When The Weather’s This Perfect

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m so happy for the enthusiasm for my blogiversary. It was definitely fun looking over old posts and old photos; nothing makes you feel better than seeing a picture and thinking “I look so young and fresh here” until you realize it’s 3 1/2 years old 😉

After yesterday hit 91 degrees, and the night was riddled with thunderstorms and showers, the weather today was just perfect. There’s so much can do on a day like today!

I love it when it’s not too hot that chocolate melts. This was mint-flavored carob, but I’d assume it’d melt if it were too hot, too. There is nothing worse than opening up a chocolate bar only to find melted poo.

When it’s this nice out, part of me feels like I could keep going and going. The other part of me(aka, my knees) remembers all too well the 14 miles from yesterday, so there wasn’t much enthusiasm to go any further. Still, this was a dreamy run.

When the weather’s this perfect, grilling is the obvious option, but there are some things that just taste better in a seasoned pan.

I was craving Spanish potatoes and ground beef. This was so simple, too; just potatoes and onion cooked in olive oil with sea salt, paprika, and black pepper, and then grass-fed ground beef cooked through. A little basil just brightens up everything; it’s my favorite herb to add in the Summer.

I couldn’t wait for Sundae Friday this week; I just had to have fun in the kitchen. I used up the last of the vegan blondies and mixed them with snickerdoodle soy ice cream. It was missing something, though…

Rice whip, anyone?! All vegan; all delicious.

When the weather’s this perfect, I think my diet soda addiction kicks back in. Like I said here, even though I went 96 hours without stevia, I still adore it in moderation.Since the weather was so nice, I took a walk around the neighborhood, and made a delicious snack plate upon my return.

A random plate of raw onion, raw broccoli, and 2 slices vegan Hawaiian pizza. I was curious if leftover gluten-free, vegan pizza had that same magical quality as regular leftover pizza. It does.

For dinner, my mom went out with her girlfriends for the night. That used to mean “breakfast for dinner” for the boys, where the breakfast was poptarts. Thankfully, we’ve all grown up a little since then and can make real food.

When the weather’s this perfect, a Summer Salad is the way to go. This was just dressed spinach with homemade chickpeas, raisins, and Daiya. I think I’ve reached my fake-cheese limit for the day.

Do you take your leftover pizza hot or cold? I like to heat it back up and get it to the gooey cheese state.

What do you feel like doing in perfect weather? I’m 90% sure ice cream will be made tonight. I’m just debating between a very classy chocolate chip or a vegan white chocolate flavor…

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 18 so far )

Feel Good Fueling Well

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

I am so happy Monday is over; it’s amazing how much ended up getting done today and needing to be. And the prize? Kicking back with my feet up, scrapping to finish up work, trying not to think about the 6:15 alarm I have now. This week is packed! I have 6 engagements I wouldn’t otherwise have–some for fun, some having me looking for the exit–so I need to be fueling well all along(aka, there’s an interesting blurb from me at the end on fueling)

Gourmet Groceries

While I had tofu pressing and laundry spinning, I got an email to go pick up a package. Can’t it come to me? Well, I threw on clothes to go get it and it was the jungle peanuts I ordered. In fact, between shipments to home and here, I got a good number of fun foods in the past 48 hours. A little while ago I might have gone internet-shopping happy; all but the Tropical Traditions coconut creme were my own purchases, and the creme is to review. I can’t wait “playing” with all of these, though! Chia seeds sound so good and nutritious, and cacao butter will make some mighty chocolate if I can figure out how to use it.

Preparing A Burger

I had planned to have maple baked tofu for lunch(I even had it in the oven), but swinging by the dining hall for veggies on the way back to my dorm really had me craving meat. I believe my words were, “Screw tofu, this is burger weather.” I removed a frozen 90/10 burger I had from 2 weeks ago and cooked that from frozen. Really, for decent flavor and cooking, 85/15 is the better option.

90/10 Quarter Pounder With Ketchup, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Rounds With EVOO, Root Beer Zevia

Yep. It was definitely burger weather. The roasted vegetables with EVOO drizzled on top was just what I wanted. My only complaint would be that between this, Days Of Our Lives, and folding/putting away laundry, there wasn’t much sitting down and enjoying the meal :-/ Otherwise, I try to make it a point to eat slowly and savor each bite.

Wild Jungle Peanut Butter

With laundry done, I broke out the food processor to–you guessed it–make peanut butter with my wild jungle peanuts. I only used half the batch, and ground until a thick paste. I’m just glad no one dropped by to ask what the noise was 😉 As I was talking about with Gina, really, the greatest thing you can do for nutritional benefits in making your own peanut butter is keeping the skins on; I’ll be interested how “wild” these jungle peanuts taste.

Oikos Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Crunch Truffle

Like I mentioned, I didn’t sit down and savor much of that meal, so no surprise when I was hungry for a quick dessert. I added some NuNaturals alcohol free vanilla stevia(also included in the shopping spree) droplets to a plain Oikos and then broke up a ChocAlive! dark chocolate crunch truffle on top. Yum! I’m still not sure how I feel about stevia in yogurt instead of just sugar/when to use it, but whenever it is such I like the alcohol free vanilla flavor for a clean, pure sweetness. And the truffle was good because… well just when is chocolate not?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Amazing Grass Bar

I was hoping the dessert would hold me over through extracurricular appointment #1 and beyond. It did the first part but soon after getting back I grabbed this chocolate peanut protein Amazing Grass bars. I can not afford to keep these around because… well, I eat them. I think this was bought on sale, though. It was also my last one 😦 I would have thought all this protein throughout the day would have been more satisfying. I would have been wrong.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

I’ve had this chocolate chia pudding gelling for a bit too long; I’d been avoiding eating it because… well, it scares me? But I was hungry enough that it didn’t even matter. I could only get through 1/3 to 1/2 of it before throwing it away; chocolate chia pudding is not for me. So then that wasn’t very substantial, which called for another bar.

