Life without hummus and recent obsessions

August 13, 2010 § 15 Comments

I told y’all I’ll be back really soon! πŸ˜†Β  Anyways, on to my “regular” post!

While I very much enjoy Taiwanese food while at home, I sometimes do miss the various nut butters and hummus that can only be found back in the States. For example, while prepping my lunch today, I was really craving raw broccoli and carrots with hummus.

No hummus? Any peanut butter? Sadly, we just ran out as well.

What’s a girl to do when she obviously needs some dippage to go with her raw veggies? After scrummaging through the fridge, I decided on this:

Obsession # 1: Black Sesame and Honey Paste

It’s definitely not your regular nut butter, but it’s still nutritious, full of healthy fats, and most importantly, delicious! I usually spread this on bread, but I took the chance and dipped my raw broccoli and carrots in there. Verdict? Not bad. I’d still prefer to have hummus for my raw veggies though :mrgreen:

So I may be craving for hummus, but the everyday eats here still makes me one happy gal! πŸ˜€

Obsession #2: Sweet Sop (sugar apple or custard apple)

This fruit is native to tropical Americas, India, and Pakistan. It’s believed to have been brought over to Taiwan by the Holland folks about 400 years ago.

[Sidenote: Taiwan was inhabited by Hollanders in the 1600s]

Sweet sop, as its name implies, is very sweet, very soft, and has a texture much like custard. Its seeds are huge (you see the black oval shaped stuff there?) and are scattered ubiquitously throughout the flesh of the fruit. Much like avocado, it becomes softer as it ripens. At its ripest and sweetest time, you can easily cut the fruit open and either (more lady-like) scoop out its flesh with a spoon or (more barbarian) attack the fruit with your teeth. It is definitely not a pretty fruit to eat. You are going to be spitting out on average 4-5 seeds with every bite you take. You’ll acquire a gooey, sugar substance around your mouth too.

Despite its messiness, it’s oh-so-good! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in California. Anyone else seen it in stores/farmer’s market around where you live?

Obsession #3: Oats with salted egg

It’s savory, it’s filling, what’s not to like? This stuff is perfect to fill up my hangry tummy after my morning Ashtanga yoga classes (2 hours!!!). I simply cook 1/3 cup oats with 2/3 cup water (shamelessly in the microwave) and then add chopped/mashed salted eggs into the oats. Stir the goop up and call it a satiating meal…and it is! It’s been awhile since I’ve had this combo of grains+protein, so I’ve been having this for lunch almost everyday.

What about the high sodium content? Okay, not exactly the healthiest stats, but I justify by claiming that I need to replenish my salt storage in my body after sweating off a a gallon of fluid in my yoga class. :mrgreen:

Obsession #4: Mr. Mark Bakery

This is, hands down, my favorite bakery, ever ever ever, on the face of this planet. It’s got dozens and dozens of different types of whole-grain bread and pastries, from plain to savory to sweet. This is where I get my Black Sesame and Honey Paste from. Some of their breads include:

  • Sunflower seed multigrain toast
  • Cream cheese bun
  • Barley and oats toast
  • Green tea with red beans (adzuki beans) toast
  • Soy bean toast
  • Sweet potato stuffing roll
  • Chocolate and walnut loaf
  • Cream cheese and red beans (adzuki) loaf
  • Crispy rye multigrain toast
  • Chocolate truffle roll
  • Organic vegetables toast
  • Walnut and cheddar cheese loaf

Let’s see what goodies I got recently, shall we?

First up, red beans (adzuki) with sweet cream multigrain bread.

Secondly, rye multigrain bread with red bean stuffing with white sesame seeds sprinkled on top (see the red bean trend here? :)).

Last but not least, Original Sugar-Free Multigrain toast.

I certainly didn’t waste time tasting these doughy breads? I quickly incorporated the toast into my breakfast the next morning.

Original Sugar-Free Multigrain toast, papaya, guava, and Black Sesame & Honey Paste

Look how thick the slice is! So doughy and so soft! I ate that toast with some Black Sesame paste. On the side I enjoyed some fresh papayas and guava.I bet you’ve never seen green guava before :).

Guavaaaa, whole fruit.

