Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just keep swimming!

Cristina and I headed to the pool again for more lap swimming. I was able to get a good rhythm going for awhile, but I've still got a ways to go with my endurance. I think the problem is that I'm only swimming maybe once a week. I really need to increase my time in the pool if I want to get better.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Meat" and potatoes

Tonight I made tofu, mushroom and potatoes in a miso gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance. It was very stew-like. Cristina really liked it, but I thought it was so-so.

For dessert I made vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies with walnuts (also from VWAV). They are very soft, moist cookies and the batter could probably be made into muffins or pumpkin bread. I used blackstrap molasses instead of the traditional molasses that the recipe calls for. I've read about blackstrap molasses, and I think it's great that you can get a fair amount of iron and calcium from this sweetener. The cookies turned out good...great for the fall!

Race for the Cure

Today Cristina and I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. If you've paid any attention to my blog, you can probably see that I haven't really been training...at all. Running is my weakest tri sport, but I'm determined to change that. The race wasn't too bad though; I was able to run a big chunk of it, and it was lots of fun for a good cause.

After the run, we paid another visit to The Stand in Laguna Beach. I took pictures this time. I got vegetable barley soup with half of a guacamole and hummus sandwich.

Cristina got a tamale with guac. I had a bite and it was really good. I think I may get this next time.

Here's a picture of our strawberry/kiwi/banana shake made with almond milk.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Today I decided to jump back into my bike-riding routine. I was using my bike to commute to or from work for awhile (I'd get a ride there or back), but an illness and general busyness got me off track for about a month or so. I was glad to get back to it, but of course it ended up being one of the hottest days we've had in awhile. It's only 11 miles one way, but taking all of the other factors into consideration, I've got a tough little ride. Basically the first half of my trip is very uphill and in dessert-like conditions. I thought I was going to melt. The second half is significantly cooler, but that's only because I'm riding into an incredibly strong headwind. I complain a bit, but I'm really glad I went, and I hope to continue my cycling on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Home cookin'

Tonight I made chile-cornmeal crusted tofu from Veganomicon, broccoli, and mashed potatoes with a nutritional yeast gravy. For the tofu, I deviated from the recipe and used a frozen and thawed tofu that had been marinated with salt, garlic, water, and a bit of olive oil and vinegar. It turned out good, but next time I will marinate it longer (only had time for an hour today), and make sure to use a more finely ground cornmeal (possibly a flour or bread crumb coating instead). The cornmeal that I used was pretty coarse, and it was almost like chewing on crushed up popcorn kernels. I really liked the flavor though, and the texture of the tofu was interesting. I’ve never cooked with frozen/thawed tofu before, and it looks very similar to chicken once it’s cooked. I've also read that it will absorb more flavor than "regular" tofu.

I made the potatoes (with the skin on for extra fiber) by boiling chunks of them, and then mashing them up with soymilk, salt, pepper, and some vegan butter. The broccoli was just steamed/sautéed with onions, garlic, and a little bit of oil. The gravy was onions and garlic sautéed in oil, and then I added soymilk and nutritional yeast. It sounds like I used alot of oil, but I really didn't. I used just enough to cook the garlic and onions, and very little for the tofu. Everything went together nicely and it was a satisfying home style meal.

Monday, September 22, 2008

At the Pool

Tonight we headed over the the pool for some more lap swimming. It was just as good as the first time, but it was definitely a bad idea to eat before going. We had some leftover Indian food and even though we gave it almost 2 hours to settle in our stomachs, I digest really slowly. It wasn't too bad, but it definitely affected my swimming. Of course Cristina was fine and is really taking to the water quite well. This is only her second time doing laps, and I think she's picking it up much more quickly than I did when I was first starting out! I'm jealous of her natural ability, but it's good that she's learning fast so I don't have to worry about her struggling to keep up. It's nice that she can hold her own.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chai Latte Muffins (Cupcakes)

This recipe is from the Post Punk Kitchen website, which is run by the authors of Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. This is my third time making the muffins, and they turned out as good as ever. Whenever I make these, people comment on how moist they turn out. It surprises people that you can make such a tasty dessert without eggs!

Indian Food

Tonight I took a stab at making Indian food for dinner. I used recipes from the Vegan Fire and Spice cookbook that I ordered from Amazon. On the left is Lentils in Onion Gravy, which reminds me of a daal; the flavor was good. On the right we have curried green beans with chickpeas. This dish wasn't too bad, but it was a little bland for Cristina and me. If I make this again, I will definitely up the spices and use veggie stock instead of the water it calls for (I thought of this while I was cooking it, but didn't have any on hand). All in all it wasn't bad for my first attempt.

Wrap it up

For lunch I made a wrap with a sprouted grain tortilla. The filling was hummus, tabouli, lettuce, falafel, and sprouts. It was yummy, and I especially liked the tortilla.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Farmer's Market

Cristina and I got up early this morning to go to the Laguna Farmer's Market. It was the first trip and it was lovely. Lots of stuff to choose from, but we kept it pretty simple for the first time out (strawberries, tomatoes, nectarines, oranges, green beans and broccoli). We got a bunch of stuff and only ended up spending $15. Check it out:

Friday, September 19, 2008


Today I went to a yoga class at a studio here in Laguna Beach. It's a cute little place, and the workout was good. I have a voucher for a free week of classes, so I think I may give it a try sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Simple Fare

Here's my lunch for the day. Tofurky sandwich, jalepeno tortilla chips, grapes, orange and pink lady apple slices.


Today I had another session of corporate yoga. My company has an instructor come in every Wednesday to run a yoga class. She's really quite good and my strength and flexibility has improved so much over these past few months. She's having a free class/workshop at the studio this Friday, and my boss is letting me leave early to attend. I'm super excited! :)

After work, Cristina and I headed to the local community pool for some laps. I haven't swam in almost a year, so I wasn't sure how I'd do. First of all, I just need to say that I love the pool. It's heated as well as outdoor; so there's no getting into freezing water and no stifling chlorine-filled air. Love it. Anyways...we swam for maybe 30 minutes or so, and I did pretty well. I expected to be breathless and unable to swim more than one or two consecutive laps. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn't as out of shape as I thought I was.

We had a pre-swim smoothie made of random stuff we had on hand: banana, orange, soy yogurt, flax seeds, stevia, and vanilla extract.

It was a pretty interesting beverage. Cristina liked it, but I'm beginning to think that she may just be really easy to please.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


As mentioned in my previous post, I topped a salad with homegrown sprouts. I thought I'd expand on that. I love sprouts, and after doing a bit of research I decided it would be fun to grow my own. I found this website and ordered various seeds and an easy sprouter. It's pretty much foolproof and I had ready-to-eat sprouts in days. I'll post pictures of my next batch as they progress...it's pretty fun!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Second Lunchsense

So here's my lunch for tomorrow. Going clockwise: salad with homegrown alfalfa/clover sprouts; carrots, celery and broccoli; leftover rice and pinto beans (no lard or chicken/beef broth, etc), grapes!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Lunchsense

I finally got my stuff all together to start packing my lunch. It's pretty simple fare, since I haven't received the cookbooks I ordered from Amazon, but good nonetheless. Going clockwise: hickory smoked tofurky sandwich with vegan mayo, mustard, lettuce, and broccoli on the side; carrots and celery with tofu ranch dip; spicy jalepeno tortilla chips; plain soy yogurt sweetened with Stevia powder, ground flax seeds, and strawberries. I also ended up adding some lemonade in the drink container, so everything fits perfectly in my lunch box!

It's ready to go!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Vegan Snickerdoodles

Cristina wanted me to make her some more cookies, so I did. I was able to get a picture this time!

This is still the same "Happy Vegan cookie" dough recipe from Vegweb.com.

Pasta on the fly

Tonight was a "throw some stuff together and hope it tastes good" kind of cooking night. I used a soybean pasta that I keep on hand. I buy it because it's extremely low on the glycemic index. It's got 23g of protein per serving, and only 22g carbohydrates (11g of which are fiber). The cooking time is quicker than traditional pasta, and the texture is slightly different. However, out of all of the lower carb/higher protein pastas I've tried, this is definitely amazing stuff. I'm not much of a pasta person, but this is good to have around when a craving hits.

I used some olive oil, garlic, spinach, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and the last bit of fresh mozzarella I had on hand. It turned out pretty good and Cristina gave it a thumbs up.

Friday, September 5, 2008

La Sirena Grill

Tonight Cristina and I picked up some food from the local Mexican place, La Sirena Grill.

It's a great place that uses as many local and organic ingredients as possible, and their beans and rice are free of lard, oil, chicken/beef broth, etc. They do serve meat, but they make a point to be certain that everything is sustainable and humanely treated (if you could call it that). Of course I still won't eat the meat, but it's nice to support a restaurant that thinks of such things. I've even seen them take a particular seafood item off of the menu because it was no longer sustainable.

I had the Sirena Fajita plate: "grilled pasilla chile stuffed with herb cheese, herb-marinated bell peppers, onions, and spicy pico de gallo, served with corn tortillas." It was excellent, as were the rice and beans on the side. I didn't really taste the cheese, so I think next time I will get it without.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Veggie Omelette

To use up the remaining eggs and veggies (spinach, mushrooms, and tomato) I had in my fridge, I just threw together a simple omelette for dinner. Why does that word look like it's spelled wrong? Firefox says it should be "omelet" but it seems that "omelette" is also a correct spelling per Wiki. I think I like it better with the extra letters.

I had my omelette with a slice of wheat toast and strawberry preserves. A tasty, healthy, and quick dinner.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fried Rice

I had some vegetables and eggs that I needed to use up, so fried rice it is! I cooked the eggs first and set them aside. Then, I sauteed some garlic and onions in olive oil. I added mushrooms, fresh green beans, broccoli, and spinach. I added some previously made rice, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, rice vinegar, and a little bit of low-sodium soy sauce.

I usually put tofu in this dish, but I didn't have any marinated so I just had the eggs for my protein source.

For desert I ate some "Happy (almost) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies" that I made on Labor Day. I got the recipe from Vegweb.com and the only non-vegan thing is the chocolate chips. They were quite easy to make and turned out pretty good. I would love to add some walnuts next time! I also made Cristina some Snickerdoodles from the same dough. I just omitted the chips and used cinnamon/sugar instead. She said they were some of the best cookies she's ever tasted. Not a bad compliment from a Snickerdoodle fiend. I don't have a picture of those because she ate them already!