Pushing the Limits

by Jenn (eating bender) on April 15, 2009

I may or may not have made an “error” in my Salad Challenge today. After reading Leng’s last post, it would appear that my attempt to rename smoothies and, as you’ll see today, stir-fries as “blended” and “cooked” salads may not be exactly what she was intending 😳 So Leng, I apologize in advance if it isn’t what you originally were looking for! I really liked what you said about having it fit our own needs and preferences, though, so perhaps it’s all good.

This morning I was able to wake up early and get in a morning workout at the gym. Since I did my P90X Legs + Back workout yesterday (yes, I finally posted links to all of my P90X reviews!), I took it easy today and did 50-minute Elliptical Intervals. I came back, showered and made myself some Coffee Cocoa (sans whip).


I did a little accounting homework (no more procrastination, here!) while trying to decide what I most wanted for breakfast. Eventually, I decided to make a bowl o’ blue.


I bought some fresh berries over the weekend. This bowl contained:

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax
  • Topping: handful of blackberries

When the oats were cooked, the blueberries were still pretty solid, so I pulled out the hand blender and made everything creamy. This bowl was naturally sweet and filling!


After breakfast it was back to the books. I worked pretty much all morning long (give or take an hour that may or may not have been spent napping) and before you can tell me the difference between financial and managerial accounting, it was time for lunch.


Looks a lot like a breakfast, doesn’t it? I was debating between this and oatmeal for breakfast, so I decided to have both πŸ˜‰ I combined the usual 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg with about a cup of spinach in a pan and, once it was scrambled, placed 1/2 of it on a plate and the remaining on top of an Ezekiel muffin. I also microwaved a Morningstar sausage patty for the English muffin, and topped the whole sandwich with some hot sauce and Goya. It was SO good!


This kept me full for a while, which was good since I had to run a bunch of errands during the afternoon. It was good to get outside – my day’s off from classes usually turn me into a hermit, but since the weather is supposed to get nicer later this week, I’m hoping to spend more time outdoors. Once I got back from all the walking around, I was ready for dinner. Here’s where the “salad” comes in!


I brought back the gigantic blue bowl for those of you who liked it πŸ˜‰ I got two of them from my local grocery store for $2 each last spring! I decided that my “salad” would be in the form of stir-fry tonight. Technically, it follows the rules of the challenge, but whether or not it’s a salad is still up for debate.


  1. At least 1 cup of raw green leafy vegetables (I used 2 cups of spinach)
  2. At least 1 serving of 1 other vegetable of a different color (I used carrots and mushrooms)
  3. A source of protein (tempeh!)
  4. Dressing is optional (I used a light blend of 2 tbsp. peanut dressing)
  5. One serving of something else you’re feeling at the moment (pea pods and broccoli)

The star of today’s “salad” was tempeh, since it was the first time I had ever tried it.


I used 1 serving (about 4 ounces) and threw everything into a large pan with 1 tsp. sesame oil. I heated the pan on medium-high until everything “looked done” – yeah, not the most accurate approach, but it worked for me.


I added 1 tbsp. of the peanut dressing near the end, and then another tbsp. once I had put everything into the bowl to provide a little flavor in every bite. I rarely if ever make my own stir-fry – I guess I just saw it as time consuming. Um, not so much. This took maybe 10 minutes tops, and tasted amazing!


Nutrition Information (per serving):

  • 425 calories
  • 15g fat
  • 42g carbohydrates
  • 21g fiber
  • 31g protein

After dinner, I caught up on this week’s episode of 24. Can you say intense?! I snacked on an apple + cinnamon while watching because, clearly, I had not gotten enough fiber yet πŸ˜‰


Then Bobby came over and we finally got completely caught up with Lost (minus tonight’s episode, so shhh don’t tell me!) :) We like to DVR and then watch it commercial-free later. Since he left, I’ve been doing some blog reading and more accounting. Yes, it has taken over my life! While working, I got a little snacky, but decided to settle it with some Spring Blend coffee + almond biscotti.



Friday is just a day away,


1 TorontoGirloutWest April 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I recently tried tempeh for the first time too! Surprisingly I LOVED it! It even made me contemplate becoming a vegetarian for a minute or two. Then I regained my senses and remembered how much I love lamb! lol πŸ˜›

PS: I am working on gathering all the goodies to send to you and I should have the package shipped this weekend!

2 Anna April 15, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I’ve been loving having berries in my oatmeal lately… so summery and fresh!
Check out my latest post, I’m doing a low-sugar challenge and gave you (and Angela) a shout-out!

3 runsarah April 15, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I love tempeh in stirfries! So quick and yummy.

4 Monica April 15, 2009 at 10:08 pm

mmm coffee and biscotti sounds like the perfect late night snack. reminds me of my days in italy!

5 broccolihut April 15, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Loving the berry-tastic nature of this post!

6 Moran April 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Yum I heart biscottis!
Never tried temeph before though!

7 Hangry Pants April 15, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Aww man, I was just thinking about making my salad tomorrow out of steamed spinach. Guess not. πŸ˜€

8 Jessica (jesslikesithot) April 15, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Oh that stir fry “salad” looks so good Jenn!!! Everything in it sounds amazing, I loveee tempeh but rarely get to enjoy it!! I’ll have to experiment with it more over summer, but definitely want to re-make your dinner!

When I’m home I ALWAYS dvr shows with my mom so that we can fast-forward through all the commercials, it’s the only way to go!

9 sue April 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

your stirfry/salad looks so yummy, especially with the peanut sauce! your photos look great too!

10 Pearl April 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm

i’ve never tried tempeh! i must wiki it :)

11 Lara (Thinspired) April 16, 2009 at 2:31 am

I LOVE that you made your dinner “salad” in the form of stir-fry! I would never think that a stir-fry counts as a salad, but, you know what? I think it does! Favorite food ever.

12 coco April 16, 2009 at 3:32 am

I’d replicate your meal… everything looks so pretty and appetizing!
oh…I missed out 24 last night! grrrrrr……. Love intense series! πŸ˜€

13 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) April 16, 2009 at 3:35 am

Love all your meals!

14 Danielle April 16, 2009 at 4:00 am

What’d you think of the tempeh?

15 Erica April 16, 2009 at 4:06 am

Seriously….your meals always make me CRAVE certain things! I think I will be having eggs for lunch today πŸ˜‰

16 MizFit April 16, 2009 at 4:19 am

*raises hand*

never tried tempeh.

must. rectify.that.

17 Shelby April 16, 2009 at 5:41 am

Mmm, bowl of blue =)

18 VeggieGirl April 16, 2009 at 6:01 am

Lovin’ the blue bowl!!

19 Lauren April 16, 2009 at 6:05 am

I have a package of tempeh sitting in my fridge waiting to be used, and a stir-fry just might be the way to go!

Hooray for DVRs! We record most of our faves as well. Commercials are an annoyance of the past :)

20 eatingbirdfood April 16, 2009 at 6:16 am

I am loving your lunch today. Egg, spinach, and “sausage” on an Ezekiel is one the best combinations… perfect for any time of the day!

So glad that you tried tempeh. Did you love it?

And, I like your idea to change up your “salads” for the challenge. Rules are meant to be broken, right?

21 Yasmin April 16, 2009 at 6:18 am

What a fantastic day of food. Did your teeth turn blue after your breakfast? I am loving tempeh now that I’ve learned how to flavor it.

22 ttfn300 April 16, 2009 at 6:31 am

i’m all about commercial-free tv :) that stir-fry salad looks amazing!! and i love those ezequiel buns! glad you got outside, i know what you mean about accidentally becoming a hermit when you don’t have to go to work/skool :)

23 Meg April 16, 2009 at 6:42 am

Love your bowl of blue and tempeh salad! Sounds like a relaxing night! Hope you enjoyed it!

24 Danielle April 16, 2009 at 7:04 am

I haven’t tried Tempeh yet but definitely want to and I think this salad would be a great place to start!

25 Betsy April 16, 2009 at 7:29 am

I’m loving the blended blue oatmeal… and you reminded me that I have some blackberries in the fridge!

And I’m glad you tried that tempeh and have good things to say – I’ve been eyeing it in the store for a couple of weeks but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

26 Andrea (Off Her Cork) April 16, 2009 at 7:38 am

How did you like the tempeh? I have that sitting in my fridge and have yet to try it! πŸ˜€

27 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) April 16, 2009 at 8:06 am

Gorgeous eats my friend! Thanks for the birthday shout out =)

28 Sharon April 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

Oh, I really need to find some peanut dressing AND tempeh!

29 Shannon (The Daily Balance) April 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

still MUST try tempeh. your berry oats bowl looks delish πŸ˜‰

30 Clare @ Clare's Two Steps Forward April 16, 2009 at 8:17 am

DVR has spoiled me!

31 brandi April 16, 2009 at 8:24 am

i love that blue plate! I think we need a DVR in the near future. Although, commercials give me time to pack my lunch and mix up dough, like last night!

LOST was good and crazy as normal. I have no clue what is going on in that island, but I still love it :)

32 Meghan Telpner April 16, 2009 at 9:03 am

Can never go wrong with a smoothie

33 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) April 16, 2009 at 9:09 am

I do love that bowl – I thought it was a fish when I first saw it, haha. I think that was the exact first kind of tempeh I ever tried too! Still not sure how I feel about it, but I think I like it…def. good in a stir fry! Even if it doesn’t count as salad (I think it should!)

34 wholefoodswholeme April 16, 2009 at 9:09 am

aw i think your smoothie salad was fab! should definitely count in the salad category πŸ˜€ i’m loving those crinkled carrots! the shape makes them so fun :) i have only tried tempeh once and it was gross…. i don’t know what i did to it but it was just disgusting!! i really need to give it another go but i’m scared….

thank you so much for your lovely comment – it’s so nice to hear other bloggers’ thoughts about it all, especially if they go through similar things, even though at the same time i really wish other people didn’t have to have the same kinds of problems, if you know what i mean. <3

35 verbalriot April 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

When I read about your blue oatmeal, first thing that popped into my head was “You’re mah boy blue!” from Old School…hahah

36 Marissa April 16, 2009 at 10:56 am

I’ve never had tempeh before. I need to get on that!

37 runjess April 16, 2009 at 11:41 am

I still haven’t tried tempeh. I need to see how it compares to tofu in terms of cost and protein. Tofu is just so cheap and good.

38 gina (fitnessista) April 16, 2009 at 11:52 am

i’ve been afraid to make tempeh at home this entire time– you’ve convinced me to do it πŸ˜€
i love elliptical intervals– such a great workout!
have a wonderful day and thanks so much for linking to my contest!! <3

39 Allison April 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Love the big ol bowl of blue! It looks so pretty – and delicious at the same time!!!

40 elise April 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

bowl of blue looks great. what did you think of the tempeh? how did you decide on the 3 grain flavor. im not the hugest fan of tempeh but i also havent given it many chances. i think i got the soy flavor last time (also lightlife)…just curious since im always looking to expand my horizons.

oh ps, ezek muffins = heaven

41 Erin April 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I’ve been tempeh obsessed lately. It’s good stuff! And I would call that a salad, I call most things in a bowl with vegetables a salad :)

42 Alison April 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Great looking meals! I love that bowl o’blue. Your lunch looks great too! I love eggs and veggies.

43 snackface April 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm

I love that salad! I say it counts :) The tempeh sounds delicious, too.

I’m the same way on days off from classes- I tend not to venture out too much. There’s too much work to be done!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

44 Katie April 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm

24! Wow, I am still mourning Bill’s death :( he was one of my fav’s! But I think Jack is great – I never get tired of that show!

45 Melissa S. April 16, 2009 at 7:16 pm

great stir fry Jenn! I need to try tempeh again!

46 carolinebee April 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm

i personally LOVE your creative salad spark πŸ˜€
But i’m missing a v. important component- WHAT do you think of tempeh?? was it good?? I’m still totally freaked by it, but i do trust your judgment! Let me know ha, and yes i can’t wait to discuss Jessica..i loved it!

47 jenngirl April 17, 2009 at 7:24 am
48 Heather Eats Almond Butter April 17, 2009 at 8:05 am

I still think your smoothie met all the Salad Challenge requirements. So you ate from a glass instead of a plate or bowl. No biggie.

Oh my gosh, I cannot get over that beautiful bowl of blue goodness. I just ate breakfast, but I know I could still down that entire bowl in a heartbeat. Yum!

Lost was really good. Love Hurley. Can’t wait for you to watch.

Tempeh – love that nutty goodness!

Have a good Friday…hope it’s not filled with accounting. :)

49 Meghann April 17, 2009 at 8:35 am

So I am Outrageously Awesome?? I’ll take it! :)

50 Kristie April 17, 2009 at 8:38 am

Jenn, I’ve missed you! I’m so glad to be back and reading your blog now that some of my school stuff is out of the way. I hope you’re getting through yours well too! Accounting… oh boy.

Stir frys ARE so easy aren’t they?! I love em. I don’t know why I don’t make them practically every day! And first try at tempeh! Epic moment. I just started trying it not too long ago and I’m so hooked. Unfortunately I have the hardest time finding it so it’s only an occasional treat for me. SIGH!

Keep on keepin on with all of that school stuff and have a lovely (perhaps not super school filled?) weekend!

51 Rose April 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

That bowl is oh so blue! I like that blending method. I might have to give that a try – I don’t always like it when blueberries are still in their natural form after cooking in oatmeal. The insides are hot!

52 Natalie April 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I LOVE Lost! It is getting so exciting.

I can’t wait to try P90X! I heard its great and challenging. I’m going to be starting Chalean Extreme in a few weeks. Can’t wait!

53 Emily April 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I am loving your eats! That blue bowl with berries looks beautiful! I have never had peanut sauce!? Sounds good!

54 Leng April 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Hi Jenn! Don’t worry too much about meeting all of the requirements. Your salad looks great. I’m loving blueberry oats and your signature mugs!

55 Marianne April 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Pretty blue oats πŸ˜€ And your stirfry sounds tasty too.

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