Weekend in Pennsylvania + Whole Foods Salad Bar Hack

Another weekend in the books! I found out late last week I still couldn’t move into my apartment (that was supposed to be ready 9/1…WTF) so I went to PA to visit a friend because I figured might as well!


Friday:

Friday I had class pretty much all day. Made better by free coffee and a bagel. 


After class, I was hungry and needed a good meal. I didn’t know what I wanted but knew I wanted all of the things. Not having access to a kitchen has been stressful AF these past few weeks. 

Anyways, I hacked the salad bar and posted about it on my Insta stories and a lot of people seemed to like the idea so I’m sharing it again here:

I ate this at Whole Foods and was stuffing my face across the table from a super cute guy drinking kombucha and reading like a civilized human. Lol. What can I say I’m a savage.

After that, I visited my friend Joanna in BK for a few hours, then headed to my friend’s apt where I’ve been staying for a few hours of sleep. 

Saturday:

Saturday I was up bright and early to visit my friend Amanda in Pennsylvania. We took a lot of the same classes at NYU and she’s basically the best. I was so grateful she let me come visit this weekend.


I nommed on a banana while waiting for the bus. I also redeemed a free drink from some online promo thing from DD. 


Naturally, since it said I could select any size, I was super gross and picked the biggest size. #somuchcoffee


I got into Philly around 10:30 and popped my head into Reading Terminal Market. Yum!




My friend graciously picked me up and drove me to her house. 

Once we got there, we headed out to her epic garden to gather some goodies. She’s quite the gardener. #goals


Using some fresh tomatoes and cucs, I made a hummus lunch (with some pb for dessert) and we enjoyed the noms while watched Bravo. #perfection


After that we took her doggos on a quick nearby. It was beautiful! PA reminds me a lot of Wisco.


Back at her place, I showered and fell asleep for a few hours. Holy cow a real bed felt so nice.


Post shower/nap, Amanda picked a butternut squash from her garden and started roasting it to make butternut squash black bean burgers. 


She also made a farro salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, artichoke heart, oil, vinegar, and salt & pepper. Yum!



A movie was next on the agenda. I fell asleep during it on the couch, then went up to bed around 12 and went straight back to sleep.

Sunday:

Sunday I slept til 8 which is super late from me but I think my body really needed the sleep. Breakfast with cinnamon apple oatmeal with almond butter. 


We decided to go apple picking at a nearby orchard next, which was fun. 


Applesss!!!


Lunch was delicious leftovers with a side of more Bravo.


Now I’m on the mega bus back into the city. Womp womp. Wondering if I can ever move into my apt…at this point I’m so frustrated I can hardly stand it. 


Bleh. New York is kinda the worst tbh. I was really apprehensive to move back here and after a lovely weekend in PA  am kinda like…what am I doing?

Anyways, I’m going to finish some readings for tm but thanks for stopping by! What’d you do this weekend? Comment below I love to hear from you!

Peanut Butter & Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Hello and welcome to a recipe post that probably sounds very strange at first. But bare with me. Let me walk you through my logic.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Behold the PB&S. PB&S? Can we make that a thing? Okay great. Because it’s surprisingly delicious. Sure, the combination sounds weird and perhaps even a bit icky at first, but think about it: do you like pad thai? Of course you do. Pad Thai is delicious. Pad Thai also has a peanut butter-based sauce. And is spicy and has veggies in it and is paired with carby noodles.

So why not pair peanut butter and Sriracha (or not if you don’t care for spicy) with some crunchy veggies on bread, add some cilantro, and call it lunch?

So here we are. A savory veggie-packed peanut butter sandwich. This is a highly satisfying combination, and makes for a fun way to switch up your lunch time game. I suggest pairing it with a nice crunchy apple with additional peanut butter for dipping.

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And then eat something sweet for dessert. Maybe a cookie. Or maybe a marshmallow fondant covered spotted dick. Have you been watching Great British Bake Off on Netflix?

I can’t stop. I binged the entire three seasons available on Netflix in 4 days. And now I’m rewatching it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must. It makes every other food show feel inferior. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the Food Network again.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

There’s just something about how compassionate the contestants are towards one another that is simply beautiful. Also, the hosts are hilarious.

Would anyone reading this be interested in me diversifying my content? Because that’s what it’s about to happen. I realized I like blogs that share things like daily life info and eats so I’m going to try and experiment with that soon, instead of just recipe post after recipe post.

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Also, I apolotize that pictures look blurry on WordPress lately. All of them look crystal clear on my computer, but WordPress keeps distorting them. So I’m working on figuring out how to fix that since it’s been stopping me from uploading content. So for now just deal with my blurry pics plz.

