Pasta with Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Broccolini and Vegan Parmesan

Pastaaaaa. I have been craving pasta for quite some time now. I don’t know why. Probably because carbs = love.

Vegan Pasta with Brocollini Charred & Tomatoes Parmesan

Pasta has always been one of my favorite foods. I grew up with an Italian grandma and her penne arrabiata with charred peppers was the best.thing.ever. It has ruined almost all other pastas I’ve had since. Nothing like what Oma cooked up. Somewhere I have her recipe for her sauce. I can never make it quite like she did though…must be that Italian grandma magic.

I decided to make some pasta with some leftover veggies I got to take home from an event. I roasted up some cauliflower, broccolini, and tomatoes on Friday, and while I was eating them, the deliciousness of the roasted tomatoes just called for pasta.

Vegan Pasta with Hemp Parm with Charred Tomatoes and Broccolini.jpg

I was too lazy and hungry to make it at the time, but today I cooked up some whole wheat noodles, paired it with steamed broccoli, a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper, a bunch of Vegan Hemp Parmesan, and the real MVP, the charred tomatoes.

Super simple, very flavorful, and far from over-complicated. The way Italian-inspired food should be, as far as I’m concerned.

Vegan Pasta Brocollini with Charred Tomatoes Parmesan

Let’s talk pasta for a minute, shall we? At some point society demonized the glorious stuff. The thing is, there is nothing inherently significantly worse about pasta than many other forms of carbohydrates, especially when it’s whole grain.

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What You Need To Know about Vitamin B-12, Especially if You’re Vegan

It’s funny. When people find out you’re vegan or vegetarian, suddenly everyone and their mother becomes your nutritionist, wondering if you get enough protein, if you take supplements and get enough Vitamin B-12, and if you’re malnourished and falling over yet, etc.

No one bats at eye or comments at people who sustain themselves off pizza, burgers, fries, and chips, but so many feel entitled to scrutinize the nutrient-content of plant-based diets.

But I digress. This post is about the main nutrient of concern for vegetarians and vegans. No, it’s not protein (which in fact, most people over-consume). It’s Vitamin B-12. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, have chronic bowel issues, and/or are over the age of 50, you should assess and consider if you are getting enough vitamin B-12.

nutritional yeast

I don’t very often flex my MS in nutrition muscles on the blog. I always intend to, but I find my brain so exhausted of academic/science writing from school that much of the time the blog is filled with recipe and lifestyle posts because those are fun and relaxing to write.

But I really do want to make an effort to communicate more nutrition info here on Let me know if you like this kind of content and/or what other topics you’d like to see covered! Without further adieu…here’s what you need to know about Vitamin B-12.

What is Vitamin B-12?

Vitamin B-12 (also known as cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin and was the last vitamin discovered. It’s found in various forms, including cyanocobalamin (often found in supplements and fortified food), as well as methylcoablamin (a methylated form) found in animal products.

Cyanocobalamin needs to me methylated for your body to make use of it. Both are well-absorbed, and it’s currently unknown if there’s a “better” or more bioavailable form to consume.

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Roasted Spicy Sweet Potatoes and Plantains

Carbs, carbs carbs. We all know I love carbs. And potatoes (sweet potatoes in particular) have always been one of my favorite foods.

Last fall when I lived in Minnesota I was exposed to several varieties of sweet potatoes I’d never had before. I’m sure I walked by them in grocery stores in the past and overlooked them in search of regular, but now that I’ve discovered the likes of purple and Japanese sweet potatoes, I truly enjoy mixing up my potato game.

Then, a few months ago, the plantain obsession started, and now these babies have become a routine part of my starchy vegetable parties.

And the best part about these parties is that I can mix and match my starchy carbs to my liking.

A lot of people ask me how I eat potatoes and plantains since I eat them so frequently. This (along with plain baked with salt and almond butter) is one of my favorite ways.

Simple, spicy roasted sweet potatoes and plantains make a the perfect side dish to your meal (try alongside a tofu scramble!), or topped with avocado, beans, and/or pico, can easily become a meal.

All you need is a couple potatoes, a plantain and some spices, and you’ve got a yummy nutrient-packed starchy vegetable treat on its way.

