WIAW: Chirp

Hiya eaters!

I am FINALLY getting a chance to sit down today and it feels ah-maze-ing! Actually, I’m laying on my bed while I ice my back. And yes, it does warrant elongating that word into three syllables.

Like I mentioned yesterday, my life is still crazy. It’ll get better the second I’m done with both cleaning and homework. Until then, I’m hustling.

Speaking of hustling…


Breakfast:

I am incapable of taking quick showers in the winter, so by the time I was showered and dressed yesterday I had exactly 5 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the chiropractor. So I threw together a quick breakfast of fried eggs over leftover quinoa with kale and avocado, akin to this breakfast.

And then I shoved half of it in my face before dashing out the door.

Chiropractor:

First, I abbreviate “chiropractor” to “chiro” in my iCal, but autocorrect keeps changing it to “chirp” and then I get amused every time I see that I have a morning appointment with “chirp” like Cinderella.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, the good ole chirp cracked everything and then massaged my hip muscles some more. As of right now my back is feeling considerably better than it was before, but not in any way 100%.

Coffee:

Harris Teeter cookies are so good.

I had an hour between the chirp and work so I grabbed a free Harris Teeter cookie and then parked myself at the Starbucks in Teeter to do some homework.

Grande coffee with cold soy, the usual but a little bigger.

Work:

Work wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It’s very stressful for me to be stuck in a place where I know I have to be and that is on my To Do list (like work or class) and feel bored or unproductive or like I’m trying to waste time.

Balance bar #1 for the day.

While wasting time/getting something from the stock room I took bites of my bar. Because half a small breakfast and a cookie don’t cut it.

Lunch:

Bibb and arugala, apples, avocado, pork chop pieces, homemade bacon, bell pepper, and a mix of balsamic vinaigrette and BBQ sauce.

In the 40 minutes I had between work and class, I ate this delicious salad.

Seriously, the balsamic vinaigrette and BBQ sauce dressing I’ve been mixing up is delicious. As were the TWO kinds of pork.

I really love pork, said the non-Jew.

Snack:

Balance bar #2 for the day.

Having two bars in one day really bugs me, but there really wasn’t anything I could do about it unless I wanted a far less balanced (pun intended) snack.

Dinner:

Bacon and vegetable frittata.

In case you were unaware, frittatas are my lifesaver.

Dessert:

Left: Sweet Water festival ale.

And in case you were unaware again, I really love dark beers.

Guinness.

The end.

Your turn, eaters:

What are some funny autocorrects you’ve had?

Do you take free samples?

G’night eaters!

Purple Pasta With Sausage

Hi eaters!

I know I told you yesterday that I would tell you all about my chiropractor appointment tonight, but it didn’t go as planned. I really don’t want to talk about it much until I know more tomorrow (because I might cry like a big ole baby), but I definitely wasn’t dancing out of the office and right into Crossfit like I had planned.

But upward and onward, at least for tonight.

I finally completed a recipe that I’ve been thinking about for years on Friday night.

Ya see eaters, a couple of years ago I remember my stepmom making a pasta dish that was shells with wilted radicchio, sausage, and butter. I thought it was a brilliant use of radicchio and really enjoyed it overall.

But at the same time, I knew I could improve upon it somehow.

Fast forward at least two years, when Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats posted her recipe for Sausage, Grape, and Pasta Skillet.

Reading that recipe was a total lightening bolt for me — shells, sausage, radicchio, grapes, onions, cheese.

Pre-oven.

Adding the grapes totally sealed it. But not just any grapes would do.

This called for roasted grapes.

Post-oven. Try not to roast yours quite as long as mine.

Now before you freak out or, worse, think of just leaving the roasted grapes out, here me out — the idea of roasted grapes used to skeeve me out, too. But when you really think about it, they are a lot like warm, plump raisins.

Considerably less skeevey now, right?

Right.

Purple Pasta with Sausage

I was going to call this Mediterranean Pasta because all these ingredients feel vaguely Mediterranean to me, but I’ve bastardized enough cultures.

