WIAW: Well Actually Tuesday

WIAW is back. Thanks, Jenn

 


6am:

After several failed attempts to evade my alarm, I pried my eyes open one-by-one. With mismatched yoga apparel on and a Yogitoes towel in hand, I spent the following hour depleting my body of any and all liquid. That, my friends is what a Hot Power class will do to you. I then tried to salvage what I could of my previously presentable hair and drag myself to work; rosewater spray saved me in the office.

Sweating front row

Sweating front row

 

8:30am:

A few meager endeavors to replenish my liquids occurred while working at my desk.

Infused water. It's like it's spa day in the office

Infused water. It’s like it’s spa day in the office

One for me. One for my colead

One for me. One for my colead

Green monster

Green monster

 

Noon on the dot:

Hangry monster attacks. Need.lunch.now. Luckily, I was overly ambitious this past weekend and did meal prep. Very rare occasion, folks.

 

Roasted Tomato Zucchini :

  • Spiralize two zucchinis

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  • Add can of fire roasted diced tomatoes to frying pan

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  • Sautee tomatoes with bell peppers (any additional vegetable), cumin, pepper, salt, and nutritional yeast

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  • Add protein of choice (I used Beyond Meat from Whole Foods)
  • Top spiraled zucchini noodles with sauce

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  • Bon appetit

 

Snacks:

Not far and few between. Chocolate. And lots of it. Sorry, I consumed my little treats too quickly to photograph.

 

8:05pm:

Tomatoes are my favorite food, if you did not already know. And I prefer to say food because they’re technically a fruit not a vegetable, and when they’re compared with other fruits its a tough call. I digress, tomato salad with balsamic glaze and a faux chicken salad. Delish.

Summer on a plate

Summer on a plate

 

8:35pm:

And then these happened just because. There’s never a wrong time for coconut. Martha Stewart circa English basement in North Dupont. Crazier things have happened?

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How is your Wednesday shaping up?

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Roons

I have to tell you that some magnificent, little bites of heaven have been on my mind–and a little too frequently than I’d care to admit.  There’s something elegant about macaroons, as if they should only be held in the chicest of hands, though it’s impossible to limit yourself to just one at a time. I may have just developed a palette for coconut but I’m certainly not hating it. What I’m not fond of is the $8+ package of macaroons at Whole Foods. A dollar per macaroon?? That’s too painful for my wallet, even for my coconut obsessed brain. Hence, why I decided to take matters into my hands.

 

Behold the macaroon experiment of 2013…

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I poured over a myriad of healthified macaroon recipes and decided to both adapt a few and test the variances.

 

The base of all of the macaroons was:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut

The variations included:

  • agave syrup
  • banana and agave syrup
  • banana

 

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Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.

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I have to say the banana was my favorite. Naturally sweet and fruity. But you can sweeten with agave or sugar to your heart’s content. Let me know what variations you try or think up!

 

When No One Was Watching…

I read up on this popular, little bulbous seed. The Chia Seed.

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The one everyone and their mother’s earthy friend has been raving about. The same one that every fitness, vegan, and gourmet magazine has deemed the year’s hot new ingredient. And for you recluses who haven’t hopped on the omega train, here are the Chia facts:

Also known as the Salvia Hispanica, the Chia, is a flowering plant from the mint family, Lamiaceae. And yes, the ch-ch-chia is a cousin of the seeds you used to grow atop your clay pet. It was a major crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C and was cultivated well into the 16th century, AD, but after the Spanish conquest, it was banned due to its close association with the Aztecs–said to have been the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors.

Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber). The seed is also rich with calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

I work with chia fiends and after seeing endless bags of chia seeds on our office conference table, I decided to do experiment with this wonder food seed. My secret experimentation produced a delicious though very unpicturesque dessert.

