Tag Archives: eggplant

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?

Eggplant!

But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”

26 Comments

Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Bacon. Mmm, Bacon…

I am in metaphorical foodie heaven.

Also known as…a plate full of my soon-to-be obsessions. I think the only reasons none of this is already an obsession is because I didn’t know it existed up until now. Or last night, if we’re talking onion rings.

Chavez Caesar Salad. With Eggplant Bacon.

And a side of homemade bread. (we’ll get there.) Oh and a couple onion rings. I had a few leftover and am rationing them two at a time so I can savor them over and over. I only have two left.

I already am plotting more excuses to “need” to get groceries so I can purchase a lifetime supply of sweet onions.

Fun fact: for just about the entire duration of my teen-hood, say from junior high to high school, you could bet $5 that whenever I’d/we’d go somewhere to eat, I’d be having a caesar salad or a caesar salad wrap. With chicken. Even after learning it had anchovies. And then something happened…maybe it was a caesar salad burnout. Maybe I was just too lazy to want to make my own once I started saving my pennies and stopped eating out for every meal.

But I finally geared up motivation to make a caesar salad (read: wasn’t feeling too lazy to clean the blender) and it. was. phenomenal. I don’t know how Isa thinks of these things, but seriously – this dressing is the caesar salads I remember.

Except better.

And you’d better believe I was picky about my salads. You’re probably thinking I was healthy even back then anyways, but honestly, for some reason I just had an inexplicable attachment to chicken caesar salads.

And then there’s the eggplant bacon.

Does it taste like bacon?

No! It’s eggplant!

Is it good?

Oh hell yes it is.

I was basically munching on it for the entire hour leading up to dinner. I’m lucky I had any left for my salad. I was never a “bacon-on-my-caesar-salad” kinda gal, but apparently I am an “eggplant bacon on my vegan caesar salad” kinda gal.

And here’s the kicker: I can make all of the above but apparently remembering about the bread I put in the oven is too difficult for my brain to handle.

Not to mention my other rookie mistake of completely forgetting to spray the plastic wrap I put over top while it rose, so of course when I went to pull it off I disrupted the entire top of it, beautifully risen and all.

But ohhhhh hot damn, this bread? Best loaf I’ve ever tasted. Hands-down. And unfortunately for you guys, I can’t give you the recipe.

Neener-neener-neee-ner!

Ahem. I’m sorry. That was incredibly rude of me. But this recipe was so generously passed along to me from a wonderful blogger friend. I’d really love to tell you because these acts of generosity deserve mentioning – but I’m afraid my ugly loaf would be an embarrassment, so instead I will choose to hold off until I make a prettier one.

Which won’t be very far away.

See, I fell in love with L’s idea of making mini loaves, so I halved the recipe and just made a mini loaf. My “problem” was that I’d make a normal sized loaf of bread and feel like I had to live off of sandwiches for fear if I didn’t have at least one a day, the bread would get wasted. Mini loaf? No problem.

Except…it’s almost all gone already. Mreh, well.

And as an aside – I need to publicly thank Jenn for being better support than WordPress is. She helped me figure out a way to publish the site I designed in iWeb for my photography! It’s got some kinks, but I feel so much more streamlined now 🙂 This blog’s gotta be next, though!

eventually.

What’s something you accomplished today? It took all morning – but I was so glad to get my site up. Far from done, but done enough to be public, I think. And at least better than what it was! I also did a bunch of schoolwork. Grumble.

Do/Did you have a favorite “restaurant meal”? Something you love to order out, but never make at home? I never made caesar salad (of course, I didn’t make myself anything back then!) but as mentioned – always ordered it out!

[Side note: Ask me how happy I was to have natural, real light to photograph my dinner. Go ahead, ask me! I’m so sick of using flash!]

21 Comments

Filed under bacon, baking, bread, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, photography, review, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Aioli and Eggplant

I think I’m getting back in my groove. I haven’t had slow roasted sweet potatoes in two days!!

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I actually had something completely different that included a mini giveaway planned for today – but then I had to tackle some eggplant in the fridge.

See, I’m nearing eggplant burnout. My mom buys me eggplant every time she goes to the store. I’m not complaining – I mean, it’s really very sweet of her. But eggplant isn’t very forgiving of being forgotten about. There’s a fragile couple of days between the time an eggplant is purchased and the time you use it. And then it turns all soft, mushy, bruised and ugly.

