Posts tagged ‘quinoa’

Grocery woes + Greek quinoa salad

Hi friends — happy Thursday!

pretty, huh?

I had another impossible time waking up this morning. I stayed up late talking to the guy I just ended things with for a couple grueling hours. He informed me yesterday afternoon that he may be moving to Portland in a month and I was completely flabbergasted. He is still intent on becoming friends, and while I really do care about him, I’m just not sure I can do it. We’ve been doing this awkward back and forth for awhile now, and it’s getting exhausting, so I’m really not sure what to do. I think I still see him as someone I dated, and don’t know if I could maintain the distance to be okay with being just friends. You know, not kissing or holding hands…etc. :(

Have you ever decided to become friends with someone you dated longer than a quick fling, but not long enough for a full-fledged relationship?

Anywho, I’m totally exhausted. We finally got off the phone at 1:30 in the morning, and after that I proceeded to tackle the horrific mound of (stinky) dishes in my sink. I don’t like this living alone thing — I’m turning into a freaking slob! I’m rarely home these days because who wants to sit home by themselves in the summertime when you could be out having fun? But that means I’m dashing in and out, and never spend any time cleaning up. Who wants to come over and help? :)

After getting the news about the guy’s potential move, I was totally bummed out, so naturally, I went grocery shopping.

You guys, I am a food hoarder. Some people stockpile shoes (although I do tend to do this too…) — I stockpile groceries. I have enough food to feed 50 people for a week. It doesn’t help that it’s nearly impossible to leave Trader Joe’s without spending at least $50. I left with lots of tasty produce, some quinoa (theirs is always cheaper), some frozen fruit for smoothies (ditto — you won’t find cheaper pineapple and mango anywhere else), their amazing chicken meatballs, some Kona coffee (!!) and a few other random things that I can’t remember. I think the bill was something like $83….ugh. But I can’t help myself!!!!!

I also picked up this nifty reusable insulated bag, even though I already have like 38492340239450 reusable grocery bags. Again, friends — hoarder, I tells ya. HELP ME STOP.

After feeling crappy about everything all day (despite being able to work from home – aka Starbucks), I headed home, noshed on a small banana, cleaned up a bit, and tossed on my gym gear after winning an internal battle of whether to go or not. It was absolutely insanely gorgeous out last night, so it would have been the perfect time for a run, but I’m starting to think that I overtrained and gave myself shin splits.

I’m not exactly sure how one can overtrain for a freaking 5K, but I guess these legs are not ideally suited for running on hard surfaces. This totally bums me out, because for the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying running outside. I’m considering asking my GP to refer me to a physical therapist so we can take a look at what is causing my knee pain, as well as this shin-splint-y feeling. Have any of you guys ever had shin splints?

I got on the scale this morning for the first time in ages. I’d been avoiding it because, due to my total (okay, not total, but certainly not up to par) lack of exercise commitment, I was almost certain that I had gained some weight. I’ve also been feeling pretty down on myself, self-image-wise, and my clothes have been feeling a little snug, so I really haven’t wanted to stare those numbers in the face. But I think it’s important that I know so I can get myself back on track.

Bad news: I had gained some weight, as I thought.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Good news: It wasn’t that much. If I can hop back on the exercise train and get my freaking act together, I think I should be okay. Right now, I just want my goals to be about eating and feeling better (e.g. getting more protein so my hair stops clogging up the drain in the tub — ugh, gross) and fitting comfortably (and feeling fabulous) in my clothes. Eventually I think I do need to set a general poundage goal, but I’m still unsure of how I feel about that. We’ll have to wait and see.

So, um, I’m kind of thinking I need to get myself out on some dates again. But I’m tired of meeting morons and jerkface buttheads (I’m so mature). Chicago ladies — where should I go to find some eligible bachelors that aren’t of the John Barleycorn persuasion? I live in the ultimate no-man’s-land, straddling Wrigleyville and Boystown. To the east, there are gay — albeit gorgeous — men as far as the eye can see. To the west, it’s the land of the Bro-skis, a class of men so undesirable that I’d rather spoon my cats for the rest of my life. Waaaaah.

I’m crazily excited for my lunch today. I packed a salad consisting of butter lettuce + radicchio, a Greek quinoa salad I threw together, tomatoes, leftover avocado and some organic pea shoots. I grabbed a banana to have on the side. Here’s how you make the Greek quinoa salad (makes about 4 servings):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • a bunch of full-fat feta (as much or little as you want)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced/diced
  • 1/2 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and keep in the fridge, covered. It should stay good about 4-5 days. This stuff is great because it makes packing a lunch SO easy. I topped my salad with it today and can’t wait to try it out with some olive oil vinaigrette as a dressing. Lots of fiber and protein, too — yum! Feel free to tweak the recipe as desired — you can add onions, olives, whatever floats your boat. I recommend using the full-fat feta for two reasons: 1) I think low-fat cheese is disgusting, and 2) low-fat cheese doesn’t have enough flavor, so you end up using more anyway. If you really like the low-fat stuff though, go for it.

I’m off to finish the day. Have a good one!

June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm 5 comments

Cranky pants

Bleh. I am not in a good mood tonight. And you know the funny thing? I have absolutely no idea why.

Don’tcha hate when that happens?

I stopped at Banana Republic after work today and picked up a few really cute things, but nearly had a heart attack when I got to the register and she gave me my total. Yeahhhh…definitely put a few things back before I let her get her hands on my plastic. I’m sad though, because I had to put back a dress that was absolutely adorable…alas, it was not in the cards this time.

After too much time spent shopping (can someone tell me why J. Crew has neon short shorts and bikinis out already?!), I headed over to the gym, despite the fact that it was late and I was hungry and tired. After getting there, I realized that my iPod had died, and even my phone (which has a radio and Pandora on it) was about to die too…sooo…no music. Maybe that’s why I’m cranky? I tried some leg exercises but my knee was still giving me trouble. I did a quick set up squats and step ups anyway, and tried to take it easy on my poor injured leg (wah wah wah), then did a rather pathetic round of cardio.

And if you didn’t already guess, there was definitely no eggplant tonight. I still kicked ass in the healthy dinner department though.

I had a huge salad with romaine, a sliced up cuke, some tomato and some orange bell pepper, and topped it with a little bit of olive oil, some balsamic, white balsamic, garlic gold and sesame seeds. I also had about 3/4 of a cup of whole wheat penne with some Three Cheese marinara, a sliced up piece of grilled chicken, more garlic gold and freshly grated parmesan.

I underestimated how huge that salad was! I couldn’t even finish it, which is pretty rare for me…heh. I bought a huge bag of organic romaine hearts on sale last week, and although romaine is cost-savvy anyway and was even more so this time around, I just can’t seem to get excited about it. Whenever I want a salad, I want mixed greens — they have more flavor and texture, and I think they simply taste better. They also look a lot more nutritious with so much more green. But alas, money won out this round. And if I’m going to be making more trips like today’s to Banana Republic, I might be stuck on the lentil soup and romaine diet forever…

So, I was completely wrong. The blaspheming burrito is a brand called PJ’s. I suppose on its own it would be fine, but I was expecting my lovely Wild Organics burrito! It just didn’t compare :(

Impostor!

How I “rolled” (heh heh) last week. Too lazy to make a salad.

Over the weekend, I decided to finally try my hand at breakfast quinoa. I used a mish-mash of random recipes on the web and gave it a shot. It was SUPER messy, and I got quinoa and almond milk everywhere. By the way — I had NO idea you had to rinse quinoa — am I the last person to discover this? And how the heck are you supposed to rinse something so tiny?? It turned out pretty delicious nonetheless, and after a generous pour of cinnamon, I added some frozen berries for extra sweetness.

It was a really nice Saturday morning breakfast. Okay, Saturday afternoon.

Lots o’ sunshine coming in!

A rather disappointing, blurry shot of my enormous dinner salad last night:

A truly bad picture, but a truly wonderful salad — even if it did have romaine. Chicken, avocado, goat cheese…the works. Yum. You can only see a little bit of the glass, but I had a tall, icy glass of Two Brother’s Resistance IPA with my dinner. This stuff is GOOD.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the baby cukes I had in my lunch today. I actually don’t think I liked them as much as a regular cucumber, but at least I tried em!

This is not a very good photo either!

That’s it for the photos for now…I am way too tired to put together an outfit for my date tomorrow night, so I think I should just get myself to bed. I’ll probably wear the same thing I always wear (skinny jeans, boots, tank, cardi, long necklace — if you were wondering) and hope for the best. I just want to get up early enough so I have time to make sure I look at least somewhat put together before walking out the door.

Night night…

February 7, 2011 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

We got through Monday!

Hi friends! Phew! Are you glad we’re already 1/5 through the week? I surely am :)

I had a nice, albeit interesting weekend. I spent some time Friday night doing the whole pizza and PJs thing to keep the mood light with a sad friend. We had a blast sipping wine and watching terrible horror movies, although I made the mistake of starting my glass (or 10) of wine post-workout but pre-dinner. Needless to say, I was a hot mess by the end of the evening. Glad I was among friends when I made a fool out of myself… *blush*

Saturday night I went out to dinner at Francesca’s Pizzeria on Clark and, as always, it was uh-mazing. If you didn’t know, I have a crazy obsession with Neapolitan pizza. I strayed a bit from my usual Bufalina (Margherita with bufala mozzarella) and got a Parmigiano with eggplant and parmesan subbed my favorite bufala for the regular mozzarella! Yum! My dinner companions each took two (albeit smallish) pieces home, but I sinfully gobbled down the entire thing. And it was soooo worth it.

 

to die-for, no?

source

That’s right, you’re reading that correctly: I had pizza two nights in a row. And I loved every second of it :D

Sunday was spent sleeping in (and sleeping late in my dictionary means LATE), hitting the gym and running errands. After a quick shower, my parents came into the city and took my brother, sister-in-law and me out to dinner! It was so much fun and the food was delish. We went to Mia Francesca in Wrigleyville, and between the three of us, got the same two dishes! So funny. I had a penne pasta with sausage, broccoli (which was subbed in place of peas, ick!) and a creamy tomato cream sauce. Of course I topped it with a healthy dose of fresh shredded parm as well :D It was good, but it was a bit difficult on my tummy because I’m moderately *gasp!* lactose intolerant!

I can handle most yogurt and a little bit of cheese, but ice cream and milkshakes, etc. are my enemies. It’s a good thing I don’t really like sweets! But this pasta from dinner Sunday night was heeeavy on the cream, and my tummy was not happy. I had leftovers for lunch today (along with a salad), but made sure to take a lactose pill beforehand :)

Chicago is on the brink of a blizzard, so everyone at work spent the day discussing how we were going to handle it. The news kept telling people to get their errands done today, because one the heavy snow starts tomorrow evening, they’re expecting white-out conditions! I should have hit the gym after work today since it’s unlikely I will get there tomorrow, but I have been dealing with some nasty knee pain that told me it’s time to give my knees a little rest. I think I am having IT band issues (a previous physical therapist had guessed this was the problem), so I made an appointment to see a chiropractor on Wednesday. Hopefully the impending blizzard won’t keep me from getting there!

Meals

For lunch last week as an attempt at redemption after my salty (semi) disaster, I made a modified version with no added salt, more veggies and shrimp! It turned out perfect. I mixed about 1/4 cup dry quinoa (whatever that translates to cooked!), two cut up kumatos, about 3 oz. cooked, peeled, de-veined shrimp (from TJ’s, eyeballed the portion), some sauteed leeks from cooking the shrimp and some fresh spinach to cook when reheated. I also topped it off with some Garlic Gold.

Shrimpy!

I just love quinoa. I can’t get over how easy it is to cook! A little after my lunch today, I cut up a blood orange for a snack.

Isn’t the color lovely? I learned today that blood oranges get their color from anthocyanins, which are heavy duty antioxidants! They prevent cancer and do all sorts of other fabulous things for your health.

I couldn’t help myself, they were so pretty!

For dinner, I switched up my recipe plans a bit since the chicken I had on hand smelled a bit funky. I’m nervous about chicken + salmonella, so I stuck it in the freezer to be inspected later… (this sounds even sillier when I type it out). I did make some shrimp though!

Spaghetti squash is surprisingly easy to make! All you do is roast it on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then it’s time to shred, baby.

The flesh just sort of strings along as you scoop it out with the fork. It was fun!

It has a sort of crunchy texture, and a subtle, but buttery squash flavor. I popped the finished strands in the microwave to cook them a little more since it was still a bit crunchy, and that seemed to help. While that was happening, I was doing this:

Shrimpies, zukes + leeks! Can you tell that I love leeks? They are easier to slice than onions, have a sweeter flavor, and add a nice crunch to just about anything! The final product had a splash of veggie broth and a handful of spinach, some cut up red and yellow bell peppers and was topped with some Garlic Gold and an almost decadent amount of freshly grated parmesan.

How AMAZING does that look?? And see my lovely new microplane in the background? :)

It tasted even better than it looked. I think I would eat every single meal with garlic + parmesan cheese if I could. Well, maybe not my chocolate oatmeal!

It was a long day because I didn’t get very much sleep last night. I felt exhausted and sluggish at work, and had more on my plate than my brain could handle. I was very happy to head home, put on some pajamas, and pour myself a glass of wine.

It has already started snowing, so it will be quite an adventure waking up tomorrow. Although I can’t imagine we’ll get more than Tina over at Carrots ‘n’ Cake has been getting in Boston!

Bedtime for this girl. Goodnight!

January 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

Too salty!

That’s how I would describe my lunch today. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but I definitely think I could have cut down on the sodium content somewhere. In addition to having a TJ’s chicken sausage (which, in the scheme of things, really isn’t too bad), I made my quinoa with veggie broth, which I didn’t realize has 24% of your daily sodium intake in one serving! Sheesh! On top of that, I added some sea salt at the end, not realizing how salty this already was. It was still very tasty though :)

See the roasted leek I snuck in there? The fennel didn’t make it, but the leek was mighty tasty!

big bite of goodness

Quinoa looks so neat close-up! I had a big, tasty salad on the side.

more poppyseed dressing, mmm

leeks + fennel

After work, I stopped at Macy’s to look for a few things I needed. Of course I ended up with a few things I didn’t need. I got a neato silicone spoon since my wooden one had a rather unfortunate, err, fire incident. I also picked up some great tall, thin cocktail glasses (I’m not sure what they’re called) that were on sale for 6 bucks! What a steal. I then had to stop by the makeup counter and, despite needing some new foundation, spent FAR too much money. Bad bad bad!! I really can’t resist expensive makeup….

By the time I got home, I was tired and had seriously considered picking up some Qdoba for a burrito bowl. Thankfully I stuck to my guns and made something healthier and considerably cheaper at home. I went for a quesadilla made with two whole wheat tortillas, a TJ’s goat cheese medallion, some shredded cheddar, some grated parmesan, grilled asparagus, sliced leeks and spinach. On the side, I had some FF Greek yog + Cholula hot sauce (aka spicy sour cream), vegetarian refried beans and some sparkling mineral water + pomegranate juice. It was AWESOME.

for real, how tasty does this bad boy look?

I am SO glad that I made dinner at home, it was very, very good. You can also see my new glass here :)

Have you ever had fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? I always thought it sounded stupid (and wimpy), and I’m crazy about sour cream. But since I only like the full fat stuff, sometimes I have to make concessions…and this is a surprisingly good one! Without any sugar, most of the taste you associate with yogurt is gone, and the little splash of hot sauce makes it so you almost can’t tell the difference!

green + cheesy....mmm

Yeah, this was one tasty dinner, and I am one happy girl :) I’m also exhausted, so I’m going to turn on a movie and hopefully fall asleep. Have a lovely night!

January 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment


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