Papayas the size (or larger) than footballs!

Cut up papayas and guava

Obsession #5: Amanda’s Blissful Banana Bread

I couldn’t help but pull out my baker’s hat (no I don’t really own one) after seeing Amanda, then Jessica, rave about it. I had a serious itch to try it, and it’s also been ages since I’ve made myself some ‘nana bread.Β  I deserve it. πŸ™‚

I substituted the spelt flour for whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt for regular yogurt, and maple syrup for honey. I also didn’t have ground flax seeds (omitted), and neither did I have coconut butter (replaced with vegetable oil). With all these modifications, I prayed that it would turn out alright. It did.

I couldn’t resist to sprinkle some muesli and some mini chocolate chips on top. Why, hello beautiful! πŸ˜€

I made these two days ago, and I had my last piece today while shopping and with an iced Starbucks latte. Truly b-l-i-s-s-f-u-l.

Obsession #6: Quaker’s Barley milk

Have I told you yet how much I love 7-eleven’s here in Taiwan? Yes! This is another one of my fabulous finds there!

Barley, barley loveee! πŸ™‚

~~

I’m meeting up with an awesome and lovely lady tomorrow for the first time. I’ll be showing her around Taipei city, as this is her first time to Taiwan. I cannnnnn’t wait! I’ve never done “touristy” things here before, so I’m actually excited to hop from one tourist attraction to another tomorrow!

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+ If you live in a big city or near tourist attractions, do you do “touristy” things?

+ Current obsessions?

+ Make sure to check out my guest post here!

Red, yellow, green

July 31, 2010 § 26 Comments

Unbearable…that’s how to describe Taiwan summers. It averages at least 90 degrees F here, which may seem ok, but take in mind that the humidity here is like 250%. I’m not even half exaggerating. The minute you walk out the door, you start to sweat like you just came out from under the Niagara Falls. Forget about taking a shower after your workout, because the sweating never stops!

Besides the unbearable humidity + heat here, my second day has been fab. I zonked out last night at about 9pm and woke up at about 5:50 am this morning. Woohoo almost 9 hours of sleep! And I’ve already completely overcome the time difference as I did not wake up even for one second during the night.

Anyone care for breakfast? How about some really fat finger bananas?

I taste like banana but have a slightly tart taste. I am also firmer than your regular bananas, but tremendously yummy!

I have a confession to make: I like finger bananas more than I like plain bananas. There, I said it.

I sliced half of this into a bowl with some kiwi and topped the fruits with some plain yogurt and honey on top.

One of the things that always catch me by surprise whenever I come back is how small everything here is compared to those in the states. Check out the size of this bowl! It’s literally palm-size. This would be considered a kids bowl in U.S. standards. No wonder people here are skinny.

On the side I had a slice of this bread that I got yesterday: whole grain with walnuts, dried figs, and brushed with honey on top. It’s one of my fav breads from one of my fav bakery! I always get this whenever I come back home.

Hey look! It’s a snail on my plate!

I also got the chance to hit up the gym this morning. Although it was only 25 min of running on the treadmill, I’m not joking when I say that every pore on my body was streaming out sweat. Okay that sounded quite gross but it was the only way I could think of to describe my condition as! I don’t sweat alot, but only in Taiwan do I sweat like this.

After that almost unbearable sweating session, my family and I went out for something totally bearable. We joined my grandparents for lunch at my favorite vegetarian restaurant here!

Beware! The sister makes her appearance on Om Sweet Om!

For starter, we had this “Energizing Juice“, a house specialty that blends various veggies, fruits, nuts, honey, and fruit vinegar into this yummy drink.

My main dish was a soup pot with a tomato-based soup, tons of veggies, mushroom, chestnuts, cashews, and Japanese sweet black beans. The soup pot came with 8 treasure rice, or, simply put, rice with 8 types of grains. This rice is really, really good! It has a slightly nutty flavor because of all the grains, and very chewy!

We also got a dish of stir-fry cabbage that was soooo sweet, soooo crisp, and just soooo yummy overall! The cabbage was cooked with mushrooms and goji berries. Two thumbs up!

The restaurant had a variety of soup pots to offer, and my sister got one of our favorite ones: Rosemary-infused veggie pot.

