Chickpeas

Grumbling

I woke up this morning a little hungry since last night’s dinner was pretty light. I think next time I’d add some noodles in those rolls or some carbs on the side if I have it for a meal after a workout just to replenish myself fully. I normally am not hungry when I first wake up and my stomach was grumbling from the second I opened my eyes!

What’s better than peanut butter on toast first thing in the morning?

This was one slice of whole wheat bread (1 pt) with 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (2 pts). I ate it quickly and waited just a few minutes before heading out.

Distance: 3.5 miles

Duration: 33:39 min

Avg Pace: 9:36 min/mile

Avg Speed: 6.2 mph

Calories: 409

This was pretty fast for me! I’m usually averaging closer to 10:00 minute miles, but to be honest the run was not that easy. I started out feeling great but then around the turnaround point was really struggling to keep myself from walking. I think because I’ve learned to take successful walking breaks where I just walk a little and then run the rest of the way, it makes me feel like it’s OK to take walking breaks. To clarify, I think it is OK for some people, but for me, it’s not that I NEED a walking break, its just that I want one since I’ve recently gotten into the habit. I think I need to just power through and not stop, especially on shorter runs between 3 and 4 miles when it’s not even that hot.

After my run, I took a quick shower and threw together my lunch. I was already running a little behind and wasn’t that hungry since I’d had the PB Toast right before my run, so I just whipped up a smoothie and brought it to work to drink here. It was my first time ever transporting a smoothie from home, and I just used a bell jar and it worked perfectly!

In the mix:

  • 1 cup light soy milk (1 pt)
  • 1/2 large frozen banana (1 pt)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (1 pt)

Simple, but delicious.

I probably should have added some protein powder or peanut butter/almond butter to the mix to make it more filling because by 11:30 my stomach was grumbling and screaming for lunch!

I manged to hold off until a few minutes after 12 because if I eat before noon that can be dangerous for later in the day. Lunch was a new-to-me slash strange combination based on what I had in my fridge. Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans is one of my favorite combos of all times, but unfortunately I am out of black beans at the moment. Instead, I had some chickpeas (1 pt) in the fridge, so I brought those to give the sweet potato (3 pts) a protein boost, plus a laughing cow babybel cheese (1 pt).

Totally weird combo, but it worked! It was a little dry because I microwaved the chickpeas to get them hot which dried them out a bit, but I had brought some salsa along (0 pts) so I poured that on top after a few bites.

It was actually really good! I think sweet potatoes and black beans are a better combo, but if I’m all out of black beans I wouldn’t hesitate to try this again. When a friend asked me what was for lunch today and I said a sweet potato, chickpeas, babybel cheese, and salsa, it definitely sounded weird coming out of my mouth, but tasted quite good going into it. 🙂

On the side I also had some leftover cabbage from last night (0 pts)

Sad but true – I ate an entire head of cabbage between last night and tonight. I’m pretty sure vegetables are going to start coming out of my ears pretty soon…

Two questions today…

Have you tried any weird combos of food lately that you wouldn’t expect to go together? Did the combination work or not so much?

Do you eat before you run/workout if you’re an AM exerciser? If so, how long do you usually wait after eating before getting started?

Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Burgers

Oh man do I have a good recipe to share! My salad from yesterday’s lunch was so tasty, so I wanted to make something to go along with those ingredients. I got to thinking and realized I hadn’t made veggie burgers in ages, so I decided to whip some up and these turned out incredible. You can see my recipes for Easy Homemade Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, but these may be the best ones yet.

Ingredients (for 2 burgers – 2 WW Points each)

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and dried off (1 pt)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, pressed in a paper towel or cheesecloth to remove moisture
  • Handful of spinach
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (2 pts)
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (1 pt)

Directions:

1.) Combine chickpeas, roasted red pepper, spinach, and basil in a food processor:

2.) Pulse until well mixed and tranfer to a bowl.

