Happy Valentine’s Day!


I hope everyone has a wonderful day today and has someone to share it with! I know who I’ll be sharing it with—-Roy’s!! (That’s the restaurant I work at) Haha! Its okay though….tomorrow night Ryan and I are celebrating! Today is my LAST day of class with the culinary school program, as Monday I switch to the Baking & Pastry program! Finally! I have my final exam though this morning and feel a bit unprepared so I’m trying to study for that last minute! I just got too wrapped up in cookie baking last night it seemed!

This morning I made my usual favorite: pb steel cut oats with banana and flax and hot tea. I’m out of maple syrup so I added some Agave Nectar on top and it was great! I really love this stuff…its not as “sticky” as honey so its easier to pour and not as messy. Plus it tastes really, really good! Its about the same price as honey so y’all should try it next time!


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  • VeggieGirl
    February 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Good luck with your examination, and have fun in your last day of class in the culinary school program; but you KNOW that I’m quite excited to see what you make in the baking & pastry program (since, as evidenced on my blog, I am a baking addict, haha).

    Hooray for agave nectar!! The wondrous vegan honey-alternative – I love that stuff :0)

    Happy Valentine’s Day/Thursday!!

  • Erica
    February 14, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    happy valentines day! breakfast looks great as always, i had practically the same thing this morning. 🙂

    just in case you didn’t see my question jenna, i was just curious as to what times you eat your meals (including snacks) on the average day? thanks!!!

  • jenna
    February 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Hi erica! Sorry I didn’t see that one yet! I freaked out cause I woke up 30 minutes late and still need to study…but the blog is just so addicting…haha

    anyways- USUALLY (and my days vary alllll the time) I eat breakfast at 7:30, snack at 10:00, lunch at 12:00-12:30, snack at 2:45-3:00, dinner at 6:00 and dessert around 7:30. All my meals are relatively “small” i suppose…I would rather eat more “mini-meals” then sit down to a huuuuge meal that would weigh me down!

    BUT as of next week I will have school starting at 6:30 in the evening and will have to eat dinner at 5:30 and then have a larger snack at night to get me through 5 hours of night classes!!

  • Danielle
    February 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Happy Valentines Day Jenna! and best of luck on your exam today! 🙂

  • erica
    February 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    thanks jenna, that helps a lot! i’d like to start eating more evenly throughout the day as opposed to larger meals. i brought a half a clif bar to tide me over at school today!

    good luck on your exam, i know you’ll do well! 🙂

  • Heather S
    February 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Hey guys Happy Valentines Day!!
    I posted this yesterday but i dont think any one answered(i know this is a busy blog)but i was just curious im thinking on transitioning to the vegetarian life style and i was curious how everyone did it. Im like your mom Jenna and i just dont know where to begin or even what to eat. Im very interesting on what tools everyone used to make the change. Literature, recipe books, Where to start? Thank you guys so much! If you want to email me ideas or recipes feel free at

  • jenna
    February 14, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Heather!

    GREAT question! You can start by going to this website:
    You can order a FREE vegetarian starter kit from them and read up on ethical reasons to become a vegetarian, because, if you are doing this purely for health reasons it might not stick because health fads are so back and forth these days. You really have to make it a personal decision that goes deeper than that. I encourage you to read “Fast Food Nation”, “Skinny Bitch” and “Slaughterhouse” just to get an eye opening into the USDA’s world…its pretty sick actually! Then, its always a great idea to go and sit for the afternoon at Barnes and Noble and just read veggie cookbooks…learn what ingredients you should keep in your kitchen, what you should toss, and get starter recipes. Honestly, its SO MUCH EASIER than you would think to be a vegetarian!!! Vegetarians get MORE than enough protein and vitamins, regardless of what people may say. I have never felt better right now (havent had meat for about 2.5 weeks now…or dairy)—I feel energized (without caffeine), happy and have a much deeper feeling of compassion and self-fulfillment inside. It really just makes me a much happier person, I think. So–go read your books…go to the library or the bookstore and check out that website along with, and

    let me know what happens!! I’m routing for yoU!

  • VeggieGirl
    February 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm


    I HIGHLY recommend the books “Becoming Vegetarian,” “Becoming Vegan”; the cookbooks “Eat, Drink & Be Vegan,” “My Sweet Vegan,” “Veganomicon”; the magazines “Vegetarian Times,” “Natural Health,” “VegNews”… and more! :0)

    Even though most of these recommendations are vegan, they still fit into a vegetarian lifestyle (obviously, haha).

    I’d be happy to help with any questions and such – I feature quite a few meal ideas and treats on my blog (my name is a link to my blog – it’ll direct you to it).

