Where to begin.

It’s hard to say. I’ve obviously gotten so out of the habit of writing on this thing. And now I’m just trying to figure out where to pick back up. I feel highly motivated to talk about how the past year has been eye-opening and older-feeling and how I’m loving it but I pretty much did that here already. At this moment as I sit at my kitchen tablette with a first attempt at homemade cranberry sauce on the stove, I have nothing to complain about. Nothing bogging me down. I am content in this moment. It feels awesome, what can I say?

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So I guess I’ll talk about all the things that have been going on in my kitchen lately.

(And thankfully no fruit flies were involved)

1. Homemade Nut Butters

(and other food processor awesomeness)
Finished Bliss AKA Coconut Butter

Finished Bliss AKA Coconut Butter

Shredded coconut + food processor = bliss-in-the-making

Shredded coconut + food processor = bliss-in-the-making

Chopped almonds, set aside for CRUNCHY almond butter

Chopped almonds, set aside for CRUNCHY almond butter

Almond butteroundandround

Almond butteroundandround

The finished goods

The finished goods

Asian Ginger Dressing

Asian Ginger Dressing

2. Raw & Roasted Salads

Curried Raw & Roasted Salad

Curried Raw & Roasted Salad

Raw & Roasted Salad

Raw & Roasted Salad

This has been my lunch for weeks now. It’s the perfect transition of lunch-salad into colder weather. Simply roast a large baking sheet worth of vegetables with desired flavoring

Favorites: coconut butter + curry powder, olive oil + chili powder&cumin, olive oil + zatar, coconut oil + cajun seasoning

Then combine a bunch of raw vegetables with a separate dressing

Favorites: lemon juice + olive oil + apple cider vinegar + dijon mustard (add additional seasoning to complement roasted flavorings)

Protein can be tofu roasted with the vegetables or beans/lentils added with the raw veggies.

3. Homemade No Sugar Added Cranberry Sauce

Before

Before

After

After

(As I finished the post, I finished the sauce. And let me tell you, it’s delicious. –> Recipe to follow)

Alright, I think I’ve covered it.

A Special Package

OK, so before we get into what the special package was, I figure that I should probably clear up some rumors that I totally made up myself have been going around regarding my absence the past week.

1. I did not join a travelling circus.

2. I was not abducted by aliens

3. I didn’t change into a kitten.

The truth? I was just busy getting ready for my camping trip (and attending the camping trip) this weekend.

Now, about that package…

So, you know how I love my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls? Well, I’ve been wanting to get a better protein powder than the GNC brand that I had been using. (I believe it has a smelly affect on my digestion) I decided on About Time Whey due to its being 100% whey isolate and sweetened with stevia:

I chose the chocolate variety because (duh) my recipe is called Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls.

As you will likely know if you shop for protein powder, this stuff is not really carried in stores. (At least any that I’ve seen) So I chose to buy it online from iherb.com. I chose iherb because when you use a member’s code, you get $5 off. (more on that later) Plus, the price was definitely right on this site.

As I proceded to checkout, I noticed that if I spent just $10 more I could get free shipping. I weighed my options: buy $10 more of awesome stuff, or spend $5 more for shipping. I (obviously) had to choose to buy more awesome stuff. I decided on this:

Artisana Coconut Butter - Deliciousness with a monster-kick of fresh coconut taste. sooooo goooood.

and this:

Stevia in drop form

I was very impressed with iherb for a few reasons:

1. It offered a free shipping option. (score)

2. It had pretty much any supplement that I would want to buy.

3. It has a referral bonus discount code. <– this basically means that you find a person who’s bought from there (oh look, you found me) and use their referral code (mine = EGA134) and get $5 off your first purchase. So, if you want to buy from iherb.com enter EGA134 when you checkout to get $5 off your purchase

I was really excited to try out my Coconut Butter, so I invited a friend over last night and whipped up a new recipe (that I invented):

Coconut Lemon Curry Wheat Berry Tofu Salad

serves 4

Ingredients
– 1 1/2 tbsp coconut butter
– juice & zest of 1 lemon
– 1/8 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
– 1 tbsp curry powder
– fresh ground pepper, to taste
– sea salt, to taste
– a few dashes of coriander & ginger            
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 carrots, chopped
– 1 small vidalia onion, chopped
– 2 cups cabbage, shredded
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped                      
– 1 cup dry wheat berry, prepared with water
– 1 container firm tofu, cubed & pre-baked (spread on cookie sheet, toss in oil, bake on 375˚F until golden)

Directions
1. As noted in the ingredients, prepare your wheat berry and tofu.
2. Combine coconut butter through ginger in a small bowl and add a few splashes of water to thin.
3. Heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Sauté vegetables until tender-crisp.
4. To the vegetables, add the prepared wheat berry, tofu, and sauce. Mix well to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Serving suggestion: Top with some Sriracha sauce

Tofu After Baking

Veggie Selection

Saucy Deliciousness

The Final Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was probably one of my favorite things that I’ve eaten lately. And it packed fairly nicely in my lunch. (It was more dry and less saucy, but I loved it anyways)