I’ve Got A Hot Dog

Posted on November 1, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

And, yes, I’m talking about this stud:

Montana

Montana

This is what he looks like 2 minutes after waking up. If you wait 3 minutes you’ll find him back asleep again. That’s pretty much what he does. Everybody left the house leaving me to wait around until lunch. It feels like this house lacks “real food” whenever I’m gone. That’s why I pack an entire shopping bag full. See? I’m smart–food smart 🙂

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BBQ Tempeh And Broccoli With Goat Cheese

Pineapple Chobani With Pumpkin Flax Granola

Pineapple Chobani With Pumpkin Flax Granola

I listened to the back of my Lightlife tempeh box which says it’s best grilled and skewered some BBQ tempeh. I loved the smoky flavor that it gave it and nuttier texture, but I still don’t know that the BBQ flavor came out. The broccoli was for the green(or maybe just an excuse to eat hickory smoked goat cheese). And the Chobani was a bit of early dessert. Even though I had the thought “I could be having ice cream instead of this” I chose the yogurt; what has happened to me? Clearly, that granola has a bit of flax and a bit of crack. Immediately after lunch we got on with the afternoon festivities…

Empire Apples

Empire Apples

Apple picking! Would you believe every Saturday so far this season I’ve came home has been rainy? It was windy, but not a raincloud around, so we hit up Tougas Farms for their final weekend. The trees were pretty picked but we made do.

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Apple

Naturally, one snuck in my mouth on the walk out. I forget which type this was but I had an Empire; it was very nice and crisp and reminded me of a less sweet and visually attractive Red Delicious. After that we went to Target in search of some elusive Archer Farm’s Vanilla Cranberry Peanut Butter. Alas! No luck 😦 Next up was Hannafords for some general baking and eating goodies before heading to Micky-D’s(for a coffee, of course) and home. Here was the loot of the odyssey.

Groceries

Groceries

Greek yogurt–obvs–, Organic PB cups for an Evan Halloween :-), pumpkin, oats, apple butter, soy milk, tofu, and organic Smart Balance butter. I didn’t want to spring for the organic but the regular stuff apparently has artificial flavor. What are they flavoring it? Just like I don’t like butter, I don’t like fake butters either. But I know they’re necessary for a certain recipe I was thinking of making so I sucked it up and tried not to touch it too much. I was also pretty hungry and in need of a little mood booster, so I busted out the last of my old Smart Balance peanut butter.

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SB PB And Chocolate Chips In A Jar

And then all was right with the world 🙂 I don’t think any of my other jars are quite close to being finished, so I really savored this one. I tried catching up on Tivo and some homework but I got distracted and needed to try out a recipe

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin butter
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Pumpkin Brownies With Pumpkin Butter

Preheat your oven to 350. In a bowl, sift together the first 5 ingredients. Add in the pumpkin, soy milk, and vanilla and mix well. The batter will be thick. Spread into an 8×8 pan. Scoop pumpkin butter into a ziploc bag and snip off one end. In lines, squeeze the pumpkin butter. Then, with a knife, alternate cutting motions in both directions to make an effect. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Pumpkin Butter Brownie

Pumpkin Pumpkin Butter Brownie

If you love fudgy brownies, these are definitely the ones for you. They didn’t even taste like a pastry but more like solid packed pumpkin and chocolate. I used too little sugar and baking powder, but I adjusted the recipe accordingly so hopefully yours will come out a bit more flavorful. Be sure to tell me if anyone tries these 😀 This was a nice appetizer for dinner.

Salmon, Asparagus, Maple Mustard Tofu

Salmon, Asparagus, Maple Mustard Tofu

A dinner, by the way, that was eaten spread over 30 minutes of being on the couch translating latin and running to answer kids at the door. I wasn’t feeling salmon. I feel like there’s an expectation for me always to want salmon or some meat when I come home, but that’s just not true. I tried introducing some alternative protein to the meal with grilled tofu. I liked the Nasoya firm better than what’s at my dining hall, so I might be adding it to the shopping list from now on, but I think it was too firm; when I reach for the ‘fu, I want something mushy and funky. There was also this humongous apple:

Mutsu Apple

Mutsu Apple

It’s hard to tell, but this was big(TWSS). I ate it quick and sloppily just so that I wouldn’t have to feel hungry running back and forth to the door! God that gets annoying, and is so unfruitful. Next year I’m hitting the streets again. At least that way you get candy for your work. Now I just need to find an organic street… I did have a partner in answering the door:

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Montana

I told you I had a hot dog. He didn’t actually fit in his costume so we just held and threw it over when people came to the door. We didn’t get too many visitors, which my mom was very pleased with since that left her with a good amount of candy for herself.