Anywho, happy spring. And on your mark, get set, MAKE (a sandwich) !

Peanut Butter Sriracha Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: ~5 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Sriracha (as much or as little as you please)
  • 3/4 cup chopped vegetables of choice  (I used carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and lettuce, because that’s what I had in my fridge, but any of your favorite crunchy veggies would do)
  • small handful of cilantro (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Spread peanut butter on both pieces of bread.
  3. Chop vegetables and cilantro and add to bread.
  4. Drizzle with Sriracha.
  5. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.

Miso Hummus

Dude I love hummus. It’s been a lifelong infatuation that started at a young age. I have distinct memories of being a kindergardener and bringing hummus to school on a bagel with tomato slices on it and having two kids at my lunch table be all like “Ewwww what is that?” while peering over their basic ham & cheese sandwiches and ho-hos. And I’d be like, “Back off bitches, it’s hummus.” Vegan Miso Hummus Well, not really. But I did stand up for hummus since I was a wee one. And now everyone likes hummus. Hummus is cool. Always has been, always will be. Those lil homies just hadn’t experienced its magical wonders yet.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Another thing I’m into lately is Miso paste. I bought it at work one day (PSA: an 8oz container of White Miso Paste is $1.69 at Trader Joe’s) with no idea what to do with it but I was intrigued.

Miso Hummus

I’ve found things to do with it since! Like make this Ginger Miso Baked Tofu. Man that was good. I’ve also been adding it to rice, vegetable, and noodle dishes for a lil festive umami flair.

Homemade Miso Hummus Dip

Homemade Miso Hummus !

Before I knew it, I was hooked. I’d crave miso. I was eating it straight out of the container with carrots, as if it were actually hummus. And then, it hit me: Miso Hummus. And ever since that epiphany hit, I knew I had to make it. I believe during this epiphany I was texting with my friend/food styling idol, Becky (hi, BH!) and mentioned it to her and she sounded as excited as I felt. And since then I’ve been on a Miso Hummus mission.

Miso Hummus - Vegan

Well, after a little experimenting, I must say, mission accomplished. This miso hummus is boss. It’s all the legume-y umami creamy dreamy luscious yummus hummus foodstuff I dream about. Yes, I dream in hummus. Be jealous.

Vegan Miso Hummus. Easy & Delicious !

I ate this hummus in the morning. Did you know that’s actually traditional in parts of the world? With pickles. Seriously. Pickles + hummus = best breakfast (or snack) combo ever. Anyways, you can make it and eat it however and whenever you’d like. Or not. You do you.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Happy hummus, friends 🙂 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Level: easy makes about 1.5 cups hummus Ingredients:

  • 1 15 or 16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed with water from chickpea can reserved and set aside
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 clove garlic depending on how garlick-y you like hummus (totally optional, can be omitted)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid reserved from chickpea can
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Drain liquid out of chickpea can and set liquid aside. Do not throw it away. This liquid is a very helpful component in achieving good hummus texture. Trust me.I learned it in food science. They taught us important stuff at NYU.

2. Rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor or blender. Juice 1/2 a lemon and add to food processor. Mince garlic and add. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas.

3. Grind chickpea mixture in food processor until desired consistency is achieved. You may have to mix it a few times with a spatula or spoon. Personally I like my hummus a little chunky, but if you like it super smooth, blend away!

4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables, pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or add to sandwiches.

More Hummus-y Goodness:

Bow Ties with Pears, Spinach, Walnuts, & Cherries in Rosemary Garlic Sauce

[Disclosure:] “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Once upon a time I went out to dinner in New York with my friend Michelle. She really wanted a hearty bowl of pasta and we were both too tired to travel far, so after some yelping, we ended up at this adorable Italian restaurant a few blocks from my apartment called Spina. It was candlelight and had a charming server with an accent and for reasons beyond my explanation we were the only two at the restaurant. This has never happened to me anywhere, let alone New York City. It would have been totally romantic if it was a date. But instead we cracked terrible jokes and girl chatted and probably audibly burped a lot.

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Anyways, I got this one ravioli dish that was had handmade ravoili stuffed with some sweet pear filling and covered in rosemary sauce. I almost didn’t order it, but as if the server read my mind when I was debating about it aloud, he said (in an Italian accent): “Miss, if you are worried about the dish being too sweet, do not worry. It is not. It is perfect.”

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I looked back up into his beautiful eyes, and ordered in blind faith. He was absolutely correct. I still think about it all that ravioli all the time. It was one of those dishes so unusual you just want to keep eating it. So I did. I finished it all. I was so full I didn’t even want to get dessert after (!!).

