Perfect Winter Stir-Fry

Today’s Mini Goal: Forgive myself.  I am okay.  I am a good person and I deserve not to constantly carry around guilt over silly little things.

The past few days have been super busy, and as a result I feel like I haven’t eaten healthfully enough or haven’t exercised enough.  I walked and did yoga and abs yesterday and more walking today; breathe Caronae.  This is enough.  You are enough.  And the fact that I have eaten a few bowls of cereal as dinner the last few nights is also okay.  This will not kill me; I have eaten plenty of healthy things like grapefruit, oats, eggs, carrots, peppers, and almonds too.  I am okay.

Anyone else ever feel like a few days of less-than-perfect-health will kill them? The funny thing is, my idea of less-than-perfect-health is probably not all that bad, especially for a college student.  I don’t have to spend hours running everyday to be healthy.  Part of my guilt comes from not following my NYC half-marathon training plan precisely, but I know this is illogical; I ran 40 miles last week, I could get up and run 15 miles right now if I had to, and I have run distances longer than 13.1 miles dozens of times.  Two days sans running was a good mental break for me.

I went to a fun poetry/song/music event tonight with some friends.  I read a piece I wrote in 2007.  I wish there was more of a close-knit writing community around me; I miss the friends and support I had through my writing in high school.  That said, I know I’ll always have a need to write, and I don’t terribly mind it being a very solitary activity now.  It’s funny to think I’ve been writing since 2003, the summer before I started high school.  I don’t remember what my first piece was about, but I know I used the phrase “tangerine sunset” and I was so proud of myself.

I ended my busy day with a fun, healthy recipe!  I love making big stir-fries once or twice during the week; that way I have two or three servings of leftover veggies ready to go for lunches and dinners later on in the week when I don’t have time to make a healthy meal from scratch.

Sweet And Spicy Winter Stir-Fry

1 teaspoon (ish) butter (could also use coconut or olive oil)

1/2 a large sweet potato

3 big washed carrots

1/2 a huge bell pepper

1 big apple (pretty much any variety will work)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger

Melt butter or oil on medium-high in a non-stick skillet.  While it’s heating, chop roughly dice sweet potato, making sure the pieces are relatively thin.  Add sweet potato to pan and give it a quick stir.  Dice pepper and carrots (into thin rounds) and add in to pan.  Shake the mixture around a bit.  Dice apple and toss that in to.  Let it all cook for a few minutes while you make the sauce, stirring occasionally.  To make sauce, simply combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir until a paste forms.  Drizzle paste over veggie mixture and stir so that the mixture is evenly coated.  Give it another five or so minutes until everything is cooked through and slightly tender.  Serve immediately; store leftovers in the same container used to make the sauce (don’t wash it).

I know the flavor combination probably sounds a bit funky, but trust me, it works!  The veggies get nice and caramelized and absorb the spices.  Yum.  I’d serve it with pinto beans and squash or baked tofu and brown rice for a simple, flavorful winter meal.

I am a messy individual:

Sauce all over my shirt 😦

This is my “really, Caronae?” face.  Ugh.  More laundry for me.

Alright, Q and A time!  What’s your favorite stir-fry combination?  Other favorite way of cooking or eating your veggies?

Lauren, the Biochemista, gave me the Honest Scrap Award!  It made me so happy; I’ve only ever gotten one bloggie award before (from Stef) but never got around to doing that one.  This one, however, involves talking about myself, which you all know I am very good at doing.  So I’m sharing.


Best Meal Ever:  Probably this Italian dinner I had somewhere on the Upper West side this past fall (oof, I can’t remember where!).  My mom’s friend was in town and she took me out and everything tasted like it had been served directly from the pasture/cow/wheat field/tomato vine directly onto my plate.  Best cheeses and pastas I’ve ever had.  I’ve been to France twice, but I honestly think this was better than any of the wonderful authentic Parisian food I’ve consumed.  Although genuine cassoulet is a close second.

Best Sleep Ever:  I have serious sleep issues so this is actually pretty tricky.  Probably when I took time off from school and was home last spring/summer.  I had very little to stress about most of the time, and some nights I would crawl into my mom’s bed and sleep next to her (yes, I am indeed 20 years old).

Best Romantic Moment:  Not a lot of these thus far.  I’ve only ever gotten flowers from my father or mother.  Can it be someone else’s romantic moment?  If so, then probably at my cousin’s wedding in Paris a few springs ago.  She got married in this park on the most beautiful day and she literally arrived at the wedding on a rowboat.

Best Childhood Memory:  My mom wasn’t usually home when I got out of school, but one day I came home and she met me in the driveway and made me a snack and I was totally thrilled.  It was cookies and cream ice cream with a side of sliced cucumbers.  She always had to healthify things!

Best Moment in Life:  Coming back to school this past September and falling in love with New York for a second time.

Best Revenge:  I’m really quite passive and don’t really do revenge.  But I don’t mind knowing that my wonderful life is just beginning while all the mean popular girls from high school have mostly already seen their greatest days.

Best Thing I’ve Ever Done for Someone:  I try to do little things on a regular basis; I don’t know if I’ve ever done any big things.  I like to bake cookies or other delicacies for friends who are in distressed, and when I’m home I like making dinner for my family so that they can come home from work and not have to stress about cooking.

Best Life-Changing Moment: There are a couple here.  Realizing that I needed to take time off last year was big, as was my trip to NY in 2006 with my poetry team.  That trip made me realize how important writing was to my selfhood, and that week was honestly the closest I have ever felt to other human beings.  Also, being published in The New York Times last year (you can see my essay here) made me understand that I can actually take my story and my writing somewhere and not just help myself, but help others.

Okay, so I have to nominate five other bloggers now!

1. Pen from Pen At Peace

2. Kate from The Eggplant Executrix

3. Joanne from Eats Well With Others

4. The Empty Nut Jar

5. Maggie from Say Yes To Salad

Alright.  It’s 1:30 AM and I have ten billion things to do tomorrow so I’m off!  Happy Friday everybody!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 02:15:44

    I am living proof that days of less than perfect help aren’t fatal haha I never do formal exercise after being obsessed with it up until 2009…and sometimes I sit on my bum all day…and I’m still alive wohoo!

    Anyway that aside, I like anything in a stir fry, it makes a brilliant meal and I love using a wok…one thing I would like to try is a seafood stir fry…

    I loved your best moments, and especially the one about leading a wonderful life is a good way to get revenge. I don’t like the word revenge, but if there is one way to really show people who have tried to get you down in the past, it’s to live life to the full and be happy.

    Sarah x


  2. Sarah
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 02:16:29

    Ooop Freudian slip! I meant *health* sorry should re-read my comments before posting! xxx


  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 02:19:57

    CAronae! Congrats on the award and to the ladies you gave it to! And I LOVE the stir fry…apple, pepper, maple, ginger, cinnamon and almost no salt and no onions/garlic…I think you read my tastebuds’ mind! Delish!

    Re the Dove hair in the light blue bottle. Check. I am sourcing that tomorrow…yay for that rec! And try the coconut oil, a little bit! or you’ll be an oil slick LOL and herbal eseences for long hair, double cool. THANK YOU!



  4. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 02:23:14

    haha i’m still honored to have handed you your 1st award, i know there will be many to come! i got this one too but haven’t gotten around to doing it…yet. loved reading yours! i can relate to feeling like a few days of not so healthy eating may kill me, but i know it’s irrational! self forgiveness is key (i’m not referring to the eating, just in general!)


  5. Maggie
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 07:59:12

    Yayy, thank you! I liked reading your answers.

    I have lots of days where I don’t eat healthy. I wish I was more okay with it 😉 Well, my definition of healthy is more about the way I eat and how I view food, not necessarily the specific food I am eating. If I eat fried rice for dinner and I loved it, had enough but not too much, and felt happy afterwards, that counts as healthy for me. If I eat a monster salad followed by too much of something carby (but healthy) and feel sick to my stomach because I ate too much, that’s not healthy even if it was healthy food.


  6. Kate
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 08:56:50

    i struggle with that less then perfect health stuff. i hate that i do it but am getting much better.

    your stir fry sounds freaking awesome. i am a huge fan of apples in veggie mixes. i have all the ingredients to make yours minus the maple syrup. putting it on the grocery list now!

    enjoy your weekend!


  7. Mary
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 09:11:37

    Congratulations on your award. I stopped by to say hello but ended up staying longer than I planned. You have a lovely blog and I’ll be back often. I loved the stir-fry by-the-way. Have a great day…Mary


  8. EE
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 09:49:45

    Stir fry is a simple pleasure I enjoy often. Yours is probably divine!

    Glad to learn more about you. Keep up with the honesty, AND keep honestly realizing how amazing you are.


  9. sonia
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 10:06:36

    Yay! What a cool award 🙂 My fave stirfry combos probably involve pineapple and peanuts!!! I looove it when peanuts get all toasty and warm. Delish!


  10. Katie
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 11:47:32

    I’m with Sarah, I don’t do any formal exercise anymore either after having a bit of a problem with it when I was younger, and I have never been more healthy 🙂 Two days off might even make you a little faster, I used to find that if I had an extra rest day after training hard for a few weeks I would feel stronger the next time I ran. Anything if taken to extreme can hurt you, even eating healthily can become an obsession and end with someone becoming malnourished, so I always try and remind myself that moderation is the key 🙂

    Congrats for the reward!


  11. Diana (Soap & Chocolate)
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 18:42:41

    Yeah forgiving oneself doesn’t always come naturally but is so key! I struggle with guilt too.

    Love your stir fry idea!


  12. Joanne
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 19:42:43

    I definitely get into those moods where I feel like if I don’t do everything perfectly I will ruin everything. It’s so unrealistic though. A few bowls of cereal? So don’t matter in the long run. And really. We are infinitely healthier than the majority of people out there. So we should stop stressing. Lol. I’m glad I came here…pep talk for me too!

    Thanks so much for the award! I loved reading your blurbs 😛

    That stir fry looks amazing! It is everything I am craving right now.


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