Mean Miles And Extra Special Blondies

Posted on May 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

And here I thought a party at the Museum of Science’s skyline suite what special, I had no idea the blondies I’d be cooking up today.

Endangered Species Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter

Endangered Species Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter

Endangered Species chocolate = amazing pre-running fuel. The milk chocolate with a hint of peanut butter let me down the first time I had it, but now I feel like I get that hint–really subtle hint.

10 Miles

10 Miles

I had fun kind of running around the town and found a new route I liked that came across a reservoir. And it just so happened to be an even number of miles! I love it when that works out. And then I was stahvin’ for a good lunch.

Sweet Potato With BBQ Beans, Tofu, And Mighty Maple

Sweet Potato With BBQ Beans, Tofu, And Mighty Maple

Finishing off a jar of Mighty Maple is always tragic; at least it’s redeemed when it’s in a killer way. A sweet potato with BBQ baked beans, raw tofu chunks, and a scoop of the good stuff. Um, yum. Am I blessed to love the texture of raw, soft tofu or what?

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

This afternoon snack was missing something…

365 Creamy PB

365 Creamy PB

Perfect. Who says you need to eat the peanut butter on the apple? They taste fine separate ūüėÄ

Tonight, we’re having guests over. I wanted to recreate this recipe. The result was nothing more than “special”, extra “special”. It’s¬†gluten-free and vegan. There are specks of vanilla bean in the batter. And it just tastes damn good. How could it not(with 2 sticks of earth balance)?

Extra Special Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 cup all-purpose GF baking blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste(or vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Recipe: Extra Special Blondies

Preheat your oven to 350 and let the margarine sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before working with it. Cream the margarine and the sugar in a large bowl. Sift in all ingredients from flour to xanthan gum(if using). Add the liquids and vanilla paste and mix thoroughly with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Press into an 8×8 baking pan and bake for35-40 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Makes 12 servings.

Now are those fattening, err… “special”, or what?

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The Earth Will Forgive Me

Posted on April 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*I don’t think google reader has yet picked up this morning’s post at the time I’m writing this. I’m hoping this was just an individual problem, but if it persists I’ll look into it*

So, if I was supposed to “celebrate” the earth in some way today, the earth is going to have to forgive me. To be honest, I find a lot of the notions put forth about Earth Day a little silly. The whole thing is counterproductive: we build up so much about recycling and being green this 1 time a year that it’s as if to say we aren’t expected to do this all the time. We are.

3 things have really rubbed me the wrong way today

  • Having to go down to the bank this morning to cancel my current card and request a new one to be sent to me in 5-7 business days. Looks like I won’t be purchasing any peanut butter online in that time(but maybe that’s a good thing). Oh, at least while I was down there I bought a gingerade kombucha. No need for the day to totally suck, right?
Gingerade Kombucha

Gingerade Kombucha

  • Cookies/Bars that use banana as a binder. Don’t ask me why but I hate these and I’ve been seeing them everywhere recently. If you made them and have been eating them and love them, that’s all that matters. Personally, I’ve never had a baking success with a banana besides banana goodness bread, and even that relies on eggs.
  • The idea that eating vegetarian today at all has to do with “celebrating Earth Day”. I don’t know how to feel about this one other than like it’s a personal attack saying you can’t eat meat and also be green. You can. You can ¬†also be a vegan who litters. Shocker. I happily and greenily ate my naturally-raised, grass-fed burger for lunch today.
Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

(Not so) funny story. When I got to class, my friend Alex knocked this all over the floor :-/ I really didn’t have anything else to eat, so I just ate it anyway, hoping things were clean enough(most actually went onto her purse). Was that green? I don’t know. But at least it still tasted good. I tossed the sweet potatoes in EVOO after they grilled in my pan for added fat and flavor. Delicious. Since I wasn’t even all that hungry to begin with, this held me over well into the afternoon.

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

I whole-heartedly believe that the best way to be green is with our shopping cart and the foods we buy. That’s why so often I look for good companies like Alter Eco who not only make tasty chocolates but use fair-trade, organic ingredients. This particular flavor is not my favorite(I hate crunchies in my chocolate), but I’m still working on project clean out.

