Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Call Me Even Steven

As we bid adieu to 2008, I look back on the year as one filled with new beginnings for me: I decided to pursue a career as a nutritionist; I became a runner; and, of course, I began writing this blog. 2008 will for sure be a year to remember. What will you remember about 2008?

Milestones aside, I can't help but be a little annoyed that we are moving into an odd-numbered year. Maybe I am just weird, but I simply prefer even numbers. Perhaps 2009 will cure me of my distaste for odd numbers...

Alright enough about my numerical hang-ups. Let's get down to business so the partying can begin!

Immediately following Monday's post, I settled down to make dinner. The centerpiece of the meal was Lindsay's African Kale and Yam Mash (although I used sweet potatoes). I served the mash alongside some pan-fried tofu, which I had seasoned with garlic powder and cumin. A salad with Woodstock dressing completed the meal.
The shake of the evening featured strawberries, banana, chocolate hemp protein, soymilk, and chocolate syrup. Yummy, as always.
I woke up yesterday craving some scrambled tofu. This version included spinach and green onions...I think I was a little heavy-handed with the turmeric, because this dish was practically glowing yellow. On the side, I had a whole grain English muffin and a few clementines. PS I stocked up on chopsticks at World Market over the weekend:)
I was hungry by the time lunch rolled around, so I kept it simple with a hummus veggie wrap. That's shiitake-sun dried tomato hummus along with steamed kale and baby bellas inside the wrap. I also had a salad with Goddess dressing and an apple.
Speaking of 'shrooms, have you heard about these new vitamin D-infused mushrooms? Somehow the folks at Monterey Mushrooms have managed to grow mushrooms with significant amounts of the sunshine vitamin. Personally, I am excited about this innovation, since most natural food sources of vitamin D are not ones that I include in my diet (egg yolks, cod liver oil, salmon). Supplements and sun exposure are alternative sources, but I prefer to not use supplements, and sun exposure poses the hazard of skin cancer. With the benefits of vitamin D becoming increasingly apparent, these fancy shrooms seem like a perfect solution. Read more about it here.

Whew, I apologize for the tangential nature of this post. Anyway, here's dinner: whole wheat waffles (made with my new waffle maker!) with strawberries, plus a new kind of Greek yogurt mixed with pumpkin.
The shake last night consisted of peach Spirutein, soymilk, peaches, and non-dairy vanilla ice cream. Peaches 'n cream, to the max.
After a very chilly run this morning, I knew I needed a hot bowl of oats to warm me up. I combined vanilla almond milk, oats, cinnamon, pumpkin, and banana, then topped the combination with cashews and chocolate chips. This was my first time combining chocolate with pumpkin...I haven't decided whether I like it or not. I am so accustomed to my usual pumpkin-raisin combination.
I got the chance to visit The Fresh Market this afternoon, where I picked up a few out-of-the-ordinary groceries:
Today's lunch was a simple tofu salad: silken tofu with vegan mayo, paprika, celery, and a tad of whole grain mustard. I stuffed it into a pita and served it alongside a big salad and an apple with my new Mighty Maple PB.
Before I let you go for your evening of celebration, check out what I got in the mail yesterday:
Thanks to Robyn from Gnu Foods for sending me these samples! I am stoked to finally get a chance to try all the flavors!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The After-Christmas Gift Fairy

It's a running joke in my family that Christmas never really ends after December 25th. Allow me to explain:

My mother is an expert gift hider as a result of my sister's continued attempts over the years to find and peek at her Christmas gifts. In fact, my mother's hiding skills are so advanced, she often manages to hide them from even herself. Thus, in the days and weeks following Christmas Day, Mom bestows presents as she incidentally finds them throughout the house. Thus far, I have received a green sweater as well as a gray dress and a purple turtleneck.

In addition to my mother's after-Christmas gifts, I also received a few presents in the mail today from fellow food bloggers. My Secret Santa package arrived from Sarah. Judging by the plentiful Z bars, Spirutein packets, and Kashi products, Sarah has got my taste preferences pegged:) Thanks so much, Sarah!
I also found a package from Futter's Nut Butters on my doorstep this afternoon. Inside I found a lovely gift basket from VeggieGirl! I am super-psyched about trying these almond butters. Thank you, VeggieGirl!
I spent my weekend catching up with friends and relaxing, but I managed to create a few tasty dishes along the way:

I busted out my fave cookbook, ED&BV for dinner Friday. White Bean-Walnut Bruschetta was on the menu for the evening, but I didn't have any bread (!), so I improvised with an Ezekiel pita. I also had broccoli and a salad with pom seeds.
My love of cherries continues to plague my tastebuds with a vengeance. Yep. It's another cherry Spirutein smoothie. Delicious, as always.
I went out to breakfast with "the girls" at Original Pancake House on Saturday morning. My mom, sisters, and I met up with some family friends for a morning of chit-chat and pancakes. Since cutting eggs out of my diet, the OPH has limited menu options for me, but I am always happy to order their phenomenal oatmeal. Somehow, oatmeal prepared in restaurants and hotels achieves a wonderful glue-y consistency I can never re-create at home. Anyway, since I have ordered this before, I didn't bring my camera along. Check out pics of other OPH visits here.

We spent the afternoon shopping the post-Christmas sales but returned home empty-handed...and hungry. I made a simple Tofurky-Peach-Walnut Roll Up with vegan mayo; I also had a salad with dried cherries and an assortment of crudites. Recipe for the roll-up is from Rudi's here.
I've had an acorn squash staring at me on my counter for the past few weeks, so I finally put it to good use by creating a squash-kale saute with navy beans and herbs de provence. I also had salad, broccoli, plus an apple with PB for dessert.
The shake of the evening was a chocolate-covered strawberry, in liquid form: strawberries, soymilk, unsweetened chocolate Spirutein, and chocolate syrup.
Before heading to church, I gobbled down some overnight oats, topped with Brazil nuts and chopped dates. The travel section made for excellent reading:)
I reunited with an elementary/middle school friend at Starbucks for the afternoon. I am so glad we re-connected--we still are very compatible! Anyway, as a result of our lengthy chat, I didn't eat lunch until 3:30. I scarfed down a taco salad with chili beans, a snack pack of guac, salsa, and corn tortillas; thats a dish of clementines and pom seeds on the side.
In an attempt to use up more of that squash, I made a leftover vegetable casserole with squash, kale, navy beans, low-sodium V8, and a topping made up of bread crumbs and ground walnuts. Delish.
I had another chocolate-covered strawberry shake last night, this time using hemp protein instead of Spirutein. Yummers.
Following an intense and chilly run this morning, I fired up the griddle and made some vegan banana pancakes. I spread them with chocolate PB--just like chocolate chip pancakes! Check out my awesome winter spatula and my uber-girly polka-dot plates.
Due to a busy day of errands with my dad, I didn't get a chance to eat lunch until nearly 5! Needless to say, I was rather famished. Here's what I gobbled up: black bean burger (from frozen) on whole wheat with guacamole, squash fries with organic catsup, and a clementine with grapes.
I just hopped out of the shower before typing up this post. I used my favorite shower gel ever, Child. I reluctantly retired my Candy Cane body wash (by Philosophy) for the year:( What kind of shower gels do you use?

Ciao for now!