East Coast: Food, Friends, Fun

Well, I’ve been back in NY for more than a week, so I figured I better get this blog post written. Even thought I’ve been back from my roadtrip, I have not stopped moving- that’s for sure.

The morning after my school year ended I packed up my car, picked up my best friend, and we hit the road. We had plans… flexible plans. We had already decided which cities we would stop in as well as options for food and fun while there. We were very specific in finding restaurants to enjoy as I needed nutritarian options and my friend needed paleo options. So, we researched farm-to-table restaurants which all had veg/vegan options on their menus. We started our first day with driving to Cleveland OH and stopping for lunch at The Flying Fig.

We parked the car and walked a few blocks to the small eatery and started smelling yeast….hm, a brewery! Great Lakes Brewery to be exact! We didn’t even know that we were in that area of Cleveland, it was a welcomed surprise.

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When we arrived at the eatery we decided to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air after sitting in the car for six hours. I ordered a chicken and fresh salad dish. The salad was dressed with grilled lemon, it was so crisp and peppery…absolutely delicious.

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We finished eating and hit the road again for another six hours until we made it to Louisville KY where we stayed for the night. We had dinner at Bluegrass Brewery Company  which was again a farm-to-table restaurant and local brew house. I enjoyed a porter after a long day of driving and for an appetizer we had tempeh ‘chicken’ wings with fresh local honey for dipping sauce–so fill of flavor and texture! Something that our waiter informed us as well about the restaurant- the owners are vegan! :-)

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After a solid night’s rest we finished our last three hours to Nashville TN where we stayed for three nights at my friend’s house. As soon as we got in we went to lunch at Local Taco where you can get a taco for $2.75 that makes you want to scream and shout it’s so good! We ended up eating there every day we were in Nashville because we were so in love with the food. I had the crispy fish taco and the portobello mushroom taco which was obviously my favorite.

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I want to remake these sometime soon — marinated portobello strips dressed with fried red onion, zucchini slaw and a sage goat cheese. Oh my god. Honestly, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about them. The flavors so perfectly melded together- the salt from the goat cheese and the zing from the marinated mushrooms. Yum!

After we filled our bellies… and trust me, they were full as I had three tacos and guacamole, we headed to the craft beer festival! Fifty plus breweries from Nashville, Carolinas, and the west coast came to this event and I enjoyed so many new brews! Afterwards we strolled on Broadway St, the famous tourist street of Nashville where everyone buys their cowboy boots and dances to live music.

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After dancing and singing along at the bars we were starving so we headed out to dinner at a restaurant that was feature on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives on Food Network: Athens. I had a greek salad that was a huge bowl of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions all tossed in olive oil, vinegar and spices. Yum!IMG_2798 IMG_2799

The next day we had breakfast at the local bakery about a quarter mile down the road from my friend’s house called Star Bagel. Here they make fresh juices, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches from local free-range eggs and hormone free meats. I had a Sante Fe which included red peppers and onions mixed in with the egg and fresh turkey sausage on a whole wheat bagel. Delicious! But, let me tell ya, the amount of gluten I had consumed already in Nashville was getting to me if you know what I mean.

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After breakfast we ventured to the Jackalope brewery which was our favorite from the beer festival. I had a flight while I read the local farm magazine…god I love this place.  Then we ventured to a local antiques mall and some fun shops.

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For dinner we went to Whiskey Kitchen which was a fun restaurant and bar where I had a delicious black bean burger with avocado and sweet potato fries with a side of whiskey shaken with ginger bitters.  Yummy! And so so filling!

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For our last day in Nashville we got up early and headed out for a five mile hike at a local park. It was located in Belle Meade, which according to my friend is the old money neighborhood of Nashville. I didn’t take any pictures of the estates, but man was it beautiful! The whole area was very historical with the original stone walls from the Civil War. Of course we had local taco for lunch and then ran over to the Grand Olde Opry for a guided tour.

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And at last…. The Wild Cow for dinner. This vegetarian restaurant was my oasis. I could eat whatever I wanted from the menu for the first time on the trip :) So, we had some fresh homemade hummus for an appetizer and I ordered greens and beans — kale and pinto beans served with a garlic aioli. Served at room temperature, I gobbled it down as my mouth tingled with such bold garlic flavor. I bought a chocolate peanut butter cookie pie for dessert and didn’t end up eating it for days – but when I did, it was heaven.

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The next morning we got Star Bagels again and hit the road for Asheville NC. It took us a lot longer than expected to get to Asheville as we had to drive through all of the mountains on curvy roads where you can go about 40mph. But it was well worth the time. I fell in love with Asheville immediately upon our arrival. We got to our hotel, laid by the pool for two hours, and headed downtown to do some exploring and get something to eat. For the first time on our roadtrip I felt 100% relaxed and comfortable. It’s like that experience I had when I visited Wells College for the first time – my shoulders fell to the side and I could breathe easy – I was home. I can’t wait to visit Asheville again so that I can spend much more time there.

So anyways, we did some shopping- my favorite of which was a local farm fresh clothing store. All of the fabrics were made from local cotton, made right in Asheville. I bought these super fun feminist bracelets there -

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Then we went to Chai Pani, a Indian street food restaurant with, of course, local farm fresh ingredients. I ordered the fried kale and a side salad with roasted beets :)

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Afterwards we went to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge where they serve vegan desserts :) We shared some vegan chocolate truffles and a slice of olive oil chocolate vegan cake! Oh, and we ran into Owen Wilson while waiting in line… no big deal. This place was really cool and it was also a certified green restaurant :)

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The next morning we headed out for some more exploring of Asheville and we ran into a LOCAL TACO! I couldn’t believe it! They had different tacos – so I ofcourse had the portobello and then tried an avocado taco.

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Then we went to the actual restaurant we had planned to go to, Tupelo, Honey! I ordered an open-faced vegetarian sandwich that was topped with local goat cheese. It was super flavorful as was the side of pickled beet salad that I had.

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Before leaving Asheville we stopped at the local coop for their tailgate farmers market. We got some vegetables and lettuce to make a salad for dinner that night while camping in Boone, NC. We also got some farm fresh goat cheese that was absolutely to die for! We got into the car and drove two hours to Boone, set up the tent & then got rained on!

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After an hour the rain stopped and we made our salad for dinner. We enjoyed it with fresh bread and hummus from Asheville as well.

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After eating we visited with a family that was also camping at the camp ground we were at. They were from Eastern NC and our conversations were memorable. We woke up early and drove out to Boone Creek for a five mile hike before getting on the road again for our last city— VA Beach. The mountains here were so breathtaking. I want to move here…

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Once we got to VA Beach we went down to Oceanfront immediately for some seafood. It was our mission to eat fresh seafood every day while in VA Beach. Why? Because its fresh ocean seafood, duh! I have a weak spot for seafood. So, we had some raw oysters at Cylpso’s Bar. Then some drinks and dancing.

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The next morning we woke up to breakfast and homemade Bloody Marys. We knew then that this city was going to be different from the others…

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After some much needed down time sitting and catching up with my brother and his friends, we headed to the beach for the rest of the day and night. It was so beautiful and relaxing there. I didn’t even get burnt, which if you know me, is very bizarre!

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At sunset we went for some more seafood– this time at Chick’s obviously for some more oysters. We had raw oysters, oyster shooters (raw oyster, beer, cocktail sauce and hot sauce), a steamed basket of clams, mussels, and shrimp, and of course my favorite- fried calamari. Man oh man were our bellies full! I was in heaven :) We went out for some 4th of July festivities and enjoyed chatting with everyone.

