Outdoor Movie Fun

My lentil loaf dinner from the other day turned out to be a delicious consolation prize. God is good and my plans not working out was for the better since Brian had worked in the middle of the night and would have been very tired during our date night. It’s the same things I’m always telling my girls, you don’t know what I have planned so don’t be disappointed. And so God is continually reminding me of the same. Well, with my consolation lentil loaf dinner we had side salads and roasted yellow beans. Can I just say I would eat a mounding plateful of roasted green or yellow or purple beans if it was acceptable. Seriously, I didn’t want to share the yellow beans, they were so good.

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Lentil loaf is a favorite in our house. This version is adapted from Oh She Glows and has toasted walnuts, almond meal, celery, broccoli, onions, and garlic in it. Additional yum comes from the apple balsamic glaze on top and yep more onions.

Tonight’s dinner is tortilla soup. It’s one of those soups I didn’t have growing up and so coming into it late in the game I could eat it a lot. Our version is made with beans and vegetables instead of the traditional chicken. My favorite part is topping the bowls with the little extras: avocado, chips, lime juice, cilantro, more spices. I’ve tried a few different tortilla soup recipes and don’t have one that I prefer exclusively over the others. As long as the cumin and chili powder spice is there mixed with some vegetables, tomatoes, and broth I’m in.

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We attempted an early dinner because we are going to see an outdoor movie in the park (c’mon no rain!). There will be concessions but if you’ve been following me for any amount of time you know we will be bringing our own snacks. For the festivities I made some popcorn to mix in with out leftover baseball game popcorn (uh huh, I’m the mom that saves stuff like that) and cookies! I am having a love affair with cookies. I used to be a cake kinda gal and cookies on occasion but I’ve found it so much easier to make a healthy cookie so I’m all about the cookies. No bake cookies, raw cookies, cookie bars it’s all good. I pulled out an oldie but goodie recipe that I haven’ t made in probably a year. This recipe is so simple and I totally underestimate the simplicity. Almond meal/flour, coconut oil, honey, sea salt, chocolate chips. Done! That’s it! For these cookies I did elaborate on the add-ins with chickpeas and a small section with butterscotch chips and sprinkles (the girls will go gaga over that!). I’m also bringing carrots and peanut butter since I did a longer run this afternoon and don’t want to be hungry and tempted to eat so much popcorn.

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Not As Planned

I am on a streak. A streak of things not going as I hoped they would. Time to adjust my expectations? Possibly. Little things not going as planned are an inevitable part of life (I keep telling Isabelle the same, she is so much like me). It gets a little sticky when little thing after little thing keeps getting messed up. What I try to remember is that my life is pretty darn amazing if i can stress the little things, so I should not stress the little things! That being said disappointment is disappointment no matter how small.

Brian and I planned on finally using a restaurant voucher that we got for Christmas tomorrow night. We had his mom lined up to be with the kids and I was very, very excited to finally get to go with Brian out to this amazing restaurant. We originally planned the outing for May but life got in the way and we rescheduled to this Thursday. Well, we may have rescheduled it on our calendar but when we called to schedule it on the restaurant’s calendar they had no tables for tomorrow! A Thursday evening and no tables?! What?! So no dinner out with the hubby tomorrow and I’m pretty bummed about it.

As a consolation we will be eating the lentil loaf I intended on cooking for dinner tonight (it better be some very good lentil loaf to console me). The recipe is from Oh She Glows. I’ve made it in the past and it usually is pretty delish. Unfortunately, unlike meatloaf it does take some extra prep work. That’s what I did this afternoon, prepped it so we could enjoy it tonight for dinner. I was feeling so on top of it for having it all ready and in the pan to pop in the oven this evening. The girls and I were just going to go to the store and pick out a new outfit for each of them for back to school and be back in time to cook up the lentil loaf. I had hoped to have a somewhat early dinner so everyone could go to bed early tonight. But then, we didn’t get home from shopping until 6! Lentil loaf takes an hour to cook, that is not an early to dinner and bed. I improvised (actually, I improvised after being unhappy about the late hour and still unhappy to be missing out on my outing tomorrow and realizing that instead of goey cheese and chocolate I’d be eating lentil loaf). What can I make that is fast?! Eggs, that’s what came to mind.

Breakfast for dinner is fun, right? Breakfast for dinner is fast (in theory). I made scrambled eggs with spinach and onions topped with a tomato, cucumber, carrot, radish, and oil salad and hummus. To go along with the eggs I made a speedy (see: microwaved to warm/soften and broiled to add the crunch) apple oat crumble (less sweet more breakfasty).

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As you can imagine the breakfast version of apple crumble was gobbled up immediately and the eggs were good too. All’s well that ends well; however, you can be sure that we’ve already made reservations for next week for our dinner out and I’m sure I’ll be happy tomorrow that my lentil loaf is prepped and just needs to be baked.

Low Key Tuesday

Both of the girls had no school today, amazing! A free Tuesday when we were just gone all weekend was perfect.

I went on my longest run since the half marathon this morning. It was maybe 6 miles, I say maybe because I haven’t been tracking my mileage or even timing the runs. After all the training, I’ve been enjoying heading out with just a watch to know when I need to be back. That is how I used to run pretty much up until marrying Brian. I enjoy running for running and don’t enjoy the pressure of pace, distance, time, etc. Maybe once I’m feeling better about my running I’ll get back into competing with myself.

I didn’t even ask the girls what they wanted for breakfast this morning. Honestly, I was afraid of the response I would get and didn’t want to make anything particularly complex (or filled with grains/sugar!). Instead I mixed up some basic peanut butter banana smoothies and served alongside leftover oatmeal almond flour pancakes.

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Not beautiful but tasty.

After working outside for awhile this morning I came in to make them this broccoli carrot slaw salad. They really enjoy this salad and I like how easy it is and all the good stuff it’s filled with (broccoli, shredded carrots, a little onion, pumpkin seeds, mixed together with a bit of ranch and veganaise). Apparently, I gave them too much watermelon because they both couldn’t finish their lunch!

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Lucky for us we had some lentil walnut loaf in the freezer that we needed to eat. We love this lentil loaf (girls included). It is filled with lentils, walnuts, apples, celery, carrots, and oatmeal. The original recipe calls for raisins but we prefer a more savory loaf and omit the raisins and sometimes the apple. It was wonderful to not have to prep this today because while it is delicious it’s a bit of work to prepare. With it we had smashed potatoes/cauliflower. The idea here is to get the family eating mashed cauliflower but I add it into smashed potatoes so that the taste resembles potatoes more than cauliflower. Mashed potatoes is one of Brian’s favorite foods so we have it on occasion and I healthify it but don’t want to take away the essence. (BTW I gladly accept the mashed cauliflower substitute, no potatoes needed!) I roasted some okra to go with dinner and served everything with a green salad (yay for going to Costco and getting my super greens blend!).

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Seriously, the lentil loaf recipe is a huge hit. The recipe was one of the first vegan recipes I ever made and it convinced me that I could transition my family to eating vegan food regularly. Plus, lentils are cheap and much less creepy than ground beef (and probably if you buy the expensive ground beef you don’t want to make meatloaf out of it). My mom always made her meatloaf with bacon on top and that’s how I used to make mine. With the lentil loaf I don’t even miss the bacon, I think it would change the flavors too much (not to mention the vegan factor of it all, ha). Ok, I will stop raving about the lentil loaf but I am so glad there is some leftover in my fridge for tomorrow!