Homemade Raisinets

Posted on April 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

One of my favorite Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is “You can eat all the junk food you’d like, so long as you make it yourself”. I couldn’t agree with a thought like this more. Sometimes I wonder, “Is that hamburger and sweet potatoes meal I alway make all that different from a McDonald’s burger and fries?

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash

There are obvious differences: The lack of a refined-grain bun, no added oils or frying, naturally raised and grass-fed beef, etc. But even if my version topped the charts in calories, fat, you name it, I’d still feel 10 times better eating it knowing I made it myself. In fact, the last time I ordered a burger out has to have been August at Ufood Grill. I couldn’t agree more that–on the occasion–having food made for you couldn’t feel like a better treat. But if you’re making from scratch 90% of what you eat, it’s a great way to feel healthy and on top of your game.

Melted Milk Chocolate And Raisins

Melted Milk Chocolate And Raisins

Last night, I started craving milk chocolate covered raisins like nothing else. Chocolate’s not so weird for e, but dried fruit? Funky. Even though I didn’t have any, I had all the ingredients. Why not make some? I was sure they’d come out with a cleaner ingredient list than raisinets, anyway. I used raisins from the Whole Foods bulk bins and 3 chunks Trader Joe’s pound plus milk chocolate bar.

Drying Raisinets

Drying Raisinets

I might have overlooked the annoying fact that these needed to dry individually. Eventually I moved them to the refrigerator, which worked much faster.

Homemade Raisinets

Homemade Raisinets

Homemade Raisinets

Homemade Raisinets

Voila! Don’t they look authentic? I still can’t believe I was craving dried fruit, but that’s another story. These tasted so much fresher than the raisinets I remember, too. Best of all was not thinking about “How many from a King sized box is a serving?” There was no serving. A serving was how much I made and I ate them all up, happily and healthfully.

Tierra Farm Dark Chocolate Coated Almonds

Tierra Farm Dark Chocolate Coated Almonds

Give me some time and I think I could make even dark chocolate covered almonds. But last night it was just a handful of Tierra Farm‘s while passing the time with a book.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

So happy to have a fresh can of coconut milk opened that I love. It’s just 365 brand organic, but it’s so much better than the other I’ve tried. Sadly, this was the last good scoop of Justin’s chocolate almond butter :,-( I’m sure I could make my own, but I love the way Justin’s tastes. I hope to find them in stores really soon.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

I think we can extend the homemade metaphor to breakfast. As in: No matter what or how much you top oatmeal and yogurt with, it’s healthy so long as you do it yourself. That seems legit, right? My oatmeal was actually quite reserves with just 1 huge plop of mighty maple. Do you think it’s a problem when you start singing “Addicted” by Simple Plan to your peanut butter?

Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Look where those bears wound up today! Trying to steal some of my chocolate. This was a new bar to me: Dark Chocolate Mint by Divine. It was good and definitely had some minty staying power. I wasn’t a fan of the crisps, though(never am). I’m still infatuated preferring Alter Eco’s dark chocolate mint on this one.

What was your last do it yourself project? Besides these raisinets, I haven’t had much of a chance to play around this semester between everything else :-/ A little birdy tells me, however, that there’ll be vegan and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes coming up this weekend…

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Wrapping And Packing Up

Posted on April 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This weekend has been a blast! I hope you’ve enjoyed yours, too. And in case you missed them, here was my raw birthday dinner and then the Easter feast. Also, Go Sox! Had to throw that one out there 😀

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Staying home an extra night was definitely a good choice; I did not feel like doing much last night, and hardly got anything accomplished staying in one place! At some point, there was a little bit of my favorite ice cream by So Delicious. Yum! I hope most/all of my ice creams will still be in the freezer by the time I get back on campus, not like I left much of any to begin with 😉

Irawnic Salad, Birthday Cake

Irawnic Salad, Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Leftovers are a funny thing: You crave them at odd times and never feel guilty getting them out of your fridge. Around 10pm I just wanted something citrus/vinegary, which the irawnic salad totally satisfied. Of course, salad breath is never fun to go to bed with, so I washed that down with a side of birthday cake; you got to eat this stuff up while it’s around, right?

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter, Eggs, Tempeh Bacon

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter, Eggs, Tempeh Bacon

Eggs And Tempeh Bacon

Eggs And Tempeh Bacon

I spent this morning muddling around, packing things, sipping on teeccino, and eventually whipping up a breakfast. I would be crazy not to include what I gave up for Lent here, right? Truthfully, I just wanted a bowl of salty oatmeal with plain ol’ 365 brand peanut butter on it, but figured I’d add 2 organic eggs and some Lightlife tempeh bacon for some protein; the tempeh bacon tasted salty and delicious, especially after 40 days without 😀

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar Leaf

Right now I’m planning out a run and eating the healthiest thing possible: a maple leaf made entirely out of maple sugar. At least I’m about to run and put that instant energy to good use. This was from my Easter Basket, speaking of which…

Easter Basket

Easter Basket

You didn’t think the bunny forgot about my favorite holiday, did you? With a little guidance, the bunny was very good about knowing what I wanted. There was a little something from everyone including Divine, Lake Champlain, Green And Black, Go Max Go Foods, and Alter Eco. Should we start the betting pool on how long this will last me?

