Eating Picnic Foods

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

Well if you live in the Northeast, I hope you got outside for this amazing weather. If you don’t, I hope the sun was shining where you are, too! March is the best month: In like a lion, out with my birthday like a lamb.

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

I’m lucky to love the treadmill and running out doors. They’re very different things, and both have their good points. When I get bored of one, the other can be there to pick me up. Today, that was the case where I didn’t feel like running on the treadmill first thing but was ready for an outdoor run around 11. I had 2 tiny squares of my favorite organic dark chocolate from Endangered Species and hit the road.

11.25 Miles In 1:35:10

This was a long run. In fact, it turned out to be my longest outdoor run ever! by .7 of a mile. I went up and down the Providence Path 3 times. There was even some running team(maybe collegiate?) holding time trials so I had good company and motivation. At the 3rd turn, I went down Hope street and ended my run at Whole Foods to do some refueling and grocery shopping.

Odwalla Carrot Juice

For some reason, I had it in my mind that this Whole Foods made fresh pressed carrot juice. I guess not :-/ But I was happy to refuel with this brand. Not only do I find carrot juice incredibly sweet and delicious, but it’s one of the best recovery drinks around.

Carrot Juice Nutrition

What makes a good recovery drink? Well, we could really debate this for hours. Chocolate milk gets a lot of attention for its 4:1 carb:protein content. Coconut water seems to be the new fad, but I have yet to try this and can’t speak for it. What I love about carrot juice is the potassium content: Look at it! That’s more than a banana, and for 1/2 the bottle. And potassium is something necessary for recovery. Another reason to love carrot juice is it’s 1 natural ingredient: carrots.

Groceries

I’m sure you’d believe me if I told you the first thing I grabbed at the store–even before the juice–was the milk chocolate sunspire peanuts. Could I live on without them? Beyond that, I just grabbed a sweet potato(albeit, a huge one), some canned fish for dinner and yogurt on sale. I was pushing my timing and had to get back to shower and make a full recovery lunch fast.

Chili Lime Yumnuts

In my rush, I remembered I wanted to try these seasoned cashews sent to me by Yumnuts. I’m not much of a spicy or savory snacker but for my meals they sounded wonderful and picnic-y. I threw everything in one big container and met my friend, Adam, on the campus green to enjoy the sun!

Tuna Salad, Chickpeas, And Chili Lime Cashews Over Dressed Greens

I started by tossing bitter greens with my favorite dressing from Foods Alive. I tossed on top the remaining 1/2 a can of chickpeas, a can of tuna mixed with 2oz Voskos plain non fat for a healthy tuna salad, and a small handful chili lime Yumnuts. Could you imagine something better for picnicing? Because I couldn’t. This was all perfect! I forgot how much I loved tuna salads with a little salt. I guess the “trick” is to reserve just a little liquid from the can so that it’s not dry when you mix it with the thick-and-creamy binder. And the Yumnuts were–well–yum! They really were quite spicy, which I appreciated. Maybe a bit of sweetness for contrast wouldn’t have hurt? Still, they were quite good, and even flavored the tuna a bit.

Tazo 0 Cal Zen Green Tea With Lemongrass And Spearmint

To wash this all down, I sipped on this new tea from Tazo. It’s sweetened naturally with erythritol and stevia which is a great renovation to the sweet tea line if you ask me. It was definitely enjoyable, and probably sweet enough for most tastes. I did think the lemon part of it was lacking a bit, but still I’d happily grab this over any sugared-up competition. Overall, I hope it’s bright and sunny again soon because I want to eat this whole meal again!

Chocolate So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

After getting a little work done and cleaning up after the hurricane that hit my dorm, I was craving something chocolate. Can you imagine that? I finished off the pint of chocolate So Delicious coconut milk ice cream I’d been working on. Is there anything sadder than finishing a pint of ice cream with no ability to immediately replace it? I think not.

Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt With Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Shavings

And, since that wasn’t enough So Delicious, coconut milk, and chocolate, I gave their yogurt a try with the final two squares of the same chocolate bar I ate earlier. A pint and a chocolate bar? Man, I was knocking them out today. Concerning the coconut milk yogurt: holy yum! This was amazing. Like I really needed another food to be obsessed over? At least I’m hooked while it’s on sale; you know there’ll be more of these over the weekend.

Dr. Kracker's Seeded Spelt

Another perfect picnic food, of course, are crackers. What’s not to love? I decided I’d try these Dr. Krackers because I loved the idea of sunflower seeds baked right in for a little crunch. I also read from Whole Foods that spelt flour–while wheat and so gluten-forming–has a higher tolerance level among gluten intolerant people than regular wheat. I’m not above conducting mini-science experiments on myself.

Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Seeded Spelt Crackers

I didn’t plan to have so much but when I read that spaghetti squash was at the cafeteria, well you know I had to make adjustments 😉 Overall, the whole meal was good, but not really “put together”. The crackers were nice, but they missed the crispness I was expecting; I really enjoyed the sunflower seeds with this sunny weather, though! The salmon in a can was–in a word–disgusting; I wasn’t expecting it to be not even deskinned or deboned. I only took 2 servings and threw the other 1.5 out. It tasted fine, but I think I would rather go without omega-3’s during my time at college than eat that more often. At least it was in the spirit of cheap fish during Lent? I’ll be happy when that’s over.

