24 Hours of Charlottesville

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If someone had told me that Charlottesville was some kind of Pleasantville-esque utopian community with lots of good food, I would’ve probably stayed longer than 24 hours.

Except, oh wait, someone did tell me that Charlottesville is a Pleasantville-esque utopian community. And that someone is (are) my friend(s) Val and Dar who convinced Adam and me to come teach a workshop up there and see for ourselves.

So that’s what we did. But we only allotted 24 hours…

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We breezed in Friday evening and were promptly whisked away for live music in the amphitheater downtown. As I understand it, this event is dubbed simply: Fridays. Easy enough. I think the entire city of Charlottesville was there and I think they all know Val and Dar because we couldn’t walk five feet without someone jumping out to chat with them. Small-town charm and/or curse.

We had dinner at The Local, a restaurant that serves (you guessed it) local food. (Charlottesville is very straightforward.) Adam and I both got the zucchini stuffed with quinoa, goat cheese, dried cherries and almonds and served over braised greens with tomato sauce. Stop it. I can’t even. Maybe I also had a margarita.

The next morning was workshop day so Adam and I rolled downtown to catch class before we had to teach. Four and a half hours in a car do not make for a limber yoga teacher. We grabbed a smoothie and an egg sandwich at Calvino. And by egg sandwich I mean a sandwich literally made out of eggs. No bread. Just spinach and feta between eggs.

After class we were supposed to meet Val “at the market,” but little did we know there are several markets in Charlottesville and we went to the wrong one. This wouldn’t have been a problem had I remembered to bring my phone with me but I remember to bring my phone with me never so it was kind of a problem. While sorting out the miscommunication (or utter lack of communication), we grabbed lunch at Feast: hummus sandwiches, curried lentil soup, and a truffle-stuffed dark-chocolate-coated fig. WHAT.

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Our workshop was at Opal Yoga, a seriously adorable second-floor studio that recently opened on Main Street.

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It was all high ceilings and open windows and flowy drapes and PBR cans turned into vases for flowers. I can’t even handle how cute this space is. Adam said it perfectly: It’s like home. (Except that my home is full of cat hair. I digress…)

We teamed up to teach Against Gravity: The Art of Weightless Inversions and Backbends.

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Adam is a handstand junkie and I can get down with some unnatural spinal contortions so we felt like this was a logical complementary focal topic.

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We had a great group of yogis who showed up big–open-minded and eager to play. We’re so grateful to them for bringing their energy and flipping around with us for two and a half hours. Even my dear, wonderful BFF from college came down from Maryland to practice. Made my day.

You can see all the pictures from the workshop here, but these are some of my favorites:

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We had to head back that evening so post-workshop shenanigans included (very quick) pho and Vietnamese coffee at Moto Pho Co., vegan meatballs at One Meatball Place (this is a thing), buckeyes at Paradox Pastry, and a sneak peak at Val and Dar’s top-secret new Fight Gone Mad location.

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Charlottesville is pretty damn delightful. We’ll be back.

Booking Workshops

In the meantime, if you want Adam and/or me to swing by your studio (cool city with good food not required but appreciated) we’re filling up our summer and fall travel schedule now. Shoot me an email at katierlevans@gmail.com for more booking info. We’ll stay longer than 24 hours (and even if we don’t we will still EAT ALL THE THINGS).

Quick Skillet Apples

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I’m not a syrup fan. Give me your pancakes, your biscuits, your rows of square waffle wells yearning to be filled with liquid sugar… and I will eat them plain. Correction: with butter.

When I was a kid I ate dry Leggo waffles straight out of the toaster and these days I’m all about piling warm cinnamon apples atop my healthyass pancakes.

It’s the kind of thing you might expect your grandmother to spend a day slow-simmering, but since I give myself approximately 11 minutes to get dressed, eat, and tend to cats in the morning, please believe I’ve found a faster way.

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As with much of what I do, there’s not a whole lot of science here. But I do have a method that consistently delivers perfectly spiced, soft-but-not-squishy skillet apples.

Quick Skillet Apples
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Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 apple, diced
  • nonstick spray
  • water, just a splash
  • cinnamon, sprinkle
  • nutmeg, sprinkle
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I use soymilk creamer)

Instructions
  1. Warm a skillet over med-high heat. (I usually use the one my pancake was just prepared in.)
  2. Spray with nonstick spray (I use coconut oil spray) and toss in apples
  3. Give them a couple minutes to start to brown before sprinkling on a little cinnamon and nutmeg
  4. Once the spices are on, add a splash of water (maybe 2 tablespoons) to create a dramatic steaming effect
  5. Let the apples cook until the water evaporates
  6. Add your nondairy milk or creamer and cook until almost evaporated but still moist

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That’s it! Easy sleazy. Sweet but not sickeningly so. Better than syrup. Pancake time.

Easy Pizza

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I’m on a major mini pizza kick right now, and I will not apologize.

I don’t know why pizza gets such a bad rap in the healthy-eating world. Perhaps it’s the American bastardization of a once tasteful Italian original into a gratuitous, cheese-stuffed orgy of cheese. Yeah, I said cheese-stuffed orgy of cheese. It was not a typo.

I mean, just look at this monstrosity:

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That’s correct. Pizza Hut has added petal-like appendages to their Crazy Cheesy Crust pizza to increase the surface area, thus allowing for the addition of, you guessed it, more cheese. It’s kind of like how your small intestine has finger-like appendages called villi and microvilli to increase surface area, thus increasing the absorption of vitamins and nutrients… except the complete opposite. Calm down, Pizza Hut.

Should you eat a Crazy Cheesy Crust pizza every day? Never. Have I been eating these little quick and easy mini pizzas every day? YOU BET YOUR CHEESE-LOVIN’ BUTT I HAVE.

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I use a whole-wheat tortilla as my crust, which I toast in the oven at 350 degrees until it’s crispy. Then I top that with a “sauce” of sorts (usually hummus or mashed avocado) and toppings galore.

My favorite iteration thus far was definitely today’s with:

  • hummus
  • sauteed spinach
  • chickpea salad (from Trader Joe’s)
  • soysage (I know, I know)

But yesterday’s was preeeetty impressive, too:

  • hummus + avocado mash
  • sauteed kale
  • roasted chickpeas and broccoli
  • tempeh

Next I will try to make one of these:

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Cornmeal Griddle Cake

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Six years ago I ate a blueberry-stuffed cornmeal muffin at Petsi Pies in Boston and I have thought about it ever since.

In fact, I just spent a solid 30 minutes scrolling back through six years of Facebook photos to try and find evidence of its existence.

Exhibit A:

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It. was. so. good.

I just experienced all five stages of grief in about a 15-second time span of looking for Petsi’s online, discovering they no longer exist and then realizing I just spelled it wrong the first time. Petsi’s, not Petesy’s.

Anyway, if you’re in Boston I strongly recommend you go to Petsi’s and get the cornmeal muffin. If you’re not, you could make this cornmeal griddle cake with blueberry sauce as a stand in.

Cornmeal Griddle Cake w/Blueberry Sauce
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Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • CORNMEAL CAKE
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1.5 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • pinch of salt
  • BLUEBERRY SAUCE
  • 2 tablespoons berry jam
  • splash of water
  • splash of nondairy milk

Instructions
  1. Mix together banana and egg whites
  2. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine
  3. Grease a skillet with nonstick spray (I use coconut oil spray) over medium heat
  4. Pour in batter and cook until browned on each side
  5. In the meantime, mix together jam, water and milk and microwave for 30 seconds

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And as long as we’re in photo albums from 2007, let’s please take a minute to mourn my super-long hair and baby Weaz from that era.

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WAAAAAAH.

Not Donuts.

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I don’t have kids (other than Ralph and Weaz), but a couple did bring their six-month-old to my class this morning to roll around on the mat next to mom and dad and I decided I would like to have one of those, thank you very much. (My parents and boyfriend all just had one collective heart palpitation.)

If I had kids I would totally trick them into thinking that healthy things are not-healthy things. Kind of like how the rest of the food blogging world and I have convinced ourselves that baked kale qualifies as a suitable chip replacement. They are excellent, yes, but… no.

Anyway I like to think it’s safe to say that children–and grownup children, see also: bloggers–would think this fake donut snack is kind of awesome.

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I saw this somewhere on the Facerestgram and thought it was quite delightful… even for a 27-year-old.

It’s just apples that have been cored, sliced into donut-like rounds and topped with peanut butter and coconut chips.

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I’m off to find babies to borrow.