I'm cold. Too much snow. Post-holiday blues. Winter allergies. Dry skin. My favorite Broadway show just closed. Which way to the sunny beach? Oh. No beach? No sun? Crap. And then suddenly, out of the blue, a pocket of warmth and happiness finds its way to my doorstep. I love that out of the dark, icy dungeons of January, a good day can emerge.
I traipsed through the oddly angelic, freshly fallen snow covering the city in a cloud of white with joyful anticipation of having a cozy, inspiring breakfast with my Choosing Raw blogger-friend Gena.
And like any good blogger, I want to share my good day with you! Ahead: my snow day breakfast with Gena, reflections on turning 30 in a few weeks and my recipe for one of my best-ever fast lunches. Jam-packed post ahead! Health, happiness & life all in one post!...
Snow Day. Again. Meh.
Slaw Day. Again. Yay.
Topped with tempeh.. (recipe later in this post)..
The lovely Gena of ChoosingRaw.com...
Girlfriends and Goals. In a few weeks I'll be turning... 30. Gulp. Perfect time to reflect.
I think most women reflect on themselves by looking at others. Sounds ironic - but it makes sense. It's a natural human reaction to compare and contrast your life with your peers. More specifically, your girlfriends.
Being 29. Those of us who are soon to bloom into 30, have come far, tested out various life paths (both professionally and personally) and have finally claimed a few lifelong values, goals and standards we can call our own. We are realizing that "mom was right" - for the most part. Real life has finally set in, we made it through our "quarter-life-crisis" and realized that some of the best moments in life are made up of smiles, laughs, hugs and chats. Dear to us: good food, health, happiness - and a few rad people to share it all with. We are becoming comfy in our own skin and realizing that life definitely doesn't always turn out the way we imagined it would.
“The key to your life is how you deal with Plan B." You can aim for Plan A. You can arrange for Plan A. But "Plan B" is what actually happens to you." - Marilu Henner, VGP
Some of my friends are getting married, having babies, transitioning careers, switching cities or moving up the corporate ladder into work positions they dreamed of having way back when they were just work-newbie college grads.
My 20's were a fast-paced decade. I finished college, started my first job, quit my first job, moved around a lot, Santa Cruz, Boston, LA, DC, NYC, dated lots of frogs, found my prince, got engaged, got married and started a new career. I'm hoping my 30's will be a time for perfecting the art of moving forward, without making my head spin. Grace under pressure.
"The only constant in life, is change." -unknown
Back to Today!.. Breakfast for Two. I took the morning off to meet up with Gena, who is going through the same late-20's, life transition drama as me. Our innocent girl chat felt like a warm cup of tea on a rainy day. Just plain fantastic.
We went to Le Pain Quotidien. Downtown. Seriously, I should probably just rent out a table at Le Pain because I eat there so much. Harvest Porridge. Berries. Yum...
the wide shot..
Le Pain makes the perfect soy latte. In fact, I don't really drink coffee anywhere else except at Le Pain. I usually go for tea. Geez, I think they need to hire me as their spokeswoman, stat!
My fave, the seasonal special Farro Harvest Porridge...
Gena is embarking on an inspiring life change: she's transitioning into becoming a Pre-Med student at Columbia University. Read all about Gena's adventures on her blog. So inspired by her! I love being around women who not only challenge themselves, but inspire me to challenge myself. Ambition is like a drug to me. I love absorbing the energy that radiates from people who dream big. I'm a big believer that if you put your heart, body, mind and soul into something (anything) you can accomplish it.
After a two-hour breakfast of foamy soy lattes, a few rounds of hot & cold de-caf (ha!), berries, oats and scones to-go, we went our separate ways and trekked out through the slush fields of post-snowstorm NYC.
After a few errands, I finally made it home. And guess what, I was starving! Cold weather will do that to me. So luckily, one of my very favorite quick lunches ever was ready for me and I want to share the recipe with you. This literally took me 3 minutes. No, really. I timed myself!
It's leftover slaw salad topped with skillet-cooked seasoned tempeh. So healthy, fast and easy. I gulped down some coconut water on the side and was in lunch heaven.
The "easy" tip. I'll make a giant bowl of the slaw salad at dinner the night before. Then I'll stick the leftovers in the fridge. The next day the slaw will be marinated and delicious - almost better than when freshly made. Easy.
The recipe... (and this tempeh takes 2 minutes! no excuses)..
Ingredients note: you can change up the ingredients if you'd like - for example switch out the fennel for cabbage. Or switch out the apples for pears. Or switch out the almonds for sunflower seeds. Or the carrots with broccoli slaw. Or the grapefruit for orange. Easy to customize with ingredients you have on hand.
Marinated Fennel-Apple-Citrus Slaw Salad
vegan, fills a big mixing bowl
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 cup slivered almonds
1 white grapefruit, peeled/de-seeded/diced
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
a few fennel fronds
3 Tbsp tahini (I used raw tahini on this salad)
1 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coriander
2 Tbsp EVOO
a few grinds of fresh pepper
Super Easy Tempeh Cubes
vegan, makes 2 cups
1 pack tempeh, cubed
splash of EVOO (just enough to lightly coat pan)
a few dashes of garlic powder
a few dashes of cumin
splash of liquid smoke (optional)
splash of apple cider vinegar
splash of lemon juice
1. Night before, prep your slaw salad. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together first - so the tahini blends with the acids. Add to your veggies/fruit/seeds/nuts - toss well. Stick in the fridge to marinate overnight. You can also eat fresh - fresh slaw will have a tougher "bite" to it.
2. The next day, 3 minutes before you want to chow down, grab your slaw. Toss. Pour in a serving bowl.
the slaw - after a night in the fridge...
3. Grab your tempeh. Dice. Coat a skillet. High heat. Toss in the tempeh. Sizzle. Layer with a few spices. I used garlic powder and cumin today. Liquid smoke - optional if you have and love it. Saute for a minutes. When pan gets dry, add in the lemon juice. Sizzle. Shake the pan - heavy handed work. Add your final splash of acid with the vinegar to de-glaze the pan. Turn off heat. Salt. Pepper. Serve hot.
Tempeh in skillet...
4. Serve tempeh over slaw. perfect. fast. easy. vegan. yum.
I could really eat this bowl every stinking day - that's how much I love it..
Hope YOU have a Happy Day.