July 25, 2010 § 22 Comments
The banana pancakes this morning kept me full for 4 full hours! It must be the combination of bananas plus whole grains and some protein! Definitely a keeper of a recipe.
As if we didn’t get enough eggs last night, the star of my lunch today were…eggs.
I used Allie’s method of cooking her eggs, and by golly, they indeed turned out beautiful! How shameful of me to cover them in nooch before I took a picture to do them justice. 😐
The eggs were on a bed of spinach and arugula, with some sugar snap peas, red pepper, roasted eggplants, and roasted sweet potatoes on the side. Can’t have roasted sweet potatoes without the ketchup!
I don’t know what took me so long to try date + nut butter, but it totally blew me away when I popped this bite-sized dessert in my mouth!
Like what any normal person would do on a lovely Sunday afternoon, we window-shopped at this beautiful outdoor mall called Victoria Gardens in the P.M.
I guess my legs were a bit tired and sore from the long-a$$ bike ride yesterday, so we came home for some splashing in the pool. While we were in the jacuzzi (hot tub) to end our splashing session, these two little girls (3 and 7 maybe?) joined us. At first I was playing with them, so I cupped my hands to get some foam and blew it at them. You know, for fun. They returned the foam blowing. At first it was just friendly and fun, and then they started to get violent! They’d put the foam on my head and pat my head, hard. They also splashed me in my face with the warm water :(. Now that’s not cool. I know, I know, they’re just kids, and I do love playing with kids. But sometimes they need to know when they’re stepping out of the line!
- 3 La Tortilla Low-Carb tortillas
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup feta
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- salt & pepper
But first, the onion broke my fragile little heart. It laughed at me as I shed tears and cursed at it.
Well, I’m a tough girl so for my sweet revenge I sauteed it with some mushrooms in a little olive oil. I added the spinach to block out its glistening, golden eyes. I dumped everything onto the “crust” that was simply 3 layers of tortillas, and buried the onion deeper with the feta cheese.
I mixed the 2 eggs plus the yogurt in a bowl and whisked till well incorporated. I poured the egg mixture over everything.
I put the okras that I got on Thursday to use. I usually eat them steamed with some soy sauce, but this time I decided to roast them. It was a good plan 😀
A wholesome meal!
Oh onions, why must you cry and turn the crust soggy? Well, I believe the yogurt was his accomplice too. See, I used plain yogurt which contained more water than your regular greek yogurt. Gosh darn it, I should have strained the plain yogurt first!
Now go and enjoy your Sunday evening!
+ What are you favorite shops at the mall?
July 20, 2010 § 35 Comments
Yes, everyone can do yoga, even if you are the most inflexible person on the face of the planet. My favorite pose out of thousands of yoga poses is easily this:
Savasana is a pose of total relaxation, in which your body is in the most natural and neutral position. It is mostly used at the end of a yoga practice for the body to relax its muscles after usage and for the mind to savor the blissful moments of yoga. In our high-stress, fast-paced world today, everybody needs a little savasana now and then.
- Calms the mind and eases stress
- Relaxes the body
- Reduces headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
- Helps lower high blood pressure
Well, it definitely is not called “corpse pose” for no reason! In this position, you should be as limp as a dead person, your breath so still that you can barely hear it yourself, and your muscles so relaxed that you feel like your entire body is sinking to the floor beneath you.
- Lie down on a comfortable spot (duh). Make sure you got plenty of space around you so you don’t feel cramped.
- Check the alignment of your body. Make sure your legs are angled evenly in respect to the mid-line of your body, and let your feet fall naturally to either sides. Your pelvis should be resting lightly on the floor. With your hands, lift the the base of the skull away from your neck and and release the back of your neck towards your tailbone (you can use a folded towel to support your neck too).
- Let your shoulders, arms, and back relax. Imagine yourself sinking. If it helps, reach your arms toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor, to help broaden your back and shoulders. Then release back down. Rest the back of your hands gently on the floor and release any tension.
As simple as this pose may seem, it is harder than you thought. Sure, all you are doing really is lying on the floor in some sort of spread-eagle style, but willing your body for total relaxation is not such an easy task. After years and years of practice, I still struggle with Savasana. Sometimes my mind will be racing, thinking about what to wear for the day, what to eat for breakfast, and going through my mental to-do list. Sometimes my muscles are still contracting, subconsciously.