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Saturday we got up early and made breakfast for everyone — venison breakfast sandwiches (a tradition in my household – so well enjoyed by my brothers). Then we headed off to the beach again, a different location this time – the waves were crazy! I had so much sand in places I didn’t want it that my shower when we got home was much needed. We decided to have a Boil at the house so we went out to the local Asian market and grocery store to stock up on goodies. We had scallops, shrimp and crab legs with potatoes and corn. My plate was made special before the garlic butter was added :) I’m so loved!

 

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For our last night in VA Beach we went to the Goo Goo Dolls concert with Plain White T’s and Daughtry. We stopped at a local Irish pub before hand so that I could have one last seafood meal. I ordered an immense amount of food… shrimp, raw oysters, 1/2 pd crab legs and an oyster poboy. I ate most of it and the guys helped me finish it up.

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The sky that night was beautiful and the concert was relaxing and joyful – a great way to end our last night on the road.

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The next morning we got up and hit the road for home. That drive was the most taunting and strenuous. Eleven straight hours with only stops to use the bathroom and get some snacks. I was exhausted by the time I got home and enjoyed sleeping with my man who happened to be home. The next night I made leftover shrimp from the boil with another friend and we tossed it in a salad. Delicious!

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So, in short, ha! The trip was amazing. It was full of delicious farm fresh food and good company. I will cherish the memories that I made in these ten days and I can’t wait to do it again!! :)

 

 

Roadtrip ready!

It’s the last week of school! Woah! I can’t believe it’s already here. I’m very excited for the summer but sad that I won’t be seeing my students for so much time. I’m really going to miss them. I get to loop with students to eighth grade next year which I’m really looking forward to. The opportunities will be endless. I feel like we will be able to learn so much more because we already know each other. I know how my students learn and what they like, so all of that time spent each year getting to know your students — that’s all instructional time now. I plan on larger inquiry units putting my students more in the driver seat of their learning. So obviously, my summer will be spent planning these ideas :)

With it being the last week of school, most people think that teachers stop teaching and just play videos. Which, yes, some do. I know plenty of teachers who do. Last year I was teaching high school so I was proctoring exams and grading exams up until the last day of school. This year being with my seventh graders, I get to teach them all the way up until the last day, and that is exactly what I plan to do. Last Thursday and Friday we took our students on a two-day field study. People thought we were crazy, and maybe we were, but the smiles and positive comments from students made it all worth it. Everything I do, I do with my students in mind. Going on this field study to the Genesee river and them using vocabulary that they learned this year to explain their observations they were making of the gorge and the waterfall warmed my heart and put a gigantic smile on my face. Taking them hiking on a pretty rough trail that follows the river and having them comment “This is so fun, it’s like we’re in the Hunger Games!” made my day.

Tomorrow evening we are hosting a celebration of learning for our students and their families. We will celebrate the last few months of inquiry they’ve been doing in all of their classes — which has been quite a bit. The biggest project students have just completed is a historical character file, specifically through first-person narrative diary writings as if they were enslaved people during the 19th century. I’ve had the opportunity to read a few so far and most have brought me to tears. It’s amazing what these seventh grade students have accomplished this year. I can only imagine how far they will all go in their educational careers and beyond.

So, anyways — because this week is going to be hectic with the celebration tomorrow night and some other events this week before leaving for my roadtrip (foreshadowing!) I wanted to make something that would be easy to heat up and eat on the go that was loaded with protein to keep more full and energized. I made paleo stuffed peppers :)

Paleo Stuffed Peppers-

4 bell peppers, cleaned out & steamed for 5 mintutes

Stuffing-

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 cup brown lentils, cooked

1 lb of ground turkey, browned with red onion and garlic

1 cup tomato sauce (I used “Organic Grandpa’s Sauces goes Vegetarian” from Wegmans)

spices: ground black pepper, thyme, rosemary, cumin

*I simmered all of the stuffing ingredients on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

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*Stuffed my pre-steamed peppers & cooked in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Really excited to have one of these each day for lunch or dinner this week.

