Food Combining

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

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

Nectarine

Nectarine

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

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

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

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

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

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

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

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

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

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

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

My Verdict

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

A giveaway for WoW baked goods–I love these!

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Dinner Was A Boar

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning, all. And good thoughts towards all the runners out at Disney right now! I can’t believe I’m saying this but I do not envy them for being at Disney; it’s cold down there. If I wanted that I could be running around my neighborhood right now, haha. Anyway I didn’t post last night because I was… eating. So really, I was just doing my job 😉 Yesterday, Montana had a morning visit to the vet, and since we were in Bellingham we planned to buy groceries for the week then and there. Market Basket was crazy, however, and I didn’t feel like getting bumped by 10 people with shopping carts at lunch time before I ate well, or I might have been tempted to bump back… and hard. Instead I popped in Whole Foods to grab more chicken that’s on sale this week and organic raw almonds which are the same price as Whole Foods’ cheapest this week due to sales. Woot Woot! We got home a good 2 hours after leaving so I was famished for some lunch. I resisted the urge to throw everything in the microwave and gobble it down.

Tofu, Sweet Potato Rounds, And Brussles In Sweet And Salty Cashew Sauce

Instead, I threw it all in a frying pan and gobbled it all down 😉 No, but really, this was a lot better than I thought it would be and appreciated it more after the fact. I cooked soft tofu and sweet potato slices in a pan with tamari. Then I threw in steamed brussels and let it all brown. In a mini-processor, I blended 1/2 an oz cashews, 1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk, and 1/2 a tablespoon tamari for a quick sauce. I loved the sauce and how sweet it came out for something only nuts, unsweetened nut milk, and soy sauce. The whole dish was really nice and I didn’t even need to add salt(granted–there was half a bottle of wheat free soy sauce in there). I didn’t even realize it was vegan or gluten-free until after the fact. Go figure.

To compensate for the Market Basket fail that morning, we decided to go to a different one in the afternoon, mainly because this one has some awesome salsa we were trying to track down. I threw together a weird craving for the car ride.

Crushed Pineapple With TRUWhip

All I really wanted was pineapple. Finding out you can take frozen TRUwhip and let it thaw on its own for 5 minutes is some dangerous knowledge. Really, why’d I have to go there? This Market Basket was a little better; we actually got a parking spot! And we found the salsa, along with most everything on our list, which was basically vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables. This sight made me very happy when we had put everything away:

Counter Vegetble And Fruits

That’d be acorn squash, spaghetti squash, avocadoes, organic apples, bananas, and a rutabaga. And that’s just the ones we didn’t have to refrigerate! I’m going to eat vegtastically this week. I’m also going to start meal planning to keep leftovers moving in and out, so having a good sense of what there is will be really helpful. I definitely wanted something nutty and sweet to hold me over until dinner.

Pomegranate Pecan Bora Bora Bar

This bar was hit the spot; I won it from Averie’s giveaway and had never tried one before but figured the name said it all. It was pecan pomegranate, but weirdly I think cashews and cherries were larger ingredients than pomegranate.

For dinner, unfortunately, we did not tap into any of those vegetables 😦 Instead, we went out! 🙂 Today is my parents’ 23rd wedding anniversary. But it made more sense to go out on a Saturday night than one where they’d both have to work after, so we drove down the rode to Tomasso’s. We’ve been here probably 5 times now and I always find it such a local gem. When you walk in they have 12 food lessons from Michael Pollen posted, including “Eat local” and “Eat less, pay more”. It was so packed, we actually had to wait for a table for once. But soon enough we had sat down, picked out our orders, and got our appetizers.

Fried Polenta Stick, Marinated Roasted Root Vegetables

This was my appetizer plate, which I tried holding off on until my entree came but couldn’t resist fully. The vegetables were sooo good. I had a little more afterwards. Really, all it was was carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash, but they were roasted just right(needed salt, though). And that little thing would be the most dangerous and delicious food you’ll ever meet: fried polenta with sage.

Polenta Fries

As much as I tend to stay away from fried foods, I have no problem stealing one of these whenever we’re here 😉 It’s so much more than polenta and I’d love to know what they do. It tastes like there’s a good amount of parmesan cooked in the polenta, and maybe a little cream. I think the magic is in not knowing. For my entree, I couldn’t help but to go for the pasta special of the evening.

Housemade Butternut Gnocchi In Wild Boar Sauce

Where to start other than delicioso? The meat wasn’t grass fed; it was wild! 🙂 Who knows what it was doing before some hunter found it? It probably did a keg stand or two in its day 😉 I do normally like to portion 3oz of meat to truly appreciate what meat I do have, but I also know when a night out is a night out and if there’s 4 or 5oz of wild or organic meat on my plate, I’ma have to go for it. I ended up eating 2/3rds of the gnocchi and all the sauce. I’m not one for pasta but if you put a little vegetable in it, it ain’t half bad 😉 All in all, it was a good meal, which left me feeling full but not stuffed. And when we got home, I did a little detox.

Decaffeinated English Breakfast Tea

Because, in my head, having tea after anything essentially wipes the slate clean. Does anyone else work like that? It’s a good way to work. The majority of the night was spent between pajamas and a space heater. Sorry to say it, Floridians, but it’s still colder in the North no matter how bad it is down there. I thought I’d be fine with tea for the rest of the night. The rest of me thought otherwise, apparently.

Liberte Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate

Little known fact about me: I loooove goat’s milk. I’ve always found goat cheese so flavorful and tangy but we never have it in the house because it’s quite literally the 1 food in the world my mom won’t touch. Apparently, she doesn’t notice we have it when it’s in yogurt form 😉 Raspberry really compliments the natural flavor of the milk. And I’m really impressed with the nutritional info for this; sugar(or raspberry puree) is the last ingredient. That’s probably why it retains its tang. On top I had 3 squares of dark chocolate with raspberries in it, which doubled as an edible spoon 🙂 Goat’s milk obviously isn’t vegan, but it’s a good alternative for dairy sensitive people.

I went to bed a little earlier to fantastic results. I woke up with my alarm this morning and felt energized! As good as tea is to detox, a pumping workout is even better. I decided to revisit my “Count to 10” workout.

Stairs

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 sit-ups(I did 15)
  • Repeat 10 times

That had me feeling good. Next time, I think I’ll try 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups each time, which completely ruins the name but oh well. And yes, those are the stairs for those wondering. I’m not sure how many there are; maybe I should count next time? Breakfast was in my head the whole time.

Banana Oats With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter

Peanut Greek Yogurt With Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

I really wanted one of my biscotti 🙂 Yesterday at Market Basket, I bought 2 16oz yogurt containers instead of 5 individual ones, even though they basically worked out to the same price because it was “better for the environment”. As I’ve mentioned, I like the individual ones more, so the environment better send a thank you card >:-( Other than that, I repeated yesterday’s white chocolate cherry almond butter to try and get towards finishing that jar. It’s a fun flavor but I don’t think it’s one I’ll be ordering again; I have my own in plan 😉

Speaking of plan, this morning I’ve been making a meal plan for the week! Really, it’s just dinners that I’m doing in detail, and letting most other stuff fall where it may. I’ll post the weekly eats this afternoon. Can I say I’m drooling thinking about some of these?