However, over the years I have developed a mental checklist before I delve into Savasana.
Step 1: After you’ve lied down on your back (as described above) and aligned yourself, take a few deep breaths. Inhale into your tummy, and exhale through your mouth. With each exhale imagine the tension and stress being released from your body.
Step 2: Starting from the top of your head, scan your body mentally to make sure every inch of you is relaxed.This is where it gets interesting, because what you think is a “relaxed” state isn’t really. Soften your forehead, your eyebrows, the root of your tongue, the wings of your nose, the channels of your inner ears, and the skin on your face. Let your eyeballs sink towards the back of your head, and give in entirely to gravity.
Step 3: Clear your mind as if you’re about to enter a deep slumber. But don’t fall asleep! It’s a tough trick to achieve the balance between falling asleep and maintaining an awaken mind. If thoughts arise in your head, don’t force it away. Instead, observe it as if you’re an outsider, and watch it subside. You’ll find that your thoughts are really like waves. They come and go, some large some small.
I like to do a little 5-min Savasana before I go to bed each night. Not only does it help me relax my entire body, it sort of “prepares” me for bed. Something like a “transition” from being awake to going to sleep. It tells my mind and body that it’s that time of the day to rest. I’m generally a very light sleeper, and I find that this little exercise before bed helps me fall into a deeper slumber 100% better! If I don’t do this pre-bed ritual, I’ll fall asleep but not be as rested.
+ Do you have a “pre-bed ritual” that you like to do?
After my Savasana of the morning, which follow my yoga practice, I needed some refueling to tackle the day. I’m glad to announce that Ms. Buddha Bowl is back! 😀
It’s a yogurt-cottage cheese banana soft-serve fruit bowl with french toast waffle sticks! Whew, long name. Okay, so from bottom to top:
- ~ 2 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt (all that I had left 😦
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese
- banana soft-serve using 3/4 of a medium banana
- sliced fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries
- French toast waffle sticks
For the french-toast waffle sticks I used Van’s Wheat free/Gluten free Blueberry Waffles. I cut them into strips and dunked them into an egg white mixture of about 1/4 cup egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of almond milk. I cooked them on a pan sprayed with butter spray till crispy and browned. Yumyumyum! 😀
The banana soft-serve + cottage cheese + yogurt combo made the perfect dipping sauce for the french toast waffle sticks!
I don’t usually take pictures of my lunch, since they’re usually leftovers from the night before. When I do have interesting lunches I always share! But for now…
Hi, my name is Elaine and I’m addicted to jam + cheese sandwiches.
I was totally going to make a kick-butt dinner tonight, but I got home late and my laziness settled in. I usually just want to whip up something quick ‘n’ easy when the clock is ticking close to 7 o’clock.
+ Do you have a time that is “too late” to make fancy dinner that requires alot of assembly, chopping, standing by the stove, etc?
Needless to say, roasted broccoli is the staple quickie dinner veggie (for me at least).
I also had some more leftover roasted butternut squash.
But what made the dinner interesting was this:
Some sort of eggplant roll-up? So I got the idea of rolling up eggplant from Jenny (who is a big MJ fan btw :-)). I wanted to roast some eggplant. But I also wanted to eat the tempeh I got last weekend. I also didn’t want cheese.
Please don’t judge me. I don’t know where I got the crazy lady idea of rolling the eggplant with tempeh.
I cut up some TJ’s 3 grain tempeh into bite-sized chunks and microwaved them till warm. I then put one little chunk in the middle of each slice of roasted eggplant, topped with TJ’s Garlic Marinara sauce, and rolled them up with more marinara sauce on top. Oh, and don’t forget that my dinner was doused in nutritional yeast.
Like I was saying, please don’t judge me. It was delish and satisfied my “tempeh-tooth.” I must admit that the first time I tried tempeh I was slightly taken aback by its pungent flavor. But I’ve come to love it! I love the grainy texture and the slightly nutty taste. It’s filling and high in protein too!
Before I go, I’ll leave you with this:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with some crispy green seedless grapes.
June 23, 2010 § 13 Comments
First of all, I’ve updated my Meet Me page. It’s newer, spankier, more thorough, more detailed, and you can learn more about me now! 😀
This week is one of those weeks when I just feel like I’m running out of steam. I felt like I was just dragging my body around the lab the whole day yesterday! Thankfully, tomorrow I decided to take a “reading day” off. Ever since I started this research thing back in May, I haven’t had the time to really sit down and read primary papers that might be of importance to my project. Tomorrow will be, simply put, “sit-on-my bum-all-day-and-read” day. I’m usually not one who likes to veg out all day, but I am actually looking forward to a day of resting my legs a bit.
What’s a foodie gotta do when he/she is running out of steam?
Cook and eat! (balanced out with exercise, of course)
Lately, I’ve been indulging in foods from all seasons.
From the summery raspberry concoctions…
To some fall flavors.
While the boyfriend opted for some wintery cuisine.
What about spring? Maybe some cool slaw?
Tossed in Waldens Farm’s Raspberry viniagrette, more white vinegar, honey, and pepper.
Ate the slaw with a quesadilla made with TJ’s spicy hummus and nutritional yeast, pressed in La Tortilla’s 100-calorie wrap.
I definitely like their soft wraps the best. So soft and chewy! But alas, they are the most expensive, and only comes in 6 tortillas per package :-(.
Okay, so now that you’ve all been pumped with some food pictures, don’t mind me while I go on and whine about my problems lately.
Lately, I’ve been feeling stressed in the kitchen, usually before dinnertime. Mornings are my calmest times, where I can let my creativity flow as I scavenge for my victims in the fridge and pantry to make a delicious breakfast. Come dinnertime, I am cranky, impatient, and lacking creativity (at least for this week). I guess it’s the combination of long work days, coming home to a house that is “messy” (in my definition), a boyfriend that is clearly hungry, and trying to get dinner on the table as soon as possible.
Call me superstitious, spiritual, whatever, but I am a firm believer that good food is prepared with calm minds, gentle hands, and most of all, with love. That is why home-cooked meals outrank any 5-star restaurants dishes, because they are prepared in a household filled with love and happiness.
In yoga and Buddhism, there is a belief that one can taste the mindset of whoever prepared his/her meal when he/she prepared it. If the cook’s mind is disturbed, angry, upset, or frustrated at the time he or she prepares the meal, that same energy is transferred into the food, and whoever ate it will obtain that negative energy. On the other hand, if the cook is calm, grounded, and undisturbed, the positive energy will flow from the cook to the food to the eater.
Now, nobody wants bad energy flowing around do they?
But that’s what I’ve been this past week: a grumpy, grumpy old cook.
Stress definitely is not a good thing to bring into the kitchen. Everything will go wrong if you bring that monster in. I slightly burned one of the omelet on Monday because my mind was distracted. Today, I initially wanted to make some sort of sweet potato hummus quesadilla, but the sweet potato got burnt in the microwave while cooking, which almost set of the fire alarm. Almost.
As for the slaw, I initially wanted to go the creamy route, where I’d mix in some yogurt, honey, mustard, etc. But my creativity was blocked while my stress took over.
Trust me, it’s no fun to cook when your mind is everywhere but in the present–right there, in the kitchen, meditating on preparing your food.
You heard me right, it’s cooking meditation, ladies and gents, boys and girls.
It makes perfect sense, because when you’re preparing your food (in a calm mindset, of course), your breathing is steady, your mind is focused on what is in front of you, whether it be on the stove, the cutting board, mixing bowl, etc. It’s just you, your food, and your kitchen gadgets.
In order to avoid taking my stress with me into the kitchen, starting tomorrow I will take a deep breath, exhale slowly for 10 seconds, shed all thoughts and distractions from the day, before I step into the kitchen.
Stress, be GONE!!!
Because the kitchen is a sacred place where energy is transferred. Cherish it.
+ Have you been on a raspberry obsession like I have? How are you eating them? I eat them alone, simmered with preserve, or topped on yogurts or ice cream! 😀
+ How do you feel when you are in the kitchen in the morning? Noon? Evening? I am usually the calmest in the morning, because my mind is still free of the distractions that will come throughout the day. I am also usually the only person up at that time, so the house is really quiet.