Apartment Tour: My Bedroom

We’ve reached the final frontier people!

Previously….

Bathroom

Kitchen

Cocktail Cart

Living Room

Welcome to my bedroom!

Moving into this apartment was very exciting for me because it marked the first time in my adult life I would have a separate bedroom to myself with a door that closes.

Overall my bedroom is pretty simple.

I am a little obsessed with my closet. I have a shoe area, purse area and things hanging. I like to keep my closet doors open because it reminds me of the things I have in my closet. I am perpetually in a state of looking for new clothing but post weight loss I’ve gotten rid of many things that no longer fit me and I’m trying to replace them with special, more unique and colorful pieces. Let’s just say that my life in Boston lead to me purchasing a lot of navy. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with Navy but LA has changed my style and made it more colorful, more relaxed and kinda beachy. I use my pinterest style board as inspiration.

Also, Izzy loves to hang out in my closet amongst my purses and shoes. She’s such a girl! I don’t want to trip her in (it has happened before) so it just makes more sense to leave the doors open.

Across from my bed I have my dresser (a Danny find!), Izzy’s house, my scarves, race medals, reading chair, photos (art? Mom what do we call this?) and green sewing holder which I use to store books!

Izzy’s little house if one of my favorite things! She sleeps there from time to time and frequently naps there during the day. I let her sleep on the bed or she’ll go and curl up in the pink chair. I’ve been meaning to have the chair redone but it will happen eventually! The photos were put together by my Mom. She collected the frames at estate sales and filled them with blue and brown and gold wrapping paper. It’s a nice thing for my walls since they would be kind of sparse without it. I also love my dresser. Danny found it for me and it hold almost all my other cloths. The gold round mirror is a thrift store find. My mom found it too. Can you guess what we do when she comes to visit? If you said shop you would be correct! I also have my jewelry tray which I’ve already blogged about. Izzy sleeps in the pink chair and I also read there or sit there while talking on the phone etc. The green thing was a flea market find of my own (Fairfax High on Sunday’s). Normally it serves as extra book storage.

I hung my scarves up because, like my closet, I like my clothing hanging up where I can see it. I also have my race medals in the middle of my scarves. I have 7: two from the LA Cancer Challenge, Chicago Marathon, Rock n Roll Pasadena, Ventura Half of the Harbors, Rock n Roll San Diego, and Malibu. This photo was taken before Pasadena was added to the mix.

Speaking of things on the walls, on the opposing wall I have several photos from Boston. I like having these little reminders around of one of my prior adopted homes.

Brownstones, a Boston postcard, and the Public Garden.

On one side of my bed I have a little bed side table and on the other side I have this wire, mirrored two level table thingey. I’m not really sure what to call it but it holds photos and seashells.

I have some baby pictures of me with my dad and me holding my brother when he was a newborn. I also have various photos with my friends. As you can see I have another basket full of books. What can I say? I am attached to my literature. This basket is fun reading books. You can see the Mindy Kaling book (I’m convinced we’re soul sisters), the Hunger Game books (which I need to return to Amanda) and Game Change which was just made into a movie for HBO and I cannot wait to see it (nerd alert).

And this is my bed.

As you can see my other side table has a lamp, photos of Paris and other nick nacks I need for life (water, tissues, lotion, and my retainer- sexy!)

You can also see that Izzy loves the bed. She likes to nap there during the day and she sleeps at the end of the bed at night.

Napping.

One day I would like to get a headboard for my bed. I generally have always used my bed as a place to study. You’d think that there would be a more formalized process but there isn’t!

Oh and my bed doesn’t look like this anymore. Now it looks like this…

Three pillows! Family friend and blog reader Chris Johnson had two identical to the pillow I’ve had for years that she was going to return and instead she sent them to me! Thanks Chris! You can really never have too many pillows in my opinion. With all the time I spend working on my bed it’s nice to have the extra back support.

Thus concludes the apartment tour!

