Churning The Day Away

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I’ve found my new hobby

Yesterday, I spent a good portion of my afternoon working on this masterpiece. It was supposed to be vegan white chocolate ice cream, but the white chocolate flavor never really came through :-/ Then again, I don’t think I’ve had any vegan white chocolate ever, so I’m not sure what I was working with to begin with. Anyway, what came out was a delicious Coconut Cocoa Butter flavor.

Today started out very relaxingly with yogurt and raw local honey and some lightly-sweetened peanut butter over oats. Even though the weather was gorgeous, after 9 days of running I was happy to take a rest day because that’s what my body wanted.

Rest day or not, I refuse to give up some morning chocolate 😉 Followed by a good walk. When I got back, I fired up the grill and cooked for everyone.

I think I’ve taken my onion love to new, stink-breath heights. All it took to make these was tossing them in some EVOO and putting them in an aluminum foil pack cooking 5 minutes on each side. Delicious! They went perfectly with a southern style Wildwood burger and some roasted broccoli.

And right afterward, I went back to my new favorite hobby. I made a mix of 3 cups organic half and half, 3/4 cup Bob’s gluten free cake mix, 5 tablespoons Madhava light agave, and some guar gum and poured that into the ice cream maker. Like I learned from this experience, you really need to make the ice cream a good 3-4+ hours before expecting to eat it.

Why not some matching cupcakes? Made with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil and a flax egg. Getting that flax chicken to lay an egg on command is tough work! But she clucks one up eventually.

And then, since none of that would be ready for a few hours, I’ve been snacking on a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate almond butter and coconut milk for richness–delicious! I think dessert for tonight is pretty much set with my new hobby, wouldn’t you? 😉

Annnd now I’m snacking on one of the cupcakes. Flax, egg–I’ve still got it no matter what I’m cooking with.

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? I’d say my food processor has some competition now…

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Get Me Out Of The Kitchen

Posted on May 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I could have sworn I wrote a post like this before. Regardless, even if I didn’t name it this, it’s a common problem I have: I get in the kitchen and you can’t get me out of there.

Roasting Potatoes

Roasting Potatoes

Sun Tea

Sun Tea

When I got home from my run, I showered and immediately had 4 projects going in the kitchen at once. 2 of them were rather simple. I started making half-caf sun tea using 7 tea bags and some room temperature water. That I’ll refrigerate later and sweet with stevia and lemon to serve as iced tea. And I threw some potatoes in the oven to bake because I like to always have a few fully baked potatoes lying around to throw into a hash. Speaking of hash…

Home Fries And Rosemary

Home Fries And Rosemary

I threw 2 previously baked potatoes, some red onion, rosemary and EVOO in a pan to cook into home fries for lunch. I’ve been assured that, while these aren’t currently as good as some of my favorite restaurants’, it just takes time and practice.

Vanilla Cashew Cream

Vanilla Cashew Cream

And while I had that on the stove, in the blender I threw together the ingredients for raw chocolate chip ice cream. At this point, it was like a thick and frothy vanilla milkshake I could have just drank there. But I resisted because lunch was ready.

Home Fries, Veggie Burger, Gingerade Kombucha

Home Fries, Veggie Burger, Gingerade Kombucha

For protein, I had a Wildwood shitake veggie burger alongside the home fries and a gingerade kombucha to wash it all down and rehydrate.

Home Fries With Red Onion And Rosemary

Home Fries With Red Onion And Rosemary

Again, not as good as when I get it at Nick’s or Garden Grill, but getting better. The red onion and sea salt are really key for the flavor. I can’t wait to try this again with part sweet potato.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

10 Miles

10 Miles

Before my run I ate a piece of microwave vegan chocolate fudge and that powered me through 9 laps of the neighborhood. I definitely did not feel fast today but after 3 days of outdoor running on hills I guess that’s to be expected.

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

I snacked on an apple a little later on in the afternoon after I cleaned up all my messes(a food processor is not the same as a blender when it comes to liquids). Eventually, my cashew mixture had chilled…

Raw Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup amber agave
  • 1/4 cup vanilla bean infused sugar
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs

In a blender, puree the first 4 ingredients until they are fully mixed. Store this liquid in a container in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill. Once ready, pour into ice cream maker and work to manufacturer’s directions. Add the cacao nibs 5 minutes before being done. Eat immediately or keep in a tight container in the freezer.

This was so fun to make! I can’t wait to make quarts and quarts of ice cream this Summer. I let this sit in the freezer for a bit but I think the texture was actually better right after being churned. It definitely had a cashew flavor, but not in a bad way. This would be better with an actual vanilla bean but my way costs considerably less. Did I mention it was delicious? Let’s just pretend the cashews have no calories.

Raw Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Raw Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

…What? Was I supposed to have only one bowl? Yeah, not happening. While I could try to make some excuse that this is raw and that somehow makes it healthier, ice cream is ice cream. I will say that this is a really fun way besides oatmeal to get in some NUTrition.

Baked Beans, Broccoli And Turnip In Soy Sauce

Baked Beans, Broccoli And Turnip In Soy Sauce

My dinner was boring compared to that. I really wanted to keep eating raw: raw salmon, that is. But as much as I love rural America for its honey, I do not love it for its lack of Whole Foods and cheap sushi bars. I told myself if I wasn’t going to feel ethical eating that fish, I should just be happy eating beans. And I am. Seriously, buy 365 baked beans. They will change your opinion on canned goods.

Favorite raw vegetable? I don’t like many vegetables raw but baby carrots I don’t mind. Here’s a note: raw turnip does not taste all that good. Keep that in mind.

