Monday, September 22, 2008

Keepin' It Simple

In the midst of classes, meetings, and tutoring freshmen writing students, I haven't had a whole lot of free time today (hence the later post time tonight). Mondays always present such a stark contrast to my weekends; my leisurely weekends come to an abrupt end at the stroke of 7 AM on Monday. Today, for example, I found myself already running a little late to class, only to realize that I forgot a hair tie for my workout--an absolute necessity for me, since I cannot stand the sensation sweaty hair on the back of neck. Anyway, I hoof it back to the apartment (in heels, no less), grab a handful of hair ties, and arrive in class at the stroke of 8:30. The whole day has felt a little something like that.

As a result of my crazy schedule, my meals have been less involved and far from exotic--but I still thought they were tasty! What are your favorite dishes to prepare on hectic days?

Here comes the simple but yummy grub.

When I returned from my sisterhood retreat early Saturday morning, all I wanted to do was sleep. So I did. Then I worked out and had breakfast at like 12 PM. My eating schedule was totally higgledy-piggledy all day (yes, I did just find that adjective on This brunch-ish meal consisted of GoLean with ground flax, rice milk, plus an apple. I am perfecting the art of uber thin apple slicing:)
Lunch was just an excuse to use of up leftovers: chickpeas and canned tomatoes on a bed of spinach with soynuts for crunch, plus whole wheat crackers (Milton's), sliced banana, and almond butter. I think my favorite part of the meal was the simple stuff--the crackers and banana with AB.
The evening chowfest was yet another lazy attempt at meal preparation: a Boca patty on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and organic ketchup, plus a salad, broccoli, and sweets plate with sliced kiwi and raw cashews. That's a lot of food now that I look at it--all healthful though!
The smoothie of the evening was heaven in a glass again. Sorry I am so boring, but the mango-vanilla hemp combination still reminds me of cake batter in some way. Try it, you'll like it!
I was a little more creative yesterday morning in that I tried my hand at vegan French toast. I simply dipped whole wheat bread into rice milk sweetened with agave and cinnamon (I don't have any vanilla extract or arrowroot powder!). I also had an apple with more luscious almond butter. AB is definitely my favorite these days.
The afternoon meal consisted of an old easy standby: scrambled tofu wrap. This one featured tahini, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, broccoli, and tofu of course wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. On the side I had a juicy peach and a salad.
I thought I would mention yesterday's afternoon snack since it was so scrumptious and basically the epitome of fallish flavor. I combined a container of plain yogurt with leftover pumpkin, cinnamon, stevia, raisins, and raw cashews. YUM! The inspiration for this concoction was my mom's legendary pumpkin bread that she makes every year from November-December. I can't wait for Thanksgiving!!
Suppertime was super simple (I'm starting to sound like Sandra Lee form Semi Homemade...). I stuffed a whole wheat pita with hummus, lettuce, and tomato and served it alongside a salad, carrot sticks dipped in Goddess dressing, and nonfat plain kefir (drizzled with agave nectar).
Last night's shake was superb! I combined strawberries, soymilk, special dark cocoa powder, and Nutiva hemp (berry pomegranate flavor), and I finished it off with a few dairy-free chocolate chips. The consistency was perfect--not too thick, not too thin. Another winning combination.
I was rushed this morning (as noted above), so I opted for a simple bowl of cereal: Whole Foods brand organic Os with rice milk and sliced banana. I also had a little dish of TJ's AntiOXidant trail mix on the side. Quick and easy.
The pre-run snack today was a baggie of GoLean cereal. I recently decided that I would like to have bigger lunches after my workouts, so I am cutting down the size of my pre-run snack. Perhaps this will also eliminate my unsatisfactory exercise fueling problems that I have been having.
When I returned home from the gym, I made a mad dash to the kitchen for a simple veggie meal: a baked sweet potato (with cinnamon), Brussels sprouts (with garlic salt), kidney beans (with chili powder, ground red pepper, and cumin), and applesauce with peanuts. This kept me full throughout the afternoon of tutoring appointments.
TGI Friday's brought a few dishes to the dining meeting tonight; they want students to be able to use food points for Friday's delivery program. The offerings consisted of baby back ribs, onion rings, a Bleu cheeseburger, and peanut butter cheesecake--obviously, not my typical fare. I hit up the salad bar instead. I also made tiny almond butter cracker sammies. So satisfying.
Oh, and I got another package today! Yes, I must stop ordering impulse items from, but I really needed some nutritional yeast flakes so that I could make a few things from Lindsay's cookbook. A few other items might have also snuck into my virtual shopping cart...(TVP, Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Cereal with flax, chocolate rice protein powder, and a little shaker cup).
I am off to study for a quiz and make flashcards! Good night:)


