Tag Archives: zucchini

Two Grainy Lunches

Quinoa and Couscous are currently tied for my favorite grains, and they recently made bases for two veggie-packed lunches.

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Couscous with roasted pumpkin, zucchini, roasted pine nuts, and olive oil. Easy, filling, vegan and nutritious.

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Quinoa Quiche. This had quinoa, eggs, green peppers, tomato, and a cheesy sauce based on nutritional yeast. If I re-make this, I’m going to go with spinach instead of green peppers – I was just out at the time.

I like eating grains for lunch if I’m going to exercise after work, which has been the case pretty much every day recently. Six days of exercising in a row gets pretty exhausting, so the least I can do is feed myself a filling lunch.

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Caffeine Confessions

My Friday morning was dragging by yesterday. After a week of meetings on various exciting Penn State community initiatives and reading several academic articles about taking online education global, my enthusiasm and passion were all used up, and I just wanted to go home, sit on the couch, and watch Netflix with Dave. We started watching Orange Is the New Black  on Thursday and are totally addicted now. My longing for him, the couch, and Netflix was so great, in fact, that I decided to go home for an extended lunch. Dave was working from home and agreed to make Turkish zucchini fritters, so here is how I found him when I got there:

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Using our favorite cook book, Sultan’s Kitchen. The fritters were delicious and the episode we watched thrilling. An hour and a half later, it was time to drive back to the office, and I was still as burnt out as in the morning, which wasn’t good since I had two more meetings on the calendar, both of which would require some good energy.

So, desperate as I was, I decided to stop at Starbuck’s. Surely a grande vanilla soy latte isn’t going to matter that much against my pursuit to quit caffeine, I told myself. Before I knew it, I arrived at work, half of the glorious beverage already finished, half of it in hand to bring to my meeting. Holy cow. After three weeks of no coffee at all (I am avoiding it due to its bad effects on the liver and caffeine’s effects on hormonal balance), it really hit me. This was great because I was able to lead the meeting, which lasted more than two hours, pitch ideas that excited everyone, and chat happily about Germany and whatever else. I went back to my desk, breezed through some work, and then had an equally great meeting with my boss. 5 p.m. almost came too soon – I had all this motivation to work through my to-do list.

But sure enough, when it was time to go, the good feeling was wearing off, I had a slight headache, my surroundings were spinning a little bit, and I had a sudden starvation feeling like I always do after ODing on caffeine.

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Help?

I drove home to pick up Dave. We had plans to go to dinner and then to a musical my co-worker was in, The Music Man, performed at the Mt. Nittany Middle School.

We went to to Olde New York, which hilariously enough has that name but serves traditional German food.

I got a glass of Pinot Noir, at this point too dizzy to reason with myself about not wanting to throw alcohol on top of my caffeine condition. And we ordered the baked brie plate as an appetizer. I couldn’t imagine that there was enough food to take away the burning feeling of hunger in my stomach.

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For my main meal, I had a black bean burger with fries. Of course the burning hunger feeling was soon replaced by feeling way too stuffed, thirsty from all the salt, and a little dizzy still. Wow, caffeine, you’ve truly outdone yourself. I’d love to say I learned my lesson, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to forget how much better my afternoon at work was thanks to my Starbucks infusion. Not good. Not good at all.

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Dave got their giant German Schnitzel with Spaetzle and red cabbage – his favorite meal there. Even he got out his phone to document the madness. He finished it all, so we could bond over our post-meal discomfort at least.

Hello, America. Thanks for another over-sized Friday night dinner and subsequent nausea.

We drove over to the middle school and walked around a bit. It was absolutely beautiful outside and we had some time to kill.

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I wish this picture could convey the amazing smell of freshly mowed grass, the sunset view on the mountains all around us, and the feeling of perfect, crisp, late-summer air. But it can’t. So here is me in front of Mt. Nittany.

The show was awesome and lasted almost three hours. When we got back, we were still uncomfortably full and still enamored with the night’s beauty, so we took a midnight walk around the neighborhood.

This morning, I’m back to treating my digestive system the way it wants me to – with organic berries in oatmeal and fresh, organic carrot and celery juice.

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