Food

Feeding Rocco

image1-2Hello loves!! We are back with another installation of Feeding Rocco! Hooray!! I love sharing all the fun, and sometimes not so fun, things we feed our mostly vegan toddler. With the exception of organic eggs and some fish we are raising this boy as a mostly plant-based nugget. I know a lot of people wonder if I’m some crazy controlling food mom and I guess the answer is yes… to a certain extent… At this stage in the game I feel I’m allowed to be! My 18 month old doesn’t have the control over what’s being cooked and served in our household,  just the same as the toddler of a meat eating family! He only knows what Mommy and Babbo feed him. Now I know this will change eventually and he will possibly want to try non-vegan foods and all I can do is support him and help him make well informed choices about his food. But if you’re asking if I’m gonna ever get him a happy meal the answer is a resounding hell no! But at some point, if he wants some birthday cake or to try meat I will do my best to keep my emotions out of it. On to the food, you will notice there was a theme going on this week: starch and peas. He likes what he likes.
IMG_1340Jimbo’s Macaroni Salad with added Peas. This pasta salad was meant for The Captain, Rocco ate all of it for lunch! I added some extra peas and he went to town.

IMG_1341Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Green Beans, and Corn. Shockingly he ate most of this! Towards the end the green beans were more fun to throw, but he loved the mashed potatoes and corn mixed together, just like his Nana! Note: I tried to give him leftovers the next day for lunch and he wanted nothing to do with it. Oy vey!

IMG_1342Daiya Mac n Cheese with Peas: My personal favorite boxed vegan mac n cheese. Tastes a bit like old school Velveeta without all the dairy and questionable ingredients. Loaded it up with frozen peas and boom. Dinner.

IMG_1343Fried Rice with Peas and Avocado: Rocco probably eats this a few times a week. Kid LOVES rice. So we fry it up with a touch of coconut oil and a splash of tamari, mix in frozen peas, and top with avocado. Sometimes I’ll put in some onion chopped finely.

IMG_1344Annie’s Mac n Cheese with Peas: This is my least favorite boxed mac n cheese, luckily Rocco could care less. It’s a carb covered in a sauce. That’s all he needs to know. Again, more peas. I usually alternate with broccoli, but right before the move I didn’t want to buy more groceries, so using what I had!!

IMG_14332 Eggs Over-Hard, Avocado, and Tortillas: At our favorite restaurant in SD, Coffee Cup! We both got the same order every time and our favorite waitress knew it by heart. Rocco kills this breakfast which is a common one at home too! Sometimes instead of tortillas, I will make him toast with a bit of coconut oil on it!! But he usually always starts the day with a banana as soon as he wakes up, I swear this kid is part monkey! We buy bananas by the case load!

IMG_1525Almond Butter Toast with TJ’s Veggie Straws: Quick late lunch/afternoon snack! Simple, easy, and filling. I may have eaten one or 20 of the veggie straws myself. So tasty. So salty. Mmmmmm.

Well, there you have it folks another week of Feeding Rocco! Stay tuned for more posts as we really test what this kid will eat, it’s amazing what, even in a few weeks, can develop in a child’s palate and what they are willing to try!

#PinterestFail

IMG_2674So I write recipes, I rarely follow them. I feel cooking is an art, a little of this, some of that, etc. Which would explain why I’m a TERRIBLE baker, like seriously, the worst… Well, I found this yummy Forks Over Knives recipe for stuffed potatoes, supposedly a plant-based take on deviled eggs. Sounded like the perfect Easter snackie. So about that…

Fail #1. I forgot Dijon mustard and The Captain had to do a 9 o’clock grocery run. He got himself a boozy reward, so don’t feel bad for him.

Fail #2. As I gathered ingredients on Easter Sunday I realized I had forgotten THE most major ingredient when making hummus. Chickpeas. I forgot the mother flippin garbanzo beans. What. The. Crap. I did, however, have a can of great northern beans, so I crossed my fingers that they would work.

Fail #3. I completely misread didn’t read the instructions for the hummus at all… I threw everything in my vitamix and started blending. I wasn’t supposed to add everything. The green onion were supposed to be mixed in after the hummus was smooth.

Fail #4. I added water too quickly after I got impatient adding a tablespoons at a time and I ended up with white bean hummus soup. COME. ON.

Sooooo I went and sat on the couch. Maybe I cried a little, so what?! I’m pregnant I cry 2-3 times an hour. Hormones. Am I right??? And I thought “okay how can I turn this around??” I had baby red potatoes and a delicious white bean green onion “Hummus” with a dressing-like consistency… And it came to me. Potato Salad. Boom.

So here’s what I did oh-so-wrong, but tastes oh-so-right!

Hummus:

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added white beans, drained and rinsed

2 large cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped green onions (4 to 5)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

6 tablespoons water

Throw it all in the blender until pretty and smooth.

