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Archive for the ‘spinach salad’ Category

Before I get into the latest and greatest from the hippie kitchen, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to offer their thoughts on yesterday’s post.  The discussion certainly got more heated than I anticipated (and some comments were a bit harsh), but it was great to read how others felt about sharing your views with your family/friends.  Being brave enough to stand up for your beliefs while not pressuring others to feel guilty about having differing opinions is definitely a fine line…and it seems that many feel there’s a time and place for being outspoken (as well as a time and place for simply shutting your lid).  I’m very grateful for everyone who commented in a thoughtful and respectful way.  I tried to respond to as many of the comments as I could.

In the meantime, however, I was at the hospital doing my thang.  As a result, I have compiled quite a collection of work eats on my computer…

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Breakfast #1 – granola by Big Sky Bread (an Alabama based company with cute home-made wholesome products).  It’s actually a granola plank not granola since it’s one big crispy crunchy granola block.  They also make bread products (as you’d guess from the company name), all of which feature their stone ground whole wheat flour that they make in the bakery every morning.

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So how did I discover this adorable company?  Well, Big Sky Bread was at Expo West and they were kind enough to hook me up with this sample.  For some reason I have been saving it and saving it, waiting for the perfect time to try it.  Well, I’m not sure when I thought that time would be, but the other day I spotted it in the pantry and it was exactly what I wanted at that exact moment.  So I guess that makes it the perfect time.

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You can (kinda) see the nutritional stats above.  At two servings a package it rounds out to 400 kcals a pop.  The granola planks are basically a lightly sweetened oatmeal base with whole almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.  It was crispy and crunchy like granola, not chewy like a granola bar so I had to break it into bite sized pieces in the bag so the crumbs wouldn’t get all over me (thus enabling me to sprinkle them atop yogurt later).  The flavor reminded me EXACTLY of these bars I used to get at the Union Square WF in NYC.  I haven’t seen them since moving to CA and now I realize how much I miss them.  I think it’s the sesame and pumpkin seeds that makes the taste so unique.

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Breakfast #2 – oats with cinnamon, dried cherries, and Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter

Dried cherries are a really good way to bring a new twist to an old simple morning routine.

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Lunch part I – Boca vegan burger (lazy much?) and apple x2, orange x1, Bakery on Main Cinnamon Apple Granola Bar

Bakery on Main is another Expo West discovery.  They make both granola and granola bars and I got a big ‘ol shipment of their goodies to try out.  🙂  The granola bar kinda reminded me of those Nutri-Grain bars (by Kellogg’s).  The texture and flavor seem nearly identical (I think?), but the ingredients are way better in terms of being whole foods without preservatives or additives.

[NO GMOs • NO Dairy • NO Casein • NO Wheat • NO Trans Fat • NO Cholesterol]

I liked the flavor, but the bar was really small and therefore didn’t have as much staying power as I typically like in my on-the-go options.  It did taste just like a bite of the top of an apple pie, though.  So there’s definitely a yummy factor going on.  As an FYI, the soft & chewy bars are gluten free (made with certified gluten free oats, amaranth and quinoa).  They also have flax and chia seeds (hello healthy omegas!).

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Lunch II – leftover purple potato salad with peas for extra green

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All together now!

Night shift doesn’t require quite as large of a line up.

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I’ve been craving lots and lots of fruit at night.  Apples and cuties and mangoes, oh my!

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I know for a fact I looked like a primitive cave(wo)man as I ate this.  I had juice dripping from my chin to my elbows.  Not attractive.  Maybe I’ll cut it up first next time, huh?  😉

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This salad was a twist on one of my favorite recipes of my mom’s.  Growing up she made a bomb a$$ poppyseed salad with avocado, butter lettuce and cantaloupe.  It is seriously fantastic.  Unfortunately, my dairy-free life now makes the dressing she used a no-go.

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Enter Follow Your Heart!  They make oil-free salad dressings that are vegan and this Citrus Poppy Seed flavor is a new one!  However, unlike the other oil-free salad dressing on the market, this one doesn’t compensate for the fat with excessive amounts of sugar.  Have you ever noticed that?  So many fat-free dressings are jam packed with other sh!t to make your taste buds forget that you are missing out on the oil.  Not this one.  It’s got the same pure and wholesome ingredients that you’d find in any home-made dressing, minus the oil.

