Food Combining

Posted on April 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When you eat a lot of food, you eat a wide variety of food; that’s good, right? Maybe not, at least according to the rules of food combining. Food combining, at its core, breaks down foods into their categories and suggests which to pair together for optimal nutrition and which to avoid combining. Proper food combining is supposed to lead to proper digestion.

Nectarine

Nectarine

Fruit, for instance, should always be eaten alone. Accordingly, I snacked on this nectarine before lunch eaten all by itself. I first heard of food combining from Gina, and my first reaction was “Finally, the key!”

A little more time and thought and I’m ready to call this one busted. Why? Well, in a bit of research, I’ve came across a slew of articles such as this article which make it sound more absurd than miraculous; 20,000 years of food digestion and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. I also took in to account that nothing usually digests on its own; that nectarine I ate was undoubtedly sitting on top of my breakfast in my gut even if eaten an hour later. The final straw was that I’d have to accept that 19 years of eating have been done “improperly” if I’m to believe food combining now. I’ve had some bad times on the toilet, but not that much.

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Burgers and sweet potatoes “don’t combine well”; if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that meal is a staple in my diet. I meant to have it for lunch, too, but instead I cooked some brussels sprouts in the beef fat and steamed butternut squash in the microwave to the point of being soft. I then tossed those with sea salt, turmeric, and cinnamon. That combination of spices was magnificent and anti-oxidant rich–love it! Dessert was my cookie Friday creation:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

How do chocolate, peanut butter, and brownie combine? I obviously didn’t stick around with it long enough before looking in to debunking the myth to find out. All I know is that in my mouth they combine heavenly. The inside was a peanut butter gluten-free chocolate brownie, surrounded by Endangered Species 70% dark chocolate and a layer of 365 brand peanut butter sweetened with Madhava vanilla agave.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

OK. I actually ate it uncombined more like this because it was so clumpy; it was still delicious! 😀 By far my favorite bit was the chocolate with peanut butter on top, which was perfectly bitter-sweet. And this chocolate bar is on sale at Whole Foods for the next week! I’m going to stock up over the weekend since I obviously have no problem going through them.

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

This was my dinner: quite literally combined! I gave new meaning to shake and bake by filling a bag with tofu, sweet potato, and brussels, shaking it with maple syrup to spread that around and baking it at 350 to roast the veggies while cooking the tofu to the perfect texture.

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

I loooooove this combination of maple baked tofu with sweet potato and greens. This feels like the perfect Friday night meal because it’s so homey and warm, and it’s been rain clouds all day. I just wish good food didn’t take so long to prepare! I start dinner at 4:30 to eat at 6:30. But if time is the cost for a healthy meal, I’ll pay up and pay it forward. I added a secret ingredient on top I’m “testing out”. I don’t want to say too much, but I think the flavor works well, and I can’t wait to try making a real recipe with it.

My Verdict

I will not be striving to keep separate my starch from my flesh from my fruit any time soon. Had you heard of food combining? Do you practice it? Does it work for you? I’m not saying my disbelief of it means it’s not the key for somebody. I just read an article last night saying there’s no scientific evidence for a gluten intolerance short of Chron’s Disease, but I know my body enough to say I don’t have Chron’s and still gluten from wheat, barley, and rye upset my stomach. Similarly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear if food combining is what works for some people. Just not myself.

A giveaway for WoW baked goods–I love these!

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“This Is Going To Suck, But…”

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

Remember when there was all that buzz about becoming a “good mood blogger”? This would not be my entry post. This morning, I started out with a very clear thought “This day is going to suck, but I’m going to get through it”. That couldn’t have stayed true throughout it all.

Manning Chappel

I can’t say church sucked; I’m pretty sure a big lightening bolt would hit me if I tried. I can say figuring out how this was all going to work sucked. Back in Boston, it was easier; there’s a church where you can get “drive-by ashes” which we would do every Ash Wednesday after work/school and be off. First off, I needed to find the church, then what times they had mass, then which ones I could make, etc. I ended up going to one right on the main campus at noon. It was surprisingly packed and there were some people I recognized from last semester’s classes there, and even my gym friend! Didn’t get to say hi, though.

