Archive | lunch RSS feed for this section

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:)

Advertisements

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.

weekend photo overload

22 Mar

Another successful weekend in the great OKC.  The husband and I ate and explored until our hearts were content…and we did most of it with the little baby in tow, which made it all the bettter.

We started off Saturday afternoon at Panda Express because it was the only veggie friendly restaurant that had a nice outdoor patio just begging for us to relax on it.

One of my not so healthy loves is lo mein noodles and spring rolls.  mmmm….Asian food.

After lunch we headed down to the Plaza District, a quaint little area in the heart of OKC dotted with vintage shops.  One of our friends from college opened up her own handmade boutique a few years ago, and I’ve been itching to stop by and check it out.  It was just as cute as I’d imagined.

One of the best parts about this little shop is that it’s pet friendly.  We carried O around for awhile, but eventually let her down to make friends with the shop dog.  She wasn’t toooo excited.

And she was a good little baby while her mama tried on some clothes.

After shopping for a bit, we decided to hit up the much talked about little cupcake shop just a couple of miles way.

Cutest little cupcake shop ever!  Even counting the ones in Old Town Alexandria that I fell in love with last fall.  Very quickly I’m finding out that OKC has more than a few things going for it.

I ordered the highly recommended iced coconut latte with soy.  yum!  And the husband and I split this little gem – chocolate cupcake with a mocha chocolate icing.

We liked.

After letting our little snack settle, we were off to our next destination – the Paseo District – for a little walking and sightseeing.

She still loves me:)

And then the long drive back home.  She was tuckered out.

After we picked up Olive at my grandma’s, we were cruising along toward the city when we suddenly looked at each other and we knew exactly what each other was thinking.  Our little family was finally together again, and it felt like everything was right in the world.  I still have moments of weakness when I think to myself “why did we decide to give her up?”  “What were we thinking?”

We’re now 3 weeks down and 13 to go.  Just trying to keep whittling it down.

I spent most of yesterday on the search for a job.  I’m having a bit of a hard time with it.  Sometimes I think I just analyze things too much…and it gets me all stressed out.  I’m hoping to be able to find something this week, but so far I’ve kind of struck out.  Hopefully I’ll have better luck today!

Is there something in your life that you’re having to make an effort to stay positive about?  What do you do to help yourself stay focused on the bright side?


hello, spring

17 Feb

Hey!

What a beautiful week it has been so far – I am loving this weather.  Do you have great weather where you are?  Sorry to rub it in if not.

Yesterday it was so nice that I got a sunburn!  Hello, spring.  I had a break between tutoring appointments, so I decided to sit out on the lawn of our campus library to eat lunch.  Forty-five minutes later my chest was red – glad I had on long sleeves. I’m not sure why campus looks deserted in these pictures, there were people all around me.

greens topped with leftover stir-fry veggies/chickpeas + quinoa + lightly steamed brussel sprouts + tahini dressing

I got to feeling a bit nostalgic sitting there – I’ve spent many days on library lawn from walking to classes in college to long walks with the husband and Olive.  So many good memories. I even buried a baby chicken on that lawn during my freshman year of college.  Don’t ask.

I also got up this morning and went for a 3 mile run outside.  In a tank top and shorts!  I was planning on wearing a jacket, but when I stepped outside I realized it was way too warm for a jacket, so off I went.  It definitely felt like spring and almost like summer.  There was also a nice strong wind, which made for a tough run.  But I made it through with the addition of a few walk breaks.  It was so much more refreshing than the treadmill – my vitamin D levels must be sky high after yesterday and today!

I’m going to have to keep this post short, but I’ll be back soon with a couple of tasty raw meals I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days.  I made them for dinner a couple of nights ago, and even the husband was a huge fan.  Score.  Also coming up soon is another product review!  I love trying out new cooking (or not! – hint) tools, so I’m excited to work with CSN again.  Remember when I reviewed the spiralizer last fall? This time will be similar, but with a new and just as fun product.  If you haven’t checked out CSN sites yet, head over there if you get the chance.  They really do have every item you can imagine…everything from swing sets to…well, spiralizers.  You can’t get much more widespread than that!

With that I’m off to a tutoring appointment – I’ll see you later!

Hope your having a lovely Thursday…only one more day ’till the weekend!

What’s your favorite nice weather activity?
I think mine is just sitting in the sun, feeling the breeze and soaking it all up!

friday photo fun

28 Jan

Happy Friday!

Am I the only one who feels like this week has seemed sort of long?  I’m so glad it’s Friday!

