Saturday, December 13, 2014

Garden Harvest

Had to share the beautiful harvest we got today from our 4 raised bed gardens. Green tomatoes, sugar snap peas, zucchini, green beans and spinach. All 100% organic! my only bug prevention is companion planting, soap and water spray if needed and coffee grounds at the base of the plant.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Quick Qunioa Black Bean Bowl


I love quinoa! And pecans and black beans!! So toss them together and beautiful things happen. If you like simple and quick meals then this recipe is for you. As always it is vegan...

Level of difficulty: Mad easy

Special equipment:  a cooking pot and your hands


Ingredients: 

2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp  ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches green onions
3 cups (not cooked yet) quinoa
2 avocados
4 tbsp orange juice
4 cloves of garlic (4 tsp)
2 15.5oz can black beans rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped pecans (or more if you want)

1. Put 6 cups of water to boil in a large pot, once boiling add oil, quinoa, green onions, salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and green onions. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 18-20 min or until the quinoa gets its tails (if you make quinoa then you understand what I mean). Remove from heat and 'fluff'.

2. Slice your avocado and drizzle with orange juice and olive oil. Notice I said drizzle not let it go swimming in the liquids.

3. Heat up your oven to 350, place your pecans on a cookie sheet and put your pecans in for about 8min our until they smell amazing.

4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic, saute for 30 sec. Stir in 2 tbsp orange juice, then black beans. Cook until warmed through. Add bean mixture to quinoa mixture. Serve garnished with pecans and avocado.

Simple right???

Monday, November 10, 2014

First Half Marathon Complete! Light House Loop

 It has been accomplished! With help from my dear friends and running buddies we did it! This was my first half marathon and the scenery was beautiful. The food after was eh... but lets start from the top.
I saw the beast of a bridge we had to conquer the night before and freaked my self out good! My nerves were getting to me and the lack of training was starting to scare me. Let me add some to the scene as well, I had a tooth infection and my wisdom tooth was killing me so Tylenol became my friend so I could get thru the race. The cold air gave me worse pain then childbirth! Oh you evil pain killer how I avoid you but yet loved you on race day. 
The crowd we raced with, view from the bridge
Race day started out early for me and my running buddy (and dear friend) as we woke up at 4:30am to down some quick food and coffee before we set out. The bagel with peanut butter and coffee was welcomed by the butterflies in our stomach. Weather was cold and crisp at 49degrees, cold for Florida! I chose my running gear that was most comfortable to me, shorts and tank-top. But not a good match for the cold and my nerves! So on went the light jacket and race shirt.
We parked near the finish line thinking in all our wisdom and race experience (haha!) that after 13.1 miles the last thing we wanted to do was walk another mile to our car. Well that was in the end a really good choice! We warmed up our cold tired racing legs by running over the bridge to the start line. 
I had on a baseball cap not a skull cap.....
 Once near the start line we searched for our other running buddy and dear friend who got there before we did. She was already by the 2:30 pacer and ready to go. We had bags to drop off and waited in line for 10min to not get much closer, race was starting we still had 10+ people in front of us! (Note to self, don't bring a bag! Leave it in the car!) Getting anxious my friend starting asking who was in line for the 5k and could we cut in, thank goodness that worked! We quickly jumped in line and dropped off our bags, then ran to the start line. Found our friend and so began the race! The adrenaline was pumping and we were cold so off we went. I kept telling myself "Make adrenaline your friend, use it at the end". If not then I would have burned myself out by mile 3!

I didn't get many pictures along the way, but I will do my best to give you 'word' pictures of the race. It wasn't very crowded at first, I was expecting a sea of people (since 1,600 had registered) to have swim thru to find my pace but it was nicely spaced out. It was cold! My 3 top layers helped me stay warm as the 3 of us started off slow with our 11:30 per mile pace. Once mile 2 hit I was ready to go! My fears over lack of training and the over all nerves of the race were gone. The course was beautiful, we ran parallel with the ocean and watched the sun rise. As we ran and watched the sky change from a dark blue to vibrant orange and then the amazing sun rise over the waves and sand! What a scene!

