Heya Bloggies in need of some R&R!
If I have learned anything in the past two days (other than crazy amounts of school-related knowledge), it is that sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Although I'm feeling like a college student ready to graduate with the massive amounts of school work that I have been consumed by, this lesson was not learned in school. No, my dears, this lesson sprung out of two shortened-scheduled days, with the eternal panacea of food fueling me for hard studies and needed relaxation.
It is necessary, but some try to deny that. It is what nourishes us, but yet is given a bad reputation for those that do not use it quiet as intended. Food is able to ease a broken heart and used as a intermediate to which families and friends gather. Food is necessary, but eating well does not have to be difficult or take lots of time.
If any of you are feeling quiet as bombarded with things to do as I am, I would like to prescribe this to you:
eat what you like, like what you eat.
Simple enough, right? Yes. And even better, this prescription does not require hours slaving over a hot stove; it only requires that you be true to what sounds good.
Pear oats are the ultimate quick breakfast. Pears take almost no time to chop and I can do other things while the oats are cooking. Although I do enjoy chopping lots of fruit for my oats, any extra time to finish work or even indulge in a little extra sleep sounds good to me. I wanted pear oats both days (three days in a row, oh my!), so that is exactly what I had. No shame, my friends. Although I try to change things up, time is time, and yum is yum. (Not to mention my pears were looking a little sad.)
Again, I repeated two days in a row (though swapping different veggies and such). I know, I know, food ruts are not good. When do you think repeating turns into a food rut? Have you ever experienced this? I may not be in a food rut just yet, but do you know what? I don't really care. The simplicity of this meal consisting of home-made black beans and barley was amazing. I simply added a little salsa and chili powder, and I had myself a delicious meal. Yes, I brought the chili powder with me to school because I thought it would be easier. I'm cool :P.
Sometimes I wonder why so many ingredients are required in some recipes when simple combinations such as this one (or my favorite of millet, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and nooch sauce) are comparable, if not better.
Another simple component was veggies (unpictured) and a Orange Cranberry GNU Fiber Bar. I have expressed by love for GNU before, and would like to do so again. Although the banana walnut and oatmeal raisin have proven to be my favorites thus far, the orange cranberry flavor was nothing short of wonderful.
When I attempted to covertly try a piece in my bio class while my teacher was about to come into the class, I was overcome but a poignant aroma. This smell brought me back to my childhood, reminding me of the little suckers I used to love (I liked the smell much better than the taste, actually, which wasn't as nice as the smell led me to believe). I loved the pieces of cranberries that were visible and the "just baked" texture. Again, it was like eating a soft cookie. Oh my, I just imagined what it would be like warmed up. Don't even get me started or I might finish my stash in one night...
GNU, I love you. I would risk my life the wrath of my bio teacher for you. The end.
My lunch has been so satisfying that my pre-yoga snacks have been kept pretty simple. Simple, but just what I wanted, of course. Apples will forever be my loves. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?
Almond butter is love.
Oh, and I'm officially addicted to kale chips. I used to be a kale-steamer all the way, but I've had a change of heart.
Dinner really brought the simplicity lesson home hard.
Last night I had no plans for what I wanted to make until I had an epiphany on my yoga mat. I decided to make an asian-inspired stir-fry cabbage wrap (isn't that a mouthful!). I didn't really have specifics in mind and created as I went along. I simply opened the fridge and went with my instincts. My favorites were naturally included.
- Bok Choy
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Baked Tofu Cubes
- Fresh Minced Garlic
- Fresh Grated Ginger
- "Garlic Ginger Stir-Fry" (a fresh garlic/ginger paste with no added ingredients that my Nan got me)
Broccoli and cauliflower? Check.
Amazing meal? Check. Check. Check.
I loved this so much that I actually used my extra stir-fry to make more cabbage wraps. I cannot even tell you how many I made but I can assure you that I savored every bite. A word to the wise, these are even better warmed up since the cabbage becomes more pliable and you can actually warp it. Yummmmm!
Now here's where the lesson part comes in. Tonight I took an earlier yoga class, so I had time to make any recipe I wanted. After spying this recipe and picking up beautiful baby eggplants from the farmer's market on Saturday, I thought it would be perfect.
[This is Susan's lovely photo, and not my own. Mine simply does not do it justice. This image and the recipe can be found here: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/04/unstuffed-baby-eggplants.html]
Unfortunately, I was wrong. Sure, it was okay, but definitely not what I was hoping for. Honestly, this was pretty much my fault. I should have known that I wouldn't like it because of the ingredients. Ignoring this, I simply couldn't resist Susan V's lovely pictures and my adoration for lentils. For all of you that know Susan's blog, and mostly those that don't, please know that I love her recipes and her blog in general. This recipe should not be downgraded simply because I didn't like it. If it sounds good to you, please don't let my review hold you back. Basically, it just wasn't for me.
But these asparagus and carrots were. Again, this was simplicity at work. I actually enjoyed raw carrots (needed to tide me over for the large amount of time this took to make) and plain, steamed asparagus more than a complicated meal. Go figure.
In conclusion, the meal that took me more than an hour to make was definitely not worth it, whereas the meal that I simply through together left me wanting to add it to my list of meals to make again.
Let me break it down for you: in times when your life gets crazy, you don't always need to turn to unhealthy (or even "healthy") convenience foods (though they're nice sometimes), when simply just asking yourself what sounds good and keeping it simple can taste this good.
I'll have to leave this one up for your imagination. Last night I wanted oats, strawberries, and walnuts (um, where did that come from? I never even knew I liked them...) so that's exactly what I had. Tonight? I'm not sure yet. I can only tell you that it will be something I fancy.
What are your favorite "simple" meals or snacks? Did you ever invent a great combination out of a lack of time? And for those times when you simply just want to indulge, what are your favorite convenience foods?
Happy Humpday, everyone! When life throws you lemons, remember to eat what you like, and like what you eat. I guess this means that if you like lemons, you're in luck ;)!
Have a lovely day!