One of Those Days

October 17, 2010

Sometimes, you wake up and it’s one of those mornings. Whether it’s because you had a long night at work, pulled an all nighter in the library, or because you had one too many glasses of passion fruit rum/apple schnapps/vodka/OJ. Not that I did that.

Either way, there’s a great solution to a crappy morning. And it involves chocolate. Seriously, could life get any better? A lot of people that I know turn to junk foods when they’ve got a hangover..maybe now I can convert them. I rely on green monsters to get me through rough mornings, but sometimes a girl just  needs herself some chocolate.

The Ultimate Hangover Cure: Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

Serves two hungry, lazy, hungover friends

1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup chocolate flavored non-dairy milk (I used almond)

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 T pure vanilla extract

2 T maple syrup or agave nectar

1 t baking powder

cocoa or carob powder to taste

1 banana, sliced

a handful (or two or three!) of chocolate chips

 

Slice up your banana while you heat up a non-stick griddle or skillet. Put it at about medium.

The batter is insanely easy. Just mix everything together (sans bananas and chocolate chips) and then pour it onto your griddle. Once you’ve done that, press in your bananas and chocolate chips. They’ll get all melty and delish as they heat through. Cook the pancakes for five minutes on each side, or until the bottoms are cooked.

Top with more chocolate chips and maybe a dollop of fantasticness.

Just don’t put any vodka in the batter and you’ll be set.

What’s your favorite drinkie and what’s your go-to hangover meal?

Break Away

October 12, 2010

Oh, how I love five day weekends. It’s the last 24 hours of fall break. This means it’s the last 24 hours of me procrastinating on studying for four, yes four, midterms that I have this week. I spent a good chunk of my weekend in Chapel Hill getting speeding tickets (those cops are sneaky as hell), being forced to watch Twilight (I hatehatehate those movies and books), stuffing my face with Mellow Mushroom pizza (hello, Daiya!) and last but certainly not least, going to Whole Foods for the first time in my life. Actually, I had a [rich] foodie’s dream day. I went to Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s all in the same day.

Sad speeding ticket face:

Yay for court dates.

I don’t even want to know how much this is going to cost me, between needing an attorney (I can’t make it as my court date is during a final exam) and the fact that I was going…well… let’s just say I was going a lot over the limit. But it will be okay in the end I know, so I’ve decided that I’m not going to let this affect me. After tweeting my speeding ticket anger away, Happy Whole Foods face ensued. But I’m a bad blogger and didn’t capture it. I realized as I walked into the store that I had forgotten my camera. Trust me, there was madness. I don’t know how I only spent $17, hot bar included. Oh God..the hot bar. Don’t even get me started. I had some of the banginest (that’s a word) tofu EVER. I am sad and happy that I don’t have a WH store back home. Happy because I’d never have any money, but sad because it’s Whole Foods, man.

I hope Heaven has a Whole Foods.

Other treats include Sweet and Sara marshmallows, a squeezie pack of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butta (!!!), Daiya, and a sh!t ton of chocolate. I also purchased something I’ve had my eyes on for a while…

I’ve only heard praise for this stuff. With the nutritionals, it was no surprise. Lotsa protein and fiber and goodies inside. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s chalktastic soy protein powder for my green monsters, so it goes without saying that a change was welcome. I’ve also been avoiding cafeteria food like the plague, so a smoothie for lunch sounded delicious the other day.

Post-gym lunch.

Into the blender went 2 very ripe bananas, a dash of vanilla almond milk, ice ice baby, and Vega’s Vanilla Chai optimzer.

Faaaavorite mug!

Yum. Green.

I really wish I could say I loved this. I want to say that it was an explosion of vanilla-y, banana-y goodness. All my favorite flavors were there, but something was off. I took about four sips before having to pour the rest down the sink. It was just so chalky! Maybe I did something wrong? I’ll give Vega another chance sometime, but not for a while. I’ve lost my faith in protein powders.

And cops.

Have you ever had a run-in with the cops? When I was 16, I got pulled over for the first time for running a stop sign. I turned on the water works and got away with a warning. Also, what’s your favorite brand of protein powder?

Break the Fast

August 25, 2010

Good morning!

