Tag Archives: eating habits

Father’s Day: Vegan Trail Mix Cookies

For Father’s Day, I decided to give my husband the gift of eternal life!

…in the form of these super nutrient-rich cookies!

(He’s not vegan, but I lucked out with a guy who is really into the idea of a plant-based diet as long as it includes hamburgers, too.)

I thought I’d share my recipe, straight from the Chef at the test kitchen at ABCGP! (Me, of course!)

Vegan Trail Mix Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • one pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar or other sweetener of your choice
  • 1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk beverage
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla)
  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Egg replacer for 2 eggs (My choice: 2 4-ounce jars of Earth’s Best Pureed Pear baby food and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 1/3 pound trail mix (My choice: an organic blend of jumbo raisins, roasted pumpkin seeds, raw almonds, walnuts, goji berries, cranberries, and mulberries. See below)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets or stones with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a larger bowl, combine coconut oil, brown sugar, egg replacer, coconut milk and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Add dry ingredients along with oats and trail mix. Stir or use hands to mix well. Drop by large tablespoons onto cookie sheets. (Cookies will not spread, so flattening and shaping them a bit is a good idea.)

Bake until just browned and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Brush with agave nectar when slightly cooled, if desired.

Makes approx. 20 cookies.

And there you have it! I was a little afraid to experiment with this recipe because I really didn’t want to waste so many pricey ingredients, but, happily, the cookies turned out great! (I really did only eat one, though. Daddy got the rest.) 

Before the cookie madness started, we started Daddy’s day a little bit early with a fun Father’s Day Eve lunch that I picked up on my way home from work.

He: Salmon rolls

She: Roasted cauliflower and tiny roasted taters. I’m not happy about paying take-out prices for something so easy to make, but they were BANGIN’!

 I picked up a few other things while I was at it. I’m thinking there have been a few too many splurges on ingredients lately…but it’s all in the name of good health (and full tummies), right?

Good fats, iron and antioxidants…

The aforementioned trail mix, chia seeds and wheatberries, all organic… :) I got some Medjool dates, too, but they didn’t make it into the shot…

Maybe it’s time to use things up before I buy any more. That always leads to fun things in the kitchen, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for the rest of the Father’s Day lowdown! I’m hoping to check back in later today…

Now, go bake some cookies!

…and don’t forget to enter to win some free goodies from Turtle Mountain! Go coconut!

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia

I’ve decided there is not nearly enough poetry in my life.

Once upon a time, my life was all about poetry. I spent my senior year in college immersed in it. My senior honors project was an independent research paper and 2-hour presentation (yikes! 8O ) focusing on the works of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Alicia Ostriker. A little self-indulgent, maybe, but valuable nonetheless. I was struggling with a lot of inner demons at the time, and connecting with these women was cathartic in a way that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. 

Which reminds me…I’m setting the goal of revisiting Ostriker’s The Mother/Child Papers sometime in the very near future. It enthralled me back then, and I can’t wait to read it again through my new mother’s eyes. The author wrote the book during the 1970s, right before the birth of her son, and the undercurrent throughout the book is her personal conflict with bringing a child into a world where wars, shootings and bombings were top of mind in the daily news. 

Boy, can I relate to that.

It’s a delicious book of rich poems. I highly recommend it, along with The Volcano Sequence and Stealing the Language.

Around that same time, I was also getting to know another set of fabulous women who became my lifelong friends. “Inspiring” just doesn’t seem to cut it, but I can’t come up with a better word… I’m happy to say that I keep in touch with several of them, and while I can’t see them often, I count them among my biggest blessings thus far in my life. I spent many an hour engaged in conversations that helped shape me as a woman, many of which happened at a restaurant called The Batdorf, where the food was as good as the company.

My favorite dish? The Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia. It was a thick piece of flaky, white fish covered in a thick, seasoned crust, served over a pile of garlic smashed potatoes. I miss it almost as much as I miss those discussions over a glass of Cab or a dirty martini…(That was one of my saddest realizations after leaving college. Most people I come across now want to chat, not discuss…BIG difference :( )

I can’t go back to 2006, but I sure can recreate this dish at home!

