Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chuggin' Along

I am still in the midst of finals week here, although I haven't had another exam since the last time I posted. As a result, I am bored. Granted, I could be studying all day, every day, but who does that? I'll be glad to get these last two exams out of the way. My parents come to pick me up on Monday, and that seems like an eternity from now! Nonetheless, some of my boxes to be shipped are being picked up tomorrow between 1:00 and 5:00, so I had to do some packing this evening before I could post. Packing things in boxes is a great way to procrastinate!


Tuesday morning I had the last two biscuits in my opened box of Weetabix. I specify opened because I have seven more unopened boxes--those went into one of the boxes I am shipping. That'll teach me not to order things in bulk... Anyway, I'm sure you'll be glad to see that Weetabix will take a hiatus from my morning menu for the next week or so. Oh yeah, back to the breakfast--I also had the remainder of a bag of frozen peaches and a few strawberries, plus some almonds.

For lunch yesterday, I made some chili from leftover lentils. This was not a very chili-like, actually, because I didn't have any cayenne or other fun spices with which to experiment. I sprinkled some raw onion from my salad onto the chili for bad breath for the rest of the afternoon was not so fun. Ak-maks and cantaloupe completed the meal.
My snack yesterday was really tasty--plain soy yogurt with wheat germ and cinnamon, plus a juicy plum on the side. Plums are so good when they're ripe!

I made a snack mix yesterday evening out of Cheerios, dark chocolate chunks, and the last of my dried fruit. Slowly but surely, I am making a dent in my food mountain. Anyway, this was a great snack to nibble on while I studied for abnormal psychology.


This morning was a bit of first for me--I had never before tried peanut butter in my oatmeal. I know, it's crazy that I've gone this long without tasting it, but I just love the texture of nuts in my oatmeal that I never bothered switching them out for nut butters. Well, that was a big mistake, because peanut butter oatmeal is so delicious! I'll be sure to experiment with peanut butter again in the future. I had an orange on the side for good measure.

Tonight's dinner turned out a bit oddly. I tried to make a tofu melt with some vegan mozzarella slices I picked up on Monday. The mozzarella tastes fine, but it didn't exactly melt. I have no experience with vegan cheese, so I guess I will just have to cook with it more often to get the hang of it. I also had some more of that squash-mango soup, with a dash of cinnamon. I had originally intended to put the walnuts on top, but they sank to the bottom--I improvised by placing the walnuts on the spoon as I ate. Yum! It was quite the autumnal flavor combination--still tasted good in April though:) I had a big salad too. Interesting fact: this vegan meal alone provided more than 900 mg of calcium!

My mother reminded me today on the phone that I need to defrost my fridge before they arrive on Monday afternoon. Ugh. So, that means that I will have to live without a microwave or a fridge for Sunday evening through Monday afternoon, and most campus eateries will be closed already. Yikes! Do you have any meal ideas that require no refrigeration or heating? Dry cereal and bananas don't sound very appetizing...

Well, I should review my notes for a bit. Enjoy your evening!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Good News, Cubed

I have so much good news to share!

1) I finished my hardest exam this morning. I can officially bid farewell to Shakespeare (for now). Now I just have two (easy) exams left before summer: one on Thursday, one on Friday.

2) The professor returned our research papers after the exam this morning--and I got an A! The professor wrote, "Bravo, Caroline!" Hallelujah, is all I can say. I was expecting a B+.

3) I can officially run again! I ran 4.17 miles in 30 minutes today, so I am pretty pumped. I still wear my ankle brace though, just in case.

Alright, now that I shared all of my happy announcements, I can backtrack to my weekend. Saturday morning, I made another strawberry-banana smoothie. That flavor combo has always been a favorite of mine--I used to eat only strawberry-banana flavored yogurts. Obviously, I grew out of that phase, but I still love the unique flavor of the fruits together. I didn't get a chance to take a pic until I was almost done with the smoothie, so I apologize for the half-full glass. Check out that condensation! It's hot around here.
As long as I had my camera out, I decided to give you a food tour of my dorm room. Check out these pics of my "pantry," my snack drawer, and my fridge. I would say 99% of the stuff in the fridge is mine, save the Diet Mountain Dew and the bottled Shirley Temple--those are my roommate's goodies. I won't bother listing everything in these pictures, but if you have any questions about what something is, feel free to drop me a line. I apologize for the disorganization you see here--normally (read: not during exams) I am much more orderly.

