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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Compromise Cornbread

Life is all about compromise.

I like “The Biggest Loser.” Matty B doesn’t. Matty B loves pizza. I think it’s super unhealthy. But we compromise. On Biggest Loser nights, he’ll watch with me as long as pizza is involved. And if truth must be told, 90% of the time I’m eating pizza too. I was never good at standing up to peer pressure.

Another example?

Matty B despises whole wheat pasta. I love it. As long as it’s covered in Parmesan, the kids don’t care. So we switch off. 50/50. (Ok, that’s a lie. It’s more like 70/30 in favor of WW, but someone’s gotta look out for Mr. French Fries and Bean Burritos Are An Acceptable Meal.)

Rice is also an issue.

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Surely it’s no surprise to you that I’m a brown rice proponent. Certainly you know Matty B well enough to know that his refined palate prefers white rice. As long as it’s covered in soy sauce, the kids don’t care.

So I make both. It sounds worse than it is. I usually make a pot of brown rice on Sunday to use in my lunches for the week, so if we’re having rice for dinner, I just grab a cup of that. Problem solved.

Cornbread, however, is another story. I’m NOT making two batches of cornbread for one meal. And switching off doesn’t really work because we don’t have it often enough to remember whose “turn” it is. I’m conniving enough that I would always insist it was my turn.

Besides, is there that much of a difference in cornbread recipes? Oh friends. The recipe Matty B likes is found on the box of cornmeal. It’s more like corn cake than cornbread. Chock full of butter, eggs and milk, it’s a vegan nightmare. The real clincher? The recipe calls for more sugar than cornmeal. True. Is it delicious? For sure. Is it dessert? Affirmative.

The cornbread recipe I like uses coarse cornmeal, no sugar and applesauce in place of butter. I’m pretty sure that the last time I made this cornbread Matty B gagged and then covered his piece in honey. Admittedly, it doesn’t really rise and it’s kinda chewy. Sigh.

There’s got to be a compromise.

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I may have found it.

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This cornbread is vegan, light and fluffy.

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It’s slightly sweet with plenty of cornmeal crunch. And who wouldn’t want to eat a little cornbread man?

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Matty B liked it. I loved it. As long as it’s covered in honey the kids don’t care…

Compromise Cornbread

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
6 Tbsp. water
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C cornmeal
1/4 C sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 C soy milk
1/4 C canola oil

Instructions

Heat oven to 425. Combine water and flax seed. Set aside to “gel”. Presto, it’s your egg.

Combine together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, and oil to the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth.

Pour into muffin tins or gingerbread man molds (if you’re cool like me). Bake for 15 ish minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Everyday Vegan Girl

Christmas Bucket List

I’m all about lists.

I like to plan out meals ahead of time (which has actually saved us money in the grocery store and boredom from eating default pasta every other night).

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I make “to do” lists like there’s no tomorrow. I love crossing things off the list. Every once in awhile I’ll write down something I just did, purely for the “cross out factor”. It’s a sickness.

I get an odd sense of satisfaction not only writing a grocery list, but categorizing it by store aisle.

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You might say I have a problem. I prefer the words “organized” and “efficient”.

It’s right up my alley, then, to make a Christmas Bucket List.

1. Ooh and ahh at Christmas lights somewhere.
2. Make and decorate cut out cookies.
3. Spend an evening at The Grotto.
4. Visit Santa.
5. Take the kids for their first peppermint hot chocolate.
6. Build a snowman.
7. Watch the old school Frosty the Snowman cartoon or some other classic Christmas cartoon.
8. Read “The Night Before Christmas” to the kiddos.
9. Drink hot spiced cider or egg nog (soy nog?)
10. Listen to copious amounts of Christmas music (preferably by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra- no Pussycat Dolls for me).
11. Cut down our own tree.
12. Decorate a gingerbread house.
13. Visit a Christmas bazaar.
14. Attend a Christmas tree lighting

I think at least 12 out of 14 items are purely for the kids, but that’s what makes Christmas the best! Seriously, if you’re childless, Christmas alone is reason enough to consider having a baby (not you, Aunt B…:)

I’ve been a little thrown off because of the early Thanksgiving. It’s still November? What? I’m done with pumpkin. Let’s move on to peppermint and cranberry and…

This list totally got me in the Christmas spirit already!

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Miss Rae and Baby Jesus. Love it.

Deck the halls with boughs of…

-Holley

P.S. The list is pretty extensive, but am I missing something?

Apple Beet Carrot Juice Mustaches

I think I’m finally ready to talk about it. It’s been a few days since Thanksgiving and the shame has passed.

People. There was no “intuitive eating”. There was no portion control whatsoever. In general, there was no restraint. I ate until my back hurt. That’s not an exaggeration.

