Get-Better Broccoli Soup

I worked from home today because of a major toothache that caused a sore throat and ear pain.  I usually eat breakfast and lunch at work so I really didn’t have much food in the house, especially because it is nearing the end of the week!

I honestly wasn’t feeling breakfast at all (so much pain) and stuck to tea after tea all morning. Around noon I was starting to get hungry though. I had canned soup that I could have easily heated up but I’ve been reading about how bad BPA is for us, especially for women and our fertility (call me crazy or paranoid except not really because it’s fact) so I decided to get creative in the kitchen instead of busting out the can opener.

I whipped up a broccoli soup that was so yummy, I’ll be making a bigger batch to freeze in the near future. I used ingredients I happened to have on hand and this recipe as my muse.

The cumin and lime give this soup such a nice flavor with just the right amount of kick. Plus, all of the vitamins and antioxidants in the broccoli really did have me feeling better; not to mention the garlic, carrots, and nutrient power-house lentils that were also in there.

I now present you with my Get-Better Broccoli Soup (which is both vegan and gluten free #hey)

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The random ingredients I had to work with… (frozen homemade veggie broth FTW)
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Sauteed garlic and carrots
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Added lentils and veg broth
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Add cumin, lime juice, and frozen broccoli; boil, simmer, blend!
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Ta-da 

Get Better Broccoli Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook time: 20 minutes – Serves 4 *freezes well*

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 1 c carrot – chopped
  • 1/2 c red lentils
  • 4 c veg broth
  • 1 c broccoli
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 Tbs lime juice

Directions

  • Sauté garlic until translucent
  • Add carrot and continue heating for ~1 minute
  • Add lentils, veg broth, and broccoli
  • Bring to a boil
  • Stir in cumin and lime juice
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Blend together (I used an immersion blender but a regular blender would work too)
  • Serve, sip, and get better!

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Rainy weekend recap

My grandparents were in town this weekend and we spent a cozy, rainy weekend catching up. I am very much a family girl so I love when my grandma and grandpa come down to visit! They drove down from Reno on Friday and met me at work for lunch.

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Me and G-Dub with the Ice Cream sandwich Android 
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Nuget Android!
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Missing an arm 😦

After work we went to my friend’s house to watch their cutie toddler. It wasn’t your typical night but I think my grandparents enjoyed spending time with a little one, especially because he is at such a fun age! Plus, he seemed to really like my grandpa and sat contently on his lap for half hour watching a movie with us.

Saturday morning was lazy and rainy. A favorite combo of mine! I made bacon (rare in my house!), scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese, toast, and coffee and tea. There really is something about cooking for your loved ones and sharing a meal together. 🙂

After breakfast we went up to my mom’s so Mike and my grandpa could help put together a new shelf she just got. In typical fashion, the girls hung around while the boys assembled the shelf. Then it was time for lunch at a local favorite, Franklin Street Cafe. My mom and I spilt a salad and I ordered a cup of the chicken tortilla soup.

On our way back to our house, we saw an Open House in the neighborhood. Checking out houses/condos is a fun, quick thing to do; especially with how outrageous prices are in the Bay Area! Every time, it’s like wait, how much!?

Then it was back to our house to learn a new game called Phase 10. About half way through the game we decided to Door Dash Sam’s BBQ, a South Bay gem! We all ordered the Carolina pulled pork platter with various sides. For me, the day’s eats included a lot of meat (bacon, chicken, pulled pork….) but that’s how it goes sometimes.

After we finished dinner and our game (Mike won, #standard), we watched a documentary on Netflix and called it a night. The next morning we went to Willow Glenn for breakfast at Crepevine, where my grandma and I spilt the French toast. Lots of splities in this family.

My grandparents left shortly after breakfast and Mike and I promptly crawled right back in bed. He napped on and off while I watched Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason …Mike’s commentary included at no additional charge;)

I’ve seen the first Bridget Jones but not the second… The sequel wasn’t as good (in my opinion) but I still love how ridiculous Bridget Jones is. I’m looking forward to seeing the third movie soon!

It was still raining outside after the movie but Mike and I decided to go hot tubbing anyway. And to our pleasant surprise, our pool was still heated! We spent the afternoon swimming and hot tubbing in the rain and it was sooo much fun and a great Sunday activity.

After our dip, we grabbed quick slices of pizza and then went for happy hour at our FAVORITE restaurant OCK. A few hours later we made vegan Thai veggie wraps for dinner with peanut sauce. We’ve made these in the past but this time, we piled all of the vegetables on a plate and wrapped them as we went. I didn’t know if the wraps would be enough for dinner but it turned out that they were perfect! I think taking the time to make each wrap and then eat it, slowed down dinner which meant our brains had time to tell us we were full before over-eating. At least that’s what I read happens… hehe

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Tune in next week for another weekend recap. I know you can hardly wait 😉


** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Recent reads

I love reading – and buying! – books written by women. I like to spend my money on these books because I want to support them. Some people splurge on new clothes; I spend my money on shiny new books with glossy covers. Recently I’ve read Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison and Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen.

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Both books are a collections of anecdotes; though the subjects are pretty different. Overall, I enjoyed Live Fast Die Hot more because I thought it was really funny. Jenny is neurotic and self-absorbed but in all of the best ways. For me, it wasn’t a great read before bed, but as soon as I started reading it during the day/on my commute, I devoured it.

Down the Rabbit Hole was a decent read. It was very telling of Holly’s opinion on Hugh Hefner and I’m sure he wasn’t too happy with the book. I occasionally watched The Girls Next Door when it was still on TV and, reading the behind the scenes from Holly’s perspective, just goes to show you how fake “reality” TV is. Overall, I don’t think I would recommend this book (this is me being nit picky but I hate cliches in writing and this book is filled with them!) unless you’re looking for some dirt on the Playboy Mansion. That being said, I do like Holly Madison and respect her for writing about her experiences!

Next on my list is I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual. I am really looking forward to this read – especially given important movements like Black Lives Matter – and will write my thoughts on it as soon as I finish!


** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Canadian Thanksgiving 2016

Every year we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving at our house with lots of food, drinks, and friends. (You can read about last year here.)

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The only picture we took together!
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The ladies

This year was probably the most stress free event we’ve had yet (though the bar is set pretty low considering we almost caught our house on fire four years ago… #allofthestress).

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, perfect for hanging out at our outdoor BBQ pit! Mike manned the grilled and made burgers with Keg spice (the seasoning from the Canadian steakhouse chain) and Canadian cheddar, while I made poutine (a Canadian staple). We found REAL cheese curds this year; which is a big deal for us because in the past, we’ve had to use sliced mozzarella and it just hasn’t been the same. Mike also made homemade gravy for the poutine.

We had an array of different Canadian chips and candies for people to snack on while the food was being made and, of course, Canadian beer, wine, and rye.

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This year, Mike and I also made little cards with Canadian fun facts and trivia. I thought they turned out really cute and were hopefully interesting!

For dessert, Mike made Nanaimo bars. They are delicious with a TON of butter in them (are those synonymous?). Unfortunately I dropped the ball on pictures this year and didn’t get any of the dessert or food! There was just too much fun to be had. 😉

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Owen wasn’t very entertained with our selfie

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Cool to be Kind?

In school, I was the student who was nice to substitute teachers. While a lot of my classmates took advantage of a free range day in class without the “real” teacher there, I dutifully obeyed whatever instructions the sub laid out for us. 

Make no mistake, this did not earn me cool points with my peers. In fact, being “nice” has somewhat carried a negative connotation for me my whole life. 

Recently, two friends remarked I was “like a dog, I was so loyal.” They didn’t mean any ill-intent by this comment but I was instantly taken back to my classroom days, helping substitute teachers figure out how to turn on the overhead projector (remember those?!) and getting mildly made fun of for being a teacher’s pet.

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In all honestly, there were times when I tried to abandon my nice girl ways. Most of my friends were way cooler than I was. I joke now that I wasn’t a cool kid in school, I just somehow – gracefully – made friends with some key cool kids who wore the right clothes, made the right jokes, and didn’t seem to have the sensitive streak or emotional attachment that I did…

I’ve never really been able to flee too far from my nice-girl ways. But I’m starting to embrace this side. Some may see it as a sign of weakness but I disagree. To me, kindness is the greatest strength of all.

I think we are generally seeing a shift towards this realization in our Western culture. There are things like the Kind Campaign and a growing awareness surrounding bullying. I see my friends who are parents striving to teach their kids about compassion and being inclusive.

It just may be becoming cool to be kind; and for once I can say, I was ahead of the curve.


** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Highlight Reel – Canada Edition

Mike and I just got back from a great week visiting friends and family in the Toronto area. Instead of breaking down each day, moment by moment, I thought I would try something different and showcase the highlights of our stay instead!

Friday, 9/23/16:

We took the redeye to Toronto from SFO and I was able to sleep a lot longer than I thought I would! When I woke up and looked at the map/ETA, we only had 1/2 hour left until landing. Score!

Saturday, 9/24/16:

After breakfast with Mike’s parents, we napped for a bit. Then we headed to a beer and cheese tasting at a local garden store that was closing down for winter. Seems random but it was a lot of fun. We sampled some delicious cheeses and the store had really cute things to look at. They also had a photo booth that, of course, we participated in.

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Photo booth fun

For dinner, we went to The Keg with family friends, Carole, Nikki, and Maria – a favorite tradition of mine! The food and company are always great but I didn’t snap any pictures… Next time.

Sunday, 9/25/16:

We spent the day reliving Mike’s childhood at Canada’s Wonderland. The park wasn’t too crowded so we spent most of the day on rides instead of in line. Big win.

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At Wonderland!

After we got home, Mike and I walked to a nearby eatery called Turtle Jacks. I ordered the Greek salad and tomato soup. This wasn’t really a highlight of the day but since this blog is partially about eating healthy, I thought I would include it (plus, I remembered to take a picture…..).

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Soup on a cold evening, so comforting.

Monday, 9/26/16:

We headed into the city for a Jays game with our good friends Melissa and Davin. The Blue Jays didn’t win 😦 but it was a good game nonetheless. And it is always so good to see Melissa and Davin.

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Classic elevator pic
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Selfie Us-ie at the game
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Mike actually watching the game…

Tuesday, 9/27/16:

We stayed in the city and ventured to Toronto Island. There was a small farm on the island and we saw cows, pigs, chickens, peacocks, alpacas, donkeys, ponies, goats, and a few other animals. A part of me hates how much I love to see animals up close because I want them to be free and livin’ large in the wild but they were all soooo cute, I couldn’t get enough.

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A miniature donkey in da house!
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Pretty peacock
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More soup for lunch 🙂

We also met Mike’s good friend Alex in Kensington Market, a cool little area of the city that reminded me of Haight and Ashbury (with less smoke shops and tattoo parlors).

Wednesday, 9/28/16:

Mike and I went to Oakville in the morning to rock climb and then met with Melissa and Davin again at Kerr Street Cafe. I have been wanting to try this cafe since I read about it on Oh She Glows and it didn’t disappoint. Like Angela, I ordered the Buddha Bowl. Noms.

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On Wednesday evening, my good friend Jeff and his finance came over to Mike’s parents for dinner. Jeff and I met in college and he nows lives in Canada with his bride to be. It was really good to see him since we live so far away now and don’t get to hang out nearly as much as we used to. (Ahhh.. the crazy stories we have to tell.)

Any time spent with good company, good food, and wine is a highlight in my book.

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Thursday, 9/29/16:

Mike and I spent the day in Niagara near the falls. We had a really good day together, walking around and exploring in the drizzle. We had a room there at the Sheraton (where I also stayed in New York) with a Falls view.  It was a perfect cozy day spent with my man.

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Started the day with Tim Hortons!
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That view!!

Friday, 9/30/16:

Mike’s parents met us at Niagara Falls and we did the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, to see the massive waterfalls all up close and personal. It feels like you are right at the base when you are out there, which is two parts amazing, one part terrifying.

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Photo cred: Mike
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Selfie!
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Drinks with a view 🙂

Saturday, 10/01/16:

On our last day we went into the city again and ate lunch at one of our favorite brew pubs, Mill Street Brewery. After lunch we did a sake tasting and walked around downtown for a bit, ending the day with a beer at Steam Whistle Brewery. A lot of drinking but also a lot of walking!

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Beer flights
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Sake!

We left to come home on Sunday morning and we’re already looking forward to Mike’s family visiting in December!

This week we are prepping for Canadian Thanksgiving celebration this Sunday – check in next week for a recap. 🙂

Stay tuned and eat your greens!


** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe  **