Waiting On Chickpeas And What The Internet Knows…

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m glad you all seem to love fudge almost as much as I do

Could I resist having a piece this morning after photographing it? Not a chance. That does not bode well for how long this will last in my freezer. At least it’s raw, and the coconut oil gave me good energy for a run.

10 Miles In 90:16

10 Miles In 90:16

Maybe that’s a lie, too. This run was a little slower than I’ve been able to do recently. My left foot hurt and I suspect it’s because there’s so little arch support. These shoes seriously have 2000-3000 miles on them, and I really need a new pair 😦 Perhaps after the half-marathon this Sunday. Besides that, I was entertained by the new Dr. Who and pushed past that.

Blueberry Chobani With Sprouted Almond Butter

Blueberry Chobani With Sprouted Almond Butter

Instead of regular class, I had an earlier museum tour today. I didn’t have enough time between running and that for a proper lunch, but it’s always important to fuel, so I threw some Better Than Roasted Sprouted Almond Butter and sea salt on a blueberry Chobani; I love the blueberry/almond flavor combo.

Ancient Egyptian Mummy

Ancient Egyptian Mummy

The museum tour was pretty interesting; the RISD art museum is famous and somewhere I’d really like to spend more time if I get the chance. As is, we just had 40 minutes to go through a few rooms and get lectured on ancient artifacts.

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts, Gingerade Kombucha

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts, Gingerade Kombucha

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts

I was so excited for this salad when I got back. I’ve been toying around with the thought of carrot cake chickpeas in my mind for a while now, and this was a spicy twist on that. In the mix was

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoon chickpea water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • shredded carrots
  • organic hunza raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • sea salt

I took the extra 5 minutes to go down stairs and toast some walnuts in a pan, too. If you have the time, you really should toast your nuts. The flavors here were all incredible and I loved it! This’ll definitely be a new salad recipe to keep in mind for the future. On the side and in my next class I sipped on a Gingerade Kombucha.

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Even though the weather is crappy and cold, I can still crave ice cream; I can always crave ice cream. In accordance with project cleanout, I knocked down both of these pints, neither of which had a real serving left. I think the combination of a coconut/vanilla flavor with white chocolate was bliss. Could someone make a vegan white chocolate ice cream next, maybe? I’d buy. That was all in prep for dinner.

Grass-Fed Burger And Sweet Potato Chunks

Grass-Fed Burger And Sweet Potato Chunks

It wouldn’t be a Wednesday night in this house dorm without sweet potatoes and a burger. How long has it been since I’ve had sweet potatoes? 4 days? That’s too long. This meat also tasted nice and fresh since we just got it Monday and I hadn’t unsealed the pack yet–yum!

I always find it funny seeing what website my internet thinks I want to go to just when I type in the first letter. Some of them are dead on; others I can’t fathom what it’s thinking. I thought I’d post them all here for a laugh and encourage any other bloggers to do the same.

A- Aol.com/television

B- Brown.edu

C- CarrotsNCake.com

D- Database Library(Brown)

E- EmmysOrganics.com

F- Foodmakesfunfuel.com

G- Google.com

H- HealthyTippingPoint.com

I- iHerb.com

J- JPLicks.com

K- KickassCupcakes.com

L- Loveveggiesandyoga.com

M- Mycourses.brown.edu

N- Nomeatathlete.com

O- Nothing

P- Pokemon.com

Q- Quakeroats.com

R- Rhoderaces.com

S- Stonyfield.com

T- Tinyurl.com

U- Ulimana.com

V- Vivani.de

W- Wikipedia.org

X- Xagave.com

Y- Youtube.com

Z- Zingbars.com

Anyone care to post this on their blog for themself?

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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! 😀 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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Rough Night And Maple Talk

Posted on April 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ugh, I don’t know where to start. Aren’t Sunday mornings when you’re supposed to wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated and ready to tackle on another day? I definitely was not able to get enough sleep, and my throat’s soar so I’m drinking tea like there were a fire there and I could put it out :-/ On the bright side, my Saturday night started out promising.