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Vegan.  Gluten free.  Dairy free.

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Strawberry and Avocado Poppy Seed salad

  • spinach
  • clover sprouts
  • carrots
  • strawberries
  • avocado
  • dried cherries
  • Follow Your Heart Citrus Poppy Seed salad dressing

I have to be honest, normally I don’t use salad dressings, aside from basics like extra virgin olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar (or Bragg’s liquid aminos).  But ever since I received Follow Your Heart’s line of vegan dressings, I’ve been experimenting more and more.   And loving them more and more.

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This salad is a winner.

And when I got home from a loooong 12 hours, I had overnight oats waiting for me in the fridge.

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Oats, frozen blueberries and strawberries, dried cherries, coconut peanut butter.

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Maybe it’s the change in the weather, or maybe it’s just a random phase, but I’m really into chilled oats lately.  After I cook them, I put them in the freezer and then eat them so they are thick like cookie dough.  Thick thickity thick.

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Night shift numero dos was less fruity, more hummus-y.  There was still a big bad salad (because me and fiber are more of a dynamic duo than Gary and Ace).

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Seitan Spinach salad

  • spinach
  • clover sprouts
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • log seitan (this version with bell peppers)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos

This salad was great, but the seitan was definitely the star of the show.

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Lots of people have been making my log seitan – a true testament to how simple and delicious it really is.  I swear, you’ll be blown away by it, and then you’ll make it again and again and again (just like me!).  C’mon, what are you waiting for?  Give it a shot!

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Pita pieces and Haig’s roasted red pepper hummus rounded out the meal, along with the (lone) apple and a lot lot lot of candied ginger.

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Once again I had chilled oats waiting for me when I got home…with blueberries dried cherries and TJ’s peanut flour all mixed in.

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Oh, did I forget to mention my latest stock pile?  Yeahhhhhh.  Once I found out peanut flour was getting the axe from Trader Joe’s I quickly jumped into action (aka called my mom and begged her to hit up the local TJ’s before we came upon hard times).  Hoarding mode much?  She did me proud.  🙂 I better make these last!

And as if things weren’t good enough already, I received another package in the mail.  My pantry is officially stocked!

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Are you a packrat?  Hoarder?  Pantry supply collector? 

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and a hard place the golden arches.  That’s where I was stuck this past weekend. 

It started Friday morning, before setting off on our road trip to Palo Alto.  Kyle and I offered to pick up breakfast for our driving companion, but he didn’t get the text in time.  As a result, we were happily fed and Starbuck’s-ed before the drive began, while our friend was in need of breakfast.  He requested that we hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru before getting on the freeway.  Hm.  This is where my inner battle began. 

Do I voice my anti-fast-food opinion and refuse to go to the golden arches?  Or do I shut my mouth and let him make his decision without my own personal beliefs ruining his breakfast? 

Let’s set aside the fact that complying with his request would mean a six+ hour car ride with nausea inducing smells (I literally get queasy when I smell fast food).

Ok.  Here’s the thing.  McDonald’s represents everything my blog is against.  And although I consider myself open minded and accepting of others’ choices, I also feel I have somewhat of a responsibility in terms of educating others about nutrition.  I’m a cardiac nurse after all.  If this person were my friend, I would have no issue speaking my mind (saying hell no to 7 am Egg McMuffins).  But, he is Kyle’s classmate, so I don’t feel like I am close enough with him to be quite as opinionated.  It’s a fine line.  I certainly don’t want to be that obnoxious person talking sh!t about others’ food choices, but at the same time, if this is something I’m passionate about (which I am!), then isn’t it my job to speak out about the truth?  I guess ultimately it’s all about how one goes about doing this.  Tact is an art form.  And being informative without being condescending is also a skill.  I’d like to think I’m pretty good at this. 

In the end, though, Kyle saved the day and spoke up before I had a chance to make up my mind.   We ended up going to a bagel place.

