Tag Archives: My Recipe

Veggie Burger Recipe, and am I a Politician Now?

FOOD

You know what I love about short weeks?  Pretty much everything, but beside that – I have more time to play in the kitchen

On Monday, the entire meal was dishes from the Vegan Richa’s great new book Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.  Everything was so simple to make, and the family enjoyed everything.  I made the Cumin-Scented Rice with Peas and Onions in the rice cooker, and the Split Pea Soup with Potatoes in the pressure cooker.  It was made with chana dal, and came out more the consistency of dahl than soup, but was still amazing.  Served with spicy baked cauliflower, biscuits (I was too lazy to make naan), and some greens, it was awesome.  Also was my lunch the next day!

getting the Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets ready (these were amazing)

getting the Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets ready (these were amazing)


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For our 4th of July meal (grilled goodness, of course), I finally tried my first homemade veggie burger!  It’s hard to believe I’ve never made them before, but there ya go.  I was quite happy with how they came out, and will make them again, I’m sure.

Crissie’s Spicy Veggie Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I imagine any bean will work)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I had some leftover in the fridge from an earlier meal – great way to use up leftover grains)
  • 1/4 sweet potato, shredded
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (fresh coriander, for my overseas friends), chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

Directions

  • Preheat over to 350
  • Prepare a cookie sheet.  I used parchment paper and a light spray of cooking oil.
  • Run the chickpeas and rice through a food processor until well mashed.  Put into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with your hands.  If it’s too sticky, add more breadcrumbs.  If it’s too try, add a little more BBQ or mustard
  • Prepare into 6 patties
  • bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • YOU CAN STOP HERE….OR GRILL THEM
  • I pre-baked them so they wouldn’t fall apart on the grill.  D grilled them up, and they were awesome.
before baking them - and you can stop after baking and eat them

before baking them – and you can stop after baking and eat them

my grilled version piled high with lettuce, tomato, onion, sriracha mayo, mustard, and grilled mushroom.

my grilled version piled high with lettuce, tomato, onion, sriracha mayo, mustard, and grilled mushroom.

Dinner also consisted of grilled broccoli and zucchini, corn on the cob, two different pasta salads, cole slaw, and brownies.

my plate. So full!

my plate. So full!

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Just Mayo, raw sugar, cider vinegar, and salt.  Simple, but yummy!  Shredded cabbage and sweet potato.

Just Mayo, raw sugar, cider vinegar, and salt. Simple, but yummy! Shredded cabbage and sweet potato.

There were also several BAS’s, smoothies, rice and beans, and even some homemade sweet pickles from my very fruitful cucumber plant!

our typical topping spread for rice and beans nights - which we have at least a couple times per month.

our typical topping spread for rice and beans nights – which we have at least a couple times per month.

my bowl - always has crumbled tortilla chips for some crunch!  Great way to use the chips at the bottom of the bag

my bowl – always has crumbled tortilla chips for some crunch! Great way to use the chips at the bottom of the bag

BAS that D made for me from the grocery.  Plus my oil-free balsamic dressing.

BAS that D made for me from the grocery. Plus my oil-free balsamic dressing.

D sending me his smoothie selfie!  :)

D sending me his smoothie selfie! :)

pickles!

pickles!

salad in a jar!  BBQ sauce is the dressing here.

salad in a jar! BBQ sauce is the dressing here.

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another BBQ chickpea salad

another BBQ chickpea salad

a bad picture of an amazing vegan quesadilla from Hell's Kitchen in Norfolk.

a bad picture of an amazing vegan quesadilla from Hell’s Kitchen in Norfolk.

sounds weird, but this was amazing.  It's Oh She Glow's savory oatmeal and lentil breakfast.  I added spinach in mine for some greens.  It was very, very good.

sounds weird, but this was amazing. It’s Oh She Glow’s savory oatmeal and lentil breakfast. I added spinach in mine for some greens. It was very, very good.

FITNESS

Most workouts have been runs, but there has been a trip to hot yoga in there this past week too.  I’m still loving my new running shoes, so that’s always exciting!

after my run yesterday.  I really need to sign up for a race soon.

after my run yesterday. I really need to sign up for a race soon.

LIFE

D has been on nights most of this week, so it’s been us juggling keeping everything rolling as smoothly as possible.  At least it’s summer break for the kids, so it’s much easier than it may have been if it weren’t!

R is getting ready to head to camp next weekend for a full two weeks!  She’s excited.  I’m nervous.  Typical mom stuff :)  The camp is nut free, and she went last year, so I know she’ll be safe, but still….always nervous when your baby takes off!

On Thursday afternoon, I met up with NS for some happy hour, snacks, and girl fun.  It was a nice break.  I got home before D had to leave for work.

On Thursday, I also received very exciting news!  Most of you who know me, know that I have a passion for health and healthcare, and my long term goals are to get involved on the policy side to help generate programs and public policies to provide equity in health care and healthcare access.  Well, on Thursday I was awarded a political appointment in my local government to advice the city council on health and well being!  I’ll likely be sworn in in September, but I’m looking forward to getting involved and making a difference in my community.

Other than that, our week has been pretty chill.  I leave you with random pics, and of course the morning java shots!

Ginny helping me in the kitchen

Ginny helping me in the kitchen

harvest!

harvest!

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Bumble wanting morning java too...

Bumble wanting morning java too…

okay, not morning, not java, but still my fav spot in the house

okay, not morning, not java, but still my fav spot in the house

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Bumble enjoying a lounge chair

Bumble enjoying a lounge chair

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raining skies on Friday night

raining skies on Friday night

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studying

studying

meal planning!

meal planning!

lazy day with Bumble

lazy day with Bumble

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Hope the remainder of your weekend is peaceful!

I Am No Longer a Black Thumbed Vegan

FOOD

For the last day of VVC, I was only there for breakfast before I had to head to the airport.  Once again though, it was awesome!

this version had tacos and hashbrowns!  If I were smart, I would have put the hashbrowns in the taco...but the shells were just too small for that.  Plus a slice of toast with coconut butter spread and a slice of vegan cheese.

this taco version had tofu scramble and hash browns! If I were smart, I would have put the hash browns in the taco…but the shells were just too small for that. Plus a slice of toast with coconut butter spread and a slice of vegan cheese.

At the airport I had more time to kill than I planned, and stopped for a mimosa and olives.

a drink and my Surface.  A girl needs little else....

a drink and my Surface. A girl needs little else….

other than, perhaps, olives.  Life would've been complete if I had popcorn too....

other than, perhaps, olives. Life would’ve been complete if I had popcorn too….

Once I was home though, the big heavy meals had to end.  I realized that I usually have a very light breakfast – a smoothie – maybe a mid day small snack, and then lunch and dinner.  Well, at least lunch…but that’s a topic for another day where I psychoanalyze my overly hectic life and inability to always eat consistently.

Anywho….

Breakfast yesterday morning was a green smoothie in my new smoothie jar!

mint chocolate smoothie.  So Delicious coconut milk, banana, vanilla, spinach, and raw coco nibs.

mint chocolate smoothie. So Delicious coconut milk, banana, vanilla, spinach, and raw coco nibs.

Lunch was a taco baked potato.  Seriously, I love taking a baked potato and filling it with taco stuff.  In this case, it was black beans, vegan sour cream, and topped with hot sauce.

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Dinner was a salad with lettuce I GREW.  Yes, I yelled just there.  I’m growing things, and this is monumental.

fresh lettuce, clipped from my garden and into the spinner!

fresh lettuce, clipped from my garden and into the spinner!

freshly picked radishes to add to it

freshly picked radishes to add to it

turned it into a meal-salad by adding some cooked brown rice, arugula, tomatoes, and black beans.  Topped with a homemade strawberry dressing I made two weeks ago.

turned it into a meal-salad by adding some cooked brown rice, arugula, tomatoes, and black beans. Topped with a homemade strawberry dressing I made two weeks ago.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

  • I feel silly here…but blend it.  Eat it.
really yummy salad dressing.  Olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

really yummy salad dressing. Olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

 

This morning I was in a rush, so after my morning java on the back porch, I noshed a banana on the way to work.  Thankfully, I stock my desk with emergency meal things, and had this oatmeal once I got there and ran into my morning meeting.

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It’s possible I was in a rush, because I actually made my lunch.  Another ginormous BAS (big ass salad, for new readers!), but this time using some homemade tangy soy yogurt and salsa as a dressing.

I also whipped up some tofu eggless salad, and made a sammich.  My favorite sammich, actually.  This version had sliced up silken tofu (the Mori-Nu in the sealed package, not the fridge version), so Just Mayo vegan mayo, yellow mustard, turmeric, diced white onion, and diced sweet pickle.  I didn’t measure, but it’s pretty straight forward to figure out.  Put on rye bread with tomato and lettuce.

all packed up!

all packed up!

BAS

BAS

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For dinner, I made slow cooker red beans for red beans and rice.  Stupid simple really.  Recipe is a family fav from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, but in the slow cooker with half the water and no meat.  Easy peasy.

FITNESS

Well, it’s entirely possible I lost my running shoes.  Or perhaps I left them in my hotel room in Austin in order to make room in my tiny suitcase.  Yeah…that’s probably more likely.

Though in my defense, they’ve been dying a slow death, and in my last run in TX, the sole tore apart.  And I haven’t made it to the store to buy new ones.

I have done yoga and home workouts like boxing that don’t require shoes…

LIFE

Well, it’s been a crazy few days!  My last day in Austin was only a partial day because I had to catch my flight.  Even leaving early, I didn’t make it home until after 1 am my time on Monday morning!  Part of that was weather delays, and part just the drama of traveling.

The last pics of the fun stuff I got at VVC!

new buttons to feed my obsession!

new buttons to feed my obsession!

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Sights from the airport….

Texas is a very proud state.  Which I find commendable.  I do find it weird that they emblazon their state on everything though.  I saw Texas pasta, signs shaped like Texas everywhere I went, and so on.  These were at the shop at the airport.

Texas is a very proud state. Which I find commendable. I do find it weird that they emblazon their state on everything though. I saw Texas pasta, signs shaped like Texas everywhere I went, and so on. These were at the shop at the airport.

and so was this guy.  Sorry it's blurry, I was circling for a few minutes trying to figure out how to take his picture without being obvious.  He's a hipster cowboy!  Big had, handlebar mustache, big belt buckle (but of something kinda hippie), what looked like pajama pants, and cowboy boots.  I had a hard time not staring.  I've never seen one before :)

and so was this guy. Sorry it’s blurry, I was circling for a few minutes trying to figure out how to take his picture without being obvious. He’s a hipster cowboy! Big hat, handlebar mustache, big belt buckle (but of something kinda hippie), what looked like pajama pants, and cowboy boots. I had a hard time not staring. I’ve never seen one before :)

I got home, and M was still awake.  D had to work nights starting that night, so he was already gone.  He did turn down the bed though, and leave me this sweet note!

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Then I did some unpacking and the girls had a blast with that.

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Then it was work and busy, busy busy!  Lot’s of snuggly cats though.

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Ginny figured out how to stack her toys and play with both at the same time...

Ginny figured out how to stack her toys and play with both at the same time…

Perhaps even more exciting is seeing how much my garden has grown!  I tried once – about 14 years ago – to grow a garden, and it was a colossal failure.  This was pre-vegan days, and pre “wanting to be one with nature…but not get it on me” days. Well, I still don’t like nature on me so much, but I’ve really wanted a garden.

I’ve also never successfully kept a house plant alive, though I stopped trying about 15 years ago.  After all, dead plants give room character.

I’ve become obsessed with it, to where I inspect it several times per day and get totally excited about every little sprout and flower.

In the 3 days I was gone, I swear I was like a freaked out new mom.  Has anything new grown?  Look how big it’s gotten!  Like I left my newborn and missed her first word or something.

But alas, I digress.  The most important thing is that it’s growing!  Food is sprouting – heck, even harvested radishes already!  So now I am convinced that should civilization fall, I can still take care of myself and my family and grow food!

No longer will I be known as “she of the black thumb” and “the vegan who kills all plants”.

MY HOW MY GARDEN GROWS!!

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No morning pics yet this week.  R had an ortho appt today and yesterday she stayed home.  Perhaps the rest of the week!

 

 

Oh Spring, How I Love/Hate You

FOOD

So last week Wednesday was national empanada day!  I wasn’t able to celebrate properly, so we had a delayed feast this weekend.  I made empanadas, rice and beans, a cabbage salad, and a spicy green sauce.  Not a hungry belly left!

Crissie’s Attempt to Recreate the Epcot Mexican Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 roma tomato, diced small
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or sweetener of choice – I used raw sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  • mix everything together!
  • let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to meld flavors
rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

ready to bake

ready to bake

ingredients ready for the beans

ingredients ready for the beans

spicy green sauce ingredients before....

spicy green sauce ingredients before….

...and after!

