Tag Archives: chickpea

Artichoke Experiences

Monday Monday! Soo…let’s see…three weeks from now I’ll be a brand new Haffie momma 🙂

Speaking of becoming a Haffie momma, I had to totally distract myself from eBay this morning with this lovely bowl of figgy plum oats. Fun fact? eBay must be  in the dictionary, since spell check doesn’t underline it. Figgy, however, is not.

The Base:

Topped with:

  • chia-flax icing
  • chopped cashews
  • homemade cashew…uh, spread
  • and a chutney of the rest of the plum and a dried Turkish fig, simmered in some almond milk and maple syrup.

Oh, yes – with my hands busy spooning this into my mouth, there was no way I could bid on a beautiful dressage saddle I could kind of afford but shouldn’t if that makes any sense. It hurt my heart, but I’m doing okay now.

Coffee helped too – in the form of Green Mountain’s Rain Forest Nut. After crashing at 9:30 I was pretty ready to start the morning without it – but who would want to do something like that?

Thanks to everyone who offered up nut butter thoughts!! I guess I just didn’t do it anywhere near long enough – I didn’t even process for 5 minutes I don’t think! Next time I’ll go a little longer, but I don’t want to completely burn out my blender. I’m pretty happy with what I ended up with, for my blender being what it is. Hey, it tastes pretty darn good if I say so myself, and at least I can spread it, right? Next up will definitely be figgy peanut butter. I’m pretty pumped. And I’ll definitely let it go for a longer period of time.

Nommage packed for the morning included some homemade Laraballs and a banana

I challenge you to find someone who says this isn't just plain adorable.

…and for lunch, I ignored last night’s experiences of having too much bread for my chickpea cutlet and used bread again today. I’m sorry — but logistically, I just could. not. use a wrap when this delicious, fresh loaf of seeded multigrain was sitting in the bread basket. I think it’s against the law or something. So, I compromised – I had the heel end of my loaf from last week and decided that itty bitty piece might not be too much for it.

I did, however, go minimal on the add-ons. I think the ranch really overpowered it moreso than the bread – so today I just mixed a little bit of apricot-mango jam, dijon, and greek yogurt together, and spread on, in addition to some local lettuce. I grabbed a gala and a caraml oikos was good to go! I guess I sort of lied just there, though. I just spread on all those ingredients separately. I did no mixing beforehand, who do I look like here? Honestly.

This was the perfect combo! I remembered Katie’s post in which she made a sauce like this, but with chicken. I found apricot-mango jam (last time I copied this, I didn’t think I had any) and everything went perfectly together. Yum!

In between lunch and my afternoon snack, I sipped a gargantuan Hazelnut iced coffee. We were hoppin’ at work today, so it was definitely necessary! It was one of those perfect days, where you’re working along like crazy and then look at the clock and realize about three hours have passed since you last glanced. I kept wondering why I was hungry all day, and then realized it wasn’t that it was different than usual – but time just kept flying! Love days like these – reminds me of why I love my work!

Know who else I love? Nicole for sending me these Prana and Boomi Bars!

I tried the Apricot Pumpkin Pranabar today with enzyme power! Enzyme’s, say you? I think that’s a future post topic! I don’t know much about them and feel some research is necessary 🙂 The stats: (click to enlarge)

This bar was awesome. It was definitely a different pumpkin flavor than you typically find, and I love the unique flavor combo. Since the pumpkin came from pumpkin seeds, not pumpkin puree, it had a lovely crunch to break up the soft goo from the date paste.

Pros:

  • unique flavor
  • great flavor and texture (though messy – we’ll get to that)
  • loved that the pumpkin came from pumpkin seeds, was a nice change from most pumpkin flavored bars that are reminiscent of a pumpkin pie
  • awesome ingreds and stats
  • pretty sure the wrapper sings for itself!

Cons:

  • I felt it would be perfectly sweet enough without agave as the second ingredient, or at least less agave. Towards the end it got a bit overpowering.
  • very messy and stick. I think I’d probably drive into the ditch if I ate this in the car.

I would certainly say the pros outweigh the few cons, no?

Before I knew it, I looked at the clock and it was 5:30 – time to gooooo, and my stomach agreed. I was glad to remember I had dinner mostly waiting for me.

