Recent Vegan Early Summer Eats

Hi again my lovely friends from across the interwebs! Back with another recent vegan eats recap for your reading pleasure. I promise the tutorial on the succulent cupcakes will be out in a day or two…until then, onto some foods and life!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe here! Yummo.

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcakes

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Another dessert recipe coming to this page soon!

Scrumptious Vegan Cookies

I posted these on Instagram, but I’ll share the recipe tomorrow or Saturday! Stay tuned. 🙂

Tofu Veggie Stir-Fry

The other evening I marinated tofu in a mix of soy sauce, liquid aminos, coconut aminos, sesame seeds, a dash of sesame oil, a healthy squirt of Sriracha, some maple syrup and some ginger (I eyeball the whole thing and adjust, tasting as I go), and let it chill in the fridge for a bit.

A few hours later after some chaos, I baked it off at 425 for 30ish minutes and served with Trader Joe’s quick frozen rice and a stir-fry veggie mix steamed in the microwave using Stasher bags (which works perfectly!). Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce and more Sriracha and TJ’s green dragon sauce were added on top. I ate this bowl times two. Yay FODMAPS and bloat and gas.

This was a perfect super quick meal after a long evening pup scare that involved two trips to the ER vet. Sometimes fast and tasty is the way to go.

Beans and Barley Salad

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We got Beans to cater my sister and her husband’s baby shower. It was a super scrumptious home run slam dunk, to put it mildly. Almost everything went…except a bulk of the giant salad we bought. So I took it home (along with their magnificent homemade balsamic) to munch on over the courses of a few days.

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Some Recent Spring Vegan Eats, Millie’s Birthday, & More Random Stuff

How’s it going friends? I hope you’re having a nice day. And if not, I hope tomorrow treats you with more compassion. I handed in my final remaining school assignment yesterday and feel empty and weird. So to busy my addicted-to-work brain, I’m here with another dump of recent vegan eats to inspire some deliciousness in your life, and/or give you insight into what a vegan graduate student on a budget eats on the reg.

Buckle in, cause it’s a long post. I recap my friend Sarah’s visit, and also feature some meals-at-home from the past couple weeks. Enjoy!

Beyond Sushi

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My friend Sarah came to visit a couple weekends ago before I disappeared into a cave to do homework for the next 14 days. Friday night we hit up Beyond Sushi (my favorite restaurant in NYC) for some plant-based goodness. We shared The Badge dumplings, and 3 rolls (The Sweet Tree, Spicy Mang, and Sunny Side.

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YUM.

Van Leeuwen

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For dessert we met some of my grad school friends for my favorite ice cream, Van Leeuwen. We both got a scoop of vegan cookie dough, which was delicious. I hadn’t had this classic flavor in a long time and it hit the spot!

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How Studying Nutrition Changed The Way I Eat

Back in the day, I got my master’s degree in human nutrition from Columbia University. It was an intense, interesting, and rewarding experience: one that left me hungry (no pun intended) to learn more about the field. A pivotal experience, my MS in human nutrition instilled an insatiable scientific curiosity in me, and is probably why I’m on the path I am on today.

I chose to study nutrition because I was always fascinated in how the foods we use to fuel our body have the power to impact our health. For many, many, years, however, I wanted to be a doctor. However, when I was shadowing physicians, I realized many lacked nutrition education and training.

Which totally is not their fault – most medical schools have minimal time/curriculum devoted to nutrition. But when I learned about this reality, I wanted to ensure I’d have a solid foundation of nutrition (outside the nutrition minor I got while at NYU) in addition to a medical degree. And so, I enrolled at Columbia prior to going to med school.

Obviously, I’ve gone a none-medical route since, but since I’ve studied the topic, I occasionally get asked questions about nutrition, specific ingredients, my diet, and how I think others should eat.

So I thought it may be interested to list out how I’ve changed my diet since studying nutrition. Below are 12 ways studying nutrition morphed how I eat and how I think about food and health in general.

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What I’ve eaten this week (plant-based)

Time for another roundup! Here are some snacks and meals from my past week. I hope it inspires you to eat something oh so delicious and satisfying, too.

Salad + Fries from Hamilton Inn

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Last Friday night I went out to diner with my mom at Hamilton Inn, which is a pretty hyped place in Jersey City. I had always been curious to see if it lived up to the hype…but apparently not curious enough to go until now.