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Blurt

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

I’m sorry if this post is spazzier than a disco ball but there’s so much I have to say, I can’t think of any way to connect it all so I’m just going to blurt it out.

My official half-marathon time on this race was 1:37:51. Wow. What? I wasn’t even sure I could break 1:40 the day before even though that was my goal, and that’s far beyond what I trained at. I’m just so relieved, and glad to have no new goals(not until next year, at least…).

Pomegranate Chobani, Vegan Fudge

Pomegranate Chobani, Vegan Fudge

I might have a fudge problem, and I’m not complaining. What has led me to this conclusion? Oh, I don’t know, the mostly gone pans of microwave vegan fudge and raw vegan fudge in my fridge were a clue. And the recipe in my head for vegan peanut butter fudge isn’t helping until I can actually make it. Otherwise, this was a perfectly healthy Biggest Loser snack.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

I’m starting to realize that’s not a tablespoon of nut butter on my oatmeal. I would have thought a jar of peanut butter I opened just last week wouldn’t be 2/3rds gone already. Whoops! But really, the combination of Madhava vanilla agave and 365 peanut butter is that good.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

I slept in instead of running right away and ate breakfast first. I tried to keep the ingredients pretty well, but if I didn’t have at least 6 squares of this chocolate, nothing would have filled me up. I’m a big fan of eating what you crave because, if you don’t, it won’t matter what you eat–you just won’t be satisfied. Let there be chocolate!

I’m very proud of this post and I hope it gets picked up by healthbuzz. I didn’t think anything in my life was interesting(besides fudge) at that point, so I threw that post together. I loved your responses to “the perfect pantry”. It seems a lot of you agreed with me and would add

  • Almond Milk
  • Pitas
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Cold Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Coffee
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh

I love that Kelly would call Kombucha a staple; that’s my kind of girl. Coffee, too–how could I forget that?

9.5 Miles In 83:12

9.5 Miles In 83:12

I didn’t really “know” that I felt like running today; I told myself “just go to the gym and do what you feel. If that means walking right back, do that”. Well, I actually ran 9.5 miles and enjoyed it. The best way to be healthy is just put yourself in a healthy situation. The real good news, though, came when I got back from running. I split 2nd prize in another translation test and got a great cash reward. For knowing 2 dead languages, these are really starting to pay off, and I’m totally planning all the technology upgrades in my life these can be used for.

Tuna Salad With Mustard, Raw Broccoli, Chickpea Salad With Walnuts And Craisins

Tuna Salad With Mustard, Raw Broccoli, Chickpea Salad With Walnuts And Craisins

Lunch was thrown together on the fly to make a moved class time, but it ended up being really good. Tuna salad with mustard, chickpeas with Tierra Farm‘s raw walnuts and craisins, and raw broccoli all over spinach. Besides the fact that I adore chickpeas anytime, anyway, with some dried fruit they’re just amazing.

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Flashforward 3 hours after a class and studying for a final in office hours. I was starving by the time I got out  and loaded up this delicious ice cream dish. I was so hungry, anything would have done, but I am more than pleased to have made this combination of So Delicious Vanilla Bean coconut milk ice cream and Earth & Vine banana pineapple rum jam. It was like Pina Colada ice cream. Yum!

Organic Cameo Apple

Organic Cameo Apple

There was also an organic apple involved when the ice cream was demolished since I wasn’t quite full. But you know what this brings me to? I have to pee all the time and it’s annoying. Call it the “side-effect” of a healthy-living blogger. Whatever it is, it’s getting on my nerve. If only I could put down the salt shaker, back away from the water bottle, and throw my hands in the air. But I needed those hands to make dinner(while guzzling water).

Broccoli In A Jar

Broccoli In A Jar

Lunch was from canned food, and dinner was jarred. Aren’t containers fun?

Shitake Veggie Burger, Broccoli With PB, Spinach

Shitake Veggie Burger, Broccoli With PB, Spinach

I finished off the last of my jar of The Heat Is On by tossing steamed broccoli in it and making a veggie burger salad. This was my first time trying Wildwood Shitake veggie burgers, which actually tasted just like the original. And, yes, there were no black beans or salsa today; I felt no obligation to eat Mexican food today so I didn’t. I felt like everyone was eating Mexican today, and even Rachael Ray made some amazing fish tacos. But unless she was going to cook them for me and deliver them, I wasn’t getting them. So no festive eating done here 🙂

What do you have to blurt out? Killed a man in Reno 8 years ago and need to get it off your chest? I promise my posts to be more tidy after I’ve got it all out there.

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On Fried Foods And Chocolate

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

2 things

  1. I’m a little slow on catching up on comments, but I love how you all fully support my chocolate addiction. You won’t be disappointed today, either.
  2. I try to keep this blog food and running focused, leaving out most of the rest of my day and mood. But I’ll admit right now I’m feeling a little frustrated from the housing lottery for next year 😦 The whole thing is a stress breeder, but basically I had to throw my hands in the air, pass, and throw myself at the mercy of the housing Gods, and probably won’t know what’s the deal until the Summer. Right now, I just about want to curl into bed with a bowl of oatmeal and drift off, but I just kept repeating these thoughts in my mind: No matter what, I will be a passionate food blogger, I will run and love it, I will have my wonderful friends and family, and wherever my bed might be or rooming situation will not change that. *Sigh* It feels even better writing it out. On to the eats!
Salad With Broccoli, Snap Peas, Beats, And Golden Sesame Tofu

Salad With Broccoli, Snap Peas, Beats, And Golden Sesame Tofu

I love fried food. What did you think, I’m not human? At least fried tofu is a little healthy, right? Right? I could never fry it myself; that’s why I let Whole Foods do it and only pick it up once and a while. It made this salad glorious, along with steamed broccoli, cooked sugar snap peas, and raw beets. Yum! I haven’t eaten beets in sooo long(I hate their dubious side effect). I forgot how much they’re nature’s candy(along with nature’s red dye #40…)!

