Did you know…?

July 17, 2010 § 14 Comments

I know, I know. I’ve been gone for too long. Two days in the real world is equivalent to 2 weeks in the blogland. Hah, I feel like I’m referencing Inception.  GREAT movie by the way. It really got my mind all out of whack when I left the theaters last night. I swear I was in some sort of daze for 20 min afterwards, just thinking about the complexity of the mind, the conscious, the subconscious, the super-subconscious, the super super-subconscious…

Personally, I think the mind has nth dimensions.

Well, I don’t want to give too much of a spoiler for those who haven’t seen it yet. It’s something that you must pay attention to for the entire length of the movie, or else you can get easily confused. I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated so hard on a movie before. Ever.

So two weeks two days away from the blogland naturally ended with me having way too many pictures to share, so I’ll just give ya’ll some highlight ;-).

Did you know that cottage cheese melts superbly when heated up?

Lunch #1: Frozen veggies and spinach thawed in the fridge overnight, topped with cottage cheese, and microwaved till melty when lunchtime came.

Did you know that thawed frozen spinach is delicious with marinara and cottage cheese (melted)?

Lunch #2: Spinach w/ cottage cheese and TJ's Garlic Marinara sauce.

Melty and cheesy!

Did you know that you can make pesto out of arugula?

Roasted Squash with Arugula Pesto

(Recipe inspired from here; the arugula pesto from the back of the package of arugula)

First blanch about 2 cups of packed arugula in boiling water. Immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and use your hands to squeeze dry the leaves.

Two squished cups of arugula into one fistful!

About 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts.

Blend in food processor the arugula, toasted pine nuts, some salt and pepper, a dash of cumin. Blend till you get a mushy paste. Then add olive oil till desired consistency (I added about 1/3 cup)

Kind of chunky pesto...

Also roasted some butternut squash at 350 degrees for 45 min, sprinkled with cumin.

Golden.

Roasted squash says: "Gimme the pesto and more pine nuts please!"

Complete meal with a side of Swiss chard sauteed with onions, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.

Tip: roasted butternut squash is also very good topped with butt loads of parmesan cheese!

Did you know that I got a tub of mini plums for $3 (~a dozen) at the Farmer’s Market at La Verne on Thursday evening?


Did you know that I am currently obsessed with anything cheese + fruit related?

Sliced up and ready to be sandwiched.

Plum with Laughing Cow cheese on Sandwich thin. Yum!

Speaking of the Farmer’s Market, there was some sort of “petting” area filled with goats, pigs, chickens, and bunnies there?

What can I say? It was a sight to see. I felt horribly sorry for the animals, because there were literally a dozen or more 3-8 year old kids in this tiny pen, all chasing after some animal or the other. Of course, there were lots of shrieking involved as the children ran after the bunnies.

At least this little girl seemed gentle enough to the chickens.

Did you know that Chai Spice totally blew my mind away?

Obviously, I needed something to munch on while I read this boring exhilarating paper. Upon first bite I was taken back to when I first tried chai tea. This bar totally captured the essence and the spice of a warm or cold cup of chai tea!

Needless to say, my last Kardea bar was pretty darn amazing too–the Lemon Ginger. I am now a sad little girl because I have finished all my Kardea bars :-(.

I loved all of the flavors of these Kardea bars. They are true to their words in terms of flavors. Each bar was unique in its taste and with each bite you always get hit by its intense aroma of either chai, ginger, almond, or banana. I am a satisfied taste-tester! 😀

Anyways…

Did you know that last night, my boyfriend and I went to a Thai restaurant, where we were constantly attacked by flies, and the waitress was swatting them just a table next to ours? Um…yeah. Not a very enticing atmosphere. The food sort of made up for it though, but I don’t think I’d go back to get attacked by flies or the fly-swatting lady again.

Hah! Dmitri was trying to act “Asian.”

My turn. I always laugh at the instructions on the chipstick slips.

I don’t know why I had that surprised look on my face. LOL I looked like a dork.

Thai salad: Iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, onions, hard-boiled egg, with spicy peanut sauce. Plain, simple. The spicy peanut sauce was good though!

Pad-see-ewe: flat rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese broccoli and tofu.

Vegetable medley with rice.

And this! My fav dish: rice biscuit stir-fried with bean sprouts, eggs, and came with hot sauce. The lady said it was house-specialty.

Chewy and sticky.

Did you know that this wrap made the perfect post-run breakfast this morning?

Banana + PB with cinnamon on a La Tortilla wrap, pan-fried till crispy. Side of yogurt for some dipping action!