2 c red grapes, halved

2 T oil

½ t dried thyme

2 mild Italian sausages, sliced

1/3 red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 c (whole wheat) pasta shells with cooking water

½ c chicken broth

2/3 c radicchio, chopped

2/3 c grated parmesan cheese

2 T balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

Toss the grape halves in the oil, thyme, salt and pepper before spreading evenly on a baking sheet and baking in a 425F oven for 20 minutes.

Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

While the grapes are cooking, heat a pan to medium heat. Add the sliced sausages and cook, tossing occasionally until browned. Next add the onion and garlic. You may need to add a bit of oil to the pan, depending on how fatty the sausages were.

(At about this point the pasta water should be boiling, so add your shells and cook according to the package directions, though I suggest stopping just a hair short of al dente since it will cook a bit more in the pan with everything later.)

When everything is fragrant, add the radicchio, cheese, vinegar, and chicken broth. Stir everything together and taste for salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally.

Once the grapes are done add them to the pan and cook for ~5 minutes, until the grapes have had a chance to plump up a bit and the sauce has reduced down to more on the saucy side than the broth side of consistency. Add you cooked and drained pasta to the pan, give it a few good stirs over a couple of minutes, and then serve.

Probably with more cheese and pepper.

This recipe may have been years in the making, but it was, without a doubt, worth it.

The grapes and vinegar give everything an almost wine-y flavor, while the sausage stands out herby and savory, and the bitter radicchio gives it all a nice base to stand on.


Now do you see why this feels Mediterranean to me?

Well Mediterranean or not, I really did love this dish. So much so that I ate it for breakfast the next day.

And that’s as much of a ringing endorsement as you’ll get from me.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you have any big ideas quietly brewing in your head?

How do you feel about roasted grapes?

G’night eaters!

Fire in The Triad, Battle Bacon

‘Ello eaters!

I’m here with a special Friday night/Saturday morning post to tell you all about the latest, most decadent Fire in The Triad battle.

(FYI, I’ve been to two other Fire in the Triad battles, Battle Poulet Rouge and Battle Lusty Monk Mustards.)

Last night the battle was between Chef George Neal from 1618 West in Greensboro and Chef John Wheeler from Southern Lights in Greensboro.

Right: Chef George. Left: Chef John.

Now, I didn’t know this going in, but just like Battle Poulet Rouge, these two chefs have some history together. If I’m not mistaken, Chef John used to be the chef at 1618 before moving to Southern Lights. He may have even trained/worked with Chef George. I do know for a fact that Chef John did train the two sous chefs Chef George chose to work with last night.

So needless to say, people were excitedly trying to guess which chef made which dishes all night. It made for great table conversation.

Alright, enough background drama. It became clear after watching a Kevin Bacon commercial that the secret ingredient of the night was…bacon!

O’m’gah! Bacon! Everyone in the room (and especially a man at my table) went wild. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?!

First course:

Braised pork belly with adobe-turnip puree, sweet soy reduction, yellow tomato and sweet apple salsa, and topped with a Lardon-Ash county romano crisp.

I love pork belly, so this was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I don’t think most of my tablemates were as appreciative of being served a block of pork fat. My only real critique of this dish was that it could have done with less of the soy reduction because it over powered the puree.

Second course:

Bacon fat braised pork shoulder with a jalapeno-bacon popper, julienne carrots, roasted garlic, bacon caramelized onion demi-glaze, and chipotle oil.

I have a ton of critiques for this dish. The bacon wasn’t noticeable at all. The chipotle oil had absolutely no flavor. And I didn’t notice a single bit of bacon in the overly large popper.

Third course:

Pork tenderloin and Mangalitsa roulade with a bacon, crab, and brie cheese mousse in a puff pastry shell, sweet potato hash cake drizzled with maple-bacon glaze, natural sauce, and hollandaise.

The tenderloin was good, but that’s about where it ended. The mousse and pastry were just awkward and all I tasted was brie. The sweet potatoes were neither a hash cake nor fully cooked (to the point where they tasted like carrots). And the hollandaise sauce was straight mayo.

Side note — I feel it necessary to show you the bacon heart that was in my tablemate and fellow blogger, Kristi’s, tenderloin.