Tazo Thrive

Tazo Thrive

I sipped some of Tazo’s new Thrive tea during the meal to make it feel like I was at a Chinese restaurant. You can read my review to find out more about it, or just know that it tasted like a good green tea.

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

That salad held me over a really long time, but eventually I got munchy. Can I say just the sight of the blue butterfly makes my heart flutter a bit for this chocolate bar? I know I said I wouldn’t touch the 3 I bought until I ate up more of the ones I had opened…

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

I lied. To be fair, I said that because I didn’t want to have another half eaten chocolate bar lying around. There was no survivors here. I ate and loved the whole Endangered Species bar–no shame. The most “dubious” ingredient on the list is only soy lecithin, which–so long as it’s from non-GMO soy–I don’t really give a second thought. Can I now have another?

Spinach, Avocado, Southwest Wildwood Veggie Burger, Mango Kombucha

Spinach, Avocado, Southwest Wildwood Veggie Burger, Mango Kombucha

I packed dinner and ate it at the afformentioned lottery: spinach, 1/2 an avocado with sea salt, a Southwestern Wildwood veggie burger, and a mystic mango kombucha. Really? Could I have upped the fried food today a little more? This was seriously one of my favorite kombuchas thus far. It was also a very different drink. Because of the mango puree, this was more like a juice than a tea, and had a higher sugar content. But it still had that great, raw kombucha fizz to it and a tropical twist. I will definitely be getting this one next time they go on sale again.

I need carbs. Or anything not fried. My brain feels fried from tonight. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the morning. G’night, and go enter Lauren’s giveaway for Amazing Grass goodies.

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When Beans And Coconut Collide

Posted on April 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“If running were easy, it’d be called your mom”

That’s the thought I told myself after running my first mile this morning. It goes to show just the kind of things I’ll think without the distraction of an iPod 😉 I have to admit, the first few miles today were really tough, and I couldn’t tell if it was from being sick or if it’s because running’s a sport and those are meant to be challenging.

10.72 Miles In 1:29:38

10.72 Miles In 1:29:38

I stuck with it. I’m a tough, old bat. It didn’t get easier, but at least it got more amusing. I got to explore most of the half marathon route I’ll be running. And, for the first time in far too long, I did it all without an iPod. That kind of time lets you think a lot to yourself. Do you ever run without any distractions, just your mind?

Chickpea And Mulberry Salad With Simple Coconut Maple Dressing, Mo' Betta Odwalla

Chickpea And Mulberry Salad With Simple Coconut Maple Dressing, Mo' Betta Odwalla

This meal was as thrown together as any to make it to class in time. I wanted a chickpea salad with mulberries, but to avoid cheese and dairy. To keep it interesting, I tossed it in some simple coconut maple dressing. 2 ingredients, no refined sugar, creamy and satisfying–what’s not to love?! On the side, for my wellness, I had an Mo’ Beta Odwalla.

Mo' Beta Odwalla

Mo' Beta Odwalla

This was delicious. I loved that it was all fruit juice or all fruit puree. And it packed some serious vitamin content if we’re to believe the labeling. My biggest shock, however, was noticing stevia on the ingredient list! Don’t get me wrong–it’s way better than finding evaporated cane juice. But why did it need any sweetener with all this fruit? Regardless, I hope this’ll knock back any cold or flu.

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I managed to get through my classes only by thinking about the wonderful ice cream awaiting me at my dorm to enjoy in this hot, sunny weather. The catch was it wasn’t actually that warm; it just looked really nice out the windows sitting in class 😦 I could definitely still go for ice cream, though!

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I just love the specks of vanilla bean in here; seeing them definitely make me smile 🙂 And because it’s non-dairy and sweetened with agave, it’s a great choice for me to cut back on refined sugars and dairy! I love finding excuses to eat ice cream like that.

Nature's Path Peanut Choco' Granola Bar

Nature's Path Peanut Choco' Granola Bar

OK, I’m not trying to cut all refined sugars out of my diet, so I didn’t feel bad breaking into this peanut choco chewy granola bar by Nature’s Path. I could have had an apple, or a pear, but when you’re in a granola mood, only a granola bar will do, ya know? Actually, this didn’t do much; I guess my first day back to running and my hunger was ready to come out, guns ablazing, too.

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger, Broccoli, The Heat Is On PB, Mustard

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger, Broccoli, The Heat Is On PB, Mustard

Mmmm, fried food 😀 There was no coconut at dinner(what a shame), but there were beans in the form of tofu in my veggie burger. I reviewed this Southwest Wildwood burger last semester and picked it up this weekend for a flavorful meal in place of fake meat which so often has gluten. Like I say in my review, these are taaaasty. But that’s probably because they’re fried. It’s good oil though, so it’s healthy, right? Right? To add a touch more fat, I had The Heat Is On peanut butter and mustard with some steamed broccoli. Delicious and nutritious.

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger

What’s your favorite veggie burger? I have a motive in asking this question. I’m looking for some brands to try because I simply don’t know/have a favorite since moving to an all-natural diet and then giving up prepared soy for Lent. I like the Wildwood burgers, but I’m not sure if they’d grill well, and the outside is entirely fried which, while tasty, might not be an everyday thing.

