Field Trippin’

Posted on March 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Has the sun shined where you are? Because it’s been pouring and raining all day! Oh well, I guess that’s could because it’s made me a little worker bee; I got sooo much done. But first, I was dragged out the door to meet my class for a “field trip” at 10am. Since it’s an object history class and Providence has plenty of historical places, it wasn’t hard for us to find somewhere fitting. We visited the John Brown House Museum.

Slave Trade Objects

As you might guess, it was no coincidence that the John Brown house is so close to Brown Univesity–he’s from the family we’re named after. When you get through the door, they don’t beat around the bush: The entire Brown family at one point was invested in the slave trade. That led for some good objects for us to look at. John Brown actually went through his whole life advocating for slavery and the slave trade, while his brothers turned into abolitionists and argued against him. That family must have been fun around the holidays!

John Brown's Chariot

You’ve got to admit that the man had some wheels. This was the oldest American made vehicle and actually carried George Washington around Rhode Island.

Squirrel Wall Paper

The same man, however, had no sense of “style”; he had a whole room wall-papered like this with squirrels and a squirrel carving over the fireplace. Uhhh, no thank you. It was pretty cool how they were able to restore the whole thing to its original ugly pristine.

Bull's Head Soup Holder

Since I’m still a foodie no matter where I go, the kitchen was the most interesting room; this soup bowl was used to hold hot soup which the steam would exit from the nostrils to make the bull look real. LOL. The owner after the Brown family also had one of the first working refrigerators in America!

Silver Bowl

And I think I found a new bowl to replace the one I broke earlier this week. What do you think? I think it could hold a lot of oats(and pumpkin, of course). After that the trip pretty much wrapped up and we all scurried to our dorms because the rain had intensified through the morning. By this point, I was pretty famished and surprised to see it was only 11:50; there are days when I’m just finishing breakfast then. Still, I whipped up the quickest and saltiest thing I could think of.

Soy Tofu And Broccoli, Cheddar Popchips

15 minutes later and I had a good meal done. I diced 1/2 a block of soft tofu and simmered that in soy sauce. While that was working, I steamed broccoli and added that towards the end to cook down. On the side I had some cheddar popchips and voila! a well-balanced meal! Chips can count as “balanced”, right? I was still feeling a little snackish later after this, which I’m pretty sure is the whole purpose of dessert.

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

I don’t think I know any “kid” who actually eats Z-bars, but they get so much love from us around the blogworld. And they should! I can never believe how soft and chocolaty these are for something prepackaged. They’re well portioned and fortified, too. And they make feel not so bad about not being able to bake while I’m at college. OK, when did I become a commercial for Z-bars? I’ll stop now.

Gingerade Kombucha

I didn’t want to boredom eat throughout the afternoon while I was working on my Greek, History, and Latin classes, so I sipped on some gingerade Kombucha instead. I don’t believe in any “appetite suppressant” if you’re really hungry but some times all your body needs is a nice flow of nutrient dense energy to realize how it really feels. That, and I’ll use any excuse to drink something that costs a whopping 2.50 🙂 My only complaint was that this one had a lot of floaties in it that felt awkward swallowing. OK I’m done thinking of that one.

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

I learned 2 important non-class related things this afternoon. Firstly, you can be hungry and bored without being hungry because you’re bored. Secondly, when I’m bored, I will take about 20 pictures of my food trying to be as “artsy” as possible. Case in point: ^. I think in retrospect I like the carob chip Perfect Foods Bar best but the peanut butter is also darn good. And because this was an afternoon snack packed with iron and protein, I decided not to have the grass-fed burger I thought I would for dinner and go with something more cravable:

Veggies With Vegan "Cheeze" Sauce

That would be about a pound or more of an Asian veggie blend from the dining topped with Meagan’s vegan “cheeze” sauce(hummus, water, and nutritional yeast). I also added a little coarse sea salt as needed. While I enjoy meat, I don’t particularly like to eat it when I’m not craving it or think it holds nutrients I need. Otherwise, I could(and do!) just eat a bowl of veggies. I’m pretty sure if you put me, Avery, and Heather in a room with only 1 pound of vegetables, a death match would ensue.

