WIAW: Real food versus protein bars

Hello, hello, hello. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Is it that late already? I always forget about the time.

Are you confused? I know I would be and very much was after the theatre play I saw on Monday. That’s where the above lines come from though they probably were the easiest understandable part of the whole story. No theatre review here, though, but some much easier comprehensive food talk featuring some of Monday’s meals.  Thanks to Jenn and Laura for hosting today’s What I ate Wednesday shenanigans!

WIAW_new2015

By now you should know I’m not the person for average breakfasts. Most mornings, I don’t like breakfast at all because I hardly ever know what I want to eat. Yet skipping is no option. Luckily, Monday was rushed so I ran a few errands and then quickly packed breakfast/first lunch (?) to-go as I just got note there was a teaching assignment for me that early afternoon. Polenta had been absent from my diet for months – shockingly and not okay – so its quick preparation turned it into my breakfast savior along with Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and chickpeas, all seasoned with my favourite organic curry blend. If you haven’t tried microwaving polenta yet you’re missing out. It’s the most fuss-free/no-second-pot needed/less clean-up prep method ever.

Polenta_breakfast_tupper

 

Lunch was a two-part story as we were heading out in the afternoon shortly after I came home from teaching German. The first part was a repeat of breakfast – did I mention a slight obsession with polenta? – but as I didn’t take a picture again here’s yesterday’s candlelight lunch instead. Yes, lunch and yes, already dark. The weather hasn’t been treating us kindly this week so far. Anyway, polenta with thyme-y mushroom chickpea tomato stew was on the menu. When I like something, I really like it so polenta might very well stick around for a while.

Polenta_mushrooms

So … part two: my first ever whole Quest bar. Not my first ever Quest bar but the first I actually ate as a whole in one day. Here’s what I didn’t mention in my post a while ago. For me, Quest bars or any kind of protein bar actually aren’t safe foods hindering recovery. Eating them as opposed to real treats like chocolate that I have every day is the challenge.

I was glad to get lucky in receiving these Quest bars as it gave me two boxes of challenges. Because you might be wondering: I liked the S’mores flavor. I’ve never had an actual S’more before meaning no expectations could be met or disappointed. The con for me is that the bar overall is very sticky-sweet. Pros are the chocolate pieces [are you surprised in any way?] and what I guess are supposed to mimic graham crackers plus the cinnamony taste. More interesting for me, though, was the saturation factor. Protein is believed to be that super macro filling you up like no other after all. I was doubtful if I bar could deliver this.

Quest bar_protein_s'mores

Verdict? I was positively surprised but not overly impressed in this point. Not overly impressed because I didn’t feel full the same way I do with protein from real food sources. Positively surprised hours later when we returned home and I didn’t crave the Greek yogurt that usually acts as part of my night snack. That’s my interest in macros: I don’t prefer a certain one but will keep experimenting to see how I react to them. Neither carbs, nor fat or protein are inherently good or bad to me. In relearning to trust my intuition. I see them all as equal and try to find my happy balance. At the moment, I tend to need a little extra protein with my meals but I opt for real foods like legues, cottage cheese and above-mentioned Greek yogurt to fill the void.

As we were out and about the remainder of my meals escaped the camera or were eaten before I remembered to get it out. Life > taking pictures. Not like I wasn’t curious about everybody else’s meals, though …

Enjoy your Wednesday and eat some good food!

 

Happiness-inducing today:Editing yet another text. What can I say? It’s my element.

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I’m really curious: Do you find protein or Quest bars in specific  filling?

Have you noticed yourself gping through phases of needing more of a certain macros [even iff – like me – you don’t track them]?


Food Talk Wednesday #7

Would you like me to talk about my dismay if the fact some parts of Germany are getting a first greeting of snow today? No? Me, neither [and luckily, the part of the country I live in isn’t affected yet]. Rather, let’s talk about something we all like: food. Missing last week’s link-up due to those unfortunate conditions I had no control over I’m happy to join Jenn’s weekly party.

