VG-kind of day

Howdy eaters!

Congratulations, you made it through Thursday. Are you getting a little thirsty? I am…

And I’m not thirsty because today has been a stressful day. On the contrary, today has been so absolutely marvelous! Could that be because I took a little of Vegan Godfather’s advice?

He suggests a liquid breakfast. That’s not going to happen. This ‘Baby needs some chew! But I got pretty close today:

Green “oats”

Spinach, water, banana, apple chunks, peach chunks, vanilla protein, cinnamon, peanut butter, (hardly any) oats.

This fueled me through editing and then…a nap. I really need to go to bed earlier.

But that meant that by the time I woke up it had been a couple of hours since I’d eaten my carby breakfast. So I took another cue from VG and had a shake-n-shake:

Iced coffee, soymilk, vanilla protein, cocoa, nutritional yeast (which I couldn’t even taste, but it gave me so nutrients and whatnot so hooray).

I drank half before and half after my workout (which meant I got about 25g total).

My workout could be another reason today was so damn good. Because my workout was fan-freaking-tastically ah-maze-ing! Yeah. I said it.

I started with 10 minutes of walking on the treadmill (because the ellipticals were all taken). I had no knee pain during this. I then did 30 minutes of arms and abs. Since I’ve been focusing on these two body groups lately I’ve really been noticing a difference. I haven’t upped my weight in anything yet, but I’m able to do a handful more reps of just about everything than when I first got hurt.

And if all that wasn’t good enough I was even able to finish my workout with cardio—20 minutes of moderate work on the elliptical, to be exact.

I may not exactly be back to my fighting form, but I got to do one of my beloved cardio sandwiches. No sandwich has ever been so satisfying!

I felt so good, in fact, that after a shower I did something I haven’t done in who knows how long…

Wore a midriff baring shirt!

As you can see…

this doesn’t exactly show a lot. But it does hug the muffin top/love handle/oh please no part of my stomach. But today, after working so hard to be able to work so hard in the gym, I felt great. And I wanted to show off all my hard work (even if it may not be as great as other people’s).

Once I was done checking myself out (which was within 30 minutes – 1 hour of finishing my workout) I ate lunch:

Another leftover taco with schmear and a bowl of applesauce with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds.

VG recommends eating a protein rich meal during the day, but I didn’t have any handy.

Though I did nab some protein when dinner rolled around:

Steamed green beans with hoisen and BBQ tofu mixed with a “stuffing cupcake.”

I really do love tofu. So very much.

Once my sweet tooth kicked in I made another batch of protein-packed brown rice pudding, but this time I swapped the sugar for half a banana (because who needs more sugar, anyway).

And I sprinkled a little cocoa on top.

Naturally sweet, just like…me? Maybe.

And now, m’dear dear eaters, it’s time for this ‘Baby to kick back, relax, and get some rest. I’ll be up bright and early for my MRI tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Cheers!

A Little Cooky

Happy hump day eaters!

We’re halfway to the weekend—hooray! I’m especially excited for the weekend because I think I’m starting to go a little crazy. Look at my eats and you’ll see what I mean.

Breakfast:

Curious why my usually purple oats have this strange hew? Spinach.

I got the idea from Stephen and Ashley over at (never home) maker. She added kale to a bowl of oats with good results so I decided to give spinach a whirl…literally.

I blended some spinach, water and jam in my Magic Bullet until it was creamy and…

…delicious?

Then I added more water, oats, quinoa, frozen berries, vanilla protein, cocoa, and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and voila!

Strangely delicious.

Then for lunch I put a few of my farm market stars to use—

For stuffed peppers.

I mixed this purple pepper, some red onion, brown rice, tempeh and plenty of marinara sauce and stuffed these peppers to the gills.

I accidentally made some extra stuffing so, in the spirit of not wasting food, I spooned the rest into a muffin tin.

Everything got topped with some extra marinara sauce and baked.

Does anyone else think stuffed peppers are a little circa-1970s? I felt vaguely like a mother from a TV Land show.

