Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tofu Taco Salad

Over the past couple of days I've realized that I've learned to cook and am quite good at it, but need to wean myself off always looking at recipes and be a little adventurous in the kitchen. Sure, recipes are great for ideas but it's time to test my knowledge and see if I can come up with some ideas of my own. I've also felt a little lost when it comes to tofu (even though the BBQ tofu turned out quite nicely) and thought it time to take a risk, hence the Tofu Taco Salad was born. Taco salad was one of the only dinners I would eat growing up (go figure) and I was hoping this would be a healthier version of the same. Restaurant versions are often served in a crispy taco shell, so I used barley to get in some grains and texture. Ok, so it's not exactly like the taco salad I grew up on but it was quite tasty and will be making many more appearances!

Tofu Taco Salad

Garlic Powder
Chili Powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to coat
Hot Sauce, if desired
Any desired toppings
About 3oz firm or extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup barley

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl to taste. Add olive oil and mix.

Press and drain firm or extra-firm tofu. While tofu is draining, prepare toppings and barley. I used spinach, bell pepper, tomato, green onion, half a small avocado, and not quite a quarter cup of shredded cheddar. Once tofu is properly drained, chop into small cubes and add to taco seasoning, stirring to coat. Heat pan coated with cooking spray on medium-high heat and add tofu, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until slightly crispy.

This was filling but still light and will be fantastic in summertime!

If It Ain't Broke

Don't fix it, which is why I had oats again. : )

Now what else can I say about that?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Leftover Lentils

It was a day of impulses! First the soup, and then a coffee treat in the middle of the afternoon. It's been cloudy all day and I just kept thinking about a coffee treat. I don't have any decaf espresso beans at the house yet and it was much too late for the high-octane stuff so I ducked out and headed across the street to grab a magazine and a 12oz decaf skim latte, which I brought home and doctored up with a bit of hazelnut flavor I had here. I looked at the label to get an idea of the calorie count and was shocked to find that the tiny portion I'd used was only about 10 calories. Nice!

I went back and forth on dinner and finally decided to finish off the soup and pitza from lunch instead of making a tofu dish so that I could avoid even MORE impulse items at the market since there were a couple ingredients I'd need for the recipe I wanted. The olives and cheese on the pitza turned even saltier and while it was ok, it was very dehydrating and I'm guzzling water trying to catch up! In fact, it was so salty that I needed something sweet to make up for it and had 5 chocolate chips to cleanse my palate. Oh, and I had that other pita. ;)

Yoga BrainI

Since the beginning of my yoga infatuation my classes have always been in the evenings and even with my home practice I've found that to be the easiest time for me to focus. I like taking that time at the end of the day to let any worries wash away and focus on all the little joys. The general rule around yoga tends to be practice when it feels best for you but try to practice at the same time each day. I threw caution to the wind today with an earlier session and it is NOT for me. First things first, I got a case of the yoga brain, which can be quite pleasant in the evenings, and could not figure out what to eat or even HOW to eat lunch. I must have stared into the fridge for several minutes before deciding on a snack of a small slice of brie with a couple Kashi whole-grain crackers to at least keep me stable until I could comprehend the mechanics of lunch.

Still drawing a blank I settled at long last on take-out from Aladdin's, a Mediterranean not-quite-fast food joint around the corner. I ordered a "pitza" with feta, kalamata olives, a little baba ganoush, and grilled eggplant and a berry smoothie made with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, non-fat yogurt, honey, and a little orange juice. I ran out to pick it up and impulsively ordered a cup of their len-chili that I absolutely love. It's half lentil soup and half vegetarian chili and has just enough spice. So good. I ate about a quarter of the soup, and half the pitza.

Never mind the extra pita at the top! That came with the soup and was not part of my lunch.

Breakfast Surprise!

Did you really think I wasn't going to have oatmeal again? Today's concoction was a repeat of yesterday's, but I'm going to get some fun new toppings when I go grocery shopping tomorrow to spice things up a bit.

I've been blogging at the end of the day as I've had to take photos from my phone rather than the camera since Beanpole took it to London. For some reason the two extra steps required to upload the photos is just too much for me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sleepy Cat Kind of Night

I did a late afternoon yoga practice and felt so much better! I'd had some pain in my shoulder and neck this morning and went a little easy with practice to start but by the end had graduated to full chaturanga from doing the knees-chest-chin modification! While every practice is beautiful just where it is I'm still human and get to take a little pleasure in this step. : )

Shortly after I'd finished practice I got to talk to The Beanpole on the phone! This was the first time I'd heard his voice since Saturday morning and it was such a comfort. We'd emailed several times but that just isn't the same. He's having a good time in jolly old England but wishes I were there. Awwww.

