Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day

What a great day to be alive! The skies were blue, there was a little nip in the air and I felt completely rested this morning. This was one of those days where I actually enjoyed the morning and being a night owl those don’t happen too often. ;-)

We started our morning with a big mug of tea. Today we are having my latest favorite combination of: white tea, tulsi tea and rose buds. The new Bodum glasses that I picked up at Marshall’s happen to have the same size top as the Bodum tea cups with the tea insert which makes it easier to start our day with a double green tea.

This morning Dan asked for a green smoothie. It makes me smile that Dan likes green smoothies enough that he requests them for breakfast.

My breakfast today was fresh veg and fruit juice. When I make juice I never use a “recipe” but rather just start cutting up things that I have on hand and send it through the juicer. After you have made juice for a while you get a feel from what works. Additionally you can do the same thing I do and taste the juice as you go along and add things to make the taste suit you. Typically I use both green and sweet things in the juice. I also like to add lemon and/or fresh ginger to the juice when I have them on hand. Today’s juice contained: 4 kale leaves, 2 stalks celery, 1 large beet, 1 small apple, and 2 carrots. I pour this into a frozen glass, stir in chia seeds and add ice. I shared this juice with Dan to increase his natural vitamin and mineral content at breakfast. After you start making fresh juice I think you will find that your body starts to crave it as mine does.

Dan bought us both 7” tablets last week. He liked the small size since they fit easily in a jacket pocket (and my purse). I have been playing around with mine too and so far I like it. After I have had more time using it I will let you know what I think. One thing I know that I like so far is how portable it is. I love that is small enough to fit easily in any of my purses and I have some small bags. ;-)

The later afternoon meal with my parents was very simple. For appetizers we had two simple dishes. The first was roasted red peppers and onions dressed with sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, parsley and almonds. The second dish was marinated mushrooms and peppers finished with parsley.

The main dish was a fruited quinoa topped with lightly wilted Brussels sprouts, garlic, cumin, apple, dried apricot, golden raisins and grapes that I finished with lemon zest, lemon juice and sliced almonds.

After the meal we rushed to get to MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) for the showing of “Cafeteria Man”. It was the story of chef that took over the food program for the Baltimore City school system and his fight to make the cafeteria food both local and fresh. Talk about a thought provoking and touching story, wow! If the documentary is shown near you and you have an interest in school nutrition this is good film.

We then went home so that I could whip up a batch of nut cheese to take with me to the restaurant. I know that sounds odd but let me explain. David (at the restaurant) is also vegan and hadn’t had nut cheese so I wanted to take him some to try. Corey isn’t a vegan but he is trying to give up dairy so I had to take him some. Will does a wonderful job coming up with vegan dishes for us and loves to try new things which meant I wanted him to taste it too. Me taking nut cheese to the restaurant makes more sense now right? ;-) This batch was raw cashew and macadamia that I flavored with fresh garlic, sherry vinegar and nutritional yeast. I served it a spread on top of the tomato and raisin pesto/chutney and finished it with black pepper and fresh minced parsley. (FYI Will liked the nut cheese as did Jonathon. Corey has had it before so I know he likes it. David took his home so we will have to see what he thinks.)

We got to the restaurant late because it was Mother’s Day and they were packed from brunch on. When we arrived at 8pm things were definitely starting to slow down and I am sure everyone was happy to have a break. Even though we hadn’t given him any notice Will quickly made a three course menu for us when he heard we were there. Seriously, we didn’t expect that but it was extremely nice of him to do that with zero notice. Are you starting to see how we could get pulled into going out to eat every night? These guys make it way too easy for me to take the night off from cooking. Darn them, LOL! ;-)

Our first course was a Greek orzo dish with zucchini, tomato, garlic, lemon, olives and oregano. Fortunately for me Dan doesn’t love olives, which means I got most of them. I do love olives even though I know that aren’t the best for me with all the salt they contain. Of well, I can’t be perfect all the time because that just wouldn’t be any fun. Okay so maybe I should say I am not going to be perfect all the time.

The second course was AMAZING! Can you tell I liked it? This dish was sriracha and soy marinated tofu topped with radish, green apple, celery and carrot salad. Seriously this recipe hit all my buttons, spicy, salty, crunchy, soft…..definitely good stuff.

The final course was a whole wheat pizza topped with mashed sweet potato, golden raisins, curry powder, and almonds topped with lemon dressed arugula. I have never used mashed sweet potato as a pizza base before and after tasting this I have no idea why that never occurred to me before. This is why it is so great to go out to eat. Every time I eat out I get more great recipe ideas.