While on the road, we got to talking about food and health care and the role of nutrition in disease prevention.  It was amazing to me how we were all on the same page about these issues (he’d even seen Super Size Me and read Fast Food Nation), and yet, for him McDonald’s was still a food option.  I sound judgmental, I know.  But I’m passionate about this subject.  It’s hard to see people with hypertension, heart disease and diabetes in the hospital day after day and not want to share the facts about the causes.  So sue me.  Others may think this is judgmental (and not my place), but I’m just being honest.  If I’m afraid to raise my voice, then who is going to do it? 

Anyway, for those wondering, our driving buddy was very receptive to what I had to say, and although I held back considerably, I still made sure he knew the reason I was anti-McD’s.  If nothing else, maybe he will think twice next time he opts for the drive-thru window.  Or maybe not.  It’s his choice either way, and now I can rest easy knowing it’s an informed decision, having shared my knowledge on the matter with him in a kind and respectful way. 

What are your thoughts?  One the one hand, it takes balls to speak out to friends and family about such personal lifestyle choices, like diet (since it can be seen as obnoxious).  But on the other hand, it’s each person’s right to make his/her own decision about what to eat.

I guess for me, it ultimately comes down to knowledge.  As long as people have the information and understand what it means, they can do whatever they want with it, and that’s their prerogative. 

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On that note, here’s my latest obsession. 

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Thanks to Follow Your Heart’s delicious vegan salad dressings, I’ve been a veggie queen as of late. 

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Who knew Caesar dressing could be both vegan and yummy?  And organic, too!

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When I was in high school I went through a major Caesar salad phase.  It was all I ordered.  Ever.  I had forgotten how much I loved it until Follow Your Heart offered me products to try.  As I browsed the website, I was instantly drawn to their vegan Caesar dressing and my fond memories of romaine crunch came flooding back. 

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So I tried to create an equally as tasty (vegan) version.

Vegan Caesar Brutus salad

  • lettuce (romaine is optimal, but I used spinach)
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • sprouts
  • extra firm tofu, cubed
  • Follow Your Heart vegan Caesar dressing
  • nutritional yeast

*if you’re a big nerd you’ll get the title reference

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After combining all the salad ingredients, I added the dressing, gave it a good toss, and then added a bit more dressing and sprinkled nooch on top.

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Et tu Brute?

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This salad, while not much like the real Caesar, is much better.  Probably not stab-your-friend-in-the-back better, but really good nonetheless. 

Tofu is a good substitute for chicken; while the sprouts are the perfect ingredient to soak up all the dressing, much like croutons would.  In addition to this delish dressing, sprouts are officially my new bestie.  They make everything better.  I need to get my sprout on (perpetual to-do list item)…

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First of all, this venti soy misto was FREE, because believe it or not, there are some perks (beyond heart palpitations) to my Gold Card membership and caffeine addiction. 

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I had to go to the hospital on Tuesday even though I wasn’t working.  Enduring an early wake up call and morning traffic without the promise of a paycheck demands a special treat – hence the Starbeezies.

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I had breakfast prepared for the waiting room.

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[Yes I got odd looks as I busted out a tupperware of oats in a waiting room]

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This genius creation was overnight oats with cinnamon, NuNaturals vanilla stevia and frozen strawberries.  But then I added vanilla soymilk and more (fresh) strawberries in the AM.

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Lots of vanilla and lots of strawberries.  Lots of yum.

By the time I got home my one-track-mind was so focused on hummus, my hand was on this tub before I’d even hung up my jacket or set down my purse.

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I found it at Whole Foods and it looked like the most thick, creamy, and dense chickpea dip ever.  EVER!  I still have no idea what company makes it.  What I do know is that it’s raw and contains chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and that’s pretty much it. 

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Can you see that creamy amazing consistency?!?  It was thicker than Jenny from the Block.  It was heavenly.  In all honesty, I could have eaten it with nothing but a spoon.  Instead, I dipped pitas, carrots, and apple slices in it. 

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I know people think I’m crazy for dipping apple slices in hummus (it wouldn’t be the first time people have told me I inappropriately pair hummus with other foods), but I swear it’s good.  Savory and sweet were meant to mingle peeps!

