I’m A Little Distracted…

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I wander off in the writing of this post, it’s because I’m a little distracted.

I’m a little distracted by how warm and sunny it’s been all day; where is this weather when I have the time to enjoy it? I hope it’s around tomorrow so I can soak up the sun on a walk to get groceries.

Grass-Fed Burger, Ketchup, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

I’m a little distracted by how delicious this meal was. Don’t you love “burger weather”? Today was very much “burger weather”, so I cooked up an old 85/15 and made a sweet potato hash to go along with some pickles; the trick here is to undercook the potatoes so they still have some chew and eat like a meal.

I was a little distracted all through my History class, mostly because I was playing a game and not paying very close attention(whoops!). To be fair, I think the professor was distracted by life because he got on a tangent about how the Bozo The Clown episode of The Mary Tyler Moore show is the funniest comedy ever. Ummm, how great to be up on your references like that…

Zevia Twist

I got distracted by my sweet tooth and grabbed a Zevia Twist in between classes. When I say “grab”, I mean I had to go back to my room; if only more places would carry these. I love the simple ingredients–just 5, which I recognize!

I might have just gotten a little distracted and started to “Do the twist, do the twist. A-do the, a-do the, a-do the twist.” OK, maybe I’m even worse with my pop culture references than my professor…

Honest Foods Choco Peanut Butter Bar

I was distracted and enthralled in Latin class by how much this bar by Honest Foods tastes like a chocolate chip blondie! Seriously, that hit a craving I was needing to be hit. The wrapper says it’s manufactured somewhere with wheat but it looked gluten-free to me.

I’m currently distracted by how true everything in this post about eating vegetarian rings true for my own life. Re: 74, my ground beef was dripping blood on my dorm floor last night while I was making patties. I must be dedicated to my (ethical) meat cravings.

Vanilla Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts And Sunflower Seeds

I got distracted thinking about making raw vegan brownies this weekend so much so that I needed to have sunflower seeds and chocolate now. I put some milk chocolate peanut sunspires and sunflower seeds on top of a vanilla Chobani. I think I forgot how much like desserts vanilla Chobani taste while keeping the sugars in checks–definitely something good for me as I don’t want to be shoving stevia in everything.

I got distracted while cooking dinner thinking about how Lady Gaga and Johnny Wier would dress their child if they got married and had a kid(and that’s a HUGE if there). What an odd thought.

Caramelized Brussels, Country Style Chicken Sausages, Maple Tofu

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts, Country Style Chicken Sausages, Maple Tofu

I’m distracted right now thinking of how long it’s been since I’ve had brussels sprouts and how much I missed them! This was a lot of your “favorite green vegetable”, and I can’t say I don’t love them, but they’re so rare at the dining hall. I cooked them with some pasture butter and 2 country style Al Fresco chicken sausages–yum! The maple tofu was the perfect sweetness to top it all off.

I’ve been too distracted all along to mention that my coffee intake today has skyrocketed compared to other days this week. Uhhh, whoops? 8-|

I wish I’d be distracted tonight by Survivor but apparently that won’t be on 😦 What to do, oh, what to do? More ice cream?

I’m distracted by the thought of winning this awesome prize from the gorgeous blogger, Holly.

And, lastly, I’m distracted because this would have been my maternal grandfather’s birthday if he were still with us. 82 wouldn’t have known what to do with him 😀

What’s distracting you today? Or are you annoyingly focused? Don’t even tell me if it’s the latter.

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Keeps Gettin’ Better

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you all for your comments this morning! Getting that news was such a great way to start my day and started a momentum of feeling like things keep getting better. It also never hurts to be recognized for hard work, especially when it’s you’re concentration(and one that’s not known for being a money0maker. Hey, I’m realistic ;-)) Now–here’s my pledge that Whole Foods will NOT get most of that. Considering I estimate my shoes have an 2000+ miles on them(I’m not even exaggerating here), I definitely have some good plans.

Nature's Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Granola Bar

When I got back from Greek, I grabbed Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice bar and switched in to workout clothes lickity-split. Even though it’s not the most opportune time to work out between classes, I felt 20 times better then than when I woke up, and this just felt “right” so I was determined to make it work.

10 Miles In 87:09

Do you know how hard it is to make it work when you only have Kathie Lee and Hoda to watch on The Today show? They are no Meredith and Matt–I’m just saying. Besides that, I was fast! This isn’t the pace I can do outside, but 87:09 was quicker than my normal treadmill pace. Part of that was GI, part of that was just not having time to play around with, but all of that felt nice 🙂 I showered and thought up a lunch really quickly.

Broccoli With Breakfast Style Chicken Sausages, Spicy Peanut Tofu Salad

I’ll throw out a disclaimer and say you can set any dietary restrictions you want on yourself and get adequate nutrient levels. That being said, after going 26 hours of eating vegan when my idea of vegan “food” involves chocolate and pudding, I truly felt like I was lacking protein. I was having a HUGE white meat chicken craving, and even contemplated getting the non-local, probably hormone induced chicken from the dining hall for a split second. In the end, I scrapped up a few Al Fresco breakfast style sausages and tossed those with broccoli along side a tofu salad made with The Heat Is On by PB&Co.. It wasn’t the “best meal everrrr” like all bloggers want to share, but it was “good enough” and got me to class 2 minutes early.

