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Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin’

Herro.

Ay, it’s THAT time of year again. You know the one I mean – where everybody under the sun starts to make new year’s resolutions. I doubt I’ll surprise you all by saying mine aren’t the usual go on the cabbage soup diet/do some big cleanse of real food/join a gym&go every day for 2hours/find world peace. Ooooh Noooo!

Although it’d be nice to find world peace, it’s not on my To-Do list for 2011. Maybe 2012? We’ll see how it goes. But yeah, my 2011 resolution-type-things:

1) Learn how to use my camera properly! Gah, I sooo want to be able to take proper fancy photos, and I am sitting on the equipment; I just haven’t learnt how to use it to my advantage yet :/ See, ze preblemo iz – Ah ‘aaate learneen zee technishizzle! ISO, shutter speeds, P, A, etc etc. It’s so darn confuzzling! I tend to just stick to my pre-programmed automatic settings – But this year, this year it ALL changes. I will learn how to take good photos!!! First step – buy a cheapo second hand camera-workings-for-fools book πŸ˜€

2) Graduate. Just one…more…6monthperiod…to..get…through…then I’m DONE! I can go from being a jobless, penniless student, to being a jobless, penniless bum. It’ll be great! At least for the 5days or so I have to spare, then I’ll be off to summer camp to work, but whateverz.

3) Cook properly more. I cook and stuff – but I’m very rarely imaginative, or use recipes, or venture out of my comfort zones. 2011 will be the year where it all changes! I want to make use of all my tons and tons of recipe books and bookmarked tabs and wonderful blogs, and go mad. My kitchen won’t know what hit it πŸ˜€

4) Watch Grey’s Anatomy Season 5. That’s a deep resolution isn’t it?? Well not really – I love GA, I just have yet to get round to watching that season, which is dumb, cos a) I love it, b) I miss it and c) I said so.

Oh gosh – only 4 down, and I’m stuck! I’d love to write goals like run another half marathon in xyz time, but I can’t commit to one – I’ll be flying off to the States in June, and from March onwards, I know I won’t want any extra stressors (exams do enough for the both of us…if that makes sense :/). So that really only gives me 3months to train and run one from now…and I’m not sure (right now) how much I want to do one. Ha. This time next week I’ll probz be blogging about having entered one – bah!

(2days later)

I have some more!

5) Be more patient. I’ve seen this on a number of blogs, and I really think I need to jump on the bandwagon. i have a tendency to lose my temper, snap at people, and get irritated by the smallest things. Maybe 2011 is the year to say ‘deep breath, count to 10……..’ and deal!

6) Run a fast(er) 5k. Now, I’m not really setting an official time, like sub10minutes or whatever, cos I don’t want the pressure. BUT I do want to do a fast one! I’ve never done one sub-25minutes, so I’m guessing under that as a 1st goal, and then we’ll see πŸ˜›

7) Find a new hobby. You know I was reading a Jodie Picoult book today, and it was banging on about an American Indian bloke and his heritage. It sounded very, very fascinating…all their little tales and stories that explain their world – i liked it! Maybe learning more about that?

At the moment, that’s where I’m at – but no doubt I’ll come up with more soon enough πŸ˜€

—-

In the spirit of ‘that time of year again’-ness, I was gonna do a big ol’ recap of the year post. However, I’m crap at organisation on this blog. I spent about an hour late one evening going through my posts this year, got to February, realised I’d a) spent AGES doing it, and was only 1/6th of the way through, b) had linked to about 20 different pages already and c) … there is no c). It just sounds better πŸ™‚ SO – I don’t have a summary! But briefly, the highlights:

– I did 3 half marathons (go to my running page for links)

– I survived my 2nd year uni exams (a miracle in itself, especially the week that went like this – Mon: exam. Tues: exam. Weds: exam. Thurs: Turn 20. Fri: exam. Yeah.)

– I flew to Chicago and attended the Healthy Living Summit, resulting in the best weekend of my entire life

– I flew to Washington DC and ran my first marathon

– and plenty of other stuff πŸ˜€

Short and sweet πŸ™‚

——

Now back to the regular bloggy bloggerness!

Good food?

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Tempeh.

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Yay!

