First week of school and it’s been fun and hectic. My schedule is in a bit of a dilemma and I’m hoping to get that fixed! It’s frustrating to have my classes–or lack of classes–up in the air. I just want a set schedule, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and doing what I can. On the bright side, I’ve been catching up with friends and having fun!
Vanilla cinnamon oatmeal + mango + pomegranate arils + coconut oil + cashew butter
Deliciously creamy yet refreshing. These past couple of days have been absolutely beautiful. I always feel at my best when the sun is shining and I can go out without piling on layers of clothes. I guess it’s soothing to my clutter-free ways.
I also sampled some dark chocolate.
When the generous folks over at Newman’s Own sent me an incredible package, they also included their various chocolates. That day I decided to try their 54% dark chocolate. This was really very yummy. One thing I’ve come to love about dark chocolate is how you can just let it melt in your mouth and savor it. Life is like a box of chocolates–lots of little moments to savor. What chocolates would be in your box?
After breakfast I did all my morning things like taking Matilda out on her walk and organizing some things around my place. Then I got ready to finally go to the new gym on my campus with my friend. I think she described it perfectly, “it’s like a mecca.” Here are some pictures I took from their site.
Part of the pool area! They also have a hot tub, lap, and vortex pool
The second level has an indoor track field and even more equipment + racquetball courts
There’s also an indoor turf for soccer and other sports, flat screen TVs, different exercise studios, and crazy digital lockers (that you don’t have to pay for woo!). My friend and I went exploring and goofed off a bit on the machines. Then we went into one of the group exercise rooms and stretched. Next time we’re bringing some speakers though so we can dance… until they kick us out.
And get this... in the center of it all is a giant rock climbing wall!
I haven't had chickpeas in awhile!
I cooked these in coconut oil, cinnamon, and garam masala. I also had the rest of my delicious sweet potato mash from “The Conscious Cookbook” (the one made with cashew cream) and boiled rutabaga with cinnamon. I also drizzled the rutabaga and chickpeas with maple syrup.
Let the adventure begin!
Afterwards I met up with my friend and we were on the hunt for a big room I could dance in. I want to find a space bigger than my room and with mirrors. I’m still on the search! But when we went on our search for the room we explored one of the forgotten buildings on my campus. That picture above was the anatomy room.
We also snuck into the old pool which is now shutdown since my school completed the new gym.
After we explored that building we decided to walk down some streets and go into all the places we always passed but never stepped in. It was so much fun! I came home and cracked open “The Conscious Cook”…
Gardein "steak" sandwich with watercress, red pepper, and horseradish mayonnaise
I got to try another Gardein product. Last time I had steak I could count my age without using all of my ten fingers. So I can’t honestly say if it tasted like steak. My roommate and our friend said that it smelled like it! I must say that it was very flavorful and didn’t have the chewy texture I remember steak having–which is better. Not to mention, I don’t think I’ve seen very many “steak” products around. I would recommend it if you’re an omnivore trying to make some vegetarian meals, or if you’re a veg-head that likes fake meat products. As for the recipe itself–wow! This had a kick but it was complimented by the mild sweetness of the red bell pepper, and savory “steak”. I couldn’t find a small loaf of focaccia so I just went to Panera and got a sourdough bread roll and seasoned it accordingly.
Check it out now!
A great breakfast for the first day of a new semester!
My roommate’s boyfriend had a special wine that he let me have the rest of. Why was it special? Well, have any of you tried chocolate red wine? That’s right! Chocolate red wine. I made my usual bowl of oats with cinnamon and coconut oil. Then I topped it with peach slices, the last of Bekah’s scented almonds, and the last of the Chocovine. I admit, I felt slightly tipsy after this breakfast.
Since it was a warm, sunny day I decided to have a refreshing lunch.
I had my spiced chickpeas + more coconut oil + avocado + shallot + romaine + a most delicious homemade honey-lime dressing.
The weather wasn't the only thing out of the ordinary that day...
Recently, I received a sampler package from the people over at Popchips. So what was unusual here? Well, for some reason I felt compelled to try the sea salt & vinegar flavor first. Let me just note that I do not like salt & vinegar chips. I ate my own words with this bag. I actually liked these a lot! There was no overwhelming acidic aftertaste from the vinegar. I also really enjoyed the texture of these babies. They seemed to be a bit thicker than normal potato chips. Crunch crunch crunch. Yum yum yum.
I also had a couple of these amazing raw blonde macaroons.
I kid you not–these are now one of my favorite things. Thanks so much Liz for sending me these! Like I said, girl’s got incredible taste! I’d also like to congratulate her for making it on one of the Top Health Blog lists. You go girl!
I met up with one my bests at the center of campus for some coffee and tea.
I tried something new! A tomatillo.
Tomatillo dressing with fresh cilantro.
I hope this keeps my cilantro green for longer!
My first attempt at making a timbale--not too shabby.
Quinoa, Avocado, and Sweet Potato Timbale With Roasted Tomatillo Dressing
I am really enjoying attempting to make all the recipes from “The Conscious Cook”. I feel like Julie in the movie Julie & Julia! This was also my first time cooking quinoa. This was incredibly delicious and would make for a perfect summer dish. All the various textures and flavors worked so well with each other; the crunch from the tortilla bits, creaminess of the avocado, and the graininess of the quinoa were such a treat to my mouth. The tomatillo dressing added a wonderful zest to it all! Not to mention, I was proud of myself for making something so gourmet looking that tasted as equally delicious… if not more!
I wasn't the only one to enjoy this dish! Too good not to share, I say!
I also made butternut squash "fries" tossed in coconut oil and cinnamon + tamarind-date chutney for dipping.
What a great way to end the first day of the semester. We had a delicious meal that ended with dark chocolate and a refreshing walk with Matilda.
This is really random but I have a question for you all. Well first let me go off on a bit of a tangent. I have no problem expressing myself and showing who I am… except for when it comes to romance. It’s not that I still cover my eyes at the sight of people kissing. No, not like that. But it’s more so something I just struggle with personally. I really want to get over that and I think I have to start putting a conscious effort into taking down that wall. Brick by brick. So I was wondering if any of you have any advice on how to just be comfortable with expressing yourself romantically. Thanks!