Sunday Night Dinner

Since the boyfriend and I have really different schedules (he’s a chef and I have a true 9-5), Sunday night is the big night where we (almost) always get to eat together, so we always try to do something a little special. Tonight he took the reins with dinner so it’s a little more complicated than the normal fare you’ll see on here… but what can you expect from a chef!?

After running to the grocery store for a few things, I whipped up a green monster with a new purchase from the grocery store:

A frozen Paradise Fruit medley. It had kiwi, mango, canteloupe, peaches, and pineapple. I used 1 cup of Soy Light, ~1 cup of the frozen fruit, one medium banana, and a few handfuls of spinach to make this one.

After that deliciousness, we played a game of scrabble out on the balcony.

I love Scrabble and we hadn’t played in a long time so it was great, except about 2/3 of the way through our game, we were hearing this music that was REALLY off key coming from somewhere. It just wouldn’t stop, and we ended up seeing there were two guys trying out bagpipes in the courtyard behind our building! They were seriously so off key, hopefully they don’t quit their day jobs… 😉

I made some popcorn to snack on while we played. I had heard that you can buy the kernels in a bag and just pop them in the microwave in a brown paper bag, but had never tried it before today. It works SO well. I just used a brown sandwich bag, put 3 tbsp of kernels in there and folded the top of the bag down a few times. I put it in the microwave on the popcorn setting, and it worked perfectly. It’s so nice because the popcorn that i usually eat is delicious, but has a lot of fake stuff in there with flavorings, and this way you can just eat it plain or top it however you want.

I drizzled some EVOO, sea salt, and pepper on this… so good. I ended up going back and making another batch mid-game, and we also snacked on some pretzels.

Ahh so now onto dinner… “we” made a Mahi and Shrimp Stew with Cilantro and Poblano Pepper (we is definitely a loose term here). Wil made a marinade for the shrimp and the mahi with cilantro, red and white wine vinegar, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, and chili flakes in the mini food processor.

We marinated the shrimp and mahi in that, and then added the rest to the broth. The broth started with the shrimp shells and the vegetable peels and water, and then had that marinade added. Then in the empty soup pan, he sauteed the veggies

This was onions, red pepper, and poblano pepper with a little EVOO. Then he added some chopped garlic, white wine, and the strained stock. Then he seared the mahi in a separate pan and added that to the stew, along with the shrimp. After that cooked together for a while, we added a chopped up tomato and some cilantro:

And let that simmer for another 20-30 minutes. We also made some brown rice to serve the stew over, and I was in charge of the tostonnes (reminiscing about Puerto Rico!)

The pan was a little hot (the reason they are pretty dark), but they were still delicious. We also had a salad of mixed organic greens mixed drizzled with EVOO. Seriously amazing meal.

The broth of the stew was so flavorful and a little spicy… incredible. Best part? Guess who has leftovers for lunch tomorrow… 😉

I’m gonna melt into the couch now and enjoy the rest of my Sunday night. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Mt. Vernon Trail Take Two

We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and go explore the Mount Vernon Trail again today (where I took my long run last night). Here I am at the entrance, which is just a 2 minute walk from my front door!

As I’m sure can imagine, the trail was packed.

It always makes me happy to see so many active people around! There were tons of walkers, bikers, roller bladers, and runners out enjoying the day.

We brought our softball gloves and a softball and threw the ball around for about 30 minutes. It was our first time this year and it was so fun, though I’m definitely a little out of practice. 😉 The field right off the trail where we were throwing the ball around was pretty close to the airport, so there were planes landing that seemed right above our heads!

The scenery wasn’t too bad, either 😉

For snacks, I had a 100 calorie pack of cocoa roasted almonds.

Love these! And then I had 1/2 of this bar

I wasn’t crazy about this flavor, but it did the trick. After we finished throwing the ball and admiring the scenery, we were getting kind of hot so decided to come home. We ended up walking a little over 3 miles in total and it was a fun way to enjoy the gorgeous day.

Lazy Sunday

Laziness got the best of us this morning so we decided just to stay at home today instead of drive back out to Tysons. Spring is officially here, so some spring cleaning was in order. Not the most fun way to spend your Sunday morning, but I definitely feel better and more relaxed in a clean apartment, and sometimes you just gotta do it!

