What I’m going to eat for Easter dinner

Oh, Friday never looked so good.  Did you have a productive week?  I sure did.  I’m basically caught up at work <phewf!> and have had a little bit of time to relax in the evenings.  It has felt good to reconnect with the family.  Our son, Alex, has been out of town so it was nice to spend some quality time with Hubby.  We had a little taste of what it will be like in about two weeks when he heads off to Basic Training.  I was actually quite proud of myself in that during the five days he was gone camping, I didn’t text him one time!  I wonder if five months will feel anything like five days.  Somehow I don’t think so.

What’s for dinner?

So what will you be serving for Easter dinner?  Will you have traditional fare or are you sticking to your healthy diet for the holiday?  Last year was my first Easter as a vegetarian and I can guarantee you I did not make a ham, but I have no idea what I made.  This year I’ve put a little bit of thought into it and at the request of my healthy hubby, corn chowder will be on the menu.  I think I’ll pair that with this salad and steamed asparagus — you MUST serve asparagus at Easter in my house!  For dessert I will make a raw carrot cake; and for the chocolate lovers of the house (I have no idea who that might be) how about a chocolate silk pie?… healthy, of course!  I hope to get most of the prep done on Saturday, but won’t mind if there is some work to do Sunday.  Alex has decided to spend the day with some friends so he can have “non-vegan” food.  Yep!  I think that means he’ll be eating ham.  I bet he’ll try a piece of dessert though.  He’s never passed up chocolate when it’s been offered… well, maybe once.

The weather has taken a turn up here in the Pacific Northwest and if you live here, you know what I’m talking about.  When we move from highs in the low 40s to highs in the mid to upper 50s we start to get a little giddy.  I’ve worn my sunglasses several times this week.  Wow!  Pretty soon, I might have to double check the sunscreen supply.

What’s new at the gym?

Earlier this week I was excited when Doug brought home a training booklet for me to use at the gym.  I now am more motivated to have better workouts.  I write down the type of exercise I do and the amount of weights I use.  There’s a whole routine for each day of the week so I don’t stand there scratching my head wondering what I am going to do for the day… or more like arguing with myself about what body part I want to work on.  At 6 a.m. the argument isn’t very productive, so many times I usually just do a few exercises and then resort to the mats for some floor work; i.e. abs & stretching.  I do have to say that in just the few days that I’ve used the book and logged my workout, I can already tell that this is a good thing.

I really love doing ab workouts and recently I found this little cartoon and thought I would share.

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I’m not so much into pushups, but someday I will be, as I get stronger.

I’ve been living this diet-style now for nearly two years — and it’s been quite a journey, let me tell you — and I often forget what life was like when I ate differently and even looked a little different.  So on Monday, why don’t you check in here and I’ll share with you how our holiday dinner turned out and also, just maybe, I’ll find some “before” pictures and put those up too!  You may be surprised… or not, too.

Have a fabulous weekend.  I hope it is sunny in your world!

As promised… a tasty soup!

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Happy Wednesday to my bloggerators!  I am so excited today to share with you a new amazing soup I tried out.  It is so quick to whip up.  I chopped the veggies and got them going in the broth, turned the pot on medium high and set off to get my gym bag ready for the next morning, stopped off in the living room for a quick chat with my hubby and by the time I returned to the kitchen, the soup was ready to be blended & served!  With all of the wonderful ingredients, I knew this soup was going to be filling.  We opted to skip the salad and enjoy the deep flavors in this thick, hearty soup.  We both ate about two cups and though we don’t really count calories, I was surprised when I ran it through the calorie calculator that it came in at less than 175 calories per cup.  So imagine how filled up you can be and have consumed so few calories.  Remember, it’s all about the nutrient density of the foods we eat.  There is a heck of a lot of nutrients going into your body here.  Beans might be high in calories, but don’t forget that those calories aren’t all absorbed because of the high fiber content and the fact that the calories just slide on through…. if you know what I mean!

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(click on the photo to be taken to the recipe page)

This recipe was a hit with my toughest critic… no, Alex was camping, he didn’t taste it.  But the hubby rated it above average, so that made me happy!  I wonder what I will do when the weather gets warm and soup isn’t as desirable.  The cold soups don’t sound very good, but I will give them a try.  I was reminded that my green smoothies I drink in the morning closely resemble soup.

