Tag Archives: Twin Cakes Bakery
Morning all! This past week of summer vacation has not necessarily been all it’s cracked up to be so far. I can’t go into too much detail right now regarding this, but it seems that my carefree summer of adventures and epic housecleaning may no longer be. I recently received some news that has drastically changed the “fun factor” of the next month and a half;it’s nothing life-threatening or terrible, but basically I have to commit ten to twelve hours on most days for the entire month of July and a bit of August working on some stressful and not-s0-fun but super important obligations. I can reveal that this project is an effort that I hope will be worth it in the upcoming year or two to relieve some career-related anxiety. I will be able to fill you in more soon, but as of now, I am kind of trying to come to terms with these changes myself. To say I am a little bummed though is an understatement, but I am really aiming to look at all of this in a postive light as all the effort I have to put in this summer on this particular task will benefit me in the long run regardless.
I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, so I thought we could talk about my latest delish lunch for a minute. You know I am a creature of habit, so it’s hard for me to feature meals here on a daily basis because then you would just see the same foods over and over again. However, when I do venture into new food territory in attempts to jazz things up, then certainly that meal becomes oh so blog-worthy!
Yesterday, I added a few crimson-colored twists to one of my standard lunch plates– it certainly wasn’t planned that my lunch would be dominated by shades of deep scarlet, but the coincidence certainly made for a pretty plate!
One of the stars of my mid-day meal was a new-to-me microgreen. I never even knew amaranth microgreens existed!!
The wispy greens were really beautiful– how could you not want to eat something that looks that spectacular? Mother nature knew what she was doing when she designed these! The greens themselves tasted wonderful–kind of peppery like arugula!
I crafted a plate with massaged kale and avocado slaw, a hunk of Dr. Cow raw macadamia nut cheese, cut daikon, cucumbers, carrots, the lovely amaranth greens, a raw flatbread, and the other crimson element of the dish– a huge steamed beet!
I love beets so much, but always forget to eat them. TJ’s makes it so easy to enjoy perfectly cooked beets by offering packaged steamed beets which are simply beets and nothing else! I finally remembered to buy some recently, and knew the sweetness of the beets would pair perfectly with the salty cheese. I was so right on with the flavor combo– I always loved beet and goat cheese salads and the raw cheese/beet combo replicated the tastes I used to enjoy so much before I gave up dairy just perfectly!
In case you were wondering, the raw flatbread I devoured was a Collard Sesame flatbread from Twin Cakes bakery. It was delicious– very savory and again, it went so well with my crimson-themed tasting plate components! Check out what the amazing Lori and Michelle are up to at their bakery– I can’t wait to order some of their newly-formulated raw treats! Their cute raw biscotti rounds just may be ordered once I finish up this post!
While my summer may not exactly pan out to be how I envisioned it a few weeks ago, I will appreciate the fact that I can spend more than fifteen minutes each day savoring such beautiful lunches this summer!
Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to eat them?
I promise you foodie eye-candy in the form of a salad I picked up from Whole Foods the other day that involves two of my most favorite foods– kale and avocado. But, before that, I think I owe you a brief update on my. . .
Intestines! Because I figure you just must be dying to know!
** I was going to insert a picture here of human intestines, but then I realized that might just be a tad too much for a family friendly food and fitness blog!
Anyway, I have been eating a vegan, higher raw, and mostly gluten-free (meaning the only gluten I have consumed has been possibly hidden gluten in restaurant dishes that I assume are gluten-free, but didn’t ask) for over three months now in the hopes of easing some of my intestinal inflammation. Though my doctor never instructed me to make such changes, my intestinal conditions are chronic, so I can safely assume I will have to treat them in some way (medications mostly) for the rest of my life. Therefore, I have been seeking natural ways to improve my inflammation in efforts to prevent the worsening of my condition and ease some of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms. In an ideal world, medication would no longer be needed, as a vegan, low-gluten diet would just heal my gut. Realistically, I know that is unlikely, but I do believe a whole-foods, plant-based, and lower-gluten diet will help me out in the long run.
With that being said, I just wanted to provide a quick update on how I have been feeling lately when it comes to the gut. Well, let’s just say, I feel better. It is noticeable in how my body is digesting food– I have less bloatation, cramping, and pain. Before, I used to have a stomach ache almost every day at some point, whereas now, I have an upset stomach maybe once or twice a week, and it is usually when I exercise after school because I didn’t have enough time to digest my lunch. Before, my stomach area was tender to the touch all of the time; now, I don’t feel as much soreness when I press down on my belly. I have also lost a few pounds, and if you know me at all, you can immediately tell where those pounds came from: my belly is so much less distended, that I literally think all of those lost pounds were simply the bloat caused from an overly-inflamed gastrointestinal tract. Even my husband, who is pretty straightforward about this stuff, has pointed out that my stomach no longer looks like it hurts anymore! He always felt bad about my stomach area when it was super-distended because he thought it even looked painful from the outside!
