Work Appropriate Quinoa

‘Ello eaters!

So you know how I mentioned yesterday that today marked the halfway point of my internship?

Well, in addition to celebrating with a really delicious fresh juice (beetroot, carrot, and pear) and too many of our to-be-released chocolate fingers, I figured it was high time I shared this recipe for a really awesome work appropriate lunch.

If you work in an office then you definitely understand what I mean when I say “work appropriate.”

If you don’t, then let me explain.

Food is work appropriate based on how strongly it smells, whether or not it absolutely needs to be refrigerated, whether or not is absolutely needs to be heated, how many napkins you’ll likely need, and how far in advance it can be made.

The correct answer to all of those questions (in order!) is: not very, no, no, none-1, several days.

Got it? Good!

So now when I say that this recipe is very work appropriate, you know exactly what I mean.

Work Appropriate Mexican Quinoa Salad

½ c quinoa

1 ¾ c water*

1 bullion cube*

2 c kale, shredded/chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

¼-1/3 c cilantro, chopped

½ T paprika

½ T cumin

1 t chili powder

3 T tomato sauce

½ c TVP*

hot sauce, as desired

salt and pepper, to taste

*TVP is optional, but I like to add some to bulk things up and really make a satiating meal out of a salad.

Cook the quinoa with water, bullion, and hot sauce (as desired). In a small pan, steam the kale until tender.

Remove the kale from the pan, and drizzle it with oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender.

Once the quinoa is cooked, add the vegetables, spices, cilantro, tomato sauce, and TVP (if desired) to the pot and stir. Taste and add salt, pepper, and hot sauce, as needed.

I suggest serving this with some avocado chunks on top for a serving of (extra satiating) healthy fats.

Per the previously mentioned definition of work appropriate, this can be eaten cold, tepid, or hot.

This can sit on your desk all morning without any fear of spoiling. You don’t need more than a single napkin, if that.

While it’s packed with flavor, it doesn’t have a strong enough aroma to bother anyone.

You can make this a few days in advance. And if you happen to have any leftover on Saturday after your Friday night “casual happy hour cocktails” go too far, then I highly recommend adding some cheese, microwaving it all, and enjoying your healthy hangover food.

Oh yes, eaters! I turned work appropriate food into hangover food. It’s kind of like that lace shirt that’s totally work appropriate as long as you wear a tank top under it, but then becomes sexy-but-not-slutty when you lose the tank top.

Yup, you’re welcome.

Your turn, eaters:

What makes something work appropriate? Work inappropriate?

Do you pack your lunch?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Goes Orange!

Hiya eaters!

Today started my workweek. This is the fourth week of my internship. I actually realized yesterday that tomorrow is the exact middle point of my time as an intern.

I don’t like that idea. But I’ve already decided that tomorrow I’m going to treat myself to either a fresh juice or an afternoon cookie to cheer myself up/celebrate that I haven’t crashed and burned as an intern.

I’m pretty excited about that.

But now is not the time to plan for the future. Now is the time to talk about the past. By past, I mean earlier today.

Because for once, WIAW is all about what I actually ate Wednesday!

(This is only partially because I forgot to take pictures yesterday.)

And because I’m already rocking the boat by actually posting about Wednesday, I’m also going to rebel against this whole green food thing. Instead, I’m eating orange food.

Take that!

Breakfast:

Everything that's in this bowl, plus a small squirt of honey and sprinkles. And a carrot.

This may seem weird, but 1) at least it’s not eggs, 2) my hunger has been out of control lately so I wanted to add something fibrous to try and tame it.

Snack:

"Cassava Crisps are a great alternative to traditional potato crisps."

Just about everyday around 11 or 11:30 I get hungry. Today it was at 10. I don’t know why sitting at a desk makes me hungry when being up and about like I normally am doesn’t. But luckily my office is stocked with really handy, tasty, healthy, not too filling, satiating snacks.

Lunch:

Hummus, red bell pepper, and lettuce on multigrain wholemeal bread.

