Tag Archives: peanut butter

That’s Totally Okay

Looking back through today’s pictures, I still don’t know how I was as productive as I was.

I guess that explains how it’s already 6 pm, though. Last I checked it was 10am!

There was lots of learning to be done, though. Both of the educational sense as well as the personal sense.

Like how it’s totally okay to completely mess up your pancakes, only to discover they’re the best you’ve had all week. Even if they look like they’ve already been digested once or twice.

…and it’s also totally okay to realize that maybe the only reason you make mini loaves of bread is not because you like it better fresh – but because it’s so much fun to make and smell.

Sarena’s bread has yet to disappoint. I don’t think it’s possible for it to. It is so quick, so simple and so delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic hummus from Appetite for Reduction

Realize you’re home alone for 25 minutes? Well – it’s perfectly reasonable to go on an insane food-processor rampage, right?

For some reason, I can’t get the rest of my family to welcome with open arms the amount of noise required for making hummus and nut butters. On a Sunday morning, no less.

When people should be waking up to the smell of bacon, not the sound of hummus.

And yes, it’s totally okay to combine hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts in your quest to make the perfect unsweetened peanut butter. Just don’t forget the pinch of salt!

But hey – why not try a flavored cashew butter for once? I’ve never had anything other than “normal” cashew butter, so I decided to give it a try. Verdict? totally okay.

  • 2 c. roasted & salted cashews
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 t. date syrup
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins

Method: Process the cashews until they form a ball. Break it up and add in the oil, syrup, extract and cinnamon. Process again until smooth. Add more oil depending on how runny you like it. Add in raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

And by the way…if you just so happened to have made peanut butter before this…and didn’t feel like washing and trying your processor…it’s totally okay to just use the processor with the peanut butter residue still in it.

Not that I would have ever ofund myself in this situation or anything.

Haven’t done laundry in two weeks? Totally okay – it just makes you find all those old clothes you don’t know why you still have…but then realize why when you have nothing else to wear.

Again, not that I would know anything about that.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to consider your workout for the day simply walking up a hill.

…but it’s probably easier to buy when the snow is up to your waist, and your dog might hate you for it.

Sorry for the butt shot…but this just had to be done. Kaia found that it worked best if she just tried dragging herself along on her belly.

We have so much snow right now. And we had a thundersnow storm last night!

It was kind of creepy and I was ready for the apocalypse.


I also realize that lately I’ve been hardly creative in the kitchen on my own, but rather have been making recipes out of books like it’s my job.

Well, I do wish it were my job…

But hey, that’s totally okay. I’m calling it “fine-tuning my technique.”

Because really, I don’t actually know anything about cooking or baking.

It’s totally okay to instantly think of your childhood when creaming “butter” and sugar.

Isn’t it a requirement of growing up to eat the butter and sugar when making cookies?

Not quite enough dried figs for your homemade “Fig Not-Ins” after you absent-mindedly munched on a few?

Using some golden raisins as filler is perfectly okay.

Adding anise extract, on the other hand? Totally not okay. Sambuca has ruined anise extract for me for the rest of my life, I think. I can’t have peppermints anymore because of peppermint schnapps, either.

Luckily, the anise was just an accentuating flavor, not a main player. I followed Vegan with a Vengeance‘s recipe because I wanted to have a more dough-like newton. The recipes I found online were more like a date bar – but with figs. I wanted more of a distinct fig newton! But, adding the anise idea came from this recipe.

Ironically, rolling the dough out for this was very time consuming and difficult and it will probably be many moons before I do it again. That and the directions confused me. I don’t think they were confusing, I think I was just having a “moment.” A “what the kale?” moment.

And if you lose patience with it, it’s totally okay to end up just making two giant tarts with the last of your dough.

And by the way – taste-testing your fig filling? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s required. Mainly if you have some fresh bread and cashew butter to accompany it. D’oh.

Having paprika that’s older than you are? Well, that’s probably not okay, but I use it anyway. It probably doesn’t taste like…well…anything…to be perfectly honest with you.

I kid you not, I remember having this paprika when I was, like, three.

Because I was definitely using paprika as a wee little three year old. I distinctly remember burping “mo’ papriikay!” a time or two.

But until I finally remember to buy new paprika, this old stuff had to do for the mushroom and cannellini paprikas in Appetite for Reduction.

And in case you were wondering – it’s also totally okay to have sweet potato fries with every meal…and still not know whether you prefer them with barbeque sauce or hummus.

And lastly – it’s perfectly fine if you just watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I’m not a football fan…I prefer real sports.

Other things that are totally okay:

  • Realizing you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day. Which probably means they’re really gross considering the fact that I was definitely sweating walking up that hill.
  • Not putting away your laundry even if it’s all done.
  • Realizing you sort of enjoy the reading for your recent classes.

