Chilled Chocolate Chai

Oh Angela.  I love your blog.  I love your recipes that all look so delicious and make me wish I lived with a vegetarian or at least a bean lover. And I love that you too have given me a little unintended help with my end of our Family Challenge with the perfect timing of your Chilled Chocolate Chai recipe.
I made this on the weekend and am LOVING it.  At first I had to get used to having my chai fix cold, and less creamy and less sweet.  But now that I’m at work and have a little cup waiting for me in the fridge for my 2:30 slump.  I’m all over it. It’s WAY cheaper, I’m going to say 60 cents vs. $4.80 and while it’s a different, less sweet taste – it’s still yummy, so I’ll take it.
Head on over to Oh She Glows for the recipe – and then head on over to your local Superstore for some PC Chocolate Chai goodness.
I’ve now made it with Unsweetened Almond Milk and Vanilla Almond milk – just sayin’ whatever you’ve got in your fridge will do since they are both totally delicious.
Enjoy!
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Who ordered this?

It’s snowing right now. As I type this I am looking out the window at possibly bigger flakes of chunky wet snow than we had all winter. It looks cold. And grey. And wet. And it’s cold in my bones. I knew when it was 30C in March that it was too good to be true.  The Boy and I even discussed it – the possibility for snow to come. Turns out it really doesn’t matter that I told myself to expect it.  I’m still bitter.  It’s the end of April. I’ve started walking to work.  I’m done with winter.

So I made soup. Corn Chowder – specifically. And it was delish.  Even the Boy agreed. From Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, with a little added Meaghan tweaking. I don’t know what Old Bay Seasoning is, but I know what spices are on my fridge – so I added some of those.

Chowder is just the thing on a snowy evening in April. The heart can’t take much more of this – but soup helps.

Onion, celery, garlic, a bit of flour. Stir. Add veggie broth. Spices – I used some Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Thyme, Cayenne, Bay Leaf, Red Pepper flakes, salt and Pepper.  Corn, simmer, puree half.  Add Potatoes, simmer, eat.

Mmmm…. Chowda’

Is it a sign or just being nice?

I read this quote the other day on Oh She Glows

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” -Jessica Hische
Does this mean that stopping the wedding madness to make the Boy cookies for his baseball tournament this weekend is a sign that I should become a professional baker?
Or just being nice.
They were delicious by the way. Mama Pea’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dough Balls. I’m determined to cook my way through The Book… maybe I’ll take some time to tell you about it in about 15 days.

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13 days to go

Mmmm…. chocolate

Does this boy look like he’s enjoying something delicious?

He’s enjoying some raw vegan chocolate mousse.

3 simple ingredients into the food processor.  Blend.  Pop it into the freezer for a few minutes if you want.  Or for a few days (if it lasts that long).

It’s not the Boy’s first time with these little experiments.  He knows the right questions to ask.

“What’s in it?”

It’s not my first time either – I made sure he admitted to liking it before I told him

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 avocados.

Both boys response when I told them….

“It’s avocado?!”

*dramatic pause*

“That’s pretty cool.”

Cool indeed.  And delicious.

For other ways to use the recipe and more cool things to do with avocados check out Loves Veggies and Yoga.  And special thanks to A Handmade Story for the inspiration!

I’m hungry

I need help.  Food on the go. Must be: Healthy.  Filling.  The Boy must like it.  It could be heated up before he leaves, but it has to be quick and hot food is generally a little slower.  If it could be consumed in the car while driving (I know not safe – but necessary) all the better.  He doesn’t like sandwiches unless they are gourmet (ie. have lots of stuff in them) and have been made just before consumption.

The Boy is a travelling mad man these days.  He’s working his regular 7-3:30 and then he ships himself off an hour east to Oshawa and assistant coaches a college men’s volleyball team.  He’s tired.  He’s hungry.  And I’d prefer that he not eat McDonalds three times a week, because it’s gross and expensive.

I need help.  I need something or somethings that can either feed him for a week, or be frozen in smaller portions to be taken out as needed with some variety.

Your mission – tell me, what should I feed the boy?

Another Merry Monkey Morning

My parents are away, and the boy and I have been staying at their house to look after the dog, Denver.  The boy claims that this decision was to make it easier for Denver (he won’t be as stressed out because he’s still at home) and had nothing to do with their large TV that has access to multiple sporting events in HD, or that it happens to be NHL playoffs right now… no it’s not that, it’s all for the dog.

I don’t mind though, I’ll miss my house when it’s gone – so it lets me soak up some time within the walls I know and love.  The other great part about being and Mom and Dad’s, they have ice cubes (a luxury that we have not purchased yet at our apartment).  Not only that, they have a blender that happily makes delicious smoothies.  And beyond THAT, my Mom recently got a new raw food cookbook Art of Raw Living Food complete with a tried and tested smoothie recipe.  The result is filling deliciousness.

