she’s 12!

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  No one ever tells you when you are nestling a freshly popped newborn that they turn into these older kids. All the sage advice and anecdotes are about when their kids were wee just like the one that fits perfectly in that little space in your arm. Well… they do get bigger (stop fitting in your lap for sure) and as we have learned over the years, they become more themself with every year that passes. Her love of learning, her empathy, her kindness, and her smile have only gotten more effervescent with time. This is one awesome kid that we get to share our life with and I can’t wait to see how parenting a 12 year old unfolds. 

Happy birthday!

no meal plan but…

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vegetarian meal plans

We have a whole load of special to account for this week – the 11yo heads off on her first school trip of the year and we’ll be celebrating her 12th birthday as soon as she gets back. We (the adults) are going to take advantage of the few nights to by treating ourselves to some well-deserved, nice dinners out and about. Hope everyone has a great first week back at school!


lunch-packing drawer

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A drawer for all my lunch-packing essentials is a real sanity saver once the school year kicks in. If you don’t have an entire drawer to spare, try finding a spot for a small basket or container that will corral everything and make yourself a little lunch-packing zone. I am a strong believer in having your insides match your outsides and this philosophy definitely carries over into my kitchen. Clearing out and re-prioritizing this space is one of the last steps I take before the start of the school year.

lunch-packing drawer |

Setting the menu for her first few days later and practicing portions starting tomorrow.

veggie meal plan – august 17, 2015

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vegetarian meal plans


The 11yo starts middle school on Friday, so we are officially in reset mode. That means practicing portion control for packed lunches, getting up and being dressed (and fed) by 8am, and having a dinner plan in place for *most* nights. This is no small task if you take into consideration how slammed we have been with work and how much I have relied on eating out the past couple of weeks. Today was a late start, but I am getting myself to bed at a decent hour tonight so that I am less zombified at 7am tomorrow.

Yogurt & Nut-Free Granola
Black Bean & Potato Tacos
Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowls
Scramble, Potatoes & Avocado Toast
Zucchini Migas

Potato Chickpea Stew *
Red Lentil Dal * + Basmati Rice
Mac & Cheese
Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches

Pepperoni Tempeh Pizza Salad **
Romaine Salad with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette


Carrot Muffins
Zucchini-Parmesan Quinoa Bites (based on these)
Roasted Beets
Salsa Asada

Pickled Jalapeños
Veggie Burgers
Pickled Carrots (maybe)

* Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
** Salad Samurai

CSA stash – 8/15/15

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I see pix of tomatoes and berries in far away (mythical) places, but in Central Texas we are deep in the okra, pepper, and eggplant groove. This week’s CSA stash consisted of okra, zucchini, eggplant, lots of carrots, cucumbers, beets, radishes (my favorites!), basil, potatoes, jalapeños, and cantaloupes! Good batch of veg to kick off our back to school reset.

lunch containers – 2015 update

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We don’t have long supply lists at the beginning of the school year, so lunch boxes and lunch packing paraphernalia is where I get my back-to-school urges satiated these days. I’ll pick up a couple of sauce containers here and there or try a snack-size container in hopes of finding a new dependable gem, but it is the stuff below that has held strong in our lunch-packing drawer for years now. We’ve had some of these containers since the first grade and they work just as well for adult lunches as kid-sized portions.

To-Go Ware Food Carriers
Our tiffins are still going strong! They’re really easy to clean, doesn’t retain any odors (yay for Indian food lunches!) and our first container is going on year three or four. The 11yo is graduating to a 3-tier tiffin this year, but don’t let the “snack” label in the two-tier fool ya’; they hold full lunches. The 11yo packs a small meal for mid-day snack so we decided to consolidate all  into one tiffin.  Oven-safe to 350º and dishwasher safe.

Tiffin_Family_800x800__15713.1366328276.1280.1280 Read More