Let’s Try This Again

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m officially back, blogging from a dorm room! The lighting is awful; I can hear into every room from mine; and I’ll be running back and forth to the bathroom for everything from water to plate cleaning. Welcome back to me 😀

This morning was hectic with packing and organizing. I really tried remembering what I never used 1st semester and what I wish I had, trying to bring the perfect amount of things. The food processor did not make the cut; it would have been too bulky for my little room, and I’m sooo overprotective of it I’d need 10 feet of bubblewrap to move it. Banana whips will have to wait for the weekends I’m home. Since the weather was soooo nice, we grilled for lunch!

I had really odd cravings for my final meal. We grilled a frozen bison burger that I made out of ground bison back in September. When I took my first bite, I realized it was seriously undercooked(which says a lot coming from me), so I committed the cardinal sin of meat by microwaving it to cook it.  At least it was became edible. On the side I had broccoli(duh) with soy sauce, ketchup, and peanut butter! I just really needed to fit peanut butter in there somehow. The earthiness of it went great with bison.

After the car was packed and we left, wed ended up taking 2 hours just to get to campus. We needed to stop to pick up last-minute food items, but it seemed like all the stores were reorganizing or out of things! Only after Market Basket and Whole Foods did we find canned pumpkin at Stop & Shop. Ugh. I think the shortage is starting to take effect. When we were almost here, I started getting hungry and reached what was in the closest box behind me.

Vivani Dark Chocolate With 85% Cocoa

Lucky for me, that turned out to be dark chocolate 🙂 I liked this flavor of Vivani, but it felt a little bland all by itself. It would have been really great in yogurt, with peanut butter, or just about any application other than plain because the sweetness and bitterness were both so dim. 3 simple, organic ingredients(cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and sugar) though make me a happy man 🙂

We had a happy system going when we finally got here: I stayed in my room putting things away while my dad brought them from the car, up the stairs, and into the room. I really liked that deal 😀 I think it all looked like so much more in the car than it does in the room, that or I did a good job organizing it all. When I was halfway through, I had a made time for a quick snack.

Chocolate Vitamuffin With Fig Goat Milk Ice Cream

Yum! I love the chocolate and fig combo, even though it doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven. The goat milk ice cream is Laloo’s brand, which I bought a few weeks ago and brought on campus to keep in the basement. I hope I can eat it before someone steals it, because it cost a good deal(and this was with my money, not the parents’). This snack made my line of thought go from “How am I ever going to eat all this?!” to “I bet this’ll be gone before I know it.” I forgot how big my appetite can get when I’m on campus and running again! Let me give you a quick tour:

Books And Appliances

On my desk, I have my alarm, coffee maker, some movies I’m sure I won’t get around to watching all semester, and books(mostly pleasure reads I won’t get the pleasure of actually reading). On top, I keep all my electronics on the left and spices/seasonings on the right–gotta have those at quick hand as a foodie.

Closet Space

My closet has just about everything but… clothes. OK, there are some shirts in there. There’s also my coffee, chocolate, shopping bags, pots, pans, storage containers, towels, utensils, and plates. I’m glad it has shelves because that’s the majority of my storage space(I couldn’t fit myself in there and close the door so at least I don’t have to worry about getting locked in).

Underbed Storage

And, as any college student knows, bed raisers are a saint. No, really, I don’t know what I’d do without my under-bed storage. This has all of my food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, a LOT of bars, more nut butters than you would believe, natural sodas, and, at the end, dirty laundry(as in, literal dirty laundry).  Well that’s my space! I hope you like it. So, I’m sure you’re all sitting on the edge of your seats wondering how my first real “meal” back went, right? 😉

3oz All-Natural Dark Meat Turkey, Asparagus Cuts, Lemon Tahini Cauliflower

Pretty darn good if you ask me. From the dining hall, I was able to scrap up asparagus tips and cauliflower in a lemon-tahini sauce, which was actually quite delicious! One of the great things about my dining hall is that the ingredients for all of their dishes are readily available so I’m able to know if the food fits my current food philosophy(and these obviously made the cut). The main protein was leftover turkey from Sunday lunch, which I chose to eat tempeh instead of then. I took every shred of dark meat I could because I like it better; yes, it has more fats, but it also has more flavor. And since I just occasionally eat moderate amounts of meat for enjoyment anyway, it’d be silly to opt for the leaner but flavorless cuts–that’s just my 2 cents.