Tatos:

12 small red potatoes, diced

Pinch of smoked paprika, for garnish

1 green onion, finely sliced, for garnish

Boil potatoes until fork tender and drain. Once dry, mix with hummus and garnish with paprika and green onion!

Hope you enjoy my fail!!!!!

Feeding Rocco

image1-2As a mom, I’m amazed how obsessed I am with what I feed my kid. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise as I’m obsessed with what I feed myself! But when researching meals for a mostly vegan [with the exception of organic eggs and some fish] toddler the information out in the world isn’t overwhelming. I’ve had to strip it back to what I know about food and what it’s important nutrition for a child, or any human really, to eat! I know people have so many questions on the matter, but I assure you it is a healthy diet for a growing kiddo as well as doctor approved. If you ever have any questions I’d be happy to answer them for you!! But here’s a list of some of the things we feed Rocco.

IMG_1334Veggie Calzone. Filled with chopped spinach, onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms. We dip it it marinara sauce and he devours it!! Seriously, he ate the whole thing. **Tip: Leafy greens are not the easiest thing for a little to chew up, so we prefer organic frozen chopped spinach which we simply defrost in use in calzones, soups, chili, etc and it’s loads easier for the kiddos to eat. I also dump frozen spinach into fruit smoothies**

IMG_1335Veggie Stir Fry with Sesame seeds: All of the veggies, with the exception of 2 or 3 zucchini, ended up on the floor. But Rocco’s two favorites, rice and avocado were devoured, plus 3 more servings.

IMG_1336Whole Foods Sesame Tofu, Beet Salad, Back to Nature Wheat Crackers, and Trader Joes Edamame Hummus: This was a snack for me, that ended up being a snack for Rocco. I ate all the beet salad and he ate everything else.

IMG_1337Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni in Marinara with Spinach and Veggie Meatballs and Nutritional Yeast. Rocco will eat anything if it’s covered in red sauce! This is the most basic of meals. We add the nutritional yeast for a pop of b-12.

IMG_1338Veggie Patty with Organic Ketchup and Whole Wheat Pita with Hummus. The Patty was iffy, he ate about 1/3 of it and threw the rest on the ground. He is obsessed with hummus and pita and literally ate 2 pitas.

IMG_1339Native Foods Mac n Cheese Kids Meal with Steamed Zucchini. I’m missing Cali pretty fiercely because this was the easiest quick meal. I would cut up the steamed veggies and put them in the mac n cheese. He tears through this like a boss.

IMG_1445Rice, Beans, and Roasted Veggies. Another take out meal, yes, moving and cooking do not go hand in hand. We served this with a cut up avocado. He loves tortilla chips. Like momma, like son.

For those who are wondering, Roc drinks unsweetened, unflavored almond milk. I look for the cleanest option I can find, Silk brand is usually our go-to. Other than that he drinks water and on occasion raw coconut water cut with regular water. He absolutely loves it!!!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Again, if you have any questions please ask! I’m not a doctor or a food expert, but I do know a bit about being a healthy plant-based momma! I am passionate about raising a mostly vegan baby, stay tuned for more Feeding Rocco!

Buddha Teas

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThere is nothing I dig more than finding a new company to love. When Buddha Teas reached out to me, I was all like, “YES! Give me ALL the tea!” Yes, that’s how I talk professional like… I’m a big tea drinker and while I love loose leaf, it’s not always practical, especially whilst chasing a toddler! I’ve recently read a few articles that were quite scary about the nonsense that’s put into many commercial tea and tea bags! It’s shocking! Well, with Buddha Teas you don’t have to worry about that! They are committed to a natural and organic product that is actually natural AND organic. Go figure!! And on top of all their awesomeness they are a San Diego company, located in Carlsbad!! #Winning

I opted for the Divine Immunity Blend and it’s light and delicious. Crisp with a hint of sweetness. When I had a killer sore throat, aka December, I mixed in a spoonful of raw, local honey to help soothe. DE-lish!!!!!

Lastly, can I get an AMEN for the brilliant quote on this particular cup of tea. “Worry seems necessary, but serves no purpose.” Preach Buddha Teas!

Fare Thee Well

IMG_1467 copyI really can’t even believe it… We are no longer residents of SoCal. I’m in a haze of denial that we won’t soon be returning to Sunny Cali back to our church, our friends, and our lives. We had our sweet baby boy while living here and leaving has hit me hard, I’m saying goodbye to the most wonderful hello I’ve ever experienced. I mostly eat chocolate while crying in bed, I may or may not be clothed, but that’s neither here nor there… We are currently in a state of homelessness while we wait to close on our first house and that’s making things a little harder to digest. I feel a bit lost.

I know this is the best thing for our family and I AM excited, but I’m finding myself needing to lean a bit more on God as he guides us through this transition. I hope I can remain open to new friendships and a new season of life. It’s just when you have had it so good, it’s hard to see better.

I can’t believe how lucky I have been to meet and know the beautiful people I call friends. Some of the most caring and giving souls I’ve ever met. Thank you. To all of the amazing friends that in their own way changed my life. Made me better. Made me stronger. Made me funnier. Made me happier. Made me, Me.

Thanks Boos.

All things San Diego, Part II

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetSo here it is folks… My giant list of all things food in San Diego! The Captain and I are passionate about food and we pride ourselves on being the people you text when you are looking for a new spot to eat! Note: I should say I am a vegan, so every single restaurant on the list, while it might not be a vegan establishment, does offer vegan options! But I assure you, this is not just a list for veggies!!! In fact, out of the 26 spots listed, only 5 are entirely vegan or plant based! Meat eaters, rejoice! I have been compiling this list for weeks!! I am actually salivating after editing this post… I need some tacos… or noodles… or pizza… or falafel… or sheesh, I don’t know, for love of GOD GET ME SOME FOOD!

FullSizeRender_1 copyBest Coffee Drinks: Cafe Gratitude

Weird answer, I know, but the coffee beverages at CG are among the most original and delicious I’ve ever tried. Their Mocha!? Shut. Your. Face. Their teas and other libations are equally tasty!!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Breakfast: Coffee Cup

Not only is the best breakfast in San Diego, but also my favorite restaurant. The rosemary potatoes will change your life. I order the Papas Loco, no diary, add tofu, with corn tortillas. EVERY. TIME. I ate here the day I went into labor and I’m pretty sure it was the jalapeños that did the trick… We eat here… A LOT. Needless to say, the servers have my order memorized and I love them and I will miss them.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Pancakes: Moncai Vegan

These pancakes will change your life. Change it. The Captain stands firm that these are the BEST pancakes he’s ever eaten in his life!! HIS ENTIRE LIFE!!! You non-vegans will be like WHAT THE HELL!?! I don’t know how it’s possible to get such giant, fluffy pancakes with no milk or eggs… I don’t know how the chef does it, but he does and it is spectacular.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Vegan Breakfast: OB’s People Co-op

Not only is this the best value in town, these biscuits and gravy are the things dreams are made of! With an entirely vegetarian market beneath, this small kitchen whips up some tasty and simple food that will leave you satisfied and happy! I wish I lived closer to it because I would eat there daily… seriously, I’d do it.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[my beloved avocado roll from Lil’ Tokyo]

Best Sushi: Ebisu Sushi Lounge

I love this place. We found this when we first moved out because they had a small, but interesting vegan sushi list, but we quickly became regulars. Their fish is always fresh and prepared in unique ways! The place is rarely packed, but always buzzing and they serve food way past your bed time. [special shout out to Little Tokyo in Carmel Mountain, this place makes me happy. Nothing super special, but it’s yummy]

Best Cocktails: WhisknLadle

Fancy and unique cocktails in a fancy and unique setting. Boom.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Chinese: Golden City

So after years of looking for a decent Chinese restaurant we stumbled upon Golden City and it is authentic and delish! With a completely separate veggie menu, it was a clear winner for me! Their salted garlic string beans are a thing of beauty!! Note: the portions are MASSIVE and definitely for sharing!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Döner: The Kebab Shop

Now, maybe you are thinking, come again!?! But if you have never had a döner you are in for quite a thrill! It’s like a Mediterranean burrito and it tastes like heaven! I order the falafel diner, no garlic sauce, add spicy hummus, add fries or rice depending on my mood. [3/19/18 I’ve been informed that the rice is loaded with butter. True Vegans, skip the rice!] The wrap is soft, almost like a thin naan bread… It is delicious! There are now locations all over San Diego, so no excuses get thee to The Kebab Shop!

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetBest Salad: NaPizza

The superfood me salad with tahini dressing is literally a thing of the gods!! Their pizza and [always vegan] soup are both magic, but I don’t stray from my favorite salad! With locations in Little Italy, Hillcrest, and 4S you are covered!

FullSizeRender copy FullSizeRender Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[delish offerings from Cafe Gratitude. Top to bottom, I am: warm-hearted, awesome, & surrendering]FullSizeRender_1Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[Trilogy Sanctuary, just being awesome. Top to bottom: Nachos and bfast crepes.]

Best Healthy Eats: Tie Cafe Gratitude and Trilogy Sanctuary

Cafe Gratitude makes the list twice. I’ve eaten at the LA eatery a handful of times and at the recently opened San Diego locale 23,293,090 times. Slight exeggeration. I love love love everything on the menu. It’s vegan plant based goodness and I’m gonna miss them like WHOA. And then there’s Trilogy, a newer find, located in La Jolla on a rooftop with angels and fairies. OR flying aerobatic yogis. Close enough. The menu is small, but heavenly. I love their buckwheat crepes and the nachos!! OH THE NACHOS!!! Both of these spots are winners, for vegans and non-vegans alike!

