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Archive for the ‘nuts’ Category

If I had to summarized Monday through Thursday in a single post…well…I can’t, so I don’t know how to end that sentence.  But, where I was going with that intro was to say my week has been packed and amazing.

Highlights reel?  Sure, why not.

Monday slash Tuesday I had night shift stuff.  The only thing of note food-wise was how many berries I consumed over the course of the day. 

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I have likely met my Vitamin C quota until October. 

I also made a pita pie (for those of you who keep asking about the-best-pita-ever, it’s from Whole Foods and the brand is called Turlock Pita Bread). 

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My gorgeous pie was toasted then layered (generously) with Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter and very thinly sliced golden delicious apples.

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Any meal that has fewer than five ingredients, takes under five minutes to make, AND tastes this good should be illegal.  Or accepted into the Foodie Hall of Fame.  Is there such a thing?  Nope. 

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I also did some late night therapy baking.  I find it a very soothing thing.  Just me and the oven, and the rest of the day fades away…

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Kyle’s a big fan of these nights.  Unlike retail therapy, they don’t cut into our vacation rent funds, plus they yield delicious treats.  Who else uses cooking/baking in this way?

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(Vegan) peanut butter and jelly thumbprint muffins.  Recipe on the way!

Wednesday morning wasn’t notably interesting, but I did make a really really yummy tropical smoothie.

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I had it with a massive bowl of cherries (since the strawbeezies are done-zo).

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I didn’t measure anything, but it had: light unsweetened soymilk (365), vanilla soy yogurt (Stonyfield), frozen tropical fruit mix (Costco), and some ice.

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I tried to go slow and eat cherries in between, but you know I froze my brain up because I have no self control.

Of course to compensate I had to make some tea.  I may be having issues with my body core thermal regulation, because I always seem to be the temperature of whatever I’m eating.  Humans are supposed to be warm blooded.  I may be a lizard.  My poor patients have to deal with my frigid hands poking and prodding them (ok, ok, I’m not that rough).  Good thing I suck down coffee like a fiend all morning long which is when I do most of my assessments…at least the heat from that helps my hands stay a bit warmer.  I’m sure the fact that I’m cracked out of my mind and bouncing off the walls doesn’t even phase them. 

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Fact: I drink Yogi tea more for the inspirational messages than the flavor of the tea.  This flavor happens to be Cocoa Mayan Spice.  It’s no Chai, but it fills the roll when my Tazo stash is on empty.

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Wednesday afternoon we picked up our friend at the airport.  In our new car.  His name is Carson and he’s a new 2011 silver CRV.  Yes, we name all our cars.  Who doesn’t? 

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The best feature is the cup holder in the door.  It fits a Kombucha perfectly.

After navigating our way back to Santa Monica (LA traffic wasn’t that bad actually), we immediately dropped off Dean’s luggage and walked to dinner.

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Blue Plate is one of my absolute favorite places ever and I have been craving their falafel burger for a solid month now. 

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We started with chips ‘n guac for the table.

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Plus a nice white bean dip with bread crisps (on the house).

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Kyle got the chicken & veggie soup and the falafel burger

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Dean got the falafel burger with fries.

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And I got the falafel burger on a salad with fresh greens, cucumber, carrots, sprouts and huge amounts of avocado

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I used all the balsamic dressing, plus the remainder of the guacamole that wasn’t eaten with chips.  It would be a crime for avocado to go unclaimed!

SO GOOD.  There’s no two ways about it, Blue Plate makes a damn fine falafel.

Wii tennis and golf duels took up the remainder of the night.  We are party animals!

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Thursday morning was not meant to start at 5 am, but that it did.  Why you ask?  Because we have crazy effing birds that crow incessantly like they are the alarm clock for the entire West Coast (and their home base happens to be directly outside our window).  The rage I was feeling…gah!  Let’s just say there’s probably never been a more conflicted vegan.  I may not be a member of PETA, but I’m still not into shooting down angry birds.  

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In any event, our plans to got for a hike in Malibu were simply pushed forward a few hours.  So after a trip to WF for coffee and a picnic lunch, we headed off to Point Mugu State Park.

