Finally a Grown Up Because I Have Curtains

FOOD

When I went vegan a little over 9 years ago, I had no problem giving up some foods.  Desserts were a big one for awhile – at least until I found my vegan baking mojo (and to be honest – I hate to bake and have more of a salt-tooth vs sweet tooth, so it never really bugged me).  My mom’s egg salad sammiches and tuna noodle salad were two of my favorites growing up, and even though I’ve tried multiple recipes over the years, this one still stands as my fav egg-less salad.  I don’t make it as often as I probably should, but it’s so yummy as a sammich or with crackers.  It’s mostly adapted from my mom and other recipes collected through the years, and I think is one of those stand by recipes.

Crissie’s Tofu Eggless Salad

Ingredients

  • firm silken tofu – best is the cardboard box Mori-Nu brand found in the Asian food aisle vs where regular tofu is found.  Sliced small (I still use an egg slicer for it)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
  • 4 tbsp yellow mayo
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish (I like the sweet kind)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  • mix and eat!

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I prefer toasted Ezekiel bread or whole wheat pitas and with added veggies like lettuce, tomato, and onion.

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Other eats  were an Amy’s bean burrito (hey, even I eat food from a freezer now and then!), green smoothie, salad from Moe’s (Welcome to Moe’s!), veggie soup with toast, and a yummy dinner with roasted portabello mushrooms, butternut squash risotto, and a vegan chorizo sausage.

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce
topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

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FITNESS

Runs every day (but today – yucky rain and snowy weather), yoga, and meditation.  I had my 2nd meditation class yesterday and I very much enjoyed it.

So I started this meditation class for a few reasons.  The first is that I’ve gone down this road before – gung ho to figure out how to stop the constant chatter in my brain – but gave up.  I kept thinking of all the other stuff I could get done if I didn’t just sit still.  The second is because I suck at sleeping.  Seriously – if you look up “insomnia” in the dictionary, it’s quite possible you’ll see my face.  I honestly want to learn how to turn the noise down enough to sleep like a normal person.  And finally, on the advice of a speaker we heard in Brazil last month.  He talked about meditation being a huge key to his balance (he works for a very prestigious global consulting firm), and goodness knows I could use some balance.  So…it was pretty awesome to find that the yoga studio closest to my house actually was starting a 5-week meditation course.  Naturally, I signed up!

I know it’ll take me a long time to get it, but I was heartened when a girl in my class mentioned that she, too, has difficulty sleeping, and that even one week of meditating before bed has helped.  I don’t expect a miracle overnight, but sometime in the next month would be nice!

after a long run on Friday - apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell...
after a long run on Friday – apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell…
60's yesterday and a run around the lake!
60’s yesterday and a run around the lake!

LIFE

The past few days have been pretty great.  I get up so much earlier than my family, so I’ve had a lot of quiet study time.

And while we didn’t win the lotto, my son did play for the first time (he’s 18) and won $4!

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We also – after almost a year in our new house – got curtains.  Only for 2 of the windows, but I’m feeling very grown up all of the sudden!  I fretted over them for a long time.  What looks right?  What fabric?  Ugh.  I’ve stalked Pinterest and finally after a xmas gift card from my parents and a not so subtle “get some damned curtains” nudge, we finally did.  Holy crap, curtains are expensive!  Even on sale, these two windows were nearly $300.  Yikes!  Alas, now I have the “curtain bug” and will not rest until all my windows are appropriately dressed.

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Friday night we all hung out and watched Mission Impossible.  Last night, D and I had plans to check out the new cinema café that opened near us and watch 13 (the Benghazi movie).  We even got there an hour early thinking we’d get great seats and grab a beer or something.  Silly movie was sold out!  So…we went out for dinner/drinks and then went back today to watch the flick!

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night
Bumble snuggling with M on movie night
out on Saturday eve
out on Saturday eve
and finally at the movies today!
and finally at the movies today!

The rest of the evening is doing some studying, laundry, bulk cooking, and prepping for the busy week ahead!

