Archive for March, 2012

Tempeh Hummus Wraps

I was surveying my fridge yesterday for lunch and wondering what new, healthy combination I could try other than my typical cheese sandwich.  I spied a package of tempeh in the back and Romaine lettuce in the vegetable crisper and an idea popped into my head.  A few weeks ago I was reading Iowa Girl Eats and glossed over a post called Buffalo Chicken BLAT Wraps.  While I would have never have made the recipe because bacon isn’t on a vegetarian’s menu, the Romaine lettuce must have stuck in my mind as an alternative to a wrap, bread, etc.  Voila! I was inspired to make Tempeh Lettuce Sandwiches.

If you have never tried to tempeh, make sure it is on your shopping list right now.  It’s a great protein option for a meal and totally delicious.  I discovered tempeh during my vegan experiment and have been hooked ever since.  This sandwich was a great new way to enjoy it.  The tempeh is  a great protein source to keep you full and satisfied.  The hummus gives a rich and robust flavor.  The red pepper adds a sweet crunch, and the lettuce adds a crisp finish to each bite.


4 oz of tempeh
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Hummus (Sabra is my favorite brand!)
Red pepper slices
Fresh cilantro
Romaine Lettuce leaves

1.  Saute tempeh in olive oil until browned on both sides.  Season with salt and pepper.\

2.  Spread hummus on lettuce leaf.

3.  Add tempeh and red pepper.  Garnish with cilantro.



Explaining Dreaming to a Toddler

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Two nights ago, Gavin woke up from a dream very upset. He dreamt that Curious George bit his toe. Not just Curious George from the tv show, but his little stuffed Curious George that he has cuddled with at nighttime since he was 9 months old. He kept crying “No, George!” and asked me to put him away. I tried to comfort him as best I could while attempting to explain that it was just a dream. In my sleepy confusion at 3:30am, I was making the problem worse because I didn’t remember that Gavin didn’t know what a dream was. I kept telling him that it wasn’t real, that George really didn’t bite his toe, but to Gavin it was as real as could be. Finally, I put poor George away and was able to calm Gavin back to sleep.

The next morning, I naively thought that he would forget everything that happened and all would go back to normal. I was wrong. George surfaced from underneath his covers where I had stashed him, and Gavin immediately got upset. He wouldn’t even stay in the same room with him. I again tried to explain that dreams were something that we imagined while we were sleeping, but they didn’t really happen. I hit another brick wall. A 2 ½ year old doesn’t know what imagine means! By that night, George was out and Mickey Mouse was in. George isn’t allowed anywhere near his room, and Gavin has a new toy to snuggle with at night.

 This morning, I tried again to explain dreams, but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t find the words to use they he understood to express the idea of a dream. I tried to do some research on toddlers and dreams and didn’t find much except that it’s a normal part of development. WebMd actually says that conflicts that happen during the day can lead to nightmares. Ironically, Gavin bit another child at daycare that day and did not get dessert after dinner as a result.  A UC of Berkley study says that dreaming is a type of overnight therapy that help to soothe bad things that happened during the day.  I guess really wouldn’t that cookie after dinner.

Google didn’t tell me much except that dreams are normal and common at this age. I couldn’t find anything on when a child understands the difference between dreams and reality or any tips on explaining dreams to toddler. I guess dreaming is just to advanced of an idea for a 2-year-old to understand. Hopefully, Mickey Mouse will be a good replacement and Gavin will only have happy dreams about him; otherwise, a trip to Disney World will never happen. For now, George will have to find a new place to sleep at night.