A giveaway for probiotics(we all know how I love those).

Another giveaway for probiotics, this time Chobani!

And one for chocomize chocolate 🙂 Let’s not go into how much I love that


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Good Call/Bad Call

Posted on January 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good Call: Suggesting that, while my mother and grandmother go to the Linkin Park Casino, my dad take me to the Dedham Whole Foods, which is the largest in New England.

Bad Call: Not checking the batteries on the car DVD player or taking the car adapter before leaving the house for the 50 minute drive to the casino followed by the 40 minutes to Whole Foods. There was no energy left in the machine, which made me holding my copy of Gettyburg look rather silly.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Black Bean Brownie

Good Call: Grabbing a ziploc with 2 of these for snacks in case I got hungry. After 80 minutes in the car, I got hungry

Bad Call: Not taking a watch to time myself. I think we legitimately spent 90+ minutes in there. My mom and grandmother were probably happy with that, though, because they got to gamble more.

Full Wine And Beer Section

Good Call: Not bringing my mom and grandmom for this very reason. I’m guessing that this is where my dad was, too, for the time when he was “lost and looking for me”(It’s big but it’s not that big).

Good Call: Getting a coffee from a freshly brewed pot to “settle in”

“Meh” Call: The Whole Foods doesn’t really have that much different stuff than the other ones near me(once you get past the wine section, walk in cheese cellar, 4 rows of salad bar, and fresh butchery). That is, of course, except for the bulk bin section…

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Coarse Salish Smoked Alderwood Sea Salt

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Nutritional Yeast

Good Call: Hitting this up like it was nobody’s business. So many fun foodie finds! They really had a lot more I wouldn’t have minded trying but I controlled myself.

Good Call: Loading up on random proteins/vegetables/yogurts for the next 3 days of snow!

Cake Batter Gelato

Bad Call: This gelato(did I mention this Whole Foods has a gelatoria?). When is gelato ever bad? Well, it wasn’t; but it really wasn’t good either. It might as well have been vanilla.

Good Call: Giving the gelato to my dad and running back in for a good snack that’d last me the 90 minute drive home.

Voskos Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt With Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownie

Good Call: Going with a yogurt I’ve sampled and reviewed here and know I’d love and topping that with another brownie.

Bad Call: Mentally calculating that in 24 hours I ate 2 tablespoons cocoa, 2 tablespoons NuNatural baking blend, 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter, almost an egg, almost a serving of black beans, 1 1/4 serving of peanut butter chips, and an ounce of greek yogurt through these brownies(I was bored and it was a long drive).

Good Call: Demanding that we stop in Bellingham for an emergency bathroom break unless we had an empty bottle to do it Dumb & Dumber style.

Oh Nuts! Sweetened Dried Cranberries

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nuttzo And Craisins

Good Call: Making about the quickest and sweetest thing I could think of for dinner because I was starving by the time we got home. Naturally, that involved oats, which made sense because this was more like dessert time anyway. I thought I’d try these craisins from Oh Nuts! While I wanted something sweet and red; I wasn’t much a fan because they definitely weren’t tart but also didn’t have much flavor. Oh well, I think I just needed some form of sugar.

"Fun" Groceries

Good Call: Being a “grown-up” and paying for my own “fun” groceries, which included vanilla sugar, nutritional yeast, fancy salt, grain sweetened dark chocolate chips, and organic Bac’uns

Bad Call: Staying up till midnight the night before and dragging all night long. Why did I do that? Oh yeah, New Years.

Dark Chocolate Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips

Good Call: These little buggers as a snack. They aren’t the same as Sunspire brand I don’t think, because I’ve had those and they taste more like unsweetened milk chocolate whereas these are more like bitter dark chocolate.

Brussels Sprouts And Broccoli With Smoked Salt And Nutritional Yeast

Bad Call: Not eating much veggies all day. That wouldn’t be bad if I didn’t like vegetables, but I love them(especially green ones). So right before bed I heated up these leftovers and had them with yeast and my new salt. The yeast was OK; it didn’t really remind me of cheese except in mass quantities, but it had amazing nutrition to it.

Bad Call: Trying to go to bed before 11. My body just does not work that way. I’m too much a creature of habit.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Coffee

Good Call: Deciding to get back on the fitness horse after a few too many days of not. I made a pre-workout snack(which looks alarmingly like a breakfast but wasn’t) to make sure I’d be set for a good, long work out. The better thing about getting in a workout mindset is that the body starts getting into “regularity”.

“Oh my God” Call: Kind of how I felt after doing this

  • 50 standing lunges, 50 walking lunges
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 50 second crunch hold
  • 40 push-ups(messy)
  • 100 air kicks
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 70 standing marches/chest flexes
  • 240 alternating arm rotations
  • 40 squates
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 70 rowers arms
  • 40 second rower pose hold

Followed by 200 flights of stairs(a little more than an hour’s worth).

Good Call: Showering before breakfast, because I was sweaty as all hell.

Bad Call: Opening up the Strawberry Chobani that expired 10 days ago when I prefer plain anyway(stuck it back in the fridge; somebody will eat it).

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Gingerbread Peanut Butter And 1/2 A Ginger Molasses Cookie, 2% Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Good Call: Thinking no bowl of oatmeal is complete without peanut butter and cookies, and buying gourmet jams to use a little at a time with yogurt. Seriously, this all made my morning.

Bad Call: Taking so long to write up this post that I’m almost about to eat lunch and feeled semi-compelled to upload it though not planning to at all.

Bad Call: Worsening my chance of winning The Not So’s Vitatop Giveaway from Vitalicious by telling you about it.

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Playing Blogger Catchup

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes the day after Christmas can be just as exciting as the real thing itself. I started like any teenage boy the day after a present haul: playing my new wii game for an hour. Thank God for no responsibilities 🙂 By 8 at least I wasn’t the only one up so I started getting things done. Eventually, I worked up a breakfast that would get things out of the house.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal In A Mighty Maple Jar With Monkey Boy Peanut Butter

I think that’s going to be a theme this week: eating to make room. We have so many leftovers! I secretly love it 🙂 The brownies and yogurt was so so good; I love chocolate mint and that creamy texture so much. And since the yogurt was sweetened with stevia and the brownie erithrytol it was all naturally low sugar, too(ergo I could make out this was a “healthy” breakfast. The oats in a jar were long awaited and a perfect touch. I had hoped on getting out, cashing some checks, and doing shopping before lunch but I’m definitely the faster movie in this house and that did not end up happening. Instead, I made a breakfast of comfort foods.

