Sickie Dinner for 1

November 13, 2013

Soup1

Sick = soup, always – right?

While I’m definitely not full blown sick, I have been feeling pretty drained and under the weather lately.  I’ve been trying to keep up my workouts  at a lower intensity and keep my body fueled with good healthy foods to fight off whatever it is that’s wrong with me (my money is on a Sinus Infection/Tooth Infection – yuck).

Yesterday was a particularly rough one and by the time I was home and had finished my workout, I had ZERO appetite.  Not eating wasn’t an option, so instead I threw together this easy soup that reminded me of my “mom, can I have a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup?” days.   Salty, comforting and with a few extra healthy bits and pieces to satisfy my lifestyle.

I started with half a cube of Veggie broth bouillon into 2 cups of water and added some diced carrots and celery I had already cut up in the fridge.  Next went half a package of pre-cubed tofu cubes, some freshly grated ginger, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, a trifecta of sick blasters!  Once the veggies were nice and tender and the soup was ready to eat, I threw in a handful of torn up kale and let it steam a bit, to up the greens factor.

Soup2

The result was cozy and comforting, salty and nourishing.  Not too heavy, but still nutritious enough to satisfy.   A big bowl of this would fill me up on a regular (feeling good) day, especially with the addition of some grains or noodles.  But for now, it was perfect as was.    Tonight, I’m feeling like a hungry beast, so I’m hoping a nice solid biceps/back workout will put me in the mood for some roasted acorn squash….get in mah bellay!

I’m off to the dentist tomorrow (I really hate the dentist…) to try and figure out if the tooth is the problem, or the sinuses are the problem.  Chicken or the egg?

See also – go give my friend Dom some serious love over at his page.  He just got back from running the NYC marathon.  Major inspiration right there.

Spicy veggie pasta

December 12, 2012

This is what happens when you have a hungry husband and a vegan wife

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Tons of veggies and a box of pasta

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And of course what is dinner, if not a vehicle for my new hot sauce

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To make, I just pan roasted some carrots, squash and zucchini and added in the beans, asparagus and collard greens towards the end so they wouldnt overcook. The result was a hearty, but not overly heavy vegan pasta dish that was something just different enough to not be boring (especially with that sriacha sauce!) Sometimes it’s fun to rethink the classic dishes, no?

A healthier December

December 4, 2012

So, um – yum?  Cheesy kale, roasted sweet potatoes, mushrooms with ume vinegar and a mix of lentils and baked beans…My first attempt at cheesy kale, and getting back on the whole foods, semi-macrobiotic diet train.  Oh how i’ve missed you plate full of veggies, beans and grains!image

For the month of December, i’ve decided to consciously make a healthy decision instead of the unhealthy alternative each day.  I’ve been in a bit of a workout/healthy living slump lately and I can’t exactly figure out why. 

Arguably my cardio has waned since my last few races over the summer.  And now, suddenly, I’m finding my love of Bodypump is starting to taper off also.  There are more than a few reasonable points of explanation for this, which  I found myself thinking about instead of going back to sleep yesterday morning after deciding I wasn’t going to head in to class…(sigh). 

1.  Getting up at 5 in the morning is just not appealing to me right now.  Its not enough sleep, its not enjoyable to get ready in the dark and stumble out the door and rush to the gym.  And I’ve found I missed having my (albeit short) morning with Brandon. 

2.  The benefits are no longer what they used to be.  Yes, the class did help me to tone up and yes, it provided variety and a sense of accomplishment and comraderie during a time that I didn’t have that at all when I was working.  It filled that void, but I’m finding that maintaining tone, is not the same as building muscle definition, which is something i’ve been looking for more of lately.  As for the sense of accomplishment and comraderie, well – since changing positions at work, I’m a lot more satisfied in that department these days. 

3.  Watching people do the lifts so blatantly wrong, and not be corrected for it was irking me to no end.  I realize that the instructors probably aren’t allowed to say much, but that doesn’t stop it from bothering me.