And now I’ll be a responsible blogger and use my platform to remind you that we lose an hour from Daylight’s Savings time tonight, so set your clock forward(or just sleep in, what do I care?). I’m actually looking forward to this? I’ve been hungry for meals a bit earlier all day, not by much–about 30 minutes to an hour–so my body will in a sense catch up with the time. Can I get a head start on things by throwing on my PJ’s an hour early tonight? I just might have to…

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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 😉

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 😉 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 😉

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

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20 Minutes

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

20 minutes is the length in 1 period of an Olympic hockey game(more on that later). It’s also about the amount of time I spent on anything today.

Natural Food Store

After blogging and while I was still around home, I wanted to go to my favorite foodie store nearby. I only spent about 20 minutes perusing the 3 aisles but I could easily spend twice that if we had the time. It feels so good to go in to a store and know that I can eat anything I find, and it doesn’t even matter if I would never want to but just that I can. I found 2 really fun finds and then we were back home. I made lunch for the family which took–you guessed it–20 minutes.

Simple Italian Beef Over Cauliflower With Cheddar Cheese

20 minutes and 4 ingredients is all you need for a really simple and flavorful dish. I browned 1 pound 90/10 grass-fed beef in a large pan, and half way through added a diced onion and red pepper to sweat. Then with about 7 minutes to go I added 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce and let that cook down. Voila! A little salt, pepper, Emeril’s seasoning, and cheddar cheese and it was fantastic. Most of the meal was spent explaining what a gluten intolerance was and why I limit wheat and pastas now. After having a whole wheat cookie in my breakfast(a fantastic choice, by the way), I’m pretty darn confident of the intolerance. For a pasta and pizza loving family, this was tough news to digest 😀

After lunch, we picked up my grandmother and great aunt who wanted to go to the Casino near my school(my mom did too, of course). Can you imagine being in a car with a couple of chatty 80 year olds? That was my afternoon. I wish it lasted 20 minutes but it was more like 60. I’m always amused by the random “Did you know so-and-so died?” and “I did call you but the operator said you wouldn’t take the call” followed by “I don’t have an operator, I have a cell phone with an answering machine”. Is that how I’ll be in 60 years?

Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

When I got back on campus, I felt really crunched for time, so I whipped out this bar I”ve been seeing on so many other blogs, threw my stuff on the bed, and hit the gym, eating it over the first 2 miles in about 20 minutes. From what I could taste, it was pretty good, but very much tasting like a date; I was looking for more coconut oil. And eating it running was not a smart move for digestion.

7 Miles In 62:02

It did, however, give me energy to extend my run from 5 to 7 miles. That and the fact that I got really in to the hockey game on TV and didn’t look down until 5.4 miles had gone by. I thought the period was only 20 minutes but didn’t realize the clock kept stopping. It turned out to be a really exciting game!

Olympic Hockey Match

When I finished up the run, we were in the 3rd period, so I hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes to watch “the end”. When America scored that last point, all of let out a sweaty “Woohoo!”

Carrot Juice

At that, I rushed back to my dorm and chugged this carrot juice within 20 minutes of my workout to absorb all the nutrients. I don’t drink much juice, but carrot juice is easily my favorite. And it’s so nutritious, too! A cup has more potassium than a banana and a good amount of sodium to replace salt. The downside of this all was that I missed the last goal while I was showering 😦 Fail. After that, I whipped up an easy Asian dinner in 20 minutes.

Tofu And Broccoli Cooked In Soy Sauce, Cheddar Popchips

OK, “Asian dinner” in my terminology means dicing soft tofu, letting it steam in a pan over soy sauce, and adding steamed broccoli for the last 5 minutes to cook down. But it’s simple and good! And the cheddar Popchips were another easy side because I did not feel like getting that involved with dinner after a day like today; 20 minutes was more than enough 🙂

Normally, I might wait another 20 minutes before brewing up some decaf coffee to start off dessert, but tonight I feel hungry, and there’s a lot of work to be done. Boo 😦 But on the bright side the closing ceremonies will be on! And an excellent Brothers & Sisters. These are definitely things to look forward too 🙂

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Dynamic Duos

Posted on February 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thankfully, the ice dancing is over, which means we don’t have to look at creepy, questionably incestuous duos dancing to poorly chosen songs in outrageous costumes. No, now we can get back to the dynamic duos that set our mouths on fire!

Wicked Natural Caramel Mustard

Caramel and Mustard. REALLY. This stuff is heavenly. I have could eat it by the spoonful. Who would have thunk it? But the sweetness of condensed milk and the spiciness from mustard seeds just take the floor together. So for lunch, I baked up some tofu, coated it in this and another fantastic ingredient.

Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Coconut Caramel Mustard Tofu

Tofu, meet coconut. Coconut, tofu. When I saw Caitlin give this one a try, I couldn’t help thinking yes, yes, yes! So after the mustard was adhered to the baked tofu, I toasted coconut flakes in a ban and tossed them with the tofu. Winner, winner, vegetarian lunch or dinner! And let’s not forget the dynamic duo of soy sauce and any vegetable that will soak it up. Mmmm. I steamed broccoli and then finished it in a pan with a little of the black gold 🙂 And I ain’t talking Texas tea.

Red Delicious Apple

An apple and… coffee?! Not quite, but I needed something to fill me up before 3 1/2 hours of class! Not like I thought this would last me over that long, but for the first section I was A-OK. Then I had to lead a little discussion in my seminar, which went decent, until the teacher said I should have submitted a paper with my notes on it. Oops! I’ll type that up in a jiffy after this. During the “break” I “snuck” from my pocket perhaps the holiest of dessert duos.

Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Sunspire Candy Bar

I like coconut. I love chocolate. I really love coconut oil chocolate. Sadly, I just “loved” this candy bar. OK, “just” maybe sets the wrong note. I loved this bar. The dark chocolate was perfectly bitter-sweet(70% I’m guessing). And the coconut was nice and a little sweet 🙂 Yum, yum. More companies need to make organic candy bars! Then again, maybe it’s a good thing for me they don’t, because I could go po’ eating through them.

.9oz Snack Pack Surf Sweet Sour Berry Bears

Speaking of candy, “healthy” and “candy” are not your typical duo, but Surf Sweets tries at least. Just like how I try to eat them the weirdest way possible…

Soy Yogurt With Sour Berry Bears

Sweet and sour needs no explanation. I took a container of plain soy yogurt sweetened with some vanilla stevia and added these gummy bears on top. A little confused? Remember putting gummy bears on vanilla froyo along with about 20 other toppings? Yeah, it was like that. This was after I had gotten out of class, flew my backpack down, and started cutting up a sweet potato for dinner thinking “Now I see why my mom would b*tch having to make dinner after getting home from work”. BUT that set up one hell of a duo for dinner:

Sweet Potato Fries, Grass-Fed Cheese Burger

This was more like a quartet of awesome. Of course, there’s burger + fries. Duh. And then there’s burger + cheese = meh but I went with it for a change from yesterday. And salt with sweet potato is “like woh“. And, while I recognize this is basically the same dinner as yesterday, to that I have to attribute a) my tofu block being on its last leg and b) the fact that I gave up “prepared soy foods” for Lent, so there 🙂

And now, tonight’s going to feature a lot of Evan + Plato before my Greek test tomorrow morning with a little bit of making + up that assignment I mentioned I forgot about. What’s your favorite duo? Or who? if we want to lead the edible persuasion. Personally, I’ve always been an Ash and Pikachu fan, but if you wanna say Ricky and Lucy I couldn’t deny. AND check out when Kate made my coconut oil chocolate. I love that all the ingredients she used were organic; a blogger after my own heart.

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Butterfingers

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You can call me butterfingers today for so many reasons. Then again, I can’t refuse some good butter 😀 Right after breakfast(with butter toffee peanut butter, no less), I hopped out to walk to Supercuts. I’ve gotten my haircut by the same person for–God–7 years, maybe? Maybe more. It felt like I was cheating on that person by going to someone else, but hey! I’m in another state! If it’s any consolation, my Tina does a way better job than whoever I had today. After I got back to my dorm, it was practically lunch time.

Microwave Popcorn

Who’s up for working ridiculous things into meals because you’re craving them? I am! I am! For what it’s worth, I believe this was Newman’s Own Organics‘ light butter; it didn’t say on the packaging but I don’t think I’d have boughten any other kind.

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

For a protein, I “scrambled” some tofu with a fork and cooked in a pan with soy sauce until it firmed up and came to be almost like eggs–yum! You should definitely try this.

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

Part of the browning comes from soy sauce, but part of it comes from the pan; that’s how you know it’s done. And in defense of popcorn, it is a whole grain! With moderate amount of butter and salt, it’s near perfection, too. This afternoon I was the other kind of butterfinger–the kind who’s constantly dropping the ball.