"Bacon loves me back!" - Kristi

Fourth course:

Pan-seared chili-glazed beef petite fillet with bacon, tasso, bacon and sushi rice-wrapped in collard greens, and a bacon, shrimp, and lobster bisque.

Had I not read the description of the beef fillet I would have loved it, but as it was, I spent both bites trying to find all the flavors listed. The collard sushi was actually really good, though.

Fifth course:

Crispy bourbon bacon pound cake bread pudding with frozen blueberry custard, crumbled honeycomb candy, and basil syrup.

My favorite dish of the night! Everything worked so well together and my only criticism is an execution one. The chef should have crisped the bacon and then mixed it in with the pound cake and poured on the liquid. Instead, I’m pretty sure the bacon was put on the bottom of the pan raw and then the pound cake and liquid were added. That resulted in very limp pieces of bacon and a very greasy bottom half of the pudding. The flavors were all there, though, so I can’t complain too much.

Sixth course:

A trio of desserts with a cheesecake with white chocolate mousse and a bacon crust, Mangalitsa bacon and pecan ice cream, and almond-dusted chocolate covered bacon.

Again, the bacon would have been a million times better had it been crisped before being added to the cheesecake crust. This dish did serve the only crispy piece of bacon the whole night though, in the form of the chocolate covered bacon, so that was very appreciated.

All in all, I was a little disappointed in Battle Bacon. I felt like I got a lot more bacon fat and grease than salty, crispy bacon meat. And that letdown was definitely reflected in the scores, which were by far the lowest I’ve seen them yet.

But that didn’t stop the big applause that each chef got when they came out with their teams. And it certainly didn’t stop the excitement when everyone found out who made what.

Chef John made courses 1, 3, and 5, and Chef George made courses 2, 4, and 6. Once I found that out I was immediately rooting for Chef John. The pork belly and bread pudding were two of my favorite course!

And then, the moment of truth arrived. The winner was…Chef George Neal from 1618 West!

Even though my favorite didn’t win, it was still a really good battle.

What do you think, eaters:

What would have been your favorite course?

Do you think everything is better with bacon or is it overused?

G’night eaters!

Fire in The Triad, Battle Lusty Monk Mustards

Hiya eaters!

I’ve got a lot to talk about tonight, so let’s get to it.

Remember last week when Leon and I went to Fire in the Triad for our anniversary? Well, apparently my poorly lit pictures and overly harsh criticism impressed somebody, because I was invited to be a quest judge at the first quaterfinal battle last night (and again tonight)!

How freaking cool is that?

Yeah, I was beyond jazzed when I got the email.

But enough of my gushing. Let’s talk food.

Last night the secret ingredient was…drum rollLusty Monk Mustards!

I loveloveLOVE mustard. And I have been eyeing their mustards forever. So this battle was pretty perfect for me.

Right: Chef Chris. Left: Chef Tim.

The chefs battling were Chef Chris Blackburn from Josphine’s Bistro in Greensboro and Chef Tim Bocholis from Bistro B in Kernersville.

First course:

Tartare-style Original Sin mustard-crusted lamb, stone ground mustard crème fraiche, and a quinoa medallion topped with a cashew-crusted goat cheese medallion.

The tartare was amazing and I was beyond shocked that I did hear a bunch of grumbles from the dining room at being fed raw lamb. The goat cheese was delicious, of course. But the quinoa was undercooked and flavorless. And the mustard crème fraiche was much more mustard than anything else.

Second course:

Chiptolte mustard roasted quail breast with Burn In Hell mustard demi-glaze, farro apple mélange, and roasted broccolini.

The quail and farro were overcooked. And the broccolini seemed like it was a last ditch effort to get some color on the plate. Had I ordered that in a restaurant I might, just might, have sent it back.

Course three:

Bacon wrapped spicy mustard pork tenderloin, house made fennel and mustard dusted herb pate a choux gnocchi, mustard yellow cauliflower puree, chipotle mustard sauce choron, chive oil, and crispy yucca.

Despite the bacon not being anywhere near crispy, this dish rocked. All the sauces worked so well and the mustard was not overwhelming at all. And the gnocchi was done to near perfection.