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I also snacked on an organic apple. As I’ve said in posts before, I don’t always by local or organic produce, simply because it’s not affordable 100% of the time. If there’s a sale, or it’s a small cost extra or something, I’ll gladly buy organic, even choosing a pink lady over my beloved red delicious. I’ll eat pink to be green.

Dinner was something special tonight. I’m going home for the weekend for an event tomorrow night and then one Friday, so my dad came down to pick me up and start moving things home. On the way, he grabbed take out from Garden Grille that I placed. I tried a new dish: their vegan and gluten-free baked macaroni and cheese.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

How did it taste? Honestly, I just uploaded the picture and need to start packing the car, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow ūüėČ

What’s something you do year round that’s green? Proceeds for my favorite chocolate bar by Endangered Species go towards rain forest preservation. I wonder how many trees the 6 I’ve bought in the past week have saved… But seriously, I do believe my greenest contribution takes place in the market, and I take pride in that. Today, in fact, I signed up for a program next Fall to get fresh produce from local farmers weekly through my college. If that ain’t green, neither is broccoli.

Perhaps more controversially, Do you see eating green and eating vegetarian as one in the same? I can picture an indirect connection being made between the two. But to directly relate one another is, I think, invalid.

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Food Combining

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

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

Nectarine

Nectarine

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

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

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

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

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

OK. I actually ate it uncombined more like this because it was so clumpy; it was still delicious! ūüėÄ 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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Nutrition Starts TODAY

Posted on April 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Rise and shine! It’s always easy to say that when you’re the one who got a good nights sleep, but a nightmare to hear on the other end. Right? I am so ready to start my day, get back to classes(which, according to this post, a lot of you can sympathize with), and maybe sneak a run in? Only if it doesn’t feel like an¬†overexertion.

Sweet Scoops Black Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Scoops Black Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

I grew up always eating ice cream at my grandparents house. Lots and lots of ice cream. Because of that, I developed a strong taste for the “old people flavors”, or at least the ones they always kept: black raspberry and coffee. Black raspberry easily trumped coffee in my book, along with most other flavors. And so I was super excited to find a brand that makes an all-natural one. And they’re local! Double bonus ūüôā

The actual flavor was a little light on the sweetness and a touch icey. That said, I’ll gladly finish this pint, and I’m sure there’s another one down the road I’ll have, too. Last night, I got to enjoy this while reading 1 of the 4 food magazines I’ve had sitting around for way too long. I fall behind on those so easily with school work ūüė¶ Once that was done, I pulled out dessert number 2.

Local, Gluten-Free Brownie

Local, Gluten-Free Brownie

In case you were wondering why I didn’t call this post Nutrition started yesterday, where the hell were you?”, this is why. I realized there were about 10 other, more vitamin-packed things I could eat in this dorm to fight my flu. But we picked this up at a little Natural store in my hometown and I wanted to eat it while it was fresh. C’est la vie. Oh yeah, and on including nutritional panels on home baked goods: I did not want to know.

Local, Gluten-Free Brownie

Local, Gluten-Free Brownie

This was good, but not really great. It had that “gluten-free flour” taste to it, which it masked with loads ad loads of dark chocolate chips. I’d rather have one of my gluten free brownies, which definitely have less fat and still taste phenomenal. Plus, I think the black bean flavorin them is less pronounced than the starchy flavor in this one.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Pomegranate Walnut Granola, Multi-Vitamins

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Pomegranate Walnut Granola, Multi-Vitamins

After 10 hours of serious downtime in bed(part of which spent with the brownie), the oatmeal of the day was topped with Justin’s chocolate almond butter. This stuff is serious yum, but I can’t wait to restock on the chocolate peanut butter. And to get my probiotic dosage¬†pomegranate Chobani topped with the remainder of an Honest Foods pomegranate walnut crisp plank. I love how much seeds and nuts are in these! But I wish that were all there where and not whole wheat flour :-/ I don’t think a little at the bottom end of the ingredient list is going to trigger any gluten-intolerance; I just wish it weren’t there.

