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Breakfast|Lunch|Dinner|Etc|Feat. Tofu

What a creative title, right?

I wanted to finally catch up on all the food I’ve been having, especially as it’s getting more and more fall themed! We’ll divide it into meals, and dive right in!

Breakfast:

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Zucchini pumpkin bread with leftover grilled peaches.

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The current fall favorite: cottage cheese with pumpkin butter and sunbutter, with various fruit.

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Also, can we just take a minute to appreciate the fact that I can still get good peaches at the end of October? I love CA sometimes.

Lunch:

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Peach, goat cheese, grilled chicken salad.

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Starting to move away from summer and into fall! Cranberry chèvre, Bosc pear, and deli turkey (the only meat I had on hand).

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Mr. Pickles sandwiches that we got as part of a lunch talk. I had the insides of a veggie and a turkey.

Dinner:

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Typical zucchini noodles: topped with tomato basil marinara and mozzarella.

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My new favorite way to eat zucchini noodles (above and below): sauté them up and then stir in Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest salad, grilled chicken, and cheese. Must be served with avocado

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Trader Joe’s Harvest salad with brussels sprouts, sweet potato, dried cranberry, sunflower seeds, and turkey. I actually used my own champagne vinaigrette instead of the dressing it came with.

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This week, I cooked tofu for the first time! I got firm tofu, and for this meal, sautéed it with GF teriyaki sauce. I served it with snap peas and zucchini sautéed with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

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This stuff is amazing. I could literally eat it with a spoon.

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I made zucchini noodles (shockingly) and served the sauce with them, plus mozzarella. On the side, I made baked tofu that turned out surprisingly amazing. Most recipes said with baked tofu that you should use extra firm, but I liked it with regular firm because it’s soft still on the inside. I patted the excess water off the tofu, and then “breaded” it in nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, spray some cooking spray, and them baked them in the oven at 400!

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Another meal of my usual and weird creation. Turkey, American cheese, guacamole, ketchup. Plus toast with butter on the side.

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Same meal as above, but minus the cheese. It seemed a little overpowering with the sauce.IMG_0019

One of my last tamale Wednesdays! The evening farmer’s market is closing for the season very soon! (I can still get them at the Saturday market). Chicken tamale with a salad made with Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Ranch.

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And lastly, sushi out with friends. I got a really delicious beet salad with miso dressing (above), and a California roll (below).

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Etc

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Pre-workout Cheerios (before 7am Crossfit).

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I mentioned a few posts ago that I found a paper that showed pomegranate juice can alleviate food allergies or sensitivities because the polyphenols in the pomegranate juice bind to cashew proteins. (Note: DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME) Since I have a mild cashew sensitivity, I thought I would try it out! Also, it should be noted that in the article, cashew+pomegranate was not consumed, and not in this form. It was more theoretical. This Luna bar has cashews as one of the last ingredients, and I’ve had it before with either no reaction or a mild reaction. The verdict? I don’t know. I can’t tell if it worked, if I wouldn’t have reacted to it anyway, or if my skin imperfections are normal background or caused by the nuts. TBD.

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Trying out a new brewery. Saison is my jam right now.

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GF bake sale cookie! Butterscotch pretzel. SO good.

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I’ve been going through my freezer stash lately. This is chocolate peppermint bark bread, and it’s still amazing.

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Peet’s pumpkin latte as study fuel. Their pumpkin latte is a lot different from Starbucks. More pumpkiny, less spicy.

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Nighttime snack of a rice cake with pumpkin cream cheese.

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Here’s an interesting snack: persimmon bread from the freezer! Yes, it’s been there a while but it’s still tasty!IMG_0029

Post-exam Hefeweizen.

That’s all for now. Check back later for more uses of zucchini/tofu/apples (because I have lots of all of those!)