What was your “totally okay” moment of the day?

And I’ve gotta ask…Superbowl – yay or nay?

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Filed under baking, bread, breakfast, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, musings, nut butter, pancakes, photography, recipe, snow, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Rye Peanut Butter & Banana Pancake Sandwich

I don’t think I’ve ever before finished a meal and thought “oh-my-gaw that was so good I need to go blog about it STAT.”

In fact, I feel a little geeky admitting to this, but that is what just happened. And hence, what I’m doing.

Maybe it’s just an unusual day. I mean, I also don’t usually have breakfast for lunch as often as I admit it to be a good idea, and I also don’t usually have not a veggie in sight by now.

I also don’t usually have a beverage other than water with meals, but apparently since I was already having something sweet for lunch, I decided a sweet beverage was necessary, too. Hey, it’s all or nothing, right?

Another oddity? I usually have some idea as to what I want for lunch. Today I had none. Zero, zilch, nada. I have no bread, my oven is in use rendering me sweet potato-less, and not many vegetables. I didn’t feel like a grain.

And gosh darn it, the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted some pancakes again.

So I compromised.

I’d make pancakes. But! It wouldn’t be such a bad thing because, I’d just be using it as my bread.

Yes, I do realize that this is essentially the same thing as what I would eat every morning, but I’m telling myself it’s different because it was eaten in more of a sandwich-form.

Yes, I do realize my logic is flawed.

Due to an ongoing project with rye flour which you will soon see, my plan hatched rye “bread” with peanut butter and banana. If I had caraway I would be in heaven – how cool would that be?

Alas, I don’t. I made do.

My peanut butter was Jenny’s peanut butter and jelly sauce, a sauce I’ve been having a pretty steady love affair with but have neglected to blog about. I’ve actually been gathering pictures for a full on devotion to it, but I guess this came first. Such is life.

Rye Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Pancake Sandwich

for one

For the Pancake “Bread”:

  • 1/4 c. rye flour
  • 2 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. milled flaxseed mixed with 2 T. warm water
  • 1/4  c. almond milk
  • earth balance/butter/cooking spray, for greasing the pan

For the Bananas:

  • 1/2 a banana, sliced in half lengthwise
  • earth balance/butter/spray for greasing pan

For the Peanut Butter & Honey sauce, adapted very slightly from Jenny’s Peanut Butter Jelly Sauce

  • 2 T. (heaping) peanut flour
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 – 1 t. honey, depending on your tastes
  • pinch of salt** (see note)

Preheat a large nonstick pan and a small nonstick pan over low-medium heat.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, bran and baking powder. Add in the flax egg and almond milk. Grease your preheated non-stick pan lightly and bump up to medium heat, and divide the batter into two pancakes. Spread out a touch, and cook until the sides are starting to firm up. Spray the tops lightly with spray and flip. Cook another 4-5 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the pancakes are cooking, grill your bananas: place in the smaller non-stick pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.

For the peanut butter and honey sauce, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Note: I didn’t add salt when I mixed my sauce, but as I was eating, found myself looking for that pinch of salt that classic peanut butter has. I ended up sprinkling salt on my sandwich (try that for feeling weird) and found that salt was juuuust the ticket to what I was looking for.

To assemble, place one pancake on your plate and spread the peanut butter sauce. Place the grilled bananas on top of that, followed by the other pancake. If desired, spread a dab of fig jam on the top pancake.

As you know, I desired. When don’t I desire fig jam?

Caraway, here I come.

A sneak peak at some things in progress:

hmmmmm!!!

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Filed under almond milk, banana, breakfast, brunch, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, vegan

Really Yummy Pot Pie

BRR!! These past few morning have been chiillllyyyy.

Ironically, it’s supposed to be back to being in the sixties next week – the weather we’ve been having is ridiculous! It actually snowed (okay, flurried) on and off all. day. long. today. Well, in between the five minute intervals of blue skies and sunshine.

So, what’s a great way to warm up from the deep freeze, you ask?

Why, pot pie, of course!

I realize I’ve been making veggie casseroles/pies/what-have-yous non stop lately. Case in point.

But really – what’s not to love?! I have fond memories of pot pies and shepherd’s pies as a child, and I guess those memories are still with me. When I made the butternut squash shepherd’s pie, I was having a hard time deciding between shepherd’s pie and pot pie, so it comes as no surprise that I made a pot pie last night.

Coming home and being able to curl up with the piping hot leftovers in a warm bowl on a day such as this couldn’t have been better, and I am sure I will be making this many more times.

