Tag Archives: My Recipe

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!

 

Squirrels, Snowmegeddon 2, and Wine Workouts

FOOD

I haven't left home since picking up the kitties on Tuesday. Yep – snowmageddon part 2!!!! On his way home from work Tuesday, D asked me if we needed any essentials. Seriously – wine was all I could think of. All the other meals were just what I had already on hand!

Last night I made (more) vegan tacos with cilantro rice. Totally awesome, and for some reason, everything tastes better as a taco.

Recipe is below, and while you can totally get by in life without a rice cooker, I feel like my fuzzy logic machine is one of the stars of my kitchen. It makes rice, other grains, steamed meals, soups, cooks beans, even makes cake! I use it several days a week, and it way worth the extra few bucks ($60 or so). Here's a more recent model of the one I have – but I've had mine for 4 years, and it's more than made up for itself financially.

Cilantro Rice

Ingredients

*1 cup long grain white rice (if you use brown, adjust the liquid accordingly)

*1/2 onion, diced

*1 tbsp earth balance (or olive oil)

*1.5 cups water

*2 whole garlic cloves

*1/2 cup cilantro

Directions

*saute onion in Earth Balance in the rice cooker (or stove top on medium) until soft. About 5 minutes.

*add rice, water, garlic, and cilantro.

*in rice cooker – put on white rice setting. On stove top, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is cooked and water is absorbed.

*remove garlic cloves before serving.

Basic Pinto Bean Tacos

Ingredients

*1 can pinto beans

*1 can diced green chilies

*1 onion, diced

*4-5 garlic cloves, minced

*1 olive oil (if NOT using a non-stick pan…omit if using non-stick)

*1 tsp cumin

*1 tsp chili powder

*1 tsp oregano

*1/2 can diced tomatoes

Directions

*Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until soft.

*Add spices, and cook for 1-2 minutes

*Add beans and tomatoes. Cook until warm, and simmer until rice is done!

I served on tortillas with shredded cabbage, hot sauce, and avocado. Who said a vegan meal couldn't be quick, tasty, and cheap? Not this girl!

Dinner tonight was from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean. It's the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. Her books are still among my favorites for healthy and easy fare.

FITNESS

Well, I mentioned that I haven't left home for a few days, right? So strange. I don't do cabin fever well!

Anyway, I have been making the most of my captivity with indoor workouts. Tuesday evening, as the snow was falling, I realized I hadn't actually met my FitBit step goal for the day – despite my hour long treadmill workout! So, I decided…after some wine…that I could walk on my treadmill…barefoot…and hit that goal. Of course AC (who was stuck at work overnight to manage the whole snowmageddon thing) completely egged me on. So I did…and 7 minutes later, my FitBit went nuts telling me how awesome I was. And I was able to feel smug that I met my goal. I love my FitBit.

Yesterday I set up my bike trainer upstairs in the gym/spare room. I couldn't bear two dreadmill days in a row, but still needed something. I dusted it off (it had been in the garage, and after a spider crawled off of it and I appropriately screamed and scared the crap out of my son), and got ready to roll! I plugged headphones into my laptop, and watched an episode of Bones on Hulu. The 45 minutes consisted of a warm up, leg work (pedaling with just one leg for 60 seconds, then switch legs), some hill work, and a cool down. It was a killer workout.

Today was treadmill and yoga and balance ball ab work. I have some new music on my iPod finally, so I was feeling pretty energized! Yoga was a restorative class on YogaGlo to open my hips back up from the runs and cycling, and before the yoga, was an ab series on both a large and small balance ball.

LIFE

Well, have I mentioned it snowed?? And that I haven't left my house since 3pm on Tuesday? And that I don't do well looking at the same rooms for days at a time??

Despite that, it's actually been a good week. I've gotten a ton done both at work and at home. Most of it in either workout clothes or pajamas. Actually – all of it in either workout clothes or jammies!

D went out and about and took some fun pics in the snow on Tuesday.

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Kitties are doing great, if not a little slow moving. The pain meds make them goofy and even more lovey, if possible. Ginny still loves her puzzle box…just needed to move it where she could get to it without hurting herself!

But here's funny story….when it gets really cold or wet outside (and it's both right now), we'll occasionally get critters in the house. One poor flying squirrel realized today just how crazy our household could be today….

Around 10 am, one found its way behind my fridge. Ginny (who's still a little slow moving and slightly high) found her first. Tonks was out cold and Bumble apparently lost all of her hunting instincts in her old age. Anyway, M is upstairs (still sleeping), I just get off a conference call, and R starts yelling that there's a squirrel in the kitchen (not in a hysterical way – like her mama would do, mind you). Sammie – the nearly 12 year old Lab – helps Ginny corner the poor thing. Anyway, after 5 mintues of screaming, running, brooms, Tupperware, and towels, the poor thing was finally back outside, flying into the horizon. Sammie seemed proud, and Ginny seemed disappointed. I was hysterical (not the fun way – the crazy way), and R was laughing her head off. And M slept through the entire thing. My life….

