Carrot Noodles with Peanut Sauce

by Marianne on 02/21/2016

in Eat, Home

I know this sounds weird, but I’m totally in love with these carrot noodles!  I know what you’re thinking…”What the hell is a carrot noodle, and why? No really. Why?”

Well, it’s a carrot.  It’s not pasta.  And, it’s delicious. I promise!

This dish is surprisingly filling, considering you just made an entire meal out of a carrot. The secret to making this without ending up with a kitchen that looks like your refrigerator exploded is practicing a little thing called mise en place.   Which basically means to get all the ingredients ready and “in place” before you start cooking.  Pour some wine, turn on some music and get to chopping!  Then clean up.  I am not kidding, you’ll thank me later. The cooking part goes really quickly after that.

mis en place

I got the biggest carrots I could find, but they were still a bit narrow to use with my Veggetti spiral peeler-thingy. A hand-held serrated julienne peeler worked just fine though.  Mine is similar to this one:    Julienne Veggie Peeler

I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve had this 3 nights in a row, and still not tired of it!

Recipe and instructions below. You’re welcome.

Carrot Noodles

Carrot Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
The ingredients listed are for 1 serving.
  • 1 large Carrot
  • 3 oz. Tofu (extra firm)
  • 2 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Broccoli florets
  • 1 Scallion
  • ½ cup Bean Sprouts (fresh or canned)
  • 1 inch piece Ginger, grated (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 large Garlic Clove
  • 3 TBLS Miso Broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 Chile Pepper (ex: Fresno, Jalapeno, Serrano)
  • 1 TBLS peanut butter (natural. just peanuts & salt)
  • 1 TBLS Tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1 TBLS Rice Vinegar
  • 1 TBLS Miso Broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  1. Slice tofu into 1 inch cubes, and sprinkle with Tamari. Set aside.
  2. Make sauce: In a small bowl, wisk together Peanut Butter, Tamari, Rice Vinegar, Broth and Sriracha.
Prepare Veggies
  1. Use a julienne peeler or spiralizer to cut Carrot into thin "noodles"
  2. Cut Broccoli into small florets
  3. Grate Ginger, Mince Garlic, Chop Scallion (separate greens from white), chop Cashews and thinly slice pepper
  1. In a wok or non-stick pan, heat 1 tsp Coconut Oil. Add Tofu pieces, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add 3 TBLS broth and the broccoli to pan. Cover and steam for about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tsp Coconut Oil to pan, and add Carrots, Garlic, Ginger and Scallion whites. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add Peanut sauce, Broccoli, Tofu and Bean Sprouts, and stir together until heated through.
  4. Garnish with Cilantro, chopped Cashews, Scallions and sliced Chile Pepper.





(Also known as Breakfast Nachos, but it’s way more fun to say Chilaquiles in your best Sofia Vergara voice.)

It’s a few days into New Year’s Resolutions. Raise your hand if you really just want to eat nachos for breakfast every day.  Hopefully you didn’t make some sort of cockamamie promise to eat fewer nachos this year? (I wonder if anyone made a resolution to eat MORE nachos?  Because I wish I’d thought of that.)  Well, it doesn’t matter anyway. This dish has enough cheesy, eggy, spicy goodness to cure what ails you even if you happened to fall of the resolution wagon last night (so soon?), but also secretly contains enough veggies to make you still feel good about yourself today.

The green sauce is epic, and super easy to make.  No knife skills required… just a blender! Even boys can make this. (Recipe below.)

GreenSauce1  GreenSauce2   GreenSauce3

The rest is mainly oven work and general assembly.

The pretty little veggies (zucchini, red pepper, corn, kale) get tossed with olive oil, salt, red pepper and a pinch of cumin, and then roasted until tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile, start building the nachos by placing chips in the bottom of an oven safe dish and top with green salsa and shredded cheese.  Place in oven a few minutes until cheese melts.  Top chips with veggies, a little more cheese, and crack two eggs on top.  Cook for about 12-15 minutes to set the eggs.