It was not completely without flaw, however. Next time I will play with the crust recipe. I tried finding a basic crust recipe, but they all use butter. I’m not complaining about this – I think a good crust pretty much requires butter. The only problem I have with making a crust with butter is…the fact that I didn’t have any butter. Or earth balance – my weapon of choice. I just don’t use either often, and even my mom only had some margarine. Considering the fact that I just read a chapter on lipids and am in the middle of In Defense of Food, for some odd reason I didn’t think the trans-fats in margarine were in my best interest.

Shocker, I know.

And so I decided to use olive oil. Until I saw the sesame dressing I bought a while back at a farmer’s market and decided to use that. It’s a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sesame oil.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you have a good crust recipe – use that. I’m still going to include what I did, and while it’s not bad – it just needs some butter or earth balance.

After I put it in the oven I got this crazy idea that I should have made it with a cornbread crust, but I think that will be a post for another day.

Really Yummy Pot Pie

2-3 servings

First prepare the crust:

  • 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. italian seasoning
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. sesame dressing/olive oil
  • ~2 T. cold water

Combine the first 4 ingredients, using a fork to combine it into a crumbly mixture:

Add the water 1/2 T. at a time until it just holds together when pinched. You don’t want it too wet and sticky.

When that’s all set, refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • olive oil, for sauteeing
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 a block of tempeh, chopped
  • 1 1/4 c. water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 T. white bean flour(thickening agent)
  • 2 t. italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dash of crushed red pepper, to taste/optional

Sautee the onion in a bit of olive oil until softened. Add in the sweet potato and 3/4 c. water, season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook until the sweet potato softens a bit but still firm. While the sweet potatoes cook, you can roll out your crust.

Add in the frozen mixed vegetables, tempeh and Italian seasoning. Cook until the vegetables are heated through, and then sprinkle in 1 1/2 T. of the white bean flour 1/2 T. at a time. Make sure you stir thoroughly after each addition. Season with salt and pepper, and when it’s where you want it, the sweet potatoes are tender and it is beginning to thicken, shut off the heat. Transfer to a casserole dish, and add in the last 1/2 c. water and sprinkle another 1/2 T. white bean flour over the top, stirring gently to combine. Lay the crust over top, slicing a couple holes in the top. And, you know…making a pretty smiley face with the excess crust.

Cook for about 50 minutes at 400*. The crust should turn golden, and the “gravy” may be bubbling around the sides.

The sweet potato and mixed vegetables along with the tempeh, and the gravy formed from the white bean flour is just a phenomenal combination.

Ohhh,, Marie. I am sorry to say, but you have nothing on this.

While eating, I browsed my last environmentally unfriendly addiction: the new K-Cups. I am very happy to hear that Green Mountain is looking into ways for their K-Cups to become “greener.”

I am also very happy to hear that their holiday flavors are [almost] out. Gingerbread was my absolute favorite last winter (what a shocker there, I know) and I’m pretty pumped to try Spicy Eggnog. They didn’t make it last year, but I’ve had an Eggnog coffee in the past and it was phenomenal.

Aaaand remember that figgy peanut butter from yesterday?

Uhhhh, yuht. You knew what had to happen. That is just one part of a figgy peanut butter, honey, and nectarine panini. Oh, yes.

I was practically chanting “figgy peanut butter” all morning in my head.

I am also brazen enough to roast broccoli in our toaster oven at work. I may or may not have roasted an entire head to have with this panini.

I may or may not have stolen the air freshener from the bathroom in attempts to be super sleuthy and not give myself away.

I may or may not have still had my boss walking back only to exclaim “I thought I smelled burnt broccoli!”

In my defense, it wasn’t burnt. He just has a sensitive nose. Or something.

And while I was really excited last night to try peanut flour in my overnight oats, I was super bummed to realize something was missing this morning. It just didn’t seem…right.

And then I realized it was chia seeds I was missing, and am ever-so-appreciative of them now. It just wasn’t the same without them!

And with that, I leave you with this:

I promise he’s alive. Don’t you want to be a horse in your next life?!

If you could be reincarnated as an animal – what would you want to be? Random question, I know. Possibly a touch morbid for a food blog, too.

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

It’s Magical

uhhh, I think I’m about ready to start bouncing off of the walls. I feel like I’ve been glued to this chair doing school-work all day! I know that’s not entirely true, but I’ve at least been inside for far too long.

This is what rainy days do to me.

It was supposed to be a “training day” for Teddie – I was going to have A ride him – but I decided not to because it was raining buckets and he would have been soaked to his skin because he’d rather stand in the rain than go in his hut.

I guess it worked out, though – since I didn’t get a chance to do any school work on Tuesday, I made up for it today. Big time.

I did still get to spend some quality time with this spaghetti squash, though. It’s playing the role of a medicine ball lately. I figure it’s still got a pretty long ways to go until it’s ripe and ready to eat, so maybe by the time it’s ready I’ll have a real medicine ball.

