Tag Archives: yogurt

Belly Full ‘O Pasta

Evening! How was your day?  Mine was just fine, but I’m ready to crawl into bed and call it a night!

This morning when I woke up at 8:30, I panicked for a few minutes before remembering that my boss (at my internship) had canceled work for the day. I was up and ready to go, though, which things to do and people to see!

I was excited to try these goji berries with my breakfast.  I’ve only ever tasted these chopped up and mixed into other things, but when I snatched them right up when I spotted this bag on sale for $2.19 at the food co-op this weekend (they’re usually almost triple that price).  Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, and among their many benefits they are touted to improve eyesight (they’re rich in beta carotene), boost immunity, and spice up your sex life 😉

I tossed them in with Greek yogurt, 1/2 toasted Trader Joe’s Berry Mango muffin, warmed frozen berries and flaxy peanut butter. The goji berries are firm but chewy; the texture really complemented the rest of the mess.

This held me over for a really long time.  The rest of the morning was spent reading, researching, and waiting until I was digested enough to go for a run.  I warmed up with a 20 minute hip opening flow, then set out for an easy 2 mile run.

Total distance: 2 miles

Total time: 20:09

Most of my runs are going to have to be in the morning now that it’s getting dark earlier; I’ll have to crank out some long runs on the treadmill when I’m in Russia, however.  I’m a little nervous that I won’t be able (psychologically) to run 7 miles on a treadmill…. What are you tips for making it through a long treadmill session?

Lunch was pretty basic (and very green): the last of the spinach and rice soup and a crunchy salad (spinach, broccoli slaw, celery, roasted almonds; sesame oil/rice vinegar/sesame seed dressing).

My interview was at 3:30; when it was over I hopped right back onto the subway and headed home.  I had 1/3 of a Key Lime Pie Larabar on the ride back:

I found myself in one of the rare instances when I didn’t have anything to read on the subway… it was completely disorienting.  I always have a book with me (sometimes two!); I would have brought one to prom if it had fit in my clutch!  Ari calls me his word nerd.

When I got home, I went straight to the kitchen to unwind and get dinner started.  I’ve had my eye on Martha Stewart‘s recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest (in the November 2009 issue) for quite some time… a little too much time, because the head of cauliflower I’d bought in anticipation a couple weeks ago had started to mold.  But have no fear! I just sliced off the offending areas. I’m frugal, what can I say?

While slicing onion, I remembered what one of my cooking teachers always said: always cut out the middle greenish part of an onion.  I can’t quite remember why that is; I think it has something to do with it not being fully developed yet and causing stomachaches.

I was eager to try out this pasta… Nature’s Place is Hannaford grocery store’s natural, minimally processed brand.  Fresh (not dried) pasta always tastes so much better to me.

Plus, they look like little nests! Two “nests” make one serving.

When the veggies finished roasting (perfectly crispy!), it was all I could do to keep myself from eating them all right off the baking sheet.  I’d already made quite a dent in the cauliflower while I was chopping it… if I wasn’t careful, I wouldn’t have any ingredients left for dinner!

I tossed the roasted cauliflower with the pasta and added lemon zest, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil.

When it comes to parsley and other fresh herbs, I’m of the “more is more” mindset.

Lest you think this was a dainty, “ladylike” portion…

I had enough fuel to run a marathon with this baby.  Come November 6, you just might find me eating it!

There wasn’t too much room in my tum for dessert, but in the words of Tim Gunn, I made it work.  Dried figs and prunes stuffed with dark chocolate chips are so good… and they just keep me going back for more.  They kind of look like frogs, right?  I seem to have successfully eaten nuts in some form or other for every meal and snack today.

I’m off to seal my day with a lunar flow practice and hope to be in bed by 10.  I’ll make it work.

Bonne nuit 🙂

Edited to add: Kristina from Stonyfield Farm wants me to let you all know about a fun “Greek” opportunity!

“When consumers buy our quarts instead of single-serving cups, they pay less for their yogurt, but we know that a quart is not as convenient as single-serving cups for on the go consumption,” says our President and CE-Yo Gary HIrshberg. “The reusable yogurt cup gives our quart buyers the convenience of the Stonyfield 6 oz cups by providing a way to create easily transportable single servings for anywhere, anytime.”

Yogurt lovers just have to buy four Stonyfield yogurt quarts through December, and mail in the foil lids (describing this offer), and they’ll receive the reusable, eight-ounce yogurt cup made by Preserve®. Made from 100% recycled plastic, the cup is perfect for yogurt-lovers on the go, the ideal size for breakfast or a snack, with room to stir in fruit or granola. It’s dishwasher safe, BPA-free with a screw-on lid – and it’s made in the US.