Gingerade, 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

Class was brutal. Maybe it was the fact that we kept having to turn off the lights for slides. Or maybe it was just an exhausting day(my friend Alex next to me actually fell asleep during some slides). Either way, between that and a “meh” lunch, dessert was definitely in order. Between classes I grabbed a Gingerade Kombucha from a local coffee shop and cut in half a Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar I stuck in my pocket. Pardon the pun, but this really was a “perfect” dessert/snack for getting through my afternoon; the bar tastes a lot like a cookie, anyway, and who would want milk over Kombucha? 😉

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

It was another “long day” with extracurriculars even after all the regular class. When I finished those, though, I was on my weekend! Things just keep gettin’ better 🙂 Of course, I needed to celebrate all the hubbub somehow, right? This dessert–once again, pardon the pun–was also quite “perfect”. Since I can’t stand having 1/2 a bar around, I chopped up the other part of my Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar and blended that with So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Besides the subtle coconut flavor, this was awesome! It reminded me of all that peanut butter and chocolate ice cream I had as a kid. The fact that I was “catching up” with my protein intake was just ice creaming on the cake.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Then again, maybe protein’s not a problem with burgers on the menu for dinner. Since I had 1/2 a sweet potato already baked, I diced that and cooked it in the healthy grass-fed burger drippings in the pan–easy peasy clean up, too! Unfortunately, baked potatoes I find don’t make the best of hashes; you really need to get them when they’re raw and just steamed to start.

Burger 101

Preparing A Burger

It’s been asked “How do you make your burgers with just dorm room equipment?” Well, let me tell you, it’s probably one of the simplest things I or you could cook! You just need a quality steel pan and a slightly fatty cut of meat(I like 85/15 grass-fed beef, but anything up to 90/10 should do). Form your patty with a slight dip in the center because when it cooks it will puff up. After letting your pan heat up on medium-high heat, let your patty cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Then, flip the patty and let it cook another 4, or until the juice running out of it is thin and only slightly red. Then–and I can’t stress this enough–carefully move it to a plate, and let it sit untouched for 5 minutes. This helps the juices to settle and doing this will get you a nice, rare burger. If you like your meat more well done, extend the cooking on both ends by 1:30-2 minutes. Bonus: If you’re a New England reader, regular beef is on sale at Whole Foods this week for $2.99 a pound and even the grass-fed is reduced an amount! I for one will be getting at least a pound over the weekend if not more. And that’s your burger 101!

If you’ve never had the great pleasure to try Zevia(now that sounds like an idea for tonight), you can win some in this giveaway. Also, you can win coupons for So Delicious products like their coconut milk ice cream or kefir in this giveaway; if you enter this, please say Food Makes Fun Fuel or EvanFMFF is how you heard about it so we both have a better chance of winning 🙂

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If this post has a somewhat downer tone it’s probably because my dinner was a little bit of a Disaster with a capitol D, but more on that later :-/

Laundry

I still love Mondays, though! I managed to get laundry done, and read 160 pages for a class I need to read. It’s not as much homework as I’d like to have done but there’s still time after dinner, right? I’ll just keep hoping.

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

I wanted lunch to be low-key so I grabbed a new flavor of Al Fresco‘s chicken sausage to try and review. I love these because I just have to defrost in the microwave for 90 seconds and then cook them in there, too, for another minute!

Black Beans With Salsa, Broccoli With Hemp Oil, Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage

Even though this was an early lunch, I felt like I needed volume. I guess those 10 miles this morning got my appetite going, too. The broccoli was jazzed up with a little of the hemp oil dressing from Foods Alive and then the beans by salsa. Yum. This sausage wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was looking for :-/ It tasted… like chicken. AND I was still hungry. Dessert time!

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

Which obviously called for coffee, as well. I dug into my stash of Uli Mana raw desserts and tried their lemon fig pecan bar. It was super delicious! I just loved how bursting with lemon this was, like a lemon bar with powdered sugar but sooo much better for me. It was a nice sweet tone to end Lunch with and get working while watching TV.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

3pm rolled around and I was starving AGAIN. Did you know Stedman isn’t a fan of chocolate? The things we learn watching Oprah… Anyway, that gave me a major chocolate chip craving, which led to some rawesome ice cream with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

Yum! I think I need to make a recipe page with all the possible alterations on banana soft serve, because the possibilities are endless! This batch was chocolate chip, and at the end I made it something of a banana de sel by sprinkling sea salt on top to bring out the sweetness. Can you say heavenly?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

These are my preferred chocolate chips of choice for applications like this. They are gluten free and vegan. They taste deliciously sweet(hello, 8g of sugar per serving). I’ve had lengthy discussions with Avery just about how much these rock. My only complaint is that Trader Joe doesn’t make mini chocolate chips; mini makes everything more fun! Oh, I’d also complain they aren’t terribly filling.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Looks like a breakfast, but eats like a snack. And, yes, I eat oatmeal usually with a salt shaker at arm’s length for some flavoring. Pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter was just what I needed to power me through an otherwise painfully long afternoon.

For dinner, I wanted to make an entry into Katie’s new contest. All you need to do is make pancake roll-ups, top with fun toppings, and enjoy. Simple, right? My idea was gluten-free coconut flour crepes with cream cheese, avocado, salsa, and tuna toppings. But instead of crepe, I got…

Coconut Pancake "Grits" With Grass-Fed Butter, Tuna With Coconut Milk And Cream Cheese

Crap. CLEARLY I am not that good at making pancakes. I tried! I honestly did! I was flipping away in the dorm kitchen but everything turned to mush. This was one gluten-free recipe that was not meant to be. Not to mention it wasn’t very smart to keep licking the batter when there’s egg white in it(oops). In the end, it was really a meal that would have better off uneaten 8-| But I also am pretty strict about not wasting food, so I called it a “grits” and went ahead and had something like the planned meal.

I could let the nastiness of this get me down, but instead I’ll focus on the positive points. It was a meal full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Besides, with a hunger like mine, there are plenty of more meals to come and 1 bad one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, tomorrow night’s dinner will be a real hum-dinger I know I can pull off 😀 And so I can look forward to that. And maybe, just maybe, Katie will take pity on my and let my shameful attempt count as an entry? So let’s hear in the comments some of your worst dinner disaster stories.

