Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2009 milestones, onward! And almonds.

Great news - I am officially a Project Management Professional! So far in 2009 I have ran my first 10k and became a certified PMP - awesome! My next scheduled accomplishment? Running the Seattle Rock N' Roll Half Marathon! Which, by the way, is now sold out, so I feel even cooler. Yes, I took the plunge and am currently training for it. This weekend I have a seven mile long run slated, and have resumed personal training twice weekly to stregthen my muscles.

To celebrate passing my PMP exam, and much to the detriment of half marathon training, I spent this past weekend in Houghton, MI at my alma matter, Michigan Tech. Since it's in the middle of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, it is very small town with little to do, and everything is SUPER cheap. This sets the stage for a pretty crazy drunkfest when you plop a college down. Even crazier when you return as alumni that is not broke and doesn't have the responsibility of school to worry about. We, along with numerous other alumni, visited for the annual Senior Walk, basically a school-wide bar crawl. I'll just say we packed alot of fun into the weekend, and I am glad to be back in WA as a functioning adult.

Mmmm I just finished my afternoon snack. Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds are pretty much the best thing ever. I'm normally not a dark chocolate person, but these are super addictive. Weirdly they remind me of chocolate Teddy Grahams. Best of all, they have the same basic stats as plain almonds - 150 cals for a quarter cup, since they're essentially just roasted almonds tossed with cocoa powder. I lovelovelove sweet stuff, and these help satisfy that craving.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back with some tasty recent creations

Last weekend I really had a hankering for something bad for me (mac and cheese), so I decided to try a new vegan mac recipe I had been hearing about for awhile. We also happened to have all the ingredients in the house, so that helped alot. Vegan Guinea Pig posted this super-easy recipe that does NOT include nutritional yeast, which many people don't enjoy. In a million years I would have never thought raw cashews, potatoes, onions, carrots, and a few spices could create a convincing cheese sauce, but I was WRONG! This was freakin' amazing. Even better than Veganomicon's Mac Daddy. I must admit, I did add about a quarter cup of nutritional yeast flakes because I was worried the sauce would lack flavor. In summary: yum yum yum! Make this, especially because it is not horrible for you.

The veggie mac got me in my cooking groove, so early this week I decided I really wanted to make some Kung Pao tofu. If definitely turned into an experiment with many variables, but a tasty experiment in the end. First off, I decided to pop my frozen tofu cherry. I'd had some Trader Joe's super firm tofu chillin' in our freezer for a few months. The stuff is great normally, and freezing definitely took the texture to a whole new level. After thawing, I thought I'd bake it for awhile, to save some of the calories associated with frying. I whipped up a quick marinade and baked the tofu strips for 15 minutes on each side at 350F.

My Marinade:
(all measurements extremely approximate)
-1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
-1/4 c. BBQ sauce
-2 T. soy sauce
-2 T. rice vinegar
-1 t. toasted sesame oil
-1 t. Sriracha chili sauce

After baking and cutting into cubes, I fried the tofu briefly to give it a nice crunchy exterior. I then stir fried some veggies with a tiny bit of oil, and added the tofu when they were done. My Kung Pao sauce closely mirrored my marinade, with just about half the amount of BBQ sauce. Basically, I was supposed to use hoisin sauce instead of BBQ, but we didn't have any. I thought this would be an acceptable substitute, and it worked pretty well. I sprinkled the final product with peanuts and it was good.

Life is pretty busy in general right now until I take the PMP exam on the 21st. I am pumped to be done with that and get my fat raise!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kashi Tuscan Veggie Bake: reviewed

This (and all other Kashi entrees) was on sale at our local (and AMAZING!) Target for about $3 so I decided to give it a go. Kashi entrees go for $4-5 at other grocery stores I've noticed, so that's a pretty good deal. Yes, still kind of expensive, but when the alternative is me being lazy and going out for lunch, it is quite cheap.

It was worth it! This was sooooo tasty. It also has some very impressive nutritional stats. Pretty filling, too, for a frozen meal. Kashi's black bean mango meal is totally tiny, so I was glad this didn't have that problem. Basically it is a slice of veggie lasagna. It also had a sort of creaminess to it, which is interesting considering it is vegan. Overall, very flavorful, exactly the right amount of sauce, and is all natural - none of the chemical crap that's normally in this kind of stuff. Still, I would recommend bringing along some fruit or vegetable as a side at the very least; maybe two sides. I work 10-hr days so I can't have small lunches! I will definitely buy this again if the price is right!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Asiana Pasta

This is what a weeknight dinner looks like when I have a bunch of leftover stuff and zero desire to create a culinary masterpiece. In this case, it was half a bag of frozen mixed veggies and some seitan strips. Since my theory is that everything tastes awesome covered in peanut sauce, I give you......Asiana Pasta!

I cooked up some whole wheat spaghetti noodles, added the frozen veggies and seitan, then tossed everything with the easiest peanut sauce EVER. A touch of grated carrots gave the dish a nice fresh crunch and burst of color.

Lindsay's Weeknight Peanut Sauce
Serves 2-4, depending on how fat kid/hungry you are
-1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
-2 T. soy sauce
-2 T. rice vinegar
-1/4-1/2 c. water, depending on how thick you like your sauce
-1/2 t. of all the following: garlic powder, ground ginger, crushed red pepper flakes

Mix it all together and pop in the microwave for about a minute, maybe two. Stir well before serving. That's it! Adjust all of these measurements to taste; it's a pretty forgiving recipe.

Sorry I've sucked at posting lately. Work has picked up quite a bit, and I'm busy studying for the PMP (Project Management Professional) Exam on April 21st. I have not forgotten my blog, though, fear not! I shall be back with a vengeance soon enough.