Consumers will also get  $4.50 worth of Stonyfield and Preserve coupons along with the cup.

Our recycling partner since 2000, Preserve uses innovative methods to turn used materials (including used Stonyfield yogurt cups) into stylish, useful household products like toothbrushes, colanders, cutting boards and tableware. Preserve products are 100% recycled and recyclable too.

Consumers can mail clean foil lids, with name, address and phone number on an index card or 4” x 6” sheet of paper by February 28, 2010 to:

Stonyfield Farm
Reusable Cup Offer
PO Box 4840
Manchester, NH 03108-4840

Cups will be shipped starting in January, 2010 with delivery in 10 to 12 weeks. This offer is good only in the US, while cup supplies last, and is limited to one cup per household (to better spread the love around).

So save those lids!

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Early Bird Special

Are you an “all or nothing” type of person? My body seems to be.  My internal clock is so out of whack right now!  For the past week, I’ve alternated between going to bed early and getting more than a full night’s sleep (10+ hours) and getting less than 6 and feeling completely wiped.  This morning was the latter.  Last night, even though I was exhausted,  I could not get myself to drift off.  I knew I had to get up early to get ready for an interview, and the pressure of knowing I needed to sleep only made it worse.  I dragged myself out of bed, bleary and blurry eyed (I’m blind as a bat), not even stopping to put on my glasses.  I had one mission, and one mission only.

Our house guest left this as a parting gift when he left.  I’m sure it’s delicious, but I really didn’t pause to smell or taste it before throwing it back.  I’ll let you know about that tomorrow 🙂

I replenished my supply of POMx to dissolve my Ester-C into.  I’m still so proud of myself for discovering this works!  (For new readers: I drink a little bit every day with breakfast to dissolve Ester-C, which aids the absorption of an iron supplement I take for low energy, but don’t photograph it every morning.)

I was excited to try out a new product with breakfast: Stonewall Kitchen’s Lemon Curd.  I’ve been curious about this for years, and my mom was nice enough to buy it for me this weekend.

Breakfast was a double portion of Sarah‘s pumpkin “cakes”, topped with a heaping cloud of 0% Fage, cinnamon, walnuts, and a scoop of lemon curdLemon Meringue Pumpkin Pie before 7 AM? Yes, please!

I had two back-to-back interviews starting at 9 (which I think went well); afterward I needed to unwind a little with some teasing retail therapy (AKA touch everything, buy nothing) at J.Crew and Anthropologie.  How is it that a store (or two) can be filled with only perfect things?  But my bank balance remained stable, and I left satisfied with the clothes on my back.

The tree is going up in Rockefeller Center…

I sat in the plaza and ate my Criterion apple.  Sometimes it’s okay to be a tourist in your own city.

After making sure there were no more stores I needed to browse through, I came home to get some done and eat lunch.  I heated up a bowl of Spinach & Rice soup and added lots of fresh parsley, and served it alongside a small sweet potato with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Perfect mid-Monday comfort food, if you ask me.

I thought I deserved a treat, so I had some 55% Dark Chocolate Peppermint Chococolove.

The rest of the afternoon was spent writing. Welcome to my “office”!  You may recognize it as the kitchen table, but during the day I spread out and use it for reading, writing, researching, and tea-drinking.  I tried the Sugar Plum Spice holiday teaso good.  I think this might have been the first flavor they came up with, because I remember having it a long, long time ago before they changed their packaging.

After successfully moving to decaffeinated tea, I didn’t want to go back to drinking coffee so late in the day.  Instead, I moved on to a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.  I don’t know how they do it, but this smells so much like a cookie! It’s very vanilla-y, but it has a very soft taste without a hint of bitterness.

I finished up my work, then went into the city to meet my friend Ilena at 5:30 for an early dinner at FreeFoods NYC.

Tonight was another example of how many secrets this city has to offer, both food-wise and other.  I never would have suspected that a restaurant like this could exist (and thrive!) in Midtown Manhattan, in the heart of corporate offices and tourist attractions.  Was I wrong!  It goes to show that people do want to eat locally and sustainably, the options just have to be made available.

FreeFoods serves fresh soups, sandwiches and salads; they have raw, vegan and gluten-free options.

I built my own salad with arugula, avocado, spiced mango, shittake mushrooms, spicy shrimp and Manchego cheese with Thai basil dressing.

