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A Milestone and Monday Eats

3 Oct

Since we last met, I turned 25. 25!! When I was younger (and much less wiser), I used to call 25 my “scary age”. I don’t recall what I was scared of at that time. I highly doubt at the ripe age of 15 I was feeling the grains of sand slip through the hourglass. Now that I am older (and much wiser), I realize what is scary about 25. Everything in life seems more “real”. I’m at a weird age where the carefree, “I have my whole life ahead of me” attitude is fresh in my mind, but the reality of life’s hardships and struggles are now on my radar. I feel like I have a foot in both worlds. 

Well, a little over a week ago I made the leap into the 26th year of my life, and it wasn’t so bad. In fact, 25 feels right.

To celebrate, I spent the weekend in one of my favorite places- Chicago. Not surprisingly, it was a food fest! The highlights:

Native Foods Cafe

I got the Bangkok Curry Bowl and the lavender lemonade was awesome!

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria 

Love the pizza, love the beer, love the ‘hood!

Yolk

I’m obsessed with their Iron Man omelette and coffee.

Karyn’s Cooked

This was my first time at this vegan restaurant, but certainly not my last! The food was incredible- the nachos and the lasagna were my favorites.

The Chicago Diner

How could I resist a slogan like “Meat free since ’83”? 🙂 The menu was filled with mouthwatering veggie options. The Special Recipe Wings were yummy for a hot wings fix, the chocolate chip pancakes with vegan whip cream were incredible, but my favorite Chicago Diner treat was this guy…

In honor of my birthday, they gave me this vegan peanut butter cup for free! It had a graham cracker crust, rich peanut butter filling, and a soft chocolate shell. It was absolutely divine. It was devoured while taking in a little baseball at Wrigley Field.

Now, on to Monday! It’s been awhile since I’ve given you a peek into my eats, so I thought I’d share my Monday nosh.

630am: banana walnut overnight oats and coffee at home while perusing Flipboard

930am: post-workout protein shake. This is one of my new favorites. I just blend a scoop of chocolate protein powder with soy milk and a banana. So good!

1230pm: a sad little lunch at my desk. This was thrown together in my morning frenzy (guess I should’ve spent less time on Flipboard…) Beans, avocado, peppers, tomato, and cucumber with balsamic dressing. It was tasty, but it didn’t hold me over for very long.

230pm: Laughing cow cheese, mini pita pockets, and carrots. I love these mini pita pockets from Trader Joe’s!

430pm: Kashi Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. I bought this baby from the cafeteria at work to hold me over through my evening class. I usually keep instant oatmeal on-hand as an emergency snack, but I didn’t have any with me today.

730pm: quinoa pasta, spaghetti squash, and veggies topped with Earth Balance and nutritional yeast.


900pm: To satisfy my sweet tooth, I had a small mug of frozen yogurt drizzled with homemade chocolate peanut butter.

See you soon with a list of things I’m loving right now, a breakdown of my workout schedule, and a new video post!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Remember Me?

16 Aug

Remember me? I’ve come to beg for your forgiveness. I’ve been MIA for too long again. But before you delete me from your Google Reader (if you haven’t already…) give me another chance. A lot has happened since we last talked and all of it has collectively contributed to my long absence.

1. I studied (…and studied, and studied…) for the RD exam.

2. I PASSED the RD exam!

3. We moved.

4. We went on a long trip to Colorado during which I completely fell off the face of the Earth and barely touched technology.

Surprisingly, it was difficult to find my yogi focus at 12,000 ft above sea level 🙂

Blooper…

5. I started not one, but TWO jobs.

6. I finished my summer Exercise Physiology class.

Much more on all of this to come. To make it up to you, I leave you with two recipes that have made several appearances in my life recently.

Vegan Banana Everything Cookies

Substitution: whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour

No-Bake Energy Bites

Can’t wait to experiment and customize this recipe!

(photo from smashedpeasandcarrots.blogspot.com)

It feels good to be back. See you SOON.

Thanks for reading 🙂

The Windy City

8 Apr

JWD and I live in St. Louis- a city full of distinct neighborhoods like The Central West End, The Hill, and Soulard, each offering their own hidden gems to explore. It’s a great city, especially for a foodie like myself, but…

There is a special place in our hearts for another city…

Chicago.

Chicago has always been a big part of my life. Born into a family full of die-hard Cub’s fans, I was a frequent visitor from a very young age. It feels like a home away from home.

As soon as we took our first Chicago trip together, JWD fell in love too.

We try to visit at least once a year and we’ve formed many fond memories there. From concerts, to museum visits, to neighborhood food crawls, it truly is one of our favorite cities.

Maybe it’s the progressive nature, maybe it’s the great public transportation system, maybe it’s the lakefront running path, maybe it’s the many, many JCrew and Lululemon stores. 🙂

Or maybe…

… it’s the pizza.

