Category Archives: co op

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜› 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 RaisinΒ 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 πŸ™‚ 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.Β 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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

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

13 Comments

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

Rude Awakening

Hey lovelies πŸ™‚ I hope everyone’s had a supah flyyy Thursday – can you believe it’s almost Friday already? I think I say that every Thursday – but seriously, where is the time going these days?!

So, after reading all of your wonderful comments for my last post – it sounds like I’m not the only one who sometimes faces having to defend themselves and their food choices! Who wants to start a town of oat-loving, kombucha-drinking, green-monster slurping, sweet-tater-nomming foodies?! I’ll bring the party!!

And by party, I mean Pumpkin-Gingerbread Spelt Flakes.

This morning started out with a rather rude awakening: my mom took the day off (for, what – the first time in ever?! she works too hard) though of course still woke up early – which means, the glaring light from the kitchen found its’ way into my room, along with some radio. Does anyone else hate fluorescent lighting?! I’m the one who, even when it’s almost dark, prepares meals using the oven overhead light only. Especially in the morning – I rolled into the kitchen with a squinty-eyed grimace, while she bopped her head to the music.

What? Too bright?”

No, no…not at all. haha. Love her.

Regardless! I persuaded her to turn the lights off (it was daylight, for pete’s sake!) and did my thang.

Obviously, this is my thang.

Randomness was in store for this morning. I couldn’t think of what to pair with pumpkin! I was – sadly – all out of frozen cranberries.

The base this morning was

-oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, and wheat bran

-brewed coffee & almondmilk

-drizzle molasses, agave, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves

-pumpkin, zest and juice of half an orange

-1/2 T. chia seeds

and topped with:

-pumpkin chia icing, milled golden flax

chopped mixed nuts

-ginger jam and PB&Co Cinnamon Raisin PB

and a compote of orange slices, orange juice & zest, dried cranberries, dried currants, and frozen cherries – in a almondmilk & agave “syrup.”

If you're skeptical - don't worry, I was too. But this just worked.

Gahhh – this was amazing. I wasn’t sure about the citrus, but it made the bowl. Yes, please. To drank? How about a Cinnamon Bun?

The morning consisted of mainly bummin’ around. There were still people finishing exams – so I was not about to go to class and sit and wait. I don’t think there was anything planned for afterwards, so it would have been pointless. I got some blog-reading done, and tried working on business cards – but ended up getting a domain for my photography site! Needed to happen. I made use of the morning!

A savory snack? Whaaa?

You’ve probably noticed that I’m farr more apt to chose a sweet snack versus savory. Sure – I love my veggies, but other than carrots, I don’t often choose to ust have some alone, raw, out of the blue. But, I think all my hummus and hardboiled egg talk with Christina made me absolutely need red peppers, hardboiled egg, and hummus by the time it was only 10:00 am! And I did it up – I won’t say I rationed that hummus, because that’d be called lying.

Eventually – however – I started getting antsy and bopped my way into town. I had to have a drop slip signed to officially drop intro to CJ, and after that I made pit-stops at the co-op, Hannafords, and BB&B.

Rut-Roh, Rorge.

Fueled by Ramen. Err - nectarines and apples, rather.

After trackinng down all the necessary officials at school, I was on my voyage. Yeah, hi, nectarines – you are delicious. Why haven’t you kicked out oranges yet?

I was quite well-behaved at the co-op. And I am officially a member! Sure, the benefits aren’t huge and what-not, but I figure: why not join?

One of my immediately-consumed new finds?

SO stoked to try!

And yet - so frightened.

I’ve seen these all over blogs, to rave and poor reviews. I can’t find them anywhere but the co-op, and had passed the last couple times, but this time I felt brave enough to tackle the Kombucha monster. What made me even more nervous? The closer inspection of the label, revealing trace alcohol from fermentation, and the noise when first opening the bottle. Add to that, the smell when you take a whiff. What. did. I. get. myself. into?

But! The verdict? Holy yum! It’s so weird, yet so good! I love the strangeness of it, haha. That, and – the tart cranberry taste of this one. I was caught off-guard at first by the carbonated fizziness (I rarely have carbonation) but after a few sips I was used to it, and quite enjoying my new love. However, unfortunately – this probably won’t be a new love or addiction at almost $4 a pop. I (riskily) bought two of these babies, and I think I’ll have to make sure I only have one serving at a time for optimum enjoyment! Oh, well.

