Two Times, Two Ways

Posted on May 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Warning: You can’t even read this post without increasing your cholesterol a little. Consult your doctor to see if Lipitor is right for you.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

Who doesn’t start their work-week by turning ground beef into burgers? No worries: I practice clean cooking in addition to clean eating. I wore my No Meat Athlete shirt this morning to take my final but quickly changed when I realized what a carnivorous day this would be(and now I’m rocking the Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona look).

Burger, EVOO Sweet Potato Hash Over Spinach

Burger, EVOO Sweet Potato Hash Over Spinach

EVOO Roasted Sweet Potatoes

EVOO Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Lunch was a perfectly prepared burger on a bed of spinach with pan-finished EVOO sweet potato chunks. If that doesn’t catch your eye, I don’t know what will. For these, I quartered 1/2 a sweet potato and let those roast for an hour or so. After that, I quickly tossed them in the pan with the rendered beef fat and then finished with a splash and fry of EVOO. As Miss Rachael Ray would say, yummo! Who needs salad dressing? The EVOO’s on the potatoes!

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

After an afternoon of classes, I just needed to unwind with some good white chocolate, so I went for Green & Black’s. Most dark chocolate, even when it’s sorta bad, is good; just look for the stuff with no vegetable oils and all-natural ingredients and it’s going to be tasty.

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Milk and white chocolate are more troubled beasts. But a good organic brand like Green & Black’s never fails. I love it when you can see the vanilla beans! Now, let’s no one point out white chocolate has 0 of the antioxidants and more of the sugar and we’ll all be happy, capiche?

Avocado With Lemon And Sea Salt

Avocado With Lemon And Sea Salt

I’m not going to say this is nature’s white chocolate, but 1/2 an avocado + lemon + sea salt = heaven. And why not eat an avocado like this? It is a fruit after all. Now, can you guess what dinner might have been?

Sweet Potato Fries With Parma, Burger, Baby Carrots

Sweet Potato Fries With Parma, Burger, Baby Carrots

It’s a whole different meal when the sweet potatoes are shaped like fries and the burger has ketchup 😉 That would lead me into answering some questions…

Question 1: Do you worry about red meat intake/cholesterol intake/animal-based saturated fat intake?

In short, no. Any concerns I have with eating animals and animal byproducts is rooted in ethical reasons rather than health. That’s not to say I don’t take steps to also get the better products–grass-fed beef and butter, wild fish, etc. I typically buy 1 pound of beef for a week with my groceries. Whether I eat that all in one day or over the week, on the large scale it’s all the same so I’m not phased by it; some days I’ll eat entirely vegan without really trying. Things balance out.

Question 2: How do you prepare your sweet potatoes?

Besides the EVOO hash I described, I’ll typically make my “sweet potato fries” by cutting up 1/2 a large sweet potato, tossing them in EVOO, and baking at 350 for 60 minutes. From there, you can add things like tumeric, Parma, Daiya, or anything else. And, of course, sometimes I’ll just roast a sweet potato whole for 90 minutes. But like I’ve said before, I’m a bit of a snob and refuse to microwave them for a quick-fix.

Question 3: Do you plan your meals?

For singular me in my dorm, extended meal plan doesn’t really work. I have a couple of meals I know how to make and make well, and rely on those so long as I have the raw materials on hand. I’ll generally figure out what I want for lunch and dinner sometimes in the morning. I have planned out a week before for my whole family and that worked great; it just hasn’t been a scenario recently.

Question 4: What’s your favorite chocolate?

That’s a loaded question. In general, I’d probably opt for dark on the fly. But really, picking a single one would be like picking a favorite child: You like each one the most at different times depending on who did something bad last 😉 I would suggest seeing my chocolate review page.

Now, since there was no antioxidants in that white chocolate, I’m afraid I’m just going to have to make up for it in dark chocolate tonight and not set my alarm 😀

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Everything Domestic

Posted on April 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t tell whether I’m happy or sad Sunday night has come already. Today, I was lucky enough to have done most of my work and not have anything planned. The next day that’ll be like this is… farther off than I know. So instead of trying to do more, I just took care of everything domestic, starting at the gym.

