Churning The Day Away

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I’ve found my new hobby

Yesterday, I spent a good portion of my afternoon working on this masterpiece. It was supposed to be vegan white chocolate ice cream, but the white chocolate flavor never really came through :-/ Then again, I don’t think I’ve had any vegan white chocolate ever, so I’m not sure what I was working with to begin with. Anyway, what came out was a delicious Coconut Cocoa Butter flavor.

Today started out very relaxingly with yogurt and raw local honey and some lightly-sweetened peanut butter over oats. Even though the weather was gorgeous, after 9 days of running I was happy to take a rest day because that’s what my body wanted.

Rest day or not, I refuse to give up some morning chocolate 😉 Followed by a good walk. When I got back, I fired up the grill and cooked for everyone.

I think I’ve taken my onion love to new, stink-breath heights. All it took to make these was tossing them in some EVOO and putting them in an aluminum foil pack cooking 5 minutes on each side. Delicious! They went perfectly with a southern style Wildwood burger and some roasted broccoli.

And right afterward, I went back to my new favorite hobby. I made a mix of 3 cups organic half and half, 3/4 cup Bob’s gluten free cake mix, 5 tablespoons Madhava light agave, and some guar gum and poured that into the ice cream maker. Like I learned from this experience, you really need to make the ice cream a good 3-4+ hours before expecting to eat it.

Why not some matching cupcakes? Made with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil and a flax egg. Getting that flax chicken to lay an egg on command is tough work! But she clucks one up eventually.

And then, since none of that would be ready for a few hours, I’ve been snacking on a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate almond butter and coconut milk for richness–delicious! I think dessert for tonight is pretty much set with my new hobby, wouldn’t you? 😉

Annnd now I’m snacking on one of the cupcakes. Flax, egg–I’ve still got it no matter what I’m cooking with.

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? I’d say my food processor has some competition now…

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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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How Yellow Gatorade Makes Me A Foodie

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

I loved reading your thoughts on rest days on this mornings post. It sounds like there’s a a wide spectrum of loving/hating rest days and how often each person can go without one. Today helped me realize that a) 3 weeks is just too long for me and b) if this is how hungry I am when I “rest”, just put a whole grocery store in my pantry because I’m going to need it. As for the Munch Bar, from what I can tell they’re only available at Walgreens. But they’re really good for an “all-natural candy bar”! They’re probably better nutritionally than most of the bars in Whole Foods.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

I don’t think my dorm room would have passed state health inspection this morning; something about this didn’t seem right. Don’t worry! I did practice good hand-washing and did my best to keep things sanitary. After doing this a few times, I’ve definitely got it down to an art and know the insides and outs. 85/15 grass-fed beef makes the best burgers with a good dimple in the middle for when it puffs up. I was, however, almost late to class because I put off cooking one too long. Whoops. That’d be a weird excuse to have to make.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Onions, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger With Onions And Ketchup

I think I deserve to steal the title “Burger King”, don’t you? This meal was ridiculously good, with ketchup and some white onions for the burger. For a side, I roasted a whole sweet potato, peeled it, and diced it. When the burger was finished cooking, I let the potato cook in the fat drippings for a hash; it’s simple, flavorful, and cleans the pan! What could be better? This meal held me over ridiculously well, which is good since I have 3 hours of class Tuesday afternoons.

Coffee With Vanilla Powder

Getting back to my dorm I unwound with some coffee and vanilla powder catching up on emails and google reader. Did you know that some companies sell a vanilla powder that’s literally just the ground up whole vanilla bean? It’s crazy expensive, but something I need to try some day. After tallying up the homework I have to finish for Wednesday and Thursday I’ve realized it’s going to be a rough couple of days! I might need more rest time if only because reading on the treadmill is tough to do. Bare with me if at any point I get brief.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raspberry Coconut Spread

I made this to slowly enjoy before supper but ended up scarfing it down–it was that good! Just the standard chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and vanilla stevia. But for a new-and-nifty “topper” I mixed half Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil with some Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve. Raspberry is by far my favorite jam, but this just revolutionized the whole thing. And I’d love to try a “raw” version of this with agave nectar when raspberries are in season!

