Wanted: a new brain

My memory is gone.  Apparently this pregnancy brain fog thing is the real deal.  I forgot our garage code last month and had to call Kyle to remind me what it was (I have no idea how my mind blanked out about that since I punch in the four numbers so regularly).  And I almost missed a work shift because I had my schedule wrong (I am so lucky the charge nurse called me a few hours beforehand otherwise I definitely would have been a no show at the hospital).  I’m constantly going upstairs to realize I’ve forgotten why I went up there. 

And those are just the brain farts that I can think of right now.  Fortunately my patients haven’t caught on…but seriously, what’s going on in my head! 

I just grabbed my iPhone to check and see if I had anything worth sharing because the photographic evidence of my meals seems to be the only way I can keep up with blogging.  And I still haven’t even been very good with it!

Here’s what I found:


Doing our weekly grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s lead to some new purchases.  The pumpkin spice coffee was the LAST one on the shelf.  Sadly they were all out of the pumpkin rooibos tea and the pumpkin chai blend (which I found out has dairy so I’m not too broken up about it).  Seasonal stuff is in high demand – especially if it involves pumpkin!  I’m so glad I was able to snag the coffee otherwise it would have been a pretty disappointing TJ’s trip. 

The almond milk isn’t seasonal, but it was my first time trying it.  Many people have mentioned it’s as good – or better – than Almond Breeze’s vanilla unsweetened.  However, I’m gonna have to disagree.  Sure, it’s nice and thick like AB, and was awesome in coffee.  But on it’s own, it’s more vanilla-y and sweeter and just wasn’t as yummy to guzzle solo.  To each his own.  I’ll stick to Almond Breeze. 

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Anyway, the coffee turned out to be a fabulous purchase and will likely last a long time.  We only use 1 tbsp or so of grounds in each brew (with whatever organic fair trade roast we’ve got on hand for the rest).  It gives a nice pumpkin flavor that’s definitely present, but not overpowering.  I think I like it more than Kyle does (he says it’s more of a once in a while kind of treat coffee), but he’s been good to appease me.  I’m in a hugeeeee coffee (craving) phase right now, which is super unfortunate since I can’t satisfy it the way I want to.  Basically, I’m drinking a lot of pumpkin coffee flavored almond milk.

Continuing the pumpkin trend…


I made pumpkin molasses cookies.  On accident.


Don’t hate me but I don’t have a recipe for this deliciousness. 

Originally I was going to make pumpkin pancakes, but then I decided to use some of the molasses that’s been hanging out in our pantry for the last year. 


I don’t know why or when I bought this but it’s been bothering me that I’ve neglected it for so long.  When I got pregnant I told myself I’d use it way more to help keep my iron levels up.  But then I continued to ignore it.  Naturally.


Once I started mixing things haphazardly, I realized that cookies sounded way better than pancakes.  So that’s where the recipe went. 


The first ones were massive (I guess I still had pancakes on the brain), so for the second batch I made them more normal sized.


I added carob chips to a few…which turned out lovely (even though they look like creepy beady eyes).


I’m happy to say they tasted like a cross between pumpkin pie and gingerbread (aka yummy). 

And as if that lack of a recipe wasn’t annoying enough, I have another one for you.


This lentil loaf was about as nutrient dense and protein packed as it gets.  I didn’t measure anything, but I can tell you the main ingredients I used were pink lentils, walnuts and TVP.  With TJ’s 21 seasoning salute as well.

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I hate leaving you high and dry after the photo tease, so check out this recipe for a different (but equally delish) lentil loaf.  It’s a fave in this house. 

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BBQ sauce and ketchup for the glaze.  Baked in the oven. 


Served with a side of peas.


I actually left this for Kyle before I headed into the hospital on night shift.  He’s always amazed that there’s no meat in these loaves.  I feel like a sneaky wife, but it’s one of the easiest things to make.  Lentils take no time to cook at all and you don’t even have to worry about how well you blend them (or the other ingredients) since lumps are totally fine.  I used the leftover lentil water to help blend the walnuts and rehydrate the TVP, but it’s a fairly simple thing to adapt based on whatever you have on hand.  No walnuts, try pecans or cashews.  No lentils, try garbanzos or any other bean.  No TVP, use bread crumbs.  Season as you want and bake until it’s bronzed on top and the house smells like fall comfort.