3.) Add oats and parmesan to the bowl and combine all ingredients by hand

4.) Form into patties

5.) Cook as desired. If I was home I would have cooked them in a pan to get the outside crispy, but since I’m at my office I baked them in the toasted until heated through and they were awesome! You could also microwave them or bake them but pan searing is probably the best.

I ate both of the burgers for lunch (4 pts) open faced on a toasted light english muffin (1 pt). I also had cucumber on the side (0 pts) but it was on its way out and parts of it were soft. ick!

This is a recipe I will definitely be making again, and you can totally switch up the ingredients based on what you have. I was thinking about mixing feta into the burgers too which could be awesome… play with the recipe and let me know what you come up with!

Today was also CSA day. I went before work to pick it up and here’s the loot:

In today’s box:

  • 5 peaches
  • 6 donut peaches (!!!)
  • apricots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 5 ears of corn
  • Lemon Basil plant

I was so excited to see donut peaches in the box this week! Remember when I went to the Asian mart two weeks ago and took a picture of these because I’d never seen them before? Well now I have some to try! So excited.

That’s the donut peach on the left and a regular peach on the right. The donut peach is basically a smushed regular peach but I’m not sure if they taste any different or are any different texturally than regular peaches.. I will let you know!

Have you tried any new-to-you produce recently?

5 v 5

Hello and happy almost Friday! I’m in a great mood because it is gorgeous outside and my old boss is taking me out for early birthday drinks tonight (which is Tuesday!) These things add up to me having a bit of trouble sitting still…

My friend/coworker Kara brought me in a treat today. (Side note… isn’t it always weird to just say coworker when they’re your friend, or to just say friend when they’re your coworker, but maybe even weirder to put a slash in an introduction!?) Anyways, she posted a recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Squares with Hazelnuts and they looked SO good that I commented on the entry asking when she was going to bring them in for me to try… well today was the day.

Oh man was that tasty! She used fat free cream cheese and fat free yogurt in the recipe instead of the heavy cream/full fat cream cheese, but these babies were still 5 points each! While absolutely delicious and I’m so glad I had it, it’s kind of funny that the picture above this is 5 points, and all the food below this (my real lunch) was also 5 points…

Carrot “chips” and raw broccoli (0 pts)

Massaged Kale Salad with 1 tsp olive oil (1 pt) and salt, plus 1/2 cup chickpeas (1 pt) and yellow squash (0 pts).

I also had a toasted wheat pita on the side (1 pt) and used it to eat the chickpeas and salad. For dessert, I had some watermelon chunks (1 pt).

Isn’t that crazy that you can have one blueberry cheesecake square OR carrots, broccoli, chickpeas, squash, kale, olive oil, a pita, and watermelon for the same number of points!?

What are some substitutions you’ve made in your diet to cut down on calories/fat or points? I used to snack on a lot of processed granola bars or yogurt with cereal and peanut butter, but as my points started dwindling down I realized I could get much more bang for my buck if I ate fruit or veggies for snacks. For the same number of points as 1/2 cup of yogurt plus 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 3/4 cup puffins, I can have an apple, a grapefruit, a cup of grapes, AND some watermelon. I might turn into a piece of fruit if I did that, but you get my drift… 🙂

Maoz x2

Hello! Dreary afternoon here in DC but its good weather for getting a lot of work done. I ended up going back to Maoz for lunch today and had Emily and Kara from work come with me. This place is pretty lifechanging for lunch if you’re looking for somewhere to get an awesome and reasonable meal! You can read about my first time here which has a lot more pictures and shows the whole salad bar with the steps along the way. I loved my lunch there last time so much that I got pretty much the same thing again – the falafel salad bowl with eggplant and hummus as add ins, and then topped it with tons of the fresh salads from the salad bar.