Mystery Food

Mystery Food

And what on earth could this be?! I’ll let you wonder that for just a little bit while I hope and pray it turns out right. In the meantime, you can enter this Zevia giveaway or this Easter giveaway.

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Starting Off On The Right Foot

Posted on March 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning and happy Wednesday! It’s Wednesday, March 17th, so you know what that means–new Whole Foods sales St. Patricks day! Did you remember to wear green to work? I have on a green shirt right now, and it even says Ireland Rugby League! For the record, I’m a big, fat 0% Irish and haven’t played rugby in my life 😉

Jokerz Candy Bar

There are 3 kinds of bars that come to my mind. There’s the kind too many people will be spending too much time in celebrating tonight, if you know what I mean. There’s the blogger’s “bar” as in health food, often granola or date based bars that we all pack 5 or 6 of at any given time just so we’ll have something to suit our flavor cravings. And then there’s the biggest flirt of them all–the candy bar.

Jokerz Candy Bar

Don’t these Jokerz look just like a Snickers? I can’t get over them! Sure, they’re not at all “healthy” and completely ironic to eat while watching The Biggest Loser. But if my biggest vice is 1 of these a week, I think I’ll manage quite well 😉 This was the perfect way to start off my short-lived night(reaaally not a night person as if you haven’t noticed). Go Max Go Foods makes 4 different all-natural candy bars; I’d be curious to try the other 3. It’s great to have 1 company that suits this sort of diet but a little competition wouldn’t hurt.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Sweetened Coconut

As quick as the night had started, I did some work and called it good enough. Wouldn’t want to overexert now would we? I made a bowl of pumpkin oatmeal topped with my new obsession–Love Raw FoodsRaw Cashew Butter. How sad that it’s almost gone, too 😦 I’ll have to whip out the food processor and try something raw myself. For some added richness, I mixed shredded coconut with agave nectar and added it on top; this is nice and sweet, but without any weird preservatives like in Baker’s coconut; it’s a small detail but if you’re a coconut it’s something to look in to doing.

Jolly Beans

This morning, I started my day off on the right foot by grabbing a handful of jelly beans for some prerun energy. What am I going to do when these aren’t on the bulk bins anymore? I’ve actually managed to track down the company and product page here! Now I just need to locate them in person out of season.

10 Miles in 89:05

I did have skepticism about hitting the gym today when it’s supposed to be 60 degrees at some point, but I think this was the right choice in the end. I managed to knock out 10 miles; I honestly wanted to be able to do more but the same GI issues that made me think the gym would be a better bet cut me short and led me straight to the restroom. If it’s worth anything, I think I’ve finally gotten over the troublesome gluten from that great cookie I grabbed at Garden Grille; if so, now that would be starting the day off on the right foot. And I can’t really complain about 10 miles, either.

Mashed Avocado

Of course, since it’s St. Patricks Day I needed to start my day off with something green. Chocolate avocado pudding anyone? Well, not quite. I made it the fully raw way with just avocado, raw cacao, and raw xagave as termed by Averie a “mousse“. It’s a little thicker and a lot of sweeter 😀

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse And Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt

Celebrate good times, c’mon! This felt a little bit like a feast; it’s a holiday at least? I made some pumpkin oatmeal and topped it with Mighty Maple to satisfy that mighty craving. And since you all seem to love your oatgurt(of which I am not a fan), I thought I’d try out avocadgurt! Doesn’t that sound delightful 😉 1/2 of the bowl was chocolate avocado pudding mousse and the other half Voskos honey vanilla bean greek yogurt. Oh my stars–this was amazing. It was so sweet, and the combo of raw cacao with real vanilla beans was like magic. I’m still not even 1/3 the way through and very happy I have that much more to savour.

Fun Fact: My Confirmation name is Patrick! I chose this name for several reasons at the time. Always on my mind was Patrick Star; how could he not be? St. Patrick is also the saint who drove all the snakes out of Ireland and consequently became known as the protector of snakes. Snakes are my number 1 phobia, so he seemed perfect for me. Obviously, I feel very obligated to celebrate it up today with green foods! What about you? How will you be celebrating today? Now, if you’ll excuse me, because I have so very many important things to do, I’m about to spend the rest of my morning figuring out what the flavors of each Jolly Bean are even if it kills me.

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Jokerz And Gardens

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love how much bloggers sympathize over dropped tableware! Only you guys would understand, haha.