 

 

Have You Seen My Zen? Me Neither…

FOOD

It’s crazy, but (wait for it), I haven’t snapped many food pics lately!  Meals have been pretty standard; green smoothies, salads, and simple eats.  I did make an stew with the leftover seitan that was super awesome and ate for several meals.  See recipe – I used an electric pressure cooker.  Specifically, and Instant Pot.  You can totally do this on the stove top too -just cook longer.

Crissie’s Irish-ish Beefless Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cubed seitan (it was my leftovers!)
  • 3 peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed carrots or bagged baby carrots if you’re lazy like me
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cubed onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil (you can use any oil you want – or none in a nonstick pot)
  • 6 cups veggie stock

Directions

  • Heat the pot on the sauté setting and melt the coconut oil
  • add the seitan and stir until browned
  • add everything else in
  • close lid, cook on Soup setting for 20 minutes (or low pressure for a regular pressure cooker)

Seriously, that easy!

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would've been perfect with a chunk of crusty bread!
would’ve been perfect with a chunk of crusty bread!
a quart of leftovers!
a quart of leftovers!

Other eats…

typical smoothie for me!  Coconut water, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and spinach
typical smoothie for me! Coconut water, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and spinach

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baked and skinned sweet potato with sliced banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup.  Also cook these in the pressure cooker for 15 min before getting in the shower, so the skin falls right off and a hot breakfast is ready
baked and skinned sweet potato with sliced banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup. Also cook these in the pressure cooker for 15 min before getting in the shower, so the skin falls right off and a hot breakfast is ready

and of course….Taco Tuesday!

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FITNESS

Running almost every day and yoga several days per week.  Weather has been crazy.  High’s in the 30’s yesterday and near 60 today.  I vacillate between gloves, hat, and many layers or just a long sleeve T.  Whatever – it’s all good.  Even wore my blinky light tonight.

I also started a meditation class at the yoga studio – its a 5 week class, and have been pretty good about meditating at home.  Though sometimes it’s tough when all I can here is Leaf Blower Man, noisy family, or am too tense to slip into a zen-like state.  Who am I kidding?  I don’t think I’ve ever been in a zen-like state!  I’m trying though!

before yesterday's run.  Tank, thermal, turtleneck, sweatshirt!  Knew it was going to be cold...and I think I was mostly frozen the first 1/4 mile or so.
before yesterday’s run. Tank, thermal, turtleneck, sweatshirt! Knew it was going to be cold…and I think I was mostly frozen the first 1/4 mile or so.

LIFE

So in my last post when I mentioned it was time to get back to the routine, I forget how insane that routine can be!

Work has been good, kids have been good, school has been good – so no complaints, just very little free time.  Which is totally fine, but I realize how much time slips by between posts.

I leave you with typical life pics!

Starting with cats – one in particular who hates it when I study (which is pretty much all of the time!)

eating my hoodie tie...
eating my hoodie tie…
and then snatching my pen...
and then snatching my pen…
the cat who never snuggles - crawls in my lap whenever I'm studying!
the cat who never snuggles – crawls in my lap whenever I’m studying!

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Other cat pics because this is the internet and it would be sad and boring without cat pictures.

water thief
water thief

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oh, is that yours?
oh, is that yours?

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get outta my house
get outta my house

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my cold-night study spot.  Where they surround me - not because they love me, but because they want to be by the fire
my cold-night study spot. Where they surround me – not because they love me, but because they want to be by the fire

Morning Pictures!  I promise, R does wear different clothes every day under her hoodie.  Rest assured that you can tell because D changes has different clothes on!

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I got one because it was an ortho appointment day!
I got one because it was an ortho appointment day!

 

 

It’s a Soul II Soul Kind of Day

Bonus points for you if you get the 1989 musical reference!  Here’s a link if you did not…

FOOD

It’s been nice to have enough time at home to spend some of it in the kitchen.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as hectic as my life gets, I often give that up.  Hopefully I’ll get to keep the trend up!  I tend to forget that yummy and healthy food can be simple and not every meal needs to be a complicated affair!

