Make ahead Meals

November 29, 2012

 

I swear to you, in the mornings, I am like Pavlov’s Dog.   I’ll wake up naturally, not overly tired, pleasantly alert and decide, I’ll just cuddle under the covers for a little while longer until the alarm goes off – and the minute the alarm goes off? I’m super tired, my body decides it needs another dose of snooze buttons to feel fully rested.  Which leaves me running around in the mornings, feeling like I’m consistently 2 minutes behind the imaginary schedule I have in my mind. 

All of this to pre-empt my crock pot story.  Because yesterday was one of those mornings, but especially busy, because Wednesady are my yoga days.  Since moving the yoga class from 7:30 pm to 7 pm, I’ve lost a little more time in the evening between when I get home from work and when I have to leave for my class.   Enter – the crockpot, long tauted as one ah-may-zing piece of kitchen appliance (don’t have a yoga class and a starving husband to motivate you? No worries, it works great regardless 😉 )

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So, when last we met, I teased you a bit with my picture of reason number 32987512359807 that I was rushing out the door yesterday morning.  Making sure I got all of the ingredients for last night’s dinner ready to go in the crockpot – and on a chilly day like yesterday, a hot, homemade and ready to eat soup sounded absolutely perfect.   So we found a Betty Crocker Recipe for this potato and dbl corn chowder.  Simple ingredient list = simple flavors = Brandon’s eyes lit up like the 4th of July.  Seriously – Frozen hashbrowns, a can of corn, a can of cream corn, some milk (we used almond).  In the end I added a splash of Ume Vinegar to brighten up the flavors a bit.  It called for Worsteschire but we had none in the house.   Brandon was pleased with it and I’m glad to have a simple, but equally versatile recipe to have on hand for those days where we want to come home to something hot and ready to eat.  This time around we used the standard frozen shredded hashbrowns, but I can see this soup being really good with some of the homefry style seasoned hashbrowns.  Or add a little kick with some red pepper flakes.  Mmmm kick.

The one thing this soup didn’t have though, was something non-starchy in it.  So, to satisfy my veggie self, I cooked up some easy teriyaki brussel sprouts. 

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Just an easy saute’ and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce to top them off.   I’ve been obsessed with cooking brussel sprouts like this lately and nothing else will suffice when the craving hits! 

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Brandon whipped up some Garlic toast to top off the meal – and for a rushed around AM, I think this qualifies as worth it. 

Although we ARE running out of make-ahead-meal ideas…hint hint 😉

xo

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Yoooogaaa

November 28, 2012

So glad to be working my way back to yoga tonight. I havent been very good with keeping up a gym schedule for the fall, so getting back to one of my favorite classes is pretty major for me.  It’s been a hectic, albeit manageable few weeks, so nothing will feel better than seeing my smiling yoga instructor, Jennifer, again. 

I did get in a resistance band workout on Monday night, but I’m not kidding myself into thinking that will build muscle.  But a workout is a workout and for worn out as I felt on Monday, I’ll take it. 

Sneak peek at tmrws post

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I love crockpots!

Time to run off to spend a few quiet moments with myself.

Xo

Thanksgiving

November 27, 2012

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I would be pretty remiss if I didn’t make mention of what was the first of hopefully many successful vegan thanksgivings for me. I’ve had more than a few vegetarian thanksgivings, which never managed to cause my mom much grief, the only thing she had to do was make sure I got some brussel sprouts without bacon, then I would just avoid the bird. But this year, there was a little more thought involved, so I offered to bring the majority of dishes that’s would eat. Hence that delicious lentil “loaf” (if we’re being honest, it was less of a loaf than I would’ve preferred, but it was every bit as delicious). In the end, my mom was insanely awesome and made vegan friendly mini versions of most of her dishes, so I had a full plate just like everyone else, but not nearly as much groaning afterwards (for the record, my mom is a darn good cook!). Here’s what was on my menu for the holiday: Appetizers – veggies and olives and some baguette Dinnnnnerrrr- lentil loaf, slow roasted pearl onions with wine(by slow, I mean 8 hrs slow, ridic), stuffing, corn, cranberry sauces galore, brussel sprouts. Dessert – I made a vegan pumpkin roll that everyone loved. The best part was that I could enjoy my meal and my family without really sacrificing ( ok, so I may have missed my mom’s pies…). For the most part, everyone was nice about it, with the usual jabs about vegan food thrown in. But it still felt like thanksgiving to me 🙂 Xo

