My First What I Ate Wednesday!



I’ve never participated in What I Ate Wednesday before (even though I’ve wanted to for a long time now), but I’ve always found it fascinating to see what other people eat during a regular day. Sometimes I think that the food I eat–my husband calls it “rabbit food”–is really weird, so it’s always comforting to me to see that others eat food that might not be considered “normal” either.

I chose a pretty odd week to begin because school is insanely hectic right now and I haven’t had much time to prepare my own meals like I usually do–but I figure, what the heck! You’ll notice, the food at the beginning of the day is pretty darn green and healthy. Well, that’s because my hubby and I had talked about going to our favorite Mexican food restaurant for dinner so that I could get a much-needed break from homework. Mexican food can be pretty heavy and filling (and usually puts me in the mood for a nap afterward), so I decided to eat extra healthy early in the day knowing that I would polish off an entire bowl of tortilla chips and guacamole on my own later ;)

For breakfast: a lovely green smoothie made from spinach, Romaine, celery, apple, pear, and grapes. My mom says it looks like sludge, but I promise it doesn’t taste like it! This is a pretty typical breakfast for me, especially when I need a quick on-the-go type of meal. On a side note, my classmates are pretty accustomed to me drinking green sludge during morning classes, but I still sometimes get some odd looks :)

20121127-181032.jpg

Continue reading

Spiced Almond Cranberry Bars with Vanilla Icing

20121124-220846.jpg

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

I also hope you’ll forgive me for taking a couple extra days away from the blog over the holiday weekend. I’ve worked in retail for so long that I’ve never had an extended break around the holidays. With the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas being the busiest shopping season of the year, I always worked every day leading up to and immediately following the holidays. This year though, because I’m back in school and only working part-time, I’ve been blessed to have almost an entire week off! Besides working only 2 days this past week (I couldn’t escape Black Friday) and working a bit (a very little bit) on essays and projects, I’ve had the opportunity to really relax and spend some quality time with my hubby and my family! For that, I’m truly thankful! It’s been amazing getting to turn off my morning alarm, to leisurely play around in the kitchen, and to catch up on the millions of movies and episodes of Modern Family I’ve been wanting to see. More than anything though, I’ve truly valued the time with my husband. We’ve only been married a year and a half, but I’ve come to understand that simply spending time together is absolutely crucial. We’ve spent so much time together recently that it’s a miracle we haven’t driven each other completely crazy! Instead, it’s brought us closer than ever before. Oh yeah, please forgive me for being a sentimental schmuck, too :)

After such a wonderful and relaxing week, yesterday I was finally ready to get back to work (homework, that is). With the semester winding down, these next few weeks at school are going to be brutal. I’ve tried to prepare myself, though–at least in the food department. One of the more productive things I did last week was to come up with easy, healthy snack bars that I can take with me to class or the library to hold me over when those pesky pangs of hunger strike.
Continue reading

Winter Quinoa Stuffing/Salad and a Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

20121120-100537.jpg

Since I’m the only non-meat-eater in my family, it can make things difficult when we all get together for holiday celebrations. I always fear that I’m creating problems for the host, as I can imagine them sitting in the kitchen and thinking, “What the **** do vegans eat? And what can I serve one?” For that reason, I find that it’s best if I prepare a little something to bring along. I figure if I make a bunch of something that I love and take it with me, then I’ll have something to fall back on in case there’s nothing else available, I’ll have enough to share with everyone (and maybe, just maybe, they’ll actually like my vegan, gluten-free dish), and I’ll have leftovers if no one else eats my food! Basically, it’s a win-win situation.

This time around, I’ve chosen to take this Winter Quinoa Stuffing/Salad along with me to all of the Thanksgiving celebrations. It’s light with a semi-sweet citrus vinaigrette–so it’ll make a wonderful side dish–and includes many of my favorite fall ingredients! I tested out this recipe over the weekend to try and get the ingredients just right and ended up having it 3 nights in a row because I love it so much! I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m also hoping I can use this dish to convince some of my family members that gluten-free and vegan eating isn’t so bad :)

Before I get to the recipe for that Winter Quinoa Salad/Stuffing, I thought I would do a quick Recipe Round-Up for those of you (like me) who do things more spur-of-the-moment and often wait until the last minute. All of the dishes below are easy to throw together and make wonderful last-minute additions to the Thanksgiving festivities!

Continue reading

Apple-Rutabaga Soup topped with Walnuts and Nutmeg (Vegan)

20121117-224606.jpg When my husband and I got engaged right before Thanksgiving two years ago, we decided that it would be a good idea to host Thanksgiving at our house and invite both of our families to celebrate. As much as I’ve always tried to be a good hostess, it’s not exactly my strong suit. Fortunately for me, my husband is not only fantastic at multitasking, he’s also an amazing cook! On the big day, he was running around in the kitchen preparing food for fourteen–yes, fourteen–people. Because I can become paralyzed under pressure, I let my hubs take the lead and my job was to simply help out in any way possible.

Lucky for us, my dad lives close by and offered to help by bringing over some food. I should add, my dad is also an amazing cook–I’m really fortunate to be surrounded by men who can cook! I can remember sitting in the kitchen when I was little and watching my dad work his magic. He would explain his methods and recipes to me and, in true kid fashion, it would go in one ear and out the other. Man, what I would give to have retained some of the wisdom he imparted to me–I probably would have developed a love for cooking much earlier! I say all of that to tell you that when my dad offered to bring food for Thanksgiving, we replied with an enthusiastic, YES!

I was pretty surprised though when my dad brought over soup. I suppose it was the fact that soup just seemed like such a puny dish next to all of the heartier Thanksgiving fare. However, my dad proved me wrong (I should have known better than to question him when it comes to food). ;The soup–smooth, slightly sweet, and full of Fall flavors–was the ;perfect ;way to start off our Thanksgiving feast! Everyone raved about the dish and my hubby’s parents begged to get the recipe before they returned home.

Continue reading

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

20121116-223542.jpg

I’ve got to be perfectly honest here: dessert-like breakfasts are my absolute favorite, and cinnamon rolls are at the very top of my list. Yes, I love having savory breakfasts, but for some reason starting my day with something sweet–something that could double as a really decadent dessert–just seems like the best way to begin a day. Moreover, I find sweet, delicious cinnamon rolls completely irresistible: anytime I hear anything about cinnamon rolls (commercials are the absolute worst), I go a little berserk. Scratch that, really berserk. I start drooling uncontrollably and then I find myself daydreaming about cinnamon rolls for hours afterward.

Continue reading