Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Bay Area fun

After Kyle’s parents left, we still had a holiday weekend upon us, so we brainstormed what to do on Monday and came up with the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito.  Kyle and P had been before when they had their one on one weekend, so I was eager to see everything they had done.

Even though they have a SUPER allergy friendly cafe (no peanuts or tree nuts and GF/DF options aplenty) I still packed us all food to save $.  We just popped out to the car to eat lunch in the trunk.

They were still celebrating Chinese New Year and the dragon dancing and drumming was captivating.

Even though it was (apparently) super crowded, they still had so much fun with all the arts and crafts. The museum is well staffed and organized and there’s activities for a wide range of ages.

Sweetheart. <3

These were the highlight of my (food) day!

We bought them on our last Costco trip with the intent to have them as snacks for the kids, but I’ve been eating them all myself!!

They’re addictive – full of real foods without too much sugar. Definitely a thumbs up from me.

We were there for most of the day and then stopped by my sister’s place on the way home to say hi.

Fortunately, I had a super easy dinner planned.

Kyle grilled sausages, which we had with salad, carrots, and kettle chips.

I ended up going back for chips and sausage, and ended up not having room for any dessert.  Oh well.  Salt and pepper chips are very worth it.

Late night bake-a-thon!

I mean, is it still weekend prep if it’s a Monday?  I think not, but I still had to get myself squared away for the start of the week.

I made one loaf for Kyle, one loaf for a friend, and granola for the kids (their request).  Also pancake batter for the next morning.

There’s bean juice in the cake

I spent Sunday morning with my mini man at church (in an attempt to give me and P some special bonding time). I have no idea what I ate for breakfast because I have no photo of it…maybe leftovers from the day before? Or more granola?

This kale had so many bugs in it!  Organic definitely has it’s downfalls.

I had sautéed those Brussels in olive oil as part of my weekly prep a while back and needed to use them up soon, so I added them to some of the kale massaged in vinaigrette before adding the rest of my vegan Winter salad ingreds.

Like butternut squash, candied walnuts, avo, and dried cranberries.

I am obsessssssed.

Have you made this salad yet?

I don’t need anything else in my life right now.  For real.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, this makes me think I could go back to being vegan in a heart beat.  It’s so goooood.

Spent the afternoon enjoying the SUN and then tackled grocery shopping.  Oh the joy.

Trader Joe’s salmon for sure gets my vote.  The price is right and the cuts are nice looking and it’s much easier than going to Costco every time I want salmon…which is maybe dangerous because it means I’m more likely to put salmon on the weekly menu on a regular basis, but it’s just. so. good.

Kyle wanted to grill so I let him have at it with the fish after I brushed it in sauce.

I made a teriyaki sauce from scratch following a recipe from my Vegetarian America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  It’s meant to be used on tofu, but obviously you can do whatever you want with it.  I know I can always count on ATK recipes to be perfect, which is why I looked there for the sauce recipe.

Side note: GUESS WHAT!?  America’s Test Kitchen has two books in the works that I 100% promise I will be getting.  First, they have an instant pot (electric multi cooker) cookbook.  And second, they have a sauces cookbook.  Both coming out this Spring.  YES PLEASE!!!

Kyle did a beautiful job on these.

That BBQ char is what I live for!

Served with rice and cucumbers and more teriyaki on the side.

I had extra that I bottled up and will be very excited to have on leftovers or with another meal later on.  It’s syrupy sweet with a nice gingery kick and I know exactly what it was made with because I did it myself!  Store bought stuff aint got nothing on this.

My tummy was very happy with this meal which was a relief because it was a little off this afternoon.  I’m attributing it to the TWO meals out the previous day.  GAH.  Sometimes my gut is so temperamental. :-/

Kyle’s tummy, however, was very happy with this cake.  He keeps telling me it’s the best I’ve ever made, so that’s pretty cool considering it has BEAN JUICE in it.  He he.  Sneaky sneaky.  I never told Kyle’s parents that’s what was in it because I didn’t want to freak them out, but there you have it.  Vegan secret weapon = aquafaba.

While the kids are away…

I was going to take a photo of my beautiful soy decaf cafe au lait at Crepeville, but the background was a bit more entertaining…

SUCH A SILLY THING!

