Raw! (sort of)

Before my mom and I headed out for our walk this afternoon, I had the rest of this morning’s fruit salad as an inter-meal snack:

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Along with this carrot “core” dipped in fresh WF almond butter:

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Mom and I set off on a lovely walk for an hour or so, winding our way through the arboretum that leads to a nieghborhood park, chatting with each other, and chatting with neighbors.

Back home, we finally ate “lunch” around 7pm! I’d been working on preparing the various components of Gena’s raw zucchini alfredo over the course of the afternoon, with just a few adjustments.

To make the “noodles,” I used a vegetable peeler on carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash:

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I made a smaller portion of the sauce — 3/4 cup cashews instead of 1.25 cups — than the recipe because this house does not need any more leftovers! We also added some toasted sesame oil (I know that un-raws it, but it tasted good!) and soy sauce:

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My mom was a little bit hesitant about the highly caloric nature of this nut-based sauce, but I reminded her that the nuts were serving as the protein/fat part of the meal. The calories were definitely warranted and necessary!

For the final (and again un-raw) addition, I lightly steamed some broccoli and mixed in a few crushed dried garlic flakes, and that got mixed with the “pasta”:

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Here it is all mixed together with the sauce (and twilight porch-seating — you can see the grass in the background!):

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I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this raw “pasta” — I was thinking it would just be like a refreshing summer salad, but it was delicious! I LOVED the sauce. It tasted like cold sesame noodles. Mom and John cleaned their plates, too. You must try this!

For dessert, I had a couple slices of sweet potato that I found in the fridge (they got treated to some cinnamon post-photo):

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Oh, right, I had more dessert after that, too πŸ˜› My friend Steph (we’ve known each other since we were probably six months old!) and her husband Dan (who also went to high school with us) picked me up, and we headed over to a law school graduation party for Liz, also from high school, at her parents’ house (Congrats, Liz!). I got to chat with a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years — so fun! I had loads of chips and guac, and then the cake came out:

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I had a small piece of each and then stopped there. I was too busy socializing πŸ™‚

And now it’s time for bed! I’m getting myself psyched for the bird chorus to wake me up at 4:45 am again. I know I complain about morning birds all the time in Brooklyn, but I’ve gotten spoiled. It’s exponentially louder here in MA! I think I will go home next week with a greater appreciation for Brooklyn’s more moderate tweeting. Does leaving town make you appreciate things more at home?

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚

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?

Something new

I woke up super late today (10:00!!) for the third morning in a row — I think my mind is finally recovering from racing all semester long! I’m not sure if this is a good thing, though, since it is going to need to resume racing faster than ever in June.

Because it was so late, I put together a different and very simple breakfast:

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I sliced an apple in half, cored it, and baked it covered in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes:

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The apple got transferred to a plate, and I filled its core with a tsp or so of Artisana almond butter (which, strangely, tasted sort of chemically to me, even though almonds are the only ingredient. Maybe it’s the rawness?) and then sprinkled unsweetened coconut and cinnamon over the top:

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It was sooo yummy and did the trick to hold me over for the hour or so I needed until lunch.

Sadly, I’m out of greens (I ate them all yesterday!) and don’t want to buy more since I’m tentatively planning to go visit my parents in MA this Thursday night through Tuesday. I put together a fun snacky plate on a cutting board so I could transfer it to the couch with me for TV time (oh, this is the life!) post-photo.

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The spread included carrot sticks with humbecuemole (2 tbsp my hummus, 1 tsp Country Bob’s BBQ, and 1/8 mashed avocado):

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An Eggland’s Best peeled and hard-boiled egg, heated and topped with spray butter andΒ  freshly ground black pepper:

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And a contribution from these new finds:

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Last week, my roommate Tara alerted me to this new fruit called Peppadew that she had discovered in the course of researching catering options for a work event. I found it a little strange that this fruit is actually owned, but I still had to test it out regardless. For now, I think Peppadew is only available from the online store, though the Chop’t restaurants in NY have a salad with it.

Spicy and sweet (just like me, haaaaaaa):

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They were both pretty tasty — kind of a pickle-y sweet pepper taste with more of an apricot texture. The spicy one had a yummy zing to it, but I wouldn’t call it hot-spicy. I got adventurous with a sweet peppadew and added it to my yogurt:

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But it looked lonely with that hole, so I stuffed it with some Artisana cacao bliss πŸ™‚

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The yogurt also had lucuma powder, goji berries, 1/3 sliced banana, blackberries and BRM hulled hemp seeds:

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Before this, I had never tried hemp seeds. I was pleasantly surprised. They had a toasty (probably because I toasted them in a dry pan first!) and nutty flavor that I loved. I hope I can get around to some baking experiments with them soon.

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What is the latest produce item you’ve tried for the first time?

Missy’s got free bread on her hands! Go check it out πŸ™‚

And Coconutgal has free Coconut Bliss ice cream, YUMMMMMM!

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 πŸ™‚

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?

Too much

Ohhhh my goodness, the food at the party last night was completely expansion-worthy! (The party was fun, too.) Here’s the birthday girl, Olivia, modeling one of her creations:

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Olivia made everything herself, using her own recipes! And it was phenomenal.

This pizza was the star of the evening:

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It had ricotta, honeyed goat cheese, caramelized onions, and truffle oil. I lost count after a while, but I might have had 12 (or more) pieces.

Olivia also made baby pulled pork sandwiches:

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I had one sandwich … and then kept picking more pork off the tray every time I walked by and saw that a piece had fallen off of its bread.

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She also made ridiculous macaroni and cheese and an amazing baked french onion cream cheese dip. Here’s my first of many bowls:

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I also had a couple of these savory elephant ears:

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They were herby and also had some delicious crispy meat — maybe proscuitto? — inside.

Here’s another bowl. Was it the second? Was it the seventh? No one knows.

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On top of all of this, Olivia made cupcakes! Super chocolatey and moist with mascarpone-kahlua frosting.

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I had one full cupcake, but by the end of the night, things had devolved to the point where I was dipping pretzels into the icing on others. My camera had been relegated to the purse by then.

Some other things I encountered included a piece of Entenmann’s chocolate-covered donut:

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And 1.5 of Kate’s perfectly chewy secret-recipe chocolate chip cookies:

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And an, errrr, unpictured cup or so of skittles that went down wayyyyyy too easily.

The party itself was a blast, and I wish I had remembered to take some pictures of the apartment because it was gorgeous and had way more space than I’m used to seeing in NYC. I also got to catch up with some old NYU friends (hi Jenniy!) that I hadn’t seen in ages. Thanks, Olivia!

I slept till 10 this morning (apparently, the trick to being able to sleep in is to go to bed at 3 am) and then went right to the gym because I had so much energy from all that extra food last night! I did 30 minutes steps, legs on the machines, and 30 minutes elliptical. The whole thing took about an hour and 45 minutes and I burned just under 800 calories, but honestly, I’m looking forward to when the half marathon is over and behind me and I can put an end to this cardio-loading (and the inadvertent yet not unrelated carb-loading). It’s taking a toll! With that in mind, I also spent some time this morning perusing YogaDork (an amazingly witty, sarcastic, and informative yoga blog, even for someone like me who has a somtimeslike-hate relationship with yoga) because I need to find more body-friendly ways to exercise!

What is too much for you right now?