WIAW – Eats & Updates

*sigh of relief*  I’m alive!  In two days – 2 exams, 1 project, 1 essay – done.  And I can relax for a night or two before getting back to the grind stone.  My google reader hates me now, there are over 100 blog posts I have not even looked at.  Which barely ever happens!  But I now have a little time for internet use, so I will reappear at some point.

Since I’ve been studying and stressing like a crazy person, I haven’t really taken very many pictures of my food.  So this edition of What I Ate Wednesday is a compilation of eats from the past week.  And some other things thrown in at the end.  But the food part is more important.

Check out Jenn‘s lovely site to see what’s up at the WIAW link party!

The Eats:

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pumpkin spiced muffin goodness

Somehow I still had to make muffins.  Many people were appreciative.

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delicious oat groats!

the topping/sauce was Katie’s amazing protein frosting. If you have sun warrior, try this, you will not regret it.

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1 egg + 1 egg white, stuffed with chard, topped with squash sauce, and a warm hummus wrap on the side.

The perfect, fluffy, stuffed omelet – I’ve reached the point where I can get it right every time!  This has become a staple high-protein, low-budget, delicious meal.  Sometime in the future, expect an omelet cooking-tutorial.

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spinach pancakes with pre-roasted eggplant & hemp seeds. savory goodness!

Inspired and based on Kristina’s recipe.  Except I used egg whites and spelt flour, added some spices (garam masala!) and downsized the recipe.  I think I’ve finally found a satisfying pancake!  And strangely it’s not even sweet.  Apparently I like my greens more than my sweets?

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this squash was delicious, but gave me some trouble. keep reading to find out.

This is my interpretation of the boy scout motto.  Always have snacks, preferably squash.

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crazy veggie plate!

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this one was carob & peanut flour & pumpkin

return of the giant protein cake!

The Updates:

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if you see this in your TJ's, buy 2. or 3.

I finally decided to give the boxed cake mix pumpkin muffin ‘trick’ a try.  My mix (okay, I de-simplified it a little): 1 box pumpkin bread and muffin mix, 1 can pumpkin purée, 2 milled chia ‘eggs’, 1/4 cup almond milk, 2 t pumpkin pie spice.  I brought them to campus and shared them with some friends – and they got rave reviews.

A few days later, this happened.

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silly little kabocha made my knife slip. ouch.

I was cutting into my perfectly shaped, blemish free (no pics, sorry) kabocha using my roommate’s large knife, which is not super high quality, and definitely not that sharp.  The cut is not pretty, and that bandage barely covers it.  But I’ll spare you the gory details.

That little incident prompted this:

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8" chef's knife, victorinox. not super fancy, but decent and sharp.

Given the amount of squash and other vegetables I prepare, I have debated spending the money on a decent knife.  Seriously, I’ve been thinking about it for weeks!  Hopefully this guy likes vegetables over fingers.

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filter cone coffee love. ceramic > plastic.

This is seriously the most efficient way to make a single cup of coffee.  Minimal time, effort, and cleaning required.  Also, get a ceramic one if you can find one.  Chemical free, and holds the heat better!

I really hope I have time for some real posts this week.  I have so many things I want to write about!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

Sweet or savory pancakes?

How do you make your single-serve coffee?

Always Fashionably Late (WIAW)

Never have I ever been one of the first 150 or so bloggers to link up for What I Ate Wednesday!  Maybe it’s because I always choose to post Wednesday’s eats, as opposed to Tuesday’s.  Tuesday is usually my worst day of the week, I have at least 4 classes with really awkward 1 hour breaks.  So Wednesday it will stay, and I will alway’s be fashionably late to Jenn’s fabulous party.

Let’s get to it!

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OIAJ! I went with overnight oat bran, though I still think I prefer hot oats in a jar. lots of cinna on top!

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second part of breakfast: amazingly tasty organic Bartlett pear

coffee on the go! made a boring class much more bearable

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perfectly ripe pre-workout banana

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the return of the green post-workout smoothie!

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grilled sandwich. best decision ever: hummus, mustard, greens, squash sauce, (invisible) peppers, on sprouted grain bread

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organic gala (not as good as honeycrisp) and goat gouda! apples & cheese = delish.

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it's okay to have chocolate as an appetizer, right?

