January 22, 2011

Vegan Mac N Cheese Dilemma

Watching Julie and Julia, amazed at how beautiful Julia Child's heart was for cooking, and how she lived 'till 2 days shy of her 92nd birthday. That, and she consumed as much butter as she desired. I love a film having anything to do with cooking, it warms my heart so much!

This morning started off bright an early for a morning run at our favorite lake.

pre-run snack

I tackled 10K and hubby ran 18K, it was cold and drizzled for a bit, but it was blissful and fun.

My knee(s) both felt fine until the last 200 meters or so (about the distance of half of a lap 'round the high school track) when I tried pushing as fast as humanly possible to break 1 hour, but the goal wasn't met. I finished in 1:01:31

and my knee caps felt like they were rubbing against metal. After a good stretch, I awaited hubby's arrival and we then ate bananas and homemade granola babes.

I had a lunch date planned early afternoon with 2 good friends from my ol' daycare job, so I moved at nice n' rapid speeds once we got home, and I consumed quick leftover lime garbanzo/tofu stir-fry so my belly would hold off a bit.

We met up at Red Robin and after much thought I decided the least crazy food option (one that wouldn't exceed crazy high amounts of sodium) would be a garden burger, sans bun, sans sauce, with a double portion of melon.

It's insane to me to read the nutrtional facts on restaurant meals and realize that each dish contains 800mg - 2,000mg of sodium a piece, not to mention over 1,000 calories. How do they get away with this business? Bunch o' nonsense, man!

The burger was delicious and light, and hanging out n' catching up with good friends was a joy. I'm so thankful for working with such awesome women and making so many friends at that old job. It definitely had its ups and downs but it was a blessing being there!

I then drove home, singing atop my lungs as my favorite songs played on the radio (don't you just love those moments?) And dreamed of a nice n' big dinner with my love bug, Edu, since lunch was so light. I first consumed another beet/orange/peanut salad, the most delicious raw dish you'll ever taste, if you ever give it a chance,

then I tackled: mac n' "cheese" translated as: couscous and nutritional yeast. Also a bowl of freshly cooked pinto beans + red cabbage + homemade salsa was enjoyed.

Nutritional yeast dilemma: I did not like it, not one bit. The first few bites were fun and tasty, but after I switched over to the beans I really didn't want to go back to those little orange couscous'. I used these two simple, tasty-sounding recipes and came up with this:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 small handfuls frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 splashes rice milk
  • 1 dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 small green onion, diced
  • pinch of salt

And I really don't know what went wrong. Boil water, add couscous, remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes, fluff with fork, add remaining ingredients and eat. Was it the nutritional yeast that I didn't fall in love with? It couldn't have been the couscous, or the rest of the ingredients. So, c'mon taste buds! Delight fully in your deactivated yeast! Don't worry, I'll give it a second try soon.

So, I ate all the peas and onion bits and left most of the "cheesy" couscous. We watched some TV, edited some photos, turned on a movie and eventually prepped some dessert bowls.

Him: greek yogurt blended with frozen fruit and dates. Me: frozen blueberries with oats, kiwi, rice milk and cinnamon. Both topped with almonds, dash' o muesli and sunflower seeds (I added chia seeds and blackberries, hooray!). Absolutely fantastic!

Now I'm full of sleepiness and when I close my eyes even for a tad, all I see and feel are my bed sheets. I'm ready to embrace my pillow.


  1. Hi Nicole! I just started reading your blog--I love it!
    Your mention of knee pain caught my eye--I'm a competitive ice skater and just got back out on the ice from a 3-month MCL injury...:P
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog!
    Follow mine if you'd like!
    It's a foodie/healthy living blog even though the name's weird...what can I say...I'm a redheaded ice skater! ;D

  2. Sounds like a wonderful day!! I totally avoid eating out now unless I know there is a smart option at the place. I am sick of these restraunts feeding me crap. I know it is "yummy" food, but what about what it will do FOR my body! I am an athlete, fuel me with goodness not sodium!