One of the staff members had made an extra Vitality Berry smoothie (sweet cherry, açai, blueberry- pomegranate juice, ginger-agave), so Ilena and I split it with our dinners.  It was really good, and helped ease the heat in my mouth leftover from my spicy salad dressing!

Ilena and I sat for a while catching up…

…and were treated to another smoothie sample! This time we tried the “orange creamsicle” (it’s new, and the ingredients aren’t listed).  As Ilena said, it really did taste like a creamsicle, “but not in the bad way”!

Since we dined early, I was back home by 7:30 to get some things done before Gossip Girl.  Sadly, it seems like most TV shows have already had their holiday finales, so I did some more work instead.  I did, however, make a fabulous dessert to fill my Chuck Bass-sized void…

My dad found a great deal on takeout containers of Tasti D-Lite, so he picked me up some peanut butter frozen yogurt.  I added frozen berries and Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

Another sweet end to a good day.

What was the best part of your Monday? What are you looking forward to about Tuesday?

P.S.  Please vote for Lyle!  She is a talented, beautiful actress who deserves to realize her dreams.  Register, vote, and help here get there!

Wacky Wavy Crazy Day

Evening! How are you doing on this fine Thursday? Today has been a strange day and I’ve felt a little out of sorts for most of it! Not in a bad way, just… different.

This morning I woke up bright and early, eyes-a-burnin’, ready to work.  I made a pot of coffee (and drank it black, which is unusual for home-brew… I usually only drink it straight when I’m out) and got breakfast ready.  It was nutty,fruity, and choco-coconutty.

In the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • frozen berries
  • leftover un-balled chocolate snowball dust
  • flaxy PB

I worked all morning, got ‘er done, and before I knew it, it was almost time to go to physical therapy.  But what about lunch?! I made a very quick salad, and ate it even faster.

In the mix:

  • baby spinach
  • escarole
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 Gala apple
  • celery
  • Morningstar Farms Pizza Lovers Burger
  • sesame vinaigrette

When I left the house it had started raining, and kept on for the rest of the day.  I got to the subway and they were doing track work on my line again, so I had to call my PT and push the appointment back. Again.  They must hate me! But I was able to get an appointment at 3:30 instead of 2, even though I probably would have made it on time.  I was scheduled to run five miles today; it would have been too dark by the time my appointment was over and I got back home, but I didn’t have enough time to go to the gym first.  Quite a conundrum! So I decided to push the run back until tomorrow, but it’s supposed to rain again so I might just have to tough it out and get wet.  I’m going to have to figure this out soon, though, because it’s getting darker earlier and earlier now (4:30) and I don’t think it’s a good idea to run in the park at night by myself.

While I was weighing each option, I took shelter from the rain in the subway and snacked on a cup of Strawberry Oikos.

My appointment went well; I did a lot of leg work on the pilates machine which I have a feeling I’ll feel tomorrow!  Even though I had recently eaten, my stomach was grumbling the whole time and as soon as I walked out of the office I dug into my purse and found an Apple Pie Larabar.  Never underestimate the importance of the “emergency snack.”

The bar held me over for a while, but when I got home at 5:30, I was already thinking about dinner again.  I think it must be the darkness outside that’s throwing off my internal clock.  I looked in the pantry, the fridge, and the hanging produce basket to see what I could see.

Brandi‘s pasta-stuffed squash inspired me, so I decided to combine two of my favorites: roasted veggies and loaded macaroni and cheese.  I cut an acorn squash in half and rubbed each with olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne; then I roasted them at 450˚ for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I sipped on a glass of Rosemount Sauvignon Blanc.  Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite white wines, and from my experience, unless the wine is really cheap (and you remember buying it at the liquor store near your college’s campus), it’s a pretty safe bet.

Rosemount is an Australian-based vineyard. In traditional French Sauvignon Blanc,  Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes are often blended together; Sémillon come from Bordeaux and Southwest France, whereas Sauvignon Blanc can come from Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, southwestern France and Languedoc.(FWFD 19).  “Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant grape variety (60 to 100 percent) in most of Bordeaux’s dry white wines, whereas Sémillon dominates the sweeter white wines…. The Sauvignon Blanc part of the wine offers immediate charm; it’s crisp, lively, herbaceous, light0bodied, and develops early” (FWFD 70). Rosemount’s version is also a Sémillon blend.

When the squash was just about done, I made a bowl of macaroni and cheese mixed with tuna, nutritional yeast and chili flakes.

I packed the mixture into the squash halves and baked them for 2 minutes longer.