By mile 2 our one friend who had trained way more then us jumped ahead. She had done 10miles as her longest run and myself and my other running buddy had only done 5miles at best. Horrible I know!! You see now why I was so scared of failing! She wanted to keep up or pass the 2:30 mile pacer, and in the end she did. Girl did great for her first half marathon! 2:22! We all want to grow up and be like her.

The first goal me and my friend had was to make it past mile 5, once we did that everything else was a Personal Record (PR). And we did it! Mile 6 came and went in a flash! After that we had the Ponce Inlet Light House to look forward to. That was our half way point for the race.  

Once we got there I finally used the dreaded porta potty, GROSS! I was not about to squat in the trees so there it was... but done and done we carried on. The stinky thing (like that pun?) was when you wait in line for the bathroom your time does not stop. So I'm sorry but my time was wrong for the race. I'd like to protest that the large man who was using it before me took way to long and I'd like 3min taken off my time. Stepping off soap box...

After the Light House we circle back and on a different road. So new things to see! But man mile 8 was the slowest! My knees started hurting, and my pain killer for my tooth was wearing off. I know, whine whine, boohoo, no sympathy for me.... 
The knee pain was new for me tho, until that point I had never had knee pain! So maybe I need to strengthen my hips? Will look into that more later. After mile 8 we did a walk run combo, it was run till it hurt then take a fast walk break. Run again, walk, run walk.

The last mile was over the dreaded bridge! But once that bridge was in sight I knew the end was near! "Just go" I told myself, "use the adrenaline"! So I did! I ran thru the pain in my knees and now in my foot, we had come so far. This whole race was a new PR for me and something I had always wanted to do, it was almost over. Breakfast was waiting on the other side of the bridge. GO GO GO!
 
There waiting on the other side was our friend who had ran ahead of us and was there to take pictures thankfully. She got this nice cheesy shot of me coming to the end. After that I used any bit of energy left and ran across that finish line! We did it!!

Gimme that thing!!
 Then breakfast awaited, I was starving at this point! Give me some food! Found a banana but that was not enough. They had promised a glorious breakfast buffet provided by a local restaurant that is really good. So I was looking forward to some pancakes, waffles, fruit, anything at this point! But reality set in, we had the choice of sausage (not vegan), cheese grits (obviously not vegan) and some sketchy looking eggs (again not vegan). That was all!!! My stomach was NOT happy! Boo on them!


Things I learned from this experience:

Not doing the full training can hurt you but won't stop you. If you are intimidated by the hours and miles it takes to train for a half marathon, please don't be! I totally understand, as a busy mom the hours of running you have to commit to the training look like a mountain on top of the mountain of laundry we already have. I did not do near what I was supposed to do! Yet I crossed the finish line on my feet! Amazing! My knees hurt at the end, but considering I only ran 5miles as my top long distance run I think that was nothing in comparison to what could have been.

Do cross training. It helps you on your off days stay on track and keep focused to the goal of running the following day. You get a stronger core, which is never a bad thing in my book. So pick a YouTube video to do some cross training when the baby is sleeping for 15min and cross that little item off you list.



Friday, October 24, 2014

The New Indian Slow Cooker book review

The New Indian Slow Cooker book review

1 Fork out of 5


When it comes to slow cooker cook books I think of easy, not hard. This book was just that, HARD!

First, the term slow cooker to me makes me think, throw everything in and let it do its job. This book had so much prep work that needed to be done for the meal it was like the slow cooker was an after thought. So much needed to be pan fried, or sauted before it even touched the slow cooker that I had 2 pans dirty before even dirtying the slow cooker. Not a fan of that.

Then, the ingredients are a bit hard to find. If I couldn't find it in my local grocery store then forget it. Some of these spices or beans were so hard to find I had to order them off the internet. Again, hard.

If this book wasn't given to me I would never have bought it. This book is not meant for me, a mom with small kids. You need to be prepared to do prep work, let the slow cooker cook for hours on end and do a hunt for ingredients. So who ever has time for that, then please get this book.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. Shop Amazon - Save on Dutch Ovens

Packet Pickup... the race is near!

Today is the day. Packet pickup day, all the training and prep is becoming real. I have my race ID and all the other fluff included in there. Only day away from my first half marathon and I still feel nervous! It's not like I'm running the Olympics or racing to actually win prize money, but still the nerves are getting to me. Will I survive? Can I really do this?


