Friday, August 15, 2008

End of Summer Blues

As of today, I have a week until I head back to Durham. While I am excited to see my friends and be back on campus, I am always a little reluctant to leave behind the comforts of home. I can say so-long to my relaxed schedule, fully-stocked pantry, and afternoon excursions with Mom. Returning to school means returning to reality and to life as a (semi) adult. Wah.

As a result of my dwindling summer, I have decided to make the most of my access to a full-size kitchen. Check out what I've been whipping up these past few days...


I haven't shared a snack with you all in a while, so I thought I would post one of my favorites: whole grain graham crackers dipped in strawberry yogurt. Yum.
I had some of that split pea soup to use up, but I was really not in the mood for soup again (plus I just can't stand eating the same thing twice in a row). Soo, I made shepherd's pie! I combine the leftover soup with mushrooms, a few tablespoons of TVP, sage, thyme, and garlic. After letting it cook down for a few minutes, I plopped it into a mini casserole dish and topped it with mashed potatoes and parsley for garnish. For dessert I had a piece of toast with Sunbutter.
For my shake, I used another frozen banana. So it was heavenly, of course.
Another beer mug smoothie! The drinking receptacle makes all the difference. Anyway, this one had
pineapple, almond milk, wheat germ and shredded coconut. I also had a small bowl of GoLean with cashews.
I was still jonesin' for scrambled tofu after my failed attempt a few days ago, so I made it again. This time, I covered the tofu in Smoky Avocado Sauce from ED&BV, and I added some chili powder for some kick. Avocados make pretty much anything edible. I also had some toasted corn tortillas, fresh cherries, and a simple spinach salad.
For dinner, my mom had asked me to prepare some ratatouille for her and my dad to enjoy after they returned from a wine and cheese party. I had to sample my own cooking, of course, so I had a big bowl of that with an Ezekiel pita and a salad (with walnuts). I also had an Oikos yogurt to satisfy my insistent sweet tooth.
The smoothie last night was not so good. Those darn blackberry seeds really detract from my enjoyment of the smoothie.
I had a doctor's appointment this morning, but I got up early, just so I could fit in my workout
and a big bowl of stovetop oats. This morning's mound of goodness included whipped banana, blueberry flax (from Trader Joe's), wheat germ, and pumpkin flax granola. Yep. This spurred a food fugue.
I was kinda wiped after my doctor's appointment (note to self: two Benadryl capsules is too many). So, I was not especially in the mood to cook. I made a simple almond butter and jelly sandwich. I found this Tree of Life jar in the back of the fridge--I am definitely a strawberry girl when it comes to PB&J, none of that grape nonsense for me. What's your favorite way to enjoy a nut butter sandwich? Anyway, I wasn't all that hungry, so I just had some (perfectly ripe) honeydew and a spinach salad for my side dishes.

A long nap seemed to cure me of my grogginess, so I made a dinner that actually requires a recipe: Orange Sesame Tofu from ED&BV. I remembered to cut back on the maple syrup this time, so I enjoyed it much more this time around. I also had a salad with cashews and a mound of veggies. My sweet tooth beckoned again, so I finished off the meal with whole grain graham crackers, almond milk, and a few white chocolate chunks.
Olympic track and field is back Monday.


loveofoats said...

ha - i love the beer mug smoothie ;) too cute!

and strawberry yogurt & graham crackers? what a simple but decadent idea!

VeggieGirl said...

Ah yes, starting up the school year is always bittersweet when you have to leave the comforts of home - hang in there!!

Shakes!! Cherries!! Yum!! :0)

"Avocados make pretty much anything edible" Amen to that!!

My favorite way to enjoy nut-butter sandwiches = with either almond-butter, hazelnut-butter, or my NEW obsession, pumpkin-seed-butter!! It contains a whopping 10.5 grams of protein per serving (which is two tablespoons). Wowza!!

sportsnutritionliving said...

I know how you feel I have gotten use to have more time in general! I am so excited to watch the track and field!

Olga said...

I know how you feel, I go back to school in 8 days and I'm trying to savor these last few days without overwhelming myself with all the stuff I should do before I leave.

Your food looks so delicious!

Andrea said...

your meals are always SOOO well rounded - i wish i ate more like you :) mmmm white chocolate chunks = pieces of heaven. i can't believe how fast this summer went! school's so soon! it's definitely bittersweet

shelby said...

As I already started the school year...I know how hard it is to trasition from leisurely days of homecooked food, to rushing and grabbing whatever I can. Good Luck though!

Where did you find the ezekiel pitas? I can't find them anywhere!!

glidingcalm said...

argh. I don't want to go back to school either! blah. Oh well, it's not that I don't enjoy taking classes... I just don't like getting less sleep/getting home late!!

As always your tofu makes my mouth water...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your oatmeal bowl. BLUEBERRY FLAX?! I have to try that! I adore flax!

eatingbender said...

Fortunately, Northwestern still has a month left of break. But I am definitely still not looking forward to going back. Especially because it's senior year and I have things to think about like, I don't know, what I'm going to DO with my life?!

I LOVE Shepherd's Pie! I haven't had it in forever. Your combination sounds great.

I really like your oatmeal - wow! The blueberry flax sounds really tasty. No wonder it's from Trader Joe's, the king of tastiness ;o)

And still lovin' those Olympics!!

foodfeud said...

What a neat way to make shepard's pie..I might just try that.
My favorite way to eat nut butter sandwiches is a little quirky. I used to work at PB & Co. and on the menu we had a "Pregnant Lady," which was peanut butter with pickles on it! One of our flavors was Cinnamon Raisin, and I actually love to eat a Cinnamon Raisin PB sandwich with pickles on it. It sounds disgusting but it's so good. I also like pickles with just plain old PB.

Erin said...

You are so clever turning split pea soup into shepherd's pie! I could easily eat split pea soup many days in a row.

I'm kind of excited to see what you whip up in your kitchenless dorm. I just came across your blog this summer, so the change will be interesting to me!

lighterportions said...

It's shocking how fast summer just flew by. I can't believe it's almost over. Scary!

Drinking out of a beer mug just makes all drinks so much more fun. And the smoothie that you concocted in that mug sounds sooo good. I'll have to give the pineapple in a smoothie thing a try.

ChickPea said...

LoveofOats: I am always looking for cool glasses and plates to use--since I photography so many of my meals, I get bored with the same old dishes!
VeggieGirl: Ooh that pumpkin seed butter sounds wonderful--I'll keep my eye out for it.
SportsNutritionLiving: Yep, it's hard getting back into a defined schedule. Oh well...
Olga: My to-do list is longer than I care to think about, but I plan on fully enjoying my last few days at home!
Andrea: It's weird, I always thought I didn't like white chocolate, but then I tried some white chocolate ice cream, and it was delicious! I bought some white chocolate chunks ASAP.
Shelby: How long have you been back at school? School seems to come earlier every year...
I buy the pitas at Whole Foods in the frozen section.
GlidingCalm: I don't really mind classes either' it's just the change of schedule, etc that is unwelcome.
EatingBender: I remember from when my sister was at Northwestern that she went back to school several weeks after her friends--she was quite bored! But I am sure you have a nice, relaxing month coming up. Good luck as you enter your senior year!
TJ's is amazing. Once again, I say I am so jealous that you have access to it!
Erin: I could probably eat a GOOD split pea soup several days in a row, but this was from a can and not very tasty. Anyway, I'll actually be living in an apartment this year as opposed to a dorm, so I will have a kitchen..sort of.
LighterPortions: I am on a tropical kick lately, so the pineapple and coconut were just calling to me...I'm glad I listened.

ChickPea said...

FoodFeud: That is so cool that you worked at the PB & Co. restaurant!! You're probably set for life on ways to make a PB sandwich! I might just have to try that pickles idea-I LOVE pickles.