Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Popping In and Dropping Back

Hello all! Does anyone else have this weird innate sense of what the weather is like before you've looked outside? I can always tell if it rained before I get out of bed. Today, it was very nice when I left for work, and I was telling my manager how I couldn't understand why it "felt" like it was so crummy out. Turns out it had become pretty dreary and rainy. She thought I was nuts (in a good way, we like her).

Anyway, I would love to say that I have a million things to talk about but the thing is...I don't. Hence the lack of posting. Food has been so boring, mostly because I have been super stressed out. And I have yet to announce the reason either, because we weren't sure if it was happening or not until last week. Anyway, we are going to be moving. This month. In less than two weeks actually. We're going to be going to Connecticut for a few months, while my husband waits for his paperwork to be completed so that he can re-enter the Army. After that, we'll be moving again.

I don't handle stress well, although working out helps with that. And of course yoga usually helps the most. A few weekends ago, I had my husband video my dropbacks while were visiting his family in North Carolina, and since I have no food or pictures today, I thought I'd share that. For the record, I thought the sound was off. It wasn't. Yay. Anyway, enjoy. Then come back for the rest of the post.


Last week I was at the point where even yoga was stressing me out, so I've taken the last week off. From everything. This is huge because I even got a new Manduka yoga mat and have yet to even use it. Crazy!

The good news is that change creates things to blog about, plus I'll have a lot more free time since I have yet to decide what I am going to do about that whole job thing. You can expect more from me soon, but no guarantees until after we get settled in Connecticut. Please don't leave me, I promise I have not left!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surf Sweets

How do you decide when to blog? Do you do it everyday? When the mood strikes? When you have something to post about? I've been trying to post two or three times a week, but this week I haven't a had a lot to post about, and I also wasn't really in the mood. Then I came home from yoga this morning and went straight to the computer to blog. Well, that's a lie, I fed the kitties first, THEN I went straight to the computer to blog.

Today, I have a little review for you. I was contacted recently by Surf Sweets, asking if I would like to do a review of their products. My response was a resounding yes yes yes!! I try to be healthy, I really do, but in my moments of weakness, I have a huge sweet tooth. And I LOVE candy. Now, I know we have a lot of chocolate lovers out there, and I'm not dissing chocolate, but I love CANDY. Fruity, sugary, jelly, crunchy, candy, in whatever colors of the rainbow I can get. When I was in high school I perpetually had a big bag of candy from the bulk section of the candy store in my backpack. Jelly beans were a favorite, but anything was fair game: lemonheads, raspberries, gummy bears, rock candy, sour patch kids, etc.

You get the point, right? I loved candy. Okay, I still love candy. The news that Skittles are now vegan was a very big deal for me.

So I was super excited to try out Surf Sweets Natural and Organic Candy. They are made with organic fruit juice, have no high fructose corn syrup, 100% RDA Vitamin C, gluten and casein free, non GMO, and made in the USA with natural flavors. Yummy! All that mattered to me was that they were vegan.

Vegan gummies? Sounds too good to be true, and be warned that for some of their products, it is. About half contain gelatin. But all the samples they sent me were animal product free, and I happily munched. And munched. And Munched (yes, I munched with a capital M that last time).

First up was the Sour Berry Bears. All a bright red raspberry color, these were super yummy. They were also in the smallest package, and were gobbled before any photo was taken. They're not super sour, but they have a bit of a twinge to them.

Next up was the Sour Worms. They came in a few flavors, maybe two or three, but they really had a strong flavor. In a good way. Like, the cherry really tasted like cherry not just some obscure "red" flavor.

Last, but most certainly not least, were the Fruity Bears. These were so cute, and kind of reminded me of a mix between gummy bears and fruit snacks.

Because they don't have gelatin in them (this goes for all the snacks), they don't have they chewiness that other gummies have. I don't miss that though, these were tender little bear shaped candies, in citrus and berry flavors that totally pop in your mouth and cover your teeth in sugary goodness.

