Ahead of the game.

June 25, 2009

This afternoon, one of my co-workers offered to cover my evening shift and I thought about it for about negative point five seconds before I said yes.

That meant that I came home to an already prepared dinner and I got to sit around reading for an hour before the NBA draft, luxuriating in the fact that I didn’t have to cook anything. This must be what it feels like to be prepared.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I couldn’t handle all that excess time, so I filled it by cooking dinner for tomorrow. It’s kind of a sickness. In my defense, though, I’ll only have about 20 minutes to prepare and consume dinner tomorrow, so it’s good that I got it off my plate. Now I can use that entire time to savor the Corn and Edamame-Sesame Salad from Veganomicon.

Anyway, the Smitten Kitchen-inspired peanut sesame noodles turned out well, except that I forgot to toast the sesame noodles and toss them in. Oh well. I toasted some extra for tomorrow’s dinner, just to make up for it.

soba + veggies + tofu + peanut sauce over spinach

soba + veggies + tofu + peanut sauce over spinach

The love I have for peanut butter cannot be described. I like other nut and seed butters – almond, cashew, pecan, sunflower, what have you – but peanut butter is my desert island food. Still, I was a little nervous about how thick the sauce would get with as much peanut butter as the recipe indicated, so I cut it down a good bit, to about 3T. I’ll have a few spoonfuls from the jar later to make up for the deficit.

the breakdown

8 oz soba noodles = $2.79
1 red bell pepper = $.99
2 carrots = $.15
3T peanut butter = $.32
1T sesame oil = $.40
and some pantry staples (crushed red pepper, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ground ginger)

grand total = $4.65

Four servings at $1.16 a serving. I’m kicking myself for paying $10+ for various versions of this dish at restaurants. Curses! I had mine over spinach again (it’s still really hot out and it was on the verge of wilting. Actually, so am I).

On this side: my new favorite summer treat.

any day over 95 calls for a shandy

any day over 95 calls for a shandy

Our recipe: mix equal parts beer and lemonade in a pitcher. Chill. Enjoy. We used High Life and Country Tyme, but you might not be as classy. That’s fine. Just make sure it’s a beer that’s lighter in color, like a wheat beer or some kind of lager-style beer. I could have the lemonade myself but that’s like 3 extra steps, and I’ve had a long week.


I love chickpeas

September 15, 2008

Really, I do. It’s all I can do to keep myself from eating chickpea products for dinner every day. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Tonight, I caved to my cravings and made Chickpea Tagine with Cinnamon, Cumin, and Carrots from Vegetarian Times. I can’t find a recipe on their site, but this is pretty much it. I had my bowl with a little yogurt, which really balanced the spices nicely.

I tasted this while it was cooking, and I thought it was bland. Somehow, though, the flavors came together at the end, and it turned out to be all warm and sweet and spicy and delicious. I thought we’d have tons of leftovers, but Matt ate the rest, so that’s basically the most ringing endorsement I could ask for.

After dinner, I had some work to do and then we went to get groceries. Which, note to self, I should stop doing on weekday evenings. It takes all of my energy and, for whatever reason, leaves me desperately craving brownies. I wish I understood it.

Tonight was especially draining for several reasons, including, but not limited to: the price of my bread going up by a dollar a loaf, the complete absence of pita bread (the place I usually find it was full of Hawaiian sweet bread?!?!), and no chicken breasts that didn’t look sickly/cost 10 dollars a pack. Oh, and standing at the deli counter for fifteen minutes while the one woman working was running around crazy trying to get my order, deal with the chicken in the fryer, and serve people big plastic containers of coleslaw. I felt guilty that I even asked for my turkey breast, but it would’ve been worse to leave. Right? RIGHT? She changed her gloves like eight times, each time asking me if I minded. It was terrible.

Anyway, it all worked out because I finally got a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar and I’m psyched to try it. Also, I realized that we have chicken in the freezer, so all is well.

Still no brownies, though. Maybe next time.

Crispy, Crunchy, Peanut Buttery…

June 18, 2008

…stir fry.

This was good. Tofu, rice noodles, carrots, peppers, snap peas, cauliflower, and mushrooms. In peanut sauce.

It looks gross, but it wasn’t. I promise.

I feel like I say that a lot. Hmmm.

I took the afternoon off, and I think I’m more tired than I would have been if I’d just stayed at work. We went to the laundromat, got our announcements printed, got food for dinner, and came home to cook and eat. Oh, I also did noon yoga, which is my new favorite thing. Crane pose, I will conquer you!


Maybe not. It actually reminds me of the “tripod” that we did in dance class when I was five, which I couldn’t do and which haunted me for years.

After dinner, some friends came over and we practiced wedding hair and played a little Wii. My head looks funny right now. But it looked nice before. So, we’ll see.

Doctor day

April 25, 2008

I still have no idea what’s wrong with me but I did have several new kinds of uncomfortable experiences today, so I guess that’s something, right?

My appointment with the nutritionist was great, though, and I learned a few important things. Perhaps most notably, my sister and Donna have been right all along, and I need to increase my daily caloric intake. Otherwise, though, I am awesome. Her words, not mine.

We also talked about the importance of eating Different Colored Foods, which I already knew, but which helped solidify my plans for dinner. We had stuffed zucchini and carrot salad.

Pretty colors.

The zucchini dish was based on this recipe, but modified so that they’re stuffed with bulgur and ground turkey breast instead of bulgur and beef. Matt expertly got the innards out of the zucchini and now we have a huge bowl of guts that I need to use for something. I guess I’ll figure it out.

Anyway, these were awesome. Since I had my bases covered nutritionally but still wanted something extra, I did a carrot salad inspired by this one over at Not Eating Out in New York (which is a great blog). I used that ginger-lime dressing idea, and added some goat cheese and pine nuts to it (see, more calories).

I’m still low for today, but we’re about to go to the mall and maybe I’ll get some frozen yogurt. I’m sure that’s what she meant by increasing calories, right? I know she said something about calcium, too. Plus, we’re doing an arthritis walk tomorrow morning and I think you’re supposed to carb-load for those. Right?

In other news, I got my tax refunds today and now I have to decide what to spend them on. So far I’ve come up with: not student loans.

That’s a solid start.

Taco casa

March 26, 2008

There’s a chain of convenience stores/gas stations here called Dara’s Fast Lane, and connected to a few of them are fast food Mexican restaurants named “Taco Casa.” They put up very clever marquee messages like “Got Tacos?” and cryptic ones like “Ta os.”

We did not have dinner there. Last night, Matt took me out because I had a weird day and my skirt was wrinkly and too big and my pedometer wasn’t working properly, so all my walking effort felt WASTED and I said “um” a lot more than usual during my presentation. I had a “chicken tortilla salad” which is my favorite thing to get at a restaurant, because, really, who doesn’t like glorified nachos with some lettuce thrown in? And, on the way back, we passed a Taco Casa and it solidified my plan to have black bean tacos for dinner tonight.

I worked from home for part of this afternoon, so I mixed up up the filling (which is also salsa; basically – black beans, diced tomato, some cilantro, garlic, cayenne pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil with lime juice squeezed all over it) and put it in the refrigerator to, I don’t know, infuse itself with… itself. That meant that dinner was COLD as Matt kept pointing out, and, combined with the sort of dreary gross day we’re having, I guess he had a problem with that.

Anyway, it’s a good thing I mixed this up earlier because I had some kind of physical break with reality at about 5 and since then I’ve basically been sleeping sitting up. I will probably go to bed soon, when I can get the energy to walk from here to the bedroom. It’s about 14 steps, but it feels really daunting.

Here’s round one of my dinner – one taco w/ some appetizers.


Okay, the picture sucks. I’m going to try to do better with that. But, on the bright side, I finally found some corn tortillas that don’t break when you try to do anything other than sit them flat on a plate. Apparently the trick is to buy them from somewhere other than Aldi. I wanted to have a salad with this, or at least something green, but I only have a brand new box of mixed greens and I couldn’t be bothered to get out scissors and open the package, so I just threw some peppers and carrots on the plate with some hummus and called it an appetizer. I also ate another taco and some chips, and I’m strongly considering another one and maybe some yogurt. If I ever get up. I guess this means no Kickbox Kombat tonight (hey – I didn’t make it up), which is a shame. But not such a shame that it’s going to keep me from enjoying a 6:30pm bedtime.