Kyle’s parents were here and treated us to breakfast out.  I got the kids a plate of scrambled eggs and a bagel to share.  Plus a side of bacon and fruit plate.  I’ll let you guess who each of the sides were mainly for…

They recently discovered bagels so they are definitely a treat.  The fruit plates at Crepeville are SO GENEROUS.  In spite of that, there wasn’t a single piece of fruit left behind.  Fruit monsters!

I got scrambled eggs as well (with potatoes and toast) and a side of hollandaise that came shortly after I took this pic.  One of the many reasons I love Crepeville is that they don’t use butter so their hollaindaise is dairy free.  It’s why I always order Benedicts.  So good.

We all got way too much food so we had enough leftovers to feed the kids breakfast the next two days.  (!!)

After breakfast, Kyle’s parents took the kids to Sac for Disney on Ice as a birthday treat.  The best part of this was that Kyle and I had a few hours all to ourselves!!  Couples time in the middle of the day is basically a foreign concept to us at this point. The weather was seriously gorgeous so we lounged outside for a long time after our bike ride.

Then I got a delivery!  My SCOBY!  I took the (kid free) opportunity to brew my first batch of COBBucha. (Kyle came up with that name)

I ordered my SCOBY from amazon, as well as this 2 gallon jar.

Then I followed the instructions from the kitchn as well as the poseymom website to get my first batch going.  I used a combo of half black tea and half green tea.  I am waiting til I get the hang of it before adding in flavors like ginger or whatever.  For now, my rookie batch is going to be plain and simple.

It’s currently in the “shoe room” on a high shelf where it will remain for the next week+ until I check if it’s ready to bottle for it’s second fermentation.  Fingers crossed!

I finished off the Jillz crackers and went back for more (this time Simple Mills sea salt).

After the kids came home we played in the yard while V napped and then headed to a park until dinner time.

SUSHI!

My kids adore sushi and will eat anything I put on their plates so it’s especially awesome to just order a ton of things.

We went to Mikuni which I think may be the best sushi we have tasted thus far in Davis.  It definitely has the best ambiance for dining in the restaurant, that’s for sure.

The best roll of the night was the Train Wreck Roll with chopped eel, seared tuna, spicy avocado blend, crab mix, panko shrimp, spicy sauce, sesame seeds, and onion (shown on the bottom of that photo).  Daaaaang was this stellar.

Above that was the Mel Roll  with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, shrimp, and touch of wasabi.  It was great, albeit a little boring.  But sometimes a bunch of fish just hits the spot.

This was the 49er Jack Roll with scallop, crab mix, shrimp, avocado, seared tuna, sauce, masago and onion.  Also an awesome roll.

And then this was the Judie Two Roll with spicy tuna, crab mix, avocado, eel, seared tuna, sauce, masago and onion.  I didn’t love it as much, but others did.  The sauce was a bit too sweet for me.

We also got two rainbow rolls and two California rolls.

My little scientist’s first microscope 🙂

Everyone had leftover birthday cake for dessert back at the house.

All that and the weekend wasn’t even close to done.  I love long weekends.

All the meals

This week has been granola week.

I’m a clusters girl, so I picked out all the big chunks, but had to fight the kids for the rest.  They polished it off by Thursday and requested more asap, but I don’t think I’ll get a chance to make another batch until Sunday.  It’s REALLY a good recipe, guys.  Like an oatmeal raisin cookie in granola form.  Mmmmm.

In any event, I ended up eating this Sun & Soil granola over the rest of the week because the kids claimed the home made stuff.  Santa put it in my stocking. 😉  It’s gluten free and packed with all the same stuff I love in my granola – sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds – but uses sesame oil (!!) which is so intriguing.  It doesn’t taste very sesame like though, so who knows.  It’s still delicious.  Obviously.  I had it all week (the bag is now gone).

Both kids begged for “benz n chez” for lunch (OVER PIZZA LEFTOVERS).  Like, wot.  They are both nooch lovers.  It’s the easiest lunch to make ever so naturally I said yes.

Here’s another super random kid lunch.  It was small on purpose because they had both had all kinds of treats at their respective activities that morning because of Valentine’s Day.

It doesn’t matter if she’s eaten breakfast an hour ago, she will always clear her plate at “school” snack time.  Always.  And then ask for seconds.  I think people are starting to wonder if I feed her…

How else is she ever going to grow some hair????

PONYTAIL!!

He is my special person every day, but this week was his week at school.

Lunches for me looked like this:

Elise’s Winter vegan salad! Duh.

I cracked and bought a six pack of avo from Costco last week after trying to keep my $$$ avo habit in check over the off season.  But a life without avocado is not a life worth living.

TJs broccoli slaw salad (which I bought on a whim last week but didn’t really feel like because my vegan winter salad is so good and much better than anything store bought).  I can definitely quit it now.

This salad was a new combo and really good. It had kale massaged in TJs spicy peanut dressing, leftover pulled pork, (a super perfect) avocado, and marcona almonds.  Plus a bunch of baby carrots on the side.

Loved it.  I’m v happy peanuts are back in my life. Kinda.  I mean, they are in my life when P is nowhere near and I’m still super scared and don’t touch anything while eating.  I imagine that habit will take a while to shake.

I had two of these bowls because they were SO GOOD.  Highlights include: Brussels, bacon, and candied walnuts.  100% perfection.

I could eat this for every meal I think?  Do I say that about 28 different meals?  Probably.  I like food.

Before I move on to dinners from the week, let me just say…cayennade is awesome.

I’ve been looking forward to cooking from this guy!

I don’t know what took me so long, but Kyle said he was craving a lemony chicken dish and I immediately thought to look in Ottolenghi and boom – dinner was decided.

Kyle got me this cookbook for my birthday but he has a bunch that get rave reviews…Plenty, Plenty More, Jerusalem, etc.

I marinated the chicken over night so the next day it was super easy.  All I did was pour the contents of the bag out onto a baking tray and roast it.

I roasted cauliflower along side it (and served it with leftover tricolor quinoa).

It smelled RIDICULOUS in our house as it neared the end of the cooking time…

Mmm.

I’d never think that lemon, red onion, cinnamon, all spice, za’atar, and whatever else would work together, but that’s the magic with Ottolenghi.  He is so brilliant.

The kids even loved this dish.  I think it was their first time having za’aar (? maybe, maybe not?) but I wasn’t sure how they’d receive it. Per usual, they surprised me and loved it and P even asked for seconds.

Kyle got the (very minimal) leftovers for his lunch, but it was a big hit all around.

My parents and sister came to Davis (on Valentine’s Day!! Ha!) to celebrate this guy turning FIVE.  We went to Chipotle because he wanted tacos.

I got a bowl with rice, carnitas, pinto beans and guac plus chips and green salsa on the side.  The kids split three tacos – steak, barbacoa, and carnitas.  The balbarcoa and carnitas were the winners.

Happy birthday and happy V day!

For another dinner I made the barley and kabocha squash bowl from Gena’s new cookbook Power Plates.

I got to test recipes for this book – some of which I showed on the blog, but most of which I did not.  It was a while ago, so I had forgotten how awesome they were!!  The dressing for this is a miso mustard blend that really should become a staple in my kitchen.  It is SOOO good.

I used avocado oil in place of the vegetable oil called for in the recipe, but otherwise left the recipe untouched.

P helped me make the barley (by measuring the grains and the water and adding it in the rice cooker and starting it).

This was my first kabocha of the fall/winter season!  What the heck is wrong with me!?  It’s the best squash ever and I somehow let it get to February before making a dish with it???  Hippie fail.

The red onions got a little bit too done.  Oops.

This cookbook is great and I’m not just saying that because she is a friend.  The kids LOVED the meal and Kyle was super enthusiastic about it as well.  Barley for the win!

The book is packed with simple vegan meals that are well balanced covering all the macros – fat, protein, carbs – without expensive or fancy specialty ingredients.

They are whole foods meals that taste great, that you can still cook on week nights, without laboring for hours on end.

My favorite lentil salad from the Vegetarian ATK cookbook.  It’s always such a hit – time after time – and Kyle’s parents were in town, so I wanted something that I could make in advance so I could hang out with them and socialize rather than be in the kitchen.

I paired it with roasted broccolini.  I ran out of olive oil so I used coconut oil.  It seemed to make it crisp up way more.  Usually the kids don’t like it as much that way, but they both liked it fine this time.

Dessert time…

Similar plates with TCHO salted almond dark chocolate bars and chocolate covered almonds, walnuts, cashews, caramels, barnana bites, and candied ginger.