The verdict? If I haven't made myself clear already, I love these! They're not an everyday thing, or even something I could keep in the house as I would eat them immediately. While they're made with better ingredients than other gummies, the first ingredient is still organic evaporated cane juice...and that is still sugar. I don't think they're trying to fool anyone with that though, these are clearly meant to be a treat. I especially love that you have the option to buy little treat size packages: the small package of Sour Berry Bears is only 80 calories.

If you are getting nostalgic candy cravings, as I did when I got the email from them, I saw these are Whole Foods yesterday, and they actually only had the vegan varieties, which was nice!

Have a good day people! My birthday is coming up, so I'll have some fun stuff to post about soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Open Coconut

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...
There they are all standing in a row...on my countertop.
Both are about the size of my head..

I have been trying to eat more raw foods lately. I haven't gotten too fancy in my preparations, because in the past, that has been a recipe for disaster. Not that the food hasn't turned out well, I just lose enthusiasm really quickly.

However one thing that is in every raw recipe book I've ever seen is the young Thai coconut. They're so elusive, they're so expensive, they're so....covered in a rock hard husk. Needless to say I did not have the confidence to try and crack one open. But I recently discovered two things:

1.) our local Asian Markets (there are two great ones)
2.) videos on cracking these babies open

Okay, to be fair, we found the Asian markets long ago, I just didn't think I had it in me to get them open. Then I saw this video on Kristen's Raw. It seemed doable. One problem.

No cleaver.

Back to square one. So I tried the illustrious youtube and came across many videos that used a knife. I only looked at one and decided it was possible. She makes it look really really easy. It is easy, but not really really. Especially when you have a dinky little knife that isn't even a full tang.
This cut off the husk no problem, but required some elbow grease to get the inner cap off. Still, there was success, and it really didn't take long. It was a bit messy, but I suspect it will get much easier now that I know what I'm doing.

I was a little worried about its freshness, but it produced a full cup of almost clear coconut water.
I was thrilled! It was possible! Good thing because I bought two!

I scooped out the meat with an ice cream scoop, and peeled off the bits of brown skin that was stuck to it with a vegetable peeler. After that, I sat down and looked at the internet for information on how to store it. Bottom line, it can be stored for about 3 days in the fridge, but is best eaten immediately, as far as taste and nutrition are concerned. I can do that.

In went 1/2 cup of the coconut water, all the coconut meat, 1/4 of a large papaya, a banana, some ice, and 1 tsp of Xanthan Gum.
Out came a papaya coconut smoothie!

This was so nice and thick, obviously from the Xanthan Gum, and you could totally taste the coconut. Loved it! I have big plans for the next coconut, but we'll see what happens. Have you taken a crack at the young Thai coconut yet? Its not as hard as it sounds!! I'm so excited to take a crack at some more complicated applications with it, especially as I am getting some Teflex sheets for my dehydrator soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vegan Cookie Cake

There are two weeks every year where I get to make fun of my husband for how old he is. His birthday is two weeks before mine, which makes his age two years older than me until my birthday comes, two weeks later. Yesterday was his birthday. Man is he old.

Have you ever had a cookie cake? What is your birthday treat of choice?

Personally, I like birthday cake, preferably vanilla, unless it involves peanut butter, and then anything goes. But my husband grew up always having a cookie cake for his birthday. You know, those giant cookies covered in brightly colored icing that you get from the little shop at the mall? I bought him one for the last birthday we spent together, two years ago.

This is actually our first set of birthdays together since his return from deployment, and since he became vegan. I couldn't let him down with some ordinary cake, it had to be his favorite, had to be cookie cake. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, to be exact.

The recipe, was easy, and not mine. Actually a blondie recipe, you would have never guessed it. This was exactly what I was looking for. Dense and cookie like, not cake like, cooked completely through the middle with a slightly raised edge that is just a little crunchier than the rest of the cookie. I used a 9" springform pan, and pretty much followed the given directions precisely.

The directions do say to spread it out into the pan, and you do have to do that. But the dough is really cookie dough like, not blondie batter like, so it is a bit of a task to spread it. I suggest using your fingers. I baked for 45 minutes, and I will do a few less next time. There was a big difference between 40 and 45 minutes.

Then I iced! Clearly the most fun part of the process. I used this recipe, which it says is from Vegan Cupcake Take Over the World, which I wouldn't know because I don't have it. Half of it was dyed blue, and it was piped in a perfectly 'homemade' fashion around the perimeter.

When we were finally both home from work, we cut into it. Yum! It had a perfect cookie consistency, and we smeared on some extra icing post photos. We both had two pieces, which was definitely a little much, but so yummy.

I rarely make the same recipe twice, but I definitely feel a tradition coming on with this cookie cake. Not to mention the fact that it is infinitely better, and cheaper, than the one you buy at the mall, for about $20. If you have any cookie cake lovers in your family, this will undoubtedly please them!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Raw Foods, Mixed Well

I've been doing a lot of stealing lately. Of course I mean stealing from other bloggers and websites. As such, I have tons of pictures, and not much to write about except how delicious everything is. So I figured I will do just that.

First off though, we got a Vita-Mix! This has been a very exciting development, and I think I have used it multiple times every day. I love it love it love it already. So most of the food being shown here was made with that.

I hit Averie's blog first. She posts a lot of stuff that looks great, but I have been dying to try her Raw Vegan Kale Chips. They were one of the first things that got made in my shiny new (well...refurbished, but new to me) Vita-Mix...and oh man did they deliver.

They were cheesey and crispy and made the whole apartment smell yummy while they were dehydrating. I added some cayenne for a little kick too, and they were gone very quickly.

I also tried one of Averie's newer desserts that she had posted. Now don't get me wrong, I love chocolate and all that too, but when I saw her recipe for Raw Caramels, I had to make them.


Either my hand is smaller, or I spread mine thinner!

Sandwiched with chocolate soynut butter

Ah, there he is. I'm not the only one in this place that's been stealing. Ivan, our newest little stinker, LOVES food. And I don't mean he gets excited when a can is opened because he still thinks there's a chance it might be tuna, like Zoe does. The cat loves anything. One of his favorite treats is spinach, he loves zucchini and asparagus, and he has an especially soft spot for coconut (flakes, oil, milk, any form). So you can expect to find him in most pictures from here on out because it is almost impossible to keep him out of them!

So, one of the reasons I have always wanted a Vita-Mix was because it seemed like making smoothies was just SO much easier. And...it is infinitely such.

Avocado, kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, banana, dates.


Avocado, cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, frozen strawberries, pear.

Topped with grapefruit.

Spirulina smoothie from Annie's Raw Food Kitchen. Which Ivan especially loved...

and got him very messy, since he knocked over the blender and crawled inside to lick it all up.

I did have some not so raw food this week. I was watching the Food Network while working out and saw these Sauteed Potatoes with Chorizo being made on Mexican Made Easy. I was thinking how I could easily do it with a Soy Chorizo, and was then dumbfounded when the host actually suggested doing that to make it vegetarian. So, I tried it.

We also used sweet potatoes instead of white.

Honestly, this was just okay. I've never had real chorizo and I used Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo. I don't think that Soy Chorizo is really an awesome substitute. It just tasted like TVP marinated in spices. I'm sure that's what it is, and I've made things like that before. So, it was fine, just not what I was expecting I guess. Have you tried the Soy Chorizo or even Soyrizo? Is one better? Am I just asking too much of poor TVP?

I also whipped out another tool that I had promised I would be using a lot this year. I have been using it, just haven't been posting about it for some reason. Anyway, enter the spiralizer!

Zucchini "Noodles"

which Ivan, of course, loves

Mixed with a mango and red pepper mixture from the Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook.

All together with a sesame oil dressing, lime, and cilantro.

This recipe was supposed to be made with buckwheat noodles, but it made such a fantastic combo with the Zucchini "Noodles". I have leftovers of this and I am very happy about it!

Back to the Vita-Mix for the last thing today, which was from one of my newest very favorite bloggers, the lovely Michal, from Earth Muffin. I was at a loss for what to have for breakfast this morning. On the weekends I always want something "special", but I still want it to be healthy. I usually end up compromising one of those. Not today! I made her Spiced Carrot Puree.
Yummy.