I also made this mind blowing salad that a friend brought to a party last week & I just had to make.

Grapefruit Avocado Salad

1 bag of spinach

1 grapefruit, sectioned & cut into bit size pieces

1 avocado, diced

cracked black pepper

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs vinegar (I used apple cider, but I’m sure balsamic would be awesome too)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

*Literally just toss of all these ingredients in a bowl & enjoy. It is so simple, and light, and refreshing. I have a feeling I will be making this a lot this summer for cookouts and just for myself :)

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So, I spoke of a roadtrip… my friend and I are traveling to Nashville, North Carolina, and Virgina Beach for 10 days and I am so excited I can barely sit still. We will be visiting a friend from our Master’s program in Nashville and then bringing in the Fourth of July with my brother in VA beach!

Being a nutritarian, as best as I can be, traveling (as I’ve mentioned before) can be slightly stressful. But luckily I’m a type A person and have a whole list created of possible restaurants and grocery stores in every city we will be stopping in. One other factor is eating when on the road. I despise fast food, clearly, and so snacking while driving may become an issue. To prepare for that I’ve created these yummy muffins.

Chocolate Banana Nut Protein Muffins-

3 over ripened bananas, mashed

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tbs cinnamon (I love strong cinnamon with my bananas)

*I mashed the bananas with these two spices and then added the processed base –

10 medjool dates

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds

1 cup whole grain rolled oats

*I finished mixing this all together with 1/2 cup almond milk & some finely shredded coconut flakes

*I put a heaping spoonful into each muffin tin (lined with paper) and cooked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (really these can be eaten raw, but because they need to last me 10 days – I wanted to slightly cook the banana to keep it from spoiling too fast)

When these were in the oven the chocolatey banana smell filled my house. I know these are going to be a great go-to when we’re on the road and feeling hungry. I am plan on stopping a grocery store and picking up fresh fruit and vegetables as we drive as well for snacking.

Next Sunday I won’t be writing as I will be in a tube floating down a river in Nashville :) But be prepared two weeks from now for a massive post where I will share what I ate while on the roadtrip – hopefully it will be a great nutritarian guide for you in the future if you ever travel to these cities :)

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My new favorite toy…

So I’ve had my grill for just about a month now & it truly has become my new favorite toy. I love grilling. Every day. Love it.

My staples for grilling have become the same primary vegetables – portobello mushroom, asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. I toss them with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and my dad’s red rub (mixture of cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, etc) and some dried rosemary and thyme.

I eat them all week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No, seriously. Grilled vegetables tossed in a frying pan with an egg – oh yes!

Also – peaches and pineapple. If you haven’t tried it yet, you need to, right now. Go to the store immediately if you don’t have them on hand, fire up the grill, smear the fruit with coconut oil & toss them on there. The sweetness of the fruit really comes out when they’re grilled, amazing!

So obviously because I’ve been eating these same vegetables for all three meals in my day I’m starting to get sick of them in particular. So this weekend I mixed it up a bit. Last night my friend was over for dinner and I did a fun appetizer – cibatta bread grilled and topped with fresh bruschetta. For the bruschetta I used two tomatoes (from the public market), a slice of a red onion, 2 cloves garlic, and a handful of fresh lemon basil (from my herb garden). OMG! So simple, so fresh, so very delicious… especially onto of grilled bread.

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Also while at the market on Saturday morning I picked up my all time favorite vegetable. Scapes! Scapes are the top of garlic when they are sprouting flower stalks from the bulb in the spring. They are super long and curly. They have a mild or bold garlic flavor and a chewy texture similar to asparagus. Scapes are high in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A as well as phytochemicals and antioxidants linked to apoptosis (programmed cell death) of some cancer cells.

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You can eat these raw, sauteed, pickled, or made into a pesto. I like them best on the grill. I don’t put anything on them, just toss them on – be careful of any loose ones falling until the grill plates. They grill very quickly, so I stand and flip them frequently.

I also tried beets. I have seen recipes for beet burgers before where you literally roast a beet, slice it and eat it like a burger. So I thought to myself – why not grill them! I cut off the greens, washed and sauteed them with dandelion greens, onion and garlic to make this — which I will enjoy with eggs for breakfast this week.

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Then for the beets – washed, skinned, boiled for about 15 minutes – to the point where they were just starting to get softened. I took them out of the water, let them cool & sliced in half. I tossed them in olive oil and cracked pepper & threw them on the grill.

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Oh yeah babe. These things are amazing. Not sure why I never thought of this before. The grill gives them that slight smoky flavor and crispy charred outside – yum! For dinner tonight I had one of these, scapes and a turkey sausage link over lettuce from my garden with horseradish dijon mustard on the side for dipping. Yum!

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Best part of today – my neighbors. As I was grilling the beets and scapes they were very fascinated. Not knowing what scapes were, I clearly educated them and had them try them once I had them grilled. They all really liked them and plan on going out a getting some for themselves.

My name is Lisa and I’m going to make a change in the world. Each baby step at a time is good enough for me. Having my neighbors trying new vegetables is a high five for sure! :)

As the storm rolls in

Tonight I write my blog post as I sit in front of the window and watch the rain pour down & the thunder boom. Growing up as a kid, thunderstorms were always my favorite thing to watch. To see the lightening spark across the sky and listen to the intricate tones of thunder. It’s relaxing to me for whatever reason.

For this week I created two new salads/ salad toppers. I was going to grill some vegetables as well but I didn’t get my cooking on in time before the storm hit, so I’ll have to do those tomorrow.

Salad #1 – Mediterranean Salad

1 cucumber, quartered and sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 red onion, diced

a handful of kalamata olives, sliced

1 handful of parsley, chopped

fresh cracked black pepper

*Mix everything together in a bowl

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*Dressing: 1 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs red wine vinegar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 lime juiced

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There’s a local greek restaurant and they make a salad very similar to this tossed with romaine — it’s delicious & I can’t wait to see it this week. It’s getting hotter and hotter out so my lunches become lighter and lighter. Time for salads :)

Salad #2- Kale & Brussel Sprouts

2 cups brussel sprouts

2 cups kale

*Process them both in ninja

1/2 cup almond, chopped

*Toss those together with greens

*Dressing: 3 tbs horseradish brown seeded mustard, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs olive oil, black pepper

*Very basic salad here – but the flavors burst in your mouth :)

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For dinners this week – grilling, obviously. And also I bought some dandelions for the first time ever — so thinking of making some sauteed with mushrooms and onions. Whatever I do, I will be sure to post it for next week.

Happy sunshine!

When seasons change

This weekend has really signified summer for me. Last weekend’s weather was beautiful but I didn’t fully enjoy it because I was running around like crazy with my mom (loving every minute of it). But these past few days — I’ve felt like summer. I’ve been completely relaxed and joyous to be outside in the sunshine, breathing in the fresh air and sent of fresh flowers.

Friday night I had a friend over and grilled some veggies and chicken sausage for dinner. With full bellies we walked down to Hedonist for some ice cream to top off a wonderful, relaxing evening after a kind of hectic week at school for both of us. We talked about our APPR woahs and our vacation plans for the first week after school ends where we will drive to Nashville and then to Virgina beach visiting friends and family, camping and hiking, and of course enjoying tourist things like the Opry and the boardwalk on the beach for the 4th of July.

Saturday – up at 8am, public market at 9am, gym by 10am, then errands (furniture shopping – which was not successful, still…) and back home to ride my bike to the local park and meet up with some friends to lay in the sun and enjoy some light reading. From there – what else? Mexican. To our favorite Mexican place (same one I took my mom to last weekend) for some margaritas and good food we went!

