Legume Love

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

Last night it became apparent we needed to go to the grocery store then because there might not be a chance over the weekend. Sure, we had pantry food and vegetables, but what we were missing were “meal makers”, which–for me–come in a beany form:

Beans

Beans

  • Chickpeas(dry and reconstituted)
  • Black beans
  • BBQ beans
  • Vegetarian chili
  • Tofu
  • Tofu Veggie Burgers

I have a serious case of legume love. And how could I not? Beans are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. And nothing tastes better than a properly seasoned bean. You just have to have a heavy hand with the salt and spices. What’s your favorite variety of bean? For me, it’s the chickpea, or garbanzo bean. I love my chickpea(and yet, surprisingly, hummus is not my favorite).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Milk Ice Cream

And we got some other groceries, including this! I can’t wait to try and review this new coconut milk ice cream. I hope it’s as good as this one I’m in love with.

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

I surprisingly wasn’t starving getting home from grocery shopping; but there’s always room for another favorite bean of mine: the cacao bean!

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Mmm, this one’s a winner every time. Nothing’s more relaxing than eating dark chocolate and watching television. The preview for the season finale of Grey’s looks so exciting! It should be almost as good as the bomb episodes.

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate PB

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate PB

Did you know peanuts are more closely related to legumes than nuts? That makes it more confusing for me when the food pyramid categorizes it with the meats. What is it?! I think the peanut has a serious identity crisis. But it sure is delicious.

Cookie Dough Oatmeal, Banana Pineapple Rum YIAJ

Cookie Dough Oatmeal, Banana Pineapple Rum YIAJ

Breakfast on this cold and rainy day was very Project Cleanout friendly.

Plain Chobani In Banana Rum Pineapple Jam

Plain Chobani In Banana Rum Pineapple Jam

I think I like eating out of this jam jar more because those final bites are so sweet rather than nutty. It’s bliss. For my oatmeal, I made a small batch of cookie dough cashew butter in honor of Cookie Friday. That means it’s also Sundae Friday! Well now I’m happy I picked up that pint of ice cream. Happy Friday!

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Food Combining

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

When you eat a lot of food, you eat a wide variety of food; that’s good, right? Maybe not, at least according to the rules of food combining. Food combining, at its core, breaks down foods into their categories and suggests which to pair together for optimal nutrition and which to avoid combining. Proper food combining is supposed to lead to proper digestion.

Nectarine

Nectarine

Fruit, for instance, should always be eaten alone. Accordingly, I snacked on this nectarine before lunch eaten all by itself. I first heard of food combining from Gina, and my first reaction was “Finally, the key!”

A little more time and thought and I’m ready to call this one busted. Why? Well, in a bit of research, I’ve came across a slew of articles such as this article which make it sound more absurd than miraculous; 20,000 years of food digestion and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. I also took in to account that nothing usually digests on its own; that nectarine I ate was undoubtedly sitting on top of my breakfast in my gut even if eaten an hour later. The final straw was that I’d have to accept that 19 years of eating have been done “improperly” if I’m to believe food combining now. I’ve had some bad times on the toilet, but not that much.

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Burgers and sweet potatoes “don’t combine well”; if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that meal is a staple in my diet. I meant to have it for lunch, too, but instead I cooked some brussels sprouts in the beef fat and steamed butternut squash in the microwave to the point of being soft. I then tossed those with sea salt, turmeric, and cinnamon. That combination of spices was magnificent and anti-oxidant rich–love it! Dessert was my cookie Friday creation:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

How do chocolate, peanut butter, and brownie combine? I obviously didn’t stick around with it long enough before looking in to debunking the myth to find out. All I know is that in my mouth they combine heavenly. The inside was a peanut butter gluten-free chocolate brownie, surrounded by Endangered Species 70% dark chocolate and a layer of 365 brand peanut butter sweetened with Madhava vanilla agave.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

OK. I actually ate it uncombined more like this because it was so clumpy; it was still delicious! 😀 By far my favorite bit was the chocolate with peanut butter on top, which was perfectly bitter-sweet. And this chocolate bar is on sale at Whole Foods for the next week! I’m going to stock up over the weekend since I obviously have no problem going through them.

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

This was my dinner: quite literally combined! I gave new meaning to shake and bake by filling a bag with tofu, sweet potato, and brussels, shaking it with maple syrup to spread that around and baking it at 350 to roast the veggies while cooking the tofu to the perfect texture.

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

I loooooove this combination of maple baked tofu with sweet potato and greens. This feels like the perfect Friday night meal because it’s so homey and warm, and it’s been rain clouds all day. I just wish good food didn’t take so long to prepare! I start dinner at 4:30 to eat at 6:30. But if time is the cost for a healthy meal, I’ll pay up and pay it forward. I added a secret ingredient on top I’m “testing out”. I don’t want to say too much, but I think the flavor works well, and I can’t wait to try making a real recipe with it.

