Books/ Dessert/ Dinner

Jenna Food, Jenna Time

Hi everyone!

First, some housekeeping:

  • Love reading all your entries for the free Summit ticket!! I will be randomly choosing the winner at 10 pm EST tonight and will announce the winner in my breakfast post tomorrow. 🙂 I got my plane tickets this morning!!!!!!! Ahhhh so excited!!!!!!!!!!!
  • If you didn’t get a chance to listen to my podcast, you can do so here.
  • Tomorrow is the LAST DAY to order Amazing Meal with the 40% discount!!! Unfortunately they are still out of the chocolate flavor but they DO have the original and pom mango (which apparently is their best seller!) available.

This afternoon I was quite hungry since my lunch was on the light side (lol) so I noshed on one of my homemade chocolate peanut butter granola bars and some grapies:



The bar was SO GOOD. I sent Ryan to work with one this morning and he loved it! Of course Ryan’s favorite combo in the world is chocolate peanut butter so these were right up his ally. 🙂 I modified Angela’s recipe because I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand. The result was nothing short of fabulous!

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup all natural peanut or almond butter

1.5 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup ground flax

pinch of sea salt

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup hemp seeds

2 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 tsp cinnamon

a big handful dark chocolate chips!

Heat the honey + pb on the stove until it starts to simmer. Turn off heat and pour over remaining ingredients (the chocolate will melt and it will just be amazing). Mix well with your hands and pat into a greased square baking dish. Wet your hands and pat down to get the surface totally smooth without sticky hands. Chill in freezer for 20 minutes. Cut into 10 bars. ~200 kcals, 13 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein per bar.

For dinner I made a classic Jenna meal:


Cool slippery soba noodles, spicy peanut sauce and crisp veggies all in a big bowl for slurpin’. I’m a huge sucker for thai peanut sauces and this one is delicious. For my peanut sauces I like the true flavor to obviously be peanut butter, so I use a lot here and then sharpen it a bit with hot pepper flakes and tie it all together with a little sweetness in the ketchup. Just make sure you use all natural ketchup to avoid icky high fructose corn syrup! If you make this meal in advance, a trick is to drizzle a little toasted sesame seed oil in the noodles after you have cooked and rinsed them. This helps them to not stick together and dry out. Wait until serving to toss with the veggies and sauce so it will be the freshest possible!


Soba Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce, Kale and Cucumber

serves 3-4

1 box soba noodles

about 6 pieces kale

1/2 cucumber

1/3 cup all natural peanut butter

1 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4th tsp garlic powder

pinch of sea salt

1 garlic clove

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 tsp (or to taste) red pepper flakes

2 tbsp all natural ketchup

squirt of honey or agave to taste

1/3-1/2 cup very warm water

First make the sauce. In a food processor, blender or Vita Mix, blend together the peanut butter, tamari, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder, sea salt, garlic clove, fresh ginger (just throw the whole nob in there), red pepper flakes, ketchup and half of the warm water. Blend on high until all is combined and then keep on adding a little more water at a time to thin it out to a desirable and runny consistency. Pour sauce in small bowl and set aside.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, drain and rinse under cold water. Peel the cucumber and slice into matchstick thin pieces. Roll up the kale and chiffonade into whisper-thin slices.

To serve, put a serving of cold soba in a bowl, top with about two tablespoons of sauce and a handful of both kale and cucumber.


It was absolutely delicious! And I’m psyched because I have leftovers in the fridge 🙂 (Ryan ate at a meeting after work)

Remembering my “me-time”, I ate while re-reading one of my favorite books EVER instead of hacking away on my laptop:


Folks, THIS is the book that determined my entire career. I was so infatuated by it and by Amanda Hesser, whom I adore, that I decided then and there (this was years ago) that I, too, would make a living writing about food. It twas my destiny!! This is my third time reading it–I can’t help myself 😉

Dessert was pretty awesome if I do say so myself—



Yes, I totally baked homemade vegan spelt chocolate chip cookies after dinner I enjoyed every single crumb of not just one, but TWO of them! I have been craving hot, gooey chocolate chip cookies all week (umm hormones?) and I finally got my fix. I’m still working out some tweaks in the recipe though so unfortunately, despite multitudes of food porn, I cannot give you the recipe tonight. 🙁 I’m going to try again next week with a different proportion of wet to dry sweetener to try to make these even BETTER than they were tonight and then I shall share! Yummy.

Bowls of Hope (yes, please!):

Post Foods (the guys that make Shredded Wheat) has partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief charity to help supply a well balanced breakfast to struggling Americans. Now, for every purchase of Post Shredded Wheat, Post will donate one bowl of cereal to Feeding America. How crazy cool is that?!

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  • Caitlin
    June 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    those choc. chip cookies look amazing!!

    love what Post is doing..I love Shredded Wheat so I will have to buy a couple boxes!

  • Meg
    June 24, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Love your dinner and how you incorporated a little ketchup. After trying all natural ketchup, I have never gone back to the other.

    Enjoy your Jenna time!