Sunday – up at 8am, gym by 9am, back home for the rest of the day DIY-ing, cooking, and laying in the sun in my backyard reading my new book (borrowed from a friend)… “White Like Me” by Tim Wise. I’m two chapters in and I sincerely and forcefully recommend every person I know to read this book. It reminds me of the conceptual change work I did in my Race, Class, Gender course in my Master’s program. A great read, for sure!

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Summer. It’s here. My routine this weekend of up early to workout and spending all afternoon relaxing outside and then nights with friends – yes, summer. It’s here.

Food for this week – two different salads to put on top of fresh salad greens from my garden (I’ve waited years to say that)!

First, fiesta quinoa salad. 

I followed this recipe except for the lime  – I didn’t have any so I used lemon instead, which was absolutely fine.

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Tonight I ate this with some salmon :)

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Second, Mediterranean chickpea salad.

I followed this recipe for the most part. I didn’t have an parsley. I obviously didn’t use normal yogurt – I used coconut milk yogurt :) Also I added some quinoa and grilled eggplant to up the protein content. With the combination of chickpeas, eggplant and quinoa this is loaded with great protein that should keep me full until my light snack at the end of the school day before the gym.

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For the week’s dinners… I have bok choy and mushrooms — which I’m really excited about because I feel like I haven’t had bok choy in weeks. I also have more eggplant, zucchinis, and portobello mushrooms for grilling.

 

 

I am woman, hear me roar!

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all the women and men who have fought for our freedom. We are able to enjoy this beautiful weather this weekend because of the thousands who have sacrificed, and that’s something that we always need to remember and cherish.

This weekend was one for the books – that’s for sure. My beautiful mother came out Friday afternoon and stayed for the weekend with me. Friday we pampered ourselves with haircuts, a new hair dye for her – I took her back to her natural color from the typical highlights I’ve been doing, a fully satisfying vegan dinner, and a movie.

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My favorite vegan restaurant – we both got a compost plate with lentil burger – my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. All of the food is amazing at this place but I can’t help but order the same thing every time. The flavors of the mac salad, sweet potato salad and lentil burger all compliment each other in an explosion of flavor in your mouth. It’s insane.

We both fell asleep during the movie and woke up just behind the sun rise Saturday morning & we were off! After a yummy vegetable hash breakfast with fresh fruit we ran to the market to pick up some fresh vegetables for the week, plants for the garden, and hanging plants that my mom took home with her :)

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We continued on to antique shops, garage sales, Ollies, and Home Depot to shop for furniture and nick nacks for my apartment. I’ve been here for 3 months now and I still don’t have a couch, kitchen table, pantry, or let alone things hanging on the walls. We got a few things – beautiful hand painted pictures, a green vintage banker’s desk lamp, and the most important — my new grill & patio set!

I feel like a grown woman now for sure. Check out how we were able to fit everything in the back of my ford focus. The men at home depot didn’t think we would be able to do it, my mom even doubted me, but “I am woman, hear me roar!”

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Only women have the mindset to figure things like this out – especially using flip flops to protect the glass window from breaking. Ha! Later on Sunday I got everything set up in my backyard. I’ve enjoyed laying in my anti-gravity chair and working at my patio table in the shade.

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After a long day of shopping, my mom and I went to a local Mexican joint and had some yummy margaritas and dinner. We rushed to the mall for the last two hours before closing, unsuccessfully finding new blouses for work, and called it a night. Phew, what a weekend!

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Today I spent the day preparing three different types of vegan burgers for grilling. All three are my own recipes (inspiration from Pinterest, obviously).

1. Curry Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • flax egg (4 tbs flax seed with 1/2 cup water)

*I mixed all ingredients in my ninja storm (food processor) and added a little bit of coconut oil.

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*Chilled in fridge for 30 minutes, then 1 large scoop for each patty.

*Patties in freezer for 1 hour until very firm, then packaged individually in plastic freezer bags.

