Archive for February, 2011

Fast food

Boy, did this day fly by! I had a lot of work on my plate and barely looked up from the computer most of the day. I’m glad it went by quickly, but I felt like a big lump of blah.

Instead of staying late, I decided to eat lunch at my desk so I could leave at a normal time. (I do this far more often than I’d like to admit). Since it was a Monday, I went with healthy convenience foods instead of something elaborate for lunch; since I already had a can of soup in my desk, I grabbed a strawberry Chobani and an English cucumber to throw in my purse while my morning oatmeal was cooking in the rice cooker.

Sidenote: I am legitimately obsessed with making oatmeal in my rice cooker. Post on this to come!

I ate one of these guys:

image

As noted before, this stuff, while delicious, is just too salty for me. I had to down several glasses of water, all in my goofy Santa-Simpsons cup.

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I never got to the cucumber, so it’s still waiting for me in the fridge at work!

I got hungry a few hours later (shocker) so I had the Chobani with some of the strawberry stuff mixed in (all of it makes it too sweet, in my opinion), some uncooked old fashioned oats and some of Kara’s Vanilla Almond Special K mixed in to tide me over. Delish and worked like a charm!

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So despite it being only Monday, I already had plans set for every day this week, as well as a trip for this weekend, so I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and worried that I would’ve have much me time – let alone any gym time. I decided to rearrange my plans a bit so I could not only have Laura time (very important :D), but also feel less..I don’t know, boxed in? I tend to get really anxious when I’m overwhelmed and it’s just not good for anybody. I’m now on the bus home (update: finished the post at home!) and feeling much better about the week ahead :)

In other and less important news, why do the ends of my hair always look like they’ve been chewed on by an animal?! I need to get a haircut, blegh.

February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm 1 comment

Fancy Schmancy

Oh yeah. Check THIS out…

I swear I’m not a crazy cat lady.

strrretch

hi, mama

Okay, maybe just a little bit.

Camera is way neato. Still trying to learn how to use it though.

Here’s the eggplant parm I made the other night!

cheesy

It was SO GOOD. I used this recipe. The only difference was that I cut the recipe in half and didn’t use the crazy huge amount of tomato sauce they called for. I also had some sauteed brussels sprouts on the side.

With lots of garlic gold sprinkled on top, of course! I will absolutely be making this again soon.

Sorry the pictures are still so amateurish…still learning!

Had a great weekend full of fun…including more tasty food and the ballet! Details to come, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

February 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm 1 comment

Meat coma

I have been seriously craving something gooey, cheesy and decadent the past few days, as I mentioned yesterday. I thought at first I wanted pizza, but it was really just anything carb-y and gooey that I wanted. I’m a big believer in letting yourself indulge occasionally so that you don’t go overboard at a moment of weakness — it’s a really good practice of moderation. I’m still working on doing the indulging thing within limits though, as I tend to go crazy on portion sizes if I’m not mindful of it.

Thinking it would quell the craving, I made some eggplant parmesan after the gym last night. It was FANTASTIC and I wholeheartedly chowed down on dinner last night…took some fun pictures and will post them along with the recipe tomorrow becausessseeee — I got my CF card reader in the mail last night!

Apparently, though, the eggplant didn’t cut it, because when I heard the Gaztro-Wagon was coming for lunch today, I got my dolla bills ready.

Yeah, I just wolfed down a huge sandwich. Slow-cooked beef, cabbage, apple, gouda and bacon, all wrapped up in a warm piece of naan.

Cue drooling.

Picture 2

source

I’m pretty sure I forgot to breathe before diving into this thing face first. Needless to say, I didn’t take a picture.

Unfortunately I’m feeling kinda yucky now — a little too full but thankfully not stuffed, weighed down and sleepy. Just a reminder that my body runs best on whole grains, fruits and veggies + lots of water. But this was a fun indulgence nonetheless.

In other “news” — hah! news… — I got my very first french press in the mail last night as well! I’ve heard so many good things about them but always thought they were complicated and/or expensive. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t make a huge mess while making my first batch this morning (grounds EVERYWHERE, oh my), but I knew that my massive $24 Amazon investment (seriously, the one I bought cost a measly 24 bucks) was worth it the second my fancy brew hit my lips.

French press coffee is so good. Go out and buy one. Today. Better yet, do it right now. Here is the one I picked out for myself, huge emphasis being on the “shatterproof” part.

I’m no coffee connoisseur, but from what I understand, the French press allows all the oils of the beans to stay in the brew, giving it a richer, smoother and less acidic taste. My morning mug didn’t have any bitterness to it, and it had a much…fuller? mouthfeel. It was GOOD.

Hope you have a lovely afternoon!

February 24, 2011 at 11:54 am 1 comment

Linked: Beyonce does Limbs

I’m pretty sure this is my favorite thing. Ever.

 

February 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt or, How to Salvage a Ruined Batch of Soup

I was looking through some Google results on The Magic Bullet for this post when I came across this site (which supplied this post’s title) and it had me nearly doubled over in laughter. If you’re looking for a good mid-day laugh, or just want to know what the hell the Magic Bullet is (a “Cuisinart for hookers,” obviously), you’ll want to check it out.

So having been inspired by Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake, I have begun trying to eat and shop a little more cheaply. I always have tons of halfway used bags of food in my freezer and pantry, so I decided to try my hand at making a quickie vegetable soup.

One of my favorite “office” lunches during the colder months (aka most of the year) is soup. Part of this (okay, a huge factor) is that I am lazy. I usually forget or don’t take the time to make a lunch the night before, so I’ll walk to the grocery store nearby and pick up a can of healthy-ish soup and a cucumber and piece of fruit to cut up. BAM. Healthy lunch, minimal effort.

Unfortunately, though, this tends to get expensive. While some soups are on the cheaper side, I try to get  either something organic, or at least lower sodium, high-veggie, low-cal, etc. Those usually run $3-$4 a can. CRAZY, right?

So the other night, I simmered some onions and garlic with olive oil, added some veggie broth then cooked about a serving’s worth of pearled barley in the mix for an hour-ish. Turned out great…next step, add frozen veggies that I have hiding throughout my freezer and stealth canned goods from the pantry.

In the mix:

  • Trader Joe’s fire roasted peppers + onions
  • TJ’s cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • Muir Farms diced tomatoes (no salt added kind)
  • huge bag of Whole Foods’ new leafy greens mix, with kale, collard and mustard greens

Sounds delicious, right? Well…let’s just say I underestimated the size of the leafy greens bag. I dumped the whole thing in, thinking I could save some freezer space. Bad idea.

The soup turned into a big, mushy blob of cold leafy greens with a little bit of broth, beans and veggies floating around on top. It almost spilled over because the addition of the greens filled up the ENTIRE POT. I am really dumb, fo real.

Remember Antoine Dodson, Bed Intruder Singer? Now He's Richer Than You

hide your kids, hide your wife

source

I should have taken a picture to really emphasize the mess that was this soup, but I was too frazzled to even think about grabbing my camera. (Plus, my flash card reader hasn’t come in the mail yet). I tried manually scooping out some of the mess, but I kept getting bits of roasted peppers/onions and barley with it, and didn’t want to take out all that good stuff too.

After adding more water and veggie broth to effectively split the batch into two pots, I eventually gave up after scooping out maybe a cup’s worth of greens, packed the soup up in a container, and went out with a dude for some drinks. Although the individual ingredients didn’t cost very much, I was still mad at myself for wasting all that food, as well as doing something silly like dumping an ENTIRE package of kale into the soup without thinking about it. I tend to do stupid things like that sometimes. Welcome to my life.

But then, I had a brilliant idea. Since the soup was essentially ruined anyway, why not try one last ditch effort at salvaging it? I portioned out a small amount of the wet, goopy mound of kale mush and plopped it into my trusty Magic Bullet. (For those of you who are wondering, a Magic Bullet is a COUNTERTOP BLENDER/FOOD PROCESSER. I have made the mistake of referencing my “beloved magic bullet” in the presence of people who don’t know what it is, and needless to say, they thought I had an oversharing problem).

With a few quick pulses, the little blender whipped everything up into a smooth, creamy vegetable soup with lovely color and thickness, but still left some chunks of veggies and whatnot in tact. I was a little nervous about blending the mix because it seemed really odd to blend barley, plus I would lose the texture of the whole beans, but these were desperate times, people.

The true test, though, was of course the taste. I popped the little blender cup into the microwave (microwave safe, baby!) and brought the pseudo-soup nearly to a boil (things always taste better when they’re hot, in my opinion), took a deep breath and took a sip.

Woah.

It was good! I had salvaged the unsalvageable! The Bullet left enough texture but still blended the greens into the brothy part enough to disguise their overabundance. It was a bit salty, rich but not fatty, smooth, creamy, delicious and best of all, INSANELY healthy. Really. I only used about 2 T of olive oil and three grinds of sea salt for two huge pots worth of soup.

I am a genius. Just wanted to share with you. That is all.

February 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

Linked: Is Food Too Cheap?

This is both an incredibly interesting and incredibly insightful article from HuffPo. I highly recommend giving it a read.

The Sweet Beet: Is Food Too Cheap?

February 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

Droolworthy: Giada’s Shrimp Crostini

I think the only switch I would make would be goat cheese for marscarpone. Because I really love goat cheese that much. Really though, how amazing do these look? I die. <——(I am not Rachel Zoe, I promise)

Shrimp Crostini Recipe.

February 22, 2011 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

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