Vegan-ish Pasta Alfredo & Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Lately around these parts we have been eating a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes. No, this isn’t a lifestyle change. It’s just always fun to change it up a bit. So I made a dish that I figured my vegetarian friends just might enjoy. The real test is giving it to your kids and seeing if they enjoy it. Now, Johanna didn’t scarf it down, but she didn’t push it away in disgust either. JJ and I certainly tore it up though. I think you will too.

 

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I simply stole the recipe from the Silk website for the sauce. Everything else was super easy!

Pasta Alfredo, Silk Style

16 oz fettuccine (I used veggie pasta)
3 Tbsp olive oil or soy margarine
3 Tbsp flour (I used almond flour)
4 Tbsp dry white wine or vegetable stock
2 cups Silk Unsweetened soy or almondmilk
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
***Grated parmesan cheese optional

1.Prepare fettuccine according to package directions.
2.While pasta is boiling, heat olive oil or margarine in a medium saucepan. Add flour and wine or stock and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3.Stir in Silk and remaining ingredients, except parsley. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes.
4.Remove from heat.
5.Toss with cooked pasta, arrange on six plates and sprinkle each serving with grated parmesan cheese.

I definitely added more salt, some cayenne for heat, and a teaspoon more almond flour to thicken it up even more. It was yummy! I always say the key to a successful pasta dish is to not forget to season your noodles while they are cooking. Nothing like tasting an unsauced noodle that is reminiscent of playdoh, ugh.

For the portobello mushrooms I simply cut the stems, brushed on some olive oil and roasted them in the oven at 440 for 10 minutes. While they were roasting I combined some panko breadcrumbs with a little olive oil, parmesan cheese, pepper, and a dash of salt. Once the mushroom were done I topped them with the breadcrumb mixture, popped it back in the oven for 5 minutes to give the mixture time to combine and brown, and voila! That was it! I did mix some of the bread crumbs on top of the pasta to give it a nice crunch. Yummo!

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The Life You Want: 5 Gurus Tell You How to Go Get It!

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Back in March I was going through some things. I was in a funk. I hated my job. HATED IT! I absolutely adored the junior staff, but the company as a whole was running with a filthy spirit. I was in constant prayer about what my next move should be. I knew I needed out of that job, but I had Johanna to consider. It was during this time that I was socializing on the interwebs when someone mentioned something about the Oprah Life You Want tour and my ears perked. Not because of Oprah. I know many adore her but I can’t tell you anyone I idolize outside of God and I want to keep it that way. I appreciate Oprah for her contributions, especially as an African American woman, and I like that she makes you think, but it stops there. But the life I was living was not the life I wanted and when I realized that Oprah would not be the only one speaking at this conference, I jumped at the opportunity to go to the conference.

And I’m glad I did. It took place this past Friday evening into Saturday. There were some real nuggets being dropped those two days. There were also some confusing moments. For one, I don’t know who the universe is. So many kept saying the Universe will guide you or What you give to the universe you’ll get back in return. Umm, no. What I give to God I will give back in return. The universe can’t do a thing for me. Also, there was one person in particular, Mark Nepo, that I felt was extremely spiritually confused. He said he follows all religious paths. Wow. Okay, if that’s what you want to do. To ME personally, that sounds like a bunch of confusion. I can’t follow Jesus and Mohammad, I just can’t. But that’s just me. When he wanted to lead us in a meditation the spirit of God told me to open my bible and read. So that’s what I did. No disrespect, but if you are all over the place spiritually, I can’t allow you to guide me.

I learned during that conference to take what I could use and leave the rest. And with that mantra in mind, I had a good time. My favorite speakers were Oprah, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Iyanla Vanzant.

From Ms. Orpah:

Elizabeth Gilbert

She also said something that caught me so that I forgot to tweet it. She aid that “even here in your darkest hour you still live in a world exploding with miracles and you need to go and get yourself some of that.” I love it. It’s a great reminder for us to step outside of ourselves. We get so wrapped up in our own issues we forget to stop and see the beauty that God places around us every day!

Iyanla Vanzant

Another great one – The life you want is on the other side of the labor pains that you have to experience to birth it.

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Along with these great speakers we also had work to do, including creating a new vision and choosing a new language. We even had homework!

And along the way I was able to empower myself in other ways. If you follow me on twitter (@johannasmama) you may have already seen these…

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and did you see my video???

Again, I had a great weekend. I felt like it was just for me. A break from being a mom and wife. A just for me moment. There was so much more than I have time to write about, it was pretty awesome. I was able to pick up quite a few nuggets and begin the journey of figuring out the life I want. Now I’m in deep prayer to make sure the dream I have for my life lines up with the life God has for me. I encourage all of you, especially moms, to go get the life God has for you. It’s ok to be a little selfish and have a dream of your own and actually formulate a plan to make it come true. Better a little selfish than a whole lot of bitter, no?

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The Nat’l Building Museum – A Preschoolers Dream

Last Saturday Johanna was over the moon excited! Not because of what she was going to be doing, but because of the fact that she was meeting up with an old friend for a play-date. After thinking on it for some time, we decided to take the girls to the National Building Museum. I had never been there, but I had heard great things and, well, they were having a groupon deal so why not?

The first thing that made me thrilled was that the museum entrance was literally right across the street from the Judiciary Square metro station. Thank God because the heat was set to Hades!

The first thing I noticed was that this museum is gorgeous inside. Why didn’t I have my wedding there? It would’ve been splendid! Anyway, see that fountain there? That’s where a lot of families go to sit around and relax, or wait for others to join them. That’s where we sat to wait for Johanna’s friend and the fountain was already the favorite part of her morning! When her friend did show up it was like they hadn’t missed a beat. THey just kept running around that open space and that’s all they wanted to do. But there was more museum to see!

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The Play Work Build exhibit was my very favorite one for the kids. There was so much to do! Lot’s of tables for them to work at and a great open space building zone for them. Johanna just kept moving from station to station and I loved it. You could choose to be a lazy parent and just watch, or you could happily get involved and help them build, roll, or even seesaw!

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This wall was my favorite. Amazing! It’s a digital wall where you can build blocks with your body, and then make them come crashing down! I think I might have enjoyed it more than Johanna did.

We then headed to another exhibit that was quite interesting. There were several areas to build things, even a section with legos. The interesting part was that there was a house in the middle of the room and every single girl in that room ran towards the house. I didn’t have a problem with that, I just thought it was interesting. We don’t have traditional gender roles in our house for the most part. We both do all of the chores, so it’s just interesting.

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Why yes, Johanna is pretending to be a construction worker chef. I love it!

The one thing we totally missed because we were tired, hungry, and just plain forgot about it was the BIG MAZE! I’m so disappointed because it is now closed. I hope that they bring it back next summer because that would be a lot of fun.

So if you’re looking for something to do with child this weekend, please take them to the National Building Museum. It’s located at 401 F Street NW and open from 10-5 Saturday, 11-5 Sunday.

If you find yourself looking for more things to do with your little one this weekend, please visit my facebook page. Every Saturday morning I list great events in the DMV to do with your family. Most events are free or cheap. Happy Friday everyone!

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Yummy and Easy Cake Mix Cookies

Like most kids, the highlight of dinner for Johanna is dessert. She will eat that extra carrot, or a little more lettuce just to get to her sweet treat at the end of dinner. Her most favorite thing in the world to eat is cake. I have to say, she gets it honest. But unless I’m baking a cake for an event, or to give to a client, we don’t really have cupcakes and cakes just lying around.

Over the weekend I was browsing the web looking for a dessert to make for her when I stumbled upon the Simply Kierste website and saw the title Cake Mix Cookies. What kind of trickery is this? A cake cookie? Did they really just combine two of Johanna’s favorite things ever??? So obviously I had to try them.

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And they were delicious! Sooooooo incredibly easy to make. I always like to go the simple route when trying out new foods so I just did yellow cake mix with no frills. And instead of breaking the dough up, I just spread it on the cookie sheet and cut them out after it was done baking. You have to try this! She shares different flavor combos to try on her site. Let me know if you too love cake mix cookies, and what your favorite combination is!

Ingredients
  • Cake Mix (your choice of flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • amount of oil or melted butter on cake mix box
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, until well blended. (I prefer using melted butter, but either will work.)
  3. Roll into balls, and place on cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper or foil and sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Use a glass to press down the balls of dough.
  5. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until done.

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