Category Archives: pumpkin

Habits

Ugh. I just had to get my “mean face” on and try to convince that girl who still hasn’t paid me, to pay me. For the second time. I hate being “mean.” And realize blogging about it probably I isn’t the most mature thing to do, but I’m pretty sure I’m not exploiting her or anything.

Girl, if you are reading (you’re not), please pay me.

I have a habit to support.

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I like pumpkin. And I like walnuts. Neither of these mediums are known for being inexpensive. $2.50 a can for pumpkin might not seem like a lot, but it adds up.

Luckily, oats are really cheap.

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And I love bananas, figs, and peanut butter. Yes, all together.

Dried figs are expensive!!

Luckily, bananas are really cheap, and I can make my own peanut butter now.

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Maybe these would be penny candy back in “the good old days,” but no longer – though I still can’t say 5 cents a piece will put me in the poorhouse. Sarena, you’ve gotten me addicted!

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I am loving this bread, and you know what else? Tempeh is pretty inexpensive! I think? I can’t really compare – I haven’t gone ground beef or turkey shopping in a while.

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Kale? Kale usually isn’t cheap. And in case you were wondering, girl who still hasn’t paid me, you caused me to burn it as I was writing you a very carefully worded letter, fretting that I would come across as rude.

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I also have a pretty serious horse habit that needs supporting.

How can you deny these faces?

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And not only that, but I have a wee bit of a cookbook habit.

Check the new additions:

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I smell trouble in paradise for Vegaomicon. Will it share the spotlight with Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, or will one ultimately take center stage?

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And lastly, I’ll mention the co-op habit. I couldn’t resist new flours this time, and graham and 6-grain flours both made their way into my cart.

It’s okay, though – they were inexpensive.

The lesson we’ve learned: it’s okay if you’re too trusting of people, because in the end, it’s always possible to survive on oatmeal, tempeh, ginger chews, and bananas.

But really – why are healthy things so gosh darn expensive?!

Other things:

  • Those of you who found my little “hidden link” in my last post – thank you for your kind words on my work!! It really means a lot to hear.
  • I haven’t had a “baking day” in what seems like ages. I am dying to just get cooking in the kitchen again. Although it probably has a lot to do with the fact that otherwise I’ll have nothing to eat for dinner tomorrow, and am sad to report the finishing of gingerbread muffins.
  • I designed “save the date” magnets over and over again today. If anybody’s getting married, I’ll hook you up.
  • I must look a lot older than I feel. Yesterday I was asked if I have kids. Whaaa?!

What’s a “habit” of yours?

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Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch, oatmeal, pum, pumpkin

Rude Awakening

Hey lovelies 🙂 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 🙂

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  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!

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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

Three-Sixty

Oh heyyyyyyy, there, babehluhvs! I’m back in full swing more than ever 🙂 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 fail 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 a 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 🙂

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?  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

Worse Comes to Worse, It’ll Catch Fire

extreme wedding cake challenge, anybody? haha. “The worse that could happen, is our cake catches fire.” Wellll, I guess that’s a good motto to live by. I’ll do that from now on.

Why not have pumpkin-nanner oats for breakfast? I mean – the worst  that could happen is it catches fire 🙂

Thas’ right – my P.Chop rendezvous last night involved the discovery of two cans of pumpkin puree! I still have those three cans in my cabinet from the used foods store – but have been hoarding them for fear of using them. Last night was meant to be: I wasn’t even looking for pumpkin, but it was like the pumpkin was looking for me…I don’t scour the lower-most shelves for products that I know are out of stock until october 2010, but there they were: two solitary cans of (Price Chopper brand) canned pumpkin puree. Oh, hello. They came home with me.