Letting go of control is also an issue present in my food choices lately. I’m trying to keep recovery posts to a minimum as I don’t want it to be the focus of my blog. Life is so much more than just recovery or even food – What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday obviously being the exceptions. Yet: it’s something I’m working on and talking about food in an honest way to me requires admitting what I’m still working on. But let’s jump into [some of] the food I ate on Monday right away.


Food Talk Wednesay_logo

In case you were wondering: yes, kabocha is still my go-to breakfast [nd also still using my preferred method of preparation]. Though I will admit eating my way through several sub-par ones lessened my cravings and had me back on the oatmeal train for a few days. But looking at yesterday it was my first meal of the day once more. The harvest is dwindling steadily, though … Send help, please! And by help I mean kabocha!

Kabocha_homegrown_breakfast

After rushing around for the first half of the day, lunch time came all of a sudden and was where I decided to let go of control and [try to] trust my intuition again. For those who don’t know: Spätzle are a – usually homemade – German kind of pasta. I recently found a package of fresh vegan ones at an organic supermarket and knew this was my chance for a challenge. No nutrtional information on the package was what scared me.I’ve  gotten better at eating out but trying new foods at home is still more difficult.

Traditionally served with fried onions and lots of cheese [Käsespätzle], I went with my go-to vegan cheese sauce and some greenery as well as the obvious chickpeas here. The serving looks small but I had more than pictured [honesty, remember :)?]. A very real photo, too, as you’ll notice the sauce spillage – it happens.

Spätzle_lunch_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

For some reasons, I follow pretty much every of my savoury meals wth a bite of something sweet and peanut butter. Because what is following below is of the [far] more decadent variety I will only show the more nutrious part of my snacks here. Also because I ego through apples and peanut butter at a speed others find seriously impressive. No such thing as too much of those,  am I right?!

apple_peanut butter_snack

Usually, What I ate Wednesdays show only my own meals and snacks. But I hope you’ll excuse the exception for some bragging a picture of my brother’s belated birthday* cake. Much to my dismay, he didn’t specify which kind of cake he wanted leaving me to  my own indecisiveness. Luckily, I could make up my mind as I was up for experimentation and had been wanting to try this vegan Coconut Caramel Tarte [for all Germans: from La Veganista backt and found here] for some time already. Only I wasn’t entirely pleased with the caramel’s outcome – especially given how long I had to babysit it while cooking. Because  I’m a fan of honestyI will be here, too: no, I didn’t eat a piece of this. However, this is not for fear of sugar. If you’ve seen past WIAWs you’ll know  my sweet tooth. The past years of recovery have taught me about my taste preferences and cake doesn’t entice me anymore. Which isn’t to say I didn’t try the caramel or taste-tested  the chocolate ;).

Kokoskaramell-Tarte_La Veganista_coconut caramel cake

… and that’s a wrap. Or piece of cake. Either way, this was my little chat about food – not snow! – for today and why not use the bad weather to peek at what everybody else has been eating?!

See you again tomorrow!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Going to the movies with an old acquaintance and being positively surprised by the movie itself.

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How is the kabocha situation in your part of the world? Germany really needs to give more appreciation [as in: appearance in stores] to this wonderful squash.

What was the last cake you baked?

Tell me your favourite meal from this week so far!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #6: Out and about

Even in cold autumn you can still take a deep dive into the sea … a sea of fog, that is. This was my reality when leaving the house this morning and riding my bike to my volunteering place. Fog adds that almost unreal and mysterical touch to an ordinary [and cold] day,

From fog to food now, though. Because talking there might be a time to talk about the weather [or not] but it’s definitely not on Wednesdays in the blog world. Wednesday are for peeking at others’ food through What I ate WednesdayA slightly special What I ate Wednesday for me as you’ll find out in a second.

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

On the road … again. While I actually had only one appointment [that turned out to take less than an hour. ..] I spent the majority of Monday out and about again. On one hand, I actually like it as it means seing other places and taking a short break from the daily grind. On the other hand, it was cold-ish, I was sleepy and anxious about aforementioned appointment. What else this meant was I had to take all my food to go again. Hello, Tupper life! here’s what I tupperedmunched on.

Kabocha_breakfast_Tupper

No surprises for breakfast aside from the different background and fancy dish. Oh and possibly the …. that cooked, then cooled kabocha is quite delicious. As a fond warm food eater I was pleasantly surprised by this and will have it this way again.

Just like our mums taught us [and every blogger knows] road- or better yet train-tripping requires snacks. I’d actually bought these a while ago already but they haven’t made an appearance on here yet. Chili peas. The ingredient list could be better but they fed my cravings for salty-spicy nicely and sometimes that’s all that matters.

Veggie Crunch chili peas_snack

Okay, this is not what my lunch looked like yesterday. But when opening my Tupper after carrying this around for hours one look was enough to know I would definitely not take a picture. Unless I’d wanted to run ina contest for ugliest food picture of the year.Trust me you’d thank me for choosing to post this older picture of the dish rather than the actual state it was in when I ate it  … It was this red pepper cream sauce, only this time covering wheatberries, chickpeas and mushrooms.

Red pepper cream sauce_5

There were times when I used traveling as a chance to restrict but no longer. It’s one of those moments that show me how far I’ve come from my past. It’s a long road to travel down still but I’m on my way. Taking my own food – even full meals rather than just snacks – with me might seem like I was scared. Yet when traveling alone I use it as a means of saving money and I actually don’t enjoy eating out by myself. If I’m with others I will happily explore the local restaurants .

Lindt Chili_bars

If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know my fondness of a certain brand of chocolate. Shockingly, I was disloyal after discovering a new favourite and neglected the old. I was going weeks without even a longing for Lindt but it’s back in action now. There’s even a slight chance I’ll be able to get my hands on thiselusive flavour not available in Germany. For now, chili and I are reunited. I ended up eating half a bar – I’d clearly missed it more than I thought.
What you shouldn’t miss is the opportunity to peek into others’ days of food so

Happiness-inducing today: Volunteering and lending an ear to somebody. Being able to help others in simple ways is one of the best ways of fostering our own happiness.

 

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Tell me …
a) what kinds of food do you pack when you’re out and about all day?
b) your current favourite bar of chocolate?
c) Something that made you happy today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #5

It’s the season! Shorter days, colder [but luckily not yet much darker] mornings – Autumn/Fall is fading in faster than we know it. In fact, you’ll all be aware today marks the meteorological start of the season. What I do know for sure is that I appreciate the gifts its bearing: – especially all. the.winter squash/pumkin.[ <- is there any difference?? Enlighten me!] Something that will be there during all the seasons, making us [bloggers] feel at home? What I ate Wednesday. Upon finishing this post, I actually noticed I’m coming full circle here as I wrote a similar post  last year. Would you have noticed? Thanks to Jenn for hosting the first What I ate Wednesday of the season!

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Colour me orange – because that’s what my skin will look like in a few weeks. Self-tanning breakfast? Absolutely. I just can’t get enough … Kabocha. And … peanut butter. While our harvest – my mum’s been growing kabocha for me for the past ~ six years – isn’t overly huge it tastes all the better. Luckily, a certain grocery store has started carrying kabocha [though apparently just for a few weeks], too, so I’m stocking up while I can. Now onto a highly debated topic: the best way to prepare kabocha. It breaks my little squash-adoring heart to see people roast [and at worst: peel!] this wonderful vegetable. Trust me: simply steaming kabocha – no salt, no spices – creates the most amazing taste experience. If your squash happens to be perfectly ripe, that is. I’ve had some mediocre ones that I unwillingly had to use up until moving on to better ones. But no kabocha shall be wasted.

Breakfast_kabocha

Lunch contributed to my pumpkin tanning as it featured an all-time favourite: vegan pumpkin cheese sauce. This plate of sautéed cauliflower and wheat berries turned into a crave-worthy dish when adding the sauce. It’s so good I wanted to eat it by the spoonful [and I may or may not have …]. Despite its appearance I assure you I didn’t have Shrek in mind while preparing this.

kabocha_vegan cheese sauce_wheatberries_chickpeas

None of my days is complete without snacks. Actually, rumor has it they make up the largest part of my intake. Oops? What can I say: I’m a snacker, no, grazer. Yet it’s impossible to capture every morsel that enters my mouth so I just captured a seasonal one for you: raspberries. Yellow raspberries at that because they are even better than regular ones. I’m trying to claim dibs on these but some days I have to share.Which I guess is only fair since my mum grows them 😉 … Yellow raspberries_fruit

On another snack note I was successful in scoring a few reduced cups of Fage – and even my favourite flavour. Now I’m just a little worried the store is about to discontinue selling them but: live in the moment. Meaning I’m enjoying the ones I have and then see what will happen. Plus: it’s just food. Delicious but in the end just food.

Fage_Greek yoghurt_jam_blueberry

Once more no dinner picture … A few years ago, I had a full-blown obsession with pumpkin oat bran – more self-tanning power 😉 – but have been too lazy to prepare my own pumpkin puree in a long while. No canned pumpkin available in stores over here means I’m stuck with my usual oat creation for dinner – and I can’t say I was complaining. Cocoa banana oat bran with almond butter and a sprinkle of sea salt perfectly fits the bill for autumnal [or any season, really] comfort food. No picture because hi, carbs after dark [read: no, I don’t mind what time I eat which macronutrient. But pictures taken after sunset don’ turn out pretty anymore this time of the year. We can’t have everything [read: squash, colourful leaves and good lighting] at once. If you’re curious to see how everybody else has been ringing in fall, hop over to the What I ate Wednesday shenagigans!

Happy first Wednesday of Fall!

Happiness-inducing today: Noticing my mental arithmetic skills aren’t as bad as I’d assumed. Tutoring helps!

 

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What is your favourite way to prepare kabocha? Please do me a favour and don’t insist on roasting it but give a gentle steaming a try just once. Like I said: if you picked a perfectly ripe/starchy one you won’t regret it!

Tell me your current go-to breakfast! How often do you change it up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #4

A little birdy told me it had been a while since I last talked about food on here. It also told me that I risked losing my label as a foodie. So what’s a girl to do? Better safe than sorry so how about we talk about … .food today?  It’s common knowledge among bloggers that writing an intro is the hardest part of a post so how about we get started right away? Thanks again to Jenn for hosting What I ate Wednesday!

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Usually I’d keep the best for last but because breakfast yesterday was [one of] my favourite food[s] in the world I’ll spill the beans right away: it’s kabocha season! Granted, not actually. But our garden has allowed me to have a first taste of autumn’s best produce while stores aren’t carrying squash regularly yet. I know some of you are lucky to have kabocha available all year round but for me it’s a few months only. A few long-awaited months. Or this year sadly just weeks because stores around here won’t carry this very kind of squash at all so I’m limited to the ~ seven kabocha babies in the yard.

Anyway, I figure I’d go best by living in the moment and enjoying kabocha to the fullest while I can. No problem because it tates so.incredibly.amazing.

kabocha_pot

Sometimes, the best dishes grace your plate when you improvise [or can’t follow your own recipes]. Case in point: the zucchini overload in our garden and lack of cauliflower combined led to me turning my Cauliflower Chickpea Curry into a, well, Zucchini Curry.  With kidney beans because I had an open can of those. So yes, totally overthrowing my recipe but keeping the spices. The result? Delicious. And obviously more afforable using our own produce. Just wait for it: by the end of summer I’ll either be fed up with squash or sadly resert back to those at the store.

Zucchini Kidney Bean Curry

No day is complete without some …? Chocolate, right. I’ve been surprising myself with a changed taste preference here. After my recent purchase I haven’t been fancying my old favourite at all anymore. Dare I say it tastes … odd to me? Well, I guess they say tastes change as we grow up. As of yet I’d asumed this was only true in terms of more nutritious foods [can you believe I wouldn’t touch a tomato as a child and now can’t get enough of our homegrown ones?] but why not include chocolate? It’s from a bean so basically a vegetable/legume after all 😉 .

Mint chocolate

Because we’ve reached the sweet ending of this post I bid you goodbye and see you again tomorrow!

Happiness-inducing today: Meeting an old acquaintance and his cute dog and having a nice chat.

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How have your taste preferences changed in the past?

What’s your current go-to breakfast? How often do you change it up?

Tell me your favourite flavour combination: Chocolate and _______________?

 

 

 

 

 

WIAW: Gone carrots

Once upon a time … I did What I at Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday posts on the regular. Yes, it seems like enough time has passed since then to justify the use of this expression. Either way, it has been a while and I’m not entirely sure I’ll get back to joining the party weekly again soon. Life is life or so they say. And who are they, by the way? [yes, important life questions to be pondered – at another time].

WIAW_new2015

Unless it’s your first time swinging by here you might remember I like finding a good theme for any such food posts. Today’s happened to come about completely unplanned. Actually, I have yet to plan any WIAW topic, come to think of … Oh well. Let’s talk about what I ate … gone carrots.

Yes, carrots. One of the first vegetables every child – or is it just us over here? – is served by their parents. A good choice indeed around these parts if the intention is to get that glow without relying on the sun that can be lacking here. Additionally, though, carrots have a lot more to offer than you might know. Allow me a little nutrition nerdiness because now that I’m on a carrot kick I want everybody to join. A little bit of positive peer pressure maybe?

Want to keep a sharp vision? Eat carrots! Just one cup already provides more than 100 % of the DV of Vitamin A.  Rich in antioxidants they also lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases . While I also recommend doing crossword puzzles and sudoku to keep your brain fresh ;), eating carrots may help delay cognitive decay/loss of memory.

Okay, enough of the lessons, moving onto the food already!

Breakfast_bulgur_carrots_chickpeas_tupper

What you see above is my tupper-ed breakfast. It’s both an effort to change things up from my usual one and my undying fondness of bulgur [in addition to carrots]. My current favourite grain mixed with shredded carrots, chickpeas and soy creamer plus spices. It’s the perfect no-time-but-hungry meal. Only not as filling as I hoped. Much more filling, though, was lunch …

Chickpea Carrot Stew_bulgur_lunch

More carrots! Are you surprised? I was only half-kidding about the using their wonderful carotene boost to work on my tan while the sun is only playing the occasional peek-a-boo around here. No matter what the weather is like, though, the dish above ranks upon my favourites. Non-vegan in the original recipe found in one of my family’s favourite cookbooks I tried to turn it into a fully vegan dish. As of now, it still requires some tweaking but it’s good as is already. Red onions, carrots and chickpeas sautéed with oriential spices, added raisins and – post-picture – some soy creamer.

… and because life is all about balance I certainly will never forego dessert/snack time. I like to pretend raw chocolate was healthy so that means I can eat more of these in addition to my favourite, right?! Just agree.

Raw chocolate company_raisins_snack

Whether healthy or not, though, I’ve made the decision not to count those in my intake. Yes, that habit is still hanging around most days. It’s a little step but those add up to bigger strides on the path, right?! Eating chocolate is good no matter what so in case you haven’t had any today yet I highly recommend making up for that.

Happiness-inducing today:  The huge sigh of relief after a rather unpleasant experience. Did I mention I don’t like going to the dentist’s?!

 
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