“I get up in the morning, I make myself a bowl of instant oatmeal, and then I don’t do anything for an hour, which makes me wonder why I need the instant oatmeal. I could get the regular oatmeal and feel productive.” -Mitch Hedberg

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oatmeal

1/3 cup oats

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup water

1 banana

1 cup strawberries

a splash of vanilla extract

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t xanthan gum (optional)

In a blender, add everything but the oats. Blend it until smooth, like a smoothie. In a bowl, combine it with your oats, stir, and let it sit out overnight. If you want to make it extra creamy, use strawberry or some other flavor or soy/coconut milk yogurt instead of water or almond milk.

It’s like a smoothie + oatmeal! This is a very cool, refreshing breakfast for a hot summer day. Oats are regular dorm eats for me during the academic year, when I don’t dare go to the caf for breakfast. In fact, in my entire undergraduate career, I haven’t been to the caf for breakfast once. I usually just nab as many apples and bananas as I can and stuff them into my bag. Hey, it’s not technically stealing – it’s paid for in that hefty dining bill.. 😉

What’s your favorite corny joke?

….and put it on the tofu!

It sure feels like summer here in the south. I went to the airport to pick up She Who Must Be Obeyed (AKA Mum) and my sissy and the temperature was 100 degrees. No bueno. I could totally be a snowbird when I get old, and spend my summers in the mountains and winters at the beach. But since I can’t do that yet, I’ll just have to get used to the heat and survive with a tropical dish.

Lemon Coconut Tofu

Ingredients for 1

You’ll need:

1/5 block of tofu, or however much ‘fu you want

1/4 can of coconut milk

1 lemon

1 lime

S & P

sesame seeds for garnish

First, take a small bowl and mix together your coconut milk, lemon and lime juice, and the zest of the lemons and limes. Add salt and pep to taste, and then marinate your tofu in that for a few hours before you cook it.

In a heated non-stick pan, cook your tofu. Make sure the pan is hot so that you’ll get a really awesome sear and a crunchy crust on the tofu. After you’ve got that going, add in your marinade.

If it does what mine did, it will bubble up like crazy. So watch yo self.

Let that cook for a few more minutes for the flavors to marry, and then serve it over coconut jasmine rice.

To make coconut jasmine rice, simply cook it the remainder of your can of coconut milk and a little bit of water. The more water you add to it, the stickier it will be.

Now I just need some Colbie Calliat and another beach to lay on.

What’s your favorite summer flavor? Do you have any “summer songs?”

Nutty Pesto Pizza

June 14, 2010

Today was a day for culinary experiments as well as epic cuteness.

Exhibit A:

A bathed puppy looking very Mother Teresa-ish.

“Please, someone adopt me!”

Hey, after a week and some change of romping at the beach and digging in sand, this dog was in dire need of a bath. And after spending a good 50 minutes elliptical-ing (thanks to Say Yes to the Dress) and 30 minutes of weight training, I was, too. But, more importantly, I needed refueling. I needed something yummy. I needed carbs.

I’m one of those people that just wants to eat an entire loaf of bread after a workout. Good, crusty, chewy bread. But I didn’t have any bread except in the form of frozen pita (and I wasn’t willing to wait hours for it to defrost) and a pizza crust. You can guess which one I went for.

Gone Green Pizza

This pizza sneaks in a good amount of green veggies. There’s spinach as well as zucchini, cucumber, and avocado. Post-workout protein (as well as omega-3 fats) came in the form of pine nuts, tofu, avocado, and the 100% whole wheat crust. There are some good carbohydrates for energy as well as a healthy amount of good, unsaturated fats. Most importantly, it was absolutely delicious. I used a ton of spinach (because the bag was on its last limbs) and a whole lot of basil because I love the flavor it gives. The avocado makes it creamy and I just added the cucumber because it was something else green! This recipe could easily cover a whole or a half of a pizza, I did half and put the remaining pesto in the fridge. It will keep well for a few days if it’s in a sealed container. Just add more tofu and pine nuts to the topping if you’re making a whole pizza.

This pesto is high in fat, yes, but fat is nothing to fear, my friends! Please make no mistake about it. All of the fats in here are healthy and natural fats. If you want to to omit the avocado, feel free to do so. However, I feel a post on the benefits of dietary fats coming…

What you’ll need for the pizza/toppings:

1 whole wheat pizza crust

1/5th of a block of extra firm tofu, cubed

a handful of pine nuts

What you’re gonna need for the pesto:

1 8oz bag of baby spinach

1 zucchini, steamed

1/2 an avocado

1 cucumber, chopped

2 cups basil, packed

3 T good olive oil

a handful of pine nuts or cashews (optional)

S & P

To make the pesto, simply place all of the goodies in the processor and whiz it up. Steam, microwave, or roast your zucchini and then dice it before putting it into your processor. It helps to find a zuke as big as your head.