I can’t remember what it was marinated in, but I know it involved balsamic vinegar and Italian-y herbs, and I know it was darn awesome πŸ˜€

Other good food? A meal out at a brand spanking new Vegetarian restaurant just a 20minute car ride away:

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That would be grilled fig, with hallou…cheese and leaves (I shared with my mum – I didn’t have the chez)

For main –

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Parsnip, chestnut and cranberry terrine!!! OOOHHH my days. With parsnip crisps on top! And a whole parsnip! To. Die. For.

Slightly less fancy – but equally delicious – regular eats:

Pumpkin oats (steel cut baby!):

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Bathed in extra soya milk πŸ˜€

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Trader Joe’s peanut flour steel cut oats:

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Vegetable stew (quite possibly my favourite eat…):

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And this rather peculiar bar, that I picked up at the airport in Washington:

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It was….odd. 9g of protein (win), but somewhat synthetic tasting, despite having an ok-looking ingredients list. The jury is out on these bars :/ *strokes beard*

Now for my PLEA!

Look what happened today:

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Yes – that’s an EMPTY Trader Joe’s peanut flour bag!! Why do I care so much?

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Hello, a heck of a lot of vegan protein that isn’t soy and tastes like peanut butter πŸ˜€ Need I say more?

I knew this day was coming, and I’d been dreading it. Thankfully, Freya-shopping-in-Washington-in-October also knew this would happen, and bought two bags to be prepared, so I still have one :p But still – my plea is to American readers who live within shooting distance of a Trader Joe’s that sells peanut flour (I’m specific) – How about a foodie swap!? You give me peanut flour, I give you whatever you want πŸ˜€ (but within reason please – I’m not giving you the Queen, or gold leaf encrusted truffles)

How about it!!??

My email address IS on the About page, or you can leave me a comment. I am BEGGING someone out there to help me!!

And that is all.

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…lots of FIGHT. Not the naughty, duff-you-in-the-face kind, but the ‘damn you Swine Flu, I will fight you off’ kind!! Remember in my last post, I showed you all a simply wunderbar picture of my fittie mamma going off to a party? Well, some *lovely* person who went to the same party had Swine Flu – and has promptly given it to my mum. Thanks for that. As I type this, she’s laid up in bed, with a temperature, a bowl, lots of sniffing and lots of drugs (the good kind, not the nasty kind). Poor lady! The implications of her illness?

  • I miss her! I love having my mum home, but it sucks that she’s upset and sick, and I can’t do squat about it (bar feed her a Green Monster, as I did today – i figure spinach, milk, chia seeds, and maca powder can only do good!). I feel helpless though! I can’t make her better 😦
  • She can’t pick my sister up from the airport on Christmas Eve (Hannah’s been away on her gap year, and returns 5am on Friday. Apparently. If Heathrow can pull its act together. Seriously, 5 inches of snow and it shuts down??? Bah.)
  • We will have to postpone Christmas – Christmas without my mum bouncing about would be the crappest thing ever – she’s the life and soul, y’all!
  • She sure doesn’t deserve to be ill. No-one does I know – but especially not my mum; she’s the most wonderful woman in the world and IT’s. NOT. FAIR.

Talking of illness – I was ill on Saturday! I woke up feeling like junk, achey body, shivery, a football in my throat etc etc – and thought I had flu. But, food fights flu! So I opened up a packet of chocolate Amazing Grass (I got a sample online):

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Chugged it down with soya milk/water, and voila! Come Sunday, I felt 10 x better! I still have a cough and a slight wheeze atm, but it sure ain’t bad, and I’ve still had 3 fabby runs (7miles, 6miles, 6miles) since Sunday, so all is well.

Anywayz! Onwardz and upwardz yeahh???

—-

BAKE – The blorld (blog + world) has gone cookie mad :s seriously! Every post I read, someone has eaten their weight in cookies, is on a sugar high, in a sugar coma, has gone to a cookie party, given birth to a cookie baby…is this some weird American trend?! I’m proud to say I’ve rejected the frenzied trend, and made just one batch of cookies – pumpkin oatmeal:

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They might look like ordinary cookies, but BY GOSH, these boys (from the Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook) were OUT OF THIS WORLD. No lie!! I actually made them as a Christmas present for my mum’s work, but we snagged one before they left, and hoooooly cow. I plan on making another batch for whenever we next have Christmas πŸ™‚

