Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waffles, Rallies, and Halloween Wackiness

Happy Halloween y'all! I hope you've had a great weekend and fun Halloween. It amuses me at how my celebration of Halloween has changed throughout the years - I definitely celebrated more as a kid and then again in college!

Saturday was quite a fantastic day. On top of ideal fall weather I woke up with a craving for waffles. I broke out my waffle iron and my favorite pancake mix, Pamela's Baking & Pancake mix, and got to work. The batch yielded 7 waffles so I froze most of them to enjoy on days I don't feel like making waffles.


I had one waffle topped with a mix of syrup and fig jam, heated up, and some almond butter, plus an egg white and half a pear.

The Rally to Restore Sanity was set to begin at 1pm so I headed out around noon to get there. I took my time because I felt pretty indifferent about the event. A few friends convinced me I should go and see it and I'm glad I did. The crowd was pretty normal and I definitely appreciated all the witty signs.

I only stayed down on the Mall for about 15 minutes as I really don't do well in shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and I couldn't see or hear anything. I walked up to Chinatown and the Health and Fitness Expo for the Marine Corps Marathon. I got to check out some of the vendors and tried out The Stick for the first time. My calves felt like new and I can see myself purchasing this item very soon!

From there I began the walk home but got hungry a few minutes in. Enter - pit stop at... Whole Foods! Trip #4 for the week. Lunch was a salad plus black beans and Mexican rice.

I contemplated heading home then but the weather was so nice and there were a few things I wanted to check out at Target so I continued my "little" walk. By the time all was said and done I walked over 8 miles yesterday! My feet were a little achy but no pain in my stress fracture foot which is awesome!

After resting for a few hours I met Lauren for dinner at Mai Thai. We got things started with Apple-tinis, which are a Halloween tradition of sorts for me.

 (from Halloween 2008, Nightmare on M Street Bar Crawl in DC)

We started with some chicken satay

And for my dinner I got the drunken noodles with chicken, easy on the sauce and oil. There is so much flavor in the cooking process and my stomach doesn't love lots of oil so these modifications ensure a tasty dish that won't upset my stomach.

From there we headed to another bar to watch the Rangers win Game 3 of the World Series and the Longhorns lose another game. I think the state of Texas missed the memo that we're supposed to have talent in football!  The night ended with some amazing costume watching of the folks who participated in the DC Halloween bar crawl. I did it 2 years ago and it was a blast - last night I couldn't get over how young all the participants looked!

For all the activity of yesterday, today was quite the opposite. I slept in until 10:30 and immediately rolled out of bed and down the block to the Dupont farmers market. I picked up my usual - eggs, apples, pears, and kale, and came home. Not without snapping a picture of the gorgeous cauliflower though!

I was hungry by the time I got home and had 2 slices of Udi's whole grain toast, one with a little Earth Balance and peanut butter, one with spinach, red pepper spread, and and egg white for breakfast. I also had one of my pears.

Then it was time for a good cleaning of my apartment (I cleaned for the better part of an hour and half). Feeling much better and more organized, I had a light lunch of leftover roasted butternut squash, kidney and black beans, spinach, and 1/4c of wild rice.

I made my 5th trip of the week (seriously - an intervention may be needed!) to Whole Foods for groceries and spend the afternoon prepping food for the week.

Dinner was a bowl of freshly made broccoli soup (x2), a portion of Alexia oven fries, and half a serving of baked beans.

I'm now watching Game 4 and deciding what my sweet treat for Halloween will be. I haven't eaten a lot of candy yet but perhaps I'll find something sweet to celebrate with!

Did you go to the rally yesterday (or watch on TV)? Dress up for Halloween?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Whole Foods Anonymous

Hi, my name is Sarah and I have an addiction. To Whole Foods. You see, I went there for dinner on Thursday night in between work and a birthday party. That made for my 3rd trip of the week. And then of course I will have to grocery shop over the weekend. That pulls the count to a total of 4 visits in 7 days.

Acknowledging the problem is the 1st step, right? But if I'm going to be honest, I'm not so sure I want to recover from this addiction. It's better than getting greasy, over-processed fast food. They carry hundreds of gluten free products and have excellent customer service. I also believe that investing in my diet is an investment in my overall health. I kind of have a crush on Whole Foods.

Thursday I picked up an assortment from the hot bar that included a salad of: beets, carrots, peas, corn, purple cabbage, bean salad, feta, plus some tofu, Indian chickpea dish, and rice (that didn't taste so great and therefore I didn't finish it).

Due to a beautiful heat wave that DC experienced this week, I ate on the patio and enjoyed the sunshine, warmth, and view.

I then headed back to the area where my friend's birthday party was. Yes, to take my addiction further I made a special trip for it! In my defense it was only a 6 minute walk :) It brought my mileage total for the day over 8 miles. I guess I know my foot is finally on the tail end of recovering!

I enjoyed the night, catching up with friends and sipping on a lovely dirty martini.

Then it was time to head home for Grey's and bed.

Do you have a healthy addict habit you just won't break because you secretly love it? Do you want to join Whole Foods Anonymous with me?

New Recipes and Fall in DC

For dinner on Wednesday night I wanted risotto but I also wanted to take advantage of the precooked rice in my fridge. Enter - Lazy Risotto:
  • roasted butternut squash, mushrooms
  • 1/4c kidney beans
  • 1/2c brown rice
  • 1/3c frozen peas
  • ~2-3 T vegetable broth
  • splashes of soy sauce
  • garlic powder and 21 Seasoning Salute
While I still formulated my plan of attack, I got my veggies roasting in the oven. I roasted up butternut squash, baby portobella mushrooms, and brussel sprouts at *425 for about 45 minutes.

When the veggies had about 5 minutes left, I got to work on the risotto. In a small non-stick sprayed pan I added 1/2c brown rice and frozen peas and let heat for a couple of minutes. Then I added a splash of vegetable broth and spices, stirred it all up, and pulled my vegies out of the oven. I added the kidney beans, ~3/4c butternut squash and mushrooms, and more broth and soy sauce and stirred until slightly creamy. The broth did a great job of hydrating the rice and the soy sauce and spices brought everything together.

Topped with a bit of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. This was a winner!

A few weeks ago I found this recipe and couldn't get it out of my head.  I used one half to make my own Twice Baked Acorn Squash and it was delicious. I only stuffed mine with frozen spinach, broccoli, and a bit of grated cheddar and it was delicious. I ate the whole thing, skin and all!

As promised, here are the pictures I took on my short little stroll yesterday afternoon. Fall is officially in full swing in DC!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gluten Free Dinner Party, Part 3

So I feel bad that dessert got lost from my dinner party recap. I mean, I guess I was saving the best for last... really last :) With Halloween coming up this weekend, I thought that now was as good a time as any to share a healthy dessert that is naturally gluten free and easy to prepare!

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then wash, dry, and core your apples. Have fun with your apples if you want ;)

Arrange your apples in a tray that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. This will help your apples not stick to the bottom of the tray.

Top your apples with cinnamon, raisins, agave nectar, maple syrup, and raisins. I don't have any measurements for what was used but you'll be fine eye-balling it. I know I didn't use too much syrup or nectar though.

Bake at 325 for 1 hr 20 minutes or until apples are soft and the skin is wrinkled. Tip: place these in the oven just as you are placing your meal out for your guests. They'll be done by the time you're ready for dessert!