Time Marches On

It feels great to be back to blogging after a six-month hiatus.  A lot has happened during the time since my last post, which I recap (with photos galore!) below.

I last blogged on August 12, 2011. 

On August 20, H and I moved out of our beloved Brighton to Boston’s South Shore.   Here I am “tail-gating” our move (aka, sitting on the back of my brother-in-law’s pick-up truck, eating a heated-up Amy’s frozen pizza off of the edge of a plate because the utensils were all packed away):
"Tailgating" a Move

I had a second bridal shower, thrown my by mother-in-law and bridesmaids, on September 10.  Check out some of the awesome vegan fare they had for me!

Fruit salad in a beautiful bowl:
Hummus and veggie wraps:
Roasted corn salad atop tomatoes, and pickles (of course!):
All washed down with a chocolate raspberry vegan cookie:

My cookie even came complete with a warning to protect it from well-intentioned omnivore dessert-seekers:


I spent the next five weeks shuttling back and forth between Boston and New Jersey every single weekend in preparation for my wedding.  On one of those weekends, I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of my best friend.  The following two weekends were the Jewish High Holidays; I went to synagogue by day and stayed up late into the night with my amazing parents and fiance hand-making wedding favors and placecards.  I actually had my final dress fitting on Yom Kippur, while fasting (it fit great).  I chose and ordered my cake and flowers just one week before the event.  I even bought my veil the day before the wedding, on the way to our rehearsal dinner! It was a whirlwind time!!

On October 16th, I married the most wonderful man in the world 🙂

We spent a magical week on Cape Cod for our honeymoon, then returned to reality.  I busied myself with my job search and with preparing for our upcoming move to the MetroWest suburbs of Boston (yes, we moved twice in three months.  Who doesn’t?).

A week and a half before our move, I found out I passed the bar!!

We moved on November 12th.  I swore in to the bar on November 15th:

Thank goodness we were able to locate our suits amongst all the boxes and suitcases!

I changed my name.  I looked for work.  I found a temporary position as a lawyer in downtown Boston, which started December 1st.  Then there were the holidays, and New Years. 

Friends and family came to visit and stay with us (we have real guest bedrooms now after all!). The Patriots had a fantastic season, which we followed avidly (though it didn’t end the way we wanted). We had stay-cations and surprise parties for big events like Valentine’s Day and somebody’s 30th birthday…

Now here we are.  It’s March.  I can hardly believe it!  So much has happened in such a short time in my life.  There have been a lot of adjustments–I’m no longer a student, I live in the suburbs, and, well, I’m somebody’s wife, to name a few–but life is good and I’m enjoying it one day at a time.

And I am so excited to be back to blogging!!!

I have been cooking tons. Now that H and I are both working full-time, I’m learning the ins and outs of menu planning, make/prep-ahead meals, and most importantly, packing lunches!  It’s been really fun (not to mention delicious) and I cannot wait to share some of the great new recipes I’ve found and time-saving techniques I’ve learned.  I hope you will enjoy them!

Ladies Who Lunch

Or, in this case, lady who lunches, I guess.  It’s finals time.  My last finals time ever (hallelujah!).  While the light at the end of the tunnel (I’m done at noon tomorrow!!!) certainly helps, nothing can truly ease the pain and irritation caused by this time of the semester.  Except perhaps some fabulous eats.

For some reason, breakfast is always a chore for me and lunch is kind of take-what-you-get, while dinner is the main event meal of each day.  The last two weeks however have been filled with some of the most delectable lunches I’ve ever had.  I have tons of photos of them so I hope you like photos.

1) Gardein crispy tenders on a whole wheat sandwich thin with honey mustard, and kale and spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil:
Gardein 3

By the way, this is the kale and spinach in the pan when I first put them in (kale on the right, spinach on the left):
Kale and spinach

And this is after a minute or so…amazing how much spinach wilts down in a hot pan!
Kale and spinach

2) Gardein crispy tenders on a whole wheat sandwich thin with barbecue sauce and kale sauteed with garlic:
Gardein 1

3) WildWood southwest flavor sprouted tofu burger on a whole wheat sandwich thin with lettuce, tomato, and avocado, with a side of Sabra roasted pine nut hummus and organic cucumber slices:

4) WildWood original flavor sprouted tofu burger on a whole wheat sandwich thin with lettuce, tomato, and BBQ sauce, with a garlic dill pickle (because when is a pickle ever not the solution to all your problems?  All this time, I should have been writing “pickle” on my exams when I didn’t know the answer.)

5) ED&BV Lemon Chickpea Lentil soup with rustic bread and Smart Balance light:

6) ED&BV Lemon Chickpea Lentil soup with a beet medley (roasted bulbs; stalks and greens sauteed with garlic):
I had never eaten beet stalks before and let me tell you, they are a delight.

7) Flat bread with Sabra pine nut hummus, cucumber, and tomato, with the fava beans from my last post, sauteed with garlic and olive oil:
The fava beans were SO GOOD! I wished I had more.

8– Leftover Ancho Lentil mix from this recipe, on a whole wheat sandwich thin, with lettuce and a swirl of dijon mustard, a side of kale sauteed with garlic, and a pickle (duh):

9) Leftover Ancho Lentil mix on a whole wheat sandwich thin, with lettuce, chopped tomato, and a side of roasted beets:
I should have had a pickle.

Some of these were repeated one or more times. Ya know…lather, rinse, repeat.  Plus, when something’s this tasty, why change anything about it? I have to say, #3 might have been the best lunch I’ve ever had.  The WildWood southwest flavor is my favorite by far (I’ve also had shiitake and original), and my avocado was heavenly.
So ripe and creamy.

Also, how much do you love Sabra hummus?  I’m not plugging them for any reason other than that I love them…I mean, look at this perfection:

I loved this lunch so much that I took a couple extra beauty shots:
A perfect burger

MMM sabra sabrosa…sorry it’s a little blurry, I was too hungry to focus, I guess.

The next time I post, it will be posting as a non-law student! Woo!!

Me:  Someone found my blog yesterday by searching for “deformed chocolate chip cookies.”
H:  That’s a funny way to spell delicious.

Spring Things

The weather in Boston has been less than delightful the past week or two, despite that it’s now late April.  Last week it was pretty frigid, extremely windy and in the 40’s.  However, yesterday we got a glimpse of the sunny days to come with morning sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s!  Even though it got cloudy later in the day and threatened rain, the temperature stayed comfortable, which was a big relief to me (I hate being cold!).  Today is much the same; cloudy but mild.

Anyway, enough small talk.  Whether or not the weather cooperates, it’s spring, people!  And that means it’s time for fresh produce and love.  It also means that it’s almost summer, the time of year when for all intents and purposes I follow a raw diet because there is just that much fabulous produce available!  But I digress.

Lately I’ve been loving me some zucchini and summer squash.  I made a couple of random yet tasty dishes with these recently.

One night I was “using up” so I tossed some cut-up zukes and squash into a sautee with onions, garlic, chickpeas, and olive oil.


Then I mixed it all into a pot of whole wheat couscous that I’d cooked in vegetable broth that needed using.

Sorry for the dark picture…the evening lighting in my apartment sucks

This was so friggin’ easy and versatile.  I ate it as pictured above the first night, but when eating as leftovers, I topped it with mushroom spaghetti sauce.  True to form.  I love sauce.  Like whoa.

And so, a few days later I made my own sauce that was comprised of spring vegetables: zucchini, squash, and red bell pepper.

Stop light
It’s a stop light!

Then, I browned them in a stock pot with garlic and olive oil:

Once the veggies had a nice caramelized look to them, I added jarred mushroom spaghetti sauce and a bunch of spices (chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic salt, oregano…I am not very specific about these things) and let it simmer.  While it cooked, I had a very typical A. Cook appetizer…

Garlic dill pickles and kalamata olives…salty heaven!

Finally I cooked up some elbow macaroni and vegan meatballs and tossed it all together in a bowl.  The result: veggie-filled, warm, spicy goodness.


In case anyone is curious, these are the meatballs I used:

I always keep a bag of these in the freezer. You can get them at Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s makes a version of them now as well.  I prefer the ones pictured, personally.  The price is pretty comparable and I find that the Nate’s brand are softer when heated, whereas the TJ ones sometimes have hard bits around the edges.

In other news (and H can testify to this), over the last week I have been consuming obscene amounts of green vegetables, namely spinach, kale, and broccoli.  (Lucky for Mr. Asparagus, though unlucky for me, he is never on sale for under $4/lb. anywhere in Boston and that is the only reason he has been spared from my insatiable green appetite.)  But seriously, I can’t get enough.  And that, my friends, is how I know it’s springtime!