The salad bowl had:

  • Falafel
  • Hummus
  • Eggplant
  • Greens
  • Carrot Salad
  • Beet Salad
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Veggie Salad
  • Cauliflower + Broccoli
  • Red Cabbage Salad
  • Tabouli Salad

I also got a carrot juice on the side, which was just OK. I liked it, but it was literally just carrots (which is what I ordered) so it was a little blah. Next time I’ll probably get a mix of carrot, orange, and apple instead of just carrot.

This place was just as good as the first time. It is so fresh and so many options, and I love that you can load up your bowl or sandwich with tons and tons of different fresh salads and they don’t weight it afterwards to charge you more. It is definitely a little filling and both times I was planning on saving some for later, but it was just so good I could not stop. I am feeling pretty full now so don’t think an afternoon snack is in my future.

So I have one more thing to share about my trip to Oklahoma City at the beginning of June. On Sunday night, we had a reception at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This museum has the largest comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly Glass anywhere in the world. I am not much of an art person, but this was AWESOME. He basically blows glass into different sculptures and shapes and it’s pretty incredible to look at. Here’s a few photos from inside the gallery.

And then my absolute favorite part, which was a glass ceiling that had tons of different blown glass sculptures on top of it. This was the view from below looking up at the ceiling.

How cool is that!?

Are you into art? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it – a museum, an art class, photography, etc?

Fro Yo Kind of Day

What a gorgeous day outside! It feels like such a sin to be inside today, but you gotta do what you gotta do to get paid…

Today’s lunch was simple but delicious.

  • 1 flatout wrap (1 pt)
  • 2 cups romaine (0 pt)
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas (1 pt)
  • 2.5 tbsp cherry craisins (1 pt)

I then doused the whole wrap in Organic German Mustard (0 pts).

It was so huge that I couldn’t even make it into a wrap, it was more like a giant taco. I don’t think I looked that cute while eating it because of the size factor, but it was goood. The cherry flavored craisins are something new I picked up at the store the other day and added a really nice flavor to the wrap. 1/3 of a cup of them is 2 pts, but that is a LOT of craisins for this purpose, so 1/2 of that was just fine. On the side, I had 1 serving of RF white cheddar cheese (1pt), a cup of grape tomatoes (0 pts), and some baby carrots (0 pts).

I was originally planning on putting the cheese inside of the wrap, but decided the wrap had enough going on without it, ate ate the cheese with the tomatoes instead. Good decision. This lunch was really satisfying and packed with a good mix of veggies, carbs, and protein, and clocked in at just 4 points.

For an afternoon snack, my department went to Yogen Fruz for a frozen yogurt outing to celebrate my boss’s birthday. It is the perfect day for frozen yogurt, so I was happy we decided to do that instead of the regular ice cream cake/cheesy poof birthday celebrations that usually go on around here. I got a small nonfat green tea frozen yogurt with mochi.

It was sooo good. I’m telling you, if you like green tea ice cream, check Yogen Fruz’s website to see if there’s one near you. It tastes exactly the same and is nonfat! Soooo good. What are your favorite toppings for fro yo? I love mochi even though it doesn’t have much flavor, the texture does it for me. I also love dark chocolate shavings, raspberries, kiwis, and just about any fruit.

Tonight I have a reception for work that I’m kind of nervous for. There’s an open bar (beer/wine) and passed hors d’oeuvres. After the reception, I may or may not stay for dinner, but I always have a really hard time being good at these types of functions. I usually have a glass of wine (or 3) and all my good intentions go out the window sip by sip. Do you have any tips for staying on track at work receptions where there is alcohol involved?

Maoz

Today I am so happy that I didn’t have food at home to make lunch because I had an AWESOME meal at a new-to-me place. My friend/former coworker Helene actually emailed me while I was in OKC to tell me about this place she went to, and I knew I had to try it.

Maoz is a vegetarian restaurant that has international locations, and then one in Philly, NYC, and now DC. It opened about 6 months ago, but I’d never heard of it until Helene emailed me about it. It’s on M Street between 18th and 19th, so a bit of a trek from my office, but TOTALLY worth it. The whole concept behind it is that they use fresh ingredients and try to do as much farm to table as possible. From the website,

“Maoz Vegetarian is an international, quick service vegetarian restaurant chain, which brought to the world the delicious Maoz sandwich: FALAFEL. Our menu is strictly vegetarian and is based on simplicity, freshness and care. Our famous Maoz sandwich is home baked pita bread filled with crispy, handmade Falafel balls which are made from chickpeas, a vitamin rich legume, packed with plenty of proteins, minerals and vitamin B. The chickpeas are blended daily with fresh spices and vegetables and then fried in zero trans-fat Canola oil. All of our salads and sauces are freshly prepared every day using handpicked ingredients to assure superior quality and freshness.”

So they have falafel sandwiches, or falafel salads, and then a whole salad bar of fresh salads that are made daily and refreshed every few minutes so you know its as fresh as could be. The wraps come with the falafel in a pita and regular or sweet potato fries, and the salad comes with two mix-ins and a drink. For my salad, I added eggplant and hummus as my two mix ins and here it was before I got to the salad bar:

And then the salad bar was AWESOME. Everything was vegetarian and looked and tasted so fresh.

And from the other side:

The first part of the salad bar had: Olives, Pickles, Hot Peppers, Chickpea Salad, Beet Salad, and Carrot Salad:

The next part had Veggie Salad, Tabouli Salad, Broccoli + Cauliflower, Coleslaw, and Cabbage Salad:

And then the end had a bunch of sauces to choose from:

Salsa, Cilantro Sauce, Hot Sauce, and something else I didn’t catch the name of. I loaded up my bowl with practically everything on the salad bar, and you pay for it PRE-toppings, not by weight, which is awesome in my book. Here’s the finished product:

It was AWESOME. The falafel was really crispy and warm, and a perfect contrast to the chilled veggie salads. In my bowl was:

  • Falafel
  • Eggplant
  • Hummus
  • Chickpea Salad
  • Pickled Hot Peppers
  • Beet Salad
  • Veggie Salad
  • Red Cabbage Salad
  • Tabouli Salad
  • Broccoli + Cauliflower
  • Carrot Salad
  • Cilantro Sauce
  • Salsa

The bowl was HUGE. I should have saved some of it because I ate it all in one go and I was stuffed, but it was delicious, healthy, and loaded with lots of fresh veggies. Maoz is definitely a close second to Juice Joint for my favorite places to get lunch in DC when I don’t bring it. I highly recommend you check it out if you live here or visit DC, NYC, or Philly. So, so good.

I’m actually using a little bit of my comp time to leave early today so that I can unpack, go grocery shopping, and hopefully get to Bikram too. My body is missing it since it’s been over a week since I’ve gone – I really can’t wait to go. I find that when I go after taking some time off I have an awesome class, which is a bit different than I’d expect. I still feel a little unsettled since I got home so late last night and haven’t really had any downtime at all since I’ve been back. I’ll be back!

Question: What is your favorite place to go for lunch if you don’t bring it to work/school? What type of food is it?

So Far So Good

Thank you so much for all your encouragement and ideas from this morning’s post on my goals for the month of June! I think I will do a weekly check in rather than monthly so I keep closer track of how I’m doing with the goals, and so that I will be able to adjust them a bit if necessary. The first week may be a little tricky for me since I’m traveling, but I plan to go back to WW next week, still count points as much as possible, not drink too much (except water!) and try to get 2-3 workouts in while out of town. There is supposed to be a pretty nice gym in the hotel so I will try to go there as much as I can when my schedule permits (not likely on Saturday + Sunday since I will be working 12+ hour days and busy from early morning to late evening).

