I’ve Never Been So Excited About Meals

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

OK. That’s a TOTAL lie. I mean, look at what I was eating last Saturday. BUT I was very excited for everything I ate today. And it didn’t cost nearly as much as–not even going there 😉 But first, I took a trip to the gym for an a.m. workout. I was worried the place would be PACKED; it was busy, but I was able to grab machines. First, I ran 2 miles in 18:03. Then I did some weird peddling machine where you sit down and hold bars to your side for 30 minutes; this wasn’t really ideal and I couldn’t get my heart rate even over 105 for much but I wanted to break up the running. Then I went back for another 3 miles in 27:43. The speed is so not where I want it to be, but I need to focus on getting endurance back up after my break first; I’m not running my half to win it, just to cross the line.

Lemon Bot Beverage

When I got back to my room, I wanted to get on the refueling pronto. I grabbed this Lemon Bot Beverage I was sent to review. I’m not at all one for sugary recovery drinks but that’s what’s great about Bot: They’re pretty low sugar but still good on the electrolytes. And this flavor was yummy! It wasn’t sour like a lemon straight-up but not like sweetened southern lemonade, either. It was just the right sweet and tartness. I sipped on this while I was down in the kitchen cooking something wonderful up.

Veggie Burger Caveman Style, Sugar Snap Peas

Lightlife Gimme Lean Soy Meat Burger Caveman Style

I wish I could take some credit for the peas, which were delicious, but I can’t; they were totally taken from the dining hall last night and reheated. But I forgot how fun they were to pop into! The burger I can take credit for. I took 4oz of the Lightlife gimme lean meat, formed it into a patty, and cooked it in a pan in EVOO; I like to think this is a step above getting premade veggie burgers but that’s probably not the case. Equally, I’d like to say that I ate this caveman style because it’s a smart way to avoid over-processed carbs, but really I just don’t have any bread/suspect I have a slight gluten intolerance and caveman made sense. Did I mention this burger had a secret?

Inside Out Veggie Cheeseburger

That’s really why I was excited to eat this! I actually formed 2 2oz patties, tore up a square of American cheddar cheese, stuffed it in the middle and enclosed the sides together. The cheese was so perfectly melted when I bit in–yum! That definitely made this better than regular veggieburgers.

Thayer Street

After lunch, I decided to brave the cold. At below freezing with wind, I wasn’t up to walking to Whole Foods. But CVS up the street I could do for the battery I needed. The only problem was CVS didn’t have the battery I needed >:-(. Sure, a CR2032 isn’t super common like a AA, but they should have kept more in stock. The closest store that would sell that would have been a mile away, so I gave up and headed back to my room.

Assembly Station

If you don’t already think I’m nuts(which you should, because I sure as hell do), then maybe now I can convince you. I got my scale working temporarily on a low battery, so I started making a little bit of whatever I might want until I get a new battery: oatmeal, raw vegan chocolate, chocolate avocado pudding, 2% yogurt. As I’ve mentioned, I’m much more a baker than a cook. A cook approximates and does things to taste where a baker is precise and measuring. That’d be great if I kept measuring cups and tablespooons around, but I’m so cocky with my scale I completely forgot that stuff at home. Now can I be crazy? K, thanks.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Chocolate

After everything was put away, I broke in to some of what I made. I made a bowl of chocolate avocado pudding and then did the recipe for 1/2 a raw, vegan coconut oil chocolate bar and just plopped it on top. I thought my lunch was a little light on fats; I guess this made up for it! This was soooo good. Chocolate and coconut together are becoming my new obsession. I couldn’t help but be excited about this combination! I think Grezzo really needs to add this to their menu.

Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t think anything is more exciting than roasting veggies; it’s even converting veggie haters. I was so excited for this, not just for the outcome but because it was the first time using our dorm oven. I was a little nervous: Would it work? Would it explode? I just tossed the fries from 1 potato in some EVOO, seasoned with salt, and let them do their thing for 50 minutes.

Vegan Meatloaf With Sea Salt And Cayenne Parma, Sweet Potato Fries

Once again–Very excited! Not so much for the meatloaf; after 8 days, that just needed to be eaten. But the sweet potato fries were everything and more. I think they needed another 10 minutes to crisp up, but I couldn’t wait. I can never wait long enough for roasted vegetables. The Cayenne flavored Parma added a really great kick to everything. Surprisingly, this didn’t fill me up as much as I was expecting. Maybe it needed a big dose of green veggies? Oh well, that just leaves more space for dessert 😀

Race Update

So, I really don’t have a training plan, nor do I plan to get one(hehe). The run is 8 weeks from tomorrow, and I think if I get into my good groove I’ll be able to build back up in no time. While I don’t have anything laid out, I do keep an idea of what I want to do in my head. Tomorrow, I’m aiming for 5 consecutive miles, and a 2 mile walk(either to Whole Foods and back or on the treadmill). Monday will be my first “long run” of 8 miles! I think/hope I’ll be ready for that one.

