Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Moldy Muffins

So this morning I was excited to have some muffins for breakfast. Unfortunately, this is what I found...Of course I had not left enough time to actually make breakfast, so I grabbed the only other alternative I could slap together in 30 seconds in order to make it to work on time- a sesame bagel with Tofutti Cream Cheese. It was yummy but had way more calories than my usual breakfast and was also, just not that satisfying. Without my warm oats and peanut butter my tummy was growling by 9:30am. Not all calories are created equal I suppose...

My day at work was especially long and exhausting, but I did survive and made it home in time for some veggie quesadillas. I filled them with lentils, greens, banana peppers & Daiya cheddar : )

I tried I new treat for dessert. If you like coconut you will LOVE these. So good, they almost made up for my tainted muffins...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Let's let the numbers tell the story...

517 The time my alarm clock went off this morning

607 The time I actually got out of bed (sorry for the 9x snooze button Patrick)

0 The number of times I showered this morning : \

120 The number of seconds I cooked my pumpkin pie oats in the microwave this morning

Pumpkin Pie Oats:
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

19 The number of minutes it took me to get to work in the pouring rain

2 The number of times I screamed through the car window at people who blocked my lane near the Holland Tunnel- grrrr

4 The number of times I let out an audible "mmmm" while eating my tofurkey, tempeh wrap for lunch today

1 The number of times I told someone NOT to stick his tongue in the fan today

800,000 The number of words our top 7th grade reader has read this year so far : )

17 The number of minutes it took me to prepare this fried rice and grilled daikon dinner

6 The number of times I nearly chewed my arm off while waiting for it to cook

11 My current stress level on a scale of 1-10 -please excuse the meager post...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun Food : )

Do you remember how fun food was when you were young? If you were lucky like me, after school snacks and lunch boxes were like a present waiting to be opened. I never knew what my mom had written on my napkin or stashed away in the sidepocket for dessert (usually Hershey Kisses). Afterschool, there was always some kind of creative snack waiting for me on the kitchen table.

I think, so often as adults we go about our busy days and forget that snacktime and mealtime are supposed to be fun! They are supposed to be a welcome break from the stress of the day. So go ahead, draw a maple syrup smiley face on your pancakes or swirl your ice cream around in the bowl until you have made chocolate soup... the kid in you will appreciate it : )

Today was a particularly fun day for food:
Whole grain waffles topped with Better'n PB and warm cinnamon apple slices
Hey- what isn't FUN about PEANUT BUTTER??

Midmorning snack = Celery Boats (celery stalks with peanut butter and golden raisins)
I just realized I ate peanut butter twice before 11am. Oops!

For lunch, I enjoyed an old favorite from long ago- a turkey sandwich. Sorry no pic of the actual sandwich. Busy day!
Although this time around it was the vegan version of my childhood favorite, it was equally delicious and reminded me of eating out of my lunchbox back in a middle school cafeteria (oh wait, I WAS eating out of a lunchbox in a middle school cafeteria). Oh life...

Leftover Morrocan Bean Stew, Brussel Sprout Slaw and Plantain Chips
Morrocan Bean Stew:
1 can Amy's Indian Spiced Lentil Soup
1 can chickpeas
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 onion (finely sliced)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. In a large pot, saute the onions in the olive oil. After they get tender and begin to brown a little, add garlic. Lower heat.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes.

Dinner was delicious and definitely fun to eat. I dipped the plantain chips in both of the other dishes for some finger-food action ; )
Now if you'll excuse me I am off to eat the ultimate fun food- Chocolate Peanut Butter Purely Decadent Vegan ICE CREAM!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Game Time!

So I have to admit, I have never been a football fan. For that matter, I have never been much of a sports fan in general. When I was little, my life was filled with ballet shoes and tutus. You couldn’t have gotten me within two feet of a T-ball or soccer field even if you dragged me by my glitter covered princess tiara (Yes I did wear one of these for a recital once in addition to countless other overpriced costume pieces- thanks mom)

Despite this fact, I have somehow always been involved with sports in some way. My dad loved baseball, basketball & football so my weekend afternoons were very often spent on the couch enjoying some Indian “Hot Mix”(the snack of choice) and a Celtics/Red Sox/Patriots game. As I got older, and began dating, I developed a new appreciation for sports (or perhaps more accurately, the athletes that played them- sorry Patrick). Back then, you could often find me at a Friday night football game. I couldn’t tell you what the score was but I did know that those boys looked very good in their football pants...

When I met Pat, I spent even more time at sporting events. Although I began to be able to follow the games a little better, I was still much more concerned with the cute pitcher I was dating then what inning it was or how many outs there were ; )

Now, I still love game days. I never actually watch the game mind you, but I love making fun, yummy, finger food and curling up on the couch to enjoy some down time. So when Patrick told me that the Giants were playing at 1 today, I got cooking. So what if I read a magazine during 3 out of 4 quarters and didn’t even know who they were playing- I cooked up some great chili nachos and pablano poppers ; )

Apparently it was not a good game for the Giants...

Corn chips with veggie chili and daiya/rice cheese

Friday, September 24, 2010


So one of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to maintain a sense of balance in my life and prioritize healthy living. I have a job that sometimes becomes more of an all consuming obsession than a job, but I know it is important to make time for hobbies and health : )

That being said, I have to mention something work related...

Today, we did not have students in school because we had a Professional Development Day scheduled. After a few sessions with all the teachers in the network, we watched excitedly as Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) announced on the Oprah show that he would be awarding Newark, New Jersey's school system with $100,000,000 dollars to support education reform efforts. I am so excited that national attention has been focused on improving education for the children of Newark and so many other children who are currently being CHEATED by a failing system.

Please read more about this and go see Waiting for Superman when it comes out. There is FINALLY an education revolution beginning in our country...

In the spirit of maintaining balance, here are some pictures of the food I ate today (no more work talk).

Strawberry-Banana-Mango Smoothie

Tomatillos from my CSA delivery (played a starring role in my lunch)

Aren't they pretty??

Banana Peppers (also a key part of my lunchtime salad)

Salad with beets, apples, tomatillos, banana peppers, kale, daikon radish, purple carrots and curried cashews
The beets made everything look kind of gross but it was really yummy : )

I met Allison for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. The pizza and the conversation were the perfect way to start the weekend...

Allison and her buffalo chicken pizza


My Vegetarian Japanese Eggplant Pizza sans cheese
Tomorrow we are taking our students on a field trip so I will be waking up bright and early (I would give you some details but I promised no more work talk). Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soul Food

I am going to head to bed early tonight. After our Soul Food dinner last night (pictures below) I stayed up much later than my usual bedtime. As a result, I felt kind of run down and sleepy all day. But let me tell you... the food last night was well worth it. I ate the leftovers for dinner tonight ; )
I was down to the last few bites of my almond butter this morning which was sad but an almost finished nut butter = BREAKFAST IN A JAR! I am sure I have raved about this before but eating cereal or oatmeal from a near empty almond/peanut butter jar is amazing. You get some of the flavor in every bite. Yummm.

Lunch was some Sweet Beet Salad and some leftover vegan pizza. I ate it while walking around the cafeteria on lunch duty : \

Can you truly engage in "mindful eating" when you are busy telling middle schoolers "not to pour milk and skittles into their ziti and dare someone else to eat it?" I think not...

Though these dinner pictures are from last night, I didn't get a chance to share them with you then. Plus, tonight was only leftovers of this same meal anyway.
Pat's plate = corn bread, spinach, whipped sweet potatoes, pumpkin risotto and buttermilk fried chicken

Vegan soul food = pumpkin risotto and greens : )

Just as good the second time around ; )

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beet It!

Today I left work early for a doctor's appointment- I had to have some tests done. Though everything turned out COMPLETELY fine (no worries)... I had a nervous stomach all day in anticipation so I didn't eat anything worth posting.

Do you eat when you're nervous? If so, what?? I usually want baked goods or something else equally sweet and carb filled. If that is not available, I can't stomach much else when I have the butterflies. I think baked good are only an exception because I could propbably manage to choke those down no matter what. Stomach flu? Carrot cake? No problem!

Anyway, once I found out everything was ok, I was in a cooking mood and my tummy began to rumble again. When I got home I decided to try something with the beets from my CSA delivery.

Afternoon Snack= Sweet Beet Salad

4-5 beets
2 green apples
olive oil

1. Cut roots from beets and clean thoroughly. Do not peel. Cut into quarters.
2. Toss beets in olive oil and cook for 35 minutes at 350.
3. Chop apples. Toss apples with dijon mustard.
4. Chop cooked beets and add to apples. Mix together.

I love the way the beets make everything turn pink- including my hands after preparing this : \

The result was an amazing blend of sweet and tart flavors. I already have a 2nd helping packed for lunch tomorrow!

To celebrate my successful appointment, Pat and I are ordering from a new restaurant that takes a modern approach to Soul Food. They also have some vegan and vegetarian options. Soul food for Beanz?? Soooo excited.
I am getting the pumpkin risotto with collard greens and spinach. Pat ordered fried chicken and whipped sweet potatoes. I can hardly wait! I have a feeling I will be in a mild food coma after this meal so I thought I'd post now. Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow!
If you haven't taken a moment to celebrate your health today make sure you do- a special treat may even be in order- you're worth it : )

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apples & Acorns

Maybe it was the brisk hike we took this weekend. Maybe it was the fact that I had to wear a sweater at work today and clutch my herbal tea cup all morning. Or maybe it was the fact that it is starting to be dark even when I get out of work early (grrrr- not happy about that one). Whatever it is, I am beginning to feel Fall in my bones : )

My body is definitely ready for the colder weather. I can tell because I have reeeeally been craving my favorite Fall foods lately.
This morning I started with an especially Fall-ish bowl of oatmeal.

Apple Cider Oats:

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 chopped apple

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon almond butter

Cook all ingredients (except almond butter) in microwave or on the stovetop according to oat package directions. Top with almond butter!

During lunch today I had girl's group again and I got so caught up in conversation that I forgot to snap a picture. It was just leftover Corn Soup anyway. Boring but so yummy and hearty!

For dinner I had my eye on another Fall favorite that I recieved in my CSA delivery. ACORN SQUASH! My Aunt Barbara used to cook these for my family all the time and so the flavor brings to mind cozy home cooked dinners. Do you have any foods that bring to mind comforting memories of home??

The uncooked squash

Squash filling

Added greens

The squash "bowl"

Filled with vegetable soup and topped with crumbled corn bread

Loving the colors!
My other favorite Fall flavor is PUMPKIN so stay tuned for some pumpkin-y dishes!