Splitsville

As I was contemplating what to make for breakfast that would best use the extra things in my fridge before I leave for the weekend, I read Broccoli Hut‘s comment about healthy banana splits! Just like that, breakfast was born 🙂

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IMG_0152My current batch of yogurt isn’t strained, so I needed something to thicken it up: chia pudding! Two packages from Oh!Nuts and Navitas Naturals came in quite handy. These have to be the jumbo-est Medjool dates I’ve ever seen:

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I followed Kristen’s holiday chia pudding recipe, but I took out the “holiday” (cloves, ginger, lucuma) because I just wanted vanilla. Also, I halved everything except the chia seeds and added 1/2 cup of yogurt. I probably should have taken out the water completely and only used yogurt because it didn’t get as thick as I wanted, but oh well! For today, I just popped it all in the freezer for a bit to get some firmness.

I split the 1/2 banana I had left and decorated it with my three flavors and some extras:

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The vanilla scoop (plain chia pudding-yogurt):

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The chocolate scoop (1/4 mashed avocado, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp chia pudding-yogurt):

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The berry scoop (chia pudding-yogurt mixed with chopped blackberries):

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Topped with flax seeds, hemp seeds (some seem to have sprouted, hence the green), and cereal (and sided with yerba mate):

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Right after breakfast, I’m off to my last class (where I think a last class celebration will be taking place) and, from there, on a bus to Providence. I wonder if Peter Pan will have Internet on the bus again?

What are your three ideal split scoop flavors?

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Mark!!!!! Yay for May birthdays 😀


Tres leches, tres veces

I’m speaking in Spanish again, so clearly I spent the day at a work event. And if I spent the day at a work event, you know that also means there was no shortage of food. The first order of business on the “mission retreat” agenda was lunch!

Here’s my plate:

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I had half of a grilled chicken and avocado wrap:

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Green salad:

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And some pasta salad:

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All delicious, obv. On the side, I had a cup (probably equal to about two cups) of tropical fruit salad (papaya, mango, pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, oranges, and grapes):

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I had seconds of the green salad and seconds and thirds of the fruit salad 😛

After lunch, we did a lot of ice breakers (fun ones, believe it or not!), reviewed the history of the agency, listened to a panel discussion by clients we’ve helped, broke into small discussion and reflection groups … and then it was time for cake!!! (Of course.)

Here’s my first slice of the beautiful tres leches (not as milky as the one I had last night, though!) along with two of Dorothy’s homemade oatmeal cookies:

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I supplemented with two jammy Pepperidge Farm cookies:

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And then proceeded to have two more slices of cake, one of which was mostly frosting:

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Since it was mostly frosting, it was ideal for dipping tortilla chips. I dipped quite a few, like so:

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We ended the retreat with a conga line and a daisy exchange. When I got home, I carefully arranged my daisies in the spread-eagle bunny bowl:

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Food aside, this “retreat” managed to get me even more excited about working where I do (as if I needed it). That’s usually the goal of most company retreats, but I think they rarely accomplish it so successfully!

On the way home, I stopped into Union Market for a sample handful of peanut butter-filled pretzels:

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After all of this indulgence, I was thrilled when Vani invited me to join her and Arthur (her dog) for a walk in the park. We ended up walking for nearly two hours! She also gave me a pack of stale Fig Newman’s that she didn’t want to throw away because she realized after opening them that they weren’t vegan and thought they would make a good “expansion challenge.” I liked her suggestion of grinding them up to make a pie crust. Keep your eyes peeled because this may be coming soon to a blog near you 🙂

For “dinner,” I just threw together a quick yet wildly delicious snack of chips and salsas left from the restaurant last night with the rest of my humbecuemole and a string cheese stick that my mom donated a while back. I got it melty in the oven and then topped it with some plain yogurt:

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I’m off to get some packing done now because I’m planning to head straight up to MA tomorrow after my class (the last of the semester, finally!). I’m looking forward to a few days of true summer relaxation because I always feel like I should be doing stuff when I’m here in NY. Do you need to leave town to relax?

You’ll never believe it

I did not get hungry until 7:30 tonight!

Granted, I ate way too much at the party last night (at least an extra day’s worth of food, in my opinion), but I’m so impressed that my appetite also got that message, especially considering the workout I had this morning!

After the gym, I pretty much lazed around all day (have to take advantage while I have the chance) and contented myself with soymilked and honeyed yerba mate:

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My dinner (and only meal of the day) consisted of brilliantly crispy roasted brussels sprouts, the rest of my tuna humbangu, and 1/8 chopped avocado:

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(It tasted yummy even though it looks sort of swampy …)

See the crisp?

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Dessert was a slice of healthy cheesecake, blackberries, and my last UliMana treat: a dark cacao raw truffle.

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As usual with UliMana, this truffle was super rich and dark and bittersweet, and I just love that it manages to taste this way while simultaneously being packed with excellent nutrition. Here’s the inside:

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Since this is a food-light post, I might as well take the opportunity to show you a couple more UliMana goodies that I realized I forget to blog about when I was mired in papers. Obviously, they were exponentially delicious. I’ll let the pictures do the talking 🙂

Hand-dipped chocolate date roll:

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Lemon fig pecan bar (my favorite!):

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The whole UliMana family:

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Siiiigh, I wish I had more!

Was today food-light or food-heavy for you?

Humbangu

Hummmmmm, what does that title mean?

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Wellll, I’ve been wanting to try Bender’s humbecue sauce forEVER, and today seemed as good a time as any! Except, I didn’t have any hummus. What I did have, however, was a serving of collard greens and BBQ baked beans in the freezer from ages ago.

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I also had a serving of cauliflower-mangu left, and that’s kind of the texture of hummus, right?

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I had initally planned to immersion-blend everything, greens and all … but then one of the greens jumped into my mouth and tasted so good that the rest followed. So, I just blended the BBQ beans and the mangu.

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Next, I broke out some fancy tuna in olive oil.

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I’ve been noticing this Cole’s brand of tuna (and other fishies) in some gourmet grocery stores lately because the packaging is so pretty. I recently starting liking canned tuna, and I only discovered this from being fed foods that contained it. So I don’t think I’ve ever actually opened a can of tuna myself. Until today.

I was so impressed with the quality of the tuna in this can! It wasn’t mushy at all and was so tightly packed that it flaked apart almost like a piece of tuna steak:

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Very promising. I dumped the can of tuna (minus the olive oil, which I drained into a baby Artisana jar for another time because tuna-infused olive oil might come in handy at some point!) into the humbangu sauce:

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Since I combined three meals to make this tuna humbangu, I incorporated 1/3 of the total mix into my lunch. Here’s my finished salad on a bed of arugula with the mangu’s hammy bits, some blackberries, the last of the tostones, and a teeny dollop of plain yogurt for presentation’s sake:

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It was so so so so tasty!

IMG_9811Eventually, I made my way to the gym for some bicycling (no running!) and arms. When I got home, I decided that I needed to remedy the no-hummus situation. I cooked a bunch of chickpeas from dry and combined about 1/2 cup of them with a piece of roasted red pepper, Italian seasoning, a whole garlic clove, coarse sea salt, and 1/2 a baby jar of Artisana tahini.

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After immersion-blending, I fork-mashed another 1/2 cup of chickpeas to mix in because I like it a little bit rough:

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To fuel myself through the ever-so-grueling hummus work, I pulled out the rest of the yerba mate that I brewed this morning and left in the fridge. It had gotten even greener!!

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Does anyone know how that happened?? You can see how white it was when hot in the previous post, and making it cold completely converted it to this vivid sea foam color. I love it.

I also had the last 1/4 cup of chickpeas that didn’t fit in the hummus:

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Anyway, I got around to dinner eventually and mixed about 2 tbsp of my fresh roasted red pepper hummus with a chopped hard-boiled egg (once again, thanks to Eggland’s best for doing the boiling and peeling for me!). I had my egg salad atop a bed of arugula (lots of mushy arugula salads today, right?) with 1/8 chopped avocado, sprinkles of paprika and black pepper, and a few crushed Newman’s spelt pretzels:

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For dessert, I had a slice of healthy cheesecake alongside half an Ulimana raw chocolate hemp brownie and 1 tsp pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter.

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Yes yes yes, absolutely holy-yum worthy! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Ulimana definitely knows its way around a raw dessert … or any dessert for that matter!

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Do you do anything wild with hummus?

Souvenirs

Ohh my goodness, I have so much to talk about today!

First, I ate the last serving of muffin-cauliflower oat bran for breakfast.

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This was not, however, any regular old cauliflower-muffin oat bran. Something special (and I’m not even talking about the cauliflower or the muffins here) was hidden inside the creamy depths.

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Lucuma powder!

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Lucuma is a fruit that grows in the South American highlands. Everything was lucuma-flavored when I lived in Peru last summer: yogurt, ice cream, cookies. Proof:

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(Yes, I saved all my cookie/candy/ice cream wrappers from the trip. Obviously.)

It took me a while when I was in Peru to even figure out what lucuma was. A spice? A candy? Its flavor is not particularly fruity. I finally asked my host family, as I was chowing down on my 15th lucuma cream-filled sandwich cookie, What the heck is this stuff? When I found out it was a fruit, I wanted to go hunt it down so I could see it in person, but they explained that it wasn’t really sold fresh because it’s kind of hard and inedible in its fresh form. So I have still never come across a live lucuma. However, I was super-excited when I found out that Navitas Naturals had a lucuma powder, and I immediately put in a request. And I was so happy to see such Peruvian love all over the packaging!

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While lucuma is not my favorite flavor in the world, tasting it brings me back to my perfect Peruvian summer. It’s a worthy sacrifice.

I mixed 1 tbsp of the powder into the muffin-cauliflower oatbran and enjoyed it atop 1/2 cup yogurt decorated with re-hydrated goji berries. I added the last 2 tsp of Artisana madademic-cashew butter as icing for my lucuma mountain.

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Ohh, memories. Dear Peru: I will be back.

After breakfast, I did some bedroom organizing/spring cleaning and then threw on my gym clothes (I plan to exercise eventually today) and went out for errands, some of which were food-related. I stopped at the grocery store because I read on Soap & Chocolate that blackberry sales in the city were in full swing. Diana was right! I got two bigger-than-normal (but still pretty small) containers for $4. I also hit up the post office to pick up some belated birthday treats from my sisters!!

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They know me so well 😀 Emily sent me running sleeves (those crazy-colored things spilling out of the “sister present ball”) that I can roll up or roll down depending on the weather, and Allie sent a bunch of tasty goodies: cherry pie and cashew cookie larabars, plum-flavored gummy candies, and yerba mate. Plus this perfect birthday card:

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I tried a plum gummy right away:

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Yummmmmmmm.

Followed by yerba mate, which I prepared with soy milk and honey as per the recommendation on the package (gotta follow instructions, right?).

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Delicious! Smoky and sweet — I love it. Thank you, amazing sisters!

Side note: the honey I used for the tea came from some Smuckers sample honey packets that my mom collected for me from various hotel breakfast buffets (like mother, like daughter). But, the point of this side note is that the baby Artisana nut butter jars are perfect holders from the honey, since I rarely use a whole packet in one go. My five packets of honey perfectly filled up two little jars, and now I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to finish that honey packet before it spills all over everything in the fridge.

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This just in: Look how green the mate turns as it cools!

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Also, you can get free chocolate today if you hurry (Thanks to Erin Gunn for the tip!)

What’s the craziest “souvenir” you’ve saved from a trip?