These were so good! I loved the sweetness of the squash, the saltiness of the tuna and the cheesiness of the pasta noodles.  I know I’ve been getting a little crazy with my mac ‘n cheese lately, but it’s so much better that way 🙂

I was craving ice cream for dessert, so I started with a Pure Dark Chipotle/ semi-sweet/bittersweet chocolate sauce.  A few drops of water, 30 seconds in the microwave, and a quick stir gives you melty freshness that’s far better than Hershey’s.

I added a little Brown Sugar ice cream, and had a nice lil sundae for myself.

I needed to take the night off from thinking about (un)employment, so I climbed in bed with my dessert and popped Wristcutters: A Love Story into the DVD player.  It was pretty cute, in a twisted sort of way.  I’m going to try to get a quick yoga sesh in and hit the sack.  Bed before 10? You betcha!

A “Quick Meal”- Themed Day

Good evening, Upper East Siders!  How are you? I’m taking a little work break to blog and catch up on my Gossip.

Last night, after we got back from the wedding, I hunkered down to do some reading and prepare for my interviews.  All of that brain stimulation must have shot my metabolism into overdrive, because only a couples hours after dinner,  my tum was a-grumblin’ something fierce! I thought I might just be thirsty, but that didn’t seem to be it.  Finally, I put down my book and headed into the kitchen to make a bowl of Kashi GoLean and Smart Start. Problem solved!

This morning, I woke up bright and early to see Ari off.  As I mentioned, he’s going Vigilante through December, and had to leave at 7:30 this morning.  I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind was already up and ready to go.  I had to be at physical therapy at 10 anyway, so I just got up and made breakfast.

Taking Jess‘s advice, I heated up half of a Trader Joe’s Berry Mango Bran Muffin, crumbled it up, and tossed in on top of 0% Fage with some warmed frozen berries and a scoop of flaxy PB.  I really like this peanut butter, by the way.   It’s both crackly and crunchy and adds great texture!

Quite the mess!

My therapy session went well… I still have a lot of tightness in pretty much each muscle in my legs, so I have to keep working on that.  Repeat after me: yoga, rolling and stretching, okay!  When I got back, I briefly chatted with the guest who is staying with us, made myself an apple-cinnamon snack, and retreated to my room to be interviewed (via phone) with the HR department for the company I’m interviewing with.

It shaped up to be one of those days where I was constantly hungry, so I made something as soon as the clock showed that it was even remotely close to lunchtime.  Ellie reminded me yesterday about the beauty of the crack wrap, so I made one with a whole wheat wrap, three-layer hummus, and a slice of Jarlsberg cheese.

I ate it with half a can of Progresso’s Fat Free Lentil soup.   This isn’t the tastiest of the canned variety, but I had a hankering for soup.  I’ll definitely be making my own in the near future!

Finished up the meal with a piece of salt water taffy for a sweet end.

I’ve been searching in vain for the seasonal Celestial Seasonings teas (like Sugar Cookie and Gingerbread)… any New Yorkers know where I can track it down?  I settled on a cup of Sweet Coconut Thai Chai, which was a good substitute…

…but it knocked me right out!  Ari caught me snoozing at 5PM when he woke me up with a phone call.  Whoops! I snacked on some carrots to perk me back up…

… then did Yoga Download‘s Hip Opening Flow #2.  I have trouble practicing yoga for more than 20 minutes when I’m not in class… does anyone have tips for staying in the moment? Turning off my phone would probably be a good start!

I heated up some leftover Coconut Barley Pilaf and made a quick salad with kale, broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Honestly, as much as I love my fancy salad dressings, I could probably make a sesame vinaigrette every night and be happy.  It’s simple, but so delicious.  I don’t even use measurements or mix anything together… the vinegar and oil just get drizzled on.

I made another quick dessert, starting with a tri-flavored chocolate sauce using Pure Dark cardamom chocolate, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips.

I added a few drops of water, microwaved the bowl for 35 seconds, then mixed in some Brown Sugar ice cream.

And thus concludes another day’s passing without having spent a single extra dollar on food.  I’m going to have to buy some fresh produce soon, as we’re running low on fruit and vegetables, but otherwise the kitchen is pretty stocked.  It’s a satisfying feeling.

Back to work… it’s going to be a late night.  Bonne nuit 🙂

Sweet Coconut Nights

So sorry to have disappeared last night! I was so enraptured with Betty White in The Proposal that before I knew it, it was time for bed.   I don’t usually like doing massive, two-day catch-up posts, but if I don’t, I’ll be living in the past for a while and we can’t have that.

 

My new peanut butter was calling my name from the pantry.

Peanut Butter w/ Flax

How could I incorporate it into my breakfast?