Stream your olive oil in while your food processor whizzes along. You really only want to use enough olive oil to prevent the pesto from being too dry. Don’t stop till you get enough until it is smooth, almost paste-like. You may have to turn your food processor off a few times and wipe down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated.

Spread your delicious pesto onto your crust.

One half of this pizza was the mean green vegan side. Dad’s side was an experiment. I mixed sour cream with dill and lemon juice and used that as a sauce, then piled on some smoked salmon and more fresh dill. Apparently it was good, but I wouldn’t know. The whole being a vegan thing kind of gets in the way. 😉

Back to the good stuff!

Place cubes of tofu and the rest of your pine nuts on the pizza, then bake it at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or whatever it says on the back of your crust package.

And now it’s time for me to get my own shower. Hopefully no one will show up with a camera and take pictures of me in a towel afterwards. Now I know how Puppy feels…

What’s your favorite post-workout meal? Do you ever crave anything specific?

Layout

June 14, 2010

I swear I’ll stop changing the layout soon! I just discovered WordPress’ theme options… 😉

Blueberry Failcrepes

June 13, 2010

You would expect this to be super awesome, right?

I mean, it’s blueberries…

…and whole wheat-y goodness (1 cup)…

…with a flax egg…

(1 T of ground flax + 3 T water, mix until gelatinous)

combined with…

1 C almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla and more bloobs.

You’d think making crepes was easy, but it’s harder than it looks.

It went from a nice, thin layer of awesomeness to this…

PLUS enough smoke to set off the fire alarm.

What an epic failcrepe.

What’s your latest cooking fail? What’s your most embarrassing one?

I’m not dead

June 9, 2010

So sorry for the lack of, well, life around here. I’m just being a bum. A beach bum, that is.

That’s our view from the condo. Hollllla!

My days have been filled with intense death walks on the beach (AKA walking 4 miles in the blazing heat with my father – he does this for FUN.), adding to my immense sunburn collection, reading Jodi Picoult, and watching stupid movies every single night. Seriously, the movie Seven is dumb. I think Brad Pitt is repulsive. We also took a trip to a local botanical garden. It was hot.

The week has also been filled with delicious eats! We’ve been out to sushi and Thai, and silly me forgot to bring my camera. I had the most amazing Tofu Asparagus (and the most beastly asparagus scented pee) and tofu rolls. We’re searching for a new sushi place to terrorize nosh at tonight, so I’ll be sure to bring my camera.

I’ve also been coming up with concoctions for my very hungry father every night. Last night’s meal included one of my favorite healthy fats – coconut milk! It was more of less a hodge podge of various veggies and not really a curry, but I’m calling it a curry because I can.

Bathing Suit Curry

(Appropriately named because I was in my swimsuit whilst cooking and eating)

1 cup lentils*

2 onions, chopped

1 potato, cubed

1 head of cauliflower

2 carrots, chopped

2 peppers of your choice (I used a red and green bell pepper)

a crap ton of tomatoes

1/2 can of coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/3 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon basil

*A quick note about lentils: you’ll want to soak them for a few hours beforehand, preferably overnight. Then boil them for about a half hour or until they’re tender. You could probably just soak them and then put them in the curry as it boils, but I didn’t know if they’d be cooked by then so I just boiled them ahead and added them in near the end.

1.) Heat up some olive oil in a large pot, and then add in your onions. Let them sweat for about ten minutes, or until they’re somewhat tender and translucent. Then add in your potato and carrots. Again, let them sweat like they’re in a sauna.

2.) Chop up the rest of your veggies and set them aside. Realize you should have used a bigger cutting board.

3.) (Optional) After spending far too much time chopping, find a brand new SlapChop and moan about not using it and losing an opportunity to “slap all your troubles away.”

4.) Once the onion, potato, and carrots have been cooking for about ten minutes, throw in the rest of your veggies. Don’t worry your pretty little head if your potato isn’t cooked just yet.

5.) Add in your coconut milk, lentils, tomatoes, spices, and any other veggies. Let that come up to a boil, and then have it simmer for about an hour. You basically just want the potatoes to cook through and the flavors to merge, like Time Warner and AOL.

After about 45 minutes, I plated it up. You could probably let it simmer for as little or long as you want. I went for a walk on the beach, and let it cook while I was gone.