With the strawberry coconut kefir I’ve found, my breakfasts have taken on a “new flavor,” if you will. Not everything goes with strawberries, you know! But you know what does? Bananas. I’ve been making these banana oat bran waffles for the past couple of days now (that are waffle days, anyway) and am seriously in love. It’s like gingerbread waffles are but a … I don’t know how the saying goes. But it’s as if they were never an obsession.

I sort of “forgot” about oat bran for a while there, but I really do love it, especially in baked goods. It’s alittle too mushy for my liking to eat alone, but in a muffin or a waffle? Oh, the texture is just fabulous! And not only that, but the health benefits are something to gloat about, too.

Proven Health Benefits for the whole Body:-

  • Smoothes blood glucose fluctuations.
  • Lowers cholesteral, especially “bad” (LDL) cholestral.
  • Aids dieting
  • Aids diabetics
  • Aids Renal patients
  • Provides slow release energy for endurance athletes and those who fast.

[source – Easy Vigour]

Between the generous amount of vanilla extract, oat bran and sliced banana inside these waffles, you have a wonderful, fragrant waffle to sop up the strawberry-peanut icing. Or strawberry-coconut, it’s amazing either way.

Banana Oat Bran Waffles

  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 1/8 c. WW flour
  • 3/4 c. puffed millet
  • 1 T. wheat bran
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • baking powder

Combine these in a small bowl, and set aside.

  • 1 flax egg [1 T. milled flax + 3 T. warm water]
  • 1/4 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. almond milk

Add these wet ingredients to the dry.

Thinly slice in half of a large, ripe banana and gently incorporate into the batter.

Generously spray the top and bottom of a waffle iron. Spoon half the batter in at a time, and cook as your waffle maker tells you!

Meanwhile, combine:

When the waffles are done, pour over the “icing,” and voila!

And this morning, I used peanut flour in place of whole wheat flour, and nixed the vanilla. I couldn’t taste much of a difference, to be honest.

And the other morning, I made a strawberry-coconut kefir sauce – with coconut flour instead of peanut flour or chia seeds.

And by the way, what’s up with all the peanuts?!

Okay, okay – so it’s mostly because a while ago, I got it in my head that I was going to make my own peanut butter. This was waaay back when I had a less-than-powerful blender. Asking this blender/processor to make butter out of peanuts would have been like asking Teddie to make me breakfast.

It just wasn’t happening.

And I still have a lot of peanuts, which has recently made me feel like I need to finally use them. But, they’re still waiting for me to make peanut butter. I since have a better blender, and while I was thinking about this this afternoon, I decided to try it.

I’ve always held true to my belief that there should be a figgy peanut butter in the market. I mean, figs and peanut butter is the perfect marriage, so why not just make peanut butter with figs in it?

After a couple minutes of blend, blend, blending, I’d stopped only to realize I’d essentially made a really messy Larabar. I was starting to feel like a bit of a failure, but I added a bit of peanut oil and marched (er, blended) on.

And by golly, I made peanut butter. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really proud of myself and ready to gloat all afternoon.

I made peanut butter.

I made figgy peanut butter.

I took peanuts. And made them into butter.

With figs.

Capiche?

pea-nut bud-der (n): a spread that makes your mouth stick together and reminds us that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Yep, this fits the definition.

Figgy Peanut Butter

  • 1 c. “peanut butter stock” peanuts
  • 1/4 c. honey roasted peanuts
  • 4-5 large dried Turkish figs, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 t. peanut oil

Add all to your processor, and blend for…a while. There will be a magical point in time where the consistency suddenly changes from Larabar-esque to peanut butter. You will feel like a proud new mother would when you see this happen – it is magical.

Next time, though – I’d very finely chop up a few more figs to stir in at the end, to give it a bit more figgy deliciousness and texture variation.

And then I tried making peanutty birdseed bars. Does this make your eyes do crazy things like it does mine? Anyways – I overbaked them. I might turn them into granola!

And you know what? I think peanuts are sort of overlooked in the blog world. All over, you see bloggers snacking on almonds, or cashews, or pistachios. Adding them to bars, on top of oats, on top of dinners. But why never handfuls of peanuts? Maybe it’s because they’re not expensive enough, and won’t actually break the bank. But really – peanuts are great! I remember learning about them in a plants and people class – and learnt that they’re not actually a nut but rather a legume like peas, lentils, and chickpeas. What fascinated me most was the fact that they grow as a normal plant, but since they get too heavy, they have to burrow underground which is where the peanut fully grows. They’re also:

  • a great source of monunsaturated fat  – the heart health fat!
  • they contain oleic acid, which is the same healthy fat as is in olive oil
  • they rival fresh fruit when it comes to antioxidant levels

I also made a pretty fabulous dinner, if I do say so myself. Admittedly, I sort of wanted to push those ideas aside and eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but it was already made and I was equally as excited for that dinner than I was of making my own peanut butter.

