I’m The MacGyver Of Baking

Posted on May 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, my parents went to see our relatives while I stayed home studying. My aunt, ever-thoughtful, sent back some cupcakes for me. It was really thoughtful; but there was something that worried us. If you asked her what they were, she’d say “organic, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free…” the list goes on. She did the same when I made my cousin these cupcakes. And they didn’t seem gluten-free. In fact, after a little investigating, it seemed likely they weren’t and she just got confused. Well I was OK with that and letting my family have them. Except then I wanted cake. I really wanted cake.

Simple Chocolate Cake

Simple Chocolate Cake

I broke out the Sweet Utopia cookbook sent to me by Book Publishing Co. and flipped open to the first recipe in the book: a simple chocolate cake. Perfect. I made a few alterations to the recipe(switching to gluten-free flours, almond milk for soy milk, and olive oil for canola oil), and 28 minutes later I brought life into this world.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Isn’t she a cutie? But I wanted cake fast so I cut a slice and stuck it in the fridge to cool quickly. While that was cooling, I made a 2-minute buttercream frosting by mixing earth balance, powdered sugar, and vanilla powder in a small dish with a fork. It was almost too easy.

Cake With Frosting

Cake With Frosting

I went from thinking I’d have a chocolate bar for dessert(but not really happy with that) to 1 hour later having a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake with vegan buttercream frosting all with whatever ingredients I had on hand. I think that qualifies me to be the MacGyver of baking.

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

After that excitement, I just couldn’t sleep; this happens almost every Saturday night and it’s so annoying. I figure this last time just might be because of my last final. But I definitely needed more fuel than usual for the 2+ hours I was awake. I’m not even sure when I got to bed, but this morning I stumbled out of bed late and just hungry.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

I’m still trying to find out the secret to making a really amazing maple peanut butter. It’s harder than you’d think! And the secret ingredient is not coconut oil as it turns out. Oh well. This bowl was still really good with crunchy maple butter. And now I’m eating a Chobani as if it were a parfait–not stirring the jam up first. It’s pretty good this way.

What do you hate most about restless nights? In the time I’m awake, all I can think about is the stuff I could have done with that time rather than lie in a dark room and toss and turn. And here’s a fun chocolate giveaway to enter.

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Free Of Nothing; Full Of Nutrition

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I had a sobering thought on my run today. I hate “veganism”. “What? But I love all my vegan meals and recipes.” That was my next thought. But I kept going back and realizing I really do hate the label, “vegan”.

So then I asked myself “Why?”

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

*Note: I did not eat this today, or any meat. The only non-vegan things I had were a yogurt at breakfast and brownie made with eggs in the afternoon*

Frankly, I’ve known too many people going vegan or vegetarian to avoid certain things for “health”, things like cholesterol and animal fats. And then once a year–probably on their birthday–, they’d have a big juicy steak. “Once and a while won’t kill”. Well of course it’s not going to kill you; but no one can say the same for the cow.

I think there are a lot of ways you can be healthy without strapping on the vegetarian label and shunning things out of your life. That’s not why I eat vegan at the meals and times I do. Rather, it’s to bring certain nutrients in.

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

My lunch wasn’t healthy because of the absence of animal products; it was healthy because of the abundance of plant-based foods. That, to me, is what veganism is all about: The emphasis of a plant based diet. As much as I’d love to think that way 24/7, I’ll undoubtedly slip up sometime and look at something for being “dairy-free” or “free of animal by products”. What I really wish I could see 100% of the time is how something is free of nothing, but full of nutrition.

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Of course, allergens play a role in this, too. But I would count those as a separate case. A lactose-intolerant person would eat coconut milk ice cream for a very different reason than a vegan. I’m–well–I’m neither. But I love how this tastes and feels, and do try to avoid dairy to some extent for better digestion.

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

And the brownie was likewise free of dairy and gluten(an allergen I do take care to avoid).

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Desserts in general, though, I would say get a pass on ever being “healthy”. No matter how you cut it(a fudge joke), my microwave vegan chocolate fudge and microwave vegan peanut butter fudge are full of sugar. That doesn’t mean they aren’t full of flavor, either, or that you shouldn’t make them 😉

9 Miles

9 Miles

That fueled me to run around my neighborhood 8 times for a total of 9 miles. Perhaps my legume love isn’t such a terribly beneficial thing since I needed to make a pit stop into the bathroom after lap 6. At least I was close to home and didn’t go on a road run like I was thinking.

