popcorn

Week ‘o eats

The whole shebang of last week in one post.  Here goes.

Breakfast on Monday was the last of this savory bread and fried eggs.

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Breakfast on Tuesday was out – I had a savory crepe with hash browns at Crepeville.

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Because Crepeville’s portions are awesomely massive I had leftovers for breakfast on Wednesday.  Which I paired with two fried eggs.

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Thursday I made steel cut oats in the rice cooker (the crock pot was already occupied) for our whole family.  I topped mine with a bunch of non-nut things (aka seeds galore) – including chia, hemp, and pumpkin, plus sunflower seed butter.

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I had the same thing Friday too.  With even more sunbutter.

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Saturday was a leisurely morning with Kyle home.  So, Waffles!

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On Sunday eggs were back on the menu!  We finally got groceries – we were down to the last of the fridge bits and pieces – but now I have to wait a while for all 8 avocados to ripen.  Fortunately we still had 1/2 of an avo left, which I split with P for breakfast.  Mine was on GF toast, his was plain.  

On to lunches!

Monday I made an egg & avo mash, which I heaped over spinach and carrots.

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And partnered with glutino pretzels.  Costco had these!  I did a happy dance when I saw them and then tried not to get too excited since they’ll likely be discontinued by the next time I go (as is the case with all the good GF things I fall in love with).

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On Tuesday I made an old school hippie bowl – seitan, quinoa, butternut squash, spinach, carrots, and avocado topped in Bragg’s aminos.  Classic Elise meal. 

I bought lots of this brand of seitan when I was in LA because it’s my fave.  I miss all of the Healthy Times products.  I wonder if they ship?  Hmmm…

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Wednesday’s lunch was on the smaller side because I ruined my appetite on (failed but delicious) biscuits.  I paired them with avo/egg mash and baby carrots.

I had the exact same thing on both Thursday and Saturday so I didn’t bother to take a pic.

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Friday was another seitan salad.  Same ingreds as the previous bowl.  And then again on Sunday.

My lunches are so snooze.  I love em, but they aren’t interesting because I like what I like and so I just eat it again and again. 

And now for the main meals.

Monday night featured spaghetti squash! 

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How did I wait ‘til half way through January before getting my faux noodle face on!?!  I love you I love you I love you.  Kyle had regular noodles because he doesn’t share in the fiber love affair.

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On Tuesday I made use of the crock-pot.  I was aiming for a stew but I guess I didn’t add enough liquid with the rice because it ended up more like a risotto.  No problem in my book, it still tasted awesome.

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Wednesday was all about the quiche magic.

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On Thursday I made baked potatoes with the works.  I’ve posted about it before here.  This time I ditched the faux cheese and used plain goat’s milk kefir.

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And Friday’s dinner was leftover quiche.  The rest of it.  Yep, I ate it all by myself in two servings. 

Saturday night we had leftover stew.  And Sunday we got our weekly sushi fix.  🙂

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Drinks, snacks and desserts go largely undocumented.  I don’t know why since they’re the best part of the day.  😉

I switched to coconut milk (from the can) to see if it helped with patty-cakes’ allergies.  I made the above with one can of coconut milk (this brand has nothing but coconut and water and it’s organic and BPA free…and $$).  I then added another can’s worth of water to dilute it a bit (read: make it last longer).  It’s tasty!  So far so good. 

I drink at least a dozen cups of decaf or tea over the course of the day, so, ya know.  Better for the little man. 

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Here are a list of my fave snacks: kettle corn, chocolate, chocolate, popcorn, corn nuts, banana chips, chocolate…ummm, did I mention chocolate??  It’s hard to think of non-nut snacks.  I need to get more creative.  I do have nuts in my desserts though because I know it will be several hours before I nurse P, which is enough time for the allergens to clear out of my breast milk.

Meal planning win.  Onto the next week!

I gotta stop pushing it these weekends

This weekend was full of relaxing at home.  Thank goodness!

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Last weekend I came down with mastitis and was way too ambitious for my own good.  We went to a football game with a couple and their 6 month old on Saturday.  And then traveled to the East Bay for a baby shower on Sunday.

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It was really fun, but I my suffer-in-silence-and-just-push-through-it approach completely backfired.  Come Monday I felt like crap and it was just me and pacman left to our own devices.

Raise your hand if you’re surprised by my stubbornness…nobody?  Yeah that’s what I thought.  Typical Elise, in denial about how much resting it would take to conquer mastitis without antibiotics.

