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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

Category Archives: quinoa

twas the night before christmas and all through the house, nothing was stirring…but zoe was in the kitchen. and no one was surprised.

really though, how else did you think i’d be spending my christmas eve evening? unfortunately i am not with my family at the moment. i volunteered to work on christmas (why starbucks needs to be open on christmas kind of astounds me. we’re open every day of the year. seriously.) because i live so close to home and i go home a lot and i know a lot of other people don’t so. plus we get paid time and a half i’m down ;). plus i’m off at 11:30 so i can still go home. tomorrow will be the first christmas i am not waking up at home. what a concept! i feel so…adult. gah, where is timing going!?!

so, to pass the family-less time, i cooked up some foods in the kitchen. some red food, specifically…

ever tried red quinoa? neither had i! so i bought some at trader joe’s the other day (on a trip originally planned for christmas shopping. FAIL.). and cooked some up for dinner tonight! wondering what the difference between red and white quinoa is? i was, too. the answer? nothing, really. red is a bit crunchier and chewier. but equally as delicious.

along with this red quinoa, i threw together this pretty red vinaigrette…

(inspired by cafe gratitude!)

what you need
1/2 C raspberries (mine were frozen. i warmed for 30 seconds in the micro.)
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 t basil
1 t oregano
1 t garlic (or to taste!)
2 t lemon juice
1 t agave
crank salt and pepper

what you need to do
through everything into a food processor or blender and let blend for a few minutes. allow it to sit for about ten minutes for the flavors to meld.

i drizzled a bit of this over that red quinoa that i mixed with roasted brussel sprouts!

paired this with a simple salad of romanie, sauteed zuchini, and garlic dressed with hummus. because hummus can be anything you want it to be.

oh, and sprinkled with chia seeds. because i’m trying to eat more seeds. i forget about them. i have hemp, chia, and flax seeds just kind of chillin’ in my pantry. i cannot ignore them any longer. because they taste good and are oh-so-good for you.

because i’m clearly on a red kick, i also did this…

okay so what we’re not allowed to paint our nails at work? it’s christmas. and i wanted to. shhhh, just don’t tell my boss 😉
so i’ve got some cookie recipes coming your way soon, too. gonna tweek them a bit but the test run went well. i cooked three types of cookies for my co-workers for christmas last night. one came out stellar, another really well, and the third was good but not what i hoped them to be. so be prepared. cause it’s about to get tasty up in heeeerrreee.

and, before i go, one more thought. today i woke up and weighed myself again. you’d think i’d of learned by now, right? i thought that too. i tried all day not to think about it. in fact, i managed to shrug it off half way through the way. i reminded myself i was still beautiful, healthy, strong and capable. i reminded myself nothing important about me changed.

but i ate one of my cookies. okay, so i ate four. or five. point is, i ate them. immediately after consuming them i was run over by the guilt truck. okay, it was more like i was plowed into by the guilt truck. i learned long ago to have this association with guilt and food. it was the culture i was brought up in, unfortunately. sometimes i am incredibly good at turning off that guilt, because there’s absolutely no need for it. food should never be regretted, only enjoyed. the guilt used to send me into mini-panic attacks which forced me to work out until i felt like passing out or throwing up. but i don’t do that anymore. i am slowly learning to disassociate with guilt entirely and just simply be.

today, however, i failed. miserably. in the last hour of work i found myself drifting around unhappily, awash in the negative thoughts occupying my mind. i silently cursed at myself for indulging, especially because i told myself i wasn’t going to. i was going to be a good little girl and skip the desserts. phft. lame.

so i came home depressed. i laced up my running shoes partly out of guilt today. i admit it. but once i started my run, i realized it was just what i needed. i zoned out completely and just flew. seriously, my pace was amazing today. i surprised myself.

which lead me to this realization: yes, i weigh more than i have in a while. and yes, part of it is winter weight gain. but the majority of it is new muscle. and healthy weight i needed to put back on in order for my body to function properly. the number on the scale and the appearance i grew attached to was impossible for me to keep. it was not a happy place for my body to be.

