Tag Archives: portabella

Beans, Beans, Beans

I feel like my pajama days are full of harder work than my “work days”! Of course – I think it’d be pretty awesome to be able to go to work in your pajamas. It’d be so cozy! I should have just not done my laundry after all yesterday, so that could be my excuse.  I mean…all of five people came in today. It’s Labor Day…why was I working?! I hope you all were able to enjoy a nice long weekend, though 🙂

My eyes are too fuzzy with sleep to focus my camera in the am. sorry.

While my mom cackled from the kitchen table at the fact that I had to go to work and she didn’t, I prepared some of the best overnighters for…a couple days. A mashed banana in the base as well as the combo of rolled oats with quick oats (many thanks to Nora for that idea!) made for a lovely breakfast. I kept it simple and topped it with just a peach, some raspberries, wheat germ, and peanut butter sauce.

I was thinking last night that I’d try to squeeze in a light hack on Teddie this morning, but that wasn’t really happening when the alarm went off. I fell asleep sort of late, and to be honest, was a bit tight after yesterday’s busy day! And it turned out to be a good thing I hadn’t rushed to get ready. Usually when I get there around 8 in the mornings before work, chores are all done and everyone’s fed by the man who did chores. He left for duty on Friday, though – so it’s all A. She doesn’t do it as early, so when I got there, she wasn’t even there yet and everyone was waiting patiently for their breakfast! I was a bit bummed that I couldn’t bring him out and groom him (Blue and Jewel were crowding the gate and my brushes were in the locked tackroom) but that doesn’t mean he didn’t get his [almost] daily belly-rub 🙂

I’m really hoping this is just a one-time thing…because if it isn’t it’s not really gonna work out for me. I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing Teddie here, and I think that not being able to do anything with him before work would sort of be a final push!

Lunch consisted of the leftovers from lastnight’s Ratatouille Bulghur and a half of a PB & J. I have a jar of peanut butter and jelly at work…and when I came in after eating decided another spoonful of PB would be good. I swiped some and moseyed back into the lab, as my boss excitedly asked me what I had there. Food is very often talked about in my work. I’m usually the quiet bystander, since the talk is usually about really greasy meals like Friendly’s new concoction, fast food, berbequed pork, and what-not. So when my answer was just “peanut butter…” I’m not sure what he thought and had to throw in a “sorry to disappoint!” haha.

I had a SuperCharge Me cookie for dessert – the banana was consumed on my way from the barn to work, though when I packed it I had thought maybe I would have a PB, B & H sandwich rather than a PB & J. No dice.

These Kashi crackers are becoming “the usual” snack. The box is almost done and as good as they are – it’s a lot easier for me to get bored of a savory snack than a sweet one, apparently. I’m ready for a change.

I had a bar packed – but honestly, by the time the afternoon rolled around I wasn’t much hungry. Probably because work was sloooowww. Reasonably so. I decided another spoonful of peanut butter was necessary, though.

Sometimes I just want to dive into the jar.

The Mission: Use up the following leftovers:

Mission: Accomplished!

I ended up getting out of work a half hour early since there was nothing left for me to do – so I took advantage of the extra time to roast some veg and tackle millet once again. Or so I thought.

Just like last time – I grabbed the quinoa instead of the millet! Side by side, they don’t resemble each other…but it was in the front and I didn’t even second guess myself that I’d grabbed millet, not quinoa.

In case anyone was wondering, quinoa still cooks fine even if you use wayyyy more water than you normally would for quinoa 😉

In the bowl:

  • hydroponic Boston lettuce (I bought a container with two heads – and don’t really care for it. I love how fresh it stays from being packed with the roots and all – but it’s far too much like iceberg. Too…watery? For all I know, though – maybe it is iceberg, just under a fancier name.)
  • quinoa
  • roasted broc
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • fresh corn, cut off the cob
  • roasted portabella cap, seasoned with balsamic, garlic salt, and maple pepper
  • black beans
  • mozzarella cheese
  • raspberry-fig sauce

I loved adding the piping hot sweet potatoes on top of the mozzarella 🙂 I love sweet potatoes. I love beans, beans, beans!

What’s your favorite bean?


Filed under breakfast, foodblog, health, health food, lunch, recipe

Back on Track.

So, today marked the first day of me being back on track. And I was successful.

What am I talking about? Well – I’ve realized that somewhere along the line, I stopped packing myself good lunches and snacks for work, and snacking during the day. It wasn’t a conscious restriction – but moreso, I’d be either too busy (if I was home/at the barn) and wasn’t really hungry. But – all this led to being hungry all night long. So last night, I paid extra attention to snacks and meals when I packed my lunch. No more “eh, I’m not too hungry, I’ll pass on snack.” No more “but I’m full with just a sandwich!” I’ve been more active lately, and ironically – less hungry. And since I get full really quickly and don’t like large meals anyways – I need to just be uncomfortable for a couple days until my body readjusts to what should be my normal intake.

