Rainy Day Outing

While the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain, the rain in Hartford falls mainly near my house. I didn’t mind the rain today though. Provided these rainy days are not a regular occurrence, I relish a lazy day fueled by overcast skies and the fall of raindrops.

I did manage to fit in a workout (60 minutes of elliptical action), but that wasn’t really the focus of today. Nah….today was all about the laziness.

I spent a good portion of the day on the couch, watching the US tie England in their soccer game. I scoff at the mere notion of a tie. Sigh…only in soccer would such an annoying outcome be the end result of a great match.

Afterward, I decided to head out of my house to indulge in some book browsing at Barnes and Noble! Book browsing is one of my all-time favorite activities, rainy day or not.

I made a pitstop at one of my favorite sections of the store.

Tell me I’m not the only one who browses through cookbooks for fun!

I didn’t end up purchasing anything, but it was still a very satisfying outing. Bookstores always manage to lift my spirits!

The next stop on my rainy day outing also lifted my spirits.

I went a little hogwild in Whole Foods today because I was in a celebratory mood. Prior to my bookstore excursion, I pressed the “Submit Application” button on the AMCAS website (AMCAS is the medical school organization through which all applicants must apply)….and thus, my app was sent off into internetland where it will soon be processed and sent off to my chosen schools. I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with med apps for a few more weeks (until the schools send me secondary apps). I was getting tired of them weighing so heavily on my mind.

With my spirits lifted, I spent a good, long time browsing the many aisles of my personal mecca. It was glorious.

The produce made my heart go pitter patter.

I was thrilled to wander over to the bulk foods section. This is the best place in the store to keep your grocery bill low. Otherwise, it’s nearly impossible. Whole Paycheck is Whole Paycheck for a reason.

It didn’t help matters in the grocery bill department that I restocked my Vega powder today. That stuff is priiiiiiicey…but I feel that it’s worth it. I’m already in love with their vanilla chai, so I decided to pick up their chocolate flavor. I can’t wait to try it out!

Final stop. The most necessary stop. The stop that made me swoon.

I restocked my chocolate supply for the week with an organic dark chocolate Chocolove bar, my favorite chocolate brand. It’s a Colorado local, I’ll  have you know!

I did some major damage with this trip, but I left feeling quite happy. Few things are as satisfying in life as eating fresh, organic produce. Not to mention that I am borderline obsessed with grocery shopping. I’m like a kid in a candy shop, especially when I make the journey to Whole Foods…I could spend hours just looking at all the beautiful, fresh produce and gazing at nutritional stats. I find it so fun!

It’s okay. I know I’m strange. I embrace it.

For dinner, I tried a recipe that my grandparents sent me a while ago (hi grandma!): Parmesan and Eggplant Souffle

It was fantastic and reasonably easy to prepare. Plus, as I’ve mentioned many times before on this blog, any combination of cheese and eggs can hardly steer you wrong.

Here’s the recipe….

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups (1 inch) cubed eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 1.1 oz all purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 5 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add eggplant, bell pepper, and onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a medium saucepan; add milk, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook milk mixture for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Add 3 tablespoons cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground red pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes.

4. Combine eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in oregano. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Fold in eggplant mixture; pour into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until puffy and set. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

The end product (minus the parsley garnish):

My serving…

With a hefty side salad of arugula + grape tomats + cucumbers. I used a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar as dressing.

Two of these guys for dessert….

Still nice and chewy on Day 2. A satisfying ending to a satisfying dinner.

With that, this girl needs to get to bed. Night!

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7 responses to “Rainy Day Outing

  1. Cookbook Browing and Whole Foods in one day- sounds like the perfect day to me! 🙂

  2. What a great day – bookstore and Whole Foods. Perfect.

    Also, I have The Flavor Bible and I love it so much!

  3. Congrats on getting your initial med school applications in. I too love to browse bookstores. I don’t limit my browsing to cookbooks, but that is definitely an enjoyable ailse.

  4. I love walking through bookstores and natural foods stores too. Especially on a rainy day.

    It’s pretty gloomy here in Western MA too – I might brace the gloom and go for a run to lift my spirits. We need some sun!

  5. I’ve never been to a Whole Foods… Yet… I’m not sure if I trust myself yet haha! I recently tried eggplant for the first time and LOVED it! I’ll have to try your recipe 🙂

  6. cookbooks + whole foods = the perfect day! 🙂

  7. Loving the looks of that souffle! Def going to have to add that to the list!

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