Monday, October 13, 2008

Relaxing with TLC

No, I do not mean tender, loving care, nor am I referring to those ever popular Kashi crackers--I've been relaxing with my favorite channel, TLC. Monday nights are now by far my favorite night of television (Jon and Kate Plus, Eight AND Little People, Big World!), but I never get to sit down and enjoy "my" shows because of meetings, Bible study, and that pesky little thing called homework. However, thanks to my university's autumnal gift to its students, Fall Break, I was able to spend a leisurely evening with my family watching said programs. *Sigh* What a great way to recharge before the second half of the semester.

As I mentioned last week, my time was split this weekend between the lake house and our house in Birmingham; it ended up being a nice balance between tranquility and activity. While I enjoyed sipping tea by the lakeside, it was also nice to get to do some shopping with Mom:) How did you all spend the weekend?

Due to constantly being in transit these past few days, I didn't put together many elaborate meals. Nonetheless, I prepared a few things outside of my at-school repertoire...


My sister hadn't yet arrived (with my camera( by the time I broke out the blender, so I don't have a picture of Friday's smoothie. Don't worry--it was very blah. I didn't have any hemp protein around, so I just grabbed some random protein packets I've had lying around for a while. This one consisted of Super Blue Pro96 Soy Protein, frozen blueberries, soymilk, and cinnamon raisin granola. Not tasty at all.
Saturday I rummaged around for some acceptable breakfast victuals and finally stumbled upon some Kashi Heart to Heart. I poured myself a bowl of that with soymilk, plus an banana with PB. After a trip to the grocery store and a little girls' afternoon out with my mom and sisters, I returned home to a simple lunch of refried beans and salsa wrapped in tortillas, salad, and an apple with almonds. The family was having chili con carne for dinner, but since I just had chili last Sunday, I decided against making a veggie version and instead made some baked beans. I used tomato sauce, maple syrup, sauteed onions, and just a touch of mustard. On the side I had corn, salad with sunflower seeds, and surprisingly tasty strawberries. We returned home that night, so I prepared a late-night smoothie with Alive! rice and pea protein, apple sauce, cinnamon, and soymilk. Odd color, yummy apple-pie taste. Sunday I took my time for breakfast yesterday and made pumpkin pancakes. My first attempt was free-form, not using a recipe--and it failed quite miserably. As a last resort, I actually looked up a recipe and that batch turned out much better. I hate to waste my precious pumpkin though:( I topped these baby pancakes with chopped almonds and dipped them in...more pumpkin. I sweetened the pumpkin with maple syrup, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After my breakfast debacle, I decided to keep it simple for lunch, so I just made a simple veggie-tofu sandwich with tomatoes, mushrooms, guacamole, and garlic rubbed tofu. I also had salad and an apple. Last night for dinner, my dad decided he would prepare a ratatouille omelet for everyone. As a lacto-vegetarian, I don't consume eggs, so I decided to prepare something a little different. I topped ratatouille with baked polenta rounds (along with some spices) and served it alongside a Health Is Wealth Chicken-Free Patty with melted mozzarella and some cubed watermelon.
I was leaning in a more decadent direction last night when I prepared my shake. I needed chocolate--badly. I used a frozen banana, soymilk, chocolate soy protein, peanuts, and chocolate syrup. Total yum.
After a trip to Whole Foods yesterday, I was excited to eat some vegan Van's waffles this morning. I topped them with the same pumpkin mixture I used yesterday morning. I also had a sliced apple with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB. These waffles were good, but I am always looking for alternatives. What brand of waffles do you buy? I prefer egg-free varieties.

I gave the Blogger Secret Ingredient another try today. I baked a few polenta rounds and topped them with sun-dried tomato hummus; I also had a snap pea-tomato mixture and peaches with cinnamon and chopped almonds.
As my vacation draws to a close, I just wanted a comfort dish for dinner. So of course I made Cashew Ginger Tofu from ED&BV. I never get tired of it. This was delicious of course, but (as you can see), the sauce got a bit pasty. I had it with some noodles, salad, and an assortment of freezer veggies.
Whew. I am off to stuff a few last items into my bulging suitcase before I head off to bed. Be back soon!


shelby said...

Holy moly all of your food is making my soo hungry! Tofu sandwiches, pumpkin pancakes, and polenta!? Your killin me!

magpie said...

That sandwich looks heavenly.

I actually like to make my own waffles - they do have eggs though (well, egg whites). And I like to add flavoured applesauce to the batter too. They're best topped with some whipped cream, but I don't usually have it on hand, so yogurt is my normal sub.

Agnesss =)) said...

Very very interesting meals, you managed to eat =)) Ohh you made me thinking bout guacamole!! I HAVE TO make some today :-D!!

Have a great time and I'd LOVE to see you on my BLOG....!! =)) Waiting for you!!

Lauren said...

I would love to try making tofu, but am completely scared. I don't know what brand/type to buy and how to prepare it. Any chance you could do one of your learning posts about tofu?

Sounds like you had a great weekend!

VeggieGirl said...

Hehe, I actually thought that the title of your blog post referred solely to the TLC channel ;0)

Such a lovely Fall break you're having so far!! My weekend was spent writing a paper (blah), but also having fun with my new trainer (no dance practices this weekend, since my partner was sick).

Sorry that the first shake wasn't tasty :0( But hooray for the OTHER shakes being delicious, as always; and wow, those pancakes, baked beans, ratatouille dish, and EVERYTHING else (haha) look quite delectable as well. Yum!!

I haven't purchased frozen waffles in a while; but when I did, I always went for the Van's vegan waffles and the Lifestream vegan flax waffles as well.

RhodeyGirl/Sabrina said...

wow all these meals looks great! especially love the smoothies!

eatingbender said...

I love the placemat under most of your photos - it's so cheerful and bright!

Cutting the wraps into four pieces is such a great idea! Yay volume!

I think the Kashi waffles are pretty yummy. I've actually never tried Vans before.

Love your use of the BSI!

Lacey Nicole said...

Hi Chickpea! I think I have commented here before, but I don't often. However, I do read all the time! I love your combinations, and food finds, and great photos! You do a great job recapping and reviewing. I'm not truly a vegetarian, although I follow a mostly-veg diet (I eat fish, eggs, dairy)-- but I'm always interested in vegetarian-vegan eating and foods. Have you ever been to Candle 79? I have not, but the Times ran an article on it today:

My one trip to NYC, my boyfriend and his brothers were willing to try out a vegan restaurant with me!! We went to Caravan of Dreams, which was a-mazing :) Anyway, just some thoughts.

Have a great day!

ChickPea said...

Shelby: Haha, glad you liked this round of meals!
Magpie: Your waffles sound heavenly!
Agness: Guacamole is one of my favorite foods, as evidenced by its frequent appearance on the blog...
Lauren: What an excellent suggestion! I will for sure do a tofu post in the future. I promise that preparing tofu is not as hard as it may seem.
VeggieGirl: I'm sorry to hear that you had to spend your weekend on blah homework, but at least it was balanced out by a little fun, right?
I have never tried the Lifestream vegan waffles, but I'll keep my eye out for them.
RhodeyGirl: Thanks! BTW, I recently discovered your blog, and it's awesome!
EatingBender: You can thank my mom for the cute placemats--they perfectly coordinate with her lakehouse decor...
I honestly hadn't thought about the volume aspect of cutting the wraps in half--I just did it so I could show you all a cross-section. It's nice perq though!
I was kinda worried that my use of the BSI was a little lame. I loved your idea of the polenta McMuffin--genius!
LaceyNicole: Thanks for reading and commenting! It's so nice to hear that people still enjoy the format of the blog.
I have never visited Candle 79, although I have seen so many of their dishes through the Sweet Eats blog. Everything looks so delicious! I plan on asking for the cookbook for Christmas and visiting the restaurant on my next trip to NYC! Thanks for sharing that link.
I have never heard of Caravan of Dreams--what did you order there? I am just curious as to what their menu is like. The only all vegetarian restaurants I have visited are Cafe Sunflower (Atlanta), The Chicago Diner, and Blind Faith Cafe (both in Chicago). All were excellent!