Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Two for One kind of post!

I'm going to post both Tuesday and Wednesday meals because I have been so busy with work lately and I need to catch up.

Tuesday morning I had toast with honey roasted peanut butter and bananas! It was so filling and good, I could not resist taking a bite before I photographed it.


Lunch I had on the run because I had to get my haircut and then go to class. Dinner was cut up fruit: grapes, bananas, kiwi and a huge salad with a big scoop of cottage cheese in the middle and tons of other delicious veggies. I apologize for the blurr, photo, I must not have been paying attention.


Today's breakfast was Banana Oatmeal with trail mix and p.b.!
This photo came out much better!

Lunch today was cut up apples with goat gouda, salad of greens with balsamic dressing, blackberries and grapes, AND a piece of toasted pita bread with pb and j!


Dinner tonight was boring abig bowl of cut up fruit with cottage cheese on top and a big bowl of puffins with almond breeze. I am going home tomorrow so I may not be posting for a little while but I promise to take pictures of all the delicious food I eat and prepare

Easter Pictures!!!

Here are the Easter pictures I promised! They turned out wonderfully!

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Me with my glass of prosecco!

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Setting our gorgeous table!

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Attempting to carve the chicken! With the delicious sweet potatoes in the background! Sorry there aren't more food close ups I wasn't the camera lady this time!

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Pie! and more friends!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Delicious Dins!


I used my leftovers to make a salad for dinner tonight. I ate some left over roast chicken and green beans over herb salad mix with radishes, a few sweet pickles and some leftover baby corn! I dressed it with the usual mustard and vinegar combo! I tried to do a close up today so that you could better see the delicious components of this salad!
I'll be in the library tonight studying but I've already planned my snacks! I'm packing a granny smith apple with a tablespoon of honey roasted p.b. and a travel mug of decaf coffee with some hot cocoa mixed in.

Manic Monday Breakfast and Lunch

I was up early this morning finishing an assignment so I needed to reward myself with a delicious breakfast. I decided to have the whipped cottage cheese that I can only find at Whole Foods along with some blackberries, half a banana and some grapes. I topped it all off with some delicious Puffins and some Honey Bunches of Oats I was trying to finish. A little sprinkle of Saigon Cinnamon and I had a breakfast of champions. With breakfast I had a big mug of chai tea.

I wasn't in the mood for a heavy lunch today so I had a whole bunch of baby carrots and some Whole foods traditional hummus! I also had a few rosemary crackers and a piece of goat gouda, also from Whole Foods. For dessert I had a coconut date nut roll.

Tonight's dinner I'll be posting later but I am thinking about making a salad with all my delicious Easter leftovers!

Easter! (Pictures Pending)

I woke up Easter morning in the mood to get things done and excited for the Easter dinner we had planned. I started the morning off right with a bowl of banana oatmeal made even more delicious by the addition of some Trader Joe's Nuts about Raspberries and Chocolate Trek Mix and little spoonful of the honey roasted peanut butter!

Next we went grocery shopping for all of our dinner ingredients. I was surprised by how little we needed to buy to make our fresh and fabulous dishes!

Then we set to cleaning the whole house from top to bottom. As college students this often goes neglected and the feng shui of the house just went through the roof once we were done.

In the afternoon Joel came over to help us start preparing the meal. I suppose I should reveal the menu now :) :
-The Barefoot Contessa's Perfect Roast Chicken
-Cooking Light's Marsala Mashed Sweet Potatoes
-Garlicky String Beans
-Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
I am still in awe of how well the meal turned out. When you're new to cooking like we are its to be expected that one the dishes won't quite meet expectations but this honestly was one of the best meals I ever cooked. The chicken was stuffed with lemon garlic and thyme and came out of the oven perfectly browned. It was wonderfully moist and flavorful. The string beans were fresh and garlicky. The sweet potatoes were the perfect blend of sweet and savory. I would have never thought to use marsala with potatoes. We enjoyed a glass of prosecco before dinner and had a bottle of cheap red wine during dinner, definitely not a master pairing but festive none the less. Our friend Abby joined us for dinner and brought an excellent Israeli salad which reminded me so much of Spring!

We all decided it would be cute to wear our Easter best and my roommate took lots of photos which I'll be posting as soon as I can steal them from her.

