Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Breakfast: Chia Tapioca Pudding
Delightful again : )
Lunch: Mini Batch of Raw Tacos & Salsa on Romaine
I loved the raw tacos so much, that I had to make a half batch just to satisfy my cravings. I also threw together some salsa...I'm definitely going to start making this instead of buying the pre-bottled stuff because it was so fresh and flavorful!
(this makes about 1 cup....double/triple if more than one person will be eating!)
handful of chopped cilantro
1 green onion
2 garlic cloves
freshly squeezed lemon juice
dash of salt & pepper
Chop all veggies and toss in a bowl with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Chill for about 30 minutes, so the flavors mesh together. Enjoy!
Dinner: NOT RAW
ok ok, I'm going to be honest here. I broke my week of raw on the final meal....lame, I know. I started to feel really crappy by the middle of the day, and I listened to my body and officially ended my raw stint with some cooked veggies and pasta.
Fast forward to 3 days later...I just found out that I have bronchitis. I can't help but wonder if it was due to my body going through detox from the raw diet. I didn't think detox was supposed to happen that quickly, with just a week under my belt. However, I do have an autoimmune disorder that hasn't flared up since I graduated college and started living a healthier lifestyle. Maybe this is a signal that my body needs other nutrients that it wasn't getting over the course of the week. Guesses anyone??
What did I learn from my raw week? Raw food is quick, easy, and delicious. I don't think I'd be able to go raw as a full time thing (maybe I'm still scared from the bronchitis) but I will be incorporating more raw recipes into my regular diet and, as always, I encourage everyone to try some new recipes too.
Here's a list of my favorite raw resources....if you didn't catch them throughout the week:
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen
....and since this post hardly had any photos, I give you Mr. James Dean:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Breakfast: Banana w/ nut butter & a green monster
This combo satisfies my taste buds, keeps me full until lunch, and gives me a wonderful boost of energy (I think it's the greens!)
This green monster was made of 1 cup of almond milk, 2 cups packed kale, 1 tablespoon flax seed, a handful of strawberries, and a half of a banana. There's nothing like a smoothie in the morning!
Lunch: Blended Spinach Salad (another one from the lovely Gena....have I mentioned how much I love her site?!?!) & Leftover Alfredo Pasta
I wanted a little change from the salad for lunch routine, so I took Gena's advice, and tried her recipe for a chilled spinach soup. I blended this up before I headed off to work, stuck it in the fridge all morning, and it was perfectly chilled by lunchtime.
(It even looks pretty in tupperware!)
Spinach, avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper, water, and oil made up this soup. It was just alright. I think it needed a bit more salt & pepper...maybe it'll come out better next time.
Dinner: Raw Tacos
I had other plans for dinner, until I saw Gina's amazing creation of Raw Sloppy Joes. I knew immediately that's what I needed for dinner! I made several changes because of what I had around the kitchen, and here's what I used:
1/2 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/3 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic
splash of apple cider vinegar
splash of soy sauce
dash of: oregano, cajun seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, chili powder, & cumin
Combine everything and chop in a blender or food processor. I followed Gina's lead and wrapped the mixture up in lettuce leaves.
I can't tell you how much I LOVED THIS RECIPE. I was obsessed with the combo (tasted just like tacos!) and scarfed the whole batch down in one sitting. This is definitely an example of how the right seasoning can make anything delightful!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Breakfast: Uncooked Oats & Fruit w/ Almond Milk
Lunch: Collard Wraps w/ Ginger Dressing (from Ani's Raw)
Dinner: Raw Zucchini Alfredo with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes (another good one from Choosing Raw)
For the sauce recipe, click on the link above. I still have no idea how this sauce, which has a cashew base, tastes just like alfredo sauce! It really surprised me...and a couple of days later, I'm still drooling over this picture:
I can't stop laughing at this photo.
So the panic has subsided a bit, and I'm taking long, deep breaths about the idea of this internet dating thing. After talking to some folks (including Kat who has a boyfriend for just about ever and for whom this is all hypothetical, thus I take her calm logic with a grain of salt), I've realized that this could possibly be a lot of fun. Well, maybe good for a laugh or two at least. After spending way too much time trying to figure out how to make myself most marketable (choosing photos, writing and rewriting witty internet banter, I think that I'm ready. Plus browsing around the personals on nerve.com and The Onion hasn't been an AWFUL way to spend my insomnia ridden evenings...it's rather interesting to see the attempts of others, as well.
