Rice and Cupcakes

“What, you don’t like rice? Tell me Michael, how could a billion Chinese people be wrong?”….

Ever since I saw “The Lost Boys” and heard that quote, I could relate to it.  I didn’t have rice much growing up, aside from the occasional Chinese outing with my Dad (mom isn’t the “adventurous” diner), and my one-time favorite breakfast – minute rice with cinnamon, sugar, and milk – I didn’t eat much rice growing up.

Once I started getting older and going out to eat with friends (not to mentioned getting stationed 5 ft from Mexico at one point), I started noticing that in non-American cuisine, rice reigns supreme.  As a Vegan, I find non-American cuisine to be my favorite and certainly more balanced and veggie friendly.  I’d pick Thai or Indian over pretty much anything, and I love experimenting with recipes that are Turkish, Moroccan, Sri Lankan, etc.  You get the idea.  Most of the best gifts I ever received were cookbooks, and took me to places around the world I never could have imagined.  E got me World Vegetarian from Madhur Jaffrey where I first had truly global recipes – all veg of course.  My sister bought me 1000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra (which continues to be the most challenging cuisine to cook for me), not to mention a few vegan books my parents got me for Christmas a few years ago..V Cuisine is still a major go-to book.  

I think my renewed obsession with rice comes from my new fuzzy-logic rice cooker, and my most recent cookbook  The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.  It’s amazing the different types out there….long grain, short grain, white, brown, red, wehani, basmati, “forbidden” (once only allowed by Chinese royalty – it’s black but turns purple when cooked…how cool is THAT?).  I just made a huge batch of brown basmati to have with my dinner – an awesome crock pot Moroccan Stew of red bell peppers, onion, garlic, green beans, peas, chickpeas, apricots, carrots, tomatoes, and spices.  I have to say it again.  I love how I eat.  I wish everyone who asks me if it’s hard to be vegan could just spend a week eating what I do.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to be a lazy vegan.  After all, baked potatoes and salad are technically vegan…just boring 🙂

Alas, I could go on forever about rice (rinsing, soaking, steaming), but that’s not what this blog is about.

Nor is is about cupcakes, but I need to give a shout out to those too.  I made a batch today to make sure the kids had something fun for lunches (I’ve been remiss on baking – it’s so bloody hot, that I haven’t hardly used the oven).  As I was debating what to make, all I could think of were cupcakes.  I mean, they’re just as good as cakes…but PORTABLE.  That’s pretty darned cool too.  Can you tell I’m in a happy place?  Lots of cooking the past few days, which is always therapeutic for me.

So let’s see, what’s been happening the past few days?  Oh, my legs still itch, and that stinks.  It seems to be getting better though, so that’s very good.  It’s only intensely itchy in bursts now instead of constantly. 

Yesterday was a good day.  I had meetings at one of our hospitals all day, so I just stayed there.  I brought my lunch, which was leftover Dal soup, a cabbage salad, cherries, and a peach for a snack.  I love summer for the fruit!  Winter I love for the squash, but in the summer it’s all about plums, grapes, cherries, and watermelon for me.  After D and I got home, we all 5 of us trucked off to the gym.  Again.  That’s twice in a week, and makes me insanely happy.  A got set up on the Fitlinxx stuff too, so now she and M are going to have a contest on who lifts the most elephants (see previous post to explain the Elephant thing).  We’re thinking the contest will be the month of August.  It’ll give both the kids time to get in the swing of regular exercise.  They also all did some rock climbing which is fun too.

Dinner yesterday was a crockpot meal – pot roast, carrots, potatoes, and salad.  It was nice to have something planned for once – been bad about that lately.  I had a salad and Field Roast, which is another variation/brand of Tofurkey.  It was pretty good.  D even asked if he could take a bite – which is amazing if anyone realizes his total fear of soy products.  He was very gracious about it too.

Today was a pretty focused work day.  I got a lot done that I very much needed to.  Breakfast was a peach and some toast.  Lunch was Mexican with D and some friends.  After my last conference call of the day, I took A and M to the library.  I sat with my Kindle (which I felt a little self-conscious about since I was in a building full of books!), and waited while they looked for some books and checked out.  Then we picked up R and came home. 

Dinner for them was leftovers.  My family really stinks at eating leftovers, and the only trick I have found is to turn the leftovers into something else entirely so they don’t notice.  So today – I took the leftover pork roast from yesterday, shredded it, and simmered in BBQ sauce and made BBQ sandwiches.  I also made a pasta salad with ranch and bacon.  So yeah!  Easy meal for them today.  For once, I actually put more time and effort into my own meal, with my slow cooker stew and rice. 

While at the library, I ate an Odwalla bar.  I had some iced coffee when I got home, folded laundry, and hopped on the treadmill for my speed work workout.  Today was only 6 repeats, but the pace was faster.  The first 2 repeats sucked as always, but then was fine.  I felt well energized, and now have to consider adding Odwalla bars to my regular options.  Typically I’m a Clif Bar girl, but I picked up the Odwalla bar at the hospital cafeteria yesterday to make sure I wouldn’t get hungry if I was stuck in too many meetings. 

D took the kids to TKD so I could stay home and shower, and got to talk to my best friend for over an hour.  I miss him, and am very happy for him right now!  I’m hoping to be able to see him soon.

So now I’m going to get ready for bed.  R just grabbed her yoga mat and informed me that if I needed her, she’s going to be in my room doing animal yoga.  That’s just cool.

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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