Gooey and melty inside!

That pretty much sums up the past couple of days when I was MIA. We’re off whale-watching off the coast of Newport Beach this afternoon! Since it’s blue whales season, I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get to see some blue whales! 😀

Have a great Saturday!

Berry good breakfasts

July 10, 2010 § 11 Comments

I probably have said this a thousand times here already, but breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day! There are some many variety of healthy concoctions out there that you can create with oats, yogurt, whole-grain bread, cereals, muesli, milk, kefir, eggs, cinnamon, fruits, and…

You get my point.

For the past two days, I’ve been coming up with berry concoctions for breakfast. For example,

Oatie eggwhite pancakes (I made one BIG one this time!) topped with yogurt, Walden Farm’s sugar-free blueberry syrup, frozen strawberries and blueberries. And cinnamon. Never forget cinnamon. I actually used almond extract instead of vanilla like last time. I love the strong aroma of almond!

I don’t know about you, but I sure do enjoy frozen strawberries, blueberries, actually any kind form of frozen fruits just straight out of the freezer. No thawing, no microwaving. Just like eating a popsicle! 😀

Do you eat frozen fruits straight out of the freezer? Or do you have to thaw heat them up first?

Well, this morning, I was feeling berries again.

My carb of the morning was the breakfast cookie that I made last night and stuck in the fridge.

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 scoop (15 g) chocolate protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • sweetener
  • splash of milk to make it stick
  • coconut shreds

This morning, I topped it with, surprise! more yogurt. THIS morning, however, I heated up some blueberries and strawberries in the microwave with some Walden Farm’s calorie-free blueberry syrup for 30 sec. Perrrrrrrrfff topping!

The blob of sunflower seed butter says: “I’m on top of the world!” 😀

WIth some frozen banana slices.

Are you sick of seeing berries pictures yet?

But wait! I have more! Sorry if this is getting repetitive. By now you’re all probably like, Yes yes, Elaine, we know how much you like berries in your mornings now.

Bear with me.

For Dmitri, I whipped up some French toast with the last 3 pieces of sourdough bread we had. French toast with sour dough actually turned out pretty good!

BOO YA IHOP and Denny’s!

You’ll probably gag if I present you with more breakfasts featuring strawberries and blueberries. No worries, those are all I have for now. I may or may not have more tomorrow :-P.

Let’s move from berries to eggs shall we? For lunch yesterday I packed a semi-egg salad sammie.

Uhhh…semi-egg salad sammie? Yeah, I was too lazy to properly mash up the hard-boiled egg, so I simply sliced them up and lay them on one half of sandwich thin. I made a creamy honey mustard dressing for the other half that consisted of yogurt, honey, and spicy dijon. I threw in some chopped celeries for some extra crunch.

Lunch yesterday was paired with a big tubful of roasted broccoli. Give me the fiber! 😀

‘Twas a delicious, healthy, fiber-full, protein-packed, balanced meal.

What’s on my schedule for this beautiful sunny California weekend?

Dmitri and I will be heading out to Santa Monica Farmers Market right after I hit Publish. I ❤ Farmer’s Market! We have one here in Claremont, but it’s pretty tiny. We also bought a kite for $4 yesterday from Target! So after our Farmer’s Market expedition we’re going to fly it by the beach. I don’t think I’ve flown a kite since I was 12! This will be funfunfun! 😀

See ya later alligators!

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+ Flown a kite recently?

Om Shanti

June 4, 2010 § 6 Comments

And no, I do not mean that by the Bollywood film “Om Shanti Om.”

The Aum (Om)– Hindu


“Charged with religious energy, this most sacred of Sanskrit syllables is often articulated at beginning and end of recitations and prayers.”

True, I usually start my morning yoga practices with Om. It reminds me that for the next 1.5 hours or so, my mind is focused on my practice and not thinking: “Oh I wonder what I should have for breakfast..” or “What should I do after work today? Maybe bake some cookies?” I also end my practice by thanking the spirits/gods/supernatural beings/Mother Earth for giving me the energy that day to guide me through my practice, for having yoga in my life, for letting yoga guide me through calmly through the weathers and storms of life, and for the wonderful people I have around me.

And then lastly, I close with Om shanti shanti shanti, which literally means Om peace, peace peace. What I usually do is that on the first shanti, I imagein myself filled with a peaceful energy. On the second shanti, I imagine that energy spreading to my family, friends, and those I know. Lastly, on the third shanti, I see in my mind that same energy disperse to everyone living on this planet, for we are all born and raised by Mother Earth.

