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!