I was almost nice enough to just take one…but then decided otherwise 🙂

The base today consisted of:

-equal parts oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, and rolled barley flakes

-wheat bran

-drizzle maple syrup, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg

-pumpkin puree, about 1/3 of a sliced ripe banana, and trail power

The toppings:

-chia/acai icing with some pumpkin stirred in

-milled golden flax

-golden raisins, crystallized ginger

-ginger preserves, cinnamon raisin PB

and bananas sauteed with some pumpkin, ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup in a bit of almondmilk.

The cawfee? Stayed traditional with some Green Mountain French Vanilla again.

Yum! Pumpkin was a nice change of pace from my usual fruity-tropical concoctions lately. I missed it! And yes – of course this means there will be an abundance of pumpkin over the next couple of days.

I think I slept the latest I’ve slept in a while this morning! I didn’t roll into the kitchen until almost 8. It was sort of nice, but at the same time I felt a little off-kilter! That and, I had plans to drive into town and clean the office, which is a 2-hour foray alone – so I was a little bummed to be getting a late start. I knew the weather was supposed to be overcast, so I wanted to get everything done and hope there was still sunshine to enjoy afterwards!

I bopped my way into town, willing the dreadfully dark clouds looming in the distance to turn around and head back the other way. I wanted to go for another run/walk when I got home, and would love even more to squeeze in another quick ride! I can’t say for certain it worked, but by the time I got home it actually looked like it was clearing up – but still chilly!!

I waffled between snacks before heading out, and finally decided…

english muffin with honey-apple butter, applesauce mess

…it’s been ages since my warm applesauce messes! Needed to happen. Applesauce, some better n’ pb, dates, and pretzel snaps. And don’t forget about the delish english muffin 😉

Side note: I totally got one stuck in our toaster when I decided to have one at 1 am. I got so frustrated – I was tipping it upside down, shaking it, you name it – but I got it stuck under the little holder thing! haha. only me. Eventually I left it for morning. My mom was curious as to the situation, lol.

But, moving on – I leashed up Kaia and bundled myself up (re: HAT!) and set out. I love having her company, and – she keeps me movin’! The girl walks. Which is good! She’s not bad when it comes to running, either – she used to pull me all over the road, having to stop and sniff every little thing. I actually wasn’t sure if she’d be this way, so I was thinking I’d be mostly walking today, but it actually worked out quite nice. I still did mostly walking due to the roads being really soft and muddy, but got some good stretches of jogging, too.

I didn’t think we’d been out for too long, but by the time we got back it was 12:00, and we had left at 11:15! We definitely enjoyed ourselves. I cannot get enough fresh air lately. Not surprising, even though it was pretty chilly out. Eventually, though – I tried to buckle down on my paper writing. I didn’t get too far before a snack deliberation was in order.

Salty?

These piqued my interest yesterday (because Price Chopper still doesn’t have popchips – grr!) and figured I’d give them a try. They were good – but I realized I didn’t want salty. I’m sort of a sweet-snacker.

And decided on old faithful: kashi, spoonful of cranberry instant oats, almondmilk, chia seeds, portion of a vita-top corn muffin, raisins. Mmmm – hit the spot! Now I was tided over just enough to pump out that paper before breaking for lunch – which, even though you know about, thought you wanted to see it again. Who doesn’t?!

hello, beautiful.

This beautiful wrap also brought about some beautiful sunshine. Whaa?! It was supposed to be raining! But – this chica won’t complain about excess sunshine, so I soaked it up, naturally. [horse warning! :P]

And played with Jiggy! I debated taking Mel for a quick ride – my mom was gone for the day – but decided I didn’t want to go out alone. It’s not as fun to me! No biggie, though – I was just as content brushing them and giving them some lovin’. (Since, isn’t it obvious they’re sooo neglected?)

I did, however, transform myself into a walking, talking hairy monster. Lesson: Never wear fleece around horses, especially in the springtime. Every single hair they are shedding, will cling to you.

ALL RAKED!

Okay, so this is only a small portion of the raking that took place – but you get the idea! Yucky spring, makes everything look so bland.

HOLD. THE. PHONE.