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homemade coconut curry! with quinoa, chickpeas, eggplant, brussels sprouts, and other stuff. So glad I made a huge pot of it 🙂

Now, sipping on a coconut chai green tea (no photo…) and about to tackle some physics homework and coding.

Have you ever made your own curries?  What’s your favorite way to do it?

Best thing you’ve eaten recently?

The Race and the Recipe

Hi there! Well, for me it’s still the weekend, and I’m enjoying the time off.  I didn’t go anywhere interesting today, I was pretty content after yesterday‘s adventure.

I realize it’s been a while since I did a workout update, and I’ve been itching to post about it.  I think I’m finally falling into a good workout routine – it only took a month and a half!  So here is what my typical workout week looks like:

  • Monday: 2-3 mile run & shoulder strength
  • Tuesday: long stretch, arms & hardcore abs
  • Wednesday: easy run or cross/interval train & leg strength
  • Thursday: dance (legs, abs, cardio)!
  • Friday: longer run or cross/interval train & upper body
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: dance (legs, abs, cardio) or run & abs

I have decided that I actually want to get better at running.  This is probably the third time I have tried to get into running, but I have never stuck with it.  I was so easily discouraged but my slow times, my heavy legs, and overall lack of technique.  Never in my life have I been a runner.  I played sports all through middle school, but my one fallback was always my aerobic fitness and speed – I was always strong, never fast.

Over the past few months, I came to the conclusion that I need real a fitness challenge. I need something to work up to, otherwise I will plateau, and stop pushing myself in workouts.  It also makes things more fun! So, I have found it: The Chicago Turkey Trot 8k run on Thanksgiving day!  It’s not super competitive, so I won’t feel bad if I have to take walk breaks or anything.  But I’m excited!  It’s only about 5 miles, so I think I can work up to that in 7 weeks.

Now, for the recipe!

This summer, I went to Napa with my lovely friend Erin.  In our travels, we went to the town of St. Helena,  home of the St. Helena Olive Oil Company – where they make an amazing butternut squash pasta sauce. The past week, I could not stop thinking about this sauce, so there was only one thing to do – recreate it!

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Copycat Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This sauce is a great combination of simple, roasted flavors, and works great as a creamy marinara substitute.  It is naturally vegan and gluten-free!  If you choose to home-roast all of your veggies like I did, this can be a time-consuming recipe – but feel free to cheat a little, and buy pre-roasted.  [[makes 4-5 cups]] prep time: 20-90 mins, cook time: 30 mins

What you’ll need:

  • 1 small-medium butternut squash
  • 2 fire-roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 15-20 basil leaves
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. If roasting all your own veggies:  Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  If buying pre-roasted, or if you have a preferred roasting method, skip to step 3.
  2. For the squash: cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  Sprinkle a little salt on the exposed side, and roast face down for 40-50 minutes or until tender.  For the garlic: follow Angela’s instructions for how to roast garlic.  I put the garlic and squash in at the same time.  For the red pepper:  If you have a gas burner, turn your stove on high.  Roast the pepper over fire, turning it until the skin is completely black.  Place in an airtight container immediately after removing from the fire and let it steam for about 10 minutes.  Remove the skin and seeds.  For the onion: Peel and roughly cut, place it on a baking sheet in a single layer, sprinkle with sea salt and roast about 30 minutes or until caramel in color.
  3. In a food processor, combine the herbs, onion and garlic, and process until coarsely chopped and well combined.  Add in the red pepper and process until the mixture is a creamy purée.  Transfer this mixture to a medium saucepan.
  4. Scoop out the roasted squash, and purée until thick and creamy.  Add the squash to the saucepan.
  5. Add olive oil, salt, and at least 1/4 cup of water to the pot, and mix.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Cook at a simmer until the desired consistency has been reached, about 20 minutes.  Stir often, and add more water if it cooks down too much.  The resulting sauce should be smooth and creamy.
  7. Turn off the heat, cover and let it cool, leaving the lid ajar.  If desired, serve fresh and hot!
  8. Otherwise, once the sauce has cooled to room temperature, store in a glass jar, and refrigerate for many delicious meals to come!

