A “Basic” Brownie Recipe

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

I come from the line of thinking that you should never make things from a box: Either make it yourself, or buy it from someone who made it themselves. Things just taste better that way, don’t they?

Last night, I had a brownie attack. Don’t we all get those? I used to swear by a recipe like this one by Rachael Ray.I love the tag: “We can’t believe people are still using boxed mixes!” However, since then my “basic” has become anything but. Of course, there’s the gluten thing; I’ve also steered away from using eggs in baked goods for personal reasons. And, while I’m at it, I usually figure why not take out the dairy and make them vegan just in case? In case of what? I have no clue either. But that’s my line of thinking. And so I made brownies as “basic” as I could. And you know what? They turned out darn good. And because they were vegan, I got to lick the pan 😉

Basic Allergen-Friendly Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk(water in a pinch)
  • 1 flax egg(1 tablespoon flaxmeal gelled in 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 oz chopped dark chocolate, or 6 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl, sift together the first five ingredients. Melt the non-hydrogenated margarine and add in the olive oil, non-dairy milk, vinegar, flax egg, and extract. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until incorporated. Fold in the dark chocolate and pour into an 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When you’re living with allergens, life isn’t simple. Good thing these brownies are. And tasty!

I’m ashamed to say this was store bought vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream. When you get used to the home-churned stuff, it just feels naughty coming from a carton. Regardless, this was soooo good. Isn’t this how every weekend should be? 3-days long and full of brownie sundaes? I think so.

You could use 3 ounces of fancy chocolate for the recipe. Or you could use vegan baking chips and save the good stuff for yourself to eat straight. I think you can guessed what I chose.

And a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and sea salt tasted good after all that chocolate. Sometimes, you just need to detox.

After all that baking/microwaving, I did not feel like much for breakfast this morning. I really wanted a big cake donut and to call it a day but that wasn’t happening. Thankfully, I found this chocolate chip muffin from Gluten Free Life to eat with some earth balance. Just like my brownies, you’d never guess this was gluten-free! And so many chocolate chips. Yum 🙂

Anything exciting on tap for Memorial Day? I had a pool party in store but apparently it’s been rain checked since the pool won’t heat up 😦 Alas, we have a grill, we have neighbors, I’m sure we’ll find some way to spice up Memorial day.

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Raw Foods And Fried Foods

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

If you asked me what I loved to eat, I’d probably answer fried foods and raw foods. At least the one balances out the other, right? The easiest ways I find to get raw foods in is a fresh salad:

Maple Spinach Salad With Raw Cheddar, Avocado, Maple Tofu, And Maple Walnuts

Maple Spinach Salad With Raw Cheddar, Avocado, Maple Tofu, And Maple Walnuts

Let’s call this the “garbage can” salad because I threw whatever I wanted to get rid of on it. And it worked! The base was spinach tossed with maple syrup and walnut oil. In the mix was 1/2 an avocado, a Next Generation Dairy cheddar cheese stick, and leftover maple tofu, topped with Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts. I made this to-go to eat in class like always on Tuesdays but it didn’t make it that far 8-| I just couldn’t resist; and it was so tasty! I went with my hunger and ate it and went off to class.

Almond Protein Plus Boomi Bar

Almond Protein Plus Boomi Bar

Mid-afternoon I snacked on an almond protein plus Boomi Bar. I’ve always wanted to make my own bar like this: throw it all together and hope it works. I like that this was 3 simple ingredients: almonds, honey, and whey protein isolate. I didn’t care much for protein isolate, though(I rarely do). And the flavor wasn’t quite as good as Perfect Foods Bars(reviewed here).

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

I had an apple after taking another Greek language test. If you remember, I made a small fortune off of taking them earlier in the semester, and I’m hoping the same for this one. Although since I’m competing against juniors and seniors who know much more than me, I’m wary.

Raw Brownies

Raw Brownies

I also found time to “bake” raw brownies this afternoon, except I used a different recipe with a few new, secret ingredients. I’m not sure how they’ll be once they set. And the added ingredients definitely added a ton of fat. The batter was tasty, at least.

Food Processor

Food Processor

My favorite thing about vegan desserts is that you can always eat the batter. I think I had a little too much of this. Blech. But it was good! Can’t wait to see how these come out.

Preparing Dinner

Preparing Dinner

For dinner I gave my first attempt at frying! I filled my pan with a good coating of sesame oil and laid down some tofu strip. I let them brown for about 3 minutes on each side.

Sesame Tofu, Broccoli And Snap Peas With Soy Sauce And Sesame Oil

Sesame Tofu, Broccoli And Snap Peas With Soy Sauce And Sesame Oil

Golden Sesame Tofu

Golden Sesame Tofu

And then for my Asian-inspired dinner. I probably could have let the tofu go for longer; it certainly didn’t taste like Whole Foods. But I was really proud of this! I feel like a whole new culinary style has opened up to me, and I can start to use a Paula Dean cookbook 😉 Is a deep fryer in store for me over the Summer? Probably not. I’ll let Whole Foods handle that.

Do you/Did you ever walk around the neighborhood a lot? Usually, after dinner(especially a good, big one), we would walk around the neighborhood for fun and for health. I feel like when the weather’s nice everyone’s out around where I live. I can’t wait for that during the Summer again! And I definitely feel like I could use a walk now. It might not be as good without the neighborhood, but I’ll find somewhere.

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The Birthday Day

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust 🙂

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle nuttiness to it that I preferred to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both 🙂 This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day 😉 The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints 😉

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a tendency to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Peanut Butter And Black Beans

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , , |

Hi, all! Since we’re eating out tonight for my birthday, I knew I wouldn’t be home to post, but still wanted to leave you with something. Well have I got the thing for you. The Peanut Butter Boy announced his new recipe contest today, and this is going to be my entry! It’s also a favorite recipe of mine and something I plan on making for Easter. It’s gluten-free and absolutely delicious(I promise you can’t taste the black beans), so try it out, won’t you?

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies With Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, unsalted, drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 3 ounces greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free chocolate chip(Trader Joe’s recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons Sunspire all-natural peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup neufchatel cream cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Puree the black beans until they are completely deconstructed(this can also be done with a potato masher if need be). In a bowl, whisk together the butter, softened, eggs, greek yogurt, cocoa powder, sugar, and extract. Add in the black bean puree, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips and fold until all is incorporated. Prepare an 8×8 brownie pan and pour the batter into it. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter and cream cheese. Add in small dollops on top of the brownie batter and swirl decoratively. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is fully set.

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“These Aren’t Treadmill Miles”

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning marked a glorious return to outside running. I’m a bit of a nit-pick when it comes to the weather; I like it hot and sunny, 80’s please. But with my race coming up in 3 weekends, I thought it would be good to do some outdoor running while the weather was so gorgeous today. 50! It felt like springtime. So I laced up, booted up the Garmin, and hit the streets of Providence down the Eastside path. I’m not the biggest fan or run reports, but since this was my first time outside in nearly 4 months, I think it’s worth one 😉

Through The Window

Mile 1: All I could think was how much I wanted to grill, drink a blueberry smoothie, and eat a peach! Memories of Summer came flooding back and I felt incredible. Everything felt alive again.

Mile 2-3: It started to hit me: These weren’t treadmill miles I was running. In my mind, miles on the ‘mill are as good as the road; my legs, however, disagree, and it didn’t help that at times the path was not paved and still soaked from snow a few days ago. I really didn’t know how long I could go.

Mile 4: I just tried to keep my mind off of things, and even worked on a smoothie recipe(to follow).

Mile 5: Should I stick with my intentions for 9 miles or cut back to 6? No, I can do this!I’ve done it once and I can do it again, literally(the run I was on had me repeat a 3-mile path route.

Mile 6-7: I really soaked up the sun, enjoyed the company of fellow runners and dogs. Getting out of my mind was the key.

Mile 8-9.5: I had a great time and a great run. I even ran into Whole Foods to grab a blueberry Chobani and tried not to dilly-dally looking at groceries too much(though I easily could have).

9.56 Miles In 1:24:13

Will I hit the streets again sometime soon? You betcha! Probably even tomorrow. During the week, I really like running 1st thing, so that time will probably be at the gym. But the weekends can be another story. I was also ready to refuel(food does make fun fuel, after all), and whipped together that smoothie I mentioned.

Blueberry Almond Recovery Shake

In the food processor went

  • 1 blueberry Chobani
  • 1/4 unsweetened Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 5 ice cubes

This was the perfect smoothie considering what I had on hand. It’s full of quick carbs, complete protein, and a little fat to help with the fat-soluble nutrients. Not only is a smoothie a great way to cool down, it also let me not worry about making a full lunch fast so that I could shower, rest up, and put together a good meal.

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder, Roasted And Charred Sweet Potato

You would not believe how soft a sweet potato is after 4 1/2 hours in the oven; it’s hardly a solid at that point. I put it in at 9:30 when I anticipated getting back from my run late. I turned off the oven at 10:30 but let it continue cooking in there in the foil. By the time the burger was done at 2, the sweet potato could have fallen apart in my hand. So as to not waste the beef fat, I sliced it in half and charred it in my pan–easy clean up, too! It all tasted soft and delicious(even the meat, which was–admittedly–undercooked). My only complaint would be that sweet potatoes hardly feel filling after all that.

After almost 10 miles outside, sitting in, doing work, and watching a movie sounded like a goodthing to me. 95% of the movies I watch are on TV, so I was pretty excited to stumble on The Da Vinci Code not 5 minutes in. I also was really craving a brownie, but wasn’t about to walk the mile to Whole Foods to get one. What to do?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

The freezer to the rescue! I found the last two-bite bits of these brownies I made for New Years Eve with peanut butter chips. Holy yum! They were still as good after dethawing. The trick to a good brownie is good chocolate chips in them.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

A little later and I was feeling a bit… gluttenous? I don’t think Lent is healthy for me; it gives me the oddest meat cravings to repress on Friday only to erupt Saturday. This time, I thought I would try the chocolate bacon peanut brittle from Sir Francis Bacon.

Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

Over soy yogurt, of course, because I eat up that irony! Wow–the brittle was an experience like no other. I recapped them both at the end, but I think the chocolate version was such an improvement over the original. You can really taste the milkfat in the chocolate and that’s pretty key.

Apple

Before dinner I snacked on this apple and plenty of coffee while reading all about the slave and sugar trade for class. All day I felt like I was either eating or thinking of what to eat next, which makes me wonder if outdoor miles really could be different from treadmill miles and require more food. Clearly, I was happy to oblige. But for dinner I really just wanted to sit down and eat a meal that would make me feel full.

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbreads

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles

I also wanted picnic food! Today’s good weather had me thinking a tuna salad–as simple as they are–sounded perfect. When I was in pre-K, I remember getting served tuna salad sandwiches for lunch and making them scrape off the tuna and mayo; I was not a fan :-/ Now I make them with 365 brand wild caught tuna fish in spring water and greek yogurt(2% here) and love ’em! The broccoli felt fresh, and what could say picnic better than Dr. Krackerssunflower cheddar flatbread? It’s not a gluten-free food by any means. But I love the cheddar with the chewy sunflower seeds and any discomfort will be well worth it.

First of all, there’s this giveaway for Honest Foods bars to tell you about. Next up I have to ask how do you feel about movies on TV? Like I mentioned, they’re about all the movies I see. I’m looking through the TV Guide right now and it looks like not much other than Forest Gump will be on here. Humph. Lastly, let me review some bacon peanut brittle for you.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

8.5/10: No, your eyes do not deceive you. Sir Francis Bacon does indeed make a brittle composed of peanuts and bacon. A lot went through my mind in trying this. The first things I noticed were the instant aroma of smoked bacon opening the package and the abundance of ingredients in this brittle–perfect. I’ll admit that I was nervous–to say the least–that this would taste like a 7-Eleven reject. And it very well might have if the company didn’t put such tremendous care in making a smoky, robust brittle with a subtle sweetness to liven it all up. Thankfully, this tasted delicious and just as I described. I would not recommend this to anyone unsure about the idea of bacon and dessert; the flavor really is potent. But if you’re wacky for eccentric foods, this just might be worth tracking down and paying the rough-but-fair price tag.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

9/10: I don’t know what to say about the combination of peanuts, bacon, and milk chocolate other than–wow! This really was an improvement on the original bacon peanut brittle; not only are the pieces perfectly pre-proportioned because of the chocolate covering but the chocolate itself has the perfect milkfat content to be rich and powerful against the smokiness of the bacon. Similar to their other product, this is definitely something you need to be interested in before going whole hog and trying it. But if you know the flavors are for you, be a pig and dig in to the box of chocolates.

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What A Bust

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

One more day to enter the yogurt giveaway!

Save anything food related, today was totally a bust! That incredible Nor’easter has hardly hit us, and there’s barely an inch sticking to the ground while just 10’s of miles away they’re getting feet. Feet. What a bust.

Also, my professor sent an email saying we’d have class today even though he sent one last night(after this grandpa had logged off) saying we probably wouldn’t have class. Another bust. Did I mention I volunteered to bring snacks for this class?

Xagave

Making Raw Frosting

Because this class is about 20% serious, 80% fun(like me! Or how I try to be), there’s a snack sign-up, and I volunteered first. I thought it’d be “cute” to make my raw vegan brownies because my essay–also due today in rough draft form–is on the food processor. And, yes, I’ve brought my food processor to Brown. As I plan on being here many weekends and days off, I’ve realized I just can’t be without it for so long and dragged it along(in 10 feet of bubble wrap) Sunday.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Raw Frosting

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this batch; the flaxseed was not ground well enough and so I could tell these would be “crunchy”. I think the problem was in making a double batch; these deserve the care of small-scale making so that the focus is on quality and not quantity! I also made a triple batch of frosting for them; that part was just for fun 😉 For “real food” I made a real lunch.

Broccoli, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbread

Tuna salad was the perfect protein for today. I literally do not remember the last time I ate fish :-O And it makes a little more space in the bins under my bed; it’s just a little, but I need all that I can get. I mixed the can with 1oz full-fat greek yogurt for creaminess and sunflower seeds for crunch! Those went great with the sunflower cheddar flatbread; I forgot how good these were over break! The benefit of eating out under my bed before buying anything new will be (re)discovering treasures like this.

Blueberry Pomegranate Steaz

And I had a Steaz because fancy drinks make me happy when everything else is a bust. Days Of Our Lives may not be a bust, per say, but it sure is a tease. Would something just amount from this Melanie drama! So frustrating.

Gingerade Kombucha

I got to class way early so I could also look to buy a book for one of my classes; the line was too long for me to wait in so that walk was a bust. While I was down there, I stopped by Blue State for my new favorite drink. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking at my School Card balance online to realize these cost $4 a pop! Yikes! I justify that by saying it’s money that’s “already in the system” and needs to be used up eventually, but I need to tame my addiction to these or get to a Whole Foods and start using the coupons I was sent to sample new flavors.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Chocolate Frosting

As far as I can tell, the brownies went over really well! There are 10-11 of us in the class, I made 16, and there was 1 by the end. You can do the math. I think the one problem was that there were flax seeds in everyone’s teeth, but the excess frosting totally makes up for it. I found it so interesting looking at who were the people taking seconds; it wasn’t the burly men but rather the happy and healthy looking girls. I love women with appetites 😀

Even though class was a go, our “field trip” was a bust. We were supposed to go to the library and get a presentation on some one-of-a-kind Native American watercolors from the 16th century. The librarian who was supposed to do this never came in today because she was “sick”. I’m pretty sure that’s code for not wanting to go to work on what should be a snow day. Oh well, we got out 50 minutes early! That gave me time to get back into my dorm and eat this:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hulled Hemp Seed

I swear, if it weren’t for the food today this would be a total bust. But this surely wasn’t! Nothing about me was craving the fat in chocolate avocado pudding; actually, I’ve been craving So Delicious soy yogurt all week and it’s driving me up a wall! BUT I did need to get my Bob’s Red Mill hemp seed fix in. I am just loving these! They’re so much more nutty and vanilla than any other seed, and quite unique. I wonder if hemp seed butter is as delicious.

Stir Fried Tofu, Tempeh, Mushrooms, And Snap Peas With Soy Sauce And Sesame Oil

For dinner, I had planned to have a red thai curry tofu and tempeh dish with a coconut milk based sauce(Trader Joe’s Brand). Once I got a whiff of sesame oil, I knew it was all I wanted. I made a quick stir fry of snap peas, mushrooms, tofu, and tempeh, and then added soy sauce and more sesame oil at the end–delicious! Whenever I do a stir fry, I think tofu and tempeh is a must; I love the soft and chewy contrast.

Does it count as a bust that Survivor isn’t on tonight? OK, it never was supposed to be, but I was sooo convinced it was Thursday for the past hour. But it starts back up tomorrow! I can’t wait 😀 Maybe I’ll just have to bust a move while finishing Latin and getting an early night in for a 6:15 wake-up call. How many miles can I bust out before I need to get ready for class? We’ll see…

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Eating Raw With Bloggers

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

Good morning! I meant to set something up last night that’s exciting to auto-post, but clearly that didn’t pull together in time. Such excitement will have to wait for the week, but I can show you what exciting things did happen. Lunch was about a 7 on the excitement scale.

Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, And Cauliflowe With Grass-Fed Steak And Colby Cheese

Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, And Cauliflowe With Grass-Fed Steak And Colby Cheese

I think 7 is very good for leftovers. I steamed some vegetables and shredded some raw & probiotic colby cheese on top(but remembered not to stick it in the microwave because that would defeat the purpose of raw!). On an inside grill, I reheated the leftover steak in grass-fed butter, and then poured the drippings after cooking on top. OK–the steak was good, but the drippings were fantastic. Butter and beef fat–yumm. After lunch I made a little dessert.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Frosting

Raw Vegan Brownies With Goji Berries And Hulled Hemp Seeds

Before you start drooling too much, this was only 1 pan. The first photo was a before and the second an after shot 😀 But I didn’t make these all for myself(though I could have); last night there was a Boston blogger meet-up at Grezzo’s Restaurant which is all raw so I thought this would be an appropriate(and tasty) dessert, recipe here. Let me also show you my new adoration:

Bob's Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seeds

Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds. I don’t know where to begin. The nutrition? Fantastic. The preparation and care they put into providing and packaging their product? Amazing. The inherint, nutty vanilla flavor? Sock it to me. These were perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Coconut Oil And Hulled Hemp Seeds

Now that’s exciting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as filling as I was expecting. Was there not enough fat? o_O Sooo, after reading other blogs, I decided vanilla froyo must be the missing secret ingredient. We may not have self-serve frozen yogurt around Boston, but we do have freezers and delicious varieties of name brands.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

My favorite, for anyone keeping track.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

That hit the spot and held me over for dinner. It’s cool. It’s creamy. It’s everything a vanilla should be. Unfortunately, that’s all she wrote for it.

Empty Container

:-/ At least I made plenty of space in the freezer for another container!(which will probably be an exact replacement of this one :-P). Right before leaving, I found more evidence of my exciting insensibility: Something that I thought I brought to school, looked all over for, decided I left at home, looked all over for and could never find turned out to be in my backpack all the while. Thank God I can laugh at myself because I give me a kick 😀

At 7 I arrived at Grezzo’s and found a great number of bloggers and readers. There were 9 of us in total; it was all set up by Melissa at Crunches For Cupckakes. Thanks, Melissa! I think I was the only one to have eaten there before(documented here). That didn’t matter much because the menu had completely changed for dinner. I wasn’t sure what to order but I ended up going with a pasta dish(I know–I was surprised with me here, too!) that 5 other people also got.

Gnocchi Carbonara

The “gnocchi” were made out of cashews and oat flour, I believe, and in a nut-cream sauce. It was delicious! They were soooo rich and doughy and simply melted in your mouth. I think I liked them way more than regular gnocchi. The cream sauce was also good, but I only ate about 6 peas; I’m just not a fan of raw vegetables.

Bloggers

One of the interesting things brought up at the table was if we thought we could eat like this much. The easy consensus was no. For 1, raw takes sooo much preparation; some of our food was made and sat for days in advance. That’s simply not easy to do on a working schedule. The other reason was simple: We love hot food! Oatmeal, baked vegetables, microwaved vegetables–I know I, for one, couldn’t give up things like that. A big bowl of baked veggies and tofu with maple syrup is totally my comfort food. At first I wasn’t planning for a dessert, but… c’mon 😉

Chocolate Mint Cookie With Chocolate Frosting

Surprisingly, this was one of their less extravagent desserts; can you believe it? Check out Lauren’s blog for a shot of her brownie sundae. Next time I go, I most definitely want to try their gelato. The rawest ice cream I’ve had is banana soft serve so that would most definitely be a kick. All in all it was a great night and my first chance to meet some awesome bloggers. I even got a few new ones to add to my blogroll! After stopping at a party where my parents were to say hi to old friends, we didn’t get home until late. Let’s just say it’s been a while since I’ve seen Saturday Night Live live. I also wasn’t terribly tired and a little voracious. I think the cookie had ton of agave nectar, which won’t spike your blood levels but will keep you going and going and going(I was like the Energizer Bunny!). The other half of that was that eating raw meant so much less volume of food, even if it was calorically dense. The solution?

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pumpkin oats! Another example of why I could never go raw 🙂 I certainly enjoyed my night and I can’t wait to go to my next blogger meet-up someday!

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Too Cold For Anything Else

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has just been too cold for anything other than what I did and was done. My hands are recirculating, and my jeans have been long swapped for PJ’s by now. I suppose that when they announce an “Extreme Cold Advisory” on the news, they mean business. Backing up, I had some weird cravings for lunch. It was just too cold to want something real or excited. I managed to reign back my cravings a bit and make a semi-normal lunch.

Root Beer Zevia, Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Did maple peanut butter jump out of the jar onto my turkey? It just might of… with a little help. I prefer dark meat, so if I’m going to have white meat turkey I better stick some fat in there somehow; the sweet maple was pure craving, but at least it worked well with these chips.

To-Do List

I probably should have heeded the weather warning and stayed indoors just because I could but I had a bit of a list to work on. At least while I was out I managed to get it all done. I’m officially on a lower meal plan, trading 110 meals and 125 flex points for about $240 dollars;It’d definitely be a “better bargain” to have stayed on but what’s the use if it goes to wast? Nada.

Books And Notebooks

I ended up returning 2 of my books and buying them new; I try to buy used when possible but these were a little too used and they’re books I’ll be looking at for a while so I figured the extra money was worth it. The final total for the semester was around $350–not bad considering the majority of the books are in my concentration and I’ll need beyond this semester.

Tazo Calm Tea

It was too cold not to get tea while I was near a campus convenience store. I threw everything on the bed and considered making a snack, but wanted to get to a dining hall right at 4 to grab things for dinner and get in for the night before it got colder. Or so I thought. I got there at 4:10. They opened at 4:30. But unless I wanted to go back into the cold(absolutely not), I would just have to wait there. So I did. I didn’t end up getting back to my room until 4:45.

Cooked Vegetables, Raw Broccoli, Sandwich Lettuce, Apples

At least it was a productive shopping trip. I don’t know if you’re supposed to load up two large take out containers with vegetables, but no one particularly stops you if you do. You might get odd looks, but no words. I was starving and just threw together the best thing I could think of.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

It was too cold not to eat pumpkin oats with maple peanut butter. Nothing would have made this better, unless it were made in the jar; I think that’s a principal of life. Instead of eating more after this, which definitely would have spoiled my appetite for dinner, I just decided to invest a little time and “make something” that’d be nice. Since I was craving Indian, I mixed 2/3 a can of chickpeas, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons indian spice, and enough watter to thin it. Normally I’d prefer a tomato based sauce but it was too cold not to utilize pumpkin(and that’s all I had on hand). That made about 3 servings, so I took 1 and saved 2.

Vegetable Melange, Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas, Raw Vegan Brownie

Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas Wit Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

This was pretty darn good. The chickpeas came out nice and spicy, with the pumpkin to add some savor factor. A dollop of full fat yogurt, though, really made the whole thing come alive; the dish needed fat and depth. Speaking of fat, the raw vegan brownies are still just as delicious. It was too cold not to have something sweet to finish of dinner. Do other people eat the best part of their meal at the end, too? I always did this as a kid, but people would confuse this for me not liking something and picking it off my plate before I would get to it. Not cool. No one got my brownie.

Don’t think having chocolate with dinner meant there won’t be some for dessert; it would just be too cold to ignore chocolate like that. I do feel somewhat bad on skipping out on a friend’s birthday party tonight. But if I went–and in this cold–I wouldn’t be enjoying myself, and I’m not convinced she’d notice me there amongst the other 100 facebook friends attending. So after all I don’t feel bad about ditching it for some light and humorous reads.

Homework

Wow are there a lot of giveaways going on now. Here’s one for a bread machine. Here’s another for coconut oil! Here’s one for some delicious bars. And here’s one for iHerb shopping spree! Here’s one for chocolate. And how about one last one for chocolate, here!

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From Loser To Winner

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Self-sabotage is a funny thing: Do we do it on purpose? Do we do it subconsciously? Or does it just “happen”? I’m not quite sure, but I entirely sabotaged my workout this morning. I planned on doing the count-to-10 workout modified by 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups. In anticipation, I drank. A lot. No, not beer–get your mind out of the gutter. But coffee, water, and black tea, and all this had me feeling like a hot mess when I got going.

It wasn’t pretty. I got through 1/4 of the workout and realized I was over-hydrated, overheated, and doing anything more would just be stupid; if you can hear “splish-splosh” when you do a sit-up, it wasn’t meant to be. I felt like a loser, but I just stopped and went to somewhere I’m always usually a winner: The kitchen.

Crunchy Sunflower Seed Butter

I must have gotten onto a sunflower seed kick after breakfast. First up, I made a sunflower seed butter that I’ll hopefully like more than Trader Joe’s(sorry, Joe, but you failed me there). I added sea salt and sunflower seeds at the end so this would be a crunchy seed butter. Who doesn’t love texture? Next up, I sought to make some new and improved raw brownies.

Raw Brownies

Avery led me to a recipe that I was able to modify to my own tastes. I most definitely wanted to use seeds as a binder, and just needed to adjust the cocoa/agave/date ratio. I think I ended up nailing them on the head. And while I usually don’t frost regular brownies(which I remember debated on Kalin’s blog once), these were just begging for something. The frosting was super simple, and by far the most fun thing to make.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup(120 grams) dates
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the frosting:

  • 1oz avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds and flax seeds until mostly crumbs, but not to the point of becoming like butter. Add the dates and agave nectar and mix until a ball of dough forms. Add in the cocoa powder and continue mixing until well incorporated. Press into a square dish and cut.

For the frosting, mash the avocado until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the cocoa powder and agave nectar and continue mixing until completely smooth. Spread over each of the brownies.

Raw Brownies With Frosting

Nailing this recipe really had me feeling like a winner. You know what else had me feeling like a winner? Actually winning Q.bel’s contest for a catchy and fun review on facebook! I can’t wait to get a big ol’ box of chocolate. I’ve already reviewed 5 of their products here but have yet to try the milk chocolate rolls or their 2 new flavors(vegan and mint). It was amazing how much my spirits had changed so much over the course of 1 hour. I was intensly ready for a winning lunch.

Steamed Broccoli, Lightlife Sausage With Cheddar Cheese And Green Pepper

Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

I just love love love the Lightlife sausage(from a log, not pre-formed) heated up with some cheese; it’s like the perfect spice level for comfort. I usually make it with an onion but we’re all out so the pepper took that place(not too well). I don’t usually have dessert with my meal but I figured anything made mostly from seeds and dates wasn’t really a dessert(don’t you like the way I think ;-)). The brownie came out so good; it was actually just like the one I shelled out $5 for from Grezzo. I think it needs a little more chocolate flavor, but I don’t know how to do that without comprimising the texture, and the texture is amazing.

Work-Out Checklist

By 3 I was ready to retackle the workout. Over the last 4 hours, I had drank maybe half a cup of water and a cup of coffee(Hey, something needed to go with the brownie ;-)), and I felt overall better. I put the laptop near the stairs, played a movie, and got to work doing my count-to-1o series:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 15 push-ups
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

To keep track while I’m doing this(and to make sure I really just need to count to 10), I use a checklist on the door to keep track of my progress. Obviously, once everything was checked off, I was done, and a sweaty mess at that. I quickly showered and then hopped to the kitchen for a refueling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Snackaroons

The Raw Bakery sent me these interesting snackaroons to try out, which I knew would go great on another one of my favorites:

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Snackaroons

Chocolate avocado pudding. We picked up coconut milk kefir over the weekend so I was able to make this the way I love; it came out super creamy and coconut-licious. The chocolate snackaroons were just the perfect touch for some more coconut and healthy fats. Yum! They were perfectly raw-tasting, and held me over quite nicely until dinner.

Dill Salmon, Roasted Broccoli, Carrots With Maple And Soy Glaze

We had salmon we had to cook up, so I suggested throwing dill on top; dill is one of my favorite herbs ever, especially with fish–soo good! On the side was simple broccoli and carrots that needed another good 15 minutes in the oven. A little soy sauce(or wheat-free tamari for me) perks any vegetables up, though. I completely forgot to keep some in my dorm room all last semester; I won’t be making that mistake again.

Enter Holly’s amazing contest for a blender!

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The Worst Thing About New Years…

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The worst thing about New Years is dating everything 2009 for the next 2 months and having to cross it out. Seriously, I’m going to be doing that into March. But if that’s the worst thing about 2010, I’m guessing it’s going to be a good year 🙂

Isn’t it the case that whenever you’re hosting you forget something? For us, it was good parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Cheese

My dad and I ran to the store(in a snow storm) to grab a hunk. I also quickly looked for nutritional yeast while we were there but couldn’t find any 😦 I guess that’ll be one new thing to try in 2010! I also may have been convinced to come along by a McDonalds’ coffee–just saying.

Our guests called to say they’d be here more 5-ish because of the snow, so I definitely needed some snacks before party food.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Red Delicious Apple

Oatmeal and peanut butter will still be a theme in the New Year; please, nobody fret. We laid out the appetizers…

Apricot Glazed Baked Brie

Savory Cheeseball

Whole Wheat Red Pepper Foccaccia

…and soon they were here. Can I just say that we demolished these? I think there was 3 slices of foccaccia left, 1/2 of the hummus, and 1/3 the cheeseball and… that was about it.

Whole Wheat Red Pepper Foccaccia, Apricot Brie, Dr. Kracker Hummus Maximus Crackers

I ate this times about 2 because I went back for seconds on them all. The bread was so good! It was a Food Network recipe–just store bought whole wheat pizza dough brushed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper and topped with onion and parmesan. Could it get much simpler? I also really liked the Hummus Maximus crackers; I don’t know that there was anything specific about the flavor I could pinpoint as chickpea, but it was definitely unique and worked well with the hummuses. We did a very early toast.

Toasting Glass

Everyone had champagne except for me and their 4 year old boy, who had milk. Can you guess what was in my glass?… Black Cherry Zevia 🙂 And I wouldn’t have had it any other way(This, naturally, led in to the conversation of how something could be natural and diet soda and why my shirt matched my beverage ;-)). Once we were done with appetizers, we moved on to the main course.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Homemade Meatballs

Roasted Carrots And Turnips, Sirloin Roast, Roasted Broccoli, Homemade Whole Wheat Potato Gnocchi

Our guests were Korean and love their vegetables and red meat; can you tell we tried to accomodate that 😉 Everyone seemed to love everything, and there was nothing bad here. Our guest’s husband was soooo happy that the gnocchi was whole wheat because that meant “his wife would let him eat it”. Haha! Have I mentioned how much I love these people?

Roasted Brussels And Broccoli, Homemade Whole Wheat Gnocchi With Meatballs

This was my plate; I chose the 3 or 4 things I wanted and made a more-or-less normal dinner. I knew I’d be seeing this all for leftovers next year, anyway. You can pretty much assume I at 4 times the brussels and broccoli as pictured because that’s what I kept going back for more of. For the first time, my mom made her meatballs with all-natural ingredients so I made those my main course instead of the sirloin roast that the rest of the table had. They were so soft and moist they melted in my mouth! The gnocchi were also very good, too.

After dinner, we laid out the desserts.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownies, Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti, Italian Bakery Bought Cookies, Tiramisu, Wine, And Newman's Organic Decaf Coffee

At first I was honestly too stuffed for anything but coffee. After a few cups and about 30 minutes of sitting and talking, I had room.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie, Tiramisu

This was my dessert plate. Oh My God, did these gluten free brownies turn out good! They didn’t even stick to the pan and were super super fudgy. I was worried 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips wouldn’t make a difference but you totally got the peanut butter flavor. Our guests brought a homemade tiramisu made with hazelnut liqueur. It was good! I appreciate that they made the cake bottom instead of using HFCS-laden ladyfingers. We’re not sure what happened with the top layer, which was rather thin, but overall the flavor was there.

Our dessert conversation ran through everything from my bacon milk chocolate bar to beliefs in God. The good thing about good friends and family is you can argue and disagree and everything and it won’t matter 10 minutes later 🙂

Our guests left around 9:45 to go home, put the little one to sleep, and spend time with their grandparents. Within 30 minutes, we had the house back to spick and span and our PJ’s on. We actually got a call from our neighbors to come over to their house but we were exhausted and did not want to think about leaving the house. Oh well, we’ll see them sometime this year.

Tiramisu, Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie

I made a snack plate. Seriously, these brownies are addicting! I’ll be making another batch before I know it. We watched Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin since we’re such fans of hers and wanted to see what she’d say. Good thing no drinking games around here because there are a ton with her and we’d all had been wasted.

Tiramisu

At 11:58 I unapologetically went back for another scoop of this dessert. It was last year, so it totally doesn’t count anymore, right 😉 And, of course, we watched the ball drop. After that, though, we pretty much went straight to different rooms and crashed. Midnight is a stretch for me!

So far, the New Year has been filled with laziness, not-working out, and baking. Excellent 😀 How long can I reasonably keep this up? We shall see… Actually, I did wake up at 7, but since no one else was alive I felt free to sleep for another 90 minutes. After coffee and a shower, I decided that my banana goodness bread would be my first dish of the decade. Whether it’s a new home or a new decade, I think homemade bread just says “welcome”. I mushed bananas, sifted flour, and stuck it in the oven. While it was baking I had my first breakfast of the decade.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter And Strawberry Yogurt Frosting

See? Things don’t change overnight! That’s partially why I haven’t made any resolutions: I do that enough day-by-day that I feel no pressure to do it year-by-year. Anyway, I wasn’t too hungry and this was late so I kept it simple with delicious, Springtime flavors. I love my salty sweet 🙂 Eventually the bread was done.

Banana Goodness Bread

Another perfect loaf 🙂 This time I swapped out the flaxseed for wheat germ and sprinkled vanilla sugar over the top for some crispness–beautiful. Then my grandmother came over for a New Years lunch. It used to be our tradition when I was a little kid to have chinese take out every new Years day with my grandparents. Instead, we had leftovers, which were 10 times tastier anyway.

Roasted Vegetable Medley, Sirloin Roast, Banana Goodness Bread

Was I supposed to hold off on slicing into that bread? I’m sorry; I think I missed that message 😉 I portioned out 3oz of meat and then loaded up on bread and veggies.Yum! I kind of wish I had the sirloin last night when it was freshly cooked and dripping red but oh well–that’ll happen again in my life sometime. The bread was simply perfect. The key to a crispy stop is a little sprinkling of sugar and it is sooo worth it. Today it sounds like we’re “getting out” because it’s going to snow for 3 straight days, so I’ll be curious to see where we wind up.

A coconut bliss ice cream giveaway! Never tried this but it sounds delicious.

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