“What We Ate Wednesday” Is BACK!

March 6th, 2013 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

Last week was my first week back after 6 days in New York – a trip that was so intense and amazing and inspiring (and I’ll write all about it soon), but also a whole week away from my baby boy. We’d never gone more than 36 hours!

I took these pictures on Tuesday, when we were still getting back into the swing of things. Bare cupboards and none of my homemade staples. C’est la vie, we make it work!

So here’s how it went last Tuesday. (I should also note, that while I was off in New York, I was weaning Waits. We haven’t nursed since I’v been back so I’m gonna go ahead and call it as “done”. A few weeks shy of his third birthday – I’d say that’s success!)

This is my super fancy [sarcasm!] method for making single-serving oatmeal. 1) Pour dry oats in bowl. 2) Boil water for tea. 3) Make tea, cover oats with leftover water, set kettle on bowl to trap heat, and leave for a few minutes. 4) Stir well and serve – I swear it works!

And about that tea -

English Breakfast with liquid vanilla stevia and almond milk. That cup is . . . enormous.

And about that oatmeal:

He ate it with sunflower butter and strawberry jam, plus a tall glass of almond milk.

This was a preschool day, so I’d pre-packed the little one’s lunch the night before:

Clockwise form left – Trader Joe’s seaweed snacks, Trader Joe’s coconut strips in the beloved “snack ball”, PB&J on Ezekiel bread, carrot sticks, banana. About those plastic bags – I don’t buy them! Gah! Damian buys them, or maybe his roommate does and he just uses them, but either way they come home in Waits’s lunch. And I can’t bear to toss them, so I wash them out and re-use them, but then I worry about the plastic degrading into the food, and . . . oi. I think I’m going to stop re-using them, at least for the kiddie lunches.

Off to preschool!

Bye bye baby! From there I hopped over to my godparents’ house because, well, that is where I do my laundry these days. I stole some breakfast:

Apple with almond butter. A few hours of work, and a phone call, and some wasabi seaweed snacks, yum!

Back to preschool in the early afternoon, to pick up the bug.

The children were all still eating their lunches, so I sat down and joined the fun. All the kids sort of share all the food, which is great because Waits is really learning about what’s vegan and what isn’t, and how some things are for his body and some things are not. And all the other children are now familiar with the word “vegan”, and always ask about all the food. Education for everyone!

A Larabar for the ride home.

Once we’re home it’s pretty quick to nap time, which was good because I was hungry. This is one of my most favorite go-to work week lunches:

Beans, salsa, nooch, and avocado, in a bowl. Often with black olives (like this time). All scooped up on tortilla chips. Super easy, super fast, protein-rich and well balanced with good fats, all healthy and whole-foody and absolutely delicious. It’s nothing glamorous, but I adore this meal.

Followed an hour later by green tea with plain liquid stevia.

And when Waits woke up at 4, we juiced!

Apple-celery-spinach-lime. Which we took to go . . .


We hit up the secondhand kid’s store, scouting for his upcoming birthday, and then swung by the Farmer’s Market on the way back, which just so happens to be a few blocks from our little home. Also, if you ever wondered why I moved back to Santa Barbara, or if I regret it? Check out our FarMar in February (ie, MIDDLE OF WINTER):

Locally grown vegan protein!

See? It’s nice here.

Dinner came together quickly once we were home:

An oldie but goodie – beans, greens and grains! Home-cooked navy beans (defrosted earlier), brown rice cooked in homemade veggie stock, and steamed baby greens (kale, chard, and spinach).

Waits had tamari on his rice and extra virgin olive oil + nooch on his beans. Mine was topped with my favorite raw tahini sauce. And just for good measure . . .

I added some fresh sprouts from the farmer’s Market, and some homemade raw lacto-fermented kimchee as well (recipe coming soon!). This dinner ROCKED.

Later, after bath time and bed time, I spent a late night in the kitchen making a batch of brownies – a sort of “thank you” to Damian for single-dadding it during my week away.

Alas, these were made with the very last of my devil-gluten flour, so I was unable to partake. I had some peanut butter with chocolate chips instead. My current favorite, mmmm.

And then I fell into bed and slept like the dead. Huzzah!

  • http://trailsnail.com/ Ingunn

    Have I mentioned how much I love that you’re back? ‘Cause I really, really love that you’re back.

  • http://twitter.com/deva_defined Deva

    I am really excited you’re back – I love your photos! And I am pretty sure I have that mug, but in purple. My cats use it for water. I actually had to replace it with a new mug because I missed being able to drink a bowl full of coffee every morning.

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    I’ve missed your WIAW posts, and didn’t even realize it! I put raw tahini sauce on practically everything, an idea I’m sure I got from one of your early WIAW posts. My last few batches have been made with Meyer lemon juice – so good.

    My local “eco” store sells reusable snack and sandwich bags – I let Nina pick some out, and now she can’t wait to see what I put into her “monkey bags” every day for lunch! If we come by plastic baggies (from the in-laws, usually) I wash them out and re-use them as many times as possible – mostly for my lunches, but sometimes for Nina (and then I wrap her food up in compostable wax paper first so it isn’t touching the plastic).

