…Tumblr. Please follow me at The Balanced Bicyclist. I’ve decided to start using blogger because of all the trouble I’ve been having with Tumblr.
It’ll also let me do more customizing, and I’m really excited to be able to develop my blog over there.
If you’re not following me, please consider checking out my new blog. The content will be pretty much the same, but hopefully even better now that I’ll have a lot more free time to put into my blog.
Thanks so much! I hope you decide to stick around!
Ahh, Sweet Success!
I finally made an awesome nut butter!
The secret: Patience! I let this blend in my food processor for almost 15 minutes before it was the right consistency.
Mmmm, almond butter. All I used for this was ~1.5 cups raw almonds. So simple and delicious.
I gave my food processor quite the workout today. Before this a tried a new hummus recipe that I wanted to try before making it for my graduation open house and Christmas party next weekend. I had to make sure it was good, of course. I’ll post the recipe soon :)
Speaking of graduation, I officially only have 4 final exams standing between me and my diploma. I think I’m more excited to go home next weekend to see my family then to be done. It won’t sink in that it’s all over for awhile, I’m sure. I’m just really looking forward to some quality family time; we haven’t been home since August!
Well now that I made a mess in the kitchen, again, I’d better go clean it up before the Husband gets home. He doesn’t like messes!
Why Hello Again
Hi Blog Friends-
I’m sorry again for my absence. I had a good post planned for Sunday, but Tumblr was down so I couldn’t get it out. Now I’m too
lazy busy to put it together.
I’m working like crazy to finish my last 8 days of college! I only have 6 classes left, 1 paper to write, and 5 finals to take until I’m finished!
And… I’m going to graduate Magna Cum Laude! That’s the 2nd highest honor :) I was doing a bit of figuring with my GPA, and I’ll either graduate with a 3.78 or 3.8. Yay! Not that GPA really matters too much, but it would help me get into Grad School should I want to in the future.
Well I must get going to me last crazy Wednesday. I’m so glad to be done with these almost 12 hour days!
I’ll leave you with a picture of my oh so sleepy kitty, Hazel.
I just love her little red jingle bell!
Have a wonderful day!
Tacos and Banana “Ice Cream”
Today started out with a freezing cold 5k Jingle Bell race.
I was happy to be done- and even happier that Dillon was waiting at the finish with coffee for me :)
It was cold! My hair was frosty- weird.
Overall it was a good race. It was icy and windy for the first half, but it was a good experience. 5K’s are really tough if you run really hard the whole time. I always underestimate them, but they really can be hard!
Moving on to our delicious dinner tonight..
I made tacos! I made these not too long ago, and they were so good that I was craving them again.
This meatless ground is wonderful! I definitely think I could food meat-eaters with this.
Heat it up in a frying pan just like I used to do with ground beef- except its already cooked, so it just needs to get hot. Next time I think I’ll mix in some chopped onion and green pepper.
While that’s warming up, pre-heat your oven to 375°.
Then mix in the taco seasoning per the package instructions.
I drank some of this while the sauce was thickening! This has become one of my favorites!
When the “meat” and sauce thickens up, scoop into corn tortillas and sprinkle in your choice of cheese. I used Dayia.
Then roll it and place the fold side down on a greased baking sheet.
Cute little tacos :)
Bake them at 375° for about 15 minutes. Then I broil them on lo for about 2 minutes to get them brown and crunchy - watch closely though because they burn quickly when broiling!
While baking, I grabbed Dillon a beer because I’m a good wife :) We both really like this one, too! Nice and dark.
Perfectly done- just browning and crispy on the top.
Served over some spinach to get some greens in. The definitely aren’t super nutrient rich, but they are very delicious! I had mine topped with some salsa and vegan sour cream.
I’ve always loved tacos, and this a great way to fulfill my taco cravings. Though not full of veggies, its still rather healthy. To be honest, I was craving cheap bar food and this did the trick to suit that need! A much better choice than bar food, for sure :)
To finish off, I wanted something chocolate! So I decided to make some chocolate banana “ice cream.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about this before, so it’s nothing new. It’s just 100X better now that I have a food processor.