Every morning this week I have made myself a Merry Monkey Smoothie, and every morning I am not even peckish until lunch.  Typically in the morning I enjoy almond butter or peanut butter and honey on toast.  It’s good, it’s fast, it’s healthy, but I’m usually looking for a snack around 10:30.  My new smoothie is beyond delicious, really takes no time at all to make, and I’m full until at least noon.  Brilliant.

Here’s the skinny on the smoothie:

1 banana

1/4 cup almond milk

2 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp agave nectar (to be found at your local health food store)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup ice

Today I added a heaping teaspoon of ground flax seeds – you know to make sure things keep moving.

SMOOTHIFY, pour and enjoy.

I’m hoping my blender at home will be up to the task because I am really addicted to this deliciousness – so much so that last night I tracked down organic bananas at 9:45pm so I would be able to have one this morning.  It may have required 2 stores.

This does mean that I’ll have to break down and buy ice cube trays, and find room for them in the freezer, a daunting task, but worth it.

The next recipe in the book is an Avocado Whip Smoothie – which consists of an avocado, mango, pineapple, almond milk, and ice… plus whatever I’ve forgotten.  I’m intrigued but much like my love of the Starbucks Chai Tea Latte – what if I try something else and it’s not as good?  I’ll be so disappointed.  We’ll see.  I may have to take the leap and try something new or I’ll be at risk of too much of a good thing.

Picture from here

Pass the chickpeas please…

First season of Friends, George Clooney guest stars, Monica and Rachael have him and Noah Wyle over for dinner, shenanigans ensue, and in an effort to ease the tension George says, “God bless the chickpea!” I couldn’t agree more, it’s so delicious and filling, one of the great wonders of the world in my opinion.

For the last few years I have been less of a fan of meat, and more of a fan of the chickpea. I never went completely vegetarian, but am largely a “Clean Food” or “Real Food” eater… not a big fan of bacon that can be kept in a box in your cupboard, or yogurt in a tube, or food that comes in buckets. But since moving in with the boy, I have found myself spending more time in the middle of the grocery store than I am used to.

Now, the boy thinks I have been a little hard on him in the past, so I must say this is all said with love. But since I established that the boy can eat, I thought I’d focus on what he’s eating, and what I am used to eating, and how the chickpea all plays into this.

On our first “officially living together” gorcery shop, I followed alongside the cart in absolute shock, as he stocked it full of chocolate bars, frozen pizza, crackers, chips, granola bars and cookies. I had gone grocery shopping days earlier and heeding to the advice of Michael Pollan, I stuck to the outside of the store. I came home with tons of veggies, fruit, meat, grains and some dairy, and the response I heard was “You didn’t buy any food!” I became blissfully aware of the frustration my mom used to feel when she would drop $200 at the grocery store, and her beautiful children would say “There’s nothing to eat in this house!”

I feel the phrase “Pay back’s a bitch” is appropriate here…

So I gave some thought into how I can influence healthier eating, cost savings, and keep the growing boy from becoming enraged at my healthy goals. Last week I spent two evenings baking in an effort to divert from the middle of the grocery store.
I made Rebar’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, my FAVOURITE chocolate chip cookie, secret ingredient… chopped apricots! Sounds questionable but REALLY good. The next night, I made granola bars, with mixed reviews, they were a little cinnaminny but they seem to be a suitable replacement to the over-sugared over-processed, good until the end of days CRAP that is available in the middle of the grocery store. Next time I’ll add more oats, probably some seeds, and use either raisins OR dried cherries, but not both as I did this time (in an effort to replicate the Kashi chocolate cherry bars that I like, but are completely unaffordable).

In an effort to save money, time and stop the boy from eating 60 cookies, and 30 granola bars in one sitting, as I am learning he is quite capable of doing, I only cooked 13 cookies, dropped out the rest of the dough and froze it. Now if he wants cookies he has to take them out and cook them – something he says he’ll do but we both know is not likely to happen. I also wrapped the cut granola bars individually and put them in a bag in the freezer, he takes one each day and puts it in his lunch bag the night before – rather than taking the box of 8 in his lunch bag and acting surprised when it’s gone in two days.

The last thing I did this week was make chickpea fajitas. They are a quick an easy dinner that is filling and delicious providing you like chickpeas. I have told the boy that I would like at least one meatless day per week, this week it was Meatless Tuesday. The problem is the boy claims to hate beans (a texture thing apparently and yet he loves Hummus(?)). However, he still eats whatever I put in front of him like a Hoover vacuum so I’m not too concerned about it. Right now we’re at one meatless day per week… the goal one meatless week per month. He’ll say “Not going to happen” but I’m the cook and I agree with George, “God bless the chickpea!”