10 Miles In 86:18

10 Miles In 86:18

I ran a rather speedy 10 miles while watching the first episode of the new Dr. Who season on my ipod(!!). So excited that’s back, and even more excited that I was able to multi-task like that because otherwise those miles would have felt looooong. Lunch was definitely not a quick post-workout meal, but it was well worth the time put around it.

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries, Gingerade Kombucha

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries, Gingerade Kombucha

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries,

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries,

I threw sweet potato fries as soon as I got back, and after 30 minutes they weren’t crispy but definitely edible. I tossed those with some cayenne parma for serious flavor. The burger was meh. It was a lot like the last, in that a) I undercooked it and b) the meat was of questionable quality/age. Getting sick threw off my “mojo” but now I’m happy those burgers from last week are all gone. And my gingerade kombucha was tangy, but not fizzy; what gives? I hope the probiotes were still alive… Not being able to keep sea monkeys I can deal with, but killing kombucha and I’d really feel shame.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

I walked the 1+ mile to Whole Foods in the mediocre weather because I’m not sure when/if I’ll have time in the coming days. If you’re wondering “Why the money?”, it’s because I’m following suit with Holly on Project Cleanout. Not only do I have more than enough lying around to eat, but I’ll literally have to clean out the dorm in a month, so it’d be a lot easier if most of it wasn’t here. I gave myself a $30 limit to buy whole foods I’ll eat over the week.

Groceries

Groceries

I’d say that was a success. I clocked in at $23.05. I actually don’t think Whole Foods is all that unreasonable, except for the produce. I have a post in the works on how to shop there and get bargains. Yes, you heard that right. Keep an eye out for that. In my bag was

But let me stress: I’m not perfect.

Chocolate And Cheesecake

Chocolate And Cheesecake

If you count these in, I definitely went over budget. “What’s the deal, Evan?” Well, the deal is that these were a deal. I knew I’d be buying my favorite chocolate bar again some time some day, so I bought 3 while they’re on sale to save $3. I’m also putting them out of reach so that I won’t touch them until I eat more of the other chocolate bars I’ve started or won’t replace. And the vanilla bean cheesecake was 1/2 off, so I couldn’t say no. All of these little “splurges” that aren’t real groceries I buy with a gift card I was given by my neighbors, and I save the grocery money for fresh foods.

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

I’d like to say I snacked on a healthy egg, but instead I snacked on a peanut butter egg from my Easter basket. This was a Lake Champlain creation with milk chocolate, white chocolate(somewhere), malt, peanut butter, and peanuts.

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

If I realized before it had wheat, I probably would have passed it up. Honestly, it was just alright and not really worth risking setting off my gluten intolerance. I loved how much of it was peanut butter; it was like eating straight out of the jar. But it also had a pretty “cheap” taste to it even if it was all-natural. Clearly, I’m not a fan. But I would have felt amiss not to have a giant egg this time of year.

Red Anjou Pear

Red Anjou Pear

I also snacked on the largest red anjou pear I’ve seen from the dining hall while dinner cooked, and did chores around the place. My new “saving grace” is baking soft tofu for 90 minutes instead of pressing it first and still getting the same texture. Pressing’s great, but it uses up too much paper towels, and I much prefer this no-fuss method.

Maple Salad With Tofu, Cashews, Cheddar, Onion, Carrots, And Spinach

Maple Salad With Tofu, Cashews, Cheddar, Onion, Carrots, And Spinach

For dinner, I made a simple salad with spinach(!!), maple baked tofu, Next Generation organic raw cheddar, carrot shreds, red onion, Tierra Farm’s maple glazed nuts, and watered down maple syrup for dressing. Perhaps it’s being a blogger, but I’ve gone for not caring for any greens to seriously preferring spinach over any other, so I’m always happy when the dining hall has that. Besides that, I loved how easy and no-fuss this meal was 🙂 What’s your favorite no-fuss meal? I could always use suggestions for that.

On the agenda for tonight:

  • Write up a short paper
  • Call my cousin to say happy [belated] birthday
  • Eat cheesecake!

Sounds domestic to me 🙂 G’night.

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Surprise!

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Surprise! It’s Monday. How much does that suck? Miss the weekend race recap? Read all about it here.

Surprise! Oprah hates surprises; did you know that? She would not like this post.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Surprise! These were all from 1 sweet potato! Granted, it was a hugh jass one, but I think that’s impressive nonetheless.

