Back to school, back to busy season! My goodness it’s been just over a week and I already am feeling all the feels for this fall. Excitement, stress, uncertainty, and gratitude for opportunity! Between being a full time graduate student, TA, and rewatch assistant, it’s been a 10-day whirlwind and we’re just getting started.
I thought I’d do a recent eats recap for ya. I was doing them weekly for a while, but have sort of transitioned to bi-weekly, just because most of the time I’m lazy and forget to take pics and/or because I usually eat some variation of pb&j for most lunches during the school year (hey, it packs well and tastes delicious, don’t judge me). So here we go! Hope this inspires some yummy plant-based food ideas for you.
Everything bagel with smoked cashew cream cheese, carrot lox, and capers from Urban Beets.
I really wanted to like this, but this vegan cream cheese was just not for me. It was chunky, not tangy, and had a strong artificial smoke flavor, which personally I dislike. The carrot and bagel parts were good though!
I think I would have loved this if it had Kitehill or Trader Joe’s other vegan cream cheese on it. Oh well! I’m still inspired by the carrot lox concept and am excitedly going to try to recreate it at home!
Recipe here. Because sometimes I just crave a nice slice of traditional cake after dinner; can you relate? Yes, added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and added fat, get all me. All foods can be part of a healthy diet!
Froyo + Cake
…I also took some of that cake in a Stasher bag on a froyo date with one of my oldest friends and added to some almond milk frozen yogurt with raspberries, Oreo crumbs, and pineapple. Yum! I hadn’t had froyo for such a long time and it really hit the spot. I used to work at a froyo shop for four summers (actually the one I visited in this pic) and kinda got froyo-d out for a bit from eating wayyyy too many shift yogurts lol. Nice to be in a place where I’m back to enjoying it on occasion instead of pounding it on breaks on the daily and having too-much-of-a-good-thing-froyo fatigue!
This stuff is amazing. Field roast sent me some about a month ago, but I was traveling a bunch in August and just found them in my fridge this week and was like OMG yesss! I’ve since been eating it plain with crackers, and making sandwiches and quesadillas. It’s been fun for me to have a Reason to mix up my meal and snack game!
Chao Cheese in a Sandwich with Jam + Veggies + Apples
Here I used 2 slices of the coconut herb to make a sandwich with angelic bakery sprouted bread (my favorite bread product brand), with sliced green apples, greens, a thinly sliced carrot, and strawberry jam (jam + cheese = <3 imo).
Packed with an organic gala, dried apricot from Trader Joe’s, and a Munk Pack vegan oatmeal raisin cookie for Tuesday’s lunch.
And here I used another couple of slices Chao’s coconut herb to make a quesadilla at 10:00pm after my night class as a snack. I ate this with salsa and hot sauce, obvi.
Enchilada casserole, served with Boiled potatoes and Salad
The nice people at Veestro Foods sent me some pre/made plant-based meals to try and this one was my favorite: layers of corn tortillas, yummy red sauce, veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes), tofu, and vegan cheese. I added potatoes + salad because that portion was not enough to be a meal to me (I’m also a volume eater and like to have a lot of different flavors/textures at each meal).
I really loved the concept of an enchilada casserole vs regular enchilada mostly cause I’m too lazy to roll them. Thanks, Veestro ! I have a couple more to try and will highlight more favs in my next roundup!
Panera strawberry popped seed salad (swapped chicken for avocado)
…with two slices whole grain bread. This salad screams summer and nostalgia to me, and I always try to get to Panera a few times each summer to nom it up. I got it on the last day of August. Adding that avo is key for satiety 👌 (for me at least).
I featured this lunch in my random thoughts post and on Insta, but in case you missed it, here’s a pretty standard lunch and snack pack situation for a long day: pb&j (this is Teddies Super crunchy butter on half and and homemade pistachio butter on the other half ) with Trader Joe’s superfruit spread in strawberry, an organic gala, a banana, grapes (which are such a treat to my broke grad tastebuds, but happened to be on sale for $0.99 a pound), almonds and dates in a Stasher bag (which I love), more Annie’s cookies, and a Trader Joe’s ABC bar, which I also love.
I like to pack a variety of snacks to munch on through the day. As I’m running around between class, TA-ing, researching, and being a person. Snacks make life more exciting!
…which I liked more than Oreos AND joe Joe’s (Trader Joe’s version of a crunchy cream-centered cookie). Just a good cocoa flavor in the cookies and yummy cream. Would recommend.
A “Classic” Meal? Sausage, veggies, and potatoes:
Field roast also sent me a ton of sausages a while back and I’m still making my way though them.
The other day for dinner I had a Mexican Chipotle sausage with a salad of mixed greens, cauliflower, and oven-roasted potato wedges (russets wedged, tossed with a little avocado oil and Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute) that we’re finishing crisping in the oven as I ate the salad + sausage (cause I was too impatient and hungry to wait for them to start eating), and then forgot to take a picture of. But know they were delicious!
…And some ReddiWhip Vegan Whipped Cream, Vegan Ice Cream, and other goodies
You may have noticed I’ve started a Highlights part of my Instagram; one page devoted to vegan product reviews, and the other devoted to Trader Joe’s vegan products. You can follow along over on Instagram, but I’ll post a couple of the story highlights below so you can get a taste of what you’re in for:
And that’s all for now, folks! See you this weekend with a nutrition myth busting post! Enjoy this photo of my queen, who has been keen on getting mommy up before 5 am these days (maybe she wants some quality hang time before I leave for class? Or maybe she just wants food…).