Recipe: Veggie Quinoa Salad

2016-05-01 copy

Lately I’ve been trying to find more vegetarian or vegan recipes to make at home. We haven’t cut meat completely, we still eat fish a few times a week and occasionally get chicken when out to eat, but we don’t have it at home and I found that most of my recipes had either chicken or turkey as a main ingredient so I’ve been scouring the internet to find great recipes that make everybody in the family happy.

So I came across this really delicious Thai Quinoa Salad on Foodie Crush the other day and knew from the flavor profile that we’d all LOVE it. I’m linking the original which you should ABSOLUTELY try but there are a few things I had to change because Ben can’t have onions and I can’t have cabbage. So here is my version:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups veggie stock (to cook quinoa)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded (I use a mandoline for this)
1 cucumber, de-seeded and peeled
1 cup edamame
½ cup chopped peanuts
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped basil
1 whole avocado, chopped

4 teaspoons fish sauce (my cousin told me you can get vegan fish sauce which will make this a completely vegan recipe)
3 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook quinoa in veggie stock according to package and let cool. Add all the other salad ingredients and stir. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add to salad, stir. EAT! Tastes better when it has some time to sit and cool first and even better the next day.

I double the recipe and we have it as a main dish but it would also make an excellent side dish.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2016

I thought I’d put together a little Mother’s Day gift guide. There are so many different types of moms out there so I just thought about things that I’d love to receive. You know your mom best! Think about what she loves to do, what her hobbies are, things that make her happy and I’m sure you’ll find her the perfect gift. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Mothers Day Lush Set Lush Mother’s Day Gift Set ($59.95): If your mom enjoys a bath like this mom does then this will be a gift that’s put to some very good use. I try and get a bath in at least twice a week and every bath I take I use either a bath bomb or, my favorite, a bubble bar. I have been a Lush believer since my very first purchase there a few years ago and rely on them exclusively for my hair care, the majority of my skin care and ALL of my bath time perfection.

Funko Pop BB8 at Target Funko Pop BB8 ($8.99): I started collecting Funko Pops awhile ago. I tried REALLY REALLY hard to resist them for over a year then I saw a Borg Locutus Pop one day when I was in Barnes and Noble and I HAD to have it. Since then I’ve been collecting them from all the geeky fandoms I love and lining them up on the half wall in my little corner of our computer loft. I also have a Sherlock Pop on my printer at work. They are just cute and make me smile.

Mother Day Flowers The Bouqs Company The Bouqs Company Ladybug Arrangement ($50.00): I LOVE having fresh flowers at home. When I do my weekly grocery shopping trip I always stop by the floral department and pick out some fresh flowers for the living room and/or my bedroom. I know a lot of people think that flowers are kind of an afterthought gift but if you know they are something your mom might love then I say to go for it. Even though they are temporary, they are an awesome and delicious smelling reminder that you love her. Bouqs even offers a subscription service so if you want, you can give a gift that will last for the year!

mug03 Mug from The Hold Fastery on Etsy ($14.99): I have know Britney online for, SO MANY YEARS NOW. She was one of the very first blogs I followed regularly and it’s been really neat to watch her grow, get married, start a family and make really cool stuff! As a legitimate coffee addict, I have collected many cheeky mugs and absolutely fell in love with hers when she started selling them. I’ve already purchased this one for myself because it holds so much truth in our household. She also has some cute and witty Mother’s Day Mugs available for purchase too!

Hummingbird feeder on Amazon Hummingbird Feeder ($27.17): I came across HUMMINGBIRDSXOXO on Instagram the other day. She lives here in California and feeds hummingbirds every day in her back yard. She even has hand held feeders and she’s been feeding them long enough to have earned their trust so they will come perch on her hands to eat that way! Since then I’ve been hunting for new feeders to hang in my back yard and I really love these hand blown glass ones on Amazon. We already have quite a few of them that fly in to feed off the flowers in the yard so I know if we had a few dedicated feeders we’d have quite a few to watch!

General Disclaimer: None of these are affiliate links and I’m not being paid in any way for this blog post. These are all just products I really love and thought I’d share in case you all need some Mother’s Day ideas.

Feeling the Bern after seeing the finger.

Also, new car decoration. #FeelTheBern

About a month ago I put this sticker on my car. I saw it when I was buying a Feel The Bern shirt and it made me laugh so I added it onto the order as an afterthought. I didn’t buy it intending to put it on my car, I was thinking that I’d stick it on my PC or iPad cover, but Ben and I both laughed about it again when I got the package so I put it on the car just to be cheeky.

The response has been mostly comical. Right after I got it Julie and I took the kids to the beach in Santa Cruz and a couple of guys behind us at a stoplight were pointing at it and cracking up. I’ve also seen two people take photos of it at stop lights.

I thought that eventually I’d get a comment or a dirty look from somebody but living in a pretty liberal area, I was starting to think that I’d never have to deal with that… Till today.

I’d been cruising down 85 in the middle lane for over 15 miles. There were no cars in the left lane for awhile and a motorcycle slowed as it passed me on the left and I could see him do a double take at the back of my car. When he got to just in front of my window he revved his motor to get my attention then flipped me off. I just went with my standard response to finding myself at the receiving end of the middle finger. I smiled as big as I could and waved as enthusiastically as possible. He shook his head, flipped me off one more time and sped away.

