Arizona Qrunch: Guest Post by the Wine Monk!

Watch out, there’s a man in the kitchen today! I’m still catching up on Things I Should Have Posted Last Week! My friend Cody, aka the Wine Monk, sent this to me over a week ago while we were still in the Apostles’ Fast, and I shamefully neglected to post until….now. But the wonderful thing about good vegan food is that it can be enjoyed by anyone, vegan or not, at any time of year. Or in this case, when prickly pear pads are in season 🙂

I’ll hand you off to the Wine Monk now. At the end of his recipe, you’ll find a link to Cody’s review of the wine used here. Have fun!

Howdy everyone, I’m Cody the Wine Monk, and I’m doing a guest post for Katherine today. But you probably already realized that before I even said anything. Normally I’m a wine critic and blogger who lives in the old mining town of Jerome, Arizona, in the heart of Northern Arizona’s wine country (Yes, we have one–well, actually four major wine regions. Yes, the grapes do fine in the heat and dryness. No the entire state doesn’t all look like Phoenix, with cactus, I promise. Yes, seriously, I’m not kidding! Just do a google search for the Verde Valley. Not now. We’re talking about food now. Just.. do it later.)

However, it so happens that since I’m Eastern Orthodox, I dabble in vegan cooking for a good portion of the year… and therefore I seem to be the only wine critic out there who cares about vegan food pairings with wine.

A while back, Katherine posed a challenge courtesy of Qrunch Foods and Daiya Cheese (not the same challenge she posted about on June 10th, this was earlier), and I came up with the below recipe, complete with associated wine pairing. I’ve been meaning to cook it for a while, but things came up before Lent was over, and now since it’s fasting season again for me once more, I finally got a chance to cook it. The idea I had behind this meal was to make an homage to the local landscape in which I live. You can tweak it a little and use ingredients more local to where you live if you so choose.

This meal will produce four burgers, so it’s great for friends.

2015-7-2 Qrunch Wine Monk1-min
Here’s what you need:

1 Toaster oven (or regular oven)
1 cooking pan
1 cookie sheet or other flat oven food-carrying thing
2 Nopales (prickly pear pads. You can also use more. Use as many as you’d like. If you live in the Great White North, check your local hispanic market. I got mine a mile from my house in the desert)
1 box Qrunch Burgers (don’t thaw out too much, otherwise it will be hard to glaze them)
1 thingy Daiya Cheese (I chose provolone, but cheddar would also work)
1 small can diced Hatch Green Chiles
Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns (Or whatever gluten free apparatus you use for a burger)
1 jar Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly (Make sure that it uses citrus pectin. If you want to be adventurous, make your own! I am not that adventurous.)
Olive Oil (or some other oil of your choice–I used some made from olives down at St. Anthony’s monastery)
Salt and Spice. I used a blend made from a local gentleman who mixes his own spices. I chose the spiciest, because in my mind, the spice must always flow.

1 Bottle of Arizona or New Mexico White wine. I chose a bottle of the Vino de la Familia Blanca, from Page Springs Cellars; a blend (you may replace with white wine from a region near you if wines from these regions are not available, and I’ll get into that more in a moment. You will want a wine that has some acidity; this makes a wine more flexible for food pairings. Don’t give me flack about there “not being a winery in your state.” Every state, and several Canadian provinces all have licensed and bonded wineries.)

So, why white wine? Well the main reason is that white wines will pair better with this meal, but there’s a secondary reason I suggest it. The fact is that white wine is far more likely to be vegan than reds, especially if you’re hunting in the supermarket. Why? Filtration and fining in whites is a different process known as bentonite filtration, or cold stabilization, which is essentially pouring the wine through a filter made of, well, bentonite, which is a volcanic clay, or bringing the wine close to its freezing point by sticking it in a very cold room. For reds, the process usually involves egg whites or isinglass, which are animal products. Avoid supermarket reds and go for the red wines made from small producers and boutique vineyards, and look for red wines that are unfined and unfiltered–those are your key words for finding vegan red wines. Now, don’t worry about sulfites because those are native to wines in quantities that are far below what you find in your glass of orange juice in the morning! Sulfites are NOT dangerous, unless you are actually allergic to them. Now let’s get on to cooking.