So,  my conclusion, is to take these feelings to heart and forgo the body pump class for awhile.  I’m not saying I won’t go back every now and again, but right now, I’ve found myself leaning towards the more traditional style of lifting, heavier weights, fewer reps – which I’ve always enjoyed.  I had started my own collection of weights awhile back and am looking to expand on that in the next year or so and really get back into developing lifting routines for myself that are challenging and fun. 

Which leads me to my healthy decisions thus far for December:

Over the weekend, while grocery shopping, I put the quick and easy solutions for snacks and breakfast back on the shelf and promised myself I’d get back into making my own food, instead of opening up the box sitting on the pantry shelf.  The result?  A fun and new holiday twist on some baked oatmeal i’m excited to share soon.

And now, yesterday’s healthier choice:  You already know I didn’t go to bodypump yesterday morning.  But what I did do – is come home and work my way through a solid lifting routine with my own weights at home.  Here’s what I did:

lunge w/ single arm shoulder press and leg lift combo ( 3×10 per side, I shamelessly copied this move from www.fitsugar.com)

Rolling side planks for 2 minutes (again, fitsugar.com

Squat with hammer curls (3×10)

Oblique tricep pushup (3×10 per side, fitsugar.com)

Chest fly with v-crunch (3×10, fitsugar.com – is there a pattern here??)

Single leg dead lifts (3×10)

It was tough to get through, but felt great afterwards and this morning too.  I’m not sore or achy, but can definitely tell I lifted.  With these conscious efforts to eat healthier and get back into a solid workout routine, I’m hoping to stave off any impending “MUST LOSE WEIGHT AND GET BACK TO THE GYM New Years Resolutions” 🙂

xo

 

Examples

November 2, 2012

Since I’ve been chatting away lately about how I’ve been trying to tweak how I eat – I thought I’d show some of my favorite “macro style” bowls I’ve been whipping together this past week or so.  Since my husband isn’t quite on board with the “kale for life!” train yet, I try not make too many of these in a row right now, even though once I get started with them, they’re all I crave!

For this plate, I roasted up some sweet potatoes and tossed them with some lightly sauted asparagus and ume vinegar.  A big side of steamed kale for me, some black beans with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic powder and some turkish spices and some creamy polenta with roasted garlic. 

When leftover pizza was on the menu for Brandon, I whipped up a bowl of barley and black rice, steamed kale and zucchini, sauted portobellas, corn and roman beans (and of course, the ever present Ume Plum Vinegar, I cannot get enough of it lately!).  The great part about making bowls like this on a semi-regular basis, is that I can make a bit batch of grains, all different kinds if i’m feeling crazy, and just pick and choose from them during the week without much prep time involved.  I”m newly in love with beans too, because I never eat a whole can by myself in one sitting.  So these were leftover from a night prior.  Veggies, grains and protein – boom, meal!

I remember this bowl pretty clearly.   It was getting late, (hence the dark photo) and I had no clue what I wanted for dinner, but I knew I needed to eat something.  I forced myself to start by steaming some kale and baby bok choy, making the deal that if I ate that, i’d be satisfied.  Well, like most deals go – once I started, I warmed up to the idea of a little more nutrition thrown in, so I tossed in a few roman beans for some protein.  Which got me thinking that maybe a little savory wouldn’t be too bad, so I sauted up a portabella cap to throw in.  That’s it.  The meal itself was done in about 5 minutes.  And it was 100% satisfying, not too heavy to eat so late at night, and nourishing – which is exactly what I needed! 

So there you have it! 3 super easy “macro” style dinners that are all a little different, but all really really tasty.  I even spent a few minutes to whip one up for lunch today, some leftover sweet and sour tofu from the whole foods hot bar last night (must.learn.how.), some steamed kale and baby bok choy (I have a problem) and some rice (I love my rice cooker).  A touch of soy sauce and chili paste and I have a meal worth looking forward to, even when i’m feeling under the weather!

