babysitting · Beans · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · squash · Tacos · vegan · Vegetables

Butternut Squash Tacos and Babysitting?

I babysat some kiddos this weekend. Can you believe it? Oh, wait… y’all probably don’t know this, but I’m not really a fan of kids. I mean, as a whole… there are several kids I know personally that I love to pieces. Still, I’m not one to babysit much. Mostly just because I’m not the first person any parent thinks of when they’re in need of someone to watch their children. They usually choose someone that is more “kid friendly.” I get it.

So I watched my friend’s kids while she was at a wedding reception last weekend. They are 1 1/2 and 6 years old. The 6-year-old is fucking awesome. Coolest kid around – likes to play with trains and snuggle. This kid is my fucking jam. The toddler is newish to me. We haven’t developed our rapport yet. She’s cute, sassy as fuck, and hates being contained, which I wholeheartedly respect. She’s also desperate to touch anything and everything that is dangerous or fragile and cries/screams when she doesn’t get her way. I have a healthy fear of her, and she has an unhealthy fear of nothing. I bet my mom is reading this right now with a smirk on her face. She’s thinking, “Finally! A taste of her own medicine.” I was not an “easy” child.

I spent most of my 4ish hours with them just trying to keep her from electrocuting herself (she loved sticking her baby fingers into the outlets) or from smashing her fingers in the closet doors. At one point I distracted her by building a blanket fort. The 6-year-old was all about it. The toddler loved it, too… but only because she wanted to run through it with her arms up, ripping down every blanket I put up while screech-giggling. Her brother patiently followed behind her, re-securing everything she ripped down. Eventually I had to break it to him, “Sorry, dude… I don’t think this is going to happen.” He was cool about it, clearly used to her antics.

As soon as I pulled all the blankets down, she went right back to aiming for the outlets. I’d pull her away and sit her down somewhere, which would prompt her to either get up to try again (like a toddler boomerang), or scream and cry. You know how some people give babies whatever they want because they can’t stand it when they’re sad? I am not one of those people. I am fucking immune to that shit. I just looked at her sobbing little face and said sarcastically, “Gee, I’m so sorry I won’t let you electrocute yourself tonight, but my one job is to keep you alive. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”

I swear to God, the look on her face said, “Fuck you, bitch. I own you.” Then she got up and headed back to the outlet.

IMG_20171008_183748

My AcroYoga group is putting together a little fundraiser dinner to raise money for one of the teachers to go to training this winter. We decided to make tacos, and I am in charge of the vegetarian option. I thought I better practice making this recipe at home before making it for a room full of people next month. Hence, this recipe. It’s a hodge-podge of recipes I found online, and I’m actually quite proud of it. It’s seasonal and delightful. I had a friend of mine taste-test it a few weeks ago, and they agreed that it is delicious. They also had the genius idea of adding an egg to the leftovers for breakfast tacos. DO IT.

Butternut Squash Tacos

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

10-12 corn tortillas

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Paprika

Cumin

Garlic powder

1/2 purple cabbage, shredded

2 large handfuls of green onion, chopped

1 lime

Optional: Salsa, avocado, sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with a heavy drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder (there is no reason to measure any of this – I mean, honestly, just add as much as you fucking want). Spread the squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring around once halfway through. Once there are about 5 minutes left, toss the beans in with the squash. Add a little extra seasoning and bake for the remaining 5 minutes.

While everything is baking, mix the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze over the cabbage. Add a heavy drizzle of olive oil (just fucking wing it) and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat the tortillas over an open flame on the stove, slightly charring each side. Fill the tortillas with a scoop of the squash and beans, and top with the cabbage mixture (along with whatever else you like).

Shovel into your face hole.

IMG_20171008_184334

This is how it should look in real life: balanced on your knee while you search for something to watch on Netflix.

Beans · comfort food · Crock pot · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · potatoes · soup · vegetarian

Potato and Corn Chowder

Shit. I have been busy as fuck lately. I have only been to one yoga class all week. WHO AM I?

Sigh.

I consistently find myself overextended. On top of my full-time job and teaching, I also do cat sitting (yes, that is a thing). For some reason, my clients often go out of town all at the same time. They don’t know each other, so I have no idea how this always fucking happens(they probably all get together and decide, “Hey, let’s fuck up Kelsey’s week… she’s had it too good lately, anyway”). Because of this, I ended up having almost no time to myself last week. As I mentioned before, I only made it to one yoga class, and skipped Acro altogether. This made me a cranky bitch at work, so who am I really helping by saying yes to everything? Fucking no one. So I’m practicing saying no. I have absolutely no more energy to give. It’s mine, and I need this time to recharge. That means saying no when my boss at the studio asks me to sub a class, and then not feeling guilty if I end up attending said class. It’s not that I don’t have the time… it’s that I don’t have the mental energy. And that’s exactly what teaching is… exchanging energy. I’m learning how to hold on to the energy I do have, and only give it when I truly want to/have enough. I currently need time to replenish. Anyone have any tips for learning how to say no and prioritize? I feel like I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s okay to say no, but I often end up feeling guilty.

Side note: It’s hot as fuck outside right now. All I want to do is lay in bed, watch Jane the Virgin, eat ice cream, and blast the A/C.

Don’t judge me.

Speaking of the A/C…. I finally got my window unit set up and ready to go (thanks, Stacy!). I’ve been blasting the air all weekend, even when it wasn’t that hot. I’m not sorry. It feels like fucking magic to be able to sleep in a blanket burrito again.

2017-05-28 19.59.06

The beautiful thing about crock pot recipes is that they’re perfect for my schedule, and they don’t heat up my apartment when it’s hot as fuck outside. I am constantly on the go, and having a crock pot makes it possible for me to eat home cooked meals instead of picking up take-out(though, let’s be real… I do that anyway). I literally threw all of these ingredients into the crock pot over my lunch break one day. It took maybe 15 minutes (only because I had to chop the veggies) and I had dinner ready when I got home later.

Fuck yeah. I’m adulting so hard over here.

20170529_133919

Potato and Corn Chowder

4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 (10 oz) bag of frozen corn

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1/4 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 handful mushrooms, chopped

1 can chickpeas

3 tablespoons flour

6 cups veggie stock

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

Throw the veggies in a slow cooker and toss with the flour until they’re all coated. Add the chickpeas. Pour in the veggie stock and add the seasonings. Set the slow cooker to high and leave it for 3-4 hours. Once it’s finished, scoop out a few cups and throw it in a blender. Pour it back in with the rest of the soup. Add the butter and cream and stir well. Top with chopped green onion if you want, along with some bread and butter.

Give yourself a fucking break and learn how to say no.

Beans · Crock pot · Dating · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · soup · vegan · vegetarian

Vegan Quinoa Tortilla Soup to Soothe My Dating Misadventures

I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead of doing shots with frat boys (who does that?), I ate take-out Thai food in the bathtub while watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix. It is now just after 9pm. I’m cooking rice for the upcoming week and waiting for my laundry to dry. This might not sound like much of a night to you, but to me… it feels like magic. It is a night of self care, and it feels so good and so needed. Sometimes, after consistently putting myself out there and dealing with constant rejection and disappointment, it’s important to retreat back into myself. I need this introspective time.

Especially after the rejection from 2 people and the special kind of crazy I found on OkCupid this week. Last week or the week before I screenshot a message I got on OkCupid from a guy whose profile picture was a shirtless mirror selfie. He opened with, “Like full 9 inches ;)” and then signed his name. I screenshot it to show my friends how gross online dating can be and immediately blocked him. His was one of dozens of disgusting messages I had received, so I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward to this week, and I’m starting to talk to a few people on OkCupid. There’s one guy, Mike. He’s cute, 33 years old, went to college, likes to work out, etc. Seems nice enough, and is showing an interest in yoga. He even asks me about chakras. So we exchange phone numbers, and start texting. Then he calls me the day after we start texting, which is pretty unheard of nowadays. I am unable to answer, but text him that he can try again later. We do finally talk on the phone, and he sounds downright manic to me. He’s going on and on about how healthy his diet is (he eats mostly smoothies because you “absorb the nutrients better that way”), and how he’s trying to be so healthy that he won’t even need a dentist or doctor – that he’ll be his own doctor. He mentions how he’s really smart because he “studies” all the time (which is the word he uses to describe falling down the rabbit hole on Google and Wikipedia). He talks about how he likes to get into discussions with people, but that they often get mad at him for knowing so much since he doesn’t have a degree (but, wait… didn’t his profile say he went to college?). He talks and talks for about 10 minutes. I finally get off the phone with him, and already know I never want to meet in person. He’s completely unstable. Honestly, I should do phone calls with all of them. It would save me so much time.

20170315_164456

Later that night, as I’m deleting old photos, I find the message from the shirtless mirror selfie guy, and realize that it’s the same fucking person I just spent 2 days talking to. What the FUCK is wrong with people?! He went out of his way to create a brand new, normal sounding profile, and decided to find me again after being blocked? Holy shit that’s fucked up. I end up texting him the screenshot and telling him to delete my number. I haven’t heard from him since.

20170319_125303

Tonight marks the third night in a row of getting a full night’s sleep. I do have a date tomorrow, but it’s a daytime date. Those are nice because they don’t keep me up late, plus they’re so much more casual. There’s less pressure. This guy is weird about coffee dates, though (I mean, honestly, what the fuck is wrong with getting a cup of coffee or tea together?), so we’re meeting for a drink at 1pm. Who does that? People that need alcohol to loosen up, that’s who. He already has a red flag now, and we haven’t even met yet.

Update: It’s now Sunday night (2 days later), and I ended up having a great date yesterday. We had our second date on the same day as our first… which just means we hung out at 1pm, and then again at 6:30pm. He seems like a decent human, and he’s a cat person. I started talking myself out of being excited about him on my drive home from our “second” date. But then I realized… if I’m not going to get excited about someone I have an awesome date with… then what is the fucking point? One of my biggest fears is becoming bitter and jaded, which will close me off to people. Fuck that. I refuse. Online dating will not get the best of me. If I’m excited about someone, then good. I’m fucking human. Fuck what anyone else thinks. And if this doesn’t turn into anything (my history tells me it won’t), that’s fine. But just because my history says it won’t be anything doesn’t mean I can’t be open to it.

20170319_125310

I made soup this week because I actually made time for myself. I highly encourage you all to do the same.

20170319_125514

Vegan Quinoa Tortilla Soup

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 jalapenos, cored and diced

1 bag (1 pound) frozen corn

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and pepper (be generous)

Optional topping: Tortilla chips/strips, diced green onion, sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese

Throw everything (except toppings, obviously) into a crock pot and cook on high heat for 6ish hours (I did 8 hours).

OR

In a large pot on the stove, saute the onions with a little olive oil and salt and pepper for about 3 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and seasonings, stirring to combine, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and water bring to a low boil. Pour in the quinoa and cook for about 20 minutes before adding the pinto beans. Cook until beans are heated through. Serve with any/all toppings. I highly suggest eating this with tortilla chips instead of a spoon. Fuck spoons.

Beans · comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Tacos · vegetarian

Taco Cake

I finally met my neighbor across the hall. I’ve been living in the same building for 4 1/2 years, and I swear he’s only been there 2 years. Maybe. So I ran into him in the hall for the millionth time, and finally introduced myself. Turns out he’s been living there almost the entire time I’ve been here. I’m the worst. I actively go out of my way to not meet anyone in my building.

Cortney has this idea that I live in Stars Hollow (from Gilmore Girls). Keep in mind that I live right in the middle of Minneapolis. No, it’s not a giant city… but it’s not fucking Stars Hollow. She came to this conclusion when she found out that I know the names of the baristas at my local coffee shop. That’s not because I know everyone, that’s because I spend far too much time/money at the coffee shop next to my work. Seriously… out of control. And the only reason I really even learned their names is because Hannah is so fucking extroverted. She basically forced me to meet all of them (which is actually nice, they’re lovely). It was totally outside my comfort zone. I also work within 7 blocks of my apartment, and practice/teach yoga at the studio that is 1 block away. This, to Cortney, means I must know everyone, and spend all my time waving to my many friends/neighbors when walking down the street (when, in fact, the reality is me walking down the street alone with my head down, avoiding eye contact). Her response to me finally meeting my neighbor was, “OMG! It’s going to be just like Gilmore Girls!” I think she needs to take into consideration that it took me FOUR YEARS to meet said neighbor. She’s in for a rude awakening when she visits.

20160726_123042

Speaking of which… she comes to visit in TWO WEEKS! And she’s staying for two weeks! It’s going to be fucking magical. We’re going to visit Duluth, go horseback riding, have high tea, go hiking, and take yoga and Acro together! She even gets to attend one of my yoga classes. Seriously – fucking magic. I’m so excited about this.

And I’m going to cook her delicious food! Maybe even this fucking awesome taco cake (minus the sour cream)!

I’ve made this “cake” for two birthdays at work this year. It was a fucking hit. It’s super messy to eat, though… FYI.

Taco Cake

6-10 Corn tortillas, heated on the stove (see photo)

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

Lettuce/mixed greens

1 jar salsa

Sour cream

1 can refried beans, heated according to can instructions

Olive oil

Taco seasoning (cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne)

Saute onions and peppers in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and cook until onions are slightly translucent, stirring frequently. I like to let ’em brown a little bit, too. Do what you want. Char the tortillas on the stove, over an open flame, and get to layering! Lay down a tortilla, and cover with a layer of beans, onions/peppers, salsa, sour cream, then add another tortilla. Top the second tortilla with one or all of the fillings. There’s no wrong way to do this… just keep layering until it’s the right height for you. I like to top the whole thing with some salsa, a big dollop of sour cream, and some sliced avocado to make it pretty. If you’re being dainty, you can cut slices out of this, like cake. Otherwise, you could pick the whole thing up in your hands, and just take huge, sloppy bites out it, like a weird/giant sandwich. Do what feels true to you.

avocado · Beans · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · dinner · easy · eggs · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Tacos · vegetarian

Breakfast Tacos

So I’ve been feeling really great about my body lately. I know – that’s not what women are supposed to say. We’re supposed to go on and on about how fat we are, desperately hoping for a compliment. Fuck that shit. I feel great. I mean, mostly. I backtracked today a little bit, when I weighed myself for the first time in 6 months. I’ve gained a little weight. It happens. What scared me was that I immediately went into this crazy, calorie counting mode. That’s how I deal with it – I obsessively count calories. It takes over my life, and is all around horrible. After mentioning this to my best friend, Cortney, she responded with this lovely thought…

“Girl, I totally understand what you are going through. I’m living that as well. I know how frustrating it is to want to restrict yourself after you gain weight, but don’t do it!! Don’t do that calorie counting shit–it’s so hurtful to your frame of mind and ruins the whole point of knowing and loving, and honoring your body’s needs.”

I love her so much.

What’s ridiculous is that before I knew the number on the scale, I felt great. Honestly, I still feel pretty great when I don’t think about the number. What the fuck does that number mean anyway? It’s always going to be higher than the average person, because I have crazy curves. And that’s awesome! Anyone who thinks otherwise can fuck right off.

I do think it’s important to nourish your body with healthy and delicious food, regardless of weight. So I will try to cut back on the desserts, and increase the veggies – but I will not count my calories. This is an important public service announcement. Seriously. I know my shit.

20160315_105918

You know what’s healthy and delicious? Tacos.

You know what’s better than regular tacos? Fucking breakfast tacos.

20160315_110043

Breakfast Tacos

1 or 2 corn tortillas (If you use flour tortillas, please never tell me. It will break my heart.)

1 or 2 eggs

Pinto beans

Brown rice

Salsa

Avocado

Optional toppings: Sour cream, green onion, sliced radishes tossed with lemon, whatever you like!

Heat the tortillas over an open flame on a gas stove, until slightly charred. Scramble the egg(s), scoop warm rice and beans onto a plate, and assemble tacos! Top with lots of salsa. Eat as many as you want – preferably while in your underwear, feeling great about your body.

Beans · Burgers · comfort food · dinner · easy · lunch · Sandwiches · vegan · vegetarian · Yummy

Pinto Bean Burgers

It all started with a craving for a cheeseburger. There is no meat in my apartment because I’m practicing cooking without it, plus I’m on a budget. Meat is expensive. Beans are cheap as shit.

My burger craving was getting out of hand, I was running out of food at home, and was very worried I would snap and end up at McDonalds. Fuck. Nobody wants that. So I improvised with a pinto bean burger recipe I found on Pinterest, which I modified with the ingredients I had on hand. Inadvertently, I picked a vegan recipe. How this happened, I will never know. But it was serendipitous! My one vegan friend says he’ll read my blog if I post more vegan recipes. I can’t promise this will be a regular thing (unless I run out of food again), but here you go!

Obviously, I added cheese. I mean, come on. (If you’re vegan, don’t do this. Duh.) These veggie burgers are fucking delicious. I fully expected them to taste like shit. Vegan burgers everywhere: I’m sorry I doubted you. If given the proper care, you can be just as delicious as a real burger.

I told my mom that I would make these for her because they were so amazing, and her response was, “No, you’re not. I won’t eat that.”

Don’t be like my mom.

Also, I remade those salted chocolate chip cookies, without Hannah, and they were literally the best cookies I’d ever made in my life. Go make them immediately. You won’t be sorry.

Pinto Bean Burgers

1/2 cup dry pinto beans, cooked and mashed (or 1 1/2 cups canned beans)

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

3/4 cup oats, pulsed in the blender a few times

Salt and pepper

In a greased skillet, saute the onions and garlic, plus a little salt and pepper, until slightly browned (start with the onions first, and add the garlic once they are slightly translucent). Toss onion mixture into a large bowl, and add all other ingredients together. Sprinkle in some more salt and pepper, and mix well. Form patties with the mixture (makes 4 large burgers). Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat, and fry the burgers for 3-4 minutes on each side. If you want to be fancy, you can serve these on hamburger buns. Or you can be like me, and use the perfectly good bread you already have lying around. Add whatever toppings you like! I chose mozzarella, fried onions, spinach, tomato, mayo, and ketchup.

Shove the whole thing in your face at once. Don’t choke.