June 27, 2009

Take That, Rachael Ray

Since the boyf was not around for me to torture today, it was up to me to create my own shenaniganery. It was a fun challenge for this creature of habit to amuse herself at little or no cost to her wallet...or more to the point, to avoid the temptation of restaurant food!

I am proud to say that I succeeded on all fronts, not to mention some over-achiever style house-cleaning and laundry-doing as well. :D

It was too hot today to do much slaving in the kitchen, so breakfast was cool and kitchen-purge worthy. As is the fate of many a blogger, I have accumulated a vast supply of samples, which is lovely and cost-effective, but one does grow tired of repeats eventually.

The par-K breakfast is a very effective product user-upper, I find.

Lovely, mushy layers of Blue-Bran VitaTop and plain organic yogurt mixed with chocolate PB2.

Don't forget the side shake! I very much enjoy Amazing Grass's Amazing Meal blended with unsweetened almond milk and ice.

Again, it is necessary to drink aforementioned shake from the Disney travel cup to prevent straw migration.

Following some chore-doing, I figured it would be best for me to take advantage of what was then sunny weather, since the rain has been unpredictable lately. I had a letter in the mail telling me that my local Equinox was holding a free spa event from 1pm-4pm today. I was kind of on the fence about randomly dropping in and subjecting myself to the sales pitch, but I kept my eyes on the prize: a free 3-day pass to the gym. Off I went.

SO WORTH IT! I got a private tour of the facility (which is SO swanky, at least for someone used to working out in her bedroom...), a free 10-minute chair massage (which rivalled any private treatment I've had) and lunch.

The spread was provided by a local restaurant, Apartment 138. Nothing huge or fancy - there were three kinds of sliders (cheeseburger, chicken or veggie burger), salad and chips + guacamole. I opted for a veggie burger slider and greens with guac...

...times two. :)

I'm sorry, but sliders are silly. Do not insult me with small versions of big food! I'll just eat two!

Fully relaxed by a chair massage and a full belly, I took my show on the road again for an hour or so of my favorite pastime: browsing specialty food markets. Luckily, Brooklyn Heights is a great place to do this. Here's the loot:

  • From Perelandra organic market: almond and hemp milks (I am going through this stuff very fast since giving up moo juice, unfortunately for my bank account), unbleached coffee filters, organic blackberries and raspberries, organic eggplant.
  • From Sahadi's: vanilla extract, tubs of turmeric and cayenne pepper. I've always been aware that Sahadi's was nearby, but it was actually Katherine who reminded me last night that I really needed to hit it. I'm so glad I did! The spices are so cheap, they seem free compared to mainstream stores like Whole Foods. Plus you've never seen bulk the likes of this store's (that's what she said). I had to slap my hand away from the mountains of dates and figs.
  • From Lassen and Hennigs: CARROT CAKE. If I can't remember the last time I had carrot cake, it's been too long.
Once I managed to drag myself back home, I did some good-girl style laundry until I was so hungry that anything not fairly instant was out of the question for dinner. Determined to resist take-out's siren song, I returned to the kitchen to spend some more QT with the blender and emerged with this:

I think eggplant has become the equivalent of "Diana wuz here 2009" in this household.

The roomie and I are cursedImeanblessed with a ridiculous amount of hummus, the origin of which is a now-ancient delivery from Sabra. (Remember that? We can't even GIVE it away now.) In the meantime, I also won a blog giveaway prize of...hummus. Four more tubs.

This madness needs to end, so I was determined to make a hummusentric dinner. I think I might have actually figured out a really delicious way to accelerate our hummus consumption. My inspiration came from this post of Heather's, in which she made her version of Rachael Ray's Babaganoush-Hummus Pasta. There are many separate ingredients in the recipe, all of which one finds in pre-prepared hummus. I'm sorry, but let's cut to the chase: if you thin out hummus with a liquid and chuck it in a blender with roasted eggplant, there's your sauce.

  • 1 small-ish eggplant, sliced and roasted with EVOO, S+P, garlic powder (400* for 20 minutes, flip after 10 or 15 minutes), reserve half for topping
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hummus (I used Sabra's sundried tomato flavor, because it was open)
  • 1/2 cup liquid (I used unsweetened almond milk, Ray-Ray uses broth)
(2 servings)

Throw it all in the blender and pour over whole wheat cous cous (or other grain/pasta), top with the reserved eggplant.

This was stoopid easy, and thankfully rather hands-off, considering both the hot oven and hot stove were cranking at once for a few hot minutes there. I was glad to be able to stay out of the kitchen until the very last minute, when I threw everything in the blender to make the sauce!

And with that, I'm going to try and get to sleep on the earlier side this Saturday night. This old lady finally came to terms with the fact that a quiet night to myself is sometimes all I want from life. I wrestled with guilt over turning down a birthday celebration at a bar, but at the end of the day (which it is, as far as I'm concerned), I just want to go to bed.

Just for shiggles, though (mostly my own), here's a video of the Dropkick Murphys playing Shipping up to Boston (remember this tune from The Departed?) with the Boston College Marching Band. The BCMB provided most of the soundtrack to my dancing back in the college days, so when an old college buddy sent me this link, I was thinking I graduated a few years too early!

This would have been so cool! The Dropkick Murphys also recorded a punked-out cover of the BC fight song.

I guess that's my cue to go to bed like the old lady I really am.


Olga said...

I've seen commercials for that gym and it looks SO fancy and exclusive. Glad you got some free shiz from them! :)

Awesome dinner too!

Anonymous said...

That eggplant dish looks SOOOOOO good!!!!!

That gym looks awesome! Have fun!

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

I love eggplant and have been wanting to try a raw version of babaganoush for so long! Soon, soon.

I'm hoping to do the damn laundry and cleaning thing today. Wish me luck.

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha, the straw migration! i am going to start using that.

i'm so jealous of your equinox event! and i looooove sahadi's -- it's not even that big, but i could spend hours wandering in there.

and your dinner, mmmmmmmm. i wish i were not hummus-less right now because that looks soooooo good.

K from ksgoodeats said...

Love the parfait ;) Bluebran was one of my favorite flavors!

I would like a chair massage - that sounds excellent right about now. There can never be enough hummus in this house! I like the sounds of that pasta though! YUM!

Jenny said...

"par-k" you are hysterical girl..

Rach Ray has nothing on you babyboo <3 love it!

Lele said...

Wow, I would never think to combine hummus and pasta (or baba ghanouj and pasta), but that actually looks QUITE delish.
Like you, I can get behind anything that involves roasted eggplant.

katherine - the runner wife said...

A: I looove your Disney cup :)

B: So glad you hit up Sahadis! It has to be one of my favorite places in NY

C: Your hummus/babba/pasta idea is brilliant!!

Dori said...

OHHH that is how you got your free pass. I clearly read these out of order :)

I wish I had that spa/food day!