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a really, really, really good dinner

Don’t forget to enter the chia seed giveaway!!  Am I sounding like a broken record yet?

Last night I was a bit MIA.

Just a little word of advice for anybody who may be silly enough to go down the same path I did: Do not buy a DSLR camera, and then continue loading every giant sized picture you take onto your poor, unsuspecting little macbook.

I’m in the process of moving all of my photos from iPhoto to Flickr.  My computer has become so slow that I can’t bear to work on it anymore.  I spend way more time staring at that evil little spinning pinwheel (mac people you know what I’m sayin’) than I do working!  So, I’ve transferred my working space to the husband’s desktop temporarily, and my computer is being used solely for the purpose of photo transferring.  Unfortunately, at night the husband also has to work, so that leaves me computerless:(  I should be able to have enough photos moved over by the end of today to be able to resume using it.  Fingers crossed.

Last night that meant I spent my time doing non computer things, which was almost kind of nice:)

First order of business was dinner.

I promise I’m not going to start bombarding you all with tofu recipes every day, but after finally conquering my first tofu recipe the other night – I was itching to go at it again!

Orange Sesame Tofu from Eat Drink and Be Vegan

Ingredients
2 tsp arrowroot powder (cornstarch also works)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (I used jarred:)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 pkg extra firm tofu, sliced 1/4 – 1/2 in thick squares
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  • An hour or so before you’re ready to cook, cut tofu in half to make two thin slabs.  Lay it on a cutting board, cover with a towel and place heavy books on top.  This helps soak up the excess moisture.

time to get creative!

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine arrowroot powder with 2 tbsp orange juice and stir until fully dissolved.

  • Into a 9×13 inch baking dish, pour arrowroot and orange juice mixture and then add remaining ingredients except for tofu, green onions and sesame seeds.  Stir to combine.
  • Add tofu and turn to coat both sides.

  • Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour (highly recommended!) or bake it immediately.
  • To bake, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Turn over tofu, gently stir to cover tofu with sauce and bake again, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens and bubbles at the edges (sauce will thicken more as it cools).

  • If you like you’re tofu well done like I do, go ahead and turn on the broiler and broil for another 10 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn!

**I did not marinate mine and I didn’t broil it long enough.  Next time I will definitely marinate it and broil it for another 5-10 minutes.  I like it crispy!

This meal honestly was delicious. The husband had never eaten tofu before and was pretty skeptical, and he loved it!  One of his favorite Asian dishes is sesame chicken, and he claims that this is a very close replacement.  And he is always brutally honest (which I appreciate!).

I also want to say if you are anything like I used to be you may not have a few of these ingredients on hand.  I used to never want to try new healthy recipes such as this because I didn’t have the ingredients, and I either didn’t know where to find them or didn’t want to spend the money.  Most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, but for those that can’t (arrowroot powder, toasted sesame oil etc), take a trip to your nearest health food store.  It may be a tad pricey the first time, but you really use very little of these ingredients for each recipe, so you’ll have them for weeks/months to come.  I felt so much freedom to explore new meals once I just bit the bullet and accumulated some of the ingredients.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for tonight!  Hope you all had a lovely day:)  G’night!

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baby love

Look who made her debut today!


This is little miss Sophie, Jon’s boss’ new baby girl.  She arrived late last night, so we stopped by to see her this morning.  We don’t mess around when it comes to babies.


Isn’t she beautiful?

You know what else is beautiful this morning?  The weather!!

I’ve been pining away for cool fall mornings.  Isn’t fall such a wonderful season?  This morning we headed out for a run, and my first step out the front door took my breath away!  I didn’t check the temperature, but it had to have been in the upper sixties.  My fingers actually got a bit achy cold during our run.

I soaked it up.

For our training run this morning, we ran 400 meters (.25 miles) four times (with a quick walk break in between) at the pace we would run a 5k.  We normally run a 5k at about a nine and a half minute mile, but it was hard to keep that slow of a pace when only running 400 meters at a time.  So, we ended up averaging about an 8:30 pace on each one.

We’re incorporating this type of run each week in an effort to improve our half marathon time.  We ran our first half marathon in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 20 seconds.  I was actually pretty proud of that, considering it was our first one.  And considering Jon and I aren’t the speediest runners around, it will be a challenge for us to improve upon that. But we love a good challenge:)

Before we hit up the hospital this morning, we ran by Panera because the husband has been itching for a breakfast bagel sandwich.  It’s a special treat for us to go grab breakfast or coffee together in the morning…and it totally makes my whole morning.

