Well HELLO to YOU. I’m into the semester full-force now, and this new schedule is proving to be extremely busy and fast-paced. But that’s okay! I like staying busy and being productive. Wednesday was one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time (it poured rain all day long, I discovered that I had a flat tire early in the morning and had to arrange for alternative transportation to make it to class on time, when I did make it to school I got the WORST possible parking spot, a fire alarm caused my psych class to stand out in the cold rain for 30 minutes, I walked around campus all day with the bottom of my jeans wet and freezing cold from the rain, etc. etc. BOO FREAKING HOO), but I guess we all have those days from time to time. Today is a bright, sunny, happy Friday, and for that I am grateful.
Lately my days consist of little more than kid wrangling, working out, homework, cooking, studying and sleeping, with the occasional episode of Breaking Bad thrown in for good measure (best show EVER!). I fall asleep to Conan every night and sleep like a friggin’ rock until my alarm goes off at 6:40am, screaming at me to get up and do it all over again. Life is nuts, but it is also good.
I did manage to snap a few food pics over the last week. No matter how insanely busy my life gets, I always take the time to prepare healthy and tasty meals and treats. I find that eating well is even more important when life gets crazy. Eating well is definitely a priority for me. That will never change!
Last weekend my Mom, B and I met my sis at Suma Veggie Cafe for dinner. I was disappointed that the (ALL-VEGAN!) buffet was only open during lunch hours, but we each ordered something different from the menu and shared, so our meal was full of tasty variety anyway.
Veggie egg roll
Kung Pao “Beef”
We also ordered some tofu with veggies, shown here on my plate.
Everything was really, REALLY delish. My only complaint was that we weren’t offered brown rice. I hardly ever eat white rice and would have much preferred brown, so next time I will definitely request that. I’m not really into mock meats or fried food, but this totally satisfied my Chinese food craving- I swear that even a meat eater would never know the difference! I definitely want to go back to Suma for the lunch buffet when my schedule allows. Which, right now, seems like that will be NEVER.
Last Friday night I made the Curry In A Hurry from Peas and Thank You:
So so so so SO good! Served over soba noodles and topped with cashews and fresh cilantro.
That’s more like it. I swear I could drink sriracha sauce straight from the bottle.
Sunday night I made FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chickpeas:
HOLY FREAKING YUM, y’all.
This was one another one of those meals where you don’t expect it to be all that amazing because the ingredients are simple and the prep is easy. When it all came together, it knocked my socks off! It was love at first bite…
The only thing I changed from the recipe was the way I cooked the spaghetti squash. Instead of keeping it whole and piercing it with a skewer, I halved the squash and rubbed it down with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper before baking (see here for a tutorial). I find that this method really infuses the squash strands with incredible garlicky flavor that can’t be beat. If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash before, definitely give it a try- it is delicious! This is definitely one of my all-time favorite vegan recipes to date.
Monday night I made FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Ridiculously Easy Veggie Gumbo:
This was also incredible. Really- I tell you no lies!
I served it over brown rice and it was perfect. It had that classic gumbo flavor with a nice kick of heat and lots of veggie goodness- comforting, filling and ultra tasty.
I also made these brownies last weekend, which were so good that they pretty much disappeared before I could take a picture. The butternut squash keeps the brownies extremely moist, and that walnut butter frosting is outta this world.
Before I dive into my Microbiology homework, here is what I’ll be cooking this weekend and next week:
Sunday morning I’ll make more doughnuts. This time I’m using this Chocolate Frosted Doughnut recipe from (never home)maker.
Since those brownies are gone, I’ll whip up a batch of Oh She Glows Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats. I must have some kind of dessert in the freezer at all times!
For easy lunches on campus, I’m going to try Carrie On Vegan’s Lazy Woman’s Kale Salad. I’m really excited to try this because I think the almond butter-lime-agave combo sounds fab! Kale is a great choice for a packed salad on the go because it’s leaves are more sturdy and less prone to wilting and sogginess. For a complete meal, I’ll layer the kale with chopped raw veggies and cooked legumes or a whole grain.
And finally, dinners…
I’ve been craving Italian food for about a week, so tonight I’m going to make the Baked Penne with Sausage and Peppers from the Peas and Thank You cookbook. I’ll use this vegan Italian sausage, this pasta, and this cheese- served with a spinach side salad and a glass
or three of red wine, I expect that it will be glorious and should make for some killer leftovers, too.
Sunday night I’m going to make Daily Garnish’s Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf- doesn’t it look awesome!? I bought some parsnips and brussels sprouts to roast and serve alongside, but then I came across this recipe earlier today, and now I’m thinking that I might make the parsnips into fries instead.
Last but not least, Monday night I’m making FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa. This recipe looks and sounds amazing and I’m very excited to try it. I’m really loving the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog lately!
On the exercise front I’m still rocking my daily workouts. My fail-proof trick for working out when life gets cray-cray is to schedule it into my day like an appointment that I can’t miss and then stick to the plan- JUST DO IT! To change things up, next week I’m going to start the Slow & Heavy Series again for a couple of weeks to shock my muscles. Gotta keep it new and exciting!
Okay, that’s all I got. Happy Friday! Any big plans this weekend? Tonight we’re going to stay in and watch movies (The Muppets Take Manhattan for the kids, Moneyball for me and B) and tomorrow night we’re going to a game night with friends. I hope your weekend rocks!
See ya later.
PS- the end of January marks my 6-month Veganniversary. Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is one of the best decisions I have ever made, for so many different reasons. More on this in an upcoming post!