Apple

I grabbed this apple while I was throwing stuff in the laundry machine in the basement. On the good side of things, it was fresh and not at all mealy! On the downside, when has a tiny apple ever been a sufficient snack? It needed almond butter or peanut butter.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

Which is why I made up another snack not 20 minutes later once I sat down to do some work. I’ve really slipped up recently by neglecting the good ol’ yogurt and jam–a classic combination. I might have also slipped up by assuming the fire alarm this afternoon was a drill, because eventually firemen showed up and the building was practically in lock down–double oops. It was not my kind of afternoon.

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

Once things settled down, I made a repeat snack from yesterday but with some twists: I used almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla agave for the shake and had a coconut + vanilla macaroon emmy’s organic macaroon on the side. The shake was noticeably more bitter, probably because a) Xagave is sweeter than normal agave I find and b) almond milk is naturally bitter. Next time I should try it with Xagave and cow’s milk to see how it tastes. When I was cleaning my food processor–blech. I don’t even want to say it.

Plastic Pieces

Butterfingers! I dropped the top piece and some plastic came off 😦 It looks like the whole thing should still work, but man! If you remember, this happened when I first bought my food processor and was able to exchange it; I think it’s been a little too long now. All I can say is I would not recommend the Black & Decker brand as it is far too fragile; if anyone has a food processor they want me to demo, I’m all game 😀

Mushroom Omelet With Colby Cheese, Vegetable Melange With Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing

Dinner was so unexciting; I’m ready for this Lent thing to be over already! I just want a juicy burger 😦 Instead, I ate eggs, with a little butter in the pan to make them not stick. Exciting, huh? Well, this new dressing was sort of exciting, and loaded with healthy fats, too. I’d love to try it on something green like spinach with some sweetness(tomato). It has a nice sweet tang almost like BBQ sauce.

Clean Comforter And Jacket

I could slip into my bed right now like butter if it weren’t not-made. On the bright side, I did slip into a fresh out of the drier sweatshirt, which is always like a warm hug. Now, what gets butter off the fingers? Coconut oil?

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What A Bust

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

One more day to enter the yogurt giveaway!

Save anything food related, today was totally a bust! That incredible Nor’easter has hardly hit us, and there’s barely an inch sticking to the ground while just 10’s of miles away they’re getting feet. Feet. What a bust.

Also, my professor sent an email saying we’d have class today even though he sent one last night(after this grandpa had logged off) saying we probably wouldn’t have class. Another bust. Did I mention I volunteered to bring snacks for this class?

Xagave

Making Raw Frosting

Because this class is about 20% serious, 80% fun(like me! Or how I try to be), there’s a snack sign-up, and I volunteered first. I thought it’d be “cute” to make my raw vegan brownies because my essay–also due today in rough draft form–is on the food processor. And, yes, I’ve brought my food processor to Brown. As I plan on being here many weekends and days off, I’ve realized I just can’t be without it for so long and dragged it along(in 10 feet of bubble wrap) Sunday.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Raw Frosting

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this batch; the flaxseed was not ground well enough and so I could tell these would be “crunchy”. I think the problem was in making a double batch; these deserve the care of small-scale making so that the focus is on quality and not quantity! I also made a triple batch of frosting for them; that part was just for fun 😉 For “real food” I made a real lunch.

Broccoli, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbread

Tuna salad was the perfect protein for today. I literally do not remember the last time I ate fish :-O And it makes a little more space in the bins under my bed; it’s just a little, but I need all that I can get. I mixed the can with 1oz full-fat greek yogurt for creaminess and sunflower seeds for crunch! Those went great with the sunflower cheddar flatbread; I forgot how good these were over break! The benefit of eating out under my bed before buying anything new will be (re)discovering treasures like this.

Blueberry Pomegranate Steaz

And I had a Steaz because fancy drinks make me happy when everything else is a bust. Days Of Our Lives may not be a bust, per say, but it sure is a tease. Would something just amount from this Melanie drama! So frustrating.

