Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Almond Frosting

Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Almond Frosting

Carrot cake! Vegan carrot cake! Also known as my favorite dessert on the planet (tied with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream).

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My favorite non-homemade carrot cake is from Peacefood cafe (which I ate last weekend!). If you like carrot cake and you’re ever in New York City, go to Peacefood and order their glorious carrot cake, even if you’re not vegan. I promise you, it is life-changing.

This year, I had Peacefood carrot cake the day after my birthday, but I also wanted to make myself a cake for the actual day.

Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake

While thinking about my cake, I actually got curious about the origins of carrot cake, and did a little bit of googling. According to Wikipedia, the origins of carrot cake are widely disputed, but most food historians believe carrot cake was somewhat inspired from Medieval carrot puddings eaten in Europe. During the Middle Ages, when sugar became scarce, people began using carrots as a substitute for sugar.

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NYC Birthday Weekend Vegan Eats and Being a Hot Mess

NYC Birthday Weekend Vegan Eats and Being a Hot Mess

Hello everyone! I haven’t shared a “what I’ve been eating lately” -type post in a while. I didn’t blog a ton over break because I was in serious need of some down time, and had a bunch of technical issues with getting my computer fixed. Anyways, I had a great break and an awesome final weekend to top it off. My sister and her husband flew out to celebrate my bday/just hangout (okay, they came to eat), so I thought I’d share some highlights.

This is definitely not reflective of my normal eating pattern (I rarely eat out, especially when I’m at school), but since this was a fun weekend, I thought some things were worth sharing. Enjoy!

(Pst, if you’re looking for more NYC recs, here’s my Guide to Vegan Eating in NYC. It could use an update since last January, but it’s still a solid list!)

Friday:

Early Friday morning I flew into LaGuardia from Milwaukee. About 15 minutes into our uber ride home, southwest called me to tell me I left a bag there. I had a mini lack-of-sleep-induced panic, but my uber driver was super understanding and took me back to get the right bag. Not sure if it was the lack of sleep and coffee, lingering sickness, or the fact that I was traveling with my dog and disabled mom, but I was so out of it this day! Mood:

Thankfully there was no harm done, and the correct bag made its way back to me, and after that, I headed home to my apartment in jersey where I dropped off my luggage and doggo and quickly freshened up before heading to a meeting on campus.

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Vegan Dark Chocolate-Dipped Homemade HobNobs

Vegan Dark Chocolate-Dipped Homemade HobNobs

Do you ever just randomly get the urge to bake something British in the middle of a Saturday afternoon? Because same. I’m not sure if Mary Berry was whispering in my ear as I was sleeping last night, or what (okay, more likely that I saw a pile of HobNobs in the clearance section at Sendiks the other day), but for some reason, I had quite the hankering to make some homemade dark-chocolate dipped homemade hob nobs this weekend.

After chanting “On your mark, get set, Bake!” to myself, I got to the kitchen and made my British bake-off homemade Hobnob dreams come true.

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Now what is a HobNob, you may ask? ‘HobNobs‘ are a brand of commercial biscuits popular in the UK (and according to Wikipedia, parts of Ireland).

They’re simple, salty-sweet, crispy cookies that are similar to digestive biscuits, but are visibly studded with oats, making for a rustic-looking round cookie.

Easy Vegan Hob Nobs

The best way I can think to describe the flavor of a Hobnob to someone who has not yet experienced their glory is as follows: imagine a salty and more-textured-than-usual, oat-studded circular graham cracker. That’s kind of what you get when you eat a Hobnob. And they are nothing short of glorious.

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Vegan Sweet Potato & Apple Baked Oatmeal

Vegan Sweet Potato & Apple Baked Oatmeal

Hello my fine friends! Happy 2019 to you. How’s the weather where you’re at? Here in Wisco, after a long weird warm spell, we have returned to our regularly scheduled January-in-the-midwest programming, with highs in the teens and twenties. I woke up this morning wanting something warm and comforting, and birthed this easy, delicious, Vegan Sweet Potato & Apple Baked Oatmeal out of my oven.

