Category Archives: foodblog

Energy Cookies!

I loved hearing whether my voice/self was at all what you’ve imagined it to be. I’m not surprised a lot of you mentioned it sounded quieter/higher than you’d expected. I should have mentioned that I was trying to not talk normal-level, and my voice gets sort of higher pitched when I’m nervous.

Yes, I was nervous to be vlogging. Don’t laugh. I still haven’t seen many of you try an accent vlog!

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You’re probably not surprised to learn that today was a snow-day. Since I don’t need to be anywhere in particular on Tuesdays I should add it was a self-proclaimed snow day, but still a snowday nonetheless.

…poor Teddie.

I made do, though – I have plenty of reading and homework to do this semester, that is for sure!

…but there comes a point in time when you’ve just got to take a break!

Dreena’s Energy Cookies have caught my eye and called my name everytime I open Vive le Vegan, but I kept just opting to bake SuperCharge Me cookies instead. Because the ingredients list was shorter.

Long lists overwhelm me.

But, given the fact that I have about every nut or seed imaginable and plenty of flours to choose from, I finally figured a long list would probably be better than a short one today. You know, dig into the stash.

My kinda cookies! They’re so nutty, seedy and moist! The only thing I changed from the recipe was I used 1/4 c. amaranth flour and the rest white whole wheat as well as some quick oats, almond extract instead of vanilla, cranberries instead of raisins and added some ground nutmeg. Oh, and replaced some of the maple syrup with almond milk.

Dare I say it, but I think I prefer these over SuperCharge Me cookies! I loved the combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds.

They’re also a bit more moist than SuperCharge Me cookies, which sometimes come out to dry for me. I realize that’s probably just due to me getting too experimental though, since SCM cookies are practically the holy grail of the power cookie and blog world. Rightfully so.

And re: amaranth flour – I love it! I think it lends a nice crust – these cookies have a bit of a crust on the outside that gives way to their soft interior, and my bread that I baked had a wonderful crust, too. I was terrified to use it when I first opened the bag as it had a very grainy, almost “dirty” smell to it. It doesn’t taste like that, though!

Chocolate has been growing on me more and more lately. I’m still not one to eat a bar of it plain, but I’ve been loving dark chocolate chips in baked goods. And stuffed in dates a la Gabriela. Maybe I should look into purchased dark chocolate chips that don’t contain artificial flavoring if this is going to become habit…

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And I got over my unspoken-of cauliflower fear today!

I admit it. I had an irrational “thing” about cauliflower before.

I suppose there was no basis to this “thing,” because if I remember correctly, cauliflower happened to be one of the few vegetables I ate as a kid.

Of course, “if I remember correctly” usually means I’m not remembering correctly…but I digress.

In attempts to make Appetite for Reduction’s roasted cauliflower, I needed bread crumbs.

Or, pretzel crumbs if you’re like me.

Note to self: find whole wheat bread crumbs somewhere.

(who am I kidding, I can’t find whole wheat bread crumbs to save my soul…)

Maybe this is where I should clarify that I actually used a yellow cauliflower, not a normal cauliflower. Just before you go thinking I ate some wonky cauli.

The yellow one was fifty cents cheaper and I was being thrifty, remember?

Much to my surprise the cauliflower tasted like…well…the barbecue sauce I dipped it in. Crazy, right?!

It must have been the special Kaia-hair seasoning I used.

(and that’s mushroom tibs by the way, even though it may look like I decided to just share my plate with Kaia.)

Time for me to go batten down the hatches for the big storm.

And by batten down the hatches, I mean watch the Bruins game. I wonder how long it will take me to go stir-crazy tomorrow?

Are you easily intimidated by recipes with long ingredients lists?


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Filed under baking, cookies, cooking, dinner, foodblog, healthy living, lunch, recipe, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Shredded Wheat Pancakes

Confession: I didn’t set a single limb outside today.

Call me lame, I call it warm.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is supposed to be the worst of the days, and I have to go outside tomorrow. Work, schmerk.

What did I do to pass my time?  Well, before going on a cleaning rampage and getting stuff printed out and organized for my classes that start this week, I made pancakes.

You’re all really shocked right now, huh?

At least they were a little different than usual. You see – after a bedtime snack of Kashi Autumn Wheat, I discovered I had a whole lot of shredded…crumbs.

I wasn’t about to throw them out, but the texture weirds me out to just have them all in a bowl with milk.

And so it found its way into pancakes. Truthfully, I struggle to call them pancakes as they’re really not like a normal pancake at all. They’re very moist and almost oatmeal-like in the middle. This could have something to do with the fact that I kept wanting to add more liquid, but unfortunately the next time I can try them won’t be until my next box of shredded wheat is finished.

This doesn’t mean they were bad – not at all! Just a disclaimer for those who are thinking it’s a light, fluffy pancake. And honestly – I don’t think there’s a better way to use up the last of that cereal at the bottom of the bag!

Shredded Wheat Pancakes

  • 1/4 c. shredded wheat crumbles (I used Kashi)
  • 2 t. chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. freshly brewed coffee (still hot) (see note)
  • 3 T. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 1/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • maple syrup and almond butter, for topping
  • earth balance or butter, for greasing pan

Combine the shredded wheat and chia seeds in a bowl and then stir in the hot coffee. Set aside for 2 minutes or so – sip some coffee, preheat your pan, that sorta thing.

Once it’s thickened a bit, add in the dry ingredients and stir. Add in the milk and stir to combine. Fold in the blueberries. The batter will be thick – don’t add more! You’ll wind up with pansoup, not pancakes. …not that I would know or anything…

Grease the pan and spoon the batter onto the preheated pan. Fry about 4-5 m. on each side, or until golden. The insides will still be moist and dense – that’s as cooked as you’re going to get, though!

Serve drizzle with maple syrup and almond butter “sauce,” and a grilled banana, of course 😉

Note: You could probably also use hot water or almond milk if you don’t happen to have a hot pot of coffee. The coffee flavor isn’t that noticeable, having something hot is more the point.

All the more incentive to accidentally smush your shredded wheat cereal boxes on the drive home. Or not hate on the bag-boys that decide to throw ten pounds of sweet potatoes and bananas on top of them.

I couldn’t make up my mind re: flash vs. natural light. I was finding the natural light to be a bit too harsh. But was happy to have it – I hate waking up and being in the dark all morning on days I have to work!

Mmm…the best part of a sweet potato. It’s like a burnt marshmallow. For some reason, my mom doesn’t embrace the smell of the sap burning at the bottom of the oven as much as I do…

I mentioned cleaning rampage, yes? Well, I took care of the kitchen. You guys are right. I have a flour problem. And a grain problem. It’s a good thing I bake a lot…and I think there will be lots of bread-baking in my future! I need something that will use at least 3+ cups of flour, after all.

That or I can just think up some pranks. My sister does use her hair dryer often…

Anyways. As a flour and grain addict, I have too many grains that get neglected. Well, actually I don’t – I just have barley that gets neglected. So I might as well use it, right? I was surprised to find out I actually like barley, while I was under the impression that I didn’t care for it.

Beets, however? Well, I don’t think I’m their biggest fan after all. I mentioned last time that I warmed up to them…but I think it’s “baked until crispy” or nothing when it comes to me and beets. I wasn’t too fond of these. I followed a recipe for roasting them (and some carrots) in a balsamic and thyme sort of…glaze? But it was nothing really to write home about, I guess.

…at least the barley was good. The veg was just “mreh.”

So – cereal! What’s your favorite kind? Ever used it for something other than, well, a bowl of cereal?!

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Filed under almond butter, almond milk, baking, banana, blueberries, breakfast, carrots, dinner, food, food blog, foodblog, health blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, sweet potato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies, whole grains

I’m Blue (Daba de Daba Di)

It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part…but the theme of the day was blue.

It started with moldy blueberry pancakes…

…packing a blueberry muffin Larabar…

…and then realized my blueberry-filled morning matched my blue hoodie…

…and by the end of the day, I felt like my hands, lips and toes were blue, too!

…Luckily, it just felt that way…which is sort of ironic to say because usually, with any luck, they won’t feel blue, either!

Anyways. You’re probably still confused by the “moldy pancake” mention, so I’ll enlighten you.

They’re buckwheat! Poor buckwheat has been getting neglected on my pantry shelf. And if I’m being completely real with you all, it’s because I wasn’t sure how well the flavor of buckwheat would go with a nut butter, and I don’t like passing on the peanut/almond/cashew butter in the morning.

There, I said it. I base the flavors of my breakfast off of how well I think the nut butter I have in mind will meld with it.

Finally I decided it couldn’t be that bad with some almond butter, and did it up with some blueberry buckwheat pancakes. I am ashamed to admit that I’d sort of forgotten about my love for buckwheat until I was organizing my recipe pages yesterday, and remembered my banana bread buckwheat waffles.

I decided to give blueberries a shot, as I don’t recall ever having them paired with buckwheat, but still topped it with half a grilled banana, almond butter and maple syrup. Real Vermont maple syrup, thank you. As you can see, we take our maple seriously. And you guys always thought I was joking about it.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

1 serving

  • 1/4 c. buckwheat flour
  • 2 T. oat bran
  • 1 T. wheat germ (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 t. baking powder (to be honest I never measure)
  • 1/4 c. + 2 T. almond milk
  • 2 t. chia seeds mixed with 1 1/2 T. water and allowed to “gel”
  • 1/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • earth balance or butter, for frying
  • toppings, such as: maple syrup, almond butter, banana

Preheat a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Combine the dry ingredients. Mix in the almond milk and chia egg. Fold in the blueberries.

Grease the pan with a light layer of butter before spooning the batter in two portions onto it. Cook until the sides look like they are beginning to set, and then flip and cook about 3 more minutes on that side.

Top with almond butter, maple syrup and a grilled banana or more blueberries.

Ohhh, buckwheat – how could I neglect you all these weeks?

As for the new Larabar flavor that this sweet & charming young lady hooked me up with?

Well, I’m actually pretty surprised I broke into it right away. Usually things like this I hold onto because I can’t find them, so I have this warped sense of “but I need to cherish it!” similar to how all of our grandparents hold on to every. last. thing. due to the Great Depression.

Or something like that.

But no. There was no waiting. I was too excited. Ironically, I wasn’t even hungry for a snack today but since I’d opened it before leaving home I wanted to at least have a bit of it! So I did, and saved the other half for dessert.

Now. You’d be hard-pressed to find me a Larabar I dislike. Sure, I have my preferred flavors and all – but with how simple they are and given the fact that they’re date and nut based, I can’t say I hate any of them. Not even a little bit.

This blueberry muffin flavor was no exception. But! As with most things in life (gosh darn it!) there is room for improvement. Larabar, I would enjoy a. a stronger blueberry flavor, and b. a little lemon zest. I feel these things will bring your blueberry muffin Larabar to an entirely new level altogether.

Unfortunately, things like this tend to be easier said than done, and here’s where everyone at Larabar is throwing up their arms and asking me if I want to start making them. In which case the answer is surely!

Have you ever tried buckwheat before?

What’s your favorite Larabar flavor?

(and as for putting this song in your head after reading the title of this post? you’re welcome. don’t hate me. please?)

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Filed under almond butter, banana, breakfast, buckwheat, cooking, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, review, vegan

Surprises

Today was full of fun surprises!

I was once again pleasantly surprised at how good my homemade almond butter was on pancakes this morning…

…and was also surprised to learn that Vermont has a maple law…which is giving McDonalds some flack about their new oatmeal!

“What we understand, is there is no actual maple in the [McDonald’s] product being advertised. Vermont maple law and regulations are very specific for how the term maple is used in advertisements,” Kelly Loftus, VAA spokesperson told Slashfood. “It is illegal to use the word maple on a product unless the sweetener is 100 percent pure maple. Artificial maple flavoring should be clearly and conspicuously labeled on the principal panel with the term ‘artificial flavor’.”

Read more: http://www.slashfood.com/2011/01/10/a-sticky-mess-for-mcdonalds/#ixzz1BcP2Afr7

Basically, Vermont is requiring them to give option of a tablespoon of real Vermont maple syrup, a teaspoon of Vermont maple sugar, or eliminating the “maple” advertisement since all it is is fake flavoring.

Can I get a hell-yeah for Vermont, please?

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Teddie doesn’t hate me after all…

…even if all I did today was dote on him.

When I got home, I was surprised that the mail hadn’t come yet…but was hungry and went ahead and made lunch anyway.

When it finally came, I’d be lying if I said I was completely surprised that I had two big “presents,” but I was surprised at what they contained!

Package numero uno – from the wonderful Blue Eyed Heart.

Blueberry Muffin Larabar?! I was pleasantly surprised when I heard of this new flavor. Yes, I was the girl eating a Dunkin’ Donuts blueberry muffin every. single. day. all through high school. I cannot. wait. to try this baby. How surprised was I to learn it’s more cashew-based than almond-based? Very – but that’s definitely a good surprised. Eye heart cashoos.

The most perfect-est pumpkin bran muffins ever. I broke into one STAT.

And the primary reason for the package: sprouted wheatberry bread.

My mom always said not to beg, and that it doesn’t get anybody anywhere. Well, I sort of begged for this bread and it got me a sprouted wheatberry bread addiction. That could be seen as a good or a bad thing. I choose to see it as a good thing.

The cutest lil’ mini loaf, too! I can’t wait to have mini PB&Js. If it lasts that long.

I think I’m convinced that I ought to try making my own sprouted bread now. That is, if I can’t convince her to get into business making and selling this bread 😉

I wasn’t just surprised with this month’s Foodzie Tasting Box

…I was just about awed!

Never, ever heard of Sun Dried Nectarines before. Cannot. Wait. to try them.

I expect at least half of the Foodzie boxes to be something I wouldn’t like, but that’s okay with me. I enjoy the surprise aspect, and don’t mind getting some things (like natural beef jerky) that I can pass on to someone else. That’s why I was so awed when I realized just about everything in this month’s box is a keeper!

While I usually like sweeter teas (Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride and Gingerbread, anyone?) these Runa teas were fun to try!

It certainly surprised me at how fresh the leaves seemed compared to the usual teas I drink!

Enjoyed with a cracker flat that L sent me…

…I got a little hungry while waiting for my tea to heat 😉 I can’t say I’m surprised at how delicious these are, though – spelt and cinnamon raisin are two things that have always had my heart.

Well, maybe not always. I don’t think I was a four-year old running around demanding my mom to make cinnamon-raisin spelt bread…but maybe.

I was surprised to realize I hadn’t had any plans for dinner, but then realized I was craving pasta

…which didn’t surprise me at how wonderful this simple meal was. Sometimes, good ol’ pasta just hits the spot, don’t you think?! Just a serving of whole wheat pasta, cooked and then tossed with:

  • drizzle olive oil
  • fire-roasted tomatoes
  • roasted red peppers
  • garlic
  • tempeh
  • fresh parsley

served atop collard greens sauteed in a bit of olive oil with red onion and garlic, and all garnished with humnut cheese and more fresh parsley.

I actually really hate fresh parsley, I’ve just been eating it because for some reason I decided I needed fresh parsley for something. At this point, I don’t even remember what I wanted it for. I just know I have a lot more to eat…

What have you been surprised by lately?!

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, food, foodblog, foodzie, health, health food, healthy living, hummus, italian, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, pasta, recipe, spelt, teddie, tempeh, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, vermont, whole grains

Calzones and Cupcakes

And so continues the chronicles of the house-arrested Suzie Homemaker,

Doesn’t every Suzie Homemaker start their day with blueberry-orange pancakes and working out with shampoo bottles?

I really ought to get my butt to the store and buy some weights. Big Tresemme bottles don’t work as well as the big butternut squash I was using back when I was obsessed with them. In fact, when I was grocery shopping yesterday, I almost picked two up for the sole purpose of posing as light-weights.

Based on last night’s post, you probably had a hunch cupcakes would be seen today.

You were right. Good ESP!

While everyone’s go-to sources were all wonderful – I ended up with a request for “cinnamon cupcakes.” I immediately thought that this would be my chance to make the Chocolate “Sin”namon cupcakes in ED&BV, thus redeeming myself from making the mistake of leaving out the sugar, but then heard that there was a strict “no chocolate” rule from the individual putting in the cupcake request.

Well, yes sir. A quick tastespotting search yielded snickerdoodle cupcakes and I couldn’t have become more giddy.

Because who doesn’t like to say “snickerdoodle” ten times fast? I mean…I snicker just saying it, really.

I wound up finding tons of recipes that were all basically credited back to Martha Stewart.

Which was all fine and good, considering I didn’t care if they were necessarily “healthy” or not. I mean, they’re cupcakes. Who wants to eat an entirely healthy cupcake, anyways?

…but I just couldn’t bring myself to make cupcakes with 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar. My hand just couldn’t dig in the sugar bowl that many times, I don’t think. Everytime I tried it started spasming a little and the cup would fall from my hand.

Okay, so that’s a lie. Really, I’m just so used to vegan baking that I know cups and cups of sugar are relatively unnecessary and baked goods are still fantastic whether it’s butter or oil. Using that much just seems a little bit facetious to me.

And so, I followed this Snickerdoodle Cupcake recipe, which is just causing me to snicker even more as they were deemed “out of this world.” I even cut it back to 1/2 c. sugar, intending to frost them with a very sweet frosting, but ended up running out of steam and thinking they were “pretty” enough as-is.

I did end up omitting both of the extracts called for and replacing it with 2 t. of coffee extract, though.