So Delicious Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate PB Cup And Vanilla Sugar

So Delicious Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate PB Cup And Vanilla Sugar

Would it have been Halloween if I didn’t buts into a little candy? Clearly not. This was actually an educational experience. I learned a) when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate, milk is the way to go. I would have thought dark because in general I love that way more than milk but it just works with the peanut butter. Also, b) candy is better on top of yogurt. It feels like a sundae. I wonder if organic coated candies leak organic coloring like M&M’s do. That’d be sweet. c) Vanilla soy yogurt actually tastes like vanilla. Unfortunately, this boy likes his soy yogurt to be as funky as tofu, so it was a bit of a letdown 😦

4-C Scone With White Chocolate Wonderful

4-C Scone With White Chocolate Wonderful

Cranbran Vitatop With White Chocolate Wonderful, Toast With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

Cranbran Vitatop With White Chocolate Wonderful, Toast With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

Vanilla Cranberry was clearly the flavor obsession of the night. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t get the Vanilla Cranberry peanut butter 😦 Word from the foodie is that it’s in Woburn but that’s a good hour in the wrong direction for me. I’ll find it yet. I don’t even remember when I baked my last batch of those scones; I love finding pastries hidden in the freezer. I think I need a spare freezer just for english muffins because they never seem to be where I want them.

Did anybody else feel that extra hour? I woke up at 8 7 and felt both well rested and not lazy. That was nice. Instead of hitting the streets, I hit the kitchen. I’ll save what I whipped up and my breakfast for the next post 😉

A cookie giveaway from one Nutricious gal

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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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Weekend Recap

Posted on July 13, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Monday! I always feel really refreshed on Mondays for some reason 🙂 Sorry if you’re a Monday hater because it means the work week starts back up. don’t worry, I’m pretty down on Fridays; even though it’s the last day of the work week, it’s also 50% of the work week for me. It was such a nice weekend in New England. I would start with Saturday but I have one little thing from Friday night. These babies:

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Homemade pistachio, chocolate, hazlenut biscotti from Bina’s. what a great way to unwind from the work week day: with a cup of decaf and some biscotti. I ate 2 and shared the rest.

Saturday morning I kicked my butt out of bed at the crack of dawn(ps. 7am is the crack of dawn for me) and pumped out a good 5.6. I don’t think I would’ve been sane the rest of the day without getting a run in so that was welcomed. After a blueberry breakfast, we drove up to Maine. I read some more the Beak Of The Finch(bleh) and watched some Baby Blues(lolerific) on my ipod. I forgot how much I liked that show. We arrived just at lunch time, and the menu was burgers and hot dogs. Like I’ve mentioned, I’m not big on the back yard bbq food unless I pick it out and cook it, so I decided to be special and get some salmon burgers from Hannaford. They were pretty good and my 7 year old cousin even almost tried one, but alas lost the courage when it was put in front of him.

A momentary serious aside. I definitely had a serious breakthrough over this weekend. I eat the food I do because I love it. I’m never depriving myself and choosing an alternative because I’m restricting myself; I’m making the alternate choices because their what I actually want. And, yes, what I choose is usually for a “health” reason, but that is such a relative term. Anything can be healthy or not healthy, and there’s certainly a difference between healthy for the heart, healthy for the mind, and healthy for the soul. So sometimes I might choose a salmon burger for the healthy omega-3’s, and other times I might choose a soul-healthy slice of pound cake loaded with whip cream because that’s what I want. The only thing that really gets to me is when people think I’m depriving myself; that’s when I start to eat what others want me to eat, not what I want to eat. And that is the unhealthiest of anything in my opinion. So my newest goal is to always stay assertive and comfortable with my food choices, for health of mind, body, and soul.

Yikes, sorry to get so serious, lol. I’ll stick with tantalizing pictures and quick summaries for the rest of the post. Back to the salmon burger, it was pretty good, but no WF tuna burger, which we’re also out of so add that to the grocery list, please. The plan was to go to Funtown that night with the cousins, my aunt and uncle, and grandparents. Is it just me or does a place called Funtown sound more not-fun than if it had a different name? Well as with little kids, they can never get their butts out of the door to go any place. While they were having fun in the pool I dropped a not-so-subtle hint that I wanted ice cream. My gramps told us abotu a place that makes their own and that was all I needed to head out the door. Normally, I always get soft serve or frozen yogurt, but this place had a horrible selection of those. Once I decided I would get real ice cream, I had a tough time deciding on a flavor, but this one definitely hit the spot:

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Lemon Meringue Pie. It was cool, refreshing, and definitely something different. I also popped into the fresh bread store and picked up this for the next morning:

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Blueberry peach cobbler with amaretto jam. Umm, that’s like all of my favorites bundled into one so I knew I needed to get it(ok, I’ve never had straight amaretto, but I’ve had it in desserts and those little sugar cookies). The cousins were still in the pool, supposedly getting ready for Funtown. I hated to be the party crasher, but I was not feeling the Funtown. After I decided this was my vacation too, I suggested to my parents that we not go with them, and instead eat out sicne we haven’t been to a restaraunt in over a month. Of course, they were down with that and that became the plan for the night.

