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Sunday, March 25, 2012

that's why there are two of us

I'm convinced the best parenting team is a ying/yang balance of strengths. 

While it is true that I sometimes wish Sandi had my same needs for punctuality, neatness, planning and a carefully laid out schedule, it is probably ideal that she doesn't.  It is her more lax ideas about time that allow for spontaneous dinner buffet's in the living room, blanket fort building close to bedtime and blowing up the bounce house when friend's come over despite the effort required to pick it up.

If the world was left to me (and my friend Ange) it would be extremely organized and clean, people would be exactly where they were supposed to be on time with an appropriate snack in hand, their beds would be made, their laundry folded and their winter clothes tucked neatly away until next year.  Despite the fact that there would be lots of well-planned parties, I fear it would be a rather dry landscape of order and discipline and despite my wish to think things would be ideal if run my way, likely timeliness and neatness would soon grown dull.

That is why people like me need a Sandi.

She's dreams up playsets and clubhouses for our kids.  She puts whipped cream on sliced bananas, dons them "banana quarters" and the girls gobble them up.  She advocates for roller skates to be purchased and utilized in the house. 

She lets the kids paint their clubhouse themselves.



(and we wondered why Ella's hair had lavender paint through and through.)

I came home from work to find two paint drenched children in bathtub brimming with filthy, lavender hued water.

All I could think was, "It is a good thing they have a parent who will let them do that" because we all know I would need some pharmaceutical intervention to allow for such an event.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

wacky hair

Oddly enough, we've had some strange hair-related events as of late.

First off, Maya decided she wanted to turn this:

into this:

It took a very hot flat iron and a lot of "stand like a statue" cues, but I decided I would indulge her just this once.  As you know, the grass is always greener and although people stop me on a nearly daily basis to compliment Maya's curls, she just wants her hair straight.

I did come up with a folklore about how her hair became curly and it involves a lot of silly tongue out, running crazy at the end and she laughs her head off when I tell it. To my immense relief, she hasn't asked for straight hair again.

Then yesterday, as part of Spirit Week, it was wacky hair day at Ella's school.



















I had envisioned fixing Ella's with tons of ponytails but she shockingly had her own ideas.  I was thrilled when Skyler came with the exact do.
Maya, naturally, needed wacky hair as well.  When we were in the school parking lot a woman that had been walking behind us commented that she thought Maya's hair was a really cute wig and then realized it was actually her hair. How will we ever convince her that people pay good money and still can't get curls like she has?

We did a major grocery shopping that morning and practically everyone stopped to comment on her PINK curly hair.  Each time she would say, in her high sing-song voice, "Wacky hair day at Ella's school!" and no one would understand so I would translate.  Then she would say, "We're having our first campfire tonight!" to them.  And I would translate that as well.  To at least 20 people.

I think pink hair makes you more creative!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

suddenly summer

A very odd and unexpected thing has happened here in Maine.

We had a short winter, an early and brief mud season and today we leap-frogged over spring (rather impolitely I might add since today was Spring's debut) and right into summer.  Today reached a high of 80 and had us digging our shorts and flip flops out of the totes in the eves.

This is officially the strangest March I can remember.  Only in Maine can you need to light a fire in the woodstove  in the morning and then be contemplating the need for the air conditioner in the low ceilinged kids' room in the afternoon. I want to pack the snow pants and gloves away but this is Maine, after all, and another snowstorm is not out of the question.

Ella had an early dismissal day and Maya has been running a fever and had to stay home from school. We stayed outside most of the day (minus Maya's rest time) and ate 2 of our 3 meals on Adirondack chairs in the backyard.  Sandi got this idea to build a clubhouse for the kids under their existing playset and the project got busy today what with having one child home early and the other burning through the ibuprofen and Tylenol.  Child labor should not be wasted.

A visit to the pediatrician this morning verified that Maya had a viral thing that needed to run its course.  True to form, she would only rest when she had to and the rest of the time wanted to be in the yard working with us.





















