Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘avocado’ Category

I’m not an overly dramatic person (must be the residual effects of my tomboy youth…) but I have to say, the lack of candied ginger in ALL the local Whole Foods stores has me freaking out.  I am officially out.  Like Kyle’s chapstick stash, I had back-ups upon back-ups, but they are all depleted now.  Yikes.  Hoarding fail.

IMG_7001 

It gets worse!  The above photo is the last of my carob chip stash too.  Folks, this is a state of national emergency. 

IMG_9106

My pre-packed work eats will just have to do without my beloved ginge. 

More leftover Surprisingly Vegan waffles with frozen bloobs (they thaw by the time I eat/heat it the next day). 

IMG_9107

Plus, some Artisana raw cacao bliss nut butter.  For the record, this flavor needs mega kneading before it’s ready to squeeze, but it’s worth the hand exercise.  Mmmmm…

IMG_9111IMG_9112 

Cherries, apple, dried fruit, yadda yadda. 

Not the best snacks for eating on the go, but the weekends are generally slower paced on the weekends so I pack fewer bars and more fresh fare.

IMG_9109

I did have one of my favorite desserts though…easy enough to eat whenever and/or wherever.  Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies are a gift to vegans. 

IMG_9110 

My salad is admittedly hideous, so for the record, please ignore it’s appearance.  It has huge amounts of avocado and leftover tofu stir-fry on mixed greens

IMG_9108 

Happy weekend all!  Who else is working?  Who is lounging in the sun for me?

Read Full Post »

If I had to summarized Monday through Thursday in a single post…well…I can’t, so I don’t know how to end that sentence.  But, where I was going with that intro was to say my week has been packed and amazing.

Highlights reel?  Sure, why not.

Monday slash Tuesday I had night shift stuff.  The only thing of note food-wise was how many berries I consumed over the course of the day. 

IMG_7700

I have likely met my Vitamin C quota until October. 

I also made a pita pie (for those of you who keep asking about the-best-pita-ever, it’s from Whole Foods and the brand is called Turlock Pita Bread). 

IMG_7606

My gorgeous pie was toasted then layered (generously) with Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter and very thinly sliced golden delicious apples.

IMG_7604

Any meal that has fewer than five ingredients, takes under five minutes to make, AND tastes this good should be illegal.  Or accepted into the Foodie Hall of Fame.  Is there such a thing?  Nope. 

IMG_7605 

I also did some late night therapy baking.  I find it a very soothing thing.  Just me and the oven, and the rest of the day fades away…

IMG_9039 

Kyle’s a big fan of these nights.  Unlike retail therapy, they don’t cut into our vacation rent funds, plus they yield delicious treats.  Who else uses cooking/baking in this way?

IMG_9029

(Vegan) peanut butter and jelly thumbprint muffins.  Recipe on the way!

Wednesday morning wasn’t notably interesting, but I did make a really really yummy tropical smoothie.

IMG_9048

I had it with a massive bowl of cherries (since the strawbeezies are done-zo).

IMG_9050

I didn’t measure anything, but it had: light unsweetened soymilk (365), vanilla soy yogurt (Stonyfield), frozen tropical fruit mix (Costco), and some ice.

IMG_9049

I tried to go slow and eat cherries in between, but you know I froze my brain up because I have no self control.

Of course to compensate I had to make some tea.  I may be having issues with my body core thermal regulation, because I always seem to be the temperature of whatever I’m eating.  Humans are supposed to be warm blooded.  I may be a lizard.  My poor patients have to deal with my frigid hands poking and prodding them (ok, ok, I’m not that rough).  Good thing I suck down coffee like a fiend all morning long which is when I do most of my assessments…at least the heat from that helps my hands stay a bit warmer.  I’m sure the fact that I’m cracked out of my mind and bouncing off the walls doesn’t even phase them. 

IMG_9051

Fact: I drink Yogi tea more for the inspirational messages than the flavor of the tea.  This flavor happens to be Cocoa Mayan Spice.  It’s no Chai, but it fills the roll when my Tazo stash is on empty.

