The Fastest My Heart Has Ever Beat

Posted on May 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m pretty much the textbook runner in a medical sense: low weight, low resting heart rate, low blood pressure, etc. Even when I “run”(more like jog), I’m not pushing it too hard to strain myself. But last night–well, first there was oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Because warm carbs and Mighty Maple are a good way to start any time. So what made my heart beat so fast? Well, if you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure I annoyed you with my constant updating of the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. It was a good one. I’ve got it on Tivo and might watch it again. This was pretty much me the entire time:

Nervous

Nervous

And I was SO relieved at the end when they didn’t kill off anyone worth it. In the 2nd half, I’d say I needed this dark chocolate to pull through some of the scary moments.

Alter Eco And Trader Joe's Chocolate

Alter Eco And Trader Joe's Chocolate

That would be 10 squares Dark Chocolate Mint by Alter Eco, which is amazing, and 8 squares of Trader Joe’s knock-off chocolate which is “meh”. Dear Trader Joe, please stop making borderline infringing products that aren’t even as good. Like your milk chocolate peanut butter eggs that had hardly any peanut butter? Yeah, don’t do that again.

Well I made it through Grey’s, and got to bed eventually(which wasn’t easy). For the record, as ridiculous as I’m sure I appeared to everyone else around here, my dad walked into the room at 9:30, saw one shooting, and said he couldn’t handle it. So at least I watched it.

Maple Salmon, Soy Sauce Broccoli, Antipasto Bar Selection

Maple Salmon, Soy Sauce Broccoli, Antipasto Bar Selection

BBQ Popchips

BBQ Popchips

Breakfast was, well, not. Oatmeal and yogurt weren’t on the top of my list so I decided to have “a real meal”. It might have all been an excuse to eat Barbeque popchips. Maybe. And now I feel like I’m missing that sweetness of breakfast. Boo 😦 Breakfast for lunch? That could be on the menu to make up for it.

What television shows do you get invested in? Do we have time to list all of mine? Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and Big Brother, just to name a few.

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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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Today Was Not S.A.D.

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

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

Making Chocolate Cups

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

Next Generation Cheddar And Caribbean Cheddar Raw Cheese

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

Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Cheddar Cheese

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

Carved Chicken

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

Table Set Up

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

Golden Beets, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Dark Meat Chicken

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

Blowing Out The Candles

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

PB And Coconut Cherry Cups

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

Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

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

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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

Vegan Coconut Cherry Cup With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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

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

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Happy Food Coma

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sooo full! And happy 😀 It all started last night. Yes, last night.

White Beans Soaking

I purposely neglected to mention that during American Idol I got out some white beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins and started soaking them. I’d never worked with beans before, but this was something I wanted to do while I was at home. It’s supposed to be economical; frankly, when have beans ever been that expensive? But it was more about the experience. Those soaked over night, I posted an eggy discussion, and then came lunch. I was planning on eating a vegetarian lunch but…

Tuna And Full Fat Greek Yogurt

…life had other plans. Instead, I wanted a good ol’ tuna salad. I wouldn’t be exagerating if I said my mom could absolutely live off of these. I am not nearly as obsessed, but once and a while they hit the spot. My “secret” to a perfect one is using full fat greek yogurt. I hate mayo, both the real kind and the vegan one, so the yogurt is perfect for adding creaminess, fat, and overall “happy-happy-joy-joy”.

Broccoli With Tamari, Tuna Salad

Original Pop Chips, Broccoli Stems, Smoky Ketchup

Along with the tuna salad, I steamed broccoli. The stems looked ridiculously long so I cut them off but then kept them to eat like fries with the Pop Chips in ketchup and liquid smoke. It wasn’t ground breaking but at least no greens went to waste. The tuna salad was definitely soul hitting–no regrets there. And with the tamari and sea salt I was in sodium heaven! Did I just admit that? Oh yes I did. After lunch I put all the dishes away and turned my attention back to dinner.