Gingerade Kombucha

I got to class way early so I could also look to buy a book for one of my classes; the line was too long for me to wait in so that walk was a bust. While I was down there, I stopped by Blue State for my new favorite drink. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking at my School Card balance online to realize these cost $4 a pop! Yikes! I justify that by saying it’s money that’s “already in the system” and needs to be used up eventually, but I need to tame my addiction to these or get to a Whole Foods and start using the coupons I was sent to sample new flavors.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Chocolate Frosting

As far as I can tell, the brownies went over really well! There are 10-11 of us in the class, I made 16, and there was 1 by the end. You can do the math. I think the one problem was that there were flax seeds in everyone’s teeth, but the excess frosting totally makes up for it. I found it so interesting looking at who were the people taking seconds; it wasn’t the burly men but rather the happy and healthy looking girls. I love women with appetites 😀

Even though class was a go, our “field trip” was a bust. We were supposed to go to the library and get a presentation on some one-of-a-kind Native American watercolors from the 16th century. The librarian who was supposed to do this never came in today because she was “sick”. I’m pretty sure that’s code for not wanting to go to work on what should be a snow day. Oh well, we got out 50 minutes early! That gave me time to get back into my dorm and eat this:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hulled Hemp Seed

I swear, if it weren’t for the food today this would be a total bust. But this surely wasn’t! Nothing about me was craving the fat in chocolate avocado pudding; actually, I’ve been craving So Delicious soy yogurt all week and it’s driving me up a wall! BUT I did need to get my Bob’s Red Mill hemp seed fix in. I am just loving these! They’re so much more nutty and vanilla than any other seed, and quite unique. I wonder if hemp seed butter is as delicious.

Stir Fried Tofu, Tempeh, Mushrooms, And Snap Peas With Soy Sauce And Sesame Oil

For dinner, I had planned to have a red thai curry tofu and tempeh dish with a coconut milk based sauce(Trader Joe’s Brand). Once I got a whiff of sesame oil, I knew it was all I wanted. I made a quick stir fry of snap peas, mushrooms, tofu, and tempeh, and then added soy sauce and more sesame oil at the end–delicious! Whenever I do a stir fry, I think tofu and tempeh is a must; I love the soft and chewy contrast.

Does it count as a bust that Survivor isn’t on tonight? OK, it never was supposed to be, but I was sooo convinced it was Thursday for the past hour. But it starts back up tomorrow! I can’t wait 😀 Maybe I’ll just have to bust a move while finishing Latin and getting an early night in for a 6:15 wake-up call. How many miles can I bust out before I need to get ready for class? We’ll see…

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20 Blessings To Count

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. Running 7 miles this morning might have been incredibly difficult, but I was able to push through. And I have 2 months left to build up those extra 6.1. Consider it done.

2. I won Froze bars on Melissa’s blog–that’s always fun 🙂

3. I got a very important email this morning while blogging. Last semester, I got shut out from registering for a class I wanted to take that would really work well for my schedule. I kept a communication going with the professor, but I still wasn’t in the class. He emailed me this morning saying there were 2 spots that opened up! I was registered in minutes. The thing about this class is it’s a fun topic and I’ll be taking it Pass/Fail, so I will really be able to enjoy it.

4. With my schedule right now, I have a 4 day weekend! I know–I entirely lucked out because I got a lineup of classes that interest me, work for my concentration, and give me a great schedule.

Cooking Lunch

5. I cooked my first meal in the dorm kitchen–nothing exploded and no fire alarms went off! In my pan, I heated up some EVOO. Then I cooked leftover tempeh and tofu until brown, and added the soy sauce to caramelize. To finish it off, I tossed in steamed broccoli to cook down.

Broccoli, Tofu, Tempeh Stir-Fry, Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

6. It tasted good!!! 😀 No, this tasted great. You could have told me it came from an authentic Chinese restaurant and I would have believed you. It’s also very good to know I can cook successful meals because…

7. I can lower my meal plan! This was of some concern, but as it seems I can lower my meal plan 2 levels without it costing us anything extra. In fact, we’ll get $250 back. While I’ll be losing a lot of meals and flex points, they aren’t anything I’d have used particularly. AND this means I’ll have money so I can buy greek yogurt at the grocery store where it’s $1–not $2.69.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

8. There was dessert with lunch. That’s always a plus.

9. Days was really good today, too. I need to work up the nerve to tweet my admiration to Alison Sweeney my admiration. If she tweeted back–Oh God.

Blue State Coffee

10. I reunited with Blue State Coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Starbucks? Who needs that.

School Books

10. I got all my books! Since I’m 95% set with my class choices, I just decided to buy them. Some of the used ones I picked up, though, are pretty skanky, so I’m going to exchange them for better copies Friday.

