An Eventful Day In Boston Part 2

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

So, I timed this to publish right when I start taking my last final. It might be a little late for this, but wish me luck!… please? Good God, I’m going to need that or a hard drink.

What is someone to do in the North End when they’re hungry and can’t eat gluten(the North End is primarily Italian-American with the best pizza and pasta in Boston)? Well, either starve to death or find somewhere with a slightly varied menu.

Antico Forno

Antico Forno

Just down the road, I found a lovely looking Italian restaurant with an open window and ended up dining here. The prices were reasonable, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of restaurants in Boston, and there were things on the menu for me.

Olives In Oil

Olives In Oil

There were bread and olives; I couldn’t touch the bread, but I was all over the olives. I loved how fast the service was; I had ordered not 5 minutes after I got there, and it couldn’t have been 10 minutes more before my plate arrived.

Involtini Di Melanzane

Involtini Di Melanzane

I ordered a dish that was rolled eggplant stuffed with mozzarella and basil baked in a plum tomato sauce. The cheese was supposed to be ricotta, but they were out; honestly, I love fresh mozzarella so that was no big deal at all. It as all very delicious with a deep, stone cooked flavor. My only gripe was the lack of a basil flavor; it really needed that to lighten it all up. But for $8, how could I go wrong?

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate

I was still a little hungry after that and happy to break into a new chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s on my walk to Boston Common. I was hoping this was going to be a new, cheaper version of my favorite chocolate bar. It wasn’t. But it was still pretty good, definitely a bargain at $2, and all fair trade. I’ll be sure to stuff some stockings with this one.

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Iced Tea

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Iced Tea

When I got to the Common, I found a place to study and ordered an iced tea. Instantly, I got a HUGE headache and had some more chocolate thinking I might have gotten dehydrated walking around so much. In hindsight, it probably was the case that I had just drank more caffeine than I have in a week. Chocolate cures everything.

Picco Restaurant

Picco Restaurant

To get over the Grezzo disappointment, we stopped somewhere I really wanted to try on the road home. This restaurant is known for using local and organic ingredients. But, since it was just 4pm, we weren’t there for food…

Ice Cream Flavors

Ice Cream Flavors

They also have gourmet gelato. Did someone say gelato? sign me up.

Vanilla Bean Gelato

Vanilla Bean Gelato

I ordered the Vanilla gelato. You can really get to know a place through their vanilla. What I didn’t realize was that this would be vanilla bean and absolutely amazing. It was just so rich and creamy. And I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen so many vanilla beans. I was in heaven. I can’t wait to go back (many, many) times over the Summer.

Raw Local Milk

Raw Local Milk

Another place I hope to frequent this Summer is Eastleigh Farm; they’re a local business that sells their own raw milk, and have faced many troubles from the State and raw milk controversy. They’ll get our support; and I can’t wait to try their cheese and ice cream!

Chickpea Salad With Raw Ingredients

Chickpea Salad With Raw Ingredients

And, yes, I got my raw meal for the day despite the closing of Grezzo’s. This was a simple salad starting with spinach and arugala in this raw dressing. Then I added mulberries, chickpeas, sea salt, and cheddar organic raw cheese from Next Generation Dairy.

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Fussy Dining And Grocery Success

Posted on March 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t believe the weekend’s gone; where did that time go? I hope you had a good one. My Sunday was fantastic and I’m absolutely exuberant to blog about it, so I’m going to dive right in.

Jolly Beans

Jolly Beans

Similarly, I dove right in to these jolly beans right before my run. I wasn’t really hungry for them, but I kept telling myself “You can have more jolly beans next time you run. You can have more jolly beans next time you run” So, I had more jolly beans the next time I ran. I was thankful for the extra energy, because in all honsety this was probably the toughest run I’ve had so far. Even before hand, the distance–11 miles outside–kept making me lose my focus. Could I do it? Would I do it? Just run!

11.2 Miles In 1:34:58

I’ll save any run recap where I could tell you everything went through my head at one point: incredible joy, wanting to quit, etc. The important thing was I did it! And could not have been more pleased(or wanting to stretch and collapse) at the end. But the finish line wasn’t my dorm room. No, today it was different:

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe

I was running to meet my family for brunch again at Garden Grill Cafe! A free meal out? Yes, please! I think my grandmother was most happy to eat here again 😉 And it was packed! I think it took 15 minutes to get a table. In hindsight, this was actually awful planning on my part; I’m very particular about how I like to recover and refuel, and going somewhere where I couldn’t pick out the ingredients or cook had me a little crabby. Really, I just needed food in me! So I was very happy when they got the ball rolling and we ordered.

