clif bar

Merry marry 1st birthday weekend

Parties all around this weekend!  And lots of driving to get to them all!

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This was the only thing I took a picture of on Thursday.  Clearly it was the highlight of my eating day (the highlight in the non-food realm was Peyton Manning scoring a million points for my fantasy team). 

Dove dark chocolate is crazy good.  My mom gave us two bars as a part of a wedding anniversary present and I had been saving them…for what I don’t know.  I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did though.  Not that I’m a chocolate snob, but I usually buy the fancy stuff at the Co-op or Whole Foods.  Dove is better.  Sorry scharffen berger, valrhona, and green & black’s. 

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for Thurs.  We woke up early early on Friday to hit the road by 6 am.

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Poor patty-cakes was very confused when we roused him from his slumber at 5 am.  No sunlight?  What gives?

Kyle went to the Bucks while I nursed him (decafs for us both) and then we were off! 

Here are the breakfast sandos I packed us.

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His: egg, cheddar, and avocado on Dave’s Killer Bread
Hers: egg and avocado on Udi’s GF plain bagel

In case you were wondering other car snacks included:

  • trail mix
  • banana chips
  • ALT peanut butter bar
  • banana
  • apple
  • sahale crunchers
  • chocolate

By noon we arrived in Paso Robles, where we picked up Kyle’s parents (who had taken the train up from the OC for a night of wine tasting). 

After that we were off to San Luis Obispo (our final destination) for the wedding later that night.

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Because it was already 1 pm, we didn’t bother going to the hotel first, and instead went straight to downtown SLO for lunch.

Natural Cafe is a so cal chain.  I’ve been to the one in Santa Barbara several times, so I was already familiar with the menu.

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Banana for this guy.

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Black bean enchiladas.

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Salmon Caesar.

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Tempeh tacos.

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My parents and sister met us for lunch too.  All the fam bam!  Happy full bellies all around. 🙂

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After lunch we checked into the hotel and basically lounged around for the next hour until it was time to get ready for the wedding.  Kyle took the shuttle from the hotel to the venue with my family while I stayed back to put P down.  Once he was bathed and fed and semi-asleep, I got dressed and met up with the wedding gang to par-tay.  Lucky us, we had Kyle’s parents to babysit our little man and a shuttle ride home, so Kyle and I could get our drink on.  Pour the champs!

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I don’t have much in the way of photos from the wedding.  I stole these pics from my mom.  [Please note the flip flop situation going on above]

My sister and the bride are besties (since elementary school), so I’ve known Lar and her family for all of eternity.

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Dancing shoes.

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Sisters.

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Mom & Dad.

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The barn had lights strung across the lofted ceiling.  There was home-made cookies and ice cream for dessert.  And the bride and groom were beaming all night long.

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It was definitely a fun fun night.

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The next morning we swung by my sister’s hotel so she could get more time with the little one. 

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The rest of the girlies joined to shower P with kisses.  What a ladies man.  Pimpin from such a young age. 

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He could hardly contain his excitement with all the long hair to pull. 

Side note: It is SO COOL that my son will know these girls from his infancy since I’ve known them my whole life.  They’re basically my little sisters.  And now they’ll be Aunties to my kiddo.

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For brunch we walked a block over to a place called Bliss Cafe.

I ordered a carob date shake for me and Kyle but neither of us was super into it.  It was made with coconut milk, banana, carob, maca, dates, and vanilla.

My entree, on the other hand, was deeeelicious. 

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I got the green energy bowl which had rice with grilled strips of seitan, white cabbage, nori, shredded carrots, beets, cilantro & an almond/nutritional yeast sauce.  It sounded on the simple side and yet it made my mouth so so happy.  The almond nooch sauce was bomb and I was so stoked to get seitan since I haven’t had it in forever.  Mmmmm… 

I like yellow rice!  I should remember to make it more often.  Same with seitan.  I haven’t bought vital wheat gluten since moving to Davis so I need to re-stock my pantry to remedy that asap. 

I usually don’t order such non-traditionally savory things for breakfast.  I mean eggs and potatoes, sure.  But unless you’ve been up since 4 am, salad is a not 10 am fare (in my opinion). 

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Kyle got the baja chipotle burger, which had a seitan patty with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, chipotle dressing & veganaise on a multi grain bun. With a side of split pea soup.

He said it was good, and since he’s a harsh honest critic of veg places (he won’t go to raw restaurants with me anymore), I feel confident recommending Bliss to others. 

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Kyle’s parents both got the bhakti bowl with rice, curry vegetables & chutney.  Seemed to be a winner as well.  Kyle took his mom’s leftovers for the car ride home.

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Oh car rides.  How fun you are.  [Not]

P used to sleep through them, but he’s definitely past that newborn phase.  He’s now way too curious and inquisitive to sleep through foreign travel/environments. 

As you can see, we had to get creative with the entertainment, hence the tupperware of candied ginger (aka baby rattle).

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This is another gem. 

Five + hours later we were home.  Bath time.  Story time.  Bed time.  Unpacking.  Laundry. 

Dinner! 

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Two fried eggs, carrots, goat’s milk camellia cheese, and ketchup for the baked potato fries.

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I had an already baked potato leftover in the fridge (I made a bunch in the crock pot last week) so I cut it into wedges and to bake while I showered, broiling them for the last few minutes.

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For dessert I had more Dove chocolate and figs.  More than shown for the record.  The chocolate is gone.

Sunday morning I did Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred.  I definitely love/hate her.  Oof.  So sore.

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I made breakfast after nursing P.  Then it was football time 🙂

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Breakfast was the above fried egg with Udi’s GF bagel toasted and topped in peanut butter.  I’m not super impressed with the new Costco brand that replaced the previous brand I bought.  It doesn’t have salt so I end up adding salt to it.  And sometimes sugar and cinnamon too.  😛

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We meant to leave for Chico by 10, but didn’t end up getting out the door til 11.  It’s slow moving with a kiddo, but it’s all good.  By the time we got there the party was just getting going.  Happy first birthday Kev! 

I don’t have pics of the food, but I had lots of figs and goat cheese.  Patty-cakes tried figs for the first time and practically sucked them down whole!  Guess he likes them! 

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Sadly the time it took to drive to and from was longer than the actual party.

I wish we could have spent more time hanging out with our friends, but the stupid work week is freakin’ always breathing down my neck.  Sheesh.

So guess what we had to do on the way home?  Ugh.  Costco.  I hate grocery shopping nowadays, but I’m heading into a crazy stretch of shifts…and we kinda need food.  Why do I hate something I used to love?  I think it all comes down to the fact that shopping for food is no longer a leisurely activity.  It’s a time crunch.  And thanks to P, it has to happen between certain hours (that are shockingly narrow) and both adults are needed (great, let’s add more filters).  Now you see why Costco trips are such a pain.  I cannot wait til he can sit in the front of a grocery cart (so sooooon) so I can go by myself because we won’t need the stroller.  No stroller equals both hands on the cart!  So until then, I’ll continue to drag the whole family with me to Costco and the Co-op.  Anyway, we got a ton of stuff so even though it sucked in the moment, it’s done and we are set for a while.

Due to the side trip, we didn’t get home til after P’s usual bedtime.  But because he’d been in the car so much we didn’t want to put him right down right away (I feel guilty when he’s strapped down for so much time) so we played with him and made sure he got plenty of stimulation that didn’t involve peek-a-boo with the sun shade. 

I don’t have pics of any of the rest of my food.  I had a Clif bar in the car before shopping.  A big salad for dinner with veggie chips on the side.  And a couple of home-made cookies for dessert.  And tea. 

The bad side of perfection

Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good”. 

