WIAW: Fall Foodie Finds

I’m glad you’re all embracing fall as much as I am! Though to be honest, I kinda wish it were already Thanksgiving/Christmas time. Oh well, it’ll come around soon enough.

So it’s the first week of October which is crazy but what isn’t crazy is finding lots of fall-ish stuff in stores. The berries and peaches of the summer are on their way out and squash of all kinds are in. It’s still pretty warm here, but the weather will be cooling down pretty soon so I know I’ll be wanting warmer meals in a couple weeks. This weekend when I went home, I ended up buying a lot of new things and some old favorites that I forgot about and I’m loving having a stocked fridge and cabinets again. I hate when they’re empty because I’m so bad at putting meals together from nothing so it’s great to have tons of options.

Double the chocolate? Ummmm, yes!

This wasn’t one of the bars I got to review but I bought it myself because it was a kind I’d never seen before. And it’s really good too, I love the addition of the cacao nibs. I don’t think you can ever have too much chocolate 😉

This would make a perfect side for Thanksgiving.

I don’t know if you’ve seen these at your nearest Whole Foods but if you do, please buy one! They also have a spicy stuffed squash variety that I haven’t tried yet, but the sweet is so good when you roast it. I sliced mine after roasting and put the pieces in a container in the fridge for those times when I want something sweet but also need some veggie action.

Crunchy > creamy. No question.

Before this year, I’d never had sunflower seed butter. Crazy, yes, but now I know it’s delicious. I used to get the Maranatha brand but I love Sunbutter more because it’s a little more flavorful and they have a crunchy variety. I always prefer crunchy over creamy, I need that extra texture!

What’s more fall-like than maple pecan?

My (vegan) ice cream consumption doesn’t end when fall begins…oh no! I eat it well into winter, it’s just that good. I skipped getting my favorite mint chocolate flavor for the millionth time in favor of this more fall-appropriate flavor. If you’ve ever wanted to try coconut milk ice cream, I definitely recommend this brand. It’s so creamy and soft without being too rich. I just wish they had a few more flavor options.

Trying to figure out what to do with these…

I bought these randomly because I’ve always like dried cranberries. I know these aren’t quite the same but they have the bonus of no added sugar, plus they’re in a way bigger bag. Maybe I can make some kind of cranberry orange fruit butter with them?

A new bar to add to my rotation!

Like a lot of bloggers, I love bars. Not bars with alcohol, but protein type bars! My tastes have changed a lot since I had my first bars though–I used to love Clif bars and Kashi bars but now I prefer KIND, Lara and Pure bars since they have simpler ingredients and aren’t too overpowering. I also heard a lot of good things about the Vega bars and since I love their protein powders, I decided to try one out. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks good and it’s got great stats and clean ingredients. I’m not as big of a fan of the price (over $2, which is more than Larabars!) but if it tastes good, it’ll be worth it.

I can’t believe these are raw and sprouted…they’re so delish!

Kaia Foods has the best raw seeds out there! I loved their cocoa mole sunflower seed clusters and this garlic and sea salt kind is even better. I really want to try their pumpkin seed “party mix” because it sounds like a real party in my mouth 😉

Kale wraps make leftovers better.

My mom and I had dinner at Tokyo Joes (a Colorado-based Asian fusion fast casual restaurant) and now I’ve realized how much I love that place. We’d only eaten there once before and I liked it but after what I ordered on Sunday, I need to go back. Like now. I got their lettuce wraps, subbing organic grilled tofu for the chicken, and it came with little rice noodles, an awesome cucumber salad, avocado, raw veggies and these amazing dipping sauces. I could seriously drink them, they were that good! What I love at Tokyo Joes is that they all their food is either all-natural or organic and the only sweetener they have for drinks (other than sugar) is stevia. They even have a stevia-sweetened teriyaki sauce. My kinda place for sure!

Starbucks in the grass…nothin’ better!

My new official Bux drink (well, before it gets cold) is a tall iced Americano with three pumps sugar-free hazelnut. Simple, yep, but amazing. I bet this will taste great hot too so I guess I have a new go-to for all seasons! I do prefer iced coffees though since hot coffee tends to overheat me, which is no bueno.

Do you prefer iced or hot coffee drinks? What’s your favorite bar brand(s)?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for Alter Eco goodies!

