Career Craziness

So these past few days have been pretty darn crazy as far as my job goes.

Friday- I get an invitation via email to a confidential meeting with Human Resources in which I was offered another position in my company due to “uncertainty” about my program’s future.

Cut to today- half of the program’s staff gets laid off, and the other half is out of a job come August 26th. (luckily I managed to get into the second half) So, needless to say this is a lot to process. But I accepted the job offer. (Though it requires some screening of my Spanish skills first) It will mean a little more money, a lot of good experience, and a big schedule change.

totally unrelated.

Anyways! I’m going to look on the bright side of things and hope that this job pans out. (And put in some applications just in case)

But in all of this work craziness, I haven’t forgotten to eat well! (Duh. This is a food-eating blog, right?)

I spent last week enjoying barley a lot. Remember when I made it to go along with my salmon? Well, I had some leftover, and I got to keep enjoying it in breakfast form for a few days. If you’ve never tried barley for breakfast, you are missing out. It’s quite easy and quite delicious.

Step 1: Open your fridge, and stare at your leftover barley

waste not!

Step 2: Make half a serving of a hot cereal you enjoy. (preferably with milk for that creamy deliciousness) I made oat bran most days but also enjoyed quick cook steel cut oats.

+ Add 3/8 cup of barley (I think that’s roughly 1/2 a serving)

oat bran & barley

Step 3: Add your most favoritist toppings*

frozen sweet cherries + tahini

Strawberry, Kiwi, Wheat Germ, & Tahini

Raspberry, Flaxseed Meal, & Almond Butter

*Note: Can also be your second, third, or fourth most favoritis toppings

Once you try this, you will wish that you always had leftover barley. (That is my promise to you) The barley adds a wonderful chew and a most comforting flavor.

To round things out, I figured that I would leave you with This Week in Workouts:

TWIW 7.10.11-7.16.11

Su – 60 min Power Yoga

M – 45 min Cycle class

Tu – Circuit Strength Training

W – 20 min Stairmill + 25 min Elliptical

Th – Circuit Strength Training

F – 45 min Cycle class

Sa – off

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Replacing Pumpkin

So, as you all are probably well aware, sometime around Easter it started to become impossible to find canned pumpkin anywhere. This made me very very sad because I love canned pumpkin in my oatmeal. But recently, while at an expensive, local, wholefoodsesque grocery store I discovered this:

It was located on the shelf next to some organic pumpkin (which I also picked up), but I thought to myself, “Hey, why not give this baby a shot?” A look at the nutritional profile was not as exciting as pumpkin, but I decided it would do.

So, this morning I took the plunge and opened this baby up:

Looks a little bit lighter than the organic pumpkin that I had previously used from the same brand. But it actually has the same smell. (reminiscent of baby food, but not so much as to repulse me)

I decided to make my usual pumpkin-peanut flour- blueberry-spices oatmeal concoction, only with butternut squash instead of pumpkin.

mixed with quick-cooking steel cut oats & oat bran (prepared with 1/2 cup milk)

The results? Delicious! It has a distinctively… lighter? flavor than pumpkin but it still went beautifully with this oat combination. In fact, I think I like this stuff better than the organic pumpkin of the same brand. (Granted, Libby’s still takes the cake… or should I say can)

On a side note, I’m marveling at how quickly this past hour flew by. I think I may just treat myself and watch a movie or something to enjoy the rest of my evening. Weekend starts tomorrow at 4:00PM!

What new-to-you product have you tried lately?

Do you have any awesome plans for the weekend?

I’m attending a birthday party on Saturday, but I’m hoping to pack in additional funness.

Ok for some reason I am compelled to post this:

I apologize.

 

Why?

...OK this is completely unrelated but clearly necessary to be an EatMyBeets post.

Why, oh why, is oats in a jar so darn delicious? I frequently add nut butters to my oats. But it’s not quite the same. There’s something about eating it straight out of the jar that gives me that “Oh my goodness this is incredibly good and decadent,” feeling. I’m thinking maybe it’s because it has so much more ooey-gooey-nutty-deliciousness than I would normally put in my oats. Either way, it gives me extra incentive to plow through my nut butters

OK, so now for my Ultimate Oats In a Jar Combo:

Ingredients

– 1 almost finished nut butter jar

– 1 tbsp peanut flour

– favorite fruits/berries –> I used fresh blueberries and (sliced) strawberries

– spices–> I used cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg

– 1 batch of prepared oats (steel-cut, old fashioned, multigrain… you pick)

Directions

1. Start cooking your oats via your preferred method. (I cooked steel cut oats on the stove with 1/2 cup milk)

2. To the nut butter jar, add your peanut flour, fruit/berries, and spices

3. Add your oats to your jar of deliciousness

4. Mix it allll up and ENJOY!!!

Please Admire the Thick and Delicious Creaminess that is OIAJ (the added peanut flour truly makes it)

O-M-G This is so good.

