Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Scooting along

I should just take a photo when I have something that’s NOT nourish bread and nut butter for breakfast.

P wanted me to ride my bike to school to drop them off the day before, but I had planned to go to stroller strides so we did a rain check until this morning.  I wasn’t really excited about it, but it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be and in the end, I’m glad he inspired me to get on my bike.  Cycling is a hard sell in December, but with the right gear it’s fine.  They were oblivious to the brrr factor entirely, because the chariot has a nice seal that keeps them toasty warm inside.  Also, they had “Wow in the World” on in the trailer so they were loving it.

Per her request, V and I spent the whole morning scootering.  We went to the park that’s about a half a mile from our house and she rode the whole way.  She’s fast!

By the time we got home we had to get straight into the car to go pick up P.

I went back to my favorite kind of lunch – a kale salad with avo. I can’t stay away for too long before the cravings call, even in winter.

Speaking of winter…

I bought this impulsively at Tjs because I figured it would be a hit with the kids so I prepped the whole thing (some for dinner that night, but the rest for lunches).

Quiet time turned into a nap time.  Oops!  He crawls into this little corner spot to listen to music and read books when he’s in a mellow mood.  I guess he was exhausted.

Even though we had more meals planned for the week I decided to use up some leftovers first.  We all had different odds and ends.  After finishing this sweet potato pecan dish I wasn’t quite full so I had one of the leftover fried chicken pieces from the previous night.

I kept my streak going with no dessert and a kombucha instead and didn’t even miss it!

Pattycakes has been begging me to let him go to “stay and play” with some of his friends, which is the optional 12-2 hour stretch after his preschool gets out.  I keep telling him we will find a time, and Thursday was that day.  He was SO EXCITED.

I packed him lunch to eat at school the night before.  He liked the cool compartments.

The next morning was much of the same.

I finished off the last of my home-made cashew creamer (which is why my coffee is in the jar – don’t want any to go to waste!).

I had a snacky afternoon and then Kyle dropped P off just after 2 and I realized how much I missed him!  Those extra two hours were great for me to get V to her nap when she wanted, but I still want that lunch time to chat with my big boy. Anyway, we can’t do stay and play on the regular since I can’t pick him up while V is napping (we had to plan for a day that Kyle was free to get him) so I still get him mostly to myself.

Dinner plans thanks to Gobble!

I got four servings but knew the kids wouldn’t be into the fennel and raw shallots so I kept some parts of the wheat berry salad separate for them.

I made the salad in advance but left the rest to dinner time. We had a play date with friends that afternoon.  But first, Jamba Juice!

We brought one to my friend too because she had oral surgery and couldn’t do much in the way of chewing.

Jamba Juice is still the place I trust the most with their allergy free blenders and understanding of dietary demands. I saved the last few sips of P’s smoothie for dosing that night (more on that later).

I’m starting to think salmon is my favorite food.  I want to eat it always and have to consciously not eat it for lunch and dinner.  I need to get to Costco to restock my smoked salmon stash.  In the meantime, if I see a gobble meal that has salmon, I’m definitely going to get it. I typically do salmon with Asian inspired ways, but this recipe had a blood orange salad with orange cumin vinaigrette (DELISH!) and sumak on top of the fish.

There were four filets, but one is missing from the photo because I’d already plated some for my starving kids to dig in while the rest cooked.

Looks fancy huh!

I tried to give most of the shallots to Kyle and then most of the fennel fronds for me, per our preferences. 🙂

This was a good meal, but it didn’t necessarily wow us like others have.  The salmon was delicious, but that’s just because salmon is delicious.  I did like that it made me use fennel though, because I’d never buy that otherwise (since nobody else in the family is a fan).  And the kids ate arugula too, which was probably a first.

P drank the last sips of smoothie after his dinner was done and I didn’t tell him I’d put his dose in it and he totally slurped it down without any drama, which was sneaky (and risky) on my part, but he was pretty happy to find out that he already took his dose after the fact.   Now I know that there’s a big mental component to the peanut dosing, as opposed to a true dislike (of the flavor).  TBD on how I will proceed.  We have OIT on Friday so I have a bunch to discuss with them.