I prepared an artichoke yesterday while I was making my dinner so that all I would have to do was re-heat it. I paired it with some leftover chickpea mixture from the other night, and when I got home thought I’d like some broccoli, too – which I was able to quickly roast (!!!!) via toaster-oven.

I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t sure if you eat the whole artichoke leaf of just pick at it with your teeth. Rather than google this, I decided to just try eating the whole leaf. Uh, weird…but okay. Do it again. Think maybe you ought to google the subject – I mean, it’s called an artichoke. I didn’t want to eat something that would potentially kill me. Realize you are, in fact – just intended to scrape the stuffing off with your teeth. Whoops.

Hopefully, my stomach isn’t screaming at me later. I guess it’s not bad, just incredibly fibrous. And after my first artichoke experience, I think I’ll just stick to the canned hearts. It wasn’t bad…but the canned hearts are soo gooodd.

Someone make me feel better and tell me your stories of kitchen mishaps.

The first time I had a mango I didn’t bother peeling it.

I swear, I wasn’t even dropped on my head as a baby, either.

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Test-Driving

Confession: I was exhausted by the time 8:30 rolled around last  night. I tried to fight it ’til at least 9:00 though – still grandma status, but oh well.

At least going to bed early means waking early, so that my mom and I could go for a nice morning ride before it got too hot. First on the order, though, was breakfast.

Apricots twice in a row was not planned, but when I saw what I was working with for fruit, noticed that these were on their last hour with the heat lately. I wasn’t sure if they’d make it to lunch, even! So, since figs are the new banana when it comes to oatmeal, I test drove a new apricot-fig oatmeal concoction.

The base:

The Top:

  • chia-flax icing
  • cashews
  • PB & Co Mighty Maple
  • and a compote of a fresh apricot and a dried Turkish fig, simmered in some almond milk and maple syrup.

No complaining here! What doesn’t taste good in combination with a fig in oats? Okay, so don’t answer that – because I’m betting my other love, coconut, shouldn’t be combined with my love of the fig. Who knows what I’ll do next, though.

I enjoyed some hot Green Mountain Southern Pecan with this lovely bowl of oats.

I dawdled around a bit, doing unimportant things like laundry and cleaning bathrooms. Oh, what wastes of time – who needs sanitation in their lives, anyways?

I jest, I jest.

My mom and I went on a ride on a new trail – just giving it  test drive. There were multiple times when I was thinking to myself “if Jiggy kills me today, how is everyone going to know what happened to me? Will they think I simply started having a normal college-kid lifestyle, or will they find out that I died a dramatic death?”

connect the spots.

Luckily, I’m back in one piece. Not a happy one piece, but I’ll take what I can get when it comes to that situation.

It was probably because I made him wear his dorky fly-veil. Hey, I was trying to protect him from the ‘skeeters and other biting, brutal bugs. He should have appreciated it.

Needless to say, I was hungry for a snack after horse wrestling for three hours, and when I remembered the quinoa-bulghur muffins still in my freezer, my spirits were instantly lifted.

Half with earth balance, half with almond butter. I think I prefered the earth Balance half, I know you were dying to find that out. I think I could eat these for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert, and nightly snack (x2) and be happy with life. My body might hate me, though. Oh well. Anybody else tried them out yet? I’d love to know what anyone else thinks! I won’t be offended if you hate them.

Anyways – motivation stayed with me throughout the morning as I cleaned my saddle…

…attempted to make cashew butter…

…and made chickpea patties.

Re: cashew butter. Uh, any pointers? I’d like to start making my own nut butters… I think at first I had no interest because I just wanted to try all the brands and flavors…now that it’s not so “new” to me, I’m feeling rather frugal! Sarena’s influenced me, too – as does a new pony I have things to buy for 😛 But – I just blended toasted cashews until they were pretty well mushy…and then added some maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and a tablespoon or so of almond milk per Sarena’s suggestion and processed further. I think the liquids and having them warmed from the toasting definitely helped to make it smoother and blend easier – but I still wound up with something reminiscent of a peanut (er, cashew?) butter cookie.

It’s spreadable and tastes pretty darn good if I say so myself…but should I have blended it further? Or is this about as good as you’re going to get when it comes to homemade nut butters with a bad processor? To be honest, I wasn’t thinking I was going to get something even relatively reminiscent of a spreadable cashew butter – I always said “ah, my blender can’t do that…” so I’m still pretty pumped 🙂 Would love some feedback, though! Just another test drive!

