Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cookies, and dragon fruit, and blood oranges, oh my!

So it's been a pretty good week. I've subbed 3 out of the 4 days. Here's hoping I get a job for tomorrow! Today, my breakfast consisted of a homemade maple scone, 2 clementines, and a dragon fruit-flavor light yogurt. The local Genuardi's grocery store has some interesting yogurt flavors in their store brand. Yesterday, I had an apple-goji flavor, and it was really good! Today's wasn't as good, but still tasty. I still have 2 interesting flavors left, I'm excited to try them.

And I had 2 servings of fruit for lunch! Strawberries and a blood orange. Nicole got me hooked on them! I hadn't been able to find them, but on a trip to another grocery store, I found them in a 4-pack for $2--not too bad! Apparently, the red coloring is due to anthocyanins, which reduce free radicals, like cancer-causing cells, in your body. Plus, they taste a bit different than a regular orange, a bit of a berry flavor. I only have one left, so it's time to get some more!

Last night, I made shortbread choc. chip cookies. I decided trying to replace half of the reg. flour with brown rice flour. The cookies ended up tasting very good, but the consistency was more crumbly than usual. I think I'll try subsituting oat flour next time I bake something.

That's it for now!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


As I mentioned Monday a fellow graduate student in my lab defended her thesis, which meant my boss bought the bubbly and left his tab open at the university bar. Apart from the champagne I also had a glass of wine and nibbled on some pretzels and chips. A few hours later I was definitely feeling it since I didn't have anything on my stomach and pretty much destroyed a box of granola once I went home. Shortly later I fell asleep. Oh well, we all occasionally have nights like that right?

For lunch yesterday I tried something new, I mixed berry applesauce with plain greek yogurt and granola, and it was a winner!

I also had an orange and later snacked on a quaker true delight granola bar. This one was not a winner, it tasted super artificial which makes sense looking at the mile long ingredient list. I'll eat my remaining bar but definitely will not be buying these in the future:

Dinner, however, was also a keeper! Super yummy and terribly quick :)

I didn't want to let the wine in the fridge go to waste so I decided to make some kind of sauce. I also bought shrimp this week at Trader Joe's. While I still eat seafood I rarely buy it myself, but I had a strange craving while shopping this week and so I went ahead and made the purchase. In the end I made shrimp in a garlic wine sauce with mushrooms and spinach for some veggie action.

I began by heating about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and threw in some minced garlic as well as a few large pieces (2 cloves total) which I removed after a minute or so, just to let the garlic infuse the oil.

I then added the shrimp and a sliced portobello mushroom and allowed them to cook for 2 minutes. Next went in 1/2 cup of white wine and I continued to cook for another 2 minutes:

I threw in a large handful of spinach for another 2 minutes, or until it was wilted, and added a dash of pepper.

Meanwhile in the microwave I made a quick polenta by combining 1/4 cup cornmeal with 1/2 cup of water (can also use broth, or 1/4 cup broth/water and 1/4 cup milk), a small pad of butter and heated on high for about 2 minutes. May cook longer depending on your desired consistency.

I topped the final dish with some fresh parmesan cheese:

So good! Okay, off for another full day. Can't believe it's already Wednesday!!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So here's my take on kombucha. After reading about some good reviews of kombucha, I decided to try it. It's a fermented, fizzy, tea-like drink made with bacteria. The first time I tried it was several months ago. I had GT's raw kombucha drink, the multi-green variety. I tried it, and likened it to bitter tasting beer without the alcohol. Not very pleasant, but the bottle says it has many health benefits, like improving digestion or immunity.

But recently, I found an article on msnbc that explains there have been no tests to prove the benefits of drinking kombucha. Also it says it can make people sick with weak immune systems or if you drink it too often.

I decided to try it again, this time going with a different brand and a different flavor. It was High Country's organic live kombucha in goji berry flavor. Unfortunately, the taste was about the same as the first one. I strained to try to find the berry flavor, but didn't find any. And at over $3 a bottle, I don't think I'll be buying any more kombucha.

Once the painters are done painting our kitchen, I think I'll bake something!


Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm all smiles

This weekend clearly was not long enough for me, I can't get into a work rhythm today. I blame part of that on my lab-mate defending her thesis today, so I can't start anything because it'll be interrupted my her defense and following celebration ;-). But seriously, once I hit publish it's to work, I have a to do list a mile long!

Since the Morning Benders concert last week I've been in such a good mood! The amazing weather on Saturday, afternoon at MOMA seeing the Marina Abramovic's exhibit, and laying out in Central Park reminded me what I love about NYC.

