Tag Archives: smoothie

10 Things for 10/10/10

Happy 10/10/10!! I feel like for this occasion, I ought to present to you ten things. I haven’t really planned this and the idea just barely struck me, so I’m not sure how I’ll do, but lets see!

1. Apparently I’m not alone in not knowing much about tech-y things. I appreciate both the suggestion comments and the comments telling me I’m not alone, though, so I’ll still tell you what that dough blob was.

Yep – we have a winner! Handmade bread! As in, I was the breadmaker. Not the machine. There she is pre-bake…

…and here she is post-bake. Don’t be fooled, though. This mission did not go off without a hitch. For one, I put the oats on top way too late in the game, and they fell right off.

See? Oh, well. I’ll know for next time. And now I’ll share with you my “what was I thinking?!” moment. So, I’m following this recipe on the back of a Bob’s Red Mill vital wheat gluten package for honey oatmeal bread. I follow the destructions easily enough (or so I thought,) put it in the oven for the first rise, and go out and take care of the horses. While I’m out there shoveling poo, I start thinking to myself how odd it is that they still call it “oatmeal bread,” when steel-cut oats were used, and aren’t quite traditional oatmeal.

And then it hit me.

The recipe called for Scottish oats, not steel-cut oats. For whatever reason, I was going about it thinking that Scottish oats were steel-cut oats. I don’t know why. I’ll blame it on the fact that they both started with”S.”

I don’t know why I think about food while shoveling horse poop, but I just do, okay? And that kinda burst my bubble right then and there, because I was feelin’ good about this bread.

Anyways, long story short, it still worked, but I think had I used rolled oats instead of steel cut, it would have rose more the second time. As it is, it makes a perfect size for banana, cashew butter, and maple cream sandwiches.


2. Maple cream. Nothing more needs to be said about it.

I was planning on going to this event called “Art in the Park” yesterday, with a bunch of Made-In-Vermont stuff – art, food, crafts, etc. But I spent so much time with Teddie that I didn’t leave there until 1, and by then just wanted to get home. I had work to do, and my mom had to work so I was in charge of the horses.

As a “happy medium,” I stopped at a little farm stand that I all too often forget about and found a bunch of fun things…but only a couple for me 😉

It’s so good spread on toast! And super super sweet, so a little goes a loooong way. But, you know us Vermonters.

We do bathe in maple syrup, after all.

3. Buttercup squash.

Some squashies were among the other things I found, and I couldn’t resist the still-covered-in-dirt buttercup and butternut squash. They had some other kinds I’d never seen nor heard about before, too…and was so tempted, but only had so much cash on me, and they couldn’t run a card. Ironically, that’s exactly how much I ended up spending! I lucked out. I sort of have this paranoia that I’ll not have enough money when checking out or something.


I stuffed one like so, and my mom had (half of) the other (huge) half. She’s a new buttercup fan, too.

4. really adorable spatulas.

I was making some Birdseed Bars, and found this absolutely adorable [random] mini spatula in our drawer. I’ve never seen it before, and have no idea where it came from…but is it not adorable?

5. gingerbread waffles .

I have been working towards perfecting my gingerbread waffles. I wish I could say I have perfected them and could share it with you – but I haven’t.

I’m pretty picky about my ginger-stuff. I want wham! ginger flavor. Ginger bread, ginger snaps, ginger cookies, ginger bars…whatever. Not necessarily “ow, I burnt my tongue!” type ginger…but…I don’t know where I’m going with this.

But what I do know is that while these are pretty fab (and am not minding taste-testing!) they’re not “wham!” ginger enough. I know I can do better, and sometimes ya just gotta keep pushing yourself 😉

I did discover that they’re way better with chopped, sauteed apples over mashed banana, though. But they’d be even better with apples and cranberries, which leads me toooo…

6. fresh cranberries .


I’ve been waiting for them to once again make their appearance in my grocery aisles, and they finally have! Hot cranberry oats were a huge phase of mine, and while I’m still goin’ the overnight route, it should be fun to see how they are in overnighters 😉

7. Teddie.

We had so much fun yesterday, going all over the fields, down little random trails, just having fun! He’s like – the pony I never had as a kid. Naughty, but safe.

…and today was spent dedicated to him. Well, this afternoon, anyway. My mom and I went to a really nice tack auction, and he now has a new rain sheet to rip to shreds and roll in poop in, some saddle pads, and a new bridle to chew up. Because that’s kind of how he rolls.