YAY More Uses of Zucchini

I have to say, I had much more ambitious study goals for today. However, after 5 hours of intense lectures, and then spending the rest of the afternoon/evening studying/doing reading, my brain is DONE. So, I figured I might as well pop in here to share some updates on how you can use your zucchini.

Also, why is it that now, whenever I want to celebrate something, I by mass quantities of zucchini?

Today I was happy about something and my first thought was, “I should go get zucchini.”

…but yeah, still working through that massive bag. I’m certainly making progress though! Going through 5 pounds of zucchini in a week is honestly not hard.

Monday night, I made a teriyaki zucchini stir fry. I sautéed up chopped zucchini and stir fry vegetables in a little GF soy sauce, then topped them with GF teriyaki sauce. I served my stir fry over rice.

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I made double veggies, and separated out half of them before adding teriyaki. Those turned into today’s lunch: I added more soy sauce, a little powdered ginger, and chicken.

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And of course zucchini bread is still being eaten.

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The highlight was probably making spaghetti squash pad thai.

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I used the sauce recipe here, but used sunbutter. My measuring spoons were dirty, so I just eye balled it, and I didn’t have fresh ginger so I threw in some powdered ginger. I would say with this lack of effort, the sauce wasn’t as good as it normally is, but it was still delicious! I stir-fried zucchini noodles and stir fry vegetables, and then tossed the sauce in. Lastly, I scrambled an egg on top. YUM. I was SO hungry for dinner today, and this hit the spot!

I made extra zoodles for tomorrow’s lunch salad: zucchini noodle and corn. I tossed it in olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. I think it was a little much lemon juice though! I also threw in some chicken, and topped it with goat cheese.

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In terms of other life things, I signed up for a 5k this weekend. I’ve been regularly running 3 miles, but nothing fast lately so this might be interesting. I have no clue what pace I should even go out at!

I also want to start going to yoga classes. I’m not sure where I should try to go, but I need to figure it out! I went to a tai chi class at the vet school at lunch today, so that was cool! The only thing is that my plantar fasciitis is flaring right now, so being on my feet for 45 minutes was less relaxing and more painful. So I might hold off on that until this cools off. The plantar fasciitis is kind of weird. I think it’s because I haven’t been rolling out enough, plus general inflammation. It gets super painful, but 10 minutes of icing makes it 1000x better. I guess that really shows it is inflammation. Speaking of which, I think I know more about inflammation now than ever before in my life. I feel like for years I would always see studies/articles talking about how XYZ causes inflammation, without ever explaining it. Now I get it. Learning, my friends.

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Ever since Chloe left, I’ve been missing her a ton. She has such a big presence, and it feels so lonely and empty with her gone! She also was a surprisingly good and motivating study buddy. Plus, walks were a great way to break up the day! I don’t have class at all this Thursday, and I keep thinking about how it would have been great to have her here!

I think that’s all I have for now. 9pm bedtime….?

And the Zucchini Obsession Continues…

It’s totally normal to celebrate the end of a test by buying 5 pounds of zucchini, right?

This time I didn’t even try to get a smaller bag because I’m confident I’ll go through it!

Today, I’m going to catch up on all the delicious (often zucchini-based) meals I’ve been eating, and also talk about a little fitness!

The fall weather has me craving longer distances, running-wise. My foot (post stress fracture a year ago) is starting to feel really solid. My tendonitis is feeling better….although it seems to have been replaced by my old plantar fasciitis….

Anyways, I think I’m going to slowly and carefully start building a little more distance. Maybe do another half, if everything feels good. Not soon, I’d be shooting for the spring or even next fall. But for now, I would love to do a 10k! I’m a faster human than I was before when I was doing more runs. So I’m going to play around with it, and see what happens! I miss my Sunday morning long run tradition! I actually don’t think I’ve really run more than 3 miles since last November, when my foot got pretty sore for a while after a 5 mile run. So we shall see!

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Otherwise, I’ve been doing basically all Crossfit lately. I need to get back to spin classes, and yoga. While Chloe was here, I didn’t run at all (just walked a ton!) in an effort to get my plantar fasciitis to feel better. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to really take care of it!