My Verdict

I will not be striving to keep separate my starch from my flesh from my fruit any time soon. Had you heard of food combining? Do you practice it? Does it work for you? I’m not saying my disbelief of it means it’s not the key for somebody. I just read an article last night saying there’s no scientific evidence for a gluten intolerance short of Chron’s Disease, but I know my body enough to say I don’t have Chron’s and still gluten from wheat, barley, and rye upset my stomach. Similarly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear if food combining is what works for some people. Just not myself.

A giveaway for WoW baked goods–I love these!

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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 😉

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 😉 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 😉

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

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Mighty Tasty

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

I’m just going to keep telling myself I don’t have a problem with chocolate, and then it won’t be true, right?

Xocai Xobiotic Square And Q.bel Milk Chocolate Wafer Bars

After Ghost Whisperer I made a bit of a chocolate snack plate. I had a Xocai Xobiotic sqaure for my dark chocolate tooth and my 2nd probiotic source of the day. If only all chocolate had probiotics in it, wouldn’t that be grand? Then, for my milk chocolate tooth, I sampled the Q.bel milk chocolate wafer bar. Holy yum! My, how I loved this, and usually I’m not even a fan of rice crisps! I think they were tolerated well because they went so well with the thin wafers. I loved how the chocolate basically melted as it touched my mouth–it couldn’t even wait to get in. While I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I kept the Cookie Friday celebration rolling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Jam And A Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie

First of all, would you believe I didn’t have oatmeal for once? Maybe it’s a sign of the apocalypse; better hold on. For some reason, goat milk yogurt with raspberry sounded better(especially when garnished with a cookie ;-)). This cookie was by far the best raw cookie I’ve ever eaten. Granted, that’s not fighting too many, but still kudos to The Raw Bakery! The base tasted very “vanilla”–not nutty–even though the ingredient list makes me think this wasn’t overdone with sugar(or, agave nectar as it were).

This morning I decided to give the strength training a break and stick with the cardio and 200 flights. I should check to see what alternative workouts we have On Demand to do to switch things up. Then again, I am a creature of habit and that yogurt-for-oatmeal thing was enough change for me for a week. For breakfast I had a tooth for–would you believe it–chocolate?

Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

After seeing that episode of Good Eats about Alton’s diet, I feel like he would be so proud of my breakfasts 🙂 The oatmeal was like a comforting return to an old friend, even though I had to scrape the mold off the top of the cream cheese(ewww! But I’m determined to eat what I can of it). For the yogurt, I mixed 4.5oz non-fat with 1oz full fat for a nice, creamy 2%, which went great with the milk chocolate and just a pinch of salt. And now I feel as though I’ve had my candy fix for the day(did anybody believe me? No? K, good. Just checking).

We were planning on recreating a healthy version of American Chop Suey(*drool*) tomorrow for lunch, but now my mom’s going to a cousin’s birthday party 😦 We’ll squeeze that recipe in sometime soon. And maybe I can milk a meal at a restaurant out of all of this? Hehe.

Since I know you all love Chobani Giveaway’s, here’s another

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Cookie Friday’s Triumphant Return

Posted on December 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun study my butt off! It’s the final push though, so I don’t mind; in a week I’ll be done done done no matter if those grades are good or bad(but let’s hope good). And I’m glad you all agree moving out is bogus! We do get $50 dollars compensation, but basically that comes from my parent’s bill which is already ridiculous with tuition and textbooks so it’s not money we’ll really be seeing. Otherwise, it’s probably the best dorm on campus, and I’ll be requesting to live there every year so long as I can help it.

Anywho, yesterday my dad swung by after work and we made 4 trips to the car to load her up. Before we left town, we hit up Whole Foods to get some things for the weekend. While I was there, I picked up a snack.

Clif Mountain Mix Mojo

Yum! This totally hit the spot. In the car I got to thinking and came to a funny realization: I like to eat vegan except when I’m not. By which I mean, I generally choose vegan foods, unless I’m eating something that directly goes against veganism like yogurt or meat. Otherwise I’m “shocked and appalled” whenever I find non-vegan ingredients like milk powder in a granola bar. We also stopped at Market Basket because my mother needed spoon roast. While I was there I took advantage of their incredible prices.

Earth Balance Butter Spread, Dark Chocolate And Green Tea And Chai Simply Well Pudding

Simply Well’s all natural probiotic puddings were 99 cents each! That’s insane! I also think I got the very last chocolate one by reaching farther back than man has gone into the freezer 🙂 And the earth balance was only 2.99; I really wish they sold their peanut butter because I haven’t tried that yet.

When we got home, it was one of those times when everyone was running around bumping in to one another. My mom was making 100’s of gnocchi for a holiday party. I was pushing food around trying to make room. And my dad was basically doing all the orders me and my mom were shouting out frantically. Family bonding 🙂 We each threw together dinners and ate standing up.

Brussels Sprouts, Lightlife Sausage And Onions With Cheddar Cheese

This was my dindin of choice. None of us had time to remove the stubs from the brussels so I ate them anyway; that’s how much in a tizzy we were, haha. My parents ate the rest of the teriyaki ginger sausages and loved them. I was glad to hear that. They surprisingly didn’t share the same enthusiasm for sunflower cheddar flatbreads, which is odd because I loved them and I’m the least of the cracker lovers. This sight made me very happy.

