Author Archives: healthyexposures

Don’t Forget!

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A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hey guys!!

So, remember that top-secret mission I’ve alluded to briefly?!

Well…clicky here to see more about this:

Awww yeah. Oh, and

Almond Joy Butter. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this post…so head on over to my new home and make sure to update your Readers with the new feed URL!

(I tried doing a redirect but dont think it worked :\)

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Scrambling

I am loving reading everyone’s requests for winning the baked goods! Seems like the lemon poppyseed cookies and birdseed bars are in high demand ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep on piling in those entries!

***

I don’t think whatever that sickness I had yesterday had much of a chance…in fact, I think I effectively slept it off. Between dozing all morning yesterday and sleeping until nearly 8:00 this morning, I was good to go today. I woke up still a little “bleh,” but ate something and took 875% of my d.v. of vitamin C and I was feeling better already.

I actually received this sample along with my iHerb order, and I figured there was no day better than today to use it. Yes, that is 525 mg of vitamin C per serving, and yes, that does equate 875% of my daily value of the stuff.

I was a little worried I was going to turn into a clementine or something, but I’m still alive. Even better than alive, dare I say.

Maybe this was the reason why I felt so good all afternoon? It’s probably just coincidence, but oh well ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good enough to go grocery shopping, even!

…unfortunately, I would have been better off at home. Ugh, $60? Really? I am so upset because I didn’t need to spend that much. In fact, I had just cashed a check for $45 an intended to spend no more than that.

I decided to just go to Price Chopper (from here on out to be called “The store which shall not be named,” AKA TSWSNBN) rather than Hannaford (closest thing I have to a Whole Foods around here, though I’m thinking it’s less expensive from what I hear) because of the whole convenience thing. TSWSNBN = 5 mins away, Hannaford = 1 hour away. It’s convenient if I’m in the area because of work/going to see Teddie, but not on a day like today.

Anyways. I get there and start cringing at the produce prices, but shrug it off thinking “I didn’t spend any gas money to get here at least.” and carry on. Note I pretty much just buy produce that’s on sale. If you can call it that.

Not only that, but they were out of just about everything I needed – most imperatively, dates.

I almost started crying when the stock-boy told me they were sold out. My lip started quivering and I had to breathe deep, but luckily I spared him the waterworks. And moved on to wanting to hit him over the head with the chopped dates he suggested I get.

You know you’re a date addict when you move from feelings of despair to ones of extreme anger.

Not only that but all their produce was on its outs, they didn’t have any old fashioned rolled oats unless I wanted to buy them in the tiniest container possible for $4 and I bought a moldy yucca.

So basically, I have to go to Hannafords and/or the co-op sometime soon anyway. And had I known that from the get-go, I just plain wouldn’t have wasted my time and money there today.

UGH! Okay, rant over. Onto happy things.

Like banana scrambles.

Oh hail yes. I feel better just looking at that. Don’t you?

It’s like food therapy.

See, the other option for breakfast the other morning was a banana scramble, but the French toast had the louder scream.

When I saw Jenny suggest a banana scramble on that very post, I knew it was fate. I had to try one, once and for all. I might start cheating on my pancakes for these babies, too.

But oyu know what I haven’t had in a while?

Anything gingerbread. I’m assuming this has been done already, since it is gingerbread and all…but here’s how I did it:

Gingerbread Banana Scramble

adapted from The Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Banana Scramble

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1-2 T. milk
  • 1/2 of a large banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground clove
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • pinch of maple sugar

Mash the banana with the oats. Mix in all remaining ingredients and then form into a patty with your hands. Place on a pre-heated, greased pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Top with peanut-ginger sauce.

Peanut-Ginger Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (or to taste)
  • pinch ground ginger
  • heavy pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk together all ingredients, starting with just 1 T. milk and adding more to get to your desired consistency. Check for sweetness, adding more maple syrup as your taste buds call for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

The only thing that would have made this better would have been having it between French toast. Too bad I was out of bread :[

But naturally, when new obsessions are born, they do not die quickly. As a snack post-workout, I decided more were necessary as an almost-lunch-but-not-quite.

On a note unrelated to banana scrambles, I think this was when I realized I might be more of a “late morning” workout kinda gal. I’ve never given myself the chance to workout anytime other than mornings, before starting my day. I felt like my mind was so much more in it today, though.

Maybe I was just high on Vitamin C, though.

In keeping with my almost-tradition of making just about everything either gingerbread or carrot cake, though, these ones were carrot cake.

I die.

