Vegan Breakfast Favorites

Vacation mornings are pretty glorious.  I’m currently on my third glass of iced coffee.  Typically, on school mornings I sit down at my desk before 7 am which means I usually have my coffee and breakfast on the go.  This morning I soaked up not having to go to work.  I got up at 6, went to the gym, swung by the grocery store, and came home to make breakfast.  Right now I’m watching two worker install our fence.  Did I mention I love vacation?

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I wanted to share one of our favorite breakfasts, though this isn’t really much of a recipe.  As I’ve mentioned before, easier is better for us these days.  I could seriously eat this every morning.

Ingredients

  • English muffins
  • Tofutti cream cheese
  • chopped scallions
  • chopped tomatoes
  • Everything Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes/ or salt

Simply toast your English muffin, spread cream cheese, and top it with some savory goodness.  I enjoy copious amounts of scallions.

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I’ve experimented with my share of vegan cream cheese and Tofutti is my favorite, it’s also the least expensive.  I highly recommend it if you are looking to for a nondairy alternative for cream cheese. The Everything Bagel seasoning really throws this all together.  If you visit a TJ’s I recommend you grab some.  It sort of gives you the everything bagel experience without all the calories.

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Now here’s a picture of my cute baby!

Enjoy!

Easy Lentil Enchiladas

I had a few requests for this “recipe” the other week, sorry for the delay!

When it comes to meals, easier is better for us these days.  I recently hit a home run with dinner.  It was simple, healthy, and most importantly delicious.  If you ever find yourself at a Trader Joe’s make sure you pick up a package of the precooked lentils in the refrigerated section, usually by the tofu.  I love these lentils, and best of all you can eat them right out of the package!  Lentils are a great source of protein and an excellent meat substitute, especially if you’re trying to stay clear of processed foods.  In this case, I used them to fill my enchiladas.  So here’s what I did, but feel free to tweak it to your liking.  I love to pack my enchiladas with veggies, but the tortillas tend to explode!  So that’s why my veggies are on top, plus, its kind of pretty isn’t it?

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Lentil Enchiladas

  • One package precooked lentils from Trader Joes
  • One can of vegetarian refried beans
  • One packet of taco seasoning (or choice of spices)
  • One packages of corn tortillas
  • One can of your favorite enchilada sauce
  • Chopped veggies of your choice (I used broccoli, tomatoes, and onions)

Preheat oven to 350.  Basically all I did was spread a layer of refried beans on the tortilla  In a separate bowl I mix the cold lentils and taco seasoning.  Next I placed a healthy spoonful of the lentils into the tortilla on top of the beans and wrapped the tortilla.  I then placed the enchilada in my cast iron skillet but you could use any baking dish.  Once I wrapped up all my enchiladas I topped them with the chopped veggies and drizzled the can of enchilada sauce over everything.  I cooked these for about 25 minutes.

That’s it!  Super simple and tasty.   My husband loved it, and it make great leftovers for lunch the next day. I served these with fresh guac and hot sauce.  You won’t even miss the cheese and sour cream.  Enjoy!

Trader Joe’s Vegan Finds: Penne Arrabbiata

I’ll always love a snow day.  I know we make it up in June, but I’ll take it now, especially if it means I get to stay home with my boy.

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This morning I woke up to a two hour delay for my district.  I had a suspicion that they might end of canceling since the snow was coming down harder than was anticipated.  I was hanging out with Soy Bean on the couch when a certain odor signaled to me that he needed a diaper change.  When I came downstairs I saw a voicemail on my phone.  Woohoo!

So I’m hanging with SB today, unfortunately my husband’s school opened at the regular time.  The babe and I have no big plans today besides doing some laundry and of course snacking.

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Speaking of food, on Sunday I was able to swing by my favorite Trader Joe’s.  I was able to load up on some of my favorite items and maybe some cheap wine…

I’ve been trying to write a top five Trader Joe’s list for awhile now but it’s just too hard to narrow down a list.  I figured I could feature some of my favorite goodies instead.

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One of my favorite and super easy dinners from Trader Joe’s is their penne arrabbiata.  This meal comes frozen and literally all you need to do is throw it in a pan!  This is one of my hubby’s favorite meals, and we ate a lot of this when I was pregnant.  I usually add some sort of veggie meal like vegan chicken, ground beef, or sausage.  I tend to add any veggies I have laying around as well.  The sauce has a little kick to it, but it’s not too spicy.

