Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Lazy Chef

As my friend Jenn might say, I have been quite the lazy chef lately. My culinary inspiration has been alarmingly absent these past few days; my mind has been occupied by homework, linguistics terms, and (most significantly) romantic interests. (Anyone have any tips on how to ask a guy to a semi-formal?) Anyway, as a result of my persistent distraction, my meals have been relatively simple, although I had a minor spark of creativity in the kitchen last night for dinner. You'll just have to read on to hear more about that.

In typical Monday-night form, I grabbed a quick salad from the salad bar after my dining committee meeting. This veggie delight featured: mixed greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kidney beans, and sliced olives. I also snagged a small container of grapes. Crunchy. Tasty. Yum.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am suffering from a dearth of vanilla hemp protein at the moment, so alternative varieties have reigned supreme these past few days. This shake included cherries, strawberries, soymilk, chocolate rice protein, and chocolate chips.
In an effort to use up some overly-ripe pears, I decided on a Pear-Berry Parfait yesterday morning. Bran flakes, diced pear, blueberry yogurt, and chopped almonds made for quite the unique flavor explosion.
For lunch, I kept it simple with a Tofurky wrap, jazzed up with mustard, vegan mayo, and dried cranberries (my lame attempt at incorporating the Blogger Secret Ingredient). It tasted a tiny bit like Thanksgiving--if only I had some stuffing to go with it! On the side, I had a spinach salad and an apple with some Futter's cashew butter. PS That's a Flat Out spinach wrap--I recommend them!
I bought an eggplant for super cheap last week at Whole Foods (99 cents!), but I am a tad tired of my usual ratatouille route. Instead, I made an open faced baked eggplant sandwich! After baking the slices in the oven, I placed them atop toasted whole wheat bread, drizzled them with balsamic vinegar, and topped them off with a mixture of onions, bell peppers, and oregano. On the side I had "chickpea mash," inspired by Rachael Ray. My version included chickpeas, tahini, and a squirt of lemon juice. For a sweet ending, I had a fruit cup that I purchased on campus.
The shake last night was another berry-cocoa bonanza with blackberries, strawberries, chocolate rice protein, cocoa powder, soymilk, and chocolate chips. Delish.
Remember when I was asking for frozen waffle recommendations? Well I finally purchased a new vegan variety at Whole Foods on Friday, Nature's Path PomegranPlus (with oat bran). I toasted up two of those, drizzled them with agave, and served them along side peaches with almonds and a glass of rice milk. These waffles provided quite the pleasant contrast from my usual Kashi they're egg-free, which makes me happy. Expect a product review in the future!
In hopes of getting more studying done this afternoon and this evening, I looked to the freezer for inspiration for lunch today. Sunshine burgers just happened to be the first item that entered my field of vision. I heated up one of the patties, chopped it up, and tossed it into a salad with my agave-dill-mustard-vegan mayo dressing. A big sweet potato with cinnamon and brown sugar and an apple rounded it all out.
I am off to shower and settle into an evening of studying. Ciao!


VeggieGirl said...

Lazy Chef??? No, no, no, my friend - you are an extremely CREATIVE Chef!!! Just because the meals don't take all day, does NOT mean that you're lazy :0)

Love all the product shout-outs!! Living Harvest, Futters, Sunshine burgers... yum!!! Oh and I love your use of this week's BSI ingredient as well - fabulous!!

Take care, Miss Chickpea!!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why you seem to eschew all oil in your diet. Yes, too much oil is bad for you, but as a nutrition major, don't they teach you that some oil, especially olive oil, is very good for you?

Green Eyes, Green Heart said...

We crazy busy students have an excuse to be lazy lol! Own it! ;)

That spinach wrap looks fab, by the way!!

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: Haha thanks for boosting my cooking ego.
Hmmm, now that you mention it, I learned about most of those products from you!
Anonymous: That's a good question, actually. My avoidance of oil is merely personal preference; I don't really like the "mouth-feel," if you will. Olive oil and other monounsaturated fats are quite nutritious, and I encourage others to use it in their cooking if they enjoy it. However, there are other sources of these heart-healthy fats in avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish (if you eat them).

magpie said...

I LOVE all of your meals! You're not lazy at all :) The thanksgiving themed wrap is great.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't understand. What is "mouth feel"?

I didn't mean just putting oil on things like salads. I meant that you don't even seem to use oil when cooking. Are you afraid of the high concentration of calories? (This is not an attack comment!)

ChickPea said...

Green Eyes: Haha, so true!
Magpie: Thanks! I highly recommend combining the Thanksgiving flavors!
Anonymous: What I mean by "mouth-feel" is that I don't really enjoy oil's texture very much. It often leaves a greasy residue in your mouth after consumption, which is not appealing to me. It's not that I am afraid of high concentrations of kcalories, as any source of significant fat (such as those I mentioned--nuts, seeds, etc) is calorie dense, and I most certainly consume fat during my day. For example, a tablespoon of oil contains 120 kcalories, and PB (one of my favorite fat sources) contains just 20 calories less per tablespoon.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but peanut butter takes much longer to eat.

I just think that, to be healthy, one ought to include at least a little oil in one's diet. But I'm not trying to be critical, so I'll stop giving you the third degree.

Andrea said...

I’ve neve commeted before, but I just have to butt in this time. Anonymous, I think you need to leave Caroline alone. Most anorexics, even after they’re considered to be recovered, still have issues with eating certain foods. Me, personally? I am at a healthy weight, but I still eat very little oil. I know that some is good for you, but it’s still something I call a “fear food”. I’m working on it! Caroline, I think you’re doing great!

shelby said...

I don't think your lazy at all! All your food looks fantastic!

ChickPea said...

Anonymous: Honestly, I hadn't really thought of how long a certain food takes to eat, since I usually inhale everything anyway. I'm not sure why you seem so concerned about my not consuming oil, but rest assured that I do eat it occasionally when I eat prepared meals at restaurants, etc.
Andrea: Thanks for your support. You're right, maybe oil is one of my subconscious "fear foods," but I can honestly say that I don't really "crave" oil like I might might other former fear foods, such as PB or chocolate. As a result, I am perfectly content with it absent from my diet. Anyway, it's nice to hear that someone knows where I am coming from!
Shelby: Thanks!

Erin of Care to Eat said...

I think throwing the cran into the wrap totally counts!

Agnesss =) said...

HEY Caroline!!!!

Your eats are always well organized and even when they're quick they're creative and interesting!!! =D Love it!!

Eating oil in the form of olive oil (or whatever) is DEFINITELY NOT A MUST FOR BEING HEALTHY!! =) What an absurd theory anyway..

Well,hope your studies are going well!!


OH..and visit my blog maybe...?? =DD will be sooooo NICE to see a comment from you!!=D

Hang in there!!

Enjoy the day!!

ChickPea said...

Erin: Hmm maybe I should submit it as a "recipe."
Agnes: Things have calmed down for now, so I will be writing you an e-mail in the near future. Love your blog!

eatingbender said...

Hehehe - Lazy Chef ;o) Thanks for the shout out. Although in my mind, you have NEVER been a lazy chef, Miss Caroline. All of your meals look fantastically put together! Particularly those parfaits that I always love looking at!

Erica said...

Girl- this isn't a semi recipe, this is a recipe and it looks so good! This could work for breakfast or for a snack! Very nice. I love all of the food you posted- looks so healthy but yummy. Lovin it ;) Thanks for submitting!