Category Archives: Vegan

Fall / Gluten-Free / Personal / Stay Healthy / Sweet / Vegan / Vegetarian

This Was Not the Plan

September 18, 2017

The past few days have been a little trying. I woke up on Friday morning in a bad mood. There wasn’t any real reason for it (well, the perpetual sleep deprivation might have something to do with it), but nevertheless, there it was. Later that morning I managed to lock myself and the girls out of the house after Prim’s dance class; and then naptime, the only time I get to myself during the day, fell apart royally.

Most days during the week I use naptime as my workout hour, so it’s not even like I’m sitting back watching TV and shoving cookies into my face (which is what I would really rather be doing). On Friday though, my 60-80 minute workout turned into a 3-hour ordeal, due to the fact that I was running up the stairs to deal with one or two screaming children every 10-15 minutes. I finally had to pull Lark out of the room and have her sleep in the guest room, which was frustrating since I just transitioned her into sleeping in the girls’ room during naptime. This of course did not deter Prim, who continued to scream and carry on until I finally pulled her out of the room, giving up on her taking a nap altogether. I ended up sticking her in front of Puffin Rock on the iPad so I could finish my workout, but since I really try to limit her screen time (when we’re not traveling) I felt like a complete failure.

On Saturday I got my hair cut for the first time in nine months. I had previously vowed never to have my hair cut in Europe, having been warned by numerous expats (and being a person with eyes who has seen Euro-hair). However, my hair was last cut in mid-December and our next trip back to the US is set for mid-March next year, so that means I would have had to go another six months without a cut. After seeing a friend’s cute cut, I decided to brave it and came to the salon armed with pictures of multiple mid-length hairstyles with long layers. What I got was… not exactly that. In fact, I was so unhappy with it I ended up chopping somewhere between four and six inches off by myself the next day. I now think it looks ok, so whatever. And it’s just hair. I’m actually not really someone who gets hung up on bad haircuts because my hair grows pretty fast, but I have to admit that the whole ordeal was fairly annoying.

This weekend we also had two nights where the girls were up for two hours in the middle of the night. Being up from 3-5am on two occasions in the same week is not my idea of fun. (This is also why I am in pajamas and no makeup in the photos above. No sleep = no effort to look presentable.)

Oh yeah, and my phone fell out of my pocket while I was riding my bike and the screen got smashed. (Like, suuuper smashed.)

So this morning I decided to reset. KC is working late tonight and will be in Dublin the rest of the week, so I am on my own with these two little ladies. This morning I made applesauce from the apples that were about to turn AND I laid down the law at naptime and managed to get two hours to myself as a result. Right now I’ve got applesauce muffins in the oven and the apartment smells amazingly fall-like as a result.

This week is going to be better. Let’s go, Monday. We got this.

Quick No-Sugar Applesauce

makes 3-4 cups

  • apples, peeled and diced (I used 5 Jonagold that were about to turn)
  • 2 thin slices of lemon or juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Combine everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. If you like a thicker applesauce, remove cover and simmer up to another 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lemon slices, then mash with a potato masher, fork, or run a hand blender through everything until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Store in the fridge.

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Fall / Gluten-Free / Pescatarian / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Soup Recipes for Rainy Evenings

December 3, 2014

Just like I go crazy for salads during the summer, I love making a giant pot of soup when the weather gets cold in the fall and winter.  Soups are so wonderful because they generally require fairly little effort, and have a big payoff with enough food to cover more than one meal.  Plus, it’s an awesome way to get a crapload of veggies into your body (always helpful when trying to fend off the plague when you ride BART).

I’ve posted a lot of my favorite soup recipes on here already, but thought a recap post might be in order (I always like to have a one-stop-shop for the “what am I going to make for dinner” dilemma).

Sooo, here we go!  (Just click on the name of the soup to link to the recipe.)

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

You guys, this soup is the business.  It doesn’t make a TON of soup like some of the other soup recipes, but it’s so delicious and easy to make — perfect for a weeknight meal.  And trust me: you shouldn’t skimp on the toppings!