IMG_0119

Wednesday afternoon we picked up our friend at the airport.  In our new car.  His name is Carson and he’s a new 2011 silver CRV.  Yes, we name all our cars.  Who doesn’t? 

IMG_0122

The best feature is the cup holder in the door.  It fits a Kombucha perfectly.

After navigating our way back to Santa Monica (LA traffic wasn’t that bad actually), we immediately dropped off Dean’s luggage and walked to dinner.

IMG_9053 

Blue Plate is one of my absolute favorite places ever and I have been craving their falafel burger for a solid month now. 

IMG_9060 

We started with chips ‘n guac for the table.

IMG_9056 

Plus a nice white bean dip with bread crisps (on the house).

IMG_9054 

Kyle got the chicken & veggie soup and the falafel burger

IMG_9061IMG_9058

Dean got the falafel burger with fries.

IMG_9059

And I got the falafel burger on a salad with fresh greens, cucumber, carrots, sprouts and huge amounts of avocado

IMG_9057 

I used all the balsamic dressing, plus the remainder of the guacamole that wasn’t eaten with chips.  It would be a crime for avocado to go unclaimed!

SO GOOD.  There’s no two ways about it, Blue Plate makes a damn fine falafel.

Wii tennis and golf duels took up the remainder of the night.  We are party animals!

IMG_0126

Thursday morning was not meant to start at 5 am, but that it did.  Why you ask?  Because we have crazy effing birds that crow incessantly like they are the alarm clock for the entire West Coast (and their home base happens to be directly outside our window).  The rage I was feeling…gah!  Let’s just say there’s probably never been a more conflicted vegan.  I may not be a member of PETA, but I’m still not into shooting down angry birds.  

IMG_0127

In any event, our plans to got for a hike in Malibu were simply pushed forward a few hours.  So after a trip to WF for coffee and a picnic lunch, we headed off to Point Mugu State Park.

IMG_0138

We had a fun hike.  It was relatively mild and only took a bit over an hour.  The weather wasn’t really cooperating, but if we had waited ‘til later on, the cloud cover probably would have blown off.  Sun or no sun, we enjoyed the views. 

IMG_0143

After reaching the bottom again, we made our way to the beach for lunch. 

IMG_0147 

Not too bad of a view. 

IMG_0146

I got a veggie sando from WF with hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and mustard

IMG_0148

I could’ve used more hummus, but that’s pretty much always the case.  In life.

IMG_0151

The rest of the day was mellow.  We strolled on the Promenade, stopped by the Santa Monica Pier, watched some volleyball games, and enjoyed the sun that finally did show up.

IMG_0153

For dinner there was no question about what we were making.  Dean simply HAD to try some home-made vegan waffles.

IMG_9085

We tried out Surprisingly Vegan’s latest flavor and I have to say, it’s even better than the OG recipe.

They really are SO good.  Unfortunately, they take quite a while to make from scratch…and grinding and blending and mixing everything uses up just about every single appliance and counter space in our kitchen.  Needless to say, I’ll be glad when these babies finally hit shelves, because just-add-water is so much simpler. 

The good news is that by late summer they will be sold online!!!  Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you all know when, where, and how you can get your hands on them. 

IMG_9093

Vegan, gluten-free, delicious, and nutritious.  :) 

If you’re wondering about the above creation, it’s a waffle ‘wich that I made with two waffle squares, blueberries and Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese.  I had two servings.  And even though I was very full after my double serving, I didn’t feel like my stomach was coated in lead.  Heavenly!

IMG_8806

And now I am getting ready for a Friday at the hospital.  Big salad, quinoa with tofu, Inka Crops corn nuts, apple (x2), Nana’s fudge bites – yep, it’s gonna be a good day. 

IMG_8805IMG_8807 

Lunch is packed and I have a breakfast of vegan waffles ready for early morning leftovers.  Yeah buddy. 

