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the incredible, edible

15 Aug

If you’ve been around my blog for very long, then you know that not too long ago I was eating a mostly vegan diet.  Once I became pregnant, though, it didn’t take me long to start including dairy and eggs again.  For one thing, I was so sick for the first 16 weeks or so that it was really hard to eat much of anything.  Since my options were already limited by sickness, I didn’t feel like I could limit them even more by not including such a wide food group.  You may be wondering why I didn’t also start including meat based on that philosophy, and the simple answer is that I just couldn’t.  My feelings about actually eating animal flesh just run too deep, and after 4 years of being a vegetarian I just can’t stomach the thought of biting into a piece of meat.

Another reason dairy and eggs showed back up is because I was really feeling a need for more protein options.  It took me a little while to concede, primarily out of stubbornness.  I really wanted to prove that a healthy vegan diet is possible during pregnancy.  And I still do believe it can be done, but for me personally, it just wasn’t worth the stress of making it work.

So, since I started eating eggs again, I’ve really been enjoying them!  I do make sure to buy both organic and free range, although I know some of that labeling can be a gimmick.  But until I find a local farm to buy from, I’ll do all I can do.

Some of my current favorite egg concoctions:

cooked in the microwave in a small bowl for 2 minutes, then sandwiched on a whole wheat english muffin with a bit of cheese and hot sauce

spinach, mushroom and onion fritatta made by the husband.  this was hands down my favorite.  absolutely delicious!  you must make this super easy recipe.

egg salad sandwich – I didn’t really measure amounts, but just threw together a couple of mashed, hard boiled eggs, chopped spinach, chopped onion, chopped pickles, salt and pepper, and a tiny bit of Earth Balance olive oil mayo. Don’t forget to toast your bread and add some avocado slices to really take it up a notch:)

While scrambled used to be my favorite, I’m also really enjoying fried lately.

I just spray a pan with olive oil cooking spray and drop two eggs onto it.  While they cook I usually spread some hummus and hot sauce on a pita or tortilla, and then lay the eggs on top, fold it over, and done!  In less than 5 minutes I have a delicious and protein filled breakfast.  The combo of hummus, egg and hot sauce really can’t be beat.

And of course they’re awesome plain too.

All I can say is I really hope these babies like eggs because they’re getting a lot of them!

Are you a fan of eggs?  What’s your favorite way to eat them?  I’m always looking for more ideas:)

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feeling loved

28 May

I admit some years Memorial Day slips by and I realize I barely even thought about the the reason for the holiday.  In the same way Christmas or Easter become a bit convoluted by tradition and fun, this weekend is taken over by things like lake trips and barbecues.  Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with those things, but this year I guess not being able to do anything has made me think more about our reason for celebrating.  So hats off to all our servicemen and women, to their families, and to anyone who has sacrificed in some way for our country. How amazing that they have given their lives for our country and our freedom.

I woke up this morning and immediately started day dreaming about everything I wish I could do to kick off summer.  I would start off by heading to the store to get ingredients for this summery salad, a strawberry pie and some chocolate chip cookies (for the husband).  I would spend the day cooking, listening to music and working on washing baby clothes and towels.  Then we would have friends over tonight and maybe eat dessert out on the back patio.

While very few of those things are actually happening, it has still been a great day.  The husband made me a delicious breakfast, we finished a movie that we started last night, I took a nap, and now I’m about to go do my one approved activity (taking a shower:) to get ready to have friends over tonight.

1.  fruit smoothie with ground flax  2.  english muffin with egg and cheese…all made by the husband:)

I feel so blessed this week to have so many people stopping by to visit.  Last Friday, we ordered in with our sweet friends Elyse and Ryan, on Saturday my mom and step-dad came over and made us dinner, Sunday brought my MIL and FIL bearing PeiWei and cake (!), today our friends from out of town are coming over for dinner, and tomorrow my work friends are coming to visit AND some others are bringing a pizza bar party to us.  These long days have been made so much sweeter by everyone who has called and come by to see us.  Feeling very loved here at the McCoy house today:)

How are you celebrating this weekend?

a lovely breakfast

5 Aug

Thank you all so much for the sweet responses to my post from Monday.  I couldn’t have asked for more encouragement and understanding than what you all showed me.  It was a difficult post to write, but once I put it out there I felt immense relief.  It felt really good to be open about everything, and your words brightened my spirit.

