Things I’m Looking Forward Two

1. Winter Squash

 

Cajun-spiced Butternut Squash Fries anyone?

2. BIG Navel Oranges

Almost-grapefruit-sized juicy delciousness… is your mouth watering like mine is right now?

3. My Sister’s Wedding

4. The day when this cough goes away

5. Dinner

… No picture available, but it’s a Curried Lentil, Barley, and Pumpkin stew. YUM (leftovers from date-night-in with my boyfriend on Friday)

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One of those weeks.

You ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you can’t-quite-get-a-hold-on-what-you-have-to-do / what’s-going-on and then all-of-a-suddenit’s-the-weekend? That’s where I am this week. Switching to a job where I create my own hours is a big transition for me, but on top of that, there was a holiday at the beginning of the week and I had about half the caseload- so it left me a bit unsure of how my week should really be looking. I’m still unsure, but I’m just going to roll with it for the rest of the week and then hopefully be able to start fresh on Monday.

At this point you may be thinking: “what the heck is Megan talking about?” or “nice over-share, Megan.” But here’s a purple-green bell pepper:

crazy, right?

And here’s an old picture of an almost-empty peanut butter jar, perfect for OIAJ (oats-in-a-jar):

my motivation for eating more peanut butter.

And here’s me introducing the deliciousness that is Sunflower Seed Butter on Flourless Wheatberry Bread to my good (German) friend Xaver:

He loved it.

Alright, that’s it for now. No time to do my 5 Things Thur…Friday yet. But stay tuned, as I am planning on completing it once I complete my jobly duties.

 

A Superrifically Special Delivery

I want to start by saying: today was the best Monday ever. I know, I know, the statement is a bit overzealous if not short sighted, but please allow me to make my case.

1. I wore a new shirt.

pardon my flash

2. I watched the latest episode of True Blood

I am beyond addicted to this show. Why is it so good?!?!? I think that my feelings for this show border on the infatuation stage of love. (But real, human love wins out in the end always, I promise, really.)

3. I got a yummy, healthy dinner for free.

Courtesy of mah mumma. --> Romaine, cucumber, tomato, mushroom with sautéed chicken and onions in a lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper dressing with leftover brown rice mixed in.

4. I got fresh figs from my parents’ tree

Oh my, what's that sitting behind my bag of free, fresh figs?

5. I got a totally free, extra-special package in the mail!

So remember the other day, way back when, when I told you about the Coconut Butter, Protein Powder, and Liquid Stevia I bought from IHerb.com? Well, last week I got a super-exciting email from IHerb’s social media handler! She told me that she found my blog and wanted to send me free stuff to thank me for blogging about iherb!

And guess what I found waiting at my door when I got home wearing my new shirt, high off of watching the newest true blood, stomach full of free yumminess, and fresh figs in hand:

Yep, that’s my awesomely free package from iherb.

The Goods:

Garlic Gold Parmesan Nuggets:

In the mood for bacon? Try... garlic?

haha but seriously, I’m thinking that these will go good on stovetop popcorn. I tasted a few nuggets out of the shaker and they were quite garlic-parmesany.
Stats:

Simply Organic Citrus a’peel:

Ingredients/Stats:

sorry for the hard-to-read-ness

I’m looking forward to trying this baby on some fish.

Coconut Palm Sugar:

whaaat?

Never heard of this stuff until today, but a quick search tells me that it’s “subtly sweet like brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel.” (Source) As far as health benefits go, it’s low on the glycemic index and high in mineral content. Read up more on the health benefits here.
Side by side with brown sugar:

I’m thinking that I will bake a fresh fig cake/cakes based on my fresh apple cake recipe using this sweetener.

Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix:

Nutritional Information:

Ingredients:

I’ll probably try and turn this into some sort of tomatoey or curry-ey (or both) stew.

I am so so so excited to try out my new products! And, as I mentioned before, you can get $5 off your first purchase at iherb.com if you use this link. Or just go to the site on your own (iherb.com) and enter my coupon code (EGA134). They give you free shipping for orders over $40! (And they’re quite reasonably priced if I do say so myself)

I will leave you with three photos:

These fun gems were excerpted from two videos that I found on my iphone. See, I found the iherb package at my door and didn’t feel like running inside for my camera, so I snapped a photo with my iphone. When I loaded my iphone’s data onto my iPhoto, I found two videos taken of me while at work. The blue-shirt day I half knew about –> the last photo is me turning my head to see one of the children I work with playing with my iphone. I had no idea about the pink shirt day. Wonder why I look perpetually annoyed at work? haha

Have any suggestions for what I should make with the goods?

What was the coolest thing you got in the mail recently?

Tahiniliciousness

A lot of you are probably familiar with my friend, Tahini.

For those of you who aren’t: Tahini is to Sesame Seeds as Peanut Butter is to Peanuts. Get it? Good.

Like most (all) nuts and seeds – sesame seeds have some great health benefits. They are a very good source of maganese and copper, and they are a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1, zinc, and dietary fiber. More nutrition stuffs here.

Aside from all the nutritional crap, tahini tastes pretty darn delicious  (in my opinion). Up until the past year I’m pretty sure I only ever ate tahini in hummus:

I did not make this.

But then my friend over at Little Health Junkie put it in her oats, so I just had  to follow suit. (And I’m so glad I did)

Of my experimentation, I found two combinations that are beyond excellent, so I decided that they must be posted here and now.

Super-Awesome-Tahini-Combo #1

                               +                     

Smashed Baked Sweet Potato (skin eaten by cook after baking) + Tahini

sweet potato mixed w/ 1 tbsp peanut flour & warm spices + 1/2 tbsp tahini + 1/4 tbsp blueberries

Mixed with a 5 Grain Hot Cereal + Oat Bran combination

Super-Awesome-Tahini-Combo #2

                             +                           

About Time Chocolate Whey Protein Isolate + Tahini

I made my typical Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls but used Tahini instead of the Peanut Butter. Results:

It’s a bit wetter than my first batches were because I’ve been using either 5 grain hot cereal or quick oats rather than oat bran. Also – I probably add more water.

These weirdly tasted just like my memories of Cocoa Puffs. I seriously love these protein balls. In fact, I’m going to go to bed right now so that I will feel as though I get to eat one sooner.

Laundry is my archnemesis.

Today was my day off, and I have thus far spent the majority of it running errands and doing chores. :-\ OK, OK my errands were basically clothes shopping. But it was for my new job, so not nearly as fun. (As a side note- it’s sort of ironic to spend money on new clothes so that I can work at a job to make money) The chores part of my day was some serious stuff. I did laundry! And I’m proud to say that there is no basket half-filled with unfolded, clean clothes on my floor. All of my clothes are folded (or hung) away into their happy homes. (Me – 1, Laundry monster – 0)
I haven’t been cooking much outside of breakfast for the past few days. So, I thought that I would share my latest (or continuing) obsessions with you. Let’s begin shall we? In no particular order…
My Food Obsessions
#1 – Cinnamon
Ah, cinnamon. My old friend. How I love thee. From a heavy shower in my oatmeal to a light sprinkle in my yogurt, I love to use this spice. And it has health benefits! Studies have show that it helps prevent spikes in blood sugar and can also help with cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes. And apparently the scent helps increase alertness. Anyways, the point is that it’s damn delicious. And that’s that.
#2 – Oatmeal (Steel cut, multigrain, instant…)
I think you probably can tell by now that oatmeal and I have a sort of thing going together. We connect on this level that’s just so incredible. So I have to have it. Every morning. For real. If I’m cooking breakfast, it’s oatmeal. I have 4 different varieties at the moment: Steel cut (pictured), Quick-cooking steel cut, 5 grain hot cereal, & Quick oats. They all have their own special place in my heart (and diet).
# 3 – Peanut Butter & Pear Sandwiches (w/cinnamon on top)
Seriously. I’m addicted. I can’t stop eating them.
Or, apparently, taking pictures of them.
They’re just so good. I sometimes day dream about them and imagine taking a bite out of their utter deliciousness.
I just can’t quit you. (Not that I’d want to.)
speaking of peanut butter…
# 4 – Peanut products

I love peanut butter. I love peanut flour. I’m relatively certain that they make my life better. Sometimes when I’m eating peanut butter I close my eyes and feel the most incredible sensation of joy. (See end of last post) The peanut butter picture here is my all time favorite. Kroger brand (hurray for penny-pinching) Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter. I kid you not, this is probably the best natural peanut butter ever.

And you all know how much I love peanut flour. I have to force myself to not put peanut flour in my oatmeal some mornings. I’ve even started incorporating it into my yogurt too. And, as you’ve seen, I’ve included it in a couple main dishes. It just makes everything… awesome.

#5 – Side Salads
I’ve been on a huge side salad kick. I think I’ve had one almost every day for a couple weeks. They’re just so delicious. Especially with my awesome new add-ins that I told you about last post (steamed beets, tuscany italian dressing, grape tomatoes) So. Good.
# 6 – Roasted Vegetables
I make them probably twice a week and eat them almost every day. I just love them so much. I’ve been mixing in other vegetables but my favorite is brussel sprouts, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Soo good. In fact, I’m about to go make some.
#7 – Canned Pumpkin
I am in love with canned pumpkin. I am oh so so so glad that there’s not a shortage this year! Last year there was no pumpkin to be found (due to a bad crop I think), but this year I can merrily skip off to my local grocery store and buy some no matter the season! I literally have to force myself to put something other than pumpkin into my oatmeal. It’s that good. (Especially with peanut flour or the almond butter + flaxseed meal combo)

#8 – Cocoa-Cereal-Yogurt (now w/peanut flour!)
Like oatmeal, this something that I eat every. single. day. (for the most part) My favorite yogurt is Organic Stonyfield Farm Low Fat Plain. Unfortunately, it costs 3.50/32 oz container. So I’ve been trying to perfect my homemade yogurt. I’m trying to use pectin as a thickener in my next batch to see if I can better-mimic the Stonyfield consistency. Wish me luck!
So now that I’ve filled you in on my obsessions, what are your latest (or long-standing) obsessions?