Saturday Seven: Do the Kale Hail

Heeeeeeeeeeeey guys! So did you make it through the week? Honestly, I almost thought I wouldn’t! I had a 4-day week because I played hooky from classes on Monday since I was still at home, so that was nice, but it was kind of hard diving right into things on Tuesday. Especially because I had two tests this week, a huge essay to write and all the usual assignments, plus a random floor meeting and a meeting for work both on the same day. Needless to say, I was super happy for this week to finally be over. Next week isn’t looking too crazy, which will be great, plus I’m headed home again next weekend and it’ll be busy busy but fun. I’ll let you all know what’s going down latah!

For now, let’s get right into another edition of Saturday Seven. I’m on a roll with these lately–I’ve done one every weekend I’ve been on campus since December!

1. Homemade is better than store-bought

You were delicious, but too expensive!

At least when it comes to kale chips. I mentioned that I ordered some Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale chips a couple of weeks back, and I finally got them a week ago. I also happened to make my first batch of baked kale chips that same day. Verdict? I loved my homemade ones more (even though they still need some tweaking). I’m blaming in on the particular flavor I got of the chips–they’re natural nacho, and they’re a little too strongly “cheezy” for me, especially since I haven’t had real cheese in a few years. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad, just not quite what I was expecting. I love their crunch though. I would like to try another variety, like the Vampire Killer or Nasty Hot, but for now, I’ll be sticking with homemade. They’re so addicting!

2. T-minus 3 weeks…

I met Dory last year on my spring break...

Til spring break, of course! I don’t have any huge plans, but getting a 9 day break from school will be ah-mazing! Last year, I did end up doing a few fun things, like playing tennis, going to the aquarium, shopping and recipe experimentation (like a delicious vegan Philly “cheesesteak” sandwich) so hopefully I can do some of those things and more this time around. Actually, I really want to make at least one new recipe every day of break, so we’ll see how that goes down!

3. Small things are the cutest

These are brand new, and they look delicious!

I’m a huge fan of Gardein products because they’re quick and easy, pretty healthy for faux meat, yummy and vegan! When I saw these little guys on their website, I was sold. I’m not even that big on products that imitate beef, but their beefless veggie burgers are one of my favorites. Plus sliders are just adorable, and each one has 9 grams of protein–score!

4. Apparently I like to recycle…

More than just a holder for delicious coffee.

I liked my Starbucks Valentine’s cup so much that I washed it out and decided to use it as a pencil holder on my desk. Way to get creative while being green, right? Plus it just looks cute.

5. I’m still learning how to text on my new phone

I absolutely love the case though!

I got my new phone at the beginning of January (a T-Mobile MyTouch, in case you were wondering) and I’m still struggling with the texting. I had a touch screen before this one and I also have an iPod Touch, so I thought it would be easy to learn, but not so much. I guess I’m trying to text as fast as I used to so I end up hitting the wrong keys. I’ll get it eventually though, and besides, I really love the phone. It’s an Android so it has web service, so I can check my email/the weather/Twitter during class. Oops, did I just say that? 😉

6. A hair waver can work as a straightener

Wavy one day, straight the next...all with one tool!

I usually either straighten my hair or use my hair waver to enhance my natural waves. The other day I discovered that I can do both with the hair waver. Who knew? Now I don’t have to lug home both appliances on the weekend!

7. I’m so done with winter

It may look pretty, but I'm sick of it!

This winter has been pretty sucky here. At least compared to recent winters. January was actually alright and unseasonably warm for most of the month, but February hit and well, it’s been awful. For one thing, it’s been cloudy a lot, and that is really not normal for Colorado. I’m so used to sunshine year-round that it’s been kinda depressing. The cold and snow are another story altogether. February is usually in the 40s and sometimes 50s, but it’s been in the 30s and 20s most of the month, which is freaking freezing! I know some parts of the country have it worse, but I feel like we’ve just gotten the worst of the winter weather this year. I cannot wait until March and I’m hoping it comes in like a lamb, aka warm weather and sunshine! I miss my sandals, shorts and dresses!

What’s something you prefer homemade over store-bought? Are you looking forward to spring?

WIAW: Award Season

Can you believe it’s already the second WIAW party of the year? Um, nope, neither can I! If the year’s already going by this fast, that’s a good sign. The first few months of the year always tend to drag on, which isn’t fun. I already can’t wait for summer break, which is pretty pathetic 😛

Peas and Crayons

Anyways, the very sweet and beautiful Kat just tagged me in the Lactose Free Lizzie Food Award. It is award season, after all, with the Golden Globes and SAG Awards and the Oscars all coming up within the next month or so!

“The blogger that is tagged must host an award thing-ama-gig about FOOD. Yes, food (it’s the food awards). Anything related to it. A food blogger, a company, a favorite meal, or even whatever you like to sprinkle on your popcorn. After you are finished you tag 3 other bloggers to host a Food  Award ceremony (aka a post). But remember, you may only focus on the positive aspects of what you are awarding. No negativity is tolerated, especially if it will hurt someone’s feelings). Also, you are ALL winners in my book, even if you are not mentioned   xoxo Lizzie”

Nominees for Best Greek Yogurt Flavor

  • Oikos superfruits
  • Siggis orange & ginger
  • Fage mango guanabana

Winner–Oikos! I’ll admit that I’m a diehard Oikos fan (the original Stonyfield organic kind, not the new Dannon variety), so all of their flavors are winners in my book, but the superfruits takes the cake!