I spent the rest of my afternoon doing strange things like researching Manhattan real estate and figuring out how long it would take me to drive to various places. I guess part of my crazy is stir-crazy from the 3 days of rain we’ve had.

When I finally tore myself away from planning my escape I did something that some consider cooky, but is pretty routine for me—yoga. One of my ‘mates walked in a laughed because, as she says, I’m “such a hippy” for doing yoga while listening to folk music. Go figure.

After getting my hippy on it was time to feed:

Leftover tacos with a chipotle black bean hummus spread, and apple and peach slices dusted in cinnamon.

I felt like adding a little something something to the tacos and you can never go wrong with hummus.

See the spread peaking out? Yum.

The rest of my night has been uneventful, save for eating too many peanut butter pretzels and finding my new favorite show—Weeds.

Yes, I am aware that it’s been on for quite a while. But I grew up without HBO and just recently got Netflix, so I’m always late to the party. Oh well. I love it.

What are some cooky things you’ve done lately?

Any TV shows you were late to the party on?

G’night eaters.

Mixin’ It Up

Hello eaters!

I feel the need to mix things up a little today. Aren’t you ready for a bit of a change?

I thought so.

So, instead of breakfast, lunch, and dinner I’ve got the highlights of my morning, afternoon, and evening.

Morning:

I went to the orthopedist this morning to check up on my bum knee and my shitty shins. Sounds like fun?

Actually, I was more nervous for this doc appointment than I normally am (and I don’t like doctors). First, I was worried that I’ll be sidelined even longer than I already have been. But I also had a dream last in which the doctor was a douche and I told him off.

But everything turned out relatively well. The doctor was nice and didn’t try to rush through the appointment. He was actually more concerned about my shins than my knee, which was nice (because I am, too). He actually thinks that since most of my shin problems on are the left and my right knee is the bum one than it is probably a result of bad form from trying to over compensate for the extra-bad shin. Makes sense, right?

The doc even suspects the same thing I do for my shins, which is rather reassuring. And I have an appointment to get an MRI on my shins this Friday.

Afternoon:

Okay, so this isn’t a total mix up, because I’m still going to tell you about lunch. But I’m giving you 2 great recipes, so I hope you can suffer through it.

Remember the sliced portabellas and 2 poblano chilies from my weekend of food shopping?

Well they got put to use in a (adapted) recipe I’ve been meaning to make for months. While I normally prefer to use recipes from bloggers, this is from the New York Times so I think I can trust it.

Portabella and Poblano Tacos

6 oz sliced portabellas

2 poblano chilies

½ t minced garlic

2 slices red onions

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

tortillas

cilantro and queso fresco, optional

Heat pan over medium heat and add sliced poblano chilies. Cook until the skin beginning to char then add the oil and onion. Cook, tossing occasionally, until onions are soft and almost translucent and then add the garlic, salt and pepper. A couple of minutes later add the sliced mushrooms. Cook, tossing occasionally, until everything is soft and the mushrooms are fragrant. Place veggies on a tortilla and top with cilantro and queso fresco, if desired.

These were so flavorful and delicious.

Love.

Evening:

I have a confession to make—I’ve never eaten pumpkin.

Yup. Never. Not once. The pumpkin seeds I bought this week is the closest thing to pumpkin I’ve gotten…until tonight.

My favorite bakery in town makes a gluten-free, vegan pumpkin bread, so swung by Deep Roots and bought a slice on the way home from the doctor.

After waiting patiently all day I finally broke into it tonight.

Verdict: Not bad. Actually, I really loved this. Though I don’t know if I can count this as a real pumpkin experience since pumpkin puree wasn’t terribly high on the list. But I will definitely begin scouring grocery stores for Libby’s now so I can really try some pumpkin.

Okay, eaters, those are my updates for the day. But before I say g’night—

What are some beginner pumpkin recipes that I can try that really highlight the flavor?

