WIAW: Stressed and Soup

Hi eaters!

I’m procrastinating some last minute exam studying, so I figured I’m do something productive with my procrastination and share this week’s WIAW with you.


Breakfast #1:

Fruit n’ fat in the form of a plum and sunflower seed butter. I’ll save you the boring picture.

6 am Crossfit:

My trainer made a variation on the benchmark WOD “Amanda.”

WOD:

Jump assisted pull ups

Push ups

27-21-15

Deadlift -> snatch pull -> snatch

9-7-5

Time: 18:16.

This was one of those WODs where I never felt like I got into a groove and instead was constantly struggling with motivation. Oh well, I finished.

Breakfast #2:

Two scrambled eggs with spinach and a blue corn tortilla with sunflower seed butter.

Are you getting tired of seeing this breakfast every week? I’m starting to get tired of eating it, but I can’t think of anything else that’s super fast, hot, and full of protein. Got any ideas?

Annoyance:

I started pressing some Whole Foods 365 brand tofu the night before. I noticed the tofu was a bit weird and came off on my fingers as I was putting it in the press, but it wasn’t expired so I pressed on. (Pun intended.)

Boo crappy tofu.

But when I opened the press to start marinating it, it looked all kinds of funky. It was like I was trying to press silken tofu instead of extra firm. So it went directly in the trash (maybe it had expired way before its October date) and pressed some good old Nasoya.

I think they’ll be my tofu of choice from now on.

Stress:

Charlie had a vet appointment for what I thought was an ear infection. I figured they would clean his ears and the hot spot he scratched just below his ear (which I thought was a symptom of an ear infection), he’d get some meds, and we’d be good to go.

Unfortunately, during them shaving the hot spot (and me having to listen to him cry from down the hall), they noticed he had a broken nail. I’d noticed it last week when it happened, but aside from a little extra licking, he didn’t see bothered by it so I didn’t think anything of it.

Yeah…apparently it was a big deal. It was a big enough deal that the vet said the entire nail would have to be removed, which required me to leave him so he could be sedated.

I was freaking the fuck out. But I’m a big girl, so I sucked it up, gave Charlie a few last pats, and waited until I got to the parking lot to cry.

Call me a baby, but he’s my sweet baby puppy and I don’t ever want him to be in pain or unhappy, and I could tell he was very much of both.

Luckily, I wasn’t home for more than an hour before the vet called that Charlie was wide awake and ready to go home. After rushing back to the vet, Charlie was very happy to see me (I was worried he would be mad at me or scared of me because I’m the one who took him there). He then proceeded to show his anger at the vet by leaving a really large poop on their front lawn.

Not being one to get in between a dog and his emotions, I left it there.

Nap:

Both of us had a slightly traumatizing morning, so we took an hour nap. It was awesome.

Lunch:

Chicken and vegetable soup with half a dumpling.

It’s definitely getting to be soup weather, which I’m pretty darn excited about. And I was also pretty excited when I found that Leon had not only left me a dumpling, but that they kept well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Snack 1:

Chicken and mustard, and a pear with sunflower seed butter.

Buying that rotisserie chicken is already shaping up to be a pretty brilliant idea.

Snack 2:

Follow me on Instagram: Kara_Hadley

I’ve never hid the fact that I often use food for comfort. Some of those uses are better than others. I consider this a very acceptable form of food comfort, especially considering that I really did need a snack.

Dinner:

Tomato soup with extra crispy tofu "croutons."

This soup is a slight variation of Mama Pea’s recent recipe.

A grilled cheese (Cabot extra sharp cheddar) on Great Harvest higher protein Dakota.

Have I mentioned that I think she’s awesome? And that I want to be her friends? We could drink coffee, paint toenails, and pretend to be graceful while doing yoga.

(Side note — Have I mentioned I’m creepy?)

So for once, eaters, not only do I feel like I’m kind of living up to the WIAW theme for the month (it’s Fall into Good Habits this month), but I’m showing you a pretty balanced and typical day of food.

That almost never happens, so don’t get your hopes up for next week.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something warm, easy, cheap, and protein filled I can eat for breakfast?

