Hungry Hungry Hippie

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The weekly menu

On Saturday we had our classic summer salad.  Cantaloupe, butter lettuce, avocado, and Brianna’s poppyseed dressing.

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Kyle had grilled chicken the night before, so I planned for him to cook an extra breast.  Once we were done eating, I shredded it so it would be ready for the next day (Saturday).  I’m glad I did all that in advance too, because I was with my mom and sisters for the day (wedding dress shopping!!) so I didn’t get back to Davis until dinnertime.  Great to have everything ready to go.

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Here’s the previous night’s meal.

IMG_9012As you can see, I had a little helper assembling the salad.  He dried and ripped up all the lettuce for me.

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Mmmm.

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I can’t NOT stop in.  It’s a problem.

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All for me!! [Don’t worry, I baked Kyle brownies, I’m not a totally terrible wife]  I’m going to try and make the box last a week.  Wish me luck!

On Sunday Kyle grilled salmon, and I made a broccoli slaw with pepitas, cilantro and a lime juice dressing.

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On Monday we had this love & lemon’s recipe for kale and white bean salad with an avocado dressing.  I doubled the recipe (because our appetites are big) and I swapped the tahini for cashew butter.

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P and V had the extra white beans from the can with nooch.  The salad was ok, but not my favorite.  It lacked something and I think it was a salty component.  Needed an oomph.  Kyle ended up adding parmesan to his and I grabbed some kite hill almond ricotta (leftover from a meal last week) for me and P.  He ate it all though (he loves kale salads).

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NOMNOMNOMNOM.

On Tuesday I made Jessica’s BLT salad for the 50th time of life.

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Kyle asks for this salad every week and I keep turning his request down because it has bacon and I’m trying to wean P’s bacon consumption.  Anyway, I finally caved and made it.  I may swap in coconut “bacon” next time and see if it’s as big of a hit because I have been making it every couple weeks lately (but I didn’t have enough for this recipe).

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Sometimes you’re tired and your daughter falls asleep nursing on you and then you have to go grocery shopping and all that will do is a salty soft pretzel.  Thank you Whole Foods hot bar for the warm carbs.

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On Wednesday we went to market, so we ate there.  I packed food for the littles (organic veggie meatballs from Costco which are gluten and dairy free), but I got a burger because why not.

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It’s on a GF bun and looks small but filled me way up.  The last few weeks’ market dinners have been all over the place.  I’ve really been sampling different things each time rather than sticking to my same old (Indian food more often than anything else).  That’s partially because there’s not much diversity (I miss the food from “Our House” – specifically their pulled pork Caesar.  That was the best dish).  This week there were FINALLY some new places, including the burger place I went to.

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On Thursday, I made this pea and almond curry salad which is an easy recipe that my friend gave me a few summer’s ago after I fell in love with the dish at her house.  I’m sure I’ve showed the dish on HHH before because I’ve made it a handful of times in the past.  It’s meant to be a side dish, but I like it as a main.

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Smokehouse almonds are SO addicting so any excuse to eat them in massive amounts is fine by me.  I made toast on the side.

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On Friday I made the most massive crock pot dish, because I was bringing dinner to my friend.  I actually started this Thursday evening, so it simmered away on the low setting for almost 24 hours.

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Their fam eats low carb, so I figured this pulled pork and Caesar salad was a sure win.  That version of pulled pork has always been a big hit in our house.  I had to scratch the Caesar though, because her newborn is having reflux stuff that she’s trying to sort out with changes in her diet, so I made a simple (allergy free) salad instead.  And quinoa.

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Because with that amount of juice, you need something to soak it up, ya know?

Seriously, this is THE BEST pulled pork recipe in the world.

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The salad was organic mixed greens, roasted pepitas, dried cranberries, and a simple vinaigrette.  Nothing fancy, but apparently it was a huge hit with my friend’s toddler, so that’s always a sign of a good dish.

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We still have lots of leftovers so it looks like it will be added to next week’s menu as well.  Might make Caesar this time 😉

And now for some real life pics (because my food photos are actually about 4% of my camera roll)…

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They are besties.  Truly.  It’s every parent’s dream to think his/her kids are going to love each other, but their relationship is so beyond that.

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Spazzes.

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Just keep climbing.

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It’s literally impossible to photograph a group of >7 kids together.

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Morning “family run” turned into an apple picking/construction viewing party.  Because, duh.

 

A day with Thomas

A few weekends ago, Kyle and I got my parents to watch V so we could take P to Santa Cruz for a special day.

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The entire bed to himself and he curls up in the corner like that…ha!  So sweet.  FYI that’s a blow up mattress he is now sleeping in at my parents’ house.

We didn’t tell him where we were going, but we did tell him we had fun plans.  And because he randomly slept in super late, we had to basically shovel food down his throat in 30 minutes before hitting the road.  And while 30 minutes may seem like plenty of time to eat breakfast, for my leisurely diner it was SUCH a s t r u g g l e.

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But then we were off!

We stopped at the bux first (because COFFEE to my face thankyouverymuch), and then got out Thomas stickers and a engineer hat as hints…he guessed right away!  We were going to meet Thomas!

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He was thrilled.  But then made the (very valid) argument that to get to Sodor we needed to go over a bridge because it is an island.  So I explained that Thomas was coming here to California as a special visit…which he seemed cool with.

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Right when we showed up, Thomas pulled up!

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The way it works is you buy a ticket for a ride.  We bought one for 10:30 factoring in the 1.5ish hour drive to get there.  So aside from that, we had no agenda, no time constraints.  Each boxcar has room for something like 50 people (big long benches), and there were maybe 5 or so cars behind Thomas.

They have professional photographers all over the place but you can take pics with your own camera and phones too.  We looked up our pics afterwards, but they weren’t much better than any we took on our own.

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Cute, but not worth the $$$$$.

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We rode backwards up into the forest (those massive redwoods were gorgeous!) and then after a ways we came back.

P got a engineer certificate en route, which meant nothing to him, but he still thought it was cool.

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Since we were in the middle it was hard to see much, but whatever, I was laser focused on the group next to us eating peanut butter baked goods.  The only bummer about the ride was that the voice narrating Thomas related trivia and whatnot wasn’t loud enough so P couldn’t hear it (and I know he would have loved to).

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After we pulled back into the station, we disembarked and set off to find the next thing.  Sir Topham Hatt!

The stations were organized in such a way that you had the chance to do something every half hour.  We had about 20 minutes to kill before meeting Sir Topham Hatt so P raced a tractor around and then just played on hay bails and ran around.

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I thought they would nickel and dime us, but aside from the store, everything was pretty much free.  You could probably go and have a good time without even buying anything provided you didn’t want to ride on Thomas.  It’s not that ridiculous of a notion, because there was SO MUCH to do.

We only got through a portion of it in the few hours we were there…and Pacman probably would have stayed until he finished every single thing, but signs of fatigue and hunger reared their ugly heads around noon.

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See??  He looks so tired here right?

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HA.

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They had bounce houses (separated by age groups – LOVE!), train tables, musicians, magic tricks, story telling, and heaps of food options and soooo much more I didn’t even see.

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Ta-da!  <– he learned that from gymnastics class and he and V both do it back and forth all day with each other (they are in gym classes at the same time)

After we left we took lots of winding roads through the mountains to downtown Santa Cruz.  Patty-cakes was looking down the whole time (too into his Thomas “map”)….andddd…outfit change was necessary. Poor babe.  This is the first time he’s gotten carsick.  He gets that from his mama.  🙁

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Let’s play a little game of +/-/+…

Fortunately I had a bag of hand-me-downs in the trunk.

Unfortunately, they were for V.

Fortunately, they are very close in size.

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We went to a bomb lunch place called West End Tap & Kitchen, which was exactly what we were looking for.  I did some research beforehand and had a few places ready for whatever we felt like (backup was Picnic Basket).  They both focus on local and seasonal fare.  I ordered the (above) roasted organic chicken salad at West End, swapping bleu cheese for feta.  I hemmed and hawed over several dishes, because there’s so much good stuff on the menu, but let’s be honest, if I see a salad that has egg and avocado, it’s pretty impossible to pass up.  Also, it was nice to get chicken while out at a restaurant, because I usually avoid meat (knowing that it’s not organic).

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Kyle got a burger and fries.

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I had packed a sunbutter and jelly on tortilla for P.

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What a fun date.  I’m so thankful that my parents could hang with V so we could get some solo time with P.  I know he feels very loved, but it’s important to get extra one-on-one attention every once in a while – and not just from one parent at a time (because that’s easier to coordinate).  And, naturally, my parents had a blast with their granddaughter…swimming and gardening and all that jazz.

For the rest of you who have Thomas obsessed kids, you should look into when this will be in your area. Price wise it is very reasonable if you can make it a day trip from where you live.  Of course my sweet boy already said he wants to go back with V so she can see it all.  <3

Nasoya noodle bowl

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Mom, this is for you.

Because you told me to write it down quickly before I forgot it.  Man, I am terrible at keeping track of stuff when I cook.

I’m basically 6 months behind on blogging and we are nearly vegetarians again…save for a few dinners a week…and yet, I can’t even find the time to share my photos because, life.

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Can you believe this dinner came together during nap time?

That’s when everything has to come together.  I think I need to write a cookbook that is made up of all recipes that can be made ahead of time, in 30 minutes or less (because who knows how long of a nap overlap situation you are going to get with more than one kid?).  This is a good one because it can be tweaked quite a bit.