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“Life” Is A Funny Thing

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s actually a huge understatement; life is more like the craziest thing you’ll ever attempt to know. That’s what has been on my mind most of today. A few things that sparked that:

  • Someone in my year was struck and killed by a car on a road I’ve crossed 100’s of times this year. I could have had a class with him, lived in the dorms with him, or at least knew him, but I didn’t. I went to his Facebook page when the email was sent out to get a sense of what he looked like. Not 24 hours ago, he was “making friends” on Facebook.
  • While on Facebook, I noticed someone I went to middle school with remark that 5 years ago today, we left off on what would be 10 tough days of community service in Costa Rica. This was one of those trips that breaks you down and builds you completely anew; my eyes were opened in so many ways, good friendships were made better, and it gave me a completely new experience to look back to.
  • Sunday’s Valentines Day. Facebook reminded me(nothing I didn’t already remember) that it also would have been the 18th birthday of a girl I went to high school with and knew very very well, who died from cardiac arrest on a school trip 2 1/2 years ago. She was 15.
  • On a much lighter note, some guy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won $250000 answering movie trivia. That’s probably the kind of stuff people told him all his life “would never be useful”, and now look at him. I’ve picked up tons of information like that(hell, it’s my major! haha).

What’s the takeaway from all these doses of “life”? For me, it’s that I’m now looking forward to going home Sunday to be with my extended family. At first, this seemed like such an imposition; could I really give a day away from work? Now I’m thinking, could I really not for family? I don’t think so.

Green Peppers And Savory Breakfast Chicken Sausages

After getting the first bit of news barraged at me, I needed a lunch that would “wow!” me and take my mind of things, but didn’t feel like doing much. I looked at the Al Fresco website to get some ideas for something simple, and found I could make this recipe pretty easily.

Kitchen Sign

I like to adhere to all the rules while cooking; I especially try and remember to take pizza out of the box before putting it in the oven. But that one always trips me up 😛 Anybody care to make a kitchen confession? I’ve done the foil in the microwave thing when I was younger(actually, it was probably my dad’s bad. It was a pancake syrup container from McDonalds on a night my mom was gone from the house). And a note on the last one: The fan doesn’t even work, haha 🙂

Egg And Sausage Frittata, Broccoli With Cayenne Parma

I changed the recipe by using 1 egg and the rest of my egg white container, and microwaved it for a minute afterwards rather than the traditional bake to finish off the top egg. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli with cayenne parma. I pretty much loved this, licked my plate–the whole shebang. These sausage can do no wrong; I remember thinking that the first time I ate them when I snuck them into the dining hall as my protein. Expect to see this again(hopefully a lot!).

Banana Whip With Maple Syrup

I was pretty awful at getting work done this afternoon; I blame twitter friends and other blogs on my reader 😛 I decided a cool treat was necessary while I had time. I blended up some bananas and drizzled the top with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the syrup didn’t taste awfully sweet with the banana 😦 It was really only sweet the whole spoonfuls I got. Oh well, they were each good on their own part. It always amazes me how something so natural and raw can be so satisfying(technically, maple syrup isn’t raw. But from a New England and New Hampshire standpoint, it’s more natural than breathing).

Peanut Sweet & Salty Odwalla Bar

Later on I wanted some peanuts(not surprising). I realized so few bars I have actually have peanuts in them :-O I think it must be so that companies can boast a peanut-free facility. I remembered grabbing this one from a campus store last semester and went for it. It was way more sweet than salty(I actually had to pour a little salt on). I also convinced myself to go out for the 2nd time today and grabbed some yogurt; 1 vanilla chobani could not last me through Sunday morning.

Bacon Tempeh, Marinated Brussels Sprouts And Tempeh Cubes, Honey

Dinner was flavorful and–better yet–taken care of much earlier. At 3, I marinated brussels sprouts and tempeh with soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. I roasted them for 45 minutes and then added some cooked tempeh bacon and honey for a more-or-less savory BBQ flavor. I think this has sparked a new craving for honey in me; I forgot how sweet and pure the real stuff tastes; I’ll grab a local one at a farmer’s market when those rise up again.

On the other side of life, there are happy, tame points that make you smile. I could ask myself every night before going to bed if I lived life that day the way I wanted to and the answer would almost always be “yes”. I love my family and friends and couldn’t be happier with my readership. It’s no secret I like to network with all of you through this blog, both influencing and being influenced. I’m happy to have influenced Freya who made my raw vegan brownies with chocolate frosting here.

And here’s an iHerb giveaway you could win and live life to the fullest with online shopping!

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Welcome To The Weekend

Posted on February 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Welcome to my weekend, at least! I can’t think of a more perfect way than with a new Survivor season starting in 20 minutes! I’ve been watching the show since season 1 when I was only around 8 or 9 years old. Has it really been that long? Anyway, It felt soooo good getting out of my class at 4pm this afternoon. If you’ll remember, last Thursday it was out of class and off to chocolate fest so there wasn’t much “downtime”. This afternoon, however, has been nothing but. Speaking of being lazy, I really didn’t want a “real lunch” this afternoon. All I cared about was dessert. I ended up doing something sloppy and simple.

Scrambled Eggs With Ketchup, Canned Pumpkin With Nutritional Yeast

What can I say? I’m a college student 😛 I scrambled 2 Eggland’s Best Cage Free eggs in a little pasture butter and topped with ketchup–OMG. I seriously forgot how satisfying just scrambled eggs are. My grandma would make them for me all the time; I’ll need to do them more often. On the other hand, I’ve decided pretty firmly that I just do not care for pumpkin anywhere but in my oats. It tastes bland and nasty, in my opinion. Blech. But I was also out of fresh, fiberous vegetables and was in a pickle(Mmm… pickles). More importantly, I just wanted my dessert.

