A Day in the Life of My Tummy

It’s another WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday, for those of you that haven’t yet experienced the magic of Peas & Crayon’s link party!) I’m STILL trying to figure out how to get the beautiful link/logo into wordpress… so any wordpress bloggers, feel free to pass along the knowledge!

So this is really What I Ate Tuesday… but details details.

Breakfast was typical:

1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, 2 packets of truvia, with a side of PB2

Lunch was a quick stop in the cafeteria at work, but I managed to throw together a decent salad:

That’s romaine, carrots, onion, chickpeas, edamame,  almonds, croutons, green peppers, corn, and a little olive oil. Yum! Love the crunch of the almonds!

The salad was good, but I had to work late, and I forgot to pack an afternoon snack, so by the time I got home, I was STARVING.

I threw together some filling yet simple vegan mac n cheese with peas, which hit the spot!

After I knocked this out, I had a sweet potato, roasted in the oven and served with some a lot of ketchup:

(I know, that’s the same picture from Sunday, because it was essentially the same thing as Sunday!)

I went over to a friend’s house to watch Glee and work on an art project, so I didn’t have my usual late night snack… which was probably good. I’m going to try to reinstate my “no snacking late at night” rule. I need to fuel my body during the day, not right before I go to bed!

Are you a late night snacker? What was the best thing you ate yesterday (or today!)?

<3 Liz

Things I’ve Learned as a Food Blogger… Part 1

I’ve now been blogging for… almost a year (although I haven’t been at this blog that long) and I’ve learned a LOT along the way. It’s funny, because I wouldn’t call myself a “food blogger” but I have a blog about… food… so. Ok, moving on.

#1. If at first you don’t like it, try, try again.

The first time I tasted Kombucha, I thought it was the grossest thing to ever. Now, I’m wishing my addiction didn’t gost $3.59 a bottle…

 

#2. Agar flakes are not the same as Guar gum. Sure, they both start with strange four letter words, and yes they’re both found in health food stores, but don’t get these things confused. Guar gum will add a creamy thickness to your smoothies. Agar flakes just add this weird chewiness… that is quite unpleasant.

(source)

Not the same thing. And on that note, if anyone has any idea what to do with Agar flakes… let me know…

 

#3. It can take a whole lot of failures, but the end success is totally worth it

Not my finest moment… but a second attempt at the recipe turned out much better…

 

#4. Never underestimate the power of a light box

The “fail” above was taken without a light box. The “success” shots of those little cupcake things, was in a light box. Prettier, no?

 

If you’re a blogger, what are some things you’ve learned along the way? And if you’re just a blog-reader, what’s something you’ve learned from reading blogs?

<3 Liz

Vegetable Overload

After a week of friend festivities (love you, Alexa!) and irregular eats, my body was craving vegetables.

Behold, yesterday’s lunch:

Course #1:

Asparagus, sauteed in a little olive oil + garlic salt

Course #2:

Parsnip, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with salt (I’d never had a parsnip before, but I’d seen them on the freckled foodie’s blog so I figured it was about time to try!) Have you ever tried parsnips? They sort of taste like carrots. I just roasted them in the oven, and then dipped them in ketchup!

Course #3:


Sweet Potato (it was a huge potato, so I only cooked up half) in a bit of olive oil, salt, and served with a mountain of ketchup

Do you find yourself craving certain foods after you have a week of unusual eating?

 

My body was pretty happy after that lunch, so did some yoga in my living room. (Thank you, Netflix, for my never ending supply of workout dvds!) I’m taking it easy on cardio this week, since I have the 10k race on Saturday.

 

My eats this week will probably be relatively simple… because I’m starting to pack up my kitchen (and the rest of my apartment!) for moving day this weekend! Technically, I have a month of overlap in apartments, so I don’t really have to rush to move everything, but, I’m getting started! My living room is looking like:

(source)

I’m only moving about 6 blocks from where I live now, so it’s not a very dramatic move, but I’ll soon have roommates! So that’s exciting! I miss having people around :)

 

Do you like moving? I like unpacking… but I’m not a big fan of packing and carrying boxes…

 

Happy Monday!

<3 Liz

Vegan Buckeyes!

Apparently my sweet tooth has been controlling my brain lately, because it seems like I’ve been overdosing on sweets. Yesterday, in support of Ohio State, I decided to whip up some buckeye candies! (Sadly, we lost… but the candy was still delicious!)

So what is a buckeye, you ask?

Buckeye- a kind of tree… the nut of which, looks like a “buck’s eye”…

Thinking about the eye of a deer is kind of gross. Moving on.

Luckily, the candy kind are DELICIOUS! Maybe you’ve had them before. (Maybe you have awesome friends like Katie, who aren’t from Ohio, but made them for her Ohio friend!) But lots of people here in VA haven’t tried them before! Thankfully, people from any state can agree that PB + Chocolate was a match made in heaven.

These are pretty simple to make, but there are a few tricks for success!

Vegan Buckeyes

  • 1 cup butter/margarine (I used earth balance light)
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Soften the butter, but don’t melt it. Whip it with the peanut butter and then add the butter. Once that is combined, slowly stir in your powdered sugar. I always get impatient and get powdered sugar all over myself and the counter. This isn’t a required step, but it seems to be for me…

Once that’s combined, roll into little balls. Stick a toothpick in each of the balls

Freeze for ~30min or longer

Melt your chocolate chips in a little dish. I recommend a ramekin dish! Microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir, stir, stir so it doesn’t burn!

Take the pb balls out of the fridge and dip into the chocolate, leaving a little bit exposed, so it looks like a buckeye! You might need to stick the pb balls back into the freezer as you dip, because if you let them get too soft, they slide off the toothpick…

Not good! :( Make sure you keep them cold enough for dipping!! Once they’re dipped, pop the finished product in the freezer for a bit, and then store in the fridge.

As if that wasn’t enough sweetness. I took my first trip to SweetFrog, the new fro-yo place near by!

My friend Nicole and I loaded up our bowls with deliciousness.

Mine was chocolate + peanut butter + espresso ice cream, topped with strawberries, graham crackers, and pretzels.

It was AMAZING. This place is going to be a summer staple. I can tell.

Have you ever had buckeyes? Do you make something similar, but call them something else?

What’s your favorite fro-yo topping?

Hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend!

<3 Liz

Just Throw It In The Bowl….

That’s right. I just referenced a rap-pop song. You know you love it. And the truth is, that’s exactly what I did.

I’m not sure where this recipe came from. Its probably similar to someone else recipe, so feel free to leave me a comment and link back to your recipe. It’s probably the most versatile cookie ever.

When I took them out of the oven, the bestie exclaimed “Cookie Balls!!!” Therefore, I christen thee,

Cookie Balls

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter (I used chocolate coconut but you could use anything)
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used almond)
  • 3 tbsp white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (more if you like things sweeeet)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used cashews)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Stir it all up and roll it into balls. Pop into a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes and there you go. You’ve got delicious cookie balls. And really, they’re not bad for you. All natural, protein, fiber packed goodies. (Warning: these are addictive and you’ll probably want to eat the whole batch. Lucky for you, this recipe makes a small batch.)

Perfection.


And then, these delicious balls made their way into some banana ice cream. How’d that happen? And yes, that’s some homemade almond butter on there as well.

 

What would you stir into these cookie balls? I feel like LOTS of things would be delicious!

<3 Liz

Sometimes…

I like to cook. Sometimes.

I like to try new recipes. Sometimes.

I like to make my food look nice and presentable. Sometimes

But sometimes I just want to eat. Especially if I’m busy hanging out with my bestie, and it’s late at night, and I’ve had a few margaritas. You know how it is. We were hungry. We couldn’t be bothered with complicated recipes. We also couldn’t go to the store, which meant I needed to make do with what I had on hand. (Which, thanks to the grocery budget, wasn’t much…) But I was determined.

Somehow, it all worked. Very well, might I add. So is this the recipe you’ll break out to impress your mother-in-law? Probably not. But it might be the recipe you make when your friends are around, and craving a filling snack, and you don’t have time to waste.

So, I present to you, the:

You-Seriously-Can’t-Screw-This-Up-Burger

  • 1 can black beans (drained and mostly rinsed)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3 tbsp egg white
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper

Combine everything in a blender or food process, and run it until it’s just slightly chunky. It’s not an exact science. Clearly. Heat up a skillet and spray with a little olive oil. Once the pan is heated, pour in your bean-mixture like a pancake. You’ll have to flip it before the burger is totally set, so don’t worry if it breaks apart. It might be a little scrambled after the first flip, but you can smush it back together (yes, that’s the technical term) with the spatula, and keep cooking. After a few minutes, it should be solid, and ready to serve. (I told you, you can’t mess this up.)

Please excuse the ketchup and mustard on the plate. This was round 2.

Serve with a side of these babies, and you’ve got a solid meal, in a matter of minutes. Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy? Yeah, that’s right. Boom.

Do you like to spend a lot of time preparing your food? Or are you more of a “throw it all together in a few minutes” kind of chef? For me, it totally depends on my mood! Clearly, last night, I was throwing it together :)

<3 Liz

Apple Cashew Salad

So last night when I got home from work I was ravenous. Actually, that’s pretty typical. Maybe I don’t eat enough during the day, but either way, I was about to tear into the box of Crispix that was sitting on top of my fridge, but I resisted. (Ok that’s not totally true. I had a handful. Or two.) I had some left over vegan black bean soup in the fridge so I popped that in the microwave and then I started salad-brainstorming. I wanted something with apples. So this is what I did:

Cashew Apple Salad

(Serves 1 hungry foodie)
  • 2 cups lettuce, chopped
  • 1 small granny smith apple (or half of a large one)
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • garlic salt
  • Parmesan Cheese (I use the vegan galaxy parm stuff)

Whisk together your lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and garlic salt. Dice up your apple and break up your cashews a bit. Toss the lettuce, apples & cashews with your dressing mixture, and top with Parmesan cheese. Then dig in. (This is my favorite part.)

 

The cashews add such a perfect crunch, and the apples provide some delicious tartness. My only complaint is that they’re green and they blend in with the lettuce. It would probably be prettier with red apples. But the green ones are perfect here, looks be damned.

I feel like there are probably a million variations of this salad. But for now, I’m just happy with the marriage of cashews + granny smith apples. Match made in heaven.

Speaking of great matches, my best friend in the whole world is in town visiting me.

This was actually taken in Columbus on my last visit home. But don’t worry, we will be taking lots of pictures this week ;)

Question for the day:

What’s your favorite thing to do with your best friend?

 

 

<3 Liz

I Can’t Believe It Worked…

First off, thank you for all your great responses on my last post, about over-apologizing. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this!

 

And now, lets get back to food- related things.

This is probably the strangest thing I’ve tried in the kitchen. But I’m proud to say… it actually worked!

 

So I’ve been making my own almond milk lately, which is cool, but I didn’t know how to filter out the little almond bits. (Apparently they make actual bags to filter it, but stick with me here…) It wasn’t an issue for smoothies, but the little granules of almond was a little weird in things like coffee. Wait… Coffee?… hmm

 

My coffee maker has a built in filter. *Insert lightbulb idea*

 

I took the filter out of my coffee maker, and used it to filter the almond milk. (Note, I had previously tried filtering it through a regular coffee filter, and it took FOREVER. This filter thing worked much better.)

Yay! Filtered almond milk!

 

But now I felt like I was wasting some of the almonds. I mean, what was left in the filter was essentially soaked almonds. Seemed like a terrible thing to waste.

And then *lightbulb idea* #2 came up.

My last batch of almond butter was dry. It was more crumbly than smooth (I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I don’t think I roasted the almonds long enough. Lesson learned.)

So, I tossed the almond bits in the vita mix with the crumbly butter… added a little extra salt and…

 

It worked! I now had delicious almond milk, AND delicious almond butter. That, my friends, is a win-win.

 

Isn’t it satisfying when you experiment with something, and it actually works out?

 

In other news, Eric and I went for a long run yesterday, (long for me = 6 miles) and it was great, but my knee hurt pretty badly afterwards. It’s only my left knee but even after icing it for awhile, it still felt pretty sore. I bought a knee-support thing, so I’m hoping that will help.

Anyone have any tips on preventing knee pain? Or thoughts on possible causes? The race is only 2 weeks away, and I don’t want to mess anything up!

 

<3 Liz

 

I’m Sorry That I’m Not Sorry

This post has nothing to do with food. Sorry. Wait no, I’m not really sorry. This is what I wanted to post about today, mmk? If you want a food post, go read any of my other posts. Or pretty much any blog on my blogroll.

I’m one of those people that apologizes for things that aren’t my fault, or for things I don’t really need to be sorry for. Does anyone else do this? At the very least, you probably know someone like this. I am that person. So these are things I tend to apologize for, that I’m really not sorry about:

1. I’m sorry you’re creepy and I don’t want to date you/kiss you/sleep with you. Why should I be sorry? You’re the one who’s creepy.

2. I’m sorry I don’t like beer. I think it tastes like rotten french fries. Every single kind tastes the same to me (i.e. gross). Guinness, Natty Light. You name it. Pass me some Kombucha instead. Mmk? Thanks.

3. I’m sorry I don’t eat meat. Sometimes I feel like I’m an inconvenience for not just eating what everyone else is eating. But that’s my choice, no? Pass me the carrot sticks, please.

4. I’m sorry It’s past my bed time. I need my sleep. Give me a good reason to stay up late, and I will. Give me a lame reason, and I’m going to sleep.

 

I’m all for apologizing if you do something wrong, but lately, I’ve realized that sometimes I apologize when I shouldn’t. I don’t think it’s all that bad, except that sometimes I apologize instead of standing up for myself. Apologizing has become my cop-out to avoid confrontation.

Are you an excessive apologizer? Does it drive you crazy when people apologize for things that aren’t their fault?

I’m going to work on standing up for myself when I should.

Happy Friday, loves. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

<3 Liz

WIAW… it’s about time…

I’ve been meaning to participate in What I Ate Wednesday for like… forever. But for some reason I always forget until… like Thursday morning. Super annoying. But anyways.

So this is a Wednesday in the life of me! Sorry for the lower quality pics, I had to use my phone!

Breakfast: Banana Soft Serve which is a pretty typical breakfast, unless something goes horribly wrong (and I forget to stick a banana in the freezer or something). I topped it with a bit of Cascadian Farms Granola. Yummy. This was eaten with a side of not-pictured peanut butter. (It was feeling camera shy. Don’t lie, we all have those days.)

Lunch was a free cafeteria style buffet at work (because I was in an all day meeting. Woohoo free lunch!)

This was a little bit of vegetarian pasta + veggies, fruit salad, and then greens topped with peppers, crasins, parmesan cheese, and a little olive oil (so simple, so delicious). It’s about the healthiest thing I can make in the cafe!

Dinner was on the go, because I had to get to church early to set up the instruments for band practice.I stopped into Subway, and grabbed a veggie sub on wheat, topped with a little fat free sweet onion dressing!

This was eaten with an un-pictured granny smith apple. (It would also have been consumed with a small banana, but I learned the lesson of not packing your soft fruit in the same bag as your gym shoes. Banana was a mushy mess.) Those sandwich artists really outdid themselves on this one. It was quite tasty.

 

My workouts have been a little sporadic, because my schedule has been so crazy. I’m basically fitting in workouts whenever I can! This morning I did some pilates before work, and my workout buddy and I are going to hit the gym this afternoon for a more intense sweat session. I haven’t been running as much because I’ve been having some knee pain, and I want to make sure I’m not injured for the 10k coming up.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, loves! I forgot to wear green, so my friend Greg drew a green x on my hand in a meeting this morning. Then we realized it looked like I was underage at a bar. So my friend Carrie tried to make it into a clover. And this is what we ended up with:

I suppose that’s what I get for not wearing green!

 

Are you wearing green? Do you have any St. Patty’s day plans? Do you ever participate in What I Ate Wednesday?

<3 Liz