Lesson Learned

Hey Hey bloggies!

I am a terrible blogger. Lack of posts = lack of interesting food! I am going to work harder at this. I love writing and working on my health and also blogging, so its something I will put more effort into!

For food, this past week I made some delicious black bean and quinoa burgers from my recent issue of Vegetarian Times. Though absolutely delicious, they weren’t the most photogenic of food items I created. So I will share the recipe and let your imaginations paint delicious looking burgers. They are totally yummy, trust me, but just not the prettiest little things. Here is the link to VT: Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

  • Start off with a cup of quinoa, and cook ย it according to instructions, about a 1-to-1 ratio for about 30 minutes.
  • Pull out a big pan and saute 1/2 red onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once softened, add 1 chopped tomato.
  • Add one can of rinsed black beans and 1 and 1/2 cups of water and set to a boil. Boil until most of the water is evaporated, and add spices to your liking. I love mine spicy, so I added some garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce.
  • One boiled down, add the mixture and but 1/4 cup of the quinoa to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to a bowl and then stir in the remaining quinoa and 1/4 cup whole black beans. Let the mixture cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350, grease a cookie sheet well, and form the bean mixture into patties, about 1/4 cup each. Stick in the oven and cook 20 minutes. Flip, and cook for 10 more minutes. Let them cool and serve however you wish: with a whole grain bun, stuffed into a pita, on top of a mexican salad, plain topped with guacamole, anything you wish ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy! I ate two of them because they were so delicious, and froze the remaining ones. So good to have quick meals for when you are in a tight time crunch!

In other news…

The reason for the title of my post. Lesson. Learned.

This morning I was in a rush to get to work, making lunch, putting on makeup, not getting burned by my coffee, and cutting up pita bread into triangles, I had a run in with some nice sharp knives from Cut-Co. Very nice knives, super high quality and nice and sharp. Hence, the lesson is don’t rush when handling knives! I cut my pointer finger of my left hand pretty bad with a serrated Cut-Co knife.

One thing I was proud of was how I handled the situation. 1) Oh. My. God. So. Much. Blood. I let my self freak out for about 1 minute, and since I was by myself, I took action. 2) I looked up the closest urgent care center, drove myself over with a towel around my finger, and signed myself in. 3) Three hours, two stitches and a huge bandage later, I made it to work and home, then made dinner, and now I am managing typing this post with one finger less then normal ๐Ÿ™‚

So my lesson learned to you: slow down! Even if you are late, accidents that happen because you are speeding around only make you much later then planned.

So for me, no workouts the next two days, no showers for 48 hours, and I am officially excused from dishes tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

Well bloggies, hope you have a wonderful Tuesday evening. Thanks for tuning in!

Question: What is one meal you always make when in a time crunch? (Or super easy to make when you only have one hand to use ๐Ÿ™‚ )

 

 

 

Blender Love Affair

Good Morning!

I just wanted to show you how my Green Monsters have been going ever since I whipped out my brand new Ninja blender. See below ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I want to introduce you to my green smoothie. He is just a down-right lovely sight to see in the morning. So.ย Green.

Power Peach Kale Green Smoothie

-2 cups of kale

-1 cup of almond milk

-1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

-1 tablespoon wheat germ

-1/2 frozen banana and 1 peach

I am still trying to adjust to kale in my green smoothies. I know they are good to mix up with the usual spinach, but in smoothies they are quite bitter and chewy. Maybe next time I will add some more banana for added sweetness and less kale. Honestly, I stuffed my blender with it. Healthy yes, extremely normal green smoothie tastiness, not quite. Work will be done on the kale ratio for green smoothies.

Oh Ninja, you did good my friend. I blended through my frozen bananas like there was no tomorrow. I often thought my old blender would die when I blended them, but this is just a walk in the park for my new morning friend. I am so excited about it!

I also added half of my sample packet of Amazing Grass Amazing Meal, in the Original blend. I wanted to just “test” the waters with any supplement. I have to say I enjoyed it! I only used half a serving, but the protein kept me full and I could barely taste it as I blended away. Looking at the ingredients and nutrition, I am thinking about investing in some.

In other news, I am learning more and more about preparing tofu. I always reserved my supply for stir-fry’s, but I wanted something more savory with less oil for tonight’s dinner. I realized you can’t really seriously mess up with tofu, you could even eat it raw. I looked up this baked tofu recipe from vegweb.com. Click here for more tofu goodness!

