Fresh air will do you some good hunny!

Phew, what a week! I was on the go every minute, working, exercising, seeing friends, working, working, working. I woke up this morning and was drained but had lots of grading to get done and lesson plans to prepare. I was miserable all morning… sulking at my desk… definitely not being as productive as I could’ve been. So, I took a break and went grocery shopping. The sunshine was amazing and my skin yearned to soak it in. I dropped into a natural food store and picked up some vega one protein powder. I used to drink this daily and really miss it. I figured with the amount of exercise I’ve been doing, I should probably get back into this habit. It came with a free blender bottle 🙂

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I couldn’t stop there, when I got home I hurried to put the groceries away and jumped on my bike for an afternoon ride. I came home refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of my work.

Spring is in the air hunny! And I am so excited!

Here’s my food exploration for this week…

Yesterday was a friend’s going away party. He and his wife are moving out of state for new jobs, so we decided to throw them a party that would be filled with lovely treats from our city and our state. Which of course included garbage plates… I haven’t had a plate in probably 5 years now, but one never forgets how they are.

My dear friend and I inquired and created our very own vegan garbage plates…

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Included is lentil burger (made from this recipe), sweet potato salad (sweet potatoes mashed with fresh red bell pepper, celery, some cardamom, garlic, salt, and vegan mayonnaise– made from this recipe), and vegan macaroni and cheese made with a cashew cheese sauce. Delicious!

This week’s weather is going to begin warming up, so I wanted to keep my cooking for the week on the lighter side. No crockpot or soup recipes anymore! I’m eating salads, salads, salads!

Here’s my newest salad that I’m really excited about…

Asian Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of organic cabbage, shredded

1 cup carrots, processed

1/2 green beans, coarsely chopped

1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 seedless cucumber, sliced

large handful of cilantro, chopped

*These above ingredients are tossed in a spicy peanut dressing that I made… I tossed in the food processor- 2 cloves garlic, small piece of ginger, 3 tbs olive oil, 3 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 tbs lime juice, 1/3 cup homemade peanut butter, a dash of honey, a dash of Sriracha, and a dash of aminos liquid.

Ta-da!

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This salad is so good!

For breakfast this week… I’m going to enjoy this apple banana nut quinoa & oat bake. If you’re a normal reader, you know how I make these already – toss in whatever nuts, fruit, and grains, with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger — bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. I love this warmed with cold almond milk on top in the am!

Happy warm weather this week!

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Feeling blessed!

Happy Easter! I sure am feeling blessed on this cold, wintery, Easter evening. I’m blessed for multiple reasons and cherish those blessing on a daily basis. Today, in particular, I am feeling blessed for my friends. Since moving to Rochester, I have spent Easters with friends and their families. My first few years, I would head South to a college friend’s family dinner and intense adult Easter egg hunt outdoors. My friend’s mom would hide tens of Easter eggs, include just a few golden eggs. If you found a golden egg then you were able to choose from a gift bag inside that contained anything from a candle, to a toothbrush, to a gift card to Dunkin Donuts. When I’m a mom someday, I’m going to be like this mom! This year, I spent Easter dinner with my colleague’s extended family and their extended family. I would estimate about 30 people at this fabulous dinner party. I met some many people from different walks of life and it reminded me that I truly am a social person and enjoy meeting new friends.

Heading back to school tomorrow gives me those nervous jitters they I always get when returning from break. Surprisingly, this spring break felt like it lastly quite long. I went and visited my family & had a blast, got to see my boyfriend for a night, then returned home and worked in coffee shops with friends all week. It felt like summer to me…writing at coffee shops, drinking too much coffee, and riding my bike! Taaaaada! I bought myself a new bike!

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I haven’t named her yet, but isn’t she a beauty? This Linus Dutchi 3 bike is the perfect combination of my style – vintage, perfectly detailed leather, and sage green! I plan on commuting to my school once the weather is nice, which looking at the forecast, isn’t for another week at least….

With that being said, my meal prep for this week is half spring and half winter. I prepared a zucchini noodle dish with sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, and turkey sausage in my favorite spaghetti sauce.

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Then, two types of salads for the week…

Asian Kale Salad — a Wegman’s recipe that a friend introduced me to last year. I haven’t made it in awhile so I was excited to taste this again. Glad I made it! The toasted sesame oil in the dressing makes it addicting!

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Greek Salad with Felafel cakes — romaine lettuce topped with various vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, banana peppers), sheep’s milk feta, garlic hummus, and some felafel cakes. I made these cakes from a boxed mix I bought a few weeks back and added in some sweet potato that I cubed and boiled for about 5 minutes until tender. Topping this salad off with my favorite greek vinaigrette and enjoying every last bite of it all week long!

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Lastly, some granola! I love granola in the morning for breakfast. Depending on my mood I eat my granola plenty of different ways — warmed, cold, add yogurt, add peanut butter, add bananas, add berries, add any fruit I have, etc.

The granola I made for this week is Peanut Butter and Strawberry! I made a peanut butter coating that I tossed the oats and nuts in that was 1/2 cup peanut butter (homemade of course, thanks to my momma!), 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup coconut oil and some cinnamon. Then I added in some dehydrated strawberries at the end. Yum!

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I hope you all had a happy Easter and joyful Spring break. Cheers to the long stretch home to the end of the school year… Testing, testing, testing galore!