I hope you try this dish, and if you do let me know! Comment below or tag me on Instagram.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes & Plantains

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 1-3, depending on if you eat as an entree or side dish


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large purple sweet potato (can sub Japanese sweet potato, regular potato, or additional regular sweet potato)
  • 1 large very ripe (brown) plantain
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • heafty sprinkle of salt
  • avocado, black beans, and/or cilantro for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cube sweet potatoes into equal sized cubes or coins. Place in a bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds – 2 minutes to soften slightly, as potatoes will cook more quickly than plantains otherwise. Slice plantain into 1/4 inch thick coins and add to bowl
  3. Drizzle oil on potato cubes and plantains. Add cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Spread potatoes/plantains onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tender and browned. Remove from oven and serve with avocado, black beans, and/or cilantro.

Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites

Look! A recipe that isn’t dessert! Oh JOY!

EASY vegan BAKED tofu buffalo bites

Haha I’m not sure why I wrote that…I’ve posted many non-desesrt or non-baked good recipes in my day. It just seems like lately desserts have been the trend (other than these nom nom baked plantains).

tofu prep

Back to the topic at hand: Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites. I made these after mentally toying with the idea for a few weeks now. Personally, I love any food or dish that is essentially a vehicle to eat an excessive amount of hot sauce. And while I do love cauliflower wings, I wanted to play around with buffalo sauce + tofu.

buffalo tofu

Anyone else just really love tofu? My theory is that if you don’t like tofu, you haven’t had it prepared well.I love it so much I can literally eat it plain with salt. That’s a little extreme for most people, but I am a tofu fiend for sure.

buffalo tofu marinating

The tofu and hot sauce lover that I am, I finally decided to pair them together. The result was stellar. So good, in fact, after testing only once, I immediately declared them blog-worthy, grabbed my camera, and just a few hours later here we are.

Vegan Baked Tofu Bites

These bites are blissful. Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. And oh, so tangy and good!

Vegan Dipping Sauce for buffalo wings

To get the texture and flavor I desired, I first drained and pressed the tofu for about 4 hours before marinating overnight. This is optional and something I only did because I happen to be on break from school and have more time than usual on my hands.

EASY Vegan Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites

Skipping pressing the tofu and marinating for an time longer than an hour will totally work. You could even skip marinating all together if you wanted to, and simply drench the baked tofu in the marinate after baking.

marinating buffalo tofu

Another new tofu technique I toyed around with for these was the addition of a coating of cornstarch on the tofu cubes. I had read that lightly coating tofu in cornstarch enhances the crispness of the tofu’s exterior. What I read was correct. Highly recommend this technique if you’ve never tried it.

Easy VEGAN buffalo tofu bites

I also used what I had on hand to whip up a quick, cooling dipping sauce by combining plain unsweetened vegan yogurt (I used KiteHill Greek Style unsweetened yogurt) + some seasonings. You could also simply use vegan bottled ranch or regular ranch if you’re not vegan. Or a blue cheese dip. I personally hate blue cheese-flavored things, but you do you.

Easy Cool Vegan Dipping sauce

If you like hot sauce, even just a little bit, you should really give these a whirl. They are so, so easy, and so SO good. Crispy, tangy, chewy, creamy, spicy, addicting little bites of heaven!


Easy Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites

Prep Time:  1 hour
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 2 people


Buffalo Bites:

  • 1 16-ounce container firm tofu (I used Organic firm from Trader Joe’s – the one in the pink package)
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegan butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Dipping Sauce (OR sub Vegan Ranch):

  • 6 ounces unsweetened Greek-style non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning blend like Ranch seasonings (I used Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute)


  1. Remove tofu from package and drain excess liquid.
  2. If pressing, place tofu block between two plates and place 2-3 cans on top. Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours and drain additional water. You can skip this step if short on time.
  3. Cube tofu into 1 inch cubes and place in a Tupperware container or baking dish large enough that cubes are close but not stacked.
  4. Prepare marinade by combining 1 tablespoon melted non-dairy butter with 1/2 cup hot sauce + 1/4 cup water. Mix. Pour over tofu. Cover tofu.
  5. Place tofu in the refrigerator for 1-8 hours (or overnight).
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove tofu from refrigerator and transfer to a bowl. Add cornstarch and gently toss until all tofu is lightly coated.
  7. Line a baking sheet with a Sil-pat or parchment paper. Transfer tofu to baking sheet, spaced evenly.
  8. Bake tofu for 30-45 minutes, until crispy on the outside, flipping halfway through.
  9. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce + 1 teaspoon melted non-dairy butter. Use to drench tofu immediately after removing from the oven.
  10. Serve immediately.

