Tag Archives: quinoa

Going savage

7 Jun

Anytime I hear the term “Going savage” I think of The Heartbreak Kid

(source)

Terrifically, funny movie that is completely mindless. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it! Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman play newlyweds who go to Mexico for their honeymoon. Their first day at the beach they are getting situated in their spot to tan and have fun in surf when he asks her if she is going to put any sunscreen on. She replies “I’m going savage” to get a good tan. Whenever I take a stab at simplicity, I always say “I’m going savage”

And here I am, going savage.

How you ask?

I haven’t turned on my A/C yet. My lease is up June 30th and I am not going to turn it on before I move out. This winter my energy bill was through the roof ranging from $90 –$120 where it used to be around $40-$60 in my old apartment. And the past few months it’s been $20-$25, that is way more in line with my budget. So when I’m slaving over the stove, I’ve been cooling myself off with one of this nifty fans.

And it actually helps keep me  cool. Plus I’m building up strength in my wrist, now that’s what I call winning. It came in handy on Monday night where it seemed to be a scorcher out and it was only 6o’clock. This is not a good sign for the months to come.

I made peach bbq pork chops with quinoa and veggies.

I used a good hunk of Penzey’s Mural of Flavor seasoning to season chopped up zucchini, green pepper, onion and eggplant then spritzed with my Misto.

The level of excitement over this veggies was borderline psychotic. After eating out the past week and a half, I was giddy to be in my own kitchen cooking with fresh produce. I marinated the pork chop in Paula Deen’s Peach BBQ for 20 minutes then baked on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Mural of Flavor is my new favorite seasoning, maybe because it has most of my favorite blended in there such as onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander,  black pepper, chives among other spices.I wish I would have bought another jar of it.

In a typical day, the lights don’t come on until 8 or 9pm. I have so much natural light coming into my house, I don’t feel the need to turn them on. So with that, I get free light most of the day, I can dig that.

I’ve also gotten rid of my cable. This hurts even more than the A/C not being on. I am not moving out for another three weeks but I decided to make a clean break to save money and break my Real Housewives addiction.  Whomever thought of the Real Housewives franchise is an absolute genius but three at the same time? It has gotten out of control with three cities on simultaneously and kinda taking over my evening hours since I don’t have a DVR. Plus, they were influencing me.

*When I watched New York, I wanted to confront someone.

*When  I watched New Jersey, I wanted to confront someone and east pasta

*When I watched Orange County, I wanted to talk about someone behind their back (they aren’t too big on the confrontation) and get Botox.

So, that being said, it’s been quiet around here. I always kept the tv on for background noise. Even when I was gone, I would keep it on for Lincoln to keep him company. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing though since I’ve seen conflicting things about both. But it’s been a pleasant silence. I am eating more mindfully now, enjoying each bite instead of wolfing it down, waiting for the next one while watching a sitcom. I don’t  have a million commercials coming at me to influence my to buy stuff and I listen to music if I do want noise. Maybe this going savage thing isn’t too bad at all.

How do you go savage?

Can you smell the balls I’m cooking?

13 Apr

You all rock. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement on yesterday’s post. I cried when I read some since they were so sweet and I am very emotional as of late and I hate that some of you are going through the same thing or have but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there. Something funkalicious is in the air! Again, you all? Rock!

Mmmmm, the Rock. Tasty.

Today was a better day at work and it went by quickly. Mostly due to the fact I spent the morning moving desks. I have two more weeks at work and I had to move since some new chick is taking my spot next week, which really makes no sense. Oh well, that was a way for me to kill two hours without calling angry people. These people are just unpredictable. They either love me or hate! I had some guy go off on me today then the next call one guy asked me out for drinks. You know, if I am ever in Jersey and want to go out for martinis with a 60 something year old man. 

A good portion of my day was spent checking out this site—That Can Be My Next Tweet

I don’t even know what this means but I’m kinda addicted to the site!