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Your first step is to prepare the Nopales–the prickly pear pads. You need to remove the glochlids. These are the areas where the thorns are, and you must, of course, be careful lest you get them lodged in your skin because they are super annoying. And you don’t want them stuck on your tongue! Use a knife to cut out the areas where the thorns are, and then cut the sides and top, and the bottom off, to make it square. This will make it easier to prepare.

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Cut the cactus pads into strips that are about ring-finger length. Prepare your pan! Crack open your bottle of white wine now, and pour a little into the pan along with some olive oil (enough to cover the whole bottom of the pan), and put the sliced pads in the pan on the burner. Add a dash or two of the spice collection you’ve decided on, and a pinch of salt. Let it sit at a low to medium heat for a time, while you’re working on the next step.
Also, pour yourself a glass of your wine of choice.

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Now begins a fun part; glazing the burgers with the prickly pear jelly. Use a butter knife to spread the jelly on both sides. This is why you are using a cookie sheet or some other flat surface. After you have coated the Qrunch burgers with jelly, then put the diced green chiles on the top part of the burger. It will be messy, but prickly pear jelly is delicious so if you get any on you…

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Just lick it off your fingers. It’s fine.

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Stick your glazed and peppered burgers into your toaster oven, or regular oven, at 450 Degrees Fahrenheit for about 18 minutes. Now, let’s attend to the nopales while your main dish is cooking.

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Raise the heat now to High, and stir fry! If you want, add a bit more of the spice and salt to taste. After all, these are going to be the equivalent to French fries for this dish. And, well….Stir fry. Do so for the next 15 minutes. The color will change and they will become a little wrinkly in appearance, and your oil will be almost gone. Leave them to rest in the pan while you attend to the next step…

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It’s time for the Daiya Cheese. Place them on the burgers, then slide them back into the oven or the toaster oven for another five minutes while the cheese melts. Then take them out…

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And arrange as you normally would for a burger. You’ll need a fork for the nopales–they won’t be as “dry” as normal French Fries would be. The Green Chili and Prickly Pear has mixed with the Daiya cheese on the burgers to create a sweet, and savory spicy combination. You won’t necessarily need extra sauce, but if you want to, use something that also has that same combination–I used a peach habanero BBQ sauce from a local saucemaker in Tuscon that worked brilliantly with this dish (I suppose you COULD use a local organic ketchup, but…why in this case?).

This, incidentally, is also why you want a wine with a high acidity and strong fruit notes–to cut through the spice and mesh with it. Yes, this may be a bit spicy for you, but it’s delicious, and in the summer climate of Arizona, you WANT something spicy–it will make you sweat, and therefore, it will cool you down.

Enjoy! And CLICK HERE to read my review of the Vino de la Familia Blanca.

WINNER SELECTED!!!

coupons
We have a winner! This morning at 9am EST, Tete randomly selected a name from all the wonderful contest entries. Congratulations to yoursister who will be receiving:

Two coupons each good for one free box of Qrunch Foods products
Two coupons each good for up to $5.99 off Daiya Cheese products
Two coupons each good for $1 off Qrunch Foods products

All thanks to her winning theme which read, “My plans for summer include eating a protein packed Qrunch burger before giving birth.”

Best wishes to you for an easy birth-giving! And thank you to everyone that entered, you’ll have another chance to win in August.

Greenlite Meals Saga: The Emails

Okay, as promised, these are my emails with a rep from Greenlite Meals. It’s really not that exciting, but you can get an idea of their customer service. So here’s the one I sent last Wednesday, a few days into my meal plan.

“Hello,

I received a Groupon for Christmas for a 7-day Greenlite meal plan. When I placed the order, the details of the plan noted “The price of this plan is based on a 2,000 calorie or less meal plan. While this covers most of our customers, should you require a meal plan with a higher calorie count, additional fees may apply.”

I’m on day 3 and the food has been wonderful so far, but I do have one concern. I didn’t look at the calories per meal when I received the order, but after the first day I felt like I was starving. When I added everything up, all the meals for that day totaled only 920 calories. Even after adding olive oil to one dish and drinking a bottle of kombucha, I was under 1200 calories for the day. I am an active person and need at least 1400 to 1600 calories to lose weight at a safe rate of 1 to 2 pounds a week. It is my understanding it’s unsafe to consume fewer than 1200 calories, especially if you’re exercising regularly. I’m wondering if I received the correct plan, or if this is some kind of extreme diet plan?