Whilst we’re on the subject of things that have been baked/Christmas, I have a quick review for all my lovely Brit readers! The kind folk at Sainsbury’s contacted me with an offer of a selection of their Free From range of Christmas items:

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Dairy free, wheat free, gluten free

Sadly, the items were not vegan – BUT, when I told my mum and stepdad about this offer, they jumped at the chance to review! The other night, they broke into the iced Christmas cake slices –

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(I seriously need to work out how to change the ISO on my camera….a New Year’s resolution for sure. My only excuse for the dark photo, apart from my inability to use my camera to my advantage, is the crap night lighting)

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– and were very impressed πŸ™‚ Words like ‘moist…full of flavour…delicious…soft icing…lots of marzipan…juicy…’ floated about. Even my step dad liked them, which in itself is a HUGE deal – he won’t eat things that are ‘too vegan’ and prefers to live off frozen peas and mac and cheese. But I sure do think I saw a wee smile creep across his lil face when he ate a slice :p HIGHLY recommended.

More reviews to come!

——

Right – next up, BLEND!

Item One:

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That would be a pumpkin pie blended cereal mess thing. I forget exactly what went in it now, but I know it involved cereal, soya milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, maple syrup (maybe?), vanilla, and banana. I also know it was one of the most incredible things I have eeeeever eaten. i know I say that a lot, but I mean it this time!

Next up – Item Two:

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Ah yes. I was making my usual blended mess – cereal etc etc. Whilst I was digging about for frozen bananas in the freezers, I came across a packet of cranberries, frozen from last year. DING DING DING! I added in a laaaarge handful, accompanied by a tsp of agave (they were fresh, not dried, hence sourness – though I happily eat them fresh anyway :D).

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Wowzer! Beeeeeautiful colour, incred taste!! Not sour at all, just…cranberry-y. It was lovely! If I’ve taught you nothing else in this post, take this on board – add. cranberries.

OH! And those grapes, they’re frozen! And holy cow, frozen grapes are da BOMB!

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I froze them aggggges ago, forgot about them, remembered (thanks, Jamie Oliver Christmas tv show), and now I’ve bought a whole new pack of grapes which are sitting in the freezer, ready to munch at my leisure. Bliss.

They made an appearance on my chocolate coffee Epic Green Monster this morning too (along with 75p-per-pack cherries!)

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Boo yah.

Talking of…er…food – yesterday, I did the epic Christmas food shop. I figured I needed super good fuel for it, which led to my eating THE best bowl of oats EVER. A bowl to end all bowls. It was….well, I almost cried at how good it was.

The Bowl of Oats to Trump All Bowls of Oats:

  • 50g oats
  • 2 tsp carob powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. soya milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • roasted and mashed onion squash
  • extra milk on top

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Oh. My. It was soooo chocoaltey, so creamy, so comforting, so DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to make it again πŸ™‚

Another thing I want to make again – aubergine sauce! T’other day, I roasted up some aubergine, then blended it with salt, mixed spice, water and nooch, and created this:

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Looks gross, but it was incred stirred into kamut spaghetti:

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Hurrrrraaaahhhh!!! I rejoiced, it was lovely! Silky smooth, with a spicy cheesy flavour. YUMMEH.

Other meals worthy of the YUMMEH tag? Sweet potato, roasted with maple, cinnamon, salt, apple and walnuts:

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Totally where it’s at. As was this broccoli/millet/wild/brown rice combo:

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Yum!

Now, I have a slight complaint. I would give the following a big old thumbs up too, but – I just can’t. For part of lunch today, I had a wholemeal English muffin, topped with a squeezy pack of Justin’s chocolate almond butter:

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My complaint? To get the thickness I wanted, the squeezy pack was only enough for ONE half of a hardly-large English muffin! Booooo.

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Not cool. At least the taste was right up my street (it tasted like a nuttier, thicker version of Nutella, which is odd considering Nutella is made from hazelnuts. But whatevrz.).

Aaaaaaaaaaanywayz, I have some missions to do now:

1) wrap presents

2) watch the end of Lucky Number Slevin (Josh Hartnett, if you’re reading – marry me?)

3) Make pancakes

4) read my newspaper

See yaz!

Question: Have you gone on the cookie-craze this holiday?

Any tips for getting over flu real quick?

(Oh – and MERRY CHRISTMAS if I don’t have time to blog before the big day! Eat, drink and be mERRY!)

