Thinking Out Loud #1

I haven’t been into linkup style posts in awhile. I used to do the WIAW thing almost weekly, and it just got old. I share my food here anyway, but I’d rather do it when I want to and not feel forced to do it just because it’s the ‘cool’ thing.

But I’ve got a bunch of random ramblings going on in my head right now, so what better way to share them than with the Thinking Out Loud Thursday linkup?

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  • I bought baby food AND dog food at Sprouts. And I don’t have a dog or a baby…
Some of my other Sprouts buys.

Some of my other Sprouts buys.

On one of my days off, I decided to make the trek to Sprouts for a midweek produce restock…and of course, I bought a lot more than I intended to. I don’t go to Sprouts more than maybe once a month anymore because it’s just not as convenient to work or home as Whole Foods is, but they do have some pretty cheap produce. But then I happened to stroll down the baby food aisle and I decided to get a couple pouches. They’ll be good to take to work when I don’t feel like packing veggies! And then I saw the Brad’s Raw dog treats were on sale, and even though they’re meant for dogs (but people-friendly too), the ingredients are spot on and they sounded good. Well, that was a waste of $5, because they taste nasty. I don’t even know why, because they’re just made of kale, sweet potatoes, spices and buckwheat groats. Maybe I’ll find an actual dog to feed them to…

  • I legitimately don’t understand how 20-somethings can vacation so much

Chalk it up to bitter jealousy, but I just don’t get it. ‘Tis the season for vacations, and it seems like every blog I read has some vacation recap and/or talking about an upcoming trip. I’m certainly not opposed to travel, it’s just that I grew up in a family where we vacationed once, maybe twice, per year. And usually one of those trips was an in-state road trip to the mountains. We weren’t poor, it’s just that my parents chose to spend money on other things. Now that I have a job and money of my own, I realize just how $$$ traveling is. And that’s why I don’t get how recent college grads like myself can take trips (especially by plane) so often. I’m talking multiple times in the summer alone! A car trip just to go back home is a good 10 hour + trip one way (I’m not making that drive, it sucks) and a 2-3 hour flight is at least $150 each way. And that would be going home, not even having to pay for a hotel or food. I want to fly home at least once this year, and I’d like to visit my good friend when she moves to Salt Lake City, but traveling that much is just not in the cards, wallet-wise 😦

  • I basically eat the same breakfast every day, and it does NOT get old
The protein bowl, aka my breakfast special.

The protein bowl, aka my breakfast special.

I got into the habit of making a protein chia pudding (Sunwarrior or Garden of Life raw protein+chia seeds+almond milk) for breakfast and then topping it with all sorts of stuff, usually raisins, stevia chocolate chips, raw granola and raw salted nuts. I’m basically obsessed with the sweet+salty combo. And now I’ve eaten this every single day for probably a month. I even eat it when I have breakfast at work — I just put the chia pudding in one mini tupperware and the toppings in another and combine at my desk. Sometimes I add fresh fruit (like the figs in the above picture), or half a Larabar, but it’s way too good. And sometimes, I even have it for dessert.

  • I’m obsessed with the pink+grey combination
I also love dresses with scarves.

I also love dresses with scarves.

Who says scarves are for fall and winter? I love them year-round, especially paired with dresses. And a plain (but really cute) dress like this just screams to be put with a patterned scarf. I also love how pink and dark grey pop against each other. It’s a good way to make pink less girly for those of you who dislike the color (obviously not me).

How often do you travel? Have you ever bought baby food to eat yourself? 

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?