That’s one of my favorite phrases.  We could all do well to remember it, which is why I’m posting it here. 

I get questions and comments all the time about foods that I show on the blog or use in recipes that are/are not FODMAPs friendly.  I’m not perfect.  I try to eat a low FODMAPs diet most of the time and I do pretty well with it, but I definitely eat things that I know are FODMAPs.  Sometimes they are things I know I hardly react to, but sometimes they are things I know may cause symptoms and I just do it.  You have to live a little though!  Food is fun and I love cooking and eating, so it’s my goal to not let my intolerances ruin things for me.  I refuse to let a GI condition run my life. 

When I was first diagnosed with IBS, I lived in fear of food.  I was literally scared of eating because the symptoms were so bad I wanted to avoid dealing with them altogether.  It was a dark time in my life (I’m not trying to sound dramatic – it really was) so I approach eating and managing my IBS differently now. 

Anyway I don’t want to write an essay on this, I just want to remind my fellow IBS sufferers not to let over-analysis become paralyzing.  Don’t let the fear of the “wrong” foods cause you to cower from all foods.  The point of the low FODMAP diet is to help, not hinder, you in selecting meal options.  And if you have a meal that’s high in FODMAPs and you feel like crap, that’s okay!  That’s life!  You move on and eat a squeaky clean FODMAPs free diet the next day and things get better. 

So there you have it.  Striving for “perfection” is a tricky thing.  It’s good in theory but dangerous once it turns into an obsession.  So whether it’s in your career goals, your fitness goals, or your dietary goals, just be mindful of how it is playing a role in your life.  There’s a certain point when you can lose touch with reality and that’s when perfect becomes the enemy of good. 

If you’re type A like me, then you probably struggle with perfectionism.  It’s okay, we are all in it together.  🙂

Here’s some of my imperfect (but very good) eats from the other day.

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Udi’s GF harvest crunch muffin topped with warm melty peanut butter.

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The Essential Baking Co GF bread with a fried egg, goat cheese, tempeh “bacon” and spinach.  Side of carrots.

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Sierra Trail Mix Clif bar (new flavor!).  Tastes just like a chocolate chip Chewy bar.

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Snyder’s GF pretzel sticks with celery, carrots, and peanut butter.

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Macro bowl with brown rice, black beans, and a fried egg.

Hospital, take-out, & home-made (food from the first two weeks post-partum)

The first couple of weeks have flown by.  It’s what everyone said would happen, and it is definitely the truth.

The food in the hospital was okay.  [I work at the same place I gave birth to P so I know exactly where the menu and cafeteria excel and fall short]

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Whoever told me the first meal after birth would be the best thing I ever ate lied.  I didn’t take a photo of it, but I got two slices of french toast and a banana.  Remember how much I adore the hospital’s french toast?  Anyway, after nearly 24 hours of nothing but ice chips (I did have a few sips of OJ as well), you’d think it would taste like magic, but it was not great.  And made my GI tract go nuts.  I ate tiny bites, slowly, over the whole morning; but my stomach was still churning.  Truth be told, this probably has more to do with the fact that my baby boy was in the NICU after a really traumatic arrival (more on that later when I have the energy and ability to discuss).  I was so distracted and stressed out and in shock I probably shouldn’t blame the food for how my gut felt that first day.

I spent two other mornings in the hospital, and I did take pics of those breakfasts (see above).

Left: oatmeal with add-ins (granola, peanut butter, raisins, cinnamon, banana) and vegetarian sausage [they told me to pack on the protein to help with my milk supply] and coffee and soy milk (I brought my own almond milk as well)

Right: scrambled eggs, home-style potatoes, and vegetarian sausage with coffee and soy milk

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My family was really awesome and brought me goodies from Whole Foods too. 

Upper Left: quinoa, vegan gardein curry salad, Kombucha (from Kyle’s parents)

Upper Right: Uncle Eddie’s vegan cookie from my cousin (making sure you eat enough to keep up your breast milk supply is a great excuse for late middle of the night kcals)

Lower Left: hospital cafeteria salad bar (made by Marie)

Lower Right: hospital tofu & vegetable stir fry with brown rice (the chocolate cake was for Kyle)

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I brought lots of bars and snacks to the hospital also (and Kyle got me chocolate & treats from Whole Foods as my Valentine’s Day present). 

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Grazing eats (that I remembered to take pics of):

Justin’s dark chocolate PB cups (I had a LOT of these – so good)
Two Moms In The Raw cranberry nut bar (yum!)
Love Grown granola
18 Rabbits bananas foster bar
Uncle Eddie’s cookies
bananas & nut butter
almond milk

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Hospital veggie burger.

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I ended up being discharged before my baby was 🙁 , so we got take-out from the Veggie Grill as a quick option before spending the worst night ever in the hospital (“sleeping” in a cube on a office chair).

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Kale salad with blackened tempeh & mac ‘n cheese.

Finally we got to go home! 

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My parents treated us to Thai take-out for our first meal at home.

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I used the back of the order to wipe off what I bulb sectioned from P’s nose.  This is now my life.

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My parents stayed in town another day so they were able to help out with cooking big time.  The next night we had a legit feast.

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My dad BBQ-ed salmon, my mom made a quinoa dish & salad, and we also had steamed broccoli and fresh bread.  Pull up a chair PAC man! 

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We had leftovers, too, which we enjoyed over the next few days (after my parents headed back home).  I actually baked the tofu to go atop those salad leftovers (love old soggy salad!).  I let Kyle have the broccoli since I’m playing it safe(r) with certain foods while breast feeding (broccoli is typically gas inducing and I need I’d like as un-fussy of a baby as possible as we work on breast feeding).  It’s going really well by the way, but I’ll get into that in a separate post.

In addition to baking the tofu, I’ve been making lots of other quick and easy meals.  Because even though I don’t feel the most up-and-at-‘em, I don’t want to eat crap.  I did so well during pregnancy, I’m certainly not going to give in during the post partum period.

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Random meals:

Fresh bread with Earth Balance and fried egg (some things haven’t changed since pregnancy, eh?)

Tortilla espanola (made by Kyle)

Chai chia oat pudding

Quinoa with tempeh (I baked it after marinating it in Follow Your Heart’s tamari miso dressing)

Creamy grits with avocado

Van’s GF waffle with fried egg

Quinoa with cheesy (nutritional yeast + plain almond milk) sauce

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I’ve been relaying wayyyyy more on bars and such for quick snacks.  I am eating frequently – often in the middle of the night – so having things that I can grab (with one hand) is totally necessary. 

Some fave snacks:

Handle Bar (?) dark chocolate cherry almond bar

Clif seasonal flavored bars (iced gingerbread & cranberry orange nut bread)

Justin’s dark chocolate PB cups (yes, more)

Cocomo Joe’s eggnog granola

Equal Exchange chocolate caramel crunch (OMG, this is heavenly stuff)

And to prove I’m not super mom (or doing much budgeting), here are some of the take-out meals we’ve been splurging on.

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Sushi King: rolls and rolls and seaweed salad

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Fresh Brothers: daiya pizza (half had tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers & the other half was just daiya)

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the Veggie Grill: Thai chop salad with tempeh & mac ‘n cheese

So there you have it.  I’m trying to pay attention to what I eat and how P reacts to it.  Sometimes he’s pretty gassy and it clearly makes him uncomfortable.  As if my own GI tract wasn’t enough of a mess to deal with, now I have to manage two digestive systems.  Ah well.  If there’s anything I feel confident tackling, it’s dietary tweaking. 

I’ll try to be back soon(ish) with the stuff I know everyone wants to read about (birth story, updates on our family, and baby photos). 

