The Memory, The Reality

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Memory: 90 degree, sunny days over the Summer with nothing to do but enjoy the outdoors

The Reality: Mid-40’s with low/no Winter breeze, but plenty of work to keep me inside

The memory totally owns here; I spent most of today reading Plutarch’s life of Alexander(should’ve just sucked it up and watched the movie with Colin Farrell) along with other work. BUT in a lot of other ways the reality beat(or at least came close) to some good memories.

Cooking A Grass-Fed Burger

The Memory: I’m 6 years old, my mom’s most probably out of town, and my dad’s idea of a “dinner” is leftover pancakes from McDonalds(to be fair, I probably asked for these) and maple syrup, which we stuck in the microwave with an aluminum tin–mini-fire, anyone?

The Reality: Cooking my own grass-fed beef burger in my own pan in the dorm kitchen.

This one’s pretty clear: reality wins. Getting a full pound of beef at the beginning of the week felt daunting, but I’m loving the meals I can get from it; I hope to pick up a big(cheap) piece of quality meat tomorrow for next week.

Grass-Fed Burger, Steamed Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Root Beer Zevia

The Memory: Spending Summer days at my grandparents’ home for daycare. My grandmother knew how to cook 3 things: eggs, tacos(from a seasoning packet), and hamburgers. A typical meal would probably be a hamburger on white bread and Ore Ida french fries, washed down with a Mountain Dew

The Reality: A grass-fed beef burger with steamed broccoli, a 100-calorie portion of Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, and an all-natural diet root beer ala Zevia.

Again, need it be pointed out? It’d be one thing if the “unhealthy” meal were clearly more tasty, but I would choose today’s meal anytime. I was practically dreaming about a grass-fed burger all of yesterday but I didn’t let Lent get the best of me! Popchips are still my crack but I find this amount is perfect for satisfying my chip tooth.

Chocolate Xagave Frosty With Whole Milk

The Memory; Stopping by Wendy’s drive-thru for a chocolate frosty and dipping fries into it

The Reality: Making my own “Frosty” using Xagave, Bob’s Red Mill‘s guar gum, xanthan gum, sea salt, cocoa powder, and whole milk

The real Frosty still wins here :-/ But I’m getting closer to making the reality be better! This time, I very clearly added too much ice without noticing(it should not make almost two cups worth). I think the whole milk from cows helped the flavor, too. I had to get it from the dining hall because, well, I really don’t remember the last time I kept milk in the fridge. To be honest, I was a little scared I’d be getting some cheap-o, hormoned up junk. But after I did poking and prying, I found the milk I got was Rhodyfresh, which is from local farms all pledging against the use of hormones–yippee! That put this foodies mind to rest.

Raw Vegan Mint Chip Emmy's Organic Macaroon

The Memory: Big bowls of mint chip ice cream that was an unholy shade of green

The Reality: An all-natural, vegan, raw mint chip macaroon I won from Emmy’s Organics

Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms

The Memory: Junior year of High School in Boston. Nearly every day, we would spend our dining points at the campus store where you could make a bag of mixed candies and pay by the pound. My favorite bag usually had in it Reeses Pieces, Swedish Fish, and Sour Gummy Worms.

The Reality: Organic Vegan Sour Gummy Worms to review from Surf Sweets

Weeeeell the memory still wins, here. But only because of the lack of Reeses Pieces and Swedish Fish(someone needs to get on making these natural, pronto). The sour gummy worms were really quite good and flavorful, and really didn’t feel like a candy that had anything “funny” to it. You could totally pass this off to a 3(or 18)-year old to sneak in some natural sweetness and 100% their DV vitamin C. Kudos to Surf Sweets!

Roasting Sweet Potatoes, Maple Tofu, And Broccoli

The Memory: 1st semester, eating every night at the dining hall. Sometimes there was a lot to choose from, and some nights I was mixing chickpeas from the salad bar with honey and mustard

The Reality: Sticking pressed tofu with maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the dorm oven for 55 minutes at 350 degrees

I’ve really loved the reality of this semester; I’m very inclined to believe food affects mood and by cooking my ‘good mood food” I haven’t had a dull dinner yet. I still take cues from the dining hall(that’s where these sweet potatoes were from because mine grew mold), but I’m certainly not looking back with regrets. Also, does anyone else think if I were a country in the Olympics that tray of veggies could be my flag?

Maple Tofu, Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli

The Memory: My mom’s classic dish was penne with broccoli, garlic, and white-meat chicken

The Reality: My classic dish is roasted broccoli, sweet potato “fries”, and maple tofu

Obviously, if I’m willing to call it my dish, I like it a lot 🙂 No offense to my mom, but I’ve never been a pasta person, and nowadays I’m more inclined to the dark meat if I eat poultry, soooo this was an easy one. Unfortunately, the sweet potato wouldn’t “fry” up here because they were pre-baked. Boo 😦

The Memory: Translating “fun” texts in Latin class in 11th grade like Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura(I must have a very warped sense of “fun”)

The Reality: Translating Horace, Catullus, and Petronius this year, all of whom are very very raunchy

What is it with the authors these professors post classes for? I swear they’re just entertaining themselves. Ah well, Petronius and the Olympics it is.

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Butterfingers

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

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

Microwave Popcorn

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

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

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

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

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

Apple

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

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

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

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

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

Plastic Pieces

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

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

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

Clean Comforter And Jacket

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

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TGIT!

