December 14, 2010
Now that is the bestest! It’s yumma!
September 7, 2010
Being in college has definitely made me a lazier person, especially when it comes to cleaning. Last year, I discovered that having an unmade bed is acceptable (shock! horror!) and that shirts can totally be worn multiple times…. just as long as they don’t smell. Of course, I’ve also learned a lot of other fancy stuff, not just academically. Allow me to share:
1) If you can go 3 weeks without doing laundry, either you’ve got a sh!t ton of underwear or you’re a sick, sick person.
2) However, if you can go 3 weeks without having to lug your trash to the dumpsters, you’re a champ.
3) It is perfectly okay to drink apple juice straight from the container if it saves having to wash a cup.
4) You shouldn’t feel guilty for picking up a quarter you find on the sidewalk. That’s laundry money!
5) Taking a tupperware to the Caf on hummus night (!!!) is perfectly fine. Just don’t let the worker minions see you.
On the other hand, I’ve learned something important! If you can get a job as a full time student, you’re lucky. If you can get a job that you love, you’re probably lying. But I’m not… I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful family that needed a nanny for their adorable 11 year old. My old RA, who transferred, recommended me to them and I was fortunate enough to land the job. I’ll just tell you this: I LOVE IT! I work 2-3 days a week, picking her up from school and driving her to dance class, then coming home afterward and tutoring her. And to think, I was nearly desperate enough to apply for a job at the library…
The only downside to the job is that I get back around 7 sometimes. And I eat at 6. Now, my tummy does not like to have a disrupted eating schedule, so I usually stash a Larabar or piece of fruit in my purse to tide me over until I get back on campus for dindins. Sometimes I go to the caf, and other times I realize I have a bag of spinach that needs to be used in my fridge.
There’s no way I’m letting that $4 sucker go to waste (Thanks for your expensive prices, Earth Fare >.<) so I decided to have some veggie POWA in my dinner today! This meal is pretty great for someone lazy busy like me who doesn’t want to spend a long time cooking after work and loves something easy yet healthy. You could probably feed this to your kids and trick them, too. Bwahaha. This isn’t really much of a recipe, just a “throw everything together,” kind of thing, but still. It’s tasty, and you don’t argue with tasty things.
It even says it’s tasty on the box. No arguing.
Easy Peasy Mac ‘n’ Chreese the College Way
You’re gonna need:
1 box of mac ‘n’ chreese
1 can of no-salt added vegetables
1 bag of spinach (preferably the kind that’s not on it’s way out)
A splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk
First, set your pot to boil with a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil just to make sure that nothing sticks to it. Doesn’t it suck when that happens? Once it’s boiling, cook your shells according to the box directions.
This stuff is great in a pinch!
When the pasta is alllllmost al dente (you have to say that in a Giada de Laurentiis accent, by the way. Overannunciate!), toss in your can o veggies so they can heat through.
Don’t judge me!
Then in the last 30 seconds or so, toss in all of your spinach. Remember, it looks like a lot when you put it into the water, but you only get a little in the end. It’s like a bag of chips. Half of it’s always air. >=(
Post drain-age, pour in your choice of non-dairy milk and the cheeze sauce. I like unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla because I usually add a ton of maple syrup to my cereal or oatmeal, so I don’t want to be on a mega sugar high from syrup + almond milk.
I drink this shiz straight up, yo.
Don’t be alarmed by my man-hands. Or the look of the cheeze sauce.
In the end, you’ll get this pile of wonder!
I like to top mine with a bunch of dried basil and oregano.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the last epic college discovery!
Putting leftovers in a plastic cup is Classy with a capital C.
What’s your favorite college memory?
August 5, 2010
I’m not ashamed of my addiction to that TikTok song by Ke$ha.
I’m sorry, really, I am. It’s just so catchy!
I’m also not ashamed of the fact that I put far too much lemon into my food, especially during the summer.
It’s just so refreshing!
Lemon in pretty much any dish is fan-freaking-tastic. It can brighten up anything from cupcakes to smoothies to savory dishes like scrambled tofu and even egg and dairy free quiche. Yup. I’m a lemon addict… but I hate lemonade. Is that weird?
Lemony Orzo with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pine Nuts
Sheesh. This baby needs a shorter name. I’ll just use an acronym for now. LOwRBNaPN. Yeah. I can so remember that.
You’re gonna need:
1 butternut squash
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup basil, julienned
S&P to taste
First, find the least phallic-looking butternut squash you can.
I love these! Erm… I’m talking about the squash.
Don’t know how to prepare a squash? Click here.
Chop it into cubes, and then coat it in olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw them in a 375 degree oven for about an hour, or until they’re tender and cooked through.
Go play outside for a half an hour!
But don’t go too far, because just before the squash is done cooking (about ten minutes beforehand), you’ll want to put on a pot of water to boil. Once it’s bubbly boiling, add in your orzo.
Zest your lemon, then squeeze the juice. Immediately put about half of it into the bottom of a large serving dish. Chop your basil and also put about half of it into the bowl. Once your orzo and squash are done, trow them in there too. Top with pine nuts, the remaining basil and lemon juice, and lemon zest.
I think I got my family addicted to this dish.
Now if I could only get them to like Ke$ha…
What’s your guilty pleasure?
June 24, 2010
If I had to pick a last meal other than breakfast (which is, hands down, banana and peanut butter pancakes), I’d pick sushi. End of story. There’s just something about it that makes it a perfect meal. Maybe it’s the cool, crisp veggies, the smooth, creamy avocado, the B vitamins and texture of the nori holding it together, or even the carbohydrates from the rice. Whatever is in that combination, it makes sushi a stellar meal for me.
So while we were at the beach, my dad and I sampled two different sushi joints. Both claimed to be Japanese and Thai. Both claimed to have the best sushi in town. Both had legit, almost novel-like menus. Of course, you can’t really have two favorite sushi places, according to one of my friends. So I present to you…. *drumroll please*
The Great Sushi-off Competition 2010
In the first corner, we have Siam Orchid. An old favorite, a seasoned contender, and a fabulous meal every time. Siam Orchid boasts a full Thai and Japanese menu as well as a sushi bar. It also has ballin’ decor.
In our second corner is Sake, a definite underdog. Unknown until a few weeks ago (though they’ve been open since 2000), Sake claims to serve the best sushi in all of town.
Round one: Menus
At Siam Orchid, the menu, as mentioned above, is extensive. But it’s Barbie pink. That’s a possible weakness. Plus, the pictures can give the diner the impression that the food is more or less the same quality as those takeaway Chinese places with similar pictures. As if I didn’t know what sweet and sour chicken looked like..
At Sake, the menu is NOT hot pink. Plus. But the menu is a novel to get through and has a ton of good options.
See that strength? It’s in a binder, enough said. The food is also clearly divided into sections by geographical location, and is well organized. Plus it has less typos. Round one goes to Sake.
Round 2: Appetizers
At Siam Orchid, there’s only one appetizer that will satisfy a hungry vegan until sushi arrives. And that is… tofu rolls!
Served on a gorgeous plate with scrumptious peanut sauce. The outside tapioca roll is the perfect compliment to its innards. Inside the rolls are the usual suspects – vermacelli noodles, carrots, cucumber, and tofu. BUT WAIT, what’s this?! Arugula? Some kind of spicy green leafy! Unexpected and definitely a good twist. Sake’s going to have to try hard to recover from that blow.
Sake’s appetizer is a pretty legit bowl of vegetable soup. It might appear to be a plain looking broth with mushy vegetables, but looks can be deceiving! First off, the spoon that’s hiding behind is adorable. Secondly, the broth was tasty without being overly salty like a lot of soups are. And the veggies? Crisp and delicious. But what’s this? Mushrooms?!*puke*
Round 2 definitely goes to Siam Orchid!