Jolly Beans

With the sun shining in, I knew an outdoor run would help me feel energized. I pushed it about as late as I could–10:30–and got ready to run. Right before heading out I popped the jelly beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins for quick energy. They’re all-natural, vegetarian, called “Jolly Beans”, and absolutely delicious; just like with other brands, my favorite colors are the white, orange, and yellow. Which are your favorite jelly beans?

9.4 Miles In 1:20:46

I ended up running 9.4 miles in 1:20:26, which was a really good pace for me. I had to hit the Providence hills because on my way back I made a pit stop at University Heights Whole Foods to grab a Jokerz bar. I think I’ve found a new addiction! I also swung by the dining hall before coming into my room right at 12 with the rush; that was not timed well, and there wasn’t even much for me to work with 😦 I stilled managed a tasty and quick lunch.

Kidney Beans With Ketchup And Hemp Oil, Maple Tofu, All Over Spinach

Another bean salad–I’m just loving these! Red beans are definitely not my favorite(I prefer chickpeas or black beans), but it’s what they had so I worked with them and made a dressing from organic ketchup and Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dresing. It reminded me of BBQ beans. On top, I threw on the maple tofu I roasted Monday but ended up not eating. What turned out being thrown together from stuff on hand was actually a great meal. Do you have a favorite type of bean?

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Wednesdays win for my long days: 3 1/2 hours straight class in the afternoon. I definitely needed something to look forward to in my Object History class to keep me sane. The funny thing? This weeks “object” was sugar and other food in colonial America. We also talked a lot about the potatoes role in society from it’s origins as a South American crop to Europe. As much as I love food, I feel like class is the one place I can escape from having a single track mind. C’est la vie.

Vegan Milk Chocolate Enrobing Vegan Caramel, Nougat, And Peanuts

It felt a little ironic to be eating this Go Max Go Foods Jokerz while we talked about the expansion of sugar in the 18th century English diet and how 1 ton of sugar equated to the life of a slave at the time. Guilt? I don’t know the meaning of the word–this was downright delicious! So sweet and good. And, yes, it’s a candy bar and not at all healthy. But it is all natural 🙂 And I had a surprise waiting for me after class…

Dad

Guess who was in town! Literally, he was in town on a special business conference, and since he got off dinner when I got out of class, meeting up for dinner seemed natural. First we stopped at a store to get avocadoes, kombucha, a new bowl, and jelly beans(aka, all of my staples). After that, we found a little local restaurant that Heather recommended.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe is a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant over in East Pawtucket. I have ran right near this so many times without even paying notice; I wasn’t even 1/4 mile away twice on my run this morning! The menu is all vegetarian, highly vegan/gluten-free, and they even have some raw items. Though it didn’t say, I would bargain all the ingredients to be all-natural. They even had organic brews on tap(not that I was getting any of that action), along with fresh squeezed juices and blended smoothies. Now those sounded good. I’ll definitely be planning to end a run on a nice sunny day by here.

Eggplant Rollatini

For my entree, I chose the eggplant rollatini, described as “grilled and stuffed with herb tofu nut cheese, crispy polenta, garlic sauteed spinach with homemade pomodoro sauce””. The flavors were just what I was craving at the time. It also appealed to me that this was vegan, gluten-free, and–at least I would say so–didn’t compromise my Lent give-up of “prepared soy”(it had some tofu, but less than any other menu item, and since the house probably used raw tofu and just prepared it tonight, it’s less “prepared” than the ones I had in mind). The eggplant rolls with the tofu-nut cheese were amazing; I could have ate 5 more! The polenta I just had a sliver of; it was well formed, but even well formed polenta is pretty boring unless you dress it up with heavy cream or a sharp cheese(and this dish was vegan). Overall, it was a great experience and I’ll probably be eating there again. Did I mention they have vegan cinnamon rolls on the Sunday brunch menu? They do.

A few last things: first up, Katie alerted me to this article fronting Newsweek this week; apparently, I’m a good writer 😉 And I also agree with a lot I have to say! Go figure. And check out this ch-ch-chia seed giveaway from Lucky Taste Buds that comes with a sweet recipe! happy end of humpday, ya’ll!

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Candy, The Oscars, And Other Lies Your Mother Told You

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

I don’t think anything but the first 3 words of that title are really fitting, but it sounded nice 🙂 Up first, the candy!

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

I knew I wanted something “special” for Oscars night, so I picked out this all-natural candy bar from Whole Foods earlier in the day. It’s 1 of 4 Go Max Go Foods makes, it’s vegan, and it involves a layer of nougat topped with caramel and peanuts wrapped in (vegan) milk chocolate; sound heavenly, anybody? Well, I was really hoping it would be after dropping $2.50 on it.

