Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Motor Mouth

Although I am generally a girl of relatively few (spoken) words, today I just could not keep my mouth shut. Of course, the approaching Halloween weekend and some exciting romantic (!) developments might have had something to do with it, but I was going a mile-a-minute when I talked to my mom on the phone today. I feel sorry for my poor roomie, who upon returning from a long day of exams and tests, was greeted by my motor mouth. Perhaps I should switch to decaffeinated tea?

Before I get started, I want to be sure that you are all aware of Arnold's Name That Sandwich Contest. Just think--you could be responsible for a sandwich revolution! Check out the rules here.

Rena from Arnold Bread was kind enough to notify me of this opportunity and send me some samples of their sandwich thins (which are not available in my area), plus a couple loaves of their new varieties of sliced bread. Hmm, sounds like good material for a future product review...Anyway, I am SO excited to try these items and get creative with my sandwich makin'.
Onto the eats!

Oh, how I have missed my Nutiva Hemp Shakes. Monday's superb concoction consisted of strawberries, mango, soymilk, and berry pomegranate hemp. Yum.
I fired up the MB for breakfast yesterday morning, despite the sub-40* weather. Nothing gets between me and my smoothies. This one had blackberries and soymilk, and I served it with a mini bagel topped with cashew butter and dried cranberries. Note the lovely Merlot color of the smoothie:)
For lunch, I was jonesin' for some breakfast pizza. My attempt was comprised of scrambled tofu with Boca crumbles mixed in, plus sliced mushrooms and oregano, all on an Italian flatbread. It was tasty, but it would have been even better with soy sausage and onions. On the side is a salad and grapes.
I just can't get enough of that butternut goodness, so I decided to use a recipe I've had bookmarked for a while from Imagine foods (although technically I used Pacific brand's soup). I combined zucchini, onions, and mushrooms with butternut squash and poured the mixture over whole wheat wagon wheel pasta. Along with it, I had a salad with olives, plain yogurt with agave and cinnamon, plus an orange to fend off this cold. Lots of food, lots of satisfaction.
The shake last night again featured the berry pomegranate hemp protein. I blended it with soymilk, peaches, strawberries, and coconut. PS I finally got a big enough cup so that I don't have to deal with overflow anymore--sweet.
It was another Banana Blender Cereal kind of day today. This time I actually used the walnuts that the recipe calls for, rather than substituting almonds or pecans as I have the past few weeks. It turned out delicious and creamy, as always. Next time I might consider adding coconut!
Today's lunch was inspired by a recipe from Rudi's bakery. The original recipe called for turkey, cream cheese, and walnuts, but I ended up using Tofurky, vegan mayo, and almonds (respectively). Yep, those are luscious sliced peaches in that tasty spinach wrap. On the side I had some brussels sprouts and a salad with dried cherries on top.
I was feeling festive this evening (and had an intense desire to procrastinate), so I decided on a Thanksgiving-ish meal. I had some beans 'n greens ( peas with spinach, garlic, and black eyedhot sauce), stuffing, and green beans with chopped pecans. While I ate dinner, I had a pot of cranberry sauce simmering on the stove, so I am just finishing up a dish of that as I type. I simply combined a 12 oz package of cranberries, 1 1/3 cups water, cinnamon, vanilla, and 1/4 cup agave nectar for a tart and delicious treat. This will be so good with pumpkin flax granola!
Before I conclude this rather lengthy post, I will leave you with a picture of my current Clif stash. I recently received a package from my mother with clothes, coats, and --what else--mini Clifs! As you can see, I am fully stocked! I've got a few of the full-size seasonal flavors, plus some Z bars too. I figured you all would be the only ones who would appreciate this:)
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Recovery

The parentals have departed, so my playtime at the mall and basketball court is now officially ended. As a result, I have been playing catch-up for the past 48 hours, doing homework and attending to things that I have been conveniently ignoring for the past few days.

In addition to recovery from my responsibility-free weekend, I am also recovering from my back injury. Somehow I managed to strain my piriformis muscle; I am not happy about this unfortunate circumstance as it makes running near impossible. I waited at Duke Student Health for 3 hours (!) today...let's just say sitting in a cheap waiting room chair all afternoon did not help my condition at all. At least I got my stats homework done in the meantime!

OK, enough of my pesky pessimism...let's get to the fun stuff--food!

Owing to the fact that I did not get dessert at Taverna Nikos, I decided I could still have my evening shake. This one had a frozen banana, soymilk, chocolate rice protein, and "special dark" cocoa powder; I also had a dark chocolate kiss which I plunked in the bottom of the glass. It makes for a nice surprise when I reach the bottom of the glass:)
I had a busy day planned with Mom and Dad, so I prepared my breakfast the night before by making some overnight oats. I combined some of Bob's Red Mill 5-Grain cereal with rice milk, dried cherries, and cinnamon. Despite having plenty of time to soak up the goodness, the cereal ended up quite liquid-like the next morning. Ultimately, I heated it for a while in the m-wave to soak up some moisture. I topped the cereal with pecan halves and served it alongside a big Rome apple.
After an afternoon spent at the basketball court, we returned to my apartment for a breather. I prepared a ridiculously simple meal while here: hummus sammie, Romaine with lentils, and a banana with cashew butter. Yawn. To compensate for the boring nature of this meal, check out some pics from the game (the Blue Devil is "surfing" on members of the Duke Marching Band):
We headed out for some shopping and dinner at a place I've mentioned before, Elmo's Diner. This time, I ordered a bowl of the veggie chili and the spinach salad with pecans. Unfortunately, the waitress got my order wrong so the chili came with all the fixins' (cheese, sour cream, chives, etc.), and my salad arrived with gobs of dressing. I requested a new salad but just scraped off the superfluous toppings on the chili. Everything still tasted delicious!
We headed out to Chapel Hill for some nighttime entertainment. I was still sporting my "Cameron Crazie" shirt from the basketball game, so I attracted some mean-spirited glances from our UNC rivals; I was invading their turf. Nonetheless, I fully enjoyed myself thanks to a visit to the Yogurt Pump. I got some Ghiradelli Chocolate frozen yogurt with mini M&Ms. I apologize for the crappy picture, but I assure you that it was quite the treat!
With the parents gone, I settled into a day of reading...and reading. Before chapel, I made a batch of applesauce oats, using that Bob's Red Mill cereal again. The PB helped a little bit, but in general, this was not a stellar dish.
Lunch was a little better. Due to the sudden dip in temperature, I wanted something warm and comforting. I made a simple tomato soup out of leftover tomato sauce, veggie broth, oregano, and garlic (with broccoli added in), and I served it alongside a grilled Tofurky sandwich, orange slices, and almonds. Eclectic, but tasty.
I had another rushed dinner before chapter last night, although this one was more creative than last week's. I made hummus pizzas out of a split pita, hummus, sliced olives, and tomato. On the side, I had some greens and a plain yogurt with plenty of wheat germ.
The shake last night was pretty much identical to Saturday's, except for the addition of strawberries; this turned out to be an excellent variation. Strawberries, bananas, and chocolate make for a lovely flavor trio.
I never have the energy for anything other than cereal on Monday mornings. Today's bowl featured Puffins and Cheerios (happily reached the end of the box--this cereal has gotten way too boring for me!). I topped the bowl with dried cherries and rice milk and served it with an apple and Sunbutter.
My "lunch" did not actually pass my lips until 5 PM today, due to the excessive wait at the health clinic. As a result, I just grabbed easy to prepare items that would satisfy my angry tummy: Pacific Foods Butternut Squash Soup with walnuts and cinnamon, toast, Romaine with soynuts, and an orange.
After my dining committee meeting, I headed to the gym and then hit up the salad bar (another habit reserved for Mondays). My salad featured spinach, garbanzos, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and broccoli. I also finagled some amazingly ripe honeydew melon.That's some key lime pie yogurt with chopped almonds on the side; this key lime flavor is fast becoming a favorite!

I (and my back) are pooped, so I am going to sign off now. But first, get excited for the return of more creative smoothies, as my shipment of hemp protein arrived today:
Oddly enough, the arrival of hemp protein made my day significantly better...Ciao!