WIAW: The Last One?

As much as I love the weekly party known as WIAW, I probably won’t be participating in it for awhile. Why? Well, other than being busy with school again (I just started up yesterday and I think this semester will be crazy, in a good way) I’m just getting bored with posting my daily eats. I tend to go in waves with things that I eat, so a lot of my WIAWs look pretty similar. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not that exciting to me anymore. I will still be checking out all your WIAW posts though, no worries!

Breakfast: PB& J inspired French toast.

Breakfast: PB& J inspired French toast.

I went to Sprouts the other day for a few things, and finally found the bread I’d been looking for–Alvarado Street essential flax sprouted bread. I liked the ingredients (for the most part), the nutrition stats and the fact that it’s smaller bread so it makes for better sandwiches. I don’t know about you but I like my sammies to be all about the filling–I prefer open-faced sandwiches but those aren’t so portable. So this 50 calorie per slice bread is perfect, and has simple ingredients for being a lower-cal bread, unlike most brands. It also made the perfect PB&J inspired French toast. I just dipped two toasted slices of the bread in peanut flour thinned with almond milk, cooked it, and topped it with crunchy almond butter and microwaved frozen blueberries. This is as good as it gets for a breakfast made at 7 am. That might not seem that early, but it is to me #collegeproblems

Lunch: noochy kale salad with olives and roasted chili lime chickpeas.

Lunch: noochy kale salad with olives and roasted chili lime chickpeas.

I’ve been having salads a lot lately for lunch, and the key to a great homemade salad is shaking all the ingredients up so they get coated in the dressing. Today, I just mixed nutritional yeast with a little apple cider vinegar and thinned with water, then tossed in some dino kale, olives and some new-to-me roasted chickpeas. I love these things, they’re way too addicting. I also had some unpictured salted in-shell pistachios (amazing!) and a date stuffed with chocolate coconut butter. I don’t know what it is about that combo, but it’s delicious. I just discovered it yesterday, and now I need more dates to enjoy the combo on a daily basis.

Snack: homemade trail mix with spicy chickpea crackers, dry roasted edamame, raisins, freeze dried tropical fruit and mini chocolate chips.

Snack: homemade trail mix with spicy chickpea crackers, dry roasted edamame, raisins, freeze dried tropical fruit and mini chocolate chips.

Trail mix in a baggie–how classy. This is going to be a go-to snack this semester on my busier days when I don’t have time to swing by my apartment to have a snack. I love making trail mix myself because I can add in whatever weird stuff I like. The chickpea crackers in this one were a new addition to my normal mix–I made them the other day and they’re actually really good and basically just made from chickpea flour, nooch and spices.

Dinner: curry peanut kelp noodle stirfry with edamame, carrots and bok choy.

Dinner: curry peanut kelp noodle stirfry with edamame, carrots and bok choy.

Why do the most random creations turn out to be the tastiest? I was tired after my first day of classes (a long day, BTW) and didn’t want to think too much about dinner so I threw together some stuff to make a sauce for my typical kelp noodle stirfry. For the record, I combined Whole Foods brand crunchy PB (the only PB I can stand), Hope Hummus coconut curry hummus, Frontera hot sauce and coconut aminos with almond milk to thin and it made the most delicious sauce. I don’t know why, but it was amazing. This will be repeated nightly weekly.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave cake with chocolate chips and crunchy AB.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave cake with chocolate chips and crunchy AB.

This has been my usual dessert for probably two weeks and I’m still not sick of it. I like to have some protein before bed to keep me from getting hangry so this does the trick while also giving me my sweet fix. I also had an unpictured square of dark mint chocolate (Alter Eco brand, natch) and another cacao bliss-stuffed date. Told you I’m obsessed.

Do you ever make random but delicious meals? What would you put in your trail mix?

WIAW: Dead Week Staples

Well, guys, I’m in the midst of dead week here, and it’s kind of hitting me hard. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but I’m definitely a lot busier than normal and last-minute assignments are still pouring in. Side note: doesn’t the term ‘dead week’ just sound so much more awful than it is? Don’t get me wrong, it is a stressful time but I have yet to die in the 5 dead weeks I’ve experienced so far in college. Just sayin’.

