Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinners? Celine’s Amazing Quiches

Before the fantastical deliciousness, just a reminder :

woyopracmoIt’s never too late to join in the yoga fun!

One does need sustenance in order to properly practice yoga, n’est-ce pas? Good thing there is so much deliciousness to chose from amongst the test recipes for Celine and Joni’s 500 Vegan Recipes! Honestly, the most difficult thing about being a tester (oh, woe is me) is deciding what to make.

I took advantage of our last lazy holiday Sunday to fix a lovely Sunday dinner. The crazy unusually cold temps seemed to suggest we make a big ole late lunch and stay in our jammies : -5c was the high!?! What the heck is up with that? I know, that doesn’t sound like much for some of you, but we are just not equipped for that kind of cold!

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I made some cheater green rice (thawed frozen spinach tossed in with rice), and a green salad to round out the meal. I hardly was able to snap a photo as the Fish School was starving!

These quiches are the easiest I’ve ever made – and the most convincing, too. This isn’t the first time I’ve made these. Monsieur Fish, not terribly loquacious, has requested them 3 times over the past month!

The first time I made these he didn’t get in until well after the dinner hour. I’d just left everything out so he could help himself, and he actually had to wake me up to ask me if I’d decided to start eating eggs! He thought they were that authentic tasting! Let me reassure you, no eggs were cracked in the making of these babies!

Happy New Year : A wine, an update & WoYoPracMo

Bonne Année! Happy New Year!

I know, it’s already the 3rd, but we’ve only just returned from our little holiday. We had a wonderful time celebrating with family, but it’s always nice to be home, isn’t it?

I’m a very goal-driven individual, and usually the thought of embarking on the adventure of a New Year inspires me. There’s a “clean slate” feeling that comes with each new “year diary” I purchase : yet to be filled pages of dates where I’ll be noting and scheduling everything. As I fill in the pages with birthdays and anniversaries (lest they be forgotten), I find myself thinking about the things I’d like to achieve during the coming year, as well as taking stock of all that I did the previous year.

January 1st also usually means calculating my yearly running mileage and training information. It’s fun to compare my averages, the long runs and speed work, and see how I’ve improved. I just can’t bring myself to do it, at least I haven’t yet. Being out the last 7+ weeks of 2008 hit me pretty hard (as you know and are probably sick of reading about!) and I feel so frustrated not knowing when I’ll be able to get back to training, which goes back to me being a goal-driven person. I can’t schedule a new race or set any goals for myself as I’m dwelling in the purgatory of the injured reserve. Alas.

There is some good news on the “My Left Foot” front, however. I can now go up and down stairs. Very exciting stuff indeed. For the past four days I’ve seen a real improvement, and hope that with PT beginning on Monday I’ll be running (maybe) sooner than later. I’d hoped to be running by my birthday, the 9th, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

The exciting news is that I was able to try a little yoga, and it was ok! I knew WoYoPracMo (World Yoga Practice Month) was coming up, and I’d planned on participating pre-foot breakage.

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I managed a 10 minute practice on the 1st, and worked up to 25 minutes yesterday! How exhilarating it felt to be moving for the first time since November 12th! If you’re not familiar with WoYoPracMo, you can find out anything and everything with a Google search, or just click on the above logo. Yoga Mum created this specific community last year (I got in just after January) and it’s a wonderful resource. There’s also a supportive community of yoginis & yogis to help you stay motivated if you’re thinking about giving WoYoPracMo a try. I’m really excited that I can participate, even if I’m rather shy of my usual 45min to 1 1/2 hour practice. Some yoga is better than no yoga at all!

And now for the resolutions! I know many find that the idea of a New Year’s resolution is foolish, even hypocritical : why not change when we feel we need to? Why wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar to take action? Me, I like resolutions. I like to think of them more as goals to be cultivated and nurtured throughout the year. I’ve managed to make many positive changes thanks to deciding to cultivate a new habit on January 1st.

When I was 13, I decided to write my Grandfather once a week so I’d be sure he received some happy mail. Poor man probably grew tired of reading the same adolescent drivel, going on about dance, school, and of course boys, but with a few exceptions I continued writing him (in addition to calling of course!) until he died in 1996.

Another successful resolution was to stop biting, playing with and otherwise disfiguring my fingernails, resolution January 1995. My mum still laughs when she sees my now mostly-taken care of hands as she remembers the way they looked when I was young.

I feel a bit disappointed in myself, because I don’t really have a resolution for this year. I have many things I want to accomplish, but I can’t pinpoint one thing I want to change. I guess the list is too long! I’d like to be a better person : a better wife and mother, a better vegan and teacher…laudable, but vague. This is the first year that I don’t have something concrete, and it’s a little strange. I’m giving myself a little more time, because I’m sure something will come to me!

Iron – Woman & Chickpea Tabouleh

I have been doing a bit of lurking to see what my fellow vegan athletes (and wanna be athletes like yours truly) are eating to fuel their workouts. The protein isn’t so difficult to get, even though heavy exercisers - whatever that means – need a bit more, my problem area is more in the iron department. I am just one of those people who has a difficult time ironing up, and since I’m moving towards 40 miles a week I need to be careful to make every nutrient-packed calorie count (er, yeah, my twinkiesque cupcakes were loaded with iron, I know). Zipping around the blogosphere a bit back I happened upon a fabulous blog by Veg*Triathlete. Jen the Veg*Triathlete generously shares gorgeous pics of her menus in her Fuel section, and I enjoyed snooping around for some new ideas. And behold…

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safsouf or chickpea tabouleh

I think because it’s so chilly outside I’m thinking more hot-meals and I tend to forget how refreshing it can be to have a ‘cold’ salad. I’m a huge fan of taboulehs, making tons of variations depending on what I have on hand or in the fridge, but I tend to make them much more in the summer months when I can just toss everything in a bowl in the morning and have it be fresh, perfect and chilled by evening when I take it out. I boiled up the beans when out for my run, then tossed it all together and forgot about it until lunchtime. So good. I am a garlic fiend, so I added four cloves of the raw stuff, and I also added raisins for a little extra zam (this also keeps the vampires away, the garlic that is, not the raisins).