Considering just shy of 2 inches kept us grounded for 3 days last week, imagine what 10 inches did this week! Kids have been off, and will be tomorrow too. I'm hoping to go into the office tomorrow, but that all depends on the cold and refreezing of the roads. My neighborhood hasn't been plowed, so I'm not so confident I'll be out of my confines tomorrow or not!

Without getting into too much of my liberal feminist detail, I did write my Congressman this week – twice – about HR7. Believe it or not, I was not combative, but really did try to get him to see the other side. I was quite proud actually. I know I won't change his mind – and I applaud people who stand up for what they believe it – and enjoy having a meaningful conversation with people to understand (and hopefully portray) my convictions – but I need to try since he is supposed to represent me in Washington.

Okay, on a totally fun note, D started watching Scandal (as I did recently) and now we're caught up with each other! We still have all of season 3 to catch up on together before it starts up again on Feb 27. I had to constantly text my sister (who watches the show) every episode I watched and was freaking out about one thing or another. I honestly think this is the most well written show I have come across in ages. The monologues/rants are completely epic. If you don't watch it, the first 2 seasons are on Netflix. Do it. You'll love me for it.

Speaking of TV….we've been cable-less for almost 5 months now. Totally don't miss it. Netflix is all we pay for, and Hulu on a computer is free. I don't miss out on any of my shows, and I've discovered new ones I never would have checked out before (hello, Line of Duty, Almost Human, House of Cards, and Goodwife)….I watch more TV now than I ever did before!

Now I realize I'm babbling, and I'm going to stop. A bit more work, some Scandal, then bed time!

 

Oh….Chelsea v West Ham game ended in 0-0 yesterday. Man City coming up this weekend! GO BLUES.

 

 

An Exorcist Worthy Meal

FOOD

Okay.  It’s not pretty, and I’m sorry.  Food can’t always be beautiful.  I mean really – have you ever seen a pretty split pea soup??  Me neither.  I mean seriously – it was split pea soup they used for Regan’s “moments” in the exorcist (to this day, scariest movie I’ve ever seen).  But I can tell you that what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste and ease.  It’s spicy and smokey and creamy and yummy, and sometimes – that outweighs the fact that it’s ugly.

photo (7)

Crissie’s Exorcist Soup

Ingredients

*1 bag of split peas

*4-6 cups veggie broth (I started with 4 and ended up adding 1 more while it was cooking).

*3 carrots, peeled and diced

*1/2 yellow or white onion, diced

*1 tbsp red pepper flakes

*1 block (4 ounces) smoked tofu

*1 tsp ground thyme

*1/2 tbsp sea salt

*2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

*Put everything but the salt and pepper in a crockpot.

*Cook on High for 8 hours.  Stir and it will be creamy!

*Add salt and pepper, switch to warm, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Again – not pretty – but super tasty!

FITNESS

Yesterday was the 5K with my youngest!  We were very excited the night before, and before heading off for bed, we put all our gear aside!

Up at 630 race day morning, we had breakfast (normal pre-race toast with sunbutter and banana), and then it was off to the races.

It was a very informal local race, and D brought his bike and camera to pedal along with us along the route.  He had to dodge bags of powdered paint and glitter spray stations, but he managed it all very well – all while cheering us on and snapping some pics.

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At one point R got a little rambunctious and I ended up with a face full of purple (that I’m STILL trying to get off), but all told, we had a lot of fun.  She ran her first race and experienced all the awesomeness that entails (like wearing a race number and getting a medal).

LIFE

Life yesterday was all about the race for the  most part.  It felt good to run with R and I hope we run many more races together.

After getting home, I realized I may not do one of those “color runs” again though.  I have paint I couldn’t get off in the shower, no matter how hard I tried!  I’d not tell R that though – her’s appeared to come off just fine!

D took a nap, M went to hang out with friends, and R and I were pretty mellow, hanging out with the kitties and watching dumb TV shows and reading.

kitty in a baseball cap.  Too cute to pass up.

kitty in a baseball cap. Too cute to pass up.

I’m glad it’s a short week this week, and I hope you all had a nice Holiday weekend too!

Yes, Pot Pie Can Be Sexy!

FOOD

Friday was pretty cool on the food front. Avo and pickle toast for breakfast, leftover lemon-pepper tofu steaks and cuc salad for lunch, and for dinner…the best ever. Couples Tofu Pot Pie! It's only a couple's pie because D and I made it together, but still….it was incredible. Super simple too…so read on for a savory pie that will warm your belly and comfort you after a long day!

