The end of roasting season

May 28, 2009

I’ve had this weird stomachache since yesterday, potentially aggravated by the piece of cake I had at work, followed by the basket of tater tots and bourbon chocolate pecan pie I had for dinner last night. But whatever.

Anyway, I needed food tonight that wasn’t going to make me feel like puking, so I went for something simple that wouldn’t need any spicing up.


roasted brussels and chickpeas over quinoa

I roasted the brussels and chickpeas at 400 for about 30 minutes. I thought of it as my last hurrah with the big oven for a little while at least. And what a way to go out. It was like eating popcorn for dinner. But with extra nutrients.

I think my stomach may be recovered enough to eat a brownie now?


This is a long one.

October 26, 2008

The conference went pretty well, and, of course, since it was in Lawrence, I got to eat all kinds of awesome things: Falafel salad and baklava at Mad Greek, Phad Sea Eaw at Zen Zero, and ice cream at a real Ben and Jerry’s!

Yesterday I had a weird fatigue flare-up, which hit me on my walk home from the mall, where I did such strenuous things as: returning pants and avoiding all shopping opportunities because I just spent an insane amount of money on a pair of boots. At some point on my 3-block walk home, though, I was just totally exhausted and had to find a place to sit down. Weird, right? I spent the rest of the day in bed, getting up only to help with dinner. Matt made double-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, and I decided to throw together some soup on the side, because it just felt right.

Swiss and Sharp Cheddar Grillie Cheesie

Swiss and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Let's call this half-grain soup

Let's call this "half-grain soup"

The grilled cheese was delicious, of course, and the soup was good, too. Here’s what I did:

  1. Brought 4 cups of broth to a boil (I used chicken, but whatever would work)
  2. Added about 1/3 cup quick cooking barley (the whole grain) and cooked for two minutes
  3. Added about 1/3 cup Farfalline (orzo or any other small, quick cooking pasta would work – this was the non-whole grain, hence the “half-grain soup.” GET IT??)
  4. Simmered over medium for about two minutes
  5. Added 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach to the mixture and brought back to a boil
  6. Simmered over medium for about seven or eight minutes
  7. Added salt and pepper and some crushed red pepper
  8. Ate it (it makes 4 servings as a side, probably 2 as a whole meal)

See? Simple. And good. It would be more of a meal with more stuff in it. Like a protein, maybe an egg? And a little cheese on top would have been great, but I decided to cut myself off with the double cheese sandwich. Restraint: apparently it’s a virtue.

Tonight I tried something new: stuffed acorn squash.

This was a big hit – we both really liked it. Here’s what I did for the squash:

  1. Preheated oven to 375 degrees
  2. Sliced (read: had Matt slice, because I am clumsy with large cutting tools) a medium acorn squash in half and scooped out the seeds
  3. Put squash halves, skin side down, in a baking dish with a little water, and baked for about 40 minutes, until the skin was soft enough to pierce

For the filling, I just cooked some bulgur, added a can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed), grilled a turkey sausage and added chunks of that, threw in some chili power, garlic, and cayenne, and called it done. When the squash was cooked through, I stuffed the halves with filling and sprinkled on some cheese, then broiled for about 4 minutes, until the cheese was melted.

On the side, we had some multi-grain french bread and amazingly good fresh brussels sprouts from the last farmer’s market of the season, roasted at 375 for about 30 minutes.

Since I was out of commission yesterday, today was super busy and I seem to have totally worn myself out. I’m going to see my rheumatologist in a month, and I’m hoping he’ll have some kind of miraculous answer for why I am So. Exhausted. All. The. Time. I know that, at least lately, I haven’t been making the healthiest choices, and that does play a role, but this time the tired came first. A big thing for me in the next month is basically going to be motivating myself to exercise through the fatigue. Last week, I only managed one day of cardio (unless you count a 3 mile round trip walk to and from dinner, which I probably would have if I hadn’t eaten 486 tater tots at said dinner), and this week I’m aiming to get back to my usual 4-5, though my week is packed full of work things and my run at the gym today was incredibly hard. It was really easy to slack off when the only consequence was that my pants didn’t really fit right. But yesterday’s flare-up was really alarming to me, and it forced me to refocus on the fact that, while I can’t control whether my body is healthy, I can control whether the way I treat it is. And so, my goals this week are: more exercise (even if it’s light), less sugar, more sleep, and more water (I read recently that dehydration is the #1 cause of daytime fatigue, and we all know that I believe anything I read).

And I’ll be getting on that just as soon as I eat a giant frosted Halloween cookie. I may even have some water on the side.

Branching out

October 22, 2008

Okay, speedy post as I’m leaving for a conference in the morning and I still need to finish packing.

Tonight, I tried a new vegetable: turnips! I got some at the farmer’s market and decided to roast them tonight with some little red potatoes and a sweet potato. I had the hardest time peeling them, so Matt had to take over, but I handled the dicing. They’re good! They taste like more vegetable-y potatoes.

