These Legs Were Made For Walking

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s just what they do.
One of these days the legs
Are gonna walk all around you.
RISD Art Sale

RISD Art Sale

First Baptist Meeting House

First Baptist Meeting House

Downtown

Downtown

I feel like I went everywhere today, and all by foot! So much for rest day? But it was fun! I did not expect the RISD art sale to be in swing again. There was so many amazing paintings and potteries, any of which I’d have been lucky to own. When I hit downtown, Providence couldn’t have reminded me of Boston any more, and for the first time. I’ve never really seen the city like this; all my time so far has been rainy or cold but today was perfect. Of course, the reason for my walking extravaganza was this:

Registering

Registering

I can’t believe the half-marathon is just tomorrow! The nerves are starting to set in, as this will be my first “real” half-marathon. The Race For The Border was fun, but it felt more like 250 people getting together in New Hampshire to run around a bit. This feels real. The best part of the walk back was knowing that I started lunch at 9:30 and it’d be waiting for me.

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

I think I’ve hit vegan heaven.

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

I’ve been really intrigued by Caitlin’s combination of sweet potatoes and BBQ beans. I also loved the combination of sweet potato fries and Daiya from last night so much I knew I wanted it again! Why not combine the two in a poutine-like fashion? This was divine. The flavor came through as some salty, sweet, and fatty bit of deliciousness with crisped potato fries, soft beans, and gooey Daiya. I’m going to need several more plates of this over the Summer.

Groceries

Groceries

My options for the early afternoon were work or do chores. I’d rather do chores. I walked down to Eastside Market and my little Whole Foods to get some ice cream(majorly on sale), 3lb of organic sweet potatoes, beans(dinner), a bar(my “breakfast” tomorrow), and some chocolates(longly considered and purchased enthusiastically).

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I snacked on an organic apple for rehydrating from all the walking until I was ready for something more “desserty”.

Mint Chip And Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Mint Chip And Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

This hit the spot. I used the last of my mint Sweet Scoops frozen yogurt with a good amount of Elan’s vanilla. Cost per scoop, this is hands down the best vanilla ice cream out there. It was only $3 for a quart on sale! It’s local to New England and the flavor is absolutely fantastic; it tastes like a fresh, frothy vanilla milkshake all the time. And, of course with me, the ingredient list is rather clean.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

As big as my chocolate tooth is, my vanilla tooth is right there with it; I had a small bowl of oatmeal with some 365 peanut butter mixed with Madhava’s vanilla agave. Vanilla makes for the best everything: peanut butter, chocolate, cookies. God bless vanilla.

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

And a cool Zevia beverage after returning from the dining hall with some greens for dinner. I just hope in hindsight that the concentrated erythritol or stevia here doesn’t cause any running discomfort tomorrow morning.

Hemp Oil Dressed Greens, Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

Hemp Oil Dressed Greens, Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

I’m really digging this Daiya. I don’t even like real mozzarella this much! I figured because it’s so flavorful it must be loaded with added sugars. Nope! There aren’t any! It puzzles me, but all I care is that it’s good. And there’s never enough room on the plate for my greens, so instead I just put them in a separate bowl after dressing with Foods Alive sweet and sassy; you can’t tell but that’s fully packed in.

OK, kiddos, since I won’t have time to post in the morning, here’s my game plan: I’m going to try to be asleep by 10:30 tonight to get hours and wake up at 6:30. After my morning routine, I’ll either be walking or getting a ride down to the starting line at 7, snack on my Amazing Grass chocolate peanut butter protein bar, and the race will start at 8. My goal is to do it in under 1:40, and my bib is 3761. Nervous? Yes. Excited? Yes. But I figure that’s all part of the recipe for success. As the best of them say, here goes nothing!

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Carboloading

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

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Today looked so beautiful out. But would you know it was below freezing with the windchill?! Seriously, March, what did we do to p*ss you off? Even though it was so cold, I wanted to run outside for practice for tomorrow. I know I could have taken a rest day. When I thought about it, however, I realized all the times I’ve set distance PR’s I’ve also ran the day before. I’m not racing this half-marathon for a time; what’s important is that this will be my longest outdoor run by 1.9 miles. And so running as usual seemed the best thing for me to do on the day before this race.

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

I think I was a little faster just because I wanted to get somewhere warm 😉 After the first 3 miles, I couldn’t feel my fingers Note to self: BRING GLOVES tomorrow. After that, I started to get into it; for the first time I realized you can be cold as hell and still enjoy your run. I got into the music, regained circulation, and ran the planned course. I was happy to have thrown lunch in the oven before I went out, too, so that was ready for me.

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Instead of pressing the tofu, I threw it in as was at 300 degrees for 90 minutes with maple syrup on it; it ended up baking perfectly! Low and slow, baby, low and slow 😉 I also threw in some broccoli while I showered. And on the side I had a snack attack of hickory honey barbeque baked kettle chips for some carboloading and deliciousness. Aren’t the chips at the end of the bag just the best?

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Instead of a cup of decaf coffee for dessert, I went straight for the good stuff and made a cup of Elan’s decaf cappuccino frozen yogurt. It was definitely too cold to enjoy outside so the window shot was all I got. Eating this, my dad arrived and we loaded up the car with stuff to bring home.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

On the way, since I was told we had no groceries back home, we stopped at Whole Foods in Bellingham, where I quickly grabbed an organic apple that was up front. Cortland? Empire? I can’t remember, but it was damn good. I love going to a grocery store you haven’t been at in a while; I feel like there was so much new they now carried!

Groceries

Groceries

We got plenty of groceries including yogurt, produce, and random snackage. My favorite items were the frozen ones, of course.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I just had to grab a new coconut milk ice cream flavor of So Delicious: cookie dough. I was thinking about buying this yesterday for a Friday sundae but all I could find was the soy variety 😦 Once you go coconut milk, you can’t go back–it’s that good. And I like that the coconut milk ones have a lot less sugar and taste creamier.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Mmmm. I think the “vanilla” base could have been better. It was very “vanilla” when I was hoping for “vanilla bean”. Other than that, the chocolate speckles were nice and of course the gluten free cookie dough balls were a bit of heaven. When are they not? Here’s a new product suggestion: Just the balls.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

I snacked on another apple while making dinner. It was so awful and mealy :-/ What was with that, Whole Foods? At least it was organic, but can’t doing the right thing also taste good? And I also reunited with my dog in this time 😀 Who couldn’t have been less interested in me. He smelled, anyway.

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

We grabbed USDA approved ground turkey at Whole Foods. In it, I mixed rosemary, salt, and dill, and made it into 4 quarter pounders. On the side, I was craving a good ol’ roasted sweet potato with black beans. Mmmm, this combination is amazing; how come I forget about it so often? And plenty of carboloading in that 🙂

Hmmm, you know what else has carbs? Oats and more ice cream. Sounds like a night! I probably won’t have time to pop in in the morning so hopefully the next post will be a run recap. Until then, don’t forget to enter my giveaway and enjoy the weekend!

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Running With Ice Cream

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

First of all, I want to send out a huge congrats to my favorite no meat athlete, Matt, who finished a 50k today! Could you imagine running 50k? I would like to see all the yummy food that took to fuel 🙂

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino

My run wasn’t quite that long, but boy was it entertaining! It was a beautifully sunny day in Providence so I hit the East Providence path. I wasn’t pushing myself too hard–mostly enjoying some good country music–but also not letting myself be passed except by 1 small Indian man(he was speedy for his size!). When I started heading back, I stopped by the small Whole Foods to pick up some tuna and then Eastside Marketplace for this quart of ice cream. Can you then imagine I would try to run the last mile back carrying a quart of ice cream? Because I did.

9.54 Miles In 1:21:43

I ended up going 9.54 miles(which is about 15k if my math isn’t too rusty). I actually thought my time would be a lot worse. Several times in that last mile I had to stop because the tuna fell out of my pocket or I dropped the ice cream; it wasn’t pretty. But I made it! First thing: Throw sweet potatoes in the oven.

