raw

Ten Reviews

Here are some products I’ve tried lately. Some were bad, some were okay, some were good, and some were awesome. So I figured I’d share. I have no affiliation with any of these companies. These are simply my honest opinions.

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1. Tazo vanilla rooibos parfait (from Starbucks)

Because I like my tea really (almond) milky, I’m always on the lookout for new decaf varieties that aren’t fruity and don’t have mint or chamomile in them (the two herbal flavors I am not a fan of).  It’s surprisingly hard to find.  And lately fennel is all the rage.  No thanks.  This tea is pretty good.  It’s actually more fruity than I was anticipating, but there’s still more vanilla than anything else.  I make a misto with it (half hot water, half almond milk) and happily gulp it down all day long knowing there’s no caffeine. 

Will I buy again?  Yes.  As long as I’m breast feeding I need as many decaf tea options as possible.

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2. Rudi’s gluten free spinach tortillas

I’ve tried the plain and the fiesta before.  I liked the plain, but the fiesta was just meh in my book (didn’t really have much flavor to differentiate it from the plain to be honest).  I was kinda expecting the same problem with the spinach but I’m happy to say they were flavorful and didn’t crumble or crack like Food For Life’s GF tortillas.  You can store them in the freezer and use them infrequently too (just pull them out to thaw slightly before separating how ever many you need). 

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The ingredient list is semi long, but everything is recognizable and they didn’t upset my gut at all.

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I was way too ambitious with this burrito (tomato, daiya cheddar cheese, and scrambled eggs), so I turned it into a quesadilla.  That required a fork…

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Definitely too packed.

I made another quesadilla with just mozzarella daiya, which actually melted and could be picked up.

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Would I buy again?  Yes, yes yes.

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3. Hi I’m skinny veggie tortilla sticks

These are basically fluff food, but they are really tasty.  Kyle was obsessed with them.  He loved the sweet onion flavor as well.

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They aren’t labeled as gluten free, but from what I can tell they don’t have wheat or gluten ingredients (unsure about “tortilla flour” though).  The ingredient list is actually relatively short, with vegetable seasonings dominating it (after corn).  Don’t worry it’s non GMO. 

Would I buy again?  Yes, for Kyle, because he couldn’t stop talking about how good they were.  For me, I’d pass.  I prefer popcorn if I’m in the mood for light snacking.

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4. Lesser Evil veggie krinkle sticks

These are basically the same as the previous and when I asked Kyle which he liked better he looked at me in a confused way that let me know he thought he was eating the same product. 

These are slightly more nutritious in that they have actual vegetables (potato, corn, spinach, and broccoli) and whole grains (wheat, barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, and white corn) in them.  But as you can see, they are not gluten free. 

Would I buy again?  Probably not this flavor (I liked the sea salt ones more).  Even though I preferred these to the Hi I’m Skinny sticks, they aren’t gluten free and I tend to try to stick to wheat-less snacks for FODMAPs reasons. 

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5. hippie chow original granola

Usually I make my own granola, but my parents saw this when they were on vacation and bought it for me because the name is too cute to pass up.  It was awesome!  A great balance of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (it had dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds, and pecans FYI).  I ate it plain and/or atop oatmeal rather than as cereal with milk. 

Would I buy again?  Since it’s not available where I live, no.  But that’s only because I’m too cheap to buy something online that I already make on my own 24/7.  It’s really good though, so if you see it in your area, try it!

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6. Pure Market Express turtle pie

These raw vegan desserts are CRAZY good.  This was the most decadent one yet (I’ve tried a few before).  I shared it with Kyle and he agreed (and he usually doesn’t like raw food – apparently chocolate and nuts are the exception).  I do have to acknowledge the kcals though (almost 500 for that tiny sliver!).  While I don’t track calories or even pay attention to how much I eat on any given day, I know for a fact that’s a lot for a small dessert.  Since it’s made of quality ingredients, it’s way different than an ice cream sundae of equivalent caloric value.  In the end, I suppose it makes for a good treat once in a while, but definitely not something on the regular. 

Would I buy again?  Sadly, it’s too expensive to justify.  But if Pure Market Express’ items were available locally (they require shipping) then most definitely.

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7. Mary’s Gone Crackers (new??) crackers

I can’t find what these are called on the website because apparently they haven’t been debuted yet?  They were samples from Expo West, and they taste just like graham crackers.  They’re delicious.  Like the rest of Mary’s Gone products, they are gluten free and vegan. 

Would I buy again?  Yes!  I loved them.

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8. Pacific original unsweetened hemp milk

I rarely buy hemp milk and I can’t recall previous brands I’ve tried (we are an exclusively almond milk family).  While I appreciate the protein content in hemp milk (as opposed to other non dairy milks), I’m not in love with it’s flavor.  It tastes chalky.  Like protein powder-y milk.  And it doesn’t mix into coffee or tea (it separates and looks like miso soup).  I used it in cooking, so the flavor was masked, because I didn’t like it plain.  I could see it being okay in a protein shake though since it lends itself to that kind of texture and flavor.

Would I buy again?  Nah.  I wish there were non dairy milks with better protein content, but the good nutritional stats in hemp milk still don’t outweigh the flavor.

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9. Jericho spicy hummus

It’s not often (ever?) that I stray from Sabra, but every once in a while I’m tempted to sample new brands of hummus I see.  Jericho was showcasing at Expo West but I haven’t seen their products elsewhere. 

Their hummus was really thick, a plus in my book, and had a strong tahini flavor.  The herbs on top were also really fresh tasting! 

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This flavor was a bit too spicy for me, but Kyle was a fan. 

Would I buy again?  Probably but I don’t know where to find them.  I’d like to try the original (or any of the other flavors), but I have no idea where to buy them. 

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10. The Republic of Tea sampler

I haven’t tried all of the flavors yet, but of the ones I have tried, here’s the deal.

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Cinnamon Vanilla – sounds heavenly, tasted like cough syrup.  Very weird.

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Coconut Cocoa – a totally dreamy tea bursting with chocolate-y coconut flavor.  Love!

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Ginger Peach – more peach than ginger.  For a fruity tea it was okay.

I haven’t tried the rest because they either have caffeine or mint or chamomile.

Would I buy again?  Yes to the coconut cocoa.  No to the rest.

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.

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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Work meal ideas

Contrary to what my posting may indicate, I do still work!  Sorry I’ve been withholding my packed eats from you guys.  I have only been taking pictures of 50% of them, though, so here’s what I’ve got.  Hope this helps you with some ideas!

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Oats.  Veggies.  Pretzels.  Sabra hummus (x2).  Lasagna (leftover)Cookies.  Apple.  Candied ginger.

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Oat preference as of late: nuts, cinnamon & dried cherries.  When the cherries soak overnight they plump up to get to be the size of full cherries.  It’s pretty cool.

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Now that we are meal planning, my real real focus is on making big enough portions that they can last throughout the week for lunches.  It’s easy with crock-pot soups and casserole/pasta type dishes, but not so much for big salads.

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This one is Kyle’s.  I have been packing his lunches because that way I can make sure he’s getting a nice well balanced veggie diet.

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The only real difference between his and mine is the presence of cheese.  That and his morning meals are savory.  Grits with parmesan and tomatoes, for example.

Here are some other work lunches that I photographed…I can’t remember if they were his or mine since we eat so similarly now.

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This sandwich had Sabra hummus and Falafel Republic falafel.  On bread of course.  I layered hummus on each side and then kinda semi crumbled the falafel (I used ~3-4 per sando).  The hummus holds the falafel in place.

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Ok, this has string cheese, so it’s obviously Kyle’s.

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Home-made trail mix.  Kyle’s obsessed with it.  I make it differently each time.  Cereal.  Chocolate chips.  Nuts.  Dried fruit.  Etc.

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Silver Hills The Big 16 bread is a new fave (when I’m not making my own).  It’s soft like the high fructose crap bread, but it’s got the ingreds of healthy hippie bread.

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After months of plum jam, I’m on the very last of my mom’s freezer jam reserves.  Crap!  I better get home to steal some more soon.  Anyway, this is an apricot jam from 2011.  It’s a thick batch and I’ve been pairing it well with all kinds of nut butters.