For the chickpea patties this time, I made a few alterations based on my thoughts from last time. I ended up using oats in place of the breadcrumbs (dirty food processor + lazy Jess = no homemade bread crumbs today), balsamic rather than soy sauce, and pretty much nixed all of the spices and replaced them with garlic salt, dried basil, sundried tomatoes, and scallions. Now that I think about it, why didn’t I use garden fresh chives? Oh well. I baked them in our new toaster oven, too. Don’t laugh, but I’m pretty pumped I can roast some broccoli or make fries without turning on the whole oven. That and, I was always frustrated that our oven’s broiler doesn’t work. Now I have my broiler. Added bonus: these made the whole house smell beyond amazing. Who would have thought chickpea patties could be the new air freshener?

Eventually, though, it was time for lunch and I opted for none of the things I made. Leave it to me. Rather – a tempeh panini.

I used some local cranberry orange nut preserves, local pepper goat cheese, pan-fried cinnamon tempeh, and local spinach. Oh and locally made bread, too. I’m on a roll! It was perfect. I think the Crofter’s sitting in my fridge has become the last cookie in the cookie jar. I don’t want to finish it, just like no one wants to be the one to take the last cookie. I’ll work up the courage eventually.

I test drove the toaster oven for some sweet potato fries, too. Just gotta make sure everything works, you know! I just seasoned with salt, pepper, and curry powder. I love sweet potatoes and curry powder, but have never had “sweet” sweet potatoes – as in, sweet potato fries with cinnamon, maple, almond butter, etc. Maybe I’m crazy.

And eventually, a red delicious for dessert, split halfsies with Jiggy. Because red delicious apples may in fact be red, but I don’t find them to necessarily be delicious. Maybe red Medicore would be more fitting.

I planted my red peppers and blackberry bush today, too! My mom burst my bubble a little bit when she informed me that we’ve never had luck growing peppers – but I’m going to remain optimistic and shower them with love, anyways. I do love red peppers…I don’t love paying $4/lb. Crazy talk.

I went for a small snack of cottage cheese and pumpkin butter in addition to a dr. Kracker with homemade cashew butter a short while afterwards. This stuff is actually really good and smooth, although I admit I still feel funny calling it butter. Though, I guess it’s smoother than the almond  butter in my cabinet…guess it works. Can anyone tell I write these posts throughout the course of the day and my thoughts change throughout? You all must not know what to think 😉

We were grillin’ again tonight, and rather than have steak and potatoes like some other residents, I threw a chickpea cutlet on the grill! I thought I’d get some fancy-dancy grill marks and it’d be all cute since it’s be a chickpea patty, and not even a chicken patty – but it didn’t work quite like that. Oh well.

I made a home-made ranch dressing/spread to go with it – just some greek yogurt, dill weed, fresh chives, sundried tomatoes, black pepper, and garlic salt. It’s based off a Clean Eating recipe – and it’s pretty much spot-on in flavor of bottled ranch dressings, but way better.

I had it with some tomato paste and fresh buttercrisp (?) lettuce, too. I think I liked these better eating them “fork and knife,” as Veganomicon mentions. I actually didn’t even think to make them into a sandwich until that’s immediately what my mom thought to do when we had them the other night. It’s funny how we can get stuck thinking one thing, huh? Anyways – it was really great, but I couldn’t taste the actual cutlet enough to really enjoy it. This might also be because they didn’t have quite as much bite to them as last time – I think I used more liquid.

I enjoyed some corn on the cob with some Earth Balance and, of course, salt. Everybody’s favorite 😉

Aaaand, after all this outdoors business combined with the heat – I’m tuckered early again! Hopefully I can make it to 8…

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Great Dates

One day closer to the weekend…one day closer to ponyville! I’m not excited or anything, hmm? 😉

This morning, day off in mind, I lolly-gagged out of bed at the late hour of 6:20. I do what I can.

…and in the kitchen went through a life-changing event. It was a little thing called Mighty Maple that triggered it. I finally broke into the PB & Co mighty Mapes that’s been hiding in my cupboard to replaced my beloved cinnamon raisin. I had high expectations, being the maple head I am. I mean, not just any maple is mapley enough to meet my expectations. Take Justin’s Maple…I could hardly even detect maple!