This was the first Thanksgiving in my memory that I have not eaten real turkey. So it’s possible that I overcompensated for this “loss” by eating 4 days worth of calories in side dishes.

I tried really hard not to snack too much earlier in the day, so by the time dinner rolled around, I was starving. Yeah, I was hungry. Maybe that was it.

Or maybe, just maybe, the food was so darn good that I chose not to have any self control.

Regardless, I feel slothful. I feel tired. I do not feel pretty. I need a detox.

And here’s lunch.

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Apple-Beet-Carrot Juice
2 apples
3 beets
2 large carrots
1 small piece of ginger
1/2 lemon
Large handful of Spinach

Process all in a juicer. Serve over ice.

Remember when I tried my juice fast?

I learned a lot that day. Mainly, I need food. Food that I chew. However, I did feel great that day physically, and one meal out of a day of normal eats works great for a juice meal.

I did feel better after my concoction today.

And then we picked up the mail. J Man grabbed a catalog and noting the attractive model on the back declared, “That looks like you, Mommy!”

I do love that boy…

Another reason I love my kids (as if I needed another reason…)?

The pink mustaches of kids willingly drinking apple-beet-carrot juice.

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What I didn’t eat on Wednesday…

After “gorge-fest 2012” (more on this later), I’ve cleaned up my diet a little.

aka

1. Cutting back on the bread.
2. 13 peanut butter blossoms is not an appropriate portion for one sitting.
3. Stuffing makes you just that – stuffed.

So today could be called WMPW (watching my portions Wednesday) or even NEDWEMW (not eating dessert with every meal Wednesday). I might be onto something here…

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Breakfast was a wedge of this sweet potato-oatmeal bake from Oh She Glows. It looks decadent and tastes heavenly but with no added sugar, other than a little maple syrup, it’s guilt free. The “Thanksgiving Holley” would have dumped brown sugar on top. The “Wants to Wear my Skinny Jeans Holley” enjoyed it as is.

Decaf with almond milk. Obviously. Haven’t we been here before?

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I juiced for lunch. Beet, carrot, apple, spinach and more! Best over ice. Somewhat sad that this meal didn’t include copious amounts of mashed potaotes, but the juice made “Skinny Jeans Holley” happy. (side note: check out Miss Rae as a baby in the background…so little!)

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While cooking dinner, I snacked on a handful of this trail mix, sans the yogurt chips. I love those cranberries. The kids call them “red raisins”. And then they smoosh them into the carpet.

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Dinner was broccoli and my peanut noodles. And alas, not a slice of pie to be found.

Unless you count this sweetie pie:

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Miss Rae enjoying her first cake pop. It’s no peanut butter blossom, but she seems to be loving it…and maybe praying for more? Portion control, baby girl. Portion control.

If I like it, I like it.

Matty B has completely random taste in music.

His iPod is a mish-mash of Mozart, Michael W. Smith and Metallica. If you select “shuffle”, there’s no telling what will come up next.

And when we finish listening to Yo Yo Ma, and the next song that comes on is Rage Against the Machine, his response to my raised eyebrow is usually, “If I like it, I like it.”

So it is with these Raw Caramel Bars from Triumph of the Lentil.

It was about 7 pm, with still an hour to go before bedtime. The troops were restless. In an effort to entertain and get a potential treat out of the deal, I asked the kiddos if they wanted to help me cook. They were non-committal. However, as soon as I mentioned that the food processor was involved, they were on board! Nothing says ‘fun’ like a night of pushing buttons on the Cuisinart!

At this point, Matty B got quite excited. A treat? Yes! This would make up for the fact that I haven’t purchased soda or juice in 365 days. I’m not lying. The man is deprived.

He was, however, quickly dismayed to find out the ingredients of this recipe. Dates? Walnuts? Coconut oil? Almond butter? Agave nectar? That’s all? No brown sugar? No white flour? No chocolate chips? He immediately retreated to the solace of his iPad where he listened to the funeral march by Chopin, followed by some Nine Inch Nails.

J Man and Miss Rae were in their glory, pushing buttons to their hearts content (admittedly, I may have let them go a little crazy- the crust is not as crumbly as I would have liked it).

A walnut/date crust is covered with a “caramel” made of coconut oil, dates and almond butter. The whole mess is then covered in a raw chocolate sauce. I stuck it in the fridge to firm up a little.

Oh. Yes. If this is what “raw” eating is, I’m in.

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I was skeptical, however, as to how they would taste. I mean, let’s be real. There’s no way that when dates and walnuts are combined they magically taste like caramel.

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So I can’t, in all good conscience, tell you that they taste like caramel. But I can tell you that they taste good – so good!

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Full of nuts, dried fruit and coconut oil, these aren’t low fat. However, I feel so much better eating these for a treat rather than something full of red #40 and high fructose corn syrup.