For snackage on Saturday night, I decided to plunge into the depths of my snack drawer--after all, I should use this stuff up by next Monday! I emerged from the wreckage with another Clif Nectar bar, this time in the cinnamon pecan flavor. Not bad, not bad at all. I like the fact that it provides 2 servings of fruit, and it's so much better than my snacking on chocolate Tootsie Pops (like I did last night...). I picked up something similar to these today at Whole Foods, Dr. Weil's Pure Fruit & Nut bars. I tried a free sample of the Banana Manna flavor at the store from my favorite employee (yes, I go there that often), and it was so tasty--very similar to the Banana Walnut Gnu bar. I also picked up some Larabars for the first time. I was in a "pie" kind of mood today I suppose, because I chose the apple pie and cherry pie flavors. What are your favorite flavors?
Another snack time included the last bit of plain soy yogurt with the remainder of my pumpkin. This turned out to be a great combination. I took a pic before and after mixing it all up, but I couldn't decide which one I liked better. Thus, you get both:)
For dinner on Saturday, I made whole wheat couscous with lentil bolognese sauce. I know Boca crumbles and TVP make good ground beef substitutes, but you should give lentils a try sometime--I love the texture they lend to the tomato sauce. I also steamed up some organic zucchini (with a sprinkling of S+P), and I picked up a side salad and fruit from a place on campus. Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.
I returned to my old favorite Sunday breakfast yesterday--Cheerios with almond milk and sliced banana. 'Nuff said.

Today's lunch was so good, I can't wait to make it again. I used an Ezekiel tortilla, to make a refried black bean burrito. I added some spinach and salsa for some color. I highly recommend the Whole Foods brand of refried black beans...I hope they're vegetarian. A big salad and a pile of quite succulent melon accompanied my burrito.

I bought two blocks of tofu at Whole Foods today--my favorite brand was on sale for $1.99 (Nasoya Organic is the brand, in case you're curious). So, I'll need to use it up this week...What's your favorite way to prepare tofu?

I will leave you to ponder that. I must go watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight now. Good night!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Study Break

After another day spent with my friend Shakespeare, I am in dire need of a study break. I also have a few food photos to share from the past few days. The combination of these facts tells me that it's about time for a blog post.

Side note: Taking pictures is a bit more difficult to negotiate these days, with my roomie around all the time. I love her (we will be rooming together for the 3rd time next year), but she would not understand the whole concept of a food blog. Thus, "Beyond Tofurky" is a bit of a secret around here. Anyway, I apologize for the dearth of pictures these next few days of finals week...

Despite the added obstacle described above, I managed to take pictures of my lunch yesterday. I combined some leftover tofu with lentils and organic squash for a warm dish of goodness. I somehow managed to make a pseudo-gravy with Bragg's, the starch from the lentils, and salt + pepper. I sopped it all up with an Ezekiel pita--tasty! As always, I hit up the salad bar for some fresh fruits and veggies.


This morning I was simply not in the mood for hot oatmeal. Considering it's 80* here, and I have no AC, a piping bowl of oats was just not in the cards today. Neither was I dying for yet another bowl of Weetabix, so I decided to improvise. I have quite a few packets of those Justin's Organic Nut Butters, so I decided to use up one of those with a simple peanut butter sandwich. This time I tried the cinnamon variety. It makes for a unique flavor combination, but I am not sure I would be too keen on it for everyday use. It would probably be really good on apple slices though. Along with the breakfast sammie, I had some soy yogurt with thawed frozen strawberries. In retrospect, I should have added a dash of cinnamon to the soy yogurt to continue the theme of the meal...Oh, well--next time!

For lunch today, I opened up one of my Whole Foods goodies that I picked up on Monday. Imagine's Acorn Sqaush and Mango Soup (which I purchased on sale!), really hit the spot. Somehow soup is acceptable in 80* degree weather when it's this tasty:) This was another interesting fusion of flavors, but it works well. I have had mango all of twice in my life, so this soup makes me think I should eat it more often! To complement the star component, I had some Ak-maks and a big salad with leftover lentils.
Good news! I was able to run for about 2.5 miles today, so I think my ankle is on the mend. I can't wait 'til I can go home and run around my neighborhood! Plus, I'll finally get to use my new running shoes that have been waiting for me since Easter. I am a morning exerciser, so I like to have a small pre-workout snack before I head out for my run. Recently, I have been having a piece of whole wheat bread with that Bionaturae spread that I love so much (see my post about it here). What are you favorite pre-workout snacks? I'd love some alternatives.

Well, I am off to get a dose of sunshine (and vitamin D) before my next study session (what a lame Friday!). Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Last Day of Classes!!

I just returned from a day of partying on the quad. Ever since I got out of my cognitive psychology exam at 1:00 this afternoon, I have just been chillin' with friends and listening to bands play. The evening ended with a stellar performance by Third Eye Blind. How cool is that?!

Anyway, as a result of this day of festivities, I had really weird (non-photographed) meals, plus I didn't get a change to post until now. Despite my day of craziness, I do have some pics from trip to Whole Foods on Monday and my meals over the past few days.

In my last post, I promised a picture of my Whole Foods goodies, and I shall deliver on that promise. This trip happened to include several products I have never tried before--I suppose I was in an adventurous/impulsive mood. This week's loot includes (from left to right): Nasoya organic tofu, banana soy pudding (my treat for this week), plain Silk yogurt, Ezekiel sprouted tortillas, refried black beans with fire-roasted peppers, canned lentils, roasted salted soy nuts, acorn squash & mango soup (it's vegan!), organic Gala apples, bananas, organic and local squash, organic red pears, organic baby carrots, and frozen strawberries.
In addition to those groceries, I thought I would mention a snack that I ordered a few months ago--vegan jerky. I ordered several varieties of Primal Strips from Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe. Although they're not the most natural snack in the world, I really like the hit of protein they provide, plus the sauces are finger lickin' good (my favorite is the teriyaki flavor!).
Now onto the real food. Prior to this week, I had never tried soy yogurt. Now I am hooked! I think I almost like it better than regular yogurt. Even though I purchased the plain variety, this soy yogurt retains more sweetness than regular yogurt does. Score! Anyway, I enjoyed it the other day with some sliced strawberries.

For my treat Monday night, I had decided to dig into that soy pudding that I bought. I added some dark chocolate chunks to the mix for a chocolate banana delight. Because I enjoyed my pudding so much, I decided to do a little research on ZenSoy, the makers of the product. I like this company due to their devotion to saving wildlife--check it out on their website.

For breakfast yesterday, I had some more of that Weetabix, along with some sliced peaches and wheat germ. What would I do without my wheat germ? I should think of some alternative ways to use it.

Lunch yesterday was great! I prepared a recipe that I have been making ever since my first days of vegetarianism--absent egg salad. I simply mashed up tofu, mustard, and a tad of plain soy yogurt; I topped it off with a sprinkle of paprika. I served it along with Ak-maks, strawberries, and a salad topped with raw cashews.

For snackage yesterday evening, I dug out an old Clif Nectar bar that had been hiding in my snack drawer for way too long. This was so tasty! It reminded me of the inside of a Fig Newton cookie--odd, considering this was supposed to be lemon, vanilla, and cashew-flavored.


Finally, for breakfast this morning, I made a pumpkin shake, as recommended by Erika (RunRoamRecycle). I used pumpkin, cinnamon, plain Silk yogurt, and a frozen banana. I wanted to add some vanilla flavor, but, alas, I had none. Nonetheless, it was relatively enjoyable. I think I need to tweak the flavors a bit though before I have a perfect recipe. Some Corn Bran cereal completed my morning meal.These next few days will be devoted to studying. I have exams on Monday, Thursday, and Friday of next week. Perhaps I should look into brain foods? Drop me a line if you know of any good nibbles for studying:)