It’s delicious and super easy.  What more could you ask for?  Oh and it’s vegan. 🙂

 

Soy Bean Updates: January

I cannot believe how big my little boy is getting!

He’s everything I’ve hoped for in a baby.  He’s sweet, he’s chill, he likes every food I’ve fed him.  He’s basically the perfect baby.  My parents even say he’s much more enjoyable than when I was a baby…

Our boy is now 7 months old.  He’s rolling back to stomach and stomach to back and doesn’t seem too motivated to crawl yet.  He’s pretty round so I guess it must be easier to roll…

I’m in the process of switching out his 6 month clothes for 9 month clothes (mom cry).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby boy with so many outfit options, I’m a bit jealous.

I have to say I’m really enjoying this stage with the baby.  I’m not as afraid of breaking him anymore and I’m much more confident in my parenting abilities.  I also know him so much better.  I know what he likes and doesn’t like.  I know what comforts him.  I know what to expect roughly every day. I enjoy playing with him and listening to him laugh.  It’s the best.

Nights have been a little bit of an adventure…The hubby and I made a goal of creating new and positive routines to improve our lives for 2018.  I have to say, we’ve been doing a pretty good job so far and it’s been easy to implement.  We have a routine of feeding SB dinner, giving him a bath, lathering him up with lotion, then reading a book with a bottle, then finally and hopefully bed.  Daddy does the final put down, because honestly, the baby goes to bed better with him.  I sneak down stairs and clean up from that bath and then ideally Mom and Dad get a little alone time.

Some nights this works perfectly, and others well not so much.  Our son has quite a set of lungs and he does not quit.  He’s been getting better about going down, but now he’s been waking up soaking wet.  I’ve tried over night diapers and diaper pads, but nothing really seems to work.  Poor kid.  I think my next step is to buy the next size up diaper and see how that works.

Overall, everything has been good.  Soy Bean is quite the eater these days and we are no longer worried about his slow weight gain.  He’s loved every food he’s tried, even green beans.  I hope he never becomes a picky eater!

We’re looking forward to more babbling, crawling, and trying peanut butter soon!

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Sophie and a 3 month old Soy Bean.

How’s Mom doing?

I am doing ok.  I have days I really really miss my baby.  I never thought I would like to be a stay at home mom, but there are some days I really wish that I could be home with him.  I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but I do miss my boy.

We joined a gym (along with 80% of the rest of America) this month, so that’s been a new addition to our routines.  My husband goes in the mornings and makes it back in time to have coffee with me before work.  I’ve been trying to go right after work before I pick up the baby.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything athletic, it’s certainly an adjustment.

I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in my weight loss progress, not that I’ve been trying too hard, but I thought it would be easier.  I miss feeling like I used to and I miss my old clothes.  I literally have three pairs of pants I wear to work.  I bought some tights to wear with a stretchy skirt I bought, but haven’t been brave enough to wear it.  I’m hoping with a new exercise routine and warmer weather around the corner I’ll feel better soon.

 

Attempts at Crafting…

Even when I had more free time I was never a crafty person.  I have friends who create amazing scrapbooks, decorate cakes and cookies, refinish furniture , and so on.  When they follow something Pinterest, it comes out like it’s supposed to.  I am always in such admiration of these skills.  I missed out on that gene I think.

I did at one point have a collection of crooked crocheted scarves.  Does that add to my credibility as a crafty person?

Well I found a craft that I could handle.  It requires minimal skill to pull off and makes a nice gift.

Paperwhite in a mason jar

What is a paperwhite?  I had never actually heard of them before I was presented with one of these as a gift from my mother.  A paperwhite is a winter-blooming flower.  It’s upkeep is simple, keep the bulb in a container and add water.  In about 3-4 weeks it will blossom and produce a fragrant flower.

You will need:

  • A paperwhite bulb (I found mine at a local nursery)
  • A mason jar
  • cranberries
  • string, twine, ribbon anything you want to tie around to decorate the mason jar
  • water

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The picture pretty much explains the whole “process”.  All I did was removed the center part of the mason jar lid (put the rim back on), filled the mason jar with cranberries, tied my string around the lid of the jar and topped it off with the bulb.  That’s it!