And I laughed hysterically then had this exchange with Ben once I got home.


I really do think it’s so funny because all he accomplished was giving me a good chuckle and making me even more happy to be Feeling The Bern! I only wish he knew how spectacularly his finger flip backfired.

That’s not control. That’s COMMON DECENCY, MAN.

Actual conversation Ben and I had over dinner the other night.

Me: So I had a really weird dream last night.
Ben: What was it about?
Me: I don’t want to tell you because you’ll make that face.
Ben: *laughing* Just tell me.
Me: Okay, so for whatever reason we were visiting your sister’s house but it was, like, HUGE. Like 4 stories. And she had extra kids. Babies. A lot of them. This isn’t really relevant but I’m setting the scene. So I know that we’re leaving soon to go visit my family in Pennsylvania so I am COMPLETELY packed because I’m responsible and you REFUSE to pack and keep getting annoyed when I try and suggest that YOU NEED TO PACK.
Ben: *laughing and MAKING THE FACE*
Me: This is EXACTLY WHY I didn’t want to tell you this. This is not a CONTROL thing!
Ben: Whatever you say, honey! Continue.
Me: So then suddenly it’s time to go and you are fully packed and MY SHIT IS EVERYWHERE. Like four stories, all over the place, there is no way that I’m getting all my stuff packed up in time to go so I ask you to help me and YOU WON’T.
Ben: *laughing more*
Me: AND THEN! When I ask you to help, YOU LEAVE ME THERE. At your sisters. You leave to go visit MY FAMILY that you have never met and are just like, “OH WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE PACKED SOONER?”
Ben: So what do you think this dream meant?
Me: I think it means you’re a jerk and that’s why when you asked me to go have breakfast with you I told you I wasn’t getting out of bed and you didn’t care. And you were SUPPOSED to care because I WAS MAD AT YOU AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE.
Ben: This is exactly the kind of thing you need to be blogging.
Me: I think the internet is well aware of The Crazy, thanks.

And yes, Ben has a point. I’m a bit of a control freak but it’s something that I have worked SO HARD on for the last few years. My counselor and I spent many a session discussing why exactly I felt the need to micromanage everybody in the house and it boiled down to not dealing with the ferocious anxiety I’d have when things were not how they should be. I’ve learned coping mechanisms to deal with it and I am getting better but there are definitely still days where it gets the better of me and maybe this dream was just a reminder that I need to focus on those for awhile because I can feel those bad habits creeping back up.

BUT! I recognize it now. Ben and I can laugh about it over dinner and he can trust that, given time to think about it, I’ll deal with it rather than just letting it boil up inside me till one day I explode in a ball of rage. And I can trust that if he sees it getting the better of me, he’s there to ground me and help me see that it’s not that he’s not packing for a trip that’s bothering me, but something else in the wide Metal Health Spectrum that I might need to address.

But don’t turn my cans facing the wrong direction in the pantry and don’t hang a red shirt in the blue shirt section. Because some things are just UNFORGIVABLE. That’s not control, that’s COMMON DECENCY, MAN.

Benjamin Hirsch, Spider Hunter.

blackwidow spider

Last Saturday I took a Melatonin and got into bed and then 5 minutes later Ben asked me if I wanted to watch a movie with him. Yeah, I was sound asleep in bed about 10 minutes later. Till suddenly I was awoken in the middle of the night to Ben being crazy.

Ben: So.
Me: *incoherent mumble*
Ben: There is a spider…
Ben: …in the corner of the garage by the water heater and I need to kill it.
Me: Wait, what?
Ben: I’m not going to tell you what kind of spider it is but do we have something we can spray at a spider and kill it instantly?
Ben: Anything?
Me: Brake cleaner?
Ben: Will that work?
Me: I don’t know, it kills brain cells on contact.

And then he was gone and I promptly fell back asleep because it’s not like the spider was in the house.

Then what I assume was a short time later.

Ben: It worked!
Ben: Oooookay.
Ben: …
Me: What kind of spider was it?
Ben: A HUGE black widow. One of the biggest I’ve ever seen.
Me: So, then we’ll be burning the house down tomorrow?
Ben: You should probably go back to sleep now.
Me: Yeah. Okay.

He acts like I’m the crazy person in this relationship but I’m not the one that was spider hunting in the garage in the middle of the night. Who even does that!? Crazy people, THAT’S who.

P.S. – I told Ben that I had started writing this last night at dinner so asked him why he was out in the garage that late at night hunting spiders and he swears there was a reason he was out there but could never actually remember what the reason was. CRAZY, BEN! THAT’S THE REASON.

P.S.² – I took the picture of the dead black widow above in 2010 shortly after we had moved into the house and it took me an entire year to use the downstairs bathroom again.

P.S.³ – Ben also told me last night on the way home from dinner that the spider had curled into a ball so he left it there and then the next day it was GONE. I asked him WHY IN THE HELL he would tell me that! LIE TO ME! He said that lying would be bad because it sets a bad prescient and I get that but then I told him that he’s allowed to lie about spiders. Then he got out of the car and walked over to the corner and said he thought he could see it on the ground and now I don’t know if I can trust him. *sigh*

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