Carrot Juice

Carrot Juice

One of the great benefits of ending my run here was I knew I could get fresh carrot juice to refuel. As I’ve mentioned, a cup has more potassium than a banana! This was my first time having carrot juice fresh squeezed; because it was a little more fresh and fiberous, I don’t think it was as sweet. But it was still tasty. I also managed to impress people by guzzling more water than is holy throughout the meal 😉

Hash And Peanut Butter

Hash And Peanut Butter

Speaking of the meal, I ordered the “American Breakfast” which was “2 eggs served any style, hash, and toast”. Well, what I ate was a far departure from that. Unfortunately, they were out of gluten-free toast, which I wanted to give a shot(and craved the carbs of) :-/I also found no appeal in the eggs, even though usually I’m all over perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs. Boo. After some finagling, I got the meal I wanted. I traded my eggs for most of my mom’s hash, and asked the server to bring peanut butter on the side. I managed to turn my “American breakfast” into hash with peanut butter; how American 😉

Hash With Peanut Butter

Hash With Peanut Butter

I’m not complaining, though, because this was amazing and just what I wanted. You wouldn’t think fatty, salty hash(which is the best in the world, in my opinion, at Garden Grill) would work with fatty peanut butter, but I’ve never had a problem with fat on carbs 😀 I also stole some maple syrup from my dad’s vegan cinnamon roll french toast(yes, you read that right, but unfortunately it was far from gluten-free :,-() to also flavor this.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

And I wiped that plate clean, leaving a little of the peanut butter behind. The peanut butter was also really good; it tasted like it had brown sugar or some great sweetness in it that made it taste like Reeses’. Who knows? It might have been Reeses’. I was just hoping and praying a good establishment like this wouldn’t use hydrogenated peanut butter(there entire pantry is Bob’s Red Mill so I’m guessing they’re honest and good people).

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

After that we ran back to my dorm so I could shower and change and then went to do some grocery shopping. At Whole Foods, Zevia was on sale for 3.50 a 6-pack, and by signing up for their newsletter I had a $1 coupon, so I was able to get 6 Root Beers for $2.50–score! It’s so easy to pair manufacturers coupons with the store sales if you’re patient.

Whole Food Groceries

The rest of the groceries were pretty standard. I grabbed some coconut milk yogurt since it’s a sale item. The one grocery item not on sale or that I had a coupon that I “had to get” was my favorite dark chocolate bar by Endangered Species. I like to think that if I’m going to eat it and not let it go to waste, then it’s worth it. And have no fear that I’ll eat that 😉

Bulk Bin Grabs

Bulk Bin Grabs

I also tore up the bulk bins; I looove the bulk bins for things that you might want odd amounts for. I always get my steel cut oats from them, since they’re cheaper and organic and I can get a lot. I also get Sunspire peanuts and jolly beans because it’s better to buy candy in bulk so that you decide the amount for a lesser cost. And I got some sunflower seeds and dried cherries, since I wasn’t looking to invest in big bags of those. I also spotted spelt flour while I was snooping the selection, which I’m now curious to pick up for some gluten-intolerant baking over break.

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Of course, the grocery I saved for last was ice cream. I mentioned picking up a flavor I really didn’t want on Friday night but convinced myself sounded good at the time :-/ Well, I was able to trade that one in for one I would eat. This afternoon, in fact!

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Oh. My. God. Where to start? You could read my review for it here. Or, perhaps we could start at 10 years ago when I would eat way too much of Turkey Hill’s peanut butter chocolate ice cream at my grandparent’s house. Nowadays, me and the Turkey aren’t best friends because of the ingredients he uses 😦 This was just as good, or better, or–I don’t know how to describe it other than amazing with gooey peanut butter swirls.

Since I was hungry but not starving after that goodness, I decided to throw dinner in the oven a little early and make it a little bigger rather than snack on. Of course, being human I’d rather eat dinner later and make my ice cream bowl bigger. But I think keeping the real food in your diet high is 90% of “healthy eating”

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu With Maple Peanut Butter

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

I love roasting; you don’t have to do much but wait. I roasted brussels cooked from last week, fresh sweet potato, and some quick-pressed tofu in maple syrup. The tofu needed longer pressing but I was short on time. Apparently, peanut butter on the side of every meal is going to become my “thing” now that Garden Grille endorsed it. I felt free to add some mighty maple from PB&Co. on the side. Without even realizing it until now, all 3 of my eats since breakfast have had peanut butter; I think that’s the sign for a great day.

Do you “Pick your plate” eating out and drive the servers mad? I generally detest fussiness as a quality and would consider myself pretty adaptive. I always try to make sure there’ll be something in a dining situation I’ll eat even before going in. At the same time, if I’m eating out I really want to enjoy my meal, so I don’t sweat the little things like asking for a side of peanut butter if the server will oblige. And do you utilize the bulk bins? Clearly, I consider them a necessity. But after getting home I read Averie’s post about who and what has actually been near them–yuck! It has me second guessing…

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Jokerz And Gardens

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love how much bloggers sympathize over dropped tableware! Only you guys would understand, haha.

Jolly Beans

With the sun shining in, I knew an outdoor run would help me feel energized. I pushed it about as late as I could–10:30–and got ready to run. Right before heading out I popped the jelly beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins for quick energy. They’re all-natural, vegetarian, called “Jolly Beans”, and absolutely delicious; just like with other brands, my favorite colors are the white, orange, and yellow. Which are your favorite jelly beans?

9.4 Miles In 1:20:46

I ended up running 9.4 miles in 1:20:26, which was a really good pace for me. I had to hit the Providence hills because on my way back I made a pit stop at University Heights Whole Foods to grab a Jokerz bar. I think I’ve found a new addiction! I also swung by the dining hall before coming into my room right at 12 with the rush; that was not timed well, and there wasn’t even much for me to work with 😦 I stilled managed a tasty and quick lunch.