Cooking White Beans

This is probably what intimidated me most about the beans: cooking them. I followed the directions exactly and cooked them for 1 and a half hours with 2 bay leaves and 1 onion quartered and salt and pepper. They smelled amazing; I’m such an onion fanatic as is. I wasn’t about to stand there for the whole time watching them, so I popped open a Zevia and popped in a movie.

Orange Zevia

I finally finished Gettysburg, the movie on the Civil War I started 2 weeks ago and bought on Black Friday. It was good and very accurate to the war/book, but not quite an uplifting story as I’m sure you can imagine. I looked it up and it was exactly 2 years and 4 days ago that I handed in my Junior Thesis concerning the book this was based on. I’m impressed I still remember anything about it, haha. Halfway through, I went to the kitchen to whip up something to last me until dinner.

Chocolate Banana Avocado Pudding With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

What do you do when you have no frozen bananas? Well, you cry in the corner for about 2 minutes, and then get to work on something new. For this, I put into the processor(I’m going to give him a nickname so I don’t have to write “food processor” anymore), 3oz fresh banana(1 medium sized one), 2oz avocado, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 3 tablespoons liquid(the last of my So Delicious kefir). The result was really good and really creamy. It actually was surprisingly sweet on its own with banana, but because my sweet tooth runs ramped(like I needed to admit this) I added some vanilla stevia. A good raw alternative to that would have been adding more cocoa powder instead because this was a little lacking in that respect and that would have upped the darkness. Oh, and did I mention I topped it with peanut butter? Yeah, it just wasn’t fattening enough 😀

Back to dinner, once my beans were done I drained them and started cooking the recipe. I was working off of this Whole Foods recipe for white bean and kale soup with chicken sausage. First was browning the sausage and onion. Then I added chicken stock and spinach to wilt down. Finally, I added 1 1/2 cups of beans and 1 cup of bean-puree for thickness.

White Bean And Spinach Stew With Spinach And Feta Chicken Sausages

This came out just like the picture, which made me soooo happy(Is this vein? I don’t think it’s vein. We’re saying it’s not vein). The flavor was lacking just a tad, so I seasoned some more with salt, pepper, and dehydrated onion. It’s actually pretty heart on its own, but we also roasted some rutabaga.

White Bean Stew With Goat Milk Yogurt And Roasted Rutabegas

Soooo good. Assume I had this times two. The soup had lots of flavor(read: lots of sodium)! The greens added a bitter crunch while the sausages were so perfectly savory. I used free-range chicken broth instead of water which also pumped up the volume. And the dollop of goat milk yogurt was just that final, tangy touch to top it all off. It really put me in a happy food coma. And we have a ton of beans left over, which I think we’ll freeze or something and I can get at least a few meals out of when I go back to school(yes. I do still attend college but am still on vacation, and will be for another week).

I’m so happy and full, I can barely think about dessert(well now I’m downright lying to ya’ll).

Here’s a Barney Butter giveaway.

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Superfoods And Pop Chip Review

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , , |

In case you missed it…

Read and chime in on this post about eggs!

Announcing..

The release of a new page! My Superfoods. I took down my My Oats page, which was originally meant to be a forum of foodie display, because it just wasn’t cutting it for me. Instead, I’ve made this new page which I’m hoping to both display and teach what I eat and why. I’ll constantly be updating the page as I think of more. And it’s where I’m sharing some of my favorite brands and where you can get them, because when it comes to what I eat for my health I can definitely get a little picky 😉

Reviewing…

Pop Chips! I got a big box of these to sample last week and have worked my way through them in record time. These are chips that aren’t baked, or fried, but popped! Interesting, huh? This gives them a much different taste and texture but a stellar nutrition. They come i a full line of flavors, some of which were misses for me and others that were HUGE hits. They’re sold(and I’ve hunted them down) at stores like Target and Whole Foods. I’m sure there’s a flavor for you; mine is sour cream & onion 😉

Barbeque

8.5/10: I had really high hopes for these after reading numerous recommendations. Flavor-wise, they didn’t blow me out of the water; dare I say this was almost a little let-down? It was OK, but not the amazing, signature flavor I thought it would be, and very similar to other BBQ chips I’ve had. Nutritionally, this is another story. This particular flavor Pop Chip I did think tasted a little “healthy”, but with 4g of healthy fat, no cholesterol, and only 2g of sugar, these can be proud of their nutritional stats. BBQ can get A LOT heavier than 2 grams of sugar.

Cheddar

8/10: Whenever I go for a cheese-flavored chip, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m looking for something that tastes artificial and overly-processed. These were good, but not quite there; the flavor was almost too real? That, or too subtle. I guess that’s what you get from an all natural product. I didn’t think this tasted all that “healthy” even though it is, which impressed me. And they were a great way to eat something portioned and cheesy without cutting into a block of actual cheddar. As weird as it sounds, these were best when topped with peanut butter, for a truly savory delight.

Original

7.5/10: Healthy chips that taste amazing yet aren’t fried? That might be too good to be true. These were not “amazing”, but they were at least “good”. I’d say they still tasted pretty “healthy” and were on the dry side. Their saving grace was the seasoning of sea salt, which made these mighty tasty. They also are perfect for dipping into thin sauces and adding your own flavor. Beyond that, though, I’d rather get one of their preflavored varieties, particularly the sour cream & onion.

Salt & Pepper

8.5/10: After a long string of so-so Pop Chips, this flavor really brought me back to the fan side. Of course salt and pepper were two flavors meant to be together, and they work just as well here, too. Neither outshines the other so that you’re getting an over seasoned chip. And these don’t at all taste healthy. I loved these a lot, and considered giving them a 9; ultimately, I would have been more impressed had the salt or pepper been of a slightly higher caliber. Besides that, these were a great, vegan snack.

Sea Salt & Vinegar

8/10: This is yet another flavor of Pop Chips I could never call bad but certainly wasn’t what I was expecting or particularly hoping for. Again, the unique cooking method gave both a healthy and flavorful chip. And this most definitely had the tastes of both sea salt and vinegar. But it wasn’t the same vinegar flavor that you might want from a chip–not nearly abrasive enough. Still, it did taste like what it promised, and with the tastes of nature.

Sour Cream & Onion

9/10: Potato chip what? I’m not quite sure how they do it, even after reading everything on their site. All I know is these were delicious! The savory and tangy sour cream & onion had me snacking chip after chip. I think I preferred these over “regular” potato chips because the potato flavor was so neutral that it let the other flavors shine. I might or might not have poured all the crumbs into my mouth at the end of the bag–just saying.

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As Easy As Chocolate Making

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

Welcome back to the week! Or, if you’re lucky enough, I hope you’re enjoying a long weekend. In case you missed it, here I posted embarrassing photos of myself and here was a great recap of at least 5 products and a restaurant Eastern Massachusetts should not miss!

Yesterday I tried my hand at something quite new and different(for me, at least).

Chocolate Ingredients

Crushed at having finished my last piece of NibMor original, I consulted Averie on how to make my own raw chocolate. It turns out I had everything I needed in my pantry! It only took 4 simple ingredients: cocoa powder, agave nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla powder(unpictured). In a small bowl, I whisked together 14 grams cocoa powder, 15 grams Artisana coconut oil, 21 grams agave nectar, and a pinch of vanilla powder. To my surprise, it all combined into a thick paste I was able to actually make into a bar.

Homemade Chocolate Bar

How fun! This was soft, so I threw it in the refrigerator to thicken while I finished off a pot of coffee(at 4pm. Aren’t I a class act? ;-)). While I was waiting for the chocolate to thicken, I thought I’d make some chocolate avocado pudding with our last avocado.

Moldy Avocado

That would be mold growing inside the avocado. How does that even happen? I didn’t question; I just tossed it in the trash. What a shame 😦 I didn’t think the chocolate would be quite a filling snack all its own but I broke off a square anyway to have.

Chunk Of Raw Chocolate

Sweet delicious this was good! It was just like a NibMor–dark but not bitter, with a sweet coconutty subtleness to it. It got soft really fast, so the last few bites were like putty. I ended up starting to read Cook This Not That as I was eating it. 2 chapters in and I can say this is a great book to buy; there’s plenty of tips and it does things like compare fats to other fats, meats to other meats, and dairy to other dairy. It’s very opinionated and offers a lot of reasoning which lets you accept the knowledge it has or question it–such a book for foodies. After 2 chapters, I started getting hungry again :-/ I was going to save the rest of my chocolate for my parents but…

The Rest Of The Raw Chocolate

…since they never knew it existed, they weren’t about to miss it, right? Really, this was so good I ended up eating the whole thing. I also did a lot of reading up on coconut oil(since I was chowing down on it) and how, even though it’s high in saturated fats, it’s definitely not a fat to be left out of our diets at all; I’m definitely considering picking up a big jar if anyone has any brand suggestions.

As my parents came home, stopping at a Market Basket(where I was sure to ask for avocadoes!), I wondered what  I had to throw together for dinner. I ended up steaming/roasting some brussels and roasting parsnips with parmesan cheese grated on top. we then pan-seared some mahi mahi they brought home in extra-virgin olive oil.

Mahi Mahi With Peach Salsa, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sea Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips

I don’t know why but I didn’t particularly feel like the parsnips so I grabbed a back of sea salt & vinegar Pop Chips. They’ve been so hit or miss with me, and these were another “miss”. Honestly, I can’t say they didn’t taste like sea salt & vinegar: They did. But it wasn’t the same salt & vinegar I expect in chips. Then again, I grew up eating salt & vinegar chips that actually had no vinegar but plenty of artificial things that made one hell of a vinegar taste.

After dinner we ran out and back just in time for The Golden Globes. I thought Ricky Gervaise did a wonderful job hosting, and all of the presenters were funny. There weren’t any real controversial or “Oh my God!” moment but sometimes that’s a good thing. I had a few(or more) snacks while watching it.

Raspberry Agave Chocolate Avocado Pudding

With my new avocadoes I whipped up some pudding, this time adding 1/2 a tablespoon of Madhava’s raspberry agave syrup. It was really good and sweet, with a nice tone of raspberry I don’t think a jam could have recreated. I can’t really say why but after all these 15g of fats and 10g of fiber I was starving like I hadn’t even eaten dinner.

Sweet Potato Rounds With Salsa

I heated up sweet potato slices that had been in our fridge for longer than I’ll admit and added some really spicy salsa for flavor; these totally did the trick for a “unique” snack(though not too unique if you’re this blogger). Isn’t it weird when hunger just hits like that? And it was the kind of hunger that wanted real food(aka not chocolate). that did the trick until I wanted my ritual bowl of oatmeal.

Oatmeal/Oatbran With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Funny thoughts while photographing this: “Darn it! I can’t get a good photo of this oatmeal through all the steam” followed by “Evan, you eat this every freaking night. You could just freakin’ reuse a photo if you need to”. I didn’t, but it’s comforting to think that my regularity is at least functional in that way 🙂 I think my favorite Golden Globe acceptance speech of the night was by Sandra Bullock when she thanked her husband and said it wasn’t until she met him that she knew what it meant for someone to truly have her back–such a sweet thought.

As much as I hate to admit it, I did not sleep well last night due to the most ridiculous “nightmare”. I dreamed that where I worked over the Summer was actually NBC’s studio for Conan O’Brien and that I was losing my job as Conan was going off the air. How was this a nightmare and had me tossing and turning? I had no clue, but I woke up like a bullet when my alarm went off and got an early start on working out. I did most of my core, but then decided I didn’t feel like doing push-ups and sit-ups. The solution? The count to ten cardio workout with 10 push-ups and 15 sit-ups per iteration. This was most definitely working up an appetite in me, but I decided to push through knowing I had this great breakfast in store:

Peanut Greek Yogurt With Tempeh bacon And Maple Syrup, Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Tempeh Bacon

Yum! Oh how I love the combination of peanut butter, smoky, salty bacon, and sweet maple syrup. It feels good to just indulge in a little bit more when it’s all so healthy like this. For the yogurt, I mixed a plain Chobani with some full-fat voskos–oh how I love my full fat yogurt 😀 And all that was from 2 strips of tempeh bacon, which was all I had left from a pack I bought a loooong time ago. Thank God it wasn’t real meat or it would have gone bad by now.

On a different note, it snowed this morning! And a lot 😀 I hope it keeps on going.

Here’s a Simpsons giveaway(I know this show has plenty of fans)!

And here’s a giveaway for some Forze Bars!

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Isn’t It Ironic

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s like rain on your wedding day.
It’s a free ride, when you’ve already paid.
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take.
Who would have thought? It figures…

Isn’t it ironic…

Steamed Broccoli And Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak

that I make vegetarian philly cheesesteaks(an oxymoron) and have never had a real one? It’s probably not like the real thing, but a couple servings of Lightlife fake sausage meat, 1/2 an onion, and 2 american cheese squares later and I’m a very happy boy. I love onions. And I’d love to try this with the beef fake meat. A good friend and reader recommended cheese as a way to fit fats into meals. Doh! Of course! I love cheese, and can definitely fit it in 😉 And with this…

Isn’t it ironic…

Salt & Pepper Pop Chips

that when I had all but given up on Pop Chips after a few less-than-perfect flavors, this one brought me right back into the game? It wasn’t quite as good as the sour cream & onion. And I wish that it were seasoned with something other than what tastes like the black pepper I have in my kitchen. That being said, it was seasoned beautifully and I would have demolished this if the bag were any bigger.

Isn’t it ironic… that my grandmother who plays the lottery every day was asking me who doesn’t at all if she should have gotten $10 instead of $5 for hitting 3 numbers? Yes, because these are the kinds of things they teach you in college…

Isn’t it ironic… that the death of fictional characters I hardly ever remember being part of the show will still make me feel bad. I’m so sappy.

Isn’t it ironic…

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Pound Plus Milk Chocolate

that I always top my soy yogurt with milk chocolate? I swear it just goes better together than anything else. I took a square off of my Trader Joe’s milk chocolate bar. You know, the one that weighs over a pound? I’ve got 2 recipes in mind that use it and I just wanted to make sure that it was good quality. So, you know, I was really doing everyone a favor 😉 It was decent, but I think for peanut butter cups it’s a little too sweet, so I’ll melt 3 squares with 1 square Baker’s Unsweetened and baddabing-baddaboom it’ll be perfect. I have such a chocolate tooth for these things 🙂

Isn’t it ironic… that I swore never to join Twitter, and just tweeted?

Isn’t it ironic…

Al Fresco Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausages

that I didn’t make any wiener jokes at all while cooking these? A new flavor of Al Fresco to try out tonight. We were only cooking up two because my dad was running late but I was not going to wait with my growling stomach. He came later and we cooked up another.

Isn’t it ironic…

Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, Carrot Fries, Killer Cornbread

when I microwave raw cheddar cheese? You know, the thing that you buy specially because it still has living enzymes in it you wouldn’t want to kill with high amount of heats? Yeah, well I didn’t do that tonight. I was feeling smart. I thought these sausages were OK; they were definitely spicy but I couldn’t identify jalapeno. But really, with their sodium, they were setting my mouth ablaze(and sadly I added more salt). The carrot fries were delicious roasted. But my favorite part was the cornbread.

Isn’t it ironic…

Killer Cornbread With Earth Balance And Raw Cheddar Cheese

that I’ve said at times that I hate butter AND grains at meals(other than breakfast oatmeal, obviously), and yet I could have stuffed my face with this all night long? Check it out: leftover killer cornbread, microwaved and sliced in the middle where I stuck a big pat of Earth Balance. Then on top I shaved some 2 years aged raw cheddar cheese. Heaven! Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God. Those were healthy fats, right? Who cares–delicious. I should freeze some of this cornbread so I don’t do this again so it doesn’t grow mold like last time.

Isn’t it ironic… that I thought I’d never have time to get this post up and get changed before awesome primetime television and I’m clocking in 16 minutes early? Grey’s, The Office, 30 Rock–so much good tonight!

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Say Cheeese And A Giveaway!

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Road trip! Route: Memory Lane

Did anybody else eat way too many of these in their childhood? It might or might not be just a New England thing; I’m not sure. Basically, these are cheese sandwich crackers with peanut butter in between. They’re not exactly health food, but at least they don’t have trans fat or HFCS(anymore at least. I have doubts about when I was a kid). OK, well I didn’t quite have these, BUT I figured out a kickassbutt way to work them into my lunch.

Cheddar Pop Chips With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

While trying out a new flavor of Pop Chips. Pretty snazzy. Plus I had real food.

Snobby Lentils And Broccoli With Nutritional Yeast

And something tall and bubbly to wash it all down.

Blueberry Pomegranate Steaz

And then I moved this all to the couch in front of the television. No, really, I did. My stomach was still feeling funky for lunch so instead of tofu I kept it simple with overcooked lentils and snobby joes over broccoli. I think I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of nutritional yeast; you just need to add A LOT at the time. The soda was OK but the flavor didn’t blow my mind; it mostly just tasted like green tea.

Also “just OK” was this flavor of Pop Chips. It just didn’t have that same, overly processed flavor as other cheese snacks. But maybe that’s a good thing? It’s just what I’ve come to expect from cheddar chips. What was really good was them with the peanut butter. It was just like the crackers! The sweet and salty work so well together. I might have to buy a bag of Pop Chips just for that.

After lunch and television, I started working on dinner.

Wet Ingredients

Along with the meal plan, I was making some killer cornbread. This time, I tried a variation some variations on it: I sweetened with 3 tablespoons agave nectar, accidentally poured in about twice the salt, and cut in cold pieces of Earth Balance natural butter spread at the last moment instead of mixing in the butter well.

Killer Cornbread

I actually think it might have cooked a few minutes faster, but besides that it looked and smelled the same: delicious. I also made up a rub for the chicken.

BBQ Chicken Rub

BBQ Chicken Rub

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, if desired. Rub over chicken before cooking.

Marinating Chicken

It might technically be a marinade. I’m not sure. But if it’s a problem for you, please take it up with my lawyers. After that I rewatched the newest episode of Unwrapped(because, really, you need to see it twice to let it sink in). As much as I hate to eat bars at home, I was craving something dense and chewy, much like a granola bar. It was that or cut into the cornbread early.

Nature's Path Peanut Butter Optimum Energy Bar

I won this bar from Nature’s Path‘s facebook page and had no reason to try it until now. It definitely wasn’t very peanut buttery, but at least it had peanuts in it, as well as fiber and protein. Probably didn’t need all that added sugar for sitting on the house and converting recipes, but c’est la vie. After a good while, I got a start on dinner by putting broccoli and the chicken in the oven, and made a snack while I waited for that.

Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Vanilla bean sugar makes everything feel special 🙂 And I just noticed my strawberry is organic, which has me far more excited than it should. Now I feel like I’m saving the earth every time I have some, though that’s probably not the case.

Killer Cornbread, BBQ Chicken, Roasted Broccoli Fries

Killer Cornbread, BBQ Chicken, Roasted Broccoli Fries

Finally, some decent broccoli fries. The perfection comes in the patience; these roasted for over an hour. The chicken was really good, but it would have been better had we had the grill to use. Still, the notes of cinnamon and cayenne were perfect. And the cornbread came out much better than the last time, probably because last time I forgot to add 1/2 the sweetener. This batch we decided was definitively more “corny” due to the agave nectar.

You should enter this giveaway for Amy’s Kitchen products right after entering my…

Chobani Giveaway!

Now that you’ve seen me cook with Chobani, here’s your chance to win some. Would you like to win a case of fruit Chobani? I love their fruit flavors because fruit is always the number 2 ingredient right behind milk(except for with the raspberry flavor). To enter, go to the Chobani website and write in one of the recipes that looks good to you. For bonus entries:

I’ll randomly choose a winner Friday at 8pm(which spells Ghost Whisperer time in this house) so get your comments in by then and good luck!

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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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Ifs And Thens

Posted on January 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you’re going to cook something for lunch that’s already going to make your breath smell bad…

Lightlife Savor Chick'n Smart Tenders

Then you might as well make the whole meal a stanky mess.

Savory Chick'N Tenders, Garlic Steamed Brussels, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips

A delicious, stanky mess, that is. That would be the tenders, brussels sprouts I steamed and then ground dried garlic on top of with sea salt, and a bag of Pop Chips which I got in the mail yesterday to review.

If you’re going to make a “healthy” potato chip…

Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips

Then you better make them tasty. And boy do they! I think I’m in love with this flavor. This actually had me wondering: Who am I? Normally, I don’t like chips because they’re not really filling and poorly flavored. But THESE were absolutely delicious. And healthy? I’m still enamored about that last one. This was the first flavor I tried, but I’m 98% sure I’m buying a big bag of those from the classy Targe when I’ve had them all.

If you’re going to end a Thursday show with 2 cliffhangers, Days Of Our Lives, then you can expect I’ll be watching tomorrow’s episode.

If you’re going to make a healthy, vegan cookie…

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

(Those would be my 4th or 5th batch of the vegan pumpkin molasses cookies adapt from Holly’s recipe made with erythritol instead of 1/2 a cup turbinado sugar) Then you should balance that with sugary maple cupcakes and dream of the cream cheese and butter you can slather on them.

Maple Syrup Cupcakes

I intended to make my vegan maple-apple morning cookies. Then I decided I didn’t want oats or apples in them. Then the flaxseed and wheat germ came out and an egg went in. Whoops. Then they magically poured themselves into lined cupcake tins and cooked for 16-18 minutes. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? I was drooling thinking about the maple cream cheese frosting or vegan maple buttercream frosting I could whip up(literally) for them, but after giving it thought I’m thinking these are going to hit the freezer and that would not work out.

If you’re going to be in the kitchen for 4 hours and not sit down…

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Then you need handheld carbs and fat to keep going. 2:30-6:30. I think at some point my mind skipped out and found a place to sit and still hasn’t came back(hence me going for a gimmicky post to bemuse us all).

If you’re going to be handling raw food…

Raw Chicken Breast

Then chicken is not the one to be tempted to lick the fork after working with. I was thinking of Twittering my perils, but didn’t know what to say/didn’t want salmonella on my keyboard.

If you’re going to dream of peanut butter, maple, and bacon for your entire life…

Hickory Maple Peanut Butter

Then you might as well make a hickory maple peanut butter. This was my final kitchen work-up, and I’m a little disappointed. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and this one’s all over the place with consistancy. Maybe it just needs to sit a while.

If you’re going to leave me in charge of dinner…

Cherry Maple Chicken, Killer Cornbread, Parsnip And Carrot Fries With BBQ Dipping Sauce

Then you know it’s going to be maple flavored something. The chicken came out amazing(totally tooting my own horn here). But seriously, it was juicy and cooked just for the right amount of time, with a delicate sweetness. I saw cherry chiken on Jess’ blog and thought it sounded good. The fries never really crisped up unfortunately. And the killer cornbread? Still killer.

If you’re going to be hungry after your plate of food…

Pink Lady Apple

Then a fruit or vegetable is a smart call. Not a smart call? Going back for more chicken. OK, this wasn’t exactly unsmart(kind of like how that’s not exactly a word). But I like to eat 3oz of meat and be satisfied with that. But when I was still hungry and there was no fries, the chicken was way more appealing than leftover cornbread, and I figured a little extra of really good meat that I cooked myself wasn’t going to kill. Still had to have an apple after that, and now it’s sitting in me like a brick. Joy.

If I’m going to be posting at 7:52pm, then I better get out of my work clothes, take out my contacts, and figure out what shows are still on this season.

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