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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Big Deal!

I will be unable to write for the next week or so because I will be in BOULDER, COLORADO! I am beyond excited to start this adventure. I am going with the University if Minnesota for the NACURH 2012 Conference. (I feel like such a big deal! Only 10 students were chosen to represent the U of M and I was one! AH!) As soon as I decided to abide by a veggilicous diet, I sent a message reporting my new dietary restrictions to the conference. They told me they will have vegetarian friendly options available for all, but I am glad I double checked! One less thing to worry about. I keep thinking I am forgetting something, I so strongly dislike packing.  I am sure I will have plenty of advegtures to write about from my trip. On Thursday it will be AN ENTIRE MONTH of being a vegetarian. I am already proud of myself and happy with this choice. Eleven more months until I reach my goal of one year, but I am starting to think I will be continuing my veggie ways much longer than that !

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today marks three weeks of being a vegetarian! These three weeks have been marked with so many adventures as well as advegtures. I am discovering so much about myself as well as veggie friendly food. Its been a blast, and the advegtures have only just begun!
"An American classic-veggie-style!"

Yesterday, I had my first veggie corn dog, and today I had my first veggie hot dog. I am always shocked by how these meat-imposters taste so much like the real deal. And I thought I would miss meat! Psh! The only times I have caught myself thinking about eating some anti-veg foods have been when I was in zombie-snack mode in front of the refrigerator. We have all done it, admit it. One minute you are watching TV and the next you are blankly staring into the fridge and there is "nothing to eat." I will be stuck in a trance and think, OH! Salami! In an instance I am slamming the palm of my hand into my forehead while I remember my new found veggie-ways.
Today, I reunited with one of my close friends from my first year of college. We decided to meet in Lake Mills, WI. Its about half way in between our two towns, a perfect meeting spot. It is the cutest little lake town I have seen in a while. I arranged for us to meet at Rock Lake Park, assuming it was a beach. It wasn't. Bad research on my part! Instead of searching for an actual beach, we traveled into the adorable little town and looked for a place for lunch. We stumbled on the Water House Bistro. It had a small variety of sandwiches that sounded delicious and two veggie-options. I had the Apple & Cheese as a panini with pickles on the side. As you can probably see, the multi-grain bread was crunchy and made the sandwich delicious and filling. (From previous research I know that multi-grain bread packs in more protein than most other types of bread!) The gooey inside was cheddar and braeburn apple slices. The perfect combination. We asked where the nearest beach was, and were on our way! We then spent they day on a small beach soaking in the sun and enjoying a few refreshing breaks in the crisp and clear water. We chatted with each other, as well as this adorable older couple and a few little kiddies. It was a great day, with great company, in a great new place! I will definitely be returning to Lake Mills!

Chai Tea Cupcakes

I have a confession to make, I am absolutely obsessed with Chai Tea Lattes. Goombah introduced them to me this year at college, and ever since I've been a true addict. I drink them hot or cold. I buy them at Starbucks, Caribou, Dunn Bros, and even have mix to make them at home. If there is something with chai tea in the name, I will devoured it. That's why, this past week for her birthday I made Goombah these Chai Tea Cupcakes.

Chai Tea Cupcakes
(via the lovely, Betty Crocker)
Makes about 18 cupcakes


1 box of Betty's French Vanilla cake mix
Water and Eggs according to instructions on mix.
4 tablespoons of the crack-like instant chai tea mix
(side note- I've never experimented with crack or any other drug, but I am sure my addiction to chai tea has sarcastically similar qualities.)
Such a cute touch!

