Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vitatop Muffin Review

Here was another freebie from ANCE: two vitatop muffins, I had a Banana Nut Muffin and a Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip Muffin.


The Fudgey Peanut Butter Chip Muffin Top is 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 3 grams protein, and 6 grams of fiber, and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. It tastes great! Very rich and chocolatey, and peanut buttery. It reminds me more of a fluffy brownie than a muffin. Its definitely delicious, but I can’t image eating it for breakfast, more of a delightful chocolatey snack.

The Banana Nut muffin was very good as well, also 100 calories, with 2 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, and 5 grams protein. This one was much more muffiny, and had a good bread like consistency. Again, tasty a treat. I could picture myself eating this one for breakfast. It was a little glooey on top, like a prepackage muffin, which I suppose makes sense since that’s what it is.

I would not eat these for the entirety of my breakfast. I am a volume person, so this little 2 oz vitamuffin won’t cut it for me. I would at least have to pair it with a fruit to tide me over.The whole marketing strategy of these muffins if to ‘bring your own breakfast’ and eat one of these little muffins, instead of buying a big 400 calorie muffin, but its just so little! I feel this would just lead to binge eating later.

Also, the price is $1.33 per a muffin top.

My solution: if you want a muffin, buy a huge 400 calorie muffin, (probably costs less than $1.33), cut it in four pieces, eat one piece for breakfast, and take a multivitamin= you now have 4 vitamuffins J

Don’t get me wrong- again they were delicious, and maybe they would be a good alternative for some people, but in my opinion, the benefits do not out weigh the cost.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

I love all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin flavored coffee, .. and lately I have been craving pumpkin bread.

Since I have been experimenting with Vegan baking I decided to attempt a Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe. And a whole wheat bread would be even better.

I couldn't find any recipes I really liked so I kind of combined a few and here's what I came up with:

3.5 cups flour (I used 2.5 cups whole wheat, and 1 cup all purpose)
1/2 cup sugar
2 TB baking powder
1/2 ts salt
cinnamon (~ 2 TB)
pumpkin pie spice (~ 1/2 TB)
all spice (1 ts)
1 cup apple sauce or vegetable oil (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
2.5 cups canned pumpkin
~2/3 cup water
4 TB ground flax seeds

Mix flour, sugar, powder, and spices. Then add everything else. Mix well. if it is too watery add more flour.

Put into a greased baking pan/ bread pan. (this is too much batter to fit all into one bread pan.)

Bake for about 50 minutes at 350*

You could also add some chocolate chips to the batter for some delightful chocolate pumpkin bread.



So I confessed to Annabelle that my blog is partially my therapy for my binge eating problem.
Here was the Friday Rundown:

Apple for breakfast:

Light and Fit Yogurt with TJs high fiber cereal

3 cups of salad including spinach, romaine, grapes, roasted vegetables, some snobby joe mix.

A very old Target Brand Chocolate Chip granola bar that has probably been sitting in my locker at work for about a year:

A couple Cups o

I stopped at Harvest Co-op after work and had a little snacky on the bus ride home of pumpkin seeds and a couple hand fulls of raisins.

And dinner was a hodgepodge of spinach, snobby joe mix, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and baby bella mushrooms. Then I threw some romaine lettuce on top and mixed all together

And finally a couple pieces of Pumpkin bread (Recipe to follow), with peanut butter, and butterscotch chips.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Snobby Joes!

I wish it were Monday already.
I suppose thats not something you hear everyday, but that will be the first time in a week in which I get to "sleep in" past 6 am. This is a work weekend for me, which means working over 30 hours in 3 days. I am already so tired. I don't mind getting up early, if only my neighbors would let me get to sleep before 3 am, then I would be much less grumpy about it!

Today started at 6, with some last minute studying, over a bowl of oats, it was basically the same as yesterday, but not quite so pretty this morning.
1/2 cup oats
1/2 medium banana
1 tb peanut butter
about 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
vanilla extract
7 butterscotch chips

My Dev. Psyc Test went so-so. It was again harder than expected, despite my expecting it to be hard and studying a lot.

Lunch was the last of the kale (about 4 big leaves), about 1/2 cup cooked fresh spinach, some roasted eggplant, zucchini, and peppers, and some left over brown rice and lentils and rotini, and of course, hot sauce, the cure all to any bland meal.

