Surprise Guest

Posted on March 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I mentioned I was in a rush this morning, but I never really made clear why on a day I had no class.

Truth was I had company to attend to! My friend, Eury, decided to take the train down from Boston for the day before she goes to England for a month(lucky duck!). I’ve known Eury litrally since day 1 of high school; for freshmen and sophomore year we had all the same classes and were in the same circle of friends. More recently, I met her in Boston to eat at Grezzo‘s here. While I was finishing up eating breakfast, Eury was understandably hungry from the train and walking. I whipped up something I know pretty well:

Who doesn’t love tofu, broccoli, and soy sauce? It was fun to catch up and have my mind off work while we chatted. One thing we had “planned” to do was bake cookies, which was a lot easier to manage in high school with visits at home than to dorms. Still, we had all the ingredients on hand for a certain recipe.

Eury brought 3/4 cup Florida sun crystals sugar, which was the perfect amount for 5-ingredient peanut butter cookies. I don’t keep much for baking around, but peanut butter and an egg I could certainly manage. I love this recipe because it’s so simple; it was gluten-free before I knew I needed that!

Even though we were dealing with a finicky oven, they came out great for the most part. For the peanut butter, we used 365 brand creamy. Not only is it so delicious, but there’s a coupon in the new Whole Deal flyer letting you get a jar for just $1! For peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt, that’s a bargain. After a bit more time, Eury needed to catch one of the trains heading out of Providence so we said our goodbyes. I gave her a coconut oil chocolate; I’m still waiting for the review πŸ˜‰

After she left, I was definitely hungry for lunch. What I really wanted was a nice, juicy burger. Since it’s a Friday during Lent, that was not an option. And–to be honest–I was actually feeling resentful. I could tell that wasn’t right, but rather than sulk and force myself to eat something “real” while resenting it, I decided to go for an out-of-the-norm lunch that would just keep me happy. Last weekend, I picked up this raw cacao at the natural food store and decided to make really raw pudding.

I’ve had a lot of chocolate avocado pudding, but would you believe I’ve never had it 100% raw before? Well, now I have. In the bowl went avocado, coconut milk, raw cacao, and raw agave. To balance out the chocolate, I had one of our peanut butter cookies. The pudding didn’t taste ground breakingly different, but it did have a bit more of a bitter taste and was a unique experience. And, sure, I’d make it like that again. When this didn’t quite fill me up, I went for dessert.

It couldn’t have been wrong to go for another; the first one was part of lunch and this was a wholly different snack πŸ˜‰ And who can turn down the smell of fresh cookies? With enough peanut butter and sugar in my system, I was able to get to the computer for the first time and get to work. Somewhere along the line, I had the nerve to try something I’d been thinking about for a few days now. It’s no secret I love my fakin’ tempeh bacon, but that’s off limit for Lent, too, so why not make my own?

Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a block of tempeh

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic or onion(optional)

Cut the block of tempeh vertically into thin strips with a sharp knife. Lay these out carefully in a deep dish with a flat bottom or in a sealed plastic bag. In a small cup, mix together the wet ingredients and spices if using. Pour the marinade over the tempeh bacon, and toss and turn until well coated. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes. Before preparing, pat dry with a paper towel. Cook either heated in a pan with a teaspoon of oil or in the microwave on a paper towel.

After this plop of Mighty Maple, I had easily eaten 1/4 cup nut butter through my day so far. Fantastic. Besides that, it was pretty delicious; the tempeh bacon didn’t taste quite as good as Lightlife’s, but it’ll get me through the Lenten season. I love the maple/smoky/salty flavor to it all. This filled me up a lot, too, and was probably more protein than I had gotten all day, haha. After that, though, I had no real appetite for hunger. I wasn’t craving much beyond veggies and tofu, so that’s what I whipped up.

You definitely can’t say I feed my guests things I wouldn’t eat; I just heated up tofu in a pan with some soy sauce, steamed broccoli in the microwave and then finished that off in the pan, too. I threw in some sour cream & onion popchips to round it out, even though I wasn’t particularly in the mood for them; the dish just felt empty otherwise. My mind keeps going back to last Friday night, when I felt so overwhelmed and needed the promise of ice cream and a trip home the next day to push through. I’m definitely far from there tonight, but I’ll take the ice cream πŸ˜‰

Check out this giveaway for some Β Sahale nuts or this giveaway for chocolate milk–both good choices!