While I was putting off homework, I gave some thought to a guy I saw walking in to my Greek history class. He was easily 7 feet tall and carrying a milk carton filled with yellow Gatorade, which, on him, looked like a pint sized water bottle. Beyond the thought of all the nasty stuff that must be in yellow Gatorade and what the hell kind of genes he had to make him a giant, it made me think: He’s an athlete. Well, duh, but what I meant was that he really eats and breathes whatever he does. In my hand, am I more likely to carry a treadmill or a camera? Definitely the latter(and not just for the obvious reasons). I’m a foodie. I run, and I like to run, but I looove to cook and eat. My gut reaction to this post from Kelly was “You mean people don’t cook every meal?!” like it was a shock to my system. At that self-realization, I stuck some veggies in the oven and waited for dinner.

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, And Toasted Coconut With Sea Salt

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, Toasted Coconut, Sea Salt

Have I gotten over my deep despise for plain tempeh? Nope. Have I worked my way through the whole block I bought? Not quite yet. But I can at least get myself to eat it cooked in a little coconut oil and topped with shredded coconut. Last time I made this [completely vegan] meal, I just steamed the broccoli; normally, for Asian flavors, I’d say that’s the way to go, but I think roasting it instead here helps with the nuttiness of the tempeh and coconut. That and roasted vegetables always taste better 🙂

Here’s a delicious giveaway for some Crofter’s superfruit spreads. And here’s one for some sweet, sweet Zevia!

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Priorities And Directions

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

Good evening. I’ll just mention now that I’m bloggin’ from another state! But more on that in a bit. When I was wrapping up the post from this morning, I was thinking how much I really wanted to walk to Whole Foods, but didn’t have a lot of free time. Where are my priorities! I’m scarily good about doing what “should” be done, but not so good about always doing what I “want” to do. At that point, I let the dishes be dirty, the emails go unanswered, and stepped out the door. I know, I’m a rebel 😉

Groceries

I grabbed the typical stuff for next week: soy yogurt, beef, condiments, etc. The only thing they didn’t have was any soft tofu >:-( We got that a little later on in the day, though. And I say we because my dad met me at Whole Foods to pay for this and pick me up(double score). I just really felt like I needed a trip home this weekend after a lot of work and 3 weeks of not being in my own bed. So I packed up and was out of there!

Buffalo Chicken, Broccoli, Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

On the way back to good ol’ MA, we stopped a different Whole Foods to grab some lunch. I grabbed buffalo chicken off the food bar, a bag of new chips that were on sale, but broccoli out of the produce section(!!). This is the trick to eating at Whole Foods without breaking the bank: get the things that are cheaper raw and cook them in the microwave–it’s so simple and instead of $7 a pound broccoli was $1.50 a pound.

Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

These were the chips that were on sale made by Snikiddy and oh my God were they brilliant! I had never tried any of their products, but if it’s on sale I’ll definitely give them a taste. Cheddar Cheese Fries says it all; these were like straight up Cheetos. Heavenly. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t have one of the Bob’s Red Mill products I was looking for, so we went across the way(literally, right across the street) to Market Basket.

Bob's Red Mill Products

Check out that selection! And it’s all super cheap because nothing costs much at Market Basket(granted, most of the stuff they sell I wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole). I definitely need to keep this place in mind more often.

Red Delicious Apple

After I found what I wanted, I snacked on this apple until we got home safe and sound, where mom and Montana were waiting to say hello. Apparently, it’s been snowing in MA all week, or at least moreso than it has at all at school. Now, for the big unveiling…

GF Vanilla Cake Mix, Coconut Oil, Eggs

What I wanted to pick up was Bob’s Red Mill‘s gluten-free vanilla cake mix! God, I really need to lay off the exclamation marks in this post. Normally, I wouldn’t use a mix, but since I know so little about gluten-free baking I felt like I needed to the first time. But Bob’s is a good one because it uses whole grain gluten-free flours(very important to me). I used 1/2 the bag to make 8 cupcakes. And, while it called for vegetable oil, I asked myself “WWFLBD?” or “what would fat-loving bloggers do?” and swapped that out for an equal amount of coconut oil. Is there anything coconut can’t do?