It’s almost time for Biggest Loser and American Idol! I love how something are very much changing, like location and what’s on my plate, while other things are more constant, like good friends and good television shows(and by “good”, I mean trashy, addicting reality TV :-D).

Here’s a coconut peanut butter contest! Yum. I like my peanut butter any which way.

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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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Healthy Is Not My Word

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First off, huge news on the nut butter front! Naturally Nutty has just released a new line of seed butters! I had the great fortune of trying the Pepita Sun Butter and I promise you it is one of the best I’ve ever had. I was so excited I’ve already placed orders for some of their new products as of last night, so go on over to the site and give them a looksie.

Ok, enough excitement and good morning. Thanks to the long weekend I got not one but two great nights of sleep in a row. Boy that has me feeling rested. Like I mentioned, yesterday we were heading off to Maine in the morning. I am completely incapable of packing light for wherever I go:

Study Bag

Study Bag

Yeah, let’s just say I don’t get much on the times I come home except what I do in the car. That’s one of the things I’ve hated about the past few weekends; I feel like I always fall behind and by the time I get back on campus I’m rushing like a mad man. Anyway, I packed plenty of dead languages, a couple bars, and my camera. Along the drive I got a bit snacky and came across the perfect time to try this:

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

This was another one of the goodies Nature’s Path Organic sent my way, and let me just say: wow! I had not had a Nature’s Path bar before at all so this was very new to me. The nutrition, look, and ingredients were all along the same lines of an Odwalla bar so that’s what I was comparing it to in my mind. At first I didn’t think it looked chocolatey or orange, but each bite had a great zest to it which made the flavor distinct. There were also plenty of chocolate chips as well as bits of soynuts which added a great crunch to the texture. The size was personally a bit bigger than what I look for in a bar, but it also helped to hold me over longer. There was a good bit of added sugar, but overall it was a tasty and nutritious bar that I wouldn’t mind buying again.

When we got there it was about 1 and all the appetizers were out. I’m not an appetizer person; I’d really rather sit down with a plate full and eat. I did, however, contribute the cumin cheddar from the farmers’ market:

Cumin Cheddar

Cumin Cheddar

It seemed to be a hit. My family is definitely more into crackers than chips–what’s up with that? Well people got moving surprisingly fast for my family and by 1:45 the lunch had came. If you guessed lobster would be on my plate, you were right:

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

I also had an unpictured salad with Newman’s Own Honey Mustard dressing when I realized there really wasn’t enough on the table for me. Lobster is a bit overrated if you ask me, but it feels fun to eat because of all the hype. There were also mussels but that’s one sea creature I can not get my mind around eating; it’s just too weird. After lunch we had the 90 minute getting ready for dessert period which always happens. With 2 young cousins and an entire family who need ADD pills when it comes to conversation, things don’t get moving so fast. Which is a shame because they also like ice cream cakes that manage to turn into mush by the time they want to eat them. I caught this little tyke red handed:

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Like I said, 90 minutes and 90 candles later we were ready to sing Happy Birthday.

Birthday Cakes

Birthday Cakes

Enter joykill moment of the day: My family, although I’m sure they try, really don’t “get” me and why I eat what I eat or even just what I eat. There’s a major assumption on my grandmother’s part that I only eat “healthy” and shun sugar. She even mentioned having a “special sugar-free dessert” for me which she thankfully never brought out or up again. Let me say it straight: Not now or ever do I claim to be a healthy eater. That isn’t my aim or focus. I’m all about eating natural, and I assure you natural can be just as unhealthy as laboratory food. I actually shun the word “healthy”. Does it sound fun? Not at all. I would much rather be “healthy” in the sense of sane and happy than any of its other meanings. So yes, in a sense when I didn’t have either of the cakes, which were made from a box and frosted from a can, I was avoiding them. But I was avoiding their absolute artificialness and not their nutrition; had they been made from scratch with wholesome ingredients like I believe in I assure you I would have had half a cake myself. Unfortunately, it’s easier to find stuff like that for me from my Whole Foods than my family. Well this is what I actually did end up having:

