It’s my weekend and I’ll blog if I want to

Phew!

Just finished a string of shifts at the hospital and I’m ready to start my weekend.  So this Friday will be a day of catch up – I’m mega behind in all parts of life, including blogging. 

Last time I checked, blogging about Sunday’s meal on Thursday is…what’s the word?…ah yes, a lost cause.  The Foodbuzz festival was no ordinary situation, though.  I scored a whole lotta swag that I can’t wait to share with all y’all.  For instance, this cute lil bugger.

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A Frog Hollow Farms pear.  I had never heard of Frog Hollow, but they have organic fruit (fresh & dried), granola, chutneys, baked goods, and a whole bunch of other stuff.  They also participate in a CSA.  I wish they delivered to Southern California because their stuff is GOOOOD, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  More on that later. 

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For now, lemme show you what I’ve been packing up for work.

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As I tweeted, I’m in a mega quinoa phase right now, which all stems from the massive vat I made last week in my rice cooker.  So easy.  I prepped multiple cups worth for the week and used it in a variety of recipes throughout the work week.

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Starting with a cinnamon-y sweet pear quinoa dish.

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I chopped up the Frog Hollow pear, added cinnamon, raisins, mucho quinoa, and a dollop of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and stirred it all up together.

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Totally hit the spot.  I don’t know why mixing pear into sweet grain dishes (quinoa, oats, brown rice, etc.) hasn’t happened before, but I am a convert now. 

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I also made a HUGEEEE three bean-esque salad for the week.  The vinegar dressing was similar to the OG recipe, but other than that, the only common beans were green beans and chickpeas.  Instead of kidney beans, I used corn.  The dressing had apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, EVOO, paprika, salt and (lots of) pepper.

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The lighting makes the colors look less than vibrant, but I assure you it was quite tasty.  Protein packed as well. 

After 4 days of eating the salad, I still have more left.  I told you it was huge. 

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In other swag news, I had this cutie thanks to Susan

I’d never tried a Simply bar before and this one was a slice of healthy dessert heaven.  It was like a more solidified (bar version) of a rice crispy treat.  Because it had been stored in the fridge with the rest of my lunch, it was a bit harder than I would’ve hoped for, so I microwaved it for a second before devouring it.  Yum!  I want way more now because this little sampler was enough to peak my interest, but not nearly enough to satiate the craving. 

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I know it needs no mentioning since it’s standard operating procedure, but I brought carrots and an apple too.  Duh. 

The swag didn’t stop there though. 

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Danica hooked us up with Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks.

I am in love with these, so it’s good that I have approx 36 packages left :)

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This guy on the other hand…tasted like mouthwash. 

I think that MetroMint was one of the Foodbuzz sponsors, so we all got mint water in our bag ‘o tricks, but personally I am not keen on water that tastes like toothpaste.  It may be good to cook with, or use as a mixer in a cocktail, or even brush your teeth with (ha!) – but I simply couldn’t swallow it.  :P

My next work day had more of the same with a bit of a twist.

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I made this V.I.P. (very important purchase) while home.  Yes, I finally joined in on the Trader Joe’s peanut flour fad.

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If you have recipes/ideas on what to do with it, PLEASE let me know!?!?

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First thing I did was add it to my sweet quinoa dish.

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Apples, peanut flour, almond milk, raisins, & quinoa.

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Ohhhhhhh my word.  It took hardly any flour to give this dish a delicious peanutty flavor.  You must try it for yourself.  It’s worth the purchase, you have my word. 

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And because I had a sweet dish covered, next thing I needed was a savory one.  Leftover roasted veggies on a bed of spinach fit the bill. 

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I took a side shot, although you can still hardly see the spinach underneath all the root vegetables.  Roasted veggies includes (but isn’t limited to) yellow squash, butternut squash, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and onions.

I also had another tupp of the three bean salad.

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Vinegar-y dressing is so good with chickpeas, plus the extra marinating time only enhanced the flavors. 

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All together with carrots, an apple, and more of Annie’s organic fruit snacks

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And then there was Frog Hollow Farm granola.  This truly deserves it’s own post shrine, but in the interest of getting caught up, I will just include it in with the rest of the week’s work eats. 

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I ate half of it at 5 am before work, so that’s why the lighting is super bizarre and it’s still in the bag.  The rest of it I had at work on a break.  I think my coworkers are starting to wonder about my food choices.  I may have to open up a bit more about the blog.  Not sure.  For the other foodies out there, do your coworkers know about your blog? At my previous job, I never told anyone about it.  Mostly because I liked having it as a place to vent about hospital related things.  However, patient teaching is one of my favorite parts of nursing.  Educating others about how to maintain low cholesterol with a heart healthy diet is something I’m really passionate about and this could be a way to bridge the two.  I did mention the Foodbuzz festival and food blogging to one coworker and she seemed to respond well to it, but I also have the whole HIPAA issue to consider.  Decisions, decisions. 

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But back to the granola.  It’s not vegan, for the record, because it has honey and some whey derivatives, but damn if it’s not the BEST granola I’ve ever had.  I’m serious.  Frog Hollow is a 133 acre organic farm in Brentwood (an hour from SF) and I am completely obsessed.  If I can’t get some at a local farmer’s market next time I go home to Nor Cal, then I am ordering more online because it’s that good. 

The granola is a balance of crunchy, sweet, and nutty.  The texture reminds me of Nature Valley bars, the way it crumbles after the initial crunch, and is still not the least bit stale tasting (you know how some granolas can be that way?). 

Plus the farm is organic with a focus on sustainability.  Hippie approved!

Moving on.

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The next work day continued with much of the same, but at least one new dish. 

