And for Dinner, I’m Making Falafel

Every time I say “falafel,” I think of Donkey from Shrek… “And in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

Waffle… -lafel… you get my connection?

After dad’s experience with Falafel at Moaz, hes been insistant on eating it for a Lenten Friday night dinner. Even at the store, he wants to buy it! I talked him into letting me try to make if from scratch!

Last night, I used the Hungry Girl recipe for it and made the dip that goes with it. Dad ate his pita-style while I deconstructed mine into a spinach salad! I was iffy about the dill dip for a few reasons: A) dill can be a really strong flvor that tends to overwhelm my palate, and B) iI’m not a huge fan of plain yogurt. Let me just start by saying how simple this recipe was and how shocked I was that this dip was perfection! After combining the ingredients for the dip, and sampling it, I actually verbally exclaimed, “Oh wow! Oh yeah! mmm…” My mom, who can’t stand yogurt of any kind actually ate this dip too! I think it had a lot to do with cuccumber. It really mellowed out the greek yogurt’s natural tang. This stuff is officially a Bundo house staple! I’m thinking it would be a great sub for mayo on a sandwich!

Any way… back to falafel.. I followed everything in the recipe, with a few minor adjustments:WP_001613

  • 1/4 tsp and both paprika and black pepper for the falafel mix
  • half a peeled and deseeded large cucumber for the dip
  • I also did not have fresh herb, so I used dry herbs

* Just a note: If you do not have fresh herbs, you can use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs. For every 1Tbsp of fresh herbs, use 1 tsp of the dried stuff.

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all mashed up

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all rolled out

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all baked

To semi mirror the variety  of toppings that Moaz has, we mixed the dill cucumber yogurt dip with some bagged shredded coleslaw  vegetables, and I sliced some red pepper and roasted them! The slaw gave it a nice crunch and the red peppers were warm and sweet!

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While the falafel baked, I cut up this monsterouly large pineapple!  Great dessert!

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If you enjoy chickpeas, check out these other chickpea recipes: Chicken Garam Masala and Chickpea based bars.

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Dad’s pita

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Sammy’s Salad

After dinner, I met up with some people from work at the bowling alley, and took dad as my date. When I was younger, and it was still affordable, dad and I went bowling every Friday night. Bowling with such good company was a lot of fun! We did a unit shot of Pucker’s Sour Apple, and majority of the group indulged in Miller Lite.

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After a few round of enjoyable, yet completely terrible bowling, Dad and I headed out to a social club he belongs to. There I drank a glass of merlot and woah did that hit me quick! I felt like I was a freshman in college, again… not being able to hold my alcohol! I get silly and giggly when I drink, and last night was no different. He was alot of fun though, spending a nice night out with my dad!

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When I got home (dad drove) I was craving the pizza my mom ordered.one of the bad things about drinking is the loss of  inhibition, causing us to make poor decisions, including food ones. I have to say though, I ate a slice of pizza and a 100 cal bag of popcorn, with nutella. I could have done worse!

This morning, I was not too hungry (since my tipsy tummy fill last night), but after a little tidying up and a cup of hot tea, I decided to try another new yogurt. I get really excited about trying new things. Thats how you know I have a passion for food. Anyway, I found Fage Passion Fruit Clementine yogurt and the combination really intrigued me! The fruit puree was tart and taste and sweet and exotic. I sprinkled some chia on top and  really enjoyed it!

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The last couples days, I’ve been in a funk and extrememly tired. Today, I was finally able to get myself sort-of moving. I completed on of my favorite circuits, Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout. Although, it doesn’t sound like much, it helped make me feel like I did something. My girlfriend reminded me to be proud of my workouts. No matter what I did, its better than doing nothing. This, my friends, is called looking at the glass half full.

After this short spurt, I cut into a fuji apple. This baby was perfectly ripe! Mmmm so crisp! And a teaspoon of raw almond butter was a nice touch! (I finished this apple when I got home from work!)

WP_001639I am working for a girl tonight, since she covered my shift last weekend when I was in the Vagina Monolgues. I brought Pacific Food’s Hearty Corn Chowder, and ate this with saltines. While here, I also snacked on some dangerously delicious decedent trail mix! I recognized my fullness and went back to work! (I don’t think I’d recommend this soup.)WP_001640

I am sitting with a patient tonight. This patient ran out of the room and I ran after! I had no idea I could run that fast. Another nurse ran down the other side of the hallway! It was great team work and an unexpected way to break up the night.

Speaking of teamwork, I have never experienced such great teamwork than I have tonight! Six of us in a room! All working together to accomplish a task! Beautiful!

I’m heading to bed with a full tummy! Good night!

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Roasted Vegetables: Crock Pot Recipe #7

Wednesday:

I went to class this morning and while waiting, enjoyed a Muller Mousse Parfait. A girl I’m in clinical with loves these, so I gave it a try.

WP_001225I tried the peach passion fruit, figuring if I was going to try something, I might as well try the most exotic sounding. I topped it with both ground flax and chia, and it was delicious and filling! I only have one complaint: way too much sugar! Seriously, it had a whole days worth of sugar in it!

After this cardiac cram session, I hit the gym. I had a full workout planned but as I was doing it, I realized I was not going to be able to complete it, if I needed to get some sleep for night shift. I only worked out for an hour or so. I was so bummed when that I had to leave. Have you ever been so into your routine, you just didn’t want to stop. Seriously, even the shuffle on my iPod just kept giving me great songs to power up to!

I hit the sheets when I got home, unfortunately  only getting about 2 hours of sleep for my 12 hour shift. I made something that was LONG overdue: a shake. Iv’e been checking up on this blog I found and she made a shake that sounded delicious, so I gave it a go. The following was whipped up:

handful of kaleWP_001227

handful of frozen, pitted dark cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

half a frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

and lots of ice!

Pretty darn tasty… Actually, dad asked me to make him one for Thursday morning!

WP_001228Thursday:

Over the course of the long night, I did some pretty wise snacking choices, suck as graham crackers, sugar free pudding, and 94% fat free popcorn. I have to same, though, my favorite meal of the night, was the Raisin and Spice Oatmeal. I stirred in a little PB, and mmmmmm good!WP_001231

After I got home, I started preparing the crock pot. Tonight’s recipe is in preparation for tomorrow’s dinner (I can’t wait!)

Once all the ingredients were in the crock, I sat down to finish some homework and enjoyed a nice bowl of Banana Nut and Peanut Butter Cheerios, a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee with some sugar free french vanilla powdered creamer and a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans to keep me going for the day!

Katie loves crock pots too and I remembered a while back she posted about roasting vegetables in a crock pot. Being the sucker for veggies that I am, I starting thinking up ways to use these veggies. Over rice? with sausage? In a pita? The possibilities are endless! Needless to say, I hit up the discount produce shelf…

Roasted Crock Pot Veggies

2 bell pepper (I like using colors)WP_001233

3 cloves garlic, slivered

half an onion, sliced in rings

a few baby portabellos

1 large carrot stick, sliced into very thin coins

handful of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1 small eggplant, sliced to 1/4 in thick

spices, to taste

Prepare all the vegetables, adding or subtracting vegetable that you enjoy, and toss them in the crock pot. Season, cover, and cook.

The original recipe calls for oil, but instead, I just gave the top of the veggies a quick spray with some non-stick pray and few shot a liquid aminos. I couldn’t find my Italian seasoning in the cupboard, so I used some granulated garlic, black pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil, and gave it all a nice toss.

WP_001235Cover the pot and look on low, stirring occasionally.

During class, I was starting to sense some hunger creeping up on me. I looked around the room, and wouldn’t you know like four people were chopping on protein bars! AHHHH! I knew this would be tough!

When I got home from class, the house smelled like a warm garden… fresh veggies in the air! I hustled into the kitchen to give them a stir and a try. I was so happy with how they turned out! The carrots were just the right consistency  the onions became translucent  the peppers and mushrooms cooked down, the tomatoes got soft and sweet, the eggplant absorbing all the flavors…

I had some leftover turkey sausage to I put a little in a tortilla with some veggies and I was in heaven! This most definitely will be a meal another night.WP_001237

As for tonight’s dinner, I was jonesing for a Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger, and mom was really eyeing up the chili. My creation was a chili dipped burger! YUM! I snacked on some mixed fruit for dessert!

Over all, the last 24 hours was pretty decent with food… only a few minor binges.

After meeting up with Mike to finish our assignment, I tried to squeeze in a workout before being detained in nursing labs for 3 hours. I was able to squeeze in the following workout, based off of Julie’s Beat Boredom Interval Workout:

Weights:

Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 set 53 lbs
Tricep Extensions 15reps 4 sets 20 lbs
Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 sets 53 lbs

Elliptical:

0-10 min 11 resistance
10-1230 13
1230-15 14
15-20 11

Repeat Weights

Treadmill:

1-5 minutes 4.2 speed 8 incline
5-630 7 1
630-8 5 1
8-10 4.2 1

Now, I ready to crash, wake up refreshed, workout, watch some lectures, and cook you all a wonderful Friday Lenten dinner!Even though, I was totally sleep deprived, I did not want to leave. These last two days I’ve really been in the workout zone!

Upside Down Kinda Day

Last night’s dinner was super filling! 

