Tag Archives: quinoa

Veggies and Leftovers and a Little NaNoWriMo

I always get a little thrown off after WIAW!  I forget where I did what and when!  I guess I could look at my Weight Watcher’s journal, but that’s never near me when I’m posting…Anyway!

Since I was able to get to the produce stand earlier in the week, I am back on the all things veggie bandwagon.  I feel so much better when I have all my veggies here and ready to be cooked up.  I planned on doing some roasting, but I’m cooking them up so fast that I may need to shop before I roast!

The usual characters showed up for this veggie combo.  Garlic, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, canned black beans and a new member of the cast, red quinoa which I talked about yesterday.

All cooking up happily together

I was given custody of the leftover succotash from Thanksgiving (ask me if I’m happy?!?) so I added about three-quarters of a cup.  Pardon me while I take a moment to do my happy dance.

Topped off with some mozzarella cheese and sriracha sauce.  I keep forgetting that I bought some of the garlic chili sauce from the same company.  Need to give it a try.

After opening the can of black beans I used for the last two days, I realized they are not very good compared to my home made beans, so…

Dragged out the old crock pot and a bag o’ beans and got to work.  Made a save a step realization.  If I soak the beans IN the crock pot, I don’t have to wash an extra pot…DUH!!  I still have to rinse the beans of the soaking water, but that’s easy enough.  The picture above turned into this container of wonderfulness…

It makes me happy!

In other leftover news…my wonderful sister Ele gave me a chubby little container of her home-made cranberry orange relish along with everything else she gave us.  I wondered what I could do with it.  It was all mine because Ralph only likes the kind in the can.

Enter oatmeal!

This was just delicious!  Never thought of it before, but believe me, I’ll think of it again!

Now on to NaNoWriMo news!  Having completed the challenge, I thought I deserved a treat.

Ordered myself a NaNoWriMo Winner’s tee-shirt!  Did I need it, well no…Did I feel I deserved it… Well YES!!!  It’s actually a very nice tee-shirt. It’s a dark heathery grey and very soft.  And then there was this…

A NaNoWriMo coffee mug.  It’s like the Fall one that Ele got me that I like so much, now I’ll have one for year round.

I love what it says on the back…”Write First, Ask Questions Later.”  I love it!  All I have to do now is print out my Winner’s Certificate and I’m Official.  (Gotta get my printer working first 😦  )

It’s a beautiful sunny day out this morning.  Chilly but we’ll take it if it sunny and clear.  I have a lot of things I want to do today.  I’m trying to focus.  Always an issue for me.  Just do it and ask questions later!!

Happy Thursday!! (This week has Flown!  Can’t believe it’s Thursday already!)

I Can See Clearly Now…WIAW!!

Nothing clears your head like getting back to what you know.  One of the things I know and love is…What I Ate Wednesday!  It is of course hostessed each week by the lovely Jenn over at Peas & Crayons.  Mozy on over and join the fun group that gathers there each week.  Read some blogs and please be sure to leave some comments.  That’s what we all live for!!  😉

Without further adieu…

Peas and Crayons

As I was saying on Sunday, my food life has been a jumble lately, but I am in the process of working hard to get back on track.  Sunday night after our birthday party, I allowed myself one last little fling.  It wasn’t actually such a bad fling, but fling it was.

A yummy pepper and egg sandwich with American cheese from Picasso’s.  My favorite takeout sandwich.  I enjoyed it. But I won’t be seeing another one for a while.

Monday morning, I was off to the races with being on track.

Fat free vanilla yogurt, Fiber One and blueberries I froze over the summer.  I’m so glad I froze them.  They will be delicious to use all winter.  They’re really yummy in oatmeal!

Last night I tried something new.  I love quinoa and I’ve had red quinoa in the cupboard for several months, but never made it.  Last night, was the night.  It looked so strange.

Cooked it up in veggie broth.  It tastes a little different from the white, but still tasty.

Other salad fixin’s…pre cut bag lettuce.  I really don’t like iceberg, but my friend Gail gave this to me before she left for Florida, so I used it.  Green bell pepper, tomato, canned black beans, mozzarella cheese and leftover dressing from Picasso’s from last week.  The lettuce did not taste that good and I realized that I am spoiled now with home cooked  beans.  The canned ones just did not taste as good.

Beans added

Quinoa added

Mozzarella added

I love having my salads in my Big Purple Bowl.  They are so satisfying that I’m not usually looking for a snack in the evening.  That’s a good thing!

Tuesday AM, I was in a hurry, so I just divided a Honeycrisp and had it with some almond butter.  It’s amazing how filling that is and it really held me. 

Short and sweet this week for WIAW.  Just want you all to know that I am back on track with my food.  Two days in a row on my exercise bike also.  I feel better already.

Don’t forget now, go visit all the cool kids over at Peas & Crayons.  They’re waiting and they’ve all prepared something tasty for you to look at.  I’m heading there myself in a few minutes.  I’m a food voyeur just like the rest of you. 😉

Happy Wednesday!!

Success At Last

Hallelujah, Friday!!  I was able to get into our storage unit and get some serious moving done!!  Turns out the power went out at the whole storage place which is why no one was there.  As I explained to the manager, I was ready to strangle him on Friday when I arrived there.  I suggested that a good customer service move would have been to put a sign on the door explaining the situation.  He agreed.  Whether it would ever happen if that situation arises again…I don’t know.

I got two Very full car loads moved from the storage unit to my sister Ele’s house.  There is probably about 2 moderate car loads left.  Our plan had been to go there today with both our cars and finish the job.  However, the rain has started and I think I’ll have to finish up on Monday if the weather improves.  I was pretty tired yesterday after moving all of those boxes so I was not looking forward to moving more today.  Another couple of recovery days will be good.

Today’s good news…I had a very fruitful Weight Watchers meeting today…I lost 1 and a half pounds!  I was very excited.  With this long road trip looming in my future, I want to be at the top of my game to start.  Once we get to New Mexico, I can cook regular meals and that should keep me in check.  I’m looking forward to going to a WW meeting in NM.  I haven’t gone to one there.  Last year when we were there, I forgot my membership book so I couldn’t go.  I won’t make that mistake this time!

After all of my hard work Friday morning, I thought I deserved a special breakfast.

I had found this interesting bit of memorabilia in my kitchen cabinet.

It’s a glass measuring cup from my Grandmom.  It’s neat because it doesn’t have a handle and you could use it as a glass or in this case…for a parfait!

The assembled parts… 1/2 cup of Fiber One, 2/3 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt, strawberries and blueberries.

The beautiful finished product.  This was incredibly filling and it only counted for 4 Points on WW!!  Was I excited?  You Bet!!  I’ll be making this again!  The measuring cup made the perfect container for it, too!  I think there’s another one of them around the house somewhere, that way I could make one for Ralph as well!

Dinner will look rather familiar with a different twist.

Lettuce, thy name is Romaine…

I took the last of the pre-made quinoa, added 1 cup of black beans, ground black pepper, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning.  Mixed them together and microwaved for 1 minute.

I had some light ranch dressing which I thinned down with some water and added more of the Mrs. Dash.

The finished product…So Yummy!

One last fun photo for you.  My best friends Gail and Alice are home from Florida.  One of the things they brought back was a “lemon” from Gail’s brother’s tree.  It doesn’t look like a lemon, perhaps more like a grapefruit.

I put it on the stove so that the heating elements would give it some perspective.  The thing is HUGE!!  Alice uses it for her tea and I think she told me it lasts her at least week.  Very cool!

The rain seems to have let up.  I don’t know if we’ll lose power, but I’m about to charge my phone, my camera and I’m already charging the little computer that works on a cell phone number.  Hopefully there will be no interruption in BCDC due to the lovely Irene.  I hope she decides that she dislikes New Jersey and leaves us alone!  Everyone try to stay safe!

Happy (probably Wet) Saturday!!


Or at least I Think that’s how you spell it!  I’ve been whining about not getting anything done, about no focus or motivation, about being the biggest Slug in the world.  But you know folks…sometimes it’s just not my fault!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was up since 2:30am, just because.  I got my exercise done (complete with reading!) got my blog posting and blog reading done and I was ready for my mission for the day.

Go to the storage unit at 9am…when the office opens…so that the manager can help me open the STUPID DOOR THAT DOESN’T WORK!!!  Calm down and take a deep breath.  Ok, I’m better now.  I get there and the sign on the office door says “Closed.”  Hmmm.  Well it’s only 5 after 9 and I figure I’ll give him a few minutes.  Then I notice that the gates that require a code to enter are also open.  Hmmm.  I wait for a few minutes then think, well gee…I’m strong, maybe I really Can get the door open myself.

My drive to the unit itself proves futile.  I really Can’t get the door open.  I drive back to the office and wait some more.  I decide I’ll call the office number, maybe there’s a message saying the office will open later today.  If that was the case there should have been a SIGN ON THE DOOR to say that.  I call and there is no recording, no voicemail.  Nothing!!  I waited about 30 minutes and then drove home. 

