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High-Protein 4th of July

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This morning I made a wrong turn on my run. Have you ever made a wrong turn—either on a run or in the car—and just kept going, thinking: “Maybe this is right, even though it doesn’t look familiar” or “If I just keep going a little further, maybe I’ll end up in the right place”? That’s the predicament in which I found myself today. Finally, I gave up and said, “This is ridiculous. I keep getting farther and farther from the path I know will take me home. It’s time to cut my losses and go back!”

All in all, it was only about a 20-minute’s-extra detour. And at least I got to see some fun new scenery on the wrong path. In the afternoon, we went onto my aunt and uncle’s boat, equipped with munchies.

High protein chocolate cake

Red, white, blue, and high-protein chocolate cake.

My mom picked up a non-vegan cake from Stop-n-Shop. So I tried to be similar, bringing along my own chocolate cake. That way, when everyone ate their store-bought cake with sliced berries and Cool Whip, I joined in the fun. (My whip is Soyatoo.) Couldn’t let them indulge in chocolate without me!


At night, we moseyed on down to the docks for some firework action. (I left the tv on for Henry, because I’ve read that it helps drown out the scary firework noise. Having been formerly abused, Henry’s afraid of quite a lot.)  The day might have begun in a strange way, but it ended perfectly… with a BANG!

Question of the Day:

Do you ever try to eat vegetarian versions (or healthier versions) of the “normal” foods your family/friends are eating at the same time? I sometimes do, just because I think it’s fun to show that I can… and every now and then, my family/friends are shocked to discover that my “weirdo” food tastes just as good or better than what they’re eating!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Caroline says:

    Oh, I have taken many a wrong turn on a run and added quite a few miles. I don’t mind either, because I figure the extra mileage is good for me and for my times. It’s like a bonus!

    And yes, I do often eat more healthy versions of what my family eats…my mom sugars our family’s berries, but I prefer them without. I like butternut squash ravioli instead of beef, and mushrooms and eggplant in my lasagna instead of meat, hemp milk ice cream instead of dairy, or a Jocalat instead of a brownie (actually, Jocalats taste a heck of a lot like brownies!). I would choose some deliciously roasted vegetables over meat any day!

  2. Lori and i are always created vegan meals for our family and lots of raw foods lately…and everyone is scared at first, but then they all end up liking it all!!

  3. Poor Molly! I hope she is ok now? Sorry about taking the wrong turn on your run as well. Glad the day ended well though! Your chocolate cake dessert looks great! :)

  4. eatandrun says:

    I always have a veggie burger on burger night with my friends :).

  5. abby says:

    oooh the protein cake looks so good. makes me want to make another one too! it’s so quick to make that i just might make one today :). love you, katie!

  6. Inspired says:

    Gorgeous cake, and gorgeous fireworks!
    Sounds like you got some good extra exercise in ;). Unlike a wrong turn with driving, at least it’s not a waste of time, you know?

  7. Fun!!! I love your festive brownie! I always try making healthy-versions of food,so I can show people it can be yummy and healthy! For example, I made a apple pie without any sugar in it, and everyone loved it!

  8. Leslie says:

    Oh I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken the wrong road while running and said, “Maybe I’ll still get to my destination if I keep going a little bit more. Just a little bit more and I’ll see something familiar again.” But it just never happens and then I’m lost before I know it! But it’s fun!

  9. Mo says:

    My problem is that when I try to make my own little meals, people call me a picky snob. “You’re a guest and you’ll eat what is served to you.” Of course they all make sure that my vegetarian sister is comfortable, but if I try to eat my REAL food (which is almost always vegan, anyway; I just don’t say I’m vegan because I’m not) I get a bunch of flack for it. They’re both lifestyle choices; I just chose the one that’s harder for people accustomed to junk food to understand. :( I think it’s easier for people to accept that someone’s a vegetarian or vegan than to accept that someone doesn’t want to eat their Wal-Mart cake and will only eat animal products if it’s organic. o.O I mean, obviously it’s not as clear-cut but people should respect others’ decisions as to what they put in their mouth, no matter what label is slapped on it. I think it’s great that your family is fine with you doing your own thing. :)

    Sounds like you had a great time, though!

    1. Mo,
      Aww *hugs*. But I feel your pain! Not all of my family is cool with my veganism. My uncle, the other day, actually was trying to tell me why Atkins was the way to go and why I was “ruining my health” by eating too many carbs! Sheesh! Sometimes you don’t even know how to respond lol.

  10. Ilana says:

    Well I don’t run but one time I was in Israel and I was walking back to my apartment from a friend’s and I don’t know how I walked the wrong way but I decided I would “make it back” if I just kept walking…for two hours….in the wrong direction. Eventually I just took a cab back!!

    When my family eats hamburgers I’ll usually go for a grilled portobella mushroom, or *maybe* a veggie burger but I don’t really love those. It sometimes is fun to be eating the “same thing” as everyone else. This year for my birthday we’re going to a vegan restaurant and I’m kind of excited to show my family and friends that vegan food IS real food, and can be just as good as non-vegan.

  11. Yeah I do it all the time :) During my veg phase I would make black bean burgers or simply grill a Boca patty while my fam had meat. I would also make vegan banana bread and chocolate soy puddings so I could enjoy desserts with my parents :)

  12. Rachel says:

    I love eating veggie versions of what my meat-eating family is eating. I love having them try my stuff too, and it’s always neat when they like it.

    -veggie burgers and veggie hotdogs at BBQs
    -tofurkey or quorn roast / veggie gravy for turkey at thanksgiving
    -veggie BLTs
    -vegan marshmallow roasting over campfires

    also I just got married a month ago and we had all vietnamese vegan food for the dinner– most everyone adored it, including my parents who were freaking out about an all-vegan wedding when they are big meat fans. One thing that helped, I think, was the fact that a lot of the vegan food was deep-fried, and those dishes were people’s favorites. Oh well- better than having deep-fried meat!

  13. Yes! I love veganizing food. Maybe its smug of me, but I love silently showing how unnecessary eating meat is! Its my goal to win the world over with delicious cooking!!!!

  14. Serena says:

    I do, depending on if I have time/energy to make a “healthier version”… In fact, I was just at whole foods and bought a bunch of raw/vegan “junk food” (cookies, cereals, etc) and it’s all so tasty 😛
    I actually like shocking people with my “weirdo food”

  15. Faith says:

    I’m so directionally challenged, I’m ALWAYS making a wrong turns that take me forever to figure out. My friends all know to leave at least 15 minutes early when they’re riding with me when we have to be somewhere new at a certain time 😉

    I do love to healthify versions of what others are eating, but if it’s a situation where it could come off as high-maintenance, I’ll just opt for healthy sides. When I cook for people though, I love showing them what I can do to a version of their not-so-nutritious favorites !

  16. Julie says:

    I think it’s hard to change people’s mind, especially when your family is a meat eater… My dad still doesn’t understand my choice and my family in law think I’m crazy. They never wanna try my vegan food even though it is good looking and sounds yummy. Sometimes it’s hard because you put so much effort on it and at the end of the day, people look at your plate like if you were a poor thing. But how can you change their mind when they don’t eat fruits or vegetables AT ALL. I mean, how can they eat so much meat ? That’s the only thing in their plate !

    About your uncle, well tell him the Atkins diet is very poor in carbs and unbalanced compared to yours, which brings all the nutriments that a body needs.

    I love your dessert. Hope everyone thought you were lucky to have such a sweety treat ! 😀

  17. Danielle says:

    I have missed a turn a few times! Sometimes when you’re ‘in the zone’ it’s hard to pay attention to where you’re going 😀

    I hope poor Molly feels better!

  18. Meg says:

    Poor Henry!! I hope he enjoyed the 4th sans fireworks :)

    I love bringing my own recipes to parties – even if not everyone wants to try it, it’s awesome when at least a few people try it, and usually love it – I’m sure your chocolate protein cake was even better than the store bought one, in fact, I KNOW it was better 😉

    Enjoy your day Katie!!

  19. Courtney says:

    Awww, poor Henry. That was very sweet of you to think of him! We always bring veggie versions of hot dogs and hamburgers to cookouts, and frequently there are lots of non-vegetarians who want to try them–and wind up liking them!! I also always make vegan cookies for my co-workers, and they really cannot tell the difference! Glad you had such a nice 4th!

    1. Courtney,
      Once, I had a package of veggie hot dogs in the fridge, and my grandma mistook them for real ones. Then, when I asked where my hot dogs were, she said, “But I didn’t eat a veggie one. It was too good!” :)

  20. Laura says:

    i always freak out so much when i take a wrong turn! i get that horrible feeling in my chest and all sorts of ideas about being lost for days go threw my head…when in reality i’m still only about 20 minutes awayfrom my house (haha!!)… is nice to see new scenery though :) xx

  21. Yes! I do that ALL the time! In fact, if I’m going somewhere and I know food will be provided, I try to find out in advance what they’re having. That way I can make my own version and not look too odd. Plus like you said, people comment on how delicious it looks in comparison to theirs. 😛

  22. Oh, and I’ve definitely done that wrong-turn-but-I’m-gonna-keep-going thing. I think everyone has at least once.

    Poor Henry! It was nice for you to do that though. I dealt with a very similar thing with my dog last night. She, too, was abused before we got her, so she’s really skiddish, especially around men. We made the mistake of taking her with us to see fireworks (we were going to a park and thought it would be great) and it was not a good idea. She was terrified at first, but thankfully over time she calmed down. 😛

  23. I hope Molly’s feeling better! And it’s really scary taking wrong turns when out running. It’s ok when you’re in the car..but just something about being on foot makes getting lost 20x worse. :/
    I always make healthified versions of my old time favorites using vegetarian faux fried chicken using tofu or something like that :)

    Oh, and I never got that email you mentioned a few days this is me yelling at you! haha 😛

    1. Mary,
      Sent another one!! And this time, I didn’t include a link, so… *crosses fingers*

  24. kneadspeed says:

    I do vegetarian/healthier make-overs to food recipes all the time! And I’ve yet to have anyone ask me if I “healthified” it – in fact, they’re too busy snarfing it down to ask questions. Works like a charm. 😉

    Also, like you, I’ve gotten lost on a number of my running routes. I have certain routes I remember, but I often like to take different turns sometimes to see where they take me. Sometimes it can take me on a loooooong detour, hehe. But who am I to complain? Getting lost can be the most fun thing (assuming one doesn’t panic).

    1. Kneadspeed,
      Hahaha that’s what I always do with vegan baked goods. Serve first, tell later ;).

  25. reikifeet says:

    On memorial day, i took veggie burgers & sausages to the party, and pineapple-jalapeno coleslaw to share, but i didn’t think about chips (former binge-food for me) and ended up eating probably a whole bag of Lay’s during the course of the 12-hour party, which actually led to 2 more days of bingeing and a couple weeks of terrible eating. So last night, i took kale chips for the fireworks, but forgot about the s’mores so ended up having one of those. Now i know to go prepared for ALL the types of dishes that might tempt me to impulse-eat, because typically i’ll be content w/ a healthy substitute if i have it.

    1. Reikifeet,
      Ooh what a cute idea to bring kale chips to a party! I made them for my chip-loving mom once, and she liked them even though she hates kale :).

  26. Lindsey says:

    I’ve done tofu dogs when my family was grilling hot dogs, veganaise in my own portion of my mom’s potato salad … If I want what the majority is having, I’ll veganize for myself (if they won’t have it all vegan), if I don’t care much about what they’re having, I just eat my own food.

  27. Danielle says:

    Pizza without the cheese! I’ve never tried Daiya, nor any other brand of vegan cheese, because the veggie toppings are so succulent on their own! Yesterday, we made grilled pizza topped with (you guessed it) grilled veggies! And I’ve come up with a sprinkle that my husband thinks is a good substitute for parmesan!

  28. BroccoliHut says:

    I used to veganize my mom’s recipes all the time in high school–vegan chili, veggie burgers, carbonara, everything! Then I got tired of always eating what everyone else was having, so I expanded my horizons by starting a food blog…

  29. Anna says:

    What an amazing afternoon snack!!! Even though it is past the 4th, I think I still need to make this. I have yet to make your chocolate protein cake, but it has been on my mind forever now!! I need to make it!! To answer your question, many times when I am at my parent’s place, I’ll have a completely different dinner than them, or have whatever they’re eating without the meat (like when they make tacos and I just make a big bean, lettuce and salsa bowl). By now, they are used to it, but when I first became Vegetarian (a little over 2 years ago now), they weren’t too happy about it. Now, they’re completely supportive of my eats and my blog. It’s funny, my Dad once said to me “you know, you people who don’t eat real food sure do get creative!” hah…I didn’t argue with him on what “real food” is, but I thought it was a funny comment 😉

    1. Anna,
      LOL I always laugh when they say “real food” to me, too. Like beans and veggies are “fake” foods? :)

  30. People who are not as adventurous or health conscious are often surprised but how good healthier things test! I love to see the reactions!

  31. I always let people know that it would be easy to get rid of the meat. My dad is meat-o-man but my mom slips healthy things in.

  32. Hahaha I totally do that!! My family thinks I am so weird. But I actually prefer the healthier version of some foods. You learn to love “clean” versions of recipes. And yummmo I prefer veggie burgers over regular burgers any day!

  33. I love making vegan versions of whatever my family is having…then they can’t say “what can/do you actually eat?!?!” I had great success with vegan brownies this weekend.

    Glad you had a nice fourth. Mine was filled with food, fun, and family – so it was great! :)

  34. bubblegumgymkat,
    Hehe cute blog name! :)

  35. Christina says:

    Since my mom and I became vegetarians (and because I have a mild allergy to dairy and a severe allergy to egg) our family get-togethers have become MUCH healthier. More vegetables, less dairy, and I LOVE experimenting with new recipes for each family thing. It took my fam a while to realize that I’m staying vegetarian (it’s been about a year and a half now…took ’em long enough!) but they’re finally accepting it.

    I actually think it’s benefiting everyone… 😉

  36. Christina,
    Hehe my dad always says he eats waaay more veggies because I’m a vegetarian :).

  37. Marianne says:

    I’ll eat veggie burgers from time to time when they are an option over meat burgers because I do like them, and sometimes people think it’s weird because I’m not a vegetarian, so I should eat the meat burgers obviously (?). I just go with it. Doesn’t really bother me if people think it’s weird though – I’m gonna eat what I want to eat.

  38. Tricia says:

    I vegetarian-ize nearly everything that my family has for dinner. Like if they have stuffed peppers filled with rice and sausage, i’ll have stuffed peppers filled with kidney beans and rice.
    I tried your protein cake. It didn’t turn out well at all for me :(, but i’m pretty sure it was the protein powder i used. It’s SO gross XP My brother won’t even drink it and he wanted it! I think next time i’m gonna try to just use cocoa powder lol.

    1. Hey girl,
      The type of powder definitely makes a diff! But if you try it with plain cocoa powder, you’ll want to add a LOT of sweetener. I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but when I made it with cocoa powder, it was much too bitter even for me. (It did firm up nicely, though.)