it’s the weekend

Running

Lawn Mowing/Photoshoot

Whole Foods

Dessert pizzas

Life as We Know It

Tae Bo

mint.com

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

PB2 Smoothies

Yoga

Pride & Prejudice

Crosby not wanting the weekend to be over…

Hope you all had a nice weekend!  Check back later this week for the recipes for the dessert pizza + cookies!

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chickpea reci{peas}

I absolutely love chickpeas.  Or garbanzo beans.  Whatever you’d like to call them.  I have even started eating them straight out of the can – well, after draining at least.  Is that weird?  Even if it is, I don’t care.  If chickpeas are in something, you can guarantee I’m going to love it.  Chickpeas have often popped up here from time to time…

Whether it was a trio of {hummus recipes}…

In a beans grain green recipe {honey-mustard millet & Beans}…

Served on top of Injera at an {Ethiopian restaurant}…

Added to the delicious {Strawberry Pesto Pasta Salad} by Daily Garnish

Let’s not forget how good it is on {gluten-free vegan pizza} either…

And last but certainly not least how awesome chickpeas made Oh She Glow’s {Heat Wave Summer Salad}…

Obviously, we go through a lot of chickpeas, and this recipe makes them go quite fast as well.  It does slow you down from just eating them from the can however ;).

{Spicy* Baked Chickpeas}

  • 1 can chickpeas (sometimes referred to as garbanzo)
  • 1T grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2t paprika
  • 1t cumin
  • 1/8t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4t black pepper
  • 1/2t salt

*The recipe wasn’t actually that spicy, so adjust the spices accordingly.

1. Drain the chickpeas.  Place into a plastic bag.

2. Add the oil into the bag and toss to coat.

3. Sprinkle in the spices and roll around until all the little chickpeas are covered.

4. Bake in a 400* oven for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally.  Make sure to not burn them.  Mine burnt due to a too high of oven (the temp is adjusted here), but they were still all eaten within a matter of days.

Feel free to play around with the spices to change the flavorings or spicy-ness.  You really can’t go wrong.

Oh my chickpeas.

what i ate wednesday #10

Number TEN?!  I can barely believe it!  And this is my first WIAW where I had to pack my food because I had to eat at work – which is definitely taking some time to get used to.  Now I have to go back to thinking what I’m going to eat for lunch and snacks and get it ready in the morning, much more work than just grabbing stuff whenever!  So here we go…

Breakfast:

Dough Boy + Protein Powder.  Topped with ground flax, 1/2 a banana, blueberries and sunflower butter.  I also had a buckwheat blueberry muffin Kinley made last night.

Lunch:

Leftover dinner from last night – Oh She Glow’s Heat Wave Summer Salad.  I almost followed the recipe exactly, but instead of the speltberries I used quinoa to keep the gluten away!  It was so delicious.  I am loving the cold pasta/grain salads during the week!  And another buckwheat blueberry muffin (pictured below).

Afternoon Snack:

I had a jar of pineapple and strawberries – my favorite combo!  And two rice cakes (didn’t end up putting the AB&J on them but I’ll be bringing them along tomorrow and hopefully I get the chance to eat it this time!)

Dinner:

In honor of Mama Pea’s book coming out, I made Mmmm Sauce for the first time.  It was Mmmm good.  Had it on top of brown rice pasta + lentils with kabocha squash on the side.  So good.

Time to go relax for a few hours and go to bed!

day #2

Let me just start by saying it is quite the adjustment going from having zero things one week, to a full time job the next!  But I have been managing (but really, it’s only been two days and I still have three to go before this week is over haha).  Getting up in the morning has been fine, even with that 4:30am wake up call – I don’t technically need to wake up this early but I like to be able to exercise in the morning and have plenty of time in case I get distracted, which happens quite often in the early hours of the day.  I did notice this morning that my eyes are more bloodshot – I’m guessing just from not being used to waking up by an alarm?

Work has been going very fast, which is somewhat a good and a bad thing!  My official hours are 8:30-4:30 (although sometimes longer if necessary) with a 30 minute lunch break.  It’s so nice having that extra hour of “cushion” around what I was used to last summer at my internship that was 8-5 + an hour drive time both there and back.  Oh, and I might have mentioned this before but my new job is only 5 miles away!  Definitely will be breaking out the bike at some point once I get some time in and the temp calms down a bit.

I was given a tentative schedule with a few meetings for my first week and I am already being given my own small projects to work on for an upcoming conference – pretty simple stuff but it’s nice to have my own thing to run with even if it is just copying templates from last year and putting in new info.  I am trying to catch on to the clients as fast as I can but there are so many different policies and procedures that it’s taking some time and therefore taking time away from the more general learning – but all in due course since I am hoping to stick around here for as long as I can ;).  I also have to get some sort of organizational system in place so I don’t get lost in what paper I do have around (although the office is as paperless as it can get, which is awesome!).

Other random things…

This is my desk chair!

I have 4 email addresses – don’t ask.

I can walk around barefoot if there aren’t any visitors in the office ;).

There’s almond milk stocked in the fridge.

Aaand I’m already headed on a business trip next week!  More about that once it gets closer.

Hopefully everything continues to go somewhat smoothly the rest of the week and I am able to get caught up with everything as soon as possible.

easy vegan pizza toppings

What’s better than an easy to throw together pizza for dinner on my first day of work?  Nothing that I can think of anyways.  I think I’ll put together a post of my favorite things at work so far tomorrow, but I want to keep tonight’s post relatively nice + simple.  And oh hey, it’s Monday so it’s time for another Meatless Monday idea!  Remember my Veggie Fried Rice or my Meatless Monday on the Grill?  Well, it’s just gotten a whole lot simpler!

Without having gluten in my diet, pizza is one thing that I have missed, especially for busy days where all I feel like is ordering up a delivery pizza.  Luckily, I found Sami’s Bakery.  Their Millet & Flax goodies are absolutely delicious and there is a store nearby that carries a lot of their products, such as bread, bagels, wraps and PIZZA CRUST!  They come frozen so I can have them on hand at any time.  Now, it’s not exactly like regular pizza crust, but it’s not extremely thin either, which I think a lot of gluten free crusts end up being.  And I am not a thin-crust kind of girl, I much prefer the hand-tossed variety.  Well, no matter what crust you end up getting you can still make a delicious vegetarian (and even vegan!) pizza on a busy meatless Monday in your home!  (Or even as a late-night pizza snack if that’s what you’re up for.)

BBQ Chick’n Pizza

1. Prepare your crust accordingly.

2. Drain the chickpeas and toss in some bbq sauce.  Also spread some extra bbq sauce on the crust itself.

3. Top the pizza with the chickpeas + bbq sauce and the rest of your toppings.  Why the random toppings on this pizza?  Well our garden is just flourishing!

4. Feel free to top with any cheese or non-dairy cheese, or even just some nutritional yeast.  I ate it as-is and it was extremely delicious!

5. Bake according to your crust directions until done (pretty exact, I know 😉 ).

Other topping options?

  • pizza sauce (Trader Joe’s)
  • peppers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • olives
  • mushrooms
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • fried eggs (no, I am not kidding)

You can really have fun with this meal, especially if you have friends or kids around.  Just have a handful of toppings and sauces available for them to be able to choose their own combination!

No matter what topping you decide to go with, it will be delicious and such a nice option for any meatless weeknight meal!

bittersweet

Today is bittersweet.  It’s the end of my summer “vacation”.  Tomorrow, I start my new job and my weeks will become extremely busy.  Going from zero hours of work per week to 40 is going to be quite the adjustment, both for me and this little guy.

He’s gotten quite clingy to me since I have been home a lot with him this summer, something he has not been used to for quite a few years.  Hopefully he’ll just nap all day and barely miss me, although I might have to put up with some sad eyes in the morning.

I digress.  Even though this day is bittersweet in the sense that all my weekdays will no longer feel like weekends, my weekends will now be all the more relaxing since it will definitely be a change to my weekly routine.  Plus, I am excited for my new job to start, although I am extremely nervous as well for the unknown and of having to learn a lot of new things.  And the pressure of this being a real position – hopefully it can all come naturally and not too much thrown at me right off the bat!

Well, as this marks the unofficial end to my summer, of course I would spend some of it in the kitchen!  Kinley, Crosby and I were headed to go sailing on Lake Michigan this afternoon with Mom and Dad, but the darn weather did not look like it was going to cooperate so we ended up turning around.  But even though the weather decided not to cooperate, at least these chocolate muffins did!  I found a recipe on the blog, Cookie Madness, and adapted it to be gluten free.  I also took out the chocolate chips called for in the recipe to try and make these not-so guilty!

Gluten Free + Vegan Chocolate Muffins

  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 1/2 c millet flour
  • 3/4t xanthan gum
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/4c -1/2c maple syrup*
  • 3/4c non-dairy milk
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1T unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 1T grapeseed or vegetable oil

*I used 1/4c of maple syrup in the recipe and thought it was a nice level of sweetness, but it you generally like muffins and baked goods sweeter you can up the syrup quantity.

1. Preheat your oven to 350′.

2. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. Mix the maple syrup, milk, vanilla extract, applesauce and oil.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully incorporated.

5. Spoon into roughly 9 cupcake wrappers and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Packing these for with my lunch will definitely help me get through my 8 hour work days!  These are fantastic as-is, but I think you could even pass these as a cupcake with adding chocolate chips in the batter.  A nice topping of a spoonful of either coconut butter or almond butter couldn’t hurt a thing either :).

out and about in gb: the urban frog

I have been sitting on these photos for quite some time.  Six weeks to be exact.  When Kinley and I were looking for restaurants to go to after we ran the Bellin Run, Kinley happened across the website for The Urban Frog in Green Bay, WI.  Their menu looked way too good to pass up and they even had Gluten Free and Vegan options!  Can’t get much better than that in my book.  They’re located right in downtown Green Bay – the perfect urban location.

For an appetizer Kinley and I shared their Guacamole and Organic Blue Chips.  The guacamole was delicious.  My only complaint was that it was gone just too darn fast.

I decided to get the Pumpkin Wrap.  Pumpkin hummus, Granny Smith apple, raw almonds, dried cranberries, and feta cheese on a multi-grain tortilla.  I got mine without feta and with a millet & flax tortilla instead.  They also had gluten free Teff tortillas so I could have had my pick!  I asked for it grilled, but it wasn’t so I ate it how it came.  I was too hungry to wait any longer!

Dessert was out of this world good.  I wish I lived closer so I could eat it all the time.  I guess it might be a good thing I don’t live too close then…  This is Frog Cake. Wheat-,gluten-, and dairy-free chocolate cake served with raspberries.  Say what?!  No wheat, gluten or dairy in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I might have ever had?  Excellent.  Now you know why I want to go back!

Along with the food items I had they had very delicious looking smoothies and a bunch of other wrap and sandwich options – with a lot of local and organic ingredients!  I really do want to run the Bellin 10k again next year so we have a good excuse to eat here again!

The Urban Frog on Urbanspoon

what to pack for an out-of-town race

For my first 10k in June, Kinley and I had to drive from Milwaukee to Green Bay for the race.  We ended up getting a hotel for the night to avoid extremely early driving, which ended up being a really good idea (it’s over an hour long drive).  We didn’t want to eat anything new the night before a race, and since we weren’t home, gluten free pancakes were not an option.  We also wanted to make sure we had a filling breakfast the next morning, with food for both before and after the race to tide us over until lunch.  So what did we bring?

Dinner

  • homemade pasta salad (with carrots, kale, sweet potato, gluten-free pasta and a vinaigrette sauce)
  • fruit (oranges/bananas)
  • Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food (for dessert)

Bedtime Snack

Pre-Race Breakfast

  • rice cakes
  • peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
  • jam

Post-Race Breakfast

  • Overnight oats (1/2c oats + 1T chia seeds with 3/4-1c non-dairy milk added the night before and kept in a mini-fridge)
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • granola (+ any other additional toppings)
  • Coffee (from the hotel) with the leftover non-dairy milk

Other

If your hotel doesn’t have a mini-fridge, a simple cooler with ice will do as well for the overnight oats.  You can even use the ice bucket at the hotel once you get there if you don’t have a cooler!

Even though there was a lot of planning and preparation before we left, we didn’t have to think about anything once we got to the hotel.  We just had to make the overnight oats and eat!  It’s important to bring enough food along (even too much) because you don’t want to be hungry the night before.  It’s not as crucial for shorter races, but when you get up to the longer ones you need all of the fuel you can get.  And if you are prone to stomachaches after eating out at restaurants, it is extremely beneficial to pack food that is familiar to you.

So if you ever find yourself traveling to a different city for a race, hopefully you find this list helpful!  Happy running!

i found the light

I still can’t believe it.  I am an employee!  Not just an intern, not a part-time worker, I am officially (well, once the offer letter gets here!) a full-time employee with a salary and benefits.  I never imagined how good it would feel to be offered a job like this – especially when I feel that everything ended up falling into place, whether or not it was following my own personal timeline.

I started my job search in February, which ended up being too early (in my opinion).  I had a couple of phone interviews where I feel that things would have (or could have) turned out differently if I did not have to wait until graduation in May to take those positions.  A few months waiting for an employee to start is too long for some companies, although there are always certain places who do like to hire early (but those were not where I applied apparently).  I had my first in-person interview at the end of April for a Marketing Coordinator position, and even with following up with them multiple times never heard a word from them again… Of course this gave me the feeling that I was not good enough, because even though I knew I had all of the requirements and skills for the position there was something they did not like about me.  I can speculate all I want and say, well they were waiting until they hired the position directly above the one I applied for (which they were), but that does not explain the zero contact I received after my interview.  I do not care if you do not want to hire me, no matter the reason, but TELL me and don’t make me hang on with some measure of a doubt as to the outcome of this position – I think it is rude and inconsiderate and personally has soured me to never being interested in doing business with this company again…

I had come to accept that the aforementioned position was not going to be mine by the time graduation came around (3ish weeks after hearing nothing).  I had applied to a couple of other positions as they came up, but was interested more in finishing classes/projects/school that not too many resumes were sent out.  The morning of graduation however, I saw a position that really caught my eye.  It was for a bakery company, looking for a Marketing & Administrative Assistant.  I wasn’t too keen on having over half of the responsibilities for the position be Administrative Assistant duties (plus the pay was less than at my first internship), but I did like the product I would be marketing and it was within 20 minutes from my house and would be able to carpool with Kinley (saving gas money!).  The  marketing duties really appealed to me however, it would have been the first marketing position the company ever had so I would have been responsible for everything… which I now realize would have been a whole lot of work and much of it would probably have been draining.  Well, as I wrote about in my post, there must be light at the end of the tunnel, I found out after 6 weeks (and 3 interviews, a project, etc.) that the position was no longer being hired for and I was back to square one.

Well, the day I found out that the position was no longer there, I noticed on LinkedIn that a professor of mine from a MBA course posted an entry-level position at her company.  I emailed my professor to see if she would be okay with me using her name on the cover letter and applying for the position.  I received back an email that said “Absolutely”.  So I got my cover letter and resume together and faxed (yes, faxed, and no, I didn’t technically do it – Kinley did haha) my information to the HR person who the company was going through.  This was on a Tuesday.  On Thursday afternoon, I got a call from the HR person who was going through all of the applications as somewhat of a pre-screening process.  She told me she would call me back on Friday if she wanted to meet with me and the meeting would be with her the following Tuesday (July 5th).  I waited and waited on Friday but no call ever came.  I really did not know what happened and why I didn’t hear anything, but I figured it was just not meant to be.

The whole next week I applied to countless other positions while still wondering why I never heard back.  Well, the next week (on July 11th) I got a call from the HR person who wanted me to meet with her the following Wednesday.  Of course I did because I still really wanted the position.  I met with her for only 15 minutes at a local Starbucks – just general questions and she had me take her through my portfolio.  She worked on a consultant basis (I believe) with the company and was meeting with my professor on Friday and would be talking with her about me and the position.  She said not to expect a phone call until the next Monday or Tuesday if she wanted to proceed with an interview.

That’s when things picked up.  On Friday afternoon I received a call that she wanted me to come in for an interview on Monday – and I didn’t even think I would have a phone call by that point!  On Monday, I went to the interview and it took 2 hours, I thought it went well and was very excited and nervous about finding out whether or not I got it.  I was told I would find out their decision within 24 hours.  The next day, this past Tuesday, I received a call a little before noon.  It was from my former professor/president of this company asking me if I would like to accept the job offer.

How could I say no?  The position sounds incredible, there will be some travel involved and they are going to pay me the top amount of my requested salary range.  Within 2 months and 1 week, I am happy and fortunate to be employed.  I am one of a small number of my classmates who are employed at this point and I still can’t believe it.  And I start on Monday!  Lots to do before I start my 40hour work weeks… and I am still going to keep up with my blog as much as I can, so no worries!

out and about in mke: alem ethiopian village

A couple of weeks ago, Kinley, a friend of ours, Carly, and I went out for dinner at Alem Ethiopian Village in Milwaukee.  The main reason we chose this restaurant (and even heard of this restaurant) was through Restaurants.com when Kinley bought a coupon for $25 off of a $50 purchase.  We love trying new things, and Ethiopian food was definitely new to all three of us!  Ethiopian food is also gluten-free and vegan friendly which was extremely nice – it’s hard to find places to eat that cater to those two dietary requirements combined!

The inside decor was very cute – we were the first ones in for dinner (at 6pm on a Friday), so we got our pick of seats.  We chose the more original setting.

Featuring these neat tables.  There was some sort of cone on top of it as well that the waitress took off as soon as we sat down.

We told our waitress we would be using the coupon, and even after we had ordered all of our food there was still some money to use up, so Kinley and I each had a bottle of Perrier and we got a bowl of Lentil soup to share.

The lentil soup was delicious.  I could have eaten the big bowl all by myself.  There was a lot of lentils throughout as well as the sweetest cooked down onions.  Yum.

For our entree, Kinley and I shared the Taste of Ethiopia Vegetarian Sampler, which featured each of the 10 vegetarian (which is really vegan since they do not use dairy or eggs) options they offered.  They even split up the piles, so Kinley and I each had our own 10 tastes to sample.  It was all served in injera, which is a flat bread made with Teff flour.  I had called earlier and asked if they did use any wheat in their bread (which is not authentic but is common in the US), and they said they did use some wheat flour but they also had gluten free injera that they were able to substitute.  If you are gluten free, call ahead and make sure they have it because they only had one piece tonight and luckily we got it!  Carly had a beef stew dish I believe (in the bowl on the right).  They did ask if it was okay to serve the meat and the vegetarian food on the same injera, which we said was fine (and the gluten free injera was served separately anyways so I just ate that one with the sampler items).

After our wonderful dinner, we walked down the street to the Art Museum, I just love walking by the lake.

Discovery World is right next door and was so pretty this time of day.

After walking here, we proceeded to get lost walking up the lake.  We weren’t technically lost, but ended up way out of the way to cross back over from the lake to a street we could walk back to our car on (darn bluff!).  It was fun nonetheless and definitely got quite the walk in after dinner!
Alem Ethiopian Village on Urbanspoon