Running free

July 11, 2010 § 14 Comments

I’m glad you all enjoyed the kite post yesterday! Sometimes we need to let go of the thought that we are “adults” and indulge our inner child. Sometimes we just need to believe that fairies exists and that pixie dusts can make magic.

A grownup is a child with layers on.

~Woody Harrelson


In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

I am going to unashamedly admit that I still sneak into children’s playgrounds at times and play on the swing like there’s no tomorrow.

So, when I went for a run this morning, I did a very, very daring thing: I ran without my iPod. Usually, my iPod pumps me through my run and keeps my mind occupied. As I stepped outside the door today, the air was just so fresh and the morning so calm that I couldn’t afford to have music blasting in my ears. I decided to run with Nature.

It felt good, to hear my own footsteps, to listen to my breathing, and notice the birds chirping. These are things that I normally don’t pay attention to when I have my iPod glued to my ears. It was quote refreshing actually πŸ˜‰

I’ve been dreaming of pancakes every since last weekend, so today I finally decided to make my dreams come true. Enters…Banana Oat Pancakes! My first-ever pancake recipe that I came up with. Actually, just my first-ever doughy-type of recipe that I came up with. It’s almost vegan, if not for the yogurt I added in. I even used “flax-egg”! πŸ˜€

BANANA OAT PANCAKES
(makes 2 large or 6 mini ones)

Wet

  • one medium banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk of your choice (I used soymilk)
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Dry

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon…or more!
  • 1-2 tbsp whole wheat flour

I first blended all the wet ingredient in the food processor, added the dry ingredient and blended till everything was smooth. Drippity-drip-drip the batter onto a pan, cook ’em up, and out came pancakes!

Perhaps not the type of pancakes that would win the pancake pageant, but hey, it was delicious and satisfied my craving for some doughy, bananalicious pancakes ;-). I made one big one plus one mini one for myself, and the other three mini ones I gave to Dmitri. No I am not starving him, he already had breakfast of bread + nutella. Don’t go report me to the police for boyfriend abuse now! πŸ˜€

I had my pancakes with a nice little plum and the last of my yogurt. The plum was so sweet! I had to rummage through my fridge to get my second one afterwards. I love summer fruits! I smeared the big boy pancake with some sunflower seed butter and some Blue Diamond’s All Natural Crunchy Almond Butter.

Love the crunch against my smooth pancakes! Plus, the ONLY ingredient in this nutty butter is…ALMONDS! No added sugar, preservatives, or oil. Plain natural!

Much lazying around, doing laundry, a little work here and there, and I was ready for lunch. Today was definitely a warm day in Southern California, and so I was craving a light, crunchy salad for lunch.

After reading Kelsey’s post on her Raw Summer Salad yesterday, I found myself craving some too! Veggies = romaine lettuce, onions, mushroom, cucumbers, and avocado. Protein = pan-seared tofu in soy sauce + honey. Carbs = corn.

I pretty much followed Kelsey’s recipe for the dressing, except I added in a bit of honey. I also “massaged” the salad with avocado to make everything creamy. Thanks Kelsey for this wonderful recipe! ❀

Today was the day that my car finally, FINALLY gets a proper wash. I don’t think I’ve washed it since…um…….

Well, point-in-case is that I’ve been relying on the rain to wash my car. What? Rain in California? Um yes. It literally pours the heck out of the sky during the winter months. This year was particularly bad that I had to get rainboots.

But alas, summer here = hot, dusty, dry.

Spinky, spanky clean.

I actually went to one of those self-serve car wash place to save $$$, because (1)those automatic car washes doesn’t do the job; (2) hand-wash services are so friggin’ expensive; and (3) I don’t have to equipment at home to wash my car. It’s so clean now that everytime that I look through the windshield, or the rear window, I’d go like WHOA!!!Β  Is this really my car? While some people think that I’m an abnormally clean person, my car somehow is always dirty.

On ’tis day Dmitri and I also had a play date with some of our friends. At 5 o’ clock, actually cool enough to be exercising outside, we headed out to the sand volleyball court on our campus for some bump, set, spike. Well, sometimes more like bump, splat. While I can play for maybe up to 2 hours in court, on sand it’s an entire different story! We were all tired after about 1 hr.

Or are we just getting old?

I wasn’t up to cooking anything big for dinner, and since I wasn’t particularly hungry anyways, I resorted to an everything stir-fry. In vegetable broth, I dumped in Chinese cabbage, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and Lightlife smartdogs.

On the side I finished the last of my silken tofu, eaten raw with some vegetarian stir-fry sauce, ’cause that’s how we roll in Taiwan.

Satisfying :-D.

Despite the fact that tomorrow’s a Monday, I’m actually not dreading it! I had a fun yet relaxing weekend, and I feel supercharged to tackle the next week! Plus, a new week means I’m getting closer to finishing my research here and closer to going back home to Taiwan!

Have a greaaaaattt Sunday night folks!

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+ What was your favorite childhood game? I loved any playground games: tether ball, jungle gyms, monkey bars, tags, Marco Polo, dodgeball! Sometimes I certainly wish I was 10 again!

+ If you own a car, do you wash it yourself or have somebody else wash it for you? This was actually my first time washing my car. It was fun though, and cheap. I will definitely, DEFINITELY do it again!

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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

+ 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.

Loving ’em strawberries & chocolate!

May 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

Boo-yaw!

