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Tofurky Pizza and Blog Evolution

I have to admit, this thing has been in my freezer for quite some time.

I was really excited when I heard that the vegan Tofurky Pizza finally came out and were being carried at my local Whole Foods Market. The best selling point for this pizza is the Daiya cheese, which is the best vegan cheese (for pizza) on the market, in my opinion. I tried it on a homemade pizza once and it was delicious.

I didn’t care much for the high price of this item (around $7) but you have to factor convenience into the cost. This would feed me for at least two meals and only took 12 minutes to cook in the oven. No time spent on preparation or chopping veggies for toppings.

I decided to get the Italian “Sausage” and Fire Roasted Veggie because a plain cheese pizza just sounded boring to me and the only other choice was pepperoni. I need my veggies! Plus, this may be the only time I try this product so I had to go all out!


The left side got bent a little bit from being shoved around in my freezer for several weeks.  But other than that slight defect, this looked pretty good!

The Good:

  • I liked that the crust was thin and got a little crispy thanks to my cooking it directly on the oven rack.
  • The vegetables were delicious!
  • Short cooking time and easy to cut with my pizza cutter.

And the Not-So-Good:

  • Even though this pizza tasted decent, it probably still isn’t worth $7.
  • There was not nearly enough Daiya cheese on this pizza.
  • The Italian sausage was just okay, I expected it to be a bit more flavorful.

Verdict?

I would probably buy this product again, perhaps another variety, if I need to get a vegan pizza to go and the store I am at is all out of Amy’s No Cheese Roasted Vegetable Pizza. The sauce they use on that pizza is so good, you don’t even need non-dairy cheese.

I had the leftovers for lunch today and I have to stick by my “just okay” review. But I’m glad I finally tried it!

Have any of you tried the Tofurky pizza? Did you like it?

Blog Evolution

I have not been blogging a whole lot the past few months and it’s had me doing a lot of thinking regarding this blog and it’s future. By the way, I’m happily taking suggestions on name changes. Ha.

I feel like in many ways, I have moved away from what this blog was originally intended for (an accountability/food journal) and that’s okay. A lot has changed in the past two and a half years that I’ve been blogging here.

But what hasn’t changed is that I still love to write and share the things I enjoy with people, which is what I want to continue to do here. I love this community!

While my weight loss is a big part of my “story” and a reason for blogging, I don’t want to focus on that so much anymore. I still struggle sometimes to maintain my weight but I’m in a good place now and have another system of accountability that is working well for me now.

I also went vegan more than a year ago and so much about that has changed my life and my views on a lot of things regarding food, health and other topics.

So anyway, please be patient with me as I work out the kinks and decide how best to move this blog forward. And if you have any advice, I’ll at least consider it 😉

Cafe Lou Lou

Last Friday, Josh and I were set to go out to dinner and it was my turn to come up with “the list” from which the other person will choose where we go to eat. I was instructed to come up with at least 5.

We have very different tastes from each other and we’re both making an effort to respect the other person’s dietary choices and find places we think we’ll both love so no one gets disappointed.

Also, we usually like to follow what we’re in the mood for instead of just going anywhere, so a list is necessary in order to have a variety of restaurants and cuisines for the other person to pick from.

One that was on my list last week was Cafe Lou Lou, a cute local place that I’ve been to a few times before but Josh never had. He’d mentioned craving Italian food and I wanted veggie pizza or some other sort of carb + veggie dinner since I was running a race the next morning.

Nothing on their menu is exactly vegan, but I don’t mind saying “no cheese” or making other substitutions in order for us to enjoy a new place together. I ended up ordering the spinach artichoke pizza with no cheese.

Spinach artichoke pizza at Cafe Lou Lou

All the veggies were fresh and I was really excited to have made this choice. But when I started to eat it, I realized it was really plain tasting. There was no kind of sauce on it and they did nothing to the veggies other than bake them with the crust.

Luckily, I fixed that!

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Much better. I was glad there were other veggies on it besides the spinach and artichoke (tomatoes, mushrooms, onion)  since the artichokes themselves were pretty puny. I like big, chunky artichoke hearts like you get on the grilled artichoke sandwich at Penn Station. These had been cut up too fine for me. But all in all, a decent meal.

I had the leftovers for lunch a couple of days later, which I found out tastes really good with hummus on top!

Leftover Lou Lou's

Speaking of hummus, I think next time we go there, I will just order the hummus appetizer 😉

Smoothies in winter?

Even though I woke up to 12 degrees outside this morning, I made a smoothie for breakfast!

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This smoothie contained 1 cup of rice milk, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple and 1 tbsp Sun Warrior protein powder. Unfortunately it was not very good but it’s all about figuring out the right combo.

