Friday, April 4, 2008

Free Lunch and a Formal Dinner

Hello all! It's Friday again, and I'm pretty psyched about that. My sorority's formal event is tonight, which will be fun, but for the rest of the weekend I will be spending some quality time with my friend Bill Shakespeare. My loathing for research papers has yet to be matched.

First of all I want to share my most recent snack obsession--homemade snack mix with dark chocolate. I have sampled my fair share of store bought snack mixes, but I am never really quite satisfied with all the components. So, I have resorted to making my own of late. Wednesday evening, while writing my film paper about food no less, I decided I needed a snack. I just combined some plain Cheerios, some dried fruit (dates, raisins, apples, cranberries), and 2 tiny squares of Lindt 70% dark chocolate. I shook it all up in a Tupperware container--voila! I had a great snack to nibble on while I typed. Very basic but oh-so-tasty.


Soon after assembling that evening snack, I prepared my breakfast for the following morning: overnight oatmeal. I have been making this for a while, as it is perfect for my early mornings when I have almost no time for breakfast (somehow I managed to snap a picture though...). I combined oats, almond milk, Stevia, chopped banana, and a little cinnamon this time. The next morning I added a generous portion of wheat germ. I love the texture that wheat germ provides. My roommate thinks I'm such a crazy hippie when I whip out my wheat germ:)

For lunch yesterday, I was just itching to use some of my fresh veggies that I got at the farmers' market the other day. Here's what I came up with: a spicy tofu pita with mixed greens and salsa, steamed squash, and blueberries with ground flax for dessert. I felt like this meal was very clean. Of course later in the afternoon I grazed on some dark chocolate M&Ms, but we won't discuss that.

Last night's dinner was pretty boring. It was cold and rainy outside, so I didn't really feel like venturing out very far for food. I settled on Annie's Mac & Cheese, inspired by Matt from Matt Runs and Eats, but I needed something more nutritious to balance it out, so I grabbed a salad from the salad bar (note the artichoke hearts-YUM). I added some soy nuts to the salad for protein.


Breakfast today was simple too--just a bowl of Fiber One with almond milk and some almonds and dried fruit on the side. Kept me very full though!

Now for the free lunch part. I am on my university's student dining committee, and one of my duties as a board member is to evaluate eateries on campus for customer service, food quality, etc. Considering how much of a foodie I am, I love this job! Plus, we get the meals for free!

Today I evaluated a cafe that is located next to the library. I stop there every day to get my Cinnamon & Spice tea, but today I also picked up a vegan summer roll and some fresh fruit. I supplemented the meal with a salad from the salad bar and some raw cashews. The summer roll consists of tofu, carrots, and basil, all in a rice paper wrapper. Two thumbs up!

Tonight for dinner my friends and I are headed to dinner at a fancy restaurant on campus (they accept food points!) before heading out to our formal event. Here's the menu:

What would you order? The risotto and the spinach strawberry salad look pretty good to me, but who knows what I'll end up getting!

Now I plan on relaxing for the remainder of the afternoon, maybe watch this week's assigned movie (Chicago) for my film class. Enjoy your Friday!


Jennifer said...

I adore homemade snack mixes. I never thought to add cereal as a grain or CHOCOLATE! I love dark chocolate.

Mmmmmm, that pita.

I love your big ass salad! One of my favorite things about summer are big ass farmer's market salads. I love the added nuts on top, makes the salad more filling.

I want that vegan summer roll!

Have a great weekend! Enjoy your time with Bill. ;-)

loveofoats said...

Your cinnamon & spice tea sounds so comforting... That is such a nice perk that you get to have free lunch :)

Happy Friday!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I like your homemade snack. It reminded me that I have some dark chocolate!

Simple and Divine said...

Oooo I would looove to have that job :) haha though I adore mine, that's like being a food critic! yum :) And that spring roll looks so fresh and clean! Delish :)

What sorority are you in?? I went to PSU for my first year of college and joined Alpha Phi!

Happy Friday

hk said...

yum, all loooks fantastic! Like the combo of your snack mix, too :)

em said...

wow that vegan wrap looks great! plus all those veggies, mmmm. i love big salads!

do you cook your overnight oatmeal? or heat it up the next morning?

I still need to try wheat germ!!

ChickPea said...

Jennifer: Yes, I am the queen of big-ass salads. I am all about volume eating...
Loveofoats: I highly recommend the cinnamon tea--I think it's by a company called Harney and Sons, or something like that.
Alice: Always glad to provide a reminder--especially when it involves the consumption of chocolate!
Simple and divine: I am in Chi Omega. I just joined last fall, and I have really enjoyed it so far! We have an Alpha Phi chapter here as well.
hk: Thanks!!
Em: Nope, no cooking required. Just let it soak overnight and eat it cold in the morning. You could probably heat it up, if you wanted to--maybe I'll try that next time. Oh, and for wheat germ, you might want to try the honey-roasted variety first. It's slightly sweeter, so if you're worried about not liking regular wheat germ, that would be the way to go.

Simple and Divine said...

what school do you go to?

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I haven't had wheat germ in so long, I can't even remember what it tastes like! Nonetheless, your oatmeal looks so delicimous with all the wheat germ. :)

That's so cool you're on the dining committee - that way you get the veg word in, and the free food is an awesome perk! That spring roll looks great. It reminds me of the ones I've gotten at Whole Foods that come with the oh-so-yummy peanut sauce! Thank goodness it was free though, because it would be expensive to supplement a $4.99 spring roll with a salad and fruit.

Wow, that menu looks very non-friendly for a vegetarian. The salad and risotto really are the only options... But spinach and strawberries are great together! I'm excited to hear about what you ended up getting.

It's good to see that you're taking such good care of your body - your yummy healthy food looks awesome.

Happy Herbivore! said...

I love free and I'm lame and ALWAYS pick whatever has strawberries or mangos listed as part of the dish!

ChickPea said...

Simple and divine: I go to Duke. Did you say you went to Penn State? I used to live in Pittsburgh so I have a few relatives who went there!
Ruby: You should get reacquainted with wheat germ. If not straight, maybe in one of your baking creations?
Yes, I am the designated vegetarian of the board, but the board doesn't really like what I have to say sometimes. "Why would anyone want tofu? Aren't vegetables enough?" UH NO.
Yeah, the menu was very unfriendly to vegetarians. It would have been impossible to order anything vegan, I think. The dessert was good though--blackberry sorbet with berries!
HH: That's not a bad way to go--mangoes? strawberries? Yes, please!

VeggieGirl said...

oooh that trail mix and overnight oatmeal look great!! and that vegan wrap is a great selection as the free lunch!