Where do you usually get your recipes? Am I weird for favoring blogs over cooking shows and whatnot?

Am I alone in not being fond of doctors? What’s your worst experience?

…and now, g’night, eaters.

Struggling

Hi eaters!

How are all of you doing? Did you survive your Monday or just scrape by?

The theme of today seemed to be all about overcoming struggles.

I struggled to get out of my wonderfully warm bed in order to walk through the rain to Starbucks. And I struggled to adequately capture my breakfast:

½ baked sweet potato, blob of rice pudding, a small handful of pumpkin seeds, spoonful of peanut butter and a healthy dash of cinnamon.

Honestly, if I had eaten this at home the pictures would have been gorgeous. But this was another potent-portable breakfast, so you get lack-luster pictures.

My apologies.

I struggled to pay attention in computer class where we are learning how to type things into a spreadsheet. We’re not doing anything with them yet. We’re not that advanced. So we’re typing. Did you know you can move to the next box down by clicking it or hitting the “return” button? Neither did I until today, apparently.

My breakfast wasn’t as filling as I has hoped, so my stomach was growling through my last two classes. When I got home it was a struggle to figure out what to eat for lunch:

Snack plate! Carrots and steamed green beans to dip in chipotle hummus, corn and blackbean salad, sesame Ezekiel bread schmeared with ½ shata and ½ Crofter’s jam, and a side of edamame.

Can you tell I was indecisive and hungry?

I may have also had a few spoonfuls of rice pudding after. And believe me, I’ve been struggling all day to put it away. So tasty.

I struggled all day to keep my mood up in this dreary weather.

I struggled to hold myself back at the gym. Yesterday my knee was feeling normal so I decided to re-introduce myself to the elliptical. I only did 10 easy minutes, but there were no problems. So today, despite wanting to jump back in head first, I restrained myself with 15 easy minute (followed by some weights). And so far so good. But I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, so we’ll see what he says.

When I got home from my extra-monsterous slew of newspaper necessaries tonight I was going to struggle to make my usual Monday night salad (spinach, black bean burger, salsa, some other veggie, sometimes hummus), but frankly, a salad was more than I could muster tonight. So I pushed that struggle aside (you can’t win them all) and happily settled for a slight variation on dinner:

Black bean burger wrap with greens and mustard, and carrots and hummus.

This was exactly what I wanted. And I am also thoroughly hooked on these tortilla. They’re Food for Life sprouted grain and extra hearty. These pack a serious bite (as opposed to the other ones that seem to break and fall apart if you look at them wrong).

And now time for something that requires a little less of a struggle—wine and Netflix.

What have you been struggling with, eaters? Anything today? Any struggles you’ve recently overcome?

Feeding Myself

Hi eaters!

To say this weekend has been a crazy one would be an understatement. I’ve literally been on the go the whole time.

What about you eaters? Lazy, relaxing weekend or jam-packed with fun?

I can appreciate both, but after this much excitement I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. And I’m not even hungover!

While fun, friends, and beverages pervaded the whole thing, there was something else that was a vital (and slightly more interesting) part of my weekend: feeding myself!

The feeding started bright and early moderately timed Saturday morning with a trip to the farmers’ market. This time I decided to hit up a different one that was a few more miles down the road (but it stays open much later, thus is far more convenient for my late-sleeping self).

Due to my pre-visit research I knew that this was a lot bigger than your normal covered market and consists of multiple pavilions. Despite knowing, I was still overwhelmed by the size. And by the massive amount of produce!

Gorgeous eggplants.

Every imaginable pepper.

Tons of tomatoes

Silly gords.

My ‘mate got another scoop of homemade ice cream.

Fresh apples.

Pretty pumpkins.

My loot:

2 red bell peppers ($1.50 each), 2 poblanos ($0.75), 1 baby purple bell pepper ($0.75), 1 lbs green beans ($1), 3 pears ($1), and some sesame crackers ($1).