I woke up this morning determined to start this funky-scheduled day with some pep. When I start my day with exercise, I always feel invincible for the rest of the day. 

I began with cleaning out the fireplace and bringing in some fire wood from the 20 degree F porch to warm up the house. Once I got my pyro-fix, I started Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout (one of my favorites)! Mountain Climbers kick my butt every time!

Once I completed this, I whipped out the magic bullet. I really wanted to use my homemade cashew butter today so I looked to my fellow nut butter lover, Julie, for some inspiration. The following found its way into my tummy:

half of a frozen banana

1 tbsp cashew butter

Strawberry Dannon Light and Fit yogurt

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

15g (1/4 to 1/3 cup) kale, chopped 

1/4 tsp xanthum

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After enjoying majority of this smoothie bowl and some serious brain freeze, I needed to knock out a lecture before class today. This bowl was so filling, I did not even think of food till close to 1600.

The reason I call this an “upside down kinda day” is because I work night shift tonight. Its different when you work 11pm to 7am consistently because your body adapts to that schedule, but when you work it every now and then, you just need to suck it up, sleep when you can, and power through. It also messes up my eating… like when do I sleep? What’s breakfast? Whens dinner? I feel like on days like this I eat alot of snacks, and not so much meals…

I was greeted by this view as I walked out of class:

SNOW!

SNOW!

And this pretty site on my way home:

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

After I got home from a really informative lab, I had a big bowl of fruit, from The Fresh Market, and topped it with some low fat cottage cheese! YUM!

While I am at work tonight, I will working on some reading for school, and of course, working on tomorrow’s post.

Panera Made a Liar Out of Me

I finally got my lazy dazy butt to do something: Julie’s Sweaty Abs Circuit (one of my favorites!)

Last night was my first night back with patient care. It was like I never left. I felt on top! I even had a nurse ask my opinion on one my patients!

Work has been hosting seminars for the past week, catered by Panera. My manager brought back some salad, wheat baguette, and some sandwiches. I made a small salad and a small piece of bread. I was full. I snacked on my baby carrots a bit later and left the Lean Cuisine in the freezer…

One of the nurses brought this baggie in… Mint Chip Brownie Cookies… ADDICTING! Kudos to Nurse Kathleen.

I was proud of myself that I did not indulge in them! I treated myself and went on with my night.
When I got home, I snacked on various food items, PB and cottage cheese are always key players. I laid in bed thinking though… “I wasn’t hungry. Why did I do that?” Thank goodness I did not go to town like I used to in the past!

I’ve noticed that each day, I’m getting better with my eating habits and food choices. I think a lot of it has to do with this blog. MyFitnessPal helps me keep track about what I eat, but writing about it allows my to have fun with my food and not obsess about.

A big thank you for reading the blog and helping to keep me healthy and sane. I hope the blog is able to help you like it is helping me. My hopes for this blog are to share healthy recipes, exercises and experiences with each other to broaden our horizons, connect, live well and happily together!

This morning I woke up determined to start today on the right foot. I stripped my bed and threw the sheets in the wash, prepared the tonight’s crock pot dinner (recipe to follow), did a quick 30 min Hip Hop Abs workout, made myself a smoothie bowl and peach berry green tea, and got down to business (lectures and what not).

Nutella, for some reason has been on my mind lately. I never liked Nutella when I was a kid but when I saw in the ads that it was on sale for $1.99, I decided to give it a second chance. Since I enjoy PB in my shakes I decided to try Nutella today. I went with the obvious combo, banana and Nutella, and I have to say, this is one of the most delicious shakes I’ve had in a while!
I combined the following into the MagicBullet to create this green bowl of gobbity-goop:

1 scoop Metabolife Chocolate
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix
1/2 tsp ground flax
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
a handful of kale
1/2 frozen banana
2 tsp Nutella

 

MMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Delicious!!!!

Off to learn!

“Change in Mental Status” as we say in the RN world (Jan 10, 2013)

After my mental breakdown last night, I was determined to burn off some steam today. I walked/jogged 8 miles! I felt so energized and happy! I didn’t even bring my ipod! I sang to myself and admired the environment.

My dad came over for dinner tonight. I made healthy stir fried rice and Hungry-Girl’s sesame chicken. Yum! My dad and I took our 15 year old beagle, Beauty, for a walk also.

It amazes me how walking can completely change my mood!
You would think that all of that would tire me out, but I’m wide awake, ready for some strength training…

I set up a new playlist on YouTube… once I complete it I’ll post up my, what I like to call, my “PowerPlay” songs. These are the songs that get me pumped and have a solid beat to work out to.

Thanks for checking in and I’ll talk to you soon!

Good night!