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WIAW: Vegan

March 28, 2012

After posting about my attempt at Meal Planning, this week I have not planned very well. Monday night I hadn’t planned dinner, and found myself frustrated because I decided one thing, and we didn’t have a couple ingredients, then I changed my mind and we still didn’t have an ingredient, so I gave up and made brown rice pasta with pasta sauce from TJ’s and salad. It was ok, and did the job. That’s why I like meal planning, no last minute figuring out, no getting mad, and no eating whatever is at hand even if it’s not the healthiest because, hey, it is the easiest. Once in a while it’s ok, but I’d much rather be prepared, especially when I don’t get home from class until 6/6:30 and have to think about dinner.

The weekend was spent finishing projects and presentations that were due Sunday evening and Monday. Adam and I also went to our nieces first baby shower! It was so beautifully sunny this weekend, that the rain Monday morning was not welcomed. In a way I’d rather have sunny weather on the weekend and save the not-so pleasant weather for during the week when we are all indoors working/at school anyways.

Spring semester is hard because just as the weather is turning nice, finals and exams begin. It’s tough making yourself stay indoors sitting down, studying or writing an essay while the sun is shining through the window, begging you to come out and play. If the rain wants to stick around to help me study that’s fine, but come April 19th, my freedom, I expect a heat wave.

Speaking of indoors, Adam and I hardly ever go out to the movies. We’ve been dating just over two years and have probably seen no more than five movies in the theatre. 2.5 a year. I think I even fell asleep once or twice during the movie. We’d rather watch it at home, warm (I always find movie theatres are freezing) and in our own living room. Even if we do decide to go to a movie we always find ourselves complaining about the people in front of us, knocking their seats into us, the incredibly long and boring previews and commercials they make you watch, and if the movie ends up sucking, you wasted 22$ on it.

Monday night after dinner we went to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple things, like conditioner (even though when we got home I accidentally bought the Shampoo. D’oh). Adam had been hinting about going to see Hunger Games. He has read the first book, and I have yet to tackle it. As an English student I have enough novels and articles to read each week, and I can’t squeeze in another novel on top of that right now. I told him we can either wait a month, until I’m finished my last exam and can read the book and then see the movie, or, if he was fine with ruining the book for me, we could go tonight. He was fine with that haha. And since the movie theatre is directly beside Wal-Mart, Hunger Games won. It was pretty spontaneous for us, since we hardly go out for ‘dates’ right now. I was fine with it, I didn’t read the first Twilight book before seeing the movie, but once I did see it I was sucked in and read all of the books within a couple weeks. Seriously. I felt the Hunger Games trailers gave away a lot of the movie anyways, so It really wasn’t that spoiled. I did like the movie and Adam said it was pretty true to the book.

Breakfast: Rice Krispies, Almond Milk, Banana and Cinnamon. I usually add cinnamon to all my breakfast cereals, hot/cold. It’s a great alternative to sugary cereals because it gives it flavour. Cinnamon is also a great antioxidant. I also add it to smoothies!

Nutritional Content of Cinnamon.Cinnamon is high in polyphenols, proanthocyanidins, antioxidant activity, and is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Nutrients in Cinnamon
2.00 tsp (5.20 grams)
Nutrient % Daily Value
manganese 45.5%
fiber 11%
calcium 5.2%
Calories (12) 0%
Cinnamon has lots of health benefits as well:

Cinnamon Health Benefits include a variety of health disorders, including diarrhea, arthritis, menstrual cramps, yeast infections, colds, flu, rheumatism and digestive problems. Cinnamon has been used for centuries and in many cultures. It has found a prominent position in traditional healing medicines, especially Ayurveda (the traditional Indian medicinal system).

Today, the use of cinnamon has expanded to treating a variety of health disorders, including respiratory problems, skin infections, blood impurity, heart disorders, and diabetes. Cinnamon has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system.

