Monday, January 2, 2012

Eat, Run, Eat.

I took a brief detour upstate to visit my family before settling back into real life. I arrived at 1:20a on Friday, so I crashed at my sister's pad in Albany. We were STARVING when I woke up, so she suggested heading to Uncommon Grounds on Western Ave. for some caffeine and breakfasty goodness.

If God made a breakfast sandwich, (s)he would make this ham, egg and swiss on a pesto bagel (unless God is Muslim, Jewish or some other belief system that's not down with the pig/ dairy consumption thing, but even then...). This is planted firmly in the top 5 breakfast sandwiches I've ever, ever had.  

 Paired perfectly with my signature drink- iced coffee with soy. 

 You KNOW I'm a sucker for funky abstract shenanigans...

 We returned to Kieren's apt and suited up for some sweat time.  
 You should probably take her seriously... I mean look at that face, and her Sporran-esque purse (KUDOS to anyone who gets this reference...).

My sister just joined a large chain gym that shall not be named but is famous for its super cheap memberships and exclusion of people who work out "too" hard (ahem, cough... cough...) and charges $20 for a guest pass if your friend doesn't have the upgraded membership. UHM- WHAAAA?

Hater, PLEASE. I'll go run on the sidewalk for FREE.  So that's what I did. 3.25 miles in the chilly December air, punctuated by a visit to the Steamer 10 Theatre- I worked there years back and poked my head in to say hi to some old friends!

We headed to my mom's house for a delicious night in!

 Oh yeah- it's veggie time...

Certain individuals in my family who I will not single out on my blog because they'd smack me have an aversion to a significant amount of vegetables and nutrient-packed foods... Much to their chagrin, I've made it my mission in life to force-feed them as many plant-based foods as I can. It's all out of love. 

I was feeling creative, so I improvised a squash soup recipe, mashed together appx 10 Maple-Roasted Brussel Sprout recipes and doctored Kate's recipe for Brown Rice Risotto.

 My mildly reluctant but excessively helpful kitchen slave sous chef.

 Scallions, anyone?

Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1lb brussel sprouts, rinsed and halved 
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (or 2-3 cloves) minced garlic

-Preheat oven to 400 F. 
-Mix last 5 ingredients in a bowl.
-Add brussel sprouts, toss to coat.
-Lay brussel sprouts on a foil-covered cookie sheet or roasting pan.
-Top with left-over mixture.
-Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until brown, sugary edges appear. 

Sweet Potato, Acorn and Buttercup Squash Soup

1 large sweet potato
1 acorn squash (appx 2 lbs)
1 buttercup squash (appx 2 lbs)
16 oz reduced sodium stock (chicken or veggie)
1 c water
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp minced garlic (appx 2-3 cloves)
1/3 c soy milk 

-Rinse, halve and scoop both squash. One at a time, place halves face down in a microwave safe dish with 1/2 inch water, microwave on high for 10 mins. 
-Rinse, peel and cube sweet potato. Place in a large saucepan on medium heat with the stock and water, cover and bring to a boil. 
-After squash has been microwaved, scoop flesh and add to the cooking sweet potatoes.
-Add garlic and cinnamon.
-Let entire mixture cook, covered, until sweet potatoes are soft (appx 20 mins).
-Add soymilk after heat has been turned off- blend in food processor.

I followed the risotto recipe above almost exactly, my only tweaks were halving the regular onion quantity and adding a bunch of scallions (which I sauteed first) and shrimp (at the very end).


This was probably one of my most impressive meals to date. Call me proud.