a little zing

Lately, a lot of you have been mentioning/asking me 2 things.

  1. How do I come up with the some of my food combinations?  For instance: tempeh/apple/pumpkin/pnut butter sandwich

  2. I wish I liked salad as much as you.

To answer question #1 – 90% of the time, I am literally just throwing things together, based on whatever randomness is in our fridge.  I haven’t made a lot of full-on, recipe-following meals lately, because I haven’t had the time or energy.  However, I am still cooking.  I think about food a lot.  I think about my next meal almost right after the meal I just ate.  I start to brainstorm.
I really want a bagel for lunch.  That won’t hold me over too long, so I need to beef it up with something else.  I have a 1/4 block of tempeh leftover.  Tempeh and bread work.  If I just lightly toast the tempeh, I can combine it with other things in the fridge.  I want something crunchy.  I have apples.  Apples + cheese go perfectly on a sandwich or bagel.  Maybe apples and tempeh would too.  Tempeh doesn’t have much flavor, so maybe I’ll add some peanut butter.  Peanut butter + bagels + apples = success, so maybe tempeh would be good too.  Oh, wait, I have leftover pumpkin.  I might as well just add it in and see what happens.  It will add moisture to the sandwich, like mayo or mustard typically would.

So there you have it.  The thought process of putting my lunch together.  Exhilarating, I know.

Now let’s talk about comment #2. Salad haters.  I used to be one.  No shame!  First, you need to find which lettuce you like the best.  Right now I’m on a spinach kick, but about a year ago, I was really sick of it.  I also used to really like arugula, but got burnt out on it and don’t like it at all now.  Romaine is one of my favorites, as is raw kale.

After you pick you lettuce, you can’t just pour the dressing on.  I would understand why you hate salads, if you do this.  You need to fill the salad with other foods you love.

  • chickpeas [roasted, perhaps?]

  • sweet potato cubes

  • black beans

  • avocado

  • fresh basil

  • tomatoes

  • mushrooms

  • carrots

  • pickles!!

  • cucumbers

  • croutons

  • almonds

  • nutritional yeast

  • sesame seeds

  • pepitas

  • hummus

  • etc.etc.etc.

Don’t like veggies?  What about putting fruit on your salad?

  • spinach or arugula

  • strawberries/apples/pears

  • almonds/walnuts

  • stinky blue cheese or gorgonzola

Sometimes I get bored with my salads too, which calls for some extra creativity.

I mean, this isn’t anything revolutionary, but it changed things up a bit + was very refreshing.

Do you ever add citrus to your salad?  If not, you must try.  Little clementine slices?  Yup!  Lemon in your dressing?  Sure thing.  Delicious + zingy.

Who doesn’t like a good zing?

(1 of 5)

Salad contents:

  • spinach

  • cherry tomatoes

  • cucumber

  • mushrooms

  • clementine – the star of the show

  • walnuts

  • salt + pepper

  • sprinkle of dried thyme

(3 of 5)

For the dressing, I wanted something citrusy + sweet.  I do not buy store bought dressings.  I just don’t like them!  I’ve tried way too many and have wasted way too much money in the process.  Plus, I like to control what ingredients are going into it.

In this mix:

  • ~1.5T hemp oil [can use other high quality salad oil – walnut/almond/sunflower/etc]

  • 1t local raw honey

  • 1-2T fresh lemon juice

  • s+p to taste

  • sprinkling of fresh or dried thyme

Nothing exact here.  I just tasted along the way.

(4 of 5)

I will say, mushrooms + citrus aren’t the best combo, but other than that this was refreshing, crunchy, and fun.  Yes, I just called my salad fun.

(5 of 5)

Have you had any good salad combos lately??

And now, just a little snippet from Friday night with the bro + sis in law.

Natalie is just about 7 months along in her pregnancy + looking so lovely!  Her baby bump is the cutest.  I can’t wait to meet my niece!!!!

They headed up to Ft. Collins to hang out with us for the night.

Bashful Pat, requested we eat at Tasty Harmony.  The veggie/vegan/GF friendly restaurant.  Fine by me!!!  Chris + I love this restaurant.

(1 of 6)-2

Come July, they will be parents!!!

(2 of 6)-2

We scarfed down a vegan artichoke dip [SO good], faster than the speed of light, and anxiously awaited dinner.

(3 of 6)-2


(4 of 6)-2

I went with the jackfruit tacos.  A new-to-me dish.  I typically get something different every time I go.
Two crispy taco shells filled with jackfruit and tempeh cooked in Mexican spices, topped with guacamole, salsa fresca , sour cream and shredded lettuce. Served with black beans and Spanish rice.

OH my.  Were these good!

(5 of 6)-2

Everyone else at the table got the Kentucky Fried Freedom.  The chard greens were delicious!!  You can’t see but there is a pile of mashed potatoes behind the “mock” chicken [house-made seitan, the best I’ve ever had] as well.  The most amazing vegan gravy ever.  YUM.
Battered and pan fried mock chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, black eye peas and garlicky greens.

(6 of 6)-2

And with that, we called it a night.  Chris + I were so exhausted that we were IN bed before midnight, which doesn’t even happen on the weekdays.  Time to get a-movin!  So much to do!