Remember the silver fungus I was talking about yesterday? Well, whaddya know, it has a cousin–the black tree ear fungus (aka cloud ear fungus)!

Similarly crunchy, chewy, and yummy!

My dad got the Cream of Veggies pot.

And my grandpa got the pumpkin fried rice.

And now, the most important part of a meal: dessert! I sound like a hypocrite saying that, because I didn’t have any! I was stuffed to the max by the time dessert came around. I think the heat really screws up your appetite.

Nevertheless…

Cold, sweet, thick mung bean and barley soup.

The afternoon was spent chilling and reading in a well air-conditioned (too cold!) Starbucks with my mom, and some cellphone browsing. iPhone or HTC? Well, I use a Macbook, so I think I should stick with the iPhone. 3Gs or 4? Well, I’ve heard enough flaws about the iPhone 4 that I decide to stick with the 3Gs. Hmm..that pretty much narrow down my choices to…one. If (or should I say when?) I am getting an iPhone, I’ll have to wait till I return to Cali since it’s alot cheaper in the U.S.

Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. My stomach agreed. Seriously, where did the afternoon go?

From top (clockwise): steamed cabbage, cold bamboo shoots, braised bamboo shoots/sea kelp/dried bean curd, and a Chinese veggie that has no corresponding English name. I ate this with leftover rice from lunch.

If you’re curious, bamboo shoots before peeling, steaming, and chopping into bite-sized pieces look like this:

To eat, these shoots are usually steamed first and peeled when cool. Afterwards they can either be cooked in soup or eaten cold dipped in some mayonnaise. We ate them cold tonight, but I went sans mayo since I’ve never been a big fan of mayonnaise.

I’m really sorry if I can’t give more accurate names or descriptions of certain vegetables that we eat here, because alot cannot be find in the States. Case-in-point:

On the top left is a type of Chinese vegetable that is usually stir-fried with some garlic. In raw form, you can see hints of red/purple in the leaves. When cooked, it leaves a residue of purple juice.

Protein of the night? A hot-spring egg that I got from 7-eleven today.

You must be thinking: What? At 7-eleven?! Yes indeed. I love 7-eleven in Taiwan because they offer a variety of health(ier) breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack food instead of your usual hot dogs, slurpees, and hot pockets. While they do sell those items at the 7-elevens here, there are actually more of prepackaged salads, fruit cups, yogurt, microwavable meals (okay, maybe not so healthy), fresh sandwiches, and rice balls wrapped in seaweed with either some sort of meat/seasoning/veggies.

What’s with the “hot springs”, you ask. It’s actually a Japanese-style of cooking eggs. These eggs are slowly cooked in hot water in hot springs (well, it doesn’t have to be cooked in a hot spring) of about 160 degrees F until the eggwhites are cooked and soft but the yolk is still runny. Kind of like your soft-boiled egg.Β  This one was probably cooked in soy sauce since it was well-seasoned.

Let’s talk about dessert…again. I did eat them this time.

My mom bought these cute little marshmallows as we were leaving Starbucks because she had an afternoon munchie attack. I ate them despite knowing that these contained gelatin. Here is where I am bending the rules of my vegetarianism.

Did I feel bad? Maybe a little. Was it good? Heck yes! They were soft and fluffy, maybe a tad sweet, but acceptable if you eat one or two at a time.

This is the type of situation where I let loose of my vegetarian lifestyle. Gelatin is derived from the collagen from inside animals’ skin and bones, and thus, not strictly speaking a vegetarian-friendly food. But over the past couple of years of my vegetarianism, I’ve come to accept the fact that I can’t always eat a clean, vegetarian diet all the time. There are gelatin hiding everywhere–in yogurts, candies, pudding, jello, marshmallows, desserts. Unless you have an encyclopedia of ingredient lists of all the food you’re eating with you all the time, it’s really hard to distinguish what has gelatin and what doesn’t when you’re eating out. This is exactly like what Katie was talking about, that sometimes veganism, or vegetarianism, aren’t black or white.