Carrot Cake Banana Scrambles

adapted from the Edible Perspective’s Apple Scramble

  • 1/4 c. quick oats
  • 2-3 T. applesauce
  • 5 shredded baby carrots (do you find it funny to imagine me shredding poor little baby carrots?)
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 T. shredded coconut
  • pinch maple sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk

Combine all ingredients, adding in more milk as you see fit. Carefully form a patty (or two) and place it on a preheated, greased pan. Cook until golden on both sides. ย Serve and top with peanut-carrot sauce, coconut, carrot, pecans and molasses.

Peanut-Carrot Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1 shredded baby carrot
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (more or less as desired)
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk 1 T. at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

I think this one would have been ever better with a banana instead of applesauce, just to add a little bit more sweetness to the carrots. I didn’t really want to go on three bananas today, though. What can I say?

What else happened today? Well, naturally I made more bread. Do I even need to say I love Sarena’s bread anymore? It’s probably engrained in everyone’s brains already.

I made this loaf with 6-grain flour that I’d almost forgotten about, adding in a little Vital Wheat Gluten to make up for the heavier flour.

You know bread is good when you can eat it plain without even toasting it.

I made Chelsey’s granola and burnt all the raisins.

Luckily, I don’t mind the occassional taste of char. You probably think I’m being witty right now but I’m totally serious.

Ironically, I also had to make it with quick oats. The whole reason I wanted to get rolled oats at the store was so I could make granola. My heart was dead-set on making granola though, so I didn’t give up. It worked better than I thought it would!

Aaand lastly – sausage and peppers and a baked sweet potato.

You know what I realized? I don’t think I like green peppers anymore.

And also: Jenn’s method of baking a couple sweet potatoes at a time (in the oven) for grabbing one on the fly, totally works. I baked this one when I baked one for last night, and after reheating in the toaster oven, it was just as good as if it were fresh out of the oven. It’s a great trick if I’m craving a sweet potato for work the next day since it takes an hour in the oven and I now flat-out refuse to microwave-bake my taters.

What are your time-saving techniques?


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Filed under baking, banana, banana scramble, breakfast, carrot cake, chia seeds, coconut, cooking, dates, dinner, food, healthy living, molasses, oats, recipe, seitan, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian

It’s Time Forrr…a Giveaway!

I almost titled this “what starts with a “g” and rhymes with “iveaway,” but I figured being normal for once and just saying “giveaway” would capture people’s attention more.

I am not unique enough to have thought of this first, Gabriela is. I am unashamedly stealing her idea. (please don’t hate me?)

But, with Valentine’s Day coming up…don’t you want to win a little somethin’ somethin’? Maybe a little somethin’ somethin’ straight from my kitchen?

I will give two readers the opportunity to choose anything (within reason) of my baked goods. See note at the bottom to see what “within reason” means.

I’m sorry, but I will not be sending you pancakes via mail. And I’m not sending you Teddie, either. Not that he’s baked, anyway.

Here are some of my suggestions…

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink granola bars, with your choice of “flavor” – ginger? sure can do! Cinnamon Raisin? Okay! Cranberry-almond? That’s chill, too. We can brainstorm. So long as you don’t request chicken-and-biscuit granola bars.

Cashew Butter. Cinnamon raisin or plain.

Energy Cookies. Recipe is from Vive le Vegan. AKA my favorite “super-power cookie.”

Date Bars – Cranberry orange or original.

Orange-Date Cookies

And I’ll even make something that isn’t a recipe of my own, but a loved recipe…such as…

Eat, Drink and Be Vegan’s Lemon-Poppyseed Cookies. A favorite of mine as well as…well…everyone’s.

or Vive le Vegan’s Sparkled Ginger Cookies. I know I just said the lemon cookies were my favorite, but it’s obvious that everything is “my favorite,” so I’ll say these are my favorite, too.

I’m open to other requests, as I said above I will try to accommodate what the winner really wants. However!! Keep in mind these things need to be mailed! I think some things will “keep” better than others, or travel better than others. I will also try to accommodate special dietary restrictions. Most everything is vegan, but do advise of allergies! Unfortunately the only gluten-free options are nut-butters. I don’t think that counts as “unfortunately,” though, and to be safe lets say “everything will be manufactured on equipment shared with peanuts, dairy , gluten and soy.”

Just covering my bases here, people.

Anyways. How to enter?