I truly enjoy my morning yoga practices because I just love the feeling of doing Sun Salutations to the rising sun. And then when I finish my practice with Savasana (corpse porse), the sun has fully risen and the chirping of birds are like music to my ears while I lay on my mat. Ahhh…the beauty of morning practices 🙂

Anyways, so last night I had a spontaneous creation involving tempeh. I am still perfecting the recipe but what I would tell you is that it involved maple syrup, cinnamon, and sunbutter. I simply marinated raw TJ’s 3-Grain tempeh in that sauce for about an hour or so, flipping in between. Then I sauteed the marinated tempeh in a skillet lightly coated with cooking spray.

This morning, I created this sandwich to pack for my lunch:

Kind of looks like nuggets don’t it? The sandwich component was Multigrain Sandwich Thins, a bed of arugula, maple-cinnamon-sunbutter tempeh (gotta think of a new name for that too), and lastly a few slices of Harvarti cheese. I microwaved the sandwich at work today so that the sandwich thins were slightly warmed and the cheese slightly melted.

HOLY YUM! This was TO DIE FOR! Trust me. This combination may seem a little absurd at first, but cooking is all about experimenting right? Like Allie, I found this combo weird but YUMMILICIOUS! 😀

Today’s dinner was a lazy almost no-cook dinner, featuring Amy’s Pesto Pizza.

On the side I served steamed broccoli, which was tossed with some olive oil, lemon juice, and Spike Vegetable Seasoning.

I had 1/4 of the pizza and lots o’ broccoli! I was saving my stomach for the dessert I’m about to share with you guys!

It all started this morning, when I was craving some sort of strawberry frozen yogurt. Again, I’m still experimenting. My first batch this morning was kind of too runny, almost like strawberry kefir. So tonight, I added some xanthum gum to thicken the grub up. In the food processor went frozen strawberries, plain nonfat yogurt (may try Greek yogurt), honey, xanthum gum. The results? Take a look.

Better, but still not perfect. I might throw in a handful of ice next time. This totally tamed my frozen yogurt craving earlier though!

Tonight is a night of bumming around and vegging out! Sometimes I just like quiet Friday evenings for relaxation!

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+ Are you a fan of Bollywood films? Which ones have you seen? I’ve seen a few here and there. All I can say is that they’re kind of ridiculous, but sort of fun to watch. 🙂

+ Frozen dinners/meals–love it or hate it? I’ve tried a few Amy’s Kitchen products and so far I’ve been pretty impressed! They’re all organic and don’t taste like airplane food. They’re kind of pricey though, so I only get them once in awhile.

Memorial Day Weekend wrap-up

May 31, 2010 § 6 Comments

Happy Monday y’all! And it is a happy Monday! No Monday blues.

Like Julie and Brandi, I woke up today feeling like going for a hike. So, at 10am, Dmitri and I geared up and drove about 10 minutes out to the mountains.

Say hello to Hello Kitty!

Say hello to me! 😉

It was H-O-T. And the fact that most of the trails are rocky roads and shadeless did not help. Hiking in Southern California is very different from hiking in Taiwan. In Taiwan, you get lush trees that keep you cool and safe from the sun, like so:

Ain’t Taiwan purrrdy?

Here, you’re pretty much in a desert, surrounded by shrubs. There was, however, creeks that had flowing water. Right now the snow up at the mountains are just melting, and hence we get these ice cold mountain water running down these creeks. These creeks are otherwise barren and dry. Yup, such is Southern California.

There were even mini “pools” of water that we had to side step. How rare is that?!

I guess everything is greener at this time of the year. Come July or August, everything is gold.

Snow in the distant mountains!

It’s a moose!

In celebration of Memorial Day, I decided to make a healthified BBQ plate for dinner, featuring Mama Pea’s Black Bean Burger.I used regular white onion instead of red onion, substituted soy sauce for Worcestershire sauce, added about 1 tsp of coriander, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and about 3 T of chopped spring onions.

Ready for grillin’ cookin’.

On the side I served baked potato fries, carrot fries, and roasted cauliflower. For the “burger buns” I used Orowheat sandwich thins.

A burger ain’t complete with some soy cheese, ketchup and mustard! ❤ Dijon!

Last but not least, check out the apron I got from Ikea today! Now I won’t be afraid of getting flour or chocolate all over my clothes when I bake! 😀

Tomorrow is back to work = back to lab. My research advisor won’t be in tomorrow, so perhaps I ca take it easier and slack of just a lil’ 😀

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+ Do you like to go hiking?

+ How did you celebrate Memorial Day?

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