kale

What I ate…a long time ago

Last week I took photos of my whole day of eats – something I rarely do anymore – and then I just forgot about it.

But they were good meals worth sharing so I’m posting them now because it’s food related and this is a food blog!

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It’s pretty atypical for me to have oats in the mornings nowadays, so this creation is more of an anomaly than the norm.  I was in the mood for peanut butter but I used sunbutter instead because I’m still nervous about eating nuts when I’m around P.  Even though I’m super careful it’s still scary.  It also had coconut and cinnamon for days.

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My lunch featured Quorn chik’n tenders which are easy to have in the freezer for random protein emergencies (because we all have those?!?! what??).  Anyway, I was in the mood for a salad with some oomph so I thawed some chunks and kinda worried they’d be weird.

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They looked like chicken with freezer burn, but tasted shockingly good!  The ingredients list isn’t short, but despite appearances, it’s all decent.  It’s actually mostly egg protein, and yet it doesn’t taste eggy at all.  I liked it more than gardein and many other mock meats.

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I tossed it with steamed kale, coconut chips, and tamari – a quickie take on this salad (again).

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My afternoon boost was green – thanks to the frozen spinach.  The rest of the smoothie had coconut milk, frozen banana, nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder, and ice.

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Dinner was more kale (I can’t get enough lately) with salmon.

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I definitely phoned it in with this meal, but sometimes you need simple ones to balance out the more time consuming ones.  I know which days are going to be busier in advance so those days are the ones that I bust out the crock pot or turn to big salads.  Kyle loves kale salads too so it’s a win win.

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This one had kale (massaged with olive oil and avocado), quinoa, and white beans.  I used canned salmon from TJs so it was ready in minutes.

P still refuses to have anything to do with beans.  It’s breaking my hippie heart.  🙁  I’ll just keep trying…

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Kyle and I finished off his birthday cake while watching Girls.  We flew through all 3 seasons in a matter of days.  Now it’s on to the next season of Mad Men that I saw just popped onto our Netflix queue.  Woo hoo.

My highlights: week 8

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Swoon.

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We spent too much time at Lamps Plus last Sunday buying a chandelier for…drumroll…our new house!!!  I am still in shock.  More on that later.  In the two hours it took to find a suitable chandelier and matching chain, P managed to pee through an outfit and get super hungry.  Like a total rookie mom, I was prepared for neither.  We left at 11:30 thinking it would be a 30 minute trip, tops.  But we were way wrong.  Needless to say I made it work.  I changed him in the car and cleaned his outfit as best I could, then found a pouch of applesauce and corn puffs in the bottom of the diaper bag.  He was quite happy and fell asleep on the traffic-packed drive home.  Kyle and I both wanted to eat our own faces by the time we got home and were laughing at the ridiculous nature of the whole outing.  In the end we got a chandelier though, so mission accomplished! 

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My sister bought me a 6 pack of Roscato (aka the best wine ever) for P’s first birthday.  It makes me sound like a mega boozer, but if you’ve ever tried this fizzy red vino, then you understand.  If you haven’t, I suggest you remedy that situation asap. 

Anyway, I popped the cork screw top last weekend when we had some friends over.  The kids romped in the backyard while we sipped and supervised.

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Looking over the fence, keeping an eye out for our friends.

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The blue eyes babes.

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Salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas.  I made two batches and shockingly, P actually ate the salt-less ones.  Every day is a new food mood, though, so I’m not holding my breath.

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This week’s weather was rather schizophrenic.  Shorts!  Flip flops!!  I dressed like this for two glorious walks in the sunshine until the rain came.

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After a gorgeous start to the week, the storms hit on Wednesday and haven’t slowed since.  Spring is such a tease.  

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Went to the East Bay again on Monday for this lecture series.  I carpooled with my parents, but when I first got to their house my mom was out on a hike with the dogs.  Patty-cakes was so confused as to why the dogs weren’t in the backyard.  When they got home, he gave grandma a nice greeting, but quickly turned his attention to the pups.