Walnut Date Boomi Bar

Walnut Date Boomi Bar

I sat down with this Walnut Date Boomi Bar to watch Anchorman and get some serious work done. You’d think the two wouldn’t work together, but they did. Every time I see that movie, I like it more(I hated it to begin with so that doesn’t have to be saying much). The bar as also not a disappointment; I loved how it tasted simply of walnuts, dried fruit, and a touch of honey. I think there could have been the raisins left out and honey brushed up a bit, but overall this was fantastic. And hand rolled?! Did I read that right? Amazing.

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

I wasn’t hungry for much, so I just finished off the night with the rest of my Alter Eco dark chocolate mint. I can’t believe 2 night-time snacks and this bar is already gone 😦 I’ll have to get another; I love the bits of whole sugar in here! It’s definitely a textural and taste sensation.

I also managed to write and submit a full rough draft of my before going to bed!! That was the one thing I’ve had looming over my head all weekend, and to be honest I thought it would take a lot longer and I might not get it down with all my other work. But now I feel like I won’t be chained to books until Tuesday night, and that’s a very good thing 😀

2 Apples

2 Apples

Around 2:45 was when the trouble began; I woke up to go to the bathroom and couldn’t get back to sleep 😦 There was a loud party downstairs that kept me up probably until 4:20. I ate an apple around 3 and then another around 4. I get that people want to party, I do. I can’t really blame them. But last night was absurd. At one point, a girl got her feelings hurt apparently and took it upon herself to run around screaming and crying and banging. After some random person wrote on my door, I locked things up.

But the past is the past.I slept in a bit extra, woke up with a sore throat, and finally had an appetite for breakfast. Food tastes so much better when you really, truly want it. And all I wanted was a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

And a big bowl it was. I upped the amount of grains and made a special peanut butter out of Teddie’s, sea salt, brown sugar, and maple butter. I wanted to try and remake Garden Grille’s, but this wasn’t quite that good. On the side, I had a pineapple Chobani, hoping that the probiotics in there will help prevent anything I might be coming down with.

Maple Talk

As if you can’t tell by the maple butter dousing my oatmeal, I’m a maple freak. But it occured to me that not everyone grew up in New England with lumberjack grandparents who feed a maple addiction, so I thought I’d give a little lesson on the different kinds of maple. I’d also like to take now to unveil my review page Justin’s Maple Almond Butter; I’ve had this in my pantry almost a year now and finally got around to writing about it.

Maple Syrup: The most common form of maple available, the sap from the tree is cooked down to a syrup, making for a pure, unrefined sweetener thinner than honey and involving no animal by-product.

Maple Taffy: This is the product of cooking down maple syrup a bit more. More moisture is taken out, leaving a rich, thick taffy. Unsuitable for pouring over breakfast goods, this is reserved mostly for use on ice cream or even snow.

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar: The sugar is the maple with all of its moisture removed. It is solid at room temperature and has a brown, rich flavor to it that regular sugar doesn’t. It can be substituted in any recipe at a 1:1 ratio with regular sugar.

Maple Butter: With a slightly higher moisture content than maple sugar, maple butter has to be kept in the fridge lest it melt into a thick taffy. Maple butter is granulated and perfect for spreading on toast. Note: It involves no real butter and is 100% maple.

Clearly, we New Englanders have a religion around maple products. Don’t try to tell me the “maple flavored syrups” or “sugar free maple syrup” are any kind of real food; they aren’t. You just can’t go wrong with the pure, true stuff itself. But if maple syrup isn’t your thing and chocolate is, check out Avery’s Chocomize giveaway!

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Would You Eat It?

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Tonight’s your last chance to enter the wellness giveaway!*

My jaw dropped when this ice cream creation popped up on my Google Reader.

Yes, you see that right: turkey ice cream. They describe it as “super premium chocolate ice cream with morsels of real turkey covered in dark chocolate swirled with sweet potato, chocolate fudge and cranberry sauce“. It’s set to be released in October, and you might not believe my first thought: Awesome! Yes, I was actually excited by this. Letting the shock past, I realized this will probably have a lot of less-than-natural ingredients in it, and the meat will be from questionably treated animals, so I will not be partaking in Turkey Day ice cream when it’s out. That’s not to say I might not try to recreate it in the kitchen with some vegan chocolate ice cream and Tofurkey 😉 It then occurred to me that the reason I wouldn’t eat this might very well be different from a lot of yours. Maybe this doesn’t sound exciting to you. Or maybe you don’t want meat, ethically raised or not. That had me thinking all day what would other people not eat that I am and why?