Time will tell.... Sunday is the day!! Let the carb loading begin!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Down with the sickness! AKA: half marathon training while sick

This is just to much, we are 16 days out from our first half marathon and me and my other 2 mom friends have this nasty respiratory sickness! Coughing, hacking up a lung, nasal dripping like Niagara falls and sneezing that would scare your grandma! Be gone already! This is not the time and place for this!

I tried running 2 weeks ago and had to stop 2 miles in because my chest hurt from all the coughing and trying to breathe while running. This is not acceptable! Then I tried a couple days later again, thinking the rest had done me good and I felt better. But then the next day I felt horrible and like the illness had smacked me across the lungs yet again. No, no, no! 


We are running the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon in Daytona Beach, FL. The scenery will be great I'm sure as we run towards the giant beast of a lighthouse and then run away from it like it is chasing us, then ending over a bridge. Who chose this thing? We end with our last mile over a bridge?? So much for finishing strong! It is much to late now, the time is ticking away. We start tapering off soon with our training and we start to white carb load 2 days before. 

Taper down for what? (The lil jon song Turn Down for What keeps running thru my head when I think of that) Our training as been sub par at best, especially since all of us were sick right near the end! I would love to tell you that I did a great run this morning of 10 miles and feel pumped and ready for this. But no, not even close. At this point if I can finish I will be happy. Wow that sound horrible, right??

With only 2 weeks and change left till it happens I hope I can get one good last long run in and a few short ones. Then carb load and rest. That is all I can do at this point. There is no turning back and no way to fix timing of sicknesses or unforeseen occurrences.

I have been cooking a lot at home and doing some wonderful meals so I will share them with you soon I promise! This beast of a half marathon is taking over my being at the moment so when that is all done I can hopefully get on the band wagon again with food posts. Bear with me please!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

First Half Marathon: 6 Weeks to go

I don't like the look of that title... "6 Weeks" it seems so short! Someone tell me where the time went?

All good runners have a training plan (so I have been told), but being the over prepared person that I am I have 2 training plans. One that isn't to hard, so when I have my off days (or weeks) I can at least feel good about what I have done. And the oh so impossible training plan that has made me feel like I need to step up my game and get a move on! Either way I feel good that I at least have a plan.

Half marathons seemed so daunting when I first started running, but now I have a feeling of excitement and mystery that surrounds it. Will I be able to do it? How will I feel? Will I want to do another?

My current mystery that needs solving is what to do about water and fuel mid run? Do I buy those fanny pack looking water bottle holder things? (yep that is my fancy wording for them) 

But I hate extra 'stuff' on me! I want to be as free as possible and the less weight the better. The runners in Roman times ran naked, I'm not saying I want to, but I totally understand why they did!

Or what about the water bottles (that look like they are going to school) with a backpack you hold on to? Can I handle holding onto a water bottle for 13 miles? Pros? Cons? I'd love some others to weigh in on this.

My last long run I brought a bottle of water with me and started my run. It quickly found a home among the trees before the 1mile mark. Don't worry I looped around and picked it back up on my run back. But that made me really think... what am I going to do??

First world runner problems..... 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night

3 out of 5 spoons

Review:

Let me say first off that I am a sucker for free anything but, that I can and will be critical when asked my opinion of something. So here goes!!

I had never heard of the VB6 book before let alone the cookbook, so this was a totally new and fresh thing for me to read. I loved the pictures and the flexibility of this book. He lets you know how to make the dishes in there with so many variations that this book could be kept for a long time to come and never repeat the same dish twice. I really enjoyed the 28 day menu he puts in there, I think that is perfect for the 'want to be' vegan. It gives so many options, yet provides a ready to go menu for those who are busy. (Like us moms..)  I would highly recommend this book for those that want to become vegan, it provides a nice 'soft' introduction to vegan life.

Another feature I liked was in the front pages of the book where he breaks down vegetables, fruit, grains, oils etc.. and teaches you 'What They Are', 'Best Time of Year', 'How to Store', 'Best Ways to Prepare', 'Cooking Times' and 'How to Store'. I honestly learned a lot!!! That part alone had me hooked. 