Happy weekend, friends!

xo

Fluffy and healthy!

October 11, 2012

This is what happens when you read recipes for Vegan pancakes while having a sweet tooth craving in the middle of the day, after having read another chapter of a book on macrobiotics.

It was flipping delicious.  Just goes to show that even with a general idea for meals in mind, sometimes cravings just win out.  I tried to keep my plate a little healthier (but lets be real, they’re PANCAKES, earth balance and maple syrup covered pancakes) with a big side of a Bulgur wheat, wilted spinach and apple sage field roast sausage (ah-may-zing).  At least for that night, it was the perfect balance of healthy and satisfying a random craving. 

Side note: I am known as one of the worst pancake makers, ever.  Never fluffy and sometimes I add weird things (like cinnamon, the HORRORS 😉 ).  So with all that said, I have to give a huge shout out to my beloved The Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook, because the recipe included for pancakes has allowed me some fluffy redemption in the eyes of my husband.  Breakfast cooker status, restored.

These guys were fluffy, tasty and a cinch to whip up.  No major steps and no need for a vegan egg replacer, which for some reason made me pretty darn happy. 

xo

Split pea soup?

September 14, 2012

Its close to the weekend and I have big plans for some dedicated kitchen time, orchard time, coffee and R&R.   But before we get there,  we have to talk about something.  I’m sorry to do this to you on a Friday morning, but..

How can something that looks as pretty and healthy and delicious as this:

Turn into something that looks like a big ol’ pile of green glop like this:

My friends, this is split pea (and parsnip) soup.  I was so excited on Wednesday night to come home to an apartment that smells like homemade soup and have no other job but to ladle out some soul-warming and comforting goodness into a bowl to enjoy it.

To be fair, that’s all I really had to do (yay crockpots!) But this recipe was so uninspiring to me.  It had no pizzazz, it was simple (split peas, parsnips, veggie broth and onion. Boom).  Which my husband tells me is the point of split pea soup.  Which is sad to me, because shouldn’t food be inspiring?  Simple doesn’t have to mean bland, right?  I tried swirling in some chipotle adobo sauce, but no dice.  Some tomato paste, eh – it helped but still nothing much.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t taste bad just…:shrug:

We ended up having some leftovers, so I thought I’d try to spice them up a little bit.  For this go-round, I opted for some of my black bean and lentil mix (leftover from taco night, mmmm), avocado and some BBQ sauce.  It tasted fine, but nothing like split pea soup and everything like BBQ sauce.  But i like the idea of a comforting bowl of split pea soup, so I’m thinking of some changes I would make to try and lighten it up a bit.  So far this is what i’ve come up with:

Add some fresh peas to add some texture and brighten it up

A splash (or two) of some white wine.

I thought about making a chipotle split pea, but I think it’d be incredibly difficult to get the right balance of flavors, otherwise you’ll end up with one overpowering the other.

Anyone have any ideas??

Happy weeeeeekending my friends!

xo

 

 

 

 

 

Eggplants, fresh basil, garlic, oat flour and a ton of other delicious.  That was what we had for dinner the other night.

 

 

I made 4 of these, like the recipe says to (see?) .  Two for me and two for the Hubs.    Maybe it was the side of sweet potato rounds, but neither of us could even pretend we were going to touch the 2nd burger.  They were surprisingly filling, but without feeling overly greasy like a normal burger would.   I loved the addition of some Daiya Cheddar in the pattie mix, I think it added a nice texture and depth to the burgers.   I maaaay or may not have added a few dashes of Franks Hot Sauce.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

 

Obviously not something too horrible.  Chalk this one up for another way to recreate some classic favorites with a vegan friendly recipe that focuses on fresh, whole foods instead of convenient alternatives.

who else is making something delicious these days?

xo