So, there’s some hints. You know I’m pulling a cliffhanger though, right?!

Have you discovered something you can make yourself that you’d sort of resigned yourself to simply not being able to?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

Peanut Buttah And…

I’m going to be quick, since I just fiddled around with the site and have a quick business assignment to finish! So – just do this for me.

Pretty please? You’ll thank me later.

Go ahead and grab some bread and some peanut buttah. Homemade bread. That is accidentally a lot smaller than you intended. Trust me, it really lets you get a thiiick layer of p.b. 😉

Then snag a fresh local apple, and a dried fig. That fig is funky lookin’, non?

Now plug in your panini maker.

Glomp (yes, glomp) a bunch of peanut butter on the bread, and slice your apple and fig. Layer on some apple slices, then some fig slices, and sandwich to-gedder.

And then panini away.

Just don’t do like I did, and walk back upstairs to finish a project.

You’ll burn it…but the sandwich will be just that good that it doesn’t even really matter.

What’s your favorite Peanut Butter & ______ sandwich?

p.s. Chocolate chip cookie dough larabar

not as good as I was hoping. Bummer. Too much chocolate chip, not enough cookie dough.

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Filed under foodblog, health, healthy living, lunch, recipe

The Bill Clinton Diet

…I’m not sure which is more stuffed. Me…or the really delicious stuffed butternut squash I had for dinner just prior to writing this…

I feel like I’ve been on a food holiday this weekend – I’ve done so much cooking and baking it’s a little bit ridiculous. This squash was so delicious. Dare I say…butternut squash > sweet potato?!

Anyways. Somehow, I managed to get homework and playtime squeezed in my days, too? Shocker.

I bet you all knew I’d be making peanut flour waffles with that peanut flour that Sarena sent me! And, naturally – I have. Many times over. Okay, well, as many times over as can be done in just two days!

I had quite a few questions regarding peanut flour. Peanut flour is low in fat but packed with protein – it varies depending on the roast, but this TJ’s brand that I have has 16 grams of protein and only 8 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup! Talk about packed with protein 😉 And it’s 100% peanuts – which, you would think it’d be really high in calories because of that but it’s really not!

Peanut flour, either conventional or organic, is derived from blanched, high-oleic peanuts roasted to various degrees—light, medium and dark—to deliver everything from bland to bold peanut flavor. They’re then defatted via a mechanical, solvent-free process to fat levels of 12% or 28%. Like peanuts, most of the fat in peanut flour is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Compared to peanut butter, the lower fat level in peanut flour helps improve the shelf life of products. Although peanuts generally contain about 25% high-quality protein, removing part of the oil before grinding ups that percentage to around 50% in the 12%-fat flour and 40% in the 28%-fat flour. Moisture content in both flours is typically less than 2.0%.

Fat level plays a role in the degree of peanut flavor, with 28%-fat flour delivering a more-pronounced peanut flavor. The 12%-fat flour is best for high-protein, low-fat applications like nutritional and snack bars, where the bold peanut flavor can help mask off notes in highly fortified foods, as well as low-fat baked goods, notes Bruce Kotz, vice president, specialty products, Golden Peanut Company, Alpharetta, GA. The 28% flour often goes into confections, peanut-butter coatings, fillings, frostings and baked goods.

While my first experiment was to make a peanut butter sauce with it to top banana soft serve – my next experiment was, obviously – waffles! I simply used my original recipe without the WW flour and wheat bran, and added 2 T. of peanut flour!

So delicious! Thanks again, Sarena!

The weather this weekend – er, namely yesterday – was gorgeous! I wish it could just stay like this for eeever. It was sunny, breezy, hoodie weather!

So of course, Teddie had endless amounts of energy 😉 We spent a while just geekin’ around the fields, and he even decided to drag me down a quasi-trail at one point.

This morning’s events after waffle eating involved something else, though! While I’d love to see Teddie everyday…it’s been nice to just have a day to do whatever. Work around here, cook, bake, veg, homework, whatever.

In this case – start the day by baking Ginger Birdseed Bars!

I basically took a 1/8 measuring cup and combined all sorts of nuts and seeds in my pantry along with some protein powder, rolled oats, puffed rice, raisins and uncrystallized ginger…and then used a mix of 1/8 c. milled flax, 1-2 T. peanut butter, 2 T. ginger syrup and a splash of water to bind them.

I baked them a bit longer than I intended to – but I’m going to embrace the crunch 😉 Especially because the ginger syrup is awesome!

I haven’t been cooped up all day, though. There’s still been plenty of outdoorsy time in the form of taking care of and playing with the horses and ponies!

We’ve been hand-walking “the girls” up and down the road pretty frequently, and today they really had a lot of “scary” cars go by them which was a good experience for them. But we also took them up in back on a “trail ride” (still in hand obvs!) and they seemed to really enjoy the change of scenery. They have become such love muffins! Well – Maya always was…but Gerogie’s personality has really come out. Still rather insecure – but sweet.

I went to make my usual Seitan (based on a Veganomicon recipe – big shocker there!) but then noticed there’s a recipe right on the gluten package! I followed the broth mixture (sans soy sauce, of course) because I didn’t have any vegetable broth and the molasses intrigued me.

I ended up mixing:

  • 1/2 c. wheat gluten
  • 1/4 t. sage
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 c. water
  • salt

and then boiled in the molasses + water mixture with a sprinkle of salt.

I used to make seitan alll the time – I haven’t had it in a while! I like this recipe, but it wasn’t salty enough for me – I didn’t really take the soy sauce sodium content into consideration, and should have salted the water more. Oh, well – I can always add more salt after the fact, can’t take it out, though!

While that was boiling, I made this.

But, I can’t tell you what it is yet 😉 Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or Wednesday. We’ll see.

And roasted some vegetables that needed to get out of my fridge! (Rutabega + Broccoli.)

I was so at a loss as to what I wanted for lunch…but when I sat down to this, I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted. I just wasn’t feeling…savory? bread? I don’t know. I picked at it, and then satisfied my sweet tooth.

I picked up a couple of these Sambazon Acai Juice Blends when they were on sale at Price Chopper a while back. I’m not a huge juice-fan so they sort of got pushed to the wayside for a while, but I had to try one in a GM yesterday…

…and had the other half today. They’re actually, quite good!! They’re not quite like a juice as they use acai puree rather than juice, so it’s got a nice texture/consistency to it.

And then I tackled bread again.

I found a yummy-sounding honey oatmeal wheat bread recipe that was right in the breadmaker booklet. I figured if I followed it, it had to work!

sort of. I cut down on the honey a bit and added in 1/4 c. sunflower seeds. And I’ll be darned – It still fell!

I was all excited when I kept peeking in through the little window at the top, too – it was rising so high!! Arrgh. It’s okay, though…because this is a delicious loaf! Very light, moist, and chewy. Now I’m just plain determind to get a pretty loaf, too! Soon I’ll be kneading by hand. I almost did this morning but then changed my mind.

This was ready just in time for the aforementioned dinner. It was a perfect accompaniment!

Next up was peanut flour, round two! I’d been eyeballing Sarena’s Peanut Flour Muffins ever since she posted them. Today was as good as any other! I still have a freezer full of bran muffins, and need some variation in my life. These will be great snacks, though – and didn’t even bother freezing some!

I made a couple changes to the original:

  • called for 1/2 c. gluten free flour mix – I used 1/4 c. quick oats and 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • called for 1/3 c. brown sugar – I used 1/4 c. date sugar
  • I didn’t use the vinegar to sour the milk (didn’t have any)
  • used 1 T. maple syrup rather than the vanilla stevia
  • filled the middle with peach-raspberry jam rather than topping with brown sugar

I also stirred in some dark chocolate chips because even though I’m not typically a fan, I was just feelin’ the dark choco!

…but I think they’d have been better without them! Mreh, well. Just needed to reconfirm my beliefs? Maybe?

And that’s everything! Well, that and taking care of all the animals, homework, house work, making-things-I-can’t-show-you-yet, and enjoying the weekend.

…And being told I’m on a “Bill Clinton Diet.” You know what makes me crazy? Explaining to people why you eat the way you do, only to receive “you’ve lost your mind” looks, but as soon as Bill Clinton talks about his diet, which happens to be quite similar to yours, it’s acceptable.

I haven’t watched that yet, but apparently he talks about almond milk and overall eating quite well. My mom’s bf saw it and is now all about it, after…a year? of me explaining stuff like that.

If that’s all it takes, I guess it’s a good thing, though?

What’s your favorite muffin add-in?

Thoughts on the Bill Clinton video?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

Where’d It Go?

where did july come from?! out of nowhere, if you ask me.

my appetite has still been somewhat mia today still. where’d it go?! some of you mentioned that you hoped i wasn’t getting sick. i don’t think so – i think it’s just the ebb and flow! happens to us all every so often. i’m rolling with it but still want to make sure i’m meeting all my nutritional requirements, so i still had night time snacks even though i wasn’t necessarily hungry.

luckily, though, i’m pretty much always ready for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day – and these may very well take the waffle of the week award. i think month is more accurate, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring. and the aroma! oh, for some reason, they smelled far superior to any i’d made yet.

