Category Archives: broccoli

Mmmm….Fermentation!

Holy Friday! Did it fly by for everyone else?

Not only was it 5:30 before I knew it – my day was filled with so much deliciousness that I don’t know how I got lucky enough to be so deserving! Do you think you can handle it?! (dahh, dahh…are you ready, for this jelly, i don’t think you’re readyyyyy)

Lets start with my beloved carrot-cake oats, shall we?

I’ve been having serious dilemmas as to what I want in my breakfasts lately. This week, I was chained to pumpkin. Well – my mom sneakily polished off my pumpkin yesterday, and I was at a loss as to what I was craving this morning.

What do I do when I don’t crave anything in particular?

Why, carrot cake oats, of course!

Because, lets face it - they've never served me wrong!

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad bowl of carrot cake oats. I mean…how could you go wrong with eating carrot cake for breakfast? With frosting, even!! For some reason – the carrots I purchased most recently are, well – obscenely carrot-y. I don’t know why, but they’re just not as good for some reason! So I figure, if anything will make them amazing, it’s a bowl of oatmeal. And boyyy, was I right. Luckily, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of this mix.

The base?

1 T. oat bran, 2 T. rolled spelt flakes, 2 T. Bob’s 5 Grain Hot Cereal, 1 T. wheat bran

-1/2 c. brewed coffee, 1/2 c. almondmilk

– 3/4 shredded carrot, 1/4 thinly sliced banana

vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, drizzle of agave

-1/2 T. chia seeds

The Toppings?

chia-acai icing, milled golden flax

-chopped mixed nuts, raisins

Artisana coconut butter, ginger jam

and a “compote,” if you will, of the remaining shredded carrot, another 1/4 of the chopped banana, golden raisins, and some shredded coconut – in a syrup of agave and almondmilk.

Served with a side of snow and wind.

And of course, Green Mountain Rain Forest Nut. I think my new flavor – but I’ve only got 1 K-Cup left!! In addition – some Yogi crisp crumbs of the cinnamon raisin variety graced the top of that upon consumption. It’s the bottom of the bag!! And it must have gotten smooshed. But – it makes for some rockin’ granola! I’m not complaining ๐Ÿ™‚

As per usual - this bowl did not disappoint.

The weather, however - did. Very much so.

Sure – 18* isn’t cold. Especially for Vermont. 18* is, however – extremely frigid when it is windy as all get-out and all you’re doing is photographing your breakfast in your pajamas. The things I do for you guys…the things I do ๐Ÿ˜› You bet I came right back in and had to microwave that baby.

Jusssst kidding. (p.s. did anyone pick up on my obsession with matte black platery?)

The day didn’t get warmer. In fact, on my walk to the post office and paint store – I suffered from some serious face freeze. I think I went all winter without face freeze – and now I get it, in March?! I was not impressed. I was impressed, however – with these babies.

Ohhh, Yogi. Have you ever failed? No one likes a perfectionist. But I guess I'll make an exception.

WARNING: Upon consumption, one may find themselves foaming at the mouths for just one more handful. And one more. And then another.

Not kidding. I was completely sold on the cinnamon raisin crisps, but figured why not try another kind? I’m a blueberry-head, so opted for Blueberry Flax. Um, hello, I apparently got pushed into a blueberry farm upon opening, that is how fresh and potent they were. And in a good way – absolutely no artificial smell or taste. They’ve seriously done it again. I give this bag even less time than cinnamon raisin. Not because they’re that much better (they’re both 10/10) but just because my addiction has grown that much stronger over the past couple of days! Thank you, Yogi. I deman: larger bags and more flavors. I propose a pumpkin cranberry flavor. Separate or combined, I’m not picky.

After snacking a couple handfuls, some finally made their way into a trail mix of sorts.

Hiding under the trail power? (which – in case you hadn’t notice – I completely forgot to put in this morning’s breakfast! I missed it…) Yogi crisps, dates, almonds, and Galaxy granola. Supahh stunahh trail power.

While we're on the topic of snacks...

Self-explanatory, I do believe.

If you dare try to replace Apple-Honey Butter, you best be phenom.

…and phenom it was, with the assistance of PB& Co Cinnamon Raisinย peanut butter, tempeh, raisins, and sliced apple, in a supah-soft Joseph’s flax & oatbran pita.

The Fantastic Five.

I had a serious deliberation in the kitchen this morning, completely torn between another beloved PB&Tempeh pita, or my also-beloved hummus, veggie & egg wrap. You don’t even know how many times I changed my mind, but you see what I finally went with. And it was a dang good choice.

I think I often pass on this as a work lunch just because I don’t want to be given even more wierd looks. But today? Today, I was brave. Why, you ask?

...because tempeh wasn't the only form of fermentation in my lunch!

Hey, Jess…? What are you….eating?”

“Oh, the usual…just a whole lotta fermentation. Mmmm! Love me some fermented goods.”