…and after!

DINNER!  As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn't recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close...and was well received!

DINNER! As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn’t recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close…and was well received!

For breakfast yesterday, I may have gone a bit overboard on my smoothie, and ended up with two to-go cups!  Lasted me half the day, so that was totally awesome.

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Last night D and I went to run errands (IE – buying chaise lounges for the pool!) and we went out for Japanese food.  After miso, yakisoba, edamame, and a veggie roll, I was beyond stuffed.

D thinks miso looks like brains....

D thinks miso looks like brains….

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Perhaps because I had such a big dinner, I haven’t had much of an appetite today.  A simple stir fry of tofu, red onion, garlic, bell pepper, and coconut aminos has been enough so far.

FITNESS

I actually went to yoga on Sunday.  I haven’t gone to a physical class since LC and I went in January to her studio.  It’s not that I don’t love it and miss it – because both are true – but I think I’ve been a bit depressed about it.  Here’s what I mean…

I really want to be a yoga teacher.  Like, a lot.  I’ve had this goal for years, and had finally committed to doing it.  I spent the year socking money away, and was going to start my 9 month teacher training this past December.  I was all set and excited and ready to go!

And then life got in the way.  I had to take a serious look at if I could actually fit it into my life at this point, and the sad (but honest) answer was no.  I went into a soft of yoga funk after that, and couldn’t bring myself to hit the studio.  And then we bought a house, moved, and had all sorts of other things come up, so it started to be easy to not go.  I’d log into Yogaglo and do some classes at home (or in the hotel), or do some simple sequences on my own, but hadn’t actually hit the studio.

It was time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to my normal studio and went to one I used to go to.  I did that because 1 – they had a class at a time that suited my schedule better, and 2 – I think I have some trepidation of going to the studio where I failed to start yoga teacher training.

Bad move.  I really disliked the class.  A lot.  It didn’t feel balanced, and the instructor yelled out quite loudly.  And talked about herself a lot.  Basically, the class was not my speed, and I’m actually sorry I went.  I didn’t want my first day back on the mat in a studio to be a bad experience.  One the plus side, I think I’m ready to head back to my home studio.

Today was a muggy run between the storms.  Thankfully it felt better than my run on Saturday, though my pace was a bit slower.  Funny how that works :)

LIFE

Spring has sprung, the air is green, and I am sneezing at EVERYTHING.

I always get excited for Spring.  It marks the end of Winter (and I HATE winter….I hate being cold more than almost anything else) and is a signal that days are going to get longer and warmer.

And then I start to see the pollen, and everything gets a thick covering of green.  I throw open the windows to welcome in the warm air and light and revel in the day – and then spend the evening scrubbing the table tops and floors to make the green sheen go away.

And I sneeze.  All the time.

I can’t wear contacts because my eyes burn and occasionally swell shut.  Forget mascara!

And I am reminded that the only season I really need is summer.  Things bloom without trying to kill me, the days are really warm and sunny, and there are no coating of green hell powder over everything.

So come on Spring, you’ve outlived your welcome.  Bring on summer.

In the mean time, some random extra pics from the past week!

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this one followed M around

this one followed M around

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the #morningpictures are back!!

the #morningpictures are back!!

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

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yeeessss.....

yeeessss…..

 

Swinging in the Rain (and a stir fry recipe!)

FOOD

A few highlights from my week (and a recipe if you keep going!).

roasted asparagus with sea salt and lemon.  Simple, but amazing.

roasted asparagus with sea salt and lemon. Simple, but amazing.

on of my very favorite soups - ginger carrot.

on of my very favorite soups – ginger carrot.

I normally prefer to make my own juices, but its been so hectic lately, that this was better than no juice at all!

I normally prefer to make my own juices, but its been so hectic lately, that this was better than no juice at all!

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my go-to lately (mainly because I have only frozen berries left!). 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 4 cups kale, 1 banana, 1/2 c frozen mixed berries, 2 tbsp brown rice protein powder, 1 tbsp cocoa nibs, and a splash of vanilla.

my go-to lately (mainly because I have only frozen berries left!). 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 4 cups kale, 1 banana, 1/2 c frozen mixed berries, 2 tbsp brown rice protein powder, 1 tbsp cocoa nibs, and a splash of vanilla.

simple and clean.  Quinoa, pinto beans, corn, green beans, and a bit of hot sauce.

simple and clean. Quinoa, pinto beans, corn, green beans, and a bit of hot sauce.

Tofurky kielbasa with mustard and sauerkraut.

Tofurky kielbasa with mustard and sauerkraut.

AC and I went out to dinner at a restaurant in Norfolk called Supper Southern Morsels and it was totally amazing.  I had a salad and a Gardein Jambalaya that was ridiculous.  It’s a cute place, and I can’t wait to go back when it’s warm out since they have rooftop dining!

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we ended up at Bardo's after dinner for dessert and a drink. No vegan desserts, but spring rolls worked nicely!

we ended up at Bardo’s after dinner for dessert and a drink. No vegan desserts, but spring rolls worked nicely!

I had a great tofu scramble burrito at Harrison’s Cafe too!

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Friday night it was just me and R (D was at M’s rehearsal to take pictures of everything and head shots of the actors), so after doing some summer clothes shopping, we stopped at Moe’s to bring home for dinner.

life is too short to skip the shell!

life is too short to skip the shell!

But onto the fun stuff!  I finally went grocery shopping today and whipped up this stir fry for dinner tonight.  D and I have both had a craving for it, and this time, I actually wrote down what I did!  Feel free to mix up the veggies used – that’s the nice thing about stir fry!

Crissie’s Sweet & Sour Tofu Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large can of cubed pineapple in juice (keep the juice)
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into large wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into large squares
  • 1 small can diced water chestnuts
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots
  • 1 can bean sprouts (or use fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp mirin (or regular white vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Directions

  • In a very large pan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add tofu, and stir until starting to brown on all sides.
  • Add garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add red onion and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a few shakes of red pepper flakes. I did about 3 shakes since my young one doesn’t like super spicy.
  • Meanwhile, pour the pineapple juice into a measuring cup.  Add enough water or veggie broth to make 1 1/2 cups.  Add in the ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and corn starch.  Mix well and set aside.
  • Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and pineapple.  Stir well.
  • Add the liquid and bring the heat to high until it starts to boil.  Once it boils, turn down to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes, until sauce thickens.
  • Add bean sprouts and heat through.
  • Salt and extra soy sauce at the table for everyone to adjust to taste.