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Food porn alert! The Jokerz bar was everything I could have hoped for and more; because I really wanted to describe it to you well, I even made up a review page for it. Even though you practically had to claw the $2.50 out of my hands to get me to pay for this at first(yes, that’s right, $2.50), I’m already planning when I should buy another. I figure it’s not that bad either if you think of it less like a candy bar and more like going out to get frozen yogurt with 10 different toppings, especially since I’d probably rather have this.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Of course, I was watching The Oscars all throughout, and made this oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter at some point. I thought Steve and Alec were some of the funniest host of any show in years; what less could you expect of them? But oh my God did the show drag on! At 11:40, after the best actor award, I had to throw in the towel.

Homemade Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

I really should have gone to bed when I was tired at 11; staying up an extra hour when you already have troubles sleeping sometimes is not productive. But I really wanted to see the show, which then caused midnight snack cravings including this homemade Reeses’ from Valentine’s day. The secret for me for a good homemade peanut butter cup is a) milk chocolate, b) powdered sugar, c) salted peanut butter. It’s as simple as candy making 🙂

Apple

When my alarm went off at 6:50 this morning–well, that was a big fat no thank you. I can not do with 7 hours of sleep; I did that and less through most of high school and I’m enjoying the full 8 hours I get these days, thank you very much. I slept in another 45 minutes, and got to the gym 35 minutes behind planned(how I gained those 10 I have no clue). I grabbed an apple to eat fast beforehand, too.

12 Miles in 1:45:59

Well, I got just what I wanted, on the TV that is. I really wanted to hear all the Oscar buzz and recaps and see what I miss, and that was all over The Today Show. I’m so happy for my Hollywood crush, Sandra Bullock! She definitely deserved it. Now if only I’d see that movie… To be honest, these 12 miles were tough. I really wanted to quit after 8, and for no other reason than time. But then I thought about the Oscar winners, who put the time into what they wanted and got great outcomes from that. That thought and simply not looking down at distance pushed me through.

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Greek Yogurt With Vanilla Cupcake And Jelly Beans

After powerwalking to the campus cafe and back, showering, pressing tofu, shoving laundry in the machine, and fuddling with the microwave, breakfast was served; gotta love Mondays. I quickly threw some in with a little too little water and topped that with a big scoop of butter toffee peanut butter by Naturally Nutty. That tasted like candy, but actually candy found its way onto my yogurt.

Agave Sweetened Greek Yogurt With 1/2 Vanilla Cupcake And Jelly Beans

The combination here might seem weird to some, but it makes perfect sense to me. We always have celebrated my birthday and Easter together with the relatives(and more recently my baby cousin’s birthday), so cake and eggs? Sure, why not. Throw in a milk chocolate bunny, too, while you’re at it. I sweetened the plain yogurt just with some Xagave; I don’t know how other bloggers can do it but truly plain yogurt does not sit well with my taste buds.

Well, lastly it’s time for some lies 🙂 Astra and a bunch of you have tagged me for the 7 lies meme and so I’m finally throwing in the towel and giving it a go. You can also enter Astra’s contest here to win some peanut butter along with guessing her lies! Can you spot the truth? I’ll leave this running through tomorrow. And, in lieu of tagging anyone because I have no clue who–if anyone–hasn’t done this, consider yourself tagged if you haven’t but really want to. Now, my laundry is definitely ready to switch machines, and I’m having too much fun with jelly beans(it rhymed!).

1. My favorite candy growing up was Snickers!

2. I was debating between going to Princeton, Stanford, and Brown. While I think I might have got a better education at Princeton, I stuck more local to be near my family.

3. I’ve been on every continent but Antarctica(I’m coming for you, glaciers ;-)).

4. I left my passport on a plane on a school trip to Greece, but thankfully we got it before the plane left the gate

5. I speak fluently 3 languages.

6. My parents were extremely strict on anything electronic growing up, so I never owned a video game console until I got one as a High School graduation present.

7. The first time I had greek yogurt was in Greece on restaurant sidewalk with peaches and honey.

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That Dirty Quaker

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy humpday! How was yours? I’m just glad mine’s over. Nothing went bad particularly, it just felt like a good day to get through. That being said, I’ve hardly been in my room for a couple of hours now and things are still strewn about, so clearly I have a lot to do before it’s really “over”, but I’ll manage.

