Category Archives: Vegetarian Meal

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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Kitchen Sink Curry

In theory, today was the perfect day to do my 5-mile tempo run. I have dinner plans tomorrow night and I’m doing my long run on Saturday, so doing the 5-miler tonight would have spaced things out perfectly. I was tired all day. I’m not sure why. I didn’t go to bed any later than normal nor did I have trouble sleeping, but I was tired. I drove to the gym after work. Usually it takes some willpower to actually drive to the gym instead of home, but once I’m there, I’m fine.

Not so much tonight. My dad called while I was in the car and I sat in the parking lot talking to him for like 10 minutes. Then, I went in the gym, changed and hopped on a treadmill. I ran for 4 minutes before calling it quits. And I went home. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever done that before. I’ve aborted a run and gotten on the elliptical, but I don’t know if I’ve ever just straight up gone home.

Of course, I’m feeling a little guilty about it. Now I’m going to have to do the 5 mile run on Friday, my long run on Saturday and what was supposed to be Friday’s 3 miler on Sunday. So that’ll be a lot of running this weekend. I hope it’s worth it. I was just so tired tonight. I think that my body was asking for a break.

I had some spinach and tomato in my fridge that I needed to use. After looking at Super Cook (which is the coolest website – why didn’t I invent that?), I found some curry recipes and decided to make curry for dinner based on what I had already at home. This was definitely an everything but the kitchen sink curry! It was tasty though. I think once you have the sauce down, curry is a pretty hard recipe to screw up.

I based my sauce on the Spicy Curry from Skinny Bitch but then changed it up quite a bit.

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Everything But the Kitchen Sink Curry
adapted from Skinny Bitch
Serves 4-6

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can light coconut milk
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp miso
2 tsp mild red curry paste
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup spinach
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1. Heat 1 tbsp grapeseed oil in pot over medium heat. Saute garlic for 30 seconds. Add next five ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low and cover.

2. Meanwhile, heat other tbsp of oil in large pan. Add onion and broccoli. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. When onion and broccoli are tender, add spinach and cook until wilted.

3. Add onion, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and chickpeas to curry sauce. Continue to let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Now I’m off to curl up on the couch with my new Cooking Light subscription. My sister-in-law Natalie got it for me for Christmas and the first issue came today. Good night!

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The New Late Night

When I was in college and I guess for a while afterward, a common question between my friends and I was, “What are you doing late night? Let’s meet up late night.” Late night would usually consist of pizza and chicken wings in someone’s dorm room. At least in college, it would.

Things have changed a lot since then and late night doesn’t really exist for me anymore. Once in a blue moon, I’ll stay out until 1 or 2 am, but typically I’m ready for bed at 11pm, even on the weekends.

Eating an early dinner usually goes along with going to bed early. I’m typically very hungry when I get home from work and end up eating dinner by 6:15 or 6:30. Except when I have a yoga class at 7:30, like tonight.

I made what’s become my typical pre-yoga drink – fresh juice. Mr. Breville’s been getting some action lately.

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This was one yellow apple, two carrots, half a cucumber, some romaine lettuce leaves and a quarter of a lemon in a Sweetwater glass. ATL represent.

Yoga was hard tonight. The class was pretty crowded which made the room feel hotter. I had to rest in child’s pose during one of the poses towards the end. The class was over at a little bit after nine and Kristy, Laura, Alayna and I stood around chatting for a while. I had to stop at Rite Aid and get Jason some sinus medicine after class and I didn’t get home until 10pm! Did I mention that the yoga studio is a 25 minute drive from my house? Pretty much everything is a 25 minute drive from my house. Well, everything but Applebee’s.

Fortunately, I’d set my rice cooker to cook some Basmati Brown Rice while I was at yoga. I like the Basmati variety but it takes forever to cook so I normally just do the quick cooking rice. But I figured I had the time, so why not. I’m glad that I did because when I got home, I was freakin’ starving.

I basically shoved a cookbook in Jason’s face and asked him to make Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice from the PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook while I showered.

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And then I inhaled it. At 10:30. This is the new late night.

Tired Legs

I guess my speed work yesterday really took more out of me than I realized. I did two miles on the treadmill today and it took a lot of effort to make myself run the entire time. I wasn’t running fast, but it was still hard. I guess I should take a day off after speedwork, perhaps? After my run, I did some weights. I’m still on Stage 1 of the New Rules of Lifting. I feel like I’ve been on Stage 1 forever! I still have four more workouts before I can move to Stage 2.

I wanted something quick and easy for dinner so I made up a recipe based on something that I’d previously made.

Tahini Couscous with Mushrooms, Onions and Chickpeas
Serves 4
(adapted from this recipe)

1.3 cups whole wheat toasted Israeli couscous
1.75 cups water
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
6 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp tahini
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp creole spice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put couscous, water and garlic powder into rice cooker. You could also do this on the stove.

2. While couscous is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms and creole seasoning. Cook for about 7 minutes, until veggies are soft.

3. Mix couscous with veggies and chickpeas. Add tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

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I liked this, but it definitely has a strong tahini taste so keep that in mind if you make it. It does need a lot of salt. I didn’t measure how much I put.

Tomorrow is Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend?

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?

Grocery Haul

My intention for yesterday afternoon was to strip glue off the walls (fun!) but somehow the day got away from me. I went to the gym and then to the Farmer’s Market and made dinner and suddenly it was after 9pm and the walls still had wallpaper glue on them. Oops.

I love a trip to the Farmer’s Market. Like I’ve said before, it’s not a traditional farmer’s market at all. It’s more like a big warehouse that sells pretty much any type of produce you can think of, grains, dairy, meats and breads. And it’s cheap!

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Here’s what I got:

Brown Rice Syrup
Organic Spelt Flour
Pearl Couscous
Rice Wine Vinegar
3 Chobani yogurts
2 cup of soup type things
2 cans chickepas
Cinnamon Flatbreads
2 organic apples
2 red peppers
package of mushrooms
1 head garlic
1 lb bag organic carrots
2 sweet potatoes
1.25 lb sugar snap peas
2 broccoli crowns
1 acorn squash
2 cucumbers
cashews
2 avocados
romaine lettuce
organic dinosaur kale
organic bananas (I don’t typically buy organic bananas, but that’s all they had)
sage
organic eggs
crumbled goat cheese
ginger

And guess how much I paid for my loot? $55.26. I love the Farmer’s Market. I also ran into someone that I graduated college with. Considering I went to college over 1000 miles away, seeing someone who went to the same school, much less in my graduating class, does not happen often.

I came home and started dinner. What was on the menu? Soup, of course! My desire not to eat soup for every meal was short lived, apparently. I consulted my “recipes to try” bookmarked folder and came up with Garlic Soup with Quinoa and Snap Peas.

(Recipe from nytimes.com, link above)

1 1/2 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock or water (I used half low sodium veggie broth and half water)
6 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
4 small or 2 large sage leaves
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
2 eggs
6 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 1/3 cups cooked quinoa, warmed

1. Combine the stock or water, garlic, sage leaves and salt in a heavy saucepan or soup pot, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the flavor of the garlic is no longer sharp. Taste and adjust seasoning.

2. Add the snap peas to the simmering soup, and simmer two to three minutes until crisp but tender.

3. Beat the eggs in a bowl with the olive oil. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of hot soup. Take the soup off the heat, then whisk the tempered eggs into the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning.

4. Place 1/3 cup of quinoa in each soup bowl. Ladle in the soup and serve.

Yield: Serves four.

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This needed a lot of salt, but after I added enough, it was very tasty. It reminded me a lot of egg drop soup.

The plan for today is to do 7 miles with my friend Joan. We’re waiting until it warms up a bit. I am such a cold weather running wimp. I’ve done this race four times in the past, obviously I trained during the winter! I just can’t seem to get into it this time. In my defense, we are having a very cold winter this year.

Oh, and the wallpaper glue, I guess I should do that today too.

Taking it to the ‘Mill

Initially, I was going to run my 6-mile long run with my friend Joan. But when I woke up this morning and saw that it was 22 degrees out, that plan got scrapped pretty fast. I will be the first one to admit it, I do not like running in extreme temps. You may laugh, but 22 degrees qualifies as an extreme temperature to me. As does 88 degrees. Basically, I’ll run outside if it’s between 40 and 80 degrees. Since I live in Atlanta, this is a good chunk of the winter, spring and fall months so it’s not that unreasonable. I think I need more cold weather running gear. All I have is a warmish shirt and Nike running tights. It just seems silly because our winter here is so short, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have some clothes so I wouldn’t be forced to take it to the ‘mill.

I normally like to get my run over with in the morning so I’ll have the rest of the day to relax. However, because of the impending snow storm (which has since been downgraded to 2-4 inches), I knew that Jason would be at work for a long time and I wouldn’t get to see him so I wanted to stick around the house and hang out with him before he left for work.

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It’s totally normal to bring a pillow and an overnight bag to work, right? He works in news, by the way.

Somehow, and this tends to happen to me, I started to read a book in bed and the next thing I knew, it was 3:30 pm. Umm, oops? I had to walk the Murphster and then I set out for LA Fitness. I can handle six miles on the treadmill. It’s about my maximum distance before I lose my mind. I’ve done eight before, but six is really as much as I want to ever do inside.

I do have some treadmill tricks for making the miles go by quicker. One is that I do a 9:1 run/walk ratio. I run for nine minutes and then walk for one. It makes the run go by so much faster when you think, “Oh, I only have to run 5 more minutes before I get a break.” rather than, “I have to run 45 more minutes!” What’s interesting is that while I do this all the time on the treadmill, I really never do it outside or in races.

My second trick is to hop off and switch treadmills mid-run. Seriously, it makes it lot more manageable when you think of the run as three miles and then another three miles.

I also put a bunch of new music on my ipod that my friend Mariam gave me. It was fun to hear new stuff although I’ve learned that Bat For Lashes, which my ipod kept playing, is NOT good running music.

Some people think that running allows them to eat crappy after. I do not agree. While I won’t say that I haven’t had pizza after a long run or race, I really do feel like eating healthy after a run adds to the feeling that I’ve done something good for myself.

So I made dinner. This was much better than the glorified version of bean dip that I ate last night. Real veggies!

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This Warm Broccoli and Mushroom salad with Balsmaic Vinegrette with Toasted Israeli Couscous with Chickpeas and Tahini from the PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook. This cookbook is one of my favorites. It’s basically Sandra Lee style, using a lot of prepackaged ingredients. I know that real cooks may scoff at that, but, hey, it’s much better than eating McDonald’s right?

Come on snow, bring it.