Heyyy loves. Is everyone having a super stellar Sunday? I hope so – because come tomorrow morning it’s a whole ‘nother week until you get to the weekend!
I, for one, felt I had some making up to do from yesterday. Sure, it wasn’t a disaster by any means. But hey – any excuse to let my foodie mind go crazy, right? And why not start with a fine bowl of blueberry-plum oats, am i right or am i right?!
In the base this morning was:
-oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, rolled barley flakes, and wheat bran
-brewed coffee & almond milk
–splash of vanilla extract
-1/2 T. chia seeds
–half of a diced plum, and a small handful of frozen blueberries
On the top:
-chia-acai icing, milled golden flax
-ginger preserves and Artisana coconut butter
-Yogi Blueberry-Flax Granola Crisps
and a compote of the rest of the plum, some blueberries, and shredded coconut – in agave and almond milk.
That’s right – Vermont had another cold, windy day. And I was hearing rumors of 50* and partly sunny! My mom and I were not pleased. I was looking forward to riding! So, instead we bummed around the house a bit – cleaning, chores, and I cleaned my saddle – a long overdue task.
While I was doing this, I realized – I used to be the same way with leather cleaner as I am now with nut butters, grains, and jams. I would buy them all and try them all. Ohhh, my life. I’m not sure which is a less expensive habit. I’m going for the foodie thing, because I also had a saddle obsession, and nut butters don’t cost upwards of a thousand dollars a pop. Thankfully.
Ah, yes – strawberries. Picked up yesterday, and almost gone. Except, after this amazing warm bowl of strawberries with some Kashi H2H, almond milk, and Cacao Bliss – I realized I need to ration myself in order to have a record-breaking bowl of oats tomorrow morning. I’m sure you see where my thought process was going. And yes, I did think of tomorrow’s oats that early in the day.
The other thing I thought of, was how often I have sweet snacks. It doesn’t bother me too much, since I’m not actually adding sugar (sure – agave and other forms of natural sugars when necessary) but there are still a lot of sugars from the fruit, cereal, etc. And then I realized well hey – there’s an almost empty hummus container calling for me and some almost forgotten about pretzel crisps doing the same. Hey, just making up for yesterday.
And it reminded me of how much I love hummus and pretzels. Not sure why I always opt for sweet. I think it’s still the whole warmth thing. Who wants warm hummus? That and I’ve always been a fruit junkie. What about you – what’s your view on sweet but not necessarily bad-for snacking? I should really try to be more open when I go to snack, I guess!
A short while later I went out and played with the ponies, and then went on a pretty long walk/hike with my mom and Kaia. It was the same trail we’ll take the horses on, except we took the short way back at the fork. Fun, fun – I love getting in quality time with my mom, like this weekend has been. Otherwise, I start to just feel like a room mate since our schedules during the week are so different. By the time I get home – she’s halfway asleep since she works at 5am. You can poke fun if you’d like.
Afterwards, it called for some defrosting our chill with hot tea and muffins. I also call this “why I could never be a real food blogger.” What else am I supposed to do while the tea heats? Why, eat some of the muffin, of course. Naturally, only half made the photoshoot. In addition, I can’t tell you how many times my hand finds its way into the dried apricot or date baggies, and I almost said “I’ve grabbed so many nuts today, it’s ridiculous,” but I’ll just leave that out.
My bad – this blog is becoming more PG-13 by the minute.
But, I digress. Lets play a game, shall we? I’ll call it “Guess Which One is Mine.” Okay, lunch:
Exhibit A features a cut-and-paste version of my sweet potato panini, with a hearty side of kale chips, seasoned with salt and lemon pepper.
Exhibit B features the same dressing as the aforementioned panini, as well as the same sweet potatoes used. The similarity ends with the addition of cranberries, mas mozzarella, spinach, basil, and a drizzle of honey. Exhibit B was served with kale chips, as well as the last lone sweet potato round.
So, loves. Which was my lunch?
DINGDINGDINGDING!!! You’re aaaa winner! You know me too well. That’s right – exhibit B. Who, then, praytell…was lucky enough to consume exhibit A?
Yesssss, siree. My lovely mother let me make her lunch. It received rave reviews. Call me crazy – but I love making healthy food for people and it being a total hit. I love making food in general, but when I cook for myself, I’m always curious what someone else would think of it. So I’m always offering to make stuff when I can. I used to all the time, but lately it’s been far too infrequent of a scenario 😦
But – I seriously loved the addition of cranberries to my wrap. Yes, I add cranberries and sweet potatoes to everything lately. Which is strange, because that’s such a traditional fall combination of foods. What can I say? Just making up for yesterday. I left out most of the veggies – red pepper & onion, tomato – and used extra mozzarella in addition to the spinach and basil that I would typically use. The sweet potatoes had curry powder, and the dressing was the same, too.
Killah. And to cleanse the palette?
I guess this is what I mean by “sweet snacks.” See – this is just an apple. No agave, no honey, no sugar, just the natural sugars from the apple. Well, there’s PB & Co. Cinna Raisin PB, too – but you see what I’m saying. Does anyone let this bother them? I don’t but I’m wondering if I should. Would love your thoughts 🙂 It is ironic – I love sweet stuff like this, obviously my granola crisps, oatmeal – but not cookies, cakes, and that sort of stuff? I should add – as I type I’m having a sweet dessert of banana “soft serve” with mangos and topped with dried apricots and crystallized ginger. Hah! How’s that for following my word? Just making up for yesteryear.
