WIAW: Magical Mexican Soup

G’day eaters!

I want to start off by saying a big ole Congratulations to Jenn, the host of WIAW, for getting knocked up!

Everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant. It’s awesome and all, but…

I really hope it’s not contagious.


Pre Crossfit:

Half an apple. A lot of pb. A vanilla whey protein shake.

Crossfit:

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

PRs are my favorite.

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

This is my new typical breakfast.

Yup, I’m still on the scrambled eggs and cooked veg breakfast.

Side note — these are the smallest, cutest clementines I’ve ever seen. I finally feel like I’m getting “cuties,” not like those small-ish oranges I’ve been calling “cuties” all these years.

Lunch:

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

Look! I did something “healthy living blogger”-like and made my lunch the night before while I was making breakfast. Let’s ignore the fact that I ate it at home.

Another pair of cuties.

Another pair of cuties.

Having it ready was still mighty handy.

Snack:

Let’s play the game where you don’t scold me for buying a giant bag of Twizzlers because it was $1 and I won’t pretend I only ate one serving.

Dinner:

This meal knocked my socks off! That’s real talk, eaters. Real talk.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

First, I made the pork tamales over the weekend as part of my thesis. And while they were good on the day I made them, they were so much better a few days later when the exhaustion of making them had worn off.

Second, this soup was pure magic. I wanted to make some sort of lazy tortilla soup so I mixed a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and then leftover “broth” from the tamale meat (which was the pork cooking water pureed with cooked garlic and cooked onion). I added a little bit of spice and pureed the whole deal again.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

And by the grace of the Mexican food gods (who I imagine have heads made out of grilled cheese sandwiches) it ab-so-freaking-lutely rocked!

The end.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last winging-it meal that turned out magical for you?

What’s your favorite candy?

Later eaters!

Two Tips Tuesday

G’evening eaters!

I’m fading fast, despite the fact that I really didn’t do anything today. But you’ll hear about all that tomorrow.

I promised you two tips/tricks from my Thanksgiving and here they are. (Oh, and this isn’t going to become a regular thing. I just like alliteration and triplets so I added “Tuesday” to the title.)

1) Everyone loves risotto, right? It’s thick and creamy and unbelievably comforting.

Unfortunately, the way it’s usually made require lots of milk and cream and butter and cheese. Now if you know me at all, you know that I don’t have a problem with any of those things, but they can be the kind of specialty ingredient that go bad after you’ve used the splash or two a recipe calls for. And they’re not super flavorful on their own, so you have to add extra ingredients. And if you’re cooking for a crowd then chances are at least one person is going to be vegan, lactose intolerant, or doesn’t like cow’s milk.

That’s a whole lot of reasons not to make risotto.

Or it could be a whole lot of reasons to make risotto with broth and pureed soup!

Yup, that’s my risotto trick. I forgo the dairy and alternate splashes of broth (chicken or vegetable, depending on the crowd you’re serving) and pureed soup.

For Thanksgiving I used some butternut squash soup and vegetable broth to accommodate my vegan guest. And just for funsies I chopped up a mix of dried wild mushrooms and tossed them in dry. They soaked up the liquid and added a little mushroomy background without adding lots of blah tasting water, like if you soak them before hand.

That mushroom bit is another trick I use often, but that’s not the second trick for tonight. Nope…

2) Does your chocolate ever seize up when you’re trying to melt it? It happens to me about half the time and, honestly, I’ve got no clue why. Here’s what happened on Thanksgiving in case any of you can tell me:

I was melting dark chocolate chips with coconut oil in a crock pot. Everything was melting just fine. I decided to thin out the chocolate a bit with coconut milk. And immediately it seized up into an angry little ball.

Like I said, I’ve got no clue why that happened. Chocolate is a mystery to me.

But now, at least I know that adding a little room temperature brewed coffee helps smooth out seized chocolate. Luckily I had some on hand and after a little stirring the chocolate was almost as good as new. It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly wasn’t an angry little ball of fucked up-ness like it was before.

And that’s all I’ve got for you tonight. I’m sure at least one of these tips will eventually come in handy. Heck, if I was better at this whole internet thing I could make some awesome pinterest-able graphic.