Anyways, here are some of the things that have been keeping me sane during this crazy week full of papers, presentations, class evals and finals.

Looks weird, tastes good.

Looks weird, tastes good.

This week, I’ve been loving on the crepes more than the waffles. Errr…well…my attempt at crepes. I’m calling them ‘pancrepes’ because they’re not quite as thick as pancakes, but thicker than crepes. Either way, they’re really good and easy to make. Basically I just take 3 tbsp of buckwheat flour and mix it with stevia, then add enough almond milk to thin it out, swirl it around in a pan, cook and then stuff with lots of fillings, fold over and eat. Who knew crepes were so easy to make?

Lovin' on the raw kale salads.

Lovin’ on the raw kale salads.

A raw kale salad has been my lunch staple for the past few days and it’s not changing anytime soon…except when I run out of kale. I bought a new salad dressing over the weekend, a no-oil tangerine dressing that’s sweet and sour and perfect for mixing with kale, dried fruit, nuts, lentils, whatever other weird things I decide to throw in my salad.

I'm usually a sucker for seasonal things, but this was not good.

I’m usually a sucker for seasonal things, but this was not good.

I had such high hopes for this bar. I’ve been looking for it since last year, with no luck until a week or so ago. I haven’t had a Clif bar in probably a year because I just don’t care for the flavor anymore, and they’ve got too many ingredients for me, but I really wanted to try this. Unfortunately, it disappointed this peppermint-loving girl’s taste buds. It was not peppermint-y at all and I couldn’t even swallow the one bite I took. Sorry, Clif, but I just can’t do your products anymore.

Another variation on the classic stir-fry: orange-glazed tempeh, kale, cauliflower, quinoa, pineapple, pumpkin seeds.

Another variation on the classic stir-fry: orange-glazed tempeh, kale, cauliflower, quinoa, pineapple, pumpkin seeds.

Another thing I can’t really stomach anymore? Tempeh. I blame it on a few instances of stomach bugs over the summer that for some reason turned me off tempeh. I used to prefer it over tofu and ate it regularly, but I just can’t stand the taste of it anymore. I tried an orange-glazed version but only liked it when I ate it with the other parts of the stir-fry and not by itself. I’m thinking of going back to (organic) tofu again–I seem to really love it at the Whole Foods salad bars.

A delicious new breakfast: sprouted grain French toast topped with fresh fig and raw vanilla chai protein powder.

A delicious new breakfast: sprouted grain French toast topped with fresh fig and raw vanilla chai protein powder.

Up until this summer, I’d never had French toast. For real. Then I made this recipe, loved it and then forgot about it. Until I bought a new brand of sprouted bread. And I loved this version even more than the original one. I cut a slice of the sprouted bread down the middle (the slices are pretty big), toasted it first, soaked it in a mix of almond milk and raw vanilla chai protein powder, cooked it up and topped it with almond butter and a fresh fig. The key was definitely toasting the bread first–it made the French toast less soggy. Plus the flavor combo was totally winning. You can’t go wrong with fresh figs.

I just love Christmas trees!

I just love Christmas trees!

I couldn’t ignore Christmas, even amidst all the studying and stress! Decorating my mini tree and listening to Christmas music all day long have really helped me get through the past week and it’s reminded me how close I am to being home for Christmas. I think the season’s even more special now that I actually get to go home for Christmas.

A cheap girl's answer to pumpkin butter.

A cheap girl’s answer to pumpkin butter.

So I was always jealous of the bloggers who slathered their food with pumpkin butter. I craved that fall-ish spread but didn’t want to shell out $6 or more for a teeny jar. So I got creative, invested in this much cheaper (and larger) can of organic pumpkin pie mix that’s basically just pumpkin, cane juice and spices and realized that it’s exactly like pumpkin butter. But it’s better for your wallet and it lasts longer too. Win win!

Now this was a winner of a dinner: creamy kale enchiladas roja.

Now this was a winner of a dinner: creamy kale enchiladas rojas.

