August 11, 2010


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How 'Bout Some Waffles?

How about some waffles to start out the day???

Sometimes I set my alarm earlier than necessary just to have some options on what to do in the morning.

Sit down and enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee??

Or go for an early morning run or bike ride?

Today I decided on breakfast.

Waffles to be exact.

With a berry compote as topping.

I substituted Spelt flour for Buckwheat flour. And I didn't use fresh strawberries (Would have if I had them)...

Berry Compote
1 cup frozen berries (or cherry berry mix)
1 Tbs Agave Nectar
1 Tbs Water
Bring ingredients to boil over small sauce-pan, and let simmer (aka keep it bubbling) until the liquid reduces and thickens.

Mmm..nothing like making time for breakfast and coffee...
...And my favorite morning Tribune section.

Happy Wednesday :)

August 9, 2010

Lolla Palooza and Getting Back on Track

^^Where I spent my weekend^^

If I didn't think the city of Chicago was beautiful already, I have a new found appreciation of it after this weekend.

Watching concerts with that magnificent skyline in the background is just the best thing ever.

I saw so many great bands including Slightly Stoopid, MGMT, Lady Gaga, Green Day, Jimmy Cliff, The Black Keys, Cypress Hill, Chromeo, Yeasayer, Matt and Kim, Raphael Saadiq, Edward Sharpe, and Arcade Fire. From what I recall...honestly after a few beers and a ton of music some of it just starts blending together...Especially bands I didn't know until this weekend.

^^ Koozies were key! So glad I had mine!^^

^^Had to take a picture of this Venue name :) ^^

^^Buckingham Fountain^^

We really lucked out with the weather, although it was SO hot out, when everyone is equally sweaty it kinda stops mattering.

I feel like we were constantly on the move- between walking from venue to venue, dancing, and even sneaking a softball game in at one point, I'd say I was sufficiently active all weekend, enough to make me not worry about having a run at any point.

But I do feel like we indulged in some eating, and definitely in drinking. I was definitely excited to get home this morning and get back on schedule with healthy eating. My body was craving some vitamins!

Still being lazy and tired though, I was lucky to find out that while my mom and dad were in Lincoln Park the other day, the brought me home a little treat! No making lunch today- SCORE! They had gone to this place called The Meatloaf Bakery. Click on that. Check it out--

So what'd they bring me???

...A Lentil Cupcake!

...Wait what?? Yeah I thought it was a bit weird myself...

A gluten-free vegetarian creation even meat lovers will enjoy—tender lentils and uber-healthy brown rice flavored with veggies and cheese. Topped with colorful bell peppers and served with roasted red bell pepper coulis.
Loafie: 2.00 Cupcake: 7.95 Loaf: 34.95

This was SOOOOO good! I need to recreate this in my kitchen!!!

I ate it with...surprise surprise...some cucumbers from my Papa, a nectarine, some hummus, and (too many) root vegetable chips from Trader Joe's.
^^Couldn't stop going back for more chips!!!^^

My papa tells me the same thing every day, that he has cucumbers "coming out of his ears. Jame, it's like they grow overnight! Take some home!" Ok, ok papa! 

I feel like I'm gonna turn into a cucumber...

Anyway when I got home from work, my sister and I wanted to make a dinner. This is becoming quite the regular thing, the 2 of us cooking together :)

She was in charge of the sweet potatoes...

^^Baked at 350 convection, about 25 minutes^^

And the chickpeas...
^^Dusted with Cumin and Just crispy enough!^^

I was in charge of the veggies...
^^Garlic, red pepper, onion^^

^^Add spinach and a can of chopped tomatoes^^

Basically just threw some vegetables in a pan and sauteed with Curry until the liquid evaporated...

Watch the spinach wilt...

^^Spinach really disappears, a little too much sometimes^^

Also added some basil at that point, and a dollop of 2% Plain Greek Yogurt for creaminess.

I also made some WW cous cous and added some coconut oil.

The product? 
^^Taa daa!!!^^

I love Indian tasting dishes. Especially with a side of hummus. Too bad we ran out of curry a bit early- could have used more of that. 

So besides the 15 too many chips and the overload on dark chocolate today, I'd say my eating has gotten back on track from the weekend of no-sleep, too much food, and too much beer. And it feels good!

Now I'd say a sweaty walk in this 95 degree weather is in the cards for me before bed. It sometimes just feels good to get super sweaty before a shower, anyone with me on that one!?

Some Weekend Eats...Few words.

...Lolla Palooza had SUCH good food on Chow Town!

Burrito Beach

^^Pam likes the eggs I made her!^^

^^ Portobello mushroom burger with a fried egg and havarti cheese.^^

Also from Chow Town:

Crescent Foods

  • The Benevolent Burrito | $6

  • ...Which was a WW tortilla filled with sweet potato, brown rice, veggies, and black beans. 
    (Should have taken a picture!) This was so good!!!

    More oatmeal...

    ...And off to work

    Better Lolla Palooza recap post coming later. :)

    August 5, 2010

    Vegan Chocolate Banana Cookies

    What a beautiful day it was today!

    I started out the morning with a bowl of oatmeal...

    ^^Topped with wheat germ, PB, and fruit^^

    And a 4 mile run- not too hot, and not too humid either (for a change!)

    Got to work---such a slow week it's been!

    Lunch was the last of the lentils from my fridge...

    ^^And Flat Out chips with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge^^

    For Flat Out chips, I just toast a wrap and then tear it up. It gets so crispy, and the whole thing is a mere 90 calories and a ridiculous 9 grams of fiber! And I think these wraps are better tasting than any other similar wrap out there...

    Anyway, my papa had a new yogurt flavor for me to try today! Yipee!!!
    ^^Pomegranate, yessss^^

    When I got home from work I had my mind set on making some cookies. Some very healthy, energizing cookies. I used Ashley's recipe for Vegan Chocolate Banana Cookies.

    I had to stop at Whole Foods for some ingredients including Spelt Flour and Brown Rice Syrup. 

    Brown Rice Syrup is an amazing thing. The only ingredients are brown rice and water. And look at the back of the jar:

    It's really sweet, like honey, and pours like honey, or agave. It's delicious!

    Here's how the baking went down:

    Dry ingredients:

    + Wet ingredients:

    =delicious raw cookie dough (since it's raw you can eat it uncooked!!!- Definitely my favorite part about vegan cooking :) )

    ^^Raw "dough" balls^^

    ^^All my ducks  cookies in a row^^

    ^^Piled high!^^

    ^^Chewy, hearty, chocolatey--mmmm^^

    After these finished baking I needed to make dinner before I devoured every single cookie I made!

    I spotted a block of Tofu in the fridge and just went with it...
    ^^That's balsamic on there^^

    ^^Tofu salad!!^^

    This salad had a greens mix topped with balsamic tofu, minimally sauteed red peppers, basil, caramelized  onions, hummus, crackers, avocado, feta.

    I added black beans after I took the picture.

    I usually don't put dressing on my salads. If anything a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. I find if you pair the right ingredients, you really don't need it. Plus the hummus keeps it from being too dry.

    Since it was such a nice night I just had to end my day with a bike ride. I biked for about 40 minutes. I think I ate about 3 bugs along the way. Protein, right?

    ^^So thankful for bike trails nearby!^^

    Time to pack for Lolla Palooza this weekend!!! Can't wait!

    August 4, 2010

    Failures in the Kitchen

    Yesterday morning I thought I'd try something different...

    Not too different, just a little change...

    I should actually say I tried something different 2 nights ago....

    I made Overnight Oats.

    I see them on other Blogs all the time, so I thought I'd give them a go.

    But, I failed. I didn't like them...


    For overnight oats you basically combine the ingredients for hot oatmeal the night before, and let them sit in the fridge all night. Then you eat them cold in the morning. Chia seeds are key to this because each seed absorbs a lot of liquid...

    Basically this tasted just like soggy cereal- ho hum. Won't be making these again for a while. Huge Fail!

    Question: When you make something, and it doesn't turn out how you'd hoped, do you eat it anyway? I usually do unless it's terrible! I don't want to waste food so...

    Here's a successful go at Overnight Oats: here.

    Anyway I clearly wasn't satisfied after this, so I was excited when my papa came in with (still kinda warm) and very crunch homemade waffles from my Nana!
    ^^Just ate that plain with my coffee^^

    What a treat :)

    When lunch rolled around I did the same as yesterday and combined the few ingredients that were in my fridge at home and made use of the office toaster oven...

    The ingredients:
    (Minus the egg)

    The mexican pizza:


    Mexican Pizza:
    1 Flat Out wrap
    1/4 cup Spinach
    2 rounds of Eggplant
    1 Roasted Red Pepper
    Pinch cheddar cheese
    Pinch feta cheese
    1/3 cup refried beans
    2 Tbs Salsa

    Add everything on top of the flat out wrap, beans first, then veggies, then cheese.
    Toast or bake- I baked in the toaster oven at 400 for about 8 minutes. 

    Next time I would have toasted the wrap a bit first. Woulda helped it to be a bit crunchier in the center.

    **Note: You can use any veggies you want! This is just a template, and way to show how to use your office toaster oven/appliances to make really good lunches.**

    Lastly, my snack was some applesauce (can you tell my fridge at home was empty!) with cinnamon and almonds:

    After work I had to head straight downtown. I always bring the same snack- a string cheese and a hard boiled egg- and a piece of toast. Just a quick, easy, and healthy (small) meal to hold me over. If I didn't do that I'd probably end up ordering a $10 greasy meal at some bar that wasn't even good. A little planning ahead for meals saves a lot of money-and probably calories too!!!