Friday, March 27, 2009

yay mizzou.... boo acid reflux

Remember that Berenstein Bears book 'too much birthday fun'? Brother bear ate too much candy and was all partied out. Last night was too much NCAA fun. Or too much dive bar fun (i know what you're thinking.... lauren there IS no such thing as too much dive bar fun). A beer at the bar around the corner for the game turned into several pitchers turned into today my stomach turning itself inside out. The good news is that no junk food was involved (i know, high five). Probably because before we left I whipped up some snobby joes. snobby joes: (this site credits Veganomicon with the recipe, my Nickie's all time fave cookbook)
  • lentils
  • onion
  • tomato paste
  • tomato sauce
  • oregano
  • S&P
  • red peppers
  • zucchini
  • garlic
  • chili powder
  • maple syrup
  • mustard

I've been craving sloppy joes forever, which is ironic because sloppy joes are actually really gross and not something I'm too interested in eating (cafeteria sludge comes to mind). So I've been settling for singing the Adam Sandler song instead. I made the leap with these. They were good. I might enjoyed a BBQ sauce version instead (the oregano and tomato sauce kind of made it feel like spaghetti sauce)... I think soy crumbles might be in order next time. That chewey textures is part of the appeal.. right? Either way I thought it was good. I made it with sweet potato fries (that i tried to make chips.... eh... i'm sticking to wedges from here on I think) and Multigrain bread with some melty sharp cheddar cheese on top.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday. Almost weekend time. HOLLA.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One Lucky Girl - CHICAGO recap

I love chicago... but like anything it's not where you are, but who you're with that makes all the difference. I had a productive work week in the windy city.. one SUPER FUN weekend, and now I am struggling to sift through the voicemails and emails (and school work and MASSIVE to do list (can we say taxes?)) ...... But it was all so fun! For eating, I gave myself a few birthday Mulligans. For work I had crab one night (in addition to the scallop indiscretion I mentioned in the previous post) and then I had a awesomely Delicious corn dog from a famous late night street spot in chicago on saturday night. So much for subtlety, eh? I knew traveling would throw a crimp in my dietary restrictions anyway. Part of me is annoyed with myself about not following my commitment to the letter... and the other part of me says diet mentality is bad news and this will keep me from drowning in junk on easter, no? Anyway, no pictures of food... but lots of pictures of fun :)
Seeing the sights during the week.

Once all the girls arrived we were SO READY for fun! The hotel lobby got to witness the excessive shrieking, hugging, laughing and generally making a spectacle. Friday night included some of the 'ol sorority bar games. We went to a greek bar, that was pretending to be an irish pub (i'm just saying, they played greek music), that was still decorated in St Pat's garb. YESS!

Lincoln Park Zoo

Making the pilgrimage to Harpo studios. (close to our hotel)
ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssshe's every woman!

Deep dish chicago pizza (veggie with spinach for oomph)

A fancy night out that included lots of swanky bars, live music, dancing, dancing, DANCING
red carpets

MORE dancing

Isn't it amazing how obnoxious you can be (singing, dancing, in general being hilarious) when you have complete anonymity in a random city?

Best birthday ever. My friends fussed over me and the fact they were willing to come from California, Kentucky, and MO to have a fun birthday weekend with me makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Now I am making grocery lists (in addition to my other to-do lists for work, school, home, etc.) and am READY to be making my own healthy natural meals again.
See you later this week!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lauren O'cheater pants

That's right. I did it. I strayed from the strict veg regimen I was to be on for the duration of Lent. Today. My Birthday. I had two scallops. The restaurant wasn't so veg friendly, and I had them take the bacon grease out of the sauce (which yes sounds gross, and yes, also sounds like it might be wickedly delicious). I have been pretty good about being only veg and have truley been enjoying it... but a girl only turns 26 once... right?? Today I was working at a trade show all day, and though my co-workers fussed over me (cards, singing, excessive mentioning of it being my birthday.... all of which i LOVED), it just wasn't the same as the usual love-fest, reunion, green beer binging days of my youth. Join me, in reminiscing the good 'ol parade debauchery days. Please note, the following pictures are to be browsed whilst singing (or humming) 'Through the Years' by Kenny Rogers: I can't remember when you weren't there

When I didn't care for anyone but you

I swear we've been through everything there is

Can't imagine anything we've missedCan't imagine anything the two of us can't do

Through the years, you've never let me down

You turned my life around, the sweetest days I've found

I've found with you ... Through the yearsI've never been afraid,

I've loved the life we've made

And I'm so glad I've stayed, right here with you

Through the

I can't remember what I used to do
Who I trusted, who I listened to before
I swear you taught me everything I know
Can't imagine needing someone soBut through the years it seems to me
I need you more and more

Through the years, through all the good and bad
I KNOW how much we had, I've always been so glad
To be with you ... Through the yearsIt's better every day, you've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay, I'll stay with you
Through the years

OH St Patrick's Day... you complete me. I hope everyone had a fabulous day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Woe is I : Chi town part one

I heart St. Pat's. No really. For the past 25 glorious years I've revelled in my partial Irish ancestry, love of parades/boozing/flair, and told anyone and everyone that would listen that the greatest part of March 17 is that the world comes together in all it's Green fabulousness to commemorate the anniversary of my birth. Yes, my mom, aunt/godmother Sheila, uncle bill, and self have ST PATRICK'S DAY BIRTHDAYS! I am also lucky enough to have wonderful friends who have a history of taking the day off work and heading to the KC parade with me and having a gay 'ol birthday/green party fun. THIS year I have to work on St Pat's. I'm in Chicago for a conference and flew down early to set everything up. Life's cruel joke is that Chicago is a BIG st pat's town and heading from the airport to my downtown hotel (yes, a block of the parade route) I saw thousands of people bedecked in green, lining the river, streets, and my very own hotel lobby with their loud and fun-having st patrick's day selves. Because I was headed straigh to the convention center for a day of angst and manual labor, and NO participating in the festivities (not to mention non of my friends there to celebrate like we've always done) It was like I was at a party I wasn't invited to. SO SAD. I just wanted to yell, St pat's isn't until Tuesday!' (my mom told me to get over it... i know, i know) This is the view from my hotel room: the green river. I'm loving being in a fun city that I seemingly never get to explore (other than frequent stops to Midway) I'm planning to see both high school and college friends while in town. Not to mention wearing a cute new green sweater with my suit on Tuesday. That helps, right?
Before I left I tried to make mashed potatoes out of cauliflower. Whoever said that this was an awesome sub for potatoes was high. It was good (maybe i needed more cauliflower? that stuff is not quote as dense as potatoes and a whole head generated just a cup of mashed-ness) i pureed it with a bit of almond milk, threw in some peas and corn and shaved some sharp cheddar cheese on top. It was veggie goodness. Loved it.
I also roasted some vegetables (yay, my favorite) tossed with EVOO and sea salt and roasted at 400 for 30 minutes? or something like that. I had red peppers, asparagus, sweet potato and a little cauliflower (note to self, it shriveled up and burned, next time no cauliflower). I put the finished vegetables on angel hair pasta that had been sprinkled with goat cheese. Complete heaven. I did try to save some of the roasted vegetables and then microwave them later. They were a soggy mess. I'm thinking next time either eat them immediately or bake/grill them to reheat.

So I will be in Chicago until a week from tomorrow. That's a lot of eating out (lord help me to have vegetarian/no fish options at company steak house dinners!) and zero home cooking..... in other words, not so much to discuss on this page. However I did make a HUGE bag of granola, dried fruit, nuts and cliff bars stashed for travel food emergencies. Other than that I'm planning on making it through the week until NEXT WEEKEND when some of my besties will be joining me in Chicago to paint the town green as we celebrate my bday a bit after the fact and in general have a girls weekend in a new city. How fun will that be? All the credit in the world goes to my old roomie Steph whose idea this was in the first place!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Negative Nancy

Really more like 'worrying... er... wendy' but i've never heard of that one. So this week is midterms, I will be MIA next week for work (note to self: step up the planning, packing, angst), it's freezing, my to-do list is out of control and Greenlee has been killed off of All My Children. Suffice it to say... I've had a lot going on. Not to worry, I have been eating (where was I sunday? Studying for last night's test? or spending two hours trolling the aisles of the grocery store and blissfully selecting fruit, reading ingredient lists, and familiarizing myself with gourmet cheeses)

So new combos. Before said grocery trip (total therapy.. is it like that for anyone else?) I raided the contents of my fridge and tried to find a way to use the goat cheese before it went bad. Do I mind? heck no, I love that stuff.
  • new potatoes
  • evoo
  • misc. seasonings (basil & chives?)
  • goat cheese
  • lemon juice

boiled then baked. deeeeeeeeeelish.

Post grocery store, in my overload of veggie euphoria (and procrastination of school work, obviously) I decided to make a veggie lasagna. Now, I have made lasagna before, and it seemed fairly intuitive, right?
  • whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • cottage cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • spaghetti sauce (i like the organic store brand)
  • spinach
  • red peppers
  • cauliflower
  • yellow & green zucchini
  • asparagus
  • roma tomatoes

(there might've been more veggies, I was throwing a lot of stuff in) I boiled the noodles first because i was nervous that they would be undercooked.

Oops... I had lasagna soup. Where the heck did all of this water come from?? granted, the veggies had juices, the sauce was saucy, the cottage cheese a runnier option than ricotta. I blame myself. Note to self: liberally pat dry the noodles or put in pan dry and hope they turn out right. *sigh* .... On the other hand I have discovered that any veg/cheese/whole grain combination is my favorite type of meal. No seriously, it categorizes nearly all of my bookmarked recipes. So lacking presentation/on-the-fork-convenience aside, it was still delicious. This last weekend was a lot of fun though. We went to a fun new swanky bar, met up with friends, saw my ALMA MATTER basketball team take their conference tournament championship (3 games won in OT... GO MULES!), and got to finally see Gran Terino (so good, no really).

