Friday FAQs: High-protein recipes, sunflower seed butter troubleshooting, freezing aquafaba, and more!

This week was a bit of a grab bag and I’m pretty anxious to unwind this weekend. We had two random basement leaks (thanks to a water softener and laundry machine both bursting within days of one another), lots of work deadlines, and some setbacks with our renovation plans. There’s promise of a gorgeous weekend though, and I can’t wait to soak it up. I’ve made some fun Father’s Day plans, and we’re hitting up the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto too. I can’t recall the last time I went to the St. Lawrence Market—probably years and years!—so I’m anxious to check it out (let me know if there are any “must-see” vendors to visit). With any luck I’ll be able to find some plant-based foods to satisfy my non-stop hunger of late. I hope you all have a great weekend. Happy Father’s Day!

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One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies (vegan + gf)

Having my mom here for the last several days was such a treat. I’ve felt a bit like a basket case lately as we’re dealing with some behavioural issues (the munchkin, not the mom!), and having her here made the world of difference. As I’ve written about in my birth story, the presence of other women who’ve been through it before (childbirth, raising a family, etc.) is a comforting feeling. There is strength to be found in hearing someone else’s child-rearing war stories (which are often hilarious in hindsight…seriously hilarious!). Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that everything is going to be ok, despite feeling like you’re doing most things wrong, unable to find solutions to ongoing issues, or worse yet, creating lifelong bad habits. I’m starting to realize that it’s ok not to have an immediate answer, to sift through the highs and lows of parenting, to do my best each day while troubleshooting through it all, and know that in the end love wins. We have so much love and laughter in this house—I have to remind myself not to lose sight of that. When my mom says to me that soon she’ll be grown and past these phases I find myself welling up with tears because I don’t want this time to pass, yet some days I’m at a loss as to how to get through them. “We are given what we’re able to handle,” she reminds me. Parenting is a humbling experience, and I laugh at my former self who had a long list of “things I’d never do as a parent”. Well, that list has been a running joke around here of late.

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Friday FAQs: My go-to protein powders, adding protein to salad, mayo ingredient substitutions, and more!

My mom flew in yesterday for her long-anticipated visit! This week was a busy one as I’ve been working extra hard to get my work completed early, and then take care of the usual cleaning, groceries, etc. before our special guest arrives. You know, as they say…gotta make up the “fake house”. (I thought that fake house thing was originally from Seinfeld, but when I searched for it online I couldn’t find the source…anyone!?) We’re soaking up every minute of my mom’s visit, and Adriana is especially loving her bonding time with Mimi. I might not ever let her go back to Alberta.

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Avocado Strawberry Caprese

I absolutely love the work I do each day; given the choice, I wouldn’t pick any other field, which feels pretty awesome after following an unexpected, winding path to get here. (When I started the blog way back in 2008, I had just graduated with a Master’s degree in Social-Personality Psychology and was working as a researcher.) If I could take on a few more big projects right now, I would in a heartbeat because lately the inspiration never stops! It seems like Eric and I discuss new ideas every week. If you’re curious, some of the ideas include: creating cooking videos, redesigning the blog, opening a cafe or juice/smoothie bar and delivery service, creating a meal plan service, writing a children’s book (seriously!), starting an apparel line, growing our recipe app, taking food photography courses, and the list goes on and on. But then reality sets in and I know my priority has to be keeping my head above water, and not biting off more than I can chew. So lately, I feel like I’m in this confusing place with my career. I’m decent at judging how much I can take on, but still find myself yearning to do more and lagging behind the speed of my dreams. This passion makes it easy to feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Throw motherhood into the mix, and it’s even more of a juggling act; my parenting and self-employed roles are 24/7, always on call, with problems popping up just when I think things are going smoothly. There are big highs and lows, often in the same day. This is part of what makes life so rewarding though, and it fuels me to want to improve—or at least on the worst of days, to work on my patience and practice a bit more self-compassion.  

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5-Minute Soy-Free Vegan Mayonnaise (using aquafaba!)

It’s always heartbreaking as a parent to witness your child with any kind of illness. We’ve been so lucky that this was Adriana’s first stomach flu, but it’s still so hard to watch her go through it. Thankfully, she didn’t get it quite as bad as we did. Eric and I dropped like flies: me first, then him shortly after. I’ve heard about the misery of having the stomach flu while pregnant, but never quite knew just how awful it would be. I was sidelined so much that even my stubborn self had to admit that I could do nothing but give my body (and little baby!) rest. I’ll tell you one thing: I’ve got a great guy; Eric took care of Adriana while I was too weak to even get out of bed, despite being sick himself. I reminded him more than a few times…you are my HERO! heh. I took the most beautiful picture of them on the couch, both completely passed out after they just couldn’t read another book. That’s love.

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All Day Glow Green Smoothie

Lately I’ve been trying to find ways to eat more veggies—which I realize may sound a bit funny coming from someone who eats plant-based—but it’s all too easy to get into ruts, especially when things are busy. It’s just so convenient to grab something from a box sometimes!

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