Dinner/ Lunch

Finger Lickin’ Good!

I had such a crazy/good day at work today!! I brought leftover Tarte Tatin with me in to work for everyone to try and one of my managers liked it so much she hired me to cater a party she’s having next weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She wants me to make another tarte….this time a much larger one, along with two dozen mini appetizers. I have no idea what I will make yet for the appetizers–she said she wants something people can eat with their fingers that isn’t messy. I’m so excited~~~my first catering gig! This will be fun 🙂

I didn’t eat lunch til around 12:30 today because I was so busy at work so in the meantime I snacked on some apple chips (sorry not pictured) and got some hot tea. For lunch, I packed and heated up leftover chili and I ate it with about 20 whole wheat crackers and a juicy plum. It was even better second time around!



A couple hours later I ate my snack: 2 clementines and a small bag of raw cashews (I think I put around 10 cashews in the bag…I have a new love for these nuts…they are SO good!)


For dinner tonight I tried out the Gardenburger Veggie Riblets I got last week at the store. I was pleasantly surprised because they were actually SUPER tasty and very quick to prepare! I shouldn’t have been too surprised because I have loved other Gardenburger products and have been meaning to try these for some time now but never have…I don’t buy many frozen meals but these were calling my name and the ingredient list was pretty straightforward and natural. These tasted so freakin’ good I would eat them every night. Seriously. I think its the best “mock meat” I have ever tried and it even rivals the traditional South Carolina bbq I used to love. It was that good. I licked my plate clean…not even kidding!!!! These might be my new addiction……….but beware vegetarians and vegans that don’t like products that taste like the real thing. I think I could trick even the most die-hard bbq fan with these bad boys…they tasted basically identical to the down home traditional stuff.


I also roasted some zucchini, carrots and asparagus and had a slice of warmed up leftover cornbread  smeared with Earth Balance to round out the meal. Tasty, healthy and FAST.

I really don’t know what to expect tonight since I left an hour early last night……I really hope my grade didn’t suffer too much but I honestly didn’t have a choice when I felt that bad. Hopefully my chef actually believed me that I really did have a blinding migraine and knows I’m not the type of student that would leave early just to get out of clean up. ugh. I’m bringing a kashi cookie to snack on tonight at school!

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  • Natalie
    March 13, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Congratulations on your first catering job! That’s big!

  • Leigh
    March 13, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Veggiegirl (or maybe someone else knows),

    Thanks for all the hummus advice. I would like to try to make my own. Do you know if it’s possible to buy a really small bottle or just a small portion of tahini?

  • Leigh
    March 13, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Nicole R,

    You posted an answer to sawsaw’s question earlier and it sounds like you know a lot about yoga. I am super confused about all the different types. I am interested in the one that is most muscle building. The closest heated studio to me is a baron baptist one. Are the heat levels different at the different type of hot yogas. I prefer less heated. To be honest the heat kinda gave me a headache, but this is the best studio near me. Any tips for headaches? How do you handle 100 degree bikram (our room is only 85 degrees). You mentioned baptiste is vinayassa style- does that mean poses aren’t held as long and therefore not as “muscle” building? How often do do you balance yoga with other exercise, since everyone’s time is limited. Sorry for so many questions- it’s so confusing- I have never even heard of prana yoga! Please only answer what you can!

  • Kath
    March 13, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Those DO look good and I don’t even really like ribs!!! Maybe I’ll give ’em a try, but only since you recommended them 🙂

  • Becky in MD
    March 13, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    That looks like the McRib! I bet I could even get my BF to eat that!

  • Meghan
    March 13, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    MMMM I love those riblettes, they’re so tasty! Yum yum yum yum yum. Those are some delicious looking veggies you have there! Last time I had those riblettes I baked up some butternut squash fries and brussel sprouts to go with them, that was definitely an amazing meal!

  • Cara
    March 13, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    my boyfriend who is not vegetarian eats these! he likes to put it in between a bun and pretend it is a mcrib or whatever those things were called at mcdonalds. hahha. he loves them though. I havent seen them in awhile though… hmm. Maybe I will look for them soon.

    Good job on the catering job!!