But if I was better at this whole internet thing I probably wouldn’t cuss so much, so I’ll call it a draw.

Your turn, eaters:

Got any good little tips for me?

What’s something you wish you had a magic tip for?

G’night eaters!

Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

Hi eaters.

It’s been a long and slightly painful day, thanks to a visit to the chiropractor.

But Leon bought me pie for dinner dessert and now my dog is lying on top of my leg (yes, just the one leg) so I’m pretty happy.

Now let’s talk Thanksgiving, shall we?!

Dinner was set for 3pm on Saturday, so the cooking started on Thursday. And the bulk of it was done of Friday. But we still had plenty of cooking to do Saturday morning.

I'm in my cooking crevice.

So while Leon and I cooked, Mother set the table.

Light and airy, just like I like it.

As you can see, I kept it all very simple. I fell in love with the idea of butcher paper and crayons, so that’s exactly what we did.

Crayons in reused jars, because they're classier than the crayon box.

And then I went around and wrote everyone’s name above his or her plate. (Fyi, “his or her” is the proper pronoun here, not “their.” #WordNerd)

While everyone was mingling we snacked on a little appetizer plate of cheese and crackers and dips and a bowl of candied almonds that Leon made.

Three cheeses. Three spreads. Two crackers.

Please don’t confuse the three cheeses and three dips as any sort of pairing. The only thing that was even slightly paired was the goat’s milk brie and mixed berry jam.

And finally, after a long morning and one last frantic cooking spree, dinner was served.

The most beautiful bird I've ever seen.

On the menu:

Guinness roasted turkey, sausage and cornbread stuffing, Eureka Paprika split pea soup, mashed potatoes, balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts, wild mushroom and butternut squash risotto, cranberry chutney (a simpler version than the recipe I posted here), a massaged kale salad with roasted acorn squash, 1/3 whole wheat rolls, gravy, and maple butter.

Yes, that is our unused flat sheet used as a tablecloth.

I think that’s it. I’ll be posting recipes for a lot of those dishes this week, so stay tuned.

I piled my plate high and ate every bite. And surprisingly, I didn’t feel grossly full. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that everything save for the turkey, stuffing, and gravy was vegan.

So.Freaking.Good.

Mother’s boyfriend is vegan and I certainly don’t mind vegan food, obviously. And once Leon agreed to make mashed potatoes with Earth Balance and coconut milk we were set.

Anyway, everything turned out really, surprisingly well. The Brussels sprouts were a touch underdone, but that was the only glitch so I was beyond thrilled.

I was so thrilled by how well everything went that all day I was walking around punching the air and yelling “O’Doyles rule!” (Two points if you can tell me what movie that’s from.)

Everyone retired to the RV for a while (Did I mention that Mother and her boyfriend drove up in his giant RV?) to watch the NC State vs Clemson game. I took a little nap first. And then we had dessert.

Dippables.

I know I was talking in my earlier post about bourbon sweet potato casserole and vegan coconut nutmeg pudding. But when I thought about it, I really didn’t need another complicated thing to the list of things to cook. So I went easy. Really easy.

Thanks to this fondue, I've got a really awesome chocolate tip to post about.

And it doesn’t get easier than chocolate fondue in a crockpot, let me tell you.

The only problem with chocolate fondue is that there are no leftovers, hence the pie for dinner tonight.

Possibly the best part of the whole day, though, was that Mother did ALL the dishes. But then, Charlie’s bow tie is a close second.

Isn't he handsome?

What do you think, eaters:

Could you vegan-ize or mostly vegan-ize your Thanksgiving feast? What wouldn’t you compromise on?

What would be the best thing a house guest could give you/do for you?

G’night eaters!

PS — Seriously, get ready for as many Thanksgiving recipes as I can cram in before Thanksgiving.

WIAW: Lots of Candy

Hiya eaters!

I hope last night wasn’t too heavy for you. Sometimes I just get in a mood.

But right now, I’m in the mood to celebrate. I just finished making the hat for my costume. I’ve eaten a lot of candy. I’m about to go out and drink free beer from a bar. (How this bar is making money having a free keg of beer almost every week is beyond me, but that’s irrelevant.)

So let’s go.


Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Breakfast #1:

365 creamy pb and an apple.