Take today’s lunch, for example.  Totally amazing and yummy.  I took a whole grain pita bread topped it with a little BBQ sauce, red onion, crushed pineapple, and leftover citrus seitan from last night, baked for 10 minutes at 350, and had a tropical pizza for lunch!

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Other eats from the past few days…

Smoothies, of course…

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Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice (which was really, really good – just followed the marinade on the bottle of Jerk Seasoning)

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for the rice
for the rice

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Made my very first batch of homemade seitan!  To be honest, I’ve always been a bit leery about something called “wheat meat” and actually ate it for the first time not too long ago.  Since I had time and the right ingredients on hand, I whipped up a batch.  It’s SOOOO good.

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker
after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

Last night for dinner I made brown rice, sweet black beans (also in the pressure cooker), and a citrus marinated seitan.  Totally, totally delicious.  With enough leftovers for wraps and salads for lunches this week.

before baking
before baking
after
after
dinner!  Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt
dinner! Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

I also made a batch of homemade yogurt.  Super simple – just plain soymilk, probiotic powder, and a little raw sugar.  I incubate it for 15 hrs because I like mine super tart.

My favorite toast – Ezekiel sprouted bread with sunflower butter, sliced banana, and a little agave.

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I roasted a bunch of root veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets) with coconut oil and maple syrup.  Topped a baked potato with them – also really good.

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It got cold finally, so this morning I went with Irish oats instead of a smoothie.  With banana, cinnamon, and a very little bit of maple syrup.

made these in the pressure cooker too.  45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker?  Yeah...I'm not overly patient...
made these in the pressure cooker too. 45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker? Yeah…I’m not overly patient…

I had one meal out and it was quite a disappointment.  My area has no decent Chinese food.  I grew up with a few really good restaurants, and when I lived in the Seattle area – forget it.  The grocery store’s Asian food was better than anything I’d ever had!  Here in Hampton Roads, all the Chinese restaurants are take-out places with maybe 1 or 2 sit down restaurants.  When I was in Richmond in November and had lunch with JG, we went to Peter Chang’s – a sit down real Chinese restaurant – and my meal was awesome.  I was so excited to find out that one opened in Virginia Beach!  I was out shopping (in vain) for curtains, and stopped for lunch.  I had a clay pot of tofu and veggies, and it wasn’t all that great….

looks cool though...
looks cool though…

FITNESS

I’ve been running every day the past week or so.  Not terribly far (rebuilding some base mileage), but it’s been nice to get out there.

It’s strange going from shorts and a t-shirt to gloves and headbands!  Chilly weather is upon us.

New Year’s day I was up WAY earlier than everyone else, and since there was a gaggle of teenagers sleeping on my living room floor, I immediately left the house to grab coffee, run errands, and take my first run of the year down at the Oceanfront.

King Neptune as a running buddy!
King Neptune as a running buddy!

And this was me today after getting back from a noon run – my face is about as pink as my headband!  I suppose it wouldn’t have killed me to smile – I was in a hurry when I took it 🙂

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LIFE

It’s been a really nice week.  Quiet at work, fairly quiet at home, no classes, and lots of time to study and relax.  It’s going to be tough getting back to reality tomorrow!

New Year’s Eve is always a quiet affair for D and me.  We stay home, relax, and I tend to go to bed around 1215!  This year was no different.  M had a bunch of friends over, and effectively kicked everyone else out of the living room!  A went to a friends house, so me, D, and R watched movies in my bedroom until just before midnight.  And as usual, I was out cold by 1215!

I meet with my classmate partners in crime tonight, which will be nice.  They’re a great group and it’ll be nice to catch up.

Otherwise it’s meal planning for the week (which is done), cooking, more studying, laundry, and getting ready for everything tomorrow (back to life, back to reality! – it’s the song lyrics if you didn’t watch the video)

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures…as usual…

snuggles
snuggles
her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house
her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house
the New Years Eve drink!  Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.
the New Years Eve drink! Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.