Err…

November 26, 2012

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What day is it? Sorry for the inadvertent week long vacation. I was working (and still am) on an important work deadline and any time I had some time to sit down and write, I realized I had nothing worthwhile to write about, which is an interesting point in and of itself. Do you work hard to keep up your healthy habits when things get busy? Or are you like me and let things slide in favor of a few extra minutes to work on something? Thankfully, with my current food choices being as they are, letting things slide typically results in still healthier than the usual choices and I don’t feel too worse for wear as the hectic starts to settle down a bit. However, that’s not to say that I’m not painfully aware of what it feels like to miss 2 weeks of workouts, sleep and my usual quota of green veggies. But in the end, it’s always worth it. Especially when it means a little less stress when I’m around my family for a holiday like thanksgiving. I promise to catch up on things that I’m thankful for, but for now I’ll leave you with my little thanksgiving day creation and its back to work for me! Xo

Satisfied

November 16, 2012

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Any Friday that includes an 11 hour day and an at home taco bar is ok in my book. So today I am thankful for productivity, work ethic and that feeling of satisfaction when you finally walk back through your front door. Happy Friday friends Xo

Busy and thankful

November 15, 2012

Today I’m thankful for a clean bill of kitty health and a husband who was willing to take my subtle hint of “I don’t want to cook tonight” and agree to some Chinese takeout.

As evidenced by my randomly timed posts, this week has been one of those weeks that makes you wonder how it’s already the end of the week. I haven’t been run down or overworked, but there’s a poorly timed  deadline coming up and appropriately so my work is getting a little more involved and equally so, exciting.  I need quiet evenings at home to work through and.clear my head of all the thoughts flying through it, which really only serves to let more thoughts in the next day.  It’s a good thing though and I take it as a strong sign that things are going the right way, especially since despite the constant feeling of never quite catching up to myself, I’m so so happy at work.

So I guess I’m thankful for that too.

Thanks for hangin in there during my flaky week!

Xo

Makin’ mom proud

November 14, 2012

I must be getting nostalgic for home, because lately I’ve been reaching back in my memory for foods “how mom used to make”.  For instance, veggie soup:

There are more than  few ways to make veggie soup – you can add sweet potatoes, or squash and a variety of spices – but the veggie soup I remember best, was my mom’s.  Simple and tomatoe based – beef, cabbage (she made her own broth), green beans and some corn, maybe celery if she was feeling frisky.  Growing up I didn’t fully appreciate how simple the flavors were and how well they worked together.  But like most girls who think they know better than mom & dad, I find i’m happiest at the dinner table when I don’t try too hard with flavors and let simplicity take over. 

Now.  Just because I started out on a mission to recreate my mom’s veggie soup last night, doesn’t mean I didn’t have my own changes to make either 😉  Naturally I omitted the beef and didn’t have time to make my own veggie broth, so settled for some bouillon.  And since I’m a veggie freak, I upped the ante’ for my soup a bit.  That’s the great part about soups – endlessly versatile. 

Where mom’s soup only had a few veggies thrown in, I took the time to listen to what my body was craving on a cold night after a busy day at work.  A hearty mix of canned tomatoes (I use my mom’s tip of taking whole canned tomatoes and squishing them apart into the soup – and don’t forget the juice!) zucchini and summer squash, chopped up baby bok choy, daikon root, shitaki mushrooms, corn and some lentils, a little bit of water and this baby simmered away for 30-45 minutes until the lentils were cooked.  A pinch of cumen, sea salt and red pepper flakes topped it all off.

And of course some slices of sourdough bread with earth balance to soak up what was left behind. 

So nutritious and oh so satisfying. 

So with soup in mind today i’m grateful that I grew up with a mom who picked her battles with us kids in the kitchen and took the time to cook homemade and healthy meals that I can make for my family. Thanks mom.

xo