11. They only cost $305. Yes. I said “only” there, knowingly. But, while I was complaining about the cost, some good science-majoring friends reminded me that 1 chem or bio book can easily top $200 used. Meanwhile, I’m getting things I could potentially use for 40+ years, like a full Greek lexicon*nerd squeal*. I shut up after that.

12. My first class went great! It was the one I got into just this morning. Someone from my Latin class last semester is also taking it, so I’m glad to know a face. The professor seems nice, the work reasonable, and topic interesting.

13. I’m making raw vegan brownies with raw chocolate frosting for the class in 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this came up 😀

Coconut Oil Peanut Fudge

14. I packed a snack which turned out to be decent–1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons defatter peanut flour.  It just tasted OK, but it would be a lot better if I used a peanut flour with a higher fat percentage. This did a good job of holding me over through my 2 1/2 hour class.

Cafeteria Hummus

15. I now have A LOT of free hummus. I emailed “the right person to ask” about what type of hummus they use on the salad bar. Turns out it’s a homemade hummus. After some further prying, I got the ingredients: Garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, tahini, salt. Soooo not only is it homemade, but it’s even better than the store brands because it has no canola oil or preservatives? HELLO HUMMUS.

Red Delicious Apple

16. This apple was not mealy at all but rather fresh and crisp, and held me over doing “internet things” until dinner.

17. I won another contest, this time for Oikos.

Vegan Meatloaf And Green Beans With Vegan Cheeze Sauce, Hummus, Ketchup

18. Dinner was easy, cheesy, and oh-so vegan. I heated up some leftover vegan meatloaf, took green beans from the dining hall, and made Meagan’s “cheeze” sauce to go with them; I think that sauce is more proof of nutritional yeasts greatness. On the side, I added a blob of my new hummus, just because I could 🙂

19. Plenty of good behind the scenes stuff got done today, too, that I’m excited for for the blog.

20. Chocolate is on the menu for dessert, because I say so.

Enter to win Barney Butter here

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From Loser To Winner

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Self-sabotage is a funny thing: Do we do it on purpose? Do we do it subconsciously? Or does it just “happen”? I’m not quite sure, but I entirely sabotaged my workout this morning. I planned on doing the count-to-10 workout modified by 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups. In anticipation, I drank. A lot. No, not beer–get your mind out of the gutter. But coffee, water, and black tea, and all this had me feeling like a hot mess when I got going.

It wasn’t pretty. I got through 1/4 of the workout and realized I was over-hydrated, overheated, and doing anything more would just be stupid; if you can hear “splish-splosh” when you do a sit-up, it wasn’t meant to be. I felt like a loser, but I just stopped and went to somewhere I’m always usually a winner: The kitchen.

Crunchy Sunflower Seed Butter

I must have gotten onto a sunflower seed kick after breakfast. First up, I made a sunflower seed butter that I’ll hopefully like more than Trader Joe’s(sorry, Joe, but you failed me there). I added sea salt and sunflower seeds at the end so this would be a crunchy seed butter. Who doesn’t love texture? Next up, I sought to make some new and improved raw brownies.

Raw Brownies

Avery led me to a recipe that I was able to modify to my own tastes. I most definitely wanted to use seeds as a binder, and just needed to adjust the cocoa/agave/date ratio. I think I ended up nailing them on the head. And while I usually don’t frost regular brownies(which I remember debated on Kalin’s blog once), these were just begging for something. The frosting was super simple, and by far the most fun thing to make.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup(120 grams) dates
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the frosting:

  • 1oz avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds and flax seeds until mostly crumbs, but not to the point of becoming like butter. Add the dates and agave nectar and mix until a ball of dough forms. Add in the cocoa powder and continue mixing until well incorporated. Press into a square dish and cut.

For the frosting, mash the avocado until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the cocoa powder and agave nectar and continue mixing until completely smooth. Spread over each of the brownies.

Raw Brownies With Frosting

Nailing this recipe really had me feeling like a winner. You know what else had me feeling like a winner? Actually winning Q.bel’s contest for a catchy and fun review on facebook! I can’t wait to get a big ol’ box of chocolate. I’ve already reviewed 5 of their products here but have yet to try the milk chocolate rolls or their 2 new flavors(vegan and mint). It was amazing how much my spirits had changed so much over the course of 1 hour. I was intensly ready for a winning lunch.