8. baking tempeh.

I have no excuse for this, but I usually just…don’t do much with tempeh. I throw it in a sandwich, quickly pan-fry it, and that’s about it. Rarely will I marinate and bake it. Well, I’m changing that!

I rubbed this tempeh with pesto (we’ll get to that next!) and then baked it with the broccoli. Such a texture and flavor change!

9. pesto.

I love the sweet basil pesto tapenade I made from Veganomicon (by the way – does anyone know how long stuff like that will stay in the fridge for?) but was feeling like I should make a more “normal” flavored pesto. I found one of interest in Moosewood’s Low Fat Favorites cookbook, but switched it up a bit. Namely, added oil 😛

…with the help of Bella Sun Luci, that is! I used some of the sundried tomato halves they sent me. Even if you hate sundried tomatoes, you should by these at least to smell every day. It is heavenly, really.

Ugly Pesto

  • 1 c. packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. sundried tomatoes – the kind packed in oil
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes
  • 2 T. sunflower kernels
  • 1/2 t. salt

Combine all in a blender, blend until smooth!

Don’t look at me like that. I told you it was ugly. But good! I enjoy it mixed with greek yogurt, too, for a creamy pesto. If you’ve ever had pesto mayo, you know where I’m coming from 😉

10. livin, enjoying this beautiful weather, and feeling grateful for life!

What are ten things you did/thought/felt/realized/discovered this weekend?! I know ten is a lot…but believe you me, I do enjoy reading everything you guys write 😉


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

It’s All the Rage

There are two things running rampant in blog-ville these past few days.

One, pumpkin.

And two, a pesky little thing we’ll call the MC article. Lets talk about pumpkin first. Pumpkin is a lot happier.

So, brew yourselves some coffee…

…and lets discuss how to go through a can of pumpkin in just one day. Yes – that’s right. I’m sort of bummed. I usually prefer the smaller cans because the big cans are…just too much pumpkin all at once. And now I don’t even have pumpkin left to have overnight oats with tomorrow. Nice going, Jess.

Apparently, I was really into “tutorial-type” pictures today.

If you bear with me through them all, I’ll show you a Teddie video tomorrow. Don’t get your hopes up, though. We’re not doing anything, I just show you him trying to eat a carrot for two minutes and forty seconds.

Anyways. We’re gonna make pumpkin pancakes with an apple compote type topping. Yes, I said pancakes. I was feeling adventurous.

Start by chopping up a nice, fresh, crisp, local apple, and sautee it in some almond milk, cinnamon and a teensy drizzle of maple syrup over low heat while you prepare everything else. If you’re good, the timing will be impeccable, I promise you.

And meanwhile, mix together 1/4 c. quick oats, 3 T. WW flour, 2 T. oat bran, 2 T. raisins, baking powder, 1/4 c. pumpkin, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1/2 T. molasses, 1/2 c. almond milk, 1/4 c. pumpkin puree, and a chia egg and pour by 1/4 c. scoops into a preheated non-stick pan sprayed with olive oil spray. Or coated with real oil, whatever.

I know, I know. Teflon and spray oils, I’m surprised I’m still kickin’.

Whilst those are cookin’ (cause they take forever, and reminded me why waffles are so. much. more. convenient.) take your vitamins…

…and make the prized peanut butter sauce. It’s quite simple. Like sunshine and spaghetti.

I currently have a big jug of Canadian maple syrup, though. It was an accident, I swear. Please don’t throw me out to spend the night with the horses, please don’t!

I just mush-mix about a tablespoon or so of peanut buttah with maybe double or triple the amount of kefir, and a lil’ drizzle of maple sizzurp.

Don’t forget to keep stirring your apples!

Don’t forget to flip your pancakes!

You could probably make four normal sized ones. I, however, grew too impatient for that and just made the last one really huge.

And toasted the first two while I waited. Please tell me I’m not alone and you guys toast your pancakes, too. So good!

Add some raisins to your apples in the last few minutes or so! They pucker up and…well, who doesn’t like apples, cinnamon, and raisins?! You cook it until the liquid is just about gone and/or the apples are soft. You can add more milk if you haven’t reached the desired consistency yet.

And plate it all up!

These obviously aren’t your typical pancakes – they’re like oatmeal in the middle, all mushy, pumpkinny, and yummy – which was just what I was going for! If you want a really excellent “real pancake” recipe, however, might I suggest this one?

