Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tri Mama

  After being harassed at the bar on Friday night by my friends about my lack of blog posting, I felt bad.  So here goes...........

  You never really realize how gross you look during a race.  However, who can say they've completed a triathlon???  As you can tell by the times on my arm, my run was incredibly slow.  Haha.  My legs felt like lead at that point.  I didn't really train for this, so I'm sure that my times would be better with adequate training.  I even went to spinning class on Sunday.  After my past long races and half-marathons I always felt terrible but the triathlon didn't kill me.  A real triathlon is definitely in my near future!!

Leek and spinach omelet with fruit salad and an English muffin with raspberry jam.

New recipe!!  Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza crust black bean pizza.  Black beans, barbecue sauce, green onions, tomatoes, avocado and cheddar.

Night at the Union.

The Thai House:  This is my tofu pad thai on the left and Courtney's ginger tofu dish on the right.  They were both phenomenal.

Saturday night was my sister-in-law's birthday dinner so we celebrated at Tidewater Grill.  I was definitely not in a seafood kind of mood but their Greek salad was calling my name.  This salad was of gargantuan proportions.....and I ate it all.  Filled with olives, green onions, beets and veggies.  This was seriously an impressive mixing-bowl sized salad.  I scooped out some of the feta since I'm not a huge cheese fan in general, and I had a side of delicious garlicky steamed veggies on the side.  I also had an unpictured over-priced glass of house Chardonnay on the was $9.50!! I wouldn't mind paying that for good wine, but crappy house?  No thank you.  I hate to bash Tidewater, but Andy's seafood was absolutely disgusting and barely edible.  He got a mixed seafood platter of scallops, shrimp, and salmon.  I tasted the salmon and thought I had accidentally eaten was so dry and overcooked that you had to chew it like chicken.  Bleh!!!  The service was also not that great.  Fail.

  Dinner tonight was steak hoagies and for me tofu hoagies.  Andy sauteed peppers, onions, and tofu in a mix of steak seasoning, Worcestershire, and A1...a steak hoagie without the meat.  That's kale chips on the side...I ate an entire handful/bunch of kale completely to myself. Yay, fiber!

  Right now I'm going to enjoy some air-popped popcorn, chocolate chip cookies and the Oscars!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swim Bike Run

I've been working out at the gym like a madwoman.  It's been interesting for me to see how much endurance I can build if I just stick to a workout routine.
Sunday: 4-5:00 spinning class
Monday:  4:30-5 Express Spin, 5:15-6 BOSU sculpt
Tuesday: 5:15-6 Sport Circuit
Wednesday: 5:15-6 Sport Circuit, 6-7 Kickboxing
Thursday: 5:15-5:45 Express Spin, 5:45-6:30 Sport Circuit
Friday: Rest Day
Satuday: 12-1:00 Spinning
   I told you that this was the Match Meltdown and I was serious!!!  I've been busting my a$$ and it feels great.  I've had friends that have been going to all the classes with me, and let me tell you, it makes a huge difference.  When I'm with friends or in a class I push myself harder than I ever normally would. 
Therefore, I did something crazy!  Alice convinced me to do this......

Marshall University 2011 Indoor Triathlon!!!
300 yard swim
8 miles on the spinning bike
2 mile run
(Distance is a little shorter than a typical Sprint triathlon)

I don't have any pics right now, but I will take some tomorrow.  Race starts at 9AM.  Depending on how slow I am, will depend if I post up my times.  I'm an incredibly slow swimmer, so who knows.

Wish me luck!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Anchor Shaped Necklace

  As spring seems to be rearing its lovely head, I continue to get more in the mood for lightweight clothing.  Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some winter coats.  However, I am very excited for all the new stuff coming out this spring.  'Cuz this girl needs a graduation dress!!  And did I mention that I'll be purchasing it in Europe....well I just did now.  I don't know if everyone else does this, but I pack up all my stuff each season so when I open it the next time I'm always pleasantly surprised by my selection.  Here's a list and some pics of things I'm digging for this spring.

1.  All things "Blush"....

I really would love each of those pieces above.  So feminine and beautiful.

2. sue me, I love flowers.
Okay, these aren't florals, but I don't think that it's wrong for me to want these.  Who wouldn't wear this shoe...I'd feel like Carrie Bradshaw even if I just tried them on.


The floral dress above is awesome.  Now hear me out.  This is not the large print, bright color, cottton dress worn with white heels of my middle school days.  This dress screams of sexy-summer-ness.  Pair this bad boy with gold strappy flats and a camel colored motorcycle jacket and you've instantly stepped into this century.  It would also be perfectly acceptable to pair this with a little cardigan, but realize that you run the risk of looking too garden-party for your own good.  My friend Whitney and I always say, "You've gotta mix the feminine with the masculine." 

3.  Cardigans  
Don't think I was bashing cardigans in the last pic...because I own a million and love each and every one.


If you plan on wearing this adorable little floral cardigan, you better not being wearing anything too girly on the bottom.  This needs to go with some combat boots and skinny jeans.  Something hardcore.  No need looking like a 4-year old child at Sunday School.

4.  Cat Eye Sunglasses

   I need a pair of cat eye glasses ASAP.  I feel like this will be a definite must in Europe.  Note to self....must buy a pair soon.

5.  Nautical Prints
 You can judge me, but nautical-themed clothing IS and always will be a fave of mine.

Perfection!!!!  Can't wait to dig out my nautical stuff.....and my anchor shaped necklace. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lentil Loaf

  While probably not the most appetizing name, lentil loaf is a great way for vegans and vegetarians to have a good protein source.  It's also just nice to have something different for a main course. It's also funny that I made this, because I HATED meatloaf as a kid.  So the thought of wanting to recreate it in a vegetarian style is somewhat amusing.  I got this recipe from another one of my favorite blogs Eat Live Run.  She made up this recipe when the lentil association asked her to come up with new recipes featuring lentils. 

Lentil Loaf
 Eat Live Run's Recipe

 1 cup lentils (I used French green lentils which are more hardy)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 white onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 T olive oil
2 carrots, grated
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1 flax egg or regular egg
1 tsp thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper

2 T ketchup
1 T maple syrup
dash of balsamic and BBQ sauce

1.  Bring lentils and stock to a boil.  Allow to simmer at medium heat for approximately 20 minutes.  You're basically just getting the lentils to absorb all of the liquid.  (Or if you lived near a Trader Joe's you could just buy the container of steamed lentils.)
2.  Saute your onions and celery with the oil for 2-3 minutes.
3.  Preheat your oven to 350.
4.  Add carrots and garlic to the onions and saute for about 4 more minutes.
5.  Put your chopped walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them; you definitely don't want them to burn.
6.  Add walnuts to veggie mixture.
7.  Add your spices, breadcrumbs and lentils to the veggie mixture.  Everything is getting mixed together!!!
8.  Grease a loaf pan and pat your mixture down into the pan.
9.  Make your glaze to top the lentil loaf.....see topping ingredients.
10.  Spread glaze onto loaf and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

This recipe is super simple and very filling.  However, Andy helped me make this last night and let me tell you, he is the king of spices.  He knows exactly what to add to make things taste good.  He even added in some dill weed, cayenne, and who knows what else.  What I'm getting at is that you can add any ingredients that you like.  
  This loaf does keep its shape relatively well.  If it's really hot, the slices kind of fall apart, but otherwise I was impressed. With your leftovers you could even make a "meatloaf sandwich" or maybe crumble it up on a salad.  My picture below is not appetizing, but oh well.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spinach and Artichokes

  As I was perusing my long list of blogs that I love, I came across a recipe for a vegan spinach and artichoke dip.  I love spinach & artichoke dip, but I will say that the types I've made in the past have been very unhealthy.  I was initially skeptical of this recipe, but it turned out great.  Andy even liked it just as much as a traditional recipe.  I think that this would be a great recipe to make for a party.....or maybe just eat the whole thing like Andy and I did.

This is adapted from Oh She Glows and Yeah That Vegan Shit.

The above picture is obviously not this recipe, but trust me on this one.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease your pan of choice.  I used a 8x8 pan, but a decorative round dish would also be nice.

1 diced onion
1 T olive oil
1/4c whole wheat bread crumbs
1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 minced garlic cloves
4c packed fresh spinach
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped roughly
1/4 c water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T dried basil
Optional red pepper flakes

1.  Pour oil in skillet and sautee onion until soft.
2.  While onions are sauteeing, puree your beans, water, salt, basil and red pepper flakes in your food processor.  It should look almost like hummus.
3.  Add spinach and garlic to onions and sautee until the spinach is wilted.
4.  Add the bean mixture to the spinach and onions.
5.  Stir in 3/4 of the bread crumb mixture into the batter.  Sprinkle the last 1/4 on top of the mix.
5.  Bake dip for 20 minutes or until the bread crumbs begin to brown.

I served mine with tortilla chips, but I feel like some crostini or pita points would also be delicious. Maybe even some veggies for dipping.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Faves

I'm going to copy my friend Brittany over at Vegan Virgin and list some of my favorite things.  This is going to be a list of some of my favorite foods.  And even though the majority of them are healthy, I love me some unhealthy things.

1.  Nut Butters (don't even try to be perverted)
  I love any kind of nut butter....peanut, cashew, almond, sunflower, dark chocolate......I have at least 4 different open jars at all times in my house.  This morning I drizzled some on pancakes, and the other day I had dark chocolate spread on a banana.  Andy even made me an almond/peanut butter sauce for dipping vegan Vietnamese spring rolls.  I would love to try pistachio butter....maybe I should make some in my food processor!!!

