July 23, 2010 § 21 Comments
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 bananas 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.
July 7, 2010 § 13 Comments
I’m experiencing one of those days when I just have no inspiration whatsoever for my blog, which I’m sure you’ve all had encountered at least once during your bloghood. BUT! Yes, there’s always a BUT! I do have alot of inspirational eats to share! If you guys don’t mind, it’s gonna be a short post with plenty of pictures and some captions 😀
I’ve noticed that my posts have been lacking in the dinner and other eats department…
How about some big-mouth burger?
Piled high with a Gardenburger Sundried Tomato Basil veggie burger, sauteed onions and mushrooms, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and lots of arugula. All between a whole-wheat sandwich thin! You gotta agree with me that the Sandwich thins are by far the best invention in the foodie world! While I love sandwiches and burgers, I don’t like having too much dough in the pile.
One thing I know for sure is that my version of the big-mouth burger is a whole lot better and healthier than this:
Speaking of healthified, here’s a healthified creamed spinach!
This simple recipe came from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet, which merely called for some silken tofu, spinach, a teensy butter, salt & pepper. I added some nutritional yeast for some cheesy flava!
What else can you play around with roasted sweet potato moons? In a sandwich of course!
Again, on a sandwich thin with brie cheese, sliced apples, and leftover roasted sweet potato. Oh man, this made a gourmet lunch! I heated this thing up for 30 secs in the microwave at work today so that the cheese was slightly melty and the apple slices were warm. Sooooo good! I was so sad when I finished my sandwich, even though I ate as slow as possible to savor it 😦
I’ve been wanting to make these oatmeal pancakes made with egg whites for some time now. I finally got the courage to spend a little extra money on grocery this week to buy a carton of egg whites (I hate wasting egg yolks!).
I’d have to admit, I was a little skeptical about the recipe at first. Oatmeal + egg whites + baking powder = pancakes???? Well, I got totally kicked in the butt by this recipe when my perfect pancakes were born.
Made myself a Chocolate PB2 + J pancake sandwich! The pancakes were sooo chewy! Love the texture too! 🙂
My pancake mix:
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- dash of sweetener
- vanilla extract
Yum yum yummidy yumyumyum!
Dinner today was quick and easy–literally from kitchen to table in 15 minutes or less! All thanks to this yummy find from Trader Joe’s.
All I did was pop it into the microwave for 4.5 minutes, and the spicy aroma was filling my kitchen! I served this along with TJ’s Whole Wheat Couscous, which was conveniently cooked in the microwave as well!
For the couscous:
- 1 cup couscous
- 1/2 cup veggie broth
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp curry powder
Microwaved for 3 minutes, fluffed it up, then added some more apple juice, curry powder, and about a tablespoon of honey. I also threw in half a chopped tomato. I almost added some red chili powder, but thank goodness I didn’t!
Because the Channa Marsala was spicy already!
Oh boy oh boy! This was surprisingly DELICIOUS! The couscous that I made up on a whim paired perfectly with the spicy channa marsala (also had a hint of sweetness). I served the couscous and channa marsala on top of a bed of romaine lettuce. Initially, it was just for aesthetic appeal, but my first bite of the meal told me otherwise.
The cool, crispy, and refreshing lettuce contrasted perfectly with the hot ‘n’ spicy channa marsala! With every bite I had a cooling crunch, a grainy delight, and an excitingly hot flavor!
Definitely repeating this dinner!
Now I’m off to bake 3 batches of cookies for tomorrow’s Biology Department Potluck. 😀
+ What’s your favorite Indian dish?
June 27, 2010 § 10 Comments
= baking + cooking day!
I love it when weekends are relaxing and actually feel like summer! Yesterday’s BBQ was a blast. Well technically it wasn’t a barbeque because we were served corn tortillas, spanish rice, black beans, refried beans, guacamole, salsa, chips, you know the fare. I didn’t feel comfortable whipping out my camera and obsessing over all the angles of the food there, so I didn’t have any pictures to show you. I had two small corn tortillas topped with rice, beans, cilantro, guacamole, green & red salsa, dollop of sour cream. So good! For dessert we had watermelons and homemade chocolate marbled bundt cake!
After a day’s rest yesterday, my body was ready get back and rock ‘n’ roll!!! Haha literally, ’cause I had the best run in a long time this morning! I finished 5 miles strong in about 47 min (best time yet!), and felt I still got energy for one or two miles.
I came home, took a shower, and recharged with this breakfast.
Microwaved till tortilla was warm. Then I decided to whip up some vanilla-scented yogurt to keep the little guy company (and for added protein of course :-D).
Oozing with goodness.
As always, running makes me hannnnngry. But I need to go to lab today to do some work, so I made a quick Green monster smoothie, but with a new twist!
See that beautiful green? It’s from avocado girlies! I added half an avocado to buff up the creaminess and for some healthy fats! That 24-oz tumbler you see is my new find from Bed Bath & Beyonnnnd yesterday. I’ve been meaning to get the Starbucks one, but those are kind of expensive. This one was $7.99!
Lab work –> TJ’s –> Sprout’s –> Home.
It was already 1pm by the time I got home from all the errands. I love simple but satisfying lunches, and I couldn’t think of a better one than an egg wrap!
This wrap totally rocked my day! I even took out my blender to whisk the 1 egg + 1 egg white so that it will be nice and fluffy when I cook it. Haha even Dmitri agreed that the eggs looked “pretty” when I was cooking them. Halfway through cooking the eggs, I threw in a handful of spinach and folded the eggs in half. I then layered the tortilla (La Tortilla 100-calorie wrap) with Laughing Cow Light Swiss, TJ’s spicy hummus, the eggs + spinach, some ketchup. On the last minute, Dmitri suggested I spread on some of his TJ’s Olive Tapenade. I concurred…hahaha. He’s learning to be creative too! 🙂
Eww okay this picture turned out gross and blurr. I love the green sandwiched between the white and beige though!
Lunch was served with some leftover slaw and green beans.
The afternoon was spent with some quality-napping, cooking, baking, and lounging in the sun!
Sneak peak at what I baked today:
Recipe to come tomorrow! Stay tuned 😉
In other news, I decided to follow the blogworld trend and try out the raved and praised Jenna’s Lentil Walnut Loaf! I’ve been looking for the perfect lentil loaf recipe since…uh..since I can remember? It was love at first sight when I saw these circulating the bloggieworld this past week. It’s somewhat time-consuming, but the results are soooooo worth the effort!
After I dumped the loaf grubs into the loaf pan, I stopped working and accompanied Dmitri to the pool. Poor thing had been cooped up at home all afternoon while I was busy minding my own businesses. I thought I could be his play date for awhile :-D.
To the pool!
Who doesn’t love a warm sunny afternoon with a gentle breeze, the pool, a good book, and plain relaxation?
Dmitri found me a pretty flower! 🙂
It was 6:40pm already when we returned. I quickly made the glaze for the loaf and popped it into the oven. Grumble grumble tummy!
At last, the sweet-smelling loaf was ready for some serious devouring!
Hmm…the results were kind of crumbly, not because it was too dry, but it was actually kind of wet. Perhaps letting the mixture sit in the loaf pan while we were at the pool wasn’t a good idea. Those onions can sure leak!
It was yummy nevertheless. I had a mini 2nd serving for myself, and there’s still some for lunch tomorrow! Nom nom nom.
A night isn’t a night without some sweet endings.
I blended some frozen bananas and frozen strawberries with a splash of soymilk to make this Strawberry-Banana softserve. I then topped this creamy deliciousness with some nonfat plain yogurt, PB2 (yes I eat them just straight up sometimes), Nature’s Path Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch, and lastly some of April’s addicting protein brownie batter! This was so good and made me so full!
What I baked today is supposed to sit in the fridge overnight for the optimal flavor, but that didn’t stop Dmitri and I from sampling a small piece. I got four words for you:
Creamy, smooth, spongey, tangy.
+ What are your favorite Sunday activities?
June 17, 2010 § 9 Comments
I’m in a swell mood today, folks, mainly because I got to leave the lab at 5:15pm! It’s supposedly a 9-5 job, but somehow it turned out to be more like 9-6, sometimes 9-7, and one incident of 9-8:45.
Anyhooz, after yesterday’s divine eats for breakfast, my cravings did a 180 this morning and I went for the basics. Sometimes a simple breakfast can be as glorious, if not more, than an elaborate one.
A grapefruit. Hah, like that’s gonna keep me full for the next 4 (5? or maybe 6?) hours.
A toasted Ezekiel cinnamon-raisin English muffin, topped with PB2 and raspberry preserves. I cut up half of the grapefruit (hello! long time no EAT!) to go with some cottage cheese (topped with more raspberry preserves).
Oh, forgot about my daily Teeccino.
Taa-daa! Oohh and you can see the steam from my “coffee”! 🙂
And of course, no mornings are complete without this face!
This was yummilicious, and surprisingly held me for the next 4.5 hours. I usually need a snack 2.5-3 hrs after my brekkie, especially this past week when I was always hungry. Was it high amounts of fiber, or the satiating all natural plant protein in the English muffin? Either way, I need to get some more Ezekiel stuff.
After reading Julie’s post last night, I was craving some fried eggs myself. I thought, why not incorporate it into lunch tomorrow? And a bagelwich was born, created by cinnamon spice alternative bagels, arugula, basil, Laughing Cow Light French Onion Cheese, a fried egg, and a squirt of ketchup. Who would have thought fresh basil tastes oh-so-good in a sandwich? Especially with cheese & egg? I did not provide a picture here because 1)I forgot to snap some shots of it when I finished making them last night, and 2) they were already in the most unpresentable, unphotogenic (is that a word?) state when I opened my sandwich package. But I believe you’re all creative people, so use your imaginations 🙂
I was excited about getting off from work early today, but was more excited about the dinner I’ve been daydreaming about while in lab (I am certainly not a model scientist!). I bathed some gigantic portabello mushrooms last night in balsamic and olive oil, but wasn’t sure where to go from there. A burger? A salad? Burger? Salad?
Mainly because I enjoyed the Portabello Cobb Salad so much that I wanted to recreate it. So after work I stepped on the gas and accelerated home (within speed limit of course! :-)), chopped up veggies, did some sizzlin’, roastin’, seasonin’, and dinner was on the table.
The salad menu: arugula, tomatoes, chopped celery, roasted eggplants, roasted zucchini, roasted red peppers, sauteed onions, chopped hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and of course the star, portabello mushrooms. I dressed the salad in some salt + pepper, and doused it with more balsamic + olive oil combo.
I realized the salad wasn’t picture-perfect, i.e., the ingredients were not placed in a “pretty” manner. I just kind of threw all the veggies onto the plate one after the other. At least it’s presentable right? 🙂
So I’ve been dreaming about this idea for a couple of weeks now: EcoEd Thursdays. I grew up in a fairly environmentally-conscious country and family, and ever since my becoming a yoga enthusiast 4 years ago and a vegetarian almost 2 years ago, my awareness for the environment has jumped up several notches.
Despite the fact that all who are hanging out in the food blog community are die-hard foodies and will probably never get bored of reading, writing, dreaming about food, I feel like blogs still need some variety. Hopefully, I’ll have enough topics racked up in my brain to keep y’all entertained for a good while.
So, without further adieu, the first post of EcoEd Thursdays……(drum roll)……
PLASTIC BAGS VS TOTE BAGS!
If there are any patriots out there, please do not be offended by what I have to say next. But for a “developed country,” the United States does the most horrible job at raising awareness for recycling. Look at your local grocery stores, they put 3 items in a flimsy plastic bag and call that “packed.” It’s no surprise that a regular weekly grocery run would end you up with 10 more plastic bags.
Taiwan, on the other hand, sets great examples in my opinion. What’s Taiwan compared to the great United States of America? A measly island that nobody cares about (I get the “Is it part of Thailand?” wayyyy too much). And if they do care, it’s always about China vs. Taiwan. Or the same old argument saying that Taiwan is part of China. Sorry, getting off topic.
Back to the business about plastic bags, in Taiwan you have to buy plastic bags if you go to the store. This encourages people to bring their own reusable bags or tote bags. However, unlike the flimsy plastic bags that can’t even hold the smallest weight in the gym without tearing up, the plastic bags in Taiwan are made out of some durable stuff! Heck, you can put 5 bottles of 1-liter sodas and you’ll still be fine.
According to this website:
- The U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually, which requires approximately 12 million barrels of oil to make that many plastic bags
- Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food
- The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store
- Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. The bag will pay for itself if your grocery store offers a $.05 or $.10 credit per bag for bringing your own bags
So next time you hit up the store, remember to bring your own reusable or tote bags! Even when I go clothes shopping, I carry my own tote bags and just ask them to put the clothes in there. Think of how many lives you’ll be saving, especially now that the numbers of marine animals are plummeting due to the oil spill. What a tragedy 😦
That concludes my first EcoEd post. I don’t really have a detailed route as to what direction these posts will go, but I am open to any suggestions you guys have!
I am outz! TGIF tomorrow! 😀
+ What’s your favorite “basic” breakfast?
June 7, 2010 § 9 Comments
It’s been two days since I last blogged, but I felt like I needed a little break. For those who blog 3 times a day, I don’t know how you do it and not feel exhausted. For me blogging takes up a chunk of my time in the evenings, and sometimes I’d rather just curl up on the couch and do some good reading, catch up on some tv shows, or tinker away in the kitchen. Maybe because I’m relatively new to this whole blogging shebang so I haven’t quite gotten down the strategy to blog efficiently.
Anyways, alot has happened since the last time I blogged, which was Friday night, but all seems like a haze now! The weekend just kind of flew past me and now as I sat here I am struggling to retrace what I did on Saturday.
Ohhh that’s right. I went for about a 4-5 mile run in the morning, then pretty much did nothing till later that evening. What I am sure of is that I made myself some Greek yogurt! I love greek yogurt, but they tend to be pretty expensive, so after reading Allie’s post, I decided to give it a try. I used TJ’s Organic Plain Nonfat Yogurt, and used a tiny coffee filter to strain the yogurt into creaminess. Yup, I’m ghetto like that.
It’s still slightly more tart than your store-bought Greek yogurt, but the creaminess was spot-on! Maybe I’ll make this enough that I can convince myself to buy a cheesecloth so that I can just dump the whole tub of yogurt onto the cheesecloth instead of doing single cup at a time.
After having mastered my Greek yogurt, my tummy told me it was time for lunch. I whipped up a really quick wrap that included 1 egg + 1 egg white, arugula and some feta cheese. On the side I had a few stalks of celeries, PB2 and Oasis Natural’s Cilantro & Jalapeno hummus. I love all their hummus!
Dessert was TJ’s Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark! I couldn’t resist when I saw this big box of chocolate was only $1.99! And again, TJ did not disappoint–these were sooooo good! I can’t get enough of the sweet & salty crunch!
I had this times two!
Later that evening, Dmitri and I met up with some friends who arrived back at school for Global Clinic. Global Clinic is a project where the students here get to cooperate with overseas students to work on a project. One of my friends’ project is focused on how to get clean water to certain areas of Cambodia that do not have access to drinkable water. It’s really cool when you’re in a small (literally only about 800 undergraduates here!) engineering school. Alot of my friends are engineers, and I’ve heard really cool projects that apply to the society. Many had the opportunity to work on projects for Nike, Bio-Med companies, etc.
Anyways, we went out to dinner to a nearby Mexican restaurant & bar called Espiau’s with my friends and their Singaporean teammates. I refrained from taking pictures because I didn’t want to look like a total dork in front of everybody. But I can tell you what I ordered: Mushroom cheeseburger with veggie patty, no cheese, and fruits on side. Their burgers are just the right portion, but their other orders are huge! For example, last time I got a cheese enchilada that comes with refried beans and rice. First of all, I like cheese. But my enchilada was smothered in cheese! It was delicious the first few bites, but then my tummy felt so greasy and uncomfortable afterwards.
A game of RoboRally ensued in one of my friends’ suite and turned the night into alot of laser shooting and getting carried away by conveyor belts.