Being the nommer that I am, eventually it was time for another snack. Uhm, holy cow. Has anyone else had these Yogi Granola Crisps? I found them and jumped for joy last I was in Hannafords, but am just getting to try them. *DANGER*: consume one, and you may feel the urge to consume the whole bag.

What's not to like? Oh, that the bag's too small? Touche.

Seriously, though – these are amazing. Do the ingredients get any better than that?! And the flavor? The flavor!! Holy cow – I’m one heck of a cinnamon-raisin fan, and these do not disappoint. I was in crunchy-crispy cinamon-y raisin-y granola heaven! They are perfectly sweet – not too much so that the oat-y, whole grainy taste was disguised, which is one peeve I have with many other companies.I enjoyed a few right from the bag before catching myself before the granola affair started.

…and fixed a proper snack! Okay, more like small meal, but who’s keeping track? (uh, okay – obviously my camera is, but I digress.)

The last of my flax tempeh in a repeat lavash whoop-de-do from yesterday – though I laid off on the cinnamon raisin PB and used a little more Better N’ PB this time. Gotta watch myself somewhere. And I keep forgetting about that Better N’ PB. It’s actually not that bad – lately I’ve been melting it into my night time mini bowls of oats – but it’s certainly got nothing on a real nut butter.

And, of course – pumpkin-chia greek yogurt. Ohhh, this was a little bit of heaven in a bowl right here.

I tinkered around online a bit more before my Mom came home and we went for a long walk out back. I haven’t been back there lately (we have about 35 acres – and there’s a trail leading from the back of our house to the other side of the “mountain”) and she wanted to show me all the water. So fun! I should have brought my camera along – it brings you to a creepy-cool old marsh at one point.

When we got back, the ribs Henry was making were just about ready, so I hustled up to make my dinner. Naturally – I had a gameplan, so the decision wasn’t the hard part 🙂

This is the dinner I intended to make yesterday, but just wasn’t hungry enough. I wasn’t really tonight (granted, it was “dinner time” at 5:15) but I wanted some cranberry-orange polenta, dang it! So I did the durn thang.

Not only that, but – I tried cottage cheese, and I didn’t hate it. I wouldn’t call it love, but it could grow to be that way. AND! It doesn’t stop there – I know this polenta is a winner because my mom loved it, too! She liked polenta to begin with, but she said she was weary of the cranberries “and jazz.” I was too, mom – I was too. I mean, I was throwing everything in there. But, it all resolved itself into one beautifully delicious mess.

For the polenta, I brought to a boil 1 cup water and 1/2 cup almond milk, frozen cranberries and orange zest.

Once boiling, I slowly whisked in 1/2 c. cornmeal. Once it was smooth, you can switch over to a wooden spoon, and season with salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, rosemary, and a dash of cumin. I also ended up adding some dried cranberries since I didn’t have a whole lot of frozen cranberries (tear.) as well as juice of half of the orange.

Slice up three or so biigggg leaves of fresh basil, and stir in as well, in addition to approx. 1/3 c. plain cottage cheese. Keep stirring over low heat until most of the cottage cheese curd-things (ew…haha) are all gone.

Wine and dine! I was thinking of adding some chicken sausage, but lately I’ve just not been that into meat…I dunno. I’m still all about fish and seafood, as well as some turkey stuff I eat (turkey bacon, and those applegate farms turkey hot dogs are actually amazingly delicious and have been my Tuesday night lifesavers) but for some reason just haven’t felt the desire for the chicken and ground turkey I used to have a lot more of. Oh, well.

Not to self: buy the right cornmeal next time you’re in the store! The only thing holding this polenta back from being 100% spectacular? The fact that I had medium grind cornmeal. I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, I guess. For some reason, this didn’t phase my mom at all. It didn’t make me hate it by any  means, but it did make me think about what could have been.

Dessert for two? Oh, let me process that right up!

Crystallized ginger, have I told you lately that I love you?

