The more you thank life, the more you have to be thankful for.
Guess who’s not cooking all week because she has to cook on Thursday!?!? This girl. So, it’s smoothies and egg sandwiches for dinner until Thursday. Also, I spent like a bazillion hours at the grocery store yesterday just getting things for Thursday, so there’s no way I’m going back. Ain’t nobody got time for that, as they say.
I do have my Thanksgiving menu all planned out. I’m following this New York Times article, just to make sure I don’t forget anything:
- Turkey: to be provided by DR-Mom
- Cranberry sauce: canned, because it’s my favorite!! Maybe this one if I have time/energy (read: not happening)
- Stuffing: Wild rice stuffing with caramelized onions and apples, obvs
- Something orange: Rosemary mashed sweet potatoes with shallots
- Green and snappy vegetables: Brussels sprouts with walnut and grapes, from last year!
- Pie: to be provided by DR-Dad, (read: store-bought!)
- Etc: Kale salad and whole wheat rolls
Until then, let’s make something that doesn’t involve a dozen burn marks up my arms from the oven racks.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, serves 1, adapted from Dr. Lipman’s newsletter
-1 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut)
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-about 1/4 of an avocado
-1 T protein powder of choice (I used Sunwarrior vanilla)
-2 medjool dates
-1 T flax seeds (use 1 T ground flax seeds if you don’t have a high speed blender)
-1 t molasses
Pour into a glass and top with a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg for garnish.
We have a lot to talk about, readers!
1. I’m making Thanksgiving dinner this year; cue the insanity. And the groans about eating “bird food”.
2. I’m published! Over 40 of my photos are in this book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
3. I tried 3 different “stuffing” recipes before settling on this one, which I plan to cook for turkey day. It really does taste like stuffing, minus the bread and turkey guts, which y’all know I’m not woman enough to handle.
Wild rice stuffing with caramelized onions, apples, and mushrooms, serves 8-10, adapted from this recipe
-1 stick vegan butter
-4 medium sweet onions
-16 oz. crimini mushrooms
-3 T fresh thyme
-1/2 t salt
-1/2 t pepper
-2 T fresh sage
-5 cups vegetable broth
-2 1/2 cups wild rice blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
-1 1/2 cups dried apples, coarsely chopped
-3/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley
It’s like 8 days until Thanksgiving, so let’s get started. First thing: Preheat the oven to 350.
Chop up your herbs (thyme, sage, parsley – we’re one short of a Simon & Garfunkel song; who’s with me?)
My newest lunch obsession is this banana-free smoothie (unbelievably hard to find if you have a sensitivity) from Protein Bar.
Peanut butter and jelly smoothie, inspired by Protein Bar’s Pier-Nut-Butter-and-Jelly Smoothie, serves one.
-1 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk, but almond or soy will work too)
-3/4 cup frozen strawberries
-1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (you can also use 2 T of natural peanut butter, if you are strong enough to keep such things in the house – I’m not)
-1/4 cup frozen blueberries
-1 scoop protein powder (I used Sunwarrior vanilla)
-2 medjool dates
This is hardly a recipe. But who wants to cook in the summer anyway?
Gather all your ingredients:
Add to a blender:
Blend on high for about 30 seconds to a minute, until your peanuts are blended. Enjoy!
Now onto my next lunch rut! Any suggestions?
Springtime is just a great time for those of us that hate pants. Seriously, who came up with the idea to wear straightjackets on our legs?! It’s torture. Unfortunately, for about 8 months out of the year the city of Chicago tries to make me a more flexible person by essentially requiring I wear pants everywhere. This makes me crabby. Kind of like when a social situation calls for drinking beer (I’m not a fan). Worst thing ever: drinking a beer in pants. Kill me now.
Luckily, it’s getting warmer here in Chicago, which means I wear skirts exclusively, AND during lunch I can walk the 3/4 mile to my favorite lunch place, Native Foods. I almost always get the Yo Amigo Taco Salad, which is amazing. If the worst thing ever is drinking a beer in jeans, then this salad is drinking a margarita in a skirt.
Yo Amigo Taco Salad Copycat, serves 2
-1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 cup cashews
-1 T taco seasoning
-1 T olive oil
-1 head romaine, roughly chopped
-1/2 c salsa (I love Pioneer Woman salsa!)
-1 scallion, chopped
-1/2 cup corn tortilla chips, crushed
-3/4 cup vegan mayo (I used Nasoya since they sent me some to try!)
-3 chipotle chilis in adobe sauce
-2 cloves garlic
-1/4 c loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
-1/2 t salt
-1/4 t pepper
First the dressing: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
For the salad, first we need to make the taco “meat”. Add your chickpeas, cashews, taco seasoning, and garlic cloves to a food processor and process about 15-20 seconds. Drizzle oil through the top spout to keep everything moving.
It will look like this when you are done.
The blueberry muffin Larabars are my favorite. Therefore, they can’t be found at any grocery store within a 5 mile radius. We saw some in LA last time we were there and I contemplated buying another suitcase to get them home. But then I bought a pair of shoes and a cake stand. So, I have priorities.
So I set out to make my own Larabars. And I have to say, with a few tweaks to the ingredient list, they are not bad at all. I’m calling them Mollybars since they are just different enough from the original. Now, if I could just find dried blueberries on the cheap, I’d be all set… Better stick my favorite deal-finder Erica on the case.
Larabars Mollybars, makes 10 bars
-2 cups raw cashews
-1 cup dried blueberries
-1 1/4 cup medjool dates
-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
-zest of one lemon
-1 vanilla bean (pretty sure the extract won’t work in this case)
Add the coconut, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mash with your hands for a while. Really use the old elbow grease.
When I want to feel super broke, I head on over to goop and check out the things Gwyneth thinks none of us plebs should live without, like $300 nesting dishes and stuff. Girl musta lost. her. mind. if she thinks I’m spending $200 on a t-shirt, but she has a few decent recipes, I must say.
All the snow in Chicago has me in the mood for some comfort food. My girl Stacy gave me this idea: lentil meatballs and spaghetti squash. Gwyneth beat me to it, so I used a variation of her recipe. But beware – these taste nasty if served in regular dish ware. You need these. Obvs.
Lentil Meatballs, adapted from goop, makes about 24 “meatballs”
-1 spaghetti squash
-2 T + 1/4 cup olive oil
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 t dried rosemary
-1/2 t dried thyme
-3-4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
-2 cup cooked lentils (you can buy the refrigerated ones at the grocery store)
-3 T tomato paste
-1/2 cup fresh ricotta
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan + more for topping
-1 cup panko (I used gluten free because I had it on hand)
-1 cup marinara sauce
-salt & pepper
Let’s do this:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. I make sure the oil is nice and hot before adding my onion, so it sizzles when I add it. Ruby hates this. Onion sizzles make her tail go between her legs.
Warm up your marinara sauce in a saucepan. Once the 12 minutes is up, turn the oven to broil and cook for about 2-3 mins longer, just to brown the meatballs a bit.
Enjoy your lentil meatballs curled up under your $900 ivory cashmere throw. Ah, the simple things.