Banana Whipe With Peanut Flour Topping

Banana whip! Oh how I love thee. So smooth. So creamy. So delicious. I’ve been keeping bananas from the dining hall in the dorm fridge for this; it’s free for me and takes up common space 🙂 For the topping, I meant to make a peanut sauce but didn’t use enough flour so it was more like dough. That doesn’t matter; what was important was that I realized peanut flour is something that upsets my stomach. It’s weird to think something that’s only peanut would do that to me, but it does. And it sucks that it’s a perfectly vegan source of protein 😦 I don’t even know what I’m going to do. Thoughts? Any lactose intolerant ice cream eaters out there?

Choco Peanut Butter Honest Foods Bar

During my 2nd of 2 classes this afternoon, I broke open this bar from Honest Foods. Honestly? It was pretty fantastic. I’ve come to notice that anything that’s supposed to taste like peanut butter with grains in it usually doesn’t; thankfully that wasn’t the case. I think any walnuts/sunflower seeds in here would have been better off being more peanut halves, but beyond that yum!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Oil

I could have been dancing getting out of my last class this afternoon; it didn’t quite matter that I didn’t do all the homework for it because we never get that far in translation courses. To celebrate the afternoon, I had some raw chocolate avocado pudding with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil. Welcome to the weekend indeed! If this is any indication, this weekend will be fattening 😉 After that I mostly vegged out doing some potential online shopping(aka filling a shopping cart with foodie finds but not hitting “check out”) and planning a comforting dinner.

Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage, Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Sweet Potato With Maple Syrup

I think that pretty much sums up my comfort foods: brussels sprouts(or broccoli–either will do), sweet potatoes, maple syrup, fatty meat, salt, and anything roasted! Actually, the vegetables were a bit of a disappointment in that respect; either the fact that they were cooked in the dining hall(with no apparent fat) or my lack of patience meant they weren’t well roasted. This flavor of Al Fresco all natural chicken sausage cooked in a pan with some pasture butter made up for it a bit.

Fat Talk

Since I have a bit of time, I thought why not address some fat talk. And not the kind that we all snickered about in High School! I want to talk about fat in your(or my) diet. I was turned on to different and new fats and ways of thinking about them by bloggers like Heather and Averie. If today can be seen as an average day, then I get a good deal of mono- and poly-saturated fats from almond butter, peanut butter, and avocado, and my saturated fats from coconut, grass-fed butter, and hormone-free meats.

The obvious question would be “How do you feel?”. My answer is “Pretty darn good”. The fat is definitely delicious and filling. I haven’t had any stomach issues save the peanut flour which is actually only 12% fat. And–for what it’s worth–my skin and complexion seem smoother and clearer. If I had to sum it all up and be catch, I’d say “Fat is here to stay”. And I still think that getting the mono/polysaturated fats as well as the “bad” saturated fats. These really aren’t so bad if you stick with sources like coconut and grass-fed meat and dairy options.

Well that’s just my 5-minute 2 cents. But without further ado, the winner of the Yogurt Maker via Random.org is…

Erika!

Congrats! I can’t wait to see what she cultures up. And, if you didn’t win this, you can win Chobani from Anne in her giveaway here.

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A Little Something For Everyone

Posted on February 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love hearing that a lot of you have seen the Emmy’s Organics macaroons but just haven’t picked them up yet! Well, I don’t like that last part, but I will say you’re lucky in that I’d never seen these before they showed up at my door and do suggest you give them a shot(Better yet–get a different flavor and tell me how that one is!).

For lunch I “planned” for a fly-by sort of meal where I would just go with whatever’s quick and simple. Who “plans” for grabby meals like that? Apparently, me 🙂 I ended up with a plate that had a little something  for everyone on it(but all for me really).

2 Eggs, Feta & Spinach Chicken Sausage, Tempeh Bacon, Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie

The Wow Baking Company Gluten Free Cookie

This was a lot of fat, a lot of protein, and a little bit of carbs, and it totally worked for me! At least at this meal it did. I thought the idea of having (vegan) bacon and eggs was cute, as was the idea of having eggs and chicken (sausage). Sooo why not have it all? And with a gluten free cookie on the side? Perfect! A little something for whatever your eating habits may be. 🙂 This sausage was a new one to me; I loved how delicious salty it was! It wasn’t very feta in flavor, but it certainly had flavor and would be a perfect basic sausage.

The Wow Baking Company Oregon Oatmeal Cookies

The Oregon Oatmeal cookie was part of the pack from The Wow Baking Company. It smelt sooo good! Like fresh cinnamon–yum! I loved the base of the cookie, with rich tones of butter and thick, hearty oats. But the fruit I thought was a little bland and lacking. And this was a LOT of sugar. I mean, what can you expect from a cookie overall? Definitely something fun to eat, but it didn’t really WOW me.

Thumb Cut

I actually was a supreme clutz today. I managed to burn my bicep(yes, my bicep) with the pan I was cooking eggs with. Can’t figure out how one does that? It’s very complicated, and I’m clutzy enough. Later on I got a package from the mail room and managed to slice my hand open with my room key trying to open it. Not a big cut but I did manage to finish off a roll of paper towels throughout the afternoon stopping the bleeding–joy. It was worth it though because the package had goodies from Honest Foods such as this bar I snacked on:

Honest Foods Almond Trail Mix Granola Bar

First off, this bar was another product where the smell was just amazing. This time, I swore I was sniffing an open bottle of amaretto 😀 Holy sweetness. But the flavor was underwhelmingly almondy after all that; it was good but had a lot going on with other seeds and fruits. I loved the nutrition, though! Not many bars have a healthy fat source higher than sugar on the ingredient list; that’s rocking! Keeping up with the almond theme, I tried a new butter.