The Final Round…
The long awaited moment has arrived. We’re all tied up in the last round, whoever wins this is going to take it all.
And just LOOK at that presentation from Siam Orchid! The sauteed vegetables were served in a martini glass, which was “glued” to the plate with hot wasabi paste. Genius. All of the basics are covered – makizushi, wasabi and other assorted hot pastes, tofu, and Nigiri-zushi. Looking good.
What this plate of deliciousness lacks in martini-glass-ness, it certainly makes up for it with flavor. It packs a giant tastebud punch (what a pun, ha ha). The tofu (inzrizushi) is moist yet crunchy without being chewy; the makizushi itself is absolutely divine. Having the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside is just plain awesome, because I don’t like the look of nori that much. This plate of sushi was colossal. Amazing. Delicious. I was actually unable to finish it. Om nom nom.
The winner of round 3 goes to Siam Orchid because I just can’t get over that darn martini glass.
So the winner of the first ever Sushi-Off… is actually both Siam Orchid and Sake!
Because wrestling is silly. And sushi is always a winner.
What’s your favorite restaurant and why?
June 17, 2010
Check out those bangin’ 90′s graphics!
Yep. That’s stuck in my head now because I made blue food for lunch yesterday.
Blueberry Quinoa with Chickpeas
1/2 cup quinoa, dry
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup blueberry juice (I used Naked brand)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/3 cup raisins
a dash of vanilla extract
a quirt of agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey to sweeten (to taste)
1/2 t cinnamon (or more , depending on your taste)
a pinch of salt (to taste)
First, toast your quinoa in a pan. It’s like toasting nuts. Don’t add any oil, and just let the quinoa heat up and become golden brown. Just move them around every so often to make sure they’re not burning. When you can smell it getting all toasty, add in your almonds and let them toast for just a moment, too. They may begin to pop like popcorn – if that happens, turn your heat down. After about three more minutes of toasting, add in your water, vanilla, and blueberry juice.
Once your liquid is in, you want to actually cook the quinoa. Cover the pan, bring it up to a boil and then put it down to a steady simmer. You want the quinoa to absorb all of the liquids and become fluffy. Add more liquid if you need to.
When the quinoa is cooked, add in your cinnamon, chickpeas, raisins, and blueberries.
Cover and let it heat through.
Serve, garnished with almond joy.
It sounds like it’s an odd dish, but the flavors really work well together. The chickpeas absorb the blueberry flavor and combined with the quinoa you’ve got a wonderful source of healthy, complete protein. This could be enjoyed warm or cold, as brekkie or not.
Da ba de da ba daaaai.
I remember this song all too well. I used to play it in the car on my supa-awesome handheld CD player over and over again. I was so cool. But now I’ll never look at blueberries the same way again.
What’s your favorite 90′s song?
June 14, 2010
I swear I’ll stop changing the layout soon! I just discovered WordPress’ theme options…
June 9, 2010
So sorry for the lack of, well, life around here. I’m just being a bum. A beach bum, that is.
That’s our view from the condo. Hollllla!
My days have been filled with intense death walks on the beach (AKA walking 4 miles in the blazing heat with my father – he does this for FUN.), adding to my immense sunburn collection, reading Jodi Picoult, and watching stupid movies every single night. Seriously, the movie Seven is dumb. I think Brad Pitt is repulsive. We also took a trip to a local botanical garden. It was hot.
The week has also been filled with delicious eats! We’ve been out to sushi and Thai, and silly me forgot to bring my camera. I had the most amazing Tofu Asparagus (and the most beastly asparagus scented pee) and tofu rolls. We’re searching for a new sushi place to terrorize nosh at tonight, so I’ll be sure to bring my camera.