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Wildwood Product Review Recap

Posted on December 4, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , |

A few weeks ago, I received an array of Wildwood products to sample and review. Wildwood has a huge line of vegan, organic products, with everything from yogurt to veggie burgers to tofu to hummus. One key signature feature of Wildwood is that they sprout their soy beans first which optimizes the absorbed nutrition and digestion in the body, giving their soy products a real edge. If anything, I enjoyed simply discovering not a new product but a new brand that I could rely on for many different and varying items. Here are my reviews for the 6 I was sent to sample.

Strawberry Soy Yogurt

7.5/10: Wildwood makes their yogurt with an astounding 7 strands of probiotic bacteria. And a combination of soy with flax and other agents gives each cup a heft dose of protein, fiber, and omega-3. I liked that this yogurt had a distinctive soymilk taste to it; since I’m not vegan and don’t avoid dairy, when I have a soy product it’s often for that distinctive flavor. The strawberry wasn’t very pronounced or sweet, which I should have guessed it would be like from the low sugar content. It was nice, however, to have whole chunks of the real fruit.

Peach

9/10: I challenge any dairy yogurt to compete against this product. In a serving, this soy yogurt has 7g soy protein and 5g of fiber. I was surprised at how thick this one was, as well! It was somewhere between greek and plain style, which was much appreciated after some runnier experiences. The flavor was delicious, with chunks of real peaches, and all at a moderately low sugar level with only 17g. With a good, southern peach flavor, I’ll definitely be making this my peach go-to.

Original Veggie Burger

8/10: Made with sprouted soy, this is a step up from the regular veggie burger with easily digested protein. Against its competetors, the burger holds up spectacularly on the grill–something I think is a must for any faux-meat burger. The flavor really isn’t anything more than a generic fried taste, which I can’t say I didn’t enjoy. Nutritionally, this has a good amount of fat, but it’s all healthy and probably not much in comparison to real burgers made with any flavorful and juicy meat. I definitely enjoyed this more than my standard veggie burger.

Teryaki Baked Tofu

6/10: As with all of Wildwood’s tofu, this had impressive nutrition with 14g of protein per 3 ounces and an ease of digestion due to their sprouting technique. And it was plenty simple to dice and heat for a quick dish. Unfortunately, that was about all of the highlights of this. Overall, I found the flavor dreadfully bland. After reviewing the ingredients, I would have liked any of them to be stronger: the ginger, the soy sauce, the brown rice syrup–any of them. This is one flavor I probably wouldn’t get again, at least not without a bottle of soy sauce or heavy oriental marinade on hand.

Savory Baked Tofu

7/10: In terms of tofu, Wildwood really takes the trouble out of the meal by pre-flavoring and baking their product, using their own sprouted beans. I loved how easy this was to prepare with a microwave. It had a distinct, savory flavor that had me questioning it but also reaching for more bite after bite. In some ways, it reminded me of a wheaty piece of bread. Nutritionally, it was also quite good with a fair portion of protein and low sugar.

Southwestern Burger

8/10: This burger has a double kick; firstly, Wildwood kicks the standard veggie burger up a notch by using sprouted soy beans as the base, making the bodies digestion easier. Then they kick their standard burger up a notch with spicy southern spices. I liked the flavor here; there was definitely a kick of cayenne and pepper. Texture-wise, they were a bit soft, but at least they held together which is more than I can say for other veggie burgers I’ve had. That was another noticible difference about these: They really are veggie burgers and don’t try to imitate their meat counterparts. Nutritionally, Wildwood might have had a heavy hand with the canola oil when they fry cooked these. That also might have been why I enjoyed them so much, particularly the skin. For a veggie and not faux meat burger, I’d definitely consider buying these again.

And lastly there’s an Amazing Grass giveaway at Averie’s blog! It’s chocolate, too!

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Persimmon Failure

Posted on December 3, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good afternoon. Thanks to all the praises on the 16 miles 🙂 I’ll definitely be thinking of those whenever I step it up again! Even though that was yesterday and I didn’t run at all today, I have felt like a bottomless pit. Delayed reaction much? Breakfast really didn’t do it for me so I had to pull out a bar in Greek.

Gnu Espresso Chip Bar

How awkward is it to pull out a crinkly wrapper in a small room? I reviewed it here. The flavor was spot on for what I would expect, though it wasn’t quite what I was wanting at the time. I’m also wondering how much caffeine it had in it? Because I am absolutely dragging now and that might have been the source… Well the 12g of worked for a bit; I decided that since the weather was so nice(62 degrees!) I’d take a walk to my big Whole Foods. However, while I wanted to eat there, I didn’t want to pay there, so instead I brown bagged it.

Broccoli, WildWood Original Veggie Burger

My favorite greasy, fatty veggie burger(I really do mean that in a good way, because portioned fried food definitely makes you feel better as we’ve discussed). I also made a few purchases to round out the meal.

Root Beer Zevia, Persimmon

So apparently Zevia’s are cheaper individually than in a 6-pack? What? The persimmon was on sale this week for 1.50 so I was SUPER excited to give it a try. Unfortunately, this is how much I got through:

2-Bite Persimmon

I think I’m allergic to persimmons. I’ve never had an allergy attack to anything, but after the first bite my mouth felt numb and inside was very dry like cotton. It kind of freaked me out, but I had to take another bite. This time I had the same feeling all the way down my throat as it went down. I was honestly a bit scared because no one knew where I was or anything like that but thankfully that was the worst of it and I promptly threw it out(all 1.50 of it >:-()

After that mini-debaucle, I organized my coupons and studied the sales as I went through the aisles. Had I been a savvyer shopper, I could have got PB and carob chips 3 bucks last sales period, but no luck. Fortunately, soy yogurt has never been cheaper! If you’ve ever been curious why I rave about So Delicious Soy Yogurt, now is the time to give it a whirl. Anyway, I spent way too long in there(as always) and tried making up time on the walk back. When I got in the door I grabbed this immediately.