Yep – got my mom hooked, too 🙂 I kept it simple so as not to overwhelm her – so I did the same as last night. Banana, mango, dollop of greek yog, some acai powder, chai spice blend, and a tiiiiny sprinkling of sun crystals. Naturally, I topped my portion with granola and crystallized ginger.

What’s one “health food” you’ve introduced to your family that they ended up loving? I love sneaking it in there! For instance – my mom and sister and Kale chips. I think that was the most fun, because my sister hates to admit when she’s wrong – but she was all about those kale chips after finally being persuaded to just give them a taste!

Have a great night, everyone! Back to the bump n’ grind tomorrow…

p.s. anyone else watch Hoarders? My mom’s remarks – “I watch this show to make me realize your whole grains, nut butter, and jam collection is really pretty normal after all.”

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Beans, Beans, Beans…

Is everybody’s Saturday turning out to be a good one? I hope so – I feel like mine was pretty productive!
Started out with a relatively simple bowl of pumpkin hot cereal:
I felt it was time to go back to basics again 🙂
Today incorporated pumpkin puree and a couple slices banana while cooking, and topped with some pumpkin chia-seed yogurt pudding for topping, as well as some toasted coconut, toasted walnuts, raisins, banana, wheat germ, raspberry preserves, and almond butter
Delicious no matter whether simple or complex!
The morning was then spent getting some groceries with mi madre and then I went into town to clean the office and finish my valentine’s day shopping. We’re not big Valentine’s Day people obviously, but we usually tend to get each other random cutesy nick-nacks. I was back by noon (I love waking up early and getting the “grunt work” over with before it’s even the afternoon!) and opted for a small snack incorporating this beautiful creation:
Ahmahgaw. Sooooo good. I received my Naturally Nutty order yesterday, but didn’t try any then, and nor did I have it with my breakfast this morning – will power, I tell ya! But when I got home I needed a snack (I like eating lunch later) so opted for an orange and had just half a Joseph’s Flax Pita left after last night’s dinner. So I made a quick little PB&J panini! White Choco Coconut + Pomegranate-Cherry Jam + Soft Flax Pita + Panini Press = Heaven. This isn’t Jess talking right now, it’s her spirit. The end.
Have you tried any of the Naturally Nutty line? What’s your favorite?
I also got two other flavors – but you’ll have to wait and find out what they are 🙂
After getting some schoolwork done for an hour or two, I was ready for lunch.
After last night’s Garlicky Butter Beans & Scallops with Bacon, I had a big spoonful or two left-over that I added to. Normally if there’s such a small amount left I don’t bother saving it (It’s just a tease!) but I knew I’d be using more of the beans for a wrap for lunch today (whole can open!) and thought I could just add more beans and veggies to the already-deliciously flavored mixture. Worked great! I just heated last night’s mixture up in a pan, added some more butter beans, dijon and garlic, and spooned that over a pita that had some romaine and red onion. Tri-Fold and Press!


Delish. Other snackins included this Luna Cookie:
It was on clearance for 90 cents at P-Chop. Couldn’t resist.
The verdict? It’s basically a brownie Clif Z-Bar but with peppermint icing! I definitely think it’s the same recipe, haha. Which, since as you all know, isn’t a bad thing because I love Z-Bars. But I was definitely expecting something more like a cookie! The peppermint icing made it not too chocolate-y though, which was my only issue with the Choco Brownie Z-Bar. I heart chocolate peppermint.
I have made so much progress organizing my recipes! I am finally getting things out of my over-crowded bookmarks online, and organizing and printing from Word. I feel like my web-based collection is too small now,though! Gotta start bookmarking again.
Dinner tonight was…you guessed it…more butter beans! I actually don’t think I’d ever used butter beans much prior to last night, but they may very well be one of my new favorite beans. Of course, since I love all beans I don’t know how valid that statement is. I opted for a Butter Bean Curry with Homemade Naan!