  • one food guy
    February 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Happy Valentines Day!

  • Mallory
    February 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Good luck on your test! I have one as well today. Finishing them up will just make the weekend even better!

  • Kelly
    February 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Is anyone here NOT a vegetarian….. Help! I’m feeling left out (but have no desire to become one)…..

  • Danielle
    February 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I’m NOT a vegetarian either Kelly! Sorry girls but I love chicken, and turkey, and fish, and the occasional steak 🙂

  • hk
    February 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Yay, happy valentine’s day!! Good luck on the exam, breakfast looks great, as always!

  • Heather S
    February 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you so much Jenna and Veggie Girl. I value your input and will DEFINITELY get those books asap. I really truely love this blog im learning so much.

  • JennS
    February 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    hello all! Happy Valentines day! I am not a vegan/vegetarian. I LOVE MEAT. However, I have to say this… I live on a farm and we supply all of our own meat (may sound cruel to some) however, these animals are very well taken care of… we know what goes in them, they are not pumped full of steroids etc etc. So, i say, if you’re going to eat meat be cautious of where it comes from because.. why do you think 8 year old boys and girls are like 7ft tall and 200 lbs? Its really scary. I’d love to know what people think about store bought meats and how un-natural they are (anyone know of any research?)
    I will also say, I do believe in making at least 2 meals a week meat-less.
    We need to eat what makes our bodies happy, so kudos to every woman in here for the healthy lifestyles!

  • Serena
    February 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I was a vegetarian for years and then gradually started adding fish, then poultry, back into my diet. I like the flexibility of being able to choose chicken as a lean protein instead of the typical vegetarian option at events and parties, which is usually something very cheesy and fattening. I do try to buy/eat exclusively farm-raised, local, organic products though, and that makes me feel a little better about it since I’m supporting local farmers who believe in humane animal treatment. There are actually some great articles about the animal lover-meat eater’s delimma, including a really good article by Molly Katzen, a famous vegetarian who apparently now eats meat occasionally. I don’t think anyone here is at all judgy about non-vegetarians, especially Jenna, who did eat meat up until 2.5 weeks ago! Although I will say, the shifting focus of the blog to veggie-oriented meals definitely makes me want to eat less animal products.

  • Becky
    February 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian by any means. I hate steak, though, and everyone thinks I’m weird! If I ever eat red meat, its in the form of hamburgers, or stir fry and it is ALWAYS well done. I hate looking at rare steak, it grosses me out. I eat chicken, turkey, pork and seafood (and products made with these meats) all the time! Don’t feel alone!

    With that being said, I am trying to incorporate more non-meat meals into my life, and a lot of the meals Jenna (and others!) make, I feel I can make also. Now….getting my boyfriend to eat them is another story-have any suggestions Jenna?? How would you get Ryan to eat the chickpea patties?? My boyfriend would totally turn his nose up at those!

  • Tina
    February 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Jenna!

    Happy Valentine’s Day! This might be a dumb question, but what is culinary school all about? Is it like regular school/college, but with a lot more hands-on experience? Do you get a degree when you are finished? How long is your program? Sorry for so many questions… I’m trying to figure out the next step for me. Thanks! 🙂

  • rachel
    February 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    im not a vegetarian, though my normal diet is pretty much vegetarian. i just do not label myself as such because i often visit people and places where refusing to eat what they serve (which may be some form of meat) would be considered ungracious. plus, on the occasion that i do eat meat i dont want to feel like i “failed’. does that make sense?

    like i said, my diet is mostly plant based. my husband, a former carnivore!, pizza-only lover, cookie eater (overall, unhealthy diet) has changed his ways since we were married last summer. he eats very well–even eats tofu when i make it. this was a gradual process of me a. cooking healthy meals (including healthy pizza w/ ww dough, his favorite) consistently–rather than accomodating his unhealthy habits b. informing him about how the nutritious meals will improve his health c. taking the time to make healthy dishes that he likes (i make a big batch of low granola every 2 weeks because he loves it–otherwise he wouldn’t eat breakfast/would eat a “nutri-grain bar (Blagh).)

    Hope that helps. Neither of us have “perfect diets”– he still is crazy about brownies, but he is definitely 100x healthier and fitter than before we were married.

  • rachel
    February 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    one other comment–he loves meat, but rarely misses it when im cooking. i will make veggie meals that are heartier. for example, i make portabella burgers on our grill and top them with fresh tomato, basil, garlic and a little evoo. other ideas: lentil spagetti sauce (really good) and taco salads with all the fixings, like black beans and avo, but no meat.

  • Janie
    February 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm


    I just had to comment after reading your post. I have trouble getting my boyfriend to eat healfully all the time, and it is tough because we are on a strict budget so I don’t want to have 2 seperate meals going on. I really liked what you said about not accomodating the unhealthy habits. My problem is just sticking with the consistency. Did you have trouble with your husband at first? My guy is always wanting the junk food, and even though a lot of times when I cook something healthy he will eat it and like it, he still asks for the junk. I feel like I always have to force him to eat the healthy food. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

  • Michelle
    February 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Happy Valentine’s Day and good luck on your exam! I wanted to let you know that I made mini olive oil cakes for the Valentine gifts for the two ladies I work for….and they were a HUGE hit!!! They love them! And sadly, I love the cookies one of them made for me…ugh! But thanks for the recipe!! have a great day! M

  • Aimee H.
    February 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Not a vegetarian either – to each their own! =)

  • Lisa
    February 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian either…but I am trying…through suggestions from Jenna’s and other’s to incorporate more veg meals into my diet which I’m so excited about!! I’m not a huge fan of red meat but I have to keep it on hand for my hubby so I just found this local meat mart that sells growth hormone free from local family farms (they are all amish too!) it’s a pretty reasonable price so I’ll start getting that for him!

  • kay
    February 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Just curious… would you continue to use products made from leather? Like shoes and handbags? I have to say I like them too much…

    I can’t wait for Monday when you start baking again!! Would you try your school recipes vegan style too? By the way, those cookies look gigantic and yummy! Happy V-day (although it is for tomorrow for you)!

  • LisaM
    February 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Happy Valentines Day everyone!
    I got an e-mail this morning about an interesting nutrition bar website, You can custom design your own bars! I only eat lara/clif nectar type bars without all the junk in them, and these actually looked pretty good.
    Jenna, I was wondering if you have ever tried tempeh. As a fellow vegetarian, tempeh is something I love! It is a soy product, like tofu, but has a completely different taste/texture! Tempeh contains more protein and fiber than tofu, and has a yummy nutty taste.

  • Serena
    February 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm = Amazing. Really genius. I love it! thanks so much for sharing, LisaM!!

  • Ashley H
    February 14, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    I have always considered going vegetarian but tofu well scaries me. I try to eat the most unprocessed as possible but tofu just seems so processed to me. So what is tofu? And it is completely natural?

  • Heather S
    February 14, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    one food guy and all-
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

  • Megan
    February 14, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I have recently made the switch from an animal protein based diet to a plant based protein diet and I could not be happier!!!! I cut out dairy awhile back and thought why not meat. I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel and don’t think I want to go back. I had a crazy thought awhile back about eating animal flesh and it totally freaked me out. The thought of putting something that used to be living got to me. I don’t think I will cut meat out completely because I do love fish and other seafood but the thought of eating poultry, beef, or pork is so unappealing.

    I will never dislike or judge someone because they eat meat. I don’t believe we should judge people based on what they consume. Each person is different with unique likes and dislikes. Some people do well eating meat and don’t have a problem with it. For others consuming animal products doesn’t suit them. I say if you are healthy and getting the right nutrients there is no reason to eat or not eat something. It is all about balance.

  • Ashley H
    February 15, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Hi Jenna- I read that you think you might be lactose intolerant and I was wondering what kind of symptoms you have been having? Because I have always thought that I might be lactose intolerant and I was wondering if we had the same symptoms.

  • jenna
    February 15, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Well…I’ve always just sort of disregarded my symptoms because everyone tells us “milk is so good for you–keep eating your dairy!!” It started that after I ate one of the greek yogurts that I used to looove I would get stomach cramps…and then I did a test by drinking a glass of milk and seeing how I felt. I noticed that after drinking it my stomach just didn’t agree! And…this is gross (warning!)—I seemed to be a little more gassy that usual after eating yogurt and drinking milk. usually I wouldn’t even notice such a thing but seriously, it was bad and Ryan constantly would make fun of me and ask me “did I have my dairy today yet?” So yeah…….after reading various health experts talk about dairy and the cons of it, I think I will give it up. Not only do I FEEL better (haven’t had it for a couple weeks), my skin looks better and no more tummy ailments! Cheese WILL be a challenge but I’m just going one day at a time…I heard the brand “Follow your Heart” makes the best soy cheese out there so I might try some next time I’m at the store.

  • Ashley H
    February 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks Jenna. I totally know what you mean about the gas. I also experience lower abdominal bloating and a little nausea. Do you think that sound like I might have a lactose intolerance too? (I am going to the doctors next friday but I was wondering what you thought.)
    Maybe you wont have to cut out al your cheese Jenna 😉 a little cant hurt now and then-it tastes so darn good!!