What blogger do you wish you could be friends with in real life? (You don’t have to say me, even though I’m super fun and am always up for going out for a beer and surprise you with random food and always tell you the truth about what you’re wearing.)

G’night eaters!

All Over Sunday

Hellooo eaters!

It’s Sunday and unfortunately I don’t have tomorrow off.

Oh the joys of going to a Quaker school where they believe celebrating holidays is favoring one day over another.

Oh well. I really don’t mind Mondays because I kind of love getting back to my routine. And I also can’t complain about starting a new week when the old one ended like mine did.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sundays are my day. I am guaranteed to have them off (and so is Leon). It’s a lazy day where most places are closed, so I can’t really waste it doing annoying errands. And as of recently, Sundays also include zoning out in front of some Law & Order while clipping coupons.

Yup, it’s a lazy, yet oddly productive, and overall wonderful day.

And this Sunday was no different.

I started the day with a complete balanced breakfast.

Half a Devil's food cake donut with sprinkles and eggs with spinach and Texas Pete.

FYI, I blame Holly for the intense donut craving that set in on Saturday, prompting a nighttime trip to Donut World (on West Market St by Guilford College Rd for all you Greensboro/Triad people), where I can never ever get just one.

(This time I got three. Don’t judge. They have an amazing variety.)

I then proceeded to laze around the house, hanging out with Leon and Charlie, and wasting time on Pinterest.

It’s amazing how much time you can spend looking and pinning and how many ideas for things you can’t possibly do/eat/own/see you’ll find.

Once I had my fill of dreaming, I got to doing. And today that “doing” included buying picture frames from Goodwill for a decorating project, buying fabric and a few other supplies for a pillow project, and going to the gym for the first time since I started Crossfit.

FYI, the gym is super boring.

Once I got home I got down to business. And in no time flat I had two pillow covers sewn and filled.

My plan was to then iron on a black deer head silhouette to make something akin to these pillows. Except for the fact that the couch is new so I remembered the upholstery wrong when I was buying fabric and ended up with pillows that just don’t look right.

These two fabrics just don't work, right?

I can move the pillows to another room in the house and make new ones with new fabric, but I’m bad at picking colors. The living room has the couch, a Kelly green/avocado green vinyl recliner, and a couple of gold accents. The living room is openly connected to the dining room, which has dark blue walls and light pink chairs. There’s also lots of dark stained wood. And I’m locked in with the black deer heads.

Thoughts?

While mulling over new fabric colors and discussion options for what to do with Charlie while Leon and I are at a wedding in Vermont in a few weeks (we don’t want to board him for fear of him having Vietnam flashbacks of being in the shelter), we ate an easy stir fry.

Sunday night always used to be “brown rice and vegetables” night growing up — a scoop of brown rice and a scoop of stir fried vegetables and chicken in some brown sauce while we watched “60 Minutes.” As I got older the two scoops were allowed to touch and eventually the stir fry was served on top of the rice.

That’s a sign of maturity, right?

Anyway, this post has been all over the place tonight, but it’s kind of been a segmented, all over the place day. I hope you don’t mind.

What do you think, eaters:

 PleasepleasePLEASE tell me what color fabric I should choose. I don’t know if you can tell, but the couch is grey with threads of brown running through.

Did you/do you have any set meals based on days of the week?

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!

Rate the Recipe: Oxygen’s Bean Burgers

G’day eaters!

Great news today — I got my stitches out!

(If you missed all the stitches and mole talk, please check out my post: PSA: Moles.)

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I got my moles removed so today I finally got to have the stitches taken out and get my COMPLETELY CLEAR pathology report.

I wasn’t all that worried, but it’s nice to know that I won’t have to go back to get more cut out. (At least not from those moles. I still have a lot more.)

And now that that stress is gone, let’s talk about another stress in my life — dinner.

Back in the day dinner wasn’t a big deal. I’d cook big meals a few times a week (usually for lunch) and then eat leftovers, so I rarely had to muster the energy to cook after a long day. Now, with the whole co-habitation thing, dinner needs to be cooked (and planned for!) every night.

Luckily, Leon loves cooking as much as I do, so I’m rarely alone in the kitchen. But I am generally alone when it comes to planning meals. And that’s the hard part.

So lately I’ve found myself relying on magazine recipes to fill in the holes between recipes I’ve thought of myself. I used to NEVER make magazine recipes and only rarely ever followed other recipes, so this is kind of a big deal to me.

And I’m discovering, as I assume most recipe-followers have before me, that just because it’s in a magazine doesn’t mean that it’s a good recipe. (Oh, and it NEVER turns out like the picture.)

I’ve talked in the past (in my recipe “I Hope You’ve Learned” Tacos) about how to spot a bad recipe and use it as inspiration, but what about those recipes that look good?

So today we’re going to play a little game I like to call “Rate the Recipe.”

Today’s recipe comes to us from the July issue of Oxygen Magazine: Bistro-Style White Bean Burgers

Don’t they look promising? Yeah, I was super jazzed to find this recipe because it 1) fulfilled one of my vegetarian meals for the week, 2) looked stupid easy to make, 3) could be made ahead off time and baked later, and 4) must be pretty healthy since the recipe was coming from a fitness magazine whose pages are chock full o’ads for supplements.

The reality of it:

  • Things took FOR-EH-VER to chop. Part of that could have been because I used Baby Bella mushrooms instead of regular Portobello, but I doubt that contributed too much.

Just a small fraction of the chopping.

  • The baking time was off. I ended up having to bake these patties for an extra 10 minutes at 350F to keep them from falling apart.
  • The measurements were not real world-compatible. I HATE recipes that leave random, small amounts of ingredients leftover. This one left less than half a can of beans, ~2/3 of a can of artichoke hearts (which I don’t even really like) and a bunch of sundried tomatoes.

This was a waste.

  • This was not all that healthy and balanced. The carbs were too high and the protein was too low. I added a second egg and I still have trouble believing that an Oxygen-style fit woman would eat this without a side of chicken breasts.

Fried eggs with a side of bean burger.

  • It was kinda tasty. All the complaining aside, this was a more than passing meal.

I would probably add more balsamic vinegar next time. (Or make a balsamic reduction without the sugar!)

And I might pulse everything in the food processor instead of chopping it.

I’d probably swap the sundried tomatoes for tomato paste.

And maybe I would do half beans and half tempeh (because it’s a dang good combination, as evidenced by these meatless balls).

And the artichoke hearts would probably get nixed because I don’t think they added anything.

I would definitely add salt and pepper.

But all in all, this wasn’t a bad burger-thing. I’d give it a 7.5/10 for taste and a 4.5/10 for the actual recipe. So take that for what it’s worth.

What do you think, eaters:

Are you a recipe-follower?

What’s your recipe pet peeve?

G’night eaters!

I Heart Grilling

Hiya eaters!

So, it’s July.

This probably should have hit me a week ago, but I only really realized this fact a couple of days ago. And when I did, it was a little unnerving.

Where has half my summer gone? What have I been doing with my time? Why was I so behind on schoolwork and picture hanging?

And why haven’t Leon and I grilled more?

Yes eaters, grilling food is by far one of my favorite summer pastimes.

We set up the grill in the yard and bring the dog out. We sit on the steps and drink good beer while the coals heat up. Sometimes we sneak in a bit of reading. Sometimes we just people watch and wonder what the heck our neighbors do in their house all day.

When the coals are ready we throw something that’s probably been marinating all day on the grill and drink a bit more. By the time I’m done with my beer the food is usually about ready. I go inside and stir something on the stove or chop up a salad. Leon slices the meat. We open more beers and dinner is served.

It doesn’t get much better than that to me. And while there are few things in the world better than a well grilled piece of chicken, all summer Leon and I have been talking about playing with vegetables and tofu and marinades.

So the other night we did just that.

I sliced a zucchini into planks and marinated it in 1 t oil, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1 t smoked paprika, 1 ½ t chili powder, salt, and pepper.

I pressed the heck out of a block of (black soybean) tofu and cut it into planks. I added a few splashes of soy sauce, a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper. I then baked them in a 375F oven for 5 minutes, to insure they didn’t fall apart on the grill.

Like a burst of freshness.

I chopped off two quarters from a head of romaine lettuce. I brushed it with a bit of oil and cracked pepper.

Then everything hit the grill.

The tofu for ~ 5minutes/side. The zucchini for ~3minutes/side. The romaine for ~2minutes.

The tofu got finished off with a schmear of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (with eggplant and garlic) and the romaine got a drizzle of Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette.

And to drink we cracked open a bottle of Rogue Chipotle Ale (which was lacking almost any hint of spice and was thus severely disappointing).

So promising, but so disappointing.

It was a pretty perfect meal and a pretty perfect night. Made only more perfect by the after dinner s’mores we made on the barely hot coals.

Can you tell why I like grilling so much?

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite thing to grill?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever grilled?

G’night eaters!

How to Brew Kombucha

G’day eaters!

Life at the beach is still pretty grand. I’ll give you a blow by blow when I show you WIAW (which will be posted on Thursday because tomorrow I’m taking the day off).

But for now, I’m going to get all wordy on you and teach you how to make kombucha!

Yes, you know that really delicious, but really expensive carbonated, fermented drink you buy far too often for your budget at the grocery store?

Well, it’s so wonderfully easy to make at home that you now have no excuse for spending so much money on drinks.

Step 1: SCOBY

A SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, is the mushroom that your ‘bucha grows off. If you want to buy one I hear Kamp Kombucha is really good.

I’m broke so I grew my own. If you want to do that you’ll need:

1 jar GT’s Original Plain Kombucha

1 c filtered water

1 plain black tea bag

2 T cane sugar*

1 jar large enough

1 breathable cloth**

1 rubberband

Brew the tea in the water and mix in the sugar. Once the tea cools to room temperature, pour it and the bottled kombucha into the jar. Cover the lid only with the cloth, secure it with a rubberband, and place it in a warm, dark place (I used the cabinet closest to my stove) for up to 3 weeks.

A SCOBY and a baby sitting in kombucha.

A film — the SCOBY! — should start to form after about a week. It usually forms on the top, but it’s fine if it falls. Once it’s about ¼” thick (a little less is fine), remove the SCOBY to a bowl and cover it with at least ½ c of the liquid you grew it in. Throw out the rest of the liquid. Now you’re ready to brew!

To brew you’ll need:

1 SCOBY

1 gallon jar

1 gallon filtered water

8 plain black tea bags

1 ½ c cane sugar

1 breathable cloth

1 rubberband

at least ½ c kombucha (this can be from a bottle, a previous batch, or the liquid you grew it in, but it has to be plain)

Ready to ferment!

Brew the tea and mix in the sugar. Once the sweetened tea cools to room temperature, pour it into the jar. Add in the SCOBY and the liquid it’s sitting in. Cover the lid with only the cloth and secure it with a rubberband. Place the jar in the same warm, dark place for 4-10 days.

The length of time you let the ‘buch ferment is up to your taste. The longer you let it sit the more acidic it’ll taste. I like it sour, so I left it the full 10 days, but I suggest tasting a little bit with a straw every couple of days after day 4 until you figure it out.

Once the kombucha is to your liking, it’s time to bottle.

To bottle you’ll need:

~8 16-ounce bottles with an air-tight cap

funnel

juice, as desired

A new, smaller SCOBY — a “baby” — will have formed. You can keep it or throw it out, but generally a SCOBY will only be good for about 6 brew cycles, so eventually you’ll need to keep one.

Remove the SCOBYs to a bowl and cover with at least half a cup of kombucha. Put the funnel in a bottle and pour in as much or as little juice as you’d like.

I put about a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and a combinations of about 2 tablespoons of 100% apple-raspberry and 100% apple-cherry juice in each bottle.

Then, using a ladle, pour kombucha into each bottle until almost entirely full. Put the lid tightly on the bottles and place them in the same dark, warm spot for up to 5 days.

This next step is optional. It allows the kombucha to carbonate more and for the flavors to mellow a little. It’s not necessary, but it’s nice. After the bottles sit for up to 5 days, move them to the fridge. Once they’re chilled they’re ready to drink!

It may seem like a lot of steps, but each step requires less than an hour of work. And in the end you have about 8 bottles, a roughly $24 value, of as fresh as it gets kombucha.

Not bad for a couple of hours of work, right?

PleasepleasePLEASE do let me know if you brew some and if you have any questions. I’d be happy to answer what I can.

What do you think, eaters:

Would you ever brew your own kombucha?

What’s your favorite flavor?

Later eaters! And have a very happy, safe (no drunk driving or blowing yourselves up with fire works) 4th!

*You can try a sugar substitute, but from everything I’ve read it won’t work. The sugar is a vital food source for the SCOBY, so be careful with any tweaks.

**By a breathable cloth I mean a dish towel or a paper towel. You need to let the air in and the dust and bugs out, so a cheese cloth won’t work.

Compromising Your Diet

Hi eaters!

Let’s get down to real talk, shall we?

Alright.

Real talk topic of the day: Compromising your diet.

Now when I say “diet” I do now and always will mean your dietary choices. I don’t think I’ll ever talk about weight loss plans or the Zone or whatever else people follow to lose “those last ten pounds.”

No, today I want to talk about your dietary choices and when and why you choose to compromise them.

Ya see eaters, I may not be vegan or vegetarian anymore, but I still like to eat that way most of the time. Of course I enjoy a nice block of cheese or bacon-y treat, but I don’t like that to be my usual fare.

No, I’d be more than happy eating a vegetarian diet that’s dotted with meat, not the other way around.

Leon, on the other hand, loves meat.

I think that growing up his family, like most families in America, built their meals around a meaty center. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Meat is (usually) delicious and it’s easy to think of vegetables and the like as side dishes.

I mean, that seems to be how American cuisine works.

The problem, though, comes now that Leon and I are living together and planning our meals together.

I want the equivalent of Meatless Monday through Thursday and he doesn’t want a dinner of side dishes, as he calls a lot of vegetarian meals. Add on to that that I’ve gone from cooking 2-3 times a week and then eating lots of leftovers to cooking every night (and not having a microwave for easy leftover eating), and you can see how I’m a bit thrown for a loop here.

I’ve been trying my damndest to think of great, hearty, healthy vegetarian fare that will please my need for cheap meat-free meals and Leon’s need for a centered meal.

So, what else do I turn to other than…beans.

Yup, I love beans. Beans are amazing. Beans are versatile. Beans don’t make you fart (when cooked properly), despite what that 10 year old down the block says.

And did I mention that they’re cheap?

Yup, I love beans.

And with a little help from my food processor, I was able to turn this big pot of beans into a dinner that satisfied both of us in more ways then one.

This was 1 1/2 c dried chickpeas.

Baked Falafel

2.5 c chickpeas (roughly 1 1/3 cans)

½ lemon, juiced

¼ c olive oil, plus some

½ t tumeric

1 ½ t cumin

1 t graham masala

1 clove garlic

1 c parsley

salt and pepper, to taste

Put the chickpeas into a food processor and whirl until they form a chunky paste, scraping the sides as necessary.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until evenly combined.

Form the dough into ~1/4 c patties and place on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle a little bit of oil on the top of each patty, spread it around with your fingers (or a pastry brush, if you’re fancy), and place in the oven.

Bake the patties at 375 F for 25 minutes, flip, and then bake for another 5.

Let the patties cool slightly before serving.

Speaking of serving…

I kept it simple and whipped up a quick, half-assed sauce by mixing ~1/3 c plain yogurt and ~1/4 c chopped cucumber.

A dollop of that and a falafel patty wrapped in a piece of red leaf lettuce and we were ready to go.

For pennies on the dollar (whatever that means…no really, can someone explain it to me), I had a tasty, healthy, satiating center for a vegetarian meal.

I added a side of some quick, half-assed bhindi masala (which I’ll remake with at least ¾ assedness and post the recipe for) and this was a more than legit meal.

And maybe the best part was that this makes about three servings (a serving being three single patty wraps), so I had a hearty dose of vegetables waiting for me for lunch the next day.

Always strive for leftovers.

Now if only I had a microwave to reheat the falafel with.

Your turn, eaters:

When and why do you compromise your ideal diet?

What is your ideal diet? This means what, when, and how much you eat.

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Vegetarian Plus Bacon

Hi eaters!

Leon just made himself some baked chips as a snack. I ate two, he finished them, and now I can’t stop thinking about eating more.

Yup, there’s your small talk for the day.

Moving on…

Yesterday I ate almost entirely vegetarian (without even meaning to be). And I would have been completely veg had the bacon not called to me so much from the fridge.

Proof —

Breakfast:

Awesome blueberry bread (the recipe for which is coming tomorrow!) covered in low fat Stonyfield yogurt and slivered almonds.

This was such a deviation from my usual morning meal. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, which I think has to do with my increased activity in the morning.

A slice and a half of bacon and coffee.

I get up, walk Charlie, drink my half liter of water, play with Charlie, and then I make breakfast. (FYI — This only takes a little over an hour.) I think because I’m more awake come breakfast time I’m more able to make what I’m really in the mood for rather than what I’m used to.

Lunch:

Smashed avocado, Texas Pete, and salt on toasted sesame Ezekiel bread with a carrot on the side.

I had my Crossfit trial in the early afternoon, so I didn’t want to eat too much before in fear of throwing up. (FYI — I did feel like throwing up anyway.) But knowing that I definitely needed protein I ate an unpicture half piece of bacon and whipped up a slightly fancier protein drink.

GNC chocolate wheybolic protein mixed with half iced coffee and half soy milk.

Sweat:

To hear all about my first time at Crossfit, check out yesterday’s post (which includes a vlog!): Newbie.

After:

Upon getting home I immediately downed two Peeps, took the dog on a quick walk with Leon, decided I was going to skip class, took a shower, and drank half a beer.

Dinner:

Neither Leon nor I planned ahead so we didn’t have anything prepped for dinner. So we did the next best thing.

Mexican style black bean tacos.

You really can’t beat $1 tacos and queso dip.

Chips and a half order of queso.

Just like you really can’t beat coming home to find that your dog didn’t pee, poo, or chew anything in your absence. (FYI — House training and lessening Charlie’s separation anxiety is going relatively well.)

So as you can see, save for two pieces of bacon, it was an all around healthy (though veggie-lite) and oh so tasty vegetarian day.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you ever unintentionally eat a certain way all day (vegan, vegetarian, GF, raw, etc)?

What do you do when you didn’t plan dinner?

G’night eaters!

Why Stir Fry?

G’day eaters!

It’s been a beautiful day in the neighborhood for me. Charlie is quickly adapting to his new home, learning not to poo inside, and doing lots of cute things.

So life is good over here.

And while today was a really laid back day (I actually didn’t know what to do with myself for a while), not all days are like that.

Between class and house things and Charlie and trying to have a social life (which now includes planning and driving, unlike when I liked on campus) and blogging and all the other things that I do, some nights the last thing I want to do is cook an elaborate dinner.

Some nights, I kinda wished I lived alone so eggs or an apple and pb or something equally thoughtless could fly as my last meal.

But I don’t live alone and Leon doesn’t share my belief that eggs are always appropriate. So on those nights, we make stir fry.

Why stir fry, you ask?

Because it’s crazy customizable.

Because it requires about 10 minutes (at most!) of prep and 5 minutes to cook (not including the grain).

Because it’s not eggs.

Because it dirties one knife, one pot, one wok, maybe one bowl (if you marinate your protein), and whatever you need to eat it.

Because it’s cheap.

Need any more reasons?

Alright, let me walk you through it all.

Yesterday morning I chopped up a block of Westsoy tempeh (because it was far cheaper than pork, which was our other protein option).

For me, this is cheaper (and tastier!) than Life Time tempeh.

I then whisked together a quick peanut-y marinade:

1 ½ T pb

1 T soy sauce

1 T rice vinegar

1 T green Tabasco sauce

1 T warm water

Or you could use a jarred sauce.

Ignore the fact that this resembles throw-up.

The tempeh got tossed in that and then left in the fridge all day.

When it finally came time to eat (around 8:45, after an exhausting day with an annoying hyper pup), we were minutes.

I put the rice on.

Leon diced up a handful of veggies from the fridge.

I went a little crazy in the produce section this week.

We heated the wok and I showed him how to cook tempeh.

The veggies went in with the rest of the marinade left in the bowl, plus another dash or two of soy sauce.

The rice was done. The veggies were done. We assembled.

Sorry for the dark pictures.

If I had even more foresight and was one of those people who could prep things at the beginning of the week, like that one annoying lady on Food Network, I could have cooked the rice and diced the vegetables beforehand.

But I didn’t, so think meal took 20 minutes.

I know, the hardship.

If you still need one more reason to love stir fries, though:

Leftovers.

Cook a little extra rice and a few extra vegetables and you could have lunch for the next day or two.

Now do you see why I love stir fries?

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your Go-To meal when things get hectic?

Do you like sauce from a jar or do you make your own?

Later eaters!

Juicing is Gorgeous

G’evening eaters!

I promised I’d be back today and here I am.

I’m actually in Virginia right now at the Mountain Man house (Leon’s friend Will’s house) so I’m writing this post from the comfort of a clean (non-pull out) bed while I hear the sounds of a salmon marinade being made in the kitchen.

I may not have a house of my own yet, but I can’t complain.

Another reason I can’t complain is that when I do finally get a house (which should be tomorrow so pleasepleasePLEASE send me home-y vibes tonight) I already have a handful of kitchen appliances to put in it.

Between my electric wok, my beloved food processor, a pasta maker that I need to play with more, and a stand mixer, I’m pretty much golden.

And now, to add to that list, I have a 20-year old juicer.

She may not be fancy, but I bet she could still slice the tip of my finger off.

Recently, while enjoying some delicious carrot-beetroot-pear juices Mother mentioned that she had an old juicer that she never used. Having gotten hooked on the juices from a coffee shop around the corner from my internship, I jumped on the chance to re-create them for (hopefully) cheaper at home.

So as soon as I got back to the States, I washed the juicer and made a grocery trip for produce.

Organic apples, organic carrots, beets, rhubarb, and organic kale.

I was a bit lost on what to juice in terms of what tastes good, what produces more than lightly flavored water, and what produces enough juice for the money, so I was a bit conservative with my purchases.

Conservative or not, you better believe that I fired that delightfully-yellow-with-age baby up as soon as I got home.

And I very quickly learned that rhubarb doesn’t juice well (though that may be just because my machine is old), kale only produces a little juice BUT it doesn’t taste nearly as bitter as straight raw kale, and that carrots, apples, and beets juice beautifully, as expected.

Ten minutes and 3 carrots, 1 apple, ½ stick of rhubarb, 2 stalks of kale, and ½ beet later, I had a GORGEOUS cup of juice.

The layers!

Can we take a moment to marvel at those layers? And then can we marvel at the AH-MAZE-ING color of that froth?

The foam!

Now, let’s look at it all mixed up.

I love you!

And finally, let’s all marvel at the fact that those pictures are completely UNedited.

Yeah, I didn’t change the color or the brightness or the tint. That’s the real deal Holyfield right there.

And then I drank it all down and proceeded to take juice mustache pictures.

Juice mustaches are better than milk mustaches. And beet juice is better than lipstick.

Because I’m an adult.

So, I think it goes without saying, I’m in love with my new toy (and not just because I realized that I could probably also use it to make kick ass margaritas). And I can’t wait to have a home so that I can go broke juicing. And then make a ton of pulp crackers.

But in the future, though, kale will stay out of the juicer and in my eggs.

What do you think, eaters:

Are you a fan of juice or would you rather just eat the thing whole?

And veteran juicers, can you give me some tips or combinations to try?

G’night eaters!