A yummy dessert drink:

I want to share with you a little somethin’ I’ve discovered in my quest to cut back on my lattes.  I’ve been pretty successful at it, though sometimes the craving is just too much and my car just drives into the parking lot of the local Starbucks.  I’m not proud to admit that.  I know what it is… it’s the sugar in the soy milk that keeps me coming back.  Most mornings I force myself to stay at the gym a little longer or I have a smoothie to take the place.  I think it’s more of a habit than an addiction, quite frankly, but still it is there.  So what is it I’m sharing with you?  I’m sharing my new-found love for Teeccino.  Well, I discovered it back in January or so, but I like the stuff.  It’s an herbal coffee replacement.  It contains no caffeine, doesn’t have the acid that coffee does and it tastes fabulous as a warm dessert drink  or a morning wake-me-up.

So what is Teeccino (tee-chee-no) you say?  It is a blend of naturally caffeine-free herbs, grains, fruits and nuts roasted and ground to brew and taste like coffee.  My girlfriend gave me a little contraption for the Keurig so I can brew it at work easily with no mess.  At home I use the French press.  There are other coffee alternatives out there, such as Dandy Blend.  I admit I haven’t tried it and maybe that’s because I love Teeccino!  It comes in a variety of flavors.  The mocha or chocolate mint are among my favorites.  Or maybe it’s the Maya Chai.  Or the Amaretto.  Or the Vanilla Nut.  Ha Ha Ha!  I have a little twenty-dollar frother that works perfectly in a little bit of warmed up nut milk to make a little bit of a foam topper and look what you get!

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Now, doesn’t that just look like something you’d pay five bucks for at a coffee stand?  And those cookies… yeah, well, that’s a recipe for another day!  They were pretty good, I must say.  Too good, as a matter of fact.  The best part of all with Teeccino… NO COFFEE BREATH!  I have recently placed an order with the company so after I’ve decided on my favorite flavor I’ll let you know.  If you’d like to try a little bit for yourself, you can order direct from the company.  They have sample packs that make just one pot.  Or if you’d prefer I know the local Fred Meyer store carries it.  It’s located in the “health food” section on the bottom shelf of the organic coffee whole bean display.  Really, I think it ought to have it’s very own display, I think it’s so good!

Well, I’ve been cruising along through the Healthy Vegan Challenge and I’m doing okay.  I haven’t had refined sugar but for what is in my “lattes,” both those that I make myself and those I buy out (which has been drastically reduced).  I have, however, been consuming more than what I would like to be of “natural” sugars such as maple syrup and dates.  I will work in the future to minimize those.

I hope you have a splendid rest of your week and that you’re continuing to make healthy choices.  I hope to post on Friday my plans for Easter dinner.  And, no, ham will not be center stage!

First Monday of Spring!

Welcome to another week!  I hope you had a good weekend and were able to find some new healthy things to fuel your body.  If you tried something new, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

If you’re new to my blog, hello.  I think you’ll find that my style is pretty much an honest, stream of consciousness of how things are going in my life and a short rundown on my personal healthy vegan dietstyle.  I don’t call it a “diet” because this is the way I plan on eating for the rest of my life.  “Diet” implies that it is temporary.  “Dietstyle” is for life.

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On Mondays I usually post what types of things came from the Glaze Family Test Kitchen.  Except today.  Everything I made this weekend, except oatmeal and salad were failures.  Oh, I guess my Sunday night dinner wasn’t a failure, but it was an old stand-by… a go-to meal, so to speak.  Portobella fajitas never let us down!  Nothing new there.  So back to the drawing board I go with an attempt at polenta pizza crust (or any pizza crust for that matter) and a salad dressing that is similar in taste and consistency to a ceasar.  The one I made from a cookbook was a true failure.  It was water thin and pretty much flavorless.  I triple checked the recipe and I followed the directions to a “T” which is a little unusual for me so I was surprised when it was a failure.  I ended up doctoring up the stuff that I did make and turned it into a dressing for a massage kale salad.  It will get me through.  I think any dressing tastes fabulous on plain kale, but some people think I’m a little weird.  I love kale!

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I will not be defeated by my kitchen failures.  I will persevere.  I have the power of kale!