Heading in to the weekend like…

Frying

Story time after stroller strides.

Followed by a gobble delivery!

And all I have to show for food is this bag of Siete tortilla chips.

Tuesday afternoons are back to back gymnastics so I packed snacks for them to eat while the opposite one was in class. Apple and pear slices on the bottom, cucumber slices in the middle, and carrots on top.  I usually give them baby carrots, but opted for the shredded pieces instead because they take longer for them to eat, which is important when I’m trying to occupy them for long stretches.

Once we got home I got to work on a gobble meal.

I actually got the wrong order, but made it work.

Frying for my life!

The good news is that the smoke alarms didn’t go off.  The bad news was that I cooled the house down to 60 degrees because I had to open every door and window and fan at the end of this oil splattering mission.

It was very worth it, though.

Check out how perfect the breading and cooking is!  I’m way willing to pat myself on the back for this because it was pretty out of my comfort zone.

It was also a total mess.  My stove was looking tragic by the end of it.  Thank goodness for splatter guards or it would have been a real disaster.  Serious question: How do you flip things that are frying without frying your arm hairs off???

I made fried rice too.

Time for the finishing touches!

The chicken was breaded in a mix of flour, eggs, and Chinese 5 spice.  And then there was a mandarin orange glaze for serving.

The kids LOVED the meal (as did the adults) so much that we seriously could have eaten 10 more servings.  And yet, we still had two leftover pieces of chicken!  I swear the gobble portions are so generous!  It’s amazing given how much our family eats, but I guess I buy the 4 person amount and half of those are kids so it makes sense to have some extra.

I gave Kyle the burnt ones but he said they were super good and didn’t think they were too scorched.  Phew!

Their ornaments that they painted were finally dry and ready to be hung. 🙂

PS Here’s a link for anyone wanting to try gobble that gets you two free dinners.  I buy all of mine, so don’t think I’m getting free stuff to promote them.  I just think it’s fun to do every once in a while and want to share a deal.

A one pot meal for Monday

This Monday I had MOPS and brought banana bread for my mama friends.

I made a bunch of loaves so the kiddos had some for breakfast.  They gave it the thumbs up.

I had some of my own bread and nibbles of other stuff as well as heaps of coffee as we chatted the morning away.  It was a rocky start because V cried a lot when I dropped her off.  I stayed with her for a while and tried to get her comfortable but each time I’d start to talk her through my departure, she’d freak out and cling to me.  After a few times of this, the brilliant child care volunteer just told me to go.  It was so hard leaving her wailing.  I was nearly in tears myself.  But then one of my girlfriends went to check on her for me a while later and reported back that she was happy as could be so then I was able to breathe a bit easier and relax.

I continued my snacky eating for lunch too – because nothing really called out to me.  I knew I wanted carrots and Mary’s Gone crackers, so I added sheep pecorino romano to the mix and called it a meal.

I went back for crackers three more times, but ate nice and slow to give myself time to tune in to my real hunger.

We hit up the park with friends that afternoon and it was the most perfect crisp weather.  We have been so lucky because even though the morning’s have been downright frigid, it warms up to 60 degrees by the afternoon which allows us to get some fresh air and work off energy before dinner.

I made this really yummy meal and feel like I should share the recipe – even though it’s not super precise.

If you know of a place to find GF orzo, let me know!  I used wheat orzo and was ok with it because the rest of my day was low fodmap.

Spinach and Tomato Orzo chicken Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil (or 4 tbsp EVOO + 1 tsp minced garlic)
  • 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1/2 large yellow onion minced
  • 2 tbsp roasted red peppers (with the oily marinade)
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper as needed

*optional: top with shaved parmesan

Directions:

Add the olive oil to a large skillet and toast the orzo in it for a few minutes.  Then add the onions and roasted peppers and sauté until the onions become translucent.  Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.

Next add the chicken, clearing little holes for it between the orzo, and let each side sear.  Salt and pepper each one. Flip and sear the other sides of the thighs, then add the spinach and put the lid on so it can wilt.

Once the spinach has wilted, add the broth and stir it all up so the chicken isn’t stuck to the bottom of the pan and the spinach is mixed in with the other stuff.

Simmer on low until the orzo has cooked through.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

It’s so easy to do ahead of time because you basically add things in one by one and then let it simmer (hands off!) while you go about your business and then it’s ready for you when you want to eat.

The kids LOVED this and ate a ton.  And there were leftovers too!  Kyle will get at least two lunches out of it, unless the kids claim it for their lunches.

The best parts were the nearly fried orzo pieces that were all brown from the first step.  Yum.

So many variations with this formula too.

Booch to end the night.  Just like last time, a few days of no desserts and my sweet tooth is gone.  It’s amazing what a little time off can do to reset your palate.

Santa and his elves

I was so excited for our Saturday morning of nothingness.  Kyle took the kids to farmer’s market and I had a slow morning to myself before doing a bunch of housework and cooking prep.

After the kids were down I made lunch.

But I accidentally made it way too huge.

This is a theme lately.  I don’t know what’s up with my appetite but I am finding I keep stuffing myself at lunch time, and yet, I’m having the same amount of food (more or less) that I usually do.  Why is it all of a sudden too much for me?  Is my metabolism slowing?  Is this just a random physiological / hormonal phase?

Whatever the cause, I made this salad into a huge beastly thing by adding candied walnuts and half an avocado and then finished it all, despite feeling full at the half way point.  Oops!

I’m going to focus really hard on listening to my body over the next few days to see if I can give it what it wants and no more, no less.

That whole intuitive eating thing…

P and I went to his friend’s birthday party after lunch, so at least one of us got to burn off some calories.

This was complete madness in the cutest way…building forts and then having “snowball fights” with rolled up socks.

They did all the other usual birthday stuff, too.  P got to eat cake, which he feigned excitement about, but only ate a bite or so before saying he was all done.

And V slept through the entire thing (at home with Kyle).

While Kyle went on a run with V, my big boy and I cooked dinner.

Cilantro plucker.

Right before we sat down they opened a present from us.

I couldn’t help myself when I saw these PJs.  😉  Such cute little elves.

Dinner was excellent if I do say so myself (although I don’t have to – Kyle said so too).

I used the leftover salmon from Thursday night (but not even all of it!) in an Asian slaw noodle salad thing.

The dressing was almond butter, tamari, rice vinegar, ginger, fish sauce, warm water and sugar.

Then I added two packets of Koyo ramen noodles (not GF but at least it was organic heirloom wheat) minus the seasoning packs, as well as a cabbage/slaw mix, sliced bell peppers, shredded carrots, cilantro and cashews.  Pattycakes was in charge of breaking up the noodles and ripping the leaves off the cilantro.

Yum!

The next morning was the most anticipated day of the Christmas season because of the preschool performance at church.

My parents came early and we all went over to church together.  It was so fun having all the classes and teachers and siblings there…and when they filed in to sing I teared up almost instantly.  Gah!  Too much cuteness.

They sang for both morning services so we got home just in time for lunches and meltdowns. They were both so exhausted.

A different lunch for me!  I felt like chips and then kinda just went with what I thought would pari well with chips. I decided on tuna salad with celery and Sir Kensington mayo.  I ended up finishing off the bag of chips after this was gone…while watching football with Kyle.  Winning.

Then I got my Sunday prep on.

I had to bake for MOPS the next day (it was our turn to bring food for the group) so I made a bunch of banana bread loaves of various allergy specifications.  DF, GF, etc.

Then I got to work on dinner.

My Instant Pot-ing is back in action!!!  I got my replacement the day before and could hardly wait to use it again.  I don’t know how I survived so long without it because just those 2 weeks were tough.  😉

I made these gorgeous puy lentils in 15 minutes – with veg broth and a bay leaf.

And while those pressure cooked, I roasted some Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes and made the dressing for the lentil salad.

No such thing as too many Brussels!

After the kids woke up from naps we snuck in a trip to TJs so I could get ingredients for the rest of the week, including parsley for the lentil salad that night.  The rest of the stuff for dinner i already had on hand, minus the parsley, which is why I chose the meal in the first place.

