Mid-April Recent Vegan Eats

Mid-April Recent Vegan Eats

Back at it with another recent vegan eats post! Amidst the season of excessive school work, I’m delaying some more research-intensive content since right now my brain is so overwhelmed I found myself sitting on the futon staring at the ceiling debating whether to continue working or just go to bed the past two nights.

To give you any sort of scope of how incredibly boring I am these days, upon reflecting on my weekend, I can safety say the most invigorating thing I did was impulsively add an avocado to my cart at Trader Joe’s after overhearing someone mention avocado toast and being stricken with an instant craving. It felt so bold and whimsical!

This weekend I’ve also been trying to secure an apartment for next fall (fingers crossed!) and have been relying on my compression braces to deal with carpal tunnel symptoms from excessive typing.

Wild weekend, I know. Today is actually exciting because it’s Millie’s birthday! So we are going to celebrate HARD (which I will recap in next week’s post). Here’s a photo from her first birthday party. I’m not crying, you are!

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Anyways, if you want some more nitty-gritty nutrition or climate reads, stay tuned or search the ‘nutrition’ or ‘climate’ tabs, but or for now, simply enjoy this recent vegan eats roundup in the meantime!

Giant Salads with Banza and Oodles of Nutritional Yeast

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When the weather starts to turn warm, I crave all things FRESH, including giant salads.The key to a meal-worthy salad in my books is including a variety of textures, flavors and including all three macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein).

This meal reflects a version of something I make often: leftover roasted veggies (in this case, purple sweet potatoes, yay carbs), organic mixed greens (I buy the family-sized for $4.49 every week at ShopRite during salad phases and plow through them), frozen thawed peas for a pop of freshness, flavor, protein and fiber, hemp hearts for fat, protein and omega-3s, raw cashews for more fat, protein, flavor and crunch, and cold Banza because pasta on salads = <3. I covered the whole thing with some Panera dressing I had in m fridge + oodles upon oodles of nutritional yeast.

If you haven’t put nutritional yeast on salads, you must give it a whirl. It somehow amplifies the entire experience exponentially. Please try it and thank me later. ;-).

Also, I cooked my noodles in the microwave and quickly cooled them in the fridge. Yes, I often cook noodles in the microwave. That’s what living in apartments in NYC with no working stove/oven for many years gives you – microwave and toaster oven skills galore. Some people asked me about this, and I could totally write a post/make a quick video tutorial. Let me know if you’re interested!

Fancy Fruit:

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My building had a surprise resident-appreciation breakfast the other morning, which was nice. On my way out, I grabbed a sesame bagel and filled a Pyrex container with fruit salad (shout out to my EHS department for always training me to BYOTupperware).

I adore fruit salad and for some reason it is such a treat to me. Maybe it’s because as a solo-living human I never buy all the ingredients to make it myself, so it’s novel. Or maybe it’s because it reminds me of staying in a hotel with continental breakfast, which is my favorite thing in the universe. Either way, when it comes to fruit salad, I’m always excited.

Non-fancy fruit:

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I go through phases where I want to just eat ALL OF THE FRUIT. This spring weather shift has made me want freshness at every meal and snack! That means oodles of fresh produce. I recognize that being able to consume fresh produce regularly is a privilege. Shout out to ShopRite for having organic pink lady apples at $1.49/ pound as their regular non-sale price. I don’t know how they do it, but I am here for it.

Continue reading “Mid-April Recent Vegan Eats”

My Favorite Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes

My Favorite Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes

Hello everyone! It’s Thursday night and he fire alarm just went off which meant me + Millie got to hang out with all of our building neighbors in our pajamas while the fire people cleared up the situation. Anyways, thanks to our 10:00pm adventure, I am now fully of energy and in the mood to whip up an easy vegan dessert recipe! I’ve been working on a couple new ones, but while I’m working out all the kinks, I thought I’d share a roundup of my favorite easy vegan dessert recipes from this blog. I hope you enjoy!

…and if you’re hungry for more, check out my ebook, 40 Easy Vegan Desserts, from way back in the day! #shamelessselfpromo

Vegan Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Vegan Cookie Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lucious as can be! Make these beauties with this delicious recipe.

