Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

April 19, 2009

…these are few of my favorite things!  None of them have been tied with string, but I have received quite a few exciting packages lately.  Oikos coupons, Dr. Kracker samples (the review is long coming, I want to try all of the flavors first), pasta samples from FoodBuzz, POM samples, and the wheatberries I won in Sarah’s contest.  I can not even tell you how grateful I am to be able to try all of these things!

For accountabilities sake, I should mention that I ate 8 (1.5servings) of A’s mini pb eggs last night.

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I started this morning with my Oikos.  Stoneyfield Farms sent me tons of coupons along with information about their products.

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Did you know that Oikos is the only organic Greek yogurt on the market in the US?  According to the literature,

Organic refers to they way agricultural products – food and fiber – are grown and processed.  It is an ecological system that at its core relies on healthy rich soil to produce strong plants that resist pests and diseases.  Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic and persistent chemicals in favor of more “earth-friendly” practices that work in harmony with nature.  In the case of livestock, antibiotics are prohibited, opting instead for preventative measures for keeping animals healthy and productive.  Organic production also prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).

I tried a nonfat plain one this morning with a small banana and some Stonewall Kitchen Carmel Apple Butter.

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My thoughts.  I love the fact that Oikos is organic, because that fits into my goal to eat more (all) organic dairy products.  The plain nonfat Oikos cups have 80calories and 15grams of protein.  The flavor was the same as every other nonfat plain Greek yogurt, with the tanginess we have all come to love.  My only complaint was that the consistency was slightly less thick than that of Fage (my favorite Greek).  Overall, the organic products outweighs the slight difference in consistency for me – I will be purchasing Oikos whenever my store has it.  I also have some nonfat flavored ones I am excited to try.

After breakfast I put my nose to the grindstone.  Thank God this is an easy week (the kids have a field trip and I have some pds), I managed to complete all of my school to dos.

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In between planning and grading A and I walked to Staples to get my copies done.  We are seriously enjoying this gorgeous weather!

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When I got home from my walk I snacked on a Dark Chocolate Cherry Chewy Kashi bar.

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And later on I used a teensy sweet potato to make myself some oven baked fries (preheat oven to 450*, wash and slice ‘tater, spray a foiled baking sheet with cooking spray, sprinkle slices with salt, cook 20minutes).

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Served with ketchup.  Yumtastic!  I always love to roast veggies but sweet potatoes in “fry” form are to die for!  If you don’t make them, start!

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I managed to finish all of my school work by 4:30, in time to make it to a 5o’clock yoga class!  I took Virgin Yoga at Crunch, a 60minute beginners class.  I am 100% to get back into the gym swing!

When we got home from the gym, A and I split a pear and I ate a few Cheddar Pumpkin Seed Doctor Krackers.

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I did some organizing, lunch packing, showering, etc before it was time to make dinner.  I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have to cook my first few days back at school so I made something with lots of leftovers, stir fried rice.

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I didn’t follow a recipe, just kind of thought about a few recipes I had in my head.  The proportions really don’t matter at all.  Basically here are the “directions”

Very Veggie Stir Fried Rice, 5 servings

  • 4C cooked brown rice (prepared a day in advance)
  • large onion, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • defrosted frozen broccoli rabe
  • red pepper, chopped
  • fresh basil
  • evoo
  • 3eggs
  • fish sauce
  • 2limes, quartered
  • egg tomatoes, chopped
  • bunch of scallions, chopped
  • **A cooks chicken and adds it to his at the end
  1. (A day before you plan on making the dish) prepare 4C cooked brown rice.
  2. In a wok or large skillet, heat a little evoo.  Cook the first set of veggies until soft.  I wait to add the basil until the last few minutes of cooking.
  3. Remove veggies from the pan, replace with rice.  Heat the rice for a minute or so, stirring to distribute heat evenly.  Add a little bit more evoo at this point.
  4. Mound the rice so that there is a hole in the middle.  Crack the eggs into the hole.  When the eggs are mostly firm, scramble and stir them into the rice.  The timing of when you stir in the eggs will determine how dry your final dish is, so follow your own tastes.
  5. Add the cooked veggies back into the pan and stir.  Squeeze in the juice of 1lime, along with 4-6 shakes of fish sauce.
  6. Add the second set of veggies, stir once, and remove from the pan.
  7. Additional lime juice can be squeezed on at the table.