I have to credit the original recipe I found to recipezaar.com, but I made some tweaks and this is my version. (A note about this recipe: this crust freezes really well, so make a double batch and freeze half. Prep time is about 5 minutes when you just pull a bag of crust mix and some fish out of the freezer. This recipe has saved my life many times after a long day at work…)

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets

6 whole wheat tortillas, torn in pieces

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded 

1 or 2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 egg (for dredging. You can use any dredging method you like. Egg and milk, just milk, just egg, or a non-dairy alternative like almond milk. I use coconut milk.)

Preheat oven to 375º. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or cover with foil.

Place tortilla pieces, peppers, lime juice, cilantro and spices in food processor. Pulse until mixture is uniform with thick crumbs.

Spread mixture on a plate.

Dredge each fillet in egg/milk/etc., then in crumbs, patting to adhere. (I prefer a really thick coating of crumb). Don’t forget the bottom! Place on baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes, then uncover to crisp up the outside of the crust, 5–10 minutes more, depending on thickness.

Nowadays, I forgo the smashed potatoes in favor of a more diverse side dish. While I like fresh veggies best, I also like quick and easy, so this time we tried this new frozen side from Alexia. 

Wow, was it easy! Not too bad on flavor, either. 

I’m pleasantly surprised by this ingredients list…especially for a prepared, frozen option.

Ta-da! Just like The Batdorf used to make! …or close, at least.  (The aroma is close enough to really take me back there…)

I’m really itching to get my nose into that book, but my brother is in town from Ohio so we’ll spend the day visiting (for the first time since Christmas! :D ), and tomorrow is my husband’s family reunion. Oh well…I’ll get to it sooner or later.

Yeah, I miss those days of wine and poetry, but it’s a trade-off, right? One love for another…

.

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Have you ever tried to recreate a favorite restaurant dish at home? How did it turn out?

Was it as good without the atmosphere?

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Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad

I saw an article this morning that said Facebook games are experiencing a big decline right now. I’d like to think that’s because we are a nation of such productive gardeners and farmers that we can’t bear the winter months without having something to hoe, and now that the real gardening season is underway, we much prefer to get out and work in the real dirt, tending to real ghost peppers and pattypan squash, sweeping our virtual FarmVille selves under the rug until the next frost. 

I’d also like to think that someday I’ll fit into those shiny silver pants I used to wear when I danced to Front 242 at the Vault so many years ago.

I fear that neither of these things are true.

Speaking of real vegetables, did I mention that I love BEETS?

I really, really love beets. I love them plain with butter and salt, I love them pickled, I bet I’d probably love them grilled, and I especially love them when they’re grown in my yard!

Remember these guys? Thanks to all for your great beet suggestions! The general consensus seems to be that beets are best when served in some kind of salad, and since I had to find a way to use both my handy dandy new food processor and this fresh dill…

(could this be THE fresh dille?)

I whipped together a lovely pink Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad!

I boiled the beets until fork-tender with an inch of stalk left on so as not to let all the nutrients escape…

Then, immersed them immediately in cold water so the skins peeled right off. Ees pretty, no?

Next step: I thinly sliced half a red onion and put it in cold water to soak while preparing the dressing.

For the dressing, I whisked together the following:

8 Tbsp olive oil

6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

big handful freshly chopped dill

2 Tbsp agave nectar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 generous squirt lime juice

I then sliced one large cucumber (with a 2-second whirr! Beautiful!), quartered the tiny beets, and tossed them together in a large bowl with the dressing and the onion, drained.

Pretty in pink!

Lest you should think that I eat healthy all the time ( ;) ), I’d like to mention that we had a charity luncheon at my office, which featured this delectable little dessert:

In fact, it was so nice, I ate it twice! Someone who heard me say how much I enjoyed it brought me another one at my desk. On any other day, I would never consider accepting it, but today I’m subscribing to the Tao of Granny… 

Yup…you got it. I ate ‘em both, and I loved it.

So there. :lol:

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Burger and Fries!

I have some catching up to do!

What gets my vote for best 3pm snack this week? 

These guys, who made a surprise appearance at my desk during the afternoon slump! They arrived courtesy of my friend who happens to be a registered dietitian, so I ate one happily, no questions asked, and packed up the other for the Hus.

CHOMP!

Did you ever just get bored with your ol’ standby breakfast, only to eat it and realize why it became your breakfast of choice in the first place?

Yesterday, my cup runneth over with So Delicious coconut milk (beverage) and Granbiotics granola, topped with cranberries and one date, for good measure…

…along with more Mother’s Milk tea. I think this stuff is really working! I thought all that galactagogue talk might be a bunch of hooey, but my supply is increasing nicely. I still don’t like the anise flavor, but it’s not bothering me that much anymore. Besides, I never really liked handling poop or having bags under my eyes from sleep deprivation before either, but I deal. It’s all part of parenting, right?

Breakfast was fun. Little F is getting so curious about Mommy’s food, and he intently watches as I raise and lower my spoon for each bite, not aware that he’s imitating my motions with his mouth. It’s super cute, and I love that he’s watching me eat something healthy (most of the time… ;)

I just love being a mommy. Especially his mommy.

Daddy wanted burgers and fries, so I decided to oblige him, ABCGP-style!

I had a bunch of beautiful parsnips, courtesy of my favorite grocery store Produce Man (my Dad!) so I cut them up and made some parsnip fries! A drizzle of olive oil on one side, macadamia nut oil on the other, salt and pepper.

I also sprinkled a few with some chipotle powder a friend made for us out of our garden jalapenos…

400º for about 25 minutes…

A few were a little thin, but the core was really fat and I didn’t have much choice. Maybe smaller parsnips are better?

His burger: moo-cow. Mine: Sunshine!

Fresh salsa, crumbled feta, and basil from the garden, with a swipe of avo-hummus underneath.

Bruschetta Sunshine Burger, maybe? Either way, deeee-lish.

It was time to thin out the beet patch, so I found myself with these beautiful babies…

Not sure what I’ll do with them yet, but this new addition to the family sure is giving me some ideas…

I can’t think of a better present right now! Many thanks to Grammie Garden Pea!

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Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every day? Do you get bored? (I find that limiting my options makes it easier for me to make sure that A. I actually eat breakfast , and B. I make a healthy choice at 5am. Do you agree?)

What’s your favorite way to eat beets?

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

The Monday haps.

It’s a yucky Monday, but I sure ain’t complaining.

I pumped over 14 ounces before noon today! It seems that cosleeping, Mother’s Milk tea and round-the-clock pumping work wonders for a dwindling milk supply. Many, many thanks go out to my La Leche League leaders for telling me that the dip in my supply was not due to my forgetting my pump, but rather a response to my baby’s slowing down in growth, the introduction of solids, and a phase of rapid development (which causes distraction and a decrease in interest in food.) 

Thank the goddess, because I was definitely not feeling like Mother of the Year over the weekend. I didn’t realize until now how much my being able to breastfeed my son has gotten tangled up with my general sense of purpose. I’ll need to revisit that, I think.

We spent all day Sunday in cloth, which was…interesting, and pretty successful. The hardest part? His constant SQUIRMING! 

I learned that cloth diapers have to be changed a lot more often, but that only makes sense since they aren’t filled with that weirdo gel you find in disposables. I’m not so good at the folding yet, so his bum is looking a little poofy. But that’s a handful fewer diapers in the landfill! Yay for progress…

I’m totally loving the brand new Boppy cover I found on clearance! 

Today’s lunch is reliable Kashi. I didn’t have any leftovers because, to be honest, I was a mess all weekend and didn’t cook much. I feel SO much better now. I’m wishing I packed something else because I’m really hungry (that was another bit of advice from my consultant…EAT!!)

My afternoon plans:

Forget “dried plums.” I like PRUNES and I’m not afraid to say it! Go ahead. Call me grandma. I don’t care.

Found this in my Jones Organic White Tea with Cherry – a little shout out to one of my lovely bloggy friends…can you guess which one?

I detect some parsnip fries in my very near future…like dinner, tonight (I hope.) Plus, we’re getting ready to do some harvesting, and my worried mind is beginning to calm, so I’m sensing some fun homemade food on the horizon!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday