-free chips, but feel free to use whatever your heart desires.)

I know that when I eat these, that I'm still staying within my limits of proteins and calories. I don't feel nearly as bad eating the dough from these too. 


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Katerina Glowienka

I'm a twenty-year-old avid writer, who has recently been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and newly turned vegan. I'm attempting to help others learn how to cook and eat healthy, while on a college student budget.

TwitterVideo Game Blog ・ Instagram


Salsa: Not Just for Chips

I've never been into spicy foods; it used to be so bad that I would eat EXTRA mild salsa and complain that it made my tongue numb. But within the past few weeks I've gotten better. It might have to do with the fact that my boyfriend puts Sriracha sauce on basically everything. Sriracha is originally from Thailand and is typically used for seafood. Although, in Vietnamese food it's used in Pho or spring rolls. Sriracha has a very tangy flavour at first, packing the punch with the spice in the aftertaste. 

I stumbled across a website called Life Made Delicious and then came across a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe by them. Given my certain condition and preference for not eating meat, I tweaked the recipe just a little bit. Obviously, I added Sriracha to the mix, because the original just didn't have enough kick to it. I also added a 13-bean mix to the soup to change things up—it's a cheap way to add in protein and iron. You can buy Red Mill just about anywhere, and it won't make your wallet sob. I conveniently use Red Mill White Rice Flour for baking as well. Again, it's cheap and it lasts for a while. Here's the original Life Made Delicious recipe if you'd like to try it, or instead of my altered version: Chicken Tortilla Soup.  

I called my version Texas Tofu Tortilla Soup since it has a hearty and thick consistency. Call me crazy, but it just has this certain air about it that makes me think a mother in Texas would make it for dinner. 

Mexican Tofu Tortilla Soup 

  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cube of chicken broth (I personally enjoy the brand Aurora because they are certified gluten-free. It's about $1.25 for a box of six cubes).
  • 1 cup of thick and chunky salsa (The website calls for Old El Paso salsa, but I find that for 350 mL, $4.99 is a lot to spend. I settled for the President's Choice Home Brand Medium salsa, which did the trick).
  • 2 cups of diced tofu (Tofu is a cheaper alternative to any meat. Plus, if you store it in cheese cloth or paper towel, it will last a few more days). 
  • 1 medium avocado, cut lengthwise and then cut the pieces in half (Tip: I prefer avocados over butter, and they make a lovely substitute for it on toast). 
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (I squeezed two of the lime wedges into the soup and saved two to garnish the soup with). 
  • Shredded cheese of your choice 
  • Tortilla chips to add to the soup and to scoop the soup up with (I bought the original Tostitos, but the multi-grain chips are also an option). 

In a pot or sauce pan, combine the water, chicken broth cube, salsa, and tofu— bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiled, lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the avocado and the lime juice. Cook on low for another three minutes—be careful not to mash or break the avocado slices. When ready to serve, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. 

I wanted to share with you what sparked my interest in vegetarianism. My mother brought home this book for me when we first learned how dangerously anemic I was. I struggled for years—I continue to have off days—to keep my iron levels steady. This book provided me with the basic knowledge of how to eat without meat.


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KATERINA GLOWIENKA

I'm a twenty-year-old avid writer, who has recently been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and is a newly turned vegan. I'm attempting to help others learn how to cook and eat healthy while on a college student budget.

TwitterMy Video Game Blog Instagram


Chia Seeds, Coconut, & Fruit, Oh My!

I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of comfort foods.

It's not December yet and I'm already over the reoccurring mashed potatoes and crock-pot meals. I've decided to start eating some of my favourite summertime foods. One of my favourite, healthy desserts is by Angela Liddon in her cookbook, Oh She Glows. Chia seed parfait is healthy, delicious and can be made in bulk. It travels well in a mason jar with a spoon, so it makes for a good work or school snack. It's 100 per cent vegan and vegetarian, but has many important vitamins. 

        Mighty Chia Pudding Parfait 

  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds 
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk. (I opted for coconut milk because I found it blended together with the vanilla, better than almond milk or soy).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons of maple syrup or agave nectar, to taste. (I used maple syrup, because I'm Canadian).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the chia seeds, milk, vanilla and maple syrup. Cover and place in your fridge. You can leave it overnight or for at least two hours.