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20 Blessings To Count

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. Running 7 miles this morning might have been incredibly difficult, but I was able to push through. And I have 2 months left to build up those extra 6.1. Consider it done.

2. I won Froze bars on Melissa’s blog–that’s always fun 🙂

3. I got a very important email this morning while blogging. Last semester, I got shut out from registering for a class I wanted to take that would really work well for my schedule. I kept a communication going with the professor, but I still wasn’t in the class. He emailed me this morning saying there were 2 spots that opened up! I was registered in minutes. The thing about this class is it’s a fun topic and I’ll be taking it Pass/Fail, so I will really be able to enjoy it.

4. With my schedule right now, I have a 4 day weekend! I know–I entirely lucked out because I got a lineup of classes that interest me, work for my concentration, and give me a great schedule.

Cooking Lunch

5. I cooked my first meal in the dorm kitchen–nothing exploded and no fire alarms went off! In my pan, I heated up some EVOO. Then I cooked leftover tempeh and tofu until brown, and added the soy sauce to caramelize. To finish it off, I tossed in steamed broccoli to cook down.

Broccoli, Tofu, Tempeh Stir-Fry, Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

6. It tasted good!!! 😀 No, this tasted great. You could have told me it came from an authentic Chinese restaurant and I would have believed you. It’s also very good to know I can cook successful meals because…

7. I can lower my meal plan! This was of some concern, but as it seems I can lower my meal plan 2 levels without it costing us anything extra. In fact, we’ll get $250 back. While I’ll be losing a lot of meals and flex points, they aren’t anything I’d have used particularly. AND this means I’ll have money so I can buy greek yogurt at the grocery store where it’s $1–not $2.69.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

8. There was dessert with lunch. That’s always a plus.

9. Days was really good today, too. I need to work up the nerve to tweet my admiration to Alison Sweeney my admiration. If she tweeted back–Oh God.

Blue State Coffee

10. I reunited with Blue State Coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Starbucks? Who needs that.

School Books

10. I got all my books! Since I’m 95% set with my class choices, I just decided to buy them. Some of the used ones I picked up, though, are pretty skanky, so I’m going to exchange them for better copies Friday.

11. They only cost $305. Yes. I said “only” there, knowingly. But, while I was complaining about the cost, some good science-majoring friends reminded me that 1 chem or bio book can easily top $200 used. Meanwhile, I’m getting things I could potentially use for 40+ years, like a full Greek lexicon*nerd squeal*. I shut up after that.

12. My first class went great! It was the one I got into just this morning. Someone from my Latin class last semester is also taking it, so I’m glad to know a face. The professor seems nice, the work reasonable, and topic interesting.

13. I’m making raw vegan brownies with raw chocolate frosting for the class in 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this came up 😀

Coconut Oil Peanut Fudge

14. I packed a snack which turned out to be decent–1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons defatter peanut flour.  It just tasted OK, but it would be a lot better if I used a peanut flour with a higher fat percentage. This did a good job of holding me over through my 2 1/2 hour class.

Cafeteria Hummus

15. I now have A LOT of free hummus. I emailed “the right person to ask” about what type of hummus they use on the salad bar. Turns out it’s a homemade hummus. After some further prying, I got the ingredients: Garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, tahini, salt. Soooo not only is it homemade, but it’s even better than the store brands because it has no canola oil or preservatives? HELLO HUMMUS.

Red Delicious Apple

16. This apple was not mealy at all but rather fresh and crisp, and held me over doing “internet things” until dinner.

17. I won another contest, this time for Oikos.

Vegan Meatloaf And Green Beans With Vegan Cheeze Sauce, Hummus, Ketchup

18. Dinner was easy, cheesy, and oh-so vegan. I heated up some leftover vegan meatloaf, took green beans from the dining hall, and made Meagan’s “cheeze” sauce to go with them; I think that sauce is more proof of nutritional yeasts greatness. On the side, I added a blob of my new hummus, just because I could 🙂

19. Plenty of good behind the scenes stuff got done today, too, that I’m excited for for the blog.

20. Chocolate is on the menu for dessert, because I say so.

Enter to win Barney Butter here

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The Seeds Make It Crunchy

Posted on January 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Well I completely caved on that whole “rest day” thing after breakfast. I think all I needed was a little fuel in the tummy for some energy because I was raring to go right afterwards. I did my core(which you can just search and find for in some older posts if you’re interested) and 200 flights. I must say, highlights include(and are pretty much limited to) the “dance” action I was doing to Tik-Tok and contorting my neck to try to see what the mailperson was bringing through a window. Good news: It was a package from Crofter’s Organic! Bad news:

Broken Asia Superfood Spread

Not everything survived 😦 When I reached in and felt something gooey, I knew that couldn’t be good. Thankfully, I had some senses and realized to feel around too much and cut myself. The other 3 superfruit flavors arrived in good condition and I look forward to reviewing them. And lucky me won some of these jams from another giveaway so hopefully those will all arrive in one piece and I can review Asia, too 🙂

As for something I did review today…

Hickory Honey Barbeque Baked Kettle Chips

These weren’t from the company or anything; these are just chips I like a lot and have featured quite a bit, so I thought I’d write up my love for them here. Of course, they made an appearance at lunch…

Lemon Brussels Sprouts, Lightlife Beef In Tomato Sauce, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips

With some more “healthy” stuff. Boo 😛 I squirted some lemon on the brussels sprouts just to give them a little kick of flavor, and added dehydrated onion to the beef and sauce just to make my breath smell awful. This didn’t really taste like “beef” but it was decent enough for a protein; I think it would have been a lot better if I were using a real sauce I was into but alas that was just tomato sauce from a can. But really–what can’t you do with a can of tomato sauce? I needed it this afternoon to make up a vegan meatloaf.

Vegan Meatloaf

I’ll admit I had little-to-no interest in cooking anything for dinner, and that my mind was on some juicy, red grass-fed beef from Tomasso’s. This was a far cry from red meat but I had mouths to feed and I figure what goes around comes around(so here’s crossing my fingers for that beef sometime soon :-)).

Orange Steaz Sparkling Green Tea

While I was cooking I was sipping on this flavor Steaz. It really needed a bit of a kick so I added some stevia to each tiny glass I poured. Things are just more fun when you pour them into other glasses; now why the hell didn’t I use a wine glass? Man, that would have been better in hindsight.

Since it was Friday, I decided to let my sweet-tooth run ramped. Instead of cookies, however, I was thinking of brownies. And instead of baking, I was thinking of keeping them raw 😀

Ingredients

After trying this brownie from The Raw Bakery, I wanted to try to make my own. To put a fun spin on things, I used raspberry agave syrup. I loooove raspberry jam in brownies and this was essentially the same thing. And it was all organic! Except the dates, which we’ve already established were cheap and yummy 🙂

Raw Vegan Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (160 grams) dates
  • 5 tablespoons (105 grams) agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground

Make sure the flax seeds are ground. If they are not, add them to the food processor first and pulse a few times. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended, or about a minute. Scrape into a square container and refrigerate for 10 minutes or so until cutting into.

Raw Vegan Raspberry Brownies

I made one mistake here, which I tried to make clear in my directions not to do just in case anybody tries these: I mixed the flax seeds in with the other ingredients whole. As a consequence, the batter got really thick before they had a chance to break up. Oh well. If you like “crunchy” brownies then these would have been perfect for you 🙂 I didn’t mind a little extra chew. For my afternoon snack, I made a tray of brownie and goat milk yogurt.

Goat Milk Yogurt, Raw Vegan Brownie Clump

Raw Vegan Raspberry Brownie

They don’t really hold together very well, either, but there flavor is superb! Maybe the just need a chance to sit out so some of the water from the syrup comes off. No lie, though, this was some of the tastiest chocolate I’ve had; I think the raspberry worked perfect with the dates for a fruitiness to it all. And it complimented the creamy, slightly fatty goat milk yogurt well. There’s something about raw food where I can eat less and feel more energized and more satisfied, even if all that is is pudding and brownies. Dinner, however, was not raw; dinner was actually cooked by 4 and then just reheated for supper time.

Vegan Mealtoaf With Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli Fries With Vinegar Ketchup

I really need to get to Dedham Whole Foods again to buy a pound of nutritional yeast; sprinkle that on a led pipe and it’d be delicious, I tell ya. This was not juicy red meat. But it was pretty good. There’s about 4 servings left and as we all know this is MUCH better after a few days of sitting so I’m pretty excited for some leftover action 😀 And now… I could use coffee(and chocolate). Maybe that Steaz has caffeine in it? Because I feel like I’m dragging. That’s the beauty of a single-cup coffee maker, my friends. Happy cookie Friday night!