Okay, so my Naan is nowhere near as gorgeous as Jen’s is, but I tried! I’d never made Naan before, and I was terrified after having a failed Roti attempt not too long ago. I wasn’t sure how thin to roll them out, and I am pretty sure I went a bit too thin, but it actually came out really delicious! I’d type out the recipe, but I want you to go read it on this amazing blog instead! Jen has so many amazing recipes, and she’s not lying when she calls it “Ridiculously Easy Naan.” A few notes, however: I halved the recipe, used 1 c. bread flour and 1 c. whole wheat flour, used garlic salt with parsley in place of the salt, used half almond milk and half water, and used olive oil rather than canola. Mmmm!
The bean curry was helped along by the Good Housekeeping Coconut-Chile Curry Sauce that I’ve mentioned on here previously. I sauteed butter beans, carrot slices, red pepper, diced plum tomato, and onion in minced garlic, added 1 T. of the Curry sauce, and seasoned with ginger, curry powder, cumin, and pepper. When it was all done, I topped with some shredded coconut (key!!) and had a side of sugar snap peas, as well. The craving for them hit – I used to have them on a daily basis, ya know!


A simple, easy dinner…but definitely hit the spot. The curry was perfect scooped up by the Naan! You really must make it. If I can, I’m pretty sure anybody can. 

I’ll leave you on this note:


I’ve got some Moguls and speed skating to watch!
Night everyone 🙂

What’s your favorite Indian dish?

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Filed under beans, breakfast, curry, dinner, foodblog, health food, healthy living, indian, naan, oatmeal, pumpkin, recipe, thai, wrap

Rejuvenated

Today I woke up feeling so rejuvenated! 
And no, it’s not because I went and got a free Denny’s Grand Slam 😛 Pretty sure if that was the case, I’d be feeling dead. lol.
I ended up going to bed relatively early last night, around 10, and slept really well, too! Usually I wake up a time or two, each time wide-awake and ready for it to just be morning…and then a little groggy when 6am does roll round.
Not today! I was ready to be up, bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 6am. Unfortunately, it’s my day to “sleep in” until 7, but I decided tojust browse the web and watch the news and relax until then. It was quite nice! I love waking up ready to go and in a good mood. The good mood definitely carried on throughout the day, too. I think this repeat bowl of brekkie helped that :
More gingersnap oats! This time I used a little more than 1/4 t. ground ginger. I’d be lying if I said my tongue wasn’t a litttttle tingly by the end! Mmmm.
And some food for thought: did you know that 
“Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which means it may be useful in fighting heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. Plus, it’s high in antioxidants that fight all kinds of diseases.”

Pretty cool, huh? Click here for the source, as well as other tidbits about the 7 most potent disease-fighting spices. I’d like to start “showcasing” random facts about stuff I utilize…mainly foods, spices, etc, but I’m sure some photo stuff will work it’s way in here, and some soc. stuff 🙂 Whatcha think?

Today’s new bar was a Kashi GoLean Crunch Bar in the chocolate caramel flavor

How is this bar so healthy? It baffles me. It’s got some seriously awesome ingredients, and tastes just like a peanut buttah rice krispies! That’s probably just me, though, because it is not actually peanut-butter flavored, but I always combine peanut butter with caramel. I dunno. Don’t ask.
But! This made an excellent mind-refresher in between classes. Why is it that I get way hungrier and tired sitting at a desk listening to people talk than I do on my feet all morning at work? 
Does that happen to anybody else?!

I was super-duper ready to come home for this, though! It took my already great mood (don’t you love being in a good mood for no given reason?) to entirely new levels

Buffalo Turkey-Meatball Wrap!

Two summers ago I just about lived off of Buffalo Chicken wraps. For some reason I have let an entirely too-long period of time before having a buffalo something wrap. And those buffalo turkey meatballs were just the ticket! I mixed up a version of Clean Eating’s homemade ranch dressing sans buttermilk with just some greek yogurt, dill, chives, garlic salt with parsley, black pepper, and onion powder. Better than ranch dressing, I say. In addition to that, en la wrap es sliced meatballs, more franks, red onion, half a cheese wedge, romaine, dill pickle, and tomato. Oh. So. Heavenly.


Con carrot y the rest of the tomato and dressin’ for dippin’.

Afterwards, Kaia and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and slightly warmer weather and go for a leisurely walk! I’ve never been much of a gym person. I much prefer getting my exercise by working outside, going for walks, helping with the horses (or, soon, riding horses, lol) going for a run down my road or doing some cardio kickboxing or pilates. I guess it kind of works out, since – I don’t have much time to spend at the gym! I am thinking about getting a membership and starting swimming, though.
What’s your favorite form of exercise – be it intentional or unintentional?


I didn’t dress very appropriately (yes – I live in Converse, no matter the weather, and I also forgot gloves) because I failed to recognize that yes, while it was quite warmer than it had been, 25* is still pretty chilly.


So, we were only gone about 30 minutes. It was quite refreshing, though. I was cooped up inside most of the weekend, and like going on short ganders whenever the weather is enjoyable 🙂

Before our walk, I had thrown together some almond milk, pure pumpkin, greek yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon, and a dash of cheesecake pudding mix and refrigerated to create this delicious pudding that I enjoyed before leaving for class once again:


Gah. So good. Love the chia seeds!

And then this was waiting for me after class:


Not photographically pleasing. But oh-so-good. Lately every meal I’ve eaten I say to myself after “okay. I never want to eat anything else ever again.” Somehow, I keep coming through for you guys and creating new things 😛 haha.
Leftover strata and some “burnt broccoli” and carrots with a raspberry-honey dijon & balsamic vinegar glaze/dressing. And some parmesan. Perfection.

Aaaaand, that’s about it from me! I hope everyone else’s Tuesdays were as equally terrific!
(ah, I get it…I need to stop with the corny alliterations.)

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Filed under breakfast, buffalo, chia, dinner, foodblog, greek yogurt, health food, healthy living, leftovers, lunch, oatmeal, pudding, pumpkin, recipe, strata, veggies, walk, wrap

A Little Love

Brr. I. Am. So. Chilled!
I just got back from running errands, and while I may have been inside most of the time, that wind chills you right to the bone the second you step into it! That, and, one errand involved Price Chopper…and it is always freezing in there. Makes sense, I guess.
You would think, however, that with my heart-warming [pun intended] breakfast, I would have stayed warm and fuzzy regardless!
Yeah, I made myself a Valentine’s Day breakfast a week early. What of it?

There’s something amazing about waking up early on the weekends. I don’t think I’m a real college student. How many college kids say that?
I really hate sleeping in. During the week, I don’t bound out of bed at 6:00 to go to work, but it’s not a problem, either. On the weekends, however, I’ll gladly wake up at 6 or 7, and just leisurely go about starting my day. And I love doing something  a little different for breakfast on the weekends!
So maybe this Almond Butter & Banana Stuffed French Toast isn’t that unique to most, I’ve never had stuffed French Toast before. And mind you, yesterday was my first grilled almond butter and banana experience.
And oh, this was delicious. I realize now that my food presentation needs work but hey – I do what I can. It’s sort of sad to think about myself making such a love-themed breakfast for myself, but again. Oh well. haha. At least my mom came back from her haircut in time to give me a funny look. She’s not a “breakfast person,” so unfortunately I can never treat her to breakfast…
But! Just because I am a relatively sad excuse for a college student, doesn’t mean you are – and maybe you want to treat your honey to a heart-healthy shmalentine’s day brekkie?
Because I think you should.
Of course you all know how to make French Toast. I won’t go into those details. But here’s just some added fun-stuff I did!
For the Stuffed French Toast
 2 slices of this amazing Organic Spelt bread by the Vermont Bread Company [okay, okay. you can use any bread. But this is GOOD Spelt bread!]
1 T. All-Natural Almond Butter
1 Banana
2 Eggs [if you are an egg-beaters user…PLEASE use at least one real egg white! I like egg beaters and all – but when it comes to French Toast, it’s just not the same!]
3 T. Almond Milk
1/8 t. Cinnamon
1/8 t. Nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
1 t. Vanilla
1/2 t. Wheat Germ
1/2 t. Chia Seeds
Spread 1 teaspoon almond butter on one side of each piece of bread (if you’re going to make a pretty heart shape, do that first of course) and arrange your banana slices on one side – I used half on the sandwich, half to garnish. Sandwich together and poke outsides a couple times with a fork.
Whisk together eggs, milk, spices, vanilla, and wheat germ. Place sandwich in mixture and begin preheating a non-stick, sprayed pan. Allow sandwich to soak a minute before flipping, poking both sides again with your fork.
Sprinkle Chia seeds over outside of bread and cook until golden on both sides.
For the Pumpkin “Sauce”
1/4 c. Plain Greek Yogurt
1/8 c. Pure Pumpkin Puree
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
 2 t. Maple Syrup
1 t. Chia Seeds
Stir together and plate with French Toast, along with remaining banana and almond butter, and cute little apple heart! [p.s. apple = amazing dipped in this.]
So, after playing with my food – I got to work meal planning!
This week, I’m going to try something new – planning my meals in advance, and in some cases preparing in advance! I’ve been pretty good this week about cooking up new things, but when I don’t have a game plan, it’s so much easier to just come home and make a veggie and bulgur stir fry or panini or something. Which, I obviously love, but I enjoy cooking new things, more.
So, I put together 5 meal ideas, and figure I can interchange them a little bit if I’m not feeling up to something one night, but at least I have ideas now! I think I just have so many recipes stockpiled that I can never make up my mind on what I want! Organizing them is a project for this weekend, as is setting up a recipe page on here.
After browsing online for coupons (I was so savvy at the grocery store today!) I finally went into town to clean the office, run to Rite Aid, and then the grocery store.
Holy SuperBowl Sunday Shopping. Everyone and their brothers had to stock up on beer! It was also full of people leaving their carts in the middle of the aisles. Don’t you hate grocery shoppers that do that?! I’m sorry if you are one of them. But please. Don’t do it. Love you.
However, I jumped past my exciting Rite Aid find!
I know wht you’re thinking. 
And no – I didn’t find that delicious salmon with blueberry glaze at Rite Aid.
Nope! Not the mashed sweet tater, either.
Clean Eating’s new issue!
I love this magazine. So much information on new foods, and awesome recipes too. You know what I hate about it, though?
It only comes out once every two months!
I was jonesin’ for the new issue.
What’s your favorite magazine?


So, naturally, my lunch was consumed while browsing that 🙂 Dericious and nutritious!

And a Sobe LifeWater. Has anyone else tried these?
Normally I’m not a flavored water fan at all, especially the “naturally sweetened” ones, because they’re almost too sweet! But these are actually pretty good! I’m a huge water drinker, but lately have been finding it kind of boring (though I think it has more to do with not wanting to drink something cold when the weather is so cold!) so this was a nice change for my lunch time today 🙂
I do, however, hate that they advertise the 0 calorie count. I hate buying things that state in huge bold letters how many calories they contain. It makes me feel…I dunno. Superficial? I’m weird.
Anyways. That is all for now. I’m off to get some homework done, hopefully start on a recipes page, organize my recipes I’ve saved over months and months, and then start dinner. Can’t wait for tonight’s menu!
What are your plans for this cooollddd Saturday afternoon?

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Filed under almond butter, banana, breakfast, brunch, foodblog, french toast, health food, healthy living, lunch, pumpkin, recipe, salmon, spelt, sweet potato, vermont