Friday, January 30, 2009

Five o'clock Countdown

Many people spend their days anxiously awaiting the stroke of five; some can't wait to bolt out of the office, while others are waiting for happy hour to arrive. Not me. I get excited for 5:00 because that's when the UPS man makes his rounds on central campus. Sweet.

The past few days have included several deliveries, both expected and unexpected. First up, a package from Mom:
Magazines (including my first Clean Eating issue as a subscriber!), kitchen gadgets, and cookbooks I couldn't squish into my suitcase last month.
A Foodbuzz package:
True Delight bars--can't wait to sample and review these! Chocolate? Coconut? Yes, please.

A mystery package from none other than VeggieGirl (I apologize for the crap-tastic picture):
HOLY PEANUT BUTTER! I was so excited to open up this package! As I mentioned a few posts back, I have had the hardest time locating Peanut Butter & Co. products here in Durham. VeggieGirl came to the rescue with several jars of PB, plus a container of PB pretzels. I have never tried the Smooth Operator or White Chocolate Wonderful, so I am completely stoked to try those out...decadent oatmeal toppings, anyone? I guess this also resolves my nut butter dearth too:)

I also received a package with several varieties of Spirutein that I had ordered last picture, but you'll see them soon enough!

Aside from opening all my foodie parcels, I've been cookin' and chompin' too. Here are the goods:

I just had a small window between class and my tutoring sessions, so I made a quick sammie using Lindsay's Spicy Chickpea Spread. I also had an apple and salad with Goddess dressing.
In celebration of being reunited with my beloved ED&BV cookbook, I made my fave dish evah: Cashew Ginger Tofu. On the side, I had couscous, steamed asparagus and mushrooms, and a dish of sliced peaches.
The smoothie was pretty old-school: strawberry banana with Nutribody and soymilk.
My usual 8:30 class was cancelled yesterday, so I seized the opportunity to get more than 6 hours of sleep (yay!) and make a leisurely breakfast. I like the asparagus/'shroom combo so much that I included it in my scrambled tofu. I also had a Rudi's English muffin and a blood orange.
For lunch yesterday, I used up some leftover black beans in a good ol' burrito with spinach, salsa, and mashed avocado. I also had a salad and a mixture of pineapple and mango.
Last night was pasta night for me. I combined whole wheat angel hair with chickpeas, fresh tomatoes, garlic, shredded mozzarella, basil, and oregano. On the side, I had a salad with Woodstock dressing.
The shake choice was obvious: I used my pistachio-esque Nutty Berry Burst Spirutein and combined it with strawberries, banana, and soymilk. So fluffy and delicious.
I often draw inspiration for my shake concoctions from Girl Scout Cookie flavors (Thin Mint, Tagalong, Samoas, etc.), and today I thought, "Why not make Samoas oatmeal?" So I did: oats, cocoa powder, coconut, rice milk, and almonds made for quite the decadent morning meal. I wish I had some coconut extract to make the oats more coconut-y throughout, rather than just on top. Oh yeah, I had some strawberries on the side for a bit of fruit.
I made my weekly trek to Whole Foods today:
I returned for a quick lunch before more tutoring sessions. Black beans, corn, chili powder, Texas Pete, salsa, and mashed avocado went atop a bed of greens for a Tex-Mex salad. I also had a big honkin' apple.
As I type this post, I am enjoying some of my new PB: plain yogurt with cinnamon and stevia, raisins, and Mighty Maple PB. Perfection. Thanks SO much, VeggieGirl!

Before I peace out for the ChiO crush party tonight, I wanted to ask your opinion on savory oats. I've always been intrigued by them in fellow bloggers' posts, I've been too much of a wimp to actually try them myself. Have you tried them? What's your favorite way to prepare them?

Be back soon--Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Running in Heels

All I have to say is that I better have killer legs by the end of the semester.

Allow me to explain. Duke has 3 campuses: East, West, and Central to which students are transported via buses. Most of the time, I choose to walk to class from Central campus because it's a mere 10-15 minute walk, and I am far too impatient to wait for buses. However, with the recent dip in temperatures, I have been relying on the bus with far more frequency. Somehow I never seem to get the schedule right though and find myself running to catch the departing vehicle. It wouldn't be such a big deal if I actually wore sensible shoes now and then, but my unhealthy appreciation of heels prevents that from happening...Sexy calves, here I come!