I have a general and various life update hopefully coming soon. This weekend I am making my first trip to Vegas! This trip is so necessary right now. The past week I’ve been sick and dealing with a lot of emotional life stress and I cannot wait to get to Vegas, enjoy some buffet food, drinks, and go dancing with my friends. No gambling will happen, I promise Dad. Just some non scandalous libations imbibing and dancing to a trance dj we’re seeing on Saturday (yessssss). The following weekend I’m going to the Grand Canyon. Lots of exciting things going on!

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Feeling Pretty

I’m normally not too concerns about looking “pretty” while I run. I love working out and my favorite workouts are super sweaty. That’s why I’m the girl in yoga who wants the teacher to crank up the heat and who jumps into the front row at zumba to sweat her face off.

This is why I normally don’t look uber hot in my race photos. I mean, I’m running a race not engaging in a photo shoot. Some of my Chicago shots were pretty awesome. Between the slower pace I was running and the water being sprayed at me I looked pretty hardcore. There was also one of me crying.

So you can imagine my excitement when I looked up my race photos from Pasadena and I looked great. I actually waved at the cameras and didn’t look like a hyper stage mom on Toddlers and Tiaras. Perhaps this means I should have been running harder? Ha!

Here is a selection on images.

Rose Bowl!

I look super excited, especially compared to that guy behind me.

I feel like I’m one of those happy people in a college brochure in this picture. And look! I’m totally off the ground too!

I used to hate the way I looked when I ran, especially my legs. I have big thighs that have always been a source of self consciousness for me. Running the marathon changed my perception of my body in so many ways. Instead of looking at the photos and immediately thinking “I hate how my body looks!” I appreciated it in a way I hadn’t before. My thighs carried me 26.2 miles and I have a whole new appreciation for what they can do.

I was sore Monday and Tuesday but I’m happy to hit the gym tomorrow for zumba. I also signed up for the Pasadena 1/2 Marathon in May. It’s going to be the weekend after graduation and likely will be my last distance race until the fall. I loved the scenery in Pasadena and I scoped out the course map online. I’m excited to dig into training and try and better my time. When I set my PR I wasn’t doing speed work and I went on very few distance runs. I’m going to build on the workouts I’ve been doing and add in some hill runs.

Tentatively, I think my workout routine is going to look like this:

Monday: zumba

Tuesday: hill run

Wednesday: zumba & interval run

Thursday: rest

Friday: easy run

Saturday: long run

Sunday: yoga

I love yoga and zumba. Yoga helps me stretch out and is completely necessary in my life for my body and mental health. I always hit the same class. Zumba is challenging but is fun. To me, it’s like not working out. Obviously it is a workout but its fun and doesn’t feel like work to me. I’ve been working in interval runs on Wednesday for the past couple of weeks. These runs are short but challenging and are supposed to make my legs stronger. I’ve been doing them either before or after zumba and its been working out well. My Tuesday night class has ended and I can incorporate another run. I want to do hills because Pasadena is hilly and my apartment doesn’t have hills near it anymore. Basically, this is what I’ve already been doing but with one extra hill run added in so I know I can stick to it. I’m excited to get started tomorrow and get into fighting shape. I’m not sure I’ll be able to PR but I’m looking forward to putting work in.

Any runners out there have training advice for when you’re looking to beat a PR? I’m always happy to hear it.

Pasadena Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon Recap

Hey gang. Remember less than a week after I ran a marathon and I was all “I’m going to bust my 1/2 marathon PR!” so I signed up for this half marathon but then I took a ton of zumba and yoga and stopped running more than 3 miles a week? Yep. Less than a month ago I decided that I needed to get cracking on that training thang. I did a 6 miler, 8 miler, 10 miler and an almost 7 miler. Today, with less training than I’ve ever had going into a race I ran the inaugural Pasadena Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon.

The excitement started yesterday when I went to the expo to pick up my bib. The only other Rock n Roll race I ran was in San Diego and while I loved the race, the expo was mayhem. I braced myself for terrible lines BUT I was so happy when I arrived. The lay out was the same as San Diego but with a fraction of the people!

I was able to zip through and get all the free sample too! It’s called priorities people.

I also peeped at the medals.

People have critiques of the Rock n Roll series but they give fantastic medals! So heavy.

Then I went home and grabbed some friends. None of them were running today but they agreed to carb load in solidarity.

I got noodles with chicken and BACON.

Delicious!

This morning I actually got to sleep until 5 am (which is actually kinda late for race morning). I ate a bagel with peanut butter, as per the usual, and headed out the door to the race.

The race started and ended at The Rose Bowl. I kinda love the Rose Bowl. The first time I ever went there was in 1995 when Northwestern played USC (we, meaning Northwestern) lost. I didn’t get to see the game but I had a vivid memory of wandering the parking lot with my Mom and brother, hearing that Northwestern had lost and dealing with what felt at the time to be a crushing disappointment. It was the first of many to come as Northwestern has a truly terrible bowl game record. Can’t win them all, or any. I’ve been to the Rose Bowl several times since for the flea market they have their monthly or the see UCLA play. I was excited to run a race there today.

Darnell Autry, star of the 1995 Northwestern Wildcats. Source.

The weather today was perfect when we started running but freezing while waiting at the start line! I waited til the last moment to give up my polar fleece and then I headed to the start line and made small talk with some other runners. Before I knew it the race was underway!

I really loved this race. The course was hilly. The first few and final few miles were the most hilly. I hardly noticed the hills for the final few miles. The first 3 or 4 miles were through a residential neighborhood stacked with California craftsman style houses. I really loved this part of the course. After 4 miles the course turned onto Colorado Blvd. which is a Mecca for shopping! Clearly I enjoyed that part. The course also went down Green St. and out and back on several other side streets before heading back down Colorado towards the Rose Bowl. This went on til about mile 9.

Then we ran down my favorite part of the course:

source

Downhill, beautiful views, just gorgeous in every way. Of course what goes down must go up again. The course wound around and then headed back to and around the Rose Bowl. I think I prefer hills to flat running. Call me crazy but I’d rather see an uphill, get the satisfaction of running up the hill and then enjoying the downhill.

I felt good throughout the race overall. At no point did I want to quit or die. I set off at a conservative pace and I managed to hold even splits until after mile 10 (ha, what else is new?). It took about two miles for me to loosen up but after that I was in a zone until about the 10k mark. I took a handful of walk breaks in the second half. I mostly just walked some of the more aggressive up hills. I knew going into this race that this was probably going to be the slowest half marathon I’ve run. I barely trained at all coming off cold turkey not running. I won’t sugar coat it, my tush and legs were sore around mile 6. I was still pretty proud of myself for keeping even splits throughout the race.

My favorite part of the course, as I mentioned above was the Colorado Blvd bridge. It was a gradual downhill and the view was fantastic. After the bridge, however, I turned the cover and was faced with a steep uphill. I thought eff it, and walked up. This was at the 9.5 mile mark. As I reached the top “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston, the dance remix came on my ipod and gave me the boost I needed to get moving again. Woo hoo for running for Whitney! After that downhill the last two miles was around a golf course next to the Rose Bowl. This part of the course was my least favorite. It was totally flat and felt like it lasted forever. I was having motivational issues trying to keep my legs moving. I actually ran past my car at one point, thought “oh, seeing the 26.2 sticker on it will motivate me!” and then I promptly took a walk break.

Around this part of the course a woman I was running near me introduced herself. We’d been giving each other encouragement since mile 9.5. Her name was Christine and she was a god send! Right before mile 12 she said, “I don’t know you but let’s hold each other accountable. After mile 12, we don’t walk”. I agreed. I always intend to run the final mile with no walking but I never actually am able to do so. We actually stuck to it too! I ran the final mile and .1. The best part? Mile 13 happened on a hill. Remember how mile 26 in Chicago happened on a hill? And I swore I would crush it but then of course I was exhausted and walked it? WELL. I redeemed myself a little bit today by not walking on the hill. It’s the small victories.

After I hit the mile 13 sign I sprinted. My legs were quaking but I thought to myself that I’d run the whole 13 mile race to get to THIS .1. It was awesome.