For example, I think my menu for today only totals around 840 calories. I know the description says “2,000 calorie or less”, but under 1000 seems a bit much. I’m having to prepare additional food myself, which kind of defeats the purpose – not that I mind cooking, I’m actually a food blogger and just wanted to try this out.

I will say again the food itself tastes great and the quality is mostly excellent, I just can’t figure out what kind of a meal plan I have here. Everything I read on the website seems to indicate I should have everything I need for each of the seven days.

Any additional information you can give me would be great.”

After three days without a response, I called the Customer Service hotline. I offered to give the rep my order number so she could just look it up and tell me what plan I ordered. She didn’t even bother to respond to that, but instead asked for my name, phone number, and email address and said someone would get back to me. I did let her know about my email from three days earlier, and my concern about the low calorie count, and she said she’d make a note of it.

At 1am I received the following reply:

“Hi X,

I recieved yor message regarding your question about what meal plan you ordered. Our records show that you ordered one week of our 7 day weekly meal plan.

Y”

(I am calling myself X and the rep Y, and the text and any typos are copied directly from our emails.)

I responded at 2am, admittedly tired and grouchy.

“Hi Y,

I actually had a specific question which I mentioned when I called, and also described at length in an email I sent about four days ago. The 7 day weekly meal plan says it’s for people on a 2,000 calorie or less diet, that makes it sound like each day’s food supply should be right around 2,000 calories worth.

With the meals I received, I’m getting about 1,000 calories or less each day – today, for example, the meals added up to only 820 calories. I have to prepare additional food in order to get a safe number of calories, defeating the whole purpose of this program. Is that standard practice, or was I accidentally sent some sort of extreme diet plan instead of the regular 7 day plan?

Sorry if I sound harsh, I wrote a nice, polite email a few days ago and am too tired to rewrite. Perhaps you can find it.

Thank you!”

1am Sunday morning – at least they don’t mind working late on weekends to help a customer. But…

“Hi X,

I did recieve your email and was checking with the shipping department and the nutrionist before respondng. You can supplement your meals with fruits and vegetables however, if you want more calories you can try our custom meal plan (the My Plan) and we can send you a csutomized meal plan. Each meal would be a more suitable amount of calories for you. That plan is a 4 week minimum.

Check it out: http://www.greenlitemeals.com/shop/my_meal_plan/

Hope this helps!”

In other words, I can pay more to ensure I get at least 1,200 calories a day for a meal plan that was supposed to be 2,000 calories or less.

“Thanks for getting back to me, Y. I’m aware of the custom meals, I know about them because they’re referenced in the description of the plan I ordered. The last paragraph reads, “– The price of this plan is based on a 2,000 calorie or less meal plan. While this covers most of our customers, should you require a meal plan with a higher calorie count, additional fees may apply.”

While I suppose my plan does fit in the “or less” part of the description, it would be more accurate to say “1,000 calories or less” since only one day’s menu hit 1,000 calories. That way customers will know upfront they cannot be sustained by the meal plan alone. The way it’s worded seems deceptive.”

Okay, I have to admit here, this was not totally correct. I looked over my notes again (where I went through each menu and added up the calories for the day) and there are three meals that are over 1,000. Day 2 was 1,060, Day 4 was 1,060, and Day 6 was actually a whopping 1,240 calories! So I did have one day I could go without supplementing.

I got a response bright and early the next morning:

“Hi X,

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I have communicated your concern to my manager. The wording may appear deliberately ambiguous but it is not intended to mislead our customers rather to allow for caloric range. Our chef’s menus are created weekly and there may be fluctuations withing that range however they never exceed 2.000 cal/day. I’m sorry that the meals came up under your daily caloric needs, I’ve yet to encounter this particular issue and have discussed it with our chef and my manager. For the time being, they suggest that you do supplement your meals with vegetables and fruits as there is no reason for you to consume less calories than you need. I hope this helps! I hope that you are enjoying the meals thus far and hope that you consider another meal plan option and continue to remain a Greenlite customer. I

Y”

“I’m sorry that the meals came up under your daily caloric needs.” That’s an understatement! The daily calorie count averages out to about 978 calories, or 222 calories short of the safe minimum of 1,200 calories – which would be safe for an “average” woman who’s trying to lose weight but not bothering to exercise.
So exactly whose caloric needs could be met with this meal plan?