Simple Baked Tofu

It turned out to be so easy and so delicious. The marinade is easy and I had leftovers for the next few nights.

Marinade:

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

(I added some nutritional yeast for more minerals and vitamins!)

Cut up 1 pound of firm tofu and marinate overnight of for 10 minutes. Set up a wire cooling rack over a pan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I enjoyed this with quinoa and the last of this summer’s asparagus. I can’t believe I missed asparagus season! Oh well, they were delicious.

Anyway, I have also been going to Lila Yoga here in Spokane. I have to say, I have just done the introductory two weeks and I am coming up on my second week. I have tried Yin Yoga and Vinyasa. I love them both. I am considering a summer package. Yoga just makes me feel so good, flexible, and strong!

Well, off to work. Ciao for now! -Mary

Good. Old. Sweat.

Sweat, we meet again. And I mean this in the best of connotations.

I am not the type of girl who glistens. I am not the type of girl who looks just as good leaving the gym as I came in. I am that girl on the treadmill who is huffing and puffing, rolling up her sleeves, and always getting ready for business.

I am not afraid to admit it. Hey, I will shout out of my car window to poor innocent by-standers on my school’s campus, “I AM A SWEATER.” (not the fuzzy cozy christmas ones ๐Ÿ˜‰ mind you) It runs in the family, but I am not blaming genetics. No, not at all. There are times when I am self-conscious as I hop of a machine with a drenched shirt and hair all-in-a-mess. There are times when I am extra careful to wipe down every machine I use because, well, that would not be classy in my sweaty position. But most of the time, I embrace it. Because without it; it just doesn’t feel right. I honestly can judge a workout based upon two things: soreness and sweatiness. And today, oh today, it was a sweaty one.

I have to admit it, I haven’t been to the gym in some time. But alas that was a thing in the past, because today I left the gym with a messy ponytail and a drenched t-shirt. And it felt great! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, let’s get down to food. I mean real, good old college food. I am on a tight budget these days until I get paid in a couple of days, (hooray!) but until then, its time to get creative with what I have. After all, that’s the point of my blog: college budget meets healthy food. So, meet my main ingredients: canned red beans, boiled red lentils, frozen corn and spinach, and taco seasoning. Oh, and my great powerful little friend, quinoa.

Straight from TJ’s! Organic quinoa. Lots of yummy, chewy/crunchy whole grain awesomeness.

I came up with a recipeย with a little bit of inspiration and a lot of substitution. I am glad to say I have my very own first orignal recipe! (hold your applause, please ๐Ÿ™‚ )ย I am thrilled to say that it was DELICIOUS. I want all bragging rights for this baby. It was filling and healthy (enough bragging, I know). So, without further ado, I present…

Red Bean and Lentil Fiesta!!

Here is the recipe:

  • -1/2 cup of quinoa
  • -1 cup of frozen corn
  • -1/2 cup of frozen spinach
  • -1 can of rinsed red beans
  • -1 cup of red lentils
  • -red pepper flakes
  • -taco seasoning (I found a packet that was 100% vegan, and I got the extra hot version!)

Make sure, before you cook your lentils, to rinse them well and look for things that don’t belong there, like pebbles.

1. separately boil quinoa (1:2 ratio, about 25 minutes) and lentils (1:4 ratio, 25-45 minutes depending on the consistency you want)

2. de-thaw corn and spinach. Rinse red beans well and zap them in the microwave for a couple of seconds.

3. Add packet of seasoning to cooked quinoa, add the veggies and the beans and stir up. Keep the extra water with the veggies to mix the seasoning, and add more if needed.

4. Drain the lentils, and add them to the mixture, stir well.

5. Stir in Red pepper flakes to your desire.

There you go! A cheap, filling, delicious, colorful and oh so healthy, 100% vegan meal. Who ever said that vegans hardly eat, was sadly misinformed. I was so stuffed! I will have leftovers for days my friends.ย Well, it is a rainy evening so I think I am going to grab some earl grey tea, cuddle up with my housemates, and watch a chick-flick.

Have a great evening my little bloggies. Ciao for now! -Mary

The Beginning of a Beautiful Journey

Hello!

As I am putting forth my first real blog post (yaay!!) I am watching the Biggest Loser. The perfect inspiration for not just dieting and exercising, but living a full and healthful life!! So, as I am enjoying the show, I will let you know how I did today for day 1 of my little journey.

I woke up this morning, rearing to start my get-healthy and get-back-on-track journey! I am looking forward to feeling healthy, getting back in shape, and shedding a few unwanted poundage. I should probably lay down my goals, as that is a very important step if one wants to make it!

My goals:

Long Term:ย To live a healthy and long, happy life! (duh!)

Mid-Term:ย To lose 20 pounds. I have had this goal in mind for a while. and I want to lose these unwanted and unneeded pounds. It is all so that I can feel healthy and fit! Its a good goal to have over the course of a couple of months, and I want this to be done as healthily as possible!!

Short term goal: To be active everyday. I am all down for chilling after a stressful week, but my goal is to incorporate some sort of activity each day. Even if this is walking my dog around the park or doing some yoga, I want to be moving everyday! More concretely: I want to workout ย 5 times a week. Additionally, I want to fuel my body the right way. It will be to strive to reduce the amount of processed food I eat and try to cut out as many animal products as possible. It is a healthy way to eat whole foods, but I will be sure to get all my nutrients and proteins! I have done a short term vegan and vegetarian diet before I went abroad, and I absolutely loved the energy it gave me. I never worked out so hard and felt so great afterwards. Time to get back to that green, great, and energy-filled feeling!

So anyways, on to today. I was sooo sore from my workout yesterday: sprint intervals for 30 minutes (sprint 30 seconds, off 4:30 minutes and repeat until you reach 30) and arm weights. After 4 months of relying on walking as my form of exercise, I was sore. So today, I hit the mat. Corepower Yoga is a great place to get a great workout, especially a form like Power Yoga where you feel like you worked out and burned calories. You feel rejuvinated and refreshed as you leave the gym as well. I defintely sweat it out, and my arms were shaking the whole time. I love the feeling you get afterwards, of being lose, rejuveniated, and even feeling a little taller ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a good choice after being wiped from my first workout!

For my eats, I started with an inspired Green Monster smoothie. I wanted to start my journey with a BANG, a kick-off start with a nutritional punch! It looked something like this…

Pretty attractive, right? Well, it definitely had the statistics to be attractive, and tasted just as good! It was inspired by all those great green smoothies out there, but I added what I liked and what I felt would be best for my body. That is what is so great about smoothies! Well, anyways, in my blender went:

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • tons of ice
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • a few raspberries

Though it turned out looking like mud-in-a-glass, it was creamy and refreshing, and full of good for you nutrients! It powered me through my day.

Looks… interesting… tastes amazing! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lunch was a quinoa and black bean salad on a bed of heart-healthy romaine lettuce. I got the Quinoa Salad recipe from mytrianerbob.com, a great place to get veggie friendly recipies from my favorite trainer on TV, Bob Harper!!

It was as easy as it was delicious:

  • 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water
  • rinsed black beans
  • chopped up tomato
  • and topped with avocado and salsa.
  • I added some tobasco sauce because I love spicy!
When the quinoa is cooked and the water is absorbed, simply add the black beans, tomatoes, salsa, and tobasco sauce (if desired) and stir it up to heat up the beans and tomatoes. Top the salad with as much salsa as you want! Eat up! Quinoa is a great grain to eat because it is also packed with protein, so it is an ideal staple for vegetarians and vegans alike. Plus, it is chewy and has a nutty flavor, a great and satisfying addition to any meal!
Well, I am sad to say that dinner did not go as well as the rest of my day had. I had my healthy snacks to keep me full and energized (almonds and an orange) but when dinner came around, I was exhausted. Also, I have been making dinner for my brother the past week, and put his needs ahead of my own. Thus, I avoided the miny hamburgers I made for him because I wanted to avoid red meat, and tried to come up with something else that is much more healthful for my needs. I ended up eating roasted potatoes and half a wheat pita with spicy hummus.
I know that this does not align with my goals completely, and that I had too many carbs too late in the day. It also wasn’t very nutrient-dense. But anyways, I am going to forgive myself and move on. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will make up for it! This is part of my new plan also: self-forgiveness. We are only human, right?
Well, back to the blood and sweet and tears of the Biggest Loser. I absolutely love Bob and Jillian!
Ciao for now!
-Mary