What I Ate This Week | Raw Pad Thai, Grilled Kale & Sleep Deprivation

By Kiersten | Last Updated: March 24, 2014

Rad Rainbow Pad Thai

I am on week two of nightly bouts with insomnia and this is the week that the lack of sleep really hit me hard. Through the grace of Hiball energy drinks, I am here typing this right now instead of napping on the couch while Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta plays in the background. But even massive amounts of caffeine are only enough to make me function at a very low level. So now I will apologize (again!) for falling behind on replying to your comments and emails. And then I will get weepy and tell you I’m doing the best I can but I’M JUST SO TIRED and you’ll nod and back away slowly because suddenly things have gotten really uncomfortable.

Oh hey, here’s what I ate this week:

Rad Rainbow Pad ThaiRad Rainbow Pad Thai from Oh She Glows // I had been coveting a veggie spiralizer for a while and this post from Vanilla & Spice finally convinced me to take the plunge and buy one. It is so fun! How did I get by without zucchini noodles?! This raw Pad Thai was the first thing I made with it and it was so, so good. (And of course, if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can just julienne your veggies. That works too!)

Vegetable Sushi BowlVegetable Sushi Bowl from A Couple Cooks // I skipped the avocado in this even though my husband loves it because I’m a terrible wife, but this made a nice, easy dinner. I’ve been wanting to roll my own sushi for a while but I never do it because of the intimidation factor, so this is a good compromise.

Strawberry Pineapple Mint JuiceStrawberry-Pineapple-Mint Juice from Williams-Sonoma Taste // I also bought a juice extractor for my food processor this week because I had a Williams-Sonoma gift card just begging to be spent. This juice was delicious, but I’m still trying to get over the whole “all that fruit made this tiny glass of juice?!” feeling. The juicer is going to be a sometimes thing because I think I’d go broke if I juiced every day, multiple times a day like some people do.

Roasted Yellow & Dragon's Tongue BeansRoasted Yellow & Dragon’s Tongue Beans // OH MAN THIS PHOTO. I know this looks really unappetizing and I’m kind of embarrassed to post it, but I swear it tastes good. I picked a bunch of beans from the garden, roasted them, then tossed with with a mushroom and sage-infused olive oil, walnuts, and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan & Paprika Grilled CornParmesan & Paprika Grilled Corn from Fabulicious: On the Grill! // Yes, I made a Teresa Giudice recipe! Haters can hate! When I’m stressed out, nothing makes me feel better than watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey and yelling at the TV. “Teresa did nothing wrong! YOU ARE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF TERESA’S SUCCESS!” When will they start selling Fabellini in North Carolina? I need a case of that. Anyway, I used white corn to make this and I attempted it on the indoor grill, so it’s not all charry, but it was still delicious because: smoked paprika!

Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled BreadGarlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled Bread from The Kitchn // There’s really nothing to say about this except that you need to make it immediately. If you like kale chips, you will love grilled kale. The dressing on this salad is ridiculously good and also there’s bread in it. Bread!

Blackberry & Lemon Thyme JamBlackberry Jam from Savory Sweet Life // I made jam! I made this before the last of my blackberries were so cruelly stolen from my yard. I added some lemon thyme too and it was delicious. And easy–much easier than I thought! There’s no pectin in this recipe, but it still gets thick and jelly-like.

What’s New on the Marketplace This Month

July Marketplace Preview
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite summer garden picks this month, like funky weird tomato seeds. (Every garden needs some funky weird tomatoes!) If you find yourself ordering from Abe’s Market several times a month like I do, be sure to grab the new 20% off coupon code that I posted this week. We can use that! I’m also giving away a bunch of fun stuff this month, like…

A case of Whole Grain PopCorners
A copy of The Plant-Powered Diet
A copy of The Essential Good Food Guide
Pistachio Chewy Bites
5 bags of healthy snacks from NatureBox
A gift box featuring olive oils, olives, and tapenade from Mediterranean Merchants
A $100 Whole Foods gift card

On a completely different note, I know a lot of you watched my Aunt Darlene on The American Baking Competition (and she totally should have won, right?!), so I thought I’d let you know that she has a website too where she’s posting some of her recipes. (If I can keep my eyes open for more than 20 minutes at a time this weekend, I am totally making a Georgia Peach Tart. Except with North Carolina peaches. But North Carolina Peach Tart just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?)

Disclosure: The links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. If you happen to buy a veggie spiralizer after clicking on my link (have fun making zucchini noodles!), I would get a small percentage of the sale price from Amazon for sending you their way.

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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As weird as it sounds, I can’t tell you how excited I am that you’re experiencing insomnia too….I have had the worst time sleeping for two weeks or so….maybe it’s the summer. And the words, “I’m….just….so……” escape my mouth multiple times a day….still can’t sleep though. 😉 Looks like in spite of the lack of sleep, you had some great food to comfort ya! Delicious as always! Sleep well this weekend, my dear!

I have another friend who’s also had trouble sleeping for the past two weeks–how weird is that?! I slept in this morning, but was ready for a nap 2 hours later. :/ I think now I just have a sleep deficit and I’m not going to feel better until I catch up. I hope you’re able to get some sleep this weekend too!

So sorry you’ve been struggling with insomnia! Have you found anything that works?
Did find that roasted beans shot sort of questionable, haha but only because I wasn’t sure what it was until I read the description- it sounds delicious!

I have had insomnia since I was a kid. I finally got into a good groove by installing Flux on my computer (which dims the light on it after sunset), taking melatonin before bedtime, and using Natural Calm. And even now, I can fall asleep (which was always the problem before), but I’m waking up in the middle of the night and I can’t fall BACK asleep. I think it’s stress and I’m not sure what I can do about that. My husband wants me to go to the doctor to get sleeping pills, but that scares me! And um yeah, the beans are totally questionable looking–ha ha. The dragon’s tongue beans are gorgeous when they’re raw, but the purple color goes away when you cook them!

Sorry to hear you’ve struggled so long. I’ve dealt with insomnia off and on- like you, mostly when I’m feeling super stressed. Not sure which kind you take, but both my sister and my dad swear by sub-lingual, melatonin (I understand your feeling on sleeping pills, for sure). I’ve never heard of Flux, but it sounds like a great idea, I looking into it now!

Also, I love the idea of purple beans- must find them!

i’ve been wanting a spiralizer forever! i seriously hope someone gets it for me this year for my birthday.

that sushi bowl is on my must try list. i’m the same way, totally intimidated to make my own sushi.

Me too! I’m so glad I finally got one because I’ve already used it several times. It’s great for shredding cabbage too and the cleanup is easier than with my food processor.

Try a cup of pumpkin seeds an hour before going to bed. The tasty seeds contain a high amount of the amino acid tryptophan (same stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy) and zinc. The combination of the tryptophan and zinc helps relax while increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

The grilled kale salad looks amazing! I always leave inspired (but much hungrier) after visiting your blog! LOVE it!

I’ve never heard of that spiral vegetable cutter– what fun! I hope you find some relief from your insomnia soon, that is terribly difficult since it affects your whole day and not the hours that you are unable to sleep.

I know. 🙁 I feel like I’m unable to accomplish anything during the day because I just can’t think straight. I slept until 11:30am today, so I guess that’s a start!

Everything sounds delicious! I have yet to try and make my own sushi, as well. I’ve gotten the seaweed and the bamboo mat, but I agree, it is intimidating.

I have sushi rice that’s been sitting in the pantry FOREVER. I really want to do it, but I just know it’s going to end up looking like a hot mess. 🙂 Bowls are much easier!

So. Many. Things! Raw Pad Thai! I have that same cute glass from Ikea but I couldn’t bear to use it so I put a candle in it and it’s in my bathroom! Something called “dragon’s tongue” on a vegetarian website?! Grilled freakin’ kale. I might try grilling up some kale leaves today and see if my daughter, well, bites. Usually greens are called “leaf! leaf! garbage!” but if they’re crispy … we’ll see.

