(still) cleaning it out

by Holly on April 18, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,lunch,PROJECT CLEANOUT,recipes

Exactly one week ago, I embarked on a lil’ thing I like to call PROJECT CLEANOUT. In an effort to save my poor soul some money and make use of the random concoction of ingredients already stocked in my pantry, I vowed to only spend $30 at the grocery store and cook exclusively with what I had on hand.

How did I do on said project?

The academic in me would love to say: automatic A, of course! However, the small slice of realist in me (it exists in there somewhere) would probably look at the body of work I’ve accomplished over the past week before marking my paper with the power of the red pen…


Monday: Cooking a batch of Protein Pancakes ahead of time to devour for the week was a great use of ingredients – including flour, eggs, protein powder, wheat bran and almond meal – which you already had on hand.  Good preparation and thinking ahead.

Tuesday: Instead of eating the food you had brought to work, you relied on food and candy supplied by co-workers.  While this did not cost you any additional money, it did hold you back from truly eating up what you were supposed to.

Wednesday: While the overflow of hummus + carrots sitting in your fridge were handily consumed throughout the work day, you also chose to eat out with fellow bloggers + readers Wednesday night. This event was planned in advance and shall not count against you.

Thursday: Since there is no recollection of what was eaten on this day (due to a lack of photographic evidence), a final assessment cannot be given.  However, I happen to know Julie does have a recap from the special foodie event you attended and see that it involved grilled cheese sandwiches from the Grilled Cheese Academy. Noted.

Friday: Way to end the week strong! A full day of meals made solely from home – good work!


I’ll take it.

What else will I take? The absolutely beautiful blooming tulips popping up around town…

For the record, my two favorite flowers are tulips + daisies.  My two favorite places in Madison are the farmer’s market + co-op.  These were tulips AT the farmer’s market. Love.

I continued the PROJECT CLEANOUT challenge yesterday by making the World’s Best Braised Cabbage from The Nourishing Gourmet

The two changes I made were omitting the carrots + adding 2 T soy sauce, which perfectly accompanied the honey sesame tofu I enjoyed on the side…

My apartment STILL smells amazing.

My genius just happened to be in the room when I had a post-lunch hankering for something sweet. I took April’s Protein Cookie Dough recipe, modified it and turned it into this…

2 T brown rice vanilla protein powder
1/2 T cocoa powder
2 T water
NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops
1 T peanut butter


Rolled in coconut + shredded chocolate, seriously – how cute are these? And I have loads of protein powder left, so be prepared to see more of these in the coming week.

After letting my food settle, I embarked on an 8-mile run. Ugh, NOT good. I managed a 10:00/mile pace but came home feeling nauseous and just blech.  And definitely not hungry. I stretched, showered and jumped in my PJ’s (yes, at 5pm) before I was finally ready to eat something…

3/4 cup organic skim milk
1 sliced frozen banana
1 T cocoa powder
2 T brown rice vanilla protein powder
1 T peanut butter
1/4 cup Not Sweet Vanilla Galaxy Granola

Then, I took a “cat nap,” which lasted almost three hours. Oops. I woke up at 9pm, drank some tea, read a bit, organized my Gmail calendar, cleaned my kitchen and started a new movie New York, I Love You.

And yes, I am a grandma. No shame.

This morning, I woke up feeling remarkably well-rested and overall fabulous. I guess that’s what getting enough sleep will do for you.

Upon actually getting myself out of bed, I wanted two things: coffee + pancakes.

1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
splash of vanilla
1/2 t baking powder
1 t canola oil
1 t maple syrup
lots of cinnamon

Topped with peanut butter, berry sauce and a small drizzle of maple syrup…


By the way, to make the berry sauce, I literally took the last remaining tablespoon of blackberry jam, added a splash of POM juice, mixed it up and poured 1/2 of it over the giant pancake.

It’s 9:07am and the day is still young.  I love Sundays.

What is your favorite flower? Look above.

What are some of your favorite movies? I LOVE getting new titles to add to my Netflix queue!