[[substitution notes: this would probably work well with pumpkin or sweet potato purée, if you do not have access to fresh squash. But I highly recommend fresh butternut!  Dried herbs will work as well, but again, fresh give it so much more flavor.  Feel free to use any roasting / cooking method for the veggies, this is just how I chose to do it.]]

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halved squash - just scoop out the seeds, and roast away

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garlic prepped for roasting

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onion prepped for roasting (yes, she cooked with onions! for the authenticity of the sauce)

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squash and garlic, headed into the oven

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caramelized, roasted goodness

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red peppers roasting on an open fire (make sure your kitchen fan is on!)

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fire roasted red peppers. these smell amazing!

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nothing like fresh herbs!

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blend it all up!

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use an old sauerkraut jar to store, if you don't have any others big enough.

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if you're strange like me and don't make pasta that often, eat over eggs and spinach.

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or stranger, on a bed of massaged kale, spaghetti squash and tempeh, with some goat gouda crumbles

This would also be a great sauce over raw zucchini noodles!

I’m not sure how well I did with replicating this sauce, but it’s still delicious.  It tastes like marinara’s nutrient-rich, creamier, slightly sweeter cousin – dare I say I like it better than a standard tomato sauce? If anyone takes the time to try this, let me know what you think!

Are you into running? How did you work up to your first running ‘race’ or event?

Do you make your own pasta sauce? Or do you prefer the jarred stuff?

STIAW (Some Things I Ate Wednesday)

So, it is official.  School has set in, midterm season is fast approaching, and after the school work is done I find myself with little motivation to do anything else.  Including homework.  I had a fantastic recipe all lined up to post yesterday, but there was really no time and it just didn’t happen.  I will get to it, I promise (tomorrow?)!

Anyway, Jenn makes it nearly effortless to blog on Wednesdays – by hosting the amazing WIAW link party! So, here are the eats I managed to capture for the day.  Pretty much my sit-down meals, as I usually snack in class, or on the go, and it’s a bit difficult to take pictures there.

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cocoa-carob protein muffin, with lightly salted peanut flour sauce!

I managed to get the exact ratio of sweet & salty in the peanut flour sauce!

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mud in the morning brightens any day.

Good coffee is the way to a girl’s heart. And this stuff is the best.

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must get to gym. need to let out energy. a bit of fuel first 🙂

I was in a hurry, so I bought 3 bananas for a dollar from one of the fruit vendors off the street.  Luckily bananas are one of the few fruits that’s totally fine to buy conventional, not organic.

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super-fluffy spinach omelet smothered in salsa. mmm.

For the Fluffiest eggs ever: Whisk in 1 or 2 T of milk (doesn’t matter what kind, I used soy) then cook away!

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mashed avocado with a sprinkle of seasoned rice vinegar, and overnight oats. eaten at 5pm.

I guess these weren’t really overnighters, as they were made a few hours before eating.  4 hour oats?

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spaghetti squash + doctored up marinara + roasted brussel sprouts with hemp seeds & nooch. so good, so filling!

First good home cooked dinner in a few days.

Best thing you ate today?

Do you eat/buy all organic?

WIAW, procrastinating…

This week is insane. I have one test tomorrow, a big homework assignment due friday, another big test on monday, and it’s Rosh Hashana, the Hebrew new year!  To all my Jewish friends out there, L’shana tova 🙂

And I’m procrastinating. By blogging.  But hey, at least it’s more productive than watching TV or something (so I tell myself).

But that’s not the point here…

Don’t forget to check out all the awesome blogger eats on Jenn’s lovely site!

Some of the things on my menu today:

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pressed-for-time overnight oat bran & chia, with peanut flour!

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this + banana + coffee = pre-workout eats

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1 egg and 1 white with lots of salsa. and grilled goat-cheddar mini-quesadilla. and more salsa.

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and the crazy froyo craving returns. I could not stop thinking about it during my last class, so I hit up yogurt station.

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weirdly delish plate of yum: kabocha + AB, roasted brussel sprouts, grilled seitan, sauerkraut

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roasted & salted kabocha seeds! no food goes to waste...

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got this as an iherb sample. mixed with coconut milk and vanilla stevia. comfort in a cup.

I guess I actually have to go study for my Quantum quiz now. And try not to go completely crazy from stress.

Best thing you ate today?

Are you a procrastinator?