So let’s go through, shall we?

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I finally made zucchini lasagna! It tasted great, but presentation left a little to be desired.

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I had 2 layers of zucchini noodles, with a ricotta-parmesean-+1 egg in the middle, with tons of pasta sauce, and topped with mozzarella. I froze most of it for when things get crazy (or I get lazy).

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Pumpkin smoothie! I genuinely thought this was going to be disgusting, but it was actually delicious! I blended up half a packet of Flapjacked vanilla smoothie mix, half a frozen banana, half a cup of milk, half a cup of canned pumpkin that I had leftover, plus tons of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

In other zucchini news, once I bought another large batch of zucchini, I invested in a more legit spiralizer and it was the best decision. 100% worth it, and I love it.

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SO I’ve been making tons of zoodles.

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This was a great combo: parmesan, mozzarella, chicken, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

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And then there’s the classic marinara. Similar to spaghetti squash, in my opinion the key is to get the squash tasting good before you put sauce on. I used various seasoning blends and salt and pepper.

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I’ve also been into non-green green smoothies lately. Mango juice, frozen berries, and spinach.

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When Chloe was here, I got a few Trader Joe’s salads because cooking with her was hard, and she was time consuming, and I had to run home in the middle of the day and shove food in my face while entertaining her. This one is my favorite. I used to eat it a lot in undergrad, especially when I was sick because it doesn’t have anything I’m allergic to. Broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, kale, chicken. YUM.

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More healthy pumpkin bread from the freezer. I think I’m going to make more soon because I have a lot of ripe bananas.

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My go-to BBQ chicken salad has been making a comeback! Dressing is just salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime. Then I tossed together corn, tomato, and lettuce, and topped it with BBQ chicken, cheese, and guacamole. A break from zucchini—what??

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I love the pumpkin yogurt-fig-sunbutter combo. Plus a peach. The peaches are good, but I can tell they’re reaching the end of the season. Apples season is coming, my friends!

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I went to the weekend farmer’s market, and they had a gluten free bakery that comes to our market back home! The best part is I already know what things I’m not allergic to. Naturally, I had to pick up a flour less chocolate torte.

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I did my Wednesday night farmer’s market thing as well and of course picked up a tamale. This week was chicken! I had some of my favorite fall harvest salsa on the side, plus a salad tossed with Bolthouse cilantro ranch.

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Dessert of chocolate Halo Top and fancy caramel sauce.

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I ate the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday and Sunday without even realizing it! For my lunches, I had my favorite salad. I admit this is super weird, but I like it and it’s quick and easy. Lettuce, American chess,e deli turkey, chopped with scissors, and then dressed with guacamole and topped with ketchup.

Dinners were a zucchini scramble with reduced fat alouette. I realized that it is going to expire extremely soon, so I repeated the meal Sunday.

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Served with a peach one night and GF cinnamon raisin toast the next.

Here are a couple of other fun (seasonal!) things from this weekend:

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I found this pumpkin wheat beer and of course had to try it! Sipped while cuddling with the cat on the couch and streaming Stanford-UCLA football. Fall feels like football season, and I hadn’t caught a game yet. It was a good one! We came out on top! It made me nostalgic for my alma mater for sure though!

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My Starbucks fall drink of choice: decaf cappuccino with one pump pumpkin spice.

And FINALLY. FINALLY, I made zucchini bread. After buying probably 20 pounds of zucchini over the past month and a half. I made pumpkin-zucchini chocolate chip bread, so it’s also seasonably appropriate! I love this recipe: just 1/3c honey as the sweetener!

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Check back in next time for more zucchini adventures. I probably have at least 3 pounds left! I’m trying some different things this week. I’m thinking teriyaki stir-fry, Mexican style, and pad thai!