“Hi Y,

I really do appreciate you bringing my concerns to your manager, but unfortunately I don’t think this is a service I’d continue with. I will admit I was incorrect when I stated only one day’s menu reached even 1000 calories. After looking at my notes, there are actually three days – including one that reached 1240. That’s a much better number. However, if you add up the total calories for the week and divide it by seven days, that’s an average of just over 978.5 calories per day. I can’t imagine any adult whose caloric needs could be met by that amount. Even a 100 pound person who spends 23.5 hours a day sleeping, waking only to gorge herself on a day’s worth of Greenlite meals, will burn at least 1057 calories just by laying in bed asleep.

I do hope your nutritionist, chef, and manager can get together and work this out for your remaining and future customers, either bulking up the menus or at least advising in the description that the plan could be anywhere from 800 to 2000 calories. That would be fair, if any of the menus ever actually reach 2000 calories.

I have had fun trying the food and sharing it with the readers of my blog, and we’ve had some good laughs at me starving trying to survive on this plan as-is (which did not even last one day). I guess all I can do now is give people a heads-up about how the program really works.

Thanks for your time,
X”

By the way, I just came up with the easiest weight loss plan ever. All you have to do is become a 100 pound girl and sleep 23.5 hours a day, waking only to gorge yourself on Greenlite Meals averaging 978.5 calories a day. That doesn’t even take into account the extra calories you’ll burn crawling out of bed to go to the bathroom (no time to shower, though). You should lose about 2 pounds a month just by laying there – it’s easier than walking!

They never did reply to my last email.

Giveaway: FREE FOOD!!!!!!! Coupons for Qrunch Foods & Daiya Cheese

Well aren’t you lucky, it’s that time again – time for another coupon giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will receive:

2 coupons for FREE Qrunch Foods products
2 coupons for FREE Daiya Cheese products (up to $5.99 off)
2 coupons for $1 off Qrunch Foods Products

Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy Qrunch Burgers and Daiya Cheese shreds. Qrunch Foods also makes Toastables, similar to the burgers but they are bars that come in breakfast flavors. Daiya now makes pizza, cheesecake, cheese blocks, cheese slices, cream cheese, and I hear…mac n cheese!

How it Works
Now boys and girls, I’m going to give you an assignment. I want you to write…a theme (A Christmas Story, remember?). You may enter this contest once a day every day from now until the contest closes at Midnight on Sunday, June 14. To enter, write your theme, “My Plans for the Summer,” below in the comments. Bonus entry if your theme somehow includes Qrunch Foods or Daiya Cheese 🙂

Again, the contest closes at midnight on Sunday, June 14. On Monday, a winner will be randomly selected to receive the coupons. The winner will be contacted by Tuesday, June 16.

Good luck!

Greenlite Meals: Day 6

Okay, I finally decided to get on to Day 6, and lo and behold, there was actually a decent number of calories in today’s menu!

2015-6-9 Greenlite Vegan Meal Butter Finger Oatmeal
I started my morning with Butterfinger Oatmeal, basically a peanut butter chocolate oatmeal that seemed very promising. BUT. I did read a review about this same problem, so I know it’s not just me. It tastes good at first, but then there’s a really heavy taste of protein powder. Maybe it’s just something you have to get used to, I dunno. Greenlite recommends adding non-dairy milk when you heat the oatmeal to keep it from drying out. I added chocolate almond milk. Even still, it was very thick and sticky, and hard to get down.

Calories: 410
almond milk, 30

2015-6-9 Greenlite Vegan Meal Mushroom Kale Masala
For lunch I had the Mushroom & Kale Masala with quinoa, it was very tasty – so good I may have tipped the bowl to drink the sauce left at the bottom…. I also had four vegetarian stuffed grape leaves that had no nutritional info available.

Calories: 240
grape leaves, estimated 300

2015-6-9 Greenlite Vegan Meal trail mix
I had a trail mix with walnuts,cashews, sunflower seeds, cranberries & raisins for my snack. I wanted a big bowl, it was nice and sweet. So sweet I wondered if there was anything added to it, but there was no sweetener listed. Maybe because it was frozen and thawed and the berries and raisins got sticky, it coated the walnuts and seeds. Anyway, it was very good.

Calories: 280

2015-6-9 Greenlite Vegan Meal Korean BBQ
And for dinner, Korean BBQ Stir Fry with tofu as the protein. It had a smoky sweet BBQ sauce that I really enjoyed, I just wish it had been thicker, something that would stick to the tofu.