I skipped Crossfit on Monday to further recover from Saturday’s WOD, so I was ready and raring to go yesterday.

Also, someone once told me that if you store oil separating nut butter upside down after the initial stir you won’t have to stir it again. So far it’s worked for me.

Crossfit:

Strength WOD.

Yesterday’s WOD was good and bad.

Good, because I reached a new deadlift PR of 133#.

Bad, because my right lower back started hurting really bad (and it is definitely still hurting now). my coach thinks it might be my sacrum. Any stretching/healing recommendations?

Breakfast #2:

Savory oats with swiss chard and black bean dip topped with two fried eggs and avocado.

You can’t tell, but under those eggs are a 1/3 c serving of savory oats made with lots of swiss chard and a spoonful of Trader Joe’s black bean dip.

Walk:

Later I took Charlie, my dog, on his long walk for the day. During this walk he sniffed and lunged after almost every leaf we passed.

I love fall leaves and ivy hills.

Which was a lot.

And then he proceed to freak the eff out over this rabbit statue. We’ve passed it plenty of times before, but this time he just did not like it.

The object of my dog's fear.

He had his butt hair up and everything, which is how you know when he’s really upset.

Notice the raised neck AND butt hair.

I, of course, thought it was hilarious.

Lunch:

Pork roast with baked apples.

Oh, I love leftovers. I heated the pork and apples up with some of their juices plus a little butter and it was delicious. Then I let Charlie lick the plate, because it would have been impolite if I’d licked the plate.

Snack:

Reese's and Almond Joy.

I made the mistake of, a couple of days BEFORE Halloween, buying a 125-piece assorted bag with Almond Joy, Cookies & Crème, Whoppers, Reese’s, and plain Hershey’s.

And now, since my ferocious guard dog has scared off the two sets of trick-or-treaters we’ve gotten all night, I’m probably going to end up eating it all.

Wish me luck.

Dinner:

Baked potato soup with all the fixins'.

Kath’s post yesterday really got me craving potato soup, so that was dinner last night.

Dessert:

4 mini packages of Whoppers, totaling 12 Whoppers.

These were eaten in an attempt to procrastinate cleaning the kitchen. It didn’t work.

And that’s all she wrote, folks.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you buy trick-or-treater candy that you like or the things you don’t like so you won’t eat it all?

How do you like your eggs?

G’night eaters!

Honestly, Soup

Hi eaters!

It’s Tuesday, right? I have been so bad about days lately.

Anyway, I didn’t blog last night. I think I’m losing a bit of my blogging mojo because I had time to blog, I just didn’t have anything to blog about or any desire to pull something out of my ass. I was tempted to put up some stupid meme about how I was doing other things or just something funny, but then I realized that producing bad content dilutes the good content I produce.

So I didn’t.

Because I do occasionally write something really good and worth reading or worth making and when I do, I really want you to read it and enjoy it and be happy you spent those five minutes with me.

So, there’s my two cents. And like two actual pennies, it’s not worth much.

Upward and onward to…more honesty.

I once read a blog post somewhere about staging food for photos. Maybe it was an article, not a blog post.

But that’s irrelevant.

The relevant thing is that it said to set two places and make two plates of food because then the photos look like a real, inviting meal and if you want to get people to make your recipes you had to make them seem inviting rather than just you eating them alone in your pajamas.

That got me thinking. My first thought was “eff no” because that meant I not only had to own sets of matching dishes (something I certainly didn’t have then and barely have now), but that I then had to wash those extra dishes.

My second thought, though, was why did I need to fake eating meals with someone?

At the time, I was cooking solely for myself and generally eating by myself while watching TV (because all my friends had meal plans) or eating while hanging out with someone who wasn’t eating.

And now, I eat dinner with Leon. The other two meals of the day are still solo. And I sure as heck am not going to bust out fancy dishes and attempt lighting and make Leon wait while the food gets cold as I attempt to get all the right angles on a piece of chicken.

That all sounds like lunacy to me.

So, as you may have noticed over the past couple of months (if you’ve been reading that long), my photos have become significantly less staged. Sure, some things, like muffins or cookies or other tepid, non-time sensitive creations still get staged, but for the most part my pictures are taken on the big wooden cutting board that sits atop my yellow prep table that used to be a baby changing table. I try to get most of my pictures during the day because the light from the windows in my kitchen are lovely, but even that isn’t something I strive for.