I went all out and got an iced half caf americano:)

Once I got home, I made up a quick Ezekiel english muffin with a smear of natural peanut butter and sliced banana.  It paired perfectly with my iced coffee.

A cool, breezy morning + breakfast out with the husband + sweet baby time = the best morning ever.  The rest of this day has a lot to live up to!

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can’t help but love her

This girl has been very naughty today.

Doesn’t she look evil?

I had an Outbox conference call today, and she waited until 2 minutes into the call to decide that she absolutely could not wait another second to go outside and relieve herself.  So, I’m sitting at my desk with the call on speaker phone, trying to learn a new program that we’ll be offering to clients.  She comes prancing in, collar jingling at what seems an unnaturally loud decibel, and jumps up, putting her little paws on my leg.

Anytime she does this, she gets this very knowing look in her eyes that says “take me out NOW, or else!”

Sometimes I forget who’s the adult and who’s the dog.

Seeing as how there is no way for me to let her out right away, I reach down to pick her up (and make her stop staring at me) at which point she scoots back really fast, slipping on the wood floor and landing on her face.  She immediately regains her footing and in is instantly back on my leg, staring me down.  This routine ensues for another several minutes with me throwing her silent threats by motioning with my hands to say “no more treats!” and “I’ll spank you!”  To no avail.

All I can say is good thing it wasn’t a video conference call.

Anyway, we’ve since made up…but next time there’s a conference call on the docket, somebody’s going to her kennel!

You know I can’t help but still love her:)

Today was a stretch and strengthen day per our training schedule – a perfect opportunity for PiYo!  The Tuesday class at our gym is really challenging.  The type of challenging where you’re swearing half way through that you’ll never go back.  And yet you do…because you love the way it makes your muscles sore, but so strong.

I threw down a handful of grapes on the way out the door.

Apparently I should have thrown down a lot more because half way through the class my energy hit rock bottom and my body was begging for fuel.  Oops.

By the time I got home, my body knew exactly what it wanted.  I really didn’t have a say in the matter.

For the perfect egg sandwich – mix up one free range organic egg + one egg white, sea salt and black pepper, pour it into a small microwavable bowl and cook it for 2 minutes.  Don’t forget to spray the bowl first!  Not that I would know any other way;)

I sandwiched it between a toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel muffin – the perfect little sandwich in under 5 minutes flat!

Side note: I wouldn’t actually suggest using the cinnamon raisin muffin variety for this sandwich.  My heart said yes, but my tastebuds said no.

Lunch today was simple as I was trying to get ready for my conference call and didn’t have much time!

Amy’s low sodium Lentil Vegetable soup

I also had a few tortilla chips with salsa and more grapes on the side.

I’m currently drying some tears – the result of a really emotional thank you/explanation email to one of my principals from last year.  You know, sometimes I still miss my teaching job so much it hurts.  So thankful to God that I know it was the right decision.  Time to pull myself together, though, because I’ve got one precious little hour left in which to finish off my list of to do’s!

Don’t forget to enter the chia giveaway.  These chias need a loving home!

Oh, and if you missed my PiYo guest post at the lovely A Side of Sneakers yesterday, go check it out!

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lentil tacos + a guest post

Best.

Afternoon.

Snack.

Ever.

I found a coupon for a free 16 ounce Oikos greek yogurt in my HLS swag bag (love that swag bag:), so I had no choice but to pick it up at the store yesterday.  Wait, did you catch that?  FREE.

So today I decided an extravagant yogurt mess sounded like a pretty decent plan.  I also used my coupon for a free box of Uncle Sam’s cereal at the store yesterday, so why not throw some of that in?  There were also dried cranberries, sliced bananas, vegan dark chocolate chips, cinnamon and chia seeds!

Speaking of chia seeds, did you enter my chia seed giveaway earlier today? I am loving hearing about everyone’s adventurous side – keep ‘em coming!

In other news, please take a minute to click over to Heather’s blog and check out my guest post on PiYo!  Heather and I met at HLS, and her blog is as adorable as she is.  She’s one of those people who has a smile that literally lights up the entire room, and I was so excited when she asked me to share more about PiYo with her readers.  I hope you’ll take a second and stop by there!

I spent the afternoon working on a special project in our office.  It’s not quite ready to reveal yet, but it won’t be long!

I worked up quite an appetite, though, and by dinnertime I knew exactly what was on the menu.  I had boiled a huge batch of dry lentils last week and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them.  It was kind of fun to switch it up from our usual enchiladas!

Spicy Lentil Tacos

Ingredients

  • whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 small can diced green chilies

Toppings

Directions

  • sautee olive oil, garlic and onion in a skillet over medium heat until onions become transparent
  • add lentils and mix well
  • season with ground red pepper and cumin
  • add green chilies and heat through
  • heat tortilla for 10 seconds in microwave
  • spread lettuce in middle of tortilla
  • add lentil mixture
  • top with green onions, tomato, salsa and guacamole

I’m off to bed soon!  I’ve been feeling really tired the last few days, so I really need to try and get some extra sleep this week.

I hope you all had an excellent Monday:) G’night!

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giveaway time! spreading the chia love <3

Jon and I woke up bright and early this morning and headed out for a three mile run.  It actually wasn’t too terribly humid and hot, and therefore was almost enjoyable.  I said almost ;)

Soon after we got back, I was starving for breakfast and was wasting time on twitter while trying to decide what to have when Evan tweeted an idea for the Vega Shake and Go Smoothie mix from the HLS swag bag.  It sounded too good to pass up, so I went for it!

It may not look too appetizing, but don’t knock it ’till you try it.

First, I mashed a whole banana until it was fairly smooth. I then mixed in two heaping spoonfuls of Vega powder, 1/3 cup of raw oats and a splash of almond milk.  It turned out like a thick chocolate pudding!  My only complaint is that it was a tiny bit grainy from the powder.  Next time I think I’ll go a little easier on the powder, but otherwise it was awesome!  And full of protein!

The Vega mix is completely plant based and is corn, dairy, gluten, soy, wheat and yeast free. Per serving it has:

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 2500 mg Omega-3-6-9
  • 11 g complete protein
  • Only 100 calories
  • 1 billion probiotics cultures

Pretty cool, right? I have yet to find a protein powder that I like, but I’m a fan of this.

This morning I had my first meeting with a new student that I’m going to be tutoring!  She’s from Korea, and I’ll be tutoring her 3 days a week now.  I’m pretty excited about it – something inside me just lights up when I work with international students. :)

After my meeting I had lunch with my friend Grace at Panera.  I ordered a version of my favorite – Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, Garden Vegetable soup and a whole grain baguette.

And an Adora disc for dessert.  Not sure what I’m gonna do when these run out – I’ve gotten kind of attached:)

Okay, now onto the good stuff.  Sorry to leave you hangin’.

How about some chia seeds from ChiaSeedsDirect.com to make it up to you?

I don’t like to bombard you guys with giveaways, but I honestly just cannot pass up an opportunity to spread the chia love:)

The lovely folks at ChiaSeedsDirect have been gracious enough to offer a free 2lb. bag of chia seeds to one fabulous ChiaSeedMe reader.

There are five different ways you can enter (1 entry for each one you do):

  • leave a comment on this post telling me the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done OR something adventurous you want to do in the future
  • add ChiaSeedMe to your blogroll and tell me you did or if it already is tell me that
  • follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme) and tweet about the giveaway using the following:    @chiaseedme enter to win free chia seeds!!  http://chiaseedme.com/?p=2235
  • decide on one random act of kindness you will do sometime this week and tell me what it is (and you have to do it – honors system!)
  • mention the giveaway in a blog post and link to it in the comments

Please make sure and tell me which of the five you did in the comments.

The giveaway will run until Sunday, August 29th at midnight.

If you’ve never used chia seeds before and need some ideas – click here for tons of ways that I love to use them.  Also, make sure and check out my post on why chia seeds are so awesome.

If you haven’t checked out ChiaSeedsDirect yet, you should!  They are an awesome company that offers the highest quality chia seeds at very low prices with free shipping on all U.S. orders.  You can’t beat that!  Also, if you are interested, feel free to download a free 16-page booklet on chia seeds, chia seed uses and chia seed recipes by using the following link: http://www.chiaseedsdirect.com/frreonchsehe.html.

**giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Sorry!

See you all later!

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