Sweet Potato Hash

When I get a meal in my head, I want it. And nothing else will do. I was a lit hesitant that the sweet potato wouldn’t cook long enough but I threw it in at 400 and by the time I stretched, showered, and 1/2 cooked my burger, they were ready to soak up the extra fat and fry in the pan.

Sweet Potato And Grass-Fed Burger Salad

I called this a “salad” because it was over bitter greens but I don’t know if it works like that. Whatever it was, it was phenomenal. This 90/10 grass-fed meat which we picked up at Whole Foods last weekend has to have been the best I’ve gotten ever in terms of juiciness. Did I lose any veggie readers there? I hope not. That flavored the sweet potatoes amazingly and just made the whole thing rock. Of course, I applied ketchup like it were an extra serving of veggies 😉

Orange Zevia

To wash this down, I had an orange Zevia while reading some homework assignments. Want to win some Zevia for yourself? I’ll explain how at the end of the post.

Elan Coffee Frozen Yogurt

Anticipation made me jump in to dessert a little early this afternoon. I just loooove this frozen yogurt! The nutrition is really good, too, and it has a relatively simple ingredient list on which the only flavorer is decaf coffee–joy. My only grip is that the company makes no claim about cow’s not being treated with rBST :-/ But I’m guessing(hoping?) that need not be a concern with a relatively local company that only gets supplied by Vermont farmer; Vermonteers have always been good people 🙂

Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter Jar

Moving on, it was time to move on. I’d been holding on the last bit of my Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and was ready to say goodbye.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

On top of some pumpkin oatmeal went the last bit of Justin’schocolate peanut butter and some agave sweetened smart balance peanut butter. Umm, yum? I was sad to see it go, but I guess it’s time had come. I don’t think I’ll bother ordering a replacement online because I’ve heard that these hit East coast shelves by “end of March”. I can wait a week…. maybe.

Finishing Off The Jar

I’m just never satisfied by empty peanut butter jars; it’s impossible to get them “clean enough”.

Surf Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears

Not that I can really explain why, there just needed to be gummy bears at dinner. And trust me; there did. And in terms of “healthy eating”, I’d say why not? So long as you’re having gummy bears with dinner and not for dinner. Eat real food, and the fun stuff, too 🙂

Broccoli, Tuna Salad, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbread, Fruity Gummy Bears, Tazo Passion

Yesterday’s tuna salad in the sun had me wanting more! And this one was just as good. On the side, I had a Dr. Kracker sunflower cheddar flatbread and some broccoli for green vegage. I’m very happy to say that the Dr. Kracker products don’t trigger my suspected gluten intolerance, and I think it’s because they’re made with spelt flour! I’ll do a more in-depth portion into this in a future post.

Tazo Zero Calorie Passion Bottled And Surf Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears

On the side of that salty goodness, I had some sweet treats. I sipped on a new, all-natural, zero calorie passion Tazo tea. Meh. The flavor was good, and the sweetness was great! I just didn’t dig the rose and herb flavor in a cold beverage; it seemed like it’d be so much better hot. The gummy bears from Surf Sweets were also meh. I suppose any time you have vegan, all-natural gummy bears you have to stop and be thankful. But the fruit flavors made them taste more like soft jelly beans, of which I was not a fan. I would now like to try their jelly beans…

Like I said, there are several opportunities out there to win your own Zevia. I don’t have a giveaway to host, but you can enter one at this blog, this blog, or this blog. All the best! Zevia is definitely worth a taste if you ever get the chance; I don’t know where my all-natural diet would be without it!

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Eating Raw With Bloggers

Posted on February 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! I meant to set something up last night that’s exciting to auto-post, but clearly that didn’t pull together in time. Such excitement will have to wait for the week, but I can show you what exciting things did happen. Lunch was about a 7 on the excitement scale.

Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, And Cauliflowe With Grass-Fed Steak And Colby Cheese

Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, And Cauliflowe With Grass-Fed Steak And Colby Cheese

I think 7 is very good for leftovers. I steamed some vegetables and shredded some raw & probiotic colby cheese on top(but remembered not to stick it in the microwave because that would defeat the purpose of raw!). On an inside grill, I reheated the leftover steak in grass-fed butter, and then poured the drippings after cooking on top. OK–the steak was good, but the drippings were fantastic. Butter and beef fat–yumm. After lunch I made a little dessert.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Frosting

Raw Vegan Brownies With Goji Berries And Hulled Hemp Seeds

Before you start drooling too much, this was only 1 pan. The first photo was a before and the second an after shot 😀 But I didn’t make these all for myself(though I could have); last night there was a Boston blogger meet-up at Grezzo’s Restaurant which is all raw so I thought this would be an appropriate(and tasty) dessert, recipe here. Let me also show you my new adoration:

Bob's Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seeds

Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds. I don’t know where to begin. The nutrition? Fantastic. The preparation and care they put into providing and packaging their product? Amazing. The inherint, nutty vanilla flavor? Sock it to me. These were perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Coconut Oil And Hulled Hemp Seeds

Now that’s exciting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as filling as I was expecting. Was there not enough fat? o_O Sooo, after reading other blogs, I decided vanilla froyo must be the missing secret ingredient. We may not have self-serve frozen yogurt around Boston, but we do have freezers and delicious varieties of name brands.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

My favorite, for anyone keeping track.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

That hit the spot and held me over for dinner. It’s cool. It’s creamy. It’s everything a vanilla should be. Unfortunately, that’s all she wrote for it.

Empty Container

:-/ At least I made plenty of space in the freezer for another container!(which will probably be an exact replacement of this one :-P). Right before leaving, I found more evidence of my exciting insensibility: Something that I thought I brought to school, looked all over for, decided I left at home, looked all over for and could never find turned out to be in my backpack all the while. Thank God I can laugh at myself because I give me a kick 😀

At 7 I arrived at Grezzo’s and found a great number of bloggers and readers. There were 9 of us in total; it was all set up by Melissa at Crunches For Cupckakes. Thanks, Melissa! I think I was the only one to have eaten there before(documented here). That didn’t matter much because the menu had completely changed for dinner. I wasn’t sure what to order but I ended up going with a pasta dish(I know–I was surprised with me here, too!) that 5 other people also got.

Gnocchi Carbonara

The “gnocchi” were made out of cashews and oat flour, I believe, and in a nut-cream sauce. It was delicious! They were soooo rich and doughy and simply melted in your mouth. I think I liked them way more than regular gnocchi. The cream sauce was also good, but I only ate about 6 peas; I’m just not a fan of raw vegetables.

Bloggers

One of the interesting things brought up at the table was if we thought we could eat like this much. The easy consensus was no. For 1, raw takes sooo much preparation; some of our food was made and sat for days in advance. That’s simply not easy to do on a working schedule. The other reason was simple: We love hot food! Oatmeal, baked vegetables, microwaved vegetables–I know I, for one, couldn’t give up things like that. A big bowl of baked veggies and tofu with maple syrup is totally my comfort food. At first I wasn’t planning for a dessert, but… c’mon 😉

Chocolate Mint Cookie With Chocolate Frosting

Surprisingly, this was one of their less extravagent desserts; can you believe it? Check out Lauren’s blog for a shot of her brownie sundae. Next time I go, I most definitely want to try their gelato. The rawest ice cream I’ve had is banana soft serve so that would most definitely be a kick. All in all it was a great night and my first chance to meet some awesome bloggers. I even got a few new ones to add to my blogroll! After stopping at a party where my parents were to say hi to old friends, we didn’t get home until late. Let’s just say it’s been a while since I’ve seen Saturday Night Live live. I also wasn’t terribly tired and a little voracious. I think the cookie had ton of agave nectar, which won’t spike your blood levels but will keep you going and going and going(I was like the Energizer Bunny!). The other half of that was that eating raw meant so much less volume of food, even if it was calorically dense. The solution?

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pumpkin oats! Another example of why I could never go raw 🙂 I certainly enjoyed my night and I can’t wait to go to my next blogger meet-up someday!

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Pans And Pies

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I didn’t feel that much pressure to get out and run yesterday. At the same time, I wasn’t sure how many opportunities I’d get today and tomorrow, so I decided to take the time and go out. It was a slightly slow 6.7 but felt good to be active for an hour(because I firmly planned on being lazy the other 23). When I got home, I challenged myself to make a lunch not with the microwave. It’s simple enough but there’s so many flavors and textures it just can’t achieve. After planning out a menu, I got to work with my fancy pan I won from some Hood milk promotion last month.

