Posts tagged ‘lunch’

“Running” Errands

Today is quite drippy and dreary. It’s just above freezing, so the little bit of snow and ice we had accumulated is melting and turning into a lovely slush.

I was supposed to do a longer run with my running buddy today, but she cancelled on me last minute, due to how icy and yucky it is outside. Instead of being disappointed and blowing off running altogether, I decided to go on a slightly shorter run (about 4 miles), and deposit some money at the same time (as I had a route mapped out that runs right by my bank).

The run was actually really really nice! It’s amazing what a couple of degrees, and lack of wind, does – I actually felt quite warm the entire time. It was icy, but I actually kind of enjoyed that, as it forced me to slow down a bit, and really concentrate on the run, and really just relax a little. I ran a pace of about 10 min/mile, which I would normally be a bit disappointed with for a run of that distance, but I’d much rather run slowly, and not slip and fall (which has become my biggest fear).

After running, and inspired by Tina’s Starbucks breakfast, I decided to make myself a breakfast sandwich. I used an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin as the base, gruyere for my cheese, egg whites mixed with shallots, green pepper and a mix of greens, and a slice of Canadian bacon.

I picked some up at the store the other day, and I’m really liking it! I used it in place of pancetta in my ultimate comfort food (which I was sure I did a post on, but I will have to later – here’s a picture for now), and it worked perfectly.

I made a sort of messy omelet out of my eggs,

and then sort of mashed it all together to be able to pile it on the sandwich.

I ate it with some ketchup

and some apples.

On the plate for the rest of the day, I have no idea! I was going to go shopping, but I think I’ll wait ‘til tomorrow. Due to the weather, and the fact that it’s a Sunday not far before Christmas, I can imagine only hellish results. So, I don’t know. We shall see :)

December 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm 1 comment

‘Tis a Gift to be Simple

Today was filled with really really simple, but really really delicious food. I love it when that happens!

Before getting to the food, though, I started my day with an awesome 7.75 mile run with my running buddy. It was pretty hilly, and we managed a ~10 min/mile pace during the run. I love going on long-ish runs during the week; it’s almost like there’s more sense of accomplishment :)

My breakfast was a pretty standard yogurt mess (for some reason, even though it’s getting colder here, I’ve been craving yogurt and fruit lately) with apple, banana, orange, flax, and TJ’s Blueberry Muesli. I jazzed it up a bit this morning, though, with the addition of some pomegranate arils.

Inspired by all the POM love seen around the blogworld, I used Caitlin’s guide to opening a pomegranate, and have been enjoying the arils ever since. Yum – they add such a juicy crunch to yogurt, etc!

One other thing they’re (POM) wonderful on is salads! I’ve been eating pretty crappy lately, so I’m really trying to eat better (easing up on the carbs and fat, and eating more veggies and fruit). I’m not a huge fan of salads that I make at home, but a glance into my fridge showed that I had some pretty fun ingredients to make an awesome (and not boring!) salad.

I started by roasting half a bunch of asparagus (that my mom gave me) at 400 degrees (with some olive oil, S&P) until they were nice and roasted. I chopped up a few clementines (one of my favorite “Christmas” foods), used about a quarter of a can of garbanzo beans, and put it all over a mix of spinach, arugula and baby greens (or so says the TJs bag…). Topped off with some pomegranate arils, and a sprinkle each of grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, and agave, this salad was amazing.

I had a piece of Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan alongside it, and then a piece of Dark Chocolate with Almonds for dessert – what an awesome lunch!

I tried really hard to be “good” at Great Harvest today – I “had” to try one of their new chocolate cherry muffins, and some Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter (we sell it, and I’ve been wanting to try it for so long!), but it was nothing like the carb-fest that I usually have there. I’m trying my best to only have one “treat” a day at work. None of this eating every single end off the bread board…It’s almost Christmas, and I want to be able to enjoy the holidays, not worry about my weight!

Dinner was possibly not the healthiest of choices, but it sure was delicious. I’ve seen a bunch of these “leftover sandwiches” popping up, and I’d like to share my own:

  • Great Harvest Michigan Herb bread
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Stuffing
  • Green bean casserole
  • Turkey

Yum! I’m going to be sad when my leftovers are gone…

I also had some carrots on the side. I love raw carrots, but hate cooked. True facts – I prefer the raw form of most veggies; there’s just something about mushy vegetables that’s a complete turnoff for me!

For dessert (while watching The Biggest Loser!) I brought back my wonderful "yogurt love" dessert.

Basically, it’s just vanilla Greek yogurt, PB&Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams and Annie’s Chocolate Bunnies. All mixed together to create the most satisfying dessert ever. YUMMY!

Also, here’s a few pictures of the Christmas decorations I’ve put up :) I hope to get a few more over the next couple of days, but I’m actually pretty pleased. I love Christmas, and have been listening to Christmas music pretty much nonstop to get in the mood!

