I do Exist!

Hello, blog! Nice to see you again. I have not been on here in awhile, not because I haven’t been making lots of yummy food for the fam but for who knows why. We’ve been off our schedule recently which means we’ve all been pretty tired and some things just haven’t been getting done. It may be that we are just trying to fit ever last little thing into summer vacation that we can and not getting enough rest or it may be that things are changing outside and it’s dark earlier and not as light in the morning (eek! already!). Or maybe we are all just tired.

Anyways, during my blogging hiatus I’ve made a lot of previously mentioned foods. Sticking to the tried and trues: cauliflower lentil tacos, living phad thai, green detox soup, almond flour pancakes, and peanut butter and jelly. However, I have made some rather exciting things in the past few days.

For breakfast this week the girls and Brian had this beautiful oatmeal bowl:

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Steel cut carrot cake oatmeal based off this recipe. It had shredded carrots, raisins, walnuts, and maple syrup cooked into it. I like to make my steel-cut oats with a mix of other things as well like millet, farro, and quinoa. We like the texture of the mixed porridge.

Last night we had broccoli and green bean veggie bowls with baba ghanoush on top. I’ve made baba ghanoush in the past but this recipe yielded much better overall flavor (except if you are the girls, they still didn’t like it). These bowls had so much goodness in them. The broccoli and green beans were roasted with coconut oil and curry powder and then we put that on top of sauteed onions, garlic, spinach, and purple cabbage. Plant power!

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Oh, and chickpeas, how could I forget those! Love me some chickpeas. Baba ghanoush (in case you don’t know) is a dip made from roasted eggplant. Similar in ingredients to hummus except instead of chickpeas you use the inside of a roasted eggplant. The mix of flavors was spot on!

Last week the girls watched Rachael Ray make a chicken pot pie and requested that as a menu item. We’ve had a little too much meat recently (dinner guests and the grill= meat) so I made an all veggie version. Look at all these veggies going into this pot pie:

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If I can even remember everything that went in: cauliflower, asparagus, yellow squash, onions and garlic, peas, and kale. No bottom crust for this pot pie, but I wish there had been one. I used a grain-free crust for the top made with almond and coconut flour. My hubby who is not really the crust lover (that’s me!) was trying to take a whole chunk off another piece to eat (with his hand, no less!). Must be a winner.

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We had side salads with the pot pie and the salad topper you see there is the last bit of baba ghanoush. Soon the seasons will be changing and side salads won’t be eaten with every meal (I think) and I’ll actually have to cook a veggie accompaniment to the main meal. Our menus vary a lot based on the season and what’s fresh (or not). Salads are still a regular in my house during the winter but not a daily thing for the rest of the family instead we will transition to more cooked side vegetables.

Speaking of transitioning, we are going camping this weekend for the long weekend which pretty much leads into back to school. There is so much to do and not enough time to do it all! Even though we have a three-day weekend our camping trip is being segmented because my sister is getting married on Saturday. So we’ll go there for a night, come back for the wedding, and then go back out to the campsite. And as an added adventure Brian’s mom is coming camping with us. =) I’m feeling optimistic about the progress I’ve made so far but the day before is always a little wild with the final push to get us ready. The good news is we’ll only be gone for one night to start with so if I’ve forgotten something we’ll be back the very next day (there is a bright side!).

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Uninspired

Today my head was swimming with so many thoughts but nothing very concrete or actionable. Maybe it’s the short week or not having much of a menu plan this week? Anyways, I was feeling very uninspired in the cooking department. I did want to make something today but I just didn’t ever figure out what it was that I wanted to cook.

Thankfully, I was able to give the girls leftovers from yesterday for lunch.

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As a bonus, I made chocolate covered peanut, almond, and raisin clusters. I’ve made lots of chocolate covered nut clusters in the past and for some reason never added raisins. The chocolate covered raisins were so good! Raisinets are a fond memory for me and I imagine my chocolate covered raisins to be similar to them. I’m certain that is not true, though, I haven’t had Raisinets in so many years and my tastes are so different now I would probably dislike them and much prefer the homemade version. I believe I’ve stumbled upon something special with the chocolate covered raisins. Brian was already dreaming about chocolate covered cranberries. =)

This dinner came together pretty well for no real plan. Of course, it was a veggie bowl since no real plan is needed for those. Tonight’s Veggie Bowl had a super greens base topped with roasted asparagus, green beans, onions, daikon (a first for my family), and almonds. I added a little ground turkey (seriously, had no idea where I was going with this dinner) and drizzled olive oil over the top.

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Despite not knowing what I was actually making these veggie bowls turned out delicious. How can you go wrong with roasted vegetables and olive oil?

To combat my uninspiredness (yep, I make up words) I have already planned a creamy vegan tomato soup (Oh She Glows cookbook!) for dinner tomorrow. The trick is when I will get the chance to make it due to field trips and soccer practice but it looks easy enough that I hope I can fit it in between the activities.

Grilled Corn

Grilled corn is a family favorite. Today was a sunny day and I had planned to grill some corn and whatever else was in the fridge. Getting home a little late from our afternoon errands did not stop me! I pulled double duty on our awesome grill which has both a propane and charcoal grill side by side. I got the corn started on the propane while setting up the charcoal and smoker wood chips for the rest of the dinner. It worked out! I grilled corn, asparagus, chickpeas, edamamae, endive, onion, and wilted some spinach. Smoky grilled vegetables are always a win.

We served them over lettuce with some of this creamy hemp dressing (which doesn’t have any dairy in it at all!). Izzy prefers her corn on the cob and she ate all the veggies just not mixed up with dressing like ours. Little Miss Lexi was  asleep when we started dinner. Poor girl, woke up early, had no nap, and went to the doctor for her checkup so we let her sleep when she got home. When she woke up she joined us but pretty much only ate the corn on the cob, “Cob Corn” as she calls it.

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Grilled veggie bowl!

 

My Favorite Dinner

Last night we had one of my most favorite dinners. Basically, any dinner that consists of a bowl of vegetables is my favorite. I seriously love salad. I eat a ton of salads and we eat what we call a “veggie bowl” at least once a week. A Veggie Bowl is essentially a warm version of salad, no lettuce but loaded with cooked greens and other vegetables. Last night’s version of the Veggie Bowl was grilled brussels sprouts (a favorite in our house), onion, garlic, broccoli and coconut oil. We included some bacon wrapped turkey and a cold pea and carrot salad.

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Typically I serve the Veggie Bowl in a bowl (and mine was) but for everyone else I separated each thing because some kids (namely Lexi) don’t love the brussels. Izzy, Brian, and I cannot get enough of the grilled brussels sprouts!

The secret to grilled brussels sprouts is all in the slicing. Once you have sliced them into thin rounds they get soft and tender when cooked. We once did a side-by-side comparison of sliced brussels and cooked whole brussels and there was no contest: sliced wins hands down. Slicing them was the game changer for us and now we are really excited when brussels sprouts makes it’s way into our fridge (well, except Lexi but she still trys).