Tag Archives: squash

Gingerbread Muffins

I’m really glad everyone enjoyed yesterday’s post!! I enjoyed writing it, too – I was actually a little surprised that I had to reel myself in a few times. Before moving onto a normal post, one thing Daniel pointed out that I should mention is that ketones actually occur when carbohydrate intake is less than 50-100g/day, not when protein intake is too high, which is what I had said. Another thing I forgot to point out is that yes – ketones are in our body naturally. The only difference is that if we’re eating a diet that is well balanced, everything in our body should be relatively well-balanced, too. So when there are carbohydrates consumed only in minor amounts, less fatty acids are being broken down and excess ketones build.

I was sure I was missing something 😉

But anyways. This weekend has been busy! Good busy, but still busy. Yesterday morning I had  a senior portrait to shoot bright and early…well, it was supposed to be bright and early. I ended up having to wait for the girl an extra half hour which was sort of frustrating, but I dealt.

I was probably so understanding because my breakfast was simply outstanding. It must have put me in a good mood 😉 Well that and I’m pretty easy-going, anyways 😛 I ended up taking so many pictures on this shoot – I am still going through them. I don’t do much usually, but she specified she wanted a “scene-vintage” type senior picture, so I’m doing some funky editing with color and such on some of them.

Since I was parked within walking distance of the co-op, there was no way I could just not go. I mean, hello! I was so stoked to see they had this coconut milk kefir! Ironically – I usually hate strawberry flavored stuff.

I was debating as to whether I wanted to try it for a good five minutes, literally standing there with a bottle of kefir in one hand, and this in the other.

I’d put one back, then change my mind.

I think the people there thought I was crazy.

Obviously, you see which I chose 😉 I think I just have a bad mental image of strawberry flavored things since I’d remember strawberry flavored ice cream, yogurt, etc. taste so artificial-like. I tend to forget that stuff like this doesn’t taste artificial because it uses real fruit!

So I was quite pleased with the taste. I had it over some of the best waffles I’ve ever made…mashed banana oat bran. It’s really good on its own, too.

That said, I really hope the co-op gets the plain or at least vanilla in stock…strawberry is good, but I doubt I’ll always want strawberry.

Especially with my ginger-kick! Speaking of which…

I ran completely out of ginger, but guilt-tripped my mom into getting me some while we were at the store 😛 She made me return a bunch of nasty cans and bottles for her.

As in, that she finds. It doesn’t sound too gross…but they’re not all rinsed out, the bag smells, and the beer slime gets all over your hands.

Though it is sort of comical as little old ladies watch as you feed the machine with gigantic empty 40s.

Anyways. Ginger kick. With my new ginger, I could now attempt gingerbread muffins. I guess attempt is an unfair adjective, though – I succeeded, after all!

Seeing as how it was basically impossible to find a recipe that did not require at least a cup of sugar, I decided to just wing it based on a banana bread recipe, because I also had some ripe bananas to use up.

Gingerbread Muffins

yields 6 muffins

  • 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground clove
  • 1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/3 c. + 1 T. almond milk
  • 1 medium-large ripe banana
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine the flour, oat bran, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and clove in a large bowl. Set aside, and in a medium bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Stir in the molasses and almond milk.

Add the wet to the dry, and stir until just combined. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.

Spoon into sprayed muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

And if you want to play a trick on someone, tell them it’s chocolate!

Okay, that’s just a little bit mean.

Next time, though, I’d love to add fresh cranberries rather than dried raisins. ooooh! ahhhhh!

I also tried my first carnival squash this weekend! I was expecting it to taste a lot like an acorn squash, but it’s actually so much better. A lot sweeter than I was expecting (because, as I said, I was expecting acorny!) but purely delicious, especially with cheater baked beans.

I tried a different baking method, too – rather than baking face-down in a pie plate with water for an hour, I just put it on a cookie sheet and baked it face-up at 450* for…I don’t know how long.

I will definitely buy this guy again! It made for a great easy dinner last night, and easy lunch today – which is saying something, because you know I love me a good sandwich for lunch!

like this. My mom broke out the “let it snow” placemats already. Uhhh, let’s not.

Anyways. This was a “grilled cheese,” the cheese being humnut cheese! It was just what I was craving.

It was, however, the last of my bread. I really enjoyed that loaf of honey whole wheat, but I wanted to try something new this time.

My initial plan was to make a bread that required I be of legal drinking age for the key ingredient, but we didn’t have any in the house, so I settled on spelt bread. I really love spelt – but you might not know that because I can’t remember the last time I bought a loaf/made a loaf.

Spelt is similar to wheat in appearance. However, spelt has a tougher husk than wheat, which may help protect the nutrients in spelt. Spelt flour has a somewhat nuttier and slightly sweeter flavor than whole wheat flour. Spelt contains more protein than wheat, and the protein in spelt is easier to digest.
It is that nuttier flavor that makes me really love it, I think!
Except…every time I’ve made spelt flour, I get a flat-top! I followed this recipe with some tweaks.
Next time, I’d just bake it for 35 minutes or so at 400* rather than 15 minutes at 480* first, and then 45 minutes at 380*. I think the high temperature first gave it a really crunchy crust. While the inside is still moist and flavorful, it’s really hard to cut through!

And hey..might as well wrap this up with a quasi-fail, right?!

I wanted to try making my own “KIND” bars – but my binding method needs tweaking 😛 The flavor is delicious – it’s a mix of cashews, dates, puffed millet, date molasses, flax and sunflower butter (well, primarily) – but I couldn’t get them out of the pan in one piece. I formed some of the “scraps” into balls!

This blurb is horsey, read or picture-read, just giving you a warning!

And I know, I know – it’s been ages since you’ve seen Teddie photos! My mom hasn’t come out with me recently, but she wanted to come see him this morning. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to go (since I haven’t been on Sundays) but then I realized I got all of my homework done yesterday and there was no way I was going to just sit and edit photos all day.

I’m so glad we went, though – it was a nice enough (by that I mean it’s getting too cold already!!) morning and since we got dumped with a tooon of rain the past two days, I knew we’d have to work in the indoor. I wasn’t sure how he’d be, so I was more willing to go knowing I’d have help available on the ground if necessary.

See, I took a lesson with A last week and we worked on going forward – meaning, hello, Teddie, yes leg means go! I’m fairly certain he knows this, just likes to try and get away with not doing it – namely, in the indoor. So the second he’d pull his “I’m going to stop” move, she’d be right there and quick little pop him in the butt with a lunge whip.

Before you go calling PETA, we weren’t beating him into submission, merely politely reinforcing the rules.

And he’s actually been really good since then! He’ll still randomly try it one or two times – usually if we’re crossing through the middle of the ring – but it’s not a huge issue. Knock on wood. We now have a nice, forward marching walk and trot. I was surprised at how much he’s stepping up in some of these pictures, actually!

I’m seeing our mini-dressage pony potential coming through again, which makes me happy 🙂 He’s such a stinker…love him!

And on a completely unrelated note…

I also loved tonight’s dinner.

But, since I’m one for cliffhangers lately, you’ll just have to wait and see what it is. I promise it’s pretty ridiculously yummy, though!

What was your highlight of the weekend?

Does anyone know of a good “nutrition tracker” or recipe-calculator website? I have to track three days of eating to analyze for nutrition for class…and while I’m really excited for the project, it’s also going to be a bit of work considering how much I make from scratch. I’m trying “SparkPeople” at the moment, but I’m not sure I trust all of the calculations since some of the foods are entered by users.

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Butternut Squash Shepherd’s Pie

I’m not really sure what constitutes the difference between  calling a dish shepherd’s pie and a casserole. Yes, shepherd’s pie has a top layer of mashed potato (or, in this case, squash) whereas not all casseroles do.

Which begs the question: maybe shepherd’s pie is a casserole, but a casserole is not necessarily a shepherd’s pie?

Whatever the answer, the one thing both casseroles and shepherd’s pie have in common is that they’re ugly. Well, except for my mom’s shepherd’s pie. I think that was my favorite meal growing up. Ironically, it was also my sister’s nemesis.

It’s debatable as to whether or not I truly loved the shepherd’s pie, or if I just wanted to get her upset. Hey, it’s fair; her favorite was cube steak, and that was always my nemesis.

For whatever reason, my mom hasn’t made shepherd’s pie in eons. I’ll have to beg her to make her original shepherd’s pie (sans hamburg) and enjoy a big bowl.

Until then, though, I think this butternut squash shepherd’s pie is a pretty good substitute. It’s a warm bowl of cozy comfort! Perfect for a chilly fall or winter day.

This is also pretty easy to make. Ironically, I had more plans – like using the frozen mixed vegetables  in addition to the broccoli, but I completely forgot about that sentiment.

I used White Bean Flour to thicken and make a bit of a gravy. I’m guessing everyone doesn’t have white bean flour hanging out in their kitchen cupboards, though.

The mild-flavor of white beans makes this flour ideal for sauces and gravies. It can also be used to thicken soups.  Add herbs and spices to reconstituted white bean flour for a flavorful white bean puree.

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Bean flours are probably overlooked too often – but they’re really a great source of protein and a great gluten-free option, too. But, if I still haven’t convinced you – you could probably just sub the 1/2-3/4 c. water + 2 T. white bean flour for as much gravy, or veg. broth thickened with…cornstarch?

And, without further ado: Butternut Squash Shepherd’s Pie. Unless it should technically be called a casserole. Call it what you will. (What you will!) Name that song.

First, though: Don’t doubt the cranberries.

Butternut Squash Shepherd’s Pie

for 2-3 servings

  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved and baked
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium head broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 c. diced red onion
  • 1 small can of diced mushrooms (only lightly drained)
  • 1/3 c. frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 t. maple pepper
  • 1/4 t. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1/2-3/4 c. water
  • 2 T. white bean flour
  • walnuts – optional, for topping

1. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan, and add in the diced onion and broccoli. Cover and sautee until the broccoli is bright green.

2. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the mushrooms, beans, and cranberries. Leave over medium heat until the cranberries begin popping. While that cooks, work on the butternut squash topping by scooping the flesh into a medium sized bowl. Mash and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. When the cranberries have begun popping, add in 1/2 – 3/4 c. water, followed by the white bean flour, adding it 1/2 T. at a time and stirring well after each addition.

4. Once you’ve added the water and flour, cook over medium-low heat until it has begun to thicken. Once it has, pour into a medium-sized casserole dish, and top with the mashed butternut squash. Sprinkle the top with paprika, and bake in a preheated 400* oven for 40 minutes, or until top has begun to brown and bubbled are forming along the sides.

5. Allow to cool before serving – it’s hot! Garnish with chopped walnuts.

This. is. so. good. I think the combination of mushrooms, cranberries, and broccoli in the creamy sauce is just too perfect for words.

So. try it. But let me know what you think. You can let me know about the name verdict, too.

And what your favorite childhood meal was, especially if it was just your favorite if it irritated your beloved siblings 😉

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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.

See?

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.

Random.

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 .

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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 😉

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Squash Banana

I’ve discovered my purpose in life.

To make (and eat) gingerbread overnight oats. Hey – I’ve made gingerbread waffles, gingerbread hot oats, gingerbread birdseed bars…you must have seen it coming! I’m a little bit of a gingerbread fiend – I love it even more than pumpkin, although I think gingerbread is more Christmas-y than Thanksgiving-y, and jumping ahead to December is admittedly quite frightening.

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • generous pinch of ginger and nutmeg
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 T. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2  c. + 2 T. almond milk

Combine all the ingredients but the almond milk in a bowl, mashing the banana into the oats and other ingredients. When it’s pretty much combined, stir in the almond milk. Cover and refrigerate!

I tasted it before stirring in some vanilla chobani, and it was just right. After the vanilla chobani, though, the gingerbread flavor got a little more muted. Next time I’ll definitely nix the greek yogs!

I was really lazy photographing foods this morning. I just figured…you guys know what some fruit and birdseed bars look like by now!

I did, however – enjoy another fantastic sandwich, though. I’ve been on a roll this week! It was sweet basil pesto tapenade, red onion, sliced apple, and tempeh. The tempeh I grill on the panini maker at work, and then panini the whole sandwich once the tempeh is done. I love that pesto tapenade!

I couldn’t resist playing with the cookies before bringing them in, though. These were a major hit! I think maybe I’ll make it a mission to bake more cookies out of Veganomicon. These were fun to make and I enjoy making things that are genuinely enjoyed, too.

Which makes me think…how great would it feel to run an entire restaurant? cafe? deli? I think I’d fall asleep smiling every night. Food really brings people together…I mean, look in any deli’s dining room, and you’re bound to see smiling faces and stories being told. And not just friends getting lunch at a random place – but the relationship between the deli and the diner. You know, “becoming a regular.” My boss went to get lunch at the place I used to buy bread religiously at (remember?!) and the man came up with a new creation. He gave some to my boss to try, and gave him a piece to bring me, too.

