Category Archives: Blogger Meet-Up

Big Green Salad

While a big salad is often my go to entree when I go out to eat, I don’t eat a lot of salad at home. When I go grocery shopping, I usually buy most of my produce for specific recipes, so aside from lettuce and maybe carrots and peppers, which I like to have on hand for snacks, I don’t have a lot of salad ingredients. A lettuce salad equals a boring salad. I don’t know if I was subconsciously craving nutrients when I did my last grocery shopping or what, but I discovered that I had a ton of vegetables in the fridge and they needed to be used.

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That would be lettuce, bok choy, broccoli, portobello mushroom, brussels sprouts, tomato, cucumber and avocado. Yup, I think that’s enough for a big restaurant style salad.

I’m not a fan of raw broccoli and I don’t know if you are supposed to eat brussels sprouts raw, but I can’t imagine they taste good if you are. So I decided to roast some of my veggies beforehand.

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I combined the mushrooms, brussels sprouts, broccoli and bok choy with a tablespoon of olive oil and then seasoned them with Emeril’s Essence. I roasted them at 385 degrees for 20 minutes.

When the roasted vegetables were ready, I put them on top of lettuce, cucumber, 1/4 avocado and about a 1/4 cup of shelled edamame. Then I topped it all with a little bit of Ginger dressing and some nutritional yeast!

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Just like a restaurant style salad, only better. By the way, roasting bok choy isn’t the best idea. It got really limp. (TWSS?)

Going along with my green theme, I had something green for dessert.

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Guilty pleasure. Seriously. My name is Lee and I’m addicted to low fat ice cream treats. We can’t all be perfect, right? And if this is my downfall, I’d say I’m doing pretty well.

I keep forgetting to mention this, but Tina and I are arranging an Atlanta Blogger Dinner on Saturday, March 12th. Email me if you are interested in coming. We’re trying to get a final headcount by the 5th.

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Blogger Spotting

I went to the gym after work to run. When I got onto a treadmill, I was recognized by Tracy from Kitchen Ambition who was on the treadmill next to me! I’ve met a bunch of bloggers in real life before but this was the first time that I’ve run into one that I’ve never met before! We chatted for about ten minutes while she finished her run and I started mine.

I ended up doing a 5 mile speedwork session. My training plan called for seven, but that seemed a little too much to do on the treadmill, so I cut it down to five and will run the other two tomorrow. I warmed up at 5.5 for a mile. I ran at 6.4 mph (9:22) for three quarters of a mile and then walked at 3.5mph for a quarter mile. I did the run/walk repeat for a total of three miles and then cooled down at 5.5 for the final mile. While running at 6.4mph isn’t fun for me, it isn’t impossible, which I need to remember. I’ve run a 5K at that pace before, so it’s definitely do able.

While I was running, I was thinking about Oprah’s vegan challenge. At first, I thought that since I don’t eat much meat (fish and seafood is still meat!), it wouldn’t be that hard for me to go vegan for a week. But then I started thinking about what I ate all day and what was vegan and what wasn’t.

• coffee with soy creamer and stevia – vegan
• fried egg sandwich – not vegan
• chocolate vitatop – not vegan
• leftoever ravioli stew – not vegan
• apple – vegan
• fun size pack of peanut m&ms – not vegan
Greek orzo salad – not vegan

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• black bean brownie – vegan

So even though I ate vegetarian all day, the only vegan things that I had were coffee, an apple and a brownie. That was sort of surprising to me! I didn’t realize quite how many animals products I eat on a regular basis. Of course, the ravioli stew could have easily been veganized by using vegan ravioli and the Greek Orzo salad could have been veganized by leaving out the cheese (I used goat cheese instead of feta, btw).

Could you go vegan for a week? And have you ever run into another blogger?

Dinner with Husbands

A few weeks ago, Alayna and I decided that we should get together with our husbands. We both live relatively near each other and like to go to a lot of the same places. We were going to go last week, but the snow made it impossible, so last night we met up at The Brick Store in Decatur.

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The Brick Store is a cool bar with a ton of craft and belgian beers on tap. Like most Atlanta bars, they do offer a veggie burger, but I’ve had it before and only thought it was so-so, so I went with my other usual choice. Hummus. I often get hummus for an entree at restaurants. Sometimes I pair it with a salad but usually not. It’s most always enough food, although I had a lot of pita left over.