Here's what I've been using to fuel my dashes to the bus stop:

I made coconut black beans again, which was inspired by this recipe from VegWeb. I obviously didn't have a lot of the ingredients on hand, so improvised. On the side, I had couscous and a salad with cashews.
I had my weekly dining meeting in the evening, so I made a pit stop afterward at the salad bar, where they had...steamed edamame! Clearly, that was the highlight of my day. When I came home, I added some of Annie's Shiitake Vinaigrette and added some crackers and cantaloupe as accompaniments.
The smoothie of the night was another berry bonanza with strawberries, blueberries plus the other usual suspects. Oh, and an extra-large dose of granola:)
Due to the crap-tastic weather we had yesterday (i.e., cold and rainy), I knew I needed a hot breakfast to start out the day. Steamed rice milk poured over crumbled Weetabix and a banana with the scraps of the Sunbutter jar did the trick. PS Why is it that all my nut butters run out at once?! I can't afford to replace them simultaneously!
Yesterday's lunch shall be labeled this post's FOOD FUGUE. It was fan-freaking-tabulous. Here's what spawned the fugue: sweet butter lettuce topped with steamed asparagus, tofu cooked in soy sauce/vinegar/garlic/ginger, cashews, and blood orange segments. I had some of those addicting crackers on the side.
After an afternoon of tutoring, I returned looking for I cooked dinner, of course. I made Lindsay's Spicy Teriyaki Chickpeas. I didn't have any pineapple salsa (again!), so I subbed chopped pineapple. That's couscous, broccoli, and a salad with peanuts on the side.
The smoothie last night was pretty awesome. Let's just face it, I'll love anything with mango it. Here's what went in the blender: frozen mango, frozen peaches, Nutribody protein, and soymilk.
Today's breakfast consisted of a trusty time-saver: overnight oats. Last night I combined oats with rice milk, stevia, and cinnamon; I added warmed & spiced pumpkin and almonds this morning. I had another blood orange on the side.
For those of you who eat overnight oats regularly, do you enjoy it hot or cold? I always assumed it was meant to be consumed cold, but I'm up for a little variety.

As I mentioned above, I have found myself in a sudden nut butter dearth. If you could choose just one nut butter to enjoy forever more, which one would you choose?

Alright, I suppose I should get ready for my Faulkner class now. Ta-ta for now!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spaz on Skates

Now, I've never claimed to be the most coordinated individual. Indeed, I was always the kid in gym class who got hit in the face with the basketball. Anyway, I thought that perhaps my devotion to exercise and fitness in recent years would have afforded me some new-found athleticism...but I was wrong. My friends and I headed to a roller rink this past weekend, where I strapped on a pair of skates for the first time since my 9th birthday party. Let's just say I have a nasty bruise developing on my knee a new respect for anyone who can roller skate. We had lots of fun though!
Here's what I've been eating in between displays of spastic tendencies:

I used up some leftover bags of frozen fruit for this one: frozen cherries, strawberries, soymilk, Nutribody protein, and granola, of course.
After sleeping through my alarm (yes, I do occasionally set it even on Saturdays!), I made it to the gym and back to prepare a pretty fab parfait: plain yogurt with stevia and dark cocoa mixed in, Peanut Butter Pows, sliced banana and a scoop of PB. FOOD FUGUE.
For lunch, I kept it simple: frozen corn with kidney beans, chili powder, garlic salt, and salsa, salad with Woodstock dressing, and an apple.
Dinner was thrown together last minute before heading to the roller rink: Amy's Bistro Burger on whole wheat with organic K+M, salad with wheat germ and raspberry vinaigrette, and green beans with pecans and dill. Nummy.
After skating, we headed back to a friends room for a little party. Hence, no shake for this evening.

Before heading to chapel, I prepared my beloved stovetop oats. This bowl included pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a crumbled pecan pie Larabar. Mmm. Pumpkin-pecan hybrids are the best.
For lunch, I just wanted something to warm me up (again!). I combined: frozen veggies, tomato sauce + water, curry powder, kidney beans, and ground ginger to make a tasty soup. On the side, I had a salad with Goddess dressing, crackers, and a blood orange.
I scarfed down dinner super fast before heading to a chapter meeting. I made white bean almond bruschetta (an improvisation of ED&BV's White Bean Walnut Bruschetta), along with spinach and grapes.
The shake of the evening was pretty amazing: peaches, blueberries, soymilk, Nutribody protein, and granola. Surprisingly delicious.
Breakfast was a simple affair: toast with pumpkin butter and the scrapings of my almond butter jar, plus an apple and a glass of rice milk.
I am interested in trying out some new foodie products...I feel like I haven't made any grocery store discoveries recently. What's your latest food find?

Now I am headed to class. Ciao for now!