Dolce Chia Pudding

  • 2-3 TBSP chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup-1 cup almond milk
  • 1-2 TBSP of Stevia, brown sugar, agave, or sweetener of choice
  • Many dashes of cinnamon
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight to allow pudding to thicken. Top with fruit and shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Before

Before

After

After

What’re your thoughts on chia?

WIAW: Spring Obsessions

Spring is in the air. And I may have a few slight obsessions…

Morning/Noon/Evening Obsession:

Chobani sent me a delectable gift. And now my fridge is a vision of gold–well a vision that is dwindling considerably. I’ve been enjoying these babies solo, with fruit, with granola, and atop protein pancakes. I’m hooked. The pear is not overly sweet and has perfectly sized bites at the bottom. I need one now.

 

Beautiful sight

Beautiful sight

WSJ and breakfast

WSJ and breakfast

Work fuel

 

I was four years old, lying on my stomach with my chin in my hands and feet kicking in the air, watching Saturday morning cartoons. My dad lay down next to me with a simple offering to the pickiest eater on the planet–it was a plated sliced pear. After much a bit of reluctance to try out the foreign food, I was pleasantly surprised. The sweet, crisp, and juicy pear won me over. And twenty years later but with less of a pixie haircut,  I can still be found kicking my legs up with a pear in hand.

 

Salty Obsession:

Seaweed wraps. Okay, let me explain. Envision nori sheets filled with lettuce, tomato, hummus and/or cottage cheese, and tempeh. Perfect summer lunch in my book. And I’ve been making my way through the pack of 1o sheets a little quicker than I’d like to admit.  This is a winner folks, get going on it.

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Supper Obsession:

The spring king himself. The asparagus. Is that not the ultimate spring vegetable or what? Wait, are you telling me it’s not standard protocol to rate your seasonal vegetables? Well, you all have another thing coming when summer heirloom tomatoes come into season. This blog will be a vision of heirloom red and yellow. Donations are welcome.

Wine is a year long obsession

Wine is a year long obsession

 

I fell in love with these long stemmed beauties my first summer home from college. I learned from Wonder Woman herself about the glories of roasting your asparagus. Olive oil, salt, pepper, and a broiler. Done and done. I’ve recently come to learn that my secret little method of preparing asparagus is more common knowledge than I realized.

 

My WIAW takeaways are three-fold: 1) grab yourself a pear chobani 2) roll out a nori wrap and 3) crisp up some asparagus. Happy Wednesday!

WIAW: Baking Away

Well, thankfully for my waistline and digestion I didn’t eat all of what I’m posting today. A girl’s gotta bake though. And that’s exactly what I did. I derive a significant amount of enjoyment being in the kitchen–creativity brewing, flour flying, and music bellowing. It’s for that reason alone I love to bake and cook for others–therapy session in the works.

Now if I could only do so in a kitchen with exposed brick walls, a copper hood, and a Wolf Range….or at least have some decent lighting and a sharp set of knives? #cookingwoes

If you know me, you know of my sweet tooth. I try to keep it at bay most of the time. One sweet you’ll never catch me ordering is a citrus dessert. Blech. No judgement if you love them–most people do. Ergo, I decided to bake the below dessert/loaf/treat/breakfast. I’m a people pleaser, what can I say. It’s not the healthiest recipe in the least, but I have to throw you a few curve balls now and then to indulge in. Perfect hostess gift, coffee pairing, or ice cream base.

Glazed Lemon Cake (Adapted from Ina Garten)
Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes., Add the eggs, one at a time.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

 

Softened butter

Softened butter

Eggs and sugar

Eggs and sugar

Flour

Flour

Grease

Grease

Evenly pour

Evenly pour

Voila

Voila

Glazed

Glazed

Any exciting eats or bakes recently?

WIAW: Winter Good Eats

In between deep, fistful plunges into my bottomless snack bag purse, there were some good eats. Fresh hummus screams spring, yet the snow outside and my frozen strawberries not as much. Making do with my meals since the groundhog was clearly mistaken.


