Cassoulet for a Crisp Fall Day

Good afternoon, Lovepies! I hope you are having a fantastic day, although by the time you read this it might very well be  nighttime for I am once again on the World’s Slowest Computer (WSC).

We are really running low on fresh supplies (although I have oodles of chocolate!), but I’m going to be out for a few meals in the next few days so I’d rather not buy produce only to have it spoil.  Yesterday I turned to the freezer for inspiration, and heated some of Trader Joe’s Mangolicious blend, which I mixed with a crumbled Apple Berry Vitamuffin and nonfat yogurt.

Yogurt/ Vita/Mangolicious

I’ve been wanting to make a pretty parfait again, but the only clear glass in the house has gone missing.

Big bite

After I worked around the house for a little, I grabbed an apple and headed into the city for some speedwork at the gym.

Subway apple

I don’t know about other runners out there, but I have a really hard time staying on the treadmill for more than two miles, and even that is a challenge for me.  It’s just so boring!  There was nothing but reality and sports showing on the TVs, and running in place feels a little depressing to me.  I can’t stop myself from staring at the screen as minutes and distances slowly tick by, even if I cover it with a towel. I think I can also run faster when I’m outside; on the treadmill, running less than a 10-minute mile is really a challenge for me.  One more reason that I need a Garmin! Finally, Behind The Music: Pink came on, and I actually kind of really like her, so I watched that and the time passed  a little more quickly.  I ran 4 miles at speeds ranging from 6.0 – 7.5, taking recovery breaks at 4.0, and cooled down for 3 minutes.

Total distance: 4.15 miles

Total time: 42:28 minutes

Maximum heart rate: 192 (97%)

Average heart rate: 176 (89%)

Calories burned: 496

After a very fast shower, I hurried to the subway, eating my Whole Foods meal (which I had wisely bought before working out, to save time) on the way.  I actually wasn’t so excited to eat this… I think I’m beginning to suffer from Food Boredom.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

In the mix:

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • bok choi
  • baked tofu
  • vegan chicken salad
  • seaweed salad
  • sweet & spicy dumpling (1)

I almost got a soup to accompany my salad, but I was low on time and wanted to save room for my afternoon treat.  I hopped on the subway, transferred, and made my way to Babycakes to meet Ellie and Leslie.

Babycakes 1 Babycakes 2

I’ve dreamed about Babycakes cupcakes and their icing shots for far too long. Even if their pickings were horrible (which is far from the truth, their store is one of the cutest places I’ve seen.  The bake staff have the most adorable little Waitress-style outfits (that I would definitely wear in a non-working environment) And, even better, these treats are actually good for you! Have my prayers been answered yet again?  Here’s what they say about the sweets on their website:

In a city dominated by cupcakes overflowing with sugar, flour and butter cream, it’s easy for those with persnickety diets to feel left out. BabyCakes offers all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. Rest assured, all sweeteners have been chosen responsibly and used sparingly. White sugar will never be found in our bakery, nor will we ever use toxic chemical sweeteners. Instead, most products are sweetened with agave nectar—a natural syrup from a cactus which is low on the glycemia index and often a safe alternative to most non-insulin dependant diabetics. Occasionally, unprocessed and unrefined sugar is used in certain goods, although sparingly.

The menu of the day:

Babycakes 3

It was very hard for me to choose…

Babycakes 4

As soon as I saw the Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate-Fig Ganache and Cinnamon-Nutmeg frosting, however, I knew what I needed.

Babycakes Vanilla with Chocolate Fig Ganache Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Fig Ganache 2

Leslie got this as well.  We both thought that the cake itself tasted a bit like sweet cornbread, which wasn’t a bad thing! The filling was amazing, and the frosting was un-freaking-believable.  I need to go back and get a shot of that before they stop making their seasonal flavors.

It was really nice to chat with the girls; I met Leslie in Boston at the Summit, and we really have to get together again soon.  Lucky for me, I’ll be able to see Ellie again on Friday for dinner!  After we parted ways, I headed home.  Ari is leaving on Sunday for Europe, and I wanted us to be able to have a nice dinner together before.  I was mighty thirsty when I got back from the grocery store, and sipped on Goya coconut water while cooking.  This stuff is great… it’s cheap (6/$3.50) and has small chunks of young coconut meat on the bottom!

Goya Coconut Water

I also snacked on this silly-looking carrot.

Funny carrot

I whipped out my Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean cookbook, which I do not use  nearly enough.  Melissa Clark is one of my present-day culinary heroes.  I wanted to make something with either mushrooms or chickpeas (Ari’s favorites, after steak 😉 ), and decided on Garbanzo Cassoulet

Vegetarian Times Garbanzo Cassoulet

The recipe calls for either homemade or store-bought tomato sauce; since the cassoulet was already going to take 2+ hours to make, I picked up a jar of Newman’s Own Sockarooni sauce.

Newman's Own Sockarooni

It’s not organic, but the ingredient list is short and comprehensive.

Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce Nutrition

I threw in a couple shakes of Emeril’s Original Essence for good measure…

Emeril's Original Essence

Instead of using regular breadcrumbs, I used whole wheat panko.

Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs

Two hours later, the cassoulet was done.  There is a recipe for “Quick Cassoulet” on the opposite page of the same cookbook, which would be nice if you don’t have time to make this one.  However, if you do have the time, it really pays off.

Garbanzo Cassoulet 2

Garbanzo Cassoulet

Garbanzo Cassoulet 3

I served it with some steamed green beans.  We got more than our fair share of veggies!

Cassoulet & beans

After a few bites, Ari remarked, “Hey! It’s vegetarian and I love it!” I’m glad it was a hit.  We both went back for seconds, which we enjoyed with some Gato Negro Sauvignon Blanc.

Gato Negro Sauvignon Blanc

After dinner, we had to run some errands and somehow ended up walking out of Coldstone with huge cups of ice cream.  The photo didn’t turn out, but I got a “Like It” (or “small”, if you are Coldstone-illiterate) with Sinless Sweet Cream ice cream, cookie dough, and hot fudge.  Oof, my tum was not happy about that choice.

Well, I’m off to get some reading done.  Enjoy the rest of your day!


28 responses to “Cassoulet for a Crisp Fall Day

  1. 1. that cupcake sounds AMAZING.

    2. you’re so cute! I want a vest SO Bad and haven’t found one that i like here.

    3. I hate running on the treadmill, too. I can’t stop watching the clock.

  2. southerngracesblog

    Ah, your ice cream sounds SO good!!! And, I have been dreaming about having a cupcake from Babycakes!!! happy thursday

  3. your are the cutest!! love that last pic! well all your pics are fabulous, but the last one we got to see your shining beautiful face!

    I hear ya on the food boredom….Sometimes its as easy as trying a new salad dressing, or new beans in your salad to get you un-bored. for me I get on ‘food kicks’ where I become addicted to certain foods for a peruiod of time, then after that I can no longer even look at it for a while! it happened in college to me with applesauce, I ate it SO often for so long I still have trouble eating it too much haha

    the cupcakes look uhhmazing!!

  4. Cute pic!

    I would die for an icing shot from the bakery.

    I get bored on the treadmill as well. However, I find that I get better running times on the tready because I can do intervals.

  5. Cassoulet sounds fancy! and looks delish.

    the treadmill is something you just have to get used to, I guess. I never go longer than 35 minutes on it though. I save it for short runs and speed work, and do long runs outside.

  6. The cassoulet sounds great! Now that the weather’s cooling down I am all about baking pretty much anything I can get my hands on.

    Still have yet to go to Babycakes! Must fix!

  7. i am seriously still thinking about the frosting. so amazing. it was so great seeing you again! i agree we need to hang out very soon.

    totally drooling over that cassoulet – i love meals like that, where you can really see (and taste) the work put into it. perfect meal for this time of year!

  8. Love that picture, you look adorable! 🙂 The carrot is crazy, but it was good for a laugh…

    ❤ ❤

  9. “Behind The Music: Pink,” eh?? Not your typical treadmill-watching choice, haha.

    Glad that Babycakes didn’t disappoint with the frosting!! But sorry about the Cold Stone aftermath 😦

    Love the kitchen photo!!

  10. i just saw the babycakes cookbook and all the recipes look SOOOO good! yay for meeting up – ellie is fabulous, no?

    i saw ari is touring europe, which is awesome! hopefully you can tag along sometime 🙂 yummy looking meal me lady – have a good night!

  11. You are the sassiest looking cassoulet chef I could ever imagine! Too cute!

  12. I love cassoulet! That picture of you with it is pretty darn cute, by the way.

    I am having a bit of food boredom lately, which is mostly because I’m too busy to be creative. Maybe I need to pick up a new cookbook!

  13. Chocolate-Fig Ganache and Cinnamon-Nutmeg frosting? YUM! What a jammin cupcake. I have trouble staying on a treadmill too- its so much easier to run outside! Fabulous dinner

  14. was great to meet you- see you tomorrow!

  15. I feel you on the dreadmill hatred! When I was running I’d try to cover up the screen on the machine and I could never find the right speed – blah!!

    I still think your parfait is pretty 🙂 Glad you had a good time with the bloggies!!

    Mushrooms AND chickpeas!? Nice! By the way, I love your outfit!

  16. The tredmill is a bore!! I rather run the beach or hike mountains then walk on a machine. But oh well. That cupcake looks too good to be healthy but I know it is 🙂 Yummmm sinless cookiedough ice cream! Sounds like a awesome day!



  17. You look bangin in your kitch attire 🙂

    Babycakes….I am soooo jealous. I cannot eat gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, etc and I have heard nothing but amazing things about that place. Hope you had extra for me 🙂

    I;ll have extra rum dessert for you 🙂

  18. Oh, I am definitely Coldstone literate!

    I’ve heard so much about Babycakes, I’d love to try it! They should sell their uniforms, they’re adorable! Maybe as a Halloween costume…and then if anyone recognized me they would get major props from me!

  19. ugh, I hate the treadmill! I feel like I can run for HOURS outside (and love it), but anything more than about 20 minutes on the treadmill feels like torture.

    cupcakes, cassoulet and coldstone! sounds like a great day 🙂

    you look so proud of your meal in that pic!

  20. I hate food boredom!!

    Love the pic of you with your dinner, and it sounds delicious. Don’t you love when you can impress the guys with a vegetarian meal 🙂

  21. mmm babycakes! sweet corn bread=a very good thing

  22. peanutbutterfingers

    oooh muffin on yogurt = combining two of my favorite breakfast foods. you just may be a genius!!! yummmm.

  23. Babycakes sounds aDOREable!!!!!

    My aunt just sent me a care-package with a pumpkin cupcake mix and I’m SUPER excited. She also sent along a Halloween-themed oven mitt and spatula!

  24. That IS a silly-looking carrot! I agree the treadmill gets boring. The most I’ve EVER done on a treadmill is 6 miles. I think I’d like to ask for a video-ipod or even an i phone for the holiday’s so I can watch a movie while I run. That would be fun. I dropped your necklace in the mail today! You should get it next week. Congratulations again my dear!

  25. Wow you are a master chef with your cassoulet! I can’t believe I haven’t been to Babycakes yet, the cupcake you got looks amazing.

    I find it hysterical that we even managed to be in Southampton at the same time without realizing it! I can’t wait to finally meet you tonight:)

  26. Pingback: His Girl Friday « Lilveggiepatch

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