Pizza my heart!

July 18, 2010 § 18 Comments

It seems like everyone’s opting for Plan C with the bike riding. I like that idea too. However, we must take into account that Newport Beach is about 50 miles away from where I live. Dmitri have been doing alot of research all day today, looking up bike trails and roads to take. So I might be able to make it there on bike, but the question is, will I be able to make it back? It would totally be like a bike marathon or something like that.

So-Cal has officially entered summer. I cannot believe how hot it was today! I feel like I’ve been in some sort of semi-heat stroke the entire day–woozy, dizzy, heated, while downing H2O like nobody’s business.

The morning started out nice enough, about mid-80’s, when Dmitri and I headed out to TJ’s and Sprout’s for our weekly grocery run.

Guess what I found at Sprout’s?!?!?!??!

An 18-oz box of blueberries for $1.88!!! This was definitely a steal. I was screaming in excitement to Dmitri when I saw it: “Oh my gosh! A humongous box of blueberries for $1.88?!?! Do you know how rare this is? Look how plump they are!”

Dmitri didn’t answer, but only held out the basket. The end. I couldn’t resist. This week has been such a good week for me in terms of steals, from the $3 locally grown and organic plums to this Hugh Jass box of blueberries. Life is good.

We lounged by the pool for a little while after we got back. Well, it got too hot too soon. Not to mention it was almost noon with the blaring sun right above us. I refuse to get skin cancer!

Once back in our shadier and cooler sanctuary, we whipped up a pizzalicious lunch featuring TJ’s Garlic Herb Pizza Dough. Obviously, I failed at making my pizza “round,” but who said pizzas must be circular? Heck, I can make them heart-shaped for all I want. But again, that’d be too hard for me. 😛

I didn’t go the “traditional” pizza route, i.e., I didn’t do the whole cheese shebang. Instead, I used Mae’s humnut cheese. I’m not a big fan of the uber cheesy pizza, but I am a big fan of hummus! This was delicious!

I topped the pizza dough with TJ’s Pizza Sauce, the humnut cheese, some broc, eggplant, tomatoes and roasted red peppers.

Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps my breakfast was fillin’, but I only ate half of this long pizza. Oh well, leftovers are good 😀

The heat made both Dmitri and I very lazy and sluggish, and we ended up spending half of the afternoon just bumming around the house. Him watching Lost while I blogsurfed and watched one episode of Gossip Girl. We finally decided we couldn’t stay in the house forever, and braved ourselves to step out to the sweltering heat and into somewhere with AC.

Target. Barnes & Noble. Shoe Store (Dmitri needs ’em).

My family has a strange addiction to flavored-water drink powder. Okay, I confess I had one too! But I am trying to limit my intake as I know now that they’re nothing more than just chemicals, fake sugars, and artificial yucks. Nevertheless, while throwing in boxes after boxes of Crystal Light, Propel, and Target-brand drink powders into the basket, Dmitri and I couldn’t help but notice this enticing flavor.

Let’s just assume it somehow creeped into our basketful of Crystal Light too.

It certainly made me drink my water though! I am now well-hydrated 😀

Is this going to turn my tummy red?

It was a tad sweet, and tasted nothing like Strawberry Daiquiri. It’s still a nice way to slurp up ice cold water nonetheless.

We kept dinner simple, with the “main” course as this amaaaazzzinnnnnnggg salad.

I tossed together some sliced strawberries, spinach, arugula, toasted walnuts, toasted pine nuts, and feta cheese. In another bowl I mixed together about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, some salt & pepper, and an overflowing teaspoon of honey. I added the dressing to the salad and tossed tossed tossed.

Voila! Summery salad in minutes! I’m so glad that I made more than enough, because that means I’ll get to eat this again for lunch tomorrow! Yay for leftovers again!

Dmitri decided to go the pizza route again, but this time using toast as the “crust.” I stuck to roasted butternut squash, again leftovers from the other night.

I topped half with leftover arugula pesto and some parmesan cheese, and the other half with marinara and cottage cheese. Both halves were equally yummy!

So now, here we are again, another Sunday night. The dreaded night before the Monday. BUT! Last week of research for me!!! I’ll be at my Home Sweet Home in 1.5 weeks 🙂

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+ What are your favorite pizza toppings? Do you like cheese on top of your pizza?

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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!

Lack of inspiration

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:

One flimsy piece of lettuce and a thin slice of tomato and call that fresh veggies? I think the grease/carbs/meat-to-veggie ratio is something on the order of 6 to 1. Yuck.

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!

Served alongside some roasted sweet potato doused with cinnamon! Mm-mmm! 🙂

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
  • cinnamon
  • 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. 😀

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+ What’s your favorite Indian dish?

Oh, Sundays

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.

Wrapped some frozen banana chunks in a La Tortilla 100-calorie wrap, smeared with PB2 and sprinkled with cinnamon.

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.

Until tomorrow!

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+ What are your favorite Sunday activities?

Pasta to the rescue

May 27, 2010 § 2 Comments

Holy moley, this week has been craaaazzzzzzzzzyyyy! Anyone feel the same? It’s been like chop chop everyday in lab this week, beginning from Tuesday’s late night to today’s standing for 8 hrs straight and only 25 min lunch break. Although my mornings always start like this:

Peaceful, quiet, calm. Like this Eeyore on my fave mug! Even though Eeyore usually isn’t quite that happy, but he sure does look like he’s in a blissful state here! I think mornings are my favorite time of the day, not just because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but also because I always feel so grounded in the mornings. Mornings are when everything is just arising to and waking up. I love the feel of the first rays of sunshine upon my face, breathe in the fresh dew of the morning, and the quietness that mornings provide. Mornings mark the start of a new day. Whatever happened yesterday remains there, whether it be that you get a crap ton of junk, or that you said something horrible to a person and you didn’t mean to. Today you get to start afresh, with a fresh new face, spirit, and mindset.

Needless to say, by the end of the day everyday from lab, I’m like this:

Pooped n’ tired. Lol my boyfriend took this picture with my Canon EOS 450D and didn’t really know how to use it, so everything turned yellow. I’m camouflaged! 😀

So today, after having stood and ran around in the lab for 8 hours, I was less than psyched to cook a full-blown dinner. What’s a girl gonna do when she has a hungry boyfriend lurking around with starving eyes and when she’s just plain exhausted?

Pasta! More specifically, organic whole wheat spaghetti with Sprout’s Mushroom Marinara Sauce! On the side we had some roasted broccoli, red and yellow bell peppers. Sometimes the simplest dinner just hits the spot! I’ve also been craving green smoothies this entire afternoon. So I ate my spaghetti with a green smoothie that I made with lettuce. Yup, you heard me right, lettuce. I didn’t have spinach, and the only leafy veggie i have is lettuce. So lettuce it was! I could not taste the lettuce at all though. The banana and chocolate whey protein powder and strawberries must have masked the lettuce taste! I still think I’d continue making my smoothies with spinach, as they are more nutritious. Yep, drink up those iron, niacin, zinc, vitamin A, C, E, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

That was probably more info than you needed to know. I didn’t know half of those were high in spinach myself!

Phew, am I glad that tomorrow’s going to be a Friday! Alrightey, I’m out. Gonna go relax with some tv or a book!

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+ What’s your favorite “lazy person’s” meal?

+ Are you a morning person?

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