Saturday was too busy to make my usual Earth Fare trip, so that got saved for Sunday. Remind me never to go grocery shopping on a Sunday.

Loot:

Raw cane sugar, vanilla extract, 50/50 greens mix, edemame, portabella mushrooms, dark chocolate, frozen berries, Roots chipotle hummus, Justin’s chocolate peanut butter, toasted pumpkin seeds, applesauce and seltzer.

I’ve already dug into the pumpkin seeds a little and they are so good.

My final act of feeding myself this weekend starred

and

Someone mentioned rice pudding a few days ago and I’ve been craving some ever since.

So I took it upon myself to create some, based off of Julie’s recipe over at Everyday Dish.

Protein-packed Brown Rice Pudding

1 ¼ c cooked brown rice

2 c non-dairy milk (I used soy)

½ t vanilla

¼ c sugar

1 scoop vanilla protein

mixins’ (I used almonds and raisins)

dash of cinnamon

(This is what the stolen soy milk, almonds and raisins was for)

Mix the rice, vanilla, sugar, mixins’ and 1 c of milk in a saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir constantly. Once most of the liquid is absorbed add another splash of milk and the protein. Once most of the liquid is absorbed add another splash of milk and cinnamon. Continue this process until all the milk has been added, stirring all the while.

It may not exactly look like the Kozy Shack you’re used to, but it is so much better.

And better for you.

And with that, eaters, I’m far beyond exhausted. Honestly, can I please have another weekend?

G’night eaters.

Resourceful Like a Boy Scout

Hiya eaters!

Hooray for Friday! For all of you who’ve had grueling weeks I hope today was a wonderful sigh of relief. I, though, have not had a terribly killer week, work-wise, so today isn’t as exciting as it could be, but I’m happy all the same.

You know what else I am?

Very resourceful.

What do I mean by that?

Well, why dirty a bowl when you can eat straight from the jar:

OIAJ with oats, quinoa, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla protein, banana and peaches.

Please don’t look back and figure out just how quickly I went through this jar. It’s a bit embarrassing. But this peanut butter is just so good I’m almost okay with my speedy eating. And I’m almost okay with this nutrition label.

I prefer just peanuts, though.

Why dirty a shirt for the gym when you can just wear yesterday’s?

I actually do this almost everyday. Whenever I wear a v-neck one day I’ll wear it to the gym the next. This also saves me money on workout clothes.

Why buy food when you can steal it?

I swung by the dining hall today with containers in hand to swipe a few necessities:

Steamed cauliflower with stewed okra and tomatoes (because I’m out of veggies, gasp!), soymilk, slivered almonds and raisins (for an upcoming recipe), and a pear (why not!).

I resourced my way into a pretty great lunch, too:

Leftover max-packed taco with my free pear.

Messy tacos are the best tacos.

For dessert:

Possibly the most amazing vegan chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever eater! I got this from Simple Kneads, a lovely little bakery down a lovely little alley downtown.

And then I continued my resourcefulness at dinnertime by bulking up my little scoop of cauliflower, okra and tomatoes:

Marinara sauce, a bit of constantly cooked quinoa, and the last of my white beans, with a slice of bread schmeared with hummus.

It created a very filling dinner.

And now, eaters, I’m about to resourcefully use by stainless steel water bottle to carry my vodka tonic.

What can I say, resourcefulness is important to me.

Have a good Friday, eaters.

Lovely Love

Hello eaters!

I have a confession to make: I love my body.

While I may not be terribly happy with a few aspects of it right now (ahem ahem, knee), I can’t stay mad at it. Especially after I woke up this morning feeling great despite spending the last couple of days eating my every carb-filled feeling like I was Tom Hanks on Castaway with something other than fish. Did I paint a clear enough picture of my recent state? Yeah.

But still I woke up with a bounce for a walk to Starbucks. While there I ate breakfast:

Peach and a half Shake-n-shake with double the protein (because Vegan Godfather told me that I’m still probably not getting enough protein, especially for how much I lift weights).