Couples Tofu Pot Pie (Can be Singles Tofu Pot Pie if no one will make it with you)

Ingredients

*2 pie crusts. Can be homemade – I wasn't feeling that adventurous. Most rolled up pie crusts in the freezer section are vegan.

*2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces

*1/2 block of pressed extra firm tofu, cut into bite sized pieces (I like making them the same size as the potatoes)

*16 ounce bag of frozen veggies of choice. I went with the Americana corn/peas/green beans combo

*1 quart veggie broth (I used homemade – but do what you need to here)

*3 tsp poultry seasoning

*2 tsp sea salt

*1 tbsp corn starch

*3 tbsp water

Directions

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

*Put potato cubes into a stock pot and cover with the veggie broth. Bring to a boil and then cook on med until potatoes are softened, but still a little crisp (about 10 minutes)

*Add tofu, veggies, salt, and seasoning. Bring to a boil.

*Mix the cornstarch in water, and add to the boiling stock pot. Cook on high until it starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes.

*Roll out pie crust and place in a pie dish.

*Scoop filling until it hits the top. You will have extra filling – which is cool since it's yummy and that means leftovers.

*Top with other pie crust, crimp edges together, and cut some vents in the top.

*Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes, and then eat!

leftover pot pie filling with a biscuit top!

FITNESS

Yoga has been the exercise of choice the past few days. Party due to convenience, and partly because it's just what I wanted to do.

Friday I did not work out. It was a hectic day at work, and D and I had plans for Friday evening, so a rest day it became!

Saturday was spent moving my daughter, so hopefully climbing 5 flights of stairs with her worldly possessions counted, at least a little bit. I really wanted to bike, but the rain just wouldn't let up.

I did do a 90 minute yoga class around 9 pm last night though. It was called Ayurveda Vata Yoga, and it's focus was restorative, joint health, and calming the mind. It was a wonderful class, and I got to use my new bolster! I really like this class specifically for the focus on joint health. I know many people with arthritis fall into the trap of being sedentary – and nothing could be worse. If we don't keep the joints lubricated with regular movement (gentle movement!), then the arthritis gets worse. It's a viscous cycle, because I know personally how fearful it can be to exercise – for fear that the pain will get worse. Truth is, the right kind of exercise makes the pain better, or even go away. Anyway, in this particular class, gentle and circular motions on all joints were performed, and it was not only relaxing, but also very releasing. Loved it.

R and I had plans to hike the Windsor Castle trails today, but all evening and then overnight and morning rains derailed that plan. By mid day I was feeling very tired and drained (didn't sleep well), so I opted for an energizing yoga practice. 60 minutes of an anusara class (never had done that style before), that focused on bringing energy back into an overtired body. Sun salutations, back bends, hip openers, and deep breathing did the trick. I feel much better than I had earlier in the day.

Bumble the Zen Kitty joining me for practice today

LIFE

It's been a weekend filled with ups and downs. Friday evening the girls spent together. A took R back to school clothes shopping (nothing like the fashion student helping the 10 year old pick out clothes!) and then they went to dinner and a movie. M was at a birthday party, so D and I were on our own!

We had talked about going out to dinner, but he came up with a better plan. I pick the meal, and we cook together! He was open for anything but chickpeas (he's getting more open to my way of eating), and then we'd watch a movie. So, he picked up a couple bottles of wine on his way home, and we played music, danced, cooked, talked, and had an overall perfect evening. We watched a movie, then hung out with all the kids when they started getting home around 10 pm, then went off to bed. It was absolutely wonderful.

Saturday everyone was up early to take A up to college and move her to to start her own life adventures. Check in to her dorm was smooth and easy, and she's a pretty minimalist kid, so aside from a laptop, clothes, and toiletries, the only items she brought was her sewing machine and a small blender for morning smoothies! When we left, she had plans to meet up with some friends (she knows several people going to school there), and texted regularly as she was out playing pool, and then going rock climbing at the universities gym. This week is Freshman orientation week, so plenty of activities. We met her roommate, and so far the two girls are getting along great. She seems nice – and it should be interesting – she's a chemistry/nursing major with my art school daughter.

We all managed to say goodbye without too many tears, and the 4 of us headed home while A stayed at her new “home”. Sigh.

Today has been pretty relaxing. The weather has been horrible, so it's been cleaning, TV/movies, and getting ready to make a big Latin feast for dinner. Oh, and kitties. Lots and lots of kitties!

So all told, it's been a great weekend. Hope yours has too!

 

 

Zen Cat

FOOD

All my mornings have started with a green smoothie. In one I put my Vega supplement, but otherwise just straight up, just how I like it!