But this is all still in the realm of not interacting with actual people. It's indulging in a kind of voyeurism, kicking back, and hoping that something nice comes along. That is, until Kat and I get drunk and she starts emailing suitors she finds acceptable in all sorts of sassy, one sentence variations. I squeal and blush and write the post that immediately precedes this one. A few days later, I calm down and think that I could maybe do it myself. What the hell? It's not like I know these people. A sort of faux confidence sets in. And then a couple of guys actually email me back. Confidence disappears. What do I say? Do I meet these guys for a drink? When I do, what will we talk about? What if it's absolutely awful and awkward? I find it hilarious that I'm one of the most socially comfortable people I know (I'm great in a room full of people I don't know at a party or professional situation), but put me in a bar on a date and I'm an absolutely self conscious mess.
So I'm nervous at first, I sort of still am...BUT I had a few good thinks and conversations on the subject and decided I have little to nothing to lose. At the very least you practiced meeting a new person and working on your uncomfortable break the first date tension conversation. And you know that you're meeting someone who is ALSO interested in meeting new people. Plus, you kind of know what they look like so it's not quite as bad as a totally blind date. The reasons I think that people also look for new friends and companions online is because they're trying to date outside of their social circle, perhaps feeling sort of stagnant in their scene at present and seeking to expand their horizons. I can get down with that. I've been hanging out with the same guys since high school, and though I love them dearly, there's not exactly a lot of adventure into the unknown there.
The guy I've been emailing briefly, as a matter of fact, seems like quite a cultured fella who seems to suggest activities that are unique and interesting to me. So there's a start. We'll see what happens. I'm trying to go into this with an open mind and a great sense of fun. Like a grown up play date.
In the meantime, I'll enjoy what this strange, new world has to offer. And make some suggestions to all those looking to join me. The sites I've put profiles up on because they appear somewhat reputable and most importantly, free, are nerve.com and The Onion personals (owned by a company called Fast Cupid). If you log into the Onion personals through the Onion's website, you have much broader access to viewing the profiles of other users than if you log in through the Fast Cupid home page. It's obviously a bit of a scam to try to get you to pay for something that there's clearly a way around. Nerve is pretty much a free service that you can view everyone's profiles (and email anyone, maybe?), and I'm not really sure what this paid upgrade they're constantly pushing actually gets you. There's no way I think it's necessary to pay for anything when almost all social networking on the internet is free of charge and there are lots of ways to offer up alternative methods of communication without compromising your privacy. I'll let you know how that experiment goes. The other sites I've looked at and not been terribly thrilled by were OKCupid (which is insanely cheesy, albeit free) and Match.com (who really, really want you to pay for the service). The thing about Match.com, is that half the time, the other people you're looking at haven't paid for the service either, so even if you are a paying member, you can't email these people anyway. And I think that paying for this stuff is stupid.
The big scammers to watch out for, it would seem are Chemistry.com. Read all the horrible things people have to say about it here. I signed up for a free personality test or something and they WON'T stop emailing me even though I will never ever give them my money. They also keep sending me matches, but popping up the 'buy a membership' screen before you can even see these people that are allegedly "interested" in you. It smells like Sheepshead Bay to me.
Stay tuned for the next chapter in the saga. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Breakfast: Chia Seed Mock-Tapioca Pudding
What??!! Pudding for breakfast??? Yes. I was very hesitant to make this for breakfast, mainly becasue I had seen what chia seeds turned into after they soaked for 10 minutes in the Chili Cheese Dip. I could not imagine that it would taste good A) in the morning B) mixed with something sweet C) not blended because the texture it kind of creepy.
It was SOOOOO GOOOOOD!!! It really did have the texture of Tapioca pudding (actually a better texture, if you ask me) and it was perfectly sweet with the cinnamon and vanilla. I was smiling the entire meal. Do not be afraid of these lovely chia seeds! Def try this at home!
Lunch: Huge Salad
Dinner: Chili Burger and a Mountian of Salad
The raw special of the night was posted on a chalkboard simply as "Chili Burger". I had no idea what this would be made of, but they had me at "burger", so I jumped at it. I'm still not 100% about what all it contained, but I know the base was lentils, it definitly had some chili powder thrown in there, and was topped was shredded carrots and a tahini sauce. I was starving and it totally hit the spot!
A nice surprise was the giant salad it was served with. Again, didn't take notes here, but there were tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, raddishes, carrots, cabbage, romaine, and lemon juice. This also hit the spot and was both light and filling.
I would recommend Caravan to any veggies/vegans out there. Do note that it was a little on the pricey side (at least in my opinion) so its not an everyday destination. Definitely a place I'll take my vegetarian brother and his girlfriend next time they visit....hint hint ; )
Friday, July 17, 2009
Breakfast: Banana w/ nut butter & a green monster
This was a simple breakfast. A banana cut in half with almond butter sandwiched in the middle and a good old fashined....green monster. (Note to Jenna: do you remember what an "Old Fashined" is....I think it belongs on your page)
For my green monster, I blended 1 cup of almond milk, 2 cups packed spinach, 1 tablespoon flax seed, a handful of strawberries, and a half of a banana. It turned out more brown than green, but it was magical.
Lunch: Leftover Kreamy Avocado Soup and a salad
The avocado soup was just as lovely the second time around. At the last minute, I added a handful of chopped basil leaves, which I totally recommend. The salad was half kale/half romaine, topped with yellow bell pepper, broccoli, green onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt & pepper. AND a little leftover guacamole. I was avocado-ed out after that....but nicley full.
Dinner: Zuchinni Pasta & Marinara Sauce
This recipe was the main reason that I started this week of raw indulgences. I was fascinated and really wanted to know what zucchini pasta tasted like. Jenna came over for a dinner/blog work date so she can back me up on this when I say:
O.M.G. This was the best raw OR cooked thing I have ever tasted!!! If Jenna hadn't been around to confirm this, I would have just thought I felt this way because all I had been eating this week mainly resembled salad. This. Was. A. Delight.
If you haven't tried this yet, I suggest dropping everything and "cooking" it tonight for dinner.
Just to note: I was finished making this entire meal before Jenna could even log into her Blogger account! It was ridiculously fast, easy, and delicious. That's what she said.
The base recipe is from Ani:
* 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
* 1 medjool date, pitted
* 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
* 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, fresh
* 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 teaspoons salt
I added (and definitly reccomend):
4 sundried tomatoes
1 handful chopped basil
1. Make the "noodle" base by slicing a zucchini lengthwise with a vegetable peeler...
...until you get this
2. Blend all sauce ingredients together until smooth
(my blender and I have been bffs this week, sorry jenna)
3. Spoon sauce over "noodles"
4. Laugh at Jenna because dinner is finished before she could sign in to her email
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Wow....could that have been a more horrible intro to make you want to eat this food??
Here's the menu:
Breakfast: Uncooked Oats with Almond Milk and Fruit
1/2 cup oats
1 cup almond milk
a TON of blueberries
This was good, and pretty much exactly like my usual bowl of oats in the morning....only not hot.
Lunch: Guacamole (another killer recipe from Gena) and a huge salad
...click on the link for the recipe
Dinner time came around and I still did not have a huge appetite. I did need to eat though, so I threw together this soup. It was so tasty that I immediately got my appetite back... I then proceeded to devour the majority of it!
Kreamy Avocado Soup
1 ½ avocados
2 tbsp miso
2 tbsp olive oil
2 ½ c water
1 lime’s juice
2/4 tsp rosemary
1/3 tsp chipotle
¼ c. tomatoes diced (topping)
I'm hoping that I'll feel better tomorrow....I'm planning to eat less straight salad-like dishes (the thought of a cabbage roll right now makes my stomach turn) maybe this will help my will to eat raw.
Online dating is so fucking weird and awkward even before you go so far as contacting another actual human being.
Kat is sending obscene emails to boys on nerve.com. Because I am lame and have no idea what I'm supposed to do. Thanks be to good friends in low places.
First, you have to fill out this ridiculous survey about your personality, likes, dislikes, etc. It's just like a job interview except that you're a loser, sitting at home, trying to find a date and probably feeling intoxicated and sorry for yourself. Now, you're expected to be clever. Who can possibly be any good at filling these things out unless you are a writer or average stand up comedian? How am I supposed to know what the most attractive and funny answer is to: My personal motto is:...?