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We had a fun hike.  It was relatively mild and only took a bit over an hour.  The weather wasn’t really cooperating, but if we had waited ‘til later on, the cloud cover probably would have blown off.  Sun or no sun, we enjoyed the views. 

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After reaching the bottom again, we made our way to the beach for lunch. 

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Not too bad of a view. 

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I got a veggie sando from WF with hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and mustard

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I could’ve used more hummus, but that’s pretty much always the case.  In life.

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The rest of the day was mellow.  We strolled on the Promenade, stopped by the Santa Monica Pier, watched some volleyball games, and enjoyed the sun that finally did show up.

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For dinner there was no question about what we were making.  Dean simply HAD to try some home-made vegan waffles.

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We tried out Surprisingly Vegan’s latest flavor and I have to say, it’s even better than the OG recipe.

They really are SO good.  Unfortunately, they take quite a while to make from scratch…and grinding and blending and mixing everything uses up just about every single appliance and counter space in our kitchen.  Needless to say, I’ll be glad when these babies finally hit shelves, because just-add-water is so much simpler. 

The good news is that by late summer they will be sold online!!!  Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you all know when, where, and how you can get your hands on them. 

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Vegan, gluten-free, delicious, and nutritious.  :) 

If you’re wondering about the above creation, it’s a waffle ‘wich that I made with two waffle squares, blueberries and Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese.  I had two servings.  And even though I was very full after my double serving, I didn’t feel like my stomach was coated in lead.  Heavenly!

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And now I am getting ready for a Friday at the hospital.  Big salad, quinoa with tofu, Inka Crops corn nuts, apple (x2), Nana’s fudge bites – yep, it’s gonna be a good day. 

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Lunch is packed and I have a breakfast of vegan waffles ready for early morning leftovers.  Yeah buddy. 

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The art of packing food is my specialty.  Much like making my daily work eats (tutorials here), packing food for traveling is a bit of a craft.  Some may find it easier to buy meals at the airport rather than go through the hassle of taking extra baggage through security.  Personally, I’m not one of those people.  I don’t care if it adds 25 pounds of dead weight that I have to schlep by plane, train, and automobile, for me it’s SO worth the energy.  The cost to benefit analysis probably differs depending on your diet and distance, but knowing I won’t have to pay exorbitant prices for crappy food (with limited vegan options) is worth it.  Peace of mind for a peaceful stomach. 

Tips:

  • BYOB (tea bags and empty water bottles) – The way I get around the liquid law is filling up my klean kanteen at the fountain (for free) once I’ve made it through airport security.  Also most places will give you free hot water (some charge 25-50 cents).
  • Skip the salt – Flying causes bloating and there’s no reason to add to that.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I already feel gross within a second of boarding a flight.  So I generally try and ditch the pretzels and salted nuts and drink plenty of fluids.  And get an aisle seat 😉
  • Pack way more than you think you’ll need – This is the same as how I pack for work.  If I have too much stuff, fine, it’s not like I have to eat it all in transit.  Having extra bars and snacks is hardly a disaster.  Being hungry and unprepared, on the other hand, is totally miserable and leads to bad choices due to less than stellar options. 
  • Produce produce produce – Is there anything more portable than fruit?  No.  Apples, bananas, etc. are all naturally ready to bring on the go. 
  • Nibble mindfully – Because of time changes, my body never really knows what’s going on and I end up doing more snacking than eating full meals.  Rather than snack the whole trip long, I make sure I am truly hungry and not just bored.  [In other words, bring lots of magazines, books, movies, crosswords, etc. to keep your mind preoccupied so you aren’t using your mouth instead]

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Veggies, hummus, bread, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, apples, orange, oat bakes, dark chocolate squares.

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Snack central.  Seriously, I have no editing skills.  Just wait ‘til you see everything hidden in that bag:

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Probars, Corazona’s, Larabars, Clif bars, Luna bar, KIND bar, Artisana cashew squeeze pack, Attune bar, Love Grown granola, Udi’s granola, dried fruit

And my latest raw obsession too…

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kaia foods makes really yummy raw foods including sweet things like granolas, as well as savory things like these sprouted pumpkin seeds

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The good news is that I will have plenty of bars leftover to throw in my bag.  So when I’m struggling in Paris, I will have backup options and then some. 