It was already 7 when we got off the phone and since I've been falling asleep so early lately I wanted to make something quick for dinner so I wasn't eating too late. It's nice to have a bit of time to digest! I sauteed a BIG shitake mushroom and slapped it on a Morningstar burger with a thin slice of brie, popped it in the oven to melt the cheese, and made a salad to go alongside. The salad consisted of spinach, carrot, red and yellow pepper, some apple, a few slivered almonds, and a tablespoon or two of a raspberry vinaigrette.

After dinner I curled up with a cup of Stash's chocolate and hazelnut tea. I noticed it last night at the market and just had to try it. I added a dash of sugar and a tiny splash of milk.

It's interesting. The flavor seems like it should be either a solid or thicker somehow but it's growing on me. The chocolate is barely a whisper under the hazelnut but grows stronger as an aftertaste. When drinking tea I think I'm definitely more of a fruity/herbal girl, but this might be a nice choice if I'm craving a cup of weak coffee-flavored beverage. It is decaf, though, which makes it a GREAT choice at night so I can do something along these lines:

Food for Thought

As usual, the oatmeal filled me up and I wanted something a little lighter for lunch. A wedge of brie caught my eye at the market last night and after trying too hard to recall the last time I'd had some I picked it up an couldn't wait to use it today! I knew I needed to get some studying in this afternoon and hoped this would hold me over while my rusty brain cells tried to remember some French. Last Monday The Beanpole was informed that he would be attending a week-long session of meetings in Paris - and I get to go with! Well, that last part was something we decided, but still - I GET TO GO BACK TO PARIS!!!! Our actual anniversary has been preempted with other commitments and some out of town visitors so we decided to call this an early anniversary trip! He'll be in meetings during the day and I'll be on my own running around trying to soak it all in, but we'll have at least a couple dinners and a day or two on our own. I visited in May 2005 and had a lovely time just walking around and taking it all in. The weather will likely be a little more unpredictable this time so I'm busy planning indoor sightseeing excursions. I'm so excited and can't wait to thrill the French with my toddler's grasp of the language haha.

I'd also picked up a couple rolls from the bakery last night and decided to make a quick sandwich with some brie, granny smith apple slices, and a little dijon mustard - one of my favorites! One the side I had some carrot sticks, some apple, and a small bowl of french onion soup, which wasn't planned but was all I had on hand!

Next up, some more housecleaning and a yoga practice!

Plenty of Pumpkin

Last fall when I started baking there was a run on pumpkin and I had to search through 4 grocery stores to find some, so when I did I picked up 2 of the humongous 28oz cans. That's a lot of pumpkin! I've been craving the pumpkin chocolate chip bread I made a couple times this fall but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the rest, but over the past week I've read several different food blogs that incorporated pumpkin into oatmeal. It's such a healthy food and I just had to try it.

Today's oatmeal included pumpkin, flax, banana, a bit of coconut, peanut butter, a tiny bit of maple-pecan granola, slivered almonds, and of course a couple chocolate chips. YUM!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Burger and Fries, Veggie Style

It's said that it takes 21 days to create or break a habit. I'm about a week past that and this is the first time I have CRAVED meat. I really thought about giving in, going out, and ordering a giant cheeseburger and fries. If my vegetarianism were about animal rights I might have slipped up but I have the lovely thought of being doubled over in pain for the next three days to keep me on the straight and narrow. It truly isn't worth it, especially when there are safer options to satisfy these urges. Ignoring it wasn't an option after moving all the furniture in the living room to vacuum up all the cat hair. I even cleaned the curtains!!!! It'll never be as austere as the yoga studio - and shouldn't be - but the deep cleaning is having a calming effect already, and only a couple more rooms to go!

I ran out to the market and picked up the couple of things I needed for dinner as well as some bananas for the morning and got a couple whole-wheat rolls, a pack of veggie burgers, and a sweet potato. Veggie style comfort food, with half an apple from earlier:

My tea supply is also starting to run low so I picked up a new chocolate and hazelnut tea that's decaf. Can't wait to try it!