My Week Through Instagram

Happy Saturday errrrybody! Saturdays just aren’t as special to me during the summer, since every day is basically the weekend. Except this summer, Saturdays are going to feel even less like the weekend because they’re one of two days of each week that I have to intern at the TV station. I start on Tuesday, and I’m pumped!

I’ve been obsessed with Instagram lately, in case you haven’t noticed from my latest WIAW posts. I got the app on my iPod Touch a year ago, and then about a month ago I realized they introduced it for Android phones, so I got the app for my phone too. I realize using my phone or iPod to take pictures is lazy, but the Instagram app is just so cool and vintage-y that I can’t stop using it. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I love the way the light reflects through the umbrella.

Homemade blueberry pancakes topped with fresh blueberry juice.

Model status…JK!

Asian-inspired massaged kale salad with Ginger People peanut sauce, shredded carrots and edamame.

My feeeeeeeeet.

Tropical overnight oats topped with fresh pineapple, frozen mango and maple macadamia nuts.

White boyfriend blouse (Wet Seal), floral bandeau (Hollister), coral culotte shorts (Abercrombie & Fitch).

Do you use Instagram? What have you been up to this week?

WIAW: Salads and…Snow?

Happy WIAW…and happy birthday to my lovely madre! She is one lucky lady, having both her birthday and Mother’s Day in the same week. I’m so glad school ended just in time for me to be home to enjoy both days with her.

I haven’t gotten around to taking photos of an entire day’s worth of eats (bad blogger, I know, but it’s just slipped my mind most of the time) so this week’s WIAW is just a random compilation of the best of what I’ve been eating this past week along with a recipe and some new grocery store finds.

Breakfast: overnight oats topped with peanut flour paste, sunflower seed butter, mashed strawberries and maple macadamias.

This is my new favorite overnight oats combo. Peanut flour paste, sunflower seed butter, fresh strawberries and maple macadamia nuts are surprisingly yummy together, and taste like summer. The maple macadamia nuts are a new obsession of mine from the Whole Foods bulk section. They are expensive (18 bucks per pounds, yikes) but they’re so worth it.

Lunch: kale wraps with cold grilled tofu strips, sauteed bell peppers and Ginger People hot ginger jalapeno sauce.

Move over, lettuce wraps! Kale wraps are heartier, more nutritious and delicious. One day for lunch I decided I didn’t want a salad but I still wanted to get my greens in. So I took a few heads of kale, partially destemmed them and filled them with leftover fajitas filling, aka grilled tofu strips and sauteed peppers. I drizzled them with my new favorite sauce, and they turned out perfectly spicy and crunchy.

Lunch: chopped kale, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sprinkle of nooch and vegan Caesar dressing thinned with almond milk.

I’ve also been loving raw kale salads for lunch lately. The key is to let the greens soak up the dressing or sauce overnight and marinade with the other ingredients. Oh, and nooch is a necessity for me. This was a Mediterranean inspired salad that I’m definitely repeating. It would be great for dinner bulked up with some chickpeas and kalamata olives.

Lime green striped oversize tee (American Eagle), denim cuffed shorts (Abercrombie Kids).

Can you believe I wore this outfit on a day it snowed? Okay, so I definitely changed into something more weather-appropriate when I had to go out that night to see a performance of Hairspray (really good, BTW) but it’s crazy to think that it didn’t snow at all here in March or April, and then we get dumped on practically in May. What?!

White cardigan (Target), navy lace tank (Abercrombie Kids), navy plaid shorts (Hollister).

I’m not complaining though because after a weekend of rain, light snow and thunder (yeah, Colorado’s weird!) it was back to shorts weather by Monday. I enjoyed a little time outside and did a stairs workout that left me tired (in a good way) and hungry. Running up and down the stairs of my deck was no joke, but it was a fun, heart-pumping workout that I like to do every once in a while to change things up.

My new-to-me Whole Foods finds.

I’m pretty sure I can’t go to Whole Foods without trying out at least one new thing. When I went over the weekend, I hit the mother lode and got mostly all new-to-me things. So far, I’ve tried the quinoa pasta (better than whole wheat or regular), ginger peanut sauce (perfect for Asian dishes), maple macadamias (0b-sessed!), rice cakes (pretty plain but good with toppings), honey vanilla agave (great sub for pancake syrup) and artichoke hearts (basically like any other artichokes, which I love) so I’m excited to try the lemon Larabar, vegan ravioli and pasta sauce.