To prove my point yet again. unsweetened natural applesauce with strawberries and chopped dates. Oh, and another one of those adorable mini egg mcmuffins. He’s my favorite guy.
My afternoon consisted of being a lazy bum by watching TLC and flipping through my recipe book and magazine to get my creative juices flowing. It’s no shock that I’ve been stuck in a sweet potato and cranberry curry rut lately. It’s just that good! But, I need to spread my wings and fly solo. Without sweet potatoes. Or cranberries. For a day. Maybe two, but probably no more than that. We’ll see how far I get.
I had a lovely cranberry and sweet potato free meal planned, until I became inspired by this recipe while flipping through my recipe binder. Because if I can’t have cranberries, I dang sure want some apricots. What can I say? And so – an idea was born and I began creating part of my dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon. Not because it was time-consuming and extensive. Because I was that excited and that bored of watching Forensic Files.
And so, I figured I would follow the recipe for the most part, taking shortcuts and using tempeh. Lets cook!
For the glaze I simmered approximately 1/4 c. water, heaping 1/2 Tbs. Apricot-Mango preserves, 2 chopped dried apricots, a cinnamon stick, sprinkle of cinnamon, and a couple peels of orange zest in a saucepan until it was thick. I shut it off at that point, and just let it sit covered on the stovetop while I bummed around and fed the horses. While it was simmering, though, I cubed up a serving of tempeh and placed it in a baggy with a drizzle of olive oil, scant 1/8 tsp. cinnamon & ginger, salt, and pepper and tossed it around to coat it. Placed it in the fridge to wait for it was time to cook.
When it was actually time to start making dinner, I sauteed minced garlic, red onion, and red pepper in a bit of olive oil and water until slightly tender. Then I added in the tempeh and seasoned with some dried parsley and cilantro. I also added in a bit of the apricot-mango jam at this point, too. Once it was pretty well cooked, I added in a big ol’ bundle of kale and covered. Cook until done – and meanwhile, prepare a serving of bulgur and re-heat the apricot glaze. You’re likely to need to add some more water since it will have thickened considerably.
Garnish with some chopped nuts! And don’t let these photos fool you. It is best mixed all together, not separately.
I know that’s pretty wordy, but honestly – simple and it turned out fan-freaking-tastic. I made the mistake of adding some garam masala to the bulgur, and I think if I chose to just add a bit of cinnamon it would have been seriously killer. The Garam Masala by no means ruined it, especially since I hardly added any. It may have been more of the smell of it that threw me off, haha. I don’t really know what works and what doesn’t for this type of cuisine. Experimenting is the only way I’ll find out!
In addition – it gets way better if you let it sit a bit. I should have just combined the bulgur, glaze, and tempeh & veggies in one pan and allowed to just hang out over super-low heat. I only realized this because I got halfway through and was so full I had to just wait like, twenty minutes before finishing, haha. Ah well.
Yum. My wings have spread. I have seriously made up for yesterday, and the night is still young. Except, now all you’ll see is apricots in my meals. Hmm…my other obsession lately, I’ve noticed? Topping all my meals with chopped nuts.
I. Am. A. Lost. Cause.
What are some phases you’ve gone through? I find it so humorous to look back at them all…I’ll have to do a post dedicated to honeymoon stages of yesteryear 🙂
I hope everyone has a bangin’ night, but anyone who has beautiful weather, please send it my way! Oh, and mini giveaway in yesterday’s post remember. Nothing exciting.
Also: I’ve received lots of comments inquiring about chia seeds lately, and while I won’t get too geeky, here’s a little bit of information for anyone who is interested, from this site.
-Chia seed is a complete source of dietary protein, providing all the essential amino acids. Compared to other seeds and grains, chia seed provides the highest source of protein.
-A daily dose of chia seed provides an excellent fiber source and most people notice a different in less than a week.
-Chia contains the usual Vitamin C, ferulates and Vitamin E but the real secret is the Cinnamic acids that guard the omega-3 oils from oxidation, which makes it a stable product for years.
-The gel-forming property of chia seed tends to slow digestion and sustain balanced blood sugar levels, which can be helpful in preventing or controlling diabetes.
-Chia seeds contain greater alpha-linolenic acid concentrations than any other seed or grain. This substance lowers the risk of heart disease, blurred vision, and numbness.
-Chia seed contains large amounts of B vitamins and calcium. By volume, one ounce of chia contains two percent B-2 (riboflavin), 13 percent niacin, and 29 percent thiamin, and trace amounts of all B vitamins. In roughly two ounces of chia (100 grams), there are 600 milligrams of calcium, contrasted with 120 milligrams of calcium in the same amount of milk. That’s five times as much calcium than milk! ***(I actually just found this out – uhm, Awesome!)
Wasn’t that fun? Of course you should do your own fun research, but maybe this will field some of the questions that have been trickling in 🙂 Granted – take this for what you will, this time next year it will probably be said to be bad for our health. Tupperware containers used to be perfectly healthy. So did agave. And Nalgene bottles. And kombucha.
(this site has some interesting facts of sugar substitutes, while we’re on the topic!! Some interesting info.)
When it comes to myths around food, do you tend to buy in to everything, or weed through them? What’s the craziest one you’ve heard? Sure – I agree you can’t much argue with science. But, at the same time – I feel like some studies highlight the most extreme, unlikely of scenarios, and then blow the results up to be common or incredibly severe, affecting anyone who uses a product. I try to research everything before buying into everything – but it can be easy to get caught up in it all!