Unsolicited advice with no knowledge of your actual situation: if your insomnia is due to whirlwind brain (my name for anxiety that just amplifies at night because you’re sleep deprived and exhausted and it just keeps multiplying upon itself), you might want to try the alphabet game. This feels so stupid to type it out – but I had a horrible time the first few months after my daughter was born and found the idea online. Basically you pick a subject – say, vegetables – and you go through the alphabet one by one and pick a vegetable that begins with that letter. Arugula, Beets, Carrots. Or, forehead bop, maybe something that’s not food because that’s probably the last thing you need to think about! Plants, animals, exotic cities. I know it sounds silly but it’s totally meditative because you have to focus on that – no room for all those other thoughts to drive you crazy. I usually fall asleep right around the time I’m racking my brain for a landscape plant that starts with Q.

Good luck – hope you’re able to get some good solid sleep soon. Your posts are still awesome though! So. Excited. For your book. It will all be worth it.

Yeah, definitely whirlwind brain. I need to try something like that because I really just can’t stop the thoughts and worries and brainstorming and obsessing. Arrrgggh! The downside of being a food blogger, as I’m sure you’re well-aware, is that there’s no checkout time. And when you do take time off, you end up regretting it because you have to work twice as hard when you get back to work again.

I blame my lack of sleep or being able to go to sleep on daylight savings time! Too much daylight in the summer and we try to use all of it! Then we start thinking on how we can use it all up the next day and the next… The doctor told my grandmother years ago to drink a glass of red wine before bed to help her sleep.
I took a mid-morning nap this morning, because I woke up too early. Usually when I try to nap though I lay there and can’t go to sleep or I will sleep for twenty minutes and wake up. I never get more than 6 hours even on a good night. So I do feel for you.

Maybe I need to try that red wine trick! I feel the same way about naps. No matter how tired I am, I can’t fall asleep during the day, or at least not deeply enough to feel well-rested when I wake up.

I’m glad you went for the spiralizer and like it so far! That recipe is on my list to make too, I can’t wait to try it. And Darlene should definitely still be proud for doing so well!

Oh I hear you with insomnia – I have the same waking-up-and-not-getting-back-to-sleep problem. My head is always filled with chatter and it only seems to get louder at night! Reading helps. Or listening to the radio. Gives me something else to focus on. Sounds like you have a truckload on your plate at the moment with the blog, the cooking, the book and I’m sure a stack of other things. I hope you find a way to relieve some of that stress… Thank goodness you’ve got the Spiralizer to help in the kitchen! (thanks for the link – I’ve been looking for one of those for ages!!). Looks like you had an amazingly healthy week of eating though. Eating properly when I’m stressed is something I certainly don’t excel at.

My problem is that I always feel like getting up and doing something equals admitting defeat, so I will just lie in bed for hours letting all the wheels spin in my brain. I’d really be better off if I just went downstairs and read a book! And I haven’t exactly eaten well this week–I had a mug cake and an energy drink for dinner today. Oh, the shame! Stress definitely makes it hard to make good food choices.

I got a spiralizer as a wedding gift (just opened it last night and the instructions are all in Japanese and the english translation makes ZERO sense- hilarious!) and came across that recipe and it’ll be happening next week!!
This past week I also made a sushi bowl and I used TJ’s wasabi seaweed and it was awesome! Forgot the avocado? Not sure that’s forgivable!

Woo hoo! That is an awesome wedding gift–far superior to melon ballers or toaster ovens. 🙂 I have an aversion to avocado. I think the texture just creeps me out. Or maybe it’s the color? I don’t know!

I’ve never heard of a spiralizer, but that pad thai looks awesome. So does the blackberry jam, yum!! I had to look through your previous posts to find out the story behind the blackberry theft — that’s awful!! 🙁 I hope they choke on them.

Ha! And this week, someone stole a pattypan squash too. I’m certain it wasn’t an animal because if it was an animal, I think it would have eaten it off the vine, not removed it altogether. (And you have to yank pretty hard to get those off!) We really REALLY need a fence.

Vanilla and Spice makes that spiralizer look awfully fun: it reminds me of the Playdoh machine my kids used to use. I use the program Flux too, I think it helps. The beans do sound extremely good with the mushroom-and-sage-infused olive oil (did you make that?) and the walnuts and Parmesan. I think they’d be great for a picnic. The blackberry jam with lemon thyme also sounds fantastic! We’ve been getting lots of the Kotata blackberries lately, love them.

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