Essential weekend prep

Well, I didn’t do any weekend food prep last weekend. It really is amazing the difference that makes in (a) the quality/healthfulness of what we eat during the week and (b) how much we spend (i.e., eat out/order in).

So, this week I’m back on track. This morning prepped the following:

  • Red lentil soup (this recipe was from the original Moosewood cookbook)
  • Pan-seared tofu from the Oh She Glows cookbook. These tasty, crisp, garlicky morsels will be a great protein topper/filling throughout the week
  • Roasted sweet and russet potatoes. I followed directions from a recipe in the OSG cookbook. These potatoes turned out wonderfully. I think the key was a dusting of cornstarch (I subbed this for arrowroot flour) in addition to the normal salt, pepper & coconut oil

I’ve picked up groceries and plan to make the OSG apple crisp and peanut butter balls later today if I have enough energy. Hopefully these things will keep us on track this week!

Keepin’ it a *little* bit real 

My morning/afternoon of food:

  • Smoothie
  • Lentil soup
  • Chia pudding/raspberry parfait
  • Sliver of lentil loaf

My evening after a long day, very hyped up:

  • Giant bowl of chicken Alfredo pasta (purchased at store on the way home)
  • Wine
  • Barbara’s Cheez puffs  (many)

So, I am officially not majorly “editing” real life here. Okay, all blogging involves some editing, but I’m trying, at least, to keep it a *little* bit real. 

Not your father’s fried rice!

When I was young, anytime we had left over rice in the fridge my Dad made his famous fried rice for breakfast. It was only years later that I discovered fried rice is typically dinner entree ! I haven’t had much rice in the past few years, so I have had limited opportunity to carry this tradition forward.

This morning though, craving something savoury, I surveyed the fridge and spotted some left over brown and wild rice and an idea was born! The amounts are not exact below, largely because you really can adjust the ingredients to suit what you have on hand (and, Dad never measured!).

Breakfast Fried Rice (Single Serving)


  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2-2/3 cup cooked rice (brown/wild is my favourite)
  • About 3/4-1 cup of chopped veggies of choice. I used yellow pepper today, because that’s what I had on hand
  • 1 egg
  • about 1tsp Soya Sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 a green onion, sliced finely (I used about equal parts of the green and white portions of the onion)
  • toppings of choice (I used about 1/4 avocado, a dollop of hummus, and chopped cilantro


Heat the coconut oil in a medium pan, add the rice, the veggies,  and the soy sauce and sauté until the rice is warm and the veggies are beginning to soften. Push everything in the pan to the edges, creating a hole in the centre. Crack the egg into this hole and scramble-cook it until it is about 1/2 way cooked. Mix the egg in with the rest of the fried rice and sauté until the egg is cooked through.

Empty the pan into a bowl and top with avocado, cilantro, hummus and anything else your heart desires!


Weekend Prep

Please excuse the pictures – I was too pooped to put much effort into them. I finished up most of my weekend food prep yesterday. Normally I prep a variety of ingredients on the weekend. This weekend, however, I had to prepare entire meals in anticipation of a week with no time to cook dinner.

I have to admit that preparing entire meals was MUCH more challenging. I spent about 3 hours solid cooking, and was really exhausted by the end of it – I felt like I’d cooked a turkey dinner! In retrospect, choosing to cook three entirely new recipes this week was probably not the best decision! All that said though, my fridge is full with:

  • A huge pot of curried lentil soup from Heidi Swanson (her Super Natural Everyday cookbook is great!). We’ll be able to reheat this for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
  • Lentil walnut loaf from the Oh She Glows cookbook. D. can just heat up slices of this for him and Little Man.
  • Tex mex casserole, also from the Oh She Glows cookbook. This is put together and ready to go into the oven. D. can pop it in the oven and dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes.

I plan to also prepare a couple of mason jars of the Oh She Glows empowered noodle bowl for lunches this week, and plan chia pudding, eggs, & oatmeal variations (separately, not all in one meal of course!) for breakfast. Fresh fruit should round out our week (we are LOADED with apples and mandarin oranges) .

Phew! I am SO happy I have such great food prepared. To avoid throwing exhaustion-induced tantrums though, I will NOT make three new recipes in one prep session again!

Toddler friendly fruit plate & Pizza mania

It was a hectic, but good week. I spent Wednesday through Friday at home with Little Man (aside from the Thursday babysitting escapade). This gave me time to spend with LM, but also time to get caught up on some things around the house. We had a fun play date yesterday at a friend’s house, and brought a fruit plate along to share. 

Our contribution was born more of “The only exciting fruit we have in the house is raspberries” then anything else. To make the apples and oranges playdate friendly (i.e. no peeling/cutting required) and make them look a little more exciting than they were I did the following:

  • tossed the sliced apples in lemon juice and arranged them at the bottom of the platter
  • layered the orange segments on top of the apples
  • dotted the raspberries over the oranges and apples
  • sprinkled everything with some shredded coconut

This platter was SUPER easy to throw to gather and worked out well at the playdate!

D. arrived home last night, so we had home-made pizza to celebrate. After being out all day (playdate, shopping, Dr.) with LM, I didn’t have time to make my favourite whole wheat pizza dough recipe in the bread maker. I took the opportunity to try out this whole wheat honey recipe (it comes together REALLY quickly!). I’m happy to say it was a total success! I am so happy to have a good whole wheat pizza dough recipe that I can throw together in a short amount of time. This recipe is also a bit healthier than others: it uses honey rather than sugar, and has an added kick of wheat germ. We had a seriously gourmet pizza night:

Pizza #1 – caramelized onions, pear, blue cheese, bacon bits, olive oil (brushed on the crust for moisture & a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese

Pizza #2 – pesto on the crust, roasted garlic, roasted cherry tomatoes, grilled portobello mushrooms, salami, mozzarella

Today has been a smoothie/soup day so far, to adjust for the extra cheese etc. I had last night!

I’ve been out catching up on work/school tasks this afternoon, but am headed home soon to spend the rest of the day prepping food for the week! Unfortunately, this is one of those crumby weeks where I don’t finish work in time to pick up LM and make dinner even one time the entire week. This means that to keep the whole foods clean eating train moving I’ll need to make a number of things this weekend and freeze/refrigerate them for later in the week.

Food preparation post to come!

Hold the phone.

My house still contains a large quantity of halloween chocolate. Two nights in a row, I’ve thought about that candy, thought that I could have some. Two nights in a row, I have genuinely not wanted it. It’s so foreign that I almost felt compelled to eat it despite not wanting it. In fact, I did just that three days ago, and realized, of course, that was ridiculous.

This is a thing for me. Things are changing.

Dennis the Menace

‘Dennis the Menace’ is my father-in-law’s new nickname for Little Man. My FIL babysat little man tonight while I went to school. When I arrived home, my FIL recounted the following to me (in point form, because there are just too many pieces to describe any other way):

  • Background: I’d put Little Man down for ‘quiet time’ (play/nap as he chooses for a while in the afternoon) after my FIL arrived and before I left. LM was tired, and I was fairly sure he’d go to sleep despite the excitement of Grandpa arriving. I was wrong. Before I left, he pulled his bathroom stool over to the opening in our hallway (that opens to the STAIRWELL, a 20 foot fall), and hung over the edge to call me. Twice. Until I removed the stool to downstairs. After I left though…
  • After about 10 minutes, my FIL thought it was too quiet. He was right. He went upstairs to find our entire bathroom/hallway had been toilet papered…all the way to LM’s room. He cleaned it up, put LM back for quiet time.
  • About 15 minutes later he heard “Grandpa, come up! Grandpa up!” and thought he’d better investigate. He went upstairs to find LM standing at the gate covered from head to toe in lotion and vaseline. Not only that, but LM had covered the carpet, walls, handles and many of his toys in vaseline. It was EVERYWHERE. After a few minutes of shock/dismay, my FIL pulled out paper towels and came downstairs to get a bowl of warm soapy water. In that few minutes, LM managed (as my FIL found upon returning upstairs) to unravel all the paper towel (once again, running the entire hallway to his bedroom).
  • FIL then had to struggle to block LM from making a bigger mess, while cleaning up the vaseline for the next hour (not to mention cleaning up LM). LM found the whole process hysterical.
  • At some point in the evening LM asked to go potty, didn’t actually go potty, demanded underwear rather than a pull-up, and then promptly had an ‘accident’ all over the floor 5-min after leaving the bathroom.
  • Also, at some point, LM emptied the bathroom cupboards.
  • As my FIL was telling me this, I went to open the fridge and couldn’t. There was a wooden spoon blocking it from opening. I started laughing, and my FIL said “Oh, that’s another story.” There are so many details I haven’t included.
  • Apparently the evening ended with A. falling asleep in his food, then waking up rejuvenated when FIL attempted to take him to bed, playing for a bit then passing out the second his head hi the pillow.