I served it over Jasmine rice that was also cooked in coconut milk. (GASP! White rice!)

So. Good.

SURPRISE! I have another lazy vacay recipe for you. Seriously, it’s probably the simplest thing and I’m willing to bet a monkey could do it. Just make sure he has clean hands… you know where they’ve been.

Lazy Pizza

Get yourself a whole wheat crust.Smother it in tomato sauce. In my case, I was too cheap to buy three packs of sauce seeing as I’d only use one. So I used tomato paste mixed with dried basil, oregano, and a bit of chives.

Top the awesome (AKA vegan) side with whole grape tomatoes, peppers, and then realize you forgot to buy spinach and fresh basil.

Slap yourself on the forehead.

Then realize you have the ultimate topping/meal/deliciousness… hummus. Yes, on a pizza. I put it on in globs and just hoped it would turn out tasting alright. The pizza crust said to bake for 20 minutes, so I put it in for 18, cause I’m a rebel.

3 pieces wasn’t enough.

So for now, I’m off to eat leftover curry and drag my lazy self to the oceanside and then the pool. Oh, what a tough life I lead. Hope your day is going swimmingly. Pun intended.

Where’s your favorite vacay spot?

Hey lovelies! So now I’m in the sunshine state, roasting away. For real, I’m probably the palest person you’ll ever meet and me and the beach don’t really get along too well. Same with the whole “getting up at 5:30 to get ready to drive 9 hours and only stop ONCE to pee.” Yeah.

It was around here that I realized I’d forgotten to pack my swimsuit.

And that it was time for breakfast!

Green Monster, representin’ them Tar Heels. Yeeeeah!

Into the blender went:

2 bananas

1 cup almond milk

~3 cups of spinach

ice!

Om nom nom nom.

Other unpictured eats included leftover pasta (note to self: spaghetti CAN be a good traveling food… just not when you’re on a bumpy road), a banana, and an apple.

7 hours later and I had to pee super bad. And the rain didn’t help at all. Or the fact that the next rest area was “in the next 20ish miles, or so…hopefully… I think.”

Thank goodness we finally stopped. I posted some Operation Beautiful notes in the gas station and in the bathroom.. so fun!

I always get so bored when I’m stuck in the car for extended periods of time. Luckily, my father and I were prepared with my iPod, which was loaded with Coldplay, Michael Buble, Eddie Izzard, CarTalk, Michael Buble, and Michael Buble. What do you guys do to manage your boredom? I can tell you what my adorable puppy does… sleep. : )

What a face! 🙂

“Will you STOP taking mad amounts of pictures of me, woman?!”

ANYWAY, we eventually made it to Florida and collapsed onto bed. It’s 4:42 and I’ve been here for a whole day but I still haven’t been to the beach yet. I told you I don’t like it. I did, however, make it to the gym. I was relieved when I found out that my home gym (where I go when I’m not in school) lets me work out at any other location, and the branch was just a hop, skip and jump down the road. Not worth it. It was a meat market and they didn’t even have any ellipticals. Fail. Any suggestions for workouts and strength-training-ish moves? I know I’ll be going on some runs but I don’t wanna just do cardio for a week.

Post work-out eats was a smorgesporge of fruits. Basically half a bag of grapes and a handful of AMAZING strawbezzies. While eating I made some new friends!

Anyway, sorry for the lackluster post. I’ll be sure to have a lot to talk about later on this week – I’m cooking every night as well as going out to Thai/Japanese/sushi joints. Pictures will ensue.

For now, I’m going to hightail it out of here. I don’t know how much longer I can take listening to the elderly group that is eating near me. One lady talked about how she feels so guilty for eating white bread, and I want to go over there and tell her that one slice of the white stuff isn’t going to kill her.

Toodles!

PS, I have joined the masses at Twitter. As a test run, I suppose? My username is veganomnomnom!

Because I can.

Raw Banana Ice Cream

1-2 bananas

a smidge of non-dairy beverage

Let it go in your blender (use the liquid to help things get going) for five minutes or until it’s thick and creamy! You might have to stop to scrape down the sides a few times, but it’s worth it. Trust.

Summer days

June 3, 2010

I love asparagus. I really do. And not just because it makes your pee smell funny. For real, it does. Try it if you don’t believe me! No, I love asparagus for its bite, the crunchy, firm texture and how fresh it feels. It just screams spring and summer to me. There’s so much you can do with it – grill it, roast it, put it in soup… or pair it with pasta and spinach.

