Morningstar Shines Bright

by Jenn (eating bender) on April 21, 2009

**Thank you all so so much for your kind words about my 5k. It means even more to me that I am able to share those little “events” in my life with so many amazing people :) Your support means the world to me, and I truly appreciate every comment I received! I think Bobby will appreciate your comments, too πŸ˜‰ You’re all very sweet**

I know the blogging schedule has been a little unpredictable lately. It’s likely going to have to stay that way for the rest of the school year – between finishing my classes (and doing well in them!), prepping for graduation and getting in the last necessary time with my college friends…you get the picture. I will post as many times per week as possible.


This week, I’ve been exploring the wonders of flax :) I know, old news – but usually, I stir flax directly into my oatmeal. I like the way it thickens the oats and makes them less soupy. Yesterday I decided to be lazy very experimental add 1/2 tbsp. to the oats and sprinkle another 1/2 tbsp. on top with a Barney Butter packet (my last one…). The nuttiness of the flax really complemented the almond butter, and keeping it all on top ensured I got a taste in every bite. Try it!


And of course, I’ve been keeping up with Leng’s Salad Challenge. After going a little blended and cooked salad crazy last week, I decided to go back to the basics.


This salad was much more “raw” in terms of its greenery. In accordance with the rules:

  1. At least 1 cup of raw green leafy vegetables (I used 2 cups of spinach)
  2. At least 1 serving of 1 vegetable of a different color (I used 1 small red pepper)
  3. A source of protein (the Morningstar Black Bean Burger)
  4. Dressing is optional (I used a sprinkle of Goya)
  5. One serving of something else you’re feeling at the moment (1 tbsp. sliced almonds)


I thought I was going to need dressing, but that was before I took a bite out of the black bean burger. This was my first time trying these, and I have to say, I was VERY impressed. I think after nearly every bite I said, “Mmm!!” :) Honestly, there was so much flavor! I can’t wait to pair these burgers with a bun and some ketchup + mustard. Yum!


I was tagged by both Rose and Jenny (two of my fave bloggers!) to fill out the Survey of 8’s!

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

1. Going home this weekend!! YAY!! :)
2. Graduation (I go back and forth between excitement and anxiety!)
3. My summer-internship-hopefully-leading-to-full-time-job (I’m working in consumer PR!)
4. Living in a big city with Bobby
5. Getting into running
6. Having more time to cook, clean and be less of a “college slob” (might be wishful thinking)
7. The 6th Harry Potter movie!! (That’s for you, Sarah (seriously) andΒ  Sarah (sarcastically))
8. Swing dancing in the city with Bobby this summer (by the way, we are taking a swing class now!!)

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Slept in
2. Did laundry
3. Ran to the grocery store and walked back with fresh food
4. Had my first black bean burger and can’t wait to make my own version
5. Went to a presentation about budgeting and finance after college
6. Went to my first swing dance class with Bobby (we liked it the most last quarter!)
7. Chatted with my family on Gchat video – I love that feature!
8. Attended my first-ever Senior Bar Night and had a Blue Moon – woohoo for trying new things!

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Combine my love of writing with my love of nutrition (I’m working on it with this internship!)
2. Find a way to tie my friends up and keep them in Chicago after graduation (not in a creepy way)
3. Move to Arizona and play golf for the rest of my life
4. Be more of an organizational neat freak (I love reading Real Simple, but my room says otherwise)
5. Become a published author (with an audience!)
6. Stop the negative trash talk about myself for good (I have those days)
7. Travel the world and visit Paris (again), Australia, and Peru (to hike Machu Picchu)
8. Run a marathon (maybe someday!)

8 Shows I Watch:

1. Lost (my love!)
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Brothers & Sisters
4. 24 (nooo Tony!)
5. Gossip Girl
6. Grey’s Anatomy
7. Lipstick Jungle (please come back!)
8. The Office (well, Bobby and I are about to start season one!)

Ok, as for the tagging, I’m pretty sure I’m late on this and I’m not sure who has been tagged yet and who hasn’t, so if you feel like filling this out, consider this me tagging you πŸ˜‰ Yeah, I cop out on these a lot.

That was fun, though! I like to think about random stuff like that. Thanks ladies for tagging me!

Last but not least, I just want to give another big THANK YOU to Heather, my personal baker.


White Chocolate (Macadamia) Lime Cookies + Coffee Cocoa make life worthwhile.Β  Seriously.

Almost hump day! Any big plans for the weekend? Imma goin’ home!


Make sure to check out Zesty’s Double Donation for a great cause!



{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 janeexplained April 21, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Enjoy every minute of the graduation festivities :)


2 FoodsThatFit April 21, 2009 at 9:21 pm


I love reading the survey answers. I am so excited for you to graduate soon and (hopefully) have lots of extra time to do the things you love!

So cool that you got Bobby to go to a swing class. I tried to get my hubby to do a dance class once, no dice on that one :)

Have a blast going back home this weekend!!


3 Hangry Pants April 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Aww, you are so sweet. I just made more for another friend! They are such fun to make (and eat).

You have such great stuff to look forward to. Enjoy all the last bits of college! Is your internship at the cooking magazine place? You must be super excited to find “your first” apartment. So cute. And when you publish a book I will buy it and tell everyone I know that “I know the author.” Anyway, have fun at home!!!


4 Sharon April 21, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I really need to jump on the Gossip Girl bandwagon.
And I love flax with almond butter!


5 TorontoGirloutWest April 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I’m off to Vancouver to hang out with my girls. And then to Whistler all of next week for work.

Hopefully the weather will be good, the eats yummy, and the laughs plentiful! πŸ˜‰

PS: I have found it harder to be a non-slob now that I work. I feel like I’m so much busier than when I studied. And for the record I was a very clean student and not nearly as clean lawyer. Bad, huh!?


6 Pearl April 21, 2009 at 9:37 pm

i loooove reading the survey answers! i SO desire to become a published author, too; and i also watch desperate housewives. heeee.


7 jenngirl April 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm

No worries about being sporadic, I love getting little bits from ya whenever you can post! And please, ENJOY these last few weeks of your last year, I command you!

Yay for your 8 things! I wish you the best of luck with your internship in the summer (I’ll obviously be keeping up with you!), swing dancing sounds soooo fun!!! and HECK yes for Harry Potter. I can be excited even if I didn’t read the books right?

Oh and you forgot to say you were excited for New Moon, but I know it’s rather distant, so I’ll forgive you…for now πŸ˜‰



8 Scoop April 21, 2009 at 10:05 pm

I just started reading your blog and keep forgetting that you’re a full-time undergrad student because you’re always eating so well and try a variety of foods too. Good luck with your finals! You’ll make an excellent PR writer based on what I’ve ready from this blog.


9 broccolihut April 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm

You know the Christmas fanatic is loving your breakfast bowl;)
I love the way flax thickens things too. I really like to combine wheat germ and flax for the crunch and absorbing power. OK, I know I’m weird.


10 Sarah April 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

You haven’t watched the Office? How do you possibly get all the “That’s what she said!” jokes. They are so complex in nature.

I’ve yet to find a Morningstar product I didn’t love…


11 Marissa April 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I love the black bean burgers! They taste best cooked in the oven.


12 Moran April 21, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Gosh I am SO lagging behind on those shows!!!


13 Jessica (jesslikesithot) April 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Jenn! Ah, I know….I miss Lipstick Jungle so much! That was such a cute show!!!

I’ve tried the morningstar burger and liked it, but you make it look even better than I remember!! I’m sure you actually cooked it though, not just microwaved! πŸ˜‰

And yes I lovee flax, you should try TJ’s blueberry ground flax, it’s the kind I have and I love it!


14 Andrea April 22, 2009 at 2:05 am

I want to go to Peru so bad! I heard the locals are trying to stop the crazy tourism at Machu Piccu – hope that’s not true!
No worries about the blogging schedule – the blog will always be here, but you only have one chance to make memories as you finish school. I loved my last few months of college, so enjoy it, missy!


15 Lara (Thinspired) April 22, 2009 at 2:27 am

I love the simple salad.
I think you should add to your list of things you want to do: win an Emmy.
Oh wait, you’ve already done that!!! πŸ˜€


16 Erica April 22, 2009 at 4:24 am

I LOVE those black bean burgers! Yummmm! They have the spice down just right! I have to try to make a copy cat version at home! Glad things are going well- keep enjoying every minute of your last semester!!


17 Bec April 22, 2009 at 5:03 am

Good luck finishing up the year! My parents are doing Machu Picchu this fall for their first official retirement trip :)


18 Shelby April 22, 2009 at 5:31 am

Mmm, flax in oats is delicious!


19 VeggieGirl April 22, 2009 at 5:51 am

Lovin’ your salad, survey, and style!! Haha I’m lame, I know πŸ˜‰


20 eatingbirdfood April 22, 2009 at 6:19 am

I loved reading your survey answers. I can’t wait to hear more about your new internship/potential job! It’s awesome that it will be combining your love for writing and nutrition. I’m totally jealous :)

Black Bean burgers are so in right now- hehe. I had one last night!


21 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) April 22, 2009 at 6:53 am

I love your 8 things list at the end. And yay for going home!!!


22 Betsy April 22, 2009 at 7:04 am

You’re already a semi-published author of this blog, with QUITE an audience! :)


23 Rose April 22, 2009 at 7:09 am

Shoot. We have so much in common. I mean, I knew that before. But seeing your list of 8s just reminded me of that fact.

We will find jobs that combines writing + nutrition! I have faith :)


24 ksgoodeats April 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

I am not a fan of that bowl, Jenn! Winter needs to go buh-byes πŸ˜‰

BLUE MOON!!! It’s the bestest! When I finally make my way to the Chi (sooner rather than later hopefully) we will HAVE to have a few of those!

I hope you love The Office! Do you watch 30 Rock already because that show is HI-larious as well!!