Apple

They may not always be fresh, but I know they won’t screw me over like a persimmon(sorry, but I’m a bit bitter on this one). I also took count of what I purchased and entered that into my food budget.

Groceries

My two favorite yogurts–one being cow’s milk and one soy milk. In one of the containers is shredded salmon from the salad bar(such a cheaper option than the prepared food section) and the other has milk chocolate covered peanuts(!!). Can’t wait to have those over oats or yogurt. Lastly, I got a curry simmer sauce; I don’t know why but the Indian food seemed so appealing on the salad bar. And I love buying the sauces and flavors so that I can make my own as opposed to buying 1 meal because for the same price you’re getting a good 4-5 meals out of them.

It’s not even 4 o’clock, and I’m putting on my lazy-day pants. I’m exhausted! And bogged down with work. I don’t mean to be a depresser though, so I assure you my spirits are bright because I’m listening to this Christmas album which I just bought for 1.99 off Amazon. What should I make for dinner with my new finds? It’s just me tonight, so I’m ready for suggestions 🙂

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Locked Out

Posted on December 1, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So much for getting back into the swing of things! I couldn’t have been more off my game yesterday if I’d crashed my car into a tree and then drew attention to myself by releasing a sketchy statement about it. I completely forgot the first rule of morning time management: The days you want extra time are exactly the days you won’t get it. Regardless, I skipped doing the dishes and ran out the door at 10:45 to grab coffee before class. For the first time, I forgot my camera. What if yesterday was the day I ran into Emma Watson and explained to her about my blog and she offered to pose for a photo with me?… I like to dream big so that whatever happens in the day isn’t a disappointment. Well that wasn’t the case, but I did get my coffee, sit through an rough hour of “welcome back, now work” class, and hustle on back to my dorm to pick up where I left off. After cleaning, emailing, and blog reading, I made another meal of leftovers.

Cheesy Broccoli, Tofurkey Slice, Acorn Squash With Caramel Mustard

I think from now on I’ll just cook everything on the weekend and only eat “leftovers” all week long because they’re always the best. The broccoli was simply steamed and mixed with a slice of cheese from Trader Joe’s. The acorn squash was delicious with the caramel mustard, which I definitely had a heavy hand with(how could I not?). And the Tofurkey roast was still mighty fine, though I made sure not to overdo it again because apparently too much Tofurkey is rough on the stomach! Cost for calorie, these aren’t so bad to buy on sale after the holidays eat throughout the week. Here’s hoping to more in the future!(besides what I still have as leftovers :-P)

I don’t know where my head was because I almost left my room and went to class without any of the books I needed. In history we got back our 3 midterm essays, all of which I did really well on and lifted my spirits. Then we got our final paper topic–yikes! That’ll be 12-15 pages of get-me-out-of-here. After class I “had” to dash back to my dorm to pick up stevia packets for a coffee before epic poetry(going to class without a coffee would be dangerous). Unfortunately, as New Englanders know, the weather was awful in the afternoon and my plans to grab something at Whole Foods were no more. I headed back to my dorm, at which point I was struck with a Jimmy Neutron brain blast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Shortcut Cream Cheese Frosting

I loved this recipe so much, I had to post it immediately. That is seriously going to change the way I eat anything carby(probably not for the better but oh well). Oprah had some awesome guests on, including Sugarland, all singing Christmas songs! It was pretty awesome–I wish I’d known to tivo it. Afterwards I had to get out even if it was raining. Naturally I chose the bookstore.

Coffee At The Bookstore

I realized I forgot all my cold-weather clothes at home, as well as an umbrella and q-tips. Again, where was my head? After perusing I couldn’t find any good coats, and the umbrellas were a bit much(and I completely forgot about the q-tips :-() so I left empty handed. I was still feeling a bit snackish, though, so I dug up this bar back at the dorm.

Lemon Ginger Gnu Bar

Wowza! I think this bar had the most flavor out of any of their bars, and I really really liked it. The lemon and ginger were both loud and it made a fun study snack. While doing some work before dinner, I realized I hadn’t heard from my friend if we were doing dinner. That’s because I forgot to turn my phone on in the morning and it’d been off all day… wtf. After getting some texts and finding out I was too behind for the rest of the world, I ended up grabbing something and eating in.

Vegan Roasted Vegetables, Sweet Potato, Wildwood Teryaki Tofu

Do you see the sun? It needed to come out at some point. Before I dug into this, I realized, I took my only fork home before break and forgot to bring it back. What’s wrong with me? Chopsticks and my baby spoon it was. Unfortunately, the flavors were not nearly as sunny; this was one of those meals that just felt like a waste after eating it(except the sweet potato, which would take a lot to feel like a waste). I wish this tofu had half the flavors on the ingredient list but in the end it tasted much like their savory flavor and wasn’t teryaki at all. As for the veggies, I tried to ignore the massive amounts of olive oil, but I had to stop 3/4ths the way through and throw out the rest. I don’t mind healthy fats, but I’m not a big fan of olive oil :-/ Nuts, peanut butter, avocado–all good. But this was too much to an absurd amount.

The night just went downhill from there. Heroes was OK but nothing to draw my attention, and my stomach just felt off, which I’m going to go ahead and blame on the vegetables. I did some light reading but realized I was tired. Could I go to bed at 9 and be asleep at 10? Was that allowed? Why the hell not, so I shut down my computer early, and figured out what to have right before sleeping.