This pretty much tasted like carrot cake in a bowl. I used 2 dates to sweeten it, and added cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger, and it was totally perfect...with the obvious addition of coconut and raisins! This made such a satisfying breakfast, it totally fit my "special", and healthy, requests. Oh, and this got Ivan's seal of approval too. At one point he was able to get some by sticking his foot in it (I know, I'm not proud), and when I was done, he licked the bowl.

So there we have it! A week's worth of good food, thankyouverymuch blog friends and Vita-Mix! And as I mentioned above, I did get a refurbished model, so it was about $100 less. Still expensive, but I've only had it for a week, and I can tell you it is so worth it.

Enjoy the weekend! I am off to my cousin's birthday party, and my brother's band's show.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Green Monster Breakfast Cookie

I don't think I need to inform anyone about the Green Monster phenomenon that has been circling the blog world. Its come to the point where greens for breakfast are just commonplace. And that's a good thing. But I do have to say that I really enjoy having food to chew. A smoothie will fill my belly, but I always find that something is missing.

So I find myself back at the breakfast cookie. I have posted a few variations in the past, like Banana Walnut and Carrot Cake, and I've been making them again recently. My only problem is that they were decidedly "un-green". I swiped some spirulina this weekend though (that makes it sound like I stole it...I didn't), and now they are just as green as your kale smoothie.

its the tiny bag in the center, left of the bulk cacao nibs and above the butterscotch chips

These are chock full of nutrients, protein, healthy fat, and whole grains; have texture and take time to enjoy; are kind of sort of raw-ish; and are just such an awesome way to start the day!

Green Monster Breakfast Cookies

1 banana, either blended or melted
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
6 Tbsp liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup, brown rice syrup)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp spirulina powder
1/2 cup ground flax meal
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup grated carrot (about 6 baby carrots)
1 cup protein powder
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins

Acquire all ingredients. After that its really easy. Mix all the wet ingredients (banana counts as wet, it should be either blended up with the other wet ingredients) into a big bowl. Then add each ingredient, one at a time, in order, until fully incorporated. Form into cookies*, and refrigerate. I make 8 cookies and for me, this is 4 servings.

Serves 4
Nutrition Information: 556.6 Calories; 18.6g Total Fat; 8.4g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 76.7g Carbohydrates; 12.7g Fiber; 25.4g Protein.

It might be less for you, I rely on these to take me through a good long part of my day. This is a decent sized recipe, and could easily make 5 servings, just make 10 cookies that are a little smaller.

Serves 5
Nutrition Information: 445.3 Calories; 14.9g Total Fat; 6.7g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 61.4g Carbohydrates; 10.2g Fiber; 20.3g Protein

*One little tip for forming these into cookies, is to coat your hands with some vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil). These can be pretty sticky, but they lose their stickiness after being in the fridge for awhile, making them perfectly portable (I often stick them in my pocket on my way to the car).

I am always happy on the first morning of a new batch of breakfast cookies. They don't need to be refrigerated, so the day they're made I eat them immediately, pleased with success, and the fact that I have a healthy filling breakfast ready for the next three days.

Any suggestions for breakfast cookie varieties? I'm always looking for something new to do with them. I've had some successes, that I have posted above and recently made some Zucchini Raisin Cookies that came out pretty well. I've also had some not-so-successful batches, including a tropical variety and a chocolate mint. You can tell they weren't as good because they didn't get formal capitalized names, haha. Anyway, let me know if you have a suggestion, I want to know!!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Let's Talk About Lips

Its the perfect time of year for it, this confession I have to make: I love chapstick.

Not lip gloss, not lipstick or stain or anything like that. Just chapstick. Although I suppose that is really the brand name, and what I really mean is that I love lip balm.

There, now that the semantics are all out of the way, my bare naked unbridled confession is out.

I love lip balm.

And I hate Chap Stick.

My true love for lip balm was realized yesterday. While visiting my parents this weekend, I went and visited my favorite natural food store with my mom. As we looked over the lip balms and I chose one to buy, she asked me how I liked the ones she had bought me for Christmas. I like them. Very much. I have been using them every day. Every day. She bought 6. But apparently I needed more.

The lip balm my mom bought me for Christmas is amazing. Called Crazy Rumors, it comes in a huge array of flavors, and it doesn't get soft if I leave it in my pocket (which can happen with some vegan lip balm), which I like to do at work.

She gave me the Fresh Squeezed line, which includes my favorite flavor for almost everything, Lime, as well as Orange Juice and Grapefruit. I also have the Brew flavor pack, with flavors like Spiced Chai, Lemongrass Peppermint, and Orange Burgemot.


All the flavors are amazing. I rotate them every week or so. And they all tout a little affirmation that they are indeed cruelty free and vegan. How could it get better than that?

Well yesterday I was struck by nostalgia. In middle school, I bought an oversized lip balm from Bath and Body Works in a peppermint flavor. I like the tingle of peppermint. I had it for years, and it probably got the ax when I moved to Hawaii after college. So, when I saw this oversized peppermint vegan lip balm, I had to buy it. They had a smaller one, but I wasn't interested in that. I knew I didn't need it, but for the aforementioned reason I had to have it.


Slightly softer than the Crazy Rumors, this Out of Africa lip balm is pure peppermint bliss. When my lips are seriously chapped, I live for that medicinal mint tingle, and this delivers.

This doesn't mean I've thrown my older lip balms aside because of these new amazing finds. I still keep my Giving Earth lip balm in my wallet all the times.

I have this one in grapefruit too, which I've talked about before. Its been a year, but I still can't find a website for them! You can find them at some Borders, and its hit of miss, but if you find them, they're worth it. Definitely the softest of the bunch and not the best to keep in your pocket, they're still super yummy.

Do you have a favorite lip balm? Do you use vegan lip balm, or are you okay with mainstream lip balm?

So I just did a lot of explaining about lip balms I love, but gave no explanation as to why I hate Chap Stick. I mean the brand, of course, and thats because it not vegan. I know there is debate about beeswax being vegan, although I'm not sure why. But even if you're okay with that, it still contains lanolin. I don't buy it and I don't use it. If you do, that's your thing, and thats fine. But there are some really awesome alternatives!

All of these lip balms are shea butter based. They contain a number of other natural oils, from jojoba oil to olive oil to macadamia nut oil. Along with natural extracts, they're pretty good for your lips, and your body.

There is a reason I keep referring to these as flavors and not scents too. I heard on the radio the other day that Dr. Oz estimated most women ingest over 7 lbs of lip balm in their lifetime. Now I'm not a huge Dr. Oz follower, and granted, it is over many years, but if you are going to be eating something, shouldn't it be top notch? I can't say I feel even a little squeamish about eating natural oils. And opposed to petroleum jelly, shea butter is perfectly safe to eat. Come on, treat yourself to the good stuff!

So, what would you rather put on your lips? What is your favorite lip balm flavor? I hope all of you in the north have some nice lip balm to go and enjoy the cold weather with!

*I swear, none of these companies contacted me, paid me, or gave me coupons or samples, I just really love their lip balm!*


Friday, February 19, 2010

Vega Winner!

Its that time again! Time to pick a winner! I have to say, I'm really glad that Vega is doing the mailing this time because I am terrible at getting to the post office. I know it sounds silly, but I honestly just don't live or work near one.

Anyway, congrats our winner of this awesome giveaway by Sequel Naturals:


Many thanks to everyone who entered, and definitely give the bars a try. I do have to say that I preferred the original out of the two that I tried, but they do have them in chocolate too!

Gabriela, I will get in touch with you and get all of your information for the people at Sequel.

Have a great weekend everyone!! And thanks for the tips on what you do when you're not feeling so great, I'm doing a lot better!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sniffles

::Sniffle::

So I've been sick the past few days, and don't have much to post about, but I did want to update to let you guys know that a winner for the Vega Vibrancy Bar Giveaway will be chosen this Friday, February 19!


Be sure to get your comments in on the Giveaway Post (not this post, please!), and link back if you'd like a second entry! Sorry I forgot to post the end date when I originally posted the giveaway.

What do you do when you're sick? Do you ever take medication? I always try and wait as long as possible to take something, but its hard with having to stand at work all day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vibrancy - Giveaway!

I haven't talked a lot about this yet, but I've been taking a Mysore Ashtanga class about three times a week. If you are unfamiliar, it is essentially the primary series of Ashtanga, self-led, with the teacher adding on pieces as you are ready until it is completed. I love it. I also love that I go first thing in the morning, because I walk away from it feeling so alive, peaceful, and vibrant, and ready to make my way through the day. If you follow me on twitter at all, I've been updating here and there, and I have working on standing up from my backbends. I am proud to say, I have got it down. Or up... Either way, I am dropping back and standing up unassisted. I am totally thrilled!

Along with that Mysore class adding some vibrancy to my life, I was lucky enough to be gifted from the lovely people at Sequel Naturals with some of their new Vibrancy bars.

The first big draw is the full name of the bar Whole Food Vibrancy Bar. I love doing product reviews for Vega because I know that they really focus on pure, whole, good foods, and these bars are no exception. In fact, this is what they had to say about them:

Each Vega Vibrancy bar features:

  • Sprouts galore – Sprouts are like the express bus to nutrition. The sprouting process converts complex carbs into simple carbs, protein into amino acids, and fat into fatty acids, meaning your body doesn’t have to produce its own enzymes for digestion. Plus the nutrients are in a usable, highly digestible form. With 17.5g of sprouts, Vibrancy Bars have more sprouted ingredients than any other bar on the market.
  • Raw protein – Packed with 10g of plant-based protein from sprouted buckwheat, hemp seeds, sprouted almonds, brown rice and pea protein.
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber – With 20% of your daily recommended intake, Vega Vibrancy bars have 5g of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows the release of carbs into the bloodstream, helping control insulin levels, prolong energy, and gives you feeling of fullness, signaling that hunger mechanism to shut off. Insoluble fiber is important in terms of digestive health and cleansing by ensuring toxins don’t build up and spread to the bloodstream.

Now, I know some of people have reservations about Vega. Maybe you've tried their whole food powders, maybe you've just heard, but they can be less than pleasant. I've found that the key to their protein powders is adding some fruit to it. Luckily, these bars don't need anything.

They're not too sweet, so they do have a bit of a "healthy" taste, but they also have a nice crunch from the buckwheat crispies in there, and they're just full of so much good stuff that I feel good about eating them. They can be a bit on the pricey side, but with all the goodness packed inside of them, they're definitely a worthwhile on the go treat.

I've done a few giveaways and reviews, and I have to say that the people at Vega are always so wonderful to work with. They're always friendly, they always check up to make sure I got the package because my building is terrible about letting me know when I have something waiting for me, and every once in awhile, they offer a giveaway for my readers too!

So, one of you will be the recipient of a Vega Vibrancy Bar prize pack from the people at Sequel.
The entry format is the same as always, minus tweeting...I just don't dig it:
To Enter:
1. Just leave a comment on here and you will be entered!
2. If you are really motivated and want another chance, give a mention to the giveaway on your blog.
OR
3. If you don't have a blog and want another chance, get someone else to comment, mentioning that you told them about the giveaway.

Good luck!! These bars are definitely worth a try. There are plenty of whole food bars out there, but I feel like these have the most goodness packed inside of them!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vegan Cheesesteak Stromboli



A few years ago, I had a little recipe exchange with a friend I had met online. She saw a picture from my bridal shower and saw that we had the same recipe basket, so we exchanged a few cards. I know she got my family's Blueberry Buckle recipe, and one of the recipes I got from her was for stromboli. I took note, because it was one of my husband's favorite things to order, but never got around to making it.

Now, of course, we are vegan, and I have recently made it a goal of mine to convert as many of those recipes that were given to me at my bridal shower into vegan recipes. A few weeks ago I thought I would try and veganize the stromboli. Easy and very unhealthy with Pillsbury canned pizza crust (I already said unhealthy, remember?), I bought Yves pepperoni, vegan cheese, veggies, and it never got made.

A few weeks ago I saw this product:

at the new Whole Foods I talked about earlier this week. By the way, I was very happy to hear that I was not the only one who was super excited about agave being on tap!!

Anyway, I was determined to make the picture on the front of the box. The caveat? I never buy bread like that. I just...don't. So that never got made either.

Today with my mind running wild due to the crazy weather that had been keeping us indoors, they came together and made a super delicious lunch that took less time than it would take you to wait in line at Pat's or Gino's for a cholesterol laden mess.

Vegan Cheesesteak Stromboli
1 can Pillsbury pizza crust
4 slices vegan cheese
1 package Protein Wise seitan, or another thinly sliced seitan or mock beef product
1 onion, sliced
cornmeal, for dusting
salt-free seasoning

This is as simple to make as that list of ingredients is:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sautee an onion in a pan with non-stick spray. When golden and soft, add the seitan.
While the onion is cooking, sprinkle some cornmeal on a clean dry surface, and roll out the pizza dough, then cut into four rectangles.
Break up the cheese into slices and lay on dough, then mound the seitan and onion mixture in the middle of the dough.
Roll up, being sure to seal the ends, and transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Lightly spray the tops of the stromboli with cooking spray, then sprinkle with salt-free seasoning (we used Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning).
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
We suggest dipping in ketchup.

Seriously, this is so good. Warm and familiar, cheesey and satisfying. You could clearly make it healthier by making your own whole wheat pizza dough, but then, if you're like me, you'll probably never get around to doing it.

We have had a TON of snow here, and its still going. I didn't have work today and we're already cancelled for tomorrow. Nick now has off until next week because of the holiday weekend. We're at our wits end a little, but I have had plenty of time to do some cooking and that I do love. What do you do when you're forced to stay home, for snow or for other reasons?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Wholesomeness of Whole Foods

A brand new Whole Foods store opened near my job last month. There was already a Whole Foods just a few minutes from my apartment, but this one was huge, it was new, it was special. I had to go. And there I was on the opening day...

in. complete. awe.

It is gigantic, it has agave nectar and brown rice syrup on tap. There is a pub inside of it, and a prepared foods bar that rivals no other that I have seen.

That first day was kind of crazy, so I grabbed my favorite craving, the avocado sushi. But when I work full days I spend my lunch hour there, which is only once or twice a week...but I look forward to it all morning.

I have to tell you though, I feel a little guilty. It feels a little wrong, walking around this place which undeniably caters to vegans, and provides plenty of vegan options and products that are hard to find elsewhere; but also shamelessly supports the idea of the organic/humane/natural/grass-fed meat movement.

I know a lot of people who are into this movement. And I am not trying to offend any of them because I know many of them read my blog...and there are probably some who I don't even know read my blog. So my point, will be brief. Eating meat, no matter what kind, still perpetuates the demand for meat. I also know people who completely refuse to shop here altogether, and even protest it.

So what is a vegan to do? Whole Foods is so convenient, makes so easy to find vegan oddities, and frankly, has a delicious selection of prepared foods.

Vegan mac-and-cheese with maple mashed sweet potatoes and steamed veggies


Braised seitan with sage roasted veggies and squash, grilled asparagus, fennel orange salad, and steamed kale

It adequately filled our "junk food" craving this past weekend also:

Whole wheat pizza with LOTS of veggies

Raw macaroons. Yum.

For more information on the "humane meat myth", pop over here.

That being said, I am curious. What do you do? Even if you aren't vegan, I'm curious. I'm not a Whole Foods bunny, mainly because I think everyday things are too expensive, and I don't support their stance on meat. In fact, I am usually the first to suggest a local, non-chain, but there is only one around here, and it is painfully even more than Whole Foods. So I will buy things like umeboshi vinegar and vital wheat gluten; things I know I can't find at my grocery store.

I want to know your opinion. Vote!!
Wholly into Whole Foods?
I do all my shopping at Whole Foods
I don't live near a Whole Foods, but I would shop at one
I buy select items there I can't buy elsewhere
I refuse to shop at Whole Foods
Other
pollcode.com free polls

Stay tuned for later this week! I'm going to celebrate my 100th follower with a giveaway!!