2.  Sweet Potato Fries
  As you can tell from my recent blog posts, I love sweet potato fries.  Unfortunately, I don't love the serving size.  I pretty much want to eat an entire bag.   But that's okay since they're a veggie, right?

3.  Vegetables
  This is a broad category, but I really do love all vegetables.  The only ones I'm not particularly fond of are white potatoes.  I mean, they're okay, but sweet potatoes are WAY better.   I'm just going to post up some pictures of some unique veggies that you may not eat that frequently.  Variety is the spice of life even when you're choosing the types of veggies to eat.  Move out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Asparagus:  Try this steamed with a little kosher salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of fresh lemon juice.  This is also great to add raw to a nice crudite.

  Beets:  Beets are great roasted, chilled, and topped on a salad.  I also like them boiled and roasted with a little bit of salt.  Yes, they do have a strong flavor, but give them a try.  I hated them my entire life, and just recently embraced them.

Artichokes:  What can I even say?  Fresh artichokes like the ones pictured below are fabulous.  Boil them in water with garlic, salt, and a dash of cayenne.  You can serve the leaves dipped in olive oil.  Andy and I made our first artichoke several months ago, and housed it in like 2 seconds.  I always keep a can of artichokes in water in my pantry.  I use them in both salads and pizza.

Squashes:  The picture below is a compilation of squashes including butternut, kabocha, and sweet dumpling.  They can all be roasted and eaten plain, or can be pureed into a soup.

4.  Greek Yogurt
  I eat Greek yogurt pretty frequently.  It's a great source of both calcium and protein and it's a very versatile protein at that.  I like it sweetened with honey, fresh fruit, and walnuts.   I also like it as a sour cream replacement....such as on tacos or nachos.

5.  Dark Chocolate:   Cause everybody needs a little chocolate in their life.

 I mentioned a few posts ago that I was doing the "Match Meltdown."  I don't want this to be some sort of weird dieting blog, but I wanted to bring this back up.  I am feeling awesome!!!  I've been tracking my food intake into an IPhone food diary app, and I've been working out very regularly.  During interview season I didn't really have time to exercise that much because I was on the road, and I was staying at places without a workout facility.  (Not trying to make excuses.)  I definitely felt totally gross and not myself after traveling so much.  Now that I'm in a routine, I've felt much better.  I've even rekindled my love for spinning class.  I've basically been alternating between spinning, circuit training, and other gym classes.  So....I'm going to keep up the good work and have a rockin' body by the time Match Day rolls around.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eggy Bread or Gypsy Toast?

  I have had some amazing food lately if I do say so myself.  I'm currently on an independent study rotation, so I've been home, which means I've had to be creative in the kitchen.  My refrigerator is currently stocked with tons of delicious stuff.  I've decided that I judge people on their refrigerators.  Mine is always stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt, cheese, etc.  If your frig isn't stocked then I don't like you.  Just kidding....sort of.

  Andy and I decided to make French toast the other morning, and being the dorks we are looked up the origin of French toast.  Apparently the origins are unknown, but in Europe it is commonly known as eggy bread or gypsy toast.  Don't those sound way cuter?
 I served my eggy bread with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.  I also drizzled on some Kodiak Cakes wildberry syrup and some powdered sugar.  These were awesome!! I definitely chalk it up to both the Penzey's vanilla and almond extract I added to the batter.

  Andy also made his famous black beans and rice for dinner.  If you haven't had these, they are the bomb dot com.  Seriously, I have yet to find any restaurant that makes them as good as he does.

  In the black bowl is black beans over saffron rice with chopped avocado.  In the blue bowl is fresh fried plantains.  SOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!

Since I make salad so often, I decided to take a pic of the monstrosity that my kitchen turns into.  The one bad thing about eating a really fresh and natural diet is that your kitchen is always in need of being cleaned.
  There are veggies everywhere and I think I was making butternut squash soup, hence the immersion blender sitting over to the right in its box.
  I'm very proud of Oprah, even though I don't watch the show, because I heard that she took on a vegan challenge.  She basically wanted to show that we have no idea where our food comes from and that being a vegetarian or vegan is a good lifestyle choice.  I think everyone, veggie lover or not, should at least try for a Meatless Monday or something along those lines.  Even if you're not doing it for the planet or for animals, it's just a great way to get a super healthy day in.  Take it upon yourself as a personal challenge.   You might be surprised at all the delicious new dishes you can try.  I am by no means a vegan, because I do eat dairy, but I've realized lately that a lot of what I eat are vegan meals.  For example, the black beans and rice from the other day have no meat or dairy.  Also, I frequently eat oats in the morning.  I make them with water and then amp them up with nut butters, fruit, and spices.  Hell, if you're feeling super adventurous, try one vegan meal once a week.  I think that any opportunity in the kitchen to try something new is something we should all try.
Okay, enough of my go eat some vegetables!