Lets play a game

November 7, 2011

First up – Food!  Who doesn’t love food?

Tonight, in an effort to pre-empt my insatiable craving for bagels the day AFTER my run, I fixed up a pasta dish, the night BEFORE my run.  Will it work?  We’ll find out…

I wanted to make an old staple, but try out a new recipe in my “Veganomicon” book.  This is supposed to be one of the best Vegan cookbooks around.  A lot of the recipes seem a bit intimidating though.  But, that’s the goal of this right?  To learn to get better so things aren’t so intimidating.  So, with Brandon’s eye roll blessing, I tried my hand at “Spaghetti and Bean Balls”.  These people should come up with better titles…  I know I know, messing around with the meatball is darn near criminal.  But, if we keep in mind that we’re not trying to make a vegan meatball that tastes like a meatball and stay open to the idea that there can be something else with our spaghetti that may also taste pretty good – maybe it won’t be so bad?  The beanos came together as such:

Bean Balls, ala Veganomicon

20 oz red kidney beans, drained and “smashed”.

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp tomato paste or Steak sauce (I used a whole little tin of tomato paste and a tbsp of Steak sauce, i liked how the tomato paste gave a good flavor to the bean balls)


2 cloves garlic (lets get real guys, I added more garlic than this – at least 4 big cloves)

Thyme (oops, forgot this)

Lemon zest

1/2 cup bread crumbs


To prep:  smash the beans until their broken up, but not completely smooth.  For this reason I used a fork and my hands and skipped my beloved food processor.   Add the liquids and the spices and mix with a fork.  Roll into little balls and either bake or pan fry.  To bake I did the following:  popped them in the oven in a sprayed down dish at 375 for about 20 minutes.  Flip them when the bottoms are brown and repeat.  Add some spaghetti sauce of choice to the balls and bake for 5 more minutes.  Serve with pasta and sauce.

Here are my thoughts:  You have to be really careful not to mash up the beans too much, I think this helps keep the balls together better.  I also added a bit more liquid than called for, in addition to the steak sauce and tomato paste, I added in some worsteschire sauce.  Because of this, I feel like more bread crumbs probably would’ve been helped keep them in ball shape also.  Also, in an attempt to make them like mom’s meatballs, I added a ton more oregano than called for AND some onion powder.  I think the onion powder with the added tomato paste really helped bring the flavors together.  Even though I wasn’t thrilled with the results, they DEFINITELY kept me full.  And the shocker of the night?! Brandon said “welp, I’m burping up meatball burps, so they worked for me- I liked them!”.  Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor.

In the end – I still ended up with a pretty tasty dinner.  And room for improvement…

And so…Happy Monday night!  Today I woke up determined to be strong, smart, confident and productive! I kept that mantra in mind all day and managed to keep a fairly upbeat outlook on the day and power through.  There were definitely moments of self-doubt, but with the help of friends – I managed to turn those moments into a far more productive practice of self-reflection.

I love how now, even more than ever, I am able to smile and find the good in the day.  Which brings me to a fun little game I’ve been seeing pop up here and there and I’m pretty sure I remember it from last year.  Its November, which means Thanksgiving is coming up.  So the goal is to list something we’re thankful for each day.  So my goal is to list something I’m grateful for each day, no matter how grumpy or cranky or bad of a day i’m having.  There’s always good in something somewhere, right?  I’d love if you guys would join! We’ve got a few days to catch up on as its already November 7th! So here goes…

1.  I’m grateful for the people in my life who take on the brute force of my random anxiety/panic attacks, cranky mood swings and general snapping.  No matter how outrageous, ridiculous, repetitive or wrong I am, these people let me work it out, yell, scream, cry, worry, freak out, you name it.  Then they’re always willing to hug me at the end, to calm me down, to talk me through it. And mostly, i’m grateful that these people have not ONCE refused to go through it again.  So thank you.

2.  I am grateful for this blog. Its become an outlet for me and a motivational tool all at the same time.  Each day a few more people read and sometimes the same people come back.  You guys keep me honest and remind me never to give up.

3.  I’m grateful that I never achieved that body I was always wishing I had for those past 4 years.  I have a strong powerful (short) body that is perfect for me.  It pushes for that last set of pushups, the last 0.5 miles of a workout.  It does what I ask and it looks pretty ok too.

4.  I’m grateful that in this economy, I have a job that I actually enjoy going to in the morning.  It may be hard and there is always a chance to learn something new – but so many dont’ have even that.  I’m newly determined to be productive and an asset to my lab.

5.  I’m grateful that I have my little fluffball of a cat to lick my nose, no matter how crummy I feel about myself.

6.  I’m grateful for heated mattress pads at the end of a long day.

7.  I’m grateful that I can drive to work and enjoy the beauty of a tree in the fog…

So lets see, in the end – today I was productive, I identified some things about myself that were better than the things I WANTED for myself.  I learned some new things at work and I tried out a recipe for dinner.  On top of that, the workout I designed was pretty fun too. Check it out.

Squats into curls (3 x10), DB rows into tricep kick backs (3 x 10), calf raises, russian twists (both 3×15), dead lifts into DB Shoulder press (3 x 10), DB bench press on the medicine ball (3×10) and finally, Lateral raises, side and front on the medicine ball (3×10).  The best part about this workout?  Is a) I’m definitely feeling it.  and b) a kid, no more than 5 came in and decided to be like the grownups and show his mom how he could lift weights.  Not only did he do some bicep curls, he also did some shoulder presses with me, he also dropped and laid down some pushups.  See?  If I wouldn’t have gone tonight, I would’ve missed that.  And who wants to miss something thats so adorable?   So I guess that’s a bonus something I’m grateful for today.  How about you? What are you grateful for?


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