I pack my lunch almost everyday and then eat it at my desk. This is partially because my building doesn’t really have a place to sit and eat, and partially because eating while I work makes me eat slower and thus I feel less snacky in the afternoon.

Orange stuff on the side.

Break:

Usually I make up for my desk-lunch by going out for an extended coffee walk later. This is my way of getting a complete break from the office, getting a wee bit of fresh air and exercise, and not having to drink the instant coffee that everyone over here seems to find acceptable.

Snack:

That track is from a spoon. There was also some Adora muesli and a piece of dark chocolate.

I skipped my usual snack (a mug of dry cereal) so after getting home and skyping with Mother, I was hungry.

And what do you do when you’re hungry? Eat a couple of bites of everything in sight, duh.

Dinner:

Fish tacos. Recipe to come.

For the life of me, I can’t find good Mexican food here. Granted, I’m not trying all that hard, but after having a couple of unacceptable Mexican meals here I’ve pretty much stopped wasting my precious dinning dollars pounds on the search.

The end.

What’s up with you, eaters:

Did you eat anything weird today?

What was the dominating color?

G’night eaters!

I Quit!

G’day eaters!

It’s a glorious day in jolly old London. The days here are just getting nicer and nicer, while my days here are drawing to a close.

It’s a cruel joke, if you ask me.

So I’m trying to make the most of my time here, starting tonight with dinner.

I’m going out to dinner with some friends at what should be a really fun restaurant. I’ll talk more about it later.

For now, I’m going to cut to the chase. And get to real talk.

Real talk topic of the night: I quit the February BodyRock challenge.

What it all came down to was that my knees were hurting and I wasn’t having fun.

Sure, I was still seeing some results (I look pretty freaking awesome right now) and pyramid workouts are fun, but those two things don’t outweigh the screams I kept hearing from my Not Good Knees.

And that’s what it all breaks down to.

I loveloveLOVE what I’ve learned from BodyRock. I love this whole new idea of training that I’ve experienced. And I will abso-freaking-lutely be incorporating what I’ve learned into my fit life.

But I’m going rouge now.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you ever quit something to maintain your own happiness?

When was the last time you really listened to your body and changed what you were doing?

Later eaters!

Milestone Salmon

Hiya eaters!

Today was been freaking glorious.

I actually just accidentally typed “florious,” which I am now defining as a word meaning glorious in a spring, floral way. And thus, it fits.

After class I spent a couple of hours walking around, getting mildly lost in the parts of my neighborhood that I haven’t explored yet. I sat on a bench and read in the sun for a while. I then sat on another bench and ate frozen yogurt with BERRIES!

This was not only my first frozen yogurt of the season, but also my first berries of the year. I can’t wait until they’re in season.

And now it’s time to talk about a dinner that was glorious, not florious.

Did you know that I’ve never cooked fish before last week? Leon always cooks the protein for dinner while I handle the vegetable and carb, so I’ve never had the need to.

Did you know that up until about two years ago I actually kind of hated fish? I used to detest fish and thus vacations at the beach where seafood restaurants are plentiful were never all that fun.

But a lot has changed. This semester I am getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself and that whole shebang.

And one night last week that meant cooking salmon.

Well, first that meant actually going up to the fish counter and ordering the fillets. But once that accomplishment was checked off then it was time to…marinate.

And then cook.

And then eat.

And then feel disproportionately proud.

I can’t decide which part of that was my favorite.

Honey Lime Salmon

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets (~1 lbs total)*

1 lime, juiced

1 ½ T honey**

1 clove garlic, minced

1 t soy sauce-like substance***

1 t hot sauce

oil

*I always get skin-on fillets. I like the flavor it adds and don’t mind removing it as I eat.

**Agave can easily work.

***Tamari, Braggs Amino Acids, or anything of the sort will also work. I used Bragg’s.

Fish skin is pretty in an odd way, isn't it?

Mix the lime juice, honey, garlic, soy sauce, and hot sauce in a dish and begin marinating the fillets, skin side up. After about 15 minutes flip the fish over.

After another 15 minutes of marinating time drizzle a pan with oil and bring it to medium heat. Add the fish skin side up and cook for ~5 minutes.

Can you see the excess flaking? Yeah...

Carefully flip the fish to skin side down. Pour the marinade over the fish and then cover. Cook for another ~6 minutes and then uncover. Check to see if the fillets flake easily with a fork.

If so, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the sauce to reduce for a couple of minutes.

If not, recover for another minute or two and then proceed with the above step.

Mmmmdrizzle.

Then plate the fillets, pour the sauce over the top, and serve with something on the side.

Despite the fact that I was really nervous about this challenge and thus checked the flake-ability of these fillets far too many times, I was quite proud of myself.

Let's ignore the fact that a whole chunk accidentally got flake-tested off.

This fish was flavorful, but without completely overpowering the salmon flavor (because I do like the flavor of fish now).

And, thanks in part to my neurotic flake-ability checks, it was neither under-cooked nor over-cooked.

Just ignore the spring roll. It was a flop.

I consider this a huge milestone in my life.

Hear that Mother? It’s time to whip out the baby book. This ‘Baby’s got a new entry.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something you eat often, but have never cooked?

What’s the last thing you did that was out of your comfort zone?

G’night eaters!

Sun In London

G’evening eaters!

The UK finally had daylight savings time so I’m not back to being 5 hours ahead of EST, which means that my already not too predictable posting time will be an hour later.

Consider yourself warned.

But this weekend had far more excitement than just switching my clocks. Oh no, this weekend was pretty much a hoot.

It started on Friday when some friends and I went out looking for a bar to have a couple “low key cocktails.”

In case you don't know what cocktails look like.

HA! I think it’s brilliant that literally every time I go out saying I want just a low key drink or two it ends up being a pretty wild night.

I won’t go into all the details, but it was a hoot and a half. AND I didn’t do anything I regret. Hot damn hooray!

I'm so happy to be having fun.

On Saturday morning m’lady friend Maddie and I got up early (WHY do I always wake up early after drinking?) to drink coffee and eat pear pastries in the sun.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous in London this weekend, and we wanted to really soak it up because you never know the next time it’s going to rain.

After breakfast we set about checking something off our London To Do lists — Borough Market. This is a huge market that runs every Thursday-Saturday. It’s kind of near the Cannon House tube stop, FYI.

I like white truffle oil, not black.

Maddie and I wandered around for a bit, tasting so many different jams and chutneys and fancy oils.

There were also a ton of spice vendors, which was lovely.

After we’d had a thorough appetizer of samples we eat picked out lunch.

Maddie’s choice:

Some kind of chorizo sandwich.

My choice:

A beef and vegetable pasty.

Pasties might be the coolest use for leftovers I’ve ever seen. Take some leftover stew, soup, curry, etc., roll it up in some pastry, and bake. Really, I was in heaven.

And then I was even more in heaven as I digested while sitting on the Thames river walk and soaking up the sun. I actually started getting a little hot sitting there in a t-shirt and jeans.

Ilovespringandsummerandhotweather!

On Sunday the weather was equally amazing, which made my weekly trip to the Marylebone Market even lovelier.

Marylebone is in a car park and it's really not that big, but it's glorious.

And my haul was lovely, per usual.

Loot:

Organic red cabbage, lettuce, organic carrots, organic dino kale, organic coriander, organic apples, organic pasture-raised smoked bacon.

After that shopping trip I mustarded up the motivation to go to the gym. I did a supersets workout for the first time in forever and it was so tough. More on that in a few days.

But once I regained the ability to lift my arms, I went to Whole Foods.

Loot:

PB, clementines, jalapeno, red bell pepper, organic cage free eggs, Cool Chile Co corn tortillas, multigrain bread, chocolate bars, Pack Tunch bars, avocado, Cool Chile Co Chipotle Ketchup, tilapia fillets, Provemal soy milk, Adnams Innovation beer, Guatemalan coffee.

This weekend came full circle for me at WFs because at Borough Market I bought a tin of smoked paprika (my favorite spice ever!). I didn’t need it, but I got excited when I say a booth all about Mexican food and the guy was cute.

Then when I was looking for tortillas I found these tortillas from the same company! And then I saw the Chipotle Ketchup that I tasted yesterday, so I had to get that too, of course.

What can I say, I love Mexican food. And cool graphics.

And that’s all the rambling I’ve got for you today. Fun times, right?

What do you think, eaters:

What’s your favorite season?

Do you sample at markets?

G’night eaters!

Browned Butter Breakfast

G’day eaters!

So I’m going to cut to the chase — Did the fancy oatmeal I posted yesterday look fantastic?

Because it was. And so for the last day of this unofficial Breakfast Week, I figured I should take it out with a bang. And what’s more bang-y than magically making browned butter healthy.

Well, not exactly healthy, per say, but all the other really healthy ingredients definitely balance out one tablespoon of butter.

Browned Butter Vanilla Custard Oatmeal

1 T butter

3 T (buckwheat) oats

¼ c muesli

¾ c milk

1 egg

1 T vanilla paste/extract

1 T ground flax

1 T liquid sweetener (like honey or agave), optional

Brown your butter. Having never browned butter before, I referenced this post about it.

Once the butter is brown, remove the pot from heat and stir in the oats until all the butter is soaked up. Then return the pot to just below medium heat and add the muesli, milk, and egg. Whisk the mixture vigorously until the egg is evenly incorporated.

Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking. Once the mixture has thickened just slightly, about 3-5 minutes, add in the vanilla, flax, and any desired sweetener.

Continue whisking until the mixture has noticeably thickened, about another 5-8 minutes, and then lower the heat to medium-low. Then whisk until the oats are as thick and custardy as you like.

Serve hot. Preferably on a lazy morning. With a hot drink.

It's like a complete breakfast. But it tastes like dessert.

Really eaters, this bowl of oats is everything you could possibly want.

It’s got just enough chew so you don’t feel like you’re eating baby food. It’s got just enough natural sweetness (without additional sweeteners), smooth creaminess, and lovely vanilla hints to make it feel like you’re eating dessert.

And it’s got enough carbs, fat, protein, and flavor to leave you satiated through hours of lounging around the house. Or through hours of actually doing work, whichever you prefer.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you like healthy takes on desserts?

What do you do when you have a lazy morning?

Later eaters!

WIAW: I Don’t Like Celery

Hi eaters!

I am feeling extra exhausted today. I started my day off not wanting to get out of bed and then I ran around all day and then I ate too much chocolate so I feel sick and then I almost fell asleep on the bus home.

So, words will be sparse through today’s WIAW.

I hope you don’t mind.

Breakfast:

Browned butter vanilla custard oats. And coffee.

I wanted something lazy and luxurious. And I wanted to try my hand at browning butter.

Then I wanted fruit to balance out the carbs.

Cuties.

Lunch:

Formerly a full salad with lots of vegetables.

This was a salad that I forgot to take a picture of. Now it’s just proof that I don’t like celery.

Dinner:

M’mate Cate found a flier for pizza delivery, which we haven’t seen the whole time we’ve been in London.

I love pizza. Cate and I love not having to leave to get food. And with our friend Chelsea over for the night we could split an extra large (which is the somewhere between an American medium and large, FYI) and save money.

Veggie pizza.

While this obviously wasn’t the best pizza I’ve had, it might have been the best pizza I’ve had in London.

Dessert:

You know what an apple looks like, right?

If not, click here.

The end.

Wow, I think this was literally the shortest actual post I’ve ever written. Hot damn hooray.

Now it’s time for dinner.

Your turn, eaters:

What do you love for take out?

What’s a vegetable you don’t like?

G’night eaters!

4-Grain ‘Cakes

G’day eaters!

Today one of my classes went on a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. And I would show you a bunch of cool pictures of the painted ceiling above the stage, but you don’t come here to see me make stupid faces in front of historical buildings.

Or do you….

No, you come here to oogle food. And oogle food you shall. Or I should say, oogle breakfast.

So you know how I work for an awesome organic, free from food company?