Posted on February 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t decide if that 2nd T should stand for “Thursday” or just “Today” becuase today has been so much better than any average Thursday! I know wordpress has been down a lot, so if you missed this morning’s post you can read it In A Jiffy 🙂 No worries–it’s really quick because I was really in a rush. My breakfast ended up looking more like this:

2% Yogurt With Pumpkin Flax Granola Bar, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I realized after posting that it might give the impression I was eating all those sunspire candies. Nope! Haha, I took a reasonable amount for my yogurt; that’s just my whole stash 😉 I realized in class what these granola bars taste like: Apple Jacks! I can’t say why, but they’re dead on.

University Whole Foods

I made the decision to go to Whole Foods in between classes to get some Asian style chicken for dinner; I was having a craving and knew I couldn’t eat meat tomorrow even though I’d had more time so I thought I’d go today. I called ahead to make sure they had it, and then walked the 1.2 miles. Obviously, I spent a good amount of time perusing the aisles while I was there.

Golden Sesame Tofu

It occurred to me around the hot foods area all the things that fall under my Lenten giveup, like these! At first I thought giving up prepared soy was kind of a cop out and wouldn’t affect me much. but since I’ve almost slipped twice in 2-days, I’m thinking this was a good one. I also looked on non-soy veggie burgers while I was there but nothing impressed me.

Organic Anjou Pear

I needed a snack for the 1.2 miles back. I would have totally hit up the tri-colored raw peppers from the prepared foods bar if they wouldn’t have set me back so much money. I also almost bought a chocolate bar but decided I should not be paying for chocolate when I have so much in my closet. 😦 A rough decision but it’s good to self-edit in the checkout line. Ironically, the person behind me picked up the bar I put down and bought it! Maybe it was destiny…

Groceries

What did I get? In short: sensible things. 2 Chobani, 2 So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurts, a Kombucha(for review), a ripe avocado, cocoa powder(I normally prefer Lake Champlain but this was what they had and cheapest), and General Tso’s chicken. Well, this did not leave me much time before my next class, so I hopped to making lunch!

1/4 Pounder Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash, Orange Steaz

I planned to cook this burger yesterday on Ash Wednesday–yikes! Thankfully, it was just as good today, though a bit browned. I cooked it alone in a pan and it could not have came out more perfect! While it was resting, I cut up leftover sweet potatoes and cooked them in the fat drippings. Holy yum. My thought today: You couldn’t eat meat yesterday, you can’t eat it tomorrow, so get your fill now!

I ate this entirely in Greek History. I almost fell asleep in class. Maybe the walking tuckered me out? If not for one of my best friends, Alex, to make fun of the stupid things this professor was saying(like trying to reference gameboys for a joke), I definitely would have conked out. After that, another class and then I was free! When I got out at 4, I officially began a 5-day weekend! let the celebration begin!

Xagave Chocolate Frosty

I’ve had this Xagave recipe bookmarked for a long time. I didn’t have an open can of coconut cream(is this even the same as coconut milk? I’ve never heard of it before) so I just used 1/2 a cup coconut milk kefir instead. I also cut the recipe into 1/4th, and even scaled back the Xagave to 1 tablespoon.

Bob's Red Mill Guar Gum

This gave me cause to break out the guar gum I was sent by Bob’s Red Mill to sample and review; I won’t review it quite now because this feels like something I’ll need to use a few times to get used to. There was more excitement in store for today, too:

Emmy's Organic Mint Chip Macaroons

I won a bag of Emmy’s Organic Mint Chip Macaroons. And in a poetry contest, no less! You can read my poem here. After lots of work and blending, things looked like this:

Probiotic Frosty Milkshake, Mint Chip Vegan Raw Macaroon

Wow. Where to start? As for the milkshake: It was really good! But I didn’t blend it enough I don’t think 😦 I’m always afraid to overblend things until they get hot and liquidy(TWSS), but I guess I shouldn’t be so long as I have the guar gum? Also, this was very sweet and had a strong agave nectar flavor. And that was after I cut down the amount in the recipe.

As for the mint chip macaroon: Holy Moly! I give a lot of things into consideration when I review a product, including price, availability, nutrition, taste, sustainability, etc. I had to give this a 10/10, even if it’s not completely available nation wide in stores; they were just that good. When I’m out, I’m going to cry for about 10 minutes and then order myself a batch. They’re amazing! They completely out shined the dinner I had planned all day:

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli, Citrus Synergy

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli

That being said, this was pretty damn good too 🙂 I had a major craving for Chinese chicken last night. And I knew I wouldn’t be eating it tomorrow. It’s glaringly not the healthiest option, but once in a while why the hell not? And because it was from Whole Foods, it was completely natural chicken. On the side, for good health, I had a citrus Kombucha drink. It’s not my favorite flavor, since I could hardly taste the sour through the vinegar of the kombucha. But it was still pretty good; and, as always, stellar nutrition! You can always eat the bad if it’s with some good 🙂

As if I needed any more sunshine today, Jessie of Vegan Minded sent some my way. Thank you! If you’ve never read her blog, you must go check it out if for nothing but inspiration! Everything she eats is Tasty with a capitol T. And now, here’s 12 more sunshiney bloggers or bloggers who need sunshine or just awesome bloggers!

1. Caitlin

2. Cara

3. Heather

4. Averie

5. Kalin and 6. Baby Brother

7. Abby

8. Maddie

9. K

10. Katie

11. Holly

12. Heather

And now Survivor is almost on! I’ve seriously waited all week for this, so you know I won’t be missing it!

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