A Little Clunky But Not Wholly Displeasurable

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

1) That’s what she said.

Packed Bag

2) That’s a pretty good description of coming home for the weekend, too. I definitely forgot how much I loathe packing. But, I managed to keep it very simple with 1 bag and only 2 peanut butters(plus my backpack and some dirty laundry). Annoying? Yes. But not as wholly displeasurable as having to completely move out and then back in over break.

Like I mentioned, our first stop was Chocolate Fest! There was tons of samples throughout the stores of different chocolate creations. First, I scoped it all out. Then I decided that some of it was skippable(I mean, I can cover a banana in melted chocolate, too :-|). Finally, I dove in 😀

Chocolate Cherry Braised Beef

Raw Chocolate Truffle

Mexican Chocolate Chili

Salmon In White Chocolate Butter Sauce

Sweet Scoops Mocha Mudslide Frozen Yogurt

The braised beef–was absolutely fantastic! It might have been my favorite of the night. It might just be my inner carnivore saying that. But I really loved it because first you got the really fatty meat flavor that just fell apart in your mouth, and then you got a kick of cherry at the end. The raw truffle was really good, too. I could totally make this at home, though(and I snatched the recipe to do so). The chili was another winner; I told you I was a carnivore 😀 The salmon, on the other hand, was really bad. What were they thinking if they tasted it? I thought it had potential because white chocolate and chickpeas are a fantastic combo, but apparently that need not apply here. And, for dessert, some Sweet Scoops frozen yogurt. I’ve actually been thinking of buying that flavor for a while, and it was really good. I don’t know, though, if it’s worth the price compared to Elan’s Decaf Cappuccino frozen yogurt(which also is decaffeinated and so better for night time snacking).

That actually wasn’t that much, so when we actually got home after an hour I was hungry… for the supper not waiting for me 😦 I decided to just throw something a little cooky together that’d be veggie-tastic and filling.

Brussels In Grass-Fed Butter Sauce

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Goji Berries And Coconut Oil

This dinner was a bit clunky but not wholly displeasurable. Actually, it was pretty tasty 😀 I don’t think I’ve had brussels in 2 weeks! What a shame. They really soaked up the butter. On top of my pudding, I added some Navitas Naturals Goji Berries and coconut oil; I loved the goji berries here for a good dose of antioxidants! The coconut oil tasted a little out of place, oddly :-/ I think coconut butter would be better here(butter is always better 😉 But that’s another story). Speaking of Gojis, I had a sweet surprise waiting for me…

Goji Gourmet Cookies

How yummy does that all look? Among a few packages I got was this one which I won from totalfitgirl’s contest(ironic, I know, but there weren’t any gender rules for entering as far as I know :-)). I’m pretty sure it was only for the chocolate cherry cookies, and the rest of this was thrown in by my friends at Goji Gourmet. Thank you! Now I’m stocked well with one of my superfoods.

Was it just me, or was Grey’s not so good last night? Should I have gone with The Office and 30 Rock? That’s quite possible. A few more things made coming home a little clunky. A) I had noo toothbrush. Whoops. B) I had no alarm clock and freaked out until I dug out a really old one. I then decided that I wouldn’t even set it and let myself sleep in. C) I found out that one item I specifically came home for might very well actually be in my safe at school. Ugh. After most of that was resolved, I was happy for oats.

Cornbread Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Cornbread, because I could. In the batch went 1 egg white(sorry, yolk, but I didn’t need you right then :-(), 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum and 1/2 a teaspoon aluminum free baking powder. This came out perfectly corny.

Like I said, I didn’t set my alarm this morning and slept in a full hour. A full glorious hour. You need to take advantage of things like no drunk people in the hallway and nothing to do once you’re actually up 🙂 A few more things that made my trip not wholly displeasurable:

Trader Joe's Oatbran And Tofu

Food! More specifically Trader Joe goodies my mom grabbed on her way home just for me(like anyone else here would be picking out tofu or know which one to get) 🙂 You can bet that I already have some tofu pressing for lunch as we speak(and using the oatbran as a weight! Haha). Beyond that, I also used the oatbran in breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And SB PB

Plain Oikos With Vanilla Stevia

A bit cheesy, but not wholly displeasurable. No wait–wholly pleasurable because it’s a bit cheesy. That’s how I would describe the pumpkin/nutritional yeast/smart balance combo. There’s something so “homey” about it. AND now I’m about 1 bowl away from OAIJ!! It’s shaping up to be a splendid trip home.