Naturally, this creates an added bit of pressure for me to use it quickly…and as someone who’s getting rather sick of eggplant, I am not as enthusiastic about using it right off the bat, and I’m not about to start groveling at my mother’s feet, begging her for the love of all that is sacred to stop buying me eggplant. That’d just appear ungrateful.

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My heart almost stopped as I heard she was going grocery shopping today and I still had half an eggplant in my fridge from a week ago. I could only imagine being bombarded with another eggplant. Luckily, she didn’t.

I almost decided that I was going to make my first-ever baba ghanoush, but after a little bit of dwelling decided I was in the mood for pasta, and so eggplant “parm” won me over.

With white bean aioli “meatballs.”

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Why? Well, I was out of hummus…and wanted to make hummus…but then saw a V-Con recipe for white bean aioli. Okay. So then I wanted chickpea balls of sorts. And was too lazy for both. So I still did both…but the lazy girl’s way. Are you following this?

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I definitely had a driver error with the breadcrumbs. The crackers got nice and crumby, but I should have processed the bread longer. It was a bit chunky, and as such, didn’t stick as well.

Between that and the fact that my skillet is warped and all the oil went to the bottom left corner, my “frying of the eggplant” was a bit of a still-delicious fail.

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Whatever. All that matters is how good it still tasted. I love the aioli. And the aioli balls. And the final eggplant product. And…everything.

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Note: I have refused to make my own hummus because I am 100% committed to Cedar’s. I know I’ll never be able to produce something so creamy and flavorful, so I don’t try. I figured making aioli was a good almost-hummus. I don’t keep tahini around, anyway.

White Bean Aioli

Adapted from Veganomicon

  • 1 can small white beans, drained
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
  • 2 T. sundried tomato pesto (I like Bella Sun Luci)
  • 2 T. basil oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil and pesto and then add in the garlic, lightly browning it. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine beans, lemon juice, sea salt and peppers. Blend until smooth. Add in the oil, pesto and garlic. Blend until smooth.

White Bean Aioli Balls

  • 1/3 c. white bean aioli
  • 3 T. breadcrumbs (I used home-made that were rather course)
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1/8 c. diced scallion

Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls by the tablespoon and bake at 350* for 35 minutes on a sprayed baking sheet. They should be browned on the bottom.

This recipe only makes about 6 -  but could easily be doubled. I just wasn’t sure if it would work!

Breaded Eggplant

  • 1/3 c. Kashi Fire-Roasted Veggie Crackers
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/2 of a large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2” thick rounds
  • salt
  • 1 T. flax + 3 T. warm water
  • 1 T. olive oil

Place the eggplant on a paper towel or strainer and sprinkle with salt. Set aside and prepare breadcrumbs: blend crackers and toasted bread until very fine.

In a small bowl, stir together flax and water.

Begin heating olive oil in nonstick pan. Dip eggplant slices first in flax egg, then in breadcrumbs. Fry in olive oil and repeat until all the slices are browed on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes at 350*

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Uh-yuhm.

Do you make your own hummus or buy it?

25 Comments

Filed under dinner, recipe, vegan

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!

Oh boy. It’s a wonder I’m always so upbeat when you look at the music I listen to on a daily basis. For instance, tonight was three-in-a-row of Three Days Grace. Actually, it’s a segment of the radio called the “menage a trois,” but we’re still talking about music here, folks!

It definitely made me drive a little bit faster, but don’t quote me on that. It could have just as equally been the dinner I was planning that made me a little bit lead-footed!

Since I had “dinner for lunch” I was dreaming up a pesto-tempeh+hummus+artichoke panini on homemade spelt bread, but I’m not here to talk about that.

I’m here to talk about “dinner for lunch.” AKA last night’s dinner.

If you guessed pizza, you were right! Though I’m not gonna lie…I loved this last night, as did my mom, and we both enjoyed it for lunch today – I definitely felt a little inferior when I went from writing my post last night, to reading Angela’s pizza post.

so lets just call it a flatbread pizza. I’ve never made “real” pizza dough before, and thought you were supposed to roll it out pretty thin. I also had no idea how to form the outer crust…so I just left it, thinking it’d puff up.

I’m not complaining, but it didn’t. I like a thin crust, anyways – and this is just crispy-chewy enough, but next time I’d definitely roll the edges for a bit more “outer crust.”

