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Inspired.

That’s how I felt this morning when I woke up. Inspired, and ready to take on the day!

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Despite having trouble falling asleep the night before, I laced up my shoes and hit the gym, study sheet in hand. I find I can read on the CrossRamp a lot more easily than I can on the elliptical (which I find incredibly tedious), so I spent 30 minutes studying while I got my sweat on. After, as a reward for my hard work, I finished my book-for-pleasure for 30 more minutes while I biked at a leisurely pace. I felt so accomplished by the time I left the gym!

Another reward? A relaxed breakfast, inspired by my Chocolate Covered Twin, Katie. I’ve had her Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes bookmarked for a couple weeks, and what better way to fuel up for an exam than with a stabilizing chocolate feast? I halved the recipe, made one cake, and topped it with Greek yogurt. For “syrup,” I heated frozen raspberries in the microwave for 45 seconds, than poured it on.

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I’ll let this photo speak for itself.

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Munched on an apple while I did some last-minute studying:

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I think the exam went pretty well, and the best part about it? I’m now done with the spring semester! Summer session doesn’t start until next Wednesday, so I’ll feel a little more relaxed until then. I’m most excited to read, see friends, and experiment in the kitchen!

After the test, I had my last on-campus lunch until the fall (I’m taking a morning class over the summer). I brought Lori & Michele’s Leek Zucchini Pasta Salad, which I’ve also had my eye on for months. I didn’t have any romaine, so I used wakame seaweed instead. I also added lemon juice and a little nutritional yeast. It tasted like a fresh bite of spring!

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On the side, pita chips and water. Has anyone else been really thirsty lately?!

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I left school to get a few groceries for the week. I tried really hard not to go too crazy and stick to my list. A few erroneous items found their way into my cart, but I know I’ll use them within the next week or two.

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Trader Joe’s haul:

  • Oat ‘n Wheat Bran Swirls <–alternative to Quaker Oatmeal Squares, for my yogurt bowls
  • Nature’s Path Hemp Plus Granola <–have been meaning to try this, but it’s so expensive at my grocery store! Also for my yogurt bowls
  • bourbon vanilla extract
  • pesto
  • anchovies <– have a few recipes bookmarked in this month’s Bon Appétit… I’m determined to like these!
  • goat milk yogurt <– found a big tub for $5.49!
  • goat milk sliced cheese
  • Kerrygold Irish butter
  • tempeh
  • almond milk
  • goat cream cheese (recommended by this lady and this lady)
  • Greek yogurt

Total: $41. Not my best, not my worst. But why is EVERY grocery store out of Bakers unsweetened chocolate?! I used to be able to find that orange box anywhere!

The farmers market proved even harder to show restraint; I am so overjoyed with the arrival of spring produce, and everything just looked fabulously lush and vibrant. Still, I had to watch my pennies, and only bought what I knew I would use this week.

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Farmers Market Haul

  • Crispin apples (4 HUGE)
  • red Russian kale (1 bunch)
  • spinach (1 bunch)
  • asparagus (1 bunch)
  • Breakfast radishes (1 bunch)
  • heirloom carrots (7 loose)
  • German Butterball potatoes (> 1 lb)

Later, my friend Caitlin and I met for dinner at Counter, the “vegetarian bar” I’d gotten a taste of at the Stonyfield event held there a few weeks ago.

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We shared a trio of three appetizers to start: white bean hummus and Brooklyn pita, fava arancini and mint chive pistou, and roasted beets. All delicious, but I think the arancini was my favorite! Such an interesting mix of flavors with the fava and the mint.

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For our entrées, we both ordered the Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad with grilled tempeh crouton, garlic lemon dressing, and fried capers. We both LOVED this… so hearty, filling and flavorful! We did have two small complaints: the salad was a tad on the salty side, and by the end of dinner, we had raging garlic mouth. (Good thing we weren’t on the prowl ;-) .)

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Caitlin and I both work and go to school, and are both enjoying not having to think about homework for a couple days. For dessert, we walked up to 16 Handles for frozen yogurt and a little more outdoor chitchat.

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I could get used to this.

Quick! What’s inspiring you right now?

16 comments to Inspired.

  • Your meal looks amazing!!

    Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory – especially the google chrome video- is inspiring me today!

  • All these delicious recipes I’m seeing on blogs are inspiring me to want to bake them!

  • LOVE YOU! I wish we were twins in real life… I always wanted a twin. But actually, I wanted an identical twin so she could go to science class for me :) .

    So excited you made the pancakes!!

    Oh, also, I wish you would be my twin because then I could meet you in person! And go to yummy NYC restaurants with you instead of having to live vicariously through your blog ;) .

  • Oh my gosh! I have been ridiculously thirsty lately, and I’m wondering if I’ve been dehydrated all winter, so now that it’s warm out, I’m noticing my thirst.

    So strange.

  • That pancake looks so good! I have a real problem with buying fresh produce at the moment. Everything just looks so good so I end up buying too much and as I hate waste I end up eating too much fruit! I have started making good use of my freezer though! I’m currently being inspired by HEAB’s cookie dough smoothie!

  • whoop! A workout is just the perfect way to start the day. Congrats on finishing up the semester! And so many awesome eats. My favs? Definitely the pasta salad and the pancakes (um- I NEED to make these!!). Can’t wait to shop at our TJs when it opens!! goat cream cheese ?? I must try this post pregnancy. Whats inspiring me right now? Keeping that little baby in my tummy healthy & happy, the sunshine and heat, family & friends :)

  • Counter is one of my favorite restaurants! Their East Side Burger is TO DIE FOR! :) Have you been to The Organic Grill, Gobo or Loving Hut? Those round out my top 4 veg places in Manhattan! Mmmm….

    And your farmer’s market haul looks awesome! :) One of my good friends owns a farm in Jersey and brings their produce to the 14th Street and 66th Street Greenmarkets…

  • Diana

    I LOVE that you’re taking pictures of your groceries! I’m very visual so seeing the actual containers is a big help!!!! Congrats for finishing the semester!

  • I love waking up feeling motivated. I always know its going to be a good day when that happens. Those pancakes look amazing and so does your dinner date with a good friend. :)

  • i’ve got fro yo on the brain! i’m hoping i can subside that tonight and deej will buy me some tlc!! off to hand in my thesis :) good luck girl on your test!!!!

  • the counter looks good! i’ll have to check it out when i come to nyc at the end of june (my movie “surrogate valentine” is playing at BAM – would LOVE to see you at the screening!!!)

  • What’s inspiring me today = my increasing stamina as I continue to take care of myself. I’m able to dance, do the elliptical, jog, take zumba, do yoga… all in the same day :D

  • Danielle

    congrats on being done! i can’t believe you’re already finishing your first semester. now we can have our pizza date! also, that last photo almost looks like you’re in paris. love it.

  • Congratulations on being done with the semester!

    I’m being inspired by all of this nice weather and sunshine we’ve been having in Pittsburgh! Nothing makes me want to lace up my sneakers than the idea of a sunny run through the park.

  • congrats on school!! and those pancakes look amazing, I remember seeing them on Katie’s blog…yum!

    i am being inspired by learning to wait…when i just let things happen naturally, good things can come

  • Ah! You’re making me want to go to TJ’s! Too bad I am headed home tomorrow, where there are no Trader Joes :(

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