Welp, on Friday it was nice out, and so we decided to take advantage of their outdoor seating and give it a whirl. I got a Roasted Sweet Potato salad with mixed greens, apples, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and some other stuff with maple vinaigrette, and I added avocado to make it more filling. The combo of veggies and cranberries and dressing and apples was really refreshing. I also loved the dressing. I’m gonna recreate this dish at home, but maybe with nuts.

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I also snagged a bite of a vegan realistic-meat-substitute burger my mom got and shared her fries. The burger was good but not my kinda thing (I prefer veggie burgers that taste and feel like beans or veggies, not meat), but the fries were really good. Crispy but not greasy (I hate when fries are overly greasy and soggy).

Overall, a good meal, although a little overpriced IMHO. Regardless, still a great meal, and Millie had a good time, too.

Beyond Sushi 

Are you even surprised? Haha! My favorite ever. On Tuesday I had tickets to the late show with Steven Colbert. After some ticket mix ups and confusion I ended up taking my mom. I think she enjoyed it? TV show tapings are kinda like a lot of waiting around for 5-6 hours total to watch 30-50 minutes of actual show taping.

Still, I find it interesting to see what goes into television production.

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Why I Don’t Drink Alcohol

I recently wrote up a little story for a friend’s upcoming project about how a lot of alcohol isn’t vegan (yup). If you want to know more about that, then stay tuned! I’ll link to it once it’s live.

In the meantime, though, I got to thinking about my relationship with alcohol and thought I might explain why I don’t drink. I actually get asked about this a lot, so I thought I’d explain why I hit the hot cocoa over the vino after a long day.

I just wanted to make a disclaimer that I don’t judge others for drinking, nor do I mind if others drink around me. Booch is as hard as I go for a rage, but if you want a nice glass of wine or a drink when you’re out, I support you doing whatever makes you happy!

I simply thought I’d share why I don’t drink, since sometimes not drinking when you’re in your 20s can feel sort of isolating, since drinking is the norm these days, in hopes that others who don’t drink (or don’t drink often) realize they’re not alone. And also to sort of explain to those who may not understand my choice why I make it.

There are several reasons why I don’t drink, so I’m just going to list them here for your enjoyment.

1. I honestly do not enjoy being intoxicated, nor think being drunk is fun.

545358_3470391610990_318705946_nWinery tour in France, summer 2012. Please notice how awkward I look holding wine lol.

Being intoxicated just isn’t a good time to me. I know that’s hard for a lot of people to understand, since so many find it relaxing and enjoyable. But personally, it makes my anxiety go wild.

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I’m not who you think I am: 10 confessions of a food and health blogger

Between my blog, Instastories, Twitter, and Facebook and freelance work, I share a lot of my life and myself on the internet.

And while generally speaking I consider myself an open book, there are a lot of things you may not know about me, and a lot I don’t share with anyone, a few close friends and fam aside.

While there are certainly some things I will forever keep closed off from social, I decided to make some confessions about myself, my Internet persona, and my life in general. Not only to help you get to know me better, but also so if you’re struggling with some of the stuff I struggle with and think you’re the only one, perhaps you can find comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Sso here we go: 10 confessions from me to you:

1. On a daily basis, I eat boring and unbeautiful food.

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As a food/health blogger and writer, I post pictures of my dinner plates on Insta or glamorshots of cookies for recipe posts. But IRL on the daily, I typically subside off of fruit, nut butter, bread, veggies, hummus and potatoes. Oh, and a crap load of chocolate.

I could eat a peanut butter sammy on wheat bread with fruit for lunch every day of the week and not get sick of it. I don’t eat this every day, but it happens a lot during the school year and I don’t mind my boring foods at all.

Not every dinner I eat is nicely plated and aesthetically pleasing. More typically I’m grazing on veggies and hummus and probably a granola bar while waiting for my sweet potatoes to finish microwaving so I can eat them with my fingers and oodles of salt because I live alone and have no need for proper manners.

Then maybe I’ll round out my meal with some microwaved Ikea veggie balls or plain cubed tofu dipped in hot sauce and/or ketchup (again with my finger), and follow that with a bowl of cereal with almond milk and vegan ice cream straight from the carton. All eaten standing at my countertop while wearing my sittin’ pants & probably watching something on Bravo. Instagram is a highlights reel for everyone (myself included) and don’t chu forget that!

