Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Blog!

Thanks for checking out my blog! I'm actually moving to Wordpress, so you can check out my new blog at:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Baking!

I'm pretty sure my co-workers think I'm out to sabotage their diets... because I've been baking up a storm! I decided to give my latest creation to a different department (my brother's department, specifically. I'm such a good sister!) So I made these babies last night

Chocolate Chunk Coconut Bars

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups oats (quick oats work best)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon canola or veg oil
1/2 - 2/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon chocolate or coconut extract (optional)
1-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/4-1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla,and other extract (if using).

Add wet to dry and mix until combined. The mixture will be very thick, so add soymilk a little at a time until it holds together well.

Fold in coconut (reserving a small portion for the top) and chocolate chunks. Press into baking dish and sprinkle over remaining coconut.

Bake for 21-23 minutes

They were quite good! I took a picture, but the lighting was very weird, so it didn't do these little guys justice, so I used a photo posted on taken by moonkeymama. These are moist and chewy, like a very soft cookie. (One of the food tasters described it as more of a sweet bread.) They were pretty simple to make, and I'll definitely make this one again!

Dinner consisted of Soy Yogurt, Blueberries & Bear Naked Fit granola, as well as some "Breaded" Zucchini Fries. Kind of a random dinner combination, but I was listening to my cravings!

I really like the Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Granola, but I haven't tried that many different kinds. I like it because it's low fat and doesn't have toooo much added sugar. Anyone else have a favorite granola? I'm open to trying new kinds!

Monday, June 28, 2010

When I get stressed or have a lot on my mind, I like to:
-Play piano
I wasn't feeling like playing the piano, and I knew I'd get my cleaning fix in after baking, so baking it was! First I made some basic peanut butter cookies, which weren't vegan, so I didn't actually eat any of them, but I had a request for them, so I figured I should check those off the list! Then I decided to make Vegan Peanut Butter Cups, from Oh She Glow, which required a trip to the grocery store, because I didn't have any graham crackers, but it was totally worth it!!! These turned out fabulously! Definitely give these babies a try, because I'm pretty sure you could convince your friends that being a vegan isn't difficult, when you've got these treats around!
After I did some baking, it was time to make dinner, and I was trying to decide what to throw together. I realized this month (thanks to that I've spent over $400 at the grocery store this month... $400 is a lot for one person, especially when I'm not even buying meat or dairy! As it turns out, I have expensive grocery tastes! :) I'd say it's worth it. But anyways, I wanted to use ingredients I already had, without taking a trip to the store, so here is what I came up with:

Mediterranean Pesto Couscous
1 whole wheat pita
3 tbs pesto
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup cucumber slices
1/4 cup of tomato, diced

I sprayed the pita with olive oil and threw it on the George Foreman for about 3 minutes (actually maybe a little longer, because it was frozen!) then put the couscous in the microwave with 3/4 cup of water for 2 minutes. I let it stand for 5 minutes and fluffed with a fork. I stirred in the pesto with the cucumber and tomato and then stuffed all that in the pita. It was super simple, and only took about 10 minutes start to finish! The pesto was leftover from the Avocado & Pesto dish I made last week, and everything else I had on hand, so it was pretty simple, not to mention great nutritional stats. Depending on what you use, if you eat everything listed above, it would have about ~450 calories, plus about 13 g of fiber, and 17g of protein. But a lot of it depends on your pita. I use ones that are on the small side, and only have about 100 calories per pita.Pretty sure couscous is one of my new favorite foods! It's so versatile! Sorry for not taking pictures of what I made this weekend. :( Blogger fail!

And now, for a product review!

Better N' Peanut Butter is a lower calorie type of peanut butter. Here are the stats:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 tbsp (32.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100
Calories from Fat 18
Total Fat 2.0g
Sugars 2.0g
Protein 4.0g
Fiber 2.0g

Since normal peanut butter has about 190 calories per serving, you can see this guy is a calorie bargan! Nothing against my regular nut butter, but sometimes I want to add peanut butter without adding a lot of calories. (Especially if it's a complete indulgence, like coconut ice cream!)

Price: About $4 a jar, depending on where you get it. When I went to Giant Eagle, it was $6.99!!! But Trader Joe's normally has it for about $4.

Taste: It doesn't taste EXACTLY like peanut butter. It's a little bit runny, and has a slightly sweeter taste. I don't think I'd swap it out for a peanut butter sandwich, but it's great for apple dipping, spread over waffles, or in smoothies (or banana ice cream).
Overall, I LOVE this product! Like I said, it's not exactly like peanut butter (and you can't get a chunky version) but it's great for certain uses! Now go try some for yourself!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Friday!

This morning, I had breakfast with homemade strawberry jam, after being inspired by the recipe posted by Oh She Glows yesterday. Check out her recipe here because it's simple and delicious! I ate it with a huge apple dipped in Better 'N Peanut Butter. (which, if you haven't heard about, stay tuned for the product review coming in the next post...) Sorry for the poor color quality!

For lunch, I brought a Trader Joe's Rice Noodle Bowl, but I was feeling like some salad, so I put this together at the salad bar at work. The only dressing on it is a little olive oil mixed with red wine vinegar. It was so crisp and refreshing, which was nice since the temperatures here in Richmond have been over 100 degrees!

So many yummy veggies are crammed in that salad! Edammme, corn, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce. YUM!

Now, who wants some free chocolate? Just check out Love, Veggies and Yoga and enter the Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Giveaway!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Avocado Love

So the boy has a love for all things avocado, and since I'm a fan of healthy fats, I decided we needed to make some dinner that would showcase avocado. (I figure if I'm not making the boy meat, I should at least make something he likes!) I did some googling and came across this Pesto & Avocado Recipe. I'd been craving pesto and decided we should give it a shot. We DID take a short cut, and used this pre-made Medatalia Basil Pesto that I picked up at Whole Foods. Its hard to find pesto that doesn't include parmesan cheese, so I was pretty excited about this! Dinner couldn't have been more simple. Whole wheat spaghetti, tossed with pesto and diced avocados. So how did it turn out?

It was delicious!

I forgot to take a picture of it, but we also had breaded zucchini "fries" which were a healthy take on fried zucchini. Here's what we used:

Breaded Zucchini Fries

1 giant zucchini (from my garden!)
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1 cup Fiber One
Chili powder
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper

I put everything but the milk & zucchini in the food processor and blended it up. Then we sliced up the zucchini, dipped it in the almond milk, and coated it with the "bread crumb" mixture. Baked it at 350 for about 25 minutes and we had a deliciously healthy side dish! (I don't think the boy believed these were healthy, they were that good!) We ate them with ketchup and it was awesome!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Silk Disappointment

So yesterday I was trying to decide what I wanted for breakfast, and something cool and refreshing sounded good. I went for yogurt and frozen berries, and tried out Silk Live! Yogurt.

The color was a little bit darker than I expected, but I figured that wouldn't change the taste. I gave it a good stir (to get rid of the liquid-y top) and added a few blueberries. Unfortunately, the taste was way off. It had a weird tangy aftertaste. Almost like Greek yogurt... but not quite. I'm not sure what was so off about it, but I was totally disappointed. I was glad I didn't waste a lot of blueberries mixed in, because I ended up throwing almost the whole bowl away. Very disappointing.

After throwing that away, I decided to have some protein banana "ice cream".

Into the food processor:
1 frozen banana, chopped
1 packet of stevia
1 scoop Jay Robb Chocolate Protein Powder
about 1/2 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze

Approx Nutritionals: 250 calories, 25g protein

Blend and enjoy. This was so delicious that it made up for the less than stellar yogurt. Plus, the stats are pretty good!

I had that with a Van's Lite Frozen Waffle.

In my opinion, these are the best frozen waffles for the stats. At 70 calories per waffle, these are not only healthy, but also vegan! Yay! I had this smeared with a little Trader Joe's Almond Butter and it was amazing!

In my opinion, Trader Joe's has the best almond butter, but then again, I haven't tried them all!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vegan Fail

So last night I decided to make Black Bean Brownies from the Happy Herbivore. But silly me, I decided to just write the recipe down, instead of looking at the computer. I put in all the ingredients listed (although I ran out of agave nectar, so I subbed some of it for Maple Syrup... not sure if that was a good idea or not...) and I think it would have turned out well, except that I didn't write down the directions other than the mix and bake at 350 for half an hour. I didn't actually run the ingredients through the food processor. I just mixed it using a hand mixer. So while the TASTE isn't bad, there are bean lumps... secret ingredients aren't so secret when they aren't properly mixed in.

So I can't decide what to do with them. I have a pan of decent brownies. Normally, I wouldn't mind giving some to friends, but I feel like now that I'm trying to make good vegan treats, they need to be great! I'm thinking about just frosting them, as a bit of a distraction, and seeing if people like them.

Regardless of the texture, the flavor is pretty good. They don't taste exactly like brownies, and you can definitely taste the bananas, but they're a pretty good treat. Not to mention that the stats are way healthier than normal brownies. I'd estimate that a normal size piece (say, a 2X2 inch piece is about 100 calories, and there is fiber and protein in there as well!)

So I guess next time, I need to write down the ingredients AND the instructions... *sigh*