Tag Archives: curry

Return to the Stove

I know, I know — zero posts for nearly two months, what gives? Well, now that I have a quarter of a year at my new job under my belt, spending more time on my fitness and healthy eating goals may be justified again. And chronicling said pursuits, of course.

What have I been doing aside from working? Well….

My brother visited in October for 11 days and we explored New York, D.C., and State College together. All explorations were naturally accompanied by great food.

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This was a Turkish restaurant by the UN. Such a great night.

… Dave and I ran a 50-mile relay race with five friends. It was an amazing experience — the weather, the beauty of central PA, the company, the running. I am hooked on this event and want to do it every year we live here.

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This is me passing the baton, a shiny purple wrist-band, to my team mate. Who knew that volleyball jacket from 2001 would serve me so well? This was the third chilly-weather race I’ve done in it.

(That guy, by the way, was the best team mate ever. He ran 6-minute miles and volunteered to take the most difficult legs. Definitely made up for my 11-minute mile pace….)

… I indulged in everything fall — Pumpkin beer, apple cider, haunted houses, pumpkin pie/ice cream/lattes, and of course, pumpkin carving.

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We created these beauties with our friends the night before Halloween.

… And, I did very little cooking. I was bad. If I cooked, I just used old recipes I already had. Busy-ness will do that to you. October was seriously insane. So was September. But the insanity isn’t going to stop anytime soon, so it’s time to step it up!

I have a new fitness plan that plans out my fitness priorities from now until I turn 30 (June of 2015). Essentially, this means I have progressive running goals assigned for each month plus an additional exercise priority, like swimming, biking, fitness classes, or Yoga. The plan is to work out six times a week with one rest day.

Then, at the beginning of each month, I actually map out how I will be exercising on each day. This month, I will be running 3 times a week, shooting for 3 miles each time at a 10-minute pace. I expect to reach that closer to the end of the month. Right now, I’m still slow as a snail.

This month, my supplement exercise, if I can call it that, is fitness classes at Kinetik Fitness. I went for the second time tonight and it kicks my butt. I love it though. It’s totally different from what I would do on my own and also from any other fitness classes I’ve done. Each class is different and members never know who will be teaching on any given day and what they will be asking you to do. The workouts combine cardio and strength training and are often done in circuits, with partners, etc.

And, since I’m talking about stepping it up, I also am focusing on cooking new things again. Tonight, I made not one but two dishes without recipes. I know making up dishes may not necessarily sound appealing, but I really want to get very good at intuitive cooking. If there is such a thing.

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The first meal — our dinner for tonight and lunch tomorrow — is a cauliflower/broccoli/potato casserole. All I added to the vegetables was almond milk, garlic salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s vegan cheese.

Maybe it’s because I was super hungry from my workout, but this was delicious. I went back for seconds for sure.

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The second dish — our dinner tomorrow and lunch Thursday — is a shrimp curry. I was pretty proud of this one since it was my first real attempt at making curry myself. Basically, I was at the store, contemplating buying the glass jar of curry sauce, but the ingredient list turned me off. Too much unnecessary stuff. So this is a basic mix: coconut milk and curry powder.

The other ingredients are: olive oil, shrimp, red and green peppers, paprika, garlic salt, and garbanzo beans. I later added brown rice to let the curry soak in and make it very, very tasty for tomorrow evening.

Here’s to November, fitness, and home-made food!

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Goodbye Chores, Hello Tastiness

I’ve been thinking lately about what a waste of time stress is and how worrying about mundane to-do lists can take so much joy out of my daily life. It’s scary because I’m not even prone to being anxious or to easily stress about things. I think as a child and teenager, I easily classified as the “not a worry on the mind” type, living for the moment and always happy to experience something new. I’m not saying that was always a good thing – I often lost stuff, failed math tests, and never thought about saving up for college, etc. – but having that as part of my identity makes me uncomfortable when I do feel anxious about getting stuff done now that I’m an “adult.”

Yesterday, a friend posted this quote on Facebook: “Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.” I couldn’t agree more.

So today, I decided most of the things on my weekend chore list are not that important.

Dave and I hit the gym at around 8 and then had what’s becoming our staple Saturday breakfast – sweet potato pancakes.

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There is currently nothing more delicious to me than this creation. The almond butter and maple syrup on top paired with the taste of pancakes and coffee are unbeatable. I devoured my serving and regretted I didn’t make twice as many.

After reading on the balcony and drinking more coffee, I needed a smoothie made from frozen berries, coconut milk, and Amazing Grass powder to counter the caffeine overdose.

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A little later, we headed out for lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant.

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We sat outside because it was 65 degrees and sunny. I ordered the red curry with shrimp as usual. I have documented my obsession with this dish several times before.

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Next, we went to Webster’s, a coffee shop in downtown State College, so Dave could work on end-of-semester papers and I could drink an almond milk decaf latte and read. If you have read Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), you will know what a good time I had. She’s hilarious and inspiring.

Around 5 pm. we went to Trader Joe’s to get groceries and then headed back home for a relaxed evening in.

I was still feeling a little out of it from my caffeine overdose, so I had Synergy Kombucha. It was my first bottle ever. I picked it up a few days ago to try it. It’s really good. It will take restraint not to make it a regular habit, which would be an expensive one.

