Monday, March 23, 2009

Living in a Zoo

As if the chaos of the end of the semester weren't enough to make me feel like I'm living in a zoo, there is yet another reason these days: campus tours. Yes, it's that time of year again--the season in which reluctant high school students and their parents visit college campuses across the country in hopes of finding "the perfect fit." Overall, I don't really mind their presence, but it does make me feel a bit like a caged animal..."Look! A college student in its natural habitat!" Every time I exit the gym doors or look up from a computer screen in the library, I find multiple pairs of eyes staring back at me. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive to this mild surveillance...but still, this kind of thing makes you think twice about pickin' a wedgie;)

In contrast to the weekday zoo-like experiences, my weekend was pretty tame: just studying, a trip to TJ's, and chillin' with friends. Here's what I've been munching:

I busted out my Mango Almond Melange granola from my MixMyGranola on Friday night. Yes, I did create my smoothie on the basis of the granola flavors--I'm that cool. I combined frozen mango, raspberries, soymilk, and Tropical Fruit Spirutein, the perfect vehicle for my granola:)
I was in a particularly decadent mood on Saturday morning, so I made a choco-berry parfait. I used layers of TJ's High Fiber cereal, plain yogurt mixed with dark cocoa and stevia, and sliced strawberries topped with wheat germ and chocolate-hazelnut spread. YUM.
For lunch, I used more of that bean dip to make a very messy burrito. I put bell peppers, mashed avocado, bean dip, salsa, and spinach in a veggie-wheat tortilla and served it alongside a salad and an apple. I need to work on my wrapping skills, apparently.
For my snack, I tried another Rachel's cottage cheese flavor. I think I have a dependency on this stuff. Cottage cheese is definitely the reason why I couldn't go entirely vegan...for now.
Before heading over to watch the Duke-Texas game (in which we were victorious!), I made a simple dinner: a can of Health Valley's Vegetable Soup with added chickpeas, rice crackers, and a salad with cashews and Tofu-Lime Dressing. In addition to my homemade hummus obsession, I think I feel a homemade dressing fixation developing...
My smoothie that night featured frozen banana, unsweetened banana Spirutein, raspberries, and soymilk. I topped it with some more of that Peak Protein granola by Bear Naked.
As you may know, I have a healthy appreciation for Clif bars, especially the Maple Nut and Oatmeal Raisin Walnut flavors. Accordingly, I decided to combine my favorite flavors in my oatmeal bowl: oats, rice milk, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, and an agave-maple blend made for a wonderful start to the day. I find myself running out of oatmeal inspiration these days. With my Taste the Rainbow challenge and Girl Scout series complete, I need ideas. What should my next oatmeal challenge be?
I whipped up another batch of tofu cream cheese yesterday (NOT in pizza dip this time) and assembled a fruit pizza. I added a little cinnamon to the mix and the resulting flavor was quite reminiscent of the Creamy Cashew Dip from ED&BV (which I have made here and here). This fruit pizza was of the strawberry-banana variety, and I served it with greens topped with cucumber, wheat germ, and raspberry vinaigrette.

This marks the beginning of Chobani Week. This week, I'll be using all of your wonderful suggestions to sample Chobani's various flavors. First up was plain, with pumpkin and almonds.
After chapter, I returned home not really in the mood for a real dinner, so I made Mexican Dip again. This time, I layered the bean dip you've seen so much lately with salsa, TJ's Guac-Salsa, reduced-fat cheddar, and some more tofu sour cream. I scooped up all the goodness with baked blue corn chips and celery. High in sodium, but oh-so-delicious.
The smoothie last night was a bit of a leftovers concoction: soymilk, blueberries, frozen banana, strawberries, and vanilla rice protein went into the blender for this one. I topped it with my Choco-Cherry Treat granola--not the perfect accompaniment but tasty just the same.
I was in a rush to get to class today, so I slapped together a banana dog: whole wheat hot dog bug, banana, PB, and agave-maple syrup with a glass of rice milk. Fast and delish.
A few important reminders:
-Brilynn at Jumbo Empanadas is giving away a VitaMix. Yes, you read that right. You have no idea how much I covet the VitaMix machines of my fellow bloggers. I mean, come on, I make at least one smoothie per day. I clearly *need* a VitaMix. Anyway, enter by March 28 for your chance to win!
-Kristin from Kristin's Nibbles is giving away an assortment of Quaker goodies. I love the Simple Harvest products...and fuzzy slippers, so I am excited about this giveaway as well! Enter by tonight (March 23 at 9PM).