Like I said, I feel better– but I am not completely healed by any means. I still have some pain, some bloating, and just don’t feel quite right. However, I think I am making progress, which is all I can hope for. The way I do feel in terms of improvement is all the motivation I need to continue on this higher raw, vegan, and mostly gluten-free path. I will keep you posted, so in about a month or so, look out for another hopefully positive update!
Now, let’s move on to the latest lunch-food find I scored when grocery shopping, shall we?
In the midst of all the goodies displayed on the cold case shelves of Whole Foods, I spotted this beauty– a container of raw kale and avocado “slaw,” which is basically their version of a massaged kale salad. Now, I understand I can easily make this salad myself (and I have– recipe here!), but sometimes, a girl gets lazy and just wants something fast and easy, especially as an option for a healthy work lunch.
The ingredient list is clean and simple, but packed with flavorful elements. If I recall correctly, it was just kale, avocado, onion, red bell pepper, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. And yes, I recalled correctly because I just noticed that is what the ingredient list printed on the above label says– duh.
Moving on, I decided to stretch this out into two portions by taking half of the kale salad and topping it with other raw veggies, like sprouts, daikon, and shredded carrots. I know the below pic hides the kale salad pretty well, but trust me, it is buried beneath all of those sprouts!
I decided to pack it up alongside a piece of Twin Cakes Bakery’s raw kale hemp flatbread. I took the bread out of the package so you can see how gorgeous it is, but I ended up placing it right back in there because it was my last piece, and I figured carrying it to work in the package creates less waste than wrapping it up separately, right? I am telling you this because a co-worker of mine noticed the bag on my desk at school, and was intrigued to see a bread made out of kale! She asked me about it, so I explained a bit about how raw breads can be made through a dehydration process. It’s so fun to discuss things like this with co-workers who are otherwise unfamiliar with some staples of a raw food diet– I love sharing with interested friends about my dietary choices and path!
No good lunch is complete without dessert, so I also brought some grapes, blueberries, and strawberries to satisfy my sweet tooth.
All in all, this was one of the best raw lunches I have had in a while! The kale salad was fantastic– it had so few ingredients but it was packed with so much flavor. There was a time (oh, I don’t know, only two months ago!) when I never, ever ate an avocado except for the occasional guacamole on top of a pile of nachos. Due to my recent shift to more raw foods, avocado has become one of my staples, and I eat at least one every two days! I still marvel at how versatile it is– it can be utilized in both sweet, creamy puddings or as a lovely coating/dressing for salads. I am kind of obsessed with avocados right now– they are just so perfect!
My favorite way to eat them as I will chop up half of one, and add it to a huge veggie salad, along with generous amounts of pico de gallo. Then, I close the container, and give it a good shake– the entire salad gets coated in salsa and avocado, such that you’ve created a salad drenched in guacamole without actually going through a whole separate process of making guacamole!
Alright, this was a doozy of a post, so I will sign off now. Have a great day!
What’s your favorite way to consume avocado?
I just prepared an all raw lunch for myself that was absolutely epic. While I have never dined at a raw foods cafe, I imagine this lunch is reminiscent of something that a place specializing in raw foods would offer as a lunch special or combo. It was that good, so of course, I must share!
The star of the meal was a nice chunk of this raw cashew brazil nut gourmet cheese, which is produced by Dr. Cow and sold online. I have been hoarding this nearly ten-dollar block of cheese for a few weeks now, waiting for the ideal time to savor it. I finally took the leap, and wow– it was worth it!
Composed of only aged cashews, brazil nuts, sea salt, and acidophilus (good bacteria), this cheese has a super clean ingredient list, but even better, an incredible taste and texture. I was pleasantly surprised at how tangy, cheesy, and spreadably soft this tree nut cheese is! I love it!
I cut it into quarters (roughly 100 calories per quarter), and enjoyed a piece of it as the centerpiece of my lunch. I am so impressed with how similar this cheese is to more traditional cheeses that I am ordering more as soon as I hit publish! Dr. Cow offers quite a few varieties of their tree nut cheeses, including those flavored with seaweeds like dulse and greens like kale. I think I am going to stick with the more traditional flavored cheeses, made up of just nuts as the main flavoring agents.
I built my lunch around the cheese, and of course, when there is cheese, there’s gotta be some kind of bread or cracker. Enter Twincakes Bakery’s raw, vegan and gluten-free sunflower kale chia flatbread! I thought a piece of firm, almost cracker-like flatbread would be a fantastic accompaniment to the cheese, and I was right!
The raw cheese and flatbread was teamed with my homemade massaged kale salad, topped with some grated carrots, as well as some sliced daikon radish.
I think this meal looked quite professional! It was pretty, balanced, and had a fancy feel to it! Again, I imagine this is the kind of food served at all raw cafes, so I was fairly proud of myself for composing this kind of plate at home. Here’s another shot of my masterpiece, taken right before I was about to dig in (hence why it is sitting on my lap!). Love the gorgeous colors, and I especially love all the green!
This was an immensely satisfying all raw, gluten-free vegan lunch. I am happy I still have some of that cheese left. . . should be enough until my next shipment arrives!
Have you ever eaten at a raw cafe? If so, what kind of meal did you order?
I would have to say that yesterday marked the end of a pretty good (work) week. Friday especially put a smile on my face for reasons beyond the obvious fact that’s it’s the weekend!
First, this past week at work has been mid-term ”exam week,” which, if you don’t know, is by far the best week for teachers at any high school while simultaneously being perhaps one of the worst weeks for students. It’s a week where all of our teaching has paid off, and now, all we have to do is administer exams all day. Sure, we have to correct them and calculate semester averages, but students have half-days and leave school at 11, which gives teachers two and a half hours of pure silent time to do all of that paperwork. Exam week seriously feels like a vacation week for me because I manage to get all of my school work actually done in school, whereas, on any other school day, I usually have tons of planning and grading to do at home. Yesterday, my schedule worked out in such a way that left me without any exams to give all day, which left me with a pretty relaxing Friday at work.
Another reason yesterday kind of ruled is actually related to a student essay I was reading. For one of my classes, students had to write pretty in-depth reflective essays on their high school experiences, and students were encouraged to recognize in their writing any teachers that may have helped them along the way. As I was reading one of these essays, I noticed a student wrote about me! In particular, he quoted something I said one day in class that really stuck with him. I had forgotten I even said it, and the fact he remembered it and got some meaning out of it was quite an honor! My words of wisdom went a little something like this:
“I will always smile at you. If you don’t do your work, you will fail, but I will still smile at you the next day.”
I remember I was trying to explain to my students that I will always be nice to them, because that’s just how I am, but just because I am nice, it doesn’t mean they are doing well academically in my class. I like to think that how I treat students as people is not at all tied to whether or not they are passing or failing. It is a pet peeve of mine when teachers are not as nice to kids who perhaps are “underachievers,” but they treat students with higher grades better. I will always be kind to all of my students, because that is how I would want to be treated in return, and I know that sometimes, a little kindness and interest from a teacher can be enough to motivate a student to achieve. The fact the student understood my point and internalized it enough to bring it up in an essay months later was certainly a huge compliment and it made me smile.
Perhaps I will leave you with just one more tidbit on why Friday was a stellar day. I finally was able to bust into my stash of Twin Cakes Bakery’s Raw Flatbread for the first time!
I mentioned before that I placed an order from the amazingly talented Lori and Michelle that included their biscotti (yum!), flatbreads, and energy bites– all vegan, raw, and gluten-free. I have already tore through one pack of their cardamom biscotti and yesterday, I finally had their Kale Hemp flatbread with my lunch salad.
Note the perfect triangle shape– it is just right for making cute little sandwiches! I chose to just pack up one slice to take to work– it held up so well during its travels from my home to school! Not a single bit of crumbly flatbread to be found!
As far as the taste, I only have two words– blown away! OK, maybe I have a few more words than that– it was savory, super-flavorful, and with a really pleasant mouth feel. It was a little chewy, a little crispy, a little textured and a lot awesome! I have to thank myself for ordering two more bags of flatbread so I have plenty in stock, because I have a feeling I am going to be eating this non-stop!
And that’s why this week was good, and why Friday was just great!
How did this past week treat you?
I have been making a concerted effort to eat more raw foods throughout the day, as I have really been feeling the positive effects of upping the amount of raw foods consumed in my diet. I have noticed improved digestion and more energy throughout this past week, and obviously, I am extremely pleased with those results!
Therefore, I took it upon myself to tweak my usual granola bowl so that it would be “more raw,” but still offer the satisfaction of eating that kind of sweet and carby breakfast. I swapped my granola for Twin Cakes Cardamom Biscotti, which I crumbled up to simulate the texture of granola.
Let’ discuss this biscotti for a second– it is raw, vegan, gluten-free and made up of whole foods like almonds, cardamom, and coconut. It is crisp, with absolutely amazing flavor, and is hands-down the best raw, vegan sweet cookie-like treat I have ever had! Despite it’s cookie-like-ness, it is extremely healthy, with four grams of protein and two grams of fiber, so it is perfect for breakfast!
I composed a lovely “yogurt bowl” with a sliced banana, a tablespoon of raw cashini, cinnamon, chia seeds, a crumbled Twin Cakes biscotti, and coconut milk kefir. The biscotti was ideal as a raw stand-in for my usual baked granola. This breakfast bowl was delicious, and with the exception of the cultured coconut milk, it was raw!
Now as far as my lunches lately, I have been bringing raw salads to work, accompanied by a piece of homemade raw flatbread and fruit. My latest salad creation consists of kale massaged in a dressing made up almonds, chickpeas, lemon juice, flax oil, and spices like curry and oregano. It’s basically my version of Mama Pea’s Mmmm Sauce, which is so delighful! I tossed in some cucumbers, celery, red bell pepper, and sprouts. The only thing non-raw about this lunch was the chickpeas in the dressing! The salad was so fresh and flavorful– my only complaint with salads in general is they take too long to eat at work when I only have eighteen minutes to chow!
So, that’s how my “mostly raw” meals have been looking as of late– I hope to continue upping the “raw factor” in my meals. It’s a fun challenge, and it’s been yielding fantastic results!
How much “raw” food do you eat?