Friday, April 18, 2014

Elevate Me

This is how Olivia dresses to go to the Toyota dealer. We should all have such fashion savoir faire.

Two and a half hours later (recall issue, fixed now thankfully!) we were out of there, and starving! We stopped for lunch at Elevation Burger. I love how the order of fries is twice the size of the veggie burger (sarcasm.)

At home, we tried out another flavor of Hail Merry tart -- chocolate almond butter! Rich and delish, but I think key lime still holds my heart.

Although not an exact match with the post subject matter, this is still not a bad song to get stuck in your head.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spanish Dinner

Today featured a zoo outing with the grandparents. It was a beautiful day for a train ride, followed by a stroll through the zoo. If I haven't said before, Austin's zoo is actually an animal sanctuary, with all rescued animals. I love that about it!

Jackson is a little skittish about hand-feeding the deer and goats.

Olivia gets right in there. A little deer slobber never hurt anyone.

For dinner I made a couple of Spanish recipes I found on Pinterest. Sopa de ajo or garlic soup, served chilled like gazpacho. Interesting but a bit too acidic for my taste, since it calls for a good deal of sherry vinegar. I was a huge fan of the patatas bravas -- roasted potatoes in a smoky, spicy red sauce. Grapes on the side, why not?

Monkey x2!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Indian Paintbrushes

This morning,while out house-hunting (yep, after three years of renting our current place, we're ready to become homeowners), we came across a field of Indian paintbrushes and I had to stop for some quick pics. As far as Texas spring blooms go, bluebonnets get all the love, but I think Indian paintbrushes look just as pretty! 

Came home and chowed on Smoky Split Pea soup from Appetite for Reduction, which I'd made the night before. One of our all-time favorite soups.

I also made a batch of "cheezy" kale chips from Ani's Raw Food Essentials. We preferred them over the spicy ones we made last week. They disappeared quickly!

Later, Olivia and Jackson played a fishing game while I made dinner. Olivia is an extremely focused game player.

Dinner was a treat: Ranch Salad with Buffalo Tempeh, from the PPK. The combination of hot buffalo tempeh and cool, creamy ranch dressing is out of this world. Tony and I did not even attempt to share this with the kids, knowing they'd find the tempeh too spicy. (I fixed them their own salads, along with various finger foods). So we each had a big bowl all to ourselves. I will definitely be making this again soon!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I See's You

San Francisco-based See's Candies has come to Austin, and we were there for the grand opening.

Lollipops and chocolates were being handed out freely. It was pretty great. We came home with a box of Little Pops, which I won, and Dark California Brittle, which I purchased.

To balance out the morning sugar rush, the day's eats were green and lean. For lunch I made Down Home Curry from Isa Does It, served over rice. The curry sauce was much more soupy than I'm used to. Not complaining; it was just different.

For dinner I drained off some of the curry broth and just had the veggies, topped with homemade kim chi, with a side of roasted asparagus (umm, about 4x what you see on the plate...I love asparagus!)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

All the Food

Started the day early with oats, topped with Brazil nuts, maca, ground flaxseed, bee pollen, and caco nibs. I am trying to cut back on eating processed cereals every morning, choosing either oats or yogurt for breakfast. It is hard! I love cereal.

After we got around, we headed to Wheatsville. Jackson and Olivia snacked on blueberries in the car, hence the blue lips!

Whenever I go to Wheatsville, I want to buy everything! It isn't easy to restrain myself and only buy what I came there for. In fact, it was impossible on this trip because I found so many goodies! Suja Elements organic cold-pressed juice...Olivia chose this flavor, and the kids shared it. Tastes like strawberry and banana!

Wheatsville's Southern-fried tofu, Livin' Spoonful raw pizza-flavored crackers, and my very first Hail Merry raw key lime tart. I sampled a bite of it as soon as I got home, and I've been dreaming about it ever since!

I also grabbed some Living Raw darkest cacao truffles, coated in cacao nibs which are my newest love, as well as a Reed's kombucha because I'd never tried that brand before. It was super fizzy and good.

It was a day of sweet firsts, actually. Besides the Hail Merry tart, I had my first vegan donut from Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery. I only get a donut craving once or twice a year, and it hit me big time when I saw these in the Wheatsville bakery.  I went with Boston cream pie -- if I'm going to have a donut, I want frosted, cream-filled, the whole enchilada. Jackson and Olivia both chose Mexican chocolate donuts.

After finishing a few other errands, we came home and made wraps filled with Scrambled Chickpeas (from Isa Does It), greens, tomato, and that amazing Southern-fried tofu.

For dinner I had a big salad with lemon-cashew dressing (recipe from Oh She Glows, but her site is down as I write this post) and tons of kalamata olives.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blues and Greens

It's spring in Texas, so the bluebonnets are in bloom! 

I made Jackson and Olivia pose for an impromptu photo session after school one day. The field next to Jackson's pre-k is full of these beautiful blooms!

It was windy, can you tell?

This week I gave homemade kimchi a whirl, using this recipe. It was super easy and the result was delicious. I used a lot of ginger because that's how I like it, and a medium heat level. Next time I'll go hotter, haha. Kimchi is full of healthful probiotics that are great for digestion! I throw it on top of salads, in a wrap, or on a veggie burger.

I also dehydrated some spicy chipotle kale chips from Ani's Raw Food Essentials. These were a little too hot for Jackson and Olivia, but Tony said they make a good, healthy substitute when he is craving chips and salsa. The recipe called for 2 Tbsp. oil and I would cut that way down. The kale chips still stuck to the dehydrator trays! Next time I will use cooking spray on my trays and a lot less oil on the chips themselves.

Finally, dinner was minty pea soup from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. We are by no means gluten-free, but I'm interested in maybe eating less of it, and this cookbook looked to have some tasty recipes in it. This soup is the only one I've tried so far. I enjoyed the refreshing addition of mint.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Red Dirt

We spent last weekend in Oklahoma with Tony's mom. One warm afternoon, we took the kids to Twin Lakes in Shawnee to explore and burn off some energy.

My mother-in-law watched the kids one evening so we could meet friends in Norman for drinks. After tossing around some options, we chose The Mont on the basis of their patio and their swirls. What is a swirl, you may ask?

And, as always, we got our Pepe Delgados fix on the way out of town. Yum.