I also whipped up a batch of acorn squash alfredo! This has got to be one of my favorites of all time. I had a batch made when my parents were visiting last year, and I remember my dad liking it. Wish he could share in this batch too!

Last night I baked up some lemon-pepper tofu steaks. With a side of cucumber/red onion/bell pepper salad, it was a light and crisp meal.

FITNESS

I took one night off as a rest night, but otherwise have been loading up on yoga classes every day! I'm totally in heaven. It's been fun building up my home yoga practice too. I already have a mat, blankets, blocks, and a strap. I did splurge on a bolster that just arrived today! Can't wait to use it. My little studio is pretty much fully equipped!

I've signed up for a 5K on Memorial Day! And what's even cooler is doing it with my youngest. It's called Sparkle Me Wild, and you basically get dusted with paint and glitter all through the run. Too cool for her first race experience! I want her to find them fun rather than competitive (she gets enough of that with swim team).

Speaking of runs (nice segue, right??), I had a killer run last night. It was in the mid-70's, low humidity, and beautiful. Just shy of 4 miles, but it was blissful. I've missed this.

LIFE

It's been a pretty good week. Hectic, but good. Most nights I've stayed home making dinner while D took R to swim team practice. A is trying to see everyone before heading off to university on Saturday. M, I think, is just looking forward to school starting back up and having his boring summer end.

Sleep has been a bit more elusive, and none more so than last night. I managed a whopping 2 hrs of sleep. I was afraid I'd be a hot mess today, but have done much better than anticipated. My morning picture today helped :)

Last night I did what was supposed to be an uber relaxing yoga class at 10pm so I could be nice and chill before bed. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. Something fairly major bubbled up at work yesterday, and I was working well into the late evening about it. As a result, my head was spinning – which is more or less my normal state anyway – and I couldn't shut it off. Also the beasties (all 3) were trying to get in the room to play – and they were distracting me. At one point I finally let Bumble in (she's MY cat afterall…), and while I was in my lying pose, she curled up in my hair and started to purr. My racing brain immediately calmed down and all I could do is smile, pet her gently, and finally find the zen I was looking for. She's my zen cat! Then, of course, she wanted to leave and all my zen went with her. Brat cat….

 

Low Key Heaven

FOOD

I was up early this morning and feeling more adventurous for breakfast than I normally am. I whipped up a batch of gluten-free lemon & blueberry waffles! They were pretty good, but not enough lemon. If I make them again, I'll definitely add more zest or even extract.

I had a bunch of cherry tomatoes and some baked beans for lunch. Not gourmet, to be sure.

For dinner though I made up a spinach salad with a homemade orange/dijon dressing (fresh squeezed OJ, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and blood orange infused olive oil) as well as a white bean, kale, and potato soup.

FITNESS

Around lunchtime, I did another yoga class from YogaGlo. I have to say, I really am digging this site. I opted for the restorative class and it felt great.

A couple hours later, I decided to go out for a run. It was an awful run (I hate it when that happens). I just couldn't get my legs under me and lost all energy. I realized I hadn't eaten in about 9 hours, so I imagine that had something to do with it. I also got caught in the rain, but that wasn't so bad!

LIFE

It's been a quiet day. Other than my run, I was home all day, and spent most of it cooking, reading, monitoring our plethora of pets, or watching movies with my family. It was a pretty low key weekend, but that's needed once in awhile! It's A's last weekend at home, and that just feels so strange.

She still doesn't know who her roommate will be – the girl she was assigned changed residence halls, so A's pretty much in the dark. Quite frankly, A is trying to change too, but it's not likely. Her dorm is on the medical college's campus – which is a couple miles from the main campus where all her classes are.

As for now, it's time to get everything prepped for the morning! Clothes to iron, lunches to make, and sleep to have!

Hope you all had a great weekend :)

 

 

 

Maybe Not a Vanilla Girl

FOOD

Okay, okay, more pictures to summarize the past few days. Pretty simple though – smoothies, avo toast, salads, and noshing on fruit.

I did get to try out a new raw foods cafe on Monday with AZ. It's literally right across the street from my office, so that was cool. The fresh juice was fantastic, and the soup was only OK. AZ got the raw pizza and really enjoyed it, so I'm definitely going to try it again.

Perhaps the most creative I've gotten in the past few days has been with an avocado quinoa salad. It's not overly difficult, but was quite tasty.