Kidney Beans With Ketchup And Hemp Oil, Maple Tofu, All Over Spinach

Another bean salad–I’m just loving these! Red beans are definitely not my favorite(I prefer chickpeas or black beans), but it’s what they had so I worked with them and made a dressing from organic ketchup and Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dresing. It reminded me of BBQ beans. On top, I threw on the maple tofu I roasted Monday but ended up not eating. What turned out being thrown together from stuff on hand was actually a great meal. Do you have a favorite type of bean?

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Wednesdays win for my long days: 3 1/2 hours straight class in the afternoon. I definitely needed something to look forward to in my Object History class to keep me sane. The funny thing? This weeks “object” was sugar and other food in colonial America. We also talked a lot about the potatoes role in society from it’s origins as a South American crop to Europe. As much as I love food, I feel like class is the one place I can escape from having a single track mind. C’est la vie.

Vegan Milk Chocolate Enrobing Vegan Caramel, Nougat, And Peanuts

It felt a little ironic to be eating this Go Max Go Foods Jokerz while we talked about the expansion of sugar in the 18th century English diet and how 1 ton of sugar equated to the life of a slave at the time. Guilt? I don’t know the meaning of the word–this was downright delicious! So sweet and good. And, yes, it’s a candy bar and not at all healthy. But it is all natural 🙂 And I had a surprise waiting for me after class…

Dad

Guess who was in town! Literally, he was in town on a special business conference, and since he got off dinner when I got out of class, meeting up for dinner seemed natural. First we stopped at a store to get avocadoes, kombucha, a new bowl, and jelly beans(aka, all of my staples). After that, we found a little local restaurant that Heather recommended.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe is a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant over in East Pawtucket. I have ran right near this so many times without even paying notice; I wasn’t even 1/4 mile away twice on my run this morning! The menu is all vegetarian, highly vegan/gluten-free, and they even have some raw items. Though it didn’t say, I would bargain all the ingredients to be all-natural. They even had organic brews on tap(not that I was getting any of that action), along with fresh squeezed juices and blended smoothies. Now those sounded good. I’ll definitely be planning to end a run on a nice sunny day by here.

Eggplant Rollatini

For my entree, I chose the eggplant rollatini, described as “grilled and stuffed with herb tofu nut cheese, crispy polenta, garlic sauteed spinach with homemade pomodoro sauce””. The flavors were just what I was craving at the time. It also appealed to me that this was vegan, gluten-free, and–at least I would say so–didn’t compromise my Lent give-up of “prepared soy”(it had some tofu, but less than any other menu item, and since the house probably used raw tofu and just prepared it tonight, it’s less “prepared” than the ones I had in mind). The eggplant rolls with the tofu-nut cheese were amazing; I could have ate 5 more! The polenta I just had a sliver of; it was well formed, but even well formed polenta is pretty boring unless you dress it up with heavy cream or a sharp cheese(and this dish was vegan). Overall, it was a great experience and I’ll probably be eating there again. Did I mention they have vegan cinnamon rolls on the Sunday brunch menu? They do.

A few last things: first up, Katie alerted me to this article fronting Newsweek this week; apparently, I’m a good writer 😉 And I also agree with a lot I have to say! Go figure. And check out this ch-ch-chia seed giveaway from Lucky Taste Buds that comes with a sweet recipe! happy end of humpday, ya’ll!

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Feeling FRESH

Posted on January 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning afternoon! Actually, I “gave myself the morning off”, which doesn’t mean much when you don’t do much but has a great psychological boost behind it 😀 Have you done something little for yourself that’s made you feel 10 times better than you thought it would? Do tell, because I’m always looking for little things like that. When I make a lunch in the oven or anything more intensive than the microwave, that always has me feeling like a million bucks.

Vegan Meatloaf With Smokey Ketchup, Broccoli With Nutritional Yeast

This lunch yesterday was neither “fresh” or made in anything but the microwave, and yet still had me feeling like a million bucks. I decided to finish off the vegan meatloaf. My first thought was “Wow, this is really a lot. Maybe I should portion better.” followed by “Oh well, it’s all healthy foods so it’s OK to go a bit over on.” ended with “This is all healthy?! I need to make another one this week!” Clearly, we know what I’ll be doing at some point soon 😉 I topped it with ketchup and liquid smoke(love this combo) and some nutritional yeast; I think I need to get a pound of nutritional yeast next time I go to the Dedham Whole Foods and I’m not even exaggerating.

After lunch my mom went her way and my dad and I went ours and I feel like we went everywhere! First up was Job Lot, which always has fun finds. This time it was maple and blueberry flavored agave nectar, but I passed on any of those. Then I happened to stumble on an unbelievable sale at Price Chopper while waiting for my dad to pick out socks.

Lightlife Soy Beef And Buffalo Wings

Lightlife products were buy 1 get 1 free! I only bought 1 and got 1 and now I’m thinking I should have grabbed more but oh well. I’ve been wanting to try their Buffalo Wings forever so now was my opportunity! I’d never have paid $5 for them had I not gotten a log of soy beef for free–love that last part. I can’t wait to make beefy things with it(a burger? Ooo Summer’s been gone for too long).