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness)
    June 24, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Hey Jenna! Great article about giving up the coffee! I am actually a fan of cold turkey, because as a tobacco control health educator, I’ve found that it works for a lot of people. I gave up caffeinated diet cokes a few months ago, and I gradually decreased my intake. First, I switched from 4-5 caffeinated ones to 2-3 caffeinated and 2 decaf. Then I went to all decaf and boy did I have headaches for the first few days! Now I haven’t drank a soda in about 3 weeks — I never, ever thought that would happen! If I drink coffee after a meal, it’s almost always decaf. Now I drink water and tea! I love how I feel — more energetic than ever!

  • Mia {runs and rests}
    June 24, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Now I’m craving soba as it is hot today! And that peanut sauce looks creamy delish! 😛

  • Maggie
    June 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Ooooh I love soba noodles! I made a recipe recently (it’s on my blog if you want it) with this awesome dressing that has Umeboshi Plums (a Japanese pickled plum thing). It was amazing and I repeated it for a few days. Yum 🙂

    I really liked your podcast this morning!

  • Maria
    June 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I see why the pom-mango flavor is Amazing Grass’s best seller, because it is gooood–I tried a sample at Whole Foods. Order is on the way :).

    Oh, those soba noodles look fabulous. Love spicy sweet Thai peanut sauce. Thanks for the recipe, Jenna! That book is a must read for all food bloggers then ;). The cookies look ooey gooey yummy!

  • brandi
    June 24, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    i love soba noodle salads! they’re so good with peanut sauces.

    that book looks great – I’ve never read it.

    enjoy your night!

  • Lauren
    June 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I have totally been craving hot gooey choc. chip cookies too! I have no idea where this craving is coming from because I’m not even a big choc. chip cookie lover. Weird!

    After seeing your food porn, now I am drooling for one!

    Sounds like you had such a great day as usual Jenna! I’m so jealous of your wonderful, productive and so fulfilling days. Mine are so monotinous and you always seem to be mixing it up. I love reading about them! 🙂

  • *Andrea*
    June 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    gooey cookies = perfect dessert!!! love the soba noodles and veggies, delish!

  • Megan (Runner's Kitchen)
    June 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Your soba noodle photos look so professional – the sauce is sticking to them perfectly in the photo. Bravo!

  • kailey
    June 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    oh goodness those bars look so good 🙂
    you would never know those cookies were had spelt! such a sneaky baker you are! haha

  • Recipes for Creativity
    June 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I don’t know which you made me want more: those granola bars, the peanut sauce on Soba noodles or the cookies! Thanks for the peanut sauce recipe, I am always looking for a good one!

  • Amy C.
    June 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I ordered the pom-mango version of the Amazing Meal so I’m happy to hear it’s good!

    I love your podcast, Jenna. It was really good. 🙂

  • Special K
    June 24, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I gave up caffeine for a week:
    and the first few days was awful. There is something to be said about noticing, perceiving how what you put in as nourishment, changes who you feel you are.
    I am a half caf girl now

  • Kati
    June 24, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Jenna, I have read that book too! I LOVED it and have wanted to buy it to read again…absolutely loved it! ? = Do you think I could make those granola bars without the hemp seeds? I don’t have any…

  • Melinda
    June 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I totally need to get that book- I’ve been wanting to write about food for a living and I’ve been doing lots of research and social networking- I quit my job wanting to go after my dreams to do something I love! I am determined to do it- thanks for being such an inspiration to me 🙂

  • Matt
    June 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Mmm I love soba noodles!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    June 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Loving that dinner Jenna! That peanut sauce sounds so delicious! YUM!

    And I’m totally going to check out that book for myself. It definitely sounds intriguing!

    Enjoy the rest of your evening!

  • Bec
    June 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I’m going to have to find that book and read it!

  • Jaime
    June 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Jenna, I just listened to your podcast and I loved it!

    I adore soba noodles and your sauce sounds simply divine. I can’t wait to give this recipe a whirl!

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    June 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Mmm what a yummy day! I LOVE peanut sauce too…Can’t get enough!

  • Leah
    June 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I would love to see a recommended reading list of yours, Jenna!

  • Amy
    June 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    I really enjoyed listening to your podcast! You did a great job!! Your homemade chocolate peanut butter granola bars look amazing!!!

  • Serena
    June 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Jenna, I just listened to the Podcast and have to say, Taylor seems nice, but you totally deserve that job over her!! You were great!

  • Anna
    June 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    This recipe sounds delisssshhhh. I just picked up some kale at my Farmer’s Market, so I’ll definitely be trying this out!

    I also just listened to your podcast. You sounded so natural! I could definitely see/hear more podcasts in your future!

  • Sarah (LovIN My Tummy)
    June 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Jenna food. Jenna time. Jenna rocks!

  • leslie
    June 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    this looks really delicious. i had soba noodles tonight too!

    those cookies look to die. to die!

  • Peabody
    June 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I love Cooking for Mr. Latte, it was one of my favorite books!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    June 24, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    That book sounds great!