Read Full Post »

Oh night shift, how you disrupt my sleep cycle.

IMG_8904

How’s that for a cluttered night stand?!  The ear plugs are the latest addition to help with my daytime snoozing sitch. 

Ugh.  Again, I slept minimally after noche dos of nursing. 

Side note: I’m always hesitant to use that word when talking about night shift because I get weird google search terms…sorry to all the moms nursing their newborns all night long searching the internet for nursing related advice…only to click on my blog and not find anything helpful. 

IMG_8933 

My packed food was perfection.  I’m completely obsessed with this saladCaprese Caesar pasta salad has made up approximately 87.4% of my recent diet.  Yesterday Kyle had it for back to back meals.  After having it for lunch, he said he couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and knew there was no way he was having anything else for dinner.  That’s how I know it’s a winner.  It’s already gone now and I’m considering making it again in this very moment.

IMG_8934 

The rest of my packed up food was typical late night snack fare: apples, nuts, & dried fruit.

When I got home, Kyle wasn’t there…I managed to track him down and decided to meet up with him for a decaf coffee before heading back home to snooze.

IMG_8949

Like I mentioned above, I wasn’t able to get much rest.  Around 11 am I got up to make breakfast. 

Two things I’m in love with at the moment: organic light soymilk and fresh apricots in my cereal

IMG_8951IMG_8950

The first part of the raisin bran has a disproportionate(ly low) amount of raisins.  I find I have to dig to get them because they are all at the bottom.  Annoying, but worth it.  And like any cereal addict, I didn’t stop after my first bowl…but I did manage to limit myself to two of the above servings. 

Because breakfast was (a) more of a brunch, (b) rather generous, and (c) not followed by any activity whatsoever, I wasn’t hungry until way later in the afternoon.  I literally sat in my PJs on the couch for hours on end.  Marathon TV time.  Mega internet action.  I wasn’t even trying to fight it.  Eventually I am going to have to start some kind of training plan for this triathlon in July…and I’m still waiting for the motivation to start that plan.  Until then, pajama-rama!

Around five I started craving food again, so I tried to brainstorm some dinner possibilities.  What I really wanted was sushi, but I had zero interest in leaving the apartment, so I tried to see if anything on hand could mimic the flavors and satisfy my hankering. 

IMG_8828

Let’s break it down now.  Sushi rolls are made of rice, veggies, and avocado.  Ditch the roll and you have this masterpiece…

IMG_8829

Rice –> Quinoa

Fish –> Seitan

Avocado –> Extra avocado

Soy Sauce –> Bragg’s liquid aminos

I also threw in chopped carrots & cucumber and edamame and then drowned the whole thing in more Bragg’s. 

IMG_8830 

In other words, I made a deconstructed sushi plate…with some vegan alterations.  It was amazing.  Avocado was most certainly the star of the meal.  But the Bragg’s, seitan, and quinoa combo was a veryclose runner-up.  I’m going to have to make sushi out of the roll more often. 

And in the spirit of deconstructed things…

Old table.

IMG_8939

Broken down.

IMG_8941 

New table.

IMG_8942

Now we can have dinner parties…for four?

IMG_8943

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to honor my inner chocolate monster.

IMG_8903

My salt tooth has rebounded in a major way and I am in the middle of intense sweet tooth marathon. 

IMG_8859IMG_8902

Dark chocolate plus candied ginger are a hard-to-beat combo, but if there’s one thing that can trump the dynamic duo, it’s Annie’s chocolate grahams

IMG_8958

Annie’s Bunny Grahams are superb on their own, but once you start dipping them in almond butter…

IMG_8959IMG_8960

My friends, it’s indescribable. 

Mmmm…choooooocolate.

Read Full Post »

The art of packing food is my specialty.  Much like making my daily work eats (tutorials here), packing food for traveling is a bit of a craft.  Some may find it easier to buy meals at the airport rather than go through the hassle of taking extra baggage through security.  Personally, I’m not one of those people.  I don’t care if it adds 25 pounds of dead weight that I have to schlep by plane, train, and automobile, for me it’s SO worth the energy.  The cost to benefit analysis probably differs depending on your diet and distance, but knowing I won’t have to pay exorbitant prices for crappy food (with limited vegan options) is worth it.  Peace of mind for a peaceful stomach. 

Tips:

  • BYOB (tea bags and empty water bottles) – The way I get around the liquid law is filling up my klean kanteen at the fountain (for free) once I’ve made it through airport security.  Also most places will give you free hot water (some charge 25-50 cents).
  • Skip the salt – Flying causes bloating and there’s no reason to add to that.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I already feel gross within a second of boarding a flight.  So I generally try and ditch the pretzels and salted nuts and drink plenty of fluids.  And get an aisle seat 😉
  • Pack way more than you think you’ll need – This is the same as how I pack for work.  If I have too much stuff, fine, it’s not like I have to eat it all in transit.  Having extra bars and snacks is hardly a disaster.  Being hungry and unprepared, on the other hand, is totally miserable and leads to bad choices due to less than stellar options. 
  • Produce produce produce – Is there anything more portable than fruit?  No.  Apples, bananas, etc. are all naturally ready to bring on the go. 
  • Nibble mindfully – Because of time changes, my body never really knows what’s going on and I end up doing more snacking than eating full meals.  Rather than snack the whole trip long, I make sure I am truly hungry and not just bored.  [In other words, bring lots of magazines, books, movies, crosswords, etc. to keep your mind preoccupied so you aren’t using your mouth instead]

IMG_7764 

Veggies, hummus, bread, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, apples, orange, oat bakes, dark chocolate squares.

IMG_7770IMG_7765 

Snack central.  Seriously, I have no editing skills.  Just wait ‘til you see everything hidden in that bag:

IMG_7773 

Probars, Corazona’s, Larabars, Clif bars, Luna bar, KIND bar, Artisana cashew squeeze pack, Attune bar, Love Grown granola, Udi’s granola, dried fruit

And my latest raw obsession too…

IMG_7774 

kaia foods makes really yummy raw foods including sweet things like granolas, as well as savory things like these sprouted pumpkin seeds

IMG_7775

The good news is that I will have plenty of bars leftover to throw in my bag.  So when I’m struggling in Paris, I will have backup options and then some. 

IMG_7766IMG_7768 

Hummus and dip-ables (carrots, celery, bread).

IMG_7772IMG_7780 

Produce in zoom.  The salad is pretty much just romaine, carrots, corn, and avocado…with Trader Joe’s faux chicken on top. 

IMG_7776 

I’ve had these before and they are pretty good.  They remind me of the same “chik’n” that The Veggie Grill makes. 

IMG_7777IMG_7779 

It’s soy based with vital wheat gluten too.  It comes with some seasoning on it, which lends itself to a Mexican flavored meal.  Hence the Chipotle-salad-esque meal.  

IMG_7781 

I only kept the soy meat separate for commute purposes…it will be added on top once it’s time to dig into the greens. 

Now about those “oat bakes”…

IMG_7769 

I decided microwaved “bakes” were a smart portable option instead of oatmeal.  So I turned to Ashley, the queen of breakfast bakes.

The first one I made was a spin on her ba-nilla bake

IMG_7751IMG_7752

I have to say, almond extract is quite an interesting ingredient!  I’m going to have to get some of my own soon (my mom shocked me by having it in her cupboard, but I should have known she’d have it).

IMG_7753 

Where my recipe differs from hers is my grain and milk choices.  I opted for oats instead of buckwheat.  I also skipped the almonds and replaced the almond milk with soy.  Since there was almond extract in the bake already, I decided on soy milk.  I also threw in golden raisins and dried cherries because I think tart dried fruit goes so well with vanilla.  Otherwise, it was pretty much the same recipe.

IMG_7754

Mixity mix. 

Ba-nilla Oat Breakfast Bake [serves 1]

*adapted from this recipe

  • 1/4 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1T chia seeds or 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T warm water, whisked] or 1 egg white
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder

IMG_7755

Here it is after just 2 minutes in the microwave.

IMG_7756

This photo steamed up the camera lens, but you can still see how it’s like a baked good as opposed to a bowl of oats. 

IMG_7757

The ease of this is so mind blowing.  Now, I haven’t tasted it yet, but I did lick the spoon, so I am pretty sure it’s going to rock. 

The second “oat bake” I made was my own recipe using up the second half of the banana and whatever I could find in my parents’ kitchen.

IMG_7759

Frozen blackberries?  Sure, why not! 

IMG_7760 

Nuts & Berries Breakfast Oat Bake [serves 1]

  • 1/4 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup instant oats
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1T chia seeds or 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T warm water, whisked] or 1 egg white
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 T crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder

IMG_7762 

Once they had cooled I packed them up in tinfoil. 

I’m pretty sure I’m covered in the food department.  Now, hopefully I won’t get to Spain and realize I am missing my toothbrush or something. 

IMG_7763

Adios amigos! 

Read Full Post »

This week is nurses appreciation week (hooray!) but unfortunately the breakfast potluck party on my unit was the day I left for vacay.  Had I not just finished night shift I may have stuck around, but I was so tired and ready to start my two weeks on holiday, I didn’t care too much about free bagels.  As soon as I gave report to the day shift nurse I was mentally checked out.  I may as well have been in Spain on Thursday.  Sad face.  Next year I’m going to bring yummy vegan food to the celebration though.  Nothing like vegan waffles to make a perfect work day. 

IMG_7697

I hosted my own celebration after getting home from work instead. 

Raisin Bran + banana + blueberries + almond milk (not quite as grand)

IMG_7698

I think that bran flakes are the best thing since sliced bread.  Well, unless it’s my home-made bread.

IMG_7699 

Speaking of. 

Could I slice it thicker?  Probably not.  

This bread and hummus combo was actually a post-nap snack.  I only managed to sleep from 8 to 11 am, and then I was up and at ‘em dead tired.

I still had mega errands to do before leaving Santa Monica. 

1) Get a mani/pedi

2) Buy a dress for the weekend (we are currently in Napa for a friend’s wedding)

3) Return clothes that I ordered online

4) Caffeinate my face

5) Buy sulfate-free (Brazilian Blowout friendly) shampoo/conditioner for my trip

6) Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

7) Print out French Open tickets (yup, I’m going to Paris after Spain)

7) Pack!!

I managed to cross every single thing off my list by 5 pm (well, not #6, but that’s a late night task anyway)…at which point I dug into a massive bowl of fruta.  [Does speaking in Espanol for the rest of this post count as celebrating Cinco de Mayo?]

IMG_7703

For dinner, Kyle’s former work colleague from NYC was visiting us so we decided to show him a fun night out. 

I didn’t bring my camera out, but we went to La Sandia and it was PACKED.  It took longer to get drinks than food.  Serrrriously. 

The chips and guac (prepared table-side) were spectacular.  Afterwards we hit up my favorite bar in Santa Monica, Copa d’Oro, where I sipped my favorite cocktail of all time, the Moscow Mule.  Ginger in copious amounts.  Yes. 

IMG_7712

Almost ready(ish)?  I packed so haphazardly, I don’t really feel that comfortable about it.  I am usually so organized, so I feel very unsettled about the contents of my luggage.  It’s also hard when you’re packing for another event prior to leaving the country (ie a wedding). 

Either way, I’ll figure out if I overlooked anything soon!  I have my passport and plane tickets though, so I figure anything else can be sorted out in the moment.  Any horror stories with traveling you want to share?  A friend (actually the one who is getting married this weekend) bought a one-way flight for the reverse route he intended to and didn’t realize it until he got to the airport.

