I can not believe January is almost over! Well, technically there’s about two weeks left, but I automatically get into “end-of-the-month mode” by the time the 20th of any month hits.
But I have to say, winter isn’t so glamorous after the holidays are over.
Everything is just. so. COLD. I absolutely love the summer, and prefer warm weather over cold weather, so saying I hate winter is an understatement. The cold doesn’t make me want to do anything (which means not working out at all for four days straight) and I hate having a lecture this quarter that’s from 6-7:30pm in the evening when the temperature drops another 10 degrees or so.
It’s times like these I wish I had a winter home in Australia .
But even though the weather is depressing, I manage to keep my spirits up by treating myself to happy foods…foods that make me .
Here are a few foods that kept me happy from the past two weeks:
Happy Food #1 ~ Trader Joe’s Vegetable Tempura Rolls With Brown Rice
I don’t have a lot to choose from when it comes to purchasing any type of sushi, being a vegetarian and all (unless ofcourse I stumble upon a place that serves all-vegan sushi—unfortunately, it’s not that common as people like to think ;( ). Perhaps that’s why I find myself gravitating towards these awesome sauce rolls (or should I say, awesome soy sauce ) when my stomach is on the verge of eating itself, and I have an hour to spare before sitting for another hour and a half for Microbiology lecture.
These rolls are made with brown rice, and have seaweed on the inside to separate the oh-so-copious (not) amount of veggies and tempura bits. Even though the entire tray is about $3.50, and it doesn’t look like much, the mix of rice and veggies helps with keeping my belly full and my mind happy…it’s the thing that helps me look forward to the end of my 3-hour long lab class, since I know it will help replenish my depleting energy reserves spent on pipetting microliter after microliter of unknown protein concentrations into a 96-well plate.
I love these rolls in particular because they come with easy-to-peel packets of soy sauce, pickled horseradish, and wasabi. I oftentimes try to mix up the amount of wasabi on each roll just for fun, but sometimes I may put too much on one roll and the all-too-familiar stinging in the nose will come about!
Wasabi is packed with beta-carotenes and antioxidant capabilities, so it’s perfect for fighting the ailments of winter, like congestion and cold-related symptoms. Even though the stinging and the tears from the crazy ingredient can be too much to handle for some, wasabi is my winter condiment for sure!
Happy Food #2 ~ Greens Plus Protein Bar – Peanut Butter & Chocolate
Ever since first purchasing this…I’ll admit, pricey bar from Trader Joe’s over the summer, I have fallen in love with this flavor combination: chocolate, peanut butter, and green jelly-like filling. The bar is incredibly chewy, and even though the ingredients list is quite long…
…there’s nothing to really fear! I mean, if a bar can be packed with organic quinoa sprout powder, Japanese chlorella, milk thistle seed extract, and still taste good, why not?
The one thing that makes this bar unique is definitely it’s green, jelly-like filling. No gelatin is listed, but where does the green come from? How about organic alfalfa grass!
Grass and chocolate doesn’t sound like the most awesome combination ever, but for the foodie crowd, it’s probably no biggie since green monster smoothies are often seen as one of many expected go-to nutritious foods. Alfalfa grass can definitely be considered a rich and nutritious ingredient since it’s packed with eight essential amino acids, calcium, magnesium, and other fun nutrients and minerals known to be associated with those of chlorophyll ownership. Hey, if you’re using ingredients of the Earth, how can you not be happy ?
Happy Food #3 ~ Dr. Praeger’s Italian Veggie Burgers
I must say, happiness does come in patty form. Veggie patty, that is.
Is it horrible to say Monday is the weekday that makes me the most happy? At least for this quarter, since I just have once class in the morning and then just work afterwards. Lunch is easy to plan, and with a 50 cents off coupon in tow, I decided to purchase this box of Dr. Praeger’s Italian Veggie Burgers and cook ‘em up (microwave style) during my lunch break.
I had all four plain as my lunch, and didn’t need any condiments since they were flavorful on their own. Although it wasn’t recommended that they be microwaved, they turned out fine and the texture was more like cutting into a quiche than thick burger.
I honestly didn’t mind that these “burgers” were not really burger-like, since the pop of colors from the bits of random veggies made me smile. And there’s nothing like having something warm and nutritious to eat when it’s old outside, and your working in the basement floor of one of the tallest buildings on campus.
So I guess if happiness could be summarized in three foods, you read about mine just now…although my tastes are always changing, and it’s more than likely I’ll find a new Trader Joe’s product to swoon about or a new veggie meat I just gotta have every single day, but for now, I think I’ll have sushi and veggie burgers till my heart’s content…and not forget my Greens Plus Protein Bar for dessert!
What foods have been making you happy lately?