Because I was on a mission to try a couple of things from some new cookbooks I got, I didn’t do too much in terms of food prep.  I sort of relaxed a little bit this weekend.  Spent probably way too much time on Facebook and reading about the Healthy Vegan Challenge going on over there.  I can tell you, though, one of the things that does help in my kitchen is to have vegetables already cut up.  I like to chop veggies.  I’m not sure why.  I can kind of go brain dead while I chop, slice and grate.   Plus it makes it easier for quick snacks.  My hubby enjoys a big bowl of raw vegetables most days of the week for his lunch.  And it makes sense to spend an hour or so once or twice a week rather than every day.  The chopped vegetables also take up less room in the refrigerator.

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Since this was my second week belonging to the vegetable co-op Bountiful Baskets, I really had to do some serious chopping.  Look at all the stuff I got this week.  Not too bad for $23.  Add that to my weekly grocery shopping and I think I was a little under budget.  Oh, it might have helped that Alex has gone camping for most of the week, so I didn’t need to meet his dietary requests!  I’d forgotten how expensive chicken and cheese are.  But that’s okay.  I am cherishing every day we spend with him as it won’t be long and he’ll be gone to Army Basic Training.  Oh, Lord, help this momma!

Bountiful Basket

FitBit update:

I told you last week about my wireless activity tracker that I’ve been using.  It’s called the FitBit ZIP.  Well, like I said it was sort of a lazy weekend for me.  Not much leg movement going on; i.e. walking, so my little fitbit zip wasn’t happy.  So Sunday after I ate a rather large dinner, I looked at how many steps I had on my little tracker and it was at about one-sixth the recommended number of steps for the entire day. <gasp!> I quickly got on my running shoes and set out.  The sun was shining, and in the Pacific Northwest when the sun shines, you take advantage of it.  Oh, was I sorry!  I took off straight away out of the driveway at a full run.  No warm up, no nothing.  I needed steps, after all!  This was my first run of the season outside.  At a brisk 51°, I failed to breathe through my nose and it was instant lung pain!  I won’t even discuss the old “wait 30 minutes after eating before you exercise” wives’ tale.  I think there may be some truth to those words.  Needless to say, I ran probably three-quarters of my route and came home feeling much better.  Not quite so sluggish.  I normally don’t do too much of a serious workout on the weekends, but I think I may reconsider that.  It may help me to not overeat so much.  I know I snack less if I feel better.  Weird how that works.  I snack when I’m sluggish which makes me more sluggish which leads to more snacking. Hmmmm… Note to Self: Must work on less snacking.

What does Wednesday bring?

Wednesday is soup day.  Check back for a new recipe.  I’ve already got one picked out.  How about a simple, creamy vegetable variety using canned tomato soup?  I’ll give it a shot & let you know.

Fitbit review, lemon cream recipe and Giveaway Winner

It always amazes me how quickly the weeks pass.  The weekends definitely go by too quickly.  And for us, we would appreciate time slowing just a bit.  It won’t be long before we are giving Alex his sendoff as he journeys into the next chapter of his life and enters Army Basic Training.

The first day of spring was this week and for some reason the 36° mornings and sideways rain just isn’t feeling like spring.  We have a few things popping up in the yard and cherry trees are starting to show some pink.  This year, it seems, spring is having a hard time getting going.  But if we in the Pacific Northwest can just make it through a few more weeks, we will be able to have evening walks and enjoy a little bit warmer weather.  The temperature of the rain is the indicator of change of seasons up here in my neck of the woods.

Speaking of evening walks, I could use some more exercise says my new “wireless activity tracker.”  I was given a fitbit.  If you don’t know what one is, it’s basically a techi’s pedometer.

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The one I have is the “ZIP” model.  It appears to be the most basic, which is a good thing because I’m not very tech savvy.  What could be so technical about a pedometer you ask?  Well, this thing is like a little exercise stalker.  All you have to do is go to fitbit.com and enter in a little code that is displayed on the front of your fitbit and it begins syncing right then and there.  The computer program then asks you for your height, weight and gender.  Sha-zam!  You’re ready to roll.  Just clip the little guy onto a piece of clothing that is close to your body; i.e. waistband, bra, or inside your pocket.  There is no stride measuring necessary.  I give it an A+ for ease of use and technology.  Then… and here’s the weird part… when you’re within 20 feet of your computer, it instantly and automatically syncs.  So the next time you’re on the web, it will remind you how many steps you have taken and how many more you have to go to reach your daily goal.  This information is also available from the device itself. You can set up a profile and challenge others in a little friendly competition to walk & move more.  There’s even a page on the website to enter your food journal.  I’ve already got a myfitnesspal account set up and didn’t want to switch all of my stuff over.  But fear not!  The two websites look familiar for a reason.  They are link-able.  Yes, you can have your fitbit talk to your fitnesspal account and it will give you credit under the exercise tab!  That part is a little confusing for me, but for the purpose I’m using it (which I have yet to figure that out) I don’t think it’s relevant that it’s uber accurate.  The fitbit is also sync-able with most smartphones, but like I said, I am not tech savvy so I have a “dumb” phone.

To be considered “active,” the recommended number of steps we should be taking is about 10,000 per day.  That’s a lot, isn’t it!  The first day I wore my fitbit I was about 800 steps shy.  I also ran for 30 minutes that day, so that helped pump up my stats.  The second day I wore it, I rode a stationary bike at the gym for 30 minutes, and I don’t believe it recorded the movement of cycling.  That’s a downside of the device, but it is considered a pedometer.  I felt like I had a fairly good aerobic workout, but my “friend” is telling me otherwise.  It looks like I’ve got some walking to do.  According to some sources, I have what is considered a sedentary lifestyle because I do not move much at work.  The fitbit is giving me an idea as to how much I move (or don’t) and in time may become a motivator to do more once I get home in the evening.  To satisfy my little stalker friend, I have been known to do jumping jacks and run in place to try to get my numbers up.  For some reason, I feel accountable to a little electronic gizmo.  But, I say, whatever works to get you moving and on the path to a healthy lifestyle!

Last weekend I made a delicious blueberry oatmeal dish.  What can be so exciting about oatmeal, I know.  Well, the porridge itself was good because it had pureed blueberries and other things in it, but the best part is this lemon cream that topped it off.  I got the recipe from Dr. Fuhrman‘s daily recipe email that he sends out.  If you’re not a member of his website, I encourage you to join for many reasons, not the least of which is a daily recipe emailed to you.

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Lemon Cream recipe

4 pitted medjool dates or 8 deglet noor dates, soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour

1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight

1 lemon, juiced

2 organic lemons, zested

2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Drain the dates and cashews, reserving their liquid.  Place all ingredients except the poppy seeds in a high-powered blender and blend until the consistency of whipped cream, adding soaking liquid as needed.  Stir in poppy seeds.  Enjoy as a topping to oatmeal or a dip for fresh fruit such as strawberries.

VEGAN DELISH GIVEAWAY WINNER:

I’m excited to announce that my true random generator chose Mairead as the winner of the Vegan Delish recipe app!  Congratulations!  Carrie will be in touch with you to give you the code.  I hope it’s fun for you to use and you are able to expand your vegan menu!  Thank you to everybody who posted a comment.  Sorry to those who didn’t win.  I’m sure I will have another giveaway soon.

With that, I’m signing off for the weekend.  I will be back on Monday with a little somethin’ for ya!

It’s Wednesday and I have a soup recipe for you!

“I got dressed to begin another day.  Over and over, we begin again.”  ~ Banana Yoshimoto
So it is yet another day in paradise.  Well, I hope it’s paradise where you are.  We are in the midst of one heck of a rain storm right now.  It’s crazy… wind & rain.  It doesn’t do good for the hair.
As I was looking for some sort of inspirational quote this morning, I found the one above.  I sort of had to laugh because, you see, I get ready for my day at the gym.  I think you know where I’m going with this one.  Yes, sometimes I forget pieces of my wardrobe at home.  So I think I should modify that quote to say something like, “I got dressed (all but my socks) to begin another day.”  Thankfully this time it was just my socks!
You know, maybe I should have found an old Irish poem to go with my soup recipe for today, as it is an Irish stew.  I made this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day to try to fill the lost flavors of corned beef and cabbage.  I really liked this one from Forks over Knives.
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Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew
Makes 6 large servingsIngredients: 

• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 ribs celery, chopped
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ head cabbage, chopped
• 4 carrots, sliced
• 1 to 1-½ pounds potatoes, cut in large dice
• 13 cup pearled barley (optional or substitute with gluten-free grain)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
• ½ teaspoon rosemary, crushed
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 6-8 cups vegetable broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
• 3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)
• 1 14 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions: 

Crock Pot: Place the vegetables, seasonings, and barley into a large (at least 5 quart) slow cooker. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.  Add beans, tomatoes, parsley, and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary. Cover and cook for another hour.

Stovetop: Place vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth into a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

It’s pretty good.  Instead of putting all the spices directly in the pot, I had some pickling spices (which is what is used in the corned beef) and I wrapped a couple of tablespoons worth up in cheese cloth and tossed it in.  We’re eating the leftovers this week.  It’s very filling with the beans and potatoes.
On Monday I said I’d tell you what fun thing I did this weekend.  Now, this might not be too exciting for most people.  I joined a co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  So bright and early Saturday morning I arrive at a local elementary school with my bag in hand and pick up two laundry baskets full of fruits and veggies.  Next week I’ll take two bags!  For a little extra dough, you can get an organic basket.  There’s also the opportunity to add on different selections like a Thai basket or a juicing basket.  All of the produce we received was in great shape and good quality. I would compare it to that which you would buy at a higher-end market.  At this point, it is not local produce like a CSA would be, but it is purchased through the co-op, pooling the members’ money, from smaller farmers.  The bananas were still very green to the point I had to buy more at the store so we’d have some to enjoy for a few days before the BB ones ripened.
I want to remind you to post a comment over here for a chance to win a free download of the Vegan Delish recipe apps.  The giveaway will end Thursday night and I will announce the winner on Friday.  Good luck!
Vegan Delish sized for blog use
Well, it’s a short post today.  Friday I will also do a review of my new toy… a fitbit.  It’s a fun little device that helps me keep track of how much I’m moving.  So far so good with the daily goal of 10,000 steps.  I’ll let you know how it goes for a few days.
Ciao!

Vegan Delish Giveaway!

I hope you had a good weekend and are ready for the week ahead.  Did you drink green beer yesterday? Just kidding!  For many years on St. Patrick’s Day I made the not-so-traditional Irish dish of corned beef & cabbage, so the last few years have been a little bit of a challenge as my taste buds still long for the flavor of the salty beef.  This year I made an Irish stew that was a fine replacement, and I will share the recipe on… you got it, Wednesday because it is, after all, soup day!

Today I have something more exciting to share with you.

Vegan Delish sized for blog use

Fellow blogger, vegan & the mastermind of the Healthy Vegan Challenge is offering one of my readers a free download code for her app Vegan DelishVegan Delish is a recipe app available for iPhones and iPads featuring tools such as a digital shopping list and searchable categories.  Listed as one of the top 20 Food & Drink paid iPhone apps, Vegan Delish inspires users to make whole food, plant-based meals that are easy AND nutritious.  Once you download the app, access includes all of the new recipes that are added monthly.  The most amazing thing… all of the dishes are 100% vegan and made with whole food ingredients.  Take the Sneaky Greens Chocolate Smoothie, which includes a whole serving of spinach.  It tastes and looks like a chocolate milkshake but with no added sugar.

Besides the Cashew Curry Sauce, California Kale Salad and Pumpkin Spice Muffins, one of my favorite recipes is the Kale & Spring Pea Mashup… plus I love the name!  I’ve included the recipe below to tease you just a little bit.

Indredients:

  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 16 ounces frozen sweet peas
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 tablespoons no-salt seasoning
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Lemon-Tahini Sauce (See Recipe Below)

Instructions

1. Defrost bag of frozen peas in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Wash and dry a sweet potato and use a fork to prick it several times. Bake at 400°F or 200°C for 60 minutes, turning once during the cooking process. Set aside to cool and then remove and discard skin.

3. Wash and dry kale and remove leaves from tough stems, tearing the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Discard stems or use them for another purpose such as juicing.

4. Chop onions. Slice mushrooms. Rinse and drain beans using a colander.

5. Heat up a few tablespoons of water over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and water-saute for a few minutes or until soft. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for several more minutes.

6. Add no-salt seasoning and turmeric to the mixture and stir to combine. Add the tomato, peas, baked sweet potato and beans to the pot, along with about a ½ cup of water if mixture is dry. Stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

7. Finally, add the kale to the pot and turn the heat to low. Place the lid on the pot and cook for several minutes or until the kale is wilted but bright green. Turn the heat off and stir in the nutritional yeast and Lemon-Tahini Sauce.

Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup no-salt added jarred tahini
  • 2 lemons

Directions:

1. Place tahini in a medium bowl.

2. Squeeze juice from lemons and add to tahini.  Stir to blend. Use more or less lemon juice to reach desired flavor and consistency.

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Each of Carrie’s recipes is accompanied by amazing, mouth-watering photos.

Following a health-promoting diet doesn’t have to be boring or take a lot of time.  And if you’re new to this diet-style, Carrie makes it easy on you with recipes written in an easy-to-follow format with standard or metric measurements and includes reference pages with expanded information on healthy cooking.  There’s even a recipe scaling feature so you have the exact quantities listed for the servings you need.

I made these super delicious Almond Date balls in less than 10 minutes!

Almond Date Balls

The cost for the app is just $1.99 a small price to pay for so many wonderful recipes and great features like the smart shopping list feature… you can add ingredients right from the selected recipes.  Hello?!  Can life get any easier?  I think the cost of the app is a great value, but like I said, Carrie is offering one of you (or your friend) a free download.  Just leave a comment on my blog telling me what your favorite go-to meal is and I will announce the winner Friday morning.

Wednesday I promise a recipe for a very tasty stoup (that’s stew/soup) plus I will share with you something new I did this past weekend.  For those of us who are “foodies” it might be kind of intriguing.  You’ll have to come back here on Wednesday.  But for now… don’t forget to leave a comment so you can be in the running for that free app!

TGIF!

Ahh, Friday.  Sometimes it feels like the week will never end.  For me this happens right before I am going to have a vacation or an extended weekend.  It seems like we had three Wednesdays this week!  That’s because Monday is a random day off for me.  No holiday, no sickness, just a random scheduled day off.  I love three-day weekends.  An extra day to sleep in (yeah, right), to spend with my hubby, to get a massage, to spend time with a special friend, to do one of my favorite things… hang out in the kitchen!  I wonder what I will create.

What are your plans for the weekend?  Saturday morning is my day to grocery shop.  If I’m not at the store by 6:30, I’m late!  I like to get there before the crowds, get home & put the stuff away and plan my weekly menu.  I think that sounds backwards.  Don’t you usually plan the menu and then shop?  I generally buy the same things each week, so it doesn’t really matter which I order I do it in.  Like our son said one day, “Mom, you guys just eat the same things, you just put different spices on it and call it something different.”  He’s correct to a certain extent.  Anyway, this weekend I’m mixing it up a bit.  I saw on the Healthy Vegan Challenge Facebook page a link to a volunteer group called Bountiful Baskets.  I signed up.  I’m not really sure how good the produce is or if it’s a good value for your money, so after I pick up my first basket Saturday at 8:15 I will let you know.  It’s located near my home, so I decided I wasn’t really out too much if it was a flop.  Now, see, this is going to mess with my routing.  It will require me to hold of shopping until AFTER I pick up the basket to see what I will need to fill in with.  Hopefully it doesn’t make me too crazy, since I’m such a creature of habit.

I need to share something we had for dinner last night.  I try to make something I can alter just a bit for Alex, our son, since he’s not a plant foodie.  So last night it was going to be spaghetti.  I had some of this yummy spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so we thawed it, warmed it up and served it over steamed broccoli!  Oh, it was so yummy.  My husband had his first helping over some spiral noodles and when I said how good it was on the broccoli, guess what he did?!  He agreed it was good that way.

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Last year I bought one of those spiral cutters.  Yeah, well, I tried it once, I think, and there it sits in the back of the cupboard.  It’s supposed to be helpful in making “noodles” from zucchini.  You can even make sweet potato fries with it.  I’ve had no luck getting it to cut correctly.  If you have one and would like to share with me the proper method in making it work, I sure would appreciate any suggestions you can give.  Until I figure it out, I’m going to stick with steamed broccoli for the foundation of my “spaghetti”.  I think it worked quite nicely.  Coupled with a big green salad, I still left the table feeling quite satisfied and had a little bit of room for some strawberry “ice dream”.

Something New For Next Week:

I’m working on my very first giveaway.  Fellow blogger and Healthy Vegan Challenge creator, Carrie, will be giving away codes for her Vegan Delish App.   Wouldn’t you love to have instant access to healthy vegan, whole-food recipes right at your fingertips… and for free.   How cool is that?  Check here Monday for your chance to win!  Plus… her pictures are way cooler than mine, wouldn’t you agree?

Almond Date Balls