Language Lesson: This is directed to no one in particular; this is just something I thought of as I was making my breakfast and want to address now. If you are buying your Greek yogurt and buy more than 1 container of Oikos, please do not say that you picked up some “oikoses”. That is just wrong. Oikos is a Greek word meaning house. It is the nominative, singular form. For plural, you’ll want to say you picked up some “Oikoi”. Sounds a little funny? Welcome to Greek. If you all want to be super overachievers, do 1 better by saying “Oikous”. That’s the correct form when it’s the object of a verb. But, I’d totally be happy if I ever just heard Oikoi, too 😀

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Eating The Alternative

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Beside my daily grind, today I want to point out some of the foods I ate yesterday that are something of an alternative to the traditional. I hope you find something fun and funky to try; and I’d love to read comments about any alternatives you’d think I like because I love trying new foods(and all the better if they’re delicious :-))

So I’m kind of bad with rest days, case in point: I run on them. Write after I wrote and (thought I) posted, I got to thinking about a walk. And then I thought “why walk when you could run?” Well that did it for me. Plus there were some old streets I hadn’t been by in a while and I thought it’d be interesting to run around and see if anything’s changed. One thing I don’t like about running any other time than first thing is having food digesting, and feeling my body switch from running on simple carbs to stored energy. About 2 miles in I felt the switch and got a little dizzy for a minute, but thankfully that past and I continued on feeling like I do every morning. I saw a skunk as roadkill and about a mile later almost made a baby squirrel road kill, too; he darted right in front of me and it took a hop, a skip, and a jump to avoid him I ended up running 7.18 miles in 59 minutes. When I got back I showered and it was pretty much time for lunch.

Bison Steak Medallion, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts

Bison Steak Medallion, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts

Alternative first: Bison. Consider bison and yam the meat and potatoes of the new millenium, because they’re here to stay. Bison is a much leaner red meat than beef yet has the same robust flavor and is very very tender. My 6oz medallion had 180 calories, 1.5g saturated fat, and 38g protein. Amazing, isn’t it? It cut as well as butter and was perfectly fulling. If you’ve read this for a while, you’d know I don’t eat meat unless I think it’s quality, and this definitely was. Of course, it went great with the sweet potato, which is an alternative we all already know a lot about probably. I top mine with salt but cinnamon is a great alternative for something with a bit of a punch. What’s Sunday lunch without dessert, right?

Vitabrownie

Vitabrownie

Not really alternative, just delicious 🙂 I ate this in the car to my second Massachusett’s home, also known as Trader Joe’s. I stockpiled things for the dorm including bread, cheese, mac n’ cheese pouches, canned tuna, and peanut butter filled pretzels. If you haven’t had a TJ peanut butter filled pretzel, you have experienced life. We stopped at Whole Foods because it’s literally across the way(how cool is that?) where I got another one of my favorite alternatives for dinner. Not too much time was spent back at home; it was mostly pack the car, serve some ice cream, and go. Or was it?

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Alternative second: Coconut milk ice cream. I love all types of ice cream, frozen yogurt, soy yogurt, etc. And don’t get me started on the joy of goat milk ice cream! Coconut milk is just one of the many great alternatives. It is higher on fat, particularly saturated, but it’s all plant based so it has no cholesterol(and I think plant saturated fat doesn’t have the same negative effect on cholesterol as animal meat but someone might want to correct me here). That’s why coconut milk is great, but here’s why this ice cream is: I first had it after seeing Jenna gush about it. I love anything mocha and the fudge in this blends with the coffee so well. And the almonds are a perfect touch, especially since they’re roasted and salted to really bring out the flavor for a salty/sweet punch.

Getting back to college this time around was much better than the emotional disaster of last. My roommate was not in the room, so I invited my whole family to actually come in the room this time. Of course, we had to yell at grandma when she started picking up my roommates clothes on the floor, haha. My dad even scraped down the freezer that was all iced up so it hopefully will run better now. This time the goodbyes were much more normal and after they left I got a case of the munchies:

Peach, Toast With Cream Cheese And Pumpkin Butter

Peach, Toast With Cream Cheese And Pumpkin Butter

It’s been so long since I’ve had a good peach, too long. This one was a bit soft but it was not a disappointment at all. I’m missing the perfect peach season 😦 Summer, come back! Oh wait, we have pumpkins and apples to comfort us. Meh. I also had some T light whole wheat bread with cream cheese and TJ pumpkin butter. This sweet/savory combo works really well. And I like this bread for toast when I’m not looking for a real artisan bread because it has a light, wheaty flavor that toasts well and doesn’t impede on the spread. Gotta watch out though; 5g insoluble fiber per slice can get a little dangerous if you know what I mean. I met up with a friend for dinner but I already had what I wanted in mind so I brown bagged it:

Gardenburger With Light Cheddar Cheese And Tempeh Bacon, FSTG Potato & Chive Chips

Gardenburger With Light Cheddar Cheese And Tempeh Bacon, FSTG Potato & Chive Chips

Alternative third: Tempeh bacon. Try getting a bacon cheddar cheeseburger at any burger joint and I bet you won’t find this. The flame-grilled gardenburgers have a great flavor on their own, but with the smokiness of the tempeh bacon it was just out of this world. Obviously, tempeh bacon is a great vegetarian alternative. It has no cholesterol and has heart-healthy fats; and the Lightlife brand uses all natural flavorings to give it that bacon-essence. The potato and chive Food Should Taste Good chips totally top and greasy fries you’d find at a burger joint, too. There’s something so deliciously intriguing about them that makes it hard to stop eating them.

