Energy Drank

23 Aug

According to peta’s website, monster energy drink is vegan. I’m shocked and upset and happy about this. Monster is not good for your body. It smells like chemicals. It’s not exactly natural. But this summer monster has been almost a daily indulgence of mine and I’m glad that I don’t have to give it up right away.
I’m trying to cut down on my caffeine, maybe just switch to tea. So I won’t have monster as frequently. I went three days without any caffeine at all before buying today’s monster so I’ve been better about it.
I’m going to miss coffee creamer this autumn.

Sorry about the super frequent updates, but I’m learning a lot with almost every new meal. My posts will slow down soon enough 😉

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Pancakes

23 Aug

This morning we were out of cereal so I made vegan-ish (still used white
sugar) pancakes with some mixed berries we had in the freezer.
I got the vegan pancake recipe from AllRecipes: Vegan Pancake Recipe

The center of these pancakes didn’t cook as easily as I’m used to. I think next time I’ll try to use the dry ingredients from my old non-vegan recipe and use the liquids from this new one.
Sorry I didn’t take pictures, they were gone pretty quickly.

Learning Vegan

23 Aug

Time to dust off the old blog, I have new food adventures 🙂

I’m transitioning into eating more healthy, vegan based foods. Basically trying to be vegan as much as possible, but seeing where it takes me and trying to be healthier with my food choices in general. Apparently Oreos are vegan(?!?); it doesn’t make them healthy.

Today I ate fruit, salad, rice, tortilla chips, and a baked potato. And then more rice.
On the potato, instead of butter I used some almond milk and spices. It wasn’t bad.
We ran out of salad stuff today. I’m interested to see what I end up eating since I have a limited budget.

I have been a bit hungry today. I need to find some vegan bread asap!

Cola Chicken in Crockpot

5 Sep
This is a good recipe; it’s in a crock pot/slow cooker, it’s gluten-free and it’s chicken.
Here’s the recipe:
Cola Chicken
This made two large servings.
Ingredients:
5 chicken breast fillets (small, boneless, skinless.)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup rootbeer (or any dark soda, like Coke, Pepsi, or diet will work. I used rootbeer so it would be caffeine free.)
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp butter
cooking spray
Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, rootbeer, and chopped onions.
Spray the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray (I used olive oil cooking spray) and put the butter at the bottom.
Place the chicken in, as spread out as possible.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, and put the lid on.
Place the crock pot on high and cook for 4 hours. (It’s done after three. ) When the chicken is first cooking the sauce seems too thin. However, after it cooks for about three hours it will thicken properly.

Serve hot and enjoy! 😀

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Butterbeer Recipe

4 Sep
For the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie, I finally found a decent butterbeer recipe. This recipe does include alcohol (and you can get drunk like Winky off of it). In the series butterbeer is usually warm, but my final choice was a cold variety. I liked how this recipe was simple and didn’t involve any cooking, or too many ingredients.
Here’s the recipe:
1 shot vanilla vodka
2 or 3 shots of butterscotch schnapps (preference)
1 cup of cream soda
Pour the ingredients in a glass mug, stir and serve.
*please know that butterbeer is very sweet!

Winky the house elf

Some butterbeer passages; for background 😀

First passage with butterbeer:

“Harry and Hermione made their way to the back of the room, where there was a small, vacant table between the window and a handsome Christmas tree, which stood next to the fireplace. Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.
‘Merry Christmas!’ he said happily, raising his tankard.
Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.”

[page 201, Prisoner of Azkaban, American edition.]

Winky’s depressed scene (part):

“Winky’s eyelids drooped and suddenly, without warning, she slid off her stool into the hearth, snoring loudly. The empty bottle of butterbeer rolled away across the stone-flagged floor. Half a dozen house-elves came hurrying forward, looking disgusted. One of the picked up the bottle; the others covered Winky with a large checked tablecloth and tucked the ends in neatly, hiding her from view.
‘We is sorry you had to see that, sirs and miss!’ squeaked a nearby elf, shaking his head and looking very ashamed. ‘We is hoping you will not judge us all by Winky, sirs and miss!’
‘She’s unhappy!’ said Hermione, exasperated. ‘Why don’t you try and cheer her up instead of covering her up?'”

[page 538, Goblet of Fire, American edition]

Pittsburgh Foodie Field Trip

15 May
A few months ago a friend of mine took me around Pittsburgh’s Strip District, and a bit of Oakland. The result: I have new staples to my diet and I’ve got new places to shop.
In the Strip District, we visited Lotus Food Co., a Chinese grocery store. It was awesome, and cheap. And they had loads of gluten-free stuff that my sister would adore. The sauces there were much cheaper than in regular grocery stores. I got a basket full of what I thought would come to about fifty dollars. It came to twenty-two big ones :D. While there I bought udon noodles, a special soy-based sauce to cook the udon in, ube powder(a purple sweet potato powder), seaweed, and dorayaki (basically a small pancake filled with red bean paste= really, really good.)
My family totally loved the udon noodles and tempura (just dip fresh veggies in a flour/water batter and fry). New staple. Tryyy it.
Also visited the PA Macaroni Co. for pasta and bread, and Wholey’s for fish.
After we had bubble tea at LuLu’s Noodles in Oakland (bubble tea was also new to me, and is awesome), and then had a feast 🙂
Pictures!

Caffeine in Florence

15 May
So when I went to Italy, I was super excited and expecting something completely different when it came to the coffee. I was right to be excited, it was awesome. But different from what I expected. After my trip I decided that I will, in the nearish future, buy a super-high-tech espresso machine. And fresh coffee beans.
morning: cappuccino
lunch: cappuccino if early, espresso Italiano if later in day. Espresso is taken like a shot of alcohol, and is about 1.50 euro wherever you are. Mix a packet of sugar in it. [Btw they don’t have any fake sugar like Splenda.] If you add any more, you might as well get an espresso Americano. Which, I learned on my trip, is watered down espresso >.<
dinner: wine, not espresso.
Hot Chocolate is acceptable to drink any time. When you go to Florence, definitely try the hot chocolate. Its like drinking candy, only not overwhelming 🙂

Spaghetti squash, sweet potato fries.

15 May
Apparently, I can blog from my iPhone -.-. I’m going to try blogging shorter posts to try and start writing again. so here goes.
some stuff ive made recently 🙂
I tried spaghetti squash. I would consider it kind of a failure but it was still ok.
I boiled it until soft, about 30 minutes. Scooped out the seeds, shredded out the rest with a fork. I tossed it with a marinara sauce.
What I learned: Drain the shredded “spaghetti” before you use it. It tasted good otherwise. I might try again in a week.
I made a Santa fe turkey sandwich:
Turkey bacon, sliced turkey, cheese, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato slice, and chipotle mayo [I think Kraft sells a pre-made one] on a hoagie roll. Pretty good if you’re in the mood for something different.
Served with sweet potato fries, which are awesome! [and orange].  The ones I used were by Ortega and they’re really good. I made them once from sweet potatoes myself but they didn’t turn out nearly as well.
Aaand a BLT with egg.  always excellent.

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Vegetarian Chili

20 Mar
Another chili post! This time its gluten free, vegetarian chili. and its excellent. I’m not eating any meat for lent, so I need something easy to reheat when the rest of the household is having meat. Chili is my answer 🙂
Ingredients:
Cans: (make sure that these are plain and do not have seasoning or salt added)
-large can of light red kidney beans (drained), 2 small cans of cannellini beans (drained), 1 small can black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 large can whole tomatoes (do not drain), 1 large can crushed tomatoes (do not drain), 1 teeny can of tomato paste, 1 small can corn (drained).
Fresh:
-3 large green bell peppers, 1 large red  bell pepper, 4 hot banana peppers (you need these to balance out the sweetness!),  1 sweet onion, 1 package mushrooms (sliced)
Other:
-1/2 stick of unsalted butter, garlic powder (or crushed garlic if you prefer), several tablespoons white sugar
In my last chili post, I explained my process, but here it is simplified.
I add all the canned goods into a giant pot (with a fitted lid). I chop up the veggies (coarsely), and add them. I turn the heat on medium and stir. I add a cup of water, a half stick of butter, garlic powder, and a decent bit of sugar (a few big spoonfuls.) Stir it up, put on the lid, turn the heat down to low (shouldn’t be boiling.)  Stir every ten-fifteen minutes for about 3 hours. If the chili is too watery for your tastes after an hour or two, you can leave the lid off for awhile so that some liquid evaporates. And enjoy :).
I imagine that if you used a (rather large) crock pot you wouldn’t have to stir so frequently. But my dad used a pot so that’s what I do (and I don’t have a crock pot large enough). Also, I am very against chili seasoning/ powder, etc. It tastes fake fake fake.  Please do not use it, you don’t have to, and its better without.
Generally, I don’t like corn in chili, but I think it worked well in this vegetarian version.

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Tomato Habit

19 Mar
I haven’t blogged since I came back from Florence, which has been awhile. Sorry about that.
But todays is about tomatoes :). I had the most excellent tomatoes while in Florence.  When I came back, I started craving and eating a ton of tomato products (tomato soup, mass amounts of ketchup, tomato slices on everything, etc…). It’s kind of becoming an obsession.
But heres pictures of the dishes in Italy that had some tomatoes in them:

Dinner in Rome. Bruschetta, cheese, and prosciutto.

Last meal in Firenze; lasagna and esta the (popular peach tea)

tomato basil ribollita and pasta

pasta with meat and tomato sauce

personal pizza

Yup. spaghetti with basil and tomato sauce. it was great 🙂

There was bruschetta at basically every nice dinner I had there. I bought nice olive oil in Italy and I grow basil in the summer so I’m going to try to make some. And the tomato basil ribollita, which was just excellent.
I have yet to make homemade tomato soup, so thats a goal of mine as well.
On a side note, only because it deals with food, I gave up meat (other than seafood) for lent. So far so good. I made salmon burgers yesterday for the first time, they were awesome (with a large slice of tomato on them, of course 😉 ).