Monday, April 25, 2011

Well You're Not Hard Core...

There's something so inherently...wrong about saying "Happy Monday!" I mean, is anyone REALLY happy that it's Monday? Monday to me means grocery shopping, laundry, and hubby going back to work :( None of these things make me happy!!

Still, I try to start my week off on a good note. For the last year or so, I've had a little Monday tradition that I enjoy. I wake up early and begin my day doing the Yoga X sequence from P90X. It's a 70-90 minute session (the DVD is 90 minutes, but I skip through a lot of the chatter and explanations of moves, and I can usually finish in about 70 minutes - score!!) After my yoga (sometimes my son joins me, which is always fun and usually funny... just imagine a 2-year-old doing downward facing dog and tree pose and you'll understand what I mean :) I make a fresh green juice:

This bad boy had organic red kale, chard, carrots, celery, ginger, cilantro, cucumber, and lemon juice. I often will add an apple to the mix but decided to be hard-core today :) On days like this, I often sing "Well you're not hard core, unless you live hard core..." If you're laughing, that means you've seen the movie School of Rock and remember Jack Black teaching this song to his students. If you're not laughing....then go see the movie cuz it's hilarious!!

After my juice, I usually wait an hour or so before I reward myself with a carrot juice smoothie. Something so simple...carrot-ginger juice, frozen banana, cinnamon, ice cubes, and some almond butter...but sooooo delicious.

After my smoothie, it was time for one of my least favorite Monday rituals...going to Stop & Shop :( I never really enjoyed grocery shopping before I had children, but now that I have a 2-year-old, there are few things more...challenging than trying to keep a spirited and energetic boy in the confines of a grocery cart seat for an hour. I try to go well-prepared...sippy cup with soymilk, snack bag with cereal and raisins, maybe a hopes that he'll be happy to just sit and eat his snacks while Mommy gets the shopping done. Some days, it's a success, other days...not so much. But, thankfully, today was a good day!

I did my menu planning yesterday while my son was napping. Yes, it takes some time to do, but I think in the long run, I end up saving time by not having to plan what to have for dinner every single night. I get a sheet of paper, write down the days of the week, and then I check the weather forecast and write down the temperatures and expected weather. That way, if it's going to be rainy/snowy/nasty on a certain day, I'll plan for something warm and comforting, like a soup or a stew. If it's going to be super hot, I'll plan for a ginormous dinner salad or a raw soup or something. I like to have fun stuff like pizza on Saturdays and soups on Sundays. Knowing this, I can plan the other days accordingly. See? There's a method to my madness!

I make sure to write down the cookbook and page number for easy reference. On Thursday, I can just open up Appetite for Reduction (AFR) to page 42, and bam, there's my recipe! I also make little notes such as how many tomatoes, peppers, avocados, etc. a recipe will require so I make sure to save enough of each during the week. Nothing worse than realizing you're out of an ingredient right when you're ready to start cooking! That makes me sooooo mad!!

After I put the groceries away, it was time for lunch. My son was happily munching on some Kashi cereal and I had some leftover Vegan Bowl from Appetite for Reduction. That's what we had for dinner last night and it was just as yummy the second time around :) What is a Vegan Bowl? Well, it is a bowl full of deliciousness and nutritiousness (yes, I made that up). See for yourself:

First, I chopped up a bunch of mushrooms, carrots, red pepper, kale, chard, and garlic, and added it all to a big skillet with some water and a teensy bit of salt.

I also had a pot of quinoa cooking on the back burner.

I baked a pound of tofu that I'd marinated in some veggie broth, tamari, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and garlic. I sliced the tofu into thin strips so they'd be bite-sized in the bowls.

Then, I assembled my bowls by putting quinoa on the bottom, then the steamed veggies, then the baked tofu, and then I topped it off with the amazing Caesar Chavez dressing, which I'd whizzed up in the food processor earlier in the day. The dressing is craaaaaazy delicious and is way better than traditional, anchovy-laden Caesar dressing, IMHO (in my humble opinion...I use IMHO often so I figured I'd better explain!) I swear, Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a genius!!
I decided it would be fun to eat the bowls with chopsticks. That's just how I roll. And my son thought eating with chopsticks was the coolest thing ever.

Tonight's dinner is one of my hubby's favorites...raw tortilla soup and salad. I mean, just look at all these veggies, which will be magically transformed by my Vita-Mix into a Tex-Mex bowl full of awesomeness.

I'll post some pictures later when we have dinner. 

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