For a vegan option, use tofu or edamame instead of salmon.

For a gluten free option, use rice noodles.

For a soy free option, use coconut aminos instead of tamari.

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Chilled salmon and soba noodle salad

Ingredients:

  • Nasoya Japanese soba noodles
  • 1 package  (9 oz) cabbage mix (I love this organic blend from TJs)
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 filets (~1 pound) salmon, baked
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger, very finely chopped (or shaved on a micro-plane)

Directions:

Cook soba noodles per package instructions (boil water, stir in and separate, allow to cook until softened and plumped up – about 10 minutes).

Bake salmon (~20 minutes at 350* F in a greased baking sheet covered in foil).

In a large serving bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together (oil, tamari, vinegar, water, sugar, and ginger).  Then add cabbage blend, snow peas, and carrots and mix so that the dressing coats veggies.

Once noodles are done cooking, drain the water and add to the dressing and veggie mix, tossing with dressing so they are coated.  Finally, add the salmon (once it is cool enough to handle shred it into medium sized flakes).

Add cilantro (and anything else you want to top it with – chopped cashews, sesame?) and chill until it is time to serve.  Making this in advance lets the flavors really soak into the noodles and break down the veggies.

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So good.

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This was my first time with Nasoya soba noodles and they were so easy to make and so good.  A nice change from the usual pasta or grain options.  We do a lot of quinoa and rice in this house, so it’s fun to do big old noodles that are slurp friendly.

Strawberry chocolate chip bread

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My latest flavor obsession is strawberries and chocolate.  I owe it to Crepeville because they always seem to have that muffin when we go there for brunch (which is twice a year, but still…I have gotten it both times!).

The rest of the family freaks out over berries and I think we have spent 50% of our food budget on summer produce.  WF has been killing it with the sales, too, so the house is basically one big fruit-fest…usually I keep a few fresh fruits on hand in addition to the standard apple and banana sitch, but right now we have blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, nectarines, plums, AND grapes.  ALL OF THEM!  That’s insane, right?  But they go so fast!  Well, not the nectarines.  Those are coming out of our ears.  We have given away bags full to all our friends and we still have at least 50 on the kitchen counter right now.   Those recipes will come later…

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For now, let’s discuss strawberries.

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I don’t know why, but I don’t really eat raw fruit by itself (like a snack) much these days.  Maybe it’s because I know my kids love it so much I subconsciously save it for them?  I do that with most of my favorite things…it’s a mom thing for sure.  There’s no bigger gesture of love in my book than giving up food that I would want for my babes.  Anyway, I do eat fruit in smoothies and baked goods, which is how I used these berries.

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I made this bread just for me AND I ACTUALLY DID EAT IT ALL MYSELF!  Kyle was very proud of me because he thinks I’m bad at taking care of myself…well that’s not quite it.  He thinks I put the kids first at the expense of my own personal well being (and sometimes happiness).  Although that sounds extreme and maybe isn’t totally accurate, but whatever, it’s hard to explain because parenting is not an easy gig, so whatever.

Isn’t she cute?

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She is 15 (16? I’ve lost track?) months going on 3 years old and I’m baffled.  How is my littlest now the big kid at these baby play dates?  I know there’s an emoji for this…it involves a seriously distressed look and heaps of tears.  And 800 empty chocolate wrappers.

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So chocolate and strawberries.

Match made in heaven.

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I wish I had lined the baking pan in parchment paper.  That’s what you should do, okay?  Learn from my mistakes.

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SO BEAUTIFUL.

And then I flipped it over to get it out and…

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Nooooooooo.

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Still tasted good though, so I can live with that.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Bread [gluten free, dairy free, grain free, soy free]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup stevia NuNaturals baking blend
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 15 strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (ie Enjoy Life)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir.  Then add wet and mix well (until batter forms).

Pour into a well greased large baking loaf pan (that’s lined with parchment paper so it pops up over the edges).

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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So good!

Cashew white bean dessert bites

I was aiming for “cookies” with this recipe (and it’s what I’m calling them here in the hippie household) but for the purposes of the rest of the internet reading world, I don’t want to mislead…these are soft chewy sweet bites, but they aren’t really cookies.

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They have that stick to your mouth nut butter texture.  It’s a drink with milk situation.  I made them for myself because I was turning to crappy things in that afternoon lull, but P and V have swooped on them big time (what else is new?).

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Cashew white bean “cookies” [vegan, dairy free, soy free, peanut free, sesame free]

Ingredients:

  • 1 super ripe banana
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 8 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

Directions:

Pulse everything in a food processor until it is well mixed.  It will be sticky.

Refrigerate for >1 hour.  [Don’t skip this part]

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop dough onto a greased baking sheet.  Should yield ~30 cookies.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Wait to cool before moving.

Enjoy. 🙂

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