Sweet Potato Apple Baked Oatmeal, Vegan & Gluten-free

Baked oatmeal is a favorite comfort food of mine. I used to love the hot stepping bowls of Baked Oatmeal at Alterra (RIP) in Milwaukee. I’ll spare you my opinions on the current state of the now-Collectivo chain, and delve into the details behind this luscious, wholesome version of baked oatmeal you can easily make at home.

Sweet Potato Apple Baked Oatmeal - Vegan & GF

This Vegan Sweet Potato & Apple Baked Oatmeal starts with rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill, but any will do). From there, mashed sweet potato (I used canned Organic pureed sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin would also work) adds an umami depth and richness, complimented with a healthy, hefty dose of cinnamon.

Sweet Potato and Apple Baked Oatmeal, Vegan & GF

I sweeten the deal with a shredded apple and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. Baking powder brings the fluffiness, salt provides some balance, and nuts add both crunch and lasting satiety.

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What I’ve Realized About Health Recently

What I’ve Realized About Health Recently

Hey hey! It’s almost 2019! Truth be told I actually had an entire probably-too-lengthy post reflecting on 2018 and what I’ve learned and what I’m thankful for and what I hope to accomplish in 2019, etc etc. But as I sit here waiting for my MacBook pro appointment at the Mayfair genius bar, publishing it didn’t feel right. I may still publish it later, but I felt inspired after my physical therapy appointment to write about something else, especially amidst all the diet/fitness goal posts I’ve seen on social media lately.

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So today, I’m going to share some important realizations I’ve had lately about health. I hope these inspire you to see health as something more than ‘eating clean’ and/or ‘keeping it tight.’ If you need more inspo, check out my post from last year, 11 Food and Health-Related New Year’s Resolutions That Are Way Better Than Losing Weight.

So here are 5 things I’ve sort of been reflecting on in regards to what ‘health’ means lately; I hope they serve you well into the new year. Thanks as always, for your support, and for sticking by me! Love you the most!

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Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Lol it’s been a month since I  last blogged. What can I say, other than sorry? Even though you probably didn’t even notice or care I didn’t post for a month, it bothered me. I just was under so much stress from the hardest semester of school of my entire academic career/finishing my applications and finals and my two jobs I just kind of drafted like, 9 different posts, got anxious they weren’t good enough, and didn’t publish them. Reminder to self: don’t let the obsession with being perfect prevent you from being good. Moving on. It’s Vegan Peanut Butter Blossom time.

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

^That was the worst transition ever. And why did I keep it in the first paragraph? Because according to SEO crap I have engrained into my brain, the search term should be in the first paragraph. So there it is. Here it is again in the second paragraph: easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Wow, this post is officially all over the place, and we’re only to the third paragraph! But such is life. I’m just pumped to be back home in Wisconsin, with ample time and creative energy to devote to creative pursuits, including this blog.

Simple Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

I also am very stoked to have a new camera. The upgrade was years overdue, but being a chronic student doesn’t leave much wiggle room for big purchases.

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The Best Vegan Stuffing Ever

The Best Vegan Stuffing Ever

Happy Thanksgiving! Or happy turkey-free turkey day, as I like to say. People often ask me if I’m sad or somehow disappointed by the fact that I don’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving. My answer is HECK to the no because the sides + desserts are truly where it’s at (at least, for me). And one of my holiday favs? This stuffing. Which is the best vegan stuffing ever, in my humble opinion.the Best Vegan Stuffing

I’ve made this several years in a row and it’s always been a hit. What makes my version of the best vegan stuffing ever different? Well, while most veg-friendly stuffing recipes use veggie broth, I go a different route with liquid and coconut aminos and nutritional yeast for flavor.

Best Vegan Stuffing ever

 

I also use sprouted bread (Angelic Bakery is my favorite brand, but Ezikel or any other sprouted bread will work) instead of regular, which happened circumstantially originally, but ended up being delicious and has therefore remained part of the recipe.

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Midterm Season Vegan Eats + Cherry Bombe University Recap

Midterm Season Vegan Eats + Cherry Bombe University Recap

Hello once again to my fine internet friends! I hope you are having the warmest coziest fall filled with mugs of tea, hearty soups, scrumptious baked goods, and warm blankies. I’m back in the blogging game after a fatiguing few weeks of midterms and application work.

Midterms really did not bring out the best in me this year, and after crying in public from lack of sleep and overloads of stress, I decided it was a healthful idea to take a step back from the internet and putting pressure on myself to blog for a few days and focus on learning how to chill and sleep and and socialize and eat like a normal homeostatic human being again.

But! I’m feeling quite restored after this weekend of naps and friends and oodles of baking and wanted to share some meals and snacks from the past few weeks. Hope you enjoy! Leave me your favorite snacks and cozy meals in the comments below, or pop over to my Instagram and slide into my DMs.

I’ll also be recapping my experience at Cherry Bombe University, so keep on reading for that!

Avocado Toast with Za’atar:

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This was a new-to-me-combo that I’d wanted to try out for a while. I also added some hemp hearts and nutritional yeast for extra flavor/texture/satiety. It was pretty good, but not my favorite avo toast flavor combo. Still fun to try though!

Oatmeal with frozen blueberries and almond butter

I cannot get enough of this combo lately. I basically make this cinnamon banana-blurberry-oatmeal thing by cooking a 1/2 cup oats with 1/2 a mashed banana and about 1/4 cup frozen blueberries stirred in towards the end of cooking. I then pour my oats into a bowl and top with almond butter while the oats are still warm so the almond butter gets melty, and pour almond milk on top to cool it off, and enjoy.

Dumplings and the Sweet Soy Bowl from Luanne’s Wild Ginger

I visited one of my BFFs Raag in Brookyln last weekend for an early bday celebration. We grabbed lunch at Luanne’s Wild Ginger and it was excellent.

We started with dumplings (<3) and tempura. I’m not a huge fried-foods person, but I love me some doughy doughy dumplings.

For my entree, I got a sweet soy something bowl (can’t remember the actual name), with chewy brown rice, tangy-sweet-sour-spicy gluttonous soy medallions, steamed Japanese pumpkin, house-madee pickled veggies, and kale, and some yummy sauces. This was incredible. I’d eat it every day. Yum.

Happy birthday Raag!

Cinnamon Rolls

Made from scratch with Raag. We used this minimalist baker recipe. Delish! Cinnamon rolls are life.

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How Much Protein do I Actually Need?

How Much Protein do I Actually Need?

Having gone vegetarian way back in the mid-90s before it was more socially normal to do so, I think I’ve been asked about the adequacy of my protein consumption roughly a bajilion times.

tofu prep

Now, I know people who have asked usually do so with good intentions, but I’ve always found it a wee bit odd everyone is suddenly a concerned nutrition expert when I tell them I don’t eat meat and like fruit, but people rarely feel the authority to directly express concern to people who live off fast food and soda pop.

Anyways, I digress…you’d think the Protein questions would have slowed as vegetarian and veganism have popularized over the years, but with the new market-focus on protein protein protein, the Qs keep coming.

So, I thought I’d type up a quick post about how much protein you actually need.

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.

So, how much protein do you need?

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According to the Institute of Medicine, protein should make up between 10-35% of your total caloric intake (with carbohydrates accounting for 45-65% calories and fats accounting for 20-35% of calories).

As you can see, there is a wide range of what is considered a ‘healthful’ amount of protein. I always say this, but I’ll mention it again here: there are many different ways you can have a healthy diet. No one way is the best way, and you gotta do what works for you.

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