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Archive for Miscellany

Don’t Worry, I’m Still Vegan & There’s An App For That Too

The last post I wrote-a very long time ago-was about having doubts about what my health might look like down the road eating vegan. It seems that there’s a lot of contradictory information all over the web about it. And currently, I’m still the only person I know that is still vegan so it’s difficult to see anyone who is thriving eating this way. I, myself, catch a cold occasionally that is difficult for me to shake. Much more difficult than the next gal, usually. But, I was like that pre-vegan too so that doesn’t worry me.

I’m not seeing any really horrible health effects from eating vegan at all. And I may be making a small difference in some of the lives I touch. As a surprise, my husband, an omni to the core, took me to Horizons for my birthday. If you’ve never heard of them, Horizons is an excellent vegan restaurant in Philadelphia. If you ask most vegan in the area, it’s the best. It was my first time at an all vegan restaurant-and let me tell you, I know why they say it’s the best! That morning he asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him some General Tso’s Tofu from Bamboo House (fine Japanese restaurante in Delaware). That’s where I thought we were going. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the change. The food was delicious! I ordered the tempeh tacos, the beach bake and three different desserts (of which all were fantastic). It was all so good! They have a recipe book that I plan on ordering from them soon. We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. But the greatest part of the dinner was when my husband said, “I could see doing this once a week.”

I took some pics from the night but it was a little too dark to get anything really good (as an amateur).

tempehtacos

desserts

bdcandle

It was one of the greatest birthday gifts ever. I’m so desperate for a tempeh taco now I don’t know what to do!

So as far as staying vegan, that’s on the to-do list. As far as staying healthy as a vegan….still working on keeping that together. Fortunately for me, I happen to be an avid Apple iPod user. I have a 1G iPod touch that I use nearly everyday for nearly everything. Usually, if you want to know something or do something, “There’s an app for that.” Right now, I’m anxiously awaiting the update of Obsessive Code’s Food IQ. Food IQ is an application that keeps score of the foods that you eat, the exercises you do, the calories you consume, etc., etc., in one handy app. It works extremely well because the data base is so extensive. But the greatest thing about the update is that the app will now custom track the nutrients you desire. So, you can tailor it to specifically suit your diet-like the vegan diet. I can set it to track protein, calcium, B12, and all the other nutrients that are on the hot topic list for vegans. Becoming vegan just got a whole lot easier!

A Confession to Make

I must confess. I haven’t been late night snacking. No…I have been late night eating. I had put on four pounds in the past few weeks. It didn’t help that I was also eating out a lot-and not getting to the gym as much or for as long when I was able to go. I was eating so much, I was so heavy going the gym that when I did get there, I really wasn’t able to endure quite as long on the treadmill. So, this past week, I stopped the late night eating and if I couldn’t cook from home, I grabbed something quick to fix from the market (like a salad in a bag or a Smart Chili or something like that). I put a fruit basket in my studio and also a basket to hold some wheat bread. And because I was so exhausted after school these days, I got a panini maker. Best piece of cookware I’ve bought in a long time! Voila! Now I can cook something quick at home-and it tastes good too!

panini

I made this panini using a Calphalon Panini Maker. I lightly oiled the pan with some olive oil and heated it up with medium heat. While the pan was heating, I sautéed and seasoned a few slices of portobello mushrooms, some slices of green, red, and yellow pepper, and some slices of green and yellow zucchini squash. I could have used the Panini Maker for that too, but it’s so new and shiny right now, it’s like almost sacred. Yeah, I’m weird that way. Anyway, I mixed a tablespoon and a half of tahini with two teaspoons of basalmic vinegar and spread that on some hearty slices of wheat bread. I assembled the sandwich, added some salt, pepper, and some nutritional yeast to make it a little cheesy tasting. I lightly oiled both sides of the bread with olive oil. Then I browned and pressed both sides in the Panini Maker. It was super yummy!! These take no more than fifteen minutes to assemble (including a veggie sauté) and less than ten minutes to make into a panini. The one drawback is I can’t put it in the dishwasher. But it only takes a few minutes. Then I’m eating vegan and off to getting on with the rest of my night…which these days includes a lot of sleeping when I can get it.

Boscov’s has these Panini Maker’s on sale in my area. Originally, they are $110. I got it for $49.99. Sweet! It works perfectly and browns evenly. I liked it so much I bought an electric panini maker for my studio. The paninis from it aren’t the greatest, but they’re healthier than going to get take-out on campus everyday.

To make a long story short, I lost those four pounds in one week by reversing those bad habits. Not a bad return for some small adjustments. It’s hard trying to stay fit, stay in school, and be a vegan. These are the ways I cope. Hey, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

School’s In!!!

I must apologize for the lack of posts as of late. School just started back up so I’m in the midst of getting ready for a show. Not only that, but I got a brand new laptop and figuring it out hasn’t been too difficult. But it hasn’t been too easy either. I’ll get to that in a minute though…

But back to school. I can’t say I’ve planned my meals well. Still as vegan as ever. But for the past couple weeks I’ve had to rely on either dining out or getting something from the vegan food sections at the supermarkets (which aren’t very clearly marked everywhere …but kudos to Super G! They have a very well-stocked section in each of their markets that I frequent). Here’s what I found:

Thumbs Up-
Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers-I can’t say anything about how they are with heart health. But I really enjoyed the taste of the curry flavored and the tex burgers. I added some of the tahini spread from Vegan with a Vengeance on one and it was so good I almost slapped my mama!

Thumbs Down-
Dr. McDougall’s Soups– Okay. You can have these. I tried the Miso soup and the Pad Thai soup as well. In my very humble opinion, they sucked. I still have a Tortilla soup left that I’m actually afraid to even try! Pray for me.

Anyway, along with some veggies and the occasional bean dish, the veggie burgers have pretty much kept me alive.

Now about that new laptop…If you’re an art student or know someone who is, then you know the art world is in love with all things Apple. I have yet to find someone in our entire art program at my school that doesn’t own a Mac. And our library is full of the things that I’m beginning to think, it might not be restricted to the art program either….I avoided Mac’s very purposefully back in the day. Only the dang things still didn’t go away. Then an iPod entered my life. I felt like a traitor. But I sure was a happy one! The biggest blow, however, came earlier this month. First year MFA’s had to give presentations for our “constellation” of artists. All the ones done on Mac’s seemed so much more professionally done that I had to admit, I was more than a little envious. I trucked to the nearest Apple Store with my education discount and got one of those babies. I don’t know if I just didn’t know how to use PC to its fullest potential or what with visual media. I just know once I got the Macbook Pro, it was a cinch figuring out how to make a slide presentation rock! Keynote is a godsend! Still, there are some very clear differences between a Mac and PC laptop. They just think differently. Anyway, since I got it a few weeks ago, I have been trying to make the switch to Mac from being a hardcore PC user. But, you know what they say. If you can’t beat ’em…I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to keep the Compaq laptop (which I still do like) or if I’m going to sell it to offset some of the cost of this Macbook Pro. Jury’s still out on that one. But, I’m using the Macbook Pro almost exclusively until I figure out the dang thing. That’s my punishment for waiting so long I guess…

Sorry for the lack of pictures but I just got a mobile broadband plan too from Verizon. The 5GB per month plan (or as I call it-the “unlimited” limited plan). Until I find out how much it costs for me to upload those suckers, I’ll have to be a little bit stingy with those, lol.

Here’s to good living on a budget!

Faking it

Last night’s dinner was a hodgepodge of stuffs. I had some leftover red cabbage and potatoes. I made some quinoa rice blend and topped it with black beans. For a little something extra, I tried some fake chicken strips. It was tasty. The quinoa had a nutty flavor to it. Even my daughter liked it and that’s a picky sister. Here’s me inhaling it.

quinoa-bean-blend

I joined a vegan twitter group yesterday too. I’ve already found that it’s much easier to tweet from tweetie on my iPod than from my cell. I just learned about this twitter network, therefore, I live under a rock.

Fast food!

Okay. I may as well just face it. Sometimes, I’m just too lazy to cook. Other times, I might just be in a rush. In such times, a girl has got to have some standbys. And in such places like Delaware, that is pretty hard to do. If you don’t know where D-ware is, don’t sweat it. We’re only about ten minutes passing through on I-95. There’s really no need to stop either. While you could get a million checking accounts since we have a ton of banks, we have very few specialized vendors (i.e. vegan restaurants). If you can find a specialized vendor for your area of interest, there usually is only one. So, while I haven’t found any completely vegan or vegetarian restaurants in my area, because that would just be TOO convenient, I have found one restaurant that does accomodate vegans and vegetarians alike. Yesterday, in a rush to get something to eat before rushing to pick up my daughter, I ordered a pretty tasty Veganized Thai Chicken Wrap from the menu at Home Grown Cafe on Main Street in Newark.

homegrowncafethai

I subbed tofu cutlets (yeah, I’m hooked) for the chicken. The wrap came with a choice of side salad, chips, or fries. I could have kicked myself for forgetting to order the wrap whole wheat though.

While I was waiting for the order, I snapped this pic of the restaurant.

homegrowncafe

The other shops I have frequented on Main Street are deli-like settings. Okay, I’ve only gone to about two others. I like Lettuce Feed You and Newark Deli and Bagels. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. Lettuce Feed You has pretty decent salads (although I’m kind of partial to the one in downtown Wilmington). Newark Deli and Bagels has, well, bagels. I think they have a couple vegetarian wraps too though. If you hold all the cheeses, I think you can make it vegan. They also have a veggie burger that I haven’t tried yet. Lettuce and Newark Deli are pretty cost-effective choices for any student who is a vegetarian. It gets a little trickier for veganizing stuff, but it can be done. I think Home Grown is a little steeper than these two. But they have a very nice atmosphere for dining out and they have made the distinctions between vegan and vegetarian dishes which is very convenient. I made a note of it for future reference.

So, I hadn’t really planned on posting today. But I thought I’d just share my good, veganny fortune!