Saturday, March 27, 2010

Checking Boxes

Happy Saturday, lovlies! Saturday always seems like a great day. Did you do anything fun today? Sadly, my first week of spring break is over... but happily I checked all the boxes I need to check so next week can be whatever I want it to be.

  • Driver's training segment 2: check! Although the first day was possibly the most boring 2 hours of my life, this girl is almost street legal. Yes, my friends, in one month I will legally be able to get my liscence. Well, if I pass parallel parking, that is. What was the hardest poart of learning how to drive for you? What did you totally rock on your drivers test and what weren't you so sure about?

  • Doctor's appointment: check! Guess who finally reached her goal weight? I cannot even explain how happy I am. I literally starting jumping up and down. Yoga has helped me rebuild my body in a wonderful way, along with a healthy vegan diet. I know that most of the weight I regained is muscle and I feel stronger than ever. I have a personal goal of a little bit higher, but overall, I just want my body to be what it feels most comfortable with. Sure, it's been a long and hard road, but I've found what really works for me and my body. With the weight under by belt (literally, haha), I feel like I can look back and see the positives of this journey. My weight loss came from a stressful and unsafe situation (which I have now been removed from) but prompted me to take control of my life and learn what I want. Everyone's different and I've found a lifestyle that makes me the happiest and healthiest I can be. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. I love you all and am appreciative for all of your support in my exploration. To any of you that have recovered from a weight loss (ED or otherwise), do you have any advice for me on how to get back to normal? I've been so used to eating what I know I need to eat that intuitive eating isn't so intuitive anymore. It sounds weird, but I don't know what it feels like anymore. How did you overcome this? Do you still feel the need to eat a certain amount? I would love to hear your input!

  • Make the best soup I've ever had in my life: check! Can you believe I used to not like soup? Were there any foods that you didn't like when you were little and now wonder why-the-heck that was? Enter my new friend: carrot ginger soup with whole wheat cornbread. All I can say is yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. I appologize for the less-than-inticing photo, but after trying a bit, I just couldn't wait. It was that good. I can send you the recipe since it would make this post too long. Please make this. I promise you will not be dissappointed (unless, of course, you hate ginger or carrots, because there sure is a lot of that.)

  • Enjoy tofu again: check! Lately I've taken a bit of a break from tofu. I know there's a huge soy debate about benefit vs. harm so I wanted to see for myself. It's a grey area for me, and honestly I think my body works better when it's minimized. That said, everything in moderation, right? After seeing Caroline's yummy tofu creations time after time and finding Nasoya's new tofu plus product (just check out these stats!), I decided it was time again to be reunited. It was only appropriate that I make Caroline's Peanut Butter Barbecued Tofu. Um, YUM! The sauce nicely carmalized and was the perfect mix between sweet and savory. I used Annie's BBQ sauce and PB2. I'm really an almond butter girl, but I like my PB2 when PB flavor is needed. Sadly, they're not being sold right now, though, so I'll have to keep it to a minimum. That'll be hard with such a great recipe!

  • Love Whole Foods even more: check! Honestly, I didn't think this was possible. I could live in Whole Foods. End of story. Boy was I wrong about my love! I finally tried their sugar-free cookies, and I will never go back. I pretty much don't like sweets, but this is my exception. They're made with tofu, which I think was what gave them their unique quality. They were crumbly and really soft. I warmed them up and enjoyed with the last of my almond milk (which I also warmed). I was only planning to eat half of each flavor (oatmeal rasin and chocolate chip), but this combination brough me back to my childhood that I just couldn't help myself. I never liked milk so I guess I kind of enjoyed what I never got the chance to do: dip warm cookies in warm milk. And vegan, too boot?! Delish bonus!

Oh, and I even used one of my baby cups since I hadn't done the dishes yet and not many cups were clean hehe.

  • Help sooth my sick mom: check! My mom is a total type A personality and almost never gets sick. Unfortunately, she hasn't been feeling well all week and has finally admitted her sickness. It's hard for her to just relax and let someone take care of her, but I've definitely seen to it. Last night I made her Rasberry Cornmeal Pancakes with Celestial Cream from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan. I cut the recipe in half and she ate every last bit. Hopefully her happy tummy soothed her cold. I gave her a foot bath also (we own one that's like a home pedicure. Love.)

  • Go to the farmer's market and enjoy a lovely morning with J: check! We had such a great time that we've decided to make this a weekly tradition. One of my neighbors works there and was amazingly generous in giving us some produce. If you don't think I can go through 4 boxes of strawberries, 3 boxes of blueberries, 5 nectarines, and all the veggies rest, you are very mistaken. The cantaloupe and grapes were a gift for my grandmother, though. I'll leave those up to her. Oh, and if you doubt that portobellos can be as big as my head or that I would pay $9 for the flax crackers I've been lusting after, think again. How luck is it that there is a vegan&raw center in the downtown area that makes there own flax crakers and sells them for $3.50? All I could say is yes, please!

  • Make baked goods for my family: check! For my mom's belated birthday celebration, I made Candle Cafe's chocolate mousse pie. The first time I made it, I didn't tell my family that it was vegan and they totally thought that it was creme and butter laden. They raved for hours (I'm not trying to brag... you'll know what I mean if you've had this) and even told my uncle in another state about it. They were in for a BIG surprise since I was so excited I couldn't keep it a secret for long. Needless to say it became a favorite and they have been begging me to make it ever since. Unfortunately, it was mostly devoured before I could get a good picture. My secret weapon? Tofu! As a bonus, I made vegan brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, also, to use up the extra silken tofu. These were also a hit and were gone within a few days.

  • Invent a new raw bar recipe: check! Chocolate&mint were made for each other. Here is my recipe for one Mandiee-sized bar:
-15 g almonds (7 ish almonds)
-28.75 g dates (5 ish dates)
-1/8 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp peppermint extract

  • Finally get back to blogging: check! With all my farmer's market goodies, you can expect me back soon. Also, I'll be doing some baking tonight for my kind neighbor so there will be some goodies involved in the next post. Next week I'm going to work on getting my new blog on my own domain up and running. For any of you that have your own domain, how did you get it started? I bought my domain already but I don't know where to go from there. Also, I want to be a member of food buzz. Please help!
Have a lovely day, my dears!



  1. Mandee - what an awesome post full of so many wonderful things that have happened to you - i am so happy for you!!!!!!!!! I would love your advice on how you got to your goal weight with a vegan diet - i would also LOVE the recipe for the soup and whole wheat bread - it looks fabulous!!!!! Could you e-mail it to me??? So happy you are back to blogging and can't wait to read more!!!!! lol aimee

  2. Congratulations on reaching your goal weight! What an amazing accomplishment! You go girl.

  3. Wow you've been busy! Such delicious looking food. I'll have to try some of those things as I'm always on the hunt for new and interesting, healthy eats!

  4. your mint choc bars look great, i made dark fudge balls and also mint donut holes, raw vegan, peppermint. pmint extract is great stuff but SO powerful.
    bought my domain thru blogger, poke around in your settings, you'll find it.
    and foodbuzz, google it and go sign up :)

    and take off your word verification, well, that's a request :)

  5. I am still struggling with intuitive eating. I am getting better and listening to when my body is hungry and what it wants. I know that I need to be eating healthier, though. I eat so many cereal bowls that don't fully satisfy me. I am thinking less carbs and more protein.

    Oh, I know! Those Whole Foods Vegan Sugar Free cookies are the best! So soft! I am going to WF on Monday - can't wait! I will have to pick one up. :)

  6. Ahhh I remember my driver's test!! Parallel parking was definitely the hardest for me, but I rocked it. I remember memorizing the placement of my mirrors in relation to the traffic barrels- it helped a lot!! Congrats on reaching your goal weight!! I'm not back to intuitive eating yet either, so I'm no help there, but it sounds like you have such a healthy mentality about the process. Way to go, girl!! Enjoy your Sunday!

  7. all of your eats looks delicious! in regards to intuitive eating: this won't happen overnight. it takes time. i've been working at it ("it" being recovery in general) for a couple years now and i still have days where i don't feel as if my food choices are intuitive. time heals all wounds! time and a lot of effort and desire to get better.

    so sorry for the delay with the bruschetta recipe. here it is...

    (from Spices of Life by Nina Simonds)

    Roasted Tomato Bruschetta with Lentils

    1 cup french green lentils
    4 cloves garlic, smashed flat with the side of a knife and peeled
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 recipe roasted cherry tomatoes (below)

    3 tbsp EVOO
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black peper

    1 loaf country-style sourdough bread (i used a wheat baguette)

    put lentils, garlic cloves and salt in a saucepan and pour in enough water to cover by about two inches. bring water to a boil and reduce heat to low. simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, 30-40 mins.

    strain the cooked lentils and put them and the garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse 4 or 5 times to break them up. then mix them with the seasonings.

    cut the bread into 1/2-inch thick slices. heat broiler and arrange slices on a baking sheet about three inches from heat (note: i just put the bread slices in the toaster). toast until golden brown on both sides, turning once. spoon and spread a generous portion of the cooked lentils onto the toast.

    arrange the toasted bread slices on a platter and generously spoon some of the roasted tomato mixture on top. serve.

    roasted cherry tomatoes
    1 1/2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes (or two pints), rinsed and drained
    1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
    2 1/2 tbsp EVOO
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

    preheat oven to 400 degrees. arrange tomatoes in one layer in a non reactive pan (not aluminum). prick them lightly with the tip of a small knife or fork.

    sprinkle oregano and drizzle olive oil evenly over the tomatoes. season with salt and pepper. roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until soft and tender. spoon into a bowl or serve on plates.