After Price Chopper I pretended to be an educated individual and took us to Borders. I love the idea of book stores; there’s so much variety! Buuuut… I always end up looking at the same food books. Haha, one track mind much? And I ended up buying one!

Cook This Not That

I think the Eat This Not That series is one of my guilty pleasures, and I was able to get this for $14 with a coupon. This is my 3rd or 4th, and it’s all about recipes of restaurant favorites. Normally I don’t bother paying for cookbooks and just use the internet or my own head but I love ones like this that also have interesting and unique facts and articles. Did you know the pecan is the most antioxidant-full nut? Fascinating. I also looked at Michael Pollon’s new book about food rule, which looked awesome. It also looked like a lot of things that seem like “common sense” to me after reading In Defense Of Food, though, which I did not feel like paying $10 for. But words like “You can eat all the junk food you want so long as you make it yourself” is what people need to here!(and good news for me with all my peanut butter cups ;-))

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunky

Well, not a peanut butter cup, but still some wholesome junk food I packed for a snack instead of a granola bar. After that we ended up at Target followed by a trip to the eye doctors. Good news and bad news–I’m just as blind as I was a year and a half ago 🙂 I remember when I first got contacts and the employee had to sit with me for 30 minutes while I tried to figure out how to put a lens on my eyeball. I felt soooo bad taking forever, I just wanted to give up. Now I pop them in and yank them out like putty, haha. Oh how times change. And on the way home we dropped by Whole Foods where brussels sprouts were on sale! We didn’t have these at all this week, so I grabbed 3 pounds. Will that be enough? I doubt it.

Thai Peanut Primal Strip

We decided to be fun and funky and go out for dinner last night, mostly through my own persuasion 😉 Before we left I wasn’t really hungry but had this thai peanut Primal Strip I was sent to review so I wouldn’t get hungry waiting for dinner. I hate being hungry at restaurants; then you can hardly enjoy the delicious food! I liked this strip as a quick and portable protein source–definitely an upgrade to the sugary granola bar and held me over well. I really wanted somewhere I could eat vegetarian and not pasta, which is a rare breed around here. We ended up driving back to Framingham past the eye doctors to Big Fresh Cafe. I’d never been there before, but you can just look at their website to see how awesome they are and how tough it was to choose one thing from their amazing menu.

Teryaki Vegetables And Tofu Over Organic Brown Rice

I ended up going with the teryaki vegetables and tofu over organic brown rice. It was awesome! I think this might have been the first time I’ve had someone else prepare tofu for me–so good. What I loved most was how this was basically fast food, with no fuss ordering and quick cooking. You’d also never a place devoted to natural, fresh food was here; it’s next to a Papa Gino’s and across from a McDonalds and has the tiniest sign. But we’ll definitely be coming back again! This was what was left of my plate.

Leftovers

Don’t worry; we took it home in a container and I’m going to make fried rice one of these days for lunch. Why let some good organic brown rice go to waste? On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods again(I know; we live here) because my dad and I didn’t actually get any protein for dinners that my mom would eat. We left with a hunk of beef and enough chicken breasts to fill Playboy. When we got home, I was held over well by my meal, but inevitably reached for some chocolate.

Goat Milk Yogurt With Chocolate Raspberry Jam And Original NibMor

Don’t you hate finishing a really good bar? This was my last piece of NibMor original–so sad. Then again, I can’t really say I have a chocolate shortage. Even my jam has chocolate in it! Or at least this one did; it was a fun twist on the raspberry and goats milk combo. I didn’t think I’d be hungry for a bowl of oatmeal later on but I was, much to my pleasure.

Egg White Oatmeal With Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter

I got to try out my egg whites I bought at Whole Foods; they add such great fluff to the oats! Now I get why bloggers love them. It’s a bit more expensive than just buying the eggs but I’d hate to waste yolks. In my dream-filled mind, the yolks to these were all used well in pudding and custards. Likely? Probably not, but I can hope. And I tried out the new chocolate cherry peanut butter I bought with X-mas money. A little low on the peanut flavor but I suppose there are mroe reasons to eat and like it than peanut.

This morning I very much just wanted a good, full workout. I started off with my core while watching some Sunday morning cartoons. What else is more motivating during push-ups than Cartoon Network? Beats me. When I got to the stair portion, I decided to give a new bar a try.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Luna Protein

I also picked the chocolate cherry almond luna protein up at Whole Foods, and unfortunately it just did not rock my socks 😦 I don’t know what it was about it that was so unappealing; it really did taste like chocolate cherry almond! But still did nothing for me. I ate half and gave half to my dad. So when I got to breakfast I was ready for something anything other than chocolate, cherry, or almond.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Sugar

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

I just love the nutritional yeast and peanut butter combo! I’m going to need to buy a pound from Dedham Whole Foods before I go back to school in a week and a half. I mixed 1/2 a tablespoon in with the pumpkin and reserved 1/2 a tablespoon for topping along with a big glob of Smart Balance Peanut Butter–holy yum was this good! Alongside, I felt like a plain So Delicious soy yogurt agave sweetened and topped with vanilla bean sugar. This “held me over” but didn’t really “fill me up” so I reached for an organic red delicious apple at the end which did the trick.