25 ttfn300 April 22, 2009 at 8:01 am

love your bowl full of jolly!! good luck with your last semester, how very exciting :) and have fun this weekend, more papa bender?? πŸ˜‰ I get to dog sit and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, can’t wait!!


26 Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 22, 2009 at 8:07 am

I’m with K, you might need to retire the xmas bowl :) Time for a springy one!!! I too like the flax in oats, but am far too lazy to grind it up… oh well.

Weekend plans? Friday night, my BFF is staying at a hotel in Oakbrook, so I’m going to go there to swim and hang out! Other than that? NOTHIN!


27 brandi April 22, 2009 at 8:25 am

great survey :)

aren’t those black bean burgers the best? They’re my favorite. Really good with avocado on top on a bun with lettuce and tomato and salsa!


28 Shannon (The Daily Balance) April 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

Loved reading your survey! Congrats in the internship. I’m an Account Manager and PR/Advertising agency, so if you ever want any advice or someone to talk shop with, let me know πŸ˜‰


29 Lyss April 22, 2009 at 9:42 am

I love veggie burgers so I’m going to have to give this kind a whirl – thanks for the recommendation! :)


30 Danielle April 22, 2009 at 9:55 am

Good luck with the end of school!


31 Monica April 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

I totally understand how hectic the end of school can be, so don’t worry! Just enjoy it :) And I agree with #4 and #8 on things you wish you could do.


32 Annie April 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

Lipstick Jungle!! Me too! It bums me out in a big way that they aren’t bringing it back.


33 Tina April 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

I love your Jolly bowl! :) I’m all into fun and cute looking spoons, bowls, plates and cups right now. I actually just got a really cute plastic cup in a pastel green today along with two cute pink plastic spoons. Hay, you know… just letting the inner child play.


34 runjess April 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Gah! Can you believe Tony Almeida on 24!? And killing off the guy I was just beginning to like!?


35 Kristie Lynn April 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I’m loving your answers. If you ever get a chance to go to Peru, jump on it! I studied in Argentina and at the end of the semester a few of my friends went and they LOVED it; their pictures were beautiful too. And Blue Moon is definitely my go-to drink when I’m in the mood for beer :) I love the orange slice you get!


36 Alison April 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Cute bowl. It never occurred to me that flax would thicken oatmeal.

I definitely have big plans this weekend. I’m leaving for my cruise!


37 lesley April 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Love that bowl!!


38 Angela April 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Gosh you have so much going on right now girlfriend!! It is a wonder you can find the time to blog at all.

I just wanted to let you know that you are such a big inspiration to be with you 5k. I am quite nervous about running my first race on May 9th, but seeing you make your accomplishments has really eased my mind. So thank you for that!

Goodluck with everything coming up!


39 Angela April 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm

oops “to me” not to be…hehe

To be or not to be….

ok I will go now. πŸ˜€


40 Emily April 22, 2009 at 8:37 pm

What amazing plating! It all looks so great! πŸ˜€


41 luckytastebuds April 23, 2009 at 8:47 am

Hi Jenn!!
Amazing job on the 5K!!! I’ve been totally thinking about doing one with the bf, but the thought of having to run when it’s still cold out makes me…not want to do it. Maybe when it’s warmer!! How awesome that you beat your time and basically broke all pre-existing records!!! That’s so awesome! Wouldn’t a Red Mango have been the perfect after-5K snack? hehehehe

We should totally try to meet up! :) I work in Evanston right across the street from Potbelly’s, so I’m there a lot for lunch! hahaha Let me know when your busy life starts to settle down a little and hopefully I’ll finally get to meet you!!!

OH! And how do you get those lovely oats to look SO DARN good?!?!? I also love your bowls. They really make me happy!! Where do you get those from? :) Hope you’re enjoying the AWESOME weather today and TOMORROW!! wahoo!!!


42 Danielle April 23, 2009 at 9:17 am

Enjoy the graduation festivities! Congrats :)


43 Heather Eats Almond Butter April 23, 2009 at 9:18 am

I never eat flax on top of my oats, but you have inspired me to try it. Anything that compliments almond butter makes me happy.

Glad you enjoyed your first black bean burger. Your salad looked simple, yet perfect to me.

I need to check out Gchat. Plus, I want to learn more about my mac. I’m thinking of taking a class over at my local mac store as I know there are so many options that I don’t even know about on this computer. Are you still using Wordpress to blog? Do you know if there is something similar to Windows Live Writer for macs?

Let’s hike Machu Picchu together. I’ve always wanted to do that!

Woo-hoo – congrats to both you and Bobby for a great 5K. Sounds like you’ve caught the racing bug. :)


44 HeatherBakes April 23, 2009 at 11:38 am

Enjoy your last few weeks of school! Spring term of my senior year of college was a blast… enjoy every minute of it :)

I’m still getting used to the video G-chat. I tried it with my brother yesterday and just felt really awkward. I ended up holding Chloe up in front of the camera through the entire convo.


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