Breakfast: turtle sundae voluminous overnight oats (topped with banana soft serve, small Medjool date, chopped pecans), unpictured spicy veggie sausage

Nominees for Best Veggie Burger

  • Sunshine falafel burger
  • Gardein ultimate beefless burger
  • Amy’s low sodium California burger

Winner–Gardein! I actually love all these veggie burgers, but the Gardein has the most protein, 17 grams in one burger. Not too shabby!

Lunch: random snack plate of steamed edamame (with mustard for dipping), the thickest peanut flour paste I've ever made, fresh pineapple

Nominees for Best Nut Butter

  • MaraNatha natural honey almond butter
  • Whole Foods bulk crunchy almond butter
  • Archer Farms almond peanut cashew butter

Winner–Archer Farms almond peanut cashew butter! Obviously, almond butter is my hands-down favorite nut butter, but this one has the creamiest texture and a great mixed nuts taste.

Afternoon snack: peanut flour paste, fresh pineapple, frozen black grapes, teaspoon of homemade cookie butter

Nominees for Best Use of Sweet Potatoes

  • Alexia sweet potato tater tots
  • topped with nut butter and cinnamon
  • the base of a baked good

Winner–Alexia sweet potato tots! I love these crunchy little nuggets of sweet potato goodness. They’re much healthier than typical tater tots, because they’re baked not fried and cooked in just a little olive oil. Definitely my favorite way to enjoy my favorite veggie!

Dinner: homemade vegetarian spicy chili, iced unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze (first time trying this brand of AM and I'm hooked!)

Nominees for Most Versatile Product

  • Medjool dates
  • Oats
  • Peanut flour

Winner–peanut flour! All three of these are staples in my daily eats, but I can’t deny the amazing-ness of peanut flour. It’s a great sub for flour, is delicious as a protein powder, works well in microwave mug cakes and (my personal favorite) is beyond yummy mixed into a paste with water! It’s like a higher protein version of nut butter!

Dessert: Raw carrot cake bite with peanut flour 'frosting'

I’m passing the award onto… Aja @ Writing and Recovering, Chloe @ LightOnMyFeet and Lena @ Fit on the Rocks!

What’s your nominee for most versatile product? What is one food you’ve been obsessed with lately?

WIAW: I Can Almost Taste Thanksgiving!

Purple cauliflower fans unite! Oh, hi guys, sorry I was just excited about all the great responses to my last post! I love seeing that you could relate to my stressage about signing up for classes and all the foodie-type things I included in the post.

Anyways, on with this week’s WIAW. I was lucky enough to get to go home this weekend sorta unexpectedly, because I have a humongo stats test on Friday that I’m pretty sure I’ll fail without getting some help, so I recruited my math-whiz dad. But the weekend wasn’t all studying, because how blah would that be? Basically though, it was just like a mini tease of Thanksgiving break, which is making me really anxious for break to start. Unlike a lot of weekends at home, it was pretty chill, which was exactly what I needed before this crazy week hit. Why do professors/teachers assign so much the week before a break? It makes me nuts! But, let’s just move on to the WIAW and weekend recap and talk about school craziness latah!

Peas and Crayons

Friday afternoon started out with me taking a stats quiz (ick) and then finally getting picked up by my mom and sissy. We headed straight for the campus bookstore, to pick up some Christmas gifts for my g-parents. Since we were already at the student center, my mom suggested we eat at the food court and use my RamCash, which is basically money the school gives you to spend on laundry, food at the food court, etc. I barely use it, besides every once in awhile for laundry, so I have a buttload on my card, since they add more every semester. My mom first told me that only Panda Express was open on Friday evenings, and I wasn’t too excited about that. They apparently have nothing that’s certified vegetarian, since things get mixed around and veggies may touch meat, plus their food is just greasy and ugh.  But luckily, the soup and salad place was still open, so I got a cup of winter squash soup. It was pretty decent, not the best I’ve had from there (their vegetarian chili is BOMB!) but I definitely prefered it to Panda. My mom and sister got it though, and it ended up costing $16! Call me crazy, but that’s a lot for two people’s dinners at a fast food-type place. But we enjoyed our dinners in the awkwardness that was the empty food court. Usually it’s packed with people, but who wants to eat there on a Friday night when almost everything else is closed?

Not soup (obviously) but my hodgepodge dinner from last week: plain Greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon, Pink Lady, chocolate PB2 sauce, baby carrots, pumpkin protein frosting. So weird but really hit the spot.

Back at home, it wasn’t too late so I had dinner part 2, since I didn’t finish the soup and I was starving. I had my first sweet potato in probably 3 weeks (it was a happy reunion, that’s for sure 😀 ) topped with some PB2 that I brought home. Okay, is this sad or what–I’ve gone through most of the jar in basically 5 days! 2 tablespoons of it is supposed to be 15 servings, what a lie! I’ve mostly been having 1 or maybe 2 tablespoons of it per day, and it’s almost gone! What?