Before I rampaged Hannies, I looked to some of my other loves for fuel:

Matches made in heaven.

and then did the dang thang. And not only that – I was quite well-behaved once again! A lot of stuff (produce!!) would be cheaper at Price Chopper, so I just held off. Luckily, I’m pretty well set until the weekend in that department. I just wanted to scope out the organic section, of course!

But: the real jackpot was at Bed, Bath and Beyond! gasp.

Don’t worry – you’ll get to see my finds throughout the course of the next couple of days! Peep the lunch goods, though:

What is this, the Thursday classic?!

I don’t know – I guess Thursdays just scream tempeh, PB, Apple butter, apple, and Raisin flatbread?! Seriously love this combo. I should have it more often – it just feels like it’s too good to be lunch, though! That and – I do like my veggie wraps πŸ™‚

After all that, though – it was time to boogie my way back to school for our second photo critique.

I. Have. never been in a class where I am the only vocal one. I usually hardly ever speak up – but seriously, if I didn’t talk, we were going to be there all day. This photo class is killing me slowly. This photo class should be fun. Ugh. Eventually, we were released. I was given another rude awakening by having to walk to my car in the pouring rain. Where did that come from?! I guess mother nature thought it would provide a fitting mood for a miserable class.

Just a little peek!

After unloading Gertrude, I had a quick (and adorable) snack just to tide me an hour or so til dinner.

Babies!

Seriously falling in love with cottage cheese. No lies.

So – I heard a rumour that today is National Waffle Day! I;m not 100% certain this is true, but what does a waffler such as myself do when the words “national waffle day” are read?

Why, make sweet potato waffles, of course! And have breakfast for dinner. Another Thursday thing, apparently.

It's not burnt, it's well cooked.

Initially, I was legitimately upset that my waffle iron’s light never changed to green to signify my waffle was done – but as I ate, I realized: the best parts are the dark parts! It wasn’t really burnt or crispy at all – I think just because it was so moist, it burnt the top most layer.

Wait a minute - is that a new plate, too?

Truly spectacular. My sweet potato obsession is coming back with avengence. I’m not going to resist it – every time I finish a meal with a sweet potato, all I dream of is what to do with my next sweet potato. Okay, that might be a Β lie, but saying that I’ve tossed around the idea of sweet potato oats is truth.

Basically, all I did was mash a sweet potato, add some spelt flour and an egg white, some almondmilk, some baking powder, and some seasonings (garam masala, salt) and voila! Actually – that’s not basically what I did…that is what I did.

Another new obsession that I can forsee? Garam masala. Yes, please.

Golden delicious!

I couldn’t make it through all the eggs, though…but apparently I can make some killer scrambled eggs? My mom finished them, and could not stop raving about how good they were, lol. I mean…I wasn’t even that impressed by them…and I didn’t do anything abnormal. They were just scrambled eggs! haha. Ah, well.

Moral of the story? Make sweet potato waffles and more eggs than you can handle. You’ll love life.

Dessert was more cottage-cheesey lovin, and I should disclose the fact that I’m seriously doin’ work on this bottle of Agave. It’s love. But – I want to know about you guys! Any new fun food finds, obsessions, hates, or experiments?

Here’s to Friday!

17 Comments

Filed under all natural, almond butter, almond milk, apple, breakfast, chia seeds, co op, cooking, dinner, food, food blog, foodblog, gingerbread, greek yogurt, health, health food, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy food, healthy living, kashi, lunch, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, organic, pumpkin, quesedilla, recipe, sweet potato, sweet potatoes

