Monday, May 12, 2008

Belated Anniversary

In the midst of my cooking fugue last week, I forgot to mention that May 9th was my blog's two month anniversary! I am so glad that I decided to join the blogging community. Blogging has provided me with a network of fellow foodies whom I can count on for support (and cooking tips!). Here's to another two months, and beyond!

This past weekend at the lake was thoroughly enjoyable. My sisters and their spouses all joined my parents and me for a summer kick-off. It was nice to be at the lake and actually see water there--last summer's severe drought made the lake more like a desert canyon.

Although I love the lake, it's definitely part of rural Alabama, so our only grocery store options there are the Super Wal-Mart and a small Winn-Dixie; neither carry the foodstuffs to which I've grown accustomed. This limited grocery selection made cooking a bit difficult, plus my sister had to borrow my camera for the weekend. She was taking pictures for her Mother's Day gift:) These facts, combined with my desire to just relax, made for a bit of a culinary hiatus. However, I still have a few pictures to share with you all.

Just after I finished my last post, we started packing up the car. My parents heated up some Jimmy Dean Delight sandwiches (egg, turkey sausage, cheese on an English muffin), but I opted to make a tasty vegetable wrap with mushrooms, tomato, and organic mozzarella on an Italian flatbread. I nuked it for a couple seconds in the microwave, and it turned out delicious! Next time, I might try grilling it on my George Foreman :) I also had a big organic apple on the side. I didn't have to time to scarf down anything else!
On Saturday morning (pre-grocery run), I was faced with bare cabinets and expired refrigerator contents. Since I had a delightful experience with peanut butter oatmeal a few weeks ago, I decided to make that again. Plus, it requires just two ingredients that we always have on hand: oatmeal and peanut butter. Yum! I've included two pictures, because I want to show off the cute bowls that I get to bring back for my apartment next year. I love square bowls and plates, especially ones with adorable flowers on them!
Upon our return from the lake last night, we didn't really have time to cook up something special for my mom, so we headed to Whole Foods. My dad got some salmon burgers, cole slaw, and curried cauliflower for the rest of the family to share. I picked up some Wild Wood Tofu Burgers and some of Rudi's Organic Whole Grain English Muffins. I smeared some avocado on it for a hearty sandwich. I had some fresh organic strawberries and a spinach salad on the side. I had never tried these tofu burgers before, but they are they delicious! They're pricey though, so I'll be sure to savor the other one that came in the package. Next time I want to try Sunshine burgers. What do you all think of them?

After a delightful run this morning (65* and sunny!), I concocted an equally delightful breakfast. I made a muffin parfait, which consists of crumbled up bran muffins (those same ones that I had in the freezer), organic plain yogurt with cinnamon, strawberries, and sliced almonds. I got the idea for this from a Fitness or Self magazine a few years ago, and it's been one of my favorite breakfasts ever since. I am a fan of soggy foods, so I love how the crumbled muffin soaks up the moisture from the yogurt and strawberries. This is a fun dish because you mix it up so many ways: use banana muffins, sliced banana, and chopped peanuts; use blueberry muffins with blueberries and walnuts....the variations are endless!
For lunch today, I made vegan nachos. After preparing my nutritional yeast queso (recipe from Vegan Nurse!), I realized I didn't have any tortilla chips! Luckily, I had some whole wheat tortillas, so I just cut them into wedges and toasted them in a 300* oven while I heated up my black beans. The end result was a mediocre plate of nachos. I may have to play around a bit with a few different recipes until I am satisfied. I also had a side salad with mushrooms. I am off to make dinner...I'm thinking of making the Blackened Tofu from ED&BV. I'll let you know how it goes. Happy Monday!


VeggieGirl said...

Happy belated 2-month blog anniversary!

Glad you had fun at the lake!

Oh my, that parfait is GORGEOUS!

Can't go wrong with a recipe from ED&BV - enjoyed your blackened tofu! :0)

VeggieGirl said...

P.S. - I'm OBSESSED with Sunshine burgers (the garden-herb flavor)!!! Get them, for sure!!

romina said...

Happy Anniversary!!

I really want to try sunshine burgers, but they don't see them here. =(

loveofoats said...

Hope you enjoyed your dinner!!!

What a great idea w/ the muffin parfait :) Looks pretty & yummy!

Danielle said...

Those bowls are adorable! The food looks delicious! Congratulations on your anniversary! What a happy post :) best of luck with your last few exams!

vegannurse said...

Happy anniversary!

Your food just keeps getting better and better, Caroline! That parfait looks to die for!

I'm glad you got around to trying the nutritional yeast queso sauce, but I'm sorry to hear it was mediocre to your liking.

I remember when I first ate it, I didn't really think it was all that great either, but as time went on and I kept eating the leftovers, it just seem to get better and better. So, it may be one of those things you just have to keep eating to appreciate its taste.

Oh, I LOVE square bowls and plates, too! I like the ones you got.. where did you get them?

Let us know how that Blackened Tofu comes out! I was contemplating on making that one, too.

Jennifer said...

Happy 2 month blog anniversary! The time just flies by doesn't it?

What a fun trip to the lake!

All the food looks really good! Black beans are the best! Vegan 'cheese' is hit and miss, I've tried a few 'quesos' and they were, well not good, to be nice.

Cassie said...

All your food looks amazing! Those nachos look to die for! I do the same thing with baking the tortillas and they always come out great!

And happy belated anniversary- so exciting!

Syn* said...

yay for blog anniversaries!!! Mine is still a baby too :)

SUNSHINE BURGERS ARE AMAZINGGGGG.. Im addicted to them.. you definatly should try them!!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Happy belated anniversary ;o). I absolutely LOVE your parfait idea. I’ve never had a vegan parfait. Ooh, and I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who likes using the George Foreman. After my food processor, I think that grill must be my second-favorite kitchen appliance.

For my tortilla pizza, I just sprinkled the nutritional yeast on top. I don’t really think it tastes like cheese… but I like it anyway.

Jenn said...

Hey Caroline!

Thanks for reading my blog! I love yours - I've been reading for a while but I think this is my first time commenting! Happy two month anniversary!

I do indeed go to Northwestern! That's so cool that your parents and sister went here :)

I'm going to add you to my blogroll - and by the way, that muffin parfait looks SO good!

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: Thanks for your anniversary wishes! I'll be sure to look for those Sunshine burgers the next time I make it to WF.
Romina: Thanks for adding me as a Facebook friend:)
loveofoats: The parfait WAS yummy--I highly recommend it!
Danielle: I am actually already on break--and loving it!
Vegannurse: I think I botched the queso recipe. I probably just did something wrong...I'll keep trying though! I got my plates at Target a few years ago...I'm in love with them!
Jennifer: Yeah, one of the reasons I am a little reluctant to give up dairy is that vegan cheese is just not up to par in my opinion. Then again, I haven't tried FYH or Veganrella...
Cassie: Yep, tortilla chips are super easy to make at home, but I think I still prefer the ones in restaurants:)
Syn: Yay for youngster blogs! Thanks for the Sunshine recommendation.
CCV: George Foreman is a genius for inventing that grill! I swear, I would bake cookies on it if I could.
Jenn: So glad to "meet" you. Good luck in your last few weeks of class!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

LOL cookies on the George Foreman... silly girl :o)

Happy Herbivore! said...

I kissed my computer when i saw your sweet treat.

ChickPea said...

HH: Haha. I'm glad my cooking is enticing to someone besides me!