Saturday, January 30, 2010

Days Eats and Fun Treats

I just wanted to share a few things I've been eating lately. This is what I ate on Thursday.


The famous green smoothie . . .



Risotto, because I'm currently obsessed, with spinach . . .


My usual salad from local grocery store. It has mixed greens, avocado, red onions, chick peas, sunflower seeds, and vinegar . . .


I also finally had a raweo. It has an amazing texture, but I do wish it was a tad sweeter.


I decided to make marble cake from the Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World for the Aussie's bday . . .


And I turned it into an Australian beach, since that's where we'd be if we were celebrating his bday in Australia.


The Aussie and I awoke today to this . . .


We were supposed to be celebrating his bday, but instead of dinner & bowling we're going to spent it cuddled up with movies and hot tea! And of course making ourselves sick on cake :) Enjoy your Sat!

-B

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Candy err Protein Bars

Protein Bars can be a healthy part of your diet, especially when they're homemade, which also helps the wallet! Averie from Loves Veggies & Yoga has a fabulous recipe that I used to make the bars below. That can be found here :
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2010/01/vegan-peanut-butter-choc-chip-protein.htm

The best part about the recipe is you can easily make it your own. I added three bananas, a lot less oats, raisins, coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp protein powder, maple syrup, and of course a few choc chips.

It turned out like this after it was in the freezer for around 2 hrs


Then I just sliced and wrapped


I made eight bars from each block (one block for me and one for the Aussie, his didn't have choc chips)


I spent under 50 cents per bar, which is awesome for quality protein bars that taste like candy bars. I keep mine in the freezer to help keep them together, since I didn't use as many oats. And it tastes amazing straight from the freezer into my tummy. Check out Averie's site for lots of other quick treats!

-B

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week Eats

This week the amazing Aussie prepared our meals. He spent several hours on Sunday by the oven. The best creation, in my opinion, was the Vegan Risotto. He had made this years ago for me in a non-vegan form and I was not a fan (of course I choked it down b/c we had only been dating for a few months), but this time it was perfect!

He got the recipe from: http://theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=268
but added about 6 cups stock instead of 4, because the risotto wasn't cooked yet. He added mushrooms, which I think are a must, and asparagus. This was even better leftover, and will certainly be made again.



He also made a baked ziti with cashew cheese from Veganomican. He replaced the pumpkin it called for with mashed sweet potato. Next time we'll triple the sweet potato, but it was still pretty yummy this time.



Doing a massive cooking spree one day a week is a great way to ensure you have healthy, easy meals for the rest of the week. So pull out those cookbooks and google those recipes! And remember focus on the recipes you've never tried, because you don't know you love it till you try it :)

-B

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eating Out

I live in a pretty small town in VA, where all-Vegan restraurants are non-existent, but eating out can still be done vegan. Indian and Thai are definitely the easiest places to find vegan dishes. On Sat the Aussie and I met up with a vegan couple to go to a local Thai restraurant. All we had to say was "no fish sauce" and all the veggie meals were vegan. After reading more about soy and its health concerns I am trying to slowly take it out of my diet, but I did decide to have it on Sat. It was amazing. I had fried tofu with broccoli and peanut sauce. The Aussie has the sweet and sour tofu, but wasn't as impressed. However, he did manage to "share" mine, as in grab his fork and start attacking my meal . . . haha.



Monday, January 25, 2010

Inspired by CCK

I'm new to the blog world, but have fallen in love with several blogs. One blog I find to have adorable recipes is Choc Covered Katie. She's doing a fabulous give-away . . . the treasured Vitamix, so check her blog out at

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2010/01/16/vitameata-vita-mix-giveaway

My beat-up blender sounds like an 80 year old grandpop coughing in the morning every time I make a green smoothie, so I'm crossing my fingers that luck will be on my side for the giveaway.

Katie's recipes include lots of quick and easy snacks, like fudge babies. I decided to try her spin on a 5yr old favorite, that I probably haven't had since I was 5! It's peanut butter and banana with any fun toppings you can think of served hammock style. The Aussie absolutely loved creating there, and I believe a lot more hammocks are in his future.



This morning at the crack of dawn, literally (4:30am), I made him an open faced banana hammock with fresh grapefruit juice.



Remember eating can be fun AND healthy!

Off to read for class,

B

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What to Drink Now

Continuing the beverage theme from last post, I wanted to remind everyone that when you give up an unhealthy drink it's important to replace it with a new, healthy, fun option. If you're used to downing the soda then days on end of plain water drinking may seem hard to swallow (pun intended . . . hehe). The easiest replacement is simply squeezing lemon into your ice-cold water. Kimberly from kimberlysnyder.net talks of the importance of making sure to get liver cleaning lemons into your diet. I drink lemon water every day. But sometimes you need something aside from H2O. One of my all-time favorite drinks is the natural and delicious water from a coconut. They sell cartons of coconut water at lots of grocery stores, but the best is cracking your own coconut (or, in my case, watching and directing the cracking of the coconut). I've been obsessed with coconuts since I found out coconut water has been used as plasma replacements in war situations. The water inside the coconut is just rain water that has been filtered through the skin of the coconut into the hollow part of the coconut over several months. For more information see:
http://allnurses-central.com/general-off-topic/coconut-water-can-295961.html.







Another drink that has all the bloggers talking is a fermented tea called Kombucha. You can make your own Kombucha if you get a mother culture (again look to Kimberly's blog if you want to see her feeding her Kombucha culture). I just started drinking Kombucha, and I was a bit freaked out about seeing gray, slug-like matter in my drink (it's the culture), but I got over the gross factor pretty quickly. Synergy has great flavors.



Off to tackle the gym,

B

Thursday, January 21, 2010

21 days clean

I have quit before, but then I find an excuse to just have a little. At first it's just a sip, but before I know it I'm downing two glasses with sushi and hitting up the vending machines. I know how horrible it is for you; I've read countless articles on why you should avoid it. So here I sit twenty-one days soda-free and I couldn't be happier. I definitely had a few bumps in the road, especially when I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant, which happens to serve the best cola around. But for my teeth, bones, and overall health I was determined to kick the habit. From now on you will find me sipping on water with lemon or unsweetened iced tea. It's a new year, so why not kick that habit that has a hold on you?



(courtesy of HowStuffWorks)


-B

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend in Review

I spent the weekend entertaining two girlfriends from New Jersey. It was filled with far too much junk and drinks, but was a good time. I made the cupcakes pictured below for my friends birthday; I used the basic vanilla cupcake recipe and buttercream frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I made the Spicy Peanut and Eggplant soup from Veganomicon. Wow was it amazing! Me and the Aussie just couldn't stop eating it. And I made a zucchini soup with a recipe my friend Karen gave me (but I added ginger and hot pepper for a bit of a kick). And I made spaghetti squash for the first time. It certainly looked cool when I was scooping it out. I haven't tried it yet, but the Aussie did. He said it was a bit bland, so I may have to find a way to spice it up (he ate it with spaghetti sauce and veggies).












I hope everyone is having a fabulous week :)

-B

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Soup

Ever feel as though all your work is for nothing? I spent the day in the kitchen and wasn't overly thrilled with any of my creations. I decided to make the famous black bean brownies, but was disappointed with both the flavor and the smell. Then I decided to make African Peanut Butter Soup for dinner. After I began eating it I realized I wasn't in the mood for it. I can be really picky with my food cravings. I'll still share the photos though and the recipe for the soup. I included rice balls with mine; to make rice balls all you have to do is overcook the boil in a bag (20-30 mins instead of 10) and then clump into balls.

African Peanut Butter Soup (my roommate from Ghana shared this recipe and I changed it a bit)

20 ounces of veggie broth
4 ounces of tomato paste
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste

Add all the ingredients in a pot and heat. Use a whisk to constantly stir as it heat. Serve over rice balls.







At least tomorrow is Friday and I have two of my girlfriends coming to visit. I'll be baking up a storm!

Till Then,

B

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thinking about the color of your plate

I was thinking today about how much time we spend thinking about food--what to eat for breakfast, what to buy at the store, where to go out for that special meal, and so on. But how often do we look down at the plate? How many times do we inhale our meals while engulfed in a show, on the internet, etc? My eating style is absolutely horrible, and I was reminded how horrible during lunch today. I went to California Tortilla for a burrito bowl and came home to watch some internet tv (I've been living sans cable since Sept). Half way through the meal I realized I wasn't even looking at the food, I was literally just shoveling it in. In general I have a tendency to eat fast, but when I eat alone this takes on another level. My lack of looking at my food made me think about how little time is spent looking at the colors (or lack thereof) on your plate. If you're eating healthy it is very clear by the bright colors on your plate--the yellow of the mango, the green of the spinach, the lovely red of the chard veins, etc. Color is really an easy way to check your health, but make sure you don't count color in the fake-foods (ie the cheetos, ice cream, cookies).

Tomorrow I'm going to try to have some amazingly colorful meals, and I hope you do the same! Tonight I'm enjoying a delish dark green smoothie (baby romaine, spinach, mango, pineapple, apple cider, chia, and hemp powder)



Till Tomorrow,

B

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Tuesday is my long day--10 hours of work and school. Which is why I'm writing this on Monday night ;) and posting on Tuesday. Haha. Even in the freezing cold I love ice cream. Perhaps my love affair stems from 4yrs of working at an ice cream parlor down the shore. After discovering what is actually in milk I didn't want to consume it any longer. I didn't drink much milk by itself, so that was no problem. However, I did love ice cream. I've tried lots of soy ice creams, but have yet to find one I love. But then I discovered the frozen banana. Lots of people are talking about the amazing wonders of the frozen banana; it turns into amazing softserve with a food processor and any non-dairy milk you desire.


I used vanilla flavored coconut milk.



And it turned into this yummy creation. I added melted vegan choc chips to be sinful :)



Remember, changing your eating doesn't necessarily mean you have to change the type of food you eat, just how it's made :) Frozen banana soft serve is healthy and delish.

Till Tomorrow,

B

Monday, January 11, 2010

First Day of Classes

I just spent an eventful morning in Family Law discussing the changes in marriage and the implications for society. Studies show that education and financial stability have an effect on your likelihood of getting divorced. Personally, I think the focus on divorce as an easy out needs to change. Marriage needs to be taken more seriously (says the girl who isn't married yet, haha).

Sunday I gobbled up another green smoothie, but this time it was spinach, 1/2 a cucumber and apple cider. It was darn tasty.



I made an easy vegan squash soup (I just googled the recipe), but I added a lot more veggie broth and seasonings. When you're working with a recipe be sure to taste test to ensure that it's to your liking. And definitely don't be afraid to add more seasonings and even different seasonings, which is what I did. I also had a mug of iced green tea. I'm going to start making my own, instead of buying it (for my purse and the environment)



And dessert, made by the handsome Aussie, is an adaptation of Averie's from Loves Veggies and Yoga raw choc. chip cookie balls. It's has cashews, rolled oats, agave, maple syrup, and black strap molasses. You can really play around with how much of each ingredient you use. They were formed into balls and rolled in coconut and then put in the freezer for 15 mins.



Off to finish the last of my vegan chicken salad :)

Till Tomorrow,

B

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vegan Junk

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Mine is going far too fast, especially with school inching closer. Vegan diets are definitely better than the traditional SAD (Standard American Diet), but even Vegans can be unhealthy (highlighted by my pictures below)

choc chip cookies with coconut milk (the flour and sugar kill the health here); i inhaled these last night for dessert . . .



sweet potato fries and cheese sauce (the sweet potato is better than its counterpart, the white potato and the nutritional yeast in the sauce is good, but there's also more of the evil white flour); these were part of a my feast lunch which included a vegan chicken salad sandwich . . .



If I'm not careful I find myself eating much too much crappy vegan food and not enough hardcore veggie and fruit meals. The Aussie and I did a bit of shopping today so we can make soup and a curry. I feel so happy when I check out and all I have are yummy veggies and fruit. Health is accomplished one day at a time, and everyday you have to decide to feed your body with proper fuel. I know I need to focus more on the healthy eating, and stop making excuses.

So lets put down our cookies and pick up our green smoothies :)

Till Tomorrow,

B

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Back Home

Ahh . . . back to sleeping in my own bed. I love to travel, but I definitely miss home.

I wanted to share some pictures from my last meal in Chicago . . .

a lemon square (I wonder how they get the texture)



a green juice



a salad with lots of greens, mustard dressing and strawberries on top



My Aussie is down for the weekend, which is wonderful. We had a yum-e Indian meal last night and scarfed down some tofu scramble today. But first we shared a green smoothie. I need to start changing up the mix. I always do spinach, pineapple, mango, ice and water.

the tofu scramble recipe from Veg Times with fresh squeezed grape fruit juice . . .



a green smoothie with my new glass straw . . .



With everyone talking about their goals for the new year, I think it's time I followed suit and created a modified vision board with written goals and pictures. I've never had a vision board, so it will be interesting to see if seeing the goals daily helps me to achieve them. I was particularly inspired by the lovely Kristen from Kristen's Raw. So go get your markers and join the vision party :)

Till Tomorrow,

B

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Artistic City

With the frigid cold of Chicago days I feel like a frozen popsicle venturing outside, but for yummy vegan food I put on my coat and freeze :) Chicago is such a lovely city; it feels very artistic with sculptures hiding around every corner and buildings breaking out of the traditional square mold.







And of course I have to share my yum-e food adventures from the Great Taste Cafe . . .

an amazing green smoothie with an apple cider base (I never thought to use apple cider, but I definitely will now)




the pizza special for the day, which was good but not amazing



and these scrumptious treats from Karyn's Cooked

a cup of tomato basil soup and side of cornbread for ONLY THREE DOLLARS!



a blueberry smoothie with home-made soy milk...WOW, WOW, WOW



a huge portion of flautas



a sweetass portion of german choc cake

\

I hope everyone is staying warm! I'll be flying back to VA tomorrow if the snow doesn't say no **fingers crossed**

Till Then,

B