I just put about 2 frozen bananas along with 1.5 tsp cocoa powder and a splash of soymilk into the food processor. (for 2 servings)
And it turns into creamy “ice cream.”
I topped it with some vegan chocolate chips for good measure! This is so good that I’m not sure I’ll need to go back to regular ice cream. Dillon and I were coming up with so many fun variations to try in the future. I can’t wait to experiment :)
After this delicious supper, we headed to a hockey game that ended in a shoot out! It was pretty exciting.
Now I’m all tuckered out and need to get some shut-eye.
I hope the first half of your weekend was wonderful :) Today was busy (but lots of fun!), and I’m excited for a lazy Sunday!
Frozen Running and TVP
I’m still here; I’ve just been really busy lately finishing school and working hard. My eating habits slipped a bit, so I’m refocusing and trying some new things!
First off- today I went on a run outside. In 14° weather, 2° windchill. 3.1 miles. 30:13 time. It was one of the best runs I’ve had in so long! It was cold, but after about 10 minutes I warmed up and felt amazing! I’ve run a little of 20 miles this week, so even though my eating slipped a bit, I amped up my workouts to balance it out :) I think it’s the stress.. running is a great stress reliever!
So how does one dress for running in the cold?
Like This! I’m wearing running tights, a wicking tank, a wicking and fleece pullover, along with a headband and gloves. I like to wear shorts over the tights to add some fun color :) When I started out, I kind of wished I was wearing a long sleeve shirt under the pullover, but after I was out for awhile I was happy with what I was wearing.
I wasn’t going to run today since I’m doing a 5K race tomorrow, but I got the pullover yesterday and wanted to try it out before the race! It was a success for sure :)
I get all of my running gear from Target. I love the C9 by Champion brand that’s sold there. It’s way more affordable than say, Under Armour or Nike, but still good quality.
I’m hoping the race tomorrow will go well. It’s just for fun, as I’m doing it with some people from school/work, but we’re supposed to get another 3-7 inches of snow tonight, so I’m worried the streets won’t be very clear! I’m sure it’ll be fun either way.
I got up early today to get some more groceries. Dillon and I went yesterday to Walmart, and then realized they don’t really carry much of the food we eat. Oops! So I went this morning, and one of the new things I got to try way Textured Vegetable Protein. I wanted to try to make sort of a “tuna” salad with it.
I’ve also never tried Vegenaise before, though I’ve never been a huge fan of mayonnaise except in tuna salad and on turkey sandwiches.
What I did:
Re-hydrated the TVP per the package instructions.
Almost a full cup of veggie broth and 1 cup TVP.
Bring the broth to a boil and add TVP and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Then I mixed in about 2.5 Tbsp of Vegenaise along with 1/4 of an onion, chopped, and seasoned with some pepper and garlic powder.
All mixed up! It kind of looks like tuna salad.
Served on sprouted grain bread, spinach, and asparagus along with a carrot, some pretzels, a clementine, and my beloved Kombucha tea :)
All in all, this was pretty good. A little strange, and it didn’t taste much like tuna. I’m excited to eat some of the leftovers because I think I might like it better cold. I also want to try to make a grilled cheese using Dayia and this mixture. So many ideas, so little time!
Now I need to go clean up the kitchen before I head to work. I have this weekend off! Hooray! I’m excited to run the 5K, participate in a Flash Mob at our local mall with my Concert Choir friends, and then go to a hockey game with my husband! And that’s all just on Saturday! It’s going to be a busy, but fun weekend!
I hope you had a great week!
On Thanksgiving, we spent our evening decorating for Christmas. I’m a total Christmas-a-holic, and get so excited every year to decorate!
I always decorate the cupboards in the kitchen. This goes back to a childhood tradition, and I just can’t give it up. Dillon thinks its kind of weird.
I got some awesome decorations last year for Christmas (Thanks, Sommer!), and we especially love there napkin holders.
We had to put some decorations on our bikes :)
My mom made the elves! Aren’t they cute?!
Our Stockings! We decorated these during our first Christmas living together in 2008.
The nativity scene it very important, of course.
Our entertainment set up. I love the elf on the corner!
And the tree!
