Bacon, Maple, and Brussels

Hellllllo work delay! I woke up this morning to some “nasty precipitation” (says the news people) and the federal government having a delayed/noon opening. My work follows the federal government’s status so that means I don’t have to be into work till later. Yes yes yes. I was going to go back to sleep but I already was awake by the time I realized what was going on. And I had put on all my makeup. Fail. So instead I’m writing to you all bright and early.

I’m happy to report that I relaxed and slept this weekend. I even slept in till the crazy hour of 9am yesterday. But actually it was pretty weird waking up “that late.” My body clock usually gets me out of bed by 7:30am on the weekend. I knew my body needed it so I embraced being in my bed. The 5:45am alarm this morning was brutal- if I had known about the delay while I was still in my bed, I would NAHT be writing to you right now. But alas. Here I am.

I dig the mornings so I’m enjoying seeing the sunrise from my couch and not out of the windows of my office. I’m happy to be awake and alive on this Monday morning. It’s a new week and I always like the idea of starting fresh.

This week I am starting fresh in a different way than usual- with food that has been recommended to me by my registered dietitian. Usually I just make a crazy big salad for lunch but today’s lunch is:

1/2 a tuna salad sandwich (can of tuna + greek yogurt + pepper) on piece of ezekiel bread. With it, is a arugula/spinach salad with LENTILS and cannellini beans (they’re the newbies to my world of salad) plus grape tomatoes, avocado, green peppers, onion, sliced roasted eggplant, and mushrooms. I drizzled all the veggies with lemon juice and threw in some shakes of basil and lemon pepper. Crossin’ my fingers that its a hit. I have to be at work at noon… so do I eat lunch before I go into the office or at my desk when I get in or what’s the plan here? I don’t even know.

Shout out to my girl Sara– you’re the one that inspired me to try out the cannellini beans! I trust your judgement 😉

On Sunday I set out to make those lentils having NO IDEA what I was doing. Well actually I had to start Saturday night because apparently you have to soak lentils for like 8 hours before cooking them… what? Yeah- true story. So I soaked them in some water overnight and cooked them yesterday.

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Anyone else see the number three in my soaking lentils? Weird- I know.

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I was instructed to bring the lentils to a boil in their soaking liquid and then simmer, covered for about thirty minutes. I think I cooked mine too long as they got pretty mushy.

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This is me having no idea what I’m doing with lentils.

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I jarred the lentils and I also put my cannellini beans in a mason jar for easier access. I know- my lentils look like mush. Some of them are still solid but for the most part they’re kind of a sloppy mess. We’ll see how they taste/hold up in my lunch time salad.

New food experiments are fun- but they’re also nerve wracking! I like knowing what I’m doing and am a perfectionist so it’s weird just winging things and going with whatever the food decides to do.

One new recipe I tried that went really well this weekend was one for Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup. One pound of brussels mixed with 1 tbl. of real maple syrup, 1 tbl. of olive oil, and two slices of bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces (plus salt and pepper) roasted at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. That’s it, folks!

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(This is a picture of everything before cooking) I think it’s hard to have a BAD recipe that incorporates these ingredients. I mean it’s maple syrup and bacon…

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Roasted brussel sprouts are always delicious- but these were like… extra delicious. (I wanted to think of something more clever to say but hey, it’s early).

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Will and I tag teamed dinner- he made some BBQ chicken and I cooked the brussels and sweet potatoes. I forgot to take a picture till I was mid-meal. It was a yummy and relatively sweet themed dinner… perfect for my sweet tooth.

Other weekend highlights include:

  • Greek yogurt bowls for breakfast with “fried” bananas and topped with my new coconut peanut butter among other things
  • Going to a record swap fair downtown with Will
  • Checking out the “Renwick Gallery” Smithsonian museum which features collections of American craft. It’s right across from the White House and it’s actually one of the cooler museums I’ve been in. Go go go.
  • FINALLY trying out Taylor’s where I got the “Art Museum” sandwich (grilled chicken, provolone cheese, and roasted red peppers- I added portabella mushrooms as well- on a wheat bun). First time Taylor’s meal success! It was an awesome sandwich to get on a cold DC day.
  • Dinner last night with Nick where we enjoyed what I would consider one of the best sandwiches in DC- it’s called the Old MacDonald from the burger place Black and Orange and its: portabella mushroom, grilled vegetables, olives, chopped lettuce, hazelnut dressing alfalfa sprouts, hot cherry peppers, goat cheese, and avocado served on ciabatta bread. Seriously- if you haven’t had it, get one asap and if you’re visiting DC, be sure to check it out.

Oh and also… this is my first blog post from my NEW COMPUTER! I finally invested in a google chromebook and so far I’m loving it. It’s fast, light, compact, efficient, and just so much easier all around than my dying macbook. My macbook (whose name is “Mac Bluth” by the way… as a nod to the show Arrested Development… don’t judge me) is still kickin’ around but for all my everyday needs now, I go to my chromebook. We’ll see how much I like it after I’ve had it for longer. He doesn’t have a name yet (yeah, I’m referring to my new computer) but I’m working on it. It’ll come to me.

Will and I drove out to a Best Buy in Virginia to get my computer and while we were there I spotted an Old Navy with a lot of clearance signs in the window. I was able to stop in and grab a few things. My goal was to try on jeans as I need a pair of jeans that actually fit me appropriately/perfect (I have major jean issues right now) but everything I tried on was just blah. Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear told me that jeans BETTER make your butt look good. All the jeans I tried on made me look… not so good. Fail. But I managed to get two new sports bras for cheaps (I only had two before these new ones) and a pretty new shirt:

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Nothing crazy, pretty simple, but I absolutely love the length and the colors. It’s rare I find something these days that I love like this shirt.

Side note: if you’re looking for new active wear that’s not crazy expensive- Old Navy knows whats up. A lot of my workout stuff comes from there and I love it.

Alright, I’m going to go enjoy the rest of my morning at home. I was supposed to go to Body Pump tonight but I’m thinking I’ll just do a lil circuit workout of my own before work now that I have all this free time! Then later post work I’ll be able to come straight home to my warm apartment in the crappy rainy freezing cold weather. No worries on the crappy weather though as its supposed to be 60 degrees and sunny tomorrow. I’m not kidding. 70 on Wednesday. 45 Thursday. Potential snow on the horizon for the weekend. WHAT ARE YOU DOING DC?!

Oh, weather problems. I leave you with this simple thought for your Monday and the beginning of the week:

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8 thoughts on “Bacon, Maple, and Brussels

  1. So about your lentils, I don’t think you actually have to soak them. I usually just throw them in with water (1 part dry lentils: 3 parts water) and they turn out just fine! They’re really good with spinach/kale, onions, ham/saugage and/or feta cheese. They’re also handy for salads!

    • I second this. You definitely do not have to soak lentils. There is sort of a movement of people out there in internet-land that say that all legumes (and grains, too!) have to be soaked in order to get the full amount of nutrients from them. I think the idea originated with a book called Nourishing Traditions. BUT, scientific studies don’t really back up that notion.

      I only use dry beans in my cooking (so much cheaper!) and I usually forget to soak those. Luckily, there’s a method you can use to cook dry beans that requires NO SOAKING. It has changed my life. You bring the beans and water to a boil on the stove and boil for 15 minutes. Then you cover the pot and transfer it to the oven (it needs to be an oven safe pot, obviously) and cook for 75 minutes at 250 degrees. I have tried it with almost every type of bean and they always come out perfect, never mush and never crunchy. So, if you are still buying canned beans I’m urging you to make the switch to dried! Dried beans are so much cheaper and so much healthier. They also take up way less space than canned beans (and I know that kitchen space is valuable real estate in your apartment!) I like to cook up a big batch and then freeze smaller quantities so I can still have the convenience that canned beans offer.

      • Ahhhhh thank you so much for all of your sage wisdom! I should have known I could count on you to know what’s up in regards to dry beans and lentils because you’re a culinary wizard.. I will be attempting this sometime over the weekend after going grocery shopping on Friday.

  2. Love the top! Have I told you that your new camera takes such nice pictures? Everything you cook looks so beautiful(not just because of the camera though) and the colors are so bright and crisp. I like the art work and simple thought…so true!

  3. Thanks for posting such great and healthy recipes. Your blog makes eating healthy easier. I tend to not be creative in the kitchen, so I love trying new recipes that keep me on the wellness track. Yes, Old Navy is very reasonably priced for workout gear.

  4. Pingback: Re-Discovering Lentils | Wicked Healthy Washingtonian

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