Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Chickpeas’ Category

When does hard work pay off?

I feel I’ve been doing nothing but working my ass off. My bills are due tomorrow and I’ve nothing to show for it. I went through and raised my prices a little on a couple of time-consuming pieces. (Basically, I’m not even making minimum wage on some of the pieces I make because they take up so much time.) I’m hoping this will help, but I feel as though I’m swimming in place. Moving, working hard, staying afloat, but going nowhere.

I need to sell my bike.

Breakfast:

Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp

Taken from: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/10/breakfast-apple-granola-crisp/

3 pounds* of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.

*400° was ridiculously too hot for this. I had to take mine out after 25 minutes because I could smell it burning. I picked out the burned pieces and did try to cover it and let it bake a little longer, but this didn’t really help much. 350° for 40 minutes would probably be perfect. Granted, I used only one little tiny apple that I had gotten from Panera on my lunch with Nicole and Gwendylon and it wasn’t nearly enough fruit, so I added raisins and dried cranberries. But I still feel the granola crumble does not need to be baked that hot. The apples will still bake just fine at a lower temperature for the same amount of time. While it tasted ok, this ended up being sub-par due to the burning (even though I picked out most of the burned parts) and I think I could do a lot better next time.

Lunch:

African Quinoa Peanut Soup

Adapted from: http://forkfingerschopsticks.com/quinoa-african-peanut-quinoa-soup/

Serves 6

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped small

1 red bell pepper, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced 1 inch pieces (about 3 cups) (I used just regular russet potatoes)

1 large jalapeno, deseeded and deveined, diced small (Didn’t have any, so I left this out)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 small zucchini, diced 1 ½ inches

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

8 cups water

1 cup chunky peanut butter (fresh ground or jarred – natural without sweeteners/oil)

2 cups frozen or fresh okra, optional* (I actually added chickpeas instead)

Method

In a small bowl, rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Do not skip this step. Prepare and measure out all remaining ingredients in advance.
Heat a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high heat, add oil and onion, red bell pepper, celery, sweet potatoes, jalapeno and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are slightly soft. Next add zucchini, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, pepper and salt; sauté 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to burn garlic. Add 8 cups water, deglaze pot with a wooden spoon. Add quinoa (rinsed and drained). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
Remove about 1 1/2 cups of hot liquid from the soup, pour into a small bowl. Add peanut butter to small bowl, use a wooden spoon or a whisk to blend and make a thin paste. (This step prevents clumping.) Pour peanut paste into the soup, and mix well. Simmer 5 – 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot, topped with a few rough chopped peanuts.

Note: If using okra, add at the end of cooking and cook until it is just heated throughout – otherwise, if overcooked, it could get slimy. Frozen okra works best and do not thaw before cooking.

*This was good! VERY different and interesting! I do wish I had jalapenos because they would have gone really well with the peanut flavour. I pureed half of this because once again, I like thick soups. You don’t have to do that of course. ^_^ I also smashed most of the potato inside the soup. Really good, really unique!

Dinner:

I winged a lot of this. I did use a crust recipe (which of course I altered with whole wheat)

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Pizza-Crust/Detail.aspx?prop31=2

Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour (I used half bread flour half whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I made an alfredo pesto sauce out of milk, cream cheese, fresh grated Parmesan, garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and S&P. Just whatever amounts looked good and taasted good, I couldn’t tell you what quantities I used of each, I’ve no idea. I also topped this pizza with crumbled goat’s cheese, sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, baby spinach, vadallia onion, grated mozzarella and pine nuts. What an AMAZING Meatless Monday treat!!! Just INCREDIBLY fresh-tasting an delicious!

ALSO: I didn’t eat the entire pizza. I still have 3 pieces in the fridge. I’m feeling great!

Tomorrow is another “work my ass off” day. I’d love to actually go to the gym, maybe do some treadmill running, that would make me incredibly happy. I’d like to leave the house for a while and not be running errands/spending money I don’t have. I’m out of fruits and veggies though for the most part. I really have no veggies. I may HAVE to stop at the fresh market for some. Luckily, I can get out of there for less than $10 most of the time. This will have to be one of those times.