Black Bean And Acorn Squash Salad

I really couldn’t have been more off my game: I “meal planned” to eat a juicy burger on Ash Wednesday. Whoops! Well that was out, so I thought about a veggie burger. All of my veggie burgers are SOY based, meaning they fall under what I gave up for lent. Are you kidding me?! A simple lunch became a scrapping for leftovers, trip to the dining hall, and a bit of ingenuity. Spinach and black beans came from the dining hall while I diced 1/2 an acorn squash from Sunday, and topped it all with this:

Foods Alive Hemp Oil Dressing

I can’t say this sucked, but I can say my review of it will. That’s because I’m not giving one right now. And that’s because I really didn’t get a good taste of it/didn’t use enough 😦 From what I could taste, it seemed really good! It was sort of like BBQ sauce in that it was sweet but vinegary. But I had to eat my meal in discussion and didn’t get the opportunity to use more than I first poured. Bear with me on my day; it gets lamer.

Unsweetened Decaf Coffee

Unsweetened coffee? Yeah, that sucks. Between classes I had time(OK, I made time). to pick up a coffee. The only problem was that I didn’t have any stevia packets on me, and didn’t realize this until I was sitting in my next class. Whoops! Again!

Pomegranate Chobani And Brazil Nut Almond Bora Bora Bar

Midway through class I broke in to my planned snack(it’s 2 1/2 hours long). This picture sucks compared to how it was; I actually crumbled half the bar over the yogurt like granola. I just didn’t want to take out my camera in class(although the girl next to me had no problem texting the whole time. It’s not even a lecture!). We also had a lecturer from a Conneticutt museum. It’s not fair for him to say he sucked; when are guest lecturers ever good? When he asked if anyone had heard of the tribe he studies, I didn’t raise my hand even though I have; I didn’t quite know how to say “Yes, but not because of their museum. Because of Foxwoods casino which my family frequents.” That might have given the wrong impression(or the exact correct one).

Apple

I don’t have to say it; when has an apple taken from the dining hall ever been good? This one tasted especially spiteful, if only because I had just came back from a trek to recover my water bottle I left behind in discussion and still had no clue what was for dinner. This Lent thing really threw me for a loop! I decided that I would roast broccoli, whatever I was eating.

Eaten Ice Cream

When I was downstairs, throwing broccoli in the oven, I came across this empty container of Snickerdoodle ice cream. Yeah, I pretty much knew there was no chance this was anyone else’s but mine. Apparently, someone thought it would be alright to eat the last of it with a fork. Ughh. I had problems with this last semester, but they seemed to stop. Now I fear for my other 2 pints of ice cream down there(my stash of frozen bananas for banana whip not so much).

Oatmeal With A Cage Free EB Egg And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Roasted Broccoli

My dinner may just be the oddest thing, but it did not suck. That’s because I threw out the mentality of what it “should” be and just went with what I wanted. I needed to remind myself that no one passed a law that broccoli and oatmeal with peanut butter can’t be eaten together; the only restrictions for today are no meat and no preflavored soy, and this fits that bill. Amen to odd dinners.

My google reader and inbox are full, and yeah, that sucks, but it’s because I forwent looking at them and finished the real “work” I had to do. And now I’m going to go to the dining hall looking for plain yogurt, which they won’t have; it’s going to suck, but I’ll soften the blow by getting a decaf coffee. And then I’ll get back, slip into my PJ’s, and obsess over how Survivor’s not on tonight, and that will suck, but I’ll have the Olympics to watch. For my bemusement and your mental health, what has sucked in your life, and what was the “but”?

Life won’t suck for the winners of this Q.Bel chocolate giveaway on Mom’s Focus or this coconut peanut butter giveaway.