 

2% Greek Yogurt With Strawberry Jam And Strawberry White Chocolate

Well the night wasn’t a complete bust; I removed 1oz plain and replaced it with 1oz full fat yogurt to give the base a 2% taste. Then I swirled in strawberry jam(technically “conserve”) and topped with a shaved Divine bar and some more jam. Just what I need before going to be–sugar. Midway through this I realized I forgot to brush my teeth, and so went to the bathroom to do that. In the 3 minutes I was in there, my roommate must have came home and grabbed something, locking the door and leaving. I was locked out in my pajamas, glasses, barefoot with a toothbrush–glorious. I freaked out for a minute and tried running outside to find him but no luck. Thankfully, one of the RC’s on the other side of the dorm was home and called campus services on my behalf. She also lent me slippers to wear while I waited outside(in 40 degree weather) for the campus security to show up. By the time I got in my room, i completely missed Big Bang Theory and was quite livid. The only thing I could do from wanting to tell someone off was eat this.

 

Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I’m not sure how well that worked, but heating it a little extra and just holding it in my hands for warmth made me happy. I totally didn’t get to bed early like I had planned, and the entire night felt like a waste. I maybe got 20-30 minutes more of sleep than normal–maybe. When I woke up I just needed to run it out, so I grabbed this and just left:

 

Amazing Grass Berry Energy Bar

I swear I always run farther than planned when I have an Amazing Grass bar. Stock up while they’re still on sale! I was first thinking 8, then pushed it to 10, then settled at 12. 3 days in a row? I think that’s a new favorite distance. My time was a little slower(1:41:11) but not bad. I was very pleased that my room wasn’t locked when I came back this time, and I was able to get in and make a quickie breakfast.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Maple Syrup, Plain Chobani With Blueberry Jam And A Double Chocolate Pillow

Is there anything better than opening up a new jar of PB? I bought this Sart Balance with agave to replace the one I had with molasses–it’s just better! And perfect on some salty oats with maple syrup. And the yogurt–yum! I love the combination of chocolate and blueberry but it’s so hard to find in foods unless I make it myself. The pillow cookie made a perfect, rich cocoa topping.

How about a question of the day, shall we? Tell me either your worst story of being locked out(fortunately this hasn’t happened too me more than 2 or 3 times in my life) or your most annoying roommate story(I realize my roommate could have been a lot worse so now I want to hear about those who were). And here’s to December not being as bad as November ended!

 

 

 

 

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Fried Food Makes You Feel Better

Posted on November 25, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

**Caveat: Amazing Grass is having an awesome sale right now! Go to there website(accessible through the button to the right) and enter the code BAR09 on any purchase of Amazing Grass bars and get 20% off! Isn’t that awesome? I think I’m going to have to stock up on the chocolate peanut butter protein bars–so good**

I’m pretty sure that title is the last thing people who eat around me would expect me saying but–let’s face it–it’s true; and there ain’t nothing wrong with food fried in good oils in moderation 😉 Wait, where was I? Oh yes, yesterday morning was filled by a light-hearted class in which 3 people ditched for Thanksgiving were mysteriously sick. 3 might not sound like a lot for a college class, but you notice it in the Classics. I was so relieved when I got out I wanted to jump for joy’ instead, I kicked it into gear to get back to my dorm so I could pack and go. I basically combed the room, thinking of everything I could possibly need for 5 days and throwing it somewhere else. Around 1 I realized I was hungry. I wanted a repeat of yesterday’s amazing spicy oats, but I needed something faster and portable so I racked my brain for a veggie dish.

Broccoli Salad And Flamegrilled Gardenburger With The Heat Is On PB

Stewed Tomatoes With Crumbled Morningstar Breakfast Patty, One Lucky Duck Raw Rosemary Quackers

Ok, this was still basically my breakfast, just with oats metamorphosed into broccoli. I just could not get enough of The Heat Is On! The stewed tomatoes were dining hall fare and I wish I could have thought of something more intricate to do with them but I did not have the chance. It game me an opportunity, though, to sample and review the One Lucky Duck Rosemary Quackers. They were not exactly what I was expecting/hoping for, but it was fun to try something raw. I think I’ll be sticking with baked chips from now on, though(and, yes, the occasional fried :-)) Well this is what things looked like when my dad showed up:

Packed And Ready To Go

That’s 2 bags of food, an extra bag of clothes/toiletries, a backpack, laundry, a coffee maker, and a stevia plant. I suppose 5 days is a while and deserves all this, right?(Back me up here). We swung by the mail room to pick up some last minute arrivals, and hit the open road. I got a package from Gnu Foods and I couldn’t wait to dig in, so I didn’t.

Chocolate Brownie Gnu Foods Bar

Um, yum?! This hit my chocolate tooth. And the nutrition was astounding. I loved reading the company info they sent in the car(because I was doing that instead of work). They’ve created their own blend of grains and seeds to give each bar 12 grams of fiber! When I read that, I took it slow and drank a ton of water–smart move. I can’t wait to try the other flavors now, though somebody remind me NEVER to eat this pre-run(for obvious reasons).

Before we got home, we swung by Framingham to hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It’s really fun when these are right next to each other. I tried to stick with just buying essentials/sales and coupon items/what we still needed for Thanksgiving, because I know we’re going to have a lot of leftovers pretty soon. In the end, I think I stuck to my mission mostly.

Groceries

The big unmarked bag is about 2lbs of steel cut oats, like I go through anything else that much. The lemon bars were a new Trader Joe’s product for Turkey Day as is the TruWhip(can’t wait to try this!). Of course, the one thing that made me ditch my entire plan of items was my vegan whole wheat cinnamon raisin rolls. But seriously, how often do you find these? I went with the grab and run method… The fiber bar held me over really well but by the time we got home and I completely unpacked it was 5 and I was famished. I went for a meal rather than a snack.