First Frapp of the summer: tall mocha light with soy and 1 pump raspberry. So effing delicious!

You know me, can’t pass up Starbucks, especially when it’s half price. Sadly, I only got to take advantage of their happy hour once, but I’m glad I did for the deliciousness above. Mocha light Frappuccinos are my absolute favorite, and they get even better with the addition of a pump of raspberry syrup. If you love the chocolate and raspberry combo, order this. Now.

I’m growing my own cilantro!

Get ready for a whole lotta pico de gallo recipes around here…because I officially have my own cilantro plant! My dad’s growing a mint plant so we are definitely stocked up on two of the best herbs. Last summer I grew strawberries and while there weren’t many and they were tiny, it was cool to grow my own stuff. The cilantro already looks pretty healthy and vibrant, so I’m excited.

California Pizza Kitchen’s half Thai Crunch salad without chicken, dressing or wontons…so basically Napa cabbage, carrots, avocado, edamame, peanuts and Ginger People ginger peanut sauce.

I love me some giant salads. I had one on Thursday post-final at Mad Greens with my dad (no picture, but it was spinach/artichoke hearts/kalamata olives/garbanzo beans/sunflower seeds with fat free balsamic) and I had one on Sunday night to celebrate Mother’s Day. We got CPK to-go and I was debating between a veggie pizza without cheese and this salad. Glad I went with the salad, even though there aren’t any leftovers (boo!) We hadn’t eaten at CPK in well over a year and I almost forgot how much I love them and their giant salads. Plus now I know that they’re totally accommodating to vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free people and also if you’re picky like me and don’t like wontons or restaurant dressings. I totally demolished this salad and for the record, it took up my entire regular-sized dinner plate. No shame!

Definitely freeze these if you want to be able to eat them whole!

I made raw blondies for the first time last summer and they were definitely a hit…well at least with me, since my family’s wary of trying raw desserts. I made a new and improved version the other day and while they’re crumbly and messy, they’re simple and healthy, with just 4 ingredients.

Raw Amaretto Blondies (vegan, gluten-free, raw)

3 100 calorie pack cinnamon almonds (can use plain almonds)

6 pitted dates (I used California pitted)

1/2 tbsp raw agave nectar (can sub raw honey or real maple syrup)

1 tbsp Vega Vanilla Almondilla protein powder (can use other protein powder but this gives it the amaretto flavor)

Blend almonds and dates in food processor or high powered blender until mostly combined and crumbly. Add in agave and protein powder until mixed in. Pack blondie mixture into a square glass dish and keep frozen (so the blondies don’t crumble). Makes 4 blondies.

Have you ever tried quinoa pasta? What’s your favorite “special” nut?

WIAW: Back at It+Obsessions

Well guys, I’m finally back at school and ready to start off second semester! I really enjoyed having a full month off to be at home with my family, and not gonna lie, it was hard coming back. Besides missing my family, I also miss the comforts of home, having a car and a kitchen to cook in. Spring break is only a month and a half away though, so I’m looking forward to that!

Peas and Crayons

This WIAW, I thought I’d show you some of the food I’ve been obsessed with lately while I was home, as well as a few other recent ‘obsessions’.

Breakfast: raspberry mocha protein waffle, frozen grapes, spicy veggie sausage

I really wanted waffles the other day, since I haven’t had one in a couple of months, but I wasn’t feeling a boxed mix. Instead, I whipped up my own raspberry mocha protein waffles, and they did not disappoint, especially with 6 grams of protein per waffle! I had one as my last breakfast at home 😦 along with a spicy veggie sausage and frozen grapes (another obsession).

Raspberry Mocha Protein Waffles (vegan, high protein)

1/2 cup oat flour (or ground rolled oats)

1 scoop Soytein cappuccino protein powder

handful frozen raspberries

1 tbsp vegan chocolate chips

sweetener, to taste (I used Truvia)

water, to thin

Process oats in a food processor or blender til mostly ground. Mix oats, protein powder and sweetener in a bowl until combined. Add water until desired consistency is reached; stir in chocolate chips and raspberries. Heat a waffle iron (or make into pancakes) and cook until browned (makes about 4 small waffles). 

I'mma office supply nerd!

I just stocked up on new pens for the upcoming semester, and of course, I scored the most colorful kind! I’m obsessed with organizing my notes by color, so these will be well-used.

Lunch: summer rolls, edamame in the shell, fresh pineapple, "poor girl's" spicy mustard (yellow mustard mixed with Sriracha)

My parents and I went to Pei Wei on Friday for lunch. I got my usual, the Vietnamese summer rolls, but when I asked them to leave out the chicken, they said they couldn’t do that! Most places are usually pretty accommodating to vegetarians, so this was a shock, especially since Pei Wei has plenty of veg options. I still got the rolls and just picked out all the chicken, which wasn’t easy, but it was totally worth it for the delicious summer rolls (with a side of in the shell edamame). Next time, I’d get an actual vegetarian option, despite my fear of ordering noodle dishes in restaurants.

Snack: in the shell edamame, small Pink Lady apple, handful organic cinnamon crunch cereal, PF paste

Snack plates are my favorite, whether for snacks or even lunch (I’d love to do one for dinner, too). I’m so indecisive so I like my meals to have many components so I don’t get bored. This was a pretty random one, but it fulfilled my craving for something sweet (cereal), something green (edamame), something crunchy and fresh (apple) and something delicious and protein-packed (peanut flour).

Outfit of the day: cream cropped sweater (Hollister), navy ruffled tank (Hollister), multi floral skirt (Hollister), grey polka dot tights (Target), grey corduroy booties (ALDO)

Sorry that I look super-pissed in the picture above–I always make the stupidest faces when I self-time. And, yes, I did just take this picture on Saturday and yes, I still have my mini Christmas tree up. What can I say, I like to make the holidays last as long as possible 😉 I’m in love with the booties that I got just before Christmas, but they’ve still yet to make a debut at school. I blame the snow and ice that randomly dumped on campus on Monday afternoon!

Dinner: Gardein beefless tips stir fry (with asparagus, mixed veggies and edamame), frozen mango chunks, freeze-dried strawberries

While I was still at home, I discovered a TON of frozen Gardein products in the freezer. I went through a phase over the summer where I was obsessed with them, but then I got kinda burned out. I rekindled my love for their meatless goodness over Christmas break and it was wonderful. The beefless tips weren’t as good as I remembered, though…

Dessert: carrot cake oats topped with almond peanut cashew butter and raisins

I don’t know why, but I’ve been obsessed with the carrot cake flavor combo lately. I’ve been loving the raw carrot cake bites I made and I’ve enjoyed quite a few bowls of carrot cake oats recently. I just love the mix of carrots, raisins and nut butter! Another awesome, new-to-me combo is coffee oats, topped with peanut flour paste and crushed Annie’s bunny pretzels–sweet and salty is the best!

What have you been obsessed with lately? What is your favorite pen color?

WIAW: The Big 1-9

Hey guys! Sorry my WIAW is a little late this week. I was pretty busy on Wednesday, so I didn’t have much time to post. But I still wanted to get in on the party, so here it is!

Well, it’s finally here–my 19th birthday!I feel like I’ve been waiting a whole year for my birthday…oh wait, I have 😉

The most exciting part of this year’s birthday (besides a special store opening event–more on that in a bit) is that it just so happens that it’s also Wednesday. As in, What I Ate Wednesday! I love this weekly party (hosted by the lovely Jenn) and this week, it feels like even more of a party, since it’s my b-day. Self-centered much? 😀

Peas and Crayons

I started my birthday out reaaaaaaaally early (well, early for me!) at the ripe hour of 6 o’ clock. Who in their right mind wakes up that early on their birthday if they don’t have to go to work (or they just happen to be an early bird, which I am most definitely not)? This girl right here, and for a good reason–my mom and I were going up to Denver for the grand opening of Colorado’s first-ever IKEA store! I’ve never been to an IKEA store so I was curious about what they’d have there, but mostly because they were giving away gift certificates worth $52.80 (the elevation of the store is 5280 feet, I guess that’s how they got that amount) only to people whose birthday was on July 27th (the grand opening day, obvs). I’ve never thought my birthday was on a special day (though, one of my lucky numbers is 7, so it’s kinda special) but I guess it was in this case! I had to prove my birthday was really July 27th, though (this is when having a driver’s license comes in handy…oh, I guess also if you want to drive 😉 )and I got a neato Happy Birthday stamp on my wrist. I think some people thought it was a tat lol JK.

Cake batter oats for breakfast. I just had to, I mean, it was my birthday after all!

