I’m an Overachiever Because I Play with My Food


What can I say….LEFTOVERS!!!  That is certainly what this holiday weekend is about.  And not just reheating what we ate on Thursday (though that’s happened too), but getting fun with it.

Breakfast on Friday was a leftover wrap.  I threw a little bit of everything (except the apple pie) into a warm tortilla; Tofurkey, sweet potato casserole, salad, and green bean casserole.  Very tasty and filling – and a great pre-workout meal.  I will say the sweet potatoes dominated the flavors, but it was still fun to eat.

it's a wrap!

Today, breakfast was some cold diced Tofurkey on the rest of the leftover salad with a home-made dressing from a week or so ago.  Again, very yummy.

incredibly simple, but was definitely craving some raw food this morning. With the tofurkey on top, definitely kept me full for hours

Dinner was a combination of leftovers and a different side dish.  I made Panini sammiches with leftover Tofurkey, vegan mozz cheese, spinach, and avocado.  I have a cuisinart griddler that we use a LOT, but this is the first time I actually used it as a Panini press.  It was quite cool.  Even though S called me a overacheiver when I was texting her what was for dinner.  She’s just jealous 😉

prepping the sammiches for the Panini press

Served with a side of Mac N Trees (a yummy vegan macaroni and “cheeze” dish with broccoli from Appetite for Reduction), and dinner was a huge hit.  R had two huge helpings of the Mac N Trees – which made me really happy since it’s such a healthier version than the traditional alternative.  I used brown rice pasta, and no one seemed to notice at all, so this was not only low cal/fat, but gluten-free too.  Bonus!

For dessert I made Root beer Float Cupcakes!  When I went to Vida Vegan Con in August, we were given a copy of My Sweet Vegan in our swag bags.  I admit that it took me awhile to read through it, and I wish I had sooner.  What makes this book so different is how whimsical her desserts are.  I mean…root beer float cupcakes is brilliant.  I made them this evening, and it was totally fun to watch everyone’s faces as they ate them and realized they tasted JUST like rootbeer floats!  I will say, I couldn’t find root beer extract in any local store, and D ordered some for me from Amazon.  It came yesterday, so this has been on my to-do list for several days.  They didn’t disappoint!

cupcake, chocolate ganache, and vanilla frosting
a TON of leftover chocolate ganache. I'm sure I can think of lots to do with this...like maybe just get a spoon and eat it as-is!


Even though I wasn’t too glutenous on Thursday, I still wanted a good workout when I got up on Friday.  While D napped (he had eaten SO much on Thanksgiving, he couldn’t sleep), I popped in a strength training/interval workout DVD.  I rarely use DVD’s because I get annoyed with the repetition after the first time I do it, but I have to say…I only have pretty light weights at home, I didn’t want to go to the gym, and without either a workout partner or a video, I’m NOT going to strength train.

I have to say, the workout was good, and even though the weights were pretty light, I’m sore everywhere today.  In a good way, but still.  I plan on doing it tomorrow again….

About 20 min after my DVD, I decided I still felt great and had a ton of energy, so I went for a run.  That, in retrospect, may have been a mistake.  The run was great until about half way, when I just lost so much steam.  I made it through, but that last half wasn’t too much fun.


It’s been a nice weekend, most definitely.  The weather has been beautiful (high 60’s-low 70’s during the day), and we’ve enjoyed it.  During the day, the front and back doors have been open, and last night, we went to Busch Garden’s for opening day of Christmas Town.  This is their 3rd year, and it’s better than ever.  Every “country” (we live by Busch Gardens – Europe) is decked out with beautiful lights and even fake snow.  They run about half of their rides, but the draw is really the lights.  We just ended up having a great evening wandering around, loving the scenery, visiting the local artist bizarre, and totally loving the nice weather.

I did some online Black Friday shopping, and got a few great deals.  I’m now done with D and mostly done with M.  Lots left for R and A, but at least we know what this year’s “big gift” will be for each of them.

Today, I took R to gymnastics, brought her home, and then met up with S for a late lunch and a couple of beers.  We haven’t seen each other since we were up near DC, so it was high time to catch up.

The rest of this evening has been spent cooking, cleaning, and writing!  I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening catching up on the posts of the past few days, and double checking my Xmas budget!

Until then, here are a couple of pics from this evening!

Bumble sitting on R's lap. She was very proud because the cat pretty much never sits on her...
D and R with Bumble



Exploring the Concept of Gluten-Lite


I am increasingly interested in gluten-free foods and eating.  I attempted to be gluten-free during Lent, and failed.  It was just too hard and I didn’t really know what I was doing.  I made it about a week (mostly by just eating raw foods), and will admit that I felt wonderful.

After the VidaVeganCon conference a couple of weeks ago, my fascination with gluten-free living was sparked again.  I’ve written a few times about my new cookbook purchases and baking attempts here, here and here, so I suppose it won’t come as a shock that it’s something I’m still interested in.

I’m afraid of going cold-tofurkey on it though.  I imagine I’d have a similar experience as I did during Lent.  Sometimes (often) all-or-nothing works well for me, but let’s be frank…this is the sort of think I’m going to have to ease into.  If I don’t, I can see myself locked in a room with pounds of cooked pasta and bread screaming I GIVE UP.

I have decided to explore the idea of gluten-lite.  Sort of like the higher raw concept, can’t that also be done with gluten?  I sure as hell am going to try.  I won’t be perfect, I know, but I’m hoping it’ll be easier to explore gluten-free eating if I take it at a leisurely pace.  I also do not have any diagnosis that indicate I have any allergy or intolerance to gluten, but I’m amazed at the myriad of symptoms out there related to it – symptoms that everyone I know has sometimes (some much worse than others).  This is sort of an experiment for me to see if I experience any subtle changes in how my body feels or processes food based on reduced gluten intake.

So, most of my meals this week I’ve attempted to be as gluten-light as I could.  Certainly didn’t happen all the time, but I have been trying!

green tea rice, spring rolls made with rice paper, and a colorful salad. Think this was gluten-free

watermelon, banana, strawberry smoothie! Definitely gluten-free! And tasty!
Toasted spicy veggie wrap. Certainly not gluten-free due to the flour tortilla
everyone getting ready for dinner...which turns out was a gluten-free meal. Huh. Maybe it's not as hard as I think it is...
the simple pre-meal salad
BBQ tempeh cubes with some vegan cheezy dirty mashed potatoes from Happy Herbivore
today's breakfast - eggplant with rice cheese on gluten-free toasted Udi bread


It has been a stressful week…and only the slightly crazy need apply.

Unfortunately, we had to take a 2 week project delay for the one that was supposed to go live this week.  I have a bigger one going next week (but everything looks good on that one), and we’re going to try this one the week after.

I gave a presentation yesterday that went well.  At least something did this week!

The kids are back to school, and we’re at least getting some type of routine around here.  It helps that M and A are in the same school (in the morning anyway).  R hurt her neck, and has actually missed a day and a half.  Ugh.

I’m looking forward to this evening.  I’m finally getting a manicure, and then having dinner and drinks with my friend L.  Tomorrow is supposed to be swimming and gymnastics for R, but it depends on how her neck is feeling.  Then a hair cut for her too.

So now the workday is beginning and I better get my butt in gear!

random picture of bumble in a box