One day closer to the weekend…one day closer to ponyville! I’m not excited or anything, hmm? 😉
…and in the kitchen went through a life-changing event. It was a little thing called Mighty Maple that triggered it. I finally broke into the PB & Co mighty Mapes that’s been hiding in my cupboard to replaced my beloved cinnamon raisin. I had high expectations, being the maple head I am. I mean, not just any maple is mapley enough to meet my expectations. Take Justin’s Maple…I could hardly even detect maple!
- 2 T. Bob’s Grains & Nuts, 3 T. Peppy Kernels, 1 T. Wheat Bran
- 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. PureAlmond
- 3/4s of a small gala apple
- 1.5 dried chopped Turkish figs
- drizzle maple syrup
- 1 T. chia seeds
and then topped with:
- chia-flax icing
- honey roasted peanuts
- PB & Co Mighty Maple
- and a chutney of the rest of the apple and figs, simmered in some almond milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
So, what did I think? Oh, I think I died and went to heaven. I don’t think PB & Co has disappointed me yet. And they’re pretty inexpensive. And I can buy them locally. I should just stick to PB & Co! What’s your favorite brand?
It was so perfect that it reminded me immediately of my childhood days, when we would go out for ice cream, and share cones of homemade maple walnut ice cream. Yes, I realize that doesn’t make much sense considering the fact that we’re talking about peanut butter and not walnut butter – but just work with me here.
I comically watched an infomercial for the same blender I have (my blender/processor is really bad, guys – this infomercial makes it look like it’s a miracle, sent from heaven even) before getting my groove on. And by “groove” I mean getting groceries and an oil change for Gertrude. The groceries happened, Gertrude didn’t. First, though, I had to find my shoes.
My mom didn’t even let me take my shoes off when I walked in the door last night, and apparantly just walked right out of them in the most random of places.
Finally found them, though. And why no oil change? Well, the sun was shining…it was beautiful…who wants to get an oil change? I’d rather do some yoga if you ask me. Jenny warned me – but that vid kicked my booty. I loved it. I was hangry after, though, and feulage in the form of cottage cheese, greek yoga, strawberries, and honey roasted almonds was a necessary. Drizzled with some irish cream agave and a boatload of cinnamon, to boot.
I used up the last of my chickpeas to make some chickpea cutlets for dinner for le madre and I. I used balsamic rather than soy sauce, eliminated the thyme and sage but used fresh basil, and added some scallions. And made my own homemade breadcrumbs. I’m going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for ending up not wasting any of my homemade loaf of bread. I thought for sure I would, but – no wastage after all!
Anyways – I took the opportunity of the oven being on to roast an eggplant, red pepper, and a sweet potato, too. Does anyone else feel the need to go on a roasting rampage once the oven gets turned on? I hope so. Eggplants and peppers would find use another day, however – and I went the route of a goat cheese, apple, spinach, and tempeh panini on multiseed whole grain bread for the lunch-age.
Low and slow sweet potatoes joined me in my voyage. The first time I had these, I thought they were life changing. Same goes for the second. and third. This time and the last time, however – they sort of reminded me of baby food. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Yet. I don’t think. Just sorta…weird.
Of course, that’s probably okay because I’m just sorta weird, too. Case in point? I can’t sit down to eat until everything is just so. I can’t eat and leave the kitchen a mess. And if I have any thoughts, I need to do them and get them out of the way so I can just enjoy the food. After I made this and photographed it, I notice the horses begging to be put out on grass. Sigh. Let horses out. Come back in. Realize the kitchen is messy. Organize kitchen. Wonder if mail came. Get mail. Realize lunch is cold. Microwave lunch. Eat.
The reading material for the lunch?
Oh, yes – so glad I checked the mail because look what I found getting melty! Nicole noticed I was eyeballing the Boomi and Prana Bars and sent me a bunch to try! And, amazing flavors, might I add. I am sure I will have no trouble enjoying these, and I cannot wait to try one tomorrow! The ingreds in these puppies are nothing short of stellar, and I love the unique, new flavors!!
I grabbed a homemade laraball for dessert and sat out on the porch with Kaia browsing through random Hannafords magazines. They put together a pretty mean magazine, you know. But – I desperately need to sit down and read a book this summer. First on my list? In Defense of Food, or something along those lines. Any suggestions?