It’s not much, but it’s amazing what a difference a few decorations make…I love looking up at my shelf!

Happy December…

December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm 3 comments

Redux

For those who were wondering, my quark turned out okay-ish. I put some Green and Black’s Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts and Currants.

I think the chocolate was the best part, actually :/ I don’t know what I did wrong! Maybe not enough sugar? Sad times.

Today was overall uneventful, aside from a viewing of The Baader Meinhof Complex at the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor. The movie is definitely not for the faint of heart – it’s the story of the Rote Armee (a left wing German group that was active during the 60s and 70s), and it was a lot more graphic than I was expecting. The theater, on the other hand, is definitely worth a visit. Not only is it ornate and beautiful, but it also has a pipe organ!

In other news, I ran today! A little over 4 miles in 38 minutes, about 9 min/mile. Not bad at all. It’s getting colder here (maybe – it got cold about a month ago, and then warmed back up, so who knows what to expect), and I’m getting more nervous about running through the winter. I need to stock up my cold weather gear, that’s for sure.

Breakfast was more pumpkin oats, but topped with Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter 100 cal pack that I got at the Detroit Marathon Expo.

I found a pile of Justin’s nut butter’s that I haven’t yet used! No maple-flavored, though :(

For lunch today, I fell back on a favorite and made my version of Tina’s Brown Rice and Artichoke Stuffed Peppers (basically, my version uses goat cheese instead of parmesan, and no parsley, because I have none).

Make these! So simple, and absolutely delicious.

I also had an apple, and more chocolate for lunch.

I worked all afternoon, slammed down a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar (which I’ve had so much trouble finding recently! Both in Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, they’re almost never in stock), before going to see the movie.

And as it’s now 10:00 and I haven’t eaten dinner, I’m going to quickly eat the rest of my Pumpkin Bread Pudding with some carrots and TJ’s Chipotle Pepper Hummus.

Probably followed by a (small…ish) scoop of PB&Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter (this I always have in my pantry – it’s all the other flavors I don’t have).

Now I must go to bed. Possible very long day tomorrow – I’ll be sure to recap :)

November 17, 2009 at 11:52 pm 1 comment

Portion Musings, and Lots of Leftovers!

One thing I have always struggled with is portion control. Obviously, it’s something that Americans (and America) struggle with all the time.

Growing up, it was definitely an issue. I come from a family of seven, so meals were always big. It’s true – it took until I was in college and cooking on my own to learn that you didn’t have to use the entire box of pasta (or more!) every time you made spaghetti. I’m also the oldest child, and I have four younger brothers, which I’m sure contributed to my slightly skewed views on how much anyone should eat at any given time. For instance, the time when my brother polished off two Chipotle burritos. Or even last night, when my brother-cum-roommate ate an entire box of Kraft Mac and Cheese Spirals for dinner. Obviously, I am responsible for my own choices, but when everyone around you has a heaping plate of food, followed by helpings of seconds (and thirds!) at the dinner table, it’s more than difficult to say “No thanks” (at least for me).

Unfortunately, I’m also not a fan of measuring out everything that I eat (although I think it’s necessary for nuts, pasta, and peanut butter!), so usually I just make food, and then use a small dinner plate to measure what I deem to be an appropriate size.

I’ve also learned to embrace my inability to portion while cooking (as well as the reality of cooking for one) in the form of leftovers. Once the scorn of the refrigerator, I’ve learned to appreciate them for how easy they can make preparing meals.

For instance, for lunch today, I roasted this pretty huge tray of broccoli, as I though it would be a nice accompaniment for the couscous and tempeh I had planned.

I roasted the broccoli for about 10 minutes on 425; I tossed them in olive oil, S&P, a little garlic powder (I’m all out of garlic), and a sprinkling of parmesan.

As much as I love broccoli, I think eating the whole pan would be a little too much, so I’m planning on using it in my Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar for dinner to bulk it up a little bit.

My couscous was comprised almost completely of leftovers as well: the couscous itself from dinner a few days ago, an onion that I’ve been slicing at for some time now, and a block of Trader Joe’s Organic 3-Grain Tempeh that I’ve also been using in small doses.

Fact: I really want to like tempeh and other such foods (tofu, etc), because I really don’t eat a lot of animal protein, and know that they’re all a good way to supplement, but for some reason, the textures of all of these foods are really off-putting. I’ve been experimenting with the tempeh (such as my fire-starting Maple-Glazed Tempeh) and to use up the block, I basically just threw all of these leftovers into a pan and hoped for the best! Well, sorta – I caramelized the onions, added the tempeh, and then threw in the couscous. To finish it off, I added some pine nuts.

It was really good! Well…except for the tempeh, quite honestly. I ate most of it, but left the last two pieces on my plate.

I just don’t think I like it :( Any help would be greatly appreciated…! But now it’s gone, and I can enjoy the rest of my much more palatable leftovers instead :)

September 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Microwave Mishaps

I had such a great dinner planned for tonight, but as I well know now, my plans don’t often work the way I expect them to…But I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself now…

I had a pretty delicious (and simple!) lunch today. I started by making some Near East Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Couscous.

I love these Near East products – they’re so simple to prepare (all I had to do was boil water and olive oil and add the couscous, and let it sit…), and so delicious.

I also prepared some Garlicky Green Beans on the side. I’ve never blanched beans before, so I tried it today. I simply boiled water, submersed the beans for about 3 minutes, and then put them into cold water to stop the cooking. For the beans, I sautéed some garlic and shallots. I mixed it all together, and it was good to go.

I snacked on an unpictured Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar (oh man I love these) before venturing out to the Farmers Market. And I cleaned up!

The big bag of peppers, beans and broccoli I got for $5! And all of this cost less than $10 – I love the Farmers Market!

I was pretty hungry when I got back, so I fixed myself a little snack.

But that’s not all!

I stuffed a few slices with pizza cheese – I’m trying my best to clean out my fridge a little bit, both because it’s getting a little ridiculous, and because I’m running a little low on cash (hence the life stress), and would like to hold off buying groceries I don’t need.

I had a nice leisurely afternoon (read: I sat around reading Veganomicon), and started to craft my dinner. I love the recipes in Veganomicon – I don’t think I could ever be vegan, but every time I page through the book, I’m a little tempted.

I decided to make the Diner Home Fries recipe out of the book – I love potatoes! They turned out quite delicious; I followed the recipe almost exactly, except I added dried rosemary for a little kick.

I wanted to make a sort of “breakfast for dinner” dinner tonight – I had some leftover Maple Grilled Tempeh that I made awhile ago, but alas, it was not to be. See, the microwave that I have at home has a very nice “reheat” button – you put something in, and it’ll reheat until nicely heated, and then shut off. Well, my microwave here has a “reheat” button, too, but it doesn’t quite shut off when the food is done. I probably shouldn’t have used the plastic container to reheat in…Let’s just say that I *still* have all the windows open in order to allow the wonderful smell of burned plastic and maple syrup. Ick.

After consulting my fridge as to what I could throw together easily and also get rid of, I made an "”Italian Quesadilla”. To a Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tortilla I added some homemade pesto, a little pizza sauce and some Mozzarella. Put in a pan until gooey, and I had my entree.

And altogether now:

Not quite as disastrous as it could have been…

And now, I’m debating dessert, while watching my Phillies on ESPN! ‘Night all :)

September 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm 3 comments

Following Foodie: An Ann Arbor Institution

So difficult! I had such good eats all day today, but I think I’ll post about them tomorrow morning. Tonight, I’d like to introduce everyone to possibly the most famous food institution in Ann Arbor, the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. The “Community” consists of a Bakehouse, Creamery, Delicatessen, Catering Company, Coffeeshop and the Zingerman’s Roadhouse, a full-service restaurant.  I actually found out about Zingerman’s the first time I visited Ann Arbor (all the way back in June…) when I was researching “the best places to eat in Ann Arbor”. Zingerman’s came up in basically every search I did.

Zingerman’s Delicatessen is located in the Kerrytown district of Ann Arbor, which I wrote about yesterday. 

The Deli is featuring bacon right now (Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s, wrote a book on bacon called Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon…), and it’s immediately apparent when you come across the place – I could smell the bacon (quite literally!) and knew immediately what I wanted on a sandwich! The menu is very clear and concise (which is good, because it’s hung on a wall, and there’s usually a wall of people between you and the menu), and is divided by different types of meat and then vegetarian options – my eyes went right to the pork section! I decided on the Jen’s Pimento Parti – “Pimento cheese (Southern cheese spread with Vermont cheddar, mayo & pimentos), Arkansas peppered bacon, tomato on grilled brewhouse bread”. You also get asked what kind of pickle you want with your sandwich (how could it be a deli otherwise?); I chose a garlicky pickle (I could have also chosen a cucumber-y one…).

My sandwich came out pretty quickly; it was also really busy (if you go on the weekends, there’s usually a line out the door and around the block…). And *this* is what I received:

And yes, that’s a half size :)

The sandwich was spicy and delicious – I especially liked the bacon, because it was real thick-cut bacon, with a ton of pepper around the edges.

One of my favorite aspects of Zingerman’s is that they are completely transparent with where each and all of their ingredients comes from. The “general store” of Zingerman’s, which is inside the Deli, features a meat counter, a cheese counter, a bread counter, and different “sundries” (don’t you love that word?). For each item, there’s a description of not only what the item is, but where it comes from. There’s a lot of local foods (such as peanut butter from Michigan! – I want to try that!), and also specialty international items – I really want to try a pesto they sell there that’s from Italy. The only downside is that it is pretty expensive – both the sandwiches and the items they sell. But the quality is so good, that it’s easy to overlook the slightly high prices, because you know you’re getting a great product.

Of course, I had to end my meal with some sort of dessert (yes, I had to :)). I walked over to Zingerman’s Next Door, which has coffee, pastries, bagels, and ice cream. Which I immediately gravitated to.

I love the small size – the sandwich was so big, I don’t think I had room for anything bigger!

As I was leaving Zingerman’s I passed by this:

Which is a little garden with all different kinds of herbs (cinnamon basil? all kinds of mint – all kinds of awesome!) and tomatoes. It really just reinforced my positive feelings regarding the “Community of Businesses” – they’re really committed to producing the best food they possibly can, even if it means growing it themselves!

September 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment

No coconuts today…

First of all, look what I got in the mail today!

Thanks so much, Heather! I can’t wait to try it.

This morning I woke up (and didn’t run again…man, this is painful. I have big plans for tomorrow, though…let’s hope I can stick to them!) and wasn’t all that hungry, so I resorted to my favorite easy-to-make, easy-to-eat breakfast, a green monster! I was so excited, because I wanted to test out my new blender, but my excitement dimmed a little when I realized that I left my unsweetened coconut at home! I did have blueberries, though, so I pressed on. My blender performed marvelously – with the one I was using at home (an Oster mixer with a blender attachment, which my parents got as a wedding gift…) it would take about 5 minutes to blend everything down; this one took about 30 seconds :)

And produced this (tall glass) of happiness:

Isn’t this glass fun? I believe it’s a Pilsner glass – I got a set of four from a friend for my 21st birthday (the coasters were a favor from a wedding I went to last year).

Green Monsters usually hold me over really well, but I felt a little…off…an hour or so later, so I snacked on an extremely ripe peach:

As my brother (and seemingly everyone else in Ann Arbor) were gearing up for the football game today, I decided to go and explore downtown Ann Arbor (perhaps slightly influenced by the fact that the Ann Arbor Farmers Market was taking place today). I walked all around downtown, in search of spices and coconut – I returned home with coconut, but no spices (and perhaps a tomato or two :)).

I was planning on going for a run during the game (I figured the streets would be pretty empty), but when I got home I felt really sick – I figured I was just hungry, so I put together a pretty calorie-dense meal. It turned out absolutely fantastically delicious:

Excuse the plethora of pictures – this sandwich was to-die-for. I toasted some Ezekiel bread while some of my Lancaster Canadian bacon was “frying” in a pan; when the bread was slightly toasted, I smeared one slice with some pesto I made yesterday (basil, pine nuts, lemon, garlic, olive oil – I always forget to add parmesan!). To the other side I added some Farmer’s Cheese topped with spinach and a few slices tomato. When the “bacon” was done, I threw an egg in the pan, and when that was done, I put everything together and then threw the whole sandwich into the pan so that the cheese could get all melty. Delicious.

I still didn’t feel quite right after my meal, though (really, I still don’t – kinda nauseous (though no diminished appetite!) and tired). I went to Kroger to pick up my spices (second time driving – this time completely successful!) and came home to begin to make dinner, which I’ve had the ingredients for since before I moved.

I made zucchini, potato, and scallion pancakes – I found the recipe on Foodbuzz here. I kept the recipe pretty much the same, although I fourthed (?) it – I used:

  • 1/2 a zucchini, shredded
  • ~1/3 a red potato, shredded
  • 2 “stalks” scallion, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • ~2 TB whole wheat flour
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

I threw the shredded zucchini and potato into a strainer and let it drain for awhile, then I wrung it out in a dishtowel until it was really dry. I put that into a bowl, added the scallion, flour, egg, salt and pepper, and mixed it all together. I heated some olive oil in a pan, scooped out about a third of the mixture and put it into the pan, flattening it with a spoon. When the pancake stuck together, I flipped it, and let it sit until both sides were pretty brown.

When I was finished, I had this:

Not so picturesque, but really delicious. I skipped the suggested sour cream/chive mixture (I didn’t have any chives or sour cream), but I did have Greek yogurt, which was really good with them.

I also had the rest of my kale salad on the side:

Yes, that is the German flag on my mug – it was given to me by a German family that I nannied for (in America) my senior year in high school – I ended up living with them for 2 months when I studied abroad in Germany my junior year in college.

I still feel really weird (funny how feeling sick doesn’t diminish my appetite at all, though…), so I’m going to finish up this Phillies game (thanks, mlb.tv!) and then go to bed. And hopefully get up for a run tomorrow…

September 5, 2009 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment


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