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Staying savvy at Costco

How smart is Costco?  I mean, they charge for membership.  Then they entice you with samples.  And they have EVERYTHING.  All for a cheaper price than you’d find (almost) anywhere else.

But here’s the downside.  You don’t need a 10 pound block of cheese or 50 veggie burgers at once.  Unless you’re about to cater a party, for vegetarians, that’s an insane amount of food to have at your house.  And really, who has enough fridge/freezer space for that? 

So how do you use Costco (or Sam’s Club or whatever bulk store you shop at) to your advantage and not get sucked into the fun of saving? 

Make a list.  And stick to it. 

The idea of going to Costco without a list gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it.  It’s the biggest recipe for disaster (and overspending) ever.  So before you leave the house, take stock of your fridge, freezer, and pantry.  Think about what you’ll be making for meals in the coming week(s).  And then write down the things you need.  Just the things you need.  Not the stuff you may need (aka want).  And you know which things I’m talking about…

And once you get in the store, stick to the list.  Seriously.  Don’t let yourself get sidetracked.  Don’t go down aisles you don’t need to go down…you will only find more things to buy.  Just put your head down and get your items and get the eff out!  Check your list before you check out and compare it to your cart – do you have more than you came for?  Put.  It.  Back. 

If you go to the store without something on your list, and then you see it in the aisles looking oh so inexpensive, chances are you DO NOT NEED IT.  It wasn’t on your list.  You wouldn’t have even known about it 5 seconds ago.  So don’t buy it. 

The two main ways to fall prey to this can be divided accordingly (1) the items you frequently buy at Costco that you didn’t add to your list and (2) the items you don’t buy at Costco that you didn’t add to your list. 

Example 1: Organic quinoa.  The last time I was at Costco I saw a 4 lb bag for ONLY $6.99 (which is a really good deal).  But I still had quinoa at home.  So why buy more?  Because it’s “such a good deal”?  No, that doesn’t make sense.  Buying something you already have simply because it’s inexpensive and in front of your face is not economical.  When I run out, then I can go back and get more.  Costco isn’t going anywhere.  Restocking food in anticipation of running out is a slippery slope…and soon you end up with enough stuff stockpiled in your pantry to feed an army.  Use what you have before buying more.  You will surprise yourself at how much longer you can stretch things when you cook this way.  It’s way more economical, I promise. 

Example 2: Frozen lasagna.  No offense to Amy’s vegetarian lasagna, I’m sure it tastes amazing (all Amy’s products do), but the convenience of having frozen food is not worth the freezer space.  I make lasagna almost every other week.  It’s really easy.  It’s really cheap.  And I know exactly what’s in it.  But the thrill of having (lots of cheap!!) individual lasagnas is so enticing, sometimes the fact that I prefer my own cooking escapes my brain.  I’ve never actually bought these frozen lasagnas, but I’ve been close (and I imagine others feel the same pull to the rest of the frozen fare – like Lean Cuisine meals and such).  In the moment, try to remember this – even though that item may be cheaper than it is elsewhere does not mean it’s a good deal.  You probably wouldn’t even buy it elsewhere!  Would you?  No.  Because it wasn’t on your list!

Consider the size and how long it will last before going bad. 

I am shopping for two people.  Just me and Kyle. 

So many times I have been thisclose to buying massive tubs of greek yogurt and cartons of berries and bags of green beans and…I could go on and on…

But these things go bad.  And my fridge is only so big.  So I have to force myself to be practical.  And selective.  4 pounds of organic carrots is actually something I will go through.  It’s on my grocery list every single week.  It’s cheaper than I’d find elsewhere.  It won’t go bad anytime soon.  And I won’t go through it at a faster rate just because the supply seems endless (like I might with a family sized bag of pita chips). 

And once I commit to that (massive) bag of carrots, I mentally block off the (entire) produce drawer it will take up.  That way, I don’t buy a million other equally huge veggies that will have no place in the fridge. 