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Could I interest you in a maplemazing salad? This was something I threw together on a whim and it was so damn good. It was also vegan, sodium-free, and did I mention amazing? The center was a bed of spinach surrounded by maple baked tofu On top, I mixed together 1/2 can chickpeas, carrot shreds, golden raisins, maple syrup, and no-salt indian spice blend(the secret ingredient), and topped it off with Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts. Holy yum! I was worried about the indian spice blend at first but it added just the right level of heat and a twist to keep it interesting. Meanwhile, I think nuts on salads are my new addiction.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

For the first time in days the rain stopped; to celebrate I grabbed some So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. This is creeping up to be my favorite chocolate ice cream; there are only a handful of recognizable, non-GMO ingredients and it has a great sweetness for such a low sugar content. This was dreamy to scoop on and enjoy the day.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I might have been a little too excited for my oatmeal this afternoon. This was just a flavor combination I’ve been dieing to try: coconut shreds and chocolate chips This did not disappoint, either. The coconut on its own was nutty enough for the salty oats, and the chips were just bursting with sweetness. I also forgot what a great snack oats can be when you have the time to sit down and enjoy them–so filling!

Grass-Fed Burger, Mustard Sweet Potato Chunks Over Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Mustard Sweet Potato Chunks Over Spinach

My first dinner back was about as classic as they come a burger with sweet potatoes. To keep things interesting, I tossed the cooked sweet potatoes with mustard and then microwaved them for 3 minutes(they were a little hard). It wasn’t quite as flavorful as I was hoping but it was good for a change of pace. The burger, of course, was cooked to perfection, though now I’m looking forward even more to grilling over the weekend.

So, back to the opening question, would you eat the turkey ice cream? I’d also be very curious to know which dishes from today of mine you’d not eat and why. Call me curious 🙂 On a much different note, I’d gladly eat these snacks or any of this prize giveaway

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Super Salad And The Great Egg Debate

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

Good afternoon! It feels more like afternoon now than evening or night just because it’s still sunny! This time shift thing is definitely throwing me for a loop; I love the extra light at the end of the day, but feeling around for everything in the dark at 6:15? Not a fan. P.S. Google Reader and formatting both have not been my biggest fan today so if you missed my chocolate obsession eating and Alter Eco review you can still read it here.

Red Delicious Apple

I had my entire lunch packed and ready to go for class when hunger struck like a brick 20 minutes before hand. Rather than gobble down what I packed, I grabbed this apple. Most foods I like to eat slowly and savour but apples I can deal with the chew-and-go nature. Besides, I really wanted to give time to the salad I made.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

The combo of these ingredients does not get old. But winding back, last week I was craving chickpeas like craaaazy but since I try to make the most out of my meal plan and the dining hall never had any, I was out of luck 😦 Over the weekend, I decided since when does anyone go poor off of buying canned chickpeas? So welcome back to my life chickpea salad!

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach, Gingerade Kombucha

What makes this a super salad are all the other ingredients. First I overdress the greens with Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dressing, which really does have that sweet(agave nectar) vinegary flavor going on. Next up, I toss 1/2 a can chickpeas with Navitasdried mulberries(a superfruit!) and a diced raw & probiotic cheddar cheese stick ala Next Generation Dairy. I think cheese sticks by their very nature are super, don’t you?

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

The result is one big old trip to flavertown–I never thought I could enjoy a salad so much! And the health benefits here are ridiculous. Beans? Great vegan fiber and protein. The cheese has living enzymes for positive digestive health. The spinach is filled with vitamins!! The mulberries–well they’re a superfruit so they have to be healthy but they’re also a great subtle sweetness. And the hemp oil has healthy omega-6’s and -3’s. You can’t go wrong! I really enjoyed washing it down with a gingerade kombucha; did you know ginger has anti-flu properties to it? Not to mention kombucha also restores your body’s alkalinity and is probiotic as well. Wow, I’ve beaten that salad to death, so I’ll move on to dessert.

