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Ralph Wiggum is one of the more unique characters on the Simpsons. Ralph is a special kid and says many many special things.

One of my favorite Ralph Wiggum quotes is when Ralph and Lisa’s class is about to dissect worms. Each student has a worm on their desk and when the teacher tells them to start dissection Ralph tells the teacher that there’s a problem, “My worm went in my mouth and then I ate it…can I have another one?”

The teacher tells him that there aren’t any more worms and he should just try to sleep.

Ralph responds, “Oh boy, sleep! That’s where I’m a viking!”

Oh Ralph, you and me both kid.

Cardamom is a commonly used spice in Scandinavian (Viking descendants) desserts and breads. I had a huge tub of brown rice sitting in my fridge begging to be used up.  And Viking Island Rice Pudding was born. Food of champions and Vikings.

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Viking Island Rice Pudding

(Serves four)

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 1/2 cups soy milk

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cardamom

pinch  salt

Begin by toasting your almonds in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly and pulling off the heat as soon as they turn light brown.

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Dump in your brown rice, soy milk, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and cook on low for about 15 minutes (the more you cook it the creamier it will get, just be sure there is enough liquid). I don’t have dentures so I appreciate a little bite to my pudding.

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After 15 minutes add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for another couple of minutes. Taste for salt or sweetness.

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If you are like Ralph: accidentally ate your worm and are told to just go to sleep, this Viking Island Pudding’s creaminess will put you right to sleep so you too can be transported to Viking Land.

Thanks Ralph, you’re the best.

I treated my body like a machine throughout college and a few years beyond graduation. Trying in vain to stretch out my ability to play my sport well beyond what was suggested by my doctors and athletic trainers left me with muscles and joints that knot up faster than the average boy scout could tie them.

So thus I find myself in a constant battle to keep my muscles fluid, flexible, and therefore functional. It’s not rare to see me sitting in a chair with a high back wriggling around trying to find a way to work out a knot on my upper back with a pointy part of the chair. Like I’m doing right now.  In public.  Oops.  I should stop, I’m starting to get weird looks. I kind of look like this little guy: Pole Dancing Bear.

I’m going to let you in on one of my secrets to getting out muscle knots. I won’t bore you with the gritty details because this device is highly technical, complicated, and complex….OK, I lied. It’s foam molded into a cylinder shape.

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If you’ve had issues with muscle knots and tightness and/or can’t afford a regular visit to your friendly neighborhood massage therapist then I highly recommend trying this sucker out.  It costs around $20 and with regular use will help you control your muscle tightness.  There’s a great article in this magazine which explains much better than I ever could about how this works and why muscle knots suck. Don’t get me wrong, using a foam roller HURTS (hurts real bad). But it feels so good at the same time. Yep call me crazy, call me a crazy foam rolling lunatic. But try this foam roller once along the length of your entire back and you’ll thank me.

Got your muscles at peace? Now share the love with your tummy with the nooks and crannies of English muffins! I’ve been seeing a few geniuses around the blog world making these bad boys and I just had to make some for myself.  Trust me, after you make these you will never go back to store bought.

Lazy Girl English Muffins

(inspired by Wing It Vegan)

Makes three, but double it if you please and freeze the rest for later

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats ground into a flour

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp yeast

1/2 cup soy milk or water (nuke in microwave until it reaches about 110°F)

1 Tbsp olive oil (optional for you fat-free freaks. j/k I still love you)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl small enough to fit in your microwave (more on that later) for two minutes or until everything is well mixed.

Nuke 1 mug of water in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until boiling.  Place dough in the microwave keeping the mug with the boiling water in it and close the door (now your microwave is a warm moist environment perfect for the care and feeding of yeast). Set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes or 20 minutes if you’re really important and got stuff to do.

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Heat up large skillet over low heat and spray with a non-stick spray or olive oil. Divide dough into three pieces and shape each into a four inch diameter disc (hockey puck style). Put a couple Tbsp of corn meal into a shallow dish and dunk dough in corn meal, coating each side.  Cook muffins in pan for about 8-10 minutes each side or until they start turning brown.

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Divide with fork.

Place in toaster.

Fill nooks and crannies with your favorite toppings.

Devour.

Repeat as necessary.

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Free Stuff:

Want a bunch of free stuff? So do I. Check out our Gluten Free Gidget for some giveaway madness.


It can be really tough eating on the road sometimes.  Every so often I’ll forget to pack some food with me and I’ll end up wandering around the food court/convenience store/snack bar looking for something halfway healthy which hasn’t been processed to the point where it will last on the shelf for years (ew).  I often wander around for a good thirty minutes picking something up only to end up putting it down again two minutes later in a futile attempt to find something good to eat that is actually worth its price tag.

Because you know what? I don’t really want to pay $10 for a salad. Or $3 for an over-hyped energy bar. Nope.

