Food and Cooking

APRIL: Cultivate Creativity!

April is here, and with it a new resolution to add to the mix. This month’s resolution is all about cultivating creativity. Seems appropriate, too, as Spring – the season of creativity and rebirth – is getting into full swing. But before we explore this month’s theme, let’s take a moment to recap the previous resolutions’ progress.

 

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January was about getting organized. Much progress was made as I was moving into my new loft apartment during that month. (Read this post for more details.) And I’m still making progress in the organization arena. In fact, I finally got the rest of my office/craft room furniture last weekend. I’m currently working with getting that space organized and made efficient in preparation for this month’s resolution. These monthly resolutions are like gifts that keep giving. And each one benefits the others. It’s a beautiful synergy that’s happening here. Yeah!

 

February was about experimenting with healing my body through diet/nutrition. This has proven to be an amazing and ongoing adventure that is changing my life and my health in ways I never imagined. I worked a fairly restrictive elimination diet for two months. You can read about that experience here, here, here and here. This month I’m making even more changes to my diet with a new experiment in nutrition. You can read about it soon on my personal blog: Experiments In Bliss.

 

March’s resolution was to get my body moving. I had already been working with regular physical exercise, and am continuing to do so on an almost daily schedule. I’m doing strength/toning work an average of five days a week. I don’t have a car, so I walk almost daily, and my pace is a fairly brisk one. I’m trying to keep up some cardio work, too, though since my rebounder died a couple weeks ago, my cardio routine has been on a brief hiatus. (I did just get a temporary rebounder this weekend that I am hoping will last me until I can afford the very fancy (read: expensive) one that I am coveting.) I am cultivating my home yoga practice as well, and teaching two classes a week to boot. So, I feel like I’m working this resolution pretty well. I do hope to build on it even more as the weather warms up and I can get outside in the sunshine more. You’re absolutely invited to join me!

 

During this month I have become increasingly aware of how one can learn a lot about a person by the way they approach their fitness program. I have noticed that despite the increased physical difficulty of my Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis workouts, I continue to work diligently on the mat to perfect my form. In the past I would often speed up my movements using momentum to get the thing finished and to be able to say I did my workout. Of course, that negated at least some of the benefits of working out in the first place. I have noticed that I no longer do that. When I work out now, I actually try to slow myself down and work my body with the very best form possible for each movement in the series. I don’t beat myself up if I need to take breaks, but before I break I ask my body for five more repetitions. Sometimes that is all I need to continue through the discomfort. If not, then I take a break without guilt or shame knowing that I am doing the very best I can do. As a result my body is becoming steadily stronger with more endurance. This is being reflected in other areas of my life, as well. When I feel challenged by my work or by life, in general, I feel more capable of gracefully and agilely mastering those challenges. And that is a great feeling. Thank you, exercise!

 

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So that brings us up to date. April, as I mentioned, is about cultivating creativity. And I have been celebrating the ultimate creative endeavour all weekend: my birthday! This was a nice, big, round birthday. A birthday that carried me through the gates of a new decade of living. I am 40 now. That’s right … 4-0. As a child I had very definite ideas of what forty was, and the gist was that it was old. But, I’d like to send a message to my younger self:

 

Forty is not old. Forty is freakin’ awesome! I feel better than I ever have. I am comfortable in my skin and in control of my life … well, as much as I care to be. I have long been aware of the fact that I am a late bloomer, and I am embracing that fact wholeheartedly this birthday. I’m only just getting started. My mojo is just starting to rev. And I’m not going to let a number slow me down. Got it? Good.

 

Ahem .. so we were talking about creativity. This month’s resolution is to do something creative every week. Make actual artist dates a la The Artist’s Way. Have some kind of finished project to show for my efforts at least once a month. This couldn’t have happened at a better time. I’ve been feeling very removed from my creative spark, but also very nostalgic for it. This is one of those times of year when I start feeling the rush of the Busyness of Everyday beginning to snowball into an avalanche of Too Much To Do that bears down on me in a most uncomfortable way. So, it will be a good challenge to make some time for a little creative play amid all the work of living. I’ll be posting my finished projects either here or on Experiments In Bliss, so stay tuned for updates. However, if any of you have any suggestions for creative experiments, I’m absolutely open to hearing them.

 

How do you express your creativity? How do you carve creative playtime out of your busy schedules? How are you doing with your own resolutions? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line in the comments below to share your experiences.

 

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I hope you’re all having a beautiful Spring full of showers and flowers.

 

xoxo,

melanie

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Energy through Food

OR How I Learned to Start Hydrating and Love Water

by Erin

(Note: I started working on this post and found it was getting very long. To avoid reading fatigue, this will come to you in two posts. First, my personal results. Second, a little research behind the strategies. Stay tuned.)

So, I have been working on my five “get energized” strategies for less than a week and I have already felt a HUGE difference. I’m still tired; my eyes usually have that fuzzy, heavy feeling behind them. That probably won’t go away entirely until these work projects are done…but, my body! My body feels better. Less heavy. And you know that feeling when your brain just kind of buzzes and you know you should be concentrating and doing work, but you just. Can’t? That’s gone, too. Here are some other observations:

Strategy: Eat protein and/or whole grains within thirty minutes of wake up

For me, it wasn’t so much changing the types of food I eat for breakfast, or adding breakfast to my routine. I was in pretty good shape there. My biggest problem was not delaying breakfast, which is easy to do with two young kids around. Before, I would nibble here and there as I fed the both kids and got Big Guy ready for preschool. I probably wouldn’t get a full breakfast in until about three hours after wake-up and well after some energy stores had been used.

I have found that I still don’t quite eat a meal within that thirty minute time frame, but definitely within the first hour. I can’t say that I notice much physical difference with this change, but my mood is better. Some protein + whole grain examples: a hard boiled egg on a whole wheat English muffin and cream cheese, sprouted wheat toast and sunflower seed butter, oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas.

Strategy: Fill up my water bottle and drink it throughout the day

My relationship with water before was casual. A little here, a little there. I didn’t really pay attention to intake. But, oh, the magic of water. This is what I attribute most of my good feelings to. General wisdom says to drink about eight cups a day. Nursing moms should drink about thirteen. While I am not checking off each and every cup I consume, I am pretty sure I am getting close to thirteen by consciously drinking water at breakfast and dinner, finishing my water bottle, and having my daily tea. While I have made a few other changes to my routine these past few days, I am pretty sure hydration is the reason I feel light and focused. An added benefit is that those circles under my eyes seem diminished and I know it’s not due to extra sleep. There is one downside, though:

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Courtesy of xkcd.com

Strategy: Take my multivitamins at lunch instead of breakfast

I am probably taking vitamins (multi, fish oil, and turmeric) more regularly now, but I can’t say I notice any difference with this one.

Strategy: Make an effort to have a protein + fiber snack during that afternoon drag from about 2-4 p.m.

I think I pretty much did this before, but now I am making an effort to focus on the type of food. Some easy choices are apple/banana + peanut butter, yogurt + granola, or a fruit + nut trail mix. While I don’t think this was much of a change for me, I can say that I am pretty sure I am in a better mood near the dinner hour if I have had a snack. I don’t know if it really boosts my energy… I still prefer to take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon.

Strategy: Drink a glass of milk before bed

The theory behind this one is to give your body a little nourishment before the night time fast, which should improve your sleep. Unfortunately, I think I lose the benefit by working late on the computer and sometimes waking up to feed the babe. Still, it’s a good habit to form. Hopefully I can reap the rewards in the near future.

Do you have any success with any of these? What other ways do you use food to increase energy?

Lotsa Veggies

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired
  • Read a classic
  • Try a new recipe (theme 5 of 6)
  • (Re)connect
  • Get selfishly creative

Every year for the past four years we have taken part in a CSA farm share. Not only does it help local farmers and cut down on energy consumption, but it satisfies my need to try new foods. Four years ago, I had no idea what to do with kale or boy choy or salad turnips. Four years ago, I did not voluntarily bring beets or okra into the house. Today our family has a very large repertoire of veggies we eat, an appreciation for recipe experimentation, and at least two of the three of us can tolerate beets.

Every farm season, I continue to be on the lookout for new ways to use our produce. Here are some of the new recipes that we have tried so far this season.

Carrot chips

I think that I cut these too thick to make them truly enjoyable. They were a little hard but still maintained their carrot flavor. If you do this yourself, use a mandolin like the recipe recommends.

carrot

Juices

Out of the blue I received a juicer for Christmas. It has proven a great way to blast through some of those leafy greens. In order of tastiness we’ve enjoyed juices made from:

  • 1 apple, 2 kale leaves, 2 carrots
  • 1 pear, 1 orange, 3 Swiss chard leaves, 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 2 apples, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery (pictured)

juice

Kale Chips

Lately kale chips have been all the rage. After making these, I get it. Pretty good. Even Husband will munch on these and he vehemently dislikes kale.

kale

Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli and Carrots

I made this with quinoa instead of orzo and everyone enjoyed it.

quinoa

Spinach Cheddar Chive Scones

I would add more spinach to these just up the nutrient ante a bit. Otherwise, these were great for both dinner and breakfast.scones

In a CSA yourself? Want more veggie recipes? Here is my collection on Pinterest.

Please feel free to comment below with your favorite ways to eat seasonally.

“Real” Junk Food

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired
  • Read a classic
  • Try a new recipe (theme 4 of 6)
  • (Re)connect
  • Get selfishly creative

Over the past few years I have jumped on the “real food” bandwagon. I TRY to eat and feed my family foods that come from nature. I say “TRY” because sometimes in this busy world you need a pre-made ingredient to keep your sanity; sometimes in this American society those M&Ms beckon you and you give in; sometimes in a happy marriage you choose your battles and don’t say anything when the other one offers to do the grocery shopping and comes home with items that aren’t ideal.  I think the key to any lifestyle choice is to be flexible and do the best you can.

What do I worry about the most with this? Making my kid the “weird” kid at lunch time. You might have known someone like him. He’s the one with strawberries or homemade yogurt and granola instead of bright blue Go-gurt and fruit snacks. It was made clear to me that even at two-years-old, my child may the exception at daycare when for Christmas his teachers gifted this book to me. Actually, I was kind of excited when I opened it.

So over the past few months I have tried some recipes from the book. It has required some exploration into the world of non-traditional flours: spelt, millet, teff…yeah. I didn’t want to buy a whole package of _____ only to use 1/2 cup once and never again. So the bonus to this real junk food experiment was also learning new ways to bake. So how did it all turn out?

1. “Oreos”

Tastes like the original? After the cookies sit for a few days and get crunchy …pretty darn close to the original. Bonus: You can put in as much or as little filling as you want.

I won’t share the recipe I used…you’ll have to buy the book…but here is another version that may suit your needs if you want to try something like this for yourself.

photo cookies

2. “Pop Tarts”

I opted to not ice these so I could taste the basic recipe.  These were not at all like the original because they had so much more flavor. They really were like mini-pies. They were much more involved than pies, too.  Here is a quick version for you.

baking 3

baking 23. “Twinkies”

Had I not over-baked them, the cake would have been spot on. Had I actually managed to fill the cakes with the cream the right way, this would have been very close to the original. Instead these turned out to be dense, dry yellow cake loaves. It may worth another try.

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Next up will probably be graham and goldfish crackers. But those seem a little daunting. It’s hard to imagine actually making crackers. We’ll see.

As for all that new flour I purchased… I am following the guidelines on the packages to substitute some of the new for when I would normally use whole wheat flour. I have made pancakes with a mix of whole wheat flour and spelt, which makes for much lighter pancakes. I tried millet in place of flour for my breakfast fruit bar recipe only to find that they didn’t hold together as well. That’s not surprising as further reading says millet may be better for fluffy things, like cake.  There are still half-full packages of these new flours that have yet to be consumed, but I am no longer afraid of them. I see more experimentation in my future.

P.S.  While there is so much out there about “real food”, here is one quick reference to look at just to give you an idea of what it is all about.

Big Box of Citrus: Week 3

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired
  • Read a classic
  • Try a new recipe (theme 2 of 6)
  • (Re)connect
  • Get selfishly creative (project 1 of 12)

orange

We’re wrapping up on our bushel of citrus. You can check out weeks 1 and 2 if you’re interested. Who knows? One day you may receive a bushel of oranges and grapefruit in the mail. Now you, too, will have ideas on how to beat the mold race and use them up. Here are some more ideas from this past week:

Refresh the garbage disposal. Most people recommend lemon peels, but I found that grinding up any citrus seems to make a difference. And speaking of “freshening” and “peels”…  You can make all-purpose cleaner, too. I have been following Crunchy Betty’s recipe and grapefruit skin  is my infusion of choice. With the abundance of citrus rind around here, I figured I may as well start another batch. I’ve dropped in some orange and mint essential oils for a boost to the senses.

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Treat yourself to a face mask: 1/4 grapefruit and 1 Tbs. raw organic honey. The directions I had didn’t say how long to keep it on so I decided 30 minutes. After the first night my skin (and even eyebrows) felt soft. Night two made my skin feel smoother – no bumps.  I didn’t go past three nights because there was a weekend getaway that interrupted the progress, but I’m convinced this may be an effective treatment. With the antioxidant power of the grapefruit and the antibacterial properties of the honey, why not?face

Share a smoothie with your family. One morning my son wanted to make strawberry juice with the citrus juicer…apparently we’ve been juicing a lot around here. Since I could imagine that this plan wouldn’t work so well, I convinced him to make a smoothie instead. Mindful that this needed to be kid-friendly we made it sweeter than some of the other recipes I’ve tried: 1 pink grapefruit, 2 bananas, 1 c. strawberries, 1/2 c. yogurt, 1 Tbs. honey, 1Tbs. flax meal. It was definitely a hit.

Smoothie recipe #2 was my favorite so far, but it didn’t get very far with Kid: juice from two grapefruits, 2 bananas, 1 avocado, ginger (to taste). It was probably the ginger that turned him off. Not a big deal. More for me.

We included Dad to the smoothie party over the weekend with a revisit to #2 and new recipes 3 and 4.  #3: 1 orange, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup yogurt. #4: 1 grapefruit, 1 pear, 1 cup strawberries, ginger. We liked all three so instead of each choosing one each  we passed the jars around the table and enjoyed them all. Dad even taught Kid how to enjoy two at the same time.

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Enjoy breakfast (or dinner). We made orange French toast. You can find a recipe here. You can probably make it the way you normally do by just replacing milk with orange juice. I discovered low and slow was the way to cook it so it wouldn’t burn but still cook through. We also agreed that topping it with syrup brings out more of the orange flavor than topping it with orange marmalade and powdered sugar. However, both options were pretty tasty.

There was also some cornbread on the menu this week. So I citri-fied it by following Joy the Baker’s recipe for Brown Butter Rosemary Orange Cornbread. Typically I am not a huge fan of rosemary so I was skeptical, but wanted to stay true to the recipe for the first go-round. Turns out, I like this cornbread as I ate about 1/3 of the pan in one night.

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Make dessert. I found making grapefruit sorbet to be incredibly easy. The hardest part was waiting overnight to eat it. This recipe is definitely one to keep in mind for the summer. It was SO stinking good.  The mix was 1 cup grapefruit juice (chilled), 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar. We don’t have an ice cream maker so I followed the technique at the bottom of this post.

Or, if cookies are more your speed how about some Melting Moments? I adapted Itty Bitty Kitchen’s recipe from lemon to orange. My problem was deciding how much orange juice and zest was equivalent to the juice and zest of one lemon. My frosting wasn’t nearly as thick as hers even after another cup of powdered sugar…I must have over estimated the juice a bit. These cookies were good in orange, but I am eager to try them in lemon.

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Number of fruits left: 4 and so ends the Big Box of Citrus Project. It will probably just be juice from here on out.  Thanks to my trusty tools without which I would not have survived this month.

kit

Big Box of Citrus: Week 2

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired
  • Read a classic
  • Try a new recipe (theme 2 of 6)
  • (Re)connect
  • Get selfishly creative (project 1 of 12)

Another week and more citrus…

It inspired some “art”this week:

“#1 Self Portait: Shadow and Citrus.”  – Grapefruit bears a striking resemblance to a 25 1/2 week pregnant belly.