I had kombucha on the nights off chocolate.  GUYS! I ordered all the stuff to brew my own and have been bottle collecting ever since.  The count is high my friends.

Oh and I baked a cake!  60th birthdays demand cake.

Bouncing into five

I wasn’t very on top of it with my food photography on Monday…

These are actually the only pics I have of my food until dinner.  Oops!  I have 400 of my kids on bounce houses, though.

My birthday boy had the day off school.  He shares a birthday with Lincoln, although the 12th isn’t the President’s Holiday that everyone else gets off.  I’m not sure why his school gets back to back Mondays off, but either way, we had planned to go to Kids Gone Wild in Vacaville.  I’d never been but many of my friends had.  It’s basically a huge warehouse with bounce houses inside.  Kinda weird, but the kids loved it, and since the temp finally dipped back down into Winter territory it was a great way for them to get some physical activity without the wind taking their faces off.

We went with a bunch of friends after breakfast, which made it seem very birthday party like.  And because I packed them lunches we were able to really maximized our time out.  Such a fun day for my big five year old.

Once we got back home…

Just doing what I do best…baking without recipes or measurements.  Whenever I attempt to write things down for you guys it messes up my “by sight” technique so I apologize for the lack of pancake/quickbread/cake/muffin recipes that show up here.  I need my food to turn out and Murphy’s Law tells me to stay away from measuring cups.

Since I knew I was baking treats to bring in to Pattycakes’ class for his birthday celebration, I signed up to bring in snacks at Valley’s paint and sing class the following day.  May as well bang it all out in one sesh.

The only difference was that his got frosting and decorations.  Oh, and I made her class’ minis.  Because they get a fruit/veggie too.

These gummy candies are from TJs and the coloring is from fruit and veggies (carrots and currants mainly).

I’m not a gummy person (anymore – that was totally all I cared about in my 20s though) but these smelled realllllllly good!  They reminded me of “fruitios”.  Did you guys ever have those growing up?  They were the only “treat” my mom bought us for lunches (or swim meets snacks) and while they were nothing like fruit roll ups (which I was sooooo jealous all my friends got) they were still pretty good.  I only started getting them in my lunches when I was in high school, so I am pretty sure my mom was over it when it came to making lunches by then.  We begged so hard for processed food!!  Man, we didn’t know how good we had it with the stuff she packed for us.  Thank you mom!!

I made a pretty big mess beating this coconut frosting, which is probably why the photo is blurry.  I bet I had frosting all over my hands.

Ta-da!  <3

The chocolate on chocolate was his request to bring in to school.  Which differs from the request he made for his party (which is in a couple of weeks).  For that he wants a vanilla cake with pink frosting.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be baking desserts for the next month straight.  I think they think I’m a pastry chef.

The cupcakes were vegan because I used aquafaba in place of eggs.  I kept them free of most allergens because his school is tree nut/peanut free.  They had wheat, but were otherwise dairy free, soy free, nut free, egg free, etc.

My little buddy wanted pizza for his birthday dinner.  Can you believe pizza surpassed tacos!?  To be fair, my parents are coming this week and I told him he could have tacos when they came.  So really he gets both.  I feel like he’s a typical five year old now – as opposed to an “allergy kid” or a “foodie kid”.  A kid who loves pizza!  How cliche!  I’m still proud of him for loving all the other stuff I make too so I’m more than happy to give him pizza on his birthday.

I made two pizzas with the Vicolo crusts – one for the kids and one for Kyle.  All he wanted for toppings was cheese, pepperoni and bell peppers.  Easy enough.

Melt in your mouthhhhhhhh.

I made myself an entire Capello’s pizza, but unlike the last time when I made it on a naked crust, I got the sheep’s milk cheese pizza.

I wasn’t too impressed with the appearance when I opened it, but you never know.

I added pepperoni (I’ve been storing the same package of applegate pepperoni in the freezer for a while and finally finished it off with this dinner), popped it in the oven, and waited until things started smelling goooooood.

OH. MY.  WORD.

This is better than the naked crust and way better than the TJs cauli crust. It’s maybe the best pizza I’ve ever had.  It’s a soft kinda floppy crust (but you can still hold it like a normal pizza), but once you get over that and don’t expect to be eating bread, it’s major.

Make a wish, my love!