    Your photos are making me reeeeeeeeeeally miss SB. *sigh*

    The photo of Waits laying in the lower part of his stroller? Love it. I knew Nina had outgrown her B.O.B. when she spent most of a 12-mile run positioned sort of the way Waits is.

  • Rachel Jacobs

    This is like Bonzai Aphrodite of old. We have WIAW with green juice and copious amounts of pictures of that beautiful boy (who’s hair is going blonde…I am guessing from the Cali sun).

    I am in love with the options at your farmer’s market. I would have spent a fortune buying everything in sight. I get crazed seeing fresh, ripe, organic veggies and fruit.

    Don’t you just love the Cuppow? We have a couple and I think they are the neatest thing for jars. Gives me an excuse to use the mason jars even more.

  • Deirdre

    So much vibrancy- and great eats and treats! Happy WIAW!

  • Anonymous

    Love having you back- reading your words and seeing your beautiful pics, especially little (super blonde!) Waits, make me smile :D
    You 2 eat so well. Beans, greens, grains + a yummy sauce or/and avocado is one of my fave meals. This almond date sauce is one of my regulars http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2009/03/04/a-bowl-lotta-love/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692392402 Joselle Palacios

    choc chips and pb is one of my fave desserts but i melt the chips first and then swirl it all up. yum. typing one-handed while i hold my babe. loving all the latest posts!

  • christina

    I’m so glad you’re back as well! Hey what is nooch?

  • christina

    I’m so glad you’re back as well! Hey what is nooch?

  • Annie

    Oh my golly gosh, those artichokes look deviiiine. We recently dug up this mange-tangle bed full of wormwood and useless stuff, covered it in newspaper, then compost and then planted peas for green manure – it’s soon to be a perennial bed for artichokes amongst other lovelies. Can’t wait!
    I wish I took a before shot, it looks so much nicer now.
    For the little plastic bags, just use them for non-food stuff, like keeping hankies in Waits’ bag and the car, loose buttons and beads, put dried rose petals in them and poke holes and throw it the back of your cupboard for smelly-good-bags. or use them as single use freezer packs for picnics and owies. But eventually there’s going to be more than you can use…

  • Give Vegan

    I have tried and tried but I just don’t like stevia. I stumbled across an article on monk fruit sweetener and wondered if you have tried it?

  • souperbee

    So so so glad WIAW is back! So glad that your amazing, inspiring, and very honest blog is back! And I’m so impressed with yours and Damian’s dedication to have a good working co-parenting relationship. It’s so rare to see parents who can rise above their own conflicts to consider the well-being of their kids. Well done!

    P.S. Please tell us your secret in getting Waits to eat all these healthy foods!

  • Keleigh Friedrich

    I just tried your oatmeal method – it works perfectly! I may actually start eating oatmeal now. xo

  • Amelia

    So awesome! My husband and I were just saying that we would love to live in SB. We are in South Carolina where the weather is pretty nice, but the conservative, religious right is bringing us down. I also had pb + choc chips last night for dessert!

  • Meghan

    I feel like the universe may have eaten my comment. I am super glad that WIAW are back, I was going to ask, but didn’t want to be pushy! Especially now that I have my own little human to feed seeing what another veg family eats all day is immensly helpful. I am sure that you have a solution for snack bags when you aren’t reusing ones that you have inadvertently acquired, but just in case you don’t, I LOVE Sarah’s Stitches, and she has great snack sacks http://hyenacart.com/stores/sarahsstitches/ She is a WAHM and is local to me. :-D

  • http://twitter.com/laurainnis Laura Innis

    Nooch is the short form of ‘nutritional yeast’. ;)

  • skeptk_vegan

    It costs me an average of 8.00 to buy a bundle of asparagus! In your picture I am seeing 2.50 per bundle! I am experiencing outrageous jealousy!

  • Sonja

    I totally love to see what other vegans eat! I love even more that you are back! xoxo

  • Becca

    My favorite kind of post. I love all of your posts but these are inspiring!

  • MathTutor

    Ermehgerd, Waits is so handsome! I’m gonna die of cuteness overload!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.caton.7 Shannon Caton

    Sayward…it was so nice to have met you while I was up in the beautiful paradise of SB. I’m glad that you & everyone else are happy to be back…such a positive and clear choice to have made. Looking forward to checking out your blog once again, and passing the word about the miracle seeds! haha. btw, on my way back to SD I bought some Barhi dates from the market…have you had them?! Absolutely delicious.

  • http://dresseduplikealady.com/ Cammila

    HOORAY! I’m so excited that you’re posting What We Ate Wednesday again! I am almost overwhelmed by all the incredible food here, Sayward. Seriously, I’m already into the same food lifestyle that you are, and I still find these kinds of posts so delightful and inspiring. I hope you know that. :)

    Also: Waits is so gorgeous! That boy looks like a guitar pop album cover from the 70′s. Probably would be called “Golden Boy” or “Summer Child” or something.

    Also also: I posted about some earrings I wore in the early 90′s today, and you and I tend to vibe on early 90′s fashion, so I am officially telling you about it.