It still doesn’t feel like “pumpkin season” yet, and so I was apprehensive about breaking out the pumpkin – but once I did, there was, apparently, no stopping me.

When I came home from the barn, I had to fix up a pumpkin green monster!

Topped with wheat germ, pepitas, and figs with a slice of toast and cashew butter.

And then, I baked.

I baked pumpkin birdseed bars, of course! Except, after the fact, they’re more like gingerbread birdseed bars, but I’m not complaining. It made me realize – why hadn’t I thought to make gingerbread?! Sure, I made ginger ones (which, by the way, my mom brought to work and told me her co-worker wants the recipe! I was flattered.) but that differs from gingerbread.

Combine 1/4 c. rolled oats, 1/4 c. puffed millet, 1/4 c. pepitas, 1/8 c. chia seeds, 1/8 c. poppyseeds, 1/8 c. chopped walnuts, 1/8 c. sunflower seeds, 1/8 c. protein powder, 1/4 c. raisins, 1 t. cinnamon, and 1/2 t. nutmeg

…and then play with molasses. I paid good money for this organic, fair trade molasses! …and was unashamedly mesmerized by how gooey and dark it was!

In a smaller bowl, combine 1/4 c. milled flaxseed, 1/4 c. pumpkin puree, and 1/8 c. blackstrap molasses.

Mix it all up…

…and then combine it with the dry ingredients. It won’t be easy at first, but neither is life. I’m just prepping you for the real world.

You might need a little more moisture – that’s okay, just pour in 1-2 T. of unsweetened almond milk. You’d rather them be too wet than too dry! Unless you’re…different.

And heck, now that you mention it, some ginger syrup would taste pretty fine, too! Just a drizzle will do.

Before anyone asks – no, by technical definition, this is not a “bar pan.” It is to me, though, so it will continue to be called that by moi.

It is, however, a mini loaf pan. It’s the equivalent of an extra large muffin pan, I think.

Make sure you press them down really, really good! Sort of press and smooth, ya know?!

Bake them for 10-15m at 375*. More for crunch, less for…goop? Whatever floats your boat.

I think I did 13 minutes, and have a wonderfully moist yet still “bar-y” texture.

Yes, 13 minutes. That’s  a big deal for me, considering when cooking things I prefer to go in multiples of five.

Believe it or not, I did more with my life than bake pumpkin today. Aside from playing with Teddie and the other ponies, doing homework, and getting in some twerkin’ out, my big bargain buys came from SmartPak.

Why yes, yes I do jump at the chance to save 90%. This jacket was originally $236 (honestly – who pays that?!) and I paid $24. Oh, yes. And the vest, too. I had to.

But, continuing on in our practices of pumpkinism, lets make pumpkin baked gobbletti! Gobbletti (or gobetti? I don’t know) is a form of pasta, if you’re scratching your heads. This was based on a Veganomicon recipe. It’s my “I don’t feel like dirtying dishes and want to get more reading done rather than stand over the stove” version.

Nuke a couple handfuls of baby spinach in a large bowl until it’s slightly wilted. Stir in 3/4 c. pureed pumpkin, 1/4 c. chopped red pepper, 2 T. diced red onion, a generous pinch of nutmeg, 1 t. date sugar, generous 1/2 c. black beans, salt, maple pepper, and ground black pepper.

Thin it with water (1/2 c.?) and stir in your pastaaa. I love this shape! Shape really is everything.

Cover, and bake at 375* for 45 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.

I topped it with some dried sage, chopped walnuts, and paprika. It was lovely. But apparently I was too eager to eat it to take a good picture.

I made a double batch, though – maybe tomorrow I will.

Or not.

Anyways. This post was needlessly picture heavy, sorry about that. Now onto something a little more serious that I’ll preface with this: I was, and am still not, one to get involved in drama-rama. All through high school and still now, I don’t really care about who said what and she said that. I don’t keep grudges, I don’t retaliate, I try not to get too upset. Life is too short for that junk. When I read the Marie Claire article that I’m sure you’ve all heard of, my heart hurt for those bloggers. I just can never understand when people are downright mean.

I’m not going to defend them (Not only have they done it quite eloquently thmselves, but I don’t know them) because it’s not my job. In fact, sure – the article raises a good point, though quite arguably, one that could have shown both sides of blogging… because here’s the positive: it can educate for the better, and counter against disordered eating, too. I am only where I am now because of these blogs. The media sure as heck didn’t have anything to do with it. Blogs have done more for me than the public and media has, and media is far more commonly seen than the majority of the health blogs out there. When I first started blogging, I was all about “shortcuts.” Sugar free maple syrup, because obviously chemicals are better than real food. Stevia, because of course any form of calories from sugar were the devil. Oil alternatives, because of course there’s no such thing as healthy fat.

Note the sarcasm. When we go through the grocery store aisles, see commercials on TV, and see advertisements in magazines, it’s all low-cal, low-fat, sugar-free, fat-free “food substitutes.” I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I see from the majority of blogs I read. And if I read one that I don’t agree with, I don’t have to read it. Ahh, the wonders of that cute little red “X” in the top right corner.

So, that’s that. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I feel like by not, I am turning a blind eye. So yes, I understand that while the article may raise a valid point about some blogs, I also understand that when it comes to the blogs in question, I’ve never been more inspired to become the best “me.”

And that’s that. So – what’s your favorite pumpkin dish?!


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


I’ve got some skeletons in my closet.

…errr…maybe I just have a lot of blueberries in my freezer.

I figured that if anything is going to get me out of my banana + fig rut, it was going to be these blueberries. I know, I know…how are a bunch of freezer-burnt blueberries going to help me? Well – they’re not just a bunch of freezer burnt blueberries.

Actually, they’re farm-fresh summer blueberries from when we went picking this summer.

When these babies are nuked for a minute, they are just like a glimpse of a long-forgotten Summer. Sure, Summer is not yet long-forgotten…which is why they’re hiding back in the freezer, and if you see them again tomorrow please yell at me – I can’t eat them all now, I have to wait until it’s 0* during the days so I can be reminded of the 90* humid heat when we were picking them 😉


Upon closer examination, though, you may notice that those waffles are actually a mess! See, I had this grandiose idea that if I oiled the waffle iron with coconut oil, it would add some great flavor.

Well, I don’t know if you’ve used coconut oil, but it’s really hard when it’s not heated – and so, it was hard to get enough on the paper towel. Obviously, I didn’t oil the iron enough and I was picking off waffle bits for a couple minutes. I don’t think it helped that I didn’t let my flax egg sit for more than…a couple seconds, so I basically had no binder.

Mreh, whatever…I’d cut them into bite-sized pieces before I eat, anyway – now the work was already done!

...no flash. I can't decide!

I remember them being a lot more broken than the pictures show. I’m not sure if that’s just saying something for my optimism or photo arrangement skills.

These were coconut-blueberry-acai waffles. In place of almond milk, I used half of this Sambazon Acai drink and coconut flour in place of regular. I used some of it in the “icing,” too – which was a mix of kefir, Pom-Blueberry Acai Juice, chia seeds, and a pinch of coconut flour.

I went Teddie-less today 😦 It makes me sad looking back on it because it was sort of pointless that I didn’t go. I went because we were supposed to have some intense thunderstorms all morning, but…nothing ever happened! Grumph. I saw the big guy yesterday and will again tomorrow…life will go on.

I might be a little crazier than even I thought, though…because when I saw this huuuge pile of gargantuan bags of carrots for only $3, my immediate reaction was “Oh, Teddie would love this!” and then I thought of him pushing a shopping cart with his little hoofers.

I mean, Haflingers are meant to pull carts…I’ll just hook a shopping cart to the back of him and he can tow me through the store! I bet he’d have made a beeline for these puppies.

Yeah, yeah, that was weird. I warned you.

Anyways, you’ve probably assumed my morning was instead spent grocery shopping and doing some quick twerkin’ out. And pretending I’m a photographer! It’s about time I made a lightbox. I sort of took the easy way out and will need to be improving upon this set-up, but I still had fun playing.

I don’t usually photograph my “new finds” from the store…but this was the perfect occasion to play!

Vermont-made pasta sauce! I’ve been wanting to try it ever since seeing them on Throwdown with Bobby Flay (it was the Lasagna throwdown in burlington, anyone catch it?!) but I’d always opt for something cheaper. I was feeling splurgy today, and had a coupon…

…and it was the only one without any added sugar! I was really surprised while I was label-reading how much sugar some of them had. Cray-cray.

I will keep you posted how my Bove’s sauce-tasting goes 😉

There were so many different squashies today! It took remarkable self-control, but I walked away with just two new ones to try. The Fall/Winter is young!

And I’ve nevah evah had a quince before. I’m not even really sure what it is…but it just wanted to be in my cart, I guess. I shouled probably eat more environmentally friendly, though. That baby’s from Chile.

I get sent e-mails from the Raw Reform, and this morning’s caught my eye with a Raw cracker recipe. I do not have a dehydrator (much less the patience to wait 24 hours to make some stinkin’ crackers, but it sounds better to just say I don’t have a dehydrator) so I decided to just try it and see if I could bake them.

It sort of worked.

It was really hard to get them to be a uniform thickness, though – so some are really crispy (read: a bit burnt) whereas others are really soft, flexible, and chewy. I really like the flavor, though – it’s a great change from the usual nutty/seedy crackers I make, so I’ll have to tinker with it!

While the crackers cooked, though (and man, they took a long time!) I made myself an epic lunch. And it had a brand-new star, too!

I’ve been dying to try cashew butter for eons…but I was afraid that I simply don’t care for normal nut-butters like the rest of blog-land. Plain/raw almond butter? Mreh, no thanks. Unsalted peanut butter? Mreh, no thanks. I’d prefer at least salted…but preferably with a bit of sugar/cane syrup/honey/what-have-you. Sue me. I already know I’m weird. You know what else I do weird? I put deodorant on by going inside my t-shirt’s neckline rather than up from the bottom.

But deodorant and cashew butter don’t have anything in common other than the fact that they’re both amazing products. I mean…deodorant stops you from stinking, and cashew butter makes you realize you’ve found all you’ve been looking for in life.

And…all it is is cashews and a bit of sunflower oil! No sweetener or salt. I wasn’t sure I’d care for it, really. I mean, I love cashews. But I also love almonds, and I’ve already told you how I feel about normal almond butter. It was on sale and I had a coupon and was in a splurgy mood, though, so I had to have it. So glad, too.

I liken it sunflower butter…the consistency was very similar (and they both give you an arm workout stirring them) but without the touch of saltiness that sunflower butter has. It basically tastes like a delicious, creamy cashew – shocking, right?!

I got a lot of reading (homework) done in the afternoon as well as playing with the horses. And made a divine dinner. A stuffed buttercup squash! I remember Sarena telling me I would love it – and oh boy, does that woman know what she’s talking about! It is fantastic! I know you’re probably all sick of my stuffed vegetables, but…uhhh…uhhh…I’m not. I’d say sorry, but I don’t like to lie and if I did – I’d be lying.

I was also really hungry and rather than stand cooking whatever over the stove, found it most practical to take the easy route and sit and read while the squash baked. So, I just microwaved some bulgur with kale, and when it cooled mixed in some white kidney beans and some of the rosemary sauce from the pierogies. The cranberries on top added just a touch of sweet! I loved the rosemary in this, too. You know, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that sauce when I first had it – just wasn’t sure I cared for rosemary. Maybe it was because I was practically snorting it up my  nose (that stuff is potent when you blend a whole back of it, believe you me) all afternoon, because now I’m quite fond of it 😉

What’s your favorite spice?

I love hearing about weird things people do – strange sequences, quirks, etc – probably because I have so many! What’s one of yours?!

Aaaand if you wanna vote for meee, you could by clicking here 😉


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

Butternut Squash Win

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride? Um, I think so.

For starting off as such a sunny, beautiful day – it sure turned into the definition of fall this afternoon!

I’ve been sleeping so late lately! On my days off, I don’t wake up until 7:45 or 8:00…and I think it has entirely to do with the weather. I am just so cozy burrowed under 3 blankets!! I also think it’s because I’ve had so much more energy and have been staying up a bit later, too.

I think this is fully because of my diet. I feel like I’ve been eating really well lately, and Tat really got me thinking with her most recent post – we need to listen to our whole body when it comes to needing “fuel.” If I am feeling lethargic, tired, sick, or beaten down…chances are it’s because I’ve not eaten enough – not because I’m getting sick. Sometimes, hunger just doesn’t show up in the form of a rumbling belly and vocalizes itself in other ways 😉

Anyways. Just a good thing to keep in mind 🙂

The late morning’s have not meant neglected waffles, though. I will say…I sort of would rather sleep a bit more anyways, because now, rather than ride before the humidity sets in – I wait until it warms up a bit! It was in the upper thirties last night…vurrrreh chilleh! A down blankie and coconut waffles with sauteed plums and ‘nanner warmed me right up, though.

Well, that and the yoga. I debated a walk-run (especially after the weird, random dream that I was running a 5k with Rebekah? odd…) but yoga just won out.

And I did two loads of laundry today. Who am I?! That’s big news. I guess I shouldn’t speak too soon though, because I still haven’t folded them or put them away, which we all know is the worst part.

Teddie says “Herruh!” P.S. I don’t really sound like that, I just say Teddie weird sometimes. Now I feel forced to create a video where I say something normally so you don’t think I go around talking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Oh, who am I kidding, I probably do sound like that.

Anyways – pumpkin was a champ today. He’s getting fuzzy for winter already. Which is scary. Even scarier is the fact that I ordered a bunch of winter riding clothes the other night. Horsey friends – make note that Dover is having a great sale! (enter “tenoff” to get $10 off a $75 purchase) And SmartPak has remarkable shipping and has these awesome winter riding boots for only $50. They’re my favorite winter boots and I’m so happy they’re making them again!! And they have a free shipping code.

On the way home I contemplated getting some groceries real quick but really didn’t feel like going. All I really wanted was broccoli. Solution? The “used food store” as I so lovingly call it, gets in local produce. I’d just stop their quick!

What a joke. Quick my butt. I think I was in there for an hour. There are, no joke, some serious gems in there. And half the time, the stuff isn’t even out of date! I just check dates before I buy, and pretty much everything has got a year left. I think the “oldest” thing I bought had a best-by date of July 2010. Uhhh, I think I’ll be okay if I eat unopened granola that is a month and a half old. I have no shame.

  • cinnamon puffins
  • bulghur
  • BBQ sauce
  • granola
  • basil oil (so excited to try – it’s just EVOO infused with basil)
  • vanilla bean almonds (I’ve been looking for these everywhere! I think they discontinued them.)
  • sweet potatoes for only .79 cents a pound!
  • some peaches
  • broccoli
  • local maple syrup
  • garlic salt

A green monster was necessary upon arriving home. It was cold, and looking back I don’t know why I used frozen banana because I was cold all. after. noon.

  • spinach
  • frozen banana
  • peach
  • plain chobani
  • almond milk
  • peach ginger jam

Topped wiiiif:

  • wheat germ
  • dates
  • puffed rice
  • puffins
  • granola
  • peanut butter sauce

I was really fascinated in the granola/cereal aisle. I couldn’t decide! They had a bunch of Udi’s and this from Chappaqua Crunch. In multiple flavors. I was torn. It’s sort of funny because I’m not even much of a granola eater…I just am sort of in love with the idea of granola more than granola itself.

But, I am always a cinnamon-raisin lover, the crunch it provides is enjoyable, and so I went for it. And it is very good!! It is very well spiced, and not overly sweet, either. And the nutritionals aren’t so bad, themselves!

And then…I study-duddied. And was cold. It was only 62* in here! That sounds really warm, and is especially ironic because it was colder outside…but it just felt so much warmer!

At least I had fun stuff to study, though. I found this particularly interesting.

As well as what I read about phytochemicals and DRIs. I love how this book always says “energy” instead of calories, and even say to make sure you enjoy your food.

Although, I sort of feel like the evil step-mom because one of the discussion questions was about chocolate milk, and how we felt about it as a nutritious child drink. Everyone said it was very nutritious – and I think I was the only one who had negative things to say?! While I was researching for a response, though, I discovered that the recommended daily intake for sugar is no more than 12g of added sugars a day for kids. Mind you, this doesn’t count the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and such. For women, it’s only 20g. Yikes – I definitely think I overdo it! Often times it’s in the form of honey or maple syrup, but that still counts. I’ve thought to cut back recently (not adding much/any sweetener of some form to my oats in the am anymore!) but am probably still coming in high!

Speaking of sugar…some snacking ensued before I went out and took care of the horses. It was an okay day up until that point…then it decided to rain. Thanks, rain.

But it was okay…because dinner was such a rainy fall day meal.

I saw Brandi’s post this morning and new I had to try the same dish tonight. I’ve sort of feared squash for a while, because I would think of the baby-food like mush that my mom would pull out of the freezer and microwave.

I picked up a butternut squash the other day, hoping to have maybe grown a taste for it. This recipe from Food & Wine couldn’t sound better – and I new if anything was going to be a great reintroduction to squash, this would be.

And was it…holy cow this was good. I served it with bulghur instead of couscous and used a slotted spoon to serve since I wasn’t feeling the stew-ness – but I now think I love butternut squash. I can’t wait to try it in other ways!

What’s your favorite squash, and way to eat it?

What do you think about kids being served chocolate milk all the time? To quote myself, these were my thoughts:

I think that to thoroughly answer this question, we’d need to know what the rest of the diet of the individual consists of. We know milk is a great source of calcium, protein, riboflavin, B12, magnesium, potassium, and potentially Vitamins A and D as well. However – some chocolate milk can contain as much as 30g of added sugar! (Nesquick Lowfat Chocolate Milk) Plain 1% milk has 12g…so that’s at least twice as much in chocolate milk! If you think about it this way, a teaspoon of sugar has 4 grams of sugar. That’s like adding at least 4 teaspoons of pure sugar to your child’s ordinary milk…and you probably wouldn’t do that. And even worse is that even though Americans average having 22 grams of ADDED (being the key word) sugar a day – the recommended intake for children is only 12 grams a day. Since the sugar content of chocolate milk is not naturally occurring like it is for fruit, vegetables, and plain milk – that’s already enough sugar for the day and being children, they are bound to find more sweets! Sugar also raises adrenaline levels in some people, which may not be beneficial for a learning environment if it is served in places like school.

All of that being said, however – there are better ways to look at chocolate milk than it being full of sugar. For instance – it is a much better choice than a lot of fruit juices, sodas, and shakes, especially considering that it IS nutrient dense. And if you make it at home, you could likely easily cut down on the sugar content but still make it enjoyable.  Additionally – if chocolate milk isn’t overdone by being had a couple of times a day or even every day, its benefits would certainly outweigh the negatives. Maybe offering it on occasion – like every other day, or once a week?

Interestingly, though – and on a slightly different note – chocolate milk is beginning to be looked at as a sport’s drink much like Gatorade due to its’ carb, protein, and sugar content. It is shown to restore glycogen in the muscles. (Glycogen being what gives muscles fuel.)

1. “Does flavored milk have as much sugar as soda?” Consume This First. April 27, 2010. http://www.consumethisfirst.com/2010/04/27/does-flavored-milk-have-as-much-sugar-as-soda/

2. “Report Provides New Sugar Recommendations For Adults,” Rodale. Main, Emily. April 21, 2010. http://www.rodale.com/recommended-sugar-intake

3. “Chocolate Milk: The New Sports Drink?” CBS News. McNamara, Melissa. February 2006. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/24/health/webmd/main1342839.shtml

Nutrition Data for Sugar – http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5592/2


Filed under breakfast, dinner, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Broccoli-Bean Pie

Okay, okay – I wasn’t gone last night because I ate liver and rice. I actually never ate liver and rice, I was just not feeling blogging last night. I had a full plate! So it was sort of ironic that I joked about it the night before 😉

I’ve realized lately that I have a bit of a problem – all the meals I create are sort of…unappealing…in the looks department. I mean, how am I supposed to convince you that this:

is actually quite good?! Not sure I’d go for it at a buffet line! Actually, I probably would, since it’s quite evident that it’s full of beans and broccoli. Two of my loves.

I saw this recipe on Sarah’s blog last night and gears started turning. I remembered it today and, because I can never leave things alone and have this strange infatuation with veganizing things even though I am not vegan, I present to you:

Jess’s Broccoli-Bean Pie

for four servings (or however many you make it, who am I to judge?!)

Crust Assembly:

  • 2 c. shredded sweet potato, raw (one small-medium potato)
  • 1/4 c. grated onion
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 T. milled flaxseed mixed and let to sit with 1 1/2 T. water

In a medium sized bowl, combine the sweet potato and onion.

Add in the salt, flour, and flax egg…

no, those aren't ashes...it's buckwheat!

…and press into a lightly oiled 8″ casserole dish.

Bake at 400* for 30 minutes, and then broil for 5. When it’s done, take out of the oven and set aside, lowering your oven to 350*. If you’re as slow as I am, the thirty minutes it’s baking is perfect time for you to get the filling together.

Vegetable Filling:

  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, de-seeded, sliced into 1/4″ slices, and halved
  • 1 large clove garlic, diced
  • drizzle of olive oil – enough to go around your pan
  • 1 t. dried chives
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 small-medium heads broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 1 c. black beans, drained

In a large saute pan, heat your olive oil and add in the garlic and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add in your chives. Allow to cook down for a couple of minutes.

Add in your red pepper and broccoli, and adjust salt and pepper seasoning as necessary.

Allow the broccoli to cook mostly through – until it is tender but still has a bit of a bite to it.

When the broccoli is “done,” shut off heat and add in the beans, stirring so all is combined.

Set aside, and prepare the cheese fillings and “custard” mixture. Realize you’re making a big mess of the kitchen with this project.

Cheese Filling:

  • 3 T. Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • 3 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T. almond milk
  • 1 1/2 t. yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper

Wonder why you have a teaspoon and a half a teaspoon measuring spoon that appear to be the same:

I guess it should be noted that I used the “big tablespoon” when measuring the hummus and nooch 😉 Anyways – combine all and stir. Adjust mustard, salt and pepper as necessary.

MMMM - doesn't this look YUMMY?!

set aside, and we on to the next one.

Custardy Filling:

  • 1/4 c. (generous) silken tofu
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 a small tomato
  • 1 T. milled flaxseed

Blend all together in a blender or processor.


Spread the cheese filling over top of the sweet potato crust.

Add the vegetable filling over top, and then pour over the custardy filling. Since the tofu mixture is a bit thick, you’ll have to sort of “mix” it into the broccoli. Next time I’d just combine the tofu-custardy filling with the veg filling – that’s something that might be worth a try for you!

Bake at 350* for 30 minutes, and then broil for 5 more.

All this puppy’s missing is a grain! Easily fixed with some savory oats on the side:

but it’d be super easy to incorporate some quinoa/millet/bulgur/some sort of grain of choice into the veg filling.

Notes: Next time I’d probably use more sweet potato. I didn’t pack down my two cups because I only had one small sweet potato anyways so there was nothing I could do about it. But next time I’d probably use a whole large sweet potato! I wanted more of it.

I wasn’t sure if this would turn out “weird” with the tofu mixture, and was afraid my mom was going to spit it out when she tried it (even though I loved it) but she actually really liked it, too – enough to bring it for lunch tomorrow 🙂 Winner, Winner, veggie dinner! I thought maybe it was a “this is really good, but i’m not sure if it’s weird so I probably wouldn’t make it for anyone other than myself.”

What else have I been up to? Well – I was out of bread for lunch (don’t worry – the new, fresh loaf is already baked and sampled!) so had to get creative.

And it sort of made me wonder why I’m so dependent on bread because this was really good. And then I remembered that little thing I have called a job.

Cook: 1/4 c. bulgur in 1/2 c. water.

Sautee: 1/4 of a large eggplant, cubed, red pepper, tempeh, tomato paste, garlic, and oil-packed sundried tomatoes.

Top with: Creamy Tomato-Pesto Sauce

This was my first time trying sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil. I hadn’t known there was such a difference – wonderful flavor combined to the dried kind I usually get! These were sent to me by Mooney Farms also – I loved getting a bite with a hunk of these in there!

I had a newbie for breakfast, too – a smoothie! It was actually layered, but it was all for naught because you can’t even tell :\

It was, however, quite delicious!

Layer One:

  • frozen banana
  • OV vanilla yogurt
  • spoonful of silken tofu
  • carrot

Layer Two:

  • sliced pineapple
  • ~1/4 c. cashews
  • spoonful silken tofu
  • acai powder
  • small drizzle honey
  • shredded coconut
  • OV vanilla yogurt

Topped with wheat germ, quick oats, coconut, and dates.

What else have I been up to?!

  • dumping 10 gigs of music off my computer
  • bathing Teddie-kins (you should see how white his mane is!!)
  • sweating (so. hot.)
  • baking Super Charge Me! cookies
  • been obsessed with stirring in jam as a sweetener (for the cookies, I cut back to 1/3 c. maple syrup like usual,  but added 1 T. of holiday jam – SO good!!)
  • baking bread
  • been a bit obsessed with this song
  • finally got my mustard fix in the form of a fried egg sandwich:

yesterday's lunch - fried egg on WW with double that amount of mustard.

finger licking good. only because there was so much mustard that it got all over my fingers.

Gross visual. Only sort of true.


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