This morning I had to get out of the house rather quickly after spending too much time reading the paper so I needed something quick. Last night I picked up a single serve packet of vanilla chai Vega and I thought I would give it a try. The package said mix with water but I had some coconut milk that I needed to use up so I threw that and a handful of ice into the Vita Mix. I have to say the color wasn’t too appetizing, kind of brownish green, but it smelled ok, so why not. It actually looks kind of gray in the photo.
So what did it taste like? It wasn’t bad and it did keep me full and satisfied until lunch, however…Vanilla Chai???? Not so much. It was rather bland, I thought, not the normal spices that you think of when you think chai. I’m not usually big on supplements anyway so it might just be me. If I’m going to drink a protein drink like this for convenience I had always preferred Spiru-tein until I realized one of the ingredients was bee pollen. Just goes to show you really have to read labels and not just assume! Will I try Vega again? Perhaps another flavor, for convenience and nutrition I would rate it 4 out of 5; in the taste department though, I’m giving this particular flavor a 2.
The baking bug hit me again today so after work I made the Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins from Vegan Brunch. I had bought some fresh cranberries at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago when they first hit the store shelves, so I had two bags in my freezer, perfect! My hand chopper from Pampered Chef made quick work of chopping them up. As usual once they were done I brought some over to my daughter’s house. They reminded me so much of the cranberry bread my grandma used to make at Christmas time, it made me all nostalgic. I think I’ll bring a few over to my mom and dad’s tomorrow for old times sake.
Batter, smelling all orangie and fresh
This evening I fired up the oven and baked a big old bad boy kabocha. My house smelled fantastic and it was all toasty warm, too bad it was in the high 70’s today. Oh well, even us here in So-Cal can pretend it’s fall. I was going to stuff it with something but couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t involve grains and with all the starch in the squash I didn’t want to go into a carbo coma after dinner. Instead I just took a quarter chunk and topped it with some almond butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. I remember seeing kabocha with peanut butter on bjorkedoff’s blog during vegan MOFO and I thought almond butter would be equally delicious. Oh my gosh, what a feast…sometimes I forget just how beautiful, tasty and filling simple food is.
All forked up…
I had a few too many veggies in my drawer that were just about to turn the corner, so when I got home from work today I chopped them up into big chunks, drizzled with EVOO, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and roasted them up. Filled the house with a wonderful aroma, and warmed up the front room. I served them up over a simple tofu scramble because I felt as if I needed a bit more protein today.
Last night I totally scored. My son-in-law brought over a whole case of Mori-Nu Tofu. Of course I was suspicious and had to check the expiration date, but it’s good until February 2010. Plenty of time to use it up. A co-worker had gotten it free and didn’t know what to do with it, so lucky me! Ok, back to the paper!
I didn’t feel much like cooking tonight, I’m supposed to working on my paper for school and cooking is just a way to avoid this (I call it work avoidance). Knowing I had a bit of pumpkin leftover from the pumpkin muffin fest I decided to whip up some pumpkin soup. I sliced up a few of the shittaki I had leftover from Sunday’s hash and stir fried those in a splash of EVOO. Then I threw in the pumpkin, added a sprinkle of curry, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper, and then thinned it all out with some So Delicious Coconut Milk. It filled my favorite mug and warmed my belly. Every fall I look forward to the spicy warm flavors of autumn food offerings, but by February I’m ready for fresh fruit and barbeque. For now though, I’m happy with my little cup of spicy warm pumpkin soup. Back to the drudge now…one more class and I’m done with my degree (only took me 30 years).
Even So-Cal is getting a bit brisk in the evening, especially since it gets dark at 5:00pm. I wanted something homey, and warm, and filling for dinner and my search turned up this totally yummy Sweet Potato Tofu Hash. It was exactly what the doctor ordered, a little sweet, a little smokey and spicy, with the crunch of almonds and a little bit of freshness from the parsley. It was super easy to throw together in one pot, gotta love those one pot meals; just a little chopping, and stirring and it was done. Plus the beautiful thing is I have enough leftover for lunch tomorrow and my son can have some for dinner tomorrow (he’s at his father’s house tonight so he missed out). I threw the sweet potato in my daughter’s oven while I ran to Sprouts to pick up some tofu. Fortunately she lives next door so this wasn’t out of my way. While I was there I picked up a carton of Pumpkin Spice Silk, which I thought would make a super delicious pumpkin pie shake/smoothie. I guess I’m just in the mood for all the holiday type flavors. I feel a batch of the Best Pumpkin Muffins from VWAV coming over me. Stay warm!
(Bad picture, I forgot to throw the battery on the charger so I had to use the old camera again!)
I have a new favorite for breakfast lately. I tend to eat the same thing for breakfast every day. I was on a coconut milk yogurt/fruit/cereal kick for a long time. Then switched to smoothies, especially of the green variety. Recently though I’ve been in a tofu scramble phase. I like to make my scrambles a little soft so at the beginning of the week I mash up about a pound of super firm tofu, then I mix a half a pound of silken firm tofu with the juice from a half a lemon and a little sea salt in the blender and poor it over the mashed tofu and mix it all together. I can just store it in the fridge and it lasts me a couple of days. Then I just fry it up with some veggies and some standard scramble seasonings for a very quick breakfast. I mix up a batch of seasonings too and keep them in a jar for convenience. I like a base of nooch mixed with cumin, onion powder, curry powder, and tumeric…very delicious. This morning I fried up some mushrooms with my scramble and had it with a perfectly pink grapefruit half from TJs. The savory flavor of the tofu went stunningly with the tartness of the grapefruit and the textures of both were fantastic. A breakfast to be happy with!
A better picture, my camera battery was dead so I had to use my old camera. Even though it doesn’t look too appetizing it was delicious!
Cheers…Oh by the way, I did a survey for Vita Mix today and for a thank you they gave a Green Smoothie recipe e-booklet, very cool. I may have to switch back to the smoothie for breakfast routine for a bit.