Tag Archives: Tofu

Peace and Pie


Ok, so the U.S. of A just killed a major terrorist leader. Am I the only one who feels a little saddened at the jubilation of our country’s citizens over it?

Maybe it’s because I live in a small-liberal-arts-college bubble.

Ok, that’s most definitely why.

My neighbors at the Air Force Academy are having lots of fun celebrating. Amazing how we’re in the same city, but it feels like worlds away! Their celebrations have been a little tamer than other colleges, at least…


But honestly? I don’t like death. In any, any case. Not even in the name of justice. Call me a peace-loving hippie, but in my ideal world, everyone guilty of a crime would be locked away in a box somewhere,  put through some kind of living-purgatory-type-experience (I’m thinking LOST as a model), and released into existence again when they’re truly sorry for what they did.

Small liberal arts college. I did warn you.

But just because my college is full of liberal tree-huggers doesn’t mean we won’t turn this into an excuse to party on a Monday night. My school is in “8th block,” a.k.a. the last quarter of the semester. I still can’t get the glitter out of my hair from this shindig:

Good news: my red jacket is now flour-free and ready to wear again.

Tonight, however, I need to catch up on sleep, so I will leave you with my food-related hopes and dreams! Ready?

In my ideal world, everyone would realize how delicious the combo of sprouts, avocado, & hummus is, and I’d be able to let animals roam free without fear of humans eating them.

Whole-wheat tortilla with hummus, sprouts, spinach, & avocado, + carrots

In my ideal world, everyone I love would stop to partake in Sunday brunch.

Veggie skewers, spinach & egg pizza, cherry blintz, agua fresca

In my ideal world, I would have the option to go back to my pre-paid campus dining hall whenever I didn’t feel like scrounging in my fridge.

BBQ tofu, salad, green beans, white beans, agua frescaThere would be fewer last-resort sources of protein.

Tuna, broccoli, green peppers & onions

There would be more salads. Period.

Spinach, black beans, avocado, goat cheese & maple balsamic dressing

There would be lots of sprouts, because for some reason, when I eat them I feel like I’m channeling the Buddha. (where did I make that association, I wonder?)

Sprouts, carrots, broccoli & hummus

I would know the Chobani company personally, just to make sure they’re treating their dairy cows right. (Because if it wasn’t for greek yogurt, I’d easily be vegan all the time!)

Plain greek yogurt with cinnamon and....apples? Somewhere?

Plain greek yogurt with chia seeds, 1/2 a mango, & 1 clementine

I would make the whole world see that green monster smoothies are absolutely delicious.

(I might have forced this down the throats of several of my teammates one pre-rugby-game morning. No one gagged, that’s a start!)

The morning special: green monster smoothie + coffee with almond milk & cinnamon.

One of my favorite cereals of all time, combined with the more new-age almond milk.

And…my roomie would surprise me with wonderful baked goods every night! (It’s a wonder what an unexpected pie can do for a student on the verge of a breakdown!)

Homemade blueberry pie/island of crust floating in blueberry yum sauce.

And similar to bad criminals, bad weather would go into hiding, think about what it’s done to the hearts and minds of sun-loving girls like me, and only come back out for holiday festivities and the occasional ski trip.

Mountains? Uh…Marco?

More of this, please.

Little sister not necessary. Just the sunshine, please!

Thoughts on politics?

Favorite trees to hug?

Sharing is caring!

❤ Erica




Free-soloing.


Maybe it’s because Colorado is experiencing some freakish weather right now.

Maybe it’s because I’m ashamed that I haven’t learned to rock climb yet.

Maybe it’s because I climbed the mountain in this video too long ago (not even 2 years!) and that was without being on the constant verge of a 1000 ft vertical drop.

For whatever reason, I’m obsessed with this gem of a clip about a female rock climber named Steph Davis. I think I’ve played it at least 10 times now:


Watch it. You’ll get dizzy, but it’ll be great. Trust me.

The Youtube channel it’s on is chock full of amazing feats of outdoor adventurers. I think it was just what I needed for a little kick in the butt to start the week!

On this manic Monday, I started with the (really) lazy girl’s version of overnight oats: about-an-hour oats 🙂

1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup soy milk, cinnamon, apples

Meaning that I mixed these together, walked to my hour of student teaching at the high school, and then devoured them on the way back to campus. Not too shabby!