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Turlock whole wheat pitas are becoming available at more and more Whole Foods locations, so please do yourself a favor and find them.  They are the fluffiest pitas I’ve ever tasted.  Like beautiful carb clouds.  Now, my question is this: who in their right mind thinks this tub is going to be more than one serving?  For the record, it’s supposed to be 8 servings.  I finished it all though.  Obviously. 

Afternoon checklist:

  • Run – check!
  • Dessert – check!

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I tried a twist on my log seitan recipe, this time adding in chopped bell peppers

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I admit, it looks like a pair of turds, but dayam, it smelled freakin’ phenom!

I added some to Wednesday’s work lunch.

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Spinach, sprouts, steamed sweet potatoes, carrots, and peppered seitan

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Also pre-packed for Wed…

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Oats, candied ginger, and orange slices.

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When my parents visited a while ago they brought a ton of oranges from their tree…and while I’m not typically a big citrus person, these have captured my fancy. 

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I also had two apples and dried apples that Kyle brought me home last weekend. 

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They had the texture of stale apple rings, but the flavor of fresh apples.  They were so good.  A bit hard to chew, but still, very very tasty. 

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And then, of course, there was my oaty breakfast of champions.  Oats, cinnamon, NuNatural’s vanilla stevia and Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter. 

Little bit of sweet and a little bit of savory.  Happy belly! 

Million dollar question: hummus vs nut butter?

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The other day I had a unique take on oatmeal for breakfast.

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It wasn’t really oatmeal.  Nor was it breakfast.  Nor was it intentional.

After night shift, I slept in ‘til noon and then woke up to spend my Friday with Kyle.  After lounging the morning away, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go for a run or eat something.  I decided to put a pot of oats on the stove, but by the time they were done, I had changed my mind.  So I turned the stove off and left the oats while I jogged around the neighborhood.  As you’d imagine, by the time I had showered and returned to the kitchen, the oats were cold.

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Turns out?  Cold oats are basically overnight oats without the overnight factor.

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It popped right out of the pan and onto the plate, so I treated it like an oat pancake and set to work adding on the toppings.

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Now you see it, now you don’t.

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I played with the toppings a bit at first, making a smiley face with banana slices.  But really, I knew I wanted more than just nanners.

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Banana + Cinnamon + Peanut Butter

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Yum.  Note to self: neglected oats can lead to a happy ending.

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Of course peanut butter doesn’t exactly hurt in the equation either.

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In case anyone is keeping tabs on the matter, this held me over for a long time.  Me love you long time.  It’s a nice (yet rare) occurrence when this perfect storm happens and I manage to master the macronutrient ratio of a meal just right.  But my appetite is so inconsistent, it’s like a guessing game every time.  Sometimes the same meal that holds me over once will leave me wanting the next time I have it.

Between the above oat thang and heading to the hospital, I noshed on a pair of whole wheat pitas and a lot lot lot of Sabra hummus.

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For night shift, I threw together a bunch of the fridge’s contents.  Not amazingly inspired, but it did the trick.

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On the left, salad with spinach, sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, edamame, and Bragg’s liquid aminos.  On the right, vegan purple potato salad.  I will post the recipe soon because it is gooood.

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Snacks. 🙂  Is it weird that I like Lara minis more than the regular sized ones?  They are just so dang cute!  They could fit in the tiniest pocket.  Who still has to enter my Larabar giveaway?  Get on it already!

My second night shift was pretty rough.  I admitted a patient around 1 am and there’s no two ways about it – the phrase “pleasantly confused” is BS.  I’m sure fellow healthcare providers can relate to hearing this mentioned in report.  It was my kiss of death last night.  There is nothing pleasant about pulling NG tubes out.  There is nothing pleasant about restraints.  There is nothing pleasant about spending a shift in the room simply to watch your patient repeatedly swing his legs over the side rails to flee the hospital.  And there is definitely nothing pleasant about trying to give a bed bath to a patient who thinks you are trying to steal his sheets.  Really?  I mean, really?

Anyway.  I survived.  And I even managed to smile throughout the whole thing.