I guess I strive for honesty.

So honestly, my recipes aren’t the greatest things in the world. Honestly, they are not in any war gourmet and I don’t even pretend I know what I’m doing. They probably won’t wow your friends at a dinner party (except maybe these crostinis) nor will they earn you any friends if you don’t already have some.

But honestly, they’re cheap and easy and don’t ever require more than two pans (because I only have two) or any extra funky ingredients or use big, hard to pronounce words.

And I can honestly say that while neither of us will be appearing on Top Chef anytime soon, my recipes do the trick. They feed you. They nourish you. They make me happy and hopefully they make you happy, too.

So, while half the country is cold and buried in water, I think we could all use a little soup. With bacon. And cheese.

Baked Potato Soup

¼ onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

6-7 small-medium russet potatoes, skin on and cubed

3 c chicken/vegetable stock

3 T butter, dairy or non dairy

1 ½ c milk, dairy or non dairy

1 egg

salt and pepper, to taste

oil

water

toppings

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until fragrant and then add the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant pour in the stock, butter, and potatoes. Stir everything together, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and leave it to simmer for ~15 minutes.

Add plenty of salt and pepper, stir it all together, and then add the milk. Cover the pot and leave it to simmer again for ~10 minutes.

At this point the potatoes should be plenty soft and starting to break down. Once the soup is creamy stir in the egg. Continue stirring the soup for 5 minutes and then cover again for ~10. Stir some more.

The potatoes should almost all break down to leave a thick, chunky soup. Feel free to puree/smash some of the chunks to make a smoother soup. Add some water if it has gotten too thick.

Prepare your toppings, ladle up a few bowls, and top away.

Leon adding his cheese.

Leon and I went with bacon, cheddar, and sautéed asparagus because we had all those things on hand.

Jalapenos, salsa, sautéed greens, and the like would also make good toppings. But like I said, we used what we had on hand. No need to spend extra money to try to make you think this meal was actually planned or that we actually keep a thoroughly stocked fridge.

Left: His. Right: Hers.

Leon said this soup was “really good for a first time without a recipe,” which is how most of my recipes turn out. And let’s be honest, if I don’t have time to wash an extra dish do you really think I have time to remake and re-remake recipes all day?

Nope. And neither do you, so trust me when I say this is honestly a good soup.

What do you think, eaters:

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

Tell me something honest about yourself.

G’night eaters!

Becoming a House-Person

Hiya eaters!

Today has been a bit of a trying day. But I’ll get into that more tomorrow on WIAW.

Instead today, I’m going to talk about what a chicken carcass has taught me about myself.

Yes eaters, I really did just say that.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of person I want to be. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the kind of house-person I want to be. (I realize that “house-person” is not a real term, but stay with me here.)

When I get back to the States I’ll be moving into a house with Leon. And for some reason this feels like a very definite line in the sand.

This will be my first place of my own. It’s not a dorm. It’s not a summer apartment with friends. It’s a real house where I will act (somewhat) like a real adult.

Granted, it’s a rental that we will probably not be in for more than a year. It’s not like we’re buying a house. It’s not like we’re really adults (well, maybe Leon is). But it feels like a big deal that warrants lots of decisions. And after a lot of thinking (and pinterest-ing), I’ve made some decisions:

I want to be the kind of house-person that cleans everything with the vinegar and water mixture (with some essential oils for fragrance).

I want to be the kind of house-person that upcycles furniture from Craigslist.

I want to be the kind of house-person that does DIY projects that add ascetic pleasure and functionality.

I want to be the kind of house-person that composts.

I want to be the kind of house-person that has a garden and makes their own sprouts.

So after the chicken I roasted for Easter was eaten, I was left with a carcass and a decision. I could stand around the kitchen picking the meat off with my fingers, I could toss it, or I could make soup.

I decided to start becoming the house-person I want to be before I actually get the house. So I made soup.

