Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Snack Bar Bounty

I am a little embarrassed to admit how many snack bars I have been consuming in the past few days. They're just so darn portable! As much as I would like to have toast with jam or agave as my pre-run snack every day, toting around a toaster with me to class might prove difficult. Plus, I have quite a stash of these various snack bars--imagine a gallon-size Ziploc brimming with the likes of Clif Z, Gnu, and Larabars. What are your favorite (portable) snacks? I need inspiration!

Lucky for you, snack bars are not the only thing I have been consuming lately.

As is typical, my sweet tooth came on full-force Monday evening. So...I tried another Clif Z bar. This time it was the chocolate chip variety. I won't say much about it until my product review, but for now, let's just say that the regular Clif chocolate chip is superior, in my opinion.
I also made a smoothie that night (like I said, I just can't get enough sweet!). This one was a new combo for me because I combined strawberries with chocolate HempShake and soymilk. I'm not the biggest fan of fruit with chocolate, so this was an experiment for me (that, and I didn't have any of the berry HempShake left...). The verdict: success! It tasted like a chocolate-covered strawberry. Imagine that.
One of the things I didn't like about living in a dorm last year was that I couldn't have a toaster--how's a girl supposed to enjoy her frozen waffles without a toaster?! (I tried microwaving them--it's not the same). I didn't hesitate to take advantage of my new-found toaster access yesterday morning: GoLean waffles with mashed banana/cashew butter and plain organic yogurt. Love it.
My pre-run snack was a Carrot Raisin Odwalla bar and an apple. You may remember these bars from earlier posts. I ran about 4 miles on the track again; I followed that with some arm strength work.
Afterward, I grabbed one of my favorite on-campus salads, a Greek salad with Romaine, artichoke hearts, olives, feta, and sundried tomatoes...I never seem to tire of it.
By the time dinner rolled around, I was famished, but I had no idea what to make. It was one of those "maybe staring into the cupboards will give me inspiration" moments. I finally just started throwing things into the pan: leftover kidney beans, tofu, salsa, chili powder, and garlic salt. I stuffed it into a pita and served it alongside a salad and a few almonds. This was so tasty! Sometimes the best dishes are the spontaneous ones.
I needed something fast this morning, so I made a breakfast mound of deliciousness: Fiber One cereal, Corn Bran, almonds, fresh blueberries, wheat germ, and soymilk. This took a lot of chewing, but it was worth the effort.
Snack today was great: blueberry Clif Z bar and a banana. Blueberries and banana were meant to be together.
I picked up another favorite campus specialty today for lunch: Bean Taco Salad from the 'Dillo, which consists of a few tortilla chips, lettuce, tomatoes, pineapple salsa, traditional (cooked) salsa, and raw salsa. I added guacamole, which is quite possibly the best add-on ever--fresh taste and only 30 cents!
I spent dinner this evening with the dining committee for a casual get-together at Baba Ghannouj. I ordered the Baba Ghannouj Veggie Platter, which comes with falafel, baba ghannouj, hummus, tzaziki, pita, Greek salad, and stuffed grape leaves. The dips were awesome, but the falafel was bit too hard for my taste.

Before I go, I wanted to request some more meal suggestions: quick breakfasts. I am getting bored with my morning meals, so I am looking to expand my repertoire. If you have a favorite, I'd be delighted if you would share it with me.

PS Happy Birthday to my sister Lea!


VeggieGirl said...

**My favorite portable snacks:

- fresh fruit & vegetables (such as apples, bananas, grapes, carrot sticks, etc.)

- dried fruit & nuts

- LARABARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :0)

Love your black & white dishes!!

**Quick breakfasts:

- smoothies

- packets of oatmeal

- PBJs

- fruit & nuts


Happy birthday to your sister!!

shelby said...

Mmm, yummy. I've been looking everywhere for the blueberry but I can't find it =(

Your torturing me with that strawberry-chocolate shake, it sounds heavenly!

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify before I ask my question, I am not the mean anonymous who sometimes I see leaving comments on your blog.

My question is, You seem to not eat very much for someone so active (Of course, I could be off, but it seems like maybe only 1700-1800 calories). Are you really able to maintain a healthy weight and healthy body functions eating so little when you exercise? I'm not asking to be mean. I am just curious, because for myself, I was eating around what you seem to eat, and I just couldn't maintain a healthy weight until I started to eat more. Sorry for the long-winded question!

Kimberly said...

I have decided that you should totally look into teaching an on-campus cooking class, geared towards fellow vegetarian students facing postage-stamp-sized kitchens. How helpful would that be - even just showing kids how to "throw things into a pan!" I had NO idea how to cook in my tiny college kitchenettes, and basically lived on soup and wraps from the corner deli for 3 years :(

My favorite portable snacks are: almonds with a piece of fruit, a few slices of Ryvita with a schmear of hummus and sunflower kernels, or a bag of Glenny's Soy Crisps (my addiction.) Also, Sabra (my *favorite* hummus brand) has those "to-go packs," which are mighty convenient, but can get a bit pricey.

I'm the opposite of you in that I never get tired of my few favorite breakfasts... but anyway, they are: toast with tahini and honey, toast with tomato and basil, a bowl of fruit and ground-up nuts, or blueberry-almond milk smoothies.

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: Wow, thanks for all those great suggestions. I will definitely give them a try! You're always so helpful.
Shelby: I couldn't find the new flavors until recently either, but they finally showed up at my WF in Alabama. Keep checking, or you could request them from the grocery's manager.
Anonymous: That's actually a great question because it is something that I want to clarify. I do not photograph everything that I eat. I can't take pictures of everything, plus many of my snacks are nothing special: dry cereal, nuts, etc. I eat about 2000-2200 kcalories right now, but I might need to bump it up soon due to my increased activity at school. I have yet to weigh myself since arriving at school, so once I do that I can make a better assessment. Thanks for your concern/advice!

ChickPea said...

Kimberly: We must have been typing at the same time! That would be like a dream job for me, teaching other veg*ns about apartment cooking. Sometimes I feel silly posting such simple meals, but I'm glad you appreciate them!
You have such great snack suggestions. I might have to look for a tiny container for hummus, so that I can transport it easily with crackers, etc.
I love every single one of your breakfast suggestions--I might just have to try the tahini/agave toast tomorrow (I actually have all the ingredients!). So excited to try these new breakfasts...

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for such a quick reply!

Nikki Douglas said...

I admit to loving Larabars desperately but I also like KIND bars too and I usually find one or two new ones every time I go to the store. The Boomi bars are awesome.

It's unorthodox but try a raw salad for breakfast - I love them.

As for Greek Salads - I could eat one everyday of my life I love them so much. You seem to be doing great at school with making really healthy food. Good for you!

sportsnutritionliving said...

I think wraps are very portable and you can do the scrambled tofu and wrap in tinfoil and take with you...
I like to make PB sandwiches and use fresh bluberries, dates or prunes as the "jelly" that way you get the fruit in your meal as well.
Ohh and taking a greek yogurt and a zbar and slivered almonds and than mix it all togetehr!

CeciLiA said...

Oh my favorite portable snacks are dry cereal (boo! boring me) haha!

Oh I'm in the same situation as you with the toaster situation!! But I heard it on the internet - if you put an aluminium foil over an iron - you can toast your bread on it!!!! :D

eatingbender said...

I LOVE that cashew/banana/yogurt topping for your waffles!

I can't wait to hear what you think of the blueberry ZBaR - I personally thought it was great. Good call on eating it with a banana!

My favorite on-the-go breakfasts are Greek yogurts with ZBaR crumbled directly into the container (I've seriously been eating this combo all week), smoothies and baggies of cereal, nuts and dried fruit. Nothing too creative, but they all get the job done.

Happy Birthday to your sis!

ChickPea said...

Nikki: It seems that I need to stock up on Larabars...I've seen those Kind bars forever, but I've never actually bought one. I just might give them a try as well.
Raw salad for breakfast? It would certainly be a nice change, and I eat them everyday anyway, so why not?
SportsNutritionLiving: Thanks for all your excellent ideas! I might prepare a big batch of scrambled tofu and have it ready for that wrap you mentioned. I used to do the mashed berries as a sub for jam all the time my freshman year when there was a fresh berry bar in the dining hall--oh how I miss those days!!
Cecilia: I, too, am a fan of dry cereal as a snack--I probably have it at least once a day...I have heard that tip for toasting bread as well, but I have never been motivated enough to try it!
EatingBender: I really liked the blueberry Clif Z--excellent fuel. The Fage/crumbled Z bar combo seems to be popular these days, so I will definitely have to try it once I pick up some Greek yogurt at WF tomorrow. All your suggestions totally sound like something I would eat. Yum.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Do you know how much nut butter and how much of a banana you use to make the waffle topping? And do you just mash it with a fork, or do you use a blender?

I've tried to make peanut butter-banana mash before, but I never seem to get a good consistency.

ChickPea said...

CCV: I use a medium banana with about a tablespoon of cashew butter. Two other factors might affect it:
-my cashew butters are almost always cold (and therefore more stiff) since I keep them in the fridge.
-I try to use relatively ripe bananas (they're easier to mash that way).
I just mash it with a fork, although I might try it with a blender sometime.
Who knew banana-PB goo could be so scientific?

Laura said...

larabars are the shit! but i LOVE justin's brand peanut butter and almond butter in individual-sized squeezy packs...i squeeze them on bananas and apples and such! i recommend the cinnamon flavor!
and nothing beats hummus w/ carrots, a bagel with tofutti cream "cheese," or a good 'ol PB and J on the go

runroamrecycle said...

Good to see you're settling in at school.. and that the MB made it there safely! Goodness.. to think of life without him..

Um, OK. MB love affair aside - I hate Lara bars.. shocker I know. My favorites are all of the Kashi Roll bars, Detour bars, Clif bars, Builder bars.. mmm that covers it I think!

And breakfast - the greatest meal of the day! Tortillas are muy versatile, and you can roll them up with soy yogurt, fruit, and nuts, or pb & banana, or tofu scrambles, or basically ANYTHING. Great, isn't it?! =]

Rachel said...

Hi! I've looked at your blog a few times before and I've always been impressed by your cooking and creative smoothie combinations. But when I saw this today, the only thing I could think was.... OMG ARMADILLO GRILL (I love that place!). I'm a native Durhamite. I'm actually leaving this weekend to continue with college up north... but welcome back to Durham! So many wonderful places to eat around here. I hear that Chubby's Tacos (replaced Torrero's on 9th st) is really good and has options like tilapia and tofu tacos.
Anyway, just wanted to shout out from a "home"girl!

glidingcalm said...

wahoo! happy birthday to Lea!!

I also like taking cereal in a baggy/tupperware as an on the go snack...with maybe some nuts mixed in. String cheese and crackers are yummy too...otherwise I'm definitely a bar girl too!

Happy Friday Chickpea!

ChickPea said...

Laura: You're not alone in your love of Larabars--they've got quite a following around here. I love those Justin's squeeze packs, but I don't like how I have to order them online. Maybe I'll splurge a little and order some soon.
RunRoamRecycle: I LOVE those Roll! bars. They taste like a Snickers to me. (I really like the Chocolate Turtle and Oatmeal Walnut). Wish they were dairy-free though.
I'll have to pick up some tortillas on my next Target run--the ones they sell at WF are crazy expensive.
Rachel: Cool! Another Durham resident! The 'Dillo I went to is on the Duke campus, but I hear they're all over the Raleigh-Durham area. I haven't tried Chubby's yet--I usually go to Blue Corn on 9th street if I am craving Mexican. I'd love to give it a try though--thanks for the tip!
Gliding Calm: Thanks for your suggestions! You are the queen of portable food!