Monthly Archives: April 2010

Summery

YESSSS it is definitely feeling like summer here. Out of nowhere the temperature went way up and the sun came out. Who knows how long it will last but I matched the beautiful day with some summery grub.

Strawberry Mango Hemp Smoothie with Muesli

Handful of strawberries, 1 mango, 1 huge tbsp hemp protein, cinnamon, 1 c soymilk, sprinkle of muesli. Energizingggg!

Spent the entire morning doing The Shred and preparing food to take on my two day trip out to Guilin (in the countryside). I guess it’s a little crazy that I’m attempting to pack 6 different meals BUT I prepared a batch of almond butter, breakfast cookie, protein oats, carrots, apples, crackers, homemade basil hummus, celery, cauliflower and the DELISH corn salad that I made for lunch. The best part is that everything, besides the corn is raw (I’m trying to eat at least two raw meals a day because it has been making me feel heavenly).

Mid-Almond Butter Making

Breakfast Cookie - oats, almond butter, hemp protein, soymilk, raisins, cinnamon

SUMMER = Fresh Corn Salad (with basil)

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook:

  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

For some veggies:

Snow Peas

And dessert!! I almost don’t want to show this since my food styling has been seriously off this week. I wanted to make banana almond strawberry date ice cream…but I didn’t have any frozen bananas. I ended up making an almond-strawberry-date compote and putting it on top of a split banana. MMM.

This looks hilarious

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Filed under Almond Butter, Dessert, Fruit, Salad, Shake, Travel

Not Busy, Busy, and Unfortunate Looking Food

I have a weird ability to make myself insanely busy when in reality, I have nothing to do. Since I only teach 10 measly hours a week, I really like making use of all that extra time. It’s crazy though how most people (including me) can get tons of stuff done when they’re busy, but seem to accomplish nothing when they have an entire day free. This was a problem for a LONG time when I first got to China, but I finally figured out that if I try to mimic my life at home it’s much easier to have a normal day instead of a day centered around my bed…somehow I was given a california king btw, NOT easy to leave. I usually make up some weird errand like needing to walk 4 miles to a certain store to buy some sort of random thing that I don’t need. Or 45 minutes across the river to go to a chain coffee shop that also has an outpost near my apartment. Whatever works right?
Wednesday and Thursday started out the same: waking up at 7 am and attempting some raw vegan breakfast recipe, hour of interneting, followed by The Shred, a run, and a million make-believe errands. Not the most beautiful creations, but they were beautiful on the INSIDE OKK??

Banana Almond Ice Cream with Muesli

Full of deliciousness. But the consistency isn’t perfect…my ancient freezer makes things ROCK solid so I have to use lots of liquid to make the banana blend-able….better luck next time.

Strawberry Banana Hemp Soup with Muesli

Alright this was also a fail. I attempted to make something similar to the banana ice cream, but with some protein from the hemp. The bananas were SO frozen that there was no way this thing was gonna work. With some muesli on top it wasn’t half bad, but it was pretty unfortunate looking, eh? Next time I’m gonna put it in a giant glass so it looks a little less bizarro.

I came up with three new dinners to make this week that were super filling but very low fat/low cal. Woo! Keeping up with the theme for the week, they were also not the most aesthetically pleasing.

Healthy Huevos Rancheros

Egg whites (4), vegetarian refried beans from a can, and simple pico de gallo. The best part was definitely the pico de gallo, so easy! Chopped tomatoes, onion and cilantro sprinkled with sea salt. Nothing else necessary. I think I spotted some black eyed peas at the store so next time I think I’m going to test those out so that this dish doesn’t look like…well…something horrible happened to it. A crucial dousing of hot sauce went on after this photo.

Steamed Brocolli with Homemade Marinara and Mozzarella

Whipped up some marinara: Can of whole peeled tomatoes, oregano, S&P, fresh basil (YEAHHH METRO) and an onion sliced in half. Simmered for about 30 minutes (Chucked the onion after the sauce reduced a little) Grating cheese is so amazing, this is barely a serving of cheese but it worked for the whole meal. Butttttt I think after I go through the cheese in my fridge I’m gonna phase out all dairy…we’ll see.

Eggplant Pam? With no breading and no cheese...

I’m never really sure how to cook eggplant. Roasting or grilling seems nice but I don’t have an oven or a grill. I just sautéed them with some garlic and covered everything in marinara, but I feel like there’s a better way. Eggplant prepared Chinese style is amazing, I need to figure out their secret.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Shake

Winning Combo

I had the absolute best workout of my life today. I really can’t even believe how much energy I had all day and I completely owe it to what I ate. Recently I’ve fallen into a routine of eating two raw, vegan meals a day plus one cooked, vegetarian meal (although vegan works there too). Why the cooked meal? Because I don’t own this, and also because I’m not that crazy, yet.

First raw vegan meal: banana almond “ice cream” with muesli. It’s like a eating a massive bowl of energy in the form of ice cream for breakfast. F*** yes. This one turned out a little melty since the bananas were frozen solid and I decided to soften them with scalding hot water. Next time I’ll just wait for them to thaw a bit.

Banana Almond Ice Cream with Muesli - Melting

1 Frozen banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, blended, muesli on top. Fruit, fiber, protein, good fats, satisfies for hours and super easy to digest. Heaven?

This breakfast fueled me through an hour of internet-ing, an hour walk to the grocery store, carrying all the groceries back, AND a session of The Shred. Usually I would be completely embarrassed if anyone knew I was doing an at home work out DVD, but this one is incredible and gives me SUCH great ideas to use at the gym. It includes fantastic compound strength moves, cardio and abs and it kicks my ass every time.

Post workout late lunch:

Chili and Chai

Leftover chili and a huge cup of chai =)

Two hours later: 8 mile run followed by hill sprints. I set out for a 4 mile run and somehow just kept going, honestly I was shocked. We’ll see if this trend continues but for now I give 100% credit to the raw/vegan/vegetarian combo. Hooray!!

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Filed under Breakfast, lunch, Work Out

Skipping Town

I’m currently on a solo trip in the ancient minority village of Feng Huang, also known as Phoenix town after the mythical bird. It’s beautiful here and the train ride was what might come to mind when you think of the mystical side of China. The view from the window was captivating. Completely opposite from the industrial town that I live in which was deemed the most polluted city in all of China just a few short years ago. Anyway, turns out this town is tourist central!! But Chinese tourists, not foreign tourists which is really cool.

The town offers really cool shopping, tons of walking and endless amounts of snacks. AYYY I always thought I was a snack person but recently they’ve been making me feel like hell. I guess once you get on a set eating schedule, messing with it isn’t the best. I also usually eat raw food for at least 2 out of 3 meals these days so heavier food throughout the day is a bit difficult. Good thing I brought carrots, apples, a can of beans and some almond butter because I tried some of the street food and was not feeling so hot. Love the looks people give me when I walk down the street eating a giant carrot.

I’m in the most bizarre situation right now. Sitting in an adorable cafe overlooking the river, drinking an Americano. The waitress just convinced me to order a tiramisu which I reluctantly agreed to since I knew I’d be here for a while and got lingerer’s guilt. WHERE AM I?? This does not feel like China at all. There are tons of young couples walking around, holding hands and making out which I haven’t really seen since I’ve been in here. Hundreds of people are walking by looking confusedly at my setup, leaning over my computer to read what I’m writing and screaming the usual “HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO” a la Mrs. Doubtfire. I usually can’t stand that but today has been so relaxing and the people here are so pleasant that it’s not even phasing me. A group of five elderly gentlemen just stopped next to my table and are currently snapping pictures of me. Ridic.

MMMM Americano

Cafe Overlooking the River

Feng Huang seems to be somewhat famous for ginger candy, peanut candy, and dried kiwi….they sold it every 5 steps.  Watching them make the ginger candy and pound the peanut candy was pretty sweet. See Below!

Making Ginger Candy - Looks like Gold!

Pounding Peanut Candy

Death by Kiwi

These things completely KO’d me. I’m not good when dried fruit is around because I go way overboard. These are the snacks I was referring to that made me somewhat ill.

More pics from the town:

Down the River

Menu at a Local Restaurant

Another great thing about this weekend is that I started reading a really great and inspiring book. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Sounds kind of weird and slightly maniputlative but it’s not about tricking people into being your friends or doing what you want, it’s about the intricacies of human interactions and how people react to negativity, etc. I also listened to the entire audio book of Freakonomics. Highly recommend both.

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Cold Weather Food on a Warm Day

I absolutely love using up all of the vegetables in my fridge without having to throw anything away. Not wasting food or money is such a great feeling! I suppose I end up letting stuff go bad when I go out to eat a lot, but since I won’t be doing that for the next two months or so I’m in the clear. This also means that my groceries for one week of breakfast, lunch and dinner cost $15.00. Out of control.

Although today was sunny, warm and all around beautiful, I ended up making the heartiest of cold weather meals: Chili with cauliflower mashed potatoes. This meal has practically zero fat (tiny bit from the beans) and has a ridiculous amount of vitamins and nutrients from the veggies. On top of it all a small amount will feel you up FAST. It’s also carb free (if we aren’t counting veggies as carbs) so for anyone harboring a carb fear its perfect.

Veggie Chili with Mashed Cauliflower

Easy Vegetarian Chili-

If I had my pick of ingredients I would have added roasted poblano peppers, black beans and avocado but beggars can’t be choosers eh?

1 medium onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

2 cans peeled tomatoes

2 cans kidney beans

2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, S&P, dash of cinnamon (adjust to taste), cilantro

1. In a large pot, sauté onions, garlic and peppers for about 5 minutes, stirring every so often.

2.  Add tomatoes, beans and spices and stir to incorporate all of the flavors.

3. Let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it has thickened, spoon into a bowl, garnish with cilantro, and if you’re a fast eater like me, inhale.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

1 huge head of cauliflower cut into florets

1 garlic clove, chopped

S&P

1. Steam cauliflower until florets are soft.

2. Put in blender with S&P and chopped garlic clove.

3. Blend.

4. Be amazed at how much it tastes like mashed potatoes, especially if you add milk (soy, nut, cow, etc) and butter.

I got something amazing in the mail today. Can’t wait to put it to use:

Hemp Protein

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Filed under Dinner

Too Much Food For One Person

Dinner tonight revolved around trying to make the vegetables in my refrigerator interesting. Result? Carrot ginger soup with chopped cashews and dill / peas stir fried with garlic, scallions and bean sprouts.

Carrots, Ginger, Onions, Lemon Zest

Carrot Ginger Soup with Chopped Cashews and Dill

This soup is impossible to mess up unless you’re starving and are so impatient that you don’t let the carrots cook long enough.

1. Dice about 1 tablespoon of ginger (more if you want a spicy kick) and 1 medium onion and let them sweat in a pan with some lemon zest and sea salt until the onions are translucent and pretty limp.

2. In another pan, sauté 2 large, chopped carrots (with some sea salt) for about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add carrots to onions and ginger, add about 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and let simmer until carrots are suuuuuper soft.

4. Throw everything in a blender along with S&P and a dash of curry powder and blend until you have something resembling soup. While the blender is still on, slowly pour in about 1 cup of milk. I used soy milk here but you can use anything from nut milk to skim to heavy cream depending on your preference.

5. Top with cashews and dill and enjoy!

Peas, Bean Sprouts, Scallions and Garlic - Stir Fried

Plus a simple stir fry. Veggie overload. As if I didn’t have enough food already I decided that this meal needed some protein and complex carbs.

Spanish Tortilla with Onions and Cilantro

I attempted to make this Spanish Tortilla, but I only had 2 eggs and 1 tiny potato….and no broiler…so it turned into a not-as-beautiful scramble.

Deconstructed

Nothing that a little hot sauce won’t fix.

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Curious

PB&J with a tall, ice cold glass of milk. Quintessential childhood meal. One that I have never enjoyed in my entire life. I only started eating PB about two years ago after swearing it off for over 10 years because I got a flu one year at camp and blamed it on a PB&J. Yeah. Years before that, in preschool, the same thing occurred with milk and I haven’t had a sip of the stuff since. Oddly enough at the same time I named my favorite stuffed animal Milky. I was weird.

I don’t even feel like I’m missing out, but a weird curiosity struck me this morning. Since my reintroduction to PB went well (a little too well), why not give milk a try with some cereal? It seems to be pretty popular. Most people recoil in horror when I tell them that I hate milk and always eat (and love!) dry cereal…and then they  laugh at the fact that I still eat it in a bowl with a spoon. HOW else would you eat it??? Anyway…this morning I tested it out with some Muesli, banana, and plum.

Success??

You see the shadow on the left side of the photo? Very symbolic of the other dark cloud that permeated my apartment as I took my first, and last bite. I even made another bowl with soy milk. Not happening either. On the bright side, at least this is one dairy product that I can officially cross of my list! Luckily I had a fall back that never fails me:

Egg White Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Banana and Raisins

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Filed under Breakfast