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Archive for the ‘waffles’ Category

I have made it my personal mission to try Surprisingly Vegan’s competition…

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It’s a hard job, but somebody’s gotta do it.*  Right?

*False: nobody has to do it, this is an entirely self-imposed task

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Peanut butter melted on top of fresh strawberry slices on top of a frozen waffle.  All in the name of brand research…

I will spare you the name of the company I tried here (it was also vegan and gluten free), but let the record state, the frozen varieties may as well be toast because there wasn’t much waffle flavor going on.

They were crispy and hard, like overly-toasted bread, not thick and soft like the Belgian waffles I’ve been enjoying lately.

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I am spoiled.

My second attempt was better, but that’s because I turned to what I know best…

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Peanut butter and chocolate.  None of this one or the other business.  Both.

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Kinda sloppy, but that’s not really a concern when you are doing the hand-to-mouth shuffle shovel. 

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I’m maintaining my position though.  These vegan and gluten free frozen waffles needed MAJOR enhancing with toppings…whereas Surprisingly Vegan’s waffles are delicious plain. 

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Nothing on top.  Excellent as is. 

[I’m obviously 100% biased here, which is why no brand names are mentioned, but I’m fairly certain everyone would agree with my “research findings”]

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I’m not an overly dramatic person (must be the residual effects of my tomboy youth…) but I have to say, the lack of candied ginger in ALL the local Whole Foods stores has me freaking out.  I am officially out.  Like Kyle’s chapstick stash, I had back-ups upon back-ups, but they are all depleted now.  Yikes.  Hoarding fail.

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It gets worse!  The above photo is the last of my carob chip stash too.  Folks, this is a state of national emergency. 

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My pre-packed work eats will just have to do without my beloved ginge. 

More leftover Surprisingly Vegan waffles with frozen bloobs (they thaw by the time I eat/heat it the next day). 

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Plus, some Artisana raw cacao bliss nut butter.  For the record, this flavor needs mega kneading before it’s ready to squeeze, but it’s worth the hand exercise.  Mmmmm…

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Cherries, apple, dried fruit, yadda yadda. 

Not the best snacks for eating on the go, but the weekends are generally slower paced on the weekends so I pack fewer bars and more fresh fare.

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I did have one of my favorite desserts though…easy enough to eat whenever and/or wherever.  Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies are a gift to vegans. 

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My salad is admittedly hideous, so for the record, please ignore it’s appearance.  It has huge amounts of avocado and leftover tofu stir-fry on mixed greens

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Happy weekend all!  Who else is working?  Who is lounging in the sun for me?

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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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In November I was bragging about how great the 80 degree weather was.  And then in January I was happily soaking up the sun’s rays on the beach.  And now it’s March and the weather is cold and dreary!?  What gives?

Since it’s LA, I know it won’t last too long, but I have to say, these stormy skies and rain clouds aren’t fun at all.

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Breakfast came really late on Saturday.  After saying goodbye to my sis (until we reunite in Europe in May), Kyle and I drove back to Santa Monica so I could get a loooong night’s sleep in preparation for Saturday’s night shift.

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I didn’t get up until after 10 am, and didn’t eat breakfast until almost noon.

To get the day under way, I painted a Alvarado Street sprouted tortilla with Sunbutter.  Look how caked on it was!  I’m a modern day Van Gogh 🙂

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I jazzed up the breakfast quesadilla with thinly sliced apples, then topped it with cinnamon and folded it into thirds.

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If a PB&J sammie had a menage a trois with a quesadilla and a fruit basket, this would be the love child.  Except instead of peanut butter I used sunflower seed butter.

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Wrap-tastic.

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In between Jillian and basketball games, there was a fair amount of snacking.  I had the rest of the tropical dried fruit and two more bowls of nuts, raisins, and carob chips than pictured.  I have to say, salt is amazing.

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Before heading into the office hospital, I pre-gamed with another sprouted tortilla wrap.  This one was more traditional with ‘shrooms, spinach, butternut squash and hummus.

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Even though my pre-shift appetite was pretty much non-existent, I had a feeling it would kick in at some point (most likely around midnight).  The solution?  A snack-esque meal.  Leftover white bean dip with various scoop-ables fit the bill.  Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels were good, but I actually prefer the spelt ones by Newman’s or 365 brand.

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I also packed some veg in the form of blanched broccoli, raw carrots and red bell peppers.  Cold crudités have never tasted so good.  They were crisp and crunchy and I craved 200 more.  Needless to say, the bean dip was gone by midnight, as expected.  The apples suffered a similar fate.

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When I got home, there were leftover waffles calling my name.  They were so hearty and flavorful, this may be the best batch I’ve tried yet!  They were so tasty, they required absolutely nothing on top.

A shower and warm glass of almond milk (with a few drops of NuNaturals vanilla stevia) later, I was ready to tuck into bed.  Lucky for me, Kyle was still asleep (this was his last weekend of spring break) so I was actually able to fall into a semi-deep slumber.  I didn’t wake up until 11:30 – a personal record!

The next day was the same old, same old.

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I had a big bowl of fruit, followed by a snickerdoodle cookie.

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The wrapper is all I managed to capture on film because it was THAT good.  Alternate Baking Company makes a mighty fine cookie, but it wasn’t as chewy as Nana’s.

Like the rest of ABC’s cookies, this flavor is 100% vegan (sans dairy, eggs, hydrogenated oils, or artificial ingredients).  Unlike the other flavors, Snickerdoodle is one of the two wheat-free flavors (the other one is Mac the Chip).