Asparagus, Thinly Sliced Spoon Roast, Whole Wheat Mac N' Cheese

I may have steamed the asparagus too long, but they were still nice. The spoon roast really had to be eaten a few days ago and for some reason I had steak and mac n’ cheese in my mind. The best thing about a kitchen scale is definitely being able to portion out individual servings of the instant stuff from a family size box before cooking it(because, if I made the thing, I could definitely put it all away, too :-)).

Eventually, we did get rolling. First up was Target to use up some gift certificates. Did anybody else get a singing one from Target? They’re cute, but they’re about 1/2 an inch thick. And I got 3 of them. Can you imagine the wallet disaster that is? I was able to use up 2 and transfer what remained on the last one to a normal gift card. After that we went to the mall to return some stuff where I only was able to score more gift certificates 😦 And then to Macy’s to exchange my mini food processor for this.

Black & Decker Food Processor

I think I hit upon a mac daddy of food processors! It ended up costing me $43 more but I think it will be entirely worth it. Banana soft serve, chocolate avocado pudding, raw cashew cookies, my own nut butters! Really–this is opening doors. After that I grabbed a quick drink.

Yumberry Pomegranate Lifewater

And then we were off to Whole Foods. I asked for chocolate for Christmas but not a single square wound up in my stocking 😦 I planned on getting a milk chocolate bacon bar which I’ve been wanting to splurge on since the Summer but they were all out 😦 😦 I’m sure I’ll find it next time because the man said he’d order some for me(though I’ll probably just go to a different Whole Foods that I know always carries them).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

I grabbed my favorite “candy bar”. Seriously–these are too good to be healthy. When I got home it was time to put away my new “toys”(though I bet I’ll be breaking the food processor out pretty soon to play with).

Marvel T-Shirt, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Chocolate Bar, Season 1 I Love Lucy

From Target I got some things on my Christmas list: a new shirt to wear/run in, chocolate, and I Love Lucy on DVD. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been so aware that this show is never on TV anymore! Shame because it’s the best, don’t you agree?

My mom decided she needed to get out of the house for dinner. I decided I needed to stay in and eat “my food” for the first time in days. It all worked out and I got the run of the house for myself to play with. Naturally, I decided to turn to the oven and eat a meal probably no one would care about that they missed but me.

Maple Baked Tofu

Sweet Potato Maple Roasted Veggies Pie

There was definitely more maple syrup present here than at most breakfast tables because it was in the pie, on top, and all over the tofu. Scrumptious 🙂 I loved the real baked tofu; it’s 10 times more flavorful than the microwave. Unfortunately the back of the fridge froze the other half of my container and that got thrown away. And for “dessert” I had quick leftovers.

Cantaloupe With Sea Salt

Which were perfect with a little dessert fork. Tiny utensils are just the best. Christmas definitely threw me off because I had no idea it was Saturday night. But nothing ended up being on TV anyway 😦 Instead of pop in a movie I waited for parents to get home and watched Days, followed by more dessert.

Chocolate Soy Yogurt With A Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

I don’t even know how much cocoa powder and hand mixing it took to get soy yogurt that color and smooth but it was A LOT. I’ll definitely stick with plain chocolate yogurt from now on because of that and reserve soy yogurt for simpler things. These cookies still taste as good as ever. After this I was stuffed but had a HUGE craving for pecans, which I never get.

Oatmeal With Pecan Butter

This definitely put me over the top of fullness. But ’tis the season, right 😉 I can’t wait to make my own pecan butter with my food processor! I was actually planning on doing that at night, except I didn’t have any pecans… Definitely an ingredient fail.

This morning I had no motivation for anything. I stayed in bed for 40 minutes after looking outside to see the rain washed away most of the snow. Yuck. But when I felt guilty about not wanting to be active, I just kept in mind that they’ll be plenty of time for that in the future, and a day or a week or a month of pure laziness and joy should be well warranted.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Yogurt, French Toast Oatmeal

Also well warranted would be repeating the same yogurt from yesterday because it’s “healthy” and delicious and uses up leftovers. Can’t beat that logic, can you 😉 I think I need to get to making eggs the proper way again while I’m home but for the morning I like my oatmeal so this was a compromise. And now, of course, I’m looking for recipes to make with my new food processor and muffin top tins. If you have any at all, send them my way.

Would you believe the same blogger has a Newman’s giveaway, Vans Natural giveaway, Zevia giveaway, and Annie’s giveaway?

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Christmas 2009

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

Christmas Eve recap here.

I was definitely the kid who woke up early on Christmas morning and woke up everyone else around me so we could get to opening presents faster. I think I’ve grown since then because I let people sleep in until 8 now 🙂

Unwrapping Presents

We just did simple family presents between the 3 of us on Christmas morning. There was the obligatory scratch tickets.

Scratch Tickets

I won! But by now I forget how much… Oh well, the money is somewhere 🙂

Spreads And Spices

My parents know me so well. I’ve never tried Saratoga Peanut Butter before but my dad ordered some to try. The Catch Me If You Can flavor was invented by our very own Meagan! I’m glad I got it before it went off of the market.

Goji Cookies And Baking Pans

The Goji Gourmet cookies weren’t much of a surprise since I picked them out in NYC 🙂 But the vitatop pan will be fun to play with! Maybe I will rekindle my obsession with muffin tops but not bottoms.

Cuisinart Mini Prep

And I got a food processor! Sort of. Any one have experience with this model? I know Cuisinart is a good brand because I have some of their other appliances. But I might return this one and take some of the money I got from Christmas to buy a more expensive model. I think opening presents is way more fun than working out 7:30-9:00 😉 But afterwards I was ready for breakfast.

Eggnog Greek Yogurt With TRUwhip

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Gingerbread PB, And A Ginger Molasses Cookie

TRUwhip at breakfast is totally OK at breakfast on Christmas if it’s over a seasonal yogurt. The Catch Me If You Can peanut butter was really good! Go Meagan! I loved the way the ginger and the molasses played together–yum! At 11 we packed up to go to my dad’s family, who live in Concord, New Hampshire. It’s only a 90 minute ride and honestly it felt like we were there sooner than ever. When we walked in we were greeted, and with food.

Snack Spread

The spread was so good; there was even Kettle Chips and Food Should Taste Good chips! Rather than not fill up on chips, though, I chose some of the “healthier” food items.

Blackberries And Cantaloupe

I can not resist fresh, precut fruit. We never have it at home because it’s such a waste of money to buy, but then we’re also to lazy to cut our own–double whammy! Naturally I had about 3 times as much is pictured.

Tio Juan's Margarita Salsa Mild

There was also a plethora of celery dipped in this salsa. It has amazing flavor, except I much prefer the hot to the mild(and the hot one you know is hot because it burns your tongue when you hit a seed). My little cousins were quick to tell me what to do and where to go while I was eating.