On Monday afternoon I had another doctor’s appointment, and the news was not what I wanted to hear.  For certain reasons, my doctor feels it’s best to hold off from doing another treatment this month and instead give my body a month to rest.  It’s hard to feel like I’m just sitting back, making no progress.  But I trust my doctor one hundred percent, so I’m trying to just distract myself and not dwell on it.  One thing I’ve learned more times than I would have liked is that it is not a good idea to put timelines on this process.  I get ideas in my head about when I want things to happen by, and so far I’ve been let down every time.  I’m working on letting go of any plan I have and just focusing on other things in life instead.  Easier said than done, right?

In other news, I’ve been trying out some awesome vegan recipes as of late.  My new kitchen was calling my name from the second we moved in, and I have seriously been in heaven since I started cooking again!

One of my favorites from the last couple of weeks is one I snagged from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I’m telling you – if you don’t have this cookbook yet, you must pick up a copy.  Everything single recipe I have made from it has been awesome (see here, here and here)…and this was no different.

The husband and I woke up late last Saturday morning…okay, he woke up late, and I woke up even later.  And when I dragged myself into the kitchen, he had all the ingredients laid out for a lovely little breakfast of pumpkin waffles.  After some intense discussion, we decided to nix the waffles and try out this scone recipe from VwaV.

He made chocolate chip.

And I went with blueberry (his were better).

But they were both delicious.  I think I ate about 4 scones in the following 12 hours.

A lovely Saturday indeed:)

I hope you all have had a great week, and are looking forward to an even better weekend.

What is your favorite cookbook – vegan or non-vegan?

Mine is a tie between VwaV and Eat Drink and Be Vegan.  Couldn’t live without those two!

randomness is good

14 Apr

Oh, boy….I’ve been dealing with taxes all morning – such a headache.  How can it possibly be April 14th already??  Nothing like waiting until the last minute!  I think we finally got it all sorted out.  The husband and I like to make our taxes as complicated as possible by switching jobs, buying and selling houses, and owning our own business.  Fun:)

Anyway, this morning I started off with a bowl of cereal – Shredded Wheat n Bran +Kashi, and by about 2 hours later I was starving.  I have a very serious love for cereal, but it rarely keeps me full for long.  Yesterday I was home in the morning for the first time in a while, and after taking a nice 4 mile run, I knew I needed something substantial for breakfast.  I found some Van’s flax waffles in the fridge that we had brought over from our previous house, and I got so excited!  Hadn’t had one of these in a long time, but they used to be one of my go-to breakfasts/snacks.  I dressed it all up with some almond butter, sliced banana, chia seeds, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.  mmmm.

As my stomach rumbled one last time, I took a mouthwatering bite….

And it was hard as a rock.  Seriously, I couldn’t even bite into it.  Freezer burn I’m thinking?  Guess it didn’t survive the move very well.  I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment.  Anyway, I just transferred the toppings + a new layer of almond butter over to an Ezekiel english muffin.  Not quite the same, but it was okay.  Lesson learned – check the frozen item before putting on your most expensive toppings…especially if said frozen item has been through a lot in its short life.

My morning began looking a up, however, when I decided to run through Panera to get an iced tea.  I grabbed it to-go, got all settled in my car, and took off.  About five minutes later, I glanced up for some unknown reason, and through my sunroof I could actually see my tea sitting on top of the car!  Now tell me my little Mini isn’t a smooth ride, ha!  I was just kind of amazed that it survived up there…so I took a picture of course.  And by the way, our Mini is still for sale, so if anybody in the OKC area is looking for a fun little car with great gas mileage, look me up!

Anyway, newest update on our house is that we have shingles and electrical wiring – yay!  Don’t worry, I won’t keep bombarding you with house talk every day.  I think we’ll be waiting for inspections for awhile now, so we might not see much happen.  We did have another appointment at the design center this morning, and we spent about 20 minutes picking out the door style that will go inside our house.  It was ridiculous.  It’s so fun picking everything out, but sometimes I feel like I would never even notice what type of doors we have on the inside, but because I have the opportunity to make the choice, I’m going to analyze it to the bitter end.  And I’m still analyzing it.  It happens with everything.  Until suddenly it will hit me that no one (including me) really cares what the grooves look like on the doors inside our house – there are so many more important things I could spend my time thinking about.  All about perspective friends:)

And now I’m off to grab some lunch and run some errands.  This is probably the lamest post I’ve ever written, but I just wanted to drop in and say hi and also thank you for the sweet and encouraging comments on yesterday’s post.  All the thoughtful words meant so much.

Hope you all have a great day! It’s almost Friday:)

great books and other stuff

1 Apr

Despite the fact that it’s Friday and the weather has made vast improvements, I am dragging today!  The culprit?

This book.

Yesterday I was killing a little bit of time before picking the husband up from work, so I ran across the street to Border’s because they’re having a huge closing sale.  After wondering around for awhile, my eyes landed on the cover of Euna Lee’s memoire.  I am a big fan of memoirs; I just recently finished two different ones, Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls – two books that could not be more different, but were equally engaging and wonderful.  I highly recommend both, but to give you fair warning, The Glass Castle is very harsh and somewhat disturbing at times…like when you see something so devastating that you want to look away, but you just can’t.  But in the end it shoots straight to your heart as it speaks of redemption and the ability to rise above any situation, and I walked away feeling inspired and more aware of the world.

But back to the book of last night.  I read a few pages right after I bought it and knew right away that it would be hard to put down.  After running a couple of errands and making the trek back home, I picked it back up; three hours and 275 pages later I stumbled into bed.  Lee’s account of her time in captivity in North Korea took me on a journey that ended in a renewed thankfulness for the most important things in life and a new perspective of how God leads us through the toughest of times.  Thought provoking and emotional, at times I felt I was right there with her as she agonized over missing her baby and having no certainty over her future – and upon her arrival back home where she embraced gratefulness, safety and those she loved most.  I loved it.

This morning I had plans to get some work done at Starbucks, but I just had to finish the last 15 pages or so.  This is my problem with books – if they’re riveting enough to keep me flipping the page, then I simply cannot walk away from them.  Gets me every time.  Having rushed out of the house in a blur of bags, laptops and keys this morning, I didn’t have time to eat breakfast, but Starbucks perfect oatmeal to the rescue once again!  The best option for breakfasts on the run.

topped with dried fruit and nuts

I also wanted to toss in one my favorite easy lunches that I had yesterday.  I’ve made a version of this before with just black beans, but the spices in this one had me over the moon.

Baked sweet potato with leftover Amy’s Chili poured over top. And a side of kale chips.

This could even be a portable snack to take to the office (which I’ll be needing soon!) if you have a microwave.  Maybe subbing out the kale chips for a bag of steamable broccoli?   I just love little meals that are warm and homemade tasting, but take minutes to prepare.

I’m so happy it’s Friday (duh), and I’m so excited because the husband and I are going to the OKC home show this weekend.  We’ve got some serious house decisions to make in the next week, so hopefully we’ll come away with some direction and inspiration.

Have a lovely weekend!

What is your favorite book you’ve ever read?
If I had to choose one, I’d probably say Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible – read it while we lived in Thailand, and could read it a thousand more times.  Side note – the other day I was re-listening to My Sister’s Keeper in the car, and I had this sudden realization that books can take on a whole new meaning and impact with each time you read them.  There are different things going on in my life right now that cause me to read it in a completely different way than last time.  Love that about books.

pink lady

24 Mar

Yesterday I was really feeling the fruits and veggies all day.  Maybe it’s the onset of spring and all the flowery, warm goodness it brings that brought the longing for fresh produce.

