Category Archives: Food

Fall Update

Oh my goodness I can’t believe we are already halfway through October! The past few months have been a complete whirlwind, but I just couldn’t stand to let another month go by without a single blog post. So here I am, baby asleep in my lap, writing a quick update on my phone using WordPress’s handy mobile app. (Apparently Maddy and I are on the same wavelength because I just heard from her that she was thinking of another post. So you can look forward to another guest post soon too.) I have so much to tell you, and I really hope I will have time for a more regular writing schedule in the very near future. But for today, here’s my little update on our forced family fun from the past few months.

Family

Will and I both graduate in December 🎉🎉 We are very excited to have jobs lined up that start in January and we are in the process of arranging our move to our new home. Baby M is doing great and growing like crazy. She started school this fall. Just one day a week, but it has been good for her I think. I am glad that when she starts 3 day a week school after we move she will have already had the fall here to ease her into it. I am already having guilt about going to work even though I know it is absolutely the right choice for our family. Luckily Baby M’s current babysitter is coming with us for the first 6 months to be her nanny while we get to know the area and meet people so I am confident that she will be in great hands and with someone I trust. Will and I are both looking forward to having real jobs with no homework so that our family time outside of work hours can truly be family time and not trading off  who gets to play with Little M while the other studies.

Baby M’s first day of school!
Food

We finally figured out how to cook and be parents, but cooking, parenting AND graduating were just not going to happen all at once so we are looking forward to getting back in the kitchen in January.  We did go paleo for a couple of weeks in August and really liked it. And I even invented a pretty yummy paleo recipe involving spaghetti squash and wild boar, so when we do get to cooking again you can expect some original recipes along with the recipe roundup posts.

Paleo jalapeño burgers
Fur babies

Our poor puppies have gone from being the center of our universe to the bottom of the totem pole around here in the last year. We still love them and treat them as part of the family of course. And Baby M loves them and they love her (especially now that she is big enough to drop food on the floor). But they have both put on a little weight and spend a little more time by themselves these days and have a little less room than they ever have. We are really looking forward to our move for multiple reasons, but especially to give them more time and space.

Baby M and Volta bonding over a rice cookie
Foundations

I am happy to report that I have lost 50 lbs since January! I still have about 10 lbs to go to get back to prepregancy weight but it is so nice to be able to fit in my clothes again. Hopefully I can hold it together now that the holidays are coming up 😂 My advice to any new moms out there is be kind to yourself. Be healthy and don’t beat yourself up if you are still wearing maternity clothes 3 months postpartum. There is a middle ground between never losing the weight and the crazy 12 weeks to prepregancy body.

As for my other new year’s resolutions, I am still working on my meditation practice and I do actually have a stack of thank you notes that I need to mail. Maybe next year my resolution needs to include the follow through of mailing in addition to writing the thank you note 😳.

What a difference 8 months makes…
Feng Shui

We are about to put the house we own on the market and we have already been house hunting in Texas. If I wasn’t so busy studying I think HGTV would be my favorite thing right now.  I won’t turn it on for myself, but I do enjoy it when I come home and Baby M has fallen asleep and the babysitter is watching house hunters or property brothers or flip or flop 😂

Fun

Nothing major to report here.  We have 8 weeks of class left and 1 week of finals. Thank goodness for Baby M because she is the most fun Will and I could ever imagine and even though it is hard work being a parent and being in school, she makes it all worth it.  I will leave you with a little fun we have had this week.  Thanks for checking in.

Love, M

Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 25, 2015

I have a bunch of new recipes for you this week.  Some of them aren’t as quick and easy as the ones I have been making in the past few weeks, but I think they were worth the extra effort.  Only problem is no baby yet!  I thought surely after spending a marathon 7 hours in the kitchen on Sunday evening that little girl would want to get here – but I guess she is still feeling comfy in there… I have to admit though, I’m hoping this will be the last weekly roundup post for a couple of weeks.  Let’s hope she comes tomorrow 🙂

Vegan Cauliflower “Risotto”

Vegan Cauliflower "Risotto"

Recipe fromforkandbeans.com

What we changed:  We were a little more generous with the spinach. We left out the pine nuts because even though we love pine nuts, they are just so darn expensive and didn’t seem worth the extra money this week.

My thoughts on the recipe:  I really like this recipe as a starch substitute.  It made a great side dish throughout the week (you’ll see it in some of the other pics below).  But I don’t think it has quite enough flavor to stand up on its own as an entree which is why I am rating it an 8.  As a low-carb accompaniment it hits the spot, so I’m sure will be seen on our table again in the future.

Overall rating: 8/10

Balsamic Pork Chops

Balsamic Pork Chops

Recipe frommyrecipes.com

What we changed:  I really just used this recipe for inspiration but didn’t follow it very closely.  I didn’t make the rice.  I only was making 2 pork chops so I guessed at most of the measurements in the recipe.  I also used vegetable stock instead of chicken broth.

My thoughts on the recipe:  These made pretty darn tasty pork chops.  We served them with the cauliflower “risotto” and also sautéed some mushrooms in the pan after cooking the pork chops.

Overall rating: 9/10

Vegan Morning Glory Muffins

Vegan Morning Glory Muffins

Recipe fromfood52.com

What we changed:  We used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and the remainder whole wheat flour.  We used coconut sugar instead of regular organic sugar.  We used almond milk (instead of soy) and ground ginger (instead of fresh grated).

My thoughts on the recipe: OMG ya’ll.  These were absolutely amazing!  The recipe made 18 muffins for us and we have been eating them all week long.  They make an excellent breakfast accompaniment (as with the scrambled eggs) or they are really delicious on their own – especially popped in the microwave for a few seconds and then topped with a bit of coconut spread.  I wasn’t sure how vegan baking would be since I am so used to using eggs when I bake, but the date paste in these muffins worked wonders.  They were so moist – even as leftovers after a few days they stayed moist.  I highly recommend trying this recipe.  And with the carrots and apple and flax you can feel good about eating them too!

Overall rating: 10/10

Mango Smoothie

Mango Smoothie

Recipe fromfoodiecrush.com

What we changed: The first time I made this smoothie I followed the recipe exactly and it was ok, but the second time I made it I changed it up a bit and really liked it.  I can’t tell you exact measurements for the second time I made it because I didn’t measure, but I can tell you that I left out the vanilla and the honey the second time.  I used a little less coconut but was more generous with the chia seeds.  I also used two bananas instead of 1 and no ice.  But I did use frozen mango (a 10 oz package).  Oh, and plain greek yogurt – none of this honey or vanilla flavored stuff.

My thoughts on the recipe: This is a really nice, creamy treat that makes a good to-go breakfast.  The yogurt provides enough protein to make it last and I really thought it was better with just the natural sweetness of the banana and no honey or yogurt flavoring added.

Overall rating: 9/10

Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Sandwich

Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Sandwich

Recipe from: thefairtable.com

What we changed:  We used Great Northern Beans instead of Cannellini Beans because they happened to be less expensive the day we were shopping.

My thoughts on the recipe:  I usually don’t go with more than one 10/10 in a week, but man this sandwich was delicious.  The recipe says to serve hot, but we were both having lunches to go.  So I toasted the bread under the broiler in the morning when I made them, but didn’t end up eating my sandwich hot – it was still really yummy.  The bean paste is easy to make and makes enough for several sandwiches.  We still have a little leftover that we will probably have with crackers and carrot sticks one afternoon as a snack.  We made the bean paste on Sunday night and then didn’t use it until Tuesday morning to make the sandwiches so making ahead is a definite option for this one.

Overall rating: 10/10

Fig and Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Fig and Gorgonzola Pork Tenderloin

Recipe fromhowsweeteats.com

What we changed:  We used whisky instead of bourbon because that is what we had on hand.

My thoughts on the recipe: The recipe doesn’t specify what size of pork tenderloin to  get.  I don’t think ours was big enough.  Neither of us had ever tried stuffing a pork tenderloin before so I’m sure there is some sort of a learning curve, but I think slightly more pork would have helped and been a little less frustrating for us (you can see the mess we made in the pics above).  Taste-wise, it turned out ok.  I think that the sage was a little overwhelming and I think if we make this again I would like to change the brand of gorgonzola we used – but that’s not the fault of the recipe.  Overall this was a fun experiment, but not something I want to do regularly.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Deep Dish Spinach and Prosciutto Quiche

Spinach and Prosciutto Quiche

Recipe from: halfbakedharvest.com

What we changed: I went with the buttermilk option rather than water.  I already had some sun-dried tomatoes that were not packed in oil so I chopped them and used them instead of buying oil-packed ones.  I used frozen spinach instead of fresh.

