Sun Therapy

It’s hard to be in a bad mood when the sun is shining as brightly as it was today – who’s with me?! I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but my mood is definitely directly related to the weather. When it’s gloomy, rainy, and cold, I’m gloomy too. Sure, I won’t let it put me in a grouchy mood, per se – but I will be pretty quiet.

Today, on the other hand, was stellar. It was so sunny (though I won’t lie – pretty chilly!) and I think my boss and I were both feeling it. It was a great atmosphere at work. But enough talking about how my day went without even talking about breakfast!

The guest speaker of the morning.

Remember way back when I picked up two Justin’s nut butter samples? I still hadn’t tried either of them!

But due for this morning was a simple old favorite : apple-cinnamon oats and I thought this was the perfect time to try out the Maple Almond Butter. I may be a coconut fiend, but I do draw the line somewhere.

It was okay – definitely not bad by any means, but I was expecting wow maple. And this was shy maple. More of a meek “hello.” This could just be my taste buds because I’m pretty…uh…liberal…with my maple consumption. Either way – it’s a good nut butter and you certainly can’t argue with the ingredients. Just don’t expect knock-your-socks-off mapley-ness like I was πŸ˜› I’m looking forward to trying the honey peanut butter that I picked up along with this, especially with my recent honey obsession.

In the Mix this morning was oat bran, rolled barley flakes, rolled spelt flakes & wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, goji berries, 1/2 diced apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

On the top was chia-acai icing, ground flax, crystallized ginger, blueberry-cherry preserves, and 1/2 diced apple, sauteed with maple syrup, cinnamon, raisins, and a splash of water.

Sauteeing is the new thang. Aaaaand ya can’t forget about the Golden French Toast that accompanied this oh-so-perfectly.

snackage for the workday

Orange & carrot; Nut Clusters, Sesame Rice Crackers & Wasa

lunchski.

Leftovers from last night and a lil’ panini-pita with shrimp, spinach, parmesan, ranch & dijonnaise, and sundried tomatoes. This definitely kept me full all afternoon! Must have been all the protein. I usually go for a bar around 4ish, but there wasn’t any need for one today.

Before I left the house, I tried another new nut butter!

This Wilderness Poets Hempspread is the last part of my Live Superfoods order. I was way too interested in it when the order got here that I gave it a little taste then, but not enough to get the true “feel” for it. And since I’ve been going for coconut butters or sweet nut butters since then, it sort of fell to the wayside!

I was pretty intrigued when I found it on the website – I had so many sweet nut butters, but this one seemed like it was more savory. The brand also has sweet flavors, and I almost went for one of those, but then decided I wanted to mix it up. Sesame-pistachio? I’d never even thought of the combination – had to give it a shot, right?

And I’m so glad I did! It’s definitely way better than I was expecting. Obviously – I wasn’t expecting anything bad (I mean, I did buy it, after all) but I wasn’t sure if it’d be too raw tasting like my first almond butter experience. (For those unsure of my first almond butter experience – I bought a completely all-natural, unsalted one. While it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t all too enjoyable plain or on toast, and was sort of designated for oats, until I made Almond Butter Cookies)

after stir-age

I opted to give it its’ proper introduction into my life on an english muffin for my drive into work. I almost added a drizzle of maple syrup (hey – doesn’t that sound like it’d be interesting? Sesame-Pistachio-Maple? Anybody?) but then reminded myself to stop already with the adding everything to everything and just let the Hempspread do the talkin’. And I’m glad I did. It sang!

The Agave gives it the perfect amount of sweetness, so that it’s not so raw like, but it’s not sweet, either. Definitely a good mix-up from the usual! I wasn’t feeling a sweet nut butter, and for some reason didn’t want jam either. This was perfect!

Am I the only Hempspread n00b? If you’ve had it before – what’s your favorite?

Now I’m dying to try the rest of the Wilderness Poets line. Chocolate Cashew? And especially Hazelnut – I’d love to try a Hazelnut butter πŸ™‚

Like I mentioned – work today was really great. In fact, I’ve been in a pretty great mood all day. I love it! I love just pausing and doing a “self-check” and realizing you’re perfectly content. Does anyone else do that, or am I the only weird one? Checking-in with yourself, I mean. I dunno. haha. Anyways. I bought my birthday present from my mom – a new SB600 flash, my birthday present from myself – a spare battery for my D90, and work gave me a TTL cable – which allows me to use the flash off-camera. Super excited – I cannot wait to play! I may be buying myself another birthday present – a tripod – in the near future. You read that right – I still don’t have a tripod. Ah, well.

Reunited with my sweet potato love.

Dinner may not look appetizing, but it definitely hit the spot! Remember this Pumpkin-Honey Chicken Curry that I made a while ago and loved so much? Tonights dinner was loosely based on that. Only…uh…different.