We got married 2 days after Christmas in 2008, so we have all these cute wedding ornaments that we got from family members. I love them all!
Sorry it’s not pictures of food. I’ll try to get back to that.
I hope you had a great holiday weekend. I did! It was very productive as well which will help make the next few weeks less stressful :)
The end of school is near! And so is Christmas!!
My Thanksgiving Meal in Pictures
Mmm, everything, except the Hippie Loaf, was delicious!
For the recipes, go here.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday! I know I did :)
Happy Thanksgiving to Me!
Look what I bought today..
I finally caved and bought a food processor. Dillon and I have been talking about it for awhile, and I just couldn’t resist anymore. This one is pretty middle of the line ($50), but it works great!
What did it make on it’s maiden voyage?
Well hummus, of course! You might not see how addicted I am to the stuff on here, but I eat it everyday.
So I gathered my ingredients,
And got to work!
I didn’t follow any certain recipe, I just used the can of chickpeas, 1/4 cup of the chickpea water, about 1 1/2 Tbsp of tahini, and a bit of lemon juice and olive oil. I tasted as I went to get the mix that I liked.
I love this machine already.
Of course I had to try it on a pretzel… I’m also addicted to these lately. This combo really can’t be beat :)
I put it into a 2 cup pyrex container, and it was FULL!
Bye, bye $4, overly packaged hummus. I’m going to enjoy my cheap, homemade stuff from now on!!
I cleaned the processor and began to deal with these..
Raw cashews! I over a pound and a half of them. I measured out about 1 cup, and put the processor back to work :)
And in about a minute I had this! All I did was add about 1/4 cup of water. It’s a little thick, but I like it!
I didn’t make too much because I wanted to make sure I like it first! I think next time I’ll thin it out a bit and maybe add some cinnamon! Mmm, I can’t wait.
I hope I get good at making nut butters because I love them, but they are so expensive! These cashews were about $12, which is just $4 more than a jar a cashew butter. I think I could make this 3-4 more times with the cashews I have left.
Well this is going to come in handy for my meal tomorrow. I can’t wait.
Hope you’re having a great day before Thanksgiving! If you’re traveling, please be safe! We have a nasty storm here in the Dakotas - my school was even canceled today so students could get home before it gets any worse.
Wishing you safe travels and a wonderful holiday ~
Kasey’s Vegan Thanksgiving Menu
Hello! I thought I would share with you my competed menu for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I’m really excited to cook up a storm on Thursday - Now all I have to do is grocery shop! :)
I’ll post pictures from the meal over the weekend. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
White Bean and Spinach Salad
3 cups cooked white navy beans (from 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed)
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cups tightly packed fresh spinach leaves (about 1/4 pound), tough stems removed
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
In a large mixing bowl combine beans and onion. Slice spinach into thin ribbons and add to the beans. In a separate small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar and Italian seasoning. Pour dressing over the bean mixture and stir to combine all ingredients. Serve immediately or chill until ready to use.
Serves 4-6 *For the 2 of us I will 1/2 this recipe
Pumpkin Garlic Butter Knots
1/2 cup very warm water
2 tsp instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp dried herbs (I used mixed basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)
1 & 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
Herbed garlic spread w/ Parmesan cheese
2-3 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp vegan parmesan cheese
In a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, dried herbs). In a smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (syrup, pumpkin, olive oil). Once those are mixed quickly add in your very warm water and mix well. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well. When the mixture becomes too dry to stir, place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 2-3 minutes until it comes together into a ball. You will need to add quite a bit of flour since the dough is quite sticky from the pumpkin. When the dough is no longer tacky to touch (but not dried out), place it into an oiled bowl with olive oil and gently cover the dough in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise for 2 hours.
After 1 and a half hours, grab your pizza stone if you have one, and preheat it in the oven at 450F. If you don’t have a pizza stone, grab a baking sheet and line it with a non-stick mat or parchment. If you are using a pizza stone, grab a Peel and sprinkle on cornmeal. After 2 hours, take your dough, punch out the air, and lay it on a floured surface. Gently press it out so that it forms a small rectangle and then take a pizza roller and cut strips approx. 1/2-3/4” width by 6-8 inches in length. You can make them any size you want though! I had to play around with it for a bit to see what I liked. Grab a strip and make it into a knot. You can tuck the ends back into the centre or leave them hanging (I left them hanging).