The mini bagel with White Chocolate Wonderful was just lovely 🙂

Mid-morning, I snacked on some carrots and salsa. Can you tell I’m trying to use stuff up at home?

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I didn’t take photos of lunch again because like yesterday, it’s just boring and today’s lunch was a carbon copy of last night’s dinner.

Before our run today, I snacked on a Larabar that happened to be the same color as the shirt I was wearing today 😉

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After our run and on the way to a meeting, I knew it would be a while before I ate again so I tried these Luna snacks from my pantry.

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These were not that good! I really like the pomegranate flavor but I just ate these for the calories. I will not get this flavor again.

After our half marathon training meeting, I came home to a new frozen pizza to try. No cheese!

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It seemed a little skimpy on the veggies at first.

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But looking at these pictures makes it seem like there was more on there than I initially noticed.

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While I waited for the pizza to cool off, I started on a nice glass of iced tea. Summer, are you here yet?

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For dinner, I had two slices of pizza with some broccoli and Smart Balance Light.

This meal hit the spot! I loved the crunchy crust of the pizza (I cooked mine an additional 2 minutes than the box said to do).

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Take a good look…this is tomorrow’s lunch, ha ha ha.

It’s almost bedtime over here so I’d better sign off. Hope you had a great day, GOOD NIGHT 🙂

Temptation?

Happy Christmas everyone!

As I enter into my first vegan Christmas, I was reminded of an experience I had earlier in the week.

On Tuesday, we went to Bearnos Pizza with our entire department for a Christmas lunch.

Now, this place has a menu, but mostly everyone just gets the buffet, so I just went with it. I had two big plates of salad and veggies and was hoping for some spaghetti with marinara but it ended up being baked penne pasta with cheese so I had to pass.

This is where the interesting thing came in…I half way thought about having an “off” day and eating some veggie pizza. I took some time to think about it and thought about how much it would hurt my stomach, especially since I haven’t had dairy in almost 3 months.

By the time I had all those conversations in my head, I wasn’t even hungry anymore! I had filled up on salad and veggies, plus two plain breadsticks.

As we were leaving, instead of feeling deprived or upset about my lack of options, I actually felt really good about my choices and my commitment to eating a vegan diet for my health and my body.

I think it is great to get put in situations like these because it is a really good test of how committed you are and how you handle tough food situations.

Whether you just try to eat healthier or you have specific dietary concerns, I believe everyone goes through this once in a while. And whether you find it was a positive or negative experience, it’s all a learning experience which in the end is a good thing.

How do you handle challenging food situations? Are you ever tempted to eat something you usually avoid?

Day 18.2: Vegan meets Old Chicago

My husband is probably the world’s biggest fan of pizza and while I like it okay, I’ve not quite the enthusiasm that he has. Most of the time, when I did eat “regular” pizza, I got an upset stomach from the overwhelming amount of cheese they put on there. Since I decided to go vegan, pizza just didn’t appeal to me as much, especially with those memories of bloated-ness in mind.

But, when done the right way, pizza can be really good. Thankfully, when we went to Old Chicago for lunch with my parents this afternoon, that was the case.

We hadn’t been there in a long time and this was certainly my first time encountering a pizza place since I decided to go vegan on October 1st.

First of all, I’d like to say that my waitress Teri, was very sweet and never once questioned or mocked my request for the thin crust Vegetarian Seven with no cheese.

I wish I’d had my real camera with me to do it justice, but this was one beautiful pie!

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This pizza was topped with sauce, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, red onions, black olives, and roasted green chiles.

It was an individual size and I ate the whole thing! When you don’t have meat and cheese weighing it down (and racking up the calorie-count) it’s easier to really enjoy the veggies and crispy thin crust 🙂

I swear, I think this tasted BETTER without the cheese weighing it down, so even if you aren’t vegan, try it sometime!

I forgot to ask but I don’t think this crust contained any butter because I sure didn’t taste it. I think it might’ve been lightly brushed with oil, maybe.

My stomach was satisfied and very happy after this meal, as was I! I was comfortable, not stuffed and I’ve certainly had no stomach ailments afterward.

Now I have to decide what I’m going to make for dinner in a few hours. I was going to eat a salad for lunch today since I put it off yesterday and I have some lettuce to use up, but then my parents took us out to lunch.

So that might have to be it. But we’ll see. Hope you are having a great Sunday. Come back and see me 😉

First try

Tonight for dinner, I made something I’d never tried before…Kashi pizza!

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At Kroger, these run around $7, but Walmart had them for $5.25 each, plus I had a $3.00 off coupon that I found at Kroger on a display a few months back, hooray!

I was immediately impressed by the chunky vegetables and thin crust, my favorite things about pizza.

Before going in the oven…

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My husband thought it was meat, haha!

I cooked the pizza and divided it in half (2, 3 piece servings) so that I could eat it for dinner and mostly likely lunch tomorrow. I made some cauliflower as a side because the combo worked really well for me last week 😉

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The way I cooked it made it a bit flimsy but the taste was phenomenal. I loved the toppings and spices! There were about 6 different varieties at the store but I started with this one since it was more basic.

I will definitely be buying this again! I think I have two more coupons that do not expire until September 😉

Now it’s tea time…

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Hope your weekend was fabulous…but if not, at least a new week starts tomorrow. Blessings!

NYC, Day 3

On Tuesday, I woke up early to get in some exercise before our last day in the city. I ran a mile, then walked a little bit, then did some upper body weight machines and one set each of my two ab exercises I chose near the end of last week for the Bikini Boot Camp challenge. They are killer! I’m already noticing a difference though 😉

After my workout, I had a banana and some coffee to hold me over until our real breakfast…

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When we got into the city, we stopped at Starbucks and a place called The Bread Factory cafe (I think, I really should’ve written these down), which was soo good. They had lots of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so we’re definitely going to track this place down when we come back. After seeing them in the window, I had a huge cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted, with lowfat cream cheese and some fresh squeezed OJ. From Starbucks, I had a tall nonfat cinnamon dulce latte.

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I scraped off about half of the cream cheese they gave me, WOW. That my husband’s bagel in the background 😉

After our breakfasts settled, we jumped on the Subway to head over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was open this time, haha. I really think someone should’ve planned and researched better, but oh well, everything worked out just fine. We spent about 2.5 hours at the museum, but I easily could’ve spent 4 or 5, we were just pressed for time, especially since it was close to lunch. But I got to see my favorite artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Jackson Pollock and the huge amount of ancient Egyptian stuff they have. My husband actually walked through the museum with me, which was great and he really enjoyed the arms & armor section 🙂

When we left the museum, I was hungry, so I had a mini Larabar to hold me over…

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These have come in so handy!

For lunch, we stopped at a little pizza/pasta/salad joint, I so wish I could remember the dang name. It was Pizza V-something. Geez, I’m sorry. I suck at this. Next time I’ll do better! But I had to do pizza the New York way…I ordered a slice of ham & pineapple (one of my favorites).

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And here’s how you do it…

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My husband actually has a picture of me eating this, I will have to find that and put it on here! I also have 1/2 of a small garlic “knot” my husband got, that was very good. So good, he went back and got a second one that he kept all to himself! Everything at this place was so good and affordable. I think it came out to about $5 each. I also tried this water, which I hope I can find again somewhere:

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After lunch, I was curious about my father-in-law’s black and white cookie, so he gave me a piece. It sort of reminded me of a moon pie, flavor wise. It was a soft cookie, apparently they are his favorite and no one in Kentucky makes them right 🙂

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After lunch, we went over to Rockefeller Center and shopped in the NBC store, which was fun because most of our favorite shows are or have been on NBC (Friends, Seinfeld, etc.). I forgot to mention that before lunch, we took a carriage ride through Central Park! I really wish our internet connection had been better up there, then I wouldn’t have to try to remember it all now without notes…

We walked around lots more and ended up back at Times Square so my husband could buy a t-shirt from ESPN Zone, then we got back to our car and headed out of NYC 😦

We went back to New Jersey and ate at a place called Harold’s. What they do there is they give you this HUGE pile of meat for the table to split and make sandwiches with. There is a pickle bar and you can order sides to go with your meat, we got potato salad and cole slaw. I made one full sandwich of roast beef and turkey with cheese, mustard and some pickles. Then I had another 1/2 sandwich and some more cole slaw.

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For dessert, my father in law ordered a piece of sugar free cheesecake (which is big enough for 4-5 people), but after one bite, I decided it did not taste good enough to stuff myself with, so I politely declined any more.

Here’s what it looked like though, this is just my slice!

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We went back to the hotel, which is when I blogged some for once, and then tried to pack up and wind down before our early wake up call on Wednesday. Believe it or not, since I didn’t stuff myself quite as much as my companions, I actually got hungry for a snack before bed, so I had one fig newton from this pack my husband decided he didn’t like on the way there.

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I’m glad to be home but I miss New York already and I keep thinking about all the other things I’d like to do there. And I was pretty bummed about missing out on PB&Co, since it was pretty much toward the top of my list. But hopefully I’ll get back there someday!