Surprise Guest

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

I mentioned I was in a rush this morning, but I never really made clear why on a day I had no class.

Truth was I had company to attend to! My friend, Eury, decided to take the train down from Boston for the day before she goes to England for a month(lucky duck!). I’ve known Eury litrally since day 1 of high school; for freshmen and sophomore year we had all the same classes and were in the same circle of friends. More recently, I met her in Boston to eat at Grezzo‘s here. While I was finishing up eating breakfast, Eury was understandably hungry from the train and walking. I whipped up something I know pretty well:

Who doesn’t love tofu, broccoli, and soy sauce? It was fun to catch up and have my mind off work while we chatted. One thing we had “planned” to do was bake cookies, which was a lot easier to manage in high school with visits at home than to dorms. Still, we had all the ingredients on hand for a certain recipe.

Eury brought 3/4 cup Florida sun crystals sugar, which was the perfect amount for 5-ingredient peanut butter cookies. I don’t keep much for baking around, but peanut butter and an egg I could certainly manage. I love this recipe because it’s so simple; it was gluten-free before I knew I needed that!

Even though we were dealing with a finicky oven, they came out great for the most part. For the peanut butter, we used 365 brand creamy. Not only is it so delicious, but there’s a coupon in the new Whole Deal flyer letting you get a jar for just $1! For peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt, that’s a bargain. After a bit more time, Eury needed to catch one of the trains heading out of Providence so we said our goodbyes. I gave her a coconut oil chocolate; I’m still waiting for the review ­čśë

After she left, I was definitely hungry for lunch. What I really wanted was a nice, juicy burger. Since it’s a Friday during Lent, that was not an option. And–to be honest–I was actually feeling resentful. I could tell that wasn’t right, but rather than sulk and force myself to eat something “real” while resenting it, I decided to go for an out-of-the-norm lunch that would just keep me happy. Last weekend, I picked up this raw cacao at the natural food store and decided to make really raw pudding.

I’ve had a lot of chocolate avocado pudding, but would you believe I’ve never had it 100% raw before? Well, now I have. In the bowl went avocado, coconut milk, raw cacao, and raw agave. To balance out the chocolate, I had one of our peanut butter cookies. The pudding didn’t taste ground breakingly different, but it did have a bit more of a bitter taste and was a unique experience. And, sure, I’d make it like that again. When this didn’t quite fill me up, I went for dessert.

It couldn’t have been wrong to go for another; the first one was part of lunch and this was a wholly different snack ­čśë And who can turn down the smell of fresh cookies? With enough peanut butter and sugar in my system, I was able to get to the computer for the first time and get to work. Somewhere along the line, I had the nerve to try something I’d been thinking about for a few days now. It’s no secret I love my fakin’ tempeh bacon, but that’s off limit for Lent, too, so why not make my own?

Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a block of tempeh

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic or onion(optional)

Cut the block of tempeh vertically into thin strips with a sharp knife. Lay these out carefully in a deep dish with a flat bottom or in a sealed plastic bag. In a small cup, mix together the wet ingredients and spices if using. Pour the marinade over the tempeh bacon, and toss and turn until well coated. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes. Before preparing, pat dry with a paper towel. Cook either heated in a pan with a teaspoon of oil or in the microwave on a paper towel.

After this plop of Mighty Maple, I had easily eaten 1/4 cup nut butter through my day so far. Fantastic. Besides that, it was pretty delicious; the tempeh bacon didn’t taste quite as good as Lightlife’s, but it’ll get me through the Lenten season. I love the maple/smoky/salty flavor to it all. This filled me up a lot, too, and was probably more protein than I had gotten all day, haha. After that, though, I had no real appetite for hunger. I wasn’t craving much beyond veggies and tofu, so that’s what I whipped up.

You definitely can’t say I feed my guests things I wouldn’t eat; I just heated up tofu in a pan with some soy sauce, steamed broccoli in the microwave and then finished that off in the pan, too. I threw in some sour cream & onion popchips to round it out, even though I wasn’t particularly in the mood for them; the dish just felt empty otherwise. My mind keeps going back to last Friday night, when I felt so overwhelmed and needed the promise of ice cream and a trip home the next day to push through. I’m definitely far from there tonight, but I’ll take the ice cream ­čśë

Check out this giveaway for some ┬áSahale nuts or this giveaway for chocolate milk–both good choices!