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Afterwards I refueled with my lunch posted earlier, and when that wasn’t enough I added an apple. Later on, at the grocery store, I grabbed a bag of baby carrots to eat in the car(or the walk out of the store). If you went through a list of the allergens raw fruits and veggies are “free of”, we’d be here all day; it’s better to think of all the nutrition they’re “full of” in my mind. And tonight was “full of” recipes:

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • salt to taste

Cut the ends off of a sweet potato. Slice all the way through horizontally. With the cut side down, make strips 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Cut those again lengthwise to make into “fry” shapes. Repeat with the other 1/2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Add the fries and EVOO to the pan and massage with your hands until completely covered. Preheat an oven to 350 and bake for 60 minutes. Season to taste.

Vegan BBQ Bean Poutine

Ingredients

  • 1 serving sweet potato fries
  • 1/2 cup vegan BBQ beans
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella style Daiya
  • 2 strips tempeh bacon(optional)
  • 3 pieces fresh basil

Cook the sweet potato fries according to directions. Pile on a plate, and add on top the BBQ beans. Heat in the microwave through for about 2 minutes. Add on the Daiya and heat another 30 seconds to melt. If using, cook the tempeh bacon through until crispy according to manufacturer’s directions. Cut into small pieces and crumble on top. Garnish with basil.

Organic Pickles

Organic Pickles

Served with a side of organic pickles. Such a simple and delicious meal for one(I’m the only one home tonight). What are you full of today? I would have to say that I’m full of beans!! and also joy that I got so much on my to-do list done. The only thing I hope for this weekend to be “free of” is stress before my last final, because that’s been giving me plenty of that.

If you enjoyed my What Would You Do moment, the actual show is on at 9pm tonight on ABC so watch that!

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Naughty. Sexy. Food.

Posted on May 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you took the weekend off and are catching up

I feel like I’ve eaten everything naughty and delicious already and it’s not even 7pm. That’ll cure those Monday blues 😀

Golden Sesame Tofu, Steamed Broccoli, Raw Baby Carrots

Golden Sesame Tofu, Steamed Broccoli, Raw Baby Carrots

Because, really, what’s more naughty than golden sesame tofu ala Whole Foods?

Golden Sesame Tofu

Golden Sesame Tofu

I took a peak at the potential nutritional of this. Yeah, don’t do that; just eat it and enjoy. I love this every time. And at 2.50 it’s a cheap way to get a good meal! Fried tofu definitely doesn’t have me wanting to run a marathon right afterwards, though.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

For dessert and before going to office hours I had a piece of vegan fudge. Obviously, because this has all been vegan so far, it all must have been good for me, right? Yeah, no. But so many foodgasms here.

Cashew Almond KIND Bar And Strawberry Serenity Kombucha

Cashew Almond KIND Bar And Strawberry Serenity Kombucha

For a “cleaner” snack I ate a cashew almond KIND bar(my favorite) along with a strawberry Kombucha. I definitely was not a fan of this flavor. But I was happy to get rid of a bar and a bottle as part of Project Cleanout.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

An apples nice and clean, right? Not washed and non-organic. Oooo, I just keep getting dirtier.

Sweet Potato Fries, BBQ Baked Beans, Daiya Mozzarella

Sweet Potato Fries, BBQ Baked Beans, Daiya Mozzarella

And dinner was this one last naughty, dirty, uncomposed plate of deliciousness.

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

And all vegan! Oh, Daiya, I love you. And it’s all thanks to Caitlin for this flavor pairing of sweet potato and BBQ beans. 80% of the sweet potato fries were completely burnt; one of the perks of being home surely will be that, at home, the oven isn’t floors below me. And in case you were wondering, fork or fingers on the fries? It’s all dirty and all delicious, so yes and yes.

Now, really, I should do something better with my time than eat naughty foods while watching the latest Dr. Who(Daleks, again?!). In the meantime, check out Averie’s stevia giveawayGina’s iHerb giveaway, and Katie’s shopping spree.

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Can I Petition A Petition?

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

Happy Saturday! I for one am more than happy to be closer to Summer and living at home with a full kitchen and refrigerator. Have you all seen this petition yet? Basically, it’s a petition for Obama and his family to become vegans for their influence. Uhhh, what?! I fully support those who are vegans, or vegetarians. But how on earth could anyone want to dictate how another person eats? Especially when some of those are just little girls?

If I posted this when I first heard about it, I’d have some not-so-choice words, but I think by now my minds mulled it over to speak better of it. If anything, we should be preaching tolerance–tolerance of those who have a different way of thinking or path in life. This petition shows no more tolerance than the intolerance you could find against vegetarianism in a Southern cattle farm community. More importantly, you can eat ethically and aware without being a vegan, which is part of what Michelle Obama has already done through her time in the White House. What do you think of this petition? Besides that it’s going nowhere, I think it’s a little rude. And–as always–I’m on a mission to show you can eat well and ethically without devoting yourself to any label.