I swear, this is the alarm I wake up to every day now.

So you know what’s nasty? Eating cafeteria food every day. Living on campus (AKA having a required meal plan) is lame. You know that food’s not good for you, especially at breakfast. How can you call processed sausage “meat,” fake scrambled eggs (they use instant egg powder, nasty much?) and butter filled grits a great way to start the day? I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I could do that, even if I was able to eat that shiz. The whole “roll out of bed and drink a cup of coffee for breakfast before running to class” thing is not for me. And don’t even get me started on skipping breakfast all together. If you do that, you just lost a ton of cool points. So what do I start my day with? What keeps my full through class, work, dorm events, and a busy social life?

It sure as hell ain’t cafeteria grits, y’all.

Fruit and veggie smoothies!

Soy/Coconut milk yogurt with oatmeal and fruit.

Banana freaking pancakes.

CHOCOLATE banana pancakes. Seriously, why wouldn’t you start your day with these?!

Weetabix with maple syrup, almond milk, and strawbz. AKA the cereal laxative.

Aaaaand my absolute morning favorite! I’m sure this beautiful girl would approve…. oatmeal!

The stuff truly is wondrous. It’s such a blank canvas. You can make anything.

From PB&J oats…

to green tea oatmeal…

…to strawberry banana oatmeal..

…and even cinnamon raisin oatmeal so good it’ll make your tastebuds dance!

You could even make chocolate covered strawberry oats. Katie approved and all!

So you see, if eating a healthy breakfast in a dorm room is possible, it’s possible anywhere! Here are my top tips for a fantastic, fulling, and delicious breakfast.

1) Go for fiber! Fiber helps keep you full as well as helping you…well, you know. Adding fruit to your cereal can be a great boost, nutrition-wise. I think bananas are epic in nearly everything breakfast-y.

2) Fatten it up. Add a glob of peanut butter to your oats, go for coconut milk in your cereal, heck, melt a square of dark chocolate to anything. (Fellow cheap college kids: you can usually find peanut/almond/soynut butter in your caf and pilcher as much as you need!) Fats are like fiber – they’ll keep you full for longer because they have more calories per gram. Remember: they are your friend!

3) Swap out your sugary cereals for their healthier, 100% whole grain, refined sugar-free counterparts. Seriously. Stop eating Sugar Smacks and Cookie Crisp. Come on, man. Those don’t even sound healthy. If my cereals contain any of the following, they are out like Seacrest: high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated anything, [refined] sugar, refined grains, artificial colors/flavors, dyes, preservatives, or chemicals. These little devils leave you craving more and hungry with a headache later. They’re the reason so many kids fall asleep in lecture.

4) Make sure you have 100% juice if you must drink it. Fresh pressed, unpasteurized orange juice is a winner. You’ll get a crap ton of vitamin C as well as a serving of fruit. Fresh apple juice tastes so much better and has so much more going for it. When buying juice, remember this: the murkier your juice is, the less processed it is.

5) Plan the night before. Set out everything you’ll need for breakfast the night in advance. My mum has done this for years and it’s never failed her. Maybe try making this stunning gal’s overnight oats. Simply put your oatmeal, milk, banana, and whatever else you want in a bowl and let it sit overnight. Viola! Breakfast will be waiting for you once you’re ready to eat. If you’re gonna be on the go, make a green monster and put it in a portable coffee mug. A little planning goes a long way.

6) Wait until you are hungry to eat! This is probably my favorite tip. Breakfast should be savored, not shoveled down your throat because you didn’t plan ahead or because you have to leave the house in a hurry. If you’ve followed the whole “plan ahead” idea, you should be able to eat when you’re hungry, not when your schedule says to.

7) Buy a blender. Do it. I invested in a single serve blender to make breakfast smoothies and it’s super convenient in my room as well as on the go between classes (the top swaps out and it becomes a cup!). It was cheap, definitely under 20 bucks, and it’s lasted quite a while. Smoothies are a great way to sneak in fruits and veggies, especially if you tend to consume a lot of *ahem* beverages or find yourself eating too many slices of pizza or bowls of ramen.

So there you have it. What I do for breakfast, and how to start the day off right.

