Friday, March 13, 2009

A Little Less Wimpy

I woke up this morning to gray, rainy skies and a temperature gauge that read 47*. Boo. What happened to our summer-like weather? I am quite the wimp when it comes to running in unpleasant weather; I much prefer the constancy of the treadmill. However, I have no treadmill at home, and I really needed to run today. I had opted for alternative (indoor) forms of exercise for the past two days--and I have my 5k tomorrow! So, to avoid being completely unprepared for my first race, I put my big girl pants on--I ran in the nasty weather. My experience ended up being relatively successful: I survived the chilly drizzle of rain and returned home with a feeling of accomplishment. What about you? Are you more of an indoor or outdoor exerciser?

I have been thoroughly enjoying the leisure of spring break by trying some new combinations in the kitchen. Take a looksie:

I ended the day with a favorite Spirutein flavor: Nutty Berry Burst. As I've mentioned before, this variety has a flavor pleasantly reminiscent of pistachios. Anyway, this rendition included strawberries, non-dairy vanilla ice cream, and soymilk, topped with a little PB2 and cashew granola. Fab-yoo-lus.
Remember when I re-purposed my French toast batter as a pudding? Well, I've been at it again, but this time I mixed it into my morning oat bran. Once I had prepared the tofu-banana mixture and cooked the oat bran, I combined the two and blended them with my hand blender. The end result was a silky smooth bowl of goodness. I topped the oat bran with wheat germ and Sunbutter.
After an intense day of shopping, I returned home famished. I quickly made a batch of Better Bunny Salad (which I have also made here, here and here) using pineapple, currants, walnuts, carrots, and vegan mayo. I served it atop a bed of greens; I also toasted up a new kind of bagel that I found at SuperTarget. Cherry and pomegranates, in the same item? In a bread item, no less? Clearly, I was destined to try this product. One drawback: as I was waiting for my bagel to toast, I noticed that the ingredients list includes sucralose (aka Splenda).
In response to a recent craving for muffins, I decided to make a batch yesterday afternoon. I drew inspiration from my all time fave cereal, GoLean. Whole wheat flour, bananas, applesauce, almond milk, and agave nectar made for some delicious vegan treats. I am thinking a muffin parfait is in my future...
For dinner, I made yet another recipe from Totally Vegetarian, the Pumpkin Bulgur Chili. I know, this sounds like another odd use for pumpkin, but it has proved to be quite the versatile ingredient this week. This thick stew turned out delicious! I had never used bulgur before, but I now know that its texture is eerily similar to ground beef when incorporated into soup. Anyway, other main ingredients of the chili include red beans and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). I went back for seconds on this one!
The smoothie last night featured perhaps my second favorite fruit for blended concoctions, cherries. I combined cherry Spirutein, cherries, soymilk, and cashew ginger granola.
Clearly, after my nippy run this morning, all I wanted for breakfast was a big bowl of warmth. One of Katie's recent posts reminded me of the wonders of her oatmeal creations, so I decided I would make a pumpkin variation of her Oatmeal Raisin Pudding. I made this once before, and it was total heaven then, just as it was this morning. I topped it with walnuts and currants and served it with a bowl of strawberries and peaches.
I spent the day shopping for various kitchen items with Mom, which as you all know, is one of my favorite pastimes. I swear, I really am 21, not 85. Anyway, when we returned home, I made myself a piping hot curry dish with red beans, red onion, tomatoes, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, paprika, and turmeric. I soaked it up with an Ezekiel pita and served it alongside an apple and a salad with Ginger Miso Dressing. My sister Lea has been obsessing over this dressing for months, and I couldn't find it until just recently. It tastes exactly like the dressing they use at Japanese steakhouses. I really enjoyed it, but its texture is a little thick for using on salads. It has the consistency of hummus or peanut butter, making it difficult to distribute among the greens.
Regarding my last post's topic, I have decided to respond to specific questions and comments via e-mail. Otherwise, I'll leave you a note in the comments section. Just thought you'd like to know for future reference:)

Some pretty awesome giveaways are taking place in the blogosphere these days:
-Heather Eats Almond Butter is giving away coupons for Turtle Mountain products, which happen to be personal favorites. I *love* their fruit-sweetened non-dairy ice cream and their cinnamon bun soy yogurts. Enter my midnight tonight!
-If you head over to Lucky Taste Buds, you'll have the chance to win a $20 gift certificate for Mix My Granola. Were I to win or order from the site, I know for sure that my mix would include mangoes, almonds, and coconut. What would you include in your ideal mix? Enter by March 16 at 8AM.