Calories: 310

I grazed a little after dinner, I’m not even sure what I ate 🙁

Total calories for the stuff I know I ate: 1570 – and that’s a whopping 1240 from the meal plan. Wow. Finally.

Make sure you’re around tomorrow when I start taking entries for my next giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And later to read about my last Greenlite Meal. And even later to read all the emails between me and Greenlite regarding the calorie count of these meals. And eventually my final review.

Greenlite Meals, Day 5: I Think "They" Are Trying to Kill Me

Today was going to be the worst day ever because…it was supposed to be an 820 calorie day. I don’t know why Greenlite Meals is doing this to me, but don’t worry, I didn’t let it happen.

2015-6-5 Greenlite Review Vegan
First of all, the day started with this Blueberry Protein “Muffin”. It’s basically just a muffin top, except not, because it’s flat like a cookie. And because, ya know, there was no muffin bottom to begin with.

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So you can tell how big it isn’t, this is a 1/4 C measuring cup. The “muffin” was okay, but it definitely had a protein shake aftertaste. The texture was also a bit off since the only flour used was oat flour. I wouldn’t have minded if this were today’s snack, but it was meant to be my breakfast.

Calories: 120

I also had a Qrunch Maple Toastable for another 120 calories, with a little jam for an additional 25.
Afterwards, I actually measured my almond milk to see exactly how much I’d been drinking. I discovered I’d been using a 3oz glass all week, not 8! So I gave myself one 8oz glass and didn’t count the calories.

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For lunch I had Mixed Bean Chili, mild but tasty. I was very hungry by this time, so I added some Follow Your Heart cheese shreds, plus two crushed crackers.

Calories: 210

1/8 C shreds, 35
2 crackers, 80

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For my snack, I had a Carrot Coconut Scramble. This was simply shredded carrots and coconut with agave. I’m not sure scramble is the right name for it, but it was good. Didn’t exactly satisfy my sweet tooth, but it was very filling. For an hour or two.

Calories: 140

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When I got home from work I cooked up the Blueberry Chipotle Tempeh Stir Fry, and melted down some Daiya for a cheese sauce. Although this is a hideous color, they did a great job with the tempeh.

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I actually thought I hated tempeh, but this was very tender and flaky and sort of…chickenish, a little. It was very spicy, but luckily not enough to give me hiccups. That’s the worst. I was going to have this with tortilla chips, but I only ate a couple because they were stale 🙁

Calories: 350

1/4 Daiya shreds, 90

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So I treated myself to a little cookie and a cup of coffee. You will notice this cookie is about the same size as that “muffin”.

Calories: Undetermined.

Total calories for the day: 1170 plus whatever for the two stale chips and the cookie.

I would like to be eating a donut for National Donut Day, but I heard someone nearly choked to death on one at the JFK airport this morning, so…I guess I’ll play it safe and go without.

Greenlite Meals: Day 4

Today was supposed to be an 830 calorie day, but I was not having that!

2015-6-4 Greenlite Vegan Review
Started the day with Sausage Veggie Crumbles. It was a little smokey, and when I heated it in the skillet the maple syrup caramelized. There were onions, zucchini and summer squash. The sausage crumbles are made with TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), and it has kind of an off taste if you don’t let it brown. There’s a ton of protein in it so it was very filling…at first. I thought I was going to have to save my salad yet again, but ended up eating it after all about 30 minutes. I added Daiya shreds and a turkey-style deli slice to fatten it up.

Calories: 220

For the salad:
1/8 C Daiya shreds, 45
2 Tbsp dressing, 40
deli slice, 25
I don’t count calories from raw veggies

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For lunch I had this wonderful lemony chickpea salad. Another high protein dish – today’s meal plan would be good for a day when I’m lifting [12 pound weights] 🙂

Calories: 320

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This fruit bar, my snack for the day, is the best thing I’ve had so far. It had a wonderful fruit filling between two sweet layers of what basically tasted like oatmeal cookies. I wish I had 10 of them!

Calories: 230

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Tonight my dinner was Curry Seitan Medley, another smokey dish with lots of veggies. I plated it over a Spicy Buffalo Qrunch Burger, a perfect combination. I got Tete to try the seitan crumbles and she said, very surprised, “It’s not bad!” Haha. Nope. It was very good.