Here are my splits:

5k: 31:06

10k: 1:03:27

10 miles: 1:44:59

Final: 2:20:51

Average pace: 10:45

Again, not my fastest by any stretch but I really loved this race. It was good to get back into distance running. This race reminded me that I love running and 13.1 is a great distance. I can feel my marathon burn out fading away and I’m excited to dig into training again. It feels good to be back. The fact that with 1 months notice I can hop into a half marathon and run at a decent pace makes me proud. I used to be the kind of person who couldn’t run two miles and now I can hop into a half on short notice and THAT is pretty groovy.

After the race I met up with Danielle, her fiancé Tim (who I never met before and is awesome) and my friend Josh for brunch at the Griddle. You know, home of the HUGE pancakes. I got the oat and cinnamon pancake (personal favorite), bacon, hash browns (the carb special!), an ice tea and a mimosa. I actually scored a second mimosa for free! Our waiter noticed my medal, asked me what I had “won” (I told him I only won in my own heart HA!) and he refilled my mimosa gratis! The Griddle FTW!

Overall, this was a great race. I really loved running in Pasadena and I think I will be back there shortly. I’m going to jump into a more intense training plan (speed workouts and hill workouts and long runs oh my!) starting Wednesday with the hopes of getting in shape to PR in May. For now through I am happy to be back in happy racing mode.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Hey gang! Ready for the weekend? I am, oh yes I am.

This is a long overdue post for roasted eggplant dip. I’ve made this many times but most recently for Thanksgiving.

Yeah, yeah I know, LONG overdue.

You might remember that I went to Kaitlin’s for Thanksgiving. I made two dishes, this dip and Eat, Live, Run’s caramelized Brussels sprouts (so good). I also made this for a dinner party during 1L and I’ll probably make it for large parties in the future. It’s super simple, delicious and a crowd pleaser. Even people who don’t like egg plant like this dip. I swear! This recipe is a Barefoot Contessa classic and I found it through my Mom (aka cooking goddess).

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees.

Basically you peel a medium eggplant and chop. Then you chop a red onion and two red peppers. Chunk the veggies into large pieces. Also chop up two cloves of garlic.

Lay out the chopped veggies and garlic on a pan. Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Coat the veggies and the pan with the oil, salt and pepper. Basically, roast the veggies.

Roast for 25 mins.

Remove from the oven and let the veggies cool off.

They should look like this:

Everything in life is better roasted.

Once cooled down, put the veggies and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Mix it up. I only have a mini food processor so I do this in batches and add into a serving dish.

And you’re done! In the words of Barefoot: “how easy is that!?” So easy. This is why this dip is one of my favorite foods to make when I’m hosting a party. This is done so quickly and you can turn your attention to other things you have to take care of.

In other news: I am super excited for this weekend. It’s law school prom (Barristers Ball) Saturday and the high in LA today was 80 so I’m hitting the beach tomorrow to work on my pre-prom tan! I also have my last run before the 1/2 marathon next weekend (8 miles). For Barristers I’m wearing a dress that my Mom actually bought for herself but she has decided is too “young”- crazy since I SWEAR she’s only in her mid 30’s ;). I tried it on a few weeks ago and it was tight but it fits so much better now that I’m back into running and eating healthy. Woo Hoo! I also am giving myself snaps for fitting into something my Mom wore. She’s a tiny lady so I’m impressed I can actually wear her stuff. Oh the perks of having a Mom the same size as you with similar style.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

11 things about me

Kelley over at Kelocity tagged me in this post. I will forever love question posts so I am totally filling it out right now. Basically I will tell you 11 random things about me and then answer 11 questions Kelley came up with and you will love it. Capiche?

11 things about me:

