Baseball!

I am a lover of baseball, have been for years. A lot of people complain about how slow baseball is and how it’s not much fun to watch but I just love watching it (playing is a whole different story). Unfortunately for me, our lack of real cable means I don’t get to watch much baseball. A few years ago we ditched cable and Brian installed an HD antennae so we could get locally broadcast stations. What that means is I get the basic channels: ABC, NBC, FOX, and a few random extras. Do you know how much baseball they show on those stations? Well, I do, once a week, usually on Saturday they will show one game. Which game? Who knows, not the local game that’s for sure. And to keep it even more interesting, it’s always at a different time. Sometimes, the game will be on at 10 am or noon or 5 pm. There is just no telling. I have a better chance of actually going to a baseball game (I’ll take either the Mariner’s or the Rainiers, both fun to watch) than catching one on tv.

Except during playoff time. Those games are broadcast on the basic channels and that is my opportunity to soak up as much baseball as I can! Baseball Saturday happened at our house. And what says baseball better than hot dogs and french fries?!

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We really jazzed up these hot dogs with cream cheese, relish, tomatoes, onions, and banana peppers. Next to the hot dogs we had peas, sweet potato fries, and roasted zucchini. The hot dogs were leftovers from camping so we only had a few and I supplemented with lentils for the girls and me. That salad you see is actually what I ate. I put all the hot dog toppings (including ketchup and mustard) on my greens. Also on my salad are the lentils and sweet potato fries. I have gotten to the point where it’s just easier (and honestly tastier) for me to just add the things to my salad instead of eating them separately. I’d rather have a salad that tastes like hot dogs and sweet potatoes than eating a boring salad next to sweet potato fries and lentils.

Remember, earlier this year when I had seen my fair share of hot dogs and couldn’t stand the thought of another? Well, I’m still there except that I can tolerate watching my family eat them, sort of. I do limit the girls, they only got half a hot dog, and I definitely don’t give them a whole bun. But the hubby makes his own choice. He is able to tolerate a little bread every now and then much better than me and probably better than the girls. So as long as this is not a daily in our house we’re ok. It sure made for a great baseball Saturday!

 

Beet Salad and Burgers

I’ve gotten the girls hooked on beets. They will eat them raw or cooked. The other night I steamed them slightly and put them in salads with roasted almonds and kale. For dressing we used a slightly sweet cinnamon apple dressing. Mmmm! The tartness from the kale and the flavor of the beets married so well with the dressing. We also used the last bit of black bean spaghetti and pasta sauce.

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That night we got to go see Lexi’s pre-k class so this dinner had to come together very quickly. It’s hard to not give into the temptation to just eat out on a night like that. In the long run, though, it’s faster and better to just bite the bullet and pull some home cooking together.

I did some super grilling over the weekend. We had all sorts of veggies that I wanted to grill: green beans, chard, and a variety of summer squash. Little Miss Lex was excited about the prospect of grilling and asked for burgers. Personally, I didn’t care about the burgers but she was really excited so I figured making a few turkey burgers for her would be worth it. Yep! She loved it! And we all loved the grilled veggies! I put mine in a bowl with a little Dijon mustard and olive oil and was just as happy with only veggies as Lexi was about her burgers.

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While I was grilling I made an additional dinner of tofujitas. I grilled the peppers and onions with some yellow squash. The tofu was grilled covered in salsa with added cumin and chilli powder. The next day I was so thankful I had grilled dinner and have very little prep to do. I was exhausted from getting ready for the week! Shopping and making lunches for Isabelle and figuring out school snacks for the week, etc.

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Tofujitas are so satisfying. We topped them with green olives, radishes, a little bit of cheese, and jalapeño. Like I said I was worn out from the day and could barely put in the effort to steam some corn and peas as a side dish.

This week is making me nervous since I’m already so tired and it has barely started! There is a lot to do this week! Hoping my hard work early in the week will pay great dividends at the end of the week. Happy Monday!

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.

Tuna Salad!

A couple of weeks ago Brian’s friend from his former work gave us some salmon and sea bass that he had caught and a can of lemon tuna that he had caught and canned. This tuna has been starting us in the face basically everyday for 2 weeks now and the time had come to bust open the can and eat it! You have no idea how many times I considered cracking it open just to have a bite. But it was a sizeable can of tuna and with no plans for the rest of it that would just not be sensible.