Of course, it won’t start out right unless you have the same alarm as me. 😉

What’s your best “healthy breakfast” tip?

A Wishlist

July 10, 2010

There are a lot of things in life that I look forward to. One is getting married (I would like to apologize in advance to whoever my poor future husband is… and my father will want to know: check or cash?). Bridal registries excite me. I think it’s the idea of being able to go into a store and create a giant list of silly things that I’d love to have but never buy for myself.

Exhibit A:

Wafflesicles!

Or maybe I’d put this on my list:

Because everyone needs the latest headlines printed on their toilet paper.

I know I’d have to ask for this.

Snack-curity system!

I have a sneaky feeling that my husband would totally try to steal all my tofu.

But I think number one on my list would have to be this little gem.

Of course, I would also take the opportunity of having a registry to ask for things I actually would put to good use in my house. The whole list wouldn’t be a joke, just the majority of it. 😉

Because if there’s one thing I actually would want and use on a regular basis, it’s this beauty.

That’s a legit panini press. I’d ask for this because I would be able to make what I had for breakfast today, but it would be approximately 239480394x better.

The Best Breakfast Sandwich You’ll Ever Have

2 slices of cinnamon raisin bread (I like Ezekiel brand)

1 banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 t maple syrup

Simply spread some PB on your bread (I used both cinnamon raisin bread and peanut butter in keeping with the theme of deliciousness) and put some banana slices on top of it. Make sure they stick! Top the slices with a little bit of maple syrup, and then slap that sucker onto a panini press… or in my case, an ancient sandwich maker.

Just a side note: make sure you grease/spray that bad boy.

Let your sammich cook for about five minutes, until the banana inside has warmed through and melted, and your bread is nice and toasty. The end result should be THIS epic beast on your plate:

I can’t believe how tasty this was. It was a good change from the usual cereal. I had a lot of fun composing my mental registry list while I ate.

The last thing on my list would be..

Pretend the above steak is actually poor, innocent husband’s booty.

Only not really.

Maybe.

Future husband, whoever you are… you have been warned.

A Family Affair

July 3, 2010

It’s definitely safe to say that my family is insane.

For the past two days, I’ve been babysitting my 7 year old cousin. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve gotten a glimpse of our shenanigans. We’ve been swimming, laser tagging, Monopoly-ing, playing arcade games, and light saber fighting. Here’s a glimpse…

An epic battle ensued.

Samurai sword + bubbles = showdown.

Excitement!

Which was only heightened by one thing (well, for me anyways)…

Peanut Butter Banana Bread!

Super simple. Just take my regular banana bread recipe from here and add in as much peanut butter to the batter as you want. I used a little more than half a jar, and drizzled more on the top because I want it that way.

To end two days of crazy games and fun, we had the supa cool (AKA Asian) half of my immediate family over for dinner. Enter eats prepared by yours truly:

6 Layer Mexican Salad

I can’t lie, I didn’t really know what to make for a Mexican themed meal, but I promised y’all. I gotta go around the world in 80 days food.  I knew I didn’t want to go the route of crappy nachos and vegan cheese, or quesadillas. I mean, a warm gooey filled tortilla is a tasty sucker, but it’s kind of overdone, in my opinion. This salad is my take on rice and beans, sans lard. Did you know most beans in Mexican restaurants (and even canned ones!) have the stuff in ’em? Nasty. Anyway..

The spices in the rice are strong – which is why I didn’t flavor the rest of the salad. It’s entirely up to you as to how much or how little you want to add. I’m a wuss, so I only added a minor amount of heat.

You’re gonna need:

2/3 cup dry brown rice

1/4-1/2 teaspoon (or more!) of the following spices: chili powder, cayenne red pepper, chipotle poweder, oregano, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, lemon and lime zest/juice, and S&P to taste.

2 cups (or 1 15 oz can) of black beans

2 cups (or 1 15 oz can) of corn

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 cups baby spinach

1 avocado, peeled and cubed

If you’re using canned veggies, make sure that you buy them without any salt or sugar added! The corn is even better if you grill or saute it before tossing it into the bowl.

Ok, brace yourselves. This is a super simple recipe and I can’t believe I haven’t seen it anywhere before.