  • Sarah C
    March 13, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Oh no, you’re a South Carolina bbq girl…ugh! The cat throw up stuff! Its all about the North Carolina bbq!! haha 🙂

  • Kristin
    March 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I KNEW you would love the gardenburger riblets; they’re the tastiest! And congrats on your first catering job- maybe there will be some sort of a future in catering for you? I can’t wait to see what you make for apps =)

    P.S. What brand of apple chips do you buy? I’ve yet to find a good brand without a lot of additives…

  • melissa-little runner
    March 13, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    Congrats on your catering gig.

    Thanks for the riblet review!

    I usually don’t like fake meat, but I decided to try the trader joe’s meatless meatballs, and they were great!

    Have fun in class!

  • Romina
    March 13, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Congratulations on the catering job!

    Isn’t chili always better the next day? I find that after all the flavors blend together… I enjoy it so much more.

  • ChocolateCoveredVegan
    March 13, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Mmm everything you eat always looks so good. And I agree about cashews– have you tried cashew butter? It’s amazing!

  • Andrea
    March 13, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    has anyone ever eaten at Border Cafe? I’m going tomorrow with some friends and i have no clue what to order AHH!! any ideas?

  • Ashley H
    March 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I like those riblet things too! I cannot believe how much they taste like real ribs!

    I was wondering how long and at what temperature you usually roast your vegetables? (I live in the dorms and I am always trying to pick up cooking tricks so that when I have my apartment in six months I wont be at a total loss!) Thanks!!

  • Emily W.
    March 13, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I roast my asparagus/cauliflower at 350-375 degrees for about 30 minutes! Yum! Toss with EVOO or cooking spray.

    Does anyone have Apples for Jam? I made some gnocchi and they came out horrible (more than likely my fault not the cookbook!). Does anyone have any recommendations of their favorite dishes from that book?

  • Betsy
    March 13, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    wow!!!! that’s fantastic!! congrats! you should be very proud 🙂

  • MLT
    March 14, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Hey Jenna!

    Congratulations on your first catering gig, that is awesome! And by the way, I love the blog! 🙂

    I just had to write after your falafel date with your roomie. Those pink things are actually pickled turnips! I just love them and I started making them at home- they are actually really easy. You pickle them in vinegar, garlic and salt and throw in some beets to get the hot pink color. THere are tons of recipe out there- some people do it for a couple weeks, some just for a few days. I like mine for about a week. Just wanted to share!

  • Krista
    March 14, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Congrats Jenna on the catering job! I am curious how much you are charging because I catered a few things and have been asked for future small events and since I am still in culinary school like you …I dont know really what rate I should be charging?! I did a few different canapes that we had come up with in Garde Manger in school for my last little party…they turned out great perfect bite size little appetizers. Anyways just curious!

  • nicole r.
    March 14, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Hey Leigh!
    Don’t worry–I might get certified to be a trainer for yoga or core fusion this summer plus I’m in med school so I love to talk about this stuff and how it all works 🙂 Having said that, this is going to be long, so brace yourself…
    Insofar as “muscle building,” is your goal to see muscle definition? Because I’m going to be honest, yoga isn’t going to give you that. Yoga works by taxing the deeper layers of your muscles: most of your muscles aren’t just one mass of fibers, and instead are layers and layers of spiraled sheets. Weight training will typically work with the more superficial sheets, giving you definition pretty quickly. In contrast, yoga and pilates (though pilates does much more for the outsides as well) work from the inside to build strength without bulk. With any kind of yoga you do, you will be building GREAT strength–this is not an easy practice, and anyone who believes it is is doing it incorrectly. Having said that, i think Baptiste would be a great choice. Vinyasa in sanskrit means “to place,” so this is classically translated in the practice as a form of yoga that is quite meticulous about positioning (you will encounter some of the more intense poses here), while doing each pose in a fairly flowing manner. In other words, vinyasa won’t have you hold a pose very long, and you are more likely to flow from pose to pose on the inhale and exhale. Baptiste yoga I actually do a lot–its a really integrative form, because it uses mild heat (not like Bikram), vinyasa flows, and ashtanga holds (this reminds me–if you want more holding, try ashtanga or anusara—they’re more about the “muscley” positions, if you will, while vinyasa likes speed, flowing and flexibility, which is more my thing since im freakishly bendy haha). If you have more questions about the different styles, check out yogajournal.com, they have a TON of info!!
    As for different exercise, I’m not doing cardio outside of power yoga right now because I’m not really at all looking to lose weight right now. What I do pair my yoga with is this class called CoreFusion, which you can only take at this gym called Exhale (locations in CA, NYC, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, anddd i think that’s all..)–it’s like pilates on crack. Superrr hard and so beneficial and my body has never looked like this, i SWEAR by this class. If you can’t find it, try pilates, Lotte Berk, or the Barre Method–I really like my mind/body classes haha. I usually do yoga 2-3x week, and my other class 3-4x/week. I usually take a day or two off, and if ive got a lot of work/studying/exams thennn i take off about 5 days because I have priorities haha..
    Hope I helped, let me know if you have more questions.
    Oh! Headaches are completely from dehydration—you MUST be drinking TONS AND TONS (ie: AT LEAST one and a half liters) of water BEFORE you go to class!!