  1. Leave a comment saying what you’d like. This won’t necessarily be considered your “final choice,” if you are the winner, don’t worry. Maybe you’ve been eyeballing something I failed to mention?
  2. Tweet about the giveaway using my handle (@HLTHYexposures)
  3. I don’t know…humor me. I can’t think of anything else but I like giving three ways of entering.

As usual, please leave each entry as a separate comment.

Winner will be chosen sometime on Sunday. Which means you won’t be getting them for Valentine’s day anyway, but whatever. It’ll be like a consolation Valentine’s day present. Or something.

Would anyone hate me if I entered my own contest? Because I want to win.

(Oh, yes, and lets keep this open to U.S. residents only. Purely because I don’t think any of these things would a. survive the trip, or b. still be good a week and a half later. Sorryyyy!)

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Plagued

You can take one look at my breakfast and know something was up:

Strawberry-Banana So Delicious yogurt with protein powder, banana, chia seeds and a bran muffin.

What’s cool and soothing for a scratchy throat?

Yogurt.

Yep. My condition deteriorated rapidly last night, and I had to resort to crawling in bed, hardly able to breath, at hardly 8:00. This was difficult for me because the Bs were playing the Habs last night – always a good game.

My efforts to fall asleep early were a bit of a joke, however, as I intended to watch the game as I dozed. When you hear things like “Score!” every 30 seconds and then announcers excitedly narrating fights, going to bed early just isn’t a priority anymore.

I suppose combining a bran muffin with strawberry-banana yogurt is a bit odd...but luckily I couldn't taste much anyway.

I just knew I was going to wake up with a scratchy throat and a pounding head, and I did.

I kept telling myself I deserved to get sick for once, after dodging all the illnesses that float around my workplace. Missing out on swine flu is my proudest moment, you know.

Luckily (if you can call it that,) I think it’s more of a pesky sinus-y type thing that I’ve got. I slept just about all morning, and finally started to feel somewhat normal after lunch. I’ve got a little bit of a headache still, but I think I’ll make it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let us not forget the reds 8000 I chugged this morning.

Extra precautions.

So it seems a lot of people, when they are sick, lose their appetite.

I am the exact opposite.

In fact, all that is appealing to me is just eating more in efforts to make swallowing less painful.

Carrots, hummus and applesauce were all of equal importance today.

Not together, obviously. But I think I ate a whole bag of carrots and a good cup of hummus as well as many bowls of applesauce. What can I say?

And when I began to realize I wasn’t going to die from the plague like I initially thought I was, I realized I was a-okay to get some baking done. I took extra precautions to make sure the baking wasn’t infected, I promise.

Remember my Birdseed bars?

I baked some up for a certain someone, but tweaked the recipe again. This might be my favorite version yet! I love how the “bar pans” (mini loaf pans) allow each bar to get crispy edges, too.

I kept it simple for dinner though, as I was beginning to feel a little lethargic again. It’d been a while since I had a baked sweet potato though, and I decided one was imperative to my well-being.

Luckily, I had just read Mandiee’s mention of the magical numbers: 425* for 45 minutes. Remember that. Don’t ever forget it. It is the key to ooey, gooey sweet potatoes. There will be no more haphazardly throwing sweet potatoes in the oven at a temperature anywhere from 400* to 450* from me.

Paired with a hummus-quinoa casserole idea taken from Vive le Vegan. I just layered cooked quinoa, then a mixture of hummus and tomato sauce and then some roasted veg.

I bet you guys didn’t know that I love frozen peas. I don’t eat them frozen, obviously, but I think they’re the one vegetable I’d rather have from frozen than from fresh. Probably because the fresh ones are so much work and I can be kind of lazy…but whatever.

What’s your favorite “sick food”?

Is there any food you prefer packaged/frozen/what-have-you over fresh?

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Filed under baking, breakfast, carrots, casserole, chia seeds, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, sweet potato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Seitan Sausages

I had better not be getting sick.

My boss has been sick for the past…well, it seems like he’s always sick…but really sick for the past two weeks. I’ve been feeling 100% but all of a sudden this afternoon I got a tickle in my throat.

When these things happen, I tend to go a little overboard. Call it paranoia of catching the nasties, if you will. But as soon as there is even a vague hint of a cold or the nasties, I come home and start chugging the vit C and fresh veg.

And seitan sausages.

What, you don’t look to sausages to cure the plague?

…oh. Maybe it’s the higher protein content that I am hoping will shield me from infection.

You may or may not recall my mention of being burnt out on tempeh.

As well as my mention of limiting my grocery spending.

Enter: seitan. I used to make it all the time. What happened?!