Andrea said...

you seriously are the queen of super tiny apple slices! what is your technique!? ;)

your eats always look/sound so good! YUMMMY. especially the cake-batter description of the smoothie!

Anonymous said...

your meals are hardly lacking in creativity. Also about the pre-exercise meal.. I find that I can not run on a full stomach so I eat something small before a run jus to keep my hunger away... a general rule is 1g/carb for every kilogram of body weight per hour... this is a lot of carb so I usually got with bread and jam with some puffed cereal on top... than after I am def ready to eat!

Meghann said...

I thought your foods were still plenty exotic and yummy looking.

VeggieGirl said...

Ahhh, hang in there with the busyness, Miss Chickpea!!

My favorite meals to prepare when things are hectic (which is 24/7, haha) = meals just like the one I just featured on my blog, inspired by you! :0)

"Higgledy-piggledy" = my new favorite word, haha!! So fun.

DAMN you have some serious skills with slicing apples!! Impressive!!

Seriously, EVERYTHING that you feature is always beautifully-presented, well-balanced, and totally delectable. You underestimate yourself! :0)

Danielle said...

crYou never cease to amaze me with your busy schedule and pretty, wholesome meals. Lacking creativity, are you kidding? Everything you eat always has some thought to it and I find myself thinking "what a great new idea" every meal. You're my role model, hehehe :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I think you have already perfected the art of super tiny apple slices!!

I just tried frozen mango for the first time tonight. I'm in love. I think combining that with the vanilla hemp protein will be happening soon - especially if you say it tastes like CAKE BATTER! What are the other ingredients? I apologize if you've said already.

I love TJ's antiOXidant trail mix! Second only to the Nutz Over Raspberries and Chocolate.

I feel sort of silly saying this but I've never heard of TVP before! I'm excited to see what you use it with.

ChickPea said...

Andrea: Haha--thanks! I just got a new knife set, so they're all super sharp, making it really easy to slice!
Thanks for commenting:)
SportsNutritionLiving: Thanks so much for that rule of thumb. That makes calculating/planning pre-run snacks much simpler. I agree that bread with jam is great exercise fuel.
Meghann: Aw, thanks! I thought they were ho-hum because I was just eating cereal, Boca burgers, and hummus. Glad you still liked the meals though!
VeggieGirl: Great suggestion;) I think I might have to try that sweet potato/spinach combo ASAP. I also plan on making one of your awesome green smoothies soon too.
Danielle: You are so sweet to consider me a "role model." I have to applaud you for your success at maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen even while abroad--not an easy task sometimes!
EatingBender: So glad you got to try the wonders of frozen mango--a lot more convenient than peeling fresh:)
Anyway, I accidentally posted the ingredients to the vanilla hemp in my response to your other comment, but here it is again:
Hemp Protein (100% Organic Hemp Seed), Organic Unrefined Whole Cane Sugar, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Maca and Organic Pure Ground Madagascar Vanilla Bean.
I wish I could try every single one of TJ's trail mixes--there are so many. I still have some of the AntiOXidant mix left, and I have another one with peanuts and chocolate chips I think, unopened. If I had a TJ's nearby, I'm sure I would have like 8 different varieties, including the raspberry chocolate one...
No need to be embarrassed about the TVP thing. The only reason I knew what it was is because when I was doing research prior to my switch to vegetarianism, I came across several recipes that use it. I have actually never used it before, as I think it is very similar to Boca crumbles. Anyway, this seemed like a more economical and shelf-stable choice, so we'll see how it tastes!

ChickPea said...

PS TVP stands for texturized vegetable protein, in case you're curious!