The New Mario On The Wii

The big gift this year was a wii! I have to say, this was entirely a present for me, too. No more little cousins going crazy for mine when they come to my house! Haha. They wanted to show me it and their new Mario game. I have to say it was pretty fun, and they were in awe about how good I was. I don’t think they realize this game is 20+ years old and I’d been playing it since I was their age 😉 Once I peeled myself away from that, I was able to hang out with my grandparents and aunt and uncle. They told me stories about my great-grandfather who ate 3 raw eggs with milk and maple syrup every morning, walked 5 miles a day, and was tiny framed his whole life; well now I sound like a chip of the ol’ block! After much cooking, dinner was ready.

Dinner Table

So much food! And unlike Christmas Eve dinner, I could eat 90% of it! It was pure heaven. Usually, at holidays, I try to treat meals like every other one: make a balanced plate of 3 or 4 things and eat until you’re comfortably full. However, I really just wanted to pig out on good and natural food and feel for once like the holiday season was actually here!

Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Brie, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Cornish Hen

Such a good plate of food(though nothing in comparison to how much my grandfather put away 8-|). I also tried boiled onions for the first time and had seconds(and thirds) on the brussels and cauliflower. It was all really good. The cornish hens were naturally raised so I had no problem digging in to it. I ate the breast meat and my mom picked at probably the rest of it. Everyone pigged out on veggies so we even got to take home 3 hens!  Sweet deal. After all that amazingness, my cousins drove us to unwrap gifts.

Faux Christmas Tree

Scratch Tickets

Can you tell the type of family we are? 😉 This time I won 6 more dollars!

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

And I got the Mario game for myself 🙂 I have to admit, it was really fun when I played with my cousins so I was definitely looking forward to getting this(especially after hearing Lynn talk about how much she loved renting it). There was also clothes–some of which I’ll keep and some return–and gift cards. My aunt got me not 1 but 3 Target gift cards; apparently she couldn’t decide which one looked cute enough. After everything digested I was sooo ready for dessert.

Dessert Spread

Along with the two things I brought, there was Carvel birthday cake for my mom’s birthday and a chocolate pudding pie and apple pie from my grandmother. I think the apple pie was all-natural, but really I was not that hungry at all after the feast. I just opted for coffee(decaf, of course) and some tiny tasty treats.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti, Chocolate Mint Gluten Free Brownie With TRUwhip

This was such a sweet ending to the whole thing. The gluten free brownies came out amazing! No one could guess there was anything funny about them, let alone having black beans! I’m definitely going to be posting the recipe soon(and maybe even making another batch). And these biscotti got rave reviews again. I don’t think I could possibly get tired of them. The secret is in the peanut butter, peanuts, and peanut flour. After dessert we gathered our gifts, said goodbye, and drove home. It was snowing slightly and looked sooo beautiful all the way home; what a perfect way to end Christmas. When we got home it was past dinner but I wasn’t really hungry from the feast anyway. Instead I had (another) sweet ending.

NibMor Original With Raspberry Jam

Yum! The NibMor raw chocolate is definitely a bit lighter on texture but the flavor is just as decadent as rich, dark chocolate. And I love that combo of dark chocolate and raspberry 🙂 I was actually thinking of making raspberry chocolate cups but this was way faster and more effecient at 8pm at night.

Oatmeal With Honey Cream Cheese Frosting, Adirondack Jack Butter, And French Toast Almonds

A little later I definitely reverted into my nutty habits and was hungry for dessert 🙂 The “frosting”, which had yogurt in it, was more to get a 2nd(albeit, lame) source of probiotics in for the day. The adirondack jack butter was new and really interesting; it’s a mix of peanuts, almond, flax, cranberries, sunflower seeds and honey. Not my favorite, but it definitely has its own flavor. I loooved the added roasted nuts. I took them to New Hampshire, too, and everyone seemed to enjoy them, so I’m thinking next Christmas I’ll roast a batch for each person individually.

Well, that was my Christmas. In writing this post, I think I’ve remembered one of my favorite things about this blog: I know have all these great memories in a place I can go to whenever I want. Being able to share it with you all and my family is just the cherry on top. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night 🙂

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Seasons And Seasonings

Posted on November 13, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Seasons: Fall

Yesterday morning was fairly autumnal in New England. To be honest, I’m a man of extremes, and I’d rather it be hot hot like Summer or start with the snow. Of course, I won’t feel that way when I have to walk to class in the snow. I was so happy when Greek got out at 12 because I had my entire day planned out in terms of “errands” to run. First I swung by the dining hall and then to my room, where I read some emailed and edited(read: spell-checked) my Epic Essay. At the same time I was making lunch.

November 12th 003

Broccoli With Red Peppers, Sweet Potato, 1 Egg Plus 1 Egg White With Raw Cheese

Seasonings: Red Pepper, Cheese, Salt

A commenter asked yesterday if I eat broccoli every day. Pretty much 🙂 Except last Sunday(I checked). It’s undoubtedly one of my favorite vegetables, and the easiest to self prepare, so I think I’ll stick with it. Besides that, this lunch was pretty average. I felt like I hadn’t had a sweet potato in too long, and definitely needed it here. I was sure to stealthily scrub it in the bathroom first so the skin would be extra delicious. I really was ready to go right when I finished eating. But of course the one day I have a lot to do there’s an actual plot progression in Days Of Our Lives. What the hell was with that? I stayed to watch the whole episode, and headed out at 2. First was a swing by the mail room. No mail, but I did pick up coffee.

November 12th 007

Organic Decaf

Seasonings: Stevia

Definitely my favorite part of that building 😉 Next up was getting my “staple” groceries. I piled on a mile walking down to Waterman Street Whole Foods where I got to see all this weeks sales; nothing particularly exciting, but I was ecstatic to see that Oikos is still on sale! They also had these adorable all-natural gingerbread men coated in chocolate I almost bought but they were a bit out of my price range and a luxury. And look what I spotted near the checkout.

November 12th 008

Silk Nog And Pumpkin Spice Drinks

Seasons: Autumn, Winter

This is the first time besides Hannafords I’ve seen the Silk Nog, and the first time I’ve seen pumpkin spice besides the Eating Machine’s blog. I just love finding things I see on other blogs; I think learning about and trying new products is my favorite thing about the blog world. After that, I hopped over to Eastside Market. Again,t he sales weren’t too impressive, so I stuck with the staples. I picked up a snack at Whole Foods to eat on my walk back.

November 12th 011

Cantaloupe

Seasons: Summer

I’ve been wanting cantaloupe for a while after seeing them on blogs. Just as good as they were during the Summer! This was also perfect because it was prepackaged at exactly .5lb which wrung up to exactly 2.00. I like it when things work out like that. I had to swing back by the mail room to pick up eggs(they sell a lot of decent groceries there). Then I snuck my food into the library to print out two of my essays including the Epic Poetry one. God, that felt good. There might have been some more coffee at that point. I aimed at getting everything done in 2 hours and I got back at 3:53. Score.

November 12th 014

Groceries

After that, I broke bended the rules. I knewI had a ton of work and needed to grab my dinner early so I could work the rest of the night knowing I didn’t have to go out for anything. Unfortunately, yesterday was also this big, special BBQ dinner at The Ratty where you couldn’t take things out. Well sneaky little me snuck in a food container and snagged some BBQ asparagus, extra sauce, and some peppers. I was a bit worried it would leak in my sweatshirt but that thing needs a wash anyway. When I got back I put that away for later and made a study snack.

