WIAW: Still Summer

I know people think fall started on September 1st, or that Labor Day weekend marked the end of summer, but not in my world! Or, technically, in the real world either, since fall actually starts in a couple weeks. And here, there aren’t many signs of fall coming–it’s still hella hot and sunny every day, but I’m not complaining. I don’t want my favorite season to go away, ever.

This week’s WIAW is pretty random (aka not all from one day) but is pretty representative of what I’ve been eating lately. And in trying to keep with this month’s theme, I have one goal I want to work on for this month. Now that I’m in my own apartment, with an actual kitchen, I want to make one new-to-me recipe per week. Sure, some of my week days are busy busy busy but I have some downtime on the weekends and on some evenings and I want to use them wisely. I might not post any of the recipes, especially if they’re basically the same as the one I was inspired by, but look for updates on how I enjoyed the new meals. And keep an eye out for more college budgeting posts–I’m so glad you guys like them!

Protein micro muffin. Peanut flour. Buckwheat flour. Ground flax. Raisins, cacao nibs and almond peanut cashew butter.

I’m still loving the protein muffins. They’re such a great way to get in protein and healthy fats, plus they’re an easy breakfast or lunch for busy days. Since I bought coconut flour a couple weeks ago, I’ve been putting that in my muffins along with the protein powder and it adds a great, fluffy texture.

I love my snacks! Cashew ginger & spice KIND bar. Fresh mango. Edamame. Mini sweet peppers. Homemade trail mix. Sprouted toast with peanut flour paste.

This assortment of snacks/mini meals was from last Tuesday when I was covering the Obama visit. I had a couple other unpictured things but luckily, this was all able to keep me satisfied for the 9 hours I was on campus.

Maggie Pond in Breckenridge before the big race.

As I said in my last post, I was up in the mountains on Saturday for Breck’s annual rubber duck race. Yeah, I’m a 5-year-old, but it’s always so exciting to watch the thousands of ducks race down the river. This year, it wasn’t as sunny and hot as it usually is, but it was a good break from the heat we’ve been having back home. And isn’t the town gorgeous? I would so live here, if it wasn’t so snowy most of the year. Guess that’s why it’s a big ski town!

Selfie #noshame. Dress from Forever 21.

The mirror in my apartment bathroom is perfect for selfies. I promise I’m not that self-centered. It’s just fun to take outfit shots and make funny faces. I also promise I have a life 😉

Another Whole Foods salad bar. Can’t even remember everything in it.

I got Whole Foods salad bar twice over the weekend! Yes, I am super lucky. This pic above is from Friday, but I also got a delicious assortment on Monday night. The blackened tofu with pineapple salsa and raw kale salad with cranberries and almond slivers were the highlight of that box. Would you roll your eyes at me if I told you I plan on getting another salad box this weekend?

Snackplate…for lunch. Almond peanut cashew butter with chocolate chips. Kale massaged with creamy garlic dressing. Grapes. Salted edamame. Dark mint chocolate square. Sweet potato multigrain chips.

If I’m not having snackplates for a snack, I’m having them for lunch. They’re great for those times when I’m indecisive and have to leave for class in half an hour. I tried to get a good mix of nutrients with this one–greens, protein, healthy fats (nut butter and dressing), whole grains (chips), fruit and some fun with the chocolate.

The best veggie burger ever. Udi’s g-free bun. Handmade three bean patty. Fresh avocado. Grilled pineapple ring. Harissa ketchup.

Saturday was my first experience with a food truck and it was also a very memorable experience. The one I went to was focused on sandwiches and burgers but they had plenty of veg options. I ordered this one sans cheese and when they accidentally put it on (and my dad and I had to make the trek back across town to get it fixed) they were super nice and apologetic about it. I didn’t mind having to speed walk back once I tasted this bad boy. It was the best veggie burger I’ve ever had, period. And it made me a ketchup and avocado lover. I want this again.

What’s the most fun thing you did over the weekend? Have you ever had a life-changing veggie burger?