Well, that or I’d just spread the toppings further to the edge.

Yah, I think that sounds like a better idea…

Ironically, I was thisclose to buying Daiya cheese at the co-op the other day. It was the first time I’d seen it – they must have just stocked it – but I could not justify paying nearly $6 for the bag. Just like I did with the coconut milk kefir, I was standing there in the middle of the cheese section, staring at it, going back and forth as to whether I wanted to try it.

Nah, I finally decided…I don’t use cheese that much anyway. I’d try it once just to try it, and then be satisfied. No sense in spending $6 just to try it.

Last night, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t buy it – wouldn’t it have been fun to try it on a pizza, no less?!

But after I bit into this, disappointment ceased and both myself and my mom fell in love.

Complete, utter adoration, really. You should try it!

Dough (inspired from Moosewood’s Low Fat Favorites)

  • 1/2 T. active dry yeast
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/2 c. very warm water
  • 1/4 c. quick oats
  • 1/4 c. unbleached bread flour
  • 1 t. basil oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 (generous) t. dried basil
  • 3/4 to 1 c. white whole wheat flour

Proof the yeast: combine with the sugar and warm water in a large bowl. Set aside until bubbles rise to surface and yeast is dissolved – 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine your dry ingredients.

When yeast is frothy, add in dry ingredients and oil. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Oil a medium-sized bowl and place the dough in it, turning once to coat. Cover and set in a warm area to rise, about an hour or until about doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare topping:

Humnut cheese (a la Mae)

  • 1/4 c. garlic hummus
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 2 t. yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • water, just a splash, to thin

Combine all, adding just enough water to  make it easily spreadable, but not runny. Set aside.

Eggplant-Basil Tomato Topping

  • 1/2 of a medium eggplant, cubed
  • 1/4 of a large red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 c. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, mashed
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all, set aside.

When the dough has risen, punch down once. Turn out onto floured surface and knead a few times. Roll out into a thin circle, and place on an oiled baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Form a bit of a larger crust around the outside, and cover for ten minutes.

Spread on the cheesy-hummus sauce and then the eggplant-basil-tomato topping.

Bake in a preaheated 450* oven for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the top with some more fresh basil and feast! I wish it wasn’t all gone, it was that good.

And check at how freaking handsome Teddie is in this picture:

What. a. muffin.

Also – thanks to everyone for the input on “nutrition trackers.” I think I’ll give nutrition data a look! Aaand, I might take a “night off” tomorrow – I have a senior portrait to shoot in the afternoon, and still have some I’m working on from this weekend. I gotta boogie!

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

23 Comments

Filed under cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Grateful

There’s no way I could start this post without a huge “eeegads thank you guys so much i love you!!

I’m on to the next phase in Project Food Blog!! I know it’s only the first level – but I wasn’t even expecting that…now I’ve really got to plan something great for the next challenge that’s due on Sunday, no less!! Yikes…my busy weekend just got busier 😉 This challenge will have me exploring “The Classics” – preparing classic dishes from another culture. And not just your usual French and Italian – something I rarely challenge myself with! Now keep your fingers crossed I don’t lose my creative mojo! I’m pretty happy to have a challenge, so again – thank you guys! ❤

I know, I know – you’re tired of the same old overnight oats. But I just cannot get over this simple combination.

In fact, I think everything was pretty simple today! Sometimes, it’s just the way to go.

This was mashed banana overnight oats…oh, who am I kidding. You know the drill by now!

Dates stuffed with mixed nuts, some rolled in hemp seeds!

This morning started out so weird. Well, let me rephrase – once I got to work it felt so weird.

I started my day stopping and seeing Teddie. Lately I’ve been helping A out with morning chores a little bit, basically cleaning the run-ins. It’s something I actually enjoy doing (call me crazy, but I think many horse owners would agree there is a strange satisfaction to doing all the hard horse work that goes along with ownership!) and I still get to see Teddie.

And this morning was beautiful. It was unseasonably warm, actually, and the cool breeze on my bare arms made me just want to stay there all day. I think Teddie quite enjoys the more relaxed company lately as I clean, too. While everyone else goes down to graze, he stays up and “watches” me clean. Of course,I give him many pats throughout! I just can’t pass his handsome face more than a time or two without some pats on that lovely wide blaze of his.

A rather protein deficient but still good lunch: a panini with baked eggplant & pasta sauce, fresh tomato, garlic hummus, and feta, along with a plum...