Curry Chicken Soup

1 chicken carcass, cleaned

6-8 c water, enough to cover the carcass in the pot

2 cloves garlic

~10 whole peppercorns

~1 c leftover chicken

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

3 carrots, diced

~1/4 c green curry paste*

½ c dry (brown) rice plus water

~1/3 c wild garlic leaves, diced**

3-4 scallions, diced

~2 c kale, chopped

*This is entirely dependent on how strong your curry paste is. Mine isn’t terribly strong so I added a lot. I would recommend adding a tablespoon at a time.

**Wild garlic leaves are long and thin and have a nice subtle garlic taste. They’re a nice addition, but not necessary.

Put the carcass in a pot, cover with water, and add in the garlic and peppercorns. Cover the pot and simmer softly for about 4 or 5 hours. Pour the contents of the pot through a strainer (a colander should do the trick) to remove the bones and garlic.

Add the stock back into the pot and start cooking.

Bring the stock up to a slow simmer and then add in the chicken, onion, bell pepper, carrots and curry paste. Stir everything until the paste is well incorporated (taste and add more if necessary). Loosely cover the pot and leave it to simmer.

While the stock is simmering, cook the rice in another pot. I suggest cooking it with just a smidge less water than you normally would so that once you put it into the soup it absorbs a little of the stock and curry flavor.

Once the rice is cooked, add it into the soup. Let the soup cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add the kale, scallions, and garlic leaves.

After a last 5-10 minutes of cooking the soup is done. Taste for seasoning and serve.

I suggest topping this with some sriracha. I would have, but somehow I never got around to buying any while I’ve been here.

Note to self: Be the kind of house-person that has plenty of condiments to offer guests.

All in all, this recipe is in no way ground breaking. I added some curry paste and wild garlic to the same chicken soup that house-people have been making forever.

But it’s a step towards being the kind of house-person I want to be. I’ll be revolutionary later.

What do you think, eaters:

What kind of house-person are you?

What kind of house-person do you want to be?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Writing a Paper

‘Ello eaters!

Today has been fan-freaking-tastic!

My bosses are away on holiday all week. And being left unsupervised has made me super productive.

For some reason I get nervous that my boss is watching me and thinks I’m not on task since so when they walk by I spas out and quickly click over to my email.

Yup, I realize this is weird.

So, when I’m left unsupervised with a task list I go into hyper drive and crank out (what I hope is) awesome work.

Feeling productive really is the key to job satisfaction.

And now, to completely flip from productive member of the workforce, let’s talk about what all I ate on Monday when I was trying to write a paper for the first time in months.

Breakfast:

Fried eggs over buckwheat oatmeal with tons of kale and chipotle ketchup.

This is what happens when I’m out of bread and I so don’t regret it. I actually want it again.

Coffee:

Coffee and research.

I drank a whole bunch of coffee while doing lots of research on the doubts surrounding Shakespeare’s authorship. There are a lot of doubts, hence all the coffee…and the few Cadbury mini eggs.

Lunch 1:

Leftover chicken and lettuce on a tortilla.

I needed something to tide me over while I took a gym and groceries break. These tortillas got really dry really fast, but I guess that’s normal when there are no preservatives.

Lunch 2:

Lettuce, yellow bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, steamed purple sprouting broccoli, smoked tofu, and BBQ sauce.

I am so proud of myself for my salad consumption lately. These are getting a bit old, though.

Oh, and I ate these on the bus on the ride home. I felt a food panic setting in.

Popchips are awesome sauce. But not saucy.

Dinner:

When I finally reached the point where coherent sentences were no longer possible, and I couldn’t even write another bullet point of my outline, I cooked dinner.

Curried chicken soup.

This is a little something I whipped up using the chicken broth and bits from my Easter chicken. I’ll post the recipe soon, I hope.

Dessert:

I was still pretty wound up after dinner. Something about the pile of dishes and the unwritten blog post just wouldn’t let me relax. So I threw my hands and my feet up and gave in.

Wine and a slice of multigrain bread.

This works every time.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you ever worry your boss is watching you?

How much coffee/caffeine do you drink a day?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: The Intern

‘Ello eaters!

I’m happy to report that my computer seems to be in fine working order. I turned it on this morning and while there are a couple of weird things, everything else is fine.

I still have an Apple Genius bar appointment for tomorrow, so I’m not declaring it a miracle yet.