Anywho, this is one prime example of pasta being what dreams are made of. I love me some good pasta. Nothing will ever be as good as my grandma’s (I will share my closest recipe to hers at some future time), but in the meantime, there are plenty of other creative ways to play with pasta.

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There’s also this misconception that pasta is an auto-fail for being healthy. This is false. In Italy, it’s often a small portion, served with salad and other vegetables, either incorporated into the pasta or on the side. And pasta is full of energy-providing carbohydrates and has a solid amount of plant-based protein (extra points if you use whole wheat varieties!). So when enjoyed with veggies, or in this case fruits AND veggies, pasta is certainly part of a healthy meal. It’s also cheap and filling, which is a double win for pretty much everyone. Carbs are wonderful, aren’t they? You all probably know my favorite hashtag already: #carbs5ever

This dish was inspired by the one I had in New York. It would also be really great with linguine noodles. I just had bowties on hand and bowties are fun. Anyways, it’s a relatively light, sweet, intriguing pasta dish with fruits AND veggies. The pears and cherries are intriguing and sweet, and the rosemary sauce provides a balancing bite. The spinach adds color, umami flavors, and a boatload of nutrients, while the walnuts provide protein, omega-3s, and crunch. It’s also vegan, so it appeals to those with dietary preferences and dairy intolerances. The mash up of different flavors and textures makes this pasta dish fun and interesting to just. keep. eating.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Level: easy

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked pasta (I used bowties)
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 1/4 cup almond, soy, or regular milk
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, dried or fresh
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup crushed or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Bring 6 cups water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

2. Mince garlic. In a sauté pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottle of the pan and warm over medium heat. Add minced garlic and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

3. Slowly add almond milk and rosemary, and increase to medium-high heat. Allow the sauce to cook down and thicken, until about 1/3 its original volume. Add salt and pepper, more to taste if desired.

4. Thinly slice pear. Place pear slices into simmering sauce and cook until pears are tender, about 4 minutes.

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5. Add spinach and cooked pasta to the pan and toss with a spoon or tongs until pasta is coated with sauce. Spinach should wilt slightly in the process. Top with crushed walnuts and dried cherries, and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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 6. Enjoy!

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restaurant review: peacefood cafe

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Peacefood Cafe, an Upper West Side favorite for vegans and carnivores alike, opened its second location just this March. Located on on East 11th street between University and Broadway, the vibe at the downtown location feels a bit trendier that the uptown location, and reflects the food served: clean, fresh, and bright. Service is friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable. Don’t know what something on the menu is? Have a food allergy? Talk to your server. The staff is genuinely adamant that all diners have a great experience.

The menu is free completely free of animal products, and is instead overwhelmed with creativity and flavor. A must­try is the chickpea fries. Made with chickpea flour and indian seasoning, these pan seared patties come with a creamy house dipping sauce, which tempers the spices nicely. This appetizer is incredibly hearty and addictive, and is reason enough to stop in the cafe.

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While one could easily make a meal out of Peacefood’s incredible appetizers, it’s wise to save room for one of their outstanding entrees. Peacefood knocks salads out of the park. Whether you try the Asian Greens, or the famous “Other Ceasar,” salads at peacefood are incredibly fresh, interesting, and lightly coated in house­made dressings, all of which enhance flavors in the salad without overpowering.

The cafe has also earned numerous awards for their sandwiches, and after tasting them, its easy to understand why. A customer favorite the Tempeh Avocado. Tempah, a meat substitute, is a more texturally interesting and heartier alternative to tofu, and plays the star­role in the sandwich. The creamy avocado spread plays nicely off the grainy tempah, and the shredded carrots and pickled radishes add even more layers of flavor. Cilantro adds a refreshing element, marrying together all the surprising elements of dish. Paired with one of the menu’s freshly squeezed juices or smoothies, a sandwich from Peacefood makes a perfect springtime lunch.

The menu offers many other specialties, including raw lasagna, pizzas, sushi, paninis, and arguably the best veggie burger in the city. Meat­lovers won’t feel like they’re missing a thing, as entrees are consistently dynamic, delicious, and filling.

Desserts at Peacefood easily surpass many non­vegan bakeries in flavor and quality. The carrot cake is not to be missed, nor is their famous Magic Cookie. Bursting with pecans, chocolate,
and coconut, it’s reminiscent of a samosa cookie gone gourmet, and is an ideal ending to a great meal.

What sets Peacefood Cafe apart from many cafes, vegan or not, is that the food is not only delicious, but makes you feel good. The cafe really seems to understand what it means to nourish the body, and their creative menu and quality ingredients will leave you quite full ­ but happy full. You’ll exit feeling energized, satisfied, and eager to come back.

Address: 41 E 11th Street (between Broadway & University Place)