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I didn’t get a lunch sleep break last night because there was a code on the unit right when my break should have been.  Clearly a patient’s life trumps my snooze time, so I just kept powering through the night sans rest.  It was a long code (holy chest compressions batman!) and the third of the night in the hospital, but it ended with a beating heart and oxygenated blood, and that’s all you can hope for, right?  Right. 

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I had a delicious dinner packed up.

The salad had spinach, sprouts, farro (love!), hummus, bell peppers and carrots.  And it was drowned in Bragg’s liquid aminos as well.

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I’m so glad I was finally able to find farro in stores.  I had a serious search party on the lookout for this grain!  After trying it in my Tender Greens salad I fell in love and wanted to make it for myself. 

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I managed to get organic farro by Montebello at Whole Foods.  It resembles wheatberries or barley in it’s uncooked form.  I made it in the rice cooker, just to see how it would work. 

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It made it a bit more gummy than I’d imagine it would be if cooking it the traditional way, but I don’t mind the sticky factor.  It’s just so dang chewy!  I love it. 

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I can’t wait to use it in more recipes.  The side snacks in my “lunch” were pretty much the same old same old (read: not so thrilling to blog about), but still great in my eyes (apples, carrots, and more hummus). 

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These kale krunch chips were a new treat for me though. 

Kale in your kitchen is a relatively new company, and they offered to send me a sample of each of their flavors – original and spicy – to try out.

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They make each batch of kale krunch by hand with only 8 whole food ingredients.  Nothing is engineered or processed, and there are no chemicals, flavor enhancers, generic "spices", or preservatives.  In other words, nothing artificial, just whole food.  They are organic, vegan, soy and gluten-free, and gently dehydrated (not cooked) in order to retain the raw food enzymes.

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Ingredients: Organic Kale, Organic Red Bell Pepper, Organic Fresh-pressed Lemon Juice, Non-GMO Nutritional Yeast, Organic Cashews, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Red Chili Pepper, Organic Garlic, and Pink Sea Salt

When I first tried them, I thought they were good, but a bit on the lemony side.  They didn’t really wow me, but next thing I knew, they were almost gone!  Addicting little buggers.  Needless to say, I’m excited to try out the spicy flavor next.  When it comes to savory snacks, it can be hard to find nutrient dense options that are both flavorful and healthy.  Most of my favorite whole foods snacks – like Larabars – fit the bill in the sweet department, but when it comes to savory things you can munch on throughout the day, they’re more difficult to find.  I have to hand it to Kale in Your Kitchen, they definitely accomplished the feat! 

Speaking of Larabars

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Would you like to win an entire box?   I’m talking about a box of 16 delicious bars all for you!

What if I told you, you could pick the flavor, too?  That got your interest huh?

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My favorite changes all the time, but at the moment it is chocolate chip cookie dough.  It’s one of the new flavors, and it’s heavenly.  I’m also a big fan of the cashew cookie, peanut butter cookie, and coconut cream pie

Since becoming vegan, Larabars have been a staple in my life.  Not just because they are made form pure, simple, whole foods, but because they are delicious.  Simply put, they are the most amazing on-the-go option, whether you are vegan or not, they are hard not to drool over.  If you’ve never tried one, you’re missing out (but that’s where this giveaway comes into play…).

To win your very own box of Larabars:

1) Comment below telling me which flavor is your favorite (or which you’d like to try).

2) Tweet about this giveaway, mentioning @elisehippie and @larabar (then comment again to tell me you tweeted).

3) And just for sh!ts and giggles, I’ll give you a third entry if you tell me a new flavor combo that you think would be good (not that Larabar needs any help in this department). 

You have until Monday (4/11/11) at midnight to enter.  I’ll randomly choose a winner and announce it the following day (Tuesday, April 12th). 

Ready set go!

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When I think of island vacation getaways, I think of coconuts.  When I think of winter comfort cooking, my mind goes to butternut squash.  So why not combine the two? 

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Oh yes I did.

The base of the dish was made and then frozen nearly a month ago…back when my friend gave me two cases of butternut squash.