My thoughts on the recipe:  This was my first attempt at a real quiche and I have to admit, it turned out better than I expected.  I was a little worried about making the crust from scratch, but her instructions are really good and it ended up being really yummy.  I think the crust would actually make a really good crust for a Chicago-style pizza too – might have to try that at some point in the future.  I would like to try this recipe again with fresh spinach and a better work surface (I couldn’t roll the crust out as large as I would have liked to).  This made a great dinner served with roasted veggies.  It also reheated perfectly for a great breakfast.

Overall rating: 9/10

Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 18, 2015

We are only two days away from our due date!  But little girl is still cooking and so are we 🙂  I have more vegetarian recipes for you to check out this week.  And they can all be made vegan by leaving out the cheese in the acorn squash and beet salad recipes.  I must confess that I did add some shrimp to the spring rolls the second time we made them – so we were not entirely vegetarian this week.  But there are lots of good veggie choices nonetheless.  Visit the links and let me know what you think!  Love, M Continue reading Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 18, 2015

Basic Zoodles

Good afternoon friends,
This recipe for zoodles is really great! We made them on Friday night and loved them. They go equally well with tomato sauce or peanut sauce. Next time we will have to try pesto. Go check out Stephanie’s beautiful site and try this one out for yourself.
XOXO,
M

Simply Ohana

Mamma Mia! Pasta noodles made out of zucchini?! …  I certainly have jumped on the zoodles bandwagon- have you?

The term ‘zoodles’ refers to the hot health craze of zucchini noodles. This healthy pasta alternative is made using a food spiralizer tool. You simply insert the zucchini onto the machine, turn the crank, and voila! Zucchini noodles are created right before you eyes.

IMG_0369IMG_0376

I finally invested in a food spiralizer, and it is definitely one of my favorite kitchen tools yet! They are not that expensive and are really quite versatile. Besides zucchini noodles, you can also create various ribbons and shapes using several other fruits or vegetables. My spiralizer came with 3 different attachments, and I have fun playing around in the kitchen with it.

And zoodles taste amazing. Seriously.

I love making zoodles not only because they are healthy, but they are also quick and easy to make. When…

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Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 11, 2015

Good afternoon folks! I’ve got five more recipes for you this week.  And I am continuing on my veggie kick so they are almost all vegetarian or vegan  (The burritos are vegetarian if you use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock).  I’m planning to keep these Weekly Recipe Roundup posts going until the baby gets here. But we are at 39 weeks on Sunday so I may be taking a few weeks off any day now! Continue reading Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 11, 2015

Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 4, 2015

Good morning my lovely readers.  I have 5 recipes for you in this week’s roundup.  And quite a variety too: only one meat dish, a couple of vegan options, and a paleo slow cooker “oatmeal.”  I am surprising myself with the vegetarian kick I have been on.  I guess I am feeling like I need more veggies after the holidays.  Luckily there are lots of yummy options available.  Let me know if try any of these and how they work out for you.  Happy eating! Continue reading Weekly Recipe Roundup – Week of January 4, 2015

Recipe Roundup – New Year’s Edition

Happy New Year Everyone! So last Dec 31, Will and I got married in the Florida Keys.  We had a huge party at a resort with about 100 guests and we were all fancy and stuff.  This year, we stayed at home in our PJs and hung out with our pups on the couch.  Couldn’t have been more different, but we still managed to have a good time.  I hope you have someone in your life with whom you can fully enjoy all kinds of moments.

But just because we stayed home, doesn’t mean we didn’t have our own little party.  I love little appetizers.  Wine and cheese nights at home can be one of my favorite date night activities.  Of course, being 8 months pregnant means no wine for me.  Don’t worry, the red wine in the picture is really 100% cranberry juice.  It also means that I was looking for fast and easy recipes this year.  All of these were super simple and relatively quick.  The links to the original recipes are below each picture, so try them out for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments. Continue reading Recipe Roundup – New Year’s Edition