My personal motto is, I wish I didn't have to go on the internet to find a fucking date.
This is in no way meant to insult people who have found true love on the interweb...I just don't understand when it stops being weird and starts being fun. You know, like when you browse Zappos.com to check out the shoe selection and you check out all different kinds of shoes...ones that you'd buy, and not buy, but in general, kind of a fun thing to do. But with shoes you don't have to email them and ask them out on dates and sound like a giant loser asking a stranger out to coffee. My hand is being forced here...and I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I AM WAY TOO AWKWARD TO DO THIS!!!!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Enter the week-long challenge of Raw "cooking". I'm very excited to try a few new things and even more excited to get to share them with you! I will be sampling a variety of recipes from several different websites. My choices are a bit limited because I do not own any fancy machinery. A lot of raw recipes that I have read call for either a dehydrator, a spiralizer (to make fancy thinly-cut veggies) or a food processor. All I own is a crappy blender that barely chops tofu....so we'll see what happens!
This is what I'll be eating this week:
My first day actually turned into two thirds of a day eating raw. Jenna convinced me to have brunch with her after a night of shenanigans, so breakfast was the complete opposite of raw. Lunch, dinner, and dessert turned out to be a success:
For lunch, I made a raw wrap with and Chili Cheese Dipping Sauce. These combos were stolen directly from Gina...almost no changes were made...and it was delicious!
The base of the wrap was collard leaves. I had never tasted a raw collard before, so I was nervous buying an entire bundle when I knew they weren't going to be cooked. You know what? they were not bad at all! For some reason, I imagined that they would be very bitter, but that was not the case (thank god!).
The filling consisted of yellow bell pepper, carrot, tomato, cilantro, and a raw goat cheese (that I cannot remember the variety of).
2 tbsp chia seeds (soak in 1/2 cup of water for a few minutes.....gels up like crazy!)
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 ts chili powder
2 tbs nutritional yeast (cheesy-tasing vegan "spice")
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
Dash of sea salt & pepper
Blend the gelled chia seeds and everything else until smooth. It was delightful and had a wonderful spicy kick to it.
Hours later, I was on to dinner: Nori Rolls with Ginger Almond Pate from Ani's Raw (obsessed with this site!)
I'm not even going to post the recipe here, because I changed absolutely nothing. Click on the link above.
This was a very good mock-sushi wrap, and I think it would definitely satisfy any cravings of sushi with rice. The only thing I would NOT suggest, it to make my aforementioned lunch and dinner on the same day. Kind of similar = both wraps of veggies, so I was not that into dinner halfway through it.
SO.....i HAD to have dessert! I tried Gena's infamous This Post Will Change Your Life Banana Soft Serve. This recipe is taking over the internet, and for good reasons.....D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. You need to try this.....NOW! GO!
Who knew frozen bananas could be so delightful.....
...with "chocolate" sauce (agave nectar mixed with cocoa powder)!
And this concludes Day 1 of raw food. Learned some great new recipes....but we'll see if I can keep it up!
When I first moved back to the city after college, for MONTHS, I had not been on ONE date. I've always found it difficult meeting guys I want to date for reasons that never seem clear to me. I've been told that I have standards that are too high and little sense of adventure for diving face first into the world of random dating and meeting men at bars. My defense here is that I have very little patience for people I don't like and can't find a good reason to be around. Thus, I don't think it's really worth the free meal if it means I have to spend 3 hours hanging out with someone I can't stand. Even if you get a really good story out of it. Mind you, this may sound extreme, but I like and get along with MOST people so this shouldn't really be that much of an issue. It just seems when romance is concerned things get very complicated, very quickly. I say that a lot don't I?
I'd been seeing this guy since August that was a strictly friends who fool around scenario. Every few weeks I'd develop guilt about this situation, thinking that I should be seeking more from my interactions than a late night movie, a few shots, and strictly physical satisfaction. According to society, I SHOULD expect more from both myself and others. However, this situation was completely workable in terms of my life right at that moment, especially considering the gentleman in question, with whom I have just enough in common to entertain us both during our brief trysts, but very little interest in beyond that. We all know what people say about relationships like this, how one person starts feeling differently and things go wrong, blah blah blah, but this was really not the case here. I wish more guys believed that sometimes, women are REALLY only in it for the sex. Things can't continue on that road forever, unfortunately and eventually two people in that situation tire of one another and decide that it's best to go there separate ways. No harm, no foul, but no fireworks either.
So aside from various welcome casual distractions, I haven't really been in a position to meet/date new guys. My free time is spent doing things of a theatrical nature, so, like in college, my circle of new friends remains limited to a certain "artsy" demographic. The rest of the time I'm generally serving Italian food at a family style restaurant in Park Slope in a remarkably unattractive get up. Not exactly a hot bed for singles.
Whilst lamenting this lack of opportunity to a friend, he brought up how active his dating life had been since he'd moved to New York after going to school in Boston. He'd put up a profile on some sort of internet dating service and has had at least a date or two a week since he's lived here. He seemed shocked to find that I have had the opposite experience, considering I'm a young, able bodied, fun loving, lady in our fair city who isn't all that difficult to look at and even less difficult to hang out with. He suggested I do the same and start experiencing some different people who I could be compatible with...or at least new restaurants in this bustling metropolis. Here's where all of my excuse-making comes in as I claim to lack the patience to deal with the "many duds I will meet before finding a stud" as my coworker, Jana (a success story of Match.com) so cleverly and cheesily puts it. While discussing this with Jana, I came to a stunning realization. As far as dating is concerned, I expect the perfect guy (or perfect enough) to just waltz right through my door without my having to make any kind of effort at all. Essentially, I expect to have a functional relationship and thrilling sex life to be handed to me on a silver platter. When I compare this nonchalant attitude to my commitment and perspective regarding my acting career, I realize what's going on. I work on my acting repertoire and go on auditions ALL THE TIME. I submit headshots and resumes for things that are good or bad, things that might work out, or things I don't have a shot in hell at getting because it's all part of the experience and you never know when something might pay off. I spent months doing a show I didn't like because I needed and valued the experience. And I do all these things, and bust my butt mind you, because I care about finding success in my art. In whatever form it manifests. And I realize now that this is how some people feel about dating. Because it is their top priority and so they work hard in hopes of finding something great because it really matters to them.
So I'm proposing a dating renaissance (for me at least). Perhaps the reason I've been hanging out with so many jerks of late, is because I'm not putting the appropriate effort into seeking someone better. I shall take these lessons that I've learned and create a new set of standards, then look for people that fit these standards. I think the shenanigans I've gotten myself into of late have brought me to this need for something better. At least something that I can honestly say that I enjoy. Plus it's the summer time! In New York City! And there are so many fantastic things to do, it's a great time to start dating on the internet? Right? Right!? If it sucks, you never see this person again, plus you have the option to do some serious weeding out of people you're not into, beforehand. So hopefully from the pool you do you have to choose from, there should be some folks to have some fun with. Plus it's the summer, so nothing really matters anyway.
So who has some good, free suggestions for dating online? What's there to know? Believe me, I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about it once my foray into this adventurous world begins, but any advice would surely be appreciated. My friend Carly mentioned that half of these services you pay for are kind of bullshit because the people you're interested in contacting generally don't pay for the service themselves. Plus, I draw the line at paying to find people I like on the internet. I thought Facebook meant that we no longer have to do such silly things. Even though it's totally creepy when someone you don't know sends you a message on the Facebook. I clearly have a lot to learn. But I'm ready. The sun is out, and this girl is on the market, so watch out New York City. It's about to get serious, for this girl is taking matters into her own (very capable and feminine) hands.
It IS too bad that the whole package, the guy who is fun and mentally stimulating enough to hang out with and also wants to have mind blowing rolls in the hay all the time isn't just waltzing into my little cave apartment on Avenue V anytime soon. I do so love to sit at home and wait for things to happen to me. But I guess you can't have your cake and have sex with it too.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 package TJs frozen scallops
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup veggie broth
-Place frozen scallops in a bowl in the sink and run cool water over them for a few minutes (this starts the defrosting process)
-Saute garlic and onions together for about 3 minutes on low low-medium heat so garlic doesn't burn
-Add scallops and continue to saute for another 3 minutes
-Add broth, tomatoes, and parsley.
-Cover, continue to saute on medium heat until scallops are fully cooked (around 10-15 minutes)
I served this over pasta, but any grain would do. Perfect with a glass of white wine and good conversation!