Last night of the weekend… so sad.

I got in a nice walk this afternoon (a little over an hour).  When I got back I had lunch.  This was an eggwhite scramble with random veggies, topped with ketchup.  That muffin is what I made for the BSI.

And of course:

For dinner I made this new kind of noodle (kelp noodles) and they were awful.  I also had butternut squash fries.  The noodles were actually so bad that I couldn’t finish them and just made a bunch more b-nut fries with ketchup.  I did eat out the fake meat and the veggies from the noodle dish (I’d put in a chopped up chunk of leftover tofurkey).

For dessert I made a fruit salad with 2 small fuyu persimmons, green and red grapes, and about 1/2 cup of lowfat ricotta cheese (inspired by Coco).  Thanks for the idea!

I might have something else later; I’m not sure yet.  Enjoy your night!

How To Pimp Muffin Mix (my Walnut BSI entry)

For this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient, Amy @ Coffee Talk chose WALNUTS! A perfectly wintery ingredient – I knew just what to do with them… Muffin mix may be a bit of a cop out, but with the right alterations you can get some awesome baked goodies.

How To Pimp Muffin Mix

Step 1:  Buy muffin mix at local supermarket.  Sales are good.  Mine was $2 for this box of Fiber One Banana Nut mix.

Step 2:  Pick your mixins.  I like to pick 1 each from 2 categories: nuts and fruit.

Good fruits:

  • apples, pears, bananas, peaches, etc…

Good nuts:

  • WALNUTS, peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc…

Step 3:  Chop the fruit (2 pieces – I used 2 apples) in little bits.  Dump into a bowl.

Step 4:  Take about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of walnuts (depending on how nutty you want the muffins – I don’t use that many) and crumble them up.  Dump this in with the fruit.

Step 5:  Add the mix and follow their instructions, but increase the oven temp by 25F because of the fruit.  (Adding eggs, water, oil, etc…)

Step 6:  Spoon muffin mix into muffin tins.  I like to use a measuring cup for ease (1/4 cup size).  I pour in heaping 1/4 cups.

Step 7:  Top with more walnuts!  But be careful that they don’t get burned, which mine did.  Use a very low rack in the oven.

Step 8: Bake!

Step 9:  Lick the bowl.

Step 10:  Eat lots of muffins.

This recipe made 16 muffins (the original box was only supposed to make 12, but the apples bulked them up!).  The walnuts on top and in the batter made these incredibly delicious.  We’ve been eating them all day.

What’s your favorite pre-prepared food?  The only ones I ever really make are baked mixes, like for muffins or cornbread.

Almond butter attack!

I’ve rediscovered my love for almond butter (not that it ever really went away).

Last night we stayed up late and I needed a snack, so I had banana and almond butter (1.5 T-ish) and slice of leftover tofurkey.  No pictures, but trust me – they were good snacks.

This morning I made a nice fruit salad:

This was 1 apple, 1 orange, 1 vanilla chobani, and a big spoonful of almond butter.

I was just in the kitchen baking for my Blogger Secret Ingredient entry… stay tuned for my tutorial on “How to Pimp Muffin Mix“.  Happy Sunday!

One more day left!

I didn’t snap pictures of everything I ate today, but here’s a gallery of what I did get in the early part of the day:

This was…

  • 1/2 acorn squash with scrambled egg whites, cinnamon, and some vanilla Chobani
  • 1/2 whole wheat wrap with olallieberry jam (not pictured)
  • other 1/2 acorn squash with 3/4 cup lowfat ricotta cheese & cinnamon (partially eaten before I got the pic)
  • apples (multiple – I don’t remember how many – 2 or 3?)
  • other 1/2 whole wheat wrap with 1.5 T almond butter and 1/2 banana (unpictured)

For dinner we went to Garden Fresh, that wonderful vegetarian restaurant.  Bobby’s review of it is HERE.

I started off with the garden salad, which was delicious:

And then Bobby and I split the Vegetarian Duck with brown rice.  It was superb.  It was my favorite meal at Garden Fresh so far.  This is the whole dish, and my first plate.  Bobby also got scallion pancakes, but I didn’t try them… But I definitely enjoyed this veggie duck to the max – it was awesome.  I believe it was made of pressed shiitake mushroom and tofu skin.

