Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘carmen’s cafe’

photo (45)

Listening to: I am love love loving Lorde’s new album PURE HEROINE. 400 Lux and Glory and Gore are on repeat all day long. Hard to believe she’s only seventeen; are you a fan?

Anxious about: next week’s race. I set a huge goal for myself and four weeks ago it seemed totally doable. Today, I am still struggling to shave off  thirty seconds off of my pace. Day one my average pace per mile for 6.2 miles was 9:48. Last week/halfway with training it was 9:25. Realistically if I continue to eat my cleanest, run every run with intention and stay hydrated, this is a perfectly attainable goal. But it is easier said than done. This afternoon’s run was just over three miles at an average pace of 9:00; so damn close and so damn hard for me to continue. I’ve got my work cut out for me friends.

Excited about: I was invited to a cookie swap/potluck dinner next month put on by and for local bloggers! I’m looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully trying some good food. I did make a note that I was vegan so hopefully a couple of people will take that into consideration and provide goodies that I can sample and bring home to the beau. If not, that’s okay because let’s be honest, I don’t need all those sweets!

Wondering: if a blood test is really the best bet for finding food allergies? Now that I’ve been vegan for almost a year now, I’m finding that I’m very sensitive to specific foods. I’ve hinted before but gluten has become a major problem for me and it wasn’t until a near-disasterous car ride home from a sushi date that I figured it out; there is gluten in soy sauce. I’m also noting that tofu also causes digestion issues. But not tempeh, which is fermented soy. It could also be that because I am physically pushing myself harder more frequently, my body hasn’t figured out how to adjust or I haven’t properly figured out how to fuel on workout days. Or maybe I’m eating too much fiber at once without any grains? I’m considering a blood test and wondering if anyone out there has ever had one?

Planning: on decorating the mantle in our bedroom this holiday season. Can I just say that holiday decorations are expensive! I’m going to try and save some cash by using items already in the apartment and DIYing some projects.

Loving: all of the love in the air! My little sister is engaged! A close friend of mine is getting married in nine months and asked me to be part of her special day! Another close friend is pregnant and due in the Spring! I don’t feel old enough to announce any of that news but I can happily say that all were planned.

Eating: Despite having belly troubles, I am loving tofu scrambles and burritos. And then stuffing my tofu scrambles inside the burritos. It’s a win win really. I’m also loving my cookie butter and sliced apples snack mid-morning while at work. And vegan gummy bears. And the return of frozen pineapple and raw kale in my breakfy smoothie. Can you tell I made a trip to Trader Joe’s? Speaking of TJ’s, they discontinued our beloved soy chorizo! Insert wailing. The portobello mushroom burger this past Sunday at Carmen’s was probably by far the best portobello mushroom I’ve ever had. Ever. I hope it makes a return to the specials board real soon. I’m craving a good sloppy Joe.

{Wedding magazines found at local CVS. OMG YAY! card found at Troy Cloth & Paper. Dark chocolate found at The Grocery.}

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Let’s see, we no longer have internet at the apartment. We took a day trip to Woodstock, NY. I flew down to Baltimore on Thursday for a conference on Friday and am back in state to work at the shop today for the Farmer’s Market. It’s been a little busy.

For the first time since signing up for Field Goods, I don’t have a photograph to share with you all. When I reminded the beau that he’d have to pick up the veggies, the first thing he said was “I’m not taking a photograph!” And I don’t blame him, he would rather dive in; and dive in he did. I know we have a small serving of mustard greens left, apples, more turnips for roasting and cider. Our favorite autumn drink: hot cider with a shot of caramel vodka. You’re welcome.

