Category Archives: snack

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?

Eggplant!

But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”

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Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Being Thrifty

Before we get started: I added the super simple and thrifty recipe for the stuffed peppers at the end of yesterday’s post.

________________

Today, I practiced being cheap. Thrifty, if you will.

I learned a few things.

Like the fact that some of the best pancakes in the world do not actually require the use of milk.

In fact, I can get by just fine – better, maybe – with the use of orange juice and yogurt.

Yogurt-Spice Pancakes for One

  • 1/4 c. + 1 T. flour (I used graham flour)
  • 1 1/2 T. wheat germ
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 2 t. chia seeds mixed with 2 T. warm water, and allowed to gel
  • juice of one large orange
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 T. yogurt (I used SoDelicious vanilla. aka crack in a cup)
  • butter/earth balance/non-stick spray, for greasing pan

Mix dry ingredients together. Add in chia egg, orange juice, extract and yogurt. Whisk until a thick batter forms. Divide into two pancakes on a pre-heated, greased non-stick skillet. Cook until golden on both sides.

The xtra ground nutmeg gives them that extra oomph of spice that the otherwise plain pancake batter lacks. And the yogurt gives them fluffy texture yet still moist.

But it’s what’s on top that makes them complete: cashew cream, maple cream and cashews. For the “cashew cream,” just mix ~1 T. cashew butter with 1-2 T. yogurt.

For the maple cream, buy it here and prepare to become an addict. I wanted to swim in it this morning.

It prepared me for a day of being cheap while shopping.

See, I spend too much money at the grocery store. I used to be pretty diligent about printing coupons and buying stuff on sale, but recently I’ve slipped. In case you couldn’t tell, because it’s not like I use twenty different flours at a time. hardee-har-har.

I’m not going to be too cheap with myself, but I realized last night how couponing can be such an addiction.

But maybe I’m just belligerent, and chose to see it as a challenge. Yes, I think that’s what it was. So maybe I only saved $8 this time. I’ll try harder next time.

But can I just be a little bit proud of myself for a second? Can I tell you why?

Because I only paid 9 cents (yes, cents) for this bag of sticks and twigs. Now sure, I don’t even know if I like them, but I’ve heard wonderful things about this company, but have always been too cheap to try them for myself. I’ll just make crackers myself! But 9 cents? I can’t make pretzels for 9 cents, people.

Oh, and just to share with you my relatively ridiculous obsession with cashews at the moment, I purchased 2 pounds of cashews today. (At $10, that means it was only $5/lb! oh, no – I really am becoming a bargain freak, aren’t I?!)

And I even decided to make my own hummus instead of paying $4 for my favorite brand.

Recipe a la Appetite for Reduction. I love how it’s basically pure chickpeas. No call for tahini or even very much oil, just pure chickpea bliss. Which is pretty thrifty, too.

I’m sure glad I decided to be thrifty a while back when I had a bitt too much bread on hand, and needed breadcrumbs – but I definitely should have ground them finer.

…so that they would stick to my onion rings!! Okay, when I first saw the O.M.G. Oven Baked Onion Rings in appetite for reduction, I sort of said “oh yeah! onion rings!”

Truth be told, I think I sort of forgot they existed.

I mean, the last time I was introduced to one was when I still thought vegetables would give me cooties.

As such, the recipe seemed fun, but maybe not one I’d go through the hoops of making.

But then fate happened.

(website being my photo website, i don't refer to my blog as "my website" baha)

Every time I’d pick up the cookbook, it’d open to onion rings.

And then I saw sweet onions on sale at the grocery store.

And then I realized I was thinking about them so much, they worked their way into a conversation. I was debating between making onion rings and getting work done on my photo website.

I chose onion rings.

My method needs help. It will come with time. I blame the breadcrumbs.

And by breadcrumbs, I mean mix of course homemade breadcrumbs and pretzel crumbs.

Don’t ask. It worked. These were damn fine onion rings. I ate them and ate them until my belly could take them no more. And I think I need to go finish the leftovers now. And go back to the store and get more onions to make them all week.

I need a condiment plate/bowl. Do those exist? Like, a single person-sized condiment/dip tray? Because that’d be perfect for my needs.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this plate pretty much defines my life right now. Dates a la Gabriela (stuffed with almond butter and dark chocolate chips) and homemade pumpernickel with almond butter and/or maple cream.

Even if you, like myself, claim not to be a chocolate fan – you will love these dates. I promise.

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Filed under almond butter, baking, breakfast, cooking, dates, dessert, dinner, food, food blog, healthy living, hummus, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, review, shopping, snack, sweet potato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

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

Waffle With Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

reunited with my hair straightener: still pouffed on top.

the new? or too susie home-maker?

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

puffins-1. english muffin-0

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

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

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

I have a rapidly growing honey obsession.

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

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

Rite Aid parking lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lunch was packed last night, as usual.

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

And I'll never turn down a naranja.

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

Did I want a bar, too?