Once I got to work, though, I felt so out of it! Very unlike me. A bit lightheaded and my eyes felt really…strange? My stomach felt upset and overall I felt rather…weak? It was sort of freaky, and I was almost wondering if I should go lay down or something! The feeling passed, though, for which I am quite grateful. I hate being sick! I don’t know what was goin’ on, but I think the lightheaded and eye thing had to do with the lights in the building?

...and a sweet potato cookie for dessert

I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit tomorrow morning, though! I’ve been going to bed too late!! Bad Jess, Bad!

I’ve actually been really…I don’t know how else to say it without making it sound like I’ve been depressed (which, I haven’t, btw)…happy lately. Like, I’ll drive home and just be feeling so grateful for everything. Not to get all mushy or anything – but I think it’s definitely the weather that is bringing it out!

The fall is so gorgeous, and I love driving home in the beautiful fall light and the changing trees.

Simple bowl of bulgur, eggplant, tomato, cannelini beans, red onion, and feta. Simple yet GOOD!!

Of course, I’m not too thrilled that night is falling as I drive home now! I remember when I could go outside right now and have another hour of daylight left (it’s 7:30) but now I wouldn’t be able to see my hand in front of my face!

That doesn’t mean I didn’t take advantage of one of the last warm days of the year, though, and enjoyed this delicious dinner with the FreePress and watching my mom and Kaia “golf.”

Remember when I used to have a red onion with every sandwich? It's been so long!

…onion definitely make me nearly bawl my eyes out lately, though!! They never used to bother me, but now they really do. The red onion was quite nice to welcome back, though. I just read, though, that if you refrigerate your onion before cutting it it won’t have as strong a smell!

Don't worry - it's just a whiffle ball!

haha, even Mouse made a shot. The whole fam was out tonight!

Sorry for being all mushy and sentimental tonight! haha. But, I’m off to do my homework – of course, by that I mean Project Food Blog and not “real” homework 😛

Something you’re grateful for today?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, lunch, recipe

Pajama Day

Today was a sweatpants kinda day. You know – one of those days that you stay in your pajamas because you have nothing else to wear.

Er – okay, so that was maybe the case for me…but you’re probably more responsible than I am.

I promise these weren't as burnt as they look. Even if it was only by a little bit.

At least, I don’t remember them being black like that. Maybe my memory is fading. I remember them being pretty darn good, but I am a little weird, I guess. FWIW, spreading oil on your iron doesn’t work as well as mixing oil into your batter.

For those asking what I have for my waffle iron - this is it. A Cuisinart. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. I think it was like, $20 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

[clicky]But anyways. I tried to get the motivation to go to the barn and see and ride Teddie this morning. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t not want to see him – but I just was not looking forward to the actual commute of getting there, and then getting home afterwards. I’m feeling sick of always driving places. I had some other things on my mind to get done. The drive takes up more time than anything else. I didn’t want to leave my mom to do yardwork and horsework all by herself. It was windy. I wanted to go grocery shopping. My cat was running around wearing a fedora. I just looked at the forecast and thought it was going to snow this week, but they just have stupid rain droplets that resemble snowflakes.

and so on. I sort of just wanted Teddie to teleport to my backyard.

You know, wings and stuff...so he can teleport...

Needless to say, when my mom didn’t want to come along I sort of just decided to stay home today. I missed him…but at the same time, I didn’t really have any time to miss him.

Let me just say: I have been loving hardly touching my computer all day lately. A couple minutes in the morning and for a very short while in the afternoon near dinner…and other than that, it’s just if I need to look something up. It’s very refreshing.

So, what did I do instead of playing with the cutest and most bestest pony in the world and surfin the web?

  • went to get groceries (this isn’t as hypocritical as it sounds re: driving – I may live in the boondocks, but Price Chopper is a five minute drive at most)
  • went for a walkrun
  • helped my momma rake the front lawn
  • cleaned the front lawn
  • made branana muffins
  • made SuperCharge Me cookies
  • did laundry
  • cleaned out the horses
  • played with the horses
  • put the horses to bed

so it doesn’t look like all that much…but this morning was exhausting!

After returning from the store with gigantic bags of frozen peas and mixed vegetables that I purchased for just $1.99 due to overstock as well as finding some bars that I’d never seen before (I nearly squealed with excitement) I decided to go for a run. Slash walk. I laced up my sneaks and ate the other half of my banana + peanut butter, and off I went.

