Sunday, August 14, 2011

Noodles, Hemp-anola, and a New Smoothie

Greetings from rainy Rhode Island! It's been drizzly and dreary outside today. Yesterday was gorgeous, however, so I can't really complain too much.

Our Saturday started out perfectly. We woke up and it was 59 degrees outside! No humidity, no wind, just a gorgeous, fall-like sunny morning. My hubby, son, and I went out for our first run since our half-marathon, and it felt great to get our legs moving again. My son must have enjoyed the fresh air, because he fell asleep in the jogging stroller. Apparently, somebody was tired! And not just the two parents who actually ran 6 miles! :)

My son has not been eating all that well lately - he's going through a phase of rejecting "real" food and only wanting to eat cereal, fruit, and Larabars. He does love pasta and nut butter sandwiches, though, so I thought I'd try to combine both of those elements into a meal he might actually enjoy - Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. However, I soon discovered that I had neither peanut butter nor Asian noodles in the house, so I had to make a couple of substitutions - brown rice spaghetti for the Asian noodles, and sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. I also omitted the Asian chile paste, since I'm not sure my son would have liked the heat. The other ingredients sounded promising, though - green onions, garlic, ginger, sugar, tamari, and rice vinegar, simmered together with the peanut (sunflower seed) butter; sauteed veggies (I used onions, red bell pepper, sliced baby carrots, and broccoli); and a topping of chopped peanuts. I figured, if nothing else, my son might get a few veggies and some healthy fats into him. In less than 30 minutes, I had dinner on the table. Now, come on, doesn't that look good?

My hubby sure thought so. He ate a big plate and then went back for seconds. My son, on the other hand, only ate about two bites. *Sigh* Toddlers!

After my son went to bed last night, I decided to take my frustration out on a batch of homemade granola. I made Dreena Burton's Hemp-anola from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, and it didn't disappoint. It has a lot of my favorite ingredients - oats, hemp seeds, coconut, almonds, cinnamon, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, and raisins - and it was a breeze to whip up. So much healthier - and CHEAPER! - than the store-bought stuff:

This morning, I was not craving any particular smoothie. I think I'd had a chocolate-cherry smoothie every day this week, and I felt like having something different this morning. I looked in my freezer and spotted some blueberries and blackberries. Suddenly, I started tossing this 'n that into my Vita-Mix, and behold, a new smoothie was born!

Black, Blue, and Basil Smoothie
Makes 1 large serving / 2 small servings

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen blackberries
1 large frozen banana
1/2" knob fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh mint

Toss all ingredients into Vita-Mix or other high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth.

After I got home from church this morning, I was pretty hungry. My breakfast smoothie was good, but there were no fats or proteins in it to help keep me full. Then I remembered my Hemp-anola and the delicious organic strawberries in my fridge. I knew exactly what I wanted for a snack!

A big, fat bowl of Hemp-anola, some sliced strawberries and bananas, and some almond milk. Yummmm. 
It was sooooo gooood! I haven't had homemade granola in a really long time, but it was definitely worth the wait!

Question of the day: how do you get your finicky toddler to eat his dinner?

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