Course four:

Surf & turf: Original Sin mustard grilled lamb loin with whole grain mustard oyster mushroom bordelaise, crab rangoon, roasted red pepper musterd cilantro risotto cake, guava mustard mascarpone, and sugar snap salad.

This dish didn’t make sense at all. The crab Rangoon was out of place. The sugar snap salad had no snap. The risotto cake was huge and pretty flavorless. But the lamb was well cooked and the mustard guava sauce was delicious.

Course five:

Ginger honey mustard gelato, mustard short crust tart tatin, honey mustard caramel, candied ginger crisps.

The candied ginger crisps were nowhere to be seen, which was too bad because the ginger was crucial to the ice cream almost working. The caramel, too, almost worked, but was just a tad strong on the mustard. But the tart was just flat out amazing.

Course six:

Tart cherry and maple bread pudding, spiced honey mustard marshmallow, strawberry mustarda, and sugar lattice.

Hands down, my favorite course of the night. Nothing was overwhelmingly mustardy, but it also wasn’t completely absent. I was also really hoping for some kind of super sweet, cakey dessert and this delivered. My only qualm was that there wasn’t enough mustarda.

Just like last time, as everyone committed their ballots the chefs came out and chatted. And in that chat we found out that Chef Chris made courses 3, 4, and 6, and Chef Tim made courses 1, 2, and 5.

And just like last time, once I knew who made what I also knew exactly who I wanted to win. And after a reading off of the scores for each course it was announced that…

Chef Chris Blackburn of Josphines won!

Hot damn hooray, I am two for two with picking the winners.

Last night’s dinner was absolutely ah-maze-ing! I loved the room for creativity there was when the secret ingredient wasn’t a protein.

Now I am super jazzed to go tonight. So please check back tomorrow for a special edition Friday post all about tonight’s battle.

And in case you’re wondering, I kind of really hope tonight’s secret ingredient is peaches, apples, or sweet potatoes.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about tartare?

What do you think your favorite course would have been? Least favorite?

G’night eaters!

Fire in The Triad, Battle Poulet Rouge

G’evening eaters!

I’ve got a pretty lengthy post for you tonight so I’m going to skip to chit chat. Believe me, you’re not missing anything.

So yesterday was Leon and my 3rd anniversary. We’ve never celebrated an anniversary before, so we wanted to do something special. Luckily, we found just the thing.

There’s currently an Iron Chef-type competition series going on in NC. I think it started off in the Wilmington area as an extension of the Got To Be NC campaign to promote locally produced goods and businesses. Well, it spread all throughout the state and last night we were lucky enough to snag two tickets to the last preliminary competition of Fire in the Triad.

The way the competition works is that each night two chefs from the area compete against each other. They find out the secret ingredient — which is a locally produced food — at noon and, together with the two sous chefs they each get to pick, they use whatever they find on a fridge/pantry truck to cook three courses each, highlighting the secret ingredient. Then everyone in attendance gets to blindly taste all 6 courses and vote.

Doesn’t that sound freaking awesome?

Oh it was!

Last night the two chefs competing where Chef Kristina Fuller from the Bistro at Addams Farm and Chef Chris Russell from B. Christopher’s. And the secret ingredient was Poulet Rouge, a heritage breed of chicken from Ashley Farms, the place where every restaurant in town gets its chicken.

(Oddly enough, Chef Kristina worked for Chef Chris when she was in high school and for years after.)

First course:

Sweet onion & crawfish cornbread crouton, poulet rouge confit, applewood smoked heirloom tomato chutney, sweet & spicy chipotle Dijon cream sauce.

I didn’t taste a hint of crawfish, but the sauce was delicious and the chicken was cooked well.

Second course:

Duck fat infused poulet rouge leg arancini di riso, dried fruit compote, roasted fig demi-glaze.

This left a lot to be desired. The arancini was fine, though a little bland and there wasn’t much chicken. But the compote and demi-glaze were such a bad pairing. Both of them tasted like something that should have been served on ice cream, not something savory and fried.

Third course:

Fried poulet rouge, brown sugar sweet potato soufflé, savory collard greens, fig & currant barbecue sauce.