what made them so out of the ordinary? well, nothing, really. i’m pretty sure i’ve done a similar combo before. maybe it’s just the fact that it’s been so long since i’ve done the fig and melted ‘nanner combo? oh, and cinnamon. and strawberries in the waffle. and a drizzle of honey. and some pecans. and teddie.

i thoroughly enjoyed 50% of this breakfast.

the other 50%, i sort of muddled through, knowing it was delicious, but at that halfway point i read something that just made my stomach churn.

i’ll explain. just note that you may not want to read, in which case you can continue on to the next photo. don’t say i didn’t warn you. it involves horse abuse.

i have this ritual on thursday mornings. remember how i mentioned teddie came from a feedlot? well, it’s an auction. they happen every where. but this particular one, the horses that get bought for feedlot have a second chance. a rescue goes in, takes pictures, some general info, and posts it online. people from all over see them, pull them, and give them better lives. sure, some run through quite rugged, and obviously should have been humanely euthanized rather than just sent to be inhumanly slaughtered. in these cases, rescues typically pull and make the decision whether the horse can be made comfortable, or is better off passing on.

anyways. wednesday night is this particular auction, and so the list is put up late that night. every thursday, my mom and i like to see what’s there. we agree it’s too much of a risk to adopt ourselves – there’s not much information to go along with these horses, even though some really nice ones find themselves sitting in that lot (like teddie!) but, it’s still fun to look.

this morning, there was news of a horse who was sent to this auction with a hole in its’ skull that was stuffed with a sock. a hanes sock. this has been making disturbed all day, and there was a video i just watched that the rescue posted, of the vet cleaning the wound. it shows how deep it really was, down to the sinus cavity. are you freaking kidding me? for the love of pete, who in the right minds decides to stuff a freaking sock in their horse’s head wound? and additionally, how the hay did your horse get a hole that big in their skull in the first place? was it intentional?

ugh. i’m still skeeved, but now that i got that out there, i’ll try to be upbeat for the rest of this.

i didn’t actual eat pasta sauce moments after breakfast, but here’s everyones cue that it’s safe to read again 😉

my mom had asked me if i wanted to do some grocery shopping for her today if she gave me her card. why yes, i would love to, mother dearest. sauce was on the list, so in the cart goes some 2/$5 ragu! i couldn’t resist this flavor, and with my new pasta sauce obsession, i won’t lie. i’m kind of excited to have a salad with this. one might be turned off by having a jar of shelf-stable pasta sauce with mozzarella that is “margherita flavor,” but once again, the ingredients are all real things. hm.

and a little treat for myself, of course! i had a coupon for this brand, which bought this baby to $0.69. yes, i am that good. i like it better than teddie – it’s got the crunch factor, but a bit sweet, too! teddie is becoming a little too salty for me…(i’m starting to regret spelling my pony’s name as teddie, because now i feel like i’m calling him too salty. are you confused yet?)

i behaved: i was waffling between this and the cashew butter, but since it was my mom’s money i was spending and not mine, i went the cheaper route. i am dying to try cashew butter, but am afraid since i dislike raw almond butter but love almonds, it won’t be as good as i hope it to be. anyone wanna weigh in?

sneaky peek

after i got home, i had quinoa granola bars and the bsi on the brain. the quinoa bars are a w.i.p.

but not bad for completely winging it! luckily, i wrote down what i did and know what i need to change. namely, i didn’t need any of the water i added to thin out the dates!

aaaand a little bit more honey and nuts would have been quite delectable.

and then the bsi. sarena, i’m so glad you picked raspberries. i didn’t realize how good they are until i bought some today. i thought i was of the belief that i could take them or leave them.

uh, i’ll take them. i was torn between making a raspberry sauce or my quinoa-bulgur muffins but with raspberries, so for now i just made a raspberry sauce. i still think that those muffins would be killer with raspberries, so i might do that. i am almost out of muffins, the way i’ve been going at them, you know.

Balsamic-Raspberry Fig Sauce

inspired by a million different recipes (mainly the Veganomicon maple fig dressing)  and my mom’s mentioning of “sweet potatoes with raspberry sauce.”

  • 1/4 c. raspberries (uhh…well, you’ll see how i measured them. probably more like a scant 1/2 c.)
  • 1/2 c. water, separated
  • 1 T. xagave
  • 2 medium basil leaves
  • 1 Turkish fig
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar

this is my "1/4 c." of raspberries. take that for what it's worth.

begin by simmering 1/4 c. water, xagave, raspberries, and the chopped fig until mixture starts to thicken, mushing the raspberries up a bit with a wooden spoon. add in the torn basil and the pinch of cinnamon, and then the balsamic. continue to simmer, covered, until pretty thick but not so it’s evaporated.

once it’s cooled a bit, pour the mixture into a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth.

