Monthly Archives: June 2010

Date Night

I have a date tonight, a dinner date in the middle of the week.  That’s exciting stuff in my world.  We’re meeting at Baja Sonora after work to chat about our days and fill up on delicious mexican food.  One of the things I love most about Baja Sonora is their chips and salsa.  The salsa bar gives you a selection from mild to hot and the chips are fresh whole corn tortillas fried up crispy so they snap when you press one down on your napkin.  This is the only really true way to eat these chips!  Baja was voted as having the best taco in Long Beach by the PT readers, and although I’ve never tried them D. swears by them so I’ll take his word.  N. will have his usual cheese quesadilla, which he is always excited to get.  I’m planning on getting a veggie bowl which is grilled veggies, always fresh served atop black beans and green rice.  Topped with some extra spicy salsa and it’s a meal that satisfies scrumptiously.  Good food, good conversation, a perfect break during a hectic and super long week!

Always load up a basket full of chips…but don’t be a pig, only take what you’ll eat.  I eat what I take so I won’t have to feel guilty.

Pick your poison AKA salsa

The way to eat a Baja Sonora chip…Select your chip and place it on a napkin…if the chip is curved place it in a convex position

Put your palm flat on the chip…yes it’s a bit greasy but that way the salt will stick to it.  That’s why they have napkins.  Press down until it cracks like a peeping tom’s blinds.

A bowl full o’ goodness

Baja Sonora on Urbanspoon

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A Good Food Day

Today was just an all around good day.  I got a lot accomplished at work, and these days if I plow through all my emails that equals getting something done.  However today I actually made headway on a couple of projects that have been floundering.  I started Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, which I’ve started before and never completely followed through on it.  This time I don’t know if I’ll complete the 30 consecutive days because I’ll be out-of-town for a long weekend later in July, and while I know I could bring the DVD along I probably won’t.  Just being honest here.  Plus between my marathon training schedule, work, and home projects it’s just one more thing to squeeze in.  But it was good fun today and we’ll see how it goes…my new motto…”No Pressure”.  I ate fairly low on the food chain all day which makes for a lot of energy and positive attitude I think.  A Banana Bread Lara Bar pre-workout.  A bowl of homemade Greek yogurt topped with homemade granola, Crofter’s Cherry and Chocolate Dream peanut butter for breakfast.  Hummus, Pita (both homemade leftovers), and a mango for lunch.  And for dinner a nice little stir fry with broccoli rabe, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, white beans for a bit of protein and a sprinkle of cheddar Daiya for fun.  I enjoyed dinner outdoors accompanied by a mocktail of a Hibiscus and Orange Ooba (fell in love with this stuff in NYC).  A good day with good food…Cheers!

Breakfast – – Greek style in another cool bowl from Uncommon Goods.  This one is called The Bowl that Ran Away with the Spoon.

Lunchtime mango…super sweet and juicy

Heirloom tomatoes and broccoli rabe

Dinner in the sun (yes, that is the Kindle in the background)

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Tempeh Tempeh

Lunch today had to be a sandwich because 1) I had leftover pita bread, and 2) I needed something quick to make, and 3) I felt like it.  I had some Daiya cheddar that needed to be used and a hunk of tempeh hanging around so…I steamed the tempeh for 15 minutes to get rid of any bitterness, then slapped it down on my split down the middle pita that had been smeared generously with Crofter’s Morello Cherry Spread (the stuff is so good!).  What??? Where does the Daiya come into play (here you thought I was just going to have a grilled cheese, oh my, no!), I sprinkled the whole thing with Daiya and then pressed it all into melting wonderment on the panini press.  Now the weird part…some of the cherry spread oozed out onto the press and when I popped it in my mouth as I am wont to do with stray food items (i.e. lye soap and cat food) it actually sizzled and popped in my mouth.  I can honestly say that is something that doesn’t happen to me every day.  And the beauty part, I didn’t burn my tongue, which with all the snapping and popping going on I thought I would have blisters galore. 

Pita and Crofter’s

A bit of tempeh and Daiya with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch

All grilled up and oozing onto the pinini press

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Bayou Festival

Our plan on this beautiful Sunday was to spend the day listening to Zydeco and Blues, wandering aimlessly, and chowing on some good Cajun food down at the Bayou Festival at Rainbow Lagoon.  Unfortunately other obligations interfered and we were only able to spend a brief hour there.  We got down there and thought we were so smart to avoid the $10 parking fee by self parking…2 hours of self parking still cost us $6, but what the heck!  We arrived at 10:20 only to find out the gates didn’t open until 11:30, that’s what happens when you don’t read the details on the website.  So we spent one hour of our parking time waiting in line, our personal space encroached upon by a little troll who thought pressing up against us would get him in the gates that much faster.  Once inside we wandered a bit through the crafts section then headed towards the food carts that were lined up from one end of the park to the next.  I got a lemonade, which gave me a mouthful of sugar with the first sip through the straw, until I stirred it up, then it was delish…very sunny and right for the day.  D. got his plate of barbeque and made quick work of it; then we had to head on out.  The first band had only played three songs, but it was fun to watch everyone dancing (even the troll).  Next year we’ll plan better and spend the whole day enjoying all that there is to see, hear and taste.  As we were walking out D. noticed a food cart called Strictly Vegan that had bowls and wraps catering to the vegan.  Awesome, I hope they make a return visit next year!

This way to New Orleans

A chilly, refreshing glass of lemonade in a recyclable cup

Zydeco Stage

Blues Stage

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Vegan Pita

This is the story of a lemon and how it led to making pita bread today.  As I left my house for my 14-miler today I noticed a lemon had dropped off my neighbor’s tree.  Rather than leaving it on the sidewalk I plunked it down on my patio table and set off on my run (and I use that term loosely today, my knees were sore–need new shoes) with visions of that lemon dancing in my head.  The good thing about long runs is they give you a lot of time to think and ponder the worlds problems.  I’ve come up with some of my most creative ideas while plodding along by myself.  Usually I like to run without music, number one, because it’s less distraction when you’re running along busy streets, and number two, it leaves my mind uncluttered and free to let random thoughts float around like dandelion fluff.  Also when I listen to music I tend to sing out loud and that in itself can be quite embarrassing.  So the lemon kept popping into my thoughts…I thought of making some sunny lemon cookies or bars but quickly discarded that thought since I gained two pounds last week (dastardly weight fluctuations).  Then I started thinking about the fresh produce I just plucked from my garden and immediately envisioned some hummus with tahini and fresh lemon to dip it in.  From there I recalled the delicious vegan dolmas I used to get from WF and pondered why I didn’t get them anymore and how they would go perfectly with the hummus and veggies.  But then I thought I might need some crackers or something crunchy and bready to accompany this feast.  Again we go back to the weight gain thing and I know how if I have crackers or chips in the house I never stop with one serving–my intentions are good but my appestat is not!  From there my mind wandered to the delicious pita that A. used to make when she still lived at home; well now that’s a possibility–bread is not something I overeat (usually!).  The final thought was a lunch with pita, dolmas, hummus, fresh veggies.  So from lemon to pita bread in 14 miles or less!

After arriving home I had to have my recovery smoothie and since it was so thick I did the smoothie in the bowl thing (I think KERF is on to something here).  Then into the shower, start the laundry, and finally down to the business of finding a pita recipe.  I settled on this one from Vegan Schmeegan, easy and with only a few on-hand ingredients.  I mixed up the dough, left it to rise in my peacefully quiet house and drove on down to WF.  When I got back it was ready to be punched down (I always love that part), and made into little dough balls.  In between popping one in the oven while another came out, I made hummus in the Vita Mix using their recipe, I substituted tahini for the sesame seeds though.  Using canned beans sure makes it a snap to make this…I don’t know why I ever buy hummus.

So here’s how my day rolled:

Pre-Run Lara Bar (coconut cream pie…yum)

Post-run smoothie in a bowl…Amazing Meal pomegranate, with frozen cherries and mangos, and orange juice.  Topped with homemade granola and coconut butter.

Mixed up dough…just flour, sugar, yeast water and salt…couldn’t be easier.

Left alone this sucker doubled in size!

Little dough babies going down for a nap

Woken from their nap and smashed and flattened–Like Flat Stanley

Talk about puff daddy…this guy mega puffed.

Delicious Dolmas from the Vegetarian Factory

Lunch in the sunshine…whoops I forget my veggies.  Oh well there’s always tomorrow.

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A Garden History

My garden is growing like gangbusters.  Since this was just an experiment this year I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to harvest as much as I’ve been able to so far.  Starting off  on April 17th things looked like this…Plenty of room right??  Pay attention to the zucchini plant front and center and the tomato in the cage…

Check out this tomato plant now.  It towers over the cage I bought for it and it’s loaded with green tomatoes.  Can’t wait for them to ripen up.

I have 5 eggplants that are reaching maturity; one of them looks like he has a nose, kind of ala Jimmy Durante

This zucchini is going crazy…wouldn’t you know I got zucchini in my CSA shipment this week too.  Zucchini muffins anyone?

Three zukes plucked from this monster

And my lone little bell pepper…it’s totally overshadowed by the killer tomato

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Cooking with TV

I like watching the food network, even though most of their shows don’t cater to a vegan crowd I still like watching chefs in the kitchen and try to pick up some tips and tricks.  There’s other stations with good cooking shows to that tend to be a little healthier than the stuff Guy Fieri puts down in Diners Drive-Ins & Dives.  One of those is Naturally Delicious on VeriaAnn Gentry is the hostess with the mostess on the program so you know you can trust her stuff if you’ve ever eaten at Real Food Daily.  Which by the way I haven’t but everyone I’ve talked to raves about it.  She made a really different tofu scramble today…she added wheat gluten to the tofu which she said holds it together.  I found the other three recipes she made on the show today but the tofu recipe eluded me.  Check out the breakfast goodies she made…and coincidently enough one of them was a vegan granola that was even low-fat.  I’ll be trying it once I use up the batch I made.

Fruit Muffins – Ann used fresh peaches in hers, they looked wonderful

Granola – With no added oil

Carrot Beet Ginger Juice – Made with a juicer but I bet it could be made in a Vita Mix too.  You can see the tofu scramble in the background.

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