New Uses of Zucchini+Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

Hello! Random Monday night blog post because I am TIRED. I was going to get ahead on some work, but my brain isn’t quite where it needs to be in terms of functioning. Since it’s not too late, I figured I’d pop in here and share some adventures.

I think we left off on Friday.

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I had a BBQ after class (black bean burger), and afterwards all I wanted to do was drink lots of water, eat a chocolate chip cookie, and hang out on the couch. And that’s exactly what I did.

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I went to Nugget market that evening, which was the local competitor that drove Whole Foods out of business here. It looks identical to Whole Foods inside.

Saturday, I did a high ropes course. So, so not my thing but we all know I’m all about character building. I did some things, and certainly not other. I scaled a tree and jumped off a very high ledge (with a harness) which I did not enjoy at all, but I”m glad I did.

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After the redwoods, this is what I came home to:

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Hah. If only I knew what was to come.

For dinner, I had a simple veggie burger, kale and nutritional yeast salad, and microwaved sweet potato with cheese.

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After pushing myself and exhausting my adrenaline stores, plus spending all day outside, ice cream was necessary. I’m currently loving the chocolate Halo Top+sunbutter combo.

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The fun part about Saturday was we were dog sitting an Aussie. We all know I have a soft spot for Aussies. It’s crazy how similar their mannerisms are!

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Sunday morning, my friend from back home visited me with her pup. She came early, because of the projected scorching temperature. He got so big!

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We went out to brunch and coffee, and then walked around downtown before it got too hot. For my meal, I had a delicious spinach frittata with swiss cheese and avocado.

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After she left, I planted myself inside as the temperature was climbing well over 100. I decided to try out a new use of zucchini. Have you ever made those 2 ingredient cookies, with a mashed banana and oats? Well, I had an idea. I’ve had GF maple brown sugar oatmeal for a while, and I rarely eat oatmeal. I thought I would try that in cookies.

I mixed together one mashed ripe banana, one grated zucchini, and 2 packets of the oatmeal. I formed them into cookies, and baked for 12 minutes at 350.

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The final result was delicious, and actually a really good texture! I packed some for a school snack today.

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In the early evening, I headed to the gym for a short workout. I want to keep up with my squatting. I took a break from my squat program, but I’ve been doing some other squat-based strength building since. I’m planning on starting it again soon, with the goal of maintaining strength. When I left for the gym, this was the situation:

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I warmed up with slow descending back squats, then did 8 minutes of 2 squats every 30 seconds. I used a moderate weight. Enough that the volume made it difficult, but I still got good depth. Then I did a few sets of single leg squats and pistols, and finished with some abs. In and out in 40ish minutes!

I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home and picked up a citrus chicken salad for dinner, plus some cheese puffs. I try to limit impulse buys to one item per trip, and I have sure been enjoying these since!

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Right as I was finishing dinner, things started to go south.

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We lost power, along with the entire neighborhood. It quickly started getting hot and dark, with no end to the outage in sight. When I attempted to go to bed (it was SUPER warm), the projected time the power was supposed to return was the next morning at 10am!

THANKFULLY, it came on just before midnight and the cool air was restored. Also thankfully, I did all my classwork ahead of time before I lost power and therefore wifi!

Monday morning, I went for an early run and then ate a yogurt bowl with blackberries, honey, and sunbutter. I’m trying to eat more fruit (plus hydration), so I had some pineapple on the side.

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As hot as yesterday was, today was worse.

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You know how when you get into your car when it’s hot out and it feels like an oven? That’s what the air felt like. Just for fun, when I turned my car on at first, this is what it showed:

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Obviously the car has been baking, but even so, I’ve never seen a temperature like that! And then this is what it was when it normalized:

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Honestly not so much better.

Finally, I want to share my dinner with you guys because it was surprisingly amazing! I made zucchini soup. And yes, I realize I made soup in 111 degree weather.

For the soup, I sautéed 2 chopped zucchinis with garlic and butter. After those softened a bit, I threw in some riced cauliflower, fresh sage, fresh chives, herb blend, salt and pepper, and onion powder. ( I accidentally bought 2 onion powders so I add it to pretty much everything.) I sautéed that up, and then wilted a few handfuls of spinach on top. Then, I pureed all that in a blender with some vegetable stock, and had a delicious, herby, fresh veggie summer soup!

…which I served with cheese puffs. And salad. I accidentally bought an extra bag of lettuce, so I need to eat salad at every meal for a while. I made my healthy thousand island with greek yogurt and ketchup.

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I spent the rest of the evening cleaning, doing laundry, and setting up my new iPad! Apple actually owns my life now. I’m currently surrounded my 2 laptops, my iPhone, and iPad. I’m excited to try it out for notes! I’m probably going to do handwritten notes on the iPad for some classes, and typed notes for others. I’ve never done electronic notes in my life, so this is definitely new!

That’s all for now; my sister’s wedding is THIS WEEKEND, so I’ll probably check in after that!

Full Day of Eating: 101 Ways to Eat Zucchini

I’m currently blogging from the coffeeshop that I will basically be living in over the next 4 years, sipping on a decaf iced latte and eating a GF lemon lavender muffin. YES.

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Since I have some time on my hands today and tomorrow, I figured I might as well do another full day of eating! My life is going to get crazy starting Monday. I want to still blog during vet school, but I recognize that school is my priority so I will definitely be blogging less. My goal is 1 post/week. We shall see. In the meantime, I’ll have a couple of posts scheduled to go up next week 🙂

The theme this week is 101 ways to eat zucchini. As i mentioned before, I have a massive amount of zucchini. Not part of my full day of eating, but the other day I made some zucchini fritters, served with shredded zucchini and corn salad. For the fritters, I grated up 2 large zucchinis, realized it was a massive amount and pulled some out for the salad, then squeezed out excess liquid and mixed in garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, chopped chives, nutritional yeast, and egg whites.

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I served them with applesauce, creamy goat cheese, and ketchup.

Also, if you’re wondering what my current day to day is like, it’s mostly spending time with this one:

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She’s gotten better at actually, you know, sleeping during the night.

But back to the FDOE.

This is from Friday! I wanted to do morning Crossfit instead of evening, and for some reason I was thinking I’d have to do 5:45am. Then remembered that I’m not at my home box and there are lots more options, like 9:30am! I love that, even though I’ll probably never be able to do it during school.

Breakfast:
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Fruit stand peach+sunbutter on GF toast. I got GF bread that wasn’t frozen this time, and the quality of my toast is WAY better than thawing it from frozen!

Crossfit was deadlifts plus a quick WOD that included lots of cleans and a little running. We did a warm up of relays on the assault bike, and I was a little too excited to hop on that I didn’t get my leg up high enough and scraped my leg on the base of the seat…whoops.

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Right after Crossfit, I hit up the grocery store and picked up stuff for a potluck tonight, plus some staples and a protein bar, that I broke into.

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Afterwards, I made a lighter lunch since I had just eaten a protein bar. Avocado toast and a kale salad with lemon juice, cooking spray, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. Love this simple salad.

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I also broke into that day’s impulse buy for dessert:

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Afternoon snack: GF frozen pumpkin spice muffin with butter.

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I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, so I made a zucchini scramble that came out really well! Zucchini, egg whites, and garlic and herb alouette spreadable cheese. Plus half a piece of GF toast with butter.

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For dessert, I made a couple of flapjacked protein cookies and ate them with vanilla halo top.

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That evening, I met some vet students for beers. I think the consensus is that we’re all excited but nervous for Monday! When I got back, I had a snack of red, white, and blue banana bread from the freezer. It looks sad because when I was reheating it, I flipped it over and that was a fail.

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I also had a couple of GF cookies:

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I’ll probably throw a weekend post or something up tomorrow, but otherwise, we’re going in folks!