I made a blogger recipe I’ve been eyeing for the past two months–Quinoa Pizza Balls! Such a perfect recipe to try in my attempt to go through my feedbag of quinoa and make something zesty! Anna posts the most interesting recipes that are veggie free however she is one of the blogs I have to read on a full stomach so I always have to time it right when I read her blog!

Plus, cmon, who doesn’t like saying “I cooked up a batch of balls tonight!?”

I didn’t have any fresh basil so I subbed some extra parsley and used red pepper flakes as well to get it some heat

I laid them over whole wheat thin spaghetti with sautéed mushrooms for a quick meal

The verdict? Ballerific! I love this as a substitute for heavy, fatty meatballs and they were better than I expected. I am not a huge kidney bean kind of girl but you really couldn’t take them and they took on the taste of the spices. Next time I will make these, I am going to make with basil as well since I think that would make the flavor pop a little more. If you want a meat free alternative, you need to make these. Thanks for sharing Anna!!

Maybe one of these I’ll finally make some cake balls.

But I think making cake balls would be the end of me.I go to Starbucks every day and the cake pops sit there and mock me.

I didn’t want to get off the couch tonight but peeled myself off the couch and went to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the Precor AMT along with leg press (240 lbs 13 reps x 3 sets) and leg extensions (80 lbs 13 reps x 3 sets). I’m happy I got off my butt for a quick workout and timed it just perfectly so I could catch some of the Real Housewives of New York and Orange County!

What are your favorite balls to make?

Watching tv while working out-yay or nay?

Distracted

12 Apr

So a little late for a weekend recap post but better late that never right? Yet another unexciting weekend and I am fine with that. Sometimes, I just want to do nothing social and get stuff done around the house.

  I think by the end of the weekend, Lincoln was ready for me to go back to work. Maybe because I  made him partake in a photo shoot?  Since he is a part Poodle, I figured he should sport a beret to show off his heritage!

Ok, I could see how he hates me doing stuff like this but it’s just too adorable to pass up. And this is what I do when I’m bored. I really do need to pick up a hobby.

Saturday night was spent in, which worked out perfectly since it was raining cats and dogs. When it’s raining, there is no way you can get me to go out, I am completely fine with staying in.

I had a dinner of leftover pizza along with a salad and some vino

Two glasses deep, I had the grand idea to make 3 Ingredient Muffins.

I used Spice Cake instead of the Devil’s Food Cake it calls for and used 1/4 bag of chocolate chips.

I love the Spice Cake addition and will use it again!

On Sunday I got alot of errands done in the morning then went to the gym and had a killer workout! I did 35 minutes on the Crossramp, doing weight loss interval with a resistance of 7, 10 minutes rowing then did an upper body workout including:

shoulder press (15 lbs 13 reps x3 sets)

bicep curls (15 lbs 13 reps x3 sets)

side bends (25 lbs 25 reps x 2 sets)

tricep extension (15 lbs 13 reps x3 sets)

concentration curls (15 lbs 13 reps x3 sets)

I felt great after this workout! I came home and replenished with a smoothie made with almond milk, ground flax-seed, fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries and Spiru-Tein Blueberries & Cream protein powder

Holy yum, this smoothie was fantastic! I love the combination of fresh and frozen strawberries and slurped this down! Oddly enough, I didn’t even get a brain freeze so that was a bonus.

I made chicken stir fry for dinner in an attempt to use up some of my quinoa that I bought last summer. I swear, I feel like I’m never going to go through this four pound feedbag but I have definitely put a dent in it. I wanted to use the quinoa for two reasons 1) obviously to use it up 2) to add some more protein to my meal since it packs an average of 14g of protein per cup.

I cooked two chicken breasts then set aside while the veggies were cooking. In the mix-snap peas, broccoli, bean sprouts and mushrooms. I whipped up a quick marinade of soy sauce, garlic, red pepper, black pepper and ginger and poured on the veggies while cooking. When near done, I added the chicken back in to simmer with the soy sauce mixture and soon enough it was done.

I laid the veggies and the chicken mixture over the quinoa. This tasted just like take out and filled me up for the rest of the evening–success!

Also, I’m distracted as of late.