We ate ours over brown rice, and it was awesome.  This made about 8 servings.

everything ready to go!

everything ready to go!

the dinner table (complete with chop sticks for everyone!)

the dinner table (complete with chop sticks for everyone!)

a close up of the finished dish.

a close up of the finished dish.

It was a huge hit, and definitely something that will go in the regular rotation.

FITNESS

Today was the first day in weeks that I’ve been able to hit the gym.  I’ve gotten in runs and some body weight workouts at home, but I did miss my gym.

Today I went and spent 75 minutes doing cardio. My gym has a cinema room, and today’s feature was Avatar!  I love that movie.  Anyway, I hopped on the elliptical and watched the last half hour of the movie.

Then it was into the main room for 45 minutes on the treadmill.  I normally really hate treadmills (that whole “I feel like a hamster” thing), but I’m not dealing well with the cold.  So, 45 minutes of running in place it was!

I have to say I love my new Microsoft Band.  It not only keeps constant track of my heart rate, but I can also download workouts to it.  Every time I need to do the next exercise (or bump up the speed or incline), it vibrates on my wrist and displays the next activity.  Oh, and it also does texts, emails, sleep tracker, weather, and any number of other things.  Yeah, it was worth the wait.

LIFE

It is SO nice to be back home.  Traveling is fun, and I do enjoy it, but lately its been a bit too much.  When my young one goes to the nurses office complaining of a stomach ache – and then tells the nurse that she misses her mom – I know that enough is enough, and I’m glad the crazy work travels are over for now.

One thing that always brighten’s my day is D’s morning picture with R.  He takes them every day – and I do post them most days on Instagram.  When I travel, they’re even more important to me.  Love seeing these every day!

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she's loving her Lifeguard hoodie from San Diego!

she’s loving her Lifeguard hoodie from San Diego!

I’ve been sad that the weather got cold here again.  It’s crazy – normally by this time we’re in full blown allergy hell (not that I miss that) and it’s consistently warm.  Having weather in the 40’s the past few days has really sucked.

One evening this week, R and I went for a walk to a local park and hung out.  It was fun.  We chatted, hung out on the swings, and then commented on all the front doors on the houses we walked past on the way home.  Long story, but I’ve noticed that there’s a high propensity of red doors in Virginia, and we were sort of counting.  And that led to commentary on if we thought someone’s door matched their house well or not.  Still, it was fun.

wee one on the swing

wee one on the swing

swing selfie!

swing selfie!  In the rain, no less!

Last night I went out with AC.  I swear, I think it’s been going on 2 months since I’ve seen her.  We had dinner, caught up, and started plotting our next girls trip to somewhere warm and fun.

Today was sleeping WAY in (like, until 11.  Which is something I never do, so that was exciting).  Then it was meal planning, the gym, grocery shopping, errand running, and the cooking!  Now it’s time to chill, read, and get ready for the week ahead.

Cheers!

 

I Drank the Kool Aid (oh, and a recipe too!)

FOOD

I have to say, the Instant Pot is pretty cool.  I’ve seen several bloggers write about it, and after several months, decided I needed to have one.  It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and dutch oven all in one.  I’ve used it at least 4 times since I got it this weekend.  Aside from the week’s worth of steel oats I made, I used it to make basmati rice (in about 4 minutes!), stew, a pot of beans, and a new dish too (keep reading for recipe)!  It’s official.  I’ve drunk the pressure cooker kool aid.

Sunday night I made tofurky, roasted carrots, basmati rice, and mushroom gravy.

I love that the family gets so excited for Tofurky night!  It was so good, and there were no leftovers!

I love that the family gets so excited for Tofurky night! It was so good, and there were no leftovers!

Monday and Tuesday were nearly identical green smoothies for breakfast (though they’re purple!).

water, pineapple, orange, banana, spinach, and frozen berry blend.

water, pineapple, orange, banana, spinach, and frozen berry blend.

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Monday afternoon was broccoli soup, and dinner was a veggie burger on corn tortillas with ketchup, mustard, and cabbage.

3 mason jars (2 cups each) of creamy broccoli soup.

3 mason jars (2 cups each) of creamy broccoli soup.

I love the cabbage for crunch. Yummy and quick meal.

I love the cabbage for crunch. Yummy and quick meal.

Lunch today was leftover soup, and dinner was fun in the Instant Pot!  You can use a regular pressure cooker too.

all my ingredients, ready to go!

all my ingredients, ready to go!

Crissie’s Pressure Cooker Lentils, Rice, & Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger root (I use the jarred ginger rather than mincing fresh root – reduce to 1/4 tsp if you use ground)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used hot curry)
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  •  1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water or veggie broth (I used Better than Bullion veggie base)
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  • use the saute feature of your electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot (for a stove top pressure cooker, use medium heat) and cook the onion and garlic in a little bit of broth or water until translucent.
  • add ginger, cumin, curry powder, and mustard seed.  Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • add lentils, rice, and water or broth and close the cooker.
  • Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.  Quick release.
  • Add cauliflower, remaining 1/2 cup of water, and salt.  No need to stir.
  • Close the cooker and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Let it naturally release.
  • Stir and eat!
topped with cabbage for crunch!  A one pot meal that's filling and healthy.

topped with cabbage for crunch! A one pot meal that’s filling and healthy.

FITNESS

Sunday I went for a run in my new neighborhood!  I did a nice 4 miler that included a loop around a local park.  It was really nice.

Today I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill and checked out a new piece of equipment – a cross trainer.

LIFE

It’s been a really good couple of days.  Sunday was tea, organizing the new house, chilling by the fire, grocery shopping, booking the spring break trip for me, R, M and one of M’s best friends (D has a big project and can’t take off, so M’s friend is coming instead) and Yahtzee!  R and I had a rematch and she won.  Then we all played, and M won.  I came in dead last.

D getting quite serious about his scores

D getting quite serious about his scores

Ginny showing us all what it means to nap in front of the fire place!

Ginny showing us all what it means to nap in front of the fire place!

and how to stretch out an nap on R's bed

and how to stretch out an nap on R’s bed

and how to nap with blankets pulled up to her head (she naps a lot!)

and how to nap with blankets pulled up to her head (she naps a lot!)

some chai tea

some chai tea

and me hanging by the fire

and me hanging by the fire

Then it was back to normal!  Work, school, and life!

Monday #morningpicture

Monday #morningpicture

Tuesday #morningpicture!

Tuesday #morningpicture!

