Monday, October 6, 2008

Lucky Day

I must be livin' right because I have experienced some fortuitous events today! I went to my 8:30 stats class this morning, as usual, and when I checked my e-mail afterward, I found an e-mail saying that my linguistics class had been cancelled for today! No class means no daily quiz either, so I was beaming at the computer screen when I opened that message.

As a result, I got a jump start on my day. I had volunteered last week to bake some goodies for a "Chi O Study Break," and, as of last night, I was not sure when I was going to be able to make that happen. Thanks to my suddenly flexible schedule, I was able to attack the baking project right after my run. Plus, when I went to the on-campus grocery, they had all the ingredients I needed!

I think that perhaps my elevated spirits might also be due to the fact that I got the chance to bake...firing up the oven and filling the apartment with sweet smells is an instant mood-lifter:)

I have plenty to share with you today, so let's get to it:

The evening's smoothie was another new success, both in terms of taste and texture. I combined frozen strawberries and cherries with my last Nutiva hemp packet and soymilk. My pumpkin flax granola made a perfect accompaniment.
After a much needed sleep-in session, I went for a run and returned to make an Apple Pie Parfait. I made some cheater's baked apples by thinly slicing a Rome apple, sprinkling it with cinnamon, and nuking it in the microwave for a few minutes. The other layers of the parfait were plain organic yogurt and a few scoops of bran flakes. The topping was the best part--a big dollop creamy PB. I still have a jar of crunchy PB in the fridge, but it doesn't even compare to this--I am a die hard creamy girl. How about you? Are you a crunchy or a creamy fan?
Before heading out to the music festival on campus, I made a quick but absolutely delicious lunch. I sliced up a Sunshine burger, placed it atop a bed of greens, and drizzled both with a new dressing I whipped up: dijon mustard, vegan mayo, lemon juice, agave nectar, and dill weed. I practically licked the bowl. On the side, I had some crackers and a few grapes.
I came back later to change quickly before the "Western event" I mentioned in my last post. Dinner was another quick one; I combined black beans, bell peppers, cumin, and chili powder, rolled the mixture into pita halves (makeshift tortillas), and topped with salsa and guacamole. I also had some pineapple.
Amongst the many fun activities of the evening (hay rides, dancing, etc.), there was also a s'mores table. My friends and I roasted marshmallows at the bonfire to make the perfect dessert sammie. I am not normally a fan of marshmallow, but the chocolate and graham cracker made up for it:)
I woke up hungry yesterday morning, and the air was crisp with the beginnings of fall, so I decided a bowl of pumpkin bread oats was in order. I combined oats, water, pumpkin, and ginger in a pot on the stove, and once they were cooked, I added chopped almonds, cinnamon, and raisins. My mom's legendary pumpkin bread recipe also includes cloves, nutmeg, and allspice, but I don't have that extensive of a spice cabinet (yet!). This was so good and so comforting.
After church, I came home to start lunch for my study buddy and me. I decided on vegan chili for the midday menu. Into the pot went onions, diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, Boca crumbles, cumin, ground red pepper, garlic salt, and chili powder. I also put some grapes on the table for munching. My guest said he liked it...I hope he wasn't just being nice! Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I filled my afternoon with studying/chatting, Skyping with my friend (who is abroad in Madrid), and uploading Facebook pics. Entirely unproductive. Anyway, time got away from me, so I needed another quick dinner before my meeting last night: Italian herb encrusted tofu (grilled on good ol' Georgie), couscous, zucchini, and a sliced apple with PB. Yummy.
The smoothie of the evening incorporated a recent splurge item of mine: frozen blueberries. My grocery bill was looking to be pretty moderate this week, so I decided that some tasty berries wouldn't hurt. I combined them with strawberries, vanilla hemp, and soymilk. Delish.
I had a simple but tasty morning meal today: toast with mashed banana combined with Sunbutter, plus the last of my cottage cheese. This was such simple breakfast that I actually got to class early today. Sweet.
Since I didn't have my second class today, I actually didn't need a pre-run snack, although I ate it on the way back from the gym. Whole Foods brand Cheerios with dried cranberries.
I came back and made a batch of my mom's famous graham cracker brownies, which has quite possibly the shortest ingredients list of any baked good: graham crackers, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk. Hardly healthful or vegan, but they always get rave reviews. I wonder if they make sweetened condensed soymilk?
Lunch this afternoon was leftovers: I heated up the rest of yesterday's chili and poured it over a baked sweet potato. (I promise there IS a sweet potato underneath all that chili!) A salad with cashews and some grapes finished it off.
Whew! I will leave you with a few pictures from my weekend. Pardon my large, nasty tongue:)


magpie said...

Oo I love family recipes :) Those graham cracker brownies look great!

Happy Monday!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Creamy all the way!!!

flower said...

Nutty, without a doubt its got to have a bit of crunch otherwise its like marmelade without the shreds!!
All your food looks completely gorgeous btw

vegannurse said...

