Friday, April 3, 2020

52 in 52: Week 13

This week was a dull one. I was stressed with school, tired with nothing to do and unmotivated with everything. My half marathon that I was training for was also officially cancelled this week which is a bummer. It's not like I did not know it was going to happen, but it is still sad that it did. Regardless, I have still kept up with cooking. It is what I look forward to the most!

This week I made cauliflower fried rice. I can't remember where I found the recipe (sorry) but it is pretty similar to any other recipe for fried rice except I used cauliflower rice and coconut amnios. I served it with "bagels" with peanut butter. If you haven't tried adding everything seasoning to peanut butter toast, you are missing out. 

Overall I liked how easy this dish was. It was nothing complex, but that was exactly what I needed this day. I cannot compare this to your typical fried rice, because I have never tried it. This is the kind of recipe I know I will be making again next year when I am back at school. It was a great way to add a lot of veggies into meal and it was a nice warm recipe for a cool day. 

Until next time, 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day in the Life: Social Distancing Edition

Life has gotten into a pretty decent routine recently. I knew right away that finding a good schedule for me was key to making sure I actually got in all of the school work I needed to do. Being home makes it so easy to not do anything, especially when some of my family seems to have so much more free time than I do. I have the same schedule for every day. This lets me have time to workout, to cook, do homework and then blog or read a little. Having a schedule lets me feel like life is a little more normal and under control. Here is what my day looks like:

Every morning the first thing I do is workout. What I do varies by the day, but the vast majority of the time I go for a run since I am training for a half marathon that is in May. I don't know if the half marathon will actually happen, but as of right now I am just going to keep training. On the morning I don't run, I typically stretch or I will do PT exercises.

Eight is around when I have breakfast made. Typically I end up eating breakfast with my mom since we have the same morning schedules. I have breakfast, about two cups of coffee and then go upstairs to get dressed for the day. I try to dress decently (ie wear jeans) to feel like I am working. It doesn't take me long to get ready, so this part maybe takes 10-15 minutes.

Breakfast was a psyllium husk and coconut flour pancake. It was based off of a recipe that I found on Instagram. I topped the pancake with defrosted cherries, almond butter, flax seeds and maple syrup. Of course, I also a couple cups of coffee with breakfast as well.

I always make sure start doing homework by 9am. I know myself well enough that I could waste my entire morning reading magazines or blogs instead of actually getting work done. Morning are when I tend to work on reading for classes. This is my least favorite type of homework so I just try to get it out of the way. 

I have mentioned this already on this blog, I like to take advantage of being home to make myself a nice lunch. This is probably my favorite time of day. It is so nice not to be eating the same tuna salad everyday as well as not eating and doing homework at the same time. 

For lunch I reheated leftover sweet potato fries, and topped it with black beans, avocado, sprouts and a sunny side up egg. I also had pineapple on the side as I was making lunch. 

After lunch, I will go back to doing homework. A couple days a week I have live classes to listen too, if not, I will use this time to watch recorded lectures. Again, nothing exciting but sadly I still have lots of school work to manage. 

I like to take another study break around 4pm to take a walk outside. I tend to go with my parents, but I also really like listening to podcasts during this time. I really miss walking around campus. It was always a nice break from sitting in class, and fresh air was always welcome. This is around the nicest time of day weather-wise, so it gives me a chance to enjoy the start of spring. The walk can last anywhere from one to three miles.

After going for a walk, I normally feel a little more motivated so I go back to studying homework for a little bit. I will use this time to study for upcoming exams or to take care of some readings. This is also the time where I might have a little snack if I am getting hungry. Recently I have been loving nuts and frozen mango, but this day I had a Blueberry Cashew Perfect Bar (my favorite kind). 

Before dinner to like to do my second workout of the day. I typically will either lift weights and do an arm workout, or I will do PT if it didn't do it earlier. I am still doing strengthening exercises to help my hips. Having surgery was enough to motivate me to do my strengthening.  

If I don't do another workout, I try to take this time to write a blogpost. I have enough time before dinner to work on a post, and either watch TV or catch with my mom in the process. 

My family has always had dinner together as long as I can remember. During our "stay at home" order in Wisconsin, my parents have loosened this meal, because both my sister and I are in college so being home all the time isn't the easiest. It is always an option, so I take advantage of eating with others because at school I often eat dinner alone while doing homework. It is just one part of this time in life, that I have made sure to appreciate it. 

This dinner was asian meatballs with mushrooms and snap peas on top of cauliflower rice.

After dinner is where my days tend to vary. If I have finished all of the work I need to do, I will either read a book or watch TV. Recently I just finished reading This Is How It Always Is. Because I have a lot of exams coming, I have been spending the time making flashcards. Out of all my homework, making flashcards is my favorite because I can still listen to some music. 

I try to go to bed around 10 or earlier every night. I know that keeping a steady sleep schedule will help make life seem more normal. I also just like to get up early, so going to bed early is key. 

What does a day typically look like for you?
Until next time, 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

52 in 52: Week 13

I have finally settled into a routine with classes back up for school and everyone in my house is working. I have found that I am working best with a set schedule for my day. I get my run in right away, then make breakfast and am sitting at my desk working by 9am. I give myself study breaks during the day to make breakfast, a nice lunch for my mom and I, and then to go on a walk in the afternoon. I have made sure to try a lot of new recipes this week. On my instagram (here), I shared my salmon cakes, frittata and lentil/beef sloppy joes. Making all of these new recipe gives me something to look forward to and I am so thankful for that. 

This week I made a cranberry ginger crumble fruit bake from Jar of Lemons.  The fruits I used are apple, cranberries, clementines and blueberries. The recipe initially called for mandarine oranges and blackberries but since I did not have those, I made use with what I had. For the granola topping, I used a grain free granola from Purely Elizabeth. This fruit bake was really interesting, especially with the addition of citrus. I would have never thought of adding it myself, which is part of why I wanted to try out the recipe. 

This fruit bake was really easy to make and tasted great which makes it a win in my book. The recipe says that it is a two serving dessert, but my mom and I had this for breakfast for two days. This first day I ate it with scrambled eggs on the side. Day two did not have as much of the fruit bake left, so I added leftover sweet potato, more granola and then added yogurt on the side for protein. I already have plans to make this again. I want to make sure to save some for dessert so I can try it out with ice cream! 

COVID-19 may be causing problems all around, but I find it important to focus on the good in life too. For me, I am so thankful for being able to cook in a real kitchen and experiment with fun recipes. 

Until next week, 

Friday, March 20, 2020

52 in 52: Week 12

This social distancing/being on spring break with nothing to do has given me tons of time to try new recipe. I have made a new lunch or treat almost everyday but today I am sharing my favorite... bagels! I found a grain free bagel recipe on @lashsandlemons, and seeing as I had all of the ingredients, I whipped it up one night for breakfast the next day.

These bagels were really easy and quick to make which was appreciated. For the recipe all I had to do was mix coconut flour, flaxseeds, psyllium husk, egg whites and coconut oil, then add it to a doughnut pan and bake. I just happened to have psyllium husk for a recipe I tried about a year ago, but never found a use for it sense. Now I finally have a use!

What are my thoughts? I am so happy I found this recipe. They aren't dense at all like real bagel, honestly the only resemblance to a bagel they have is the shape. Instead they are light and airy. I used the bagels for avocado toast, and it was sturdy enough to hold a lot of avocado. I think these bagels are going to be a stable in my baking routine... I have already made them twice.

Until next time,

Saturday, March 14, 2020

52 in 52: Week Nine, Ten and Eleven

Life has been very busy recently. First we started off with a lot of mid-terms and papers and now we have the whole coronavirus situation. I am not longer at school, and have online classes until at least mid-April. Hopefully this means I have more time to blog and actually stay on track, but I really don't know what to expect coming up.

For next set of 52 in 52, I started writing each of these posts in their respective weeks, but by the time the week ended, I completely ran out of time.

Week Eight

I put myself on a mission this week. After being tired of eating microwaved scrambled eggs over and over, I decided to try to make eggs with a runny yoke in the microwave. So this week my "new" food isn't anything I bought at the grocery store, instead it is a new method of making eggs. 

This was quite the process to figure out. The first couple of times I ended up with overcooked egg whites and yolks at the were perfect... if you wanted them to be fully cooked. I went through several eggs in this attempt. Don't worry, I didn't throw them out, instead I ate a lot of weirdly cooked eggs. I tried a lot of variations such as two eggs v. one egg, the timing, covering the egg, 

The Method 
- Preheat bowl for 60 seconds on high. 
- Crack one egg into the bowl and stab yolk once
- Cover with paper towel (whites will pop a lot)
- Microwave on high for 30 secs (I think the microwave I was using is really weak, so be willing to test out your power level)

Nothing beats eggs made on the stove, believe me, it is always one of the first things I eat when I am home, but this runny egg yolk works. It can get you through time rough times of having only a microwave. 

Week Nine

Keeping on the runny egg trend, I  tired have sweet oats with an egg on top. I wanted to have protein in my oatmeal, but didn't feel like adding collagen or protein powder. I had tried eggs with savory oatmeal over winter break, but one of the Youtubers I watch, Lexi DeYoung, has always talked about runny eggs on sweet oats so I figured I'd give it a shot.

This oatmeal bowl had oats (obviously), cinnamon, flaxseeds, defrosted strawberries, peanut butter and an egg. This surprised me, but I loved it! I didn't really taste the egg but it added a nice texture change. I also appreciated that this breakfast kept me full and satisfied until lunch time. I would highly recommend trying this, especially if you want more protein for your oatmeal. I think next time I want to try it with bananas and chopped nuts with the egg!

Week Ten

This was my last week of relative normalcy ie being at school. No matter what I would have been starting my spring break this weekend so I already had a list of foods I wanted to make. I was able to check my first thing off of my list: Carrot Cake from Ambitious Kitchen. I have been able to eat oats more often, so this cake based on almond and oat flour was perfect for me. I was excited to try it too as it used maple syrup as a sweetener...I love almost anything with maple syrup.

This cake was a hit with my family. You wouldn't guess it was made with alternative flours other than how it was a little denser than your typical carrot cake. The spice level was perfect, and I loved the addition of cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting. This isn't a very sweet cake. but seeing as I don't love super sweet cakes, I found this to be just right. If you are looking for a yummy, everyday this is one you should check out!

I am not sure what new foods I will be trying with this coronavirus situation, but I am betting I will be able to keep coming up with fun ideas so stay tuned.

Stay Safe! 

Friday, February 21, 2020

52 in 52: Week Eight

Four midterms in seven days can make for some hectic days. I wanted to do a big post Monday about a fun challenge I did last week but I have not had the time. I've had to focus on studying instead of writing blog posts, but it definitely paid off. I am writing this later on Thursday night than I would like to be awake, but I really at least want to have one post a week. This kind of a post is pretty easy for me since I love to try and eat different foods so hopefully we can get through all 52 weeks. 

On to this week, what did I try? Nutritional Yeast!

One of the girls who is lives in the sorority house is vegan and she was telling me all about nutritional yeast. She let me try a little of hers and I thought it was so interesting. The first day I had it, I used the nutritional yeast to top scrambled eggs with broccoli and spinach. I really loved the different taste it added to the eggs. For this dinner I used it as "cheese" on top of my taco salad. The rest of the taco salad had seasoned chicken, tomato, carrots, salsa, lettuce and guacamole. 

Here are my overall thoughts:

The first thing I have to say is that in no way does nutritional yeast pass as cheese. First of all, it isn't creamy like cheesy and really doesn't have the same taste either. For me it tastes just like a different savory seasoning not cheese. Also a heads up, the smell is super weird. It is impossible to explain but it grew on me. Overall, I really liked nutritional yeast. I can't stress how much it isn't like cheese but it was really good on top of eggs, veggies and on this taco salad. I liked it enough to buy myself my own bag on it and I am excited to keep experimenting with it over the semester. 

Until next time (when midterms are finally over),

Friday, February 14, 2020

52 in 52: Weeks Six and Seven

The school year is starting to really pick up hence the lack of blog posts again. I really want to make it a goal to stay consistent with blogging, but I have no idea how it will go. I (sadly) found out that I have an exam every week for the rest of the semester. I am hoping I will be able to make a routine out of studying and balancing the rest of life.

I have been able to try a bunch of new things recently which has been enjoyable. I combined last weeks post with this weeks. In addition to what I mentioned in this post, I have also tried Siggi's plant based yogurt, Healthade's Grapefruit Kombucha and Nada Moo's Cookies and Cream ice cream. I thought that the Siggi's was really interested and by far and away the best dairy free yogurt I have ever had. The kombucha was your classic grapefruit kombucha which is always a good thing. The only disappointment was the Nada Moo ice cream. I was hoping for real "cookies" but it wasn't like that. I can't explain it too well, but it wasn't for me.

Week Six: Mandarinquats

 Holy Heck these are sour. The packaging says these are good sliced on salads or pickled, but since I am not pickling anything and don't have a knife sharp enough to cut them so I just tried them whole. Unless you are really in the mood for a shock of sourness, I wouldn't recommend doing that. I could the that these would be good picked or eaten in smaller portions. The overall opinion is that I would not buy these again without a specific purpose. They would be a great garnish but not as your fruit in your lunch box. 

Week Seven: Freeze Dried Edamame

I picked up freeze dried edamame at Target because I wanted to try some different protein sources with lunches. I really really loved these. They were crunchy and salty, which is always a good combination. I used the edamame to make "snack" lunches. It was fun it to pick at them with the rest of my lunch. I am also going to look into different forms of edamame to bring with me. Frozen edamame would be a cheaper option, but it would lose the fun crunch.  I will definitely be buying these again. Target, you will be seeing me soon. 

I have a post I am so excited about coming next week so stay tuned!