So thanks Jen for the inspiration!

And in a 30 Days of Yoga update, we’re cruising to day 10. I wish I could say my calves were loosening up nicely… I think because I generally manage to squeeze in about three or four yoga sessions a week I’m not seeing a huge difference yet. Patients, grasshopper. Patients.

 

An Om Moment… and some Vegan Fudge, too!

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30 Days of Yoga: Day 3

Today is the first time I’ve done yoga with the Guppy. When she was a wee little fish she would sometimes watch me, but we had never shared the mat before.

An interesting experience.

It was perhaps not the most classically zen moment, but she was thrilled to be sharing this moment with me, and our 20 minutes of oneness were probably more intrinsically zen than I know.

(That being said, I do hope to be doing solo yoga tomorrow.)

Another way that many folks get their zen on is from some form of chocolate, like, say for example some delicious (and far easier to make than maintaining good alignment in down-dog with a 2 year-old swinging from your hips) Vegan Fudge! (Trust me, the fudge is wonderful, the exact opposite of the quality of this photo…)

 

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If you’ve not yet been to Shmooed Food, the fantastic blog by Jennifer McCann, author of the famed Vegan Lunchbox (which I would so love to get a copy of!), well, you’re missing out on one of the greatest Vegan Foodie blogs out there. Tons of great recipes & fab pictures (unlike the blurry mess of fudge above…go check out the recipe & the picture).

The fudge was very quick to make and rated high on the yummy factor. Mine was a bit slushy and didn’t really harden (which didn’t keep anyone in the Fish household from partaking), but I didn’t add any vegan marshmallows, and I think that would have helped gel things up nicely.

While wasting time and not getting things done scouring the Shmooed Food blog, I was drooling over her Vegan Twinkie recipe, and I just don’t think it’s possible to tell you how much I enjoy devouring inhaling eating Twinkies. This is something I just have to try. I’ll keep you posted…

30 Days of Yoga! Because Yoga Is Like Chocolate For The Soul…

I’m sooo excited about all the super-creative stuff I’m going to be working on this year. I’ve got a mini-mountain of projects just aching to move from the “can’t wait to do this” pile to the more active “look what I’m doing” pile. Changing my focus this time around, I decided to opt for very different (for me) resolutions this year: learning to knit & crochet (there were two others, but they are personal, but really, not exciting, so don’t feel left out!).

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For those who know me, it probably seems rather odd for me to be seemingly so excited about such -gasp!- domestic-y sorts of things, but it is my mission to constantly keep the world guessing about my true identity.

I spread all my crafty goodies on my bed during the Guppy’s nap today to try to decide what to do. I had almost half of a pathetically-basic beginner’s scarf done, but learned a beginning knitter’s lesson the hard way: keep all projects well hidden from curious 2 year-olds. I came home from teaching and Mr. Fish was trying desperately to fix the damage, which was super-cute, but futile. Helas. My incredibly gifted in the knitting and crochet department is coming for a yet-to-be-determined-when visit, and I can’t wait to learn from a human and not try to decipher cryptic instructions from books and the net.

Now, you read the above and well, I sound pretty chipper, don’t I? In reality I’m feeling a bit deflated. When my alarm went off today for my run I got up, walked to make an espresso, turned on the machine, and then just walked back to bed, tail between my legs (and the worst part is I didn’t even feel more rested when the alarm went off two hours later!). Who stole my mojo? Où se trouve mon zen? And while we’re at it, let’s look for that generally-over-abundant energy, please.

I run about 30 miles a week, which to most avid runners isn’t huge, but what I really dig about running is its subjectivity. It’s personal. Your PR is *yours*, no one else’s, and only you know where you started from, how much work you put in, and how much you’ve gained (well, unless you’re a competitive athlete and that’s different). In order to maintain my running habit I have to get up early (between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m.), which is also about perspective, but for me it’s really ugly early, and since I sometimes don’t get to bed until after 11 p.m. (like the midnight last night), the morning can be tough. This doesn’t usually bother me for more than my initial 15 minutes of waking up, and once I’m dressed & out the door I’m feeling good.

But not today.

I’m really in an energy funk, and I know we are all feeling some version of cabin fever, but it’s really getting me down. Getting up and running to beat the sunrise is one thing. Running in freezing temps with rain pelting you is another. Rain is my friend, but I need some zesty sunny energy goodness!!

Yoga is also my friend, and I try to hit the mat at least four times a week, though sometimes it’s more like two or three. For me, yoga is necessary- without it I can’t run, my lower extremities being a bit damaged from so many years of dance, but it’s not just about keeping my soleus from snapping like a ratty old window blind.

Yoga is like chocolate for the soul. You feel all yummy and warm and sweet when you’re done, and I think that’s what I need. It’s what we all need! So here we go, it’s the “let’s get February over with and out the door 30 days of yoga challenge”. I officially started on Monday, so this is day two for me. The rules are simple, for a day to qualify there must be a minimum of 10 minutes of structured yoga. I think if I can stick to it, it might help me find my fleeting mojo, or at least to concentrate on something other than the cold temps when my alarm goes off in the morning…I’ll keep you posted.