Surprise! I stayed home while my parents went to Whole Foods. I’m pretty sure this is theopposite of how things should be, but I was worn out from my race and needed to sit on the couch with my friend, Mr. Computer 😀

Perfect Apple

Perfect Apple

Surprise! This apple actually tasted good!

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Surprise! I still eat the same at home as at school, just with different equipment 😀 I asked for red meat for dinner, so we heated up the grill and made some burgers. Mmmm so much juicier than in a pan! And I love how spicy the chipotle cayenne parma makes sweet potato fries; they’re like a new experience.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Surprise! My parents picked up a chocolate flourless cake at Whole Foods the day before my birthday to celebrate while my grandmother was around! This really was a surprise; I saw the sketchy brown paper bag they hid it in, but could only guess what it was. You have no idea how relieved I was when I realized they understood gluten-free eating and got an appropriate style cake; that’s love for ya 😉

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Surprise! When we got So Delicious cookie dough ice cream, we also got the peanut butter chocolate swirl, which I’m ready to confess is my new favorite frozen dessert. OK, I don’t think there’s actually much surprise here except from my dad when he realized how much ice cream I need to grab for a few days at home.

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Surprise! Could you see this one coming? How could I not take the two fattiest pieces of dessert in our kitchen and combine them? 🙂 I was refueling from a half-marathon, after all. Needless to say, this was tasty. But I think my mom and I agreed there are better flourless chocolate cakes out there, hers included.

Surprise! My stomach got me! 30 minutes later I was not feeling so hot :-X It had been so long since I’d eaten something that rich made from dairy, I forget that a lot of milk fat really doesn’t sit well in my stomach. That plus a sugar rush had me wanting to be near a garbage tin for the rest of the night. Could I possibly regret it, though? Not a chance.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Not A Surprise! You didn’t have to be psychic to see a final bowl of oatmeal before bed coming. I wasn’t sure if I’d see this come back up, so I kept it small with just a little butter toffee peanut butter. And before you say “Isn’t that dairy fat, too?”, butter is the 5th or 6th ingredient and 2 tablespoons has just 2g of saturated fat, so I can’t imagine there’s much.

Cards And A Present

Cards And A Present

Surprise! was how I felt when I woke up to cards and my favorite chocolate bar. Awww, what a perfect way to wake up 🙂

Surprise! I’m going to keep the rest of the morning a secret for a good birthday recap tonight or tomorrow morning. What a shame because there’s already been cake mix involved and it’s not even 10am 😉

Surprise! Not even 24 hours after my last half marathon and I’ve signed up for my next! I was actually thinking about this before yesterday. It’s perfect. It’s the Providence Marathon, so let’s just say I know the streets quite well 😉 It’ll hopefully be a nice, warm May day, too. And I might be able to coerce a Brown friend of mine into running, too, which would be great. My only concern are the hills around Providence but I’ll have a while to work with those.

Surprise! You or I could win either Tazo tea, gluten free goodies, or coconut butter in either of these giveaways.

What has been a surprise in your life lately?

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Mental Health Week Intro And Escape Your Prison

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

Isn’t it timely that mental health week would come at the same time as my midterms? 😉 Go figure. Stick with me all week on helpful tips and tricks to think right and there’ll be a giveaway to have you feel well at the end of the week!

Groceries

Groceries

I had plans for lunch that fell through and got rescheduled to Friday, which left me with a free Monday morning–score! Rather than dive right in to midterm studying, I decided to take a nice walk before the rain came to Whole Foods to get groceries. I wanted more So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt while the sale still ran and didn’t have anything planned for lunch, so prepared food sounded like a good surprise.

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

Talk about being a fussy diner, I took plain grilled chicken thighs from one part of the salad bar and used the honey garlic sauce from the chicken wings tray for some flavor. And flavor there was! The honey and the garlic added such a nice savory-sweetness. I could ave thought of this like a normal lunch and realized a) I payed too much for “just eating” and b) there must have been a hell of a lot of sugar on there. Instead, I decided to think of it like a good meal out, in which case a) I got a bargain on a chicken dish and b) who cares about nutrition? I’m eating out! It’s all in the perception.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

That held me over… not nearly long enough. I figured 12 miles running + 2.5 walking would increase hunger a bit, so why fight it? I broke in to one of the So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt I picked up at Whole Foods.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

Holy creaminess, batman! This is why I’ve been loving coconut milk and its byproducts so much recently: You get something rich, creamy, and satisfying that’s an alternative to dairy. And it’s comforting to know if I ever went dairy and soy free, I could still get my probiotics(not like that’s happening any time soon!).

I’m not going to lie: The afternoon was very rough, and I did very little other than write and read and generally prep for the 2 papers and 3 in-class midterms I have over the next 4 days. In a lot of ways, my room felt like a prison. Perhaps the biggest obstacle was recognizing hunger verses boredom. I could eat all day if you let me, so I put particular emphasis on that while distracting myself with Betty White on Ellen. Around 4, I could tell that I was legitimately hungry again.

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

I had oatmeal with maple cashew butter from Tierra Farm and some really good milk chocolate. I can’t believe I ever measured out nut butter on top of oatmeal; nowadays, I’d so much rather not know how much I use and just enjoy it while it’s in front of me 🙂

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Kristie from Vegan In Dairy Land gave me this chocolate as part of blogger’s secret santa and I’ve been enjoying it nibble by nibble since then. It’s sooooo creamy! Think of the best milk chocolate Easter bunny you’ve ever had, then make it natural and gourmet. I think it’s because they use butterfat, and I love that. Where would I be in life without good chocolate?

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I threw some stuff in the oven for dinner, but was ready to eat right then. It didn’t help I had no fresh fruit around 😦 I went out to the dining hall and grabbed a ton of fruit to last. No red delicious apple could have grown this perfect on its own, but it was definitely a better choice than eating highly processed chocolate candy(not like I’d ever bad mouth which one I was thinking of. I still love it 😀 It just… was not candy time). This held me over nicely through cooking dinner.

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

I decided to save the salmon from Whole Foods for a rushed meal I’ll inevitably have later on in the week and cook a grass-fed burger while I had the time. There was also some thinly sliced sweet potato fries with chipotle cayenne parma and 3 pickle spears(gotta have the pickles in there :-))Check out Gina’s post on the pro’s and con’s of grass-fed beef! Apparently I’m making a name for myself 😀 While a lot of you have thought “Wow, he cooks beef in a dorm!” I’ve often looked at it as “I only cook beef”. I’d love to see how my cholesterol is after all of this. I just don’t like dealing with raw chicken or having to cook it through, and raw fish is a nightmare to keep around, so beef it always is! I’ll be happy once Lent is over so I can start adding some fake chicken back into my diet. Even before then, I’d love to get some vegan ice cream or Vivapura goodies in by winning either of these giveaways.

Today’s tip:

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not that much “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained. Today, that took form for me in the way of a walk to Whole Foods and back. OK, maybe that’s not the most exciting thing. But looking back I am happy to have had the time to not be productive. And it makes me look forward to ideas for activities later on in the week a little more photogenic and edible 😉 Tell me, what have YOU done for yourself lately?

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Potato Facts And Greens, Naturally

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

Top of the morning afternoon to you, me lassies! It’s been a long day–Wednesday’s are always long days. But before I bitch about that, I want to talk about potatoes. Do you know where most species of potatoes come from? It’s not Ireland, or even Europe, but South America! The Inca’s cultivated potatoes, and even bred different strands for different environments. In fact, the potato wasn’t even well recieved by grain-loving Europe well at first but eventually took on as a staple crop when they realized how nutrient dense they are. Unfortunately, as we all know, the Irish suffered a famine one season because of the poor crops that year. Curiously, that wouldn’t have happened to the Inca’s because they knew to grow different types of potatoes for different seasons instead of relying on 1. I love most potatoes, but I have to confess my favorite is the sweet potato:

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato With Maple Baked Tofu And Maple Drizzle

The sweet potato is notably high in beta-carotene, the same vitamin that gives carrots their orange hue. For this dish, I roasted steamed broccoli and raw, diced sweet potato for 40 minutes with some maple tofu, and topped it off with maple syrup and sea salt.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potatoes With Maple Baked Tofu And A Maple Drizzle

Holy yum! Nutritious and delicious. Simply roasting a potato with nothing on it is certainly the easiest way to enjoy them and very tasty, too. Did you notice the green I snuck in with broccoli? Green veggies get their color from chlorophyll and carry loads of phytochemicals for your body. It’s true that you should eat your rainbow and green foods are typically high on nutrition while being low in calories. What’s your favorite green fruit or veggie? I would say broccoli tops the list for me

Multi-Green Kombucha

Of course, multi-green kombucha isn’t bad either 😉 The green here comes from blue algae, chlorella, and spirulina. Again, what makes this green makes this very nutritious without any yucky food colorings! Just pure, natural green 🙂 Although I have to say this bottle tasted a little flat–is that even possible with kombucha? Anyone who doesn’t like the vinegar tang might have enjoyed this. I, on the other hand, live for that funny flavor.

Chocolate Chip Clif Bar

Well, I couldn’t eat seasonably the whole day. I grabbed this on a campus eatery because I was craving a chocolate chip cookie. This is one bar I actually hadn’t tried, and was a little afraid to because I didn’t suspect to like it. It was actually pretty good! It wasn’t like a chocolate chip cookie, per say, but definitely the chocolate chips were nice.

Wednesdays are easily my least favorite days of the week: I have a lot of class in a row, get back to my room, and hardly throw my backpack down before needing to make dinner. What makes this easier is having a dinner in mind and knowing how to go about making it.

Grass-Fed 90/10 Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Pepper

It also helps when it’s a dinner that you look forward to so much that your problems melt away after each bite. In addition to roasting potatoes, you can also enjoy them in baked fry form! Now, I’ll put out a disclaimer: Baked fries do not turn out like real fries, nor could they. They’re a seperate beast and just won’t be as crispy. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be bland! Once you have your potatoes in fry forms, toss them liberally with EVOO; I assure you, no matter how much EVOO sticks to them, it will be less fat than real fries and add great flavor. You can also add spices for flavor, such as I did with Chipotle Cayenne Parma. If you want honest to goodness crispy fries, however, you’re just going to have to invest in a deep fryer. I have 1 last Saint Patty’s day lesson:

Purely Decadent Mint Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I picked up this So Delicious coconut milk mint chip ice cream after class and plan a big bowl for dessert tonight 🙂 Mint is in fact a green plant, much like spinach. However, the flavor is in the oil which is extracted, leaving behind much of the carbon. On top of that, a little flavor goes a long way. That’s why all-natural mint products are often white(or chocolate :-)). Over the Summer, when I first started dabbling in this crazy “all-natural diet” that I never would have imagined staying so strongly with after 8 months, my grandmother bough Hannaford’s brand organic mint chip ice cream. When she opened it up for celebrating God-remembers-who’s birthday, the first words out of my grandpa’s mouth were “Why isn’t it green?”. If only, if only 😀

I’ll let you check out this acai giveaway and this food scale giveaway while I go enjoy some very (non) green ice cream.

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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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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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Meal Makeovers

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

Today was the day. 1 week ago, I got a major craving for American chop suey–a pasta dish with elbows, tomato sauce, green peppers, and ground beef. We had this all the time when I was younger, and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. As excited as I was that we would recreate it today, I was a little bummed that it’s a heavy dish and not an “everyday” kind of meal in my mind. So instead I thought that I would make it into an everyday kind of meal. I asked myself: How can I eat my pasta and enjoy it too?

American Chop Suey

An easy swap was the macaroni: regular for whole wheat and right there we were pumping up the fiber, protein, and whole grains. We used 2 instead of 1 pepper for more flavor and bulk. What we didn’t switch was the meat; we still used 85% ground beef, but a lesser amount so that is was more of a seasoning than a hefty portion. As a creative side, we roasted the other 1/2 of the spaghetti squash from last Monday. And finally, I took a cue from a vegan pantry and swapped the parmesan for nutritional yeast and sea salt(that and I just really like nutritional yeast).

Madeover American Chop Suey

Yum! Not only could you eat like this everyday, but who wouldn’t want to? The entire bottom half of the bowl I filled with spaghetti squash. Then I scooped an 8oz portion of the chop suey on top(which is probably the proper serving but definitely is not the typical amount of pasta served at restaurants or in American homes). And to top it off, I doused sprinkled with yeast. The chop suey flavored the squash really well; Joanna of Fitness & Spice made a great challenge this morning about surrounding your meal around a vegetable and not a protein or starch and I think this was a good example of that with the spaghetti squash being the real filling food here. I didn’t go for seconds on the chop suey but there was a little bit of squash left.

Emptied Out Spaghetti Squash

Did I mention I’m a member of the clean-squash club? 😉 In the afternoon, surprisingly Mr. UPS made it to our house through the snow storm.

Zevia 6-Pack

I got a package and it was the Zevia I won on another blog contest! Yay! I’ll be drinking well now(that sounds wrong). Did you know they’re coming out with a Dr. Pepper style Zevia? That could be interesting; I just hope it doesn’t have all 21 flavors. The stylish lunch cooler will be put to good use in the new semester 😉 After a while of reading and MLK TV marathons, I decided to use up my Artisana Coconut Oil and make another chocolate bar.

Homemade Raw Chocolate Bar

This one came out so much nicer looking than my last attempt; I must be learning. I also switched up the recipe by mixing the coconut oil and agave nectar first and using 2 grams less agave nectar and 2 grams more cocoa powder. You’re probably thinking that that doesn’t sound like much, but it actually made a HUGE difference. This was noticeably thicker–more like a paste. After it set up in the fridge for 10 minutes, I made an afternoon snack tray.

2% Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam, 1/2 Homemade Raw Chocolate Bar

I could have gone the afternoon just eating the whole bar like yesterday, but this time there were witnesses who knew about(and expected to taste) the chocolate 😉 Therefore, I only took half along with some greek yogurt. Like I said: The small adjustments in the recipe made a HUGE difference. This wasn’t exactly bitter, but it was noticeably less sweet and darker than yesterday’s bar. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked it more and will continue to tweak the recipe once I get more coconut oil. And thank you for all your wonderful suggestions! I’m 99.5% sure I’ll be getting coconut oil soon and know what type/brand it will be.

For dinner, would you believe somebody suggested lentils? And would you also believe that somebody wasn’t me? It was actually my mom–go figure. Good thing, too, because after that meaty lunch I was not thinking about another animal protein. After raiding the pantry I found out we had the fixin’s for a new and delicious supper.

Lentil Taco Ingredients

Last time we were at Trader Joe’s, I picked up this taco seasoning on a whim, not really having any plans for it but thinking it’d be nice to have around. Tonight, it was just calling my name. On the back it gives a recipe for making 6 servings of beef tacos. Instead, we used lentils instead of beef, 3 servings instead of 6(because, uhh, that’s how many of us there are?), used 1/2 the packet and 7oz of tomato sauce. As I was whiffing it simmering, I could tell the taco seasoning had a little too much heat and threw in some cinnamon to balance out the flavor. We don’t keep taco shells or tortillas around here, so I improvised.

Doctor Kracker Fire Roasted Crisps

With some Dr. Kracker’s that I was sent to review pre-Christmas. Yikes! Didn’t the holiday season just fly by? And with all that good food! I guess it’s back to eating real stuff. i also made one of my favorite sides: maple curry squash fries. Just 1 1/2 acorn squashes steamed and sliced then tossed in maple syrup and curry spice and baked for 90 minutes until very dehydrated.

Fire Roasted Dr. Krackers, Lentil Tacos With Parma, Maple Curry Squash Fries

Whew! OK, where to start? First off–HOT! Everything here had so much heat; my mom(a spicy food lover) could hardly get through the taco lentils. Trader Joe really likes his pepper! These chips were also pretty hot, too. They definitely weren’t my favorite Dr. Kracker chip. They were bit more brittle, the black sesame seeds were awkward, and when did cheddar cheese even come in to play? At the same time, I can’t say they didn’t taste “fire roasted” or make a fire in my mouth. And the squash fries were so perfectly crispy and spicy, too. On top of the tacos I repeatedly shook some of my new Parma.

Chipotle Cayenne Parma

This is their second flavor, along with the original. I have to say I liked the chipotle cayenne sooo much more; it had some real flavor to it! And still all the nutrition of Omega-3’s and B-vitamins. Yum!

As for right now, I’m either

A) feeling oddly happy about the Roloff boys graduating from high school

B) thinking I shouldn’t enjoy Tick Tock as much as I do but c’est la vie

C) making up a menu for a meal makeover tomorrow night

D) all of the above

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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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