Curried concoctions

I've had the heaters off again to cool the apartment down and it worked. It was freezing in here when I got back from church so I decided to have soup for lunch to warm up. I grabbed the curried red lentil soup from the fridge and saw that the kale was starting to look a little bit sad and wanted to use up as much of it as possible before the bunch went bad. I did a quick search for recipes and stumbled on one using apples and curry powder. Perfect! I'd intended to eat them separately but after tasting the kale and apple decided to try it with a bit of soup and it was delicious. What a great way to incorporate some veggies and fruit into an already yummy soup! I didn't have a lot of soup so it ended up being more stew like but so so good. I ate about three quarters of the bowl.

On the side I had the leftover lemony shrimp risotto from the other night. I liked the brightness of the lemon next to the curry stew.

Next up? Taking out some trash and super-vacuuming the living room!

Finally Huevos Time!

I woke up early with a headache and ended up going back to bed for a couple more hours to try and kick it and woke up a second time much more refreshed. I'd run out of bananas yesterday and was pretty hungry and finally used the rest of the zucchini and black bean mix. It was a big Sunday breakfast - one egg and one egg white scrambled with the zucchini mix, 2 Morningstar breakfast sausage links, and a slice of whole-grain toast with a bit of fruit-only jam.

It definitely held me over through the cold walk to and from church, Mass, and the discussion afterwards, but might have been a little too heavy. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was realllly fighting off the sleepies during the discussion.

Settling in with 'Shrooms

Believe it or not I fell asleep before I could write these up last night - probably about 9pm-ish. I'd eaten lunch late and didn't want to stop for dinner until I was done working on the apartment and ate around 8:00. It took almost twelve hours to go through all the paperwork and organize all the documents, but it was absolutely worth it. Two drawers that were overflowing to the point of not quite closing are now clean and well-ordered, two "junk drawers" no longer hold as much junk, and the china cabinet is home to some boxes that had been sitting on the floor for months as well as holding office supplies in an easy to reach fashion!!!

Drawer One, Before:

Drawer One, After:

Drawer Two, Before:

Drawer Two, After:

I still wasn't too hungry but had some shitake mushrooms to use and saw a recipe on a break earlier for a "pizza" on a tortilla with garlic butter. I didn't want to go to all that trouble but found inspiration and cut up some mushrooms, spinach, garlic, and added a bit of goat cheese and a dash of parmesan. The pizza was nice and light, and I was surprised at how well the tortilla crisped up.

And a nice glass of sauvignon blanc to relax with:

I was still a little hungry and waited a bit, but had dessert - blueberry Greek yogurt with a bit of slivered almond and granola.

Oh, and chocolate chips! ; )

Spring Cleaning, part two

Oh my goodness, whatever made this morning's oatmeal so fantastic also made me full all day! I ate early - probably 7:30am - and did not even approach hunger until close to 3pm! I don't know if it was the oatmeal filling me up or the distraction of the cleaning process but when I looked at the clock I was quite surprised. As you can see, the apartment was in a state of disaster and I opted not to cook but to order a hummus falafel wrap from a place across the alley. The savory flavor always gets my sweet tooth working so I also ordered a "Tropical Storm" smoothie. I think it had 5 different types of fruit/juices in it!

The Mess:

The Wrap:

The Smoothie:

It was too late to eat AND go to my yoga practice and another 3 hours before eating was going to be too long so I convinced myself that my work around the house was a great form of yoga. Just as asana cleanses the body and preps the mind for meditation cleaning the house would serve as a prep for some other work to be done around here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Early Spring Cleaning

The Beanpole left nice and early this morning and since I couldn't get back to sleep due to being sore and stiff from yesterday (but so worth it) I was up and at 'em at 6:15 this morning. I had my lovely steaming cup of lemon water, moved on to some oatmeal, and started in on the day.

I have some crazy motivation right now to clean and organize the entire apartment and with The Beanpole gone for an extra couple of days including the weekend I've decided to jump in head first! I'm hoping to have the entire apartment fully cleaned and organized by tomorrow at the latest so I can go find some skates and spend the week on the rink. Today is Yoga Day USA and studios across the country are offering free clases. The studios in town that are offering them are slightly inconvenient so I think I'll probably just head up to the studio I used to frequent as they always offer free classes on Saturdays. I haven't been to a class in a LONG time but my poor legs are so stiff that I think that extra little push will be good for me.