Hope your week is smooth sailing so far, and I'll pretty much hope that for myself too. One bright spot is that Hayden Arthur, My friend Jessica's beautiful baby boy is finally here! YAY :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Can we talk about this?

It is GORGEOUS outside. Less than a week ago I was driving in a blizzard and nearly drove into a semi truck on the interstate due to the overnight 1/2 foot of snow packed on ground and several more inches in the sky at that very moment. And yet here we are creeping up on 79 degrees today. How badly do I not want to be working? Seriously... senioritus/laziness/spring fever has it's grips on me and is sure to lower my GPA make me the worlds least productive employee. Today I am pencil skirt, bare legs, and some old sunny stripey pumps about things (and yes, this is the third picture I took of my feet/legs, all of which were not so flattering from this angle.. whatev). Hello spring. I've missed you. Spring makes me think of fabulous spring dresses, which makes me think of laying out at the pool, which makes me think maybe I should excersize more than doing yoga once a week (which let's be honest, includes about 10 minutes of meditation/nap time)...... gym, eh? eh? Enter this blog(oh she glows)/contest to win a DVD addressesing my laziness/spring fever/etc.

I hope everyone is out enjoying this amazingness. Also Mizzou won last night and KU lost.... so what a great day it is indeed :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eating while driving = trouble

So last night after Yoga I picked up dinner for John and headed to his apartment. It was a hefty drive. I was starving. I ate while driving. Unfortunately Planet Sub is now among the list of places I'm not supposed to eat while I'm driving. Seriously, adorable when it's babies with their food all over their face/chest/hair/clothes, embarassing when it's someone who is old enough to be getting a discount on drivers insurance. My delicious sandwich had salsa on it, which was probably my first problem, because it was the wettest sandwich ever made. And it was dark outside, and I was exiting off lanes and trying to listen intently to NPR so I could finally come to some sort of understanding of the banking system. Fifteen minutes later my black work-out pants looked like I had been homeless or sifting through debris/third-world-country rubble before I got to his place. Gross. Salsa sandwich + holding vertical for eating + driving + not remembering to get napkins at sub shop = trouble and embarassing wet pants/seat situation.
I now have resolved to resist the urge to bag and drag. Further motivation was how amazingly delicous Monday night's post-class quick meal was.

Stuffed Red Pepper (adapted from epiciurious)
  • red pepper
  • goat cheeses
  • zucchini & yellow squash
  • cherry tomatoes
  • couscous
  • seasoning

SO good, but totally messy. I also will not be eating this in the car.

Both recipes called for chickpeas, but it was late, I was in the mood for something light and I had already reached my protein minimum for the day, and didn't feel the need to load on more. For a full meal or for feeding more people it would be a fabulous option. I will be making/experimenting with this again.

I also made this risotto-y thing. FABULOUS. How great is it that asparagus and red peppers (3 x the vitamin C of oranges!) are on sale now. I feel like it's opening a whole new world to me. So I used brown rice, barely stirred, and otherwise cut corners with this... but man, it was still delilcious. The night I made this I actually left my laptop at work, so in winging it (danger, danger) I omitted quite a few things.

Mock Risotto
  • brown rice
  • garlic
  • vegetable broth
  • peas
  • asparagus
  • red pepper
  • low fat cream cheese
  • chives

I also went to Emily's after I got home from class on Wednesday. I thought she was making dinner, she thought I was making dinner. Who's on first? Anyway we raided her fridge and came up with a potato cook off with hearty salads for our veg dinner. Mine were the super unhealthy queso/sour cream potatoes (they were boiled then broiled with toppings) hers had EVOO, rosemary and garlic. I think we both know who won.

Even Mary Anne liked mine best.

The next night I was determined to use the butternut squash that had been hanging out for a week, and obviously my asparagus steamer that had been hanging out even longer (summer? eh, who knows). Look how tall and amazing it is.... don't you just love those super specific kitchen gadgets?
So I topped my butternut squash soup with tomatoes, goat cheese, and S&P. Um..... the soup tasted like babyfood so I kept adding Almond Milk to it to give it sweetness and make it more soupy and less pasty. Um... still kind of baby-ish. I simmered the squash cubes with a bit of ground red pepper and vegetable broth so it was simple but still had some other flavors. I HAD heavy cream in the refridgerator, but resisted. It probably needed it. Despite the wholesome yummy veggy feeling after the meal, I was only in like with this.

Did I tell you about the weekend? I met in Des Moines with a bunch of my aunts, grandma, cousin, momma, and sister. We saw legally blonde, caught up, and in general had a blast. Here we are at the art center cafe (not to be confused with a mental institution... er... because of the white padded wall)
Legally Blonde the musical! :)

I hope everyone is having a fabulous hump day!