  1. I love to eavesdrop on conversations in public restaurants. Sometimes I like to fill in the details of what people’s lives are like based on their conversations.
  2. I want to get a PhD in teen television dramas and the role that race plays or doesn’t play. Probably the least practical thing to study but an awesome excuse to watch the original 90210 and Gossip Girl.
  3. I started watching Downton Abbey on Friday and I am completely addicted. I love Branson the Irish revolutionary chauffer and I’ve never wanted cousins to hook up more in my life.
  4. I overuse the word “amazing”.
  5. I’m a terrible speller. Like really, really bad. I remember when I was little worrying that I wouldn’t get very far in life not being able to spell. Clearly, a baseless concern.
  6. I once went on a date with a former Romney for President staffer. Our date had all the same struggles as Mitt’s actual campaign. Needless to say there wasn’t a second one.
  7. I ran for president of student government when I was in college and lost. I got the election results the week that my grandpa died. It was a bad week.
  8. The first legal drink I had was a Lychee Martini from Douzo in Boston. It was glorious.
  9. I’ve been walking around with a smashed smart phone screen for almost a year because I’m too lazy to take it to a shop to get it fixed.
  10. I aspire to be as powerful as Victoria Greyson. I also really want her house.
  11. I bought my first Vogue from a gas station in Marco Island, Florida in April 2002 (yes, I was 14). I have been obsessed since and yes I subscribe.

My first vogue

Source.

11 questions:

Would you change anything about your high school experience?

I don’t think so but it was so long ago I may have romanticized it. Perhaps I would have spent more time with my close friends I’m still in contact with and less time buying into drama.

What was your first car?

My 2006 Toyota Corolla. Yes, I roll in the rolla.

Did you have a secret hiding place when you were a kid?

Good question! I didn’t really have hiding places but when I was a teen I loved taking the EL into Evanston and spending hours alone in a bookstore. Not hiding but I loved the alone time.

Do you know any other languages? Do you wish you could speak any others?

I can barely speak basic Spanish. I wish I took French in high school because it would help me not sound like an idiot in restaurants (oh so practical).

Name the top five things on your bucket list.

1. Work on a presidential campaign

2. Go to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party

3. Buy a Birkin purse

4. Fall in love and go on an extended trip to Paris

5. Spend an entire summer on Martha’s Vineyard

Ever have 15 minutes of fame?

Not really. The closest I came was probably when I was in college and I was written up as “She is Simmons”. You can read it here. Please disregard everything I said about my ex and note that I didn’t win a McArthur Genius award, my boss did. If I won that award I would not have student loans right now and I’d also be the youngest recipient ever.

If you could excel at something you currently don’t, what would it be?

Being mellow. I’m OK at this (way better than I used to be) but I wish things rolled off my back more easily.

Would you ever want to write a book? What would it be about?

Yes! I would love to write a book about politics, race and popular culture.

What’s your greatest fear?

Missing life and being boring.

What was your favorite grade in school and why?

Loving second semester 3L. The final year at each school is my favorite but this final year is less stressful than final years past.

Twilight or Hunger Games?

I have deep seated hate for Twilight but I love Hunger Games!

Feel free to answer some of the questions in the comments.

back into running

Hey gang.

Remember when I looked like this?

And this?

Look at those legs! I like to imagine they ALWAYS look that hardcore when I run. Side note: that’s my bro behind me. How can I get his cut jaw line?

It’s been nearly 4 months since the Chicago marathon and I thought I’d update everyone on my fitness and healthy living life.

I posted some grand plans a week after the marathon about my fitness goals. Um, yeah. Let’s just say that I had some lofty ideas about PR-ing and running a sub 2 hour half marathon on February 19th. I enthusiastically made a training plan, posted about how hard I was going to work on speed and said that after a short distance running break I would be back and better than ever!

Not so fast. What I didn’t account for was my body wanting a longer break, the work load I would have during finals and a general desire to not run long distances.

Post marathon I knew I needed a small break. What I did not account for was my body wanting more than a month “off”. In the month after the full marathon I did yoga, ran maybe once or twice a week no longer than 3 miles at a time and did zumba. I still worked out but compared to when I’m actively distance training it was way less and let me tell you parts of it were GLORIOUS! I feel like healthy bloggers are obsessed with their long runs and being fit and I love that feeling too. But you know what else was awesome? Not having to carve time out of my weekend to run. Spending more time with friends. Taking trips to place like Palm Springs. Enjoying my vacation. Studying and getting ahead during finals rather than stressing about fitting in my run. If you say you never like a break from long running I do not buy it. At all.

I smile like this when I run. I also smile like this when I take a break.