Ta-ta for now, bloggies!


VeggieGirl said...

I'm DEFINITELY an indoor exerciser.

Loooovely pudding, muffins, chili - EVERYTHING!! :-D

Happy weekend to ya!!

K said...

"My big girl pants on" haha you crack me up! GOOD LUCK with the 5K!!

Those muffins look fabulous! Did you put the cereal in them?!

Oooh the pumpkin chili sounds delicious! I've never had bulgur either! My granola would be filled with a lot of crunchiness - nuts, clusters, etc.

Oh my email is ksgoodeats at gmail dot com :)

jane said...

outside all the way! i would rather run in 10 degree weather (and i probably have) than the boring treadmill.
kudos for running outside when you don't like that weather!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I actually ran in drizzly 30 degrees yesterday. I was going to take an off day, but for some reason I had the urge to go out even in the ugly weather. Cuz gross weather makes me gloomy, so I needed the endorphins! And I had fun! Haha weird, I know. What's even weirder is that it's 30degrees in Texas in March! Ugh!

Thanks for the shout-out. I think a pumpkin version sounds awesome!

CeciLiA said...

GOOD LUCK FOR YA 5K!!!!! And like you said, hopefully, there will be free larabars on site ;)

OOOoo MUFFINS!! I just baked a batch of banana muffins two days ago using almost the same ingredient as you!! Hahaha, great minds think alike huh :D

shelby said...

Where is the link to your tofu-banana pudding recipe? Could you send it to me via e-mail? I would love to try it in my oats, that bowl looks fabulous!!!

Erica said...

Oatmeal raisin pudding? That sounds seriously incredible. Good luck in your 5k! I like both indoor and outdoor exercise! A good balance is best!

eatingbender said...

Good luck with your 5k, Caroline! I'm so excited to hear what you think of your first race!

You certainly have been making some awesome eats at home. Those muffins look amazing! Love the pumpkin bulgur chili, too!

I love that you appreciate kitchen shopping as much as I do :o) Next time you come to Chicago, we should totally meet up and go to the Crate and Barrel on Michigan Ave!

If I could mix my own granola, it would definitely include coconut, dried raspberries and dried blueberries. Mmm!

Sarah (lovINmytummy) said...

I have trained for every race I've ever run indoors. I think if I made myself go outside for each run, I'd never run a race. I just tell myself it makes the race "special" if its the only time I run outside.

MizFit said...

Im all inside all the time.
which I know I should work on (AS I SHOULD MY COOKING after reading this post. Im all about trying the chili!) but right now...not so much :)

have a great weekend!

Nicole ( said...

The first race looks insanely delicious! Good luck with the race!!!

Lauren said...

Yay for pumpkin - I've been eating lots of it lately.

I am absolutely an OUTDOOR exerciser. My favorite way to workout is hiking, but running, biking, walking, etc. outside all run a close second. Good thing it's almost spring here in Boston b/c I'm getting sick of the gym ;)

Andrea of Care to Eat said...

Indoor all the way! I loves me some A/C and flat screens!

ChickPea said...

VG: Thanks--same to you!
Jane: Yep, I don't get bored as quickly when I run outside--lots of stuff to look at outside!
CCV: Seriously, what is up with the Southern weather lately? I agree that sometimes you need the exercise to lift your mood.
Cecilia: Thanks! No Larabars this time but it was fun nonetheless.
Erica: Definitely try CCV's recipe if you get a chance. I agree, as with most things balance is best for indoor/outdoor exercise.
Sarah: Good to know that it is possible to train for a race on the treadmill!
MizFit: Yep, I am trying to increase my outside time too. Enjoy your weekend too!
Nicole: Thanks!
Lauren: Winter does make exercise outside less fun. I love the springtime when I can rollerblade and kayak outside!
Andrea: True dat--I love me some Rachael Ray while I'm sweatin it out.

Marianne said...

That sure is some creamy looking pudding...I mean, oat bran. Very decadent for breakfast :D And hurray for baking muffins!

I'm an indoor exerciser - skating happens inside, and I like to hit up the gym. I'll go for walks or ride my bike, but generally all my exercise happens indoors.