Lunch today was awesome, and very point-friendly! I’m trying to use up as much as I can of what’s in the house since I’ll be leaving tomorrow, plus eating as many fruits and veggies as I can to cleanse out my system and start the month off right.

Doesn’t that look so good and colorful!? Plus, the whole enormous salad had only 4 WW points.

Onto my plate went:

  • 2 cups baby spinach (0 pts)
  • microgreens (0 pts)
  • garlic sprouts (0 pts)
  • Corn (raw cut off the cob) (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas (1 pt)
  • 1 roasted pepper (0 pts)
  • 1 serving Doctor Kracker Hummus Maximum (2pts) broken up

Check out all those toppings!

They made the salad fun to eat and delicious since there was so much going on. I’d never broken up crackers on my salad before, though the idea doesn’t seem too revolutionary, but it made for a nice crunch on the salad! Plus the fresh corn added a little soft crunch and sweetness, and the garlic sprouts a spicy garlicky flavor. On the side I had some grapes (1 pt):

So a total of 5 points for a really delicious and colorful lunch. I’ve also already had my 8 cups of water today and plan to keep on drinking, so so far so good for the first day of the month!

Question: What is your favorite low-ish point/calorie lunch? I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I LOVE baked sweet potatoes (3 pts for a large one) with 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt) with a big salad on the side loaded with veggies (0) – total of 4. This lunch was pretty awesome, too, so comes in as a close second.

Easy Homemade Veggie Burgers

Unfortunately I don’t think I fully kicked off the sickness that was threatening last week – I’ve been feeling kind of under the weather all day. It’s nothing major, it’s just a cough and some congestion in my chest, but I picked up some meds and am going to take it easy so that hopefully this doesn’t turn into a full blown anything. Argh.

Also unfortunate, my lunch did not hold me over at all. My stomach was grumbling about an hour later – not sure why because it was a lot of food, but I was able to hold off until 3:30 or so to eat again. My afternoon snack was awesome and different than usual for me.

A flatout wrap with almond butter and a sliced apple. I rolled it up and this was so good and filling. Winning combo in my book.

I was originally planning on doing something low key like walking or elliptical tonight after work, but I was starting to feel a little worse, so decided to just relax and watch TV instead. I did come up with an awesome recipe for homemade veggie burgers on a whim that turned out awesome and helped me feel a bit better. 🙂

Ingredients (for 2 burgers – 1 point each):

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot
  • ~1 cup kale
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • salt and pepper to taste

I put the carrot, kale, and basil into a food processor and pulsed it a little first, and then added the chickpeas, parmesan, and oats to the mix.

I pulsed that all together for 30 seconds until the consistency was uniform and it looked like this:

I shaped the mixture into two patties:

I cooked one on a pan over low heat for 2 minutes on each side and that was it! These burgers are awesome, and I honestly cannot believe I waited so long to make my own veggie burgers. The fresh basil and parmesan cheese each added such delicious flavor to the mix and the texture was just incredible. I looooove these and am so excited that they are so easy to whip up. It literally took 10 minutes from start to finish for these burgers.

You might be shocked to hear that I topped my burger with cheese… 🙂

Romano cheese to be exact. I served it on a toasted arnold thin with a few basil leaves. I also had some McCain’s Sweet Potato Fries on the side (frozen and cooked according to package directions) and a little reduced-sugar ketchip.

Note: I’m not normally that stingy with ketchup, it was just the end of the bottle.

This was such a simple and awesome dinner, and completely customizable based on what ingredients you have to work with. You could easily sub in a different kind of beans or other veggies, but I think the addition of a fresh herb and the parmesan really make the burger. The texture of these is SO good, I honestly can’t wait to have the other one that’s in my fridge!

I’m going to take it easy, watch TV, drink tea, and scare this sickness away. Let’s hope. 🙂

Manic Monday

Hey! I am completely swamped at work right now, which is actually great because I seriously cannot believe it’s almost 3pm! The day is flying by because its been nonstop, but that works for me. I have Bikram at 6pm tonight with a few friends, one of which is trying it for her first time! The reason I’ve been going so much is because I have a week unlimited that expires on Friday, so I want to take advantage of it as much as I can since its so expensive to go when you pay full price. I’m noticing improvements in my flexibility and my balance already, and I’ve only been 4 times! I can’t wait to see how my body changes as I continue to improve.

I did have time to break for lunch and have a delicious salad.

This salad had:

  • 3 cups arugula from the Farmer’s Market
  • 1 chopped Fuji apple, also from the Farmer’s Market
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 oz light feta from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 slices Martin’s whole wheat potato bread, overly toasted

I love it when there are as many toppings as base in the salad so that you’re never down to just greens. Even though this bread looks pretty dark, it was just over toasted, not burnt. It still tasted delicious and I can’t get over how good the texture of that bread is for the impressive nutritionals!

I also had a side of baby carrots.

Crunchy and added nice color to my lunch. I never loved baby carrots until recently, but now I can’t seem to get enough of them. I think I go through phases with veggies and these are in for now. 🙂

Hope your Monday is good. Back to the grind for me!

Biking and Bikram

Weekends go by so fast, don’t they? I can’t believe it’s Sunday night already! This weekend has been very relaxing and enjoyable so I’m especially sad to see it come to an end, though I don’t think I’m ever thrilled when Monday morning rolls around…

I ended up going for a bike ride today even though I didn’t get to put my new seat on. We didn’t have an Allen wrench so couldn’t get the old seat off, but I was already decked out in my bike gear so I figured why not. I ended up doing 8 miles in just under 36 minutes, which means I’m getting faster! It used to take me 40 minutes to do the same ride, and I’m definitely feeling a bit more confident on the bike each time I ride. I think just testing out the gears and finding the ones I’m comfortable with for hills has been what’s helped me improve my speed.

After my bike ride I had a banana:

I didn’t want to eat anything too heavy because Bikram was in less than 2 hours and the last thing on Earth you want to feel during Bikram is full. I did drink a TON of water after my bike ride. It was about 90 degrees outside so I was sweating and got really thirsty. I made my water more fun to drink by adding some frozen Very Cherry blend from Trader Joe’s instead of ice.

It’s a mix of cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries and made me feel so fancy while drinking it. 🙂

Bikram went SO much better today than yesterday. I really enjoyed myself and can already notice improvements in my abilities to do the different postures. It’s amazing to me just how much you sweat during the class though because your clothes are seriously so wet that you could wring them out after. Everyone always told me that before I ever tried it, but I never really “got it” until I tried it and its crazy. Very cleansing, though.

After Bikram I was starving, and luckily had a PURE Bar in my bag that I munched on during the drive home.

Love these things. I also had a piece of the whole wheat potato bread with some Peanut Butter and Crofters when I got home but ate it too quickly to take a picture. Oops.

After that I had to run a few errands, and then decided to stop at this Kabob place by my apartment that I’ve never tried. There was an awesome Afgan Kabob restaurant by my old apartment that we used to eat about once a week and loved, so I figured I should give this one a shot. Unfortunately they don’t have any veggie/shrimp/fish kabobs, but they did a vegetarian plate with their two veggie sides, rice, and salad, which is what I ordered.

Though it doesn’t look that pretty, it was really delicious. The two veggies were chickpeas and spinach with potatoes. There was also some unpictured bread that came with it and I ate everything on my plate and the bread. The other kabob place had veggie kabobs with tomatoes, onions, and peppers, and also had about 10 different vegetarian sides to choose from to go with your dish. They also had 3 different kinds of rice, fresh hummus, and a bunch of different sauces. I like having options, but this new kabob place is just so close to my apartment that it’ll have to do in a pinch.

I’m off to savor the last few minutes of the weekend but plan to get to bed early tonight. Be back tomorrow!

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