GOAL CHECK-IN

  • all my grub has been healthy and balanced.  Woo hoo!
  • I snacked on some pretzels and hummus, but otherwise no gluten
  • haven’t gone out to eat the past few days (and not too often the past week, other than the vegan meet-up)
  • exercised twice since Sunday!
  • been planning meals and prepping in advance.  Soup, pre-shredded cabbage, diced up fruits and veggies, big pot of curry, etc.
  • no weekday wine.  Had two glasses on Sunday while cooking and playing Yahtzee.
  • have not meditated at all since moving
  • haven’t slowed down any – in fact, I think my pace has picked up.  Too much going on, and I’ve had no real down time in weeks.  It’s starting to show with hives coming back, so I need to work on that.

 

 

 

Christmas Contemplation

FOOD

Lots of tasty eats this last week. Happy hour with AC, lunch with D, plus whipping up dishes at home means plent of food and leftovers!

 

a simple baked potato topped with black beans and vegan sour cream

made some homemade pinto beans in the pressure cooker, and had meals for days! Corn tortilla tacos with beans, rice, and all the toppings.

taco salad!

happy hour with AC last week Friday. Sparkling wine, edamame, and roasted garlic and peppers!

cucumber, carrot, ginger juice

steamed cauliflower over pasta with a “cheezy” sauce and ground black pepper

stopped at Colley Cantina with D for some blackened tofu tacos

Of course we did have a holiday stuffed into the last week, and that always means special foods. Christmas Eve was homemade soups and sammiches! The soups I made were Tomato Tortilla and Red Curry Kale (my personal favorite!). Sammiches were a marinated tofu with a veganaise/mustard/nooch blend and sliced onions. Seriously I think it’s the best sammich I ever made (and mostly courtesy of Vegan Sammiches Save the Day). Oh, and Snickerdoodle cookies too!

 

Christmas dinner was Tofurky roast, cornbread, maple roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, herbed rice (recipe below), and balsamic brussel sprouts. And pumpkin pie!

 

Holiday Herbed Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice – rinsed
  • 1 tbsp either Earth Balance or Olive Oil
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Poultry Spice
  • 2 cups water or broth (I used broth)

Directions

  • put Earth Balance or Olive Oil in a pan and heat. (I use my rice cooker, but if you don’t have one, you can do this over medium heat in a sauce pan on the stove.
  • add rinsed rice and stir to coat for 1-2 minutes
  • add poultry spice and mix well
  • add water/broth. stir, then pop in the garlic cloves (doing it whole gives a hint of flavor rather than full frontal!). If you’re using a rice cooker, just close the lid and select the appropriate setting (for me, it’s White Rice). If cooking stove top, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to simmer, and cook until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes.

I liked going the herbed rice route this year rather than the heavy mashed potatoes. This meal was heavy enough!

my day-after-Christmas green juice! It was SO good too. Romaine, kale, celery, fennel, ginger, lemon.

 

FITNESS

My Christmas morning run was absolutely awesome. It was a beautiful day – about 60 and sunny – and it was great to take off in a t-shirt and fly thorugh the neighborhood.

Aside from yesterday’s run, I’ve had a few other runs, kickboxing, and yoga.

 

LIFE

The past week has been a whirlwind of activities. Most of my collegues takes at least some time off this time of year (myself included!). That meant this past week was focused on being fully caught up at work so it’s not a struggle when I go back on Jan 5.

It was also the last mad dash to get Christmas finished. Shopping, wrapping, shipping, etc.

she was SO over wrapping! Which I completely understand.

Christmas Eve was our traditional pj and family game night. We all get new jammies, put them on, and then play our new game! The winner picks breakfast the next day. This year’s adventure was Headbanz Act Up. It was SO much fun. I played it with my sister, niece, and nephew last month when I was visiting, and knew I had to get it for my family. A and I tied, and breakfast was biscuits and gravy, potatoes, and smoothies!

Christmas Day itself was very low-key, as most of our holiday’s tend to be. We slept in, did the gift and breakfast thing, then relaxed all day – doing our own things – until it was time to make dinner.

R playing with her Lego Mindstorm. Ginny deciding if she’s going to attack it!

new golf clubs for me!!!

But now that the day has come and gone, the rest of the week off can just ease on by, and that’s an awesome feeling.

Most people get contemplative at some time in their lives. For many it’s New Year’s or their birthday’s. For me, it always seems to be around Christmas. I take stock of my life, and look more at things I want to change. Don’t get me wrong, I think of the great things too, but it’s around now that I focus on things I want to do. It’s my time of renewal, so to speak. And because I’m a planner, I guess it makes sense that this happens for me just before the new year kicks in.

This is a time for raw honesty, but at the same time, to be non judgemental. More to come on these thoughts in the coming days as they become more solidified in my mind.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and continue to enjoy some fun and peace through what’s left of 2014!

 

Knowing The Season Based on How Hot or Cold Your Workout Clothes Are

FOOD

I finally made a batch of homemade vanilla soy  milk.  It’s been on my to do list for a few months, but I’ve been lazy.  Seriously, I have no good excuses…I have a soy milk maker for crying out loud!

I have honestly gotten complacent about making my own dairy-free milks and was mainly subsisting on Silk Soy Milks (their Very Vanilla is amazing) for quite awhile.  Unfortunately, now that they’re making Almond Milk, I can’t buy their brand for risk of cross contamination (with R’s allergies, I just won’t take the risk – and if you read their food label, they can’t guarantee nut-allergy safety).  I haven’t found another soy milk brand I like, so have really just been using So Delicious Coconut Milk (which I like for most things).  But I really wanted a very vanilla-type milk, so decided it was time to make my own.

I used to buy my soybeans in bulk because of my milk making, but since it’s been so long, I didn’t want to use beans that are too old and sitting in my garage!  This last Sunday, I picked up some fresher beans, and went to town.  No real recipe to post because I followed ideas from others.  Soak the beans, peel them (easiest to as they’re submerged, and just rub the skins off – it reduces the beany-taste), put them in the Soy Milk maker with 2 tbsp of gluten-free oats (it makes it nice and creamy!), strain, then add a small amount of salt and any other ingredients you want.  I used some raw sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean (to make it VERY vanilla).

it really is an amazing feeling to make your own food from scratch!   Ease of mind too, when you're dealing with food allergies.

it really is an amazing feeling to make your own food from scratch! Ease of mind too, when you’re dealing with food allergies.

Most my other eats this week were typical.  Green smoothie breakfasts, leftover Sunday bulk cooking lunches (hello Cream of Broccoli Soup!), and a holiday party lunch at the Yardhouse where they have a Gardein menu!

soy milk, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach.  I LOVED that I took this to a meeting this week, and not only was there another green smoothie drinker in the house, but one of my co-workers took a swig (and loved it!)

soy milk, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach. I LOVED that I took this to a meeting this week, and not only was there another green smoothie drinker in the house, but one of my co-workers took a swig (and loved it!)

green smoothie to-go!

green smoothie to-go!

Gardein orange chick'n with brown jasmin rice.  Seriously...I can get this out and about now!  And with a White Ale, it was awesome.

Gardein orange chick’n with brown jasmin rice. Seriously…I can get this out and about now! And with a White Ale, it was awesome.

For dinner tonight, I really wanted something light.  I love cooking my rice with a tea bag thrown in.  It imparts a different flavor profile, and can really change a dish.  Tonight was green tea, but I’ve done chai or spicy teas for a more Indian feel.  Green tea for an Asian feel.  You get the idea…just play with the teas and make what sounds good!

Green Tea Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 green tea bag (and play with flavors for different meals…I’ve used Pumpkin Spice tea to flavor rice I was serving with maple and cinnamon roasted squash!)
  • pinch salt

Directions

  • I use my fuzzy logic rice cooker (everyone should have one…it does everything), but you can cook the rice based on the package directions – just throw the tea bag in at the beginning).
  • Add your choice of veggies and toppings.  Tonight I did steamed carrots, Mirin (a sweet Japanese vinegar) and Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).  If I wanted a heartier meal, I’d throw in Chickpeas and black sesame seeds too.

The bottom line is to play with it.  Earth balance + brown sugar = a sweeter dish.  In these dishes, I let the tea drive the flavors.  There’s no need for your food to be boring (it’s sort of my life’s motto….life is too short for boring food!)

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And lastly…my friends at the FoodDuo have posted one of my favorite recipes in their 12 Days and 8 Nights of holiday dishes for compassion!  It’s an easy Balsamic Brussel Sprout recipe that’s sure to sway the ardent brussel-sprout hater!  I made them for my family in WI at Thanksgiving, and am pleased to report they were a hit.  They’re doing an amazing series of vegan food bloggers, their favorite holiday recipes, their holiday wishes, and their charities of choice, so definitely check them out.  I’m so honored to be part of their blog series, and there are some incredible recipes to be had….like jello pie.  Really?!  I’m making that….

FITNESS

You want to know the difference between winter and summer in Virginia?  It’s the workout bag….

Seriously, if you keep a workout bag in your car, you can definitely tell the season.  In the summer, my clothes are hot when I show up at the gym (or yoga studio) in the winter…they’re freezing.  This is how I know that winter has begun…

I threw my yoga clothes into my car on the way to the office on Wednesday.  My hot yoga studio has four locations (two in the area), and knew I could hit one up at the end of the day.  I always keep my Manduka yoga mat in my vehicle, so it was just a matter of shorts, a tank, and some shoes/flip flops (that aren’t work heels) to wear home.

Yeah…I forgot this isn’t summer and it’s not that easy….

I got to the yoga studio…wearing my work skirt, tights, high heels, and sweater…but no jacket because it was a little warmer than the previous weeks.

So not only did I have to put on clothes that were chilly….I had to leave in shorts, a tank, and sweaty as hell after an hour in a 100+ degree room…with no coat.  I go back to that sweatsicle blog post….let’s just say the drive home was uncomfortable…

Oh well, it was nice going into the hotter-than-hell room after putting on freezing clothes.

I’ve mentioned before that I hate winter, right??  Ugh…hard to believe I’m from a cold weather state!

LIFE

The past few days have been busy, but not in an “I-wanna-pull-my-hair-out” way.  I’m used to early mornings and late nights, but in the end…I completely love what I do.  I realize that I’m in the lucky minority who gets to say they love what they do every single day.  And sometimes it’s more challenging than others, but I’d not change it for anything!

My eldest, A, is home from University, and that’s been a trip.  She has a tendency to spread out where the rest of us don’t (her pillow and blanket are on the couch, her food and cups are left lying around), and while I’m glad she’s home, it’s making me nuts.  I keep walking around the house and finding her crap everywhere.  She must be making her roommate crazy….

D is still doing his daily #morningpicture with R!  I can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years of him taking a daily selfie with the young one!

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Other than that, not much to report.  D is feeling much better, and we’re still focus on healthy (no fiber) weight gain.  He has a few more procedures to make sure we’re on the right treatment path, but the fact that he’s feeling better and doesn’t need surgery is enough for me.  We can work the rest out!

So for now, I will leave you with a few pics…..

Halloween is my favorite holiday...the rest are sort of unimportant!  A had the brilliant idea of putting a Santa hat on Jack to make it work.  Brilliant....

Halloween is my favorite holiday…the rest are sort of unimportant! A had the great idea of putting a Santa hat on Jack to make it work. Brilliant….

totally my cats.....

totally my cats…..

Bumble, the Tree Killer....

Bumble, the Tree Killer….

 

A Tale of Thanksgiving, Dating (and Breaking Up With) Bourbon, and Travels to the Cold Midwest

FOOD

Well, what a week!  I flew home to WI the day before Thanksgiving, cooked a bunch of holiday vegan food, went out to eat with my sister and cousins, and then went to Chicago for several days for work.

So…I had access to a kitchen for a few days and took advantage of that, and otherwise mostly ate out (except for an awesome vegan meal my sister made of black bean soup and local fresh grain bread with a balsamic/olive oil dip – of which I forgot to take pictures because I was more concerned with catching up with my sister who I haven’t seen in a year and a half!).

After I arrived and my Dad picked me up, we went grocery shopping, drill battery hunting, and then off to a Mexican restaurant for dinner.

This, my friends, is a yummy drink that swirls frozen margarita with frozen sangria.  Genius.

This, my friends, is a yummy drink that swirls frozen margarita with frozen sangria. Genius.

my veggie hot pot of yumminess for dinner.

my veggie hot pot of yumminess for dinner.

a vegan Thanksgiving with my parents and sister and her family!  Cornbread, maple roasted root veggies, balsamic roasted brussel sprouts, vegan stuffing (mom made that one), tofu pot pie, and green bean casserole!

a vegan Thanksgiving with my parents and sister and her family! Cornbread, maple roasted root veggies, balsamic roasted brussel sprouts, vegan stuffing (mom made that one), tofu pot pie, and green bean casserole!

The night I arrived, I spent time in the kitchen drinking wine, listening to Irish music, and cooking.  Sort of like I never left VA (expect I didn’t know where anything in the kitchen was!).

chopped mushrooms to make the base for the green beans

chopped mushrooms to make the base for the green beans

roasted butternut squash for the soup

roasted butternut squash for the soup

using my mom's Ninja to make the soup!

using my mom’s Ninja to make the soup!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my sister and I went around town and stopped for tapas and drinks at a neat place called Stilt that’s local to her.

sweet potato fries, squash soup, and pretzels with stone ground mustard.  And beer for her and wine for me!

sweet potato fries, squash soup, and pretzels with stone ground mustard. And beer for her and wine for me!

Saturday night was a major reunion of sorts.  In my estimation, it’s the first time this group got together in about 9 years!  Three of our cousins and my sister and I.

all the pretty girls!

all the pretty girls!

tofu hot wings which were delicious!

tofu hot wings which were delicious!

AC will be happy...I finally tried a bourbon drink!  This was a bourbon sour with a beer float on top.  Quite good, actually.  And my sister's yummy mojito.

AC will be happy…I finally tried a bourbon drink! This was a bourbon sour with a beer float on top. Quite good, actually. And my sister’s yummy mojito.

And then it was off to Chicago for a conference.  And here were some of my eats along the way…

butternut squash soup.  So glad it's a thing this time of year...

butternut squash soup. So glad it’s a thing this time of year…

roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries

roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries

grilled asparagus with sea salt and lemon

grilled asparagus with sea salt and lemon

went to a Greek place that really didn't have much vegan options, but did whip me up some yummy veggie kabobs!

went to a Greek place that really didn’t have much vegan options, but did whip me up some yummy veggie kabobs!

Greek beets....a cold dish of beets in garlic and olive oil.  It's the exact dish that turned me on to beets years ago!

Greek beets….a cold dish of beets in garlic and olive oil. It’s the exact dish that turned me on to beets years ago!

my standard hotel breakfast...steel oats, potatoes, OJ, and toast.

my standard hotel breakfast…steel oats, potatoes, OJ, and toast.

FITNESS

Well one thing is for sure…there’s no way on earth this girl is running outside in the Midwest in the middle of winter.  No way…no how.

Snow.  Cool to see in movies...not so cool to be in....

Snow. Cool to see in movies…not so cool to be in….

So, it was treadmill runs, yoga, and even a zumba class with my sister!

All fun stuff, but was glad to get home to mild weather that I can run in outside :)

Funny how thin one’s skin gets when moving south….though I was never meant for the cold, even as a kid!

LIFE

It’s been a really great, if not crazy, week.  I flew into Chicago last week Wednesday and then went to WI for the holiday weekend.

plane selfie!!

plane selfie!!

Thanksgiving dinner was at my parent’s house with my sister, her husband, and two kids.  I got to cook, play a game with my niece and nephew (after being told I buy them overly complicated games…they got back at me by bringing them and having me play!), and have Thanksgiving dinner with my family for the first time in eleven years.  The last time I was there for Thanksgiving was right before accepting a job and moving to VA.  So I bet you can all guess what I was thankful for this year!  While I missed my husband and kids, I know they had a great time without me.

my eldest, A, was home from college.  Apparently fell asleep completely wrapped in my blanket, and Bumble kept her company all night!

my eldest, A, was home from college. Apparently fell asleep completely wrapped in my blanket, and Bumble kept her company all night!

I spent a night at my sister’s house, and we caught up, attempted to watch movies, but really just talked through them (Love Actually and The Bourne Identity), worked out, went shopping, hung out and played another game with the kids, and then hung out with some cousins.

Sunday I took the train down to Chicago, checked into my hotel, and hit the bar to wait for my friend to arrive.  It turns out watching a Packer game in Chicago is a totally different experience.  I honestly don’t watch (American) football and normally couldn’t care less, but it was fun.

I had dinner with BS then went to bed to get ready for the conference the next day.  I also had too many bourbons.  So as much as AC wanted me to start drinking bourbon (she’s a big fan) it seems we’ve had only a brief love affair….we started dating on Sunday and promptly broke up on Monday…..

The conference itself was amazing.  I got a ton done, and was even interviewed (on camera!) for a publication specific for my industry.  Kinda crazy.  AC came down (we’re in related lines of work), and even though we shared a room, we hardly saw each other!  Our specific work responsibilities meant we were interested in different parts of the conference, but we still managed a fun night on Tuesday at a lovely GE 100th Anniversary event.

the most awesome hotel picture ever.  This was in my bathroom...it says (if you can't see it)...Your comfort is important to us, and with that in mind, we would like to inform you that opening the windows will allow flying insects and spiders into your room.

the most awesome hotel picture ever. This was in my bathroom…it says (if you can’t see it)…Your comfort is important to us, and with that in mind, we would like to inform you that opening the windows will allow flying insects and spiders into your room.

my last morning in Chicago turned out to be sunny (if not crisp!).  My hotel was on Michigan Ave, so it was a nice walk through the loop for breakfast and window shopping before heading back to catch the shuttle to the airport.

my last morning in Chicago turned out to be sunny (if not crisp!). My hotel was on Michigan Ave, so it was a nice walk through the loop for breakfast and window shopping before heading back to catch the shuttle to the airport.

Then I came home, worked, and took care of D, who’s in the middle of a pretty ugly Crohn’s flare-up right now.  We’re in the waiting game of test results to determine next steps, and he’s hanging in as best he can.  It’s impossible not to be worried about him though.  Send happy and healing thoughts his way, if you’re so inclined.

Other than that, it’s cleaning, shopping, cooking, and just being happy to be home!

 

 

Golf, Grub, a Recipe, & an Angry Liver

FOOD

Thanks to some weekend bulk cooking, I’ve had some pretty tasty eats this week!  My life is always significantly easier when I take the time to prep on the weekends, but it’s been so hectic lately, that I haven’t done much of it.  I really think I need to make a much better effort to do this.

one of my favorite fall stewps!  Butternut squash, rice, lentil, potato, and kale.  Yumminess for days!!

one of my favorite fall stewps! Butternut squash, rice, lentil, potato, and kale. Yumminess for days!!

my stewp served with Tofurky roast, maple baked sweet potatoes/carrots/butternut squash, and extra roasted carrots.

my stewp served with Tofurky roast, maple baked sweet potatoes/carrots/butternut squash, and extra roasted carrots.

just the stewp for lunch one day

just the stewp for lunch one day

co-worker made vegan crockpot chili with quinoa and my maple corn bread

co-worker made vegan crock-pot chili with quinoa and my maple corn bread

elbow noodles with an acorn squash alfredo sauce and some killer pressure cooker brussel sprouts!

elbow noodles with an acorn squash Alfredo sauce and some killer pressure cooker brussel sprouts!

Crissie’s Butternut Squash, Rice, and Lentil, and Greens Stewp
Ingredients

1 medium onion — chopped
2 cloves garlic — minced
2 medium carrots peeled and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium red potatoes, cubed
½ medium butternut squash chunks
⅓ cup lentils
½ cup brown rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 each bay leaf
1 tbsp seasoning blend of choice (I like Italian, but Curry would be awesome too!)
5 ounces kale leaves
1 tsp salt

Directions

*Sauté onion, carrot, and garlic in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. (I use my pressure cooker on the sauté setting. If yours doesn’t have one, use a skillet on the stove.
*Add the potato, squash, lentils, rice, broth, bay leaves, seasoning, and stir to mix.
*Cook for 10 minutes on High Pressure. Let the pressure release naturally.
*Open the lid carefully away from your body (there will be a lot of steam), and add the kale. No need to mix it yet.
*Add the cover and bring back to High Pressure for 2 minutes. Release pressure manually.
*Add the salt, stir, and serve.

FITNESS

Yoga, running, and GOLF!

Yes, that’s right.  I went golfing!  D and I have talked about it for a long time, even took a few lessons, but we finally went and did it.  And you know what?  It was fun.  Know what else?  I’m really sore, so it’s not as easy as it looks!

LIFE

D and I participated in a charity golf event yesterday, and we had a blast!  AD and her husband JD were our golf partners, and we really did have a great time.  We played best ball, which was good for me!  I even had a few good moments, including a putt that gave us a much needed birdie on a hole!

golf selfie #1!!  Me and D :)

golf selfie #1!! Me and D :)

golf selfie #2!  Me and AD!

golf selfie #2! Me and AD!

The rest was hanging out, drinking wine, and laughing a lot.  My understanding is that’s how golf really goes, and if so, I should have started playing a very long time ago!

The rest of the week was pretty normal.  Work, school, swim team, and general chaos management!  I did get a billion comments about how I don’t look like me anymore because of the haircut.  I think it’s funny….just bangs!

still me!

still me!

This weekend will be spent recovering my liver from yesterday’s golf adventure, and then cooking, cleaning, and relaxing as much as possible!

No Sense Crying Over Moldy Chocolate

FOOD

When one doesn't blog for 10 days, it seems silly (and relatively impossible) to document everything eaten in that time frame! I will do my best in a montage of pictures, but rest assured, it's pretty Crissie-typical fare. Smoothies, soups, salads, a vegan pizza, taco-related things, tofu pot-pie, etc.

Not all my meals were wonderful, as noted Friday night. JC, AC, D and I went out for the evening – art gallery, dinner, and drinks. Art gallery – fun. Drinks – always good. Dinner – sucked. Turns out the restaurant we went to (and had been to many times) is closing mid-March. They had nothing for me to eat – they were actually OUT of rice and pasta. So crazy. So…I was given a plate of green beans, asparagus, and sliced tomato. It wasn't awful, but certainly not a filling meal either.

I'm attaching here a recipe for one of my fav tofu snacks, on request. These are awesome just to snack on, but are equally good on sammiches or in wraps.

Crissie's Baked Tofu Snack

Ingredients

*1 block tofu pressed and sliced

*1/4 cup OJ

*1 tbsp mirin

*1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1/2 tbsp minced ginger

*a couple shakes of cayenne pepper

Directions

*combine all the ingredients except the tofu into a marinade.

*place tofu slices in a shallow dish so they don't overlap, and pour the marinade over it.

*Let marinade as long as possible, flipping the tofu slices half way. I usually like to do this overnight if making on a week night, or all day if a weekend.

*Bake at 375 in the same dish for 40 minutes.

FITNESS

Well, it's been a very active 10 days, so that's good!

I will admit that all of my runs have been on the treadmill – even after the snow thawed. I just really hate winter.

I will also admit that I almost fell off my treadmill…twice…when the urge to dance struck at the wrong time. That's what I get for downloading the new Crystal Method album I guess :)

I've also been doing some workout DVD's, yoga (of course), and even hit up a new (to me) class at the gym. Kettlebells. I've heard plenty about them, but figured I'd check it out for myself. The class is so popular, I had to get there early enough to get a ticket.

So here's my summary – I wasn't impressed. I took the 15 minute technique class before, and was hoping for a tough strength training workout. Instead, this was…I think…meant to be a cardio workout. But here everyone is throwing these bells around while doing lunges, squats, etc – and all I kept thinking was how everyone was going to get injured. The moves didn't seem safe, and I don't think I'll be hitting that class up again. Apparently being ticket #13 was NOT my lucky number!

LIFE

In a word, busy. I've had some overwhelming moments in the past two weeks – where I think I felt like I was on the verge of cracking. Nearly crying at my keyboard at work when I discovered my chocolate coconut milk yogurt was moldy was my first clue. I don't want sweet food often, but Tuesday was a rough day, and finding my healthy chocolate yogurt inedible left me nearly hysteric. Thankfully I had backup chocolate in my desk drawer.

My days nearly all week started at 530 am and didn't end until midnight. In a word, I've been just simply exhausted.

Thankfully this weekend was planned with some fun things, and it's been just what I needed. It started Friday night with AC and JC. We went to a small glass exhibit opening, then went to dinner and out for a few drinks.

D took this pic of me while I was looking at some of the art!

Saturday was a basketball game! I've only been to one game before – last March at a conference. It was amazing, but I realize a totally unrealistic experience. It was New Orleans v. the LA Lakers…in a box with unlimited food and alcohol…and Robert DeNiro was at the game! Last night's game was a college ball game here, but it was still fun. I didn't understand some of what was going on, and at times it moved too fast for me to figure stuff out. The ref's seemed to have been bribed by the other team, we watched several rambunctious fans get ejected during the second half, and all the ref's were escorted immediately off the court surrounded by security as soon as the game ended. I'm not sure if any of that is normal, but it certainly made for an interesting evening. Oh, and we lost, so that was a bummer. We were lucky to have VIP tickets from a co-worker who couldn't be at the game, so that was really cool.

Today was work and cooking to get prepped for the week! Two soups, stuff for salads, trail mix, and, of course, cookies.

So here's to a new week which is sure to be as crazy as the last…but I will do my best to not have moldy chocolate, so it should turn out okay!