know what else i’ve noticed? i am stronger than i used to be. my endurance is up on my runs, in my flows (i can just about hold full boat pose!), on the wall. i am healthy. and so what if i ate a few cookies? i’m still healthy. and a few cookies isn’t going to change that. or kill me.

it doesn’t matter what my weight is, especially if i feel as strong as i do. it’s about how i feel inside, not how i look on the outside. i just need to remember that when i start to feel blue. how do i feel now? fine, thanks. i talked myself out of my sour mood with positive thoughts and dancing. and cooking.

what pulls you out of a funk? have any realizations lately?

anywho, i’ve got presents to wrap and more things to cook and a yoga flow to go through before bed. have a wonderful christmas, loves! and if you don’t celebrate, enjoy all the empty streets. it’s pretty awesome, actually 🙂 or come visit me at work!



beatles song of the day: ob-la-di, ob-la-da. (the white album)
why? because life goes on. even if you ate that cookie. ❤

good afternoon!

sorry i’ve fallen off the blog-o-sphere as of late. i’ve just been really, really, ridiculously good looking busy. between work outs, kicking it with friends, and running errands i am unfortunately finding little time to write up interesting posts. i don’t feel particularly interesting at this moment. so i’m just going to catch you up on thoughts and events and foods of the past few days.

food number one:

tofu noodles! i saw these at my local grocery store and swooped them immediately. were they good? yes! very tasty! i paired them with a raw zucchini, lightly steamed carrots, and the remainder of the sauce i made the other day. super yum.

final thoughts: while this was delicious and super low in calories (20 per serving and there’s two servings in that package! i ate it all in one sitting), i wish i read in the back before buying them. because i read tofu on the front, i assumed the noodles would be a good source of protein. wrong. for the entire package, there is only two grams of protein. bummer. but a delicious bummer nonetheless.

the other night i returned home completely ravenous. i wanted something indian inspired, and quick. so i threw together this (kind of?) curry in a hurry:

turned out pretty good for being a kind-of curry! i served it over some quinoa i cooked because i was way too impatient to wait for brown rice.

and today, i made my very first batch of hummus! because i soaked my own chick peas the other day. i’m not giving out a recipe because i am still working on making it legit…too legit to quit, in fact. and i don’t think it’s too legit to quit yet. a friend just gifted me a HUGE bag of walnuts, too! i just prepped some raw taco “meat” for my dinner using them. i plan on creating a raw dessert soon with them as well. recipe for that as soon as i get around to it!

yesterday i spent the day on top of mount tam again. lost in the trees again. twas awesome.

sigh. the redwoods are so pretty. one thing i noticed yesterday while lost in the beautiful greenery that is northern california’s muir woods? i have an issue with being present in the moment. i tend to allow my mind to wander to future events. my body may be present and alert to the time and space i occupy at any given second, but my mind rarely is. i have trouble focusing completely on what i am doing at any period of time. so yesterday, as i wound through the woods, all i could think about was what i was going to do when i got home. where’s the logic in that? i tend to catch myself doing this quite often. i’m going to work on that.

and in other news, i’ve been feeling awesome lately (although today i am fighting off a bit of a funk). i’ve stayed dedicated to avoiding chocolate (although i may have had a slice of raw raspberry mocha layer cake from cafe gratitude on national junk food day and it may or may not have contained cacao ;)) and i have not baked a single thing (though i am seriously itching to. bag of walnuts = a world of raw desserts! i can’t wait!!!). i’m seriously going to start avoiding sugar because i’ve noticed how different i feel mentally and physically without it in my diet. moderation!

also, i start every morning with yoga, even on my “shred days”. and boy have i noticed a difference. my core feels stronger. my mind feels lighter. and today i stepped on a scale just to check in. i won’t tell you what i weigh because i don’t think that’s important, but i’ve lost five pounds from the last time i weighed myself (about two weeks ago? maybe more.) i was pretty shocked because i look more or less the same — just more toned. yoga is a god send, for both the body and the mind. i even went to the pool the other day and felt confident in my bikini. that’s major. MAJOR. seriously, i never ever thought i’d be comfortable in my own skin. but i honestly think the goal is attainable by the end of this year.

siiigh. i’m really in love with life right now. i’m trying to see the beauty and the blessings in each and every day.

on that note, i should mention i’m leaving tomorrow to spend the week in lake tahoe with my family. i am so excited to relax and unwind and get away from everything for a second. our family friends are lending us their home which means i will have a kitchen to cook in! oh yeah, i’ve already stuffed a bag full of food to take with me! i will not be posting anything. i’m unplugging for seven solid days.

have a great week and apologies for this scattered, really horribly written post!



hello kidlettes! how are all of you today? well, i hope!

whew. the past week has been…rough. emotionally. physically. spiritually. i’m out of whack, as you know, but i woke up this morning feeling more centered and more relaxed. THANK THE UNIVERSE because if i had to experience another day like yesterday, i might just implode.

what happened yesterday? well i broke down on my yoga mat and sobbed for a good twenty minutes. yes, sobbed. like a baby. i just lost it. it felt good to lose it, though. you know when you’re just so emotionally taxed and you cry and suddenly everything just feels…peaceful again? well that was yesterday. only the peace did not stay for so long. but i felt infinitely better after my pathetic water works explosion. AND the yoga felt amazing too.

i felt all weepy for the remainder of the day though and definitely teared up at stupid things. honestly? since starting this blog i’ve realized about once a month my mood swings and emotions go absolutely bat-shit insane for about a week. and i think the reason i feel so great today is because it has been exactly one week since i started to slip down my negative road. what can i credit this to? upon reflection, i noticed this trend started in middle school. i think i just have really intense PMS. i don’t get cramps. i don’t suffer from fatigue. but my body likes to plague me with horrid bouts of uncontrollable mood swings, breakouts, and bloating. oh, the pleasures of womanhood.

do any of you ladies out there have similar symptoms? HOW THE EFF DO YOU DEAL!?!?!

anyway, besides feeling like an emotional crazy lady, yesterday went well. my dad and brother are out of town at the pebble beach golf tournament (i know. i don’t get it either. golf is so effing boring!) so i accompanied my mom to dinner and a movie! seriously, i know i’ve mentioned it before but whenever i am down, going home really grounds me. although, i was in a bad mood yesterday and my patience wasn’t too great…

but dinner! dinner was great! we could not think of a damn place to eat at and we only had an hour before the movie started. we hemmed and hawed and argued over vegan food until i finally suggested we just go to the whole foods hot bar and salad bar. an immediate deal was reached. my mom got a burrito (i think this is new? i’ve never seen the option before!) and i put together a deliiiicious mini salad and did something i haven’t done in oh, over a year: i got a sandwich. ON A SOURDOUGH ROLL! that’s a big step, guys. really, really big. my mom i think has recognized some of my food anxieties and reassured me by saying: “it’s okay, you’ll live!” sometimes parents just really know what to say. i found it really comforting and you know what? i did live. and the sandwich kicked ass. (basil pesto, roasted red pepper, grilled portobello mushrooms, onions and lettuce!)

we ate in the parking lot of the movie theater and declared it the best idea ever. we saw winter’s bone. it was GREAT. the cinematography was stunning and the acting was fantastic and the writing…le sigh, i love writing as you know (creative writing majoooor! what whaaat!) and this writing was so, so beautiful. i recommend it!

so that was yesterday. and when i FINALLY uploaded my pictures, i noticed just how many eats i’ve been concealing from you guys!

remember that awesome breakfast i alluded to the other day? well this was it:

two slices of sprouted sourdough which i used to make french toast!!!!! it’s been YEARS since i last ate french toast. i topped one side with peanut butter and the other with dark chocolate almond spread (i know i said i was taking a break from chocolate but for some reason, i am not counting this :)) and half a nanner. then i put them together. things got messy. AND DELICIOUS!