  • VeggieGirl
    March 14, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Thank goodness your workday was manageable; and wow, your lunch and dinner look MARVELOUS!! I love your Southern-cuisine-inspired vegan meals :0D Enjoy class tonight!!


    I’m pretty sure that you can purchase small jars of tahini – if not, the jars DO last for a long time, when refrigerated. Hope this helps! Enjoy the protein-rich hummus! :0)

  • Leigh
    March 14, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Nicole R. thank you so so much! That was really helpful and so nice of you to give me a detailed response:)

    Veggie girl, thanks for the tip, I will look for a smaller bottle.

  • Leigh
    March 14, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Nicole, if you don’t mind my asking why do you do yoga if you are super flexible already? For the mind benefits?

  • Teddy
    March 14, 2008 at 2:27 am

    I LOVE the garden burger riblets. I put them on a bun and make a sandwich with sauteed onions and pickles.. YUM


  • nicole r.
    March 14, 2008 at 3:54 am

    no problem! i think everyone should do yoga and/or core work, everyone should get to know about yoga, its lovely 🙂
    it sounds trite, but i do yoga because i like it. i like the totally different and unconventional use of strength (ask how many body builders can even do crow pose). i always hated running and typically “gym-style” circuit training with weight machines and free weights, mostly because they take no focus and i have this huge problem where i get bored of things after 2 minutes of doing them. to be kept interested, i need to be thinking really intensely pretty much constantly otherwise i stop caring–and yoga gives me this. you need to be very considerate of the pose and of your body & its state as you approach the pose; you cant just blindly fumble and swing about. also, yes a MAJOR part of it for me is stress relief and sanity maintenance since i have a history of/proclivity towards becoming carried away with my stress and schoolwork, and neglecting myself (ie: not sleeping, eating, or leaving the library.)

  • LolaFunk
    March 14, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Hey guys! I just started my new blog tonight! nothing interesting yet, but…maybe tomorrow. Anyway, I hope to be in the blogger club! 😀

  • LolaFunk
    March 14, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Hey guys, I just started a new blog, maybe I could get some readers?….Hahaha nothing insteresting tonight, but hopefully tomorrow!
    Im excited to start this!

  • andrenna
    March 14, 2008 at 8:34 am

    As a southern girl who is meat conscious, I have to say I LOVE those riblets!! I eat them so much it’s ridiculous!

    So here’s a question, do you ever worry about consumption of packaged goods being a vegetarian? I did a lot as a vegetarian, and that’s why I eventually started reincorporating meat back into my diet. I felt more simplistic with ingredients. The riblets are so delicious, but have a million ingredients. Veggie burgers are better, but the same problem arises. I find it’s more simplistic to stick with unpackaged ingredients.

  • jenna
    March 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm


    I’m so new to catering that I had no idea what to charge!! Especially since I work with Karen, I didn’t want to charge too much. I told her ingredients would probably be about $40 and she said she would give me $25 more dollars for my labor. I told her $65 for 2 things was ridiculous and I would give back some of the $40 if I didn’t spend it all on groceries…..I have no idea!!! What did you make when you catered? I’ve been looking through some canape recipes and saw one that struck my eye: sweet potato potstickers with a sweet and spicy soy dipping sauce. I thought that would be pretty easy to make (with pre-made wonton wrappers) and sounded pretty good! Its just a bunch of ladies and they didn’t want anything messy….I’m nervous!!!