“#2 Self Portrait: Consuming and Consumed” – I have fruit on the brain so often now I am even dreaming of  these little yellow and orange spheres.

bellydream

I took on another smoothie: 1 pink grapefruit, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 banana. This one was better than the last, although I am not sure grapefruit will be a staple to my smoothie recipes in the future. I threw in yogurt, 1/2 cup of spinach, and 1/4 cup tofu to round it out more nutritionally. At the last minute I put in a heaping gob of some mango sorbet that we had on hand. The crazy straw added some nice photo flair, but proved impossible to drink from.

chiffon

It was time to go grocery shopping but we didn’t get around to it. Why not orange ricotta pancakes? (It just so happened we did have ricotta, go figure.) I replaced the raspberries in the syrup with blueberries that’s what we had. I also added more orange juice to the batter to thin it out and give it more orange flavor. This was excellent. Although, with the ricotta and the berries this may not be an in-a-pinch recipe. In the future I would just adapt my typical pancake recipe. (RR Author) Graham recommended replacing milk with orange juice then adding ginger, cinnamon, and chocolate chips. With more fruit to go, that may show up in the rotation the next few weeks, too.

pancake

And yes. Sometimes I do actually eat the grapefruit as is. Not the normal way people eat it in neatly packed triangles. I like to dig in and get really juicy as I tear the pulp away from its white encasement.

“And what are the health benefits to such a snack?” you may ask. Apparently grapefruits have over 73% of your daily value of vitamin C, which helps the immune system. Twenty four percent of your vitamin A is in there, too, which does good things all around your body.  In addition, red and pink grapefruits have cancer-fighting lycopene. Do a quick search and you can find so many more benefits to eating grapefruit. Even when you eat it the messiest way possible.

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I adapted a lemon vinaigrette recipe to make an orange dressing for a salad. Dressing: juice from 1/2 orange, zest from 1/2 orange, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Salad: mixed citrus over mixed greens and some sunflower seeds.

peelssalad

After some scoping out the produce section, I am pretty sure we were delivered some tangelos and pink grapefruit. These went into another citrus salad and (as if I needed more citrus around) I also bought two blood oranges just to make the colors a bit more interesting. It was good, but I much prefer unadulterated fruit.salad

We had some frosting left over from that orange chiffon cake I made previously. Spread on graham crackers, it made a nice little sweet treat in the middle of the day. The frosting recipe is here. I added about 1/2 cup of orange juice to it because I had some left over and I wanted the frosting to taste orange-y.

graham

Number of fruits remaining: 27

Big Box of Citrus: Week 1

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired (x2)
  • Read a classic (x4)
  • Try a new recipe (x6)
  • (Re)connect (x12)
  • Get selfishly creative (x12)

What have I done so far with my bushel of citrus?

1. Juiced it. I have recently become an advocate of “juice in moderation” especially since Kid was born. My theory was that you would rarely consume as many fruits in one sitting as the number that offer up that full glass of juice that you pour from the container. You also lose the fiber, et al. when you only take the juice.  After officially seeing how much juice two oranges yield, I feel validated. (Further internet “research” concurs.)  On a less soap-box note: this morning’s OJ was especially good! If boxes of fruit are going to be an annual thing, it might be time to look into a citrus juicer. Or I need work on building my squeezing muscles.

juice

2. Shared it. I’m so happy my son digs grapefruit. It helps that I chose a pink grapefruit. He was more willing to admit that he liked it because it was “red”, which is his absolute favorite color.

3. Blended it. There was a quick visit to Pinterest before this morning smoothie just to get some ideas of fruit combos and proportions. I ended up with 1 pink grapefruit, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, and 1 cup of spinach. For extra nutritional boost…as if all that vitamin C wasn’t enough…I added some tofu, flax seed, oatmeal, and yogurt. The taste was a little bitter, though on reflection it makes sense with the grapefruit. I added about a tablespoon of agave syrup to sweeten it up. I liked it, but it may not be a crowd-pleaser.

share with sonsmoothie

4. Baked it. Twice. Mornings start at 7 a.m. around here. That gives us plenty of time to do fun things before breakfast. I broke out an old grapefruit muffin recipe and Kid and I set to work. Kid insisted Dr. Dog help with the baking, too. We three made a double batch and refrigerated half for Grandma and Grandpa’s visit the next day so that they could try them fresh. The other half was baked and consumed for breakfast and throughout the day. Yum.

P.S. One softball-sized grapefruit yields about 4 tsp. of zest and 1/2 cup of juice (when you rely solely on your muscles for juicing).

little bakeDD bake

5. Juiced it, again. The oranges are particularly juicy and don’t make for good eating. I DID invest (a whole $4) in a citrus juicer. It is much more effective at getting juice out.

  juicer

6. Tossed it. Natural decay started to show. A quick visit to the internet reveals that citrus is best stored in a cool place. As there are still too many fruits to fit into the fridge, they moved to into the garage instead. Indiana winter should help keep them cold.

mold

7. Baked it (again) and decorated. I have been holding onto a recipe for an orange chiffon cake for a while. With a work party on the horizon, it seemed time to bust it out. Orange zest and juice went into the cake. Orange juice went into the frosting (that was my addition). And why not try a little orange peel flair? The public has yet to taste it, but if the frosting is any indication it should be pretty good.

chiffon

Number of fruits left: 40

Big Box of Citrus: A Project Begins

by Erin

  • Explore someplace new
  • Be inspired (x2)
  • Read a classic (x4)
  • Try a new recipe (x6)
  • (Re)connect (x12)
  • Get selfishly creative (x12)

Every year for the past three(?) years my father-in-law sends us a box of citrus from Florida. He doesn’t live in Florida. Who knows where the idea came from, but you won’t hear me complain. We usually get about half a bushel, which lasts about two months between two adults and a growing tiny person. But this year…a whole bushel. I think the time for lazy grazing is over if we want to make use of these guys before they spoil.

citrus

It’s a good thing I was on the look out for some resolution fulfillment. These sunny orbs are going to help me get through a creative project AND a recipe series. Double duty and lots of benefit. Recipes that I have started to stockpile include orange ricotta pancakes, citrus salad with feta, and orange chiffon (cup)cake(s). In addition, I will be documenting the use of  all this vitamin-C goodness through “photography” (using the term loosely here as I am not a skilled photographer and I will rely heavily on Instagram). Get ready. It’s going to be rather orange around here for a while.

P.S. If you have a  favorite recipe or use for oranges/grapefruits, feel free to leave a comment. I’m always happy to get some new ideas!

3 Recipes Down, 3 To Go: 15-minute meals

By Erin

  • Explore some place new
  • Be inspired (x2)
  • Read a classic (x4)
  • Try a new recipe (x6)
  • (Re)connect (x12)
  • Get selfishly creative (x12)

Well regarding this whole “try a new recipe” thing, I grossly underestimated my kitchen exploration. In an attempt not to tie myself down and make too much work, I figured a new recipe every other month this year would be easy and sufficient. But here I sit at Day 11 in the new year 50% of the way through my goal. So I am rethinking this one. I’m considering six themes throughout the year in which there will be at least three recipes in each theme. Still stewing on it, though… (pun intended).

And now to this week.

Apparently I am in desperate need of some quick recipes that do not include grilled cheese nor come from a box because I tried three new super fast meals in five days. The trick with our household is that our food must be meatless (or adaptable) for the adult vegetarian, hearty for the adult omnivore, and interesting enough for the two-year-old. I can, without a doubt, recommend two of the three that graced our table.

#1. Tofu Scramble Tacos

Hearty, vegetarian, lovable. The recipe is here. I had to substitute feta for the cojita cheese because Trader Joe’s doesn’t seem to carry such a thing. It came together easily and made a huge mess all over our plates and floor. It was totally worth the mess. (Photo credit to Maria Robledo)

#2. Creamy Avocado Pasta

We love avocados here. The kiddo will eat an entire avocado with a spoon straight from the skin, so I wasn’t worried about hearing “I not like it” tonight. For the omnivores, I served it with a garlic chicken sausage. The pasta alone was enough for me. Clementine oranges went all around. The perk to making this one was that I was able to use my new immersion blender. The perk for our taste buds was the intense garlic goodness. The recipe is here.

avocado pasta

#3. Sesame Peanut Pasta

This one bombed. Way too bland and boring. I even doubled the green onion then added tofu and yellow peppers and soy sauce and more peanut butter and more salt. I’ll save the author of this one the embarassment of sharing the link. Instead, you get another version from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express cookbook. This one was so much better.

  1. Cook 1 1/4 lbs. egg noodles according to package directions. (I probably would use a whole wheat pasta or udon noodle.)
  2. Whisk together in a bowl: 1 T sesame oil, 1T garlic-infused oil, 1T soy sauce, 2 T sweet chile sauce, 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter, 2 T lime juice.
  3. Place cooked noodles into a bowl with 2 cups bean sprouts, 1 1/2 cups snow peas, 1 sliced red pepper, 2 finely sliced scallions. Mix.
  4. Pour dressing over mix and coat well.
  5. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1/4 cup cilantro. (Our house skips the cilantro.) Serving cold is recommended.

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