Tofutti!

My week began with a food mishaps. I woke up and the only thing on my mind was mac n cheese. I had an Easy-Mac-style bowl bowl of low-carb mac n cheese I ordered offline. One bite and Beauty got the bowl. Unfortunately, Beauty wouldn’t even eat it. Ha! I began to think, and a light bulb went off! I have instant grits! Oh and I have apple butter!

So, I originally tried grits for the first time when I was about 10 years old and my mom’s boyfriend at the time took us out for breakfast. Grits were totally new to me. I really wasn’t a fan until my mom asked for apple butter for her biscuit. I tried the apple butter the Cracker Barrel that the waitress brought and it was sweet and even better on the warm biscuit. With this in mind, I placed a bit on my spoon and then tried  the grits once more, and ever since then grits and apple butter go hand and mouth in my mind. Get it? Like hand and hand? 

Okay, after that drawn out story… you can guess what was for breakfast:

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I debated having a can of soup for lunch. Once I heated up this soup that I’ve never had before by a brand that I’ve never tried and it, too, went right into Beauty’s bowl. This, too, Beauty turned her nose up to. I grabbed some crackers and PB to hold me over and the went to Zumba, as I usually do on Monday evenings. I came home with a growling stomach, with every intention of making a shake. After experiencing this first evening of the Fall chill, a shake was the furthest from my mind. I rushed home to warm up and steamed up a Green Giant box of green beans and almonds (one of my absolute favorites), followed by some more steamed vegetables. My food plans didn’t work out the way I planned, but it makes me happy that I made things work.

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I changed the sheets on my bed to flannel ones, took a hot shower, and snuggled up under the fresh covers in my toasty pajamas and crashed. I sent this picture to my parents because it reminded me of my childhood anthem:

Tuesday was a relatively early morning of giving. I headed off to the Blood Bank to donate blood. I try to do so as often as I can.

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After running a bunch of errands, I was super hungry when I got home. I was so tempted  to pick up a donut for National Donut Day, but all I could think about was a Boston Cream Pie protein bowl! Bring it! I topped it with some crumble Gnu Espresso Chip! Then some fresh raspberries! Delicious!

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I went off the work around 3pm and , like I’ve said before, being clerk for the evening is hit or miss. Wow!  I don’t think that in the two and a half years I have been at the hospital, I have EVER been as busy on the desk as we were Tuesday! It was nuts!

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Luckily, I had some savory pumpkin quiche and roasted veggies to power me through the shift, and a chips ahoy cookie for a treat. I headed to Barry’s after work, having a heck of a time kicking a headache and belly ache. I even woke up Wednesday still feeling a bit out of sorts.

WP_004507To get out of a funk, Barry and I headed off to the mall, again. We have been to the mall so much, lately. Last week, we got hooked on a store called Teavana! Barry has been dying to go back since last week. We went back and grabbed a few flavors to take home and a brew to walk around the mall with. I never thought that I would drink hot tea without sweetener, but Teavana proved me wrong.  Last week, I had one that smelled like hot oatmeal, and this trip I combined Zingiber Ginger Coconut and CocoCaramel Sea Salt to make a tea that smelled like an almond cookie fresh out of the oven! Last week, we picked up White Chocolate Peppermint Tea! It smells fantastic and tastes like holiday! Ahh! Its magical!

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WP_004509Before heading home to make lunch (steamed veggies for me and mac n cheese topped with steak-umms for Barry), I came across a few awesome and intriguing coffees. Hot Buttered Rum? Mhmm… Tiramisu? Duh! Candy Corn? Uhhh…….

Has anyone had that??? Fill a sista in!

WP_004511I took a nap at Barry’s to try to rid of my headache, only to be woken up by a car alarm 3 hours later. On my way home, I stopped by the local Payless store to pick up an order. I had a birthday coupon and ordered a Christmas present my parents will be giving me (some new work shoes), along with a new pair of kicks. With the coupon and BOGO special, I would up paying a little over 10 bucks for these cross trainers! Sweet! I couldn’t wait to break them in!

I killed time before work by sending out more resumes and experimenting with SF syrups. I added white chocolate and creme de menthe to my hot chocolate/coffee mocha, and it was awesome! I attempted to catch a few Zzzs before my night shift, but not even this cuddle buddy could shut my brain down for a nap!

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WP_004516I headed off to work a little anxious about food and finding a job, but like always, work put me in a better mind set. I finished off the very last bowl of Hot and Sour Soup. I must make this, again! Soon! The caf surprised me, also, when they switched up the veggie options. Last night, there were radishes and asparagus! I was a happy camper. Two dum-dum suckers and a coffee also helped power me through my shift.

I must say that the highlight of my shift was at 0500, when one of the nurses asked me if I would mind drawing her labs. One stick and I was in! Sweet! I’m always asking if they have labs they want me to do so I was stoked when she asked me! I was even more excited when I kicked butt on the lab draw!

I came home from work knowing I was hungry and actually eating like a normal person! Yay! While I whipped up a 2 egg white omelet with hot salsa, I snacked on a handful of waffle pretzels and a tsp of the best peanut butter, Peter Pan’s Crunchy peanut butter. Never, ever, have a found another PB with soooo many peanuts! Ahh, its delicious! Once dad woke up, I brewed us some coffee and whipped him up a Higgins breakfast classic.

My grandmother, my mom’s mom, makes stuffing loaves every Thanksgiving, and give everyone in the family one to take home. The next morning, Black Friday, we slice up the stuffing, fry it, put a slice of cheese on it and top it with an egg over-easy. I took out two slices from the freezer, and fried one up for dad, and topped it with scrambled egg whites, fat free cheese, and hot sauce.

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WP_004524After dad left for work, Barry came over, and I whipped him up a similar dish with two eggs, over-easy. I spent the rest of the day waiting at my dads place for a package from DaVinci (you know I love my SF syrups). After a can of green beans and onions, I headed back to moms, battling the rain.

I spent the remainder of my afternoon sending out resumes. I’ll tell you… job hunting is a job in and of itself. Its really a bummer, too, because I’m fully in love with my job and the company I work for, but I need to use this license that I’ve worked so hard to obtain.

I started not to feel so great so I grabbed a shower and dad picked me up to run to the store. Ginger ale to the rescue! When we got back, I found out dad had not eaten since the breakfast I had made him. With the remaining tofu, left in the fridge from the Hot and Sour Soup, I whipped up the following based off a recipe I saw on Everyday Health.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir-fry

based off Tofu With Peanut-Ginger SauceWP_004527

serves 2

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp Better n’ Butter, low sodium
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground, dry ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sriracha, more if desired
  • 7 oz  firm tofu
  • 1 12oz bag frozen stir-fry vegetable blend
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup mushrooms, largely chopped
  • 1/4 in slice onion, chopped

Whisk together the water, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, syrup, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. Set aside.

Drain the tofu, and slice into 8 slices. Place on paper towels and pat dry. Continue to change out paper towels to remove moisture, about 4 paper towels.

On medium-high heat, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Break the slices of tofu into about 6 pieces each and lay in the pan in a single layer. Allow the pieces to turn golden brown on the bottom, then toss and brown the other side. Meanwhile, microwave the frozen veggie blend for 4 minutes.

Once both sides have turned golden brown, add spinach, onion, and mushrooms. Carefully transfer the microwaved vegetables into the skillet, and toss with previous veggie and tofu mix. Pour the previously-made peanut sauce over top, toss the contents of the skillet, and lower the heat to medium low.

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Serve as is or over brown rice, like dad did.

“I’d eat that, again.” Can I quote you on that? That you want to eat tofu, again? “Oh yeah!”

Ladies and gentleman, dad wants to eat more tofu!

I loved this dish! It had the mild saltiness from the peanut butter and soy sauce, and the slightest kick from the siracha! MMM! I actually grabbed some bell pepper slices and lapped up the sauce left at the bottom of the dish. It was just that yummy!

After my mom had her gastric bypass surgery, she has had a  hard time digesting meats. Throughout my cooking, I’ve found that soy products, like tofu, are the only things that don’t upset her stomach. She was eating her meal chanting, “Tofutti!!!! Tofutti!!!”

I guess that means she likes it!

This Thursday evening is ending with a mug of hot decaf mocha, with SF pumpkin spice syrup, and a ginger snap.

Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine

Today is National Dessert Day. It is also National Chocolate Covered Insect Day. I think I’ll refrain from the latter and begin my day with a classic dessert-inspired shake bowl:

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  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 3 Tbsp Chocolate Malt
  • 1 Tbsp SF Creme de Menthe
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and guar (optional)

I topped this with one of my favorite shake bowl toppings: Gnu Espresso Chip bar!

Since Ovaltine was a feature in breakfast, I just couldn’t help myself:

 

I kept thinking about what the heck chocolate covered insects would taste like. I remember my mom said that when she was a kid she accidentally tried chocolate covered ants. And they were good, apparently!!! Light bulb! I remembered theres a dessert called Grasshopper Pie, though I’ve never actually had it.

Grasshopper Shake:

  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp SF Creme de Menthe
  • 1 Tbsp SF fat free White Chocolate pudding mix
  • spinach
  • water
  • ice
  • guar and xanthum (optional)

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I topped this bowl with Kashi cereal and my latest addiction, Goldfish. My friend told me about French Toast Gold fish Grahams. I would have loved to top this bowl with one of the chocolate varieties. So, some SF chocolate syrup sufficed.

With the mass quantity of ice in my body, I spent the rest of the day curled under a blanket until Zumba! Zumba, Zumba, Zumba! Since my mom keeps backing out of going with me, Barry was kind enough to offer to go with me the next time I went. I was so surprised when he actually came! Like, I thought he was just saying it to be nice.

He was a trooper. By the end of the class he was tired, hungry, and sweaty. “Every muscle in my legs hurt, but they’ve never felt better.” To me, thats a compliment!

With all this talk of Zumba, I found this article both interesting and helpful: Best Shoes for Your Workout.

Following class, we headed to Wawa. We were both hungry but not. The shopping center around the Wawa also contains a Buffalo Wild Wings, Barry’s favorite restaurant, not mine. But the longer we were in the parking lot, the more we could smell food, and the more we wanted something. Barry grabbed a meal from Wawa… I may have stole his apples. Upon arriving home, Barry introduced me to Buffalo Cheddar Popcorn. Usually, buffalo flavored foods are over powering, taste gross, or don’t taste anything like buffalo, like Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps… disappointment. But this popcorn was soooo good! It had the perfect amount of kick. I had to grab a drink after a handful but I wanted more! Good find, Barry!

A Little Late for St. Patty’s Day

With this big bag of spinach in the refridgerator and a mint craving in my belly, I thought I’d try an uuber healthy Sam-rock Shake before heading off to class!

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1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 Tbsp DaVinci sugar free Creme de Menthe

a bunch of spinach

water

ice

Eat your heart out, McDonalds!

An added bonus… it was so filling!

Wednesday wasn’t too exciting of a day, but one this that was specifically a highlight was this:

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I picked up my stole and tassel for graduation! Isn’t it pretty! The symbol on the stole is the key of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society! I can’t wait to walk up onto that stage, in less than a month, wearing these!

I got home to an fuji, cinnamon, and cottage cheese before trying to catch some Zzzz before work. Five hours isn’t too bad. Upon waking up, Glee the Concert was on TV. I kept my guilty pleasure on while I spent an hour or so sending out resumes for Registered Nurse positions in Pediatric hospitals.

Say some prayers for me! I found a couple positions open in  New York!

I headed off to a great night a t work. I had a patient that I noticed some abnormals in and mentioned it to the nurse. She evaluated the patient, confirmed my findings, and thanked me for realizing these symptoms. She wound up calling the doctor to evaluate her.

I don’t want this to sound odd, but I’m glad I had this opportunity. I mean, it reaffirms that I should be in this field, that I have accurate nursing judgement.

Moving on with the night, I had a pretty consistent night of 10 patients. Dinner was Lean Cuisine’s Chicken Marsala. I used the magical, edible fungi to bulk this up. I was disappointed to see like four pieces of chicken in this meal. Luckily, I sliced up about 4 mushrooms before leaving for work. It was really great once I added the mushrooms. I was surprised by how cheesy the parmesean pea and mushroom risotto. With some added shrooms, this is definitely an “eat again” meal!

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