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Hummus and dip-ables (carrots, celery, bread).

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Produce in zoom.  The salad is pretty much just romaine, carrots, corn, and avocado…with Trader Joe’s faux chicken on top. 

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I’ve had these before and they are pretty good.  They remind me of the same “chik’n” that The Veggie Grill makes. 

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It’s soy based with vital wheat gluten too.  It comes with some seasoning on it, which lends itself to a Mexican flavored meal.  Hence the Chipotle-salad-esque meal.  

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I only kept the soy meat separate for commute purposes…it will be added on top once it’s time to dig into the greens. 

Now about those “oat bakes”…

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I decided microwaved “bakes” were a smart portable option instead of oatmeal.  So I turned to Ashley, the queen of breakfast bakes.

The first one I made was a spin on her ba-nilla bake

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I have to say, almond extract is quite an interesting ingredient!  I’m going to have to get some of my own soon (my mom shocked me by having it in her cupboard, but I should have known she’d have it).

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Where my recipe differs from hers is my grain and milk choices.  I opted for oats instead of buckwheat.  I also skipped the almonds and replaced the almond milk with soy.  Since there was almond extract in the bake already, I decided on soy milk.  I also threw in golden raisins and dried cherries because I think tart dried fruit goes so well with vanilla.  Otherwise, it was pretty much the same recipe.

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Mixity mix. 

Ba-nilla Oat Breakfast Bake [serves 1]

*adapted from this recipe

  • 1/4 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1T chia seeds or 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T warm water, whisked] or 1 egg white
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder

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Here it is after just 2 minutes in the microwave.

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This photo steamed up the camera lens, but you can still see how it’s like a baked good as opposed to a bowl of oats. 

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The ease of this is so mind blowing.  Now, I haven’t tasted it yet, but I did lick the spoon, so I am pretty sure it’s going to rock. 

The second “oat bake” I made was my own recipe using up the second half of the banana and whatever I could find in my parents’ kitchen.

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Frozen blackberries?  Sure, why not! 

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Nuts & Berries Breakfast Oat Bake [serves 1]

  • 1/4 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup instant oats
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1T chia seeds or 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T warm water, whisked] or 1 egg white
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 T crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder

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Once they had cooled I packed them up in tinfoil. 

I’m pretty sure I’m covered in the food department.  Now, hopefully I won’t get to Spain and realize I am missing my toothbrush or something. 

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Adios amigos! 

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You probably do this too – make odd food pairings when your fridge is depleted beyond hope. 

Since I’m heading to Nor Cal this morning, it’s no wonder the last few days have been extremely random in the meal department.  I’m trying desperately to use up all the fresh produce, which means I’m throwing blueberries in my salads (not as bad as you’d think) and pounding asparagus by the second (stinky urine much).

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My friend dropped off this crate two days ago and since Kyle hates asparagus, I’m single handedly attempting to not waste the beauts.  It’s been quite the ex-spear-ience.  Get it?  Ha.

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They are really fat guys…forcing me to steam them in small sessions.

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And then add them to every random meal.  I still have 3 bunches to go…any readers in Santa Monica want extra asparagus?

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In case you were wondering, the flavors of blueberries and green bell peppers don’t marry quite as well as I’d hoped they would.  My fruit obsession had to end somewhere right?

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The dried cherries actually rescued the entire salad, but the next night I still opted to nix the blueberries. 

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Of course there was still asparagus, though. 

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Whoever suggested I store my tropical fruit powerballs in the freezer was brilliant by the way.  They are insanely good this way – almost like cookie dough. 

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Plus they require slower consumption due to the temperature (helps keep me in tune with what I’m really craving). 

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Now.  What would you say if I told you I made a breakfast yogurt bowl but used quinoa instead of a more traditional grain (ie oats or cereal). 

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Blueberries, strawberries, Stonyfield Oikos greek yogurt, quinoa and almond milk. 

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How cool is it that there’s a note from Gary (Stonyfield’s CE-Yo) on the inside of the yogurt lid and that I’ve met him?