It started off in the morning when I woke up craving a strawberry smoothie.  I have no idea where it came from…I haven’t even had a strawberry smoothie in months.  But I could just envision the creamy pink coldness coating my throat as it went down.  I had to have it.

While I normally like to keep things simple, I decided to doctor this lady up a bit by adding a little homemade coconut butter and a half a banana.  I was feeling a little tropical I suppose.

1/2 banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 handful frozen strawberries, chia seeds and ice

All day long I worked on a cover letter and resume for a job I found the other day.  I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs as of late, all of them jobs I’d be satisfied doing.  But this job is one that I would LOVE to do.  It fits in line with things I really care about, and I know I could be really successful at it.  Needless to say I have a lot invested.  A degree in nutrition is not required, but it is preferred, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up.  But it’s kind of hard to keep them down.  I’ve done all that I can do, so now I’ll just wait.  And keep applying for jobs of course.  The plus to all of it is that I’m getting pretty good at the art of writing cover letters, a task I used to absolutely despise.

Continuing to feed my craving at lunchtime, I pulled out leftovers of a meal I made the other night.  You guys know I love a good stir-fry, and I found this awesome sauce at our local food store the other day.  I always find it really difficult to find a pre-made stir-fry sauce that doesn’t have added sugar, so I nearly jumped up and down in the aisle when I discovered it!

Love teriyaki.  Love pineapple.  That’s all.

At least I thought.  Unfortunately later in the evening, the husband was checking out the ingredients and informed me that it has fish sauce.  FAIL.  I have to be honest – I’ll still continue to eat it until the jar is gone (hello $4), but obviously won’t buy it again.  The search continues.

The sauce really was just as perfect as I thought it would be for my stir-fry, though.  I chopped up a green bell pepper, three carrots, an onion, frozen broccoli and some asparagus, stir-frying it in a bit of olive oil until the veggies were tender.  Then I added about a cup of edamame (protein!) and some raw cashews just for kicks. All served over brown rice.

hi!

One of my absolute favorite meals.  And the husband’s too.  Darn that fish sauce.

————————–

In other news, for those of you who read my post last Friday, you know that I am having a bit of a problem with my blogging workflow right now, and I’m in the market for a new plan.  Yesterday I clicked over to my old blog for a second and happened to notice a post title of a blogger on my old blogroll.  I don’t read Kath’s blog normally, but the title “House Neat Home: Blogging Behind the Scenes” caught my eye, so I clicked on over.

And discovered the coolest little gadget that I didn’t even know existed.

Yes, that would be a wireless SD card.  Aka my dream card.  Am I the only one who thinks it is a huge hassle to constantly be unplugging and plugging in my card? (rhetorical question)  And as you all know, my adapter broke last week, which meant that I couldn’t plug it in at all.  I am so excited about this.

Basically with the wifi card you can take pictures, and if you’re within range of your wireless network (you can program in multiple networks), then the photos will automatically upload to your computer in a folder that you designate.  If you’re outside your network when you take the photos, then it will wirelessly upload them the next time you turn your camera on in your network range.

The only thing I’m still trying to figure out is if it uploads raw images, or just JPEGs.  I need raw, so that could be a deal breaker.  I’ll update as soon as I find out…fingers crossed.

Have any of your heard of this before?  I was so surprised when I found out about it, and I just thought I’d pass it on!