I browsed tack catalogs, moseyed outside, and did relatively useless things including nomming…
…until my Mom got home from work, and we went for a ride. I grabbed a banana to share…
It was pretty warm today – at least in relation to how it has been recently – so we didn’t go too far, but it was a really great ride! Jiggy was one tuckered puppy (uh, appy) afterwards though. We gave them a nice hose-down and he was incredibly greatful – I felt it in the way he sipped water straight from the hose 😉
Dinner tonight was new in all sorts of ways. First time trying spaghetti squash! First time eating/making chickpea cutlets! And it was a major success – both in my eyes and mi madre’s. I took hint from Nicole once again – sheesh, I think everything I make lately is either Veganomicon or Making Good Choices! Anyways – I remember her posting a bit back about a spaghetti squash primavera. Yes, Please.
- spaghetti squash
- canned diced tomatoes – basil, garlic, and oregano flavor
- roasted eggplant
- roasted red pepper
- artichoke hearts
It was fantasmic. Seriously. I wasn’t sure I’d care for the spaghetti squash, hence why it’s taken so long to try it. I thought for sure it’d be too squash-y. I’m not much of a squash kinda gal. I mean, it even sounds funky. Squash? sqqqwaaassshhh. But it definitely surprised me and was incredibly reminiscent of real spaghetti. I even just microwaved it for speed and to eliminate turning on the oven.
mmm- Loved all those veggies! This was definitlely my kinda meal. The cutlets were great too – though I think next time I’d love to make them with some fresh basil, sundried tomatoes, and more garlic – and yes, there will be a next time.
What’s So Great about a Date?
Jenny’s ode to maple syrup this morning got me thinking – what else do I eat on a daily basis that I don’t necessarily eat with benefits in mind, but moreso because it’s a great, tasty snack – and of course, also better than it’s mass-processed counterparts? I was shocked to read all of the goodies in real maple syrup – I honestly just thought it was a great alternative to refined sugar! Now, I’ll be strong like maple tree. Definitely give it a read!
Anyways – The first thing that came to mind was: dried fruits and nuts. Now, we all know these foods are beneficial, but to be honest, I never really stopped to see how beneficial. Maybe I didn’t much care – I mean, I’ll keep eating them either way, right? My first order of business, though- What’s so great about a date?
Dates are, most likely, the most common of the dried fruits I’ll have. I mean – how many are in a Larabar alone? They are also perfect stirred into oats or used for baking – they tend to get this delicious, sweet meltiness to them when heated. And though I’m not a huge “sweets” fan by common terminology – I do love the natural sweetness that just popping a plain ol’ dried date brings about. That being said – dates are a great form of natural sweetener. There are date sugars and date syrups, but for some reason, I don’t find these to be as widely available or known about as stevia or sucanat.
But aside from being a great sweetener and just plain great snack, the health benefits of dates are a mile long! Want a quick peek?
- Low in fat and cholesterol, and due to the high fiber content actually help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Round of applause for cardiovascular health!
- good amounts of potassium, which is known to help to maintain a normal blood pressure level
- high in iron
- good source of magnesium, which studies have shown helps to relax muscles and thus relieve fatigue
- good source of copper, which reduces your risk for developing an inflammatory disease, such as arthritis, working to maintain the elasticity of your muscles and joints
- B-group vitamins are found in large quantities in dates, which helps your body to get all of the energy production out of the foods you give it
- dates are also a great source of dietary fiber (which – doesn’t it seem like everything is nowadays? but that’s another post, another time.) promoting satiety and regulating blood glucose. Annnd, you know that “beans, beans” song? Well, I guess it could also go “dates, dates, the magical fruit…the more you eat…”
So, lets hear it for dates as a great, high-energy, nutritious snack. What’s you’re favorite way to enjoy them? Here are some of my faves:
- chopped and mixed into savory-sweet salads
- whole dates stuffed with some nut butter (and I need to follow Nora’s footsteps and microwave them like this!)
- in a hot applesauce mess – i swear they just get all melty and sweet in the most beautiful and delicious of ways
- homemade laraballs
- real Larabars
- mixed in to baked goods and oatmeal – once again, helloooo sweet melty deliciousness!