And I started with a brand new (to me) breakfast!

Can anyone believe that up until today, I’d never tried a breakfast cookie? For some reason last night – I didn’t feel like making the typical overnight oats. Add to that, the fact that when I get stuck on one flavor variation (re: oatmeal raisin) I will see how many times I can have that flavor but in a different way.

And obviously, I couldn't just eat it plain.

My cookie contained:

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1 T. chunky peanut butter
  • 1 T. Bourbon Vanilla Tera’s Whey
  • generous pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg
  • ~1/2 sliced & mashed banana
  • raisins
  • 1/8 c. almond milk

Don't you want to dive in to that?

In the morning, I mixed together some vanilla chobani with almond milk and chia seeds and spooned it on top of the cookie – along with the rest of the banana, wheat germ, slow roasted pecans, and a drizzle of honey.

Verdict? It was a lovely change – but the first impression was that it was much softer than I thought it would be. My next thought was “this would be so good pan-fried like a pancake!” Thinking about it now, I think it would probably be too sticky for that, but it may well be worth a try 🙂 I’ll have to try freezing it for a few minutes before eating it, too.

Have you tried a breakfast cookie? What’s your favorite combo?

Morning snack: hardboiled egg, chunks of energy

I totally forgot about the hardboiled eggs my mom had boiled up this past weekend. Once I could finally get the durn thing peeled it made for a great snack! I can never get her to salt the water – makes them so much easier to peel.

Lunch today was heavenly, and I was very grateful for the gorgeous weather that blessed us all day long. I was able to enjoy it all while soaking in some rays, and miraculously – not melting at the same time!

First up: carrots with hummus

This was a whole lot of carrot. I left some (half?) that I’ll probably have on Friday. (the 13th – eek!!)

Next up: plain chobani, honey, white flesh nectarine, and the leftover "chia seed icing" from breakfast.

This lovely combo reminded me not to forget about plain chobani – with a drizzle of honey, it is just as lovely as the vanilla chobani I’ve been pounding through like crazy lately.

And not only that - but white flesh nectarines do not have words to describe how perfect they are.

Sorry I left you all hanging as to how the bread came out yesterday. I was on such a pony update roll that when I tried to weasel a verdict in there it just didn’t fit.

Main star: toasted homemade triple-wheat bread with peanut butter and almond-pear jelly.

My first impression last night (cut while it was still so hot it about burnt my hand, mind you) was that it was just okay. Afterwards, I had another slice – toasted with some jam.

And my opinion started to turn around.

I love this peanut butter - and it's pretty inexpensive, too!

And after this lunch? It’s pretty darn good bread, especially for me! Being the self-proclaimed bread snob that I am, I can’t say I would be head over heels for it without it being toasted or panini’d – but once that’s been done to it, it has a great taste and lovely texture. Yes, it’s dense and has a thick crust – but still moist and chewy. I did make a few small changes to the recipe (I was playing it safe, remember) so here is the recipe.

Triple-Wheat Bread – for the bread machine

for a 1-lb loaf. Add to machine in this order (or as your specific machine calls for)

  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. bread flour
  • 3 T. bulgur wheat
  • 3 T. wheat bran
  • 3 T. oat bran
  • 3 T. wheat germ
  • 3 T. quick oats
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 t. bread machine yeast

I couldn't decide what I wanted bar-wise, so I went for my very last "junk bar." Re: soy protein bar. I think this was my last!

Not saying these taste bad – but I am just watching my soy protein intake. These bars are actually pretty tasty. And crunchy. Heh…I wonder why they’re called tasty little crunchies? Okay, and I love that there are two to a pack. Because there was more surface area to spread peanut butter on. You know I had to.

Random side note: check the new grill!

Driving home, I had a dinner plan all set – but when I walked in the door and saw more corn on the cob, I gladly set them aside to be replaced by a repeat of last night since they didn’t quite mesh with corn on the cob.

Corn on the cob with butter, salt and parmesan (have you tried it yet?!)

Apparently, my mom is as obsessed as I am! This was a great ear, and the best part is that there’s one left for tomorrow 🙂

Corn sort of gets a bad rap since it is so starchy. You guys know I love my carbs, so that isn’t a huge turnoff to me – but in case you’re worried, don’t be! It is still full of nutrition. Not only has regular consumption of corn been associated with better cardiovascular healthy – but due to the thiamin content, it is also said to help aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Thiamin is also really good for your memory! Dang – maybe that’s why I’ve felt so sharp lately? 😉

and the last of my eggplant strata - over a portabella.

Anyone else see lasagna in the above picture instead of strata, or is that just me? 😛

Hope everyone else had a lovely day! I know mine ended on the right note – weedwacking (re: grazing the ponies 😛 )


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

Hungry Monster

Just a speedy post from me tonight!