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I used the slow cooker, adding an entire butternut squash (cubed) and a box of Vita Coco coconut water and leaving it alone for 4 hours to do it’s thang. 

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Before and after.

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Then I tupperwared it up, threw it in the freezer, and forgot about it for a few months.

Cut to the other day…

I took the coconut squash out of the freezer and submerged it in a warm water bath in the sink to thaw.  When it had reached a semi-liquefied state, I put it in the slower cooker to both finish thawing and start cooking.  

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After a couple of hours the formerly cubed squash chunks started to puree on their own from simply being cooked for so long. 

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At this point I added in a can of chickpeas and 1/2 cup coconut flour and let it cook for another hour.  The flour thickened up the squash and absorbed the excess liquid perfectly.

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Had I planned ahead (or known where I was going with the dish), I would have cooked the pasta in the crock-pot, too.  Oh well. 

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I cooked them separately, then combined them in a casserole dish afterwards.

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Coconut & Butternut Pasta Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup pasta shells (dry)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • salt (to taste)

*note: I may add in broccoli next time for a contrasting color/texture

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This pasta bake was a surprising success.  Most casseroles use cheese to hold the ingredients together, but in this case, the butternut squash did the trick. 

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Kyle was the first to dig in, taking a little scoop before heading off to a dinner meeting.  He doesn’t even like squash on it’s own, and he liked the dish so that says a lot.

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The squash almost seems cheesy (a good way to sneak in veggies for those who may have trouble fitting in all the recommended servings).  Plus, the healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber of squash certainly trumps the nutritional profile of cheese.  When combined with chickpeas and durum wheat shells, the stats of this vegan dish are beyond impressive – all macronutrients accounted for. 

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I served my portion up alongside a spinach and Bragg’s salad.

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The subtle coconut notes were the best part of the dish.  Seriously yum.  I had a second serving that was even more generous than my first.  I’m pretty sure this is the perfect way to ring in spring. 

Before I go, I wanted to spread the word about a donation rally raising funds for the American Red Cross’ Japan-related relief efforts.  The Blogging for a Change Donation Rally will be going all week and 100% of of proceeds will go straight to the Red Cross to help Japan rebuild!

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I had the best patients over the weekend.  Nice.  Appreciative.  Compliant.  They may seem like simple requests as far as personality traits are concerned, but you’d be surprised.  It made the nights fly by.  Another thing that made the nights go by nice and smooth…books. 

You see, when it comes to night shifts, they can either be crazy and chaotic (ER admissions, codes, etc.) or super slow (eyelids drooping, head nodding).  I prefer middle of the road shifts with a moderate amount of activity, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Such being the case, it’s good to have some reading material on hand just in case.  I used to (superstitiously) think that storing books in my locker was setting me up for horribly busy nights (Murphy’s Law).  But after one too many nights of watching the second hands of the clock tick away, I decided to hell with signs and superstitions.   And so I’ve also been bringing reading back into my life. 

I used to read a couple of books a month, but once my subway commute went out the window, my monthly page count took a serious hit.  I think that’s the only thing I miss about NYC.  And maybe a few restaurants too…

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Anyway.  Here’s the book I read on Saturday night.  I literally read the entire book in one night.  It was SO interesting.  Clearly the relationship between diet and disease is one that’s close to my heart, but it’s nice to read about others who are equally as fired up about it. 

There are so many points in the book that I want to discuss in detail.  I wish everyone read it so we could all gawk over the stats together like one big nerdy food blog book club.  For now, I’ll just say that Ann Cooper and Lisa Holmes are brilliant and inspiring.  It is horrible that such a pathetic amount of funding goes into school lunch programs and that we expect our kids to learn healthy habits for life on 50 cents. 

Taking processed crap from the lowest bidder is the norm for most of the country.  How hideous?!  Would we ever accept that in any other part of our lives? 

I could list facts for days that would blow your mind, but you really should get the book and see for yourself.  I can tell you I took a TON away from it – and I consider myself to be fairly in the know on these issues.  The key thing I will share with you all is the value in making your own lunches.  As someone who does this every single day, I can attest to (1) the money I’ve saved and (2) the poor quality food I’ve avoided. 

