de boles

Lunch Lady

Kyle’s coworkers tease him (in a fun, non-mean way) about his healthy vegetarian lunches.  Apparently he’s the organic, non GMO hippie of his office, just like I am in mine. 🙂

Now his colleagues are wondering when I’m going to start packing food for all of them.  Which I’m considering a victory for veggies everywhere.

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Thanksgiving leftovers on quinoa.  Oatmeal & snacks.

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Spaghetti.  Crock-pot potato chowder (recipe coming).

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Pita SB&J with organic Swanson sunbutter and home-made pluot plum jam.

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18 Rabbits gracious granola packet with organic vanilla greek yogurt.

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Scrambled mish mash made from the leftovers of a fried rice dinner (below), enhanced with a steamed and chopped sweet potato. 

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Rice, peas, broccoli, eggs, sesame oil, and soy sauce.  Made for dinner, but with extra servings on purpose, for both Kyle’s lunch and mine.

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Burrito with spinach, tofurky kielbasa sausage, avocado, and Sabra’s garlic salsa.

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Breakfast quiche with brown rice, eggs, TVP & Sabra’s garlic salsa.

People always seem to love when I write posts about packing lunches and meal prepping.  The truth is, it’s really easy as long as you set aside the time to do it.  Don’t plan to do it in the morning before you go to work because that’s crazy and will never work.  Pack things up the night before, when you’re making dinner for that night. 

The best tip I can give is ALWAYS MAKE EXTRAS.

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For this dinner I made spaghetti with marinara.  I made his with organic whole wheat noodles and mine with De Boles GF brown rice noodles.

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It wasn’t laborious in the least.  I just made two huge pots of pasta, and served half for dinner and served the rest right into the tupperware for a meal the next day.

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Left side is dinner, right side is pre-packed for work lunches.  Top row is Kyle’s (hence the parm), bottom row is mine (with the nooch).

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I don’t mind being his lunch lady.  In fact, I like it.  Packing his meals is far from a chore.  I do it because I love him and I want him to eat nice balanced meals, with quality ingredients, a range of micro and macronutrients, and yummy flavors.  Ever since he’s gone vegetarian, he’s been learning more and more about nutrition, asking me questions often and taking in all the info with enthusiasm.  So I know it’s of interest to him (as opposed to a forced conversion).  Makes me happy to see him satisfied and content. 

It also makes me think about raising a kid (and how I’ll approach nutrition and diet with a baby boy).  Obviously I’ve given it some thought – I mean, it’s ME – but at the same time, I’m still pretty unsure about a lot of stuff.  Naturally, Kyle and I have discussed it as well.  Will he be vegetarian?  Vegan?  Milk free?  Dairy free?  Etc.  Similar to my birth "plan" I have a rough idea of what I definitely do and don’t want, but for most other things, I’m just going to wait and see. 

I was a tofu loving babe, so maybe he will be too.  I’ve certainly given him plenty of variety in plant based eats while in utero (which they say he can taste and will therefore prefer once he’s eating solids).  Every time I go grocery shopping or browse a restaurant menu or plan out lunches and dinners, I think of what new things I can expose him to.  Hummus was the most important, of course. :) 

In the summer I was going melon crazy, while juicing with veggies and fruits on the regular.  Basically, he’s been eating kale since he was days old.  And of course there were those first trimester tomato cravings. 

Once fall hit, I switched gears to roasted roots, like squash and sweet potatoes.  And apples, naturally.  FODMAPs be damned, I want my son to like apples. 

But those are just the main players.  I’ve made sure he’s tasted everything from dates, papaya, and hemp seeds, to nooch, ginger, and berries.  And that’s all I can do.  Fingers crossed it’s enough to make a mini hippie. 

Of course it won’t be the end of the world if he doesn’t like brussels sprouts.  But wouldn’t it be great if he did?  🙂

Eating the garden

Recently I’ve been making the fruits of my labor into delicious meals.

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I don’t know where this love for pesto suddenly came from, but it’s really nice to be able to pick your own food and prepare it in the same day.  Thriving basil and parsley plants for the win!

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De Boles GF penne for me, 365 whole wheat spaghetti for him.

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Nuts, hemp seeds, basil, parsley, olive oil, plain almond milk, pasta water.

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Blended and blended until I got the texture (and flavor) I wanted.

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I’m really trying to minimize wheat as best I can.  It’s aggravating me more than it did pre-pregnancy so now that I’m better able to control my food (meaning nausea isn’t dictating my meal choices) I’m sticking to FODMAPs friendly foods again. 

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Gluten free pasta is definitely different than regular pasta in terms of cooking.  From what I’ve learned, the best method is waiting until the water has reached a full boil and watching it closely.  If you don’t drain the water and toss it in EVOO at JUST the right moment you’re screwed.  It goes from al dente to mush pretty quickly.

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I missed the critical point because I had too many things going on (Kyle’s pasta, roasted tomatoes [below], and the pesto) at the same time.  So I had mushy pasta.  Oh well.  I made the whole box so that I could have the leftovers for my work days.

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Oh, and about those tomatoes.  My sister guest posted about this a while back (I used the same method).

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These are our tomatoes, tossed in olive oil, and sprinkled in salt.

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Roasted in the oven at 350 degrees until they pop.  It was roughly 30 minutes I think.

Lemme tell you, these are GOOOOOD.  They get so sweet and have mega flavor.  Seriously, I may never eat raw tomatoes again, they were that good.

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Leftovers of everything made their way into my lunch box.

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Looks like an Italian flag. 

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What else?  Home-made banana pancakes for breakfast and snacks galore.  Banana, Glutino pretzels (from my Swanson order – love these things!!), nuts, candied ginger and I can’t remember what else.

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Here’s the scene at 6 am.  As you can see I still have quite a few pancakes left!  Bulk pancake-ing before the work week starts has been a huge win for me.

And this time I only ate 1 1/2 before work.  I ate the other few in a couple different mini grub sessions. 

Next day, same story.

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Same lunch and breakfast. 

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The snacks were different(ish) with apple slices and raw pecan butter.

As well as a banana, smokehouse almonds, and Glutino pretzels.

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Happy garden eatin!

What I ate (last) Wednesday

Umm, I still have last week’s food on my computer.  Sooo, that’s weird.  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged an entire day’s eats (so many recipes!).  Why not share 24 hours full of food?  [or whatever portion of the day I was awake]

I woke up at 4:30 for work because I’m crazy and like shorting myself an hour of sleep to exercise before I’m on my feet for 12 hours straight.  Helloooo sarcasm.

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On the way to work (at 6:25 am) I enjoyed a [raw] Cardamom Almond Biscotti by TwinCakes Bakery.  I got it in my December Lollihop box and I was SO excited since I love Lori and Michelle and have wanted to try their products forever. 

Putting my adoration for the twins aside, the biscotti was AWESOME.  It was flavorful, nutty, and light all at the same time.  The portion size was perfect for starting the day off and it was easy to eat on the go, too.  Basically, I would buy these in bulk if I could and have them before every shift.  As a lover of all things ginger, it’s tragic that I hadn’t been introduced to cardamom before this, but I can say with absolute certainty it’s now one of my favorite spices.  Now if only I could get my raw goods to hold together like TwinCakes’ treats!

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Around 10 am I was ready for my second breakfast.

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Oats and 1/2 a banana topped with quinoa granola. <— as you can see I’m updating my recipage more and more every day!!

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My lunch break wasn’t until 1:00 pm at which point I had this tupperware waiting for me.

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I realize it looks a little suspect.

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Here’s a closer look. 

Still unsure?  Lemme break it down for you. 

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De Boles Rice Spirals (gluten free) – I like these noodles, but they suck as leftovers because they get really really soggy and basically disintegrate.

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West Soy Chicken-Style Seitan – I have been spoiled from making my own seitan.  I bought this when I first got back from the holidays because I didn’t have time to make anything before working.  It had a weird aftertaste and seriously lacked flavor.  I wouldn’t buy again.

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Creamy Dijon Cashew Sauce – In. Love.

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Pasta + seitan + sauce…still felt like there was something missing.

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Kale!

I had candied ginger and Dagoba new moon dark chocolate for dessert.

Later in the afternoon I needed a little pick-me-up.

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Enter Clif Bar.  The Coconut Chocolate Chip flavor is “new” but not really.  I think it’s been around almost a year now and yet, I still hadn’t tried it.  It was really really good, but let’s call a spade a spade – it’s basically a candy bar disguised as a “health bar.”  No problem with me, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re doing some favor for your body in eating it.  It’s a favor for your taste buds though.  🙂

I had carrot sticks on my commute home, the orange was never eaten.

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Post shower, I had a plate of Dijon Tortilla Casserole.  I freakin’ love mustard, especially stone ground mustard.  I don’t like spicy mustard though, so for anyone misled by the name of the dish, let me be clear.  The sauce is made with both honey and stone ground mustard, but not spicy dijon mustard. 

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For dessert I had a Argentinean Alfajor Cookie.

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So here’s the thing.  I used to eat Greek yogurt on occasion…I never really stopped per se, but I haven’t had any in quite some time. 

Well since discovering FODMAPS I decided to see how other kinds of dairy could fit back into my diet.  Problem is, I have no interest in other kinds of dairy.  Except chocolate.  In Buenos Aires, I wanted chocolate all day long. 

Alfajor cookies were the main reason, but dulce de leche also played a big role.  And the monthly timing of the trip, but whatever.  😉

Up to this point I was doing well with eating some milk chocolate in moderate enough amounts to remain low FODMAPS and keep my GI tract pain free.

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But this bad boy definitely was too much for my poor gut.  Sad.  It was delicious, but I paid for it after.

Cheesy faux-mage spirals

Mmmmm… cheesy pasta!

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[Reminds me of the Friends episode where Joey is shooting a “mmmmm…noodle soup” commercial]

I digress.

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Considering how sucky the brown rice tortillas were, I had zero expectations for this gluten free pasta.  I mean, they’re both made of rice.

*I have since tried some of the tricks you guys left in the comments section of this post and there is a slight improvement in the texture, but I think I’ll just make chips out of the rest of the tortillas*

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Nice stats.  Nice start.

They cooked like normal noodles.  And they looked like normal noodles.

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So far so good.  But really, taste and texture are far more important than appearance.  So in the interest of not having a brown rice cardboard repeat, I went overboard and cooked the bejeezus out of the pasta.  Al dente came and went, and then an hour later, they were soft and ready for toppings!

Sauce, yes, but first greens.

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All I had to do with the spinach was chuck in a fist-full.  Stirring it in the drained (but still boiling hot) pasta cooked the greens to a perfectly wilty state.

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And then there was the faux-mage.  I don’t care how much you like alfredo, this vegan cashew sauce knocks it out of the park.

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Cheesy faux-mage (v, gf)

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt (to taste)

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Cheesy faux-mage spirals (v, gf)

Ingredients:

  • De Boles gluten free pasta (I used rice spirals)
  • spinach
  • faux-mage sauce (see above)

Directions:

Cook pasta as per package.  Drain.  Add in uncooked spinach and stir into hot noodles.  Pour copious amounts of faux-mage sauce on top.

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Dig in.  🙂