Slow cooking and getting settled

You know what? It’s been a while since I did a standard “here’s what’s going on in my life and what I’m stuffing in my face” kind of post.

Things have been crazy lately. I moved 3 weeks ago – which…in Boston…should be declared a holiday because everyone and their mom (…and dad…and siblings, friends, acquaintances…and occasionally complete strangers… willing to schlep a couch up narrow, rickety stairwells for a case or two of beer) moves on September 1…and if you’re one of the few with off-cycle lease agreements, I envy you soo, soo much. Teach me your ways.

Anyway, the day is filled with joyous things like parking bans, families getting on each other’s nerves, thousands of inexperienced UHaul drivers, at least one box truck getting stuck under a bridge on Storrow Drive…oh, and “Allston Christmas” (as it’s been dubbed). Can’t forget “Allston Christmas.”  Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 8.31.00 AM

I’m still getting settled – working full time makes it a little difficult to just get settled immediately. I’m still working on getting a dresser. My clothing situation is a little…disorganized….but you can be certain that after having a bed to sleep in…priorty numero uno was my (lil) kitchen. And yes, it’s the same little kitchen I baked and blogged out of more than 2 years ago!

At least the fridge is full!

At least the fridge is full!

After a couple months of relative chaos, it’s nice to start to feel more grounded and settled. Slowly getting back into the swing of things, and one of my to-do’s is get back in my kitchen more. I’ve eaten way too many microwavable or take-out meals since August…and I can feel it.

Last week, I saw a Moroccan-style slow-cooker recipe from Jenna @ Eat, Live, Run – and I knew it would be my project during the weekend. I was supposed to go to this yoga thing in the North End…but that got derailed when I pulled something in my shoulder and basically spent Saturday crying on the floor. Dramatics aside, it actually was pretty bad. Moving and breathing were not exactly easy. So when staying in and cooking became my only option…I slowly got myself (read: hobbled) to the grocery store for some missing ingredients and got to slow-cooking.

This is a really simply stew – chock full of veggies, lentils, chickpeas and great warm spices — a perfect fall dish. Plus, I’m a fan of anything I can slow-cook.

I’ll be honest; Jenna has this go on low for like 9 hours. While, I basically followed that timeline (I mean it is slow cooking after all), if you’re not headed to work or bed and or would just rather eat sooner rather than later – I don’t see the harm in cranking it to high and shortening the cook time. It is veggies after all so you won’t be annihilating any protein and ending up with hockey pucks floating in stock.

I mean, just look at all that veggie goodness — butternuts squash, zucchini, yellow and red peppers, onions, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas…it’s just a powerhouse dish. Plus, since I live solo – I love making anything that I can make a ton of and re-heat easily, aaaand stews have the added bonus of just getting better as they sit!

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I’ve been digging into this for a better part of a week now. I’ll definitely make again…maybe incorporated different, seasonal ingredients as fall pushes on.

What’s your go-to dish once the temps dip a little bit?

 

Clumsy's my middle name…

Hmm, back to back posting. 🙂 Today’s been an interesting one. haha I’ve been trying to eat better, but with so many left overs it’s hard. However, I’m doing okay with what we have.

This morning, I started out the day with some Fiber One cereal and a coffee. This particular type of Fiber One is not my fave, but it was pretty much the most nutritious breakfast option…so I went with it. 🙂

My family left around 11am, and I got some work done because there’s just so much to do before the end of the semester which is — only TWO weeks away. Ahh.

For lunch — I honestly don’t even remember what I had. I haven’t been very good about that lately. I know I ate….OH. Stuffing with peas and zucchini. No pictures though, sorry peeps! I think I’ve have more carbs this week than I have in a long, long time. Well, at least like bread and stuff like that.

I’ve just been kind of lazy all day though. I was up early with the dog every day this week so I didn’t really get to sleep in. I think it hit me today — I think it hit the dog, too, considering she is fast asleep at my feet right now. I made myself an early dinner in the hope of getting some nourishment in my system, and making me feel more up and at ’em. Dinner took on a life of it’s own though…haha

Okay, so this is the lovely dinner I put together… a thick slice of spiral baked ham, leftover squash and a little bit of stuffing.

I also poured myself a glass of Canada Dry Cranberry Gingerale. Obviously..I’m obsessed. haha

Alright…so there I am…super psyched about my meal….but this plate had other plans for me…

As I walked into the next room with my plate…CRASH. Yep…I tripped and dropped my glorious plate of food ALL over the floor. The plate didn’t break…but that was because it was on the carpet. Oyyy. It was like watching slow motion as the plate first wobbled…and then BOOM. Ham –  squash – stuffing… everywhere! Oy. I scooped up what I could but thankfully my dog is my own personal garbage disposal, and by the time I got back to clean up the rest she had polished everything off. haha

Anyway, so after a moment of…”Oh my God, I’m such a klutz!!! What the…” I hopped back into the kitchen and made myself another plate…sans stuffing because I’d used the last of it on the plate that made its way to the floor…

Instead I had two thin slices of ham and a heaping helping of squash. 🙂 I guess it’s for the best. Stuffing schmuffing…okay, I do love stuffing so I am a little sad. haha

Even without the stuffing it was a delicious meal…which ended with a few Andes chocolate mints. I love these little suckers.