How many green beans can two people eat before they go bad?  Not multiple pounds, that’s for sure. 

Most produce will be better bought and eaten when it’s fresh; and it won’t go bad that way.  Wasted food is obviously not economical.

Other random little tips:

Shop with a buddy and make a pact to not let each other splurge on extra things.  It’s easier to be strong when you have someone looking over your shoulder as you add things to your cart. 

Shop with a buddy and split the bulk things that you both want.  Maybe you can’t make it through 8 pounds of spinach before it goes bad, but splitting it between two households makes it totally doable (and even cheaper).

Go to the store an hour (or less) before closing time.  That way you only have a limited amount of time to shop and you can’t afford to get distracted or lured into extra aisles in the store. 

Cool deal? 

Now let’s discuss all the ways that Costco is awesome. 

First off, the Kirkland brand is amazingly cheap and it’s basically the copycat of another beloved brand.  Can’t beat that! 

And even the non-Kirkland brands are ridiculously inexpensive.  On my last Costco visit I wrote down the prices of everything I have bought in the past or will likely buy in the future to do some price comparing back at home.  I searched online – bulk grain websites, nut.com, amazon.com and anywhere else I could find that sold wholesale items.  And every. single. time. Costco came out WAY cheaper.  Not just a little cheaper, WAY cheaper.  Nut butters, quinoa, brown rice, almond milk, maple syrup (and we’re talking organic here people!)…the list goes on and on.  Costco annihilated the competition.  So the moral of the story is: wait until you run out, then hit up Costco.  Diapers and wipes and other baby stuff wasn’t as huge of a savings as food was, but it was still a few dollars off.  We are amazon prime members though, so there’s the benefit of having free shipping (that arrives at our doorstep) at our fingertips that may cause amazon to slightly edge out Costco in a diaper emergency. 

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Here are some of the things I personally think are excellent scores:

Household

  • toilet paper (19.99 for a TON)
  • paper towels (19.99 for a TON)
  • green laundry detergent (12.99 for 160 oz)
  • toothpaste (6 large tubes for $9.99)
  • hand lotion (it’s plant based & paraben free, 2 22oz for $10.99)
  • shaving cream (6 6.25 oz for $10)
  • trash bags (200 for $14.99)

Food

  • Almond Breeze almond milk (6 32 oz non-refrigerated boxes for $8.79)
  • organic quinoa (4 lbs for $6.99)
  • organic eggs (24 for $7.29)
  • organic baby carrots (4 lbs for $5)
  • organic maple syrup (1 liter for $13.99)
  • organic garofalo pasta (6 17 oz. packs of pasta for $7.99)
  • brown rice (10 lbs for $5.39)
  • almond butter (26 oz for $5.99)
  • organic peanut butter (2 28 oz for $7.69)
  • organic oats (10 lbs for $9)
  • Clif bars (24 bar variety pack for $21.99)
  • organic tomato sauce (12 15oz for $7.15)
  • Sabra hummus (16 2oz mini tubs for $7.45 or 2 lbs for $5.99)

Extras (only buy if these are on your list!)

  • electronics (TVs, computers, cameras, etc.)
  • sonicare toothbrush heads
  • memory cards
  • printer ink cartridges
  • vitamins/drugs

Great vegan & gluten free finds:

  • Sabra hummus (vegan, gluten free)
  • Falafel Republic falafel & wraps (vegan)
  • Crunchmaster gluten free crackers (vegan, gluten free)
  • Boca burgers (vegan)
  • Clif bars (vegan)
  • Corazonas bars (vegetarian, gluten free)
  • gardein frozen meatless chik’n (vegan)
  • soy milk, rice milk, almond milk (vegan, gluten free)
  • produce (vegan, gluten free)
  • roasted nuts (trail mix blends, cashews, almonds, mixed nuts, etc.)
  • oats, brown rice, quinoa (vegan, gluten free)

I’m tempted by a few other things but have yet to buy them (because they are things I’ve never tried before).  And it is completely illogical to buy a massive amount of something I don’t know if I like or not.  Let me know if you’ve tried any of the following:

  • organic rice milk (12 quarts for $13.59)
  • baby diapers (we are cloth diapering, but it might be nice for the early weeks – cloth diapers are huge!)
  • baby wipes
  • Seeds of Change organic quinoa & rice (6 8.5 oz for $11.49)

These lists are just a small sample and selection and prices vary by location.

Your turn to share!!!  What have you tried and loved (or tried and found not worth it)?  Favorite Costco purchases?  Other cheap baby items I should be aware of?  Tips to avoid impulse buys? 

Mis-schedule

I’ve been very uninspired lately.  In the kitchen, in my day-to-day routine, in lots of ways…I just feel like I’m tired and bored all the time.  It’s weird.  My days off are so lazy.  I read, I draw, I read some more.  But I miss my desire to be in the kitchen.  I don’t know where it’s gone.  Thinking of dinner ideas is hard for some reason.  And it’s never been like that before.  I ask Kyle to suggest things since I seem incapable of coming up with anything other than eggs and toast and I kinda shrug as he lists off things and eventually agree to something or other, but it’s never like OH YES THIS SOUNDS AMAZING I WANT IT TONIGHT!  What’s that all about?  Needless to say, there’s been a fair amount of take-out (not my bank account’s fave).  And when it comes to exercise, I’m definitely getting sick of my walking/jogging sessions.  My back and feet hurt when I go for long distances.  Truthfully, I want to ride my bike so badly, but I’m scared of getting hit and I know it’s risk that’s not worth taking.  Anyway, I’ve been in this little rut for a week or so and I’m just trying to wait it out because I’m getting bored with myself. 

I packed this for work the other day.

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But then I discovered that I wasn’t actually working (I swear, I never know my schedule).  So I saved it for the next day (which I was, in fact, supposed to work). 

Before you start freaking out on me, you should know that’s an old iced gingerbread Clif that I’ve been hoarding for all of 2012.  So no, the seasonal Clif bars aren’t yet in stores.  But as soon as they are I’m going to re-stock my stash so I can enjoy them in September of 2013, too. 

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Breakfast pancakes made with just banana and eggs – topped in almond butter.  I’ve been seeing this little two ingredient pancake trick pop up everywhere and it intrigued me so I decided to give it a go.  I’ll report back.

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Lunch was leftovers from a BBQ tempeh and carrot crock-pot dish I threw together the previous night.  I served it over brown rice and spinach.  [More on that in a bit]

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In between meals, I snacked on this sandwich.  It’s just avocado and vegan cheese on Udi’s GF white bread. 

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And to round out the snack pack, some zucchini bread

So back to the BBQ tempeh & carrot dish…

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Here’s the “recipe” in photo format.

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Crock-pot BBQ tempeh & carrots

Ingredients:

  • 5 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) block tempeh (I used Lightlife’s flax tempeh), cubed
  • your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Annie’s organic [vegan] original)
  • water

Directions:

  • Chop everything to a similar size (I used large chunks, but if you’re short on time smaller pieces will cook faster)
  • Add everything to the slow cooker
  • Top in BBQ sauce (be generous)
  • Add water to about 2/3 the way up the ingredients (I added too much and left the lid slightly ajar so it would steam off and reduce, so it’s not the end of the world if you over water it)
  • Cook on low for 8 hours (again, if you are in a time crunch, you could go for smaller pieces/less time/higher heat, but I can’t vouch for how it’ll turn out)
  • Serve over brown rice/quinoa/millet/whatever grain you have on hand

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The prep for this is virtually effortless.  And then you can put it in the slow cooker and forget about it.  My kinda meal.  As you can see it makes great leftovers, too.

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