Today I’m thrilled to share a guest post from Aubree Cherie. She authors Living Free, a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free blog. I first met Aubree through Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and was instantly impressed.
With a contagious zeal for life and down to earth spin on food, Aubree brings a lot to the table. I’m sure you’ll love her, too. Catch us chatting on Twitter – she’s @AubreeCherie. Make sure to subscribe to her RSS feed so you can get all of her recipes, too.
I love the blogging community. I started blogging only recently (Dec 09) and I’ve really appreciated the perspectives and creativity of my fellow foodies – its inspirational! But I feel in some ways I differ from the ‘norm’. I’m not married, I don’t live with any family, I have no children, I’m a student with a full time job, I live with three un-chosen roommates, yada yada yada.
But, through the tears, sweat, and blood, I’m starting to figure out how to cope with a busy life while avoiding gluten, dairy, and refined or ‘in a lab’ sugar. For me, it has to be all about ease. (I doubt anyone would disagree!) Food has to be easy to plan, easy to make, and easy to store. Also, it has to be CHEAP! I did mention I’m a student right?
Living Free Survival Tips
Here are two of my main survival methods and a simple go-to recipe. I hope they inspire!
As a general rule, my staples are pretty basic dishes (no frills here!). And typically it’s food that naturally follows my food restrictions. It’s easier to use food that’s fresh and natural than try to find substitutes.
Why this Works: Cooking with fresh produce, nuts, beans, and whole grains never fails me. It’s easy, it’s reliable, and there aren’t any ingredients that I can’t pronounce!
Potential Problems: I don’t get large amounts of variety. I do balance my nutrition, but if you like variety, this would be more challenging because planning would demand more of your time.
Prep (and Eating!):
I cook all my food (with the exception of a few dinners) on the weekend. I spend 2 to 5hrs doing anywhere between 5 and 8 dishes at once. Each dish gets divided into 7 containers and stored in the fridge for later in the week.
Why this Works: I literally go down stairs in the morning and throw containers in my bag as I walk out the door. There are obvious time benefits for this, but its biggest strength is that I have controlled eating habits this way. I don’t buy food during the day and I don’t binge when I get home. Also, fridge sharing is a huge challenge. My containers stack well and take up minimal space.
Potential Problems: Some ingredients don’t last 7 days; I rarely cook with those now (that can be limiting). The space for cooking everything at once is a big challenge as well. But I weigh my options; I’d rather fight for kitchen space with my three roommates one afternoon than every day of the week.
This recipe was provided by Aubree Cherie of Living Free.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 large rutabaga
- 1 large turnip
- 1 medium parsnip
- 1/4 cup canola oil (or other preferred oil)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp crushed dried sweet basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp crushed dried parsley leaves
- 1/4 tsp dill weed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- It’s pretty darn easy. First preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash all the roots and chop off any ends or ‘bad’ bits. Peel all the vegetables you’d like. With the softer root vegetables, like the carrots and turnips, I leave on the skin but I know some people prefer to remove those (just make sure to wash them good if you leave them intact!)
- Chop all the veggies into approximately ½ inch cubes. As you cut them, spread them around on a medium baking sheet pan.
- Next, pour your oil into a small mixing bowl. Add all the spices. Mix well. I only gave you a suggested spice mix simply because this is my current favorite, but I’ve done it so many other ways. This is even good without any spices! It all depends on what you prefer. I like a little bit of a hot kick, hence the cayenne at the end. This even tastes great with simple additions of just salt or garlic salt; I’ve tried those when I was too lazy to mix up fresh herbs and it still turned out great.
- Pour the oil mixture over the cubed roots. Using a large mixing spoon, mix up all the vegetables so that the oil is well dispersed.
- Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. At that time, take the pan out of the oven and carefully use that large mixing spoon again to mix up the vegetables. Leave it in for at least another 30 minutes. I like it to get a little extra flavor, so I’ll leave mine in for another 45 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and then you’re ready to instantly serve or store in containers for the rest of the week!