 Blood Sugar Control
Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating
Cinnamon Supplements. If you want to use cinnamon to treat a health problem, you might have to eat more cinnamon than you’d like in order to get a beneficial effect. In that case, cinnamon is available as a nutritional supplement in capsule form.
Lunch pre-workout meal: Leftover Brown Rice Pasta with Celery sticks
Not pictured, some dark chocolate covered almonds leftover from our movie night, that we bought at Wal Mart.
Dinner: Vegan Enchiladas (Click for Recipe)
If you haven’t checked out Angela Liddon’s site Oh She Glows, I suggest you do! I have  been following her blog for about a year or so and have probably been drooling over this recipe since I first saw it.
I used her recipe as the base, and made a few changes
– I didn’t use a enchilada sauce/pasta sauce, these are more like fajitas, no baking required once assembled
– I roasted the sweet potato, because I thought that’s what she did but re-read and saw she boiled hers. But I really love roasted sweet potato and this was perfect. I mixed it with oil and the cumin and roasted at 400 for about 20 minutes or so
– I left out the spinach

Next, I threw the oil, onion, garlic, bell peppers and beans to the pan and sauteed until soft with some more cumin, pepper, lime juice and chili powder.

The avocado sauce was the best. Adam doesn’t like Cilantro, so I just used one large avocado, lemon/lime juice, garlic and salt/pepper and whipped it up in the food processor. It was creamy and dreamy.

Once the filling was done, I just thawed some TJ’s brown rice tortillas, filled them with the bean/pepper/sweet potato filling and rolled it up. I topped mine with salsa, the avocado sauce and some green and red onions.

I ate one and it was so filling! Adam had two, and added some cheese to his & ate it with his hands, putting the avocado and salsa in the wrap instead of on top. We both really loved them. You seriously do not miss the cheese, dairy or meat one bit. They are so filling, and you don’t feel like you’ve eaten a heavy, greasy enchilada/fajita afterwards. I will definitely be making these again. I totally had leftovers for lunch today.

Now that I think about it, the entire day was Vegan. And the night before, because there was no meat in our pasta sauce. I feel like a meal doesn’t have to include meat, to be a meal. Many nights we’ll have non-meat meals and Adam won’t even notice because veggie chili, tomato sauce pasta and vegetable soup are all filling without including meat. Tonight I think I might make Angela’s Roasted tomato, onion and basil pesto pizza, except use spinach pesto and add some shredded chicken for protein.

Do you make Vegan meals once in a while? what are your favourite recipes? 




WIAW: Randomness

March 21, 2012

Allergy season has officially begun. I have tried to stay on my food elimination diet for my food allergies, kinda, however, while on this diet I am not able to take any allergy medication that would mask the allergic reactions I may get from the foods. Thus, I either suffer through the allergies or take the medicine and try to stick to the diet best I can.

Well, even when I take the allergy medicine there is still no relief. After about 20 years of allergies I think my body has built up an immunity to all allergy medicines. They never seem to do anything for me anymore. It’s like taking a placebo, I’ll try and trick my mind into thinking the allergy pill I just took will work immediately and I will begin to feel better, but just a little while later I’ll still be sniffling and sneezing away. I really hope I don’t pass on these allergies to my future children. It sucks. Spring and Summer sucks. I also read on my allergy food information page that because my grass allergies are the highest they can be, and I believe it!, that this time of year is when Alder and Birch are really bad, and this can be affected even more so by other food allergies that counter-react with them. Awesome.

Bottom line, allergies suck and I would like to be able to breath out of both of my nostrils sometime soon.

I really didn’t take very good photos yesterday for WIAW this week.

Breakfast was cereal, as usual right now for the allergy diet that I’m sorta-kinda on still. (recycled photo)

Lunch was leftover chicken and roasted broccoli from the night before. No picture evidence because it was eaten so quickly.

For dinner we had Adam’s mom over as his dad is on a business trip this week, and my mom came by for coffee after dinner too. I decided to make a pork tenderloin I had in the fridge, Italian style with rosemary and basil with olive oil, along with roasted veggies, potato and sweet potato, and baby broccoli. I didn’t take a picture, but had leftovers today so it was basically the same thing. It was good.

Tonight Adam and I took Lainey to the urban nature park near our house. It’s a really large park with trails through the forest and a man made lake in the middle. I always read about the Fitnessista’s walks in their canyons in Phoenix, however here in British Columbia we don’t have many giant canyons full of cacti. We do, however, have vast forests and mountains.

It’s a really nice walk through the trails and Lainey was looking a little cabin-feverish tonight. She’s getting groomed in the morning so I thought it would be nice to take her out for a long walk tonight before the torture tomorrow. She shakes like a leaf whenever I bring her in, and when I pick her up she shakes in excitement screaming “take me home!!” She looks very pretty though all short and sassy. When her hair gets long we start calling her scruffy.

Lainey and I both needed to get out of the house for a little walk. (note Pinterest in the background..) We went for a nice half hour walk.

The urban park has some eerie looking trails that wind through it.

It kind of reminds me of Twilight. Ya, I went there. I wouldn’t mind running into a vampire in these woods if you know what I mean.. 😉

Once you’re out of the forest though the sun was shining through the clouds.

It’s also really pretty when the sun is setting just over the park. The reflections on the lake are gorgeous. Some boys were even fishing for trout.

Now that we’re back home, the allergies have begun again. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Tonight I prepped a recipe I’m trying out tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what I did with this ingredient!

For now we’re going to re-watch inception to try and see if we can figure out what the heck that movie was about. Again.

Have a good night!



WIAW: Week 2, Italian style

March 14, 2012

Late post today! But here is my second week of WIAW. This time, the Italian edition.

For the past year I have been volunteering each week at an Elementary school in preparation for my application to the Teaching Program. I hope to start it in September. It has been a great experience working in the classroom and getting to know all of the students. I was in a grade three classroom for the end of last year and since September of the beginning of this school year. It was fun to help them with their work, marking assignments and corrections, teaching them cursive and new math skills. The kids were all very sweet and it was sad to say goodbye yesterday, my last day, as it was the last Tuesday before their Spring Break, and when they return I will begin my final exams and projects. I would defininitely vist them again, as Adam’s cousin is also a teacher at the school! Bonus. I would love to get a teaching job in the same district.

The children surprised me with a giant thank you card. It was so sweet! I will definitely miss them too.

I did not spell check these haha- and apparently they still need a little help with their spelling 😉

And apparently I am also married according to some of them 😉

From Peas and Crayons!

Breakfast was early Tuesday. Thanks to Daylight Savings time. My 7 am wake up, was more like a 6 am wake up. Not cool. The usual, Rice Krispies with Almond milk – as per my allergy diet.

The school is in my hometown, where I lived before I moved in with Adam, and where my brother and Nonna still live. So, every Tuesday I see my Nonna for a visit or lunch, or dinner. Depending on when I make it to her house, and my schedule in the classrooms. Yesterday was lunch.

When I’m at Nonna’s, I tend to throw the allergy-diet out the window. I just can’t say no.

First course, Pasta. My Nonna said she sauteed peas in oil, with artichokes and garlic, and then poured it over the pasta. It was so light and delicious. I love oil, all kinds, and this was simply delicious.

Second course was Salad, a simple oil and homemade red wine vinegar. Note the homemade white wine also. It was noon. Nonna likes a little vino with lunch.

There was also tomato, I can assume only freshly picked from Joe’s extensive vegetable garden (her live in boyfriend/companion since my Nonno is no longer with us) Joe also makes the red wine vinegar and wine. Topped with fresh mozzarella, bocconcini with basil and more delicious oil.

I ate these by themselves and atop some crackers. I probably ate about three, before being told to “eat more!” and to “finish, finish.” Thus, I ended up eating about half of the plate of cheese and tomatoes. I was fine with that.

Dinner was the usual right now, yam/sweet potato topped with black beans, goat cheese and cranberry sauce with lettuce drizzled with oilve oil, and a non-appealing looking piece of chicken breast. The yam was the best part.

Do you participate in WIAW? 

Did you eat anything delicious yesterday??