They were really the centerpiece of this meal, but I also made some tempeh and steamed some brussels sprouts. Apparently Matt hates tempeh. Who knew?

And now I’m off to pack and practice some presentations. I’ll be back in a few days!

The return of the monkey plate.

July 16, 2008

I don’t feel well, so my plans for making a gourmet meal fell through. I had to force myself to eat. Which, let me tell you, is atypical.

I made a salmon melt with some brussels sprouts on the side. On the monkey plate, because it’s just that kind of day.

Look at that punk smiling at me. I bet he feels fine.

Okay, I think I’ll go crawl into bed now.

Cheap and easy

June 16, 2008

I think tonight’s dinner cost me approximately -2 cents. Nice, right?

Here’s my version of Heidi Swanson’s Lemon-Scented Quinoa. I just had quinoa on Saturday but I can’t help that I crave grains that are not really grains.

I was going to make something more complicated but I had a bad day and I decided I could have WHATEVER I WANTED as a reward for making it through. And instead of pizza or brownies or something, I had quinoa. And chickpeas. Served with a delicious tahini-based dressing, some roasted broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

I hope my kids are more normal than this.


I’m not going to bother uploading the brussels sprouts picture because a) you’ve seen it before and b) WordPress is ON MY LIST of annoyances because it won’t upload my images.

Here’s what we had last night, which I didn’t post because I hate Sunday nights and I also got really involved in The Tudors again.


Spinach/apple/cheese paninis with homemade potato chips (more potato-y than chippy, sadly), and some fruit. I actually ate two of these sandwiches because I was hungry and they were amazingly good.

That reminds me that I want some cherries. I used all of the money that I saved on my cheap dinner to buy ridiculously overpriced cherries, which will be my financial downfall this summer. At least I know in advance.

My feet hurt so I’m going to stop typing with them.

No. Not really. But I wish.

Tulips and stuff

April 19, 2008

The tulip festival in Wamego was awesome because I came home with:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • a giant box of cookies
  • the most expensive piece of jewelry I’ve ever purchased for myself

I took a picture of it, but it also captured my shadow and my pants, and I’m just not sure if I’m ready to take that step here. But it’s made out of typewriter keys.

On the way back, we stopped by our storage unit to get spring clothes and to frantically search for my spring and summer shoes, which I was sure were in there… somewhere. Matt looked through about 894 boxes and couldn’t find them and I was sad (read: secretly excited to have an excuse to buy all new shoes). Then we got home and I immediately found them in the closet. Oops.

There was more cheeseless pizza for lunch, and maybe a cookie or three. They’re big, too. I’m ashamed. Then, my mom and I ran errands and I tricked Matt into walking three and a half miles with me so that I could buy earrings.

Then I made this totally American dinner:

Turkey burger on one of those square bagel things I love so dearly, sweet potato fries, baby brussels sprouts. Also, another piece of cake for dessert.

Now, I need to go entertain my mom before she reorganizes the whole apartment.

Something new

April 12, 2008

I’ve never made eggplant parmesan before, and I’m not even 100% sure that I’ve ever had it. But for whatever reason, I was resolved to make it tonight. I read a few recipes and got a little overwhelmed, so I just made something up. I sliced up a small eggplant into 1/4 inch slides and let them soak for 30 minutes. Then, I dipped each one in egg whites and then in a mixture of whole wheat breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil, and garlic. Then I baked them on a cookie sheet at 400 for about 20 minutes, flipping after 10. I pulled them out and added a little mozzarella and a little more parmesan and stuck them back in for about 5 minutes.

I also made a really simple garlic and basil marinara to top the eggplant, along with some lemon garlic baby brussels sprouts. And Matt made some garlic bread. Do you see the theme? Luckily, I’m not leaving the house.

I ate more eggplant than this, I just kept my first serving small because I wasn’t sure how it would taste. My eggplant was good, but Matt’s wasn’t. I gave him larger slices, and they were super bitter. I thought that soaking them would cut the bitterness, but I guess I was wrong. The smaller rounds tasted fine, but the larger ones were majorly bitter. Any suggestions?

I was having breathing problems again today, and after running a ton of errands, I’m pretty much ready to crawl into bed and get a solid fourteen hours of sleep. Plus, Matt just changed seized control of the remote, and there’s no reason to stay awake if I can’t watch the America’s Next Top Model marathon on VH1.

Oh yeah. I also had something new with lunch:

That’s right, I’ve never had a sandwich.

No, just kidding. This sandwich was new, though. At People’s this morning, I picked up some agave nectar for a recipe I want to try sometime soon. I keep reading about it and how awesome it is, so I decided to give it a shot for lunch, and I made a grilled almond butter and agave sandwich. It basically looks like honey, but it’s muuuuuch sweeter. I’ll have to remember to cut down on the amount next time. Anyway, there it is with half a pear with cinnamon. I left the cinnamon out and later accidentally sprinkled it in the marinara sauce. And by sprinkled, I mean, dumped. Oops. Matt didn’t even notice.