Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Denim Tragedy

Today I had to say farewell to another pair of well-loved jeans. This particular pair has been with me for while--my mom bought them for me just before I entered my junior year of high school. They fast became the "favorite" pair because of their perfect length and fit, as well as their wardrobe versatility. Indeed, they introduced me to the wonderful world of designer jeans, and I soon realized that Sevens were just made my body. Do you have a favorite pair of pants? How about a favorite brand of jeans?

Anyway, I realized after last wearing these jeans, that they had become paper thin on the left butt cheek, exactly where my last pair jeans wore out...weird. It will be rough, but I'll have to part with my beloved denim somehow...

Aside from busting my pants, I have done some eating too.

Ever since I picked up these blue corn chips last week, I've been itching to make a taco I did. Black beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and salsa went into the bowl, with plenty of corn chips to soak up the goodness. I had a combo of grapes and blueberries on the side.

I had an unexpected assignment to complete that night, so I had mucho work to do and not much time. Hence, dinner was pretty simple: Jamaican Jerk Tofu using this recipe (which is also in my new cookbook), sweet potato with walnuts and cinnamon, and an apple.
The smoothie was a repeat combination that might seem odd but tastes delicious: cherries and peaches. I mixed it with the usual Nutribody and soymilk.
When I spotted this Apple Pie Yogurt at Whole Foods, I knew I must try it. After all, I've made several parfaits in hopes of simulating the apple pie taste experience. Clearly, it went into the basket, and clearly, I had to make a breakfast parfait. I used Honey Nut Os, chopped apple, said yogurt, and ground flax. Honestly, Stonyfield, I was a tad disappointed by your rendition of apple pie. I think Cascade Fresh makes a better version--if only it were organic! If you're interested, I reviewed Cascade Fresh here.
For lunch yesterday, I was craving more of that yummy bok choy and adzuki bean combination. This time I just steamed the bok choy and asparagus, then added the beans and topped with peanut sauce. Supah-delish. On the side, I had rice crackers, a nectarine, and a side salad.
I bought a cucumber last week for one reason only: so I could make tzatziki. I combined a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt with grated cukes, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and dill. Voila! I fabulous sauce for pita! I also cooked up some cubed tofu with Bragg's and oregano and stuffed it into the pita with a handful of spinach. Along with it, I had some squash, more Greek yogurt with sliced banana, and spinach with Woodstock dressing.
The shake last night was a combination of chocolate-covered cherries and chocolate-covered strawberries. Yeah, it was pretty amazing. Cherries, strawberries, chocolate rice protein, special dark cocoa, and soymilk made for a tasty treat.
I found myself with a rather empty schedule today, so I whipped up some vegan banana pancakes. I topped them with that maple agave blend, and a few almonds. I washed it all down with rice milk (in a frog cup).
Whole Foods loot:
Sadly, nothing exciting this week (except for the new issue of VT).

In an effort to find another use for the Jamaican jerk seasoning I bought for the tofu (see above), I made some Jamaican jerk black beans for lunch. I combined the seasoning with black beans, bell peppers, and onion. Pita was there to sop up the goodness; dessert was an apple with white chocolate PB.
I received a suggestion from my girl over at GlidingCalm today for a post devoted to protein powders. I would be more than happy to do a protein powder post in the future, but it got me thinking...what topics would like to see in my Sunday feature posts? I am always open to new ideas!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the Kitchen with Caroline

Recently, when reading Erica's post about her new home, she asked her readers, "What is your favorite part of your home/apartment/room, etc.?" Without a doubt, the answer to this question, as applied to my on-campus apartment, is my kitchen--my very red kitchen. Although my preference for this area of the apartment may be due to its inherent relation to another one of my favorite things--food!--my kitchen brings me joy beyond the cuisine it helps me produce. All of my contributions to the kitchen decor are of a scarlet hue: the dishes, the gadgets, the measuring cups, the dish towels, and, yes, my beloved blender. Here is a glimpse into my culinary world:
Right side. Where creativity happens.
Left side. Where...dishwashing happens.
Oh-so-glamorous stove (with cherry towels!).
Assorted utensils. Uniformly red and white, save for my Foodbuzz spatula.
OK, so I like colorful dishes.
A selection from my ever-growing cookbook collection.
Where the (blending) magic happens. Although I lust after my fellow bloggers' VitaMix and BlendTec machines, I'm not sure they make them in red:)

Clearly my kitchen is not a high-tech or spacious destination, but I have fun in here, nonetheless.
What does your kitchen look like? What do you love about it?

Take a look at the latest kitchen creations:

The on-campus grocery store was out of garbanzo beans last week, so I chose a different variety that I had never tried before, aduki beans. Although they are traditionally used in sweet Asian dishes, I opted to use them in a stir-fry with my bunch of bok choy. I simply cooked them in teriyaki sauce along with a few asparagus spears and topped the mixture with toasted cashews. Couscous and a few grapes rounded it all out.
Dinner was a momentous event--I finally tried Jenn's Humbecue Pizza! Although I substituted a sliced mozzarella stick for the feta, I think I achieved the same general flavor experience. Fabulous! I will be using this combination in the future, for sure. Just think, humbecue wraps, salads, quesadillas, potatoes...oh the possibilities. I also had some greens with a few chopped dates on top, plus peaches with almonds.
In the evening I slurped on a triple berry smoothie: raspberry Spirutein, strawberries, and blueberries mixed with soymilk. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Breakfast was a big ol' bowl of oat bran. I made this creamy delight with rice milk, vanilla, agave nectar, ground flax, and mashed banana. I topped it off with some chopped apricots. YUM.
For lunch, I reverted back to my childhood a bit. Ever since kindergarten, I was always responsible for packing my own lunch (which made for some pretty interesting combinations early on). I soon developed a favorite: fat-free bologna on white bread with mayo, mustard, and pickles. Not exactly health food. Nonetheless, I still crave it occasionally, so I made a veganized, healthier version yesterday: Smart Deli meatless bologna slices, whole grain mustard, vegan mayo, sweet relish, and a few mixed greens piled on whole wheat bread. I love taking trips down memory lane with food. Anyway, I used to eat these deli slices all the time when I first became a vegetarian but have since shied away from meat analogs. This one is still pretty darn tasty to me though:) To complete the "lunchbox" theme, I had an apple with PB and raw veggies with salsa.
Dinner was an attempt to revamp leftovers: butternut squash pasta with assorted veggies. I've pulled this before, using soup to make a pasta sauce, and it is still quite tasty. I wished there more saltiness to this soup though--that's what I get for buying the low-sodium variety. Anyway, in the veggie mix, you see red onion, squash, and asparagus. On the side, I had greens with Woodstock dressing, plus a nectarine.
The shake last night was pretty awesome: strawberries, banana, chocolate rice protein, special dark cocoa powder, soymilk, and a few dairy-free chocolate chips.
This morning, I decided on another banana dog with Sunbutter and apple butter, plus a Greek yogurt on the side. Of this entire package of hot dog buns, I've only used them once for their intended purpose, hot dogs. Go figure.
As I sit here typing, I am in awe of how dry and nasty my hands have become. The cold weather and dishwashing certainly have taken their toll. How do you keep your hands silky and supple?

Be back soon! Happy (Ash) Wednesday!