Off Guard

Did anyone else get caught off guard by Monday? I couldn’t believe it when it was already 9:00 last night – and after all that driving, I hit the hay earllyyy! Was still a little groggy waking up this morning, but sometimes you’ve just gotta do what ou’ve gotta do, right? πŸ˜‰

I opted for some tropical oats this morning, and diced up a fresh mango. Because other than mangoes, overly expensive pears, strawberries and blueberries, and the normally priced abananas and apples – there is not much in the way of fresh fruit up here right now.

Bummer. Luckily, I like mangoes. And bananas. And apples.

The Base;

and topped this puppy with:

  • flax-chia icing
  • chopped mixed nuts (mostly brazil)
  • Mae’s coconut butter
  • and a compote of some diced mango, frozen blueberries, chopped dates and shredded coconut simmered in some almond milk and maple syrup. And chai spice blend, too.

And, as usual, enjoyed with a cup o’ joe. Flavor of the morning? French Vanilla. And another side of sunshine! With pony thoughts in my head and “ee gads, I hope I can find a nice dressage saddle without selling my soul,” I enjoyed this lovely taste of the tropics. (which, by the way – thank you all oh so very much for the congrats πŸ™‚ your excitement made me even more excitement! I just can’t wait for him to get here…and I have NO pictures to show you guys!! I had my camera with me – but didn’t think to snap one until we got in the car to leave. And none that the seller sent me because, well – it sort of goes along with our “finding him by chance,” story.)

I’ve still got a good amount of that lentil-bulghur salad, so that’s what I did for lunch again today.

Sandwiched between some baby spinach to protect that heavenly seeded whole grain to keep from getting soggy. That is the last of the first half of the loaf. I guess I shouldn’t have bothered to freeze the other half – although maybe I won’t waste so much of my homemade bread after all! I guess it’s safe to say we all loved this bread!

Did anyone else know that lentils are a great source of protein? Yeah? Oh, well, I guess I’m just on the slow bus. I grabbed a caramel Oikos to pair with it anyways.

Oh, and a gala. numnumnum.

Before that, though, I had a morning snack of a honkin’ big banana. I was feelin’ like Vanna White this morning.

…and after that (well, lunch – not the banana) I had the best Larabar of all time. And it kept in tune with my tropical breakfast!

Yes, that would be the tropical tart flavor. I about died – perfect mix of coconut, pineapple, and orange. Holy yum – thanks, Katie! I haven’t seen this one in stores around here yet, so I’m so glad I got to try it πŸ™‚ I’m hoping I can find it at Hannafords…if not I’ll just have to recreate it mself πŸ˜‰

I was at a total loss as to what to make for dinner tonight. I seemed to have lost my mo-jo. I couldn’t think of a single thing, but then started thinking about how it’s been a while since I’ve had pasta. Okay, pasta.

But what to do with it? I thought back to when I made Veganomicon’s pumpkin saag, and decided to make some sort of pumpkin pasta.

I just sauteed onion, kale, and red pepper and then added in some pumpkin puree and followed by a spoonful of cottage cheese. I seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I was a little too heavy-handed with the pumpkin…but otherwise it was quite good – and very filling.

If you’ve seen my mo-jo, please send it back…?

As a side note, that’s the last time you’ll see that bowl. There was just a loud bang in the kitchen. Henry dropped it.


After my last post, where I mentioned how I way over-packed for our trip, Monet asked for some advice pertaining to staying healthy while traveling. I wasn’t quite sure if she meant for the duration of the stay, or just a long travel-day like I did yesterday, but here’s a couple fun packing tips!

I will say, however – my family rarely goes on vacation. I guess we’re just homebodies! haha. Really, though – it’s difficult with all of our animals. But, regardless!

-As you know, I always pack lunches for travels – mostly to save time and money (we stopped in a couple places yesterday for stretch & facilities breaks, and I grimaced at the prices – I was tempted by a fruit salad cup, but then saw that it cost $3 next to a big bag of potato chips for $0.99. $3?!?! I passed.) but also because most of the time – I never know what kind of area I’ll wind up in! Quick sandwiches or wraps in a cooler work well, but remember the basics of sandwich packing:

  • lightly toast bread before making to keep it from getting soggy – but make sure everything is completely cooled before wrapping
  • “line” breads or wraps with spinach or lettuce, then pile on condiments & moist veggies
  • simple salads (like yesterday’s bulgur-lentil salad) work really well because there’s less to fall out. if you’re the driver, you’re sure to appreciate this.
  • tomatoes aren’t a complete no-no – but plum/roma tomatoes work best. cut them on their sides and de-seed them. another alternative is to just use some tomato paste in place of tomatoes
  • it’s okay to not be 100% environmentally friendly for this time – if you’ve got parchment paper, i personally think that works best.
  • stay away from oils or liquidy dressings.

-To maximize cooler space, pack a bunch of fruit that doesn’t necessarily require refrigeration. Bananas and apples are particularly hardy. And who doesn’t like bananas?! Beware of juicy fruits like plums, pears, and peaches – you might make a mess of yourself and your car and have no means to clean it up. Speaking of which, do you carry hand sanitizer in your car, too?

-We all know I love bars. Lara being my favorite. In addition, homemade lara balls are really handy and inexpensive, and would definitely work better for a large group of people traveling. I like the homemade mini-balls best because sometimes I’ll start to feel sort-of snacky, but it’s as much if not more from boredom than it is from true hunger. The mini homemade balls are just the ticket!

-I love munchies like banana chips, nuts, dried fruits, dr. krackers and pretzels, too. I actually have a jar of nuts that I keep in my car (okay, bars too – but that’s besides the point) Once again they’re great for when you’re sort of hungry, but not hangry.

-Make some baked goods beforehand. This is along the lines of bars, but if there’s a lot of you, it’d probably be most economical to make a big batch of homemade granola bars, some sort of muffin/scone/cookie rather than buying a whole bunch of bars. They add up!

-Use waterbottles as ice packs. Okay – probably well-known. But rather than have icepacks taking up cooler room, freeze a bunch of water bottles and use them. Comes in handy when you’re thirsty for some ice water!

-Veggies – cut up into bite size pieces like carrots, celery, cukes – whatever floats your boat. You could probably snag some hummus, too!

And last but not least – don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself and have fun! It’s not like you’ll be there the rest of your life, so when you do go out to eat, don’t try to limit yourself.

A lot of these foods can be unloaded into a fridge or something once you get to your location, or if you’re notΒ goingΒ anywhere and rather just making a long day of travel, put back into your own fridge. I pretty much just love saving money when it’s this easy, which is why I often opt to do these things rather than just rely on eating out. Why spend $10+ on lunch when you can pack stuff from home?!That and, my mom and I are both sort of “get there and get it done,” people – yesterday, for instance – we wanted to get there, spend time seeing Teddy, and get home to feed our own horses. Wasting time finding Β a place to eat, ordering, and eating was not what either of us wanted to do.

What’s your favorite travel snack or tip?


Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized

24 responses to “Off Guard

  1. After your breakfast and snack…I want to be in the tropics! I don’t have any mojo either tonight, but yours is better than my egg white omelet, steamed broccoli and baked potato! I am so with you on packing foods! My husband used to call them my hobo snacks before he was diagnosed with celiac. Now we pack everything! It is so time consuming and expensive to stop on the way some where to eat. Besides, if it is nice and you can find a place…a picnic is way better! I hope you have a great evening!

  2. Hahah yes, I did know that lentils are a good source of protein πŸ™‚ That’s why I love ethnic food so much–you get the tastiest (and spiciest) dishes that are made up of spices, veggies and lentils…pretty much! I’m obsessed, and was definitely loving on my indian food last night!

    Oh and agreed! The tropical larabar is amazing. It has the most tropical flavor–seriously makes you want to be on vacation right then and there! Gorgeous bowl of oats, as always! I may have to try some with fresh mango soon–i feel like that’s one of the few fruits I have yet to try with my oatmeal!

    And good travel tips! I think oatmeal packs, bars, trail mix, fruit (such as apples, bananas, etc) and home-made sandwiches are the way to go! I’d probably bring some portable nut butter packets too though πŸ™‚

  3. Love your tips! My husband always complains about soggy sandwiches…but not anymore! πŸ™‚

    So glad you liked that Larabar flavor!

  4. That is so cool you finally got a horse πŸ™‚ I LOVE lentils and their fiber+ protein. I made some snobby joes tonight (aka faux sloppy joes with lentils) I made a big batch a few days ago of lentils and have been finding creative ways to eat their yummyness. I know it so did not feel like monday, and I started summer classes today boo! and that bread looks delish πŸ˜€

    ps: epic fail tonight when I forgot to spray my waffle iron before using it was gonna have my snobby joes over a buckwheat waffle….but then just used a tortilla because I’m an idiot ahahah

  5. oh how i love parchement paper.. always great for my sweet potatoes in the oven. i have seen recycled parchment paper in the stores, when its on sale i buy it otherwise i confess i like to use the regular stuff.
    mmm mondays… sometimes they are and sometimes they arent.
    oOoOo ur a banana model now lol… whatever that means.. hehe

  6. Dee

    Mine are nuts or trail mix! Can’t go wrong with both! πŸ™‚

  7. The tropical fruit tart is one of my fave Larabar flavors too! Great tips for healthy eating on the road too :-). I definitely pack snacks, etc. on trips because it’s way more economical! Some of my fave snacks include single serve applesauce, whole fruit, cold cereal, and nuts :-).

  8. I could not believe it was Monday for sure! Crazy how fast the weekend always goes. I’m glad you had the chance to try the tropical larabar! I was so pleasantly surprised when I tried it and bought a bunch with my meal plan before leaving school…I know how lucky am I that my campus store has larabars?! I think you should make a version πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

  9. When I usually travel, it is usually for long flights to see family and friends over seas. So whenever I travel, I make sure to bring all of my food for traveling time. I really do not like to eat highly processed “cr*p” that they serve on plains and in airports. When I was flying over to England last year, I asked what the nutritionals were for one of the meals and I was SHOCKED!! It was terrible how much crud they serve in airports and at gas stations. Why cant they serve great tasting food that is good for you.
    Finally, I wanted to say WOW you are an amazing photographer and I wanted to say I wish that I could eat your meals everyday because they are absolutely beautiful!! πŸ™‚

  10. I love the little sections at the end of your posts that you’ve been adding lately. I’m a total researcher and love hearing other’s advice. Thanks so much on the advice on what to pack. Now that I’m vegan, eating on the road is quite difficult. This summer when picknicking and roadtripping become a common occurance, I’ll know what to bring! Thanks, girl!

    We have loads of those Laras where I live. I’d be glad to send you some. Maybe a trade is in order sometime if you’re up for it?

    Have a lovely day!

  11. Michelle

    Those are some fabulous tips! I honestly have the hardest time with packing sandwiches. 1. I toast them, but usually I’m running out the door so they go immediately into their container 2. my condiments are always on the bread 3. I must include tomato in 90% of my sandwiches. These tips are lifesavers!

  12. Gah. I wish I’d read this BEFORE packing my sandwiches for today – I had no vegan butter/spread, so I just put bbq sauce straight onto the bread..I could literally feel the moisture seeping into the bread :s I dread to think what it’ll taste like today!
    I agree with the snack tips – I always have a stash of homemade muffins/bars in the freezer – so quick and handy πŸ™‚
    Lol at the lentil/protein thing! They have like, 23g per 100g I think?! It’s pretty impressive πŸ™‚

  13. Great travel tips! I’ll need to remember the toasting of the bread one. Last time I went away I thought it’d be a good idea to being portobella mushroom sandwiches on the plane. By the time we opened them they were just a soggy mess! Luckily I like soggy bread πŸ™‚

  14. This weekend I think I need to embark on a homemade Larabar adventure! They look so good, and it makes me so sad that they all may contain traces of nuts/peanuts! 😦

    Those are all great tips! I almost always have an apple and bar in my purse, even when I’m just running errands. I never know when my hunger’s going to pop up!

  15. Susan

    Isn’t that Lara flavor just awesome? It’s definitely in my top 3 (for this month at least).

    Love you posing with that nana; you give Vanna a run for her money!

  16. I love your idea to “line” sammies with lettuce, definitely something I need to remember!! I find that a PB sandwich is a really easy thing to pack when I’m in a pinch…they’re all I eat on the go!

  17. I seriously am missing compote toppings for oats and my own tasty nut butters after eating oats at hotels, restaurants, and other family members homes. I love the travel foodie tips especially since I am heading out for a car ride in a few minutes. I packed a tropical larabar too! I am sure you haven’t lost your mojo lady!

  18. Mo

    This doesn’t necessarily work for someone driving but I like packing granola in a little plastic baggie with a plastic spoon and eating a little when I’m hungry on the road because it’s cheaper than buying snack bars. I also always slice up any fruit that has a core, like apples, and place it in a baggie so it’s not as messy to eat. Adding a tiny drizzle of lemon juice to the apple makes it not go brown so it’s all good. Actually, even the juicier fruits are okay to eat if you pack them in a sturdy container and bring along a fork. Just not good for when you’re driving, again. XD
    I’m also really big on packing veggies which I’ve cut into sticks. And like you said, it’s a good idea to pack some baked goods. Even things like roasted chickpeas are a great on-the-road snack. πŸ™‚
    Also, bring along a bag for the trash. No one likes sitting in banana peels. πŸ˜‰ And definitely bring the hand sanitizer. It’s my best friend. πŸ˜›

  19. Your comment was so sweet and made me so happy! That pumpkin pasta recipe looks amazing! Definitely gonna try that!

  20. Ahh I want that tropical larabar! And I love packing almond butter and banana sandwiches to take on trips; they’re filling and delish! Pumpkin pasta is a great idea, I may try that tonight. Still eagerly awaiting horsey pics!!

  21. congrats!!! can’t wait to the pics…great tips for road trip snacks, we always have to plan our snacks…my girls get cranky on the road..haha love the tip about toasting the bread..never thought of that..


  22. I like to bring cereal to munch on during trips. Funny that you love the tropical lara bar, I didn’t much like it. Different tastes πŸ™‚

  23. My favorite snacks to pack are hummus, sandwiches, granola bars, cut up fruits and veges. I’m so with you with all those tips. I basically always pack 1/2 my car with food when I go anywhere!

  24. i was so not ready for monday to roll around either…blah.
    mmm that lentil salad looks SO GOOD πŸ™‚ mm and that larabar flavor is so one of the best ones!

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