I suppose you’re probably thinking to yourself “I wonder why she didn’t just use real coffee,” and I suppose you have a point. In fact, I asked myself that.

I still have no answer.

I also want to point out that I did not pay $9 as the label looks like it says. I’m crazy, I’m not that crazy.

But smelling this coffee extract reminded me of how I wanted to make my own almond butter, and it was decided I would make coffee almond butter.

Potentially something that could go oh-so-wrong, but it worked. It smells like almondy-coffee heaven, but luckily, the flavor is not too overpowering. I guess I’d even consider it more of an essence than truly tasting coffee-y.

This was my first time making almond butter. For some reason, I was under the impression that almonds were way harder than peanuts, making it impossible for me to make my own almond butter.

Almond butter that was also drippy. Because that’s how almond butter should be.

It was drippy!!! Okay, maybe more like…kind of runny. But definitely almond-butter-esque. I was a proud mama. And hellooo, so much cheaper than buying it. Maybe I’ll go into the almond butter business, after making this for, oh $4 tops when I can’t buy it for less than $10.

I ended up with walnuts in the mix, too.

Just ’cause.

  • 1 1/2 c. roasted & salted almonds
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 2 t. coffee extract
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch maple sugar

It was so good I made an almond butter and banana calzone!

Topped with parsley! The usual, you know.

I didn’t fool you? Darn. Well, if I did make an almond butter and banana calzone I’d probably be too cool for school, so I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t.

I’ve been sort of dying to make pizza lately. Probably because I’m sort of going through a bread withdrawal.

The problem: I had no hummus. I like my pizzas with humnut cheese, thank you.

The other problem? Sixteenth-ing pizza dough recipes is too complicated for my mathaphobic mind.

I sucked it up and did it, though. I used the same spelt crust I’ve used in the past for calzones. I just love the nutty flavor the spelt gives, especially with my humnut cheese!

I saw this new hummus at the store yesterday and decided to give it a try. I’m pretty devoted to Cedar’s as you may know, but I liked trying new things, too! The Spinach and garlic flavor, as well as twice the protein, spoke to me too. Truth be told, had I known it was made with more soybeans than chickpeas I probably wouldn’t have bought it, but oh well. It’s really good! I’m all for a creamy texture, and this Nasoya hummus has that – just as good as Cedar’s, dare I say it.

And this is what was really in my ‘zone. Buffalo tempeh!!

…as well as tomato sauce, the humnut cheese, red pepper, parsley, cilanto and red onion. Strangely, the red pepper was what made this out of this world.

I ended up overbaking it because while I adjusted all of the measurements – I didn’t think to adjust the time!

As mentioned, I had to get mathematical with the recipe. While this is not an original recipe, I’m going to go ahead and post the measurements for you in case you want to make a calzone/pizza that’s not big enough to feed you for days on end! I made one large calzone, half for dinner and half for…some meal in the near future. With a side of sugar-snap peas it was just enough!

Whole Grain Spelt Pizza/Calzone Dough

from Bob’s Red Mill

  • 1/2 + 1/8 t. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. + 1 T. spelt flour
  • 3 T. white bean flour
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 t. olive oil

For directions, see here. I didn’t quarter the sugar amount because I wasn’t sure if it would affect the proofing of the yeast. I also didn’t quarter the olive oil because it seemed like a very minor amount to begin with! Next time I’d probably use a full teaspoon, actually.

This is definitely not a traditional pizza crust – but as I mentioned, I’m a little bit infatuated with it anyways!

And tht’s all! I’m finally going to get to see Teddie in the morning, after him being out of work for almost a week now! He’ll probably be a little monster for me…and while I felt really guilty almost all day today, I guess he could probably use a little “vacation time” anyways. Right? Right. (of course…with it being the arctic again this weekend – as in, 25 below at night and only getting to a high of 5 during the day -he’ll be getting another vacation here soon!)

So the question today is – when you bake for others, do you follow your own “food guidelines,” or just make whatever? For instance – if you’re vegan/gluten intolerant/dairy intolerant/health conscious – do you adhere to your guidelines when cooking for other people, or no? I said yesterday that I didn’t – but when I went to bake today, I realized I do! I’ve nothing against dairy or butter and what-not…I think it was just the fact that I know that copious amounts of sugar and butter aren’t necessary to produce a delicious dessert, I decided to make something I’d be more than willing to eat, too.

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Filed under almond butter, breakfast, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, food blog, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, tempeh, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, whole grains