“What I” Wednesday: Winging It In Winter

January 18th, 2012 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

It’s snowing!

Tuesday night. 10:18 pm. Long day, late work, but at least the world is slowly disappearing under a quiet cloud of ivory crystals outside my window. And life is beautiful, no?

Sometimes it can be hard to stay on a healthy track in winter. Here’s how I made it work . . . at least for today:


We woke up to snow!

Waits enjoyed a small cup of almond milk while I brewed my coffee and fixed our breakfast. Breakfast!

We split a piece of sprouted grain bread with nut butter. I was going to use up the last of the peanut butter, but Waits ate it all off the spoon before I could get it onto the bread. I switched to a homemade raw hazelnut-almond spread. Side of banana slices. Bowl of pomegranate arils with sprouted buckwheat and sliced almonds, with a splash of coconut milk.

During breakfast we rocked out to the awesome musical stylings of one miss Laurie Berkner. To my parent peeps – this is super fun kids music! Free on Spotify.

It can be really tough to find fresh food in winter, especially in these northern latitudes. I often end up sluggish and run down come spring, and I’m determined to not let that happen this year.

Enter: sprouts! There’s nothing more fresh – they are literally alive! Full of minerals and amino acids, totally easy to grow at home. I made my first plate of sprouts this weekend (in the sprouting jar, I just finished them off on the plate in the sunny window) and today they went into the smoothie. I’ll keep them in rotation and this way, I’ll have fresh food all winter. Smoothies, salads, sandwiches. Delicious!

This was like a super-vitamin! I’m on a bit of a supplement kick, haha. This smoothie had water + banana + ice + spinach + sprouts, plus the following additions: Sun Warrior protein powder, spirulina, Cal-Mag Plus (the “plus” is zinc and vitamin D), Truly Natural Vitamin C powder, vitamin K2, Maca powder. Whew!

After I poured mine I added coconut milk, reblended, and then poured a glass for Waits. Need to get those calories in for him where I can!

After smoothies we had our bath and then I tried to put Waits down for his nap. But he was teething something fierce, and just wouldn’t settle down. So I loaded him up in the car. Sometimes a quick drive is the only way I can get him to sleep. Sometimes mama just needs a drive-thru coffee to get her over the hump . . .


I ate lunch while Waits napped. Homemade split pea soup with a side of blue corn chips (with a tiny bit of leftover hummus).

When Waits woke up we went straight for the juicer . . .


Cilantro-celery-spinach-apple. PERFECTION.

Then I packed us up for our errands

I brought along the travel snack cup, with black beans + nutritional yeast + sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds add a bit of fat since he doesn’t like it when I add oil to things.

On our way home from the library, we stopped by Trader Joe’s, where Waits tore into the carrots and peanut butter during his cart ride. Not pictured.


Pizza! On a homemade whole wheat sourdough crust. I really loved this dinner, for two reasons. First, because it sprang from the mind of my dearest, who said to me: “Let there be pizza! And let it have pesto AND green olives AND savory soy curls!” And I was like “That just sounds crazy enough that it just might work!” It did.

And second, because it put to use some of my summer stash. Like bell peppers, which I’d chopped and frozen at their peak of freshness. And pesto, made by the gallon (and frozen in ice cube trays) when both walnuts and basil were super cheap and in season:

And these black eyed peas, which I made in bulk and froze in small batches. (not seasonal, just economical)

I actually blended about a cup of the beans into 1/2 cup of pesto, to make a creamy, protein-y pesto spread. It was great in big ol’ dollops on the pizza, burried under all those other toppings.

Savory soy curls, bell peppers, caramelized onions, and green olives. SO YUM.

I also made a salad:

Romaine, carrots, red onion, kalamata olives, nutritional yeast, fresh garlic, and red wine vinegar. SO YUM.

And Waits’s little plate:

Awww. He’s such an olive fiend.


I made a cookie pie. Hey, it’s my birthday on Sunday!

But seriously, I couldn’t resist after Bonzai reader Joselle linked to this recipe. A flourless, chickpea-based, gluten-free soy-free dessert of awesome. It was too weird. I was too curious. I had to try it! And it was awesome.


edited to add: I wrote this after tasting the cookie pie straight out of the oven, at which point it truly was SO YUM. However after it cooled, I could definitely taste more of the . . . bean-y-ness. I think it’s still good, but if you’re not used to “healthy” desserts, this might be sort of strange. Damian said, “It’s good . . . but it does have a sort of . . . er . . . *Mediterranean* flavor . . .” Ha!

And now, it’s 12:14 am. And now, I retire.

  • Maria

    I really enjoyed this post – thank you! My gosh Waits is looking more like you every day! He is such a cutie with such amazing palate, I definitely want to teach that to my kid(s) too! I also love sprouts and even here in Sydney where there’s plenty of fresh veggies and fruit available in “winter”, they are a really welcome addition. Love all the food inspiration, can’t wait to try it all out! xx

  • Maria

    And Happy Birthday for Sunday Sayward!! xx

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    It’s great that Waits loves green juice too. How awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/keephealthstyle Laura Agar Wilson

    Thanks for that link to the recipe, I’d seen the cookie pie on Katies blog but it looked so different (and yummy) in your pic, I must try making it soon. You’ve also just reminded me that I need to sprout some more seeds – I’d never thought about adding to smoothies for an extra boost! Hope you have a great birthday coming up!

  • Meghan

    Related to food but unrelated to this post: Have you tried/made beet Kvass? I got a prenatal massage yesterday and the massage therapist was all about the Kvass. She buys Zukay brand Kvass and I guess uses that as a starter for her own when she makes it. I’ve never been able to get into water kefir or kombucha, but I tried the Kvass and liked it! I’m excited that I may finally have found a fermented drink (besides, you know, beer) that I like. :-)

  • http://callofthe-wild.blogspot.com/ Francine

    That pizza looks fantastic. And I love your ice cube tray pesto! haha

  • Lydia Pagnotti

    I think we need an educational post on all these amazing supplements you use!

  • Jen Cywinski

    Mmm, I’m pining for a salad, but I just don’t like eating them in winter, especially in our freezing apartment. I’ve been making due with fresh red pears and roasted veggies, but I can’t wait for heirloom tomatoes and homegrown basil this summer!

    Enjoy the onslaught of snow!

  • http://simplybeme.com/ Jenny @ simply be me

    Sometimes the simplest salads make the best thing ever. I had lunch with a girlfriend yesterday and she made a salad with fresh greens, green onion and pine nuts with a simple vinaigrette – so simple and so delicious!

  • http://www.ladiesholiday.com/ Deirdre @ Ladies holiday

    About it being “hard” to eat as clean in the winter as it is during the other months. There is part of me that says, “well go with the seasons, eat heartier now (which usually verges toward bread and baked goods), it’s hibernation time” (and when the temperature is in the single digits, it really does feel like hibernation time) but the show must go on! The other part of me says, “yeah, but if you eat clean and green you’ll feel better overall, have a stronger immune system and come spring they’re will be less “repair” work to do.” I’m just glad you brought it up, gets me thinking about it more.

    Also- Laurie Berkner does rock!! When I first started listening, I was like, eh…kids music, but after a while, I listened more carefully and she really does ROCK!!

    Have fun in the snow!

  • Sierra

    It’s snowing like craaaazy here in Seattle. Isn’t it fun?
    I’m glad to see sprouts in this post, I’ve been thinking about getting into sprouting this winter.
    I always love your pics of Waits! I have a little one about the same age named Lilah, and she always lights up when she see’s Waits on the screen.

  • madamegreenleaf

    I want to try that cookie pie! Homemade soup is usually my go-to winter meal, it’s a great way to get lots of veggies whilst keeping warm! I made a huge batch of leek and potato today, looking forward to lunch over the next few days! :)

  • http://twitter.com/OatmealBowl Christine McCarthy

    Digging your meals. And its really nice to see a kid grabbing the good stuff. Kudos. :)

  • Alysson Hartmann

    Sayward, you are such an inspiration to me as a mostly-vegan mama. I get lots of ideas for meals from your wednesday posts. Simple and natural is best, right? I am also on a supplement kick- just picked up some B12, C, D, and mutli’s…I will have to get some maca and spirulina next. These things can add up $$!

    Oh, and I am lucky living down here in San Diego…we don’t really have a winter! I guess I have no excuse not to eat healthy, huh? ;0)

  • http://www.professorvegetable.com/ Professor Vegetable

    That pizza looks amazing. Also, that’s a cute, cute baby!!!

  • http://www.rebelgrrlkitchen.wordpress.com/ raechel

    What a lovely day!

    And I should have known you were a fellow Aquarius, Sayward! My birthday is on Tuesday and I decided yesterday that the birthday treat I wanted the most was a healthier vegan, GF version of a Cookie Cake–my favorite from childhood. Seems we are on the same bday page!

  • Lisa

    LOVE the cup! Where did you get it??

  • http://suburbansnowwhite.blogspot.com/ Suburban Snow White

    You are so cool. Will you come be my neighbor?

  • Tenise Rae

    HEY!!! I have those EXACT same socks. They are some of my favs too! So hard to find awesome socks with my favorite colors. Thank you, SockDreams. :D

  • Joselle Palacios

    You made it! Isn’t it yum? I’m going to have a slice now with a small glass of coconut milk. And I want your pizza!

  • Julie Luong

    You have such amazing pictures! Your breakfast on the stool makes it look teeny! I wish I ate what you did today and wore those hot socks. :)

  • Coco

    I totally forget about sprouts! What a great way to get some life in the middle of the winter! And the pizza looks fantastic!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Maria!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    The cookie pie is good but as it cooled it definitely got more “bean-y”. Just wanted to let you know so you’re not surprised. It’s still good! Just not a perfect fake-out. ;-)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve had the Zukay but never really got into it because I love my kombucha so much. But I’d love to try to make it myself. Right now I’m conquering tempeh . . .

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    It’s on the list. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I miss tomatoes so much. =(

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I agree completely, but I don’t see it as much as a pull between the two – I think it’s a nice combination of both! I definitely eat a lot more heavier/heartier foods in winter, and I think that’s natural and quite healthy. But I also want to ensure I keep my intake of fresh foods nice and high, since I often get to the end of winter feeling sluggish. But I think I can do both! I think this day was a really good balance. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I love it! I want moooooore haha.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve been doing a giant vat of soup every Sunday for us to eat out of all week. Love it!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Alysson! And you are definitely lucky – I really miss the southern California climate.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Happy birthday, yay! Go fellow Aquarian!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Which one?? If you mean Waits’s little cup, it’s an espresso cup! But it was a gift, not sure where it’s from, sorry!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    It has me thinking of all kinds of recipes and possibilities. Very inspriring, thanks for the link, lady!

  • http://newvegangoddess.wordpress.com/ sika

    everything looks great!
    uhmmm… i like your socks. :P

  • http://whogivesacraft.wordpress.com/ Laura

    I love those socks!!!
    I’m more than a sock lover myself. What should I call myself, sock addict? that doesn’t sound awesome enough.
    Oh and as it’s snowing and cold here too I made myself some extremely awesome woolen socks with three colored pattern, so proud of myself. Next is making simple brown socks to go partly over my boots.
    Your food pictures are making me crave all sorts of goodies!

  • http://www.veganinarkansas.blogspot.com/ Sheridan

    Hey Sayward! Been reading your blog for awhile, but haven’t commented until now. I love it! Your food always looks so good and very healthy/inspiring. Also, Waits is so adorable! Thanks for sharing your meals/days with us! I also look forward to a post about your supplements!

  • Jessica @ Whatwouldjessicaeat?

    Your split pea soup looks amazing! Nothing beats home made!

  • sara thomas

    hi sayward! i havent left a comment in forever, things have been super crazy. but i have still been faithfully following your blog! i was glad to see you mention sprouts. we live in upstate NY (for now! we are actually moving to Portland in July! WOOOOOOO!) and i have been trying to grow sprouts as fresh produce for our family. i keep getting mold though =( i have a mix blend of small seeds (like alfalfa, etc) and then have also tried sprouting lentils too. i use a quart size mason jar with the sprouting lid. do you have any ideas what the problem could be? i mean, i realize moisture, but im not sure what i am doing wrong. is there another method i could try? thanks so much for your help as always!

  • http://www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com/ Rachel@MyNaturallyFrugalFamily

    Oh how I love Laurie Berkner and have for years. My kids enjoy her tunes, and lets be serious, they are pretty catchy.
    I love your day of eats…just good stuff all around.
    Plus it wouldn’t be a complete post without a couple of shots of gorgeous Waits.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hmm, there are a few things I can think of. One is, are you rinsing them every 8-12 hours? I think you have to be pretty good about rinsing.

    The other thing is, a quart size jar might be too big with just a sprouting lid, which doesn’t offer a lot of air flow. It might be staying to warm/wet in there. I usually sprout my lentils in a big bowl with a towel over the top, which maximizes surface area-air exposure. (does that even make sense? haha)

    Other than that I don’t know. I’m still new at sprouting the micro stuff!

  • Ebby’s Mama

    I love the stool! having trouble finding a snack cup. what brand did you end up with??

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal
  • Ebby’s Mama

    Cool thanks. I was toying around with idea of getting the stainless steel cup by Eco vessel but it’s quit poorly rated. I will give these a shot.