So. Hi. Been awhile. Things are… okay? That’s not really a question. Life could certainly be worse, but it has definitely been better. School stress has left me tempted to jam a Bic pen into my eyeball on more than one occasion, there is never enough time to do everything that I need to do over the course of any given day, and…
…B and I have ended our (almost) 1 ½ year relationship. I was going to close up shop here on I&O for awhile, but I’m still cooking and baking- it’s a great distraction- and I figure that I may need blogging now more than ever. Still, my time spent in the kitchen lately has been far less exciting as I no longer cook with the gusto that I once thrived on, and setting the table for one is definitely going to take some getting used to. I just haven’t been in the mood to blog, but I really don’t want to pull the covers over my head and wallow in post-breakup despair.
I find that as I get older I have an annoyingly intense need to learn from life experiences. It is my new personal priority to get my spiritual self into shape. Wellness is multifaceted, and I definitely do my part with eating well and staying active, but my spiritual side is kind of a mess; my inner-self needs a serious makeover.
I’m determined to embark on a journey that includes daily meditation and finding the space between the noise and all that, but I do want to keep this blog going. Blogging does not provide me with spiritual enlightenment, but it definitely keeps me from stabbing myself with writing utensils.
Pics are all over the place, so excuse the inconsistency. When you’re walking around in a daze feeling uncomfortably numb, wrestling against the need to sob uncontrollably while simultaneously resisting the urge to throw a plate at the wall, somehow taking a picture of your breakfast cereal seems… unimportant.
I had The Vegetarian with an order of sweet potato fries: pesto-roasted Portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, & squash topped with melted Gruyère on a ciabatta roll. I ordered the sandwich without cheese to keep it vegan, but then it came out with a hefty dose of mayonnaise. I tried.
My usual cereal/chia seed/blueberry mix with almond milk, eaten… sometime over the last week.
I’ve been eating lots of colorful salads lately…
Pretty colors make me happy. I’ve been topping my salads with homemade garlic hummus and the Lime-Tahini Dressing from Peas and Thank You (which is disturbingly addicting).
The Domestic Vegan’s Chickpea Wild Rice Soup
I made this last week and have eaten leftovers twice, and it keeps getting better and better! This is my new favorite soup, and I will definitely be making it often when the cold weather hits. I have three servings left, two of which I froze for easy weeknight dinners when time is short. This soup is really rich and amazingly delicious- loads of meaty ‘shrooms, tender chickpeas and creamy wild rice, with the unexpected addition of slivered almonds- I just love it. You should make it this weekend!
Breakfast… some other day over the past week. This was an overnight oats mix of ½ cup oats, ½ cup coconut milk yogurt (LOVE that stuff!), a mashed very ripe banana, cinnamon and stevia. In the morning I topped it off with some peanut butter and cacao nibs.
This was so simple, but surprisingly tasty.
NEW FAVORITE AFTERNOON SNACK ALERT:
OSG’s Pumpkin Pie Smoothie! Man, this is sooo good. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I omitted the protein powder and ice and used one whole frozen banana instead of half. So I guess I didn’t really follow the recipe exactly. Whatevs.
Crazy-good. Creamy, frothy, rich, slightly sweet and totally satisfying. It really does taste like pumpkin pie in smoothie form!
I think I’ll make it again today.
Earlier this week I made a double batch of that incredible Pumpkin Swirl Butternut Pecan Bread, except that I left out the nuts and made it into muffins. In addition to that chickpea soup, you should also make that bread this weekend! You will NOT be sorry, I promise. I stocked up and now have pumpkin swirl muffins in my freezer to satisfy my every pumpkin craving.
You know what else is in my freezer?
I made these on Tuesday night for the kids, and they were a big hit. Really easy, not too sweet, and gloriously rich and fudge-y.
Peanut butter fudge in the making. I could have
stuck my face in the bowl eaten this with a spoon and been happy, really.
These probably could have set for a bit longer before I hacked into them, but patience isn’t my strong suit and the boys were waiting!
My grocery list is lookin’ a little sad this week, but that will probably make my wallet very happy. For next week’s meals I have that leftover frozen soup to eat, leftover “cheese” stuffed bean burgers (I made these Tuesday night and froze two patties for future dinners), and I plan on making the following, all of which involve butternut squash.
- OSG’s Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze with broccoli
- OSG’s Red Lentil and Squash Curry Stew with kale (this recipe uses leftover squash from the mac n’ cheeze)
- DG’s Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce (was supposed to make this last week but didn’t)
I’m betting that these recipes freeze well, especially the lentil stew, so these meals will probably carry me through the next two weeks. I’m going back-to-basics for Sunday’s breakfast and making good old-fashioned whole-grain pancakes, and I’m going to layer them with the last of the pumpkin butter. When the baking bug bites (and it does at least once a week), I’ll make Mama Pea’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls, because they are incredible (they went fast the last time I made ‘em!).
I obviously have a pumpkin, squash, and chocolate-peanut butter problem.
I’m off to work on an essay and do some deep breathing.