Happily Meatless Friday

TGIF!!!

No one guessed my top 5-10 countries on my last post, but I’m going to tell you anyways.

Here are my top 5-10 countries:

6. Netherlands

7. Norway

8. Ireland

9. Germany

10. Finland

Click here to view my top 1-5 countries for The Chic Life visitors.

I can’t believe France isn’t in my top 10!! I’m only sad because I minored in French in college and France is the only country I’ve visited outside of the states (besides the Bahamas).

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So as you guys know, I typically do bagels on Fridays for Bagel Day Friday. Since I’ve started trying extra hard to give whole grains a priority in my eats, I desire bagels less and less. I mean, I still think they’re tasty, but they definitely don’t keep me as full as long as whole grains.

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My new fave is whole wheat roll egg sammies in lieu of bagel breakfast sandwiches.

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Since I WFH today, I had time to cook up some eggs for breakfast for me and hubby, so I made some WW egg sliders with cheese and parsley. Plus 1/2 an organic orange on the side.

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Plus part of a homemade granola bar.

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I got started on Project Hydrate a little earlier than normal with some cold water.

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Then, Fran reminded me that fresh citrus is delish in water, so I put a sliced orange in my next cup of water. I don’t think it was as good as lemon, lime (or cucumber – ok, that’s not citrus but it tastes good) would have been. Plus a yerba mate latte.

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Bailey was lounging on the couch so oddly today.

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He was laying on top of two pillows so he was like 4 inches off the couch. :lol:

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More water!

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I heated up some roasted tomato + black bean soup, which I had stowed away in the freezer. I heated the soup stovetop on a low heat while I was on a phone conference.

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Mmm…CARBS! I love them! Do you avoid carbs?

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Water is so much more fun to photograph with something in it.

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The weather was pretty blah today. Gray skies galore.

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I snacked on some Chic Energy Bites in Cheerful Cherry. They tasted like candy! I’m always surprised how sweet dates are!

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A little later on I fueled up for zumba with another homemade granola bar and another Cheerful Cherry bite.

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I was super stressed by the time the day was over, so I danced off my frustrations at ZUMBA! One fabulous hour of Zumba!

I stayed after class and played with choreography with some of the other instructors. I think we may have choreographed Bad Romance by Lady Gaga!!! I’ve been wanting do this song in class for months now and have been playing with some choreo and now I finally got around to showing someone the choreography I had. We made some tweaks and will probably change it some more, but I’m feeling optimistic. :D

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Aria protein shake post workout.

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Hubby picked up a bottle of wine for us – redtree cabernet sauvignon, plus…

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…take out from my fave Mediterranean restaurant.

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I got the Vegetarian Combo.

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Hummus, pickled veggies, potatoes.

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Taboulleh, falafel.

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Spinach pie.

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Fattoush, yalanji (stuffed grapeleaf).

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Pita bread, red wine.

With a meal like this, I’m not even missing the meat! So, so good! Totally hit the spot! I’m happily meatless this Friday. :D

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Baklava.

Man, I’ve had some good eats today! Yum Yum!

Project Hydrate Day #5

After learning my lesson yesterday, I tried even harder to get my liquids in for Project Hydrate.

Consumed:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 protein shake (made with about 1-1 1/2 cups of water)
  • 1 hot tea

So, I hit my goal today of 8 cups…however, I also worked out for an hour and boy was it HOT in there tonight! I sweat a lot. I think I should have had at least a glass or two of water to make up for the sweat, so technically, I think I only hit 6 cups. Doh! But, still, I’m going to call this a WIN for today because I still did better than I normally do. Win…yup! :)

Tidbits

Did you see that my Meatless 4 Lent (M4L) Guest Post series kicked off today? I know a lot of people are looking for vegetarian recipes for Fridays right now, but why not try some vegan ones, too?

Click here to see our first guest poster – the one and only Veggie Girl who shares her best ever vegan blondie recipe – click to view (and like you didn’t know but she’s kind of famous for them!)

Anyone want to guess what my top 5 states are for The Chic Life blog visitors?

Phew! So much to do this weekend…busy busy! Trying bridesmaids dresses on tomorrow…yea yea!

Reader Question: Did anyone else go meatfree for Lent today? Maybe you just don’t eat meat anyways? What did you eat?

