High Standards

Why is it that when I'm stressed, my reaction is to attempt an entire lifestyle makeover, rather than address the one source of anxiety with calm and focus? Maybe its the same impulse that causes you to clean your room when you have 24 hours until a big paper is due. Or start revising your resume and surfing Monster rather than work on the simple task your boss asked of you.

Well, for whatever reason I got on a real self-improvement kick this weekend, deciding that before the end of the semester, with its attendant heart-attack inducing bar exam stress, I need to accomplish the following adjustments:
- spend (waaay) less money
- lose weight and get exercise regimen back on track
- complete all of my outlines two weeks before finals so that exams will be a breeze
- simultaneously complete all bar exam legwork and applications
- learn german and french (for international law career, of course)
- dress professionally and wear make-up, rather than rolling around like old man in woolen blazer and checkered slip-on vans
- just generally be a successful, self-motivated, healthy individual, rather than sad-sack bed-confined walking-hangover with literally thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt.

Hmm. Well, I've accomplished one goal: spend less money! I've been exploring the concept of leftovers, as well as avoiding my weaknesses- the various delicious restaurants a stone's throw from my house. I even invented a few things, since I've also developed this bizarre laziness that won't let me open a recipe book.

Above we have the luscious Apple-Leek Salad I concocted with the leeks leftover from passover. So simple: Toss spinach and apples in (vegan) green goddess dressing, and top with leeks that have been sauteed in a little EB or olive oil. Ground pepper's nice on top too. I could eat this everyday for lunch...

Next, I used up the rest of the spinach along with a trusty can of chickpeas in a super-quick Curry, with coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, and fresh ginger and garlic. This one needs some work so I'll post the recipe when its sufficiently improved. But it satisfied my need for mango and coconut (who needs chutney when you have fresh mango?!) so it certainly worked for me.

Still obsessing about mango, and finding myself with half an avocado on hand, I concocted this feast, which, while freakishly bright in the photo, was just about the BEST THING I'VE EVER EATEN. It was so good that I had a fit of existential angst while eating it, knowing that no matter what, I could never duplicate such simple deliciousness for anyone else. *Sob*
At any rate, here's what it was: a can of black beans, sauteed with onions, tomatoes, and cumin, over saffron rice. On the side, fresh mango and (here's one killer) fresh corn off the cob tossed in lime, salt and pepper. And now here's the other killer: Coconut lime cream Guacamole. You will want to try this one. I combined half an avocado and juice from half a lime, along with 2 tablespoons of coconut yogurt (the kind that's entirely coconut milk.) Oh my godfathers was this good. I definitely didn't regret the decision to avoid El Rinconcito for once.

Of course, all of my penny-pinching was thrown in my face as a hideous cosmic joke when I received a $100 parking ticket from the District of Columbia for not removing my borrowed car from the street by 4:01pm. F*ck it. I'm going back to shoveling take-out food into my mouth while lying in bed watching Arrested Development until the sun comes out and stays out, for good.

Song of the Day: Liz Phair- Polyester Bride


Bianca said...

Coconut cream guac! OMG! That is so on my to-do list very soon. Good luck with your list! I'm sure you'll accomplish everything you set your mind to....

veggievixen said...

one step at a time now!!! don't try to accomplish all of that at once. it makes MY brain hurt.

and keep cooking amazing food!!

Anonymous said...

That guac sounds like heaven, and that first photo has my mouth watering.
Please don't try to do everything at once now - those are all great goals - but baby steps! That being said, I can relate, I'm always setting the bar so high!

veggievixen said...

thanks for your comment!! as for the kale recipe, i really just eyeball it...like a bunch of kale, 2 cloves of garlic (or however much you like), your favorite nuts (besides bitter ones like walnuts), enough olive oil to make it smooth, and salt and pepper. good luck!!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Your food looks amazing as usual, especially that guacamole. Mmmmmm.

I know how tough school is, and lemme tell you, I know ALL ABOUT procrastination when you have something more important to be doing. Case in point, me being at work right now typing this message instead of, well, actually working. :-)

jessy said...

boo to the f*'n parking ticket, T! those jerks! i hate when stuff like that happens! angryface!

oh man, i don't even know where to begin! i'm gonna start with the coconut lime cream guacamole... sweet batman, that sounds absolutely damn deeelicious! fresh corn + lime + s&p also = damn deeeelicious! now i want to find me some fresh corn! i'm totally gonna have to get/make some goddess dressing and re-create your apple-leek salad of awesomeness! might i add that your curry with coconut 'n mango looks so pretty and fantastically scrumptious, too!

i'd like to say that i'm totally the same way when i get stressed out - i've gotta throw everything out and bring in the new & shake it all up! i guess that's just how it works sometimes. spending less money is indeed a good thing to do! i need to do more of that as well. dan & i live in richmond, but over on the south-side - which means there isn't a restaurant within 20 minutes that has a vegan option for us (sure, i can always ask for a calzone without cheese or something of that nature, although the last time that happened my calzone came out with ricotta instead of mozzarella because "ricotta really isn't cheesy-like - we thought you just meant no mozzarella cheese, not the ricotta, too!"). anywhooooooo...so we make "the drive" to a "local" veggie/vegan place maybe once a month, but the natural foods store - THAT'S what gets me every damn time. i go there for bulk walnuts and millet and i come out with vegan pudding, tangerines, local tempeh & tofu, something crazy like chai seeds and then next thing you know i'm spending $100 instead of $20 - eek! and your willpower is much better than mine, T - if i lived close to Sticky Fingers i'd probably just camp out there and take up residence or something! ahahahaha! kudos to you for creating the most stellar eats at home to enjoy - they all look divine!

p.s. - as if this comment wasn't long enough (sorry!). we enjoyed our cashew sauce/dressing on some sauteed veggies consisting of kale, asparagus, broccoli, and onions. and yes, i think the cashew-ginger-maple sauce/dressing would be awesome on greens, or even a salad! :)

allularpunk said...

hahaha... i do the same thing when i'm under pressure and need to get things done: anything but what i'm supposed to be doing. you'll get it all done in the end though. at least you ate some yummy foods in your attempt to spend less money! that coconut guacamole stuff sounds truly heavenly.

and hilarious, but awful, about your parking ticket. isn't it fun the way life works?

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to the parking ticket incident. I had obtained a prepaid parking card awhile back, and my boyfriend and I used it to park downtown so we could peruse REI. We set the time on the meter for about 20 minutes. We get back to the car, see that we had gone over the time by just a tad, and received ticket! Bleh.

I think your meals are pretty gourmet for incorporating leftovers and saving money! To me, colorful meals are always a huge success!!!

Hooray for Arrested Development and the cozy comfort of bed.

All my best wishes to you with your exams!

Anonymous said...

the apple leek salad sounds like a salad maybe even I could get behind. Good luck with the goals! I remember when I was a kid before the start of every year I would be all into grooming, good grades, and learning multiple languages.

Liz² said...

aw, existential angst while eating something nobody else will get to try! I know that one so well!! as for everything else, well, I know you'll accomplish it in time. It looks like a good summer coming up, and if your coconut guac is any indication, you'll be eating like a queen with no need of restaurants at all!

Katy said...

Oh man, don't those bar apps suck? I never knew so much work (and money!) went into graduating!
We're almost done, so yay for us!

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

Coconut lime cream guacamole?! I must try that. It sounds so good :-)

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