Best Thai: Amarin Thai

My buddy Christina took me to this restaurant years ago and I fell… hard. Their Tom Yum Soup is AMAZING. They have an entire separate veggie menu that’s even fish sauce free! And good news North County, Siam Nara in Mira Mesa and Nok in Scripps Ranch are pretty much the same menu from owner Suree! Winning.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[Top to bottom: salad pizza from Luigis and a vegan pie from SDBC]

Best Pizza: Tie Pizzeria Luigi and San Diego Brewing Company

So Luigi’s was an early find, after watching a San Diego episode of triple D Guy Fieri swore he’d eat it off of a flip flop, we had to try it. To my delight, I found out that they will sub vegan cheese and even make vegan calzones. The calzones are AH-mazing. But even more surprising is their cheese-less salad pizza. This pizza is the bomb. And dude, all of their cheesy pizzas look amazing!! Oh, oh and when I was very pregnant and wanted to get another slice, the so sweet pizza maker gave me a slice on the house. Two thumbs up. A more recent find is San Diego Brewing! This spot has a crazy amount of vegan offerings along side all of your typical pub grub. They have vegan hot wings AND vegan pizza!!! Who knew!? It is the lightest crust and I just can’t say enough good things. The marinara is delish and the toppings are fresh. It’s so yummy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[vegan mezzaluna and the special from Civico1845]

Best Italian: Bencotto

Yummy, fresh Italian food in the chicest building. I love this place. Their arrabbiata sauce and zucchini soup really make me happy. A newbie that I’ve only tried twice is Civico1845, but it is really shaping up to be a winner! An entire authentic vegan menu, um dreams coming true.

Best Indian: Delhi Kitchen 

This is a hole in the wall if ever there was one, but Delhi Kitchen in Carmel Mountain is a killer find! It’s super inexpensive and the family who runs it is so nice!! Their Chana Masala is spicy, full of flavor, and oh-so-good.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Ramen: Underbelly

Holy. Giant. Bowls. of. Soup. Batman. This spot is legit. They now have 2 locations, but if you can try out the original in Lil Italy it is totally worth it for the experience. The veggie ramen with truffle oil is lip smacking good!

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetBest Tacos: Don Carlos Taco Shop

One of the first joints we found when arriving in San Diego. Don Carlos is a hole in the wall if ever there was one! The owner is full of personality and with a tag line like “what would Jesus eat?” this place has to rock! And with multiple vegan options this joint is sure to please. We used to pick up food and bring it to the cliffs and watch the sunset with the rich people! Highly suggest it!!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Frozen Yogurt: Paradise Yogurt

Best vegan yogurt ever!!! They always have at least 2 vegan flavors and it constantly rotates. Their toppings are genius and they have the chillest employees. Love this spot.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Vegan Junk Food: Veggie Grill

The Buffalo Bomber has comforted me many, many a night… or day… or mid-morning. I ate here, nearly, twice a week when I was pregnant. The whole menu is awesome. And I’m gonna tell you right now, you will be surprised that vegan “chicken” tastes, well, pretty much like chicken!

Best Spot for a Group who can’t Decide: True Foods

This is the perfect restaurant for a group of folks who just can’t get their shit together. It’s deceptively healthy, but will please a variety of palates! You can get a bison burger, a seasonal squash pizza[amazing], or [my favorite] the Mediterranean chopped salad. There’s an option for the gluten intolerant, vegan, or meat eater in your group. And on top of all of those reasons, simply put, it’s a delish and thoughtful menu!

Best Meal with a View: Cordiano Winery

Our amazing neighbors suggested this spot a few years ago and we have been frequent visitors ever since. It’s nestled atop some impressive hills in Escondido, but you feel like you are in another world. The Italian owners are the sweetest and their pizza is out of control yummy! The wine is okay, but what you are really there for is the view! I could have sat there for hours!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Beach Front: Ki’s Restaurant at the Beach

I love this spot in Cardiff. It’s the utmost in chill dining spots! We love to go for breakfast and I just love all of their healthy options and there is nothing that can beat the view!!

Best Date Night Spot: Alexanders on 30th

Now there isn’t much for a vegan to eat, but the few dishes you can have are totally delish and worth it for the wonderful and sexy atmosphere! It just feels… romantic!? The truffle mac n cheese is a favorite among my friends!

Best Brewery: Ballast Point

We’ve been to a few breweries and this is both mine and The Captain’s favorite. It’s not as touristy as Stone, but is on the larger scale. But with a super tasty menu, DELICIOUS beer, and a beautiful locale. It’s a winner.