Monday, February 16, 2009

Pimped Out Plates

If I've inherited anything from my mother, it's my continuing love of dishes. She and I both could easily spend hours flouncing through the aisles of Crate & Barrel, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all the elegant plates and cups. Indeed, aside from food and shoes, my favorite thing to shop for is most definitely tableware.

Fortunately, since starting this blog nearly a year ago, I have the perfect excuse to shop for dishes: "I obviously need this set of bowls; I don't want my readers to get bored!" I recently got the opportunity to satisfy my need for dishware shopping while on a trip to Target. I went in looking for a refill on Zicam, and came out with these:
While melamine plates are not likely to last forever, the price is right ($15 for all 5!). I am hoping that they won't wear too quickly since I do not have a dishwasher to corrode them. I am so psyched to use them all, especially the ChiO-tastic owl plate--I swear, I really am 21 years old, despite my juvenile taste in dishware:)

Well, I could discuss the subtleties of plates and cups forever, but I will now return to the main focus of this blog: the food!

I ended the evening with a blueberry-banana smoothie. I think half of my enjoyment of this smoothie was from the gorgeous hue alone.
Last week at Whole Foods, I made a new discovery. Just as I reached for my usual box of Van's waffles, I noticed this friendly little box nearby:
Whole Foods now makes a house brand of mini waffles, available in original, vanilla, and blueberry varieties. Although they are not whole grain, they are vegan, contain more waffles per box, and cost about a dollar less than my typical brand. Plus, they're just so cute. Anyway, I enjoyed mine waffle-tower style, with Greek yogurt, blackberries, and almonds.
I didn't feel much like cooking or being creative for lunch, so I just made a black bean and spinach wrap with salsa, served with extra greens and an apple with White Chocolate Wonderful PB.
For dinner, I used up some leftovers to make a tofu panini with tomatoes and reduced-fat cheddar. Along with it, I had some green beans, peaches, and a salad with walnuts. Delish.
The shake of the evening included a long-forgotten but fabulous combination: strawberries, banana, and chocolate PB Spirutein. As I've mentioned before, strawberries and peanut butter make for a lovely pairing. That's PB Pows and dairy-free chocolate chips on top.
This week's Girl-Scout oats flavor: Thin Mint. To achieve this taste sensation, I first cooked my oats in mint tea, then added special dark cocoa and rice milk. I topped off this bowl of decadence with some chocolate-hazelnut spread. While these oats tasted delicious, I wish the mint flavor had been more pronounced--if only I had some mint extract on hand!
After an intense afternoon of studying, I needed a quick lunch to refuel: bean salad with black beans, edamame, green beans, and homemade agave-mustard dressing. I also had some Corn Thins, a salad with Goddess dressing, and a pluot.
For dinner, I relied on the freezer for inspiration. I made a Chik sammie with some more of those soy nuggets, vegan mayo, and whole grain mustard. On the side, I had mixed veggies and some berries with cashews.
Some of you may recall my summertime obsession with mango and vanilla. I rekindled my love of this combination last night with a mango Nutribody smoothie. Yum.
One of my (many) impulse buys at Target recently was a container of Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges. My family used to buy this stuff in bulk at Sam's Club, we all loved it so much. My taste for it faded for a couple years...until now. I spread it on a whole wheat mini bagel and topped it with raisins and cinnamon. On the side, I had a sliced apple with Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB. Yum.
I broke with my vegan lunch habit today because I was majorly craving a tuna melt. I made a mock tuna salad out of chickpeas, vegan mayo, lemon juice, and kelp granules. I plopped the mixture on some whole wheat bread, topped it with reduced-fat cheddar and baked it for 10 minutes in the oven. It came out all hot and bubbly:) Along with it, I had a salad with Woodstock dressing and another pluot.
The dining committee is headed to a Mediterranean place for dinner tonight. What's your favorite Mediterranean dish? I'm thinkin' baba ghanouj may be in my future...

Be back soon!


VeggieGirl said...

LOOOVE C&B dishware - so fun!!

Thin Mint oats - too cute!! Definitely get some mint extract :-)

Hope all is well, dear Caroline!!

Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) said...

Love those plates! I was tempted to buy them on my trip to Target last night but resisted. I may have to go back!!

Yum-o eats! Don't have a favorite Mediteranean dish but I do love that style of cooking. So light and yummy!

Lauren said...

Fantastic idea for the "thin mint" inspired oatmeal!

Lauren said...

Fantastic idea for the "thin mint" inspired oatmeal!

flower said...

Love those cute dishes, especially the owl.
As for the chocolate oats, WOAH! they look like melted chocolate, nomnom thats a dream way to start the day.
And to answer your question I dont have a favourite Mediteranean dish, I dont really eat it much, so I look forward to reading your post about it :)

CeciLiA said...

WOOOOAAAHHHH ... that bowl of 'thin mint' oats looks DECADENT to the MAX!! Couldn't think of a better way to start the day :D

OOOoo yes, I have a MAJOR dishware collection in my pantry ... I just can't stop buying them!!

As for my fav Med dish, is warm bread + dip counted??? God, believe it or not, the best part about going to a restaurant is reaching into the bread basket .... mmmmmm ...

Anonymous said...

Please don't get jealous when I say cousin works for C&B, hello discounts ;)

Laughing Cow!! Love your combo!

Med Dish - I just had tomato kibbee and it was SO GOOD! I love me some Med eats :)

Anonymous said...

I tried the Spirutein powder because I see it on your blog so often, but I tried it (just mixed it up with some unsweetened hempmilk) and I didn't like it. It had no taste to it at all. Does it taste better when you mix in your smoothie mixins?

OMG, I tried the Banana Nut Bread Clif Bar... BEST BAR EVER!! It's even better than the WCMN. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Target plates =) I try to stay away though since I buy too many.

Thin Mint oats?! This is on my to-make list now!!!

Anonymous said...

So many foods, so little time. Great post.

just me said...

omg those plates are so cute! i love the owl!!!!

and seriously, can you come and cook for me, everyday? be my personal chef? LOL. you should be a cook for someone other than yourself!!!

Nicole ( said...

I would like you to come live with me and cook for me too, please!

Anonymous said...

Wow you definitely are a smart, economical foodie that eats AMAZING looking food!!! I keep thinking you ate at a cafe or restaurant somewhere because it all looks so professional!!

I totally need to go to Target!! Those plates are such a great find!

Vegan On Stage said...

such cute plates!!! i think im guna hit target and get myself something cuter to eat on :) i mean why not right!!!

and jesus! You and the oatmeal!!! im sitting here at the comp thinking.. "wow... i would love this NOW.. oh and its 1:41 am... good idea" haha

Sarah (lovINmytummy) said...

Can you come to my house and cook for me? Please?!

I have a huge collection of Disney princess melanine plates :) Okay, not me personally...

Marianne said...

As always, a series of awesome eats. I still want to steal those black & white dishes them!

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

it has HFCS in it but the ingredient list is otherwise OK. the only BBQ sauce i have seen without HFCS is Anne's Organic BBQ Sauce.

Anonymous said...

i definitely need to buy some supercute plates like yours! love em!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the plates. That owl totally takes the cake. Child-like dishware is always the way to go!

And that thin mint oatmeal looks CRAZY delicious. Your oatmeal bowls always look so perfectly shaped, I'm amazed.

Jen said...

I have that pink plate :) so cute!!! love your finds and awesome eats!! :)

Anonymous said...

Your plates definitely are PIMP!
I made a tempeh-quesadilla today that I shall post soon!!! Love it. All your food looks great & there is a special place for mango in my heart, too!
Have a great week!
P.S. (from the Foodie-Friend post) I shop at places like Ross sometimes for workout clothes. I LOVE those Target stretchy sport bras, & sometimes they're on sale, but they're even cheaper sometimes at Ross or Marshalls or TJ Maxx, too! Good luck- keep your eye out for bargains & you'll find something great!
Take care!

HangryPants said...

Juvenile dishwear is wonderful! And I am so excited to hear about the mini-waffles. I was just thinking about how I used to like to stack up the eggo minis.

Aimee said...

Love the dishes!!

Thin Mint oats look wonderful! I have made chocolate covered cherry oats before and loved those!

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: Isn't C&B the best?! I wish we had one near us
Courtney: You have more will power than I do, apparently. I just can't say no to cute plates!
Lauren: Thanks!
Flower: The chocolate oats were pretty delicious, even if they didn't taste particularly minty. I guess I'll just have to try it again...
Cecilia: I totally agree--I look forward to restaurants just for the bread basket!
K: OK I am COMPLETELY jealous. Some people have all the luck...
I will keep your rec in mind for the next mediterranean excursion...
VeganNurse: Ya know, I have never actually had Spirutein straight--I usually mix it with fruits and soymilk, so that may make a difference.
Shelby: Yay! Enjoy the oats!
Brittany: Thanks!
JustMe: I would love to be your chef. Actually we should take turns, since you're pretty awesome yourself.
Nicole: I say we food bloggers should just move in together and cook for each other every night!
LuckyTasteBuds: Aw, you're sweet to say that, but I am still quite an amateur!
VeganOnStage: Go for the Target plates! So cute and cheap!
Sarah: Like I said, we food bloggers should just move near each other and cook for one another.
Marianne: Not sure if Target delivers to Canada, but they're on their website.
Caitlin: Thanks for the info!
LoveofOats: Thanks!
LighterProtions: Haha, I didn't know oatmeal had a shape!
OrangePop: Thanks for the info...glad someone else likes mango too!
HangryPants: They're def worth trying. I'll have to try the stacking technique:)
Aimee: OMG I am totally copying your idea! (I'll give you credit though!)

Anonymous said...

I love the plates! I absolutely share your obsession with Crate & Barrel. It is such a wonderful store.

I totally follow Hangry's technique of stacking Eggo minis!

I would have been in heaven with that Thin Mint oatmeal! It looks so creamy! All of your pictures are truly tantalizing :o)