Sunday morning I woke up bright and early at 6:30am. I really wanted to sleep in a little more, but my body has gotten used to getting up at 5:45am almost everyday. I think I usually get less sleep on the weekends because I would stay up later, but still wake up at about the same time. Ugh. Nevertheless, it was a day for some yoga, and after 1.5 hr of a sweaty session, I showered and got to work on these gourmet vegan protein pancakes a la Mama Pea. I used Biochem Chocolate Fudge Whey Protein to make chocolatey pancakes. I also added a Tbsp of flaxseeds for some added healthy fats and fiber, and about 3 Tbsp of whole wheat flour because they seemed kind of watery after I blended everything.
I was licking my spatula the whole time I was mixing, cuz the batter was just irresistable! 😉
The puuuuuuuuurrrrfect pancake topped with some cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, thawed frozen strawberries, and drizzles of Walden Farms Sugar-Free Carb-Free Blueberry syrup. T’was a GREAT way to start a Sunday!
Not longer after our late brekkie, Dmitri & I took a field trip to 99 Ranch Asian Market to stock up on groceries. He got not one, not two, but THREE bags of frozen vegetarian dumplings! THREE! He loves dumplings more than I do!
And once our fridge was happily stocked, I had a little “snack” in place of lunch. I wasn’t all that hungry because it was a pretty big breakfast. Egg whites it was!
With arugula and a wedge of Laughing Cow’s Cheese folded in, and topped with ketchup and lots of salsa! There can never be too much tomato-based sauce, right? 😉
We then trekked off to Pasadena to meet up with some friends to do some flea market shopping, where I got a potato masher for two dollars. Not bad eh? 🙂 I love going to flea markets because you never know what goodies you might be able to find. That afternoon I was on the scour for kitchen goods.
Speaking of Pasadena, anyone been to/heard of Roscoe’s? Aka “the House of Chicken ‘n Waffles.” It’s kind of a weird combo, ain’t it? Here you have waffles (sweet) and chicken (savory) on the same plate. It’s very famous in the Los Angeles area, but my boyfriend said it was disgusting to have syrup mixed up in his chicken. Me? Never tried. I’ve only heard of it after becoming a vegetarian.
Dinner featured Teriyaki Quinoa from Thursday, but I added in some frozen veggies to make it like a fried rice dish. The quinoa was complemented with steamed cabbage and edamame.
All in all, a pretty well-rounded meal! Grains/Carbs from the quinoa, cabbage as veggies, and edamame for protein.
Here marks the point where I started going a little bit crazy in the kitchen…
First of, homemade whole wheat pita. I made slight changes from the original recipe by adding about 3 cups of whole wheat flour instead of 2 3/4 cups flour and 1/3 cup gluten. Anyone know what difference the gluten would make to the bread?
While I was waiting for the dough to rise, I went to town with homemade pumpkin butter. I followed this recipe, but halved the recipe and added barely half a cup of sugar. I don’t like my food too sweet! It was so easy to make and yummy! I’ve never had store-bought pumpkin butter, so I don’t know how it compares, but I’m happy with my results!
Stirring & simmering away!
While that was simmering, I got to work on my third task: homemade hummus following this recipe by Brown Eyed Baker. I don’t know what it was but the taste was kind of off…a bit sour. Too much lemon juice perhaps? We’ll see how it tastes today after having been refrigerated for a day.
And finally…my pita bread was ready and hot from the oven!
Instead it was just BREADY all over. So I did some research and troubleshooting, and the most likely problems were that:
- I flattened them out too much.
- I didn’t let the dough rise enough.
- The oven wasn’t hot enough (MUST be 500 degrees).
Okay, I confess. I flattened the breads out a little more after they had been rising to make them bigger, but I just popped them immediately into the oven without letting them rise some more. Maybe that was it. Nonetheless, failures call for another try! I’m determined to make the perfect pita bread!
+ How often do you blog? Do you feel like you need some breaks from blogging from time to time? And how long does it usually take you to write up an entry? It takes me about 1 hr to write up an entry, partially because the internet is a slow-poke where I live, and so pictures take forever to load. And like I’ve said before, I sometimes definitely feel too lazy to blog.
+ What’s your favorite board game? RoboRally was fun, but I’m currently also obsessed with Apples-to-Apples. Does that count as a board game?