    Okay I’m done.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh how I love Meyer lemons! So much so that I bought a little tree and kept it in my living room in Portland, did I ever tell you that? I had dreams of fresh lemons in icy winters, but it never did fruit (yet!).

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I ADORE my Cuppow! Use it all the time, total true love. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ooh thanks, I’ll check that sauce out!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Joselle! Great to see you back here! <3

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Laura beat me to it, but yeah nooch is hippie slang for nutritional yeast. ;-D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I recently planted my own artichokes too! Love love love them, and their pretty flowers.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I haven’t tried it. Have you tried NuNaturals brand stevia? It’s the only one I can stand, and I LOVE it. Maybe worth checking out?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thanks souperbee! And man, I don’t know that I have a secret. Waits is a totally picky kid eater in his own ways, I’ve just found the healthy foods that he likes. Plus I never offered much of anything else, so he never got a taste for processed/sugary foods. But I don’t know that I have any tricks besides just eating healthy and modeling that for them. They’re little mimics!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Meghan! I love WIAW posts so they are here to stay (though probably not every week). The problem with the lunch stuff is that Damian drops Waits off on some mornings, but I pick him up EERY afternoon, which means the lunch paraphernalia accumulates with me. I just need to be better about sending glass/steel tupperwares back with Damian. I’m going to make a concerted effort!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    $8! Holy moly!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Great to hang with you too Shannon! We’ll have to make it regular when you’re in town. And oh yes, I love the Bahri dates. Being in date country is pretty dang epic. =)

  • christina

    Thank you ladies….sorry for the double comment post!

  • skeptk_vegan

    In regards to the plastic, I use plastic bags to freeze my bananas, and saran wrap A LOT to wrap up half used veggies from juicing and things like that… I cringe every time but I don’t know what else is as convenient I guess? Not that convenience is my main focus, but buying a crap-ton of glass containers that may or may not fit my produce makes my wallet nervous. Also, I always feel that I need to eat my entire avocado once cut, I rarely bother trying to save some for later because watching it brown saddens me. Help? Haha! Not just Sayward, but does anyone have any useful tips?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw thanks lady! And I agree, Waits is definitely channeling a 70s vibe. Did you see his Jim Morrison pic??

    Also, 90 4-eva! Can’t wait to read your post (tonight, after the lizard prince is in bed) ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    For the avocado, rub some lemon or lime over the cut part, and always leave the pit in there. But also, it will only oxidize (turn brown) on the surface, so you can scrape that away and it should be green and perfect underneath.

    Or you know, just eat the whole avocado! =D

  • Jacqueline@hophopvintage

    Loooooooooove that What I ate Wednesdays are back!!!! So inspiring, even for a non-Vegan!

  • Leslie Gerrard

    Yeah, my muse has returned…..so happy that you are happy…..we are almost neighbors now, I hope we can find each other again soon! I will be in SB for a wedding in mid April, maybe we can hook up! In case you do not remember, this is Leslie who lives in So Cal and has a son and granddaughter in PDX. Love to you and the fam,

  • Jess

    I love, love, love that you are writing again! Where did you find those awesome inserts for the mason jar covers? We have found some where you can put a straw in them and that helps with the baby’s spilling but those look even better!

  • gretchen keller

    Hey Say! I think I must be hungry because I want to eat ALL of this post (except the bananas)!!! Just a quick note on reusing the plastic zip bags: I think that the only times you need to worry about plastic “leaching” into the food is if you either heat them up or if the contents are particularly acidic (fruit, etc). Otherwise, I would guess that they’re just fine in terms of degradation for a few uses. And you’re taking care of any germies/bacteria with the soap, so… Just my 2 cents :)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hey Jess they’re called the CUPPOW! (which is just too much fun to say, haha)

  • http://www.facebook.com/signe.paria Signe Paria

    Hi Sayward, I don´t know where Trader Joe´s does get its seaweed from, but since most seaweeds are from Japan my husband and me don´t dare to eat sushi and other foods with sea vegetables. It seems that the media reports very differently about Fukushima in different parts of the world. I bet you are totally concious about what you eat and don´t want to teach you or anything but here in Germany we heard that the media in the West of the USA tries to calm the people more than it should be.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    That’s a great point, thanks for the reminder. I actually went out right after Fukushima and bought a bunch of nori to stock up, for that very reason. I’d forgotten about that though, and now we’ve been buying the seaweed snacks for a couple of months. I’ll think about this some more, thanks!

  • Jeanine

    First and foremost, welcome back! Though I don’t believe I ever commented before, I was an avid reader (and will continue to read). I just wanted to thank you for bringing back “What I Ate Wednesday” and love the toddler school lunch component. I’m looking foward to seeing more of these! My little guy, Wolf, (who is just a few months younger than Waits) goes to nursery school 3 days and I am always looking for healthy vegan options to fill his lunchbox. He’s already the only kid who routinely has “green chips” (kale chips), homemade granola bars, roasted chickpeas, etc. but I am looking for new ideas to add some variety to the things I typically pack for him. His teachers are always curious as to what they will find in Wolf’s bag. :-)