I haven’t been having too much success with recipe experimentation lately. But this dinner discovery definitely made up for it! I found the recipe for cashew kale enchiladas on this great vegan recipe blog but as per usual, I made a few changes to it and well, it’s a keeper.

Creamy Kale Enchiladas Rojas (vegan, gluten-free)

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

sea salt and pepper, to taste

cayenne pepper, to tastes

kale, rinsed and shredded

4 gluten-free tortillas (I used Rudi’s gf spinach tortillas)

1 cup canned lentils, drained and rinsed

red vegan enchilada sauce (I used the Frontera brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large glass oven-safe cooking dish with nonstick spray and set aside. In a food processor, blend soaked cashews, nooch and spices with enough water to smooth out. Place tortillas in the cooking dish and fill with cashew cheese, shredded kale and lentils. Roll each tortilla tightly and place side by side. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas to cover them. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until sauce starts to soak into the tortillas. Serve with extra cashew cheese, fresh guacamole and salsa. Makes 4 enchiladas.

Have you ever had a crepe? What’s one thing you used to love that you just can’t stand to eat anymore?

Friday Faves (August 17)

Wow, where has the week gone? I feel like I’ve been running around like crazy for most of the week and I’m not getting a break anytime soon! I got back from vacation on Sunday, left right away for FoCo for a job training session on Monday morning, came back home and started unpacking stuff from vacation, shopped for school supplies and repacked for college! I’ve just got this weekend before it’s back to the daily grind of school. I can’t believe the summer’s almost over, but I’m pretty pumped for this school year!

Favorite Change: New hair (color & style)

I desperately needed a trim and recoloring!

I think the last time I had anything done with my hair was over spring break…which was almost 6 months ago, yikes! It’s really hard to fit in hair appointments when I’m usually up at school but I’m just glad I got it done before I go back. My bangs really needed to be reshaped and cut and my color needed refreshing. Now I’m all ready for a new school year!

Favorite First Time Breakfast: Tropical French Toast

Alvarado Street California-style sprouted toast topped with fresh pineapple, Bear Naked Fit vanilla almond granola and organic maple syrup (side of frozen mango).

This might sound crazy, but I don’t think I’d ever had French toast before a couple days ago. I know, who am I? Obviously this was a veganized version (meaning no eggs) but I think it turned out delicious, especially for my first time making/eating it. And being the pineapple lover I am, I went for a pineapple upside down inspired version.

Tropical French Toast (vegan, can be gluten-free)

1 or 2 slices sprouted toast or gluten-free toast (like millet or rice bread)

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

cinnamon and ginger, to taste

vanilla stevia drops, to taste

handful small pineapple chunks

In a small pan, heat up some nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, spices and stevia until combined. Dip both sides of the toast in the milk mixture until it soaks in. Place toast on pan and heat on both sides until golden brown and crunchy. Before flipping, add pineapple chunks to top side of toast and then flip to cook. Serve French toast with granola, coconut butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit or whatever you want. Serves 1. 

Favorite Late “Birthday Present”: Alejandro

Meet Alejandro, my ‘new’ baby!

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I didn’t have a car at college the past two years. With the job I have this upcoming semester, along with my off-campus housing, my parents realized that I do need a car. Over the summer, we were considering getting me a newer model used car, then a brand new car, then they finally decided to let me have our red 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. It has a lot of miles on it for its age (because of my mom driving back and forth from home and my college town on weekends) but I really love it because A) it’s red and B) I’ve driven it a lot, especially this summer. I really love the look and feel of the car and I’m already used to it so it’ll be no big deal to take it up to school with me. And because I love him so much, I named him Alejandro (like the Lady Gaga song)!

Favorite Addiction: The Newsroom

I really need to get all caught up on this show!

I am so glad we moved to a new house back in June, because DirecTV gave us three free months of HBO…meaning I get to watch The Newsroom, which has become one of my new fave shows. I just watched the most recent episode and I’m hooked for part 2! I love how crazy and action-packed the show is.

What TV shows are you addicted to? Have you ever had “exotic” French toast (anything out of the ordinary)?