Archive for February, 2010

20 Minutes

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

20 minutes is the length in 1 period of an Olympic hockey game(more on that later). It’s also about the amount of time I spent on anything today.

Natural Food Store

After blogging and while I was still around home, I wanted to go to my favorite foodie store nearby. I only spent about 20 minutes perusing the 3 aisles but I could easily spend twice that if we had the time. It feels so good to go in to a store and know that I can eat anything I find, and it doesn’t even matter if I would never want to but just that I can. I found 2 really fun finds and then we were back home. I made lunch for the family which took–you guessed it–20 minutes.

Simple Italian Beef Over Cauliflower With Cheddar Cheese

20 minutes and 4 ingredients is all you need for a really simple and flavorful dish. I browned 1 pound 90/10 grass-fed beef in a large pan, and half way through added a diced onion and red pepper to sweat. Then with about 7 minutes to go I added 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce and let that cook down. Voila! A little salt, pepper, Emeril’s seasoning, and cheddar cheese and it was fantastic. Most of the meal was spent explaining what a gluten intolerance was and why I limit wheat and pastas now. After having a whole wheat cookie in my breakfast(a fantastic choice, by the way), I’m pretty darn confident of the intolerance. For a pasta and pizza loving family, this was tough news to digest 😀

After lunch, we picked up my grandmother and great aunt who wanted to go to the Casino near my school(my mom did too, of course). Can you imagine being in a car with a couple of chatty 80 year olds? That was my afternoon. I wish it lasted 20 minutes but it was more like 60. I’m always amused by the random “Did you know so-and-so died?” and “I did call you but the operator said you wouldn’t take the call” followed by “I don’t have an operator, I have a cell phone with an answering machine”. Is that how I’ll be in 60 years?

Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

When I got back on campus, I felt really crunched for time, so I whipped out this bar I”ve been seeing on so many other blogs, threw my stuff on the bed, and hit the gym, eating it over the first 2 miles in about 20 minutes. From what I could taste, it was pretty good, but very much tasting like a date; I was looking for more coconut oil. And eating it running was not a smart move for digestion.

7 Miles In 62:02

It did, however, give me energy to extend my run from 5 to 7 miles. That and the fact that I got really in to the hockey game on TV and didn’t look down until 5.4 miles had gone by. I thought the period was only 20 minutes but didn’t realize the clock kept stopping. It turned out to be a really exciting game!

Olympic Hockey Match

When I finished up the run, we were in the 3rd period, so I hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes to watch “the end”. When America scored that last point, all of let out a sweaty “Woohoo!”

Carrot Juice

At that, I rushed back to my dorm and chugged this carrot juice within 20 minutes of my workout to absorb all the nutrients. I don’t drink much juice, but carrot juice is easily my favorite. And it’s so nutritious, too! A cup has more potassium than a banana and a good amount of sodium to replace salt. The downside of this all was that I missed the last goal while I was showering 😦 Fail. After that, I whipped up an easy Asian dinner in 20 minutes.

Tofu And Broccoli Cooked In Soy Sauce, Cheddar Popchips

OK, “Asian dinner” in my terminology means dicing soft tofu, letting it steam in a pan over soy sauce, and adding steamed broccoli for the last 5 minutes to cook down. But it’s simple and good! And the cheddar Popchips were another easy side because I did not feel like getting that involved with dinner after a day like today; 20 minutes was more than enough 🙂

Normally, I might wait another 20 minutes before brewing up some decaf coffee to start off dessert, but tonight I feel hungry, and there’s a lot of work to be done. Boo 😦 But on the bright side the closing ceremonies will be on! And an excellent Brothers & Sisters. These are definitely things to look forward too 🙂

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Layers Of Flavor

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reunited and it feels so good… with Food Network! I forgot how much I enjoyed this channel. Right now, I’m getting my 5-ingredient fix with Claire Robinson on; I’m not even a fan of hers but 3 weeks without having it and I’ll watch anything on the Food Network. Her theme is layering flavors, so naturally I’m going to be a copy cat and show you some delicious layered flavors.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Shavings, Peanut Butter, And Salt

From top to bottom:

  • Sea salt
  • 365 Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Trader Joe’s Bulk Milk Chocolate Shaved
  • Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia

Hello, flavorful. I didn’t have any peanut butter cups around, and I didn’t feel like making the, so I just used the raw ingredients. Then I stirred it all together. BIG MISTAKE. The peanut butter always gets lost in the yogurt, so I finished it off with a garnish:

Peanuts Added On Top

Much better 🙂 I find, if you want peanut flavor in your yogurt, it’s better to use peanut flour(which I’ve discovered troubles my stomach) or peanuts to get it loud and proud. On TV was bobsledding; I think bobsledding/luge/skeletons are so much more exciting than most of the sports they show on The Olympics but they get almost as little attention as cross-country skiing 😦 And yet the world has to stop to see ice dancers. Go figure. Before I went to bed I had some nutty oats.

Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Creme Concentrate

One thing that is not muy bueno about being home is not having my super stash of nut butters to choose from. I ended up going with Maranatha’s almond butter, which is not nearly as good as Justin’s now that I’ve tried both 😦 I can’t wait to turn the people in this house on to Justin’s once it hits New England shelves!

Spoonful Coconut Creme Concentrate

The coconut creme concentrate is a new product I’m trying from Tropical Traditions. It’s kind of like very concentrated coconut milk. I haven’t explored it much and so won’t review it yet, but know that it was tasty enough that I took a spoonful straight from the jar before falling asleep 😉

This morning I slept in and read a little in bed before actually getting up. Is it just me, or are there a lot more commercials for cereals and breakfast foods before 9am? That would be good advertising if it’s true. It made me hungry for some cinnamon toast crunch–not like we actually have that or even any organic version around. That’s OK because I was perfectly capable of layering my own flavors.

Cinnamon Soy Yogurt With Ginger Cookie, French Toast Oatmeal With Honey Cinnamon PB

For the yogurt, I did…

This was delicious, kind of like my beloved snickerdoodle ice cream but breakfast-friendly. I think the fact that I have 3 soy yogurts in the my fridge right now for the week and I’ve gone through 2 in 12 hours is a bad sign.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon And An Egg Topped With Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

The oatmeal likewise was a bit of a flavor conundrum(I’m pretty sure I’m not using this word right here).

Cinnamon toast crunch who? This was wayyy better. And it went good with some Mexican style coffee on the side, too. Now Food Network programming has shifted from Aida to Sunny Anderson. Fun fact: She actually commented on this blog once! It was towards the beginning of the Summer when I mentioned the new program The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It definitely made me feel famous for that one day(and might have gone to my head :-)). Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe Giada will be coming on, and she’s always entertaining to watch, and not because of her cooking 😉

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Priorities And Directions

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening. I’ll just mention now that I’m bloggin’ from another state! But more on that in a bit. When I was wrapping up the post from this morning, I was thinking how much I really wanted to walk to Whole Foods, but didn’t have a lot of free time. Where are my priorities! I’m scarily good about doing what “should” be done, but not so good about always doing what I “want” to do. At that point, I let the dishes be dirty, the emails go unanswered, and stepped out the door. I know, I’m a rebel 😉

Groceries

I grabbed the typical stuff for next week: soy yogurt, beef, condiments, etc. The only thing they didn’t have was any soft tofu >:-( We got that a little later on in the day, though. And I say we because my dad met me at Whole Foods to pay for this and pick me up(double score). I just really felt like I needed a trip home this weekend after a lot of work and 3 weeks of not being in my own bed. So I packed up and was out of there!

Buffalo Chicken, Broccoli, Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

On the way back to good ol’ MA, we stopped a different Whole Foods to grab some lunch. I grabbed buffalo chicken off the food bar, a bag of new chips that were on sale, but broccoli out of the produce section(!!). This is the trick to eating at Whole Foods without breaking the bank: get the things that are cheaper raw and cook them in the microwave–it’s so simple and instead of $7 a pound broccoli was $1.50 a pound.

Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

These were the chips that were on sale made by Snikiddy and oh my God were they brilliant! I had never tried any of their products, but if it’s on sale I’ll definitely give them a taste. Cheddar Cheese Fries says it all; these were like straight up Cheetos. Heavenly. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t have one of the Bob’s Red Mill products I was looking for, so we went across the way(literally, right across the street) to Market Basket.

Bob's Red Mill Products

Check out that selection! And it’s all super cheap because nothing costs much at Market Basket(granted, most of the stuff they sell I wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole). I definitely need to keep this place in mind more often.

Red Delicious Apple

After I found what I wanted, I snacked on this apple until we got home safe and sound, where mom and Montana were waiting to say hello. Apparently, it’s been snowing in MA all week, or at least moreso than it has at all at school. Now, for the big unveiling…

GF Vanilla Cake Mix, Coconut Oil, Eggs

What I wanted to pick up was Bob’s Red Mill‘s gluten-free vanilla cake mix! God, I really need to lay off the exclamation marks in this post. Normally, I wouldn’t use a mix, but since I know so little about gluten-free baking I felt like I needed to the first time. But Bob’s is a good one because it uses whole grain gluten-free flours(very important to me). I used 1/2 the bag to make 8 cupcakes. And, while it called for vegetable oil, I asked myself “WWFLBD?” or “what would fat-loving bloggers do?” and swapped that out for an equal amount of coconut oil. Is there anything coconut can’t do?

