seitan

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!

Merry marry 1st birthday weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the breakfast sandos I packed us.

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

In case you were wondering other car snacks included:

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

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

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

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

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

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Banana for this guy.

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Black bean enchiladas.

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Salmon Caesar.

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Tempeh tacos.

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

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

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

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

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Dancing shoes.

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Sisters.

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Mom & Dad.

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

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It was definitely a fun fun night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

My entree, on the other hand, was deeeelicious. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This is another gem. 

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

Dinner! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two meals with quinoa

As you may have guessed based on the fact that I’m STILL (eye roll) posting recipes that I made 99 years ago, I haven’t been cooking much lately.  Blah.  I don’t wanna talk about it.

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Above: Salmon with quinoa and sliced tomatoes. 

Below: Seitan & quinoa bowl with sriracha vegan aioli on a bed of garden greens (chard). 

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So guess what?  If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can totally swap the seitan for the fish in the first recipe.  And if you don’t dig seitan you can do fish in the second recipe!  Or you could ditch both the protein choices I used and instead go with tofu, tempeh, or neither.  Although the first recipe could be kinda a snooze-fest without a protein.  Orrrrr…actually it could work.  Yeah, I could definitely see it working. 

So let’s get to the recipes. 

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For the salmon I used this recipe.  Only I halved it and baked it instead. 

Miso Tamari Glazed Salmon [FODMAPs friendly, gluten free]

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp miso paste

Directions:

Combine coconut sugar, water, tamari and miso paste in a small mixing bowl.  Place fish in a greased pan.  Brush sauce over filets (there will probably be extra so feel free to reserve in the bowl).  Let fish marinate (I prepped it in the morning so it was in the fridge all day and ready to go come dinner time). 

Bake fish for ~20 minutes at 350 degrees covered in foil.

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I like the fat that seeps out of the salmon. 

Serve the filet over quinoa and spoon the extra sauce on top. 

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It’s good sauce, so might as well drizzle it over the tomato slices too.  Right?  Right.

Next!

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This is basically a classed up hippie bowl.  It’s got all the components, grain, veg, protein.  The only difference is I pre-marinated the seitan and “made” a sauce to bring it all together.  Normally I just dump Bragg’s and nooch over things and call it a day, but Kyle’s not into that.  Shocking I know.  But please don’t think the sauce is fancy.  As you’ll soon see, it only takes 4 seconds longer than using Bragg’s does.  I’m lazy, so if I can do it , you can do it.  And if you’re really into shortcuts, you can even buy pre-made seitan.  Although seitan is really super freakin’ simple to make

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Seitan & Quinoa Bowl with Sriracha Vegan Aioli [vegan] 

Seitan Ingredients:

  • ~2 cups log seitan, cubed (~1 lb.)
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Sriracha Vegan Aioli Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp – 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Nasoya whipped)
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce

Bowl Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped swiss chard
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa

Directions:

Make seitan.  Mix tamari, oil, and liquid smoke and toss throughout cubed seitan.  Allow it to marinate (anywhere from a few hours – a few days). 

In a separate bowl, stir together vegan mayo and sriracha.  The more mayo you use, the more diluted the heat will be.  How hot do you want it? 

Cook quinoa and toss with greens and seitan.  Top with vegan aioli. 

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The chard is from my garden.  It’s thriving!  I have chard for days. 

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Mix things together so there’s saucy sauce all up in the lettuce and quinoa business. 

It’s deliciousness. 

For the FODMAPs people, cuidado with the vital wheat gluten in seitan okay?  If you buy it from the store it will for sure have wheat and/or garbanzo flours in it.  If you make my FODMAPs free version with brown rice flour and tamari, it’s GI safe.  Gluten intolerant still need to steer clear. 

Weekly Recap

This week was fun.  Busy and not busy in perfect amounts.  One thing I’ve noticed about working part time is there’s a big (HUGE) difference between 2 shifts and 3 shifts.  It may not sound like it, but I feel like the time off allows me to get so much more done.  And rather than fill it with errands and chores, I can actually hang out and relax and enjoy myself.  It’s lovely. 

Here are some of the things I ate this week.

Breakfasts

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Baked oatmeal bars with blueberries [sorry about the crappy pic] and peanut butter.

I failed to take a photo of the huge dish I made, but it was bomb.  Initially I was going to try and make granola bars, but I scraped that plan half way through and just made a really thick oatmeal bar instead.  I didn’t write down the recipe but I will next time.  It had all kinds of yummy stuff in it – chia seeds, blueberries, goji berries, almond flour, oats, and coconut oil.  I ate it before work on Saturday, and then made another serious dent in it on Sunday morning, and then finished the whole thing off on Tuesday morning. 

Monday morning was a savory one though.

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Two fried eggs with roasted potatoes and ketchup. 

I’m on a mega pepper kick.  Not usually my thing, but hey, I’m just gonna roll with it.  Don’t worry I’m still a salt fiend through and through.

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After Tuesday’s breakfast I was out of fresh baked goodies, so I made a loaf of banana bread for the next few mornings. 

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I had a slice before swim lessons on Wednesday morning.

And then another afterwards.  With nut butter.  Always with nut butter.

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Another slice with an egg.

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For work breakfasts I have been doing hack versions of the classic PB&J.  [Meaning I ran out of jam and have been using fresh fruit.  And almond butter instead of peanut butter.]  Blueberries on Thursday and banana slices on Friday.  Both on Udi’s GF millet chia bread.

I like sandos only because they are easy to eat one handed while pumping at work.

I pump before my shifts too, but since I’m at home I have a table and can sit and eat like a proper human at the same time.  Multi tasking for the win.

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Here’s the 6 am scene.  Banana bread and coffee.  Hands free thanks to the nursing bra!

Lunches

Admittedly I suck at remembering to photograph mid-day meals.  I’m just too busy doing other stuff.  I make a lot of snack plates though so you aren’t missing much.

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See? Snack plate with leftover roasted potatoes, carrots, daiya cheddar, and hard boiled eggs.  I probably had nuts on the side too because it’s rare that I don’t have nuts at a meal. 

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This may sound crazy but this was my first time having tamales. 

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Impulse buy from Whole Foods. 

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I really liked them!  I didn’t know what to expect, but they were yummy.  The outside corn layer is thick so there wasn’t a ton of inside stuffing – I’m not sure if that’s how tamales normally are.  I thought the ratio was good.  Just enough tofu and veg.  Without the guacamole it has the potential to be a bit dry, but maybe not.  I will for sure buy again.

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I had one for lunch with Sabra’s classic guacamole.  Truth: I had WAY MORE guac than as pictured. 

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Salad with greens, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and Beyond Meat.  No dressing.  Just olive oil and salt.

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Snack plate.  The amount of peanut butter in the bowl is deceiving.  There’s at least 1/2 cup.  No shame.

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Work lunch: brown rice pasta with parsley, basil, and kale tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds, salt & pepper. [Greens/herbs from my garden, lemon from my neighbor]

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Work lunch: salad with greens, tomato, roasted potatoes, smoked cheddar goat cheese, and quinoa.  The quinoa was an afterthought once I realized the salad probably wouldn’t hold me over.  I also added some organic miso ginger dressing

Snacks

I have a few recent repeat offenders in the snack department, so here they are.

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I never liked (okay, I hated) banana chips growing up, but for some reason I felt compelled to buy them this week.  It was my healthy compromise since I really wanted chocolate covering everything from the bulk bins.  Ummm, so yeah, they’re really good!!!  I’ve been enjoying them as a dessert too.

Oh and Kombucha has reared it’s expensive head back into my life as well.  On the daily.  Budget fail.

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One thing that has saved a little cash flow is making our own trail mix.  As you can see above, it has raisins, cashews, peanuts, dark chocolate chips, and gluten free cereal puffs.  Not terribly innovative but definitely cheaper than the pre-made stuff.  The most important thing is that the nuts are salty so they cover the raisins in salt too.  Mmmmm.  We POUND through trail mix like nobody business so this is huge for the bank account.

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Between my breakfasts and snacks, I’m going to make another loaf of banana bread tonight since this one is almost gone.

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Always always always.  All day long.  Nuts for nuts.

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Work snacks: buckwheat granola (meh), carrots and celery, banana, Hail Merry vanilla maple almonds (love!!!), quinoa granola bar (didn’t try yet).

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Work snacks: buckwheat granola, carrots & celery, trail mix.

Dinners

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Baked tofu, Mary’s Gone crackers, raw goat cheddar, grapes, Milton’s crackers, and salty roasted almonds. 

A typical al fresco meal, but indoors (because it was so hot!). 

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Seitan & quinoa bowl with sriracha vegan aioli.  There’s chard from our garden under there somewhere.

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Vegan and gluten free tamales. 

This was round two of the aforementioned tamales (even though the pics are from the first serving).  I had the rest of the guacamole (yup, the entire tub just for meeee) and two more tamales.  Can I get a pat on the back for stopping (when I was full) after eating 3 tamales, rather than just finishing off the 4th one just because it was there!?!  So unlike me!

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Quinoa with salmon and tomato slices.

Those tomatoes were some of the most flavorful ones ever.  Thank you home-grown produce

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Imitation WF fumi salad.

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Post work assorted mish mash.  [I had the same thing the following night of work too, so no photo]

Holler if you want recipes to any of these and I’ll try to eventually share!

Moving weekend

I’ll make this brief since this is what I’m up against…

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Hippie tip #1: Buy and sell (or give away) used moving boxes on craigslist before and after you move.  Earth friendly and cheap.

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Here we are in our (old) backyard with a passed out babe and movers schlepping patio furniture. 

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P was clearly not stressed out by the packing process.  On the contrary, he slept probably 30 of the 36 hours that we were transitioning from one home to the next.  He just looooves being held, and since we had no furniture to put him in, we spent the day passing him back and forth between the two of our arms.  I thought I was screwed because the entire time the movers were doing their thing he was snoozing…and knowing we had a 6+ hour car drive ahead of us I was so nervous he’d be awake the entire time. 

[Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind if he stayed up for the long commute (because at least then he’d sleep at night), but since Kyle and I have two cars we had to drive up to Nor Cal separately…meaning nobody was in the backseat with Patty-cakes…meaning his rear facing car seat left me blind to how he was doing.  Without being able to see him, it’s way easier to determine when to stop and change/feed him when he goes from asleep to awake.]

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Hanging out in the bedroom (the last room they packed up).

The movers started at 8 am and didn’t finish until 3 pm (!!!!!).  They were really efficient too, which leads me to believe forced a reality check, we have a lot of stuff.  The real issue was that they underestimated the truck space they would need and ended up having to get two trucks to move us.  I was slightly annoyed at first, but the whole Boston stuff that was going on really put life in perspective.  I have nothing (NOTHING) to complain about.  Period.

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Soaking up some final Santa Monica sunshine with my last meal at 12th Street (seitan, quinoa, avocado, tomatoes, and a hard boiled egg).

After doing a walk through with our landlord and one final diaper change/feeding, we finallllly hit the road.  At rush hour.  The timing could not have been worse and it took us over an hour to drive a mere 4 miles to the freeway (talk about a flashback to the hospital…minus the whole labor thing).

In the end, P slept (again!) for the entire car ride to the Bay Area.  Oy.  We arrived at my parents’ house around midnight, totally exhausted.  For reals, I was a freakin’ zombie.  My parents were already asleep…but what grandparents can resist waking up to play with this guy???

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My dad hasn’t seen PAC man since he was 4 days old (he was out of town for our visit home last month).  Oh and ignore my dad’s jacked up face, he was in a bike accident a few days ago.  He’s okay, thank goodness.

The next morning we met the movers in Davis to begin the unpacking process (something I adore and despise equally).

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The master bedroom.

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P’s nursery.

And the chaos begins…

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This is my view from the kitchen.  :)  Not too shabby.

More miscellaneous…

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It’s already summer in Davis.  Hello hot hot heat.

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Beyond Meat salads from Whole Foods.  Both exceptional, but the curry was my fave.

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Decaf coffee and the French press (very important things to locate in the 40+ kitchen boxes).  I guarantee our movers thought we had problems given the amount of kitchen appliances and serving ware we own.  Note to self: use the good china!!! 

Hippie tip #2: For the future wives creating wedding registries.  Go minimal.  As fun as cake platters and wine decanters sound, they’re not necessary if you still prefer Bud Light and pastries from a bakery box.

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Watcha doin’ dad!?

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House warming gift from Greenbotics.

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My love bug.

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“Home-cooking”.

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Vegan and gluten free style cheese & crackers.

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And the biggest deal of all… P’s first night in his crib in his nursery. [!!!]

This has been a long time coming.  We’ve been using the pack ‘n play (in our room) for over 2 months and as much as I love being near him, I was ready for him to transition to his own room.  We were going to switch him there sooner but once we found out we were moving, we decided to hold off until after the move so he didn’t go through too many transitions in a row or get confused.  Basically, I wanted to give us all the best shot at making it happen in one fell swoop.

Video monitors are the sh!t by the way.

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Now, I don’t wanna make all the new mamas out there jealous (or jinx myself) but the first night he slept from 9:30 pm to 5 am.  Straight.  Not a peep.  And the second night he slept from 9:30 pm to 3:30 am.  And both times he went back to sleep after I changed and fed him. 

In my head I’m thinking “WTF this is too easy, where’s the catch?!?!”.  So now I’m just waiting for it to all go to hell. 

Each night we do bath time, read him a story, and then I breast feed in his (darkened) room, and hold him until he seems sleepy enough to transition to the crib.  Sometimes I cut it too close and he wakes up and I have to start over again, but if I’m patient he doesn’t really stir too much in the transfer. 

Who knows how things will go from here.  I don’t own a single parenting book or know anything about sleep training or nap schedules or whatnot (I do know there are a million different opinions/studies/theories on them though).  I am literally just following his cues as best I can while still living my own life (kinda). 

Okay, that’s the latest over here!  Back to unpacking!