I woke up really hungry today… I’m sure that has something (everything) to do with yesterdays 9.8 miles! I wanted to make a GM, but I realized I was out of bananas so decided to wait until later. I was craving another yogurt bowl, so I threw a different combo together for breakfast.

This bowl has:

  • ~ 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 small kiwis, sliced
  • 1 small plum, chopped
  • 2 weetabix biscuits
  • ~1 tbsp almond butter

Great combo. Have you tried these Weetabix biscuits? They are really good and crunchy, but don’t have too too much flavor. I ended up breaking them up and mixing them with the almond butter so it was kind of like almond butter granola-esque and was really tasty and crunchy. Yum! And, I got to eat this delicious breakfast outside on my balcony this morning – first meal out there of the year! That might have had something to do with the fact that today was the first day I cleaned the table out there this year…. but thats a whole nother story 😉

Good news is that I am way less sore today than I thought I’d be. My left knee definitely hurts a bit when I bend down but other than that I’m in good shape. I’m trying to figure out what I should do for a training plan until the 10 miler now that I have a 9.8 mile race under my belt… any ideas?? The original plan was to do 8 next weekend and 9 the weekend after, and then try to do 2 shorter runs (4-5 miles) during the week days. But now, I don’t really want to lose the mileage so I’m trying to figure out what the best way to train for it.

Such a gorgeous day out so I might try to go for a walk, maybe throw the ball around. I also need to run to the grocery store for a few things. Be back later.

Happy Sunday!!

Chef Geoff Tysons

After my delish salad, I hopped in the shower and then went to meet my boyfriend at Chef Geoff Tysons. I was still pretty hungry from the (almost) 10 mile run, so we decided to sit at the bar and have a drink and some food. I got a glass of the Torrontes (just one!), which is a white from Argentina.

I perused the menu and the Tuna Sashimi Napoleon with Wasabi Aioli was calling my name.

The picture doesn’t really do it justice. The ahi tuna is mixed with wasabi aioli, and then its stacked between baked wonton crisps, and then has some crunchy wonton strips on top. There was also a soy vinaigrette on the plate – soooo good. I wanted to get a little something else too, so I ordered a side of green beans with no butter

These were cooked perfectly – still a little crisp, and with a dusting of sea salt. I ate about 3/4 of the beans (there were a lot!) and all of sashimi except for a few wonton strips. I decided I wanted something sweet after I was done with those, so I asked what kind of sorbet they had – coconut, passion fruit, or raspberry. I went with a scoop of the raspberry.

It came with a cinnamon biscotti and I ate all of it. Delicious way to end my day! And we’re actually going back there for brunch tomorrow to check it out and I love brunch so I’m excited!

PS: I am definitely starting to feel sore already so keep your fingers crossed that I’m able to walk tomorrow 😉

Have a good night!

Green Monster 101

Hi! A friend asked me to do a step by step “How To” on making a Green Monster with photos so they could see the process. I have been experimenting for about a week now, and this is the way that I’ve found it works best.

You start by getting everything together that you want to use.

My current favorite combination includes:

  • 1 cup Silk light soy milk
  • 1 large banana
  • 4-5 frozen strawberries
  • ~1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • ~1/2 cup ice cubes

You can easily change it around by using any other kind of  milk or fruit combination, but you always want to have something green. I’ve heard of people using kale instead of spinach, but have heard that the kale stays a little “chewy” in the GM even after being blended up, so I’m gonna hold off on that for now. Also, I’ve heard of people steaming the spinach first to release more nutrients, but I just use it raw. You also don’t have to use ice cubes, especially if your banana is frozen.

After getting everything out, I put the milk, banana, strawberries, and pineapple in the blender

And blend that together first to smoothie-like consistency.

Once the milk and fruit are blended together, I add the raw spinach. I use a lot of spinach (around 2-3 cups raw)

Then I use a wooden spoon to mix the spinach into the smoothie

Then I turn on the blender and let it do it’s job!

You see how there’s still green bits in there? I leave the blender on until all those green bits are gone and also add the ice at this point if I want it thicker.  It takes about a minute of blending to get all the ice and spinach broken up and it should look something like this when its done:

And then comes the best part, pouring it in the glass…

And drinking it!