...along with a spicy veggie sausage, mixed berries and PB Puffins.The sun was shining right behind it, so you can't really read the sign

Welcome to IKEA!

The coolest stamp ever!

 My mom scored a $10 gift certificate at the door, so we had over $60 to spend. My dad told us that we couldn’t go crazy and spend way over the amount we got (knowing us, we probs could have easily) and we didn’t! We even had $5 left over. We ended up getting a floor lamp with a pink and orange shade, a pink plastic shower caddy and a cool orange lamp thing (notice a trend here?) All the stuff gonna be for my dormie room and I can’t wait! I’ll show pics when everything’s actually assembled. As for the verdict on IKEA? Love. It. I’m a big fan of modern, sleek, cool furniture and I can totally see myself shopping here when I have a place of my own. The best part is that it’s all pretty cheap but well-made. Double score!

After the adventure that was IKEA (I totally got my exercise in for the day at that store. No joke. We were running to try to find the birthday certificate hand-out area, wrestled people to the ground manuevered around people to check out the lighting fixtures and almost got lost in that maze of a store.) we went to Panera for lunch. I got the strawberry poppyseed salad for the second time, and it was perfect for a hot summer day. It was huge though, so I wasn’t able to eat much of it.

Mi ensalada: greens, grilled chicken, pecans, strawbs, mandarin oranges, bloobs and pineapple

Then we drove to Gelazzi (the best gelato place, hands-down!) to pick up my b-day dessert. I was planning on getting a gelato cake or pie, but after being shellshocked by the prices (30 bucks for a cake? No thanks!) I settled on 2 pints of gelato, one mint chocolate chip and the other Hilo pineapple. Mmmmm (not together, though!)…

Back at home, I was starving so I munched on a handful of PB Puffins (those things are like crack, I swear) and some raisins. IDK why, but I’ve been loving on the raisins lately, even more so than my beloved dates. Don’t worry dates, you’ll always be my true love 😛

Birthday girl outfit: light green floral Hollister dress, coral VS Pink bandeau bra, AE pink crystal necklace

After some cardio interval time and yoga (as if I didn’t exercise enough already at IKEA…) I had a snackie that’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine: Late July mild green mojo multigrain chips alongside an almond butter-stuffed date and pineapple chunks. I convinced my sis to try the chips and she fell in love. My sister, the organic-hater, loved these organic healthy chips because they “taste like Doritos” (her words, not mine). I’m glad I can convert her to healthy eating 🙂

Amazing snack!Another birthday "present" I got was my first edible strawberry from my little plant. The first one got eaten by birds...yikes!

My daddy got home and then we were off to Pei Wei for my birthday din din. If you’ve never heard of/been to Pei Wei it’s basically a cheaper version of PF Changs. Okay, maybe that didn’t help either, but it’s a place that has a bunch of different Asian cuisines and dishes. I got my personal fave, the Vietnamese Chicken Salad rolls. I also had some iced chai black tea (s0 delish with a fresh orange slice!), edamame and a little bit of my dad’s brown rice mixed with peanuts from his Kung Pao. Such a delish dinner and I can’t wait to have the leftover roll for lunch! My only complaint is that I was freezing my butt off the entire time! What is it with restaurants and their extreme air conditioning?

Sorry about the horrible quality of these photos, they were taken in weird lighting and I had to be sneaky about it!

Edamame for the win!Vietnamese summer rolls are my favorite!

 

 Presents time back at home (aka my favorite part of my b-day)! I got really sweet cards from my parents and sis and some pretty rockin’ presents as well.

Coach Poppy backpack, cropped denim jacket, Gilly Hicks pink tee and blue floral pj shorts, hair waver, fashion book

I'm a little obsessed with wrapping paper...

After a little AGT (America’s Got Talent) watching, I was starving again (!) so we decided to have the birthday gelato then. Remember above when I said that I would never have pineapple and mint chocolate chip gelato at the same time? Well…I did. It honestly wasn’t bad, but that’s probs because I ate each flavor separately (and now I can look forward to many more nights of gelato leftovers!) I was surprised the house didn’t burn down, with 19 candles on a tiny gelato container!

That's a whole heck of a lot of candles!

Mint chocolate chip and pineapple--a match made in (weird) foodie heaven!

My new pjs in action!

Thanks for sticking with me through that monster of a post! I had an amazing day and couldn’t ask for anything more!

What is one of your birthday ‘traditions’? Ever been to an IKEA?