I loved this! The breading on the chicken was ah-maze-ing, as was the sauce. I actually ate the collards, which is saving something. My only qualm was how heavy and almost flavorless the sweet potatoes were. They damped the other flavors and really coated your mouth a bit too much.

Fourth course:

Slow smoked poulet rouge wellington, andouille mushroom duxelle, goat cheese mashed potatoes, lobster chow chow.

This was everyone’s favorite dish of the night. The goat cheese really made the mashed potatoes and added a much needed dimension of flavor. The wellington was done wonderfully. I would have taken the lobster out of the chow chow. The chow chow was good, but the lobster didn’t fit. Also, what was supposed to be a chicken gravy turned out to be just reduced chicken broth.

Fifth course:

Apple basil ice cream, spiced candied pinenutes, five spiced poulet rouge chicharrons with basil ginger sauce.

I was not expecting dessert. Even more so, I was not expecting to love dessert with chicken. The ice cream was wonderful. The basil sauce really kicked it up a notch. And the chicken chicharrons — fried chicken skin — was subtle, but definitely added something.

Sixth course:

Sweet jalapeno cornbread muffin, honey maple pulled poulet rouge confit, meyer lemon mousse, and sweet guava browned butter sauce.

The only thing that worked on this was the sauce and the mousse.

After we were done stuffing our faces and casting our ballots, each chef came out for a brief chat. We also found out who made which course.

Chef Kristina made courses 1, 3, and 5. Chef Chris made courses 2, 4, and 6.

After finding that out I knew exactly whom I wanted to win. And luckily, after only another minute or two of suspense we found out that….

Chef Kristina won!

I was so thrilled for her. Not only was her food phenomenal, but she was the first female chef to win in the Piedmont Triad tournament. (Whoop whoop, lady power!)

Yup, it was a really great night. Great food. Great conversation with the other people at our table. A great value ($49/person for 6 courses!). And a beyond great anniversary.

What do you think, eaters:

Would you ever go to an Iron Chef-type competition?

What’s a secret ingredient you would hope for? And what would you hope wouldn’t get chosen?

G’night eaters!

Hawaiian Kabobs

Hola eaters!

There’s absolutely no reason I started this post with a Spanish greeting. This isn’t a post about tacos or fajitas or anything remotely Hispanic.

It’s a post about kabobs. With a tropical-Asian flavoring, hence the “Hawaiian” title.

What qualifies as Hawaiian flavoring, you ask?

Pineapple. Miso. Soy sauce. Coconut oil. Beef.

Those things are Hawaiian, right? This isn’t some subconscious dream about a Hawaiian vacation and fruity drinks with umbrellas, right?

Yeah, let’s go with the first.

And now, let’s eat some kabobs.

Hawaiian Kabobs

~1/2 lbs stew beef*

1 T miso paste

1 ½ T coconut oil

1 T soy sauce

½ t ground ginger

~2 T water

pepper, to taste

1/2 peach, cubed

1 large pineapple ring, cubed

½ bell pepper, chopped

½ onion, chopped

~5-6 wooden kabob skewers

*You can use any cut of beef, but stew beef is cheap and pre-cubed, so it’s absolutely perfect for kabobs.

In a bowl, whisk together the miso, ginger, coconut oil, soy sauce, and pepper. Add water until it reaches it’s desire consistency, but you don’t want it too thin.

Pour the marinade into a plastic bag with the beef and massage for a few minutes. Place the bag in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours.

The coconut oil will harden in the fridge, so I suggest taking it out and massaging it with your hands every hour or so. I even left the bag out on the counter for an hour or so as I prepped the vegetables and skewers (which you do by soaking them in water for a little while).

Once everything is prepped and ready, put everything on the skewer in some sort of a repeating pattern. Cook the skewers on a hot grill for 8-10 minutes, flipping once half way through.

Kabobs couldn’t be easier. And they couldn’t be more delicious.

The meat will be cooked through and juicy and super flavorful.

The fruit and vegetables will be charred but still crunchy.

And a side of spicy quinoa will round out the meal perfectly.

This meal may not be quite the same as a Hawaiian vacation and fruity drinks with little umbrellas, but at least it doesn’t leave a lot of dirty dishes.

That’s almost as good as a vacation, right?