Columbia Mailman Orientation +Vegan Eats in NYC

Oy! It was orientation week. I thought I’d blog through a wee bit of the past week for ya, in case any of you are interested.

Saturday + Sunday


I flew into NYC early Saturday morning, and got straight to apartment hunting. Apartment hunting in New York City is among the worst activities one can put oneself through on earth. Anyone who has done it can vouch – it is literally the most ridiculous, stressful, and upsetting processes of all times.

I ran around the city all day, ate a bunch of snacks (apples, bananas, nuts, nut butter packets, chocolate covered nuts, etc) and eventually grabbed Just Salads for dinner. I have a weird obsession with Just Salad.


Everyone I know prefers sweetgreens. But I’m a Just Salads gal FO LYFE. I got kale + romaine mixed, double roasted sweet potatoes, apples, chickpeas, organic roasted tofu, beets, and jicama, with a side of each spicy avocado dressing and agave mustard dressing. And bread, because bread.

I passed out, and did the whole damn exact same thing the next day. And repeated dinner. Good times.




Monday was day one of orientation. Lunch was a buffet style of yummy food. The quinoa salad had chickpeas, cranberries, herbs, and a lemony (I think?) dressing. Wrap was white bean dip and grilled veggies. P impressive.




There was also a reception that night with lots of appetizers and snacks. I made a plate of fruit, crackers, nutty bread, guac, hummus, and nuts. Yum.  I was pretty impressed by the food selection at Mailman. They did a good job of providing healthy, yummy, filling options. Bravo!

I had a bad day that day for personal reasons. Really bad day. My anxiety is out of frickin’ control. I found out some icky stuff about my mom’s health issues, and was rejected from an apartment, because as a student in NYC, you need a guarantor who makes 64-80 times the annual rent to co-sign your lease. My mom was rejected, because she can’t provide proof of employment (since she doesn’t work since she is disabled). I found this frustrating; I understand that renters want to be sure rent will be paid, but I find this is also somewhat discriminatory. So if you aren’t wealthy or know someone who is, you can’t get a place? #annoying.

I ended up at my friend’s place in Brooklyn late that night, where I ate a banana with peanut butter and some of his leftover kale salad. And a bunch of chocolate. And went to bed.


Tuesday was day 2 of orientation. I’m bad at orientations. We got boxed lunches (I went with that day’s vegan option), and then we had a long 5 hour small group discussion thing on diversity and privilege. Tough conversations, etc. I was having another bad day with anxiety, and probably came off as emotionally unstable to other people since I was being overly emotional. Oh well. Just gotta move on and not obsess.

Bathroom signs at Mailman:


For dinner, I stopped at Whole Foods out of fatigue and convenience. I got a salad with roasted sweet potatoes, lemon roasted tofu, and some vegan dumplings. I also got a ‘power’ bagel (whole wheat with cranberries and seeds) on the side because my body wanted CARBS baby. Eaten with a vegan cookie. Noms.



Wednesday was another day of orientation. I had some errands to run in the morning, then headed up to Mailman. I had a hummus wrap and grapes and chips for lunch, but didn’t snap a photo. After orientation, my friend Raag made us some yummy Indian food for dinner.


He also taught me some cooking tips. Apparently, many Indian dishes are prepared by first browning onions and tomatoes together. This was new to me. Usually, I add tomatoes much later. This was a fun new tip! He also taught me I should rinse my rice before I cook it. I was happy to learn his tips. He’s so kind, and an awesome cook!


Thursday I ran some errands around the city and sat around like a crazy anxious person waiting to hear back about an apartment and catastrophizing my life in every way imaginable. At some point, I stopped and enjoyed an organic peach in Bryant Park.


I swear my anxiety has been peaking this week. I have really been struggling to get through normal daily activities. I know I have to get it under control, but this week has been so busy I haven’t had time to deal with myself. I am VERY thankful to my supportive friends and aunt for being there for me this week.