To top the weekend off my roommate, a few school mates and I made some gourmet mac and cheese, our attempt to imitate S'mac, a macaroni and cheese specialty restaurant in NYC. I'm thankful that I ran my 10 miles that morning (I'm training for a half marathon) because I didn't feel quite as bad about overindulging. We ended up making 4 different versions and I had a taste of everything and then went back for a few more bites of each, but everything was incredible!

There was a spinach and artichoke dip inspired mac 'n' cheese with white wine, fontina and parm cheeses (I made this one):

And white wine left for sipping :)

A fig and brie mac 'n' cheese, this one was on the sweeter side, a dessert mac 'n' cheese if you will (sorry for dark photo):

And one made with spicy jack cheese, and wheat crackers for a topping:

Taking mac 'n' cheese on the liberal side, we also had a veggie loaded sauce with tortellini, I ended up using the sauce but mixed it with the spinach and artichoke dip version:

My bowl of everything else all mixed together:

Surprisingly I wasn't stuffed after sampling everything, so I guess I didn't indulge too badly after all?

Time to grind!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hello Soundztastee Fans!

I'm the new blogger Nicole told you about! Since I LOVE food and music, she has asked me to become a regular blogger for soundztastee. So let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm Sarah, and I've known Nicole since high school. I live in a suburb of Philly. I'm an avid foodie. I love Food Network, food magazines, cookbooks, you name it. While I don't eat super-healthy foods all the time, I have been making a conscious effort to do so more often. Specifically, taking out processed foods and eating more natural, homemade foods. If I want cookies, I'll make them instead of buying them at the store. I have also started experimenting with different ingredients and healthier alternatives.
For example, I recently bought an organic dog cookbook.

It uses mainly organic brown rice and oat flours in its recipes along with other organic ingredients. Last week, I made the "New York-style pretzels."

Both of my dogs seemed to like them very much!

On the music front, I like pretty standard stuff, but I have made an effort lately to listen to alternative and have found some great artists. The two I want to talk about today are both female artists. While I find I listen to mainly male bands/musicians, these 2 girls have caught my attention and are pretty fantastic.

Have you heard of Lenka? She is from Australia and she's great. Her song "The Show" is catchy and a fun song-along song that I've listened to so many times. Watch the music video here.

Marie Digby, a singer from the US, had her claim to fame by covering Rhianna's song, "Umbrella." I first heard it on Pandora and thought it was better than the original. What do you think? Hear the cover here.

I haven't figured out how to put the videos directly on the site yet, sorry! That's it for now! I have a lot of other ideas for this blog. I think my next post will be about kombucha. ~Sarah

Friday, April 23, 2010

Morning Benders

This week I went to see the Morning Benders at the Mercury Lounge. I've been waiting for the concert forever, mostly because we had to buy the tickets back in January I think? It's kinda ridiculous how early you have to buy tickets and plan out your life lately in New York. I mean they've been selling tickets for September concerts for the last two months!

Off that soapbox- I love this band! I first heard them open for the Kooks during the summer of '08, saw them again last year at Mercury Lounge. This year they performed predominantly from their new album "Big Echo" which was recorded in San Francisco and mixed in Brooklyn by Grizzly Bear, you can definitely hear their influence in a majority of the tracks.

The band has certainly matured since I saw them first, both physically (they don't look like little boys any more) and stylistically. Singer/guitarist Chris Chu also seems much more comfortable on stage and even song to the groupies, barley wearing clothing in the front. It's amazing what a year can do! Last year the crowd at the Mercury Lounge basically cleared out after a few openers leaving a half empty venue. This year the place was sold out, additional shows were added throughout New York-all of which are sold out!

I hope to see more of the band this summer as they have made NYC their home for the present.


What's up?

What is going on with me lately? 2 months ago-the flu, 1 month ago-a cold, yesterday-head to toe hives after running 3.5 miles or so?

Yesterday was crazy! I wish I had a picture of myself (actually I'm probably glad I don't) but I mean even my tongue got a bit swollen. So glad I was not running by myself and was with a friend who gladly opened the Benadryl and water when my hands were too swollen to do so. Thankfully I also brought $10 dollars with me on the run to by the Benadryl, unfortunately that was not enough to also take a cab home, so we had to walk about 30 blocks. In the end, after a shower and sitting still for 45 minutes all was clear. Well my hands weren't quite right until this morning. Anyhow, definitely need to figure out what the trigger food was so I can avoid eating it 24 hours prior to a run.