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake With Coconut Oil Vanilla Frosting

I couldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes for them to cool; these smelled too good. And they tasted too good, too! So perfectly light, airy, and sweet. The texture was a bit chewy, but I think that’s just the general way of gluten-free flours and eggs. For a frosting, I mixed powdered sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract–heavenly. But you know what they say about cupcakes…

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake

1 is just not enough. At least I didn’t frost this one? It may have been a bit more sugars than I’m used to in an afternoon, especially an afternoon where all I did was find TV shows like Friends on channels I haven’t had in a while, but no regrets; when there’s cake around baked fresh, you better eat it up! To compensate, there at least was a vegan dinner.

Asparagus, Snobby Joe Mix

I actually love green lentils. Too bad they aren’t more dorm-room friendly. For the mix, a little ketchup and mustard and a lot of steak sauce and voila! It’s so good! And I couldn’t imagine a more homey meal. On the side was asparagus grabbed from Whole Foods because, well, they really keep this house bare. And now it’s already almost 7:30; how did that happen? I need to get a move on things! I can’t wait to hear what people think of the cupcakes once they eat them for dessert(obviously, I hated them ;-)).

Here’s a popchip giveaway! Perfect for fueling my addiction.

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Let’s Jam

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Well, sparing the drama, last night did not start off well; in short, I realized that all the Latin I had been translating through the day I was meant to read in English and the next two chapters in Latin. Gah! After that, I probably had more motivation than any other time to do what really needed to be done. But I couldn’t muster it up. Instead, I turned to food:

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

That’s what Friday nights are for, right? I wanted something pina-colada like since that’s what my overripe coconut milk had reminded me of all day(I’ve since thrown it out–no worries there). I took a couple scoops vanilla ice cream from Purely Decadent made with coconut milk and added banana pineapple rum jam. This was sooo good; it reminded me of adding pineapples on top of your sundae, which I never got, but it worked with the coconut. I must admit that I have no recollection of the Olympics from 9-10 and I think it was because I was too enthralled in this. Like I said, not much work got done, which would have been helpful going in to this week with 2 papers 😦 Now, where was I? Oh yes, food therapy.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Avery posed the question to enter her contest, “what’s your favorite peanut butter?” I’ll tell you, this is a really hard one for me, and it’s very mood dependent. But one that I can’t deny being in the top 3 is Naturally Nutty‘s Butter Toffee peanut butter. I don’t even think I’ve had butter toffee peanuts, but this just takes the cake oatmeal. If I win,her contest, you can take a wild guess which one I’d choose 😉

7 Miles in 61:54

Saturday mornings always feel “funny”, mostly because the gym opens at 9 so I have to sleep in until 8:30 if I want to time things like I do. Yes, “have” to because that takes effort for me! My grandfather always wakes up at 6am even though he’s retired; let’s blame him. I got their on time and ran 7 miles in 61:54, which felt easy if only because I wouldn’t let myself look at the distance for the first hour.

Berry Bot

Getting in the door I suddenly felt like I hadn’t eaten for 12 hours. Then I realized I hadn’t. Bot to the rescue! I wanted some quick electrolytes so I tried the berry flavor. No disappointment here; it was very berry! And it tasted just sweet enough with only 6g of sugar, which I can’t deny I needed at the time. After showering, cooking breakfast, and making a phone call, finally I was ready to dig in.

Oatmeal With COconut Milk, Walnut Butter, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt, Chobani With Blueberry Jam

Oatmeal With Walnut Butter, Coconut Milk, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

I must have been hungry because it was one of those times when I wanted to use every topping in site; just like when a celebrity takes on every bit of plastic surgery, I know that doesn’t always work out, so I told myself to keep it simple. I don’t think I listened well :-\ But in the end, this combo of walnut butter with coconut milk wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it’s making do as I chow down. I’m glad I stuck just to blueberry jam on the yogurt, since that turned out to be fantastic. When does jam ever disappoint? And I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s just 365 brand 😉 I can speak for their blueberry and raspberry ones that they’re as good as any! And speaking of Whole Foods, I could definitely use a nice long walk while the sun’s still out with groceries at the end of the tunnel right now to clear my head.