PB w/ Flax

I decided to make eggs-in-a-basket (or “toad-in-the-hole”, as my grandmother calls it) which I’ve seen all over the blogs recently.  I used Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread and cut a hole in the middle with my water bottle.  The “hole” was the perfect size to to test the peanut butter out on.

PB w/ Flax on bread

I melted a slice of Jarlsberg cheese on another piece of bread, and put a little pumpkin butter on top of the flax hole.

Toad In The Hole

I love getting as many tastes as possible out of a meal!

After waiting a couple hours to digest, I laced up my sneakers, stretched, loaded my ipod with a new playlist (thanks to Maya for turning me on to this site) and hit the pavement.  This was my third run in a month, and I wanted to make it count.  I ran slowly but easily, and before I knew it I was bake at home with 4.5 miles under my belt.  I wasn’t even out of breath!  To be honest, I was worried I would have lost my stamina and wouldn’t even be able to make it half that far.  This is a good sign 🙂

I went into the city to meet my mom at Macy’s to go coat shopping.  It was exhausting.  Although I’d brought kale chips and an apple, we didn’t end up eating until 3:30.

Kale Chips

Apple

If there’s one thing I know about my mother’s side of the family, it’s that we get c-r-a-n-k-y when we get hungry.  Au Bon Pain was the only option for us at Macy’s (the rest of the fast food joints didn’t have any vegetarian options), and I quickly made a salad with spinach, artichoke hearts, green beans, roasted red peppers, tuna and Thai peanut dressing.

Au Bon Pain salad

The only memorable aspect of this salad was how quickly I ate it.  My mom got us a bag of mini chocolate chip cookies, and I had one somewhere in the lingerie department while searching for Hollywood Tape.

Au Bon Pain cookies

Three stores and one successful purchase later, we fond ourselves sitting at the old wood bar in DiFiore Marquet.  This was only my second time coming here, but it’s one of my favorite spots in the city.  It’s charming and quirky, quiet, inexpensive, and the staff is so knowledgeable about their wine list.

DiFiore Marquet wine list

Last time we went, I tried my first glass of Vouvray.  This time, I went for the Alsatian Pinot Gris (I get this whenever I see it on a menu), and my mom got the Torrontes, which is a fruity white similar to a Pinot Grigio.

The Pinot Gris is on the left, the Torrontes on the right.

DiFiore Marquet wine

On our way home, we made a pit stop at The Donut Pub.

The Donut Pub

My mom and George both think these are the best donuts in the city.

The Donut Pub

My mom and I did a taste-test with a glazed and a sugar ring (I had tiny bites of each); glazed won.  I got a marble cake donut hole for myself.

Donut Hole

I don’t even remember the last time I had a donut!  Oh wait… it was almost exactly a year ago!

We finally did get home, where we met my dad for a takeout pasta dinner from La Parmigiana in Southampton.  We started with salad… I thought all “Italian” dressings would taste like this when I was younger, and was sadly disappointed when I learned this was not the case.

Parmigiana Salad

Their pasta is hard to beat.  I had a plate with half linguine with clams, half linguine with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes.   I gobbled up all of the former, but had had my fill and didn’t quite finish the broccoli rabe pasta.

Parmigiana pasta

My mom and I split a Criterion apple that my parents picked last weekend…

Criterion Apple

… and, later, I had three chocolate snowballs.  They were even better the second day!

Chocolate Snowballs

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping recently… rather I normally have a hard time falling asleep, but have been enjoying a nice respite from that and have been nodding off quite easily.  No sleep aids required!  The last few nights, however, it’s been hard for me to fall and stay asleep, so that by the time morning comes around it just seems like a mean joke.  Needless to say, my breakfasts have had to be pretty darn good to make up for it.

These Berry Mango bran muffins from Trader Joe’s came recommended by both Lauryn and Caroline, and I knew I had to try them.  I’m not a huge muffin lover, but bran is a whole ‘nother story.  Love it!

TJ's Berry Bran Muffins

I popped half a muffin in the oven to warm it up, and while it was toasting got out the container of almond butter my parents had picked up for me at the Co-Op.

Co-Op Almond Butter

Beat that, Maranatha!

Co-Op Almond Butter 2

I slathered some on my muffin, and used the nut-buttery-spoon to scoop my banana/cinnamon/honey-filled Oikos.  How’s that for a complete breakfast?