Marshmallows, as well as other food that may or may not contain gelatin (puddings, jello, gummy worms), are what I’ll term yellow light food. You know how when you see the light turning yellow, you’re not sure whether to step on the gas or hit the brakes? That’s what I’m referring to. There’s the obvious green light food for vegetarians (veggies, beans, tofu, milk, eggs) and the red light food (meat, duh).

Street scene on the streets of Taipei

But what about yellow? Should you go for it or stop yourself? Most of the time I stop (the same goes with my driving….REALLY!), but I can’t say that I’m completely clean.

So, dear readers, I leave you today with a question to ponder (before my laptop completely crashes from all the pictures overload): Are food items containing gelatin completely out of the bounds for vegetarians? Is an individual still considered a vegetarian if he/she knowingly consume food with gelatin?

Definition of a best friend

July 27, 2010 § 23 Comments

A best friend is someone who you know inside out and upside down.

A best friend is someone who knows you inside out and upside down.

A best friend is someone who doesn’t judge you.

A best friend is someone who you know for sure was your sister/brother in your past life.

A best friend is someone who you may not always hang out with, but know that she/he is always there when you need her/him.

A best friend is someone who points out your mistakes and flaws in the kindest, nonjudgamental ways.

A best friend is someone who you can trust your life with.

A best friend is someone who you can talk with for hours and hours on little and big things.

A best friend is someone who you share all your dreams with.

A best friend is someone who knows when to listen and when to talk.

A best friend is the first person who you tell or call if you’ve had a bad day, good news, or just because.

A best friend is someone who you can sit beside in silence and have the greatest conversation ever.

A best friend is someone who can almost always read your thoughts, and you hers/his.

A best friend is someone who you’d like to see and hug everyday.

A best friend is someone who’s left footprints in your heart.

Yesterday while Dmitri was on Kramster (a website where kids can ask any questions, ranging from math problems to proofreading an essay, and others answer), he came across a kid asking, “What is the definition of a best friend?” Whether the kid was fooling around or he really doesn’t know, I have no idea. How sad would it be to not know what a best friend is? I met my best friend when I was 10, and we’re still as tight as ever even if we’re 400 miles apart. Meeting my best friend was the best thing that happened to me.