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Today Was Not S.A.D.

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

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

Making Chocolate Cups

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

Next Generation Cheddar And Caribbean Cheddar Raw Cheese

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

Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Cheddar Cheese

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

Carved Chicken

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

Table Set Up

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

Golden Beets, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Dark Meat Chicken

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

Blowing Out The Candles

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

PB And Coconut Cherry Cups

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

Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

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

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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

Vegan Coconut Cherry Cup With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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

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

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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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Meal Makeovers

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

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

American Chop Suey

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

Madeover American Chop Suey

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

Emptied Out Spaghetti Squash

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

Zevia 6-Pack

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

Homemade Raw Chocolate Bar

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

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

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

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

Lentil Taco Ingredients

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

Doctor Kracker Fire Roasted Crisps

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

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

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

Chipotle Cayenne Parma

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

As for right now, I’m either

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

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

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

D) all of the above

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20 Things I Love

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

1. Cookies at random times of the day

Kashi Oatmeal Raisin Flax Cookie

2. Healthy junk food I don’t have to bake. I kept this around the kitchen while I was cooking from 11-1.

Meatloaf Seasonings And Rice

Vegan Meatloaf

3. The smell of McDonald’s burger. No, really. This smells just like a McDonald’s burger, and if you don’t believe me, make the recipe!

Maple Mustard Tofu, Curry Maple Acorn Squash, Toasted Walnuts

4. Roasted things in maple syrup. The tofu and squash were in the oven for 90 minutes. That was 1/2 of a squash… before being dehydrated to death.

5. Fat. On account of my recent testing with fat, I swapped out vegetables at my lunch and replaced them with an equal amount of healthy fats, here from Tierra Farm‘s walnuts. My first thought? Damn, that sucks to go from all that broccoli to a half-handful of nuts. After that, I realized that they didn’t fill me up the same way a pile of broccoli would have, but they were very “satisfying” in that I didn’t feel like I needed anything more.

6. Days of Our Lives(probably saw this one coming)

7. Tivo. More specifically, tivoing shows that are on past when I’m out cold for the night.

Organic Apple

8. Organic fruit. I’ll eat the plain stuff, but I can’t help but wonder things…

Scratch Tickets

9. Grandparents who encourage gambling. Aren’t old people the best?

10. Winning $30 dollars! That then led to an inward debate as to whether that’s a sign to pay $16 dollars for a chunk of goat’s milk fudge from the internet. I’m thinking no…

Laloo's Black Mission Fig Goat's Milk Ice Cream On A Chocolate Vitamuffin

11. New food combos. I swear there was a chocolate vitamuffin under there. And I swear it was one of the best things ever, slightly warmed with cold ice cream. The ice cream was goat’s milk(!!) but it surprisingly didn’t taste as tangy as I was hoping 😦 Still really good–almost like the inside of a Fig Newman.

12. Not paying attention to things like cholesterol. Otherwise, a day where you had 2 eggs for breakfast and ice cream made with egg’s yolk wouldn’t be pretty.

13. Convincing people to take me to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Full Fat Greek Yogurt, Goat's Milk Yogurt, Plain Soy Yogurt

14. Obscene amounts of yogurt. You know what’s more obscene? How quick this will be gone. Give me a day or so and see 😉

Trader Joe's Pound Plus Milk Chocolate

15. Equally obscene bars of chocolate. OK, here me out–this isn’t for me(or, not just at least). My mom really liked those peanut butter cups I made and has been dropping hints for more like crazy since. But I really only like peanut butter cups made with milk chocolate. So when I saw this gigantic baking bar I thought problem solved! Isn’t melting chocolate fun?

Vegan Meatloaf With Nutritional Yeast And Parma, Green Beans

16. Healthy, hot dinners. I compared the original parma to the nutritional yeast and I think I prefer the latter, but that might just be because the meatloaf was so flavorful that it really needed something basic on it for contrast.