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Decor

One of the things I’m most looking forward to with my new place is decorating.

I didn’t get much of a say in any of the decor in this house. Not that I really cared that much, I like how it’s decorated.

But there is a severe lack of unicorns…

Oh do I EVER have my eye on this puppy…the level of want I have for this, well, we’ll just say it’s turned up to 11. ROCK!!!

Now I only need $100 burning in my pocket.

Breakfast:

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

Taken from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/parmesan_spinach_cakes.html

4 servings, 2 spinach cakes each

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes
Nutrition Profile

Diabetes appropriate | Low calorie | Low carbohydrate | High calcium | High potassium | Gluten free |
View Our Nutrition Guidelines »
Ingredients

12 ounces fresh spinach, (see Note)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Added:
1 T Pine Nuts

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).
Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.

*I missed the part in this recipe where it said it only made 8 cakes, so I accidentally only made 2 meaning to make 3 or 4.  It’s okay as in the end after eating them, they were SO delicious I was completely satisfied and didn’t need any more. The pine nuts are simply a MUST to add! They bring a certain something  in taste and texture and go incredibly well with the spinach. These are super healthy, gluten-free and don’t take long to make!

Lunch:

Spinach Salad with Chickpeas, Raisins and Carrots

Quick quick quick!! I needed to get a project finished, walked to the post office, and then walk to my brother’s! He and my sister-in-law were taking me to Sonic for dinner (yup…we wanted to try the new sweet potato tots!) so I just needed something REALLY fast, but high in nutrients, to get me through the afternoon! I also threw some walnuts and a little low-fat sesame ginger dressing on top of this. YUM!!!

After working my ass off and finishing my project, I begin my trek to the post office. I had precious little time to get there as I left SLIGHTLY late and needed to make it before they closed!

So I ran.

Then it began to rain. Soft. Hard. Then VERY hard.

I ran nearly the entire 2 miles there in the rain. With a backpack on.

I dramatically open the door SOAKING wet and out of breath. They were JUST about to close. I loudly inquire, “DID I MAKE IT??” to which all the ladies laughed at the pathetic state I was in. They of course allowed me in to drop off my package and dry off a little.

THAT was fun.

If I didn’t make it, it would not have been fun. But I DID. So it was a fucking blast.

I can RUN now!!!!!

Dinner:

Oh you fuckin’ better BELIEVE I treated myself to these bitches after that ordeal! I also had:

Their Chicago-style Hot Dog! It’s very much not bad at all! AND not bad for you! I also had a diet cherry lime-aid per recommendation of my sister-in-law. What a great day!!!

My only disappointment was that I saw no rainbow. Don’t fret! There will be plenty more next-times for running through the rain!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 3 miles running/walking

Bunnies, cats and death on Meatless Monday

This is my first post inspired by another’s blog.

A beautifully written account of death and how one can react to it was published here by rabbitheartedjo. It was about a decomposing rabbit that she offhandedly saw in the road. It really opened my eyes to how different people with different minds, thoughts, even disorders…think so much differently than I do in incredibly similar situations. Do we choose how we react? Do our brains all intrinsically work the same but we program ourselves to react positively/negatively/indifferent to certain things? I do know for certain that I programmed my own disorder and I can program myself out, but what about others? Is it deeper? Harder? More complicated than that? How do our minds work?

I once was going on a walk, as I very very often do during the summer. I hear a terrible thud in front of me and watch as a beautiful black cat (much like the one I have now) is thrown from under the tire of a car in the middle of the road. Another passerby, who’d also witnessed the entire ordeal, asks me if there’s anything we should do. We walk out into the road, damn any car who wants to get by…they can go around us. We lean down over the cat. He’s gurgling, barely breathing. I think he can see me, but I’m not sure. It seems almost as if he’s looking through me. I ask the other passerby if we ought to move him. I touch the cat’s head, letting him know someone was there. His eyes glaze over in a way I’ve never seen before…the light literally fading out of them. His stomach goes flat. His last breath. His head hits the pavement, slowly, sadly. He dies under my gentle touch. We don’t know what we should do. He’s gone. So we just leave him. He was hit far enough to the side that people will probably just avoid his body.