Steamed Broccoli, Lightlife Sausage With Cheddar Cheese And Green Pepper

Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

I just love love love the Lightlife sausage(from a log, not pre-formed) heated up with some cheese; it’s like the perfect spice level for comfort. I usually make it with an onion but we’re all out so the pepper took that place(not too well). I don’t usually have dessert with my meal but I figured anything made mostly from seeds and dates wasn’t really a dessert(don’t you like the way I think ;-)). The brownie came out so good; it was actually just like the one I shelled out $5 for from Grezzo. I think it needs a little more chocolate flavor, but I don’t know how to do that without comprimising the texture, and the texture is amazing.

Work-Out Checklist

By 3 I was ready to retackle the workout. Over the last 4 hours, I had drank maybe half a cup of water and a cup of coffee(Hey, something needed to go with the brownie ;-)), and I felt overall better. I put the laptop near the stairs, played a movie, and got to work doing my count-to-1o series:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 15 push-ups
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

To keep track while I’m doing this(and to make sure I really just need to count to 10), I use a checklist on the door to keep track of my progress. Obviously, once everything was checked off, I was done, and a sweaty mess at that. I quickly showered and then hopped to the kitchen for a refueling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Snackaroons

The Raw Bakery sent me these interesting snackaroons to try out, which I knew would go great on another one of my favorites:

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Snackaroons

Chocolate avocado pudding. We picked up coconut milk kefir over the weekend so I was able to make this the way I love; it came out super creamy and coconut-licious. The chocolate snackaroons were just the perfect touch for some more coconut and healthy fats. Yum! They were perfectly raw-tasting, and held me over quite nicely until dinner.

Dill Salmon, Roasted Broccoli, Carrots With Maple And Soy Glaze

We had salmon we had to cook up, so I suggested throwing dill on top; dill is one of my favorite herbs ever, especially with fish–soo good! On the side was simple broccoli and carrots that needed another good 15 minutes in the oven. A little soy sauce(or wheat-free tamari for me) perks any vegetables up, though. I completely forgot to keep some in my dorm room all last semester; I won’t be making that mistake again.

Enter Holly’s amazing contest for a blender!

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Meals And Moving

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Woo, I am beat. So much for a somple Sunday. Can I fall asleep now? Maybe a post(and dessert) first. For lunch we ewre roasting half of an all-natural turkey, which raised a little dilemma in my head. I knew I didn’t want meat, but I hated the idea of not eating good meat when it was cooked. In the end, I decided I knew what I knew and I should make my own meat-free lunch if that’s the way it should be.

Fakin' Bacon Marinated Tempeh Cubes

I did some research and found the generic ingredients for something bacon-like in flavor. After toying around I came up with this combo:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

This was much more marinade than I needed for 1 serving of tempeh, but the flavor came out great–very bacon-like! I’ll make an actual recipe page for this soon enough. I ended up skewering and grilling the tempeh, which also really helped out the flavor.

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Like I said, the tempeh came out delicious. My grandmother made me give her a piece even though she had no clue what it was, and approved of it highly. Well that should be all the convincing you need 😉 Apparently the “sweet yam” was marketed as different from a sweet potato. It got really caramelized from roasting for an hour and definitely tasted sweeter than normal.

After lunch, I kind of knew what had to be done even though I didn’t want to admit it: We had to start moving things back into my dorm. A pain? Majorly. But if we didn’t do this today, we’d either need to make an even bigger trip down Tuesday or 2 trips. Yeah, there was no winning here, so we went with plan A. We loaded up the car, drove down, and got to Providence quick. I made us stop at Whole Foods because I was hungry.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

The perfect snack. I had to get this to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day. It was also 50% off so it was only 1.50, eats like a complete meal, and has a great(though tasteless) green body to it. We also found nutritional yeast at the bulk bins!! This was excellent, since I was thinking we’d need to go to Dedham again to get more. When we got to my room, it looked so sad 😦

Bare Room

The athletes who had lived there left a little present: some champagne stoppers on the floor. Joy. Besides that, it was all pretty well clean, and the closet hadn’t been broken in to. We de-iced the fridge/freezer, set up the TV and microwave, made the bed, put away some food, clothes, and books, and 75 minutes later it looked more lively.

Half Moved In

Ignore the sketchy pillow on the floor; I just didn’t want it touching my bed since it’s the random pillow the school provides and had hair all over it. Now, I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions mainly because I’m constantly changing my mindset/prerogative. I like this, though, because it lets me make many “mini” resolutions throughout the year. One of these resolutions will be to make better use of my dorm’s kitchen.