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

I had this little bowl of Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter and a scoop more before hitting the gym. What is it about almond butter that makes me just want to eat out of the jar?! It’s so delicious! Especially with a little vanilla. I felt extra fueled after that.

10 Miles In 88:59

10 Miles In 88:59

Fueled enough to runner a faster 10 miles as the last training run before my half-marathon. That feels weird to even think about. Enough, enough. Lunch!

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Motivated by Kath, I’ve been getting in to canned salmon for extra omega-3’s without much fuss. I mixed mine with maple syrup and walnut oil for something packed with even more essential fats and tasty! Over the top was Tierra Farm‘s dried fruit and baby carrots, with salad dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing.

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

An organic apple for dessert!

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

On my way back from my grocery trip, I picked up a trilogy kombucha at a cafe because I felt a little down about the whole trip :-/ A lot of it was on the store’s sale, which was good. But I probably could have saved more in coupons if I was better organized. At least I didn’t blow the project cleanout challenge too much. And you can’t say I don’t eat what I buy:

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Isn’t it dreamy? My whole point in going was to get some whipped cream to make a sundae. They didn’t even have regular–just non-fat sugar-free or Rice Whip, which is dairy and soy-free. The latter seemed less processed, so I went with that and made a sundae with So Delicious chocolate coconut milk ice cream. The fudge sauce was simply cocoa powder and agave nectar mixed together. Voila! OK–the Rice Whip tasted REALLY fake; if you’ve ever had rice milk, just imagine that in an airier form. Besides that, this Friday sundae was delicious and a perfect before-dinner treat 🙂

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

If Obama wants to eat his beef and have his vegan cheese, too, I fully support that! I made a 1/3 a pounder hamburger but undercooked it far too much 😦 I really wanted to try the daiya so instead of eating it straight from the bag I made some sort of vegan cheese fries–YUM. This was better than mozarella cheese; it was crack. I’d be lying if I said I’m not planning on having it again today(maybe twice).

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

I love mint. I could eat a salad made of mint leaves. This bar doesn’t have a great minty flavor like alter-eco’s mint bar. But it was what the Whole Foods I was at had, and I don’t terribly mind it.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

And some oatmeal with homemade chocolate almond butter because nowhere near me carries Justin :-/ Oh well, now that I’ve pinned down the secret to making good homemade chocolate nut butters, I’m less enthused to go out and pay $10 for someone to do it for me.

This morning I woke up nice and early to not run. Maybe it defeats the purpose of a rest day to keep yourself from sleep. But I want to be nice and tired tonight so I can go to bed early and sneak 8 hours in somewhere before the race.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

I love Fage, especially their cherry flavor. Unfortunately, it’s about expensive as they come around here. At least it’s on sale at Whole Foods this week. The cherry here tastes just like the cherry dips at Dairy Queen! Yum! Next time I’m trying full fat. The peanut butter–again, since I’ve figured out how to make cookie dough nut butter, I’m less enthused about paying someone to do it for me. Besides, this one seems really fake since half of it melts over oats and the other half is still solid :-/ Until it’s gone, though, I’ll live it up and enjoy it.

What are your thoughts on mint? I made my gluten free chocolate brownies with a lot of mint extract once and was told it was like mouthwash; hell, I thought they were great! The more mint, the better in my opinion. Even though it’s often paired with chocolate, I wouldn’t mind a dessert exclusively with mint as the flavor. Speaking of chocolate, here’s a Bubble Chocolate Giveaway. Now I get to go to my very first race expo! I hope it’s nifty.

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Can Carob Compete?

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

Before last night, I had never tried carob.

Mint Carob Bar

Mint Carob Bar

I had known about it for months now, and even have had this bar since November. Still, I hadn’t really tried carob, not because of what it is, but because of what it isn’t: chocolate. Carob has been marketed as “the new, healthy chocolate”. Hold the phone; what was wrong with our old chocolate? Chocolate-specifically cocoa powder which is found in higher concentrations in dark chocolate–can be packed with antioxidants. Dark chocolate only has fat from cocoa butter and relatively low added sugar. Carob, on the other hand, has no antioxidants and inherently more sugar than cocoa. The only advantage might come in its lack of caffeine, or for anyone allergic to chocolate(if you are, I am so so sorry you have to sit through 90% of what I eat). But how did it taste?

Mint Carob Bar

Mint Carob Bar

This certainly was sweeter than dark chocolate, and it’s hard to tell if that’s from a disproportionate amount of carob/cocoa powder or because carob naturally has higher sugar content. The texture was what threw me; this was rather chalky, and not at all smooth like my favorite dark chocolate. As for the benefits of carob, it’s easier to obtain in its raw state than cacao. It also boasts more calcium(or, in its case, calci-yum). I did like it, but I’m certainly not running out to buy carob powder or recommending it to anyone not allergic to chocolate(again, sorry!).