Eek! Another monster post! Congrats if you read this far! Be back soon:)


VeggieGirl said...

Haha!! I feel the same way about the campus tours - I'll be going about my business, and then there's random tour folks staring at me!!


No VitaMix love for me - I'm all about the BlendTec :-D

Hang in there with the rest of school, girl!! We seriously need to catch up.

Sarah (lovINmytummy) said...

Cottage cheese, eggs and yogurt are also my vegan obstacles. They are also some of my main protein sources, so therein lies the big problem

What about a Premium Ice Cream oat series? For example, Cherry Garcia oats or Chunky Monkey oats? I haven't eaten enough Ben & Jerry's to know all their flavors, but I bet their website might be inspiring!

VeganWoman said...

Oh Campus College tours...good luck. Love the post and all of the pictures. Cottage cheese was one of the hardest things for me to give up as well, it just became gross to me. Thanks for the post!

Erin of Care to Eat said...

I love your banana dog AND that Saturday parfait!
We're doing campus tours here. A bunch of ppl saw me doing glute exercises this morning. Awks!
Keep it real!

shelby said...

You never fail to make me drool with those parfaits girl!

ksgoodeats said...

Haha - I know exactly what you mean about campus tours!

I've been thinking a lot about making the full jump to being vegan but this, "Cottage cheese is definitely the reason why I couldn't go entirely vegan...for now," is my problem as well! It's an addiction I tell ya! That and Greek yogurt!

Fruit pizza - my friends and I used to have fruit pizza making parties!

I love that Mexican dip! I may have to recreate it! PS. Sarah has the best oat idea!! I like it!

dailydulcie said...

love the fruit pizza, your oatmeal, & the mexican dip!

sounds like you had a great weekend girlie<3

campus tours are annoying!! haha

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Desserts! Seriously, you have endless inspiration-- just think of cake flavors, ice cream flavors, pie flavors, etc etc etc.

Also, if you read the comment sections of the following posts, people left TONS of cool suggestions


Inspiration for a lifetime!

Tyler said...

wow, so many good eats! that parfait look to die for!

itsawrapteacher said...

I want to steal your granola mix!

A+ said...

Mmmm! I love all your smoothies. I've become obsessed with making them lately. Do you ever use almond milk or coconut yogurt as a base? Delicious!

jesslikesithot said...

Yayy you got the TJ's guac!!!! ....or maybe already had it?!!? haha, anyways that parfait looks SOOO delicious, I'd eat that for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert!

And hmmm I personally don't think I am going to try it anytime soon, but maybe a SAVORY oatmeal concoction?!

Maggie said...

Maybe an exotic fruit challenge? Kiwis, pineapple, mango, etc...

Marianne said...

I think I'm love with your layered foods! That parfait looks great, and so does the mexi-dip meal. I love Mexican Layer dip :D

And don't worry about your wrapping skills. I am the worst wrap wrapper ever.

Danielle said...

I love your fruit pizza! What a fun idea!

erinbee said...

im not even a vegetarian but i think i could pretty easily transition into veganism except for my love of cottage cheese. !!!

annie said...

that cottage cheese looks really good! i think i'm going to buy it and try it!

Katie said...

Hmm. I don't think I ever even noticed campus tour time when I was in college.

Your parfait looks especially yummy!

curlytop said...

..."Look! A college student in its natural habitat!" This made my day! Too funny.

Cottage cheese is my numero uno reason for not being vegan. Mixed with stevia and unsweetened coco powder it's like eating chocolate cheesecake. YUM-O I actually did a post on Monday devoted entirely to different ways to eat cottage cheese. You should def. check it out!

With Love,


lauren said...

nice eats! Regarding your question about steel cut oats - i am definitely no expert and actually use a quick version from Trader Joes. People have told me it may be best to prepare them the night before. Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat off - cover - and leave them until the next day. Good luck!

Erin said...

Oh my gosh, the banana dog is too funny. I love pb & banana sandwiches for breakfast sometimes, so I'm totally on board with this. You fruit pizza looks great too!

Hmm...oatmeal themes...I pretty much always stick with mashed banana & pb or almond butter (notice my theme?). What about oatmeal around the world? We usually look to ethnic foods for savory inspiration, but they all have sweets too!