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Posted on Mar 9, 2011 in Food, Recipes, Working Out | 6 comments

Sloppy Gretchen

Hey! This title isn’t up there because I’m sloppy! (Well, it’s not entirely up there for that reason, at any rate, hahaha.) It’s because I came up with a new meal last night that I’m super excited about! Huzzah! First things first though. Let’s get that messy little thing called exercise accountability outta the way here:

BAM. 2 miles literally banged out on the tready. Speed level 5.5, or a 10:54 pace, and that’s supahfast for me! I felt really good, actually… for the first mile. As I was just getting started into mile 2, I had the SUPERFUN (not really) experience of having my front-zip sports bra UNZIP as I was running. Urk. Needless to say there was bouncing, and there was floundering, and there were some awkward looks from the guys on the ellipticals next to me so I had to walk for a bit as I tried to rectify that, er, situation. After that happened I did some intervals, switching it up between a 3.6 level speedwalk and 7.0 level “sprints” (well, that’s just some people’s average pace, but hot DANG that sure is sprinting for me!!)

Anyway, wardrobe malfunctions aside, I felt pretty good about my treadmill totals in the end. I think I’ll switch it up with some yoga today though. 2 days of running in a row is already enough for me, hahahaha.

Post-run I fixed myself a li’l snacky poo:



Everything Bagel Thin + natural PB + banana + chia seeds + drizzle of agave nectar = NOMNOMNOM. So nom, in fact, that I clearly couldn’t even wait long enough to take a photo before I had already consumed half of one side! 😛 Retrospectively I guess I didn’t really need the agave, the banana was sweet enough. And chia seeds (yes, just like from your old “ch-ch-ch-chia” pet!) are a superfood/scary food that I’ve seen circulating the health & food blog realm for goodness knows how long, but haven’t tried yet.


I finally bit the bullet and bought some. Verdict? I couldn’t associate any specific taste to them, but I did like the texture that they added! I love foods like this that are packed with nutrients but that you don’t really have to notice. I think I’ll be awesome as a mom who hides nutrition in her kids’ junky food, hahaha.

After bumming around for a bit yesterday afternoon (which may or may not have included some serious Netflix streaming of Cashmere Mafia — anyone else remember that show?) I hopped on down to the kitchen to cook up some grub. Enter: the Sloppy Gretchen.


Whassup, deliciousness?!

Okay, so I was actually really good and took pictures of the ENTIRE COOKING PROCESS this time (say whaaaa?) Be amazed. This is a 100% vegan meal, too!

The Ingredients!


As well as a few vegetables, naturally (red onion, fresh and canned diced tomatoes) and a boatload of seasonings (chili powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper).

The Process!



I know it probably does look like it, but there really is a different thing added in each one of those shots. The first is just onion (durrr), the second added the Smart Ground, which are soy protein crumbles (had to kind of hack away at it to get it to actually crumble and not just be a big log of fake meat though, hahaha), the third added the black beans, the fourth the tomato sauce & veggie stock, and the last one has the barley in it!

Let it simmer — COVERED — for at least half an hour. Probably more, if you want your barley to be softer and less chewy. I didn’t mind the texture but it was definitely more of a workout for my jaw, haha. I also didn’t cover it at first, and I ended up having to add more liquid. After a while, it should start to look like this:


The Result!


You can eat it plain (like chili), or you can serve it over a bun of some sort like I did. I also snagged some of Ben and Taylor’s baked french fries that they were making in the kitchen around the same time to have on the side. Delicious! I might have made it just a little heavy on the red pepper flakes, but that’s okay, I like a little spice in my life. 😉 And the best part is that I have a gajillion servings of it to take to work with me for lunch for the rest of the week!

Speaking of Ben and Taylor’s fries, they were actually making burgers and fries in the kitchen because that is what my dear brother has decided to give up for Lent this year! He told me that he usually eats a burger & french fries at least once a week, so he’s doing away with it for the pre-Easter season. I think you all know what my question is for you today, hehe…

Question of the Day: Do you celebrate Lent? If so, what are you giving up this year?

I’ve decided to embrace veganism for Lent this year. I know I already have a bit of a jump-start, and since I’ve already been doing it (mostly) for the past week and a half, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep it up for the entire Lenten season, but I’m really going to try for it. After all, Jesus frickin’ fasted in the Garden of Gethsemane, the very least I can do is give up animal products for 40 days. 😉

In order to help me with this new venture, lookit what I got!



I am so excited to paw through these new vegan cookbooks and see what I come up with. The “Appetite for Reduction” book is specifically targeted for dieting and weight loss, too! So it comes with caloric and nutritional information, w00t!

I’m sure there will plenty more cooking adventure posts to come in the future. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a hard time following recipes to a T (except when baking) so fair warning, the majority of things you see me cook on the blog don’t really follow measurements and exact ingredients. I just go the flow, man! 🙂

See ya on the flipside!


  1. omg, note to self, zippered sportsbras are no good!

  2. The sloppy Gretchen mix looks awesome! I use morningstar crumbles and I like them because they come in a bag and are pre-crumbled so they’re easier to use. I am giving up sweets- so anything like candy or chocolate. I don’t tend to eat a lot of dessert anyway like ice cream or cake but i suppose that isn’t strictly what i meant- so if i went to a birthday party (haha that makes me sound 5) i guess i could eat a slice of cake.

  3. I personally believe that my lent this year was really early (ie wisdom teeth removal). I had to give up almost every kind of food that I love for 30 days. It’s now been over 40 and I still haven’t experienced the pleasures of burgers, steaks, chips, pastries, and many other loves of my live. So in my head, I’ve already done lent with a multitude of foods.

    On another note, I gave up caffeinated teas for lent in 2nd year university. That changed my life! Oh the addiction I had and didn’t know.

  4. Yum! Sloppy Gretchen looks tasty! I decided to give up cheese for Lent. It’ll be kinda hard…I love cheese…but I think it’s doable. Plus, I may prescribe to the Catholic “rule” (since I am Catholic, afterall!) that you can eat whatever you gave up on Sundays. Mmmmm…Sundays may have to be make-my-own pizza day!

  5. Oh yay! Let me tell you, the 40 days are going to fly by and you are going to fall in love with vegan food! After being a “wannabe vegan” for many years (meaning that I was sort of vegan some of the time- I wouldn’t buy milk but still ate ice cream, etc) I finally went all the way this year on New Year’s Day (so that my veg-iversary would be 1-1-11!). I thought it would be so much harder than it is. I absolutely LOVE my new way of life and honestly don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I’m lucky living in Philly that there are a lot of vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes, but since I was born and raised in Falls Church, I know that you will have that advantage in your area as well. Veganomicon is a staple cookbook, but my favorite one right now is the Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook. I have made 3 recipes from it so far and each one has been oh-my-god amazing! I think you’ll find that once you figure out what to buy or not to buy at the grocery store that the hardest part is done- time to eat and enjoy! Have a blast with it Gretchen 🙂


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