Baby Carrots And Broccoli

Baby Carrots And Broccoli

I also had healthy snacks like baby carrots and tiny broccoli florets. Actually, I ate this right after my dinner post. I love roasted broccoli, but it’s about 1/2 as filling as steamed broccoli, and 1/10 as filling as raw. Don’t get me wrong, though: The flavor is a thousand times better. Can you tell I’m good with numbers, particularly food math?

70% Dark Chocolate With Vanilla Peanut Butter

70% Dark Chocolate With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Like I said, chocolate is irreplaceable. The texture is smoother; the flavor is richer; and think of all those antioxidants! I enjoyed Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate with a shmear of 365 peanut butter sweetened by Madhava vanilla agave. The chocolate bar looks damaged because it was in my pocket all last Friday and got melted along the way, but it tasted delicious. And I was so happy Grey’s Anatomy was back new last night! That show has had me addicted since Season 1.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

This morning I actually forced myself to sleep in until 8; otherwise I just wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. I muddled around/read blogs until I was hungry for breakfast. It was more of my non-chocolate addiction:365 peanut butter sweetened by Madhava vanilla agave. I have yet to see this agave in a store, but if I do I’m buying them out. And I’m sure the overall price is better than buying a fancy nut butter, since 365 only cost me $1(Get those Whole Deal coupons before they go!).

Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Conserves And Vanilla Almond Butter

Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Conserves And Vanilla Almond Butter

Of course, fancy nut butter will always be a part of my life, like vanilla almond butter from Naturally Nutty. I prefer things like nuts or trail mix on my yogurt so much more than granola; and I never have to think if it’s gluten-free or not!

Have you tried carob? Like it or not? It was fine, really; but it will never be a part of my life like chocolate is.

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Special

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

You might think someone who’s willing to post such a large portion of their life on the world wide web would live for attention. I don’t. In fact, in life I really hate being “special” in any way or getting extra attention at all. But some days that’s hard to avoid. Some days, you just stand out whether you’d like to or not.

Organic Red Delicious

Organic Red Delicious

Like this apple. It was probably the biggest piece of organic fruit I had ever seen. It held me over 2 and 1/2 hours. I love it when organic fruit is humongous; it gives me hope for organic farming.

Avery's 4th Birthday

Avery's 4th Birthday

We drove to New Hampshire for my cousins birthday party. It was at a local raquet club where the kids could swim in a pool. I conveniently forgot my bathing suit and went out to pick up the pizza with my father and grandfather. Of course, I didn’t want to be “special” but I couldn’t eat the pizza because of the crust. On the way back, we stopped at a natural food store where I found a salad bar.

Stir-Fried Greens, Pineapple, Organic Chicken

Stir-Fried Greens, Pineapple, Organic Chicken

I was having a good vegan streak this weekend and wanted tofu, but chicken was what they had :-/ It was very tasty chicken, I must add. I also had some greens and pineapple, and ate off to the side trying not to seem “special”(though it was pretty obvious). I must add: pizza still smells really good even when you can’t/won’t eat it, and the one with pineapple and marinara sauce was tempting me.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Thank God for birthday cake, because I could have sworn he was turning 4! 8-| Obviously, I passed on this, but not on this…

Gluten-Free Vegan Midnight Chocolate Cupcake

Gluten-Free Vegan Midnight Chocolate Cupcake

The cupcakes I made were a hit, even though I really didn’t care for the frosting. Even my older cousin who doesn’t care for chocolate loved them. My aunt, in trying to describe them, gave them every “special” title in the book: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic. I was surprised she didn’t add Jesus made them. They weren’t 100% organic, but they were all-natural.

Organic Baby Carrots And Orange Zevia

Organic Baby Carrots And Orange Zevia

Coming home, I was really torn whether to try and go back to campus tonight or not. I was tired, not prepared, and overall a grouch, so that made the answer pretty simple after chewing on the last of some baby carrots and an orange Zevia. And since no one felt like cooking, it was out to dinner.

Coconut Curry Tofu And Veggies

Coconut Curry Tofu And Veggies

I had such a coconut milk craving last night, you wouldn’t have believed it. We went to Big Fresh Cafe. After explaining why wheat noodles wouldn’t work for me in this dish, and that I’m just not a fan for rice, my plate was a big bowl of veggies, tofu, and coconut curry sauce. I’d rather get a big bowl of “special” ordered food I love than not eat 1/2 of it. And I loved this; I could have drank the sauce, but I didn’t. Come to think of it, that may not have been vegan if they used eggs or anchovy in the sauce. Regardless, I need to make curry more.

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint

I bought this chocolate bar while at Whole Foods and started digging in with some mocha teeccino. It may be a project cleanout fail but it wouldn’t be much longer I could get a decent mint chocolate bar for $2.

And I finished up with the emotional roller coaster that is Brothers & Sisters and a bowl of oatmeal with almond butter, which photos my camera is withholding :-/ It’s probably just as well since I didn’t bother to photograph the 2 fingerfulls of almond butter and handful of almonds I had afterwards. I think I was on an almond kick, especially after baking these.

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Things To Do And Avoid On Those Hot Summer Days

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

Do wake up at 7 before the weather turns hot to enjoy a nice run around your home streets.

Don’t go out with the mindset “I’m going to find some horses!” not knowing where the nearest horses are and getting lost 7 miles away from your house.

Do call your sleeping parents in a frenzy saying “I’m lost, can you pick me up?” and then wave them off when they find you saying “Naw, I can make the last 3 miles”

14 Miles In 1:57:24

14 Miles In 1:57:24

Don’t run 14 miles unless you really want to. Personally, that’s a bit too much out on the roads.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Coconut Milk, Birthday Cake Chobani

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Coconut Milk, Birthday Cake Chobani

Do pour coconut milk on your oatmeal and sweeten your yogurt with gluten-free birthday cake mix instead of plain sugar for some really crazy food pairings that work beautifully.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Don’t eat store-bought apples when you have freshly picked Summer berries lining your countertops. Unfortunately, I don’t have that yet, so I did eat this organic red delicious apple.

Dill And Lemon Chickpea Salad With Raw Parsley Cheddar

Dill And Lemon Chickpea Salad With Raw Parsley Cheddar

Dill And Lemon Chickpea Salad With Raw Parsley Cheddar

Dill And Lemon Chickpea Salad With Raw Parsley Cheddar

Do make simple summer chickpea salads with this invariable formula:

Do go to Target when you’re double fisting gift cards and hit up the sales. I got 2 chocolate bars for $5 and a 4GB memory card for $13 bucks.

Raspberry Chocolove Bar

Raspberry Chocolove Bar

Don’t expect chocolate not to melt when you eat it. I think it says something about me that my addiction to chocolate and my hatred towards melted bars almost makes me completely hate the Summer season. I love chocolate.

We've got your Green Tea Coconut Milk dairy-free ice cream ri... on Twitpic

Do eat about as much ice cream as you can get your hands on, including fun and funky new flavors like green tea coconut milk ala So Delicious. It tasted very coconutty, but I didn’t mind because it made me think of this as some fun Asian boba tea or something. The green tea was actually subtle flavor to the whole thing. Wouldn’t this have been perfect for St. Patrick’s Day?

Don’t take pictures of said ice cream on your new camera which photos you can’t upload onto your computer yet. Whoops! I enjoyed about 2 servings.

Baby Carrots

Baby Carrots

Do snack on carrots for something healthy, low-sugar, and filling when you need that added crunch to hold you over.

Don’t waste your afternoon in front of Tivo watching Food Network and Little People Big World. Err, whoops? Well, to be fair, I’m only home for the weekend and need to soak up the goodness while I can 😛

Vegan, Gluten-Free Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan, Gluten-Free Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Do make amazing and delicious desserts like vegan chocolate cupcakes from Sweet Utopia to test out new recipes while cooking for your cousins birthday.

Don’t crush 2 cupcakes by fussing around with the oven lay-out 😦 I still got 18 good ones! And 2 piles of crumbs that will be tasty on just about anything 🙂

Stir-Fried Maple Tofu And Sweet Potatoes With Mighty Maple

Stir-Fried Maple Tofu And Sweet Potatoes With Mighty Maple

Do try new meals, especially when things don’t go as planned. I’m very particular about my sweet potatoes, and these were too soft :-/ I tried cooking the tofu and sweet potato together in a pan with walnut oil to crisp them about. It wasn’t amazing, but certainly improved.

Don’t even think about not enjoying those nice Summer nights. If there’s nothing on The Food Network, I spy a Sherlock Holmes DVD to keep me from getting anywhere on my Latin homework.

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Easter 2010

Posted on April 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

All this post made me want was cheese. I don’t eat cheese much but when I do, God, do I love cheese. I’m not even sure I understand the bastardization of it in the first place. It’s milk processed with enzymes to the point of having little to no lactose. Sure, let’s all bastardize Velveeta, but then again I wouldn’t call that real “cheese” to begin with. Real cheese is an art.