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Lots of easy food.  Like steel cut oats in the rice cooker.  And Halloween candy (yikes…that spiraled way out of control).  And popcorn.

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I just sprayed the kernels with olive oil (using my mister) in a brown paper bag and microwaved until the popping slowed.

It took me until Wednesday to recognize that setting my alarm to work out first thing in the morning was a really bad idea.  Determined?  Or bull-headed?  Oh Elise.

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God bless the crock pot!!

On the left: tempeh braised with figs and port wine over brown rice

On the right: green curry tofu & veggies

The tempeh and fig recipe is from Kathy Hester’s (amazing) book, The Vegan Slow Cooker.

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Napping baby means it’s time to get chopping!

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We just re-started our Tobin James wine club membership (it’s been on hold for the past 1/2 year because we were broke) and the shipment came this week.  With port!  Perfect!

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The figs were harder to track down because the season is coming to a close.  Neither the co-op nor Nugget market had them.  But the Farmer’s market came through.  So I got a bunch for this meal and for snacking.

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I even had fresh thyme, thanks to the herb stash I took home from my mom’s garden last week.

The only change I made was doubling the amount of tempeh.  Because Kyle and I are pigs.  It was supposed to serve way more than two people but there were no leftovers.

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Definitely tasted better than it looks.

This tofu and veggie curry was just as popular for our taste buds.

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Guess who finally made it to the Trader Joe’s in Davis!?!

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This thai green curry simmer sauce is one of several awesome products I came home with.  Unfortunately I still have to go to the co-op for a few random things they didn’t have, which is a bummer.  I wish I could do all my grocery shopping at one place.  As it is I already do monthly Costco runs in addition to the weekly co-op trips.  Too much!  I don’t have time for this business!

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I cooked the veggies in the slow cooker (broccoli, yukon gold potatoes, celery, mushrooms) and baked the tofu in the oven.  [I could have thrown the tofu in the crock pot too, but I wanted them to be extra firm and baking them for a long time really gets that dense texture that I like.]  Then I combined them and poured the sauce all over.  Kyle’s was served over couscous, mine was over forbidden rice.

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This sauce is great!  Awesome complex flavors with just a bit of a kick.

I finally started to feel a bit better on Thursday, thanks to the newest additions to Netflix (I’m looking at you Sister Wives).  Couch time is good for mama, but boring for baby.

I did manage to get a few park visits and some arts and crafts time in.

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These were more of a hilarious disaster than they look.  Rather than press his hand down to make an impression, P kept grabbing the flour dough and squeezing it between his fingers.  In the end I got one decent ornament.  I’ll take it!

FYI, the recipe I used was 1/2 cup flour + 1/4 cup salt + 1/3 cup water.  Flattened into circles with handprint pressed.  Baked for 3 hours at 200 degrees F.

Anyway, like I said before, this weekend was mellow.

Lots of football and park time.

I had peanut buttery oats for breakfast.  Then we went to the farmer’s market to grab some stuff for dinner.

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Back at home, I had leftovers for lunch.  I made this hemp pesto earlier in the week, which I added into TruRoots brown rice penne.

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I topped it with two fried eggs.

Dinner revolved around this guy…

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My sister sent it to Kyle as a congrats, so we did our al fresco thing (minus the outside part since it gets dark way early now).

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Milton’s crackers, olive oil roasted almonds, carrots, Fresh N Nova cilantro hummus, Mary’s Gone crackers, grapes, and Redwood Hill Farm goat bucheret cheese.

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The highlight for me was the cheese.

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It’s so tall!  I also saw it being made when I toured their facility a few months ago.  So cool seeing it go from fresh milk to curds to a moldy block of cheese to the product in my fridge.

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It says to top it with honey, so I followed the suggestion.  I used the local honey I bought at the Santa Monica farmer’s market.

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Oh.  My.  Gahhhhhh.

I could have had this and the bubbly alone.  Okay, that’s basically what I did.  I love snack face dinners.

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Sunday started pretty much the same way.  Peanut butter-y steel cut oats.

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Daylight savings really effed us because patty-cakes doesn’t really sleep past 7 am anymore.  On the plus side, he is finally starting to nap a little bit better.  I shouldn’t really complain since he still sleeps for 14+ hours.  Uninterrupted.

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For lunch I scrambled two eggs and topped them with pumpkin sage cashew sauce (recipe coming).  Mary’s Gone crackers and carrots on the side.

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Pumpkin banana smoothie as a snack.  Also, (unpictured) kale chips.  They’re so $$$ but so goooood.