Trader Joe's Almond Butter With Roasted Flaxseeds

Monica convinced me I needed this in my life, so that last time I was at Trader Joe’s I grabbed it off the shelf. As if it weren’t enough of a fat source, I thought I’d throw it over some pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Trader Joe Almond Butter

Chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk, to be exact. The combination of almond and chocolate wasn’t so perfect here–not sure why not 😦 TJ’s almond butter was awesome and so well salted. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the flax seeds. Too sweet, maybe? And I don’t like having to chew them to get the nutrition from them :-/ What can I say? I’m lazy.

For dinner, I had planned to meet up with some friends in one of the dining halls. At this dining hall, you don’t have to use any meal credits to get in and only pay or what you pick off the line, so I was able to bring my whole meal without using my meal plan. Beforehand, I made some of my favorite foods in the oven in my dorm, wrapped them in foil, and was good to go!

Maple Baked Tofu, Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Broccoli, Orange Zevia

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato Fries

Better than cafeteria food? I think so. No matter how many times I roast sweet potatoes, they never cease to impress me. I think maple baking tofu is the simplest way to add flavor, but I’m definitely on the lookout for new recipes to switch it up. It was great to catch up with things from the past week in some case and the whole of winter breaks in another; one of my friends is a fellow runner and might have another half marathon to turn me on to! I’ll have to see. The only downside was getting into my dorm at 8:30 and thinking “Gosh I’m home late”. And when exactly do I get my senior citizen discount? In my defense, I have my alarm set for a 6:15 run!

Did this post provoke you to think of new things to try? I’ve found plenty of recipes for almond milk, and it’s much simpler than I would have imagined! I have yet to track down some Jungle Peanuts, but rest assured I will 😉 In the meantime, here’s an appliance giveaway, a coconut oil giveaway, a chocolate giveaway, an iherb giveaway, and another coconut oil giveaway.

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A Friendly Face Gets You Places

Posted on February 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Are you smiling? Should you be smiling? Maybe your team is winning the Superbowl or already did; don’t ask me because I didn’t even know it was on until people downstairs started yelling and I found it on TV. There’s never a dull(or quiet) moment living in the dorms, but I think I secretly like that about it 😀 Backing up 10 hours, I was at home getting my grub on.

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter

Greek Yogurt With Fig Jam

Is it crazy that I brought Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter home for the 3 days? I’m just glad I remembered to bring it back 😀 I love sunny Sunday mornings and eating on the floor with the circulars. I don’t know why it has to be on the floor, but it does with me. It feels more homey. The slightly sour part to this breakfast was the Chobani yogurt.

Skimpy Chobani

Does that look a little empty to anyone else, too? I thought mine did yesterday, and then this one was the same. I weighed it and it was only 4oz instead of 6oz. Crazy much? I think I got a bad batch :-/ I bulked it up with a little full-fat yogurt and jam anyway, but not quite sure what was happening at Chobani that day.

We ended up loading the car and starting our drive before lunch, mostly since my grandmother was too busy gambling to eat with us; oh, old people. After the customary “Oops, I forgot that. Let’s go back”, we rehit the road and were at a Whole Foods half way for lunch.

Lightlife Smart Chili, Redwood Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt

Most definitely a random combination. What I really wanted to do(besides eat of my arm) was load up on veggies, black beans, and guacamole from the salad bar. BUT that would have taken $20 worth of food easily; I hate how they make it cost by the weight 😦 Instead, I kept it cheap and simple by buying these 2 premade things and heating up the chili in the microwave. I must have looked a little silly eating from the bag but it was pretty delicious and totally worth it.

Nintendo DSi

After lunch we grocery shopped a bit; avocadoes were on sale for $1 so I got 7! That’s going to be a lot of pudding 🙂 Then I went to a game store for–what I thought–was a lost cause. My old gameboy’s screen clearly was broken and I knew I needed to get a new one, but hated the thought of $170 dollars for it. I also couldn’t find any good deals on used one, so I went to the store to see if maybe I could get a little money for my old one to soften the blow on my wallet. The cashier who worked with me on the trade in couldn’t have been sweeter; she didn’t quite seem like the typical video game clerk and I was excited for that. Even though she could tell the screen was not properly working, with some sweet casual conversation and a smile she gave me a great discount and knocked $75 off the price of a new one! It goes to show how far being friendly and wearing a smile will get you.

Room Clutter

No amount of smiling, however, can make there be more space in my room(or less food. Either one would work at this point). After we brought things back in, it began to look a bit ridiculous. In my defense: I am eating for a half-marathon, after all 😉 I threw things in places I won’t even remember and grabbed a snack.

Next Generation Organic Dairy Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Is there anything more perfect than cheese in stickular form? I think not. Thanks, Next Generation Dairy, for sending me this one, too! For the pros, it was very easy to grab and keep working. And it was definitely made healthier by being raw and probiotic. But, oddly, it didn’t taste too much like the mozzarella I was expecting :-/ I think of mozzarella as a more sweeter, mellow cheese and this was a bit tangy for my taste. Maybe it was just the “raw” flavor imposing itself?

Running Stats

Whatever was with the flavor, it fueled me nicely for a 5 mile run. I was itching to get back onto campus and on the treadmill this weekend and it felt so natural, once more! I even managed to keep a friendly face going after that.

Post-Workout Smile

I think I look a little more nervous than friendly, lol. I was clearly excited to get some fresh produce from the dining hall(assuming that’s fresh) and get to some recovery eating.

Apple, Cherry Amaretto So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious! The apple made this healthy 😉 I finished off the pint of this amazing ice cream. My only complaint would be that there were no cherries in this last 3/4 cup 😦 I think I might have scooped them all out last time I ate from this. Oops. It was still so creamy and delicious. And even though I’m not very into the Superbowl doesn’t mean I’m not into football grub…

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips

Of course we had to buy 2 bags of chips because they were on sale and we had a coupon. And one of them had to be mine. And these just happened to find their way into my dinner. I need people to stop feeding my chip addiction! I have so many dealers, it’s really a beautiful thing 😀

Broccoli With Hot Sauce, Salt & Pepper Chips, Al Fresco Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage

NOTHING says football food quite like buffalo wings–wouldn’t you agree? Immediately I knew I wanted a buffalo style Al Fresco chicken sausage–love these! And I have to think it’s a lot better for you than just grabbing a few wings in your plate, too. On the side I had broccoli with Benito’s hot sauce for volume(!!) and my crack chips. Last time I got these, I mistakenly got the baked variety. I’m sorry but hear you need the krinkle cut. Just tell yourself those are healthy fats, too 🙂

This week I’m looking to get back on track! I don’t know that I was ever off track, so this might just be switching tracks. I don’t know. Trains are confusing. Here’s what I do know!

1. Running. I pretty much run what my body(or head) wants rather than stick with a half-marathon plan. I will keep that up, and here’s what I think should work well for this week.

  • Monday: 8 miles
  • Tuesday: 5 miles
  • Wednesday: 9 miles
  • Thursday: 5-6 miles, time dependent
  • Friday: 8 miles + 30 min biking

9 miles will be my new long run; I have to say that it feels incredibly doable and I’m loving being at high mileage again.

2. Worktime/Funtime. I have an awesome schedule this semester, in case you haven’t heard. But I need to get better about using that schedule. It may be a little late for this week, but my new goal is to go 100% at homework from Friday-Monday when I don’t have class, and then soak up whatever free time I have Tuesday-Thursday without a car in the world(other than attending classes). Who knows; maybe I’ll really bust out the effort tomorrow for that to be the case.

3. Meal Planning. I don’t feel the necessity to go 100% at this. But I do remember that, the 1 week I used meal planning, everything felt incredibly organized, nothing went wasted, and it eliminated time spent thinking “what am I going to make?!”. That’s why I think it’s a perfect thing to work back in, even if it’s only 1 or 2 meals in advanced. For instance, tomorrow’s dinner will be baked maple tofu with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli.

Lastly, I would very much have a friendly face if I won this Candid Contest; I love my smart balance agave sweetened so I must see what’s with this new “rich roast”

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Grocery Shopping RI

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Grammy’s are starting soon, and I’m not sure if I want to watch them, so I’ll just type super fast just in case. Speaking of grammies, I saw mine today. But first, lunch.

Jalapeno Al Fresco Chicken Sausage, Broccoli With Soy Sauce

I just could not get in to the idea of “brunch” so I had a late breakfast and a small lunch. I wasn’t that hungry but I had an odd craving for broccoli and soy sauce(how good does that sound?) so I threw on one of these sausages and called it a meal. Voila! Plenty of sodium for one day. At the end of this, my dad arrived and brought a few goodies from home, mostly being things I forgot. Are chopsticks essentials? No, but they’re fun 😀 My mom and grandmother(who came along “for the ride”) were waiting in the car and they took me to Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe Groceries

Would you believe there’s just 1 Trader Joe’s in all of Rhode Island? The next closest one is the one in Framingham I go to when I’m home. I don’t know how you Trader Joe-less folks do it. Actually, I do know: You go to Whole Foods and pay a little more. Sorry 😦 I just wanted to get every simmer sauce and curry I could find for meals! But realizing that wasn’t practical in my dorm fridge I just got mostly plain things like tofu, tempeh, salmon, pilaf, and the rest of what you see. Clearly there’ll be more pudding with all them avocadoes 😉

Libby's Pumpkin

After that, I made us take quick detour to McDonalds for coffee(which I defend by pointing out that everyone else in the car got coffee driving down and didn’t bring me one), and then we went to Stop & Shop for some pumpkin; I knew if I went in it would take 10 minutes and I’d come out with 5 extra things, so this time my dad just did the shopping. He still took 10 minutes, but got the 1 thing on the list.

Whole Foods Groceries

Whole Foods Groceries

And then, of course, it wouldn’t have been a trip without going to Whole Foods. I was actually a little disappointed with this sales period; there was soooo much I picked up and wanted to try but couldn’t really “justify” getting. Instead, I kept it simple again. I guess the two “treats” I got were the dark chocolate coconut candy bar(umm, yum!) and some dark meat turkey for dinner. The Crofter’s Organic Europe Superfruit spread I had a coupon for because, if you remember, I got a bunch of their jams to review for the blog but that one unfortunately broke during shipping. One “fun” thing I almost bought was vanilla goat milk frozen yogurt with brownie pieces in it coming off sale Tuesday. It took a lot of restraint from buying that, restraint and the promise of this:

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Peanut Butter Chocolate Black Bean Brownie And Chocolate Peanut Butter

I defrosted one of the peanut butter gluten free brownies I made for New Years and crumbled it warm into a yogurt. Then I melted a little of the Justin’s chocolate peanut butter in the microwave to drizzle over. Holy yum! Vanilla brownie ice cream who? This completely had my attention while I was catching up on emails/putting groceries away. Unfortunately, I still felt like I could chew my arm off, so I had another snack while waiting for dinner.

Apple

A little mealy but not bad for free from the dining hall. Dinner was a sweet potato I threw in the oven at 5 and the dark meat turkey I bought. I really didn’t know how to make it so I called home. No answer. I then called my mom. No answer. Finally, my dad picked up his cell phone. Why was no one answering? Because they stopped at a casino on the way home. I’m glad nothings changed in my absence.

Cooking Dark Meat Turkey

Since I couldn’t get in touch with my mom, I went ahead and guessed that the turkey would be fine in a pan on its own since it should have enough fat in it already to cook. That was pretty much right. I cooked the meat through and then let it rest for 5-10 minutes while I worked with the sweet potato and such.