Here's a preview of what I'm up against in the house.

Drawer One:

Drawer Two:

And these are both just from our two-drawer nightstand. I definitely have my work cut out for me!

Ice Queen

Ice skating was so so much fun! We headed downtown late afternoon to the ice rink at Millenium Park and had a blast. Neither The Beanpole or I had been skating in the past couple of years but spent plenty of time on the ice back in the day in our own little unrealized "Cutting Edge". He was pretty sure he was going to show me up on the ice, so I won't mention who wiped out a couple times, but I will say that I was upright the whole time! Both of us had so much fun that we've decided to buy our own skates and go as often as possible. They charge a fee for the skate rental but the actual time is free! I'd forgotten what a great lower body and cardio workout it can be. We were there for about two hours and by the time we left were pretty much spent!

After wearing ourselves out we decided to walk up to our favorite tapas restaurant for dinner, with a brief stop to warm up with a glass of wine at a local wine bar. I had a 2006 Carmenere from Casa Silva Rivera in Chile. It was described as being like drinking a milk and dark chocolate covered plum. Now how am I supposed to resist that? I really enjoyed it and will be picking up a bottle soon! Sorry for the horrible picture - the lighting was bad and it was a little crowded and I'm still getting used to being the weirdo in the corner photographing her food!

We didn't linger as long as I would have liked over the wine as we were both HUNGRY and wanted to beat the dinner rush as best we could and took another brisk walk up to the restaurant. Here's where things got fun! We were both famished by this point an ordered 3 tapas to hold us over until the paella arrived - my favorite, the patatas bravas; his favorite, the mushrooms (there's a lovely fancy term but I've forgotten it); and our favorite, the gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic). YUM! Every single bite of it was delicious!!! Oh, and I had a couple slices of bread as well:

The tapas:

The paella:

Annnnnd, a giant dessert crepe:

It was an early evening and we came home straight from dinner due to some last minute pre-travel tasks The Beanpole needed to finish before waking up at 5:30 this morning to head to the airport. After all the fun we decided that we're going to make more of an effort to have real date nights. Yea!

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

At least that's what The Beanpole said when I offered to make him some kale chips to go along with our sandwiches! Never mind, I made them anyway and they were much better this time. Instead of using regular salt I sprinkled them with some gomasio. It's a salt, pepper, and seaweed mix that reduces sodium while providing a huge boost of flavor. I think next time I can use even LESS!

I took The Beanpole's portion of chips along with my grilled cheese sandwich with roasted red pepper and tomato.

I'm a tiny bit hungry right now but am saving room for a hot chocolate at the rink. We're going on a date in a couple minutes - ice skating downtown, and then on for a glass of wine at one of our favorite spots. Mr. Hockey over there thinks he can outskate me - we'll see!


I was so excited last night about my eggs and zucchini and black beans, but when I woke up this morning my stomach was crying out for oatmeal so I caved. Our radiator seems to be working triple time and it is HOT in here. It doesn't adjust to the outside temps and puts out the same amount of heat in 30 degrees as it does when it's 30 below! I need to be as snuggly as possible when I sleep and even with all radiators turned off last night it was a toasty 70 something degrees in the bedroom. Bad sleep = cranky morning stomach. But that's ok! Oatmeal hasn't disappointed me before and certainly didn't today.

It consisted of the usual - flax, banana, a bit of granola, a few choco chips, and coconut. The coconut lends such a nice tropical feel to it and reminds me of honeymooning in Rio de Janeiro. Can't wait to go back!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lemony Shrimp Risotto

A couple hours after lunch I had a twinge or two of hunger and since that can leave me a little queasy when practicing yoga I like to have a tiny snack - just enough to have something in my stomach but not enough to force it to work too hard. Today it was a couple of Kashi crackers and a spoonful of hummus. It was just enough!

I started my yoga practice about 45 minutes after the snack and the crackers did the trick. It wasn't the best practice I've ever had but that's the beauty of yoga. Some days practices are the most rewarding experiences and some days not so much. Many yoga teachers liken it to a relationship. For all the rich rewards of a regular practice a student will inevitably hit rough patches and it can be tempting to stray, but staying and working through those very times only brings deeper connections.

After practice The Beanpole and I ducked out to grab a bottle of white wine so I could make risotto. Risotto is one of my favorite foods, despite the fact that I say that about everything I eat. One can create endless variations and it seems so decadent though it's very simple to make. Tonight I wanted shrimp and citrus so I made up a lovely scampi-like creation. It was so tasty and I had to pat myself on the back for finally creating a recipe on my own. My new favorite kitchen toy? The Microplane. I want to tear through the kitchen zesting everything now! Since The Beanpole is headed out EARLY Saturday morning I offered him the choice of spinach, kale, or asparagus as a side and he chose asparagus. I'm a bit glad he did because I want to make some more of those kale chips I made last week!

I used vegetable stock instead of chicken for the first time and found that it cooked a little bit faster for some reason, so it wasn't quite as sticky as I'd like but still so so tasty.

I'm hoping to get to bed nice and early tonight. I've got huevos to make in the morning and a DATE with The Beanpole tomorrow night!!!

Whatever I Want To Do, Gosh

Lunch was tasty, if not fancy. Even after yesterday's super-cheese sandwich I still wanted more so I decided to make a quesadilla with some leftover black beans and zucchini. The mix I made a couple weeks ago was delicious with a little bit of cheese and homemade pico de gallo so I cooked it up again. I halved the recipe and still have plenty to whip into some huevos tomorrow morning!

And about 2/3 cup of Curried Red Lentil soup to round it out. The combination of curry and Mexican flavors was rather strange and probably best enjoyed each on their own - oops! I ate them both hungrily though so it couldn't have been too bad, right?

Sunny days

Taking my carrres away...OK, well, I still have some cares but they're slipping away one by one! My foot feels better and my muscles are crying out for a yoga practice, and the head cold/sinus nastiness that plagued me the first half of the week has moved on. Yea! I'm truly enjoying breathing normally again and not having shooting pain all over my face and therefore have decided to call the Miller Lites from yesterday "medicinal". : )

On top of that I have a new adventure coming up in a couple months and received fantastic news from a friend yesterday, not to mention the massive heat wave (in the 30s!) now hitting the city after weeks of miserable temperatures. Spring may be a long way off but we Chicagoans know how to make the most of the breaks we do get in winter! It should come as no surprise that my celebratory meal was...........oatmeal. This time it included flax, banana, almonds, a spoonful of granola, a couple chocolate chips, coconut, and peanut butter. I just can't get enough of the stuff!

Not sure what the rest of today has in stock, but I'm definitely planning on heading outside for a bit to enjoy the tropical weather!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

After the greasy cheesy lunch and alcohol I knew the best dinner would be bright and simple, preferably with some citrus. I also had some kidney beans to use up and since The Beanpole had eaten a late lunch we just made the bean and citrus salad that I've posted before. I prepared a half portion based on the recipe and it was more than plenty for the both of us!

I made a couple small changes this time. I cut the orange into smaller pieces so that every bite could benefit from the citrus burst, and I added a dash or two of chili powder to the dressing for a nice spicy kick. The more flavors I can incorporate into any meal the more I'll enjoy it and this was no different. I thought about serving it on top of barley again but that just felt too heavy so I had seven or eight little Kashi crackers for my beloved crunch.

And lots and lots of water since I'm back to yoga practice tomorrow and need to be well hydrated!

Say Cheeeeeeese

I met a good friend for lunch today at our old stomping ground. Back in the day when we were just pretty young things going to design school we often wandered over to a little bar under the El called Stocks and Blondes. Yes, really. It's a total dive and we were more often than not the only girls in the place, but they had cheap drink specials and that's the way to a college student's heart!

As I expected, the vegetarian options were slim pickings - two types of quesadillas (plain or veggie), a Gardenburger, or a portabella mushroom sandwich. I didn't want too much cheese so instead of the quesadilla I ordered the mushroom sandwich. I think it had more cheese on it than a quesadilla would have! I also substituted sweet potato fries for regular - but mine are MUCH better. These were more of a soggy greasy mess, but what can you expect from a place with a name like that?

I ate about three quarters of the meal, and washed it all down with four (four!) Miller Lites. Needless to say I started chugging water the second my little buzz and I got home - at 3:30 in the afternoon - and have been doing the same since!