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Feeling refreshed, I put on The Office (inspired by Mindy) and put the groceries away before making the most random of random dinner creations I’ve ever put together.

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Red Quinoa, sweet potatoes, a zucchini, and kale all in a casserole dish…

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…before adding vegetable broth, salsa, cashews, pinto beans, salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt and then topping it with Daiya Cheeze.

30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees and voila

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A pseudo casserole that turned out more like a warm salad. It was actually surprisingly good.It could have done with less vegetable broth and the sweet potatoes may have still been a little too crunchy for some (so 35 minutes in the oven might be a better cooking time). But other than that: really good. Bonus points for me for using zucchini because I never buy or eat zucchini. I only bought some today because I need them for a recipe later this week.

We finally have chocolate coconut milk ice cream again, so I had some of that and watched about half a season of The Office. Mission postponing weekend chores complete.

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April 27, 2013 · 8:37 pm

Vegan Curry

I’ve had a mean migraine for the past 36 hours, so I stayed at home today and am feeling pooped.

My mom had really severe migraines before she hit menopause, and she took strong medication for them. I remember her being knocked out for a good three days a month when I was growing up. For the past two years or so, it’s been about a day a month for me. Mine aren’t quite as severe as hers, so it could be that I inherited them from my paternal grandmother, too. Anyways, I don’t want to just take medication all my life and accept living with headaches that frequently.

Part of why I want to eat a mostly plant-based, semi-vegan diet is that it helps me feel better and seems to help me with migraines, For example, last month, I didn’t have anything, which I considered a huge success. I think drinking tons of water, doing yoga, and running are also all really helpful habits. Finally, I started working with a homeopath in February to address hormonal imbalances through plant-based remedies, which should also affect my migraines. I repeated my base-remedy two days ago, so that could have something to do with this particular migraine, just because the remedy may make the symptom resurface in order to address the cause.

Anyway, last night, I made my own curry for the first time. It was much simpler than I thought!

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Ingredients:

– 1 cup of brown rice
– 1 small onion
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
– 1 tsp. cumin
– vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and red peppers
– 1 can coconut milk
– 2 tbsp. curry powder
– 4 cups of kale
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the rice, either on the stove top or in the rice cooker.

Dice the onions and fry them in olive oil or coconut oil until they are slightly browned. Add the garlic, the pepper flakes, and the cumin. Then add the vegetables in the order of how long it will take them to cook – broccoli and carrots first, carrots later. It may help to cover the pan at this time.

Once all the vegetables have been added, pour in the can of coconut milk and stir in the curry powder.

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Add the kale and cover the pan. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

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Add the salt and pepper and serve it all on top of the rice.

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Very yummy. I made some extra rice, so we’d have enough for lunches today as well.

Since I was home sick, Dave took the bus home for lunch and kept me company for a few hours. We only have one car, so he always takes the bus. It helps make up for the excessive driving my commute requires.

I’m thinking about trying to work out later to see if that might help with my headache. Does anyone have experience with migraines? Does exercise help with yours?

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From Snooze to Scramble

Ever since I can remember, I have hated getting up in the morning. During high school, my mom had to come into my room every day and yell at me for hitting the snooze button over and over again. In college, I was regularly five minutes late for my 8 a.m. classes. Since grad school, I’ve been a little better – teaching or work meetings at 8 a.m. got me out of bed, and carpooling does the trick now. But except for the occasional over-achieving mornings when I work out at 5 a.m. and am ready to go 15 minutes early, I still don’t love to comply with my alarm clock.

Today was no different. 5:30 came, I hit snooze several times, and I didn’t get out of bed until 6:06. A bit late considering my carpooling friend was picking me up at 6:50. So there I was in scramble mode – I showered, had breakfast (apple oatmeal muffin and smoothie again), and somehow still managed to prepare our work foods.

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Mine contained a cultured coconut milk yogurt, sesame covered peanuts, lentil soup, apple slices with almond butter, and a banana. Dave’s is distributed between the two brown-bags there in the background because his lunch box zipper broke yesterday. He is now talking about replacing it with a Star Trek themed one – go figure.

Work was pretty uneventful. I was still tired although I slept a bit more last night than the night before. My lunch workout was an easy one – I walked on an incline for 30 minutes and read the newest edition of my favorite German news magazine Der Spiegel on my iPhone.

I was out of food by 3 p.m., but needed a little pick-me-up before the meeting we had scheduled. I found some gourmet hot chocolate powder in the break room, so I made hot cocoa with almond milk.

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Dinner tonight was a little bit of an experiment. I didn’t feel like having our usual combo of shrimp, veggies, rice, and curry sauce. White rice is so full of sugar. So I decided to use eggs and see how we like it.

Here are just the veggies, baby spinach leaves, and shrimp cooking in coconut oil.

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When all that had cooked through, I added some nutritional yeast and scrambled in four eggs.

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And finally, the curry sauce to finish it all. It was actually really delicious and satisfying. And I’d rather have eggs than rice any day, although if you’d want to, you could mix in both for a more filling, carb-heavy meal (not a bad idea on a night before a long run, I guess).

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So today literally went from snooze to scramble.

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