Tag Archives: food

Breakfast and a Book

It has happened – Dave has now contracted my flu and is down with a fever and stomach cramps. It’s been quite the week around here. I finally felt better on Saturday, and then Sunday he started. But we’re hoping to still make it to our friends’ house tonight for a Memorial Day BBQ, even if Dave won’t be able to eat anything.

So yesterday, while he slept, I was on my own enjoying my Sunday between some much-needed laundry-doing and working out. I started my day with some nice reading time and my favorite breakfast.

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After four days of having no appetite whatsoever, I was delighted to wake up to a growling stomach. I made myself some toasted whole-wheat bread with avo and two fried eggs on top. I added almond milk and maple syrup to my coffee and enjoyed some organic strawberries on the side.

I picked the book I was reading up on Saturday – Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin. I had read another one of her books before (Something Borrowed) and think her writing is perfect for some addicting, mindless leisure reading. I finished Heart of the Matter in less than 24 hours. It also reinitiated a desire in me to write fiction. That happens all the time though, so we shall see.

Poor Dave couldn’t eat anything other than apple sauce and some crackers, so I stuck to simple fare for the rest of the day – a smoothie and some sesame almonds for lunch, and a spinach salad for dinner.

In the afternoon, I did my first post-sickness work-out, which was great. I went for an interval run in the neighborhood in perfect 66-degree and sunny weather and then hit our apartment complex’ gym for some weight lifting. I want to focus on toning my upper arms a bit, so I came up with a simple routine. Yesterday was my second time doing it. In an ideal world, I would do intervals and weights every other day, and 3-mile-ish steady runs in between, with one six-mile run on the weekend. I just realized that should be my summer work-our regimen, now that Memorial Day has officially ushered in summer.

Today, I’m going to go to the mall to try and get some holiday deals. My knees are demanding a new pair of Asics.

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Filed under Breakfast, running

Easy Weeknight Pasta Dinner

When I plan meals for the week, I try to think about what’s easy, nutritious, and can be eaten for lunch the next day as well. I also try to consider innovation because repeating the same five meals over and over gets old. But on busy days, relying on what I know and can make quickly is definitely the best stress-reducer.

Tonight, I opted for an easy shrimp & pasta dish – a staple in our household and a good choice during the last few weeks of half-marathon training (exactly one month until race day!).

It took about 15 minutes to prepare.

First, I cooked some penne in olive oil and salt. I would have preferred to use whole grain penne, but white was what I had.

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Next, I sautéed shrimp in some olive oil and garlic.

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Then, I added chopped, filleted tomatoes.

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I had to switch the shrimp over to a new sauce pan because I charred the bottom of the first one. Oops. I get so distracted by my German soap while cooking.

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I also added a little bit of chopped red onion, and a handful of spinach and kale each. I seasoned it all with lemon juice, lemon pepper, and garlic salt.

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That’s it. I had a small portion because I didn’t want to overdo the carbs at night, but my leftovers will make a perfect lunch before my night-run tomorrow.

Speaking of running, I am icing my legs as we speak. Yoga at lunch today helped me recover too, but I want to avoid any preventable soreness.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying this chocolate almond milk for desert.

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My number one goal for tonight: a solid 8-hours of sleep. Why do we as a society prioritize everything else over sleep? It’s so incredibly good for us. I am trying to be more conscious of what little tasks I squeeze into my nights that keep me from getting to bed at a reasonable time. Sure, they all seem more exciting than hitting the hay, but then I pay with a lack of focus and energy the next day and often many days after that. A simple realization, but still so difficult to act on.

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Filed under dairy-free, leftovers, running, seafood, yoga

Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Today was the warmest day in a long time – 45 degrees and sunny. It doesn’t get much better than that for running in early March, and Woolrich looked very inviting with its pine trees and surrounding mountains.

Around 10 a.m., I had a snack to fuel up.

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Just some leftover veggies and apple slices with almond butter. Plus plenty of water.

I did 3 miles at a much faster speed than usual. I would estimate it was a 9-minute pace, but I’m not sure because I forgot my phone and didn’t measure my time. It was definitely hard and I had to focus on my breathing a lot in order to avoid a side ache. But the important thing is that I made it. It felt great to see the improvement my training has brought yet again.

On to lunch.

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Just my standard spinach salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chickpeas, pecans, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. Yum, goat cheese 🙂 🙂

I’m still tired from the late-night we had on Monday due to that cooking class. I don’t know if it’s normal to be paying for it for this many days. Maybe I just need to sleep more at night. I am ready to be back at my normal energy levels.

When I got home, it took some self-convincing to get in the kitchen and start dinner. But, I’m glad I did because that meant I got to eat quality food and learned a new recipe, which I found here.

Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced [I used two smaller ones]
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar [I used this many, but maybe reduce it a little – the smell of vinegar was quite strong…]
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced [mine was more medium than small]
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced (do not peel)
  • 1 firm red apple, diced (do not peel)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts

Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cook quinoa on the stovetop and dice two small or one larger sweet potato(es). Coat the sweet potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; then spread them out on top of a sheet of alu foil and place on a baking pan.

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While the potatoes are roasting in the oven for 20 minutes and the quinoa is cooking, combine the cider vinegar and 3 tbsp. olive oil with salt and pepper and beat it for about a minute until the mixture gets thick.

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Then fry the onions in another tbsp of olive oil on a low setting for 8-10 minutes.

Combine the quinoa, onions, apples, dried cranberries, and sweet potatoes in a big bowl.

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Look at all those colors! Add the onions next.