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Vegan Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar

Every time I see Lofthouse Cookies in the store, I have a weird momentary urge to buy them. They look so sugary, colorful, fluffy and delightful and remind me of my childhood, since I feel like they were one of those treats that were regularly offered at kid events and birthday celebrations.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes Delicious

I usually don’t buy Lofthouse Cookies, because I know deep down that inevitably I’ll buy them, eat maybe one, realize they taste not as great as they look, and wonder why I bought them. I tend to get bored of plain sugar cookies most of the time, and Lofthouse Cookies are filled with artificial stuff that I also don’t find to be so tasty, so these factors weigh in on my decision, as well. Oh, and on top of that – they’re not vegan. Boo.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes with Sprinkles _ pink and white

So, I decided to make my very own Vegan Lofthouse Style Cookies – fluffy chewy sugar cookies on the bottom, and scrumptious frosting on the top – all free from dairy, eggs, and artificial colors/flavors/and dyes.

Vegan Lofthouse-style cookes

This was on my baking list for a long time. Does that happen to anyone else? You think about making something for months or even years, and it just itches at you until ya do it? It’s something that happens to me, and it makes it oh-so-satisfying to bake things off the bucket list.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes with Sprinkles

Over spring break, I finally did the damn thing and made these cookies. It was a perfect relaxing project while recovering from my concussion.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes

To color the frosting, I used raspberry juice that I made from mashing a few thawing frozen berries in a bowl. Feel free to do this with any vegetable/fruit you’d like that will give you a color you desire (beets, cherries, and blueberries could all be fun). You could also puree a few pieces of freeze-dried fruit and mix in the coloring produce as a powder instead. Or, you can always use a food coloring or food dye. You do you!

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Random Eats Lately

Hey hey! How’s it going? I’m just popping in to share some random meals and snacks I’ve been into lately. I love reading these posts because they inspire meal and snack ideas in my own life, so I hope to inspire some of you. Let me know if you like these kinds of posts! They’re fun to write so I’m happy to share more like them.

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This past week was particularly emotional and stressful and chaotic in school, work, career stuff, and with some family stuff too, and I ended up getting a killer migraine on Friday, which I took as a signal that I need to take a step back and relax for like, a hot second. All that to say I wasn’t as motivated to post serious intensive content this weekend and wanted to write something bubbly and fun. Now on to the food:

Avocado Toast from Mathew’s Food & Drink

Last weekend my friend Raag came to visit me in JC and we got brunch at Mathew’s. I got the avocado toast and it was one of the better avocado toasts I’ve had. Ever since Vital Root changed (ruined) their avo toast, I’ve been looking for a new avo toast bae and I think I found it.

It came with whipped avocado, fresh peas, radish, pickled shallots, and poppyseeds on toasted sourdough. The fresh peas added a nice pop of sweetness that contrasted nicely with the tangy pickled shallots. And I’m a sucker for poppyseeds so I was so into this. Paired with a side salad and some shared tater tots.

Ripple Foods Yogurt Bowls

I bought some Ripple Greek style yogurt recently and was excited to try it. Verdict: decent, but doesn’t taste like Greek yogurt. The thickness is there, but I want that TANG baby. Also, it was a wee bit gritty.

With bananas, homemade banana bread granola, berries and goobs of peanut butter on top, however, it was a satisfying snack for sure. Still think I prefer Kitehill Plain Greek style yogurt, but the search for a perfect vegan Greek yogurt continues…

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How I’m Liking Jersey City So Far

Hello all! If you’ve been following me over the last few months you may already know that I relocated to New Jersey just outside the city and now commute into the city for school. I thought I’d chat a bit about Jersey, how and why I came to this decision, and how I am liking it so far.

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If you want more of a backstory as to how and why I ended up here, you can read this post. But long story short, I was wronged by the city too many times and ended up staying here out of the generosity of a family friend and ended up liking it so much I decided to stay put.

Overall, I am really liking it. Yes, my commute is long (slightly over an hour), but I think the distance between me and the city has been good for my mental health, stress level, and our relationship (ie relationship between me + NYC).

Below you’ll find my honest take on JC thus far. Happy reading!

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