That conversation didn’t take place. I was a little disappointed, actually. I was ready to boast about my eats today, rather than feel frustrated ๐Ÿ™‚ But, not one to toot my own horn, I ate in silence. Probably because I was the only one around, though…and I don’t talk to myself. Out loud.

Told you I’d have to ration my Kombucha intake. Them babies pricey! And, I definitely toasted my pita at work. It was fanfweakingtastic.

And – I see I’m not the only one who was afraid to try Kombucha! I almost thought I was one of the final few to finally jump on the train. But – I definitely recommend giving it a shot. It’s really good! I can’t wait to try the other flavor I picked up. I will say, however – that if you don’t like tart cranberries, you probably won’t like the cranberry flavor. There’s no sugar or sugar substitute – just pure cranberry juice. I love the pucker, but I think that may be a turn-off for some.

I need more fiber like Kaia needs more McDonalds. Here's a hint: Kaia needs more salads.

Couldn’t resist this bar at the co-op. Haven’t seen the brand in grocery stores, and it sounded goooood – Banana Walnut, can you go wrong?

And obviously, some lovely ingreds.

Peep the goods. I had to exercise extreme self control during this time.

I wanted to let everyone see what it looked like, so I opened it at home. This was risky. The fact that it smelled like a whole room-full of fresh-baked banana bread pretty much made me want to devour the whole thing, but luckily, that’s what good, filling carrot cake oats are good for and I was full. It was close, though.

But what did I think of it? Holy yum. Gnu Foods, you sure as hay know what you’re doing. This tasted so so amazingly like a fresh baked banana bread, I was in awe. Not kidding. I also loved the crunch factor the flax seeds provided, and it had a lovely soft texture otherwise. Deliciously real tasting! I don’t consider myself lacking in the fiber department – but it did have more protein than my beloved Clif bars, and that’s never a bad thing.

But you know what is a bad thing? The fact that the co-op only has this flavor, and I can’t find them anywhere else. I want to cry. Guess I’ll have to pay an arm and a leg for shipping.ย The end. I mean: Check out all these amazing flavors. Must…have….them…all.

I seriously boogied at work today. And by that – I mean we were rockin’ and rollin’ and the day flew by. Great mood, too – the sun was shining and everyone was in love. heh…isn’t that precious. If only the sun actually provided warmth, I’d be so much happier. It’s supposed to get to 0 tonight. Not impressed. Luckily, a warmer weekend is in store! And with that in mind, I managed to do work and bop out of work early enough to whip through cleaning the office while I was in town. Now I don’t have to run in this weekend! Psych. Especially handy this weekend because tomorrow I’m going to a horse and tack auction with my mom for the majority of the day. I’m pretty excited ๐Ÿ™‚ Abouutttt as excited as I was for dinner tonight…

Because I obviously didn't have enough fiber still.

Has anyone else noticed my tendency to have fish on Friday? I think that’s a Christian thing – right? Well, it’s purely coincidental. Maybe my creativity tends to run out, and I just love salmon so dang much that I want something familiar? Regardless – being the pair salmon with fruit junkie that I am, and having yet to pair salmon with cranberries, I knew what it was time for.

Or is it Kale, Broc, and Carrots with a side of Salmon?

For the cranberry glaze:

Microwave about 1/2 cup frozen cranberries in a bit of water until they begin to burst. Add in a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a good spoonful of maine maple dijon mustard and a drizzle of honey.

For the salmon:

Season with salt and pepper on both sides, and begin to saute in olive oil over medium heat. Once lightly cooked on both sides, pour the cranberry sauce over the fish and reduce heat, allowing the glaze to thicken.

Add in kale, broccoli, and carrot slices and continue to cook until done.

Top the veggies with some shredded almond cheese and garnish with chopped mixed nuts.

Please, don’t forget about the mixed nuts! Or you’ll regret it. Promise.

More breaking news? I am a new cottage-cheese addict. I eat it plain now – with just some jam and cinnamon. Oh, and obviously granola crisps, but I’ll put granola crisps on my…veggies. Okay, maybe not – but you get the picture. I am a changed soul.

You know what I’ve realized? I’ve rarely given a bad review. *cough*exceptGardein*cough*. I actually feel sort of bad about this. Like you won’t be able to take me seriously when I say something is oh so amazing – because “I love everything.” So – thought I’d throw out there – I will say when I don’t like something. I have nothing to gain (or lose) from giving my true opinion/feelings. On the other hand – obviously I don’t “review” everything. Mainly if it’s a new product to me, or something I’ve started eating that I am crazy about. Ordinary old snacks and what not just get a “yeah they’re good,” and I go about my daily blogging. I guess I don’t see a point in dwelling on stuff that I’m not either a. crazy about, b. totally hate, or c. is a widely-known product. Unless, of course – it’s widely known but new to me, in which case – it would make sense I say what I think ๐Ÿ™‚

Capiche? Just thought I’d throw that out there ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s everyone else got planned for the weekend?! Hopefully beautiful, sunny, warm weather is in your forecast. And, of course – good food ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, apple, breakfast, broccoli, chia seeds, co op, cooking, dinner, fish, food blog, health, health food, healthy eating, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, organic, recipe, review, salmon, vegetable

Three-Sixty

Oh heyyyyyyy, there, babehluhvs! I’m back in full swing more than ever ๐Ÿ™‚ No more bleh-ness allowed, but thanks for letting me get it out of my system! haha.