The Meal Survey

Happy Labor Day, for those of you who get the day off! Sorry I’ve been pretty MIA since midweek–school was crazy and then I came home for the long weekend. My family and I went to Breckenridge, CO on Saturday for their annual duck race. Sounds silly, but totally fun and a great excuse for a day trip to the mountains. I was really looking forward to it, especially because the weather here has been crazy hot for months and it’s always cooler up there. Well, we got a little more than we bargained for–it was sunny and hot in the morning, storm clouds rolled in and it rained like crazy, then it was cold and windy, then sunny again and finally cold and rainy. Totally bipolar day, but still fun!

Today I’ve just got a fun food-related survey that’s been all around the blog world lately. Enjoy!

Breakfast Questions

1. Favorite cereal as a child?

Tough question, since I was a huge cereal lover as a kid. That was basically my breakfast every morning. I remember really loving Post Blueberry Morning. It was a healthy-ish cereal but plenty sweet and full of berries and almonds!

2. Coffee or tea? With milk or without?

Coffee for sure! I love tea, but really only iced tea. Coffee is great iced and hot. When I get it iced, I go for just straight black coffee sweetened with some Truvia. But I prefer my hot coffee with a little soymilk or almond milk (Starbucks, can you get on the almond milk trend?) and one of their sugar-free syrups. I know artificial sweeteners aren’t the best, but I love their syrups and they’re an occasional indulgence.

First hot coffee drink in months! Tall soy skinny vanilla latte.

3. The one food you eat most often at breakfast?

I go through major breakfast phases. A year ago, I was really into overnight oats. Then I liked hot oats. Then smoothies in a bowl. Then pancakes. Now it’s waffles, and I’m ob-sessed! I always make them with buckwheat flour (I want to experiment with coconut flour though), ground flax, almond milk and then go crazy with mix-ins or toppings. My favorites are dark chocolate chips, real maple syrup, sweet potato, berries and protein frosting.

Lunch Questions

1. Sandwiches are generally considered a “lunch food”. If you had to choose between a grilled cheese and a peanut butter and jelly, which would you pick?

Hands-down, PB&J! I obviously don’t eat real cheese anymore and I’m not a big fan of the vegan cheeses. I actually never was a big grilled cheese lover, even as a kid. However, I did used to eat just jelly sandwiches on wheat bread because I hated (still do) PB. I was a weird kid 😉 I absolutely love almond butter and jelly sandwiches though. I really want to try a macadamia butter and mango jam sandwich, it just sounds amazing!

2. You can only put four ingredients in your salad (not including greens); what do you throw in the mix? Additionally, which greens and dressing do you pick?

Ooooooh, hard question! I really love complex, random salads so it’s hard for me to pick just four. I guess I’ll go with edamame, peanut sauce, red peppers and chili-flavored cashews (like the Thai salad from Panera!) For greens, I usually go with kale or baby spinach. I hate hate HATE arugula though, so I’ll pick it out if it’s in a spring mix. I’m so high maintenance 😉

Another favorite salad, from Qdoba. Black beans, corn salsa, habanero salsa and tons of guac.

3. One food you can’t live without at lunch?

My lunches are always different, but one thing that stays the same is produce. I always have a fruit and veggie at lunch time and I try to mix it up. I love salads but it isn’t always practical to have one, so sometimes I’ll bring baby carrots or mini sweet peppers to campus and for fruit I try to go with something more portable if I can’t be at my apartment for lunch.

Dinner Questions

1. It’s the end of the day. You’re tired, hungry, and your fridge is empty. If a fast food (from a chain) is your only option, where do you go and what do you order?

I haven’t had legit fast food in years, and I have no desire to do so. Plus most of them aren’t very vegan-friendly. I prefer fast casual chains, like Chipotle, Panera, Noodles, etc. since they have plenty of healthy options. However, my real ‘go-to’ is Whole Foods. Their prepared foods section is amazing and you all know my love for their salad bar! I actually just got some again on Friday and I’m already wanting more #noshame

The latest Whole Foods salad bar box. Marinated artichokes, sweet potato and pepper salad, orange chipotle tofu, Korean veggies, chana masala.

2. TV/computer on or off while you’re eating?

Always on, at least when I’m by myself, otherwise it feels too quiet and weird.