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As you can see, the ingredients are wholesome, but the nutritional stats are still pretty dessert-like.  I’m not saying I take issue with this – it is a cookie after all – but the fact that the cookie is two servings brings the totals to an area that I would pretty much designate for treats alone.  That said, it was a huge cookie!  I liked the first few bites, but by the end, there was an after-taste that was less like dessert and more like a non-wheat flour.  Yes, I know that taste.  It was like gluten free pancake batter.  Kinda weird.

Nana’s still occupies the #1 spot in my heart for sure, but I plan of trying the rest of ABC’s cookie flavors (just to be extra sure).

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My odd lunch was created out of desperation.  The empty fridge turned me to the freezer…which led to a pita pizza.

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Topped with Sabra’s artichoke spinach hummus and a crumbled up vegan Boca burger.  It may sound ghetto, but it was actually awesome.

I again filled the afternoon with basketball, Jillian, and couch time with my beau.  ‘Aint no shame in soaking up the rainy day inactivity, right?

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Just before work, I made a grilled cheese sammie with Almond Cheddar Style veg cheese.

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I’m not sure what to make of this product (by Lisanatti Foods), because it was good, but nothing like cheese.  I think I liked it, but it shouldn’t be compared to other veg “cheeses.”

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Once I got over the fact that it in NO way resembled real cheese (or Daiya) I enjoyed it for what it was.  A flavorful sandwich option.  It didn’t really taste or melt like cheese, but then it didn’t taste like almonds either.  I can’t think of how to describe it.  I doubt I’d buy it regularly (kinda $$$ to be a fridge staple), but it’s a nice option every once in a while.

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As far as nutritionals go, it’s a winner.  Sure, it’s a processed food, but it’s definitely in a different category from cheetos.  It should be noted that this products does contain casein (however, I had no GI reactions).

Anyway, with that, I was off to work.  Another weekend spent in scrubs and PJs…

Do you eat breakfast in your pajamas or work clothes?  Or does it vary?

I avoid doing anything in my scrubs.  I ditch them within seconds of stepping foot in the door and almost always shower before I do anything else (especially eating).  However, when I work day shifts, I’m typically at work for breakfast and therefore in scrubs.

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Rumor has it, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

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And when you think about it, if such decadent oats (like the almond, cashew & apple packed number above) are my morning baseline, then things are looking pretty good.

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This bowl makes me want to sing “on top of old smokeyyyy” and I have no idea why.  Anyone else remember that song?  Hmmm…may need to wikipedia it.

Edited to add: On Top Of Old Smoky is about some mountain that may or may not be in the Ozarks or the central Appalachians…but the better known version is the “On Top of Spaghetti” parody featured on Full House.  What an odd cultural reference (if you can even call it that).  Am I the only one who remembers this random song?

So anyway, back to the massive pile of oats…all covered in cheese nuts and raisins.

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Yup, it’s mountainous appearance is definitely similar to Old Smoky.

As for my more elaborate AM meals…

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I have perfected everything from vegan, gluten free waffles, to pancakes, to french toast, to home-made granola.

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For some reason, people often assume that the absence of animal products in a vegan diet makes it hard to enjoy breakfast.  But if you’re thinking eggs and bacon are necessary to start off your day, then you are missing out on some mighty fine fare.

[Montage alert]

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Recently I have been eating breakfast in the morning and at night.  It’s so good, why not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after that sequence of food porn, how could you possibly doubt the ability to enjoy a hearty, delicious breakfast that’s also vegan?

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Time to replenish my resources.

What’s your favorite breakfast? I’ve been feeling adventurous lately and might be down to tackle a more complicated recipe…cinnamon buns?  Coffee cake?  Biscotti?  Scones? Not my typical go-to treats, but if anyone has good recipes to share, please comment/link below.

In the meantime, all the above recipes can be found under my recipes tab.

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Dear Readers

I need your help.

You will be handsomely rewarded…

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With waffles.

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Allow me to explain.

A few months ago a company was born called Surprisingly Vegan.

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You may recall my elusive post at the beginning of the process back in October.  I was so excited I could hardly contain myself, but now I can share the news with you all.  Kyle and some fellow MBA students at UCLA are starting up a line of vegan, gluten-free products.  [!!!!]

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Normally I cringe when business crap is the topic of discussion at the dinner table (slash anywhere), but this kind of “research and development” is right up my alley.

Their debut product will be the classic waffle.  And since I’ve tasted it many times, I can confirm it’s mighty tasty.  Interests piqued?

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They are still doing more market research and are looking to YOU for help.  Below I have posted a link to a questionnaire.  It isn’t too long (just over 10 questions) and is entirely anonymous.  By filling it out, you are helping them collect valuable data to assist in the creation of Surprisingly Vegan’s product line.

As compensation for your time, they are going to reward you with a sample of their just-add-water waffle mix.  The dry blend is vegan and gluten-free and is so easy to make, because all you have to do is add water.  Not eggs.  Not oil.  Not butter.  Just water.  It’s really yummy, and it’s freakin’ hearty too.

Now pay attention to this part because it’s of importance.

There is no place for you to enter your name (since there is health data they wanted to keep it anonymous).  Therefore, you have to leave a comment below after filling out the survey. I will select TWO winners at random from the comments section. So just click the link, fill out the survey, then come back here to leave a comment telling me you have done so.

Ready?  CLICK HERE

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I’ll announce the winner Saturday, March 5th.

Good luck!

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