Feelin' Chalky

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Writer's Block

I have been putting off writing this post because, well, I am just not really sure what to write today.  Usually I will think of something throughout the week and feel inspired...this week...not so much.  So I thought I would turn the tables this week.  I am taking an idea from a friend of mine who also is an avid blogger and vlogger.  He started doing a Q&A thing with his readers and I think that it's an awesome idea!  You can check out his blog here.

So what do you want to know about me? about life? about food?  What recipes would you like to see on this blog?  What are you struggling with?  Send me your ideas and I will deliver (to the best of my ability)!  I might even answer a few questions in video form.  I know, I know...contain your excitement!  ;)

I'll start with a question that I get a lot.  It goes a little something like this, "so, like, what do you eat these days?"

Answer:  It's complicated.  I would say that I eat mostly a vegetarian/vegan diet.  Here is the ISM (Incredible Shrinking Mama) lifestyle in a nutshell: I don't currently eat any meat with the exception of salmon (because I love it), shrimp (because it's yummy), or other fish.  I really only eat seafood if we go out to eat.  I buy shrimp on occasion at Sam's Club if it's on sale because my husband is obsessed with it.  I don't drink milk or consume dairy more than once or twice a month.  I know that sounds kind of weird but my thought behind it is pretty simple.  I love cheese.  I always have and always will.  To say I will NEVER consume cheese ever again is a lie and very unlikely.  I did it for a couple of months and then caved.  You know what?  It made me have a stomach ache, but it was worth the splurge - in my opinion. Saying I can't eat cheese just makes me want it even more.  So, I figure if I give myself the allowance to eat it every once in a while, I don't think about it as often.  98% of the time I am dairy-free.  There are more than enough suitable alternatives to satisfy me.  Veggie Shreds and Slices are great (these are soy cheese products - my sister pointed out that some do contain the milk protein "casein").  I love all of the milk alternatives (soy, rice, almond) with the exception of hemp.  I just thought it tasted funny and it made my tongue feel tingly...true story.  

To sum this long answer to a short question up...I eat mostly fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, whole wheat tortillas and pastas, a few packaged items like CLIF or LUNA bars or Erin Baker Breakfast cookies, and I occasionally consume (less than twice a month) seafood or cheese.  Oh...and I do still eat eggs.  I say that because you all know how much I love Quorn products and they contain free-range egg as a binder, so they are not considered a Vegan product. I don't typically eat eggs on their own anymore mostly because I am lazy, but I am not against it as long as I know where the eggs are coming from. Right now I buy them from our co-op for $1.25 a dozen.  They are the best eggs you can buy - super-bright yolks.  They come from a local farmer and the chickens are free-range and eat a diet of...bugs...that's what chickens are designed to eat!

I also still limit my sugar intake as much as possible.  Whenever I bake I try to substitute agave or brown rice syrup or honey in recipes in place of white sugar.

I like to try new things, so this journey has helped me to really branch out and try things I would have never dreamed of eating.  It's fun!  Sometimes I waste a few bucks and get frustrated and sometimes I hit a home-run and find something that becomes a staple on our weekly grocery list.  The nice thing is that I have the luxury of riding the fence, so to speak, and experimenting.  Some people can't have dairy or wheat or certain kinds of protein due to health issues and concerns.  I am lucky that I don't have to be pinned down to a specific diet, but I really admire people who do.  It is tough.  You have to be very educated and you have to be strong.

This week was a fun week!  My son turned 2 and we had a fun cowboy-themed party for him.  Here are a couple of pictures from the party:

Warning!  These cupcakes are not healthy in any way, shape, or form...but they are oh so good!  :)  If you'd like the recipe, you can click here.  By the way...I figured up the points on these amazing cupcakes and they are about 9 points each...not too bad, but make sure you plan your day accordingly!

For dinner we had a Veggie Chili that was out-of-this-world delicious.  I got the recipe from Morgan from Little House of Veggies.  I felt pretty special because she has a very successful blog (over 3,000 followers) and she took the time to personally e-mail ME a recipe!  ;)  Here is her recipe.  I made a couple of small changes (as always) but I will post what she sent me first:

Morgan's Veggie Chili
1 yellow onion, diced fine
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper
1 1/2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 regular sized cans tomato sauce
1 1/2-2 cans water depending on consistency desired
1 zucchini, chopped
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. Yves meatless ground 
parsley for garnish
avocado for garnish

In a non stick large saucepan add 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Add onion and saute until becomes tender. Add spices and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Add red pepper. When it softens, add the tomato sauce and water. Then add zucchini, beans, and the meatless ground and simmer on low for about 5 minutes or so, until the soup is warmed through and flavors have blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with avocado and lots of fresh parsley.

I doubled the recipe because we were having about 15 people over.  I also made it in the crockpot so that I wasn't cooking while everyone was here.  I went ahead and sauteed the onions and garlic and spices and then put everything into the crockpot.  I used 2 red peppers, an orange pepper, and a yellow pepper and I used two large onions.  I tasted the chili after about 4 hours on low and adjusted the seasonings (I added quite a bit more cumin and chili powder and also added a tad of cayenne pepper).  Oh...and of course I used Quorn meatless grounds instead of Yves.  I put them in about 15 minutes before we ate.  I also cooked up some Barilla Plus macaroni noodles and served them alongside the chili.  Thanks, Morgan for the recipe!

This week, despite partying and cupcake-eating, I lost 1.4 pounds bringing my total loss to 68.6 pounds!  Hooray!

Send me those questions!!  I will be anxiously awaiting them...


  1. love the blog aubri! love bakerella! :) what did you use for the heavy cream in the ganache?
    my questions are about sweeteners. i just found a good deal on agave at trader joe's. what is the best way to try to incorporate it into our diet? is it better in baked goods or drinks, or both?
    also, i know brown rice syrup is similar to HFCS, but what recipes do you use it in most? i think it seems expensive, and i'm not sure how much i would use it.
    thanks!! :)

  2. Awwwwww girl! You are so sweet! Your party looks like it turned out SO adorable! And how cute is your little man??!!! Im so glad you liked the chili recipe! And great job on the weight loss! Keep it going!! <3 <3 <3