Monthly Archives: August 2010

Cherrybrook Kitchen

I mean it when I say that vegan desserts are really easy to make. Especially cakes and cupcakes.

Image Source

I mean, all you have to do is replace the egg with one of several alternatives, change the milk to non-dairy milk, and whatever other modifications you choose.

But, sometimes even the simple things need to be simplified. That’s where a products like the cake mixes from Cherrybrook Kitchen come in!

009As you can see, I found this on clearance at Target, which is probably why I bought it since products that are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and egg free can be expensive.

I liked the simplicity of this mix: just add oil! No egg substitutes to make. No other ingredients to swap. And just look at it!

010  Oh. My. Gosh.

I’ve said it before but one of my favorite things about vegan baking is being able to lick the spoon without worrying about salmonella.

011 Oy, if I weren’t trying to get a point across, I doubt I’d shown you that picture of me, ha ha. Perhaps this one is better?

003 Okay, not really. But this shows that I tried the yellow cake mix too :)

001 I made cupcakes out of both of these but for some reason did not take any pictures. Bad food blogger!

They aren’t the cheapest things in the world, but if you are in a hurry and want a simple vegan mix to make that birthday cake or cupcakes for a gathering, I highly recommend this line.

I definitely preferred the chocolate to the yellow, but both were tasty, moist and completely animal-free :)

Cherrybrook Kitchen also makes mixes for brownies, cookies, pancakes and other yummy goodies. They also make a line of frosting but I have not tried that yet.

I am able to find them at Target, Kroger, Meijer and Whole Foods (so far). Check ‘em out!

I paid for these products myself and was not paid to say how great they are. But trust me, they are.

Worthy replacement

When I first went vegan, I wasn’t too interested in “replacement” products. You know, like soy cheese (and soy free too), cream “cheese” and so on. Tempeh Bacon. You catch my drift. Non-dairy ice cream was about as far as I would go.

But little by little, I have tried products such as those and mostly I’ve been impressed. I love Tofutti cream cheese and sour cream, which taste exactly the same as the real deal to me.

Some products have been better than others, that is for sure, but it has been fun to try all the various alternatives out there. Even more evidence that it is possible to eat a vegan diet without sacrificing all of your favorite foods (or condiments).

The latest product I have experimented with is Nayonaise, a mayo-like product from Nasoya, those tofu people:

028 I adored mayo when I was a kid. I ate a lot of bologna sandwiches with it smothered on the bread over the course of my childhood. That’s not exactly something I am proud of, but it is what it is.

Since I started my journey to health in 2007, mayonnaise has been a rarity, as it contains a lot of calories and fat, especially when served at a restaurant. At home, the fat free versions just didn’t taste as good. Then, when I went vegan and said no to eggs, mayo was out for good.

Until tonight when I decided to give the Nayonaise a shot on a Morningstar Farms Grilled Chik’n patty for dinner.

029 When I opened the container, I thought: “Wow. It smells like mayonnaise. The consistency is a little weird. Oh well, let’s see!”

I have to say, it has been a LONG time since I’ve had mayonnaise. However, the Nayonaise tasted pretty darn close to me. I can’t wait to try it on veggie burgers and in recipes (like potato salad) that would normally call for mayo.

Like I said, the consistency is different but the taste (and smell) are spot on. Do you use faux mayo? How?

Have you tried any other replacement products? Which ones were hits? Misses?

I did not care much for this vegan alfredo pasta I had one time. But that’s the only thing I can remember not loving. I’m sure there are others, but the good definitely outweighs the bad!

Morning workouts have returned!

Thanks to Exercise TV and my dear friend Namaste Mari, I have successfully been able to incorporate some sort of exercise in when I get up in the morning.

I’ve even had a partner working out with me for support!

014

But Jillian’s “Boost Your Metabolism” proved to be too much for Suzie, so she rested while I finished the workout. She was out of breath!

016

“Boost Your Metabolism” (the abbreviated 25 minute version anyway) was the first workout I did on Exercise TV in a long time but I actually did not do it in the morning, it was 4 in the afternoon!

015

But it was quite challenging still, so I felt the need to mention it on the blog. The next morning, I did Jillian’s “Yoga Meltdown” which wasn’t very calming or reflective the way Yoga tends to be but it was definitely challenging for my muscles; I was even sore later that day!

This morning, I did Cheryl Burke’s “Disco Abs” which was a lot of FUN but I did not feel it in my abs at all. Still, dancing at 5:30 in the morning was enough to wake me up and get me going for the day. I’m so glad morning workouts are back in my life!

