Category Archives: vegetarian

No wet dogs here

My dog hates the rain. I know a lot of dogs don’t love it, but Hadley takes it to a new level. Yesterday, I came home from work, and he was excited as usual to go for his walk. I put on my rain jacket (well Chris’s really, but it nice and big on me), and his mood went from let’s go let’s go to if we must. We got downstairs and were ready to exited the building when he started investigating the mat in the entry way. It was full of wet footprints. Well Hadley put two and two together, decided it must indeed be raining, and that he would not have anything to do with it. He turned around and headed right back to the elevators. I was happy there was a man there to see it, because someone got to share in my laugh at my crazy pup. When we got inside, he still rolled around on the couch like he does when he’s wet, just to make sure that none of the horrible rain managed to get on him. Silly puppy.

I may hate rain, but I love snow!

Since Hadley was most definitely not going on a walk, I decided to use the time to hit up the gym early. I was able to get in a crazy good workout. I continued on with my strength training, mixing it up a little from last week, but doing mostly the same workout. Then, I kicked my own tush on the treadmill. I made up the workout as I went along and rather liked it. Here’s what I did:

Minutes: Pace
1-2: 3.3 – warm up
2-5: 6.0
5-6: 8.0
6-7: 7.0
7-8: 7.5 pace
8-11: 6.0 pace – recovery
11-12: 8.0
12-13: 7.0
13-14: 7.5
Take a water break and repeat above from 14-28 minutes.
28-32: 3.3 – cool down

I was a sweaty mess when I was done! While I was foam rolling along, I received a nice compliment. A lady at the gym introduced herself as a trainer and complimented me on how I always work out hard. She then offered to train me, so the compliment may have been part of a the wooing process all along, but I still appreciated it. I would love to take personal training sessions, but that’s not in the budget. Perhaps one day.

My evening from there was lovely. Usually I’m not done with the gym until 8, but since I went early, I was finished before 7. I was able to use my extra time to fix up a filling lunch for today of lots of veggies, potatoes, and Indian simmer sauce stir fried together. Sodarnfilling.

The night ended in a good way: I popped Smartpop Popcorn and enjoyed it in bed watching American Dreams. I think popcorn and TV is my new favorite bedtime activity for those nights were Chris is working dreadfully late. That and of course cuddling with Hadley.

Hug me, kiss me, love me.

Good reads, good workout, good dinner, good day

I was busy busy busy yesterday. After work, I ran home to grab returns and headed off to the library. Chris currently is into Mad Men, so I picked him up Season 2 and picked myself up a new book. The book I just finished, The Principles of Love, is a young adult novel about a 16 year old girl starting at boarding school. Yes, I’m a 26 y/o with a ivy league degree, but I still love me some young adult fiction. Some y/a novels captures life moments so much better than many adult novels. Do you know what I mean? This book was particularly good at capturing the main character’s emotions, and I’m excited to read the next book in the series. Plus, the book is set at Hadley Hall, so how could I not read it?

A school named after me? (photo by Chris's sister)

Pilates was great yesterday. My instructor has been slowly upping the difficulty level, and yesterday’s class was really demanding. I felt a little Cirque du Soleil with some of the moves we were performing. It’s actually super fun doing these new crazy moves. I sweated more in Pilates last night than I ever have before (sweating = sexy). My teacher waited to the end to point out that we did the whole class without taking any breaks for the first time. I hadn’t even noticed, but I guess that explained the pile of sweat on my mat (sweating = still sexy).

I came home to Chris busy making dinner (swoon). Here’s a look at my plate:

Mock chicken sandwich, corn on the cob, and sweet potato fries.

The Morningstar mock chicken breast made a yummy sandwich when I added some relish and lettuce to give it an extra oomph. The corn on the cob hit the spot, as always. The only disappointment was the sweet potato fries. I was really hoping they would be stellar, but they turned out to be mushy. Next time I’ll make my own instead of buying them from the freezer section.

This morning I had promised myself I would get up early and go for a run. Chris wasn’t able to join, because he had to be at work extra early, so when the alarm went off I just couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed. I hit the alarm and ended up falling back asleep and having one of those dreams where I am back in high school, forgot to study for a French test (it’s always French or Math), and thus end up bombing it. The sleeping-in guilt was talking loud and clear. To make up for missing my run, I will brave the heat and go out tonight. For now, I’m busy hydrating.

Are you a before or after work exerciser?

Little Miss Competitive

When I was little, my dad would call me Little Miss Bossy. I hated the nickname then, but nonetheless, I’ve always had a fondness for the Little Miss characters.

Source

In fact, I have a Little Miss magnet on my fridge courtesy of the Target dollar bins that allows me to circle with a moveable magnet what Little Miss I am for the day. Last night, I was Little Miss Competitive. Sure, there isn’t actually a Little Miss Competitive, but work with me here.

 Source

Since I’ve been doing Pilates 2x a week since February, sometimes the classes can feel a bit repetitive, and I feel myself slipping into an only okay workout. Last night, I started to feel that way at the beginning of class. I decided to create a game to remedy the situation. I decided that I was trying out for oh-say the Olympic Pilates event – because yes, if they had that I’d surely be top contender, hah – and had to stick every move perfectly. Well call me crazy (it’s okay, go ahead), but it worked. My ultra competitive side came out, and I tried my best to hold all the moves perfectly. I had a strong workout, and I’m currently watching my phone for a call from the IOC.

After my competition workout, I was ready for a big dinner. In the summer, that means one thing, a big salad. I hard boiled eggs, while Chris chopped up all the veggies. In the mix was lettuce, tomato, onion, chickpeas, shredded cheddar, and hardboiled eggs. Chris surprised me by bringing home a French baguette to go with the brie I picked up for $2(!) at Zabar’s the other day. It was the perfect summer dinner.

I love Zabar's.

We rounded out the night with a fabulous trip to the dog park. Often, Hadley is incredibly obsessed with playing fetch, but last night we refused to give him a ball. Eventually he relented and had a wonderful play session with another pup. My little welshie is learning lessons!

Whatever, I do what I want.

The night ended with my catching up with Friday Night Lights and enjoying some dark chocolate pudding I whipped up. Instant pudding is currently one of my favorite quick snacks. A ½ cup is all I need to cure my chocolate cravings, and I get a serving of dairy in. Double score.

Oh, and let’s end this post on something exciting: Chris and I signed up for our first 5k on July 12!!!

What Little Miss (or Mr.) are you today?

Kickboxing kicked my tush

Yesterday, I got an email from Lauren saying that she was going to an outdoor kickboxing class along the Hudson, and did I want to join. Kickboxing? Pretty views? Outdoors? Sure, I’m there.

I was pretty excited for the class. The view was great and the weather was perfect. Still, the class turned out to be a bit of a mess for me. I’ve taken kickboxing classes in the past and loved it. This was different. We spent half the time doing bootcamp moves, such as squating, jumping jacks, and lunges. I can’t do any of these because of me knees, so I was the idiot jogging in place. Then we did a lot of ab work. My abs are fairly strong from Pilates, but we did these movements so fast and they didn’t take the time to show us form. Now my neck is killing me today. I know I should have just slowed down to do the moves properly, but the instructors were really into it and yelling, so I felt bad slowing down. Overall, it wasn’t a good workout for me, and I had to cancel Pilates today so that my neck can stop throbbing. Still, I’m always up for trying outdoor exercise classes, so it was worth a try.

After kickboxing, I came home to find a much awaited package. I ordered a cashmere/silk blend cardigan from the elusive Brooks Brothers. With the combination of sales reductions, a gift card, and a store credit, I paid $12 for this beauty. Cashmere and silk is bound to make any sore neck feel better.

Silk Cashmere Cable Cardigan

Chris made it home in time for dinner and volunteered to cook if I ran out for some wine. Done! He made a delicious dish of pasta with Morningstar Crumbles “meat” sauce.

Paired with my favorite type of wine Cotes de Rhone:

Lastly, I finally made banana softserve!!!

Easy Pan Pizza

Last Sunday, I stocked up on goodies at Trader Joe’s. When I was on the ginormous line that ran throughout the entire store (but moved blessedly  quickly), I grabbed some 99 cent pizza dough. I’ve been thinking about making pizza since my last two pizza creations, and this seemed like opportunity knocking.

Pan Pizza

Ingredients: 1 bag of TJ’s pizza dough, 1/2 onion, 10 mushrooms, enough mozzerella cheese and tomato sauce to cover the pie, salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. You will also need a frying pan. Mine was 12 inches in diameter.

Set out the dough and allow it to sit in the bag for 20 minutes. Use the time to prep your veggies. I threw my onions and mushrooms into the food processor. I’m still getting used to it, so they were a little more chopped than I had desired, but still tasty. When the dough is  ready, spray your pan with non stick spray. Evenly spread out the dough in the pan. Leave some extra dough around the end to roll over to create a crust. Top with sauce, cheese, and your desired toppings and seasonings. Preheat oven to 450. Bake in oven for 10 mintues. The pizza will not be all the way cooked through at this time, (because of the pan), but it should be cooked enough for you to remove it with a spatula and place on the oven racks alone to cook longer. Cook until bottom is browned. Timing will vary depending on thickness of crust. Allow to cool, add some extra parmi, and enjoy! Just like Pizza Uno (only not greasy disguisting).

The before shot.

The ready to come out of the pan shot.

The finished product shot.

 FYI: If you’re careless like me, and happen to be more focused on not burning your pizza instead of your arm, and thus, burn your arm, mustard makes a great cooling agent. It really soothes the burned skin. No clue why, it just does.

Fancy mustard, fancy burn.

Mamoun’s v Maoz

Lauren and I are on a quest to find our favorite falafel place. To achieve this goal, we have to try lots of different falafel. Hard, I know. Two weeks ago, we tried out Mamoun’s. This week, it was time to try out a popular falafel chain, Maoz. I’ve heard good things about Maoz from friends, but in general I’m always weary to try out any chain place (including Mamoun’s which is a smaller chain), because I never find chains to be good as individual restuarants. Still, it was on the list of falafel places, so last night we hit it up.

One of their many locations.

We both order falafel pitas. I chose to add feta to mine (everything is better with feta) and paired it with a soda. It came out to a little under $9. This was more expensive than the uber cheap Maumod’s, but still cheap for NYC standards.

Maoz works by giving you a pita stuffed with only lettuce and falafel (and in my case feta). Then you hit up their extensive salad bar to stuff your pita. The only problem is, it was hard to choose from all their options. This is what happened:

How does one eat this?

 I learned that I cannot properly stuff a pita. My pita was so overstuffed that I lost a falafel ball to the floor. This was pretty sad, until I tried the falafel and decided it didn’t have much flavor. In fact, the whole thing just didn’t taste right. The feta was chewy and tasteless – I never don’t like feta so this was a big thing – and a lot of the pickled veggies tasted sort of sweet. Really, the whole thing was just odd and a disappointment. So Mamoun’s v Maoz? Definately Mamoun’s.

After our disappointing dinner, Lauren and I decided we needed something reliably tasty. We took a walk and grabbed Italian ices. Lauren was sweet and bought mine for my belated birthday, so I went all out and threw some custard on top to celebrate.

Mint chocolate chip and cheesecake ices topped with chocolate custard. Yum!

 When I came home, I found Hadley hiding from the heat. This dog just does not do warm weather. Give him snow, and he’ll play in it for hours. Give him sun, and you’ll find him here:

What? Caves are coolest.

Chris worked late so I took the time to do me-time things. I watched the Oprah finale I DVRed, which was a bit of a let down. Then I read Women’s Health in bed, and learned some great information. I just ordered a year-long subscription last night for $5 from a deal site. They offered me to add a subscription for Self for $2 additional. Lots of good magazines are coming my way!

What are your favorite me-time things to do? Favorite magazines?

Finally Some Homemade Hummus

I’m currently sitting here trying not to stress about the fact that NYC has a tornado warning. I’ve no clue about tornados, so I’m hoping the storm just passes us by. To distract my nervous thoughts, let’s take about hummus.  Homemade hummus to be exact. It’s something that has been on my 99 Before 30 list and can finally be crossed off! Check out my updated list.

Now I know homemade hummus is nothing new in the blog world. But it’s new to me. And maybe, it’s new to some of my readers. Or maybe you’ve read about it, but haven’t had a chance to try it out for yourself. So here’s my take on homemade hummus.

First off, its worth it. If you have a food processor (or maybe a blender?), try it out. Fresh hummus is one of the best things in the world to me, and the ability to personalize it is even more exciting. So here we go:

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas, 2 TBS tahini, 1/4 cup juice from chickpea can, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, heavy sprinkling of garlic powder, pinch of crushed red pepper and cumin. Optional use of oil up to 1/4 cup.

Open up the can of chickpeas. When you drain out the water, measure out 1/4 cup to use later. Peel the chickpeas. Yes, this takes some time, but it’s worth it for that creamier consistency. Put on some tunes like I did and turn it into a chickpea shooting into the food processor game. See if your dog wants to play and eat the fallen chickpeas that didn’t make it into the food processor.

Most of them made it into the food processor.

Yum, chickpea shells.

 Add two tablespoons of tahini into the food processor. I’ve read that tahini can be hard to find and expensive. I picked up a container for $2.50 at Trader Joe’s. You got to love TJ’s. Some recipe suggest to use more, but I found this to be a good amount.

 

Add in chickpea juice that you set aside.

This looks less than lovely.

 Add your seasonings. Go heavy on the garlic and moderate on the crushed red pepper and cumin.

Hit the chop function on your food processor and blend until creamy. I let my go for approximately 1.5 – 2 mintues. The recipe I used suggested adding up to 1/4 cup of oil that you drizzle in as the rest is processing. I forgot to do this (great chef, yes), but when I realized later, I choose to not add any. It tasted delicious sans olive oil and it only made it that much healthier (though, yes olive oil is good fat).

I set it out, but forgot it all the same.

 The verdict? Homemade hummus is yummy! I suggest making it a day before you intend to eat it. It was good that night, but it was super special the next day. And the day after that. The flavors seem to need some time to come together, and when they do, it’s magic. I’ll finish up this batch tomorrow and then probably make a new one right away. 

Delicious!

MDW Recap

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day Weekend! Mine started out right with a visit from my best friend from college, Kelley. We had dinner with Chris at a restaurant I’ve wanted to try out for a while, Westville. We actually went to their Chelsea location, go figure. I was drawn to the restaurant because it’s a fun setting and provides both healthy and not so healthy eating options. We started with their four-choice market vegetable plate. We shared grilled asparagus, chickpea and olive salad, plantains, and a mushroom medley. It was so yummy that I forgot to take a picture! For our main course we all choose two hot dogs and a side. My hot dogs were vegan hot dogs and topped with relish and sauerkraut. My side was Dijon cauliflower.

My main course wasn’t nearly as good as the veggie plate. Chris liked his a lot, though, as did Kelley. Still, I would go back. The restaurant was really inviting and the salads that passed by my table looked amazing.

Chris's hotdogs: one meat chili, one relish and a side of fries.

After dinner, Chris went to meet up with a friend, and Kelley and I checked out a Comedy Club. It wasn’t our type of humor, but we decided it was worth it to try something new. You win some, you lose some, right?

Saturday started off with brunch outside by the Hudson. It was a perfectly sunny day and more than enjoyable. After brunch, Kelley and I got our exercise in by spending the next four hours meandering through NYC. We stopped at a Street Fair for some fuel:

Mine. I dream about grilled corn.

Hers: can't go wrong with a nutella crepe.

 And saw some pretty sites:

And I used a gift certificate (thanks Carrie!) to get this new toy:

Food processor!

After our walk, we got ready for my birthday party. Kelley was my college roommate, and I forgot how much fun it is to get ready with another girl. Chris just doesn’t get the singing to music while trying on clothes thing. Boys. When we were all ready, we met up with the rest of my friends at a small Italian restaurant. They set a long table for us lined with candles – perfect! Most the pictures didn’t come out, because of the low lights, but everything was delicious. Dinner was followed by drinks at a bar. It was a great night, and I’m thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Sunday can be summed up in one word: lazy. We slept late, Chris made us all waffles and eggs (including Hadley regarding the egg), Kelley introduced us to HGTV, and I finally suggested a Target trip. Chris and I were so excited to have Kelley’s car to use instead of our normal routine of dragging everything back that we went a little overboard. I know have a fully stocked kitchen!

Our best find, this huge thing of olive oil for $6! decorations.

 Monday was a great capstone to the long weekend. Kelley, Chris, I ate lunch outside at an adorable falafel restaurant. My falafel pita was oh so good! Plus, they had some cute decorations.

Nom nom nom.True beans.

 

Lunch was followed with Kelley having to say goodbye to head back to Philly. Chris headed to work, and I headed to meet a friend at Union Square. I made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s – because after Target we needed more food – but really, because I can’t resist their good deals.  I then headed home to give my apartment the cleaning love it needed. I ended my night making hummus. Recipe to come!!!

How did you spend Memorial Day Weekend? If you made it to the beach, I’m jealous!

Mount Veggie

Sometimes I crave vegetables like crazy. Fine, often I crave vegetables like crazy. When I crave vegetables, I don’t want a flimsy side of broccoli (actually I do like broccoli but that’s not the point). When I crave vegetables, I want a pile of vegetables roughly the size of a small mountain. So that’s what I made last night.

Potato and Mixed Vegetable Curry

Cook baking potato. I’m lame and just make mine in the microwave. Chop up veggies of choice – I had zucs, onions, and green peppers on hand – and sauté in frying pan. Crumble in tofu. Toss in some chickpeas, because all meals are better with chickpeas. Mix in ¼ cup of curry sauce – I enjoy using Golden Temple sauces. Add salt, pepper, oregano, ginger, and curry powder. Cube baked potato – watch it, it’s hot, don’t burn your hands. Add vegetables and curry sauce over potato. Enjoy your pile of vegetables.

  You are what you eat?

Sorry no actual photo – I’m still working on that camera situation. But this was good and easy. And it looked pretty appetizing, too. Promise.

Allergies Strike

I was so naive. I thought I made it through allergy season unscathed. It was already mid-May and I had not a sniffle nor red eye. Maybe my body had gotten over allergies? Maybe I was cured? Maybe they were just waiting to jump once I let my guard down? Yea, it was the last one.

Today, I woke up with that signature allergy feeling – the one where I feel like a cartoon character who stepped on a shovel and got slapped in the face with it. This is a pretty good analogy as my face is puffy enough that it kind of looks like it was slapped with something moving at a good speed. The puffiness is messing with my vision, which is already blurry without the help of allergies. Please forgive my typos.

Okay, so now that I have complained and whined, I shall try to put a positive spin on this post. At least allergies mean good weather and spring. And good weather and spring we have been having all week long. So that’s a happy thing. Another happy thing is I made it back to Pilates last night. I haven’t been in close to two weeks because of vacation and boy did I lose a lot of strength in such a short time! Moves that I could hold somewhat easily two weeks ago I can’t hold the entire time right now. My teacher tells me it should only take about a week to get back to where I was and I hope that’s the truth. At least I left feeling totally stretched out last night, which is always a nice feeling.

After Pilates last night, I got back into the cooking swing of things. I tried out Quorn Chik’n Nuggets for the first time. They were really good and like all Quorn products I’ve tried, tasted a lot like the actual meat. This freaked me out a little bit, but mostly it was a good thing. I paired the nuggets with a baked potato topped with some cheddar. Easy and yummy dinner to eat while working on catching up on lots of DVR from the past week and a half.

One of things I am most excited about being home from vacation is getting back into cooking dinners. I am always looking for some new recipes. What are your favorite spring time homecooked meals?