Muffin & Yogurt breakfast

My physical therapy appointment was scheduled for 11, and although I left with plenty of time to spare, my subway line is all messed up and is skipping my stop due to track work.  So I had to ride all the way to the end of the line and back down again, and by the time I got off at the appropriate stop only had five minutes to spare.  I ran all the way there with a shoddy umbrella, dodging raindrops and praying my waterlogged Chucks wouldn’t trip me up.  I didn’t fall, but was still five minutes late.  Not a problem… I still got quite the workout in.

My left thigh was been really sore for the past few days… I don’t know if it’s because of the exercises I’ve been doing or just freak tightness, but my therapist worked it out for a good ten minutes.  I also did some calf, core and quad work on the Proform (which I am really feeling today!), then got iced down and strapped with electrodes.  Who knew therapy could be so fun?

I packed my lunch to take with me to eat in transit:

Lunch Salad

In the mix:

  • mixed greens
  • grape tomatoes
  • frozen pineapple
  • broccoli slaw
  • Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger (like other Dr. P. burgers, this is very mushy and doesn’t have a real “burger” texture. I really like the taste and chunks of veggies, though)
  • kale chip “dressing”/hummus

Because it was cold and rainy out, there wasn’t really anywhere to sit and enjoy a leisurely lunch.  So I ate LVP-style: standing up and shoveling food into my mouth in the middle of the sidewalk.

Eating On The Go

Also had a Pink Lady apple… wonder if there is a T-Bird variety apple as well?

Pink Lady

After I finished my dignified lunch, I walked across town and went up to meet Greg at Starbucks.  I got the coupon in the mail for my free birthday drink (if you have a Starbucks card, register it!), which I used for a Grande Skim Dirty Hippie (Chai with two shots of espresso).

Dirty Hippie

Two sample trays came by while we were chatting: Peppermint Mocha and Crème Brulée.

Peppermint Mocha Crème Brulée

I remember when I used to get so excited for Peppermint Mocha-season… now I found this – and the crème brulée- way too sweet.  The only sweet coffee drinks I like are Chai lattes and the occasional Mocha or Frappuccino; I tend to stick to lightly sweetened cappuccinos and black coffee.

The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands (found the perfect pair of jeans on sale).  I was in four different areas of the city in under four hours, and let me tell you: it gives you an appetite! It was the kind of day where I felt hungry all the time.   I dug into my bag and found this Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola bar that Bear Naked sent me as a sample and ate it on the subway.

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Nutrition

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Ingredients

Review: This was way too sweet for me, and the ingredients list (and 18g of sugars) explains it.  Why does the fruit need to be dried with sugar on top of the additional tapioca syrup, honey and maple syrup that gets thrown into the mix? It was also very, very greasy.

Would I buy this? Thanks, but no thanks.

When I got home, I started making this recipe for Coconut Barley Pilaf.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn

My dad had made it a few weeks ago and recommended it to me, so I decided to give it a go.  I substituted shrimp for chicken, light coconut milk for regular, and chili flakes for jalepeño.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 2

I didn’t know how many people would be around for dinner so I made the full recipe… we’ll just have a lot of leftovers!

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 3

I really liked this. The sweet barley, salty cashews, chewy shrimp and fresh mint were in such harmony!  I would definitely make this again (although I think I can get another 3 meals out of this batch).  Ari didn’t like it as much… he prefers chickpeas and mushrooms.

We also had some Sauvignon Blanc…

Sauvignon Blanc

… and I finished off the snowballs.  Nom.

snowballs

We’re off to Connecticut for a wedding this weekend.  What are your plans?

Lenny-the-Cuisinart Makes His Kitchen Debut

Good evening, folks!  Better get cracking on this post or it’ll be morning before I’m done!  As the title suggests, I finally took my food processor out of the box.  It’s so sleek and shiny… I kind of just want to snuggle with it in bed.  But… that’s a story for a different blog 😉

Yesterday I got up very early to finish some work before going into my internship.   I drank a pot of coffee, opened my eyes a little wider, and finally started feeling my appetite.  I made a yogurt bowl with vanilla Oikos, a Gala apple and granola.  Hit the spot!

Granola, Apple & Greek Yogurt

There wasn’t a whole lot for me to do at work… I mailed some things, ordered some more things, and read some other things.   As vague as that sounds, I actually really like working there and am learning a lot about the industry!  No experience is bad experience in my book (with a few exceptions).

I got off a couple hours earlier than usual and had some time to kill, so I decided to go next door and get a workout in before meeting my mom for lunch.  I fueled up with half of a (very stale) Chocolate Chip Clif Bar.