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Yum!  I love stir fried rice.

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I ate my portion along with a juice cocktail; 1part POM and 2parts club soda.

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When I received my package from POM the other day I was pretty psyched; A goes through these things like nobody’s business!  A drinks them straight, but I like them best mixed with club soda or incorporated into a recipe.

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We don’t drink a lot of juice because I think you are better getting the fiber from a piece of fruit instead, but POM is a “worth it” situation to me.  Here is some of the information the company provided me with that I found interesting –

  •  
    • Pomegranates are one of mankind’s earliest cultured fruits.
    • Many scholars now suggest that it was the pomegranate, not an apple, depicted in the biblical Garden of Eden.
    • POM Juice is the only juice guaranteed to be made exclusively from “Wonderful” variety pomegranates.
    • [Their] pomegranate orchards are looked in California’s sunny San Joaquin Valley.  [They] never use imported juice.
    • POM Wonderful is the only juice whose health benefits are backed by $25million in medical research.
    • [In a study in which participants drank 8oz daily] after only three weeks, blood flow to the heart improved approximately 17% in a a group that drank POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice, but worsened approximately 18% in the placebo group.
    • Drinking 8oz of 100% pomegranate juice per day for two weeks lowered the incidence of LDL oxidation, believed to be a key factor in arterial plaque formation.
    • Hundreds of scientific tests also show POM to be a superior source of antioxidants, with more and better antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea, vitamin C and vitamin E.

POM juice is also shown to improve prostate health and erectile function, but I don’t think those figures are of much use to most of my readers! (You seem to be young and female, but if any grandpas are reading please give me a shout out!)

Tomorrow is my first day back to school after Spring Break, tear!  On the agenda for tonight?  Relaxation.  I have a new episode of Scrubs to watch online and a serving of Jelly Bellys calling my name, zzzzzzZ.

Don’t forget about my first giveaway ever, ending Weds!


Busy, Back, Bites

March 19, 2009

Hello, again!  I’m sorry I’ve been such a lame blogger lately, my mommy told me I’m boring!  I actually don’t even have time to really do a post today, but here are some past and future items.

  1. This week suck, suck, sucked, but TGIF tomorrow.
  2. I may have eaten popcorn for dinner more than one night this week.
  3. Even though I haven’t been posting we have stuck to our vegan challenge; I’ll be reflecting on that more this weekend.
  4. On Sunday I’m heading to another fun blogger meet up.
  5. My students are working on a women’s history project so I had kids in my room from 8am-4:30pm without a break – I was so busy today I forgot to eat lunch (which means at least I don’t have to pack it for tomorrow!)

Train breakfast.  Almond Bumble Bar.

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Afternoon snacks.  Fiji apple with veggie cheese.  Caramal Apple vegan bar.

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Dinner.  Pilaf topped with steamed broccoli and cauliflower and “beef.”

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Dessert.  Chocolate coconut milk ice-cream with 2 Newman’s Os.

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See you tomorrow!


Check Plus

March 15, 2009

Best Sunday Ever.  My to do list is beyond checked:

Write my plans for the week.  Make my materials for the week.  Go to Staples for supplies.  Do my grading.  Eat tons of fantabulous vegan food!  All checked off.

I woke up this morning around 10:00 and felt like doing some work before I made breakfast, so I snacked on some Quackers samples from my swag bag.

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Noontime breakfast was soooo good, Cinnamon Bun Oats!

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I made a 1/2 portion of oats which I topped with “icing,” candied pecans, and cinnamon sugar.  The “icing” was Stoneyfield soy vanilla yogurt mixed with maple syrup.

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And here is the recipe for the candied pecans (I made A the same breakfast),

    • 1/2C chopped pecans
    • 1/2T Smart Balance Light
    • 1.5t sugar
    • 1pinch salt
    • Melt the Smart Balance in a small saucepan and then reduce the heat to low.  Pour in pecans and turn to coat.  Sprinkle in sugar and salt, mix and heat until golden (about 2minutes).

I used 2T of pecans on my oats.

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So much better than Cinnabon could ever do!

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We did work, work, and more work and then headed to Staples.  While we were out we took the time to take a walk.  I bought A an O’Soy chocolate yogurt to try the other day and now he’s obsessed, so we needed back to the “hippie store.”  We bought a very late lunch to go while we were there.