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Taking Control

Posted on January 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Chobani winner announced at the end of this post*

I think everyone is entitled to control of their own life. And it then becomes our duty to make sure we actually take the control into our own hands. This morning I had my annual doctor’s physical, which I was not looking forward to. Frankly, I haven’t been happy with my physician for the past few visits, which doesn’t bode well for him since I’ve only had him for a few years now. I feel he judges his patients as dots, simply comparing them to all the other dots in America on his little chart; that doesn’t cut it for me. I’m unique. You’re unique. Everyone is unique. Like I predicted, he pulled up his laptop with his charts and explained what numbers were a little high and which ones were a little low, and I sat there and took it. What I really wanted to yell say was that everything he was pointing out runs in my family and is hereditary and that they are who he should be comparing me to. But when I walked out afterwards, I made a decision: I will be changing doctors after today. We have every right to be in control of our health care, we just need to take it. Consider control taken. Is there any part of your life that you need to take control? You don’t need to write about it in the comments; just do it!

What else gives me a great sense of control? My meal planning, which led me to this lunch of tactfully planned leftovers:

Vegan Meatloaf With Ketchup, Sweet Potato Rounds With Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli

Root Beer Zevia

I cannot tell you how excited I was for today’s lunch; as good as the vegan meatloaf is the first day, it’s about 10 times better after sitting in the fridge–sooo amazing! Especially with a little ketchup because I’m classy like that 😉 And, hey! There might have even been some sweet potato under that nutritional yeast… just maybe. And on the side I sipped a root beer Zevia for something special while watching the television and catching up on the google reader.

While we’re talking about control, I never feel more in control than in the kitchen. I love it, especially when it’s my own recipe I’m working on. I made up a recipe last night just for Cookie Friday that hit all my cravings for the time.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunkies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance(or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon salt
  • 60g milk chocolate bar, shaved(or 1/4 cup chocolate chips)
  • Coarse sea salt

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, cream together the earth balance and sugar. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk, peanut butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the dry ingredients the egg mixture and mix well. Fold in the milk chocolate shavings. Scoop out cookies onto a lined baking pan. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of the cookies and flatten the top with a fork perpendicularly. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunkies

These definitely would be the show-stoppers at any cookie swap; who can say no to milk chocolate and peanut butter? And they really aren’t that unhealthy for you at all because a lot of the sugar has been replaced with healthy fats and butter replaced with no-cholesterol Earth Balance. And of course you can take control and adjust the recipe to suit yourself.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

While I was in the kitchen I made up some peanut butter cups. There were also 4 others that are just out of the picture. What I love about this is you can take control and adjust the chocolate and peanut butter to your liking. The chocolate here is a darker milk chocolate made with 3 parts Trader Joe’s milk chocolate for every 1 part Baker’s Unsweetened. The peanut butter was a blend of 8 parts Smart Balance Agave Sweetened to 1 part vanilla bean infused sugar. I’m not sure how the peanut butter tasted but I slipped a bit of the chocolate and it was perfect. When everything was done, I took my cookie and coffee and sat down.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunky

Soooo good. These are more salty than sweet, which is totally my preference. But that’s not saying they don’t have sweetness to them. They just taste like good ol’ peanut butter and some smooth chocolate. I ended up watching Tivoed Good Eats and was pleasantly surprised to find it was Alton’s new weight loss episode. Have you seen him recently? He lost 50 pounds of fat! Go Alton! I loved his “no-diet” diet of how he eats:

  • Daily: Fruits, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, carrots, green tea.
  • At least 3x weekly: oily fish, yogurt, broccoli, sweet potato, avocado.
  • 1 time a week at most: red meat, pasta, dessert, alcohol.
  • None: fast foods, soda, processed meals, canned soups, “diet” anything
  • Breakfast every day–no excuses!

I love it! Probably because it sounds like me 😀 (Except for the dessert thing. Desserts a daily item with me) He really took control of his life. What was best was that he was serving this up as a lifestyle and not a diet, which is how it should be seen. If you can, seek out the whole episode. Before dinner I snacked on an apple:

Organic Apple

I don’t know why but I feel the need to point out when things are organic. Thankfully, I’ve noticed this is a common thing among blogs so I don’t feel completely random here. And then I made dinner. I tried a honey citrus salmon, which probably would have been 10 times better were the fish thicker, fresh, and not done in a pan. As it were, it actually didn’t come out bad(though caused a lot of smoke).

Honey Citrus Salmon, Mashed Kefir Cauliflower With Black Pepper

Salty Oatmeal With Raw Cheddar Cheese

We just called it “blackened” salmon 🙂 I also tried out a new recipe! Mashed cauliflower with coconut milk kefir as the creamer. Sooo good! I loved how it came out a bit tangy and sweet from the kefir. AND I can count it as a probiotic source(which is helpful because this would then be number 1 of the day). On the side, I was having a major craving for salt oatmeal. So while I made my parents white potatoes, I cooked up really salty oats and topped it with a salty, raw cheddar–heaven. I’m sure that doesn’t sound in the least appetizing, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have been if it weren’t a major craving. And now, as I’m typing, I’m “unwinding” to this:

Zevia Cola

What is it about beverages that make them what we unwind with? With caffeine, this probably isn’t the best choice to have at night for me, but it is Friday after all 😀 Before I bring up my giveaway, I want to point out the Oikos giveaway at An Apple A Day and the Crofter’s giveaway at Crunches For Cupcakes. And without further ado…

Carrie H!

“Lemon Bluberry Chobani loaf! I NEED some baked goods in my life right now! Oh, and I’ve never tried Chobani, so thanks for the giveaway!”

Never tried Chobani?! We’ll have to fix that. Send me your address and I’ll forward it to the company.

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20 Things I Love

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. Cookies at random times of the day

Kashi Oatmeal Raisin Flax Cookie

2. Healthy junk food I don’t have to bake. I kept this around the kitchen while I was cooking from 11-1.

Meatloaf Seasonings And Rice

Vegan Meatloaf

3. The smell of McDonald’s burger. No, really. This smells just like a McDonald’s burger, and if you don’t believe me, make the recipe!

Maple Mustard Tofu, Curry Maple Acorn Squash, Toasted Walnuts

4. Roasted things in maple syrup. The tofu and squash were in the oven for 90 minutes. That was 1/2 of a squash… before being dehydrated to death.

5. Fat. On account of my recent testing with fat, I swapped out vegetables at my lunch and replaced them with an equal amount of healthy fats, here from Tierra Farm‘s walnuts. My first thought? Damn, that sucks to go from all that broccoli to a half-handful of nuts. After that, I realized that they didn’t fill me up the same way a pile of broccoli would have, but they were very “satisfying” in that I didn’t feel like I needed anything more.

6. Days of Our Lives(probably saw this one coming)

7. Tivo. More specifically, tivoing shows that are on past when I’m out cold for the night.

Organic Apple

8. Organic fruit. I’ll eat the plain stuff, but I can’t help but wonder things…

Scratch Tickets

9. Grandparents who encourage gambling. Aren’t old people the best?

10. Winning $30 dollars! That then led to an inward debate as to whether that’s a sign to pay $16 dollars for a chunk of goat’s milk fudge from the internet. I’m thinking no…

Laloo's Black Mission Fig Goat's Milk Ice Cream On A Chocolate Vitamuffin

11. New food combos. I swear there was a chocolate vitamuffin under there. And I swear it was one of the best things ever, slightly warmed with cold ice cream. The ice cream was goat’s milk(!!) but it surprisingly didn’t taste as tangy as I was hoping 😦 Still really good–almost like the inside of a Fig Newman.

12. Not paying attention to things like cholesterol. Otherwise, a day where you had 2 eggs for breakfast and ice cream made with egg’s yolk wouldn’t be pretty.

13. Convincing people to take me to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Full Fat Greek Yogurt, Goat's Milk Yogurt, Plain Soy Yogurt

14. Obscene amounts of yogurt. You know what’s more obscene? How quick this will be gone. Give me a day or so and see 😉

Trader Joe's Pound Plus Milk Chocolate

15. Equally obscene bars of chocolate. OK, here me out–this isn’t for me(or, not just at least). My mom really liked those peanut butter cups I made and has been dropping hints for more like crazy since. But I really only like peanut butter cups made with milk chocolate. So when I saw this gigantic baking bar I thought problem solved! Isn’t melting chocolate fun?

Vegan Meatloaf With Nutritional Yeast And Parma, Green Beans

16. Healthy, hot dinners. I compared the original parma to the nutritional yeast and I think I prefer the latter, but that might just be because the meatloaf was so flavorful that it really needed something basic on it for contrast.

17. Meal planning. It’s made this week super simple so far.

18. Ironic thoughts, such as “You know what would go good on this vegan meatloaf for our vegan dinner? Full fat greek yogurt…. Wait a minute”.

19. Repeat episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, like the ones I’ve been watching while writing this. The bomb episode from Season 2 was just on. Classic.

20. Really bad people on American Idol. I’m a glutton for them 😉 It’s even better when the auditions are in your home town, like they were last night.

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Leftover Loaf

Posted on January 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When it comes to leftovers, I usually have a love/hate relationship with them. At first, I dread the idea of having anything bearing over me in the future, like a time bomb in the fridge. After I get over the acceptance, I make it my mission to take the same food and make a completely unique and delicious dish with a layer of flavors. With my loaf, however, it was an entirely different story.

Vegan Meatloaf, Broccoli, Ketchup

I was looking forward to eating this vegan meatloaf just the way it was from the moment I made it. I mean, it’s a loaf, after all. It’s bound to taste better after resting a few days. I can’t say it was life-changingly different from how it first tasted, but I will say I enjoyed this very very much, and know I’ll be committing the recipe to memory so I can whip it up without turning my computer on. On the side I had some steamed broccoli and Trader Joe’s organic ketchip, as well as some of these:

Barbeque Pop Chips

More Pop Chips! I can not tell you how excited I was to try this flavor after hearing so much of it on other blogs. My opinion? Well, the Barbeque ones were by no means bad, but I definitely had higher hopes and liked the sour cream & onion ones way more. Oh well, there are some flavors left that might surprise me, too.

Also a slight disappointment? The death on Days Of Our Lives. I mean, death should never be something to look forward too… OK, who am I kidding? TV show drama is the bomb. But they kind of copped out by killing a character who hasn’t been present for 2+ years. Boo. They need another serial killer. OK, now that sounds weird(but it’s true).

Anyway, today I had plans for the afternoon; at my old high school they have an annual alumni basketball game where essentially all the alumni from every graduating class is invited to come play or watch, and then go bowling afterwards. My basketball talents are probably as good as Tiger Woods(I was a fencer throughout high school), but I was game for coming and chatting. On the car ride in to the city I had a chocolate tooth strike.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

Errign gave me this bar as part of her giveaway that I won, which I reviewed here. She figured me out so well 🙂 Besides the obvious(that they’re chocolate), these are amazing because they’re also raw, alkaline, and, most amusingly, green! That was definitely a surprise the first time I bit in and looked down.

I got to the game once it had already started, and was a bit surprised at how few people showed up. No love for the alma mater? Thankfully, there were some good friends from my class standing around who I caught up with while we watched the game. Oddly, it didn’t feel like much had changed over time; I think it’s the magic of connecting/reconnecting with Facebook and the internet. After an hour, we started heading back home, but made a pit stop at Shaws.

Barney Butter

I had heard Barney Butter was now at Shaws but checked the one closer to me to no luck. But in the city it was another story! Frankly, it was more than I normally care to pay for any nut butter, let alone one that’s not even flavored. However, I justified it in my mind by using money from Christmas that I specifically set aside for “fun” food purchases and the fact that I haven’t been and might not be in Boston for over 4 months. We hopped back in the car for a ride home through rush hour traffic. My, how I did not miss this. It was surprisingly light for a snowy evening, but we still got home a little late and I just wanted fast food.

Vegan Meatloaf

Greek Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter And More Pumpkin Butter

To quote Ms. Spears, Oops, I did it again! I said I was a food blogger, never that I wasn’t repetitive 😉 That was the last of the vegan meatloaf, which went down a little to fast and is now sitting a little too heavy. And because I hadn’t had yogurt or very much protein all day, I opted for that instead of veggies on the side. The pumpkin butter(from a local farm), kind of tasted like baby food. But I kind of wasn’t complaining, because I’ve been thinking about hitting up that aisle for some interesting oat concoctions. And now there’s a new Ghost Whisperer on, which is kind of 10 times better than making a fool of myself bowling. This loaf better not loaf around in my stomach too long because I could use some weekend dessert 🙂

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Whippin’ It

Posted on January 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Alternate titles: A Fruity Morning, Freezing My Potassium Off, and I Said I Wouldn’t. All very descriptive, the last one as in “I said I wouldn’t go back for more vegan meatloaf last night.”

Vegan Meatloaf

I had to. It was just too good. And, no, this wasn’t like I didn’t eat enough at dinner and needed a little more. I filled up on this at dinner(trust me), and this was me wanting this for dessert 2 hours later. I even thought about all the chocolate I could have instead. Nope. I wanted meat(sort of). This was probably a good choice to watch The Biggest Loser with. Did you watch it? I did, but honestly I don’t feel any connections with contestants when there are still so many. After that, I noticed a recipe on Facebook that was calling my name!

Vanilla FroYo Banana Whip With NuttZo And 2 Goji Almond Oat Cookies

The link was to a NuttZo blog post about banana whip ice cream! It looked so good, I had to break out the food processor. I blended 4oz banana(about 1 big one) with 1/4 cup really pure vanilla frozen yogurt, and then topped it with some Goji Gourmet almond oat cookies and a spoonful of NuttZo. This was so good! The banana ice cream had such great flavor and texture, and the cookies and NuttZo really hit the spot. And the healthy sugar here didn’t even keep me up at all so that I was sleeping pretty 30 minutes later.

By the way, did anybody else catch the Jay Leno Show? It was perfect. First Kim Kardashian deep fried Oreos with Guy Fieri, then Jillian Michaels came out and traded insults with Jay. She admitted her fat food of choice was Cheetos as a child. i could not picture her ever eating a Cheeto. Anyway, this morning I woke up in time to say goodbye to everyone heading off to work. I decided I needed something that felt like dessert for breakfast, so banana whip it was!

Banana And Chobani Whip With Xanthan Gum

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter, Strawberry Frosting, And Strawberry And Cocoa Granola

This time I whipped the same amount of banana with 1/2 a container of plain Chobani and some NuNatruals vanilla stevia. The texture came out more like a smoothie so I added xanthan gum and refroze it. I feel like a mad scientist playing with that stuff 🙂 For oatmeal, we’re running low on pumpkin. W’ere not out, but dangerously close so that I want to save it for an oats emergency. Instead of break the little glass box that holds the last can of pumpkin, I made some plain oats and gave it a fruity frosting with my MojaMix granola that has dried persimmons and strawberries. Yum! It went great with the clean but earthy vanilla almond butter.

So far today, I’ve been very lazy(still in my PJ’s :-)). Morning TV has been eventful, though. First, Goji Gourmet was featured as Rachael Ray’s snack of the day! And it was the almond oat flavor I had last night–too funny. After that, on Regis and Kelly, a guest explained how you can use alternative natural sweeteners to cut sugar out of the American diet. Perfect! Except he said Fage yogurt was good for you “because it has only one sugar cube per serving”. Correction: Fage yogurt, and other plain yogurts, have no sugar cubes per serving. They have sugar, but it’s lactose which is completely natural in milk. Attacking that would be like attacking the sugar in apples. OK, I just had to get that out there.

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A Domestic Day

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

I will warn you this post might turn out to be just like my day: very long, delicious, full of British humor, and ending with a winning recipe. Just a warning.

Last night, after blogging, I felt like I needed more nuts in my life.

Tierra Farm's Organic Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts

In the box they sent me a while back, Tierra Farm included these maple glazed nuts. Maple and nuts? Two of my favorite things! I knew just how to try them out.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Maple Glazed Nuts

Delicious! These nuts were very good; they weren’t huge on the maple flavor but deliciously rich and satisfying. Note: They didn’t come in tiny pieces like that. I was actually impressed that they came all whole, and with a good selection. I just crushed them up to make them more oatmeal friendly, and threw in some sweet peanut butter. This did a great job at getting me sleepy and in the mood for bed.

Unfortunately, all this week I’ve been waking up around 4am, and I’m not sure why. Originally, it was always to go to the bathroom. Since reducing the amounts of liquids I have before bed, however, I’m still waking up, but not needing to go to the bathroom. Suggestions on how to “fix” this? I’d like to imagine(or use this as an excuse) that this is why I did not feel like working out this morning. Didn’t Kelly Clarkson once say something like “Some months I feel like working out, and some months I just feel like eating ding-dongs”? Well, if that’s the case, then I’m saying some months I feel like running, and some months I feel like watching I Love Lucy, because that’s what I did for the first hour of my day as I sipped down 2 cups of coffee. After showering from that “workout”, I had a seasonal breakfast.

Nog Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Drizzled With Maple Syrup

Very wintery and delicious. For the yogurt I used 1/4 cup Nog and a little bit of my Xanthan gum! I’ve had a problem with Nog yogurt being too thin for my preference but the gum really thickened it up. I wouldn’t say, however, that it’s flavorless. It’ll be interesting to see if now I can pick out its flavor in other products, too. The oatmeal with Artisana walnut butter and cream cheese was just beautiful; I swear I’m going to eat the rest of that cream cheese before it grows mold again… again.

Like the title says, this was a very domestic day. I had the house to myself and plenty on my to-do list to finish. Would you believe I haven’t downloaded music in months. These were the few songs I’ve heard on the radio recently that I had to have.

Recently Added

That gave me the chance to charge my iPod, Nintendo DS, and cell phone. While I was doing that, I was also looking online for a good vegan meatloaf recipe. In true Evan-fashion, I couldn’t find one that fit my wants perfectly or I had all the ingredients for, so I took a little of each and made my own. I’ll admit–making my own recipe for something that I’ve never even had before felt a little silly, but I had high hopes for this.

Lentils And Trader Joe's Brown Rice Mix

The “meat” of the loaf I decided was brown rice and lentils, which are two of my mom’s favorite vegan foods(and probably the only two). Instead of plain brown rice, I used a Trader Joe’s mix that has some seeds in it, as well. In another bowl, I worked with all the dry and wet ingredients, and 60 minutes later had it actually looking like a “loaf”

Uncooked Vegan Meatloaf

Not only have I never had vegan meatloaf before, I don’t think I’ve ever had regular meatloaf before. How weird is that? But after seeing this on Anna’s blog, I knew I really wanted it to work out. Did I mention I had to dice an onion for this? I felt like Julia Child from Julie & Julia. After the pot of rice for the loaf came off the stove, I decided that’d be good for lunch, too, so I threw another serving on. Besides that, I did not feel like cooking. Naturally, I let Al Fresco do the work.

Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausages

Brown Rice Bowl With Broccoli, Garlic Chicken Sausages, And Soy Sauce

Let’s not point out the irony in shoving a vegan meatloaf in the refrigerator and pulling out chicken sausages to eat. Instead, let me just tell you how good these sausages were. In our Italian household, we’ve never been shy about adding garlic to dishes. It’s just one of those spices I cannot get enough of. Apparently, somebody at Al Fresco felt the same, because they just let these have the flavor like it was nobody’s business. It tasted so good with the soy sauce and rice(yes, there’s rice under there).

After lunch, I really wanted to get a good workout in. I came up with what I’m calling the “Count to 10” cardio and fitness workout. All you need to do is know how to count to 10, and you can do it!

  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times
  • Do 10 push-ups
  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times
  • Do 10 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

Isn’t that simple? But it’s also good in that it works you for a while, and works your legs, abs, and arms. Next time I do this, I’ll probably raise the sit-ups to 20 to fit my own fitness, but you can play around with it as you will. The whole thing took about 70 minutes, and halfway through I reached for some electrolytes.

Orange Bot Beverage

Just today, Bot Beverages sent m a pack of their lightly sweetened sport waters to sample and review. The timing for this really worked out perfectly, and orange sounded like a zesty flavor to start. The Orange Bot wasn’t incredibly flavorful, but it was definitely better than water for replenishing myself; and I’m ecstatic to see a company who believes you don’t need high sugar and artificial flavors and colors to have a good workout. I ended up drinking 1/2 the bottle and saving the rest for another time. After those electrolytes, for my post-workout eats I turned to some protein.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate Shavings

Really, I’ll look towards any excuse to eat chocolate. And because I was on an orange kick, I shaved on a square of the 1.4oz organic Endangered Speciesdark chocolate with natural orange flavor. The orange wasn’t super pronounced(just like the Bot water), but it was a nice hint of flavor. And, as I’ve pointed out, I’m really saving the environment by eating chocolate 😉 During this, my mom came home and was delighted to see dinner mostly made. We threw the meatloaf in the oven at 5:30 so it’d be ready for dinner when my dad got home.

Vegan Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard

On the stove, cook completely your brown rice and lentils. While those are simmering, dice the onion and shave the carrot. In a food processor or mini chopper, finely crush the walnuts into crumbs. Combine all of those in a dish with the bread crumbs, salt, and seasoning. When the brown rice is ready, toss it in that bowl. In a separate bowl, mush the cooked lentils with a potato masher until a thick puree. Add to the rice mixture the ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce and mix. Lastly, add the lentil puree and fold until fully incorporated. Transfer this into a loaf pan. For best results, let the laof sit in the refrigerator for 2-5 hours before baking if time allows. When ready to cook, bake in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for 60 minutes, and let cool on counter covered for another 10 minutes before cutting into.

Since the loaf is so dense and nutritious, we didn’t cook too much alongside it. We simply roasted some brussels sprouts.

Vegan Meatloaf, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oh my God was this good! Right off the bat, with the ketchup and mustard and onions it reminded us all of a McDonalds hamburger. Except it was vegan–go figure! My mom also enjoyed that it was soy free(save some soy sauce). The loaf didn’t hold together as well as I hoped it would but that’s probably because we took it out a little early. I ended up eating probably twice as much as pictured, and it was sooo worth it even if it’s made me bloated like a balloon. For once I can say I’m truly excited to have leftovers!

After dinner, my parents decided they needed to go to the grocery store to pick up some things, and I opted to stay home to watch Dr. Who and do work like write 4 product reviews, a recipe, and this post. I must really like blogging if I turned down a trip to the grocery store for it 🙂 Since then, they’ve came back with a McDonalds’ coffee for me, which has already “disappeared”, and I’m watching the new Biggest Loser! Now I just need to remember that, as delicious as this vegan meatloaf is, it’s not as easily digestable as chocolate or oatmeal at 9pm at night…

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