i then chose to strain it because my processor is only okay, and i dislike too many raspberry seeds. some fall through the strainer, but i dealt. it caught the majority, but luckily the yummy fig seeds could still pass through! pour 1/4 c. water through the strainer to make sure you get the last bit clinging there. this also helps to thin it and mellow the vinegar.

voila! this would be great as a dressing or dip, though my intentions were for sweet potato fries, as you’ll soon see. other ideas would be for a chickpea cutlet or chicken, and i bet it’s be a real winner on salmon.

i did a little bit of yoga sculpt and eventually got ready to leave for the barn.

i wasn’t much hungry, but knew i needed to eat lunch, so grabbed a simple pb and j.

nothing in my sea of jams already opened tickled my fancy, so i saw that as an excuse to finally open this farmer’s market find. obviously, they didn’t realize they should put almonds on the ingredients list, but it was delicious. sort of random for a pb&j, looking back at it, but i have no regrets.

especially because i pried open my new crunchy pb for it and it was love at first bite. i took it to go, and lesson of the day: never think you’re safe to eat a pb&j while waiting in line to get gas.

huh?

so there i am, innocently waiting my turn for a pump, behind another person waiting. one would think it’s the perfect time to savor a sandwich, but no. i’m still mostly paying attention, but gaze down lovingly momentarily, thinking to myself “why don’t i just live off of pb&j? this is so delicious. i should have pb&j more often.” and the revert my gaze forward, when all of a sudden realize i am about to be backed into. he’s going so fast i can’t even drop my sandwich fast enough to throw myself in reverse, and i am rocked by a bozo.

luckily, my jeep has a plastic bumper and both parties escaped unharmed except for a little crack that is no big deal.

after this incident, i realized i’m probably the best person to accidentally back into. i got out and before i even see if gertrude is harmed in any way, shape or form, i’m telling him “oh, it’s okay!” bahah.

luckily, the rest of the driving and barn excursion went off without a hitch, and upon arrival home i started making dinner and had a little snack, though i was still shocked i wasn’t hungry. this is getting old already. being at the barn usually makes my appetite surge…and yet i only wanted an iced coffee and some apricots. jiggy enjoyed one of them, however. he also enjoyed the sweet potato extras and banana peels.

of course, just because i say i started making dinner doesn’t mean it was time for dinner. no, no, that wasn’t for another two hours. i just like making it while i have nothing to do, so then when it’s dinner time i can just eat whenever. otherwise, i’m one of those “oh, time for dinner now.” and realize i have to wait 30+ minutes before what i want is ready.

oh yeah, that and around here we’re early birds.

on the menu tonight? raspberry-fig glazed sweet ‘tater fries and cheater baked beans. i found the recipe in veganomicon, and with a little googling found the recipe posted here, for all of you who don’t (but should) have the book. i pretty much just halved it and used black beans instead of white, maple dijon mustard instead of mustard powder, no bay leaf, and cinnamon & nutmeg instead of allspice. oh, and full-flavored molasses, which i don’t think is light molasses?

they were lovely. even if they’re “cheater,” they were far lofflier than the bush’s vegetarian baked beans that i tried a while back and reported disliking. i figured it was just a recipe dislike, and not an actual baked beans dislike.

and the fries were great, too! i just tossed a whole sweet potato cut into fries with about 3/4s of the sauce, some salt, and pepper. the extra was used for dippage. yumliscious! the rest will certainly be enjoyed at some point tomorrow. or tonight. we’ll see when i finally get hungry again, i guess.

of course, that being said – i still couldn’t let go of dessert. pb branana muffin, coconut gelato, raspberries, granola, and xagave. deerishious and sort of nutritious 😉

___________________________

the teddie chronicles

i’ve been slacking on the chronicles lately – sheesh! pony was stellar today, though. i think it was the first time i rode him w-t and did everything alone. well, another girl was there, who i actually just met the other day. she is a sweetheart, and we were pretty much gabbing the whole time. i think it helped me calm my nerves for doing everything alone, too! sometimes i can be a nervous rider, for no real reason. just talking made me just think it was the “same ol’ same ol’.”  it probably helps that she just keeps oogling over teddie 😉

anyways – i lunged him for about 10 minutes before tacking him up and riding for maybe 10-15. so nothing too strenuous, but he was well behaved and at this point in time, i think it’s plenty, anyways. we did lots of figures to keep his mind working, and had nice trots, too. he’s getting much better about forward, which is one of the most important things for a young horse (well, that and whoa, which is his favorite word). first couple rides he would sort of just stop randomly, but he hasn’t done that at all the past couple rides, and if he does he’ll walk/trot again almost as soon as he’s asked to.

we (girl i’ll call K) and i grazed him out front a bit for being a good boy, too. i’ve stopped feeding him treats since he’s so nudgy – so his “reward” is some nice mouthfuls of clover 😉

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized