Daily Archive: January 23, 2013

Sometimes it’s hard to snack well

Not a typical statement (or opinion).  For me at least.

But I’m being honest here.

Between the hours of noon and 5 pm, I graze.  Meals have no room here anymore.  And I’m not super proud of what has been going in my mouth this last week.  It’s not terrible stuff.  But it still leaves me feeling blah.  I can do better.

I miss well balanced full meals.  They’re easier to build – with all the macronutrients represented.  And they leave me sated for hours (until my next full meal).  Grazing is confusing.  I’m not really full (which is the idea, because it’s so uncomfortable to be full these days), but I’m also not really satisfied.  So my appetite is still left wanting.  Lose lose.

I might be being hard on myself.  <– Um, yeah, more on that later.*

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Not all the sweet stuff I choose is bad.  This bowl of Love Grown apple walnut delight granola with (extra) walnuts & bananas on vanilla greek yogurt was perfection.

I even had specific nutrient goals in mind as I put it together!  I made a point to bulk up the omega 3 fatty acids and potassium in this meal.  Baby needs as much omegas as possible in these last few weeks of brain development (and walnuts are a great source of ALA).  The potassium was for the leg cramping (although there are certainly better sources of potassium than bananas – ie potatoes, leafy greens, beans, dates, squash, avocados…).

But there are plenty of sweet snacks that are undocumented, where I go to town on the Costco trail mix.  It’s so good, but ugh, it makes me feel like poop.

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And almond milk ice cream!  Oh my cookies ‘n cream.  Pregnancy needs to end.

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On the left is a peanut butter/coconut oil combo melted over a frozen banana (makes a shell around it – so so good).  And on the right is a simple PB&J tortilla.  Not terrible, but not balanced.

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I took down this whole bag in 3 days.  Mostly plain, straight from the bag, handful by handful.  It’s really dang addictive.  And the big clusters make it too easy to grab from the bag.

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But I used it as an oatmeal topping too.  And as if chocolate granola wasn’t decadent enough, imagine how awesome it tasted on top of peanut butter oats.  I added a very generous spoonful of peanut butter to that batch (I’d say the ratio of PB:oats was 2:1 and I’m being serious)!  It was so good that I had the exact same thing for back to back snacks.  Ummm, can we get some diversity up in here??

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And since I’m off stevia during pregnancy, my hot chocolate is definitely sugar packed.  In case you couldn’t tell from the line up, there’s cocoa powder, ricemellow creme, maple syrup & almond milk in that lovely mug.

So yeah.  Chocolate, peanut butter, chocolate & nut trail mix, chocolate ice cream, peanut butter & jelly, hot cocoa…are you catching onto the theme…

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But let’s not forget about the savory.  Salt is almost as addictive as sugar.  And this bag of 365 chips was abnormally salty.  Even Kyle commented on it.  We buy this kind all the time and whine about how there’s not enough salt on it.  Ha!  Well, apparently others have complained too – and they did something about it!

Chips & salsa, chips & guacamole, pita chips, pita chips, pita chips, popcorn, popcorn, popcorn, roasted nuts…

You get the idea right?

So I’m trying be better about replacing the pantry snack scene with fresher fare.  Otherwise this pregnancy is going to go to hell in a hand basket.

*In the few days since I wrote this post, I realized I was definitely being too hard on myself.  I should know better.  I should know that my body goes through these ups and downs, pregnant or not.  Remember back when I was a salad fiend?  That was a beautiful phase – I’m sure it will be back soon enough.  Plus, it’s not like I’m eating crap.  Even my snacky selections are still whole foods based.  I just had to vent a bit and get it out.  So now I can move on.

By the books

My mom’s cousin (my second cousin? first cousin once removed?) very generously gifted me a lot of (used) cookbooks recently.  And although I haven’t looked through all of them yet, the few I have browsed through look awesome.

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In fact, last night’s dinner came from this one.

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I modified it some, and it was definitely a winner.  Of all the cookbooks I got, I’ve bookmarked the most to try in 500 Best Quinoa Recipes.  They’re all gluten free and creative, but still simple and whole foods based.  And even though they aren’t all vegetarian or vegan, there are a lot that are (and many of the rest can be easily modified to be made meat and/or dairy free).

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I’ll (maybe?) share my revised version of this mushroom miso & butternut squash soup later.

But backing up to the previous night…

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Kyle and I went over to aforementioned cousins’ for dinner (and see their new casa) on Monday.

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All the recipes were vegan and came from this cookbook.

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We had black bean & bulgur burgers, which we topped with home-made mayo and coleslaw (also from the book).

The burger recipe was good, but definitely needed the acid of the slaw and mayo.  We had them on Rudi’s whole wheat buns.

I had seconds of the coleslaw but I forgot to take my antacid before going to their house so I has some reflux issues later on.  :(

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On the side, we had a couscous salad with cucumbers, mint, melon, and toasted nuts.

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I thought the toasted pumpkin seeds and almonds were pretty awesome.  Definitely a unique couscous dish.

But dessert was the unanimous favorite (as well as the most surprising use of grains in a recipe).

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Chocolate with dried cherries and puffed amaranth!

The amaranth was crunchy and reminded me a little bit of rice cakes in flavor.  But the dominant flavor was chocolate.  Mega chocolate.  Kyle was in heaven.  He probably had half the tray (no, seriously).  We took a few home, which are shockingly not gone.

It may have something to do with the fact that I made these earlier today.

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First recipe of the week that’s not from a book!  Hopefully they’re good!?  I haven’t tried them yet, so the jury is still out…they’re definitely not your typical cookie though.  Since I used chia seeds as an egg replacement, they’re more chewy than crumbly.

[Update: After scarfing two last night, Kyle asked me to stop him from eating any more.  I’m considering that a positive review.]

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Carob & Chocolate Kiss Cookies [vegan, makes 8 cookies]

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 1/4 cup water (+/- 1-2 tbsp)*
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp carob powder
  • pinch salt
  • 8 chocolate kisses

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt coconut oil and combine with vanilla, sugar, and chia seed “egg”.  Beat until well mixed and semi-fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (except the kisses), and then stir into the oil/sugar/egg mix.

Chill the dough in the fridge for ~10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick).  Scoop dough into 8 balls, then place chocolate kiss in the center, pressing it into the dough slightly.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

Notes:

Coconut sugar or sucanat will work in place of cane sugar.

If you prefer, you can use 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 1/4 cup water instead of the chia seed “egg.”  I’m not sure how a real egg would alter the cookie, but if you try it, let me know.

Feel free to sub cocoa powder for the carob.  I like carob and was in the mood for a different kind of cookie.

*Depending on the texture of the dough, you may have to add 1-2 extra tbsp of water.  Since I don’t measure flour by weight in my recipes, it’s not super accurate.  Just know that the dough has a pretty thick and sticky consistency.

Feel free to eat the batter uncooked.  It’s vegan, so it’s safe.  :)

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