I felt fine other than my funky mood last night, and was a leetle worried when I woke up that today’s weather was going to impede my mood even more. While I love sleeping to the soothing sound of rain on the roof, doesn’t it make waking up so difficult?! If I didn’t have a midterm to failย successfully complete, I’m not so sure I would have rolled out of bed for my 9:30 class.

Pumpkin-Nanne Oats: Traditional, Simple, and Comforting - they fit the bill for a mellow morning!

Usually just the thought of breakfast motivates me out of bed – but this morning I was so cozy in my big puffy down comforter, my Mouse-man sleeping by my feet, the sounds of the pitter-patter rain drops, and the lack of daylight peaking through my window that I could hardly decide on how I wanted my oats! I just knew they had to utilize pumpkin.

I was infatuated with this color palette. Isn't it so warm and soothing?

Old Faithful also incorporated a new guest. Remember my giant Bob’s order weeks ago? Well I’ve been working with the Barley and the Spelt only – and now that I’m 3/4s of the way through those bags, I figured it’d be best to introduce a new cereal.

Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Cereal + Flaxseed: rolled whole wheat, rye, oats, flaxseed, barley, and triticale.

Nothing too out of the ordinary, but being the graniac I am, I was excited to break into a new cereal.

The base for the morning was:

-equal parts oat bran and Bob’s 5 grain Rolled Hot Cereal, 1 T. wheat bran

almondmilk and brewed coffee

handful of trail power, approx. 1/2 T. chia seeds, golden raisins

pumpkin puree and half a sliced ripe banana

nutmeg, cinnamon, ground clove, and aย light drizzle of maple syrup

Topped with:

-pumpkin chia icing (I forgot the acai powder)

-milled golden flax

-golden raisins, crystallized ginger, PB&Co Cinnamon Raisin PB

-a couple of Yogi Cinnamon Raisin granola crisps

-and a sauteed mixture of half a diced banana, spoonful of pumpkin, drizzle of maple syrup, and almondmilk.

And a side of Green Mountain Rain Forest Nut.

In case you couldn’t tell – I just couldn’t get over how cozy these warm tones made me feel!

I loved the new cereal combo! They got nice and fluffy and had a nice chewy texture. Much like regular oats, really – but better! Loving the 5 grams of protein, and that it’s got flaxseed. I love you, Bob…

Eventually, I got ready for class. This involved a drastic mood change, which involved doing the Ellen dance around my kitchen to Justin Timberlake’s new song. I am not a mainstream music fan but had Fuse on to get into the groove. Why did JT all of a sudden make me feel overjoyed enough to do the Ellen dance while Kaia watched me, perplexed? I’m not sure, but I’m glad it happened. Everyone should do the Ellen dance around their kitchen every so often. I won’t say it should be to JT though, because that probably won’t happen again.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this helped me to pass my midterm any better, but it may have been the reason behind my ridiculously amazing (not to sound conceited or anything) chickpea patties. Although – I’m not so sure patties is the correct term, since I think they’re better without bread. I dunno.

After getting home – I made up a snack.

I thought I wanted cold. Yogi Crisps, mango, greek yog w/ agave & chai spice.

…but then I had a change of heart. I needed warm. Hmmm…

The remedy? Add some almond milk, some instant oats, and nuke 'er!

mmm….that’s moe’ bettah’.

I'm just a lagging Larry - slow to jump on the Agave train.

So, I realize Agave is widely known, yaddah yaddah. Well, I just bought it Saturday for my first time, and tried it today! I always have just used honey for sweetness, or maple syrup. I was too cheap to buy good maple syrup the other day, and have been meaning to try Agave anyways. I always thought it was way more similar to honey than it is. I love it! New addict.

You've all probably seen this before. Hey, I love product labels!

I did, however, take a while waffling between amber and light agave. Which do you use?! Is there a big difference?

After this, I of course set to work on my patties.

These patties were brainstormed last night, that’s how ready I was. If you want to know my thought process, I’ll tell you, because it’s funny how my mind works. Since you probably don’t care because I tend to ramble, I’m not offended and picture yums will continue soon!

These were supposed to be pumpkin-black bean burgers. That, however, got me thinking of the Cook’s Mission and what I was going to do. Hey – black bean apricot burgers? with pumpkin? Maybe? Hmmm. Or chickpea. I was pretty adamant about the pumpkin though, so you better believe I waffled all night and all through my midterm. I’m not joking. I probably failed my midterm because of apricots, pumpkins, and beans. What can I say? I should just be going to culinary school. Regardless – Chickpeas randomly came into play and amazingness ensued. But – how did they fair with a real taste tester, you ask?