Brussels And Sausage In A Pan

First I scrambled 2 eggs and cooked those in the pan to the perfect doneness–so much easier than in a microwave! Then I steamed raw brussels for 3 minutes in the microwave and then pan-browned them for another 2 minutes. I also heated up a pre-cooked chicken sausage in the microwave(btw, all these uses of it don’t count ;-)) and finished that in the pan.

Scrambled Eggs, Spicy Chicken Sausage, Brussels Sprouts

This deserves a Holy Yum award. Brussels sprouts are seriously my favorite green vegetable and by far the best thing here, even though they were a bit dry, with a touch of salt. The browning gave a good crispness to the outside. The sausage was also quite good. Note: It was real meat and not faux meat. I think I can love them equally. The fennel in it was really impressive. For dessert I had something that took neither pan nor microwave.

Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

So perfect. Well, OK, it could have used more jam, but then again my ideal would be eating the jam from the jar with a spoon, which is a no-no when it costs as much as this one does. I had a lovely evening on the couch planned, but then my mom asked if I wanted to accompany her to Market Basket while she picked up some last minute food. My knee-jerk reaction was a big yes, and next thing I knew it I was in the car. Oops. At least I brought a little work with me. For those who don’t have a Market Basket, it’s a place full of interesting finds…

Christmas Decor

Oh, Canada. What are you doing up there? Jk, but Market Basket does have good finds. It’s right across the way from Whole Foods, and while it might only carry about 30% the same stuff, what it does have is very often cheaper. The only thing I could find on my list this trip was a 4-pack of deep chocolate vitatops for 3.69. they had faux meat, but unfortunately nothing all-natural and breakfasty 😦 It was pretty late when everyone was done, so I was happy to grab a snack in the car.

Banana Walnut Gnu Bar

Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. All you have to do is read my review to know I loved this. I don’t like bananas that much, but I swear anything that tastes like bananas I’m game with. And this was just like banana bread. There wasn’t a large presence of walnuts, but that was fine by me since I don’t care for the. And all the fiber filled me up and kept me calm when I realized I still had to make the pie! Yikes. By the time we got home it was dark and I was getting anxious about that, until I remembered this is the simplest recipe and I didn’t even need to check my computer to remember how to make it.

Unbaked Crustless Pumpkin Pie

There was a mini-issue with the pesky water bath, but otherwise crisis averted and sanity restored. I felt a little something was in order along with a pat on the back.

Chocolate Elan Frozen Yogurt

This snack ended up being a little littler than I expected; who knew we were almost out and there was hardly a serving left in the container! Too bad nobody realized this over the past 4 weeks we’ve been having freezer-space issues. Normally I’m happy to finish an ice cream but I love elan and this flavor so much I feel like I need to get an exact replacement for it. I watched 1 of the 2 SNL’s I slept through and then the pie was done.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It had a couple bubbles but no cracks and definitely nice and firm so that it will stand on its own at the table. Amen 🙂 And then there was dinner.

Haddock With Soyaki, Beets, Parsnips With Peach Salsa

Not quite my pan-licious lunch, but this was pretty good, too 😉 There was a little more beets taken after the photo and we finished it all! We didn’t want any leftovers going in to Thanksgiving. I swear this house empties of all vegetables when I’m not here so I made sure we got good ones at Market Basket. Parsnips are so good for a soft and white vegetable; I don’t like white potatoes because they always taste dry and starchy but I think I’ve found a new friend in parsnips.

I almost forgot about The Biggest Loser last night! I was so thankful my tivo reminded me of it. I brewed some coffee and had a naked dessert.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I kept racking my brain to try and figure out what to do with this vitatop. It finally occurred to me: If it wasn’t coming naturally, it wasn’t meant to be. And this vitatop tasted just delicious on its own. It was great to see where former contestants are and to know they’ve really changed their lives. I think finding and staying with that balance must be the toughest thing. There was another snack.

Oikos With Turbinado Sugar And Chocolate Chips

Turbinado sugar is good for you because it has the minerals crystalized in, right? And it’s from Trader Joe’s so it cures cancer, right? We’re just going to go with all of that because this hit my sweet tooth. It was so depressing seeing the winner who gained back so much weight. Clearly, though, he felt bad about it, too, so it’s hard to be upset with him.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter

Let’s just say, this bowl took a lot of work to figure out what to do with it, but I’m happy where I settled. I forgot how good and chocolatey(not to mention thick) the chocolate sunflower butter is. And probably a better choice at 10:30 than chocolate chips with my sugar tolerance(or lack thereof).

I set my alarm for 7 this morning. On a holiday–why’d I do that? To run, of course. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen but it was actually reasonably warm and I felt refreshed with only 8 hours of sleep. I grabbed a bar for the run.

 

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

What a delicious way to start Thanksgiving 🙂 I ate 3/5ths of it on the run and then never needing the last bit. I ended up doing 10.55 miles–my longest run outside! The course was completely new to me; they demolished a bridge near my house which pretty much eliminated as options all my longer runs but I figured out a new course that worked perfectly. I came home to a house already smelling of food–love that. I got a touch creative with breakfast:

 

Pumpkin Yogurt With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nog Cream Cheese Frosting, Peanut Oikos

Ok, I’ll admit it, I used the microwave for the oats and I don’t regret it because this bowl was perfect. The frosting, which I dreamed up on the run, really made it; the recipe is 1oz greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon Silk Nog with 3 drops vanilla liquid stevia. I wouldn’t give such precise measurements if I weren’t convinced those are the measurements of the Greek Gods. It’s sweet but not so much that you lose the cream cheese, and it’s entirely seasonal.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Now I’m kicking back, watching The Parade with Pikachu just having floated by. My relatives are coming in just 2 hours! I’m so excited, even though I realize the 2 little cousins will probably have me tearing my hair out of my head by the end of the day, haha.

 

NuNaturals giveaway! I think they’re stevia taste the purest(and this is coming from someone who, from time to time, nibbles on his plant).

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A Crisp Autumn Day

Posted on November 2, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Sidenote* A good friend noted that my vegan pumpkin pumpkin butter brownies were not actually vegan as TJ pumpkin butter has honey in it. Thankfully, I wasn’t baking for any vegans, but take note of that if you plan on trying them. Otherwise, enjoy.

Today really is crisp! I don’t think we’ll hit 60 degrees 😦 But I’m talking about yesterday for now. Yesterday, it didn’t really look like running weather when I woke up. It looked like baking weather. I “prefueled” with a couple cups of decaf and made an awesome breakfast: Vegan Apple Crisp. I found a recipe I used to make great and simple apple crisp 2 years ago; I just swapped out the butter *shudder* for organic smart balance vegan butter spread *slightly-less-of-a-but-still-a-shudder*. I’m still not down with the butter thang. And it’s definitely not a health thing because even the “healthy alternative” gives me the willys. I think I should see a psychiatrist on this butter thing(that was sarcasm. I have better ways to spend 100 dollars in an hour). It came out beautifully.

November 1st 001

Vegan Apple Crisp

It has whole grains and fruit, so it was good enough for breakfast.

Vegan Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Oikos With Milk Chocolate PB Cup

Vegan Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Oikos With Milk Chocolate PB Cup

I needed candy to cure my Halloween hangover–you know how that goes. I loved having time to catch up with tivo and do some homework. I think the people on Top Chef were reacting a bit too strongly to having to cook for Natalie Portman, a vegetarian. Anyone remember on Top Chef Masters when they cooked vegan and gluten free? That was a challenge. I might have had some more of this,

November 1st 004

Vegan Apple Crisp

so that by 11 o’clock the pan looked like this

November 1st 008

Vegan Apple Crisp Pan

To my knowledge, I was the only one who had eaten this yet. Thank god I’m a runner, and don’t bake this every day 🙂 More specifically, I’m a runner who ran 10.05 miles in 1:20:53. It felt so nice and crisp out, but my stomach was a little full. Still that was a great pace for my neighborhood and I’m surprised I kept it up the whole way. I showered for lunch when we got back, and we had a very squashy meal.