+ Feel free to add to the list!

~~~

Quickie post of today’s eats:

Oats with almond milk and egg whites beat in. Oh my , egg whites made everything sooo voluminous! It was almost twice the volume of yesterday’s oats!

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • half a peach, chopped
  • 2 dried apricots, chopped
  • salt
  • cinnamon

The toppings today were the other half of the peach, passion mango butter, and a blob of sunflower seed butter.

Okay, seriously, why did I wait so long to try chopped dried apricots in oats? I think Jess had already raved about them countless times. Now I truly know how amazing they are in hot oatmeal!

I enjoyed every last bite of it with some tea…

…which came with a really nice quote!

You’ll be seeing alot of mish-mash of foods because I’m trying to clean out the fridge before I leave for Taiwan tomorrow!

Random salad with spinach and arugula, mashed sweet potato with black beans, leftover veggies from yesterday, roasted zucchini and roasted eggplants, and humnut dressing.

When I came home today, there was total power outage throughout the entire apartment community! Bummer 😦 I had dinner planned and marinating in the fridge, but no oven or stove! We decided to pull the emergency plan: Souplantation! It was good that we had a coupon too, so the buffet for two came down to $15 total.

They were supposed to get the power fixed by 8pm, but didn’t come on till about half an hour ago! We were living in the dark for an hour or so. Well, with a flashlight. We proceeded to playing this cute little game in the dark (with flashlight):

Halfway through, the light came on.

Check out Dmitri’s hands…

:mrgreen:

Okay. It’s way past my bedtime! Need to hit the sack soon! Nighty night!

A date with oatmeal

July 26, 2010 § 24 Comments

Today was an oatmeal kind of day.

Yes it is the middle of the summer, and yes it was after I was on the elliptical for 40 minutes and did about 15 min of light yoga afterwards–I was sweaty. But after that cinnamon roll yesterday, I couldn’t help craving for something warm, toasty, and, well, cinnamony.

When I first got introduced to oatmeal, my toppings were just the same old: cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, and occasionally some chopped walnuts. I experimented with it more as my relationship with oatmeal grew stronger, occasionally adding in chopped apples, chopped pears, stirring in bananas, or throwing in some mixed nuts in the end. And then I met the foodie blogworld, where everyone made their oatmeals in the morning look like desserts.

But sometimes, the good old can be just as good and somewhat nostalgic.

My plain-Jane oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 almond milk
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/2 banana (okay, maybe I cheated a little here)
  • dash of salt

Toppings

  • cinnamon sugar
  • raisins
  • chopped walnuts

Delicious, and hit. the. spot.

Okay, I may have cheated more than once. I couldn’t resist but throw in a handful of blueberries and a blob of sunflower seed butter after I’ve devoured half. πŸ˜›

Today while I ellipticalled, I cracked open my new-found book: The Yoga Body Diet.

One of the things mentioned in the introductory chapter that really caught my attention was the principle that we should eat 3 square meals a day without snacking. Their belief is that by not snacking between meals, we allow our digestive systems to properly digest everything and clear out the digestive tracts before our next meal. When we snack, we clog up the digestive tract with undigested food while the stomach has to get to work on the incoming food.

Which made sense, but what about the eating every 2-3 hours to help stabilize your blood sugar principle? Personally, I find that if I go too long without eating, I’d be starving by the next meal and just scarf down everything in sight. Not very healthy and friendly to the waist-line either.

So what’s the dealio?Β  I’d have to find out as I continue on reading. The book includes some sample meal plans and types of food to eat according to the three main body types: vata, pitta, and kapha. In Ayurveda (which literally translates to The Science of Life from Sanskrit), each one of us is born with all three of these doshas, or body types. However, we all have one predominant dosha. The doshas are based on four elements: fire, air, water, and earth. Vata types are made of air, while pitta types are made up of fire and water, and kapha types are made up of water and earth.

Another thing that I picked up from what I’ve read so far today is that we should always, always eat in a stress-free environment. Heart of the fight-or-flight response? Yep, that’s our sympathetic nervous triggers. Back in the days when humans are not snobby predators on top of the food chain, our stress responses were useful when we were running for our lives away from sabertooth tigers and what nots. When this particular switch is flipped on, our body starts storing fat as energy reserve, ’cause when you’re running for your lives, you don’t have time to down an energy bar or fuel up with some coconut water. You run like heck, and who knows when your next meal is?

Nowadays, there are so many stress triggers around us, from blaring TV’s to honking horns, 8+ hrs workdays to endless errands–we live in a stressful environment folks. And then our body would mistake that for a lion chasing us down in Africa and start storing fat.

