Friday, July 16, 2010

Going Vegetarian.. Again, College Meal Ideas

The Boy passed the Grand Canyon today. Isn't it breathtaking? I've never been, but just looking at this photo Navid sent me makes me bow in amazement to the earth. This canyon is a work of art 17 million years in the making. Mankind can make great art, but his greatest art is in being able to replicate nature, no?

Call me a treehugger, but I'd love to minimize my impact on nature. Don't want to end up like those big'uns in Wall E who had to flee their whole planet. Meat's impact on the environment is my main motivation for going vegetarian. Of course it only lasted me all of 4 months... But I want to try again. My other motivations stem from not wanting to support companies that practice animal cruelty and from learning about how humans evolved on a diet that did not include a lot of meat.

This isn't something I'm going to start now. Probably near the end of this year I will. My mom just stocked up on an 8-pack of Spam from CostCo (I know! I know, Spam is like the worst "meat" ever). I also want to wait until I see what's up with my digestive system. I've been to the doctor's twice already and I have another appointment scheduled for August.

After my whole ordeal with the realtor yesterday, I went behind his back and talked directly to the property manager. :) I was able to get in touch with the owner, who will honor some of our requests, and we've decided to go for it! I will post more about it later.

Now that I've gotten the apartment, though, I am anticipating being VERY broke. Last year my housing allowance was well over my living costs (in San Antonio) and I had plenty extra money to go shopping with, spend on food, and put in my savings account. This year, the housing allowance should be the same but the rent is waaay up. My utilities will probably take up the rest of the housing allowance, leaving very little for food. So I've been dreaming up a few wallet friendly meals.

1. Kimchi Ramyun with Egg.
Ramen is already a college staple, but adding an egg in there boosts the protein. Right when the noodles are done boiling, I swirl in a beaten egg.

2. Spaghetti.
Served above with the Italian meatballs (recipe by VeganDad) I made during my vegetarian trial. They were MIGHTY delicious.

3. Macaroni and Cheese.
Yummy mixed with sliced hotdogs and a bunch of broccoli. Serve with string beans and carrots.

4. Oatmeal.
The slow cooked kind, drizzled with some honey and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and/or bananas.

5. Baked Beans on Toast.
Maybe with a slice of ham or Spam underneath to up the nutritional content. Serve with string beans and creamed corn.

6. Scrambled Eggs/Omelet/Quiche.
Easy to make, and delicious with anything mixed inside, from ham/spam and cheese to spinach and mushrooms. Above is some low-fat cheddar cheese and spinach quiche I made last year.

Have anymore ideas? Maybe some vegetarian friendly ideas?

I can't wait until I have to subsist on a very frugal menu! Only because I long to be independent... My parents probably wouldn't let me eat such a sad diet and would give me money if I needed it. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer is almost over. I honestly haven't done much these 3 months, except sit around and hang out with friends. I never did get a job. I only half-heartedly looked, and now I'm cringing as my bank account hovers right over zero. It's really nice to have a guy who will pay for you when you eat out, but even with free meals I try not to do it all the time. Sometimes it gets difficult though, because the boy comes from a family that likes to eat out together, when we get bored or hungry eating out sounds like a good option, and whenever large groups of us kids hang out the only feasible thing for us all to do is go to a restaurant.

This is making me think about my dream date. I actually have a few right now.

1. Have frozen yogurt (preferably chocolate with strawberries and almonds) and then go to Build a Bear. The boy already took me to Build a Bear on our first date :)

2. Visit Austin Amish Furniture and act like very serious buyers. I am honestly interested in seeing what kind of furniture they have, but telling the employee a story about say... me and the boy buying our first house together, or even having a baby :O would make it so much more fun. Then visit Dream Bakery (a local bakery across the road), eat decadent pastries, and laugh about how much we got away with.

3. Go to a pick-your-own farm. This is my most recent date idea. In the Spring and Summer there are black- and blueberries, tomatoes, watermelons, peaches, and much more. I wish I could go at 6:30 AM, right when the sun rises and the weather is bearable, wearing a cute sundress and a big straw hat. Then bring the big bounty home and freeze it, bake with it, and make smoothies, sorbets, ice cream, and cakes! This also sounds like a fun family activity I could bring my little brother to.