See, I’ve been reading so many blogs lately (ahem – especially these lovely ladies) that make me just wish I was a runner. I already know I’m not, but when I start thinking “ooh! a run!” I know I need to just go for one to remind myself why I don’t. So that’s what I did today. There is a car that has a couch sitting on top of it down the road from me that I keep wanting to photograph, so I decided to just run/walk there.

And you thought Vermont was boring.

There and back, it was about 3 miles. Not a lot, but enough to remind me why I don’t do it often. I guess it’s not fair to say I didn’t have fun – I found it enjoyable enough. (cough- especially the powerwalking parts-cough) But the fact that I had to deal with a 5+ pound d90 slung around my neck in a very awkward camera bag made it a little less fun.

And I’m still debating as to whether the chair-ontop-of-car was really worth it. And my iPod died. And I must have looked so pathetic that an old man stopped his car to ask if I was just going for a walk or if I needed a ride.

I told my mom that, and she told me the same man asked her the same thing last time she was out walking.

I don’t think he was a creeper, I think that just goes to show you how infrequently people are out walking around out here, baha.

Disclaimer: I kept running even after the discomfort of the camera and realization that walking was more fun for me because I wanted to get back to help my mom. Not just because other bloggers do it and I “want to be a runner.” I am perfectly okay with what I do do, and don’t focus on what I don’t like so much. (This is a great post on comparing yourself!)

Anyways. I got back and raked/shoveled/what-have-you for a couple hours before it was lunch time.

I declared today to be “clean out the fridge” day. I have a lot of little random bits in the fridge that need to get used before I make more meals for the week! For this sandwich, I sauteed baby spinach, garlic, red pepper and chickpeas in a bit of olive oil until it was wilted down. Mixed with some raspberry-fig sauce and sandwiched between two slices of whole wheat before panini-ing. And a side of sliced peach.

Naturally, I still wanted a lil’ somethin’-somethin’ afterwards, and based on the fact that we have bananas out the wazoo (both frozen and fresh) I decided banana soft serve was a wise choice.

I blended it with some cottage cheese that’s been hangin’ out for almost too long instead of greek yogurt. I’m not sure if that sounds gross – but I promise you’d never know. Topped with wheat germ and honey roasted peanuts. ’twas heavenly.

Why so many bananas? Well – I play my cards right and end up getting about 3 bunches for $1.38 every other week or so. They’re usually not even over-ripe by much, if at all! And more often than not, they’re the organic bananas because everyone buys the cheaper ones. Score.

Since I just did this last week and still have a lot in the freezer, I froze some of these, left some out, and baked with some. We still have a lot of bananas. I’m not complaining.

Even though I still have some of these Branana Muffins in the freezer, I decided to make more. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Right. I added a shredded carrot this time, and used raisins. I prefer the others better, but it could also be that I took more care in making those ones 😛 OH! And I used date sugar! I forgot about that change until just now!

I also made another batch of SuperCharge Me cookies because my mom loves them. I thought maybe I’d bring some to work but I don’t think I’ll be allowed to. I wanted to make Chunks of Energy, too – but people were sleeping and I figured the food processor would go over like a lead balloon, so I just went out and played horse for a while.

Cleaning out the fridge continued for dinner. Based off of a Moosewood’s recipe for Ratatouille Rice, I had Ratatouille Bulghur.

  • Prepare bulghur as usual – when cooked, add one diced tomato. Stir in a spoonful of cottage cheese (finishing it! success!) and set aside.
  • Prepare veggies: Sautee the last 1/4 of a diced red pepper in olive oil.
  • Add some cubed zucchini, even though you know you don’t like it. It was there and it’ll be hidden enough that life will go on.
  • Cut off some mold on your eggplant and then cube the last of it. Add it in, along with a cubed portabella cap, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Beg your mom to use the last two portabellas, even though she only wants one.
  • Add in some chickpeas, almost finishing the container.
  • Cook the veg until eggplant is tender.
  • Fold in the bulghur.
  • Realize you’ve made way more food than you intended. Once your bowl is almost overflowing, pass some off to your mom, then realize the rest will have to be for another day.
  • Top with feta.

Enjoy!