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Split Pea Soup

This is a great, basic recipe for split pea soup; and it’s another nice option if you don’t want to be eating the same soup for the next 7 meals (it makes about 6 generous servings).

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Not Your Mama’s Chicken Soup

This soup is a little more time-consuming than some of the others, and makes A LOT of soup.  But it’s awesome if you or someone you know is feeling a little under the weather.  Maybe whip up a batch and give half of it to your neighbor who isn’t feeling so hot.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

This soup is so delicious and comforting — perfect for a cold, rainy night.  I like it with some Grana Padano grated over the top and a big hunk of sourdough bread.  (But really, I like most things with a big hunk of sourdough bread…)

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Potato Leek Soup

This soup is so crazy-easy to make.  And it’s just a little indulgent (not quite as veggie-full as many of the others on this list).  It’s so delicious though, and awesome to make for a crowd.

Winter Minestrone

Winter Minestrone

This is my go-to soup during the fall and winter months.  It makes a ton of soup and is overflowing with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients.  Grate some fresh parmesan on top and have at it.

Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I made up this recipe after being dissatisfied with butternut squash soups that were either lacking flavor or wayyy too sweet.  This soup is a good balance of salt, spice and sweet.  It tastes rich and creamy, but it’s actually full of veggies.  Yum!

Spicy Tomato Soup 4

Customizable Spicy Tomato Soup

This tomato soup is great for picky appetites — there’s a million and one ways to modify it.  Make it upscale with spices and some coconut milk, scale it down and make it basic — whatever your little heart desires.  Just don’t serve it without the grilled cheese if you’re making it for me.  🙂

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Double-Duty Spicy Roasted Veggies

August 25, 2014

I make an effort to make dinner during the week.  Tackling dinner while holding down a full-time job can be challenging (and tiring — let’s just be honest).  I’ll be the first to admit that I get stuck in the rut of making the same couple of salads over and over when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed with life.

Our CSA box has helped a bit in pushing me outside of my normal cooking repertoire (because, like what the hell do you do with kohlrabi?)

This week’s box inspired me to whip up a bunch of spicy roasted veggies which I decided would be perfect for both breakfast burritos one night and tacos the next.

Nothing like cooking once for two meals, eh?

These vegetables are a great end-of-summer blend of things you probably have sitting in your fridge right now (and, frankly, are so easy and delicious, there’s really no reason not to make them.)

Double-Duty Roasted Veggies

Double-Duty Spicy Roasted Veggies

  • 2 medium squash, diced (I used round zucchini, but any summer squash works here)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large bell peppers (any color you like — I used a mix of green and red)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cut off the cob or frozen)
  • 2-3 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place all veggies onto a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add all the spices (feel free to just eyeball the amounts — it doesn’t need to be exact, by any means).  Toss everything together until evenly coated, then spread out the veggies so they’re in a single layer on the pan.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, until desired done-ness is reached (I wanted a little bite left in mine, so I just did 15 minutes).

Double-Duty Mexican Style Roasted Veggies

Post on our breakfast burritos and taco feast coming up!

Cocktails / Dairy-Free / Drinks / Gluten-Free / Happy Hour / Sweet / Vegan / Vegetarian

Bourbon Blackberry Smash Cocktail

August 6, 2014

Bourbon Blackberry Smash Cocktail

Given that it’s the middle of the week, I thought a cocktail post might be in order.  Sometimes a Wednesday night calls for this sort of thing, y’know?

This cocktail is a summery twist on the classic whiskey-ginger, and is perfect for mid-week drinking (given that it takes almost zero effort and brain cells in order to make.)  The recipe is also highly adaptable, so feel free to sub in a different berry and/or herb if you feel like it.

Bourbon Blackberry Smash

makes one cocktail

  • Bourbon
  • 2 large, ripe blackberries
  • 4 mint leaves, torn
  • Ginger beer
  • Ice
  1. In a rocks or double old-fashioned glass, muddle together the blackberries and mint leaves.
  2. Add 1.5 ounces bourbon.
  3. Fill glass with ice and top with ginger beer.

Notes and Modifications:

  1. I used Woodford Reserve, but feel free to use any whiskey or bourbon you like here.
  2. Cherries or blueberries would be a nice alternative to the blackberries, if you’ve got them on hand.  If your berries are more on the tart side, add a little sugar during the muddling step.
  3. Feel free to try basil in place of the mint.
  4. I used Cock & Bull ginger beer.  If you find the cocktail too sweet (as different types of ginger beer will add different amounts of sweetness) add a squeeze of lime.

I mean, it’s pretty much rocket science, right?  Maybe I’ll recreate this around the holidays with cooked cranberries and rosemary.  I think that might be quite a treat!

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Meals for Two / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

April 8, 2014

Raw Beet Green Salad 2

First off, I did think about titling this dish: Roasted, Toasted and Goat-ed Beet Green Salad, because there’s roasted beets, toasted sunflower seeds, and goat cheese in it.  But then I thought that was a little bit annoying, even for me.  I also thought that there was a very solid chance that this salad was going to be awful when I made it.  It’s pretty, sure, but beet greens?  RAW beet greens?  Not to mention that the spring onions I used were so freaking onion-y that it was all I could smell when I was putting this together…

I’m doing a good job selling this recipe to you, huh?  Totally.

I really don’t want you to think that I’m some kind of healthy-eating mutant who loves eating raw kale and chia seeds on the regular and would die before allowing red meat into her body.  Cuz I’m not.  I mean, go ahead and think that if you want to — your choice.  It sounds sort of nice to be thought of as some kind of crazy health ninja — completely inaccurate, but nice.

But no, I like junk food.  I love a big greasy burger.  And french fries?  Don’t even get me started.  I may or may not have a very trashy relationship with the McDonald’s drive-thru.  (PS: Did you know you can ask for your fries “fresh” there?  Yeah, it means they fry them up fresh for you and serve them to you so hot they burn your mouth off.  WORTH IT.)  But that’s not what this is about.  This is about everyday life where I make the conscious choice to not eat an entire jar of peanut butter in one sitting (and believe me, that’s a legit choice right there, because it could very well be reality), and instead work vegetables into some semblance of deliciousness.  And especially because I’m turning 30 this week (!) I did make a decision at the beginning of this year to get my healthy eating back on track so that I could ring in my 30’s wearing my skinny jeans.*

So, because of that and because our CSA has been giving us beets lately (sooo many beets), I decided I should try something new.  I roasted the beets like usual, but then opted to use the leafy tops of the beets as the base for this salad.  The beet tops are mild in flavor and a little more tender than raw kale.  However, these are still a pretty hearty green, so feel free to add the dressing to your salad and let it hang out for awhile.  If you end up having leftovers, this is even a salad that will hold up well in the fridge for a couple days.

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Raw Beet Green Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch beets with fresh-looking greens attached (I used 2 large golden beets and 1 large striped beet, but red beets would also work just fine here)
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds (just place them in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes, tossing regularly until fragrant)
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese*

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar (start with 1 tsp, then taste and add until desired sweetness is reached)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives (optional)
  • hefty pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Remove beet greens from beets and roast the beets.  Once cooled, remove the skin and chop the beets.
  2. Remove beet leaves from the stem and tear or chop into pieces.  Rinse leaves and spin dry, then add to salad bowl.
  3. Add chopped spring onions, beets, quinoa, toasted sunflower seeds, and crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing (add a little water if the dressing is too thick), then add to salad and toss to combine.

*To make this salad vegan or dairy-free, feel free to sub in avocado for the goat cheese.

Raw Beet Green Salad 3

*Um, I should probably note that I did follow up this salad with half a dozen mini Cadbury Cream Eggs.  Real life, y’know.