PS This lecture featured Joan Dye Gussow & Michael Moss, speaking on “Consumerism, Marketing, and Health.”  They got me fired up all over again about the crap the majority of the nation eats, and how big businesses target us, and why our grocery stores look the way they do.  Ugh.  Somehow it was depressing and discouraging, while still being inspiring and motivating.  But if you’re looking for answers, I came away with nada.  If only we could all have the time and financial resources to make our own food from real ingredients and completely boycott processed products.  Not super realistic though.

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Breakfast battle: sweet or savory?  I don’t do “or”.  It’s sweet AND savory for moi.

On the left, steel cut oats with golden raisins, strawberries, and cinnamon.  On the right, two fried eggs. 

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Testing out the umbrella stroller.  I got it at the thrift store for $6 in preparation for our travel.  All it has to do is last 12 days.  Or at least just the flight portion.  I can rent something once we arrive if it turns out to be a p.o.s.

So far so good though.  I treated myself to Starbucks because I had negative cups at my parents’ house and then P got an eye infection and I had to go to the hospital and yadda yadda, I wanted caffeine.  The stir stick made a nice toy for him.  It’s the simple things…

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Twinsies.  And it happened twice!  So weird cracking into an egg and seeing double yolks come out. 

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Breakfast strata for Kyle.  Sourdough, Green Valley organic plain lactose free yogurt, spinach, eggs, salsa, and parmesan on top.  He loves the gluten and dairy, so P and I live vicariously through him. 

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Aint no drizzle holding back our family jog.  But lack of sleep does (P is sick).  This was a short run, but we did it, and that’s all that matters. 

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He fell asleep like this.  Like, wtf, that cannot be comfortable. 

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Top meal of the week was packed with these roasted veggieeeeeeees. 

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Kale salad lunches were a close runner up.  All good.

Hidden greens

Another post on allergy friendly baby meals (and other ideas/thoughts/notes).

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Here we are at 12 months…

I was telling my mom recently that each day it feels like two steps forward & one step back in the eating department.  [Actually I said one step forward, two steps back, but we really are moving in the positive so that’s an inaccurate portrayal of the situation]

Truth be told, I bet all parents feel like this, even the ones without children with allergies.  Some days he eats everything that touches his tray, other days he refuses all the same foods and it seems like he barely gets two bites in before he’s over meal time altogether.  But, he’s certainly not starving so his appetite is what it is.  I think it’s the ultimate intuitive eating.  Plus teething, growth spurts, and whatnot.  If only we were all so in tune with our bodies and their needs!  But I digress…

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Here are some of the things pacman has been eating (more often than not eating).

Broccoli was an on-and-off success this month, which I am taking as a HUGE step in the green direction.

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As you can see, there was still a level of skepticism involved, but I found if I didn’t watch him or act like it was a big deal, he was more likely to act the same and just eat it. 

For the record, this was maybe the 5th or 6th try with steamed broccoli, so for any other parents meeting the same resistance , just keep trying!  I tried jazzing it up with coconut and olive oil, but he ended up taking it plain.

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I’ve also been throwing ripped up spinach in his scrambled eggs.  More sneaky chef action.  He loves eggs so much, I knew it would work, and it did!  I’m going to try adding zucchini next…and many more veggies in the future. 

Baking greens (spinach, kale, etc.) and squash (butternut, pumpkin, zucchini) into muffins and breads seems like a good gateway for the things I haven’t been able to get him to eat plain.  Although I will keep offering them solo, I’d love to get his palate used to their flavors any way possible, so if that means hiding them in other baked goods, then that’s what I will do.  Of course, it’s not just about getting his taste buds accustomed to these foods.  More importantly, I want him to get the nutrients!  So I will use any vessel to do so.

Get ready for gluten and dairy free zucchini muffins (without nut flours or nut milks). 

In other news, P has FINALLY gotten the hang of drinking water out of sippy cups (praise the Lord!!!), which means liquids are soon to be on the menu.  He probably only drinks 1/2 cup of water a day, but it’s better than nothing.  Each day he gets the hang of it more and more, so I’m optimistic that we are about to turn a corner. 

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I made this green juice (for me) and he was so interested in it, that I decided to give him a sip.  I was expecting he’d make a face of disgust, because it had celery and kale in it (plus spinach, apple, desiccated coconut and coconut milk), but he liked it.  He took a few more messy slurps after the first taste…which left him with an adorable green mustache that I wish I got on camera.

My highlights: week 7

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Mama’s little helper.

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The addition of shoes to the wardrobe has transformed him into a little boy.  He’s non-stop exploring.  Still not walking, but he’s perfected his cruising skills, so it’s only a matter if time (days).

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Green toys.  And now the word tractor is a part of his vocab.  Davis appropriate.

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Inspired by Vintage Mixer’s kale coconut & chicken salad I made this guy for lunch.  I have been struuuuuggling with lunches lately.  I don’t know what to eat without soy or nuts or hummus.  I’ve been trying to limit meat to dinners only, but I have to get better about prepping things for myself.  I don’t know why I don’t!?  I plan and make everyone else’s food in advance.  From now on, I’ll include my lunches in the weekly meal planning.  We only have dinner leftovers 13% of the time so I should really give myself more nourishing and thought out eats. 

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A non-smoothie afternoon snack.  I actually had 4 cookies.  The photo lies.

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Coffee date with P’s girlfriend. 

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While he ate lasagna, I ate this.  Kale, carrots, brown rice, and salmon topped in tamari.  Kale is all I want lately! 

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Even though he’s teething, he’s still a happy boy.

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Here’s that aforementioned lasagna.  He requests it every week.  You’d think it would get old. 

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But I guess you could say the same about smoothies for me.  I had, like, five hundred this week (ok, maybe six).  Frozen spinach is the best ingredient.

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Our delayed Valentine’s dinner.  Tamari mustard salmon.  Kale salad with pomegranate arils and candied walnuts and pepitas.

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I tossed the pepitas and walnuts in olive oil and maple syrup, then roasted them at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes.

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Meanwhile I massaged the crap outta the lacinato kale (olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice & zest, salt & pepper).

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We popped bubbles too.

We agreed that our presents to each other would be chocolate, so I picked out his (below right) and vice versa.

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theo and Vosges.  He knows me so well. :)  Guess how much is left?  None! Duh.

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Me and my monkeys went to the zoo.  We got a membership for patty-cakes’ birthday.

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Dairy free gluten free waffles.  I made them for me and my (ex) coworker.  We usually do our breakfast dates at restaurants, but I had her over instead.  She had just come off a string of four nights in a row.  Brutal. 

Gluten and dairy free waffles [nut free, soy free, dairy free, gluten/wheat free]

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals tagatose
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sweetener, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon) together.

In a separate bowl whip the eggs, then add in the milk and vanilla and stir all the wet ingredients together with the dry ones.

Scoop/pour onto greased waffle iron in batches. 

Makes ~10 waffle squares.

If your appliance can control how dark your waffles end up, these are better on the shorter end of the spectrum.  At least in my opinion.  I like soft fluffy waffles.  My first batch was dark and slightly crispy on the outside (more cooked than I’d like).  I adjusted the setting to shorten the cooking time, so second batch was perrrfect.  Doughy and delicious. 

Feel free to cook as long or as short as you want.  They’ll taste good either way.

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P liked the waffles too.  At least the ones that were fresh off the iron.  The leftovers weren’t soft enough for him, so I ate his scraps instead (topped in sunbutter).  With his leftover berries and eggs.

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Little pom lover.  Whodda thunk? 

Omni meal plans

I’ve been keeping up with weekly meal planning for almost a year now – with random weeks off due to travel/holidays/etc..  But for the most part, it’s been a very successful technique in keeping our food budget in check. 

I thought it would be way more expensive once we started including meat, but it hasn’t been too significant of a difference because the marginal increase in animal protein is balanced by the fact that we all eat the same thing (thus, a decrease in overall ingredients).  One meal as opposed to three.  At least for dinner.  I pack Kyle’s lunches and they do contain wheat and dairy and (until we run out entirely) nuts, since he’s not nursing and out of the house when he eats them, it’s no big deal.  Otherwise, we are a communal diet family. 