Breakfast:

Parfait please. Layered greek yogurt, protein pancake, strawberries, and sunflower seeds. Good Wednesday morning indeed

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Lunch:

I had an unnotable mid-day meal, however, the hummus I made was a salient concoction. I was a little tired of buying $4 “gourmet” hummus at Whole Foods, so I took matters into my own hands.

Edamame Hummus:

  • In a blender/cusinart, add 1/2 cup of bean of choice. I used a chickpeas and white navy beans
  • Add equal amount of edamame. Thawed if frozen
  • Add 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Add lemon juice and vinegar to taste
  • Season with herbs of provence and salt
  • Use on anything and everything savory

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Dinner:

Tempeh salad. The perfect accompaniment to book club reading. The Yoga of Jesus anyone? Wasn’t a huge fan of the book–the writing was not very succinct. So don’t you go rushing out to buy it all at once 🙂

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A French Feat

It’s a feat I had not endeavored since high school in AP French. One that transplants you back to the country d’amour. And envelops you in flavors teeming with richness and simplicity. One that heightens your appreciation for a perfect, buttery crust.

The Galette. For those of you to have yet been transfixed by this rustic dessert, it’s a freeform, French tart replete with the fruits of summer and the essence of Provence.

For a dinner party a few weeks back, I endeavored to prepare a galette. Nothing embodies celebration like a beautiful, caramelized fruit tart. Right? You can always go buy one too, but where’s the fun in that? Fewer stories about the struggles of finding a few sticks of butter on a Sunday evening, or fiddling with oven knobs that are devoid of any printed temperature value.

 

Apricot and Strawberry Galette

(Adapted from Katie)

  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks very cold butter
  • 12-16 TBS ice cold water
  • 1 1/2 lb ripe apricots, thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/3 c. Grand Marnier
  1. I doubled the recipe– it’s still more of an adequate serving size this way.
  2. Make the pie crust: whisk together the flour and the salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the cold butter, and blend  until the mixture is coarse with small lumps.  Add the water 1 TBS at a time, stirring with a fork between additions, until the dough comes loosely together.  Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  In a large bowl, mix the apricots, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch,  and Grand Marnier.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Roll out the dough into a large oval on a well-floured surface, then transfer to a baking sheet.  Pile the fruit filling into the middle of the galette, leaving at least an inch around the edges on all sides.  Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and press down.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 25-30 minutes longer, until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
  4.  Don’t be alarmed if the filling bubbles out somewhat – it’s that kind of dessert. Note: If you use frozen fruit it will definitely bubble over.
  5. Et voila! Enjoy

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What have you baked recently?

Living on Lentils

Lentils: botanically-known as Lens culinaris esculenta, originated with our ancestors during the Neolithic period. The word’s Latin root is lens,  because the bean cousin is shaped like the double convex optic lens which took its name from the lentil.  There are hundreds of varieties of lentils, with as many as fifty cultivated for food.  They are rich sources of protein, folic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, essential amino acids and trace minerals.

This post’s title is not misleading. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I have been nibbling my way through the lentil loaf leftovers from Sunday, in attempt to not be wasteful before I head home to this:

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Pina coladas, warm weather, and….my laptop as I will be still working from home today.

 

Back to the lentils. Clearly, you all are on edge waiting to hear more. A week ago, prior to my lentil loaf, I concocted a red lentil soup in my Crockpot, surprise surprise.

Into the pot went:

  • 3-4 cups lentils
  • double the volume in vegetable broth
  • garlic
  • 1/2 a medium onion
  • one large sliced leek
  • mushrooms
  • frozen peas (add at the end)
  • curry, salt, pepper, chili sauce

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I turned the Crockpot on high, set off to assist a yoga class at Flow, and when I returned my soup was fini e magnifique. Serve in a large preferably on sale Anthropologie bowl with fresh whole wheat bread and night. Bonus points that it was snowing all day and the boyfriend was a fan.