Calories: 290

Qrunch Burger, 190

Total calories for the day came to 1360 at the end of this meal. That was still a little low, so I treated myself to a homemade low sugar, 3-ingredient peanut butter cookie, and a small glass of Califia Cold Brew. The two combined probably added another 200 calories bringing me to 1560 for the day.

By the way, have you guys tried Qrunch Burgers yet? I will be having a giveaway for a free box of them soon. They’re gluten free, and made with quinoa and veggies instead of chewy soy. They have lots of uses outside the bun!

Anyway, I think I’m getting the hang of this meal planning business.

Greenlite Meals: Day 3

I finally got smart and looked ahead at the total number of calories for the rest of my Greenlite meals this week. Today’s would have been 830! My meals were part of a Groupon offer to try the service for one week. I don’t remember it saying so, but after scouring the website I wonder if this is Greenlite’s diet plan which is designed to help you lose 20 pounds in 8 weeks. I do not think I could survive 56 days of eating 1000 calories or less! Although it would be nice to fit into all my clothes from 8th grade again…. I sent them an email for more information, and in the meantime I decided to plan to add a little something to my meals for the rest of the week.

2015-6-3 Greenlite Meal Review Vegan
Today’s breakfast was Blueberry Lemon Oatmeal made with almond milk and a touch of agave. It had a wonderful flavor, but I’m not a fan of the texture of blueberries once they’ve been frozen and thawed. They had a weird, thick mouth feel, were a bit chewy, and the inside was kind of gritty or something. I added a little margarine to fatten it up. I popped a maple Toastable from Qrunch Foods in the toaster oven and spread a little apricot jelly on it.

Calories: 240 + 50 for the margarine

Toastable, 120
jelly, 10

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For lunch I had Split Pea Soup, nice and thick and with an earthy, salty taste. I toasted a plain piece of sourdough…

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and threw it right in.

Calories: 130 + 84 for the toast

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I had my Greenlite snack afterwards, a giant Banana Carob Oat cookie. It was good, but kind of like eating extra thick oatmeal spread into a circle shape. There are no instructions on the websites for prepping cookies, but I heated it in the toaster oven to see if it would become more cookie-like. Nope. But it was sweet, yummy, and filling.

Calories: 160 + 70 for half a bottle of kombucha

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For dinner I really cheated. My cousin made and delivered a whole meal for me and Tete, she made chicken as the main course and it turned out Chick’n Stir Fry was the final meal on my menu today. So I added some of her herb roasted potatoes and agave glazed carrots to my meal. She also sent along a big salad for each of us, but I was too full and had to save mine. I don’t know how many calories were in the potatoes and carrots, so I’m estimating high and calling it 500.

The chick’n in the stir fry is Gardein brand strips, and there was also quinoa and plenty of veggies. I really enjoyed this dish, and it went perfectly with my cousin’s potatoes and carrots. She is an awesome cook!! Oh, and she also gave us freshly roasted garlic, I had a couple cloves with my potatoes. I love roasted garlic.

Calories: 300

Potatoes & Carrots, estimated 500
Glass of cashew vanilla cashew milk, 80

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And…she even included a couple vegan chocolate chip cookies from Brick Road Pizza! I’m going to save those for my next fat day, which will be this coming Monday. I can’t wait. I have no idea how many calories are in these cookies, and I don’t care.

Total calories today: 1684
That’s a little high, but I plan to burn a couple hundred before bedtime. Actually, I hadn’t even planned to be on any kind of diet before I just typed that. Maybe this calorie cutting business is getting to me. Yuck :p

Greenlite Meals: Day 2

On to Day 2! This morning I had another session with my personal trainer and I felt like I was DYING. Well, I actually felt like I was going to fall asleep in the middle of a round of planks (tabata, ugh). I knew I couldn’t make it on 1200 calories, so my idea of only eating what comes with the meal plan has already gone straight out the window. If I were living a more sedentary lifestyle this would be great, but right now I’m burning too many calories. So.

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After the gym I heated the tofu scramble in a skillet. There were a few big chunks of broccoli and summer squash, and some other minced veggies that I think were zucchini, bell pepper, and green onions. Even though the scramble was only seasoned with Mrs. Dash, it was perfect. However there was no added fat. And I needed that fat.
Calories:
Scramble, 230
1/2 Tbsp added olive oil, 60

I also had a slice of toast. Carbs are your friend when you’re working out.