17. Meal planning. It’s made this week super simple so far.

18. Ironic thoughts, such as “You know what would go good on this vegan meatloaf for our vegan dinner? Full fat greek yogurt…. Wait a minute”.

19. Repeat episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, like the ones I’ve been watching while writing this. The bomb episode from Season 2 was just on. Classic.

20. Really bad people on American Idol. I’m a glutton for them 😉 It’s even better when the auditions are in your home town, like they were last night.

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Buttercream Is Just Too Easy

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

I am liking the whole meal planning thing. It’s soo good knowing how much food we really have and when it’s for. It’s interesting to find out things like, while it’s fun to have so many flavors of chips, they just don’t cut it for the entrees. Well I have things sorted out through Friday and it looks like we’ll be eating well 😀 For lunch, ironically, the first planned meal was “do what you want”. This let me eat some leftovers and my parents have their pasta.

Lightlife Savory Chicken Tenders, Microwaved Potato With Salsa, Garlic Broccoli

I’m the best at eating 1 serving of something and letting the rest sit around for far too long, so this time I decided to nip the Lightlife tenders before they went past savory and to funky. On the side I was craving some of the really spicy salsa we picked up at Market Basket, so I had a plain, starchy potato. So good! Seriously, this has some heat. Before we left to do errands I wanted to get all my food processor projects out of the way.

Banana Bread Balls

I made some of Jess‘ balls! her and Avery really know their balls(I’m sorry, but I just had to say it). We had leftover banana goodness bread sitting in the back of the fridge so I combined that with 4oz of cream cheese and made balls to get cold. After those hit the fridge, I threw out some of my less successful nut butters and whipped up a new one.

Organic, Raw Almond Butter With Fair Trade White Chocolate And Strawberries

This one was definitely a winner! I just used 7oz of raw, organic almonds and mixed that up with 1/2 of my favorite white chocolate bar ever, the Divine white chocolate with freeze dried strawberries. I haven’t tasted this yet but the aroma is incredible–just like the chocolate! And I bet the nutrition isn’t terrible for something that must be flavorful. I can’t wait to put these over oats. My mom wanted to go to the mall to look for clothes for herself, and I easily obliged, mostly on account of this:

Seat Heaters

While it was 30 degrees outside, my butt was getting 76 degrees of heated seats. Aww yeah. My dad dropped her off at Macy’s and we went somewhere far more entertaining: Target! I contimplated getting the newest Harry Potter film, but passed up until it’s cheaper. Hell, maybe I can befriend Emma this semester and get it as a gift from her? Well, I can dream 😉 I did pop a drink open while shopping.

Mango-Melon Sobe Lifewater

Walking around looking at things is tough work, you know! It was decent. I like the melony flavor because it reminded me of Summer, despite the fact that the weather oh so disagrees with me. I did end up getting a new pair of running shorts for 3.something on clearance 70% off. I’d say 90% of what I wear came from the Target discount rack or was a gift to me; I never buy expensive clothes. I’d rather eat well and wear the shopping bag, haha! Speaking of eating well, while we waited for my mom we went to the Framingham Whole Foods which is the only place so far I’ve been able to find the best protein bar I’ve ever had.

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

So good, and yet, not this afternoon. We picked up 2, and I thought I really wanted to eat one of them then, but I only got 2 or 3 bites in.

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

While these are tasty, they’re pretty much a candy bar unless you’re working out. And I knew I was hungry for food, so this would not do at the time. As much as I hate not finishing bars, I wrapped the rest back up for God knows when and waited until we got home to eat something real. I threw a really quick bowl of oatmeal together when I got in the door.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Barney Butter

That definitely hit the spot so much more than the rest of the bar would have. I like Barney Butter because it’s pretty much how I imagine Jif or Skippy would be if they made those in almonds. I was a lot happier after that and ready to keep working with Jess‘ balls. I melted together a mish-mosh of chocolate: a Dark Chocolate Newman’s Own Organics bar, a Super Dark Chocolate Newman’s Own Organics bar, and 4 Unsweetened Bakers square. Really, I was just using things up because we didn’t have a bag of chocolate chips I wanted to use, but I like the resulting bitter chocolate.