Today I plan to spin and run 3-4 miles, but at the gym, so hopefully no crazy reaction. I have another long run scheduled for Sunday, so I hope all works out.

As far as the food goes-wanted to show you my snack drawer at work. This week I haven't needed it quite so much because I've dug into the cake baked earlier in the week by my roommate and lemon bars by moi, a bit too much. While I know I indulged my sweet tooth entirely too much this week, the extra fat in my system kept my hunger away for hours.

Normally around 3 or so I dig into the drawer for a cup of herbal tea, hot chocolate, a granola bar and/or a piece of fruit that I bring in daily.

What do you do to ward off afternoon hunger?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Last week's muffins worked well as breakfast/snack before the gym so I decided to bake another batch for the coming week.

This go around I went with Blueberry corn muffins, not as healthy as last week's bulgur wheat muffins (which called for bulgur and whole wheat flour, as well as minimal sugar and fat) but it is a healthier blueberry muffin since I opted for a corn muffin which allowed me to cutdown on the all purpose flour. Usually I would also switch the all purpose for whole wheat, but I'm out :(

The recipe:

1 1/4 cup all purpose or pastry whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda

Mix the above and the below in separate bowls then combine.

1 cup milk (I used almond)
1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick)
1 egg beaten

Once everything is mixed add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. Spoon in lined or greased muffin tins and bake at 375* for 20 minutes.

Off for a run.

Oh and look for a new blogger joining Soundztastee!


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Did anyone see Ke$ha on SNL last night? I think my mouth was open in shock the entire time! She's a wannabe Lady Gaga for sure, and trying way too hard. She couldn't sing and her costumes were a hot mess.

Let's look at some prettier things, like this yummy green monster I had with my lunch today!

It consisted of about 1/2 a frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 packet of vanilla rice protein powder and 2 handfuls of spinach. I think this was the best green monster I have yet to make!

I was originally planning on pairing this with 2 thin slices of bread spread with laugh cow cheese but I was really hungry and decided to make a black bean veggie burger.

It might not look so pretty but was incredible! I smashed about 1/3 cup of black beans with some red onion, grated carrot (1/8 cup?), and a dash of pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flake. Oh and I threw some salsa into the mix.

For my sweet treat I had 3 cookies, though I considered having a bit of the cake my roommate made last night (seen in the background). In the end cookies won because I am a cookie monster!

Hope Ke$ha does not leave you with nightmares!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Playing it by ear

I had some crazy yet realistic dreams this morning that led to me getting up and out of bed slightly before 7am. The weather forecast had called for rain all day today, but there was nothing but cloudy skies when I glanced out the window. I decided to eat breakfast, let it settle and decide if I wanted to do my long run today or tomorrow.

For breakfast I was craving something savory so I scrambled an egg, heated up Morning Star sauage links (love these things) and spread some laughing cow on 2 thin slices of whole wheat bread. On the side I had a tangelo.

After a little reading and sipping on tea I decided that I would do my long run tomorrow since I had also made plans for a short run with a friend and the skies looked questionable. At the same time I wasn't sure if the friend still wanted to run so I pulled on my workout clothes and hit the gym for the S.T.A.R class which is basically 30 minutes of spin, 20 minutes or strength training with weights, and 10 minutes of stretching. I also ended up running 3 miles.

It's nearly 1 and the friend has a blister and can't run and it's yet to rain, oh well, at least I had a good morning workout. Fingers crossed it doesn't end up raining tomorrow.

After the gym I stopped in the grocery store for tomato sauce, but because I was hungry I ended up grabbing a lot more, all healthy though and everything on sale so it only came to $28!!

Ok, need to shower, and then we will see where the days goes!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Rollin' along

I love posting everyday, it's like my down time to reflect upon the day. Today's eats were pretty amazing. Yesterday wasn't my favorite day, but am thankful that I cooked up some yummy treats. That way I at least began today on the right foot.

Breakfast was Bulgur Wheat Muffins with Crasins:

And lunch was definitely the best of the week! I made these awesome sweet potato croquettes with black beans and salsa. Next time I think I will let them cook a bit longer and add more beans, but basically I boiled and smashed 1 small sweet potato...

...and 1/3 cup of black beans along with some salsa.

Rolled into balls....

Coated with bread crumbs and baked at 350* for 30 minutes.

For lunch I added these with bulgur wheat (had left overs from making the muffins) and roasted brussels sprouts and asparagus, yummy!

Happy Friday!