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

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

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

Red Delicious Apple

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

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

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

Missing Water Bottle

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

Coconut Oil Chocolate

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

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

Red Delicious Apple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I Have No Shame

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

I feel no shame.
I’m proud of where I came
From. I was born and raised
In the Boondocks.

Almond Milk Hot Chocolate

Don’t have shame in drinking your calories. Didn’t you hear? Hot chocolate and wine(once you’re 21) have been scientifically proven not to have calories. Joke’s aside, you probably won’t find a healthier hot chocolate than this.

  • 1 cup warmed vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
  • stevia to taste

Did I just de-carbify the hot chocolate? I think I did. And no shame here making up words.

I have no shame admitting I do not care for LOST one bit. If it’s your thing, go right on ahead. I’ll take Idol, and The Biggest Loser, please.

I also have no shame turning off my computer at 9:40, with things still in the Google Reader, at a time when other students are just getting back to their room to start homework. I need my sleep–no lie.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Chocolate Chips

I feel no shame in turning my oatmeal into a candy bar with Trader Joe chocolate chips. Holly’s amazing oat-creations have reminded me how much I used to adore these things, and now that I’m back to high milage, I’m pretty sure candy is encouraged, unshamefully.

Morning Dusting

I have no shame in admitting how much I love snow. Are you maybe a Virginian or D.C.er who’s been getting┬ápummeled┬áand hates it? Well here’s me admitting I’m totally jealous of you and would trade in an instant. Pretty please?

Peanut Butter And Jelly Larabar

Larabar has no shame in throwing some salt in to their peanut butter and jelly bar–thank God! A lot of the flavors of Larabars I just don’t care for, and they coud probably be improved tenfold with a touch of salt for sweetness. Dates and nuts need salt!

Who turned Pokemon on at the gym? Shamelessy–me! I needed something to get me through 8 miles in 71:53. And you know what? It worked!

Bicycle Stats

Do you know what else I shamelessly love? The Today Show with sound, which I wouldn’t have gotten if I went straight back to my dorm. So I stayed around for 30 minutes with my friend, Mr. Stationary Bike.

Bike Riding

And no shame here admitting I was peddling as hard as this little tyke would be at resistance level 3.

Whoever left their soap in the shower clearly has no shame or germaphobia because that’s not something I’d do.

Trader Joe's Organic Avocado

I have no shame admitting I don’t eat as much organic vegetables as I’d like. Hell, I’d like to be able to say I grew this and everything, but that’s just not the case and buying organic isn’t always wallet friendly. This avocado, however, was a) organic and b) cheaper than the non-organic ones from Stop & Shop. Score.

Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter

It’s a shame that I haven’t shown my nut butter collection in a while; it’s just too big to fit into a photo! And it keeps growing.

Normally, I like to review new products and post them here. I have to say, though, that I don’t have time this morning, and I don’t feel shame in skipping this review right now┬ábecause all these Justin’s Nut Butters I bought with my Christmas money and wasn’t sent for review(and they were worth every penny).

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Clearly, I don’t feel shame piling on the fat for breakfast. And the way I shamelessly poured the sea salt on the oatmeal after this picture, you’d think I missed the ocean.

I’d feel no shame plugging any company who sends me avocadoes, cocoa powder, or coconut beverage every time I eat one of these pudding, but sadly that’s not the case(yet). Anybody? Please?

I have no shame plugging my own Coconut Oil Contest, but I also want to tell you about this coconut oil giveaway, this cookbook giveaway, this maple syrup giveaway, this giveaway for Zevia, and this freebie from Kashi.

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The Big Fat Post

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

*Before I go into too much, I want to stress that everything hear is based on my own opinion. I’m not a certified nutrition anything, and these are personal thoughts reached through researched. I also recognize that I change my mind like crazy, so let the record show it is 1/27/20092010*

You’re all invited to my big fat Italian-Polish-French-Welsh-Canadian wedding after you read my big fat post. Really, I should call this my big post about fat, because that’s the topic on today’s agenda. I don’t think anyone would deny that fat’s an important part of your daily intake. And I really don’t think anyone would deny that it’s usually pretty delicious(Helloooo, peanut butter?). At the same time, there are several different types of fats stemming from countless sources. After taking advice and literature from 3 intelligent bloggers, I’ve decided to incorporate saturated fat from 2 new sources into my diet.