Sunflower Seed Butter Salted Caramel Date Truffles

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Probably my all-time favorite easy no-bake snack or sweet treat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…something about sun butter and date paste together is so magical. Recipe is here.

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLite Style) Girl Scout Cookies

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These beauties are a take on the original and are made with date caramel. Give them a whirl!

Giant No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup

easy, no-bake giant peanut butter cup

No explanation needed. Find the details here.

Homemade Vegan LoftHouse Style Frosted CookiesVegan Lofthouse style cookes

So fluffy and soft and pretty! Cookie + frosting recipe here.

Vegan Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate Chip CookiesEasy and Delicious Vegan Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

…honestly, need I say more? These things are insane(ly delicious). Get the recipe here.

Continue reading “My Favorite Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes”

A Day Trip to DC, A Very Nice Weekend + Lessons I’ve Learned From (Dog) Parenting

A Day Trip to DC, A Very Nice Weekend + Lessons I’ve Learned From (Dog) Parenting

Hello friends! Diary-style post here. Just thought I’d do a recap of the recent week/weekend for no reason other than I feel like it. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday:

Thursday I went to DC to attend the 2019 Planet Forward Summit. Like all things Planet Forward, it was amazing and inspiring and thought-provoking. I was only able to attend one of the two days this year (due to Millie logistics / not having the cash monies for a hotel after traveling weekly all semester) but I was happy I got to go to at least one of the two days.

There were some great speakers and break out sessions and I left feeling really re-inspired. This entire year has been a weird creative funk space for me due to my grad school applications/traveling weekly around the countries, plus some companies I used to work for sort of dissolving, and my new jobs requiring me to write a ton of academic-like stuff, and then of course, a crazy rigorous academic year, all of which managed to zap a bulk of my energy.

Continue reading “A Day Trip to DC, A Very Nice Weekend + Lessons I’ve Learned From (Dog) Parenting”

Nutrition FAQ: Should I do a juice cleanse ?

Nutrition FAQ: Should I do a juice cleanse ?

Hey everyone! I’m going to start addressing nutrition FAQs more often here on the blog space. I sometimes ask for your FAQs on Instagram and I promise I screenshot every response and will slowly work through them. Today I want to address juice cleanses. I get asked “should I do a juice cleanse?” pretty regularly and feel it’s worth touching upon. And also, for all you celery-curious people, please note I am working on an entire separate post devoted to celery juice coming soon.

And in case you didn’t know, as of next year I will be shifting my academic focus back to nutrition, and I’m excited! I have loved my environmental health science and public health degree and will always strive to integrate and apply them to my nutrition studies, but at the same time, I’m pumped to get back to the nitty gritty of nutrition science!

For now, please enjoy a brief overview of why I don’t recommend juice cleansing.

Disclaimer: As always, this is general information intended for healthy, non-pregnant or breastfeeding adults. Your needs may vary based on medical status or life-stage. Please never replace generalized health information you’ve read online with individualized clinical care.

1. There is very little scientific evidence to support the alleged health claims.

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Companies frequently take advantage of well-intending vulnerable people who are simply looking to improve their health by using sexy health words such as ‘detox,’ ‘cleanse,’ and ‘pure,’ and by promising things like weight-loss. Yet, there is very little science to support the claims they make.

In fact, some studies suggest they may be dangerous for those with kidney disease due to the high level of oxalates. Does this mean that drinking juice occasionally is terrible for most healthy people? No. It does not. But if you have kidney issues, juicing may do more harm than good.

The only study I have been able to find that supports the use of a juice cleanse was this study, which suggested it may change the microbiome…but this study used a small sample size and results were not sustained 3 weeks later upon resumption of normal diet. Also, I’m just going to point out the obvious here – of course when you take subjects who consume little fruits and vegetables and completely change their diet their microbiome will change! But this doesn’t mean juice is a magic bullet. I would have been curious to see how a diet of whole fruits and vegetables changed the microbiome of subjects as a comparison, but that wasn’t included. The only sustained change was a self-reported ‘wellness score,’ which the authors didn’t care to define.

…And that was the best study I could find! There is no evidence for any other tangible health benefits. I couldn’t find any studies that suggest they benefit they lead to any long-term health benefits. Weight-loss may occur, but usually isn’t sustained upon resumption of eating a normal diet.

2. Juicing doesn’t ‘detox’ your body. Your liver and your kidney do that for you.

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I don’t know how many times I say this, but just in case you haven’t heard me scream it out-loud enough times: you do not need any pills, teas, vitamins, supplements, or cleanses to ‘detox’ your body. Your livers and your kidney do a great job of removing toxins that are possible for you to remove. There is no evidence that any food or dietary supplement detoxifies your body in any way.

Continue reading “Nutrition FAQ: Should I do a juice cleanse ?”

How to Take Good Care of Your Bananas

How to Take Good Care of Your Bananas

Hello everyone. Welcome to probably the most important blog post of all times. Today I’m going to be talking about how to take good care of your bananas.

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I know, I know. This probably isn’t that important to most people. But I could also argue that from a happiness and food waste and food saftey prospective, it could be important or useful to some people.

Most people who know me IRL or via Instagram associate me with bananas. What began as sort of a joke turned into a thing, and now I have banana socks, people constantly tag me on all banana-related things on the internet, etc etc. Heck, on my last day at Trader Joe’s, the crew even bought me a whole dang box of 100 bananas (thanks store 724, I love you all forever)!

Now, I am not a big fan of people writing about things they don’t know about. This is why I don’t write about sports or jewelry making or knitting or music. It is also why I get so very peeved by everyone thinking they are qualified to write about nutrition, health, and the environment when the only education they’ve had has been from Google University or Sponsored College. So I guess since I’m not a true banana expert, I feel a bit weird putting out this information.

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That said, I am a certified FDA FSMA food safety and quality certified individual, so I do know a few things about keeping food safe. But regardless, please note that this article is intended to be light-hearted, informative, and fun.

(^^Me trying to justify writing an article without citing peer-reviewed literature for every single thing I mention for two straight paragraphs)

So read on for some super useful tips on how to pamper bananas. I hope you enjoy! Leave post ideas below. I’m committed to this every other day blogging in April thing!

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Recent Vegan Eats + Blogging Every (Other) Day in April

Recent Vegan Eats + Blogging Every (Other) Day in April

Hey there friends! It’s a Sunday evening and I just enjoyed some dinner and (non-dairy ice cream) and decided to check back in with another random round-up of recent vegan eats in the past month or so.

I choked last night home alone and it scared me good. So I decided even though I have plenty of stressful stuff to do, it’d be a good time to unwind and update the good old blog.

I also wanted to use this opportunity to acknowledge that I stink at being consistent with blogging this academic year. My interview/travel schedule has been absolutely cray cray. And then this thing happens where the longer I go between posts, the weirder it feels for me to get back into posting. I draft a thousand drafts, decide they aren’t good enough or that no one cares, and delete them. How productive! Not. I also get frustrated because my blog isn’t as good as it should be or as good as I know it could be and that really, really bothers me.

Between full time school, my two jobs, and the interview cycle, taking care of my mom, and trying to be a human, I find myself so burnt out this year all I want to do is hide under the blankies with my doggo whenever I have 5 minutes of free time.

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(A random pic from Tuscon, AZ from one of the zillion trips I took this semester)

Yet, I have all of these ideas and the need for creative outlets. So then I get frustrated in the reverse. I had lunch with some old food media friends on Friday and it really made me itch to get back in the creation groove.

So, to try to get back in the swing of things, I’m going to try to post roughly every other day in April. It will be like old school blogging where people actually blogged diary style with short posts instead of essay-long, curated, edited-photo blogs. I’m usually a fan of quantity of quality, but I want to try to push my comfort zone with the blog and get my creative juices flowing again. Let’s see how I do! April looks like a stressful (but fun) month so I’m pumped to give this a whirl.

Without further delay, let’s get some vegan noshes coming your way…

Lunch at Supernatural

Vegan queen Chef Chloe Coscarelli had a pop up with Tom Colicchio at Craft this month and I got the chance to go on Friday. I had the animal lover’s burrito, a couple bites of some vegan mac, and way too much sprinkle cake.

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The cake was certainly the highlight. It was vanilla with a slight lemon undertone. And the sprinkles were somehow the crunchiest and freshest sprinkles I’ve ever had.

The photo of my burrito looks like I accidentally sat on the burrito. I promise I did not. I’m just not great at cutting things in half.

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The pasta wasn’t really my thing (I’m usually not into vegan ‘macs’ at restaurants, but the cake was something I will dream of for years to come!

Continue reading “Recent Vegan Eats + Blogging Every (Other) Day in April”

Easy Vegan Pancake Mix Cookies

Easy Vegan Pancake Mix Cookies

I absolutely adore pancakes. Light, fluffy, and wholesome, there’s nothing more I love than a quick-to-cook warm carb to brighten my morning and serve as a vehicle for nut butters and maple syrup. To me, pancakes make a day feel special. I often make a large batch on a weekend day, pop them in the freezer, and then microwave them on busy weekday mornings for a much anticipated moment of happiness. Pancakes just brighten my day and my mood.

vegan pancake cookies

For this very reason, I most often keep pancake mix on hand. While I like to bake from scratch, I have found select pancake mixes are affordable, delicious, convenient, and made with ingredients I would use at home (Bob’s Red Mill Organic multi-grain mix is one of my favorites, and I also love their Buckwheat variety).

Vegan Pancake Mix Cookies - Made from Whole wheat pancake mix

In the past year or so, I’ve been intrigued to test the flexibility of a pancake mix; that is, I’ve been enjoying experimenting with using pancake mix as a base for non-pancake items. Muffins, Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Breakfast Cookies, these Vegan Pancake Mix Cookies, even quick breads – I’ve realized the sky is the limit with pancake mix, as long as you’re comfortable with your final product maintaining a mild pancakey flavor.

easy whole wheat vegan pancake mix cookies

Enter these Vegan Pancake Mix Cookies. Using pancake mix as a base, these cookies come together in mere minutes,  and result in wholesome, fluffy, puffy dreamy cookies.

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Should I Take Tons of Mega-Dose Vitamin C Packets When I Have a Cold?

Should I Take Tons of Mega-Dose Vitamin C Packets When I Have a Cold?

Hello again, internet friends! I am back in the JC/NYC area after yet another whirlwind mini trip around the US last week. Phew. While I was gone I actually wrote a whole post on Eating Disorders in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness week and scheduled it to post, but it failed, and now I feel like it’s beyond #NEDA week and I feel weird publishing it. Would you be interested anyway? Let me know down below.

Anywho, while I was at the Charlotte airport, I was watching some ladies slam Emergen-C packets one after another and posted a selfie to my Instagram story with the caption “People know Emergen-C doesn’t work, right?”

And the response I got was overwhelming. A lot of people seemed to not only surprised to hear this information, but wanted to know exactly how or why I don’t recommend mega-dose supplements such as Emergen-C or Arbornne to cure the common cold.

I thought I’d go a little further into the topic here, #ontheblog, and I hope to film a little “Nutrition FAQs” video about it too next week, once I’m back in Wisconsin and have the time and space to film.

Anyways, let’s get to chatting about Emergen-C and the common cold. Starting with the basics…

How Much Vitamin C Do You Actually Need?

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Well, according to the USDA dietary guidelines for Americans, the average healthy adult women needs 75mg, and the average healthy adult male needs 90mg. Smokers need an additional 35 mg per day, as some of vitamin is used to quench free-radicals and combat oxidative stress from toxins exhaled from cigarette smoke.

Pregnant and lactating women need more, requiring roughly 85mg/day and 120 mg/day respectively.

Vitamin C is naturally found in high levels in many foods, including strawberries (~90mg/cup), bell peppers (~120 mg/cup), guavas (~126 mg/fruit), kale (~80mg/cup) oranges (~70mg/fruit), and kiwis (~80mg/fruit). Most people in developed countries do not suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Select groups, including smokers and low-income populations, may be at an increased risk of deficiency.

Each packet of Emergen-C contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C. As you can see, this is much, much more than an adult or child needs; in fact, you could say it’s over 1000% of the RDA.

So, Does Emergen-C Work?

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First, let’s get one thing clear: there are exactly zero scientific studies that have specifically tested the product Emergen-C and its potential impact on incidence (number of people who get a cold) or duration (length) of a cold.

Continue reading “Should I Take Tons of Mega-Dose Vitamin C Packets When I Have a Cold?”

Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)

Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)

Hey hey! I decided to bring back random bi-weekly recent vegan eats post after this recent post about food as an afterthought. So here we go! A couple of bites that went into by belly the past couple weeks. This is just a all snapshot of what I eat. I hope it inspires some yummy snacking or meal making in your life! Enjoy!

Salted SunButter Caramel Date Truffles:

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An old favorite! I love making these because they are easy, require minimal ingredients, and are so very sweet and satisfying. They make an ideal mid-day snack or after dinner treat when you want something sweet but energizing. You can use any nut butter you’d like, but I can’t get enough of the sun butter + date combo. They are so good together!

The recipe is here, and the video tutorial is here!

A Big Old #TBT Simple Goodness Bowl:

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The other night I realized it had been a while since I made a kbakes-style bowl. So I got down to business and roasted some sweet potato wedges, and paired them with organic mixed greens, Trader Joe’s frozen grilled cauliflower (the BEST frozen veggie product), hummus, random frozen broccoli, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and some crunchy seeded ShopRite crackers. I drizzled Trader Joe’s Green Goddess dressing all over this bowl for an extra punch. All the flavors + textures = veggie-powered satisfaction. Yum.

Gregory’s Coffee Lemon Poppyseed Loaf:

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I love love love Gregory’s Coffee. It always holds a special place in my heart. I used to work at NYU Child Study’s Center on Fridays while in undergrad, and would always treat myself to Gregory’s after. The fact that there is a Gregory’s in Jersey City warms my heart and soul!

You know what else warms my soul? The fact that they now have 1/2 price baked goods after 5pm! Yes!!! I keep picking up half price lemon loaf as a treat. It is so delicious, moist, and lemony, and barely sweet. I love it. Can’t wait to try their new Vegan Egg Scramble breakfast sandwich (made with JustEggs!)…will report back!

Pancake mix cookie chocolate chip cookies:

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I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies the other night, and was low on ingredients, so I whipped up some cookies using Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain whole wheat pancake mix, oats, flax, a bit of baking soda, almond milk, and avocado oil. And a solid handful of dark chocolate chips, of course.

Honestly, they turned out pretty good. They tasted hearty and substantial. Not the sweetest or most indulgent cookie, but really good in its own right. I’m gonna work on this concept and share on the blog when it’s ready. Continue reading “Recent vegan eats (Trying New Vegan Yogurts And Trader Joe’s products)”

Baked Buffalo Potato Wedges

Baked Buffalo Potato Wedges

Baked Buffalo Potato Wedges. Are you ready? Because I feel like I was born ready for this moment.

baked vegan buffalo potato wedges

Now you may be asking yourself, how did we get here? How did we find ourselves engrossed in a world where  the humble spud got made over into glorious, tangy and fluffy Baked Buffalo Potato Wedges? Well, allow me to tell you a story…

vegan buffalo potato wedges !

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved buffalo sauce. Back when she ate meat ~20 years ago, the only meat product she really liked or would crave for was buffalo wings. She then realized you could buy buffalo sauce and put it on other stuff and that this was easier and better than licking it off bony chicken wings.

buffalo potato wedges - vegan and gluten free

And then ~16 years later cauliflower wings came into her life and mouth with open arms. And one day at the store she had this epiphany that you could probably make ‘wings’ with potatoes and that that was probably a great idea since potatoes are life.  And so here we are today, just the story of a gal who made Baked Buffalo Potato Wedges. And yes, obviously, that buffalo potato wedge-making plant-loving girl is me. Nice to meet you. Now let’s do this.

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