Snow On The Porch

Snow! All the snow melted really quick in Providence but they still have a good couple of inches here. I just love staring out the window and looking at it. After dinner, things settled down a bit(just a bit). When I got to thinking about it, I realized 2 Friday’s ago was right after Thanksgiving, so I didn’t make an effort to get eat a treat then. Last Friday was hectic coming home, so again I missed out on Cookie Friday. That meant this Cookie Friday needed to be legen–wait for it…

Gluten Free Life Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Wrapper

Yummy! Waiting for me at home was a few products from Gluten Free Bakery. As the name suggests, the company makes all their products in a gluten free facility. What’s not in their name is what makes them so much more! The company uses whole grain sorghum flour instead of traditional refined rice flour, which makes their gluten free products very nutritious. Besides that, they also use organic ingredients and eggs from their own small farm hens! How impressive is that?

But how did it taste? To be honest, this was not one of the best gluten free cookies I’ve had… this was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve had! It was sooo deliciously chewy with plenty of butter; even the chocolate chips tasted particularly sugary and rich. I never would have thought twice about the “flour” for this cookie. I can’t wait to try some of their other products and I’ve added them to my HoliDEALS page. Of course there was chocolate…

Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls

Simply Well Chocolate Pudding With Q.bel Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls And Advent Chocolate

I might have to go out on the limb and claim this as one of the best pudding messes ever. These little wafer rolls–I totally did not expect them to taste that peanut buttery. And with the chocolate pudding–yum! So much better than greek yogurt with chocolate powder and sugar(but don’t tell yogurt that ;-)) Before going to sleep I wanted fiber power.

Banana Walnut Gnu Foods Bar

So much better than a banana 🙂 I admit, I don’t like bananas but I like banana tasting things. So far I’ve slept 9 1/2 hours, spit out the decaf coffee they have here because it’s just not edible, and moved on to decaf English breakfast tea. What for breakfast, oh, what for breakfast?

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Lemony Fresh

Posted on November 7, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday morning, the morning I ran the farthest, had the most to do in terms of classes, that was the morning I had ample time to grab a coffee before class. I do not understand life sometimes. My teacher, who never calls on me, did for Horace’s 11th Ode, aka the “carpe diem” poem. How fitting, I thought, and thankfully I was well prepared(lucky me it’s probably one of his easiest to understand). I decided to make lunch when I got back.

November 6th 002

Exploded Eggs

I knew things got a little pressurized in the microwave, but I didn’t realize how much so. Don’t poke an egg yolk if you hear sizzling to check if it’s done, or else you get albumen everywhere. They were still decent enough to eat, though, so I went ahead and finished up the meal.

November 6th 006

Eggs With Strawberry Marmalade And Broccoli

November 6th 007

Tempeh Steak With Broccoli

This has been the week of repeat meals; first the tofu salad and now this. But when you find something good, why stop eating it! I wanted something acidic for the eggs so I added strawberry marmalade with orange liquer. And the “tempeh steak” was just 3oz leftover tempeh with mushrooms in 2 tablespoons 365 steak sauce and microwaved at half power for 5 minutes. This would be sooo good properly baked.

I took this to class and ate it there. My Greek history professor is such a character. First he said he didn’t have our midterms because the TA lost 3, one of which he “named” as mine. This was him being funny, but I’m so gullible I think my heart skipped a beat. Then he said he just was too lazy to finish them so far, but that one was very creative and stood out to him(he might have even said genius?). Anyway, it was mine! I was mortified to be singled out in the class like that, especially since it’s a large crowd of upperclassmen, but I also felt like I needed a recognition of good work like that lately because work has felt a little thankless.

Charity Bake Sale

Charity Bake Sale

Between class I found an awesome opportunity to be charitable. This table was set up with The Cupcakerie cupcakes, aka the kind of been buying myself for the past few Cookie Fridays, and all the proceeds were being donated to their charity. How could I say no? I grabbed my treat for later and headed off to class. The cupcake was for dessert at night, but I did grab this.

November 6th 009

Vitaminwater 10 Lemonade

I forgot how fresh and sweet these are. But they’re 2.75 dollars at the campus convenience store! I could have had another cupcake for that money(although this was bought with my dining points whereas the cupcake was out of pocket). I hope the money for the vitamins was worth it; gotta keep that immune system up when it feels like everyone around me is getting sick.

Class was completely unhelpful in helping me choose an essay topic to write on. Now I feel like I’m going into the weekend practically blind of ideas. I’d like to have something to grab onto just so I feel like I’m heading in the right direction. I’d be glad to grab a B like on my last essay. Later on, around 4, I worked my way back to my dorm for a snack where I took a tip from the tipping point.