Annnd as much as I talked about the sun, it’s now dark out. Good thing because I should work work work on these midterms. I also want to keep up the “sundae on Fridays” tradition, but need to find some good ice cream to suit my palate. Enjoy the night!

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Friday Fish And Chips

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

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

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

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

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers

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

Apple With Coconut Oil Agave Dipping Spread

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

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

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

Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Salmon

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

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

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

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

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

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Randomness

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That pretty much is how today has felt, but all in a good way. I knew I’d have a lot to get done today, so I tried to organize things by making a list.

To-Do List

But then my typical randomness broke in…

Pressing Tofu

Doesn’t everyone press tofu with about 4lbs worth of chocolate? On the bright side, this meant that my plan to meal plan was a success! In fact, I planned parts if not all of 5 separate meals today; I should be quite on the ball through Wednesday.

Clean Laundry

Laundry is always random. I think that’s half the fun of going through everything and realizing none of the socks freaking match! Since when did I become such a sock-hoarder in life? I love having Monday’s off this semester since no one else is thinking of silly things like laundry on Monday mornings.

Foods Alive Maple Cinnamon Flax Crackers

A few things that aren’t random but rather well known are that a) I like trying new foods and b) I love chips and crackers. What is random is crackers made of flax! Foods Alive sent me some fun products to try including these. And I’m happy to report that these totally fit in the bill of trying to eat less carbs and more nutrient dense foods! These babies are full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber up the wazoo!(“Wazoo” equaling 8 grams per serving)

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Maple Cinnamon Flax Crackers, Hazelnut Cinnamon Decaf

Pairing lunch with a coffee flavor might be a little random for now but it’s definitely on the path to being a new tradition 😀 Of course, I made the tofu and broccoli with my favorite method of roasting; these broccolis came out so good and nutty! The Organic Maple & Cinnamon flax crackers unfortunately didn’t wow me with maple and cinnamon flavor. They actually tasted quite neutral :-/ On the bright side, the nutritional stats on them were out of the park.

Apple

I still felt a little hungry after all of that and went for an apple. I think this was my inner carb-lover trying to satisfy itself, which I figured an apple would be a nutritious way to curb, until I thought about how long this must have spent in the dining hall. Somethings are best left unthought.

It was a bit random to find out Days and a lot of NBC’s daytime shows are being covered by the Olympics, but not wholly displeasant. Did anybody else catch the cross-country skiers? Now that must be a workout. I half watched that and half Grey’s Anatomy from last Thursday. Alex and Lexie? Random.

Emmy's Organics Lemon-Ginger Raw Macaroons

Lemon and ginger are two classic flavors in my book.

Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Lemon Ginger Macaroon

Lemon, ginger, and chocolate? Well that’s a little random. But I love pairing raw with raw, so I added a lemon-ginger macaroon from Emmy’s Organics to my (almost) raw chocolate avocado pudding. That this would taste delish was not at all random; 2 good things make 1 great thing. And a nice high-fat snack was definitely a nutritious way to pump out a short history paper. I’m glad I got that out of the way before my computer started malfunctioning; I had to reboot it entirely 😦 While I was waiting, I got snacky.

Teriyaki Vegan Seitan Primal Strip

How is “vegan” and “jerky” for random? I would say very much, but the teriyaki seitan strip from Primal Spirit Foods was actually really good! It didn’t taste just like soy sauce, but also wasn’t super sweet–perfect teriyaki. And it’s a convenient snack with a lot more protein and fat than a granola bar would have, so I was all over that. I think the fact that this is high-gluten might have made my stomach feel a little funky, but it’s a lot more manageable than with peanut flour discomfort.

Another random part of my day was handling raw meat on my laptop desk. Do normal people do this in college? You all had great ideas for what to do with the beef. And I’d love to make a chili! I just wish I would have thought up to buy the right ingredients. When we bought this, I thought only 1/4-1/2 a pound would be mine, so that would be a burger or 2 tops. When I realized I had so much more to be creative with, I got a little confused as to how to make it interesting. Tonight, I tried something completely new and random:

Steamed Broccoli, Quickie Grass-Fed Beef "Chili"

Steamed Broccoli, Quickie "Chili" With Grass Fed Beef

I woudn’t quite call this a normal chili in any sense of the word, but I’m not sure what it is otherwise. In my pan, I browned the beef with some onions and diced tomato. Then I added about 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s salsa and reduced it all. At the end I spiked it with cinnamon, cocoa powder, and sea salt, and served over lettuce. I guess that’s sort of like taco filling? It actually came out a lot better than I was expecting. Like, I practically had eggs ready to be cooked in the event that this sucked. But it’s something I might consider making again.

I would like to say I have something funky and random planned for dessert, buuuut I’m guessing those 2 hours of sleep I lost are going to catch up with me at some point, and Tuesday’s an early rising day.

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