Stress-blanking

This past weekend amidst all the studying (or perhaps because of all the studying), I realized I had somewhere close to a million food items that needed my attention. You may (or may not) recall that I left dinner at Quercy last Thursday night with half a loaf of sourdough bread. I could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting without batting an eyelash, but I didn’t want to do that. I needed to instead incorporate it into a portion-controlled meal (meal = group of foods eaten together with satisfaction potential) that still let me enjoy the bread. And what is the best possible use for day-old bread??

Bread pudding, of course!

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Featured Breakfast: Leftover Banana Bread Pudding

Ingredients (and sources)

– 3 cups cubed bread, not packed (obviously, I used my sourdough from Quercy)

– 3 eggs, beaten (Eggland’s Best, of course)

– 3 cups liquid (I used 1 cup unsweetened soymilk and 2 cups water)

– 1/2 cup oat bran for a nutritional boost (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

– shakes of nutmeg and cinnamon, to taste (from cabinet)

– 3 sliced bananas, separated (I used Holiday Inn breakfast buffet bananas)

img_9161– 1/3 cup-ish raisins (I used Just Tomatoes raisins.)

About these raisins from Just Tomatoes. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the package because I was unaware that raisins could be so plump and juicy. Just Tomatoes raisin on the left;Β  SunMaid raisin on the right.

Note: You’ll notice I did not use any sweetener. I find that the bananas and the raisins make it sweet enough. If you think you need sweetener, obviously add it however you like.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Spread bread cubes out in the dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and liquid.
  4. Stir oat bran and spices into wet mix.
  5. Gently stir in two of the sliced bananas and all of the raisins.
  6. Pour this mixture evenly over the bread cubes in the baking dish.
  7. Arrange the slices of the third banana neatly over the top.
  8. Baked covered (you can use foil) for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove cover, and bake 20 minutes more until “pudding” is firm. If you like things crispy on top (like I do), broil for an additional 5 minutes.

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I sliced my bread pudding into seven pieces because that’s what seemed to fit.

My serving preference:

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One slice of warm bread pudding on a bed of 1/2 cup yogurt/ricotta/Pb2 with a chopped Hershey’s Kiss on top and a tsp of homemade pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter:

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Or froyo the yogurt/ricotta/PB2 and have it on the side πŸ™‚

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I’ve been waking up every morning with visions of this dessertforbreakfast in my head, and it’s literally the only thing that has been pulling me out of bed. Well, that and the news ticker of things to do that’s also scrolling through my head.

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Featured Contributions: Monday

Of course, a day would not be complete without giving credit to those whose food helped power me through. This is obviously not an exhaustive list of all I ate — just the pleasant food surprises I encountered yesterday!

Tropical fruit salad (papaya, mango, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, honeydew) from Myrna:

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Wrinkly grapes I found and co-opted for myself in the work fridge:

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Baby carrots from Jessica:

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Class dinner: leftover lunch chicken that Mildred and Myrna gave me at work, an entire chopped cucumber and an entire pint of tomatoes (first a whole bag of arugula, and now this!) that I picked up from the grocery store (I stress-produce-shopped yesterday, too), and manchego cheese samples from the gourmet deli

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Post-photo, I mixed it all together salad-style. I don’t think I actually intended to eat the entire pint of tomatoes when I bought them, but these things happen.

Are you more likely to (1) stress-cook, (2) stress-eat, (3) stress-shop, or (4) stress-sleep?


Intermission

I’m surfacing for just a moment to do a quick recap of the day, and then I’ll be back into the school/work/sleep abyss for the next 24 hours!

Breakfast was more cinnamon bun on flax-oat bran:

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With 1/2 sliced apple and 1/3 cup yogurt for dipping, all dusted in cinnamon:

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To hold me over until lunch, I had yogurt/ricotta with flax, pb2, banana, and strawberries (from Hunter’s lobby last night):

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Lunch was more Thai coconut seafood curry, mixed with the veggies from Hunter’s lobby:

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Veggies make everything prettier, don’t they?

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I also had a spoonful of Belkis’ perfect perfect meat and rice:

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And a salad composed of leftover salad bits from Mildred, Jessica, and yesterday’s mangu lunch. I topped the salad with some of the innards of the chicken, tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich piece Emily gave me in class last night:

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I have an identical salad waiting for me in the fridge for tomorow πŸ™‚

Later in the afternoon, I had an orange:

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And another pb-chocolate-apple parfait:

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I also opened up my first tin (as opposed to roll) of Newman’s Own Organics peppermints. They’re so cute — just like little Altoids:

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I had a bunch during the day. I did not count.

When I got home this evening, I prepped food for tomorrow and then headed out for some exercise. I jogged for 25 minutes until the pain won out, and then I switched to walking for another 20. Somewhere in there, I did 10 reps of the inchworm exercise that Olga told me about.

When I arrived back at the apt, I had a serving of the same chocolate-pb-flax custard that’s in the parfait above with a couple little slices of banana, a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut, and a tsp of pb2:

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OK, off to report for bed duty so I can wake up tomorrow and do it all again. Ahh, I can’t wait until this semester is over and the papers are behind me!

A non-mentally-taxing question for tonight: How many separate things did you eat today? According to this entry, I ate 10. That might be a record low!

Sample satisfaction

On my way home last night, I stopped into a couple of grocery stores for about $11 worth of important items — milk and yogurt for making yogurt, part-skim ricotta (because it was on sale), and broccoli (because I needed greens!). I also collected a few samples along the way to incorporate into dinner:

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The plate includes a big ol’ pile of plain steamed broccoli, the rest of Myrna’s McDonald’s breakfast sandwich that she gave me yesterday when she got too full, and two little quiche samples — one sweet ham and one spinach — from Union Market.

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I don’t think I’ve had a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich since I was 7. My dad and I used to go on weekend mornings because I was a crazy picky eater (what happened??!) but I loved those biscuits more than anything. I would get mine with only an egg on it because I didn’t like sausage or melted cheese. I’m still not crazy about sausage, but, even though it’s not something I ever crave, this sandwich was definitely tasty! The biscuit was as good as I remembered.

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Dessert developed as I was getting the yogurt ready to go into the oven for overnight incubation. I’d picked up my two favorite brands to use as starters — Stonyfield and Ronnybrook — in fun flavors so I could play with the leftovers.

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I reserved the plain yogurt parts for yogurt making but kept the flavored fun parts (cream top, coconut pieces, chocolate-on-the-bottom) for me:

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I swirled in a bit of part-skim ricotta to make coconut-chocolate cheesecake yogurt and then dipped in a little sample sliver of peanut butter brownie from Union Market:

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I surrounded my brownie cheesecake bowl with fruit salad and a sample piece of cherry lattice pie, also from the market:

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Samples are so exciting!

For dessert #2 later, I had my leftover almond sunset tea from morning with two jasmine biscotti bites for dipping:

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What’s the best free sample, food or non-food, you ever got?

Busier off

Ack, it’s pretty late for me to be getting around to this! I always expect to have so much extra time on my days off, and the opposite always ends up being true.

Anyway, I had today off since it’s my class day and Hunter is closed for spring break πŸ™‚ I had lots to get done because I’m leaving for the weekend tomorrow — my old college roommate is getting married in North Carolina! I woke up around 8, got my laundry started at the laundromat, and then came back for breakfast:

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That’s right, exactly the same as yesterday: tofu oat bran with prune groatmeal topping! Such a pleasant-sounding name, right?

I topped it with cashew-almond butter and unsweetened coconut again today, but
I decided to go wild and throw on a sprinkle of cinnamon as well.

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Lunch, even though it was my day off from work, was the usual group effort.

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I had a salad made with rescued brown and leaky roommate lettuce and Heather’s leftover lunch lettuce from work yesterday; half of an abandoned zucchini that I found on the conference room table yesterday (I think it was Inginia’s?) sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and a few thawed pieces of seared tuna from the Electrolux event a couple weeks ago; peanut roasted chickpeas; Newman’s dried berry blend; grated homemade parmesan; and the rest of my sundried tomato dressing from last night’s salad.

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On the side, I had one of Myrna and Mildred’s empanadas from Heather’s baby shower and Heather’s leftover guacamole from her lunch yesterday.

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I didn’t know whether the empanada was chicken or cheese until I took a bite.

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Chicken it was! Delicious πŸ™‚

Lunch dessert was another tbsp of peanut roasted chickpeas and the rest of the Newman’s berries:

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After laundry and lunch, I went out on a mission of many errands. I walked down to Brooklyn’s poor excuse for a mall, Atlantic Center, and picked up a new pair of sneakers (in the white/berry/storm color) from DSW on sale for $60. More money than I’m really free to spend, but the health of my knees is worth it!

img_8063I also hit up Target hoping to find a cheap dress for the wedding that suits my new, ahem, “curvier” figure (thanks to the injury-induced reduction in running). No luck, though, so I’m going to have to raid my closet! I did, however, pick up a coffee bean grinder. I don’t like coffee, but my mini-food processor bit the dust after three batches of nut butter, and I thought (rather, I called my mom and she thought) the grinder might be a good and cheap ($15!) interim solution until I can get my hands on a powerful processor. Mom was right, and I made some sunflower seed butter when I got home. Sure, it took three batches (and I had to stop the grinder after every pulse to scrape the sides) to make 1/2 cup’s worth, but I now have delicious sunflower seed butter!

I also stopped into several grocery stores on the way back to try to put a dent in my stockpile of coupons. In addition to heavily discounted produce, I also picked up a free kashi meal, free tempeh, free cereal, and free yogurt πŸ˜€ The checkout people kept doing double-takes as they rang up my coupons.

By the time I got home, I had been gone for three hours and 3.5 miles of walking. I had a quick snack of a date with my last tsp of cashew-almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon:

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And then I went out for an inaugural run with the new sneakers! I could definitely feel the difference in my knees. I felt like I was running on clouds, sigh. I made it about 22 minutes until the muscles started giving me grief, so I took a 20-minute walk/run/stretch pain-break. Once things had calmed down, I resumed a solid run for the last 10 minutes. I think I usually run by wildly throwing my legs out in front of me (yeah, I’m sure that’s part of why I’m injured, too) but I noticed today that I felt a lot less pain when I focused on lifting my knees UP instead. I’ll have to make a point of this on future runs. Anyhoo, stats: 55 minutes, 421 calories, 144 average heart rate, 168 max. It was probably around 4 miles total. After the run, I did most of the 20-minute Yoga for Runners — sometimes I just can’t keep my attention on it long enough to finish!

Now I’m off to go finish dyeing my hair, do a little wedding fashion show so I can figure out what to pack, and then start packing! I will hopefully be back soon — I should have a good amount of airport downtime perfectly suited to blogging tomorrow πŸ™‚

Are your days off busier than your days on?

Erin at I Walk In This World is going to be hosting a bake sale/auction next week to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Go check it out!

Todo lo demΓ‘s

Because there was nothing all that special about the rest of the day in between cupcakes this morning and dessert tonight (and because I’m running behind on everything in the world … except eating dessert!), I’m just going to do a quick rundown.

Another cup (the last one) of mama’s chicken, kielbasa, and root vegetable casserole:

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Three tomato slices left from Myrna’s tacos:

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Three inches of Mildred’s ham and cheese wheat Subway sub:

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Which I subsquently deconstructed into a ham and cheese half and a plain bread to dip in avocado salsa half (to get rid of the mayo):

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And 1/4 of Mildred’s white chocolate macademia Subway cookie:

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The last cup of my fruit salad with a sprinkling of golean crunch:

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And one final cupcake from Jessica:
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Afternoon snacks were two heated kitchen sink mini-muffins from mom with cashew-almond butter:

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And a blood orange:

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After work, I headed down to Brooklyn to meet Gina and Kate for salads at Chop Chop, a pay-too-much-to-make-your-own-salad takeout restaurant/gourmet deli. I have to admit that the salad was delicious, though!

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I ordered an arugula salad with beets, carrots, cucumber, red onions, sundried tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomato dressing on the side:

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Mmmmmmmm, it was SO good. And then we headed over to Kate’s apartment to house some special desserts Gina scored for us πŸ˜€ Details to come! And when did my life become one nonstop dessert, seriously???