I tried calling a few more times throughout the morning, but nothing.  I got really excited because one time it rang busy but then I realized it was probably someone else who was trying to find out what was going on.  Any wonder I came home in a bad mood.  Any wonder I didn’t feel like doing anything.  Sometimes I’d just rather stick pins in my eyes that deal with businesses like this!

I wasn’t a complete slug.  I started going through clothes, trying to determine what to take on our trip.  Yikes!! It’s already next week that we’ll be leaving.  I’m excited for the trip but annoyed that I can’t get this storage thing worked out because I don’t want to pay for another month.  I could wait until I get back, but then I’d be paying for 2 more months!  Not gonna happen. 

I got something of a plan going for what clothes I’m taking.  Trying to figure out what I’ll need at such a transitional time of year and in a mountain (probably cooler )area is making my brain hurt.  I don’t want to over pack but I want everything I need.  Rent a U-Haul, possibly?!?  Just kidding.  I’ll figure it out. 

I also started my master list.  Although, I’m not the most organized person, I always have a big list…on my clipboard…like an organized person would (  😉  ) with everything I need to pack.  I cross things off as I go along.  This time it’s trickier because I’m listing some household things I want to take along to leave at the house in NM.  It will all depend on trunk and back seat space once we get our rental car. 

Funny thing is…I was frustrated when I started writing this, but talking about New Mexico is making me feel better.  I like it!

I finished reading Water For Elephants yesterday and I liked it.  I didn’t appreciate the cruelty to the elephant or some of the humans for that matter.  By I liked Sara Gruen’s style of writing.

I started Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez: Book Cover

Another one of those “must-reads” that people tell me about.  Interesting so far, but it annoys me when an author does not make it clear where the story takes place.  I have so many rules about books…sometimes I hate myself for it! 😉  I really do need to start a book blog.  Then these writers would know the rules!!

So I finally got to food just in time to eat and watch TMZ. 

The Big Romaine…sounds like a Coen Brothers movie!!

Tomato, green bell pepper, leftover quinoa and my wonderful freshly home-made black beans.  The Best!

Yum…nothing better…a big salad in my Big Purple Bowl!

Finished the night with this…

A book and a Wild Black Berry Tootsie Pop.  What more could a girl ask for?!?  Fell asleep watching Project Runway, but I woke up just in time to find out “Who’s In and Who’s Out!!” 

Off to face the fun at the storage unit.  I HAVE to get this done before the fool hurricane gets here, too….Hrrummpphh…

Happy Friday!!

The Best Laid Plans…The Slug Still Lives

I had lots of things I wanted to work on Sunday, but that never seemed to happen.  I’m just going through a stage.  The Slug Still Lives.

My sister, Ele texted me early to ask if I wanted to have a K-Mart adventure with her.  I figured, why not.  I could already tell I wasn’t motivated to do what I had planned to do.

I picked her up after she finished church and we were off to K-Mart.  There were sneakers on sale and she wanted to take advantage.  Not only were sneakers on sale, they were having a buy one get one 50% off even on clearance items.  I was in love!

Ele didn’t want a second pair and said if I found something I wanted, I could be her second pair…well, my sneakers could be her second pair!!

What do you think?!?  Red, white and black plaid sneakers with double laces, so cool.  Why am I obsessed lately with odd sneakers?  The best thing is…they were on sale for $7.99 so with 50% off…they were $4.00!!  I’m so excited!  They’ll actually be perfect for our trip.  I’ll fit right in when we get to Silver City!  The hippies will Love me!!

We decided we’d stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a treat.  (Where’s my boyfriend, Captain America…:-(  )Mine was a small iced coffee which I was happy about.  Staying on track is my life’s work!

Now, Ms. Ele…

Caught in the act with her caramel machhiato with the whipped cream!!  She has her nerve dipping the ole finger in there!  Lucky for me I don’t like whipped cream so I wasn’t tempted.  We chatted for a while and it was fun!  Regular readers will realize that we always sit at the same table.  We have our rules.  There were people there when we came in, but we dawdled and they left!

I started reading Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: Book Cover

Many times, I’m reluctant to read a book that has so much acclaim.  I tend to drag my feet about it.  The reason is, I’ve been so disappointed in the past by books that have been “must reads.”  I’m happy to say that so far this is good.  Well written, descriptive, not too wordy and the story is moving along quickly.  The best part is, this is one of the books I bought while I was in Clearwater on the Great Thrift Store Tour.  My price…49 cents!!!  It’s in good condition (which doesn’t always happen at thrift stores) so I’m excited.  It kept me peddling away on my stationary bike this morning! 😉

Dinner was catch as catch can and will look familiar to you except for one addition.

