Priorities?

I have 2 midterm exams, 1 essay (in french?!) and a project all due before Wednesday this week.  And what am I doing? Blogging? Clearly, I have my priorities straight. But in all seriousness, blogging is really the most productive distraction for me.  And it cheers me up 🙂

I loved hearing all your thoughts on food cravings!  And I wanted to say hi to all the new readers out there – Hi!  Thanks for stopping by to comment.  I’m the worst at responding to comments, but every new ‘face’ I see around here makes me smile.

[[also, I now have a blogroll! Click on the tab labeled ‘Blog Love’]]

Now, back in full force:  Discoveries, but on a Saturday!

1. Birdbath (and arm of City Bakery) has Kombucha on tap!

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Jasmine kombucha - light, subtle, flavor

Kombucha on tap is stronger than the bottled stuff, but it tastes ‘fresher’ if that makes any sense.  I may just go out for some more today…

2.  Sunwarrior Warrior Blend – I finally got my sample!

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I signed up on the SW website for a sample weeks ago... and finally got one!

It reminds me more of a whey protein, and has a kind of earth-y taste.  The vanilla flavor as not as strong as the original sun warrior blend, but this stuff still does not taste green.  Quite good!

3. Raw Cashini butter, aka crack.

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current go-to snack: cashini & rice cakes

Probably the most expensive of my current nut butter collection (I wanted to try it!).  It has a very similar texture to peanut butter, and tastes like a lighter tahini with a hint of cashew – which only means you can eat more of it in one sitting…

4.  Peppermint tea.

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tummy loves it!

For a little while now (a few weeks?) I drink a big mug of peppermint tea at night to settle my stomach before bed.  I love it – I can go to sleep without bloating or anything.  After my TJ’s peppermint tea ran out, I splurged on this stuff – and omigosh it’s amazing.  It’s basically pure peppermint leaves – and apparently a UK product? oh well.

5. New Vega Sport Protein Bars!

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chocolate saviseed flavor. protein-filled yum.

This is easily the most filling protein bar I’ve tried.  Yes, it is higher in calories than most, but it’s worth it.  Not too sweet, easily digestible, all natural ingredients, and kept me full for hours.  Now if only I could get my hands on the chocolate coconut flavor…

6. This is not your average bowl of oats.

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cooked with chia and almond milk, sunflower butter, banana & cinna on top

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an attempt to capture the goodness that is whole oat groats.

I decided to try whole oat groats.  The verdict? Amazing.  Yes they take at least 5 times longer to cook than regular rolled oats, but they have the tooth-y texture of slightly undercooked rice – which I love.  And you get the full oat flavor!  I’m a fan.

Study Time!

What did you discover this week? Any awesome new foodie finds?

If you’re a student, what’s your favorite ‘productive’ distraction?

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Ramblings, Confessions, and Curries

Friday could not have come sooner!  I’m not doing a discoveries post today.  Why? Honestly, I’m really not feeling it. So excuse the random ramblings and contents of this post.  Oh, and there’s a recipe at the end.

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confession - sometimes I dip my pre-workout banana in the coffee. try it, it's delicious.

Despite the shortened week, I was again thrown off but the change in routine.  After being really busy for a while, I have an incredibly hard time with breaks that do not involve a change of environment.  That probably doesn’t make much sense – I’ll try to be as coherent as I can here.  If a vacation involves travel, I’m more inclined to use the time to enjoy myself.  If I don’t go anywhere, I am not at all good at making good use of my time.  There is too much free time to get work done, nobody around to hang out with, and not really enough time or money to do anything crazy.  So this past week was rather unproductive, and now I have so much work to do within the next week or two.  Stress = not good!

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this round of nut pulp cookies were bad. sadness.

Despite this, I had an awesome week fitness-wise!  One thing I love about days off is that I can get to the gym early, before I do anything else with the day.  I love starting days this way.  I’m really starting to like running now, as well!  I owe a huge thanks to Tara, who (a while ago) kindly sent me some awesome tips for beginning runners.  Thanks again! I’m trying to focus on form as much as I can, to avoid getting hurt, so I’m taking all the advice I can get.

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confession - i eat my meal salads out of large mixing bowls

My running this week: monday 3 miles, Wednesday 20 minute HIIT run, friday 3.5 miles nonstop!  I’m proud of myself for today’s run, as I took no walk breaks.  My pace makes me a little sad, at about 11:00 mins/mile – but I didn’t stop to walk at all.  I have to remind myself that I’m not a born runner.  I won’t be perfect from the start.

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current beverage obsession. Just have to remember not to drink it after 5pm, or I definitely wont sleep

I had a whole bunch of other things to write, but there are too many things going on now that I lost my train of thought.  A few nights this week I’ve even had to get out of bed at 4am just to make a list, so I can sleep!  Hey brain, you want to turn off at night? Thanks.

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what? she bought cereal? kashi golean. protein, fiber, low sugar, tasty, crunchy. with homemade almond milk, sun warrior, pumpkin and cinna

As far as eats go, things have been all over the place.  I think mostly because of my workout changes, routine changes, and stress.  But, no crazy slip-ups and guilt trips, so I think I’m okay for now.  On the topic of eats, I posted a homemade coconut curry as part of my WIAW and a few people asked for a recipe.  So here it is!

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Simply Coconut Curry (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This one-pot meal is super easy to make, and near impossible to mess up.  It’s nutrient-rich, high in protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.  You can use the ingredients I have here, or choose whatever veggies or grains you choose.  It even tastes fantastic the day after, perfect for planned leftovers. [[makes about 4 servings]] prep time: 15 mins, cook time: 1 hour +.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups cooked quinoa (measured after cooking!)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, I like spicy)
  • 1tsp garam masala, or cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  While the oven is heating, chop up all your veggies.  Toss all the veggies (except the spinach) in a bowl with a little olive oil and sea salt, then spread on a pan in a single layer.  Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and start to brown.
  2. Place all ingredients in a pot.  Stir it up, and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes – or as long as you like.  The longer it cooks, the more the flavors will combine, but it tastes delicious regardless.
  3. Serve hot, or store in the fridge for the next few days.  Garnish with shredded coconut or some cashews or peanuts for crunch.  This would also be great with a creamy glob of greek yogurt.

[[notes: I used lite coconut milk as it was all I had on hand.  Full fat would be delicious, but It would come out much creamier than mine did.  Also, be careful with the cayenne pepper, this stuff is strong – but I like my curry really spicy]]

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roasted veggies

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really just throw it all in a pot!

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and simmer away...

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the best leftovers!

Unfortunately, it’s already all gone.  Ah well, it was delicious!

That was a rather long post, kudos if you made it through the whole thing!  I’m already up later that I should be for an early morning rehearsal on campus.  Good sleep is not easy to come by around here.

Do you have any random foodie confessions/weird habits?

If you’re a runner, what was your average pace for an easy run when you started?

[[Oh! One more thing – I have 16oz package of Navitas Naturals Maca powder that I am not going to use.  It is open, and about 1-2T have been used, but I’m not really a big fan of the taste, and I have not noticed a difference in how it makes me feel, so I’m not going to use it anymore.  I hate to have to throw it out but I can’t return it.  Does anyone out there want to do a swap? I’ll thrown in some other goodies too – just shoot me an email at eatlearndiscover@gmail.com ]]

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?

Market Day

Today was a ‘take-it-easy’ day.  I’m learning and trying not to push my body too hard when I need a chill day.  I’m doing better every day at managing the unnecessary guilt, but it’s another work in progress.  I can safely say it’s been over a month since I stepped on a scale!

The morning started off slow, but eventually we got to the green city market.  On the walk over there, I noticed that one of the really good, fast, deli lunch places in the neighborhood turned into this.

Apparently it’s freakin’ delicious.  I am skeptical.

Since it is peak season for strawberries, today was the strawberry festival at the market.  They had this neat little tasting table out, so we could try the different varieties of the fruit and see which vendors we wanted to buy from.

And they all had different characteristic tastes! I had no idea there were so many varieties – hey, I learned something new today.  These were one of our favorites from the taste test.

They were wild strawberries, tiny but tasty.  When we got to the vendor, however, we found that some restaurant owner had come through and bought a large number of them, and they were already sold out.  We still bought some other strawberries, to make a tasty summer dessert (teaser :-D).

I discovered some other really cool things at this market. Like these:

I didn’t stop to see what these were. Does anyone know?

I also found (and loved) this.

It was only about 11am which is usually when I eat my post-workout breakfast, but breakfast today was light and this looked too good to pass up.  I decided on the hummus wrap.

sprouted chickpea hummus, carrots, cucumbers, sprouts (fresh-cut!), tomatoes, and carrot curry sauce on a sprouted grain tortilla – I’m pretty sure it was all raw as well.  My mom and I split this, and had a bite of fresh kale salad to along with it.

This was from the chef’s demo station.  The dressing was not overwhelming, but made the kale tender and refreshing.  The marcona almonds were a fantastic touch of course.  The chef gave out copies of the recipe, I definitely want to keep that one on hand.

We spent the rest of the day doing a few little errands and thinking up dinner (and dessert).  Among the errands, we found a really great deal on a much-needed, shiny, new toaster oven.

(note the reflection of our dinner preparations. definitely shiny)

Dinner ended up being stir fried chicken and veggies – organic bok choy and mushrooms – with wild rice (cooked by mom).  I wanted brown rice, but we didn’t have time to cook it.

For dessert we decided on a strawberry rhubarb crisp.  I found this recipe (thank you, foodgawker) and it was amazing.  The freshly ground spices made the entire kitchen smell so good, it was well worth the 10+ minutes of shelling cardamom seeds.

after baking:

I ate mine with a cold glass of sugar-free vanilla coconut milk from last night’s whole foods run.  It was an amazing summer treat, and easily veganized by substituting Earth Balance or other vegan margarine for the butter in the topping.  If I was making this just for me, I most likely would have made this substitution, but it was for the family, so we made it traditional.

I’m looking forward to having some of the leftovers as a breakfast topping tomorrow 🙂

What’s your favorite way to cook strawberries? What’s your favorite summer dessert to make?  I haven’t done much cooking with strawberries (or any with rhubarb), but this is now on the favorites list.