I have no reasonably excuse for our time apart. I do enjoy seitan, after all.

But it was time to take vital wheat gluten’s and my relationship to the next level.

Every since first hearing I could make my own “seitan sausages,” I was intrigued by the idea.

Every time I went to make them though, I was turned off by all the many steps.

I think I was just being lazy, though. Truth is, making them was not difficult. I could have read the directions to Kaia and she’d have been able to make them, for Pete’s sake.

I based my seitan sausages off of these recipes. The flavors weren’t anything that tickled my fancy for what I envisioned in my mind, so I took the template and tweaked to my liking.

Aren’t they creepy looking?! No fear, though – they taste phenomenal. Perfect to go with a “sausage and peppers” theme. With pasta and jarred pasta sauce.

The initial idea was to have them with Chelsey’s Mexicalian cilantro pesto, but it was as I was chopping the cilantro for my sausages that I remembered I’m not a cilantro fan.

I think I get my herbs mixed up, and can only remember which ones I like when I smell them fresh.

From now on, I’ll just be that girl over in the produce aisle, sniffing all the herbs before landing them in my cart.

Hey, they have those little shower-sprayers for a reason. For wackjobs like me.

Either way, I still sauteed some sliced sausage up with onions and jarred roasted reds. We had no fresh. I’m telling you, my fridge is empty. I’m going to make it work, though. The cilantro was the last fresh bit of green in there, which is why it still made an appearance. The rotini tossed in jarred pasta sauce pulled it all together.

It’s the little things, people. The little things.

Tonight I had one in a similar fashion, but with polenta. Mmmm, mm. I love polenta.

Seitan Sausages:

yields 3-4 sausages

adapted from “Have Cake Will Travel”s fauxsages.

  • 1/2 c. + 2 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t. italian seasoning
  • dash crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. onion, chopped finely
  • 1 T. fresh cilantro, optional
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 t. dried chives
  • 1 T. olive oil (I used the olive oil in the sundried tomato jar)
  • 1/3 c. + 3 T. water

Preheat oven to 325* F. In a large bowl, combine the VWG, nutritional yeast, italian seasoning, pepper, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt, chives and tomatoes. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and water. Add to the VWG mixture, and mix to combine. Knead a few times. If you’ve got some herbs/onions/tomatoes wanting to fall out, that’s fine.

Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts, roll out a bit, and wrap tightly in a piece of aluminum foil. Repeat for the remaining, and place in a baking dish. Bake for one hour to an hour and 15 minutes. When done, unwrap and allow to cool. Or eat right away.

Some notes:

  • I think I overcooked mine a bit at an hour and 15. Next time I’d probably just do an hour.
  • I’d also like to try baking them in something, like tomato sauce. Maybe if they were baked in the foil for half the time, then taken out and baked in tomato sauce?
  • Needs more cowbell.

On another note, I wanted to share this fab little snack/dessert/what-have-you:

Averie’s banana oat cakes. The fig jam is a critical element.

What do you do when you have a hunch the plague is after you?

Seitan – yay or nay?

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Filed under banana, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, recipe, seitan, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Note to Self…

This morning, hardly awake:

First thought – DKM. Dropkick Murphys. YES! That was it! go back to sleep.

Second thought – Bran muffins. I want some bran muffins. go back to sleep.

Third thought – I think I’ll sleep in today. I’m a little tired and it looks crappy out so I probably won’t be going anywhere anyway. shut eyes.

Fourth thought – The phone would ring immediately after I declare I’m sleeping in, wouldn’t it?

_________________

So, basically I must have been driving myself crazy in my sleep because I still hadn’t thought of what DKM was before I went to bed. There were a couple bloggers who guessed it [e-mail me to redeem your prizes], which just made me laugh and remember waking up with “Shipping Up to Boston” in my head moments earlier.

And no, it’s not just because of the Bruins that I love that song. I mean, just listen to it. First thing in the morning, preferably. And do some Irish jigs around your butcher block in the kitchen while preparing your breakfast.

In a leprechaun hat, preferably.

Not that I would know anything about any of that scenario.

I would know something about flaxy French toast, though. So I’ll talk about that, instead. I’ll leave it to your own imaginations as to whether I was tap dancing around my kitchen while making this, though.

 

Being that I looked out my window and saw this yet again:

Really wet, heavy snow. Read: Sloppy and slippery. House arrest once again.

I decided to make something a little more time consuming for breakfast. I have pancakes down to a science so I can make them quickly in the morning, which carries over to mornings when I have more time, too. Having nowhere to go, I decided to put a little more thought into breakfast this morning.

I’ve been wanting to make French toast for a while now, but wasn’t sure if the mini slices would be enough for keeping me full. Today, I knew I’d be home all day. Worse comes to worse, I eat an hour later, right?! Surprisingly enough, it was difficult for me to finish it all! Don’t worry, though – I took one for the team and did.

Yes, it really is possible to get that same French toast texture without eggs! Making it with flax sounds strange at first, I admit. I mean, I think I was legitimately grossed out when I first heard of it, so I don’t blame you if you are, too.

But I mean, really. Have I ever lied to you? -insert shifty-eyes here-

Buttering/Earth Balancing your pan is critical to making any sort of pancake or sandwich – and French toast is no exception. You don’t need a lot, but you can’t even compare the flavor to that and just using non-stick spray.

And please, no need to be “neat” about it. We’re not after pretty awards here, we all know the ugly food is the best.

Huh, maybe that’s why I’m always disappointed whenever I go out to eat…

If you’re patient and give it enough time – the outside still gets crispy while the insides are still moist and flavorful. I’m sorry if you hate the word moist. I do, too – but really, what else can I say? Damp? It’s not juicy not is it soggy.

The Mixture I used (approximately, anyways…about that measuring thing…)

  • 2 T. milled flaxseed
  • 1/4 c. + 2 T. coconut milk
  • 1/2 t. coffee extract (vanilla would work just fine, I just so happen to be the person who is all out of vanilla, yet has plenty of coffee, peppermint and coconut extracts. I would.)
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg

Mix all with a fork, allowing to sit a few minutes. Add more milk if necessary. Poke each piece of bread a few times before dipping each slice in and saturating. Transfer to a greased pan, allowing extra of the flax mixture to remain on the bread. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, until crispy.

Garnish with grilled banana and figgy peanut butter and jelly sauce. And chia seeds and honey-roasted almonds if you’re feeling feisty.

Note to self: I miss you terribly. (speaking of “bring me back” songs…)

Er, wait, what I meant was – note to self: make French toast more often.

And about those bran muffins?

They were not just a groggy early-morning sentiment, my dears. They were happening.

I promise these were muffins for me, not Teddie. I kept thinking how much he would love them. Carrots, applesauce, molasses, cinnamon and sunflower seeds? The kid would be in heaven.

I used these almost-forgotten about pressed dates that Mo sent me way back when. I got a kick out of the “serving size: 1 package,” as I imagined myself just plopping down on the couch and nommin’ on the brick like so:

om-nom-nom

The recipe I used was Kelsey’s. And they are fantastic! It’s a good thing I didn’t actually read the recipe before I printed it off and trekked into my kitchen, though. It requires the use of a food processor, which is usually a big no-no for me. For some reason, I detest cleaning the processor in addition to regular baking dishes. Or in general. Same goes for garlic presses.

Life’s tough.

I realize this is probably old-news, but my new trick is using an ice-cream scoop. I used to just spoon it in, but then I’d have really ugly muffin tops. This leaves them nice and smooth!

And perfectly sized! Well actually my mini-muffins are perfectly sized since I usually just want a little somethin’ somethin’ when it comes to muffins, but that would have required me refilling the tray about ten times.

Which wasn’t happening.

I am very picky about my bran muffins – a lot of bran muffin recipes use more oat bran than wheat, and are too sweet for my liking. I like my bran muffins to be dense, moist and…well…wheaty! These are just the ticket.

Another added bonus: they didn’t require any bananas. I love bananas, and have a great branana muffin recipe – but I’m down to my last banana and you guys know what happens when I lose my bananas. I think I might hide the last one, just as an extra precaution. You know…in case someone else might want it, heaven forbid.

But if I haven’t convinced you to make bran muffins or flaxy French toast…maybe I can convince you to do this:

Toast up some good bread…smother one slice with cashew butter…smother the other with a bit o’ butter/earth balance…throw on some good dried apricots…drizzle a smidgen o’ maple syrup…and chow down. Heavenly.

(but what’s with me saying o’ instead of “of”? Am I really feeling that Irish today?)

And I’ll leave you with this scandalous picture:

I had sausages with dinner! I love sausages…

What’s something you openly admit to having high standards about? I am definitely a bread snob!

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Filed under baking, banana, bran, bread, breakfast, brunch, carrots, chia seeds, cooking, dates, dinner, food, french toast, healthy living, muffin, muffins, recipe, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian