Posts tagged ‘Snacks’
Last week, I bought some kale for 99 cents with the intention of making kale chips. Perhaps you’ve heard of kale chips? They are all the rage with those wacky, health conscious foodies! Basically, you take a bunch of fresh kale, remove the stems, tear the leaves into bite size pieces, “massage” with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and spread them out on a baking sheet. You then roast them in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
I made the mistake of storing my large bunch of kale at the back of the bottom shelf of the fridge. Unless the jar of almond butter has migrated back there, I never venture to that area. My mainstays (almond milk, nut butters, jam, vegetables) are kept at the front of the fridge. Rarely do I need to bend over (the horror!). So it was surprising to me today that when looking for something (probably almond butter), I saw my wilting bunch of poor, forgotten kale inching ever closer to a compost-bin demise!
Motivated, I decided right then and there to make some kale chips! Luckily, Henry was napping and a baked pasta was just about to go in the oven for dinner. 99 cent kale plus an already-heated oven makes this recipe FRUGAL and FIT.
Kale, revitalized with a sense of purpose and a large drizzling of olive oil!
Roasted and ready to be consumed while watching Oprah
Of course these chips are not as tasty as potato chips. These have nothing on the splendor that is Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles! But these also have nothing on the calorie or fat content of Ruffles either. These are freaking tasty! I pretty much ate this entire bowl which means I pretty much ate two giant bunches of kale in one sitting flat. My blood is probably now a light shade of green. But green is good! Better than brown from too much chocolate or coffee, y’know?
You know when you get in a mood where you just want to snack? You want food that takes a long time to eat? (That must be a psychological/comfort food thing.) Well this is your food! Sure, it’s a bit of pain to get the kale ready, but it pays off in the end. You get a salty, crispy snack, but don’t get weighed down by 2500 calories of fried potato.
Whereas on Tuesday I was like “I MISS CHEESE”, today I’m all like “I COULD DO THIS FOREVER”. I think the change is that I feel pretty wonderful and my digestive system is pumping along like a charm! I never noticed any problems with my digestion before, but now that I have seen how smoothly things can be, er, processed, I think this vegan thing could be for me. Of course, I will still eat the occasional slice of cheesy pizza and if I am ever so lucky to visit Paris again, you know I will be chowing as many buttery croissants as possible. But for now, at this point, I am loving the veganism.
For breakfast this morning, I had a toasted thin bun spread with almond butter and a sliced orange.
For morning snacks, I’ve been relying on this tropical trail mix I picked up at the Bulk Barn.
Lunch today was more lentils. I discovered even more of the Vegan Walnut Lentil Pile stored at the back of the fridge. Perhaps it is reproducing? I don’t mind. This stuff tastes like Thanksgiving stuffing! Albeit, protein-filled, mushy-textured stuffing.
I heated it up and spread it on yet another toasted thin burger and topped it with sliced tomato and ground pepper.
I decided to bake this afternoon and opted to use up the brown bananas in my freezer (frugal tip: when you have rotting bananas, throw them in the freezer and use for future baking purposes. Brown bananas are perfect for baking since they are so flavourful). I perused the index of Veganomicon looking for banana recipes and came across one for Banana Date Scones.
This recipe appealed to me because of the following ingredients: flax meal, whole wheat flour, bananas, dates, and walnuts. The recipe calls for brown rice syrup, but I used corn syrup instead (I think maple syrup would work too!). I LOVE scones. I think they are the love children of biscuits and muffins, encompassing the best qualities of each. They are delicious for breakfast, with tea, accompanying soup or stew, or on their own. I like it when people pronounce them “skawns” even though I pronounce them “scowns” (rhymes with bones!). Regular scones can be quite heavy with butter and cream, so the vegan version is much healthier. In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with scones!
In other news, here is a picture of my cheap haircut.
Ugh, my face colour doesn’t match my neck colour!!!
You can see how it doesn’t look quite even there at the bottom, even though it was freshly blow dried. It’s longer than I wanted, too. As I have quickly learned, there are certain things you cannot be frugal with including hair-cuts, coffee, and ketchup (my hubby refuses anything but Heinz! What a brand snob, I know).
I’ll let you know if I come across any others…
I was feeling
camera iPhone happy today and took a bunch of pictures of the food that I ate. This vegan thing has got me doing crazy things! Blame all the soy products!
Since Henry is asleep, I thought I’d take this opportunity to not do laundry and instead write another blog entry! Clearly I have got this Stay-At-Home-Mom thing down pat.
The big event of the day was a new recipe I tried called Curried Lentil and Apricot Soup. I come across plenty of vegan recipes that call for curry powder, but not too many that also require dried apricots. I knew I had to make this, especially since it also calls for coconut milk. Dried apricots + coconut milk = 🙂
Curried Lentil and Apricot Soup
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon of ginger powder
1 Tablespoons of mild curry powder
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
8 cups of water
3/4 cup coconut milk
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook onions in vegetable oil for about 10 minutes (stir frequently!)
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add garlic and ginger. Cook and stir for two minutes. Add curry powder and stir for one more minute.
3. Add tomato, apricots, lentils and water.
4. Raise heat to high until boiling and then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree soup. Since I like my soup to have texture, I pureed about half of the soup.
6. Return soup to pot over low heat and stir in coconut milk. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro.
This soup is so good the sun came out to greet it
What I love about this soup:
– The tiny chunks of juicy dried apricots
– COCONUT MILK!!!
– Does not require vegetable broth, thus the sodium content is low
– Lentils make this soup incredibly nutritious and filling. I had it for both lunch and dinner!
Here are some other things I ate today. I believe I photographed everything except for the two Maple Walnut cookies I had after lunch! For breakfast, I had the Carrot Cake Oatmeal as previously noted earlier.
A handful of trail mix with a clementine
A free sample of Vanilla Rooibos tea which I promptly poured down the sink after two sips (not a fan of herbal teas yet I keep trying them, hoping my taste buds will change!)
Green Monster made with 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 large handful of baby spinach
I highly recommend trying the No-Bake Glo Cakes. This isn’t the best time of year for consuming frozen edibles (since we are currently living in a frozen edible!), but this healthy alternative to ice cream is surprisingly delicious. Since I don’t have rice crisp cereal, I substituted All-Bran. Yes! A dessert that contains All-Bran is a dessert worth mentioning. Recommendation: Go heavy on the peanut butter.
You would think that all of this nutritious, delicious food would fuel my determination to do laundry. Think again…:)
What’s this? Two posts in one day? It’s like it’s June 2010 all over again!
I guess I am just excited to show off the sugar cookies I made today. I completed these in a series of steps timed with Henry’s naps. He is still in the nap he started when I iced these babies, so I’ve got to make this quick!
If there is one recipe I bake at Christmas, it is this one. I think I have officially decided that these are going to be the cookies that I am known for, the cookies that Henry will immediately associate with all the Christmases of his childhood. The only problem is that it’s not my recipe. It’s my friend Sarah’s!
Here she is innocently holding Henry, not knowing that his mother is a cookie-recipe-stealer!!!
With her permission, I am sharing the recipe with you. All together now: THANK YOU, SARAH!!!
Sarah’s Sugar Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I’ve only ever used butter)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until blended.
2. Divide dough into two equal portions, wrap in saran wrap, and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).
3. Before baking, allow the dough to stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out. Roll the dough out and use your favourite cookie cutters to cut them into shapes! Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
Trees, stars, and stockings: It must be Christmas!
Ready to be iced, iced baby
It is not natural to eat food with these colours, and yet it feels so right
I made little “snowballs” using the leftover dough
Sarah has a different recipe for icing. I found mine online a few years ago and like it because:
1. It has a subtle almond flavour
2. It hardens so storing these cookies is a bit easier (icing doesn’t get all over the place)
Here is my recipe for 2 dozen cookies:
2 cups of icing sugar
4 teaspoons of milk
4 teaspoons of corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
Assorted food colouring
1. In a small bowl, stir together the icing sugar and milk. Beat in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If it’s too thick, add more milk.
2. Divide into separate bowls and add food colouring.
3. Decorate as you see fit! Sprinkles are welcome.
I hope to bring these cookies to Henry’s first Christmas party tomorrow, but I’m not sure they will last that long. Indeed, they are that good. Again, thanks Sarah!
My snacks/lunch today is pretty random!
First, I started with an appetizer of cottage cheese.
Next, a peach! (Broke my “no pictures of peaches” rule!)
Feeling peckish, I dined on some baby carrots.
To finish the meal up with some Kashi crackers.
I am without any chocolate for dessert! What is a girl to do? I am actually craving hot chocolate which makes no sense at all. It is a sunny, humid, August day, and I want some ho cho???
I promise to never call it ho cho on this blog ever again.
I don’t mean to use such harsh language (or harsh…uh…symbols) but I am officially boycotting beets! I neither love nor hate their flavour but they are persnickety little fellas to peel and they stain EVERYTHING red. They kept slipping out of my hands and dropping to the floor, and on their way staining my shirt, the counter, and the floor. Perhaps I yelled my post title a couple of times? I don’t usually have the mouth of a sailor, but the beets brought it out in me. I just hope the baby was asleep at the time… 🙂
Today was totally busy at work and I neglected all of my favourite websites in favour of work! But it was also a highly productive day and can I mention that I am totally rocking this new job? This doesn’t mean I have abandoned my countdown, though, nor my fantasies of spending the entirety of January, February and March in sweat pants (lucky Husband!).
For an afternoon snack, I had some dried apricots and almonds! This is a really satisfying, easy to prepare snack and I highly recommend it.
I also ate my delicious apple, aptly named a Red Delicious.
When I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was make dinner, but I had a package of tempeh and a hungry belly. Defeat was not a possibility.
I began by cutting up some green beans and the aforementioned (f$%@ing!) beets and putting them in my two-tiered steamer with some frozen vegetables. Both of us are feeling veggie-deprived which explains this abundance.
Then I whipped open this package of tempeh given to me by my awesome, culinary-gifted friends Cheryl and Nick!
I appreciate the photo of Henry. I really like his hat.
I have never cooked with tempeh but have had it once or twice before. I decided to search for recipes on http://www.allrecipes.com that use tempeh and came upon this one for Barbecue Tempeh Sandwiches. I was sold!
I crumbled the tempeh and mixed it with barbecue sauce…
While it marinated, I sauteed the onion, green pepper, and some leftover corn.
Eventually, I added the tempeh mixture.
This doesn’t exactly look yummy, does it.
I served the tempeh mixture on buns (open-faced) along with the steamed green beans and vegetables. You will notice that the beets are missing from my plate because I have officially BOYCOTTED beets. Husband got them all. I want nothing to do with their kind!
My verdict on tempeh? Pretty good! I wasn’t blown away, but I attribute that more to the recipe I used. Rule of thumb: When using tempeh, one should probably consult a vegan source, like a great website or cookbook. I will try it again! And not just because I like Henry’s hat.
For dessert, I had more ice cream cake along with some sliced peaches. On Saturday, I would have told you that this ice cream cake was going to last forever. Now there are a mere four slices left.
To decompress after such a long, arduous, beet-filled day, I am now going to sit on the couch and watch Dexter. See you tomorrow!
I am swamped today! I should take a picture of my to-do list and then you will understand why my only salvation is ice cream cake 🙂
But here is a quick picture show of my eats so far today! I vowed that I wouldn’t call them “eats” on this blog, but it is just the easiest, most applicable word to use. Eats!
Breakfast: Kashi Go Lean with homemade Greek yogurt, a sliced peach, some blueberries, and a spoonful of coconut butter!
Snack: An unphotographed banana!
Lunch: A pasta salad on a bed of spinach (my specialty)
Dessert: A cookie!
Afternoon snack I am about to bite into: an apple! Finally satisfying my craving 🙂
The thing about a busy day at work is that it flies by! Tonight I am trying my hand at tempeh (!), grocery shopping, and possibly renting a movie with my man. We are hoping for Date Night if it’s in!