The area I need to work on, is not making this a habit for me and me alone.  Why shouldn’t Kyle get the same treatment?  I’m not sure he wants to dig into seitan salads and oats between his business school classes, but he might!  Recently we discussed it and he actually wants to start eating more of the same meals as I.  It’s not like this will be a huge area of change.  He already packs his lunches 75% of the time which include everything from salads to Clif bars to nuts and fruit…but he also wants to start upping the tofu and minimizing the animal sources in his diet.  Now that’s something I can definitely get on board with. 

For those of you with significant others, how do you deal with meal time prep.  Lunch Lessons emphasizes not acting like a short order cook and making separate meals for each member of a family.  Allergy issues aside, I can see the authors’ point.  Kyle’s a good cook, so we have a good system down (plus we have such different schedules it’s rare that we eat meals together).  It’s going to be something the hippie household starts to take into effect.  So how do you do it?  Feel free to share your own systems!

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Anyway.  My food for the night included a dried fruit and nut sampler from Woodland Foods (Expo West swag) as well as a seitan topped salad.  The mini nut and fruit mix had dried pineapple and papaya.  The serving size was pretty small, but it was perfect for a night shift (eliminating crazy sugar highs and lows).  I used to buy dried pineapple rings by the ton but found my sugar cravings have been more for fresh fruit lately.  Whatevs.  The almonds were also great because they were not overly roasted but still slightly salty :) 

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Of course apples and candied ginger were prominent players as well.   Lately galas have been on the pathetically small side, so braeburns have been my pinch hitters.

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The salad was a mix of the random veggies we had in the fridge, including spinach, alfalfa sprouts (love!), carrots, bell peppers, and seitan

After work I came home and slept for a bit and then woke up craving cereal like nobody’s business.  It’s not that I didn’t want oats, but I craved crunchy, not mushy. 

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Granola is pretty much the crunchy version of oats anyway, right? 

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Step aside oats, there’s a cooler breakfast in town.   All I did was chop up a golden delicious apple, add a LOT of Galaxy Granola and submerge the entire bowl in almond milk.  Vanilla clusters plus apples?  YUM. 

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It got even better though…once I realized the flavors were spot on, I decided to microwave it a bit (to soften the apples and let the oats absorb the milk), then I added even MORE granola…which led to a mega bowl with textures varying from super crisp and crunchy to slightly soggy and loaded with milk. 

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Perfection!  Moderation be damned.  I had two more bowls, (sadly) leaving the bag of Galaxy Granola with little more than crumbs remaining. 

After brunch I wandered into the guest bedroom to clean it up and noticed a new item. 

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No, my grandpa isn’t in town.  Any guesses as to what disaster this photo represents?  Hint: our neighbors are screwed.  If they thought the jumping jacks from 4 am Jillian routines were bad…oh boy.

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I didn’t need anything more than a snack between my afternoon run and dinner.  Enter graham crackers dipped in coconut peanut butter

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Dinner was divine, but left my stomach in knots.  Vegan fried rice from the WF hot bar was the base of the dish, which may have been the source of my GI woes.  Fried food is not my intestines’ bestie.  Far from it, in fact.  One of the main reasons I eat such clean food is because foreign grease wreaks havoc on my system.  But I craved it!  Darn IBS.

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Since it was already 7 pm and we were at WF doing a massive grocery run, it seemed natural to treat ourselves to the hot bar.  Lazy wife.  :P 

My hot bar ADD was at it’s peak, and after 53 laps around the rows and rows of foodie heaven, I finally got down to business. 

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I started with veg fried rice and picked as many of the broccoli florets as possible.  Then I added in extra peas

Dear Whole Foods,

Please make fried rice with brown rice every once in a while.  I don’t hate on white grains every once in a while, but I prefer brown. 

Thank you,

A Loyal Hippie

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And since I’m on SUCH a mega seitan kick right now, I caved and bought some of my favorite Healthy Times brand. 

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Which I then chopped and added into the rice.

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It tasted GREAT in the moment, but caused quite a bit of GI distress.  Nothing a little candied ginger and tea couldn’t handle though. 

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