The Recipes:

I did a weeks worth of items from this book and took them from all parts of it too so there was a fair review. While we liked the ideas of the food when it came down to it they had a 'Eh' taste about most of them and needed something extra for the flavor department. I had to jazz up the ones I made with either spices, tofu or salsa. I will post my favorite recipes here on the blog later on. 

The cookie recipe I made from the book: 'Decadent Oatmeal Cookies'. Were good but, a bit to much in the liquid department. More flower next time Mark... 

The biggest issue I had with the book was the lack of vegan recipes in he dinner section. Yes I know this book was all about being vegan until 6pm so you are saying "Duh!!" 
But, I liked how he tried in some recipes to make the suggestion on how to make them vegan, still it was hard when the main ingredient was muscles or salmon. "Skip that one, and that one..."
I would not have personally bought the book because of that. In this house the big meals are dinner so that whole back part of the book was useless to me. And while he had a nice little box on 'To make dinners vegan'. I need recipes people! I can't create!! That is not a strong suit of mine!! Give me step by step and I got it.

The portion sizes seemed to be a bit off too. I made dishes that said 'Serves 4' and my husband and I would eat it all and still be hungry. So not sure what was going on there...

Pros: Nice pictures, healthy recipes, great teaching tool in the front, the variety of variations
Cons: Not enough vegan recipes for dinner, the portion sizes were off

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. But the opinions were all mine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Half Marathon Training 10 Weeks to go


This is my first half marathon, so there have been a range of emotions leading up to it including:
  • "Wow this is going to be awesome!" - Excitement
  • "All this training is going to make me look fabulous in time for our cruise" - Pride
  • "What was I thinking!?! There is no way I can do this!" - Crash and burn
  • "I can do this, I can do this" - Talking to ones self while running  (aka looking crazy)
  • "Can I get a refund for the entry fee?" - Denial
  • "Lets do this!!" - Energetic (Current state of mind) 
 The weeks are slipping away and my panic is growing. "Will I be ready in time? Can I do this? Will I survive?"
When we are out driving to the grocery store I find myself checking how many miles that was, then comparing it to how long it would take me to run that. My brain has been switched to 'running' mode! When I see the signs for 'Next Town 13 miles' I automatically think "That is a half marathon length! Its yet its so far in the car! It's even farther on foot!! AHHHH!"

I find myself sacrificing my long runs on the weekends to much, those things are HARD to get in! My midweek runs no problem, the off days of cross training, got it! But those horrid long runs keep escaping me! What to do?

When all else fails I Google it. Should be a shirt.. I think it is already. Anyways, my problem for not getting my long runs in is not just me. It was nice to find other moms in the same boat. That is when I came across a wonderful website Another Mother Runner.
It was a wealth of information and that pat on the back I needed to tell me "You are not alone". I even bought the 2nd book they have published "Train Like A Mother" 
As I read it I was laughing thinking they must live with me and see what I have to deal with all to get a run in!  It is full of pep talk and yet empathy of what being a running mom is all about. If you need some encouragement to get out there and run, get this book! I highly recommend it. (they didn't even pay me to say that :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

My First Real Pair of Running Shoes

                                                      Track Shack apparently extracts shoes from rainbows

The best piece of equipment in any runner's mind is their SHOES! It is the difference between "Ouch!" and "Ahhhh". If your feet are hurting when you run or you are getting shin splints it can almost always be traced back to your shoes. I was in denial of that for way too long...

My first 'real' pair of running shoes came from Track Shack, a fantastic running store in Orlando that has been there since before I was born. When I first walked in the store I was a true beginner (aka: my first 5k was a month away). The feeling I got walking into that store was that of walking into a fancy-schmancy Apple Store while having one of those cobwebbed 'flip' phones in hand. I had a strong desire to test out shoes on myself - but I didn't want to look like a slack-jawed newbie doing it. But that was the beauty of Track Shack, they made me feel right at home and took all the guess work out of it! 