The other half was chugged after a lovely—yes, I said lovely—45-minute weight session. Today was a hundred times better than Monday. I got in my groove and worked up a very respectable sweat. Still no lower body or cardio work, but I’m okay with that for now.

I rode my big ole’ bike to class today with almost no knee pain whatsoever, which is amazing considering yesterday it was hurting worse than ever.

And when I came home my stomach was growling and I knew just the thing to quiet it:

Leftover ravioli!

Today I added a bit of hoisen to the mushrooms and a dusting of cayenne over everything and it really kicked it up another notch (if that is even possible).

^I felt remiss for not posting a bite picture last time,

because the inside is really quite pretty.^

The rest of the afternoon was spent leisurely working on homework, snoozing, and browsing through Barnes and Noble. It was a great afternoon.

But then it was dinnertime:

Mariachi night in the dining hall! Tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, black beans, corn, and sautéed tofu.

This was eating outside on the grass while mariachi music played.

It was a pretty lovely evening.

As much as I love my body and am starting to realize how poorly I’ve been taking care of it, I’m still planning my full on return to the gym. What can I say, I miss sweating.

G’night eaters.

Lemons

G’evening eaters,

I want to absolutely apologize for my constant stream of Negative Nancy-ness lately. It constantly amazes me how much something as little as an inflamed knee can really touch every part of your life. But I’m sick of being a downer. So my new mantra is:

So, when life gives you an almost empty jar of applesauce…

Eat out of it!

Applesauce, peach chunks, Kashi, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

When life gives you a bum knee…

Use the time resting it to catch up on your Netflix queue.

Russell Brand stand-up in the morning? Yes, please.

When life gives you a Tuesday…

Celebrate Taco Tuesday!

And when life gives you a sturdy tortilla…

Pack it to the max with flax tempeh marinated in Mrs. Renfroe’s, guacamole, corn and black bean salad, red onions, nutritional yeast, and Texas Pete. With a side of green beans, for some green-ness.

When life gives you a completely free afternoon (one where I would normally be working out, or more recently be pouting because I can’t work out)…

Spend it on a blanket in the grass on a beautiful day reading (I’m Down by Mishna Wolff) and studying French of your own accord (because I’m quickly falling in love with the language).

Can you see why I love this place?

When life gives you dinner in the dining hall…

Eat vegan mac-n-cheese (and pickles and steamed snow peas).

This was not the only helping.

And when life gives you a day that just doesn’t get good no matter how hard you try…

Drink a martini and go to bed.

G’night eaters.

Afternoon Delight

Hi eaters.

How did your Mondays turn out? You have no idea how much I hope they were better than mine. Mondays are always trying for me, but today was possibly the worst in a while. Luckily there was a very bright point in the middle, a little afternoon delight, so I’ll do my best to focus on that and speed through the shit.

Read, set, go…

I woke up early for Starbucks. As usual I brought my breakfast:

Oats, vanilla protein, cocoa powder, Crofter’s South American jam, peanut butter, water, frozen berries.

3 classes later I was exhausted and starving. Protein oats can only hold me over for so long. Luckily I had an oh so wonderful lunch waiting. An oh so wonderful lunch that started yesterday.

Last night I took my reading to the common kitchen and baked a sweet potato. Yes! No microwaved tatters here.

^O’m’goodness, I love that color.^

I took my piping hot sweety, mashed it, and added a dollop of this and a sprinkle of that before spooning heaping mounds onto tender squares of dough.

Another square of dough got placed atop these orange piles of goodness before being lovingly placing in the fridge to await my return from class today.

Once home I quickly got to work on the next part of my bound to be delicious meal—sauce.

A pint of mushrooms, a few splashes of wine and plenty of time cooking later I had a delicious, aromatic pile of sweet sweet goodness.

A quick boil and my doughy pouches were ready to meet their fate:

Oh my!

Oh dear!

Oh yes!