3. The one food you eat most often at dinner?

Sweet potatoes! I don’t know why, but I rarely have them at other meals (besides my sweet potato chocolate chips waffles). They’re my addiction for sure, especially topped with nut butter!

Dessert Questions

1. Choose between these two American desserts: cheesecake or apple pie?

Cheesecake, definitely. Never been an apple pie fan, but cheesecake was one of my faves before becoming vegan. Now I still enjoy it sometimes, when I make raw cheesecake from scratch or buy this amazing raw cheesecake brand from Whole Foods (super expensive, but worth it).

First attempt at raw cheesecake!

2. Choose between these two foreign desserts: tiramisu (Italy) or flan (Spain)?

Never had flan, but it does not look appetizing. Tiramisu, on the other hand, is amazing. I haven’t had it in forever, but I’m working on a raw, vegan version. Stay tuned!

3. Ice cream: cone or cup?

I prefer cups, unless it’s a special-flavored waffle cone like this one place in Estes Park makes. They seriously have flavors like bubblegum and marshmallow!

What nut butter and jelly sandwich combo have you always wanted to try? What’s your favorite American-style dessert?

Oh Hey September

Where has the year gone? It feels like just the other day I was ringing in the new year. Gosh, time flies when you’re having fun, huh? Or, I guess, when you’re really busy. I’m starting to miss summer, but I’m also excited for fall. It’s just starting to cool down a little (if you think 80 degrees is cool…) and I’m already thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wow, can you say cray-cray?

Anyways, I kinda just realized that it’s September now, and I’ve been going like a mile a minute since it started. Thursday I had classes all day and I was running around trying to print off assignments and turn in an application for a student editor position at our campus staff newsletter (fingers crossed that I get it!). Then mi madre came to pick me up for a long weekend at home. We were going back and forth between Whole Foods, my room and getting dinner. We didn’t get home until 9 (stupid long commutes!).

Friday I got to chill in the morning, but then we had to go to the bank, pick up my sister from school and then go back home for like an hour before we had to leave again with my daddy in tow for another long drive. 2 hours each way to this teeny tiny town called Westcliffe, where my dad’s play was being put on. It was actually really weird to see, because my sis and I were the lead characters in the play like 5 or 6 years ago when it was first produced. We had to laugh when someone from the town said “Oh yeah, it’s so busy here this weekend.” And literally, none of the stores were open and basically no one was out on the street at 10 pm. Apparently, that’s busy for them 🙄

Saturday was…well, amazing! Okay, besides having to wake up at 7 after going to bed at 1 (yeah, 6 hours of sleep and I DO NOT get along). My mom and sister and I drove another 2 hours or so to Breckenridge, this really cool ski town in the mountains. Of course, we weren’t skiing since it’s September and we can’t ski. At all. There was a duck race happening that we haven’t missed in the 5 years we’ve been going up there and a bunch of other festivities. Unfortch, many of them were adult-related, such as a wine tasting festival. 2 more years and then I can do that too. Erm, but probs not. We ate 3 amazing meals up there, but I was stupid and didn’t take any pictures. So ummmm, yeah, I decided to “borrow” some photos from weheartit. No shame.

I actually got the same thing for lunch and dinner, but at two different places. Fresh spring rolls are just too good to not repeat. Plus they had different veggies in them (including amazing pickled ginger in one).

They have this really good (but reaaaaally popular) crepe cart where they make them by hand. I got a raspberry and marshmallow crepe that was to die for. Melted marshmallow=mmmmmm!

 As per tradition, my sissy and I bought 3 rubber duckies each and also took tons of selfies during down time. No shame in that, either. We had such a fun time giggling at all the cute kids and puppies there and freaking out when some crows almost attacked us.

Our view of the kiddie duck race.

Oh hey, Brooke's arm!

The newest additions to the rubber duck collection.

Thousands of duckies waiting to race.

 

I love the mountains!

Go duckies, go!

 

Awhhhhhh...sister love!

Some random stuffed puppies we saw in a gift shop. I love the patterns on them!

 

I'm so boss 😉

 So that’s been my September so far. No complaints here; I can’t wait to see what fall’s gonna bring!

 

How has September been for you? What do you like about fall?