Yummi Bears Sour Multi-Vitamins

Yummi Bears Sour Multi-Vitamins

Aren’t these little buggers cute? They bring me to a theme I’ve been thinking about lately.¬†I’d like to [re]emphasize in my diet over the next month the following things

  • Probiotics, probiotics, probiotics
  • 3 sour gummy bears daily
  • More fresh and raw fruits and vegetables, when available
  • Less sugar
  • 3 Servings of dairy a day, max
  • Be more gluten aware

Like I said, this isn’t so much a change as a¬†re-emphasis¬†on things. And nothing’s¬†maniacally¬†absurd. I’d like to reduce dairy because it’s mucus forming which is an easy gateway to getting sick.

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How Gluten Makes Me Feel

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

In case you unplugged over the weekend, yesterday was definitely the highlight and worth a look. “Gluten” has probably been googled more in the last year than the rest of the time google has existed. It’s definitely emerged as a new “buzz word” and you hear people refer to it as everything from a “diet” to a “fad” to a “cleanse”.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

These are the foods I [foolishly] ate over the weekend with gluten in them. Tasty? Of course. And when we eat a food, we’re often focused on how it will makeus feel. But there’s more to feeling than immediate taste, and that’s where the downside of gluten comes in for me. Since Saturday, I haven’t particularly been hungry. At all. In a sense, one thing gluten does to me is take away the ability to know how and when to fuel properly. The only way I know I need more is if I’m cranky for more. For anyone who does a serious amount of physical activity, this isn’t only inconvenient; it’s dangerous. My biggest weapon in fighting this is simply awareness. Be aware that your regular hunger’s gone, be aware that gluten can do this, and be aware where gluten is hiding. On top of all this, gluten has other side effects for me, like irregularity and bloating.

My point is not to scare anyone off gluten. I say eat and let eat! And if gluten works for you, eat it. Some people shun soy, while I thrive off of it and love not having to worry about the ethical treatment of an animal. Other people restrict themselves from cheese; I have around 30 cheese sticks in my fridge and another couple of pounds back home(I kid you not). What my point is is that¬†it’s up to us to be aware of how certain foods make us feel, and equally important how they make other people feel and respect that part of them. If you feel you might have any of the same symptoms, there is a way to test for gluten intolerance and I plan to try it over the Summer. And lest you think that you could never eat normal again without gluten, well… you might be right…

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

There was nothing normal about this muffin. It was, however, gluten-free and freshly baked from Garden Grille. And you know I can’t pass up anything maple.

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

I realize now I forgot to ask if it was a muffin or a cupcake. I couldn’t really picture it being eaten at either time, but I had it for dessert. It was good! A little odd to have something so spicy right after dinner. But the maple was definitely a nice and subtle sweetener, and the texture was just like a muffin(cupcake?) should be.

Strawberries

Strawberries

I snacked on some strawberries while watching the Brothers & Sisters movie. I planned on going to bed early to make up for Saturday’s lack of sleep but I just got way too into the movie and watched the whole thing. Did anybody else Wasn’t it good! But I feel like they could have taken the drama just one step further, and not leave us hanging at the end.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

And about halfway through I made a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. I love that it’s vegan and hazelnut is the first ingredient! Because of the gluten problems I mentioned, I wasn’t actually hungry for this. But I wanted to make sure if I was running in the morning, I was well fueled.

10 Miles In 86:07

10 Miles In 86:07

And I was. I started out my morning by waking up naturally at 6:44 while my alarm was set for 6:45–love that. Then I rocked out 10 miles while catching up on the Today Show. I love getting the workout done first thing; it just makes the rest of the day go so much more¬†efficient!

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was only “boring” in the sense that it was the same ingredients as last night; otherwise, it tasted delicious ūüėÄ

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

I can’t believe how much coconut milk I still have from that one can. How could I possibly use it all up before it goes bad?!

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I sweetened the soy yogurt a bit with Madhava’s vanilla agave after I realized I bought plain instead of vanilla and it tasted just right. It was definitely nice not to have the spice of jalapeno ūüėČ

How do you differentiate between a cupcake and a muffin? I’m curious about this one. I’ve seen people change their opinion on something based solely on the time when they eat it. If I ate a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, would that make it oatmeal? For me, a muffin has more grams of whole grains than of sugar, and vice-versa. If you’re eating a “muffin” without any whole grains, you might as well be having a cupcake.