will i remake this? uh…YES. i drizzled a little honey on it, too. i know honey is not vegan but i have a full bottle and bought it before my decision and you know what, (good) honey is expensive. i’m not going to waste food, either.

yesterday for lunch i ate this plate of awesome:

tofu i sauteed with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a ridiculous amount of nutritional yeast. topped with 1/4 an avocado and daiya cheddar style cheese (if i could marry this, i might.). served with a side of nutritional yeast covered roasted brussel sprouts. yeah, so what? i really like nutritional yeast, okay ;)?

it was glorious. the other day, i made this after a good long run:

tofu scramble with 1/4th an avocado, salsa and daiya “cheese” all wrapped up in a toasted ezekiel wrap. toasting them, i think, is key. i like them as is but when they sit in the broiler for a second, the outside crisps up but the inside stays chewing and ahh it ends up being a really good combination of textures.

the other day i created this:

open faced tempeh almond butter & jam sandwich. the “bread” was april’s nearly no carb sandwich bread. they’re a little more like pancakes but incredibly tasty!!!

today i ate this after my 6.5 mile run:

i dreamed it up while running: half a cantaloupe stuffed with quinoa which i mixed with some greek yogurt, cinnamon and coconut flakes. YUM YUM YUM. protein and melon which i am craving like crazy lately (really though. i bought a mini watermelon, a honey dew, and two Tuscan cantaloupes yesterday. no, i am no obsessed. why do you ask? ;)) and i’m pretty sure i’m not going to miss greek yogurt. i was never a big fan of yogurt to begin with but eh. it’ll keep my wallet fatter, i think! this stuff can be pricey…

i also ate this with lunch too:

simply delicious 🙂

ooh and guess what FINALLY came in the mail yesterday!?! my newest kitchen gadget!

i used it this morning to weigh out my oatmeal. turns out i’ve been over doing the 1/3 cup 😉 i think i will definitely have to be careful how i use this, though. it might turn into a negative obsession. i will not weigh out all my foods. but i am curious to see just how many grams of x y and z vegetable i am consuming. or nut butters (because i think i FOR SURE eat more then a serving size at a time. oops!) i think i will primarily use this for baking! baking is really an exact science. so knowing the exact amount of baking powder and flour and chocolate (one day!) will be beneficial.

this is a ridiculously long post. i’m sorry! just a few more random thoughts…

did anyone catch the US vs slovenia game? if you didn’t, i seriously encourage you to watch it!!!!!!! unless you’re crazy and don’t like football (soccerrrr!). but we were robbed of a goal and should of won. seriously, i was screaming at my computer screen. i’m sure my neighbors thought i was nuts. and because of the call the ref might be barred from reffing any further world cup games. SERVES HIM RIGHT. it was an AWFUL call. everyone admitted it, too. did not matter what country you were sporting, a shitty call is always a shitty call.

also one more thought concerning my run this morning…i really pushed it today. i started out faster than normal and kept the pace as best i could for the duration of the run. i clocked in at 51:36. i ran my 10k in 57:15. i’ve shaved off a LOT of time!!!!!! i’m getting faster! i am thrilled 🙂 just another reminder that i can do anything. and you know what? so can you!

and that’s all for now. i’m going to bikram later with some friends and am pretty stoked about it. i think today it will be especially centering and calming and restorative. until then i will be reading! two books i requested from the library came in yesterday along for the rid by sarah dessen (i’ve read all of her books. they’re so fluffy but i love them! i read 60 pages last night!) and michael pollan’s the omnivores dilemma. yay!

i might post later about one of the topics i’ve been meaning to talk about! stay tuned 🙂



and how was the rest of everyone’s monday?

mine involved nothing special. the highlights: i decided against a run and instead decided to start gina’s summer shape up, albeit a few weeks late. it’s four weeks long and it’s week four now…oh well, better late than never, right? right. following this i picked up my last paycheck from work (score!), went to trader joes (double score!) and then target.

the real highlight of my day though? bikram yoga, of course! that hot hot heat is so cathartic. i’m finding it much easier to breathe deeply and go inside myself during difficult poses. as a society we tend to rush rush rush and rarely break to step back, breathe and appreciate. i find yoga a great outlet for this. bikram demands concentration and inner strength. today proved that. i found the balancing poses difficult today and had to concentrate that much more. but i loved every second of it. i walked out of the studio soaked through and through. nothing like a good sweat, right :)!

i toyed with the idea of hanging out with friends but i was feeling a lame night. what do lame nights consist of? relaxing on the couch with a movie or a book. i made a deliciously simple dinner of quinoa cooked in coconut milk and assorted roasted veggies. then i retired to the couch for arrested development. who else misses this show? why crap like the jersey shore remains on tv while smart, witty shows like arrested development get cut will forever baffle me. i think it speaks volumes about america and americans. any thoughts regarding this?

after dinner i ate too much ice cream and chocolate. and then proceeded to feel sick until i fell asleep ugh. but it’s all gone. and it will NOT be bought for a while.

these past couple of days have lead me to one conclusion: i think i need to detox from chocolate. i’ve decided to file a trail separation from chocolate until further notice. yes, you heard me correctly — i’m going against all girl code and avoiding chocolate. i need to. it’s literally making me ill because i cannot control myself around it right now. until i relearn how to include it in my life in a HEALTHY way, i will not eat chocolate. raw cacao powder? i’ll still eat that. but chocolate chocolate? kicked to the curb. will this be hard to do? YES. yesyesyes. i love chocolate. but thinking about it right now has my stomach flip flopping and threatening to heave up everything i ate. literally the thought of chocolate makes me absolutely want to barf. plus, all this overeating of junk food will affect my runs. it did on sunday — i ran a little over 2 miles and spent the remainder of the day feeling complete nauseous. seriously, all the crap food combined with my run killed my appetite. i’m tired of feeling sick. DEEETOX tiiiime!

so i woke up this morning with a better resolve. i drank a green monster because all i wanted was greens greens greens and half an hour later, i set out on a tentative 6.5 mile run. why so tentative you ask? well, after sunday’s disasterous run i was really nervous of a repeat. so i set out slowly at first. VERY slowly. after about two miles of feeling fine, i upped my speed. and found my body just wanted to go fast fast fast. i felt fine. i felt better then fine, actually — i sang. oh, i know, how cool am i ;)?

i think it’s because i put on my newest play list. what’s on this play list? glad you asked 🙂

4 songs & a fight — the sounds
womanizer — britney spears
talk to me — peaches
satellite mind — metric
S.O.S — rihanna
play your part (pt 1) — girltalk
na na na na naa — kaiser cheifs
love today — mika
lace and leather — britney spears
L.O.V.E — ashlee simpson
just a girl — no doubt (this is where i started singing)
it’s gonna be me — nsync (oh yeah. i went there.)
in your arms — hellogoodbye
i remember — kaskade
here’s the thing — girltalk
hands in the air — girltalk
gold guns girls — metric
ghosts n’ stuff — deadmau5
forever — chris brown (i really dislike him. but i really effin love this song!)
combat baby — metric (LOVE.)
bye bye bye — nsync

this one was heavy on some solid 90’s classics. i listen to ridiculous music when i run. i love good beats when i run, if you haven’t noticed. but i need new songs! any suggestions? what do you love listening to when you work out????

also, i noticed something about my few days of overeating. the funniest part about this whole ordeal? my self esteem has yet to nose dive. usually whenever i “over eat” i feel AWFUL about myself. but i still think i look pretty bangin’. sure, i might be a little puffy from all the crap but i know this week of good eats will take care of that. i still got it 😉

this week i have a LOT to talk about. stay tuned for posts about skin care, weight loss talk, new work outs and other things i might just stick in 🙂

oh, and please please please send me some good vibes today — i have my MRI at 3:30 today for my left knee!!!!!

(sorry for such a scattered post!!!!!)



good morning kidlettes 🙂

lemme just say…last night was a SUCCESS! talk about one tequila two tequila three tequila FLOOR. i will elaborate in a few. let me start with, what else, FOOD. in order to not end up with your face in the toilet at the end of a night of drinking, always start with a solid dinner (though, no gaurentees!). which i did! i wanted something spicy and asian-inspired. so i threw together this little number i’ll call asian-inspired quinoa (no i am not obsessed. okay so maybe i am.) and veggies.

what you’ll need:
six or seven (or more!) mushrooms (i used crimini again because that’s all i have. i dream of the day when i can afford to eat shiitakes and portobello’s on a daily basis. until them…criminis will have to do!)
one zucchini
one clove of garlic (mine was preeetty large, just fyi!)
tomato paste
sesame seed oil
rice vinegar
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
SIRACHAAAA (aka: the love of my life.)

what you’ll need to do:
cook 1/4 cup quinoa in 2/3 cup of water for about 8 minutes (today i added a little coconut oil. wish i added more i couldn’t really taste it!)

while the quinoa cooks, slice veggies (any way you want :)!).

to prepare “spicy sauce” just mix today a heaping T of tomato paste, one T rice vinegar, one T sesame seed oil, two T water, one minced garlic clove (or more depending on how garlicky you want it! my clove, again, was HUUUGE. and i happen to love me some garlic!) and a hefty squirt or two of siracha. (it came out pretty good but next time i want to add more asian spices! that’s the one area i lack in in my spice pantry, unfortunately.)

i added this to a small sautee pan and got it to simmering point. then i tossed in the chopped mushrooms and zucchini, coated everything well, tossed on a dash of salt and a heavy dash of pepper and sauteed for about 8-9 minutes.

it’ll look like diiiis:

yum :D!

i forgot to add the spinach to it so i used it as a base for my quinoa and veggies! like dis:

impatient and hungry me dumped the veggies on and FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE. phhhffft i WOULD. so just imagine those veggies dumped on top of the quinoa and me inhaling them .5 seconds later.

perrrfecto. kept me from getting sick later at the paaaartay!

and now for a side of tequila: remember when i said it was going to be a rager? well it was. plus some. people showed up. more people showed up. people i didn’t know showed up. it was awesome. it was fun. i definitely drank too much tequila. i may or may not be nursing a slight hangover right now (juiced an entire lemon, added ice cubes and water and bam. deeetox. it’s tart but i LOVE tart lemonade. i was the weird kid who HATED country-time lemonade, you know the sugary, fake tasting crap? it tasted TOO fake and sugary for me, the sugar junkie. future health food nut in the making, obviously ;)) the cops stopped by to say hi around midnight. not ideal but the lady was nice. she just asked for my id which i gave to her (funny fact: not 21 till october.) and she wrote us up a lovely little piece of paper called a “60-day.” the town i live in refuses to acknowledge that it is a college town. when parties get deemed “too big” they hand out these things called 60-days which are basically slips of paper ordering you to be quiet for the next 60 days or pay a fat 500 dollar fine. no worries there though — that was the last shebang before everyone jumps ship for their summers.

it was the perfect way to end the school week. one bummer? the cute boy from my class was just about to stop by when the cops rolled our party. DARN.

moving on. i have a question that’s been on my mine as of late. i’ll call it the vegetable debate. fellow vegetarians/vegans/lovers of everything and anything green: how often do people comment on the food you eat? i’ve really started to notice it lately.

i usually eat in class because for the most part i leave the gym and go straight to class. i pack my lunches and they ALWAYS contain a heavy dose of greeeeeeen. i make mighty salads or bring veggies to dip in things or make veggie sandwiches. it’s all pretty healthy. and pretty tasty, too :)! but someone ALWAYS makes a comment. i’ve gotten “again with the vegetables?” and “that’s a lot of vegetables!” to which i respond, a bit snarkily, *points at self* “vegetarian. i’ll happen.”

why do people feel the need to tease people who eat well? or even if they don’t?! food is an EXTREMELY personal decision. it’s not anyone else’s business whether the person sitting next to you is eating a hamburger or a super delicious baked sweet potato, garbanzo bean-topped spinach and arugala salad. also, you never know what relationship that person has to food. it could be a negative one and drawing attention to it might actually HURT that person, emotionally and mentally. maybe i’m overreacting but since i’ve noticed an increase in the comments, i’ve just been thinking about the entire issue a lot lately.

plus: i eat healthy. SO. EFFING. WHAT? why do people chastize those people who choose health? is it because they’re “jealous” or is it because it’s “weird” to the majority of society or…? why?

le sigh. when i get worked up over things, i tend to rant. sorry everyone!

the rest of today will be spent to REST, a future bowl of oatmeal, and my shakespeare paper. at least starting it. i have work from 4:30 to 9:30 today (booo). and then we’ll see where the night takes me 🙂

have a good one kidlettes!



…about where i put my brain. sometimes it goes on vacation without telling me. more on that in a bit.

first things first. last night’s (EPIC) dinner! i was craving quinoa (i’ve been on a QUICK) and decided to make some black bean, quinoa mushroom burgers!

what you’re gonna need:
1/2 cup of black beans (i use canned but do as you wish!)
about six mushrooms (i used crimini)
a handful of spinach
one close of garlic
one shallot

what you’re gonna do:
i cooked 1/4 cup of quinoa in 2/3 cup of water with a splash of olive oil for about tenish minutes. while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the spinach and mushrooms!

heat a large-ish skillet with olive oil. add minced garlic and shallot and let simmer on medium-low. meanwhile, the mushroom into small cubes. add mushrooms, salt, pepper and peprika (however much YOU’D like :)) and sautee for a few minutes. then add the spinach! continue to sautee until spinach is pretty wilted. remove from heat.

open and drain can of black means. measure out a half cup. mash in bowl. add cooked quinoa and veggies. miiiiix.

here’s where i ran into an issue. first i tried heating them in the skillet. but they didn’t hold together. so i tried baking them in the oven. they STILL didn’t hold together. i got frustrated and i was STARVING so i just said eff it and plopped the failed burgers into a bowl. the upside: they tasted GREAT! i squirted a bit of trader joe’s organic ketchup on it and all the baking added a nice crisp outer edge.

on the side i roasted some veggies (cauliflower, zucchini, brussel sprouts (i LOVE sprouts. if i could marry them i might.)

all together now:

failed burger close up:

veggies close up:

it was quite tasty.

next order of business: TODAY!
i woke up at seven to run before class. i was in bed before 11 last night. CRAZY. that never happens, especially as of late. bad habit i think. anywho, i was so pumped to run this morning ALL i dreamed about was…running! haha how ridiculous. does this ever happen to anyone else?

at seven my alarm went off. i laid out my running gear the night before so i could jump out of bed and into it. which i did. in thirteen minutes i was dressed and had already drank a freshly made juice (half a cucumber, three small carrots, a nub of ginger)! dank, ginger’s powerful kids. whoops. after that and a small bite of peanut butter i was off! my legs felt good today. i was running quicker than usual. i’m getting better at breathing and i can feel my endurance level rising. schweet!

the run was somewhere in between 6 and 7 miles. i’ve never had the opportunity to measure the distance and i don’t own a garmin because i am a poor college student. but it took me just over an hour. for the last three miles i had a painful cramp develop in my right chest area. it SUCKED. but i ran through it and tried to breathe a lot. oxygen is good for them muscles folks!

unfortunately i was a little pressed for time when i got back. class started at 10 and i still needed to eat breakfast, shower, get ready, walk to school, print out my paper. so i hurried through my shower and getting ready. last night i planned a breakfast of glorious cinnamon puffins with half a nanner and some honey. it was happily consumed. i ended up with an extra half serving of puffins though. glad i did because i was HUNGRY by the end of class. not much staying power, huh?

today was my LAST class of the semester for my short story fiction writing class! it was fun and my first workshopping class. yeaaaah i dug it. it pushed my creativity and got me out of a faaaat stretch of writer’s block. any other writer’s out there? did you like the workshop environment? i’m not sure it’s my favorite because i don’t think you really need to be taught how to write. that takes away the creativity and individualism sometimes. but i like it for the feedback aspect.

after class candace picked me up and we went to get a vaccuum. our old one broke WAY too long ago. we bought this awesome pink one and deep cleaned our house. it’s so fresh and so clean clean now. thaaaank the universe — it was getting a little questionable.

i cleaned my room, too! i have a floor again! i’m terribly unorganized.

but we cleaned the house for reasons outside of cleanliness: we’re throwing a rager toniiiight! since candace and three of our other friends are leaving for the summer, we’re throwing them a going away party. a BIG one. i will most definitely be reporting back on that later.

okay so back to my brain. can someone tell me why i have NEVER MADE MY OWN NUT BUTTER!?!?! uhhh cheaper? easier? YOU control what goes in? me likeyyy. yuh! the idea came from sarah over at the smart kitchen. she posted this drool worthy post on NUTBUTTERS! so i got curious and broke out my good ol’ cuisinart. BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER, by the way. i love my parents.

i threw into the processor well over a cup of raw almonds, two T of flax seed, and a glug or two of trader joe’s pure maple syrup. and away it spun. and spun. and spun. IT TOOK FOREVER. and my poor food processor got HOT HOT HOT and SMOKED. weird. but it was TOTALLY worth it. i may have added a bit too much flax but it tasted goooood. it’s now currently in an old trader joe’s almond jar (i keep all my glass jars! useful things to have!) in the fridge. yeees. tomorrow’s breakfast will be good good gooood.

i’ve got a lot to do before zee par-tay. expect some pictures 😉

have a good one kidlettes!



okay i lied. i ended up at the gym today. i ran for seven miles. MY FIRST SEVEN MILES WITHOUT STOPPING EVER! it felt really great. my legs felt fresh and strong. i didn’t plan on running seven but my body felt good enough to do it. so i did it! happiness ensued. i really love running. it’s such a great feeling. all i wanted to do was lose myself in a run today. and i for sure did.

following my run i munched on a small sweet potato i zapped in the mircowave for time convenience. next i demolished a spinach salad with half a cucumber, 1/3 cup chick peas, sprouts, a mixture of pepitas and almonds, and a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. hit the spoooot. but dinner was the real high light of the day!

quinoa with mixed roasted veggies! for the quinoa i cooked 1/3 a cup in 3/4 cup of water for aboooout 13 minutes. i roasted three carrots, one zucchini, about six brussel sprouts and about six crimini mushrooms at 400 degrees for 23-ish minutes.

the result? YUM. mainly because i whipped up this dressing from a recipe i found on emily’s blog the front burner! not only is this chick a rad-tastic cook and athlete, but she is going to culinary school just like i want to! talk about a person to look to for inspiration 🙂

anyway, the recipe calls for different ingredients (outside of the quinoa of course!) but i did use the sauce she found! i added a liiiiittle bit of a tweak though.

the sauce (originally from my recipes!)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger (i used ground ginger here because i was feeling lazy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

the only thing i changed (besides the ground ginger which i really don’t think changed it that much anyway!) was an added dash of red pepper flakes. i LOVE heat so i add spice to my dishes all the time. this was a great occasion to do so 🙂

how’d it turn out? AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!

just look at all them colors! so pretty. so delicious. i would make this again in a heart beat for sure! one of the best dinner’s i’ve had in a while. plus quinoa packs a mighty protein punch, too. it’s just all around a tasty food. you can use it in breakfast dishes too! sweet and savory? yes please!

anywho interesting late-night question for you all: if you have done bikram or hot yoga, what do you think about it? i was ready a few articles that claim the heat is “deceptive” and leads people to believe they are getting a “harder” workout then they actually are. people even went as far as to say it does do much of anything! i would disagree because i definitely wake up sore after hot yoga classes. the debate rages on, anyway. what do you think?

sleep well lovely bloggies 🙂