Do you work out first thing in the morning? What do you do?

I wanted to start running but now that summer is coming to a close, sunrise is getting later and later. I’m way too chicken to run in the dark…by myself at least!

Fleet Feet Fiesta 2010

I can’t believe how long it had been since I had ran in a race! I also haven’t been running a whole lot in general, just 2-3 miles here and there. But now, it’s time to get serious!

The Fleet Feet Fiesta was a hilly 3 mile run through Cherokee Park at 9 p.m. at night. So it was my first night race! I’ve done a charity walk at night before, but never anything this challenging.

Image Source

Confession: I loathe Cherokee park. I mean, it’s beautiful, but those hills kick my butt! I’d much rather take Iroquois Park‘s dramatic ups and downs, instead of these slow gradual climbs. But I obviously needed a challenge; and I got it!

  • Distance: About 3 miles
  • Time: 34:30
  • Avg. pace: 11:30/mile

I ended up having to walk for a little bit between miles 2 and 3. I told Farrah it was likely because I’ve just been running 2-2.5 miles at a time lately so my brain decided at that point, I couldn’t do anymore. But I eventually picked it back up and ran across the finish line!

Yes, I have ran faster but I don’t care. For not having run much lately, I’ll take it. Plus, these days I want to just run for fun and do races because they help motivate me to keep up with running, which helps keep me in good shape, physically and mentally. I also want to stay injury free! So I’m not going to dwell on my time so much.

I did have to ice my right knee after the race and it was quite bothersome yesterday but I’m much better now. I’m just dealing with some quads soreness. My legs are like “Where the heck have YOU been?” Ha ha, I’ve been wondering that myself.

I had hoped to meet Rachel and Erica that night as they were both participating, but it ended up being a lot more crowded than I expected and we missed each other. Any other Louisville bloggers out there? We’ll all have to get together soon :)

My next race is next Saturday! I’m doing a 5k run for Colon Cancer at (thank the Heavens) Iroquois Park. I know those hills will still be challenging but if I made it through 3 miles at Cherokee, I pretty much feel like I can do anything now. To keep up with me, check out my Races page!

If you’ve been going through a rut, don’t give up! I’ve been struggling to get back into some sort of routine for a while now, but I finally feel like I’m breaking through whatever barriers were holding me back. You just have to be patient, which I know isn’t easy, believe me.

It feels so good to be back! Catch y’all later :)

Healthy Living Blogs

I posted this same thing over at See Sarah Eat, so sorry if this is a repeat for you. It just means you need to check it out even more! :)

Have you checked out the new Healthy Living Blogs website yet?

If not, you must. It is a great resource, put together by healthy blogger Lindsey, where you can find blogs listed by location or A-Z, as well as posts by healthy living bloggers who are currently sharing what “health” means to them. It is very cool!

This blog is listed on there as well as my other blog, See Sarah Eat. I have already received an email from a fellow Louisvillian (Hi Rachel!) who found my blog through the website.

I love that this is going to enable us to make connections with like-minded people in our own areas!

Thanks Lindsey and everyone else who made this website possible. And go check it out if you haven’t already :)

Healthy Living Blogs

Have you checked out the new Healthy Living Blogs website yet?

If not, you must. It is a great resource, put together by healthy blogger Lindsey, where you can find blogs listed by location or A-Z, as well as posts by healthy living bloggers who are currently sharing what “health” means to them. It is very cool!

This blog is listed on there as well as my other blog, River City Fitness. I have already received an email from a fellow Louisvillian (Hi Rachel!) who found my blog through the website.

I love that this is going to enable us to make connections with like-minded people in our own areas!

Thanks Lindsey and everyone else who made this website possible. And go check it out if you haven’t already :)

New Larabar Flavors

When the Larabar people saw my guest spot over at Woman’s Day, they offered to send me samples of the new flavors: 

Larabars!

Carrot Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chip Brownie!

I was so excited to try these as I love Larabars and every time they come out with a new flavor, I end up loving it (much like the recent Tropical Fruit Tart).

The Carrot Cake flavor (not pictured) was pretty good but the other two really blew me away!

Best Larabar ever! The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was amazing! I love the chocolate chips being mixed right into the bar as most of you know, I’m quite fond of chocolate chips, ha ha.

I was ready to declare this one my new favorite until…

Another new Lara! HOLY MOLEY!

While it’s more dessert-like and less snack-like, the Chocolate Chip Brownie Larabar is very, very good. It is definitely my favorite of the three new flavors.