Chocolate Coated Banana Goodness Bread Balls

These came out great. And they were so much simpler than I would have imagined! I’m keeping these in the back of my head for something different to bring to a dessert party that no one else will have(now, anyone want to invite me to a dessert party ;-)). I had leftover melted chocolate, and for a moment thought “What am I going to do with this?”. Where was my mind?! I quickly figured out what to do with it.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

See? I knew if I made them once I’d be making them again real soon. I filled these with some Earth Balance peanut butter since that’s agave sweetened and would work with the bitter chocolate. After that, I had one last thing to “whip” up.

Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread

Vegan Maple Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting On Maple Cupcakes

Remember those maple cupcakes I made a few days ago? Well, most of them hit the freezer, but I kept a few out for my parents’ anniversary. I made a simple, small batch of vegan buttercream frosting 1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter spread, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. I always thought buttercream was something incredibly complex to make but this could not have been simpler! Mine might be a little lumpy, but that’s just because I was lazy. Knowing how easy it is to do is just a little dangerous. I mean, this is “healthy” in the sense that there’s no cholesterol, but it’s no superfood 😉 If you can believe it, cupcakes were not on the meal plan as dinner.

Grilled Steak, Green Beans, Nog Spiked Butternut Mash

This meal was so great; I can’t remember the last time I had something on the grill! It just has not been the right weather but we wiped off the snow and fired it up, and the meat came out nice and rare like I love it 😀 For sides, we steamed green beans and mashed butternut squash with 1/2 a cup Silk Nog. That last combination never gets old. I could practically eat a bowl for dessert. Now, I don’t think anyone has started picking at desserts yet. Then again, I haven’t been keeping a hawk eye on any of it, so who knows what’s left. I know there’s certainly no lack of things for me to eat up tonight.

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Tuna Two Ways

Posted on January 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Babalooooo!

I Love Lucy

That(besides whipping it) pretty much sums up my morning. I had no ambition to do much else but work my way through season 1. I got through 2 episodes, including the one with Mr. Merriweather and Ethel pretending to be a psychic. Anyone else remember that? Classy.

Montana

Mr. Montana was definitely feeling itchy this morning. I was thinking how productive it’d be to give him a bath but a) he wouldn’t let me pick him up to put him in the sink and b) that would have made a HUGE mess I’d have to clean up. Instead, I just scratched him as we watched Paula Dean use obscene amounts of butter in desserts. God bless her and may her arteries stay clear so she can keep pumping out those recipes!

For lunch, I had plenty of delicious leftovers to choose from. Not only that, I had a full kitchen to work with. And you know what I had?

Tuna And Whole Wheat Mac N' Cheese

Canned tuna and boxed mac n’ cheese I made in the microwave. Oh, the irony. I really didn’t want to make this because I know it’s the type of meal I’ll be eating all too much when I go back to campus. BUT it was what I was craving and I’m never one to deny that. At least the instant macaroni was whole wheat, right? Can anyone spy what television character those are shaped as? It’s hard to tell, and it’s a little silly. But I got the whole box for 77 cents so it was a major deal. So as to not fall off the green wagon completely, I pregamed(bet you didn’t expect to hear me say that) this meal with a green beverage.

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood

I mixed 1/2 a cup of plain coconut milk kefir with Amazing Grass‘s green superfood. I’d been waiting for an occasion just like this to review this product. And I was wicked impressed with how UNgreen it tasted! Well, it still tasted green, but not displeasantly so. It was slightly sweet without a graininess to it at all. If you want to tell me I was getting the benefits of all the foods listed on the back, that’s fine with me and pass a glass. The kefir made it a nice, thick treat, too, and probiotic.

