Friday Fish And Chips

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

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

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

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

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers

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

Apple With Coconut Oil Agave Dipping Spread

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

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

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

Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Salmon

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

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

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

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

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

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If this post has a somewhat downer tone it’s probably because my dinner was a little bit of a Disaster with a capitol D, but more on that later :-/

Laundry

I still love Mondays, though! I managed to get laundry done, and read 160 pages for a class I need to read. It’s not as much homework as I’d like to have done but there’s still time after dinner, right? I’ll just keep hoping.

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

I wanted lunch to be low-key so I grabbed a new flavor of Al Fresco‘s chicken sausage to try and review. I love these because I just have to defrost in the microwave for 90 seconds and then cook them in there, too, for another minute!

Black Beans With Salsa, Broccoli With Hemp Oil, Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage

Even though this was an early lunch, I felt like I needed volume. I guess those 10 miles this morning got my appetite going, too. The broccoli was jazzed up with a little of the hemp oil dressing from Foods Alive and then the beans by salsa. Yum. This sausage wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was looking for :-/ It tasted… like chicken. AND I was still hungry. Dessert time!

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

Which obviously called for coffee, as well. I dug into my stash of Uli Mana raw desserts and tried their lemon fig pecan bar. It was super delicious! I just loved how bursting with lemon this was, like a lemon bar with powdered sugar but sooo much better for me. It was a nice sweet tone to end Lunch with and get working while watching TV.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

3pm rolled around and I was starving AGAIN. Did you know Stedman isn’t a fan of chocolate? The things we learn watching Oprah… Anyway, that gave me a major chocolate chip craving, which led to some rawesome ice cream with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

Yum! I think I need to make a recipe page with all the possible alterations on banana soft serve, because the possibilities are endless! This batch was chocolate chip, and at the end I made it something of a banana de sel by sprinkling sea salt on top to bring out the sweetness. Can you say heavenly?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

These are my preferred chocolate chips of choice for applications like this. They are gluten free and vegan. They taste deliciously sweet(hello, 8g of sugar per serving). I’ve had lengthy discussions with Avery just about how much these rock. My only complaint is that Trader Joe doesn’t make mini chocolate chips; mini makes everything more fun! Oh, I’d also complain they aren’t terribly filling.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Looks like a breakfast, but eats like a snack. And, yes, I eat oatmeal usually with a salt shaker at arm’s length for some flavoring. Pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter was just what I needed to power me through an otherwise painfully long afternoon.

For dinner, I wanted to make an entry into Katie’s new contest. All you need to do is make pancake roll-ups, top with fun toppings, and enjoy. Simple, right? My idea was gluten-free coconut flour crepes with cream cheese, avocado, salsa, and tuna toppings. But instead of crepe, I got…

Coconut Pancake "Grits" With Grass-Fed Butter, Tuna With Coconut Milk And Cream Cheese

Crap. CLEARLY I am not that good at making pancakes. I tried! I honestly did! I was flipping away in the dorm kitchen but everything turned to mush. This was one gluten-free recipe that was not meant to be. Not to mention it wasn’t very smart to keep licking the batter when there’s egg white in it(oops). In the end, it was really a meal that would have better off uneaten 8-| But I also am pretty strict about not wasting food, so I called it a “grits” and went ahead and had something like the planned meal.

I could let the nastiness of this get me down, but instead I’ll focus on the positive points. It was a meal full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Besides, with a hunger like mine, there are plenty of more meals to come and 1 bad one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, tomorrow night’s dinner will be a real hum-dinger I know I can pull off 😀 And so I can look forward to that. And maybe, just maybe, Katie will take pity on my and let my shameful attempt count as an entry? So let’s hear in the comments some of your worst dinner disaster stories.