Now I know some people probably use a slightly different process than that, but that’s just what I’ve found works best through experimenting. And, those of you who haven’t yet jumped on the Green Monster Bandwagon, I promise you they are delicious! You can’t even taste the spinach in them at all even though you use so much. You pack in a ton of fruit and veggie servings and its a great energy boost. Don’t slam it til you try it! 🙂

Enjoy!!

Front Page

Turns out my idea to want to sit out outside for drinks was not a unique one last night 😉

We decided to go to the Front Page in Dupont Circle and the whole patio was packed.

Since I was the first one there, I put our name in and they said it would be an hour wait for a table outside. Since none of my other friends were there yet, I decided to just wait outside and read the Women’s Health magazine I had in my purse while I waited for them. I realized I was getting super hungry and was happy to find this in my purse

So good! I hadn’t tried this flavor before and I really liked it.

Our table was ready but none of my friends had arrived yet and I think the hostess was doubting I actually had any friends coming. ha. I ordered a glass of house red to start

and ended up having 2 more and a vodka soda while we were there. My friend Rachel was the first to arrive, so when she got there we decided to order some food and went with the Mediterranean platter.

Delicious! It had falafel, olives, hummus, babaganoush, tazatziki, and pita. We ordered some extra pita because by the time we were done with the bread there was still a ton of dip left. And, we got a side of fries

Lianne and Jess ended up making it after we were almost done with the food and we stayed for a few hours. Here were are right as we were finishing up at Front Page

Thats me, Jess, Rachel and Lianne. We had such a good time and it had been a while since we were all together. We ended up heading to Lianne’s new apartment afterwards and hung out there for a bit before heading home.

Today I got to sleep in late (~10am) and that felt SO good! On the agenda for today is getting a workout in and then going to get a haircut! I always get so nervous when getting my hair done for some reason, but I reallly need it. It’s also supposed to be 76 and sunny today so I’d like to get some time in outside. Come back later for pictures (new hair and food!) and a step by step Green Monster photo montage. Hope you enjoy your Saturday!

Korean Cart, Take Two

Today Emily (my work spouse, as others have put it) and I decided to go sit in McPherson Square to eat lunch, and it was such a good decision. I decided I’m going to bring a designated picnic blanket into work for lunches for the summer so spreading out in the grass is always an option. I brought my lunch but she needed to buy something and asked for an idea, so I suggested the Korean Cart where I got those awesome dumplings!

It is located on K Street NW, between Vermont and 14th St. The food is homemade every morning and the cart is family run. There is a father-daughter team serving the line of hungry people constantly lining up.

And the food is SO good. And affordable, especially for DC!

After Emily picked up her lunch (Mandu with the mild salad), we walked over to McPherson Square to sit and have our lunch, and a lot of other people had the same idea!

Food just tastes better when you eat it in the sun, I think. Here is Emily’s lunch from the cart:

I had leftovers from last night

and two plums

It was really hard to convince myself to come back to work, as I’m sure you can imagine. But, here I am! 🙂

Excited to get through the afternoon so I can hang out with my girlfriends. Happy almost weekend!

Ravioli!

Ahh tomorrow is Friday. Thursday night is definitely one of my favorite parts of the week. 🙂

Afternoon snacks included popcorn

and a Fuji apple (last one!)

Once 5 o’clock rolled around, I did end up taking a nice stroll to Trader Joe’s. It’s about 12 blocks (or around 1.5 miles) from my office and it was perfect outside. I picked up the GM essentials and a bunch of other things I didn’t need (always how it goes for me at TJ’s) but left a happy camper.

I got home and experimented with my GM recipe and found one I really liked AND that’s really green. Woohoo.

This green monster contained 1 cup soy milk, 1 large banana, 3 frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple chunks, and lots of spinach. I realized that if I use just a few strawberries or blueberries, it’ll stay pretty green and still have the extra flavor. That probably should have occured to me earlier but that’s what experimenting is for.

I did a quick run to Target to get a few things, and I found some awesome snack bars.

They are all natural and delicious. I love it when the ingredient list is relatively short on snacky things. I ate one while I was shopping and I actually went back to buy another box – they were that good!