I made sure my mom tried one as soon as she walked in the door! Luckily, she’s a willing tester, even though she’s far from a health foodie. She’s ms. “I hate the taste of whole grains and can eat all day without gaining a pound.” Love her. But – she does like chickpeas, and she did love these patties! Score. She couldn’t quite put her finger on the flavor that was in there, but after I told her it made sense and she went about enjoying it. If she didn’t like it – she would have given it to me. Won one over!

Even though it looks like that’s what I had for lunch, by the time I finished them it was only noon-thirty and after having eaten my fair share *la hem* taste testing the chickpea mixture prior to baking, I was not hungry, so I just ate the portions that got coated with the sauce. So really, by day just consisted of a bunch of really good snacks/small meals. Hey, maybe I’m not the picture of perfect eating lately, but oh well.

If these aren't the cutest things you've ever seen, I want to know what is.

what does one do when they’ve only got sandwich and bagel thins, wraps, pitas, and minature but delicious homamade english muffins and an egg sandwich is being called for?

Why, make mini egg mcmuffins, of course! Sure – these muffins were made more tiny than tiny. But you know what? I swear they taste better by the day. I think the nuttiness of Spelt gets moreso over time – I noticed the same thing with my spelt-crust calzone! Love. It. This is a new favorite snack as of late, though – so it’s almost like the miniature size was an unconcsious intentional mistake ๐Ÿ™‚

Microwaved egg w/ garlic salt & peppah, almond cheese, hummus, and a toasted whole wheat-spelt muffin w/ some olivio. To die.

What's this - oat bowl number fifty, or fifty six?

I have a confession. Actually – based on this picture – I have a couple.

1. I am a Yogi granola crisps addict. These things are to die for. If you find them – get them. Or, if you’re concerned you’ll become addict, don’t. Instead, get every package in sight. Most likely because you will be addicted before you know it.

2. I tend to freeze baked goods and forget about them – even when they taste like a little piece of heaven. Whassat, a AB&J Bran muffin? uhhh, yeahsa. Hey – I do it intentionally…they make for good surprises! And, this tasted just like it did the day it was so lovingly baked.

3. I’ve also noticed an intense cinnamon-raisin craze over the course of today’s eats. What can I say?!

Dinnah-time.

Obviously, chickpea patties were on the menu for dinner. I couldn’t decide on how to serve them – on bread? No…plain. But with what? ย And then I got the mail:

Dear Jess,

When have I ever failed you?

Love, Broccoli.

Broccoli. And I could saute it with some mango, and add in the flavors already incorporated into the patties & sauce. So – I did! Broc, mango, drizzle balsamic, lemon pepper, salt, garam masala, nutmeg, drizzle EVOO, drizzle honey mustard. Ooooh, this was good.

And dessert followed shortly after.

Pumpkin Yogurt - Galaxy Granola - Granola Crisps - Cottage Cheese - Agave - Raisins.

And obviously, there was cinnamon in there, too. The pumpkin yogurt was a stellar combo of pumpkin, yog, some chia seeds, almond milk, some acai powder, and agave, seasoned with cinn & nutmeg.

Oh, and honey apple buttah!

And that’s ’til now! Obviously, I didn’t have class tonight. It was quite nice to have a lazy day – I admit I was completely useless today, but when the weather is like this, it feels kinda nice! Do you like to enjoy a lazy day every so often, or do you feel “guilty” when you do? I used to feel guilty (and started getting really antsy by the time 3:30 rolled around! Luckily – it was nice neough to go outside and play with the ponies for a little while)

I’m also in the process of ordering more chia seeds but feel this could be quite dangerous. Should we place bets on how much I actually order compared to what I intend to order? Sometimes health food suppliers are just too much fun!

I hope everyone has a great night! Catch ya lataaa.

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, beans, breakfast, broccoli, chia seeds, cooking, dinner, food blog, foodblog, greek yogurt, health, health blog, health food, healthy eating, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, pumpkin, recipe, snack, vegetarian, whole grains

I Have a Block of Tempeh. Now What?

First thing’s first: Thank you all SO so so SO much for the birthday wishes. They are all much appreciated. It was a great day! We have had absolutely gorgeous weather here lately, and yesterday was no exception. With weather that beautiful, it would have taken something tragic to make it into a bad day. Luckily, that wasn’t the case ๐Ÿ™‚

The exam was, however, worse than I thought it was going to be :\ I’m usually a good essay writer, and am confident in my abilities as long as I am well educated on the subject – and, I felt I was. It turned out, however, that this exam would actually consist of two essays – and each were incredibly involved. As in – everything we’ve covered thus far, condensed into 90 minutes – though, more like 45 minutes for each essay. Basically, I could have gone home and easily written five pages. I had to pump it out in, oh, three-fourish mediocre pages?