Evan Thomas April 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

Glad to see you’re keeping with project cleanout! Yesterday, I finished off 3 chocolate bars that were on their way out, and I haven’t replaced any yet. I feel proud of myself.
21 is my favorite movie ever, but you’ve probably seen that. I have Made of Honor on my To-Watch list by no working DVD player to speak of :-(

April April 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

Whoa.. you are a genius with those cookies!! You know I’ll be making those!!

Heather April 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

giiiirl, if we lived in the same city, i think we’d be bff. daisies + tulips are MY favorite flowers, followed by orchids (but those require, like, maintenance if someone gives them to you, and my black thumb would kill it instantly.)

favorite movies: all the real girls, harold + maude, real women have curves, secretary, little miss sunshine, empire records, edward scissorhands.

i’ve got a little jay robb in the pantry so i shall make those no bake protein cookies. YUM.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

Oooh those cookies look awesome! I love roses, but I really love peonies!!

Jenny April 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

those cookie are money in zee bankkkkkk. Fortunately, I just ordered a buttload of protein powder which I totally didn’t need.. but now at least I have a way to use it. Lurve you!

Run Sarah April 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

Awesome job on project cleanout! Those protein cookies look ridic – I need to try them out ASAP when I am back at home.

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) April 18, 2010 at 9:59 am

I love the movie “New York: I love You”! I just watched “The Proposal” on netflix. Not the most intellectual film, but I enjoyed :-)

Love those pancakes! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, lady!!

Amber April 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

White tulips are my absolute favorite flower in the world. Great job on your project cleanout even though you were a bit of a cheater ;)

Lauren April 18, 2010 at 11:16 am

I’d say you did a fabulous job with Project Clean Out. This gives me motivation to do my own clean out because I feel like my pantry is overflowing, yet I still somehow manage to spend $100 + at the store each week. EEeehh, I need to take some tips from you.

I LOVE Tulips. My two favorite flowers are tulips and orchids. Both which I have in my home at the moment. So lovely! :)

Hope you enjoy a peaceful and relaxing Sunday.

Adam April 18, 2010 at 11:40 am

I love reading about all of the unique recipes you come up with! And congratulations on the B! That is above average and A-Okay in my book… I think after cleaning out my pantry/cupboards/fridge once, i have been pretty good at keeping only the few items that i really need/want in there while minimizing the useless… However i still have a bottle of ginger sauce in there that i strictly remember buying for me 20th birthday dinner but never opening… I should probably toss that out, but like you, i hate wasting food! I have a TON of favs (movie wise), but here are just a few that i would definitely recommend: The Terminal (Tom Hanks), Father of the Bride (Part 1 & 2, Classic!), 500 Days of Summer, Brothers, Hook, The Edge (Great Outdoorsy Movie), Instinct, Alaska, Definitely Maybe, Love Actually, Sleepless in Seattle, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (Obviously)…

katie April 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

grandmas unite!! no shame, girl! i need to make some protein pancakes and freeze em for on the go snacks-thanks for the idea!

Erica April 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I think you did great with the challenge! I have trouble saving $$ at the grocery store, its the one place I let myself go a little nutso. Love the protein cookies. I am going to have to put this on the to try list. I wonder fi they’ll work well with my jay robb egg white protein? Um…I’m a total Grandma too and I love every minute of it ;) Favorite flowers (oh gosh- so many…I worked at a flower shop growing up) calla lilies, hydrangea, peonies, thistle, bells of ireland (more of a green). Favorite movies (I love dumb humor)- Wedding crashers, Harold and Kumar (yes…I did really just type that), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, How to Lose a Guy in 10 days (who doesn’t like some cheese?).

runnerforever April 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm

As a college kid without a convenient oven I love the idea of no-bake cookies. Thanks!

Alyson @ Nourished Fitness April 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm

oh goodness those cookies and pancakes (actually everything, but had to highlight those) look so good! It’s amazing the delicious concoctions that can be created with protein powder!

Faith April 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Project cleanout is a great idea! My freezer and pantry have been overflowing so I’ve been trying to do that lately too.