A bit later I once hit up Whole Foods for lunch. I got a Justin’s almond butter packet (on sale for $0.50 WHAT UP), another bagel (because I really enjoyed the last one, and for $1.00, it’s a lot of filling carby goodness), a banana, and some salad and hummus from the salad bar. I think the cashier rang up my order wrong, because this lunch ended up costing me $2.77 which I didn’t even notice until I looked at the receipt while eating? Okay. I’ll take it.


My friend Caty let me come over and sit on her bed and watch dumb videos on my laptop while she went on a run with a friend. I had been pinning out at coffee shops all day but needed to like, not be sitting in real pants around humans. THANK U CATY.

We grabbed a late dinner at Peacefood, which is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC/the world. We split the Asian greens salad (with greens, jicama, tempeh, carrots, and a yummy spicy peanut dressing), and the vegan cheeseburger. Pardon the crapy pics; that place has dim *~*trendy romantic*~* lighting.


This cheeseburger. You guys. It is my FAVORITE vegan cheeseburger on earth (and I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my 17+ meat-free years). It’s a house-made vegan patty with cheese, guac, pickled peppers, caramelized onions, and some sauce or something on homemade focaccia. It is messy and hearty and flavorful and delicious. LOVE.

After dinner, the Van Leeuwen truck was parked right by Peacefood. Van Leeuwen makes the most delicious, rich craft ice cream I have ever had. Their vegan base is a blend of coconut, cocoa butter, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. It is OUTSTANDING.


I ended up with “one scoop” of vegan strawberry jam, and one scoop of vegan cookie dough.

One scoop ended up being more like a pint. And I ate it all because it was FRICKIN’ delicious. I was really glad I sampled the strawberry jam, because it was honestly one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had! And not something I would normally think to order (I tend to be a chocolate/nut ice cream over fruit kinda gal).


But it had a rich base with swirls of housemate strawberry jam and pieces of biscuit that were like crunchy and sort of soft simultaneously. And the vegan cookie dough was obviously amazing, with big chunks of vegan cookie dough. My fav flavor there is vegan banana nut, which tastes likes straight up banana bread, but they didn’t have it at the truck. Which probably turned out for the better, since I tried the strawberry!

We ate in Union Square Park, then headed back to BK. I went to bed at my friend’s apartment, and she went out with some friends.

Regarding the large amount of ice cream…I DEFINITELY ate past the point of fullness. In fact, I felt a little TOO full about 30 minutes later. I inhaled it because I think I really needed a good meal after so much walking the previous few days, but the stuff is soooo rich I think I overate beyond my needs. Yes, I was a bit uncomfortably full. But you know what? You live and you learn. Yup, I probably inhaled like, a day’s worth of calories in the form of vegan ice cream in like, 2 minutes, but it is NOT worth obsessing over. I went to bed with a very full tummy and decided to slow down on my ice cream inhalation next time (also, usually they don’t give me THAT much, even when I order two scoops instead of one…I think the guy just was feeling generous).


Friday I woke up early, went on a run (hadn’t exercised besides walking all week and figured it may do my anxiety some good), showered, and got brunch with Caty and one of her friends.

She called me around 10:40am asking if I wanted to go to Champs, which is a vegan diner. I was bummed I had LITERALLY just finished a bagel with nut butter and banana and wasn’t super hungry but decided to go anyway. I’m glad I did.


Since I wasn’t super hungry I got a pancake with berries. And syrup. Champs was fun. It’s like an old school diner with classic diner entrees, but all vegan. And with fun art.


The pancake was yummy. Tasted like a straight up diner pancake, if that makes sense. Like that unique, griddle-cooked taste.

After that, I spontaneously booked a plane ticket for that night and decided to head home for the long weekend, since I learned the apartment I was approved for wouldn’t let me move in until Thursday, and I was quite frankly in need of some real sleep on a bed (not a couch) and some alone time.

I’m quite the introvert, and not having any personal space, especially during an orientation week, makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed. I literally often feel like I need to be alone and calm down to get back to baseline when I’m overwhelmed with anxiety, and having no place to just sit and be by myself has increased my stress, anxiety, and panic.