I enjoyed my morning off with some SNL and web-browsing. How ugly will the Jay Leno and Conan thing get? Really, I just wish something would be resolved because they’re two great hosts and it’s sad to see all this bickering mar their good names. After my parents went to a birthday party, I whipped up a lunch for one, inspired by the cafe last night and all the FRESH foods I’ve been seeing.

Lightlife Buffalo Wings, Carrots And Broccoli With Cashew Almond Dressing

Where to begin? The wait on the buffalo wings–totally worth it! I just loved these; if I ever were to really go vegetarian(that’s a HUGE if right there), I’d be content with living off these. Hell-I don’t think I’ve had a real buffalo wing in sooo long and I’m still content with these. There was a creaminess about them that was unreal. For the veggies, I steamed them while whipping up 1 tablespoon cashews, 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a squirt of lemon juice in the mini-processor. So sweet! It was really perfect with the vegetables in place of something bleu cheese which I don’t have. And then, to end my being veggie streak of almost 48 hours, I had… chocolate?!

Vosges' Bacon Milk Chocolate Bar

That’s right 🙂 I finally broke into this bar that I bought a while back with my Christmas money. I actually think I’ll be just nibbling on it throughout the afternoon while I do work around here because all those fresh veggies filled me up. Tonight we’re getting a storm! Hopefully, it will bring plenty of snow for the long weekend 🙂 I’ve thrown on a FRESH pot of coffee and now I must flip through my Cook This Not That book to find out what’s for dinner.

Contests

A giveaway for Theo Chocolate

Here’s a giveaway for a chocomize bar!

A Zola beverage giveaway(never tried these, but I will if I win)

And an Oogave beverage giveaway(also never tried)

And last(but certainly not least) an awesome vitamix giveaway!

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New Plan, Stan

Posted on December 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Last night, the plan for dinner was Whole Foods turkey(on sale). Well, the smallest turkey was 11 pounds… we’re 3 people. New plan: Dinner at Tomassos! I adore this restaurant, as it’s by far the best one near us, Italian or otherwise. I even dropped some not-so-secret hints last weekend I wanted to go, so I was glad those were picked up. I definitely did not want to go hungry, so I kept snacking on through the afternoon.

Apple

Organic Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Macadamia Butter

This was my first time trying macadamia butter, and I have to say the bread really outshined it. It tasted almost precisely like cashew butter(which is the other ingredient in it). It wasn’t bad, and if I were a vegan I could see myself turning to this as a “butter replacement”, but it really didn’t wow me. It seemed like something that could highlight other flavors rather than stand on its own. A little white chocolate with this would have been amazing(Ok, that can be said about a lot of things). We got to the restaurant around 6:30.

Tomassos

I love the open atmosphere; you can see right into the kitchen and the dining room is perfectly arranged for relaxation. The funniest part of the night was when my mom asked our hostess “So is your sister home yet?” with no pretext; last time we were there, we decided that the hostess looked like a girl I went to elementary school with, though we never confirmed this and she clearly had no clue who we were. This time, my mom thought that we had confirmed this with her and she knew who we were, but in reality she gave us a very creeped out glance back. Once we explained things it turned out it was her and she was shocked to come across us. Isn’t it fun running in to old acquaintances?

Pizze Margarita

I had to steal a slice of my parents pizza as an appetizer. This is seriously the best margarita pizza I’ve had outside of Italy, and even then only 1 pizza has ever tops it. It’s perfectly thin and crispy, with an herby sauce and light but fresh cheese. For my dinner I had a really hard time deciding but settled for the maiale

Local Pork With Local Cranberry And Pear Monstrada

I can’t say I’d ever reorder this. The monstrada was delightfully spicy and sweet, but I’m just not someone who can sit down to a big plate of meat and feel good(and that’s all there was on this plate). It felt vulgarly big. I ate most of the leaner meat, but ended up giving 1/3 or so of it to my parents and not feeling particularly satisfied with what I’d eaten. In fact, I was just about downright hangry as we were leaving and other people were talking about how full they were. When I got home, I knew just what I needed.

Brussels Sprouts With Vanilla Sugar

Maybe I should change this blog to VeggieBoy in homage to this lovely blogger(who we should all wish good luck on finishing her finals!). I sprinkled a little vanilla sugar on top because I couldn’t decide if this was a “dessert”. At heart, I’m truly a vegetable lover, which led me to this new plan: Eat meat as a side or seasoning, never more than 1/3 of the meal. Don’t order it while out(I could, but I don’t expect many restaurants to meet the first sentiment, so why set myself up for disappointment?). Maybe those brussels sprouts were more than I expected, because they left me big and bloated. But there’s always room for chocolate!

NibMor Original Style Chocolate

This was a new chocolate I got in the mail yesterday to sample and review by NibMor.

So Delicious Agave Sweetened Plain With Dark Chocolate Newman's Cup And Original NibMor

With a little more chocolate and some soy yogurt to go along side. Yum! This chocolate really impressed me. The flavor was slightly more bitter than I prefer, which was odd because this was a 70% and that’s usually my perfect number. But overall the flavor was good. And I couldn’t get over the fact that this was entirely organic and raw! Seriously, that part astounded me as I couldn’t taste any difference. After posting my peanut butter cookie recipe, a snack plate was in order.

