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P90X Week 4 + Happy Herbivore cookbook

February 3, 2011

Hello, friends! Yeah, I’m a few days late with this post about my eats from last week, but I’ve been running myself ragged promoting my video in the Living Light 2011 Hot Raw Chef contest! Firstly, I want to say THANK YOU to those of you that have already voted for me. It means SO much to meβ€”you have no idea. Secondly, if you have not yet voted, please do head to this page and cast your vote for video #5, Chef Amber Shea’s (my) caramel-fudge brownies! Voting ends February 9th.

Last week, Matt and I finished our first month of P90X workouts. I’ve been posting about my food in a day-by-day, meal-by-meal format, but I’m getting kind of bored with that, so I’m going to change it up a little here. Instead of a chronological account of my week’s meals (which I feel has been a little repetitive), I’m just going to highlight some of the breakfasts, lunches/dinners, snacks, and desserts I ate. Cool?

Breakfasts: Smoothies (RAW), oatmeal, scrambled tofu, almond butter-banana sandwich, Fiber One with coconut milk and blueberries (above).

Lunches & dinners: Rice-fried veggies with tofu (above), homemade seitan strips (below) with homemade hummus (also below)…

…homemade “hamburger” pizza (below; for Vegan Pizza Day!)…

…and shirataki noodles with homemade “meat” sauce and roasted asparagus (below). Remember, this was our last week of protein-heavy eatingβ€”thus all the “meat.”

Snacks: Apples with almond butter (RAW) or PB2 (above), homemade nacho cheese kale chips (RAW; below).

Desserts: After getting three young coconuts at the Asian market for $1.94 (!), I happily spent Saturday afternoon coconut-hacking.

From the three coconuts, I got over a quart of fresh coconut water, and a heaping cup and a half of meat. With it, I made…

… “Just Like Grandma’s” Banana Pudding (RAW; below)β€”a recipe that’ll go in my cookbook!

Speaking of cookbooks, look what I received in the mail this week:

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes is the first cookbook from blogger Lindsay Nixon of Happy Herbivore. She focuses on lower-fat dishes, with a nice blend of cuisines and food styles, and everything is vegan.

One recipe I zeroed in on right away was her Nutty Spread, a genius mix of white beans and peanut butter (above). It may not sound awesome, but it’s really a fabulous lower-fat alternative to peanut butter.

I also made mini versions of the plain Chocolate Cupcakes (which to me seemed more like muffins than cupcakes). They were pretty tasty on their own, but adding a melty smear of nut butter is what really made them special.

I’m looking forward to trying more recipes out of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook soon!

One last note…
Please remember, if you haven’t already, to vote for me in the 2011 Hot Raw Chef contest!
CLICK HERE TO VOTE for video #5,
Chef Amber Shea Ford’s raw caramel-fudge brownies!

I appreciate it SO much!

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48 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2011 11:51 am

    I totally get you Amber. Monotony is not fun. You do what is best for you. I think it worked fine seeing your eats the way your explained them. So delicious! What seitan recipe do you use?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 11:53 am

      Good, I’m glad it’s still interesting/worth reading in either format! πŸ˜›

      As for my seitan, I’ve used a few recipes, but most recently the baked seitan loaf in Vegan on the Cheap.

  2. February 3, 2011 11:53 am

    Those delicious nibbles look really amazing!!! Keep us posted on the workout progress.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 11:55 am

      Ah yes, I do still need to do an actual update on my physical progress. So far, it hasn’t been too impressive (to me)…so I think I’m waiting until I can really see/feel a change before I talk a whole lot about it =X Wish me luck!

  3. February 3, 2011 12:01 pm

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the cookbook! The nutty spread is one of my FAVE recipes.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 1:25 pm

      Loving the book! Thanks, Lindsay πŸ˜€

  4. February 3, 2011 12:14 pm

    I’ve been cracking a few coconuts lately myself. Actually think I might go and crack one open RIGHT now!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 1:26 pm

      Hehe! DO IT! πŸ˜›

  5. February 3, 2011 12:34 pm

    The nutty spread looks amazing actually!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 1:26 pm

      It is! Very mild in flavor, but creamy and tasty.

  6. February 3, 2011 12:36 pm

    Nice to read you again!

    Looking forward to your overall impressions of how the actual process felt, remembering that it’s inevitably a long-term process… I enjoyed seeing your photos and overview of how the food routine went. Loved the look of the Happy Herbivore book too: I’ve made similar pates to the bean/nut one you showed and think it’s a great idea.

    Quick question if you have a second: I just posted yesterday that I’m out of space with my photos on blogger, and have seen that you often include photos from the web. I’ve tried and failed to do that a few times: any tips on how to do it?

    Self-promoting can be so exhausting, but it’s so worth it. I know that part of why I’ve been slowing myself down with my own writing career is because of bashfulness around that. It’s inspiring to see what you’re doing and you have a huge fan club.
    Thanks so much
    love
    Ela

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 4:57 pm

      Yes, it is a long-term process…something I continually try and remind myself of. I am not seeing or feeling the changes I thought I would be at this point, which is endlessly worrisome to me, as much as I hate to admit it. But I know I’m getting stronger, and that does count for something…

      I never did the import thing on Blogger OR WordPress, actually…instead, I have a Flickr account that, although I have to pay for it, has always been reliable.

  7. February 3, 2011 12:43 pm

    I already voted! Good luck.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 4:57 pm

      Sweet! Thanks Kate πŸ™‚

  8. February 3, 2011 1:14 pm

    The veggie fry looks so yummy!
    I need to try my hand at making some seitan strips. I need to find a good recipe first. Where did your recipe come from?
    Those muffins and that nut butter looks and sound amazing. I just put The Happy Herbivore in my wish list on Amazon yesterday. I found some great looking recipes on her website!
    Oh and those kale chips….sure wish I had some of those right now! I need to make some this weekend. The cheese you have on them makes them look even yummier!
    Question…do you do yoga? I want to incorporate yoga in my workout some way. I am so NOT limber. My muscles are so tight, and I think Yoga would really help. Just wondered if you by chance knew of a great starter dvd? The P90X yoga is to killer for me right now….ha

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 5:01 pm

      For this particular batch of seitan, I used the baked seitan loaf recipe in Vegan on the Cheap.

      Haha, funny you should ask about yoga. I have, surprisingly, stuck with the P90X yoga, every damn Thursday, even though…I HATE it! I have NEVER liked yoga (and yes, I’ve given it plenty of chances), and that one’s no exception. I am SUCH a type A personality that all slow movements and emphasis on breathing and “mindfulness” (clear my mind? When I have a to-do list to mentally write?! No way!) does little else but irritate me. I probably AM getting a little more flexible and a little stronger from that yoga, but is it worth the 90 minutes to me? Not really. Can’t wait till that crap is over! πŸ˜›

  9. February 3, 2011 3:01 pm

    I want that pudding and some kale chips! Yum!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 5:04 pm

      I think you’d love this pudding! πŸ™‚

  10. February 3, 2011 3:27 pm

    You are an inspiration for me as I begin my quest toward veganism. Love your pictures and the sources for new recipes. Particularly interested in the seitan recipe and The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 5:06 pm

      Kathleen, I’m touched! I love hearing that I’ve inspired you. You should definitely check out the Happy Herbivore cookbook!

  11. February 3, 2011 4:55 pm

    I must make some more kale chips soon! AND those seitan strips!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 5:06 pm

      I can’t get enough of the kale chips lately!

  12. February 3, 2011 7:01 pm

    1.49 each?! Dammit. They hiked up the prices here. Wholefoods sells coconuts for like 2.49 each. I’m moving to wherever the hell you are b/c California produce is clearly playing games.

    The seitan strips look amazing.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 3, 2011 10:10 pm

      Oh, no no, sir. I got THREE coconuts for a grand TOTAL of one dollar and ninety-four cents. Less than 65 cents EACH! But it was definitely NOT at Whole Foods – $2.49 is a great price compared to the $3.99 they charge here! For coconuts, it’s Asian market all the way πŸ˜€

      • February 4, 2011 12:57 am

        WHAT?! I need to hit up Monterey Park immediately. Asian markets know what’s up! I’m pumped now! thanks for the tip… now i won’t have to get a part time job to satiate my coconut addiction hahaha

        seriously though sign me up for intervention. i have a problem with coconut water. it’s ruining my life.

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        February 4, 2011 6:45 am

        Oh man, tell me about it. I can’t get enough of the stuff! And the canned/boxed stuff does NOT do it for me, it’s gotta be fresh.

        I’m feeling a little thirsty now…a certain something in the fridge is calling my name… πŸ˜‰

        • February 4, 2011 1:54 pm

          Agree that the boxed stuff doesn’t come close–and I used to climb for my own cocos! Never get them at whole foods–Asian markets are the way to go! I used to get them for less than a buck each in CA. But here in AK, they’re unavailable in my town, and in the big city, they’re about four and a half bucks _each__!!!

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          February 6, 2011 4:18 pm

          I love that you used to climb for your own coconuts! However, that must make it doubly difficult to not have easy access to them now =/

  13. February 3, 2011 7:33 pm

    sounds like a great cookbook πŸ™‚
    your foods look delicious, as always. that pudding, yum. and the rice and veggie stir fry!
    so cool that you use fresh coconuts. i’ve never handled one before hehe.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:18 pm

      I hadn’t handled fresh young coconuts till I went to 105degrees. Then I realized, wow, I had been missing out! πŸ™‚ They’re worth seeking out and trying your hand at.

  14. February 3, 2011 7:47 pm

    That Nutty Spread sounds amazing – you don’t have to try and convince me. Can’t wait to try “Just Like Amber’s Grandma’s” Banana Pudding (neither of my grandmas have ever made me banana pudding, you see) once I get my copy of your cookbook!

    Fingers and toes crossed for the competition! Do you have any idea how the votes are going? You really are the hottest of the hot, so it shall be daylight robbery if you don’t walk away with the prize. True story.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:21 pm

      Actually, it’s “Just Like Haylee’s Grandma’s” Banana Pudding, because when I first made it up at 105degrees, Haylee said it tasted exactly like her grandmother’s banana pudding used to. Although I’m sure my own grandma has made it, I’ve never had a taste of hers, so I can’t say. πŸ˜›

      Votes aren’t public, argh. There’s only 3 days left! I am more anxious than you would believe!

  15. February 4, 2011 3:37 pm

    The last two pictures… oh. my. god. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:21 pm

      Hehe! I know πŸ˜›

  16. wolfenstein permalink
    February 5, 2011 2:54 am

    i like blueberries and pizza… first Breakfasts look delious!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:22 pm

      Thanks! πŸ˜€

  17. February 5, 2011 10:02 am

    Your cupcakes look great! And that pizza! All of your food, for that matter! YUM.

    I take it Matt helps out with the cooking? I bet that’s a fun adventure for you two to take on. All that creating. πŸ™‚ if not, he better get to learning!

    Are you going to be in San Francisco this week?? I can meet you on Wednesday… I’m playing hooky that day for some other things I need to do. Let me know!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:24 pm

      Matt’s kitchen aptitude is pretty much limited to stirring pots πŸ˜› That said, he is the best dishwasher ever, and that’s far more help than I could ever ask for!

      San Fran is the 14th-18th! I’m going to email you back about it tomorrow πŸ˜‰

      • Spumoni permalink
        February 8, 2011 5:47 am

        Will you get a chance to visit Southern California, too? Don’t know if you’ve been to Au Lac, but it is the So Cal raw restaurant! We could meet there if we make reservations…. πŸ™‚

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        February 8, 2011 7:03 am

        If only! I’m dying to come back to SoCal πŸ™‚ But next week, I’m accompanying Matt on a business trip he has to take for a conference in San Fran. Sadly, it’s our only destination :/

        I’ve already heard mention of Au Lac several timesβ€”I MUST eat there someday! Matt and I both want to go back to the LA area in the not-too-distant future, so someday, it WILL happen πŸ™‚ And when it does, we’d love to dine with you there!

        • Spumoni permalink
          February 10, 2011 1:37 am

          Have a great time in SF. I’m sure we’ll hear about a meal at Cafe Gratitude perhaps? I look forward to seeing whatever you two do even if not CG.
          And when your back in the LA area let the Au Lac feasting begin!

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          February 10, 2011 6:37 am

          CafΓ© Gratitude is at the top of my list!
          And when we’re back in LA again, oh yes, Au Lac is ON! πŸ™‚

  18. February 5, 2011 8:25 pm

    I am def. going to check out that cookbook! Love your blog!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:27 pm

      Aw, thank you Adrianne! πŸ™‚

  19. February 5, 2011 10:25 pm

    I’m totally on board with the white bean + nut butter combo! I actually made a “dessert hummus” recipe a couple weeks ago that I love–white beans plus almond butter and a dash of brown sugar and cinnamon. SO tasty! Your week of eats looks awesome, as usual. How are the workouts going?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 6, 2011 4:30 pm

      Yes! When I saw it, it actually reminded me of your dessert hummus! Now I’m gonna have to take a second look at that πŸ˜‰

      The workouts are tough! It’s always a good feeling to finish one, though, and I’m hoping that invisible results are happening that I can’t yet see ::fingers crossed::

  20. May 1, 2011 9:55 am

    Oh my…so much to say! First of all, I’m really excited to see what you’ve made with the coconuts! And the peanut butter and white beans…really? It’s pretty good? Not two things I would think to put together.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 1, 2011 11:18 am

      Yup, it’s like a sweet hummus!

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