Also, I MISSED MY FRICKIN’ DOG who has been in Wisconsin until I’m settled with a place.

Thanks for reading! Sorry I’ve been absent this week. Haven’t been in the headspace to blog. But feel much calmer home and with my doggo and with a good night’s sleep in me.

Can any introverts out there relate to feeling super overwhelmed when you don’t have your own space? Any tips for crippling anxiety? Let me know and stay #blessed!

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Do you ever get a cooking itch you just have to scratch? Like you get something in your head and you just can’t crush the desire to make it until it happens? That’s what happened to me a few weeks ago upon realizing I had never cooked with dried beans (seriously, WTF).

Delicious Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup

So one recent Saturday, I was digging through the clearance food items at Target (shocking, I know) and happened upon a 1 pound bag of organic black beans for $1.42. And I took it as fate.

black beans - dried

Cue the urge to make black bean soup. Spicy, hearty, black bean soup. Yum.

Black Bean Soup - Vegan!

This recipe is sort of inspired by Panera Black Bean Soup. But I gotta say it – this might be a little better (sorry/still love you Panera).

Easy Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup

This was my first time using dried beans for anything, and I must say, I totally understand why people prefer using dried beans over canned. The beans turned out al dente and were less mushy than canned beans.

black beans

Yes, it took longer, but if you have the time (and you really don’t have to babysit the soup), I’d say it’s worth it!

Spicy Vegan Black Bean soup

I made this soup super spicy, but you don’t have to. The recipe includes ranges of spices to use and you can base how much you use on your taste preferences. Personally, I like it HOT HOT HOT so that’s just how I made it.

Vegan Black Bean Soup - Kbaked

This soup is excellent with some cubed avocado and cilantro on top. You could also top it with shredded cheese or vegan cheese, and tortilla chips. Up to you!

Black Bean Soup - Vegan!

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Title Card

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time: 1-3 hours, depending on if you use dried or canned beans
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients – Soup:

  • 1 cup dried black beans or 2 cans black beans
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric (adjust all species to preference)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Cilantro & avocado for topping, plus any additional desired toppings (suggestion: vegan cheese, crushed tortilla chips)


  1. If using dried beans, soak for one hour in 4 cups water. Boil for 10 minutes and allow to simmer for additional hour.
  2. Place poblano pepper in foil and broil in 500 degree oven until charred.
  3. Meanwhile, dice onion and bell pepper. Mince garlic.
  4. Heat oil and onion and garlic on stove and cook on low heat until onions are translucent.
  5. Add spices and continue to cook. Add bell peppers and cook until peppers are soft.
  6. Remove charred pepper from oven. Peel off skin. Remove seeds. Dice. Add to other peppers.
  7. If using canned beans, rinse and drain. Add to large pot with 3 cups water or veggie broth.
  8. Add nutritional yeast, aminos/soy sauce and onions/peppers to beans and allow to simmer on low heat for one hour.
  9. Add juice of one lime. Top with cilantro and avocado and serve.

PS: You Can watch me make this on YouTube!

San Fran Recap

Hello! If you follow me on Insta or know me IRL, you probably know I visited San Fran last week Friday – this week Wednesday. It was my first time there so it was quite the adventure. I thought I’d recap it on the blog since I love reading travel recaps. So here we go!     IMG_6556


Friday I left work, went home, grabbed my stuff, and headed straight to the Milwaukee Airport for my 3:20pm flight to SFO! Travel snacks included apples, Trader Joe’s Just Beets beet chips (SO GOOD), a mix of almonds + cashews, a Larry’s and Lenny’s cookie, and Kashi Peanut Butter Chocolate bars (a new #vegan flavor)!

All were packed in my Stasher bags, which are my latest obsession. If you’re trying to reduce your plastic consumption, I highly reccomend them. They’re also silicone, so you can dishowasher them, and microwave food in them! #smartstuff #notsponsored #justafan


Friday night I got in around 6:40pm local time and took an Uber into SF. Traffic was poopy so it took a solid 2 hours. Once I was in town, I met two of my good college friends for dinner at a place called Souvla. The place had super cute vibes and we sat outside in a garden area with Christmas lights and heating vents. I had heard SF gets cool at night, and I gotta say, that is true!

We all got giant salads. I’m not sure why so many of my photos from this trip are so blurry. I think I was often hangry and I also need a new phone.IMG_6516

I got one with Japanese sweet potatoes (my FAV!), olives, walnuts, pickled red onions, pea shoots, and subbed the garlic yogurt sauce for olive oil + lemon juice and asked for no cheese.On the side, we shared some Greek fries (that had olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, etc).IMG_6514

Nom! It was a good time catching up and enjoying some food (it was almost 10:30pm my time by that point, so I was starving). It was probably one of my fav meals of the trip! Kinda wish I had gone back and got a sandwich, but maybe next time!

After that, I headed back to my friend’s place for the night (HUGE thank you to my friend Cassie for letting me stay at your place!). We just kinda crashed and watched RHONY <3.


Saturday morning started out with a trip to the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building. It was awesome! IMG_6553

We waited in line for about 30 minutes for Blue Bottle, but once we got (yummy yummy) coffee we were ready to explore:


Yummy fresh produce and cute little baby gherkin cucumbers that looked like mini watermelons!




Also at the farmer’s market tried fresh soy milk from this really cute homemade tofu stand. It was…much different than the kind you buy in the store lol.

After that we walked around inside and eventually headed over to the Golden Gate Bridge and walked across it! It was windy and a bit cold but pretty cool. We literally walked through clouds.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 2.01.18 PM

Peaking sun at the top!


Look! My wrinkles aren’t that noticeable here. lol #oldpeopleproblems

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 2.02.03 PM

Due to our inability to hail an Uber/Lyft on the other side, we walked back across, and then took an Uber to Blue Barn for a super late (like 5:30pm) lunch.


I had a salad and some booch. It was okay but overpriced IMO. I think I misordered. I will say though the veggies were SO FRESH and the dressing was excellent.

I’m just not that into quinoa in salads? Not my thing. Wish I had noticed the build-your-own option before ordering! Wanted tofu!! Would have probably been way more satified if I’d noticed adding it was an option before paying. The tiny wedge of rosemary bread was delish though; wish I had 20 of them. Oh well!


After that we went back to my friend’s place and chilled for a bit. At some point we ended up going to Oakland to go to some Japanese Fried Chicken Place and check out some bars. My bocce ball game was fuego, apparently (I think because I was the least only one not intoxicated?)

I didn’t take any pics because idk why. Anyways, it was a good time and I stayed out much later than usual!


Sunday I got up super late for me! Like 9am or something…granted it was 7am central time but still. After we got coffee at a cute place by my friend’s apartment, we strolled about and headed to brunch.

We stumbled upon a place called Jane, and shared avocado toast with pickled jalapeños (which I’d never had on avo toast before and it was super yum) and shallots, and a poached egg (which I let her enjoy), a super yummy seed bread with almond butter and house-made jam.


We also shared a very refreshing a ‘detox’ smoothie bowl. Lol @ the use of word detox. P sure my liver and kidneys get rid of the toxins in my body, but ya know, #marketing.

I also liked how this cafe had a ‘Breakfast Salad’ on their menu. Such a cute, good idea. Because no rules say when you eat certain foods. #nofoodrules 🙂

Then my friend indulged my desire to be touristy and we went to Alamo Square so I could take photos of the Painted Ladies, aka the Full House houses. Cool shit, man.


After that, I met another friend (originally from MKE) in Delores park. He was kind enough to show me around the Mission District (where I saw two men naked minus weiner covers).


We popped into some various odd stores (like ones with bones and taxiderme’d (I googled past tense of ‘taxidermy’…and couldn’t find a definite answer lol) animals and adorable coffee shops and famous local chocolate and Mexican places.


And saw some cool street art.

At one point, I wanted a snack, so we got some Sourdough bread at a bakery. I can’t recall the name which is a bummer, but it was yummmy. I got a big roll that was whole wheat sourdough + walnuts. I should have gotten 6. Give me bread all day long. I also ate an apple I found in my bag (lol).


We also stopped at a bar, before I took an Uber to Trader Joe’s by my friend’s apartment around 7. I grabbed some veggies (since we were planning on dinner at her place that night) and, of course, former TJ’s employee that I am, a local bag.img_7233

At least at the Trader Joe’s I used to work at, it was a thing to collect bags from all over. I have Wisco, Colorado, Chicago, Arizona, and now San Fran, and am always eager to add to my collection. :).

I also got chocolate (for personal needs), some bananas (DUH), and an additional bag of beet chips. And one for my dear friend who was so kind to let me stay with her:).


My friend sautéed some veggies in coconut aminos + oil and some other stuff and we made salad bowls. I also ate more bread and half an avocado. And chocolate. Because chocolate.

Before bed, I enjoyed a white grapefruit I purchased at the Farmer’s Market the Day before. #SOFRESH. Have you ever had white grapefruit before? I had never!


Then, it was Housewives (Orange County this time) + bed time.


On Monday I had planned to attempt to get day-of tickets to Al Catraz, but ended up switching plans per recommendation of my friend Shawn who suggested I venture to Muir Woods National Monument.IMG_6659

I went with Shawn’s rec, and after a clusterfuck with my debit card not working and the bus route being messed up due to construction, I got in an Uber and headed on my way.


I had put my Uber destination as a shuttle station for one of the shuttle buses that goes to Muir Woods, but after conversing with my Uber pool mates, realized that they were going to Muir Woods! Their final destination was Muir Woods, and they were in a hurry, so I asked the driver if I could just go to Muir Woods since he was headed there anyway and the Uber Pool mates didn’t want to waste the time dropping me off. He agreed! And didn’t even charge me extra. #win

IMG_6673 (1)

My Uber Pool mates also happened to be public health professors at a university (can’t remember which one exactly) in Austin, TX! How neat! I told them they were my #goals.

I got to Muir Woods around 11.


There was no cell service/wifi which was pretty refreshing. I spent about an hour and a half walking around the grounds and scoping things out.


Around 12:30, I headed back to the Visitor’s Center for some fuel. I ate a banana, an apple, a bagel with peanut butter, some random vegan ‘protein cookie’ thing (which I ate as a cookie, not as a protein supplement/meal replacer) and full bag of beet chips (lol). I packed food in anticipation of not having access to any, unaware that there’s an awesome looking organic cafe with vegan options at the visitors center…oh well…maybe next time? I guess I prob saved some $$, so at least there’s that.

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Then, I went on a longer hike way up into the tops of the mountains (? not sure these are actual mountains…but I hiked all the way up the steepness into the clouds).

Here’s me at the top (yes I asked a nice family to take my photo LIKE A SUPERFICIAL DORK.


Muir Woods was SO lovely. Just look at the trees! The redwoods were ginormous. It was really refreshing to have a day to myself and disconnect.

Around 3 I decided I was pooped from walking up hill for over an hour and then downhill for an hour (after an hour + of walking flat surface pre-lunch) so I decided to catch the 3:15 shuttle to Sausalito.

I waited for the shuttle. 3:15 came. No bus. Not to complain or anything, but it was chilly. I was hangry. People were all grumpy and confused and wifi-less. Around 4:00pm, a bus rolled up and the driver told us that due to construction and a bus issue, they were short on busses and running behind.


He then let on about 20 people (I was not one of them) and assured us another bus would come soon.

Around 4:30, another bus came. And the bus driver got off. And then he said it was time for his break….and to the displeasure of all of us waiting…proceeded to go pee and dissapeared for a while. Hey, everyone is entitled to a potty break….but I think the crowd was hangry, cold, and tired, and was quick to express displeasure lol.

I DID get on this bus when it came back tho. And eventually got to Sausalito around 5:15. I was debating taking an Uber back to SF since I was cold and exhausted, but then someone offered me a Ferry Ticket for $5 (regular price is $12) so I took it.


The Ferry was….bumpy lol. The waves were a bit intense. But it was a nice experience.

The Ferry brought us to Pier 39. I walked back to my friend’s place. Along the way, I stumbled into Ghiradelli Square. I popped my head in to pee in their bathroom (lol) and as I walked in someone handed me free chocolate! I was super hangry so it was perfect. I didn’t take many pics there because I was so focused on peeing and eating and leaving.


