June Challenges Update

Happy 4th of July!


I’m finally going to update about my June challenges.

  1. Decluttering.  I did okay with this, but only because I already had 2 big bags of books to give away and several bags of clothes.  I haven’t taken them to goodwill yet, but I will soon.  As for my pantry, I actually did do well with that.  I used up a lot of pasta, soba noodles, random nuts and dried fruits, to0-sugary instant oatmeal (made vegan cookies for Bobby to take to work), frozen veggies (I think I might be over them), random frozen snacks (Bobby), frozen shrimp, instant miso soup, and maybe even more that I’m forgetting.  Bobby has also decided to sell his Wii.  He has an Xbox so he doesn’t really need the Wii anymore. (If you live in the bay area and want to buy a Wii + controllers + games, let me know – otherwise he’s going to sell it to a resale place.)
  2. Drinking water before bed.  I’d forgotten about this, but I did it anyway.  Sweet.
  3. Pantry items – see above.
  4. Cleaning/organizing 5 minutes every day.  Not intentionally, but I did end up vacuuming and wiping stuff down more often.  I need to work on the organizing part.

I’ve also been doing yoga daily.  I started out with just 25 minutes timed (kitchen timer) and now I’m up to 40 minutes.  I’ll probably stick with 40 because it seems to be a good balance for me.  I haven’t been walking as much, but I do try to get in some kind of walking every day.  I think I’m finally okay with just a bit of yoga and just a bit of walking… they make me feel really good.

In the last few days of trying to eat more healthy fats, I’ve found a new obsession – sesame seeds.  I’ll post about them later.  Enjoy your 4th!

Healthy Fried Rice

As promised, my healthy fried rice recipe.  Actually, more like Bobby’s healthy fried rice recipe.  He doesn’t cook much, but he makes this dish really well.  I taught him.  But first, a challenge update…

  1. More healthy fats – yep, kicked this one out of the ballpark again.  Lots of PBU (in oat bran and plain), sesame seeds (cool idea coming), and some sesame oil.
  2. Less kabocha – well, no.  I had a whole one again.  But I know I can do this soon.
  3. Spontaneity – yeah!

Here is the recipe that I spontaneously decided to eat on Wednesday night.  It was delicious.  To veganize this, omit the eggs and use tofu in place of meat.

Healthy Fried Rice03 fried rice

Ingredients (serves 3-4?)

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice (dry)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped (or grated)
  • meat/tofu – we used 1 nitrate/nitrite free hot dog (chopped up) and 1 frozen chicken breast (chopped up)
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 big stalk of celery, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter/margarine (earth balance light)
  • 2 eggs (organic, cage-free)
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce (more or less, to taste)
  • chili powder, to taste (~1 teaspoon)
  • 1-2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (optional)
  • <1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Cook the rice.  I used a rice cooker.
  2. In a wok, heat the oil on medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and let it start to get crispy.  Add the meat/tofu and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Then add the veggies and mix for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice to the wok and mix it well.  Add the butter, chili powder, soy sauce, some teriyaki sauce (if using), and mix.
  4. Crack the eggs into the rice mixture and stir them around until they’re cooked through.  Stir in some sesame seeds, if using.
  5. Serve hot, and top with more teriyaki sauce if you’d like.  I didn’t; Bobby did.

I think the reason I liked this so much was because the rice was basmati rice.  I do actually enjoy basmati rice sometimes.  My mom tells me there’s a brown basmati rice so I’ll have to check that out.

What are your weekend plans? Bobby has off today and we’re going to lounge… tomorrow we have a bbq, and Sunday I’m teaching SAT prep.

Spontaneous Fried Rice

I was helping make fried rice last night (for Bobby) and I decided to have some for myself too.

03 fried rice

It was so good! There’s more rice underneath the meat and veggies; I just like stealing extra toppings.  I’m going to have fried rice more often.  This might be the only way that I enjoy rice.  Just as a comparison, here are Bobby’s dinner (left) and my dinner (right):

04 fried rice dinner

He had a huge bowl of rice, a small bowl of salad, and went back for more rice.  I had a huge bowl of salad, a small bowl of rice, and went back for more salad.  The salad (Thai papaya salad) was the same one I posted yesterday but with added shrimp and no carrot (no extra beta-carotene).

This dinner definitely counts as spontaneous (one of my July goals).

Today’s question is: What’s your favorite healthy fat?  Mine is hands down peanut butter (all natural, plain, freshly ground is best).  I like it more than any other nut butter, more than oils, more than avocadoes, more than olives…

The Last Hurrah

I have 3 goals in mind for July:

  1. Less kabocha!
  2. More healthy fats!
  3. Be spontaneous 🙂

I had a kind of last hurrah with kabocha last night and finished a whole one (and it was big).  I think it’s time for moderation.

As for healthy fats… I do enjoy my nut butters and olive oil, but not enoughMaria posted about this yesterday, too.  I have nut butter with breakfast and usually a little bit of olive oil with dinner and lunch – but it probably totals about 2 tablespoons altogether.  So I’m going to go for it and start incorporating more fat.

Spontaneity is also something I want to improve on.  This is just eating what I want when I want it, rather than waiting for the normal times that I eat and eating the same things.

Yesterday wasn’t a total bust in terms of goals though – I made a kickbutt Thai papaya salad based on my recipe here.

02 papaya salad

Ingredients – 1 shredded green papaya (50 cents on sale @ Vietnamese market), 1 shredded organic carrot, 2 chopped plum tomatoes (also on sale), 5-6 cloves of garlic.

Dressing – soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, sugar (sweet simplicity), PB2, chili powder, chili flakes… (I might be forgetting something).

This is Bobby’s and my favorite salad, and we ate the whole thing while we were watching jeopardy and wheel (million dollar winner last night!).  Yes, we are old and we love jeopardy and wheel.  I probably had about 80% of the salad, but I was impressed at how much of it Bobby ate.  He’s not as much of a veggie disposal as I am.  The whole salad cost me about $1 to make because of this great Vietnamese store that has a cheapo rack. I got a green papaya ($0.50), a big bag of 4 chayotes and 4 tomatoes ($1.50), and 6 eggplants ($0.50).  I think that’s all.

01 shrimp konnyaku chayote

In the afternoon I made a lunch sort of thing with shrimp, konnyaku, chayote (on sale), olive oil, stir-fry sauce, and mustard (added later).  I’m almost done with the shrimp. I’m liking chayote – it’s kind of bland, but it’s nice and crunchy and good with other flavors.  I had a few other random snacks, so this wasn’t really a lunch.  Yummy though.  More like a snack to hold me until dinner.

Want to join me with any of the goals?  What are your goals for July?

Before I forget, Justine is having a really cool giveaway, so I’m going to do a confession of the day to get an extra entry – I hate clutter, but I have a terrible time getting rid of things.  I try to make Bobby give away all those ratty t-shirts that he never wears, but I always want to keep mine.  I hate the clutter but I’m scared that as soon as I give something away I’ll need it!

One more thing – my friend just launched this cool recipe search engine, NomFinder.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I’ll pass on suggestions to him.