Rainy Monday Smoothie

It’s been raining steadily here for about four days and it’s starting to wear on all of us a bit. There’s lots of things to go and do for indoor play, but outdoor play has been very limited.  When my little guy was starting to melt down after a bout of play on the deck, I knew it was time for the 4pm smoothie.

Do you know about the 4pm smoothie?  It can work miracles. Months ago, I noticed that about 4pm, my sweet little boy would turn into a raving lunatic.  He melted over nothing or was intentionally naughty. It took me a while to figure out that he was in need of a bit of a blood sugar boost. And so began the 4pm smoothie. This ritual comes and goes as we need it. Some days, he’ll ask for crackers or fruit, but some days, the suggestion of smoothie making will stop him in his tracks and make him run for his Tower.

Today, we threw together an easy one. I used a partial can of coconut milk from the fridge, some frozen pineapple, and two frozen bananas*.  On top of that, I added ~2 cup water to help it have a more drinkable consistency. It tastes reminiscent of a pina colada. (If you don’t like banana or coconut or pineapple, then steer clear of this one as all of the flavors are very present.)  One more thing… This delicious beverage is both vegan and dairy-free!  It’s a twofer!

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*I generally buy an extra bunch of bananas, peel, cut in half, and freeze in a plastic bag. Freezing the bananas give it a more ice cream-like consistency.

Rainy Monday Smoothie


  • 4 bananas, frozen
  • 1-2 cups frozen pineapple
  • 1 can coconut milk (make up for any partial cans with water)
  • 1-2 cups water, or as needed for desired consistency.


Put ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy.

Makes 5-6 (8oz) cups.


Simple Spring Rolls

I’ve been watching a lot of Good Eats lately.  Having finally gotten rid of the first trimester nausea, I am once again able to cook.  And have been doing so with a vengeance.  The super-sensitive pregnancy nose makes complex flavors a must these days.  Inspired by Use Your Noodle 5, I attempted spring rolls.  Mine were much less complex than Alton’s version (mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand), but tasty none the less.

Here, I’ll show you.

Tasty looking, eh?  Want to make some?  Here’s what I did.

Simple Spring Rolls


  • 1 carrot
  • 2 – 3 large cabbage leaves
  • bean threads
  • shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (separated)
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


Start by soaking the bean threads in hot water (out of the tap) for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile…

In a pot, boil 1 tablespoon soy sauce and enough water to hold about 2 handfuls of the bean threads (mine came in a bag of 8 little packages, I used 2).

While the water is coming to boil, use a peeler to peel your carrot into ribbons (munch on the core while you keep cooking).

Chop the cabbage leaves into small pieces.  Cook in hot water until they turn bright green and just start to soften.  Drain

When the water has come to a boil, cook your shrimp.  (I used pre-cooked, frozen, tail off shrimp, so I just used it to reheat mine.)  DO NOT DRAIN THE WATER!  Just fish your shrimp out and let cool.

Drain the bean threads from the plain water and add them to water the shrimp came out of.  Let that boil for 3 – 5 minutes.  Drain.

Mix the rest of the soy sauce with the Sambal Oelek, sugar, and lime juice.  Add the bean threads to the sauce mixture and let it soak it up.

Chop up the shrimp into little pieces.

Assemble your spring rolls one at a time.  Don’t over soak your rice papers or they will be hard to work with.  I soaked mine about 10 seconds in hot tap water and then assembled like a burrito (ingredients on one end, roll over, fold over both ends, and continue to roll).

A Few Notes:

If you are unsure how to assemble spring rolls (or burritos for that matter), do a search on youtube and you’ll get the basic idea.

These are just as tasty hot or cold, just give the rice paper about 2 minutes to set up in roll form before consuming.  Assemble just before eating of they will not be good eats.

I used these rice papersthese bean threads, and this Sambal Oelek, but do yourself a favor and buy them locally.  If your favorite Asian section doesn’t have them, find a local Asian market.  All told, my bean threads and rice papers cost under $5 and came from my normal grocery store.  The Sambal Oelek I got at an Asian market for around $3.

Sambal Oelek can be a little hot if you’re not used to spicy.  You can totally cut it down if you’re worried.  Start with a teaspoon and work your way up.

I didn’t make dipping sauce for mine, but if you feel it necessary, Alton has a good recipe here.

These are fantastic when served with Jasmine Oolong tea.  Just sayin’…

Orange Glazed Noms

If you’re like me, you enjoy things in glazes.  Orange being one of the best glazes.  Now, most things orange glazed tend to come from fast food restaurants and carry way more calories and chemicals than we care to think about.  But what if you could have some of that orange glazed deliciousness in your own home?  You can!  It’s possible!  Thanks to the genius of Jude Blereau and 101 Cookbooks.

Now, you should note that I strayed a ways from the original recipe.   Partially out of necessity as well as personal preference.  But the results… The results were just delicious.

The original recipe was for orange pan-glazed tempeh.  Well, I went above and beyond that adding chicken, stir fry veggies, and rice noodles.  So here is the recipe with my modifications.  You can find the original recipe here.

Orange Glazed Tempeh (and Stuff)

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (we just ran two oranges through the electric juicer and called it good)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger juice (again, ran it through the juicer)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 3 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 package tempeh
  • 4 chicken tenderloins (totally optional if you’re vegetarian or don’t want/like/eat chicken)
  • 1/2 package frozen stir fry veggies (or veggies of your choice)
  • 1/2 package thin rice noodles
  • olive oil
  • diced cilantro (for garnish)

Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.

Cook the chicken in olive oil until juices run clear, remove from pan. Mix the orange juice, ginger juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar, and garlic in a bowl.  Dice the chicken and throw it in the sauce to marinate for a bit.

Cut up the tempeh into whatever size pieces you want.  Put some olive oil in the pan and heat it up fairly hot on medium high heat.  Put the tempeh in and cook for 5 minutes or until golden.  Flip and cook until the other side is golden.

While the tempeh is cooking, steam or microwave the veggies until warm.

Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes (or until you’re happy with the coating and consistency of the sauce).

Layer the veggies on the noodles.  Spoon the mixture over, being sure to drizzle some of the extra sauce.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.