Cuckoo for coconut

Ohhh, now this was a lovely addition to the morning oats! Still not feeling well, I bundled up and ran to the market in search of bananas to make a sweet bowl of oatmeal and found a lovely, just ripe enough bunch hiding all the bright green bananas. I wanted to add a million different toppings today as my taste buds were starting to reawaken (must have been last night's soup!) but restrained myself and stuck with 4 - the usual banana half, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and a special coconut treat!

So creamy and bright, I loved it! I ate a little bit late and didn't have time to fit in a yoga practice as I'd hoped before I had to get ready and meet a friend for lunch and drinks but it'll be back to the mat tomorrow!

U-don say

Actually, I did. I was still feeling pretty lousy yesterday evening and while I had planned to try out a lovely risotto recipe I just didn't have the energy. It made me so sad to have a refrigerator full of new fresh food, but like most, when sick I turned to comfort food. Some seek chicken noodle, but not me! I wanted nothing but the udon noodle soup from the Asian takeout place around the corner. It's loaded with veggies and has just enough of a kick to give the spice I need.

And I love any excuse to use my fun soup spoons straight from the Noritake factory and showroom in Nagoya, Japan!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes, We Can Have a Soup and Sandwich too

The morning passed quickly as we watched the inauguration events. This is the first celebration I've watched since 1988 and Bush Sr. was being sworn in. I have a vague recollection of watching it in school and not being overwhelmed by any of the events and for various reasons have missed the last 4 so today's events were fun in a different way. Watching with a greater understanding of politics and the impact that one individual can have on the nation, no, on the world, made today considerably more exciting. By the time the speeches were finished I was getting hungry so I heated up some more Curried Red Lentil Soup and sliced an apple. Looking at that on the plate I realized that I was hungrier and decided to have half a hummus sandwich with cucumber and tomato.

I was still a little hungry after lunch so that's good. If my appetite is back I'll be feeling better in no time. I also did something wonky with my right foot over the weekend though and have decided that being sick and having a painful foot are NOT conducive to a yoga practice. Plenty of modifications exist for knee trouble, or shoulder pain, but there aren't too many ways to get around using the feet! I'm hopin to be back on the yoga train tomorrow. Two days off and I miss it!

Sweet or Savory?

That was the question this morning. I woke up puffy, congested, and with watering eyes. Lovely! I sipped on some hot water with lemon and debated between oatmeal and eggs while searching blogs for ideas until I ran across an entry on Kath Eats Real Food about oatmeal - with an egg! I'd picked up some fresh basil at the market yesterday and decided to be a copycat and made 1/3 cup oatmeal (with a little extra salt and no banana), topped it with a bit of mozzarella, an over-easy egg, and a little fresh basil.

The verdict? I'll try it again when I'm not sick. It did hit both my oatmeal and egg cravings but I think my tastebuds are a little off right now with the congestion and puffiness.

Indulgent Weekend

Most of the weekend meals were at various restaurants, so I don't have pictures, but did keep track of everything. It was such a fun weekend, but it's good to be back to eating normally (and healthfully!) again.

Saturday night we met some friends to sing karaoke at a Korean karaoke bar. Each group is assigned a private room which greatly reduces the embarrassment factor! We've been before but this time we had a room with a laser disco ball contraption and the karaoke machine ranked us. And yes, I got a 24 on a Debbie Gibson song but redeemed myself with a 98 for my rap skills! Who knew? Before the show, however, The Beanpole and I ducked out for some sushi. I had 4 avocado rolls (about the size of a thimble), 2 smoky bear rolls, 4 unagi rolls (also about the size of a thimble), 2 futo granny smith apple rolls, and a house salad. I also drank a lot of water knowing cocktails were in store! The party got a little out of control at the last karaoke session, but I was well-behaved this time (for once in my life) and over the course of the 5 hours had 2.5 Miller Lites, 1/2 a Leffe (Belgian beer), a shot of shoju (Korean rice wine) and about 4 ounces of complimentary champagne. Not sooo bad, especially after the close to 10 shots last time!

We got home quite late Saturday night (errr, early Sunday morning?) and had to be up early so I went straight to bed. I had a small bowl of oatmeal in the morning - I think I only used 1/4 cup and planned to eat a tiny lunch so I could fit in a yoga practice before our dinner out. That didn't go exactly as planned and I devoured the fish tacos at the Mexican place a couple blocks from the apartment. Ohhhh they were good though. I did squeeze in a short practice before we left for an early dinner of noodles. Nothing special here really, but I did bring more than half of the noodles home for leftovers!