November 12th 018

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter And Maple Yogurt Frosting

Seasonings: Cinnamon, Vanilla, Allspice, Maple

This was divine. The frosting had Oikos with maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla stevia. Sicne the main flavor in the pepita sun butter are vanilla and allspice, it all just went together. I read what I was supposed to have done for Wednesday for the rest of the evening; I hate that feeling of being behind and catching up. I’m one of those annoying people who would rather be working ahead of the syllabus. At some point, I decided to put things away and make dinner.

November 12th 026

BBQ Tofu, BBQ Asparagus, Whole Foods Stuffing

Seasons: Summer, Autumn

Seasonings: BBQ Sauce, Salt, Thyme, Rosemary

BBQ is a cuisine I don’t eat much, and this reminded me why for the most part. I like for foods to just taste like their natural selves, and be enhanced by salt. BBQ, on the other hand, is all about sauce and the flavor from that. The tofu was nice and lightly seasoned(since I was the one who prepared it) but as for the asparagus I ate about 1/2 and threw the rest out after getting a big bite of mostly sugary sauce. If I was enjoying it like I might have been if it was an oriental sauce I would have kept eating it, but the flavor wasn’t working so I felt free to ditch it for these:

 

November 12th 001

Pepper Strips

 

Seasonings: None

These tasted much cleaner, and made up for the veggie fail. But lets talk about the stuffing. Whole Foods makes the best stuffing. I knew I had to get it when i saw it on the prepared food line. It’s not whole wheat or healthy or anything, it’s just good stuffing. Actually, it’s the best and the only one I’ll eat. I’m sure I’ll be inhaling unholy amounts on Thanksgiving. Survivor was excellent last night. Russell plays the game so well, even if he’s a little jerk. I made a quickie snack between that and Grey’s.

 

November 12th 005

Soy Yogurt With Trader Joe Mini Peanut Butter Cups And Vanilla Sugar

 

Seasonings: Vanilla Sugar

This was a new brand of soy yogurt to me. It tasted nice and soy-y like I was hoping for. Texturally and nutritionally I prefer So Delicious brand but this is a bit cheaper and more widely available. Grey’s was really good. Like really good. I like how this season is going. I think it’s becoming clear who the next to go after George will be. There was some late night oats involved after I did all the work that I should have done by Wednesday.

 

November 12th 008

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Baking Chips

 

Seasoning: Chocolate Chips, Salt

For Leno, I turned off my computer, put away the books, and made my favorite bowl of oatmeal. This is when I unwind every day and I wouldn’t want it any other way 🙂 I think I prefer the agave sweetened Smart Balance to the molasses one; the flavor is the same but the agave stays thicker on oatmeal. As for cleaning the bowl, you all had wonderful suggestions of letting it sit overnight in water. However, I go with a simpler route. I just assume I’m going to be having oatmeal for breakfast and leave it be for the time. I hope that’s not appalling, haha.

I think my roommate got home at around 6 this morning? And my alarm went off at 6:15. Great. After I fumbled around trying to make coffee, because it’s dark again, I also made a pre-workout snack.

 

November 12th 012

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

 

Seasonings: Salt

The Smart Balance and chocolate is a flavor combo I just can’t quit. I probably should have prepared this earlier, because I ended up eating it on the treadmill and made a bit of a mess. Oops. Hopefully no one allergic will be using that treadmill today, plus I washed off what peanut butter touched the machine. I ran a slowish 10 miles in 85:34. I think I ended up walking around too much yesterday doing errands–2 official Pile On The Mile miles but probably a good 3+–and tuckered out my legs. instead of fight it, however, I let the pace be what it was and went with it.

November 12th 016

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Protein Honey Maple Peanut Butter And A Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Pineapple Chobani

 

 

Seasons: Autumn

Seasonings: Cinnamon, Salt, Ginger

Delicious. The high protein honey maple peanut butter actually reminds me almost exactly of butter toffee from Naturally Nutty. I was thinking of making my own yogurt with plain Oikos, full fat Voskos, and banana pineapple rum jam, but prepackaged is so much simpler 🙂

And now I leave you with the emails I wake up to: “The vet changed Montana’s medicine to a people one. I had to go to CVS pharmacy to get it. The lady asks “Does Montana have any questions for the pharmacist”?.  I said hes a dog. hee hee.”

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Messy Monday

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

Sometimes, Fall in New England can be kind of nice.

On Campus

But first, some loose ends…

Thank you to all my readers; yesterday finally broke the record set by the day my refrigerator was featured on Carrots N’ Cake as the most trafficked day yet. You guys all rock(and clearly have nothing better to do on a Monday than read blogs :-D)

Banana Goodness Bread has been updated to reflect the change I tried this weekend whereby I used a container of Vanilla Oikos for the yogurt.

In regards to some questions, all the products featured on this blog are all-natural unless I make a point otherwise. “All-natural” means no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, or ingredients. I think the last thing I ate that didn’t fit this was the frosting on the vegan cupcake from vegan friday, though I didn’t turn purple so I think all is well 😉

I have, under my bed,

23 peanut butter jars(currently including 2 mighty maples and 2 smart balances)

7 almond butter jars plus 2 barney butter packets

1 pepita butter

3 sunflower butters

1 cashew butter

1 chocolate hazelnut butter

and 1 jar of vegan fluff

And I’m always looking for more in my collections so if you have something all-natural you want me to review send it my way 🙂

Okay, back to yesterday morning, I felt like a drain; I could not get enough water in me. After I got tired of water, I took a walk to the mail room, which happens to sell organic decaf coffee. They also happened to have this for me:

Goji Gourmet Cookies

Goji Gourmet Cookies

The amazing bakers over at Goji Gourmet sent me these cookies to try(the fact that I said amazing bakers should probably clue you in these didn’t stay unopened for long). Their cookies are infused with superfoods like the goji berry, packing an antioxidant punch with some fun flavors like almond oat, ginger walnut, cherry cacao, and orange mintchip. They’re all natural, mostly organic, and without refined ingredients. A more perfect food for me? I think not. I kept these in my bag through Latin class, then went to the Ratty to pick up broccoli and back to my dorm to make lunch:

Black Lentils And Beets In Snobby Sauce, Broccoli Spears, Clifi Fruit And Nut Mojo Dipped

Black Beluga Lentils And Beets In Snobby Sauce, Broccoli Spears, Clif Fruit And Nut Mojo Dipped

More good news: The “flame grilled veggie burgers” my cafeteria serves some days are Gardenburger variety, aka my favorite frozen veggie burger and the ones I’ve thus far been paying for. Well, that was awesome to know, but I wanted to use up my Trader Joe’s lentils before they went bad(do lentils even go bad?) so I stuck with them. I think any dish that is 1/4th composed of sauce is an automatic winner. I also love when the dining hall serves broccoli rather than me making it from the salad bar because the spears are huge.