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Easter 2010

Posted on April 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

All this post made me want was cheese. I don’t eat cheese much but when I do, God, do I love cheese. I’m not even sure I understand the bastardization of it in the first place. It’s milk processed with enzymes to the point of having little to no lactose. Sure, let’s all bastardize Velveeta, but then again I wouldn’t call that real “cheese” to begin with. Real cheese is an art.

Next Generation Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese

Next Generation Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese

Keeping the theme of the night “raw”, I had some of Next Generation’s Dairy organic raw garlic parsley cheddar cheese. Soooo good *drools*. And if you were ¬†to tell me something about this complete protein with organic dairy fat and raw enzymes wasn’t healthy, I wouldn’t believe you. Skip the Velveeta and stuff yourselves with this. By the way, it scares me that my spell check finds nothing wrong with “Velveeta”, but type “kombucha” and let the red¬†squiggles go flying!

French Toast Oatmeal, Pomegranate Chobani With White Chocolate Wonderful

French Toast Oatmeal, Pomegranate Chobani With White Chocolate Wonderful

I was surprisingly hungry right when I woke up. Instead of running, I made myself breakfast and started food prep. Hot cross buns have nothing on french toast oatmeal. Yum! And dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter–whatever you put on a pomegranate Chobani tastes delicious.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Coconut Oil

Raw Vegan Brownie With Coconut Oil

Finally I was ready to run after we went to Easter Mass. For some quick energy I had a raw vegan brownie with coconut oil schmeared on top. I don’t know if it was this sudden heat wave, improper hydration, or too much casein at breakfast, but the first bit of running was definitely uncomfortable.

Banana

Banana

Eventually, I got into my groove and did 9.5 miles around the neighborhood at a great pace. I refueled with a banana while I showered, cooked more, and waited for the relatives to arrive. Among my dishes was my Irawnic Salad

Irawnic Salad

Irawnic Salad

Doesn’t that look amazing? I finally got around to making my own and it was heavenly. I can’t wait to make this recipe more often. It was so simple, too!

  • 2 bunches organic kale
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2-2 avocadoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup cashews roasted with sea salt

In a bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice and vinegar.Massage the kale until well coated. Top with diced red onion and salty cashews. Dear Lord, is this good. It’s “irawnic” because the salad is completely raw except for the roasted salted cashews. I like to think of it like the fatty bacon slices in an otherwise “healthy” salad ūüėČ and that’s why it’s ironic.

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

There was so much good food. But I never feel pressure to eat much differently at holidays than on regular days. In fact, I make it a point to choose 3 things, and just eat those. Since there is always leftovers, I know I’ll be seeing all of this for the next few days, and that way it’s like each meal is “new”.

Parmesan Cauliflower, Maple Tofu, Irawnic Salad

Parmesan Cauliflower, Maple Tofu, Irawnic Salad

For my plate, I had irawnic salad, roasted parmesan cauliflower, and maple baked tofu. Yum! This was perfect and just what I needed to eat. The salad I think was a hit; even the maple tofu got a few fans among the meat eaters. There was no love lost hereon skipping the ham(at this meal, at least). I had seconds on the salad and tofu.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Dessert was easiy my favorite part ūüôā Since my relatives are always down for Easter, we also celebrate my birthday with them.I was very particular about my cake, but that made it just the perfect thing when it came out. It was Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake made with 3 organic eggs and coconut oil instead of canola. The frosting was a vegan buttercream made with earth balance and on the side was a little organic coconut shreds.

Birthday Cake With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Birthday Cake With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

It was dreamy. Seriously, this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. And I think everyone else shared that sentiment. It was perfectly sweet and moist, and you would never thing twice about the “gluten-free” texture. Bob did me well for my birthday ūüėÄ On the side was a scoop of dairy/soy-free So Delicious coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream. Between the cake and the ice cream, vanilla beans were flying everywhere!

Irawnic Salad And Melon

Irawnic Salad And Melon

A few screaming cousins, Disney World slide shows, and pots of coffee later, I made a raw snack plate. I figured the salad wouldn’t really keep well, so I’d have those leftovers first On the side was some¬†cantaloupe¬†and honeydew melon, all covered in sea salt. Glorious.

I was supposed to go back to school tonight, but the day totally wiped all of us out: Church, cooking, cleaning, little cousins, etc. Not to mention I wasn’t packed and there were leftovers bursting out of the fridge Instead, we mustered up the strength for a small Whole Foods run and then leftovers for dinner.

Honey Ham, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Carrots

Honey Ham, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Carrots

Now the ham makes an appearance. It’s from Whole Foods, so it’s completely natural and nitrate-free. The best part of this meal was purposely avoiding these 3 and other foods at lunch so that it didn’t even feel like leftovers! Admit it: You wouldn’t have known if I didn’t mention it ūüėČ

Well, my Easter rocked. How about yours? If you posted it on your blog and I didn’t comment, I promise I read it. I was on and off my computer all day catching up with things when I was allowed a break from being the 3 wheel on the Wii.¬†Like I said, there’s so much I want to and have to do before I can think about school again, even though Spring Break ends now ūüė¶ Perhaps I’ll make a chronographic list! That’s one mental health tip that’s never out of style.

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The Birthday Day

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust ūüôā

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the¬†Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made¬†with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle¬†nuttiness¬†to it that I¬†preferred¬†to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both ūüôā This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day ūüėČ The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints ūüėČ

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a¬†tendency¬†to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Peanut Butter And Black Beans

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , , |

Hi, all! Since we’re eating out tonight for my birthday, I knew I wouldn’t be home to post, but still wanted to leave you with something. Well have I got the thing for you. The Peanut Butter Boy announced his new recipe contest today, and this is going to be my entry! It’s also a favorite recipe of mine and something I plan on making for Easter. It’s gluten-free and absolutely delicious(I promise you can’t taste the black beans), so try it out, won’t you?

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies With Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, unsalted, drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 3 ounces greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free chocolate chip(Trader Joe‚Äôs recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons Sunspire all-natural peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup neufchatel¬†cream cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Puree the black beans until they are completely deconstructed(this can also be done with a potato masher if need be). In a bowl, whisk together the butter, softened, eggs, greek yogurt, cocoa powder, sugar, and extract. Add in the black bean puree, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips and fold until all is incorporated. Prepare an 8×8 brownie pan and pour the batter into it. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter and cream cheese. Add in small dollops on top of the brownie batter and swirl decoratively. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is fully set.

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“These Aren’t Treadmill Miles”

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning marked a glorious return to outside running. I’m a bit of a nit-pick when it comes to the weather; I like it hot and sunny, 80’s please. But with my race coming up in 3 weekends, I thought it would be good to do some outdoor running while the weather was so gorgeous today. 50! It felt like springtime. So I laced up, booted up the Garmin, and hit the streets of Providence down the Eastside path. I’m not the biggest fan or run reports, but since this was my first time outside in nearly 4 months, I think it’s worth one ūüėČ

Through The Window

Mile 1: All I could think was how much I wanted to grill, drink a blueberry smoothie, and eat a peach! Memories of Summer came flooding back and I felt incredible. Everything felt alive again.

Mile 2-3: It started to hit me: These weren’t treadmill miles I was running. In my mind, miles on the ‘mill are as good as the road; my legs, however, disagree, and it didn’t help that at times the path was not paved and still soaked from snow a few days ago. I really didn’t know how long I could go.

Mile 4: I just tried to keep my mind off of things, and even worked on a smoothie recipe(to follow).

Mile 5: Should I stick with my intentions for 9 miles or cut back to 6? No, I can do this!I’ve done it once and I can do it again, literally(the run I was on had me repeat a 3-mile path route.

Mile 6-7: I really soaked up the sun, enjoyed the company of fellow runners and dogs. Getting out of my mind was the key.

Mile 8-9.5: I had a great time and a great run. I even ran into Whole Foods to grab a blueberry Chobani and tried not to dilly-dally looking at groceries too much(though I easily could have).

9.56 Miles In 1:24:13

Will I hit the streets again sometime soon? You betcha! Probably even tomorrow. During the week, I really like running 1st thing, so that time will probably be at the gym. But the weekends can be another story. I was also ready to refuel(food does make fun fuel, after all), and whipped together that smoothie I mentioned.

Blueberry Almond Recovery Shake

In the food processor went

  • 1 blueberry Chobani
  • 1/4 unsweetened Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 5 ice cubes

This was the perfect smoothie considering what I had on hand. It’s full of quick carbs, complete protein, and a little fat to help with the fat-soluble nutrients. Not only is a smoothie a great way to cool down, it also let me not worry about making a full lunch fast so that I could shower, rest up, and put together a good meal.

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder, Roasted And Charred Sweet Potato

You would not believe how soft a sweet potato is after 4 1/2 hours in the oven; it’s hardly a solid at that point. I put it in at 9:30 when I anticipated getting back from my run late. I turned off the oven at 10:30 but let it continue cooking in there in the foil. By the time the burger was done at 2, the sweet potato could have fallen apart in my hand. So as to not waste the beef fat, I sliced it in half and charred it in my pan–easy clean up, too! It all tasted soft and delicious(even the meat, which was–admittedly–undercooked). My only¬†complaint¬†would be that sweet potatoes hardly feel filling after all that.

After almost 10 miles outside, sitting in, doing work, and watching a movie sounded like a¬†goodthing to me. 95% of the movies I watch are on TV, so I was pretty excited to stumble on The Da Vinci Code not 5 minutes in. I also was¬†really¬†craving a brownie, but wasn’t about to walk the mile to Whole Foods to get one. What to do?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

The freezer to the rescue! I found the last two-bite bits of these brownies I made for New Years Eve with peanut butter chips. Holy yum! They were still as good after dethawing. The trick to a good brownie is good chocolate chips in them.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

A little later and I was feeling a bit… gluttenous? I don’t think Lent is healthy for me; it gives me the oddest meat cravings to repress on Friday only to erupt Saturday. This time, I thought I would try the chocolate bacon peanut brittle from Sir Francis Bacon.

Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

Over soy yogurt, of course, because I eat up that irony! Wow–the brittle was an experience like no other. I recapped them both at the end, but I think the chocolate version was such an improvement over the original. You can really taste the milkfat in the chocolate and that’s pretty key.

Apple

Before dinner I snacked on this apple and plenty of coffee while reading all about the slave and sugar trade for class. All day I felt like I was either eating or thinking of what to eat next, which makes me wonder if outdoor miles really could be different from treadmill miles and require more food. Clearly, I was happy to oblige. But for dinner I really just wanted to sit down and eat a meal that would make me feel full.

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbreads

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles

I also wanted picnic food! Today’s good weather had me thinking a tuna salad–as simple as they are–sounded perfect. When I was in pre-K, I remember getting served tuna salad sandwiches for lunch and making them scrape off the tuna and mayo; I was not a fan :-/ Now I make them with 365 brand wild caught tuna fish in spring water and greek yogurt(2% here) and love ’em! The broccoli felt fresh, and what could say picnic better than Dr. Krackerssunflower cheddar flatbread? It’s not a gluten-free food by any means. But I love the cheddar with the chewy sunflower seeds and any discomfort will be well worth it.

First of all, there’s this giveaway for Honest Foods bars to tell you about. Next up I have to ask how do you feel about movies on TV? Like I mentioned, they’re about all the movies I see. I’m looking through the TV Guide right now and it looks like not much other than Forest Gump will be on here. Humph. Lastly, let me review some bacon peanut brittle for you.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

8.5/10: No, your eyes do not¬†deceive¬†you.¬†Sir Francis Bacon does indeed make a brittle composed of peanuts and bacon. A lot went through my mind in trying this. The first things I noticed were the instant aroma of smoked bacon opening the package¬†and the abundance of ingredients in this brittle‚Äďperfect. I‚Äôll admit that I was nervous‚Äďto say the least‚Äďthat this would taste like a 7-Eleven reject. And it very well might have if the company didn‚Äôt put such tremendous care in making a smoky, robust brittle with a subtle sweetness to liven it all up. Thankfully, this tasted delicious and just as I described. I would¬†not recommend this to anyone unsure about the idea of bacon and dessert; the flavor really is potent. But if you‚Äôre wacky for eccentric foods, this just might be worth tracking down and paying the rough-but-fair price tag.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

9/10: I don‚Äôt know what to say about the combination of peanuts, bacon, and milk chocolate other than‚Äďwow! This really was an improvement on the¬†original bacon peanut brittle; not only are the pieces perfectly pre-proportioned because of the chocolate covering but the chocolate itself has the perfect milkfat content to be rich and powerful against the smokiness of the bacon. Similar to their other product, this is definitely something you need to be interested in before going whole hog and trying it. But if you know the flavors are for you, be a pig and dig in to the box of chocolates.