I also had to post this picture of Stephanie being silly. In case the picture doesn’t say it all Steph is quite a lot of fun. LOL

Happy Thoughts:

• I love hearing the Westminster chimes in the morning. We live near an old clock tower with chimes and when we have the windows open you can hear them every 15 minutes. This is another one of those things that I take for granted that I shouldn’t. The chimes remind me of my childhood and my grandmother which is a great thing to think about on Mother’s day.

• It was great to start the morning with the windows open. I love having fresh air in the house. I also love that on a very high pollen day like today (I only know this from the weather channel) I have no sign of my seasonal allergies. While I didn’t change my diet because of allergies it was a very welcome side effect. ;-)

• Every time Dan asks me to make something nutritious I smile. He enjoys having green smoothies for breakfast and that makes me very happy. I get a lot of email from you that ask how I get Dan to eat as healthy as I do which reminds me how much progress I have made with his diet. The only thing that I do is that I share all the new health information as I learn it with Dan. I think that knowledge is power and when you understand the true impact of the choices you make on your health it results in better decisions.

• The fur children bought me a present for Mother’s Day. Wasn’t that incredibly sweet of them and Dan? When he gave me the earrings he said they were from “the kittens” (that is what we call the fur kids since they still act like kittens) since I am their mom. Awwww, too cute. ;-)

• Lunch today turned out very well. My father commented how good the roasted red pepper salad was. Will miracles never cease? ;-) I enjoyed the Brussels sprouts dish which was my variation of something that we had at Jaleo (one of Jose’s restaurants in DC). Who could possible ever get bored eating vegan when there are so many possible combinations of vegetables, fruit and seasonings?

• I really enjoyed the movie today and highly recommend it. As much as I study nutrition and health there is always an angle to explore that had not occurred to me. I walked out the movie saying that I need to get involved in childhood nutrition somehow. Only time will tell what that means for me.

• When we walked in the door at the restaurant Kristin said happy Mother’s Day to me and wanted to know how my day was. Of course I said thank you and told her that the kitchen bought me earrings. It is little moments like this that remind me that there are many nice people in the world though the bad ones seem to make much more noise.

• Dinner out was lovely as always. Yes, I will admit that we have been out to eat 4 days in a row and that is probably excessive. I will need to make up for slacking on my kitchen responsibilities this coming week. LOL, I wonder if I can do it.

Signing out:

It was another wild week for me. I didn’t really expect last week to be busy but somehow it was. How does this keep happening? This coming week is supposed to be hectic. Let’s hope I can pull it together enough to make a few meals in my own kitchen. If I can’t do it I am sure the gang will be happy to make something for us. Can I be much more spoiled? Okay, don’t answer that. LOL

I hope your weekend was a good as ours. I will chat with you again tomorrow.


  1. Do you have a specific recipe for either/both of your pepper appetizers today? They both look awesome and I would love to try them. I'm not as good as I would like to be with just whipping things up and always seem to need to start with an actual recipe with measurements. :)

  2. Your pictures always make me hungry!!! :-)
    I don’t have a juicer (yet) but I sometimes make my smoothies thinner with either orange juice or water and I love those SO MUCH.
    Looking forward to read about your experience with your tablets. Am really not sure about what to get – so far only the old computer at home, not even a smart portable phone…

  3. Hi! I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your photos of Baltimore! I graduated from MICA in 2002 and I love getting to see my old neighborhoods. (Beautiful food pics too by the way!) Best wishes :)

  4. I wish the diet would also help my allergies! I haven't been able to open our windows in a week and the weather's been gorgeous.

    I could use some help with tofu recipes like the one you were served at the restaurant--was it baked? I've tried marinating/baking tofu a few times, but it comes out rubbery and/or dry.

  5. "Dan bought us both 7” tablets last week."
    Okay, I am embarrassed to have to ask this, but...what does that mean? At first I thought you had been referring to a tablet to write on, but then as I kept reading...I don't think that is right, lol?! What is a "tablet"?!?


  6. What a nice post! I always enjoy seeing your healthy meals! :) And the positive thoughts are nice too. We all need to do that! God bless, Angel

  7. That juice looked good, but it sounded much less sweet than I expect when I think of juice. I may have to try some juicing when school slows down over the summer.

    Please do, if you have the chance/inclination, get involved with child nutrition, especially school lunches! They are horrid, though slightly better than when I was a child. And can you send that chef over to the west coast to make a difference over here?


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