It was by far the saddest thing I ever witnessed in my life.  I was happy though. Happy to know that in those last seconds, if he couldn’t see me, maybe he could feel me. He could feel that someone was there. That someone gave a shit that he was dying. Someone cared. The person who hit him didn’t bother stopping.

In the weeks to come, I would go walking. I walk to the post office pretty much every day, it’s a great way to get exercise. I would pass by the cat every day. Nobody bothered to move him . City workers never came to remove his body from the road. I watched him decompose. Deteriorate. Little by little, day by day. I wished I had brought a camera. I wanted to take a picture of him every day to remind myself how the cycle of life works. Dust to dust. Eventually, he was nothing but a small smear on the pavement. He was gone. Again.

It was the first time I’d ever witnessed real death. Yes, I’ve been to funerals. I’ve seen dead people. Dead things. Dead animals in the road. I’ve seen animals get hit and die. But having something basically die in your arms is so much different. Watching their eyes go from alive to dead. It was heart-wrenching.

And it was a most poignant and beautiful reminder that I was alive.

This experience was one of the first indicators that I had a problem I needed to fix.

Life is so wonderful. I adore being alive. I fear death. It’s pretty much the only thing I fear at all. I cannot let that affect how I live though. I live life every single day to its fullest. It’s incredibly difficult for me to sit and do nothing. I have to squeeze everything I can out of every minute of every day. I have to be HAPPY, there’s no time to waste one more damned second being depressed. Because you never know.

You never know when you’ll get hit by a car.

Breakfast:

Apple & Cinnamon Whole Grain Breakfast Strata
serves 6 to 8Taken from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-apple-cinnamon-whole-gr-137484

8 eggs
2 cups 1% milk
1/3 cup organic cane sugar OR dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds whole-grain loaf, sliced 1/4″ thick crosswise
3 medium firm apples (about 1 1/4 pound), cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the glaze
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Lightly butter or oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.

Cut the crusts off the bread slices, cutting each slice into a rectangular shape. Layer half of the bread slices in the bottom of the baking pan. Layer all of the apple slices on top of the bread. Top apple layer with the other half of the bread slices.

Pour the egg mixture over the layered bread and apples. Cover refrigerate overnight. (Note: The casserole can be baked immediately, but expect it not to be quite as dense and uniform in texture.)

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°F. Cover the strata with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. (Note: If your strata is coming straight out of the fridge, still cold, add an additional 10 minutes to the covered baking time.)

For the glaze, warm all of the ingredients together in the microwave or on the stovetop until quite soft. (I microwaved mine for 45 seconds.) Whisk thoroughly in a fork, then drizzle over the warm strata. Dust lightly with cinnamon.

Let the strata stand for 10 minutes to firm up, then serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

*I’m not certain why this was only mediocre. It had everything in it that I wanted, I don’t think I let it bake long enough, the eggs weren’t completely set. I would suggest that if you make this you let it bake a bit longer than instructed. Otherwise, it wasn’t terrible. Just not what I’d hoped for.

Lunch:

“Matar Paneer” inspired Soup with Peas, Goat’s Cheese and Chickpeas

2 cups home-canned crushed Tomatoes
2/3 cup Chickpeas
1/2 cup Peas
1/4 small Onion, diced
Fresh grated Ginger
1 oz Goat’s Cheese
1/2 t Coriander
1/2 t Paprika
1/3 t Cumin
1/4 t White Pepper
Fresh chopped Parsley
Salt to taste
Pine Nuts
1 T Olive Oil

Bring the crushed tomatoes to a simmer and let the chickpeas cook and soften in that for about 10 minutes. Add the corriander, cumin, paprika and white pepper. A bit of salt. Blend all that in a blender. Add the puree back to the pot and keep warm. While that is cooking, sautee the sweet onion, peas and fresh grated ginger in the olive oil. Add all that to the puree and let that get warm together for about another 5 mins. Melt in about an oz of goats cheese. Served with pine nuts on top and another little drizzle of olive oil for taste.