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Yogurt And Sweet Scoops Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt

Flash forward after 3 hours of class and some email responding and you have a munchy college student on the first day the sun’s been out 5 days. The answer? Ice cream! To shake things up, I had a scoop of Sweet Scoops‘ mint chip froyo(dairy & probiotic) with a scoop of So Delicious‘ vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream(vegan). The flavor came out perfect with a coolness from the mint and a cleanness from the vanilla bean. And since my stomach’s been a bit off since Sunday when I had that gluten-freefilled cookie, this was easy cals to take in without feeling more bloated.

French Toast Ingredients

Now if you thought lunch was just the bee’s knees, you’re going to looove dinner. I’ve had eggs in my fridge for weeks now that I’ve been wanting to eat but not knowing how to eat in a way that would excite me. Why eggs? Because they’re packed with protein and healthy, nutrient-rich fat from the yolk when they’re given the right feed. These were local, organic, and tested for 600mg Omega-3’s per 2 eggs, which is excellent! Especially since my diet has been lacking DHA omega-3 from fish this entire month and 1/2 I’ve been at school. Then I just needed to decide what to do with them…

Cornmeal French Toast Oatmeal

The man(and I’m pretty sure this was a man and a lazy bachelor living in a crappy apartment at that) who first used breakfast for dinner as an excuse was a genius. Since french toast oatmeal never fails me and tastes delicious, I figured that would be appropriate. To switch it up, I replaced the oatbran with cornmeal! And then continued to make it with 2 local & organic Country Hen eggs and patted with pasture butter, drizzled with New Hampshire maple syrup, and then topped with cinnamon and vanilla powder–magnifique! as the French would say 😉

Like I said and believe, eggs are very nutritious in their complete form. However, they’re subject to so much labeling! You can get regular, cage-free, cage-free organic, cage-free vegetarian fed, omega-3–the list goes on. Personally, I think so long as it’s vegetarian fed, it’s good enough; that’s really the only label I think “matters” and while some can be better vegetarian fed, the changes after that get wish-washy. However, I try to buy the most labeled eggs I can find. This time, I bought the Country Hen eggs; usually I go for Eggland’s Best cage-free, organic, even though I think they’re just as good as their regular ones. Why? The labeling makes me feel better. It just does when it comes to eggs–not all foods, but eggs in particular. I like to imagine the happy chicken wandering around dropping eggs as she pleases(even though I realistically know this is never the case) and so I shell over the extra money for the better bird. What about you? Does it matter at all, or are you at some sort of conflict like me?

And here’s an awesome giveaway for coconut oil!

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How Do You Feel NOW?

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Morning, all! How are you feeling today? How about right now? If the difference doesn’t make sense, hopefully it will soon. Right now I feel on top of the world because of some good news I’ll share at the end 😉

Love Raw Foods Cashew Butter

Last night I broke out this new cashew butter I was sent to sample and review from Blue Mountain Organics. It’s raw so the nuts have only been soaked, low-temp dried, and slow ground. I was interested to see if it would still taste as “nutty”.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Caramel Sauce

I was really craving something caramel, but wanted to keep it vegan while I could. I read on a website that an equal mixture of agave, maple syrup, and cashew butter makes for a raw caramel sauce and gave it a try. The result wasn’t incredible but it was pretty tasty no less; with a little sea salt it definitely tasted more caramel-like. But I think for something really raw and caramel you’ll want to try lucuma powder(not like I ever have but it’s what I’ve heard). Anyway, it went well over chocolate avocado pudding made with stevia and almond milk.

Banana Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Maple Syrup

For a better taste of the butta’, I went with a bowl of banana oats with 1/2 a banana and the grains for a small bowl, along with a HUGE dollop of cashew butter and some maple syrup. I loved how sweet it tasted, even without the syrup. And the consistency was nice and airy. I definitely wouldn’t have known there was anything “different” about it because it was raw; it tasted like cashews should. And I equally loved watching Modern Family while eating this; how hilarious was the turtle plot line?