Summery Pasta with Asparagus, Spinach, and Chickpeas

Serves 4-5 people

6 oz whole wheat spaghetti

1/2 lb asparagus

2 cups spinach

1 15oz can of diced no-salt added tomatoes

3 1/2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

vegetable broth

1/2 an onion

2 T hummus

Juice and zest of one lemon

First, you’ll want to heat up a pretty big skillet or wok or pan or whatever you’ve got that will be able to fit all of this deliciousness inside. Add 1 T olive oil, and when it’s hot, saute your onion. Once it’s translucent, add your asparagus and about a cup of vegetable broth. It really depends on how much you want to add and how liquidy or how thick you want your sauce to be.

Let your asparagus cook for about 5 minutes (or until they’re just tender) before you add the tin of tomatoes and some chickpeas. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I was in the store. I should have bought grape tomatoes instead of canned. My brain decided to take a day off, I guess.

A little note about chickpeas – if you’re using dried, like I did, let them soak overnight beforehand. You want about 3 1/2 cups of chickpeas total.

In another pot, let some water come up to a boil and drop your pasta in. I cook my pasta with a teaspoon of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together. I also added some lemon juice so that the pasta could absorb that sweet flavor.

Once the chickpeas and tomatoes are in your sauce, add in some salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and the lemon juice. Let it sit until your pasta is cooked.When you’re ready to add the pasta, put in your spinach. Remember that spinach wilts down – so it looks like you’re adding more spinach than Popeye could eat, but it cooks down to almost nothing.

And now, before you add the pasta on top of the spinach, add your secret weapon… hummus! Yes, I said hummus. In this sauce, it’s almost undetectable but that’s okay – we’re using it to thicken up the sauce and make it creamy.

Don’t stir the hummus in, just take a ladle full of starchy pasta water and pour it on top. The heat from the water as well as the cooked pasta will melt it and help it coat the entire pan. Take the pasta from the pot (don’t worry about draining it, just grab it with tongs) and incorporate it in.

You may now drool all over your computer screen:

The great thing about this pasta is that it can probably be eaten both cold and warm. I’m going to eat it tomorrow as lunch “to go” in the car (who ever ate freaking spaghetti in a car? Not ideal traveling food I suppose). I’m headed to Florida for a week tomorrow! Win. Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting pretty regularly.

Even more of an epic win? This! I snagged it at Old Navy today while I was in search of new jeans. But dresses are cool, too. It’s super comfy and it has pockets, man. Pockets! I love to wear dresses in the summer. I’m not a shorts kind of girl.

What’s your summer style?

I’m not usually one for fake meat products. Boca? No way. Morningstar? Nuh  uh. Smart dogs? Never in a million years. You name it, I probably don’t like it – from fake chicken nuggets to sausage links – and I probably won’t eat it. Some of them are processed far too much and have a zillion unrecognizable ingredients. *cough cough Boca burgers cough* So why do I rarely eat imitation meat? There’s just something about the taste and the texture. I guess because it resembles meat just a little too closely. Or sometimes it ends up looking like poo. (See here)

Anyway, I had some friends over for a BBQ last night. First of the season! Among all the grilled potatoes, peppers, and mushrooms was this…

I know, I know.. fake meat.  It must’ve been the words “New BOLD BBQ sauce.” No, really, it was a spur of the moment thing. I recognized and could read and pronounce all of the ingredients. The nutrition stats were pretty good too.  The only thing that I didn’t particularly love was the amount of sodium in a serving. I try to keep it under 800mg a day and, judging by the size of the skewers vs the size of my stomach, there was no way I was going to be able to only eat one serving… unless it tasted like poo.

What? I’m a hangry girl.

Once I took them out of the package, I was unnerved. They were all kind of clumped together and they really did resemble poo. A lot.

Upon further inspection and a good sniff, I discovered that they actually smelled really good. Kind of like baked beans..which SCREAM deliciousness, especially after they’ve been in the slow cooker for 6 hours and you just want to stick your face in them.

See? Not too appealing. Poo on a stick.

That’s what they looked like post-grilling. There was nothing I could do to make them look more appetizing.

With an open mind and a tall glass of water next to me for just in case, I took a hunk of “garden protein” and prepared for the worst. Surprisingly, however, it wasn’t terrible. I seriously wondered if I’d picked up a meat kebab instead of a vegan one, to be honest with you. Texture wise, it was a little chewy and quite dense. The BOLD BBQ sauce had stuck to the skewer even during it’s session in the grill sauna. It really was bold.

Overall, the skewers were different than I’d been expecting. In a good way. I’m definitely going to try Gardein’s other stuff. But I’m not good at sharing, so if anyone asks for a bite, I’ll tell them I’m eating poo.