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Friday Fish And Chips

Posted on February 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Lenten Friday, everybody! OK, that has an awful and fake sound to it. The Church needs to come up with something catchy. But while they do, I’ll catch you up on what we decided. Last Friday I posed the question yay or nay on fish if I consider them a “meat” in terms of vegetarianism. A lot of you raised compelling arguments and the clear answer was that fish was cheap at the time of Aquinus which is why Catholics can still eat fish during Lent, but it’s “in the spirit” to have only the lesser-quality fish(aka no sashimi :-(). Of course, I also consulted my mom who’s the real my-word-goes-if-you-know-what’s-good-for-you and she agreed that fish was OK. Why am I saying this when fish wasn’t even on the menu for lunch?

Asian Tofu And Egg Stir-Fry With Honey Ginger Veggies And Hemp Flax Crackers

In my way overworked pan, I browned the last of a block of tofu(1.5 servings maybe) in soy sauce. Then I added these honey ginger vegetables I picked up at the dining hall until they were heated. Lastly, I cracked in an egg and cooked through–delicious! I’m not sure what was on the veggies; I don’t want to know. But this tasted perfectly greasy like real Chinese food. Over the top, I sprinkled some Omega-3’s ala seed crackers:

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers to be exact. These were so deliciously herby! Rosemary is towards the bottom of the ingredient list but the flavor was LOUD and proud, and good, too! I actually opened this thinking it was “herb” instead of “hemp”; perhaps it should have been.

Apple With Coconut Oil Agave Dipping Spread

While watching America completely own Finland, I had an ingenous and delicious snack. I sliced up a red delicious apple and spread on it Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil mixed with Xagave–sweet fats, this was good! I could have just eaten the coconut oil with a spoon; OK, I might have done that a little, too πŸ˜‰ Anything to distract me from work! But then I got hungry again, which meant early dessert apparently:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I was on such a good vegan streak until the egg, and then milk chocolate. Oh well, if my milk and meat teeth want to return, fine by me. While majorly enjoying this, I stuck a sweet potato in the oven, but it didn’t cook in time for dinner 😦 I had all the time in the world; I should have put it in early. I’ve since stuck it in the fridge for another meal. Here’s where the fish comes in:

Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Salmon

Ain’t she a beauty? Straight from a can. It kind of made me think I was eating cat food(like, a lot). I guess that’s the spirit of Lent! πŸ™‚ To flavor it, I added some maple syrup and maple butter. And because my sweet potato didn’t turn out, I had a very different form of potatoes…

Maple Butter Alaskan Salmon, Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips

Is it wrong that I probably liked the Sour Cream & Onion popchips more than I’d have liked the sweet potato? Yeah, no shame. The salmon was pretty decent for being from a can; they didn’t keep much fat in it, though, which is where all the Omega-3’s would be 😦 Good enough, I suppose? I’d actually been thinking about finding a good DHA supplement this year, but my final verdict is the same: I don’t really believe in supplements(fortified foods I’m a bit more tolerant of). I’m much more apt to want to get the nutrients from the foods themselves. And it’s especially hard for me to justify that I would need fish oil when there are so many healthy vegans and vegetarians. So no supplements for me! And I probably saved some good money with that decision, too πŸ˜‰

Looking back over this week, I learned 1 block of tofu is not enough for this soy lover, and 4 soy yogurts barely got me through. Add those to the shopping list! And looking ahead, I’d really love to go home and bake a cake for no reason, but I don’t see that happening 😦 Visions of sugar cakes baking in my sleep? I’m guessing…

I hate to barrage you with contests but there are a lot out there right now and since I recently won I figure I’d keep the luck going and maybe get some scratch tickets later, too! Avery is having a peanut butter giveaway, here’s a chia seed giveaway, a popchip giveaway(which I obviously need to feed my addiction), a giveaway for shredded coconut from Trop Traditions, an ice cream machine giveaway, and lastly one for chia goodness oatmeal.

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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 πŸ™‚ 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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