    The cookies look so good! Can’t wait for the recipe!

  • rachel
    June 24, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Jenna I LOVE this book too! I have probably read it five or six times….I don’t know why, but it always makes me feel better when I’m sad. Have you made any of the recipes from it? I have made a bunch and they are all delicious. The carrot fennel soup is one of my faves. I also hear the almond cake is amazing….hmmmm maybe it’s time for a 7th reading?

  • MarathonVal
    June 24, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Jenna, I am having a hard time listening to your podcast – am I the only one having probs with this? Maybe it’s my computer (or me!) that is the problem….

    Have a great day!

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    June 24, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I think my hubby would love that sauce!

  • Haleigh
    June 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I will definitely be checking that book out soon!

  • Joelle (Chasing Pavements)
    June 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Everyone needs some me-time— good for you girl!

  • katie
    June 24, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Have you ever read Spooning? By stephens and desales (I believe). It is sort of sex and the city with a cooking club- very cute! Also- The Sharper the Knife the Harder You Cry about culinary school- seems like something you would already have read!

    Those granola bars are making my tummy growl. Thanks for the great recipes!

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write
    June 24, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Jenna! I’m a complete sucker for peanut sauce too. Peanut Butter is pretty much the best stuff on earth as far as I’m concerned. Your cookies look amazing. I could simply never have those in my house.

    Also, I wrote down that book. Maybe I’ll do a review on my blog. If so, I’ll let you know. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Island Girl Eats
    June 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I could smell those cookies. Yummy! Can’t wait for you to perfect them so we can get the recipe!

  • Jess
    June 25, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Both your noodle bowl and those cookies look amazing. So yum! Bummer on the Chocolate Super Food- I tried to order it before I caught up on all your posts today, and now I know why I didn’t go through….still, thanks for the great offer and for getting me so pumped up to try their products myself! Enjoy your “me” time when you can snag it!

  • Ali
    June 25, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Just listened to your podcast! You did such a great job… Very impressive!

    Im definitely making peanut sauce tomorrow! Yum…

  • Caroline
    June 25, 2009 at 12:19 am

    I have some kale in the fridge that needs to be used up, and I think I know exactly how I’ll use it…

  • Jessica
    June 25, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Amen! HFCS is evil!

  • Maya
    June 25, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I listened to your podcast, congrats on your success, it’s crazy how many blog hits you get a day!

    I love peanut based sauces I’ll give your twist a try.

  • Christie @ Find My Weigh
    June 25, 2009 at 5:43 am

    That cookie is drool worthy!

    I am listening to your pod cast now, you sound awesome!

  • Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri)
    June 25, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I am planning on making a batch of those granola bars this weekend. They look awesome. Your dinner looks great too. I absolutely love soba noodles. You had some really good eats today! : )

    I recently read Cooking For Mr. Latte in my book club and thought it was awesome. We were required to pick a recipe from the book and make it for a book club dinner. It was such a fun way to experiment with new recipes.

  • HM
    June 25, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Those bars … I make Angela’s version but I am going to try your take on them as well! Do you know how many grams of sugar there are in them? And I suspect hers have more calories because you use more coconut to sweeten and then just honey, instead of brown rice syrup and sugar?

    Just curious about them. They are almost too good to be true so I want to know the exact nutritional breakdown!

    • jenna
      June 25, 2009 at 10:40 am


      Well, Ange and I use the same amount of coconut in the bars and the coconut is actually unsweetened so it does not add any extra sugar. I just cut down the sweetener to 1/2 cup honey instead of 3/4 cup b.rice syrup because I wanted a less sweet version. unfortunately I don’t know how many grams of sugar there are in them though! I’m sorry 🙁

  • Diana (Soap & Chocolate)
    June 25, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Your soba recipe sounds great! Beats the heck out of store-bought sauce. I bet it’s even better left over too! 😀

  • J
    June 25, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I know this is REALLY odd, but I hate chocolate; I just won’t go near the stuff. Do you think I could omit it from the granola bar recipe? I know that I wouldn’t miss the sweetness at all, but would this impede binding and make them crumbly?

  • Jess
    June 25, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I crave homemade cookies all the time. 🙂
    Cold noodles…not so much, so I just serve my soba noodles warm.

  • Stephanie
    June 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I love the Post promotion, and I do love me the Shredded Wheat (the Wheat n Bran is the post perfect, natural, healthy cereal EVER). Hooray for Post! I am going to re-stock ASAP!

  • Tracy
    June 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    That’s so funny that you loved Cooking for Mr. Latte!! I seriously thought of you when I read that book! It fits you to a tee! Good luck with your writing career in the future, Jenna!

  • runrunjessicarun
    June 26, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Wow Jenna, you’ve inspired me with your coffee article!
    I wouldn’t say that I’m a coffee addict but I do enjoy either a large coffee or tea every morning. After reading your article I realized that I suffered from many of the same symptoms which are likely attributed to my coffee consumption.
    So this is day1 for me. This morning all I’ve had is a SMALL coffee and some green tea.
    Thanks for the inspiration!