I gave these as gifts to friends at works so I did not fill the jars up with water to make transportation easier.  I added tags with directions to just add water.  My friends were fascinated by them.  I think that’s a good thing…

If you don’t want to add cranberries you could try marbles, pebbles, sea glass and so on.  I think I would be fun to play around with different variations.  Honestly, the hardest part about making these was tracking down the paperwhite bulbs, apparently that are very popular in the winter and many places I called were out of them.  Also, why are mason jars so expensive?  They had these really cute smaller jars but they were way more expensive than the larger ones!  So many questions…

 

 

 

 

 

Checking In

I’ve been meaning to write every weekend for the last two months.  It’s insane how difficult it can be to do with a new baby and house.  Soy Bean is a relativity easy baby too, but still it’s hard to fit things in.  I thought I would just catch up on a few things…

Me: I’ve been hanging in there.  Going back to work was extremely difficult.  I’m so fortunate that I’m leaving the baby with my parents, but still I want to stay home and snuggle all day.  I think one of the most difficult parts about being a mom is finding balance.  I have a career I love but I also want to be with my son as much as I can.  On the other hand, I would probably go crazy if I was home with him all day every day.

Our routine has been pretty successful so far.  I wake up at 4:45, shower, get dressed, nurse, and then sit down and have a cup of coffee with my husband.  We load Soy Bean into the car and drive to my parents’ house which is thankfully only 6 minutes away!

After school we don’t really have much of a routine yet.  When I first went back to work I put a lot of pressure on myself to get everything done by 8 pm.  Not going to happen!  Everyday looks different for us so we have to go with the flow of things.  I also know that if I don’t get to sleep until midnight (which has happened a few times) I will survive.  Thank goodness for coffee!

Coffee and stretchy pants that looks like dress pants have been my savior this fall.  When I planned on breastfeeding I figured all my baby weight would melt off.  Well, I’m apparently not one of those women.  I’ve been about the same size (semi effortlessly) for the majority of my adult life, so I feel like I’m in an odd place when my clothes don’t fit right and I have to think twice about what I’m eating.  I’m also amazed I still have hair, postpartum hair loss is not joke.  Yikes.  Once I hit three month my hair started to shed like crazy.

So I’m heavier than usual and losing my hair.  Not fun.  Walking has been a good escape for me to help me feel better.  I love going on adventures with my dog, for a 10 year old dog she has some great stamina.  We’ve been enjoying living on the south shore and checking out new places.  I’ve been fortunate to have some fantastic fall (spring?) weather too.

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House:  We’re getting there with the house.  It’s easy to forget how expensive moving can be.  We had to purchase a washer/dryer, fridge, curtains, rugs etc.  It adds up fast!  We’ve been enjoying owning our own home though, and not sharing walls.  We have a few project to complete before we really feel settled.  Our neighborhood is full of couples in their 30’s with young kids (and usually a dog or too) and we are looking forward to getting to know our neighbors.   Everyday I come home from work and appreciate where I live.

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Soy Bean: SB is such a sweet baby, we really lucked out.  He’s always been a really good sleeper, once he’s down, he’s down 98% of the time.  He’s a peanut though, and we actually have another weight check for him this week.  Sigh.  His doctor recommended starting him on solid foods, which I was hesitant about but once we tried he loved it.  I’ve actually been looking forward to him eating solid food, but  I didn’t think we would be starting until December.

So far he’s had rice cereal, avocado, sweet potato, banana, apple and butternut squash.  I made my first batch of homemade baby food this weekend and froze it for future use.  My goal is to make as much of my own baby food as I can.  I invested in some ice cube trays with lids so I can freeze baby-size portions whenever I make batches.

The Impressionable Vegan:  Well we’ve been eating, I promise.  I go though weeks where I meal prep, and some that I don’t.  It’s been hard to find that groove while balancing work, baby, and house.  I have a few hacks I want to share as well as some good fall recipes.  I’m also experiencing some major Trader Joe’s withdrawal (the closest one is about a half hour away!

Well that’s all for now.  I have a baby and a dog staring at me…they probably want something!