What We Ate Wednesday: It’s Not All Fancy Vegan Sushi And Afternoon-In-LA Product-Release Parties

September 24th, 2013 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles


And it’s certainly not all sugar cookies either (but it should be, amiright?!)

This What I Ate Wednesday series is one of my favorite features on my blog. And, judging from the traffic, it’s one of your favorites too!

But looking back through my most recent WIAW posts, I realized that they’ve become less reflective of my normal, actual life. Which was a conscious decision that I made, now that I think about it, because a few months back I felt like they were getting a little monotonous. So I started saving “picture days” for when something special was going on. And that was nice, because it gave me an opportunity to share some of the exciting bits and pieces of my life with all of you. But it’s also not painting the entire picture – and we all know how I feel about that.

So here, I present an example of what the majority of my days look like. Just another typical, single-mommin’ work day. This was Monday:


Here we have a 3-year-old impersonating a police siren. Good morning!

Waits and I still co-sleep, and he let me snooze until 8:35 am. 8:35!!! That is totally and completely unheard of, and very worth being late for. Mmmm, extra sleep.

We finally rolled out of bed and I fixed his breakfast. Oatmeal with cinnamon and flax meal, and a side sippy cup full of almond milk + 1/2 a probiotic capsule added, then shaken up.

My “breakfast” . . .


Two tablespoons of flax + pumpkin seeds, freshly ground, because I’m back on seed cycling again. Also, a giant mug of Earl Grey – double bagged – with the best best best and ONLY stevia worth using, and almond milk.

I love the light in the kitchen these days. It’s bright and severe and it just screams “autumn!”


Preschooler lunch box: black beans and corn with olive oil, celery sticks, dried coconut, whole wheat & rye pretzel sticks, Larabar, and homemade hummus (to go with the celery and pretzel sticks).

Now, about those sugar cookies . . .

On the day before, on Sunday, Waits and I had baked sugar cookies for no particular reason. Well, I guess the reason is that my honey had come across a huge sale of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flours and mixes, and knowing that a) I am tragically gluten-free and b) I am broke as a joke and that stuff is expensive, he snagged a bunch for me. They were quite the steal, and I was super stoked, and also – so sweet right?!

So on Sunday I busted out the this gluten-free sugar cookie mix and WOW they were delicious, especially once I’d covered them with lemon icing and rainbow crystals. Much better than I’d anticipated. Which led directly to this desperate text exchange with Waits’s preschool teacher:

photo (1)

And so, as I was packing up lunch and prepping us to get out the door, I also put together a plate of cookies.


So pretty. So dangerous!

I drove Waits to school, dropped him off (very late, oh goodness very late), and headed back home to get to work. Monday is a big day for me – the day I use to research and sketch out all my freelance articles for the week. Plus all the catch-up from the weekend.

I worked until around 12:30, and by then my tummy’s rumblings wouldn’t allow me to go on any longer.


I know that some people say they’re boring, or they’re “diet food” (not the way I make them, ha!) or that there’s such a vegan stigma around them, but man! I really, really love a good salad.

I make mine big (in a serving bowl all to myself), with a solid portion of protein (legumes or quinoa) and plenty of healthy fats. I almost always dress them the same – a combination of vinegar (red, rice, or cider), fresh-pressed garlic, liberal amounts of nutritional yeast, and usually a splash of the kalamata olive brine. Is that weird? It’s so good!


This salad had: romaine hearts, black beans, shredded carrots, sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), kalamata olives, green onions, half an avocado, and the above mentioned dressing. EPIC.

While I ate I worked on blog maintenance, and then after lunch it was back to researching and sketching articles. But with the help of caffeine, yes please.

Iced french roast with my beloved stevia and almond milk.

I worked all afternoon and had a wildly productive day, which always feels great. In the evening I picked up the kid, and we stopped by TJ’s for broccoli on the way home. And a lollipop, apparently.


Home by 6 pm, I quickly set about making a simple dinner. Waits was playing outside until he heard the Vitamix come out. He loves this thing and always wants to help!


By 630p dinner was on the table. For baby:

Red quinoa cooked in homemade veggie broth, lentils cooked in homemade veggie broth, and steamed broccoli – all with a sprinkling of vegan cheese. I had leftover Daiya from a pizza party the previous weekend, so the kid got lucky. And I am totally not above adding vegan cheese if it means he eats his broccoli. Oh yeah, and a side of almond milk.

And for mama:

One of my very favorite bowls – red quinoa cooked in homemade veggie broth, lentils cooked in homemade veggie broth, and steamed broccoli, all covered in the tahini sauce that done stoled my heart, plus a side of jalapeño-pickled carrots (lacto-fermented at home, recipe to come).

We were going to go for a dog walk/tricycle ride around the block before bath time, but just weren’t able to get to it. But that’s okay.

What’s the recipe for one really happy kid?



And what’s the recipe for one really happy mama?

Ahhhh, a super clean kitchen.

Then came bath time, book time, and baby bed time. I stayed up and worked until a little after 11p, then talked on the phone with my sweetheart for an hour or so, before falling into bed exhausted around 12:30 am. A very long, totally average, totally awesome day!

  • http://coconutandberries.com/ coconutandberries

    Love seeing the “real deal” Sayward + Waits WIAW :)
    I’m a big fan of all your everyday foods- beans, grains, veggies and giant salads!
    The blue blue skies and short-sleeved shirts have me a teeny bit jealous I admit…

  • http://www.bring-joy.com/ Janae @ Bring-Joy

    Ummm, so what’s the stevia you love? (The link wouldn’t work).

    I love that Wait’s plate & lunch are all compartmentalized. That’s the secret to getting kids to eat for some reason, or at least that’s what I’ve found with my kids. They don’t like it when their foods touch.

  • Alicia

    Ummy, even I have some thoughts to change ordinary food for smth like this

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ooh thanks for the heads up! Links are fixed, but it’s NuNaturals liquid stevia, and it is amazing!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Alicia!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    “Autumn” in socal is hot hot hot, lots of blue skies. But we had fog and gloom coming off the ocean all June/July/much of August, so we need it! =D

  • cheli

    loooove wiaw!!!! so so much. i love salads too. i feel like they re labor intensive though… but such a treat. always make me happy.

  • stephie137

    You might think it’s monotonous, but you always inspire me to do better for the fam, and to keep it simple.

  • http://bittsblog.blogspot.com bitt

    Glad to know the Bob’s Sugar cookie mix works well. Can you share the lemon icing recipe? They are so pretty.

  • veronika

    hey, i have a question about fake cheese. i have tried daiya, and i tried trader joe’s “mockzarella” shreds the other day (can’t remember their actual name, but it’s the only such thing they have), and you mentioned sampling a bunch of follow your heart products.

    any preferences? anything that irks you about any of those?


  • Veronica

    That last picture of Waits– just when did he get so grown up?

  • Kylie – FotV

    Looks like a perfectly perfect day! Those cookies look amazing.

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

    I always love seeing what other vegan kiddos eat. And it’s good to know there’s a decent xgfx sugar cookie mix out there! Oh, and there is no way one of my big-ass salads would be viewed as “diet” food, either!

  • Emily

    All this good looks amazing! I need to pack lunches like your son’s for my lunch! :)

  • Emily

    That salad looks really good. I do the same thing of making myself a gigantic salad in a mixing bowl, it’s great! When I was getting lots of courgettes in my veg delivery I’d grate them and a carrot, add in lettuce and some kind of protein ( usually chickpeas) and whatever else veg I had and then played around with dressings.
    Those cookies look great too!

  • Brandee

    These are my favourite posts. So glad you did one again!

  • Shannon Briggs

    I have your teapot! Except mine is white with a grass pattern around the bottom. Just had to share =)

  • Emily

    I can’t get the sugar cookie link to work…not sure if it’s just my phone..thanks!

  • Rachel Piotraschke

    Uhhh the kalamata-brine-in-salad idea sounds totally AMAZING. It’s like a dirty martini… but a salad! Haha!

  • http://luminousvegans.com/ luminousvegans

    I love the authenticity and realness of this post! It’s adorable that Waits likes to help with the Vitamix. That looks like me every time i use mine :-)

  • http://thiskindchoice.com/ Emma – thiskindchoice.com

    How you manage to keep things authentic = one of the many things I love about this blog! Also, Waits’ hair is looking rather fabulous :D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I always think they’re going to be labor intensive, but then I do it and I’m done in like, 5-6 minutes. I’ve been doing them a bunch though and definitely have my routine down. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you, I love hearing that!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I was very pleasantly surprised with the sugar cookie mix! The lemon icing was just a bit of Earth Balance (you could use coconut oil), organic powdered sugar, and almond milk to thin it to the right consistency. I used organic lemon extract because I didn’t have any fresh lemons (shame!) and I used a pinch of turmeric for the color. Sorry I don’t have a real recipe!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I am a die-hard Daiya fan, I know a lot of people say the key to Daiya is to only use a little bit, but for me I like ALL THE DAIYA, haha.

    I mostly use the TJ’s stuff because it’s so much cheaper. It’s my least favorite of the three, but it’s not awful or anything. It turns to pure liquid when it melts, which is annoying.

    The Follow Your Heart stuff is great, pretty indistinguishable from Daiya. Not sure I could tell the difference between them.

    All three I’ll only eat hot & melted. For all of them, plain/cold = yuck

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Tell me about it! Oi . . .

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    They were so good! And I finally tried some of that Rising Heart bread and HOLY MOLY. I have *never* tasted anything gluten-free that even compares. I was sure the restaurant made a mistake and gave me gluten. Seriously, that stuff is epic!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve been so pleasantly surprised with all of the BRM gluten-free mixes! And I’m totally jealous of you and all of your gluten-free baking prowess. My not-boyfriend and I are tackling vegan cheese this year, but we have decided that 2014 is the year of gluten-free baking. I’ll probably be hitting you up for tons of tips!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, I know right? that kid sure does eat good.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    It’s about to be zucchini season again in my CSA box. I usually roast them but maybe this year I’ll try grating them into salads. Thanks for the idea!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I try to do 1-2 a month. Glad you like them!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    The little Beehouse one? Or the vintage one?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Should be fixed now. Sorry about that!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ahaha, the dirty martini of salads! LOVIT IT!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you. I do try to keep it real here. Glad it’s appreciated. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Than you Emma! That means a lot to me.

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

    1. The only BRM gluten-free mix we ever buy is the GF pancake mix – which is pretty incredible because I can’t taste the besan in it. When we go camping, the first two things we pack are a bag of this pancake mix and our teensiest (4″?) cast iron skillet. I don’t know how pudlas would hold up over a camp fire or slow burning embers, but this pancake mix cooks up perfectly!

    2. That’s funny about your anticipated 2014 year of GF baking . . . because 2014 is going to be my year of fermented nut cheese alchemy! I will definitely be hitting you up for tips, please feel free to do likewise!

  • bohemianmatka

    Lol, this has nothing to do with the post per se, but I watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula in bed last night (for the hundredth time) in honor of the beginning of October, and I just realized who plays Renfield! :) Of course I thought of you.

  • veronika

    hey, thanks a bunch for the thorough response!
    yes on the liquefied TJ’s stuff. i made some baked ziti with it the other day, and thought that maybe the tomatoes or associated sauciness made the cheez runny. good to know it’s just the product.


  • Ebby’s Mama

    did you repurpose an oil thinga-ma-jig for your dish soap? I searched all last night for a dish soap pump that actually had good reviews and had no luck so seeing this post made my morning. also how do you keep your white stove top so clean!?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yup, it’s just an oil bottle – actually I think it was red wine vinegar, but it was a long time ago! – with a metal pour spout on it. It works GREAT!

    As for the white, do you mean counter tops? I clean with baking soda, vinegar, and a whole lot of elbow grease! =D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    YES! Haha, I always forget about that cameo. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Just saw a commercial for this stuff! I haven’t looked into it though, do you know what it’s made of?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Nope, not you, totally the product. ;-)

  • Ebby’s Mama

    yes! that’s what it is a vinegar container. off to get one. okay I Multi tasked on my post. I was thinking about your stove in the shower spray post when you were whisking your special mix. my white stove top falls victim to boiled, loose leaf black tea often. ugh!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ahhh yes, that was my not-boyfriend’s stove. He is compulsively clean. That stove, and anything that may try to stain it, is no match for his cleaning prowess. =D

  • Ray Catelan

    hehe so lovely post! thanks for sharing! i want to suggest a good address for
    voucher restaurant. i hope that it will be useful for you ! ^.^