Thankfully, my FIL laughed it all off, loves his grandson and felt nostalgic: apparently my son is becoming his father. It was a flashback evening for my FIL. I can’t wait to hear LM’s version of the evening tomorrow. We agreed that it was the kind of babysitting night you only see on T.V.. I am so hoping that this was a one-off and will NOT be our new normal. But, what if it’s not…

Topsy turvy day

Today was all ups and downs!

  • Said goodbye to D. for the week
  • Great morning with Little Man
  • Stressful meeting #1
  • Stressful meeting #2 (not too stressful, as I only made about the last 10 minutes of it)
  • Work from home
  • Beautiful sunset walk at the beach with Little Man, after I picked him up from daycare!
  • Epic battles over dinner & bedtime (EPIC)
  • Finished making luxurious raw pumpkin pie (in the freezer overnight…we may have pie for breakfast!)
  • Cleaned
  • Finally got around to finding the filter for the coffee maker, cleaning it and replacing the filter (actually not that hard, why did I wait so long?)
  • Finally cleaned the inside of the dishwasher (counterintuitive, right?)

Super thankful for a new cozy hoodie & yoga pants today. And tea. And all the food prepared in my fridge. My body needs some yoga…the couch is comfortable…hmm…

Sunday Prep Day

Hubby will be working out of town for work this week and (conveniently) Little Man’s daycare is closed Wednesday to Friday. So, if I hoped to stay somewhat caught up with work and school commitments this week, I definitely needed my prep day this week! In about 1.5 hours on Sunday, I prepared the following for the upcoming week:

  • About 1-1.5 cups of roasted cherry tomatoes (garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper, in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes). These will be a great topper for eggs, left-over vegan mac n’ cheeze, avocado toast and many other yummy things.
  • 1 small winter squash (sliced, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. This will top my salads and work as a side for Little Man.
  • 3 baked sweet potatoes. I am a sweet potato nut. Especially now that I’m trying to move towards a plant-based diet, I can’t get enough of these puppies! These will primarily serve as filling for wraps, quesadillas etc. throughout the week.
  • The crust for a raw pumpkin pie from the Oh She Glows cookbook. It smelled lovely while cooking (the crust is not raw), and I can’t WAIT to finish making the pie and try it out! Having real-food sweet treats on hand is essential to my success in transitioning to a more plant-based diet. I popped some cashews into water to soak overnight for this as well.
  • A huge batch of turkey spaghetti sauce, chocked-full of veggies. I tossed this with pasta for our Sunday dinner and ended up with a ton of left over pasta with sauce, as well as two containers of extra sauce. The extra sauce went into the freezer, and I kept the pasta/sauce mixture in the fridge for lunches/dinners this week (Little Man devoured this dinner, so it will definitely be on his menu this week!).

Okay, the OTHER thing I tried this weekend was Chia Pudding. I followed the Oh She Glows recipe (similar to this one on the website), and could not BELIEVE how tasty it is! How have I not heard about this yet!? It will definitely become a staple dessert/snack/breakfast in our house!

I am always amazed by how much food preparation I can accomplish in just a couple of hours. In this case, the key was having three things roasting in the oven together. Once I had popped the squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes into the oven, I was completely free to work on preparing the spaghetti sauce and pie crust. Cooking good wholesome food for our family and trying new recipes brings me so much joy. After a couple of hours of work, I settled down to some chia pudding, tea and Mad Men (addicted!) feeling satisfied and content. This feeling has been elusive in the last year or so, and I hope some of the changes I’m making will allow me to feel it a bit more often.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese

On Saturday in our house, this: 

…became this:
 I made this Vegan Mac N’ Cheese on the weekend. It was lighter and more veggie-full than our go-to Vegan Mac N’ Cheeze. Though it’s not as luxurious and tasty as our ‘traditional’ M&C, we agreed that it’s a good alternative for when we want something a bit lighter. I’d planned a nice spinach salad to go with it. It was late, I was tired, so I went with microwave-steamed spinach plopped on top instead.

Have you ever used whole turmeric? This recipe called for a ‘knob’ of turmeric. I’ve never used anything but powdered turmeric, but this is the second reference to whole turmeric I’ve seen in the past week or two (the other being Caroline’s lovely looking super pesto over at Caroline’s Feast). I found whole turmeric, which looks something like ginger, at my local Choices Market – hence the beautiful golden glow to this pasta! It was neat to smell and taste turmeric in it’s original state. It’s one of those spices I’ve never really been able to identify the flavour of (i.e., I would never taste-test a dish and say ‘hmmm…is that, turmeric?’).

Have a great day!