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Baked Pumpkin

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Baked Pumpkin

My mom baked a whole pumpkin along with the rest of the meal. It was fun to scoop but I was not a fan of the hard seeds and we all agreed it was very tart. Oh, Libby, teach us your ways of pumpkin! Even though there were 4 potatoes roasted, I opted for one cooked in the microwave. I love the chewier texture, it makes it feel not like baby food(which I already eat for every other meal of the day). Before leaving home for one epicly long trip back to Campus, I served myself a couple scoops of one of my favorite frozen yogurts.

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Holy cow’s milk frozen yogurt is this stuff good. When you let it sit just to the point where it’s starting to melt and lick it, it tastes just like a frothy milkshake. I also like that it’s a bit richer because of a touch of cream but still has decent nutrition, and all natural pronounceable ingredients.

First on our stops was Target to look for Vanilla Cranberry peanut butter: no luck 😦 I didn’t even go in because I didn’t want to get distracted so I just had my dad check for me. After that we did the Whole Foods thang for a couple yogurts and some steak sauce. Across the way was Market Basket for some more yogurt and waffles. I really wanted chocolate vitatops but all they had were bluebran and banana nut. I was tempted to buy the banana nut just out of compulsion but resisted because I knew it wasn’t what I really wanted. There was a quickie snack in the car to ward of crankiness.

November 1st 015

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

This definitely helped get past the chocolate disappointment. But then I remembered that the Stop And Shop near campus had a very large selection of vitatops and actually sold them at a decent price. No place is better than Market Basket, but Stop And Shop certainly beats the other options near me. We swung by there and I found them 🙂 That Stop And Shop would be a great option for me to get food at cheaper more often; unfortunately it’d be about a 2 mile walk and through some rough parts of Providence 😦 I’d rather be safe and poor than save a few bucks only to get mugged. When we got back, I had plenty to put away, including all the new stuff we’d boughten.

Groceries

Groceries

Did I mention there’s a 2 dollars off 2 Oikos coupon on Facebook and Oikos at Market Basket is a dollar each? Aka, free Oikos. Score. Nothing else was free, or really on sale… At least I’ll be eating well 🙂 What was not well was finding mold in my apple butter!

November 1st 019

Moldy Apple Butter

Serves me right for eating this about once a month. How ironic, too, that I just picked up one yesterday to bake with and left it at home. I’ll grab it next weekend or something. I was going to spread it on this english muffin, but peanut butter just had to do.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

Who am I kidding? There was always going to be peanut butter; now there was just more of it. This held me over for catching up on The Office(I know, I know, I’m really behind). Thankfully, it also held me over through “dinner”. I met with my friend at The Ratty, which was good because we’d lost touch since Wednesday or so. What wasn’t good was any of the options on the lines. Rather than try to make a meal that wouldn’t have satisfied me, we just sat and talked while he ate. ‘Twas fun, but I was a bit more than ready to make something I’d eat when I got back to my dorm.

Flamegrilled Gardenburger, 2 Scrambled Eggs With Mushrooms And Light Cheese, Broccoli, TJ Ketchup

Flamegrilled Gardenburger, 2 Scrambled Eggs With Mushrooms And Light Cheese, Broccoli, TJ Ketchup

This was soooooooo worth waiting for. I’ve never understood why people put eggs and mushrooms together until I tried it; this was deliciously meaty yet savory, and the cheese made it feel rich. I love Trader Joe’s ketchup with just about anything savory. It’s not quite as sweet as it is vinegary so the flavor works a bit better I think. And as if I didn’t eat my fair share of veggies yesterday, a veggie burger surely helped. Meals like this make me think I really don’t need the dining hall and could probably eat just fine off a meal plan and for less money. Because there wasn’t enough funky flavor in my life, I made this for The Amazing Race.

November 1st 004

So Delicious Plain Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, And A Milk Chocolate Neman's PB Cup

 

Sorry, I’ll stop doing this combo when it stops being so good. That’s not happening anytime soon? Shucks. The list of ingredients in “plain” soy milk is kind of funnily long but it still has that beloved soy flavor, which goes really well with the sweetness of the peanut butter. I was slightly disappointed with last night; my plan for the weekend was to have all my homework done Saturday so I could work on the 3(yes, 3) essays for Greek History, but Greek the language was a time whore that required far too much of my attention. Maybe we should all be thankful to speak and understand the one language we learn as a baby? Yeah, good plan.

Oatmeal With Semisweet Baking Chips And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Semisweet Baking Chips And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

 

I realized I hadn’t had oatmeal all day. What was wrong with me? Clearly, this bowl needed to be made in a jiffy. Butter I may not do, but Naturally Nutty’s Butter Toffee Peanut Butter is a clear exception. I have not seen this enough around the blogosphere and can’t help but wonder porque? If you’re nervous about making the step from a super market PB stalker to an online PB predator, it’s understandable, but take my word and just go for it! You won’t be disappointed. Don’t even make the mistake of ordering sampler jars on flavors that sound incredible like I did my first time because you’re only going to have to reorder that much sooner.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Oikos "Frosting"

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Oikos "Frosting"

One of the things grocery shopping has taught me is to know what to budget on and what can be your special splurge. Do I need that box of granola bars because it’s a different flavor than the one I have? No. And they’ll taste the same now as the day I have a coupon and they’re on sale. Somethings, on the other hand, make sense to treat yourself with, like these. They’re obviously wholesome and healthy(and vegan, too!), and they work out to be decently priced(1.10 a roll), so I don’t mind “splurging” on these from time to time. Brothers & Sisters was, as always, great last nice. I liked Balthazar Getty’s appearance but it looks like he’s going as quick as he came back.

I had set my alarm for 7, then brought it back to 6:40 because of the extra hour. I actually woke up before that and didn’t need it. It was light out, too, so I wasn’t fumbling to make coffee in the dark–oh joy! I had a ghoulish snack.

November 1st 013

Trader Joe's Ghoulie Gummies

I completely forgot about these for Halloween! They still tasted as good. Just a warning to anyone thinking of picking them up: They are all-natural but they aren’t vegetarian because they use animal gelatin. First I was thinking 8 for this morning, but then that turned to 10, and then 12. I can’t say I know quite how that happened because they were definitely not an easy 12, but I felt determined and wasn’t about. I think that run had me wanting sugar when I got back, because for breakfast I used a good amount of it in my favorite form.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup, Oikos With Maple Syrup And Crunchy Maple Sunrise Cereal

Maple! I’m thinking I should ask my grandparents for some high-quality maple syrup for Christmas or Thanksgiving. They’re from middle-of-no-where, NH so they probably have a neighbor who makes his own or something. My grandpa was once on PBS for being a lumberjack for over 40 years 🙂 Right now the one I’m using is from the Dedham Whole Foods but it won’t be around for long! I love the new Nature’s Path Organic maple cereal, which I still need to review. I think it comes out this month so keep an eye out for it!

Speaking of Nature’s Path… Nature’s Path Giveaway!

 

 

Chobani Giveaway! Over at Abby Has Issues

Who doesn’t want some hot chocolate in their life for the cold season? Check out this giveaway.

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Healthy Is Not My Word

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

First off, huge news on the nut butter front! Naturally Nutty has just released a new line of seed butters! I had the great fortune of trying the Pepita Sun Butter and I promise you it is one of the best I’ve ever had. I was so excited I’ve already placed orders for some of their new products as of last night, so go on over to the site and give them a looksie.