Near my friend’s hood, I grabbed a venti coconut milk chai from Starbucks while I waited for her to return. Then, she went to a kickball thing, and I just chilled. I also went out and grabbed some food at a nearby store (I just got a bunch of random things – multiple rolls, an almond butter packet, some potato thing (lol was def feeling carbs), and a salad. I ate that + a cookie and some chocolate.  And fell asleep at some point because I was pooped. Yay sleep!


Tuesday was probably my fav day of the trip. I woke up and ate a banana with pb and then  took myself on a long walk to the famous Tartine Bakery. It was about a 50 minute walk from my friend’s place, but I had the time, and it was nice to see the city.

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I ordered the orange tea cake, which was the only vegan option. I really only wanted sourdough bread, but they said I’d have to buy a loaf….lame. The tea cake was pretty good, but not phenomenal for the $5 price tag. My friend said I couldn’t judge them since I ordered something vegan and that’s my own fault. It just wasn’t special. It was good, but only good (wouldn’t go back for it). It also wasn’t labeled vegan; I asked if there were any vegan options and that was it. So you could order it and not know it’s vegan.


In my opinion, if a bakery is talented, or a chef is, they should be adaptable. I would have been happier if I just had my damn bread (was craving it), so I think my mood was already a bit skewed. What do you think?

Anyways, after that I got myself over to a train station and took the Cal Train for about an hour to Menlo Park to visit my friend who works at Facebook HQ! Lol yes, their address is really 1 Hacker Ave!

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Visiting Facebook was seriously awesome; thanks so much to my friend Travis for letting me visit!


For lunch we hit up a food court type place (they have like 9 restaurants…it’s like an all-inclusive resort). I got a bunch of vegan kale ceaser (which was NOM), and some kelp noodles with pesto, a black rice salad, some bean dish, a curried cauliflower rice stuffed tomato, and tried famous Dutch crunch bread that was totally meant for a salad…but I just ate as a side 😀 (what can I say I love carbs lol).


Then we ventured over to the Sweets Shop (yes, a whole resto for sweets) and I got a vegan vanilla froyo with chocolate covered hazelnuts, carob nibs, strawberries, and other random stuff. YUM. Oddly, this was the only frozen dessert I consumed in SF…not sure if it was just me…but I found the vegan dessert options lacking in the area?


I couldn’t take pics inside, but we also went in some buildings. Holy cow they have amazing snack options. And beverage options.. Like, if I worked there I’d never not be consuming something. That’s all I will say lol.


We also stopped at the Facebook gift shop and I got a super comfy eco-friendly Instagram shirt. #fashun. And some cool iconic Facebook Thumbs Up magnets.


After that we took a bus to Insta HQ. And obvi I took some pics in these things lol.


Then, my friend drove us back to SF. He worked out, while I charged my phone and answered some emails at Starbucks. At Starbucks I ordered a decaf iced Americano which was DEFIANTLY not decaf and I felt insane halfway through and asked if they made it wrong. They did. Blehh. Over-caffinated yuckies.


Afterwords, we headed to dinner at Shizen, a vegan sushi place. It was supah cute inside!


We got spicy soy shishito peppers, ginger miso ramen (my first time trying ramen!), a beet salad, and 3 sushi rolls (can’t remember which ones). My photos are blurry because by the time we ate it was like 9:00pm and I was HANG.GREE.


OH! Also the best thing we ordered were these yummy sweet potato dumplings which were basically giant sweet potato tots. I could have eaten those all day errday.


The food was yummy! A bit expensive tho IMO. I feel like SF is significantly more expensive for eating out than NYC…?


Also, I feel meh about ramen, probably because I just don’t like broth with noodles in general (give me veggie soup or pasta…but broth with noodles? never been my thing). Maybe I should give it another go elsewhere, like a Ramen shop 🙂


After food, it was late, and bed was on the agenda. I was going to go to Denver after SF, but last minute opted to go home instead (needed some me time/missed my baby), so I rescheduled my Denver trip for later this month (holy cow it’s August?!?!?! WTF), and went home to my baby. #NoRegrets.


Overall, a good trip. Learned a lot and saw a lot. #success. Next time I’d def want to check out some more vegan-focused restaurants (I heard Vegan Burg is super good), but overall I had a good time. 8-). And it was lovely to see my friends!