I came home to throw together a quick dinner, and I pulled out this ravioli I had purchased at Whole Foods over the weekend:

These were Roasted Vegetables Ravioli by La Pasta and were incredible. They are described on the front as “Roasted red pepper, eggplant, carrot, onion and zucchini wrapped in whole wheat pasta” and the ingredient list is so short! They are fresh pasta and need to be kept refrigerated, but cook in just 5-6 minutes. They were a little pricey ($6.99 for the box with two servings) but definitely worth it for a quick and delicious meal. I heated up some vegetable broth while the ravioli were draining, and added some white beans and mozzarella cheese. I would have used red sauce, but I was out! I put the ravioli back in with the broth, beans and cheese, and then added some fresh spinach and mixed it all up.

I also had a glass of Rioja with the pasta

that I’m still sipping on now. This meal took about 10 minutes to throw together and was really good. Maybe I’m onto a new theme here 😉

So excited that tomorrow is Fridayyy… I’m meeting up with some girlfriends after work and getting a new haircut Saturday (eek!!) so nothing crazy, but I just looove the weekend!

Moose

Morning! It is still so amazing outside, it makes it so hard to want to be (aka stay) in the office!

I finally finished Moose this morning on the way into work and highly recommend it! If you’ve ever had any issues with your weight or body image in general, I think it’s provides a great perspective on the issue. The book really opens your eyes to the fact that most people who are thin have to work at it. And, a lot of people who struggle with their weight and/or body image will struggle for the rest of their life.  I think when you are heavier, you tend to feel like it’s unfair that you’re heavy and you wish you could just eat whatever you want like all the naturally thin people and not gain weight. I speak from experience. But, the reality is, this is not usually the case. Stephanie Klein provides a light hearted and funny memoir about her lifelong struggles with weight, and if you are looking for a quick, entertaining read, get this book!

Breakfast today was not terribly exciting, but delicious none the less.

I also had

and of course…

a large Dunkin Donuts Coffee (black).

Because it’s so nice outside, I think I’m going to eat lunch in the sunshine! This weather seriously makes me so happy I feel like I’m bouncing off the walls. And, tomorrow is Friday!! Life is good. 🙂

Caffeine Question

Hi, My name is Beth and I am a caffeine addict. No, really.

I drink a lot of coffee. I usually have an XL coffee from Dunkin Donuts every morning, which is huge. I just checked the website and that is 24 oz – aka 4 6-oz cups. If i don’t grab that, I go to Starbucks and get a Venti Americano, which has not one, but FOUR shots of espresso. I never really gave it too much thought until this weekend when I was travelling back home from vacation.

Saturday was travel day, and I was on the phone with priceline.com for hours (another story for another day) so I just forgot to have any coffee. That coupled with me being sickish made for the worst headache ever on the plane ride. Being congested and flying are definitely not a good combo, but adding denying a coffee addict their fix on top of that makes it even worse.

On the weekends at home I usually make french press coffee, but on Sunday I was still getting back into the routine of things and had a lot of stuff to do around the house, so it slipped my mind. That afternoon I felt a headache coming on and it got BAD later at night. I had trouble falling asleep because it hurt so bad.

Come Monday, the line at Dunkin Donuts was far too long for me to wait on it, so I just went into work without coffee. Mid-day I felt a headache coming on, so I promptly went to Starbucks and got a grande Americano (only 3 shots of espresso) and the headache faded away before it even came on.

Then, I kinda freaked out. Coffee is supposed to be a pick-me-up and you should drink it because you enjoy it. That was what I told myself as I got an XL coffee day after day from Dunkin Donuts. Don’t get me wrong – I love drinking coffee. But, it seems its gotten to the point where I am drinking it to prevent a headache coming on more so than because I need a pick-me-up. Plus, on the mornings I haven’t had it, I haven’t been dragging or felt a lack of energy – I think working out and a healthy diet (and green monsters maybe!) have been helping in that department.

So, my point is, I think it’s time I start cutting back on coffee. Step one has been that I’ve started to order a large coffee at DD in the morning instead of an XL. I think I’m going to do that for 1-2 weeks and then switch to a medium, and see where it goes. I’m not against drinking coffee by any means, but the headaches kind of freaked me out a bit. I want to go back to the days of enjoying coffee and not worrying that if I miss my cup a terrible headache will set on…

How much coffee/tea do you drink a day? Have you ever noticed headaches when you don’t have your daily fix? How have you eased yourself off of it, if you’ve tried, or do you just accept having to drink it every day? I’m curious!

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