Archive for June, 2010

After my Saturday class at Farrell’s, Amanda from Vegacious and I headed down to Des Moines for the Downtown Farmer’s Market!  I wanted to go this weekend since July is a busy month for me and I’m not sure when I’ll get down there next.  It stormed pretty severely overnight but fortunately it cleared off just in time for us to enjoy some nice weather before the afternoon heat wave hit.  Unfortunately, this is the only photo I took the entire time:

Which happened to be just as they were trying to clear the street for the firetruck and ambulance to come down and help someone who had collapsed in the middle of the Market!  I never heard what happened but I hope the person was okay.  I ended up getting some kale, zucchini, strawberries, this awesome salsa (two jars) and some jam (mulberry rhubarb) for my dad.

After the Farmer’s Market we also checked out Gateway Market (Amanda had never been) where I got some Barney Butter (amazing stuff –  very dangerous for me to have an open jar of this in my cupboard!) and a few other things.  Then we proceeded to get lost several times while looking for the Penzey’s store.  We did find it eventually and I was able to stock up on their awesome cocoa powder (which I use in my smoothies).  We also checked out World Market before heading home.

It got really hot later in the day, and at one point our power blacked out for a few seconds.  When it came back on, the air conditioner appeared to not be working!  That would be bad news, it just broke over Memorial Day weekend when my mom was here visiting and we had to replace a $180 part.  Fortunately we turned it off for a few minutes and when we turned it back on it worked fine.  I do love the warm weather but I like to be comfortably cool at home – I don’t know how people without central air do it!

My next FXB video will be about the “free day” and a Week 3 recap – let me know if you have any questions or things you’d like me to talk about!


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I filmed this video last night, which is why I say it’s the beginning of Week Three.  I tried to keep it short but failed, sorry!

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This weekend marked my first go at vegan cupcakes, believe it or not.  I figured, with the cupcake craze finally catching up in Ames, I should get with the program.

These are the Crimson Velveteeen Cupcakes (aka Red Velvet) from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I paired them with the Vegan Cream Cheese Icing from the book too. I won’t repost the recipe here, but I will tell you that you can find it if you do a little googling. They turned out more brown than red, for sure. I even used gel food coloring! They are pretty dark though, so I’m not sure what I could do to make the red pop more. Any ideas?

They are tasty, nonetheless, and I’m sending the rest to work with my husband so I don’t eat them all!

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Grocery Shopping!

I love to see people’s grocery hauls.  I typically shop at three different stores – Target for household stuff and sometimes cereal and snacks, Wheatsfield Co-op for most things, and Hy-Vee for supplemental fruit/veggies and some things Luke eats.  I usually shop on Sunday for the week and will occasionally make a second little trip for a couple of things.  Then about every other Saturday I will hit up the Farmers’ Market and get a variety of things that are in season.  I stock up on my favorite products when they are on sale (if it’s something that doesn’t expire, like salsa), but like I explained in my Kitchen Tour, I don’t have a lot of storage to stock up so I try to only buy things we will use.  I do try to buy organic stuff but if the price difference is huge I usually buy conventional.  I think it also looks like I buy a lot of convenience-packaged foods like lettuce and veggies, and that it kind of true.  I will only buy the pre-washed veggies if they are on super sale.  I am really picky about lettuce and love one certain kind, so that is what I usually buy.

This is what I bought at the co-op for $44.68:

This is what I bought at Hy-Vee for $21.93

And yes, my kitchen tile is hideous. I am aware.

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One of the perks of living in Alabama (having lived in the midwest until I was 22) is that I’m mere hours from both the beach and mountains. This weekend I took advantage of this proximity and headed up to Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit my good friend Meghan (and her lovely family) and go whitewater rafting (Meghan’s husband Paul is a raft tour guide on the river! I’ve gone whitewater rafting a few times before (once even with Lindsay back in September 2009 when she came down to visit me) and I always enjoy myself! But whitewater rafting tires you out, that’s for sure. We had a blast and I got to “ride the bull Superman style” at the best photo opportunity! I love how we’re all so happy in this picture!

Had a blast!

Had a blast!

Row row row your raft! :)

Row row row your raft! I'm cute with my unnecessary sunglasses! 🙂

I only fell out twice! haha

I was STARVING by the time we pulled away from the campground! We had lunch at a hilariously fun deli called, Ocoee Dam Deli & Diner (we whitewater rafted the Ocoee River in Tennessee). Had one of the best veggie wraps I’ve ever had along with some sweet potato fries and a so-so feta pasta salad. Granted, I was starving so anything would have tasted wonderful at the time…but folks that was one of the best “dam” wraps I’ve had in a long time. Yum. Such a fun little place!

Dam delicious lunch.

Dam delicious lunch.

Sunday my friend Meghan took me to Earth Fare. I’d never been there before, but I know many bloggers are big fans so of course I had to go…I might not like clothes shopping, but put me in a health food store and I go nuts! Meghan shares my love for good quality food, so I’m glad she pointed me in the right direction.  And just like Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Trader Joes, and my own little Manna Grocery and Deli here in town…Earth Fare was like the mother ship calling me home. I was in food heaven people.

Since I had a three hour drive back to Alabama, I was limited with my purchases (nothing frozen), but I did score. For example, we all know my intense love of Dark Chocolate Dreams (see my post here about it back in January). Well, I nearly gasped when I walked past the nut section and saw the display that contained this gem:

Peanut Butter Mix Dark Chocolate!!!

Peanut Butter Mix Dark Chocolate!!!

Um, I nearly fainted right there. In my heart, nothing will beat Dark Chocolate Dreams, but man alive, this stuff is AMAZINGLY yummy and I’m sad I only got the one container. HINT to my friend Meghan** I’ve been putting it in my smoothies all week just like my Dark Chocolate Dreams…um, yes please! Sold! Yum! It kind of oddly reminds me of the outer shell of Twin Bings, which is just fine by me. 🙂

I may have already had quite a few bites...

I also picked up some of the blog infamous Crofters Superfood Spread. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect it will be delicious…especially paired with my dark chocolate peanut butter. Fun.

And speaking of smoothies…based on Lindsay’s chia recommendations on the blog I ordered a pound of organic chia seeds from Nutsonline.com They arrived today, so I’m excited to put them in my smoothie tomorrow!  Ah, smoothie love!

Nothing better than good times with friends, enjoying nature, shopping for good healthy food…and well, laughing my bootie off! Good times, good times.  🙂

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These are some things I’ve recently tried and my reviews.

1.)  Enjoy Life Foods Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was in the mood for cookies but I was shopping at HyVee (big grocery store).  They of course had Oreos and some Newman’s cookies, but they also had a bunch of products from Enjoy Life and I decided to try these cookies.  There were a few other types of vegan cookies in the gluten-free/allergen-free section, but I got these specifically because they were supposed to be chewy – my favorite kind of cookies!  There were 12 small cookies in the box, and they were $3.69.  Not a great deal, but I’m willing to pay more for higher quality foods so it didn’t bother me.  The cookies had a good flavor and they were soft, but they had a weird grainy texture.  I can’t figure out what that would have been from, maybe the sorghum flour?  Honestly I don’t think I would buy them again unless I was desperate, but I would try other things from this company.

2.)  SunWarrior Protein, Vanilla

I have heard nothing but great things about this raw vegan protein, and I was excited to try it.  It has a hefty price tag (I got mine on Amazon, the absolute cheapest price I could find, especially with free shipping, and it was $46.95), but I really wanted a vegan protein that was not soy or hemp-based (like Nutiva and Vega).  Also SunWarrior has more protein and fewer calories and carbs per serving than Vega, which I like because I add it to smoothies and don’t just drink it as a shake mixed with water.  My thoughts?  I’ve been using it for about a week and I have to admit that at first I was not impressed.  I don’t care what anyone says, it is chalky.  It’s also very sweet – you definitely don’t need any additional sweetener (sweetened milk substitute) or vanilla with it.  I’ve gotten more used to it now and instead of adding a whole scoop to my ~2 cup smoothie, I add about 3/4 scoop.  It helps a little with the chalkiness, and also adding more water helps a little too.  Overall, I will definitely keep using it and hope to try it in some other things besides smoothies (like oatmeal).

3.)   Upton’s Naturals Chorizo-style Seitan

I’ve reviewed Upton’s Naturals Ground Beef-style Seitan before, but this is a new flavor for me.  I used it to make soft tacos with spinach and it was really good.  I would definitely buy this again and again.  My husband liked it too!  He definitely thinks seitan is the best meat-alternative and I think I have to agree with him, both nutritionally and texturally.  It just tastes like whatever you flavor it with, and this Chorizo flavor was a little spicy and very flavorful.

So those are some things I’ve tried recently.  I haven’t been cooking a lot – in the summer I eat a lot of salads and sandwiches, fruit, smoothies, and that stuff is kind of boring for the blog.  Last night I made some spaghetti squash with seitan, zucchini, and mushrooms, so be on the lookout for the recipe in the next day or so!

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Week One is almost over!  Here is an update on this week’s experience so far.  I’ll be back later with some vegan product reviews.

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