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Sweet Potato-Parsnip Muffins and Snow Days

IMG_9776We had a typical Colorado winter storm over the weekend, and there’s a little over a foot outside on the patio right now. Before baby, I wouldn’t have thought much about it. Actually, before we moved to the Denver area. Snow in a small town with less traffic isn’t as big of a deal. I don’t mind snow if I have nowhere to go, but I hate driving on snowy roads because the choices of other drivers terrifies me. So on these cold days with no desire to drive around in the city, we have baked these muffins three times and perfected the recipe. They are perfect for a toddler who refuses to eat orange veggies (what kid hates sweet potatoes?!).

And with a cup of coffee and smeared with almond butter, they make a great breakfast for Mommies–or women and men without kidlets? They are tasty. And fairly guilt free:

Ingredients:

1 large parsnip or 2 medium parsnips, baked

1 large sweet potato, baked

2 tbsp flax meal (or three + 3 TBSP water  if you want to make these vegan and omit the egg)

1 egg

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar

4 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger (fresh grated was best, but we used powdered on one round, and they were still fine)

1 cap full of vanilla extract

2 heaping cups oat flour (we make our own in the nutri-bullet) Make sure to get GF certified oats for truly gluten free muffins.

Directions:

Bake the sweet potato and parsnips. I think it’s easiest to wrap them in tin foil and bake at 375, then run cold water over them to peal them. Throw both in the blender (add a splash of water if you need), then add the apple sauce and spices. You should have about 2.5 cups of veggie and applesauce puree.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, add your puree, and the egg or flax eggs. Mix well. Add in melted coconut oil. Then add in baking powder and flax. Stir well. Fold in the oat flour. We added more like two heaping cups of flour instead of perfectly measured cups to get the right consistency. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving. We topped ours with regular oats after 18 minutes of baking :)

IMG_9768Enjoy!

xoxo

Keri

Love.

IMG_9639Love.
For most of my life I’ve sought after it. Believed that I had to earn it, to do or be something more than I was in order to have the love that I wanted. I spent my teens and twenties desperately scratching at surfaces. Believing that if I were beautiful, intelligent, fun, cool, mysterious enough, I’d be loved. It was such a thin existence.
I don’t blame myself. It was the best logical choice available at the time. All my life I’d learned how to earn approval and accolade. It came with work, and I never minded the energy or effort it took for control of my world. Why would love be any different?

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, things shifted. Space was made. Room created. For a body, for a soul, for his light, for new ideas and beliefs, for love.
There is no calculating how your life will change through motherhood. Your body is no longer your own. Every cell breathes life into a new little being and also a new way of being. There is nothing you can do but surrender to this new existence–you cannot control it or earn it or shape it in anyway. It shapes you. It softens you–in body and mind. If fills what was empty, and spills around you into all areas of your life. It is messy–gooey cheerios stuck to carseat, legos strewn across the floor, runny nose, sticky hands, dirt loving, exhaustion causing messy. It is more. The life of a mom means doing more than you have ever done before–and being more because of it.
Motherhood has taught me love isn’t earned by something that you do, it is what you do. It isn’t something you have, it’s something you are. You embody it. With each late night nursing session, with each caress, with each diaper change, with each changing day, with each admiring glance at your partner, with each gentler glance in the mirror. We embody love by doing love. In the smallest actions–each every day.

With Love,

Keri

Taco Night Married Up.

IMG_9326I cannot get enough purple cabbage lately. So when I say this Food 52 recipe for Lentil Walnut Tacos with Cabbage-Lime Slaw, I had to make it. But, as usual, I never follow recipes exactly. I planned to do my best following this one, but then I made it home from the grocery store without limes or poblano peppers. Sigh.

And I can never just make one meal if it involves lentils, since my husband won’t eat them. So, since I married a meat eater, I married the meal. Here is his plate:

IMG_9319Sorry about the light. This took a bit longer than I had anticipated to make, and natural light in the winter in Colorado is hard to come by in the evenings. Here is a look at my plate that I had for lunch the next day (and dreamt about the day after that….and the day after that….)

IMG_9332Oh my good. These are just so dang tasty! Even Aaron, who turned up his nose and said, “I don’t want that cabbage crap on mine,” was eating seconds of the cabbage slaw on the side.  Since I didn’t have the lime needed for the Food 52 recipe, I just went rogue and created my own slaw.

So here is how you make this meal–one for a meat eater and one for a vegan all in the same night. I’d pick a night when you have a bit of extra time, since it took me about 50 minutes from start to finish.

1. Cook the lentils on the stove top. Their recipe called from 1 and 1/2 cups (which I put in dry), but I used 1 cup of cooked lentils and had leftover lentils for another recipe later in the week.

2. Make the slaw. It’s the same for both eaters, so here is my recipe and method:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly shredded and tightly packed
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly shredded and tightly packed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • dash red pepper flakes (or to taste), optional

Method.

Chop the veggies. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and spices well. Drizzle over cabbage & peppers and stir, stir, stir. At the last minute, I threw in a handful of tamari sunflower seeds as well 😁.

Now for the madness of cooking up two different but similar meals.

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Method to the madness.

In his pan add meat. In her pan, add lentils and walnuts. Brown meat and lentil/walnut mix for about 5 minutes on medium high heat. Then add the spices. Let brown a bit longer while you heat up some taco shells in a toaster oven. His is topped with shredded mexican cheese (I know–wood pulp cheese!), mine is topped with cabbage slaw. His is garnished with sriracha, mine with a little extra cilantro.

And both of us went to bed happy. If you’re a paleo/vegan family, ditch the cheese and serve these up on some extra cabbage leaves! (also omit the Bragg’s liquid aminos–use coconut aminos instead).

With love for meat eaters and plant eaters alike.

Keri

On Talents and Light Pollution

kerihans:

Dear Readers,

If you like me feel like a dim light in a world of bright stars in the blogosphere & beyond, this post was written by a beautiful friend, and it’s meant for us to see 💛

Originally posted on The Barefoot Family:

stars2

Sometimes, if you’re standing in a city at night you will look up and realize that you cannot see the stars.  They’re crowded out by all the other lights–lights that appear bigger and brighter.  These street lamps and house lights seem to be lights that really do light the world while the stars just softly twinkle in the distance, providing a little bit of atmosphere but otherwise not doing very much for anybody.

I sometimes worry about being a star trying to shine in a brightly lit city.  I sometimes worry that anything I could offer to the world will be overlooked due to the brightly shining lights of those around me, lights that appear to be bigger and brighter than my own.  It’s like light pollution of talent.  How can my small little twinkle compete with the brilliant shine of a halogen bulb or a meteor shower?  Sometimes the question plagues my days…

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Motherhood: Year One

IMG_8980I’m a week late in writing this, but he was a week and a half late in getting here, and if I’ve learned anything in this process, it’s that time works differently now. My sweet little boy is one year old! The last year has been the quickest and slowest year of my life. Some moments have required me to be so completely awake and aware and focused (even in the midst of severe sleep deprivation & hormones) that I feel I lived a year in each day.

When I was pregnant, I spent the year counting weeks, celebrating major milestones. Twelve weeks,twenty weeks, thirty-six weeks, forty weeks….Forty one and a half weeks. Then, in the  first few days, I remember counting the day out in hours. Twenty four nearly sleepless hours at a time, I worried and worked at nursing and changing and learning this tiny human’s rhythms and cries and smell and softness and needs. Each minute my love grew, but it took months for the love to be bigger than the worry.

IMG_8971Eventually, the hours became weeks and the weeks became months that I counted and celebrated. I wrote letters to him on each of the month markers–recapping our adventures, his likes, his learning, his life. In the last year, I’m amazed by how much he’s grown; how much he’s changed. He’s my favorite. I tell him this every day. He’s my favorite smell. My favorite sound. My favorite child (I can get away with this now :). My favorite little boy in all the world.

His favorites are swinging at the park. Playing chase around the furniture and hide and seek. Tractors–anything with wheels is a tractor, and he loves them. Toasted Nori strips & scrambled eggs & lentils & oranges & avocado toast. He loves mama in the evening, the moment when daddy walks in the door in the afternoon, being outside in nature. He needs a dog, they make him laugh every time he gets close to one. He’s fascinated by light & loves learning how things work. We’re fascinated by watching his mind work and in love with the light he brings to our lives.

IMG_9234Happy birthday to my sweet angel. The past year of my life has been the most expansive, most enlightening, most challenging, most awakening, most adventurous, most alive, most everything. I can’t imagine life without him!

This past year was the second year that I finally let go of any remnants of my negative eating habits and fat talk. It’s amazing what this kind of love can do. There’s no time to be negatively self-involved in those ways in my life anymore. This past year has been a time when making healthy living choices has become increasingly important to me. Limiting exposure to chemicals, eating the most nutrient dense foods I can find, slowly saying goodbye to sugar and quickly forgiving myself if I have a food fail day. I want to be the healthiest mother I can be so that I can set an example for my child. I’ve learned so much and lost so much in this journey:

IMG_929150 pounds to be exact. I’m not exactly my pre-baby shape, but I’m not working out nearly as much as I once did either. I love making time for running and fitness and yoga, but I don’t have the kind of time that I once spent. I could go on about what I’ve learned & the changes I’ve implemented, but I could go on for months. In fact, I do. I’ve started group coaching sessions via facebook/email/& phone. If you want to learn what I’ve learned and make small changes for big results, I’d love to have you in February’s group. Cost is $35, but I’ll cut $10 for any one who wants to join & messages me before Friday: keri.w.hanson@gmail.com.

This year is a year that I have so much planned–for myself, for our family, for my businesses. This year holds so much promise & so much change! Today, my intention of all intentions is to make choices that reflect my hopes instead of fears surrounding these changes. I know that once I was able to start doing this in the last year, things shifted for me as a mom. I felt more present, less frazzled, less worried and worked up over things that really didn’t matter in the end. I’m learning. And loving. Each day. With him.

xo.

Keri

Married Up: Apricot Ginger tempeh/chicken in the Crock Pots

IMG_8984I’m falling in love lately. I’m already head over heals for my son & husband, so this relationship is new. I notice myself excitedly making plans with this new love. Gawking at pictures on-line. Dreaming about all the extra time that I will get to spend–not WITH my new love, but BECAUSE of my new love. And if you are a new mom, or a working woman, or just a human in this frenetically paced world in general, time is a luxury.

What is this new love? Our slow cookers. We have two. The big one for meat. And my little vegan version. I’m thinking it might behoove me to get another larger one for me too. But for now, these babies are where it’s at. Which is funny, because I’d always assumed they were just to make icky thinks like lil smokeys or buffalo queso dip in the past. Wrong. So wrong.

In addition to my love for our slow cookers is my new past time of scouring the internet for slow cooker recipes. Healthy ones. Ones that I can make vegan & marry. Since I’m a vegan married to a meat eater (in case you’re new around here). Anyway, I have a whole Pinterest Board for this–and as I pinned away, I noticed a theme. I was really inspired by her recipes. This is my own version of a recent one from the New Leaf Wellness blog.

IMG_8938 On my plate: Apricot Ginger tempeh, lightly steamed bok choy topped with Ume plum vinegar, & kimchee (this brand). Topped with brown sesame seeds.

IMG_8943On His plate: Basmati Rice, topped with Apricot Ginger Chicken and scallions.

The Recipe

Screen shot 2015-01-22 at 4.01.27 PMScreen shot 2015-01-22 at 4.01.40 PMThrow everything in the crockpots and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Best to put in around lunch so it’s ready for dinner. I think it would be burned if you left it in all day.

When you get home, put some rice in the rice cooker and lightly steam some bok choy. To make a paleo version, skip the apricot jam, use coconut aminos,  don’t cook rice, and eat the kimchee and bok choy. Although the apricot jam makes this really tasty. We both couldn’t get enough.

*Make sure to use apricot jam that does not use HFCS, and if possible, one that uses as little sugar as possible.

With Love for Meat Eaters and Vegans Alike,

Keri

Meatless Monday with Classic Pasta Night. Married Up.

IMG_8930His and Mine. Pasta is about the only meal my husband will eat without meat. In the beginning, when I was vegetarian, this was an easy meal for me to make for both of us. It would even be easy now–but I’m not so in to pasta lately. Don’t get me wrong–it tastes great! And sometimes I love a gluteny good treat. But I’m experimenting to see if gluten and I should break up indefinitely (for the second time). So my noodles are spaghetti squash.

From first glance, this might seem like two completely different meals, but they do have similar components. So here is the recipe for both. Cook them simultaneously, following the steps below the ingredients in the recipe.

Screen shot 2015-01-19 at 7.06.55 PMScreen shot 2015-01-19 at 7.07.29 PM

1.  Bake squash. (I do 40 minutes at 375). Boil water and get pasta ready.

2. In two sautee pans, coat with the olive oil, and sautee chopped garlic. Add in artichokes when the garlic is just brown. We do not use marinated artichokes, I buy the quartered artichokes canned in water. Save the remaining artichokes for salads later. Turn down heat.

3. I buy my sundried tomatoes in the bulk section of our natural grocers. They are in an air-tight bag. I find it’s easiest to cut them into strips with scissors while they are still dry. Then I let them soak in a covered bowl on the counter for a few hours before cooking. Add the drained tomatoes in to both sautee pans next.

IMG_8576

4. Add in kale (if it looks dry, add in a bit of water). At this point, add in the canned tomato sauce and tomatoes. Save the remaining for later.

5. Add the spices & lemon juice to the vegan spaghetti to each & let simmer.

6. I like mixing the pasta in to the sauce & spaghetti squash in to the kale/tomato/artichoke mix.

7. Add the beans for protein. The SAD eater can top with parm (I miss it). If you are paleo, omit the beans, maybe add some sausage & eat the vegan version!

Enjoy!

With Love for ALL types of eaters,

Keri