Above: Artisana coconut butter (I had to microwave to get it melty first)
Below: Home-made peanut butter with Artisana cashini butter

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Oh look, another milky bowl of oats.

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With dried cherries and nuts and a whole lotta almond milk.

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This is clearly and end-of-the-week hodgepodge salad.  Kale, roasted butternut squash, tomatoes, and some planet raw leftover sides.

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I’ve been buying these Harvest Sensations kale salad bags lately, but the cabbage has been bothering me lately so I’m going to go back to just buying kale.

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This is Kyle’s raw burger that he didn’t want to touch.

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I pretty much ate them all mixed together.  The raw nut-based patty was okay.  The flax bread was meh.  Not exactly the crouton effect I was looking for.

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Another leftover lunch repurposed.

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Tomato quinoa soup served as the sauce.  Kyle’s is the pasta one, mine’s the quinoa one.

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Then I added salmon to his and vegan home-made meatballs to mine.  Sorry I can’t reveal the recipe for that one – it’s not mine to share.

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Daaaaamn was this good.

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I’m pretty sure these meatballs would be excellent apps for a party, served on a toothpick with some kinda of tomato dip.  Or maybe made into a burger patty.

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Kyle enjoyed his too.  And he got his omegas.

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Meatball quinoa thing.  Kale salad.  Oatmeal.  Banana.  Cookie.  Pretzels.  Veggies.

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Kyle’s breakfast was different than my oats.  He had a brie & jam sandwich on sourdough.

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So fancy.

For snacks, I simply gave him this whole bag of Sahale parmesan cheese & herbs crunchers and said have at it.

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Even though there are four servings in this bag, I suspect it will only last him one day.

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Sahale sent me this whole package and since I called dibs on all the rest, I figured I’d donate the dairy-ified item to his lunch.

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I’ll let you know how the rest taste.

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Sando. Pasta with tomato salmon.  Sahale snacks.  Carrot cake (leftover).

And that’s a wrap.

PS Giveaway reminder – go here!!

New shades & raw food

Just a typical morning bowl of oatmeal.

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The weird part about this breakfast was how I picked around the nuts.  I don’t know why, but I wasn’t in to them this morning. 

The cinnamon and maple syrup were all the topping I needed.

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After breakfast I set to work on mega errands.  Our laundry needed to be done immediately (our clothes reeked of smoke from our weekend away).  On top of that we had dirty dishes, an empty fridge, a thirsty tomato plant, and much much more.  To do list, game on. 

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Eventually, I earned a lunch break.

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The cajun rubbed tofu steak is from the Davis co-op.  The rest were scraps from the fridge – brown rice, sweet potato, & carrots.  Very orange.  I didn’t really need much int he way of seasoning since the cajun spices had such a kick to them, but I did add some nutritional yeast to the plate.

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After lunch I went shopping for essentials (like tofu) and then went for a run.

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It was HOT out.  I actually took a cold shower afterwards.

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Blow drying my hair was not happening.  See those sunglasses?  They are new.

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I got them from firmoo.  They are the most popular online eyeglasses store and a couple of weeks ago they contacted me about trying a pair of glasses out for free.  I’ve had the same pair of shades since my senior year of college (when Kyle gave me an unclaimed pair from the lost and found at our work place).  So romantic.  But seriously, I’ve had this same pair (and no others) since 2004.  Upgrade necessary.  So yes, I jumped at firmoo’s offer. 

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I went online, searched the options (prescription vs. non-prescription, sunglasses vs. regular glasses).  There were so many options…and you could see how they looked on your face by uploading your picture.  High tech. 

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I chose this pair [in black].  Which makes me feel like Jackie O.  Can you see the resemblance?  😉

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Anyway, they took no time at all to ship and arrived in perfect condition (bubble wrapped).  They even came with a cute case, extra screws, a tiny screw driver, and a lens wiper cloth.  I’m 100% satisfied.  Love the sunglasses.  Love the company.  Love the simplicity. 

This offer isn’t exclusively for me though, you guys can get in on the action, too. Firmoo has a program offering free eyewear for first-time buyers.  You just need to pay the shipping!  Good deal right?  They have great quality products at super affordable prices.  So if you’re like me, rocking the same pair for well over a decade, this is your chance to get something new.

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I had a dark chocolate Sun Cup as an afternoon treat, then continued tackling my to-do list.

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Afternoon snack number two.  Juice of kale, beets, carrots, apples.

While waiting for Ethel to come over, I made a lasagna (with the tofu I ran out to get earlier).

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  • double batch of tofu ricotta
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 2 jars 365 marinara
  • 1 box 365 no-bake lasagna noodles

Layered.  Baked for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.

Voila!

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Ethel arrived about the same time Kyle got home from work, so we all headed out to dinner together.

I was supposed to go to Planet Raw a while ago, but plans fell through and ever since it’s been on my mind.  Luckily, Ethel’s adventurous and into trying new cuisine.  Kyle wasn’t that excited to go, but we didn’t let him stay home.

We each ordered two things.

Ethel got the Lexi Sliders and the Macaroni & Cheeze.

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These are the Lexi Sliders with “luscious pumpkin tortellini, sundried heirloom tomato, avocado & onion on flax with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle.”

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Not bad, but not her favorite.  I don’t think it’s fair that this is considered an entree, it’s very small and it cost way more than it should have.

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This is the macaroni and cheeze with kelp noodles and lots of garnish.  She loved this dish, especially the sauce, and had set her mind to recreating it at home.

For my dinner I got the Dinosaur Salad and the Cheezy Kelp Pasta.

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This is the dinosaur salad which is their famous kale salad with their garlic ranch dressing, wild seaweed, marine minerals, hemp oil, cayenne & nutritional flakes.

Yum times a lot.

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Due to the massive size of the bowl and the sunlight, my photos don’t do it justice, but trust me it was gorgeous.  The combo of the ranch dressing, avocado and kale was a huge win for my taste buds. 

And the cayenne dusted on top gave it some serious heat.  I was gulping water down.

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This may have actually topped One Lucky Duck’s S&M salad.  Mayyyybe. 

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This is the Cheezy Kelp Pasta (Sicilian style) with garlic, olive oil, parsley & kale mixed into cheeze coated kelp noodles.  And garnish similar to Ethel’s.  Actually, the whole dish was similar to Ethel’s, it just had kale mixed into the pasta. 

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Love me some kale.  The cheeze sauce was honestly the best stuff ever.  I wanted four times this portion.  And for the price tag of the dish I felt I deserved it.  No offense Planet Raw, but you need to get your prices in check.  Even NYC’s fancy raw vegan restaurants aren’t this ridiculous.

Kyle got the Bacon Western Double Cheezeburger and the Deep Dish Chicago Pizza (after his first dish came out and he realized it wasn’t at all what he wanted).

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This is the Bacon Western Double Cheezeburger with a flaxy bread and some sort of nut-meat patty.  It also had side dishes, including a spinach soufflé and a macadamia potato mash & gravy.  It’s much smaller than it appears in this photo. 

Much to Kyle’s dismay, the burger had pickles in it, which meant he didn’t want to touch it (he’d actually specifically requested no pickles even though they weren’t mentioned on the menu).  He made do with the rest of the plate until his second order arrived.  He did enjoy the spinach and macadamia sides. 

Honestly, though, this “burger” was smaller than his palm.  In my mind, that’s totally ridiculous.  Whether I was ordering it or he was, the waitress should have mentioned it’s teeny tiny. 

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This is the deep dish pizza.  There’s no description of the dish, but it was basically a bowl of pizza-ish toppings.  I’m not even sure what makes it a pizza?  He liked it, but I’m pretty sure it’s the last raw food meal I’ll be able to drag Kyle to.

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He doesn’t like how unpredictable ordering is and I totally understand his point.  How do you know what a pizza will look like?  Or pasta?  Or a burger?  You can’t.  And it’s often different than what he’s envisioning.  Maybe if there were photos of the food?  That’s not very gourmet, but it’s helpful for those who aren’t Planet Raw (or whatever other raw restaurant) regulars.  On top of that, portion sizes are usually on the smaller side.  None of these things contribute to a enjoyable, fulfilling meal for Kyle. 

Back home, I got my nails did, cut Kyle’s hair, and packed food for work the next day.