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

Common literature would tell you that saturated fats are awful and should be limited. That same literature, however, once toted trans-fatty margarine over all-natural butter. Things an opinions change.┬áThese 2 pieces of literature(#1 and #2) combined with other effects and observation led me to this decision. The fats themselves, as you’ll read, are quite nutritious in themselves. Unlike commercial butter, grass-fed butter hosts a range of nutrients and a higher omega-3 content; this was also the butter that our great-great grandparents were living and thriving off of–not margarine. You can read all about Pasture Butter here. Coconut oil hosts a bound of benefits of saturated fats without a speck of cholesterol. It also hosts a wide and unique array of beneficial components, including lauric acid, the same food infants thrive off of from milk.

The other half of this shift will be limiting the amounts of canola, safflower, soy, and other refined liquid oils. The reasoning for this is two-fold: Firstly, they aren’t nearly as “natural” as some of their counterparts like Rachael Ray’s favorite, EVOO. Secondly, introducing new fats into my diet means I should probably take some of the old ones out, and these ones serve little purpose on their own. Of course I’ll still be getting a strong flow of fats from nuts and, on occasion, animal sources. But I did want to put this out there, so that there’s no surprise that I might be featuring food like this a lot:

Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Bar

And why wouldn’t I when it’s this yummy? That would be my 3rd ever homemade raw vegan chocolate, made with 13g gold label virgin coconut oil, 19g agave nectar, and 12g cocoa powder. I really liked this blend. And, yes, when it comes to these raw chocolate bars it’s grams–not even teaspoons–that change the flavor completely! I’m loving playing around with the flavor with my minute changes and I think this one came out best of all so far. I’m going to pass over the irony of eating coconut oil and a chocolate bar while watching The Biggest Loser ­čśÇ

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC, I am totally infuriated with the red team. I really hate it when anyone “plays the game” instead of just losing weight. As much as I love Alison Sweeney, I really miss the days when Caroline Rhea hosted and the contestants entered not knowing what they were doing but solely devoted to getting healthy. Meanwhile, teams like the grey team keep me thinking there are still those like that out there and have hope. I needed oatmeal to distract me from being angry.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

If I’m working grass-fed butter into my diet, I should work more maple butter in too, right?(For those who don’t know, maple butter is simply granulated maple syrup and, in fact, not at all butter). I think I need to add less salt to my oats because even with all this mapleness nothing tasted sweet. I might have had to have an extra spoonful of maple butter from the jar. Oops.

This did not help my first night of sleep back in the dorm. I don’t know why, but I think it took a good 60 minutes of nothingness to fall asleep. My mind was just racing with thoughts about the new day and everything. The thing I was most anxious about was running again. To top it all off, I forgot to set my alarm! I managed to wake up naturally at 7:20, though, so only slept in 20 minutes. I guzzled down a cup of coffee from a fresh canister, and hit the gym.

365 Decaf Hazelnut

It’s so hard to find coffee that’s flavored and decaf; and this really tastes like hazelnut! Love it. What I didn’t love so much was reuniting with the treadmill.┬áThe run was so tough. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy after 5 weeks but I couldn’t believe after 2 miles it was becoming a battle, even though I had The Today Show to entertain me. My goal was 7 miles and I pushed to that in 59:59; I don’t know how I’m going to build back up for my half in time. When I got back to my dorm, I was ready to refuel!

Bananamon Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Newman's Cup

This hit the spot. I needed to go to the dining hall to get bananas and I grabbed 5 while I was in there ­čśÇ I’ll be set for a bit I think. I love the cinnamon raisin peanut butter but I almost feel like it was too much raisins! Good thing I had soy yogurt with peanut flour to help satisfy my peanut tooth. The trick to good peanut flour yogurt: salt. It makes it that much more authentic.

Today’s the first day of classes! Already so much has happened I want to share and I’ve gotten a ton of good news, but I think after covering 1 big fat topic, that’ll be enough for this post. Instead, I’ll leave you with some giveaways.

Enter here for a goji gourmet giveaway(it’s one of my superfoods!)

Here is 1 iHerb giveaway and here is another! You could get a lot of herbage with that, lol.

And an Oikos giveaway!

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