You could eat it just like that, but the best way is to layer the thickened, chilled pudding with fresh fruit. My personal favourite is layering raspberries and blueberries with the pudding. 

This particular recipe is great for mornings when you're in a rush and can't have breakfast right away. Although chia seeds are NOT cheap, at $7.00 a bag, they last a long time since you only use a few tablespoons at a time. I have had my own bag (pictured above) for almost a year now and it's barely half empty. Coconut milk is a great alternative to milk because it has the creamy texture typical milk has. I've been advised by my own doctor to not drink soy milk. He said soy has a high level of estrogen,  so ingesting a large amount of soy can mess with your body's chemistry. 

I hope you enjoyed this week's entry. Keep any eye out for the next blog on a simple dinner recipe!

If you're curious about the benefits of chia seeds, Huffington Post has a great article and video.


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I'm a twenty-year-old avid writer, who has recently been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and newly turned vegan. I'm attempting to help others learn how to cook and eat healthy, while on a college student budget.

TwitterMy Video Game Blog Instagram


*Cough* *Sneeze* *Wheeze*

'Tis the season for colds - especially the Man Cold. You know, the kind that causes your male significant other to magically turn into a gigantic baby. 

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Currently, my whole household and boyfriend are horribly sick. The other day, I ended up making soup and stocking up on ginger ale just for my guy. I decided that I would save others who are in my place, stuck looking after their giant male baby. Because typically he's just fine, the Mr.Fix-it type who is very strict about looking after himself. But next thing you know it's October, cold and flu season, and he's calling out to me from his bed, begging for hot soup. Part of me finds this personality swap hilarious and allows me to dote on him - but the other half of me wants to throw him the ingredients to the soup and tell him to do it himself. 

Regardless, I do care and I plan to look after him and my family, whenever they get sick. I would like to present to you some tips and tricks to get through this dang season for sneezing, coughing, and wheezing.

Mock Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is very simple to make, and it gives the illusion and taste of chicken, without actually having any in it. My family and boyfriend, who do not participate in my vegan and gluten-free dietary requirements, love this recipe anyway.  I'm not one for meat, partially for ethical reasons, so I added BBQ-ed tofu in place of chicken.

Put the water into a large stockpot and set heat to high. Add the vegetables and garlic to the pot, along with the spices. Bring the broth to a boil and then turn down the heat to low, let simmer for an hour. After the hour, put the pasta in, turn the heat back up to medium and cook pasta for 8 minutes. 

 

  • 12 cups of water
  •  3/4 of a brick of tofu - or about 100g
  • 1 cup of rice noodles (or any other brand of gluten-free pasta you enjoy).  I like President’s Choice BioOrganic Rice Pasta from any Loblaws, Independent, No Frills or Canadian Super Store grocery store
  • 7 cups of onions, chopped
  • 4 cups of cut celery
  • 4 cups of cut carrots, peeled
  • 2 heads of garlic, broken and smashed. Or you can use a garlic press
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of salt – preferably coarse ground
  • ½ bunch of fresh parsley
  • ½ bunch of fresh cilantro

Because I’m a college student, stocking up on food is a must. This recipe makes about eight servings and therefore, freezing some of it for the near future is perfect.

I actually came across a vegan website a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoy the sounds of their recipes. Oh My Veggies has spin-off recipes of regular home-cooked meals, but you're being kind to animals in the process.  

I have a book - originally a blog - that I live by for simple, vegetarian and vegan recipes. Oh She Glows, by Angela Liddon started out as a blog, but due to her success she transformed some of her top recipes into a book. I plan to talk about some of my favourite recipes in an upcoming blog entry. 

I wish you the best of luck during this frustrating and bothersome season. I hope you survive all the coughing and stuffy sinuses. 


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Katerina Glowienka

I'm a twenty-year-old avid writer, who has recently been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and newly turned vegan. I'm attempting to help others learn how to cook and eat healthy, while on a college student budget.

TwitterVideo Game Blog Instagram