Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday Funk

Despite the sunny weather yesterday, I couldn't shake my grumpy mood.  I wasn't terrible to be around per se, but just not exactly happy.  Maybe it was more like a funk.  I didn't workout which may have contributed to the moodiness, but I did soak up quite a bit of Vitamin D hoping to alleviate whatever was ailing me.
After all that talk about snacking on the blog the other day, and then packing and preparing a healthy snack to start my new plan...I didn't even need one on Thursday.  I was at work, watching the kids play in the lake (similar position to the photo above) and 3:00pm came and went, and then 4:00 came and went...and then it was time to go home and I never once felt hungry.  So I saved the snack for another day.
I finally got around to eating that snack yesterday while babysitting.  I mentioned I was trying to find a creamy alternative to peanut butter in my little snack bowls.  Here is the alternative: chia seed pudding. 
For my first attempt I simply mixed 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk with 1 tablespoon chia seeds and let it set overnight in the fridge.  I sliced a pear and tossed in about a 1/4 cup of cereal to round out my snack.  This is my version of the yogurt bowls I see all over the blogosphere.

The verdict: it worked.  Because of the sweetness of the cereal, I didn't feel that the pudding needed to be overly sweet.  But I do have plans to play around with the flavors...perhaps making a chocolate pudding, a banana pudding and maybe even a peanut butter pudding. 

I ate my snack around 4pm and it definitely held me over until dinner.  Despite my prediction on the video of eating dinner before Forbes' project, we ended up eating dinner after.  We ate around 7:30, so the snack definitely worked. 

I got creative in the kitchen for dinner.  I had some time to kill while Forbes was working.  We have an abundance of fresh, organic produce in our fridge so I just started pulling things out until it began to make sense.
I used the quinoa, cucumber, squash and carrot to stuff in these mini peppers for a fun, bite-sized dinner.
Tahini Stuffed Peppers

1/2 cucumber, shredded (peeled or unpeeled)
1 carrot, shredded
1 summer squash, shredded
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup quinoa
12-18 mini sweet bell peppers (or 4-6 regular sized peppers)

Shred your carrot, cucumber, and squash.  I used my food processor large shredding blade which works so well!  In food processor, chop pine nuts and add to shredded vegetables.  Stir in 2 tablespoons tahini and mix well. 

At this point I decided the mixture wasn't chopped small enough to fit into the peppers easily, so I tossed the whole mixture back into the food processor and pulsed several times.  The mixture reached the texture of a fine tuna salad or chicken salad, or maybe the texture of a crab cake.  (I know that is weird to relate it to meat...) Stir in quinoa and set mixture aside.

Cut the top off each pepper and scoop out any seeds.  Then scoop approximately 2 tablespoons of mixture into each pepper.  Pack it in tight with the back of spoon.  There will be enough mixture for approximately 18 mini peppers depending on size.  You could also use regular sized peppers and it will make 4-6.  I made 12 mini peppers and had a little leftover filling and am reserving it for cabbage wraps or spring rolls.

Lay peppers on a sheet of foil on baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 375* and bake for 30 minutes.
We served our peppers with a chunky slice of homemade whole wheat bread topped with garlic and butter.
We also enjoyed our peppers outside on the porch.  I really am loving this gorgeous weather, despite my funky mood.

Speaking of funky moods...I still hadn't snapped out of mine by dinner time.  Even Forbes was at a loss, so rather than fight it, we relaxed on the couch and watched a movie (Morning Glory).  Forbes surprised me with flowers and ice cream from the store to help cheer me up so about half way through the movie this happened:
Oh yes, nothing like a little cupcake and coconut ice cream to cure a bad attitude. 

Well, so far I would have to say I woke up on a much better side of the bed today!  The sun is shining...I have a fun afternoon of hiking and kickboxing planned with a friend, and then Forbes is taking me out for chili dogs before Prom tonight...very romantic!  So excited! 

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