Isn’t that sweet?! I used to go in there every other week…and the bread is really good! I’ve just been having so much fun trying to make my own. I am bound and determined to make a loaf that doesn’t fall! That said, this wasn’t the first time I was sort of tempted to just go buy a loaf just for the sake of buying a loaf.

Do you develop “bonds” with anywhere? A place you frequent, and most recognize you right off?

Anyways. The bread was really good…he’s so creative! The new loaf is made with apple cider instead of water, and has dried and fresh apples in it. The only thing I didn’t like was that it had a strangely chewy texture…but I’m not sure if that’s because it’d gotten a little warm inside the plastic wrap he put it in? Regardless – I toasted it and spread it with some peanut butter and cinnamon. Lovely snack 🙂

Did anyone else adore The Lion King as a kid? I think that’s probably my favorite movie ever. Even still. How adorable is it?! The first Lion King, mind you. Anyways, this isn’t as irrelevant as it seems…because both last night and tonight, when I see this sunshine squash filled with beans and rice, I think of Rafiki’s little gourd thing with paint.

[source]

What was your favorite childhood movie? Maybe I just liked Rafiki because he says (rough translation) “thank you very much squash banana, you’re a baboon and I’m not.” I mean…how cool is he?!

And…other than that, today’s been full of “I have burdocks in my clothes!” Namely, the butt of my pants, but that wasn’t anything I wanted to share with the guys at work. My little monster decides it’s fun to find the practically nonexistant burdock bushes and stick his whole head in them. As in, A and I have no idea where this lone burdock bush is, and neither do any of the other horses, but Teddie sure does. Ugh! This is the worst time of year for them, too – because they’re so dry and you just get a bunch of random tiny little burs down your sleeves and other places that they shouldn’t be, nor does it make sense how they get there – but they are.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and has as great of weather as we are predicted to have!!

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Don’t Mess with a Good Thing

Let this be a lesson to you all…

you just can’t mess with a good thing!

I broke out of my banana and fig overnight oats this morning, and it just didn’t cut it. The cashew butter cut it.

The blueberries cut it.

The oats cut it.

Together, they didn’t cut it, especially when I had bananas and figs in the back of my mind.

Don’t yell at me just yet for taking the blueberries out of hiding for another day, though! It was just to break my rut. Which, I can now go running back to after scaring myself of ever abandoning the banana and fig overnighters ever again.

Luckily, I was wise enough to not mess with a good thing when it came to lunch, though. I had to have another “Thanksgiving in a sandwich.” This one was even better! It consisted of seitan, baby spinach, dried cranberries, red onion, and rosemary sauce on some delicious homemade honey-oat wheat bread.

And a newbie to me – an asian pear! It was yummy – like an appley pear!

Morning snack was a banana and some vanilla almonds. You know I’d have to make up for my banana-less breakfast somewhere along the line!

And a ginger birdseed bar for the afternoon.

Today flew by…and the weather was so tempting me to just stay with Teddie when I saw him this morning. So not fair, because tomorrow’s going to be a complete washout.

On another note, the customers at work started to seriously get on my nerves. Sometimes I swear people come in who are totally…I don’t want to say sexist, because I think maybe my age has to do with it. But they’ll always ask for one of my bosses to help them even with stupid, simple stuff that I am totally capable of. And when I say “oh, it’ll be a while, is it something I could help you with?” the “brave” ones still treat me like I want to ruin whatever it is they’re doing because I obviously don’t know the first thing about cameras, even if I do work there.

Grumble grumble.

But, does anyone else ever get that “oh, you’re a young woman, you obviously don’t know, and if you do I don’t trust you anyway.” If so, how do you deal with it?

Lately I don’t care as much, just say okay and let them wait minutes on end before my boss frees up. Although it’s a bit ironic because if it’s something a bit more complex like digital work, I’m probably the one who’s going to do it anyways.

Sorry for the vent. It just gets on my nerves and that’s how pretty much everyone who came in this afternoon was.

But, stuffed buttercup squashes always make up for picky people. I made some cheater baked beans this time. I really love that buttercup squash – it’s going to be hard to play favorites and decide what squash I like best 😉

Sorry for being short and sweet tonight – but I gotta run!

xo

How do you deal with people who doubt you, or treat you like you don’t know how to count backwards from ten?

What’s your longest food “rut”? (although, let me say this – if you enjoy it, I don’t consider food repetition a rut! Banana-fig oats are far too delicious to call a rut!)

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Skeletons

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 😉

Flash....