I slipped up a bit this week because I had some mad tempeh cravings, but otherwise here are the allergy friendly dinners we shared.

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Salmon burgers over a huge salad with TJ’s Caesar dressing.

I called and left a message with Trident Seafoods about their facilities and they called me back and were so helpful!  They are all peanut and tree nut free, and one of their two facilities is sesame and free and the other is not but they still clean it thoroughly between the use of sesame products.  The customer service rep showed me where to look up the ID number of the product (on the bottom of the package) to determine which facility it was made at.  We happened to get a package from the sesame free facility!  And since the package is already labeled as gluten free, we are in the clear.  Win! 

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Kale, quinoa and tempeh Caesar salad.

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I can’t get enough Caesar dressing lately.  TJ’s makes a non-dairy version that’s pretty great.  Unfortunately, it’s not vegan, but at least P was spared one allergen (the tempeh is soy, of course).  From now on I’ll probably nix the tempeh or use chicken instead, but since we are on a budget, I didn’t want to let the tempeh that’s been in our fridge for the past month go to waste.  I’ve been eyeing it for far too long and I finally caved.

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It was so good, but not worth the poor eczema flare P had as a result.  I had thought eating it at dinner and waiting 12 hours overnight wouldn’t be too bad, but I think it takes longer to clear out of my system.  At least in that amount.  🙁

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Home-made Chipotle bowl.

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For the rice, I mixed corn, cilantro, and lime juice into brown rice.  For the chicken, I cooked two breasts in the crock pot covered in salsa for 8 hours on low.  It shredded in 5 seconds and made for minimal hands on work.  Kyle demanded a repeat of this meal immediately, so I suspect it will be a regular.

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It was seriously easy so that’s fine by me.  I served the chicken and rice with romaine and avocado.

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I’ve made this broccoli salad previously (both times adding quinoa).  Just as good this time (I had two more huge servings and the leftovers for lunch the next day).

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I actually made us two separate meals this night because we didn’t have very much GF pasta after P ate dinner (his appetite keeps surprising me!).  So Kyle had wheat pasta with this pesto (frozen from our summer produce) and I had the (above) mish mash.

Since you probably can’t tell, it’s TJ’s pasta with kale and roasted veggies topped in an avocado/nutritional yeast sauce.  Despite appearances, it was delicious.

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Kyle’s dad was in town on Friday night (Valentine’s Day) so our romantic dinner was re-scheduled for Sunday.  I made a stew with veggies, kale, rice, and sausage.

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Saturday was P’s first birthday party, so we treated ourselves to sushi that night.  No pics because I devoured it superfast.  Avocado inari is my fave.

And here are a few more meals that I photographed from the previous week but never shared…

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Pasta with marinara and home-made lentil “meatballs”.  I made extra pasta for Kyle’s lunch the next day, as well as extra GF pasta for me & P.

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He loves pasta with olive oil or chicken broth.  Frankly I can get him to eat anything with chicken broth.  It’s how I shoved brown rice and squash down his throat just yesterday.

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This was a Sonoma “chickn” salad made from Beyond Meat chicken-free strips.  I love their products so much.  They are getting “beefy crumbles” soon which should be interesting.

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I basically tweaked the Whole Foods version of the Sonoma salad that first introduced me to Beyond Meat’s product – mayo, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, celery, salt & pepper.

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Served atop a salad (or on a sandwich the next day).

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In addition to Caesar I’m really into mayo these days.  It’s all about the condiments, baby.

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Rosemary and lemon chicken and red potatoes with mixed veggies.  We all ate this one, no alterations needed.

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Spoon Fork Bacon’s shaved brussel salad with quinoa instead of pretzel bread and bacon instead of pancetta.  So good we made it again for P’s birthday party.

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Brown rice, broccoli, and organic chicken sausage.  I wasn’t too keen on the sausage, to be honest.  The flavor was fine, but the texture weirded me out. 

So there you have it – an assortment meals for our omni family.