I didn’t get to sight see much while in Baltimore but I did enjoy my very short stay. There were many colleges in the area which meant there was a ton of foot traffic, interesting shops scattered along the streets and many restaurants that I would have loved to eat at and sample. I did a quick search online once I checked into my hotel for the best vegan place to eat and hands-down the response was The Land of Kush.

photo 1-3

photo 2-3

Everything on the menu is vegan and the minute I saw the macaroni and cheese, I knew I needed a side sample. Once deciding on the special platter (one entree, two sides), I opted for the Kush BBQ Ribs smothered in BBQ sauce and the collard greens.

photo 2-2

It was all so good! The collards were a little bland, but when paired with the mac & cheese, it was the perfect bite. Now for the ribs (soy protein), I haven’t tasted BBQ like that in a looooong time! There were red peppers in the sauce and bites of potatoes; I regretted not grabbing a hunk of corn bread to lap up that sauce! I was very satisfied and let the guys behind the counter know. They were welcoming and hinted that I should drop by again after I told them that I’d have time before my flight on Friday night.

And that’s just where I returned after dropping a few new colleagues off at the train station. Hey, I was only like three blocks away… and when in Baltimore…

photo 1-2

This time I chose two crab cakes, more mac & cheese and the live kale salad. My little sister is obsessed with crab cakes (she will order them off of any and all menus) and let me tell you, this would have fooled her. Again, I haven’t had a crab cake in over a year now and my problem, I’m now craving them and they’re miles away! The beau and I will have to start experimenting with soy protein to try and recreate theirs.

I’m also going to try and recreate the kale salad. I could taste the lemon juice and garlic with each bite, but occasionally there was a hint of creaminess. I liked that it wasn’t all creamy and overpowering and had to ask them what it was: avocado. I would have never guessed because there wasn’t an avocado taste or green color; I’m going to try my hardest not to go overboard when I give it a go.

I love a place where the people are happy and this place was just that. I also love a place that will tell you everything that’s in what you’re eating. I believe there shouldn’t be secret ingredients for two reasons:

  1. As a consumer, I’d love to know what I’m eating. For allergy reasons. For health reasons. For ethical reasons. For the fact that it’s a right to know what I’m putting into my body as fuel.
  2. As a provider, you want to encourage your customers to eat well and have a healthy lifestyle. My favorite restaurant in Troy is not based solely on the taste of their product (which is always amazing) but because I have a relationship with the owners and chef. If I ask, they tell. They want me to eat healthy at home and go to them as a second kitchen. And I do weekend after weekend. (and if you haven’t guessed, it’s Carmen’s!)

Do you agree? Any who, I’d definitely recommend it if you are ever in that area.

Food wise I’m happy to be home again and have the option of cooking my own meals. I ate a lot of fruit salad, grilled veggies and one veggie sushi roll in the airport. I’m also happy to have someone to share my meals with; eating on the road can be lonely in a new place. Lucky for me, I have a great sense of direction and had a good book in my backpack.

Read Full Post »

It’s been a while since I’ve been this productive on a weekend. I work for at least six hours on Saturday at the store during the Farmer’s Market and either have plans for the evening or pass out early because Sundays are typically spent hiking. But with the rain this weekend, I was stuck in Troy… in a very messy apartment.

kitty and beau

I slept in, we had a wonderful brunch at our usual Sunday spot after yoga (the beau’s class- I stayed in bed) and then he had to go into work to get a head start on this week’s work. I was bound and determined to make our apartment sparkle! When we both come home at the end of a long day, neither of us wants to clean; so we don’t. And with commitments on the weekends, cleaning takes the back seat then too.

So for almost five hours this afternoon I swept, mopped, scrubbed, washed dishes for what seemed like an eternity, dusted and organized. I think I only saw three mosquitos, possibly only two, and killed one in my closet. I added a little pour of my natural bug spray (made up of essential oils) to the mop bucket and sprays; I wanted to repel those pesky insects! I poured bleach down drains and made sure to check all indoor plants of stagnant water- we are in the clear! I think we just have to wait for the few remaining mosquitos to die! (insert evil cackle)

For the remainder of the afternoon I cooked up two meals: one for dinner tonight and the other for tomorrow. I still have a list of organizational stuff that I’d like to accomplish this week and having a clean apartment helps me focus. Having a meal pre-prepared really gives me a boost because then I don’t have to spend time in the kitchen cooking/cleaning up. Both meals came out delicious so I figured I’d share. You’re welcome.

photo 2 (3)

Hearty Mushroom Farro Serves two very hungry adults

  • 16 oz of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, diced
  • salt & pepper, onion powder, no-chicken bouillon cube to taste
  • fresh thyme
  • EVOO
  • crispy onions, optional

Boil water and cook farro according to package directions. Drain and set aside until mushrooms are done. (We love Trader’s Joe’s fast-cooking farro; it’s done within 10-12 minutes!)

In a pot, add EVOO and the mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat until tender and reduced significantly in size. Add a dash (tablespoon or so) of balsamic vinegar, the fresh thyme and the rest of your seasonings and stir until coated. You can add in the no-chicken bouillon at this point too if you aren’t using stock for more flavor. Add in the liquid and bring to a boil. Cook for about ten minutes. I used our hand blended to slightly chop up the mushrooms at this point, but didn’t liquify it. Stir in the farro and top each bowlful with some crunchy onions. Enjoy!

photo 1 (3)

I also baked up the chioggia beets from this week’s share by simply tossing them in EVOO, a little dash of balsamic vinegar, S&P and topped them with raw walnuts and fresh thyme.

lentil tomato soup

Tomato Lentil Soup Serves 2-3 adults

  • 3/4 cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • shallot, diced
  • 2 big parsnips, diced
  • EVOO
  • paprika, salt & pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, bay leaves
  • ketchup or tomato paste

In a pot, add the EVOO, shallot and parsnips and cook over medium heat until the parsnips are tender. You could also use carrots- I just had parsnips on hand from last week’s delivery.

Add the lentils, bay leaves and liquid and cover until the lentils are almost cooked to perfection. At this point you could add a no-chicken bouillon for more flavor, I did not. Once almost done, add in the tomatoes (canned could work too if you don’t have fresh) and ketchup or tomato paste. I added about two tablespoons of ketchup. Mix in your other seasonings to taste (I like it with a little kick!) and cover to simmer for about another ten minutes. I used a hand blender on this dish as well (the beau doesn’t like chunky tomatoes) and serve hot, maybe with a chunk of bread and simple salad.

*I personally like thick soups- simply add more liquid if you like it a little thinner. The picture really doesn’t give it justice- the flavors are fresh and fantastic!

It feels great to have a clean apartment and to have clean meals prepared or lined up for the coming week. Do you practice better habits if your home is neat and tidy?

Read Full Post »

photo (15)

Well, we did it! Most importantly, my little sister crossed the finish line of her first half marathon! This was a gorgeous route- I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been training on a bike path week after week or because this was the city I fell in love with running, but the miles seemed to tick by. I found myself repeatedly saying out loud that it was the most perfect day for this race; something I tend to do a lot in the mountains when hiking. I was thankful that there wasn’t a tiny percent of humidity in the air and that it was quite brisk when we started- my two favorite things about autumn running.

Here’s a little recap of the miles:

Miles 1-3: If you follow along with my training on DailyMile, you’d know that the past couple of weeks I have been running the biggest hills in Troy to prepare myself for the incline up North Broadway to Skidmore College. I remember running this route with Marla years ago and it would KILL me. I didn’t want to start this race dragging, or dragging my sister back, so hills have become part of my routine. This morning I could have flown up that incline. I could have flown up the two hills throughout the campus and breezed back down toward downtown. I could feel my body pulling myself faster but I stayed right along with Naomi, encouraging her the whole way. See, she hadn’t trained with hills. She did exactly what I told her to do: run comfortably up those hills and we’d gain our ground later in the race. Start slow and finish strong.

Halfway up North Broadway she gave me a look and asked me if there were people behind her. I said yes, but not many, and not to worry because if we were the last two people to cross the finish line, I’d let her go first. I knew we wouldn’t be the last two people and reassured her that she was doing great. I caught her looking at her Garmin far too much and she would ask why she was going so slow or how the pace felt to me- I just told her to STOP looking at that watch or I’d take it away from her. (Great words my friend once said to me last year during my marathon attempt.) I didn’t want her worrying about time; I wanted her to finish. We passed our family and were thumbs-up with smiles!

photo (16)

Miles 4-6: The best part about this race was that I knew where all the hills would be and when to prepare her for them. She made it up the hill on Broadway heading toward the Saratoga State Park and I just followed her pace. She fell into a nice little groove and held that consistently until about mile 5.25. At this point in the course, we could see the runners that were MILES ahead of us and some were MUCH older than us. She had me laughing out loud when she made a comment about a “grandpa” who was beating us but I reminded her to run her own run and not to think about those people. To me, those people are inspiration. This was when I saw a No Meat Athlete and a friend named Gabe run by and had to give them a holler. This was also when I saw the competitive side of Naomi come out; she started to verbalize “targets” of whom she wanted to pass. I did this earlier in the race to her but backed off because I didn’t want to push her too soon. I reminded her that if she were to pass people now, she better hold it to the finish line; not a problem.

Miles 7-9: I refueled around mile 6.5 and started taking routine sips of water every two miles. Naomi also shared the water bottle I carried which was great because we didn’t stop at any water stations. We hit our last hill of the day and she passed people going up! These weren’t memorable miles for me until about mile 9.75 when we saw our family a second time… I’m still all smiles and thumbs-up! I think this was a huge relief for my mom because this was right around the time I was pulled from VCM.

photo (17)

Miles 10-12: Once we hit ten miles and high-fived (we did that at every mile marker), I reminded her that we had just a 5k to go! She really started to pick up the pace and it was tricky for us to fall into a new groove because it was much more crowded and practically single file on Crescent Ave because of traffic. She let me know when it was safe to pass. She said mile 10-11 was her most difficult but I couldn’t tell. By this time, I had to pee but couldn’t imagine stopping. She told me all the better to pick up the speed and finish, so I did. Once mile 12 came, she kept asking, “where’s the Farmer’s Market?!”

photo (18)

Miles 13-13.1: We booked it! As we were passing those who were walking, I couldn’t help but try and encourage them during the last mile. Once we rounded the corner near the police station and could see the finish, I really fell into stride; and she was right there with me. We passed her boyfriend, my dad who was on the phone looking for her boyfriend and then there at the finish line was the beau and my mom. I grabbed Naomi’s hand and crossed we did! My DailyMile friend John even announced the two of us and the fact that it was her first race! She looked like she was going to barf (sorry Naomi) and I couldn’t help but smile because I knew she gave it all she had in her. We found our family, including the beau’s! and relaxed for a while before heading home.

photo (19)

It was a great day! Once the beau and I made it back to Troy, we sat down for a delicious meal at Carmen’s with a celebratory mimosa! That mix of spinach, seasonal veggies and rice were just what I needed to refuel. I got home and passed out to take a short nap and when I woke up, I was surprised to find out that the beau had made homemade tomato sauce (seriously impressed with the flavor), pasta and fried/baked eggplant… oh, and had a 12 pack of Saranac seasonal beers chilled! Isn’t he great?! I stuffed my face had a hearty serving of dinner while watching Sons of Anarchy- season five is getting better and better! It was a wonderful way to wrap up a busy weekend.

photo (20)

photo (21)

Other highlights from this weekend: we finally got the record player up and running! I love looking through the box of records and dancing around the apartment. Now if only I was productive while dancing around, say, sweeping or picking up dirty laundry. Oh! And the beau ran his first (ever) 5k on Saturday! I loved to see him participate and I think it’s safe to say that he’s hooked: I’m pretty sure he’s going to run the Turkey Trot with me!

Read Full Post »