But as I arrived on campus, my mind (body? same thing) realized how early I had gotten up, and wanted caffeine.

I’ll say one thing: coffee is a powerful, powerful force.

Looks gigantic, but it just fits a "tall" size.

I stayed awake through class, but my heart would.not.stop.thumping afterwards. Can’t complain, though; I wasn’t really hungry, so I got ahead on some of the night’s reading and ended up munching a red bell pepper for lunch:

Strangely enough, it was enough!

Know what else is a powerful thing? Planning ahead. I knew I’d be starving after ballet and gym, so I pressed and marinated a block of tofu in balsamic vinegar & garlic powder before I left, popped the pieces in a 375 degree oven when I got home at 5:15, and took them out in time for 6:00 dance rehearsal in the form of a beautiful, fulfilling salad.

Complete with nutritional yeast, sauteed onions, and spinach.

Mmmm, portable goodness.

Now my reading’s all done, and it’s not even 9 pm yet. I could get used to this 😉

It’s no free-soloing the Diamond face of Longs Peak, but it’s been a day of achievement.

What are you proud of doing today?


Back to School


It’s amazing how long it’s taken me to even partially recap Vegas. Scandalous clubbing pictures aside, all there’s left to show you is some eats from the journey home!

Though I was kind of still full from my pina colada earlier that day, I bought a cup of tortilla soup from the Wolfgang Puck Express in the airport, mostly because it included goat cheese.

In fact, I was quite disappointed when my gentle command of “You can keep plopping that on!” to the serving lady went unheard. Still, it was delicious!

I applaud Frontier Airlines for the free cookie, too 🙂

I’m not too proud of my dining style during my Vegas “recovery day” at home. Meals were bland like this:

(I thought putting it next to the magazine would make my Daiya cheese & salsa tacos look less sad.)

And meals were random like this:

I wanted Shrimp Lo Mein. Badly.

Other bad choices: frosted flakes, cheese dip, tortilla chips, and way too much coconut ice cream.

But it’s ok, because my roomies came home eventually and made crepes!

Sauteed carrots, bell peppers, & onions + goat cheese. x3. plus another crepe with butter & sugar.

Now, despite our brief mishap with pulling floor tiles out..

We’re pretty much back to normal!

I started today with a green monster smoothie. The perfect way to kick off a detox, I do say!

spinach, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon

I actually blended it the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight. Bad idea! It doesn’t taste the same when it’s not fresh, and I had to add some honey to sweeten it up.

Lunch was a glorious reunion with two standbys: tofu and veggies.

Coconut tofu, mushrooms, water chesnuts, & spinach, sauteed in coconut oil & balsamic vinegar

I took a nap in this same sunny spot following lunch!

I had a loooong afternoon at ballet and then in the gym trying out a new routine (Fitnessista’s 2011 WSU!), so I came home in dire need of protein. I looked for the greek yogurt

But I made the mistake of having one of my male roommates pick it out at the store, and he got the “traditional” variety that has not a lot of protein and lots more fat. I don’t know if I’ll get around to eating this, since protein is such a huge part of why I eat greek yogurt!

 

I opted for more tofu and an orange instead.

I packed dinner to eat while doing reading later on! Making to-go meals is kind of fun.

Sauteed carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, & goat cheese with olive oil & balsamic vinegar

See? Detox. It’s on.

I leave you with photos of another rugby 21st birthday party!

(February is full of them, and I’m not complaining!)

The birthday girl making good choices.

More maturity.

Cake.

Shots. (the resulting face)

^And me, somewhere in the center of it all 🙂

I hope everyone had a good Presidents’ Day! Did y’all get the day off, and if so, how did you spend it?

Still class for me (although I did just get a break, so I can’t complain!); the only sign of the holiday was that my ballet teacher was decked out in American flag pictures and colors 🙂




Let Me Explain…


Hello wonderful readers! I apologize for my absence; let me explain!

At my college, students take one class at a time. (It’s weird, but it works. Trust me.)

Each class lasts 3.5 weeks, meeting for at least 3 hours every day.

This week marks that .5 week portion, aka “fourth week”; in other words, my class ends Wednesday at noon, so I’ve been hard at work writing my final paper. If you really want to know, it’s now finished and titled…

Saint Paul’s Afterlife Anxiety, Revealed by His Controversial Contradictions.

So yes, I had a steamy Valentine’s Date with Saint Paul. Not the best way to celebrate, but at least it was good conversation 🙂 In the past few days, I’ve spent a lot of time confined in this corner:

Evidently, the apartment has been too occupied to clean after Friday’s party!

We’re keeping the balloons around for a while 🙂

Friday night started off with a fantastic foodieness: Indian food!

I got the vegetable korma; this dish never fails me. Soooo delicious, especially with the crumbled cashews on top!

Dishes got passed around the table; I had some saag paneer (spinachy awesomeness) and a bite of someone’s lamb korma (the taste of which brought me right back to Jordan! Daresay I missed it a little?) but I mostly stuck to my veggie korma, rice, naan, and everyone else’s neglected veggies 🙂

We just barely got back in time for the start of our own party:

We totally forgot to take any photos other than this one, but we dressed up in Carnivale fashion because 2 of our roommates were leaving for Brazil the next day! My costume involved a tutu, wings, lots of pink and an excessive amount of glitter.

It was a fantastic night in more ways than one. The next morning, we ventured out to brunch in the dining hall:

Our food service rocks. There’s a reason why brunch is my favorite meal of them all….

Usually I go for sweet, but I was feelin’ some savory goodness this Saturday. What you see is spinach quiche, roasted carrots, tofu lettuce wraps, cheesy eggs, and a cheese blintz. I made a dent, but after heavy-drinking night, it was too soon for all that food! I hate when that happens.

Per usual, we also stole a boatload of fruit 🙂

(There was even more spread out on the dining room table; we’re animals!!)

The rest of the day was about friendship.

Getting ready to send some friends on their way…

(The previous night’s face paint simply would not come off. There are worse fates.)

I met a friend for a lovely walk in Garden of the Gods:

If you’re ever passing through Colorado Springs, you must go to Garden of the Gods. The rocks take your breath away!

It’s a great place to walk in nature and catch up. We must have covered at least 5 miles!

However, we were both in flats. Bad choice.

Kate also convinced me to try a cherry limeade from Sonic. Not my thing, but drive-ins are so much fun!!

But for the most part, nutritious eats were far and few between for the remainder of the weekend.

Yes, there was whole wheat toast with daiya cheese and spinach

But at the same time…

Yes. Ice cream sandwich for dinner.

(Does it sound better if I say it was a lemon cookie with lavender vanilla ice cream? I thought so.)

A pretty pear.

I finally got back on track this morning (while finishing my paper) with a green monster. Of course!

1/2 banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, a ludicrous amount of spinach, almond milk

Now I’m finally free…

I can finally relax and laugh about how wonderful life is. Even when I step on melted chocolate

Eew. Really?

I’m ready to go off and enjoy the mountains. Happy late V Day to you all! Show yourself some love. I sure am!

Question: How do you tackle a big assignment? Do you tend to procrastinate or dive right in? I am a huge procrastinator, but if the motivation is powerful enough, I can get it done quickly. I knew I had rugby practice today, and I didn’t want to get beaten up AND have to work afterward. Therefore, it gone done early!!


Into the dark


Well, it couldn’t last forever.

Not only am I referencing the gloomy, flurry-spewing cloud that has descended over Colorado Springs, but also my digestive health.

Since I have returned from Jordan, I’ve only experienced that Middle-East-worthy-level of stomach pain once…until this morning, when it hit me hard while running.

Why? I’m not sure. It’s a mystery, one that begs to be further explored.

The last time this hit me was also when I was running, about 2 months ago. Both were both I’d had a real breakfast (just a pre-workout snack), but other than that, no unusual dietary habits seemed to have triggered it. Wtf?

All I know is that it really, really hurts and it’s really, really inconvenient. I’ve already gone through one round of tests through an endogastriologist, so at least I know it’s not 1) giardia 2) an std 3) a parasite 🙂

But as bad as it was this morning, a day of rest, reading, and other forms of relaxation have left me feeling as good as new!

It doesn’t hurt that my roomates and neighbors make amazing food! Especially when it’s bread that tastes amazing, looks amazing, and makes me tummy feel amazing to boot!

Over the past few years, as my cooking and baking skills have evolved, I’ve been in the habit of saying to my mom, “When I’m married, I will do all of the cooking without complaint. But I want a husband that makes bread!

Now I have a boy roomate that makes it. Close enough!

I’ll handle the vegan goodness myself…

Pan-fried tofu with spinach, onions, marinara sauce, and nutritional yeast

In fact, recently I’ve been preparing my much-needed protein individual appetizers before group dinners:

Mmmm. Yes. Roasted tofu marinated in balsamic vinegar, cumin, and garlic.

The perfect appetizer for a pasta dinner.

As for the sicky meal of choice?

B.R.A.T.T.Y. diet at its finest! (you know, bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, tea, yogurt?)

Honey greek yogurt with banana.

Eating it in the container was an added comfort!

In a way, being sick today was ideal; the gloomy cloud cover was a perfect opportunity to stay inside, test danish hot chocolate stirrers and philosophize.

How real is the fog over the mountains? How do we know if we’ve seen this view in a past life?

But more importantly, how much snow will there be for skiing this weekend?!

The warm weather couldn’t last forever, but at least we’ll be reaping the changes on the slopes!

Have a terrific Thursday!

Do you ski or snowboard? I ski, but I don’t really make a habit of it because it’s not my favorite thing in the world. But this time I’m resigning myself to the bunny hill and learning to snowboard!

 


Boys


I’m a big girl.

But sometimes, when members of the opposite sex rattle my routine, I get a little...foolish.

Anyone else? Take my yesterday.

When having lunch with a guy friend I hadn’t seen in a few months, I couldn’t even finish all of my dolmas and baba ghanoush with pita. They were my favorite foods in Jordan, but we had way too much conversation for me to eat everything.

When about to do weights in the gym, I ran into a guy friend who started a conversation about our study abroad experiences. After we were done, I forgot that I hadn’t stretched and ended up doing some power cleans that were waaaay too heavy for my unprepared muscles.

And then I left my camera lying around the apartment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too bad they don’t really know how to use it!

At least they don’t prevent girls-only dinners:

Sweet potatoes with goat cheese, almonds, and balsamic broccoli, by Erica and Laura.

More girly creations:

Tofu, goat cheese, spinach, and chipotle sauce tortilla

Tofu and spinach…this time with nutritional yeast!

And of course, the to-go breakfasts:

Apple-honey greek yogurt

Boys are great, but I love being a girl. That’s not foolish at all 🙂

What are your guy friends like? Do they have any embarrassing habits? The ones I’m living with burp a lot, but they also make their own hot sauce, so I don’t blame them.


You’re Looking Lovely Today


Yes, Pikes Peak, but you always look lovely. That compliment was for the readers…and me.

Who’s glad it’s Saturday? Personally, I slept until 10, then went on a sunny run and did yoga in the grass. I’m so grateful that Colorado Springs didn’t get a huge dump of snow, like the rest of the country! Having 300 days of sunshine a year makes for tolerable winters.

While I’ve enjoyed taking my breakfasts to go this week:

overnight oats! 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/3 milk, apple

last bit of yogurt, banana, apple-bluberry granolaI love that there’s no shame in bringing your breakfast to class, especially in the original container of one of its components.

It’s sustainable and portable! Teehee!

I’ve also been mooching off my friends with a real meal plan to get into the dining hall for long, drawn out reunions in the form of meals, often nearing 2 hours in length and resulting in reprimands from the staff.

It’s not my fault that I love my friends, need vegetables, and am super thrilled with the increase of tofu dishes!

salad, bbq tofu, and barley salad. along with some tasty agua fresca!

Even the geese are looking lovely. Since when did they become domesticated around my campus?!

Like any other college campus, we’ve always had our share of crazy squirrels, but this is a first.

I should not be this close to you, goose.

I’ve also been having fun in class middle school, especially when things get slow in last period and I pull out my camera…

Those are some of the cool kids. They love me.

Yesterday, an 8th grade girl informed me that all the 8th grade boys have been admiring my butt.

Silly boys. If they think my butt is big, they obviously haven’t seen much of the world 😉

But even without those undeserved naive compliments, everything is looking so lovely.

All the time.

Happy Saturday!

What’s the snow like where you are?


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