For dinner we made Vicolo pizzas.  I ate 3/4 of the large size making my dinner kcal count in the upper 900 range.  I think I’m going to breastfeed forever.  It’s awesome for my metabolism.

And now that I’ve gotten in all the rest I should have gotten last weekend and my mastitis has seemingly resolved, I’m excited to get back on the fitness wagon this week.  Wahoo!

No Gratitude

Before I get to this…

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I have to show you what I threw together the pervious day.

People always love the quickie meal ideas I give more than the elaborate recipes (okay, I never have elaborate per se, but more involved).  So here’s another one that is highly adaptable and took under 5 minutes.

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Thai sweet potato rice casserole with black beans.  Sounds like it took a lot of effort, when really, it was all thanks to a box, a can, and an appliance.

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Pacific’s thai sweet potato soup may have been “new” back when I bought it, but it’s been in the pantry long enough now that I can assure you it’s in your local conventional grocery store. 

All I did was add it to two cups of cooked brown rice (and using the rice cooker means no effort on my part) and a half a can of black beans.

From there you can either eat it as is (which is what Kyle did).  Or you can bake it in the oven to get a crispy bronzed top like a casserole.  Or you can mix in cheese and eggs and bake it to make a quiche.

This works with any soup.  Any grain.  And any protein.  I’ve mentioned the technique (can’t call it a recipe) several times before.  If you have a crock pot you can use dried beans and uncooked grains and simply add extra liquid like this (in addition to the soup).  Even easier!

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So now back to this.  Proof that I’m a nice wife don’t suck as a human?  I gave Kyle the last one of these cinnamon rolls

It’s been tempting me from the freezer for months, and yet I decided Kyle should get it after my train wreck of a hormonal day.  I had zero hormone issues during pregnancy, but post-partum is another story.  Or maybe it’s the combo of that and not getting a solid night’s sleep.  Whatever.  I’m not complaining because I have an adorable kiddo, but then again, I thik Kyle may be suffering more than I.  Or maybe I’m just building it up to be worse than it is in my head.  Either way, I’m trying to compensate by cooking for him, packing up his on-the-go meals, and giving him the leftovers that we both want.  Small tokens. 

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It’s delish on it’s own, but with PB & J… BOOM!  Before and after pics make me happy.

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He dug in while I made myself a nice big bowl of oatmeal, topped with trail mix (most of which sunk below view) and Reginald’s Homemade cashew butter

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After breakfast, we packed things up and shipped off to Larchmont Village.

Kyle had a business meeting (slash coffee date) and I decided to join him in the off chance Lynn was in town (which she was – yay!).  I got a decaf coffee at Bungalow, which was disappointingly watery and way overpriced (>$3 for a regular!?!).  I didn’t realize how expensive it was until after though because Kyle paid, and by the time I found out I was over it. 

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While Kyle talked about synergy and RFPs (kidding, I totally know what he really does), I took P out for a stroll around the neighborhood.

Larchmont is really cute. 

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I had big plans to go here for lunch, seeing as the Nor Cal locations are no longer open (sad), but by the time Kyle finished up I was ready to go home.  It may sound lame, but it’s hard being out and about for very long these days.  I’m still a rookie mom and one public diaper change and breast feeding session is about all I can handle in a single outing. 

Too bad since Cafe Gratitude was really the only place I was planning to go to on my bucket list.  I guess it will have to wait until we make a return visit to LA. 

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I ended up making a salad once I got home.  I had raw goodness on the brain since I’d already browsed the CG menu (as I do when I’m excited about dining out).

The spinach was the base, followed by home-made dried cranberries (yup, I really did that), and home-made candied walnuts, and kaia foods chili lime kale chips.  All topped with Follow Your Heart’s vegan honey mustard dressing.

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In case you’re thinking I’m crazy for making my own dried cranberries when I have a 2 month old, let me reassure you that the only reason I did so was because I had a bag of fresh cranberries in the freezer that needed to be used up.  And since I still have coconut cranberry banana bread in the freezer too, I thought making MORE bread would be overkill.  So dried cranberries it was!

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It’s surprisingly easy, despite the length of time it took.  Most of that time (99%) is hands off anyway.

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Can you even believe the color of these?  They were so insanely bright and beautiful I took a million photos and now I’m considering making it my desktop background.  They make me happy.

Ok, so here’s what you do (or at least what I did).

Home-made Baked / Dried Cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave or maple syrup)
  • boiling water

Directions:

Cut berries in half and place in a large mixing bowl.  Boil water and pour over berries so they are entirely submerged (they float, so what I mean is make sure there is more water than berries).  Stir in sweetener of choice.

I used lemon flavored honey, but I also have ginger honey that I almost used.  I am pretty sure plain sugar will work too since it’s purely for soaking purposes.  I think the acid in the citrus enhances the flavor so add a bit of lemon juice if you want. 

Once the berries have soaked for a few hours (any amount longer than 2 is fine), use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the water and onto a baking sheet that’s lined with nonstick or parchment paper.

Bake for 3 hours on 225 degrees F.  Then turn off the oven and leave for another few hours (until the oven has cooled all the way).  FYI, I left mine overnight because that’s how the timing worked out.

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Cutting these in half was soooo tedious.

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For the record, I don’t see why anyone would do this.  Buying dried cranberries is probably more economical so unless you’re about to move and you’ve been hoarding holiday ingredients in your freezer for months like I have been, then you can basically disregard the aforementioned process.

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But I do have a nice stash of dried berries now!

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After lunch Kyle and I went on a walk to the bank.  Exciting stuff. 

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Post-walk, I popped these guys open…aaaand couldn’t stop.  At all. 

Lesser Evil makes amazing products and the black & white kettle corn are no exception.  Gluten free, sweet and savory.  Chocolate-y but not too chocolate-y.  In other words, easy to stuff into your face.  I didn’t mean to but I ate the whole bag.  And although I didn’t actually look, I can pretty much guarantee the bag is way more than one serving.  Oops!

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For dinner I used up the last of the vital wheat gluten in the pantry and made some seitan.

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I then combined it with spinach and brown rice for a (plated) hippie bowl.  With nooch and Bragg’s.

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Dessert was Kombucha and oranges. 

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I have a sh!t ton of oranges (from my parents’ back yard) but for some reason I never think to eat them.  In an effort to reduce the trail mix, granola, and chocolate I’m snacking on, I decided to pre-slice a ton of oranges to keep in the fridge.  That way they are easy to grab (and my fingers don’t get sticky from peeling them).  No excuses!  So far it has worked out really well and I’m citrus-ing it up all day long.

Ten Reviews [II]

I’ve got a pile-up of products to share.  As usual, some were good, some were okay, and some were losers.

1. Zing chocolate peanut butter bar

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Kyle stole this from me, but took a photo (which means he knew he was in the for-Elise-only bar stash).  In any event, here is his review: Zing bar was good.  Tastes like a tiger’s milk bar (for anyone that matters to) but better and not as chalky.  Fluffy enough to be chewy but hearty enough to be satiating.

2. Healthy Surprise delivery service

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These services are popping up all over the place now.  I found this one to be on par with the others I’ve tried in terms of the size of the box.  What was especially cool about Health Surprise though, is that all the snacks were vegan and all gluten free.

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So far, I’ve tried the apple chips and the curry nuts – both delish.

3. Sol Cuisine burgers

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These products are made with non GMO soy and many are organic and wheat free as well.  I got two coupons from the company and decided to try the original and the almond grain.

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The original was okay, but it was the kind of veggie burger that’s trying to imitate a real burger.  Not a fan.  I like veggies in my veggie burgers.  Kyle liked them more, but he feels the same as I do about mock meat burgers.  In the end, I repurposed the burgers to make a few different things.

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Like tacos. 🙂

I haven’t tried the almond grain ones yet, so I’ll report back later on those.

4. Pure Market Express lemon tart

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Once again I was wowed by the desserts.  It’s really hard to believe these are raw AND vegan.

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It was definitely tart, but very balanced when eaten with the crust.  So so good.

5. Bobo’s cinnamon raisin oat bar

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This was heavenly.  It was fluffy like a bread, as opposed to a bar.  I wanted ten more after I finished it.  They make a million other flavors, so I am determined to try them all.

6. Rush bowls

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The concept of these was a little confusing to me.  I don’t usually add granola to my frozen smoothies or sorbets, but I was willing to give it a shot.

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There were a lot of extra ingredients considering it was pretty much just frozen fruit.

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In the end, I ate the fruit blend and saved the granola packet for later.

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It was yummy, but I don’t think I’d buy it again.

7. Popcorn Indiana sea salt popcorn

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I had tried this company’s chip’ins before and loved them, so I suspected I’d enjoy these too.  And they were on sale at the co-op.