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake With Coconut Oil Vanilla Frosting

I couldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes for them to cool; these smelled too good. And they tasted too good, too! So perfectly light, airy, and sweet. The texture was a bit chewy, but I think that’s just the general way of gluten-free flours and eggs. For a frosting, I mixed powdered sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract–heavenly. But you know what they say about cupcakes…

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake

1 is just not enough. At least I didn’t frost this one? It may have been a bit more sugars than I’m used to in an afternoon, especially an afternoon where all I did was find TV shows like Friends on channels I haven’t had in a while, but no regrets; when there’s cake around baked fresh, you better eat it up! To compensate, there at least was a vegan dinner.

Asparagus, Snobby Joe Mix

I actually love green lentils. Too bad they aren’t more dorm-room friendly. For the mix, a little ketchup and mustard and a lot of steak sauce and voila! It’s so good! And I couldn’t imagine a more homey meal. On the side was asparagus grabbed from Whole Foods because, well, they really keep this house bare. And now it’s already almost 7:30; how did that happen? I need to get a move on things! I can’t wait to hear what people think of the cupcakes once they eat them for dessert(obviously, I hated them ;-)).

Here’s a popchip giveaway! Perfect for fueling my addiction.

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Friday Fish And Chips

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

Happy Lenten Friday, everybody! OK, that has an awful and fake sound to it. The Church needs to come up with something catchy. But while they do, I’ll catch you up on what we decided. Last Friday I posed the question yay or nay on fish if I consider them a “meat” in terms of vegetarianism. A lot of you raised compelling arguments and the clear answer was that fish was cheap at the time of Aquinus which is why Catholics can still eat fish during Lent, but it’s “in the spirit” to have only the lesser-quality fish(aka no sashimi :-(). Of course, I also consulted my mom who’s the real my-word-goes-if-you-know-what’s-good-for-you and she agreed that fish was OK. Why am I saying this when fish wasn’t even on the menu for lunch?

Asian Tofu And Egg Stir-Fry With Honey Ginger Veggies And Hemp Flax Crackers

In my way overworked pan, I browned the last of a block of tofu(1.5 servings maybe) in soy sauce. Then I added these honey ginger vegetables I picked up at the dining hall until they were heated. Lastly, I cracked in an egg and cooked through–delicious! I’m not sure what was on the veggies; I don’t want to know. But this tasted perfectly greasy like real Chinese food. Over the top, I sprinkled some Omega-3’s ala seed crackers:

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers to be exact. These were so deliciously herby! Rosemary is towards the bottom of the ingredient list but the flavor was LOUD and proud, and good, too! I actually opened this thinking it was “herb” instead of “hemp”; perhaps it should have been.

Apple With Coconut Oil Agave Dipping Spread

While watching America completely own Finland, I had an ingenous and delicious snack. I sliced up a red delicious apple and spread on it Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil mixed with Xagave–sweet fats, this was good! I could have just eaten the coconut oil with a spoon; OK, I might have done that a little, too 😉 Anything to distract me from work! But then I got hungry again, which meant early dessert apparently:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I was on such a good vegan streak until the egg, and then milk chocolate. Oh well, if my milk and meat teeth want to return, fine by me. While majorly enjoying this, I stuck a sweet potato in the oven, but it didn’t cook in time for dinner 😦 I had all the time in the world; I should have put it in early. I’ve since stuck it in the fridge for another meal. Here’s where the fish comes in:

Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Salmon

Ain’t she a beauty? Straight from a can. It kind of made me think I was eating cat food(like, a lot). I guess that’s the spirit of Lent! 🙂 To flavor it, I added some maple syrup and maple butter. And because my sweet potato didn’t turn out, I had a very different form of potatoes…

Maple Butter Alaskan Salmon, Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips

Is it wrong that I probably liked the Sour Cream & Onion popchips more than I’d have liked the sweet potato? Yeah, no shame. The salmon was pretty decent for being from a can; they didn’t keep much fat in it, though, which is where all the Omega-3’s would be 😦 Good enough, I suppose? I’d actually been thinking about finding a good DHA supplement this year, but my final verdict is the same: I don’t really believe in supplements(fortified foods I’m a bit more tolerant of). I’m much more apt to want to get the nutrients from the foods themselves. And it’s especially hard for me to justify that I would need fish oil when there are so many healthy vegans and vegetarians. So no supplements for me! And I probably saved some good money with that decision, too 😉

Looking back over this week, I learned 1 block of tofu is not enough for this soy lover, and 4 soy yogurts barely got me through. Add those to the shopping list! And looking ahead, I’d really love to go home and bake a cake for no reason, but I don’t see that happening 😦 Visions of sugar cakes baking in my sleep? I’m guessing…

I hate to barrage you with contests but there are a lot out there right now and since I recently won I figure I’d keep the luck going and maybe get some scratch tickets later, too! Avery is having a peanut butter giveaway, here’s a chia seed giveaway, a popchip giveaway(which I obviously need to feed my addiction), a giveaway for shredded coconut from Trop Traditions, an ice cream machine giveaway, and lastly one for chia goodness oatmeal.

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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 repetitiveness of 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 😉

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. Gina also blogged about it here.

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 parmigiana.

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 🙂

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 🙂

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When CAN I Have Sugar?

Posted on February 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stand back–I’m going to try being 1/2 serious in this post and somebody might lose an eye.

Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Macaroon, Coconut Oil Chocolate

Last night presented one of the silliest dilemmas yet: I wanted an Emmy’s Organic mint chip macaroon AND I want a coconut oil chocolate bar; which one should I put on top of the chocolate avocado pudding I couldn’t have cared less for? Doy! I nixed the pudding and went ahead and had both. I forgot how quick these bars are to make! Just 3 minutes prep and popped it in the freezer while I washed the dishes and good to go! A little later, another chocolaty snack:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspires

Hello, sweets! I was wiped out after writing the draft for a paper by 9:50 and needed the agave syrup/cane juice whatever here to stay up a little longer. Ice skating was not helping with that either; is that really a “sport” or more of an “art”? And how disturbing are the relationships of half of those teams? Yuck! That was not what I needed for sweet dreams, but thankfully I was too tired to care mostly.

Jay Robb Fudge Brownie Protein Bar

When I woke up, I was having a major chocolate almond craving. I could have gone for a bowl of oatmeal right then and there, but I wasn’t sure how that’d sit with my stomach running, so I grabbed this Jay Robb chocolate bar with almond butter as the first ingredient.

Ingredients

Overall, I liked this bar, but wouldn’t get it again most likely; I’ve never been one for protein bars to begin with. The flavor was almost more “milk” than “fudge” from all the whey, although the almond chunks were really flavorful. The xylitol had me scratching my head, but I was comforted to read that it’s naturally derived from kosher, non-GMO corn and used here to keep the protein and fats high but the net carbs low.

Running Part 1

Looking at my day, I could tell 2 things: I’m going to be studying a lot of Greek, and it’s going to pour buckets. At that, I knew I wanted to leave everything I had on the gym floor and go for my long run of 11 miles today. I broke my run into 2 halves so that, during the break, I could go to the bathroom, change treadmills, and swap the television channel(I know, I’m a needy person).

Running Part 2

I finished in 98:30 and got a lot of quality television time in. While I was running, I couldn’t help but notice the new Splenda commercial and find myself arguing with it. If you haven’t seen it, the families in the commercial are using Splenda EVERYWHERE. I don’t mean taking a packet and pouring it in their coffee; they take a pound bag and advertise it for use in everything from sweets like cookies, lemonades, and pies to savory things like dip and chicken marinade an. Basically, the message was to put Splenda anywhere and everywhere there would otherwise be sugar–no excuses. And it really didn’t seem like this was being marketed towards diabetics(I don’t even remember if this is mentioned at all) but just the general population.

Of course, after my initial disgust, this got me thinking; I believe my actual thoughts were” Jesus, when can I have sugar?”. What’s ever wrong with something like good ol’ agave nectar in coconut oil chocolate? And then the hypocrisy started to hit me: I put NuNaturals‘ stevia in my coffee that morning, sweetened my soy yogurt with vanilla extract stevia, and the Jay Robb bar had xylitol in it. Naturally sourced or not, this all seemed like quite a contradiction to me, which is the thought I had going in to breakfast…

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Chocolate Almond Butter, 2% Yogurt With Banana Rum Jam

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Almond Butter

Finally, some real chocolate almond butter ala Justin’s to hit my sweet tooth along with rich coconut milk. I’ve put the coconut milk in a bag to try to keep odors out but it still doesn’t taste quite as magical as those first few days; is there anyway to keep coconut milk tasting fresh? On the side was some yogurt sweetened with a little stevia and topped with this magical jam. I think rum should be at every breakfast table–just sayin’.

This gave me more time to think and ask myself if my disdain for this particular commercial contradicted the way I life my life? My answer: Yes and no(Ha! Not only am I wholly a contradiction but I’m good at it too ;-)). I get not wanting to drink 40g of sugar, and I get the delicious appeal of a frothy Coke Zero. Trust me–I have those cravings even after giving that stuff up and Zevia can only help so much. And I just don’t think I could have plain greek yogurt if I tried–it’s too tangy for me. But that’s where I draw the line; 99% of the 0-cal sweeteners I use are in beverages or yogurt/pudding, and that’s where I draw my line. Almost any other time I’d rather have agave nectar, maple syrup, or good ol’ sugar. The thought of basting chicken in Splenda or stevia is just a little revolting.

Have you seen this commercial? Do you have any thoughts on Splenda or sweeteners? Did anybody lose an eye from my seriousness? Why did I not crack open my Greek text all weekend?

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So This Is Sunday

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

So this is Sunday,
An what have I done?
Saturday’s over.
But a new day’s begun.
And so this is Sunday
I haven’t done much–
Sleeping in mostly,
Eating and such…

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Coconut Oil Topping

I’d say I’m predicatble in a good way when it comes to my eats 😉 I had 1/2 an avocado leftover from another one and could have practically jumped for joy when it was the exact amount needed for pudding(did I just admit that?). Anyway, in went the avocado, almond milk, cocoa powder, and stevia. Then, for a chocolaty topping, I mixed cocoa powder, agave nectar, and Tropical Traditions coconut oil in a 1:1:3 ratio with a little vanilla powder added in–yum! I imagine this is something like raw cacao paste would be if I had some. A bit after this I was still ravenous and dug on in to my next snack:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspire Topping

Hello, probiotics and carbs! I think I would rather have this than a bowl of ice cream most nights; is that wrong? Don’t tell me because then I wouldn’t want to be right. This was a bit off I’ll admit; every once and a while, I get one that’s too runny. I think they forget to add one of the gums or something to stabilize it, so for this one I mixed in a little Bob’s Red Mill guar gum and voila! It was just like the real thing again. Who would have thought such an obscure ingredient would be so handy?

Oatmeal/Oatbran With Honey

Still hungry. More carbs. But this seemed to be settling. I loooove the smell of warmed clover honey; I think that in itself was enough to make me want to go to bed. I saw Apolo win bronze in his race and then was out of here.

Through the night, I had some wacky-wonky dreams. In short, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted cake batter more 8-| I used to eat up cake batter ice cream like crazy(Coldstone’s sinless ftw), but haven’t found a good all-natural one to date. Maybe I could just buy an all-natural cake mix and work from that? It’s worth a shot.

Tweeting

Sleeping in led to the classic decision: Should I go to the gym or put it off? Surprisingly, I never have issues with this during the week; I’m usually raring to run and watch some television. But on the weekends, the gym opens a bit later, the television shows lessen in quality, and my motivation suffers because of all of that. Guess what I decided:

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter, Blueberries, And Coconut Milk

It was definitely the right decision. Just as I dream of sweet yellow cake(oh, how delicious), I dreamt up this amazing combination of awesomeness. The coconut and the blueberries just sounded so perfect together. On top of that, I love any sort of berry with chocolate. And almond was a nice, subtle bitter tone to finish it all of. Hallelujah! AND I learned from the ever-knowledgeable Joanna in this post that coconut milk makes fat more readily available as a fuel source; look out, gym, here I come!

3 things to check out before I do. First, check out this Chobani giveaway! Next up, Caitlin had an awesome mood-boosting post this morning; go on and try it! And then a giveaway for coconut oil! Something fun for everyone.
So this is Sunday,
What will I do?
Groceries and homework
To name a few…
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I Almost! But Then I Didn’t

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I almost peed myself when Survivor came on last night, but then I used the toilet.

I almost cried when I realized I’ve been watching Survivor for more of my life than I haven’t, but then I held it in.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

I almost made a bowl of chocolate avocado pudding, but then I didn’t. Instead, I thought this coconut oil chocolate bar made with virgin coconut oil from Tropical Traditions that’s been in the fridge a bit too long would be good enough. It was pretty tasty, though could have been fresher if you know what I mean.

I almost forgot that I promised to put up the Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cup recipe, but now I threw it on the to-do list.

I almost got a chance once to go to a fundraiser where Steve Carell was hosting and the cake was made by Duff, but then I didn’t(mostly because I didn’t know a lot of these important details). Instead, I got to watch it on an episode of Ace Of Cakes. What a slap in my cake.

I almost liked Grey’s Anatomy last night, but then I decided it was just “meh”.

I almost thought of starting homework for the 5 day weekend, but–oh wait. No I didn’t 😀

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

I almost went for savory oats(nutritional yeast and smart balance), but then I went with sweet. You just can’t beat Justin’s chocolate peanut butter for some CPB lovin’ late at night.

I almost wanted to stayed up to watch men’s skating, but when it was starting at 10 and the best people weren’t until the final group, I knew that was code to give up hope. Instead, I caught it all on The Today show this morning. Go USA!

I almost snoozed in a little bit, but then I didn’t. I love running first thing in the morning for a lot of reasons, and not so much for others. In the end, the good outweighs the bad.

8 Miles In 73:07

I almost thought of running further today, but then I didn’t. I had 8 miles planned. They were a bit slow, but overall I felt really fresh.

I almost thought of having the typical oatmeal and greek yogurt for breakfast, but then I didn’t. Sometimes you just need to break out of the norm! And eat some fun and funky foods.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hulled Hemp

I almost thought of doing a vegan Friday as part of Lent…

Soy Yogurt With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

…but then I didn’t(on account of the butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty). I’ve done the vegan-for-a-day thing here and here, and I’ve learned that forcing it for a 24 hour period is not for me. Curiously, there has been random periods of 24 hours straight where I ate completely vegan without trying! I didn’t point these out on the blog, because they weren’t exactly breaking news, but I thought it was interesting that something that can at times feel forced happened so naturally.

I almost forgot to say how amazing the pudding with the Bob’s Red Mill hemp seed and yogurt with the peanut butter tasted, but now I did. And don’t think some peanut butter didn’t hop over from the yogurt to the pudding 🙂

I almost forgot to ask my Lent question, but now I will: Fish on Friday, yes or no? I grew up in a house where fish was OK on Fridays. At the same time, we always say we’re giving up “meat” on Fridays. Well, if I ever went vegetarian, fish would definitely fall under the category of “meat” to me. So what’s the final stance? Is fish good on Fridays or is it just another meat? I’m curious to hear responses(and any authoritative statements you could point me to would be even better!).

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2 Cuisines, 2 Times The Beans!

Posted on February 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today I’ve been traveling the globe with my eats. My first stop was a (late) lunch in Me-hi-co

Black Beans With Salsa And Avocado, Broccoli, Lime Nachos

I had 1/2 a can(or more) of black beans from Tuesday’s lunch to use up, so I heated those with some salsa, the last of the broccoli I had, and mashed avocado(you mean this is edible not in pudding form?!). I don’t know why I buy unsalted beans; I then just have to add loads of salt to make them appealing. But the real reason I had this meal was for the chips.

Lime Food Should Taste Good Nachos

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating: chips are my kryptonite! They’re my Achilles’ heal, to use a Classics term. I have no problem with sweets, chocolate, etc. But chips–they get me. And there’s really no nutritional way to back them up; they’re just emptiness, but so delicious. I keep a few(4 or 5) bags on hand because I’m not in to depriving myself in anyway, but I also look for different ways to satisfy those cravings with more wholesome foods. This time I took myself about 2/3rds of a serving of these to satisfy my chip tooth. And since I remembered that I reviewed these for the company a while back, I knew that they, too, need a sprinkling more salt to dance.

I took a trip to Vancouver, of course, through the television while visiting Ancient Rome and Greece through my books and internet texts. This afternoon was the speed skating; I love speed skating. If I had any ability on the ice whatsoever that’s what I’d like to do with it. I also love the Netherland’s uniforms. Spandex and bright orange–now that’s how to roll.

Snickerdoodle Soy Ice Cream, Coconut Oil Chocolate

My afternoon snack was inspired at breakfast. I liked the idea of a “sundae on Saturday”, so I scooped out 3/4 of a cup Snickerdoodle ice cream by So Delicious and then added 1/2 of a coconut oil chocolate bar. If you haven’t tried this ice cream yet, you must! It’s one of my absolute favorites. And it’s technically not even “ice cream” but rather “soy milk cream”, though I don’t think that rolls of the tongue. It’s full of gluten-free snickerdoodle cookie dough balls–yum! I was tweeting about them with So Delicious on Twitter 😀 They’re so fun to tweet with. They also must think all I eat are milk alternatives; dare they learn of my greek yogurt obsession?

Speaking of the coconut oil chocolate bar, it now has a recipe page! I was getting so many requests for that that even though it was far done on my to-do list in terms of site maintenance I figured it had to be addressed. I tried to keep the recipe general, but it’s really something that benefits from owning a kitchen scale. That’s how you can control the flavor and get what you want.

Thai Red Curry Sauce

For dinner, I took a plane with Trader Joe-San to Thailand. The first time I used this sauce was absolutely months ago; I figured I needed to revisit it now that I have a coconutty obsession and this is coconut milk based! It also has a lot of other questionable ingredients I wouldn’t have thought to be Thai. Like egg yolks? And xanthan gum(which I own but can still give me the willies sometimes). Anyway, I steamed a good amount of organic tofu and then added steamed vegetables with the sauce and let that simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Tofu In Thai Curry Sauce, Mushrooms, Watercress, Snap Peas

Mmm, all this needed(besides natural light, but I don’t control the sun) was some salt and fresh basil(not like I had any) to pop. I love how much flavor store bought sauces can bring to dishes with minimal ingredients otherwise. And so often I forget that tofu is beans! The fact that it’s smooth and white makes me think it’s probably over processed, but I do love that funky tofu texture 😀 I usually buy the one labeled “soft” for the really great texture.

I should probably return to Greece via Plato’s Phaedo before I get sucked in to Vancouver. What country would decaf hazelnut coffee be in? Because I’m making a major pit stop there.

And wow would I love to win this blender for some raw goodness!

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