*This was incredibly delicious!!!  I actually feel incredibly smart for coming up with this. A friend and I were having a discussion about a certain Indian restaurant that I just love. The Matar Paneer is my favorite dish there (there’s lots I haven’t tried, but the last time I went, this was my favorite hehe.)  So I came up with this to sort of match those tastes. Just….wow. I was blown away with how perfect this came out. Very much made up for my disappointing breakfast! And PACKED with protein and good things for my body!

Dinner:

Black Bean and Spinach Tomato Sauce on Whole Wheat Linguini

Ohhh heck if I remember how I made this. Crushed tomatoes, 1.5 diced Romas, 1/3 can of drained black beans, handful of spinach, sliced mushrooms, garlic and onion (caramelized first in some olive oil and butter) and 1/4 cup parmesan melted in. Fresh chopped parsley, basil, some crushed red pepper, lime juice, a little sherry vinegar, S&P…put that on some whole wheat linguini. VERY good, very good for you and VERY filling! I didn’t finish this entire bowl. I just tossed the rest when I was full.

I’m learning now that I go to the grocery store and don’t even look at the candy. I feel for a split second before I walk in that I might want something sweet, and that its ok if I do. But then my mind wanders, I go into “I’m out of this” and “Do I need that?” and “How much is this compared to the other place?” mode and it completely slips my mind that I wanted candy in the first place. That never used to happen. I used to have to actively avoid walking by candy so it wouldn’t torture me. Now I think about it so little that I don’t even realize I’m standing right by it. I walk out and get in my car. Halfway home I remember “Oh yeah, I wanted to get something sweet…oh well, I forgot I guess.” My mind and thought processes are changing.

And it’s wonderful.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym (husband woke up early and was here all night, so no yoga)

I love learning!

I’ve been learning so many new things about food lately! I adore the science behind cooking and baking (hence my adoration for Alton Brown) and its also really neat to learn that things you though were bad for you are actually not so awful if made properly. The problem comes when you don’t understand the science.

For instance. Deep frying. This is something I of course completely shyed away from for years because everything I’ve ever seen deep-fried was always greasy and disgusting-looking. It turns out when done PROPERLY, it actually absorbs LESS oil than traditional frying and if the food comes out oily at all its because the oil was not hot enough and therefore was not fried correctly.

Taken from about.com:

” Because most foods have some moisture in them, and because oil and water don’t mix, the food’s natural moisture creates a barrier against the oil surrounding it.

That means that while the heat from the oil cooks the food, the oil itself doesn’t permeate the food at all — unless the oil isn’t hot enough.

Remember the violent reaction of hot oil to a drop of water? The hotter the oil, the more violently it repels water and other moisture. Only at temperatures below 325°F will the oil start to seep into the food and make it greasy.”

INTERESTING!!! I will DEFINITELY be trying my hand at some real deep frying! I have a thermometer, and will be certain to keep my oil at the proper temperature and do it right! I can’t wait to get back to y’all about it!

Breakfast:

Sausage Egg and Cheese Scramble

I just threw together some spicy sausage, onions, a little orange pepper and some garlic powder and scrambled it with egg and cheese. I threw some more cheese on top afterwards. I just wanted something easy that I could throw together quick and use up some extra ingredients. I have a lot of work to do so this got lots of protein into me to get me going! You can never go wrong with this combo! Next time I might use 2 different types of cheese, otherwise that’s the only change I’d make.

Lunch:

Spinach and chickpea gratin with creme fraiche topped with crispy Parmesan breadcrumbs
 
You’ll need:
 
3 medium onions roughly chopped
Olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1/2 red chilli (with some or all of the seeds removed  depending on how hot you like things) finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 generous teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
200gr spinach
1 tin chickpeas
3 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2  tablespoons breadcrumbs
2/3 tub Creme Fraiche

Start by making the tomato sauce. Cook the onions in a generous glug of olive oil over a lowish heat until soft and beginning to change colour. While this is going on you can also put on your brown rice as it takes between 30 – 40 minutes although soaking it first will bring this down to about 20 minutes and makes it easier to digest.  When the onions are ready add the garlic and chilli and keep cooking until everything is nice and soft (another 5-10 minutes) then add the tomatoes and sugar. Give things a good stir then season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until everything has reduced by at least half and is a gorgeous rich, dark red. While the tomato is cooking get on with the other ingredients…

Prepare your spinach by removing any thick stalks and washing it well. Wilt it in a pot or pan. There’s no need to add any water for this as there’s enough with what is left clinging to the leaves after you wash it. When it has wilted (this will take no longer than 1-2 minutes) put it in a colander so as much water as possible can drain off. Drain the chickpeas and rinse in plenty of cold water.

To put the dish together, add the chickpeas to the  tomato sauce then pour all this into a medium sized ovenproof dish.  Squeeze any excess water from the spinach and arrange on the tomato stew in clumps the size of small dumplings.  Dot with Crème Fraiche  then top the lot with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Bake in a hottish oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

*Pretty sure I baked this at 350 for 30 mins, which was perfect. I also used goat’s cheese instead of creme fraiche, which I do not have. It was SOOOO good!!!! I was shocked actually at how good this was. I decided to eat it as was instead of putting it on rice (as it suggested). It was *perfect* that way!

Dinner:

Cottage Pie

I totally made this one up and it was off the wall crazy good, so I will try my best to remember how I made it!

1/4 lb Ground Beef
1/3 cup frozen Corn
1/3 cup frozen Peas
1/4 small Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup Beef Broth
1/3 cup Red Wine
1 T (or so) Worcestershire Sauce
Paprika
Crushed Red Pepper
Cinnamon
S&P (all spices to taste)
2 t Corn Starch
1 large Potato, peeled and cubed
Sour Cream
Milk
Butter
1 clove Garlic, minced

Cook beef in saucepan. Empty onto a paper towel to soak fat/oil and set aside. Wipe out saucepan. Spray with a little oil. Saute onions. Add corn, peas, and carrots. Cook for a little while until peas and corn are thawed. Add beef broth, wine and worcestershire sauce. Add spices to taste. Allow to reduce for a little while on medium head. Add corn starch. Add more broth or wine as desired to thin or thicken the sauce. Cook until gravy is of desired thickness. Add beef. Cook to heat through. Meanwhile, boil cubed potato for 8 minutes or until soft. Mash. Add butter, sour cream, milk and garlic to taste. Pour beef and veggie mixture into an oven safe pan. Scoop mashed potatoes on top of beef. Bake uncovered at 350 about 40 minutes or until potatoes are browned on top. Enjoy!

*This was DELICIOUS! Totally the best cottage pie I’ve ever made!!!! It’s nice to know I can trust my taste in spices/ingredients. LOVED it!

HEY I got a major project done today! YAY!!! Life is awesome! I was gonna have some dessert, but I’m kinda tired as I had dinner at like 11:30 PM. Thats ok! I plan on having some form of apple spice something crazy in the morning with lots of sugar and stuff. Hehe.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym

Sorry I talk about the sunrise so much…

…but today’s was once again spectacular!

I just can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this for most of my life. It makes me SO happy. It reminds me that today is another wonderful day and I am alive. I love being alive.

I accidentally woke up at 4:30AM today. Jack teh kitteh was scratching at our door which tends to wake me up. He usually tries to get our attention for bout 45 seconds till he gives up and goes back to sleep. He normally does this around 5:30 AM. I checked the time and for some reason concluded that it was 6:30AM and couldn’t understand why my alarm had not gone off. I switched the alarm off, got up, and went to make a pot of coffee. I sat at my computer for a good 10 minutes before finally actually LOOKING at the time. 4:50….4:50???? I mean, I like getting up early but this was ridiculous! I decided I should try and get a little more shut eye. I set my computer to play “Exit Music (For A Film)” by Radiohead in an hour (not even properly hitting me what a perfect song it is to wake to, just knowing it was soft and wouldn’t jerk me awake) and, after grabbing Jack off of my laptop table (unfortunately AFTER he spilled a cup of water all over me, at least it didn’t get on the laptop!), went to sleep. The alarm went off gorgeously and I even dozed back off for an extra half an hour. 6:45 is a FAR more reasonable time to wake when you have to be at work at 11.

And I didn’t miss the stunning sunrise. So many shades of red, pink, blue, green and purple it would have blown your mind. I’ll be thinking about it all day!

Breakfast:

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Frittata

  • 3-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a tray toss the cauliflower florets and 2 tablespoon olive oil, season with sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and bake for 25 minutes until golden. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet, the sliced onion the green onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the garlic and cook until it is softened, about 1 minute longer. Add the roasted cauliflower. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Pour the eggs over the cauliflower and the goat cheese crumbles. cook, without stirring, until the bottom of the frittata is just set, about 2 minutes. Lift the edges of the frittata and tilt the pan to allow the uncooked egg mixture to seep underneath. Continue cooking the frittata until the bottom is golden and the top is just slightly runny, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the thyme over the frittata and bake until it is just set, about 3 minutes longer. And slide it onto a work surface or platter. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with some salad greens. Enjoy.

*I of course broke up a couple small slices of fresh French bread and added the crumbles next to the roasting cauliflower after they had about 8 minutes more to go. I crushed them in my hand as I added them on top of the frittata, leaving some big pieces in with the smaller ones. I had NO IDEA that roasting cauliflower gives it such a sweet taste! WOW! It took me forever to decide what I was in the mood to eat this morning, I decided I didn’t want meat, but I wanted something savory. This was absolutely spectacular! I don’t know that I feel like doing meat at all today…maybe I’ll start a  Meatless Monday sort of thing?
NOTE:  I HAVE in fact decided to start participating in “Meatless Mondays”! So now every Monday I will cut meat out entirely for the day!

Lunch:

I was at work so once again I had the Tomato Caprise Sandwich with a banana. Normally I would also have a soup with this, but BOTH of the soup choices had meat in them! So I nixed the soup and went with the only meat-free sandwich we have. It filled me up just fine, I even went to the gym to work out after work and my stomach didn’t even growl by the time I got home. It’s odd not really being on a “schedule” anymore with meals. Eating when you’re hungry or not eating when you’re not hungry is sort of a foreign concept to me. I used to ALWAYS be hungry. I’ve also slowed down 10 fold on the junk and treats now that it’s no longer Christmas.  I’m feeling a ton thinner and look better! My clothes are starting to fit me better agian. My jeans are still tight, but thats to be expected. Its OK.

Dinner:

Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans

Taken from: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Curried-Chickpeas-And-Black-Beans-My-Recipes

2 tsps vegetable oil
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 tbsp gingerroot (minced peeled)
2 tsps curry powder
1 diced tomatoes (ounce can diced tomatoes undrained)
18 tsp salt
15 ozs black beans (rinsed and drained)
15 ozs chickpeas (garbanzo beans rinsed and drained)
13 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Added:
1/3 tin of Pineapple chunks (plus a little of the juice in place of the lemon juice)
Pinch of Cardamom
1Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and gingerroot; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder; cook an additional minute. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add salt, black beans, and chickpeas; stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in fresh parsley and lemon juice. Serve warm.
*This came out super delicious! I served it on top of some just plain white rice and it was a great little vegetarian meal full of protein and good stuff! Perfect for an after-workout meal! I was also sure to nix anything like chicken or beef stock to thin it with and instead went for tomato juice.
My day at work was great, my “girlfriend” talked to me a bunch and we had fun! Maybe she felt obligated to talk to me since I was helping her? I like her.
I went to work out after that and had a really hard time keeping my heart rate up. I don’t know what it was other than the fact that I’d already been on my feet running around for most of the day. Not sure what else would have caused that. I was BUSHED when I got home. I made a nice easy dinner and then went straight to bed for the most part. It was a looooong day and I was just so tired.
Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym