Ruuuuuude

This morning’s breakfast was a powerful breakfast cookie full of all sorts of things to make me healthy and alert.

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In the overnight mix: 1/4 cup BRM extra thick rolled oats, 1 tbsp ground flax, the last tbsp (sad) of pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter, 1 tbsp goji berries, and 1/3 mashed banana.

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In the frosting: 2 tbsp plain yogurt, 1 tsp lucuma power, and 1 tsp Artisana Cacao Bliss.

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And on top: small handful blackerries, 1 chopped plummy gummy from my sister’s birthday package, a few more goji berries, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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This cookie reminded me of the beach — I think it was the goji starfish, the icing sand, and the plate ocean.

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IMG_9847And on the side, I had a tall glass of yerba mate.

Breakfast was delicious, and I really needed the power boost since I slept horrendously last night. From about 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning, there were dogs howling sooooo loud outside my bedroom window. I live in Brooklyn (not the wilderness), and this is ridiculous! My bedroom window faces a backyard area that houses the yards of a whole block of apartment buildings, so it’s impossible to know where the noise was coming from, especially in the dark. I almost called the police to make a noise complaint! Not only was it keeping me awake, but it was painful to listen to because one dog was howling/screaming in this hyperventilating, panicked, scared-out-of-its-mind way — it kind of sounded human!

I can’t believe that the owners would just leave him outside and ignore that sad sad pleading … especially in the middle of the night when there are at least 100 people trying to sleep within a 10-foot radius! Again, this is Brooklyn and not a mountain town where no one has neighbors. I closed my window, and it didn’t help at all. The dog moaning eventually stopped, but it kept coming back here and there throughout the rest of the night. And the birds woke me up at 7am! Where the heck am I? Arkansas? I need to get new ear plugs!

Anyway, I think I’m about to go take a nap!

What wakes you in the middle of the night?

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?

One down …

I’m almost there! Just one more paper due Thursday, and I will be temporarily free. Plus, since I got tomorrow’s paper done already, I will be free to spend my birthday lazing around and feeling sorry for my elderly status before I have to go to class πŸ˜›

Today, however, is NOT my birthday (although one premature facebook “happy birthday” seems to have started a chain of people unintentionally wishing me happy birthday a day early). Today is Mother’s Day and my sister Allison’s birthday! Soooooo …

Here I am with my mama in December:

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you.

And here I am with my Allie, meeting our first niece, Ella, in 2005:

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Happy happy birthday, Allie! I love you, too πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, I could not spend the day with either of these two ladies, as one is in Massachusetts, one is in San Francisco, and I am in New York! Instead, I spent the day writing a paper and fueling my way through the drudgery in the following manner. (Once again, this is an incomplete representation of all I ate, so don’t start to panic that I’ve stopped expanding or anything. Expansion is still
quite in progress.
Excellent.)

IMG_9425Today’s overnight breakfast cookie actually involved the last 2/3 cup cooked couscous-lentil mix from dinner at Quercy. Because the couscous was already cookied and quite moist, I needed to add dry things! Into the cookie went a package of freeze-dried strawberries and bananas from Just Tomatoes (it was sooooo hard to keep from eating all of these straight out of the package — they were delicious and crunchy and perfect), 2 tbsp dry milk, and 1 tbsp homemade pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter. My plan worked, and the cookie had firmed up successfully by this morning.

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I frosted my cookie with a mix of plain yogurt and Artisana cacao bliss, and I topped it with fruit salad:

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Later, I had the rest of my spicy spicy Indian food mixed with lots of yogurt and arugula. I sopped up the sauce and yogurt left in the bowl with some pieces of cornbread liberated from the freezer:

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In the afternoon, I had some pumpkin pie flax pudding with a dollop of the two butters of the day:

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I also did some serious baking in honor of the three special occasions going on, but more details will be arriving tomorrow. Just know that I ate a lot of batter.

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“Dinner” at this point ended up being more pumpkin pie flax pudding with oat bran immersion-blended in, chopped strawberries, and the two famous butters once again:

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Are you celebrating special days this month?

Dirrrty

Well. I just ran my first and last trail race.

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(Those were my brand-new shoes. They’re broken in now.)

Erin Gunn, Sarah Whiting, and I spent the morning up at Bear Mountain for The North Face Endurance Challenge. Erin and I ran the 10k; Ting (short for Sarah Whiting) ran the half. To be more specific, while Ting was enjoying a little 13+ mile jog (just kidding — Ting, you’re amaaaaaaazing and I think maybe superhuman!!), Erin and I painstakingly tried to run 6.3 miles of hiking trail through muddy rivers, slimy rocks, and steep inclines.

I’m actually pretty pleased with how I did. I was expecting to end up walking the whole thing because I haven’t really been able to run since pulling all my leg muscles at the end of March. For this race, I focused on keeping my pace verrrrrrry slow, and the treacherous nature of the course forced me to walk for quite a bit of the race to pick my way “over the river and through the woods” while remaining upright!

** Edited 5/12 to add these pictures from the race website.

Feeling energetic early in the race:

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Finish line in sight, yet still so far away (all of 50 feet I think):

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Happy (?) finish line dance:

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I finished the race in something like an hour and 35 minutes (I was second to last!!! I was kind of disappointed when I heard someone else finished after me. If I was going to be last, I wanted to be last), but I finished running! Surviving this race actually gave me a lot of hope for the Brooklyn half at the end of May. Ting finished about 10 minutes after I did (but to be fair, the half did begin an hour before the 10k). Here we are at the end:

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There was a tent with cut fruit and peanut butter. I had many pieces:

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Erin and I were cold and tired and sore and wondering how the heck Ting had roped us into over 90 minutes of voluntary torture. We agreed we don’t have to do this again next year. Ting stuck around with some of her other friends to watch the 50k runners start to come in; Erin and I busted out of there to head to her apartment for showers and lunch. Which leads us to the food …

Featured Contributions: Thursday through Saturday

Thursday’s linner: homemade tortillas with homemade chicken mole and beans left from the Parent & Me cinco de mayo event at work on Wednesday:

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Ginger chew from Beryl on Friday:

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A chopped apple, an orange, cool whip, and peanut butter left from Myrna and Mildred’s afternoon group:

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(I had another orange and seconds of cool whip and pb later, too!)

I headed straight up to Yonkers after work, and Erin Gunn picked me up for some bridesmaid dress reconn at David’s Bridal, followed by Indian food, her treat πŸ™‚

Papadum and chutneys:

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Baingan Bhartha (eggplant):

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Channa Saagwala (chickpeas and spinach):

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We ordered spicy. We needn’t have. The spiciness necessitated lots of tissues and lots of rice:

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Anise crunchies on the way out:

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This morning, I made us pre-race breakfast cookies with the contents of Erin’s cupboards.

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Each cookie included 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp chocolate chips, 1 tbsp sweetened coconut, 1 tbsp mixed chopped nuts, and cinnamon.

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The frosting involved plain yogurt and half of this baby jar of heaven:IMG_9396

Our post-run lunch was Indian leftovers with tons and tons of yogurt to cut the heat:

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And a very very exciting treat from work yesterday:

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Rosey’s mom (who I think is Puerto Rican) made pasteles — kind of like tamales but with plantain on the outside and meat on the inside — this past week, and Rosey brought them in to share on Thursday. I missed this first delivery because I don’t work on Thursdays, but Nydia gave me a couple of hers yesterday since it was my last day until June, and they all wanted me to be able to try them! I brought my tied-up package to Erin’s with me, boiled it for an hour in salted water per Rosey’s instructions, and set to unwrapping it.

In paper:

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In banana leaf:

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Finally ready:

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Mmmm, it was yummy. I loved the texture of the plantain on the outside. Here’s the filling:

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I dozed off a bit after lunch, and then Erin deposited me at the subway. Two hours later (grrr, construction), I was finally home.

Now, “vacation” is over, and it’s time to rededicate myself to the finals: one paper due Monday and one due Thursday. Then, I will be free!! (Errr, for two weeks until it all starts again …)

To conclude, here are Ting’s battle-scarred legs:

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Would you ever in a million years choose to spend your day off participating in a trail race?

Chocolate-dipped _______?

If you guessed strawberries, you’d be right!

Featured snack recovery: Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

Earlier, I came clean about my disastrous snack failure with the pineapple cream cheese icing.

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As soon as I got home on Tuesday, I went right to work doctoring this tongue-curdler. The pineapple had liquified the mixture (maybe due to the high acidity of the pineapple?), so I dumped it all into a saucepan and mixed in my new favorite thickener, ground flax meal. I brought it to a boil so the flax could do its work, and then I attacked the bitterness with all the non-bitter things I could find — dates, maple syrup, bananas, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and more ricotta — until the nightmarish taste was completely camoflauged. I froyo’d 1/2 cup of the final product and set it up like so:

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(With cookie crumbs and cinnamon for extra excitement.)

My kitchen-sink froyo has done well for me on the dessert front this week πŸ™‚

Coincidentally, while I’ve been enjoying my makeshift chocolate-dipped strawberries, Wife and her boyfriend Ted have been enjoying the real deal down in Georgia!

Featured Guest Snack: Wife’s Strawberries

Last weekend, Wife and Ted enjoyed a fun activity together in something called nature. I’m not quite sure what this nature thing is, but it looks very pretty. Here’s what Wife had to say:

We went strawberry picking bright and early. Wife, they are so big and beautiful and delicious! They taste like they’ve been injected with sugar! I’m going to chocolate dip some.

Wife sent along these pictures from their strawberry-picking adventure:

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And the resulting party dessert she made for a friend’s BBQ that night:

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But apparently, nobody liked them:

The strawberries were really a hit yesterday. Steve was practically crying while eating them because he thought they were so delicious!

What’s the most recent food that has brought you to tears?