Saturday Survey

Thanks for all the good thoughts and well wishes on my last post! A quick update on the fire–it’s now 15% contained, which is a lot better than the 5% it’s been since last weekend and some people have been allowed to return home and to work (including my dad–his office was in the evacuation area and he had off of work since Wednesday) but unfortunately, over 300 homes have been destroyed. Keep thinking of us out here and pray for rain!

On another note, sorry there wasn’t a Friday Faves post this week! I was pretty busy this week–I was at my internship on Tuesday between 2 and 10 pm answering phone calls about the fires and running little errands for the anchors, reporters and producers; I went grocery shopping (more on that later!), to the post office, played tennis with my dad (one perk to him having a few days off) and some other stuff and it kinda just slipped my mind. But I didn’t want to forget about posting this weekend altogether so here’s a survey I filled out awhile ago. I found it on a vegan blog, so a lot of the questions are vegan-related but I hope you still enjoy it anyway!

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan but you don’t?

Greek yogurt. My mom was still buying it for me a month or so ago and I just can’t do it anymore, it’s not as appealing to me.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

Pretty much most veggies. I liked carrots and lettuce and bell peppers, but that was about it. Now I love a lot of them, like kale, eggplant, portobellos, sweet potatoes and spicy peppers.

Kale is my favorite veggie ever!

What vegan food or dish do you feel like you should like, but don’t?

Almost all tofu. I like it from the Whole Foods hot/cold bars, but that’s about it. It’s also okay if it’s sliced really thin, but otherwise it’s just gross to me. Luckily I like tempeh a lot, so it’s no loss.

Spice/herb you would die without?

Nooch…I put that s**t on everything! When I first bought it (because everyone else was doing it), I thought it was bizarre but now I just can’t get enough.

Seitan, tofu or tempeh?

Tempeh allllllll the way! I can even eat it raw, is that weird? I just love its nutty flavor! Tofu is my second favorite. Generally, it’s a meh for me though. And I’ve only tried seitan once but it was just not my thing at all.

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Dried fruit, or just fruit in general. It’s so addicting grabbing a handful of fresh pineapple, or making a Medjool date stuffed with nut butter. I always choose dried fruit without anything added so I know it’s not unhealthy, but sometimes I fill up on fruit before the meal even starts!

The dried pineapple is especially addicting!

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

Desserts. I love healthier prepackaged desserts, but it’s so much more satisfying eating something you made yourself.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?

Nut butter, maple syrup, flavored dark chocolate, stevia-sweetened soda…yeah, I have expensive tastes 😉

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

Kalamata olives are a must, as are artichoke hearts. I love kale, jalapenos and tempeh bacon too. Nooch is almost always dumped on top.

Some of my all-time favorite pizza toppings.

What’s on your grocery list this week?

I just went to the store on Thursday, but this was some of what was on my list: kale (weekly purchase), Medjool dates, oat flour, chia seeds (first time buying them!), maple almonds, protein powder samples, brown rice Pad Thai noodles, vegan curry sauce, Larabars (still can’t find the chocolate chip cookie dough or Jocalat flavors, grrrr…), coconut milk ice cream (another first time purchase) and multigrain pizza dough.

What is the best salad dressing?

The Ginger People hot jalapeno ginger. It’s technically a sauce, but it’s so good.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

Peanut flour with cacao nibs, or mango jam with a crackle of sea salt. Don’t knock it til you try it.

“Dressed up” sprouted toast (topped with mango jam, maple macadamias and sunny “raw”nola).

Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Alvarado Street sprouted sourdough (new fave bread), Field Roast Mexican chipotle sausages, NadaMoo! maple pecan coconut milk ice cream.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

I still have yet to have a vegan cupcake, but I so want to. I would love a carrot cake kind with vegan cream cheese frosting, or maybe a s’mores kind.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?

Kale and tempeh tacos.

Simple but oh so good.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

Most of my dessert things, surprisingly. My family’s used to super sweet, super rich desserts I guess (and crappy packaged stuff) so more natural, lower sugar stuff isn’t appealing to them. Oh well, more for me!

Favorite vegan chocolate/candy?

I love Chocolove’s dark chocolate in different flavors, especially raspberry, orange and peppermint. The peppermint kind tastes like a peppermint patty!

Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Coconut milk ice cream from NadaMoo!. It’s like 5 bucks a pint, but totally worth it.

 

 

What’s the most extravagant purchase you’ve made in the last week? Name three items in your freezer!

 

WIAW: Free At Last (Almost!)

Well girlies, I am so close to being completely done with my first two years of college! I’ve just got one final bright and early tomorrow night and then I am done done DONE! I’ve already been home since Friday afternoon, but getting this over with means that summer can officially begin.

Being home has been awesome so far! Of course, I went on a huge grocery haul my first full day back–does anyone else love grocery shopping? I could literally do it every day and not get bored, especially at Whole Foods. There’s always some new product and I’ve always gotta try it! So this week’s WIAW will be featuring a few of those new finds, and a couple of recipes.

The ginger root beer variety is almost as good as the cream soda.

The 6-packs of Zevia were on sale at my WF, so I had to try out a new-to-me flavor. It was really good, but I was expecting a little more ginger flavor. I love ginger anything so it was a little disappointing, but I’m sure it’ll make the perfect healthy root beer float! I’ve been on the lookout for Zevia’s newer flavors (lime cola and strawberry) but no luck yet. I think I’ll be hitting up all the Whole Foods in CO… 😉

Whole Foods guacamole (aka the best guac ever) and amazing locally-made mango salsa, in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo wasn’t too exciting for me or my family (my dad was more excited about the Kentucky Derby) but we did ‘celebrate’ with salsa and guacamole. WF has the  best guac, but unfortunately it’s super expensive. We got a tiny container of it for $4.99, a total rip-off but so worth it. The mango salsa was a much better buy, and also delicioso (had to get some Spanish in there somewhere!). I am in love with fruity salsas and really want to make my own this summer. I made a strawberry jalapeno pico de gallo last summer but the recipe never made it to the blog–I’ll be making it again soon and sharing the recipe this time!

What season is this?!

So Monday morning, I woke up to snow. Yes, snow in May. Crazy Colorado! We’ve had warm, dry weather for 2 months straight and now this. At least it was only a dusting, and didn’t stick around for long.

A Cinco de Mayo snack plate: crushed sweet potato and blue corn Late July chips, kettle corn, stuffed Medjool date, chili and jalapeno olives, guacamole and mango salsa.

I don’t think I will ever get sick of snack plates. They are perfect for indecisive people like me who don’t like to commit to one huge thing. I’d rather sample a bunch of small things and please all my cravings. Plus each snack plate is completely different, so I never get bored.

I’m always down for seasonal flavors!

You know you’re a foodie when you practically pee your pants upon seeing brand new Larabar flavors. Especially ones that you haven’t even heard about, and that sound as amazingly delicious as these. I am so glad I am no longer a Larabar snob because I will be hoarding these seasonal flavors like nobody’s business. I love anything and everything limited edition, especially summery things. I’ve only tried the pineapple upside down cake one and it’s so pineapple-y! I can’t believe it’s only made of almonds, dates and pineapple. If you see these near you, buy the whole box some! You won’t regret it.

[Pancake] breakfast of champions: peanut flour pancakes topped with homemade strawberry vanilla stevia jam and drizzle sunflower seed butter.

I couldn’t come home and not make pancakes, right? I haven’t had any in months, and this was my first time making them completely from scratch–no boxed mixes for this girl anymore! These pancakes are super easy to make, taste just like a gooey PB&J sandwich and have 15 grams of protein in the entire batch! P.S. Both recipes are adapted from here.

Peanut Flour Pancakes (vegan, gluten-free, high protein)

3 T peanut flour (or PB2)

1 T ground flax seed (I used golden flax) or mashed banana/unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 T water

1/2 t baking powder

2 packets Truvia or stevia (can use liquid stevia drops)

4 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)+ water, to thin

Stir together ground flax and water to make a flax “egg”. Set aside for a few minutes. In a bowl, mix together peanut flour, baking powder and Truvia. Add in flax egg, almond milk and any additional water needed to thin the batter. On a skillet or small pan heated to medium, scoop batter in small spoonfuls (I used a melon baller) or form into a larger pancake, cooking two at a time. Flip pancakes once the batter bubbles up. Serve pancakes topped with nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter), caramelized bananas, real maple syrup or homemade jam (see recipe below). Makes 5 small or 2 large pancakes.

Homemade Microwave Strawberry Vanilla Jam (vegan, gluten-free)

strawberries, sliced (I used 3 large berries)

4-8 drops liquid vanilla stevia, to taste (you can use any flavor)

Stir berries and stevia together until combined. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 min. Can serve warm or chilled. Spoon over pancakes, on toast or on top of nondairy ice cream. Makes 1 serving.

So spicy, so good.

Continuing with my love for all things hot, I picked up this gem at WF this past weekend. Like a lot of new-t0-me products, I hoped that it would live up to the hype that I put on it. Well, this definitely delivered! Spicy with just a hint of ginger, it’s perfect as a marinade, sauce and dip.

Having Mexican food a few days after Cinco de Mayo still counts, right? Black beans with mango salsa, crispy kale tempeh taco on sprouted Ezekiel tortilla topped with guacamole.

I am usually a fan of tacos. Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a taco every once in awhile. In the past, I’ve used beans as a filler but this time I went for ground tempeh and it was a winner. In fact, it was probably the best taco I’ve ever had.

Crispy Kale Tempeh Tacos (vegan)

1 oz crumbled tempeh (I used Lightlife organic flax tempeh)

marinade of choice (I used the Ginger People Hot Ginger Jalapeno sauce above)

handful kale

salt and pepper, to taste

nooch, to taste

tortilla (I used a small Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla)

taco toppings (guacamole, vegan sour cream, Daiya cheese or cashew cheese, salsa)

Marinade tempeh in sauce for 5-10 minutes. Place tempeh in a pan on the stove over medium high heat and let cook until browned and somewhat crunchy. Add in kale, salt, pepper and nooch and cook until crispy. Spoon kale and tempeh onto tortilla and top with more sauce and whatever toppings you love. Makes 1 taco.

PB&J smoothie in a bowl (unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, peanut flour, Truvia) topped with fresh strawberries and crushed PB Puffins.

Apparently I’m on a PB&J for breakfast kick right now! I’m just loving the combo of peanut flour and fresh strawberries right now–I may have to make a wrap or open-faced sandwich with these two ingredients soon.

Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Have you spotted the new Larabar flavors yet?