Feast Before the Storm

Tonight, I feasted.

Caesar salad.

Marinated chicken breast and sun-dried tomato chicken sausage from TJ’s (my lover).

Fresh farmers market corn-on-the-cob (yup, I added some real buttah).

My parents also had some of this pretty caprese salad that my dad prepped:

Unfortunately, I’m the chump who never acquired a taste for raw tomatoes so I didn’t eat any.  (shame me if you must)

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HEADLINE!! We’re sorry to interrupt this blog post, but we’ve just received an email notifying us of Megan’s impending 5th year college reunion and she’s having a small embolism.  How did FIVE years go by already?  Jeepers!  Ok, Megan, breaaathe…

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.

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The reason for this large (and delicious) meal is that I ate with my parents tonight and we prefer to either go big or go home.  Especially since the weather was gorgeous and the grill was hot.

Plus, I’m going on a trip tomorrow morning!  I’m flying out to Seattle at the butt crack of dawn for the wedding of two of my friends (ok, the boyfriend’s friends- but they’re my friends now, too! 🙂 ).  I always like to have a good meal in my estomac before I leave on a trip- call it tradition, call it superstitious, call it “Megan’s always hungry”.

I also like to plan out some sustenance for the trip (especially since this one’s a doozy with a layover in…PHOENIX!?*&%!).  Here’s what I packed:

A couple of Z bars, as per usual.

Raw, unsalted almonds for protein.

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**Braisified Tip**

Don’t pack overly salty snacks/meals when you travel.  The excess sodium causes bloat, which will make you très uncomfortable.  Plus, all the salt will make you thirsty and if you drink too much you’ll annoy your seat partners with your constant bathroom trips.  I’ve been on both ends of that situation, folks.  Never fun.

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Des bluets.

And some blackberries.

Should be a good trip. 🙂

I’m not bringing my computer with me on the trip so I probably won’t post again until I get back (although I’ll try to if I can!), but I’ll definitely be tweeting! Are you following me yet??  Just do it!  It’ll feel good, I promise.

Oh, and guess what came in the mail today!!

My lentils from USA Dry Peas, Lentils & Chickpeas! I can’t wait to get cooking!

Have a good weekend everyone!  🙂

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Thai Time for Some Groceries

After the craziness that was yesterday (and the day before, and the day before that) I realized this afternoon that I needed to make my (thrice-weekly) trip to Trader Joe’s for some food or I’d be faced with tortilla chips and peanut butter with a side of soy sauce for dinner.

Ok, maybe that’s slightly melodramatic.

But still- I needed food.

Recently I feel like Mr. Dyson has been taking his wind tunnel vacuum to my wallet, so my goal was to spend under $40 on groceries.  Trader Joe’s is a very reasonably priced grocery store, but I tend to get carried away there so I have to concentrate and keep my eyes on the ($40) prize.

Here’s my loot:

Fruits:  Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, a plum and a peach.  (I guess I was feeling the need to feed myself with red fruit exclusively.)

Veggies:  an onion, broccoli, romaine (in the bag- hard to see) and an eggplant.

Proteins:  organic free range chicken breasts, all-natural chicken sausages and tofu.

Miscellaneous: 4 Clif Z bars, Greek yogurt, milk (unpictured) and Thai Red Curry Sauce.

Thai Red Curry Sauce?  What’s your plan for that, Megan??

Just you wait, it’s gonna get good…

And the grand total:  $40 and change!  Not bad, huh?  I’ll say this much- the chicken was a little over $7.  I’m not a promoter of a vegetarian lifestyle per se, but eating meat is definitely pricey!  Especially if you want to get quality meat.  Sigh…

The bottom line is that it’s totally do-able to eat healthfully and wholesomely without breaking the bank.  🙂

On to dinner:

I decided to grill up a bunch of veggies and tofu and make a stir fry with the curry sauce.  I threw slices of eggplant, a red bell pepper (that I already had in my fridge), and some onion on the grill over a medium flame.  While they started, I sliced up the tofu that I had pressed for about 20 minutes.

That’s some strong tofu!

I seasoned it with some salt, pepper, tumeric and soy sauce and threw it on the grill.

Once everything was cooked, I took it off the grill and let it cool enough to chop it up into bite-sized pieces.  Meanwhile, I boiled a small serving of rice noodles.  Once the noodles were soft and the veggies were chopped, I threw everything into a pot and added some of the curry sauce and mixed.

Oh, man.  It was awesome.  The veggies had a TON of flavor from being grilled and I highly recommend the sauce.  I served my noodleness with some roasted broccoli.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s, for being my friend. 🙂

Holy Street Fest, Batman

One reason why I love Chicago is that this city throws some rockin’ street festivals.

One of my personal favorites is Old St. Pats (yes, it’s a church.  Those Catholics suuuure know how to throw a party!)  Over the years, I’ve seen Pat Monahan  (from Train), The Barenaked Ladies and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.  Am I the only one that has sweet, sweet memories of their hit “Bittersweet”??

AAAAAHHHH!!!! Chicago is on fire….AGAIN!!!  Stupid cow!!

I keed, I keed…that was just a really weird/scary/beautiful cloud formation.  🙂

There were lots of great bands and people watching, and of course- some rockin’ porta-potties.  My favorite!!

There weren’t many healthy food options (I’ll be straight with you- I wasn’t really looking all that hard for healthy options.  The pizza was calling my name!  Can you hear it?  “Megaaan, I’m deeeelicious…” How could I resist?)

And when you start your Saturday off with some of this, how can you go wrong?

Ridiculous French toast.  It was inappropriately good.

Unfortunately, the weekend had to come to an end.

All together now:  sigghhhh.

I started my week off on a good foot- I went for a 3.5 mile run along the lake front.  Reason #852 why I love my new apartment:  I’m only about .5 mile from the lake and the awesome lakefront running/biking path. It was a tough run because I was feeling kind of tired, but I got ‘er done.

My (unpictured) breakfast was a 0% plain Greek yogurt and some watermelon chunks.

Mid-morning snack:

For some reason I am incapable of photographing my Ezekial bread before I start eating it.  Every. time.  What is that all about??  I can’t control myself, I tell you!!

I had a light lunch of salad and some shrimp cocktail.  (Compliments of Costco.  I heart you, Costco.)

I was hungry again 2 hours later, naturally.  I am like an infant that needs a feeding every few hours or else I kick and scream and cry.  It’s really awkward at the office.

Appropriately, I ate a Clif Z Bar.  They are intended for children. 🙂

Not my favorite flavor of all time, but pretty good!

I came home from a busy day at work with a hankerin’ for some good old fashioned home cooked food!

I made vegetable pad thai.  I didn’t use a recipe but here’s what I did:

  • Julienne vegetables of your choice.  I used about 1/4 of a huge red bell pepper, 1 big carrot, about 1/4 of an onion, some scallions.  I also minced a honkin’ clove of garlic.  I also threw in a handful of edamame for protein (and deliciousness).
  • Boil water and add a serving of rice noodles.  Salt the water and cook until they are soft (about 5 minutes).  Drain.
  • Make a quick sauce of equal parts (just a tablespoon or two) soy sauce, fish sauce and light colored vinegar.  Add as much chili paste as you can stand (I like it spicy!).
  • Put a little vegetable oil (or another oil with a high smoke point) in a pan and heat on high.  Add the vegetables and sautée for a minute or two.  Add the sauce and noodles and stir fry until combined.  Ta da!!

This is what I came up with:

It was all kinds of good.  I made a salad to go with it:

Mmmmm, I’m a good cook!!  Right, Mom?? 😉

What’s your favorite thing going on in your city this summer?