Ah well. The stew and strawberry shortcake (!!) that was waiting for me at home made it all okay ๐Ÿ™‚ Granted, it was mock strawberry shortcake – we used the cupcakes! – and I decided to make mine with almond milk & nuke it to get it soggy – after the candle blowing-out, of course.

Buttt, moving onto this morning? More banana-craziness. I guess Henry stopped eating so many bananas or something, I know I haven’t cut back…but all of a sudden it seemed like there were four super-duper ripe bananas to be used!

Gross to the average person - perfection to the food blogger.

That’s a plant – the one I used was way more ripe. I just snapped a daylight photo of tomorrow’s banana for an example of my case ๐Ÿ™‚

Obviously, the strawberries are long-gone. Sooo, what did I chose to pair my nanner with this morning? Frozen morello cherries. I was so gosh durn excited when I finally found frozen cherries at the co-op the other day. I had been craving cherries like none other! And this morning was the first chance I’ve gotten to utilize them. Well actually, it’s not. But that’s besides the point.

The winning toppings for the morning was flax, chia-acai icing, dates, crystallized ginger, coconut, cacao bliss, and banana and cherries simmered in some almondmilk to perfection.

Loved the cherries. And the cacao bliss complimented it perfectly.

And in case anybody’s been wondering – why yes, it is still freezing cold in the mornings. And yes, I chose to go out in my pajama-clad self. And yes, I am grateful for a warm bowl of oats and coffee to warm me up from the ridiculousness of this.

It’s so crazy how fast the daylight has been changing. I’ve caught on to a noticeable difference morning and night over just the past three days. I love it! I think I even wake up earlier every day. I enjoy just being able to sit and relax after eating, taking my time making breakfast, cleaning up, and getting ready.

Are you someone who wakes up at the last minute and runs around trying to get ready, or do you leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the morning peacefulness?

A Rumi’s & Jam english muffin and cup-o-French Vanilla green mountain later, I was groovin’ my way to work. My eats for the course of the day were pretty repetitive, but lunch didn’t disappoint.

I’m finally almost done with that never-ending bag of sesame rice crackers and wasa. Don’t get me wrong – I still quite like them. But I’ve had my eye on the everything pretzel crisps in my cupboard.

When I got home last night, I cooked up a gigantic head of broccoli for some burnt broccoli, with the intentions of having plenty leftover. Even though my mom ended up sneakily munching on quite a few crowns, I was successful in this mission. So I had a side for the rest of my ‘zone! I swear this calzone got better with age. I feel like the Spelt flavor of the crust was delightfully more noticeable. Loved it!

This was savored alonngside my boss, who savored a can of BM Beans. Which begs only one question, in my mind. What kind of mind do you have to have, to name your baked bean company B&M? The least you could do is settle on M&B.

And a Power Bar Pria French Vanilla Crisp bar. Not a huge fan of these bars, simply because I prefer the more organic granola bars – but they’re not bad. They’re like dessert, though! haha. Surprised they only have 9g of sugar. It’s good for when I’m actually craving something sweet, but want something with oomph. I do like that they are smaller than your average protein bar, but still have 5g of protein. I tend to stay away from your typical protein bar simply because they’re way too big for just a daytime bar when I’m not working out. So the smaller size of this is what caught my eye. That, and it was 49 cents. It could have tasted like cardboard and I couldn’t have rightfully complained. Luckily, it didn’t ๐Ÿ™‚ After washing windows all afternoon – it was just what I was craving afterwards!

Washing windows, you ask? Okay – most people would be legit upset if they were asked by their employer if they wanted to wash windows. But you best believe I jumped at the chance! It was gorg out. I also took advantage of part of my break to take the long-route walk to the post office. Soaked up the sun!

I started out washing windows because we were pretty slow work-wise…but the afternoon absolutely exploded! There were customers left and right. I joked that it was because they could finally see in the windows ๐Ÿ˜› So naturally, the afternoon flew by, and I was concocting dinner. This means that while driving home, there were many periods in which I zoned out and snapped back to after realizing I’d been listening to static for quite some time. Don’t worry – when I do this, I’m still really focused on driving. Promise.

AKA? My first tempeh experience. I have seen tempeh all over the blogosphere lately! I knew I had to give it a try, and picked some up at Hannafords. What better night to put it to use than tonight?! Granted – I had (and still don’t have) no idea what to do with it. Use it like I would tofu? Any way my heart desired, for it to pick up that flavor? I did a quick google of tempeh recipes simply to see what the common theme was, and finally just decided to saute it in a cranberry-orange & basil glaze that I’d been dreaming up for a little while now. I’m not sure if that’s weird or not. But I do know it tasted pretty dang good. Tempeh aficianados: Feel free to tell me if this is crazy.

The texture of the tempeh was strange to me at first – but by the time I was halfway through the meal, I had ย no problem with it, and really started loving this. Definite make again! Next time, I’d use a bit more honey to reduce the tartness of the strawberries just a bit. Driver error. My bad.

Basically – I sauteed the tempeh in cranberries, orange-creme honey, juice of half an orange, some balsamic vin, and fresh basil. I also threw in some dried sage, smoked sea salt, cracked black pepper, and a dash of chili powder. I really liked the basil.

So – this leads me to my next question – what’s your favorite way to prepare tempeh? Since I have an inability to follow recipes I can’t guarantee I’ll try it – but I can guarantee it will trigger another idea in my crazy brain ๐Ÿ™‚

I simply adore these honey cremes. They are so good – for everything! I love the Blackberry in my sugar cookie tea, and I bet this orange will be amazing in my moroccan orange spice tea. Tonight was my first time opening it, though – so I haven’t quite gotten to try it yet!

I’m almost out of Puffins, so I’m gradually growing re-accustomed to Kashi H2H. I figure it’s a good idea due to the fact that I have four boxes of Kashi in the cupboard after I found that stash at Big Lots. Ironically enough, my Kashi obsession ended before I even opened a single box. However – this bowl was to die. It involved a cupcake. it involved dried currants. And Nature Valley Nut Cluster crumbs. and Blueberry Cherry jam. Oh – and almondmilk & a microwave. The end.

Now, however, I’m back to my ANTM 90 minute premier. Not sure I’m digging this season yet. We’ll see.

Peace, lovelies. And don’t forget: tempeh! Or – what’s something you’ve seen a ton of lately that are soon to try? And when you do experiment with new food – do you follow a recipe, or wing it?

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, breakast, breakfast, broccoli, cooking, dinner, food, food blog, foodblog, health, health blog, health food, healthy eating, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, organic, recipe

Waffle With Me

Has everyone seen or heard the new Dunkin’ Donuts commercials advertising their waffle sandwich? I swear I hear it every ten minutes – but tt makes me laugh every time. Why? Because, well…I waffle on a daily basis. I even use the term waffle. So when I heard waffle all over the radio I felt a little cheated. Here is a days worth of waffles for you.

Fortunately, this mornings breakfast was almost waffle free due to this cool chica’s mention of carrot cake ice cream. I read this comment at 1 am during my nightly “I need to stop drinking so much water” moment – and immediately realized it’s been far too long since I’ve had carrot cake oats. You’d better believe I had difficulties falling asleep when I could hardly wait for morning. Just the thought made me have a nightly rendezvous with the kitchen involving nuked puffins. Luckily, morning finally came.

I love you, carrot cake oats. And this bowl was especially stellar, for what reason I am unsure. Possibly because this was the first time I’d had it with oat bran? Possibly. It was much fluffier than usual. Or maybe I just forgot how fluffy bananas make oats?

I suppose one of my breakfast waffles occurred just moments ago, trying to narrow down my breakfast photos. Apparently, I went a little overboard this morning. I was enamored.

In the Mix was oat bran, spelt flakes, barley & wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, ~1/4 sliced banana, vanilla, goji berries, pineapple, 1/2 carrot, grated, ground clove, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon

On the Top was chia-acai icing, flax, crystallized ginger, a chopped walnut or two, strawberry-pom jam, coconut butter, and 1/2 grated carrot sauteed with maple syrup, coconut, raisins, pineapple, cinnamon, and a splash of water.

The waffle appeared when it was time to chose coffee. I think my problem is that I give myself too many choices. So many nut butters, so many jams, so many veggies, so many fruits, so many breads. Hey, variety is the spice of life, right? As long as I’m not wasting anything, I’m content.

Rain Forest Nut eventually won over, and I waffled about what I wanted to make for my birthday dinner while enjoying a cup of that and my cake. I love waking up early.

Next waffle: hurr. I’ve been having major hair dilemmas. I really need to cut it. But I don’t like paying someone $20 to take half an inch off my hair. That can be spent on fun food finds or new bowls, you know.

the usual, except usually I pouf it more. It's growing old.

reunited with my hair straightener: still pouffed on top.

the new? or too susie home-maker?

After all this waffling, it was time to pack the lunch-age and head to class. First, I waffled as to what I wanted for my drive in snackage. The rest of the nanner had apparently been eaten by a Henry-monster, so banana was out of the question. English muffin, or nuked Puffins?

puffins-1. english muffin-0

If you haven’t done this yet, you should do it now. 1/2c. original puffins, 1/4 c. almondmilk, drizzle honey-apple butter, and cinnamon. Nuke for 30 seconds. Enjoy. Yum.

Next up? Yogi Moroccan Spice – for the words of wisdom – or Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride – for the pure bliss?

sugar cookie sleigh ride - with almondmilk, vanilla, and honey.

I have a rapidly growing honey obsession.

Driving in to class I encountered a major waffle. Did I really want to waste this beautiful morning by going to class? I won’t say which waffle I toasted, but I will say sometimes…ya just gotta appreciate the beauty around you.