I got this wonderful artisan lettuce at Aldi’s for only $1.99!  I was so shocked when I found it.  Ralph had paid almost $8.00 for a container like this earlier in the summer. 

It was a colorful and tasty addition to my salad.

A Jersey tomato, red bell pepper and the last of my romaine.  Also added were a cup of my pinto beans (almost gone) and the last of my quinoa. 😦

Yummy salad with a trick I learned last Saturday…how to change my camera setting to do close-ups.  I think I like it!

Ralph and I are off on an adventure today to find an office where he has an appointment later in the week.  I’ve been told there will be breakfast involved at a rather famous Philadelphia food spot.  I’ve got my camera and I can do close-ups now!  I think it will be fun.

Happy Monday!!

Challenges Can’t Get Me Down

I’ve been doing this Weight Watchers thing for a long time.  A long time ago, I remember my leader, MaryLou giving us a wonderful way to look at challenges.  She said “View every challenge as an opportunity to succeed.”  I think that should have been my motivation for last weekend.

I was worried heading to WW this morning because of all the challenges last weekend…bridal shower, Rock A Hula party, engagement party.  Well they were a challenge to be sure.  I did my best, lived through it and today at WW I had a three-quarter of a pound weight loss!! 🙂  Am I happy?  You Bet I Am!! 

I did my best to journal all of my food over the weekend.  I journaled all of my foods during the week.  I think I’ve proven to myself that I can face these challenges. I feel that this was a successful week.

Friday I was a little sluggish.  I felt that way on Thursday, too.  I don’t know why.  I didn’t accomplish much.  I’ve got to get myself motivated to do what I need to do to prepare for our upcoming trip.  Lots to do and lots to look forward to.  More on that over the next couple of weeks.

Friday was a good food day.  I hadn’t made overnight oats so I went with what I had.

I started with a cup of Fiber One, added a cup of Aldi’s Light & Fit fat-free vanilla yogurt.  It’s so tasty and so inexpensive!  Added yummy blueberries and strawberries.

So good and so filling.

Ralph was out for dinner so I got to just take care of Me.

Started with my typical salad of romaine, Jersey tomato and red bell pepper.  Boring, but I like it!

Added 1 cup of my home-made pinto beans…I’m loving them!!

Took a cup of the quinoa I had made earlier in the week…such a good idea to make extra…just like with the beans.  I added garlic powder, ground black pepper and dried basil.  Microwaved for about 45 seconds to warm it up.  Then added to the salad.  Topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

By the looks of this salad, even my Big Purple Bowl can’t contain it!!  I’m not going to get a bigger bowl…just kidding!  The great thing about this is, most of what’s in the bowl doesn’t count on WW (the veggies) and I’m getting lots of protein (beans and quinoa) which I need.  It’s a great way to fill myself up and stay on track.  And it’s good for me!!

Saturday has started out positive and I hope it will stay that way.  I’ve got to get myself up and doing things.  I’m proud of this week.  Just remember…View Every Challenge As An Opportunity To Succeed.

Happy Saturday!!

Three squares a day…

I haven’t really posted an entire day of eating before.  Usually because I either don’t eat 3 meals (bad girl!) or I just do it on the run and don’t document anything.  So here is my attempt at really getting into this whole thing!

I started with oatmeal…

The mix included:

1/2 cup of quick oats

1 tbsp of chia seeds

1 tbsp ground flax-seed

1 cup water

Lots o’ cinnamon

I added frozen berry mix…

I finished it off with 3/4 cup of AlmondBreeze but I forgot to take a picture. Then the terrible transgression…I microwaved it. 😦  In reading a lot of the blogs, this seems like a prosecutable offence.  But I just find it easier and I like the way it tastes…so since I have to eat it, I make it my way.  At least I’m eating breakfast!

Lunchtime came along and I’m still trying to find something to do with all those black beans!

I’ve had the Ole whole wheat tortilla wraps in the frig for several weeks and needed to use them.  Fortunately, they seem to stay fresh a long time, which is good.  I spread the wrap with red pepper hummus from Aldi’s which is yummy.  Added some Romaine lettuce, the ever-present black beans and some grape tomatoes which had hidden themselves in the back of the frig and were a little worse for wear but they worked.

They looked pretty…

AND most importantly, they tasted good!

I spent about 3 hours working in the basement.  I’ve been packing breakables in bins with clothes to buffer them.  Much nicer than using newspaper which I’ve always used before.  I was actually packing up my collection of antique Mason and Kerr jars.  When we get to New Mexico, I’ll be getting them all set up and filled with all of my grains, pastas and spices.  Can’t wait for that!!  I will actually have a kitchen large enough to cook.  I packed up two bins, made a nice big bag of trash and found some wonderful things to give to Ele to help in her genealogy quest.  She was very happy to hear what I’d found.

Now keep in mind that Ralph is still working on his turkey (just as I’m still working on my black beans and quinoa!)  He said he’d take care of getting his own dinner, so I felt comfortable to experiment. 

Started with olive oil, garlic and onion…

They cooked…

…and they cooked…with the addition of some Mrs. Dash and dried basil…

I added shredded cabbage…

…and the last of the grape tomatoes…

…added the black beans and some vegetable broth…

…almost done…

…and finally in my dish!! Still steaming!

Now under all of that is quinoa (which I still love!) and boy did it make a BIG serving.  Of course most of it was veggies so I was free to eat all I wanted.  I’m a big eater, so I was up for the challenge!  However…

…this was as far as I got!  It was really good, but I couldn’t finish it and I packed it up for possibly lunch today. 

Sadly or not as the case may be, I got hungry later on.  I ate my leftovers, which was definitely a better thing to do than what happened the night before!

So that was Wednesday.  Exciting, eh??  I’m proud of myself for making good choices, staying on track and photographing everything, even though Ralph still gives me a funny look when I do it.  I guess I’d better not tell him that when dinner was cooking I leaned over the skillet to take a photo and the lens fogged up!  I was amused, but I don’t think I’ll share that with him just yet…I’ll wait until he gets a little more used to this whole thing. As long as I keep feeding him turkey, he’ll leave me to my chopping and arranging and photo taking.  Wait until I tell him I want a fancy new camera…yikes!!

I Think I’ll Give This Day the Bird!

My sweet husband, Ralph is the biggest turkeysaurus you will ever find.  He loves all things turkey and loves to quote “The Christmas Story” litany of all the things that will be missed after the Bumpus’ dogs steal the turkey.  I don’t know about other areas but at a number of our  local supermarkets, if you spend a certain amount of money during a specified time frame, you can get a free turkey!  Well, I’ve had this bird taking up space in my freezer for longer than I care to say.   I wanted it out because I can’t find anything in the freezer and need to organize.  I don’t want to organize around it.  🙂 I decided Wednesday night that I’d put it in the refrigerator to start the thawing.  It all went well and then yesterday when it was time to put it in the oven, I actually had to TOUCH the bird…

Remember now, I’m a vegetarian.  Over the years I’ve made many turkeys.  I don’t usually mind touching them in spite of my veggie status.  I realize that Ralph loves turkey and I don’t have a problem in general with preparing meat for him.  But yesterday it really got to me at a certain point that involves extracting “something” from “somewhere.”  I forged ahead and it turned out great…he is never happier than when he’s eating turkey…and then taking his turkey nap! 😉 He’s always amazed that I can make it and not eat it.  He’s also stumped at how I can make him such delicious (his word) turkey soup without tasting it.  I just tell him that I made turkey soup for years before I became vegetarian, I tasted it then and I know what to do.  He’s happy no matter what…it’s a turkey!

While Ralph was oohing and aahing over his turkey, I needed to make something for myself.  I decide to try quinoa for the first time.  I had gotten it a few weeks ago on my trip to Trader Joe’s and figured it was time to give it a try.  Directions were simple and I used vegetable broth instead of water to cook it.  I don’t know if it made a difference, but it was Delicious!!


Since it takes a while to cook, I decided to make extra that I could use throughout the week

Nice big batch…

I cooked some garlic in olive oil and then added some of my black beans that I cooked in the crock pot on Saturday..

I then added some frozen veggie mix that included broccoli, red peppers and corn…

It probably sounds like cheating to use the frozen veggies, but it makes it a little easier when you’re making two different dinners.  I added some Mrs. Dash and a little Bell’s seasoning blend called Tomato and Basil.  Of course, lots of black pepper too and some vegetable broth.  I’m bad about being specific on seasonings…I will get better, I promise. 😦

It turned out to look like this…

Piled high on my yummy quinoa!  I used about a cup and a quarter of the quinoa and I still have a huge amount left.  It will serve me well this week.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with combinations.  But I bet they will all include quinoa and black beans!

I survived the turkey struggle…and Ralph will be fed all week and then a few more days after I make the turkey soup.  He never minds eating it day after day.  He’s really very easy to get along with that way.  He gets to eat what he wants and he doesn’t mind that I eat something different.  He even takes all of the meat off of the turkey for me so that I don’t have to do it.  What a guy…I definately won’t give HIM the bird!  But I will probably cook it for him again, because between his turkey and my beans and quinoa…I won’t have to really cook again for a week!  Not bad…He may get turkey again…especially if it’s free!