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

This was not healthy. Dessert shouldn’t be healthy. This was tasty and joyful–that’s my kind of dessert. The Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies were a HUGE hit with the family; like I mentioned, my cousin’s deceased grandmother used to make some amazing ones for us and they were really happy to have these as a sort of notalgia to those cookies. I was equally pleased to break into the TJ pumpkin spice whoopie pies we picked up. They were good, but a bit too sweet for me. I wasn’t really in a sweet-tooth mood at the time, so 1/2 of one was more than enough to satisfy me. I think I liked the ones from Whole Foods a bit better because those had a cream cheese filling; if you’re going to get fat from dessert, you might as well be eating fat instead of sugar(tasty, tasty fat :-P).

We managed to escape say our goodbyes by 5, which was good because I had light for most of the way home to catch up on work. Unlike other people who actually did eat half a cake, I didn’t so I needed a little boost on the way back:

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

This was perfect in the sense that it hit my peanut butter tooth. All my grandparents had was original Skippy(so happy to have at least weened my dad off that stuff). But unfortunately it didn’t fill me up very well and I was pretty cranky by the time we got back into my town. On the one hand, all I wanted to eat was lentils and beans to actually feel full for once in the day. On the other hand, time was a factor. By only some good grace, I managed to find a vegan 365 chili in the back of our cupboard; I know no one else bought this so I assume it was something I grabbed over the Summer and just completely forgot about. Well, it certainly made my night and my meal:

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

Thank you, fiber. This was a gala apple, which was a bit too sweet to work with the mustard as good as a tart apple. But trust me, the combo does work. I would be lying if I said some apple didn’t find it’s way into the chili and I liked it. It’s all pretty much about earthy flavors so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it worked out. Thankfully my inbox was pretty empty after being gone for the day. My google reader? Not so much.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching The Food Network(why oh why don’t I get this in my dorm?) and catching up on The Next Iron Chef. Any love for this show? I liked it on principle, but honestly I don’t know if any of them seemed like a true Iron Chef to me; it’s pretty hard to rank any cook along the lines of Bobby Flay and Cat Cora except maybe the other Food Network stars who are a bit too famous to do a show like this. I digress from the food of course.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

I love my self rule about 2 probiotic sources a day because it gives me an excuse for things like this 🙂 I used 365 peanut butter because it’s nice and runny so it gets onto the frozen yogurt well. Personally, I’ve always been more of a vanilla and peanut butter person, especially with ice cream; I think a good chocolate overpowers the peanut butter but a good vanilla works right at its level to make a great overall product. After this, I had to get a little nutty 😉

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Just when I thought those cinnamon raisin yeast rolls couldn’t get more amazing, I added this. Let me explain how this jar got into my possession, or rather my dad’s. He placed a large order a few weeks ago, and the company had run out of labels for the Vanilla Peanut Butter Jar. No biggy, he still got the flavor, but the company is so nice overall that to apologize they sent him that before it was released. It’s only by pure luck it wound it’s way into this nutty characters hands. And let me tell you, it was ah-mazing. It reminded me a lot of the pepita sun butter except a little less french toasty and a little more subtley sweet. Have I mentioned since finding these online last night I’ve already ordered 15oz jars of Pepita Sun, Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower, and Chocolate Sunflower? Clearly I didn’t like it so much I had to have it again:

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Just because I don’t like the word “healthy” doesn’t mean I don’t think about things like nutrients and vitamins, which felt a little low at the end of the day. Low on vitamins and sunflower butter on the brain? This was the perfect snack for the drama of Brothers & Sisters.

Thank you to all the New Englanders who gave me props for running yesterday. Trust me: I wouldn’t have gone out if I had any clue of how freaking cold it was. This morning I definitely learned my lesson.

Coffee

Coffee

So a little low on the breakfast front as of yet. It has a spoon in it, so it counts as food, right? I’ll come up with something I’m sure. Fun fact: I drink decaf. Always. And yet I swear I need it to get up in the morning. At this point I think it’s more mental, because if I just have water I know I can’t get up and go as good as with some joe. Anyway, I’m starting to get a little hungry so time to experiment in the kitchen.

Hey It’s Tay is having

a giveaway

so say

yay!

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