Last night I started off with The Amazing Race. I don’t really think it’s all that great of a show, especially not worthy of the crap load of Emmy’s it’s one. But I also have an addictive personality and aren’t too picky about reality shows so I’ll probably be watching the whole season. Usually each season has a pair of charming old people but I think this season’s missing that, which is so disappointing. Instead, I tihnk I’ll be rooting for the couple that came in 2nd last night and the gay brothers. I don’t really care for those shrewd poker players. One of my latest kicks lately has been the black and white cookies. I’ve never tried them, but after seeing them on blogs I got curious. I’m told I’m not missing anything special, so I don’t really feel like I’m missing out anymore, but that quest did inspire some kickassbutt oatmeal:

Black And White Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Black And White Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Ok, I can stop questing for the cookie now that I have this. I used P.B. Loco’s cookie dough peanut butter, which has vanilla bean extracts and chocolate morsels, and used 1/2 serving grain sweetened dark chocolate chips and 1/2 serving ghiradelli’s white chocolate chips. This was definitely a “dessert” oatmeal, and it was so perfect. It took me almost an hour to finish because I was also watching Family Guy and working on my essay(1/4 of the way there…). I thought Family Guy wasn’t as great as last week but still decent enough to keep up its reputation. Afterwards I made some homemade pumpkin pie yogurt with double alternatives:

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Turbinado Sugar Glaze

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Turbinado Sugar Glaze

4th and 5th Alternatives: Stevia and Turbinado sugar. There are a lot of ways to sweeten our favorite dishes; and when it comes to sweeteners, while none might be all that great for us, in moderation there are some better than others. Stevia is an all natural zero-calorie sweetener from the stevia. Normally, I’d be suspicious of things like that that seem too good to be true. But since I own my own stevia plant and can see what this comes from, it puts my mind to ease. NuNaturals has a great line of products, too. Another better option is turbinado sugar. This is the unrefined crystallized form of evaporated can juice. Because of the method employed, it’s more slowly absorbed into the body than other table sugars and retains more of the nutrients. Again, though, these are all sugars and need moderating. I topped off the night with some more of Holly’s amazing cookies and toast with peanut butter cookie spread and watched Brothers & Sisters. I fell behind last season but I’m trying to get back into it and feeling really bad for Kitty at the moment 😦

This morning I felt decent enough. I decided to keep it in the gym because there was one part of my important morning routine that wasn’t happening and I wanted to keep it close to a bathroom, if you catch my drift. My first machine was definitely broken, telling me I was running 7 mph but going wayy faster than that. I hopped over to another machine and tried readjusting. I’m not quite sure I trust all the stats but according to the machines I went 8 miles in 66:46. I’ve also been lucky enough to make a gym friend(i.e someone who you constantly run in at the gym and awkwardly acknowledge each other’s presence). She’s a rockin’ 60 or so year old who kicks her butt out of bed to walk for a few miles and even do a bit of jogging while watching the Today Show. Clearly she’s a woman after my own heart. Breakfast was a little bit of a nuissance; my kitchen scale has run out of batteries so I needed to measure everything with tablespoons and measuring cups. I really love using a scale for oatmeal and other grains because it gives me the perfect amount with the perfect amount of water every time. Nevertheless, I trudged on:

Peanut Butter Flax Oikos With Granola Bar Granola, Eggy Oatbran

Peanut Butter Flax Oikos With Granola Bar Granola, Eggy Oatbran

Alternative Last: Peanut Flour. A while back, when I came in 2nd at The Peanut Butter Boy‘s recipe contest, The National Peanut Board sent me some peanut flour to play around with. This very easily became a new food obsession with me. Peanut flour is the roasted, ground, defatted product of a peanut. It retains much of the flavor and essence but is in a dry form, much more easily mixed in to liquids and cold products such as Oikos. I recently ordered 2 more pounds of it from Byrd Mill to continue using. A 24g serving has a whopping 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber and I typically will use 1/2 a serving in my yogurt. I’ve also added it to bread and cookie recipes to add nutrition. This breakfast was pretty decent; I think the oat bran came out a little dry because there wasn’t enough water, but hopefully I’ll get batteries for the scale later on today. For the granola topper I used Cascadian Farms Vanilla Chip, which is extremely delicious, but on its own will not fill you up at all.

Not much for the day ahead other than batteries and essay writing. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from all these alternatives. Again, please share anything you love that’s a little bit different so we can all learn and experience a little more.

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