Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Berry Tripping

Hello, all! I apologize for the delay--my normal midday posting schedule was side-tracked due to a dining committee event. We're hosting a "berry tripping" event on Thursday night for which I was selling tickets. What is berry tripping, you ask? It all centers around the "miracle fruit," a berry grown in West Africa that alters your taste sensations. A glycoprotein present in the berry makes sour things taste sweet: just imagine sucking on a lemon that tastes like lemonade, or guzzling Guinness that tastes like a milkshake.

Check out this video from the NYT for an inside look at this food trend.

What do you think? Would you be brave enough to go on a berry trip?

Anyway, here's what I've been chomping on since my last post:

Inspired by my recent purchase of frozen artichoke hearts (from TJ's), I decided to whip up a vegan spinach artichoke dip. I based my version on the recipe from the Chicago Diner Cookbook, which includes vegan mayo, artichokes, garlic, and spinach. To make a completely dippable meal, I also served up some hummus with sliced olives on top. I used some more of those fab baked blue corn chips to shovel in the tastiness. Oh yeah, some salad a few grapes added a little more nutrition to the meal.
Following my dining committee meeting, I made another mock tuna melt, using my standard chickpea mixture as the "tuna" and melted provolone for the "melt." The end result was much better than last time--sliced cheese is much more melty than a chopped up cheddar stick. I also had a big salad from the salad bar with Annie's Balsamic Vinaigrette, plus a dish of melon.
For my smoothie that evening, I whipped up a frothy peach-banana combo with Nutribody. Sadly, I am nearing the end of my Nutribody AND my Cascadian Farm granola...looks like I'll need to go shopping for smoothie supplies soon:)
I've had this "People's Choice" yogurt by Stonyfield sitting in my fridge for a while--since it was so "special," I felt like I should use it creatively. In the end, it formed one of the components of my blueberry-pom parfait. I layered TJ's High Fiber cereal, said yogurt, blueberries, and almonds to make it. The yogurt tasted mostly like blueberry to me, but it was tasty, nonetheless. I really like this cereal though--it's like a gloriously aspartame-free Fiber One. I am also mildly obsessed with its cereal cousin, TJ's High Fiber Fruit and Nut Medley. Hmm...perhaps these will appear in future product reviews?
After my test, I came back to the apartment for a little comfort food...which has come to mean Goddess Garbanzos. I put the delicious mess in an Italian herb wrap with mixed greens and served it alongside a salad with 'shrooms and chopped apricots, plus grapes and steamed sugar snap peas.
I was stuck at home doing homework last night (rather than attending the basketball game against FSU), so I treated myself to an old fave while watching it on TV: scrambled tofu. I included zucchini in the mix for this one and served it with a whole wheat mini bagel, Brussels sprouts, greens, and an orange.
My nightly blog-reading was accompanied by a fab shake: strawberries, banana, soymilk, dark cocoa powder, and chocolate rice protein. A few more of those Annie's Bunnies decided to take a swim.
I am trying to whittle down my cereal selection (what? 8 boxes is too many?), so I opted for a hot bowl of Autumn Wheat today. I also had a banana with some Cinnamon Swirl PB.
Today's lunch was a double-salad: Waldorf salad, plus herb/greens mix with chickpeas. How can you go wrong with almonds, raisins, and apples? I also had a few crackers on the side.
There are a few giveaways in blogland that I wanted to let you all know about.

Olga from Healthing It is giving away a gift certificate for Me & Goji cereal. I've never tried it, but I love the idea of fully customizable cereal! Enter by March 9th!

Katie from Chocolate-Covered Katie is giving away Jocolat bars. I love me some Jocolat bars! I reviewed the chocolate mint variety here. Contest ends March 19th.

That concludes this installment of the Broccoli Hut adventures. Next post will be from DC!


Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) said...

Oooh that berry thing sounds interesting! Love that chocolate strawberry banana smoothie. YUM!

Lauren said...

Lovely parfait! I've heard about those berries, but am not sure I'd be brave enough to try 'em. I wonder what the physiological reason behind the taste alteration is?!

Anonymous said...

Berry tripping?! I've never heard of that - that sounds cool though!

Yummmm spinach artichoke dip! You know what's weird - before I was a veggie I detested tuna sandwiches but I lurve the chickpea version. It must be because chickpeas are just so darn tasty ;)

DC?! Have fun, girlie!!

Anonymous said...

Huh, I guess you really do learn something new everyday. Those berries sound so interesting!

Love the parfait, they always look so pretty! And that know I love me some tofu scramble =)

How is that Nutribody Protein Powder? Where did you buy it at?

VeggieGirl said...

Soooo much deliciousness, as always!!

Rosalie Y said...

I am *SO* excited about berry tripping. Have you done it before? Are you gonna be there? :)

I'm pretty surprised you didn't have a mention about how we TROUNCED florida state last night, considering your other obsession besides food/cooking..... ;)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Woah, so are you going to do it? Yikes, I think it sounds fun... but kinda scary. What if your normal tastes didn't return, ya know?

Anyways, thanks for the shout-out. I entered ya :o)

Anonymous said...

haha just say no to BERRIES! And did I miss why you are going to DC?? Spring break? Have fun girlie

Sarah (lovINmytummy) said...

I'd try anything once. Have you tried it?

I am in love with your meals. If you can do it at school, I have no excuses!

Aimee said...

I need to use some of your ideas and switch up my morning shakes. I have been having basically the same breakfast shake for months. It is a berry / vanilla protein combo (with flax seed and wheat germ). It is great, but I'm sure I will get bored with it soon.

Aimee said...

I need to use some of your ideas and switch up my morning shakes. I have been having basically the same breakfast shake for months. It is a berry / vanilla protein combo (with flax seed and wheat germ). It is great, but I'm sure I will get bored with it soon.

Anonymous said...

Berry tripping? No way, how cool is that? That's SO weird though. I want to try it!!

ChickPea said...

Courtney: Thanks! That's one of my all time fave combos.
Lauren: Yeah, I am a little scared to try them too. I've heard that the glycoprotein in the berry transfigures your tastebuds temporarily, thus causing the change in sensation.
K: You know I agree with you on the chickpeas--they're so delish. I have to say that I enjoyed tuna though--that was the last animal to leave my diet!
Shelby: Thanks! I think they mostly just look pretty because of the glass though. Whatever it takes...
I could not survive without tofu scramble. What all do you put in your scrambles?
I was sent the Nutribody powder by the company to review for VegFamily (which I did). I haven't seen it in stores, but you can order it from their website,
VeggieGirl: Thanks! I hope your break is going well!
Rosalie: I *wish* I could be there. My flight for spring break actually leaves tonight at 6, so I can't make it. If there are any berries left at the end of the night, be sure to save me some:)
I am amazed that I neglected to mention our fabulous victory. Just so everyone knows, DUKE BEAT FSU. There.
CCV: I unfortunately can't attend the event, but I'd like to try it in the future. I'm pretty sure the effect fades quickly.
Now I'll just *have* to whip up one of your fabulous recipes for more entries...
CarolineBee: Haha, I promise the berries aren't some kind of weird hallucinogen. I am going to DC for the weekend for spring break!
Sarah: I haven't tried it...yet. I'd love to do it someday.
Aimee: You may get bored with your smoothie, but it sounds so delicious and nutritious! I really should remember to add flax to mine more often. I have about a year's worth of smoothies for you to choose from for ideas!
LighterPortions: I know, it is kind of a weird concept, but appealing nonetheless!

Vegan On Stage said...

your parfait looks amazing!!! and your smoothies are always to die for...

get me some spinach artichoke

CeciLiA said...

Hey Caroline ... oops, sorry about my late comment - I'm up to my ears with homework, not fun! :(

Hey Caroline, can I ask you for a favor?? Can you do a feature post on nutrition labeling?? I.e.: How many grams/mg of protein, carbohydrate, fat, sodium, fiber and vitamins are regarded as ideal for snack bars, cereals, soups, frozen meals, frozen burgers and etc ... it's just that I am so confused with 'how much is too much' and sometimes, I found myself thinking maybe 3 grams of fat in a serving of snack bar is TOO much ... ugh, PLEASE HELP MOI!! :D

Thank you so much for your help, I really do appreciate it!! Have a great day!!

Anonymous said...

oooooooooooooh that is one of the best looking homemade parfait's i have ever seen. My eyes are sooo lucky. Now i must say, i've gotta go make me some bootiful parfaits!! WITH Berries!!! Yum

ChickPea said...

VeganOnStage: Thanks! I swear, spinach and artichokes were made to be together.
Cecilia: Best of luck in completing your HW!
I would love to dedicate a post to food product labeling. I certainly won't be able to advise you on all products but perhaps provide some general guidelines for choosing healthy snacks, etc.
LuckyTasteBuds: I think that food tastes so much better when it's pretty--berries surely will make for a beautiful AND delicious parfait!

Marianne said...

I would totally be game to try out that berry trip - I think it would be so bizarre yet fun :)

And I think any food is made better when you can dip it in something!

Erin said...

All this food looks so tasty and healthy! I've got my eye on all the chickpeas.