Saturday, April 28, 2012

Balance and Living Life

Life has been very busy, and I have been struggling to feel “balanced.” I realize that there really is no such thing as true “balance,” but it’s easy to realize when things are way off balance. I’m determined to focus more on the things I know I need to do to stay healthy and happy, and that includes the following: 
  • enough sleep – I have not been getting enough sleep for about a month now, and it is starting to show. I’m determined to get more sleep. That probably means that the few TV shows I’m currently watching will have to go…
  • healthy, planned meals – investing a few hours on the weekend to plan and prep meals pays off every time. I’m going to spend some time in the kitchen this weekend. 
  • enough exercise – Some workouts didn’t happen because of meetings and other work obligations. I think it’s time to get back to early morning workouts. That way they will happen! 
  • some fun – It’s so important to have some fun every day. And often it’s simply a matter of perspective…
I haven’t documented our life in photos in a while (partly because my laptop is breaking down little by little and hasn’t let me download any pics from my camera). Here are a few photos I emailed to myself. It's a great reminder that there has been fun in our lives! :)

Questions: How do you make sure to stay “balanced” when life gets hectic? What fun things are you going to do today?

Be well,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

CSA Veggies & A Meal Plan

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a photo of our CSA box. Getting our box is still one of my favorite parts of the week!

CSA April 12
If you are interested in my thoughts on CSAs, here are some previous posts in which I wrote about why I love my CSA and  how to make a CSA work for you.

Meal Planning

I haven’t done a very good job planning our meals lately. Life has been a bit busier than I like it. I still plan dinners every week on the white board in my room, but sometimes I don’t plan for all the days of the week, and we have been eating out a few more times than I’d like. So I’m determined to do a better job. Here are the meals for this week (plus some lunch items; we’ll have the same lunch more than once):

Meal 1: Cabbage & veggie soup & brown rice
Meal 2: Grilled salmon & a salad
Meal 3: Quesadillas with black beans, avocado, & salsa
Meal 4: Homemade ramen with eggs, lots of greens, spring onions, & basil
Meal 5: Japchae (we all really enjoy this dish right now)
Lunch: Curried chicken salad (organic chicken breasts, cut into small pieces, with a Greek yogurt/curry dressing)
Lunch: Quinoa & roasted veggie salad
Lunch: Egg salad

Questions: What meals do you have planned for the coming week? What’s your favorite lunch?

Be well,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Japchae: Korean Noodles (Korean Banchan Series)

Japchae is often served as part of the side dishes in Korean restaurants. However, it can also be a meal all of its own when it is served on a bed of rice and is then called japchae bap.

Most japchae recipe include meat, but since we don’t eat very much meat these days, I usually make it without meat. Also, I always change the ingredients in this dish, as I use whatever vegetables I have around.

Japchae (Korean Noodles)

Ingredients (for the noodles)
  • 8 ounces glass noodles (also called sweat potato or mung bean noodles)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces spinach (blanch the spinach and squeeze it dry)
  • oil
Ingredients (for the sauce)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbps black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, between 6 – 8 minutes.
  2. Rinse the noodles with cold water. If they are the long kind, cut them into about 5-inch-long pieces.
  3. Pour two tablespoons soy sauce over the noodles and make sure all noodles are coated evenly.
  4. Heat a frying pan and lightly coat it with oil.
  5. Stir fry the noodles for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Set the noodles aside.
  7. Mix the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  8. Heat a frying pan, add a little oil, and stir fry the vegetables one by one and let them cool. Season each vegetable with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  9. Once the vegetables are cooled, combine them with the spinach and the noodles.
  10. Coat the noodles with the sauce.
  11. Often this dish is served with egg strips. To make the egg strips, make an “egg pancake” and cut it into thin strips.
Of course it’s a lot more fun to make this dish if you have a helper:

Some of the noodles are REALLY long… In the picture on the right, they have already been cut and are being sautéed.

Once all ingredients are at room temperature, they can be mixed together.

Questions: What’s your favorite noodle dish?  
Be well,