This afternoon was monumentously unproductive. I hoped to go for a walk since the sky was so blue… until I realized with the wind chill it was 19 degrees. I didn’t even really feel like cooking up one of the few recipes I have bookmarked to do because that meant cleaning up after myself. Boo. I realized that this is when normal people generally watch their movies, such as the one I bought over a month ago and still haven’t seen: Gettysburg. That was good enough reason for me to pop it in. I almost napped during the first hour, but eventually got into it. Halfway through I made a snack.

Stonyfield's Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt And A Vitamuffin

And now that picture is making me want it again, darn it all. The frozen yogurt had a bit too much freezer burn on it but that was fine by me. And it went so nicely with the warmed muffin–yum! I knew Gettysburg was a movie about history but I didn’t realize it’s the longest movie in history(not really). But after 2 and a half hours, when it wanted me to change discs instead of being over, I was over and decided to save the rest for a rainy day. Thankfully, by then my mom came home and we were planning dinner.

Lemon Pepper Oil

My aunt gave us a Stonewall Kitchen Oil for Thanksgiving and tonight seemed like the perfect chance to open it. We had ahi tuna and rather than roasting I suggested pan searing after seeing it on Ada’s blog. The oil splattered on me a bit, but we got through 4 minutes of searing, 2 minutes per side.

Roasted Butternut Squash And Broccoli, Seared Tuna

It wasn’t perfect like at Tomasso’s, but I was pretty damn impressed with us. The lemon flavor really was soaked in there well, and the inside was a pretty pink. I topped the tuna with smoked Scottish salt, the butternut with salt and black pepper, and broccoli with plain sea salt. I ended up finishing the pan of broccoli “to be helpful with cleaning up” 😉 It’s a lot better than cleaning dishes!

http://liveloveeatandplay.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/a-sweet-giveaway-for-the-new-year/#comment-1575

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I Don’t Do Semi-Homemade, Sandra Lee

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t do “semi”; I go full throttle or cop-out entirely.

Acorn Squash With Baked Beans And Brussels

Have I ever made baked beans from scratch? No. Do I have any plans to? Not at all. I’m fine with these organic ones from Whole Foods. I threw together this lunch and then literally threw it in the car to get to finishing things. Good thing I’m not the driver 🙂 First we stopped off at the natural food store near me where I bought this foodie find with Christmas money.

Almond Amaretto Herbal Coffee

This isn’t really “coffee”(or “cawfee” because I’m a New Englander). It’s actually dried carob, figs, almond, and other natural ingredients for an herbal drink very similar to coffee. I was a little disappointed when I forgot to add coffee to my x-mas list because I’m such an addict, but in hindsight that was probably a good call because I don’t know how anyone in my family would have found this. I can’t wait to see if it really tastes like amaretto 😉

After the natural store, we went to get the last items on the lsit for New Years from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods–mainly the meat which we didn’t want sitting in our fridge. I’m so excited because my favorite candy bar protein bar is $1 off the entire month! Expect a lot of those for green snacking 😉 I was parched by the time we finished Whole Foods so I broke out a new soda I found on sale to try.

Steaz Orange Green Tea

I wasn’t aware that there was another stevia sweetened beverage on the market, but these in 4-packs were 3/$8 so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m sure it had caffeine even though it doesn’t say, but that was OK with e at the tie. I liked the flavor; it was a little subtle but I think tea is all about subtlety so I can understand not over-sweetening it. While I was at Whole Foods I also made another purchase with my Christmas money.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Like I said, i don’t do semi. I’ve made my cinnamon rolls, and now I’m buying these cinnamon rolls 🙂 I still don’t know how they can make these with just whole wheat flour, flour, water, grape juice, canola oil, yeast, salt, and cinnamon! Soo good. After we unpacked, I got working on cooking projects 4 and 5.

Thai Peanut Hummus

When it comes to having company, I never phone it in; I do homemade. In this case, I was making hummus for our guests tomorrow. The first one was my own concoction, with 1 can of chickpeas(drained), 2 tablespoons The Heat Is On, 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and lime juice, salt, and 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts stirred in in the end.