Like the new layout? I kind of got sick of looking at blue, blue, and more blue, so I decided to change it up a little. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you, I get sick of desktop wallpapers, gmail templates, the likes pretty quickly. So, you’ll probably see my page changing now and then πŸ˜‰

Where should I start? How about breakfast this morning? I had yet another fab breakfast this morning, featuring strawberries and more of April’s protein brownie batter.That thing is addicting I tell ya! GO, GO, GOOO try it out now! You’ll want to drizzle that chocolatey goodness on everything. I also had some on freshly sliced pineapples last night too. I actually add a splash of vanilla and a shake of cinnamon to mine.


Sweet cinnamon alternative bagel, toasted and smeared on one side with some sunbutter, layered with sliced & microwaved strawberries, completed with a drizzle of the protein brownie batter and 1-2 spoonfuls of yogurt.

The chocolate fudge and the yogurt was oozing out of my bagel–it was just heaven in my mouth and my tummy!

Gosh, I definitely loovvveee breakfasts. It’s easily my favorite meal out of the three. I mean, who doesn’t love oatmeals, bread, toasts, cereals, granolas, pastries, fruits, nuts, etc….this list goes on.

How about you?

+ What’s your favorite meal of the day? (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack)

SB & B “Quesadilla”

May 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

I know I usually don’t post so quickly or so often, especially after the last lonnnng post (that had me working for a couple of hours!). However, I feel like I must share this recipe with you guys! Before I went to bed last night, I was propped up on my pillow reading Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and was inspired by the Peanut Banana Tortilla Turnovers. I have literally been dreaming about this one for breakfast the whole night. I actually got woken up in the early mornin’ of 6:30am by my churnin’ tummy! So I immediately got to work in the kitchen and made this “quesadilla”. The original recipe actually uses peanut butter, but I am lovin’ my sunflower butter right now, so I used that. So now I called this:

SB & B Quesadilla
(Adapted from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan)

You’ll need, for one:

  • 10-inch tortilla
  • half a banana, sliced
  • 2 tbsp sunflower butter (or any other kinds of nut butter)
  • cinnamon

To assemble:

  1. Place tortilla flat on a surface. Smother one half of it with nut butter of your choice.
  2. Add alot of cinnamon :-). Then place sliced banana on the smothered half.
  3. Fold the other half over so you get a half-moon shape, like your regular quesadilla.
  4. Spray skillet with cooking spray to coat pan, then slide your quesadilla in to cook, about 3 min. Flip to cook other side.
  5. It is done when both sides are slightly golden brown, with speckles of brown spots, and the edges of the tortilla is slightly crispy.
  6. Let it cool a little on a plate. Cut into triangles. Serve with yogurt of your choice. Devour.

Gooey!

I drizzled some protein brownie batter on top, and served with a side of plain, nonfat yogurt mixed with the rest of the brownie batter. Soooooooooooooo delicious! The original recipe actually comes with a recipe for “Molassa-Sauce” for dipping. This makes 4-5 servies, and it simply combines 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2-1 tsp agave nectar (optional).

I’m already dreaming of other variations I can do for this! Seriously this recipe is so versatile! Next time I’d probably mash the banana a littleΒ  so it gets more gooey and soft inside. I may also try using sliced strawberries instead, or sliced pears/apples that have been softened a little in the microwave, or maybe try other nut butters. This would be a lovely dessert too if served with ice cream! πŸ˜€

Gonna go read up some more recipes now! Later!

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+ Do you like “indulgent” breakfasts? If yes, what are your favorites?

+ Can you think of other variations for this recipe?

Big clutter

May 17, 2010 § 6 Comments

I officially moved in to the apartment. It was soooo much work, and I woke up today with slightly sore biceps and quads. After dropping off a couple of my friends off at the airport this morning, I then spent the day organizing the apartment + cleaning.

Here’s what it looked like this morning before I touched anything:

I actually haven’t cleaned up everything yet, so the “after” picture will have to wait :-D. On top of this, I have a plethora of clothes that I need to take care of. Meaning, donating them or putting them away in the closet instead of lying everywhere on the floor.

Tonight’s dinner featured this baby I got back from Taiwan. It’s a mix of tiny bits of seaweed, sesame, and other spices. Like the soy sauce scrambled eggs, this really reminds me of my childhood because I’d always sprinkle these on my rice! Adds alot of flavor without adding calories! That’s my kind of thing!

(sorry, was too lazy to flip the picture. bear with me!)

So naturally, I cooked myself some brown rice with my new ricecooker! Also a product of TW πŸ™‚Β  On the side I steamed some cauliflower and baked tofu, which I marinated with Organic Ville’s Island Teriyaki sauce.

Some baked tofu & cauliflower.

Seaweed sprinkles!

Dinner is served!

A few minutes ago I broke into my new jar of Sunflower seed butter! I saw it on sale at Sprout’s today, and my curiosity got me. Besides, the only nut butter I have right now is Safeway’s creamy peanut butter (hellooo hydrogenated oil and sugar!), so I have a reason to buy a new jar of nut butter right? You bet!

I’ve also been seeing reviews about it from other bloggers, and they seemed to all compliment about its runny consistency and how easy it is to spread!

Om nom nom nom.

My verdict? Loved it! It’ll be so easy to drizzle over my oatmeals in the mornings! Maybe next time I’ll try to crunchy one!

I also had some “soy jerky” just now. Also a product of Taiwan!

Whew, tomorrow I officially start my research job. Gotta be up at 5:45am to get me some yoga time! ❀

A toute a l’heure!

+ What types of nut butters have you tried?

+ Any particular foods that reminds you of your childhood?

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