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Weekend prep work paid off yet again with this BBQ tofu and butternut squash combo meal. 

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Since I made both separately before the work week began, I merely had to combine the two to create this simple and delish dish. 

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A little shake ‘n bake action…and soon the BBQ sauce soon had coated everything uniformly. 

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“…And I helped.”

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As scrumptious as this BBQ ‘fu action was, I also made a sweet quinoa repeat that I was equally as excited about devouring.

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It started with an organic pear, which I chopped and combined with a hefty scoop of TJ’s peanut flour.  The juice from the pear made a beautiful peanut paste with the flour…it was amazing. 

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Naturally, I added in quinoa by the pound.

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Oh-so-infatuated.

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Almost as an afterthought I threw in cinnamon and raisins. 

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Love. 

I may be making this for the rest of my days, so I apologize in advance. 

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Why what do we have here?? 

This would be home-made trail mix by Janetha.  She is so freakin’ sweet. 

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Dried apple rings, dried dates, almonds, raisins, and chocolate chips.

I ate well over half the bag on the car ride home from the Foodbuzz festival, but the portion that managed to survive the road trip was happily devoured at work. 

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I ate it from the bag with a fork which earned me quite a few eyebrow raises by coworkers.  I’m not exactly doing my best to fly under the radar am I? 

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I added an apple, carrots, hummus, and Annie’s fruit gummy chews to the mix and voila!

So there you have it.  My work week in food. 

Some parts missing (like copious amounts of java, Kombucha, green & chai tea, and my latest obsession candied ginger) may have eluded the camera, but what can you do?  Obviously quinoa, pears, and peanut flour are my other recent food ruts.  Any unique ideas on recipes I can use these ingredients in? 

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0 thoughts on “It’s my weekend and I’ll blog if I want to

  1. Graze With Me

    My coworkers know about the blog because I left it up one day – whoops. I wish they didn’t, and I probably wouldn’t have told them but now I’m the resident “nutritionist” so I guess I don’t mind it. It is hard not to vent about work on the blog though…

    I’m hoping and praying for a TJ’s to open in Colorado so I can get my mitts on some peanut flour. It’s surprising to me that they don’t have a location here yet, seeing how we are the fittest state and all. :)

  2. sara

    The peanut flour is famazing. I recall you saying you’re not crazy for oats, but I’ve been mixing it with a little water to make a nutbutter sauce and pouring that over my oatbran in the morning. And then adding a tbsp of pumpkin butter. Bey.ond. But you have to add a little salt to the peanut flour or else it tastes bland. I hope you try that!!

  3. edenseats

    I’m open about the blog with my friends, but most of my “co-workers” are kids since I’m a cooking instructor! I do tell my yoga students and many have actually commented!
    If only my mom took lessons from on packing lunches!
    I thought I would go gaga over that TJ’s peanut flour, but I haven’t really used it in something spectacular. I prefer peanut butter, but what it is good for is peanut dressings. It dissolves easily so I mix it with some soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. Also good for a “satay” by mixing it with spicy mustard and coconut milk.

  4. kait

    Your work lunches are adorable! I haven’t told my coworkers about my blog either… I’m not sure I’m ready for them to know so much about me… But they always love when I bring them in treats (I always wait for the compliments before I tell them they are vegan!)

  5. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    I have a stellar recipe for peanut flour GF vegan cookies. I am publishing it SUnday. It’s perpahps the best thing i have EVER MADE to date. I am not using that loosely; I am serious. You will have no problem mowing thru a bag or 6 of peanut flour once you gobble up these cookies :)

  6. Jin

    mmm! All your eats look scrumptious.
    I’m in university(in nursing!) and your blog motivates me to prep, cook and pack my meals so that I make healthy choices! I feel proud of myself when I take time to make my own meals..You are such a motivation!

    Your version of sweet quinoa is very similar to what I came up with this summer! I boiled quinoa in almond milk and some cinnamon, added raisins and toasted walnuts/almonds + coconut at the end. Drizzle with maple syrup and yummmm! I’m sure diced pears would work nicely also!

  7. Jin

    Oh , have you tried dark chocolated covered ginger from WF???? Everytime I go out to Toronto, I haul a bag of ‘em!

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  9. Sally

    I’m with you on the Metromint water. I tried it because a friend of my mind positively raved about it but I found it way too strong! They have a lemon and orange flavor that isn’t as bad. Luckily my husband like them and finished them off. Otherwise, I was going to try using them as the water in my iron. May make my clothing smell pretty spa-like?!?!?

  10. Courtney

    I have had that metromint water before–gross! So not okay to have water that tastes like toothpaste. Who buys it?!? And it is expensive, too! WEIRD.

    Courtney

  11. cbrady3

    My co-workers don’ t know yet, and it’s really hard not to tell some of them because I think they’d like it! But I’m worried about how my company would respond and if they’d get suspicious of me doing blog work during REAL work time.

  12. Sarah

    Oh man.. peanut flour is my obsession. Its unsalted though.. so make sure you add some or it tastes pretty ick in my opinion. I like to either make it kinda soupy and eat it with a spoon, or heat it up and put some fiber one cereal in it. SO yummy. Its also really good with Kabocha squash, or any winder squash i would assume.

  13. janetha g @ meals & moves

    That water was disgusting. And those were CRAISINS, get it right, elise! ;) You are making good use of all your swag! Mine is all still sitting in a heap in my bedroom. I hope to God Penny and Randy don’t get into it. I miss you!

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  17. Danica

    LOL, I am totally cracking up that you counted the Annie’s baggies hahaha. You can get the big boxes at Costco in more flavors whenever you want them (since I know it’s your new fav place to shop ;)

    xoxo!

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