Those no-bake protein cookies are pure genius!

Susan April 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I’m moving in 3 weeks, I need to do “project clean out my whole damn pantry” haha. I clicked on that braised cabbage link, omg. So good. Must try soon. Awesome idea for that pancake berry sauce. Favourite flowers are lilies! I love sunflowers too though :) Favourite movie of all time is High Fidelity. It’s a really good book too!

Kailey (SnackFace) April 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm

BOOKMARKING that pancake! OK, if I knew how to bookmark, that is.

I really don’t have a fave flower! Awful, I know. I love tulips, and that’s about all I recognize. I’d rather someone give me a six-pack of Leinenkugel.

Ooooh movies. MamaJ recommends An Education (or w/e the proper title is for that). Death at a Funeral, BRITISH AKA ORIGINAL version is amazing. Calendar Girls. Drop Dead Gorgeous. Best In Show. Under the Tuscan Sun (sooo cheese, I know). Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Cat!). Young Victoria (I want to see that, at least). Ummmm… I could go on.

LOVED our 40-minute chat today. Love you!

maria @ Chasing the Now April 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Way to go on your challenge. That’s exactly what my husband and I need to do for our apartment, too, but he’s picky and I have a feeling he would never go for it. :(

Runeatrepeat April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I don’t have a favorite flower, but I love football mums and lillies :)

Madeline - Greens and Jeans April 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I always try to hold off on the grocery store for as long as I can. My stupid love of fruit and carrots keeps me going back way too frequently… Gerber daisies are my very favorite! Can you make me no bake protein cookies when I come to Madison next month? Because those look divine!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

yum to those cookies!
so i have posted this week about vegan protein and also about my own threshold for not toooo much protein powder, but i use Sun Warrior brown rice. Have used Jay R and i think i like Sun better but pretty close. Anyway, didnt know you were a brown rice girl, figured that since you do dairy you’d be a whey girl. What brown rice prot powd do you like the best?
Have a stellar week Holly!

Adj April 18, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Hey, dudette! Fave Flower? Star gazer lilies. It’s like my favorite watercolor sneezed while trying to escape from a full bloom. As far as movies go, I’m a fan of quirkier films: Amelie, Imagine Me & You, Secretary (which is weird, but sweet), and Sione’s Wedding (aka Samoan Wedding). If you have the time, I’d also recommend Whale Rider or Spirited Away. Or anything by Pixar.

…and this is me realizing that I watch way too many movies…

Jess April 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I wonder if you there is such thing as pomegranate pancakes??? Hmm, intriguing–love the idea of using it in a sauce!

<3 jess

Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover April 18, 2010 at 9:13 pm

One word: YUMM-O.
Delicious pancakes, girl!
Have a great night.
Brazilian XOXO´s,

Erica D April 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I love tulips as well! My favorite is the pink.
My mom raised me on Rogers & Hammerstein musicals, so I think I’m going to cite South Pacific as my favorite movie ever. It’s got a little bit of everything: love, music, dancing, politics, war, racism, beaches, heroic (and shirtless) men….

Molly April 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I WILL be making those cookies this week. I have ALL of the ingreds. perfection. Hope you had a great weekend HOlly!

Mama Pea April 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm

I hope the rest of your day was productive! We watched “The Invention of Lying” last night. Me no likey. And that’s no lie. My faves are Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Little Miss Sunshine, About a Boy and Mary Poppins.

Happy Week!

Jessica Lee April 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

My fav flowers are calla lilies. I’m going to get 3 tattooed on my back after graduation! I can’t wait.

Jessica Lee April 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

And your pancakes look delish – super fluffy! Good job on your project clean out!

Naomi(onefitfoodie) April 19, 2010 at 5:20 am

im a grandma too! but the other way around, i like to go to bed early!! haha…the pancakes look SO delicious!!

that braised cabbage dish loooks SO amazing! for som reason, cooking cabbage intimidates me but I dont know why!! I guess I just need to find a good recipe for it, right?!
favorite flower—I LOVE tulips!

favorite movie…thats a toughie I do love the blind side that I just saw recently and also YES MAN! with jim carrey!! mystic river is a great movie, I love sean penn :)

so many good ones!