Celestial Teas

This morning I tried the 2nd of my new Celestial teas I got from Stop & Shop: the honey vanilla chamomille. It tasted very medicinal, but in a good way! Kind of like what you would expect if you walked into a therapist’s office, lied down on the couch and was served tea. LOL. Not like I’d know much about that, but I can imagine 😉 Lunch was such a dilemma; I just didn’t know where my taste buds were at.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

I remembered I picked these up from a convenience store on campus a long time ago and thought I might as well give them a try. They’re chips(my crack) made with garbanzo bean flour instead of any wheat, so they’re gluten free! Good news for me. I haven’t really been bloated at all besides Sunday, which is when I had a whole wheat cookie at breakfast. Coincidence? I think not…

Chickpeas With Sea Salt And Garlic Over Spinach, Hummus Chips, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad

Amazingly, this came out to be a well-composed, not-random dish. I used the 2nd half of a can of chickpeas and tossed that with grated garlic to match the chips–yum! I loved them both. For the tofu salad, I took a chunk of soft tofu(a little more than 1 serving) and mixed that with a forkfull(is this a measurement? Now it is) of The Heat Is On PB&Co and sea salt. This combo is always perfection. I only wish I had more time to enjoy it before I had to run off to discussion section; I had to be there today to give my friend, Alex, one of the cupcakes I made over the weekend. She loved it! Bob’s Red Mill knows how to make some good grains.

Organic Decaf Coffee

In between classes, I had just enough time to grab some coffee. I don’t know if it’s the fact that this was brewed by someone else, or the NuNaturals sweetener, or that it was snowing sideways at all day. But this totally hit the spot. Don’t you love when drinks or food do that? This particular class is 2 hours and 20 minutes long(Ugh, right?), so every week someone brings in a snack. This week, a girl brought in 2 bags of these Quaker snacks.

Perhaps I should start off by saying that, in spite of a lot of what I’m going to write, these are probably better than 90% of things you could snack on, and would be good to raise a family with. In fact, in high school I remember demolishing a bag of the apple cinnamon ones after school a lot of days. With that disclaimer out of the way, these are a lot more decieving than I would have thought.

  • A “serving” has 60 and 70 calories respectively. Sounds great, right? The same serving is also about 1/2 as much as weight as potato chips or nachos would be. So, essentially, you’re getting half the calories because you’re eating half as much. Mr. Quaker has a trick up his sleeve to deceive.
  • On the ingredients list for the apple cinnamon flavor is sucralose(aka Splenda). Would you have thought to see it here? Probably not, but there it is. It really bugs me when this particular artificial ingredient is snuck onto otherwise great snacks. It’s also on Emerald’s cocoa almonds, which is why I no longer buy those.
  • On the ingredients list for the cheddar flavor is partially hydrogenated oils(aka trans fats). Because it’s less than .5g, it doesn’t appear on the nutrition panel. But fear still because it’s there. If you asked Mr. Quaker, he’d deny it.

My point–believe it or not–is not to bash these products; in fact, I might have mistakenly grabbed these at any point thinking they fit my diet only to realize they don’t. What my point really is is to emphasize how important the ingredient list can be. Even a trusted quaker can be out to deceive you. So what did I eat?

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

I had a bar from Perfect Foods flavored as Fruit & Nut. Again, not to rant, but… the only “fruit” here was raisins and the only “nut”(besides the peanut butter base) was walnuts. Does 1 fruit and 1 nut really make it fruit & nut? Besides that, the honey flavor was delicious. And I love all the other ingredients, especially the whole food powder. This is an amazing source of vegetarian iron! 40% your daily value! Can you believe that?

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

When I got back to my dorm room, the first thing I did was throw my backpack somewhere. Then I sliced up a sweet potato and shoved it in the oven. Normal stuff, right? After that I made a snack to hold me over of So Delicious soy yogurt and sour worms from Surf Sweets. This was so good! I love sour and sweet. And I didn’t even need to sweeten the yogurt with stevia! My sweet tooth must be dimming down a bit, which I can’t say I mind. Then again, what needs stevia when its bearing candy? And the sweet potatoes lead me to dinner…

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner was a bit late tonight, but oh so welcomed. There’s nothing like roasting veggies after a long day, even if they take a little longer. And while I was waiting I cooked some grass-fed beef to perfection(rare) in a pan–glorious. And wow! Look at the time(I suppose this bears no meaning whatsoever since you could be reading this at 8am)! A late dinner throws me all out of whack; time to kick myself back on a schedule and clean up around here.

But first–I need to ask–are you an ingredients hawk? Since declaring an all-natural diet and running an all-natural food blog, I kind of have to be unless I want to live out of Whole Foods and local natural food stores. But it’s actually really easy once you get used to it! And I’m surprisingly lenient with foods otherwise. Overladen with sugar? Sure, I’ll give it a shot if it’s from a natural source. Lastly, check out this giveaway for a chance to win a kitchen scale(I love mine), and this giveaway from The Mom Buzz to win some Surf Sweets.

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It’s Rough To Rest

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For a non-bachelor watcher, there was nothing on TV last night. Now can we stop hearing about Jake and all the complaints over the fake girls? Please? I really wanted a Pomegranate Chobani but all I had on hand was plain so I whipped one up.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Dark Velvet Chocolate

In the mix went 1oz Pom Wonderful juice and a tablespoon of the Europe superfruit spread from Crofters with some stevia. Together it was all “OK” but not quite up to par with a real pomegranate yogurt; I did not miss the seeds, though. On top, of course, was a little bit of chocolate.

Alter Eco Dark Velvet Chocolate

This new bar from alter eco called Dark Velvet Chocolate. On the one hand, it makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs “It’s not dark chocolate if it has milk in it!”. On the other hand, I was too busy savoring it to scream anything. The butterfat and milk in this make it sooo creamy and good. And I like that it had no soy and the ingredients were all fair trade and mentioned the origin. Very eco-aware! It was a fun treat to be working on my paper with. I’m writing about The First Baptist Church, which–in Providence–is the first Baptist Church. The building itself(what I’m concerned with) is only as old as 1775, but then again so is our Nation.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nutritional Yeast

Before bed, I made a snack. How many times can I eat this same combination? Apparently, a lot. It’s a better choice though than whipping out the cheddar popchips and dipping them in PB, and with the same flavor, too! And there was still nothing on TV. I might have been guilty of even submitting and turning on the Bachelor for a time. Maybe.

Munch Bar

Just when I thought I was going to go to bed, something in my stomach was irking me to try out this bar. What the heck?! I had practically just eaten a full meal between the oatmeal and yogurt; but my hunger was just raging. My dad found this at Walgreens and gave it to me. It’s an all-natural, 6-ingredient candy bar whose first ingredients is peanuts and it’s made by the Mars company. Lo and behold, it even has its own website! It was actually really good, too, and reminded me of chunky peanut brittle. I would definitely be happy to find more candy bars like this on store shelves(as opposed to those whose 2nd ingredient is artificial red coloring and 3rd trans fat).

Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds, Oatmeal, 2 Scrambled Eggs, Cheddar Cheese

This morning felt so uninteresting. I slept in a good 75 minutes, read a bit while watching TV, showered, checked emails, and cooked eggs. I have to wonder how it is I wound up with a life where I cook eggs before class in college; it’s a good thing they take about 2 minutes.

Omelet Oatmeal

Considering the difficulties of perfectly cooking oatmeal, eggs, and melting cheese, this wasn’t bad at all. I cooked the oatmeal in the microwave, topped with slightly undercooked scrambled eggs from a pan, and topped that with cheese microwaving a little longer to melt it and covering to let the steam finish it off. It was actually all pretty well incorporated and still warm when I got to class.

Red Delicious Apple

And walking in the door I grabbed this apple to snack on while posting because I was still hungry. There’s something that feels backwards about needing to eat more when you know you’re taking a rest day; at the same time, I know in the back of my mind that if you’re hungry for it, it won’t be bad for you. In general, I have a rough time with rest days; I just want to run! But 20-someodd days of running straight and I was definitely feeling fatigued from overtraining. And for what? A half marathon I know I’ll be able to complete? It’s not worth it to push that hard, at least without sitting down to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a spoon at some point in that time frame. How do you “deal” with rest days? Do you look forward to them, or do they make you cringe? I’m definitely the latter, but I think I have enough going on today that my hands will be too busy to notice. I still have to make beef burgers for lunch!

And check out this awesome chia seed giveaway.

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The Memory, The Reality

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Memory: 90 degree, sunny days over the Summer with nothing to do but enjoy the outdoors

The Reality: Mid-40’s with low/no Winter breeze, but plenty of work to keep me inside

The memory totally owns here; I spent most of today reading Plutarch’s life of Alexander(should’ve just sucked it up and watched the movie with Colin Farrell) along with other work. BUT in a lot of other ways the reality beat(or at least came close) to some good memories.

Cooking A Grass-Fed Burger

The Memory: I’m 6 years old, my mom’s most probably out of town, and my dad’s idea of a “dinner” is leftover pancakes from McDonalds(to be fair, I probably asked for these) and maple syrup, which we stuck in the microwave with an aluminum tin–mini-fire, anyone?

The Reality: Cooking my own grass-fed beef burger in my own pan in the dorm kitchen.

This one’s pretty clear: reality wins. Getting a full pound of beef at the beginning of the week felt daunting, but I’m loving the meals I can get from it; I hope to pick up a big(cheap) piece of quality meat tomorrow for next week.

Grass-Fed Burger, Steamed Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Root Beer Zevia

The Memory: Spending Summer days at my grandparents’ home for daycare. My grandmother knew how to cook 3 things: eggs, tacos(from a seasoning packet), and hamburgers. A typical meal would probably be a hamburger on white bread and Ore Ida french fries, washed down with a Mountain Dew

The Reality: A grass-fed beef burger with steamed broccoli, a 100-calorie portion of Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, and an all-natural diet root beer ala Zevia.

