Hi. :) Good grief, what a day. I did some early morning prep for dinner tonight (more on that later, of course), took my final for Stress Management (which, for the record, was pretty freakin’ stressful!), dominated the week 2 back and triceps STS workout with B (holy pullups!), registered E for kindergarten (‘meet the teacher’ day is next week- I’m sooo excited!), took O to his 30-month doctor appointment (he’s still in the <5th percentile for weight and height, but is healthy all-around. He’s just a little guy, I guess. So cute!), baked some vegan salted chocolate chip cookies from Mama Pea’s new cookbook (I’ve never heard my kids ask for seconds on a cookie so quickly!), and made Mama Pea’s Spicy Tofu Soft Tacos for dinner, along with her Almost Chipotle Guacamole. I, uh, may or may not be slightly obsessed with Mama Pea’s recipes. I’m making her Italian Meatless Meatloaf Muffins tomorrow! What can I say? After her killer Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna, the amazing “Cheese”-stuffed Bean Burgers, and those Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies, I have turned into a huge Mama Pea fan. I discovered her blog not long ago, and since I recently transitioned to an animal product-free lifestyle, it was perfectly perfect timing (yup, perfectly perfect).
Her cookbook is jam-packed with mouth-watering recipes for every meal category imaginable, from easy weekday breakfasts to lazy Sunday cinnamon rolls, quick-fix lunches, snacks, soups, salads, sauces, dressings, dinners, and desserts o’ plenty. Not only has this cookbook helped me with my transition to a vegan diet (she gives the lowdown on common vegan kitchen and pantry items at the beginning of the book, as well as food prep and cooking techniques, which is awesome), but it’s helping me in my quest to get my kids off of animal products, too. (Which, by the way, I discussed with O’s pediatrician this afternoon. He was all for it, and I am thrilled!) :) I’ve already got a ton of goodies lined up to make for next week, from breakfast bars to sweet treats to dinners. Most of the recipes in the cookbook don’t take long and don’t require eleventy-two billion ingredients, either. Oh, and? There are pictures! Lots of glossy, gorgeous color pictures on almost every page, along with fun Pea Family stories and little nuggets (er, peas?) of wisdom. I love the layout of the book, which is a nice added user-friendly bonus.
Ah, here are those cookies, for your viewing pleasure. :) My Gram and my Mom’s husband are both in the hospital today (talk about a scary coincidence!), and I think that impulse baking helps me take my mind off of stuff like that. Plus, a fresh-outta-the-oven cookie makes everyone around me smile, and that’s always a good thing.
Yesterday I kicked things off with some leftover Banana Cream Pancakes. They were just as good the second time around, and I can never seem to resist taking pictures of my pancakes.
Especially when there are layers involved…
I need a shirt that says ‘I Love Layers‘.
After some cardio and a shower, B and I took my brother to my college campus to show him around, since he’ll be transferring there at the end of the month. On the way we stopped at an amazing little health-food store and café, The Cupboard. This place is magical. Not only is it filled with hard-to-find goodies at reasonable prices (for example, all the Navitus Naturals that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere, cashew butter that doesn’t cost as much as my monthly car payment, and a variety of Bob’s Red Mill products that I haven’t seen in other stores), they have an amazing café menu that is friendly to meat-eaters and vegans alike! B and my bro both ordered a turkey sandwich…
… and I opted for the salad bar- it was full of vegan-friendly choices, and every pre-made item had the ingredients list posted right above it.
To drink, I finally got to try coconut water!
I got the natural (unflavored) kind and thought it tasted really yummy. Perfect for this ridiculously hot weather (though it did cool off into the 90s today… a real freakin’ BLIZZARD).
After lunch we rolled to the school, where we took pictures like the huge touristy dorks we are.
After the usual evening tot-wrangling (we taught O how to play Go Fish, and the little stinker won!), M came for dinner. I made Jenna’s Falafel Burgers and they came out perfectly. They were incredibly easy to put together and didn’t require a lot of ingredients, which I always appreciate. The patties held together nicely in the skillet and didn’t stick to the pan, and they were so tasty wrapped up in whole-wheat lavash bread with baby spinach, drizzled with this tahini sauce, and topped with fresh cilantro:
I really liked the addition of jalapeno in these falafel patties!
I was so happy to have some of that tahini sauce leftover, because it made for an awesome lunch today mixed in with some leftover brown rice, black lentils, and lightly sauteed mixed vegetables…
M brought dessert, as I often ask my dinner guests to do, and she rocked my ice cream-loving world. She brought the fixins for PPK’s Grilled Peaches with Ginger-Coconut Caramel sauce, which we ate over coconut milk ice cream.
SO GOOD, holy freakin’ smokes. Welcome to Yumville (which is near Tasty Town, in case you were wondering).
This morning before breakfast I pressed the ‘fu for tonight’s tacos using the biggest books I could find (read about how to press tofu here on MP’s blog! I’m totally investing in a tofu press in the near future.):
After awhile I transferred the pressed slices into a wonderfully fragrant marinade bath so they could soak up all the yummy taco-flavored goodness for several hours. This was a beautiful thing, because when it came time to actually make dinner, all I had to do was broil the tofu and make the guacamole!
Wrapped in Garden of Eatin’ whole-wheat tortillas, the guacamole was insane…
And the golden, crispy tofu was packed with sweet and spicy cumin-lime-garlic flava…
This was another great meal by Mama Pea!
It hasn’t quite hit me that I have just over 2 weeks of freedom before the fall semester begins. In the back on my mind I have school stuff to tend to tomorrow, except that I really don’t!
Whatever will I do with myself?
(You know I’m going to sit around in my pjs and look at food porn all day, right?)
Let the weekend begin. :D Do you have anything special planned?
I’m going to curl up with a book and something sweet (vegan peanut butter cup, I’m looking at YOU).
Have a good night!