Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

The Art Of Vino Chatting

Hey y’all!

Hope your Monday treated you well. I’ve been running around doing errands (Target and TJ maxx are clearly priorities) and have a fun night of book stuff ahead of me. I’m actually hoping to finish my first draft completely tonight and send it in early so I can just relax for the next couple days….that would be ideal. πŸ™‚

I cut a thin wedge of banana bread for a mid-morning snack while I raced out the door to get to the studio. It was good but not my best…probably will be better with almond butter..obviously.


And, oh goodness, I had THE BEST SANDWICH EVER for lunch.


I realize I may say “the best ever” quite often when it comes to food but this really was amazing. It was from this little Italian market next door to the yoga studio and had spicy turkey, pepper jack cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato and onions on sourdough bread…I asked for it pressed and it was hot and deeeelicious! I was so hungry!

Snack was some yogurt and granola while I stared at the sky and pondered my exercise options. It was NOT a pretty day in Sonoma County.


I was really supposed to cycle for an hour today but I just cannot get myself to ride my bike in the rain. I mean I know it’s probably fine and many people suck it up and do it but I just cannot! I’m scared of wet roads and big trucks…..But I CAN run in the rain. And I sort of like it. So, run I did. I had a pretty good 4 mile run in the cold rain….when its raining I can get into this focused state of running where I just pull my hat down low and stare straight ahead of me. The rain makes me run faster, too, because all I can think about is how amazing a hot shower will feel when I’m all done! Hopefully I won’t wake up with pneumonia though tomorrow….eek.

After my glorious hot shower I poured myself a glass of wine, slapped some ice on my shins and vino chatted with Anne. If you have never vino chatted, you simply must. Pretty much all you do is drink wine and skype. Its sort of amazing. However, midway through our cocktail hour I started to, ahem, really FEEL the wine if you know what I mean. Running 4 miles then drinking wine on an empty stomach probably wasn’t the grandest of ideas but you live and learn. I started throwing things together in my kitchen and came up with this monstrosity:


I’m running low on food and refusing to go to the store because I’m going home on Thursday. When I opened my fridge all I found was an eggplant and a little mozzarella cheese….and I thought to myself I can work with this. In my mind, I had this beautiful image of a greek stuffed eggplant I made back in 2007…but I didn’t have feta, only mozzarella. And then I decided I needed some protein. So, what I did was cook a serving of quinoa and a serving of red lentils in water with some big pinches of curry powder. I hollowed out half of the eggplant, chopped it up and then mixed that with the quinoa and lentils once they were cooked. I added about half a can of diced tomatoes, a healthy pinch of salt and some more curry powder. Then, I threw in a handful of the cheese and covered the whole thing with a ton of sriracha.


I’m a firm believer that cheese and sriracha can make anything a meal. This was actually really, really good! Talk about eating for volume….this bowl was HUGE! I ate it all and felt a million times better.

Dessert was a vitamuffin with almond butter and chocolate chips—

And so it goes. Here’s to finishing writing a book tonight! πŸ™‚

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  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    March 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Wow I am impressed you threw that meal together… looks delicious! And I had a chocolate vitatop today… but after seeing your photo i have to add some nut butter and chocolate chips on top… yum!! Good luck with your writing tonight! πŸ™‚

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    March 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    ah yes, vino chatting is a fun thing to do! i can only imagine you and Miss Anne had an amazing time πŸ™‚ i like your thrown together meal – it sounds really good and like just the thing to eat after a 4-miler!

  • Jenny
    March 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Almond butter can make anything better!

    Cheese and hot sauce is delicious together:)

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    March 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I love throwing things in a pot and seeing what comes out. Some of my best meals start like that.

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    March 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    That eggplant stew (that’s what I’m calling it) sounds delicious with mozzarella and quinoa. I refuse to grocery shop in anticipation of traveling so my meals get skimpy but it forces me to be creative. The vino probably helped with that πŸ™‚

  • Danielle
    March 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Vino chatting is fabulous, in person or on Skype πŸ™‚ and your dinner sounds fantastic based on it’s originality. Good luck with the book writing tonight! I hear wine helps words flow, just sayin’ πŸ˜‰

  • clay
    March 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    It’s fun to “have” to work with few ingredients and get creative. Good work!

  • lucie
    March 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    looks are deceiving! the eggplant fiasco sounds super yummy!

  • Amanda
    March 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    My cooking is pretty similar…. toss things in a pot and hope for the best …. then add cheese and hot sauce to make up for any short comings. Yum.

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    March 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    That vitamuffin looks awesome!! Nothing beter than Chocolate and PB!

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    March 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    That vitamuffin looks awesome!! Nothing better than Chocolate and PB!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    March 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    haha gotta love vino chatting – except on an empty stomach! hehe

  • Sarah
    March 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    LOL I love the wino-cooking! That made me laugh, looks like a good combo though.

    It looks like for your banana bread… either you need new baking powder/soda or you substituted whole wheat flour in your recipe? The crust looks really beautiful and brown but it seems like it just didn’t get enough rise… That can also happen if you over work the batter before baking.

  • Sarah-Mae
    March 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I couldn’t help but stumble upon your blog in the blogroll on Kath’s page, the blog I recently started is Eat, Run, Knit! You do have an amazing blog though and your photograhy is excellent. Felicitations!

    Almond butter really does make EVERYTHING taste better, although your vitamuffin looks to DIE for, AB or not!

  • amber's notebook
    March 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    monstrosity is pretty much my favorite word!

    I always think if you feel like something is uncomfortable or scayr ( i.e. riding in the rain) you should not do it. Good for you for RUNNING in the rain!

  • Jen S.
    March 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I totally agree… sriracha makes anything taste good. I would carry a bottle in my purse if it were socially acceptable, but pulling out your own hot sauce at a restaurant or someone’s house would be weird.

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    March 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    “Here’s to finishing writing a BOOK tonight.” How many times can you say that? Congrats!

  • Still Life in Southeast Asia
    March 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    What an awesome day. I’m going to have to vino chat on Skype sometime soon. I love both Skype and vino.

    Good luck on your book draft. I have a great feeling about this night. πŸ˜€

  • Andrea
    March 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    That sandwich looks amazing! Great example of will power getting out for a run in the rain.

    Good luck finishing the first draft.

  • Jamie @ Tearaveler
    March 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    A wise friend once told me that running in the rain is easier because there is more oxygen in the air… believe it or not, I agree it is easier! Great mash-up of quinoa, lentils and eggplant!

  • Justine
    March 30, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I love throwing things into a pot! Those are almost always the best meals.
    I think I need to hop on the Siracha train.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    March 30, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Haha that meal doesn’t sound ‘thrown together’, it looks pretty gourmet and fancy! Very impressive πŸ˜€

  • Allie
    March 30, 2010 at 3:18 am

    biking in the rain seems reallly scary to me too- just very slippery and dangerous. i love running in the rain though!
    hope the draft got done.

  • Angel31@keepingslimandgettingstylish
    March 30, 2010 at 3:28 am

    I now have a random craving for eggplant and mozzerella! That meal sounds really delicious, I might try something similar out myself! It just goes to show what you can whip you when your fridge is low!

  • christie, honoring health
    March 30, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I love sitting around with a girlfriend and chatting over a glass of wine. One of my favorite things on earth to do.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    March 30, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Good luck finishing the book! Hope you got it done! πŸ™‚

  • Karla
    March 30, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Vino chatting sounds like a great idea! Definitely need to give it a try!

  • Stacey
    March 30, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Good for you for running in the rain. I just can’t do it. I don’t want to be wet and uncomfortable.

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    March 30, 2010 at 4:13 am

    What an innovative dinner! I’m always impressed with what you manage to do with limited food supplies. Your lunch sandwich looks very satisfying and delicious. Spicy turkey sounds so delish!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    March 30, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Looks like a great meal for just throwing it together!! I always try to empty my fridge to the MAX when I leave town.

    I’m impressed that you run in the rain– I’m a total wimp when it comes to running in bad weather πŸ™‚

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    March 30, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Good luck Jenna! Can’t wait to see your book in stores πŸ™‚
    I like running in the rain, too. I feel kinda badass when I do it.

  • Marina
    March 30, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Rain and exercising outside is a no-no for me. Once, I was on my bike, and it started to rain badly, and it was awful. I spent the whole day wet during my lectures, and it was really stressful.

  • Ann @ Appalachian Appetites
    March 30, 2010 at 5:01 am

    OH I love vitamuffins! Have you ever bought the mix and made your own? Definitely cheaper and worth it! Hope the book is done πŸ˜‰

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    March 30, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Vino chatting sounds SO fun!!

    I sometimes run in the rain… and I am usually pleasantly surprised at how much I like it. But biking? I’m with you, too risky in my brain!

    Sometimes the messiest, most random of meals are the most tasty!!


  • Jenna
    March 30, 2010 at 5:13 am

    panini looks delishhh!

  • Jenna
    March 30, 2010 at 5:13 am

    panini looks delishhh!

  • Jenna
    March 30, 2010 at 5:13 am

    panini looks delish!

  • Andrea
    March 30, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Ahhh hope you finished the book! Dinner looks great! I’m a big fan of throw together meals!

  • eatmovelove
    March 30, 2010 at 5:35 am

    I love paninis!! You can’t go wrong.
    Inventive dish! That sricha?? What is it …looks like ketchup..if it tastes like it , it must be good.
    I tried an eggplant dish the other day – and utter FAIL – or maybe I’m just not an eggplant-y person….pizza was my back up.

  • Nicole
    March 30, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Biking in the rain really isn’t too bad! You get used to it. I’m a bike commuter so I really have no choice, but it’s not so bad. Someone told me that it could be helpful to release a LITTLE bit of air from your tires to have them at the lower end of your inflation range just for a little more give when you’re riding and hopefully make it a little less slippery. I have no idea really, so maybe someone else can confirm/deny this?

    I had to ride my bike to get around yesterday and I was SOAKED!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    March 30, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I’m the same way. LOVE running in the rain but biking in the rain is a no-no in my book. I give kudos to people who can suck it up and just do it. πŸ˜€

  • MLT
    March 30, 2010 at 6:08 am

    I’m sure you’ve read “Alone in a Kitchen with an Eggplant” since you are a food writer and it is classic food writing, but this post reminded me of that story. I just love her writing! (and yours :))

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    March 30, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Haha, I can just picture you drunkenly skyping. I hope you finished your book last night!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    March 30, 2010 at 6:18 am

    I agree with Jenny above…almond butter makes everything better!! I hope you finished the book!! YAY!

  • Jess
    March 30, 2010 at 6:22 am

    You are far braver than I will ever be- I cannot stand running in the rain! Your eggplant/quinoa/lentil concoction looks delicious too- I may have to try this sometime!

  • Midgetkeeper
    March 30, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Good luck on finishing the book!

  • Brooke (Baking with Basil)
    March 30, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Your dinner sounds delicious! I love it when you whip up something random and it turns out to be amazing!

  • Brooke (Baking with Basil)
    March 30, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Your dinner sounds delicious! I love it when you whip up something random in the kitchen and it turns out amazing!! Plus everything is better with cheese and sriracha!!

  • Whitney @ Whitinspired
    March 30, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Good luck finishing the book!! What is it about panini’s that are so amazing? I have never had one I didn’t love!

  • katherine
    March 30, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Awesome impromptu meal. I’m impressed!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    March 30, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Talk about working with what you haveβ€”that’s quite the meal for dealing with an empty fridge. Sometimes, though, when I’m running low on groceries I make some of my best meals. It forces me to be creative. Hope you finished the book!

  • eatdrinkandbemerrynyc
    March 30, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Ah my mom makes the most amazing banana bread! I always salivate when I see a really good lookin’ loaf (that sounded SO BAD, omg…)

  • Siri
    March 30, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Good luck Jenna. Finish that book today!!!!

  • Anne P
    March 30, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Vino chatting 4 life. Pho sho!!!! πŸ˜‰


  • Jil
    March 30, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Ohh, that vitatop looks awesome – dessert. Yum. Obv my priority. πŸ™‚

  • Alyson @ Nourished Fitness
    March 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Yay, what a lovely day, and congrats on the book, that must feel fantastic!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    March 30, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I love Skype – esp. because my college roomies are all in Canada and I’m down here in the States. We have never tried vino chatting though! I loooove that idea πŸ™‚

  • Carolyn @
    March 30, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Running in the rain = hardcore πŸ™‚

  • Corinne
    March 30, 2010 at 9:32 am

    haha i love vino chatting! i used to do it in college with a friend, only it wasn’t over skype. just over IM…we called it cyber drinking. so fun! πŸ™‚ ps. totally could not agree with you more about running the rain. i don’t know what it is, but you get a major rush! maybe its because you feel more badd ass when you are done? πŸ˜‰

  • cara
    March 30, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I had a vitamuffin today too. Mmm. I love running in the rain, and your description of it made me feel like I was back out there! πŸ™‚

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    March 30, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Love that you drink and Skype! I need to start doing this with my sister… hilarious! I will never be lonely again!

  • Erica
    March 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Haha! Funny that you mentioned the perils of wine after running. I went to my first Passover seder yesterday after going for a run, and for a while all I had was wine to tide over my post-workout stomach. Not the best idea!