Mar 09

5 on Friday + Vanilla Chai Frappuccino

Life gets crazy.


I have about a million things that I ran out of time to do this week.  There are pictures on my computer of things I’ve been meaning to share with you all for weeks.  It’s embarrassing.


This Friday I am going to begin to catch up!  Here are 5 things I’m digging lately:


1. Dandy Blend

I won a bag of Dandy Blend in a giveaway from Tiffany @ Como Water.  It’s an herbal dandelion powder that supposedly has a coffee-like taste.

You know what?  It does!  Granted, it’s no replacement for your fancy Ethiopian blends… but for you non-fancy coffee drinkers and herbal drink lovers, I would recommend it.



The bag says to mix 1 rounded tsp with a mug of hot water.  That didn’t cut it for me.  I had to use 2 heaping tsp to get that coffee taste.  Hot “coffee” is good, but my favorite way to drink it was been mixed into other things.  Namely, mixed into a vanilla chai frappuccino.  (Recipe at bottom.)

Speaking of the frapp below…


2. Vanilla Chai Vega Nutritional Powder

Vega’s re-formulated Vanilla Chai also had a starring role in my  vanilla chai frappucchino.  I have previously tried Vega’s plant-based protein powder and didn’t care for it.  They did a great job on the reformulation!  I loved the 15g of protein to keep me full, and that it only contained 2g of sugar.



With many powders I find that the flavors are either too diluted or leave an artificial aftertaste – the new Vega doesn’t commit either crime.  It made an awesome chai-spiced cold drink to start out the crazy-winter-balmy 75 degree day!


3. Super Me! Wrist Cuff

This rockin’ cuff was ordered from Horse Feathers several weeks ago.

(Side note: Does any one else think “finger cuffs!” every time they hear the word cuff?  Chasing Amy reference?  Any one?)



Check out the website here.  They sell a bunch of different items and other cuffs with various quotes.  Mine says: “If I gotta be me, I’m gonna be super-me.”

They shipped fast and it arrived in a cute blue bag.  Sold.


4. So Delicious Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream

This deliciousness is almost sugar-free – only 1g of sugar!!!  It was on sale (mind you, on sale meant it was still $5 a pint) at Whole Foods, so I treated myself.  My expectations were low… but OMG it is delicious!!!




5. YOU

You guys have been making me smile all week.

One of my new favorite bloggers, Lauren @ Oatmeal After Spinning made a variation of my Chili Nutty Tofu and declare it “perfection.”  If you haven’t tried baking tofu yet… you should! :)

Click here for my version (pictured below):


Click here for Lauren’s variation.



Gina @ Running to the Kitchen (Our blogs’ names should get married – no wonder I love her!) made my Vegan Goat Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes.

I’m not one to brag (ok, I can be one to brag…), but these were damn good:


Click here to see Gina’s post, which includes some killer pics!  Read: much better than my iPhone efforts.


Vanilla Chai Frappuccino

  • Vega Vanilla Chai protein powder
  • 2 heaping tsp Dandy Blend (or instant coffee, to taste)
  • 2 big kale leaves (optional)
  • Handful of wheatgrass (optional)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Ice


Toss everything in your blender of choice, mix until smooth, and happily slurp away!

I topped mine with a few cacao nibs.  Whipped cream would have also been good. ;)


Crossfit update: I’m so sore that I actually did yoga yesterday.  I hate yoga.  It helped.

What’s the best new food/product/recipe you’ve tried lately?

Has anyone tried any of the above products?  I’d love to hear your opinions!



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  1. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    I did yoga yesterday and now I’m sore – I don’t think Crossfit would help. ;)

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      Haha – it’s a whole new kind of sore. :)

  2. Lisa@thedailyrundown

    Are those purple asparagus in the tofu pic? I need those!

    1. Laura

      It is! They were HUGE stalks too!

  3. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    i LOVE when people make my recipes!

  4. Parita @ myinnershakti

    The So Delicious Java Chip (or something like that) flavor is amazing. YUM! I’m loving that it’s Friday!!

  5. Kitchen Belleicious

    Love this! Those tomatoes stuffed with the goat cheese are calling my name! YUM!

  6. Lee

    Haha, I’ve seen Chasing Amy a bunch of times but not for a long time and had to look up what it meant! I knew it was something like that.

    I’ve only tried the So Delicious sugar-free mint flavor and it tasted too icy to me. Several people told me that they liked that flavor the least though so I am open to trying others.

    1. Laura

      Please tell me you didn’t look it up on your work computer…

  7. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate

    I just got some samples of the Vega! Can’t wait to try it :)

    1. Laura

      This was good stuff! I’m waiting my sports samples. Hope they are just as good!

  8. RavieNomNoms

    I really want to try that ice cream I am sure it is delicious! I have been wanting to try out coconut milk & flour more…just haven’t gotten to that point. Hard to find where I am!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      Coconut flour is so much fun to work with! Just watch out because it absorbs more liquid than regular flour. It gives baked goods an amazingly silky texture though!