We ate that tuna on a salad (of course!). And it was tasty, totally worth the wait! The tuna salad had grilled asparagus, grill roasted walnuts, onions, cucumbers, pickles, celery, broccoli, and carrots. I topped our salads with some tangy lemon mustard dressing and a little vegan goddess dressing.

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It was such a yummy salad that Lexi finished hers and asked for more. Amazing, since she is the least enthusiastic salad eater out of all of us. Maybe it was the tuna, or maybe the roasted walnuts, who knows!

Additionally, this is the second night in a row that I grilled and I’m planning on grilling tomorrow too. I’m on a grilling hot streak! Today was not planned. The girls wanted to play outside in their pool so instead of cooking the asparagus and walnuts inside I brought them out so I could cook dinner and let the girls play safely. I also grilled some eggs in muffin tins to send with Brian for breakfast or Izzy for lunch.

The mornings have been a little hectic getting lunches in lunchboxes, making sure the girls have gotten enough cereal and fruit, packing my breakfast (I just can’t eat a real breakfast until after 9), and packing a breakfast for Brian. We are going through tupperware like crazy since everyone is packing food (except little Miss Lexi)!

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I’ve never made this before but eggs and some add ins with the smoky grilled flavor have got to be good, right? Hope so because it was crazy easy, literally crack some eggs into greased muffin tins and add what you want or don’t and call it good. Stay tuned for grilling night number 3! Let’s see so far I grilled veggies, eggs, cookies, and nuts. What’s missing? Meat, tomorrow there will be some, pretty much out of necessity than actual desire.

It’s My Birthday

30! Wow a whole new number! Oh how I’ve changed over the years. Continually growing is good and at times I wouldn’t recognize myself now if I had met me (make sense??).

I wanted to go for a run long this morning to listen to a sermon and get some time away from all the prep work I’d be doing today. Long runs these days are 6 miles, perfect amount of time to get through a whole sermon and not too long to be away from home. Once I got back my two lovelies were dressed in their best outfits and met me with a “Happy Birthday!” greeting. Despite being sweaty from from the run we did presents right away. My family truly made me feel loved today and that’s all anyone wants on their birthday.

Birthday breakfast included a slice of bacon for everyone with some eggs and greens. It’s my birthday I will eat bacon if I please =) Not everyone was as excited about the bacon, Lexi said, “Oh, I thought we could have sausage.”

For lunch between all my food prep and packing for our ocean getaway we had a delicious salad:

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Hmm…a bit hard to tell what’s in there but pretty much a little of all the fresh produce from my Terra Organics box. Shredded carrots, kohlrabi, radish, onions, beets, and the greens from all those things. I topped mine with a quick peanut soy sauce dressing and ranch for the girls. These salads really filled us up and with all the happenings I completely forgot to serve the fruit.

To get out of the house we went to Mod Pizza for dinner. I love their salad option because you get to choose from all the fresh pizza toppings to put in your salad. I basically get a little of everything: artichokes, roasted red peppers, olives, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and feta cheese! With all those veggies I hardly need any dressing at all. We also love this place because each person gets to choose their own pizza and top it the way they really want. Plus, since the crust is so cracker thin you don’t end up feeling overly full.

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Best salad ever!

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The girls showing off their choices. Isabelle likes to get pesto sauce and veggies on her pizza and Lexi likes to get meatballs and pepperoni with just a few veggies.

As I mentioned yesterday I made myself a birthday ice cream to celebrate with the family. We could have gone next door from the pizza place to get frozen yogurt and it would have been easier but the ice cream was so good and totally worth the added effort. Plus, it is completely dairy-free and refined sugar free so no horrible sugar headaches tomorrow or achey tummies.

First I whipped up a batch of vanilla ice cream and put that in the ice cream maker. Meanwhile I made homemade nutella  and raw brownie bites. After the ice cream was made I stirred in the homemade nutella and brownie bites and froze over night. To serve we topped with a little more homemade nutella (always more nutella!) and the extra brownie bites.

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Holy moly! It was such good ice cream. The chunks of brownie and nutella took this ice cream over the top! A great finale to a wonderful birthday with my family.

Looking forward to celebrating tomorrow at the ocean with my extended family. Being 30 is looking good!

Two Delicious Dinners! Starting the week right…

Back in the day Brian and I used to love on Papa John’s Ultimate Pepperoni pizza. It’s a thin crust pizza with double the pepperoni. We’d get it almost every two weeks. For some reason we were both feeling that this weekend. I really thought Brian was going to order one at 9 pm the other night. To combat the late night pizza ordering I made pizza salads for dinner.

These salads are so good! They have plenty of pepperoni, cheese curds (we couldn’t find fresh mozzarella!), olives, onions, crushed red pepper flakes, a tomato dressing, and little pieces of flatbread. For extra veggies I added roasted broccoli and shredded zucchini.

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The salads were loved so much that the girls wanted the same thing for lunch today. Probably not ideal that we have eaten almost an entire package of pepperoni in the last two days.

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Dinner tonight was also amazing (without pepperoni)! I tried a new recipe for cauliflower tacos. The idea of cauliflower and beans as the taco mix was not the amazing part. Taco seasoned cauliflower is not new to us but you should know that mixed with the beans it totally works (you don’t feel like you are eating cauliflower in tacos even though that is exactly what you are doing). The miraculous part of this dinner was the lentil soft taco shells. The taco shells are literally made of lentils (not cooked), water, and some seasonings. You blend that up in a food processor to make a somewhat runny batter that cooks like pancakes. I was pretty skeptical not only of taste but also of texture and most of all if they would even work. They did!

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The lentil wraps were all the talk of dinner. We imagined the many uses of something so versatile and easy. They turn out just like a wrap but thicker kind of like a flatbread in thickness but are pliable. We kept expecting them to crack and break or fall apart but they held up, even for the kids. And since the wraps are made of lentils there’s extra protein in these tacos and they are filling but not in a I-just-ate-bread kind of way.

Lentil pancakes, lentil sandwiches, lentils wrap breakfast burritos…..oh the possibilities! Very excited to add this recipe to my rotation!

4th of July Weekend!

Whew! We were so excited about 4th of July being on a Friday this year and tried to drum up some camping plans. Nothing worked out so then we were excited to get some at home time for the long weekend. My idea of an uneventful long weekend was not fulfilled. The 4th of July was pretty quiet for most of the day. I went on a long run. We had a yummy red, white, and blue pancake breakfast on the porch (or leftover chiles quiche for the adults).

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We had a simple veggie filled lunch: lentils and artichoke salads, and lentils with veggies for the girls.

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We even had family nap time! For festivities we went to my sister’s fiancee’s parent’s house for a family BBQ and fireworks fun. The girls were decked out:

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They ate way too much food and stayed up way too late. I’m pretty sure Lexi ate her weight in tortilla chips! But they had fun and there was very little whining so that is a win.

The day after we embarked on our first family hike! Without knowing how much the girls could handle we picked a 2.5 mile hike to some mini waterfall. The girls are used to doing a decent amount of walking from walking up to Izzy’s school every morning (only half a mile to school but a lot of that is uphill) and we enjoy walking around the neighborhood. The trip was a total success! The distance was no problem for them and the hike was uphill for most of the first half. We feel like they could handle more and are all looking forward to more hikes in the near future.

I packed us a lunch to eat during our outing (oops no picture!). The girls (ok and us too) have been loving on peanut butter and jelly in boston lettuce (way easier to eat than other lettuce sandwiches because the boston lettuce makes a little cup to hold what you put inside it).

We were all so worn out from staying up late the night before and not sleeping in and then driving and then hiking. Soup seemed like a comforting healthy dinner. The soup du jour was veggie.

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This soup had cauliflower, carrots, yellow squash, and spinach from my garden (yay!). We went with simple salads next to dinner. I had to make this day an all veggie day after the 4th of July bbq.

I am hot dogged out from all the bbqs already (Brian’s birthday dinner may have pushed me over the edge). My family does not share my sentiment. So I am looking forward to not seeing a hot dog for some time (except when I gave one to Isabelle at a birthday party today). No hot dogs on my grilling menu for a while! This week is supposed to be hot so we are planning on doing some grilling.

School Free Friday

Our first Friday of summer break! It was me and the girls all day today since Brian is up in Seattle preparing for his long-awaited marathon. When I asked what they wanted for breakfast this morning I got the answer I had been anticipating: pancakes. But then they changed their minds to waffles. Lexi is a waffle lover and she convinced me to make them. Waffles are so time-consuming because you can only cook one at a time! Maybe it’s time to invest in a second waffle maker? Probably not, I’m pretty particular about my waffle maker and I doubt I could find one that fits my specifications. Plus, mine makes heart waffles, definitely can’t beat that!

I used this almond flour pancake recipe and just made into waffles (no changes). They worked out beautifully. They were extremely filling waffles and I was shocked to see the girls finish their plates. The oversized breakfast worked out well though because we went to a Kid’s Day event (official school is out kickoff in a nearby city) and didn’t eat lunch until late.

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Poor lonely strawberry. There were only a few left after sending some to work with Brian and snacking on them before breakfast. Because these waffles are so dense I’ve got quite a few leftover and should probably freeze them so I can easily pull them out when Lexi requests waffles again.

Since it was just us girls for dinner guess what I made. Salad! Not just any salad, Mexican inspired salads! I’m in the middle of stocking my freezer with big bags of cooked beans. Sadly, it took my awhile to realize that if I soak a lot of beans at once and then cook them, I can have beans in the freezer that are almost as instant as canned beans but better. Homemade cooked beans are not as salty and taste fresh compared to the canned kind. This project usually takes me three or four days depending on how many different beans I’m making. I used to cook only what I needed at a time (huge time waster). So today’s variety was black beans and a few of those got thrown into the salad along with some shredded chicken that I cooked for tomorrow’s pizza night.

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These bowls are deceptively heavy, packed with veggies. There is onion, roasted broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, peas, and corn. The salads got a splash of lime juice and the girls have oil and seasonings while I got chipotle salsa (so obsessed with this stuff right now).

We are looking forward to tomorrow. Isabelle has her last soccer game and Brian will have completed 26.2 miles! Serious accomplishments around here.

Back at It

Memorial Day weekend camping trip was a success! We picked a place that there wouldn’t be a ton of traffic getting there and home (thankfully that was true). The weather was a mix of decent and rainy. Which really during May in Washington that’s all you can really ask for. The girls rode bikes, we took a long walk, had a few great campfires, and took some naps. Camping for the extra day really makes a huge difference.

The camping menu worked out so well. We didn’t have too much food and started running out of food. Our new trailer’s fridge is a little smaller than the old one and I had a hard time fitting everything, no more over packing. Also, since I was not at the mercy of somebody’s else’s cooking I was able to modify meals so that I didn’t feel awful. That is until we stopped off for Mexican for lunch on the way home (unfortunately the food was not great and definitely not worth feeling yuck for).

One of my favorite parts of camping is the morning we leave. Now that we live the trailer life it’s much more laid back and things like this happen:

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S’mores before breakfast! Side note: I love to roast things over the fire but would like to actually consume what I roast, what other options are there aside from marshmallows and hot dogs? There are only so many of those I can roast and I give away before it is a detriment to the rest of the family also.

While I was able to eat pretty normally (for me) during camping the same cannot be said of the rest of the family (lettuce wrapped chili dog, anyone?). The best thing for dinner after a trip like this is a big bowl of vegetables. Dinner was salads all around (surprised it wasn’t soup?). This salad was extra special with roasted chickpeas (we are all in love with them), curry roasted cauliflower and squash, regular salad toppers (carrots, onion, etc), a spoon of hummus, and drizzle of olive oil.

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Back on the clean eating wagon!

My Dinner Was Also Dessert

Before I get into how much I loved my dinner last night I will share what the girls had for lunch. We were going to a birthday party right after lunch so I was trying to fill them up on good stuff before the party so they might eat less there. Totally didn’t work. My kids were the ones who kept coming back to the food table for chips and dip. At least they had these veggies to balance out all the chips and cake.

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Dinner:
Now onto my delicious dinner. I made this lentil potato salad for dinner. Seems simple and not very appealing, right? Wrong! It was so good! Since I had no asparagus I used green beans and also blanched some cauliflower to use in place of the potatoes for me. The Tangy Mustard dressing I was skeptical about. I thought it might be too mustardy and not much else but I actually found myself putting more and more on the salad as I was eating it. While I thought the girls might enjoy a similar version without the mustard dressing I didn’t even chance it last night. They were still so full from the party I didn’t think they would be able to eat much. Instead, they had all the components of the salad on their own.

What is amazing about this salad is that after I finished eating it I could only think of wanting more. So for my “dessert” snack I mixed up another bowl and loved every moment of it all over again! In fact, I have all the stuff in my fridge to make a little bit more and I’m just waiting for hunger to strike so I can eat this salad again.

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This picture does not even begin to do justice of how good this was. Lentils, red potatoes/cauliflower, green beans, red onions, a little dill, and the mustard dressing, who knew it could be so good?