Friday, December 26, 2008

A Leisurely Celebration

Amidst the chaos of the Christmas season, from frenzied mall adventures to last-minute cookie baking, the peacefulness of Christmas Day always takes me by surprise. I always appreciate the slower pace of the holiday; it gives me a chance to truly enjoy the company of my loved ones, without worrying about the next item on my Google Calendar. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you all had a chance to enjoy some leisure time yesterday:)

As the family's foodie and health nut, I received several presents related to healthful cooking and fitness. Check 'em out:

Each member of the Yoder clan has a matching stocking, knitted by my Aunt Susan. They're extra large (and stretchy) to make room for plenty of candy, socks, and underpants!
A few books: Simply Organic Cookbook, Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven, and a book about my fashion icon, Audrey Hepburn.
A new pair of Air Pegasus running shoes.
My very own waffle maker!
A Christmas teapot. Also note my lovely apron--the top part reads "Eat Your Veggies"
I also received a heart rate monitor and a Wii Fit. May this year be my healthiest yet!

In this time of festivity, I got the chance to try a few new recipes...Enjoy!

It's a family tradition that we enjoy Stouffer's lasagna for Christmas Eve dinner before attending the evening church service. I had picked out a vegetarian baked penne recipe to prepare for myself, but unfortunately, time slipped away from me, so I relied on my good friend Amy. I heated up the Garden Vegetable Lasagna and served it alongside a salad and my first glass of wine as a 21 year old. The lasagna was perfect--the veggies amazingly retained their fresh taste, and there was just enough cheese. Yum.
When we returned from church, my sisters and I decided to use up some leftover cookie dough by making "Rudolph" cookies:
Before heading to bed, I whipped up another cherry smoothie: frozen cherries, soymilk, cherry Spirutein, and PB granola.
My sister prepared quite the indulgent spread for the family on Christmas morning: biscuits 'n gravy (with sausage), bacon, and fruit salad. A crustless tofu quiche was on the menu for me, featuring tofu, tahini, soy sauce, garlic, broccoli, and mushrooms. Essentially, I put all the ingredients I use for scrambled tofu into a blender and baked it in the oven. It turned out delicious!
My brother-in-law Major wanted me to take a picture of him thoroughly enjoying his bacon:
My family takes turns opening presents on Christmas morning to ensure that we all appreciate each gift we're given. With 7 people and 5 dogs, our present-opening session took 4 hours! After that marathon, I needed a little fuel before heading out to see Marley and Me. I opted for "Better Bunny Salad" with a simple salad and whole wheat pitettes.
For the big dinner, I prepared a lentil loaf with lentils, onions, pasta sauce, and oats. I was in charge of the salad again (as I was for Thanksgiving), but this time I used field greens, pomegranate seeds, and Alabama pecans. The salad was served with Annie's raspberry vinaigrette. I also had green beans, cranberry sauce, and a few sips of white wine.
My shake of the evening was particularly festive, as it featured Egg Nog Spirutein (which incidentally includes no eggs). I combined it a frozen banana, soymilk, nutmeg, and a gingerbread man.
After a fantastic morning run at my high school's track, I refueled with a blueberry-rice milk smoothie and a Rudi's bagel with cashew butter.
My mom and I headed out to do a few returns and check out the sales at Banana Republic. I ended up with 3 shirts for $44! Score! Anyway, when I returned, I was famished and cold...chili it was! I combined diced tomatoes, chili beans, onion, cumin, oregano, and cayenne for a hearty winter stew. I topped it with mashed avocado and served it with greens, whole wheat pitettes, and a plum.
Although today seems strangely like a Saturday, the weekend is just beginning. How are you all spending your time off this weekend?

Enjoy your evening!


VeggieGirl said...

Oh my - your books, waffle-maker, Christmas eats (shout-out to the gingerbread man floating in the shake, haha), and teapot all make your Christmas truly fabulous!! Excellent!!

No set weekend plans, aside from personal-training and hanging out with friends who are in town from college.

carolinebee said...

SWEET LOOT girl! That is so awesome- i have a waffle maker and i loove it! A bit hard to clean though :D I made a really similar salad for my fam- with gorgonzola and candied pecans, that Annie's dressing totally makes it. What a great holiday and good deals haha..have a great weekend!

ksgoodeats said...

Goodness girl, I'm beginning to think we're long lost sisters haha!

My family has the same tradition of going one at a time with gifts.

Audrey Hepburn is one of my fashion icons as well (along with that fierce Victoria Beckham!)

I've made those cookie pre-blog, last year for Christmas actually.

ksgoodeats said...

Ah - I wasn't done! Banana is one of the best stores out there!

Lovely eats as always girl - glad to hear the quiche worked out! Weekend plans: I'm going out, out, out!!!

shelby said...

FABULOUS Gifts!!!!! Love the waffle maker, you will not be able to put it away at first. I know I couldn't haha.

Cool idea for the quiche, do you know the measurements? Like did you use the whole block of tofu or just one serving?

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I hav those shoes! Of course, mine are not exactly as pretty now as yours!

Haha love the gingerbread man.

eatingbender said...

Wow, you got some truly amazing gifts! I can't wait to see your waffles :o)

Love the Rudolph cookies and the festive Gingerbread Man in your smoothie! And 3 shirts for $44?! That's amazing!

Well, we were going to go golfing this weekend BUT it started SNOWING today - in Arizona!! So the course will probably be closed haha. We'll have to figure something else out! I want to see Marley and Me - did you like it?

glidingcalm said...

loved hearing about your holiday Chickpea!! the reindeer cookies are a hoot, and I had no idea Spirutein made Egg Nog flavor! Crazzzy!!

Have a fab weekend!! :)

vegannurse said...

Awesome gifts!

Yummy eats, too, as always! I loved the way your tofu quiche turned out.. what a great idea!

As for weekend plans, I like to play it by ear! I like spontaneity, haha.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Bridget said...

First of all I am totally stealing that rudolf cookie idea with the preztel antlers...cutest idea ever!!! LOVE your tea pot!!!! I also love how so many bloggers got HRM's this year...I'm so excitied about mine! Oh and happy belated 21st bday!!! said...

im so confused on what day it is today too!

love all your gifts - i have the same waffle maker that i received as a wedding shower gift hehe :)

Sharon said...

Everything looks so delicious. And totally jealous of the waffle maker! That is so awesome! I love waffles!!!

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: I am quite excited about my gifts as well:)
I hope you had fun with friends (and your personal trainer!).
CarolineBee: I am not looking forward to the cleaning process of waffle-making...but I think it's worth it!
That salad sounds awesome! I love any Annie's dressing.
K: I agree--are you sure you don't have a long lost twin? So many shared interests!
I hope you had fun out:)
Shelby: Yes, I did use the whole block of tofu, along with 1 T tahini, 1 T soy sauce, 1 garlic glove, plus a good amount of minced ginger, a few shakes of turmeric, and lots of veggies.
I baked it for about 50 minutes at 375*.
CCV: Aren't Air Pegasuses great? This is my second pair, and I think I could live in them for the rest of my life if I had to.
EatingBender: I am so jealous of your snow! Sorry to hear that it ruined your golfing plans though. I hope you found something else fun to do!
Marley and Me was great--just really sad at the end! The entire theater emerged with tear-stained faces. It hits close to home if you've ever had a family pet (esp a lab) die.
GlidingCalm: I was surprised by the eggnog flavor too--it was a fun way to celebrate through my evening shake:) I hope you had a fabulous holiday!
VeganNurse: I hope you had a great spontaneous weekend!
Bridget: I can't take credit for the pretzel antlers sister said she saw it on someone else's blog!
I am super psyched about my HRM too--it will keep me on track, for sure!
LoveofOats: Haha, BOTH of my sisters also received the same waffle maker for their weddings as well!
Sharon: I can't wait to bust out the waffle iron either. Send any recipe suggestions my way!