Basement Kitchen

It may be small. It may be ugly. And it may definitely smells like too many bottles of Bud Light have spilled on the floor. But it’s a hell of a lot more functionable than my little microwave, and I do want to get away from the dining hall as much as possible this new semester for several reasons. So hopefully I’ll be able to make friends with these burners. Hopefully.

On the way home, we just stopped at a local grocery store quickly because, once again, I was hungry.

Cortland Apple

I don’t understand how I eat the most out of my family; they need to start shoveling it in to compete! This Cortland wasn’t organic, or even washed because I just needed to get it in me. That being said, I’d still argue it was a better decision than 90% of things in any standard grocery store–just saying. This didn’t have to last me long, anyway, because it was about dinner time.

Vegan Meatloaf, Butternut Squash With Black Pepper

And now I’m full, tired, and lounging on my couch at home. This meatloaf never fails to get better with age; if you go to the recipe page you’ll see I included the full nutritional info for a slice! It’s quite a balanced portion of protein, fat, and fiber for something began. It might change with the rice you use(I use a brown rice medley from Trader Joe’s with some seeds in it), but it should come out similar enough. Since dinner, we’ve been arguing about my meal plan, how much I ate first semester off of it, and what to do with the new year. Is it possible that I used over $450 in flex points in 3 months? I don’t really think so, but they do charge 2.69 for 1 freakin‘ Chobani, so who knows. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

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The Early Bird Catches The Worm

Posted on December 11, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s 4:05 and I am exhausted. That’s not a good sign, I’m guessing, for the rest of the day, but we’ll see how that goes. After I finished that peanut butter breakfast in the morning I threw on a jacket to go to the library. I thought I’d be smart going when it should be the warmest part of the day. Well, it was cold. I don’t know how you Midwesterners and Coloradans are doing it; I love snow and winter but that’s when I’m inside and it’s 70 degrees and I’m looking out a window. Nevertheless, I needed to print my Greek paper to hand in.

Greek Paper

Looks exciting, right? Didn’t think so. It’s not technically due till next Tuesday but it was by far the easiest of my 3 remaining papers so I just threw it together to get it done: The early bird catches the worm 🙂 Even though it was freezing(literally. I think this was the first time I’ve seen ice on the side of the road this year), it looked nice.

Providence Sky

I hustled and bustled around and to the lunch room where today they had a special coconut curry tofu with fixin’s. It sounded nice except the tofu was smothered in some sauce that just ruined it, and since I knew I had delicious eats in my fridge I wasn’t sweating it.

Broccoli, Carrots, Acorn Squash, Teriyaki And Ginger Sausage

Perfect. I really like this Al Fresco sausage with a little soy sauce. Unfortunately, all I had was a little soy sauce; next semester I really need to just keep a bottle instead of the store packets I “borrow”. Days and Rachael Ray were phenomenal, though I still don’t care for Ellen. Apparently, I need to watch out when I say that because she’s so many of ya’lls “favorite” 😉 Seriously, did you guys meet each other in the fan club? Well I didn’t have much chance to watch because this is what I was doing:

Packing

Move out day is 1 week away! In my dorm, we have to move out because it’s used to house athletes over the Winter break. It really sucks, but rather than cram it in to next weekend right after my last final, it seemed better to do it over 2 or 3 trips: the early bird catches the worm. But like I said, it really sucks. These books are heavy. And I have so much food. Gah! I just need to keep eating to get rid of it that way. When I decided enough was enough for this trip, I realized I was famished. Peanut butter did the trick.

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter

I’ve heard doctors tell people in stressful situations or having a baby to eat a peanut butter sandwich when they get the chance because they might not have time to eat later and it’s a good source of lasting energy. I don’t like doctors, but when they’re right, they’re right. While I was waiting for coffee to brew, I shnacked on this:

Apple

It had good texture and color, so it looked promising. And it was! I love finding good fruit at the dining hall; it’s like winning the lottery with still a crappy prize. And then rather than start working on my last 2 classes of the year I decided blogging would be much more productive. I’m pretty sure I was right on that one 🙂

Here’s a coffee and carbs giveaway–love the name.

And a TRUwhip giveaway–oh wait, that’s my own, hehe

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