Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring? It's Practically Summer!

Sorry to post later than usual again. I was having a blast at an annual on-campus festival, Springternational. This event consists of a smattering of international cuisine, plenty of cultural dance presentations, and a small market of vendors selling global goods. I watched a few of the performances and just listened to a few (my room overlooks the main quad where the festival took place). I browsed through the market without buying anything (what do ya know? I do have self-control!), and I skipped the food. The festival fare ranged from the typical junk to the meat-eater's delight: funnel cakes, shaved ice, and Polish sausage. I was tempted to wait in line for a frozen, chocolate-covered banana, but the line was about three days long. The weather was sunny and hot, hot, hot. When i got back to my room, my computer's temperature gauge read 92*! The combination of the festival's laid-back atmosphere and the scorching temperature made me feel like it was summer already! Only two more weeks 'til I am done with exams!!
On another note, I have made a halfway decision regarding veganism. I am going to start phasing out dairy from my diet starting on Monday by buying soy yogurt instead of regular. I don't consume eggs ,really, and cheese only in small amounts, so yogurt is the most prominent source of dairy in my diet. I will call myself an "aspiring vegan" or a "vegan in transition." I aim to follow a meat- and dairy-free diet 75% of the time, for now. I am so excited to try this new lifestyle!

Now you get to see what I have been munching on since my last post:

Wednesday night's dinner was so good. I made tempeh sloppy joes, and I practically licked the plate. I combined organic soy tempeh with tomato sauce, mustard, lots of chili powder, and a little raw sugar. This mixture was piled on some warmed whole wheat bread, and on the side I had one of my famous voluminous salads, plus some raw cashews. So tasty!

For breakfast yesterday, I gave my Kashi GoLean waffles one last shot. This time, I spread them with some homemade pumpkin butter and added a dash of cinnamon. A perfectly ripe banana completed the meal. I was left hungry again. I guess I will just have to save waffles for those times when I know I will be eating again soon:(

Thursday's lunch consisted of an Italian Pita, with raw cashews and organic kiwi on the side. This dish used up the last of my organic soy tempeh, but I still have some five grain in the fridge, unopened. Tomato sauce and spinach made this a tasty sandwich, not to mention quite reminiscent of the Italian flag!

Overnight oatmeal made another appearance this morning for breakfast. This combination featured oats, vanilla almond milk, Stevia, cinnamon, and my favorite, wheat germ. I had some strawberries on the side that were not quite ripe...

I tried something new for lunch today: I went for sweet rather than savory flavors. I was in the mood for peanut butter, but I didn't want the traditional PB&J or PB&banana, so I improvised--with sliced apple! I thinly sliced an organic Golden Delicious apple and placed it atop whole wheat bread and a smear of Justin's organic PB. I warmed the bread an PB before placing the apples in the sandwich, and the result produced a lovely contrast between the melty PB and the
crisp and cool apples. I also had a big salad with--what else?--chickpeas!

As I type this, I am on the brink of breaking a sweat, due to the hot weather and lack of AC in my dorm. Therefore, I am in dire need of a refreshing snack (of course!). What are you favorite cool-down snacks for the summertime?


isis said...

smoothies work wonders when it comes to hot times.
i don't have easy access to non-dairy milk, so i just throw an entire orange (peeled of course, but with its membranes still- very nutritious!- it has all the liquid you may need), frozen banana and frozen berries or mango or both. oh, and flaxmeal. no ice required.

Anonymous said...

92 degrees, wow... and i thought it was hot here since it's 75 :)

i am a fan of smoothies as a good cool-down treat! i think i may just make one tomorrow ;)

VeggieGirl said...

Wow, that Springternational sounds like it was a fabulous event!!

Oh my goodness, 92°F?? Yikes!! It was 80°F here, which is practically unheard of (since it freezes here!).

Best of luck with your "vegan in transition" journey! Just take it slow, and do what feels right for you.

My favorite cool-down snacks are smoothies and fresh fruit - the same treats I eat year-round! :0D

romina said...

Pumpkin butter on waffles sounds SO good!!

hk said...

smooothies for sure :)

Jill said...

92 degrees, that's crazy!

Your idea of veganism is what mine feels like right now, I'm trying for 80%, but really I don't like animal products that much. The only thing is (as I said before) yogurt! I'm a fan of frozen bananas when it's hot... and watermelon.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

It's sure not summer or even spring here :-(
I love your recipes with tempeh, you're very creative!
In summer, when it's hot, I don't really eat that much...No favorite snack over here! (maybe a cold beer...)

Jennifer said...

It's been pretty warm here as well. The forecast is calling for upper 70s next week and it's only April!

Congrats on your decision, I think you are doing what is best for you. If you really want to make this decision, it doesn't hurt to transition into it.

All that fruit and veg!

ChickPea said...

Isis: Your smoothie sounds delish--I prefer using whole fruit rather than juice anyway, so throwing the whole orange in there is a good idea.
loveofoats: I might just copy your smoothie tomorrow:)
VeggieGirl: I know, this weather is crazy--I can only imagine what home is like right now--AL is definitely even hotter than NC!
Romina: I definitely recommend the pumpkin butter as a waffle topping...or for topping anything else, for that matter...
hk: There seems to be a consensus...
Jill: We really are in the same spot, because I don't mind giving up dairy...except for my beloved yogurt! (especially Fage)
Alice: I know that feeling when it's so hot that you just want to sit around and imbibe as much liquid as possible. Luckily, my stomach doesn't seem to get that way too often...
Jennifer: Thanks for your well-wishes. I will likely be relying on blogs like yours for inspiration as I transition!

Jill said...

Shhh, I have a Fage in my fridge right now and I'm hating the notion of giving it up!

Anonymous said...

fav cooling snacks of mine would be fresh fruit, cherry tomatoes, salads (they ALWAYS make me cold), yogurt, and bell peppers. : )

Happy Herbivore! said...


all your food looks so good -- I am esp interested in those tempeh sloppy joes!

ChickPea said...

Jill: No reason to waste that poor Fage...
GlidingCalm: I also love cherry tomatoes--I ate an entire pint in two days this week!
HH: The sloppy joes were def a hit...I will be making those again!