I also fell in love with zumba! I had taken my first zumba class over the summer and enjoyed it. After the marathon I started going twice a week. Zumba includes Latin and hip hop dance for a very sweaty workout. Compared to running 40 miles a week, 2 zumba classes is a party. My teacher is a hip hop teacher and so the class is very hip hop based which I love.

Class is like this and I love it:

Turns out I excel at jumping around with energy. What I potentially lack in skill I make up for in sass and absolutely not caring about what other people are thinking about me. I danced through high school and was never the best but always enjoyed it. The work out is pretty intense and I love it. When I run I think about everything going on in my life. When I do zumba my brain empties for a while and it feels fantastic to just tune out.

Besides being preoccupied with zumba and exams I also thought that I might have law school prom the night before the half marathon I signed up for in which case I would definitely NOT be awake, hydrated and ready to run a half. Also, I planned to start training the first week of reading period last semester. Also, I signed up for the race less than a week after the full marathon. Thus, I totally blew off my training plan. Whoops.

This 26 oz margarita represents everything I loved/hated about my workout/healthy eating break.

At the same time I was basically taking an extended break from working out I blew off healthy eating too. I ate like I was training for a half or full marathon. Granted, I’ve been in training mode consistently for a year and a half. I think I gained 5 ish lbs and one pair of pants didn’t fit. Well, they fit but there was extensive muffin top that jean lunges couldn’t resolve. No worries. I know how to eat healthy and after some calorie counting I’m back basically to where I was before. That Lose It! application is very effective, let me tell you.

Anyways as much as I loved my three month break, I realized in January that law school prom wasn’t going to be a conflict with my half marathon and that I shouldn’t waste the entry fee. Thus I jumped into long running again and added in one speed workout a week. Thus far I’ve run 6, 8 and 10 miles and it overall feels good to be back. The runs have kicked my ass a bit, especially the distance. I managed negative splits when I ran 8 and my 10 mile run was at a faster pace than my 8 mile run but it’s slower than I’d like. Obviously with such a last moment training plan it would be stupid to expect to run sub 2 hours so I’m going to set a realistic goal for myself. I really want to run sub 2 hours though and I think it will be attainable with speed work and a half marathon around finals I might be able to do it. All I need to do is commit. I still also still really want to run another marathon. Seeing all the announcements about Chicago Marathon registration made me envious and sad that I wasn’t going to register. I will run Chicago again, but a fall marathon would be setting myself up for failure what with the bar exam.

My shaving 12 mins of my 1/2 marathon pr glow. Let’s recapture it.

Overall, the past few months have taught me some interesting lessons. It isn’t the end all be all to take a break from distance running. I will get my pace back. Hell, I will likely end up with a better one eventually. Gaining a tick of weight isn’t that big of a deal. I know how to eat healthy, I just need to remember to eat in proportion to my working out. It’s a good thing to check in with my eating every two years. Having to take a healthy break and then reconnect with my habits is not a fail. Taking breaks is a GOOD thing. It was a good thing to focus on school and maximize time studying (I ended up having a really good semester academically) and not on distance running. I love cross training and that’s fantastic. Booty rolling and popping can give you abs. For maximum happiness I need 1.5 hours of yoga mellowing time and 2 hours of jumping up and down like crazy. Fitness goals don’t have to be huge like running a marathon or setting a PR. The goal can simply be enjoying workouts.

Finish line glory.

So that is the update on my eating and fitness life. It’s been over two years since I started eating healthier and working out consistently. Taking a mini break from working out served me well but I’m excited to get back into fighting shape.

How do you stay motivated with staying healthy over time?

Baba Ghanoosh Chicken Pasta

Ready to try something new folks?

Sure you are!

How about roasting some eggplant over an open flame!

There! I have your attention.

It’s true. This recipe calls for roasting eggplant over an open flame. It also offers an alternative way to cook the eggplant but why would you NOT want to cook this over an open flame? I mean come on.

I have had this pasta light cookbook for a while. My mom found it at an Estate sale I believe and I finally started cooking out of it over break.

