Steamed Dinner

Ahhhhh…

That’s me breathing out a sign of relief.

I’m finally caught up (for the most part) with my summer school assignments and can relax a bit for a day or two 🙂

I spent the majority of yesterday working on a project and an assignment, which I completed a little earlier today.

It wasn’t all work though. I took a couple breaks in between.

During my mid-morning break, I went to buy a snack at my favorite bread shop downstairs. I needed to get my blood circulating in my legs 😉

After perusing a bit I decided on a sweet potato bread.

Doesn’t it actually look like a sweet potato from the side? I didn’t realize it until after I had snapped a photo of it.

The outside is soft bread, and inside is actually a sweet potato.

It’s definitely not the most attractive looking bread, but it’s a tasty one.

After I very slowly ate my snack it was back to work.

A while later I took my second break and had lunch. I ate the other item I had purchased during my mid-morning trip to La Creation de Gute.

Any guess what my lunch was?

How about now?

It’s a tuna sandwich! Well, I guess it doesn’t qualify as a true sandwich since it’s not between two slices of bread, but I don’t know what to call it. Tuna roll? eh..

Whatever it’s called, it was mighty tasty.

And I ate it all. After all, I am a member of the clean plates club 😉

I had some golden kiwi and watermelon on the side.

Anyone know if you can eat kiwi skin? I didn’t try it, but I feel like I should.

After lunch I finished up my assignment (finally!) and headed to they gym for 22 mins on the elliptical, 17 on the bike, 17 on the treadmill, and 10 mins of abs.

Then came my favorite part of my day today. A walk to the grocery store! 🙂

I have no food here and needed some veggies stat. Plus I really wanted to use the steamer in the kitchen here.

I’ve never used an actual steamer before and this thing is amazing! You can make anything in it from rice to de-crystalizing honey, or even make yogurt!

Since it was my first time using it, I kept it on the simpler side.

I decided on some chinese spinach, carrots, tofu, and half of a mini Japanese pumpkin.

During it’s 15 mins in the steamer, I showered off and had some salmon rolls as an appetizer.

Then, voilà! – Veggies were ready.

I think I may have overcooked the spinach slightly, but it was still good and not tough at all. Just a bit brown.

After I was about 2/3’s through, I realized I didn’t season any of the veggies before steaming them, but I don’t really think it needed anything. Fresh veggies are always best as is. The carrots gave the spinach a slightly sweet taste, and the pumpkin was delicious on its own.

I couldn’t read the label of the tofu to see whether it was firm or silken, since it was all in Chinese, so it was a surprise 🙂 I usually eat firm, but luckily I like all tofu because it ended up being silken. Delicious and smoooooth.

This has to be one of the easiest dinners I’ve ever made! Aside from my instant noodles last night…

But that doesn’t count 😉

Now I’m off to find something to satisfy my sweet tooth 😛

I’ll also be making something with these in a bit!

Any guesses what I’ll be doing with them?

Have a terrific tuesday!

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Tex-Mex and Breakfast

Last night we went over the my aunts place for…

Tex-Mex night!

We brought over everything from avocados & guacamole to steak. All from Texas.

My job was to slice and peel the avocados.

And to make the salsa.

My uncle grilled the steaks on his charcoal grill.

While I snacked on some strawberries and melon (minus the prosciutto).

I’m not a melon fan, but this melon was different tasting. It was a lot crunchier than our standard melons and super juicy and sweet.  I didn’t know what it was at first because its an oval watermelon shape instead of the circular round melons I’m used to.

I heated up our flour, white corn, and yellow corn tortillas and we were ready to eat.

After dinner we had watermelon and black sesame dessert soup and I watched the movie ‘UP’ with my 3 year old cousin. Then 12:30am rolled around and I headed home to bed.

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This morning started off with a typical HK breakfast spread.

Soy Sauce Noodles

It comes in a baggie.

Congee

Which is a rice porraige that usually comes with your choice of some type of meat, fish, or seafood. My mom used to make this a lot when I was sick. It’s steaming hot and kind of like soup, but with rice.

Deep Fried Dough Sticks

These fried sticks are crispy on the outside and hollow on the inside. The one in the back is actually a little different. It’s a bit sweeter and kind of taste like a combination of a donut and bread. But it’s not dense. They’re typically eaten with the congee.

I guess I would say it’s like the chinese version of soup and bread.

Rice noodle rolls (on the right) and Fried dough sticks wrapped in the rice noodle rolls (on the left)

These are typically eaten with sweet soy sauce and/or a peanut sauce.

This was my pre-workout breakfast spread:

Rice noodle rolls, noodles, a slice of cinnamon raisin bread, and some green tea.

I think I may need to add some more color into my meals. I’ll try at lunch 🙂

Now I’m of to get in a quick workout!


Oat-session

So glad it’s finally saturday night!

That means two midterms done and just one project to go!