And about a cup of grapes
After doing a Student Food Run I had an apple on the run, before another appointment:
And afterwards a honey tangerine. Check out my awesome walking and photographing skills.

Unfortunetaly the fruit was just not filling me up, so I snacked on a Trader Joes Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar. It was very tasty, and chocolatey.

I also enjoyed some more Canadian Maple tea with soymilk, and a caramel calcium chew.

I decided to skip Public Health tonight, I'm a slacker, what can I say.
So instead, I made Snobby Joes! from the Veganonicom Cookbook. I halved the recipe and then neglicted to actually measure anything, so it was roughly on the idea it consisted of:
1/2 cup uncooked lentils
1/2 onion
1/2 large green pepper
tb olive oil
1 clove garlic
cayenne pepper (book said chili powder, but I don't have that)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
maple syrup

Bring lentils to a boil in 2 cups of water, and then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
In a frying pan, cook the onion and pepper in olive oil until softened. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer.

Once the lentils are done cooking add them to the onions and peppers, then add spices.
Add Tomato sauce and paste (my sauce had been mixed with my roasted peppers so I had some additional roasted red peppers in the mix).
Add mustard and maple syrup to taste.

the finished product:
And a close up served on TJs whole wheat bread:

I probably had about a cup of snobby joe mix, on 2 slices of whole wheat bread, and a half cup of cooked spinach on the side (its sad how much spinach shrinks up when its cooked.) I wound up adding some hot sauce to the sandwich to give it a little more zing, but over all it was very good!

I may have had another half of a TJs Chocolate granola bar after dinner as well... but no need to be repetitive with pictures. I have a chocolate addiction.

Baked Tofu Tutorial

As a vegetarian, I have eaten far too many peanut butter sandwich. I do love peanut butter sandwich, do not get me wrong, but sometimes you need some variety. They do of course sell those vegetarian deli meats,… but those kind of freak me out, and further more, are expensive.

So I started baking tofu for sandwiches.

To do this:

Get 1 block of tofu (I prefer extra firm) and drain package. Cut tofu into thin slices. I cut the slices the long way, you could also cut them on the short side.

Next coat you tofu slices with a marinade. If you want to get your tofu to absorb more flavor try removing some more of the water from it by patting/ squishing it with a clean towel or paper towel before marinating. I usually do either low sodium soy or teriyaki sauce, or barbeque sauce, you could also do a premade marinade, hot sauce, or any variation of sauces and herbs and spices that you enjoy. I usually marinade my tofu over night. You can do it for a shorter or longer period of time.

In this particular instances Ken’s Sesame Ginger No Sodium Marinade was on sale- so I gave it a go.

Next, place your tofu on a lightly greased baking sheet, and put in the oven at about 350*.

The length of time you cook for will depend on how thick you cut your slices and how chewy you want your tofu. I usually do about 25 minutes per a side (you’ll have to flip tofu half way through), for about a total of 50 minutes in the oven. Keep an eye on it though, once it burns it pretty inedible.

You tofu will now be ready for sandwich making!

I recommend it with some spinach and other veggies, and of course, a condiment, my preference is bbq sauce, but I am a condiment junkie.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Selling my heart.

Today started with 7:30 am Rock Climbing. There was a lot more actual climbing today. It was killer! My body is in so much pain. I'm by no means a natural climber, this is going to take a lot of effort. I went over my first ledge today. The first one wasn't so bad, but then I tried doing a harder one, and I was literally at that point on the wall for a good 5 minutes. It was pretty embarrassing, but after countless attempts I finished! Ugh, my arms and back are not my friends right now. I need someone to give me a message haha.

After rock climbing (and showering) I had a delicious bowl of oats and a cup of spiced chai:
1/3 cup oats
1/2 banana
1 tb peanut butter
a few strawberries
almond extract
6 butterscotch chips

I decorated and ate my oats while watching a video for my Calamities class about the Three Mile. I was having an arguement yesterday with my conservative friend about why we should NOT have nuclear power, and he just kept saying how save it is and no real accidents have really occurred. Ba-Hum-Bug I say!
http://www.tmia.com/ check out this video (its long I'd skip at least 15 minutes in to get the best parts)- even 30 years after the fact new info is still coming out. Maybe no one died directly, but it would say cancer rates 10x higher than the surrounding areas is pretty significant.

I spent the rest of the afternoon doing MSDA stuff and studying Developmental Psyc.
For lunch there was a salad (Since I have so much produce to use up!), and a tofu sandwich
Romaine Lettuce
Baby Spinach
Green Grapes
caramelize onions
Sprouted wheat berries
Balsamic Vinegar

I had sprouted my wheat berries using Elizabeth's- Don't (White) Sugar- Coat its instructions, but they tasted kind of powdery... I have a feeling that they should not.

My tofu sandwich was 2 slices whole wheat bread, some sesame ginger tofu, with extra sesame ginger marinade on top, spinach, and caramelized onion and peppers. This sandwich was disappointing. The marinade as a topping was not good, the tofu was a bit burnt, and overall the whole sandwich was a bit dry.

I then went and did a research study at BIDMC, and had an MRI done. I had recorded my lectures from psych, so I got to lay there, study, and took a bit of a nap, and got paid.Sweet Deal. I had the intention of staying awake the whole time to listen to my notes, but when you are laying in a dark little tube for over an hour it makes that difficult. I woke up violently from just drifting off couple of times from dreams of falling off of mountains rock climbing haha.

After my MRI I had a honey tangerine. It was very sweet and juicy. I think I ate about 20 seeds though.

Dinner was kale, spinach, roasted veggies, a bit of whole wheat rotini, hot sauce, and a tsp of margarine. I also snacked on a few grapes while prepping- but those darn grapes just keep making it into my mouth before getting a photo- op!

I'm now off to finish studying, equipt with a cup of Celestial Seasonings Canadian Vanilla Maple Black Decaf Tea.
Happy hump day!

Eating well on a budget:

To anyone who knows me, probably knows I’m incredibly frugal. But I refuse to start eating crappy – unhealthy food! Sure the great value macaroni and cheese is 50 cents, and the white pasta is sometimes on sale for 30 cents (and yes I will buy it when its that cheap!) but when you consider all of the health consequences and how much that is going to cost you, also, when I eat unhealthy food, I’m more apt to feel the need to go to the gym for excessive amounts of time (and time is money!), and finally- real food is just so much better! (at least in my humble opinion…)

So, as a poor college kid, there are some things that can be done to afford the good stuff.
Discounted Produce! I’ve mentioned this before, but I think I get the best deals from the discounted produce section at Shaws. I’m not sure that this is available at all grocery stores, but you should definetly keep an eye out for it! The other day I bought an eggplant, 3 peppers, and a some baby bok choy for $1.14, and a bag of various fruit (I think 2 pears, 3 oranges, an apple, and 2 pluots) for about $2. The fruit may be a little bit bruised, but really, its always perfectly fine, and it just gives you more incentive to eat it! For the best selection you usually have to go around odd times, but if you ever have to opportunity its well worth it.

Usually there are also discounted baked good, and dented cans on sale. The baked goods- go for it. The dented cans? Beware. After taking infectious diseases I am a bit afraid of dented cans. In the lab we took cans and inoculated them with various bacteria. The result: disgusting. And that is what would be happening to dented cans. In general, you’ll probably be fine, I would just make sure to cook the food really well (no spagehttios straight out of the dented can!)

Sales: This sounds like a no brainer: but buy when things are on sale, and stock up! Usually grocery stores cycle through sales every few weeks, so if there is something you usually buy every week and its on sale, buy enough for a few weeks (unless its perishable and cannot be frozen). Check weekly fliers to plan your meals.

Buy in bulk/ kind of: When you are shopping for one, or two, it seems odd to buy in bulk, and buy from bulk sections doesn’t always have to be BULK. For instance, at the Harvest Co op and some whole foods they have ‘bulk’ sections, where you can buy as much or as little of things like rice, flour, grains, granola etc. as you want, and these prices can be much better than what you would find prepacked. (For instance, I bought 3# of oatmeal at the Harvest Co Op for $2, whereas if I bought a 2# contain of Quaker oats I would have paid $4). This is also a great option if you just want to try something out.

Store Brands: this is pretty self explanatory. Just check out the price difference between the store/ generic brand versus the name brand. Sometimes there is an obvious quality difference, but usually they are very comparable and can save you a lot of money.

Skip the meat: Meat is expensive. Vegetarian options can be very cheap (Rice and beans is pretty much the easiest and cheapest meal out there- even beats the 50 cent mac and cheese! Especially if your buying from the bulk section ;) )

I could really go on and on for days about my frugality, so I will leave you with those points, but I’m sure more will come up through other posts.