Monday I woke up feeling shivery and congested and decided to hold off on eating for a bit and see if I could shake whatever was ailing me. After a steaming hot cup of water with lemon I still felt the hints of a sinus infection and decided to have just a slice of toast with some peanut butter. We had depleted most of our grocery supply and grabbed sandwiches while out running a couple errands and then decided on pizza for dinner. Neither of us felt good at all and The Beanpole said it was all he could think about so we ordered a pizza, picked up a couple books we needed at Border's, and brought the pizza back to the house. I had 3 big slices and then several glasses of Coke. It's the first time in about a month that I'd had more than a couple sips of a Coke and let me tell you, it tasted gooooooooooooooood. It helped settle my stomach and the carbonation played tricks with my nose so it didn't hurt so much!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quiet Morning

I made it to bed around 10:30 last night after watching a bit of a rodeo on TV with The Beanpole. No, neither of us are regular fans, but when we saw that one of the riders' names was Howdy Cloud we had to stop and watch the "bucking bull boogey dance" as the gem of an announcer called it. I don't know what time The Beanpole came to bed last night but I was actually up and awake 2.5 hours before him this morning! That never happens. I started off with another hot mug of water with lemon juice and a book. It's so nice to enjoy a slow Saturday morning with a comforting drink, a book, and total silence. What a treat! It wasn't long before I got hungry though, so I whipped up a repeat of yesterday's oatmeal.

The melty chocolate chips can't be beat! After doing a couple chores around the house I still wasn't quite hungry enough for lunch but wanted to eat lunch early enough to fit in another yoga practice this afternoon in time to shower and get pretty for tonight. I put together yet another leftover lunch of rice and dal makhani. Yes, I've gotten THREE big servings out of one order. It's kind of scary that this is considered a serving and now I have a perfect retort when The Beanpole laughs at me for ordering off the kids or senior menus when we go out since they're typically a little bit smaller. The dal makhani is finally gone! I also added some sauteed spinach today and had a last minute inspiration that really pepped it up - recipe below.

Sauteed Spinach
Spinach as desired, woody stems removed
Golden Raisins (to taste)
Garam Masala (to taste)

Spray pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. Add spinach, sprinkle with garam masala, and add golden raisins.

It's a little spicy, a little bitter, and a little sweet. I've found that I need a little of everything to be happy with a meal. : )

Tonight we're going out for sushi and then meeting some friends for Korean Karaoke!

Ooops, I did it again

And slacked with the blog. I need to shape up!

As I said before, I can eat Indian every day and be completely happy, so that's exactly what I did for lunch. We'd barely made a dent in the rice so I heated some of it, along with leftover dal makhani, added some spinach, and even sneaked in the other samosa. The Beanpole didn't want it and I just couldn't let it go to waste! We also had some leftover garlic naan in the freezer which turned out to be not so great, but it did the trick and nicely gathered up the rest of the sauce from the dal.

I did a yoga practice a couple hours later from the video I picked up a couple weeks ago. I don't recommend videos to yoga newbies because there are so many possibilities for injury and/or confusion that can easily be avoided or clarified with live instruction. Having practiced on and off for six years though and dedicating myself to create a home practice though, I picked it up several weeks ago. I do enjoy certain aspects of it. It's nice to go through the same series of asana every day. Knowing instinctively what to do next allows more space for a physical meditation, which is why I've been drawn to Ashtanga. I don't have the strength for a full Ashtanga practice right now but hope to move into that within the next couple of months. The video does provide some of that, but I don't feel that I'm working my entire body equally with this video. It contains a lot of twisting and chest opening sequences but next to no hip opening which is one of my favorite areas to work. Yesterday's practice did not start well at all and I wondered a couple times early if I should put it away for a day but opted to stay in the practice and all of a sudden it was over! I love it when a practice flies by that way as it means I was supremely focused.

Normally I get pretty hungry shortly after practice but was still feeling full and didn't need to eat until much later. The Beanpole had had a late lunch so we decided to make a bit of veggie pasta and garlic bread to keep things simple. I had a bit around 9pm, and I don't think he ate at all. I had some asparagus to use up and added some to the pasta and broiled a little for crunch.

Not surprisingly after eating tomatoes my mouth wanted something SWEET. It almost always happens, so I indulged in a little blueberry Greek yogurt with a dash of granola and a couple slivered almonds.