Then the cycle starts all over again in a couple weeks.  But until then, I’m gonna enjoy it.

Just like I enjoyed my dinner tonight.

Strawberry-banana oats – topped with some almond milk.

Right around dinner time I was conveniently overcome by a need to eat oats.

I know I have an obsession (oat-session?) when I crave hot oats for dinner even when I’m a sweaty mess and it’s 100 degrees outside.

I also know I have an obsession with oats when my mom buys me a pot just for cooking oats.

Yeah, you read that right.  I have a saucepan just for cooking single servings of oats.  Is that weird? 

Another obsession lately?

Yogurt bowls.

I go through cycles where I eat particular foods for weeks and then all of a sudden stop eating them for a while because I either found something new to eat or just kinda moved on.

I didn’t eat yogurt for a good while, but I guess the my yogurt cycle has come full circle and I’m back on board. [Anddd maybe I was a bit influenced (positively, of course ;)) by Amanda’s always delicious looking yogurt bowls]

Yesterday I had a strawberry-cashew yogurt bowl with cinnamon raisin toast and a side of operations management

And the day before I had yogurt topped with strawberries, papaya muffin, and shredded coconut.

I guess I need to continue the trend and eat a yogurt bowl tonight for dessert 🙂

But first, I think I’m going to make make a mess in the kitchen and do some baking or un-baking, since it may just be too hot to turn the oven on today.

Have a good night!



New Experiences

Last night I had the opportunity to experience my first Kaiseki dinner at Nanzan Giro Giro.

Course 1

Course 2

Course 3

Course 4

Course 5

(I skipped the beef and just ate the beet puree and arugula)

Course 6

Course 7

Course 8


And this morning I had my first open water scuba experience!

Like my booties?

Checking out the surf

Fins on

Going…

Going…

Gone.


Class of 2011

Congrats to all 2011 grads…high school OR college!  We’re talking about big accomplishments people!

Having graduated both high school and college, I’m not sure why it didn’t hit me until the past year or so that graduation is truly one of lifes biggest achievements.  I never really thought twice about it, but its something that you actually have to work hard at and for quite some time.  I mean…it takes 13+ years (if you count pre-k and kindergarten) to get your high school diploma! Talk about dedication.

Why are we talking about graduation might you ask?

Well, I spent last night and today celebrating my sisters high school graduation.

Last night we had dinner at Fogo de Chao, a churrascaria (brazilian steakhouse).  For a place that many call a meat eaters heaven, its surprisingly vegetarian friendly.  I don’t claim to be a vegetarian, as I’m not one to label my eating habits, but I do love veg friendly restaurants.

They whole place is all you can eat for once set price and you better believe I made more than one trip to their gourmet salad bar.  I would’ve taken a pic, but I’m not one who feels all that comfortable whipping out my camera to photograph a salad bar that sits directly in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by a whole slew of diners.  This link shows a picture almost identical to the one I ate from last night.

But who really cares to photograph a salad bar when you’ve go this.

This, my friends, is seriously one of the best breads ever.

Pão de Queijo.  Which is a popular cheese bread found in Brazil and neighboring countries. It’s not like any ordinary bread. Nope. It has a chewy texture, but surprisingly not from the cheese. Traditionally I believe it’s made with cassava starch, but here in the states I’m guessing more along the lines of tapioca flour.

I can eat this bread like there’s no tomorrow.

We rounded out the meal with my favorite course…dessert.

Tiramisu from WF’s to be exact.

If you’ve never tried this cake, get off your computer and run over to the store.  And I mean run in the literal form because it’ll take some heart pumping activity to burn it off.  But it’s so worth it.

After stuffing myself silly last night, we started the morning early with the commencement ceremony downtown.

When you have over 1,000 kids graduating, you might find yourself glazing over and cursing yourself for not bringing something along to do.  I could’ve knock out one of my class assignments in the time it took to call out everyones names. Actually I’d probably be thru and still have time to sit through the X, Y’s, and Z’s.


The commencement finally wrapped up and lots of pictures ensued before we headed over to lunch at Grill 19 were lots of good food was consumed.  Grill 19 is actually a part of a golf club, Coyote Ridge to be exact, and this place has the most amazing eats.  It could most definitely stand alone as just a restaurant.


So what else have I been doing other than eating?

I registered for scuba lessons today! I’ve never been before and I wanted to get certified for a special trip I’m going to be taking in July, which I absolutely cannot wait for.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Now for some strawberry bread-lovin. I recommend refrigeration or freezing of the bread if not entirely consumed in 30 hours or so. Apparently strawberries do not appreciate the TX summer heat and decided to head south. I went to take a bite this evening and it had gone sour. sad face. On the bright side I can make another one soon and attempt to put some of your great suggestions to action!

By the way, I realized I completely forgot to post directions for the baking of the bread!  I went back and re-added it.  I think some sleep is necessary to get my thoughts back on track.

Night oaties 🙂

What are your thoughts on graduation?

Have you ever been scuba diving?  


My First WIAW

As I mentioned earlier today, I’ve decided to partake in the WIAW fun 🙂

This morning started out with a date in between my PiYo and Cardio Strength classes.  No, not THAT kind of date…this kinda date

Dates are my energy booster and they never fail me.  Especially when they’re stuffed with some sort of nut butter.

After gym-time I went home for my real breakfast…

The usual…except this time it was ALL oatbran – 1/3 cup to be exact.  Topped off with almond butter & jelly and a sprinkle of summers finest…Raspberries.  I’ve been in a raspberry kinda mood lately.

I felt today was a special day being my first WIAW so I finished up breakfast with some cafe con leche unsweetened almond milk with 1 drop of liquid vanilla stevia.

I kept it more along the lines of a half-caf as you may remember what happens to me when I drink fully caffeinated coffee.

Much procrastination and some school stuff later, I made lunch.  Today’s star…Tofu!

Just a quick sear of the firm tofu on both sides in a dry skillet and I was ready to plate up.  On the right we have the more savory sandwich…ezeikel tortilla spread with cedars all natural sundried tomato & basil hommus topped with tofu and avocado.  On the left we have the sweeter sandwich…ezeikel toast spread with almond butter, tofu, and crofter’s strawberry jelly (a la Jess – minus the bbq sauce).  Both were delicious and I couldn’t decide which I liked more.

***I love this particular hummus because it’s tasty, oil free, and lower in calories.

I knoww…calories schmalories.  But i figured if there’s a lower fat content than I can have more of it 😛 ***

***Oh, and this was my first time trying Crofters jams and I’ve decided that when it comes to ‘just fruit spreads’ I prefer St. Dalfour***

To complement my jekyll & hyde sweet & savory sandwiches, I had some sweet sweet bell peppers with some more hummus.

And a mini handful of green tea pumpkin seeds.

Some time before dinner some quantities, quite large as a matter of fact, of rainier cherries and watermelon were consumed.

Am I the only strange-ling who prefers the watermelon closest to the rind?…I love sweets and all, but for some reason when it comes to watermelon, I prefer the less sweet parts by the rind.

Finally, it’s dinner time!

Grilled corn, grilled pumpkin, steamed-in-parchment-paper-on-the-grill black cod, cauliflower, and some unpictured brown rice.

I apologize for the unattractive photo.  I was kinda hungry and in a hurry to eat…

Dessert was some more close-to-the-rind watermelon, some homemade kale chips, and a block of of dark chocolate.

Lindt 90%…One of my absolute faves!  My other fave is Godiva 85%.

There!…My first official WIAW  🙂

I feel like my days, especially during the warmer months, are heavily laced with fruits.  What do you feel like you usually eat the most of everyday?  Or is your diet generally more balanced?


Lentil Chili and Love Handles

Don’t you just love those meals that make planned leftovers that are even better the next day?  My go to Lentil Chili, which I found on the Whole Foods recipe page, is exactly that.  It reheats nicely and the flavors are even more developed the next night or even 2 nights later.   Recipe easily doubled.

Lentil Chili (adapted from Whole Foods Recipes)

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, chopped (i prefer green, but red, yellow, or orange work just as well)
  • 3  garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free chili powder
  • 1/2 (16-ounce) package green lentils (about 1 1/8 cups lentils)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
Toppings:
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
  • non-fat greek yogurt
Bring 1/3 cup broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook about 5-8 minutes or until onion is translucent and pepper is tender. Stir in chili powder and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lentils, tomatoes and remaining 3 2/3 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and add a dollop of greek yogurt on top, then serve.

Chop onions, green pepper, and garlic

Cook green peppers, onions, and garlic in 1/3 cup broth until tender and translucent
add chili powder and stir constantly for 1 min
Add diced tomatoes, lentils, and remaining vegetable broth; bring to boil
Bring to a medium-low simmer and cook partly covered for 30 mins
Uncover, cook another 10 mins and Voilà, dinner is served.

Served up with a dollop of greek yogurt and side of steamed broccoli

I just love how simple this recipe is.  It’s fat free, but with the amount of flavor and how quickly it fills you up, you would never know.

Now on to the love handles!  I’m currently multi-tasking by blogging and working on my school work at the same time, but I just took a mini-break and did a 7 min love handle workout by the Tone It Up girls.

It only took 7 mins, but I have so much more energy now and just instantly felt better and more motivated.  I’ve been loving all the workouts Tone It Up has been posting, especially to get us ready for bikini season!  They’re simple and relatively quick, yet super effective to the point where you can feel the burnnn.  Plus, they have great recipes!

Time to get back to my paper, then its off to bed.  I’m already thinking about breakfast tomorrow…I’m feelin either protein pancakes or a smoothie.  Depends on how many times I hit snooze in the morning 😉  Night!