Ummmm, when did our daughter start looking like a teenager?
Maya sawing?  Yes, indeed, with this kids hand saw the girls got along with a toolbox from their very handy grandmother who can build houses and stuff like that. (I love that she is wearing my "grow"  hat in this pic and that all her fingers are still attached.)
Ella got to use the cordless drill for the first time.  Hopefully that doesn't mean that now she will also need a back-up cordless drill which Sandi informs me is a bonus for any handy woman.  (Yes, we have a back-up one in case you were wondering.)

















One thing is for sure, people did some growing over the winter.



































Sandi is currently doing my favorite thing about nurse anesthesia school so far: spring break. While not without work, she is home and around and able to do all the boring, soul-draining things like brush kids' teeth, do laundry and referee arguments. Honestly, having her home has led me to a strange state of decompression. It is like I have realized how tightly held together I have been and how fragile this state of living has been for me. I feel like a survivor of a catastrophe who is only able to fall apart once the crisis is over.

Okay, so perhaps a bit dramatic but you get it.

I suddenly realize I have been barely able to breath just trying to keep it all together and not upset the delicate balance of our lives and my internal landscape.  Now, looking in the rearview, I am overcome with fatigue, weariness and sadness. Having Sandi home has made me realize how, despite my deep connections to my friends, truly lonely I have been. I have so missed Sandi's company and love as well as having another adult around to shoulder the responsibility of a family.

To be honest, I am rather terrified of picking up the load again next week.  Being mindful and introspective is sometimes a serious pain in the ass when you've got things to do.

Starting next week, Sandi only has four more weeks of traveling to Portland and then she will be starting her 18 months of clinicals here at our local hospital.  This is awesome and a milestone for sure, but those who have gone before her say that clinicals are actually harder than the didactic portion because you have to put in such long days in addition to course work. 

So she will be sleeping at home every night and we can visit while we slumber.  Except that she probably will have to give up sleep from the other rumors that go on about clinicals and the late nights prepping for the next day's surgeries.

I am only at mile 8 of a marathon. I can't get tired now. I need a Gu.

Maybe I can strive to be more like Maya, who smiles like this with a fever of 101, taking the discomfort in stride and not letting it stop her from the things she loves.
Although, just two hours after I took this picture her fever spiked to 105.5 (the highest fever to date in our house) and she was glassy eyed and shivering on the couch under a blanket.  We go for the crash and burn around here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

fostering contentment

I find myself in an uncomfortable state of imbalance lately.  As usual when my back is up against the wall, I stop and look around and assess the best way to remove my posterior from the smudged, crayoned sheet rock.

I've come to terms with the fact that this is likely who I am. I am introspective, insightful and self-aware, but only when I really have to be. 

To say the least, this past month has gotten my attention.

It started with a call from my endocrinologist (I have Type I diabetes) regarding some routine blood work.  Turns out my thyroid is as much an overachiever as I am and was working overtime.  My doctor described some of the symptoms I might be having: trouble sleeping, heart palpitations,  significant irritability or anxiety and weight loss.  I had been losing weight but working at it. I had had a holter monitor test for irregular heart beats in the fall.  I hadn't had much trouble sleeping, I just didn't need to sleep as much. But most significantly, I had felt like I wanted to scratch someone's eyes out for the past couple of months.

All these things I attributed, fairly enough, to the stress I am under being a predominantly single mom since the fall. But the more she described it the more I felt I had been living in a state just south of manic for the past few months.  Considering that I'm a card carrying member of  "high strung", this is saying a lot.

My doctor felt that my thyroid might be overacting as a result of the significant sickness (the gotcha virus) I had in January.  She wants to just keep an eye on what she is calling a case of thyroiditis and is hoping it will resolve on its own.

So with a nice base layer of hyperthyroidism, add to that that I have cut my hands significantly in two places, I lost a $1,000 piece of medical equipment that augments my insulin pump and I've gained nearly 5 pounds. I feel slave to constant cravings to eat and have been stress eating like it's a competitive sport. My body hasn't felt like my own.

The whole thing makes me feel like I want to scratch someone's eyes out.

Back.  Up against a wall.

Grandparents love and relish their grandchildren. I believe this is, in part, because they have the occasional responsibility instead of the constant, everyday demand.  Grandparents are also generally in the stage of life where they are pretty chilled out.

This led me to the inevitable question:  why can't I be more chilled out and enjoy each and every bit of this right NOW instead of waiting until the AARP comes knocking and Reader's Digest is being delivered to my front door?

It is kind of like the chill is withheld from those who need it most- the frazzled, overwhelmed, stretched-too-thin mom.  Kind of like how the ability to eat whatever they want is lost on those who don't really care that much about eating.

I feel like I need some chill, some balance, some restoration STAT.  Being a mom has already worn away so many of my rougher edges, tumbling and smoothing me like sea glass.  Yet, right now I feel like I'm being stabbed with a chard of myself that was somehow skipped over in the smoothing process.

What would it even look like for me to chill out?  What would I give up?

Exercise? I would be a basket case with no friends or family because no one could stand me.
Work? And then have no income?
Going the extra mile to make healthy food for me and my family? Yeah, right.
Cleaning the house? It is already stressfully messy for me.
Volunteering at Ella's school?
 Making my kids lunches?
 Driving them to school?

Turns out there is very little wiggle room in the things I want to give up.

So this is what I've come up with.  I need to foster contentment- to breed it, multiply it, focus on it, practice it and demand it from my life.  Yes, demanding contentment is a bit of an oxymoron I realize but I'm a little desperate.

There is little I can do to adjust the crazy.  My new plan is to create a place of stillness and presence inside myself- a way to feel content with things undone which, for me, the holy grail of motherhood.  The truth is things will never get completely done because there are ten more things teaming for the spot of the ten things I am crossing off my to-do list.

I don't want to be lugging a mini fridge up 4 flights of stair to Maya's college dorm room, having missed it all, enjoyed very little, but had all my shit together. (Except it isn't really together anyway.)

But for someone like me to be content in the nebulous space of unfolded laundry, toys on the floor and mud tracks on my recently mopped floors will take an inordinate amount of practice. 

That is why I am starting right now.  I've been making space for meditation, forcing myself to sit in rare still moments instead of popping up to accomplish something and pausing to take deep slow breaths when my head feels like it might explode.  But in some ways these feel like putting bandaids on a cavernous wound.

It seems it time for a paradigm shift inside my head.  Although I do work hard to make time for myself, I think my soul is screaming for more meaning, more presence, more SPACE in all the endless tasks.  It seems like the more I do to feed myself (write, exercise, plan events) the more I ride the line between internally content and externally overwhelmed.  I honestly, truly do not know how to have both.  I do know that when I am feeding myself mindlessly, almost medicating myself with food, I am hungry for something food cannot satisfy.

So great, I essentially know what the problem is.  How the hell do I fix it?

How do you decide who to give to when you are a mom and your soul is begging for attention?  All I can see before me is the flight attendants instructing parents to put on their own oxygen mask before helping their children. And all I want to do is scream at them is, "But there aren't enough masks here people!"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

cfc muscles

In an attempt to become less black and white and less all or nothing, I practiced an unprecedented act of moderation as I wrapped up the clean food challenge.

Yesterday was a road trip to watch Sandi's hometown win basketball gold- in the form on the coveted gold ball a team gets for winning the state championship.  The day started with a big bowl of oatmeal and spin class.  By 10:30 I was starving from my toes and ate the leftover tempeh and grilled veggies with pesto.  Eight of us packed into the Carver's Yukon and drove the hour to Augusta to watch the game. 

We stopped at Panera Bread for lunch and truthfully I was a bit scared to eat out on the CFC.  Having eaten 90 minutes ago, I decided to just eat the food I had packed. During the afternoon I made my way through my dried fruit, nuts, pear, apple, banana and water. 

I started to sweat it a little when the decision was made to go out to eat for supper.  I chose fish, salad and baked potato, deciding with just hours to go I would allow myself some salad dressing, croutons and sour cream.  There was a surprising amount of internal back and forth about ending the cleanse on the supper of the seventh night.  Could I really do that?  Would I allow myself to do that?

Awareness came over me.  My goals on the cfc were to reset, to feel clean and to cultivate mindfulness.  If mindfulness is achieved then I also have the responsibility to listen to what happens in the quiet spaces.  the truth was I was done.   I had fulfilled the cleanse and my goals and there was no need to do an extra day.  In actuality the want for the 8th day was just to delay the bumpy reentry to regular food.  And if I felt uncertain about my ability to be moderate with everyday food when the cleanse ended then what had I really gotten from the cleanse?

You get it?  It's a little messed up but it turns out I like food rules more than I'm comfortable admitting.  And that, while guidelines are infinitely helpful to me, rigid rules have a tendency to backfire.  I expect such strict adherence from myself that eventually I feel caged in and I revolt.

I decided to take two steps away from the rules.  I came home and made a cup of tea and had one of Sandi's grandmother's homemade molasses cookies.  I didn't eat it standing up or breaking off piece by piece, hoping the pieces didn't add up to a whole.  I sat down and ate it off a plate and enjoyed every bite. 

I gave myself the kindness I would to a friend.  You did a great job.  You did enough.  It doesn't have to perfect. 

This for me is progress.  This is moderation.  This is me existing somewhere between ALL or NOTHING. 

I'm finding there to be a fine line between self-disciplined and downright inflexible.  Last night's cookie wasn't me cheating. I don't even know how to cheat. I am the girl who has never hits snooze, who has to run the exact miles listed on her training plan, who doesn't know how to cut a corner and is normally way too attached to an idea to do a seven day cleanse for six and 3/4 days.

So I'm proud of myself for eating a cookie?  Is that what I'm saying?  I guess it is. 

On the cookie thread, I want to brag for a moment and flex my CFC muscles.  This past week we had a snow day and I always bake with the kids on snowdays. 

People, I made chocolate chip cookies and I didn't eat a single morsel. 

Maya, my ever present culinary assistant:



















I adapted this recipe from one Ange found on the Chobani yogurt website.

 Chocolate Chip Cookies (made with greek yogurt)
Makes about 2 dozen large cookies

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
• 6 oz. greek yogurt
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 c. white whole wheat flour
 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• ½ cup oats, ground
• 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, yogurt, and sugars with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until smooth. Add baking soda and sea salt; mix until combined. Gradually add flours, alternating between the two, and beat until mixed well. Fold in chocolate; mix well.

Cook at 375 for 13-15 min.



I am happy to report that my first morning off the CFC has gone very well.  I have enjoyed two glorious cups of Tazo tea and I don't feel the need to make up for lost food.  I feel content and centered and I am certain this has to do with listening to my needs and responding in kind, rather than with rigid parameters of self-control.  Somehow, I feel like I just got the true spirit of the clean food cleanse.  It is more about how I eat rather than what I eat.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Say WHAT???

I got an email yesterday from the editors of Sparrow Magazine telling me that one of Jamie Oliver's staff wanted to get in touch with me about my chocolate milk article. 

WHAT????!!!!!

Sure enough, the social and media coordinator for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution was trying to track me down. 

For those who don't now, Jamie Oliver has a TV show directed at trying to improve the eating and health of the American public by teaching people about food, how to cook and how to appreciate real food instead of all the processed junk we eat.  One of his specific targets is school lunch programs.

I love Jamie Oliver.  He is kind of my hero.  Watching the food revolution was the main impetus for my chocolate milk campaign. His unapologetic and relentless pursuit of feeding kids real food was a total inspiration to me.

It looks like they want me to write an article, or rework my Sparrow article, for their website.   I cannot even tell you how exciting this is for me.  Sure, sure at first I pictured Jamie Oliver in Ella's school cafeteria interviewing me while my newly highlighted hair shone in the camera lights as I stomped on a carton of chocolate milk.  But to have people care about something I care so much about is so affirming to me and to be asked to write, to have people want to read what I write...well, that is just so cool.  And to have it be Jamie Oliver (or his proxy) is over the top awesome.