Peanut Choco' Nature's Path Organic Bar

This time I went for a peanut-choco Nature’s Path bar. Sense a theme of flavors throughout today? Usually I reserve these for pre-run fueling, because they do have a good deal of sugar compared to other ingredients, but it was at hand and a tiny snack to hold me over while dinner was in the oven.

Roasted Indian Chickpeas And Broccoli

For tonight, I thought I’d try something Monica inspired. Would ya’ll believe I never have roasted chickpeas? I tossed these with EVOO and indian spice along with some broccoli. I know–this is the second time I ate roasted broccoli today. But while the oven’s on why not roast some broccoli? It’s that good. The chickpeas, on the other hand, will not be a new obsession; they just tasted… more stale? Oh well. They also felt more like finger food than any protein I know. I resisted eating them with my fingers, though, because I was at extracurricular #2. I try to have some manners.

Feel Good Fueling Well

Since I feel it’s my duty with a blog called Food Makes Fun Fuel to talk about fueling sometimes as opposed to just food, I will! Let me first assure you it’s easy for anyone in any walk of life to feel a little “blah” on days where they’re a bottomless pit. Today, I couldn’t help but get down on myself for how much random snacking I did.  I’d just rather I had sat down to a bigger, less-processed mid-day meal at some point(chocolate avocado pudding crossed my mind but non of my avocadoes are ripe :-(). But, regardless of snacking or meal-eating, you should always feel good fueling well.

Bottom line number 1: If you’re hungry for it, eat it. There’s no two ways about this one; if you’re hungry, even if it’s not within your “routine” schedule, it’s important to eat. Not doing so can actually throw you more off routine

How much is it really? Here, the key is thinking macro, not macro. Today I ran 12 miles this morning. OK, that accounts for some extra hunger. But also look at your workouts on a weekly schedule. I am running a lot more recently, and my body anticipates more running to come. It’s right! So it needs more fuel.

Want to avoid any guilt? Get away from knowledge–knowledge of calories that is. Depending your intent or method, this may not be for you. But personally I feel much better knowing as little about the exact nutrition content of my meals as I can, which also corresponds to eating whole foods. An apple doesn’t come with a calorie content! Today, I can pinpoint just how many calories/fat/protein/sugars were in my plain Chobani(100), oatmeal grains(105), Oikos(80), truffle(66), Amazing Grass bar(270), and Nature’s Path bar(140), and I can guestimate the 1/2 a cupcake(100). Beyond that, there’s plenty of foods I don’t know that much about, and I’m happier with those. Like I said, ideally this list would be even shorter, but today was an off day(ripen, avocadoes, ripen!).

I think that satisfies my “fueling” obligation for the week. Don’t forget to guess among my sea of lies! I’ll tell the truth tomorrow morning 🙂 But I’m loving the guesses, haha. And now, in honor of proper fueling, plenty of dishes are crossing my mind, not the least of which is this winner from breakfast 😉

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

“Life” Is A Funny Thing

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s actually a huge understatement; life is more like the craziest thing you’ll ever attempt to know. That’s what has been on my mind most of today. A few things that sparked that:

  • Someone in my year was struck and killed by a car on a road I’ve crossed 100’s of times this year. I could have had a class with him, lived in the dorms with him, or at least knew him, but I didn’t. I went to his Facebook page when the email was sent out to get a sense of what he looked like. Not 24 hours ago, he was “making friends” on Facebook.
  • While on Facebook, I noticed someone I went to middle school with remark that 5 years ago today, we left off on what would be 10 tough days of community service in Costa Rica. This was one of those trips that breaks you down and builds you completely anew; my eyes were opened in so many ways, good friendships were made better, and it gave me a completely new experience to look back to.
  • Sunday’s Valentines Day. Facebook reminded me(nothing I didn’t already remember) that it also would have been the 18th birthday of a girl I went to high school with and knew very very well, who died from cardiac arrest on a school trip 2 1/2 years ago. She was 15.
  • On a much lighter note, some guy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won $250000 answering movie trivia. That’s probably the kind of stuff people told him all his life “would never be useful”, and now look at him. I’ve picked up tons of information like that(hell, it’s my major! haha).

What’s the takeaway from all these doses of “life”? For me, it’s that I’m now looking forward to going home Sunday to be with my extended family. At first, this seemed like such an imposition; could I really give a day away from work? Now I’m thinking, could I really not for family? I don’t think so.

Green Peppers And Savory Breakfast Chicken Sausages

After getting the first bit of news barraged at me, I needed a lunch that would “wow!” me and take my mind of things, but didn’t feel like doing much. I looked at the Al Fresco website to get some ideas for something simple, and found I could make this recipe pretty easily.

Kitchen Sign

I like to adhere to all the rules while cooking; I especially try and remember to take pizza out of the box before putting it in the oven. But that one always trips me up 😛 Anybody care to make a kitchen confession? I’ve done the foil in the microwave thing when I was younger(actually, it was probably my dad’s bad. It was a pancake syrup container from McDonalds on a night my mom was gone from the house). And a note on the last one: The fan doesn’t even work, haha 🙂

Egg And Sausage Frittata, Broccoli With Cayenne Parma

I changed the recipe by using 1 egg and the rest of my egg white container, and microwaved it for a minute afterwards rather than the traditional bake to finish off the top egg. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli with cayenne parma. I pretty much loved this, licked my plate–the whole shebang. These sausage can do no wrong; I remember thinking that the first time I ate them when I snuck them into the dining hall as my protein. Expect to see this again(hopefully a lot!).

Banana Whip With Maple Syrup

I was pretty awful at getting work done this afternoon; I blame twitter friends and other blogs on my reader 😛 I decided a cool treat was necessary while I had time. I blended up some bananas and drizzled the top with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the syrup didn’t taste awfully sweet with the banana 😦 It was really only sweet the whole spoonfuls I got. Oh well, they were each good on their own part. It always amazes me how something so natural and raw can be so satisfying(technically, maple syrup isn’t raw. But from a New England and New Hampshire standpoint, it’s more natural than breathing).

Peanut Sweet & Salty Odwalla Bar

Later on I wanted some peanuts(not surprising). I realized so few bars I have actually have peanuts in them :-O I think it must be so that companies can boast a peanut-free facility. I remembered grabbing this one from a campus store last semester and went for it. It was way more sweet than salty(I actually had to pour a little salt on). I also convinced myself to go out for the 2nd time today and grabbed some yogurt; 1 vanilla chobani could not last me through Sunday morning.

Bacon Tempeh, Marinated Brussels Sprouts And Tempeh Cubes, Honey

Dinner was flavorful and–better yet–taken care of much earlier. At 3, I marinated brussels sprouts and tempeh with soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. I roasted them for 45 minutes and then added some cooked tempeh bacon and honey for a more-or-less savory BBQ flavor. I think this has sparked a new craving for honey in me; I forgot how sweet and pure the real stuff tastes; I’ll grab a local one at a farmer’s market when those rise up again.

On the other side of life, there are happy, tame points that make you smile. I could ask myself every night before going to bed if I lived life that day the way I wanted to and the answer would almost always be “yes”. I love my family and friends and couldn’t be happier with my readership. It’s no secret I like to network with all of you through this blog, both influencing and being influenced. I’m happy to have influenced Freya who made my raw vegan brownies with chocolate frosting here.

And here’s an iHerb giveaway you could win and live life to the fullest with online shopping!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 16 so far )

Grocery Shopping RI

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

The Grammy’s are starting soon, and I’m not sure if I want to watch them, so I’ll just type super fast just in case. Speaking of grammies, I saw mine today. But first, lunch.

Jalapeno Al Fresco Chicken Sausage, Broccoli With Soy Sauce

I just could not get in to the idea of “brunch” so I had a late breakfast and a small lunch. I wasn’t that hungry but I had an odd craving for broccoli and soy sauce(how good does that sound?) so I threw on one of these sausages and called it a meal. Voila! Plenty of sodium for one day. At the end of this, my dad arrived and brought a few goodies from home, mostly being things I forgot. Are chopsticks essentials? No, but they’re fun 😀 My mom and grandmother(who came along “for the ride”) were waiting in the car and they took me to Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe Groceries

Would you believe there’s just 1 Trader Joe’s in all of Rhode Island? The next closest one is the one in Framingham I go to when I’m home. I don’t know how you Trader Joe-less folks do it. Actually, I do know: You go to Whole Foods and pay a little more. Sorry 😦 I just wanted to get every simmer sauce and curry I could find for meals! But realizing that wasn’t practical in my dorm fridge I just got mostly plain things like tofu, tempeh, salmon, pilaf, and the rest of what you see. Clearly there’ll be more pudding with all them avocadoes 😉

Libby's Pumpkin

After that, I made us take quick detour to McDonalds for coffee(which I defend by pointing out that everyone else in the car got coffee driving down and didn’t bring me one), and then we went to Stop & Shop for some pumpkin; I knew if I went in it would take 10 minutes and I’d come out with 5 extra things, so this time my dad just did the shopping. He still took 10 minutes, but got the 1 thing on the list.

Whole Foods Groceries

Whole Foods Groceries

And then, of course, it wouldn’t have been a trip without going to Whole Foods. I was actually a little disappointed with this sales period; there was soooo much I picked up and wanted to try but couldn’t really “justify” getting. Instead, I kept it simple again. I guess the two “treats” I got were the dark chocolate coconut candy bar(umm, yum!) and some dark meat turkey for dinner. The Crofter’s Organic Europe Superfruit spread I had a coupon for because, if you remember, I got a bunch of their jams to review for the blog but that one unfortunately broke during shipping. One “fun” thing I almost bought was vanilla goat milk frozen yogurt with brownie pieces in it coming off sale Tuesday. It took a lot of restraint from buying that, restraint and the promise of this:

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Peanut Butter Chocolate Black Bean Brownie And Chocolate Peanut Butter

I defrosted one of the peanut butter gluten free brownies I made for New Years and crumbled it warm into a yogurt. Then I melted a little of the Justin’s chocolate peanut butter in the microwave to drizzle over. Holy yum! Vanilla brownie ice cream who? This completely had my attention while I was catching up on emails/putting groceries away. Unfortunately, I still felt like I could chew my arm off, so I had another snack while waiting for dinner.

Apple

A little mealy but not bad for free from the dining hall. Dinner was a sweet potato I threw in the oven at 5 and the dark meat turkey I bought. I really didn’t know how to make it so I called home. No answer. I then called my mom. No answer. Finally, my dad picked up his cell phone. Why was no one answering? Because they stopped at a casino on the way home. I’m glad nothings changed in my absence.

Cooking Dark Meat Turkey

Since I couldn’t get in touch with my mom, I went ahead and guessed that the turkey would be fine in a pan on its own since it should have enough fat in it already to cook. That was pretty much right. I cooked the meat through and then let it rest for 5-10 minutes while I worked with the sweet potato and such.

Turkey Burger With Ketchup, Sweet Potato With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

Ah, this came out wicked good*said in a Bauston accent*. I don’t think there is any real “trick” to meat; I think there are just old rules which people either follow or ignore. Don’t work with it too much. Let it sit. And, if you really want flavor, use a fatty cut. It’s that simple to get something juicy and delicious. The sweet potato was perfect and practically fell apart after roasting for 90 minutes. I was craving cinnamon on a sweet potato and that hit the spot. I think I will watch the Grammy’s soon; I hear Elton John and Lady Gaga are performing together and how could I miss that?

Tomorrow’s the first day of February, and let’s just say there’s a bit of a special surprise in store for the morning post. I also have my “long run” of 8 miles first thing. Ahhh I need to start stockpiling fuel via chocolate!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 20 so far )

My 25 Hour Week

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It feels a little surreal, but 25 hours after my first school week of the semester began, it ended. It hasn’t even hit me really that today is my “Friday” and tomorrow’s the weekend. I could get use to this.

Because I had a little extra time before my 2nd class of the day, I decided to make lunch in the kitchen again! This time, I cooked a “burger”.

Lightlife Gimme Lean Beef Soy Meat Burger

Yeah, I wish 😛 What this actually was was 4oz Lightlife‘s  Gimme Lean Beef shaped into a patty with some black pepper and cooked in a pan with EVOO.

Lightlife Burger With Ketchup, Green Beans, Smashed Banumpkin With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

But holy yum was that a good burger! I’ve had this beef before heated up in the microwave and it didn’t do it for me, so I wasn’t looking forward to this in all honesty. But yum! Cooked in a pan with fat it tasted like a real burger(albeit an overcooked burger since I like my meat practically mooing). I think I made up a side at this meal; I had an intense banana craving and wanted to get a little funky, so I mashed 1/4 cup pumpkin with 1 small-medium banana and seasoned with sea salt and cinnamon. This was sooooo good–try it! It’s similar to a sweet potato, but the sugars in the banana make the cinnamon POP!

I loooved my next two classes. The first had a hilarious professor who’s very much in the old style of teaching. My only problem with it was the class was PACKED. I have a feeling it’s a class a lot of kids are taking for fun or to slack off in, but I need it for a Classics concentration so I ain’t going anywhere. My next class was OK, but a little duller in comparison and a lot smaller. At least I know 2 of them from last semesters’ classes. Midway through, I could feel hanger coming on.

Organic Raw Vegan Chocolate

I broke this out midway through. I’m becoming so obsessed! Now, instead of making one when I feel like it, I always have one made already for me chilling in the fridge. When class got over, one of the people I knew asked me where I got this and said it smelled excellent; when I told her I made it, she called that “brilliant”, haha. No arguments there!

I walked ran to my dorm to watch Oprah’s interview with Jay Leno. I have to say–I’m liking him less and less through this whole process. I know it’s not his fault so much as NBC but… And I think Oprah was a lot easier on him than she could have been; where were the hard hitting questions, Oprah? While I was watching this I did two things: I made another organic raw vegan chocolate bar for my next craving and made a snack for then.

Creamy Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

Greek yogurt is the perfect snack; it’s a complete protein so you really feel like you’re getting something out of it, too. For my taste and my wallet, lately I’ve been mixing 3 parts Trader Joe’s 0% with 1 part Trader Joe’s full fat, and sweetening with vanilla NuNaturals stevia. I’m running out of that last ingredient and can’t help but question to stick with it or try Sweetleaf or Whole Foods brand. Any recommendation? Dinner tonight hit just about every spot:

Chickpeas With Pasture Butter And Sea Salt

Broccoli With Pizza Cheeze Sauce

I’ve had MAJOR chickpea cravings all week, but didn’t want to open up a can with so much other food to eat. Tonight was the night, and with pasture butter it tasted very much like soft popcorn–yum! For my broccoli, I made Meagan’s cheeze sauce, but added ketchup to it–another winner. The only slightly disgusting thing was thinking at the end that sliding the pool of melted butter/leftover sauce/sea salt into my mouth would be a good call; that was a bit too much sodium, even for me. Coffee will dilute that, right? I think so.

Here’s another contest to win coconut oil of your very own.

And here’s an absolutely awesome article on nut butters with all my favorite brands interviewed–you must read this!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 18 so far )

20 Blessings To Count

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

1. Running 7 miles this morning might have been incredibly difficult, but I was able to push through. And I have 2 months left to build up those extra 6.1. Consider it done.

2. I won Froze bars on Melissa’s blog–that’s always fun 🙂

3. I got a very important email this morning while blogging. Last semester, I got shut out from registering for a class I wanted to take that would really work well for my schedule. I kept a communication going with the professor, but I still wasn’t in the class. He emailed me this morning saying there were 2 spots that opened up! I was registered in minutes. The thing about this class is it’s a fun topic and I’ll be taking it Pass/Fail, so I will really be able to enjoy it.

4. With my schedule right now, I have a 4 day weekend! I know–I entirely lucked out because I got a lineup of classes that interest me, work for my concentration, and give me a great schedule.

Cooking Lunch

5. I cooked my first meal in the dorm kitchen–nothing exploded and no fire alarms went off! In my pan, I heated up some EVOO. Then I cooked leftover tempeh and tofu until brown, and added the soy sauce to caramelize. To finish it off, I tossed in steamed broccoli to cook down.

Broccoli, Tofu, Tempeh Stir-Fry, Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

6. It tasted good!!! 😀 No, this tasted great. You could have told me it came from an authentic Chinese restaurant and I would have believed you. It’s also very good to know I can cook successful meals because…

7. I can lower my meal plan! This was of some concern, but as it seems I can lower my meal plan 2 levels without it costing us anything extra. In fact, we’ll get $250 back. While I’ll be losing a lot of meals and flex points, they aren’t anything I’d have used particularly. AND this means I’ll have money so I can buy greek yogurt at the grocery store where it’s $1–not $2.69.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

8. There was dessert with lunch. That’s always a plus.

9. Days was really good today, too. I need to work up the nerve to tweet my admiration to Alison Sweeney my admiration. If she tweeted back–Oh God.

Blue State Coffee

10. I reunited with Blue State Coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Starbucks? Who needs that.

School Books

10. I got all my books! Since I’m 95% set with my class choices, I just decided to buy them. Some of the used ones I picked up, though, are pretty skanky, so I’m going to exchange them for better copies Friday.

11. They only cost $305. Yes. I said “only” there, knowingly. But, while I was complaining about the cost, some good science-majoring friends reminded me that 1 chem or bio book can easily top $200 used. Meanwhile, I’m getting things I could potentially use for 40+ years, like a full Greek lexicon*nerd squeal*. I shut up after that.

12. My first class went great! It was the one I got into just this morning. Someone from my Latin class last semester is also taking it, so I’m glad to know a face. The professor seems nice, the work reasonable, and topic interesting.

13. I’m making raw vegan brownies with raw chocolate frosting for the class in 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this came up 😀

Coconut Oil Peanut Fudge

14. I packed a snack which turned out to be decent–1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons defatter peanut flour.  It just tasted OK, but it would be a lot better if I used a peanut flour with a higher fat percentage. This did a good job of holding me over through my 2 1/2 hour class.

Cafeteria Hummus

15. I now have A LOT of free hummus. I emailed “the right person to ask” about what type of hummus they use on the salad bar. Turns out it’s a homemade hummus. After some further prying, I got the ingredients: Garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, tahini, salt. Soooo not only is it homemade, but it’s even better than the store brands because it has no canola oil or preservatives? HELLO HUMMUS.

Red Delicious Apple

16. This apple was not mealy at all but rather fresh and crisp, and held me over doing “internet things” until dinner.

17. I won another contest, this time for Oikos.

Vegan Meatloaf And Green Beans With Vegan Cheeze Sauce, Hummus, Ketchup

18. Dinner was easy, cheesy, and oh-so vegan. I heated up some leftover vegan meatloaf, took green beans from the dining hall, and made Meagan’s “cheeze” sauce to go with them; I think that sauce is more proof of nutritional yeasts greatness. On the side, I added a blob of my new hummus, just because I could 🙂

19. Plenty of good behind the scenes stuff got done today, too, that I’m excited for for the blog.

20. Chocolate is on the menu for dessert, because I say so.

Enter to win Barney Butter here

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

The Seeds Make It Crunchy

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

Well I completely caved on that whole “rest day” thing after breakfast. I think all I needed was a little fuel in the tummy for some energy because I was raring to go right afterwards. I did my core(which you can just search and find for in some older posts if you’re interested) and 200 flights. I must say, highlights include(and are pretty much limited to) the “dance” action I was doing to Tik-Tok and contorting my neck to try to see what the mailperson was bringing through a window. Good news: It was a package from Crofter’s Organic! Bad news:

Broken Asia Superfood Spread

Not everything survived 😦 When I reached in and felt something gooey, I knew that couldn’t be good. Thankfully, I had some senses and realized to feel around too much and cut myself. The other 3 superfruit flavors arrived in good condition and I look forward to reviewing them. And lucky me won some of these jams from another giveaway so hopefully those will all arrive in one piece and I can review Asia, too 🙂

As for something I did review today…

Hickory Honey Barbeque Baked Kettle Chips

These weren’t from the company or anything; these are just chips I like a lot and have featured quite a bit, so I thought I’d write up my love for them here. Of course, they made an appearance at lunch…

Lemon Brussels Sprouts, Lightlife Beef In Tomato Sauce, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips

With some more “healthy” stuff. Boo 😛 I squirted some lemon on the brussels sprouts just to give them a little kick of flavor, and added dehydrated onion to the beef and sauce just to make my breath smell awful. This didn’t really taste like “beef” but it was decent enough for a protein; I think it would have been a lot better if I were using a real sauce I was into but alas that was just tomato sauce from a can. But really–what can’t you do with a can of tomato sauce? I needed it this afternoon to make up a vegan meatloaf.

Vegan Meatloaf

I’ll admit I had little-to-no interest in cooking anything for dinner, and that my mind was on some juicy, red grass-fed beef from Tomasso’s. This was a far cry from red meat but I had mouths to feed and I figure what goes around comes around(so here’s crossing my fingers for that beef sometime soon :-)).

Orange Steaz Sparkling Green Tea

While I was cooking I was sipping on this flavor Steaz. It really needed a bit of a kick so I added some stevia to each tiny glass I poured. Things are just more fun when you pour them into other glasses; now why the hell didn’t I use a wine glass? Man, that would have been better in hindsight.

Since it was Friday, I decided to let my sweet-tooth run ramped. Instead of cookies, however, I was thinking of brownies. And instead of baking, I was thinking of keeping them raw 😀

Ingredients

After trying this brownie from The Raw Bakery, I wanted to try to make my own. To put a fun spin on things, I used raspberry agave syrup. I loooove raspberry jam in brownies and this was essentially the same thing. And it was all organic! Except the dates, which we’ve already established were cheap and yummy 🙂

Raw Vegan Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (160 grams) dates
  • 5 tablespoons (105 grams) agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground

Make sure the flax seeds are ground. If they are not, add them to the food processor first and pulse a few times. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended, or about a minute. Scrape into a square container and refrigerate for 10 minutes or so until cutting into.

Raw Vegan Raspberry Brownies

I made one mistake here, which I tried to make clear in my directions not to do just in case anybody tries these: I mixed the flax seeds in with the other ingredients whole. As a consequence, the batter got really thick before they had a chance to break up. Oh well. If you like “crunchy” brownies then these would have been perfect for you 🙂 I didn’t mind a little extra chew. For my afternoon snack, I made a tray of brownie and goat milk yogurt.

Goat Milk Yogurt, Raw Vegan Brownie Clump

Raw Vegan Raspberry Brownie

They don’t really hold together very well, either, but there flavor is superb! Maybe the just need a chance to sit out so some of the water from the syrup comes off. No lie, though, this was some of the tastiest chocolate I’ve had; I think the raspberry worked perfect with the dates for a fruitiness to it all. And it complimented the creamy, slightly fatty goat milk yogurt well. There’s something about raw food where I can eat less and feel more energized and more satisfied, even if all that is is pudding and brownies. Dinner, however, was not raw; dinner was actually cooked by 4 and then just reheated for supper time.

Vegan Mealtoaf With Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli Fries With Vinegar Ketchup

I really need to get to Dedham Whole Foods again to buy a pound of nutritional yeast; sprinkle that on a led pipe and it’d be delicious, I tell ya. This was not juicy red meat. But it was pretty good. There’s about 4 servings left and as we all know this is MUCH better after a few days of sitting so I’m pretty excited for some leftover action 😀 And now… I could use coffee(and chocolate). Maybe that Steaz has caffeine in it? Because I feel like I’m dragging. That’s the beauty of a single-cup coffee maker, my friends. Happy cookie Friday night!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

Happy Food Coma

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sooo full! And happy 😀 It all started last night. Yes, last night.

White Beans Soaking

I purposely neglected to mention that during American Idol I got out some white beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins and started soaking them. I’d never worked with beans before, but this was something I wanted to do while I was at home. It’s supposed to be economical; frankly, when have beans ever been that expensive? But it was more about the experience. Those soaked over night, I posted an eggy discussion, and then came lunch. I was planning on eating a vegetarian lunch but…

Tuna And Full Fat Greek Yogurt

…life had other plans. Instead, I wanted a good ol’ tuna salad. I wouldn’t be exagerating if I said my mom could absolutely live off of these. I am not nearly as obsessed, but once and a while they hit the spot. My “secret” to a perfect one is using full fat greek yogurt. I hate mayo, both the real kind and the vegan one, so the yogurt is perfect for adding creaminess, fat, and overall “happy-happy-joy-joy”.

Broccoli With Tamari, Tuna Salad

Original Pop Chips, Broccoli Stems, Smoky Ketchup

Along with the tuna salad, I steamed broccoli. The stems looked ridiculously long so I cut them off but then kept them to eat like fries with the Pop Chips in ketchup and liquid smoke. It wasn’t ground breaking but at least no greens went to waste. The tuna salad was definitely soul hitting–no regrets there. And with the tamari and sea salt I was in sodium heaven! Did I just admit that? Oh yes I did. After lunch I put all the dishes away and turned my attention back to dinner.

Cooking White Beans

This is probably what intimidated me most about the beans: cooking them. I followed the directions exactly and cooked them for 1 and a half hours with 2 bay leaves and 1 onion quartered and salt and pepper. They smelled amazing; I’m such an onion fanatic as is. I wasn’t about to stand there for the whole time watching them, so I popped open a Zevia and popped in a movie.

Orange Zevia

I finally finished Gettysburg, the movie on the Civil War I started 2 weeks ago and bought on Black Friday. It was good and very accurate to the war/book, but not quite an uplifting story as I’m sure you can imagine. I looked it up and it was exactly 2 years and 4 days ago that I handed in my Junior Thesis concerning the book this was based on. I’m impressed I still remember anything about it, haha. Halfway through, I went to the kitchen to whip up something to last me until dinner.

Chocolate Banana Avocado Pudding With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

What do you do when you have no frozen bananas? Well, you cry in the corner for about 2 minutes, and then get to work on something new. For this, I put into the processor(I’m going to give him a nickname so I don’t have to write “food processor” anymore), 3oz fresh banana(1 medium sized one), 2oz avocado, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 3 tablespoons liquid(the last of my So Delicious kefir). The result was really good and really creamy. It actually was surprisingly sweet on its own with banana, but because my sweet tooth runs ramped(like I needed to admit this) I added some vanilla stevia. A good raw alternative to that would have been adding more cocoa powder instead because this was a little lacking in that respect and that would have upped the darkness. Oh, and did I mention I topped it with peanut butter? Yeah, it just wasn’t fattening enough 😀

Back to dinner, once my beans were done I drained them and started cooking the recipe. I was working off of this Whole Foods recipe for white bean and kale soup with chicken sausage. First was browning the sausage and onion. Then I added chicken stock and spinach to wilt down. Finally, I added 1 1/2 cups of beans and 1 cup of bean-puree for thickness.

White Bean And Spinach Stew With Spinach And Feta Chicken Sausages

This came out just like the picture, which made me soooo happy(Is this vein? I don’t think it’s vein. We’re saying it’s not vein). The flavor was lacking just a tad, so I seasoned some more with salt, pepper, and dehydrated onion. It’s actually pretty heart on its own, but we also roasted some rutabaga.

White Bean Stew With Goat Milk Yogurt And Roasted Rutabegas

Soooo good. Assume I had this times two. The soup had lots of flavor(read: lots of sodium)! The greens added a bitter crunch while the sausages were so perfectly savory. I used free-range chicken broth instead of water which also pumped up the volume. And the dollop of goat milk yogurt was just that final, tangy touch to top it all off. It really put me in a happy food coma. And we have a ton of beans left over, which I think we’ll freeze or something and I can get at least a few meals out of when I go back to school(yes. I do still attend college but am still on vacation, and will be for another week).

I’m so happy and full, I can barely think about dessert(well now I’m downright lying to ya’ll).

Here’s a Barney Butter giveaway.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 13 so far )

The Banana Soft Serve Diet

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I loved learning from this post that American Chop Suey is primarily a New England meal; I never knew that! It sounds like you either grew up eating this 3 times a week(guilty and proud of it ;-)) or have never tried it. Really, it’s just pasta(usually elbow macaroni) with ground beef, green pepper, onions, tomato sauce, and some seasonings, but it’s one of those dishes that is 10 times better than the sum of its parts; you would not believe the flavor it can have.

Another thing I cannot believe the flavor of? Fried Rice. I admit I’ve had this from a restaurant maybe once in my life, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make it with my leftover organic brown rice. Of course, I had no idea what I was doing, but that’s never stopped me before 😉 I heated maybe a tablespoon of earth balance in a pan, then added the rice and tamari until it was mostly absorbed. Then I added steamed broccoli florets. I couldn’t figure out if eggs were traditionally added as a necessary ingredient, or a protein source(still unclear on this), so I threw in 1 egg white and cooked until that was well set.

Fried Rice

Lightlife Buffalo Wings

1 egg white was not my protein source so I had the rest of my Lightlife buffalo wings, too. I realize the flavors don’t work here at all; I could have thrown in some tofu. But damn if those wings ain’t delicious. Now if only they weren’t an arm and a leg 😦 The fried rice came out delicious! I mean, anything with added fat and sodium is never bad, is it? I think next time I’ll add a full egg or two for some yolk-flavor(Oh, and there will be a next time). Along with lunch I was watching television and guzzling down a new-to-me beverage.

Raspberry Steaz

This Steaz was a lot better than the other two I’ve tried. Instead of just tasting like flavored green tea, this actually tasted like raspberry. I don’t think I’d buy it over Zevia again, though, except for that we got 2 4-packs for $2.66; that was such a good sale at Whole Foods I think I’ll be dreaming about it.

Snow

Did I mention it was still snowing after Days? In fact, it snowed all day, even though it wasn’t supposed to at all. Weird. It was a nice snowfall to watch, though–very light and fluffy. For whatever reason my grandmother dropped by and proceeded to try to convince me it was “warm” out. Warm? Really? From what I’ve learned, it doesn’t snow when it’s “warm”. Then again, I wasn’t about to argue with an 81 year old(now, if she were 82, that would have been a different story).

The one thing I did not like about lunch was that it did nothing for my hunger. It really is true what they say about Chinese food: You’re just hungry an hour later. I could have eaten my arm off, but instead I decided to have an early afternoon snack.

Chocolate Banana Softserve

So much to say–where to start? Number #1: Anything put in a food processor with cocoa powder comes out good. It’s a fact. This was 6oz banana, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and some vanilla stevia, and it came out amazing. I was thinking of adding Xanthan Gum but was sooo happy I didn’t. Look how thick it was all its own! #2: As good as this was, it wasn’t a Frosty from Wendy’s, which I was craving. This would be more like a frosty if it had less chocolate, and some milk, and some ice, and came from Wendy’s. Yep. That’d make it more like a frosty. #3: Whereas my meal of fried rice and buffalo wings didn’t hold me over for an hour, this held me over 3 hours until dinner. Does that mean there’s some truth to the banana diet? I’m totally up for it, so long as that banana comes in soft serve form.

Among the things I did in the afternoon was play with my food processor, while it was out.

Tierra Farm Organic Salted Pistachio Meat

Among the package Tierra Farm sent me was these pistachio meats. Because I’m 99% more likely to eat seeds and nuts in their butter form, and didn’t have a pistachio butter, I set 1/2 an ounce aside for dinner and shoved the rest into the processor.

Pistachio Butter

Nut and sed butters are, unfortunately, not the sexiest one at the party, but this was pretty bangin’. It was so easy to grind these, probably because Tierra Farm knows what they’re doing in roasting them unlike this nut. I can’t wait to put this over oatmeal. Pistachio and pumpkin? Sounds good to me. Speaking of being a nut…

Buffalo Chicken

I ate those buffalo chicken wings at lunch fully knowing I was making the real thing for dinner. Obsessed? Just a little. These were really simple. I cooked the chicken breasts fully. While those were working, I melted 2 tablespoons earth balance and franks red hot sauce in a pan until melted. When the breasts were done, I let them sit in the butter mixture for 5 minutes or so.

Brussels Sprouts With Goat Cheese, 3oz Buffalo Chicken, 1/2oz Organic Pistachio Meat

The chicken came out good and flavorful, but I don’t think the sauce was thick enough or took to it well; maybe add a tablespoon of flower next time? Still, it was an upgrade from what would have been all-white meat. It’s good to have some sort of fat on or with meat, and since I used earth balance it was trans-fat and cholesterol free 😀 I smeared goat cheese on my brussels, to change them up, and had 1/2 an ounce Tierra Farm organic salted pistachio meat to review. Umm, yum! Maybe I just forgot how good pistachios were, or maybe these were just that good, but I loved them! Nice and salty 🙂 I can’t wait to try my seed butter now!

I have to tell you: Tomorrow morning will not be pretty. Our big coffee pot died this morning 😦 It’s not so much a problem for me because I have my Keurig single cup brewer. The key words there are “my” and “single” 😉 And now I’m flipping between American Idol and The Biggest Loser right now. Why do we have to choose things like this? It’s not fair.

Here’s a superfruit spread giveaway.

A giveaway for vegan ice cream! How fun.

And a giveaway for Q.bel chocolate–one of my faves!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 18 so far )

Meal Makeovers

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today was the day. 1 week ago, I got a major craving for American chop suey–a pasta dish with elbows, tomato sauce, green peppers, and ground beef. We had this all the time when I was younger, and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. As excited as I was that we would recreate it today, I was a little bummed that it’s a heavy dish and not an “everyday” kind of meal in my mind. So instead I thought that I would make it into an everyday kind of meal. I asked myself: How can I eat my pasta and enjoy it too?

American Chop Suey

An easy swap was the macaroni: regular for whole wheat and right there we were pumping up the fiber, protein, and whole grains. We used 2 instead of 1 pepper for more flavor and bulk. What we didn’t switch was the meat; we still used 85% ground beef, but a lesser amount so that is was more of a seasoning than a hefty portion. As a creative side, we roasted the other 1/2 of the spaghetti squash from last Monday. And finally, I took a cue from a vegan pantry and swapped the parmesan for nutritional yeast and sea salt(that and I just really like nutritional yeast).

Madeover American Chop Suey

Yum! Not only could you eat like this everyday, but who wouldn’t want to? The entire bottom half of the bowl I filled with spaghetti squash. Then I scooped an 8oz portion of the chop suey on top(which is probably the proper serving but definitely is not the typical amount of pasta served at restaurants or in American homes). And to top it off, I doused sprinkled with yeast. The chop suey flavored the squash really well; Joanna of Fitness & Spice made a great challenge this morning about surrounding your meal around a vegetable and not a protein or starch and I think this was a good example of that with the spaghetti squash being the real filling food here. I didn’t go for seconds on the chop suey but there was a little bit of squash left.

Emptied Out Spaghetti Squash

Did I mention I’m a member of the clean-squash club? 😉 In the afternoon, surprisingly Mr. UPS made it to our house through the snow storm.

Zevia 6-Pack

I got a package and it was the Zevia I won on another blog contest! Yay! I’ll be drinking well now(that sounds wrong). Did you know they’re coming out with a Dr. Pepper style Zevia? That could be interesting; I just hope it doesn’t have all 21 flavors. The stylish lunch cooler will be put to good use in the new semester 😉 After a while of reading and MLK TV marathons, I decided to use up my Artisana Coconut Oil and make another chocolate bar.

Homemade Raw Chocolate Bar

This one came out so much nicer looking than my last attempt; I must be learning. I also switched up the recipe by mixing the coconut oil and agave nectar first and using 2 grams less agave nectar and 2 grams more cocoa powder. You’re probably thinking that that doesn’t sound like much, but it actually made a HUGE difference. This was noticeably thicker–more like a paste. After it set up in the fridge for 10 minutes, I made an afternoon snack tray.

2% Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam, 1/2 Homemade Raw Chocolate Bar

I could have gone the afternoon just eating the whole bar like yesterday, but this time there were witnesses who knew about(and expected to taste) the chocolate 😉 Therefore, I only took half along with some greek yogurt. Like I said: The small adjustments in the recipe made a HUGE difference. This wasn’t exactly bitter, but it was noticeably less sweet and darker than yesterday’s bar. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked it more and will continue to tweak the recipe once I get more coconut oil. And thank you for all your wonderful suggestions! I’m 99.5% sure I’ll be getting coconut oil soon and know what type/brand it will be.

For dinner, would you believe somebody suggested lentils? And would you also believe that somebody wasn’t me? It was actually my mom–go figure. Good thing, too, because after that meaty lunch I was not thinking about another animal protein. After raiding the pantry I found out we had the fixin’s for a new and delicious supper.

Lentil Taco Ingredients

Last time we were at Trader Joe’s, I picked up this taco seasoning on a whim, not really having any plans for it but thinking it’d be nice to have around. Tonight, it was just calling my name. On the back it gives a recipe for making 6 servings of beef tacos. Instead, we used lentils instead of beef, 3 servings instead of 6(because, uhh, that’s how many of us there are?), used 1/2 the packet and 7oz of tomato sauce. As I was whiffing it simmering, I could tell the taco seasoning had a little too much heat and threw in some cinnamon to balance out the flavor. We don’t keep taco shells or tortillas around here, so I improvised.

Doctor Kracker Fire Roasted Crisps

With some Dr. Kracker’s that I was sent to review pre-Christmas. Yikes! Didn’t the holiday season just fly by? And with all that good food! I guess it’s back to eating real stuff. i also made one of my favorite sides: maple curry squash fries. Just 1 1/2 acorn squashes steamed and sliced then tossed in maple syrup and curry spice and baked for 90 minutes until very dehydrated.

Fire Roasted Dr. Krackers, Lentil Tacos With Parma, Maple Curry Squash Fries

Whew! OK, where to start? First off–HOT! Everything here had so much heat; my mom(a spicy food lover) could hardly get through the taco lentils. Trader Joe really likes his pepper! These chips were also pretty hot, too. They definitely weren’t my favorite Dr. Kracker chip. They were bit more brittle, the black sesame seeds were awkward, and when did cheddar cheese even come in to play? At the same time, I can’t say they didn’t taste “fire roasted” or make a fire in my mouth. And the squash fries were so perfectly crispy and spicy, too. On top of the tacos I repeatedly shook some of my new Parma.

Chipotle Cayenne Parma

This is their second flavor, along with the original. I have to say I liked the chipotle cayenne sooo much more; it had some real flavor to it! And still all the nutrition of Omega-3’s and B-vitamins. Yum!

As for right now, I’m either

A) feeling oddly happy about the Roloff boys graduating from high school

B) thinking I shouldn’t enjoy Tick Tock as much as I do but c’est la vie

C) making up a menu for a meal makeover tomorrow night

D) all of the above

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 14 so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...