Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Retreat Recovery

These views come at a price: 5:00am alarm clock on Monday. Little sleep while there.

And we were in meetings for the majority of it, but there was a little time for walking around the property at Snow Mountain Ranch (in Granby - about 1 hour 45 minutes from Denver).  About half of us left after our final meeting on Tuesday evening - the majority staying for dinner.  My carpool group decided we would be fine without - let's go home! Thus, I had one breakfast - which I didn't capture but there are two more vegans now at my school (I knew them from my previous workplace) so the options are increased.  I ate cereal with almond milk. Otherwise, we had the same meals.

Monday Lunch: Hummus, Daiya Cheddar, and Spinach (weird, I know) sandwich with salad and popcorn:

Monday Dinner: Veggie burger with lettuce, mustard and ketchup - corn on the cob.  (Same meal again for Tuesday lunch, but swap the corn for more popcorn.)

Last year, I was much more snacky but this year I was just tired. I'm still feeling it today! I set up my classroom and office for most of the day, and came home - promptly taking a nap. Ha ha!  

Bonus photo: last night, as I was brushing my teeth I noticed a meowing shadow outside my bathroom window...
(Another neighbor - opposite direction of Frankie, has recently acquired a cat.  I've seen it a few times, but it doesn't trust me yet. Shen, I'm working on it.)

Back tomorrow with a rested, hopefully delicious post...

Sunday, August 17, 2014


It's official. My summer break is over. I have to report in the (very early) morning, and sit in meetings for the following two days.  I always describe this transition as going from being unemployed to being the boss. Zero to 100 in under one second.  To soften the blow, I've been working the last two weeks a little each day and even this weekend (all finished writing my units for The Odyssey and Beowulf.  Next up: Hamlet.)

My plate is also in transition, with more and more late summer produce showing up.  Further, it occurred to me that I have to go back to Sunday meal prep for lunches.
 I am going to pack lunches with Tempeh Bacon, Avocado, and Spinach sandwiches.  Summer fruit on the side...
Meals from the weekend included mashed avocado and tomato toast with corn on the cob.
 Sweet & Spicy Cucumbers
 Cappellini with broccoli, mushroom, nooch and seasoning
As I'll be held hostage in meetings the entire time at the staff retreat, you probably won't see another post from me until Wednesday. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Like a Dinosaur

I did no "work" work today.  I spent the morning attending to a few house tasks, running errands, and followed it up with a hike up the Hogback (that's a geologic expression - read what it is here).  It's called Dinosaur Ridge, and while I grew up 15 minutes away from it - I rarely appreciated its awesomeness.  
Although there is a road, it is closed to regular traffic (park at the bottom).  Bikers, walkers, and an occasional tour bus make up visitors.

Along the Hogback is evidence of an ancient Colorado that was once underwater during prehistoric times.  There are wave ripples on the rocks, volcanic ash, and.... dinosaur footprints.
(Above: shale - prehistoric mud and organic material on the sea floor. Below: water ripples.)

Top of the Hogback:

Down the other side: 

See the round rock in the middle? It's the underneath footprint of a Brontosaurus!

 It's not a long hike (less than 2 miles), but it is quite the incline and it was a bit warm.  Even with water stops and rests in the shade - Remy was really panting!  

This site is "across the street" from Red Rocks, so if you're ever in the area - see both!

Now that I've promoted Colorado tourism (iPhone pictures! Imagine it in person...), the rest of my day included a 25 minute home yoga practice, and general laziness.  Here are the meals (taken with a real camera)...
 Almond Dream plain yogurt with blueberries and maple granola.

 Whole Food's Vegan Sonoma Chik'n Wrap

A trip to Beet Box
 Bhakti Chai with made-in-house Almond Milk, traditional Beet Brownie, and Turtle Brownie.

Close up my afternoon bite:
 It's like chocolate fudge with caramel and nuts frosting. A bit rich, and definitely made for prolonged consumption!

Restaurant style taco salad:
Mixed greens topped with fresh corn, tomatoes, green onions, soy crumbles (taco seasoning, green bell peppers), and avocado.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All Good

Frozen banana, vanilla extract, almond milk

TJ's Super Spinach Salad (quinoa, edamame, cranberries, garbanzo beans, carrots, pumpkin seeds, and spinach.  Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing.) Very good! Will buy again!

  Cappellini with broccoli, mushrooms, and green onion tossed in the leftover cashew sauce from last week.

 Who is going to miss whom, when I go back to work next week?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Non-Edible Consumption

I know you've enjoyed all of my backyard food pictures, but here's the real reason why they've happened: two weeks ago, I sold my kitchen table and chairs.  I've been meaning to move on for a while (read: 5 years, when I first moved in) but I didn't really get serious until the situation presented itself to sell.  I've been looking a lot, and this weekend I made it happen! As you might recall, I had a blonde oak table and chair set.  Now, I have a chocolate brown table, and faux leather (pleather) espresso brown parson chairs.  I'm still figuring out which direction I'll keep it - feel free to weigh in!

Option A:
 Option B:
(There's your Remy picture!)

In case you're curious - the fourth chair is in another room.  I have a small kitchen, so pulling it away from the window isn't really an option. Naturally, now I want new dishes and table linens! Not right away, but eventually.

Also in the same area, I purchased three new plants that will live on the window sill:

While I was emptying my wallet, I saw this adorable lunch tote for $6, and had to buy it.  My co-workers will be so jealous.

Lastly, I have mentioned how I am incorporating more yoga at home with the studio changing hands.  Both of my yoga mats are hand-me-downs, but over the last few weeks I've collected a few more essentials:
Foam blocks, strap, yoga manual, and homemade mat cleaner (distilled water, tea tree oil, lavender oil).  Not shown: yoga hand towels - the super absorbent kind for when I practice at a studio.  All that's left is a bolster, but those are basically expensive pillows - so I'll put it on my Christmas list. 

Alright, it's time to get back to budgeting! Ha ha! See you on Tuesday with our regularly scheduled programming...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Soaking Up Summer

There was absolutely a second piece of zucchini after this one.

Almond Latte from Pablo's  (where I worked on school stuff for a couple of hours this morning)
 Summer Rolls (picked up last weekend from King Soopers, they came with a sauce but it's first ingredient was HFCS)
 And watermelon for lunch:
Long walk with a friend and Remy.  Remy and Frankie play date. (I will eventually get them to pose for a picture together! Home practice yoga (because tomorrow morning I have a tough class with the same gal from Tuesday!)
Dinner of summertime champions:
100% chance of an ice cream sandwich happening in the next 30 minutes...

See you this weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Veggetti Review & Outcome

I purchased the Veggetti on Saturday, and spent some time figuring it out this afternoon.  Like all good product reviews, I completed disregarded any instructions and didn't even open the cute little booklet that accompanies it in package.

After a quick rinse, off I went.  There are two blade designations, one for thin and one for thick cut.  I tried the thin cut first.

 It wasn't long after this photo that I could no longer turn the zucchini, thereby leaving a stump "unshreddable".  The process itself was easy and quick, and my fingers didn't feel threatened by the sharp blades.  I gave the thin shreds a quick chop, and made zucchini bread. Delicious, by the way.
Whilst the house smelled wonderfully like nutmeg and baked sweet bread, I turned the Veggetti over and capped the opposite side.  This time, I went for the wide strips.
I made a raw sauce to toss the zucchini noodles: soaked cashews, chopped green onion, nooch, italian seasoning, sea salt and water - in the blender.
 Final product: (also very good)
 Things to know: the side that is not being use for shredding collects debris - so make sure you take off the lid and empty it.  The zucchini "knobs" that are leftover, and too small to shred, are shaped like cones.  The device itself can be likened to a vegetable pencil sharpener.  But I like it, and will definitely continue to use it in the future!