These will happen sometime soon, I hope.

Dallas was a blast! Here are some pictures.

I'm the one in the yellow, Esther is in the white, and Sharon is in the navy. If the current apartment I'm looking at right now doesn't work out, I'll get a room with Sharon. I've been working with a realtor Sharon referred me to, but he has been such a hassle!!! This morning at the crack of dawn I looked at an apartment downtown with my mom. I go back uptown and after a few hours of deliberation with my mom, we decide to go for the apartment, if the owner decides to give us a few concessions (like new paint). I asked my realtor twice if only an application fee would be enough to start the processing on my paperwork and hold the apartment until we hear back from the owner, and he said yes both times. So I drive downtown a second time to drop off my application and fee. Right after I get back uptown again, he calls saying he actually does need a deposit. Great. Luckily my older brother who lives downtown was home and about to leave. We get him to drop off the deposit. Phew. But wait! Now the realtor's told me I need to pay another fee for the guarantor form, a form I haven't filled out or even seen.

Mr. Realtor.... are there ANY more fees I need to know about? Please tell me now. Blah.

Here's a salad I made this week.

Clockwise, from the top: polenta, bacon, a boiled egg, pine nuts, and alfalfa sprouts. Topped with a homemade lemon vinaigrette and served with a side of cantaloupe. Yum.

My boy left today on a road trip to California. I miss him!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Green Drinks~

I had my first green drink the other day! It wasn't *actually* green, more of an intimidating murky orange-green. I got it from the juice bar inside my local Whole Foods. The small size cost me a whopping $5.

It was pretty dang delicious, though! I used apple and orange juice for the base, and added spinach and carrot. The carrot was a little overpowering-- next time, I'll opt for something else.

I'm proud of the outfit I was wearing too.

I'm wearing a black dolman shirt from American Apparel, a tiny neon cheetah tube top from the sale rack at Forever 21, jeans from Forever 21, and a flower necklace the Boy's mom got for me in Iran! I didn't end up wearing those shoes though. Forgive me for my messy room! All of my belongings are shoved into my old room at my 'rents' place. It sure is a nightmare.

My outfit today was kind of cute as well.

The purple top is from Korea, the two necklaces, bracelet, and skinny studded belt are from Forever 21, and the shorts are probably from TJ Maxx. I don't usually wear much jewelry, or any super feminine clothes for that matter, so this outfit made me feel ultra cute. :)

Today I just chilled at the Boy's and watched the Spain v. Germany game, cleaned out the inside of my car, and chowed on some organic and vegetarian tacos at Kerbey Lane Cafe. After I got home I ran some errands for my mom, and now I have to pack for D A L L A S! My trip to visit my girlies got postponed until tomorrow. I can't wait~

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

What are your plans? I am going to do a few fireworks with my little brother at the house, then probably bring him to the bf's neighborhood for a fireworks show.

That brings me to my next subject... Me and Navid are now official! Last night he took me out to Build a Bear Workshop and Oasis and asked me to be his girlfriend.

At Build a Bear, I picked the longhorn and named him Calf McCoy. I didn't buy him any outfits, only a Texas Longhorn handkerchief. Of course my mom had to say, "was Navid to cheap to buy a whole outfit?" No, of course he wasn't :) I just didn't want any clothes, they didn't fit well on my bigger-than-the-average-teddy-bear cow.

Oasis was magical! For those that don't know, Oasis is a huge restaurant situated on Lake Travis, facing west so it has stunning views of the sunset. Around an hour before nightfall, the restaurant gets really crowded! Of course, my undecisiveness at Build a Bear made us kind of late to Oasis. With an hour wait time, we missed the sunset by a lot! It turned out pretty good anyway, because people by the lake were shooting fireworks. It was a really beautiful show.

I orded the Mahi a la Pina, mahi fish with pinapple pico on Spanish rice with vegetables. It was kind of bland. Next time I'll stick to the real Tex-Mex! While Oasis has a great view, they're not known for great food.

I had a great time anyway, and I'm super excited for tonight. Have a nice evening, folks!