Comes with little cupcake-holder inserts
1 container vanilla frosting
1 cup vanilla baking chips 
(I got mine from Jo Ann Fabrics along with the absolutely adorable cupcake accessories)
Cinnamon (to substitute sprinkles)


1. Do everything you would normally do when making cake, preheat oven, make the mix according to the directions on the box. Funny story, I once was baking with a friend and he put 2 cups of water instead of 1 cup + 1/3 cup water. He was looking at the pictures instead of reading the box. If you want cupcakes instead of a sludgy warm mess I suggest you read carefully.
2. Put the chai mix into the cake mix. Yes, it really is that easy.
3. Put them in the oven, bake as directed on the box. 
4. Stay near your kitchen because the aroma from these cupcakes as they are baking in heavenly.
5. Let your cupcakes cool
6. Put the vanilla baking chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave them first for 30 seconds. Stir. Then in microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until all of the chips are completely melted. Immediately add frosting to melted chips and stir. Put mixture into either a pastry bag, or if you aren't a fancy-pants baker you can plop the frosting into a plastic bag. Seal the bag and then cut one of the corners off. 
7. Make a cute little swirl of frosting on your cupcake by squeezing the make-shift pastry bag so that the frosting comes out the corner you snipped. I prefer less frosting on my cupcakes, but put as much as you want.
8. Sprinkle a wee little bit of cinnamon on the tops.
9. Smell the cupcakes. They smell almost as good as they taste. 
10. Put my last statement to the test and devour them. 

I hope you enjoy them as much as Goombah and I did!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Biker Babe

So along with deciding to become a veggaholic, I pledged to myself that I would commit to being, overall, a healthier person.
 (With that being said, my next blog is going to be a cupcake recipe. I said I was trying to be healthier, one can't just let go of a good cupcake!)

Back on topic, I decided that I would not trap myself inside my house this summer! I went out (with The Dad!) and got a brand spankin' new hybrid Schwinn beautiful bike from everybody's favorite place -- TARGET! I have been so thrilled with it and have gone on many a bike-rides so far. I am turning into a true biker babe.
 My Goombah and I went to go on a ride the other day, it ended up being, for lack of a better term, a tragic fail of epic proportions. Her tires were flat, her riding skills were rusty. Lets just say one of us has a few scrapes on our knees from falling off of the bike, and its not me! We were going to go on this great trail, but it will be saved for another time!

Instead of biking, we drove to the Pewaukee Beach and soaked in the sun for a bit. I have to admit, the beach is one of my favorite parts about the summer. It is just so relaxing!
We then decided to get a Ponza Rotta from Jimmy's Grotto. If you live in south eastern Wisconsin, you should really try it out. We got a Veggie Ponza to split.(Again, so much for trying to be healthy!) Continuing on our trail of fails for the day, we walked out of Jimmy's without napkins nor silverware. We drove to Fox River Park, and embarked on eating our delicious meal with our fingers. To say this was impossible is an understatement. We took turns taking bites, until our the insides of the ponza were escaping the corners of the crust until finally the gooey veggie insides were completely out of the to-die-for shell. We continued to munch until there was nothing left but a sad pile of cheese, and wiped our hands on the make shift napkin-the picnic table we were dining at. (My hand still kind of smell like Veggie Ponza. I am not complaning.)
Evidence of the veggie explosion.
We then decided to go on a little jaunt along the Fox River, and stumbled upon one of the best things about summer in Waukesha, the Badgerland Ski Show team! They were only practicing and I could barely keep my jaw from slamming into the ground in awe. I definitely need to go to one of their shows this summer!

So maybe it wasn't the most perfect day, but it was definitely a great advegture with my Goombah.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Asian Apple "Chick'n" Sandwich

My first recipe! Yay!
Made with:

5-6 pieces grilled Gardein Chick'n
1/4 thinly sliced apple
2-3 leaves of artisan lettuce
1 tablespoon of Asian toasted sesame dressing
1/4 loaf whole wheat french baguette 
& some home-grown vegetarian love.

 Instructions for the sandwich-creating impaired:

1.  Grill the Chick'n. I used our George Foreman grill. They are fairly thin, so this shouldn't take more than a few minutes. I like to get a couple burnt sections on them, to add a little more flavor
2. Cut yourself a nice section of the baguette. (I, having quite freakishly small hands, keep my sandwich sizes rather small so that I can hold them with ease.) Split you can put the yummy-ness in the mdidle.
3. Cut the apple into thin slices. Make sure they'll still pack a nice crunch, but you don't have to chomp too hard to bite through them. When you've placed enough apple on your sandwich, you can either cut the rest into fry-style pieces, or lather some lemon juice on the cut side (to keep it from browning) and put it in the fridge for later!
4. Get a few leaves of lettuce. Rip them into sandwich-appropriate sizes.
5. Put all of the yummy-ness on the bottom half slice of your bread. I skillfully layer my insides: lettuce, apple, chicken. But any order is acceptable.
6. Pour some o' that Asian dressin' over the insides. I used Kraft's Low-Fat Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing.(pictured on the right.) I am sure any other sesame dressing would taste just as delish!
7. Put your top on. Top of the bread, obviously
8. Eat it. Enjoy it. Duh!

I ate it with steamed split peas. They are obviously healthier than french fries, but can be eaten as finger foods the same way.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! YUM! Won't miss meat when you are eating food like this!

OH! I almost forgot. IT HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN 2 WEEKS OF VEGETARIANISM. 50 more to go!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What The Chick'n?

First off, I'd like to thank anyone who is reading this for doing so! I have had viewers from the UK, Russia, and Germany, which I am very excited about! Danke für Ihre Meinung! Vegetarier sind genial! And also, Благодарю вас за ваше мнение! Вегетарианцы являются удивительными! If that doesn't make any sense, blame google translate! Its suppose to say- "Thank you for the views! Vegetarians are awesome!" 

Continuing on with the vegetarianism, my first few meals at home have been a success. Last night I ate my first Boca Burger. Honestly, it was nothing like I expected, in a good way! It tasted similar to a turkey burger. I will definitely be eating more of those! 

So, what I really am writing about today is Gardein. On the very long car ride back from school The Mom suddenly brought up, "I got you some fake chicken nuggets" 
I immediately questioned this, something seemed suspicious. "Fake chicken nuggets? What are they even made of?" 
"I don't know, soy and tofu and junk probably." The Mom replied.
 I was scared, she bought them without even looking at ingredients? "Yikes" I thought to myself. But today, those fake chicken nuggets were put to the test. 

I brought said "fake chicken nuggets" out from the freezer and scanned the packaging for greater detail on what exactly these nugget imposters were. Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n was the title of the nuggets, and "I'm Meat-Free!" was exclaimed on the packaging. Still, I was not completely sold. I checked the ingredient list. No meat. Just regular vegetarian-friendly things like soy, quinoa, and other protein filled, vegga-licious ingerdients. 
I took a few out of the bag, and stir-fried them over the stove top. In minutes they were crispy and golden brown. I then put them into the provided mandarin orange sauce, and topped some organic mixed greens with them. DELICIOUS! It may have been even better than regular chicken. I dropped some onto the floor (ops!) and my dog, Dusty, came running into the room. He was begging for me to drop more! 
To conclude, Gardein's Chick'n is Bibbit (& Dusty) Approved!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Week!

Hatas gonna hate!
ITS BEEN A WEEK! So far I haven't even thought about grabbing a meat-dish to eat! I've eaten lots of vegan/tofu items from the dining hall. I don't even feel like I am missing out on good food. My friends have been split in supporting me, or doubting me. For whatever reason, certain individuals think that I will not last a month, let alone a year. Just makes me strive to prove them wrong!
I am a little bit nervous that its going to be harder to stay veggie-strong at home. I'll be making my own meals, unless The Mom is feeling generous. I know that at times, simply grabbing meat-filled-meal may seem easier. My plan is to use my free time to experiment with easily-made vegetarian meals. I love cooking, and if I can create yummy creations to opt out of instead, I think I'll be more than OK for the summer!

I'll miss you, Broccoli Cheddar.
It will also be difficult at home with everyone always wanting to go out. Usually my friends and I would go to Bdubs or Panera to munch and catch-up. Panera has some options for vegetarians, but my favorite soup- broccoli cheddar- is made with chicken stock. I'll have to keep optimistic and remind myself that now I have a reason to try new things. I've always gotten the same thing at Panera, and it will be great to see what else they have to offer. Bdubs though, that will be a problem. Nothing is better than a Honey BBQ boneless wing with ranch and celery. Unfortunately, Bdubs has a very limited amount of menu items without meat. I will definitely have to look around for fun vegetarian-friendly & college-inexpensive items to try.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Dove & Tofu

Almost healthy, right?
Ate a few Dove® Milk & White Chocolate Swirl things, they were SO DELICIOUS! I could never go vegan, I would miss milk chocolate way too much! Plus, they had 2g of protein per 5 pieces. Maybe not the healthiest way to get protein, but it was still a great end to my day. Today at the dining hall, I had tofu curry, it wasn't so bad, but I'll be honest...I'm not the biggest fan of tofu. I think it may just be that the dining hall doesn't know how to cook it correctly. It's just mushy and gross. I will have to search how to make tofu so I can try to make it better at home. Veggie Day #4=SUCCESS!
Dove®, you are too sweet!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Mom

Talked to The Mom. As the phone began to rang I paced the closet-like space of my dorm room.
 "Hello" said The Mom.
 I carried on our usual conversation, "What did you do this week, anything exciting?"
As I listened to her I tried to think of a good way to put it. I had talked about being a vegetarian before, and The Mom had never be exceptionally welcoming to the idea. We talked about our weeks for about a half hour. Then the moment came, a lull in the conversation. I knew this was my time.
^not sure how that #1 got there. GO VEGETARIANS! WOO!
I knew I had to speak the words that I had been repeating in my head throughout the day, "Mom...I've been thinking..I am gonna try to be a vegetarian this year."
 Silence. My stomach dropped to my knees.
"I am not making you any damn special meals." The Mom snapped.
 I knew she would say that, I was more than prepared. "Oh I know, Mom, I would be more than willing to make my own meals, I just wanted to make sure you would support me and, you know, buy me like cottage cheese, and veggie burgers and what not. Would that be ok?"
"I actually bought veggie-burgers today! They were on sale" said The Mom.
I knew at that moment that she was OK with it. I told her about my research, and my successful 80 grams of protein day. The Mom continued to talk about how the burgers were on sale. My mission was complete. My vegetarian announcement was placed on Facebook and Twitter. 14 likes and counting thank you very much!


I have always been interested in good nutrition. Recently, I had been noticing that due to the hectic college life, my "diet" had become full of unhealthy fried food and pizza. I knew that a change must be made if I wanted to continue to live a healthy lifestyle.

 Like a true aspiring journalist, I researched vegetarianism until I decided it was worth the challenge of not eating meat. I went on sites like this one and decided to become a lacto-ovo vegetarian. This means I will simply refuse to consume the flesh of animal. (I couldn't believe it had taken me 19 years to realize how grotesque eating meat really is, the flesh of animals=gross!) I've never really been the biggest fan of meat anyways. I don't find steak particularly appetizing and I absolutely detest bacon. So I figured why not save a few animals and say NO! to meat! 

Then it began! I researched more, finding out how much protein was vital to good nutrition. I calculated my minimum daily protein level by multiplying my body weight ( 140lbs slightly terrifying putting this online!) times .37 and figured that my daily minimum is approx. 52 grams of protein per day. I CAN DO THIS!

So, I continued by tracking down what I ate. (pictured below) I used this nutrition information site to find out exactly how many grams of protein were in the food I ate, and how many calories were in each item as well.  At the end of the day, I had eaten 80g of protein, well above my minimum, and it was only around 1500 calories! I knew then, that this feat would not be as impossible as I had imagined!

  I was driving my friends a little bit crazy. "OMG! There's 25g of protein in cottage cheese" or "These bread slices have 5g of protein each." They all we're responding with, "Why should we care?!"  Which prompted me to express my new found love of veggie-ness on this blog, where maybe 5 people may read it...OH WELL!

 Because I will be spending the summer at home, today I will be calling my mother, like I do every Sunday, and break the news that I have embarked on a mission of a meat-free life. I am crossing my fingers, and toes, and eyes, and legs, and I might find a rabbit foot, possibly I'll find a four-leaf clover..that she will accept my new found diet of life and help me to achieve my goal of one year of veggie-hood-dum. If not, this could be a summer for the record books...