And right on time, hunger came knocking, and I gladly answered. There was no waffling here:

Rite Aid parking lot.

Nature valley Nut Clusters – I make sure I ration these out, or I’ll just nom down the whole bag. So good. These were the peanut ones. I’m tempted to try making something similar myself.

I just realized I ate a lot in my car today.

And sesame rice crisps. Fueling before my second class & a quick Rite Aid pit-stop. This was a good snack – the clusters held me over quite nicely!

After my second class I participated in a grueling workout that involved a pretty drastic makeover. Are you ready for this?

Gertrude. Don't think she stayed that clean for more than ten minutes.

This messed up my hair, made me freeze, and made me more than ready for lunch.

There was slight waffling involved in lunch: I was homeless! My mom was MIA and I didn’t feel like eating by myself at a random location on campus. Everyone has classes when I don’t, and vice versa ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I finally decided on just going to the welcome center because I was going to need to buy some hot water or coffee, anyways. I wanted to go to the lake lookout – but didn’t think I’d have time to do that and get tea/coffee.

lunch was packed last night, as usual.

Turkey Meatball pita-panini w/ ranch, dijonnaise, sundried tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, spinach, and a pickle. Oh and parmesan, of course!

And I'll never turn down a naranja.

Deee-vine. Loved the homemade ranch-dijonnaise combo. And the pickle. Oh, dill pickles. You make sandwiches complete.

Did I want a bar, too?

I ended up passing – I was quite content – but decided to take Clif with me, for his whole grains and vitamins – to my Photo class. I definitely made everyone jealous. If you’ve had a Blueberry Z Bar before, you know how deliciously blueberry – y they smell!

I munched half in class, and half driving home so I didn’t eat the kitchen once I got there. There was much waffling about exposures, negatives, and chemicals while in photo – but I won’t bore you. There was also much stress/frustration. Everyone kept asking me all these questions about what to do, how to do it, what to mix, etc. I get really stressed out when I’m asked too many questions about stuff like that when I’m trying to do it, too. I’m trying to get stuff done, too – and I probably only know as much as you! I know that sounds awful, but it’s just part of me. I could never be a teacher. The worse part is – I’ll even get frustrated if it’s even people I know really well.

I had already had a general idea for dinner planned, but I waffled the entire way home as to specifics. I’ll reveal the final product, first.

Bulgur-Chickpea Casserole

Did I want chickpeas, turkey meatballs, or shrimp? Chickpeas. Did I want sweets-meets-savory by including an apple? No. But next time for sure! Did I want to make it all neat and layered only for it to be messed up upon serving, anyway? Sure.

Classic Jess fashion.

Did I want to use nutritional yeast, feta, or parmesan in the veggie layer? Nutritional yeast. Parm on Top!

This was good! Chickpeas were the right waffle. Next time I’d love to try it with some chopped apple and sweet potato!

Dessert was waffle free:

you betcha!

Told you so: new obsession/old obsession meet.

I guess you could say I tend to get stuck in food ruts. I’ve actually been flipping through Clean Eating mags at breakfast and re-discovering some great recipes that I saw and wanted to try – but didn’t make note of…and completely forgot! I’ve been feeling rather uncreative, so these are definitely helping and I’m brewing some good ideas. I still openly admit to finding one snack and latching on to it, however. Oh, well, I guess.

I hope everyone toasted lots of waffles today – decisions are good! Do you like to have decisions, or have things laid out for you? When you do have decisions – are you indecisive, or black and white?

Do you pack your own snacks when you know you’ll be out and about, or just hope you’ll find something?

And lastly – do you tend to get stuck in “food ruts” ever?

I hope everyone has a great night – just think, tomorrow’s friday already!

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Extremes

First of all, thank you guys so much for your kind words after yesterday’s post. You’re all too sweet! I hope I didn’t sound like too much of a Debbie Downer – in all honesty, days like that, I can’t help but to laugh a little! Keeps ya from crying, ya know? But in all reality, nothing seriously catastrophic happened (okay, well, the computer crashing stinks, but it really wasn’t my fault, lol) but how often does everything happen all at once like that? haha.

Secondly, I don’t think I can ever ask what your favorite ______ is ever again! Why? I’m way too jealous of all the awesome jams you guys can find in your areas! Fig? Creme of Dates with Almond? Ginger? Vanilla chestnut? Seriously – every single suggestion about had my mouth watering! I think I would especially kill for Creme of Dates with Almond ๐Ÿ˜‰

But anyways – on to today!
Lets just say…it was the extreme opposite of yesterday!


In the Base: bulgur, oats, TVP, and wheat bran mix, with cinnamon, nutmeg, goji berries, 1/4 banana, and orange zest.
In the “Icing”: greek yogurt, chia seeds, sliced pineapple, and almondmilk.
On the Top: flax, toasted coconut, toasted macadamia nuts, 1/4 banana, orange zest & wedges, pomegranate strawberry jam, Naturally Nutty White Chocolate Coconut PB, and poppyseeds – just because!