A seasonal variation on the banana whip--banana pumpkin whip. Enjoyed straight outta the blender, how classy am I?

Saturday I could barely make myself sleep in til 8. I think my schedule this semester has been screwing me up, I used to be able to sleep in til 9 easily if I stayed up past 11 or so. Well, I’m not complaining, 8 is fine with me! I hate sleeping in so late that I feel like the day is wasted, so I totally don’t get people that sleep in past noon or whatever. I had a nice breakfast of leftover pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes and my usual veggie sausage, alongside a homemade Starbucks peppermint mocha! I’ve been totally craving Starbucks, and since I rarely go (that’s gonna change in less than a week 😉 ) I wanted to make a drink that’s almost as good. My mom got some Silk Mint Chocolate soy milk (best stuff ever!) so I steamed it and added it to some Starbucks VIA.

Almost as good as Starbucks, for way less, and in a cute snowman mug!

For lunch, I ended up burning the last 2 pieces of tempeh bacon (whoops) while I was cooking my second sweet potato in two days. Obviously, they have been very missed. I topped it with more PB2 (addicted much?), and plated it and the burned bacon with some frozen raspberries. Oh so good.

Who can beat a nut butter topped sweet potato? Especially with tempeh bacon and frozen raspberries?

After lunch, my dad and I headed out to the store. Well…stores! I was only planning on getting some apples and grapes to tide me over for the 5 days I’d be on campus before break, but knowing me, I got a lot more. Well, not a lot more, but definitely some. But it was all needed, so it’s justified. I did get the apples and grapes I needed, plus some Silk Pumpkin Spice (haven’t tried it yet), Whole Foods fresh-grind crunchy almond butter, butternut squash cubes, my crack Late July green mojo chips, peanut butter pows cereal (apparently renamed peanut butter balls?), full moon brownie kid Clifs, dates, rolled oats, vegan chorizo taquitos and my personal favorite, Oikos frozen Greek yogurt! I’ve been dying to try it since I saw it on Tara’s blog awhile back. I got it in chocolate, and it is heavenly. Better than their original chocolate froyo, since it’s a little tangy just like Greek yogurt. Plus it’s got a little more protein, which is always a win. I can’t wait to try the blueberry and honey…and I hope they come out with superfruits, because that is my favorite flavor of their yogurt! Whole Foods was pretty lame this time as far as samples go, but I think I found a good vegan alternative to the Thanksgiving turkey–Field Roast Grain Meat loaves. They’re made from vital wheat gluten and veggies and they look pretty decent. I hope I can convince my mom to buy it for me, since my dad seemed to think it looked good.

I dressed up my first bowl of Oikos froyo with frozen raspberries and PB balls cereal. Love the mix of textures and flavors.

Then my wonderful daddy surprised me with some Pinkberry. I was so excited when it first came to my city, and I loved the watermelon froyo I got the first time around, all the way back in June! Unfortunately, I hadn’t been back there since but I got my fix this weekend. If you’ve never been to a Pinkberry, they only have 6 flavors at a time, but they rotate based on season, and their yogurt is better quality than most froyos. I’m such a sucker for all things seasonal, as you probably know by now, and peppermint is by far my favorite seasonal flavor–especially paired with dark chocolate! So when I saw the peppermint froyo on the front door, I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I also decided to branch out (and piss off my ED a bit) and topped it with some peppermint bark, which was the perfect pairing. Usually, I only stick with fruit as a topping, but I have no regrets getting the bark instead. And I don’t care what ED says about it, it was crazy good and I didn’t get fat overnight by eating it. So there!

Perfection in a cup. I love that they swirl it so perfectly, and that it's light pink!

The rest of the night was devoted to church, eating Amy’s cheeseless pizza with a side of Silk Mint Chocolate (can’t get enough of the mint/chocolate combo obvi!), showering, studying up on stats with the padre and watching some SNL. Emma Stone was the host, she’s so funny and I love her voice. It makes me less self-conscious for having a deeper voice than most girls 😛

Sunday's (very orange) lunch of Gardein chickenless nuggets, sweet potato tots (ob-sessed), more raspberries and spicy three pepper mustard. Like fast food but...not!

Sunday was pretty leisurely. Breakfast and lunch were had over the Sunday pap-ah, I went for a nice walk with my dad and sister and then it was sadly time to head back. Most times when I have to go back, I’m a little sad, since I won’t get to see my family for 2 weeks, but this time I wasn’t because I knew I’d be seeing my madre’s lovely face again on Friday–for a whole 9 days, in fact! I was just annoyed with the fact that I had a full 5 days of school to deal with 😩 Before dropping me off, we had a delicious dinner at Garbanzo, my favorite fast-casual place. I think I’ve mentioned it about a bazillion times already, but it’s just that good. Mediterranean food is my all-time fave.