This is a great little cookbook! It’s an oldie but it has many recipes for my favorite food, pasta. If you look at my recipe index you can tell that I have an undying love for pasta. Obviously, it’s a carb. The recipes also have nutritional information for the sauce in the book which I love because it makes it easy to calculate how many calories I’m consuming (but that is information for another post).

I choose to make baba ghanoosh pasta first. It was a no brainer for me. I love eggplant and baba ghanoosh. Three summers ago I went to Turkey (Istanbul, Efasus, Izmir, and Bergamon). I loved the eating experience there (and my travel experience too!).

Dad makes a cameo.

Sorry to inundate you with photos but my obsession with Turkey is real.

First of all, you’re allowed to have cheese at breakfast. Also, there are a ton of olives. We had several meals with friends in Istanbul where we were brought a variety of small plates to eat from. I remember these meals vividly. There was always decadent lamb, hummus, olives, feta, baklava, and of course baba ghanoosh. It was almost always on the table and I almost always ate extra because I was traveling with my dad and he doesn’t care for eggplant. Also, I was at my heaviest and totally eating everything in sight without thinking about it and was upset with my weight but not upset enough to change my habits.

Delicious food. Look at how green and glorious that cucumber is!

It should also be noted that the glass that looks like ice water with that dish of green olives? Yeah. That’s what happens when you order a dirty martini in Istanbul. You get a glass full of vermouth with a dish of olives. Yes I was that WASP ordering a martini in Turkey. In my defense, I was younger and hadn’t yet mastered cultural competency in the way I have now and I’m cringing a little bit but I’m going to go ahead and own it.

Anyways, I will not claim that this is as good or as authentic as the delicious food I consumed in Turkey but it is reminiscent and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to roast eggplant over an open flame.

Baba Ghanoosh Pasta

Serves 2

Ingredients:


2 servings of your favorite kind of pasta (I used brown spaghetti)

1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp oregano

2 garlic cloves (1/2 finely chopped, 1 1/2 rough chop)

1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 medium eggplant

1/6 cup parsley leaves

1/6 cup non fat Greek yogurt

Black pepper

Instructions:

In a mixing bowl combine the lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, oregano and oil. Combine with a fork. Lay the chicken in mixing bowl. Coat the chicken in the mixture and let it marinate for at least 30 mins.

In the meantime, you will roast the eggplant. I cut the top off the eggplant and speared it with a fork. If you have a larger fork I would use that. I used a regular sized one and it worked but a larger fork would just give you more control.

I took the grate off the top of the burner and turned the heat up to high. Then I took the speared eggplant and cooked it over the burner, rotating it so it would be evenly cooked. It should take around 15 mins.

Cook the eggplant like so.

When the eggplant is fully cooked the skin will be blistered and loose (like above). Set aside and let it cool off. Once the eggplant has cooled off enough to handle you can peel the skin off. Set the oven to broil.

Then turn your attention back to the chicken. Grease a pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken on the pan. Place in the oven.

Broil for 7 mins on each side. After 14 mins check the chicken to make sure it is fully cooked. Set aside.

In the meantime, work on the sauce. Take the peeled eggplant and cut up to cooked eggplant. Add the eggplant and the rest of the garlic and parsley to a food processor and pulse until combined.

Once the garlic, eggplant and parsley are combined. Next add lemon, black pepper and yogurt to the food processer and mix again.

After the mixing is complete, chop the chicken. In the mean time you can cook some pasta to go with your sauce. I used brown spaghetti (my personal fave).

Take the sauce and the chopped chicken and mix with the pasta and serve!

This was delicious. The Greek yogurt added creaminess to the sauce without adding a ton of calories. The total calorie count for the sauce and chicken is 185 calories per serving. Plus the pasta serving this is a pretty low calories dinner.

Also, this chicken? Perfection. Moist and seasoned and delicious. I should marinade chicken more frequently because it was easy and didn’t actually take that much time to do. I’ve actually made the chicken since and thrown it into other dishes. It’s a great based for anything that demands chicken.

I’m curious: Have you ever done anything embarrassing in another country or region? When I moved to Boston I pronounced word “pea-body” rather than “pea-bdy” as the locals do. I got corrected real quickly. I also ordered iced tea in London and got stated at like I had a third head.