It's interesting when you first get your 'run/walk' analyzed. They watch for how your feet and ankles work - are they turning in? Out? Neutral? Any issues? Pain?   I was new at this and the shoes I had were so old and worn that I had no idea what even moderately good shoes felt like. After they decided I was a neutral runner they grabbed boxes of shoes for me to try. My eyes first go to the price tag.... habit of a cheapskate... "Don't look!" I tell myself .. "Those cost more than the last grocery trip!"  Okay, okay just try them on - it doesn't mean you have to buy them. (Right....)

Once you lace a pair on, they have you run around the neighborhood. (Those neighbors must get used to all the runners.) I tried on one pair, and ran... "Yeah nice, okay, what is next?"  Another pair "Oh wow nice! Supportive and springy!" Lets do another pair just to compare. Then it happened.... I fell in love... Brooks Defyance (5 at the time). Have you ever tried on a pair of shoes and then were pretty sure you heard angels sing? That was what happened to me. I ran around the block in those things as happy as can be! They were amazing! I don't know why exactly but they just felt right. They matched me to a tee! It was the most amazing feeling of soft clouds attached to my feet with the feeling of not even hitting the ground at all as I glided along. I was hooked!!!!

                                                                 Obsession... by Vegan Runner Mommy

I came back into the store with a smile of satisfaction and pure joy! They had to come home with me! I sat down and told the shoe helper sales person I wanted them. He said, "Try on this one other pair just to compare." So I did. It was not the same, I felt like I was running with someone else's shoes. These were not MY shoes! I didn't even finish the block, I turned right around and knew what I wanted. Brooks Defyance!

Back into the store I went, prepared to walk out with MY shoes. But then came the hard part.... $110!!! Really?!!!? I have a family to feed! Bills to pay! Are you for real?  I took a deep gulp and asked the worker if there were any on sale. Quite simply, "No." After a pow wow with the hubby and feeling like I was stealing food at the table, my wonderful husband tells me to go for it! "They are going to last you a long time, it's taking care of your body and doing what you love. I say go for it!" Did he just give me the okay to spend a ton of money?

So we got them and since then I treat them like gold. My most expensive pair of high heels was 65% off and I spent $42 for them. Yes I'm CHEAP.... so these shoes were over double that and I was not going to forget it! But running in them was so so SO worth it! They are/were fantastic shoes! I would never go back or try other shoes now. Brooks has to keep making the Defyance line... if not I'm not sure what my feet would think.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How I managed to get a free Phil and Ted's stroller




Free!? you ask? not entirely but pretty close to it! How?? I'm not sure if you are familiar with the stroller brand Phil and Ted's but they are the top when it comes to jogging/everyday strollers. I've been in search of the Phil and Ted's Explorer since I first laid eyes on it.... so beautiful, so sturdy and the kicker.... it is a tandem jogging stroller!! There is NO other stroller on the market like it! Why would I want to push around the huge monstrosity that I see at Disney or the malls where mom's can hardly fit through the doors? So wide it looks like it can mow a field in 20min. No, not for me thanks!


Then comes the downside, they aren't cheap. The one I wanted sells for $600 new on Amazon. Right...I said $600... I coughed up a hairball when I saw the price too. No way in my right mind would I buy something that expensive for my kids to ride in!! There had to be a better way.... Craigslist, Ebay, etc... I was a searching fiend for a deal on this stroller! But my heart was set on not spending over $300 for one... I figured 1/2 price was better than full price.

I love how a newborn can fit nicely and get shade all at the same time
So with that price firmly in mind I set out on my quest. Only to come to the horrible conclusion everyone else was willing to pay more! Woe is me!! So here I sat with no hope at, all when suddenly!! I got a reply to my Craigslist wanted add! (I posted an add on my local Craig's list that I wanted a Phil and Ted's stroller) No it wasn't the Explorer model I wanted, but the Sport instead (an older version of the Explorer, no longer made). Now you are probably thinking "Don't get so picky! Beggars can't be choosers". But if I'm paying that much I want the one I WANT! (enough of the rant...). This lady was willing to sell hers to me for $150, cheap!!! I bought it, brought it home, cleaned it and tada! an easy profit! So I put it on Ebay with the staring price of $150, I figured I can at least break even. I then hunted for the real one I wanted....