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Yawwwww, you guys are the bestest!! Thank you all SO much for every single comment left on my last post. Seriously! I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to them all, but I did (and always do) read every single one. It was really interesting to read everyones’ opinions on the matter, and it has helped me make a decision – I’ll post about it another day though, cos I want to show y’all some tasty food eats from the past few days πŸ˜€

I really love just posting pictures of my food – it is SO useful to look back on when I’m having inner turmoil and confusion over what to eat for dinner or lunch or breakfast :p There’s still a definite theme going on though….

oats [in a jar x 2, + multiple times randomly for dinner. I don’t do oats for breakfast anymore, it’s ALL about the dinner]:

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Oats (Irish steel cut, cooked with salt and Nooch) with pumpkin chickpeas, and roast puff parsnips:

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Snow! Snow! Snow! In the background! Crikey, it was like, -a billion degrees today. SO COLD.

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Served with a side of soy sauce stir fried cabbage and brussels, sprinkled with Nooch:

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Bro, yo, it was sik.

Green Monsters that are super duper thick:

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With or without the green πŸ™‚

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That grape-one one was made with cereal, soya milk, banana, pumpkin, (ohemgee my favourite J.Lo/ LL Cool J song just came on the radio!! Ha), cinnamon, vanilla and it was freakin GROOVY.

I’ve also been making lots of roast veggies, OBVS:

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The day I do a food post without roasted veg featuring is the day that Brad and Jen get back together/Arnold circa 1990 comes and marries me.

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Check out this Brussels sprout:

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That’s a whole one! How adorable!! I just couldn’t resist taking a picture, which I now realise probs make me a liiiiittle bit of a loser…but oh well.

The other day though, wowzer, I did this really cool mix – roast aubergine (roasted til it turns to that gross mushy goo), scraped out of the skin [note: I did still eat the skin; I LOVE roast aubergine skin!!]

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Then mashed with maple syrup, cinnamon and PUMPKIN, then spread on a toasted English muffin:

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Ohhhhh yeah. That’s where it’s at my lovestuds!!

Talking of amazingly delicious foods – try coating roast veg in a mix of sweetener (honey, agave, maple, whatever you like), with dried thyme, a tsp+ of wholegrain mustard, and a tiny tiny tiny bit of stock, like so:

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Then bake it all in the oven – I normally do 10mins in the super hot bit of the aga, then another 10 in the slightly-less-hot bit of the aga (I realise that is SUPER unhelpful). It gives the veg a lovely puffy sweet inside, with a slightly crispy inside, epsec parsnips. Best thing ever!

In other tasty news – I broke out the soya mince t’other lunchtime. I know it’s pretty naughty stuff, but once in a blue moon, I like it πŸ™‚ To jazz it up, I fried a mini onion with a tomato and balsamic and dried thyme, with a splash of stock, then mixed it all with the soya mince. Served on a slice of toast (which went mushy, and I loooooved the mushy toast the moast <-see what I did? A typo that I decided to keep πŸ˜›)

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It was rather yummy, and verrrry comforting for a hungry cold ladyface πŸ™‚

More tasty news – I mastered the art of a delicious pumpkin cappuccino:

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1/2 cup soya milk, 1/2 c. hot water, 1 tsp coffee, a tiny tiny tiny BABY size pinch of sugar, a shake of cinnamon, approx. 2tbsp pumpkin, blend blend blend.

Thick, creamy and deeeeeelicious!

OH! More news – I joined a running club!! I went to my first run Tuesday last, and although it took them HALF AN HOUR to get started (I got v cold, it was pitch black and 7pm) it was good πŸ™‚ No-one my age…I ran with a middle aged woman (x3) and a retired GP – but still fun! When I got home, I made the tastiest chickpea red lentil pumpkin curry:

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So warming after such a cold evening πŸ™‚ (YES Matt (above) won X Factor!!!! I voted abooout 13 times. It makes up for the fact that Rhydian didn’t win, nor Olly, in previous years)

But here’s the biggest news – ever since I saw my step brother eat a bowl of milk, with floaty bits of cereal, when I was about 8years old, I have hated cereal and milk. The idea, the look, the smell, the texture: it made me gag. A few months ago though, after realising that I LIKED soy milk as is, I tried a splash of it on my cereal. It was ok….since That Day, I have repeated the process. Today, I went one step further – I had a proper bowl of cereal, with a sliced banana, cinnamon, and a full up 1/2 cup soya milk!!!