Pack this muffin in your bag the next time you’ll be away from nutritious food for awhile.  They would also taste awesome as an after workout  snack (always eat your post workout snack within 30 minutes of working out).

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Please use this recipe as a template, if you are used to making quick breads you should feel pretty comfortable subbing some things out for ingredients you may not have on hand (ie. sub mashed banana for applesauce or grate up some zucchini in place of the carrot, etc).  As is, this muffin is heavenly tasty and will make your whole house smell awesome.  This is a really moist and tender muffin and will keep for a few days on your countertop in a plastic bag or for a couple of months in the freezer.

IMG_3785Does Your Booty Good Vegan Muffins

Preheat oven to 350° and grease 12 muffin tins.

Mix together dry ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cups old fashioned oats ground to a flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raisins

The food processor makes shredding effortless

The food processor makes shredding effortless

Mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl:

2 carrots shredded

1 apple, cored and shredded

1/4 cup canola oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

4 oz soygurt

2 tsp vanilla

Gently fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Divide equally into 12 muffin tins. Depending on how big your carrots/apples were you may need to use an extra muffin tin or just hold your breath and load the 12 tins to the tippy top.  These will not rise a whole bunch so you don’t have to worry about overfilling.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and rotate pan halfway through. Be careful to make sure the muffins are thoroughly baked and check for doneness with the toothpick test.

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Verdict? A+

Whoa, crazy but true: I wouldn’t change a thing with these muffins! Have a happy monday everyone!

Reminder:

Zesty Blog Makeover Giveaway ends tonight at 5pm!

Ends this Wednesday: Peta’s Vegan College Cookbook Giveaway by HappyHerbivore

The other night I had a flashback to the movie Varsity Blues. I was thinking about the part of the movie when Billy Bob makes a ‘sandwich’ of sorts with a waffle and peanut butter.  Although I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it a sandwich, considering he just dunked the waffle in a jar of peanut butter and ate it right there. But anyways, the following sandwich is dedicated to Billy Bob’s culinary genius.

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To Make the Billy Bob Wafflewich: Defrost and toast one half a homemade raspberry whole grain frozen waffle and slather with chocolate peanut butter…[What? You don’t have chocolate peanut butter in your house? Weirdo.] ….And cover with cut strawberries (or banana as I had wanted but we’re all out. Sigh).

Of course as soon as I took the peanut butter jar out of the fridge and unscrewed the top my dog came running out of the other room right into the kitchen and gave me her best ‘i’mstarvingyouneverfeedmesogivemesomepeanutbutter’ face.

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I’m a softy so the face worked on me and she got some peanut butter.

Anyway, I covered the other waffle with raspberry jam and smooshed it together.  You can use any kind of jam here (or more peanut butter if you feel so inclined) but I used raspberry because the waffle had raspberries in it.

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Now eat and remember to thank Billy Bob for this fine creation.

Free Stuff:

Run on over to Oh She Glows for the Amazing Grass giveaway!

Choosing Raw is giving away Happy Herbivore‘s new book, “Backyard Vegan”

First of all I want to thank everyone who has emailed and commented so far, your words mean so much to me!  I have been stalking so many blogs since the fall of 2008 and you have all inspired me to start my own blog so thank you!  I hope that I have something new to bring to the table to entertain and feed the soul.

Back to the good stuff, food!  If you are looking for light and fluffy ‘wonderbread’ waffles these aren’t the waffles for you.  But if you want a whole grain, dense, nutty, eat half a waffle and fill you up till the cows come home waffle, then give these a try!  The whole wheat flour and oatmeal flour give these a great nutty, full-bodied flavor.  This is a pretty basic recipe that you can tailor to your needs by adding various nuts/frozen fruits/spices etc.  The recipe makes about four waffles (more or less depending on the size of your waffle iron) and can be frozen for later yumminess.

Stick to Your Ribs Waffles

(makes about four waffles)

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats (ground up in a food processor/blender)

2 1/2 cups soymilk

2 Tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbs brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the dry ingredients together and fold in the wet ingredients.  Don’t worry about the amount of soymilk (or other non-dairy milk) you are putting in, it may seem like too much at first, but it will quickly soak up all the grains and make for a good consistency.

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After making a couple of waffles I remembered I had some frozen raspberries in the freezer that I crumbled up in the rest of the batter. Yum!

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These should take maybe four minutes per side on a stovetop waffle maker, and maybe five minutes total in an electric waffle maker.  If you don’t have a waffle maker you can always make pancakes with the batter!

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So I could only eat 3/4 of this waffle before crying uncle. Four hours later I am stilllllll fulllllll.  I told you these were stick to your ribs waffles haha.

Water Cooler Morsel Of The Day:

Are we in control of our own decisions?

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