I’ve also been coming up with concoctions for my very hungry father every night. Last night’s meal included one of my favorite healthy fats – coconut milk! It was more of less a hodge podge of various veggies and not really a curry, but I’m calling it a curry because I can.
Bathing Suit Curry
(Appropriately named because I was in my swimsuit whilst cooking and eating)
1 cup lentils*
2 onions, chopped
1 potato, cubed
1 head of cauliflower
2 carrots, chopped
2 peppers of your choice (I used a red and green bell pepper)
a crap ton of tomatoes
1/2 can of coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon basil
*A quick note about lentils: you’ll want to soak them for a few hours beforehand, preferably overnight. Then boil them for about a half hour or until they’re tender. You could probably just soak them and then put them in the curry as it boils, but I didn’t know if they’d be cooked by then so I just boiled them ahead and added them in near the end.
1.) Heat up some olive oil in a large pot, and then add in your onions. Let them sweat for about ten minutes, or until they’re somewhat tender and translucent. Then add in your potato and carrots. Again, let them sweat like they’re in a sauna.
2.) Chop up the rest of your veggies and set them aside. Realize you should have used a bigger cutting board.
3.) (Optional) After spending far too much time chopping, find a brand new SlapChop and moan about not using it and losing an opportunity to “slap all your troubles away.”
4.) Once the onion, potato, and carrots have been cooking for about ten minutes, throw in the rest of your veggies. Don’t worry your pretty little head if your potato isn’t cooked just yet.
5.) Add in your coconut milk, lentils, tomatoes, spices, and any other veggies. Let that come up to a boil, and then have it simmer for about an hour. You basically just want the potatoes to cook through and the flavors to merge, like Time Warner and AOL.
After about 45 minutes, I plated it up. You could probably let it simmer for as little or long as you want. I went for a walk on the beach, and let it cook while I was gone.
I served it over Jasmine rice that was also cooked in coconut milk. (GASP! White rice!)
SURPRISE! I have another lazy vacay recipe for you. Seriously, it’s probably the simplest thing and I’m willing to bet a monkey could do it. Just make sure he has clean hands… you know where they’ve been.
Get yourself a whole wheat crust.Smother it in tomato sauce. In my case, I was too cheap to buy three packs of sauce seeing as I’d only use one. So I used tomato paste mixed with dried basil, oregano, and a bit of chives.
Top the awesome (AKA vegan) side with whole grape tomatoes, peppers, and then realize you forgot to buy spinach and fresh basil.
Slap yourself on the forehead.
Then realize you have the ultimate topping/meal/deliciousness… hummus. Yes, on a pizza. I put it on in globs and just hoped it would turn out tasting alright. The pizza crust said to bake for 20 minutes, so I put it in for 18, cause I’m a rebel.
3 pieces wasn’t enough.
So for now, I’m off to eat leftover curry and drag my lazy self to the oceanside and then the pool. Oh, what a tough life I lead. Hope your day is going swimmingly. Pun intended.
Where’s your favorite vacay spot?
June 5, 2010
Hey lovelies! So now I’m in the sunshine state, roasting away. For real, I’m probably the palest person you’ll ever meet and me and the beach don’t really get along too well. Same with the whole “getting up at 5:30 to get ready to drive 9 hours and only stop ONCE to pee.” Yeah.
It was around here that I realized I’d forgotten to pack my swimsuit.
And that it was time for breakfast!
Green Monster, representin’ them Tar Heels. Yeeeeah!
Into the blender went:
1 cup almond milk
~3 cups of spinach
Om nom nom nom.
Other unpictured eats included leftover pasta (note to self: spaghetti CAN be a good traveling food… just not when you’re on a bumpy road), a banana, and an apple.
7 hours later and I had to pee super bad. And the rain didn’t help at all. Or the fact that the next rest area was “in the next 20ish miles, or so…hopefully… I think.”
Thank goodness we finally stopped. I posted some Operation Beautiful notes in the gas station and in the bathroom.. so fun!
I always get so bored when I’m stuck in the car for extended periods of time. Luckily, my father and I were prepared with my iPod, which was loaded with Coldplay, Michael Buble, Eddie Izzard, CarTalk, Michael Buble, and Michael Buble. What do you guys do to manage your boredom? I can tell you what my adorable puppy does… sleep. : )
What a face!
“Will you STOP taking mad amounts of pictures of me, woman?!”
ANYWAY, we eventually made it to Florida and collapsed onto bed. It’s 4:42 and I’ve been here for a whole day but I still haven’t been to the beach yet. I told you I don’t like it. I did, however, make it to the gym. I was relieved when I found out that my home gym (where I go when I’m not in school) lets me work out at any other location, and the branch was just a hop, skip and jump down the road. Not worth it. It was a meat market and they didn’t even have any ellipticals. Fail. Any suggestions for workouts and strength-training-ish moves? I know I’ll be going on some runs but I don’t wanna just do cardio for a week.
Post work-out eats was a smorgesporge of fruits. Basically half a bag of grapes and a handful of AMAZING strawbezzies. While eating I made some new friends!
Anyway, sorry for the lackluster post. I’ll be sure to have a lot to talk about later on this week – I’m cooking every night as well as going out to Thai/Japanese/sushi joints. Pictures will ensue.
For now, I’m going to hightail it out of here. I don’t know how much longer I can take listening to the elderly group that is eating near me. One lady talked about how she feels so guilty for eating white bread, and I want to go over there and tell her that one slice of the white stuff isn’t going to kill her.
PS, I have joined the masses at Twitter. As a test run, I suppose? My username is veganomnomnom!
June 1, 2010
I’m not usually one for fake meat products. Boca? No way. Morningstar? Nuh uh. Smart dogs? Never in a million years. You name it, I probably don’t like it – from fake chicken nuggets to sausage links – and I probably won’t eat it. Some of them are processed far too much and have a zillion unrecognizable ingredients. *cough cough Boca burgers cough* So why do I rarely eat imitation meat? There’s just something about the taste and the texture. I guess because it resembles meat just a little too closely. Or sometimes it ends up looking like poo. (See here)
Anyway, I had some friends over for a BBQ last night. First of the season! Among all the grilled potatoes, peppers, and mushrooms was this…
I know, I know.. fake meat. It must’ve been the words “New BOLD BBQ sauce.” No, really, it was a spur of the moment thing. I recognized and could read and pronounce all of the ingredients. The nutrition stats were pretty good too. The only thing that I didn’t particularly love was the amount of sodium in a serving. I try to keep it under 800mg a day and, judging by the size of the skewers vs the size of my stomach, there was no way I was going to be able to only eat one serving… unless it tasted like poo.
What? I’m a hangry girl.
Once I took them out of the package, I was unnerved. They were all kind of clumped together and they really did resemble poo. A lot.
Upon further inspection and a good sniff, I discovered that they actually smelled really good. Kind of like baked beans..which SCREAM deliciousness, especially after they’ve been in the slow cooker for 6 hours and you just want to stick your face in them.
See? Not too appealing. Poo on a stick.
That’s what they looked like post-grilling. There was nothing I could do to make them look more appetizing.
With an open mind and a tall glass of water next to me for just in case, I took a hunk of “garden protein” and prepared for the worst. Surprisingly, however, it wasn’t terrible. I seriously wondered if I’d picked up a meat kebab instead of a vegan one, to be honest with you. Texture wise, it was a little chewy and quite dense. The BOLD BBQ sauce had stuck to the skewer even during it’s session in the grill sauna. It really was bold.
Overall, the skewers were different than I’d been expecting. In a good way. I’m definitely going to try Gardein’s other stuff. But I’m not good at sharing, so if anyone asks for a bite, I’ll tell them I’m eating poo.