Lunch leftovers

Lunch leftovers

 

I’m off to Florida to refresh with some Vitamin D  and detox from my lentils. Until next week with another lentil recipe (I kid), Au revoir.

Pizza Kind of Night

There are those nights when you just need a perfect slice of pizza. But you want to be make dinner at home. And you want to try a dozen recipes. And you’re a healthy living blogger. Conflicting interests?

No at all.

Ladies and gentleman, date night does Cauliflower Pizza. And does it well.

I discovered the brilliance and innovation of this recipe on various blogs but in paricular, thank you Laura! To be honest, it sounded a little out there but I always like a challenge. If I live in yoga pants and running shoes, juice to my heart’s content, and frequent farmer’s markets like they’re going out of style, then I should assuredly like cauliflower pizza, right?

There’s nothing like testing out a new degree of healthy yogi with the boyfriend. We made a TJs (Trader Joes) run for all the necessary ingredients, including ready-made pizza dough in case anything went too awry and we were on the verge of starvation. A couple of store samples of ginger bread cookies and dark chocolate peppermints (buy these now) helped to temper the anticipation hunger.

I may have purchased a treat for myself

I may have purchased a treat for myself

 

Settled in at home with my dark chocolates, we got to work. I pulsed a head of cauliflower in the food processor. To that, I added egg whites, nutritional yeast, herbs, and flour. I played around with amounts until the texture and viscosity felt correct.

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As my unphotogenic dough took form, the boyfriend, clearly not having doubts about how substantial this dinner would be, began preparing the pizza dough.

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He has a few tricks up his sleeve. I’m dating him for his cooking skills, clearly

 

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

Cauliflower Dough

Cauliflower Dough

 

I baked my dough at 425 for 15 minutes then removed it from the oven, and we each topped our pizzas and into the oven they went again.

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And 15-20 minutes later, the Za was in a fine, fine state. My adventuresome dough was topped with tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, and olives. The boyfriend got innovative with his toppings and used a hodge podge of tomato sauce, onions, olives, prosciutto, and ravioli (Christians Pizza-esque).

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And paired with wine and a salad, dinner was complete. We both agreed that our meal was a huge success. We both tried the cauliflower pizza and though it did taste different, it was actually delicious. It felt hearty and coupled with so many vegetables it had a lot of flavor. I continued to use the leftover dough for lunches and it tasted almost quiche-like; always a good similarity in my book. I didn’t have any of the boyfriend’s meat laden pizza but the actual pizza was the perfect texture and crispness, and he declared it his best yet.

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Bon Appetit!

What new recipe have you tried?

Sandy Morning

Hurricane Sandy is making a presence here in DC, thus I was not able to fly out this morning for work travel. Before beginning my day of working for home, I fit in a home yoga practice. No public transportation…no gym. This was my longest self-practice yet! I took myself through a twisting and leg burning flow for about 50 minutes. It was a nice early flow at dusk, my candle illuminating the damp room and mat.

And I have to tell you that I dropped back into my backbend by myself and then came up from it 🙂 I’ve always had a spot just in case during my Ashatanga classes.  It was such a empowering feeling on my own!


I’m curled up in my PJs with some mint tea and Sandy picking up outside, as I continue working for the day. I’ll leave you with an easy, favorite vegetable dish of mine

The real deal: brussel sprout stalk from Trader Joe’s. So fun using the vegetable in it’s organic state. I use to hate this vegetable–something about my grandma boiling them to death and plopping them on my plate has turned me off of them for awhile. No more!

Cutting each one into halves or quarters

Look how HUGE some of the sprouts are! (Don’t mind my unphotogenic hand)

Season and Bake! You can use any ingredient pairs you are craving. I used olive oil, Bragg’s Amino/soy sauce, salt/pepper, chili flakes, nutritional yeast, and mustard. I let them roast for 30+ minutes, because I like mine crispy

What’s your favorite way to make brussel sprouts?