That Clif bar had my name all over it, so I didn’t hesitate giving it a go. The flavor was right, but the bar threw me for a loop. You wouldn’t have guessed there were many fruit or nuts from the looks of it. The vanilla coating really saved it though; I’ll go for anything vanilla. I ate this mid-history class and I have to say that the more he talks about the midterm the more I feel prepared for it. That’s a good sign, right?

When I got back to my dorm I had hopes of plopping on the bed and shamelessly lounging around. Unfortunately, my roommate was taking an afternoon nap(who does this?) and I’m too prideful to be lazy in the company of others. Instead, I think I woke him up by making oats that I was dreaming about during epic poetry:

Oatmeal With Chocolate Sunflower Butter, Cherry Butter, And Goji Gourmet Cherry Cacao Cookies

Oatmeal With Chocolate Sunflower Butter, Cherry Butter, And Goji Gourmet Cherry Cacao Cookies

Chocolate cherry is one of my favorite flavor combo’s, so I knew this would be the bag with the first broken seal. But I’d be lying to you if I said I ate it like that.

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Mess

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Mess

Much better. And then, to eat. Holy chocolate cherry cow was this good! First of all, the cookies were amazing. Take note, ye who are blood obligated to get me a Christmas present: I want these in my stocking. The cherry essence was infused in the chocolate, and the cacao nibs were wowza! Besides that, the chocolate sunflower butter and cherry butter really complimented each other, though I might have to spring for the tried and true dried cherries next time I’m at Whole Foods. I didn’t think this bowl would tame this ravenous beast for the afternoon, but surprisingly I was set until dinner. I had wanted to go to the farmers’ market to get acorn squash but my legs and wallet decided homework would be a better way to spend the afternoon, and I obliged. By dinner time, I was ready to load my plate:

Salmon, Sweet Potato, Green Beans, Steamed Vegetables, Vegan Chili

Salmon, Sweet Potato Green Beans, Steamed Vegetables, Vegan Chili

That was the last of the leftover salmon from Sunday’s lunch :,-( Getting 3 meals out of 1 is never bad, though. There was also an all-star line up of veggies being offered, so I went at those. The vegan chili they serve is very good here. But i really had “corn niblets” so I tried to just eat the beans around them–if it ain’t on a cob, it ain’t good corn. This had me feeling nice and bloated stuffed, which is good concentrating for homework blog reading.

Did anybody else find Heroes a bit… hmm, what’s the word… horny for Monday night television? I do not know what was with that opening scene. I don’t particularly think of that kind of stuff when I go to watch Heroes. Blood and explosions is more what I’m looking for. After that I made a pretty racy snack:

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Chips And Grain Sweetened Baking Chips

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Chips And Grain Sweetened Baking Chips

I don’t know why my bowl decided to be so segregated; it’s a bit depressing looking back. When I made it into a mess(unpictured), at least the peanut butter seemed to be accepted by both sides :-/ My Smart Balance is running so low. I’m going to have not one but two oats in a jar in my future 🙂 I made word documents for the 3 history essays I have; I don’t know why, but making documents always feels like a huge step even if… it’s not.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Have I made you salivate with these yet? That’s really cruel of me, considering I don’t think it’s possible to get outside of CA or MA. These whole wheat cinnamon raisin rolls from the bakery are to die for; if you find anything like it in your neck of the woods, go for it! For the “frosting” I did probably 2 parts cream cheese to 1 part greek yogurt. This made it creamy but also smooth and spreadable like real frosting. I also used 4 drops vanilla stevia to sweeten it just the right amount.

I fell asleep to Man Vs. Wild last night, so that was clearly a good sign I’d be beastly for the morning, right? I slept in until 7:10. a) When did that become sleeping in and b) God that felt good. I decided to pump up the pace today and ran 8 miles at 7.5 pace in 64:22. I find when you’re running fast just don’t look at the treadmill distance and go go go. I caught up with my gym friend for the last few miles; she was in Florida 2 weeks ago and it was 93 degrees! Boy was I jealous to hear that.

Vanilla Bean Voskos Organic Yogurt, Nature's Path Organic Hot Oatmeal, Sunland All Natural Valencia Peanut Butter

Vanilla Bean Voskos Organic Yogurt, Nature's Path Organic Hot Oatmeal, Sunland All Natural Valencia Peanut Butter

Breakfast today is literally all products for reviewing. I won’t say much about it now, because I like to give it a bit more time and thought than my hectic mind has right now(Greek class in 30 minutes!). I will say that the oatmeal smells appley, the peanut butter peanuty, and the yogurt doesn’t smell at all, so that’s all good signs! I hope today stays nice because I get out at 12 and hope to make a great Whole Foods trip! At the very least, I need some bulk bin oats; I have a new bag of Trader Joe oat bran but my organic steel cuts are on their last leg. More tempehtations and dried cherries might also be in my future.

Eating Bird Food is hosting a eggcellent giveaway from Cookware.com for Rachael Ray Cookware! Giveaway ends 10/30!

Enter the contest at  this blog to win some awesome Clif Kid prizes(because we’re all kids at heart!)

There’s some great Oikos action going on on Facebook!

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I’ve Found The Holy Grail

Posted on August 23, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No, not the Holy relic. Something better! But you’ll have to wait(or scroll down) to find out what it is.

Yesterday was Saturday which meant my long run. I was not super-psyched going in but I needed to try. it was very cloudy but I stepped out there and got going. About 1 1/2 miles in it looked like it was going to pour, and started raining quite a bit. That lasted all of 1 minute and then the sun came out and it got brutally hot and humid. I was not a happy camper runner but I knew I’d be disappointed if I stopped so I pushed through, all the way through. My time wasn’t great but turning into my driveway after those 8.5 miles felt sooo good and I had 1000 breakfasts running through my mind. This was my creation:

Waffles With PB, Maple Syrup, And Chocolate Chips, Fruit Cup With Yogurt

Waffles With PB, Maple Syrup, And Chocolate Chips, Fruit Cup With Yogurt

I couldn’t decide between french toast oats or toast with peanut butter, so I took the route that got me peanut butter AND maple syrup. Smart choice. And keeping up with the breakfast challenge, I made myself a fruit parfait. You know those things at Starbucks for 4 dollars? Yeah, turns out they’re cheaper and better to make yourself. In mine I had banana, peach, blueberries, and raspberries, topped with vanilla bean yogurt. Yum.

After lunch we stopped at the bank to cash a paycheck(chaching) and then swung by a local farmer’s market we heard about. It wasn’t big, but at least a farm showed up.

Wayside Farmer's Market

Wayside Farmer's Market

There was also a stand of clothes made by alpaca fur. Awesome, but apparently no one told them it was 95 degrees out? Here was what we picked up:

Yukon Gold Potatos, Corn, And Yellow Plums

Yukon Gold Potatos, Corn, And Yellow Plums

I’d never seen yellow plums before, so I hesitantly grabbed them. Right after this we scooted on home for lunch.