The only way to induct such a nut butter would be through figgy apple oats. And so, the base for this morning consisted of:

  • 2 T. Bob’s Grains & Nuts, 3 T. Peppy Kernels, 1 T. Wheat Bran
  • 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. PureAlmond
  • 3/4s of a small gala apple
  • 1.5 dried chopped Turkish figs
  • drizzle maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • 1 T. chia seeds

and then topped with:

  • chia-flax icing
  • honey roasted peanuts
  • PB & Co Mighty Maple
  • and a chutney of the rest of the apple and figs, simmered in some almond milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

So, what did I think? Oh, I think I died and went to heaven. I don’t think PB & Co has disappointed me yet. And they’re pretty inexpensive. And I can buy them locally. I should just stick to PB & Co! What’s your favorite brand?

It was so perfect that it reminded me immediately of my childhood days, when we would go out for ice cream, and share cones of homemade maple walnut ice cream. Yes, I realize that doesn’t make much sense considering the fact that we’re talking about peanut butter and not walnut butter – but just work with me here.

I enjoyed the beauty of this bowl while contributing to Heifer International, by sipping on some Green Mountain Heifer Hope. Don’t get that twisted, though – I don’t hope to be a heifer.

I comically watched an infomercial for the same blender I have (my blender/processor is really bad, guys – this infomercial makes it look like it’s a miracle, sent from heaven even) before getting my groove on. And by “groove” I mean getting groceries and an oil change for Gertrude. The groceries happened, Gertrude didn’t. First, though, I had to find my shoes.

Not staged. Am I the only one laughing? Probably.

My mom didn’t even let me take my shoes off when I walked in the door last night, and apparantly just walked right out of them in the most random of places.

Finally found them, though. And why no oil change? Well, the sun was shining…it was beautiful…who wants to get an oil change? I’d rather do some yoga if you ask me. Jenny warned me – but that vid kicked my booty. I loved it. I was hangry after, though, and feulage in the form of cottage cheese, greek yoga, strawberries, and honey roasted almonds was a necessary. Drizzled with some irish cream agave and a boatload of cinnamon, to boot.

I used up the last of my chickpeas to make some chickpea cutlets for dinner for le madre and I. I used balsamic rather than soy sauce, eliminated the thyme and sage but used fresh basil, and added some scallions. And made my own homemade breadcrumbs. I’m going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for ending up not wasting any of my homemade loaf of bread. I thought for sure I would, but – no wastage after all!

Anyways – I took the opportunity of the oven being on to roast an eggplant, red pepper, and a sweet potato, too. Does anyone else feel the need to go on a roasting rampage once the oven gets turned on? I hope so. Eggplants and peppers would find use another day, however – and I went the route of a goat cheese, apple, spinach, and tempeh panini on multiseed whole grain bread for the lunch-age.

Low and slow sweet potatoes joined me in my voyage. The first time I had these, I thought they were life changing. Same goes for the second. and third. This time and the last time, however – they sort of reminded me of baby food. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Yet. I don’t think. Just sorta…weird.

Of course, that’s probably okay because I’m just sorta weird, too. Case in point? I can’t sit down to eat until everything is just so. I can’t eat and leave the kitchen a mess. And if I have any thoughts, I need to do them and get them out of the way so I can just enjoy the food. After I made this and photographed it, I notice the horses begging to be put out on grass. Sigh. Let horses out. Come back in. Realize the kitchen is messy. Organize kitchen. Wonder if mail came. Get mail. Realize lunch is cold. Microwave lunch. Eat.

The reading material for the lunch?

Oh, yes – so glad I checked the mail because look what I found getting melty! Nicole noticed I was eyeballing the Boomi and Prana Bars and sent me a bunch to try! And, amazing flavors, might I add. I am sure I will have no trouble enjoying these, and I cannot wait to try one tomorrow! The ingreds in these puppies are nothing short of stellar, and I love the unique, new flavors!!

I grabbed a homemade laraball for dessert and sat out on the porch with Kaia browsing through random Hannafords magazines. They put together a pretty mean magazine, you know. But – I desperately need to sit down and read a book this summer. First on my list? In Defense of Food, or something along those lines. Any suggestions?