Getting a whole new computer and transferring everything would have been a huge hassle.

Anyway, now that things are back on track it’s time to talk about all the awesomeness that was yesterday…in the form of WIAW.

Ready… Set…

Breakfast:

Fried eggs and sauteed kale on seedy spelt toast with spicy mustard and hot sauce.

I would just completely skip even taking pictures of my breakfast anymore because it’s been pretty much the same thing for at least six months, but 1) I love morning light, and 2) I added a schmear of spicy mustard to the toast and it really took my same old eggs to a new and delicious level.

And then this happened.

My laptop, post-spill, drying in rice.

Believe me when I say I was freaking the eff out. And it took me more than a few minutes of pacing before I was able to breathe normally. But once I could breathe normally, it was time to get fancy.

All from Anthropologie. All on super freaking sale.

I put on makeup, which I never do unless I’m going out at night. I put on heels, another thing I never do. I put on a ring to cover my finger tattoo, which I never really intentionally do.

What tattoo?

(Sorry mom, I forgot to take off my ratty nail polish. I know you’re probably cringing right now.)

And I got to put on my interview outfit, which I’ve had since December.

Game face.

It was game time.

After a quick little interview I was told that my first day of work as…drum roll…a marketing intern for Hale & Hearty, an organic, gluten-free food company (wheeee!!!!!) would be the Wednesday after break.

Consider this my signing bonus.

Let me repeat that: I will be a marketing intern for an organic, gluten-free food company. Based on my interview today, in addition to basic administrative stuff, I think I’m going to be working a good bit with blogging for the company, working with local bloggers, and social media.

Do I even need to say how absolutely freaking jazzed I am?!?!

I celebrated with a delicious fresh juice from the coffee shop a few blocks away.

Super red juice: beets, carrots, red apples, and ginger.

These juices will be the downfall of my budget, but the joy of my body.

Lunch:

Falafel sandwich and a white chocolate, orange cookie.

Unfortunately, everything took longer than expected this morning so I had to run to meet my friend at Pret for a working lunch. We had an exam yesterday, so this sandwich and cookie were scarfed as we went over the differences between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and debated the role of the monarchy in today’s Britain.

Afternoon:

I spent the entire exam trying (and kind of failing) to not fall asleep. Needless to say, this grade won’t make the fridge. After that (and my stressful morning) all I wanted was a snack. And to not leave my flat in fear of possibly something else going wonky. So I ate an apple and watched TV.

Dinner:

I was completely uninspired about what to make for dinner until I saw something somewhere about potato pancakes. And then I was off to the races.

Eggs poached in tomato sauce with sauteed kale.

In no time flat I had whipped up a surprisingly comforting, balanced, and delicious dinner.

The worst picture ever of potato pancakes.

My completely fly by the seat of my pants potato pancakes weren’t the greatest (too much flour and egg, I think), but they still did the trick. And now I have a new recipe to work on.

Dessert:

A few squares of dark chocolate.

With that, eaters, I’m done for the night. I’m still more than a little on cloud 9 over my internship. I’m also on cloud 9 over the fact that I get to see manly friend on Saturday. And because by Friday at noon I’ll be done with my classes.

Yeah, I have a ton to be happy about. And I couldn’t be happier.

What about you, eaters:

What do you have to be happy about right now?

Do you have a power outfit? Tell me about it!

Later eaters!

WIAW: Rushin’ Like a Russian

‘Ello most lovely eaters!

While some people may have chocolate and champagne hangovers from yesterday, I am still happily love drunk.

Because I love love, I love being in love.

Oh and I love vegetables, though you still can’t totally tell from what I ate yesterday.

Breakfast:

Seedy WFs bread, kale sauteed with Bragg's amino acids, two fried eggs, and plenty of hot sauce.

Does this count as variety? Please say yes, because this is about as much variety as I’m capable of.

And on the side I had a cup of coffee x2 (this whole me owning a coffee maker is dangerous) and vitamins x2.

I finally found soymilk that doesn't get funky in coffee. It's pretty rawesome.

M’mate Cate has been sick for a couple of weeks now. I’m starting to feel a little under the weather. At home in the states I have a whole arsenal of vitamins to take when I start feeling a little cruddy (all thanks to VG), but for some reason when packing my suitcases I decided that another pair of Toms was more important than vitamins. So I’m slamming vitamin C with rose hips like it’s cool.

FYI — Vitamins aren’t really cool, but sometimes they’re helpful.

Veg servings: 1

Lunch:

I didn’t know I was living in Russia, but it seems I am because I’m always rushin’.

Get it? Get it? Yeah, Cate and I aren’t funny.

What I’m trying to say is that I was too rushed to take a picture of my vegetable soup, seedy bread from WFs, and an apple.

Veg servings: 2

Snack:

PB, seedy WFs bread, and a spoon.

Speed walking to class, running up to the fourth floor, and speed walking home worked up an appetite. Or maybe my lunch was just lacking satiating fats.

Either way, this was necessary.

Dinner:

Cate and I decided to get all fancy and go out for dinner. We ended up in a little Italian restaurant in Camden. And when in RomeCamden drink lots of wine, right?

There's only two sizes of wine here — small and large.

Knowing that pasta was on the agenda, I decided to start my meal off on the right foot.

A simple salad with greens, fennel, bell pepper, cucumbers, and artichokes.

And then followed it up with a giant plate of pasta.

This wasn’t the best parpadelle I’ve ever had (it wasn’t made that day), but the sauce-y, vegetable-y parts were so freaking delicious that it totally made up for day-old pasta.

Parppadelle with broccoli, tomatoes, anchovies, and buttery bread crumbs.

And it just so happens that the restaurant was pretty well known in the neighborhood for having extraordinary gelato, so of course Cate and I had to be all romantic and split a couple of scoops.

Pistachio and tiramisu gelato.

Veg servings: 2 ½

The day ended with some really wonderful Skype time with my everyday Valentine, manly friend, and a couple of bites of cheese. And it couldn’t have been better.

Oh, and my veg servings for the day came out to about 5 1/2, which isn’t half bad for me.

Your turn:

When going out for Italian do you order pasta or something meaty?

What are your go-to gelato/ice cream/fro yo/sorbet flavors?

Later eaters!

No Recipe Vegetable Soup

G’day eaters!

Today was my day off so I’ve spent ample amounts of time in my kitchen, at the gym, and reading in a café.

It was glorious beyond belief. Really. I don’t know if I’d want to do this everyday (because I do like to be a bit busier and a bit less luxuriously lazy), but for today is was perfect. And I once again feel like the luckiest ‘Baby in the world.

And you know what else is wonderful?

All the posts I’ve read from this week’s WIAW party. It’s so great to see all the ways other bloggers are getting their daily servings of veg.

(Side note — Sorry if I sound like an airhead or whatnot for saying “veg” all the time. I’m slowly picking up English words, and everyone says “veg.” I’ll try to tone it back if I get extra annoying.)

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not eating nearly enough vegetables.

I could blame that on the fact that my kitchen (especially the knives!) is subpar and that makes cooking the way I want next to impossible. I could blame the fact that I eat out a lot (more than I would like) and vegetables don’t seem to be all the popular here, but I’m not even eating out that much. I could blame it on the fact that I’m busy and my classes are so horribly inconvenient as far as eating on a normal schedule goes, but I should be used to it by now.

So instead of finding a new place to put the blame for my less than stellar produce intake, I made soup.

But before you get all excited about a recipe for a wonderful vegetable soup, let me burst your bubble: I don’t have a recipe.

For some things, a recipe just doesn’t work. For some things, you just have to trust your intuition, chop up all the things dawdling in your crisper, and hope for the best.

And that’s exactly what I did here.

So an onion, two carrots, a bunch of celery, a bell pepper, a couple handfuls of each quinoa and lentils, two bullion cubes, parsley, kale, and plenty of squirts of Bragg’s Amino Acids later, I had soup.

It’s not the prettiest soup. It’s not the most gourmet soup.

But it’s hearty and tasty and full of protein and fiber and everything nice.

Oh, and it’s pretty much perfect for dipping a nice piece of seedy bread into.

Is it even possible to eat soup without something to dip in it?

And that’s all I can really ask for from a soup.

What about you, eaters:

What are some dishes that never need a recipe?

What’s your idea of a perfect luxuriously lazy day?

G’night eaters!