It's a running joke in my family that Christmas never really ends after December 25th. Allow me to explain:
My mother is an expert gift hider as a result of my sister's continued attempts over the years to find and peek at her Christmas gifts. In fact, my mother's hiding skills are so advanced, she often manages to hide them from even herself. Thus, in the days and weeks following Christmas Day, Mom bestows presents as she incidentally finds them throughout the house. Thus far, I have received a green sweater as well as a gray dress and a purple turtleneck.
In addition to my mother's after-Christmas gifts, I also received a few presents in the mail today from fellow food bloggers. My Secret Santa package arrived from Sarah. Judging by the plentiful Z bars, Spirutein packets, and Kashi products, Sarah has got my taste preferences pegged:) Thanks so much, Sarah!
I also found a package from Futter's Nut Butters on my doorstep this afternoon. Inside I found a lovely gift basket from VeggieGirl! I am super-psyched about trying these almond butters. Thank you, VeggieGirl!
I spent my weekend catching up with friends and relaxing, but I managed to create a few tasty dishes along the way:
I busted out my fave cookbook, ED&BV for dinner Friday. White Bean-Walnut Bruschetta was on the menu for the evening, but I didn't have any bread (!), so I improvised with an Ezekiel pita. I also had broccoli and a salad with pom seeds.
My love of cherries continues to plague my tastebuds with a vengeance. Yep. It's another cherry Spirutein smoothie. Delicious, as always.
I went out to breakfast with "the girls" at Original Pancake House on Saturday morning. My mom, sisters, and I met up with some family friends for a morning of chit-chat and pancakes. Since cutting eggs out of my diet, the OPH has limited menu options for me, but I am always happy to order their phenomenal oatmeal. Somehow, oatmeal prepared in restaurants and hotels achieves a wonderful glue-y consistency I can never re-create at home. Anyway, since I have ordered this before, I didn't bring my camera along. Check out pics of other OPH visits here.
We spent the afternoon shopping the post-Christmas sales but returned home empty-handed...and hungry. I made a simple Tofurky-Peach-Walnut Roll Up with vegan mayo; I also had a salad with dried cherries and an assortment of crudites. Recipe for the roll-up is from Rudi's here.
I've had an acorn squash staring at me on my counter for the past few weeks, so I finally put it to good use by creating a squash-kale saute with navy beans and herbs de provence. I also had salad, broccoli, plus an apple with PB for dessert.
The shake of the evening was a chocolate-covered strawberry, in liquid form: strawberries, soymilk, unsweetened chocolate Spirutein, and chocolate syrup.
Before heading to church, I gobbled down some overnight oats, topped with Brazil nuts and chopped dates. The travel section made for excellent reading:)
I reunited with an elementary/middle school friend at Starbucks for the afternoon. I am so glad we re-connected--we still are very compatible! Anyway, as a result of our lengthy chat, I didn't eat lunch until 3:30. I scarfed down a taco salad with chili beans, a snack pack of guac, salsa, and corn tortillas; thats a dish of clementines and pom seeds on the side.
In an attempt to use up more of that squash, I made a leftover vegetable casserole with squash, kale, navy beans, low-sodium V8, and a topping made up of bread crumbs and ground walnuts. Delish.
I had another chocolate-covered strawberry shake last night, this time using hemp protein instead of Spirutein. Yummers.
Following an intense and chilly run this morning, I fired up the griddle and made some vegan banana pancakes. I spread them with chocolate PB--just like chocolate chip pancakes! Check out my awesome winter spatula and my uber-girly polka-dot plates.
Due to a busy day of errands with my dad, I didn't get a chance to eat lunch until nearly 5! Needless to say, I was rather famished. Here's what I gobbled up: black bean burger (from frozen) on whole wheat with guacamole, squash fries with organic catsup, and a clementine with grapes.
I just hopped out of the shower before typing up this post. I used my favorite shower gel ever, Child. I reluctantly retired my Candy Cane body wash (by Philosophy) for the year:( What kind of shower gels do you use?
Ciao for now!