Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Vagabond Mailbox

**Thanks to everyone for your kind words of support and wisdom in response to my last post. That stress fest is officially over!**

After the gym today, I decided to go check my mailbox. I am heading down the hallway, on auto-pilot, turning at the third corner on the left where my mailbox is--or is it? This is definitely the area where my mailbox was last year, except now the numbers are all significantly different. How does that happen?! After wandering around for a few minutes and scanning rows upon rows of numbers, I finally found that elusive 97844. Alas, it was empty.

Despite my mailbox being empty, I did receive not one but two packages today. Score! The first was a box from Amazon--I had a $25 gift certificate just itching to be spent. Here's the loot (don't laugh!): HempShake, berry pomegranate flavor, two big tubs of ground flax seed, and a bottle of Primal Elements Grapefruit Body Wash.

In case you're curious, here's a little quote I liked from the Primal Elements website:

"The folks at Primal Elements make their soap from pure vegetable glycerin, creating scents (and looks) that Dial only dreams of." GQ Magazine, December 2002.
Hemp, flax, vegetable glycerin. Yes, these are the types of things that excite me.
The second package came as a surprise. My aunt has been e-mailing me for the past few weeks about what I want for Christmas (she usually sends the gifts before October 1!), so I told her a new blender for my apartment might be nice. That's exactly what I got! It's even red, to match the rest of my kitchenware. I'll still use my MB for food processing, but I think my smoothie time has just entered a new era.
Onto the food:

I'm really getting into this chocolate + fruit thing. I'm still not so sure I would like orange + chocolate. Anyway, this was another chocolate-strawberry concoction--those are whole grain graham crackers taking a dip in the deliciousness.

If you've ever frequented Dairy Queen, you've probably heard of the Peanut Buster Parfait. My Granddaddy used to get it every time we went (he's the one married to my dietitian grandmother--go figure!). I decided to make a healthful breakfast version with PB Puffins, slice bananas, organic plain yogurt, and roasted peanuts. Definitely spawned a food fugue.

For a pre-run snack I packed a string cheese and a whole wheat mini bagel with blackberry jam. The combination of the soft bagel and the jelly reminded me of a jelly doughnut--I think that's demonstrative of how long it's been since I had a jelly doughnut...While tasty, this was not a stellar snack before exercise. Someday I'll get this exercise fueling thing right.
Lunch was another salad bar special: mixed greens, steamed broccoli, snap peas, 'shrooms, and sliced olives. When I got home, I added cubed tofu, chickpeas, and an agave-mustard dressing. I hate to think how far those strawberries traveled to get to my plate, but they were surprisingly tasty.
For dinner, I threw together a simple lentil salad: lentils, cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper, grated garlic, dill weed, and red wine vinegar. I served it with pita and a salad. I had cottage cheese with crunchy PB for dessert--not a combo I will repeat. The salt from the PB and the cottage cheese seemed to compete--not enough sweet!
Last night's smoothie was a chocolate-blueberry rendition. I wish I had had some cocoa on hand.
Return of the agave-tahini toast! This time I topped the toast with sliced Ginger Gold apples
. I washed it down with a cup of almond milk.
I dug into my bar stash again today for pre-run eats: TJ's Fig Bar, plus a few peanuts.
After my post office meandering, I returned home to make a mountain meal: corn and tofu cooked in chili powder and ground red pepper, topped with salsa and mashed avocado.
Using my new flax, I made a snack of Key Lime Pie yogurt and ground flax. At last, I have a way to get my omega 3s again! PS Has anyone ever noticed that the Stonyfield cow has a different "look" for every flavor? The French Vanilla cow sports a dashing beret, while this one tucks a flower behind her ear. Cute.
For dinner, I decided to bring back my lentil bolognese from last year's dorm days. I added basil, oregano, and fresh garlic to a jarred pasta sauce. Salad, broccoli, and almonds filled me up nicely.
That does it for back soon!


VeggieGirl said...

Fabulous package contents + fabulous food = FABULOUS WEDNESDAY!!!! :0)

Anonymous said...

Ooh love the new red blender! What a nice surprise. What a nice aunt!

I love your PB Parfait rendition as well. A HECK of a lot healthier than the original.

Anonymous said...

Food looks yummy like always... and that blender is a great addition I am sure you will get so much use out of it!

Anonymous said...

Peanut Butter Parfait???! Ahh .. must make! How yummy does that look?

Your agave-tahini toast intrigues me so.. I just might have to try that!

CeciLiA said...

D'OH blogger ate my comment!!!!!

Nehoos, I shall re-type everything again!

So ... Hey there Caroline - it's moi again :0)

OMG! Your peanut butter parfait looks dang good!!! It sure 'busts' the saturated fat version right out of the window - go you!! Oooo ... peanuts!!

Okay, lets now move onto my question - or should I say, "Cecilia's Question of the Day" hehe ... so, my question is ... I made blackened tofu a few days ago and I had trouble getting the spice mixture to stay on the tofu - Any tips on that?!! Also, what tofu did you use? Silken? Firm? Extra Firm? I used silken and I ended up having scrambled blackened tofu instead - sigh, my culinary skills!! :0/

Hehehe, sorry again for my LONGGG comment - hope your still awake :)

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: You're right, it ended up being a pretty fabulous day:) Hope yours was similarly awesome.
LighterPortions: To be honest, I don't even remember what all is in the original...I probably don't wanna know.
SportsNutritionLiving: You KNOW I'll get use out of it...maybe even tonight.
Vegan Nurse: I recommend both the parfait and the tahini toast. Both are awesome breakfasts--tasty and kept me full:)
Cecilia: Don't you hate it when Blogger gets cranky? Anyway, as for your question:
You want to make sure that your tofu is reasonably wet before your dip it in the spices. Also--very crucial--use extra firm and NOT silken. The silken is good for mashed tofu salads, etc., but not for grilling or pan frying. It's just too fragile for that much heavy handling. If that still doesn't fix your problem, maybe try spraying it with oil cooking spray. I have a feeling that it's just the type of tofu that's the problem--NOT your cooking skills!

newcitygirl said...

OK, I get excited about weird little things too, so I totally feel you. And that reminds me that I need a new blender!!

Anonymous said...

I love the new blender! I can't wait to see your new concoctions - what a nice aunt you have :o)

Oooh I love your version of the Peanut Buster Parfait! In fact, I pretty much love every parfait you make because they always leave me drooling...lovely image!

Mm, I love the Lentil Bolognese! Bolognese is my favorite pasta dish - I always order it when I go to Italian restaurants!

ChickPea said...

NewCityGirl: I'm glad I'm not the only one who derives pleasure from random/odd/little things. Blenders are essential in my book!
EatingBender: Haha, thanks for the parfait compliments. Along with smoothies, they are one of those dishes that never get old!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the blender! When I registered for all of our wedding gifts, all kitchen stuff was red. Come to think of it, we never did get the blender...oh, well. Hope you enjoy yours!

Kimberly said...

Surprise packages are the BEST! That's a cute blender.

Apple slices on toast sound yummy... I use gold kiwi slices! And I highly recommend trying the orange/chocolate combo... like Giada de Laurentiis says, "orange and chocolate are two flavors that were meant to go together."

ChickPea said...

Dawn: Yeah, red kitchens seem to be popular these days--my sister just got married, and all of her stuff is red (even her KitchenAid mixer!). Anyway, you should def get a blender!
Kimberly: You're just full of good ideas! Kiwi on toast is such a unique and tasty idea! Maybe I'll give the orange-chocolate thing a go sometime, but I'll probably have to use a recipe of some sort so as not to ruin it for myself.

Anonymous said...

This might be a weird question, but it's just something I was wondering (Oh, first of all, let me say I love the blog. I just haven't commented before).

I wanted to start up a running routine, but I was wondering, you seem to eat a lot less calories than other runner/bloggers I've seen (mainly chocolatecoveredvegan and trustmyintuition). How are you able to get enough fuel in for your runs and stay healthy when eating so little? And how do you know how much to eat so you don't lose to an unhealthy weight (I'm assuming you're at a healthy weight, because I thought I remembered you writing once that you were. I could be wrong)?

I am asking this because like I said, I want to start a running routine, but I want to stay healthy too.

ChickPea said...

Anonymous: Thanks for commenting!
As for your question, I'm not sure why you think I eat fewer kcalories than other runner/bloggers. You might be getting an inaccurate idea of what I eat because I have been tending toward mini meals lately due to my schedule, and I don't post all of them. As a result, you're seeing only a portion of what I eat. In case you're curious, I eat about 2000-2200 kcalories per day.
Anyway, I am at a healthy weight, although admittedly it is on the lower side of normal.
Here are some of the ways that I ensure that I don't lose weight:
-I always have a snack or two with me. That way, if I am feeling hungry or not energized enough for a run, I always have some fuel ready for me.
-Periodically, I will plug my stats and my daily meals into a database like or the MyPyramid tracker available from You can also enter exercise into these databases, and they will suggest an appropriate kcalorie level. I compare the recommended vs. actual and adjust my intake accordingly.
-Also, don't increase your mileage too quickly because that's when you're at risk for not adequately fueling your body. Don't let your activity outpace your eating habits--do some research beforehand as to how many kcalories you need to support your activity level.
I hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot. You're so nice in your responses :).

So how many meals/snacks do you usually eat in a day? In other words, how many times a day do you usually eat? Could you maybe do a post where you post everything you ate that day? If not, that's ok too. It's your blog, of course!

ChickPea said...

Anonymous: I'll keep your suggestion in mind for a future blog post, but for now, here is a typical day for me:
8:00-Substantial breakfast with fat, whole, grains, fruit, and sometimes a calcium source
10:30- half of my pre run snack (usually the component with more protein in it)
1:00-other half of pre run snack
3:00-small lunch with plenty of veggies, protein, and fat
5:00-snack containing fat and usually a calcium source
7:00-substantial dinner with protein, veggies, fat, whole grain, and sometimes fruit
9:30-some kind of carby snack (whole grain graham crackers, dry cereal, etc.)
11:00 or later-BIG smoothie with protein, soymilk, frozen fruit, and some kind of crunch (usually granola)
I hope that clarifies things a bit.

ashley said...

Mmmm. your food.

Congratulations on your new blender! And don't worry- none of us bloggers should laugh at what makes you happy- most of us are the same way!

ChickPea said...

Ashley: Haha, it's good to hear I'm not the only one with eccentricities.