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 😉

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

A Few of my Favorite Things

I don’t like to play favorites, but I think this…

may be my favorite stuffed vegetable so far this year. I say so far because I know there will be more.

And I mean…they’re so handy! Make them on a night you’ve got a little bit of time, and the other half is easy (and delicious) leftovers for the next night – which, if you’re like me, you’re short on time!

Kale, Fig and Bulghur Stuffed Butternut Squash

  • 1 butternut squash, halved and de-seeded
  • 1 T. basil oil (or EVOO)
  • splash of water
  • 7-8 large kale leaves
  • 1/4 of a red pepper, diced
  • 2 T. diced red onion
  • 2 dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 c. (dry measure) bulghur wheat, prepared as instructed
  • 2 servings of seitan
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. water
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped walnuts or pecans

Place the  squash face-down in a baking pan, and pour water in the pan so it comes up the sides of the squash about an inch. Bake in a 375* oven for about an hour, or until easily punctured by a fork or knife.

Mix the mustard, syrup, vinegar, and water in a small dish, set aside.

Heat the oil and water in a large saute pan, and add in the kale, pepper and onion. Cover, stirring occasionally, until the kale is cooked down and bright green. Add in the chopped figs, cooked bulghur and seitan, and pour over the dressing.Stir thoroughly and Lower heat.

When the squash is ready, scoop out some of the inside, leaving about a 1/2″ around for the shell. Cut what you’ve scooped out into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan.

Stuff the squashies and top with chopped walnuts or pecans!

Okay, so I forgot the nuts tonight. Still delish!

I don’t like to play favorites…but I think this lunch combination that I had today might just be a new one!

I have a lot of the rosemary sauce from when I made the pierogies left, and the only thing I could think to use it for was a sandwich. I realllly, really wasn’t sure how I’d like it – I haven’t ever cooked with rosemary before, so I don’t know what it goes well with, really. I’ve only been told it goes well with sweet potato!

This was a sandwich with the rosemary sauce, seitan (that I’d quickly pan-fried in a touch of basil oil) red onion, tomato slices, and roasted reds on some of that delicious honey-oat whole wheat bread.

This tasted just like thanksgiving! It was beyond delicious. I didn’t know what on earth it was that made me think of thanksgiving so much, but then it hit me : It tasted just like stuffing! Really, really good stuffing. The sausage-y ness from the seitan, the rosemary in the sauce, the onion, the perfect fresh, moist, chewy bread – I loved it! I mean, I don’t like to play favorites, but…

…this bread recipe might be it 😉 Simply delicious – no frills, but it still does the job and then some.

I don’t like to play favorites, but I’ve already told you guys about my love for…

plums! One of my favorite fruits, mayhaps? This one was particularly prune-y looking. I am glad that their dried name has been changed to dried plums rather than prunes. I’m all for a dried plum, but prune makes me cringe a little!

I don’t like to play favorites, but…

I do love these sweet ‘tater cookies! I don’t mean to tease you all and hold the recipe captive…I’ll get around to it!

I don’t like to play favorites, but…

…this is one of them, when it comes to snacking! I’ll take some of those lovely organic Medjool dates stuffed with nuts, or an organic dried fig over a YooHoo and oreos anyday 😉

I don’t like to play favorites, but…

…this burnt ginger birdseed bar probably isn’t one of them 😛

Ginger Birdseed Bars? Win.

Overbaking? Well, I don’t consider it a fail, but I know what they could be!

I don’t like to play favorites, but I totally am…

…because nothing can beat this overnight oats combo. I tried encouraging myself to get out of this overnight oats what-I-refuse-to-call-a-rut, but when I thought of the sweet, seedy figs mixed in with cinnamony, banana-y oats, I simply couldn’t.

You’ve gotta give me some credit, though – I make my PB sauce with kefir now! Kefir is so strange!! If I didn’t know any better, I’d be certain it was spoiled. Why are there so many fermented things in the health industry?! Tempeh, kombucha, kefir – it’s mad! haha

I bought the unsweetened plain kind, and while you wouldn’t see me pouring it over cereal or eating it by the spoon- or sip-ful, it makes for a wonderful peanut butter sauce! Although, to make you even more proud – I switched it up to sunflower butter sauce this morning 😉

Furthermore – I don’t like to play favorites, but this weather is not it!

Kefir – love it or hate it?

What’s your current favorite “thing”?

P.S. If (and only if!) you liked my pierogi post/recipe, you could mayyyybe think about clicking here to vote for it on PFB 😀

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