Again, need it be pointed out? It’d be one thing if the “unhealthy” meal were clearly more tasty, but I would choose today’s meal anytime. I was practically dreaming about a grass-fed burger all of yesterday but I didn’t let Lent get the best of me! Popchips are still my crack but I find this amount is perfect for satisfying my chip tooth.

Chocolate Xagave Frosty With Whole Milk

The Memory; Stopping by Wendy’s drive-thru for a chocolate frosty and dipping fries into it

The Reality: Making my own “Frosty” using Xagave, Bob’s Red Mill‘s guar gum, xanthan gum, sea salt, cocoa powder, and whole milk

The real Frosty still wins here :-/ But I’m getting closer to making the reality be better! This time, I very clearly added too much ice without noticing(it should not make almost two cups worth). I think the whole milk from cows helped the flavor, too. I had to get it from the dining hall because, well, I really don’t remember the last time I kept milk in the fridge. To be honest, I was a little scared I’d be getting some cheap-o, hormoned up junk. But after I did poking and prying, I found the milk I got was Rhodyfresh, which is from local farms all pledging against the use of hormones–yippee! That put this foodies mind to rest.

Raw Vegan Mint Chip Emmy's Organic Macaroon

The Memory: Big bowls of mint chip ice cream that was an unholy shade of green

The Reality: An all-natural, vegan, raw mint chip macaroon I won from Emmy’s Organics

Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms

The Memory: Junior year of High School in Boston. Nearly every day, we would spend our dining points at the campus store where you could make a bag of mixed candies and pay by the pound. My favorite bag usually had in it Reeses Pieces, Swedish Fish, and Sour Gummy Worms.

The Reality: Organic Vegan Sour Gummy Worms to review from Surf Sweets

Weeeeell the memory still wins, here. But only because of the lack of Reeses Pieces and Swedish Fish(someone needs to get on making these natural, pronto). The sour gummy worms were really quite good and flavorful, and really didn’t feel like a candy that had anything “funny” to it. You could totally pass this off to a 3(or 18)-year old to sneak in some natural sweetness and 100% their DV vitamin C. Kudos to Surf Sweets!

Roasting Sweet Potatoes, Maple Tofu, And Broccoli

The Memory: 1st semester, eating every night at the dining hall. Sometimes there was a lot to choose from, and some nights I was mixing chickpeas from the salad bar with honey and mustard

The Reality: Sticking pressed tofu with maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the dorm oven for 55 minutes at 350 degrees

I’ve really loved the reality of this semester; I’m very inclined to believe food affects mood and by cooking my ‘good mood food” I haven’t had a dull dinner yet. I still take cues from the dining hall(that’s where these sweet potatoes were from because mine grew mold), but I’m certainly not looking back with regrets. Also, does anyone else think if I were a country in the Olympics that tray of veggies could be my flag?

Maple Tofu, Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli

The Memory: My mom’s classic dish was penne with broccoli, garlic, and white-meat chicken

The Reality: My classic dish is roasted broccoli, sweet potato “fries”, and maple tofu

Obviously, if I’m willing to call it my dish, I like it a lot 🙂 No offense to my mom, but I’ve never been a pasta person, and nowadays I’m more inclined to the dark meat if I eat poultry, soooo this was an easy one. Unfortunately, the sweet potato wouldn’t “fry” up here because they were pre-baked. Boo 😦

The Memory: Translating “fun” texts in Latin class in 11th grade like Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura(I must have a very warped sense of “fun”)

The Reality: Translating Horace, Catullus, and Petronius this year, all of whom are very very raunchy

What is it with the authors these professors post classes for? I swear they’re just entertaining themselves. Ah well, Petronius and the Olympics it is.

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Bacon And Soy

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

33% of the work week: Done. That feels good. Now it’s just the other 66% to get through, and that last bit of Latin translation :-\ For the 2nd semester in a row, I chanced into the class which is translating one of the raunchiest texts possible. This semester it’s Petronius’ Satyricon. I’ll let you in on any of the gems of entertainment that come up in class; so far I’ve heard my professor say the word “grind” well more than I ever wanted to hear. Enough said!

Steamed Broccoli, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad, Scrambled Eggs

Lunch was a lot of protein, fats, and broccoli–a perfect makeup for a meal in my opinion. First, I simply scrambled 2 eggs. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve enjoyed these on a regular basis; eating them reminds me of meals at my grandmother’s house. I’m determined to become “the perfect egg-cooker” even if I have to go through a few dozen–hens beware! I also used up the last of a block of tofu(about 1.5 servings) by simply shredding it with a fork and adding 1 tablespoon The Heat Is On pb & co. peanut butter; if you like pad thai, this could well be up your alley. And it’s so simple, you can make it in seconds!

Multi-Green Kombucha

On the side I had more greens, via Kombucha! The multi-green was the first flavor I tried for review for the company(the gingerades I’ve drunk have been with my own money). Again, wow! I 1/2 expected not to like this, but was pleasantly surprised that I did. The bitterness of the greens actually complimented the vinegar of the kombucha. And, yes! Kombucha should absolutely taste vinegary! I got a commenter that sounded concerned that hers did at first taste, but that’s actually the natural fermented flavor. And it’s completely understandable that for some people it wouldn’t be seen as “pleasant”, haha 😉 And if you thought a green, fermented beverage would be the oddest thing I’d eat…

Sir Francis Bacon's Bacon Peanut Brittle

…think again. I first heard about the Sir Francis Bacon company through The National Peanut Board. Really, how could I not be intrigued. I’ve actually made yogurt and oatmeal messes with peanut butter and tempeh bacon in the past, so the flavor combo wasn’t all too random for me. This was, though:

Agave Soy Yogurt With Bacon Peanut Brittle

That would be certified vegan soy yogurt topped with bacon peanut brittle. And you know what? Holy yum! The brittle had a great hickory smoked aroma to it, which made the bacon and peanuts only that much more appetizing. And it was choc-full of them, too! With the sweet soy yogurt, it all just “worked” even though it sounds like I’ve just made the founder of PETA roll over in his/her grave(or bed if they’re still alive). If you’re not a fan of savory peanuts, this probably won’t convert you. But if you are(or just a bit wacky in life), this should definitely be a something-to-try 🙂

Compared to that, my afternoon has been a) unexciting and b) busy. If it were one or the other, that might be nice. But nope. Both. Among heavy blogreading, I came across this map of interest. I live in a light green area; what about you? I would have thought Florida would be darker. I remember getting sooo many McFlurries on vacation there as a kid. Anyway, for dinner I had planned to have a burger. Something about the bacon in the peanut brittle–as much as I enjoyed it–turned me off meat for the night. If you’re an occassional meat eater, you probably know what I mean. That left dinner wide open.

Baked And Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Maple Baked Tofu With Sea Salt

Here comes the sun, doo do do doo. Of course, I went for instant comfort foods of mine: maple baked tofu and sweet potato fries. Well, sort of. The sweet potatoes under my bed grew mold over the weekend, so these were baked at the dining hall, and then I tried roasting them in EVOO for a bit to crisp up but they didn’t take. And because I was pressed on time figuratively, the tofu was never literally pressed, which would have helped them roast better and lose moisture while retaining maple-flavor. I just added a spike of maple syrup at the end and voila!

For some reason, I’ve been thinking it’s Thursday all day. Wishful thinking, right? That means no Survivor 😦 But there should be American Idol and The Olympics! Gotta look at the bright side(or the sun! ^)

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My Meal Has Eyes…

Posted on June 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , |

It’s a rainy Father’s Day here, but that’s ok because we did most of the celebrating last night and the mist was welcomed on my run this morning. Not much plans for the day other than Price Chopper(bleh) and possibly Trader Joes or Market Basket or Whole Foods(yay).

Like I said, we celebrated last night. I started reading my book for Brown on the way up, The Beak Of The Finch. I almost took a nap after the first chapter but I decided to just shut it and go with Nintendo DS. There was snackage when we got there and then something more my style: A walk on the beach :-). The sun actually came out, though the water was 59 so I didn’t bother going in. Damn older people walk slow, and I thought I was bad.

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When we finished there was a little candy shop near the car that looked pretty authentic. Even though I’m not a huge candy fan, I am a big fan of seizing the moment, so I dragged everyone in to pick stuff out. They had loads of flavored salt water taffy which caught my eye, so I grabbed a half pound bag. So far I’ve had molasses, raspberry, watermelon, and banana, and they’re all delicious 🙂 I can’t wait to try a peanut butter one. My mom got a “smore”, homemade marshmellow between graham crackers coated in chocolate. It was ok, but I’d rather just have eaten the homemade marshmallow by itself. To split we got chocolate, panache, and peanut butter and chocolate fudge. Guess which was my favorite 😉

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Well I only had the molasses taffy before dinner so as to not spoil my appetite. I love Wells because all the fish is fresh and from the sea, and cheap as dust. For the first time, I had me a lobster. I did not realize how messy these things were. Note to self: Lobsters are like farts; never have one in front of someone you’re dating before you’re engaged. there were also steamers and some cheesey rice thing. That was addictively good but I snuck a peak at the nutrition label(it was all from a bag) before hand so I knew not to have to much. It’s definitely something I’m going to recreate for a meal some day. It must be simple, right? We have cheese, we have rice, we don’t have partially hydrogenated anything, so it should be good. Oh, and my carrot cake cookies were the perfect ender to the meal. They were a little too moist this time, but some people liked that so I wasn’t complaining.

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I need to think of something not lame to do for my dad today. Maybe free ice cream at Coldstone’s? Meh, not exactly special enough. I’ll come up with something.

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