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Priorities And Directions

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening. I’ll just mention now that I’m bloggin’ from another state! But more on that in a bit. When I was wrapping up the post from this morning, I was thinking how much I really wanted to walk to Whole Foods, but didn’t have a lot of free time. Where are my priorities! I’m scarily good about doing what “should” be done, but not so good about always doing what I “want” to do. At that point, I let the dishes be dirty, the emails go unanswered, and stepped out the door. I know, I’m a rebel ūüėČ

Groceries

I grabbed the typical stuff for next week: soy yogurt, beef, condiments, etc. The only thing they didn’t have was any soft tofu >:-( We got that a little later on in the day, though. And I say we because my dad met me at Whole Foods to pay for this and pick me up(double score). I just really felt like I needed a trip home this weekend after a lot of work and 3 weeks of not being in my own bed. So I packed up and was out of there!

Buffalo Chicken, Broccoli, Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

On the way back to good ol’ MA, we stopped a different Whole Foods to grab some lunch. I grabbed buffalo chicken off the food bar, a bag of new chips that were on sale, but broccoli out of the produce section(!!). This is the trick to eating at Whole Foods without breaking the bank: get the things that are cheaper raw and cook them in the microwave–it’s so simple and instead of $7 a pound broccoli was $1.50 a pound.

Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

These were the chips that were on sale made by Snikiddy and oh my God were they brilliant! I had never tried any of their products, but if it’s on sale I’ll definitely give them a taste. Cheddar Cheese Fries says it all; these were like straight up Cheetos. Heavenly. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t have one of the Bob’s Red Mill products I was looking for, so we went across the way(literally, right across the street) to Market Basket.

Bob's Red Mill Products

Check out that selection! And it’s all super cheap because nothing costs much at Market Basket(granted, most of the stuff they sell I wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole). I definitely need to keep this place in mind more often.

Red Delicious Apple

After I found what I wanted, I snacked on this apple until we got home safe and sound, where mom and Montana were waiting to say hello. Apparently, it’s been snowing in MA all week, or at least moreso than it has at all at school. Now, for the big unveiling…

GF Vanilla Cake Mix, Coconut Oil, Eggs

What I wanted to pick up was Bob’s Red Mill‘s gluten-free vanilla cake mix! God, I really need to lay off the exclamation marks in this post. Normally, I wouldn’t use a mix, but since I know so little about gluten-free baking I felt like I needed to the first time. But Bob’s is a good one because it uses whole grain gluten-free flours(very important to me). I used 1/2 the bag to make 8 cupcakes. And, while it called for vegetable oil, I asked myself “WWFLBD?” or “what would fat-loving bloggers do?” and swapped that out for an equal amount of coconut oil. Is there anything coconut can’t do?

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake With Coconut Oil Vanilla Frosting

I couldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes for them to cool; these smelled too good. And they tasted too good, too! So perfectly light, airy, and sweet. The texture was a bit chewy, but I think that’s just the general way of gluten-free flours and eggs. For a frosting, I mixed powdered sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract–heavenly. But you know what they say about cupcakes…

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake

1 is just not enough. At least I didn’t frost this one? It may have been a bit more sugars than I’m used to in an afternoon, especially an afternoon where all I did was find TV shows like Friends on channels I haven’t had in a while, but no regrets; when there’s cake around baked fresh, you better eat it up! To compensate, there at least was a vegan dinner.

Asparagus, Snobby Joe Mix

I actually love green lentils. Too bad they aren’t more dorm-room friendly. For the mix, a little ketchup and mustard and a lot of steak sauce and voila! It’s so good! And I couldn’t imagine a more homey meal. On the side was asparagus grabbed from Whole Foods because, well, they really keep this house bare. And now it’s already almost 7:30; how did that happen? I need to get a move on things! I can’t wait to hear what people think of the cupcakes once they eat them for dessert(obviously, I hated them ;-)).

Here’s a popchip giveaway! Perfect for fueling my addiction.

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