Brown Rice, Salmon, Yellow Plums, And Orange Zevia

Brown Rice, Salmon, Yellow Plums, And Orange Zevia

The salmon was leftover from last night–can’t let perfectly good salmon go bad! The brown rice, for being plain, was surprisingly good. Well, if you pour Island Soyaki sauce on anything absorbent it’s going to be good I guess. The yellow plums were surprisingly bitter. They went well in this dish but I wouldn’t have them as a fruit(plus you gotta watch out for their armpits).

After lunch we hopped back in the car to go to a local artisan bakery before they close at 2. Well, we must have missed a memo because it was 1:30 and they were already closed. Bummer. We’ve never been there before but it sounds pretty good and hopefully we’ll get a chance to see the inside some time. We stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home since it was on the way where I got some replacement bread.

Trader Joe's Soft 10 Grain Bread

Trader Joe's Soft 10 Grain Bread

Again, I spent a good 15 minutes debating between this and another loaf called Trader Joe’s Double Fiber. That loaf has sunflower seed as the 3rd ingredient but this one looked seedier(in a good way) so I went with this and had to gnaw on a piece in the car. All I can say is this was a great choice. The grains made it super nutty and delicious, while the actually bread was soft. This might become my standard loaf. Of course, 1 piece of bread isn’t really a decent snack.

Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

We bought this flavor on Thursday from Whole Foods(sale plus internet coupon? hellz yeah I’m good). This was my first time trying it and I had rather high hopes, most of which this met. The base had that soymilk flavor, but it wasn’t too bothersome amongst the vanilla and cinnamon. It actually tasted a lot like their cinnamon bun yogurt, another favorite of mine. The snickerdoodle cookie dough chunks tasted a little… off. It didn’t seem like you could actually put these in the oven and get anything remotely cookie-like out, but they were good. Maybe it was a strong vanilla flavor they were missing, but they definitely had cinnamon and brown sugar in there. They were also a bit gritty, but I liked that since you got bits when you lick the ice cream.

Was any of this the Holy Grail? No, no, and nope. I have a confession: I can find or make a recipe to bake almost anything healthy and tasty, but not banana bread. I’ve tried and loaf after loaf it burns or falls or just taste like raw wheat. But finally, after burning through recipes and bunches, I’ve got it: a banana bread recipe that tastes great, is healthy, and holds up as a loaf of bread. I give you, Banana Goodness Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup oatbran

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoonds ground flaxmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons canola oil

50g(about 1/4 cup) white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

10 ounces(about 3) bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oat bran, baking soda, flaxmeal, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil, beating in the eggs 1 at a time. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Mash the bananas and incorporate into the wet. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into a loaf pan. In a small cup, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the loaf. Bake the bread for 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Turn off the oven and open the door, letting the bread sit there for 5 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a plate until cooled completely.

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I don’t know how much of my excitement is coming through the computer screen, but believe me when I say I was jumping for joy at this point. Banana bread had always been the black sheep of my baking skillz–that one thing I’d kind of ignore if anyone brought it up. But no more. With this recipe in hand I will make many monkey’s jealous.

Dinner was a bit of a mystery until we settled on grilling(always a good standby).

Buffalo Burger On 10 Grain Bread, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips, Okra

Buffalo Burger On 10 Grain Bread, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips, Okra

I found a buffalo burger from last month sitting in the fridge I didn’t mind eating up. It went great with the nuttiness of my new Trader Joe’s loaf. Those chips are always a great add-on to any grilled meal. And the okra I picked up last night at the Copley’s Farmer’s Market. It was the first time I’ve had okra and I’ve got to say it wasn’t bad. The flavor was a bit… green? I can’t explain it. it was sort of like a plain pepper, except softer. They got a little burnt on the grill but I liked that charred bit to them. If anyone has any okra recipes(that don’t require frying) send them my way! Oh, and I’ve decided to go raw:

Buffalo Burger

Buffalo Burger

Not really, but look how pink that burger was! It couldn’t have been safe or legal to serve in a restaurant, but it was good and I’m still alive, so I ain’t complaining. I love my meat really rare; the more you cook it the more you’re killing the flavor in my opinion. Through my nutrition learning I’ve come across animal cruelty, slaughter houses, and all the reasons people become vegetarians. i could/would never give up meat but I do think overcooking it and covering it in sauce is disrespectful to the animal that gave its life for your plate which is probably why I like it so rare.

In accordance with facing the black sheeps in my life, I adressed the one ice cream I haven’t touched in a long time: Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate. Sounds good, right? Well I bought this a while back, and enthusiastically sat down with the pint and a spoon–no bowl. About 1 serving in I got tired of how boring and bland the flavor was, put it back, and haven’t touched it since. I know the only way to make room for new stuff is to eat the old, so I faced my fear with a little weapon in hand:

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate And 365 Creamy Peanut Butter

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate And 365 Creamy Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter And Dark Chocolate FroYo

Peanut Butter And Dark Chocolate FroYo

Winner, winner, buffalo was for dinner. I mixed some of the peanut butter into the yogurt and let the licking begin. It really added the missing touch to the flavor. i still have about 1 1/2 servings of dark chocolate left, and now I know exactly how to eat it. Of course I sliced into the banana bread, too.

Banana Goodness bread

Banana Goodness bread

30 seconds in the microwave and this tasted fresh out of the oven. The bread is the perfect amount of sweetness; so often I think banana bread get’s overly sweetened to be a dessert, but this stays true to a bread. And of course, the sweetness of the occasional chocolate chip really contrasts well and gives it excitement. And the bit of brown sugar and cinnamon on the top adds a nice crunch. This more than earned a spot in my recipe book.

This morning I woke up and, despite going on 16 days of running in a row, felt absolutely great. The humidity left overnight and I was happy to step out the door into a slight breeze from good ol’ Bill(hurrican Bill that is). I ran 6.7 miles in 53 minutes–not a PR but much better than last time I ran that route. And now I’m sitting down to this:

TJ Toast With Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter, And Sunflower Seeds, Plain Yogurt With Raspberries, Blueberries, Maple-Agave Syrup, And Sunflower Seeds

TJ Toast With Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter, And Sunflower Seeds, Plain Yogurt With Raspberries, Blueberries, Maple-Agave Syrup, And Sunflower Seeds

I wasn’t sure what new thing I could make this morning for the challenge so I didn’t make an effort, though the TJ Toast and sunflower seeds are both new purchases from yesterday so that sort of counts, right? Sunday morning means circulars and sales around here so I’ve got to start reading them to figure out what to do today.

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A Special Recipe For A Special Day

Posted on August 19, 2009. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , , |

Usually I don’t blog on days I work but I felt as though I had to acknowledge something. I was super-psyched to be runner-up in The Peanut Butter Boy’s celebration recipe contest with my Fluffernutter Cupcakes. They were a lot of fun to come up with and I hope anyone who tried them likes them as much as my cousin did(it was also the first time he discovered fluff!). All the other contestant’s recipes look great to and I’m definitely going to try a few out.

