A long day deserves a good meal.

I considered buying my good meal, as I was very tired.

But as it turns out, I have no money until payday.

Oops. My bad.

I had to find a good meal in my kitchen, and luckily there was one there.

Delicata Squash Tacos

I spritzed the squash with the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer I received from my Mom in my Christmas stocking. I roasted the squash at 400 F for about 30 minutes or so. Then I grabbed a couple of white corn tortillas and topped them with squash, black beans, Trader Joe’s Avocado Salsa, some greek yogurt, a pinch of reduced fat shredded mexican cheese and a little bit of fresh cilantro.

My good dinner was inhaled in about 42 seconds.

Now I’m chomping on the same lemon cookies Caitlin was talking about in her post. I shouldn’t buy cookies…I’m never satisfied until I’ve eaten them all. Oops again.

I’m also having an Anchor Steam….because this day warranted it. Trust me.

Hope your Saturday included a good meal, a serving tons of cookies and a nice cold beverage of your choice!

Are you good with sticking to single serving sizes of treats?

(I am a cookie monster. For serious.)

If you’re sitting there at home right now, trying to figure out what you should have for dinner tonight, let me make a suggestion.

Last night for dinner I made a variation of Angela’s recipe for “Back on Track Wheat Berry and Bean Salad“.

Now if you’ve never had a wheatberry, don’t be scared. They’re chewy and delicious. Especially in salads! I didn’t soak mine, but just did like Kath and simmered them until I was satisfied. I think it was around 30-40 minutes. I omitted the bell pepper from the salad (didn’t have one) and used black beans. This salad was great and really easy to prepare. I highly recommend it.

I had the salad with baked onion rings. Simply slice an onion, pull apart the rings, coat in egg whites (or whole eggs, whatever your pleasure), coat in the bread crumbs of your choice and bake for about 30 minutes. I think I baked at 350 F. They are most excellent when dipped in BBQ sauce.

Ever had wheatberries? What are your thoughts?

It may not be easy to be green, but by gosh, green sure is tasty.

(Sorry, Kermit.)

I’ve been trying to check out new recipes lately. My eating routine had gotten fairly boring and because of that, I found I was having little interest in making food at home.

This week my experiment was Kale Pesto with Spelt Spaghetti.

I first read about Kale Pesto on Ashley’s blog. Really, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I’ve made broccoli pesto based on a recipe of Amber’s, so why not Kale? Honestly, I think I like it even more than the broccoli.

It came out really well, though if possible, I would advise you to NOT use a Magic Bullet to make it. It was certainly more difficult than if it had been done with a regular food processor. I, of course, do not have a food processor, so I just accept that I have to spend a little extra time getting cooking jobs like this done.

The most interesting (or at least topical as of late?) ingredient for me in the kale pesto was the nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. I had no prior experience with nutritional yeast, and as I am not a vegan, the use of parmesan cheese doesn’t bother me in the least. I had some in the fridge, as a matter of fact. I was curious, however, so gave nutritional yeast a try. I didn’t really taste it in the pesto. I tried a tiny bit on its own, and I wasn’t sure I how I felt about its taste or texture. It seems like the kind of product that I wouldn’t mind in a sauce or something, but I wouldn’t want it sprinkled on my salads.

I had my kale pesto on spelt spaghetti that I picked up at Rainbow Grocery in the bulk section. I had never had spelt pasta before, but to me, it sort of tasted similar to whole wheat. Just a little bit heartier than white pasta. Definitely tasty though…and with a decent amount of fiber per serving. I would call it a win.

What’s on your dinner table this week?

Some days I feel darned proud of myself. Sure, they may fall few and far between, but sometimes, I know I’ve done good.

Yesterday after work, I didn’t want to walk home. But I did.

Then I didn’t want to cook dinner. But I did.

I know! I deserve some kind of trophy!

What the heck is that? Why, turkey meatloaf, of course!

I have never been a “meatloaf person”. I know many people grow up with it and think of it as comfort food, but no one ever made meatloaf in my childhood home. I always thought the idea of a bunch of meat in loaf form was kind of gross. Don’t ask me why. There is no logical reason. I liked burgers. I liked steak. I liked sausage. But meatloaf? Icky!

Then when I was older and living with my sister and brother-in-law, he would occasionally make the dreaded meat dish. This was when I actually tried it for the first time. I was about 22 years old. I announced that it was….okay.

Even now, meatloaf is not something I ever gravitate towards.

Well, it usually isn’t.

I woke up this weekend with an intense craving for meat. It was serious. I didn’t want a salad or some sort of wacky quinoa dish. I just wanted meat. Luckily, Jenna had just posted a recipe for a turkey meatloaf a few days ago, so I decided that it was about time I make this meatloaf thing happen. I used her recipe completely, with two exceptions. First, I had no lentils, so I obviously left those out. Secondly, I subbed a couple of chopped stalks of celery for the carrot. It still tasted pretty awesome.

Oh, and I also didn’t use a loaf pan, as you may have noticed. Not being used to making loaf-ed foods, I don’t own one.

Today I continued my awesomeness by going for my first run post illness. It was in no way as bad as I expected it to be. I was definitely feeling out of shape though. My heart rate stayed pretty high throughout and I am feeling kind of sore now. On the bright-side, I really did hit my stride about halfway through the run. I normally never really reach that part of running where I feel full of awesome, happy and healthy. I usually feel exhausted and I struggle mentally. Today, it was the exact opposite. As I ran down Haight, everything finally clicked.

That, I enjoyed.

After my run, I showered and walked to work. That’s right, just over 6 miles between walking and running covered on foot today. Boo-yah.

Work has been the only blemish in the awesome day. We learned that one of our contractors passed away yesterday. I didn’t know him very well, but he was always very nice. The vibe in the office is very somber today. I hope that wherever he is now, he is at peace and no longer in pain.

Meatloaf? Yay or Nay?

I still love spaghetti squash.

Just thought you all should know.

I still have my cough and it made my walk home difficult. You see, I’ve vowed to walk to and from work on days when it is possible for me to do so. This usually means that every Saturday and most Sundays I walk home from work, then on Mondays (and Sundays when I am the closing manager) I walk to work. I live about 3.75 miles away from my job, so if I am consistent and walk the distance these three times a week, I walk 11+ extra miles a week. I also save $6 in bus fares. It’s a win-win, really.

I got close to bailing out on this evening’s walking commute, however. I was carrying a heavy spaghetti squash from Trader Joe’s and I also knew that walking up the San Francisco hills were going to trigger coughing attacks. I knew the bus would be quicker, easier and would probably save me from the afore mentioned coughing spells.

In the end, I decided that the squash wasn’t that heavy, it wouldn’t take that long and at least I would be coughing outside. Coughing in a confined space like the gym would be embarrassing, but outside is no big deal.

It ended up being a really nice walk, despite the occasional hacking.

I’m so glad I stopped off for that squash. I bought the squash and a package of broccoli/cauliflower mix. $4.43. I had the cheese and store bought sauce in the fridge. I’ll probably get another 4 or 5 meals out of the squash too. Who says eating well has to be expensive?

Now that is good eats!

What’s for dinner tonight at your house?

I am suffering from mega cabin fever.

For the life of me, I cannot shake my cold. The sore throat, body aches and fever are long gone, but the cough just won’t quit. It’s down deep in my chest and periodically I just have a coughing attack.

Due to the cough, I haven’t been able to get in cardio, and it is totally bumming me out. I’m all psyched to start up training for the Bay to Breakers, but with this cough, it just isn’t possible. I don’t know how many of you have this problem, but when I have a cough that deep, exercise seems to set it off. All I’ve been able to do is walk, and the other day even that sparked an episode.

Due to still feeling under the weather, I’ve been trapped in my apartment. I had plans to visit with a friend tonight, but he canceled because he is sick too.

Seriously, these colds have got to GO!

I had wanted to go out and try to play with my new toy, but haven’t been able to yet. Only had a chance to mess around with food photography in between episodes of Degrassi Junior High.

Don’t judge.

Trader Joe’s Chickenless Nuggets, bbq sauce and Broccoli/Cauliflower mix (roasted)

Steel cut oats made with water, skim milk, banana and chia seeds. Topped with TJ’s Sunflower Seed Butter, Crofter’s and some butterscotch chips. I also had one of my Harry and David pears.

Still have no idea what I’m doing, but I did take the camera off of auto mode and played with white balance and ISO. You should have seen some of my photo fails!

Any idea how to kick a persistent cough? I am so over it!

Christmas swag.

I feel guilty about how many wonderful presents I got this year. It’s strange, but I didn’t ever feel guilty when I was a kid for getting tons of gifts…but now? I sort of feel like I don’t deserve so much. I find the older I get, the more I enjoy shopping for others. I know some of them get embarrassed about how much thought appears to have gone into giving them things…but it really just makes my day to do it.

All that being said…

…I am pretty happy with all of the things I got that I didn’t deserve.

When my sister quizzed me a month or so ago about what I would like, I told her I would like some bakeware, so that I could stop baking things in ugly disposable tin pans I buy at the grocery store. She came through and bought me the following set from Temp-tations.

They fit nicely into my dish cabinet:

Cosie liked the box they came in. Wow. Two cat beds in one week…if I had only known how happy she’d be, I would’ve held out for the box!

Aside from the bakeware, I did receive a few other presents.

My sister gave me two more presents:

A necklace made of hematite and onyx…

…and an electric candle!

My Mom got me a purse…which is rather funny, since I got her a purse too!

Despite the fact that my sister is 40 years old and I am 28, we still get Christmas stockings. This year, there were many nick knacks to be had.

Kashi cookies, See’s Candy, Hot cocoa, spatulas, a measuring spoon, a cookie dough scoop, a bookmark, some chapstick, hair ties, lotion, baggies to keep my produce fresh, a drip filter coffee carafe system (reminds me of Blue Bottle’s method!), some hand towels, etc. My mom told me there was also supposed to be some Trader Joe’s jam, an olive oil mister and a pound of Starbucks coffee, but she forgot them at home and will have to give them to me later.

The stocking had some clothes too.

A black thermal and a purple cashmere sweater.

There was also a pair of PJs in there, but since I have been wearing them all day, I never took a picture. Oops. The shirt is bright pink (like my cat’s new collar), long-sleeved and made out of thermal material. The bottoms are plaid. They’re super cute. Trust me.

My friend Peter got me this really cool original program from Bob Dylan and Santana’s 1984 European tour. It apparently had been stored in Bill Graham’s warehouse and was an item that was rescued after the fire. There is even some fire damage to some of the pages!

Bad. Ass.

I also received a lot of odds and ends from co-workers. Mostly baked goods and sweets.

I worked on Christmas Eve, but was picked up by my mom afterwards and we headed over to Richmond to my sister’s place for dinner. She had a lovely spread. Stuffed mushrooms, cheese and crackers and other nibbly things. She even offered me my choice of beer. Sometimes I feel weird about drinking in front of my family (I’m the baby of the family….a nearly 30 year old baby…), but I got over it! 😉

We had tri-tip from TJ’s, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, bread and roasted butternut squash a la Jamie Oliver. That last item was a surprise…I mean, whoa…there was squash on my sister’s stove! A once in a lifetime event. And delicious! She also made a family favorite, ice box pie, for dessert. I had a tiny slice right before we left.

I didn’t take any pictures there, as her dogs are really rambunctious, and I was worried my camera might get eaten. It was a fun night though. As much as I like being on my own, I did live with my sis and brother-in-law for six years and there are certainly things about them that I miss.

Christmas Day was spent doing absolutely nothing. In my pajamas. It was glorious. I gave Cosie a Chrismtas Baggie that my co-worker gifted her and made myself breakfast. I g-chatted with my Mom for about an hour and then later talked to my sister on the phone for about the same length of time. I also ate about a million and a half calories in snacks before making dinner and plating up something that looked like this:

If you celebrate, how was your Christmas?