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Oh. My. Days. It was actually tasty! I LIKED the taste. The cereal went soggy, and I LIKED it. It was AMAZING. A momentous day, a day I will think back on with fond memories. And you know what? This happened:

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And it was the BEST BIT! I’m a changed woman! What’s become of me!!??

Tell me – do you like soggy cereal? (I do) Mushy food? (I do)

Are you a member of any clubs?

———-

Totally random – but my mum went to her work Christmas do today – look how lovely she looked!!

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Isn’t she beautiful!? I hope I look that good when I turn 26 πŸ™‚

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Hello hello hello!

Is it possible to overdose on oatmeal? Cos I think i have:

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You wouldn’t believe how long I’d been waiting to use that jar!! It was quite possibly, the best meal ever. And enjoyed whilst watching X Factor (Saturday night, breakfast for dinner = perfection).

The very next night, I had oats again – 1/2 c. oats, salt, cinnamon, 1/4c. peanut flour (16g protein, wam bam!), 1 banana. BLISS! In fact, it was so good, I had the exact same mix on Monday night too:

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Yez, that’s a Starbucks coffee holder.

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My aunt asked my mum to let out her dogs whilst she was away on a business trip, but my poor old mama didn’t get back from work til 7. 1/2hr drive to my aunts + dog walk + 1/2hr drive back meant it’d be a very late dins…so I packed it up πŸ˜€ genius right!?

Funnily enough, my mum got home early, and I actually didn’t break into my oats til we got home..so bowl it was:

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Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t til the last mouthful when I realised what was wrong – NO PEANUT BUTTER! Oats without nut butter is a sin, A SIN!! Needless to say, I sorted it out pronto πŸ™‚

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Much better. [Note: I may have had oatmeal the next night too :p]

What else has happened….oooh! After a week of snow and absolutely ZERO running, by Saturday it had thawed enough for me to venture out – 7 blissful miles later, I was cold and had wet feet, but was very happy πŸ™‚ On Sunday, I did NINE miles! My longest run since the marathon a month ago, and let me tell you – it felt GREAT. I wanted to go further, but I ran out of fuel. Originally I hadn’t thought I’d go that far, so all I had before I left was an apple. Needless to say, by the end of 9miles, I was flagging somewhat, which was a shame 😦 I can’t wait to get my mileage up again though – all this talk of marathon training and recaps floating about the blog world is inspiring me πŸ˜›

Talking of…er…talking….anyone noticed the pumpkin trend seems to be on its’ way out? Boooo to that! Especially since I ate the most yummiest pumpkin dish EVEr t’other night!

I used Mama Pea’s pumpkin tofu curry as a base, but made a few alterations and totally altered the technique…and now it’s been about 5 days since I had it and I can’t for the life of me remember what I did different!! D’oh. Anywhoooo, look:

Tofu:

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Millet + durum wheat pumpkin curry mix:

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Added together:

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= pure yum!

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I was very proud of my inspired-and-altered creation. I just wish I could remember what I’d done!!?? Meh.

Just randomly – tofu and pear goes well together πŸ™‚

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You heard it here first!

You also got reminded of peanut butter and nooch covered parsnip fries here first:

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Oh yeaaaah. Best thing ever! Served alongside a roasted veggie sandwich, and toast+yogurt:

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I’ve been maaajjorly craving dry, burnt toast recently. Weird right? Does anyone else like dry toast, or am I alone!!??

Other talks of the town recently (besides oatmeal and pumpkin :p) have been SNOW! England came to a standstill last week with all the crazy ice and minus-temperatures. – so much so, my exam got cancelled! It’s now rescheduled for tomorrow 😦 But anyway – [post] snow pics!

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So creepy and foggy…this was about 3pm!
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Bored yet? I don’t care, there’s more :p
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herro Chika!!
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Spot the dog!
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The end πŸ™‚ Of the photos and of the post – I have a heck of a lot of work to get through 😦

Buuuut I do have a topic I really really want to blog about in my next post! It’s quite..important? to me – a big thing! But until then, I’ll leave you with some proof of my sheer stupidity – About a 1/2hr ago, I smashed an ENTIRE jar of runny honey, all over the floor. I then proceeded to slam my knife down on the counter, which bounced and smashed the sugar jar too. Wahey.

Have you ever done anything like that?

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YO!

My New York based tall blonde American friend Gabriela tagged me in that quiz that’s been going round – so here goes!

1. What is your biggest fear? (It can be silly or real) Dying alone, fire, drowning, my horse/mum/sister getting hurt or injured, spiders, the end of my garden when it’s dark.

2. If you were onstage at a karaoke bar, what would you sing and why? Oh heck…probably that song that Bridget Jones sings [really badly] in the film, so I could re-live the moment :p

3. Do you write in print or cursive? In all honesty, I don’t know what that means :p is it like, do I write in capitals!? If that’s the question, then no.

4. Have you ever been fired from a job? Nope πŸ™‚

5. If you could go to the Olympics for any sport, which would you choose? Dressage, or gymnastics, cos it would AWESOME to be that bendy!

6. How many cell phones have you owned? Hmm…my first one, a tiny Nokia, a pink flip phone, another phone, my current phone. You count.

7. What’s your sign (wink wink)? Gemini πŸ™‚ And if you’re Chinese, I’m also a dragon! Or a horse…I can’t remember which….

I now tag the first seven commenters to answer the same questions πŸ™‚

————

Bah, I have TWO recipes today! TWO! TWO!
But I’ll get to them later.
Firstly, I want to make y’all go to this link, cos it’s funny πŸ™‚ and it reminded me of a) being boyfriend-less (running is better than a bf – read the link and the world’ll make sense :)) and then it made me remember b) why I should be GLAD I am lonely and single – I can cook whatever I like, I can turn the light on in my room when i get up early, as opposed to worrying I’ll wake up Mr Boyfriend with the light, I can choose to travel round the world [if the desire strikes…], I can see chick flicks in the cinema without moaning, I can use my passenger seat in my car to seat my bag (aka junk and rubbish) instead of a lump of human. And above all – I can have a Huskey dog named Princess PuffleBomp*, and no-one will complain πŸ™‚
*it goes well with my alter ego, don’t you think? ‘Princes Freya the Third, PhD’ <- as I’m known by Amazon :D)

How about you? Are you a single lady, or did someone put a ring on it?

Moving on – Recipe time!

Chocolate lentil and chickpea stew:

Chocolatey, nutritious, and ever-so comforting πŸ™‚ (makes one serving, although the more veg you add, the bigger the meal…)

– 100g cooked chickpeas (I got mine from a can)
– 25g uncooked red lentils
– approx. 1tbsp cocoa powder
– 1/3 ish of a stock cube
– 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– approx. 1tbsp tomato puree
– 1 tsp maple syrup (or agave, or whatever)
– 1-2tsps dried thyme or mixed herbs (I can’t actually remember what I used…!!)
– 1-2 tsps molasses (optional)
– veg! As much or as little as you want. I used a mix of butternut squash, carrot, parsnip, leek and broccoli, all cut into small-ish, even sized chunks.
Also, do note that I don’t measure spice/flavouring ingredients, I just wing it, so measurement are approximate πŸ™‚

1) Chop all the veggies:

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Ugly parsnip optional:

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And gather stuff together:

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2) Throw everything into a saucepan:

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3) Put it on a medium-high heat (I used the ‘less hot’ of the 2 Aga hot plates), mix it all around and cook it for a few mins, stirring lots and lots so it doesn’t catch.

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When it’s all fragrant (it should be fragrant – alternatively, just give it a few mins then move on :p), add in enough water to aaaaalmost cover, but not quite:

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4) Put a lid on it (maybe leave a little crack open for steam escape purposes), have it on a medium ish heat (you want it simmering) and let it do its’ thaaaang for about 40mins, or until the lentils are cooked and the veg is very soft, almost mushy! Keep stirring it during that time every now and then, so everything gets cooked evenly, and if it runs out of water, add more. After all, a little too much water is better, because you can always put it onto a high heat and steam the water away.

5) Serve!

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Yes, it is an ugly dish, and probably not something you’d want to cook for a crowd to impress them with your incredible culinary skills – purely cos they’ll think you just sicked up on a plate and called it dinner. BUT, it IS delicious! So much so, I made it the next day too πŸ™‚

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I used aubergine and brussels sprouts instead of leek and carrot and broccoli, which was fine – but I did forget the garlic, and it wasn’t quite as nice without it. Remember those cloves, folks!

Recipe Two time πŸ™‚

Spicy Pumpkin, Red Lentil and Chickpea Smush:

Is it a soup? Is it mush? I’m not sure. It’s yum though! I wanted something lentil-y for lunch, and I also had *40g* of chickpeas from my can left over (from yesterday), so I made this πŸ™‚

– 50g red lentils
– 40g cooked chickpeas (ie the rest of the can, if you made the previous recipe twice :p)
– 1/3 ish crumbled stock cube
– a large 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
– 1/2tsp – 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ish garam masala
– 1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
– 100g canned pumpkin (English people – go to WAITROSE for your pumpkin!)
– approx. 1 tsp molasses

1) gather:

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2) Fry the chickpeas and garlic in spray oil/oil for a few mins on a medium heat:

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3) Then add the lentils and spices, and fry til fragrant. Then, add in the stock cube, dissolved in hot water. I don’t know how much water you add, but it needs to be enough for the lentils to cook in. They should cook for about 20-25mins or so, and the mix will look something like this:

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4) Get yo’ pumpkin and molasses:

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And stir them in:

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Heat it up again, and serve it in a big old mug, a la me πŸ™‚

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I actually can’t believe how delicious that was!! Spicy, comforting, full of flavour – absolutely perfect for the minus–degree day! I was a sad, sad woman when I finished it 😦

———

I’ve been on a cooking kick actually πŸ™‚ Tonight I made a majorly modified version of Mama Pea’s pumpkin tofu curry, which I’ll show y’all next time πŸ™‚ I’ve also been making a ton of frothy cappuccinos, using good ol’ Vincent the Vita Mix! With this fabby coffee:

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Er, yum.

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They are incred πŸ˜€ who needs Starbucks right?
I also made THE most delicious pancakes the other night! i mean, really:

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Heaven!
And to go with lunch today, I had soya yogurt with mushy pear (a baby ripe pear, cooked with vanilla essence, maple syrup and water, til it went soft and caramel like):

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As well as ketchup roasted veg:

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BUT the biggest event the past few days has been the SNOW! And lots of it!!

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Ok, so fair play – if you live in the Arctic, or Canada, this is nothing. But to England it’s a Big Deal πŸ˜› Heck, Chika’s whiskers were frozen the other morning!!

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Hannah – no more complaining! That’s TIG rolling in the snow!
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Snow pony!
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Snow mummy!

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Snow land πŸ™‚

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Below – standing – full weight – ON the water bucket, showing how thick the ice was!

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Horse people – have you ever tried that trick of putting a ball or something floaty in water, to stop it freezing? Does it work?
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Deep!
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And to round off this epically long post – here are the usual cat pics πŸ™‚ Until next time!

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Bless πŸ™‚


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In just a matter of hours, I can scream:

Pinch, Punch, First of the Month!

So, sooo rarely do I ever remember to say that on the actual first, so let’s just say I’m excited πŸ™‚ In fact, I’m excited about December in general!

– Christmas. The little kid in me just LOVES everything to do with Christmas! Presents (receiving AND giving <- more so the latter, as I get older, uglier and wiser :p), time off from uni (it’s still so manic), time spent with my beautiful Chika, and with my beautiful boys:

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Sick of cat photos yet!?

– Hannah’s birthday! Yep, my sister is turning 22years old on Dec 16th…sadly, she won’t be home, as she’s still on her gap year. BUT she does arrive home at stupid o’clock on Christmas Eve morning! I’m secretly quite excited about that…though I know it’ll wear off soon enough :p

– cooking! I cannot WAIT to have more time to cook and be creative and generally have more fun with my food πŸ™‚ I feel like my meals have been somewhat repetitive recently – and very, very babylike*

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Yeah, no sooner do I say that Im sick of green monsters, do I start having them again :p

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*ie, mush!

i did make an aaaamzaing tomato and lentil soup t’other day though:

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It’ll be going on the Christmas day lunchtime menu πŸ˜€

Other note-worthy eats? Hmm…butter beans cooked with vanilla and soya milk and maple syrup and cinnamon and thyme:

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Attractive? No. Delicious? Yes.

Pumpkin cappuccino!!

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Coffee, milk, pumpkin,mixed spice – bing bam bang bong!

Carob pancakes πŸ˜€

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With a peanut butter sauce…holy yum.
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Chocolate peanut butter on a wholemeal English muffin:

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New Cif bar flavour pre-run the other day:

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Hmm…The jury is out – I’m not sure about this flavour. It was OK…but it sure wasn’t brilliant 😦

– Playing in the SNOW!

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We’ve had so much of it here!!

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It was so heavy today that I didn’t have to make the 1hour drive into uni πŸ˜€ bliss!

Just 3 more weeks or so, then I’ll be off for almost a month…so. excited.

Question: What are you getting excited about? Asides from the obvious (Christmas!) of course πŸ˜›

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Sometimes…

….all you want is a big plate of veggies!

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More than once too:

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Below would be shredded brussels sprouts stir fried with hoi sin, garlic, soy sauce and roasted parsnip:

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Quite possibly one of the best plates ever.

Plates of veggies can be in blended form too – pear, leek, garlic, maple syrup, celeriac, parsnip + mixed spice:

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All cooked of course πŸ™‚ [sometimes these good combos get repeated…three times!)

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Sometimes, I get bored of Green Monsters for breakfast (actually, that is happening A LOT – I can’t remember the last time I had one!), so I venture out….

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I saw an idea on Gena’s blog, so I ran with it πŸ™‚ This morning’s mix was simply pumpkin, water, salt, agar powder (yeah, that did NOTHING. Fail.), mixed spice and cinnamon and molasses, heated up on the stove and topped with 1 tsp maple syrup:

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Oohh my! Served with a side of puff πŸ™‚

Sometimes, it’s good to just honour what your body craves. Even if it is a plate of roast veg at 5pm. And even if it does ruin your appetite for dinner! But it’s all about balance – I know that if my ‘lunch’ ends up being only a small English muffin at 2pm and some veg at 5pm, because that’s all I’ve had time for, that’s ok – cos I can make up for it with different meals later on! A whole cup of oats for dinner, cooked with roasted and mashed squash, for example…or one too many cappuccinos whilst running errands in town πŸ˜›

Balance, and listening to what my body really wants, is something I’ve struggled with post-marathon. During marathon training, it was all eat eat eat, to fuel for the marathon. But when I got home afterwards, I felt lost! No more marathon to fuel for…and it’s been..4 or 5 yrs? since I’ve had to eat ‘normally’ (no starving, no gaining, no marathon-eating – just maintaining), and let me tell you – it’s been tough! Am I eating too much? Too little? I’m still running about 20miles a week, and doing workout DVDs, but knowing how much to eat….WHAT a kerfuffle.

My running times have been ACE – my pace is back to about 8.25 min/mile!!!! – which suggests that I’m eating right. BUT I think I’m eating far, far less than I used to! It’s somewhat confusing. Somewhat being an understatement…I feel like I’m running through a wood blind! Plus, I seem to have NO appetite at the moment – I’m so extrrrrremely stressed at uni, and busy, and food feels like an inconvenience atm! I just never, ever want to eat, which makes it 10x harder to listen to my body and eat naturally. Hurrumph.

Do any of you lose your appetite when your stressed? What do you do? Do you think it’s better to just eat when/if you get hungry, or do you think it’s better to make yourself eat at set times/meals? Advice appreciated!

Random other happenings – we totally lost ALL our electricity the other day!! Some cable blew underground, so on pretty much the coldest night this year, I was lying in bed, shivering and cold- I even had to resort to a massive hoodie to keep warm! Drastic measures for someone who normally wakes up too hot πŸ˜› The next morning wasn’t fun either – it was still pitch black at 6am, and all I had was my phone light and a candle* to get dressed, do my hair, do my make-up, and get out the door! Gah. Anyway, we now have a generator (a massive ugly thing that sounds like a tractor is sitting in our drive) to give us power til the problem is fixed…..it better not break. There is SNOW on the ground right now!

HOW we lived without electricity is beyond me……

*Don’t leave candles alone – they drip wax EVERYWHERE:

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————————-

I’ve been on cat-kick πŸ™‚ Carter and Kovac looked SO adorable the other day, I couldn’t resist taking a ton more photos!! Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Old man face!!
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Carter?
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Or paw?

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i swear I should re-name this blog CrazyCatLadyRuns,,,,

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πŸ™‚

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