Very raspberry

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…

Raspberry preserve + sliced fresh raspberries, and Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese wedge on cinnamon spice Alternative bagel.

Banana + PB wrap topped with raspberry ricotta sauce (raspberry preserve + fresh raspberries + a scoop of ricotta, simmered on low heat). Cottage cheese and more sauce, raspberries, and cinnamon for dippage.

To some fall flavors.

Homemade Greek yogurt with sliced bananas, Lauren's (Whole Wheat or Bust) pumpkin roasted chickpeas, homemade pumpkin butter, and more cinnamon!

Yum yum chickpeas!

While the boyfriend opted for some wintery cuisine.

Moroccan "Lamb" Stew cooked by the boyfriend. The "lamb" was replaced by TJ's Beefless strips. Served with whole wheat couscous, roasted broc & carrots.

my plate

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.

Quesadilla overdrive!

May 23, 2010 § 9 Comments

Yup, after my SB&B Quesadilla this morning, I made yet another quesadilla for lunch today. I was starving after a pretty sweaty workout (it’s chilly in So-Cal today!). And all throughout my workout I’ve been thinking about what to whip up for lunch.

Enters: Cheesy Hummus & Eggwhite Quesadilla!

Seriously, I should buy tortillas more often, because they are so versatile! I especially like La Tortilla Factory’s tortillas because not only are they low in carbs, high in fiber, but still retain that doughy, chewy taste of regular tortillas, if not better! This quesadilla also featured another new product I bought yesterday when I went grocery shopping: Oasis Natural’s Cilantro & Jalapeno hummus. I admit that I was a little skeptical at first about this hummus. I’ve bought other flavors of Oasis Natural’s hummus and they’re all delicious. I wasn’t sure whether this hummus will be spicy, or too strong of a flavor. It turns out it was absolutely heavenly. Thank you Oasis Naturals, you’ve impressed me again!

For this one-serving quesadilla, I used

  • 1/3  eggwhites, whisked
  • Oasis Naturals Cilantro & Jalapeno Hummus
  • One wedge of Laughing Cow Light Cheese (I had French Onion)
  • Half of a yellow pepper, half of red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp salsa

First, I roasted the peppers at 425 degrees in the oven, sprayed with some cooking spray, salt & peppah. While that is roasting, I cooked the eggwhites in a skillet, sprinkled with some salt, pepper, garlic salt, and parsley.I then folded the eggwhites over (half moon shape).

To assemble, I lay a La Tortilla Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Whole grain white on a flat surface. I spreaded the hummus on one half of the tortilla, and the cheese on the other half. I then slid the cooked egg whites on one half. At this point, the peppers should be about ready. So I took them out and lay them on top of the eggs. Folded the half over, and heated the entire quesadilla on medium heat on a pan sprayed with cooking spray. It helps to slightly press down on the quesadilla with your spatula while cooking to help the contents stay together (& creamier!). I flipped the quesadilla onto its other side after about 3 min, or when the bottom side was slightly golden brown and spotted, then continued to let it cook till the edges of the tortilla became crispy. And now, ready for eating! 😀

I actually lifted my quesadilla added about 2 tablespoonfuls of salsa. No quesadilla is complete without some salsa or hot sauce!

On the side, I had some leftover peppers that didn’t fit in the quesadilla, and also Kath’s kale chips! I’ve been wanting to try kale chips for months now, but haven’t found the right kale today. The ones I saw at my grocery stores were all “scrawny-looking” and just didn’t appeal to me. I visited the Farmer’s market today, and boom, there were bunches of perfect, large, leafy kales sitting there waiting for me! I only grabbed one bunch today. Sighhhhh shouldn’t grabbed like 4 bunches, especially now I know how awesome these kale chips are! That crunch when you bite into a leaf is just so satisfying! Can you believe it? Healthy, green chips!

Munch. Crunch. Munch. Crunch crunch.


Anyway, time to shamelessly advertise a Junghwa’s giveaway, featuring Batucada jewelry. Go check it out, these necklaces and bracelets are gorgeous!


+ Have you tried kale chips before?

Tchao for now!~

❤ elaine

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