Did I mention my cousins are Spoiled with a capital S? This weekend was to celebrate my grandparent’s 50th anniversary, and my uncle and dad’s birthday. There was a chocolate cake for my 3 year old cousin, and a vanilla for my 7 year old, which basically were taken in and out of the fridge at any point for their desire. And every time we had to light candles and sing happy birthday to god-knows-who. Here’s a pic of the cakes. I never actually had a slice of either because my mom also made a buttermilk cake which was 10 times more delicious than any store cake could have been so I just munched on that one for the weekend(but somehow forgot to take a pic)

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Like I mentioned, we hadn’t been out to eat in over a month. Wtf? Between my mom’s operation and me trying to make sure I was eating enough to support 30 mile weeks AND gain weight, eating out took a back seat. My tastebuds were feeling asian and there was a new resteraunt with chinese, japanese, and thai so of course we needed to check that out. The menus had literally hundreds of choices AND there was a buffet. I was thinking I wanted sushi but nothing had brown rice. Then I noticed this entree called the Seafood Wor Bar on the chinese menu and my mind was set. Lobster, crab meat, scallops, shrimp, and veggies on a sizzling hot plate. Umm, yes please? Plus, I knew my mom would go for the sushi(she got the salmon platter) so I knew I’d be eating off of her plate and stealing her miso soup.

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That was all certainly delicious. Everyone was home waiting for us when we finished–turns out they couldn’t get their butts out the door to go to Funtown or the movies. We enjoyed a nice night at home where I introduced people to Apples To Apples while Harry Potter 5 played in the background.

The next day I was up and wide awake for a run at 7. Isn’t it fun to run somewhere you don’t know, for some length you don’t know? I went down Mile Road, ran along the beack street, up some random neighborhood where I thought I was getting lost but ended up along the main road right near the ice cream place and asian resteraunt. It ended up being a fairly fast 4.6 miler–definitely a mood booster for the day but I wish I had gone longer along the water’s edge.

My mom picked up a baker’s dozen of doughnuts from this homemade doughnut bakery for everyone, and a special cup of hazlenut coffee for me because she probably knew I wouldn’t be eating a doughnut–nice and thoguhtful 🙂 Lard’s just not my idea of a post-run meal. But do not fear, my breakfast was just what I wanted: So Delicious Cinnamon Bun yogurt, Lemon Vanilla Cashew Nectar Bar, TJ whole wheat cinnamon raisin english muffin with blueberry peach cobbler with amaretto jam.

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At first I made myself a cinnamon cardamom roll from the bread store nearby; I didn’t realize cardamom is a savory spice or something, because the flavor was just off and definitely not breakfasty. And this is definitely one of my most favorite yogurts, but they’re so expensive at Whole Foods. I figured that vacation is for splurging though so I picked this guy up at Hannafords when we got salmon burgers. A good yogurt is the best way to start the day 🙂 After breakfast their was some active time for my little cousins followed by a trip to the beach.

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Then afterwards it was time for lunch. I had my 2nd lobster of my lifetime. I also was somewhat of a hero for bringing a packet of TJ instant mac n’ cheese because that happened to be a favorite amongst my cousins(and my grandfather lol).

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Oops, I should’ve put out a naked cousin alert. The 3 year old(Avery)’s at a point where clothes aren’t so appealing as M&Ms and cookies. Again, we planned on going to Funtown but never actually went. What did end up happening was several temper tantrums over lighting candles and singing happy birthday, followed by melting cake. Again, I skipped on the cake and went for this which I picked up at Hannafords. I love it because it’s a Maine brand, and I really felt like I was seizing the moment; turns out they opened up a store where they sell all their flavors right here in my town–go figure. It was still super yummy.

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Can you tell I’m getting tired of typing? I’ll wrap it up quickly. We said our sad goodbyes and my 7 year old cousin already wants to have a “playdate” in Boston where we go on the duck tours. As we were driving out of town, we were all pretty full but spotted this sign and had to stop.

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Soft serve around here is chocolate, vanilla, or a twist, so 24 flavors was mouth-watering. I got the cheesecake, which wasn’t bad but also not very bold. It tasted very vanilla. But here’s a little secret: vanilla is actually one of my favorite flavors but I hate ordering it out at places because I feel boring and not taking advantage of all the other options. So this was actually pretty perfect for me 🙂 My dad’s irish cream was also damn good. Hopefully we’ll be going back to that place soon so I can try the other 22 flavors.

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