I have had a hungry monster with a raging sweet tooth residing in me all afternoon. I must have sensed this would happen last night, when I made this quinoa salad last night for a future lunch or dinner.

Maple-Basil Quinoa Salad

  • 1/4 c. dry-measure of quinoa – cooked as instructed
  • 1/2 c. garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 of a small yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Turkish fig, chopped
  • 2-3 small fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 2 T. chopped pecans
  • salt, to taste
  • maple pepper, to taste

Very delish – especially when enjoyed over a balsamic and maple pepper seasoned portabella.

Don't ask me what I was thinking, plating something black on black!

I also had some roasted broccoli seasoned with garlic salt and then drizzle with maple sizzurp.

I loved the salty-sweet mixture of everything! Especially the salad.

The highlight of my hungry monster’s day? Hands-down, this Bounce protein hit. I mean, c’mon. A hit of protein? How cool does that sound?

This ball/bar is probably the one that “spoke” to me right off the bat upon receiving Nikki’s package. I think I’d be lying if I said it had nothing to do with the fun graphic design.

What can I say? I shop with my eyes.

The other thing that immediately jumped out at me? It uses whey protein, not soy!! Joy 🙂

This was definitely a lifesaver this afternoon, because the handfuls of almonds, crackers, and iced coffee certainly wasn’t doing it for me.

Basically, I need to get a boatload of these shipped to the U.S, stat. Sort of funny, because the ingredients don’t even sound that appetizing (not to say it’s a bunch of sketchy stuff in there – just not stuff you have in your cupboard, or the fruits and nuts you’re used to seeing) but this was killer. Just subtly sweet, with a wonderful almond and vanilla flavor. And the texture!! Oh, the texture. So chewy and crunchy. So perfect. Sort of reminds me of a Kardea bar texture-wise!

I’m sort of proud of myself for not hoarding this one and saving it for last, since it was the one I thought I would enjoy most. Now I’m sad I don’t have it waiting patiently for me. Eh, well. Life resumes.

Other partners to ward off the hunger monster was a big “bowl” of vanilla chobani with wheat germ, blueberries, and a peach. I spy blueberry stems. That was probably eaten. I am officially the worst blueberry picker ever – I picked so many stems when I went! :X And I was glad to welcome plums back into my fruit line-up.

Does this look familiar?

Sorry for being so repetitive – but it’s that good, and that carrot-cashew curry spread really made that much. I still have a lot left, actually. And crackers.

And unpictured “trail mix” that I packed earlier in the week – almonds, papaya, and raisins. And fruit leather. And iced coffee with cream and a bit of sugar. I feel like there was something else, too, but I can’t put my finger on it.

I think this hunger may or may not have had to do with a breakfast lacking in peanut butter. Hmmm. I mean – the banana’s there and everything!

"Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie" Oats

I can’t say I hate it, though. I mean, I’ve already had some banana bread and once I hit publish am thinking up a mean bowl of quick oats. And lets not forget my nightly cereal, too.

But, luckily – my sweet tooth wasn’t craving a McDonald’s smoothie. Remember how I was wondering whether they were really as “real” as they claim? Well, not quite. A large has 70 grams of sugar – most of it added sugar! Bummer. I mean, I wasn’t going to go spend my money on one just because I can make myself a smoothie at home – but I was hoping maybe McDonald’s would be comin’ around. I am at least optimistic, I suppose?

In Teddie news, I started my morning off in no better fashion – a lovely quasi-hack down to the outdoor. Our first time! He felt his “get up and go” more than his “whoa,” but no harm done. I can’t wait until the fields are mowed/hayed so we can galavant through them 🙂

Happy Weekend, everybody!! I am a workin’ girl tomorrow – oi!


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

Confessions and White Balance

Anyone want another round of confessions?! Lets play 🙂

confession: there are no words to express how awful i have been about keeping up with my recipe pages. i updated them a little bit today, but i’ve missed too many to hunt them down. you all have my permission to throw whatever it was that i’ve missed in my face.

confession: even though i initially hated the concept of overnight oats, i am now enamored.

confession: i don’t think there is any nut/seed butter better than creamy sunflower seed butter. another confession? i think i prefer full circle brand the best of all – even beating out trader joe’s! how did that happen?!

confession: even though i’ve been neglecting my jams and preserves in my oats lately – i think they’re going to be making a comeback.

The oats this morning:

mixed overnight:

mixed in a spoonful of greek yogurt and a splash more almond milk in the morning, and then topped with:

  • honey roasted cashews
  • galaxy granola – not so sweet vanilla
  • ginger preserves
  • maple syrup
  • full circle creamy sunflower seed butter
  • and a chopped nectarine – first nuked with some golden raisins, a splash of almond milk, and some maple syrup.

confession: i was really sad to see that almost all of the good berries are already gone 😦 additionally? i don’t think i’ve met my berry fill for the summer, and will probably just seek out the next patch 😉

confession: i splurged on an iced coffee from dunkin today while i was waiting for my mom to finish work – and was instantly reminded why green mountain is so much better. how did i ever have the money to have at the very least one-two of those babies a day?!

salad with romaine, chickpea-quinoa bake, feta, and ragu

confession: by the time we got home from the barn it was 2:15 and starved!

additionally? i am ridiculously proud and in love with my pony.

toast with blackberry honey creme

confession: i’m always planning in advance – and half my bread was reserved for “dessert.”

balsamic-honey curry portabella

confession: i totally neglected and forgot about this portabella cap for over a week. tonight was do or die.

to marinate the cap:

  • 1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
  • drizzle honey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sweet curry powder

for the honey curry sauce:

  • 2 T. greek yogurt
  • drizzle honey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sweet curry powder
  • diced red pepper

confession: i’ve been loving my desserts lately, and yet strangely – i’m still not photographing them. just imagine peanut-butter banana bran muffins, coconut gelato, and strawberries.

confession: the white balance setting on your camera is definitely something you should acquaint yourself with.

Yep – today’s spiel is all about white balance! Or, color tone, temperature, etc etc etc.

I hear lots of apologies for lighting, color, etc – but with a simple click of a button – all that can be changed! While there may not be a cure-all (some lighting like fluorescent is just plain tough!) there are some things to keep in mind.

As you all well know – different lights have different temperatures. Different color temperatures/lights read differently to our cameras. Direct sunlight is surprisingly blue (cool) while fluorescents cast a yellow (warm) hue, even if these tones aren’t so obvious to our direct eye. And so, in order to not take photos of people that look shockingly similar to smurfs, or on the other hand, photos that make someone look like they accidentally fell asleep for a couple hours in the tanning booth – we must properly set our white balance.

most cameras today allow you to do this yourself – though often, not if you’re shooting in auto. i can’t speak for all, of course – but if you shoot in manual or at least the ap or shutter priority more or the “P” mode (for program) you will have much more control, and in turn – much better photos. i’d recommend beginning in program mode if you’re still grasping the concept of shutter speed and aperture, or don’t necessarily care to learn. you can still change your ISO, white balance, and other essential components in this mode.

auto, however – gives you no control.

so – what do you set your camera to? well – that depends what you’re shooting and under what conditions! some cameras give you more control than others – but with my d40, i have nine options. auto, fluorescent, tungsten, sunny day, flash, cloudy day, shade, and pre-set. While the pre-set is incredibly helpful in most circumstances (you photograph a sheet of blank white paper and tell the camera that that is white – do whatever you need to do to make it so) i didn’t much bother with it in this experiment. mainly because i’m not going to start photographing white paper before each thing i eat.

so first, lets take a peek at a nectarine, shot under the same conditions and with the same settings, changing only the white balance.

AUTO - not bad. slightly cool for my liking.

INCANDESCENT - far too BLUE! (too correct for the warmth of a fluorescent light)

TUNGSTEN - while the nectarine isn't awful, the rest is pretty cool (as in, blue - not cool dude)

SUNNY DAY - a bit too warm (to counter blue of the sun)

FLASH - too yellow/warm (to counter the cool temp of your camera's flash)

CLOUDY DAY - my personal favorite, slight warmth but not overly so.

SHADE - too yellow (to counter the extreme coolness of a shady area)

obviously – a large part of this is also personal preference, and also note that monitor calibration is extremely important when it comes to color correcting an image. that being said – i prefer images warmer to cooler. warmth is inviting to humans naturally, and our skin tones also tend to be warmer rather than cooler. (unless you’re on the verge of hypothermia, in which i suggest you get to the E.R.)

i personally tend to leave my camera on the cloudy day setting, and may ocassionally tweak a hair in photoshop. (note that none of these were, other than resizing and adding a border) however – photoshop is not the cure-all. if you shoot in a fluorescent/incandescent situation, you will probably end up with a very yellow image. photoshop can rarely fix that and leave it looking great – so don’t leave it for photoshop. Simply shoot it right the first time! Change your camera to whatever lighting situation you’re shooting in, and you will have far better results. promise!

edit to add: even if you don’t have a “fancy camera,” you may have more options and settings than you realize! my adice is to just play. experiment! see what works, and what doesn’t. for instance, even if your camera doesn’t offer you an obvious choice for white balance, you probably have settings for indoor, outdoor, flash, landscape, etc. this is sort of a more user-friendly, snap-and-go way of setting the white balance and iso for you, without sounding so complicated.

p.s. send me your bulgar recipes for the B.S.I! you have until midnight :]


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