Well, one of the perks of my job is that I get to take home some of the product. It’s a pretty great perk, if you ask me.

It was especially great when a couple of weekends ago, after a particularly late night and a particularly lazy morning turned afternoon in bed, I had a box of pancake mix and a bottle of maple flavoured agave waiting in my cupboard.

Oh, and having a ‘mate willing to make the pancakes per my crazy “let’s mix lots of other things in” directions, is a pretty great perk, too. (Though she refused to go out and get me bacon, but I’ll giv her a pass on that one.)

So Cate whipped up some Hale & Hearty 4-Grain pancakes with a little extra ground flax, vanilla paste, and a few pinches of coconut.

And I cleared away the mountain of newspapers and set the table.

It’s all about teamwork, eaters.

Now, can we talk about these pancakes? Can we please?

I honestly don’t remember the last time I ate pancakes. Whenever it was, I’m 100% positive that Mother made them for me, they were Bisquik and probably topped with gobs of real maple syrup (not the sugar free, chemical packed Aunt Jemima crap that Stepfather always loved for some reason).

Don't they just look all light and fluffy and full of flax-y goodness.

Needless to say, these pancakes are far from my last ‘cake experience, even before I added my extras.

And ya know what, eaters?!

They were fantastic!

I topped mine with a scoop of Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of Hale & Hearty Maple Flavoured Agave Syrup.

Mmmmmcakes.

These babies were fluffy and had that very distinctive coconut + whole wheat (even though there’s no wheat) flavor that I love so much.

The maple agave didn’t scream maple in the same way that real maple syrup does (duh!), but considering that you can’t expect Vermont maple syrup flavour from anything but Vermont maple syrup, I was pleasantly surprised.

After I finished this short stack I ate another pancake plain with my hands. I could say that I did it because the real test of a pancake is whether or not you want to eat it without all the sweet stuff, but really I couldn’t commit to another dressed up pancake, but I wanted another.

Those three pancakes plus an unpictured hard boiled egg kept me full through the rest of my very lazy afternoon. And that NEVER happens with sweet, carby breakfasts.

So eaters, while this may read as a Hale & Hearty press release (except that it doesn’t and I know because I’ve spent a long time reading old press releases and practicing writing them), it’s not.

This is just my way of saying that pancakes are awesome. And pancakes become even more awesome when they’re made with whole grains and other good things and not topped with funky, fake chemicals.

And that’s really all I’ve got for you today.

Your turn, eaters:

What do you top your pancakes with?

What’s your favorite lazy morning turned afternoon breakfast?

Later eaters!

Almost ROY G BIV

‘Ello eaters!

How’s the start of your week going?

I only had an hour and a half of class and spent the rest of the day running errands, walking around Harrods, and sitting OUTSIDE at a café eating scones with some friends. It was pretty damn glorious.

And it was pretty damn glorious that I got to finish my grocery shopping this morning.

Now, I’m going to show you what I got between my two shopping trips. Because I realized that I haven’t shown you my weekly haul in a few weeks.

At first, I kind of thought that showing you guys a bunch of groceries might be boring. But then I realized that it might, just might, help some of you to see about what it takes to healthily feed a single person for a week.

And if anything that I writers helps or even interests just a few of you, then I’ll consider my day’s work a success.

So here goes nothing…

On Sunday I went to the Marylebone market, per usual. Really do love this market because, unlike a lot of markets, organic is the norm, not the exception. And, per usual, I loaded up on some pretty produce.

Loot:

Oh, such pretty produce. Oh, such horrible lighting.

Organic red onions, organic Brussels sprouts, organic Gala apples, organic dino kale, lettuce, organic garlic.

Today, I hit up Whole Foods. And while I managed to get everything on my list, I also managed to get a few extra things.

What can I say, 75% off sales and fancy chocolate bars call me.

Loot:

Organic free range eggs, wild caught salmon fillets, FAGE yogurt, red pepper hummus, organic Guatamalen coffee, Alara museli, organic red peppers, chilli peppers, organic clementines, limes, anchovy paste, honey, grapeseed oil, Good Earth Rooibos tea, unsweetened soy milk, multigrain bread, fancy chocolate bars.

What can I say, the Alara muesli was less than £1 and the flavor — Fruity Oats — looked really good.

Oh, and the dark chocolate bars — one with Cornish sea salt and the little one with Brazilian pink peppercorns — is keeping me from eating all the Cadbury I come across. So really, they’re an investment in my health.

And in the end, my groceries for the week ended up being more than chock full o’natural, beautiful color.

It's like ROY G BIV, minus the Y, B, I, V.

So I think there’s some wiggle room for fun (and still completely healthy) stuff, right?

Right!

What do you think, eaters:

Do you ever let impulse buys slip in?

How many stops do you make to fill your fridge each week?

Later eaters!

Seven Steps to an Expert Yogurt Bowl

G’evening m’sweet eaters!

How is your Sunday wrapping up?

Mine is fabulous and just tinged with bleh. Fabulous because I just had the BEST treadmill interval session OF MY LIFE. I got up to 6.4 many times for many minutes without breaking 193 BPM (heart beats per minute). That’s incredible for me!

The only bit of bleh is because I waited so late in the day to go to the gym, which meant that Whole Foods (and all other stores) were closed by the time I got out of the gym. So I only did half my grocery shopping, but I’ll rectify that tomorrow.

And I will gladly trade some delayed groceries for the ah-maze-ing feeling I got from that run. #Fitfluential

But enough of my exercise endorphin-fueled rambles. Let’s talk breakfast.

If you read my WIAW posts then you know that I mostly eat eggs with some kind of green and bread for breakfast. It’s hit all the macros and keeps me satiated (usually) until lunch.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like mixing it up. And by mixing it up, I literally mean “mixing it up.”

Enter: the yogurt bowl.

And just like with my eggs, I have a very specific way I go about making my yogurt bowls.

Step 1: assemble the ingredients.

Some people just open a little cup. I have to make things complicated.

Step 2: portion out my yogurt.

I think I eat about a cup.

I buy a big tub because it’s cheaper and I only eat plain yogurt.

Step 3: fruit.

I'm picky about what fruit goes in my yogurt bowl, but citrus is always a winner.

Step 4: Carbs and whatnot.

It may look like sawdust, but I promise it's not.

Usually I just add raw oats (because I’m not a granola fan, gasp!), but over here in Euro-town everyone eats muesli. Muesli is similar to granola, except it’s either raw or toasted oats, a bit of dried fruit and/or nuts, and no sugary syrup.

Look! I'm re-creating the picture on the box.

This Alara kind is extra lovely because there isn’t even a hint of cardboard flavor.

In addition to my oats, I always like to have some sort of ground superfood. At home, that usually takes the form of ground flaxseed. But here, I discovered this Linwood bagged mix of ground flax and nuts and other goodies.

Both of these are fabulous and not too expensive, so I’m pretty much in love.

Step 5: flavor!

Since I buy plain yogurt I usually have to add something to counteract the tartness. Sometimes it’s a bit of honey, but my ‘mates always end up stealing my honey, so instead I’ve been using vanilla paste. It doesn’t have that alcohol-y aftertaste so it really is wonderful in yogurt.

Step 6: soy milk.

I realize it’s weird that I drink soy milk even though I eat dairy. But I’m just going to go with it.

Step 7: mix.

I’m not going to show you this step, because really, it’s not attractive. But it’s tasty. Oh so tasty.

So while this may seem like a lot of steps, it’s quick and easy and hits lots of macros and food groups and taste buds.

What more can you ask for from a bowl of yogurt?

Oh, and even though every goes all gahgah for Chobani, I always have been and always will be a loyal FAGE ‘Baby.

My one true yogurt love.

And that don’t have to give me free stuff to say that. (Though, FAGE dears, some free yogurt would be lovely!)

Your turn, eaters:

What kind of yogurt do you eat?

Do you mix anything in or keep is pure?

G’night eaters!

PS- This is the first of three breakfast posts I’m doing this week, so I am officially declaring this Breakfast Week.