Thanks Larabar for sending the samples! I look forward to purchasing some on my own very soon :)

Disclaimer: These samples were sent to me for free but I was under no obligation to review them, or review them positively, nor was I compensated for my review.

Can't take the heat?

I haven’t complained (much) all summer so far, but man…the heat got me today!

Right Now

Forecast: Partly CloudyPartly Cloudy
Temperature:                   95°F Feels Like: 104°

Details: Hot and humid.
Past 24-hr:
Precip: 0 in
Snow: 0 in
Wind: From ESE at 3mph

Farrah and I set out to run 4 miles as we finally begin our training for the Louisville Half Marathon on October 16th. Yeah, we knew it was 95 degrees outside but we thought we could handle it!

Well, maybe she could but a mile in, my face was on fire! Farrah said I looked like a tomato. What do you think?

So we called it a day at 2 miles and did some walking too. It was just too dang hot!

Now, how are we (okay, how am I) going to survive this weather and train for a half without spending a lot of time on the treadmill or waking up at an insanely early hour everyday?

I was trying to remember what I’ve done in years past. Last year was easy because our Summer was rather mild. But this year, we hit the 90 degree mark and never looked back! The year before I just gave up running completely after May and I definitely don’t want to do that again. Guess I’m going to have to come up with a new game plan.

How do you “beat the heat” and exercise in the summertime?

Mac ‘n Teese

In addition to the vegan mozzarella I made pizza with, Chicago Soy Dairy was kind enough to send me some non-dairy creamy cheddar sauce to try too!

005It didn’t take long for me to decide that I wanted to make vegan mac ‘n cheese! Actually, mine turned out sort of like a casserole.

001 I cooked half a box of pasta shells and then heated up the cheese sauce with it. It was really easy to make and looked really good…but it smelled funny. This made me a little nervous to eat it.

I mixed in 2/3 cup of cooked mixed veggies and a serving of Morningstar Chik’n strips I had leftover in the freezer that I wanted to get rid of. It turned into quite the interesting dish!

002 I am happy to say that even though it smelled weird, this “teese” tasted AWESOME! I liked it a lot better than the mac & chreese that I’d tried before (which is okay, but this was better).

004The batch I made was big enough for lots of leftovers, including some I had with half a Jamaican Seitan sandwich I got at Ramsi’s on Friday night.

007 The sandwich was pretty awesome itself, even the leftovers!

006I will definitely be ordering some more of this stuff for whenever I’m in the mood for mac & cheese, vegan style.

Thanks again, Chicago Soy Dairy! :)

Pizza e Vino

Confession: I went through a period where I HATED pizza!

It’s one of my husband’s favorite foods but it always left me feeling bloated and miserable, thanks to what I later learned was my intolerance for dairy and my general dislike of the way my body chooses to digest meat.

Thankfully, when I decided to go vegan, I started to love pizza for probably the first time in my life since I felt good eating it!

I swapped out heavy meats for fresh veggies, greasy crusts for pitas, and when I’m in the mood for it, vegan cheese:

008

Chicago Soy Dairy company sent me this sample to try out and I decided to use it to make homemade pizza! Sometimes I go completely cheese-less but every now and then “teese” sounds really good :)

I topped a pita with pizza sauce, diced red onion, mushrooms, and grated vegan mozzarella cheese. This is what it looked like before going in to the oven:

009While it was cooking in the oven (425* for 15 minutes) I enjoyed some Romaine salad with Goddess dressing and a glass of wine that I picked up at World Market this weekend.

010I haven’t been drinking much Chardonnay lately because I developed a preference for Pinot Grigio, but this one was fantastic. Plus, I love the name and the label, I’m totally lame like that ;-)

Random question: do you find that you prefer white wines in the summertime and reds in the winter? I think it’s a hot/cold weather thing for me.

When the pizza was done it smelled delicious!

012The cheese didn’t melt all the way but I was hungry and it was good enough for me to go ahead and eat it. I love how pita gets nice and crunchy, just the way I like my crust to be!

011Honestly, the CSD vegan mozzarella cheese was okay. It mostly melted and it tasted pretty good.

But it wasn’t as cheesy as Daiya, which melts a lot better and has a much more cheese-like taste and texture. But I would definitely call this one a close second.

Thanks Chicago Soy Dairy for the sample, I look forward to using it on a few more pizzas in the next couple of weeks!

How do you feel about pizza? What is your favorite topping?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers