Breaking Blog Silence

I had to chuckle this morning when my friend Sheila remarked: “You haven’t blogged in awhile! How am I supposed to know what’s going on in your life?” She certainly meant this in jest, as we had made a point to partake in a morning of yoga and incredible lattes afterward (Cocoa Cinnamon has a blackstrap molasses latte with almond milk that will melt your heart):

Nevertheless, I admit: I’ve been out of the blogging practice this week. Perhaps this is the reason:

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I AM SO OVER THIS WINTER. Do I speak for all non-Western U.S. folks as I type that? From Tuesday at 6:30am until Thursday at 10:00am, I did not venture past the mailboxes – no driving, no sunshine. This likely did not aid my sloth-like state within that 48+ hour period. Reflecting back on this work week, I admit that I did not get dressed outside of workout attire or pajamas AND I did not put on a single speck of make-up until just about 10 minutes ago. And now you see why it’s important for me to schedule outside events during the week.

While I didn’t explore the arctic adventures via transit, I did ensure I filled our bellies with warmth and comfort during that time. Some delicious items on the menu this past week included:

1) Szechwan Tempeh and Green Beans

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2) Jamaican-Style Coconut Rice Bowl (with the remnants of a Foster’s Market salad)

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3) Hot Salsa Pinto Beans and Rice Tacos

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4) Hot Salsa Pinto Bean and Rice Taco Salad

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5) Chickpea Noodle Soup

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All of the recipes this week were from Robin Robertson’s One-Dish Vegan, which I touted in my last post as well. They all earned a huge thumbs up!

I’ll be sharing a post later this weekend on the adventures of last Saturday: the art and style of finding a wedding dress. Stay tuned!

A Robin Robertson Fueled Week

While shortened work weeks typically drag out in long-winded fashioned, this past week flew by at racehorse speed. I did work the morning of MLK Day – perhaps this threw my psyche off just enough to make my inner workings believe it was a full week? Perhaps. Or, it may be more that I have more than enough to manage, develop, and review than humanly possible.

In the food world this week, I realized this morning our menu was brought exclusively by vegan cookbook author Robin Robertson after the newest purchase – One-Dish Vegan – arrived as a late Christmas present to me from…me (well, really generous gift cards. But, who can resist a new cookbook?!)

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The first three recipes are from One Dish Vegan. Out of the dishes, I would vote the Vegetable Lo Mein was the most outstanding, especially as leftovers the following day as the delicious, flavorful sauce soaked deeper into the vegetables and noodles.

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I also added an entire block of tofu rather than just 8 ounces the recipe called for (TOFU MONSTER!) and since we have housed a supply of pasta for more than six months, I used what we had on hand: consider it an Italian spin on Lo Mein.

The Vegetable Etouffee was the second favorite, but alas! I never succeeded in the search for file powder to give the dish its authentic gumbo flavor. Regardless, the rue (I used soy flour) and spices made it taste as close to Cajun as possible. Aaron suggested that when I make this in the future (noted: he liked it enough for it to be repeated!), to try adding another protein to “make it a bit chunkier” – he coined Vegetable Etofu – brilliant.

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You won’t find pictures of dish three: the Lemony Quinoa with Spinach and Chickpeas. Overall, it turned out: meh. The lemon flavor was lost in the dish (did I put in too much spinach?) and it just never popped for me.

But these:

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These Super Nachos ended the week on a High C note (not the artificial, flavorful drink of our childhoods – thinking more along the line of Soprano-esque pitch). The pinto bean spread on the bottom will now become a taco filling staple in the Todd household. So, so simple and utterly satisfying. It seemed like the perfect meal to eat before venturing to DPAC to see Once – nothing says romantic musical than vegan nachos…or something like that.

One additional food-related highlight for this post: a new take on a breakfast smoothie that I am wild about:

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That is my morning powerhouse trio of liquid splendor: coffee, smoothie, and water, brought to you by two of my favorite North Carolina organizations: WUNC and the Durham YMCA. Fusion! Now, my recipe is below, but it can be tweaked/edited for your palate pleasure and dietary needs. Cheers!

Breakfast Power Smoothie

1 banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin purree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I use PB2)

1 cup ice