Cook your rice (2 parts water, 1 part rice) with the spices. If you can, instead of water, use vegetable stock. That’s the hardest part of this salad, for real.

Layering action!

Let your rice cool before you place it in the bowl. Then add your beans, spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. In between each layer, I added a sprinkling of S&P and lemon juice.

Olé!

But wait! There’s more!

Because what’s a salad without dressing?

All I did was take about 1/2 cup of roasted red pepper hummus and add in of chili powder, chipotle powder, ground cayenne, and lemon juice.  Remember, it’s all to taste, depending on how you like it! To thin it out, I stirred about 1/4 cup of water until it was creamy.

I could eat that all day.

But instead, I think I’ll go fish toy soldiers out of the couch.

What was your favorite game as a child?

Ahhh! Real Monsters?

June 25, 2010

Okay, not a real monster… a GREEN monster!

Lookin’ classy in a wine glass.

These have been floating around the blogosphere for a supa long time, and I finally decided to try a Green Monster last December because I saw a picture of it on Caitlin’s blog and she swore you would only taste the banana and not the spinach.

I’ve never looked back.

2 cups baby spinach, packed

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1 banana

1 scoop peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

Whizzed up with ice ice, baby in the blender until smoothie like.


How do you make your Green Monsters?

Also – I’m in search of some protein powder, does anyone have any suggestions? I’m partial to vanilla. : )

Technically speaking

June 21, 2010

Technically speaking, I should be doing my summer coursework. It starts on Thursday but I’ve already been assigned an essay, two chapters of reading, and two quizzes. Hey, I did the essay…. it was an “about me” paper. 😛

Instead of working hard, I hardly worked. I elliptical-ed my heart out and then did this in the gym’s bathroom:

And left this at the gas station:

Technically speaking, it’s probably vandalism. Encouraging, fabulous, wonderful vandalism.

(If you’re wondering what these post-its are, they’re a part of Operation Beautiful and I highly encourage you to visit the site and help spread the love. You know you want to.)

And then, because it’s Father’s Day and all, I did something nice for mi padre and made him epic banana bread. It’s one thing I can make that both he and I will eat. Because technically, he doesn’t know it’s vegan.

The Best Banana Bread You’ll Ever Have

You’ve probably heard that claim before on other recipe sites, but I’ve got the goods to back it up. Trust. This recipe is not only delicious, it’s fat free (the only fats that occur are natural), whole wheat, dairy free, and contains no refined sugars.

Whatcha gonna need!

The wet ingredients:

5 ripe bananas

1/2 cup maple syrup/agave nectar blend

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

The dry ingredients:

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

a sprinkle of cinnamon

Sift all of the dry ingredients together until they’re combined. Or if you don’t wanna dirty up a sifter, because it’s a pain to wash, combine the dry ingredients with a whisk or fork.

In another bowl, take out your anger. Mash up all the wet ingredients. I like it to be a kind of chunky consistency so that you can tell it’s banana bread and not unidentifiable loaf.

Next, combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until they are just combined. At this point, you could add in anything else you might want. Chocolate chips, walnuts, blueberries, or even peanut butter would be particularly delicious.

If it’s too thick, add a bit more water to the batter – but not too much. You want it thick like pancake batter. You may also want to add more agave or maple syrup if you like it sweet. I felt a little fruity today so I toped my loaf with another banana that was almost on its way out.

Grease a loaf pan and put yo bread into your oven, which you most definitely didn’t forget to preheat to 375 degrees. Let it bake for an hour, checking occasionally. Use the oven light instead of opening the door.

Once it’s done, you’re gonna wanna bust that bad boy outta the pan immediately, but don’t. Let it cool before you transfer it to a plate. It’s hard to resist chowing down on this sucker straight from the oven…. go for a walk while you wait! Come back and your casa will smell like pure deliciousness.

Worth the wait.

Technically speaking, it’s so good it should be illegal.

Becuase 10 out of 10 non-vegans approve of this message dish, It wins this:

Technically speaking, that was the worst pun ever.

PS – bloggers in CLT, wanna have a meetup sometime soon? 🙂

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.