Thursday, May 6, 2010

A week of firsts.

Hey all, it's been a super busy week for me so I'm going to keep it brief. Hopefully I'll have more for you after the weekend!

On Monday I successfully bussed it to my first full day at the office, where I eventually had to find my first weekday lunch. Luckily Main Tower Deli had a wide variety of salads (and popchips!) for me to munch on!

I picked up the Southwestern Salad (all the standard 'Southwestern' toppings plus some grilled chicken) with what appeared to be electric orange dressing on the side.
What I liked:
  1. the sweet and smokey bbq sauce on the chicken
  2. the chicken that had actual chicken taste and texture
What I didn't like:
  1. the sort of flavorless, electric orange dressing
  2. the whole red onion in my salad
Hey, it was fast and right downstairs. I will say they had a bunch of fun looking specials - I probably should have checked one of those out. Next time...

I can't remember what exactly I did on Monday, but I do know that it ended with my first soyrizo experiment. I've been itching to try the Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo and I managed to find the rice cooker in the last batch of boxes. Hello, brown rice bowl!
Um, soy chorizo is weird. Sorry non-meat eaters, but I might need to stick to my pork sausage. I was a little freaked out by the crumbles that just fell out of the casing and into the pan. They smelled good (I think I compared it to a sloppy joe?) and I tried to get the little nubbins as brown as possible without burning them.
Looks pretty legit, right?

Plopped some brown rice into a bowl after scraping it out of the rice cooker (brown rice - 1, Karena - 0), topped it with some soyrizo, romaine, grape tomatoes, corn, black beans, white cheddar, salsa, avocado and hot sauce.

As you can see, I got a little too excited about the return of the brown rice bowl and it was tough mixing that sucker up.

  1. return of the filling and tasty brown rice bowl!
  2. ruffage
  1. TJ's Soy Chorizo is SUPER salty...and I think I'm a pretty big salt fan.
  2. defeated once again cooking brown rice.
Tuesday was another day of firsts...interesting firsts. I ran for a bus and it ended up being the wrong bus. I learned that bus drops me off eight LONG blocks from the office. Luckily I was running ridiculously early and still got to work on time. Lesson learned.

I also discovered that we've got a box of Genmai Cha (Roasted Brown Rice Green Tea) in the office favorite brand too!
Have you ever tried this stuff? A coworker introduced me to this a long time ago and I just can't bring myself to drink regular green tea. The toasted brown rice adds a whole new dimension of flavor and there's just something comforting about the popcorn-y smell. Try it. It's goooood.

What's your favorite type/flavor of tea? I'm trying to wean myself off of coffee since I've been getting super jittery (but I'm willing to make some exceptions) so my morning jolt has been coming from this:
Squirt of honey and I'm content :)

My office welcome lunch was at nearby Palomino where I went with a lunch combo, sans photos since it was only my third day. Sheesh. My lunch combo included a Baby Field Green Salad with Chèvre and Pumpkin Seeds and half a Panini Club (Smoked turkey, genoa salami, pepper bacon, Provolone, tomato carpaccio, pesto, Dijon mustard). My salad was kinda lame - olive oil and lemon dressing. I definitely kept eyeing everyone else's salad. The sammich made up for it though. Perfectly crisp on the outside and salty, gooey, meaty and mustardy on the inside. YUM. Well, maybe a little too salty at times, but whatever.

After work I went and purchased my very first bus pass...EVER. Exciting moment for me since I no longer have to worry about having $2 on me at all times or losing transfer tickets. Genius!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I had an o so exciting bowl of oats for dinner. Did you catch the sarcasm there? ;p It wasn't photo worthy, but I dumped in some leftover dark leafy greens, soyrizo and feta and LOTS of hot sauce. Not my favorite dinner, but it'll do.

Wednesday brought more excitement as I stopped into Howard Street Coffee Roastery before work. I've been stopping here all week for my morning tea (the ladies are really nice and there's never a line when I go) and on Wednesday I thought I'd grab some breakfast on the go. I decided to try the Granola and Yogurt, thinking I'd get a cup of yogurt with some granola. NO. I was mistaken. I got a monster:
I think that's like a medium sized cold cup. WTF?! Ridic. Way too much for me, so I ended up only eating that first layer of yogurt, some blueberries (on the top) and then played around as I dug for some granola. I felt really wasteful. Ladies and gentlemen, perfect example of why bigger isn't better when it comes to food.

The morning and lunch flew by and the next thing I know it's like 3pm and someone comes by with a package...for me! Yay! I opened the box and smiled when I saw this:
And smiled even more when I opened it to see this:
Immediately put that on my desk even though my birthday isn't until Friday (o yeah, I have no idea why my desk is green). I figured I should refrain from opening the actual present in the box to avoid drawing attention to myself so I quietly hid it under my desk until I left.

I forgot I had errands to run after work. With the box. Awesome.

Went to fill out paperwork on my (hopefully) new apartment. Will keep you posted on the situation - I've got my fingers crossed nothing weird happens. You never know. I remembered to carry Box with me (yes, it now is a proper noun) out of the building and I didn't drop Box when I hopped on my first cable car
That I took in the wrong direction
I think it was a sign I wasn't meant to go to the TNT info session downtown. Maybe I'm not meant to learn more about the triathlon team. Meh? Whatever. It was free (o hey bus pass!) and hanging off the side with Box was fun. I ended up riding it all the way to Fisherman's Wharf (ish) and Box and I walked home from there.

I decided a trip to Trader Joe's was necessary since I didn't have anything for dinner (though, I was seriously craving sushi and couldn't justify spending the money). Box sat quietly in the shopping cart while I picked up some random things for dinner like some Summer Rolls
Cooked Lentils
a bottle of vino
some canadian bacon and spinach. Do you see where this is going?

Mid-TJ's trip, I decided dinner would be a Warm Lentil Salad. I had a ton of grape tomatoes that needed to be eaten and I was curious about these pre-cooked lentils. Canadian bacon just got tossed in there for fun since I've been experimenting a lot with fake meat - I needed some pork. The summer rolls were an impulse/I didn't eat enough during the day and have to eat something buy. I will never buy them from TJ's again.

I like to think you can't f up a summer roll. It's all fresh stuff. Apparently you can mess it up. These were wet and not tightly wrapped and there were definitely random bitter greens inside. PASS.

Warm Lentil Salad
2 tbsp shallot, minced
3 slices canadian bacon, diced
1/2 pt grape tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 package cooked lentils
1 c baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 - 1/3 c reduced fat feta, crumbled

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add shallot and saute for 1 minute before adding canadian bacon. Cook until bacon starts to brown and then add tomatoes, stir, and cover for 2 minutes.
Add lentils and reduce heat to medium low for 4 minutes. Stir in spinach and cover for 1-2 minutes. Stir in feta and add salt and pepper to taste.
Now this is one of the few times where I prefer reduced-fat feta. For some reason, I like the texture it has in this dish.

The goods:
  1. Super simple and easy dinner.
  2. Pre-cooked lentils are staying on my grocery list.
  3. Made enough for dinner AND lunch.
  4. The Norton Malbec was only $8 and reminded me of the two or three Norton bottles Jamie and I stashed in our suitcases upon our return from Buenos Aires a few years ago.
The bad: Do I need to repeat the bad summer roll? Done.

Man, that was a ton at once. I'll have to leave you guys with that for now. More tomorrow!


Jamie said...

I still think the bday card of you and a dinosaur is the best one I have seen. Happy bday!

MarathonVal said...

Happy birthday Karena!!! :)

Jamie said...

two things after re-reading this post:

(1) what is the trucker chain out of your pocket on the front of the card?

(2) you stashed all of the vine on the way home from BA. All of my goods were confiscated in Brazil, remember.