Ok, enough excitement and good morning. Thanks to the long weekend I got not one but two great nights of sleep in a row. Boy that has me feeling rested. Like I mentioned, yesterday we were heading off to Maine in the morning. I am completely incapable of packing light for wherever I go:

Study Bag

Study Bag

Yeah, let’s just say I don’t get much on the times I come home except what I do in the car. That’s one of the things I’ve hated about the past few weekends; I feel like I always fall behind and by the time I get back on campus I’m rushing like a mad man. Anyway, I packed plenty of dead languages, a couple bars, and my camera. Along the drive I got a bit snacky and came across the perfect time to try this:

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

This was another one of the goodies Nature’s Path Organic sent my way, and let me just say: wow! I had not had a Nature’s Path bar before at all so this was very new to me. The nutrition, look, and ingredients were all along the same lines of an Odwalla bar so that’s what I was comparing it to in my mind. At first I didn’t think it looked chocolatey or orange, but each bite had a great zest to it which made the flavor distinct. There were also plenty of chocolate chips as well as bits of soynuts which added a great crunch to the texture. The size was personally a bit bigger than what I look for in a bar, but it also helped to hold me over longer. There was a good bit of added sugar, but overall it was a tasty and nutritious bar that I wouldn’t mind buying again.

When we got there it was about 1 and all the appetizers were out. I’m not an appetizer person; I’d really rather sit down with a plate full and eat. I did, however, contribute the cumin cheddar from the farmers’ market:

Cumin Cheddar

Cumin Cheddar

It seemed to be a hit. My family is definitely more into crackers than chips–what’s up with that? Well people got moving surprisingly fast for my family and by 1:45 the lunch had came. If you guessed lobster would be on my plate, you were right:

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

I also had an unpictured salad with Newman’s Own Honey Mustard dressing when I realized there really wasn’t enough on the table for me. Lobster is a bit overrated if you ask me, but it feels fun to eat because of all the hype. There were also mussels but that’s one sea creature I can not get my mind around eating; it’s just too weird. After lunch we had the 90 minute getting ready for dessert period which always happens. With 2 young cousins and an entire family who need ADD pills when it comes to conversation, things don’t get moving so fast. Which is a shame because they also like ice cream cakes that manage to turn into mush by the time they want to eat them. I caught this little tyke red handed:

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Like I said, 90 minutes and 90 candles later we were ready to sing Happy Birthday.

Birthday Cakes

Birthday Cakes

Enter joykill moment of the day: My family, although I’m sure they try, really don’t “get” me and why I eat what I eat or even just what I eat. There’s a major assumption on my grandmother’s part that I only eat “healthy” and shun sugar. She even mentioned having a “special sugar-free dessert” for me which she thankfully never brought out or up again. Let me say it straight: Not now or ever do I claim to be a healthy eater. That isn’t my aim or focus. I’m all about eating natural, and I assure you natural can be just as unhealthy as laboratory food. I actually shun the word “healthy”. Does it sound fun? Not at all. I would much rather be “healthy” in the sense of sane and happy than any of its other meanings. So yes, in a sense when I didn’t have either of the cakes, which were made from a box and frosted from a can, I was avoiding them. But I was avoiding their absolute artificialness and not their nutrition; had they been made from scratch with wholesome ingredients like I believe in I assure you I would have had half a cake myself. Unfortunately, it’s easier to find stuff like that for me from my Whole Foods than my family. Well this is what I actually did end up having:

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

This was not healthy. Dessert shouldn’t be healthy. This was tasty and joyful–that’s my kind of dessert. The Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies were a HUGE hit with the family; like I mentioned, my cousin’s deceased grandmother used to make some amazing ones for us and they were really happy to have these as a sort of notalgia to those cookies. I was equally pleased to break into the TJ pumpkin spice whoopie pies we picked up. They were good, but a bit too sweet for me. I wasn’t really in a sweet-tooth mood at the time, so 1/2 of one was more than enough to satisfy me. I think I liked the ones from Whole Foods a bit better because those had a cream cheese filling; if you’re going to get fat from dessert, you might as well be eating fat instead of sugar(tasty, tasty fat :-P).

We managed to escape say our goodbyes by 5, which was good because I had light for most of the way home to catch up on work. Unlike other people who actually did eat half a cake, I didn’t so I needed a little boost on the way back:

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

This was perfect in the sense that it hit my peanut butter tooth. All my grandparents had was original Skippy(so happy to have at least weened my dad off that stuff). But unfortunately it didn’t fill me up very well and I was pretty cranky by the time we got back into my town. On the one hand, all I wanted to eat was lentils and beans to actually feel full for once in the day. On the other hand, time was a factor. By only some good grace, I managed to find a vegan 365 chili in the back of our cupboard; I know no one else bought this so I assume it was something I grabbed over the Summer and just completely forgot about. Well, it certainly made my night and my meal:

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

Thank you, fiber. This was a gala apple, which was a bit too sweet to work with the mustard as good as a tart apple. But trust me, the combo does work. I would be lying if I said some apple didn’t find it’s way into the chili and I liked it. It’s all pretty much about earthy flavors so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it worked out. Thankfully my inbox was pretty empty after being gone for the day. My google reader? Not so much.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching The Food Network(why oh why don’t I get this in my dorm?) and catching up on The Next Iron Chef. Any love for this show? I liked it on principle, but honestly I don’t know if any of them seemed like a true Iron Chef to me; it’s pretty hard to rank any cook along the lines of Bobby Flay and Cat Cora except maybe the other Food Network stars who are a bit too famous to do a show like this. I digress from the food of course.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

I love my self rule about 2 probiotic sources a day because it gives me an excuse for things like this 🙂 I used 365 peanut butter because it’s nice and runny so it gets onto the frozen yogurt well. Personally, I’ve always been more of a vanilla and peanut butter person, especially with ice cream; I think a good chocolate overpowers the peanut butter but a good vanilla works right at its level to make a great overall product. After this, I had to get a little nutty 😉

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Just when I thought those cinnamon raisin yeast rolls couldn’t get more amazing, I added this. Let me explain how this jar got into my possession, or rather my dad’s. He placed a large order a few weeks ago, and the company had run out of labels for the Vanilla Peanut Butter Jar. No biggy, he still got the flavor, but the company is so nice overall that to apologize they sent him that before it was released. It’s only by pure luck it wound it’s way into this nutty characters hands. And let me tell you, it was ah-mazing. It reminded me a lot of the pepita sun butter except a little less french toasty and a little more subtley sweet. Have I mentioned since finding these online last night I’ve already ordered 15oz jars of Pepita Sun, Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower, and Chocolate Sunflower? Clearly I didn’t like it so much I had to have it again:

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Just because I don’t like the word “healthy” doesn’t mean I don’t think about things like nutrients and vitamins, which felt a little low at the end of the day. Low on vitamins and sunflower butter on the brain? This was the perfect snack for the drama of Brothers & Sisters.

Thank you to all the New Englanders who gave me props for running yesterday. Trust me: I wouldn’t have gone out if I had any clue of how freaking cold it was. This morning I definitely learned my lesson.

Coffee

Coffee

So a little low on the breakfast front as of yet. It has a spoon in it, so it counts as food, right? I’ll come up with something I’m sure. Fun fact: I drink decaf. Always. And yet I swear I need it to get up in the morning. At this point I think it’s more mental, because if I just have water I know I can’t get up and go as good as with some joe. Anyway, I’m starting to get a little hungry so time to experiment in the kitchen.

Hey It’s Tay is having

a giveaway

so say

yay!

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A Trip Well Worth It

Posted on October 4, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So I entirely thought I posted this at 9am. Guess not. Here was my life up until that point, if ya’ll still interested(and yes, there was froyo ;-))

If there’s one thing I hate it’s being behind and/or rushed in the morning. So you can imagine how I was feeling about running 90 minutes later than normal, for a longer time than normal, and expecting to be picked up before lunch–Go, go, go! That’s another good thing about muffins for breakfast: they move with you better than oatmeal. Despite the pandemonium, I had breakfast in me and was out of the dorm by noon. On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods to get something for dinner as well as lunch. My dad didn’t think I’d be hungry after having just shoveled a muffin and yogurt down. Really? Me? Of course I was up for attacking the food bar. If anything I dislike how many choices there are because I could be there for ages reading every sign, but in the end I stuck with something simple:

Brown Rice Tuna Sushi, Buffalo Tofu, Broccoli

Brown Rice Tuna Sushi, Buffalo Tofu, Broccoli

Someone please remind me the last time I had sushi? I’m sure it’s on the blog, but it’d definitely be more than a month back. Let’s not let that happen again, k? I forgot how good slightly sweetened rice and soy sauce(aka liquid salt :-)) could be with a little fish. The fish was actually one of the weirder parts; the first 4 pieces were nice and soft but the last few were a bit tough and chewy. I mean, it is supermarket sushi after all, so I don’t know how great I was expecting. I also love eating the ginger straight. Anybody else do that? The tofu was decent but I wasn’t feeling anything fried at the time so I passed those off to my dad.

When I got home I was literally dropped off and left to my lonesome; my dog had a haircut appointment so I had mi casa to myself. First I discovered this in the cupboard:

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce

Remember how disappointed I was when I couldn’t find the caramel sauce I put back at the Dedham Whole Foods? Someone in my family who reads the blog took the hint and was so nice enough as to pick this up when he saw it 🙂 How sweet. I love me some good caramel/apple/peanut butter action and this has just 4 simple ingredients so it’s basically a necessity for the Fall. I also found this in the fridge:

Chobani Yogurt

Chobani Yogurt

Last month I won a contest at Heather Bakes for one of every flavor of Chobani and it finally arrived this Friday. When I opened it, it wasn’t quite 1 of every flavor; there were about 9 or so with some missing and some duplicates. But that’s ok because there were 2 pineapple flavors which are my favorite. I can’t wait to bring these back to the dorm. 9 yogurts will last me… through Wednesday, haha. After finding all this I got down to business.

Priority number 1: Ice cream

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

You must have seen this coming, right? I mean, a whole freezer loaded with ice cream without the potential of it being stolen. And, c’mon, it’s me 🙂 I love the chocolate because it tastes almost fudgey. It has so much cocoa powder in it it has 2 grams of fiber per serving. Ridiculous much? Ok, well that was off the to-do list

Priority number 2: Bake

Again, how could I not? And I knew just the perfect recipe. Holly, Miss Everythingtarian, came up with the most amazing sounding Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies, recipe here. Done drooling? K, good. I altered the recipe slightly by dropping the canola oil to 1/4 cup and sugar to 1/2 cup. Apparently, Holly doesn’t just make recipes that taste great, but she makes recipes that come out looking amazing too. Check out these beauties:

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Amazing. I might have gone a little overboard on the rolling of dough in sugar so that it all evened out in the end. Oh, and with the spices, too. Has anybody actually measured those out, ever? Didn’t think so. The moment these came out, the house filled up with people again. Here was my dog, sans hair:

Montana

Montana

He’s a bit of a hell raiser so they don’t try to do something fancy to him, just shave him down. I think it makes him look like a rodent–a cute rodent only an owner can love. He was not getting a cookie, but I was:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie

I only used 30g oats and 1/3 cup pumpkin because I figured the rest would be in the cookie. This recipe absolutely knocked my socks off. It’s healthy yet absolutely sweet and delicious, and nice and soft and chewy like I like my cookies. Have I gushed about these enough? Didn’t think so. I’ll continue to do so through the week. My hats off to Holly, who in all this craziness I forgot to mention is running a marathon this weekend. She does it all, folks. I caught up with a lot of house flipping and cake acing with my Tivo, and even managed a little(just a little) homework in all of that. Soon enough it was dinner time:

Salmon With Soyaki, Corn With Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese, Broccoli

Salmon With Soyaki, Corn With Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese, Broccoli

Believe it or not, I did fundamentally want salmon tonight for some reason. I feel like having the same thing every time I come home is a bit boring. HOWEVER, it was still on sale, and no one in this family can deny a bargain, so salmon it was. And I certainly can’t say I was complaining, especially with a little Trader Joe Island Soyaki sauce on the plate. We were actually supposed to have Trader Joe basmatti rice to go along with this but after it cooked it was not appetizing to me. Strange because I’ve had their boxed basmatti rice before and really liked it. Thankfully, the corn in the microwave method was a quick sub-in.

Last night’s primetime TV was a little down if you ask me. Food Network had a marathon of The Next Iron Chef, which I’d never seen before but wasn’t terribly exciting since I could predict Michael Symon being the winner. Instead I had a little excitement with food.

Vanilla Elan Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla Elan Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla 🙂 Doesn’t get more exciting than that? I just love this vanilla because it actually tastes like there’s something to it. And when it melts and you like it it’s reminiscent of a vanilla milkshake from a Johnny Rockets or somewhere–so good.

Greek Yogurt With Muffin Bottom And Vanilla Stevia

Greek Yogurt With Muffin Bottom And Vanilla Stevia

I really enjoyed that yogurt from this morning and felt like I ate it way too fast so I wanted to enjoy it again. I didn’t even do anything with the muffin top this time; I just chopped off the butt, stuck it in the microwave, and crumbled it into my yogurt. Again, delicious. It tastes just like carrot cake yogurt. Got any muffin butts you don’t want? I’ll take them off your hands. I tried watching TV shows online but I think Google Chrome has made my internet run a little slower lately. Anyone else experiencing this? Ah well, I had an english muffin with some spread overload to top it off while the computer wasn’t working.

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Gingerbread Cream Cheese

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Gingerbread Cream Cheese

I was planning on making a nice cookie spread but nothing appealed to me except the cookie dough peanut butter so I just added a bit extra of that and called it a night. I know it wasn’t even a full 2 tablespoons, but it felt like a ton since the surface area of the english muffin was so small; I swear I had full mouthfuls of peanut butter–not complaining. The cream cheese was Archer Farm’s Brand so I think it must have been all natural? All I know is it had a ton of confusing ingredients and didn’t agree with my stomach 100% but was pretty damn delicious.

This morning I fully planned for it to be raining and for me to be forced for into a rest day; I was a little confused when my planning for rain didn’t happen. What I don’t have that power? I thought it over and decided to take the rest day anyway even though I could have got some good running on my home streets. Instead I did what Sunday morning’s best for: circulars and breakfast.

Pumpkin Oats In A Butter Toffee Jar

Pumpkin Oats In A Butter Toffee Jar

My first experience with oats in a jar a few months ago didn’t go so well, but this time it was perfect. The jar was just the right size to be overflowing with oats, and I think there was just the right amount of peanut butter left. I had left this behind when I went off to college in September for my dad to try and he actually liked it so much he ordered his own, bigger jar. That’s only proof that anyone who tastes this just falls in love with it. I also had one of the pineapple Chobani I won to round it off.

Now I’m sitting here, catching up on last nights SNL. Was it just me or did the Philips Family Feud sketch fall a little flat and was in bad taste? Ryan Reynolds is a pretty funny guy, but I don’t know that he’s a sketch comedy person.  I’m sure I should work on my first essay of the year *shudder* but the sun’s peaking out so a walk might be in order.

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We’re Drama People

Posted on September 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First off, I’d like to let the somebody in my house who reads this know I’m on to them 🙂 Dad, I’m guessing it’s you since you probably can work the browser history better, but clearly not well enough to make it so that I couldn’t find see my own self. Oh well, now I just can’t write anything too too bad about ya’ll.

Yesterday morning that sugar really had me pumping, so much in fact I took a walk down to Eastside Market to pick up another pint of black mission figs. That’s just too good a deal not to take advantage of again and again. Then I popped over to Whole Foods where I didn’t buy anything but I sure had fun browsing!

Swordfish Sample

Swordfish Sample

My school might not feed me fish, but my Whole Foods sure will. There was also some cheese I’d never heard of but was nice and sharp. Good cheese is something I’ve definitely been missing in college life, but I eat it so rarely and in such small amounts at a time it doesn’t make sense to buy any. I actually didn’t buy anything during this Whole Foods trip, just snacked on the freebies and dashed. I found the new Whole Deal for October/November(!!) which I was super excited to see hit shelves.I think I spent a little too long scoping out the freebies because by the time I had gotten back on campus, grabbed my lunch, and made my way into my dorm room it was 12:50.

Broccoli, Artichoke Vegetable Melange, White Bean Ragout, Roast Beef

Broccoli, Artichoke Vegetable Melange, White Bean Ragout, Roast Beef

As far as Ratty meals go, this is one I’d happily have more often. Roast beef was the main protein option; I don’t think you need as much as they encourage you to put on your plate but a sensible amount of meat as a side to a meal is always welcomed. The veggie option, which I had reserves about, was a white bean ragout with mushrooms and leak. It looked heavy but the nutritional info insured me it had a relatively low amount of fat and no butter. Overall this was really good. The mushrooms and white beans ad a real earthiness to them tat paired with the roast beef. I also like the artichoke melange, but got a sharp piece in my mouth–not so fun.

When I finished this my parents pulled onto campus, I hopped in the car, and we were off to foodie heaven:

Dedham Whole Foods

Dedham Whole Foods

If you remember my trip here at the beginning of September, you’d know that Dedham now has the biggest Whole Foods in New England. That picture does it no justice and captures about 1/20th of the store. This place is so big you can(and we did) spend well over an hour shopping each aisle. And look what I found:

Spooky Smores Z-Bars

Spooky Smores Z-Bars

It’s totally Fall now. I’d been looking for these forever and you readers who mentioned having found them were just more taunts until now. I did my little happy dance and loaded up the cart. Now do you believe me this was foodie heaven. If not, let me mention the amount of ridiculous add-ons it has that I’m now convinced should be in every Whole Foods:

Trail Mix Bar

Trail Mix Bar

Dessert Bar

Dessert Bar

You know, in case the walk in cheese cave, sushi bar, gelateria, winery, and massive bulk bins sections weren’t enough for you, maybe the trail mix bar and dessert bar might be. What do I mean when I say dessert bar? I mean they had full bread puddings, boston creme pies, strawberry shortcakes, AND carrot cake for you to scoop and buy by the pound. Normally, I can’t turn down a good carrot cake, but I didn’t have too much trouble passing up this one; to get it you had to scoop out your piece rather than cut, which made the whole thing really messy and disassemble.

This was pretty much where the day went from fun to just not. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to read about other people’s family drama(do people like that exist?), skip wayyyy ahead past the rant. Otherwise, strap in for some of the most pointless family bickering as of yet which was probably the result of how little sleep we’ve all gotten lately, my parents due to my dog who cries in the night and I because of my dormmates who drink during the night. as we proceeded to the check-out, my mom insisted we pay separately and that my items come out of my allowance. Umm, say whaaat? Obviously getting free groceries was not my ENTIRE point of coming home for the weekend, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. I think I was more insulted than anything, because I keep such good track of my allowance, expenses, and income; I even have a whole Microsoft document devoted to it. Well communication kind of broke down at this point while I put back all the fun stuff like 2 year old cheese and butterless, HFCS-less caramel sauce(which I’ve since resolved I must go back to a Whole Foods and buy with my money because Fall won’t be Fall without caramel apples).

The car ride home was more awkward than a fart in an elevator. A loud fart. I snacked on this to make try and calm my nerves at least:

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Honestly, I wasn’t in the right state of mind to properly review this bar. I definitely liked it, but in hindsight I can’t remember why. All that I was thinking about was how the day had played out so far. I mentioned being taken back to my dorm without going home, and gave it a lot of thought, even once we were in the driveway at my house. I went into my room to compose myself(which didn’t really work out) and then demanded to go back to school. The way I saw it, I came home to bake and have a good time with family, and the former wasn’t going to happen since I put back half of my baking supplies at Whole Foods and the latter just wasn’t happening. Now we were all crying for one reason or another and none of us particularly well at sharing our feelings. What can I say? We’ve watched way too many soap operas in our house and now we’re just turning into one. After really bad communicating, I ended up staying, which was probably the best decision for all. Enough drama for you? Because it’s enough for me. Here’s the loot I ended up paying for from Whole Foods:

Whole Foods Loot

Whole Foods Loot

Essentials, right? I got the 6 5 Spooky Smores bars, cream cheese(aka old faithful), vanilla sugar, raisins, Greek yogurt, honey(for baking), grain-sweetened dark chocolate chips, and chocolate hazelnut Whole Soy frozen yogurt. One of the things that convinced me to stay was a trip to Hannafords for the rest of my baking needs, but not before this:

Elan's Chocolate FroYo And Whole Soy Chocolate Hazelnut FroYo

Elan's Chocolate FroYo And Whole Soy Chocolate Hazelnut FroYo

Chocolate, meet chocolate hazelnut. I think you two are half-siblings, but you make a perfect marriage. How dramatic is that? In all seriousness, this frozen yogurt was AMAZING. It tasted exactly like liquid nutella. Not to mention it has a skim milk base so it’s light and airy and similar to soft serve when it’s slightly melted. It has decent nutrition(120 calories per serving) and actually less sugar per serving than real Nutella and no artificial flavors–chew lick on that.

We were out and back lickity split, or as least as lickity split gets with grocery stores and I. On the agenda was 2 recipes, the first of which being my Banana Goodness Bread:

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I switched up the original recipe a bit using some of the various baking products I’ve received for the blog. The first change I did was using 1/2 cup of NuNaturals special baking blend; this can fit into any recipe in a 1:1 replacement for sugar and adds fiber, not empty calories, to your product. The second change I made was adding 1/2 cup peanut flour instead of oatbran. In terms of recipe swapping, this was a bit of a mismatch. Oatbran adds structure whereas the peanut flour adds 24g protein and 6g fiber to the loaf, but I had hopes it would work. Dinner interrupted the baking magic.

Corn On The Cob, Broccoli, Salmon, Goat Cheese, 2 Year Cheddar

Corn On The Cob, Broccoli, Salmon, Goat Cheese, 2 Year Cheddar

Salmon was also part of the “please, won’t you stay” shpeal, but honestly it didn’t taste that great after all that went down. I felt like I should have swiped my dining hall card or payed for my portion to eat it, which was just absurd but where my mind was at. As soon as my loaf was out of the oven, my fig and almond blondies went in. The original is Veggie Girls’ and let me just say there’s someone who knows how to bake. Every time I see figs on sale, my mind goes to that recipe, and this week was no exception. When the whole gang was out of the oven, it looked like this:

Banana Goodness Bread And Fig And Almond Blondies

Banana Goodness Bread And Fig And Almond Blondies

And my plates looked like this:

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Spooky Smores Z-Bar, Fig And Almond Blondie, Blueberry Muffintop With Vanilla Almond Butter Creamcheese

Spooky Smores Z-Bar, Fig And Almond Blondie, Blueberry Muffintop With Vanilla Almond Butter Cream Cheese

I spent the night having “quality time” with my DVR. Oh how I miss some channels in college. I completely caught up on The Food Network shows–phew, right? On the snackage front, everything was amazing. I would have preferred a nice hot bowl of oats to the muffin but we have no oatbran in the house and a bowl of straight oats just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. The banana bread and fig and almond blondies came out perfectly despite all the distress surrounding them and I can’t wait to have them back in my dorm. And the spooky smores bar was PERFECT in my opinion. I can’t really compare it to the peanut butter or brownie because they’re all so different; I liked how this one had the graham base but with white chocolate specks inside that instantly gave a vanilla flavor –love at first bite. And I liked how the smooth chocolate drizzle melted with time and imposed itself as an after taste. I’m seriously stocking up on these before the season’s over.

Sleep last night was pretty amazing. I had a deep, full nights worth. And I had one of those long, intricate dreams which feel like I glimpse of the past and future with all these people, some who you recognize obviously but some who you can’t help but feel you’ll see on the street someday. Don’t you love sleep like that? Unfortunately, this morning I also woke up to this:

Rain

Rain

A bit unfortunate that my rest day coincides with the day I’m back on my old running turf but necessary nonetheless. Even though I’m not running, my metabolism’s pretty much running the same, so I plan on DVRing it until hunger strikes, probably around 9. Now if you’ll excuse me, this grandpa couldn’t stay up for SNL last night so he needs to get caught up.

BTW–If you loved drooling over my Vitatops, you’ll love even more the giveaway over at Busy Mom. head over there to win a HUGE vitasampler!

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I Go To College, But I Don’t Learn

Posted on September 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday morning I achieved a lot before 11am, we talked about actual Latin poetry instead of sexual themes in class, and things went equally well once I got back into my dorm; isn’t life boring when it’s not hectic? I’ll try to fix that by completely forgetting to put on my pants next time or something(which, in the right state of mind, I could see myself doing). Well things didn’t go so honky-dory come lunch time. It was another one of those times where nothing in the lunch room was appealing at all, so I had to go back to my room to fix up a lunch and take to my next class:

Steamed Broccoli, Mixed Chinese Vegetables, 1/2 Sweet Potato And Cinnamon, 1/2 Tuna Avocad Cream Cheese Sandwich

Steamed Broccoli, Mixed Chinese Vegetables, 1/2 Sweet Potato And Cinnamon, 1/2 Tuna Avocad Cream Cheese Sandwich

Fact: Steaming broccoli from the salad bar in my microwave is now my favorite thing. Fact: Baby corn is entirely adorable and edible and there was a 99% chance those veggies were frozen from Green Giant but they were still good. Fact: I discovered I can feed my cream cheese addiction with tuna sandwiches now; watch out, tuna. Fact: Sweet potatoes will now be a staple in my dorm eats since a little time in the microwave with some salt and cinnamon makes them ridiculously good and convenient eats.

Maybe it’s a good thing I’m such a picky eater in the cafe because I end up making uber healthy and delicious things for myself in my dorm; I just am not a fan of the whole putting it together thing. I’m lazy, what can I say? Greek history was torture but not for the reason that it usually is. Stupid me did not wear a coat and had to sit near an open window which made the whole class a bit of the shudders. I had to–fun use of the phrase “had to” here–buy a decaf coffee before epic poetry to dethaw. That made the next class all the more pleasant and I was happily back in my dorm, nice and snug, afterwards. That happiness lasted about 30 minutes until I discovered this:

My Ice Creams

My Ice Creams

Noticing anything missing? Well, I wouldn’t really expect you to. But see, if my beloved Elan Decaf Cappuccino were still in existence, she’d be nestled in between those two. Apparently it happened again that someone ate my FroYo, which was clearly named and even had a little extra duck tape around the top that should have said “Don’t touch me, you scalliwager”. *Sigh* I didn’t learn from my first experience and I let it happen again–what a fool. Well clearly I need to rethink a bit. I sent an email to my RC because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do, but I don’t expect much more than a “that’s college” right back at me, because that is college. Well that made this about 10 times less enjoyable:

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

That being said, 10 times less is still pretty damn enjoyable. This one was way lower on the snickerdoodle cookie dough balls, which didn’t surprise me because I had an unholy amount in my last cup. There’s still a tiny bit left but I hope to finish it before the thieves and pirates usurp it. I kept with the cookie dough theme throughout the afternoon:

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

I think I went 4 days not having this peanut butter? That’s too long. And see those little white specks on top? No. My camera wasn’t dirty nor was the bowl; that’s a bit of the vanilla sugar I picked up at the Dedham Whole Foods last month. It didn’t really add much because I used so little, but it felt delightfully special 🙂 I almost did homework on a Friday afternoon. Can you imagine that? Thankfully video games whipped me into my senses and lasted me until dinner. Tonight, baked pollock was on the menu at the V-W, an eatery across campus.

Baked Pollock, Green Beans With Mozzarella, Vegan Dahl, Broccoli And Beets

Baked Pollock, Green Beans With Mozzarella, Vegan Dahl, Broccoli And Beets

It was definitely a bit far, but I would walk 10,000 miles and I would walk 10,000 more just to be the man for fish. It was so good and refreshing after going so long without my salty friend. Speaking of salt, I think I dumped half the shaker and squeezed a whole lemon over it, which made it that much more fishtacular. The green beans with cooled mozzarella I was not feeling, so I grabbed broccoli and beets from the salad bar. I have a fear when eating raw broccoli that it’s going to take 10 years to digest on its own, so I chew it about 100 times legit. Is that weird? Don’t answer that. I also tried Dahl which I still don’t understand exactly but it was good; it had chickpeas, rehydrated raisins, and a blend of spices that tasted a bit like cardamom. It was definitely something I’d have again.

On the way back I picked up some of my favorite, fair trade decaf coffee from the bookstore. Note: If you order decaf past 7, you’re going to get a fresh pot made for you, and you’re going to feel special. It’s great, trust me. I had to make a phone call to wish my cousin Happy 8th Birthday. Apparently, at 8, I’m cool enough that he’ll put down the Star Wars book to talk to, but just for a few seconds. I still have the 3 year old on my side though. I sat down to watch Ghost Whisperer and had one of the greatest “parfaits” known to man:

Plain Oikos With Peanut Flour, Flaxseed, Vanilla Stevia, And Brown Sugar

Plain Oikos With Peanut Flour, Flaxseed, Vanilla Stevia, And Brown Sugar

All right, maybe I do learn stuff in College, such as how to be creative with simple ingredients. If you think I’ve lost my food and fitness roots, I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sensible amounts of sugar. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with unsensible amounts of sugar, either, if it’s the difference between enjoying your food and eating it because you feel you need to. Especially when you’re adding the sugar and not buying a product that’s been premade to someone else’s idea of sweet and nutritious. And this all holds exceptionally true for those of us who exercise and run simply for the love of being active. We need calories, but every calorie doesn’t need to be nutritious. So long as sugar isn’t pushing the nutrients out of your diet but sitting alongside them, such as it is here with 22.5g protein, 3.5g fiber, and calcium, it’s a perfectly acceptable addition to your diet. That’s my 2 pennies in a pod on the subject.

I was so excited for the new season of Ghost Whisperer last night, like I said I’d be. I’m happy their baby came out fine, but I’m not sure how I feel about the whole skipping years thing. Even though they were never written or filmed, I feel like I’m missing something, and unsure of where the characters are now. It’d had been like if they skipped 5 years at the beginning of Friends and Monica and Chandler were suddenly married(hope I didn’t spoil that for anyone still catching up on their DVR). I made more snackage, and had an odd late night craving:

Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Chips And Cinnamon Raisin PB

Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Chips And Cinnamon Raisin PB

Orange Zevia

Orange Zevia

Zevia after dinner? This really had me feeling like a rebel without a cause. That was until I thought of all the people playing beer pong downstairs who will probably be doing so way after I go to bed. Not so rebellious there, Evan. I was also graving cinnamon raisin AND chocolate, so I tried throwing it all into some oats. Chocolate, raisins, and cinnamon? Not so much. But you need to experience the duds to find the winners.

This morning I slept through my alarm for 25 minutes. Talk about not like me; I guess the partying had a bigger effect on my sleep than I realized. I contemplated taking a rest day, but decided I was up and ready to run. It was cold out, but the gym doesn’t open until 9 on the weekend–How ridiculous is that? What better things do people have to do? Sleep? Nuhuh. Well I ran up and down North Providence with all the other local runners and it ended up being a nice time. I forgot what it really feels like to go somewhere instead of watching TV while you run. When I got back I did some arms and abs work and made a simple and very sweet breakfast:

10-Grain Sunflower Seed Bread With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Flax Yogurt With A Newman's Own Organic Hermit And Brown Sugar

10-Grain Sunflower Seed Bread With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Flax Yogurt With A Newman's Own Organic Hermit And Brown Sugar

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermit And Brown Sugar Granola

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermit And Brown Sugar Granola

We’re just going to call it a granola because it’s on top of yogurt; that’s what granola means, right? Again, sensible sugar makes my world go round, and why shouldn’t it after running 6.3 miles? Newman’s Own Organic Hermits are divine if you’ve never tried them and you absolutely must go get some. Equally divine yet less readily available is the Butter Toffee Peanut Butter by Naturally Nutty. On the Runner’s World forums, it’s been a recent hot topic about how much peanut butter we use on toast or oats. For myself, I’ll tell you that I usually use 1 tablespoon on my english muffins or oatmeal and that’s more than enough to suffice for me. For this bread, since it’s a bit larger per slice, I used 1 1/2 tablespoons which coated it nice. What about you? Do you have any amount you use or just load it on?

Alright, buckeroonies. Now that I’m wired on some sensible sugar, I have more energy than I know what to do with. There’s plenty in store for today, including a possible trip to foodies paradise. Any guesses where that is? You’ll find out soon enough.

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