Ninja shot of my dinner. The best falafel ever, red cabbage, vegetable salad, lettuc, grilled eggplant, hummus and tabbouleh, with a side of cilantro and curry sauces. Can I live in the bowl? Kthx.

So there you have it, my weekend-before-Thanksgiving-break in a (big) nutshell. I always make these recap things way too long, guess it shows how excited I am about the weekends I get at home. Now I’ve just gotta focus on studying for my Friday stats test and…PACKING! I love packing, so I can’t wait!

What was the best part of your weekend? Mine was probably Whole Foods shopping, ’cause I’mma nerd like that! What is your favorite seasonal flavor? I luuuuuurrrrrvvvve peppermint, especially paired with dark chocolate and coffee. Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha, here I come!

WIAW: Halloween (Weekend) Edition

Hey guys, how were all of your Halloweens? Mine was basically like any other school day: classes at 10 and 1, then an editorial meeting with staffers at 3. Oh yeah, not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I’m the editor for my campus’ faculty & staff newsletter! I’m so stoked because it’s a paid job and it’s in journalism, which is my field. I was dreading trying to look for some lame minimum wage job but I’m so glad I got hired for this. It was a long process of interviewing and paperwork, but it’s finally coming together. Me and another girl (the other editor) get along really well, and even though we’re pretty confused and overwhelmed at this point since we have a deadline this week and only just hired our writers, we’re still loving the position. So yeah, I officially have my first ever job 😀 But anyways, yeah, my Halloween was pretty boring…but Halloween weekend is a totally different story!

Peas and Crayons

Mi madre picked me up around 2 on Friday and we were off! Unlike most weekends that I go home, she was able to get me earlier which meant I got to eat a home cooked meal. Score! Sure, I like going out to fast casual places, but they can get repetitive and expensive after a while, and I’ve missed being able to use the oven. So that’s exactly what I did–I made Gardein meatless ‘chicken’ nuggets and Alexia sweet potato tots (best thing ever!) alongside some green beans (ick, but decent with some spicy three-pepper mustard) for dinner. It was basic but gourmet compared to my dorm meals. Though I can get pretty creative with those… 😉

Look how much snow was still at our house 4 days after the storm!

Friday night was so much fun, because we all carved pumpkins and watched some reallllllly old (from the early 90s!) Disney Halloween cartoons. Those 2 things are basically a Halloween tradition in our house, and I love it. I ended up carving a pumpkin in my pumpkin because I thought a face was too clichĂ© haha. It was so much easier than carving a face too, and the only part that sucked was digging out all the seeds. The insides of all the pumpkins were freezing cold so it hurt our hands after a while to get all the seeds out. But trust me, it was worth it–you’ll see why soon!

My pumpkin in a pumpkin!

My mom's and dad's pumpkins. My dad always likes to do something--erm--creative!

Saturday morning I woke up a little early (like 8:15, which is totally not early but it is for the weekend) because I wanted to make pancakes for my lovely familia. But not just any pancakes–oh no!–I made pumpkin pancakes with dark chocolate chips! OMG, pumpkin and chocolate are a match made in heaven for sure. I love the Archer Farms pancake/waffle mixes because they have the best flavors, especially seasonal kinds. My personal fave is the double chocolate peppermint (I’ll be making those over Thanksgiving break!) but pumpkin is awesome-sauce too. I also added a scoop of vanilla protein powder, to up the protein a little and use up the powder. They turned out really good but sadly, there weren’t that many of them. The amount I used only made 15 mini pancakes, so everyone got 3 (and I froze 3 for myself for later…shhhhh!)

Pancake batttttttah 😉

Just 3 ingredients: pumpkin pancake mix, mini chocolate chips and vanilla protein powder. Oh, and water of course!

My dad and I ventured out to (where else?) Whole Foods. Knowing us, we also made stops at Sunflower Market and Albertson’s. Gotta stock up on food, ya know? I got bunches of yummy stuff from WF, including some new things you’ll hopefully be seeing on this bloggie soon, like purple cauliflower and dried figs. Love that store. At Sunflower, I basically took their entire bar selection 😉 Just kidding, but I got soooooo many bars, like my newly beloved Clif Mojo white chocolate macadamia, Clif Kid Z-Bar full moon brownie and Pure orange cranberry. That is literally the only store near me that has that flavor of Pure bars and Clif Mojo bars, so I gotta get ’em where I can.

I may love the chocolate and PB Puffins even more than the PB!

Back at home I had a super late lunch and then got to work roasting my pumpkin seeds. You know the seeds are the best part, right? Of course they are. I decided to stray from the usual spice combinations and make a spicy-sweet kind. I found the recipe from here and they turned out better than I thought. I made a few tweaks though based on what I had on hand: I used Eggbeaters egg sub in place of the egg white, I used raw sugar instead of cane sugar and I used crushed red pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper. They still ended up amazing, with just enough sweetness and heat.

So. Flippin'. Addicting.

Dinner turned out to be an (almost) family affair. My dad and I really wanted to try grilling eggplant and brussels sprouts so we fired up the grill for those. Meanwhile, my mom made dinner for the rest of the fam (minus me) while I cooked up a couple of Gardein meatless nuggets at the last minute. My sister, the only non-cook in the house, was of course the only one who didn’t participate but it was still fun. I miss being in the kitchen with everyone. It’s just such a fun, lively atmosphere. Anyways, dinner turned out great, especially the grilled veggies. I’ve had grilled eggplant before, but I’ve never done it myself and it turned out amazing. Same with the brussels sprouts. The outsides got nice and crispy and the insides were warm and smooth. So. Darn. Delicious.

Would you like a little fake chicken with your veggies?

I love how pink this raspberry cappuccino smoothie is!

The rest of the night was spent watching-slash-making-fun-of a really lame infomercial on 70s music, my dad helping me with stats (beeteedubs, I absolutely HATE stats with a passion, so this sucked but was also super helpful), me learning to enjoy hot tea (my mom got some Celestial Seasonings candy cane and sugar cookie tea bags, and they totally transformed me into being a hot tea lover) and watching reruns of SNL. I ended up staying up pretty late but it was so worth it.

Mmmmmmm, I'm such a sucker for all things seasonal!

I love this mug (please ignore all the random crap in the background).

Sunday, as usual, was pretty chill. Enjoying breakfast with the fam, reading the Sunday newspaper, packing up my stuff, lunch, hanging out with my sister and finally having to drive back up to school. I always hate Sundays on weekends I’m at home because it means I have to go back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I like school and my dorm and all, but I just really cherish the weekends I spend at home and it sucks when they’re over. They always seem to go by way too fast 😩 Back up in good old FoCo, my mom and I stopped for more groceries (I couldn’t live with nut butter, of course!) but sadly, I’ll have to be sweet potato-less for the next two weeks ’cause we couldn’t find them anywhere. We also stopped for dinner at a new-to-us place, HuHot Express. We went to HuHot once for my dad’s birthday, but this one was slightly different because it’s not all-you-can-eat. But I ended up loving what I got here better than at the regular place. I got rice noodles topped with shrimp, fresh jalapeno (spicy is where it’s at), edamame, spinach and what was called a Mongol mustard sauce. It was really delish, a little spicy, and not too overwhelming. I ended up mostly just eating the shrimp and veggies, but I would totally get it again. But the real star was the super-cool, high-tech soda machine. It had a touch screen menu so you could mix and match between all kinds of sodas and juices. Normally, I don’t drink soda but I had to try this. I got diet orange Coke mixed with diet vanilla Coke–it was like an orange creamsicle! Have you guys ever seen one of these machines? They are le-git!

Overnight oats in a jar! I basically just saved this jar and keep reusing it. Cookies 'n cream overnighters, frozen raspbs, spicy veggie sausage. Breakfast of champions right thurrrr!

I love tempeh bacon. And apples. And sriracha. Oh, and cold brussels sprouts. Don't judge me 😀

Of course, it was sad to say goodbye to such a fun-filled weekend, but Thanksgiving break is in less than 3 weeks–wooooohooooo 😀 You know I’m looking forward to 9 days away from school!

What was the best thing you did or ate this weekend? Do you like roasted pumpkin seeds?

Weekend Food & Fun

Ya wanna know what my least favorite part of the weekend is? When it’s coming to an end. I hate that feeling you get on Sunday night when you realize that the weekend’s pretty much over and tomorrow it’s back to the daily grind. Can you tell that I’m sick of school already? 😉 I know how sad that sounds, I mean come on, I’m only like 5 weeks in! Honestly, I actually love school this year (nerd alert!) but sometimes you just want a nice little break. Especially when you’ve got a crazy busy next few weeks ahead–in my case, 2 tests this Friday (eek!), 2 tests next week and a paper due in 3 weeks. Gosh, these professors are insane!

This is my "You've gotta be kidding me, 2 tests in one day?" face.

 But the point of this post is not to complain about school but to talk about my weekend! It started out when my mom picked me up around 6:30 on Friday. We grabbed dinner at Garbanzo, which is this really awesome fast casual Mediterranean place. It was a little too awkward taking a picture of my amazing dinner, so I’ll just explain it: baby greens, tabbouleh salad, fresh red cabbage, hummus, falafel topped with spicy cilanto sauce and grilled eggplant slices on top. It was drool-worthy.

I finally changed my nail polish! My sis got the shatter polish for homecoming, so I def had to try it out once I got home. Verdict: love it! And every time, it's a different design!

Saturday started out bright and early (if you consider 8:15 early, which sadly I don’t anymore since I’m used to being up by 7) with some Kashi Honey Sunshine-topped overnight oats. Oh how I’ve missed Honey Sunshine! I haven’t had it for months and forgot how much I loved it. Topped with frozen nanner slices and mango chunks, it was heaven in a bowl.

Please take me back, Honey Sunshine! I can't live without ya 😉

Around 11:30, my mom turned on the TV so we could cheer on my college’s football team in their big annual rivalry game. The Rammies did so well in the first quarter, but then they lost a lot of steam after the half. It was getting way too depressing so I stopped watching 😩 Luckily, my dad and I ended up going to see “Crazy Stupid Love” (I was shocked it was still in theatres) so it ended up being a great afternoon. I love comedies, and it was  really good one, so definitely see it if you have the chance. Then my dad took me to get froyo nearby–how could I pass that up? Despite the fact that I was freezing cold all day (seriously, the weather changed so drastically!), I still enjoyed my frozen yogurt. I got a new-t0-me flavor, apple pie. It tasted as good as it sounds 😀 Perfect for an almost fall day.

I have so many froyo pics on this blog, it's a bit ridic. But each one is unique and a piece of art (baha). Apple pie froyo topped with raspberries and blueberries.

After a Target run, we got home and I was able to make my own dinner–for realsies this time, I actually used the oven, which totally counts as cooking. I miss being able to do real cooking, but I’ve got a whole lineup of recipes that I want to make come Thanksgiving break. Everyone better stay outta my way–the kitchen will be mine 😆

I also appreciate the slightly better lighting I get at home! My dinner was a Gardein veggie burger topped with General Tso sauce, baby carrots, chipotle seasoned sweet potato fries and sweet potato tots. I think I OD'd on the orange.

The rest of the night was pretty low-key: SNL-watching, shower-taking, beating my dad at an UNO tournament. I am beast at UNO–no really!–I mostly always end up winning against my dad.

I think a big trend for me this fall will be layering--I love how cozy I felt in this outfit. Grey knit duster cardigan (A&F), burgundy plaid tunic (A&F Kids), navy culotte shorts (A&F), navy sparkle tights (AE).

Today was even more chill–at least until I had to head back up to school. When we finally got up here, my mom suggested Larkburger for dinner. It’s basically this pretty simple place with all-natural gourmet burgers and fries and such. Usually I end up getting the portobello burger but I wasn’t too hungry tonight and settled for the field greens salad topped with a grilled tuna filet and some edamame on the side. The tuna was amazing and the edamame was too (of course!) but the salad wasn’t great, mostly because they served it in this plastic container that was extremely hard to eat out of, plus the tamari ginger dressing  that sounded so promising, turned out to be totally nast. I hate when that happens, but I pretty much usually expect restaurant dressings to be sub-par. Luckily, it was on the side so I could just toss it without having the whole salad be ruined. I ended up saving the salad to eat sometime this week–in a more convenient way, like on a plate!

More Kashi Honey Sunshine? Yep, I'm a woman obsessed.

Now it’s back to the real world 😕 Oh well, not every day can be a blast and I know I’ll have some awesome days in the near future!

Oh, P.S. an update on my foot. Thanks so so so much for the well wishes! It’s still in pain, I wrapped an Ace bandage around it and hope it might help–hey, if it doesn’t, at least people will know why I’m limping around 😀 Plus I feel cool with it on, please don’t ask me why!

 

What fun things did you do this weekend? What is your dream froyo flavor?

WIAW: ABC’s of Food Survey

I haven’t done a survey in wayyyyyyy too long. Sad, because I love ’em. I’ve always loved taking quizzes (except in school…) and questionnaires, so foodie surveys are right up my alley. But just in time for another WIAW, I’ve got a survey to take, courtesy of Tori of Fresh Fruition. Let’s get to filling it out!

Peas and Crayons

A new creation of mine: snickerdoodle cookie overnighters! Mixed with plenty 'o cinnamon, Truvia and topped with Annie's cinnamon bunny grahams.

[A] Apples or Oranges: I like both but I’ll have to go with apples. Especially Exclusively Pink Ladies. Oranges are great in the summertime, though.

[B] Beans or Lentils: I’ve only had lentils once or twice, so definitely beans, though I’d like to try lentils more often. My fave beans are hands-down black beans, but garbanzos are also muy delicioso.

[C] Cereal or Oatmeal: Gosh, I used to be such a cereal fiend but since this spring, I’ve been lovin’ on the oats almost daily (sometimes twice!). I love all the overnighters combos I’ve had and I think oats are the perfect palette for getting creative.

[D] Dates or Raisins: Before I discovered dates, I liked raisins a lot, but once I bit into the gooey golden goodness that is a Medjool date, I forgot all about raisins. Luckily, I recently rediscovered my love for raisins and I’ve been having a handful a day. But nothing can beat an almond butter-stuffed date!

I like to eat a lot of small things at every meal so I don't get bored. The usual spicy veggie sausage, frozen mango and peanut butter Puffins. I'm slightly addicted to these.

 [E] Eggs or Milk: Now that I’m mostly vegan, both are out. However, I’ve never ever liked eggs in anything. I do like nondairy milks, however, especially unsweetened chocolate soy milk and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Yum!

[F] French Toast or Waffles: Considering that I can’t ever remember eating French toast, I’ll go with waffles. I haven’t had one in a few weeks (that’s gonna change soon, hopefully!) but I love making my own or just chowing down on some toasted mini blueberry waffles.

[G] Garlic or Salt: Garlic. I’m pretty sensitive to saltiness so if something tastes a bit too salty, it ruins the whole dish for me. Garlic is amazing in all kinds of savory dishes, but it gives me horrible breath. Yikes!