Stone House sourdough bread, 84
Earth Balance margarine, 50

Small glass of chocolate cashew milk, 45
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For lunch I had the Moroccan Soup (said stew on the package and soup on the menu, looks more like soup to me).

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It had both chickpeas and lentils in it, so this one little bowl was packed with iron and protein. And the cauliflower added Vitamin C, necessary to absorb the iron. Besides that, it just tasted good!! I noticed it’s a little high in sodium, maybe that’s why I liked it so much 🙂 I did have a strong urge to add crushed crackers or something to bulk it up. I wish they would add pureed lentils to the broth to thicken it, but flavor-wise it didn’t need a thing.

Calories: 180

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I was still a little hungry afterwards and busted out my frozen snack, a little pouch of Peanut Butter ice cream made with frozen bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, agave, and protein powder. The sweet treat made me happily feel like I was cheating, but…

Calories: 230. Not too bad considering my lunch was under 200.

It also had 15g of protein, which is great after Abbey tries to kill me.

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And finally brown rice Pasta Primavera for dinner. I’m not gluten free, but I don’t mind eating gluten free foods; however, I would like to eat MOAR. To me this serving size is more like a side. It was very tasty and I wanted to keep eating it, but, alas, it was gone too soon. As you can see, I added a piece of garlic bread to extend my meal.
This is not even on a dinner plate, by the way – it’s a tiny little salad plate 🙁

Calories: 420

Plus:
Stone House sourdough bread, 84
Earth Balance margarine, 50

My favorite today was the tofu scramble, although it could’ve been the Moroccan soup if only it had been thicker.

Total calorie count so far: 1433
I say so far because I’m still feeling so hungry! I’m hoping to hold myself over with a serving of kombucha at 70 calories, and some fresh fruit.

Greenlite Meals: Day 1

Well, I got off to a rough start with my Greenlite Meals today because I forgot to grab my meal menu last night, so I ended up not eating breakfast until 11am. Then I didn’t have time to eat lunch in the afternoon, so I had the snack around 2:30pm, and ate the dinner and lunch together around 7pm. Nothing was thawed ahead of time. Oops! But I made it work. Also, after breakfast I decided to keep track of calories for anyone who cares.

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The Acai Bowl w/Granola Pack didn’t look too impressive frozen, but after defrosting the fruit…

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This was actually a pretty good portion size. It was basically like a fruit soup, and it definitely needed the granola added to fill me up. One thing that threw me off is there were chia seeds in the granola, but they weren’t listed in the ingredients. I usually add chia seeds to my overnight oatmeal to help thicken it, because the chia seeds gel when they soak, so I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to add the oatmeal and let it sit or what. I just ate it 🙂

Calories: I had already tossed the package before I decided to count calories, but a similar breakfast in this meal plan has 230

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About 30 minutes later I was hungry again, so I had my snack – this little fruit bowl. I pretty much only like frozen fruit in a smoothie, this was watery and not that great, and it was a little repetitive after the acai bowl. At least I had something to hold me over for a minute.

Calories: 70

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Finally around 7pm I had time to break out a couple pans and heat the Kale Quinoa Salad that was meant to be my lunch, and the Spicy Shredded Tofu. With the tofu I was allowed to choose two sides since it was a smaller portion. A total of four sides came with the meal plan, two sides of black beans and two sides of Brussels sprouts. I went with both packs of beans.

So, the salad was great as-is. It had cranberries and almonds it, and I could smell the garlic while it cooked. I did not add a thing.
Calories: 300

The tofu also was wonderful, kind of like a buffalo tofu but not as spicy. I thought I’d mix the black beans right in, luckily I tasted them first. I hadn’t looked at the ingredients – they were *just* beans, no seasonings, no nothing. I added salt, pepper, and garlic with a little olive oil.
Calories:
100 for shredded tofu
110 x2 for two servings of black beans
120 for added olive oil

I also had a Live Soda with a total of 60 calories.

After I added it all up and realized I had only consumed a total of 1100 calories

 
I treated myself to a glass of chocolate cashew milk. It’s been an hour since the last meal now, and I’m hungry again! Think I’ll eat a banana.

Oh. Favorite of the day was the shredded tofu with black beans, once the black beans were seasoned.