Peanut Butter Cookie, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Advent Chocolate With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I don’t think they’re quite as good after being frozen from a week, but oh well. Not quite as good still equaled damn fine for a “healthy” cookie. I ended up getting to bed before 11:30, only to wake up around 3:45 and having difficulty falling back to sleep; I think I was either in anticipation of the snow or workout(both to come). I ended up making some 4am oatmeal to settle myself.

Oatmeal With Honey

McLure's Clover Honey

I don’t usually sweeten my oatmeal with stevia or anything; in fact, I like salty oats. But I thought I’d try out my new honey as I definitely was having a bear’s tooth for it. I only did 1/2 a tablespoon(I was trying tog et back to sleep after all), so I didn’t get a lot of flavor, but what I could taste was so nice and pure. I can’t believe I got this for only $4. I did eventually get to bed, and the snow outside was soooo amazing when I woke up.

7:30am

Could you think of something better to wake up to? Well I spared no time in starting my quest to find some good at home workouts to do over the next 30 days if that’s going to be the case. This morning, I did an overall body core workout first which kicked my butt. I need to readjust it for my level before I go and post anything. That took 30 minutes, and afterwards I did stair iterations for 200 flights, which took another 60 minutes. I was literally dripping sweat by the end but it felt soo good. New plan: Get a workout in every day, even if it’s just some light walking around. You’ll feel so much better once you do! And being couped up at home doesn’t have to be an excuse to get out of exercise. I was so ready for breakfast after showering.

Pumpkin Oatmeal WIth Mighty Maple And Pumkin Cream Cheese

Boulevard's Organic Hot Chocolate With Vegan Fluff

This was perfect for a snowy day. I know she wasn’t the first person ever to do this, but Brandi deserves a huge shout out for reminding me of hot cocoa and fluff. The combination of Boulevard’s Organic and vegan marshmallow spread couldn’t have been simpler and tastier. And I just love my pumpkin oats with mighty maple and pumpkin cream cheese(as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now). But that brings me to a final new plan: Get 2 sources of probiotics a day. Actually, this is a rather old plan of mine, and something I generally do, but I think I need to remind myself of this one. Probiotics from fortified foods is so good for the digestive system and I shouldn’t be skimping. If that means I have to eat frozen yogurt at night, who’s to complain? 😉 Clearly there weren’t any at breakfast which just means I’m going to need to fit them in a bit later.

I can’t believe how much it’s still snowing; this is too perfect!

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Foodie Gallery

Posted on October 11, 2009. Filed under: Restaraunt Review, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Warning: If you’re prone to drooling on your keyboard, get out a napkin for this post. Ironically, my morning was very disorganized and ugly. I was running way behind yesterday morning(not so much literally as figuratively). Apparently, there was a tornado warning and my room was affected:

Dorm Room

Dorm Room

Thankfully(or not), somebody was also a bit late leaving my house that morning, so I had more time than I thought to pack. For a 3-day trip home, I feel the need to pack as though all I’m eating is what I pack. 4 jars of nut butter and my coffee machine were necessities, of course. Because I was still eating breakfast in the car, we skipped the Whole Foods on the way home and got there by 1. I was very excited to see not 1 but 2 packages waiting for me:

Packages

Packages

So many exciting goodies here. In one of the packages was 2lb’s of peanut flour I ordered. I really liked my gift from The National Peanut Board, so much so I ordered these 2 pounds for myself. I can’t wait to see how the dark roasted contrasts in flavor to the light roast. The second package was an amazing surprise from my friends over at Nature’s Path:

Nature's Path Organic Products

Nature's Path Organic Products

Wow. I am so spoiled 😀 My good friend, Joy, from Nature’s Path Organic sent these over for me to sample and review.  Thank you, Joy, for all these great sounding products. She asked me if there were any in particular I wanted to try and I mentioned how among all their products their Pumpkin Flax Granola really stood out to me so she was sure to include that. Now, normally I reserve oatmeal and yogurt–as much as I love it–as just a morning and dessert thing. Well, special exceptions were made in this case because I just couldn’t wait, so I made a unique lunch:

Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Butter Toffee PB And Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Yogurt With Pumkin Flax Granola

Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Butter Toffee PB And Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Yogurt With Pumkin Flax Granola

Did I mention I also got my dad hooked on Naturally Nutty, so much so that he ordered some for himself and this was his Chocolate Butter Toffee I was stealing trying? Well now you know. Overall what can I say about this meal but that it was pumpkinrific. I actually wasn’t blown away by the chocolate butter toffee because of how remarkably similar it was to the regular butter toffee. But since I love their butter toffee I wasn’t too disappointed. The Pumpkin Flax granola was exactly what I was hoping for. I liked this a lot. It was crispy without being dense. A lot of granolas are either light and get soggy or crispy but very hard and dense; this was light but it remained fresh even after spending quality time with my yogurt. I could definitely make this a daily whole grain. We needed to do some Trader Joe lovin’ while I was around so I grabbed this and jumped into the car:

Peanut Butter Vitatop

Peanut Butter Vitatop

It’s definitely not one of my favorite because the peanut butter is a bit scarce and lacking in flavor, but as with any chocolate vitatop: even when it’s not good, it’s still pretty good. I also translated my Greek homework, which was a great break because I actually translated the exact story last year in another book. Lucky, huh? I can’t wait to be tested on it for the 3rd or 4th time. We hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in a reasonable amount of time. I picked up ice cream at the first store so that really got my booty moving in Trader Joe’s to get in and out as quick as I could. Overall I would call it a great success:

Grocery Trip Loot

Grocery Trip Loot

I grabbed fruit, because apparently that doesn’t exist to my parents besides bananas. I also got 2% greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s; this is part of why I love the pineapple Chobani so much and I completely forgot TJ’s made their own! There was also english muffins and whole wheat cinnamon raisin rolls via my new favorite bakery. They’re 200 calories each with little sugar and a great, yeasty base–heaven. I grabbed my favorite ice cream on sale, snickerdoodle! And to round it off I picked up some more vitatops and Stonyfield plain lowfat yogurt. Oh, and I got some Trader Joe pumpkin whoopie pies which I bought especially for when we see my relatives today; trust me, it’s taken a lot of restraint to keep away from those. Well I definitely needed a snack, and boy this was a good one:

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Bean Sugar Frosting

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Bean Sugar Frosting

I channeled my inner Jenny to make this, and oh my God was it good. I heated up a cinnamon roll and mixed 1 tablespoon greek yogurt with vanilla stevia to make an icing. Then I sprinkled on my special vanilla sugar from Whole Foods. This was perhaps one of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. When I say that I mean this actually topped the ones from the mall with 1000 more calories. I’ve never been lucky enough to have a Holey Donuts cinnamon roll, but I bet this beats that, too. Oh my God. You have no idea. Ok, ok, I’ll stop gushing. My afternoon “project” was to make something for seeing the relatives. Of course I went with my new favorite recipe:

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies! Holly definitely showed her inner genius here. I modified her version a bit but it’s impossible to improve on perfection. My cousins’ grandmother made a great molasses cookie. These aren’t quite as good, probably because they’re way lower on the butter and sugar, but I’m hoping they’ll enjoy them along the same strand. And, you know, if they don’t love them I certainly do 😉

Well we(read: I) decided we should go out for dinner tonight. The first and only place to pop into mind was Tomasso. It’s definitely the classiest, most amazing restaurant within 30 minutes of here, and makes Italian food we just love. Best yet, the restaurant is very conscious about serving “food” that’s local and organic when possible. You’d be hard pressed to find anything processed in their kitchen. The entire menu looked amazing and deliciously seasonal. I decided to order of the menu and go with the special of the night.

Local Albacore Tuna With Vegetable Salad Medley

Local Albacore Tuna With Vegetable Salad Medley

This fish was absolutley delicious. When they say local and fresh, they mean it; my guess is this was caught this morning or yesterday. And it was so rare that I couldn’t have (not) cooked it better myself! Yum. I felt a little naughty adding some sea salt to it, because it was so nicely seasoned; the truth is I just salt everything including the soups at my dining hall, so I salted it in secret. My parents decided to get a pizze:

Margharita Pizze

Margharita Pizze

I’ve had this as my main before, and let me tell you this: It’s the best pizza I’ve had within the United States. I had to cut myself off a piece just because it was there. They also ordered a ton of appetizers to split amongst themselves. The only one I tried was the polenta fries:

Polenta Fries

Polenta Fries

It was OK, but not something I’d order. It tasted a lot like something I could make myself with some polenta, milk, and a mild cheese. When I go out to dinner, I really like to focus my meal on a great protein like fish or beef rather than something carby; I can always make myself pasta but I’m not going to go out and butcher a cow for my dinner(I let someone else do that because it’s less messy). Overall it was a great night and I’m glad everyone enjoyed their meal.

While my dinner was fantastic, it wasn’t as filling as my usual veggie-fest nights, so I quickly grabbed this from the freezer:

Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

I love my snickerdoodle and I can not lie. I had to enjoy this with a cup of coffee; I’ve never understood desserts that involve coffee on top of ice cream, but to each their own. The perfect show for me was on TV at 8: Good Eats Salt. I never learned so much about salt. Thanks, Alton Brown! I never liked Good Eats when I first started liking Thee Food Network. I always thought it was too much talk and not enough cooking, plus the recipes always confused me. Once I got a food scale and realized that recipes really were all about the science behind them, I started liking the show a lot more. For instance, I know that yeast makes things rise which makes them light and airy and makes me want to eat them again:

Vegan Cinnamon Roll With Greek Yogurt Vanilla Bean Icing

Vegan Cinnamon Roll With Greek Yogurt Vanilla Bean Icing

I used a little less vanilla stevia in the yogurt which gave it just the right sweetness to not overwhelm the roll. I seriously think this could convert the fickiest of healthy eaters. I intended to catch up on TV shows on the internet and homework for the night. What actually ended up happening was the 10th anniversary of Good Eats! What a great special that was; I love how he sat down, came up for the concept of some crazy cooking show that’s never existed, and got it done. For some reason, the night did not seem complete until I had my oats:

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

I love that I’ve corrupted people in this house enough that I don’t need to bring certain flavors because I’m positive if I crave them there’ll be there. Case in point: White Chocolate Wonderful. This was good eats for Good Eats. And I forgot how good of a melting peanut butter this is. Peanut Butter & Co., 365 Brand, and Crazy Richard’s are all my staple for oatmeal because they get so liquidy that it’s joyous.

This morning was a bit of a mess again, but a mess I’m glad to have done. You see, I greatly underestimated how cold it was when I decided to run. Now Mr. Weatherman is telling me it was 30’s and 40’s, and I’m definitely an 80’s and 90’s boy. Well even though I couldn’t feel my fingers a mile out, I figured I’d keep going while I was already running. Towards the end of the run I had major digestion… let’ just not go there and instead say I was dashing for the bathroom when I got back before thinking about stretching. On the bright side, it was a goregeous run through the back roads of Marlborough and Southborough and I got to listen to my country songs which really helped me feel grounded. And those issues probably sped me up to finish 8.5 miles in 1:09:25. If Sunday’s good for anything it’s breakfast and circulars:

Pineapple Chobani, Nature's Path Maple Nut Oatmeal With Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Nature's Path Maple Nut Oatmeal With Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t on my mind the whole run. The pineapple Chobani is simply one of my favorites; my mom who almost never eats yogurt had one and liked it, too! I think it must have been the cream because she uses 2% in her coffee and it’s obvious she misses the real stuff. Normally I don’t do packeted oatmeal; it’s much better in my mind to do 20g oatbran, 20g irish oats, and liberal salt and make my own. That being said, Nature’s Path Organic sent me some of their instant oats to try and this one really appealed to me. Rather than have me gush about it here, however, I’m going to gush about it here. This is how I hope for my whole Product Review section to look in the future. Let me know if you like it; I think it makes things much neater and simpler for me and you, not to mention I don’t have to worry about deleting pictures or old posts for space.

Today like I mentioned we’re going to see the relatives. There will be something bright red on my dish that was living about 20 minutes before I cracked it open. Ok, not the most appetizing description, but any guesses what that might be? 🙂

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Tomasso

Posted on July 19, 2009. Filed under: Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning I pumped out a record 6 times around the neighborhood(about 6.75 miles). My legs are barking after them hills–maybe I’ll just take an easy 5 tomorrow. Post workout eats:

Breakfast

Breakfast

Carrot Juice, an English muffin, 1/2 with blueberry peach cobbler and amaretto jam and 1/2 with mighty maple peanut butter, and a parfait with plain Chobani, 1/2 a peach, blueberries, and agave nectar. I’m glad I’m a slow eater because I do not want this to end.

Anyway, after posting yesterday there was a quick run to the store to get some Spicy Black Bean Morningstar Veggieburger because I was craving this:

Lunch

Lunch

A spicy black bean burger with grilled mango on top. This tasted as good as I thought it would; I feel oddly proud of myself for dreaming up this concoction and making it happen lol.

After that there was various shopping. I needed a new mouse for my laptop, grabbed 3 boxes of kashi granola bars while at Target(peanut peanut butter, trail mix, and honey almond flax ftw). Then we stopped in a little health food store I’d seen but never been in; it was basically all the natural stuff at Hannafords, but concentrated into one store. They didn’t have a great selection, but still some cool stuff. I want to get the soft snickerdoodle vegan cookies from there and see how they are(not homemade, but some brand I haven’t seen other places).

After that, there was some arm twisting and negotiating; basically I did not feel like eating out, but certain other people had been grouchy all day and were dead set on going out and insisting I come as well. So, for a compromise, I got to pick out the restaurant. I chose this Italian place near by that seemed pretty fancy to which I’d never been, called Tomasso

Tomasso

Tomasso

I loved the homey, Italian atmosphere. The chef was very friendly and quite knowledgeable about all the dishes(as he should be since they were his lol). We decided to get 2 antipasti and pizze to share for the whole table, which worked out perfectly because I was debating between which pizze I wanted.

Comocoro

Comocoro

Proscuitto e Melon

Proscuitto e Melon

Our antipasti were the comocoro and proscuitto e melon. Both of these dishes were absolutely remarkable. The comocoro had grilled watermelon with goat cheese and mint. The creaminess of the goat cheese blended beautifully with the warm melon, and the mint was a nice subtle back-flavor. The prosciutto e melon was ok but a little bland. The meat could have used a stronger flavor; I ended up sprinkling salt over the cantaloupe and eating it that way(does anybody else do this? I feel like it makes it 10 times more delicious).

Pizze con Fichi

Pizze con Fichi

Pizze Margharita

Pizze Margharita

Not only were the pizzi a work of art, but both were incredibly flavorful. The margharita had an incredible thin crust with a light tomato base, bufala mozzarella, and basil; it tasted just like my favorite pizze from Rome! And the pizze con fichi was in a league of its own; this pizze had black mission figs, goat cheese, and vin cotta. The figs were warm and went perfect with the sweet vin cotta. the goat cheese added a great saltiness and creamy texture to the dish. If you live anywhere in the Southborough area, please do check out this restaurant

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