Thai & Taco Tuesday!


I usually make up my morning smoothies as I go, but sometimes I like to follow a recipe to try something new.  And like yesterday, today I made another one from 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This one was called Super Blue Recharge and was loaded with several super nutrients like Acai and hemp seeds.  It was filling, and I only managed to drink half.

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Lunch was a BAS.  Romaine, beets, scallions, cucumber, herbed tofu, cauliflower, and tomatoes tossed with a tahini/maple dressing.

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!
much prettier before tossing in the dressing!
love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing!  Also - nothing like a fresh dressing too!
love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing! Also – nothing like a fresh dressing too!
after adding dressing.  It was SO good.  Couldn't finish it, but that's okay...BAS for the win!
after adding dressing. It was SO good. Couldn’t finish it, but that’s okay…BAS for the win!

Dinner was the leftover Thai soup and the rest of the family had tacos (I wasn’t feeling tacos myself).  So our usual Taco Tuesday became Thai & Taco Tuesday!


Another run on a warm day.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when winter actually hits.

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face.  It was so strange...
changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face. It was so strange…

On a separate (but fun) note, a classmate of mine has suggested running the Great Wall Marathon when we’re in China in May!  While there’s no way I’d be full marathon ready by then (not between school and work), they have a half and an 8.5k.  I’m actually excited about the idea – though since Virginia Beach has no hills, I’m thinking the 8.5 k (and my training isn’t half-marathon prep right now either).  We’ll see 🙂


Today was a work from home day.  Ironically, it was largely spent doing research and writing a white paper on managing virtual teams and being a virtual leader 🙂 Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

A had a great follow-up appointment, and she’s cleared to read and drive again on the 1st!  She has one more appt with the retinal specialist on the 6th, but so far, they’re pleased with her healing.

D also gave me my Christmas present!  It was a bit belated, but don’t care.  I can be really tough on headphones, and I broke my last pair.  I’ve been wearing these totally uncomfortable ones since, so these were perfect!  They also have a Dark Maul thing going on, which I love.

comfy headphones!  The SoundSport model.  Perfect.
comfy headphones! The SoundSport model. Perfect.

This evening it was a meeting with M and a driving instructor.  Yes, my now adult son if FINALLY getting his drivers license.  It’ll be good too since he’s going to be a commuter college student instead of an on-campus one.

And now – blogging, dishes, laundry, and studying!  And with any luck, going to bed fairly early.



Pizza Fun, Ticket Bonanza, & Practical (ish) Meal Planning


Yesterday was all about the tofu pot pie.  Seriously, I had it for breakfast AND lunch.  You know.  Need to clear out the space in the fridge because I was going grocery shopping…

Dinner was nothing fancy – the leftover boozy beans from the other night over a bowl of romaine, onion, and quinoa.  No pics.  My bad.

This morning was a smoothie (though NOT a green one!).  This one is from one of my fav smoothie books ever – 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This is the Strawberry-Chia Synergy one.  By the way, great book if you’re new to smoothies.  I’ve bought it as a gift a few times now!

pre-blend before heading to the office
pre-blend before heading to the office


Lunch was a to-go salad I brought to work.  Romaine with scallions in the big section, sliced beets and cubed herbed tofu in the smaller ones.  I brought and used up the rest of the dressing I made the other day (balsamic/orange/champagne).


Dinner was homemade pizza!  I’ve modified a dough recipe through the years, and here’s what I’m currently using.

Crissie’s Pizza Dough (makes 4 good sized pizzas)


  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar (we use the raw sugar, but any sweetener would do)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (I use an infused olive oil with Italian seasoning.  If using regular olive oil, add 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-8 cups flour
  • any toppings that tickle your fancy

Directions for Dough

*I use a kitchen aid stand mixer so it’s ridiculously easy, but you can do this by hand too

  • put the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl and let it proof for about 10 minutes (it should get a bit bubbly)
  • add the salt and olive oil
  • turn the mixer on the lowest setting and add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until you get a nice dough (or do this with a wooden spoon and call if your bicep workout for the day)
  • if doing by hand, you’ll likely have to hand knead in the last 1 – 1 1/2 cups
  • let sit until doubled.  At least an hour, but can let it go all day if you want

