Gothic Granola

Tag Archives: Cereal

Hippie-dippy Lentil Loaf

OMG! It’s a hippie lentil loaf!

lentil loaf vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Miriam at Mouthwatering Vegan created this Epic Veggie Loaf. I have nothing to add other than my substitutions:

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bundt Cake – Vegan and Gluten-Free!

Regular Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal is not vegan and gluten-free. HOWEVER, Van’s makes a reasonably close VGF alternative, Cinnamon Heaven. I reviewed this cereal last year. TC challenged me to make a coffee cake with cinnamon toast crunch.

cinnamon toast crunch bundt cake vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Pinterest yielded several recipes, precious few from scratch. For my junior paper on diets and religion, I picked up a series of essays on women and food, and I recall one that was elaborating on why women in the ’50s felt pressured to “do it all”: keeping the perfect house, dressing neatly, managing the children, and making dinners with all the new electric gadgets and convenience foods. That drive to use convenience foods is why I find some 1950’s cookbooks gross (et tu, ridiculous Sunset cookbook in my grandparents’ home library). I think the essay was from this book?

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Vegan “Mayo” and Coleslaw

When my parents gave me a Vitamix blender for a graduation present, my mom and I soon realised, as I was reading the accompanying cookbook aloud one afternoon, that there was a Vitamix “lifestyle.” Much like California cuisine, which highlights fresh ingredients and often merges cultural cooking styles, the Vitamix cookbook emphasized using the freshest ingredients possible and provided options for healthy, vegan, raw, and haute cuisine dishes. Several creamy sauces, including a creamy tomato and alfredo sauces, incorporate tofu instead of heavy cream. While the cookbook includes a homemade mayonnaise recipe (eggs and oil at 2 horsepower blending–woo hoo!), there was not a vegan mayonnaise option, to my surprise. I forgot to buy “nayo” at Sprouts on Saturday when I was buying provisions for our Saturday night barbecue.

 Vegan Mayo | Gothic Granola

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Honours Student Breakfast: Museli

Before I had my licence/parents would let me drive, for the super-early National Honor Society morning meetings, Ownie Mom would drive me to school. As usual, she gave me breakfast: a thermos of Earl Grey tea, a pot of Stonyfield Farms organic, low-fat yoghurt (chocolate please!), maybe an apple, and a bag of enhanced trail mix. Trail mix with more stuff became my vice in later years: GORP, M’n’Ms, peanutbutter-filled pretzels, and Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Of course I ate it to stay awake in 2006-2008. I made it for myself and ate it to fill some hunger for the same love and care for my success in 2009-2010.



Reframing and curse-reversing time. I like to eat Bob’s Red Mill GF Museli in green juice (at work, which indicates a hunger for something not-food, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt). When I kept seeing Nutrition Stripped’s Nourishing Museli on Instagram, I knew I could redo my favourite snack/breakfast.


While not as whole-foods-y as McKel’s original, mine is a healthy indulgence served in the same ways the originator recommends: straight, over a green smoothie, or on vice cream. Hiding GF cereal in museli is a good way to make it more nutritious and more of a meal than it is by itself.




Museli

2 cups GF rolled oats
3 cups GF cereal (I used Kashi Simply Maize and Van’s Cinnamon Heaven cereals)
12 GF sandwich cookies, quartered and squashed (I used Kinnitoos Chocolate Sandwich Cremes)
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup hempseeds
2 cups raisins
1 1/4 cups goji berries (I used up a bag)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash sea salt

Mix it all together and store in airtight containers. Portioning is recommended.



With some Marley Coffee Rawmeal protein powder and ground flaxseed: breakfast!

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Cerealously

This blog post is dedicated to the awesome blog that is no more, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp” and its intrepid author.

While on a nostalgic Internet search for French Toast Crunch, specifically the Halloween version from Fall 1998, I found a blog called, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp,” a WordPress site on which the young male author discusses college football and reviews food. Adam Nettina had managed to score a box of Canadian French Toast Crunch and reviewed it sometime in the last two years. The more I read the site, the more I noticed what the author and I had in common: twenty-something, higher-educated, Catholic, living in the DMV, eating disordered. Don’t try to look it up, though; Adam took the blog down last year.

His clear writing style made the blog easy to read, and his photos made me want cereal, had me eating with my eyes, as a good blog should. Reading his posts brought a smile to my face as he rated food on texture, taste, price, availability, and whether he would buy it again. Adam once began a review for yet another kind of cereal that he was “someone who chooses to eat [his] carbs in the form of cereal,” a statement I found hilarious and relatable up to a certain point in my life.

Yeah, I had a bit of a crush.

Hey, for words on a screen, Nettina met my criteria for cool before I even had criteria: excellent writer, critical thinker, religious, foodie, writer, blogger… This article showed me how similar Nettina and I am, in psychology.

Promise I’m not a creeper! Most of my crushes/squishes to that point were hopelessly unrequited, so I didn’t have reciprocal experience. Hence, my crushes/squishes until 2013 rather closely resembled stalking. The Internet makes indulging such passions all too easy.

Until the target disappears.

I began reading Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp in September 2012, and I took pictures of my breakfast consisting of Nature’s Path Koala Krisp and green juice (and the requisite ground flaxseed and peanut butter hiding in there). I had intended to blog about the cereal in the style of OPWC, but I put it off. Now I can’t even link to the blog that inspired it all.

Review 1. Envirokidz Chocolate Koala Crisp (TM)

Brand: Nature’s Path

Composition: Chocolate puffed rice

Works well: Straight, as cereal or in Sacrifice Bars II or the original Sacrifice Bars or Embassy Treats

Number of ingredients: 6

Price: $4.50-$5.50, depending on the store (it’s available at Whole Foods Markets, MOM’S, and similar stores in the DMV area)

Crunchy and chocolaty, Nature’s Path has a solid kids’ offering here with the Koala Crisp. The chocolate flavor is more “cocoa-y” than chocolatey, but that’s par for the course with healthy cereals. At six ingredients, there’s nothing to complain about in terms of it being a mysterious, supplement-sprayed, frankenfood kid’s cereal, and for this, it rises way above competition. It clocks in at 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein per serving, though, which makes it a better “treat” cereal than a daily one. I have purchased and cooked with it on multiple occasions already.

You can tell I used nondairy milk in that smoothie because it’s “flat” green. Oh wait, I write down what I eat. That was a kale-ginger-red delicious apple-almond butter-unsweetened vanilla almond milk-plain coconut kefir smoothie. As if this post wasn’t weird enough, there’s another one of my idiosyncrasies, food journalling!

Review 2. Simply Maize Organic Corn Cereal

Brand: Kashi

Composition: Puffed corn flakes (think Special K)

Works Well: Straight

Number of ingredients: 4

Price: Costco-sized box, close to $7

TC introduced me to Kashi Simply Maize cereal last month. I ate it with a mysterious smoothie, of course. He and his superior said my breakfast concoction looked pretty gross. SM tastes much like healthier, cleaner, clearer Corn Pops. The corniness is inherent in the crunch and toasty flavor (the latter of which is probably due to the molasses). Two grams of fibre, six grams of sugar, and two grams of protein for a 3/4 cup serving is safe for daily consumption, in my book. Daily consumption drowned in green juice, that is. I already bought a tonne of it at Costco, but I will buy it again in my efforts to 1) have food TC will eat at my apartment and 2) build healthy, long-shelf-lived snack packs to prevent binges.

Tangent time: DID YOU KNOW…Araceli, the heroine of the short story “Nickel-a-Pound Plane Ride” by Gary Soto, creates a concoction (fifth grade vocabulary word) of cornflakes and coffee, and said concoction was the inspiration for my group of friends’ subsequent creation of lunchtime potions? Moreover, that story gave me license to begin mixing tea with ice cream, and my culinary imagination took flight from there.

Proof: Q circa June 2004, my post-prom dessert. Actually, Alaine and I left early, so the time of this photo wasn’t even technically post-prom. Videre licet, decaf tea over chocolate frozen yoghurt, Ghirardelli chocolate, and a Ghirardelli brownie. Ownie Mom’s the chocoholic and food preparer, not me.

And then I got into the “cover everything with nondairy milk” phase, when I used to drown my bread or oats in it every morning. Q, 2011, looking extremely pissed off next to a bowl of oats, fruit, and nondairy milk (soy from the off-whiteness of it).

Review 3. Cinnamon Heaven

Brand: Van’s

Composition: GF flour blend squares coated in cinnamon

Works Well: Cereal qua cereal. Maybe as cereal qua French toast?

Number of Ingredients: 14

Price: $4.50-5.50 (found it at MOM’S)

OMG. OMG. OMG. It’s my fave cereal in natural foods style! Or close enough. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favourite boxed cereal from back in the day when The Little Mermaid was my favourite movie. Nostalgia aside, this tastes like it should, healthier version of the original (i.e., cleaner taste, not as stridently cinnamonny). For the price of it, no, I would not buy it again. Not when I can make it.

TC’s response to my telling him about this cereal, since Cinnamon Toast Crunch is/was our mutual favourite, was, “Did you eat the entire box?” One night, TC and I were looking for something to do and he said, let’s get boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and see who can finish first. I countered with something along the lines of, ‘eww, no, but I’m a binge eater, so that’s no contest.’ Cereal used to be my drug of choice, and having as much as I do in my apartment right now is a challenge, mainly because the sugar is triggering. I also realized that denying myself sugar 100 per cent was setting myself up to fail:

1) because it’s in everything and avoiding it is more of a problem than I thought.

2) because some cravings ought to be given into–healthily.

There are worse foodstuffs to shove down one’s throat than 3/4 cup of sugar-containing cereal. So, moderation. Lieber das Messer ablecken als den Löffel abgeben.

Parting shots:

My new AGV Valentino Rossi motorcycle helmet, with which I am obsessed. It was on sale and TC’s spare helmet was too big. Now I have a helmet that fits my noggin! Can’t stop thinking about how neat it is. Going to be riding pillion (proper term) or bitch (vulgar term) with TC on the sport bike a lot as the weather warms up.

Steamed some broccoli.

Pressed some tofu.

Marinated tofu in jazzed-up broccoli water. Voila:

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Sacrifice II: Trail Treats

Sacrifice II
 
My mother would be proud of me. This recipe contains chocolate chips. In the words of one of my fellow team members, “Is it going to be healthy, or good?” when I described the recipe I was going to present for yesterday’s Foodie Call. I remade the cereal bars I made last year for my friend Liz’s Fourth of July shindig. Calling them “Sacrifice to the Gods of Freedom and Democracy” would probably turn off most folk. Here is my recipe for the huge batch (three sheet pans!) of “Trail Treats.” You can customise the crunchy bits and trail mix to your heart’s content.
 
 Sacrifice II Trail Treats | Gothic Granola

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Food Flashback and Labels

 

 

This is the 179th blog post on Gothic Granola, formerly Screwfoot Q. It’s time to make a 180 degree turn on some issues.

When I was in college and became vegetarian, then subsequently vegan, my suppers consisted of the following:
greens, crunchy raw veg, beans, nuts, dried fruit, maybe hot vegetable if it was decent, maybe a cup of soup. Dessert was cereal and non-dairy milk and decaf coffee or tea. More often than not, the hot veg entree was some kind of ethnic dish, not half bad. This I ate in the residential college dining halls; at the Center for Jewish Life I would maybe be able to have a hot entree. When I look back on what I ate, I shake my head and don’t wonder why I felt deprived (no real dessert! What nonsense!). The special diets situation has since improved slightly in Princeton’s dining halls, but I do not plan on going back anytime soon to confirm this.

I bought Nature Path’s Mesa Sunrise cereal recently. Sugar is my drug, as frequent readers of this blog know. Sugar for breakfast or in more than 2 tablespoons per day is not good for Q. So I had this cereal for dessert because it contains sugar, and the high-fibre dinner insulated me from its effects somewhat. I know I’m playing with fire, so I will bake with the cereal or manage my intake well. Next time I have a coupon, I’ll stick to the fruit-sweetened cornflakes.

Curry Bean Salad
Inspired by Whole Foods Market

1 16-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup water
2 cups beet stems, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash cinnamon
dash cayenne
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon tamari

Place the beans and raisins in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, dry-sautee onion with salt until beginning to brown and turn translucent. Add the turmeric, cook for another minute, then remove from heat and scrape into bowl.

Return pan to the heat and add the remaining spices, stirring, to toast for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the water, scraping up the browned bits of onion. Add the beet stems and the liquid ingredients and stir. Cook for 3 minutes or until the beet stems have softened somewhat. Add the beets to the beans and onions and mix well. Serve over greens and enjoy cereal and unsweetened almondmilk for dessert.

I served mine over raw collards, which with the beans, is probably too digestively hardcore for most people. I drank a lot of water and had a tall glass of zombie tea with the cereal.

curry bean salad vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Vegan and vegetarian are lovely labels for convenience; living in an urban area means restaurants know what they mean and can prepare food accordingly. However, as with saying my alma interfector, saying I’m vegan tends to suck the air out of the room. Wow, judge much, people? No, I cannot change others. I can change myself.

While it’s cutesy to use “vegan and gluten-free goodies” in my blog tagline, this blog is about being oneself and doing things for oneself. I just happen to not eat animal products and gluten at this time. I can’t eat dairy, eggs, and gluten. Maybe one day I will eat animal flesh again. Labels are convenient tags for experiencing conventional reality, but they have no place in ultimate reality. The more I cling to labels, to marks of this world, the more difficult it will be when we eventually part (in this life, in the next…).

It’s time to begin divesting of labels. Goth, ace, androgyne, vegan, gluten-free, catholic, buddhist, metaphysical. These are the labels I use most often. Even together they form an incomplete picture, a fractured mirror. {Ed. note: No, no! Erasure! Don’t do it!}

What is the best mirror? A boon friend, as Buddhists call it, someone who helps you in your striving for nirvana, for escape from the world cycle. Someone who encourages you to be the best you.

In divesting myself of labels, I’m disrobing my soul, as it were. Labels are protective and keep people at bay (“I dress this way/ just to keep them at bay”). Losing labels affects my art and how I keep my heart on my sleeve as an artist. Pain and pleasure, the extremes and the mundane, are all the more intense when one experiences them with bare awareness, mindful attention, rather than experiencing them with the scratched and coloured lenses of labels.
The harder the cling, the harder the sting. Let ’em go, and there’s no sting. That’s the hardest thing.