Tomato Basil Cream Pasta & Morrocan Soup

It's officially the weekend. Yay!

I definitely fell asleep in my last class, really first time all semester. If you knew me, you'd give me cake or at least a hug. I used to fall asleep every 5 mins in class. I think having a computer to take notes is helping with that, as my body is more active, and if I get bored I can distract myself aside from snoozes. My friend woke me up in class since our teacher notices everything, and we sit 2nd row. I said 'I was listening, my eyes were hurting, think I have something in my left,' although that was true, I was definitely half asleep. I know I'm not the only one that does this. My mom will be reading a book, while we are watching TV, I will comment on something...no response. I look over she is pretty much drooling into the book. I cough loudly, and she'll just pretend she was reading the entire time. Seems like we all tend to pretend every now and then.

On a school night when I come home exhausted I need a quick fix meal. One that I found on VeganYumYum was Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta. With its few ingredients it made for a perfect meal to whip up in minutes. I never have tomatoes on hand, as I do not appreciate them in their natural state, so I just used a crushed can of tomatoes for the recipe. It took five-minutes to put everything in the blender and mix it up. Then a short heating of the pasta and you are ready. I decided I wanted to get a bit more fiber and protein, so I added some canneloni beans and a little freshly ground pepper. It looks really orange in the picture, but that is because our apartment has such high ceilings that our light isn't the greatest for photos. But this was so delicious, the cashews in the sauce really made it super creamy, but obviously no way near as unhealthy as cream sauces that our omni counterparts would consume. I was very pleased with the all of the flavors coming together, the garlic and basil was subdued a bit by the richness of the cashews. Very delicious and very, very quick.

Many nights I feel like making soup as it is probably one of my favorite meals ever. Whenever anyone asks what my last meal would be I have a hard time deciding between soup and thai food. Almost immediately after Happy Herbivore posted her Moroccan Soup recipe I made it. It was a nice soup since it had a lot of downtime that I could go off and do something else, like school work! It has lentils, onion, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and chickpeas...well and all the wonderful spices. My entire apartment filled with the exotic smells of the spices while the pot was simmering. The ginger, paprika, garam marsala, and cinnamon all complimented each other so well. When it was all cooked through I could not wait to get my taste buds flowing, it hit the spot massively. The warmness of the soup itself with all the rich flavors and textures and I could not believe how far the little bit of cinnamon went, it worked so well against the garam masala and paprika. I would recommend this soup to anyone and might just make it for my friends one night. I might even recommend doubling her recipe so you can have more to freeze for later. Yes, it was that good!

Hope you all have a good weekend :)


Powershift '09!

Next thursday I will be heading in a big 'ol van to Washington D.C. to take part in Powershift '09!! Powershift is a 3-day youth summit that will be calling our government to take immediate action against the climate change that is occuring. The first two days will be spent in workshops and lectures that will help the youth bring back the resources they've gained at Powershift to their schools and workplaces across the nation. So far 10,000 are signed up. There will be some pretty amazing people there, I am excited to say Nancy Pelosi (speaker of the house) will be our keynote addressee. The list continues with many other high ranking government officials and others. Some of the panels include: Climate, Creatures, and Ecosystems, False Solutions: Agrofuels, and Yes We Did: Empowering Youth, When Coolie became Cool: Cultural Appropriation, Grassroots Outreach, and many many many more! There will also be two big preformers, SANTOGOLD, and The Roots! And Monday, the last day of the conference, we will be marching to Congress to lobby. Very, very exciting.

I am so excited for Santogold, I'm so excited to see that she has taken part in such an event. I will most likely be missing The Roots as I will be dining with my Aunt and cousin, cousin-in-law, and the new baby boy that she is about to pop out. Little James is only days away from joining the world! And I have not seen my DC family members in two years, so it will be really nice to catch up properly.

The only downside is the fact that we are driving the 20hours. For 7 people though, it is cheaper to drive than to take a train/bus/plane. Only 3 of the 7 will be driving, as 4 of the students are at a local high school and the remainder are students at my university. So 6 hours of driving will not be fun. I will be making a mega mixtape or maybe I'll just go by a ipod tuner since I will know the car will have a lighter plug. We are going to be staying at a local church for free and the conference itself is only 40 dollars. I will be going to the grocery store and bringing all of my own food. Probably a few Indian Heat and Serve dishes, cous cous, granola, cereal, and tons of fresh fruit and veggies. We get back Tuesday morning, and at noon I have my first midterm...it probably won't fair well, but climate change and a chance to participate in this large scale of a movement is far too powerful to pass up.


I have to say I have an addiction to searching for products I want online. But I just look at descriptions, reviews, and pricing. Does not mean I commit, though when I am stressed I'll commit on the whim (note baby laptop, a brand new backpack (yam orange!) that came today, organic dry shampoo). But, normally I am good and don't buy it unless I know I really need it, and well so far I've used what I've bought frequently and they have been good solutions for me. So last summer when I was about to move into my first apartment, you can imagine I had a few late nights just searching and searching mindlessly for things I probably did not need but thought were cute... One of those things was a darn lunchbox. Now, when I was little I didn't have the cool Barbie hard case lunchbox, I had those insulated deals that if you spilt anything they would smell terrible, and by high school I was too cool for bringing a real lunchbox and sported wasteful paper bags with plastic bags on the inside. Definitely not cool. So the lunchbox search would always end on me dreaming about the Laptop Lunchbox system that our dear blogger has recommended so highly. The cost was unimaginable for my sad salary so it always went on hold.

Not anymore! This semester has proved to living on campus and eating pounds of Subway Veggie Delight's on Italian bread. They aren't too expensive, but they aren't cheap for what I get (lots of lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, lots of green peppers, a few red onions, salt n' pepper, oregano, and a little oil and vinegar). So I decided to get my Whimsical colored Laptop lunchbox. It finally arrived Monday morning and I have already used it 3 times. I've probably already saved a good 10 dollars on food by bringing my own lunch and I'm lowering my carbon footprint further by keeping with a durable plastic that I will not just toss after one use.

So as a special treat. I took pictures of my lunches. Maybe not a special treat for you, but I giggled all day long knowing the lunchbox was smoothly in my bag and I giggled all while I ate my lunch on campus. I'm definitely the coolest kid at uni.

salad with miso ginger dressing, fruit, and hummus and pretzels.

half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, carrots, fruit, craisins, and an Oreo.

My dinner was not pictured due to my being late to class. But it was cous cous, daal palak, carrots, and a pear.

And that is all. I just had a great night seeing Ben Kweller and The Watson Twins live...for FREE! I won an awesome contest by being a twitter-er. woot.
Back to series and parallel circuits and trying to forget about how cold and WINDY it is. Almost got blown over while walking to the theater. And I'm not exageratting.


Cabbage Stir-Fry and Garlicky Ranch Potato Patties

Well the long week is over, thank you! But, apparently a new week is already arriving with even more work. Last week, I got all of my work done and think I did really well on my exam. I will try and work just as hard. I barely cooked...wait I didn't. I am really needing to get to the grocery store. So next weekend I am going to go. I just have to carefully plan out my meals this week. Most likely, lots of frozen veggies and quick pastas and soups. I only have celery and peppers left of my fresh food. But, what is amazing is I haven't done grocery shopping in 4 weeks and have been good.

One produce item that I absolutely love buying without any plan to use it in specific meals is cabbage. I have to say cabbage might be one of my favorites. I love it steamed, fried, saute-d, baked, cooked, and I do like it raw. One of the best things about cabbage for a poor-college student is that it lasts forever. I have had a half-head of cabbage in my fridge for over a month before and it tasted just as fresh as the first time I used it. Sometimes, I find it so hard to find use for a full vegetable in a meal and then don't feel like it for weeks. I had to throw out kale that I had forgotten about today... Cabbage never has that issue. I can add a little cabbage to soup or a salad and get all that extra Vitamin C and flavor. Back in November I made an impromptu cabbage stir-fry. I cut up the bit of tofu I had left, celery, red pepper, and onions. The sauce was pretty average, just a little soy sauce, hoison sauce, and sriracha. With a little rice and garnished with sesame seeds, this made a really delicious, easy meal. It wasn't the quickest, since cabbage does take some time to cook down, but there was really no work involved other than stirring every so often. When I finally get grocery shopping, I will definitely be buying a good 'ol head of cabbage.

Normally when I am at school I don't have many conventional American meals of a protein, vegetables, and then a mixed side. But, every so often I feel like having a meal that would be similiar to something I would have at home. At home, we normally have a protein, beans or salad, and vegetables. I decided to make Joni's, of Just the Food, Garlicky Ranch Potato Patties. They were very simple to make, just had to peal and shave a few potatoes and mash together herbs and spices, bread crumbs, and a little oil. Before I cooked them I decided to make roasted vegetables and cannellini beans with tomato and sage. I actually had to call my mom to remember exactly what the cannellini bean recipe was. She wasn't sure, so I just threw together a half an onion in tomato sauce and a little paste, added dried basil and sage. After, the mixture was boiling I added the beans and a little salt and pepper. A brilliantlly flavorful side that is quick and easy. When the veggies were close to being done I cooked my patties and was ready to eat. Man was the patty so amazing to just cut into, it was crisp on the outside, and the perfect 'tender' on the inside. And boy were the flavors delicious. I didnt pair it with any sauces, but I ate it with my cannellini mix. I really could not get enough. The recipe made 4, so I cut back to two. And I'm glad, because the one patty was filling enough for one meal. I used the second for leftover sandwich the next day and it was just as good cold as it was hot. Perfect patty for the perfect meal.



Apparently it is all the rage...


I joined when I am completely, desperately in need of concentration. I wanted to be at the library tonight, but it was PACKED. I knew I'd get no studying done because I love to just watch people. And anytime anyone comes by me, I look up and look. Very, very distracting. I also am working highly from the computer, and its easier to just have my own, with my own settings. So here I am. I'm thinking Ill get to bed at 4 or 5...eek

On that note...
follow me?
oh dear.

I'll have a true update sometime after Thursday. I'll be working on getting at least 10 entries in this month. I will do it, don't worry. I am a proud owner of an ASUS Eee 901, which means I have a computer that is 9 inches wide! It is amazing, fits in my purse and barely weighs a few pounds. Perfect for my long days of 9am-6pm of classes. woot!

Have a good week!