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Broccoli Obsession

Hah…a recent (as of today) Google search hit for my blog was “broccoli obsession.” Darn – you guys have got me all figured out! I was just musing today how it seems I can’t go more than a day or two without the funky-lookin’ green veg gracing me with its’ presence. And I mean – I guess you can’t blame me. After all, it is ranking among the healthiest veg you could eat! Check this out:

  • helps protect from colon cancer
  • minimizes risk for cataracts
  • helps protect against stroke
  • boiled broc has more Vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than a glass of milk (compared ounce to ounce). I’d been starting to worry about my calcium lately – and I had no idea broccoli was such a great source!
  • a medium spear contains triple the amount of fiber than a piece of wheat bran bread
  • stimulates your body’s production of stage-two enzymes which is what the body uses to combat cancer. this neutralizes potential cancer-causing bad guys.

Broccoli is considered a “cruciferous” vegetable. Other vegetables in this family include kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage – and likewise, they have similar cancer-fighting properties. Broccoli sprouts are even more nutritious – ten to one hundred times as rich!

But, did you know – that since broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, that some poor souls actually taste broccoli as bitter?! It’s from the compound “PTC” which either tastes very bitter to a person or has no taste. It’s all dependent on your genetic makeup, and is largely a dominant trait.

Have you ever had broccoli sprouts?

What’s your favorite way to have broccoli – or – is broccoli bitter to you?


And after all that talking about broccoli…I didn’t even have any today! Sad life.

I did – however – have cookies for breakfast – which is just as good. Almost.

I also completely forgot about all of the raspberries I just picked yesterday. And they would have gone so well! Instead, topping this bowl of overnight oats was:

  • mango
  • banana
  • SuperCharge Me! cookie
  • cashews
  • wheat germ

Even lacking the raspberries, it sure was dii-vine. I’d missed mangoes – and while I’m still not getting sick of peaches or plumcots (surprisingly) – it was nice to have a change of pace!

Apparently, I decided to demonstrate poor equitation in this moment.

I was also really glad to spend some quality time with my Teddie this morning! Even though I was at the barn the past two days, I didn’t get to do anything with him – and I missed his adorable self! I just brought him in and got him all handsome and happy – scratching all of his scratchies! He made me proud by keeping his mane verrrry clean from his bath on Tuesday 🙂 I wasn’t able to do past his barrel because he wouldn’t stand still and I didn’t have a place to tie him – so we’ll just pretend he’s clean all over 😉

You know…for just being a couple crackers – these hold me over quite well as a morning snack! And I feel a little more at-ease for not having something sweet at every meal or snack time.

Work flew by today, and my appetite was a little low for some reason, after being starving this morning! I was really looking forward to trying a new bar this afternoon – but I never got around to it, and all of a sudden it was time to go home!

Alas, lunch was swell.

What’s hiding between these two silly looking slices of [delicious] bread?

Well – I am either brazen, naive, or slightly stoopid...

…because that would be a sandwich consisting of enough black beans for a bodybuilder or two, as well as sweet potato and raspberry-fig dressing. I know the dressing looks kinda gross – but it’s just from being snug against the lettuce all night.

Accompanied by:

and apple and peanut butter. Except, I never really “got” the whole vibe of eating apples with peanut butter. The apple is so juicy and crisp that it just overrides the peanut buttery goodness. I would prefer my peanut butter plain, next to the apple.

I got a slight want for something but not a whole bar, where a packed and unpictured chunk of energy came into play.

I was sort of lost for dinner, too – but knew a fridge cleanout was necessary. I still had some creamy tomato-pesto sauce and a large portion of eggplant. And a blackbean burger I made aaaages ago in the freezer. I think it was one of these. I can’t remember the last time I made them – before summer, I think – but it kept well! And I was pretty impressed with my handiwork – I formed that in a perfect circle patty, just about! Sometimes I surprise myself. Anyways:

Eggplant, garlic, tomato, basil, and tomato paste sauteed in some olive oil. Millet on the side. Creamy Tomato-Pesto Sauce and feta over top.

I still can’t cook millet right. That or I’m impatient. And we won’t talk about the fact that I accidentally made quinoa first. Wouldn’t have been a problem – I’ve no problem just eating quinoa instead – but I didn’t rinse it and didn’t feel like eating soap for dinner.

But hey – luckily, I love eggplant and bean burgers and feta and creamy tomato pesto sauce! But, what do you do with your millet?

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Filed under breakfast, dinner, foodblog, health, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe