Cake!

Well, I tried to post some pictures of the German Chocolate Cake I made, as well as the vegan Eggnog Cheesecake, but my computer is not cooperating.  Hopefully it will work tomorrow. 

I made 2 cakes, one was made with vinegar and the other was made with pureed beets & topped them both with the same icing.  They were both really good.  The one made with beets I took to some friends to see if they could tell what was in it.  The verdict?  They loved it & luckily, they were open to vegetables in their dessert.  Before they ate it, I told them there was something different about it & to tell me what they thought it was, no one could tell.  The cake part is low fat, but no German Chocolate cake icing is low fat, but I was able to find some lower fat coconut to make the cake at least lower fat.  I’ll try & post the recipe, or at least a link when I get the picture up. 

Here’s the photos! 

 german-chocolate-cake-slice-1.JPG     german-chocolate-cake-2.JPG

Challenge for December 24 – 31, 2007

From now until the end of the year, just enjoy yourself.  One quick tip – don’t wear any pants with stretchy waist bands because you won’t be able to tell when you have eaten too much.  Make sure your pants have a button, zipper, etc. so you don’t fill your stomach to overflowing!  Enjoy your favorite vice, but make sure you also eat some vegetables & I’ll see you in the new year with some more challenges. 

Cool site

Totally non-food related, but I found this cool site: http://photo.stamps.com

You can order stamps with your own personal pictures on them.  They are a little pricey, you get 20 stamps for $0.41 each plus processing.  Total it is $18.99 plus $2.00 shipping.  If you are looking for a fun gift, this is great.  I wouldn’t use these stamps to pay a bill, but they are great for birthday or Christmas cards.  Check it out.  I’ll talk about food again tomorrow. 

Our trip to Toronto

We arrived at our hotel in Toronto around 1am, local time. We slept in, then decided to go out for lunch. Our first pick was a restaurant called Fresh. They used to be called Juice For Life (it was a juice bar), well, they added food and changed the name. Currently there are 3 Fresh restaurants, all in Toronto, one on Bloor St, one on Spadina and one on Crawford. We got to navigate and figure out the bus and subway system in Toronto, which was actually kinda fun having never rode a subway before. The subway took us to a 1 minute walk to Fresh on Bloor.

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Fresh on Bloor St in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The interior is fun, a little funky, but I loved it. We sat down and I ordered a peppermint hot chocolate with soymilk and K got earl grey tea (both delicious) K ordered the holiday wrap which has avocado, marinated tofu, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, lettuce and carrots with a house mayo. Very fresh tasty, a good pick me up in the middle of the day. I got the Black Bean Burrito with tomatoes, cilantro, cucumber, onion, lettuce, black bean filling and avocados, what a way to warm up after a chilly walk. It was very good and filling. We each ate half of our own, then swapped and ate half of each others. Very good lunch. The restaurant is a little noisy with the juicers and blenders and all the talking, but it was nice, not distracting. We were able to really relax. It was a bit chilly for us and we knew we didn’t want to be out after it got dark (5pm local time), so we decided to order dinner as well, take it back to the hotel and eat it there. We got the Green Goddess Rice Bowl which has broccoli, bok choy, kale, swiss chard, brown rice, tahini sauce, nori, sunflower seeds, simple sauce and white pickled ginger with grilled tempeh on top – YUM!!! I totally LOVED this rice bowl. Well, it wasn’t actually in a bowl because we got it to go, but here it is:

ggrb.jpg

K got the Power House Noodle Bowl which comes with avocado, chick peas, grilled tofu steaks, toasted nuts & seeds, sprouts, tomato, red onion and spicy tahini sauce, served over soba noodles. His was also very yummy!!! (Sorry, no pix, he was hungry).

On Sunday, we went to the CN Tower which is the tallest building in the world (with the antenna). They have a 360 degree restaurant on top (1,100 ft up in the air). We had lunch there, it was really fun, we got a little quesy from the turning, but nothing too bad. There is also a section with a glass floor that you can stand on and look down at the ground. I was the only one that did that, but I didn’t stand there too long, its a little cool and a little creepy all at the same time. After that, we walked a little (it was snowing and very cold), then got back on the subway to go to a soy ice cream place (yes frozen food for a freezing day), but it ended up being too far to walk, so we ended up going back to Fresh on Bloor St. Yes, we had 3 out of our 5 meals at Fresh. I had the Energy Rice Bowl – marinated tofu, coconut curry sauce, chick pea and vegetable stew, cucumbers, tomato, onion, sprouts and tahini sauce – very good. K got the Delux Burger which comes with an almond, grain, vegetable and tofu burger which is grilled and served on a toasted multigrain bun topped with tomato, lettuce, onion, sprouts, dill pickle and house mayo. It was also yummy, but I think mine had more flavor. We also ordered another peppermint hot chocolate with soymilk.

Overall, our trip was great! We got to meet some new friends (went to the CN Tower together), ride the subway, see some snow, survive 5 days of 30 degree and lower weather and learn some new things for K’s business. Even the airports and plane rides went well. So, if you are ever in Toronto, go to Fresh and check out the CN Tower. I do recommend that you go when its not snowing though, you could see a lot more. I will be posting my take on some of these yummy eats in the weeks to come, so check back often. I will also be posting some new videos in the new year.

Interesting statistics I learned today

At church today, our Pastor gave us some interesting, and a little sad, statistics for during the holidays.  I thought I would share them with you, so here we go:

1. 37 million christmas trees were purchased this year.

2. 80 million homes have been decorated for christmas.

3. 22 million turkeys will give their lives to be eaten this christmas.

4. $174 billion (that’s right, it starts with a B) is spent on gifts.

5. $25 billion (again, a B!) of that is spent on gift cards.  (don’t you wish you invented those!?)

6. The average person will gain 2 to 5 pounds over the holidays.

7. 4 million tons of wrapping paper will be used (please recycle/use gift bags & keep to use again next year!)

8. 38,000 miles of ribbon will be used, which is enough to travel the globe 1 1/2 times.

I have to ask, is this really what Christmas is supposed to be about???  Gifts, wrapping paper, trees, decoration!  I don’t think so, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, spending time with friends and fanily and sharing God’s Word to others through our words and our actions.  Not that I am any good about keeping my focus on track either, but these statistics show that things are getting out of hand.  If each of us do just one thing to bring back the true meaning of Christmas, we can put a dent in these sad facts.  If you have ideas on what we can do to help bring back love and joy instead of buying and wasting, let me know! 

Okay, my rant is over now, back to food tomorrow. 

Challenge for December 17 – 23, 2007

Here is your challenge for this week: Get 25 grams of fiber. 

Fiber will help to keep you full and it will also keep your digestive tract healthy.  Fiber is a wonderful thing for you, and even better, you have to eat your fruits, veggies, and grains to get it because animals contain no fiber.  You can’t get fiber from meat or dairy or poultry or fish. 

Here is a sample: 1/2 cup smart bran cereal (13 grams), 1 cup of berries (8 grams), 2 cups of spinach in a salad (1.5 grams), 1/2 cup kidney beans (3.5 grams), 1 oz of peanuts (2 grams), 1 medium apple (4 grams).  That gets us to 32. grams of fiber!  See how easy it is? 

You can realistically get up to 27 grams of fiber just for breakfast.  Eat a bowl of Smart Bran cereal with 2 tablespoons each of wheat germ and ground flax seeds and top with a cup of berries!  That’s not counting having a smoothie with frozen fruit and 1 to 2 cups of spinach in it.  Breakfast is a wonderful start to your day!  As a caution, the more fiber you eat, the more water you need to drink so everything goes through smoothly.  Fiber is a vital nutrient that your body needs everyday.  The best place to get fiber is from your food!!!!!!!  A fiber deficient diet leads you down a path of hemorrhoids, constipation, varicose veins, and diabetes.  High-Fiber Foods can also boost your immune system, which is a great plus, especially during the holidays.  High-Fiber Foods offers protection against cancer and heart disease.  Fiber from pills, powders and fortifying your processed foods aren’t going to do you much good, they don’t work quite the same way.  They may help relieve constipation, but that’s about it.  You really need to get your fiber from fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.  It’s a lot more tasty as well as efficient.  Happy Eating! 

Challenge for December 10-16, 2007

Here is this weeks challenge: Try low fat soymilk in your cereal and smoothies!

It really does taste good and it’s good for you.  When choosing alternative milks, make sure you check the sugar content, some of them have tons of sugar in them and they really don’t need it.  If your nervous about having too much soy in your diet, you don’t like the taste of it, or the thought just weirds you out, then try rice milk, almond milk (K’s fav), hazelnut milk, or oat milk (it’s like cereal on your cereal).  I personally use the boxed milks instead of the ones you find in the refrigerator section (like Silk and 8th Continent), mainly because K has some trouble with his throat swelling when he drinks those, not sure what is in them that affects him, but the boxed ones don’t do that. 

Happy tasting!

Breakfast

So, how have you been doing with your breakfasts?  I have mostly had cereal, a little boring, but its been getting harder and harder to get up when its still dark outside.  I have made my spinach smoothie every morning, which always makes breakfast tasty!  I also made some Persimmon Bread that is fabulous!  I had this bread a couple of mornings for my pre-workout breakfast, but mainly ate it as a snack during the day.  I made some Lemon-Persimmon Muffins yesterday since I still had a couple of persimmons left, that made my breakfast very yummy this morning.  Tomorrow I leave for vacation/business conference in Toronto, I am very excited.  Our motel is within 10 miles of about 20 vegan restaurants, I will take some pictures and tell you all about it when I get back.  I will still post next weeks challenge on Saturday.  Enjoy the bread, and SusanV’s blog! 

Challenge for Dec 3 – 9, 2007

This months challenges all have to do with breakfast. It is so important to start your day off with a healthy meal. Eating within an hour or two of waking up jump starts your metabolism, it tells your body you are ready to start your day. When you skip breakfast, you are telling your body that it needs to hold on to your fat stores to get you through the day, it goes into survival mode. When you eat breakfast, it tells your body that food is available and to burn those fat stores for energy instead of conserving them.

So, here is the challenge for Monday, December 3 through Sunday, December 9, 2007:

***Eat a healthy breakfast every day***

Here are 7 good choices for breakfast, you can try a different one each day, eat the same one every day, or try 2 or 3 of them, its up to you. (Recipes at the end)

Continue reading Challenge for Dec 3 – 9, 2007