I have had the pleasure of saying this twice (and more extremely than usual) in the past week.
The First:

Overnight Oats in a very-nearly-finished Almond Butter Jar:
1/4 cup multigrain hot cereal
1/4 cup oat bran
1 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal
stir
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
diced mango
stir
refrigerate overnight
The Next morning…
Jar Alternative: If you don’t have an almost-done-jar of almond butter, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl or an empty jar and add some nut butter yourself. 
This jar was. so. good. I orgasmed in my mouth. True success. Mango is delicious. It is on my grocery list to buy again.
The Second:
Peanut Soy-Lime Tempeh Vegetable “Stir-fry” 
I say “stir fry” because I roasted the tempeh, garlic, and onion and steamed the rest of the ingredients.
Step 1: Cube 8 oz. package of tempeh, chop onion and garlic, and toss in a mix of sesame and extra virgin olive oils. Roast on 400˚F for ~20 minutes, mixing half-way through
the finished product

Step 2: While tempeh is roasting, chop vegetables of choice (I used broccoli, snap peas, carrot, asparagus, and halved kumquats) and steam for about 7 minutes.

     Note: I used a steamer basket and a large pot. Fill pot with about 1/2-1 inch of water, dump vegetables in basket, bring to boil, and reduce to medium for 7 minutes.
Step 3: Combine 2 tbsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce, 2 tbsp peanut flour, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, ~1/2 tbsp chili garlic sauce, ~1tsp ginger, 1 tsp honey, 1 packet true lime (or fresh lime juice). Mix well
Step 4: Add steamed vegetables to roasted tempeh mixture and cover with sauce. Mix well and serve!
I swear it tastes better if you use chopsticks.

This. was. so. good! The flavors blended together really nicely and it made me go mmmmm. I took it to work for lunch as well, but I have to say that it was definitely best served hot (or warm) the night that I made it.

In other news…

Job/Life Update: Clearly (from lack of posting), life has been prettty busy for me. I’ve been finishing up school for the semester, going to job orientation, working out, cooking, and trying to get to bed at a decent hour to repeat the cycle.
As I just mentioned, I had orientation this week, and it went great! I adjusted well to the team and am looking forward to plunging into my day-to-day work next week. One other awesome discovery is that my gym is only 18 minutes from my work (closer than my last placement and closer to work than my apartment), so I’m hoping to begin going to the gym in the morning. 5:30am wake-up here I come!
So again, like I mentioned, I’m finishing up classes this coming week and hoping to be able to post more often because I know you’re dying to hear what I’m doing! (sarcasm intended)

Fun Friends Weekend

This weekend was pretty awesome. I got lots of friends time in and lots of relaxation time in. Plus I tried a new vegetable and invented a new dish! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
FRIDAY
Friday was a pretty cool day. Started it off right with…
Friday’s Breakfast

Bob’s 5 Grain Hot Cereal
prepared with 1/2 milk, 1/2 water
+ 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1/4 cup blueberries 1Tbsp flaxseed meal, and 1/2 Tbsp almond butter
It was soooo yummy! I love the flax/almond combo with the pumpkin. An hour later I was off to the gym for…
Friday’s Workout: Strength Training Circuit
Circuit 1: 3 sets w/2-25lb dumbbells–> 10 squats, 8-10 chest press; 8 40lb assisted pull ups
Circuit 2: 3 sets–> 10 plie squats w/50 lb, 8 of this shoulder exercise w/15lb dumbbell
Circuit 3: 3 sets–> 10 triceps dips w/15lb added, 10 straight leg dead lifts w/2-25lb dumbbells, 8 curls, hammer, and concentration w/17.5 lb dumbbells(changed each set)
Core: 40 sit-ups on stability ball, 20 jackknives w/stability ball, 15 russian twists w/15lb dumbbell, 20 reverse curl w/leg lift, 40 butterfly crunches, 20 side plank dips, 45 sec alternating leg/arm kneeling superman w/supporting foot lifted, 60 second forearm plank w/knee touch-downs
I was feeling pretty awesome with this workout! Not weak like the last time I did my strength workout. So that was a big plus!
I re-fueled with my typical cocoa-yogurt-cereal but added some peanut flour to the mix! Sooo goood. And after a few errands I fixed myself…
LUNCH