What do you think, eaters:

What’s your dream vacation?

How do you assemble kabobs — each ingredient gets its own skewer or in a nice little pattern?

G’night eaters!

Anti-Label Mac N’Cheese

Hello eaters!

Aside from a last minute doctor visit (because my leg stitches/wound is healing weird), this weekend has been lovely.

And I have tomorrow off, so my weekend is still going.

What more could you ask for from a weekend, really?

Nothing. Well, maybe except some of these leftovers.

Mac n'cheese.

Yup, I’m at it again — making unseasonal recipes.

And not only is this unseasonal, it’s not vegan, paleo, Zone-friendly, gluten-free, low fat, soy-free, low carb, or raw.

There has been so freaking much talk around the blogosphere lately about Paleo this and low carb that. Every recipe (and person!) seems to need to have a half dozen labels attached. And then if — deities forbid — they change something in some way they have to go all out and explain why suddenly they’re eating meat or eating less bread.

And then there’s the “loyalty” that people have for other people that share their labels and how quickly that loyalty fades when those labels change.

It’s tiring — keeping up with it all, figuring out your labels. And frankly, I’m getting beyond sick of it.

This may seem like a weighty topic to breach with a mac n’cheese recipe, but really, I think it’s very fitting. Because this recipe is so label-free — so almost anti-label, if you will — that I bet a bunch of people aren’t going to read this post after seeing the above picture.

But for those people that are brave enough to venture outside their labels and keep reading despite the carb-tastic, dairy-filled, visible protein source-free picture above, they will be rewarded.

With mac n’cheese.

Almost Dairy-Free, Anti-Paleo Mac N’Cheese

4 c (~1/2 lbs) whole wheat mini pasta shells, spirals, or elbows (plus water)

8 oz silken tofu

8 oz SHARP cheddar cheese*

¼ c nutritional yeast

2 cloves garlic

~1/2 T whole peppercorns

½ leek, chopped**

1 ½ c broccoli, chopped**

~2 T almond meal/bread crumbs***

salt, to taste

oil

*This is the only cheese you’re adding, so you don’t want to go weak on the flavor. Sharp is the only way to go.

**You can really use any green vegetable you want. I love leeks and broccoli, so that’s what I went with, but choose as you wish. Anything covered in cheese is good, right?

***This is for sprinkling on top if you want to bake it for a few minutes. You can leave this off if you don’t intend to bake it.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and then add the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, add the tofu, cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic, and peppercorns to a food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined and there are no visible large chunks of garlic or pepper. Taste and add salt, if needed.

A few minutes before the pasta is al dente add the broccoli directly to the pot. Once the pasta is done, drain it off in a colander.

Leave the pasta and broccoli in the colander for a few minutes while you drizzle a little oil in the bottom of the pasta pot. Once the oil is warm add the leeks and sauté for just a couple of minutes. Once the leeks are soft add the pasta and broccoli back into the pot.

Dump the cheese sauce into the pot and stir until everything is coated in delicious, creamy, cheesy, goodness. If you’re going to bake the mac, scoop it into a pan, sprinkle with almond meal/bread crumbs, and bake it in a 350F oven for 5-15 minutes, depending on how baked you like things.

Leftovers!

If you’re not going to bake the mac, dig in.

I sure as heck did.

And I enjoyed every label-less bite. Don’t even pretend you wouldn’t.

Your turn, eaters:

What labels do you use to define yourself?

Do you like baked or non-baked mac n’cheese?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Fatty

Hiya eaters!

It’s been a bit of a doozy day for me, so please excuse me if not everything I saw makes sense.

Breakfast #1:

1 1/2 smaller carrots and Trader Joe's sunflower seed butter.

I kinda messed up my early morning workout fuel. For the 6am Crossfit class I wake up at 5:15 so I have time to drink my usual ½ liter of pre-food water, digest it a bit, and each a little something before going. I’m not hungry by the time I eat, but I know I need just a little bit to get me through.

For some reason, though, when I was setting my alarm for the 8:30am Crossfit class, I set it for 7:15. I immediately woke up and chugged my water without thinking, so I actually started to get hungry 15 minutes before I had to leave. The extra half a block (as in the food blocks used by The Zone, which I’m loosely following) helped, but I still wasn’t 100%.

