Hummmmmm, what does that title mean?


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.


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


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.


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


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:


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:


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:


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.


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


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!!


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:


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:


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.


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!


Do you do anything wild with hummus?


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

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


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.


Lucuma powder!


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:


(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!


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.


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!!


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:


I tried a plum gummy right away:



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


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.


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


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?


I’m pretty sure that what I’m doing right now would qualify as BUI.


I joined Gina and the rest of the NYU girls tonight for a happy hour in honor of Gina paying off one of her many undergrad loans. (Congratulations, Gina!) I only had one (very strong) cosmo, but I took an allergy pill before I left to head up to the bar … where I proceeded to fall asleep more than once (which actually isn’t that unusual for me). Coming home, I came closer to missing my stop on the subway than ever before — I somehow fell into a deep sleep at the stop right before mine and didn’t even realize that the train had stopped again, even though my eyes had reopened by this point. And now I’m nodding off. But I’m going go try to get this out first!

Everything is business as usual over here (minus the stress! and plus some alcohol, apprently). For snacks during class, I had an Eggland’s Best pre-peeled hard boiled egg, 1/2 serving of Newman’s spelt pretzels, and 1/2 a chopped apple.


I did not end up turning my paper in at class today because I couldn’t access gmail to download and print it! Gmail clearly had it in for me. The professor said it was fine and I could turn it in at our last class next week even though it was really due today. She doesn’t do email, so she’d rather I just wait and do it in person. All that rushing for nothing! At least I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

During group advisement after class, I had the rest of my “Ruthie Soup” from Monday for lunch with 1/8 chopped avocado and homemade parm:


I also had two of my homemade raw macaroons 🙂

And then we got to meet the new baby daughter (10 days old!!!) of one of the other girls in my program. Sooooo cute and perfect.

Snack/dinner when I got home was another portion of cauliflower mangu and my last carrot pudding cake. Do I see another batch in the near future?? I think so.


And my last mini chocolate birthday cupcake:


From there, it was up to Union Bar.

Infamous cosmo:


Cheesy spicy bar snack mix:


More snack mix:


I didn’t eat all of that specific basket. But I think I had enough big handfuls from several baskets to equal the contents of this one.

Then, Gina ordered loaded nachos because our heart health is at the forefront of her mind. I ate a lot:


I think the guacamole looks like ICING.

I also had another chocolate macaroom when I came home 😀

What has influenced YOU today?

Good night!

Ancient mysteries

I broke my own rule this afternoon and went for a secret run.

I know I’ve been saying (at least in my head) that I’m not going to run at all between now and the half marathon on May 30 because I need to let all of my muscles heal for real, but I couldn’t help myself. After finishing my paper, all I wanted to do was run. Perhaps because I really just needed an excuse to wear my official Endurance Challenge 2009 tech shirt:


Hello giant teeth.

(Speaking of which, I updated the race post with official mid-race pictures of me dying.)

I made it 25 minutes before the pain forced me to stop, and then I finished the loop of the park with a 30-minute walk. And now that that is taken care of, I really promise that there will be no more running until the half. Maybe.

I came home and felt hungry for a snack, so I heated up some of the leftover mangu I’ve been saving in the freezer since a mom made it for me at work a few weeks ago. Remember the mangu? I do! Here it was back then:


And here’s my doctored version:


The doctoring took place yesterday (I actually ate some yesterday, too, but I never got around to blogging about it). I had about one cup of the mangu left, so I mashed that in with half a head of steamed cauliflower to (1) make it last longer and (2) increase the healthiness of the dish. Mangu is basically mashed plantains, but I saw how the mom was cooking it, and let’s just say that this mangu was not wanting for oil or salt! I had to spread the wealth, and cauliflower seemed the perfect way to do it 😀

I topped 1/2 cup of the revised cauliflower-mangu with one of the mom’s tostones and a little piece of her vineger-ed onion (which used to be bright purple but lost its color in the oven-reheat process):


IMG_9683Around this time, I also decided I was in the mood for tea. What to do, what to do … Oh wait! What’s inside this random jewelry box-ish thing?

It’s a sampler of
Numi teas! I’m sorry for the product placement that is about to occur, but the packaging excited me so much that I can’t help myself. I found out about these teas a few weeks ago when Brandi mentioned them, and I knew I had to get my hands on some, if only because the website is full of flowery prose: “Numi elevates the tea experience through quality, creativity, and authenticity.” Elevate me, please!

The sampler has all four flavors of their puerh tea which has been “picked from wild-harvested tea trees up to 500 years old.”


I’m generally not into showing labels from foods since you can just look at them yourself, but the flowery prose continued in the brewing instructions, and I had to share:




You might think I went for chocolate first, but I did not! My tum is still feeling iffy, so I opted for the mint even though I’m generally not a fan of minty teas. Also, I really wanted to “capture the full taste as the ancient mystery is revealed.”

I actually enjoyed this tea (maybe because I followed the instructions for once and only let it brew for 3 minutes as opposed to 20), and it was soothing for my belly. Though I don’t think I experienced revelation of any sort of ancient mystery.

Have you had any mysteries revealed to you lately? Most recently (as in, this afternoon), I experienced the ancient mystery of how running in a moisture-wicking shirt feels … and I must say I’m a fan!

Product moved

First things first: the cakes were a success in class last night! I did not have to bring any home with me, so my plan to move all the sugar out of my freezer was effective. I just have two little chocolate cupcakes that wouldn’t fit in the tupperwares to cart up there, and that’s it. Phew, cake-overload disaster averted.

Also, in honor of my birthday yesterday, I went shoe shopping at Payless. This is irrelevant to food on the surface, but it’s actually connected because food is the only thing I have spent money on since starting grad school. Until yesterday, I hadn’t bought shoes in two years because I needed the money for groceries. Evidence:


Yes, that is the sun shining through the hole in the sole of my shoe.

Here are my new friends:


My feet are happy.

Back to food, I had an early egg salad dinner around 4:30 before heading up to class. To make the salad, I chopped one of my Eggland’s Best peeled hard-boiled eggs and mixed it with 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp dijon mustard, paprika, dill, cayenne, and one cup chopped arugula. I topped it with 1/8 chopped avocado, coarse sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.


Dessert took place at class, of course 😛 My cakes were so good!

Piece #1:


Piece #2:


And a cupcake!


It’s back to the grindstone for me today. I have one more paper left, and it’s not going to be a fun one! It’s due Thursday morning, so you know how I’ll be spending all of today and all of tomorrow … with a little fun break for an exciting event this evening 🙂

Will you be taking any fun breaks today?