Yummo salad with spinach, spring mix, broccoli slaw, white mushrooms, sugar snap peas, black pepper, and lite balsamic dressing. And of course my new favorite peanut butter and pear sandwich w/cinnamon sprinkled on top.
A short while later, I set about conquering this:
The Chayote Squash
I had been eyeing this baby at the grocery store for a while. It’s so intriguing-looking don’t you think? So this past week I decided to finally take the plunge and buy one. I had no idea what it was like or how to prepare it, but I figured I’d just go ahead and add it to my roasted vegetable mix. And it was a success!
Friday’s DINNER:
Leftover Mexican Vegetable Pie with Roasted Sweet Potato, Chayote Squash, & Carrot
My wonderful boyfriend ended up surprising me by stopping by for dinner! We polished off the last of my Mexican Vegetable Pie, and as luck would have it, I was preparing a big enough batch of vegetables to feed both of us and still have leftovers. I heated the pie up in the oven as I was roasting the vegetables. I highly recommend reheating things in the oven covered with aluminum foil (or the dish cover). It makes it taste like you just made it.
Roasted Vegetable Method:
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Chop veggies into 1 cm cubes and place them in a baking dish.
Mix in enough extra virgin olive oil to coat everything, and add dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, pepper, and 3 cloves minced garlic.
Cook for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice in the middle of roasting.
Friday night was spent out late with friends, but let’s jump to Saturday, shall we?
SATURDAY
Saturday I woke up at about noon. I never sleep this late, but it made sense since I went to bed at about 4am. Anyways, I woke up 30 minutes before my friend’s cookout was going to start! And I was supposed to bring a dish! What to do?
So I decided that it was time to get the creative juices flowing and make something up out of the items that I already had in my kitchen. I already knew that this was an awesome combination:
(Green cabbage, bulgur, and chicken broth) But I felt that it needed a fresher feel to be cookout-worthy. So I thought, “Hey, what about adding an apple?”

And thus Apple, Cabbage Bulgur Salad was invented.
Ingredients:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
1 cup bulgur
2 cups chicken broth
sea salt
fresh-ground pepper
generous sprinkling of all spice
1 apple, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
Directions:
Pour just enough oil to the thinly coat the pan into a large non-stick skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cabbage and saute until the cabbage starts to soften.
Add the bulgur and mix until well-distributed.
Add the broth and spices.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid is well-absorbed. Remove from heat and drain any excess liquid. Stir in the apple and lemon juice. And voila!
A yummy side dish to eat at home or take to a cookout! (like I did)
Saturday’s cookout was pretty awesome. The rest of the evening continued to be an awesome friend day, so I was a very happy camper all day!
Today’s Workout: 45 minute Cycle
It was an awesome class! (as usual) And it was sweet being able to go first thing in the morning. It just starts my day off on the right foot.
Later, I visited with my parents and then some friends. And I’ve pretty much been relaxing and getting ready for work this evening.
Oo time to go check on my yogurt that I made today! I think this post has been sufficiently long. I will leave you with this:

>TGIM!

>Thank God It’s Monday! Yesterday was my third 12 hour shift in a row and now I’m in my freedom week! (AKA off Monday, Tuesday; off Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Life is be-a-u-tiful.

On the downside, I do have a paper to write. But I’m probably about halfway there on it. My goal is to have a rough draft done my tonight. So, in this blog post I decided that I would start with a witty observation (read:not-so-witty, annoyed mini-rant), move into my recent workouts, and leave you with a recent (easy-peasy) main dish meal followed by my breakfast. So now that I’ve let you in on my master plan, you can stop reading.
Still with me? Great! 
You ever notice how some young men cross the street? 
You know, the type who purposefully don’t look at what’s coming down the road, walk real slow, and cross the street with their chins up and their chests popped out (or hunched over and dragging their feet) as if to say “You wouldn’t dare run me over,” or perhaps “I really really really want you to hit me with your car.” 
Maybe that’s why men are more likely to die young. But for real, “left, right, left again.” 
It’s easy. And pick up the pace. Maybe I’ll make a sign to carry with me when I’m driving.
WORKOUTS–>
Friday’s Workout: 45 minutes elliptical, alternating forwards and backwards every 5 minutes. I seriously felt so weak while doing this workout. I had to reduce the resistance because I was so sore from Thursday’s total body conditioning class. But it was still good to get some cardio in and read a magazine.
Saturday’s Workout: My Circuit Strength Workout
Circuit 1: 3 sets w/2-25lb dumbbells–> 10 squats, 8-10 chest press, 10 bent over rows 
Circuit 2: 3 sets–> 10 plie squats w/45 lb, 6-7 arnold shoulder presses w/2-17.5 lb dumbbells
Circuit 3: 3 sets–> 10 triceps kickbacks w/17.5lb, 10 straight leg dead lifts w/2-25lb dumbbells, 7-8 curls, hammer, and concentration (changed each set)
Core: 30 sit-ups on stability ball, 15 jackknives w/stability ball, 15 russian twists w/15lb dumbbell, 15 reverse curl w/leg lift, 25 butterfly crunches, 20 side plank dips, 45 sec alternating leg/arm kneeling superman w/supporting foot lifted, 60 second forearm plank w/knee touch-downs
I was feeling pretty weak this workout 😦 Everything felt heavy and hard. But I’m going to chalk it up to being tired and say that I did the best I could.
Sunday OFFFFFF
Today’s Workout: Kick-It Interval Class 
This was an awesome workout! It mixed kickboxing with 3×12 strength exercises mixed in. 
As promised, here is my main-dish (one-dish!!) vegetarian wonder meal:
Ginger-Soy Roasted Vegetables & Tempeh (serves 3-4)
Ingredients
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp raw honey 
3 tbsp reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger (I used the tube kind)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3-1/4 head red cabbage, chopped into thin strips
3 carrots, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 8 oz tempeh, chopped
Directions
Set oven to 400˚F. 
Combine the oil through garlic in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. 
Add the chopped vegetables and tempeh and toss to coat everything evenly. 
Spread vegetable mixture out into a 13×9 baking dish.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until everything is tender-crisp, mixing every 7-10 minutes.
And eat up! I made this into three servings and took one of them to work for lunch. Packed nicely. Ate it cold.
Today’s BREAKFAST: Sweet & Savory Oatmeal w/an Egg
Ingredients
1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
liberal sprinkling of cinnamon
sprinkling of cayenne
cooking spray
1 large egg
Directions
Bring liquid to a boil. Add oats, stir, and reduce heat. Cook with lid tilted for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Meanwhile, combine the nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and cayenne in a bowl. 
When oats are almost done cooking, start frying the egg. I like to leave the yolk runny, but I accidentally punctured it today.
Once the oats are done cooking, remove from heat and let sit, covered for a minute. 
Mix the oats into the yeast mixture. Serve with the egg on top or mix it in. 
The sweetness of the soy milk and cinnamon paired nicely with the egg and spice.
TTFN!

>Oh my, what big corneas you have

>I went to the eye doctor yesterday and probably had the most informative eye exam I’ve ever had. Not only did I find out that my prescription had change (-.25 in one eye and -.5 in the other –> when will it stop?) but I also found out that my cornea is larger than average. Apparently the upper range of average is 12 and mine is 12.7…or was it 12.9? Anyways, the doctor told me that my big brown eyes make my current contacts sit high and gave me different ones that are bigger.

my eye… looks pretty normal to me haha
Overall, he said the inside of my eyes looked awesome and healthy and that it is very very very very very unlikely that I will ever develop glaucoma. 
Alright. Enough talking about my eyes. 
Today’s Breakfast: Steel cut oats prepared with 1/2 c milk & 1/2 c water with spinach, nutritional yeast, an egg, minced onion flakes, black pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, and sriracha sauce
It was delicious. Trust me.
Today’s Workout: Total Body Conditioning class at the YMCA
This was an awesome class that involved high intensity intervals of cardio mixed with strength training moves. As I’ve said in the past, I highly recommend exercise classes. They’re pretty much the only way I can push myself to do HIIT.
Now, for a flashback to a recipe that I actually made on Sunday but didn’t have time to post about.
Squash, Chickpea, & Lentil Stew (slow cooker or stovetop) serves 8 source
Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas (or 1 2/3 cup prepared chickpeas)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup lentils
4 cups broth (I made this using water & sodium-free chicken broth powder)
2 tbsp tomato paste (I used the kind that comes in a tube because it lasts longer in the fridge)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (I used the gourmet garden tube)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron 
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Slow Cooker Directions:
Combine chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, turmeric, salt, saffron and peper in slow cooker. Cook with lid on for 5-6 1/2 hours on low. (I upped it to high for the last hour) Stir in lime juice, peanuts, and cilantro right before serving.
Stove-top Directions:
Add a little olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and carrot until softened a bit. Add the remaining ingredients (except for lime juice through cilantro) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally. I like it best when the butternut squash has broken down a lot to give the stew more of a thickness throughout. 
Serving suggestions: It’s great served on top of a bed of spinach. 

My take on the recipe: I think that overall I liked this best when I made it on the stovetop. I think that the higher heat brought all the flavors together nicelyer than the slow cooker. But both ways were awesome! This was the third time I’ve been this, so clearly, I’m a fan. 
Yesterday I heated this up on the stovetop for lunch, and I couldn’t help but add a tablespoon of peanut flour to the stew. It was delicious. I am so obsessed with peanut flour and curry. It’s just a match made in heaven. I also cooked the spinach into the stew, which I enjoyed muchly.  
Served with this:
roasted brussel sprouts, carrot, & turnip w/garlic, dried rosemary, & dried thyme