Crossfit:

Because I wasn’t totally with it, my experience with the benchmark workout “Linda” wasn’t all that great.

If you don’t know, “Linda” is deadlifts, floor presses, and hang cleans done in a pyramid fashion for 10 rounds. So the first round is 10 reps, then 9 reps, then 8 reps, so on and so forth until you finish. I finished in 29:17 (which is slooooow) using 95# for the deadlift, 50# for the clean (because I had a huge knot in my shoulder), and 55# for the floor press.

Breakfast #2:

2 scrambled eggs with onions, lettuce, salsa, and avocado on a Whole Foods' blue corn tortilla.

Leon and I both had the morning off, so I made us breakfast.

Note to self — those tortillas don’t hold two scrambled eggs.

Lunch:

A quick curry made from a bell pepper, baked tofu, and TJ's simmer sauce with the last cherries.

I’m trying to get into the habit of prepping some kind of plant protein to eat throughout the week. So I used a bit of soy-coconut marinated tofu and some really awesome Trader Joe’s Thai Green Curry simmer sauce to make this quick little curry-type thing.

Sidenote — I want more cherries.

Snack:

Luna Protein bar in chocolate cherry almond.

I ended up filling in for someone at work yesterday, so I grabbed this bar and ate half while there.

Sunflower seed butter.

I also ate a spoon of sunflower seed butter before leaving for work.

Dinner:

Thai pork meatball hoagie.

If I can remember the exact ingredients and measurements to this I’ll post the recipe. If not, I’ll try to remake it sooner rather than later.

It was that good.

Dessert:

I finished the other half of that Luna bar. The flavor was good, but a bit too sweet and the texture was definitely too nougat-y.

And that’s it, eaters. I probably should have worked more vegetables into my day, but I generally say that every day. I’ve also noticed that in order for me to feel really satiated I need to eat some solid form of fat.

Example: I thought the fat from the coconut milk in the simmer sauce would be enough, but I still needed that spoon of seed butter not too long later. And when I forget the avocado from my eggs, I don’t feel as full, despite eggs having a good bit of fat in them.

So I need to work on getting some hardcore fat in (and finding more sources of fat, so I don’t burn out on avocado and nut/seed butter).

What do you think, eaters:

Do you eat before a morning workout? If so, what?

What are some good sources of dense, healthy fat?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Scattered, Sporadic

‘Ello eaters!

All this Olympic talk I’ve been hearing has got me really missing England.

Oh, I want to go back so bad.

But that’s neither here nor there. (Actually, it is there.)

Breakfast 1:

Homemade cherry muffin with a schmear of sunflower butter.

Leon made cherry muffins the other day. With AP flour. I forgot how tender and soft things baked with not whole wheat flour can be. Maybe not the best pre-Crossfit fuel, but it was early and I wasn’t thinking clearly. Oh, and it was tasty,

Protein!

I also drank my usual pre-Crossfit (GNC chocolate egg) protein out of my ghetto blender bottle. My last blender bottle had to be thrown out after I accidentally left it dirty for a couple of days and the smell from opening it nearly killed me.

Does anyone know how to keep those things from absolutely reeking?

Crossfit:

We did “Diane”: 21-15-9, deadlifts and handstand pushups. Instead of handstand push-ups I did dumbbell presses with 20# weights.

Breakfast 2:

A slice of leftover pepper and onion pizza topped with two fried eggs and hot sauce.

The way I see it this is like the fried eggs-toast-salsa breakfast I used to eat, but more fun.

Work:

I only worked 5 hours yesterday, which felt like a dream. During work I ate a Vanilla Almond Pure Protein bar because that’s one of the only Zone-friendly bars I’ve found.

Do you know of any other Zone-friendly bars that taste good and don’t cost $2 each?

Lunch:

Does this count as lunch if I ate it at 4:30pm? The bar held me off through the rest of work, a little shopping, and a quick “it’s about to rain” walk with the pup, so I wasn’t ravenous.

Leftover tempeh curry made using Trader Joe's Thai Green Curry simmer sauce.