You can make some coffee and figure out if you are going to wear pants today while it’s cooking.  And maybe wipe away the gunk under your eyes.


Top it all off with lots of fun stuff: Salsa, sour cream, peppers, cilantro, green onions.

Yes, please!

Veggie Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
  • 15-20 Tortilla Chips
  • Tomatillo Avocado Salsa (below)
  • ½ Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Ear Corn
  • 1 handful chopped Kale
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • Salt, Pepper, Cumin to taste
  • Optional Toppings: Salsa, Sour Cream, Peppers, Cilantro, Green Onions
Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
  • 1 12 oz. can Tomatillos (and juice)
  • 1 large Avocado
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 handful Cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup pickled Jalapeno slices
  • 1 pinch each: Salt, Cumin
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa by placing the tomatilloes, avocado, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and salt, cumin into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Dice the zucchini and red pepper. Cut the kernels off an ear of corn. Toss all of the veggies in olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and cumin. (Keep the kale separate so that you can take it out earlier if needed.) Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes. Watch the kale, and remove when crispy , usually after about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, assemble chips in the bottom of an oiled, oven-proof dish. (Use individual dishes, or one bigger dish.) Top the chips with the green salsa, and then with shredded cheese. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  5. Place the roasted veggies on top of the chips and cheese. Make a small well for each egg, and then crack two eggs (per serving) into the dish. Bake for 12 minutes, until eggs are just set.
  6. Serve with optional toppings as desired.




Stand-up Desk

by Marianne on 11/02/2015

in Home, Create

StandUp Desk

Did I ever tell you about my Stand-up Desk?  No?  Well, it’s pretty much my favorite thing, which is great, because I spend an abnormally large portion of my life in front of it.  It’s rarely this neat in real life.  It’s usually covered in sticky-notes, piles of notebooks, and random pages of scribbles, but it’s fairly easy to tidy up (ie: hide everything in a bin) when I need to.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but now I spend most of the day standing. I keep a stool nearby for those moments when I do need to sit. That’s usually when I’m up to something complicated that requires an extra dose of brain power.  Normally though, I feel most productive when standing, and when my butt isn’t screaming obscenities at me.  Now I dread going somewhere if I have to sit most of the day.

As an extra bonus, all this standing also makes me put on shoes, which (usually) makes me put on clothes that aren’t pajamas.  That also will (almost always) encourage me to at least brush my hair and throw it into a pony tail.  These are good things, which I am grateful for when someone unexpectedly shows up at the door. (The exterminator really has no business knowing that my pajamas have tiny dogs all over them, but he does. Just one of the perils of working from home. (I know, #FirstWorldProblems.)

The desk is an Ikea hack and cost around $200 dollars.

IkeahackDesk  IkeahackDesk2

(Not all of the same items are available online now, so below are the closest found.)

We used some heavy duty Velco strips to secure the desktop to the base, and it does not move.  I also put some small adhesive pads under the legs of the monitor shelf.  It’s movable, but does not skid around. My desktop is around 63” X 31” and is a great size for a workspace. The overall height worked out perfect for me. Someone on the taller side might need something to raise the desk up a bit.

I love it!  And also really happy to have finally finished off the rest of my office space.


It sure seems that everybody loves hanging out in the office.  Here is just a peek of what is normally going on right behind me:






So much work happens up in here, it’s ridiculous!


Sitting all day is slowly murdering you.  So get off your ass, and try standing!

(Also, get you some dogs.  Foster and/or Adopt!)




Random Flowers

by Marianne on 09/26/2015

in Home

Random Flowers

I ran across this TEDx talk the other day about happiness that really struck a chord with me.  It was pretty timely; I had  just been thinking about my own happiness (and sometimes the lack thereof) and how a shift in my attitude might make my “right now” life better.  The speaker was Shawn Achor.  You should watch it (he’s pretty funny, too):

In the talk, Shawn posits that you can retrain your brain to have a more positive (and happy) outlook by doing these 5 things for 21 days:

1. (List) 3 Gratitudes

2. Journaling

3. Exercise

4. Meditation

5. Random Acts of Kindness

I’m in!  I actually ran out at lunch and bought a journal and started that very day.  Each page starts out with 3 things I am grateful for.

Today I am Grateful for:

1) Random Flowers

2) Having enough

3) That quiet time when all the dogs are fed


Random Flowers. These are not flowers from 1-800-Pro-Flowers that just show up at my door.  I mean, those are nice and all, but what I mean by random flowers are the ones that just pop up in my yard (or anywhere) that I had absolutely nothing to do with.  They show up despite my neglectful watering habits.  I’m sure these are still the work of the prior owners, but I’ve spent the last 3 summers alternating between accidentally killing all the growing-on-purpose things, and trying to keep the rest of the things from overtaking the neighborhood.  I’m not the best gardener on the block. But every so often, something new pokes through and surprises me.  It’s like, even though I failed at this gardening thing again this year, the world just gave me a little do-over.

Having enough. I have food when I’m hungry.  I have a home.  Well, technically, the bank has a home, but they let me live in it while I pay them the agreed upon sums of money each month. I have clothes to wear, even though I bitch about most of them not fitting me.  I can go buy something new if I want.  I don’t really have or want extravagant things, but I spend a good deal of time day dreaming about winning the lottery (and you can bet your sweet ass I bought a ticket today!)  But, I have what I need. I have enough.

That quiet moment when all the dogs are fed. This one just goes without saying. Mornings are insane and loud around here, and those few moments when the whole house is quiet (except for the crunch, crunch, crunch of 5 happy dogs eating) is the best part of the morning.  Time to make the coffee.

Here’s to living happy.


(PS – I ran across this post while looking for the name of these flowers.  They are Spider Lilies, and I love this story.)


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Cajun Lentil Dip

by Marianne on 07/26/2015

in Eat, Home

Dear Hummus, I’ve found another dip and it makes me very happy.  I still like you, but I think maybe we should see other dips.  I mean, when I see you in a restaurant, all made-from-scratch and perfectly creamy, I’m still gonna be like “Oh yah, I want some of that.”  But, don’t get your feelings hurt if I walk right past you in the grocery store and act like I don’t even know you.  It’s just that I’m sometimes underwhelmed by you in those tiny little $4 containers. Maybe we can just be friends?

The new dip of my dreams is made with lentils.  I love this stuff.  It’s so easy, and for about $2 I an make a giant vat of it.  Go get some dried lentils and give it a try.  The lentils don’t need to be pre-soaked, so they are cooked in about twenty minutes.  I like it with some Cajun spices (like Slap Ya Mama!), but I’ve also made it with Madras Curry Powder and turmeric for a different spin.  It’s all good!

Aside from being delicious, lentils stack up pretty admirably against chickpeas, so that’s a nice bonus. Check this out. (Chart found at


Lentils win in pretty much every category.

Cajun Lentil Dip

I seriously could eat this all day, every day.  Creamy, garlicky, and just a bit of spice.  So yummy!

It also makes a great veggie sandwich!


Cajun Lentil Dip
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3 cups
  • ½ lb. dried Lentils (Red or Yellow)
  • ½ Onion
  • 1 TBLS Cajun Seasoning (such as Slap Ya Mama!)
Per 2 cups cooked Lentils:
  • 2 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 TBL Lemon Juice
  • ⅔ tsp Cajun Seasoning (such as Slap Ya Mama!)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4-5 splashes Hot Pepper Sauce (such as Frank's, or Tabasco)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  1. Rinse Lentils in a colander and place in a pot covered with 2-3 inches of water.
  2. Add ½ chopped onion and 1 tsp salt.
  3. Bring water to gentle simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  4. Let the lentils cool, then strain to remove excess water.
  5. Working in batches, per 2 cups of lentils, add the remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  6. There will be some extra if using 2 cups. (1/2 lb uncooked will yield about 3 cups of cooked lentils.)






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Thumbnail image for One for the Good Guys

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