Directions for Cooking

  • preheat oven to 450
  • spray your pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal if you have it or flour if you don’t
  •  turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead in any dough you need to make it easy to work with
  • cut into 4 sections
  • roll each out and place on the pan
  • top with a bit of olive oil – I also sprinkle with garlic salt and extra Italian seasoning.  For those who like spice, crushed red pepper is a great add here.  Cooking it mellows the heat out a bit, but retains a good bite
  • top with a sauce of your choosing (tomato, prepared pizza, BBQ, white sauce, pesto…you get the idea)
  • add any other toppings you dig
  • cook!  Set timer for 15.  That usually does the trick – but if you’re extra loaded you may want another minute or two.

Dig in!

some of the veggies
some of the veggies
decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating...)
decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating…)


Holy soreness, batman.  I don’t know if it’s the daily running after NOT running as much, or the yoga class that stretched my hamstrings in the other direction, but it’s all sore.

I did a light walk/jog yesterday to work out some kinks and yoga today.


Yesterday morning was meal planning, grocery shopping, and studying.  For meal planning I use One Note.  That way I can share the grocery list with D if he does the shopping (usually so I can study!).  Here’s the plan for this week.  Knowing it’s more of a guideline than a plan!


12/27 – 1/2







Green Smoothie – Sassy Green Kick-Start p. 81

Colin’s Blueberry Muffins (PPN)


Homemade Pizza (normal dough & PPN dough)


Green Smoothie – Strawberry Chia Synergy p 82


Mac No Cheese

Snobby Joes/Misc Sammich Fun


Green Smoothie Super Blue Recharge p. 85


Taco Tuesday!



Green Smoothie – Green Chia Monster p. 93


Baked Tofu

Sautéed mushrooms


Roasted potatoes or mashers


Green Smoothie – whatever I have!


Leftovers & Snacks


Green Smoothie




Green Smoothie


Build-A-Bowl Asian Style

 BAS Stuff:

  • Roasted Chickpeas (PPN p. 83)
  • Tofu Feta (PPN p. 113)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice

Misc Stuff for Lunches

  • Egg-less Tofu Salad
  • Hummus w/veggies
  • Wraps
  • Buffalo Tofu (PPN p. 154)
  • PPK red Thai soup
  • Marinated cucumber slices (Asian style -> Ani Phyo)
  • Caribbean Quinoa Bowl
  • Kale chips

To give you and idea of how it’s just a guideline – totally didn’t make pizza last night.  Ended up going to Busch Gardens with the young one and letting everyone else fend for themselves.  But…because pizza night is so much fun, moved it to today and am totally skipping the snobby Joe night (lentil based sloppy joes).  I typically put a bunch of extra recipes or items I want to prep so there’s always food on hand for lunches, snacks etc.  They don’t all get made, but it’s the basis for the grocery list.  The goal is no one starves when the week gets into full swing and we’re all so busy, we end up ordering take out.  Also, I try to have a BAS most days (Big A$$ Salad) since they’re fun, yummy, and good for me too.

Oh, and for reference, PPN is Plant Pure Nation – another book I love.

So, hello novel.  After meal planning and all the associated fun, I asked R if she wanted to go to Busch Gardens for Christmas Town.  Because nothing says Christmas like 80 degree weather…..

D was at the office, A was with a friend, and M had no interest.  So just R and I went and had a blast.  We spent much of the time in an arcade (rides weren’t going for the most part), and she hit some mega jackpot and was buried in tickets by the time we were done.  It was awesome.

as we got to the park
as we got to the park

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getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey
getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey
skee ball
skee ball

Today was back to the office where I sorted through 1200 emails!  It took me almost 7 hours to clear out my inbox and catch up, but it was great.

I got home at a good time, spent about 4 hours studying, made dinner, and am not getting ready for bed!

So good night all (oh, and Chelsea managed to not lose today.  Not exactly stellar, but it beats getting our butts kicked…).