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Butterfingers

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

You can call me butterfingers today for so many reasons. Then again, I can’t refuse some good butter 😀 Right after breakfast(with butter toffee peanut butter, no less), I hopped out to walk to Supercuts. I’ve gotten my haircut by the same person for–God–7 years, maybe? Maybe more. It felt like I was cheating on that person by going to someone else, but hey! I’m in another state! If it’s any consolation, my Tina does a way better job than whoever I had today. After I got back to my dorm, it was practically lunch time.

Microwave Popcorn

Who’s up for working ridiculous things into meals because you’re craving them? I am! I am! For what it’s worth, I believe this was Newman’s Own Organics‘ light butter; it didn’t say on the packaging but I don’t think I’d have boughten any other kind.

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

For a protein, I “scrambled” some tofu with a fork and cooked in a pan with soy sauce until it firmed up and came to be almost like eggs–yum! You should definitely try this.

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

Part of the browning comes from soy sauce, but part of it comes from the pan; that’s how you know it’s done. And in defense of popcorn, it is a whole grain! With moderate amount of butter and salt, it’s near perfection, too. This afternoon I was the other kind of butterfinger–the kind who’s constantly dropping the ball.

Apple

I grabbed this apple while I was throwing stuff in the laundry machine in the basement. On the good side of things, it was fresh and not at all mealy! On the downside, when has a tiny apple ever been a sufficient snack? It needed almond butter or peanut butter.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

Which is why I made up another snack not 20 minutes later once I sat down to do some work. I’ve really slipped up recently by neglecting the good ol’ yogurt and jam–a classic combination. I might have also slipped up by assuming the fire alarm this afternoon was a drill, because eventually firemen showed up and the building was practically in lock down–double oops. It was not my kind of afternoon.

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

Once things settled down, I made a repeat snack from yesterday but with some twists: I used almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla agave for the shake and had a coconut + vanilla macaroon emmy’s organic macaroon on the side. The shake was noticeably more bitter, probably because a) Xagave is sweeter than normal agave I find and b) almond milk is naturally bitter. Next time I should try it with Xagave and cow’s milk to see how it tastes. When I was cleaning my food processor–blech. I don’t even want to say it.

Plastic Pieces

Butterfingers! I dropped the top piece and some plastic came off 😦 It looks like the whole thing should still work, but man! If you remember, this happened when I first bought my food processor and was able to exchange it; I think it’s been a little too long now. All I can say is I would not recommend the Black & Decker brand as it is far too fragile; if anyone has a food processor they want me to demo, I’m all game 😀

Mushroom Omelet With Colby Cheese, Vegetable Melange With Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing

Dinner was so unexciting; I’m ready for this Lent thing to be over already! I just want a juicy burger 😦 Instead, I ate eggs, with a little butter in the pan to make them not stick. Exciting, huh? Well, this new dressing was sort of exciting, and loaded with healthy fats, too. I’d love to try it on something green like spinach with some sweetness(tomato). It has a nice sweet tang almost like BBQ sauce.

Clean Comforter And Jacket

I could slip into my bed right now like butter if it weren’t not-made. On the bright side, I did slip into a fresh out of the drier sweatshirt, which is always like a warm hug. Now, what gets butter off the fingers? Coconut oil?

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“This Is Going To Suck, But…”

Posted on February 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Remember when there was all that buzz about becoming a “good mood blogger”? This would not be my entry post. This morning, I started out with a very clear thought “This day is going to suck, but I’m going to get through it”. That couldn’t have stayed true throughout it all.

Manning Chappel

I can’t say church sucked; I’m pretty sure a big lightening bolt would hit me if I tried. I can say figuring out how this was all going to work sucked. Back in Boston, it was easier; there’s a church where you can get “drive-by ashes” which we would do every Ash Wednesday after work/school and be off. First off, I needed to find the church, then what times they had mass, then which ones I could make, etc. I ended up going to one right on the main campus at noon. It was surprisingly packed and there were some people I recognized from last semester’s classes there, and even my gym friend! Didn’t get to say hi, though.

Black Bean And Acorn Squash Salad

I really couldn’t have been more off my game: I “meal planned” to eat a juicy burger on Ash Wednesday. Whoops! Well that was out, so I thought about a veggie burger. All of my veggie burgers are SOY based, meaning they fall under what I gave up for lent. Are you kidding me?! A simple lunch became a scrapping for leftovers, trip to the dining hall, and a bit of ingenuity. Spinach and black beans came from the dining hall while I diced 1/2 an acorn squash from Sunday, and topped it all with this:

Foods Alive Hemp Oil Dressing

I can’t say this sucked, but I can say my review of it will. That’s because I’m not giving one right now. And that’s because I really didn’t get a good taste of it/didn’t use enough 😦 From what I could taste, it seemed really good! It was sort of like BBQ sauce in that it was sweet but vinegary. But I had to eat my meal in discussion and didn’t get the opportunity to use more than I first poured. Bear with me on my day; it gets lamer.

Unsweetened Decaf Coffee

Unsweetened coffee? Yeah, that sucks. Between classes I had time(OK, I made time). to pick up a coffee. The only problem was that I didn’t have any stevia packets on me, and didn’t realize this until I was sitting in my next class. Whoops! Again!

Pomegranate Chobani And Brazil Nut Almond Bora Bora Bar

Midway through class I broke in to my planned snack(it’s 2 1/2 hours long). This picture sucks compared to how it was; I actually crumbled half the bar over the yogurt like granola. I just didn’t want to take out my camera in class(although the girl next to me had no problem texting the whole time. It’s not even a lecture!). We also had a lecturer from a Conneticutt museum. It’s not fair for him to say he sucked; when are guest lecturers ever good? When he asked if anyone had heard of the tribe he studies, I didn’t raise my hand even though I have; I didn’t quite know how to say “Yes, but not because of their museum. Because of Foxwoods casino which my family frequents.” That might have given the wrong impression(or the exact correct one).

Apple

I don’t have to say it; when has an apple taken from the dining hall ever been good? This one tasted especially spiteful, if only because I had just came back from a trek to recover my water bottle I left behind in discussion and still had no clue what was for dinner. This Lent thing really threw me for a loop! I decided that I would roast broccoli, whatever I was eating.

Eaten Ice Cream

When I was downstairs, throwing broccoli in the oven, I came across this empty container of Snickerdoodle ice cream. Yeah, I pretty much knew there was no chance this was anyone else’s but mine. Apparently, someone thought it would be alright to eat the last of it with a fork. Ughh. I had problems with this last semester, but they seemed to stop. Now I fear for my other 2 pints of ice cream down there(my stash of frozen bananas for banana whip not so much).

Oatmeal With A Cage Free EB Egg And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Roasted Broccoli

My dinner may just be the oddest thing, but it did not suck. That’s because I threw out the mentality of what it “should” be and just went with what I wanted. I needed to remind myself that no one passed a law that broccoli and oatmeal with peanut butter can’t be eaten together; the only restrictions for today are no meat and no preflavored soy, and this fits that bill. Amen to odd dinners.

My google reader and inbox are full, and yeah, that sucks, but it’s because I forwent looking at them and finished the real “work” I had to do. And now I’m going to go to the dining hall looking for plain yogurt, which they won’t have; it’s going to suck, but I’ll soften the blow by getting a decaf coffee. And then I’ll get back, slip into my PJ’s, and obsess over how Survivor’s not on tonight, and that will suck, but I’ll have the Olympics to watch. For my bemusement and your mental health, what has sucked in your life, and what was the “but”?

Life won’t suck for the winners of this Q.Bel chocolate giveaway on Mom’s Focus or this coconut peanut butter giveaway.

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Sweets And Cheese

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I had to summarize in two words what I ate today, it would be “Cheese” and “Sweet”. I’m pretty sure those are the only two tooths I have in my mouth(and I embrace that).

Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar

The first culprit was this bag of Pirate’s Booty. I was sent a ton of flavors to review; none were particularly “sweet” so I went for the cheesiest mother of them all. At the same time, I had the oven going and baked some maple tofu.

Aged White Cheddar Pirate's Booty, Maple Tofu, Steamed Broccoli

Maple Baked Tofu

Maple baked tofu–simple, sweet, and so(y) delicious. The tofu came out particularly good because I had it pressing all morning and changed the towel thrice; when you get a ton of water out, you really notice the difference. These corn puffs were good, but didn’t really blow me away; I liked the flavor but the texture was just OK and overall they were “meh”. Maybe one of the other flavors will impress me more.

While I was watching this I got around to watching my DVRed Oprah with Michael Pollon. I know–I’m so behind! But I really liked this episode and was able to connect with it a lot. The part with Alicia Silverstone and Oprah talking about their business had me rolling on the floor! I do get what they’re saying, though. I also found it funny that Alicia “slips up” on cheese sometimes. It gets the best of us 😀

Count-To-10 Workout Sheet

In the afternoon I did my Count-To-10 workout. This’ll be perfect for any readers lamenting being stuck in doors for the storm! In case you forgot, it’s super simple:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 push-ups(15 for me)
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 sit-ups(20 for me)
  • Repeat 10 times.

Obviously, I use a checklist just to keep track. While I was doing this, the mail came, and I got a “sweet” surprise.

Uli Mana's Raw Desserts

Uli Mana sent me a sampler of some of their sweet and raw treats. The seal on them was broken, but since these came straight from a closed USPS box, I assumed they were untampered and safe.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Goji Berries And Raw Chocolate Sauce, Raw Hemp Brownie

Umm, sweetest post-workout recovery meal ever? I think so. Where to start? This brownie was simply amazing. I’ll count it as my “Cookie Friday” treat(like I don’t have one of these every day). This was the 3rd bought raw brownie I tried, along with the 2 that I’ve made, and it was by far my favorite; it tasted sooo fudgy! I think the secret must have been in the cacao butter. I need to find me some. Any good brand suggestions? Or even just brands? The pudding was delicious and antioxidant rich with Navitas Naturals goji berries, but I added a little something to sweeten it up even more…

Xagave Raw Agave Nectar

Xagave sent me some of their agave nectar to bake and experiment with. Again, where to start? Simply put, from the 1 time I’ve used this so far, I’d highly recommend it. I mentioned on Monday(and even got some agreeance from readers!) that the agave nectar I used just didn’t taste sweet at all. Well, that was “Trader Joe’s raw agave nectar” for anyone curious. This, on the other hand, tasted sweet. It tasted really sweet, like I’ve been told agave nectar should. I can’t wait to bake more with it! Since I don’t prefer sweets for dinner, it was back to eating cheesy.

Next Generation Organic Dairy Raw Probiotic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Cheese Sticks

Yet another flavor of Next Generation Organic Dairy cheese to review. I knew this’d make a great addition to dinner not only because it’s no-carb, and high-protein and fat, but because of the added probiotics.

Lemon Cauliflower, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Cheese Stick, Grass Fed Beef Medallion

Dinner was also particularly good since we found out that Whole Foods(at least the one in Providence) sells grass-fed beef; sooo much cheaper than from a restaurant! And perfectly cooked so long as you know what you’re doing 😀 It tastes fantastic and I had my whole medallion. I was a bit underwhelmed though with this cheese stick; it tasted cheesy for sure, but the complexity somewhat stopped there. I suppose if it were too garlicy, that also would have been a problem, so I’m not sure where the perfect balance would have been. I do just love that they even make these in stick form; perfect for probiotics on the go!

And now, I’m thinking more sweet than cheesy for dessert. Wouldn’t you agree 🙂 For some interesting reading, here’s an article on the benefits of goat’s milk yogurt!  That’s a bandwagon I can get on. And here’s a jam giveaway and a granola giveaway

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