I love salads at lunch, especially if they have a bit of crunch. Mixed greens salad topped with black beans, Greek yogurt/guac dip and multigrain chips. Raisins, frozen pineapple and mint chocolate roasted almonds on the side.

 [H] Honey or Maple Syrup: I’m starting to become addicted to maple syrup–the real stuff, of course! I’ve never been a huge fan of honey, except in Greek yogurt. Maple is amazing on oats, in yogurt, on waffles and toast…pretty much anything.

[I] Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt: Froyo all the way! I don’t go for heavy things like ice cream anymore, but give me some froyo any day. But if I really had to choose between all frozen desserts, my answer would obviously be gelato. It’s so much thicker and fluffier than ice cream, but healthier and not as filling.

[J] Jam or Toast: Since I’ve discovered Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread, I’ve been loving toast. Though some nice organic jelly can be good, too.

I painted my nails! The new trend is to paint only one nail in a different color, so I painted 9 of them silver and one hot pink!

 [K] Kale or Spinach: I’ve only had kale one time in a really good Asian salad from Whole Foods, and it was good, but spinach has my vote. It’s my green-of-choice for salads and smoothies (Green Monster, anyone?)

[L] Lemon or Lime: Unlike most people, I prefer lime. It’s so sour without being too much–I love it squeezed into fresh iced tea or drizzled on black beans.

Outfit of the day: charcoal grey cropped tee (American Eagle), dark brown leather woven belt (Abercrombie), distressed boyfit midi shorts (American Eagle), bangles and shell necklace (American Eagle). I used my new hair waver to create the "hippie" look I was going for today.

 [M] Muffins or Cupcakes: I absolutely hate frosting, so muffins it is! I love how muffins taste decadent but are usually pretty healthy–at least healthier than cupcakes!

[N] Nut Butter or Jelly: Nut butter! More specifically, crunchy almond butter. I love mine unadulterated, just almonds ground up. Though I would love to try the almond cashew peanut butter from Target…

[O] Onions or Peppers: As much as I love the taste of onions, I’ve gotta go with peppers because they don’t leave me with a terrible aftertaste for days. No joke. Grilled bell peppers are one of my favorite veggies.

[P] Peanuts or Almonds: Almonds, fo sho! I like peanuts when they’re cooked into an Asian dish, but otherwise, give me the almonds and no one gets hurt 😉

[Q] Quick or Yeast Bread: I have never made yeast bread before because it seems way too complicated for me so quick bread it is.

Peanut butter Puffins make yet another appearance, this time atop plain Greek yogurt mixed with a drizzle of maple syrup.

 [R] Raspberry or Blackberry: Definitely raspberry! I love those ruby bites of yumminess, but I actually like the golden variety even better.

[S] Sweet or Savory: Are you kidding me? I have such a sweet tooth it’s not even funny. I’ve gotta have something sweet at every meal, even dinner. In fact, give me breakfast for dinner and I’ll be happy.

[T] Tea or Coffee: I like both, but only in specific ways. Coffee–must be Starbucks (I know, I’m spoiled 😛 ), preferably in a skinny latte, light mocha frappuccino or straight-up iced. Tea–gotta be iced, sweetened with a packet of Truvia.

Dried fruit is my favorite thing to snack on! Freeze-dried strawberries, Medjool date and dried pineapple. All that's missing is raisins!

[U] Udon or Spaghetti Noodles: I don’t think I’ve ever had udon noodles, so I’ll say spaghetti but I really only like whole wheat or whole grain pasta. Spinach pasta is also so good.

[V] Vanilla or Chocolate: Chocolate! I usually only eat chocolate-flavored things instead of straight-up chocolate, but if I do eat it that way, it must be dark. I do love adding vanilla extract to my oats, though.

Dinner: Gardein veggie burger on wheat sandwich thin with a pickle tongue (!), baby carrots, sweet potato tater tots. These tots were new to me, and I loved em.

[W] Whole Wheat or White Bread: My mom has never bought white bread for sandwiches, not even when I was a kid, so I’ve always been eating wheat and liking it. My new favorite grain-filled bread is Ezekiel cinnamon raisin.

[X] Xanthan or Guar Gum: I’ve never used either one, though I’d really like to try some in my smoothies, so I can’t say I have a preference. I think xanthan sounds the coolest, though. Xanthan, xanthan, xanthan…

[Y] Yogurt or Pudding: Yogurt. Greek yogurt of course; my brand of choice is Oikos. I love all the flavors, especially chocolate, superfruits and peach mango. Plain is perfect in place of sour cream. I would love to try some soy pudding, though.

[Z] Zucchini or Cucumber: Cucumber, mostly because I’ve never had zucchini, but also because it’s amazing in Greek salads.

Oats twice in one day? Bring it on! This time, another new variety: tiramisu. Mocha overnighters topped with coffee-infused Greek yogurt.

 Tell me more about you! Fill out any of the above letters with your answers!

WIAW: Short & Sweet

After last week’s word barf very detailed WIAW, this one’s gonna be short & sweet. Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves but if not, I included captions 😉

Peas and Crayons

(Thanks Jenn for being such a lovely host week after week 🙂 )

P.S. This is actually everything I ate on Tuesday. My first two WIAW’s were what I actually ate on Wednesday, but I realized that most people do their Tuesday eats. So I’m gonna roll with that. Also, I am actually posting everything I ate, minus some watermelon chunks that went undocumented…

Breakfast:

Banana Almond Apricot Overnight Oats (1/4 c thick rolled oats, water, 1 tsp organic apricot jam, 1/2 banana, topped with 1 tsp crunchy AB)

1/2 homemade cake batter waffle (recipe soon!) and Morningstar hot & spicy veggie sausage

 Lunch:

Spinach salad with 1 tbsp mango vinaigrette, 2 Gardein chik'n nuggets and mango chunks

Crystal Lite pink lemonade-ified water, golden corn Vitatop with 1 tsp almond butter

 Snack:

Greek yogurt parfait: Oikos chocolate, 1/2 banana and 1/8 c Bear Naked Fit granola

 Dinner:

Whole wheat pasta salad with fresh baby spinach, 2 slices tempeh bacon and spoonful edamame guac, baby carrots, white donut peach (sorry about the awful lighting!)

Protein smoothie with 1/2 scoop banana Soytein powder, 1/3 c unsweetened soy milk and frozen mango chunks

 Dessert:

Cereal mess! I think it was about 1/4 c Kashi Honey Sunshine, 1/4 c Cascadian Farm Chocolate O's, 1/4 c strawberry granola crisps and bloobs

 Q: What was the best thing YOU ate today?

WIAW: It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Summer

It’s my favorite day of the week…What I Ate Wednesday Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, just kidding, not my favorite day but I do like it a lot. It’s so much fun to post my eats and see what everyone else has been chowing down on.

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast was up first (well, duh!) I had a banana nut Vitatop muffin (I love these things, but I still can’t figure out what flavor is my favorite), 1/2 of a homemade berry Belgian waffle, Morningstar spicy veggie sausage and some pineapple/mango chunks. I wish I lived on a tropical island so I could get amazing fresh pineapple and mango every day!

I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (so fun!), got dressed, did a little yoga and 10 minutes of a cardio circuit before it was time for lunch. Oh yeah, and a little blog stalking was involved 😉 Don’t judge!

Lunch was good but a little time-consuming. I made some Gardein chik’n nuggets (18 grams of all-vegetarian protein in 4 nuggets–whoooooo!) that took 20 minutes in the oven to get nice and crispy. I had some strawbs on the side, some broccoli slaw mixed with mustard, Crystal Light strawberry mixed with water and an Ezekiel tortilla spread with a fudgie and half a sliced banana. Oh, and some spicy pepper mustard for nugget dippage.

I spent the next half an hour cleaning our 4 bathrooms (oooh, even more fun 😉 ) and then convinced my sissy to go on a walk with me. We live on a dirt road in a forested area, so it seems kinda like an actual hiking trail but much wider and with more houses. I was surprised by how hot it was. It’s nearly 80 degrees and it’s only the first day of June! I’m not complaining, though, I’m ready for some hot weather! I wish I had been wearing something different, though, because I was sweating in my cropped jeans. When my sister went back inside, I ran about 1/4 mile from our driveway to the mailbox and back. I haven’t done any running (besides in my daily cardio circuits) in about a week, my right foot is still bothering me and I wasn’t really dressed right for the weather, but I did okay. I also realized that today is National Running Day so I’m glad I did it 😛

Snack time is my favorite time of day to eat! I’m always really hungry, so I don’t feel like I’m making myself eat. My stomach can’t hold much food, so I prefer snack-size meals. Today I had a new snackie: apple slices topped with cinnamon (don’t ask why I’ve never had this before!), a slice of millet bread topped with 1 tsp crunchy almond butter (I always get the bulk kind from Whole Foods that is just almonds and nothing else) and a small Medjool date. This was really yummy! In fact, I’m planning on having the millet bread/AB/date combo as part of my breakfast tomorrow. I bought the bread because I’d heard other bloggers say it tastes like pound cake and while it doesn’t to me, it works well with savory and sweet things.

After some more cardio (I always split my workouts up into several parts because I get bored easily) and yoga, I watched “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera) with my mom and sis until my dad got home for dinner which was…

…Oriental chicken salad! I love having huge salads for dinner because they’re satisfying without being filling and they have sooooo many fresh, crunchy veggies. Mine had grilled chicken, green onions, mandarin oranges, roasted almonds, Archer Farms lemon sesame dressing (I love Target!) and mixed salad greens. I also had a chocolate banana protein smoothie on the side.

After a shower (I always usually shower at night so I can wake up with wavy hair) and some hanging out I had my nighttime snack of Stonyfield nonfat Gotta Have Java froyo topped with some Cascadian Farms Chocolate O’s cereal. The combo of coffee and chocolate is one of my favorites, it never gets old!

Phew, I feel like I gave you wayyyyy too much information about my day! I guess I like to ramble 😉 Don’t worry, my life isn’t always this boring, sometimes I actually go out and do stuff but it can be nice to spend the day at home.

Q: What was the best thing you ate on Wednesday?