Monday, I was still in a bit of a sun and sand induced haze. I woke up desperately wishing to be back at the beach with nothing to do but pack a cooler and grab a book.
Today however, I was somewhat back to normal. I woke up to semi-sunny Pittsburgh skies and a full fridge, stocked with TJ’s goodies. I could not decide what I wanted for breakfast, so I had a little bit of everything.
I made up a small bowl of Peanut Butter Puffins topped with skim organic milk and half a banana. I also toasted half a piece of Ezekiel bread and spread it with almond butter and pomegranate jam.
After getting to work, my head started pounding. Rar! I have had an off and on headache for the last week or so. It seems when I do get a headache, it likes to hang around for a few days. I don’t get it. I popped two ibuprofen and clicked away on my computer.
Soon enough, it was lunchtime. I was quite busy today so I did not make it outside to dine. Instead I had a quick lunch in our communal lunchroom. I had a small TJ’s whole wheat pita with hummus, greens, and goat cheese. I had some baked tortilla chips and salsa on the side. I love that TJ’s carries a five inch, whole wheat, hundred calorie pita. Many times, pitas are huge and carry extra calories that you may not be aware of! I have also seen the mini pitas, but it seems you would need more than one of those to keep you full. The TJ’s size is just right and doesn’t require extra effort (cutting a big pita in half) in the morning.
As the afternoon carried on at work, I had a serving of ‘Bananas-Flattened’ from TJ’s. I also had about a half serving of TJ’s chocolate covered raisins. I think these things are in their fourth appearance on Total Tuesdays! This is proof to The Boy that I actually can ration out my chocolate and not eat it all at one sitting 🙂
At about 4:30, I started to get hungry. I really try to listen to my body and eat when I am hungry. Sometimes this is hard b/c I *think* I always need a mid-morning snack, lunch around 12:30PM, and mid-afternoon snack. However, this may not always be true. For example, I did not eat a mid-morning snack today b/c I wasn’t actually hungry for it. However, I knew I needed something around 4:30PM. I dug into my stash and came up with a Clif Peanut Toffee Buzz bar. I liked this flavor and how it had some ribbons of toffee running through it.
I finally got home from work around 7PM. The Clif bar hadn’t held me over particularly well, so I had handful of Puffins and half a banana with almond butter before I headed off to the gym. I just wanted to get something into my body before my 3.0 mile run. As I dressed and had my snack, I also cooked up some rice for the dinner I had planned for later.
Confession: I am still treadmilling it. I NEED to get on the pavement soon, especially with this 5K coming up. I am going to try and talk The Boy into an outdoor run Saturday morning.
After the gym, I dashed to the grocery store to grab some last minute ingredients for a salad I have been wanting to try.
You can find the original recipe here. I have also included it below, with my modifications. This is like a deconstructed California roll (avocado, cuke, carrot, sushi rice).
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (I used 1 cup brown jasmine rice)
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons rice vinegar* (not seasoned) (I used 1/4 cup plus 1 T to account for the smaller amount of rice)
- 1/4 cup sugar (I used slightly less)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used 1 tsp)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably unhulled*)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used 1 T)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger* (did not use)
- 4 scallions, cut lengthwise into thin 1-inch strips (about 3/4 cup) (I used 1 scallion – 4 seemed like too much)
- 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
- 1 large seedless cucumber (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise, cored, and
- 2 sheets nori (paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed)* (did not use)
- 1 avocado (preferably California) (I used 1/4 an avocado for my individual serving)
- 1/4 pound surimi (mock crab legs) if desired, sliced thin (did not use)
For dressing (I did not make the dressing)
- 2 teaspoons wasabi (Japanese green horseradish) powder*
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons ginger juice (squeezed from freshly grated gingerroot)
- *available at Asian markets, natural foods stores, and some supermarkets
Into a large saucepan of salted boiling water stir rice and boil 10 minutes. Drain rice in a colander and rinse. Set colander over a kettle of boiling water (rice should not touch water) and steam rice, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, 10 to 15 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).
While rice is steaming, in a small saucepan bring 1/4 cup vinegar to a boil with sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and remove from heat. In a dry small skillet toast sesame seeds over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant and transfer to a small bowl.
Transfer rice to a large bowl and stir in vinegar mixture. Cool rice and stir in sesame seeds, remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar, oil, ginger, scallions, carrot, and cucumber. Salad may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before proceeding.
Dry-roast nori, 1 sheet at a time, directly above moderate heat (gas or electric burner), holding it at opposite corners and moving it back and forth, until it turns bright green, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With scissors cut nori into thin 2-inch-long strips.
Peel and pit avocado. Quarter avocado and cut crosswise into thin slices. Add avocado to salad with surmimi if using and two thirds of nori strips and toss well.
In a small bowl stir wasabi powder into hot water and stir in cold water, soy sauce, and ginger juice.
Serve salad sprinkled with remaining nori strips and drizzled with dressing.
Notes: I cooked the rice according to package direction and did not use the steaming method mentioned in the recipe. A review of the recipe warned of possibly catching the kitchen towel on fire while attempting the steaming method. I certainly don’t need that! Also, I obviously skipped the steps involving the ingredients I omitted, including the dressing (see changes to ingredient list above). Remember to add avocado only prior to serving. It will brown and become unsightly if you add it and let the salad sit.
The verdict is still out on this one. First, I believe I put too much rice vinegar in for the amount of rice I cooked. I know my ratios were a bit off from reducing the amount of rice I used and the vinegar taste was off-putting. After I picked through a small serving of the “salad”, I actually cooked up another quarter cup of rice and added it to the remainder of the sushi rice and veggies. Hopefully that will make the leftovers more edible. I think this could have actually been pretty tasty had I more drastically cut the amount of vinegar used. I actually would consider making this again – however, I would be super wary of the rice vinegar.
I really didn’t end up eating much of this. I was somewhat disappointed and still hungry, so I had about a half cup of vanilla soy ice cream with berries and shredded coconut. Still not satisfied, I then had a serving of ‘Bananas – Flattened’ (dried strips of banana) from TJ’s with some almond butter. Not exactly the best meal, but these things happen when one experiments.
By the time all the post-sushi salad eating was over, it was already going on 10PM. How did that happen? I made a quick phone calls to my mom (who is still at the beach – lucky!) and The Boy (back in Detroit) and hit the sack.
Hope you had a great Tuesday!