On Friday morning, Kyle and I dropped off our house guest at his hotel and hit the road.  Nor Cal or bust.  The drive was relatively painless (says the girl who didn’t even get behind the wheel). 

IMG_6852 

I’m not sure who was more excited to arrive home, me or the pups.  They greeted us rather enthusiastically (under-statement of the week) and after throwing the tennis ball for what seemed like a decade, they were finally worn out. 

IMG_7735

While the dogs were happy to have humans back at the casa (my parents have only been gone a week, but they are so damn needy); however, our cat was prancing around, clearly content on having the entire place to herself.

IMG_7733

If you’re reading this mom and dad, she has been on every countertop.  And I’m not even bothering to shoo her off (this is why I’m her favorite).

I tried to get my heart rate up by going on a run around the neighborhood, but it was a pretty poor effort. 

IMG_7736 

Kyle and I ordered take-out from a local sushi joint for dinner.  I’ve blogged about Kane before (I love this place). 

IMG_7739IMG_7737

We got lots of rolls (most for Kyle) and a seaweed salad (for moi).  I had a brilliant idea of making a monster salad with an avocado I brought from Santa Monica and the sunomono deliciousness.

IMG_7738

I couldn’t bear the idea of letting a perfectly ripe avocado go to waste in our apartment while we were gone, so I brought it with me.  Who else would do this (aside from maybe this girl)? 

IMG_7740

Check out my perfectly manicured nails.  :) 

IMG_7741 

Avocado, seaweed, cucumber, spring greens and that’s it.  Such an amazing dinner. 

I had heaps of ginger too because that’s almost the best part about sushi.  Almost. 

IMG_7744

Yup, I ate on the floor. 

Read Full Post »

Before I get into the latest and greatest from the hippie kitchen, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to offer their thoughts on yesterday’s post.  The discussion certainly got more heated than I anticipated (and some comments were a bit harsh), but it was great to read how others felt about sharing your views with your family/friends.  Being brave enough to stand up for your beliefs while not pressuring others to feel guilty about having differing opinions is definitely a fine line…and it seems that many feel there’s a time and place for being outspoken (as well as a time and place for simply shutting your lid).  I’m very grateful for everyone who commented in a thoughtful and respectful way.  I tried to respond to as many of the comments as I could.

In the meantime, however, I was at the hospital doing my thang.  As a result, I have compiled quite a collection of work eats on my computer…

IMG_7391

Breakfast #1 – granola by Big Sky Bread (an Alabama based company with cute home-made wholesome products).  It’s actually a granola plank not granola since it’s one big crispy crunchy granola block.  They also make bread products (as you’d guess from the company name), all of which feature their stone ground whole wheat flour that they make in the bakery every morning.

IMG_7389

So how did I discover this adorable company?  Well, Big Sky Bread was at Expo West and they were kind enough to hook me up with this sample.  For some reason I have been saving it and saving it, waiting for the perfect time to try it.  Well, I’m not sure when I thought that time would be, but the other day I spotted it in the pantry and it was exactly what I wanted at that exact moment.  So I guess that makes it the perfect time.

IMG_7390

You can (kinda) see the nutritional stats above.  At two servings a package it rounds out to 400 kcals a pop.  The granola planks are basically a lightly sweetened oatmeal base with whole almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.  It was crispy and crunchy like granola, not chewy like a granola bar so I had to break it into bite sized pieces in the bag so the crumbs wouldn’t get all over me (thus enabling me to sprinkle them atop yogurt later).  The flavor reminded me EXACTLY of these bars I used to get at the Union Square WF in NYC.  I haven’t seen them since moving to CA and now I realize how much I miss them.  I think it’s the sesame and pumpkin seeds that makes the taste so unique.

IMG_7385

Breakfast #2 – oats with cinnamon, dried cherries, and Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter

Dried cherries are a really good way to bring a new twist to an old simple morning routine.

IMG_7387IMG_7388

Lunch part I – Boca vegan burger (lazy much?) and apple x2, orange x1, Bakery on Main Cinnamon Apple Granola Bar

Bakery on Main is another Expo West discovery.  They make both granola and granola bars and I got a big ‘ol shipment of their goodies to try out.  🙂  The granola bar kinda reminded me of those Nutri-Grain bars (by Kellogg’s).  The texture and flavor seem nearly identical (I think?), but the ingredients are way better in terms of being whole foods without preservatives or additives.

[NO GMOs • NO Dairy • NO Casein • NO Wheat • NO Trans Fat • NO Cholesterol]

I liked the flavor, but the bar was really small and therefore didn’t have as much staying power as I typically like in my on-the-go options.  It did taste just like a bite of the top of an apple pie, though.  So there’s definitely a yummy factor going on.  As an FYI, the soft & chewy bars are gluten free (made with certified gluten free oats, amaranth and quinoa).  They also have flax and chia seeds (hello healthy omegas!).

IMG_7386

Lunch II – leftover purple potato salad with peas for extra green

IMG_7384

All together now!

Night shift doesn’t require quite as large of a line up.

IMG_7439

I’ve been craving lots and lots of fruit at night.  Apples and cuties and mangoes, oh my!

IMG_7430

I know for a fact I looked like a primitive cave(wo)man as I ate this.  I had juice dripping from my chin to my elbows.  Not attractive.  Maybe I’ll cut it up first next time, huh?  😉

IMG_7434

This salad was a twist on one of my favorite recipes of my mom’s.  Growing up she made a bomb a$$ poppyseed salad with avocado, butter lettuce and cantaloupe.  It is seriously fantastic.  Unfortunately, my dairy-free life now makes the dressing she used a no-go.

IMG_7437

Enter Follow Your Heart!  They make oil-free salad dressings that are vegan and this Citrus Poppy Seed flavor is a new one!  However, unlike the other oil-free salad dressing on the market, this one doesn’t compensate for the fat with excessive amounts of sugar.  Have you ever noticed that?  So many fat-free dressings are jam packed with other sh!t to make your taste buds forget that you are missing out on the oil.  Not this one.  It’s got the same pure and wholesome ingredients that you’d find in any home-made dressing, minus the oil.

IMG_7438

Vegan.  Gluten free.  Dairy free.

IMG_7435

Strawberry and Avocado Poppy Seed salad

  • spinach
  • clover sprouts
  • carrots
  • strawberries
  • avocado
  • dried cherries
  • Follow Your Heart Citrus Poppy Seed salad dressing

I have to be honest, normally I don’t use salad dressings, aside from basics like extra virgin olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar (or Bragg’s liquid aminos).  But ever since I received Follow Your Heart’s line of vegan dressings, I’ve been experimenting more and more.   And loving them more and more.

IMG_7436

This salad is a winner.

And when I got home from a loooong 12 hours, I had overnight oats waiting for me in the fridge.

IMG_7440

Oats, frozen blueberries and strawberries, dried cherries, coconut peanut butter.

IMG_7441

Maybe it’s the change in the weather, or maybe it’s just a random phase, but I’m really into chilled oats lately.  After I cook them, I put them in the freezer and then eat them so they are thick like cookie dough.  Thick thickity thick.

IMG_7442

Night shift numero dos was less fruity, more hummus-y.  There was still a big bad salad (because me and fiber are more of a dynamic duo than Gary and Ace).

IMG_7443

Seitan Spinach salad

  • spinach
  • clover sprouts
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • log seitan (this version with bell peppers)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos

This salad was great, but the seitan was definitely the star of the show.

IMG_7421

Lots of people have been making my log seitan – a true testament to how simple and delicious it really is.  I swear, you’ll be blown away by it, and then you’ll make it again and again and again (just like me!).  C’mon, what are you waiting for?  Give it a shot!

IMG_7444

Pita pieces and Haig’s roasted red pepper hummus rounded out the meal, along with the (lone) apple and a lot lot lot of candied ginger.

IMG_7428

Once again I had chilled oats waiting for me when I got home…with blueberries dried cherries and TJ’s peanut flour all mixed in.

IMG_7427

Oh, did I forget to mention my latest stock pile?  Yeahhhhhh.  Once I found out peanut flour was getting the axe from Trader Joe’s I quickly jumped into action (aka called my mom and begged her to hit up the local TJ’s before we came upon hard times).  Hoarding mode much?  She did me proud.  🙂 I better make these last!

And as if things weren’t good enough already, I received another package in the mail.  My pantry is officially stocked!

IMG_7208

Are you a packrat?  Hoarder?  Pantry supply collector? 

Read Full Post »

I’m currently in our hotel room in Palo Alto watching Kyle nap.  It’s not as creepy as it sounds.  We woke up crazy early to get to Stanford for a weekend thing, and since I snoozed for 45 minutes on the way, he is getting his own beauty rest now so we are on level playing fields (sleep-wise).

After doing Jillian Michaels’ yoga at 4:30 am I guzzled a Starbucks soy misto on the road.  My on-the-go breakfast consisted of an apple and Larabar.  Which explains why we were ready to grub when we finally arrived at our destination.

First we had to swing by this small company to say hi to our friend Mark. 

IMG_7398

Have you heard of him?  [kidding]  A friend was meeting another friend here so after we dropped him off at facebook, Kyle and I skedaddled off to lunch.

IMG_7404

Knowing my food preferences, a friend recommended Sprout Cafe to me and I was in love as soon as I saw the place.  It is conveniently located block from our hotel (and in a very cute part of town I might add – reminded me of a union of Santa Monica and Santa Barbara). 

IMG_7405

Busy much?  Apparently everyone else feels the same way about this place. 

The concept is simple – salads and other cafe fare made quickly to order.  In other words, fast food that’s not “fast food.” 

IMG_7406 

They have a long station for salad assembly, similar to many places I’ve been ton in NYC.  Unlike NYC (or other chopped-style restaurants), the ingredients are exceptional.  I’m talking toasted pumpkin seeds, dried currants, mango, roasted butternut squash, brussel sprouts, fresh buffalo mozzarella, etc.  The list of ingredients goes on and on…and that’s just salads. 

They also have Mighty Leaf tea (love) and natural beverages aplenty.

IMG_7407IMG_7409

I stuck to the (free) cucumber water, while Kyle went with the fresh lemonade.

IMG_7408

Goodies. 

After debating between 5 different salads on the menu (they all looked so good!), I finally decided to make my own.

IMG_7412 

I’ve never been so excited about so many ingredients for a salad.  This was like the Whole Foods hot bar on crack.  It was veg lovers paradise. 

IMG_7413

In the end, I made a beautiful creation with:

  • baby spinach lettuce
  • bean sprouts (you have to get sprouts at a place called Sprout Cafe)
  • quinoa
  • grapes
  • carrots
  • red bell peppers
  • jicama
  • dried cranberries
  • roasted butternut squash
  • avocado
  • furikake crusted tofu
  • balsamic vinaigrette

*I highlighted my favorites, although they were all absolutely perfect when combined together. 

IMG_7415

Seriously, this salad was SO good. 

IMG_7414

The crust on the tofu was divine, while the sweet grapes and savory roasted squash added some textural variation.  Naturally, the quinoa and avocado packed a hearty and lasting kick to hold my appetite over. 

IMG_7411

The fresh sourdough bread was also super soft, and in the end the only thing I would have done is ask for more dressing (this is my own fault though since I ordered “light” dressing).  For future Sprout Cafe diners, don’t worry that your salad will arrive doused in dressing if you order the normal amount. 

IMG_7410

Kyle got the Hunter salad with grilled marinated tri-tip steak, red onions, roasted bell peppers, avocado, aged sharp white cheddar cheese and bleu cheese dressing.  He adored it as well.

And now we are off – I’m the (self designated) official cheerleader for Kyle’s basketball team!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »