Monday, February 6, 2012

Case of the Mondays

The weekend was nice and relaxing but as always it ended too quickly and Monday came around too soon.  I always get sad when Monday rolls around. It’s the day I dislike the most. In fact, I think when it comes to Mondays, Garfield sums up my feelings about it the best.

But I’ll try not to dwell on that as I look back on my lovely weekend. On Saturday morning, I went to the gym where I ran 3 miles and then went to my kickboxing class. Afterwards, I met up with my friend and ate some good ol’ New York style pizza for the first time at Ray’s Pizza located in UCI marketplace. Since we got there pretty early, they only had pepperoni and cheese pizza, which was kind of a bummer because I wanted to try their veggie pizza. So, I settled on their cheese pizza with a side of salad. I’ve never had New York style pizza before and I have to say that it was pretty darn tasty. The crust was thin, the sauce (although canned) was sweet and tangy, and there was just enough cheese. Sometimes I find pizza to be a bit overwhelming when the crust is too thick and there is so much cheese that it becomes a meal by itself. However, the amount of each ingredient on this pizza was perfect. There wasn’t too much of anything which really allowed me to taste and enjoy each ingredient. The salad was pre-packaged but I ordered it because I find that eating veggies before my main meal helps me digest my food. I left out the dressing of course. It’s not worth the extra calories and I actually prefer my salads plain. Sometimes I feel like dressings are too vinegar-y and take away from the natural taste of the salad.

On Sunday morning, as I was working out at the gym, I was wondering what to make for my lunch and dinner. Even though the weather was perfectly warm, I was in the mood for some soup and stew. I immediately thought of curry stew for lunch and butternut squash soup for dinner.  
Whenever I make curry, I usually add chicken or some kind of meat. However, we didn’t have any meat in the fridge and I didn’t feel like going to the market just for some meat. But we did have extra firm tofu, so I decided on vegetarian tofu curry. When I got home from the gym, I chopped up some sweet potato (I didn’t have any potatoes in the house), carrots, onions, and tofu. I pulled out my dutch oven, poured some extra virgin olive oil, and threw in all the ingredients. After the ingredients had simmered for a few minutes, I added a scoop of curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a cup of milk, and some salt and pepper. I let everything marinate for awhile and stirred it every now and then. After 30 minutes or so, I decided it was done. The veggies were soft enough and I was ravenous after a 2 hour workout.

And how was this vegetarian tofu curry? It was really really good. I think next time I’ll use coconut milk but other than that I loved this dish. It will definitely be added to my rotation of regular dishes to make.

For dinner, I kept it low maintenance by heating up Trader Joe’s Low Sodium Butternut Squash soup. I love their box soups because they are oh so tasty. However, the one thing I have learned is to be careful when shaking the box before pouring the soup. I don’t know if I didn’t close the lid properly or if the lid is poorly made but when I shook the box I was greeted with a butternut squash shower. There was squash soup all over the counter, the floor, the stove, and in my hair. It wasn’t pretty. But the soup was really yummy, so it was worth the slight delay and cleanup.

Also, over the weekend, I stopped by Farmers Market at UCI Marketplace and picked this baby up. I have never tried pomegranate apple jam and was intrigued. So, this morning, I whipped up some apples ‘n cinnamon oatmeal and topped it off with a dollop of the pom apple jam, Wild Squirrel’s PB, and granola. It was good but a bit too sweet. I think next time I will try the one without sugar.

OH! And I went to Barnes and Noble over the weekend and bought this book. I have no idea what it’s about but I read chocolate and that was more than enough reason to buy it. I can’t wait to read it =)

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