Friday, August 5, 2011

Meating a long lost friend

Something changed.

Normally, I don't touch eggs.
Normally, I don't cook with eggs.
Normally, I don't eat eggs, unless they're in something pre-made. 
Normally, I keep away from eggs like the plague.

Normally didn't happen today.

I've been reading Amanda's blog for several months now, and admiring her amazing Eggy Bananafied steel cut oats every day.

So why don't I eat eggs, you may ask?

Something about them scared me.

The slimy texture, the nauseating smell of my mother's fried eggs, the association with grease and rich, fatty breakfasts at American diners... I mean, look at that golden yolk. Yes, it may be aesthetically pleasing, but when you really think about it... That is a possibly living being you are ingesting into your body.

I must admit, much of this screams Eating Disorder.

However, Amanda's oats looked appealing, and I thought... okay. The egg white is low calorie (ED thought much?), 'cleaner' and 'purer' than the yolk (orthorexia, much?), and is less animal-y than the yolk (er... irrational much? Yolk, white... It's all the same, right?)

So I took the plunge.

I pulled an egg out of the carton that my parent's keep, an odd gesture in and of itself.
I cracked it - oh, how long has it been since I cracked an egg? A lifetime.
I shivered as I gazed at the golden orb bathing in amniotic fluid.

But I set aside my qualms and separated the white from the yolk, and stirred it into my oats as they cooked.

I've made eggy oats twice now. The first time, I cooked them perfectly - they blended into the steel-cuts well, and the result resembled regular oats.

The second attempt was not so successful.

See those specks of white?
Despite the best of efforts, the egg white set as I slowly poured and furiously mixed it into the oats... I could smell the egg as I leant over my cooking pot, and it kind of freaked me out.

Ah well, nothing that can't be solved when topped with these new beauties...

TJ's Sunflower Seed Butter, and d'arbo raspberry jam. So, so, so yummy. Especially divine together.

See what I mean?

So what's the verdict? 

... I liked it. It plumped up my oats and made them pillowy soft.

On a moral level... It wasn't too bad. I didn't actively feel that I'd stolen a life. I think my real beef(!) with eggs was that I felt they weren't "clean" and perfect plant-based food. I was (am?) afraid of tainting or "dirtying" myself by eating such an 'impure' food. I mean... eggs? They're slimy, embryonic, animal products. Chickens may be cute to look at, but the idea of eating an egg that resided in their loins and been born to a dusty, feather filled coop, crammed up with a bunch of other birds, eating ground bones for sustenance...

... Okay, so I read too many sensational articles about animal cruelty. In any case, I just need to remind myself that:
  • We buy cage-free eggs. Those chickens were happily roaming about, laying eggs left right and center, enjoying a relatively  pleasant life.
  • The eggs we buy in the store are unfertilized... meaning it was unable to beget a baby chick.
  • Eggs are good for you. Full of vitamins and protein and...
Oh, who am I kidding? I don't feel completely sanguine about lauding the virtues of eggs. It feels disingenuous.

I am, however, feeling more comfortable about adding egg whites to my oats. I like the flavor, I like the texture, I like the cohesiveness of the dish. I'm eating this meal... because I want to. Not because it's low-calorie or god knows what else. And that's one more step towards recovery.

Do you eat eggs? Why or why not?

Have you tried eggs in your oatmeal?

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIAW Round.... I don't know what.

Hey girlies,

I'm glad you liked my Chocolate Banana Walnut Butter! It really is amazing.

My morning has been kind of crazy - what with waking up at 6am (ok, more like 6:30, but you know what I mean!), scarfing down breakfast, and taking a driving lesson at 7am.

But I have a quiet lull between snack and catching the train, so I thought I would join the party and do a WIAW of the delectable delights I've consumed so far today!

Something I wonder though... How is it that it's only 10am (as I write this sentence) and there are already 79 entries on the current WIAW page? Is it just because I'm Pacific time that I've only eaten breakfast while people have already posted their entire day's eats? Crazy!

One-eyed monster. Okay, okay. Zucchini muffin with extra (unpictured) pb, banana with more pb.
I woke up at like 3am this morning, feeling really hungry and craving a banana with pb. Weird huh? I seriously considered going down to the kitchen and making myself one, but I was too lazy to get out of bed. So I added it to my (quickie) breakfast before my driving lesson. The zucchini muffin is actually a zucchini bread recipe (from here) I baked in a muffin tray. It was surprisingly savory - next time I'm going to try making it a little sweeter. Good anyway! (Especially doused in pb!)