I’m enjoying a few moments under the covers…so toasty! And then it’s time for me to get stuff donnne! Tomorrow, I’m going out to lunch with my brother and my dad (maybe his wife, too…I don’t know) for a little early birthday celebration for me…oy. I don’t want to turn 24!!

Alright, I’m off! G’night everyone!

Peace, Love & Munchies.

Turkey Day!

Hello, hello! It’s been a while — eep! I don’t even remember what day I posted last on? Was it on Wednesday? Well…I hope. 🙂 I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving this past Thursday had a wonderful day filled with family, friends and good eats!!

I had a wonderful holiday. We had company here (hence my lack of updating). It was hectic but in the best possible way. My aunt, my uncle, and my cousin and their dog, Dolce, came down on Wednesday night. It was a grand experiment of exposing our dog to their dog for the first time. Though it was tense at first they eventually coexisted peacefully. They weren’t BFFs or anything…but there was no bloodshed, and that’s all one can ask for on the holidays, right? haha

An example of them coexisting peacefully:

(My pup, you’ve seen pics of before, is the lab and their dog is a little rat terrier)

On Thursday, my other cousin arrived with her boyfriend, and we enjoyed lots of good eats, lots of football, Home Alone and the James Bond marathon on Syfy. haha We enjoyed turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, creamed onions, squash, cranberry sauce, zucchini “casserole” and cornbread for dinner. Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of everything. In the excitement I misplaced my camera for a while, and by the time I found it the bird had been carved and the food have been ravaged. haha I was able to get some pictures of our little appetizers before hand (spinach squares! Mom’s recipe, yum!!) and dessert! haha

These are my mom’s spinach squares. They are delicious (warm and at room temp!) and they always go fast!

Here’s my aunt’s squash! I believe this is the only picture of our main meal. haha

I  also had some of my favorite cranberry gingerale.

We ate our main meal early in the day so we got in a good bit of rest before digging into dessert. 🙂 Obviously, my favorite part of Thanksgiving…hahaha

My mom’s chocolate chess pie. It is sooo rich, but so good!

My aunt made a “pumpkin crisp.”

And of course, we had sugar cookies with lemon frosting. They weren’t cut into turkeys this year *much easier* haha…but they, of course, were just as delicious!

The weather has been pretty crummy, so much of this weekend was spent inside. However, it was wonderful getting to spend so much time with my family. Right now, it is ridiculous windy! My dog is currently mourning the departure of my uncle who is is absolutely enamored with. She’s sulking in the chair that he sat in the most. haha She’ll be back to herself in no time though.

I’ll leave you with another adorable pictures of the doggy cousins (that’s my brother between them haha).

I hope everyone, who celebrated, had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that everyone else had a fabulous week!! I can’t believe it’s Saturday already… this week has gone by too quickly!!

Back to healthy eats!! haha

Peace, Love & Munchies.

RRRoastin'

Today was a pretty good day overall. I’m happy that it’s over though. I don’t have have my normal class tomorrow sooo it’s officially the weekend for me! Woo! Unfortunately, that means I have about 1,001 things to do …cuz you know, professors are so good at spacing out all of the stuff you have due.

Today I watched the movie “Un Secret” for my French class…boy, was it..well, not depressing…but thought provoking. I kind of wish I owned it so that I could watch it again. There’s something odd about sitting in a computer lab, with headphones on, surrounded by strangers and watching a movie. haha

Anyway, onto the food! That’s the important part, right? haha Well, I went to Whole Foods around noon to find myself a bite to eat. NEVER again will I go to this particular store at noon. It’s was ridiiiculously busy (its location makes it an easy lunch spot).  It was like people had never seen food before. Plus, buffet etiquette was lacking so I passed on the whole “food bar” aspect.

I ended up getting a small portion of a run of the mill avocado roll. It was yummy. Nothing too exciting. It was just enough food though, and satisfied my hunger. I got a Green Machine from our little “lounge café” on campus – I had most of it but unfortunately forgot it in my last class…boo.

*Note: I did not take these beautiful sushi photos — but they look like my lunch today — substituting the white sushi rice, for brown rice.

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Photo property of: starrymom

Oh, while I’m thinking of it…I tried  Trader Joe’s version of the Green Machine (“Trader Joe’s Very Green Juice Blend), and it was verrrrry close in taste. More than taste, it was just a touch more acidic than the Naked Juice version, but still very, very good.

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Back on track now, I came home and immediate turned on the oven. Got out a zucchini, some cabbage, some olive oil, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flake and roasted the veggies. YUM!

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I also broke out my trusty rice maker and made a tonnn of brown rice (6 cups cooked). I season it with some Mrs. Dash Seasoning – Southwest Chipotle. I love this thing. Best appliance I have in my apartment – fo sho.

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I’ll probably have a little rice, later, when it’s done. For now, veggies and maybe some applesauce later. haha Oooh the possibilities!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday!

180!

Well, well. It’s the end of Wednesday isn’t it? Already? Whoo! haha I cannot believe what a 180 I did since yesterday…in terms of how I feel. It just served as an example to me as to just how important water is to our bodies — I mean I never really sit down and think about it, and sure I definitely drink enough of it. But…boy oh boy…major dehydration is NO GOOD!

Today I was so productive — yesterday, I was just going through the motions. I did some grocery shoppin’! I love me some Trader Joe’s. Of course, it was also a gorgeous fall day. One thing I’ve come to realize is that…yes, New England weather is as temperamental as it can get…but ya know what? The really crappy days make you reallllly appreciate the beautiful ones.

Case and point:

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Anyway, I walked away from Trader Joe’s with tonnnns of stuff (for under $50 bucks…close..but still under!!)

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Look at that — nothin over $4! 🙂

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I’m so excited to try the Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix and the Pumpkin Butter. I saw Jenna bought some from TJ’s and it just looked so delicious that I had to buy it! Also, I’m really excited to try our their version of the “Green Machines” (Very Green Juice Blend) I’ve come to love. I was disappointed that they didn’t have it in the big size (though they had one in mango…so I got that one, too)…but the small one’s were easily half of the price of the others…so I scooped up a couple.

Breakfast…got myself a coffee. 🙂 And had some pomegranate greek yogurt plus sunflower seeds. And then some popcorn and tea, which kind of held me through lunch.

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I had class til about 7…so I came home and heated up some leftovers from last night — but added some extra soy sauce, some sesame seed oil and a few sunflower seeds (for crunch, obv). And I had some grapes with it. Random, I know.

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I’ve got some work to do — and some organizing and cleaning to do as well….so I’m off! I hope everyone had a wonderful dayy!!

A dry day in my apartment

Hello, hello! I have been sucking down water like crazy today because the heat in my apartment has been making the air so unbelievably dry. I woke up from my nap (haha yes, I napped) and literally felt like I’d been hit by a truck. It felt like I’d been on a weekend bender. Still does sort of.

I’ve got a temporary solution of opening the windows and I placed a damp towel over the enclosure that is over my radiator (it’s not actually touching my radiator..so no worries, not a fire hazard). Hopefully, the combination of the two will get a little bit of moisture into the air. In the mean time, I’ve been chugging water like woah.

I munched on strawberries and sunflower seeds through most of the morning and afternoon. I wanted to get some grocery shopping done today, but it was too wet. Tomorrow it is!

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I felt like switching up my usual rice concoction tonight…so I made “fried rice” — sort of. I got out my wok (it’s maiden voyage! haha), and proceeded to chop up some zucchini and some cabbage.

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They got tossed in my wok with a little olive oil spray, some red pepper flakes, some onion powder and some salt and pepper. Then I added the rice (woohoo for having so much rice precooked!!), and some soy sauce and red chili paste.

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I ended up adding some more soy sauce to my individual serving…just cuz I really like it. 🙂 (low sodium, though!) I’ll probably have more than one bowl, I’m starving.

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Now, I’m off to get some work done/relax, clean and then watch The Biggest Loser tonight! woohoo!

Hope everyone had a wonderful day!

Here we go again….

Ah, so here I am again. I have had…a plethora, I think that’s a good term to use…of blogs recently — each of them coming to a close for a various number of reasons. The one I liked most — which was also titled “Peace, Love & Munchies” — came to halt when I started school again, and everything became super overwhelming. I just felt like I couldn’t keep up with it.

Now, I realize…and wish…I’d kept up with it. I mean, it wasn’t even a month ago that I got rid of it, so it isn’t like I’m picking up the pieces after a year break or something, but … I realize how great of an outlet it was for me. Plus, not that I have been eating horribly — but I felt like I was eating so much better while blogging, and held myself accountable for the stuff that I ate more than I do now.

Plus, it’s dorky — but I like taking pictures of my food….it’s fun. :-p

Anyway, I hope anyone who used to read my stuff will find their way back…and maybe I’ll meet some new amazing peeps in the blogosphere. haha

Oh, tonight’s dinner, you ask?

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It’s what my mom calls “Green Eggs and (insert rice/pasta/etc)” — tonight, it is barley, and it is so good. It is essentially a casserole of barley, spinach, some egg as binder and some Parmesan cheese. She sent it to me and it included some sauteed onions, cabbage and zucchini (which is a lot yummier than it sounds). Nothin’ is quite as good as home cookin’…especially when it’s just a matter of reheating. 🙂

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Plus, I sipped on some Trader Joe’s Unsweeted Blueberry and Pomegranate Green Tea (seriously, sooo good).

Ahh, it feels good to be back!