Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Oats

Oh oatmeal how I love and adore thee!  And I've discovered the new love of my oatmeal life...
Oats In A Jar!!

Now I've seen oats in a jar over all the blogs however I've never experienced the joy.  I eat breakfast at work and lots of time I sleep through breakfast on the weekends (eek I know I should eat breakfast).  But this lovely (aka cold and gray) Sunday morning, I had to take the family to the airport and I needed some fuel if I wanted to drive to the airport and then do some kickboxing and weight lifting.  I also had a nearly empty jar of Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams from baking on Friday.  I made peanut butter banana cookies ala Fat Free Vegan, I used all whole wheat pastry flour, Dark Chocolate Dreams PB, and no chocolate chips.  Sorry no pictures but the cookies turned out yummy and very banana in flavor (which I love...makes me feel healthier for eating cookies).

Anyways, so I saved my nearly empty jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams (which I plan on buying more of immediately) and whipped up 1/2 cup of oats with a medium/large banana to toss inside my jar.  After cooling for a few minutes, I risked burning my mouth and dove into my oats.  YUM!  Why had I waited so long to do this???  If you have a nearly empty jar of PB, save it for your oats :)  I'm so tempted to buy PB and empty the jar into Tupperware so I can have oats in a jar again tomorrow.  Or maybe this is just an incentive to eat more peanut butter...

Have you tried oats in  a jar?  And what's your favorite nut butter?  I think I finally found mine :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Single eating: the leftovers dilema

As a single girl I often struggle NOT to get bored with my meals.  It becomes routine to make the same salad beast every day and eat the same oatmeal everyday.  So I decided to purchase one of my favorites: spaghetti squash and attempt to create several different meals out of one squash.  I purchased my squash at Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck and returned to my apartment to analyze my pantry and fridge to create a scrumptious meal.  Of course you probably think I should have gone to Whole Foods with a meal plan but I'm trying to be spontaneous (or just too lazy to figure out some recipes).

I discovered a zucchini, salsa, and leftover black bean dip I had made sometime last week.  So I decided to create a Mexican spaghetti squash extravaganza.  I mixed lots of salsa with the black bean dip (basically I had pureed black beans with cilantro and garlic), shredded the zucchini, and tossed them all on top of some spaghetti squash "noodles".

It was absolutely delicious!  I'm saddened that I don't have any more zucchini, salsa, and black bean dip.  But I have leftover spaghetti squash noodles. So for tomorrow, I'm thinking a Mac and "Cheese" dish ala HEAB...

For lunch the next day,  I whipped out some leftover spaghetti squash and used nutritional yeast for the first time EVER.  And created a wonderful sauce using a 1/4 block lite silken tofu pureed with 1 T nutritional yeast and 4 cups spinach I'd sautéed on the stove with some garlic.  Mix the "cheese" sauce with the spaghetti squash and some broccoli, season with some S&P (I used garlic salt because I'm obsessed with garlic), and try not to devour in three seconds.  It looks slightly disgusting but it's wonderful!!  What will I create with my spaghetti squash tomorrow?

Today I needed a quick lunch since I worked up quite an appetite reading Vogue on the elliptical.  The night before I decided I wanted to make some hummus ala a Hungry Girl that used artichokes and Greek yogurt instead of oil and tahini (which actually defines hummus but I wanted to give it a try from her book 200 under 200-1/4 cup hummus for 50 calories...sign me up).  So for lunch I decided to sauté the rest of my spaghetti squash with 3-4 cups spinach, 1/2 cup mushroom pieces, 1 small tomato, 1/2 mini cucumber in balsamic vinegar on the stove.  I topped my stir fry with a generous 1/4 cup of Hungry Girl hummus (which turned out delicious with my addition of extra garlic, I didn't even miss the tahini).  Mix all together and enjoy :)

With one smallish spaghetti squash I managed to create three different meals (don't worry I had other food as well with these meals lots of fruits and whole wheat carbs).  If you're willing to mix random ingredients or combine different recipes or use blogs for food inspiration you can eat yummy home cooked meals designed for one.

Do you have any suggestions on using leftovers?  Or do you get bored eating the same food?  Obviously I don't!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mini RANT then Traveling Tips

Warning mini rant (so skip this paragraph if you don't want to read my complaint):
Has anyone seen the show on Style Network called What I Hate About Me?  While flipping through the channels I stumbled upon this show with the premise that the host helps a woman change the top ten things that she hates about her (her looks, life, clothing, job, etc).  For example this woman hated that she and her family ate unhealthy, processed food so she had a private cooking class with a personal chef.  And then she hated her yellow teeth so a cosmetic dentist gave her veneers.  I sat in amazement as the host and the woman changing herself used the words "hate" and "me" in almost every sentence.  After ten minutes I had to turn the television off and reflect on the insanity that I just witnessed.  The title of the show, What I Hate About Me, sends a HORRIBLE message to anyone watching the show.  Everyone has little aspects of his/her life that drives them crazy or invokes desires of change or unhappiness.  However, hate is such a strong word and I don't think that a television show should be asking a woman what she hates about herself.  Maybe she is unhappy with the fact that she has yellow teeth but the fact that she associates hate and herself because of her teeth is horribly unhealthy.  As women now-a-days we are held to insanely high standards to be super mothers while maintaining an active social life, fantastic careers, keeping our "men" happy, maintain a strict workout routine, perfect figure, and never eating anything but carrots and apples.  So now, we have to find the ten little things that aren't perfect and we have to fix them.  Of course eating healthy is a fantastic goal for everyone but because you eat a cookie every once in a while doesn't mean you should hate yourself.  The word "hate" especially in regards to yourself is horrible, would you tell your best friend ten things you hate about her and how she should fix them?  I think that we should embrace the all parts of ourselves and our lives.  And maybe those little parts that don't completely satisfy us, can either be our little quirks that we grow to love or as motivation to make little changes as in eating more fruits and vegetables rather than a candy bar. Anyways, rant over (has anyone seen this show??)

Traveling tips time :) I'm leaving for Denver tomorrow for a work related conference.  In November, I went on my first "business" trip to San Antonio, Texas when I learned many lessons about traveling for work.  San Antonio is not the most vegetarian friendly city and I ended up losing four pounds in the couple days I stayed there.  So this time, I decided to go to Denver more prepared with food in case I have difficultly finding healthy food (though according to my vegan co-worker who lived in Denver, there are numerous vegetarian/vegan restaurants and cafes...yay).  First, the breakfast menu at my hotel includes bacon, sugar laden cereal, waffles, bagels, and sausage...not my ideal breakfast.  So I'm coming prepared with:
Instant Oatmeal-just add boiling water which you can get by running water through a coffee maker without any coffee grinds (yes it's Wal-mart brand-DC living is expensive)
Squeezable Applesauce to put in my oatmeal plus I plan on purchasing bananas at the Starbucks near my hotel to round out my breakfast.

Now at these conferences there aren't too many healthy snack options.  I'm not a huge sweets person and I don't want to eat cookies and pastries if I need a snack so I'm coming prepared with:
Apple Cinnamon Clif Z Bars which is the best flavor ever!!

Whole unflavored almonds and cocoa roasted almonds both of which I can also add to my oatmeal 
(yummmm healthy fat)
Meat free jerky in case I have difficulty finding non animal protein in restaurants (major problem in San Antonio because I could never find beans or lentils or tofu and CVS acted as the only "grocery" store)

Travelling as a healthy eater (or vegetarian or vegan) can be incredibly difficult.  So I've begun packing food help me survive time away from kitchen and fridge.  Just by finding some little snacks and very expensive squeezable applesauce (ah, Whole "Paycheck"), you can survive.  Plus I've found that smiling and asking very nicely will typically let you customize your food choices at restaurants.  Goal for Denver: do not lose weight (oh and do the networking/learning for my job...).

Do you have any tips for travel?  Business or pleasure?  Or any restaurant recommendations for Denver?

And in the spirit of my mini rant, tell the ten thing you LOVE about yourself and your life.  I'll start:
1. My strong body 
2. My wonderful family and friends
3. The fact that I have a good job, car, and apartment in this economy
4. My bright blue eyes 
5. My blistered, dry feet (my trophy of all my athleticism)
6. My active and curious mind
7. Cooking fun and whole foods that make me feel good inside and out
8. My book collection
9. All the museums, buildings, restaurants, activities, etc I have access to in DC
10. My journal to record all my hopes and aspirations and feelings