Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our dinner tonight....

Even Tim said yum to this one! He sprinkled real parmesan cheese on top and used spinach instead of kale. But it was almost vegan!
It's from

Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale

If you use packaged polenta, slice it into 18 thin slices.
1 18-ounce package prepared polenta
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large portabella mushroom, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups, chopped)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 bunch kale (about 8 ounces after trimming), center rib removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (may substitute spinach or other greens)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese sauce (below)
1 1/4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or in a jar)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
vegan soy parmesan

"Cheese" sauce:
1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. cashew butter or tahini
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. corn starch

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 8x8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

Place the cheese sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Set aside.

Sauté the onions and portabellas in a non-stick skillet until the mushrooms begin to exude their juices. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.

Add the kale, basil, and 1/4 cup water. Sauté until the kale is wilted and tender and the water has evaporated. Add the cheese sauce and cook, stirring, until thickened. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove from the heat.

Cut the polenta into 1/4-inch thick slices. Line the bottom of the baking dish with half of the slices, overlapping slightly if possible. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the polenta, and then spread the kale mixture over the sauce. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the kale and top with the remaining polenta. Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top and sprinkle with soy parmesan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings—if you can resist eating the whole pan yourself!

Roller girl...

Sydney is a little, shall we say, less courageous in regards to the whole roller skating thing. Perhaps she's intuitive about her daddy's feelings about skating, since every time I mention going he finds some other exciting activity to partake in. Hmmm....

So I somehow convinced her to go with me for a special day out with mommy to take roller skating lessons at the local rink. Alright, I bribed her with a new video game. Sigh. Her teacher must have been in his 80's. Very inspiring. She did really good for the first half of the lesson. Brave and tough - each time she'd fall, she'd get right back up. The last half, she must have fallen a bit too hard so with tears in her eyes, she wanted to give up. But thank goodness the sweet young girl that was helping out convinced her that she could do it. And she did. Without falling! I was very proud of her!! Now if I could only get Tim to take lessons. Maybe next week?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yummy and easy - perfect combo!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas


1 14-oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh lime juice from 1 lime

2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, smashed
1 Tbs chopped canned green chiles
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp gluten-free curry or chili powder
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To Assemble:
8 corn tortillas (*tip:: wrap in paper towel and reheat briefly in microwave before stuffing, to soften)
1 cup vegan "chicken broth"
1 Tbs white rice flour or arrowroot starch
1 cup salsa verde (green salsa) or chopped canned green chilies
cumin or chili powder, to taste

Preheat your oven to a moderate 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a non-stick spray into a rectangular baking dish that would hold 8 enchiladas.

In a mixing bowl combine the drained black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. Toss to coat the beans and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the smashed sweet potatoes with a tablespoon of chopped green chiles; add the spices. Season with sea salt and pepper.

To make a vegan sauce: combine the vegan broth with a tablespoon of rice flour or arrowroot; heat in the microwave till thickened. Whisk in the salsa verde. Add cumin. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Begin stuffing the warm (*see above) tortillas by laying the first tortilla in the sauced baking dish; wet it with the sauce to soften. Spoon 1/8 of the sweet potato mixture down the center. Top with 1/8 of the black beans. Wrap and roll the tortilla to the end of the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. Top with the rest of the sauce. If you like, top with a sprinkle of GF vegan cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Serve with a crisp green salad spiked with Mandarin oranges or halved grapes.

Servings: 4

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmm...

I've been sitting here debating this with myself. Whether or not I need to edit my "about me" section, so as not to offend. Apparently, the word atheist is an issue. Really? But apparently it is - as even Sam Harris advises fellow atheists not to label themselves. And it really is a generic way to describe my beliefs. Or lack there of. And for some reason, the word has negative connotations attached to it. So I borrowed a description from a Unitarian Universalism website to give a better description. Hopefully this helps.

"Most of us do not believe in a supernatural, supreme being who can directly intervene in and alter human life or the mechanism of the natural world. Many believe in a spirit of life or a power within themselves, which some choose to call God."

This sounds about right to me.

My inspiration.

It took me a long time. A really long time for such a great book. But I finally finished it on Tuesday. And I LOVED it. I will probably keep it on my shelf and re-read it again and again to re-inspire myself as I forget to stay present, so I'm not loaning this one out. Get your own! And don't give up a few chapters into it, as I almost did. It really is worth it. The message is important, regardless of your religious views. At least in my humble opinion.

Just one more....

Really? Am I too old? I can't shake this feeling that I want one more. Just one more. If the octumom can have 14 - is it really too much to ask for 3? I keep getting shut down. The man is stubborn. And although I'm not too old - my clock is ticking. His isn't, but mine is. Tick tick tick. Getting louder every day. I'm constantly drawn to baby clothes and tiny shoes as I walk though Target. I long for that feeling of a tiny life growing in my belly. Have I lost my mind? Because I see my girls growing bigger and more independent every day. Things are easier and I cherish that life is getting less complicated as we pass on our baby stuff and finish with potty training and enjoy sleeping through the night. And Sam is such a joy now. Turning four is the best thing that ever happened to her. I can't get enough of her and Sydney these days. They're amazing girls. And I see how hard that man of mine works, the stress he endures, and the fact that he is done. I get it. It has to be something we both want. So what is this? Nature's way of making me forget all the craziness to keep the world populated? Is it the loneliness of moving away from my family and friends? Or is it that I really do need one more baby to complete the family? Sigh. I don't know but I wish either my husband would cave or the feeling would pass. Because fighting back tears at the sight of newborn footed pajamas is not much fun. So I've been thinking that maybe a puppy would cure me of this need. Oh honey??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Misc. pics

Easy 'do

So Sam and her sensitive head decided she wanted to cut all her hair off this time around. To her ears (not her personally. not yet anyways - note to self - hide safety scissors too). Who am I to argue? The less screaming in the morning, the better. She sat very still at the beauty salon and was very happy with the results. Although a little shorter than I imagined, it turned out cute. My little tomboy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


So we had two tiny visitors last night. Syd and Sam made leprechaun catchers last week in hopes of using it to negotiate their freedom for gold. There's a recession, ya know. However we can get it. Well those sneaky little leprechauns made a big mess and got away - but they left their gold behind! Woot! They also turned the girls toilet green. Revenge for trapping them in tiny boxes, perhaps? The girls were delighted and grossed out at the same time. Unfortunately, Sam was NOT as excited to realize that they turned her milk green. Tears were an unexpected reaction. I guess a trip to the grocery store is in our future.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Snow days...

We haven't had many snow days this year, but the few days we have had the girls have enjoyed! Sam loves helping me throw snowballs at her sister. And Syd likes to eat the snow. Yum. Yes, we've had the conversation regarding what color snow she should avoid. :-)

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