Chocolate Chip Clif Bar

Has anyone ever used the Expresso bike at the gym? It looks like a regular stationary bike, but the handlebars move so you can navigate the path that is shown onscreen.  It’s pretty neat, and kept me from getting too bored! I did about 5 miles, then worked on arms and my PT exercises.   I left just in time to meet my mom for lunch.

We went to Café Angelique, a cute café in the West Village.

Café Angelique

I got the Mango & Goat Cheese Salad… it was really good, but there was about a pound of cheese on top!  My mom and I thought about saving the excess and bringing it home in a doggie bag… but I’m not that desperate (yet).

Mango & Goat Cheese Salad

I spread some of the cheese on whole grain toast.

Toast

Lunch left me surprisingly full, and while I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted any frozen yogurt, as soon as I saw the flavors The Lite Choice was serving, I knew they had “LVP” written all over them.   Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Truffle… I was powerless!

The Lite Choice

We finished our treat; my mom went back to work and I walked across town to Trader Joe’s and did a massive grocery shop. I thought my little arms were going to fall off on my walk home!

Trader Joe's Haul

Proteins

TJ's Protein

Fruit & Veggies

TJ's Fruit & Veggies

Dairy, Grains & Miscellaneous

TJ's Dairy, Grains & Miscellaneous

With this haul, I was ready to get in the kitchen! There was a Lovely spirit in the kitchen there with me.  First on the agenda was homemade kale chips!

Kale Chip Ingredients

Except… my farm stand was out of kale.  So I improvised with escarole… a lettuce variety with much thinner leaves than kale. Oh well.

I loaded up the food processor with the dressing’s ingredients.  Look how nice and clean he is!  I think I’ll call him Lenny 🙂

Loaded Food Processor

Blended until almost smooth…

Kale Chips Dressing

I should have halved the recipe, because this made quite a bit of topping.  But I really could have eaten it straight, so I saved half for salads and dipping…

Leftover Kale Chips Dressing

… and put the rest on half a head of escarole before massaging it all in.

Kale Chips

I don’t have a dehydrator, so I followed Mama Pea‘s lead and baked them in the oven at 300 for 40 minutes.  Foil may not have been the best choice, as it was kind of a hassle peeling them off.

Kale Chips & Foil

They were really yummy, though! I think next time I’ll use a bit more lemon juice… I squirted a little on the chips while I snacked.

Kale Chip

Next on the list:  Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Snowballs!  Again, it wasn’t quite true to Averie’s recipe because this cocoa wasn’t so dark, but no matter.

Chocolate Snowballs Ingredients

This was one of the easiest things I’ve ever made.  My salads take longer to prepare!

Chocolate Snowballs Ingredients 2

I was a little worried that the “batter” was too dry, but stuck it in the freezer as it was.

Chocolate Snowballs Dry

A few hours later, they were ready to be “balled”…

Chocolate Snowballs Frozen

I was so proud of myself! They really look like macaroons!

Chocolate Snowballs

There may have been some nibbling along the way, and some of the mixture left over that will make a fabulous breakfast addition.  Try saying “Chocolate Snowball Oats for me!” ten times.

Dinner was pretty low-maintenance (unlike Blair and Serena, who kept me company)… I had leftover Japanese Cucumber Salad and Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas.  I added dulse flakes to the cukes this time, which worked a lot better than the nori.

Leftovers

For dessert, I had a strawberry-flavored Oikos and a chocolate snowball.

Greek Chocolate

I love Greek yogurt as you’ve probably noticed… the only problem is that when I stock up, I eat it all so fast that it’s all gone in only a few days!

What recipe have you loved recently? What should I make next with my food processor?

My Knight In Blue Adidas

Good evening and happy Tuesday! I hope you’ve had a fabulous, fabulous day.  Mine’s been alright… no complaints here!

Yesterday I had an early-morning appointment with a new physical therapist (mine is in Orlando competing in a Half Ironman!), so, after flirting with snooze for as long as possible, I dragged myself out of bed.  This was a little harder than usual, as I got less than five hours of sleep the night before.  Ari was at the All-American Rejects show in Atlantic City the night before, and while I knew he’d be home late, was startled when I woke up at 3:30 and he wasn’t there.  I couldn’t get him on the phone, and because I was still half-asleep, got myself so worked up thinking that something really awful had happened.  He came home at 4 and all was fine, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been so worried.  I can be a little silly sometimes 🙂

Anyway, breakfast was quick but delicious: Sarah‘s microwave pumpkin cake topped with raspberry yogurt and walnuts.

Pumpkin Cake w/ Yogurt

Speaking of pumpkins, our little fella has aged quite a bit since Halloween!