Miracles happen when people poorly list the new in the box Phil and Ted's Explorer as "Phil & Ted Ex200". I watched and watched as the days went by. Suddenly the heart pounding moment came when the auction was to be up. I had my hidden bid ready to be placed and right before it ended BAM! I WON!! Spending less than the $300 I wanted to spend (with shipping $270)! Brand new in the box baby! Dance party! Now to wait its beautiful arrival... In the meantime I posted my old stroller (just a normal 3 wheel stroller from Babies R Us) from our first child on Craig's List and the Phil and Ted's Sport on Ebay. In 2 days the old stroller sold for the amount I was asking ($80). Then it got better when the Phil and Ted's Sport price started at $150 and went up, UP! UP! Sold to the highest bidder for $377! Talk about making your money back! And they picked it up too so no shipping hassle for me :) In doing all the math I figured with what I made in buying and reselling strollers, plus buying the brand new one I made about $40 profit. So there you are... the story of my FREE Phil and Ted's Stroller.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vegan Coconut Banana Bread Recipe


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well consider this flattery for The Simple Veganista.

I love Banana Bread and have made so many by now I thought I'd hate it! But alas no.. there is still a part of me that loves a good moist piece of Banana Bread with my freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Maybe because it takes me back to when I worked at Starbucks and had those early opening shifts. That Banana Bread and hot coffee was may reward to myself for rolling out of bed so early in the morning. Oh how good it was....

This recipe was taken from said above blog and then tweaked a bit :) Enjoy!!

Level of Difficulty: Low! I had the baby on my hip the whole time, he gets to lick the spoon at the end too!
Special Equipment: A good mixer or some strong forearms  

 Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups flour of choice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup warmed coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar or finely chopped dates
  • 4 small or 3 large bananas (preferably overripe), mashed 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice and salt in a medium/large size bowl and set aside. In a small bowl mix oil, sugar, coconut flakes and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix briefly, set aside. Mash bananas, you should have approx. 1 3/4 cups, add to batter and mix until combined. Pour or spoon into a well greased loaf pan...I used coconut oil to grease mine.  Bake for about 50 min to an hour. You can also do the toothpick test in the center of the loaf, if it comes out clean it's about ready. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Running Along



So, since my blog is called Vegan Runner Mommy I decided to start adding in some more about well....running! I am far from the professional runner with all the sponsorship and metals. But for me running is my stress reliever, the me time and the quiet I need to refocus on life and sort things out. So I don't want you thinking that I know all the answers to your running issues or questions but more just like a companion to feel your pain and a fellow mom who knows how hard it is to run with children and be a vegan on top of it all :)

I started running seriously right before we got pregnant with our second child. Really I was running here and there when I was a teenager and on into adulthood but never was very good at it or had the stick-to-it attitude I needed for it.
But when there was a group of friends doing a 5k in our local area it sounded like like a lot of fun! So me and another friend started training for it. After that I was hooked! My first 5k I felt the endorphins kick in and the excitement of waiting in that crowd of people near the starting line was like a roller coaster to me!
After that I kept running but found out we were expecting our second child so didn't train as hard, still we ran a second 5k 3 months later. I kept my running up until about halfway through the pregnancy and then just stuck to walking. After he was born I couldn't wait to get back on to my schedule! Once I got the all clear I started back up again. 

No one told me that trying to fit in runs with 2 kids was hard! Where are you?? Why didn't someone warn me!?
I got the trusty double running stroller (another post on that to come), so it wasn't that. I had the desire to run, so it wasn't that. Getting 2 small children aged 2yrs and a newborn out the door took twice as long. Here is a summary of what would happen:

8am - Breakfast is done I'm ready to get dressed to go. Dressed, check! #1 (oldest child) needs to get dressed but first there was the struggle to get clothes on him, it was like trying to convince a cat to swim in the pool, not happening! 

8:20am - Ok threw the cat in now, uh I mean got #1 dressed... now the baby (#2) he wants to nurse, ok fine. Good thing I invested in that nursing sports bra! Sit, nurse. Check!

8:40am - Baby is done. Now dress him. Check! Oh wait #1 is now half dressed in the bathroom with the mess on the floor that can only be cleaned up by a sanitation crew with gas masks. Clean up said mess, change his clothes, try not to get the mess on me. And the baby is now crying in the other room. Hurry!!! Go, go, go!!