And in case you’re wondering, eating leftovers out of the container they’re stored in is the most dish-economical way to do it.

Dinner:

After finding a recipe for homemade chorizo in a magazine, Leon and I were all set to have our own Taco Tuesday.

"Chorizo" tacos.

Unfortunately, the recipe was nearly flavorless. How something with a ton of smoked paprika, plenty of hot Mexican chilis, and as much garlic as I put in could be that flavorless is beyond me.

Luckily, margaritas made with fresh lime juice (made with my juicer) saved the meal.

Tequilaaaaa!

And that’s it. My meals were all over the place, but I’m a busy girl. I don’t see either of those things changing anytime soon.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you have set meal times or do you eat when you can?

What’s your go to margarita recipe?

Oh, and please do hit me with those blender bottle cleaning tips and Zone-friendly bar recommendations.

G’night eaters!

WIAW: In The Zone

G’afternoon eaters!

I’m feeling less doped up than yesterday, but boy, do stitches hurt. I’ve never had stitches before so I really didn’t know what to expect going into this, but now I know that I definitely don’t want stitches again.

But that’s enough of me complaining! If you wanted to hear complaining you’d babysit a 5 year old.

But since you’re here, let’s talk food. And fitness. And the area in the venn diagram where they intersect — footness.

Umm, that word might still need some work.

Anyway…here’s a day of Zone-tastic meals, though, I’ll warn you ahead of time that it’s not the best.

Breakfast:

2 scrambled eggs with kale and a few thin slivers of cheese, a small carrot, a peach, and a serving of TJ's sunflower seed butter.

This was a 3 block breakfast. The peach, carrot, and kale made up the carbs. The eggs and sunflower seed butter made up the protein. And the sunflower seed butter and the few tiny slivers of cheese made up the fat.

Crossfit:

O’m’gah! I loveloveLOVED Crossfit yesterday. Part of the warm up was running 400s and for once I felt really strong doing it. The skill work were double squat wall balls, which were tough (and I ended up hitting myself in the head a few times with the wall ball), but they were fun. And then the WOD — oh the WOD!

We did 10 thrusters on the minute for 20 minutes. A thruster is like a push-press except that you squat all the way down. They’re tough, but not too complicated, so I really like them.

And this WOD was a total ass kicker. I thought my trainer was going easy on me when he told me to do it with a 30lbs bar, but after about the 6th minute I knew anymore weight would have been torture.

Anyway, this whole Crossfit session was crazy tough and crazy fun and a great session to end on before my little break to heal.

Lunch:

2 bison tacos on WF's blue corn tortillas with avocado, zucchini with Annie's sesame dressing, a couple of cherries.

This was a 3 block lunch and I promise I’ll post the taco recipe tomorrow!

Afternoon:

I had my little surgery thing around 3pm, was home by 4:30pm and then spent the next hour practically drooling into a cup in bed. Then I went to class.

I SHOULD have eaten a 1-2 block snack, but between the half a Xanex the doctor gave me, the half a pain pill afterward, and the general uncomfortableness, I was far from hungry.

Dinner:

A ~3oz pork chop with red pepper spread and onions, steamed broccoli, and 1/3 sweet potato with chili powder.

Can I just say that m’man is ah-maze-ing! Not only did he drive me to and from the doctor and class after my surgery, but he then went to the grocery store and planned (a very Zone-friendly) dinner. And he cooked it perfectly, using our new favorite schmear.

TJ's most awesome Red Pepper Spread.

I think this was a bit light on the fat side, but I wasn’t really in a state to care at the point. I also decided to forego my usual dinner beer in favor of something lighter and less alcoholic.

A big glass of kombucha from our second batch — cranberry raspberry flavor.

Dessert:

Later, while Leon and I were laying in bed watching our new favorite show — Justified — Charlie and I ate some Trader Joe’s animal crackers. (I decided to ignore how many grams of carbs and how few grams of everything else they had.)

And now, as we speak I write, I’m using those animal cracker to bribe Charlie into snuggling with me in bed.

It’s working pretty well.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something you and your pet like to eat together?

What’s your favorite schmear at the moment?

Later eaters!