So a big thanks to Sparrow Magazine and its editors Emilie and Kelly for asking me to write the article and for giving me a platform to talk about something so close to my heart.  And thank you to my family and my childhood dog and....oh wait, this isn't an Oscar speech.

cfc home stretch

I have a few resounding thoughts starting day 7 of the clean food challenge.

First, I am incredibly lucky to be able to afford these amazing, nutrition packed foods.

I mean, for crying out loud, I ate an entire papaya by myself the other day.  It peachy flesh was so gorgeous and sweet I couldn't believe the level of privlege I have.  Especially since Ella asked to see pictures of starving people the night before last and the images have been resounding in my head.



My second thought (you could all see this coming right?) was: this ends tomorrow already?  maybe I will do this for another couple of days....

It turns out starting a cleanse isn't so hard for me.  It's ending it that makes me shake in my shoes.

I know, I know.  The solution is eat well with just occasional treats.  No need to be all or nothing. 

The problem is I AM all or nothing.  I don't mean to be.  I apologize profusely for it.  But it is just how I am wired. Yes, there are things I can do to work with it and I put in a lot of effort in that direction, but at this stage of the game I get nervous that on the morning of day 8 I will drink a pot of coffee, eat an entire cake and maybe even have a cigarette all before 9 a.m.

Mindfulness, that is what I am cultivating.  Not the right to sit at Starbucks and order everything off the menu until my hands shake so badly I can't write my own name.

But, back to the amazing food at hand.  Sandi has been juicing daily which is great for me because I'm not sure I'd put in the effort required to clean the juicer. 

Carrots, apples, cucumber and orange juice:


Last night for dinner I marinated tempeh in tamari, molasses and rice vinegar and then sauteed it in olive oil.  (There is a chance molasses and tamari aren't super clean and I don't really care.  It's not a box of Oreos we're talking about) .   I also roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, red onion and peppers and tossed the veggies with this amazing pesto idea I got from Emilie (toasted walnuts, cilantro, parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic and olive oil pureed in a food processor.)
So yes, I begin to sweat it at the end of the cfc and I'm there now. I will probably do it through Sunday (8 days) and in the meantime work hard on a transition plan so I don't fall off the wagon AND have it run over me, horses and all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love is written here

Two very cool things have happened in my world this week. 

My friend Emilie is co-creator/editor of an online magazine for women called Sparrow (and for anyone who voted for her the WINNER of the Las Olas surf contest- thank you for voting!). She asked me to write an article on my chocolate milk campaign in Ella's school.  You can check it out here.

This week I also landed on a new name for my blog.  I was chasing my tail in circles wanting to find something that was an exact fit, that wouldn't be to weird or hard to read or easy to forget.  My friend Ange gave me this advice: the name should have love in it because love abounds in your life.

That got me focused. 

I was doing Reiki on a client Tuesday and the name just came to me.  I'm still working on the tagline but I think the name encompasses it all.  Life is wonderful, crazy, magical, overwhelming and exhausting, but the common thread, the underline, is always love.  Welcome to loveiswrittenhere.com.

So there you have it.  Thanks to my faithful readers and here's to seeing where this takes me.

cfc: trucking through days 3 and 4

It turns out I can live without cake.

It's coffee that I seriously, achingly miss.

Today I was volunteering in Ella's first grade class room and the ed tech sitting next to me had a fresh coffee- some sort of English toffee deliciousness. I feared I might wrestle her to the floor for it.

All in all though I am doing well, eating well and proud to be taking such impeccable care of my body which does kind of a lot for me on a daily basis.

Here's some of what I've been eating and some recipes too!

CFC lunch: tangy basmati rice and Emilie's carrot miso soup.

(I humbly apologize I do not know the source of most of these recipes.  They have been collected through the cfc network Emilie has created and some I've collected over time.)

Tangy Basmati Rice

1 cup basmati rice (I use brown)
1 3/4 cups water
1 Tbsp oil or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
3 Tbsp grated coconut
1/4 cup chopped almonds or raw cashews
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a small pan, heat up oil and add mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander seeds and nuts. When
seeds begin to pop, add coconut and stir well to toast and blend spices. Set aside until rice is
ready, at which point stir into rice with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.


Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame:
(given to me by Emilie and absolutely delicious)
Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 regular or 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated ginger, or more to taste (it could easily be doubled)
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste

To finish
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, very thinly sliced

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic sauté until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth and ginger. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso an a half-cup of the soup. Stir the mixture back into the pot of soup. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper or additional miso to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish each with a drizzle of sesame oil and small mound of scallions.


I also made a giant batch of this quinoa edamame salad.
Quinoa Edamame Salad

Recipe adapted from Thermador Kitchens by Our Best Bites

1 c. black quinoa (if you can find it–try the bins at Whole Foods. But really, any type of quinoa will work)
2 c. water
1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
6 TBSP olive oil
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, juiced
1 T. honey
3/4 tsp. salt (plus more to taste, if desired)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. frozen, shelled edamame (green soybeans)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
½ c. chopped peanuts (optional)

Cook quinoa (click here to find out how!) While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the vinegar, oil, lime juice, honey, salt, cilantro, and garlic. Allow it to stand while you prepare the rest of the salad.

For the edamame, you have a few options. You can steam it in a steamer or the microwave until the desired doneness is reached, you can rinse the beans under some hot water for about a minute or two, or you can briefly rinse the beans and then toss them with the hot quinoa when it is done cooking–it just depends on how done you prefer your edamame. Whichever option you choose, you’ll toss the beans with the green onions and the cooked quinoa. Toss with the dressing and then season to taste. Garnish with fresh peanuts and enjoy! Makes a lot–like 18-20 small servings.


I've really been loving the freedom to eat nuts.  Another version of morning oatmeal: oats and amaranth cooked with a banana, coconut and a spoonful of peanut butter. YUM.


For some reason I thought it would be a good reason to try to make a bunch of food before getting the kids off to school this morning.  I crave variety and when you are limiting your food families, it's cfc suicide to get bored with what you are eating.   Plus when you make big batches of nutritionally packed, super clean foods, you want to share it with your friends who just had two babies at the same time or the ones who drop food at your house randomly so you can be spared the chore of making dinner.

The makings for mango quinoa salad:
(if this cfc week had a theme it would have to be quinoa)

Salad Ingredients:

• 1 cup quinoa
• 2 cups cold water
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
• OR: 1/2 cup dried mango slices, soaked overnight, then cut in 1/2 inch dice
• 1/4 cup blanched slivered or sliced almonds
• 2 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
• 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

Dressing Ingredients:
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/4 tsp turmeric
• Juice of 1 lime
• 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Wash quinoa and boil in water for 10 minutes
2. Cover and let quinoa sit until it absorbs all the water
3. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool to room temperature
4. Peel the mango and cut into cubes
5. Peel and slice the cucumber thinly
6. Add cucumber to mango along with the almonds and pumpkin seeds
7. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan and fry with turmeric for 30 seconds, then let it cool
8. Add the lime juice
9. Mix in olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper with a whisk or a fork
10. Add the cooled quinoa to the mango mixture, pour the dressing over the salad, and toss
11. Serve immediately, or cover and chill

And lastly, I made a lentil nut loaf:


Lentil Nut Loaf (or patties):
2 c. cooked lentils
1/2 c. chopped nuts or seeds
1 onion quartered
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. water
1/2 tsp. coriander

Blend oats until fine.  Empty into mixing bowl with nuts.  Blend smooth the rest of the ingredients then mix with oats and nuts.  Let mixture sit for 10 minutes then place in a greased loaf pan.  Bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees.  (For patties bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10.)

Lunch yesterday was all compliments of Emilie: black bean burger with avocado and tomato and a bowl of pureed squash with maple syrup.















Perhaps the best part of my week so far was being granted a kitchen secret that might revolutionize my culinary life.  All mason jars are universal fits to blender bottoms.  You can make salad dressing right in the jar you want to store it in.  Or smoothies for the road.  Or ice coffee....but I digress.
Lastly for supper last night was salad with tahini balsalmic dressing and warm roasted sweet potatoes. 
I actually feel a bit like I'm eating for a queen.

Anyone else want to report in on how it is going this week?