Jacquelyn April 19, 2010 at 6:20 am

Absolutely love the site!!!

Going to sleep after an eight mile run does not, in fact, make you a grandma. Having the motivation to cart your rear out the door to run it makes you a Super Hero and cat napping is needed even by Super Heros.

Favorite Flowers are Iris and Tulips (Going to Amsterdam for the Tulip Festival this weekend!!) Best movies ever are: Return to Me, French Kiss, and Dracula Dead and Loving It…

Maura April 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

Fav flower? PEONIES! They are just so darling. Fav movies: How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days, Mean Girls, and John Tucker Must Die. So they aren’t the most intellectual movies ever, but they are do have some eye candy in them. Yes, I have no shame. Anyway, have a fab Monday y’all. Oh and good luck to those Boston marathoners out there!! I’m totally being a creeper and cheering you on from my office window!!

Maura April 19, 2010 at 7:53 am

are do have? who am i? haha

Jennifer (take the day off) April 19, 2010 at 9:40 am

Tell the truth–did the cabbage really smell good or are you leading me on? The recipe looks delicious but I am a tad hesitant. Last time I made cabbage it didn’t make my roommate (i.e. my husband) very happy.

Go-to movies that I could watch over and over? Annie Hall, Little Women, The Royal Tenenbaums and Almost Famous

Kacy April 19, 2010 at 9:46 am

Irises are my fave, but tulips are a close second!

Hmmm… saw Gigantic recently, it was a lesser version of 500 Days of Summer but still good. I Heart Huckabees is one of my faves of all time. And for eye candy – The Departed.

Good job on your clean out challenge. You faired far better than I.

samantha April 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

there ain’t no thang wrong with getting into your pjs at 5 pm. as far as i’m concerned, one SHOULD get into their pjs once they’re clean/not going out again for the day. this is usually at 8 pm for me, awesome.

i truly truly have to embark on a project clean out, it’s getting a little scurry. mayhaps this week?

Katie April 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

I need to clean things out, too… I think I’m starting to upset the other people in my apartment with my exploding shelves!

I love tulips, and orchids when I’m feeling extra fancy.

Favorite movies of all time: The Apartment, Punch-Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There are more, but my brain knows it’s Monday.

Angharad April 19, 2010 at 11:12 am

GOOD LUCK for your nine miles today!! Mine went well and I am pain free and happy today!

1) daffodils. they are my birthday month flower and i love them.
2) don’t even get me started! films are my thang. Y Tu Mama Tambien, Volver, True Romance, Breathless, Rushmore, The Reader, The Bourne Trilogy, Rear Window, shall I stop now? ok…

Love to you! xx

Dawn (HealthySDLiving) April 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Looks like you did a great job–a lot better than I could do! I nwould love to be a little more creative in the kitchen!

elise April 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm

oh man, i sucked at project cleanout…and i really wanted to get an A too…gah. looks like i need to make a more legit effort this week. im very torn between my desire to dine at the fancy places in NYC before we bounce and wanting to semi preserve the state of my bank account and not waste food.

ok, those coconut protein cookies have me bookmarking the CRAP outta this post. need. in. my belly. NOWWWWW!

Lori (Finding Radiance) April 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Those protein cookies look yum! My favorite flowers are all of them! I love, love to flower garden. I think roses have a special place in my heart, though, and butterfly bush.

amanda April 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

pretty yellow blooming tulips! love them. no bake cookies-love that a lot!

Lynn @ The Actors Diet April 20, 2010 at 1:08 am

*ahem* i highly recommend a movie called “saving face” to add to your netflix queue….

Therese April 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

So sad that cabbage made you sicky because it looks delicious!

I must try those no bake cookies!!! Gah protein powder is probably the most amazing invention in the world…after DVR of course…and vodka :)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) April 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Hey there!

Do you think that the secret to your cookies is that it’s rice protein and not whey? I only have whey & soy. Thanks! They look drool-worthy!

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