Place the knots onto the Peel OR onto the baking sheet. Once you have all your knots made, place into the oven at 450F for about 11-12 minutes until slightly golden on the top. Spread on the herbed garlic spread with a pastry brush or add all ingredients into a bowl and toss. Serve immediately. I didn’t have to tell you that right? Makes approx. 14 small knots. You can also double this recipe and freeze half of the dough for later.
15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
1 whole onion, diced
2 whole garlic cloves, minced
1 whole carrot, minced
2 whole celery stalks, minced
1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 tbsp italian seasoning
3 tbsp brown rice flour
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a standard bread pan and set aside. Mash black beans in a large bowl and combine all ingredients until evenly combined. Transfer to pan and pat down firmly and tightly using a spatula. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, until firm and browned on the outside. Allow the loaf to cool and firm up before serving, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
5 medium red potatoes
1/3-1/2 cup soymilk
2-3 tbsp Earth Balance
Boil potatoes until they easily break with a fork. Drain and beat potatoes with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Add milk and beat for 4 minutes on high. Beat in the Earth Balance and any extra milk you need. Salt and pepper to taste.
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp tamari
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp tahini
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp agave nectar
2 tbsp olive oil
In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. In a pot on medium to high heat, add mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and stir frequently to thicken. Remove from heat and serve. Add additional agave, water, or vinegar if needed to adjust taste.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
1 heaping cup pureed pumpkin
1.25 cups almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole-grain Kamut (or whole wheat) flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
Spiced Butter Cream Frosting (without almond milk)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. In a small bowl mix together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside. In a mixer, mix together the Earth Balance and sugars until fluffy.
Now add in the heaping cup of pumpkin, molasses, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, spices, baking powder + soda, and salt).
Grab the almond milk mixture and slow add about 1/3 of it to the mixer. Mix for a few seconds, stop and now add some dry ingredients. Alternate until everything is mixed well. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
Now grab your baking sheets and scoop 1-2 tbsp of dough onto the sheet, making sure to leave about 1.5 inches between each cookie. Once you have scooped all your dough onto the pan, wet fingers very well and gently smooth out the dough into a round circle and flatten slightly. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect!
Bake for about 9-10 minutes and remove from oven, allowing to cool. While cooling, mix your spiced buttercream icing (make sure not to add the almond milk or it will be too runny!). In a baggie or a piping bag, pipe on a thick coating of icing onto one cookie/pie and then take another cookie/pie and press over top. Repeat for all whoopie pies. Makes 12-30 whoopie pies depending on how big you make them.
Spiced Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter Stick, softened
1 3/4 cup icing sugar (aka: confectioner’s sugar)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (yes, a full tablespoon!)
1 tbsp almond milk (as needed to thin out to desired consistency)
Whip the Earth Balance with a mixer until smooth. Now add half of the icing sugar and blend well, stopping to scrape the side of bowl as needed. Now add in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and almond milk (if needed). Mix well. Add in the remaining icing sugar and blend for several minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once the Gingerbread has fully cooled, spread on the icing using a wet spatula.
Maple Pecan Bites
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold Earth Balance, cut into slices
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cream (I’m going to sub for soymilk plus a bit more Earth Balance)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar and salt. Cut in the six tablespoons cold butter with your fingers, working the mixture together until crumbs form. Press shortbread into a nine inch pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden. Remove hot crust from oven and set aside.
In a small saucepot, melt the remaining butter (four tablespoons). Add the brown sugar, maple syrup and soymilk and whisk well. Simmer for one minute while whisking continuously. Add the pecans and pour into the hot crust.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let cool for half an hour—this gives the bars a chance to harden.
Serves 20 bars
More Mac and Chreese
Here was my lunch/supper (Lupper, as my mom and I used to call it..)
Delicious comfort food on this snowy day that begins a very stressful short week :)
I’m off to listen to some more Christmas music while working on some of the 10-thousand things I need to get done by the end of the short week… Ugh.