So I know all of us bloggies like to hug our laptops while we sip our coffees and munch on breakfast in the morning. But reading and typing while eating in itself is causing stress, believe it or not. There are distractions, and your brain is thinking and thinking. Food won’t be digested properly, and you’re less likely to savor each bite of food. You also tend to eat more if you distracted while you’re eating.

This morning, I ate alone. In silence. No laptops opened, no books, nothing. It was me, my oatmeal, and some water. It was almost like having a one-to-one conversation with my oatmeal. Hi how are you? Fine, just dandy, and you? Oh I’m feeling glorious this morning. You’re delicious you know that? yes I know, and please give your full attention on me. I will.

What usually is a 5-8 minute breakfast for me lingered for more than 15 minutes today. I could feel my tummy filling up with each bite. I could feel when it was not hungry, and it was just below the line of being full. Fantastic, fantastic date with my oatmeal.

Unfortunately, my dinner wasn’t as distraction-free. Dmitri was watching Supersize Me on his laptop while we were eating.

Have you watched the documentary before? I watched it back in high school during our Health class. That was when I stopped eating at McDonald’s.

I tried making some sort of curry but failed miserably. No curry taste at all! I shouldn’t have added the half can of tomatoes in since it just overpowered everything.

I sauteed some onions in a pan with curry powder and a little tumeric till soft, then added in the canned tomatoes, cauliflowers, and cabbage. I covered the pan to let the whole thing simmer and steam a little. In another pan sprayed with cooking oil, I sauteed cubed tofu with curry powder till crispy, then threw the tofu into the veggie mix and combined everything.

Nutritional yeast saved it…sort of.

I almost poured some Almond milk into the picture to make it creamy. Fortunately I knew better, especially when the almond milk is vanilla-flavored. Vanilla-tomato-curry stir fry? I don’t think so.

Two more days till home-free! :D:D:D

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+ Anyone have good curry recipes out there?

28 miles, 2 burning quads, and 1 sore butt later…

July 25, 2010 § 21 Comments

…I was finally home.

Because of last week’s whale-watching fail, Dmitri and I braved the chance of biking those long 50 miles out to Newport beach. The roads were ugly alot of the time, with bumps and dips, and there were a few long stretches of uphill roads.

I filled my bottles with coconut water, which I finished within 2 hrs of our bike trip. It was so sweet and refreshing!

15 times the potassium? YES PLEASE! πŸ˜€

I also made myself an apple + brie sandwich on ab Ezekiel Sesame Toast for lunch.

Of course I had to bring some sort of snack. Enter: Mama Pea’s KIND bar.

…which turned out kind of soggy (everything was sort of falling apart!). I blamed it on the maple syrup (I should have used honey instead). I wrapped the somewhat more solid ones in plastic wrap and took them on the road. It’s just as delicious if you simply scoop the “dough” and eat them straight like that :D.

0 hr (7:10am). Little did Trekmeister and Ms. Gianta know that their mountain bike frames were going to be tested on the road.

25 miles and 2 hrs and 30 min later, I was exhausted.

28 miles and 2 hrs 45 minutes later, Dmitri got a punctured and flat tire. Fortunately, while I sat in Subway as Dmitri biked over to the nearest Target to get some rubber stuffings, he met a couple of bikers who happened to have equipments & tools on them!

28 miles and 4 hrs later, I called it quits. I’m usually not one to give up easily, but my quads were burning and my knees were starting to act up. I didn’t want to strain my knees because I have really bad knees!

5 hrs later, we were still circling around the city of Fullerton trying to find the nearest train station. Dmitri recently got the new Android phone and he was using the GPS on his phone to look for the Metrolink station. All the GPS did was take us in a big circle.

7 hrs later, we finally hopped onto the train heading to L.A. Union Station.

8 hrs and 25 min later, our train to Claremont departed from L. A. Union Station.

9 hrs and 5 min later, we arrived at Claremont and biked 2 miles back home.

9 hrs and 30 min later, with more than 28 miles behind me, 2 burning quads, and 1 sore butt, I was home.

I did a full on Savasana the moment I stepped into the house. Whale-watching still did not happen, but it will, it will, I PROMISE!

11 hrs and 30 min later, we celebrated our failure with McDonald’s McElaine’s.


On the menu:

  • Egg McMuffin (one fried egg and melty cheese)
  • Chicken McNuggets Boca McNuggets
  • French fries Carrot fries
  • Real fruit smoothie (yes real watermelon!)

I haven’t been to the Golden M in almost 6 years. I don’t plan to ever go there when I got this!

Dmitri got creative and made In & Out-inspired animal (carrot) fries!

Everything was lip-smacking delicious! And you bet I went back for more Boca McNuggets ;-).

After that lonnnnng day, I still had to drag my butt to lab for about an hour or so. I came home and was barely awake as I mindlessly skimmed through some blogs.

15 hrs and 10 min later (10:20 pm), I crashed onto the sweet comfort of my bed, and snoozed till 7 this morning. I feel so refreshed now!

Yesterday, Dmitri brought this banana on the road but didn’t get a chance to eat it. The poor banana barely made it.

Heat + bumpy roads = no good for bananas.

Well, with a banana like that, I can only think of one thing for the morning: Banana Pancakes!


Quick Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes
(adapted from Green Lite Bites)

  • 1 large overripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (forgot to add this, but still turned out a-okay!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg I used cinnamon because I didn’t have any of this
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and the milk. Whisk till light and frothy.

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and mix till just combined.

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Pour desired amount of batter into pan and cook about 1-2 min on one side, or till small bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side for another 1-2 min.

I made 4 small pancakes and 3 large ones.

Drizzled with watered-down PB2! I’m telling you PB2 makes the perfect pancake topper!

“…I’ll make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend now
…”

Pancakes with a side of yogurt for dippers and blueberries.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

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+ Do you know how to make perfectly smooth and even pancakes? I need help! My pancakes always turn out blotchy, with uneven brown spots!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

July 23, 2010 § 21 Comments

You make me happy, when skies are gray

You’ll never know dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

When I saw these gorgeous sunflowers at the Farmer’s market last night, I knew I had to get them. $5 for a bouquet of sunflowers? That’s definitely a steal! Sunflowers are my fav and I thought it’d brighten my home :D.

Other finds from the Farmer’s market:

KETTLE CORN!!! Zucchini ($1.00/lb), OKRAS!!!, and a huge package of ground flaxseeds for $4 only! I was very very pleased :mrgreen:.

I had a killer breakfast after my run this morning…pancakes! It’s a new recipe that I jotted down before I went to bed last night.

Amazing Banana Surprise Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1/3 cups oats
  • one egg white (3 Tbs)
  • one scoop chocolate protein powder (15 g)
  • one scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion
  • 2-3 Tbs almond milk (or any other milk you like)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • sliced bananas

Mix everything except the bananasΒ  in a bowl, and let sit for a couple of minutes. Spray a pan with cooking spray, and heat it up on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, turn heat down the medium. Scoop out about 2 Tbs of mixture for each pancakes (I made 3 small ones). Place one sliced banana in the middle of each pancake. Let it cook for about two minutes before flipping the pancakes over. Cook for another 2 min.

Arrange pancakes on a plate. Serve with your favorite toppings and devour!

I topped mine with watered down PB2 so that it has a runny consistency.

The amazing pancakes were accompanied by some sweet peaches and yogurt.

Banana surprise! (I had lousy picture-taking skills this morning)

Because of the Amazing Grass I did see some green specks in my pancakes. Some greens in the early morning don’t hurt right? Besides, I know all of you like downing Green monster smoothies in the morning too!

Yowza, these pancakes made me feel suuuppppperrrr energetic and awake afterwards!

Anyhooz, thanks Wei-Wei for notifying me that the cartoons that I posted in my last post weren’t showing up. Hopefully I’ve fixed it! Take a break, get some LOL’s in your system here.

Oh Friday…you are beautiful.

Have a laugh

July 22, 2010 § 5 Comments

My mom sent me an email filled with hilarious cartoon clips a couple days ago. Sometimes we all need to fill our days with more laughter…:lol:

Get a healthy body and mind with laughter!

Benefits:

  • Reduces stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine) and increases health-enhancing hormones (endorphins and other neurotransmitters)
  • Good physical and emotional release
  • Get those abs by laughing, ’cause you’ll be working out your diaphragm, abs, and even your shoulders
  • Leave muscles more relaxed
  • Distraction to negative feelings (anger, stress, guilt)
  • Encourages more “light-hearted” perspectives and optimism
  • Helps you become a social butterfly! Everyone loves someone who smiles and laughs!

…and of course I can’t talk about laughter and not watch another one of Mary Poppins’ songs:

After having had a good laugh, I started my morning with a bowl of fruit yogurt madness:

Similar to Tuesday’s, but minus the French toast waffle sticks and replaced with a toasted Ezekiel Sprouted Sesame Bread with PB2.

Yogurt, banana soft-serve, mangoes, blueberries, and toasted bread. Hallelujah! πŸ˜€

Dinner was a simple one, which I already whipped up yesterday! Cold pasta salad!

This dish had whole wheat penne pasta, broccoli, chunks of mozzarella, roasted eggplants, chopped tomatoes, olives tossed in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper, lemon juice, honey, and white wine vinegar.

All I did tonight was microwaved some peas and made some carrot fries.

Yumyum carrot fries!

Don’t you just love simple, fast dinners?

Not to mention the pasta salad was cold and well-marinated since it sat in the fridge overnight. For once I wasn’t sweating in the kitchen while cooking! 😎

Off to Thursday night Farmers market now! Summer seems to be a big Farmers market season. Hope I’ll get some cheap finds!

Hasta la vista amigas(os?)!

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+ Do you guys have any good jokes to share? πŸ˜€

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