What is up lovely internet friends? I hope your October is chugging along in a spooky and spectacular fashion, full of treats and maybe some fun tricks too. Here are some recent eats that have entered my belly. Haven’t been the best at photoing food as of late, but here’s a bit of plant-based inspo for ya if you need it!
Pasta with Spicy Marinara:
Spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce was my favorite dinner growing up. Like for my birthday instead of going out to dinner I asked that my grandma (who was Italian and am amazing cook) made me spicy penne and salad. It was the.best.
Then I went off pasta for a while when I went to college. I’m not sure why. I think it was a combination of no pasta tasting as good as Oma’s pasta and the fact that prior to starting my nutrition education (started junior year) I was going through a phase of being overly concerned with eating more protein than I needed (hey, it happens: ‘health’ marketing is so effective and floods all our social media channels and ads!)
Anyways, I’m back on team spicy pasta with red sauce. I’ve been making it a lot lately. I had a Brandless gift card and although I’ve found their stuff to be overall hit-or-miss, I got a jar of their arrabbiata sauce and found it surprisingly good! So I’ve had it with some perfect foods chia noodles a couple of times and Banza a couple of times. Still obsessed with Banza. That hearty texture though! 🤤
Bagels with tofu cream cheese from Wonder Bagels
Good bagels are everything. Good whole wheat everything bagels with amazing tofu cream cheese are quite literally everything. Especially served toasty warm. A couple of local friends turned me on to this spot and now I’ve been dreaming about going back on the regular.
I want to try their fluffy pillow-esque oat bagel, the last of which was ordered just before I got to the register, so I decided I’d need to come back to try it. Also eager to try their tofu veggie and tofu scallion cream cheeses. Nothing like carbs and friends! Yum.
Kind Protein Peanut Butter Bars:
On Saturday my friend invited me to a free Cyclebar class that was some sort of grand opening event complete with snacks and drinks. I snagged a couple of these Kind Protein Bars in the Peanut Butter flavor. I also inhaled some of what I call ‘expensive fruit,’ aka berries and grapes! Yummy. Free workout classes + free snacks = sign me up!
I posted these on insta and a couple people asked me for the recipe. It’s actually a veganized Pioneer Woman recipe that I shared a while ago. The original recipe is here, I just swapped regular for plant-based butter and knocked down the sugar content. This version was actually made with Trader Joe’s raspberry super fruit spread instead of chia jam, but both work!
I’ve mentioned my obsession with Ree Drummond many times but I’d just like to say again: she’s a queen. I don’t know why I love her so much, but i really do. Something about her show soothes my soul deeply. And the woman is full of good ideas! Which yes, even I can be inspired by despite the fact that I’m vegan and she lives on a cattle ranch and loves all things meat-and-dairy.
A fun thing about life is that you can like and learn from people who are different than you!
Ginger Gold Apples:
I’d never seen these before a few weeks ago but they were $0.88/lb at ShopRite so I decided to give them a try and holy cow I’m obsessed! they’re kind of like a golden delicious and pink lady had a baby. Love me a good apple, especially during apple season! These actually weren’t at ShopRite when I went this morning and I was super bummed!
Just Salad: Build Your Own Bowl
A couple weeks ago, just salad had a promo where if you updated their app, you’d get A $10 credit. Sign me the frick up! I literally love just salad. Moreso than any other salad chain. Perhaps it’s a nostalgia thing (there was one by the NYU library); but something about a giant bowl of greens with any topping I could imagine comforts me. I also love their dressings and their reusable bowl program (if you bring a reusable bowl you get 2 free toppings every time)!
I cashed my $10 credit in last week and it was such a treat to my broke ass (haven’t been paid in two months so things have been really really rough). I got kale, romaine, and mixed muscalan greens with roasted sweet potato, broccoli, diced pears, walnuts, avocado, and raw beets. I added roasted tofu, too. For dressing I went with agave Dijon (i love sweet dressings!) and when they asked about bread I was like DUH. This was so scrumptious. I inhaled it in approximately 10 minutes.
I went to a Sweet Earth event in the city this past summer and got some free product coupons I need to cash in. Since I’m flirting with brokenness these past few months, they’ve really come in handy. I got these quesadillas and was feeling really skeptical about them and ended up loving them and using another coupon to get them again.
They have pinto beans (an underrated bean IMHO), spicy red sauce, a bit of vegan cheese (but not too much), jalapeños, and pineapple tucked inside doughy tortillas. Sweet, spicy, tangy and comforting! Love. I’ve never had pineapple on pizza (which honestly, why haven’t I? I’d be down), but I imagine the pineapple here adds a nice sweet kick to cut the sharpness of spice and tomatoes the same way it does on pizza.
As seen here.
Subway Veggie Delight:
I was having one of those days where you’re so stressed you cry publicly on the A train and then I found a coupon for a footlong sub that expired that same day. Bless you, universe! I totally cashed it in immediately for a footlong veggie delight with every topping, guac, and mustard, honey mustard, and a dash of sweet onion sauce. I added some Chao cheese I had to use up at home. Housed the entire thing in like 5 minutes like a total savage. Yum. I love subway; don’t @ me.
Probably my favorite fruity candy ever! These are the best. I polled on Insta about if others had had them or not, and it seems many of my followers have never experienced the wonder of Panda Brand Raspberry Licorice! If you see it, I’d suggest scooping one up. Soft, chewy, not-too-sweet and not-artificially flavored fruity licorice goodness.
Millie was having weird poops for weeks and I couldn’t figure out why. It was so stressful. We switched foods, stopped treats, and did blood work at the vet. Nothing. Last week she hacked up a HUGE (like , bigger than a roll of quarters) hairball and a bunch of bile on my futon and has been fine ever since. I guess the hairball was blocking bile from getting to her intestines. Poor nugglet! I’m happy she’s better, anyone else ever had a dog with hairball issues? She grooms herself like a cat, so it wasn’t that surprising, but we are certainly going to be taking more baths and being brushed more often!
A me update:
Not that you care, you’re probably here for the food and dog updates (don’t blame you), but I just wanted to acknowledge I haven’t been as active a blogger as I was all summer. Full-time school and 2 jobs combined with applications for next fall, hold ups in receiving income, and a chronically sick mother have literally turned me into a stress ball. I know I’m so, so, incredibly privileged to be a grad student and have a job, and a safe place to sleep at night, as well as any food at all, but this added together caused me to spend less time blogging and more time questioning my life choices. Warm hugs to everyone who is stressed out right now. The struggle is real!!
I don’t mean to complain and I’m not looking for pity, I just want to keep it real and show others that everyone has struggles – even if it doesn’t look like it online. Life is hard! Also, thank you to everyone who has listened to me vent about all of my stress lately. Seriously, I’m lucky to have supportive friends! Now I should find a therapist…
Anyways, all the culminating stress has made me a not-so-great-version of myself. I’m striving to take more breaks and let myself have a little more fun. My soul needs it! I realized it’s not healthy to stress my body as much as I have been the past 6-7 weeks. Take care of yourself everyone, and remember: you’re doing enough, and you’re doing great, exactly where you are.
And that’s all for now folks, here’s a pic of me and Millie at Liberty State Park (our first time!) a couple weeks ago. It’s worth seeing if you’re in the NYC area and haven’t been. Wishing you all a warm, comforting fall season!
PS: The Temper (a new sobriety lifestyle magazine) is live! I wrote for the first issue. Take a peak if you’re curious!