Yummy eats! That vegan chili looks GREAT!

I love ANYTHING PB, but lately I've been more into CRUNCHY style.. I just love the bits of actual peanuts. It's so good!

shelby said...

I'm a creamy fan, I've never like crunchy. Wow, I must try that salad dressing, it sounds really yummy!

I'm drooling over your graham cracker brownies right now! I believe they do make sweetened condenced soymilk, it's just really hard to find.

Anonymous said...

You seem to talk about running a lot. Do you run every day of the week?

alaina said...

crunchy, hands down. i'm definitely not anti-creamy because any nut butter is delicious, but there's something about ... uh, crunchiness that makes it even better :)

i've never seen sweetened condensed soymilk but i'm pretty sure it's out there!

Anonymous said...

Did you allow yourself to have some of the yummy baked-goods you made?

I hope so, because you deserve to eat without feeling guilty!

VeggieGirl said...

Lucky girl you are, indeed!! Hooray!! :0)

Yep, I'm a creamy girl as well - it's easier to mix into my oatmeal ;0)

DAAAAAAMN too much deliciousness, yet again!! The s'mores, sweet potato & chili, graham cracker brownies, apple & pb, shakes... love it all :0)

Erin of Care to Eat said...

Cute pics!

lighterportions said...

Mmm Apple Pie Parfait. Now that's a solid snack. Most especially with the pb topping. I like some crunch and cream, but I think creamy wins out overall.

Mmm sunshine burgers. Pretty sure I still have one left in my freezer that I forgot about. I need to eat this asap!

I can't believe how simple those graham cracker brownies are... and they sound incredible too.

CeciLiA said...

Hrmm ... I can't decide whether I'm a creamy/crunchy girl!! For me, it really depends on the situation, i.e. for oatmeal, I prefer creamy pb while for sammiches, I like the crunchy ones better :D

Ooo! I LOVE your parfait creations! I saw parfait glasses at the store the other day, I yelled "omg, chickpea!" (in my mind, of course!) :)

Hehehe, <3 the photos ... looks like you had great weekend!!

sportsnutritionliving said...

Looks like a great time.. and nothing like cancelled class! I love the idea of making apple pie parfait! I will have to try that. I am def more of a creamy PB person myself... but if i HAD to eat crunchy I am sure I could!

I often make sweet pot with boca crumbles, beans, tomato and some broccoli and add some cheese on top for a littlre more flavor.. simple easy and healthy!

alliterating said...

Carolineee! You are awesome. Hearts!


Vegan On Stage said...

you sound like youve been busy!!! your post really makes me miss cooking up my favorite dishes! and my god what a good idea that apple pie treat looks!

eatingbender said...

I love the salad dressing you whipped up - I would have licked the bowl, too :o)

Mmm...s'mores!! I love the pictures of your fun weekend!

Graham cracker brownies sound and look incredible. I love the simple recipe.

Creamy, fo sho ;o)

ChickPea said...

Magpie: Family recipes are the best kind!
CCV: Totally agree--although your answer doesn't surprise me given your love of all things blended.
Flower: I am a texture fan too, just not with my nut butters, I guess. Thanks for stopping by!
VeganNurse: Ya know, you're right--maybe I shouldn't discriminate against the crunchy in all situations. Maybe I'll use it for certain recipes/occasions.
Shelby: The salad dressing is pretty tasty--looks like you tried it already!
I'll have to keep my eye out for that condensed soymilk...
Anonymous: I don't run every day of the week, but most days. I aim for 5 short runs per week.
Alaina: I'm with you on that one--I never saw a nut butter I didn't like; I'll eat it no matter what!
Anonymous: Yep, I set aside a few of the "less attractive" brownies for myself. De-lish.
VeggieGirl: You hit the nail on the head--creamy is so much better for breakfast time. Hello, velvety PB oats!
Erin: Thanks!!
LighterPortions: I highly recommend the apple pie parfait--'tis amazing.
Sunshine burgers are awesome, but I've only tried the garden herb are the others?
Cecilia: Good point. Crunchy can be good for certain recipes.
Haha, you're so sweet to think of me while shopping! I'm honored to be associated with parfaits:)
SportsNutritionLiving: That sweet potato concoction sounds fantastic! I'm putting that on my cooking to-do list.
Rosalie: Hello, my dear!! I hope everything is going well for you:) Happy Fall Break!
VeganOnStage: Aww I hope you get to cook for yourself soon. Your Rockette pics are awesome!
EatingBender: I actually lick the bowl more often than I would like to admit (yogurt is especially tempting). Is that barbaric?
Yay for another creamy fan!!

Green Eyes, Green Heart said...

I've always wanted to try Sunbutter, since I'm allergic to nuts. What's it like, texture/taste-wise?

ChickPea said...

Green Eyes: The texture is very similar to PB actually--nice and creamy:) The natural variety that I buy adds sugar to it, so it is slightly sweet. I highly recommend it!