Amy's Shepherd's Pie With Colby Jack Cheese

An Amy’s meal, that is. I think I’d been wanting to try this for a few months; last weekend I bought it with a coupon on the cheap, and I broke it out yesterday. I was not going to wait 45 minutes for the oven, so instead I nuked it for 3 minutes and topped it with 1 ounce of colby jack cheese which I’m pretty sure would have had a “Don’t touch. For Thanksgiving” note on it were my mom more careful. The meal was okay, but I don’t think it ever would have held me over on its own as a dinner or anything. I supplemented this with another snack.

Empire Apple

2 apples in 2 days? I think I’m setting a personal record. A very sad and low personal record. Thankfully, unlike the last one, this tasted juicy and fresh. Considering I picked it 3 weekends ago, I’m now wondering how old the apples from the dining hall must be… I caught up on Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef–you know, my chef shows. As a family, we all were slackers on dinner, so when the time came and passed and no one was doing anything it was a little frustrating. I felt hanger(hunger –> anger) coming on, so I went for something I knew would make me a happy boy again.

WildWood Original Veggie Burger, Broccoli With Soyaki Sauce

I’d never actually tried this veggie burger before, but I was 99% sure I’d like it because it’s fried. I learned in 11th grade bio that humans crave fat because of our ancient ancestors who got the opportunity to eat so little that nature is to pile it in and store it when we come across it. Why fight nature, especially when it’s healthy fat and portioned, right? Needless to say, it hit the spot, and I think I’m making a permanent place in my fridge for those little fried wonders.

I spent quite literally the rest of my night tying up loose ends and doing other work on the computer. It wasn’t the dream way to kick off vacation but C’est la vie. It gave me a great chance to watch The Biggest Loser and have some blogger faves as dessert:

 

Oikos In A Cherry Butter Jar With Dried Cherries, Cherry Dark Chocolate, And Vanilla Sugar

Can we fry this somehow? Paula? Scratch that. I think jam jars are so much easier to empty out than nut butters. Fortunately, both are good options. I just love the spoonfuls of whole jam towards the end, which are bites of tart heaven. I’m really enjoying all you new commentors who might have read this for a while but just got to saying something and getting to find new blogs that way. Keep it coming! Afterwards I just had to break into these.

 

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll

Food like this are what rededicate myself to an all-natural diet; I challenge any mass-bakery product to rival this. And it’s vegan to boot! It almost makes me think I could be vegan… and then I remember yogurt, cream cheese, flavored nut butter, fish, meat, etc. It wouldn’t work.  But is anything better than peeling back layers of yeasty dough? I think not. Maybe… Paula, can we fry this? I wish I were kidding here.

 

Peanut Butter Gnu Bar With Mighty Maple

I was a little worried eating this right before bed. 12g of fiber? That’s dangerous. But everything worked out fine, and this was a great peanut butter treat. This bar probably would have been a little bland on its own but with an extra dose of peanut butter it was the perfect piece of toast. I find it funny that most of America has trouble getting in enough fiber when I got 100% just between 2 bars both of which felt like “desserts”. I think Americans need to learn to love fiber more.

I did was not feeling the pressure to get up and run this morning with no warm gym and treadmill to entice me. I slept in almost until 9(that’s really late for me) and instead spent way too long deciding on how to make a bowl of oatmeal. I am very happy with the conclusion of that thinking.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Mocha Milk Chocolate Frosting

Holy yum. Let me walk you through this one. I did a standard pumpkin base with 1 1/2 tablespoons Smart Balance Agave Sweetened. I’ve decided I really like this version better than the molasses sweetened; I don’t know why but the flavor “works” better. For the frosting, I melted a Newman’s Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate square and then mixed that with 2oz sweetened Oikos. Ahhhhhmazing. The milk chocolate with the peanut butter comes out just like my childhood favorite candy.

I might head out for 6.7 miles in a bit. Or I might not run at all today. While I’d enjoy it, there’s plenty I have to do around here that would keep me occupied. I might just have to make an identical bowl of this oatmeal.

 

 

Secret Santa Alert!! Who doesn’t love this time-honored tradition? Well there’s a blogger’s version about; visit this post for all the info to join in!

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Vegan Thursday

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

I’ve done a vegan Friday, yesterday was vegan Thursday. 5 more days to go and I’ve knocked out a week of being vegan. Not too shabby, eh? This time around, however, I was much less prepared; I literally decided I would be vegan when I made my breakfast and chose not to put a greek yogurt frosting on the oatmeal.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Nog And Cinnamon Soy Yogurt

It was good, albeit not 100% what I wanted, though that’s my own fault for not properly stocking up rather than anything else. All I can say is thank god coffee is vegan, because I would not have made it through Greek class without it. In class, we translated about the courier at Marathon who ran 136 miles from Athens to Sparta in a day. Yeah, I think I have a bit of a ways to go, but how cool is it that running was someones job?! When I got back to my dorm, I scrambled to think of what I had that was vegan lying around. Thankfully I got that wonderful package from Wildwood on Wednesday so I had options.

Southwestern Wildwood Sprouted Tofu Burger With The Heat Is On PB Over Broccoli

Strawberry Wildwood Soyogurt

Like I said, BIG thanks to Wildwood for saving me on this one. Plus, I got to get a ton of reviews out of the way, such as this yogurt and this veggie burger. The yogurt was a bit thin; I think after greek yogurt everything’s a bit of a let down. The burger salad was quite delicious and spicy! I enjoyed this while watching Days. Would you believe me if I told you I’ve been watching it on and off since 7th grade? I saw an episode while eating lunch at Foxwoods around Christmas time in which someone got murdered and it’s been my crack ever since.

I tried to pay extra close attention to see how my vegan eats made me feel as opposed to my regular meals. This lunch left me stuffed much longer than most I have, and I don’t think it was much of a calorie increase at all. If anything, this meal was heavy on fats, which makes me think I should increase fat intake in place of some protein and sugars in my regular eating. I wasn’t at all hungry at 3 when I went out for a little escapade.

Blue State Decaf

I’m low on coffee in my dorm. Like, really low. Thankfully, I have a few bags waiting for me at home to pick up, but I decided to buy some then so I had some left for this morning.

Thanksgiving Cards

I also swung by the mailroom and found Thanksgiving cards from my mom and grandmother(by which I mean 2 from my mom). It’s so much fun to get mail, even though she wrote out in the cards how they’ll be seeing me for Thanksgiving(hell, my mom will be seeing me tonight…). I worked a bit and wasn’t hungry for a snack until into Oprah.

Peach Wildwood Soyogurt With Grain-Sweetened Chocolate Chips

Unfortunately, this was a bit of a compromise yet again. What I really wanted was some nice, thick greek yogurt. Or at least plain soy yogurt that I could play with. On the bright side this was one of the best peach yogurts I’ve had, ever. And with high protein, fiber, and omega-3’s and low sugar, it was a healthy option too. After 5, I grabbed this and went out:

Banana Nut Kardea Bar

I’ve had this bar to review for quite some time; I was so happy to see it’s vegan, too! I liked the spices and earthiness to it, though neither the banana nor the nut played a very large part. I had gone out for some more coffee and to pick up some veggies dinner. I also looked around Thayer street to find if anywhere sold plain soy yogurt. No luck 😦 But I did find an elusive pomegranate Chobani to not be enjoyed yesterday.

Wildwood Savory Baked Tofu, Broccoli With Ketchup, Carrot And Zucchini Slaw With Steak Sauce

Again, a bit of compromising and a big save from Wildwood. In my mind, the carrot and zucchini was going to be part of some great, creamy slaw, until I remembered no greek yogurt. Ugh. The steak sauce was good but a little strong for my tastebuds. The broccoli with ketchup, on the other hand, was genius and delicious. And I enjoyed, though didn’t love, this tofu. I’m not even sure what “savory” should be like, so I hesitated reviewing it in the first place. I think the flavor ended up reminding me of whole wheat bread, in a good way. I’m not going to lie–I’ve eaten plenty a slice of bread straight out of the bag to much enjoyment.

Survivor was sooo good. There has been so much gameplay and twisting this season, I just love it! And once that was done, I had the real reason I participated in Vegan Day.

The Vegan

You know it; it was so I had an excuse to get The Vegan from The Cupcakerie. It’s a vegan chocolate base with vegan vanilla bean buttercream frosting–yum! The bit of food dye on the top probably isn’t natural but that’s the extent of the .1% artificialness I let in and it won’t kill me. I like to eat my cupcake like this because I take tiny bites and otherwise the whole thing gets top heavy. Plus the frosting to cake ratio works out much better on those last bites 🙂

Grey’s Anatomy was great last night; I hope someone else out there watched it instead of The Office(you can watch both online afterwards anyway). It was holiday themed and NOTHING goes better together than holiday and drama. I mean, c’mon, what can be made more tragic than the holidays? After I finished all my homework for today(which I’ll admit didn’t look like it was going to happen), I made one last vegan meal.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Tempeh Bacon

Have I mentioned how much I love Fakin’ Bacon? Again, I wasn’t prepared for today, I just always keep this stuff on hand. It’s so delicious and much easier to prepare in a dorm than the real stuff, not to mention healthier. It goes great with the sweet, maple flavor. And personally, maple is the best sweetener. Who needs honey? Let the bees have it. I’ll take my sugar from a tree, thank you.

This morning, I woke up a little zapped of energy. I grabbed the densest, perkiest bar I could find.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein

Much better. I still didn’t feel 100% so I kept my pace very slow. I also had planned to go 13.1 miles but decided to stop after 12 in 1:43:16 because I just didn’t have time to do more. Oh well, I’ll hit that half another day. When I got back I was ready for some very non-vegan eats.

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Pumpkin Chobani, Chocolate Amazing Grass

Butter toffee peanut butter. Yum. I’m almost out, so I need to reorder from Naturally Nutty and soon. The cookie actually is vegan but it’s nothing without the peanut butter. I also enjoyed some yogurt(thank you, oh thank you) and my first taste of Amazing Grass drink! I went with the 8 gram chocolate supplement. I used plain water since I don’t have milk. Overall it came out a bit watery(duh–because I didn’t follow the directions) but had great flavor and outstanding nutrition. I could definitely get into this stuff 🙂

I’d like to say that looking back Vegan 4 A Day was a wonderful experience I absolutely loved but that’s just not the case. The first time around that’s how I felt, and I really understood my relationship with animal food products. This time around, however, it felt more like self-deprivation than self-learning. I don’t like learning things twice. I even get annoyed when I teacher recaps what they taught in the last class. Definitely try the experience once, I’d say, but that’s about it.

In spirit with the day, I thought I’d mention you can go to P.B. Loco’s website and now buy their Dairy-free pack for 4 vegan flavors they offer. Best yet, add the coupon code DAIRYFREE and get a free Munchy Crunchy! I think that’s something vegans and meat eaters can appreciate 🙂

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