M4L Guest Post: Veggie Girl’s White Chocolate Coconut Almond Blondies

Most of you know that I gave up meat for Lent this year. But all who participate in Lent must also give up meat every Friday of Lent. With so many going meatless on Fridays, I thought I’d pull together a collection of guest posts with some great meatless food ideas. I thought I’d take it a step further to not only get vegetarian ideas, but some pescatarian and vegan ones, too! If you’re participating in Lent, why not try a vegan dish or two for your meatless days? They’re tasty and fun. :)

Our first Meatless 4 Lent (M4L) Guest Post comes from the fabulous Veggie Girl! Veggie Girl is known for her amazing vegan blondies and she shares her best batch ever with The Chic Life readers today: White Chocolate Coconut Almond Blondies!!! I’m drooling looking at her photo below…yum yum yum! Take it away Veggie Girl!

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While reading the latest (February 2009) issue of Vegetarian Times magazine, I stumbled upon a recipe for White Chocolate Blondie Bites – I immediately thought to myself, “How perfectly tantalizing do those sound??” and proceeded to bookmark the recipe.

Since the original recipe is neither vegan nor gluten-free (gee thanks, Vegetarian Times, haha), I checked to make sure that I had my “usual substitution” ingredients on-hand; and I also wanted to make sure that I had the “add-in” ingredients listed in the original recipe as well.

Let’s see… white chocolate chips (a vegan version, of course)?? Check. Sliced almonds?? Check. Shredded Coconut?? Ch…

Wait, no check. I was extremely unpleased to discover that I did not have shredded coconut on-hand (grr!!) – what was I to do about this??

After much thought, I finally came up with a fun, slightly-daring substitute for the shredded coconut: I used a Coconut Cream Pie flavor Larabar instead!! Oh yes, I really did.

Once I gathered all of the necessary ingredients, I set off to my kitchen in order to veganize and “gluten-free-ize” the original recipe.

By the end of my baking adventure, I had created a batch of…

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White Chocolate-Coconut-Almond Blondies. These chewy, luscious, dense blondies were bursting with flavor – especially from the rich white chocolate chips, tender almond slices, and chunks of the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar. Pure bliss in an 8″x8″ pan, if you ask me.

And now for the “taste-tester” reviews:

My parents simply declared that these blondies “must be made again – they are by far the best batch yet!!”; and here is what The Co-Worker thought:

**Here is The Co-Worker’s official review of the White Chocolate-Coconut-Almond Blondies**:

“It’s a coffee cake… it’s a bar… it’s a snack…

No it’s dessert! It’s the white chocolate-coconut-almond blondie!

It tastes like all of the prior mentioned “blondie treats.” It doesn’t weigh you down with too much sweetness.

It’s a light, fluffy treat… that you could enjoy with morning coffee, as dessert after a fine meal, or as an afternoon pick me up.

I loved the coconut which really was the exclamation point to a wonderful treat!”

Since these blondies were obviously quite favorable among my “taste-testers” and myself, I feel that the recipe is “share-worthy” – so here you go!! Please let me know what you think/if you try it!!:

VeggieGirl’s White Chocolate-Coconut-Almond Blondies

(**Adapted from the White Chocolate Blondie Bites recipe from the February 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine**)

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat an 8″x8″ baking pan with nonstick cooki ng spray.

In a large bowl, add in the “yogurt,” canola oil, turbinado sugar, vanilla extract, and molasses. Mix well.

In the same bowl, add in the flour, baking soda, white chocolate chips, sliced/slivered almonds, and Larabar chunks. As the mixture starts to thicken up/combine, add as much nondairy “milk” as you need (but not too much) so that the batter is mixable.

Pour mixture into the 8″x8″ baking pan (coated generously with nonstick cooking spray).

Bake for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean.

Makes 16 blondies.

**Note: If you happen to have shredded coconut on-hand, then feel free to substitute that for the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar.

Considering how much I adore blondies, I really must continue to emphasize just how significant it is that this batch was labeled as “the best one yet.”

I look forward to baking more batches of these goodies very soon – perhaps in my ample free time…

HA!! I can only hope ;-)

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Thank you so much Veggie Girl for sharing your recipe with us! And if you want some more fabulous vegan blondie ideas, click here for some vegan blondie inspiration and recipes. Or, just click here to see Veggie Girl’s latest posts.

Check back for more M4L Guest Posts coming at you for Lent. :)

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