November 6th 010

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Cinnamon Frosting

Did you all see on Caitlin’s blog yesterday morning her waffles with amazing greek yogurt “frosting”? I did. And it was stuck in my brain all day until I tried it on these oats. I did a little less than 1/4 cup Oikos, 2/3 tablespoon maple syrup, 3 drops vanilla stevia, and cinnamon. Wow! This was such a sweet winner. I love the way it flavored the oats drizzled on top, but never overpowered anything. Caitlin used some great spices I wish I had at my disposal in my dorm; I’ll have to try this over he Holidays when I’m home and making Christmas Oats. Later on, I grabbed this bar and stepped out of the dorm.

November 6th 013

Kardea Lemon Ginger Bar

One thing I love about these bars is I feel entirely healthy and like I don’t need another veggie or fruit for the rest of the day 🙂 Just kidding. This flavor was pretty good. It reminded me of a lightly sweetened lemon bar. I think if I was in Paula Deen’s kitchen I would have busted out the powdered sugar on it. After going up Thayer street, the night(and 5:20 is totally night) took me to Blue State.

November 6th 016

Blue State Decaf

If you’re ever around Providence, skip the Starbucks down the road and stop at Blue State. I’m not going to say the coffee tastes entirely different, but it is quite good and they have such a friendly staff always. This was definitely one of those times where my own productiveness impresses me. I grabbed dinner to-go on the way back, watched The Office, 30 Rock, and How I Met Your Mother, assembled the pile of work I need to do over the weekend, took care of general hygiene(as in cut nails, shaved, but sadly no floss, sorry Ms. Everythingtarian), wrote 2 reviews, microwave roasted a squash, and changed my clothes. Whew. Dinner was a relaxing time to sit down.

November 6th 020

Cajun Baked Pollock, Asparagus Tips With Lemon, Mashed Acorn Squash

Excitingly, fish was on the menu tonight. This actually had surprisingly good flavor; spices are a great way to turn the heat up in a dish without making it too heavy. The aspargus was a little… mutilated, but it counts as greens right? I also liked that it was cooked with lemon 😉 And I needed to use that other 1/2 of an acorn squash. Normally I eat it whole with the skin but I felt like something different tonight and mashed it. It was nice and light with a slightly buttery flavor; mashed acorn squash would be a great light dish at the Thanksgiving table(though I think I’d pass and opt for more sweet potato :-)).

The internet basically stopped working last night around 7. Not everything, but everything that mattered(email, google reader, runner’s world forum, etc.). I guess it was a good motivator to study and read *Sigh* Ghost Whisperer helped entertain me. I love this season so far; it actually has a plot and that’s so rare in television shows these days. This also helped with the boredom:

November 6th 028

Luscious Lemon Cupcakerie Cupcake

Yesterday for Cookie Cupcake Friday , the one that seemed best to me was the lemon flavor. The base cake had a great, light lemon note to it, while the buttercream frosting had a much heavier, richer flavor. I loved the candied zest on top, which made the whole thing smell so perfumey. This was easily my favorite lemon treat of the day. We need to petition for something better to be on at 9 on Fridays. This is prime viewing time and I was watching Masterpiece Theater. Has anybody else seen that? Don’t. It’s nothing terribly exciting unless you need a good English accent fix. I kind of wanted pumpkin oatmeal with peanut butter at 10. What I didn’t want was a bowl to clean up at 11. Instead, I had a yogurt mess with the same flavors.

 

Peanut Yogurt With Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Pumpkin Butter, Chocolate Chips, And Maple Syrup

Peanut Yogurt With Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Pumpkin Butter, Chocolate Chips, And Maple Syrup

My messes are too organized, but I just hate to make them not look so good 🙂 This had perfect flavor in it. I need to make another batch of these cookies ASAP. I just can’t wait for Thanksgiving. The maple syrup was an after thought after the picture. Since when did maple syrup ever become an afterthought? It’s just too good to deny. I also snacked on this to Leno and hit the hay.

 

November 6th 006

Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

9 hours of sleep. Need I say more? I suppose it is a “treat” that the gym doesn’t open until 9 and this morning was supposed to be below freezing. I woke up at 8:30 to good news; I emailed the professor of the class I want to be in and it seems like I’ll get in yet! This will make my schedule very awesome for next year, but I’ll disclose more when it’s official. I got to the gym only to find the usual shows I’d watch on Saturday weren’t on, so instead I let my ipod entertain me for an hour, and ran 7.2 miles in that time. There were only 3 machines and a lot of people so I was worried I’d get kicked off before I was done but I didn’t; the benefit of running at 7 is no one fights for machines. When I got back I put in a load of laundry, showered, and made two glorious messes.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Goji Ginger Walnut Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Goji Ginger Walnut Cookies

November 6th 012

Yogurt With Dried Cherries, Cherry Butter, And Crumbled Cherry Dark Chocolate Squares

See? I can get messy after all. I used a little less oatmeal this time because of the cookies(which are whole grain after all so that’s not heinous). I just love the maple and whole chunks of ginger! Talk about some sweet heat. The yogurt mess was equally good but also a bit of a let down. I put the cherries in the yogurt when I woke up hoping they’d rehydrate a little like the raisins did but apparently it doesn’t work the same. Still it’s quite delicious.

Today’s a bit in the air but there’s about a 90% chair of baking and sitting with Montana on the couch; I got word over the week he’s always looking for me to sit with when I’m not there and no one else sits with him! I also have high hopes of doing 2 history midterm essays, some Horacian odes, and picking a thesis for Epic Poetry. Hmmm, we’ll see about that *rolls eyes*…

Giveaways

 

 

Join me in celebrating An Apple A Day’s 1 year anniversary with her huge celebratory giveaway!

How about an Amazing (Grass) givaway at Fit And Fabulous?

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Goji Gourmet Cookie Review

Posted on November 6, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , , |

Good afternoon! How appropriate that this comes on Cookie Friday. Coincidence? I think not. Last week I received samples of Goji Gourmet’s superfood cookies to review. Each cookie is all natural with no refined sugar, rich in antioxidants from goji berries and secondary ingredients, handmade, and–if I may say so–delicious! The goji berry often harvested in the Himalayas have 10 times the antioxidants of a blueberry, which really helps to bolster the immune system, especially during flu season. Goji Gourmet currently has 4 fun flavors but I’ve heard that a 5th is coming soon. Each flavor has other superfoods like ginger or cherries. So instead of buying a cookie from Starbucks this Cookie Friday, why not order a bag here? Or, if you have someone special in your life that you want to deliver a treat to(especially if they live far away and are–say–in college or something ;-)), why not treat them to a surprise? Here are my reviews for the four flavors.

Goji Almond Oat

6.5/10: I like almonds and I like oats. But as “flavors”, I think they really need to have something special done to them to make them pop, and these just didn’t pop. The almond crunch of nuts was nice, but didn’t feel particularly special like the other cookies. Overall, I think these were really good as their basic “goji” cookie, and definitely the one to buy if you want the simple goji flavor. Other than goji, though, I think the flavors here are just too subtle.

Goji Cherry Cacao

9.5/10: I won’t beat around the bush on this one. These cookies were amazing! Truly, the only reason I couldn’t give them a 10 on my scale was on account of their limited availability and steep price. But on flavor and nutrition, consider these little gems. I loved the chocolate base with a cherry flavor infusion; and the chewy gojis with sweet cacao joined in perfect harmony. The simple ingredients are really what make these feel so wholesome, and the fact that they’re handmade drives it home. If you’re looking for your next bit of healthy indulgence, look no further.

Goji Ginger Walnut

8.5/10: These cookies were a bundle of pleasant surprises for me. I loved how they were flavored, not seasoned, with ginger. By this, I mean they had whole chunks of ginger and not simply the powdered stuff from the average kitchen pantry. This added great flavor as well as some additional superfood nutrition. I also didn’t mind that this tasted relatively low on walnuts in comparison to gojis and ginger; I’m not a big walnut fan, but those who are might care for more. Of course, the gojis added an interesting antioxidant boost and worked well with the other flavors. Overall, this was a surprising success with me.

Goji Orange MintChip

9/10: I’m always worried when a product has a lot going on, because I’m a man of simple taste–literally. In each little cookie, Goji Gourmet aimed to mix orange, chocolate, mint, and–of course–goji. Well somehow they rocked this one out. Each bite gave you these flavors, both distinctly and how they worked together. Everything accented each other for a very cool, clean, crisp flavor. Dare I say, these almost made my mouth feel as fresh as a breath mint? Another great flavor by Goji Gourmet.

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Stop Being So Chicken

Posted on October 31, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday started off normal enough. I ran, ate carbs and oatmeal, got dressed, and walked out the door like this:

October 30th 002

Me In A Chicken Suit

Yes, that is my costume. It’s actually the same from 2 years ago, but I figure I’m at such a different point in my life it’s OK to rewear this one(plus it was like $50 dollars so I need to get my money’s worth of it). I thought Brown was a fun campus? No one else was in costume; what was up with that? My first reaction was “This is kind of embarrassing. Maybe I should take it off.” But then I realized, if I can make just 1 persons day by doing this and having a good time doing it, then it would all be completely worth it. I marched right in to Latin class and definitely caused a few smiles.

I had an hour between class for lunch and last minute studying until my midterm. I rushed to my dorm, logged on my computer to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important(apparently, your blog posts count as important items in my book :-)), and threw together something quite gourmet.

Thanksgiving Sandwich On Whole Wheat English Muffin, 1/2 Acorn Squash With Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

It’s not so bad–I could have been eating deli sliced chicken. If the english muffin looks burnt, it’s because it was; I forgot about it while I was fighting with my costume to let me go to the bathroom(full body suits are not for those of us with small bladders, fyi). The acorn squash was a genius idea; seriously, I’m making sure that hits the Thanksgiving table. I think anything squash and salt is good, but the pumpkin seeds really added texture.

I got outside of where I had class 25 minutes early to get some extra studying in. Honestly? I think I rocked it. I couldn’t have felt more prepared going in, and when I saw the terms I had to demonstrate a knowledge of I really put it all on the table. We had to write two “stories” that showed we knew how 12 Ancient Greek terms, people, events, and places related to one another. I definitely took some “artistic license” in my stories, but I think he’ll appreciate it. For epic poetry class, I got hungry. It was an odd time of day for that to happen but I obliged.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Clif Mojo Bar

Peanut Butter Pretzel Clif Mojo Bar

So glad I had this in my bag. Yum! It was great. This was the last of the Mojo’s I had to try and I think it was my favorite. Is anyone else not surprised the peanut butter one was my fave? You can read my full review here, but now that I’ve had them all I’ll be ready to post a recap review soon. On the way back to my dorm another something exciting happened: Emma Watson noticed me! You know how I know she noticed me? Well, she passed me about 1 foot to the right, and it’d be pretty hard not to notice someone in a giant chicken costume. If she had said “Nice costume” or something, I probably would have had a heart attack on the spot.

Well my day was fun and all but at 3 I was ready to get into civilian ware. I also decided I wasn’t as done with this place as I thought I was…

October 30th 010

University Plaza Whole Foods

My original plan for Cookie Friday was a pumpkin maple whoopie pie like I had 3 or 4 weeks ago. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any when I got there. Wtf. Don’t ever walk 1.2 miles somewhere to an uncertain future or you’re likely to have your heart broken 😦 I did get some salmon and Oikos, however, and stopped at Blue State Coffee on the way back for what would be my treat.

When I got back to my dorm I was starrrrving. It was that hunger where you want everything and nothing, and have no clue what to make. Doesn’t that suck? I felt like I was standing in front of my microwave for 10 minutes just thinking and getting no where. Finally I went with the one thing I know never disappoints.

Fluffernutter Oats With Cashew Butter, Fluff, And Banana Pineapple Rum

Fluffernutter oats–how I love thee. The extra 2oz of banana made this super thick and creamy. But since I hardly ever eat my cashew butter, the plop that i had was really lumpy, and I ended up chewing whole dry nut butter. Honestly, at that point, nothing mattered but that I got food. Speaking of food…

Food Bag For Home

Food Bag For Home

This is how much of it I feel that I need to bring home, where there should in theory already be a ton of food. I called my dad earlier and proposed that he pick me up last night instead of this morning and he obliged. That put me in a bit of a mad rush to pack everything, and I remembered what an awful packing problem I have. Oh well, if we were to have gotten stuck in a blizzard on the way back and needed to survive for 5 days, we would have been set. There was still the matter of my own dinner.

Simple Salmon Salad And Broccoli

Simple Salmon Salad And Broccoli

Summer Squash And Zuchinni With Maple Syrup, Sweet Potato

Summer Squash And Zuchinni With Maple Syrup, Sweet Potato

Thankfully, college has made me the king of quick cooking. I grabbed the squash and broccoli from the dining hall, nuked a sweet potato under my bed(well, from under my bed) and heated the salmon from Whole Foods. Something didn’t quite smell right here, but I couldn’t figure out what it was so I ate it all… Don’t even play like you haven’t done that. I got home by 8 and had a pot of fresh ground decaf coffee going by 8:15; it’s good to be back. I just as quick busted this out:

The Elvis

The Elvis

Remember how I mentioned stopping at Blue State for Cookie Friday? This was the spoil. The Elvis is a red velvet cupcake cake with cream cheese frosting with sequin sugar. This is why I say I eat 99.9% all-natural in my How I Fuel section; sure, the food coloring in this probably wasn’t all natural, but once a week in something that’s already a “treat” is fine by me. Plus, this was homemade by a small, local retailer, so overall it’s a quality product. It was just as good as I thought it’d be: moist, rich, and sweet. It’s definitely good I removed myself about 50 miles from the source before eating it or I might have needed to get another. When I realized I’d only had 1 probiotic source for the day, I felt a little disappointed in myself… until this entered my mind:

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies And Cream Yogurt

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies And Cream Yogurt

Yes. You heard right. Peanut butter cookies and cream yogurt. How? I used peanut flour and vanilla stevia to flavor the yogurt, and crumbled in 2 Newman’s Own Organic Peanut Butter Newman-O’s. This was so delicious, but it also made me glad Cookie Friday comes but once a week. All this sugar made me hyper, and when I get hyper I often go to cranky. Some people are mean drunks; I’m a mean sweets-head. One last celebration of cookieness:

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

It wouldn’t have been Friday otherwise. Food Network wasn’t working in my room; what’s up with that? Instead I watched my standby, Leno, and got a great night of sleep.

Thankfully it was a great day for an outdoor run this morning. I slept in all the way until 8, strapped on some old clothes I had lying around that didn’t go off to college with me, and ran around the block a few(read: 7) times. I ended up running 7.08 miles right at 8:00/mi pace. It felt great to be reaffirmed that running on a treadmill at 8:30/mi pace doesn’t affect my outdoor stride. When I got back, I made a very ‘”homey” breakfast:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Molasses Cookie, Voskos Honey Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Molasses Cookie, Voskos Honey Greek Yogurt

Normally, I’m all about the salt. But this breakfast was sweet and sweeter. I love the cookie texture on top of some thick oats; I might need to make another batch of these while I home. And that’s one of the few last yogurts I have to try and review for Voskos! Honestly, this might have been a bit too sweet. But for those of you who that’s not possible for, you’d be in love with a yogurt. The benefit of coming home early was that this breakfast wasn’t eaten in a rush in the car and I can now sit and plan my day.

Zesty Cook is having a really unique giveaway. This is the kind of makeover I’d gladly sign up for.

Lucky Taste Buds is having a delicious sounding giveaway, too!

Who doesn’t love a high quality chocolate giveaway?

Holey Decisions

One of the other great joys of coming home was finding in my freezer 4 boxes of Holey Donuts’ delicious products. Needless to say, this hungry college student was overjoyed to have such great products to sample and review. All you need to do is look at the nutrition to realize what a better option this is than the competition.

Unfortunately, while their products are great in that they’re low calorie/fat, have no trans fat, and no artificial sweeteners, they do contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. As a naturaltarian, this was a bump in the road. Should I ignore that temporarily and parade these on the blog like I wanted to? Or do I stick with this boundary I’ve set for myself. I really wanted to just do the former and pretend like no one would notice. But the record number of views this week(my 3 most visited days being Thursday, yesterday, and Monday respectively) are keeping me honest. I realize these are a great option for a certain lifestyle, but that’s just not mine. Instead, I’ll be having my parents sample and review these, and publish them in special posts called “Parents’ Korner” or something really corny like that. They’ve eaten about 10 times more donuts in their life than me, so I feel like they’ll be excellent reviewers.

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Vegan Friday

Posted on October 24, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Like I mentioned yesterday morning, Friday I decided I was going to eat completely vegan, both to try out the product I bought with one of my Lightlife coupons, but also as a way to challenge myself overall. Veganism is not something I ever had or will consider living permanently, but it was “fun”(and I realize my sense of this term is completely whack) to give a try. I’m also not going to pretend it was easy; let’s revisit breakfast, shall we?

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Good, very good. This was a great vegan way to start the day. Originally I had planned to have my last blueberry raspberry oat bran muffin instead of the oats; but I couldn’t bear the thought of having that muffin without cream cheese. Cream cheese, as yesterday taught me, is my crack and I was going through withdrawal.

After that I had my midterm. Thanks for all the well-wishes! I think I did pretty good. It was a Latin midterm and I think I really could have aced it had I known all I needed to do was memorize the poems we did, but that’s not really translating so much as copying. So I feel good with how I did study and how I did do and I’m sure that’ll be reflected in the grade. On the way back I picked up some mail and was psyched to find this:

Vega Products

Vega Products

The people at Sequel Naturals sent me some of their Vega products to try. I haven’t experimented much with protein powders before but I’m glad my first tasting will be with some of the best. These were optimally designed for athletes and sport nutrition so I’m sure they’re some super post-workout eats. I’m up for any tips you guys have on how to have these. I also made myself a very vegan lunch:

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Sweet Potato

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Sweet Potato

How lucky am I that my favorite recipe from the Summer happens to be a staple in any vegan cookbook? Trader Joe now sells lentils you can make in your microwave, so I could that up and mixed it with steak sauce, ketchup, and mustard to make a nice sloppy sauce. That with my two favorite sides made for one hell of a lunch. Best yet, I only used about 1/3 the bag so there’s a ton of lentils leftover–yum!

In History we got our assignment f.or our 2 part midterm. The first section is in class next Friday. He’s made a list of 4 pages worth of terms we should know inside and out; then he’s going to give us 10 or so of these terms to connect in a story of, and we do that twice. Basically, we’re going to be making fictional, random stories with unrelated events to amuse him. My plan: to insert as many dirty jokes as I can. He’s the kind of teacher who that would definitely work on. The other part is 3 4-5 page essays. That one scared me, until he basically said we have no deadline so long as we get them done well(and he didn’t even really say that last part). Basically, all of this has made me feel a lot better of never doing the homework for that class, but I’m still going to study my butt off for the best grade I can grub.

When I got out of my 3 o’clock class, I was actually pretty famished; I had almond butter on the brain all through class so of course I made some oats:

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats With Maple Almond Butter

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats With Maple Almond Butter

These totally hit the spot. But they were also a reminder of how you have to think a bit more when you’re eating vegan. I was going to top this with some butter toffee sliced almonds, until I thought about the name: butter toffee. Yikes–that was a close call. Since the almonds were out, I took that as liberty to salt these… a lot. Thank God salt’s vegan! I caught up on The Office and 30 Rock to this bowl. I was actually a bit downed by The Office; I just think it was because the wedding was so amazing there’s no comparison to other episodes anymore. 30 Rock, on the other hand, was great.

My foot was kind of killing me, but I knew I needed to go to Eastside Market. Today is going to rain, rain, rain, and there was at least 1 thing I needed to pick up. The walk actually stretched my muscles and I think helped. All in all, I hit up Eastside, Whole Foods, the dining hall, and Blue State coffee. My fingers were numb from the cold after all that, but I got what I went out for:

Smart Balance Creamy

Smart Balance Creamy

Yep. My old jar is almost out and I couldn’t let that happen. I picked this up with a dollar off coupon, but it was still a bit pricey. Insert my tale of Smart Balance here: My first experience with the SB PB was when I went to Georgia in August. The family I was with actually didn’t have any peanut butter that I could find. They were nice enough to buy me groceries and I picked out this jar to give it a shot. At first, the flaxy flavor was… alarming; after the first day it grew on me. I was crushed when the security at the airport took my jar from me, so much so that the day after I got home I went out and bought another jar. That time it was with agave. I don’t quite think I noticed a difference between the two flavors, but if I did it was in preference of the molasses sweetened one, and when we’re talking less than 1g of sugar per serving GI influence doesn’t really matter.

Well, now that I’ve bored you with that tale, maybe my snack will perk you up:

So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla, Sugar, And Chocolate Chips

So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla, Sugar, And Chocolate Chips

I bought this soy yogurt Tuesday when I decided to do a vegan day; I wasn’t sure I could go a day without yogurt and, while I think I could’ve, I’m glad I didn’t have to. I admit: I was a little weirded out when I had the thought “I’ve tasted this before. It tastes like… tofu”. By the end of the cup, it actually grew on me like that. I’m way too impressable. The real star here were the chocolate chips, which I was craving. I’m sure you can imagine my jumping for joy when I found out one of the chocolate chips I have(and, yes, I keep multiple types on stock) was vegan. I also liked that soy yogurt had 6g of fiber in a 110 calorie serving. I might have to buy that more often.

After letting my tofu-yogurt digest, it was time for the motivation behind the whole day:

Ginger Teriyaki Tempeh, Sugar Snap Peas, Vegetable Medley

Ginger Teriyaki Tempeh, Sugar Snap Peas, Vegetable Medley

Finally–an excuse to use the chopsticks I brought to my dorm! This was, in short, a sensible and delicious meal that I would gladly have again another night. I was thrilled at how easy it was for me to prepare in my dorm; not too many protein sources are like that when all you have to work with is a microwave. The tempeh wasn’t quite as sweet as I expected from my experience with ginger teriyaki dishes from Chinese take-out. However, as I gave that some thought and looked at the nutrition/ingredients on this product, I surmised how unhealthily sugar-laden Chinese take-out often is, and how reasonable and healthy of an entree this was. While the flavor wasn’t loud, it was certainly present in ever bite. And the 320 calorie portion had an excellent 22g protein and 10g fiber, making it a filling dish as well. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to over done take-out or just something fun and funky for a change, I’d recommend this tempehtation and I can’t wait to try others.

After that delicious dinner, it was time for dessert:

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Buttercream Frostin

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Buttercream Frostin

Just because it was Vegan Friday didn’t mean it wasn’t also Cookie Friday. I was a bit thrown off when I came to this realization, but then I remembered vegans have great desserts, too! I immediately knew what I wanted and picked this up at Blue State. Even though I might have dropped this once twice, it survived and I was able to pretty it back up. It really didn’t matter what it looked like because it tasted like heaven.

For the night I watched Ghost Whisperer, which was good as always, and Medium because nothing else was on. What a great example of how a show, even though it might have a decent concept, can be really bad. I felt like every character was whining the entire time. And it didn’t help that the episode was about a crying baby. I should have just watched Dateline or something.

English Muffin With SB PB And Chocolate Chips And Pepita Sun Butter

English Muffin With SB PB And Chocolate Chips And Pepita Sun Butter

This day was a fun experience, and I’m glad I challenged myself to do it. As you can see, it wasn’t like I ate much different than my normal ways; I just had to plan out a day of some of my favorite meals and watch out for “pitfalls” along the way. Overall, I think I relearned what I already knew: veganism isn’t a health craze or a diet. It’s a philosophy, mindset, and way of life. I don’t personally share the same beliefs as this; I think eating animals respectfully, and certainly byproducts of animals as well, is fine. But I fully support and have new respect for the people who do live like this 24/7.

I actually didn’t have plans to run this morning. But after a full 9, as in nine, as in the square root of 81, hours of sleep last night, I was surprisingly energized. I got to the gym and ran for an hour(or 59:20 to be exact) and did 7 miles. This made my total for the week a whopping 62.6 miles. Considering I’ve never ran more than 50 before, that was a shock. I actually started having an upset stomach when I got back, but I went ahead and made myself a very not-vegan breakfast:

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Voskos 2% With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Voskos 2% With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

2 very big reasons why I couldn’t go vegan were present. I set aside some of the Voskos yogurt for a taste testing because it’s one of the flavors they sent me, and added jam to the other part to make a sort of pineapple… you know the brand I’m thinking of. Obviously, the muffin was begging to be slathered in all its berry goodness. And now I’m just waiting(read: frantically packing) for my dad to get here to take me home, as the sky has just opened up and began pooring.

Chobani Giveaway! Can you have enough greek yogurt? I think we all know the answer to that…

And now that it’s getting cold out you’ll need soup, too!

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