My favorite part of visiting a new city is exploring the food culture, and deep-dish pizza is a necessity when we visit Chicago. Chicago-style pizza is typically made in a deep round pan, so the crust acts as a bowl for insane amounts of cheese, sauce and toppings. It is usually layered with the cheese on the bottom and sauce on the top. It is thick, heavy, and jam-packed with calories- definitely an indulgence.

One lazy spring break day, the longing for deep-dish struck me. Perhaps I was longing for a vacation to my favorite city. Whatever the reason, I decided to listen to my craving and concoct a healthified version of my beloved deep-dish in my own kitchen.

Healthified Deep Dish Pizza

Ingredients:

The Crust:

  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (equal to one package)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • About 2 tbsp olive oil + more for greasing pan and coating crust
  • Cornmeal for dusting skillet (optional)

The Toppings:

  • Cheese of choice (I used organic mozzarella and parmesan)
  • Veggies of choice (I used red onion, broccoli, jalapenos, mushrooms, and baby spinach)
  • Pizza or pasta sauce of choice (I always blend a can of whole peeled tomatoes with seasonings)
  • 1/2 block of tempeh

How-To:

  • Stir the yeast and warm water together until the yeast dissolves.
  • Add sugar, salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Slowly add flour and ground flaxseed, stirring until a dough is formed.
  • Shape dough into a ball and knead on a floured surface until dough springs back when poked (about 3-5 minutes). Continue to add flour so dough is workable and not sticky.
  • Place dough ball in a bowl, coat with a light drizzle of olive oil, and cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap.

  • Let rise for 1 hour.
  • While dough is rising, preheat oven to 450* and prepare toppings and sauce. If using tempeh, simply crumble tempeh into sauce by hand.
  • Prepare cast-iron skillet by lightly coating it with olive oil and dusting it with cornmeal (cornmeal is optional).
  • After 1 hour…

  • … punch the dough down and shape it to fit into your cast-iron skillet. I found that this dough made a little too much crust for me, so I pinched off about 1/4 before shaping it into the pan. I refrigerated this 1/4 of the dough and used it to make a mini pizza later in the week.

  • When dough is evenly spread in the skillet, lightly brush it with olive oil and pre-bake it in the oven until you see the first hints of browning (about 10-15 min).
  • Top the pre-baked crust with a layer of cheese, then veggies, then sauce.

  • Put the pizza back into the oven and bake until the crust browns and the sauce appears hot and bubbly (about 10-15 min).

  • Slice into 6-8 pieces and enjoy!

Pre-race dinner, perhaps?

See you tomorrow for a little pre-race post! Thanks for reading 🙂

Staycation

5 Apr

Since I told you all about my big spring break plans, I owe you a little re-cap of what actually went down.

I’ve been accused of being boring. Can you believe this nonsense?? I guess because I’m not exactly a stereotypical 20-something college student, then that makes me boring. Don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally engage in a little 20-something fun with my friends. But on most days I’m up by 6am and in bed by 10pm, I thoroughly enjoy my Friday night yoga/grocery store routine, and nothing makes me happier than a trip to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning. Does this make me boring? Nah, it just makes me me.

To each her (or his) own.

So, some might say my spring break was pretty lame, but it’s all relative. In my opinion, it was fabulous.

My Wild and Crazy Spring Break

~I threw back some pretty potent cocktails. These are not for the faint of heart, people.

Exhibit A: a delicious GT Synergy Kombucha {mystic mango}.

Exhibit B: Beets+carrots+ginger+oranges. You’re welcome, circulatory system.

~I was in a wet t-shirt contest…. of sorts.

My friend Katie coaxed me in to trying Bikram Yoga for the first time. It is a 90 minute yoga class during which you perform a series of 26 postures twice in a room heated to 105*. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, and I’m still evaluating whether I love it or not.

The positive: At the end, I felt so alive (my whole body was pulsing), completely detoxed and pure, and I could literally wring the sweat out of my soaking wet top.

The negative: It isn’t that athletically intense, but I felt like I had just raced a half-marathon. At many points throughout the 90 minutes, I felt like I was going to faint and had to sit down. Insanity.

~I got my dose of adrenaline by mastering something wild and crazy- arm balances.

I finally got back in touch with my inner yogi. I squeezed in five practices during my week off. It felt great!

~I scrubbed the cocoon until I could see my reflection in the surfaces.

I would never survive in a Panama City Beach hotel room. I must have order in my life or all hope is lost.

~ And, last but certainly not least, I indulged a little.

Oh man.

I hate to leave you hanging, but… recipe post for this ^^^ baby coming soon 🙂

Spring Break ’11 (the first spring break in my life that I haven’t gone on vacation) was a success. Now it’s time to knock out these last 6 weeks of undergrad…

Congrats to all my classmates who found out on Sunday where they will be interning next year!!

Happy Tuesday!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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