Grandpa Jack

My PT session went well.  My temporary therapist told me my muscles are still really tight… I need to be more aggressive with my foam roller and concentrate on the IT band.  It hurts, but it’ll ease up as the muscle loosens.   He also put me on a pilates machine for some quad work.  I’ve only done mat pilates before, but this was fun! I definitely feel its work today.

I raced home to watch Heroes and get lunch with Ari.  I suggested we go to a bagel place that also makes salads, but when we got there and I saw that their ingredients were no better than the ones I had at home (my rule when eating out is only to get something I can’t make at home) I changed my mind and ordered a toasted low-carb bagel with light cream cheese smoked salmon and tomato.

Bagel Lunch

This was good, but so filling.  I’ve never had a meal hold me over for 7+ hours before… note even Thanksgiving!

The rest of the afternoon was meant to be spent reading, but our room was so hot that I fell right asleep!  It’s been unseasonably warm here for the past few days, and it was the same in Minnesota.  Hmm…

While I was snoozing, Ari was out running errands, one of which was a trip to the bookstore.  He got us both copies of The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for us to do on our own and talk about while he’s on tourHow do you keep up with friends and loved ones when you’re separated geographically?

Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain

He also got me a surprise…

French Wine for Dummies

French Wine for Dummies (FWfD)!  Just what I need to kick-start my wine education.  What a nice boyfriend! 

We decided to go on a quick run together before dinner; I didn’t want to run at night by myself, and to be honest I’ve been a bit apprehensive about running outside again.  I haven’t had any pain at all in either of my legs for at least three weeks and have run on the treadmill twice since I was given the OK, but I just wanted some company!  While we ran, Ari taught me the rules of blackjack.  I was so engrossed in his casino tales that before I knew it, I was falling… and falling… and falling… it seemed to take a really long time for me to hit the ground, and Ari acted so quickly and caught me so that I only scraped my palms.  I have never fallen while running before, and I shudder to think of what could have happened if he hadn’t been there… I don’t think I’d be able to handle another injury!

We both had more work to do before we were ready to relax, so I made us a quick and easy dinner: Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas (which I’ve made before), brown rice and Japanese Cucumber Salad with Vinegar.

Sweet & Spicy Dinner

This chickpea recipe stood the test of time… Ari really liked it, and he’s a pretty tough judge.  We both agreed the seaweed wasn’t quite right on the cukes; next time I think I’ll cut the pieces a bit smaller.  A miso would probably taste good as well.

We had some De Loach Merlot, a 2006 Californian from the Russian River Valley that my friend Howard gave to me.

De Loach Merlot

Although this isn’t a French wine, I consulted FWfD to learn a little about Merlot. I scanned the table of contents… nothing.  I flipped to the back to search through the index… nothing again!  No Merlot?! It’s a French word!…. Isn’t it?  I flipped to the “Cheat Sheet” at the front of the book to see if anything even starting with “M” made an appearance, and lo and behold! Next to Bordeaux (red) (Wine Type) was an a list: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc (Principle Grape(s)).  Merlot is a type of grape, and just one of several that falls under the category “Bordeaux.” It grows in the Haut-Médoc in Gironde, a region in the southwest of France that is located in the city of Bordeaux.   The Merlot grape is the most commonly planted variety in Bordeaux (FWfD p. 36-38).

So what does this mean for California Merlots? According to the Wine Institute, Merlot grapes were brought to the United States in the mid-19th century, and are mainly used to blend and “soften” a more robust wine.

I’m typically more of a white wine drinker, but I want to broaden my horizons.  This didn’t taste too strong to me, and it did feel sort of “soft” in my mouth, if that makes sense.

Ari’s take: Deliciousness in a sleek and spunky package.  I was impressed by  both the amount of flavornoids and antioxidants.   And I was ready to party.

I was also ready to party… with the freezer.  Häagen-Dazs sent me a coupon for a free pint to make up for their almond-less ice cream, so I picked up a container of their five-ingredient Brown Sugar ice cream.

Häagen-Dazs Five Brown Sugar

It tasted so much like brown sugar!  Which, I guess, is an acquired taste… straight sugar isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  Ari wasn’t a fan, but I filled a bowl and topped it with Pure Dark chipotle chocolate.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream w/ Chipotle Chocolate

We did a little more work, and spent the rest of the evening watching Heartburn.  Has anyone seen this?  It was made the year before I was born, and there were so many things I recognized (specific toys, accessories, my mother’s perm…).  The film itself made me a little sad (Mike Nichols directed it), but I liked it a lot.  What movie should I order from Netflix?

P.S.  Holly’s giving away some supa-fancy protein powda!