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Friday Fish And Chips

Posted on February 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Lenten Friday, everybody! OK, that has an awful and fake sound to it. The Church needs to come up with something catchy. But while they do, I’ll catch you up on what we decided. Last Friday I posed the question yay or nay on fish if I consider them a “meat” in terms of vegetarianism. A lot of you raised compelling arguments and the clear answer was that fish was cheap at the time of Aquinus which is why Catholics can still eat fish during Lent, but it’s “in the spirit” to have only the lesser-quality fish(aka no sashimi :-(). Of course, I also consulted my mom who’s the real my-word-goes-if-you-know-what’s-good-for-you and she agreed that fish was OK. Why am I saying this when fish wasn’t even on the menu for lunch?

Asian Tofu And Egg Stir-Fry With Honey Ginger Veggies And Hemp Flax Crackers

In my way overworked pan, I browned the last of a block of tofu(1.5 servings maybe) in soy sauce. Then I added these honey ginger vegetables I picked up at the dining hall until they were heated. Lastly, I cracked in an egg and cooked through–delicious! I’m not sure what was on the veggies; I don’t want to know. But this tasted perfectly greasy like real Chinese food. Over the top, I sprinkled some Omega-3’s ala seed crackers:

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers to be exact. These were so deliciously herby! Rosemary is towards the bottom of the ingredient list but the flavor was LOUD and proud, and good, too! I actually opened this thinking it was “herb” instead of “hemp”; perhaps it should have been.

Apple With Coconut Oil Agave Dipping Spread

While watching America completely own Finland, I had an ingenous and delicious snack. I sliced up a red delicious apple and spread on it Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil mixed with Xagave–sweet fats, this was good! I could have just eaten the coconut oil with a spoon; OK, I might have done that a little, too 😉 Anything to distract me from work! But then I got hungry again, which meant early dessert apparently:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I was on such a good vegan streak until the egg, and then milk chocolate. Oh well, if my milk and meat teeth want to return, fine by me. While majorly enjoying this, I stuck a sweet potato in the oven, but it didn’t cook in time for dinner 😦 I had all the time in the world; I should have put it in early. I’ve since stuck it in the fridge for another meal. Here’s where the fish comes in:

Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Salmon

Ain’t she a beauty? Straight from a can. It kind of made me think I was eating cat food(like, a lot). I guess that’s the spirit of Lent! 🙂 To flavor it, I added some maple syrup and maple butter. And because my sweet potato didn’t turn out, I had a very different form of potatoes…

Maple Butter Alaskan Salmon, Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips

Is it wrong that I probably liked the Sour Cream & Onion popchips more than I’d have liked the sweet potato? Yeah, no shame. The salmon was pretty decent for being from a can; they didn’t keep much fat in it, though, which is where all the Omega-3’s would be 😦 Good enough, I suppose? I’d actually been thinking about finding a good DHA supplement this year, but my final verdict is the same: I don’t really believe in supplements(fortified foods I’m a bit more tolerant of). I’m much more apt to want to get the nutrients from the foods themselves. And it’s especially hard for me to justify that I would need fish oil when there are so many healthy vegans and vegetarians. So no supplements for me! And I probably saved some good money with that decision, too 😉

Looking back over this week, I learned 1 block of tofu is not enough for this soy lover, and 4 soy yogurts barely got me through. Add those to the shopping list! And looking ahead, I’d really love to go home and bake a cake for no reason, but I don’t see that happening 😦 Visions of sugar cakes baking in my sleep? I’m guessing…

I hate to barrage you with contests but there are a lot out there right now and since I recently won I figure I’d keep the luck going and maybe get some scratch tickets later, too! Avery is having a peanut butter giveaway, here’s a chia seed giveaway, a popchip giveaway(which I obviously need to feed my addiction), a giveaway for shredded coconut from Trop Traditions, an ice cream machine giveaway, and lastly one for chia goodness oatmeal.

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She Thinks My Treadmill’s Sexy

Posted on February 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m afraid I’m going to get charged with a PUI: Posting Under the Influence. I overdid it on Country music this morning; that stuff goes straight to my head like triple X whisky. Let’s see how this pans out…

Greek Yogurt With Cherry Butter And Dark Cherry Chocolate

Like Sugarland preaches, in life there ain’t no rhyme or reason, no complicated meaning, ain’t no need to overthink it, let go laughin’. Sometimes you just need to put unholy amounts of cherry butter and chocolate on top of your yogurt to make life a lil’ better 🙂 Ain’t no shame. I enjoyed this gourmet yogurt mess while watching Survivor; at this point, I’m just waiting while they knock out the suckers in the game and get to the real players.

Food Network Magazine

Did you know it’s apparently legal to have “free time”? I did not. But I finally got around to reading the new Food Network magazine I got ages ago. Most of the recipes seem so complex I want to tear my hair out, but the articles are nice, and there was this killer recipe for avocado hummus snuck in a St. Patrick’s day article. Not so holy? Me singing out loud both parts of Lady Antebellum’s All We’d Ever Need. It got noisy.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With SP PB, Nutritional Yeast, And Sea Salt

I wrapped up the night with the same bowl of oatmeal I had at breakfast–no shame. If there was any confusion, what I put on this is Smart Balance Peanut Butter, their one sweetened with agave syrup. They have several products out that sound similar, but that’s the one I like. I also thought about how I ate completely vegan yesterday, save 4oz grass fed beef and 6oz greek yogurt. Not bad considering when you see a deer, you see Bambi. And I see antlers up on the wall. Brad and I have things in common.

Tribal Cinnamon Oatmeal Bora Bora Bar

This morning, I accidentally set my alarm for Tuesday/Thursday time. 6:15 on a day with no class? No thank you. I “slept in” until 7, then hit the gym with this bar in hand. I really didn’t have a set distance. 8? 10? 12?!

12 Miles In 1:47:45

Yep. 12. I haven’t ran that far or felt that good since back in December. Was it the dried fruit in the bar? Was it the company of the other treadmillers? Was it The Today Show? Was it the copious amount of country music? No idea. But, like Miley says, Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.

Found Money

On the walk back to my dorm alone I found 27 cents! Sweet deal; that’s about as much of a paycheck as I’ve seen lately. Since I’m a poor Country singer, hopping bar to bar for a paycheck, I thought about how much beer food this pays for. I was pleasantly surprised to realize this matched the cost of 3 bowls of organic oatmeal. It’s like getting paid to eat…

Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Oatmeal With Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Keeping with the organicness of it all, I topped my oats with Naturally Nutty‘s not-yet released organic vanilla  cinnamon almond butter and organic coconut milk. The avocado I think was from an organic batch? To be honest, I mostly get organic when it benefits me in price, or is the same either way. 1 exception to that is always organic oats from the Whole Foods bulk bin and load up when they’re on sale for 99 cents a pound. I mix that in a 50/50 blend with Trader Joe’s oat bran and it’s a perfect bowl every time. I don’t think there’s a country music song about organic foods 😦 When do you “do organic”?

Coconut milk: How do you store it/for how long? I opened this can up on Saturday night and I’m thinking it’s getting a little back-of-the-barnyard funky even covered in the fridge. It reminds me a little too much of pina colada at this point like something(though I can’t wholly complain). Also, check out this asian dinner giveaway and an iherb shopping spree. Have a good one, ya’ll 😉 Oh God–how many people are going to find my blog through “ain’t” today?

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3 Days, A Lot Of Numbers, And Nutritional Yeast Facts

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t really believe in “food ruts”; if you want to eat the same thing a lot in a short amount of time, be my guest. In fact, sometimes it’s less wasteful to be that way. That being said, I’ve been surprising even myself with the repetitiveness of my eats.

Red Delicious Apple

This as the 4th of 5th apples I’ve eaten since Tuesday. Me. And they were all from the dining hall and tasted amazing. Go figure. I swear–I’ve eaten less than 5 apples in a month before; I’m really on a kick for them I guess. Should I just make this apple crisp and eat 1/2 the pan?… again? Of course, you can eat as much as you want whenever it’s vegan, right? O:-)

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Home Fries Over Spinach

Lunch time rolled around(to be eaten in Greek History class) and what did I have on hand? Beef and sweet potatoes, of course! I really couldn’t care less that I also ate this for Tuesday and Wednesday dinner seeing as how I can’t eat meat on Fridays. To make it a little different, I microwaved the cubed tomatoes and then finished them off in the rendered beef fat, and served it over spinach(which makes the whole dish healthy). For those of you keeping track, that would be 12oz grass-fed beef and 2 medium-large sweet potatoes in 72 hours. I don’t think I’ve gotten this much beta-carotene since I drank carrot juice every morning or ate this much meat since… ever.

Missing Water Bottle

Genius here forgot his water bottle in Greek History class and didn’t realize it until being in Latin class. I would have thought I’d have gone parched and been ripping through my snack stash during that class but the lunch held me over really well. And when I walked back to my previous class(in the rain), someone had moved the water bottle front and center. Perfect.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

You know it’s love when the first thing you do when you walk in the door is break out a food scale and some coconut oil to make coconut oil chocolate so it has enough time to set before you eat it. Or is that addiction/obsession? What do I care–Hollywood hasn’t known the difference in 50 years. Another ingredient: Cocoa powder.

53 grams of cocoa powder is how much I’ve used in since Tuesday. Not how much I’ve eaten, because there’s been more in the form of nut butters and store bought chocolate, but just the amount I’ve personally used in making things. Chocolate has antioxidants, right? How ironic that I’ve always looked at the pound bag of cocoa powders and thought “Gosh, it must take someone a long time to go through those!”

Red Delicious Apple

I told you that was the 4th of 5 apples I ate this morning. This was the 5th. It was between this or a 100-cal pack of cookies. I think I made the nutritious choice, don’t you? Apples seem to be my go-to when there’s a meal right around the corner. And what a meal it was…

Stir-Fried Tempeh With Vanilla Agave And Toasted Coconut Over Steamed Broccoli

Something new! If you’d have asked me at 2pm what was for dinner, I would have smacked you because I had no clue. Then I remembered I has a log of tempeh to use up. I really hate hate hate plain tempeh in comparison to tofu, so I’m not sure why I bought this. At the same time, this dish worked perfectly. I loved the nuttiness of tempeh with the nuttiness of the the toasted coconut. And the agave was a perfect “dressing” but I added sea salt because I’m so not used to sweet dinners. I think what surprised me the most was how much sesame oil the tempeh absorbed so quickly 8-| Ignorance is the best way to enjoy Asian foods 😉

I was surprised(but happy) to hear that there were so many questions surround nutritional yeast after my breakfast post. I answered in the comments there but I thought I’d readress it here for anyone wondering. Gina also blogged about it here.

What is it? Inactive, fortified yeast. Per 2 tablespoons(14g), it has 8g of protein and 6g of fiber. It’s a complete protein and loaded with the B vitamins, as well as being a 1-ingredient vegan food

How does it taste? It’s very savory and has a cheesy mouth-feel. Similarly, it’s very salty and briny, especially with a little salt added. It’s very much like a more savory parmigiana.

Where do you get it? I get all of mine from bulk bins, which is often cheaper but also let’s you get just how much you want, so you can just get a little to see if you like it or not.

How would I use it? You can use it anywhere you might otherwise want something “cheesy”. It’s often put on top of spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce. You might have seen me eat it on pumpkin oatmeal with smart balance peanut butter, but that’s a little “out there” admittedly and something only I do(that I know of). It reminds me of Lance peanut butter filled cheddar crackers 🙂

Which foods have you been all over as of late, Have you tried nutritional yeast, and Heroes or Villains? You can ask me anymore questions you’d like, but don’t expect a response while Survivor’s on 🙂

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Life Unexpected

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m just loving the little curve-balls life’s been tossing my way. Dropping over $40 last night online on some foodie goodies? Not expected, but I’ll roll with it! You might see some in due time 😉

Red Delicious Apple

I equally did not expect to be hungry after that fantastic dinner of burgers and fries but c’est la vie. I grabbed this perfect apple from the dining hall; it was the last one I had 😦 And I don’t think anyone was expecting for how bad some of those American Idols singers were; unfortunately, for the guy who sang Apologize, it’s too late to do the same.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter

I was still starving for some reason, and so early in the night. Oatmeal to the rescue! With a little Justin‘s chocolate almond butter. I ate like 2 spoonfuls of this peanut butter the first month I had it, and now I’m ripping through it; where’d that come from? I did a lot of focusing on studying for my exam(ugh) while noshing on that. A little later came chocolate almond in a different form:

Hot Chocolate Made With Almond Milk

Hot yum! For this, I mixed 1 cup original almond milk unsweetened with 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder and some liquid vanilla stevia. Sooo good. Why don’t I crave this more? And it was surprisingly filling; I thought last night would be a hungry hungry hippo time, but after this I was just exhausted and ready for bed, so I did! Sensical and unexpected 😉

Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice Chewy Granola Bar

It was not unexpected by me that I’d need a snack before my run; that was not a lot of food before bed but I was just jiving with my hunger. I grabbed a Pumpkin-N-Spice bar, which I’ve decided tastes straight up like Apple Jacks, but are jacked up on Omega-3’s. If it looks like this photo was taken in the men’s room, it was(I was also putting in my contacts at the time). If it looks like I was still half asleep, I also was.

Running Part 1

Everything actually went just as expected this morning. For one, I knew no one would be in the gym when I got there; 6:40 on a rainy morning is not a popular time. I had 8 miles in mind, which is exactly what I went for. I split it up into 2 parts partly because I dropped my ipod and it went flying behind me(oops) and also because nature picked up her phone and gave me a rang.

Running Part 2

For those of you playing along at home, that would total 8 miles in 71:55, which is a good amount faster than yesterday–unexpected since I felt like I was slugging through it but well welcomed! Also well welcomed was breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With SB PB And Nutritional Yeast, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

I was a little nervous to have to eat breakfast in class while taking the test, but by this point I think the teacher expects that of me 😉 I swear there’s something addictive in flax oil because I crave smart balance agave sweetened like nothing else–it’s so savory! Love it. To add more omega-3’s, some Bob’s Red Mill hemp helped to mellow out the soy yogurt. I think they actually have a higher omega-6 content, but that’s not on the packaged label. Hmmm, knowledgeable opinions? The test went good enough. I know I could have prepared better but I still think I did really well, so I’ll take that as an unexpected win 🙂

Only 1 week without them and I forgot how crazy my Tuesday/Thursdays feel! I just keep telling myself “it’s almost the weekend”. It really is!

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Dynamic Duos

Posted on February 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thankfully, the ice dancing is over, which means we don’t have to look at creepy, questionably incestuous duos dancing to poorly chosen songs in outrageous costumes. No, now we can get back to the dynamic duos that set our mouths on fire!

Wicked Natural Caramel Mustard

Caramel and Mustard. REALLY. This stuff is heavenly. I have could eat it by the spoonful. Who would have thunk it? But the sweetness of condensed milk and the spiciness from mustard seeds just take the floor together. So for lunch, I baked up some tofu, coated it in this and another fantastic ingredient.

Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Coconut Caramel Mustard Tofu

Tofu, meet coconut. Coconut, tofu. When I saw Caitlin give this one a try, I couldn’t help thinking yes, yes, yes! So after the mustard was adhered to the baked tofu, I toasted coconut flakes in a ban and tossed them with the tofu. Winner, winner, vegetarian lunch or dinner! And let’s not forget the dynamic duo of soy sauce and any vegetable that will soak it up. Mmmm. I steamed broccoli and then finished it in a pan with a little of the black gold 🙂 And I ain’t talking Texas tea.

Red Delicious Apple

An apple and… coffee?! Not quite, but I needed something to fill me up before 3 1/2 hours of class! Not like I thought this would last me over that long, but for the first section I was A-OK. Then I had to lead a little discussion in my seminar, which went decent, until the teacher said I should have submitted a paper with my notes on it. Oops! I’ll type that up in a jiffy after this. During the “break” I “snuck” from my pocket perhaps the holiest of dessert duos.

Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Sunspire Candy Bar

I like coconut. I love chocolate. I really love coconut oil chocolate. Sadly, I just “loved” this candy bar. OK, “just” maybe sets the wrong note. I loved this bar. The dark chocolate was perfectly bitter-sweet(70% I’m guessing). And the coconut was nice and a little sweet 🙂 Yum, yum. More companies need to make organic candy bars! Then again, maybe it’s a good thing for me they don’t, because I could go po’ eating through them.

.9oz Snack Pack Surf Sweet Sour Berry Bears

Speaking of candy, “healthy” and “candy” are not your typical duo, but Surf Sweets tries at least. Just like how I try to eat them the weirdest way possible…

Soy Yogurt With Sour Berry Bears

Sweet and sour needs no explanation. I took a container of plain soy yogurt sweetened with some vanilla stevia and added these gummy bears on top. A little confused? Remember putting gummy bears on vanilla froyo along with about 20 other toppings? Yeah, it was like that. This was after I had gotten out of class, flew my backpack down, and started cutting up a sweet potato for dinner thinking “Now I see why my mom would b*tch having to make dinner after getting home from work”. BUT that set up one hell of a duo for dinner:

Sweet Potato Fries, Grass-Fed Cheese Burger

This was more like a quartet of awesome. Of course, there’s burger + fries. Duh. And then there’s burger + cheese = meh but I went with it for a change from yesterday. And salt with sweet potato is “like woh“. And, while I recognize this is basically the same dinner as yesterday, to that I have to attribute a) my tofu block being on its last leg and b) the fact that I gave up “prepared soy foods” for Lent, so there 🙂

And now, tonight’s going to feature a lot of Evan + Plato before my Greek test tomorrow morning with a little bit of making + up that assignment I mentioned I forgot about. What’s your favorite duo? Or who? if we want to lead the edible persuasion. Personally, I’ve always been an Ash and Pikachu fan, but if you wanna say Ricky and Lucy I couldn’t deny. AND check out when Kate made my coconut oil chocolate. I love that all the ingredients she used were organic; a blogger after my own heart.

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Reigning Over Imperfection

Posted on February 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Just so we all get the pun…

Rain In Providence

It’s raining really hard right now. And will be through Saturday, hence the “reign”. OK, good, I don’t feel crazy laughing alone at my own jokes 😀

I wouldn’t say I “struggle” with not being perfect simply because I’ve never met perfection in a bar and shattered a bottle to start swiping at it. That being said, I am pretty finicky(read: Polish stubborn) and try my best to excel at whatever I do or make. Sometimes A lot of times, things don’t work out. But the more I grow the more I learn to just “deal”.

Banana Whip With Vanilla Powder

This banana whip was far from perfect; some of the bananas I had just stuck in the fridge 2 hours earlier and weren’t even frozen. I needed to use Bob’s Red Mill guar gum and vanilla stevia here along with vanilla powder to get the flavor where I wanted it. And, in the end, I’d say it was just “OK”. Disappointing? A little. But there will be other banana whips.

Last night I also got the rough draft back from my writing fellow for a paper due today. I just don’t work that fast. And the comments she had I neither agreed with stylistically nor had time to properly work in. Naturally, my gut reaction was to freak out on how imperfect this paper’s going to be. In my stress, I made some tea to try and stop me from just grabbing a spoon and killing off a peanut butter jar(oh yes, I very well could have done this). But then I stepped back and thought: This is the class I took for “fun”. This is the class I changed to Pass/Fail so that it wouldn’t stress me out. And here I’m letting it walk all over me. I’m going to pass the class, perfect paper or not. And I was just being silly. At that, I edited what I could, and sent the final draft in calmly and rationally. So what did I eat in my no-longer stress?

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Simply: Food. I whipped up 1/2 a batch of coconut oil chocolate and stuck it in a muffin tin because I’m OK with eating something imperfectly shaped if you’re OK with seeing it. And I had a nice filling, relaxing bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter to calm my nerves. Did you know oatmeal is one of the best things you could eat to fall to sleep or back to sleep? I would have thought the carbs would make it imperfect for that but I guess since they’re all complex it works out.

8 Miles In 73:31

This morning, I woke up to rain(as I pointed out). I started thinking about how this could be the perfect excuse to not hit the gym. But then I had a funny thought: I wanted to brave the rain and get a good run in. There I had it, so I went and ran 8 miles in 73:31. The treadmill set up is imperfect; it only goes for 1 hour at a time, throws too many numbers at you, and doesn’t give a remote for the TV when the hour changes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love it anyway 🙂

Fair Trade Organic White Chocolate Strawberry Raw Almond Butter

If it’s not clear that I’m somewhat of a neat-freak perfectionist, check out the sweet label I gave this homemade nut butter I made over Winter break. On the other side, it has a complete nutritional panel and even a little Fair Trader sticker 🙂

Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Pumpkin Pie Oats With White Chocolate Almond Butter

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal With White Chocolate Almond Butter

Lastly, I wholly acknowledge that I’m an imperfect refueler; I break about every rule for post-run recovery(which you can read the proper way for in this awesome and detailed post). But the flip side to that is I’m very good at telling what I want/need. Today felt like a “fat” morning where only fat would fill me up. I added a nice plop of almond butter on top of oatmeal made with pumpkin and egg whites(for a wee bit of protein). And instead of greek yogurt, I had chocolate avocado pudding. And, in an effort to keep stevia out of my breakfast, I sweetened this with 1 tablespoon Xagave instead. Was the flavor perfect? Not at all. But what’s a little real sugar after 8 miles in an effort to use stevia–while sweet and natural–a little less?

I’m also far from perfect for taking so long to get you this recipe; if you’ll remember, I made these coconut cherry cups for my family for Valentine’s Day. It took me a while to giving them their own recipe page but I finally have. Enjoy! If you try them, I bet they’ll come out perfect 😉

Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cups

Ingredient:

  • 1/2 pound dark chocolate(I used 3/4 cup Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and 2 squares(4 pieces) Baker’s Unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cherry butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar

In the microwave or using a double boiler, melt down the chocolate to a liquid state. Put a dab of chocolate into the bottom of 12 paper muffin cups to coat the bottom. Mix the coconut oil in a liquid state with the cherry butter. In a seperate bowl, mix together the coconut and agave nectar until fully incorporated. Mix together the two until a thick consistency and even red/pink color is reached. Add about 1 tablespoon of this mixture to each cup(there might be extra; if so, either make more cups or save for another use). Add a dollop of melted chocolate to the top of each coconut ball and work with a spoon until the cherry coconut is fully covered. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or more until serving.

And it would be imperfect of me not to mention this Chobani giveaway.

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