It’s a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen vegetarian cookbook, which I think might be the best veg cookbook ever.  I know that’s a controversial statement, but I have a TON of cookbooks, and 75% of them are vegan, and so I don’t say it lightly.  Anyway, this lentil salad had a few different twists, and I chose the one with hazelnuts and goat chevre.

The dressing is outstanding too.

It’s all around goodness.

But first!  We went to a friend’s house for a PERSONAL visit with Santa!!!  Can you even believe this is a thing?!

They won it in a fundraiser auction and invited us over to join them and it was truly magical.

V wanted NOTHING to do with him, but P was really into it.  After that we came home for dinner.

Oh my gosh where to start!

I really wasn’t sure how the kids would take to this meal, but I served them everything and they totally surprised me with how much they liked it.  P got the lentils without goat cheese (because I know he doesn’t like goat cheese) but they both asked for more of everything.  We had ZERO leftovers at the end and they each ate at least 3 servings of brussels (and wanted even more after they were gone).  I think my work as a parent is done now.

Could. not. be. more. proud. of my little veg loving babies.

I couldn’t pick out a favorite of these, but the lentil dish may edge out on top.  It was just phenomenal.  And so easy!

We will be eating this for another few months now okay?

And that brings us to Monday….

Winter concert

Well that looks about right.

I wasn’t on the computer this weekend but then finally got around to uploading pics from my good camera and as it turns out, I had 600+ photos from as far back as…well…

These little nuggets!  I take photos of the kids in the same chair on the date of their birthday each month (and I take them with my nice Canon).  So clicking through was like watching fast forward on them growing up – plus some key milestones like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter thrown in for good measure.  Total highlights reel!  Good thing I finally got around to doing something with them all 😉

On Friday we went to stroller strides and all the kids made ornaments after we were done working out.

Then they played for the next hour or so until we went home for lunches.

Guess what else happened at stroller strides!?!?  I won a prize!  They are doing a 12 days of FITmas thing and each day they give something away and I won Sun&Soil granola!!!  Talk about putting a pep in my step! Helloooooo Friday.

Lunch time was salad free thanks to this raw flatbread.

I topped it with avo and smoked salmon and had a bunch of carrots on the side.  Like 5 times the amount shown.

I still needed something to close out the meal, because even half an hour later I was still unsatisfied.  So I had an orange, which is totally random for me, but it was sitting on the counter and looked good.  I usually don’t love citrus, but it’s one of those things that I buy because it’s healthy and I want to like it.

This was the perfect end to my lunch and now I’m inspired to continue the trend and get my vitamin C on the up and up.

Gobble kit for dinner!

I added the seasoning to the steaks during nap time to get as much prep done in advance so dinner time cooking was as seamless as possible (since you can’t exactly cook steaks hours before eating them).

I went to wake him up and he just started twirling my hair in his sleep.  😀  We had afternoon plans that I know he didn’t want to miss.

Cookie decorating!

My friend made all these cookies!!

And THIS is why you do OIT!  Now he can eat sugar cookies with butter like it aint no thang.

She was more into the backpack than the eating, which was a shock to us all.

This gobble meal was the Sirloin Steak with Smashed Yukon Potatoes & Three Peppercorn Sauce.  The sauce had dairy so I didn’t give any to P since he’d already had unknown amounts of dairy earlier but it didn’t matter.  The kids were ALL ABOUT this meal.

There were just barely enough potatoes (we all wanted more) so I gave Kyle and the kids rosemary focaccia bread too.

After we were all sufficiently stuffed (and P took his peanut dose) we packed up the car and went to Davis High for their winter concert.

OMG these kids are SO TALENTED!  I can’t get over how awesome they were.  We couldn’t stay for too much because it was already so late, but the few quartets we saw were incredible.  Both kids were mesmerized from the start and P has been “playing” the violin in the toy room with whatever he can find ever since.  I can’t wait to go to more high school concerts – if I’m this pumped now, imagine how proud I’ll be if/when one of my kids is in them!

Over this weekend we had all kinds of festive holiday activities, and even though I was a little nervous about it all going in to Saturday, it ended up being fun and not overly hectic, so we all really enjoyed it.  Maybe I will get around to posting about some of it sooner than New Year’s.