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?

Noms: Gnu Food Bar

July 20, 2010

My first NYC breakfast probably wasn’t what you’re expecting. I didn’t go to Babycakes and pick up a cupcake (though I totally would do that, regardless of the time of day) and I didn’t find a small, chic café and sip on a soy-no-whip-mocha-vanilla-chino something with a newspaper in my hand. After a 6am flight (that meant getting up at 4 to make it to the airport in time! Brutal!) I was in no mood to be chic or fancy. So instead of going to a restaurant, I experienced my first NY take out deli. It was everything I hoped for and more.

Loud, busy, and full of people behind the counter, belting out people’s orders. The lights were dim and there were fingerprints all over the counter tops. There were even flies in the seating area. A public health student’s nightmare. The cooks taking the orders were pretty ruthless, taking orders at the speed of light and frying, grilling, chopping, and speaking with a thick Spanish New York accent. At first, I was kind of intimidated because I didn’t want to be that complicated vegan and order something no one would be able to make. And then I realized that there wasn’t really anything vegan on the menu and even if there was, it would probably be cooked on the same surface/with the same utensils and gloves as the meat…so that would just be a waste of time.

So I picked up some local-looking bar that was vegan as well as an apple and a banana. When I say local, I mean the company is based in NYC (I think).

Hey there, Gnu Foods!

This little sucker was apparently a Peanut Butter flavor, and it was vegan so I decided to give it a try. Apparently one bar has about half of your daily fiber needs with 12 grams packed in there, and the bird on the wrapper felt the need to tell me that the roughage really is stuffed in there.

TMI, little buddy.

What creeped me out a little bit more was the visible mechanical innards of a cow. I guess this wrapper is just… creative.

Moo…. *beep*

Upon further investigation, I found just what that cow is doing on the wrapper.

“The Gnu has an ox-like head, the mane of a horse, and the horns of a buffalo. It may look unusual from the outside, but inside, it functions beautifully. Flourishing in the grasslands and plains of Southern and Eastern Africa, the gnu lives in balance with nature” (from Gnu Foods’ website).

Creepy label aside, this bar wasn’t really something to write home about. The ingredients list was relatively short with no weird chemicals or refined grains. The fiber came from 6 legit sources (whole grains) and there were no refined or added sugars. The ingredients list made me a happy vegan.

Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic kamut, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, rice, canola oil, peanuts, apples, plums, natural flavors, wheat protein isolate, salt, baking powder.

But I think the happiness kind of ended there. Once I took my first bite, I was less than impressed. The texture was pretty darn grainy, and I didn’t really get a taste of peanut butter. I got banana bread-y with a hint of flour-y wheat-y flavor.

Overall, if given the choice, I probably wouldn’t buy this bar again. For $1.50, it was only marginally cheaper than a Larabar, and I can easily get my fiber from other sources. The taste wasn’t too peanut buttery, and if I’m going to get a peanut butter bar, I want some peanut butter darnit. I think perhaps this bar was intended for people who eat nothing but white bread and meat?

Either way, the bird on the wrapper was right.

Techno Fear

July 6, 2010

This is me.

Blissfully unaware of my atrocious bedhead and raccoon eyes. I don’t apologize.

Happy, because I haven’t got a trouble in the world.

This is a representation of my face this morning.

Sad, because my poor laptop needed to see a doctor. Of course, I’ve been trying to diagnose and give it some of my own brand of medicine for a while now…

But apparently it’s not good enough. Who knew that didn’t work?

My fear of Geek Squad and the possibility of having to buy a brand new laptop (I instantly fear the worst case scenario. Always.) led me to worry all day. I started to think about my summer classes – what if I can’t access them? What will I do when I go to NYC and can’t access the class? I can’t fail! What about when I get back to school, I can’t not have a laptop. What if I can’t afford a new one? You can see how the worry spiral got to me… so I turned to the ever brilliant Eddie Izzard for comfort.

For those of you with virgin ears, he does say a few *naughty* words.