After dinner we went to Borders and I got the Sex and the City Movie – the extended cut!  I adore this series and loved the movie when I saw it this summer.  We’re watching it now.

Dessert was 2 apples, sliced and sprinkled with some lemon juice and cinnamon.  There may be a Chobani (shared with Bobby) in my future as well!  I have him hooked now – he loves the blueberry.

For exercise today I walked to the library (3 new books!), and before dinner Bobby and I went for a short 30-minute walk.  I also did 20 minutes of yoga this morning.  It was Core Yoga #1 from  Definitely check out their mp3’s if you haven’t already.

Enjoy your Saturday night!  There’s still one more day left in the weekend and it feels so nice.  Four day weekends should come more often.

Thanksgiving Day Wrap-up

Thank you for all of the holiday wishes.  Yesterday we had a lovely dinner at our friends’ house. There was a beautiful spread, which included the following (and I’m probably forgetting some things):

  • tofurkey with roasted veggies (carrots, onions, celery) – Bobby is carving!
  • big ole turkey – I carved this one 🙂  Leave it to the salad girl to do the meat!
  • stuffing
  • mashed potatoes
  • sweet potato fries
  • butternut squash fries
  • roasted asparagus (wouldn’t fit on the table)
  • cranberry sauce

We actually didn’t do dessert – I just had a whole bunch of fruit afterwards (apple & 2 bananas with oodles of almond butter). This was my first plate:

I loaded up on veggies but made sure to try a bit of everything. I did go back for many seconds of the butternut fries and other veggies. The turkey was so juicy and the tofurkey was great as well, just like it has been the last few years. I love roasting veggies with it and using a marinade/baste. They came out tender and flavourful.

Veggie/Tofurkey Baste:

  • 1 part orange juice
  • 1 part soy sauce
  • splash of olive oil (I used about 1 T EVOO and a 1/4 cup each of the OJ and soy sauce)
  • oregano or cilantro, to taste

I topped the tofurkey and veggies (3 carrots, 1/2 onion, and a few stalks of celery) with 3/4 of the baste, and roasted them (covered in foil) for an hour. Then I removed the foil and poured the rest of the baste on. I cooked it (uncovered) for about 20 minutes more.

To roast the asparagus I tossed 2 pounds of asparagus with 2 teaspoons EVOO and s&p. Then I baked them for 15 minutes at 450F. Very simple!

This morning I made a nice breakfast burrito with some leftovers – a flatout wrap, about a cup of sweet potato fries, and some applesauce. I also had a cup of the sweet potato fries on the side, dipped in more applesauce.

This afternoon Bobby and I went shopping. I picked up some great workout gear at a store called Lucy that I’d never been to before. I got two pairs of these yoga pants ($29.99 + another 30% off) as well as a pink tank top with lace. They’re having sales, so check it out!  I am one of those girls that lives in yoga pants as much as possible, and I have to say these are the best I’ve had yet.

Thanksgiving Challenge Update

So we made it through Thanksgiving without going over $126 – we came in at $125.14.

Over the past month I’ve made some rather poor food choices in an effort to save money. I didn’t buy the healthy snacks that I usually like to eat and I ended up eating the unhealthy choices that we had in our cupboard (chips, candy, etc…). The challenge helped me to understand why people living on a restricted income sometimes resort to eating these unhealthy things.

The challenge made me incredibly grateful that I don’t need to scrimp on food.  I am more mindful of the money I do spend and thankful that I can buy the things that I want to buy.

I am not going to continue with the challenge.  Though I’m more aware now of how much I spend (and it’s a lot), I like having freedom and I enjoy indulging in my favorites.  Today we went shopping and stocked up on the things we’ve been missing… and spent more than we did in the last 28 days (I think the total was about $140).

Habits I will continue are:

  • shopping at Milk Pail as much as I can (this is the local outdoor grocery that is much cheaper than Safeway/Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods)
  • trying not to eat out more than once a week
  • being mindful of what I spend – whether this deters me from buying something or not, being more aware is always a good thing!

It was a great experience and I’m glad we did it.

Moving on to one of my favorite topics… Dessert!  When I’m not trying to save money on groceries, one of my favorite things to splurge on are Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Trail Mix Cookies.  These things are delicious.  I get them at Whole Foods but I think Trader Joe’s has them too.

Though they’re not completely guilt free, they are a very healthy way to indulge.  Hope you all had a great Friday!