9am - nurse baby again, and #2 also needs a new diaper. Ok.... change #2's diaper. Another crisis is averted!! What were we doing? oh yeah going for a run... #1 wants a snack... bring in with us in the stroller. Check!

9:15am - Finally out the door and ready to go! Oh great its raining......

So there you go.... the day in the life of a mom who just wants to run.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kid Friendly No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls





Super easy quick snack! Very kid friendly! Our oldest did all the work mostly himself :) minus the stove top part

Special equipment: Nothin!
Level of difficulty: 0! Super easy!!
  • ½ cup vanilla-flavored protein powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. brown agave nectar 
  • 2 cups crushed mini pretzels
  • ⅓ cup sweetened flake coconut, chopped, or unsweetened
1. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk together protein powder with 2 Tbs. water in bowl. Stir in vanilla.
2. Warm peanut butter, sugar, and agave in saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes, or until smooth. Stir in protein powder mixture. Stir in crushed pretzels and coconut until evenly combined. Pinch off 1 Tbs.-size chunks of dough, and place on prepared baking sheet to cool. Cool cookies 10 minutes before serving

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vegetable Korma with Pearl Couscous

This is one of those dishes I made a bunch of times and changed the spice ratio then forgot what I did then had to redo it again and again... ahh the results were delicious but not quite right! Then I had curry that was 'eh' so once I found a good curry that made all the difference too! But this, I believe, is the right ratio tho! But hey, feel free to change it to your liking :)

I used pearl couscous but you can do rice, quinoa or whatever you prefer.

Special equipment: Blender or food processor 
Level of difficulty: Baby on the hip is A-OK! Can you say so easy its silly?!
  
Takes 30min or so and will serve about 4 people
  • 3 cups of pearl couscous
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I like the one with jalapenos in it, adds a kick), drained
  • 1 small white onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh ginger (or powered)
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 4 Tbs. golden raisins
  • 3-4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, such as green beans, cauliflower, carrots, lima beans, and zucchini
  • 1 7-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 can coconut milk
1. Cook couscous according to package directions.
2. Puree tomatoes, onion, and ginger to in food processor or blender.
3. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add curry and cardamom, and cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add tomato puree and raisins. Simmer 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly.
4. Stir in frozen vegetables; chickpeas, if using; and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 6 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Serve over couscous. 



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Moving

Sorry everyone I have fallen off the bandwagon with posting! We closed on our new house this week so our lives have been consumed by that! 

But I promise to get back to posting soon :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut butter Pie (yes its vegan)

This pie will bring out the toddler in you. "No I don't want to share!" "This is mine!" "Mom! She looked at me eating!"   You get the point.

It is delicious and SIMPLE! And of course as everything is on here... VEGAN.  But the other great thing is that those 'nay-saying-anti-vegan-food-eating' friends you still have will be forced to eat their words when they try this. Ready?

Special equipment: Blender or food processor
Level of difficulty: Super easy! The kids can help and the baby on the hip will be delighted to stick their fingers in the peanut butter mix.

10oz Chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)
12oz silken tofu drained
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup almond or other non dairy milk
1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 9-inch graham cracker crust

1. Melt chocolate chips in bowl in the microwave half power for 30 sec, stir, repeat until all the chocolate is melted smooth.
2.Combine all the rest of your ingredients (not the crust of course) into the blender or food processor and process until smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate at least 2hrs before devouring.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mexican Quinoa Bake

 

 This is fast, easy, and filling! Protein packed too! As a vegan/vegetarian people are so concerned about the all important PROTEIN. That is probably the question I get asked most, "where do you get your protein from?" I want to say to the person scarfing down the 15oz steak "where do you get your vegetables from?" Silly I know... But this recipe will make the hearty meat eating person say "YUM!" and "This is protein filled?"  Enjoy!


Special Equipment:  Food processor or grater
Level of difficulty: Easy, one pan, one bowl, one saute pan. Baby on the hip or at your feet is a ok.
Serves: 8-10 | Time to prepare: 45 minutes


Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, shredded
  • 2 cans organic black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 3/4 cup fresh corn
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan cheese (any kind will work)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt

Directions

1)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
2)
Cook quinoa according to directions. While that’s going, shred or chop your sweet potatoes, and sauté your garlic and onions until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Set cooked quinoa aside.
3)
Put your sweet potatoes, corn, onion, garlic, cilantro, beans, a cup of cheese, and quinoa in a large bowl. Add in spices and salt. Stir to mix.
4)
Spray a 9x13 glass dish with cooking spray. Add in quinoa/bean/sweet potato mixture and pat down with your hands. Spread with a layer of salsa and sprinkle a bit more cheese, if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
5)
Serve with more salsa and top with fresh cilantro.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Cream sauce

These were tasty, filling and relatively easy. I have made another kind of sweet potato enchiladas but these require less time on your feet and more time enjoying them with your family. It calls for 5 tortillas but I was able to make 8 so choose how filling you want each to be and you may make more! 

Special Equipment: Blender, food processor or magic bullet

Level of difficulty: I made this with out the kids around but the only part that is not kid friendly is the veggie chopping part.

For the enchiladas: 
 2 cups of sweet potato, peeled and chopped small
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 red onion chopped
2 large cloves of garlic minced
sea salt and black pepper
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
2 large handfuls of spinach roughly chopped
2.5 cups of enchilada sauce
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 - 10 tortilla wraps

For the Avocado Cilantro  Cream Sauce:
 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 med avocado
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a large 3 quart rectangular baking dish.
2. Make the enchiladas.  Place the sweet potato in a medium sauce pan and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium high and simmer for 5 - 7 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and saute' for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Add the bell pepper, cooked sweet potato, black beans, and spinach.  Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes more or until the spinach is wilted.

5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in a quarter of a cup of the enchilada sauce.  The lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt. 

6. Spread one cup of the enchilada sauce evenly over the prepared baking dish.  Scoop 3/4 cup of the sweet potato filling onto each tortilla. Roll up the tortillas and put them seam side down on the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas.

7. Bake the enchiladas - uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes until the sauce is a deep red color. 

8. Meanwhile, make the avocado cilantro cream sauce. In a food processor or something like it - process the cilantro until minced.  Add the avocado, lime juice, salt, garlic powder and 3 tablespoons of water - processing until creamy. Scrape down as needed. 

9. Serve with the avocado cream sauce on top and enjoy!!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Mommy Lunch

As a mom sometimes things get pushed to the side, hair, make-up, food etc.... Lunch is the worst for me! I have minus 2 seconds to feed the starving children in the house before World War 3 breaks out. Go, Go, Go!!!!  Oh and I have a baby attached to its feeding source too (me) all while this happens. So my getting to eat lunch sometimes is sketchy. 

So what does a mom eat?
Leftovers? If there are any. Peanut butter sandwich? Ugh again!? Veggie Burger? Eh yeah I could but I don't feel like it.  So what do you do?
I was asked recently by another dear mommy friend "What do you eat for lunch?" I had to really think about this one....
One of my favorite quick meals for lunch is Loaded Nachos, they look something like this. 
 
Beautiful right??? :) (Thanks Momma Mia)

Instructions:
1. Find nachos
2. Throw on beans, quinoa, rice, avocado, salsa, Diaya vegan cheese, etc... anything you want on there!
3. Eat! 

That is pretty much it :) Its doable right? Try it out and let me know what you think.


 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

I was asked recently about good lunch ideas as a busy mom and this was my most recent find :)

This is easy and fast! A great lunch to make and then throw in the fridge for later. I loved it on bread but I'm sure it would be great on pita, crackers or a bed of lettuce.

IMG 6236   Lunch This Week: Chickpea Salad Wraps
(Picture from Oh She Glows)


Special Equipment: potato masher

Level of Difficulty: Veggies get chopped up so put the baby on your back or wait till they are occupied for a few minutes.


Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill pickle or dill relish
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 TBSP Vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
What do I do?
1. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with the potato masher until you get a flaky texture.
2. Stir in all of the rest of the ingredients till combined. Adjust the salt and peper to your tastes. 
3. EAT!!