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Basically it’s like oatmeal with quinoa instead of oats.  We all know I love quinoa and adore greek yogurt, so the combination was a huge success.  Delish. 

How would you like to try it yourself?  Stonyfield is offering to give one lucky HHH reader a nice little package, including:

-        2 free coupons for Oikos Organic Super Fruits Greek Yogurt
-        Weleda All Natural Pomegranate Firming Day Cream and Pomegranate Firming Serum
-        2 free coupons for Crofters Organic Fruit Spreads
-        Organic Pomegranate lip balm, made by Eco Lips
-        2 samples of Numi Organic Berry Black Tea (featuring organic raspberry and raspberry leaf)
-        Simply Be Well Organic Pomegranate Moisturizing Body Bar
-        RW Knudsen Family 32oz. Organic Just Pomegranate juice and coupons (will be sent to winner directly from RW Knudsen Family)

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Pretty sweet huh?  To enter simply leave a comment telling me your favorite (but also most unique) greek yogurt combinations. 

I will announce the random winner this Sunday (5/8/11) evening.  Ready set go!

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…until I leave for Spain!  My family is already there…and reading everything they are up to is absolutely killing me.  I know that sounds lame since I’ll be joining them in no time at all, but it’s hard to keep my jealousy in check as they make their way through the White Hill towns of Spain.  I’ll manage…

In the meantime, I keep meaning to share my sister’s blog with you all.  She has been abroad since March (in case you forgot here’s her travel schedule) and she’s been able to blog fairly consistently as she makes her way from continent to continent.  It’s awesome to read. 

*Warning: her posts will make you want to quit your job and take up traveling as your full time occupation.  Seriously.  Read with caution.

So, now that I’m in last minute prep mode, I’m getting pretty boring with my meals.  Instead of yesterday’s numerous bowls of cereal (boring), I’ll share a recent recipe that I created. 

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Inspired by the raw ingredients of Larabars and the portability of Mama Pea’s balls, I created a kind of hybrid tropical fruit powerball thing.  Now if that’s not the catchiest name ever…

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Maybe I’ll leave the naming process up to you guys?  For now I’ll call them continue to call them tropical fruit power balls.

Here’s what was in them:

  • 1 cup Tropical Traditions shredded coconut
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruit (whatever you want works – I used dried mango, blueberries, apricots, pears, and strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds (I used 1/4 cup raw + 1/4 cup salted, dry roasted)
  • 1 tbsp Nuts Online cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s (now sold out) peanut flour (similar product can be purchased online here)
  • 2 tbsp water

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Add everything except the water to the food processor and pulse away. 

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You may have to pulse a long time. 

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Eventually the coconut and dried fruit will create a sticky enough texture and it will start to hold together more. 

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Side note: at this point (prior to adding the water) this recipe would make the perfect crust for a raw (or not raw) pie/cheesecake/dessert/whatever. 

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Instead, I added water which immediately changed the texture of the ingredients from a course but loosely ground consistency to a thick and cohesive one. 

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Thus began the process of balling…

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Scoop and roll.  Scoop and roll.

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I used a 2 tbsp scooper which yielded 15 balls.  And thanks to sparkpeople I even managed to figure out the nutritional stats for the recipe.

Nutrition Facts for Hungry Hungry Hippie Tropical Fruit Powerballs (15 Servings)

Amount Per Serving (1 ball)

  •   Calories    107.1
  •   Total Fat    5.9 g
    • Saturated Fat    2.2 g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat    0.8 g
    • Monounsaturated Fat    2.4 g
  •   Cholesterol    0.0 mg
  •   Sodium    3.7 mg
  •   Potassium    211.0 mg
  •   Total Carbohydrate    13.4 g
    • Dietary Fiber    2.5 g
    • Sugars    7.5 g
  •   Protein    2.2 g
  •   Vitamin A    4.9%
  •   Vitamin B-12    0.0%
  •   Vitamin B-6    2.5%
  •   Vitamin C    2.7%
  •   Vitamin D    0.0%
  •   Vitamin E    5.6%
  •   Calcium    1.9%
  •   Copper    11.2%
  •   Folate    1.9%
  •   Iron    4.4%
  •   Magnesium    7.4%
  •   Manganese    12.7%
  •   Niacin    2.8%
  •   Pantothenic Acid        1.6%
  •   Phosphorus        5.7%
  •   Riboflavin    3.6%
  •   Selenium    1.9%
  •   Thiamin    2.0%
  •   Zinc    3.3%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Good luck eating one at a time.

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Don’t they just call to you? 

Even with the stevia and dried fruit they weren’t really that sweet.  The cacao nibs had a good crunch factor and combined with the coconut, it was quite the flavor punch. 

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Get in ma belly.  😀

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Very vanilla buttah

I’ve been holding out on you.  I have made two things this past week that were (are) VERY worth sharing. 

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If you like vanilla, this recipe is for you.  It is very very vanilla-y. 

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If you can even call this a recipe, here it is:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaked raw cashew nuts (the dry nuts were ~1.3 cups prior to being soaked)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (I used this kind, but vanilla extract would work too)
  • 3-4 drops NuNatural’s vanilla stevia
  • 2 tbsp water *

Directions

Soak nuts overnight (or longer), drain and blend in food processor.  Pulse and scrape down the sides as needed until nut butter starts to smooth.  Add in the vanilla and stevia and continue to pulse.  Be patient, it may take a while but will eventually yield a creamy nut buttah.  Slowly drizzle in water through the top pour spout as needed to give the butter the consistency you want. 

*For thicker butter, only use the amount in the recipe above.  For a thinner consistency, add in more as desired.  Alternately, you could use almond or soy milk for an extra rich flavor.  And if you’re a real vanilla fiend, you could use vanilla flavored almond/soy milk.

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Nutty photo montage coming ‘atcha!

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Pre-liquid above, post-liquid below.

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My first taste test occurred straight from the food processor.  But the second was a more legit meal. 

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It was so good I immediately toasted another piece of bread to cover in vanilla butter.

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Optional uses and/or add-ins are endless…cinnamon, cocoa, raisins, banana, orange/lemon zest, etc.

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YUM!

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In other words, I couldn’t have been more pleased with how it turned out. 

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🙂

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To be honest, I have never liked potato salad.  It looks really gross.  That’s probably due to the mayo, which I also never liked.  White creamy condiments give me the heebie jeebies.  Potato salad is kinda the quintessential picnic food though, right?  I can recall many outdoor get-togethers and summer BBQs that had potato salad as a side dish (usually a fairly untouched dish).  It seems so un-American to dislike it.  But I guess I feel similarly about many other “classic American” foods, too…burgers and fries?  I’ll pass.  Why does the US have such crappy food to define our national eating habits?  I wish hummus was a classic American dish.  Maybe I’m meant to live in the Mediterranean?  Anyway, I’m getting off topic here, reign it in Elise!

Back to potato salad.

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To cut to the chase, I don’t know what provoked my decision to replicate the OG dish with a vegan version since I don’t even like the real deal, but regardless, that’s where this post is headed.

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I like things that are colorful, so the purple fingerlings (also known as Peruvian fingerlings) were a nice twist, offering pretty shades of color to make it a bit more pleasing to the eye.

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This recipe is stupid simple (maybe that’s why potato salad is such a popular item?).

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I chopped the taters (so pretty!) and put them in a glass bowl and microwaved them until they were cooked.  I added some almond milk for the last minute so they wouldn’t get overly dried out.  If you aren’t impatient or lazy (like I am) them you could easily steam them, thus preserving the moisture of them.

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The ingredients to make vegan potato salad are below…

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Purple potato salad (this recipe is for one because Kyle detests all things with dill)

  • 7-10 fingerling potatoes, cooked and chopped
  • 2 T almond milk (you could use any non-dairy milk, but I find almond milk has a nice salty aspect to it that works well in this recipe)
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar (this makes a kind-of vegan buttermilk when combined with the almond milk)
  • 1 T vegan mayo
  • 1 tsp dijon mayo (spiciness to taste)
  • 1 T honey mustard
  • nutritional yeast to taste (I used < 1 T)
  • garlic salt to taste
  • shake of dill (can easily be omitted if you don’t like dill – I hardly used any because I’m not a big fan)

Once everything is mixed together, Annie get your gun(s) because those biceps are gonna be getting a workout.  I mashed and mashed and mashed some more, until I had a nice semi-lumpy consistency.

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Now this is a potato salad I can get on board with!

I had some for dinner and the rest got tupp-ed up so it was all ready for school lunches.

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Now that I shared the recipe I promised a while ago, I’ll carry on with this post.

Last I left off, I shared my not so pleasant night shift…after which I came home, showered, and immediately fell asleep.  I woke up around noon and walked out to the living room right as Kyle was walking in the door!

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Little Miss Hawaiian Tropic was just returning from la playa, and decided to bring me some farmer’s market goodies.

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Isn’t my husband a peach?  [And how sweet am I to pay him back by calling him names and making dishes I know he hates? – I believe that’s what they call #wifefail]

So yeah.  I knew whatever was on the menu for breakfast lunch was going to involve strawberries for sure.

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Enter Love Grown Foods.

 

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The Cocoa Goodness Oat Clusters & Love were so fantastic, this time I decided to try the Simply Oats flavor.

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Same pure, clean, whole food ingredients.

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Crispy!

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I’ll take a bowl of yummy please and hold the processed crap.

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That’s what I’m talking about.

The Simply Oats flavor reminds me of my quinoa granola recipe a bit because of the sunflower seeds.  They have a pretty prominent role in the otherwise simple ingredient list, which means they stand out to my taste buds.  Maybe too much?  I like sunflower seeds, but I prefer them in a more subtle role.  This flavor was ok at first bite, but then grew on me a bit…as opposed to the Cocoa Goodness flavor which I loved from the second it touched my lips.

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I still had 3 bowls, though, so interpret that how you will…

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I will now completely contradict what I just said, and show you my next meal, in which sunflower seeds were essentially the star of the show.  I’m literally laughing at myself right now because of how ridiculous my likes and dislikes seem to align in this post.

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Toasted Udi’s bagel with Sunbutter Natural sunflower seed spread and raspberry fruit spread.

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Delish!  Sunflower seeds may not be my favorite in seed form, but in butter form are outstanding.  I actually think it trumps almond and peanut butters. Now that’s a bold statement!  [I’ll probably be singing a different tune tomorrow given my recent pattern of contradictory statements]

So what can we conclude from this?  Making food generalizations seems to be pointless in my case.  Hopefully I’m not quite as bad as Kelly Bensimon (who swears she doesn’t eat any processed food…as she is shoveling gummy bears into her mouth), but I think it’s safe to say, my food preferences are as unpredictable as her sanity.  For the people who don’t watch The Real Housewives of NY, this reference may not make sense to you, but trust me, you aren’t really missing anything.  After all, this is the woman who declared her support for PETA while wearing a fur coat.

Do you ever get surprised by foods you thought you disliked?  Is there anything you hated growing up, that you now enjoy eating?

I hated nuts growing up, but nowadays I’m more of a fan.  I still have a few issues (I rarely touch walnuts, pecans, macadamias, and some others), but cashews and almonds are practically their own food group in my current diet.

Stay tuned for the Larabar winner announcement on Tuesday!! [And in the meantime, make sure to enter]

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Me gusta

Happy Friday and Happy April (fools)! 

My parents are en route to So Cal at the moment, which thrills me to no end.  I’m so excited that the weather has finally decided to cooperate when my family is visiting.  Almost every other time the hippie clan visits, the rain clouds roll in.  No me gusta.

On the contrary, me encanta MUCHO these babies. 

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If you’re not looking to brush up on your espanol, allow me to translate: these Mitica Spanish Cocktail nuts (from Whole Foods) are legit.

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Too legit to quit, in fact. 

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Like the energizer bunny, my appetite kept going, and going, and going.  It’s the combo of the fava beans and garbanzos (they are fluffy not hard), and the crunchy corn nuts that kills me.  Oh, and the salt.  I love.

If I’m being perfectly honest, there’s another unsung hero that I’ve been chomping down on the reg too.  [And yet, for some reason I have neglected to photograph any of the times I’ve eaten it]

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I’m one of those people who NEVER (ok, rarely) eats food that is brought in by coworkers to share.  Usually it’s not remotely close to being vegan, but also, my GI tract is so sensitive, I just stick to what I know I’ve brought in.  That said, a fellow RN had a big party at her house and there were lots of leftoevers including a few of these massive sesame flat breads.  I happily took a few off her hands 🙂

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I’ve been caking them with everything from nut butters to hummus and I am now on a state-wide scavenger hunt to find out where she got them. 

Speaking of work…

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The spread.

A salad of randomness.

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A Jonagold, a Gala, and a baby Larabar.

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A pretzel, roasted almond, dried fruit mix and a tupperware of blueberry oats.

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The oats had blueberries and NuNatural’s vanilla stevia in them, which I then topped with Galaxy Granola.  The crunchy top layer of granola made my breakfast like a blueberry crisp.  It was so good.

Speaking of NuNaturals (weren’t we?)…

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I think this company is able to read my mind (or has video cameras set up in my pantry) because the second I run out of something, the doorbell rings and there’s a package with my name on it. 

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I go through the vanilla stevia like crazy because I use it in my coffee every single day…and since we all know I have approximately 5 cups of coffee on any given Tuesday afternoon, you can see how this stuff flies off the shelf.

If I’m not their biggest fan, then they have a really good following.

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Since I’m on a roll with my current obsessions, I may as well just acknowledge this one.

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Dom Perignon!  [It was a belated wedding present]  I’m a lush for champagne.  Seriously.  I adore it.  Bubbles are so delicious. 

I’ve also found Nana’s cookie bites to be pretty flipping fantastic. 

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The only “problem” is that I let the miniature nature of them act as an excuse to eat ten in one sitting. 

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Sample size?  Ok, then YOU try eating one bite and calling it a day!  Not possible!  Yum yum yum yum yummmmmm.

Current obsession number sixteen (I’ve actually lost count) is the Brazilian Blowout.  It sounds like a lot of you have been or are considering going to get one.  DO IT!!!!

I’m the kind of girl who hates putting effort into getting dolled up.  I do it, but I don’t like it.  [For the record, the phrase “dolled up” for me means using a hair brush and mascara]

I normally have curly/wavy/frizzy/messy hair. 

Then I got the Brazilian Blowout.  It;s basically applying a keratin treatment to your hair and then straightening the bejeezus out of it with the formula in your hair, which leaves it straighter than straight (and miraculously lasts 3 months).

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Here it is right after I showered (at 5 am before work – so don’t judge).

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And then here it is after I’ve eaten breakfast and gotten dressed (nothing but air drying involved).  My hair straightener is currently collecting dust in the bottom of my bathroom drawer.  I’m still in shock.  I couldn’t stop touching my hair all day.  It was silky and straight and I just shaved an HOUR off my AM getting ready time.  Had I let my hair air dry before this, I’d look like a (more) hideous version of Joan Cusack circa 1986 (Working Girl).  So yeah, I’m pretty much a convert. 

Finally, I have to show off my morning mug cup.

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After my last night shift, I left both my klean kanteen and my travel coffee mug at the hospital.  That goes to show you just how brain dead I am at the end of night shifts…so anyway, I figured this would allow me the opportunity to try out the XPress by SmartCup

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Janetha hooked me up with these, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try them.  Well, I can actually, since they aren’t exactly the most recyclable (read: hippie friendly) item, I haven’t had a reason to give them a try…until now!  [I didn’t want to have to bring 4 different reusable beverage containers home from work – I’m already that girl when it comes to trying to improve the hospital’s green practices]

So yeah, this was crazy simple to use.  You just let the coffee grounds/tea leaves steep and once it was ready (just like a french press), you pushed the filter down and voila!  A ready-to-go cup of joe.  🙂

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Tofu salad dinner. 

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Those are my favorites of the moment.

Random questions:

What are you loving right now?  Any April obsessions developing yet?

Do you eat food coworkers bring in to share? 

How long do you spend on your hair?

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