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I had some plain and some with tomato soup.  And as much as I didn’t want to share this, I feel it’s important to give you an idea of how good they are…I ate the entire massive family bag (all five servings) in one sitting.  This popcorn is so addicting, it’s virtually impossible to stop.  Heed my advice and buy in smaller quantities.

8. Grilling Vegan Style

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I was so-so about this book.  On one hand, it inspired us to grill quite a bit this summer season.  But on the other hand, the recipes are fairly basic and not really recipes so much as semi-home-made style of ideas.  It’s probably better aimed at a newly vegan audience.  However, I did get a few cool ideas from it.

9. Kona Red juice

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These are made from the berries of coffee plants.  I got a shipment from the company and I’m sad to say I didn’t really like them.  They were slightly medicinal in flavor.  Too bad because the amount of antioxidants in each is insane.

10. Nature’s Path organic gluten free home style waffles

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These waffles are vegan and gluten free and fantastic.  I went out and bought a second box the day after I finished the first.

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They can be eaten plain and still rock.  But I’ve been doing the Earth Balance and maple syrup thing.

And that’s that!  Hopefully this will help guide you in your supermarket adventures.

Wednesday Timeline

By the time I got home the other day I was about to fall over with exhaustion.  It was one of the busiest days I’ve ever worked.

To give you a point of reference, I never finished my morning coffee.

Yes, I managed to get away for my lunch break (remember how we have break relief nurses to cover us), but I spent 75% of the time tucked away in the computer room getting caught up on charting.

Anyway.  If you’re looking for someone to blame for my really delayed Wednesday post, I’m removing myself from the running.  Let’s just pin it on my patients and call it a day.  The good news is they were all nice and appreciative people, which made the non-stop (stat) orders slightly more manageable.  [There was only one difficult person who was refusing treatments, but I managed to charm him into some of the MD orders]

But back to the post…

4:25 – damn that alarm, is it time to get up already?

4:30 – yoga and stretching with Andy Cohen in the background (WWHL actually isn’t a very peaceful soundtrack when you’re waking up)

5:00 – shower & vitamins (Kyle thinks this is a weird habit, so you probably will too, but I drink shower water.  It started solely as a means of rehydrating myself after a workout, but eventually it developed into a routine.  So now I always drink water as I shower.  And on some mornings I multi-task and set my vitamins in the bathroom to take with my shower water.  I am so bizarre)

5:30 – coffee time

6:00 – refill the half of the coffee that I sipped while checking emails

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6:10 – hit the road jack (with lunch in tow)

6:30 – snack on breakfast #1 (salty cashews and SunRidge Farms chocolate nut crunch mix) in the parking lot while getting zen

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Whole Foods is now carrying many of the SunRidge Farms products in their bulk bins.  It’s very dangerous friends.

7:00 – sign up for break time and get patient assignment in the huddle room

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10:00 – breakfast #2 (oats with a sh!t ton of peanut butter and 1/2 banana)

10:05 – morning rounds

10:50 – send patient #1 to a test

11:00 – discharge patient #2

11:01 – admit (new) patient #4 from cath lab

11:02 – get report from PACU about patient #1 coming back to the unit

11:03 – get called by patients #1 and #3 for pain meds while hooking patient #4 up to the monitor

11:04 – genetically clone myself to get everything done in a timely manner

11:15 – enter myself in the running for the next Nobel Prize due to aforementioned feat

12:30 – eat (unpictured) banana

14:00 – praise be to lunch!!!

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Spinach, quinoa, tempeh “bacon” & leftover fried egg

14:30 – charting 🙁 with a side of kettle corn

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Is Popcorn, Indiana an actual place?  If not, it’s an odd choice for a company name.

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They were nice and airy and light, which was nice because it afforded my stomach some room for the remaining SunRidge Farms treats.

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The peanut butter covered nuts are the best!

19:45 – call Kyle to tell him I’m finally heading home

19:50 – commuting with a side of carrots

20:10 – shower and brainstorm dinner options

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20:30 – look in the fridge and realize I basically just want the same thing I had for lunch

20:35 – start the assembly line

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Spinach, quinoa, tempeh, & eggs [if it aint broke…]

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21:00 – take a photo of dinner and then make a mini nooch mountain on top

22:30 – dessert!

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The only reason I took a picture of this was because of the size of that one cashew.  Have you ever seen something so massive?

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It’s hard to tell, but it was abnormal to the Schwarzenegger degree.  Those poor peanuts and chocolate chips look so meek in comparison!

23:00 – crawl into bed