Next Generation Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese

Next Generation Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese

Keeping the theme of the night “raw”, I had some of Next Generation’s Dairy organic raw garlic parsley cheddar cheese. Soooo good *drools*. And if you were  to tell me something about this complete protein with organic dairy fat and raw enzymes wasn’t healthy, I wouldn’t believe you. Skip the Velveeta and stuff yourselves with this. By the way, it scares me that my spell check finds nothing wrong with “Velveeta”, but type “kombucha” and let the red squiggles go flying!

French Toast Oatmeal, Pomegranate Chobani With White Chocolate Wonderful

French Toast Oatmeal, Pomegranate Chobani With White Chocolate Wonderful

I was surprisingly hungry right when I woke up. Instead of running, I made myself breakfast and started food prep. Hot cross buns have nothing on french toast oatmeal. Yum! And dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter–whatever you put on a pomegranate Chobani tastes delicious.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Coconut Oil

Raw Vegan Brownie With Coconut Oil

Finally I was ready to run after we went to Easter Mass. For some quick energy I had a raw vegan brownie with coconut oil schmeared on top. I don’t know if it was this sudden heat wave, improper hydration, or too much casein at breakfast, but the first bit of running was definitely uncomfortable.

Banana

Banana

Eventually, I got into my groove and did 9.5 miles around the neighborhood at a great pace. I refueled with a banana while I showered, cooked more, and waited for the relatives to arrive. Among my dishes was my Irawnic Salad

Irawnic Salad

Irawnic Salad

Doesn’t that look amazing? I finally got around to making my own and it was heavenly. I can’t wait to make this recipe more often. It was so simple, too!

  • 2 bunches organic kale
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2-2 avocadoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup cashews roasted with sea salt

In a bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice and vinegar.Massage the kale until well coated. Top with diced red onion and salty cashews. Dear Lord, is this good. It’s “irawnic” because the salad is completely raw except for the roasted salted cashews. I like to think of it like the fatty bacon slices in an otherwise “healthy” salad 😉 and that’s why it’s ironic.

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

There was so much good food. But I never feel pressure to eat much differently at holidays than on regular days. In fact, I make it a point to choose 3 things, and just eat those. Since there is always leftovers, I know I’ll be seeing all of this for the next few days, and that way it’s like each meal is “new”.

Parmesan Cauliflower, Maple Tofu, Irawnic Salad

Parmesan Cauliflower, Maple Tofu, Irawnic Salad

For my plate, I had irawnic salad, roasted parmesan cauliflower, and maple baked tofu. Yum! This was perfect and just what I needed to eat. The salad I think was a hit; even the maple tofu got a few fans among the meat eaters. There was no love lost hereon skipping the ham(at this meal, at least). I had seconds on the salad and tofu.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Dessert was easiy my favorite part 🙂 Since my relatives are always down for Easter, we also celebrate my birthday with them.I was very particular about my cake, but that made it just the perfect thing when it came out. It was Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake made with 3 organic eggs and coconut oil instead of canola. The frosting was a vegan buttercream made with earth balance and on the side was a little organic coconut shreds.

Birthday Cake With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Birthday Cake With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

It was dreamy. Seriously, this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. And I think everyone else shared that sentiment. It was perfectly sweet and moist, and you would never thing twice about the “gluten-free” texture. Bob did me well for my birthday 😀 On the side was a scoop of dairy/soy-free So Delicious coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream. Between the cake and the ice cream, vanilla beans were flying everywhere!

Irawnic Salad And Melon

Irawnic Salad And Melon

A few screaming cousins, Disney World slide shows, and pots of coffee later, I made a raw snack plate. I figured the salad wouldn’t really keep well, so I’d have those leftovers first On the side was some cantaloupe and honeydew melon, all covered in sea salt. Glorious.

I was supposed to go back to school tonight, but the day totally wiped all of us out: Church, cooking, cleaning, little cousins, etc. Not to mention I wasn’t packed and there were leftovers bursting out of the fridge Instead, we mustered up the strength for a small Whole Foods run and then leftovers for dinner.

Honey Ham, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Carrots

Honey Ham, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Carrots

Now the ham makes an appearance. It’s from Whole Foods, so it’s completely natural and nitrate-free. The best part of this meal was purposely avoiding these 3 and other foods at lunch so that it didn’t even feel like leftovers! Admit it: You wouldn’t have known if I didn’t mention it 😉

Well, my Easter rocked. How about yours? If you posted it on your blog and I didn’t comment, I promise I read it. I was on and off my computer all day catching up with things when I was allowed a break from being the 3 wheel on the Wii. Like I said, there’s so much I want to and have to do before I can think about school again, even though Spring Break ends now 😦 Perhaps I’ll make a chronographic list! That’s one mental health tip that’s never out of style.

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Shaking Off The Funk

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

Good morning from Providence! It feels good to be able to say that again. Maybe tomorrow I can blog from Houston? I’ve never been but anywhere it’s not raining sounds good to me!

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Yesterday morning, I was still a little “sugar shocked” from my birthday eats, so I decided to avoid added sugar and sweetness for as long as I could. For breakfast, it really wasn’t that hard; I just swapped out yogurt for scrambled eggs and used plain old 365 peanut butter with sunflower seeds on my oats. That peanut butter is probably my favorite plain, and it’s only $1 with the new Whole Deal coupon! That’s insane!

Baby Carrots

Baby Carrots

Before lunch, I munched on some carrots where I might have coffee. The natural and voluminous sugars were enough to hold me over for a while and still feel fresh. But then it rained. And rained. And rained. So I had tea.

Tazo Rest

Tazo Rest

Since the goal of the day wasn’t to make me miserable, I went ahead and added a little stevia to this. It was just enough to bring out the essence of the Tazo Rest tea, which is amazing.

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Lunch was kept real simple and real fresh I a can of 365 tuna with 2oz plain Chobani and salt; that’s the ingredients for the perfect tuna salad, in my mind. That went atop some simply steamed broccoli with soy sauce and then was sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds; those are the best seeds to add for flavor, crunch, and protein in my book.

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Around 3, I came to the realization that my life is not complete without chocolate; I just can’t fathom otherwise. And I’m OK with that since I always celebrate my chocolate tooth with good quality products. Did you know some Hershey’s products contain 60% vegetable oils and can’t even legally be called “chocolate”? Yuck! Elan’s chocolate frozen yogurt has simple, natural ingredients, probiotics, and a stellar nutrition panel. I say, scoop away!

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Baking this banana goodness bread with hemp seeds instead of flax was such a good idea it makes it a little nuttier and sweeter. I was worried the sugar crust was gone the day after but with some time in the toaster, this was just as crust and nice. Is it just me, or is nothing better on rainy days than sweet breads and coffee? Except this was without the coffee. Boo.

This week was so sporadic; I’d planned to be home for the half-marathon, and my birthday, and then I had no clue what I was doing. I thought I might drop by campus to pick up books and stay home all week. But after 2 days of being trapped home and not having a great time, I realized I was in a funk, and being back in Providence might help me defunk(or at least I’d have work to keep me busy). At that, we packed up yesterday afternoon and drove down to RI.

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Morrocan Chickpea Salad

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Dinner was eaten at Whole Foods; do you know of a better chef? I kind of wish they had gluten-free pizza so I could have partaken in the pizza eating(everyone else had pizza), but I was also happy with what I got. The parmesan cauliflower was insanely good; I wanted so much more! Except it cost an arm and a leg from the salad bar. I think it’s a winner for Easter lunch, though. The Chickpea salad didn’t taste any exotic, but I could eat chickpeas morning, noon, and night on their own.

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

When I was settled in, I made a snack and turned on The Biggest Loser midway through. I didn’t forget my low-sugar challenge; in fact, I just tried to exercise a modest and healthy chocolate tooth, with a special treat I found at Whole Foods.

Coconut Creme Egg

Coconut Creme Egg

If it’s shaped like an egg and made by Lake Champlain, you’ve just got to get it, right? 😉 The “coconut creme” in here didn’t taste particularly exciting that’s coming from someone with about every form of coconut except the actual coconut in his dorm. The yogurt with coconut oil chocolate, however, was great.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Coconut Oil Chocolate

So great, I needed to taste the other half of the bar. At least it has no refined sugars? That’s my excuse. That completely took care of my chocolate tooth, though, and so I went back to my “raw roots” for one last dessert.

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

I forgot I opened and reviewed Better Than Roasted’s sprouted almond butter. It’s good, but I think I prefer their cashew. If you want a really nutritious nut butter, you don’t need to go raw, just look for one with the skin ground in; that’s the best thing you can eat!

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Dare I say, it felt good to get up at 6:45 on break and start running again?! The Today Show, the gym, the endorphins–I just missed it all. I scarfed down my last fruit & nut Perfect Foods Bar and got there surprisingly, I wasn’t the first or only one!

12 Miles In 1:46:11

12 Miles In 1:46:11

I broke my run into two segments of 6 miles, and finished in 1:46:11; thank goodness that’s not my half marathon pace or I’d be so off my goal.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was pretty standard fare between oatmeal with chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter(I got a new jar in my time at home) and chobani sweetened with agave and topped with milk chocolate peanuts. I was watching on The Doctors yesterday(first off, big mistake there) about how peanut particles are easy to get lodged in the lungs and trachea, which is why infants should never eat it. It also can account for a rough cough in adults, which I always have and now I can guess why. Anyone else out there with this? I’m going to be coughing after this meal, that’s for sure. It’s also made me scared to death to feed babies anything other than mushed veggies. I don’t think I was fed peanut butter, but I’ve heard admissions of coffee being slipped into the baby bottle. Any other baby feeding admissions people want to get out there? 😉

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Mental Health Week Intro And Escape Your Prison

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Isn’t it timely that mental health week would come at the same time as my midterms? 😉 Go figure. Stick with me all week on helpful tips and tricks to think right and there’ll be a giveaway to have you feel well at the end of the week!

Groceries

Groceries

I had plans for lunch that fell through and got rescheduled to Friday, which left me with a free Monday morning–score! Rather than dive right in to midterm studying, I decided to take a nice walk before the rain came to Whole Foods to get groceries. I wanted more So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt while the sale still ran and didn’t have anything planned for lunch, so prepared food sounded like a good surprise.

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

Talk about being a fussy diner, I took plain grilled chicken thighs from one part of the salad bar and used the honey garlic sauce from the chicken wings tray for some flavor. And flavor there was! The honey and the garlic added such a nice savory-sweetness. I could ave thought of this like a normal lunch and realized a) I payed too much for “just eating” and b) there must have been a hell of a lot of sugar on there. Instead, I decided to think of it like a good meal out, in which case a) I got a bargain on a chicken dish and b) who cares about nutrition? I’m eating out! It’s all in the perception.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

That held me over… not nearly long enough. I figured 12 miles running + 2.5 walking would increase hunger a bit, so why fight it? I broke in to one of the So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt I picked up at Whole Foods.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

Holy creaminess, batman! This is why I’ve been loving coconut milk and its byproducts so much recently: You get something rich, creamy, and satisfying that’s an alternative to dairy. And it’s comforting to know if I ever went dairy and soy free, I could still get my probiotics(not like that’s happening any time soon!).

I’m not going to lie: The afternoon was very rough, and I did very little other than write and read and generally prep for the 2 papers and 3 in-class midterms I have over the next 4 days. In a lot of ways, my room felt like a prison. Perhaps the biggest obstacle was recognizing hunger verses boredom. I could eat all day if you let me, so I put particular emphasis on that while distracting myself with Betty White on Ellen. Around 4, I could tell that I was legitimately hungry again.

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

I had oatmeal with maple cashew butter from Tierra Farm and some really good milk chocolate. I can’t believe I ever measured out nut butter on top of oatmeal; nowadays, I’d so much rather not know how much I use and just enjoy it while it’s in front of me 🙂

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Kristie from Vegan In Dairy Land gave me this chocolate as part of blogger’s secret santa and I’ve been enjoying it nibble by nibble since then. It’s sooooo creamy! Think of the best milk chocolate Easter bunny you’ve ever had, then make it natural and gourmet. I think it’s because they use butterfat, and I love that. Where would I be in life without good chocolate?

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I threw some stuff in the oven for dinner, but was ready to eat right then. It didn’t help I had no fresh fruit around 😦 I went out to the dining hall and grabbed a ton of fruit to last. No red delicious apple could have grown this perfect on its own, but it was definitely a better choice than eating highly processed chocolate candy(not like I’d ever bad mouth which one I was thinking of. I still love it 😀 It just… was not candy time). This held me over nicely through cooking dinner.

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

I decided to save the salmon from Whole Foods for a rushed meal I’ll inevitably have later on in the week and cook a grass-fed burger while I had the time. There was also some thinly sliced sweet potato fries with chipotle cayenne parma and 3 pickle spears(gotta have the pickles in there :-))Check out Gina’s post on the pro’s and con’s of grass-fed beef! Apparently I’m making a name for myself 😀 While a lot of you have thought “Wow, he cooks beef in a dorm!” I’ve often looked at it as “I only cook beef”. I’d love to see how my cholesterol is after all of this. I just don’t like dealing with raw chicken or having to cook it through, and raw fish is a nightmare to keep around, so beef it always is! I’ll be happy once Lent is over so I can start adding some fake chicken back into my diet. Even before then, I’d love to get some vegan ice cream or Vivapura goodies in by winning either of these giveaways.

Today’s tip:

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not that much “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained. Today, that took form for me in the way of a walk to Whole Foods and back. OK, maybe that’s not the most exciting thing. But looking back I am happy to have had the time to not be productive. And it makes me look forward to ideas for activities later on in the week a little more photogenic and edible 😉 Tell me, what have YOU done for yourself lately?

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