Crissie's Spicy Avocado Qunioa Salad

Ingredients

*1 cup uncooked quinoa – rinsed and cooked per package directions (I used my rice cooker)

*1 avocado

*2 hot peppers (I had serrano's on hand, but any will do)

*1/2 bunch cilantro

*1 tbsp red wine vinegar

*1/4 red onion

*1 1/2 cups black beans (you can use one can or fresh – I used the leftover black beans from last Monday)

*1 tsp sea salt

*1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen – I used fresh roasted corn)

Directions

*cool the quinoa slightly (I just threw the bowl in the freezer while I made the sauce)

*put the avocado, onion, cilantro, & hot peppers into a food processor or blender. I used my vitamix. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if needed (will depend on the ripeness of your avocado)

*add the black beans, salt, and avocado sauce to the quinoa and mix well. I prefer to eat it cold, but can be eaten right away if you're desperate.

I put it atop a salad with some tomatoes and sprinkled just a hint of red wine vinegar on top. An awesome no oil added yummy dinner!

 

On a side note, I've always considered myself a vanilla girl. My fav ice cream has always been vanilla (except a period as a girl when I'd give just about anything for a scoop of Blue Moon). When given the choice, I usually choose simple fare. And then I discovered Salted Caramel Chocolate Coconut Bliss Ice Cream. I had it at VVC2013, and my Whole Foods has finally started carrying it. And then it got me thinking – I don't eat plain food. I'm a spice snob and love to make good and tasty and flavorful food. So it seems I am no longer just a vanilla girl after all.

FITNESS

Well, my youngest is REALLY getting into biking (I sense a triathlete in the making), so I've done some running while she bikes, and today we went on her longest ride yet. That child cranked out 8 miles like it was nothing.

D's also been going on rides with R from our house to the park, then hiking around the park trails. So he's working out too (which I love).

 

D and I have been talking, and the three of us may be signing up for an October Breast Cancer 10 miler. I think it would be cool. I went on a bike trip with my Dad as a kid (the great bike ride across WI), and when I told R about it this morning, she announced that we have to do it next summer. We shall see, but that would be awesome.

LIFE

Busy, busy, busy. I know that's nothing new, but sometimes it would be nice to not be so busy! It's not even work that has me feeling overwhelmed (though it's crazy right now between a ton of projects, hard looming deadlines, and it being budget season), but life outside of work has been nuts.

We're still dealing with maintenance issues at home. The AC broke again yesterday, but was fixed today. The tech thinks ants got in and disrupted the arc or something, so now we're going to get inspected and treated for ants. That treatment is tomorrow. New insulation is being put in under the house, and we're getting measured for that tomorrow, and the tree guy is taking his sweet-a$$ time getting the dead and fallen tree out of here! Last I heard he MIGHT be here Friday.

The good news is the fan under the house is just fine and is running again, so hopefully we won't have any more moisture build up problems.

We're also trying to nail down A to define what she needs before she leaves for college. In 2 weeks. Oh, and then there's dealing with the fact that my first born child is leaving home. In 2 weeks.

But enough complaining, things have been awesome too. I took today off to spend with R, and after our long trail ride, we are about to head to Busch Gardens for some fun and fireworks!

 

 

I’m a Google-Diagnosis Rock Star

FOOD

The past two days have been green smoothies for breakfast. They were both pretty much the same, except the greens. Water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and kale yesterday, and subbed in Romaine today. This morning I made a double batch to take to work in case I got hungry at the office mid-afternoon!  I ended up drinking the leftovers after getting home from work.

I didn’t eat lunch yesterday because it was too hot to eat. I snacked on frozen fruit (while trying to find a way to shove myself into the freezer), and had the rest of my spicy tofu soup for dinner.

I also made a batch of banana bread. My bananas were about to turn and it was either peel and freeze them or make bread. I chose to bake the bread – but used the toaster oven so I didn’t add to the already oppressive heat of the house by turning the oven on!

For lunch today I made another big batch of cucumber gazpacho from Going Raw. This has quickly become my new favorite raw soup.  Judita Wignall is brilliant, and if you’re on Twitter, follow her @judita

I whipped up a quick Indian meal for dinner tonight. It was a long day and I forgot to pre-plan dinner, so after taking a look around, ended up with the below. It was quite tasty!

Ingredients

*1/2 block pressed tofu, cubed

*1/4 chopped onion

*1/2 tbsp. minced garlic

*1 tbsp. Rogan Josh season

*1 can lite coconut milk

*about 1/4 – 1/3 head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces

*2 handfuls kale (so scientific right?! But you know exactly what I mean!)

Directions

*heat a non-stick pan on medium-high. When hot, add tofu and onion and sauté for a few minutes.

*add the garlic and sauté for several more minutes. You don’t want the tofu dark brown, but a nice light stir-fry.

*add the seasoning, stir well.

*add coconut milk and cauliflower. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook until your desired degree of mushiness of the cauliflower.

*add the kale, recover, and cook another 5 minutes.

*salt to taste and eat it!

So really the basics of this recipe are the onion, garlic, and coconut milk. The spice blend can be as varied as you want. I have my hippie spice box (I am a spice snob) and it’s fun to just see what I have and what might taste good together. I went with the Rogan Josh, but almost did the Bangkok or Tandoori blends.

FITNESS

Yeah, I got nothing on this yesterday or today. Yesterday I was home dealing with maintenance people and, with it 90 degrees IN the house, I did enough sweating.

Today was just a really long day and my plan of going for a run was killed by rain storms.

LIFE

Well, I will say life is better than it was two days ago. And I’m a Google-diagnosis GODDESS. Yes…I was dead on with what was wrong. Bad motor. It finally got fixed in the late afternoon yesterday. The house really didn’t get well cooled down until sometime in the middle of the night, but hey…it’s fixed and that’s pretty much all that matters.

With that said….Tuesday night was pretty horrific. I didn’t end up sleeping outside, though it was tempting. R slept on my bedroom floor because my room has more windows and more likely to have some type of breeze. Not sure it did, but we didn’t care if she crashed on our floor.

As rough as our night was, I felt the worst for A. She spiked a fever late that evening and had no relief at all. She stayed downstairs on the couch all night since the living room was the coolest in the house – relatively speaking. She mostly watched TV and alternated lying on the couch and on the wood floor where it was a little cooler. Poor baby.

I stayed home yesterday (A ran a fever all day, even with alternating Tylenol and Motrin every 4 hours), but it broke just before bed. She slept in my room a bit while the AC guy was tromping around the house, but was mostly just miserable. I’m happy to report that the only thing she has today is a sore throat and an insufferable case of boredom.

The tree guy “might” fit us in this weekend. The plumber called and I have to call him back to make an appt. to fix the upstairs shower (forgot to mention that one), and the guy to fix the moisture barrier and do the treatment called today and we’re playing phone tag. D is taking the plumber, I’m taking the fungal treatment, and we’ll collectively figure out tree-guy. Whew!

I went to my new office today! All my stuff was there (except a printer) and I managed to unpack, get a ton of work done, and had a very good day. The commute sucks – especially in the evening – so instead of a 10-15 minute commute, it’s 45-60.

As usual D took R to day camp and snapped morning pics both days (I love that – it’s been almost 2 yrs that he’s done that with her every day).

Now, I’m going to go make lunches for R and I (not D since he has offsite meetings all day tomorrow and won’t be in the office), and prep all the ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner (slow cooker red beans and rice), and then drag my happy a$$ off to bed.

G’night peeps.

Psychic Treadmill

FOOD

Holy crap, I feel like I need to do a week in review! I can't believe it's been a full week since my last blog post. I'm telling ya, vacations and holiday weeks make me completely lose track of time!

I have two recipes for ya to make up for it. They're both versatile and can be switched up for any possible flavor combinations your brains can dream up. The first one is a sammich filling. I feel like I'm cheating for calling this a recipe really. It was more of a “what the heck do I have that I can throw together for a main dish because I'm starving” kind of thing.

Crissie's Tofu Curry Sammiches

Ingredients

*leftover tofu – mine were grilled curry triangles I made by marinating them in veggie broth, ginger, and sweet curry powder. However – ANY will work…smoked, Italian, etc. I had about 8 ounces.

*1/2 cup vegan mayo. I used the blue capped Nayonaise.

*2 tbsp dijon mustard

Directions

*cut the tofu into smallish pieces – I did small cubes

*mix the mayo and mustard together. Add the tofu and mix well.

*eat however you want to – I put mine in corn tortillas and topped with some hot sauce and avocado.

Crissie's Garlicky Pinto Beans and Rice (Pressure Cooker recipe)

Ingredients

*1 bag of pinto beans, soaked for 8 hours or overnight (I started soaking when I woke up in the morning)

*3 inch strip of kombu seaweed (if you have it – if not, no big thing)

*4 bay leaves

*2-4 cups leftover COOKED rice (I had brown rice from recipes earlier in the week).

*6 cups of broth (I used homemade veggie broth)

*2 tsp oil (I used olive oil)

*1 onion, diced

*2-3 pureed tomatoes (a can of diced or stewed tomatos – not drained – would work also)

10 cloves of garlic (minced or chopped fine)

*1 tsp cumin

*1 tsp dried cilantro (or 2 tbsp fresh)

*1 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

Directions

*rinse the soaked beans, put in the pressure cooker with the seaweed (if using – it allegedly helps reduce gasiness of the beans), bay leaves, and broth.

*bring to high pressure, cook for 10 minutes, and let come down naturally (vs. quick release)

*keep about 1 cup of the cooking liquid, but drain the rest.

*Heat the oil in the pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and slowly roast until nicely browned – but not burnt. (if your pressure cooker isn't a non stick surface, add up to 1 tbsp oil)

*Add the onion, turn the heat up to medium, and sautee for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent, but not brown.

*Add the rice, and stir well – similar to making fried rice. Add cumin, cilantro, and salt, and mix well.

*Add the beans – they will be mushy. Stir completely – the beans will take on a refried bean appearance, and that's perfect.

*Simmer for 10 minutes – adding reserved cooking liquid if necessary.

*EAT! I made quesadillas with them by spreading the beans and rice on a corn tortilla, adding sliced avocado, tomato, a small amount of grated vegan Teeze, topping with another corn tortilla and pan-frying it until golden. Top with a ton of hot sauce and pretend you're on the coast of Mexico.

 

This is a family pleaser to be sure. The rest of my family isn't vegan and they raved about it.

All the rest is just going to be a week in pictures review since you're probably tired of reading this much….

this one was fun. I was in an all day summit meeting on Monday, and brought my own food, naturally. The biggest topic of conversation for awhile there was “the what's Crissie eating?” game. Fruit salad, a raw cucumber gazpacho (KILLER), and a salad jar. The containers were quite a topic too….

FITNESS

I loaded up my iPod with some guided yoga and did a couple “hot” sessions in the back yard. It's hilarious watching my Sammie pups do down dog when I'm doing down dog. But I'll tell you – shivasana (corpse pose) isn't relaxing when your dog realizes you're lying on the ground and starts licking your face and sitting on you (she's an 80 lb “pup”). It is cute though.

My swim workout yesterday got cut short when my goggles snapped after 15 laps. I finished out on a kickboard and back stroke, but was quite aggrevated none the less.

Today I went to the Y with my husband and daughter. They made plans to run together (D is thinking of starting a running program, and R LOVES to run), so I tagged along. They did about 20-30 min on the treadmill then hit the outdoor pool to goof off.

I can't help myself – I love running and am absolutely convinced I can find a way to keep doing it, despite the whole joint disease crap. I thought the treadmill would be the perfect thing, since the landing is so much softer than pounding pavement. I went in not expecting too much other than a fast walk at a steep incline, but willing to bump it up if I felt OK (I'll be honest – the knees have been KILLING me since last week's P90X plyo adventure).

My knee twinged a bit the first 5 minutes or so, but I did bump it up and do some running intervals for 32 minutes. Run 2, walk on an incline for 1, repeat. It was awesome, I was a sweaty mess, and felt great.

As a silly side note, I was amazed at how the heart rate display on the treadmill was dead on – even though I wasn't holding the handle. I kept thinking “wow, based on my age and weight entry, it's nailing the assumed HR based on my speed!”. Yeah…..not a psychic treadmill. I was wearing my Polar HR monitor, and the treadmill is apparently Fitlixx and Polar compatible. So my monitor was transmitting to the treadmill display. Still…a psychic treadmill would be pretty cool.

I wanted a longer workout, so I hit up one of the bikes for about 10 min, but it bugged my knee, so I finished up with an extra 20 on the Elliptical. All in all, thrilled with the workout and torched almost 480 calories (per my HR watch, and not the psychic equipment).

 

LIFE

Since it was a holiday week, it was very light on the work front. Many people take off or full vacations, so I ended up getting a TON done and fully caught up from my vacation.

My oldest was apparently so excited about my DIY spa Sunday last week, that she invited a bunch of girls over, read through my books, and spent all day Tuesday doing a spa day too!

I also got to hang out with AC one evening too. Pedicures, wine, and dinner. Always a perfect evening.

It's weird with M gone. Thankfully his camp posts pictures on Flickr occasionally, and I've seen 7 of him in the last week. He's clearly having fun. I will NOT say being surrounded by girls in bikini's are the reason (he's the boy on the left)….I email him everyday giving the DL on our mundane days, but hopefully it makes him happy.

 

R started day camp this week to. On Monday, she spent a good half hour explaining to me the difference between a recurve and compound crossbow – and why she prefers one over the other.

On the 4th, we usually go to Busch Gardens for their fireworks display, but just weren't feeling up to it. D took R to the Norfolk waterfront for their display, and A and I stayed home and watched 4 hours of So You Think You Can Dance. I know. Don't say it….

I took R to the water park on Friday afternoon. We packed a cooler with lunch and water bottles, and dealt with the massive crowds until we couldn't take it any more. It was still fun to hang out though!

I also spent half a day reworking our family budget. We have the major expense of a kid heading to college next month (YIKES), and decided it was time to take a new look. D and I have a new one and am quite happy with it. A lot of changes, but they're good changes. More focus on investments and retirement (which, despite my baby face, will creep up on me when I'm not paying attention) than traveling and going out all the time!

To that end, I also started looking at my grocery expenses. Between groceries and eating out, we spend a ridiculous amount! So, I had fun doing research and shopping differently than I normally do. I'm amazed at the results – tons of food, organic fruits and veggies, and spent 1/10th of what I normally do. CRAZY. It's sort of becoming a game now….the “how little can I spend” game! I'm competitive. I'll win :)

Other than cleaning and goofing off, D and I have watched several Netflix movies and I'm about 95% to convincing him we don't need cable. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I promise that life getting back to normal will mean more regular posts and less weekly novellas.

 

Mayo With Law & Order Theme Music

FOOD

Today was fun with mayonnaise! No…not that nasty stuff made with raw eggs….but the groovy vegan kind. Nasoya has come out with some revamped vegan mayonnaise (and for those that were Miracle Whip kids like I was, they have a normal version too!).

They sent me two jars on the house to see if I could make anything fun…and I did. Here are two of their stories (insert Law and Order music here).

First up was a Tofu eggless salad. It’s sweet and spicy and mustardy. Here’s the recipe!

Crissie’s Sweet & Spicy Two Mustard Tofu Salad

Ingredients

*1/2 cup whipped Nayo Whipped

*2 tbsp dijon mustard

*2 tbsp yellow mustard

*1/2 tsp salt

*1 celery stalk – diced small

*2 green onions – chopped with about 1/2 of the green part

*1/4 cup blend of bread and butter pickles and pickled jalapenos (a sweet and spicy relish would work great if you can find one)

*12 ounces lite firm tofu (from the box on the shelf, not the produce section packed in water).

Directions

*Blend everything except the tofu in a dish.

*Chop the tofu into small pieces. This works awesome in a hardboiled egg slicer.

*Eat on anything you like. I used some gluten free bread, but see this as road trip food on crackers this coming week!

I wish I had some sprouts to put on top!  Some fresh ground pepper was nice though.

My second dish was a topping for some tempeh tacos. For this one, I used the regular Nayonaise (not the whipped) to create a topping for my dinner. Here’s the full recipe.

Crissie’s Tempeh and Potato Taco’s with Simple Spicy Aoili

Ingredients for Tacos

*8 ounces tempeh – cubed and preboiled for 20 minutes (allegedly helps with digestion)

*2 tsp chipotle chili powder

*1 tsp cumin

*1 tsp adobo seasoning

*1/2 tsp salt

*1/2 of a lite beer – I used Miller lite, but any beer will do

*3-4 dashes liquid smoke

*1/2 tsp agave nectar

*2 small potatoes – peeled, diced, and microwaved in saltwater for 4 minutes

Directions for Tacos

*Coat the tempeh cubes in the spices and let sit for a few minutes. Add the beer, liquid smoke, and agave. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

*After nuking the spuds (be sure they’re covered in salt water), run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

*Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high until well heated. Add the tempeh and potatoes and stir fry until cooked through – about 15 minutes.

*Eat however you love tacos! I put mine on some corn tortillas with a spicy cabbage blend and my Nayonaise Spicy Aoili!

Ingredients for Simple Spicy Aoli

*1/2 cup Nayonaise

*3 tbsp hot sauce of choice (I used siracha, but any fav hot sauce will do)

*juice of 1 lime

Directions for Simply Spicy Aoili

*blend all that stuff together! I used a small blender, but a wisk would work too.

So here’s my take on Nayonaise. They were at the Vida Vegan Con Conference last month, and that was the first I saw of their revamped product. I will say, I like it. I grew up a Miracle Whip kid, and this is the first vegan company that I’ve found that has tried to replicate Miracle Whip over regular mayo. Don’t get me wrong…after I grew up and before I was vegan, I became a mayo eater becaues my husband is….but I missed Miracle Whip. It’s fun to have it back…in a cruelty free sense.

If you make these recipes, please let me know. Next time you’re in the market for some vegan mayo, try out Nasoya.

FITNESS

I was up earlier than everyone today and plugged in a workout DVD and then did a short yoga sequence to work out my kinks. Nothing major, but still got my blood pumping.  I wanted to run, but it was windy and I don’t want to push my luck!  Tomorrow though, I’m hoping too (if the planned storms hold off).

LIFE

First of all a big ‘ol HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the Dad’s out there! Of course the two most important to me are D and my Dad!

We had a low-key day. We went to the outdoor pool at the Y and goofed off and then came home and relaxed. Right now, all five of us are sitting outside chilling by the fire light. M is playing his guitar, D is catching up on Twitter, A is lying on the deck reading, R is playing with fireflies, and I’m blogging. Good times.

Naysoya sent me their products on the house. That said, I’m giving my honest opinion about their two products.