2. Smokey Beet Burger

  • 2 large beets, peeled & cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils (cooked down in Cajun seasonings)
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 2 tbs brown seeded mustard
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder

*I mixed all ingredients in my ninja storm (food processor).

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*Chilled in fridge for 30 minutes, then 1 large scoop for each patty.

*Patties in freezer for 1 hour until very firm, then packaged individually in plastic freezer bags.

3. Spicy Green Power Burger (contains gluten)

  • 3 kale leaves, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup diced asparagus
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils (cooked down in Cajun seasonings)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup whole grain oats
  • 1 tbs Sriracha sauce

*I mixed all ingredients in my ninja storm (food processor).

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*Chilled in fridge for 30 minutes, then 1 large scoop for each patty.

*Patties in freezer for 1 hour until very firm, then packaged individually in plastic freezer bags.

Very excited to enjoy these for the first few weeks of summer! When I have friends over I can easily offer them choices for their veggie burger with them individually packaged like this.

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I of course had to sample each of these on the grill tonight to make sure they were good — and they were! The sweet potato burger feel apart much easier than the other two – the quinoa is much drier than brown rice and I think this made a huge difference for binding (even with the flax eggs – which didn’t seem to do much at all).

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I also made some grilled veggies to top on salads for the week at school.

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I am jumping up and down in excitement for the summer now that I have my backyard all set up for entertaining! Yay! 23 days left of school — but who’s counting? :-)

 

Inevitable and optional

“Being challenged is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”

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I came across the above quote this afternoon when on my pinterest, doing my normal routine of searching for new recipe ideas, diy house ideas and fitness routines. Sadly, its been weeks since I’ve been to the gym… since my trip to Florida to be exact, so a month. I deleted that last sentence about five times before making myself keep it. I have felt defeated the last few weeks. School has been busy and the students have been squirrely and I’ve felt weak, not in control. Sleeping more than ever and letting the smallest things bring me down.

I mean, who am I kidding? I’m sure many people would have loved to be me this week — being filmed along with my students and colleagues by a national education foundation — whom is making a short resource video on our school. And on top of that being asked by the director to interview for an additional video they are working on as an expert practitioner critical of the stereotype theory and its impacts on student learning. I felt honored and amazing in the moment and still feel that way, but my body doesn’t. Being away from the gym has made me feel so sluggish and being so busy at school has made my eating habits not so great.

So, I am challenging myself today – to start fresh. Summer is upon us and I am so excited for the endless possibilities I will have. This is my first summer not working and I’m looking forward to having free time to exercise, DIY,  garden, and travel :) I need to get me back into working order, mind, body, and soul.

At the grocery store today I stocked up on fresh fruit – pineapple, cantaloupe, apples, and strawberries for snacks before the gym after work. I also bought lots of greens! Broccoli, kale, beet greens, arugula and spring mix. This week I’m going to load up on my green vegetables the right way – raw!

Cooking anything strips the food of nutrients. Heat breaks down chemical bonds between vitamins, minerals, proteins, sugars, etc. Therefore, eating vegetables and fruits raw, with the skin (where all the fiber is!) allows for optimum nutrient intake.

Other than fresh salads and fruit for lunches this week I’m going to indulge in this powerful green stew:

1/2 red onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup chopped carrot, 3 small sweet peppers chopped: sauteed in 1 tbs coconut oil.

Added to the vegetable stock- 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced, 2 cups beet greens, 2 cups kale, 1 can garbanzo beans, 1 can crushed tomatoes and a large amount of fresh cracked black pepper.

I put the lid on this and let simmer for 30 minutes and all of the flavors became a marriage of deliciousness!

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I also made some homemade peanut butter for snacking and breakfast (in my oatmeal or smoothie). And I roasted some of my broccoli and some baby bella mushrooms to add to salads.

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Here’s my dinner tonight alongside 2 huge glasses of water after workout #1 which consisted of legs, arms and abs. Tomorrow I will hit the gym and get back into the game! Watch out world, here I come!

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