Monday, February 20, 2012

SweetGreen Inspired Ensalada, Ole!

Today has been quite uneventful. It's like 40+ degrees and as sunny as my side-up eggs were this morning. Does that make sense? I don't know. IDGAF.OS. I'm a lucky girl in that my "job" allows me to work from home. What do I do? Basically assemble a sh*t ton of random data on Excel spreadsheets for my professor to one day use in a study on students and GPA's and freshmen and our Capstone Experience. What is a capstone experience, might you ask? Well it's this thing tech started doing when I came here where you complete a project - be it undergraduate research, a formal, high-level course, study abroad, independent studies, internships, etc. - and that project has to apply to the "real world" and it's supposed to better suit you for life after graduation. Clearly mine had a profound effect since I now sit in my bed, behind my computer, and blog while trying to organize data. 
Nah but actually mine was really awesome. I went to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to take 16 credits (granted by George Mason University) in Conservation Biology. 
Baaaasically it was amazing. Life changing. Stellar - if you will. And it really got me set on the grad-school, exotic animal track instead of the vet-school pups and kitty cats track. Not that dogs and cats and vets suck. I just cry like a baby when anything dies. I'm a weak human being damnit. Anyway at SCBI I did some pretty cool stuff. Like tackle a deer. It's for science people. I don't feel like explaining. PETA will probably come after me and be like "WTF Y U NO humanely weigh and measure deer body length with yo EYESSSS" and I'll be all like STFU. On mention of PETA, I just gotta preach for a minute. Maybe you don't care about critical thinking and live inside your own brain and listen to whatever anyone tells you and don't question anything you can skip ahead. Actually, you can stop reading this blog. Cuz you'll probably be a jerk. BUT for those of you that DO care about the intellectual integrity of our world I ask you this: PLEASE question everything - not to a paranoid, the government is controlling/watching our every move extent - but in a do your homework kind of way. How do you do your homework? Why I'm glad you asked! Read. Cautiously. Get both sides of an opinion. I read books on biology and God from a religious point of view in addition to an atheist point of view. For example: Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller - he's a believer. Or The Greatest Show on Earth by DEFINITE atheist Richard Dawkins. The same goes for Paleo and ALL other diets. Everyone thinks they have the right answer. Just make sure you get both sides of an argument and fact check. 

So now for a bit on what I've been eating. Last night I had a Barramundi filet seasoned with white and black sesame seeds and pepper. Barramundi is a rad white fish. Also known as the Asian Sea Bass, this little sucker is from the waters of Australia. It's sustainable, and, nutritionally, it's like a tilapia-salmon hybrid. You can learn more about it here if you'd like! All you do for this guy is season, wrap him up in foil, and bake at 400*F for 20 minutes. Literally - so. easy. 

 My lil' barramundi - is it weird that I'm affectionately addressing my food now? - was accompanied by a salad inspired by what I'm obsessed with at this place called "SweetGreen". It's back home though in Northern VA and so I can't have it here :( wah. Basically, SweetGreen can make anyone love a salad. Even Mark who gets this ah-mazing chicken caesar - definitely not paleo. But a ton of their salad add-ins are local, sustainable, DELICIOUS, and did I say delicious already? I always "build-my-own" so I decided I might as well try to replicate it at my apartment because it can't be that hard right? I always get this carrot chili vinaigrette that is aahhhmazing but they don't post their recipes ANYWHERE. Fail. So I made my own. It's spicy - if you're a little b*tch, which I can be - and you don't need much at all. I made a ginormous salad and used waaaay too much and I still have a significant amount left. 

Carrot-Beet-Radish-Sprouty Salad w/ Jalepeno Carrot Vinaigrette

  • As much Salad base as your heart desires (I used some crazy spring-mix but usually use baby arugula)
  • 1/4 cup beets, quartered (raw or cooked)
  • 1/4 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup radishes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup kidney beans (if you're strict paleo you can omit this. I won't be offended)
  • A few to several basil leaves, sliced vertically
  • Handful of sprouts (I used alfalfa/radish)
  • Pine nuts (or other nuts) - to taste aka 7 handfulls for ET
Directions: Combine. Got it? Good. 

Jalepeno Carrot Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup hemp oil (or other oil, probably not olive oil though)
  • 1/4 cup carrot juice (100% - make your own or purchase)
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 jalepeno, finely chopped (more if you're a BEAST, less if you're a baby)
  • Powdered ginger, garlic powder, & chili powder to taste
    • I did about 2 pinches each
Directions: Combine & whisk. Think you can handle that? I think so too. 

Peeking behind the salad is a pile of TERRA brand sweet potato chips. Not shown to actual scale. I def ate like 4-7 more handfuls of those than I should have. That Synergy purple drank? Kombucha. Fermented mushroom vinegary tea drink with raw chia seeds in it. I'm addicted. I have been ever since I learned of the mother during my Mysterious Mushrooms & Magical Molds class. No, we did not trip on mushrooms for extra credit. Yes, it was one of the best classes I've taken at tech AND the professor I've just learned is a fellow CrossFitter!! How cool? I always thought Kombucha sounded Asian, but it's actually a Russian drink. It boasts of how it's the "elixer of life and longevity" or some hippie bullsh*t on the back. I just love the taste and the chia seeds are like a freaking party in your mouth. Ever had bubble tea and sloshed those tapioca balls around in your mouth? Chia seeds are 109257012984x more fun to play with.

Time to go play in the melting snow. Until later!

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