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But let’s have some perspective. I eat broccoli slaw and kale chips on a daily basis. Can you really trust my taste buds on this recipe? The true test would have to come from Matty B, the connoisseur of HFCS.

So I bullied him into having a bite.

He chewed. He swallowed. He reached for more.

I was shocked. Baffled even.

His response?

“If I like it, I like it.”

Last survey

This survey has been floating around the blog world for awhile now and as usual, I’m late to the party, but with a plethora of pumpkin and tofurkey floating around, I think I could use a little mindless chit chat.

Last food you ate:

Rolled oats with a handful of walnuts and 1/2 giant canned peach, plopped right in the middle. I love home canned peaches. One summer, Grandma V spent an afternoon canning peaches with me. They were the sweetest ever. After she died, I saved a jar. I still have it. It’s more like peach liquor at this point, but I refuse to throw it away.

Last beverage you drank:

Decaf with almond milk. I know, I’m boring. I guzzle a ton of water each day, too. I don’t like to drink my calories. Yawn.

Last workout:

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5:45 a.m. spin. As I’m rolling out of bed, I never want to go. Yet, at the end of each class, I’m always glad I went…

Last text message you sent:

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This is in response to my friend Erin who was at the French Laundry, the most amazing restaurant in the world. I have a giant crush on Thomas Keller, the chef, and for Valentines Day a few years ago, Matty B got us reservations. Hands down, the best meal of my life. Later that year, I attended one of Thomas’s book signings and when he was signing my copy of his cookbook, he asked me if I was “in the business” (of food) and my very weird response was, “No, but I’m a lover.” What? I’m a lover? How embarrassing. In any case, it’s probably better that I wasn’t with Erin and the French Laundry chickens because I’d surely be making a fool of myself.

Last thing you pinned:

Judge me. Do it. I don’t have a pinterest account. I do know that it’s not pronounced “pinINterest”, but how many other time sucks do I need in my life? My two babies and this blog keep me busy enough, thankyouverymuch.

Last blog you visited:

Love my girl, Mama Pea at Peas and Thank You. I took her recipe for cut-out sugar cookies to a dinner party last weekend and they were a hit!

Last place you visited:

I’d say that 90% of the time, the answer to this question is Target. Last night was no exception. The kids needed snow boots and until they stop growing like weeds (18 more years?:), I refuse to buy them expensive boots from REI. Puffy moon boots for all! In addition, a few other things jumped into my cart: scotch tape (Miss Rae is going through a book tearing phase), sweatpants for the J, Archer Farms vegetarian samosas and yogurt covered raisins. All necessities, obviously…:)

Last tweet you sent:

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This isn’t at all applicable to versatile vegan, but it truly is the last tweet I sent- and those were some groovy volcanoes!

Last time you did ab work:

More judging. I beg of you. Maybe if I think people are casting judgment that will make me do something about it. I don’t do ab work. There it is. Black and white. Sometimes in spin class the instructor yells at us to ‘tighten our core’ and I do, because, in general, if people yell at me, I do what they say. I’m thinking about starting a ‘plank challenge’ next week. That’s abs, right?

Last show you watched:

We don’t have cable. Please tell me when I’m supposed to watch TV with 2 children under the age of 4 running around my house. Also, we’re cheap. But to answer the question, if the 5 a.m. morning news counts, I watched that while I banged out 3 miles on the treadmill yesterday morning.

Last thing you baked:

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Grandma V’s apple pie for Thanksgiving. Does your family have specific people who must make specific things on Thanksgiving? My brother always makes the sweet potatoes. No one else even asks. My dad always does the turkey, always. And I am the only person who makes the apple pie. The “VA” is for Virginia. Grandma’s first name and Miss Rae’s middle name.

Last thing you instagrammed:

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Is he the most handsome man you’ve ever seen?

Last item on your to-do list today:

Turn in my paperwork for my gym reimbursement. My insurance is awesome in the fact that I get my gym membership reimbursed if I turn in the paperwork documenting that I actually attended. They know what they’re doing, though. It’s a somewhat complicated process and I’m certain that they’re banking on the fact that most people won’t want to muddle through the paperwork. They underestimate my thriftiness+my stubbornness.

There you have it!

Pick one to answer yourself! What’s one of your “lasts”?

Thanksgiving

Like most of you, my Thanksgiving started out with a shot of apple cider vinegar. No? Just me?

Well, I imagine that the rest of my Thanksgiving looked similar to yours.

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There were walks in the snow…well, if you can call that snow:)

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There was awesome food! (Who needs turkey when you have Brussels Sprouts, corn casserole and sweet potatoes?)

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And lots of general merry making!

All in all, it was a wonderful day!

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I love my family:)