Subliminal Messaging

Did everyone else get to enjoy beautiful weather today? Vermont was certainly graced with some beautiful sun and warm temperatures! Given the time of the year it is I should be crying that it was nearly 40*. Lately all I’ve been wanting is snow, snow, snow. We have none! But since beautiful sunshine came along with the warmth, there was no way I could complain.
I should have known it would end up being a beautiful day after seeing the subliminal message in this ridiculous bowl of banana cream pie breakfast:
Anyone else see the heart?!Not intentional.
This craziness involved the usual whipped banana bowl of grains, topped with more banana, coconut, walnuts, raisins, and whet germ. The chia-seed yogurt icing had some mashed banana, too! And almond butter and a maraschino cherry, just for good measure, of course.
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven after eating this.
I grabbed the buffalo turkey wrap out of the fridge that I’d made for lunch last night, an orange, a carrot, and a Z Bar and made my way to school for classes.
After my first one I learned of two amazing facts: 1. Int. to C.J. was cancelled, and 2. Photo would just be a “work day” if we so chose! Luckily I learned both these things in e-mails, so decided to do my own photo class by driving round Rutland and finding sketchy places to take photos. Strangely, I’ve never just walked around downtown with my camera with the intent to take photos. I learned that sometimes you overlook some of the neatest places!
I’ve got quite a few photos to go through to keep me busy tonight, tomorrow, and the next day! Hopefully I got one or two good ones. 
While I was in town, I took advantage of the time to explore our co-op! I’ve never actually been in there – another shocker, right? I told myself I wouldn’t buy much. And I did great until I got to the bulk section, where everything…uh…sort of added up. There’s so many fun things, and still feel like I hardly got as much as I wanted! haha. Finds included goji berries, other dried fruits and nuts, almond “mozzarella,” oikos, applegate farms turkey hot dogs, some bars, and some cookies! What I really wanted to find was coconut butter, but no such luck. My other stop was my favorite little organic deli/cafe, the Back Home Again. I about lived there all summer long, until I started school. (Then “Jess’s Budgeting Act” cut-off so much buying of meals, and encouraged the making & packing of meals. It’s ridiculous how much I spent a week buying lunches rather than packing my own!)They make amazing breads, and I needed some Spelt bread. They also sell yerba mate and mate energy bars, which are amazing. So I picked some of those up as well. Bliss. 




By the time I was done spending money and taking pictures, it was around 1:45 and I had only eaten all my snacks. They held me over so luckily I wasn’t so tempted by any of the delicious wraps and sandwiches at the BHA and decided I’d just enjoy my wrap grilled once I got home!
Look familiar? It hasn’t gotten old…but I’m almost out of those meatballs! I do miss hummus and veggie wraps though, so it’s all good πŸ™‚
Dinner was to incorporate one of my interesting co-op finds!
I had planned on just getting some really good marinated mozzarella when I went grocery shopping this weekend (I am picky about my mozzarella. Go big or go home. No skim over here.) but was quite fascinated when I saw this! Never even heard of it before, so of course I had to give it a try. I’m not lactose intolerant, vegan, or anything requiring me to avoid real cheese, but I was quite intrigued. And it’s quite good! But we’ll get to that.
On the agenda tonight was a Sausage Polenta Bake. I’d been tossing ideas around in my head all morning, and initially wanted to do sausage-apple, but wasn’t sure what veggies I had that would go well with that.
So, for 1-2 servings (my mom and I shared it but each had another sausage & sauce on the side) I prepared the bottom polenta layer with:
1 Pesto-Chicken Bilinski Farms Chicken sausage, diced
1/3 c. polenta/corn grits
1 c. water
minced garlic
diced scallions, red pepper, and yellow pepper.
garlic salt, pepper, and basil
I just prepared the polenta as usual and when it was beginning to pull from the sides I added everything in. Poured and spread into a mini casserole dish, and baked at 400* for 20m.
Pre-baking:
Then I decided on a middle veggie layer:
baby spinach – 1 c.?
broccoli crown, chopped
1/4 c. cream of broccoli soup
minced garlic
dijon mustard
salt, pepper to taste
Sauteed in a pan until cooked down & soup about evaporated. By this time your polenta should be about done, so go ahead and put this layer on top.
Top with some sort of marinara/tomato-based sauce on top, and then some mozzarella shreds. (or, in my case, almond mozzarella)
I initially thought I was going to have to make my own “sauce” with diced tomatoes and seasonings like I usually do, but my mom actually had a pot of spaghetti sauce on for some pasta and sausages she was making, so I just stoled some of that. Convenient!
Pop back in the oven until your cheese is melted, and dig in! (Caution: Contents Hot)
Basic, but good πŸ™‚ I still like my sausage-apple polenta casserole idea, though. Soon!
Now, however, it is time for dessert round 2 (round 1 was a mate bar!): chia seed pumpkin pudding!
If you have a local co-op, what’s your favorite find there? 
Or, if you’re grocery shopping, do you end up trying way more new things than you went there with the intention of purchasing? 
I know I’m guilty of having a grocery shopping new-foods problem!
‘Night everyone!

5 Comments

Filed under banana, breakfast, casserole, co op, digital, dinner, foodblog, hdr, healthy living, italian, oatmeal, organic, photography, polenta, recipe, sausage