While the sweet potato baked, I simmered chick peas, parsley, onion, and kale in a mixture of honey, almondmilk, and curry powder. Shortly before it was ready, I added in some diced apple so that it didn’t get too mushy. The only thing I’d do differently next time would be the Kale…not sure what I would replace it with, but I could have taken it or left it for this dish. I think part of it is that I prefer my kale as kale chips – and the other part that it simply just didn’t lend itself to curry. I still don’t really know what to do with kale other than make Kale chips, to be perfectly honest. Just use it like spinach?

Other than that, I loved the chick pea-apple-sweet potato paired together, and the honey-curry really completed it. Yum! I love adding apples to dinner πŸ˜› I’m wondering if maybe baby peas would be good in this? Or carrots, but I’m afraid they’d be too similar to the sweet potato. I dunno. Any thoughts?

This is an exciting weekend – it’s Vermont’s tax free Saturday! So I’m going to Bed, Bath & Beyond and hittin’ up the mall. Is it sad that I’m way more excited to go BB&B shopping than clothing shopping? After all of yesterday’s waffling I realized I could really use a waffle maker! It’s been too long since I’ve had a good waffle.

I also have a 20% off coupon…should I get a waffle maker? a food processor? cookbooks? kitchen gadgets? more bowls, plates, and mugs? Oh, the possibilities! I am sure to get lost for an hour or so. I am not a real college student.

And on Sunday night I’m making my birthday dinner! I should clarify that I want to make my own birthday dinner – my mom isn’t making me, haha. But I have no idea what to make!! Help?!?! While I could use this as a great way to get my mom, Henry, and my sister who’s coming down to eat whatever I want them to – I think I’ll play nice πŸ™‚ Maybe a Margherita Pizza? I’ve never had one before! And they’ve been popping up everywhere and really tickling my fancy. That and, I hardly ever get the chance to make a real pizza – and have been dying to try out a Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust recipe. Or I could do Blueberry Salmon…Chutney Chicken One-PotHoney-Rosemary ChickenMushroom Stroganoff? I’m almost tempted to make pancakes. I think I might need to have a Birthday breakfast, too! haha. (*cough*or, maybe I’ll have a waffle maker by then*cough*)

Oh, the dilemmas πŸ™‚ I’m leaning towards the pizza, though.

Do you have a traditional “birthday celebration” meal, or one you always request when you have a special occassion?

and what should I make on Sunday?! haha.

The real reason I want a waffle maker? Fawaffle.

Have a great night, everyone πŸ™‚

p.s. Don’t forget!! Only two more days before a winner is won for my giveaway!

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8 Comments

Filed under apple, beans, breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

8 responses to “Sun Therapy

  1. I feel you on the whole weather/mood thing. It is cloudy and freezing half of the year here, and I always notice a change in my attitude. Basically when I can’t go out, I’m miserable and when I am out and it looks miserable, I’m miserable. It’s a lose-lose winter sometimes 😦

    I’ve been wanting a food processor, but I think yesterday’s post was a sign that you need a waffle maker, and what could be more perfect than a waffle to start your birthday? It’s like the cake of breakfast…PUT A CANDLE ON IT!!

    Love Marg. Pizza– it’s so simple but that’s what makes it so good! It’s your birthday though so make sure whatever you make is what you are craving! I fully believe in treating yourself well all day on your birthday, start to finish!! I hope you have an amazing one!

  2. okay i need to come ova for dinner one day! your dinner looks aweesome and your dinner ideas!!!
    im sooo moody when the weather changes-ugh! soo much happier when it is SUNNY and im so much more outgoing!
    your oats look wonderful as always!

  3. Happy almost birthday!! A homemade pizza would be delicious.
    The Maple Nut butter, though I love the two flavors together I would just as well add some maple syrup to my favorite PB and call it a day. The Hemp seed butter sounds great. I have never tried it.
    All your meals look awesome as always!

  4. Ahh sooo many exciting things in this post!
    Yay for sunny days!! We’ve had them too and I’ve been such a happy camper!
    Sesame Pistachio nut butter?!?! Holey Moley!! Sounds delicious! I want to try!
    TAX-FREE SHOPPING!! When I had an internship in DC, Virginia has 2 tax-free shopping days! It was great!! I will say… I love my food processor πŸ™‚

    Happy Birthday almost!! I think your dinner ideas sound amazing! I’ve always wanted to make risotto. I saw this one on Pioneer Woman: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/03/sundried-tomato-risotto/

  5. I’m so into that sweet potato stuffed with the curried chicken. I need that in my life! Love your dinner ideas and happy early bday!!
    I feel the same- the better the weather, the better my mood. Sad but true!
    Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  6. Pam

    Sun’s out here in Ohio also…yea! Scrumptious food! Haven’t found Justin’s around here…wish I could….would love to try some!

    Hey HB early! If I lived close by….I would make you a dinner so you wouldn’t have to fix it yourself….birthday girl!

    Have fun shopping! May you find many bargains….’sound like something you would find in a fortune cookie’……ha!

    xoxo

  7. This is a great post. It’s amazing to me how interesting I found the simple photo of the Rumi’s label. I want some now!

  8. Pingback: Cured with Curry « Healthy Exposures

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