Wednesday, August 28, 2013

[Insert Lame Excuse About Busy Life Here]

Yes, yes, I've been very bad about posting new things lately. I'm also one of those people who never brings their camera places and only remembers to take pictures when someone else starts taking pictures. (I even take all of my pictures using my camera phone. So, no, there is no good excuse!) Don't worry, I'm still going strong on the plant-based diet.

This past week, I think I was a little too focused on the exercise aspect of this new lifestyle. I did about 15+ miles on the elliptical, joined a Thurday night indoor soccer team, lifted weights twice, and went to my garden almost every night that it didn't rain. (It only rained once!)

I felt lame posting convenience foods, but then I realized that I'm interested in reading about them and eating them. Therefore, it probably makes sense for me to share the knowledge/ my personal opinion on these things.

RECIPE UPDATES: I did find time this weekend to make some more Chickpea Salad, which I like to eat in pita pockets. I'll have to share my recipe soon, but I refuse to share it without the possibility of delicious-looking photos.

I also made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from The Kind Diet book, which were delicious, but I think I'm going to tweak the recipe a little to cater to my particular palate before I share them. Also, there aren't any left to take pictures of them. I apologize, but you'll just have to make do with this grocery store impulse buy/experiment:

Chia Pod

What, my dear Watson, is a Chia Pod? Well, I found it near the yogurt section at Whole Foods. It only has four ingredients, so it seems legit. Also, it came in a recyclable container with a cute little spoon. And hippie types also seem to go crazy over Chia seeds, which are the main ingredient.

Consensus: The consistency is more in line with Jello than yogurt. I was never a big fan of gelatin, even during my omnivorous days. So in all truth, I personally wasn't a fan. If you like Jello and want something less sweet than soy or coconut milk yogurt and slightly more substantial, then I'd recommend it. My coworker ate it up. (I ended up giving it away to a yogurt-loving coworker because no one likes to waste food!) I didn't think it was bad, but I just didn't like the texture. Taste was good, but I probably would have added some type of sweetener* because, again, I was expecting yogurt.

More judgements on other veg products:

Amy's Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza
was delightful, unlike another Vegan Pizza I tried (American Flatbread Vegan Harvest: virtually no sauce, no veggies and lots of cheeze, not the kind I like I guess). The sauce was a little sweet, which was a nice surprise and went very well with veggies (artichokes, mushrooms, red peppers, and possibly more than I'm missing). There wasn't any cheeze, and it tasted fine without.

I also sprinkled some cheeze on half the pizza, just to try it out. (See below.) I'm a freakin' mad scientist doing crazy vegan experiments! Also, my husband would be the first to quote me on this gem that I spouted out the other day, "Am I just crazy or is everyone else around me crazy?". Yes, I'm providing the damning evidence because I didn't realize how hilarious it was until he repeated it back to me. Apparently, those are the words of any crazy person or any character in a sci-fi utopian society movie who just started paying attention. I call dibs on the latter. Anyways...

Mozzarella Teese was pretty good. It doesn't have the same creaminess as cheese when it's cold, but it melts well and tastes very similar to mozzarella. I put some of it on my Amy's pizza. I used a fork while it was cold and added little bits and chunks of it like it was feta cheese. I still have some left, but I'm not sure what else I should make with it. Maybe a homemade pizza (dough and all) this weekend? Suggestions are welcome!

*Vegan sweeteners include, but not limited to: Sugar in the Raw, Maple Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Agave Nectar (light or dark). Also, Stevia and Monkfruit in the Raw, but I don't like the first and I've never tried the latter.

I put them in order of my personal preference. Sugar in the Raw is good in my almost daily self-made Chai Latte with Almond Milk. Maple Syrup is a good baking sweetener, but make sure to add more of a dry ingredient to balance it out if you're using it as a subsitute for sugar.

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