Anyway, this afternoon the husband and I have an appointment with a small business consultation company to talk about some Outbox logistics, so I’m picking him up from work in about a half hour.  There may be a cupcake stop involved later.  Just maybe.

when in doubt…

23 Mar

Last Friday I got an email from my sweet friend, Amber saying that there would be live music at one of the quaintest little coffee shops in town located in Full Circle Bookstore.  I didn’t know what our evening plans were yet, but the husband and I are always down for live music!  We arrived about an hour late and finally found a seat in the far back corner.  And when I say a seat I really mean a seat.  We shared it.  I never mind having an excuse to get a little closer to the husband anyway 😉

I was so excited to meet Amber for the first time!  She was exactly like I had pictured her, which I think is such a great thing.  I love it when people are so real on their blogs that when you meet them IRL they are exactly as you imagined them.  Amber also had her two cute kiddos and her husband with her, and I loved getting to meet the whole family.  Sadly, the picture of us must have been eaten by my camera because it is no where to be found.

The music was great too – a group of violinists called The Stringents who covered all kinds of old and new songs.  We love groups like that!  Anyway, I got so caught up in talking about our time with Olive over the weekend, and I totally forgot to mention our epic Friday night!

——————–

This morning the husband and I got our mojo back by heading out for our four miler before the sun had even shown its face.  We both had a great run despite the hills, crazy strong wind and a short bout of stomach troubles for me.  It sure felt good to have a great workout already done by 7am.  Love it when we drag ourselves out of bed that early!

After sending the husband off to work and taking a quick shower, I decided to make some breakfast.  After browsing a few recipes online, I finally settled on Angela’s spelt pancake recipe.

It was super easy – just a matter of mixing the dry ingredients and then adding milk!  I actually had to add in more milk after mixing it up because it was a little too thick; other than that I followed the recipe exactly.

plus

equals

These were pretty tasty.  They were maybe a little too dense for my “loving”, but overall not bad.

Also making its debut in my kitchen this morning: coconut butter.  For the last couple of weeks I have not been able to get the smooth, tropical white goodness out of my head.  Last spring I bought my first and only jar because it was on sale at our local health food store.  It was Artisana Cacao Bliss Raw Chocolate Coconut Butter, and it was divine.  Considering I really didn’t want to go spend $10+ on a jar today, I decided to try my hand at making my own.

Unfortunately it turned out to be a little bit harder than I thought, and I ended up looking like this:

Coconut in my hair.  coconut in my eyelashes.  coconut everywhere really.  I didn’t even know it was there until about an hour later, too.  Glad I work from home currently.

Anyway.  I started out by adding 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut to the Vitamix and setting it on variable speed at about 5 or 6.

It seemed to work at first, but then I couldn’t get it to stop sticking to the sides, and I began to feel like I wasn’t making any progress at all.  So I added another 1/2 cup, thinking that it might help to have more, but also hoping I wasn’t just wasting even more of my precious shredded coconut.  This helped for another minute or so, but then the same thing kept happening.

At this point I was getting really frustrated (read: hungry) , so I just slathered some of the coconut chunks (and apple butter!) on my piping hot pancakes and called it breakfast.

But a little while later, I was back at it.  At this point, I was just so mad that it wasn’t working that I probably would have done just about anything to salvage it…so I added more coconut.  One whole cup more.  Desperate times people….

Hallelujah, it worked!  In fact, it worked amazingly well.  Within minutes the mess in my Vitamix had turned into a creamy pool of white just ready to be poured out in one smooth stream.  Beauty.

Lesson learned.  When in doubt, add more coconut. I think that might become my life motto actually…kind of has a nice ring to it.

Now I’m ready to start practicing with add-ins, namely cocoa.  Perfect in a green monster, on an Ezekiel english muffin, as an oatmeal topper and much more!

I definitely think this would also work in a regular food processor as well.

I’m off to work on more job applications.  I’m quickly learning that applying for jobs could be it’s own full-time job, and honestly I wouldn’t really mind it.  Does that exist?

What’s your dream job?  If you could restart at age 18 and do anything you wanted to, what would it be?
I would either go to school for a combination of nutrition and writing or just a degree in writing – like journalism maybe.  With an English Education degree I was somewhat close to that, but it seems maybe not quite close enough.