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

One thing to know about me is I like to go to bed FULL; not hungry, or even satisfied, but feeling really well fueled. On days with long runs in the morning, I can go 14 miles and 3 hours without having time to eat, so I definitely need that night time energy. When I asked myself “How do you feel now?” after that first bowl, I knew I wasn’t there yet and made another with white chocolate wonderful. That hit the spot.

Making Raw Chocolate

As it turned out, when I woke up, I felt more or less like I’d been hit by a bus; clearly, it was not a runner’s high or anything. Still, I wanted to get to the gym. 3 times I started and stopped walking. My excuses to keep going were always something like “I might feel like going later and would have more time now” or “the weekend would be so much better for a rest day”. Both of those thoughts were true, but then it hit me: I don’t feel like running now and that’s when matters. Maybe I will feel like going to the gym later, and if so I’ll have to find the time to squeeze in. But instead, I spent my morning doing something more practical: Making raw coconut oil chocolate 😀 This was a triple batch I made into 3 bars for refrigeration.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Chocolate, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

Breakfast ended up being another expression of feelings. I felt hungry earlier than usual, so I ate earlier. I felt like eating vegan and not oatmeal, so I avoided oats and dairy products. And I had a definite sweet tooth, so I might have gone a little chocolate/stevia happy. Isn’t listening to your feelings great? I had a So Delicious soy yogurt with Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds for protein, and along side that more chocolate avocado pudding(stevia sweetened) with 1/2 a batch of coconut oil chocolate on top. For the pudding, I cracked open a container of my secret ingredient…

So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir

You can really use whatever milky liquid you like in the recipe–it’s only 3 tablespoons anyway. Usually I use almond milk since I always seem to have an open container, and occasionally I’ll use coconut milk but that’s a little much to use all the time. A good option is this coconut milk kefir, which is almost as thick as full fat coconut milk, much lighter, and has probiotics to boot! It’s a bit on the pricey side, but I let myself grab some whenever it’s on sale(which it is in the New England area at Whole Foods right now fyi).

Another reason I let myself get a little “desserty” with breakfast was because I got really good news right before making it. I’ve been a little secretive with all the extra things I have going on this week; some of that is for other’s privacy, some of that is because they’re boring things I wouldn’t trouble you with. One of those “boring things” was an optional Greek exam put on by the Classics department here for freshmen. As it turns out, I came in 1st along with a classmate of mine and we both got $875 in prize! Maybe now I can afford a new bowl that’s not plastic, made for a 5 year old, and bright “apple green”? 😉 Of course, that doesn’t excuse me from actually going to Greek class, which I need to do now 🙂

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Today Was Not S.A.D.

Posted on February 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has been a lot, but you know what it wasn’t? Singles Awareness Day. I must have been living under  rock, because I first heard the term driving up to my house this morning. I have to say–it made me laugh at loud! I love it 🙂 It’s totally a great attitude to have if you can “wear it”. I think I can defiitely wear it and proud; I will 100% celebrate V-Day single with a box of chocolates and not give one bit. If you’re single, would you embrace S.A.D., too?

Making Chocolate Cups

Today for me was not S.A.D. or V-day but B-day, or my Aunt Leslie’s B-day at least. We rushed home and got their at 12:30 after stopping at a few stores to get baking supplies. I always feel like I need to make a dessert. And while I know I don’t need to really, I think it’s fun 🙂 Today, I made simple milk chocolate peanut butter cups, and a new recipe for vegan coconut cherry dark chocolate cups! How good do those sound?

Next Generation Cheddar And Caribbean Cheddar Raw Cheese

I also was able to provide some appetizers for the crowd; Next Generation Dairy really did send me 2 moo’s worth of cheese to sample and review so I loved the chance to share. This later sparked some great conversation about raw cheese and Canada and “the old days”. Yes, 1/2 of me stems from cow-milking Canadians 🙂

Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Cheddar Cheese

As we waited for the relatives I made a snack plate of sour cream & onion popchips and cheddar cheese. Yes, we found them! I’ve been looking for this flavor for so long since I loved them so much and now I have a brand new bag along with the cheddar flavor 😀 I do have yet to review this flavor of cheese, but I’d rather do it when I’m not rushed so will the next time I taste it. From what I could tell, it was very good! It didn’t have a strong tang like raw cheese tends to so I think it would be a great start for beginners.

Carved Chicken

It was my job to carve the chicken, as usual. First off, my dad had the sniffles all day, so we didn’t want to infect anyone. Besides that, I’m just better than anyone 😉 Not going to lie. And I totally stripped the 2 we have down to the bare bones. My mom made a point that the were Amish and from Whole Foods. Do you think that means they would have protested to being cooked in an electric oven?

Table Set Up

As always, there was an impressive spread of food, of which we could not begin to eat all of. Whenever there’s so many options in front of me, I like to keep it simple and just pick the 3 that look most appealing. Then I feel free to load my plate with those. I think that’s so much better than “sampling a little bit of everything” because it leaves you so much more satisfied with what you did it.

Golden Beets, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Dark Meat Chicken

I went with roasted brussels sprouts–a favorite, obviously–, golden beets which were a new find at Whole Foods, and the dark meat chicken. I love the dark meat, and since I only eat meat so rarely and in small amounts, it makes sense to go for dark in my opinion. And if you’re buying naturally fed animals, all the better for the fats in there. It all was delicious! I’m sure the same goes for what I didn’t taste. A good home cooked meal was a major perk for making the trip.

Blowing Out The Candles

A little later, we sang happy birthday to my aunt who turned 46, and then my cousins blew out the candles. They love Carvel cakes and I cannot begin to imagine how many they’ve eaten in their lives–100’s for sure. There was all-natural vanilla bean ice cream from Hannafords for me, but honestly this wasn’t 30 minutes after lunch so I couldn’t care less for dessert and passed.

PB And Coconut Cherry Cups

From what I could tell, everyone who had one of my cups found them delicious! I’m always worried trying out a new recipe, especially when I myself haven’t even tried it. I’m so glad they worked out. Most of the time, my cousins were playing my video games as we were eating. They couldn’t figure out how come I’d only gotten through so few worlds on Mario; I don’t think they quite understand what it means to not live at home. Oh to be young again 🙂

Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

While they were doing their 30 minute farewell tour(as anyone with young children understands), I totally got hungry for real food again. I heated up an acorn squash that was meant for lunch, and added maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt. It’s an unusual “snack” for sure but so good! This is absolutely the best combination of flavors, and was 100% necessary to suffer the parade of hugs.

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

After the relatives left, it was then time for my family to get back in the car and bring me back to campus. My grandmother even came “just for the ride”. Oh, am I jealous of having time like that. Right before we hit the dorm, we hit Whole Foods for this, which I was waiting for all afternoon. Seeing everyone else have ice cream really gave me a craving for some, but we didn’t have any flavors/types that would fit that craving. I knew I needed to give this one a shot if only to quench my curiosity.

Vegan Coconut Cherry Cup With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This would be my dinner. Oh yes I did 😀 I figure–If I’m ever going to go all-out dessert for dinner, it might as well be on Singles Awareness Day, and might as well be vegan, right? The ice cream was a little bit of a let down because it tasted a bit too coconutty, but besides that was decent. The vegan coconut cherry cup was incredible! Oh my God, now I get why people were raving about them. I will get a recipe page up for them, but first I want to submit them in to Tropical Traditions and want to keep it under wraps until then.

Speaking of Tropical Traditions, I’m picking a coconut oil giveaway winner in the morning! Now’s your last chance to enter! Also in the morning, I have a long run of 10 miles planned! Yikes! I’m a bit nervous to go for double digits again, but I’ll give it a whirl. I also need to do my laundry, but that’s a bit less frightening, haha.

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“Life” Is A Funny Thing

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

That’s actually a huge understatement; life is more like the craziest thing you’ll ever attempt to know. That’s what has been on my mind most of today. A few things that sparked that:

  • Someone in my year was struck and killed by a car on a road I’ve crossed 100’s of times this year. I could have had a class with him, lived in the dorms with him, or at least knew him, but I didn’t. I went to his Facebook page when the email was sent out to get a sense of what he looked like. Not 24 hours ago, he was “making friends” on Facebook.
  • While on Facebook, I noticed someone I went to middle school with remark that 5 years ago today, we left off on what would be 10 tough days of community service in Costa Rica. This was one of those trips that breaks you down and builds you completely anew; my eyes were opened in so many ways, good friendships were made better, and it gave me a completely new experience to look back to.
  • Sunday’s Valentines Day. Facebook reminded me(nothing I didn’t already remember) that it also would have been the 18th birthday of a girl I went to high school with and knew very very well, who died from cardiac arrest on a school trip 2 1/2 years ago. She was 15.
  • On a much lighter note, some guy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won $250000 answering movie trivia. That’s probably the kind of stuff people told him all his life “would never be useful”, and now look at him. I’ve picked up tons of information like that(hell, it’s my major! haha).

What’s the takeaway from all these doses of “life”? For me, it’s that I’m now looking forward to going home Sunday to be with my extended family. At first, this seemed like such an imposition; could I really give a day away from work? Now I’m thinking, could I really not for family? I don’t think so.

Green Peppers And Savory Breakfast Chicken Sausages

After getting the first bit of news barraged at me, I needed a lunch that would “wow!” me and take my mind of things, but didn’t feel like doing much. I looked at the Al Fresco website to get some ideas for something simple, and found I could make this recipe pretty easily.

Kitchen Sign

I like to adhere to all the rules while cooking; I especially try and remember to take pizza out of the box before putting it in the oven. But that one always trips me up 😛 Anybody care to make a kitchen confession? I’ve done the foil in the microwave thing when I was younger(actually, it was probably my dad’s bad. It was a pancake syrup container from McDonalds on a night my mom was gone from the house). And a note on the last one: The fan doesn’t even work, haha 🙂

Egg And Sausage Frittata, Broccoli With Cayenne Parma

I changed the recipe by using 1 egg and the rest of my egg white container, and microwaved it for a minute afterwards rather than the traditional bake to finish off the top egg. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli with cayenne parma. I pretty much loved this, licked my plate–the whole shebang. These sausage can do no wrong; I remember thinking that the first time I ate them when I snuck them into the dining hall as my protein. Expect to see this again(hopefully a lot!).

Banana Whip With Maple Syrup

I was pretty awful at getting work done this afternoon; I blame twitter friends and other blogs on my reader 😛 I decided a cool treat was necessary while I had time. I blended up some bananas and drizzled the top with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the syrup didn’t taste awfully sweet with the banana 😦 It was really only sweet the whole spoonfuls I got. Oh well, they were each good on their own part. It always amazes me how something so natural and raw can be so satisfying(technically, maple syrup isn’t raw. But from a New England and New Hampshire standpoint, it’s more natural than breathing).

Peanut Sweet & Salty Odwalla Bar

Later on I wanted some peanuts(not surprising). I realized so few bars I have actually have peanuts in them :-O I think it must be so that companies can boast a peanut-free facility. I remembered grabbing this one from a campus store last semester and went for it. It was way more sweet than salty(I actually had to pour a little salt on). I also convinced myself to go out for the 2nd time today and grabbed some yogurt; 1 vanilla chobani could not last me through Sunday morning.

Bacon Tempeh, Marinated Brussels Sprouts And Tempeh Cubes, Honey

Dinner was flavorful and–better yet–taken care of much earlier. At 3, I marinated brussels sprouts and tempeh with soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. I roasted them for 45 minutes and then added some cooked tempeh bacon and honey for a more-or-less savory BBQ flavor. I think this has sparked a new craving for honey in me; I forgot how sweet and pure the real stuff tastes; I’ll grab a local one at a farmer’s market when those rise up again.

On the other side of life, there are happy, tame points that make you smile. I could ask myself every night before going to bed if I lived life that day the way I wanted to and the answer would almost always be “yes”. I love my family and friends and couldn’t be happier with my readership. It’s no secret I like to network with all of you through this blog, both influencing and being influenced. I’m happy to have influenced Freya who made my raw vegan brownies with chocolate frosting here.

And here’s an iHerb giveaway you could win and live life to the fullest with online shopping!