I’m off to teach PiYo this morning, and then I have a tutoring appointment right before lunch.  The rest of the day I’ll be just working around the house – Outbox, moving etc.

While this week has seemed long, it has been great as far as food is concerned. I’ve incorporated so many more juices and raw fruits and vegetables, and I feel great for it!  It’s cool the way your body starts to crave those things when you give it lots of them. I’ve been craving fresh juice and green smoothies so much this week.  The only downside is I’m going broke over produce.  But it’s so worth it.


I’ve also been eating a lot of salads, which is not usually my cup of tea in the winter months.  Almost every lunch this week has been a plate of fresh greens with lots of toppings.  The key is to make a really full, great salad with lots of textures and flavors.


I made a batch of tahini salad dressing that I found in Crazy Sexy Diet, and the creaminess has left me craving more after every meal.  It’s so basic – a mixture of 1 cup tahini, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 minced garlic clove. Whisk it all together, adding water until you reach the desired consistency.  I love simple ingredients that create a lot of bang!

I’ve switched my additions up a little bit each day, but it’s been some combination of tons of spring mix and spinach, pinto/black beans, chopped carrots, chopped bell pepper, onion, unsweetened dried cranberries, corn, diced avocado and chia seeds.  Perfect!  It has helped a lot for me to make a large batch of the dressing ahead of time and even pre-chop all the veggies (except the avocado)…then all I have to do is throw it together and it’s done!

I’m thinking I’ll probably top off the week by having another one for lunch…I really might turn into a big lettuce leaf.

Switching topics.

Remember last Friday when we talked about geese, and I told you all that I used to catch ducks when I was little?  Well my Grandma has come through with the evidence (thanks Grandma!!).

These showed up in my mailbox yesterday and gave me quite a laugh.

Photo 1: candice luring the duck to shore.

Photo 2/3: the catch.

is it just me or is that a very large duck?

I love side bangs, don’t you? I should totally rock those again.

Photo 4: HELP!!

thank you mom and Cristen, for being completely oblivious to the duck attack;)

Photo 5: Quote from my grandma – “This one has nothing to do with ducks.  Tom was a big cat.  Seems you’re trying to lift him.”

looks like it’s not going too well….for me or Tom…

There are many things that are funny to me in these photos, but one in particular is that in my quest to grow my hair out – the image in my head of what I want eventually is uncannily close to photos 1 and 2. ha!

Happy weekend ya’ll!

What is something funny or crazy that you did as a child? What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

peace in heart and body

25 Jan

Well, I’m coming in a day late with my recap of the weekend. The husband and I spent most of the weekend in our new city, and I spent this morning playing catch up with some of the things I didn’t get to even think about doing.

On Friday I really enjoyed hearing all of your stories about geese!  I had no idea that so many people were afraid of them, ha!  It seems that several of you have some kind of scarring memory about a run-in with a goose as a child – never knew they could be such ferocious creatures.  In fairness I think I must clarify that I was catching the smaller, cuter white ducks…not the geese as shown in the picture.  And it sounds like it’s a good thing based on all your stories!

As I mentioned on Friday, we went to a party with our Sunday school class.  We played a game that Jonathan and I had gotten for Christmas called What’s Yours Like?  I was a bit skeptical about it in the beginning, but it ended up being pretty fun!  Everyone had brought different desserts, and there was definitely no shortage of sugar.  I took cupcakes as planned, and I’m excited to share them with you tomorrow!  They were a hit.  No one knew they were vegan, and our friend Greg went back for a second which let me know that they truly passed the test:)

Saturday we got up and after doing some tasks around the house, headed to the city.  We had plans to drive through our future neighborhood to get some ideas for the exterior of our house.  Jonathan carefully crafted a fun design that resembles a craftsman style, and now we’re just trying to get inspired about a color scheme.  While we recognize that building a house is going to be a lot of work, we are pumped to get to pick out everything and make it unique to our style as much as possible. We also met with our builder and signed our contract! Our names are written in blood…there’s not turning back.  Yay!  Building should start in the next month, and we’re looking at about 4ish months until it will be done.

gotta love that Oklahoma red dirt

The biggest decision (of many) that we are trying to make right now is where we’re going to live between now and the time our house gets done, which will be around the end of June.  Both Jonathan’s parents and my mom and step-dad have graciously offered to let us live with them.  We are so thankful for family who are supportive and will sacrifice to help us out. But the big decision is looming of which one to go with.  Jonathan’s parents live about one hour and fifteen minutes from his job, so he would have to commute back and forth everyday, which would be really taxing on him.  Especially considering he’ll be working on Outbox in the evenings as well.  My mom and step-dad only live about thirty-five minutes from his job, but the situation is such that Olive cannot live with us there.  So, we would need to figure out somewhere else for her to live, and it will be really hard for us to have to be away from her for 4 months.  I honestly cannot imagine it right now.  I know some people probably think that is crazy, but those of you who have pets surely understand…right?  But living with my family would be so much less draining of a commute for Jonathan, and more convenient all around (i.e. dropping by our house to check progress, finding a church to get involved in in the city etc).  If we are unable to find somewhere for her to live, then that will obviously make our decision…but even if we do find somewhere we are still torn as to what to do.  Too many decisions!!  The good news is we love both of our families, and living with either one, while being an adjustment, will be great.  We are very blessed. I’m hoping to get some new perspective from you guys on this!

Anyway, so Saturday night we headed to my hometown and got to watch my little cousin play basketball.  I hadn’t seen her play in years, and I had the best time!  I was a super proud cousin too because she played so great.  I think she scored the first ten points of the game all by herself!  She’s super cute, too:)

My sister played on the state championship team when she was a junior, and now a giant picture of her team hangs in the gym.  We got a huge kick out of taking our picture with the Cristen of 1998…I’m sure anyone walking by thought we were ridiculous, but that combined with my cousin being so embarrassed was what made it quite funny.  Maybe you had to be there.

The husband and I partied late with my family and didn’t get back home until late. We spent Sunday morning at church, and then headed to the city once again to meet my mom and step-dad to show them our lot and walk through a house that has our floor plan.  It was fun!  But I realized one thing really quickly – looking at houses after you’ve already signed a contract for yours is like looking at wedding dresses after you’ve already made the purchase for your big day.  Not a good idea.

All in all it was a busy busy weekend, but I’m pretty sure that’s becoming the norm these days….and we’re okay with that. I’m really making every effort possible to stay in a routine in the important areas of my life during this super chaotic time.  I’ll be sharing much of the journey with you as the months go by!  And for starters, that’s going to mean getting a lot more sleep.

The last few days I’ve been focusing more on getting a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in my body.  When things get busy, stressful and/or crazy, the first thing I tend to slack on is having fresh food around.  While we were in the city I picked up Kris Carr’s new book, and I’ve really been enjoying it the last couple of days.  Sometimes a little inspiration goes a long way!  I’ll share more about the book as I keep reading, but so far it has really helped me get back on track.

I’ve been starting each day off with some warm lemon water, which is great for your skin (and we all know I need that!).

Green monsters have also been a daily staple.  Unfortunately the other day I ran out of spinach, so I got creative and decided to try broccoli!

I wouldn’t recommend it.  The only way I got the entire thing down was to chase each sip with water and picture all the amazing nutrients coursing through my veins with every swig.  It was not pretty.  I think I’ll stick to leafy greens for now.

I also had an apple mid morning

For lunch yesterday I threw together a concoction I haven’t had before, and it totally rocked!

baked sweet potato, Earth Balance, black beans, salsa, broccoli

I’ve always thought I only like sweet potatoes baked as rounds or fries, but those days are long gone!  I do think the key for me was having different foods mixed in with each potato bite – it helped break up the mushy texture, and all the flavors worked so well together.  Delicious!

Unfortunately, last night didn’t exactly go as planned.  The husband and I got a late start to the grocery store, and by the time we got done with all our shopping it was 9pm.  I was so tired and hungry, so we stopped at our favorite mexican restaurant.  I ordered two black bean tacos and ate a couple handfuls of tortilla chips.  Not exactly clean fresh food on the chips, but not a bad choice for a restaurant either!

One thing I love about Kris’s book so far is her stance on perfection.  It coincides exactly with my thoughts on the topic.

“The crazy sexy diet (not a diet, but a lifestyle) is an optimum way of life.  Let it be your foundation, a home base to come back to whenever you veer off.  The cleanse is intended to give you freedom from obstruction and liberation… It’s not meant to create or support more stress in your life.  As I said earlier, there’s no such thing as perfection.  Perfect is beige.  Obsessing over every bite is completely contrary to the purpose ans spirit of my book.  Your overall goal is to have a peaceful feeling in your heart and in your body.

With that, I’m off to bed…I hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying the start to the week!

Any advice on our living situation?  What would you do?
Less than half the commute, but being separated from our baby?  Or a much further commute, but keeping our little family together?  Ahhh!

What was the best moment of your weekend?