Why you ask? Here we go……

*Work

I am getting ready to give my portfolio  away at work (about 150 accounts) so I am trying to make sure everything that needs to be done is done. I went into work for three hours on Sunday to play catch up and still didn’t get everything done so I am going to try my best to get it done within the next few weeks. And I have a few people that I am supposed to screw over tomorrow and not looking forward to it.  So, if you have seen an increase of drinking on my behalf, the job is why.

However on a brighter note, only 13 days left!  Along with that, I have an internship that I am starting so that’s starting to take up some more time in my schedule. It’s unpaid but it will give me some experience and will be able to put it in my resume. So, if I don’t post as much as I normally do, that is why.

*Family

I talked to my parents on Sunday and they told me that my dad was in the hospital last week since he was feeling dizzy so they wanted to check his blood and his heart. I love how they didn’t tell me this until four days after the fact.  I didn’t catch the whole story from him but they want to run an ekg on him to check on his heart and there is a chance he may need a pacemaker. He had a heart attack three years ago so this worries me and to top that off, my parents don’t have health insurance so that is just one more thing to worry about. 

*Boy drama

An ex boyfriend of mine may be coming into town next month. He says he is going to but I have a feeling he is going to bail given his track record

*Location location location

My lease is up in July and I still have no clue where I am going to end up. Originally I thought I wanted to move north but now that spring is coming around, I’m not so sure about that. I definitely don’t want to stay in Charlotte but want to get out of the South and move somewhere reasonably priced. Unfortunately, the areas I would really love to move to on this coast cost an arm and a leg (Chicago and DC) If only I could afford to live in San Diego!

*Myself

I’m going through some personal issues with myself right now and doing a lot of self-reflection of who I am and where I am in life. Bottom line is, as much as I love myself and think I am bomb.com, I’m not 100% happy with the person I’ve become-inside and out. I have a lot to work on in that aspect. I choose not to talk about it on here because it would be Debbie Downer  and I really don’t want to get into details but that’s what’s up for me.

*Oral hygiene

Part of my molar fell out the other day, I don’t know how or more importantly, where it went?. WTF?

So that’s whats going on with me, what’s distracting you lately?

Playing with aubergine

11 Jan

 The rest of snow day turned out to be a nice, relaxing day-just what I needed! My manager called me around noon to let me know the entire office may be shut down today since we have more snow and freezing rain coming our way so I had to call in today to see if I would have to go in or not.

The verdict?

We are on a delay but supposed to go in at 10AM but that may change.

I have to stay up (since there’s no way I am going back to bed now) and call back at 8AM to see if that still holds true. I am watching the news and they are saying how the Department of Transportation is recommending everyone stay off the road but I guess the bank wants us to risk our lives and go in. Yay.

Blah.

As for yesterday–I was starting to get a little cabin fever around lunch time. I’ve stayed in the house for that long before it’s just when I feel confined that I start to go crazy and what to do something. What better to do than a strength training session to get some blood pumping?

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Upright Deltoid Rows (13 reps, 3 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 3 sets)

Bentover Row (13 reps, 3 sets)

Lateral Bench Press (13 reps, 3 sets)

One Armed Swings (12 reps, 3 sets)

Swings (13 reps, 4 sets)

Around the worlds (25 reps, 3 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Front Lateral Raise (13 reps, 3 sets)

Reverse Fly (13 reps, 3 sets)

Curls (13 reps, 3 sets)

Shoulder Press (13 reps, 3 sets)

Misc.

Push Ups (15 reps, 2 sets)

I haven’t used my heart rate monitor in awhile since it was acting funky on me this summer. But since I am started to track my calories again, I put it on and turns out I had a fabulous workout!

I refueled with leftover pad thai afterwards.

I could seriously eat pad thai every single day. And what is it about pad thai that makes it even better leftover?

The official plate cleaner was on hand to assist with little scraps that I didn’t get to.

Target was so kind as to send me this lovely gift card in the mail. I thought the Postal Service would’ve been shut down but they really hold up to their neither rain nor sleet nor snow creedo.

You’re so sweet Target. Even though I am in your demographic of people who should be having kids, the only way one’s popping out of me is if it’s an immaculate conception. If anyone is preggers or is planning on it in the near future -let me know, I’ll send this over to you. The mailman also brought me over the latest issue of Food Network to redeem themselves for the baby registry gift card

Then,  I baked. As many of you know, I am not a baker but felt the urge to bake with it being cold and snowy out. It just seemed right. I have a surplus of coconut on hand and went to Allrecipes.com to look up recipes. I love that they have a page that allows you to put in items you want or don’t want in your recipe and generates recipes for you! I came upon this recipe for Chewy Coconut Cookies and figured it seemed quick and easy and got to baking!

I halved the measurements since I only wanted a few cookies so I made six then froze the rest (thanks Mo for the tip!). I am sure they were supposed to look prettier but let’s be honest, I really don’t care what a cookie looks like–I only care about how they taste. These were soft, chewy and full of coconut. The only thing that would have made it better was if it was dipped in chocolate. Hooray for cookie success!

For dinner, I wanted to get my eggplant on.

(source)

When I get an eggplant, I usually make lasagne, mix in with pasta, use as a topping on pizza or eggplant parmesan but I wanted to try something different. I remembered a recipe for stuffed eggplant one of my former co-workers told me about some time ago. I didn’t write it down but made my own little creation of stuffed eggplant with mushrooms, onions, pepper and quinoa.

I gutted out the eggplant then chopped the inner into pieces

Then chopped 1/4 onion, one cup mushrooms and orange pepper, sprinkled Spike seasoning on the veggies then cooked with extra virgin olive oil until soft (had 1/2 cup quinoa cooking at the same time)

Once both were done, I mixed together then scooped into the eggplant pieces.

 I thought it looked a little lonely so I sprinkled  shredded mozzarella on top

Then placed in a casserole dish coated with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees

Up close and personal baby

Chowed that sucker down! A nice veggie alternative for another round of meatless Monday.

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday. At least I got yesterday after work, you can’t beat two four-day work weeks in ar ow! Any time I can not be off at work is a good time!

Ps–I  added a new page for Frugal Friday! Please check it out if you have missed my Frugal Friday posts in the past, it offers some tips and finds that I have found in the past month.

I Deserve It

13 Oct

 So, it’s October. And I somehow forgot what happens to me every October: I get sick. For the past four or five years, I’ve either had strep, bronchitis, the flu, swine flu (last year which was so much fun) and this year who knows. I’ve had a terrible headache since Monday and just felt bleh. Today was no exception so let’s hope this is a quick, passing thing so I can be on my A game next week.

Even though I was feeling crappy, my appetite was still in check this morning. I had a little extra time to get ready since I was dropping Lincoln off to get groomed and go to doggie daycare. I toyed with the idea of making an omelet but that hasn’t turned out well the past few times I’ve attempted. All the scrambled eggs you’ve been seeing lately? Yeah, originally were to be omelets but the pan gods had other plans. I went with making a scrambled egg wrap with mushrooms, green onions with  a Laughing Cow Sun Dried Tomato wedge on a whole wheat wrap.

When I got into work, one of my coworkers saw I was looking a bit rough and handed me a Venti Chai Skim Latte. She ordered one at the Bucks downstairs but they got her order wrong so she took the messed up one as well. It was fabulous. I’ve only had a chai latte once and wasn’t too impressed. But this bad boy was good…..and there was no sweetener in it but it was almost too sweet for me. That didn’t stop me from gulping it down though. You hand me a free $4 drink and I will down it no matter what it is (Jager excluded, this girl had too much of that in college)

I brought lunch with me but was really in the mood for soup. When I’m sick, my comfort food is wontons and hot and sour soup. I really don’t need wontons and wasn’t too hungry so I walked to the Chinese restaurant downstairs to pick up some soup. It was only $2.40 for a to go bowl and that means free containers for later use.

AND I got a rockin’ fortune–that never happens!

I do deserve it.  I deserve a lot. I work my butt off each week and a good person. I think this is total justification to go shopping this weekend for clothes for my new job, yes?

I wanted to share some link love with you all…..

Has anyone seen that Jillian Michaels is putting out a Kettlebell DVD? I love my kettlebell and can’t recommend it enough but if you read the LA Times article you will see all that is wrong with this. And if you check out this post on Girl Heroes, you will see even more what’s wrong with it including a clip of the dvd with bad form (and Jenn is RKC certified so she knows a little something about kettlebell form)
  
 In news of the obvious, USA Today reports that if you eat less, move more and lift weights, you can beat obesity! Can I get a duh?
 
 If you’re curious, as to 5 Greatest Cosby Sweaters of All Time are, click here The WTF? is my favorite.

By the time I got home, I was famished. I made chicken and mushroom quesadillas on a spinach wrap and quinoa salad with zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, green onion with a Laughing Cow wedge

And Lincoln? Well, Lincoln looks adorable.I wish he would lift his head up so I could take a proper picture of him while he sports his colorful scarf. He is absolutely exhausted from getting groomed then being at doggie daycare all day and I love it. He is usually right by my side and often tried to blog and leave comments so it’s a welcome break being able to type with two hands as opposed to one (while the other rubs his belly)

And he has no tail anymore 😦 His tail usually looks like a fan and I think it gave him personality but now we have to work with this little thing

He looks so cute, I think I shall go snuggle with him.

On an end note, thanks everyone for your kind words on my last post and the way I’m feeling. It felt so good to ponder the subject, write it down and put it out there. I am going to change the way things have been and I will get back to my normal self. Once again, I deserve it. It’s nice to have a self support system like you ladies (especially when some of you all know where I’m coming from) and I truly appreciate each and every comment. Hope y’all are getting your hump on!!! Cmon, I couldn’t keep it too sentimental for too long, that’s just not my style! 🙂

Wake up, wake up, wake up

1 Sep

It’s the first of the moooooooonth! Whatever happened to Bone Thugz anyways? Must google. Ironically enough, I’ve had “Crossroads” in my head all day. I can’t believe it’s September already but am psyched for it to be here. College football is starting this week, cooler mornings are already here—bring on the fall!
 
I woke up at 615A this morning since I needed to get to work early. I don’t know how I used to wake up at 6A for years, now it just seems impossible to do.  I had a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond Flax with a  banana


 
And I am just throwing it in there that today is day two of no Starbucks. I’m not trying not to drink it but I just haven’t gotten a chance to go in the morning. I usually just stop in before I go and the last two days they’ve had a line 20-something people deep and I just don’t have the patience to wait for that. If I don’t go right when I get in, I go when my coffee buddy gets in and with meetings and such, we’ve been missing each other. I thought I would be a raging beeyotch with not  having my daily fix of Bucks but I’ve been surprisingly nice and even smiling. Maybe I don’t need Starbucks to survive? Hmmmm…..
 
I met up with Brittney for lunch at Eggheads. I had a $20 Living Social deal to use and a lunch break is always welcome in my world. This place has breakfast all day along with a lunch menu.  I had cereal this morning so my cholesterol wouldn’t go through the roof with the excess of eggs (funny how five yrs ago I would have never thought about that)   I was craving eggs and all about the egg salad sandwich but then I saw the Cobb Salad and that just sounded refreshing seeing it was so hot out


 
Brittney had the Veggie Omelet with hash browns and toast.


 
It felt so good to get out of the cube, even if it was just for an hour. I can’t believe how much having a lunch break “breaks” up the day—I may have to start taking one more often  🙂
 
When I got back my inbox was totally out of control but I got everything in check shortly after. I even had time to take two breaks later in the afternoon
 
 
I had plans on going to  Cardio Funk with Andre  at 7P and wouldn’t get home until 545P so I had a small meal before leaving work—cold quinoa salad with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red onion, zucchini, red pepper and cucumber


 
Let’s talk about Cardio Funk. I was a bit nervous about going to the class because I took one of his classes at the YMCA last year and couldn’t walk for three days afterwards. Plus I did zumba last night and my calves were a bit tight from that. I thought zumba kicked my butt last night, oh no, that was nothing. I had such an amazing workout and he is a great instructor! I burned 730 calories with a max heart rate of 210 and average heart rate of 164. My butt hurts just as I sit so tomorrow I should be feeling interesting.
 

When I got home, I was ready for a hearty dinner. I made something I’ve envisioned in my heart for awhile now-pizza nachos.

I topped with turkey pepperoni, red onions, red pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, parmesan and mozzarella cheese with Trader Joe’s Fat Free Pizza Sauce for dipping

Amazing! It was the best of both worlds and exactly what I was looking for. If you haven’t made this, I definitely suggest it.

And with that I’m out–hope everyone’s September is off to a super start!

PS—Click here to enter to win a Blender Bottle over at The Fitness Dish!!

Out and About

13 Aug

Happy Friday the 13th!! This is four months until my birthday so in a weird way, I’ve been in a great mood all day b/c I feel like it’s celebration time for my big da. Which kinda baffles me b/c it’s not like I’m getting younger but birthdays still excite me. I am loving 30 but the time seems to be flying even faster than I thought it was in my late 20’s.

The last few days haven’t been anything too exciting….well food wise. I feel like I’ve been on the go non stop from working to doing stuff at night.  I really haven’t had any time to cook in the past few days which is depressing. I really haven’t time to do much of anything now that I think about it. I’ve been waking up, going to work, coming home, having a quick bite then going to whatever I’ve had planned at night, come home, cuddle with Lincoln and do it over again. I love how my social life is picking up and all and this is how it should be but I need to adjust to it. I love that I am meeting more people, doing my stuff, etc. it’s a complete 180 from when I was living in my old apartment in the boonies and just sitting at home.

Lincoln is not digging all this stuff taking me away from him (look at how he’s glaring at me!)

Thursday night was the most eventful, I met up with some friends at the US National Whitewater Center  and had some drinks at the River’s Edge Bar and Grill.

Source

 They have a solid selection of beer including ones with a higher alcohol content than normal, I started out with the Olde Mecklenberg Brewery Mecklenberger then made a mistake and got the King Coconut Porter-blech. All I saw was coconut and was sold but this was a rich, dark beer that was too heavy for me.

My friends got the Big Boss Hell’s Bell which was 7.0% so they were feeling pretty good after one of those bad boys. Big Boss is a local brewing company in Raleigh and I would love to go check out their brewery but I don’t think the girls want to after last night! Oddly enough when we got there, our waiter was pretty nice and then as the night progressed I think he lost his patience with us.

We kept looking over the menu and decided to order three dishes and share

Tidal Wave Tuna-Ahi tuna atop fried wontons on a bed of lettuce topped with guacamole

River’s Edge Chips with Cheese

 Potstickers.

All of it was good grub but the tuna was my favorite by far!

Some other food from the past few days……

 

 

On the other hand dinner tonight was outstanding! I carried out Caribbean food from Austin’s Caribbean Cuisine, a little take out  joint near my place. I didn’t feel like cooking tonight and wanted something different. I drove around for a little while trying to figure out what I was hungry for and see this place going home every day so I dropped in and ordered. I got the jerk chicken plate with red beans, rice and cabbage

This was great! The chicken was succulent, spicy and fell right off the bone. I’ll need to see what else they have next time I go since I didn’t get a good look when I was ordering. I love locally owned places but I find a lot of them don’t have websites and I like to know what I’m walking into before I go and order from somewhere. They didn’t have any paper menus or anything (they are being green is how I look at that?) and everything was written on a chalk board. Old school is good though.

 I also need to fit some time in this weekend to catch up on reading. Unfortunately, no fun reading like the books I picked up this week

 

but for the North Carolina Driver’s License test. I’ve been here four years so I guess I should finally suck it up and take the test right? I’ve heard it’s really hard and I suck at tests anyways so I am going to start on that and when I have a good hair day (which won’t be any day soon with this damn humidity), go and take that test.

Off to catch up on my Netflix, email and blogs. I love Friday nights 🙂