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Go On And Live Your Life

Posted on February 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you entered my yogurt contest yet? Or maybe my coconut oil giveaway? Both are still active!

Let’s just pretend that “funked-out” guy from this morning never happened 😀 The stress was good in that it motivated me to go 3 extra miles on the treadmill. But after thinking about it and realizing it’s one of those things that’s just out of my control at the moment, I realized it’s nothing worth fretting over. In the immortal words of Rhianna, “Go on and live your life”. OK–“immortals” an overstatement. But it’s a good song to run to 😀 I was certainly living my cravings at lunch!

Mexican Bowl

I needed something from South of the border in my life. I filled a bowl with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, raw onions, and sprouts from the dining hall(underneath). On top I added cooked broccoli(I cannot do raw here), 1/2 a can of black beans, a little avocado mashed up, and TJ’s salsa. Muy bueno! I don’t remember the last time I ate Mexican, authentic or otherwise. Did you know Chipotle is a very eco-friendly chain? I’ve never eaten from there, but after seeing them on Oprah I want to now. Along with this, I had some raw goodies.

Gingerade Kombucha And Caribbean Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese Stick

Kath wrote a good post a few days ago on getting nutritional bang for you buck; I think both of these products fit that bill! I loved this flavor of Next Generation Dairy‘s cheese; even though I don’t normally like cilantro, it really worked here. And would you believe this was my first Synergy Kombucha ever? The company sent me coupons to try and review their raw & probiotic beverages. Well where I bought this(a local cafe) couldn’t take the coupon, but I decided to pay for it anyway since I psyched myself up for it hoping I’d like it. Like it? I loved it! This was so deliciously ginger; and the fermented flavor was oddly nice! I loved the little “warning”.

Kombucha Warning Label

Perfect–I was drinking alcohol in class. That’s nothing that hasn’t happened at Brown 😉 I did almost fall asleep at one point during this Greek History class, though. Oops. It’s not that bad though, I swear! After that, the classes just kept coming, as did my hunger.

18 Rabbits Belle Banana Foster Bar

Taking pictures in class? Do I get the good blogger award for that? This bar from 18 Rabbits had such an enticing description–“banana foster” with “caramelized banana”. Yes, please! Unfortunately, the flavor was very heavily like banana chips. This wasn’t a bad thing, per say; on the contrary, I really liked the flavor! It just needs to not set up itself for such high expectations with a name like that.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

When I finally got back to my room for the evening, I whipped up some chocolate avocado pudding to relax a bit. My afternoon might have looked something like this: The Office, 30 Rock, 5-page paper on food processors. Yes, you read that last one right. Why? I have no idea; we need to have a rough draft on an object in our lives we can look at from an objective perspective by tomorrow at 3pm and it was what popped into my mind. Thankfully, it’s not really due to be graded for 2 weeks, so I can surely change the subject if nothing pops(or processes as the case would be).

Along with my “meal planning initiative”, I had a brilliant idea for dinner: Breakfast! It’s true that I most always have oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. On the one hand, they’re cheap and tasty. But part of that is also because post-run it’s easy to whip together. Instead, I decided to make something with a little more complexity…

Coconut Flour Oatmeal Pancakes With NH Maple Syrup And Grass-Fed Butter

Goat Milk Yogurt With Xagave Raw Chocolate Sauce And Mulberries

Gluten-free, coconut flour oatmeal pancakes! Yum! It’s been far too long since I’ve had pancakes, and when I got this coconut flour from Bob’s Red Mill I knew this was one way I wanted to experiment with it. In the bowl went 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup almond milk, stevia, and salt. I cooked them in a bit of coconut oil and topped them with pasture butter and local maple syrup. Can you say heaven? My favorite fat blogger(that would be, one who blogs about fat ;-)) has a longstanding tradition of pancake eating; I think I need to follow suit here, too, because I’ve been missing out! On the yogurt, I made some raw sauce with Xagave and added Navitas NaturalsMulberries; they may be a superfood but I was not that into them :-/ I’d rather have something like dried raspberries. Maybe they’ll give me superpowers? Here’s hoping 🙂

Go on, live your life, and enter this giveaway from a loyal reader for peanut butter!

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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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