I also eased my fears with some “I’m-pissy-because-I’m-PMSing-and-my-computer-sucks” comfort food, which translates into one thing, and one thing only…

…chocolate.

Insanely Easy (and Delicious) Almond Butter Cups

Like Reese’s, but healthy. Because dark chocolate is good for you. 😉

I cannot tell a lie… the only hard part about making these things is waiting for them to freeze. And, of course, not eating the far too many of these suckers once they’re actually done…even if you’re upset and/or worried about your current laptop situation. And your uterus is telling you to eat more.

You’re gonna need:

1/2 cup almond butter (smooth or crunchy, whatever you like)

1 cup yummy, dark, delicious chocolate (and extra for snacking while cooking)

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

1 tablespoon instant coffee

1 tablespoon good vanilla extract

Melt all of your ingredients (sans almond butter) on a double boiler or in the microwave. You want it to be super silky and melted, just make sure it doesn’t burn. If you use a double boiler (a bowl on top of a pot of boiling water), make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

Take about 10-12 paper cupcake cups and place in a cupcake tin. No need to worry about greasing them though because there’s no baking involved. Pour in a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom. You’ll wanna use about a quarter to a third of your melted chocolate…and no, don’t eat the rest, even if you’re craving it.

Place that layer in the freezer for about an hour, or until it’s hard like Rihanna. Then repeat the process with your almond butter and then the remains of your melted chocolate. Layer, freeze, and repeat. Then lick all the bowls and spoons that you possibly can.

Top with nuts, frozen bananas, or eat ’em as is. I probably ate one too many, but you know what? Life goes on. I’m finally learning that I am who I am, and not what I eat. Thank goodness, or I would glob of hummus.

But for real, these cups are fantastical. They will take away all of your fears and worries.

Until I do resist doing this..

Do you have techno joy or techno fear?

Who’s your favorite comedian?

Also – do you want to win a free years subscription to VegNews?! Click here!

o’FAIL

June 19, 2010

Post workout protein for me usually comes in the form of Peanut Butter, hummus, beans, or nuts. I don’t need a million grams of the stuff, and around 10 grams or so does it for me. Instead of going for my usual handful of cashews or a dinner featuring beans, I decided to switch it up and go with soy yogurt. Because I’m a Trader Joe’s addict, I usually buy their own brand of organic raspberry or strawberry yogurt. But today, TJs was the first pit stop on a whirlwind shopping adventure including a search for shoes to wear to a wedding this afternoon (hello, procrastination!), and I couldn’t buy anything that would spoil in a hot car.

So once my shoe-related errands were done, I ran into Harris Cheater Teeter and got some (expensive) Stonyfield organic o’Soy yogurt.

Mistake #1: it was overpriced, just because HT likes to jack up the prices on everything.

Fast forward eight hours later, and I’m hankering for some post-weight training protein. Time for soyness!

Mistake #2: the top of the yogurt had a thin layer of water on top of it. Separation is nasty.

Being the scavenger that I am, I immediately went searching for the fruit that Stonyfield claimed was on the bottom of the pot. I scavenged like I scavenge my daddy for food monies.

Mistake #3: no actual fruit. It looked like it had been whizzed up in a blender or something, because there was absolutely no sign of luscious, sweet raspberries on the bottom of the pot. Syrupy raspberry liquid is no bueno.

I had taken about two bites when I decided to see just what six probiotic goodies were in there.

Mistake #4: I read the ingredients again. And the thing has milk in it.

EPIC FAIL.

Who puts milk in soy yogurt? The label of this yogurt is very misleading, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s made the mistake of buying this yogurt and getting the sore tummy that comes afterwards. I think I’m going to have to eat some very stabilizing foods later…and write a very upset e-mail (pun intended).

Today’s lesson: read the ingredients list 5 times instead of just twice. Oh, and wear your contacts.

Wedding ‘fit! What do you guys think? 🙂

Have you ever made a mistake when reading ingredients, or accidentally eaten something you wished you hadn’t?

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?