How do I celebrate this achievement? By baking some more, of course! I wanted a little something nutty and fruity and my mind immediately went to one of my favorite creations, my Loaded Scones. But rather than give you the same thing I thought I’d tweek it just a bit and came up with these winners, if I may say so myself

4-C Scones

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons flaxseed, grounded

3/4 cup unsweetened almond breeze

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat flour

90g(about 1/2 cup) sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

5 tablespoons cashew butter

5 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese

Cashew Butter, Cream Cheese, And Cranberries

Cashew Butter, Cream Cheese, And Cranberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a cup, mix the almond milk, flaxmeal, and vanilla extract, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the cranberries. Cut in the cream cheese and cashew butter until coarse and crumbly. Pour in the almond milk mixture and work until batter is firm but wet. Divide into the even sized balls. Place each on a lined pan and flatten. Cut into quarters and pull apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops turn golden.

Going Into The Oven

Going Into The Oven

In case you didn’t get it, the 4 C’s are Cashew butter, Cranberries, and Cream Cheese. I really love the combo of cashews and cherries, but we were running low on dried cherries and cranberries also have that great tartness. The cashew flavor in these isn’t very explosive; it’s more of a subtle note that you need to work at to get. What the cashew butter does do in this recipe is replace the bad fats that would be introduced by butter and give the health benefits that comes from nuts, all without changing texture. Speaking of texture, these scones are very soft and puffy, which is how I prefer my scones though others might prefer a denser version. If you do want a louder cashew flavor and denser result, simply replace the cream cheese with equal amounts cashew butter.

4-C Scones

4-C Scones

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Screw The Blues, I Got A Cheap Date

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

These Blues:

Blueberries

Blueberries

These dates:

Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates

Shortly after blogging, my mom wanted to go to Hannaford to pick up something for dinner. I’m never one to pass up a grocery trip, so I tagged along. boy was I shocked to find these; it seems like the 1.50 dates I found in Maine last weekend followed me down. These things are 11 dollars a pound at Whole Foods and 5 at Market Basket. What a steal, right? I basically grabbed a bag and went to town. I thought I took an absurd amount but guess what: My huge haul was less than 2 dollars because they’re so cheap. I of course attacked the bulk bins for some dry roasted nuts to make Homemade Larabars.

Now, I don’t have a food processor, so I severely improvised using a hand chopper and making these one at a time. yes it was painful, but it was also very worth it. The ratio I used was 3 parts fruit to 1 part nut, which makes it more like a Nectar bar than a Larabar(which I prefer). However, mine were larger in size than the average Nectar bar and had a calorie count more similar to a Larabar.

The Set Up

The Set Up

Homemade PB&J Larabar

Homemade PB&J Larabar

I got 14 out of my 1 1/4 pounds of dates(plus one failed attempt at a banana bread flavor). I made 5 PB & J, 5 Cinnamon Raisin, 1 Pistachio, and 3 Lemon Cashew. The PB & J had dates, craisins, peanuts and salt. The Cinnamon Raisin had dates, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon. The Pistachio had dates, lime juice, and pistachios. And the Lemon Cashew had dates, lemon juice, and cashews.

This was a ton of fun and delicious and cheap but I really don’t recommend doing this without a food processor and have no plans on doing it again until I get myself one.

After that it was time for a quick trip to the doctors. It had been 7 weeks since my check-up and he wanted to do a follow up on my weight.

Snacking In The Doctors Office

Snacking In The Doctors Office

The good news: I’ve gained 6 pounds. The bad news: my doctor was incredibly unencouraging. He basically acted like I hadn’t gained anything, told me I should cut my running down, and repeatedly asked me annoying questions like “are you stressed out? skipping meals?” Honestly? Who the hell gains 6 pounds skipping meals. Anyway, I’m one of those people who thinks the best way to get negative feelings out is to write a letter, so here’s my frustration put into organized and eloquent thought:

Dear Dr. Who

Our last meeting left me more discouraged than I think I have right to be; I feel as though you were unfairly discouraging in my progress so far. Over the past 7 weeks(the time since our last appointment), I’ve accomplished several things. First and foremost, I’ve been able to enjoy my summer with friends and family and live life to the fullest; this I prize more than anything considering it is the last Summer I will be home before going off to college. Secondly, I have become a stronger person. I have never felt more energized, and I’ve become a better and faster athlete. Last, but certainly not least, I have managed to increase my weight 6 pounds. This is one accomplishment I am very proud of as it has not been easy to take-in such an excess of calories each and every day but something that I’ve taken very seriously and am reaping the benefits of. Along with the weight-gaining, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition, world cuisine, cooking techniques, and other points of information I can take and apply into the real world. I can now make anything from spicy thai noodles to bagels to a myriad of other dishes. Like I said, I myself am proud of all that I’ve just mentioned in this letter, and found your lack of enthusiasm rather discouraging. If I misread our meeting at all, please do reply with anything you have to say. Thank you.

*Sigh of relief* Much better. Should I actually bother to send that? I feel like it could be taken as a long, eloquent “F-U”. What do you think?

Well, skipping dinner and moving onto dessert, I had picked up this little guy at the store and wanted to give it a try:

Stonyfield Strawberries & Cream Cream Top Yogurt

Stonyfield Strawberries & Cream Cream Top Yogurt

I’m one of those people who would rather have a fine yogurt or pudding than a bowl of ice cream(weird, I know). I was excited to try a cream top yogurt to see if it made it taste any more luxurious. This, however, was quite a disappointment. First off, I’m not a fan of Stonyfield’s fruit on the bottom variety; I never feel as though the flavoring is at all fruity. And when I did stir it up, I noticed something odd in my strawberries: a blueberry! No, it was not one of the ones I picked(I would never have picked such a small blueberry). Well I emailed the folks at Stonyfield about that and they were nice enough to say they’re sending replacement coupons(Ok, I really didn’t need to get replacement coupons just because I found a silly blueberry in my yogurt. I guess they’re just really nice people over there at Stonyfield). And the thinness of the yogurt is really what killed it for me. Apparently, I’m a Greek boy thick and through–for yogurt at least. Oh well, I’m glad I gave the cream top a try but probably won’t be rushing back to grab another.

Anyway, that was my yesterday. Today has been super super busy and this blog entry has taken me over 2 hours. I’ve been running around like a nut and am starving(does anybody else find when they get caught up in work the first thing to shove aside is eating/nutrition?). I did a quick 6.7 after sleeping in and enjoyed the ultimate comfort food:

Fluffernutter Oatmeal, Blueberry Parfait

Fluffernutter Oatmeal, Blueberry Parfait

Love them fluffernutter oats. Anyway, now I need to make lunch and then get back to the to-do list, which includes a lot of blueberry baking. When will I have time to read any of your blogs? Aghh. Anyway, bye.

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