I’ve got more things coming and I swear I’ll start writing the recipes down.  I clearly can’t rely on my brain for anything. 


Including setting an oven timer for the garlic bread in the oven. 

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Comments (25)

  1. Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air

    I have to disagree – I like the TJ’s almond milk a lot! The sweetness is a benefit for me. And I didn’t know that about molasses and iron! I need to look into that since I’m anemic…

  2. Jessie @ Graze With Me

    Those cookies sound great. I love gingerbread! I’m sorry to break it to you but the whole preggo brain thing? Is nothing compared to mommy brain. 🙁 I stop in the middle of sentences all the time, unable to remember what the heck I was trying to say! It’s so frustrating. It is slowly getting better but it was BAD for a while there. I’ve heard the brain shrinks during pregnancy/birth but it will grow back to normal again. I believe it!

  3. Erin

    Thanks for nothin on the recipe front Elise

  4. Caroline @ Crunchy Carrottop

    Love TJ’s! I bought that coffee too! Surprising its not as bitter as other coffee so I don’t need to as as much agave. Those cookies look soo good!

  5. Sarah C

    When I was pregnant the height of my brain fog was when I sent an email to my brother (whom I’ve known all his life) and his wife (whom I’d known about 7 years at that point) and spelled BOTH OF THEIR NAMES WRONG.

  6. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    I also have a jar of molasses just like that, and I’ve barely used it! Need to start digging into it…

  7. Lisa

    A mix of gingerbread and pumpkin pie sounds insanely wonderful. Too bad you didn’t write it down;) Your excuse is pretty good though ha ha. I’d like to think I have pregnancy brain, minus the whole pregnant part. I am always forgetting everything! It drives me crazy.

  8. sarah

    I have accomplished all those brain farts. And I’m not preggo. Hmmm.

    Those cookies look so good, & I could down handfuls of carob chips. They are dangerous!
    Lentil loaf with walnuts= major YUM.

  9. Lou

    I still blame “baby brain” on all sorts of stuff… and my “baby” is almost 2!!!

  10. Lisa F. @thevalleyvegan

    Pregnancy fog brain! LOL! Yep… it’s real. And wait until Mommy Brain hits!! You’re doing great, and just remember it’s all for a good cause! 🙂

    Happy Cloudy Saturday in LA!!

  11. Marei

    If preggers brain isn’t enough…..just think you’ll get to do it all over again (and almost constantly) when menopause hits! Start making lists — and checking them twice — just like Santa Claus.

  12. luv what you do

    I do want that cookie recipe. I have some molasses and would love to turn it into cookies!

  13. Elise (Post author)

    oh great. haha. i read a study about it shrinking during pregnancy too. add that to the list…

  14. Elise (Post author)

    i know right? fail. im such a great mom already…blaming sh!t on my unborn child…

  15. Elise (Post author)

    wow, haha, thats pretty bad!!

  16. Elise (Post author)

    well ill try to use it in more recipes to give you ideas if you promise to do the same…

  17. Elise (Post author)

    glad theres an end in sight…oh wait…

  18. Elise (Post author)

    well i do love lists…

  19. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    Yes ma’am!

  20. Mimi

    Tj’s almond milk is great for chugging but I found that it tends to separate in coffee.

  21. Erin

    That lentil loaf looks great! I love seeing recipes for things that I already have most of the ingredients for (pink lentils and walnuts in this case). Although I’m not even a vegetarian, I do tend to eat really veggie heavy things and like with you and Kyle, my boyfriend has caught on too. Recipes like this one with a lot of servings are great when you cook for two and take leftovers to work. Thanks for the ideas!

  22. Brigid

    Thumbs up on the pumpkin coffee. If I wasn’t budgeting like mad at the moment, I’d have some in my kitchen right now. I sampled it a couple of weeks ago, and though I’m not usually a big fan of flavored coffees, that one is awesome.

  23. Alexis @ Hummusapien

    I just got some of the same coffee and I’m obsessed. I do one scoop of starbucks breakfast blend and one scoop of the pumpkin spice…it’s perfect 🙂 I wish TJ’s sold a carton of regular unsweetened instead of just vanilla!

  24. Ttrockwood

    Molasses in oatmeal is awesome- start with just a teaspoon, some people love the taste, others hate it- plus cinnamon/ginger etc, i’ve been trying to add more iron thru foods.

  25. Pingback: Trader Joe’s in October

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