Turkey Burger With Ketchup, Sweet Potato With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

Ah, this came out wicked good*said in a Bauston accent*. I don’t think there is any real “trick” to meat; I think there are just old rules which people either follow or ignore. Don’t work with it too much. Let it sit. And, if you really want flavor, use a fatty cut. It’s that simple to get something juicy and delicious. The sweet potato was perfect and practically fell apart after roasting for 90 minutes. I was craving cinnamon on a sweet potato and that hit the spot. I think I will watch the Grammy’s soon; I hear Elton John and Lady Gaga are performing together and how could I miss that?

Tomorrow’s the first day of February, and let’s just say there’s a bit of a special surprise in store for the morning post. I also have my “long run” of 8 miles first thing. Ahhh I need to start stockpiling fuel via chocolate!

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Isn’t It Ironic

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s like rain on your wedding day.
It’s a free ride, when you’ve already paid.
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take.
Who would have thought? It figures…

Isn’t it ironic…

Steamed Broccoli And Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak

that I make vegetarian philly cheesesteaks(an oxymoron) and have never had a real one? It’s probably not like the real thing, but a couple servings of Lightlife fake sausage meat, 1/2 an onion, and 2 american cheese squares later and I’m a very happy boy. I love onions. And I’d love to try this with the beef fake meat. A good friend and reader recommended cheese as a way to fit fats into meals. Doh! Of course! I love cheese, and can definitely fit it in 😉 And with this…

Isn’t it ironic…

Salt & Pepper Pop Chips

that when I had all but given up on Pop Chips after a few less-than-perfect flavors, this one brought me right back into the game? It wasn’t quite as good as the sour cream & onion. And I wish that it were seasoned with something other than what tastes like the black pepper I have in my kitchen. That being said, it was seasoned beautifully and I would have demolished this if the bag were any bigger.

Isn’t it ironic… that my grandmother who plays the lottery every day was asking me who doesn’t at all if she should have gotten $10 instead of $5 for hitting 3 numbers? Yes, because these are the kinds of things they teach you in college…

Isn’t it ironic… that the death of fictional characters I hardly ever remember being part of the show will still make me feel bad. I’m so sappy.

Isn’t it ironic…

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Pound Plus Milk Chocolate

that I always top my soy yogurt with milk chocolate? I swear it just goes better together than anything else. I took a square off of my Trader Joe’s milk chocolate bar. You know, the one that weighs over a pound? I’ve got 2 recipes in mind that use it and I just wanted to make sure that it was good quality. So, you know, I was really doing everyone a favor 😉 It was decent, but I think for peanut butter cups it’s a little too sweet, so I’ll melt 3 squares with 1 square Baker’s Unsweetened and baddabing-baddaboom it’ll be perfect. I have such a chocolate tooth for these things 🙂

Isn’t it ironic… that I swore never to join Twitter, and just tweeted?

Isn’t it ironic…

Al Fresco Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausages

that I didn’t make any wiener jokes at all while cooking these? A new flavor of Al Fresco to try out tonight. We were only cooking up two because my dad was running late but I was not going to wait with my growling stomach. He came later and we cooked up another.

Isn’t it ironic…

Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, Carrot Fries, Killer Cornbread

when I microwave raw cheddar cheese? You know, the thing that you buy specially because it still has living enzymes in it you wouldn’t want to kill with high amount of heats? Yeah, well I didn’t do that tonight. I was feeling smart. I thought these sausages were OK; they were definitely spicy but I couldn’t identify jalapeno. But really, with their sodium, they were setting my mouth ablaze(and sadly I added more salt). The carrot fries were delicious roasted. But my favorite part was the cornbread.

Isn’t it ironic…

Killer Cornbread With Earth Balance And Raw Cheddar Cheese

that I’ve said at times that I hate butter AND grains at meals(other than breakfast oatmeal, obviously), and yet I could have stuffed my face with this all night long? Check it out: leftover killer cornbread, microwaved and sliced in the middle where I stuck a big pat of Earth Balance. Then on top I shaved some 2 years aged raw cheddar cheese. Heaven! Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God. Those were healthy fats, right? Who cares–delicious. I should freeze some of this cornbread so I don’t do this again so it doesn’t grow mold like last time.

Isn’t it ironic… that I thought I’d never have time to get this post up and get changed before awesome primetime television and I’m clocking in 16 minutes early? Grey’s, The Office, 30 Rock–so much good tonight!

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A Domestic Day

Posted on January 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I will warn you this post might turn out to be just like my day: very long, delicious, full of British humor, and ending with a winning recipe. Just a warning.

Last night, after blogging, I felt like I needed more nuts in my life.

Tierra Farm's Organic Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts

In the box they sent me a while back, Tierra Farm included these maple glazed nuts. Maple and nuts? Two of my favorite things! I knew just how to try them out.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Maple Glazed Nuts

Delicious! These nuts were very good; they weren’t huge on the maple flavor but deliciously rich and satisfying. Note: They didn’t come in tiny pieces like that. I was actually impressed that they came all whole, and with a good selection. I just crushed them up to make them more oatmeal friendly, and threw in some sweet peanut butter. This did a great job at getting me sleepy and in the mood for bed.

Unfortunately, all this week I’ve been waking up around 4am, and I’m not sure why. Originally, it was always to go to the bathroom. Since reducing the amounts of liquids I have before bed, however, I’m still waking up, but not needing to go to the bathroom. Suggestions on how to “fix” this? I’d like to imagine(or use this as an excuse) that this is why I did not feel like working out this morning. Didn’t Kelly Clarkson once say something like “Some months I feel like working out, and some months I just feel like eating ding-dongs”? Well, if that’s the case, then I’m saying some months I feel like running, and some months I feel like watching I Love Lucy, because that’s what I did for the first hour of my day as I sipped down 2 cups of coffee. After showering from that “workout”, I had a seasonal breakfast.

Nog Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Drizzled With Maple Syrup

Very wintery and delicious. For the yogurt I used 1/4 cup Nog and a little bit of my Xanthan gum! I’ve had a problem with Nog yogurt being too thin for my preference but the gum really thickened it up. I wouldn’t say, however, that it’s flavorless. It’ll be interesting to see if now I can pick out its flavor in other products, too. The oatmeal with Artisana walnut butter and cream cheese was just beautiful; I swear I’m going to eat the rest of that cream cheese before it grows mold again… again.

Like the title says, this was a very domestic day. I had the house to myself and plenty on my to-do list to finish. Would you believe I haven’t downloaded music in months. These were the few songs I’ve heard on the radio recently that I had to have.

Recently Added

That gave me the chance to charge my iPod, Nintendo DS, and cell phone. While I was doing that, I was also looking online for a good vegan meatloaf recipe. In true Evan-fashion, I couldn’t find one that fit my wants perfectly or I had all the ingredients for, so I took a little of each and made my own. I’ll admit–making my own recipe for something that I’ve never even had before felt a little silly, but I had high hopes for this.

Lentils And Trader Joe's Brown Rice Mix

The “meat” of the loaf I decided was brown rice and lentils, which are two of my mom’s favorite vegan foods(and probably the only two). Instead of plain brown rice, I used a Trader Joe’s mix that has some seeds in it, as well. In another bowl, I worked with all the dry and wet ingredients, and 60 minutes later had it actually looking like a “loaf”

Uncooked Vegan Meatloaf

Not only have I never had vegan meatloaf before, I don’t think I’ve ever had regular meatloaf before. How weird is that? But after seeing this on Anna’s blog, I knew I really wanted it to work out. Did I mention I had to dice an onion for this? I felt like Julia Child from Julie & Julia. After the pot of rice for the loaf came off the stove, I decided that’d be good for lunch, too, so I threw another serving on. Besides that, I did not feel like cooking. Naturally, I let Al Fresco do the work.

Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausages

Brown Rice Bowl With Broccoli, Garlic Chicken Sausages, And Soy Sauce

Let’s not point out the irony in shoving a vegan meatloaf in the refrigerator and pulling out chicken sausages to eat. Instead, let me just tell you how good these sausages were. In our Italian household, we’ve never been shy about adding garlic to dishes. It’s just one of those spices I cannot get enough of. Apparently, somebody at Al Fresco felt the same, because they just let these have the flavor like it was nobody’s business. It tasted so good with the soy sauce and rice(yes, there’s rice under there).

After lunch, I really wanted to get a good workout in. I came up with what I’m calling the “Count to 10” cardio and fitness workout. All you need to do is know how to count to 10, and you can do it!

  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times
  • Do 10 push-ups
  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times
  • Do 10 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

Isn’t that simple? But it’s also good in that it works you for a while, and works your legs, abs, and arms. Next time I do this, I’ll probably raise the sit-ups to 20 to fit my own fitness, but you can play around with it as you will. The whole thing took about 70 minutes, and halfway through I reached for some electrolytes.

Orange Bot Beverage

Just today, Bot Beverages sent m a pack of their lightly sweetened sport waters to sample and review. The timing for this really worked out perfectly, and orange sounded like a zesty flavor to start. The Orange Bot wasn’t incredibly flavorful, but it was definitely better than water for replenishing myself; and I’m ecstatic to see a company who believes you don’t need high sugar and artificial flavors and colors to have a good workout. I ended up drinking 1/2 the bottle and saving the rest for another time. After those electrolytes, for my post-workout eats I turned to some protein.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate Shavings

Really, I’ll look towards any excuse to eat chocolate. And because I was on an orange kick, I shaved on a square of the 1.4oz organic Endangered Speciesdark chocolate with natural orange flavor. The orange wasn’t super pronounced(just like the Bot water), but it was a nice hint of flavor. And, as I’ve pointed out, I’m really saving the environment by eating chocolate 😉 During this, my mom came home and was delighted to see dinner mostly made. We threw the meatloaf in the oven at 5:30 so it’d be ready for dinner when my dad got home.

Vegan Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard

On the stove, cook completely your brown rice and lentils. While those are simmering, dice the onion and shave the carrot. In a food processor or mini chopper, finely crush the walnuts into crumbs. Combine all of those in a dish with the bread crumbs, salt, and seasoning. When the brown rice is ready, toss it in that bowl. In a separate bowl, mush the cooked lentils with a potato masher until a thick puree. Add to the rice mixture the ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce and mix. Lastly, add the lentil puree and fold until fully incorporated. Transfer this into a loaf pan. For best results, let the laof sit in the refrigerator for 2-5 hours before baking if time allows. When ready to cook, bake in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for 60 minutes, and let cool on counter covered for another 10 minutes before cutting into.

Since the loaf is so dense and nutritious, we didn’t cook too much alongside it. We simply roasted some brussels sprouts.

Vegan Meatloaf, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oh my God was this good! Right off the bat, with the ketchup and mustard and onions it reminded us all of a McDonalds hamburger. Except it was vegan–go figure! My mom also enjoyed that it was soy free(save some soy sauce). The loaf didn’t hold together as well as I hoped it would but that’s probably because we took it out a little early. I ended up eating probably twice as much as pictured, and it was sooo worth it even if it’s made me bloated like a balloon. For once I can say I’m truly excited to have leftovers!

After dinner, my parents decided they needed to go to the grocery store to pick up some things, and I opted to stay home to watch Dr. Who and do work like write 4 product reviews, a recipe, and this post. I must really like blogging if I turned down a trip to the grocery store for it 🙂 Since then, they’ve came back with a McDonalds’ coffee for me, which has already “disappeared”, and I’m watching the new Biggest Loser! Now I just need to remember that, as delicious as this vegan meatloaf is, it’s not as easily digestable as chocolate or oatmeal at 9pm at night…

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