Finally, toast the pine nuts in the same pan you used for the onions for 3-4 minutes until lightly brown.

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I loved how they smelled once they began toasting.

Then pour the pine nuts in the bowl with the other ingredients.

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Mix all of the ingredients carefully and dinner is ready.

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Dave and I both had two servings and there was still enough for two good lunch portions for tomorrow. I really loved how the flavors worked together and it tasted like rich, quality foods. Much needed after yesterday’s eating out escapades.

To round it all off, I had some chocolaty deserts.

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My usual Trader Joe’s favorites: dark chocolate covered peanut butter cups and dark chocolate covered ginger.

After dinner, I caught up with my German soap and journaled for an hour while enjoying a hot almond milk with cooca powder. I really recommend this creation.

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Double desert night. My work here is done.

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Filed under dairy-free, deserts, gluten-free, leftovers, low carb, recipes, running, salads, vegan

Lemon Dijon Salmon and Asparagus

Major rain/snow/slush fest today. I worked from home until lunch because the roads were so bad. An hour-long commute in slippery conditions is definitely not my idea of a good time.

Lunch yoga was cancelled and moved to tomorrow, so I did a yoga video this morning and planned to run tonight indoors. We have a gym at our apartment complex, so I begrudgingly resolved to use the treadmill there. But, upon my arrival, someone was already using it. Last resort: the elliptical.

I actually love working out on the elliptical, but it often feels like a half-ass workout. Not today. I put in 30 minutes of high-intensity intervals, rocking out to my new training playlist, which happens to contain some Turkish pop (perfect for 90s-style workout lip-synching).

So I guess this means I’m not really running at all this week, but cross training instead. Oh well, my knees and shins will thank me, and I have a 10-mile run coming up on Saturday, which will surely put an end to my freshly non-sore legs.

After my workout, it was time for a seafood dinner.

Lemon Dijon Salmon from Trader Joe’s with a side of asparagus.

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The fish baked in the oven for 18 minutes. I really love the lemon dijon marinade, and it was cooked just about right. Dave deserves credit here – he made dinner while I was at the gym.

Desert was another Trader Joe’s favorite, if not THE favorite.

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Dark chocolate covered ginger… As good as it sounds. The best part is that it takes only about five of these tiny geniuses to make me feel completely satisfied – no binging danger at all.

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Filed under dairy-free, deserts, gluten-free, low carb, running, seafood, yoga

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese & Dried Cranberries

I am in a goat cheese phase. Which is weird because I detest blue cheese and only like really mild versions of feta. Most people think the feta thing is pathetic because I’m Turkish. They are right, and it’s not just feta, but olives too.

Anyway, the goat cheese. Yum. Especially with dried cranberries. So, naturally, I moved the thing on the dinner menu that contained both up to early in the week.

But first, when I got home, I made a strange choice. I was starving and decided to go for… a spoon of raw honey. That’s definitely never happened before, but it kind of did the trick.

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I got this from Nature’s Marketplace at Wegmans. It’s kind of naive that I think if I buy something from there it automatically must be super good for me. Pure, raw, and wild surely must mean superior to standard honey, right? But my ignorance aside, I actually think honey is a product where this really matters.

On to dinner.

Spinach Salad with Chickpeas, Goat Cheese, and Dried Cranberries

Ingredients:

  •  One bag of baby spinach
  • One container of goat cheese
  • One can of chickpeas
  • Half a box of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2/3 cup of dried cranberries
  • Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

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I used the Trader Joe’s baby spinach. It’s one of the things Trader Joe’s sells for way less than other stores.

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Such freshness.

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I mixed in the dressings to taste with just the spinach in the bowl. I didn’t want the goat cheese to absorb balsamic vinegar – yuck.

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Then I added all the other ingredients. The entire container of goat cheese was last. I was going for a dominant goat cheese taste here, so feel free to adjust the amount.

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And this is me taking our plates back for seconds. After that, the leftovers were enough for my lunch tomorrow. Dave always goes out to lunch with colleagues on Wednesdays.

Now I’m sad that I most likely won’t be having goat cheese again until next week.

Also, quick running update: I stuck to the elliptical today during my lunch workout because my legs are a little achy. I figure better take a day off than pay with a stress fracture. I’ve been doing plenty of Yoga too, so hopefully I’ll be able to do four miles on Thursday with no problem.

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Filed under gluten-free, low carb, recipes, running, salads, yoga

Creamy Quinoa with Kale

In the fall, Woolrich offered a 10-week Yoga class every Wednesday during lunch. We liked the instructor so much that they brought her back for another one. Today was the first time she was back. Perfect hump day lunch activity.

I didn’t take pictures during the actual session, so me and my two co-workers did a reenactment in the office later.

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Yeah, we’re extremely cool people.

For dinner, I made Creamy Quinoa with Kale, a recipe I got from my absolutely favorite “veg*n” blog, Hungry Hungry Hippie (which, btw, is the blog that inspired me to start my own).

Ingredients (you can be flexible with the amounts):

  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • several handful of kale
  • 1 cup of red pepper hummus (add nutritional yeast and thin with water and lemon juice)
  • 4 eggs
  • olive oil

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While cooking the quinoa, simmer the kale in olive oil and water.

Prepare the hummus sauce while waiting for that all to happen.

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Then mix the quinoa in with the kale and scramble the eggs into it.

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Finally, mix in the hummus sauce and there is your delicious, quick, vegetarian and dairy-free dinner!

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I made enough to have seconds and end up with lunches for tomorrow.

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Definitely an ideal mid-week dinner: quick, healthy, and delicious.

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February 20, 2013 · 9:28 pm