comfort food · Crock pot · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · soup · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian

Mushroom Barley Soup and Matchbox 20

Apparently I’ve gotten to the age of going to concerts at casinos. Matchbox 20 and Counting Crows were at Treasure Island Casino last weekend. Hannah and I lost our damn minds. How is Rob Thomas still hot as fuuuuuuck?

I didn’t even know Matchbox 20 was still together. When I discovered they were going to be performing together, I was completely shocked. Thought maybe someone was fucking with me. Since Hannah and I bonded over our mutual love of them upon first meeting, we splurged for the $800 VIP tickets for the real fans that got to BE ON STAGE WITH THEM.

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LOL JK

We paid $25 and stood in the grass behind all the real seats. BUT IT WAS STILL AMAZING.

As soon as the Counting Crows finished, it starting pouring rain. They told everyone to go inside the casino until the storm passed, but Hannah was like, “Fuck that shit. We’re staying.” We were already soaked, and decided it wasn’t worth the trouble to attempt to go inside with thousands of other people. Instead, we ended up joining forces with another 4 women that had commandeered a tarp they found on the ground. They welcomed us into their stolen shelter and offered us each half a beer (they had been knocked over and spilled much of their contents… but beggars can’t be choosers, right?). We squatted together in the dark, sipping our beers, and getting to know one another, as the lightning flashed outside. And by “outside,” I mean right over my ass, which was too big to make it fully inside the tarp. #bigbootyproblems

Once the rain let up, our new friends wandered off. Hannah had to go to the bathroom, so I saved our spot while Instagraming the video of us singing along to “Long December.” While figuring out my hashtags, I felt a poke in my side/belly. I looked up to see a man that had that used-to-be-a-jock-but-now-mostly-drinks-beer-and-watches-football look. You know what I’m talking about. He was poking me with his umbrella and saying, “Hey…. who are you texting?” I told him I was Instagraming, actually. Apparently he interpretted that as, “Why don’t you join me?” because suddenly he was right next to me, asking to be on my Instagram. I took a photo with him to both appease him and to be friendly. It has since been deleted. I asked his name and he jovially shouted, “I’m Tyler! Ty!” Great. He’s very excitable. Hannah came to my rescue moments later. After telling her that I met my new friend via “umbrella poke,” she exclaimed, “How phallic of you!” Poor Ty had a look of utter confusion on his face and stated that he didn’t speak French.

The man literally didn’t know the meaning of the word “phallic.” Is this real life?

It’s okay, buddy… you’re doing a great job. Just keep making inappropriate jokes and asking to be my boyfriend. That’s definitely how it works.

So, after we thoroughly explain the meaning of the word “phallic,” I asked him where his friends were, since I didn’t see him with anyone at the concert. He casually responded that his wife was “right over there.”

I’m sorry… what?

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The wife eventually joined us. I looked at them both and asked her, “Did you know he was talking to me?” She said yes, and that it’s fine if he talks to other women. Then I asked the obvious question…. “Did you know your husband doesn’t know the meaning of the word phallic?” She also developed a look of confusion, and I felt happy knowing that two such people had been able to find each other in this big, crazy world.

After the vocab lesson, I asked the more pressing question, “Are you in an open relationship?” They both responded at the same time… he said yes, and she said no. Okay. Great. She goes on to explain that it’s healthier for them both to just be able to flirt with whoever they want, because otherwise people lie and it just ends in divorce. She explained that they’re open with each other about being attracted to other people. That’s the only part I understand about the whole thing. I then went on to ask them both, “What would have happened if I had been interested?” Ty chuckled as only a former jock can, and said, “Too bad for you!” His wife looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, “Trust me, you don’t want him.” I was like, “Oh… I know.

He then went on to say that he wasn’t hitting on me at all. Twenty year old Kelsey would have shrunk back, embarrassed at my assumption. How dare I think I am worthy of such a man’s time and attention? Gaslighting used to work so well on me. Thirty-two year old Kelsey responded with condescension, “Oh, honey…. yes you fucking were.” While the whole thing was funny/ridiculous, the idea of them going out and actively hitting on another person for pure sport really pisses me off. If I had been genuinely interested, his flippant attitude about leading me on would have really hurt my feelings. I understand their point about being able to flirt while in a healthy, monogamous relationship… but that doesn’t mean actively seeking someone out at a concert/bar/club. I was fully expecting him to ask for my phone number – it was a blatant come on, and that’s not okay if you’re not interested.

Let’s get one thing straight, though… I would absolutely never entertain the idea of dating someone that doesn’t know the meaning of the word phallic.

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Hannah and I pretending to be emo as fuck in the rain.

Unrelated to anything in this post (per usual): I made this soup last week, after discovering a vegan crock pot cookbook at the library. It had the mushrooms measured out by ounces, but I didn’t know how to go about weighing shit in the bulk area at my co-op. It was supposed to be 5 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, and 4 ounces of button mushrooms. I made up my own measurements, as you’ll see in the recipe below. I honestly think it doesn’t fucking matter. Also, if you want to make this on the stove, just simmer it all until the barley is cooked through (I’d tell you how long, but I have no fucking idea because I never cook barley – good luck!).

If you noticed on my Instagram a few weeks ago, I went back to eating meat per my doctor’s suggestion. That lasted all of 4 days. Now I’m looking for ideas on how to cut back on dairy, and still get enough protein in without eating meat. Feel free to send me links to your favorite healthy vegetarian/vegan recipes.

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Mushroom Barley Soup

2 1/2ish cups button mushrooms (measured while still whole)

2ish cups shiitake mushrooms (measured while still whole)

0.5oz dried porcini mushrooms

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

6 cups veggie broth

1 cup boiling water

Salt and pepper

2/3 cup barley

Pour the porcini mushrooms into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms but save the mushroom water to add to the soup. Chop up the porcini mushrooms once they are re-hydrated. While they’re soaking, slice the rest of the mushrooms and saute with onions over medium-high heat in a little olive oil. Saute for a few minutes, then add the garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for another couple of minutes and scoop into a crock pot (you’ll have to do this in batches because the mushrooms won’t all fit in the same pan at once). While this makes for more work than your standard crock pot recipe, cooking the mushrooms first really adds a lot of flavor.

Throw all that shit into the crock pot and turn that shit on low. Leave it alone for 6-8 hours. Done. Boom. Fucking delicious vegan soup. Share it with your friends. Eat it by yourself in your underwear. Whatthefuckever.

Just don’t hit on someone unless you’re actually interested in them. Aka: Don’t be a shitty human.

P.S. This is what Rob Thomas looks like now:

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You’re welcome.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

comfort food · Crock pot · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · Rice · soup · vegan · vegetarian

Vegan Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

While I was in Florida, I was also participating in a yoga challenge on Instagram. If you’re not familiar with this, look it up. Seriously. I’m not Google. It was mostly a disaster.

We spent my first night in there watching the sunset on the beach. My mom is a badass, so we sneaked in some mini bottles of wine, too. Then we (I) did some drunk yoga on the beach for the sake of my very first yoga challenge. Being the overachiever that I am (I’m not), I opted to accept an arm balance yoga challenge, despite the fact that I am not physically capable of most (all) arm balances yet. Side crow was so pathetic that I didn’t even post it. It was just me leaning against my elbows in the sand. It didn’t even look like I was trying to do anything. Ughhhh. My side crow is an embarrassment to yogis everywhere.

In addition to not being able to do most of the poses, I was also having a hard time with body image that week. Normally I do okay with that, but lately it has been a struggle. I mean, I’m only human after all. Normally I would spend the time getting the right angle of the photo, so I look my “best.” However, this time my mom was taking the photos, and I felt bad making her retake them. I also had to have a certain pose each day, which meant that I had to post it even if I didn’t love the way I looked in it. So, basically, I posted a handful of photos where I genuinely feel like I don’t look attractive. Logical me knows this doesn’t matter at all. AT ALL. But emotional me feels all vulnerable and shit. Again, I recognize that it doesn’t fucking matter. I’m just a human, and I’m allowed to look human. But, fuck, body positivity is hard. Sometimes I think I’m there, and then some other insecurity pops up. What an asshole.

Moral of the story… be gentle with yourself. I actually got a lot of positive feedback from people about my photos. They were inspired by the “realness” of it. That’s awesome, and really makes me happy. When I was first starting yoga, seeing real humans do hard poses on Instagram actually helped me a lot. It reminded me that there is no perfect body for yoga, and that if they could do it, so could I. If anyone is interested in following my yoga Instagram account, you can find me @kaeyogi.

This recipe came about from an amazing friend. That same friend also gifted me with a crock pot! That’s right… this is my first crock pot recipe! I’m sure it could be made on the stove as well, but it would take a fucking long time.

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Vegan Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 cup chopped onion

2 – 14 oz cans coconut milk

2/3 cup uncooked wild rice

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

1 cup diced carrots

3-4 stalks celery, chopped

4-6 cups mushrooms (I used button and crimini)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

Salt and pepper (a shit ton)

With the exception of the cornstarch and cold water, throw everything in the crock pot (making sure to shake the coconut milk before opening). Make sure it doesn’t overflow (mine got close!) as you stir all the ingredients together. Add some salt and pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours (I left mine for 6 though, and it was fine). I was afraid my apartment would start on fire while I was at work, but that didn’t happen. After the 4 (or 6) hours, combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, whisking together. Add the cornstarch mixture to the soup and cook with the lid off for 10 minutes (increasing the heat to high). Stir occasionally. Add more salt and pepper at the end, and serve with some crusty bread (duh). You can’t fuck this up. If you do, you should question your intelligence.

It was at this point that I panicked about storing all the soup, and I ended up just putting the whole crock pot in the fridge. Seems like a good idea, but makes it hard for scooping out leftovers later. I had to squat in front of the open fridge and scoop from the crock pot thats now living on its bottom shelf. Super annoying.

I serve mine with buttered bread because I’m not vegan. I also like to eat it in bed while watching My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix. You do you, though.

Also, it’s Valentine’s Day. Go grab yourself one of these mini cakes, and eat that in bed, too. Or do what I did and share it with an awesome friend. Fuck the patriarchy.

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