Sunny Tomato Hummus

The second one was a recipe from The Broccoli Hut. Apparently, food processors have no problems with nuts, but sundried tomatoes are touch cookies veggies. From the itty bits I snacked on from the scoopula, I can tell I loved the first recipe and didn’t care too much for the tomato flavor. After nibbling through these, I decided to eat something real.

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On Peanut Butter

I guess this is “homemade”? Hard to get much simpler. I figured while the peanut butter was out I’d use it and have a spicy afternoon snack. The albumen(or egg whites if you aren’t feeling pretentious) were cooked to the perfect runniness. But after this was done I quickly got working on dinner(my thing for the 3rd night in a row).

Al Fresco Buffalo Style Sausage

I went store bought on the main protein. Actually, this was part of the large array of flavors Karen from Al Fresco sent to me a while ago. As a family, we used to always get greasy pizza and buffalo chicken wings on Tuesday nights(real healthy, right? ;-)) so this flavor was right up our alley. I did, however, do something homemade.

Killer Cornbread

Like I mentioned this morning, I had a killer craving for cornbread(say that 5 times fast). After looking at some recipes, I combined them to make my own and hoped it would come out all right.

Killer Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole grain cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, sift together the first 5 ingredients(unless using a liquid sweetener like honey or agave in which case just the first 4). Beat in the egg, milk, and any liquid sweetener if using. Add in the greek yogurt and butter and mix until blended. Move into an 8×8 baking pan and bake until browning on the outside(about 20 minutes).

Green Beans With Hot Sauce, Killer Cornbread With Cream Cheese, Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage

The cornbread was, in a word, killer. It came out perfectly grainy. I definitely had an extra 1/2 a square, and as a family we polished off 7 of the 12 servings. I think that recipe is a keeper! I also really loved this flavor sausage. It was super spicy and didn’t need a hit of hot sauce at all. Watching Paula Dean definitely had me craving cream cheese, which topped the fresh-out-of-the-oven cornbread perfectly.

Where has the day gone? What about the year?! It’s too much to think about. Instead I think I’ll figure out what foodiness is for dessert once all this darn cornbread digests.

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Not On Schedule

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Why bother making a schedule? Things happen; life happens. You can plan and plan the day but good luck having it work out.

Kashi Honey Almond Flax

I ended up being hungry before lunch–not planned because I never am? I thought this bar, which I’ve enjoyed before, would be nice. After eating it and thinking it was unusually stale and nasty, I realized it expired 2 months ago. Since when do things like this even expire? It was odd, to say the least.

While I was off-schedule anyway, I thought I’d get a head start on my baking. I planned on making this recipe with a bunch of little changes that I wrote up here. As it turned out, we had no flour. Really? I planned and planned for this and went to the store twice to get ingredients and never thought to check for flour? Ugh. After freaking out for about 5 minutes I decided to enlist help.

Red Dodge Neon

I called my 81 year old grandmother for a ride; if you see this card on the road ever, you might want to be a little careful. Actually, she’s not an awful driver, but I was holding on a little tight. She was happy to take me to Hannafords(she needed scratch tickets anyway, don’t ya know ;-)). While I was in her car I noticed two things.

Purple Steering Wheel

She has pizazz apparently. 3 years ago at Christmas, this steering wheel cover caused a heated argument during yankee swap; no one wanted it except the old people so that’s who it went to.

Wendy's Kids Meal Map

I also found kid’s meal stuff in the back seat. My grandmother and her 80 year old sister are the only two people who go on this car. Apparently, they’re not above ordering off the kid’s menu on their way to the casino. Oh, to be old…

King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour

I grabbed what I needed, and that was all. After I got home, I realized I was borderline hangry because it was almost 2pm(so not on schedule) and all I’d had for “lunch” was that expired granola bar. After a kitchen failure with 2 eggs and a pan, I made this masterpiece.

2 Egg Omelet With Broccoli

Seriously, this was so good; I think I tapped in to my inner “chef”. As I’ve said before, I’m a baker who loves precise times and measurements. Therefore, “meal” food doesn’t work well with me. I put that mindset aside, put “a lil’ earth balance” in the pan to melt, cooked the bottome of the egg “until it looked ready”, added the cheese and folded. It was so beautifully runny and rich and cheesy, just the way eggs should be. Maybe I do have a lil’ chef in me? In my attempt to get back on schedule, I quickly got working on the recipe.

Browning Earth Balance Butter

That would be 10 tablespoons of earth balance(original recipe calls for real butter) melting until brown and nutty. Amazingly, this wasn’t a Paula Dean recipe, either, but one featured on Healthy Eats. I actually think this might have been my favorite part; something about a large pool of melted, fragrant butter… *drool*. Anyway, while I was doing this I spotted some old friends.

Wild Turkey

There’s a group of 20something wild turkeys that live in our neighborhood. Naturally, I was nervous since I haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving. Turns out, they’re doing just fine in this snow.

The Beaters

There was definitely some licking of the raw dough with this recipe. No, it was not vegan, but I’ll take my chances on the raw eggs. Ever since I’ve seen documentaries on body builders who eat 6 eggs or something crazy to start their day, I’ve been a bit balls-to-the-wall with raw dough. I’m a wild man, right?

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

The biscotti came out amazingly(minus the 6 or so that crumbled in to pieces). This recipe was definitely a winner with a little reworking. While I was baking, I got some fun packages.

NuttZo T-Shirt

The people at NuttZo saw I was a nut for their product and sent me a shirt! I’m such a brandaholic; I was actually wearing my zevia t-shirt just today, haha. I think I need to wear on Christmas just to kick off that conversation. And perfect timing because I just wrote a review for NuttZo this morning here.

Nature's Path Granola And Bars

I also got these awesome granola and bars. 2 weeks ago I was their “fan of the week” on facebook and got to pick out 3 products to get 2 boxes of. Naturally, I went for everything peanut butter or cherry. I’ve never tried any of these so I can’t wait to see how they are. Once the biscotti were done, I didn’t want to dive in to them because I wasn’t sure there’s enough for Christmas Eve and Christmas yet. Instead, I made some similar oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Teddy Unsalted Natural Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

I picked up this new peanut butter yesterday at Price Chopper while working on a guest post. It’s rated really better than most other brands. And it’s 1-ingredient: peanut. I needed to see what the fuss is about. I admit, for something unsalted this was rather tasty and had a good consistency(not “oily” at all yet still smooth and melty). I don’t know that it deserves the rating it does but it was pretty cheap, too, so I’m not complaining.

Let’s just say “workouts” at this point are definitely a point of contention; I don’t plan on forcing myself to do too much strengthening if it’s not what I want(I’m a cardio lover at heart), but I also don’t want to completely fall off the ladder. I resolved this by playing 2 rounds of wii tennis, 1 wii fitness test, and 2 sets of 25 stair flights. This also gave me time to plan dinner, which I had going before my mom got home.

Sirloin Roast, Roasted Brussels, Noggy Butternut Squash

Let’s just say, I couldn’t have dreamed this up better. It was soooooo good, and everyone enjoyed it I think, which makes me doubly happy. In ordinance with my “new plan” towards meat, I portioned out 3oz of rare meat, and loaded up on the vegetables. The meat was so excellent, and I think limiting that amount was just perfect in also letting me appreciate what I did have. I had in mind to mash butternut squash with 1/4 cup Silk Nog and some stevia to taste and my parents loved it(my mom thought it needed 2 tablespoons of brandy, haha). It was really earthy and delicious.

After all that, I finally got a chance to sit down and finish Days(which I started 3 hours ago). Now that Caitlin has reminded me via twitter that I have instant chocolate pudding in the pantry, I think you can guess what I’ll be “making”.

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