These little pillows of supple sweetness melted magically on my tongue. And the tender mushrooms boasted a warm earthy flavor that combined with the sweet light flavors of the potatoes to form an experience that can only be described as mouth love making.

Oh yes, m’eaters. This was the slow, sensual cousin of mouth sex.

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Mushroom Sauce

ravioli

½ baked sweet potato

½ t cumin

1 T hoisen sauce

wonton wrappers (no, these are not vegan. sorry)

sauce

1 pint button mushrooms

½ c red wine

1/3 t nutmeg

½ t cumin

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Mash potato and mix with cumin and hoisen sauce. Spoon roughly 1 ½ T of mixture onto wonton wrappers. Wet the edges of dough and cover with another wrapper then crimp the sides with a knife.

Chop the mushrooms and add them to a pan on low heat, which has been drizzled with oil. Allow to cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the seasonings. Once the mushrooms are soft and have reduced by about half slowly add the wine. Stir and leave partially covered to cook.

Bring a pot of salted water to a low rolling boil. Drop the ravioli in, stirring to prevent them from sticking to each other. Once they begin to float to the top remove from water and plate immediately.

Spoon the mushroom mixture on top and top with pepper.

*I think this sauce would also be delicious with the addition of a little cream (about 1/3-1/2 c), but I didn’t have any*

Not too long after lunch I braved the gym for an upper body and abs ONLY workout, as my knee is still not much better. While I worked hard I never hit my stride and just felt out of it the whole time. I managed to get in a little over half an hour of weights before throwing in the towel.

After a quick shower I snacked:

Pineapple, honeydew, watermelon sprinkled with granola.

Next came 3 hours of newspaper meetings and finally dinner:

Spinach, red onion, Earth Fare spicy black bean burger, Mrs. Renfroe’s habanero salsa, and black bean and corn salad (made with home-roasted corn).

That’s it eaters. I hope I was able to minimize the shit and maximize the delicious pillows of mouth love making goodness.

Let’s hope that tomorrow is better.

G’night eaters.

Weekend, Winner Winner

Hi eaters,

How has your weekend been? Hopefully wonderful and fall-ish. The weather here is still low 90s and sunny, so there isn’t much fall in the air. Well, unless you get up nice and early, which I certainly didn’t do any of this weekend.

Saturday morning started our with a breakfast of champions:

Baklava and kataife

There was a Greek festival at the Greek Orthodox church down the street.

My ‘mate and I decided that we needed some culture in our lives so we hit it up.

In case you’ve never heard of kataife (like I hadn’t) it is shredded philo dough filled with nuts and drenched in syrup.

All that syrup made it way too sweet for me so I only had a couple of bites. But I devoured the baklava. Ummmmm, baklava.

After going Greek I hit up Earth Fare for my weekly rations:

Sesame Ezekiel bread, sprouted grain tortillas, guacamole, corn, peaches (because it’s still very much summer here), coconut water, tofu, wonton wrappers, lime, carrots, tea, and Tribe 40 Spices hummus.

I also made a little impulse buy:

Another ‘mate has been eating jerky non-stop and it was giving me major cravings. And while this wasn’t exactly like the jerky I used to eat it certainly quieted the craving.

Eventually it was dinnertime:

Ezekiel bread spread with Tribe 40 spice hummus (which is pretty darn good) and steamed green beans dipped in hoisen sauce.

Yup, this does count as a meal in college.

Today I stayed in bed far later than I think I ever have. And the only thing that got me up was a very intense craving:

Oats, quinoa, vanilla protein, cocoa, frozen berries, peanut butter, Crofter’s South American jam, and water.

Ummmm chocolatey, berry oats.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working and showing my friend the wonders of red lattes (lattes made with red espresso). It was a good afternoon.

Now I’m cooling my heels, resting my very unhappy knee (only slight improvements since Thursday, boo), and contemplating dinner.

But one thing I don’t have to contemplate—the winner of my Republic of Tea giveaway!

Congrats, Peach! Send me an email with your info.

Thanks for entering, eaters.