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

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

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

Bulgur-Chickpea Casserole

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

Classic Jess fashion.

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

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

Dessert was waffle free:

you betcha!

Told you so: new obsession/old obsession meet.

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, apple, banana, beans, breakfast, broccoli, bulghur, bulgur, carrot cake, casserole, chia, chia seeds, coconut, college, cooking, dinner, food blog, foodblog, health, health blog, health food, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy living, lunch, meatballs, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, panini, photography, pineapple, pita, recipe, snack, TVP, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies, vermont, whole grains

Recollections

Weekend’s over already, back to work tomorrow 😦 Fast weekend. Seems like they always are lately.
I spent the rest of my afternoon going through old photos, remembering “the good old days”.
yep. I was an avid horseback rider from just about the time I could walk up until a couple of years ago, when life got in the way.
I would spend my summers working all day in order to get a ride in, or to help pay off board for my horse. There’s no better feeling than bringing a young or green horse along, and successfully competing in their first show. The bond is an amazing feeling, but then of course the time comes to start over with a new one, yet rather than feel sadness at selling your old friend, it’s just pride as you watch your “baby” show a new rider the ropes, and watch a new bond form.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s also those horses that you keep with you forever, both of you learning together rather than one educating the other. I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in both of these roles.
I got so busy senior year of highschool, with school, working whenever I wasn’t in school, and college stuff. Then I worked 9-5:30 all summer, and then started school. 
Whenever I wasn’t busy, I would try to divide my time between “me” time, family time, friend time, and horse time, but it just got to be too much, and horse time ended up taking the backburner.
My horse at the time, Burly, the first horse in this post, ended up sitting in a pasture for the better part of the summer. Of course he was still fed and cared for – he was at a boarding barn – but it killed me that he wasn’t getting the love and attention he deserved, from one person (me) rather than the usual come-and-go of other boarders and lesson students passing through the barn. Burly was the horse I had finally settled on, who I had purchased using the money I had saved up from prior resale projects. He had the best personality, and every time I stopped to see him he would still give me just as much love as a family member would, regardless of the fact that it didn’t seem like I was giving it back. You could tell how proud and happy he was after each successful ride we’d squeeze in, and it seemed like the more time off he’d get, the more heart he’d give me. Usually, it’s the opposite.
I couldn’t sell him, but I knew I needed to find someone for him.
Luckily, I am able to lease him out to a place where he is getting all the love and attention he truly deserves. Hopefully, within the next couple of years, I’ll be able to dedicate a larger portion of my time to horses, and possibly bring him home. But who knows if I’ll have the heart to take him back from where he is now?
Burly – Summer 2008


Lately, I really miss it, and am hoping to find time to ride for at least one day a week.

But, enough babbling. Just thought I’d offer a small peak into my life. I feel like you guys hardly know me!
Back to food. And stuff. haha.
It’s no secret that I love polenta. And it seems like lately, polenta is sweeping the food-blogger world! After seeing so many recipes pop up for polenta casseroles, I couldn’t hold off any longer and had to make one myself. Strangely, I started off with the inkling for a Mexican Polenta Casserole, but like most everything I do, changed my mind last minute to incorporate scallops. 
No, I don’t all of a sudden have a scallop obsession – see last night’s meal – in fact, I could take or leave scallops, really. But these scallops have followed me from my last apartment, and they need to be consumed. That’s a couple months. I mean, they’re fine in the freezer and everything, but really now.
Sorry for the poor photos. I wanted to leave it in that cute little personal casserole dish – kept it nice and warm! – rather than plop it all out onto a plate. It’s fitting because I coincidentally, accidentally stole that mini casserole dish from my last roomates. It’s the perfect size for one! anyways, you can’t really see the layers, but here’s how it went down:
For the scallop layer: Sautee ~10-15 Bay Scallops in minced garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, chopped onion, and chopped red pepper. Season with paprika, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and chili powder. Set aside once done.
For the Veggie Layer: Sautee veggies of choice (I used broccoli, red pepper, tomato, onion, and carrot) in minced garlic. Season with same as above, or just some salt and pepper.
For the Polenta: Bring 1 cup water to a boil, and slowly whisk in 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal. Season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic.

Layer in casserole dish – I went veggies, polenta, scallops, and then topped with tomato slices, parmesan cheese, real bacon bits, and red peppers. Bake for about 20m. at 400 degrees.
If you’re in a hurry, baking isn’t totally necessary since everything is cooked – but it’s definitely worth it. Gives the polenta a nice crust!

The scallops actually went really nicely with the polenta. Get a bit of everything! I liked the lemony flavor carrying through everything, but the chili powder gave it just the right mild kick.

Finish with:
a lime poppyseed oatmeal cookie and banana-raspberry-vanilla greek yogurt with dates, crystallized ginger, and total!

mmmm 🙂
Have you had to force a favorite pastime to the backburner in order to make room for other responsibilities?

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