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Lunchtimes, Cookbooks & Slow Cookers

Posted Mar 12 2010 12:00am

Kalimera ladies! (and gentlemen, if you’re lurking here ^~)

I’m writing this post at a not-too-shabby 6:30 a.m. For some reason I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier without help from my alarm clock – it’s really weird. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I’m sleeping harder because of all of the exercise I’m doing, which tires me out so that I’m not tossing and turning and so can be satisfied with much less shut-eye time. Last night I hit the hay at 11, to give you an idea.

Let’s be serious, though, I also just might be too excited about breakfast to sleep more than what is absolutely necessary, haha:

"Just like grandma used to make"

Apple Pie Oats!! Ugh was this breakfast ever good. It was so simple too:

  • 1/3 Cup Organic Oat Bran
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Microwaved on standard settings for about 1.5 minutes, then topped with 1/2 a banana, millet flakes and the apple pie component:

  • 1/2 of a granny smith apple
  • a sprinkling of raw brown sugar
  • a healthy-couple-of-shakes of cinammon <3

Microwaved for two minutes, then add to your oats all warm and gooey and fragrant! <3 Yumm.

Healthy apple pie filling? Yes please.

It was a microwave-meal completely but it turned out perfectly. I would love to try this with some gluten free cinnamon puffs instead of the millet flakes to go along with the pie theme, although the millet was delicious in this and remains my favorite breakfast cereal. In all, this made for bite after amazing bite, and I had tons of yummy fun posing (and then eating) my way to the best sexy spoon photo:

How you ~doin'~ apple pie? ;D ;D

Unfortunately I was having so much fun with the photos that I completely lost track of time and before I knew it I was running late for work. I grabbed my camera and with a good-bye pat to the kitten and a spritz of DKNY I was out the door. lunchless. By the time noon rolled around I was completely famished but with no idea as to where to grab a healthy, inexpensive meal. When my editor peeked her head into my cubicle and asked me if I wanted to go to the nearby grocery store, I agreed (with a mental cringe at the idea of diminished meal opportunities.)

When we got there I headed straight for the pre-made salad/deli section and swooped down on the following. I’m sharing this with you because my editor raved about the idea for about and it struck me that you might not do this yourselves. It’s delicious and doesn’t waste calories! Here’s what I do when I’m stuck with a grocery store lunch:

The grocery store purchase, complete with ick dressing that I left in the office kitchen

So you start with this. The big salad was the best I could find and was actually a pretty delicious blend of strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, dried cranberries, orange peppers and spinach:

Pretty! You are what you eat.

While this was beautiful and the nuts had a bit of fat to keep me full, the salad was too dry without dressing and lacked the fibre that I wanted. So, I added a scoop of the edamame bean salad (made of edamame, peas and teeny tomatoes) to the mix:

The final lunch: a greening fruit/spinach/bean salad!

So there you have it, the lunchtime combo that my editor said she never would have thought of, but then promised to copy every time she had to resort to a grocery-store meal. I followed this with a green tea in my massive starbucks mug:

Mm, Starbucks <3

Seriously though this baby is ~huge~. There’s enough green tea in there to cure every disease in the world!

I'll have a venti, to go.

Now that you’ve read my foodie update, it’s time to get to the fun part of this post because I need your advice and I know you, yes -you-, reading this right now, have the best answers for me <3

I’ve been given a gift certificate to amazon to the tune of $, an incredible amount to spend on BOOKS! Easily one of my favorite presents ever. I’m using this opportunity to buy some and , and was wondering what you had to say on the matter. So far I have decided I’m buying:

  • Giada at Home – a Californian/Italian recipe book from my favorite television chef <3

Mediterranean/Californian - the perfect combo <3

  • Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
  • Eat, Drink & Be Vegan
  • The Mediterranean Vegan

And I’m not even half-way there!! I’m so excited to be able to splurge on cookbooks (and great reads, too, don’t forget to include those if you’ve got a novel you simply couldn’t put down.) I’m also going to buy a copy of Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred

  • What cookbooks do you swear by that you think I should purchase?
  • What workout DVDs should I buy to get my abs, bum ‘n thighs looking as toned as yours? ^~

I’ve also noticed that there are a lot of cookbooks out there for slow cooker recipes. Now, I don’t own one myself but I really appreciate the idea of throwing in a bunch of healthy veggies in the morning and coming home to a loft made fragrant with a wonderful dinner I don’t have to prepare. I love to cook, don’t get me wrong, but there are some days when I really miss coming home to the MMm’s homey spread and digging in without any effort. I’d probably name the cooker M-cubed in her honor, tee-hee ^~

Image courtesy of yumsugar

My only problem is that so many slow cooker recipes are loaded with cheese and fats, and come out looking like, well, brown mush. I’m sure there has to be a way around this though, and I’m sure that they have to taste delicious (or nobody would buy them, right?)

  • Do you use a slow cooker? If yes, are there any slow cooking cookbooks, sites, or recipes that you’d recommend? If not, why not?
  • Should I invest in one? If so, what model do you use, and do you recommend it?

Thank you so much for always being great sources of information <3 I really value your opinions!

I’m going to grab a quick run/shower before work, but I look forward to reading your comments later when I’m.. on my lunch break..of course..

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