Holy Yum! Sometimes there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, I guess!


I realized that this PB will still last a year if I don’t refrigerate it. Safe to say – it won’t last that long, so I’m leaving it out now! It gets too hard in the fridge. I like it to melt in! And with the new knowledge – I’m not so afraid to open the others *gasp*at the same time. For some reason I thought they went bad way faster.


This peanut butter is seriously amazing. I love that it’s not very chocolatey, and the coconut is allowed to take center stage ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably because it’s white chocolate, not dark. Which, I actually just realized this morning as I was thinking to myself how glad I was that it wasn’t overly chocolatey. Uh, duh, Jess….just read the label. lol…

floating oats!

Yes – these were taken outside.
It was cold. But they look so much pretty outside, don’t you agree?


Sorry – I got a little photo happy this morning, I’d say. 

Before I left for my first classes I threw together some “overnight oats” consisting of plain oikos, almond milk, chia seeds, oats, goji berries, maple sizzurp, and a crumbled mate energy bar. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it home for lunch like usual because there was a possibility – weather permitting – that I would be shooting someone’s senior portrait. It was supposed to start snowing right around noon – when I get out of class – and we were supposed to shoot then, too. 

Well, the shoot got rescheduled because she was too sick – and good thing, too! It’s finally storming pretty darn good! Started right when I got off the phone with her. So, I [slowly!] made it home – the snow really started sticking to the roads, and fast.
And, with the wintery weather, couldn’t decide if I still wanted cold “over morning” oats! So I opted for the best of both worlds:

In the Pita Panini: turkey bacon, spinach, roma tomato slices, red onion, almond mozzarella, and maple-dijon mustard.
On the side: sundried tomato hummus, Schneiders butter bites pretzels, carrot, and Suzie’s spelt multi-seed flatbreads.


This. Was. Perfect. I think I’m in love with just about every component. That almond mozzarella is pretty awesome, as ws my first turkey bacon experience! 
It was made even better that I could see this every time I looked out the door…


I love the peaceful beauty of snow when it falls like this ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t it gorgeous?
Are you a snow lover or hater?
It’s funny – I’ve never gone snowboarding or skiing a day in my life, and hate being cold. But I love, love, love, watching the snow fall.

Lunch was followed shortly with my dessert, something probably only appetizing-looking to me, but oh well!


Some seriously good oats. Everyone must put dried goji berries in their next batch of overnight oats. They get deliciously moist and…delicious. haha. Same as rehydrating them while your oatmeal boils. So good! I don’t really care for them dry…


It was about this time that I decided I would not be driving back for my night class! The roads were much too sloppy already – and even if the commute in wasn’t bad, I only knew the one home would be awful. I hate driving at  night in snow storms. It’s like driving in a tunnel – and really exhausts your eyes! Not to mention the conditions in general.


This is a really nice professor, though – so hopefully he’s relatively understanding. I feel bad because I hate looking like I’m copping out!

With this information, I could have ditched my plans for a quick, easy dinner since had I gone to class I’d be getting home quite late. But, I’d grown rather fond of my idea and decided to roll with it. It incorporated two new finds – one from my co-op trip the other day, and one from my Bob’s Red Mill order I received today!


I knew the hot dogs would come in handy, and have pretty good nutritionals, and have been dying to try out nutritional yeast since reading Mae’s blog.

So, I decided on Turkeys in a Blanket!


Okay, so this dun’ look so hot.
It. was. so. good.
There’s just something so great about comfort food made quasi-healthy, don’t you agree?


What’s the “blanket” you ask?
Oh, you know…just the Naan I made up the other day!
Crafty.
Turkey dogs all cozy in a Naan dough with sundried tomatoes and a cheesy ranch sauce?
And burnt broccoli?
Yes, please!
And, verdict on the turkey dogs? Oh my goodness. So quick, so convenient, and so good! They’re really moist – I was kind of expecting…I duunno. Dry weirdness? haha. But really. They’re quite good!

But that’s about it from me!
What’s your favorite “comfort food”? Whether you healthify it or not!


Also! Is everyone familiar with Tastespotting? It’s a relatively addictive website, and where a lot of my ideas stem from – it’s picture and one-liner based, so it’s easy to grab an idea and run, rather than follow a recipe. And, if you’re a recipe-follower, the recipe is provided via a blog link.
Well anyways! There’s a new website similar – but just for desserts! It’s called Dessertspotting, and Donalyn is looking for more participants, photos, recipes – be it a healthy recipe or not! Breakfasts, sweets, etc. I know even though I try to healthify many things, I view websites like these on a daily basis because it’s not forcing a recipe on you before seeing a photo or one-liner description. You can pretty much take the flavors and idea and adapt it to your nutritional needs and desires! That and – I know tons of you dear readers have beautiful and delicious recipes that are certainly deserving of a feature. So go ahead, get on the boat and start submitting to this wonderful community!

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