  9. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    Currently dealing with “I’m so busy” vs. Mr. Mason Jar’s “I’m so NOT busy” I can TOTALLY relate to that first image….

  10. Healthiful Balance

    Loved this post!

    That Dandy Blend sounds really interesting, would love to try it sometime! And that So Delicious ice cream sounds awesome, too! Only 1g of sugar.. thats so rare these days! :P

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      Right?! I get so excited when I find good products that aren’t loaded with 25g of sugar.

      Hope your weekend is a good one too!

  11. janet @ the taste space

    I was wondering why all the old Vega protein powders were on sale… now I know! New stock! Can’t wait to try out the new stuff. :)

  12. Tiffany

    YAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad you got your Dandy Blend!!!! I had to use more than they said too, but it’s pretty dang tasty, no?!?!? :D

    1. Laura

      I’m digging it! I made a cup this morning with cinnamon and some cocoa stevia – delish! Thank you again!!!

  13. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

    - I discovered Dandy Blend a few years ago when a co-worker brought me some and fell in love with it immediately! I also love the Vega Vanilla Chai and never thought to combine the two- what a great idea! I can’t wait to try it out!
    - I really, really like the vanilla flavor or the So Delicous Sugar Free. I can’t remember if I’ve had any of the others.
    - I need to make the tomato recipe- or at least the “cheese” filling. (Must put on to-do list…)
    - Your tofu recipe seriously opened up a whole new set of doors for me. I want everyone to try it! And I can’t wait to experiment more with different variations on baked tofu!

    And PS- Your blog is most definitely one of my favorite new discoveries… you’re going to Blend, right? (If so, you need to drag Lee along!!)

    1. Laura

      I can’t wait to see how else you make it! I want to try the whiskey tofu recipe Heather @ Better with Veggies posted today, only baked.

      P.S. You are so sweet! I’m so glad we found each other AND that we’ll get to meet at Blend!!! I don’t know what Lee isn’t going… off to pester her…

      1. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

        I am too- TOTAL love fest! We are going to have so much fun in Boulder- I can not wait!!!
        Oh, and I’m thinking up an Italian or Mediterranean type of marinade for tofu. Stay tuned- I plan to make it on Wednesday next week. :)

  14. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    Love the smoothie, but that cup…. ;)
    Happy Friday!

    1. Laura

      Hey now! :P

  15. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Dandelion powder? Now that is something I’ve never seen before. The best new food product I’ve tried recently is Erin Baker’s peanut butter protein granola. I’m not usually a granola person, but I keep finding excuses to snack on this all day.

    1. Laura

      That sounds really good! Didn’t you blog about that granola? Where did you find it?

      1. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

        I didn’t, but I remember that someone else did blog about it recently, though I can’t remember who. I have only been able to find it at Kroger so far.

  16. Katy @ notjustacarnivore

    I’m excited to try this vanilla chai stuff, Laura! Have you put it in your oats?

    1. Laura

      No, this was my first time trying it. It almost landed in my oats, but I was craving a frapp. Let me know if you try it!

  17. Khushboo

    Ohh I want to try this soy ice cream- sounds yum! I am loving mutabul- it’s a Lebanese dip similar to hummus but instead made from eggplant…I’m officially addicted!

    1. Laura

      I think I made something like mutabul without knowing it! I used eggplant, tahini, and garlic as the base. Is that the base of it? Never blogged it because the color was gross… tasted great though!

  18. Kiri W.

    I’ve had the ice cream and loved it :) It’s just way above my budget as a regular treat…

    1. Laura

      Yeah… good thing it was on sale… for $5. LOL!

  19. Allie

    I have a bag of vega Shake & Go Vanilla Almond smoothie mix…and I absolutely love it! Great on it’s own, or it adds excellent protein/flavor to my regular smoothies/shakes. I haven’t tried any other Vega products though–although I did buy the Thrive book. And I waaaant that ice cream–but in the almond chip flavor. Definitely going to watch Whole Foods for that one, thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Laura

      The Thrive book loos really good. Are you liking it?

      I had the almond chip in my hand and then opted for chocolate. That’s happening next time though!

      1. Allie

        I reviewed the book on my blog here: http://forgottenbeast.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/book-3-and-a-recipe-review/ and have since made a few more recipes from it–the ones I’ve tried have all been REALLY good (made some “crackers” and “burgers” in addition to a few of the pancake recipes–but there aren’t that many recipes and a lot of them are fairly impractical/may not please people not used to “health” food. So I’d say if your library has it or you find it used, flip through it, but it’s not necessarily a must-have/use-all-the-time sort of book.

        1. Laura

          Good to know – thanks for the link!

  20. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    You know I *heart* Vega – that Vanilla Chai is my favorite flavor of the smoothie mix. There’s also a protein in the Sport Pack (I think you’ll get a sample in the one you ordered) that has a higher protein count & is yummy. Not as yummy as the Vega One, but it’s a true protein powder.

    And wheatgrass? Rock on – I can’t stomach that stuff – too bitter for me. :)

    1. Laura

      I’m really excited to try it out!

      Wheatgrass doesn’t bother me in smoothies. I can’t handle it straight though!

  21. sportsglutton

    If drinking that Chai stuff can make a Yellow Jacket that jacked up just think of what it could do for me!

    1. Laura

      Glutton… your comments always make my day. :)

  22. janetha

    Hold the phone–is the protein powder chai flavored? Or is it chia.. you wrote chia in the ingredient list but part of me thinks (and hopes!) it’s a typo and there is really a chai flavored protein powder. That would be dope!

    1. Laura

      Opps – thanks! Fixed that typo. Though I do love chia. :)

    2. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

      Janetha, you need to be getting the vanilla chai ASAP. It is the best protein powder I have ever tasted, hands down. I have like 4 tubs of it in my pantry that I got when it was on sale.

  23. Meg

    I love you so much girl :) I want to try that tofu recipe :D

  24. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    I ADORE that ecard – it is officially my dating life… so if you know anyone? =) Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      LOL! No, but you let me know if you know someone and maybe we can help each other out. :)

  25. Kat

    Love that opening pic! HA… I’m also looking for someone to date who also has completely no time to date. is that even dating? lol!

  26. Choc Chip Uru

    What a gorgeous frappacino – looks so exotic and I bet tasted wonderful :D
    Have a lovely weeked!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Laura

      Thank you! It was pretty awesome. I’m off to buy more of the powder today!

  27. Suzi

    I’ve seen that ice cream but didn’t buy it, thought I would try making my own but that didn’t quite work out. I’m trying this, maybe the vanilla. Still want to make the vegan goat cheese maybe this weekend. Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Laura

      I’d say it’s worth it as an occasional splurge. :)

      Let me know if you do the goat cheese! I am in love with the stuff.

  28. Errign

    Best thing I’ve tried recently? Hmmm…no idea! I haven’t really tried anything new in awhile!

  29. Terra

    Love finding new healthy recipes, gives me fun ideas! The goat cheese stuffed tomatoes look delicious! I don’t fry foods, my hubby and I stopped eating fried foods, and stopped eating at fast-food restaurants. Hugs, Terra

    1. Laura

      Good for you guys! Do you feel so much better now? I was just telling my mom last night that I can’t imagine eating some of the crap I used to put in my body!

  30. Hannah

    Yay for happy things! Love the wrist cuff and the ice cream in particular. All I kind find here is one brand of soy ice cream that comes in vanilla and chocolate, and it is LAMEFACE. Bah!

    1. Laura

      Awwww… maybe you guys will get So Delicious soon!

  31. Baking Serendipity

    I am loving cold morning drinks as spring gets closer and closer! This one looks delicious :)

  32. Choc Chip Uru

    You have been awarded an award package because you deserve it my friend :)
    Come check it out here: http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/a-perfect-german-morning/

    Choc Chip Uru

  33. Ashley @ Freckles & Spice

    I’m going to yoga today. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Its so hard to get me there, but I usually love it after.
    I have so many of your recipes starred. I need to start cooking!

    1. Laura

      I’m glad to hear it’s not just me! :)

  34. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    Haha, I’ve totally thought that about our blog names before too! Loved those tomatoes :) Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      Thank you!!! Hope you had a great one. :)

  35. Bjorg

    Ohmy chai is my faveourite and that looks delicious !

    I just found your blog…Glad I did :)

    1. Laura

      Welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! :)

  36. Anonymous

    That ecard is hilarious. PURPLE asparagus??? OOOOH…..can’t wait ’till I can find some. Does it taste exactly like green (or the white?) I’m also a little jealous of that bee cup!!! LOVE it. Have a great weekend.

    1. Roz@weightingfor50

      OOPS….I’m not anonymous….this is my info! sigh. I need coffee!!!! :)

      1. Laura

        Purple asparagus taste more or less the same. The biggest difference was how thick it was. Iv’e never seen such thick asparagus before!

  37. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

    Ohhh girl, I LOVE chai! And your chai frap looks so much healthier than starbucks!

    1. Laura

      Same here! If you can find it, definitely check out this Vega!

  38. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Your smoothie looks too good!

  39. kale @ tastes good to me!

    Aw, I think your i-phone-captured stuffed tomatoes look gorgeous!

    1. Laura

      Awww… thank you! :)

  40. Baker Street

    Woosh! I want that cup along with the smoothie of course.

    1. Laura

      I like you even more now. :)

  41. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    Too bad your smoothie had to be in a techie cup! JK!!! <3

    1. Laura

      Go Jackets!!! :P

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