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I loved the bbq, so today I tried Sweet and Sour tofu.

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Very tasty.  To be honest though, I didn’t drink soda most of last week and I enjoyed my Diet Coke Plus even more!

For dessert I ate one of these tasty Enjoy Life Caramel Apple snack bars.

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After more, more, more work A confessed that he had used up all of the rice I was planning to cook for dinner, so we headed back out to the little store by our house.  We had to spend $10 to charge so we picked up a few things, including Sugar Free Jelly Bellys.  I’ve never had them before, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing them soon.

A very late dinner was based around more new items; TJ’s soy chorizo and a can of lentils.

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I’d never had lentils before, I am definitly a convert now!  We heated the proteins in a skillet and then mixed them into 4 servings of rice for a delicious 5serving pot.

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For a side we used this giganto head of cabbage.

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We are officially naming it The Beast, look at what it did to A’s knife!

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He was a trouper though, and when I finally had a pile of shreds I put them into a pot where I had evoo over low heat.  I doused the slaw with apple cider vinegar and A1 Steak Sauce and covered it for 5minutes.  Yum, yum.

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All together – Rice and Beans Revamped with Steamy Steaky Slaw.

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I must have told A how good this was 8 times during our meal!  I actually have one more grading task to do before bed so I’ve got to run, have a great night readies!

Mondays can suck, what are you excited for tomorrow? I am excited to get back to the gym!

*****Updated to add – while I posted I ate a serving of beans (80calories).

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The flavor was right but the texture was pretty weird.  I will finish the bag but I will be sticking to the regular beans for now on.


Am I Fakin’ Bacon???

March 13, 2009

Question for my readers – Is it still considered “pigging out” if you are only eating vegan things?  Well, pigging out or tofuing up, my belly was kept very satisfied today!  It’s been a foodie lovefest over here at EatingChalk.

Things started very well with my train breakfast this morning.

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These Bumble Bars are so frickin’ amazing!  This is another item I ate occasionally in college but have found too pricey as of late, however, I splurged yesterday while at the neighborhood “hippie store.”  The bars are vegan, organic, and gluten-free.  I had Mixed Nuts, which had sesame seeds as one of the first ingredients on the list.  OhMyGoodness they had the best sesame flavor.  I think this is an item I will have to splurge on more often.

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I also had a piece of TJ’s fruit leather.

School was interesting, not really good or bad.  I have to toot my own horn (especially because I’ve been so terrible at my 30arm reps a day challenge) – I broke up a fight today in class and my boys class was super impressed at how strong I am.  Woot!

Without meaning to, I packed a lot of sweet components in today’s lunch, all wonderful though, be forewarned, more raving is coming!  I ate the little bit of leftver tofu from last night.

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A TJ’s chocolate soymilk box.

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1/2C of blackberries with two small plums.

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And a Stoneyfield Farms ‘O Soy Chocolate Yogurt.

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Um, WOW!  Wow, wow, wow, this yogurt was beyond fabulous.  I always say no wimpy yogurts can stack up to plain nonfat Greek but this was a contender tastewise; I love the combo of tangy with chocolate.  I wouldn’t eat this as often as Greek yogurt (even though it only had 160calories it had 22grams of sugar!) but it will be my go-to item when I want something sweet from now on.

I stayed after school to work on my TAN.  While I plugged away I ate a Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp Jam Frakas Bar.

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Again, holy crap this was good!  The flavor was deliciously honeyed (consequently, after checking I realized the bar contained honey and was Not vegan, I shouldn’t have made the assumption just because it was from Lara).

Once I got home I actually met up with A for a walk.  He found a patch of fresh cement that he carved our initials into so we had to go take a looksie.  We extended our walk to loop around the neighborhood.  During our travels we stopped in at ‘Snice, which I’ve been obsessed with since my blogger meet up.  A and I each got a Milk-less Shake.

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He had cappuccino and I had malted – soooooo good!  Again, this is an item I would choose vegan over regular for; I don’t eat much fullfat dairy so milkshakes I can’t order with skim milk make me sort of sick.  (not that that stops me from eating them, something in my brain refuses to accept that I can’t eat certain foods.  When we were in college there was a TGIFridays near campus and we ate their regularly.  At the time I was having a lot of weird food allergies <I still really don’t know what the deal is but I know that Hawaiian fruit gummies and frozen pot pies make me very very sick> and after eating their pecan crusted chicken salad I threw up, a lot.  However, that salad was really really tasty.  So the next three times we went I ordered the same damn meal and threw up when I got home.  If A hadn’t seriously threatened to leave me I’d probably still be ordering it!)

Enjoying our shakes while we walked, we stopped in to the grocery store to buy to veggie cheddar cheese.

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Check those nutritional stats.

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I need to be honest though, we bought the cheese so I could make vegan bacon cheese fries (that’s right, say that dish a few times and try not to salivate).

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I enjoyed the first batch of oven baked fries I made so much that the small potato in the pantry has been taunting me ever since.  I used one small potato to make the “fries” and topped it with 1 slice of veggie cheese and 1 slice of fakin bacon.

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Y-uuuuuuuuuuM!

After doing a bit of school work it was time to make dinner (I realize I probably could have stopped eating, but dinner was actually started last night, and I’m a fatty).  This dish was inspired by a recipe from THE BINDER.

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I have torn recipes out of magazines most of my life.  Since I’m nerdy as hell, I organized them into a binder, by category.  After a few years of being mocked, my mommy found me a binder made just for such a purpose, legitimizing my lameness.

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It’s pretty and I greatly enjoy organizing my finds.  I actually also have a workout binder, and a “good ideas” binder, but I’ll discuss them more in a later post.

Dinner was inspired by the recipe binder but I put my own delicious spin on it.

Coco Loco Tofu, serves 2

  • 1package firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 3/4C unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 of a can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2C rice vinegar
  1. Mix coconut milk and rice vinegar in a shallow tupperware.
  2. Take the prepared tofu and cut it into 6 slices (I did 7, but only because I’m clumsy).
  3. Place the tofu into the marinade and leave it for at least 2hours or over night.
  4. (After marination is done) Preheat the oven to 450*, and prep a baking sheet with foil and baking spray.
  5. Place the coconut flakes in a shallow bowl and drudge the tofu slices through.
  6. Lightly spray the slices with baking spray and cook for 25minutes.

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I used the leftover coconut milk by stirring it into leftover rice before I reheated it.

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And I also prepared some oven roasted veggies, brussels sprouts and colored cauliflower.

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Oven roasted brussels sprouts are seriously my favorite food, I like them even better than broad rice noodles.

All together.

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I realize I’ve said every item today was “the best thing ever” but this truly was.  If you are a tofu newbie I beg you to make this recipe so you too can become an addict.

This was a long post, so it’s time for me to hit the hay!  Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

What is your favorite way to eat veggies?  I think everything is better oven roasted.


Collard Greens Make Your Butt Big

March 11, 2009

The title is what I overheard a child saying in class last week.  I tried to explain to her that food doesn’t work like that, and that greens are actually very low in calories and quite healthy, but she totally didn’t buy it.  Further evidenced by the fact that she then led the class in a 10minute discussion of “Mrs. Wax has a nice butt, it must be because she likes collard greens.”  Kids!

Discussions of my butt aside, during that convo I came up with a fabulous recipe idea.  My class was scandalized when I told them I was going to eat cg’s with tofu, but A and I think the end result was pretty wonderful.  I used these products as my recipe base:

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Southern Classic, Vegan Style

  • I drained and pressed 1 package of firm tofu.
  • Then I preheated my oven to 475* and foiled and baking sprayed a baking sheet.
  • I cut the tofu into small cubes, placed it on my baking sheet, and sprinkled liberally with salt, paprika, and nutmeg.  Then I put the tofu in the oven for 25minutes.
  • Meanwhile, A cooked 2 servings of brown rice according to the directions on the box.
  • Next I prepared my package of fakin bacon with a little evoo.
  • When the bacon was cooked I used the same pan with the “bacon grease” to heat a can of collard greens.
  • Once the greens were warm I added 4 slices of chopped bacon back into the pan.
  • Finally, I topped the rice with the greens and the tofu – perfection!

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Look at all those great spices.

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A and I really enjoyed this dish.  The mix of flavors went wonderfully together and it felt like very healthy comfort food.

Still on my to do list for the evening – put away the folded laundry, finish my grading, make my parent letter to get copied, take a shower, and most likely eat dessert.  Feeling stressed, I clearly need this bathrobe!  I’ve got to run, have a super duper night all!

Other than the classic – green m&m’s make your horny – what food myths were you told growing up?