I’m Petitioning for “Kaley” to be Added to the Dictionary


It’s hard to believe, but there was almost no leftovers from last night!  A’s boyfriend went home with some, and that left one container with roasted maple sweet potatoes, mashers, and mushroom gravy.  I claimed it as breakfast because I was up first 🙂


Lunch was my favorite soup.  Here’s the link to it since it’s definitely not an original creation.  It’s so creamy and yummy and kaley (it’s a word…trust me – even if I just made it up to reference something “full of kale”) with a hint of spice.  My eldest, A, was equally excited.


Dinner was a BAS with some buffalo tofu bites.  Nothing fancy, just pressed and cubed tofu tossed with Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce and baked for 20 minutes at 350.  I put it on a head of baby romaine lettuce, red onion, hearts of palm (thanks Brazil, I’m now addicted), and cherry tomatoes.  I put a splash of the dressing I made the other day (balsamic/orange/champagne) and it was perfect!



I went to yoga today!  Not just in my bedroom, living room, or hotel room, but an actual class.  It’s been since August!  Which, if you’re a regular reader you know is sort of like cutting my arm off (before I got accepted to my grad school program, I was accepted to a yoga teacher training program).  It’s not for lack of wanting to go, but more about having the time (or really, taking the time) to do anything that took me away from either home or the office.

There’s a cute yoga studio near me that D and I had gone to a few times, but it was next to a dance studio, and it’s tough to get your zen on with hip hop blaring through the walls.  Fortunately, they just moved (just a few doors down in the same strip mall – but far enough away to blunt Beyonce)…

Anyway, they also happen to have a student special for the holiday’s, so I swiped that up and went, mat in hand.  It was great, and so excited to have a studio close to home finally.

After getting home (and having lunch and studying for a few hours), I went for a run.  Today was cooler than the past few (60’s), and it was just before sunset when I went out.


You pretty much already know my day!  Leftovers, yoga, study, cook, run, cook, blog.

Accounting got me out of having to watch a less than stellar movie, so I never thought I’d be grateful for that:)  D got the dubious honor of watching it with R.  Way to take one for the team, babe.

I plan to spend the next hour or so meal planning for next week so I can get my grocery shopping and prep done early tomorrow.  That way I can focus on studies, laundry, and family before heading back to the office on Monday!

Merry Global Warming


Christmas Eve dinner was some homemade baked beans, vegan sausage, and a butternut squash risotto.

baked bean ingredients!
baked bean ingredients!

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Of course with this being a holiday morning, it had to start with a Bloody Mary!  It’s more or less a smoothie, but really spicy and with vodka 🙂

super spicy - tons of horseradish, jalapeno, and tobasco...
super spicy – tons of horseradish, jalapeno, and tobasco…

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Mid morning I had some Ezekiel toast with Diaya cream cheese, sliced tomato, and fresh pepper.

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Lunch was a BAS with romaine, onion, tofu feta, and an agave-mustard dressing.


Dinner – while not a pretty picture – was awesome.  Tofu pot pie, mashers, mushroom gravy, roasted maple sweet potatoes, corn bread, and a lemon bundt cake for dessert.

not a pretty pic...sorry.
not a pretty pic…sorry.

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It’s hard to not go for a run when it’s 80 degrees in December.  For all the climate change deniers out there – you’re idiots.  I mean – I get the cyclical long-term environmental changes the Earth goes through and the arguments about why we’re not actually causing this crazy weather – but seriously.  Idiots.  The human race has more (negative) impact on the Earth than it could have managed on it’s own.


It’s been a nice and quiet couple of days.  Yesterday was spent cleaning and studying for me, and relaxing for everyone else.

During dinner we all watched Olympus Has Fallen and hung out downstairs.

We started wrapping gifts and Ginny decided this was the perfect time to hang out under the tree without trying to destroy it.

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This morning it was time to exchange gifts, play with them half the day, and then cook and relax some more.  I didn’t actually study today (shhh….don’t tell my professors 😉 ).

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R alternated between Dr. Who Lego’s and her new drone she flew around the neighborhood while listening to her new stereo, M got VR goggles and was digging on those all day, and A’s boyfriend came over to hang out, watch movies, and spend time with our family.

After dinner, it was some wine and relaxing to a John Lee Hooker double album I got!

Bumble was exhausted from a day of climbing mounds of wrapping paper, chasing catnip balls, and general cat hayhem
Bumble was exhausted from a day of climbing mounds of wrapping paper, chasing catnip balls, and general cat mayhem

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate, and an amazing day all around.

Discriminatory Airplane Manufacturers & The Joy of Being in My Own Kitchen


My last meal in Rio!  Found a cafeteria with some friends and enjoyed a filling lunch.


One of the best things about getting home after time away is getting into my kitchen!

Sunday night I didn’t cook (had been up for about 40 hrs, so D went to Whole Foods and picked up some essentials and a yummy soup for dinner).

Monday morning was a green smoothie to take to work!  A simple affair of vanilla coconut milk, banana, mango, and spinach.  For lunch, I met up with D for sushi (sweet potato rolls for me), and dinner was a monster BAS!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!
in the office bright and early on Monday morning!


Components of the BAS (Big A$$ Salad for the newbie readers) were chopped romaine and spinach, roasted mustard red potatoes, Cajun tofu bites (simple sauté, sprinkle with Cajun season and finished with a bit of soy sauce), red onion, cucumber, and tomato.  The dressing was a simple whipping of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, and champagne.

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!
shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

Last night, D and I went out to dinner to a little place in Virginia Beach called Eurasia.  They made me a yummy dish of tri color quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, peas, kale, and a balsamic reduction.  With a side salad topped with beets, it was a great meal.

sorry for the bad lighting!
sorry for the bad lighting!

This morning started with another green smoothie.  Coconut water and chia seeds (left to soak about 10 minutes), banana, strawberry, grape, mango, and spinach.

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Today was the perfect day for a nice long run.  Mid 70’s, and while not exactly sunny, it was finally not raining!  I laced up around noon and ran off all the stress, frustration, and exhaustion of the past few weeks.  Best therapy ever.


So after my last post, I spent much of the day wandering and shopping in Rio with DW, JG, and her husband K who flew out to spend a few fun post-residency days.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.
a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

I went back to the hotel and spent a bit of time on the roof with some classmates as we were all dispersing to either airports or other hotels for those staying on longer.

me an NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya - who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway :)
me and NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya – who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway 🙂

At 930pm Rio time, I started my very long journey back home.

a live band rocking out in the airport because...Rio.
a live band rocking out in the airport because…Rio.
for some reason, this made me smile.
for some reason, this made me smile.

My flight from Rio to Miami wasn’t too bad, though I didn’t get any sleep.  First of all, sleeping sitting up just sucks, secondly, the dumb plane has built in pillows (I think I was on an Airbus, but not sure) that stick out from the seat and cannot be removed – and because I’m short, they force me to keep my head at an unnatural angle.  Jerks.  Also, the woman sitting in the window seat (I had the aisle) kept getting up to brush her teeth.  As such, I ended up watching a little over 3 movies before landing in Miami.

There was a long wait in passport control and customs while entering the US, and I managed to at least delete all the junk email from work!  I will say, I was a bit annoyed when the customs guy informed me he liked my hair better in my passport picture than when he saw me at 4 am after being awake for 24 hrs.  Dude.  Not cool.

I had to kill 8 hrs in the Miami airport which was also annoying.  Nothing was open and plugs are hard to find.  I eventually camped out near a wall with a plug to charge my phone and Surface and then wandered back and forth to stay awake.

The flight home to Virginia was on an Embraer plane, which didn’t have those annoying head rests, and I managed to doze for half the flight!

D, M, and R picked me up at the airport (A couldn’t, and I’ll get to that in a bit), and whisked me home.  After some cleaning and a long shower, it was relaxing until going to bed around 8pm.  It was  a long time to be awake (about 40 hrs), but I fell asleep quickly and slept hard.  Next day was Monday morning, so it was back to work and life as it was before Brazil!

While I was away, D had to deal with a few issues, one of which was emergency eye surgery for our eldest.  She noticed something wrong with her peripheral vision, went to our eye doctor (THANK GOODNESS) and was immediately sent to a retinal specialist because apparently her retina had almost completely detached.  So, it was right into surgery for her last Thursday.  It’s been difficult for her and D is absolutely super-dad.  Good news is that A is healing well.  She had to have an additional procedure yesterday which hurt like hell (laser treatment to generate scar tissue to plug the tear), but the retina has reattached.  She has to spend a week bascially lying on her left side so gravity does the rest of the work, but she should be all healed in about a month.

Otherwise it’s been coffee on the back porch, reading, relaxing, and taking care of family!

back porch java!
back porch java!
the first Midori Sour I've had in nearly 20 yrs...
the first Midori Sour I’ve had in nearly 20 yrs…
D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.
D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

One last note about a book I’m reading and the person who suggested it.  FF lives in Sao Paulo and was our guide and honorary classmate for the entire two weeks we were in Brazil.  During tours and discussions he spoke so passionately about the people and his hope for the future – and candid about the issues they’re facing as a nation.  He mentioned a particular book, which I picked up and will be reading throughout the holiday break.


Bye From Brazil!!!

Last post coming to you from sunny Brazil!


This week has been much harder than last week on the food front.  Sao Paulo had some great eats, and while many enjoyed Rio, even when I could finagle a vegan meal, it was mostly incredibly boring (side salad, steamed rice, flavorless steamed veggies).  It wasn’t all hopeless though.  The hotel breakfast provided good eats and there were always tons of fresh juices.  And I’ve become a huge fan of coconut water!

today's juice in class - beet, orange, and ginger
today’s juice in class – beet, orange, and ginger
typical morning breakfast this week
typical morning breakfast this week

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we went to a favela restaurant the first day for a traditional meal - which I don't eat. I got this. Boring, but good enough.
we went to a favela restaurant the first day for a traditional meal – which I don’t eat. I got this. Boring, but good enough.
frozen fruit bars
frozen fruit bars

That said, I did have two wonderful experiences.  I found I can likely eat my weight in hearts of palm!  I had them as often as I could and it was just cool.

Our last night we went to this amazing restaurant as a farewell dinner on the outskirts of Rio.  It’s essentially a collection of tree houses at a restaurant called Aprazivel.

LM once again ensured I had a special vegan meal, which consisted of grilled hearts of palm, a lovely tomato/rice dish, some bread with sweet and sour eggplant, and slices of pineapple and mango with mint and fresh lime.

But by far the best was the strawberry sorbet.  Here’s why…

I texted D from Aprazivel to tell him I was finally having an incredible meal in Rio!  Not only was it an amazing view and experience, but the food was stellar.  He asked where, and I texted him the place assuming he was just going to look it up.  Instead, he called them (from Virginia!), spoke to the manager and informed her that 1  – I was vegan and 2 – it was my last night in Brazil and he was hoping they could make me a special dessert.  I almost started crying when she climbed up our tree house to say she had just spoken to my husband, and that this was his gift of love.  Best sorbet I’ve ever had.  And D, once again, wins Best Husband Award!

My amazing meal last night!
My amazing meal last night!
and right after my special dessert delivery!
and right after my special dessert delivery!


Walks and runs on the beach!  Also – a killer samba class yesterday, which was tons of fun.  Taught by a very famous instructor here in Brazil and an often instructor on Dancing with the Stars

the studio
the studio
getting ready to spend 90 minutes shakin it!
getting ready to spend 90 minutes shakin it!


Well, it’s hard to explain all I’ve seen in the past week since we came to Rio from Sao Paulo.  We had one day off from classes, and did some exploring.  In Rio, I’ve been staying at Copacabana beach, and am right next to Ipanema.  I went wandering and exploring all over both, and after the group trip to the favela (ghetto), it was street fair shopping.


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The favela.  Very sharp contrast from the ritzy beach area.

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The Hippie Fair

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We also visited Christ the Redeemer – one of the 7 Wonders of the World!

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Got to visit the Botafogo futebol club!

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And the rest of the pics of my trip!


Rio Traffic!
Rio Traffic!

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rooftop of my hotel.  Perfect place to study!
rooftop of my hotel. Perfect place to study!

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