I browsed tack catalogs, moseyed outside, and did relatively useless things including nomming…

Dr. Kracker, Sunflower Seed Butter

…until my Mom got home from work, and we went for a ride. I grabbed a banana to share…

It was pretty warm today – at least in relation to how it has been recently – so we didn’t go too far, but it was a really great ride! Jiggy was one tuckered puppy (uh, appy) afterwards though. We gave them a nice hose-down and he was incredibly greatful – I felt it in the way he sipped water straight from the hose 😉

Dinner tonight was new in all sorts of ways. First time trying spaghetti squash! First time eating/making chickpea cutlets! And it was a major success – both in my eyes and mi madre’s. I took hint from Nicole once again – sheesh, I think everything I make lately is either Veganomicon or Making Good Choices! Anyways – I remember her posting a bit back about a spaghetti squash primavera. Yes, Please.

  • spaghetti squash
  • canned diced tomatoes – basil, garlic, and oregano flavor
  • zuchhini
  • roasted eggplant
  • roasted red pepper
  • artichoke hearts
  • garlic
  • scallions

It was fantasmic. Seriously. I wasn’t sure I’d care for the spaghetti squash, hence why it’s taken so long to try it. I thought for sure it’d be too squash-y. I’m not much of a squash kinda gal. I mean, it even sounds funky. Squash? sqqqwaaassshhh. But it definitely surprised me and was incredibly reminiscent of real spaghetti. I even just microwaved it for speed and to eliminate turning on the oven.

mmm- Loved all those veggies! This was definitlely my kinda meal. The cutlets were great too – though I think next time I’d love to make them with some fresh basil, sundried tomatoes, and more garlic – and yes, there will be a next time.

____________________________

What’s So Great about a Date?

Jenny’s ode to maple syrup this morning got me thinking – what else do I eat on a daily basis that I don’t necessarily eat with benefits in mind, but moreso because it’s a great, tasty snack – and of course, also better than it’s mass-processed counterparts? I was shocked to read all of the goodies in real maple syrup – I honestly just thought it was a great alternative to refined sugar! Now, I’ll be strong like maple tree. Definitely give it a read!

Anyways –  The first thing that came to mind was: dried fruits and nuts. Now, we all know these foods are beneficial, but to be honest, I never really stopped to see how beneficial. Maybe I didn’t much care – I mean, I’ll keep eating them either way, right? My first order of business, though- What’s so great about a date?

Dates are, most likely, the most common of the dried fruits I’ll have. I mean – how many are in a Larabar alone? They are also perfect stirred into oats or used for baking – they tend to get this delicious, sweet meltiness to them when heated. And though I’m not a huge “sweets” fan by common terminology – I do love the natural sweetness that just popping a plain ol’ dried date brings about. That being said – dates are a great form of natural sweetener. There are date sugars and date syrups, but for some reason, I don’t find these to be as widely available or known about as stevia or sucanat.

But aside from being a great sweetener and just plain great snack, the health benefits of dates are a mile long! Want a quick peek?

  • Low in fat and cholesterol, and due to the high fiber content actually help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Round of applause for cardiovascular health!
  • good amounts of potassium, which is known to help to maintain a normal blood pressure level
  • high in iron
  • good source of magnesium, which studies have shown helps to relax muscles and thus relieve fatigue
  • good source of copper, which reduces your risk for developing an inflammatory disease, such as arthritis, working to maintain the elasticity of your muscles and joints
  • B-group vitamins are found in large quantities in dates, which helps your body to get all of the energy production out of the foods you give it
  • dates are also a great source of dietary fiber (which – doesn’t it seem like everything is nowadays? but that’s another post, another time.) promoting satiety and regulating blood glucose. Annnd, you know that “beans, beans” song? Well, I guess it could also go “dates, dates, the magical fruit…the more you eat…”

So, lets hear it for dates as a great, high-energy, nutritious snack. What’s you’re favorite way to enjoy them? Here are some of my faves:

  • chopped and mixed into savory-sweet salads
  • whole dates stuffed with some nut butter (and I need to follow Nora’s footsteps and microwave them like this!)
  • in a hot applesauce mess – i swear they just get all melty and sweet in the most beautiful and delicious of ways
  • homemade laraballs
  • real Larabars
  • mixed in to baked goods and oatmeal – once again, helloooo sweet melty deliciousness!


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