For dessert we had our much sought after pie and several of our other friends joined us who couldn't make it to the dinner. Everyone agreed the pie was delicious, though not quite as good as homemade :) all in all an awesome way to spend Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Today ended up being a much busier day then I expected and so it was a little boring food wise, though their are some highlights I thought I'd share with everyone. My roommate and I are the only ones in our house not home for the Easter weekend. This morning we got up and made one of our favorite meals for brunch: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches!!! These sandwiches were made a million times better by the addition of our freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter. OH so good!
After brunch our friend J stopped by to discuss the menu planning for our big Easter Dinner. That's right my friends and I decided that if we were going to be at school Easter weekend then we would just have to celebrate ourselves. I'll reveal our not so top secret menu in my next post, it's going to be delicious! While planning our dinner we decided it would be essential to have an Easter dessert so we decided upon a pie and The Great Easter Pie Search began!

First we went to a local bakery called Culpepper's but the only pies that they had left were weird un-Eastery flavors like Squash and Apple. Not to be discouraged we went to a second bakery, the Crown Bakery. This bakery is renowned for it's Swedish treats but it seemed they only had pumpkin and egg custard pies left and wouldn't be open on Sunday! Our third attempt was the Blue Hydrangea bakery where we were informed that almost all of their pies were pre-ordered and that any extras were long gone at that point. Finally we went to our local supermarket. I had already resigned myself at this point to forgoing the pie, as I assumed all we would find at the grocery store would be some trans fat laden, high fructose corn syrup, sorry excuse for a pie. BUT lo and behold, they had a delicious looking Strawberry Rhubarb Pie produced by the higher end supermarket brand which had NO HFCS and used Palm oil instead of Partially Hydrogenated anything! I nearly jumped for joy and I can't wait to dig in tomorrow!!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Getting Caught Up...Sort Of

Today was a bit crazy so there won't be any food pictures but there will be a list from a super successful grocery store trip! Most of my friends were going home to today for Easter weekend but my roommate A and I were sticking around. Neither of us have class on Fridays so this seemed the perfect opportunity for some adventure.

We both slept in late and then decided to hit up Dunkin Donuts on our way out for breakfast (see I'm not healthy all the time :) ) I had a half french vanilla, half hot chocolate coffee made with skim milk and I got a pumpkin muffin I only ate about half the muffin and I saved the rest for later.

Then we went to do some shopping. First to Loehmann's which is a higher end discount designer store and then to the Natick Collections aka the mall. I got an incredibly cute t shirt and tried on a bunch of stuff that I loved but can't afford right now.

The mall is about an hour away from where we live and on the way home we pass two of my favorite places in the world: Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. We have a Trader Joe's that is nearer to school but no Whole Foods so I get sooo excited when I get to go there! Whole Foods was first and I got:
-Whipped cottage cheese
-A bunch of perectly ripe bananas
-Whole Foods hummus
- Vanilla Hemp Milk
-Bionaturae Mixed Berry Jam
-Honey Roasted fresh made peanut butter!!!!!!!!!!
-Irene's Raspberry Hamenstachen (jam cookies that are eaten to celebrate the Jewish holiday Purim)
We also had one of my favorite dinners, the salad bar of at whole foods. So good I wish I could eat it every day!
Then we went to Trader Joe's where we stocked up on wine and some fun food. I got:
-I got 4 bottle of wine: a Hahn Syrah, Alamos Pinot Noir, Erath Pinot Noir, and a Cava Brut.
-Some Ginger Chews
-Nuts about Raspberries Trail Mix
- Lara Apple Pie Bar
-European Style Plain Non fat yogurt
-Some Coconut Date Rolls
At home we finished off the night with watching Across the Universe and enjoying one of the hamenstachen and a cup of decaf coffee. An excellent end to a very good day!

Thursday's Post

This blogging thing is hard to keep up with, I've been soooo busy lately. So this is Thursday's post....I decided today would definitely have to be a cooking day! I woke up this morning and made myself a half recipe of Kath's Baked Oatmeal. IT WAS SOOO GOOD! Not too sweet and I actually felt that I could be satisfied with less of it than my normal serving. I like to try messing with the recipe a little to see if I could make it creamier, my came out more bread like, but this is definitely going on my breakfast rotation.

Then after class and before work I made Sweet Potato Lentil Chili from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and Maple Cornbread. I was inspired to make Maple Corn Bread by Jenna at Eat, Live, Run. I looked at a lot of recipes for them but ultimately I made up own.
Maple Cornbread
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cornmeal
1 dash of cinnamon (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 t. salt
1 egg (I'm sure egg replacer could be sued as well I just fdon't ave so much experience with it)
3/4 c. non fat milk or soy milk
1/4 c. low fat vanilla yogurt or plain yogurt
1/3 c. maple syrup
2 T. melted butter

Pre heat your oven to 425. When heated place an 8 in cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mis all of the wet ingredients. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry. Stir to incorporate but do not over mix. Batter should be thick. Remove pan from oven and spray with cooking spray. Add batter to pan and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

The corn bread came out great and was a HUGE hit with my roomates who upon my invitation gobbled it all up. I barely had time to snap a photo before it was all gone. I meant to take a picture of my Sweet Potato lentil chili when I had it again at dinner but I completely forgot. I recommend that everyone vegan or otherwise buy Eat Drink and Be Vegan and try this recipe! It is really THAT good!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday's Post

I didn't get the chance to blog yesterday because I wasn't really feeling well so I'm going to be doing several posts today!

This morning I woke up super early and it was back to my old Banana Oatmeal. I went to the store last night but unfortunately almost all the bananas were green :( I picked the ripest looking one and used about half of it in my oats this morning. I topped it all off with a sprinkling of granola and some brown sugar, with my usual p.b. on the side.

Lunch today was what I like to a call my Crazy Salad! Which is pretty much whatever I have on hand just thrown together. Today my salad included:
-baby corn
-honey roast turkey
-sweet pickles
-a little bit of cranberry cinnamon goat cheese
- herb salad blend

Later I got home from work and I had been planning on making Heidi Swanson's Carmelized Tofu but I felt really sick and also really tired. So I just had Stonyfield Farms Strawberry Yogurt, some Puffins cereal, grapes and cut up kiwis.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Still no bananas, which meant no oatmeal this morning :( I decided to go for a little bit of a lighter breakfast because I'm planning on having a big lunch and I had somethings that I am trying to finish up. So this was a cereal morning...I had a 1/2 c. of Honey Bunches of Oats and a 1/2 c. of All Bran Strawberry Medley. Neither of these are cereals that I would really recommend to anyone. Honey Bunches of Oats is good but low on nutrition value. I had high hopes for the All Bran which has ten grams of fiber serving but it tastes really fakely strawberry. This fake taste may be due to the fact that it has High Fructose Corn Syrup!!!!! ugggh I definitely should have checked the label twice on that one! After these cereals are finished or if it goes too long thrown out, I'll definitely be back to my old reliable Kashi cereals. I topped my cereal with a little plain yogurt and some Bionaturae Mixed Berry Jam. I also had a cup of hot cocoa this morning as a little extra treat.

My quesadilla yesterday was so delicious I just had to have another for lunch today! This time I just made it with half a flaxseed pita and some shredded cheese. On the side I had a salad with avocado, red pepper and onions with my mustard-vinegar dressing. I also had a valencia orange which was perfectly ripe!

My class this afternoon always brings snacks and I usually have to pass as they are almost always processed cookies and chips, but today someone brought a big fruit plate and a bag of baby carrots. I had some pineapple, grapes and a ton of carrots. The perfect snack!

Tonight I made dinner for myself and my roomate, A. She and I both love fish so we often enjoy it together. Tonight we had Cajun Wild Salmon from Trader Joe's, it was good but I a little oddly fishy tasting for me. I prefer their Seasoned Turbot Filets. On the side we each had about a cup of Olive Oil and Roasted Garlic Couscous and a side salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and red pepper. I had mine with my usual dressing. You can tell I really love my salads, I've been averaging two a day!
For dessert I had Trader Joe's natural sandwich cookie. A says she might make some No Pudge brownies tonight so I'll have an extra special treat when I get back from the library.
These past few days have been hectic so expect even more exciting meals from me later. I have big plans to try a twist on Carmelized Tofu and ED&BV's Sweet Potato Lentil Chili everyone has been raving about!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! My first post with actual food woo hoo!

I could not get out of bed this morning. I spent some quality time hitting snooze and thinking about what I could make for breakfast as an incentive to get up.

Usually I like to have banana oatmeal for breakfast, I use McCann's Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal cooked with 1/2 c. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 c. of water and a pinch of salt. THen when my oats are almost done I add half of a mashed banana. I eat my oatmeal with a 1/2 T. of natural peanut butter, a la Kath of KathEats, that I leave on the spoon so I get a little peanut butter with each bite. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of raw sugar on top for crunch and sweetness.

But today I was out of bananas so I decided to try something new. To my usual oatmeal I added:
-1/2 T. of cocoa powder
- a good dash of cinnamon
-a pinch of nutmeg
- a tiny pinch of chili powder
Voila, Spicy Mole Cocoatmeal!
The cocoa powder changed the mouth feel of the oats somewhat and they needed a splash more of milk, which you see in the picture. This recipe also needs to be sweetened. I used 1 1/2 t. of raw sugar but I think that this would be great made with my usual mashed banana! I still kept my usual spoonful of peanut butter because I need it to fuel my mornings but I'm sure you could enjoy these oats without it.

With Breakfast I also had my favorite coffee, Trader Joe's Peaberry. The peaberry is supposedly a very rare, prized bean and this coffee is amazing! The canister says Limited Edition and they don't always carry it so go buy some now! I take my coffee with 1 T. of half and half and no sugar. I used to take it with Fat Free half and half and Splenda but I stopped in an effort to cut down on chemicals in my diet.

For lunch today I decide to have a baked sweet potato in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I used one of those plastic wrapped potatoes made especially for the microwave. Not as good as oven baked but an awesome time saver! Using this recipe as inspiration I scooped out the inside of my potato and mashed them with a little lowfat plain yogurt, cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne. Then I drizzled a tiny bit of maple syrup on top. On the side I had a half a broiled grapefruit and some sliced kiwi with a delicious mug of chamomile tea! Right before work I snacked on a few Honey Sesame TLC Crackers.

Dinner tonight was avocado quesadillas made with mashed avocado seasoned with lemon juice, cumin, and garlic powder and reduced fat four cheese blend and splashed with hot sauce. On the side I had Trader Joe's Spicy Peach Salsa and some spiced yogurt. I also had a side salad made with field greens, tomatoes, scallions and the other half of my grapefruit dressed with honey mustard and vinegar.

Tonight I'll probably have a snack while studying and preparing a paper due Wednesday!

Hi and an Introduction

Hi all!

My name is Meredith and I am passionate about healthy food! I believe in eating a natural, healthy and clean diet as much as possible. I love to cook and try new recipes. I decided to create this blog for several reasons. One to serve as a food journal of sorts for recording all of the meals and recipes I make. Second as an example that a student on a budget can create delicious meals that promote a happier and healthier lifestyle. Also I've been inspired by all the other incredible food bloggers out there and I want in on the fun! I love the way I feel when I eat healthy and create my own meals and I want this blog to be a celebration of food and life!

A Little Bit About Me

I am 21 years old and a senior in college. This would be my big, scary last year, but I was accepted into my school's free fifth year accelerated Master's program for Education. I'm an English major and plan on teaching English on either the high school or middle school level.

I live in Worcester, MA with three lovely roommates and occasionally a visiting dog. My friends call me the little homemaker and tease for my obsession with healthy cooking but they're always happy to eat whatever I cook up.

I'm originally from Philadelphia, PA and I am the oldest of four children. My family LOVES food and my parents are some of the most adventurous eaters I know. When I'm home I do most of the cooking and I am trying to introduce my family to even more healthy foods.

I hope to spend the next few years teaching and then eventually go to law school. Someday in the future I can definitely see myself writing a cookbook or owning a cafe.

My Diet and Food Beliefs

Before I close this introduction, I think it would be worthwhile to say a little bit about my diet so that those who read my blog know what to expect. I am not a vegan or vegetarian , though I eat meat usually only once or twice a week. Mostly I eat turkey, fish and chicken. I eat beef only once or twice a year and then I try to eat only organic, free range, grass fed beef. I believe in sustainable eating and farming. The raising of most cattle is not sustainable and is a huge drain on the environment so generally I try to avoid beef. I do eat dairy, usually once or twice a day. Growing up my Mom was a firm supporter of a book called Don't Drink Your Milk which explains the negative health effects of overconsumption of milk so I was raised never drinking milk by the glass and always with access to milk-substitutes. Now I use a milk-substitute, usually unsweetened almond milk wherever possible. I am careful to read most labels and avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup and Partially Hydrogenated anything, but I'm not perfect. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE times infinity LOVE fruits and vegetables. I am making more of an effort to eat more of what's in season rather than that which is shipped from other warmer, countries. Lately I've been experimenting with some vegan recipes and trying to incorporate tofu into my diet. T

That being said I am not perfect . I still sometimes eat processed foods out of convenience but I believe I feel best when I eat what is most natural.

So welcome to my blog! I look forward to posting here and sharing with the community!