Tag Archives: lentils

no use crying over spilt lentils

I spilled a quarter of a bag of lentils on my (filthy) kitchen floor tonight while preparing dinner. #veganproblems

The cats thought it was great fun to frolic through the lentil mess while I scrambled to find my trusty broom and dust pan. I probably could’ve scooped them all up, rinsed, and life would’ve gone forth as usual, but I really don’t trust the state of my kitchen floor. Into the garbage they went. What a sad day.

As far as diet and exercise goes, it’s been a frustrating week. I’ve been uber stressed at work and as the emotional eater I am, this has translated into a) skipping the gym and b) eating lots of sweets. I have no excuse for my behavior. I think I need to accomplish two things in the very near future:

1) I need to bring more fruit and veggies to snack on at work because I find I am ravenous upon arriving home and will literally sit down and eat just about anything in unimaginable quantities.

and 2) I need to find ways to add activity into my daily life outside of my organized cardio routine to offset the extra calories I’ll be consuming through snackage.

I eat an incredibly healthy diet 80% of the time. I am not one of those people that hates fruit and veggies. I adore them. I eat them daily, in large quantities. But I also have a sweet tooth and enjoy sugary treats the way Paula Deen enjoys butter. I sooth my bad days with candy and $4.50 soy lattes. I sometimes think I’m an addict of sorts. Depending on the stage of my life I’m referring to, I can pinpoint exactly what I used as a soothing agent: lately, it’s been food. But there have been times *cough*mylastyearofcollege*cough* that it was more the booze-sooth. I can be a junkie for just about anything. People say it takes a lot of willpower to be a vegetarian or a vegan, which I’ve been able to demonstrate, but the willpower required to stay away from sweets is a brand of willpower I have yet to perfect the art of.

I spend a lot of time thinking about and complaining about my dreaded sedentary deskjob life. The truth is, I can bitch about it all I want but if I want to be able to stay on top of my bills, I have to accept this fate. I’ve been reading lots of stats lately that 1 in 3 adults are overweight or obese in this country but when I look around at my friends, peers, coworkers, it seems very few are struggling with the affliction I struggle with. I have a really hard time noticing how damned skinny my coworkers are and it doesn’t even really seem like they’re trying. You get really cozy-close with coworkers: you see them eat, you hear them talk about their personal lives, and it seems to me that no one thinks about food or exercise at the rate it’s always weighing on my mind. Of course, I’m no mind reader. I could be very wrong about their struggles. To the untrained eye, though, I see myself struggling and I see everyone else going out to lunch, eating high calorie meals, and not. getting. fat.

Part of my problem is laziness, I think. I don’t want to have to try. When I do try, I don’t see results so I lose my drive. I need to be held accountable. Convincing my boyfriend to be active with me and thusly, hold me accountable, has been a struggle. We both would rather sit on the couch and talk about changing rather than actually change. I find I’m not so much in love with my life these days. These are those trying times when I go into hiding. In fight or flight, I’m definitely flight.

I never thought I’d have a blog I stuck with because I never thought I had enough interesting information to convey to the outside world. I still don’t really have anything of interest to convey…but regardless, I’m enjoying being part of the conversation.

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new kitchen gadgets–squee!

For Christmas this year, all I really asked for was gift cards to Bed, Bath & Beyond. My mom and sister-in-law skipped the “easy way out” and actually bought me a bunch of needed kitchen items (cookie cooling rack, muffin pans, nonstick oven pans, a heat-resistant spatula, etc. etc.) and as a grab bag gift, I got my $50 gift card to BB&B. After a few returns, I had $85 to spend. And spend I did!

When I first moved out on my own, I bought everything super cheap. I wasn’t much of a cooker or baker, so my low-quality plastic utensils have gotten me through, for the most part. But I’ve been learning some hard lessons lately–like garlic is damn near impossible to mince without a chopper!!–so it was time to upgrade a few kitchen items. That day was today. OMG, it was a kitchen wonderland.

I am now the happy owner of a chopper, a spice rack, a METAL spatula that won’t melt!, an upgraded pizza cutter, an upgraded can opener, and a pizza pan. Oh man. I am psyched.

So naturally I had to come home and try out some of my new toys. I stole this recipe and made it my own by cutting out the carrots, adding some cayenne and chile powder, and adding some soy crumbles. I know I’ve mentioned that a goal of mine is to eat less processed food, but I picked up the soy crumbles the other day at the store and haven’t figured out what to do with them. I didn’t know how long they’d last in the fridge so I decided at the last minute, ah, to hell with it, they’re going into the sloppy janes. I really could have done without them. After the crumbles, well, crumbled, they really got overshadowed by the lentils.

But, this meal was fantastic. FAN. TASTIC. I made it as a late lunch and plan on eating some leftovers for a late dinner and some more leftovers for lunch tomorrow at work. The omnivore boyfriend even said, and I quote, “I think I like this better than actual Sloppy Joes.” He also said that if I hadn’t told him I was trying to go vegan and I was cooking him the kind of meals I’ve been cooking lately, he doesn’t know if he’d even realize it was vegan food. Seriously, that man is giving me some great sound bytes lately. 😉

Okay, I forgot to take a picture until after we each ate a serving–the recipe I linked to yields much more food than this. Also, this really doesn’t look that appetizing, but it was delicious–and who knew Manwich sauce was vegan?? I love coming across “accidental vegan” finds!

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(thai) coconut curry success!

I love coconut curry, absolutely adore it. I’ve never considered myself much of a cooker or baker so it never occurred to me to try this dish at home–until a couple of weeks ago. The result was an absolute epic fail. The problem is that the recipe I used called for curry powder, which is for Indian curry meals. I am so culturally unaware that I didn’t realize that Indian curry and Thai curry are completely different!

So I set out to correct my mistake. I stumbled upon this recipe–which is completely vegan–and thought peanut butter? really? is THAT the secret ingredient? To save you all the suspense–yes, yes it is, it’s fucking peanut butter that makes this dish amazing.

So I actually gathered a bunch of vegan recipes over the past week and decided that a trip to Whole Foods was in order. The nearest Whole Foods locations are about equidistant from me–I’d say 45 minutes on a good day. I don’t work too far from a Whole Foods but it would be out of my way to stop there on my way home, so I never have. Upon finding that the organic restaurant down the street shut down for renovations and their nearest location is about 5 minutes from Whole Foods, it only seemed right that we’d kill two birds with one stone and hit both of them today.

Whole Foods was a religious experience for me. Although it would have been better if it hadn’t been so crowded and if the aisles weren’t so small. There were a million and one WF employees scrambling around and customers’ children pushing mini-carts and it was just complete chaos. One of the ingredients I set out to find, nutritional yeast, I gave up on because the aisle I suspected it was in was too full and I get very cranky in crowded places. But I did venture outside of my comfort zone and purchase 1) an acorn squash, 2) a few small beets, and 3) lentils. Yes, I have never purchased or eaten lentils before. Blasphemy, I know! It’s kind of like how I had never tried tofu during the four years of my first “stint” of vegetarianism. A complete oversight–I don’t know how these things happen.

I haven’t exactly figured out what I’m going to do with the squash or the beets yet, having never eaten nor cooked them before, but I’m leaning towards this and this. (To be fair, the beets-one is more of a “how to cook a beet” than it is a recipe, so I guess I’m not getting too fancy there.)

I now have a fridge full of healthy vegan food–mixed in with a few of the leftovers of my past self. Tons of cheese that I’ve recruited my boyfriend to eat. My freezer has Morningstar non-vegan veggie burgers. I have various snackfoods that are vegetarian but are not vegan. I did clean out a ton of stuff though to make room for the new purchases. It felt like purging an unhealthy version of me–the “junk food” vegetarian me–and it felt great.

If you want the recipe for the Thai coconut curry, check it out here. I cooked my tofu differently (I always dry-fry it, I’ve never baked it in the oven like this recipe suggested). My sauce didn’t have such an orangey look to it and it wasn’t as thick of a sauce as I would have liked, but it was worlds better than my previous coconut curry failure. Even my omnivore second half said he’d eat this meal again. That, to me, is a great success.

I added some baby spinach at the last minute because it seemed that I had way too much of a tofu-to-veggies ratio.

At Prasino this morning, I had a delicious vegan orange-almond stuffed french toast dish. To die for. Tomorrow morning’s breakfast plans involved scrambled tofu (my first attempt)–but the recipe I found required nutritional yeast, so I guess I could choose to wing it–or I could wait until I can get back to WF to pick some up. We shall see!

What is your biggest recipe success? What is your favorite breakfast meal? Can you shed any light on how the hell to (simply) prepare an acorn squash or a small bunch of beets?

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