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We stayed there for about three hours just chatting about stuff, sometimes blog related, sometimes not.

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Both Jason and I had a really good time, although I was quickly reminded this morning why I don’t normally drink three beers on a Monday night. My head doesn’t exactly hurt but I just do not feel well this morning. I’m going to try to hydrate very well today and then sweat out the toxins at hot yoga tonight. We’ll see how that goes.

Day Three in MD

You know what else I am thankful for? Wi-fi. My mom doesn’t have wi-fi and it’s making it really hard to blog. I am managing to get a weak signal from the neighbor’s house. Yay for townhouses.

I can’t believe the 4-day weekend is almost over. We’ve been busy, busy, busy. We had dinner on Thursday at my dad’s house. My stepmother made a ton of food, including some special vegetarian stuffing and brussels sprouts (everyone else’s had bacon) for me. I somehow forgot to get pictures of most of the food, but we also had sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans and of course, there was a turkey.

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I was extremely full after dinner, but managed to have a piece of pie anyway.

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I started Friday morning out with a run. My mom lives right on the Capitol Crescent Trail so I always try to run there when I am visiting. My plan was to run 6 miles, which I did, but it wasn’t pleasant. I don’t know if it was the 2.5 glasses of wine that I had at Thanksgiving dinner or it was just one of those runs, but it sucked and I felt kind of nauseous the entire time. It didn’t help that it was cold and rainy out. I got it done and that’s the important part, right?

Since we didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with my mom (the joys of having divorced parents), we had a second Thanksgiving dinner at her house on Friday.

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My mom made spinach and meat lasagna and chicken caccitore.

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I made brussels sprouts and cookies.

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This morning brought another blogger meet up. This is the second time I’ve met up with bloggers in the past week. When it rains, it pours, right? I met up with Erin, Emily, Sana and Erin’s roommate at Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast.

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I had some sort of porridge that was one of their daily specials. I don’t know what it is, but oatmeal always tastes so good to me in restaurants and so blah when I make it at home. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

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I used to get nervous at blogger meet-ups, but everyone is always so nice as were these ladies. We had a nice time chatting.

Jason had requested that we check out Ben’s Chili Bowl while we were here. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had several vegetarian items on their menu so I was pumped to try it out.

We walked to the metro and took it to the U Street station and were kind of bummed to see a huge line that wrapped around the building.

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We wouldn’t have minded waiting if it wasn’t windy and freezing outside. Instead of waiting, we walked down the street and ended up in a noodle place. A huge bowl of warm noodle soup was perfect to warm us up.

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Ben’s Chili Bowl will have to wait for next time, I suppose. One more night here and then back to Atlanta, so I’m off to enjoy it. Although, it’s really freakin’ cold out…

Dinner with Kristy and Laura

I had dinner tonight with Kristy and Laura (who used to blog) at
R. Thomas.
I hadn’t been to R. Thomas in years. It is one of those restaurants that I have always liked but just never really think of. I’d met Laura twice previously and neither one of us had met Kristy before, but we all got along like old friends. It’s so funny how that happens. Laura and I ordered the same thing – the Thai express. The waiter said it was his favorite thing on the menu and that he went for two years before he even tried anything else. Sold! It came with either chicken or tempeh, but I asked for tofu instead. I’ve tried to make myself like tempeh but I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t.

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The food was really good and we ended up sitting around chatting for a long time after we finished eating. We all said that we need to do these dinners more often.

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And trying to take a picture in the mirror.

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Fun times!

On Sunday night, I decided to make my own oven-dried tomatoes. They were good but they took like 4 hours to dry out. In my opinion, I’d rather just buy sun-dried tomatoes.

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I also made a couscous salad.

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Italian Couscous Salad
Serves 2

1/2 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
1.25 cups water
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
1 small can sliced olives
1 tbsp Ken’s Northern Italian Light Dressing
2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

1. Cook couscous in water according to directions. I used a rice cooker, but you don’t have to.
2. Cool couscous in refrigerator and when cooled, mix with veggies.
3. Mix with salad dressing and goat cheese.
4. Eat