Mid-morning snack

Huge bowl of fruit - strawbs and nectarines
After my driving lesson I was kind of craving food, however my stomach still felt full from my brekkie. So when I saw some dying strawberries in the fridge, I knew a smoothie was in the cards. But then I realized: I actually don't really want some thin, liquidy cold smoothie spooned out of a bowl. I want to chew on something, savor the textures and flavors of the different fruits. So I followed my craving. The nectarine and strawberries were the perfect sweetness.

I blogged a while, took the train, and had my usual Wednesday déjeuner à l'air.

Mini sandwich: homemade whole wheat bread (recipe here), edamame hummus, flax tempeh.

Roasted Kabocha, parsnips, and peas. Mind you, I had about half of my veggies on the train because I was hungry!

Why is it that when I have very little time on my hands, I always decide to cook up something complex and long (i.e. roasted veggies rather than a simple, regular lunch on the go)?  And when I have all the time in the world, I go for something really quick?

Afternoon Snack

Case in point: cherries in a cute apple dish.
Accompanied by an almond & coconut milk hot chocolate.

And now... I'm not sure what I'll be doing. Probably reading some blogs :) and tidying up the house/going for a bike ride. Then a lovely, relaxing bath! I had one last night for the first time in months and it felt great. I think I'm going to make it a regular thing of taking a bath, relaxing, and reading my book before dinner. It makes for such a wonderful night.

Dinner is looking like Pasta Primavera, while watching my current favorite series (last week it was the modern version of Battle Star Galactica - so enthralling!) - Heroes! And then it'll be time for bed.

What's your favorite way to relax and/or get ready for the night?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Homemade Nut Butter

Hey Guys,

Did you all have a lovely weekend? 
Remember in my last post how I tried Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter for the first time and nearly died it was so good?

Well, as soon I had my first bite, I thought: I need this.

Unfortunately, I try to be frugal and hate wasting money. There was no way I was going to spend nigh-ten dollars on a small pot of Justin's nut butter when I could buy a huge 32 oz. tub of Crunchy 365 for $3.99.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. And I needed that dark chocolate nut butter. Forget the fact that I just bought Dark Chocolate Dreams a few days ago (on sale, mind you!). I needed it. So the next day, I was swirling around the kitchen once again, selecting ingredients, when suddenly...

... A second unfortunately stood between me and Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. No Hazelnuts. It was a disaster. What was I to do? Go out and buy a rather uncommon nut? (Trust me, since then I've gone to three stores and checked their nut sections. No luck.) Run over to my bemused neighbors and fall to my knees, begging and pleading for... hazelnuts? Please? Please?

Er, no.

So I settled for walnuts.

Chocolate Banana Walnut Butter
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup (or less) mix of sweetened and unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 banana
Could that possibly be it? Uh, well, yes actually, it's super simple and easy to make!

(Note: I made only half the recipe at first, but it didn't yield much, so I made another batch. Don't worry if the amounts in the pictures are smaller than the recommended amounts.)


1. Gather your ingredients

2. Measure out 1 cup of walnuts and blend in a food processor until you reach a rather moist, thick texture...

... then blend some more

I know it takes a while, patience is a virtue!

 3. Add in cocoa powder and continue to blend.

4. Taste.
Oh my - so bitter!
6. The butter should be pretty thick and bitter now. If you like the flavor - great! You can jump to step 8. If not, add a chopped, ripe banana to the mix, and blend.

Am I the only one to see something rather.. phallic in this picture?

 Slice up the nanner and dump it in the blender.
7. Blend, blend, blend, until you reach a nice, smooth consistency.

8. Store the butter in a container and keep it in the fridge.

Enjoy as you would any nut butter! But seriously guys, this stuff is amazing. It tastes just like dark chocolate, but creamy and blended... Expensive dark chocolate frosting... Mmm.

Even my dad, who cringed, wary of the latest 'healthy food' I was trying to force on him, was shocked at how good it was.

I had it with my Greek Yogurt and jam the other night. Oh my God. So, so good. It literally melted in my mouth it was so creamy. The banana makes all the difference. Healthy and drop dead delicious. What more can you ask for in life?
Do you like flavored nut butters (i.e. chocolate, maple...)?
Yes! Chocolate nut butter is to die for, in my opinion (in case you hadn't noticed!)

Favorite nut butter?
Peanut Butter, all the way. 365 has my heart for a reason ;)