Evening – Day 17 I’m On the Upswing!

This morning, I woke up and decided to take a day of rest from running. I felt pretty starved, (which sometimes happens I theorize when eating sweets the night before). I didn’t feel like a smoothie, and I’ve pretty much run out of my favorite smoothie ingredients, so I took the last hunk of popped amaranth bread out of the fridge and warmed it up, and topped it with some coconut oil and maple syrup. It was like a pseudo pancake! It hit the spot.

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I knew the kitchen was getting to be a total disaster, and I didn’t have to be at work until noon, so I got a jump start. I swept the floor, and boy, there was a lot of food down there! I organized a cabinet with my pots and pans, we’ll see how long that lasts…

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I mopped the floor, and by that time, I needed to head out the door to work. I picked up my friend that I’ve been carpooling with, and we drove. I never park downtown for work, because it is so expensive, but my trick when I work on Sundays is to park about a mile away where there is free street parking and I walk! It was brisk, but we both agreed it was nice to walk, and save some cash!

Work was fun, I enjoy the people that I work with on Sundays. It’s usually more of a skeleton crew, and the store’s got a different vibe. Plus we’re only open for six hours, so it’s a shorter work day for me! The only bad thing is that I’m usually exhausted from the busiest day of the week (Saturday) just ending. But, otherwise, my day was lovely. I felt like my mood was much better than yesterday. I’m not sure if this had something to do with it, but instead of packing a sweet with my lunch (I’ve kind of been making them my crutch this week to “get me through the day”), I packed some crunchy carrots and hummus to snack on while I heated up my leftover delicious pad thai. I got a little busy after lunch, but I had that great jolt of energy while helping my clients instead of feeling a little weighed down. I felt good. I drank some peppermint tea, which really hit the spot. I LOVE peppermint tea, and it kept me warm because it was really cold in the store today! Before I knew it, my short work day was over! Yay!

We enjoyed a brisk walk back to the car and I dropped my friend off. Before I had left for work, I soaked a half cup of cashews, because I had the “sour cream” from the YU black bean soup recipe in mind to jazz up our dinner. I had also pulled out a container of frozen black beans from the big batch I made earlier this week. I had the rest of the batch of quinoa, so I had a Mexican bowl of some sort in mind. (I love how effortless it has become to do a few quick things to plan ahead for dinner).

I cut up an onion and sautéed it with some coconut oil and puréed chipotle chili in adobo for about ten minutes. I finely chopped a huge bunch of collards and dumped them in the pan along with the thawed black beans. I threw in some cumin and salt and threw on the lid to let the collards steam a bit. Then I dumped in the rest of the quinoa. I couldn’t resist a photo or two!

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I fished out the last of the cilantro from the fridge and found the last two green onions. I made the cashew cream, and drizzled that over everything and topped it with some hot salsa and avocado!

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I love how inspiring fridge clean outs can be! It’s pretty to see how bright the fridge looks with so little in it at this point in the week!

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This is from the beginning of the week:

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Wait, I have to rewind. I came home today to find an IMMACULATE kitchen! I wish I had a before photo, but alas, no. I had started this morning with cleaning and took care of some stuff, but my awesome husband organized the kitchen so beautifully! He carefully and thoughtfully made my working space not only more organized, but it actually seemed bigger! I guess those two go hand in hand. He’s so amazing when it comes to making the most out of a space. He sees things that I don’t see. It’s like he solves a puzzle that I didn’t even know was there!!!

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Thank you, my love. What better way to thank him than by dirtying up the kitchen making more YU deliciousness! So, with this abundant energy I have had today, I decided to squeeze in two more recipes!

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2012/11/19/toasted-coconut-quinoa-oatcakes/

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2012/03/08/chocolate-almond-kale-crunchers/

I was inspired when Naomi posted that she was making the oatcakes. I had bought the quinoa flakes on my last shopping trip, so I got to work on those. I think I may have used too much water, because they weren’t as dry when rolling out as they appeared to be in the recipe photos. But, I’m sure they’ll be just as delicious. They just might take longer. Of course, I just realized they’re supposed to take 3-4 hours to bake. Oops! Well, well see how long I can keep them in the oven before I pass out for the night. It’s already pretty late..

Also, I’m making the chocolate almond kale crunchers! I wanted to use up the last of my kale, and I’ve never made kale chips before (and these seem like a sweet version of a kale chip); so, I thought this might satisfy the itch to use my dehydrator for these little nuggets. I’m going to leave them in overnight and see how that goes…

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Well, that’s all folks! I’m beat! Have a good night! I’ll let you know how these two turn out tomorrow!

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