Sunday, January 19, 2014
The SparkArizona Team Challenge to "Eat Your Veggies" is encouraging me to try new vegetables. Since I completely LOVE vegetables, this is a bit of a challenge. I have eaten seaweed salad before, in restaurants, though I have never made my own. So we'll consider this a "make a new veggie" challenge!
I was at Whole Foods, looking through the seaweed choices to find one I'd not had before (yes, I love seaweed), when I saw this handy bag, mixing a wide variety of sea veggies:
The ingredients list: wakame, agar, suginori, tsunomata, and mafunori. Huh. The nutrition facts per serving: 14 calories (gotta love that!) 236 mg sodium, 0.6 g protein, and 3g carbohydrates. Seaweed is also known for being rich in trace minerals, which are not listed on the package.
Directions: soak in cold water for 7 minutes, then drain.
Here's how it looks after it is soaked and drained. I think it is gorgeous!
What do you think?
I wanted a little more color variety, so I grated a carrot and sliced up an orange bell pepper. There were more calories in the dressing than in the salad. No surprise there. Dressing was rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and a touch of Bragg's Aminos ('cuz I am out of tamari).
Here's a photo of my finished salad:
I found it totally delicious and it felt so good to be eating this lovely, nutritious salad.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
In SparkArizona, I am participating in the Eat Your Veggies Challenge, which includes trying a new veggie and blogging weekly about how you're getting your five veggies in each day.
Today, I discovered that there is indeed a veggie I had not previously eaten! I found this lovely Maitake mushroom at Whole Foods:
I also found the cutest little head of cauliflower, just about 1.5 cups of florets. So the soup idea lit up in my brain like a light bulb
1.5 cups caulflower florets
3.5 oz. Maitake mushroom, broken into small bite-size pieces
1.3 teaspoons coconut oil
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
ginger powder, sage, and Hawaiian pink salt to taste
Simmer the cauliflower florets in enough water to cover until tender. Set aside.
In a cast iron skillet, gently saute the sliced garlic in coconut oil until it just starts to brown. Add the mushroom pieces and saute until tender. The mushrooms will shrink as they release a good bit of their moisture content.
Puree the cauliflower, then return it to your sauce pan. Stir in the sauteed mushrooms & garlic, along with all their yummy juices. Season to taste with the ginger, sage, and salt.
This soup was absolutely scrumptious. It made two one-cup servings and I ate them both. The nutrition content for the two cups:
Here is an interesting article about the Maitake: www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stamets/
Monday, August 19, 2013
I've been largely absent from SparkPeople for the last week. Why? Because I've spent every spare moment scavenging for GISHWHES, aka Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen!
As a member of Team Average Joes Love(s) Archangels, I had some very important assignments to scavenge. Assignment #1, create a grammatically correct sentence using the first letter from the name of each team member. Show the names and sentence on your submission.
Assignment #2, photograph a statue of a famous person wearing a GISHWHES cardigan. Although I photographed Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, it was St. Francis of Assisi that came out the best.
Assignment #3, photograph a nun in full habit going down a waterslide. I captioned it, "This is what they do to nuns with dirty habits."
Assignment #4, photograph a Storm Trooper folding laundry at a laundromat.
Assignment #5, Panhandle on a sidewalk, holding a sign that reads, "A Dragon Burned My Castle Down." Your clothing should show signs of dragon attack.
We used a perfectly good Renaissance Festival costume to clean out my friend's grill, then singed holes in it (see the shoulder?) and ripped dragon claw marks into the skirt. By the way, it was 111 degrees F when we were out shooting that photo in Scottsdale, Arizona. And it was still 111 or more, when we shot the next one.
Assignment #5, Image: You are in a cage, staring down an animal in a cage. Catch: your cage is inside his cage.
Assignment #6, Image: Release the Kraken. My friend's research showed this was a wildly popular meme some years ago. It took approximately 100 shots of two different greyhounds wearing the dragon mask to come up with a good shot!
Assignment #7, Make clothing from kale. Dragon and bear clothing.
Assignment #8, Collect screen shots of team members using the word "abnosome" and compile them into a chart. "Abnosome" is "abnormal in an awesome way."
In addition to these, I also collected over 25 photos of people hugging while holding a sign that read, "GISHWHES Hugs The World!"
This last week was insane, absnosomely fun, and somewhat sleepless! I had a total blast and it feels like something is missing, now that the project has ended.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
I've been hiking twice a week at North Mountain, in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves. A fellow SparkFriend and a local non-SP pal and I meet up at the trail head by 5 a.m. We do a few warm up exercises, then head up the mountain!
In Phoenix, daytime temperatures are hitting over 100 F every day, with some days over 110 F. If I'm going to be outside at all, it needs to be early or very brief. At 5 a.m., before the sun is up, the temps have been around 80 F. Completely tolerable, though still warm for a workout.
However, I have learned that being out hiking so early in the morning provides exceptionally beautiful views! Here's a view of the night sky, with the only lights coming from the city below.
I love seeing the dark, with just a few lights. The reality is so much prettier than the picture, you can see much more detail than my smart-phone camera can pick up. We're up near the top, when the sun peaks out from behind these distant peaks.
Arleen took my picture at the top. I'm so happy to be up on the mountain early in the morning!
On the way down, I see my favorite desert plant - a shrub called "ocotillo." That is pronounced oh-coe-tee-oh, by the way. :D In the dry season, this plant looks dead, just spiky branches with thorns. We've had a lot of rain (for a desert) lately, so it is showing its amazing "resurrection" into a leafy, green plant, covered in tiny green leaves. A little more rain, and it will burst into amazing red flame blooms at the top of each spike. I sure hope we get that rain, because I just love seeing ocotillo in bloom!
This trail up North Mtn is pretty short - about 1.6 miles round trip. On a speedy day, it is a 35-38 minute hike. On a day where I stop for photo opps, it typically takes 48-52 minutes.
Tracking hikes on SparkPeople's fitness tracker isn't too accurate. SP gives me more calorie burn for the longer hike, even though MapMyHike gives me more burn on the shorter hike of the same distance. SP's choice for hiking doesn't count for altitude change or distance, though, just minutes. This hike has 518 feet in altitude change over 0.8 mile... pretty steep!
My SparkFriend, Christine, brought headlamps for Arleen and me last week. When the nights become longer and we cannot see at 5 a.m., I want to keep making these early morning hikes and will try out the headlamps!
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