Savoring Summer

Guess what, guys? Just ONE MORE WEEK til I am done with my sophomore year! Wooooooo 😀 Okay, so I still have one final the next week, but I’m trying to ignore that fact 😉 Anyways, my summer basically begins next Friday and I am beyond ready and excited for it! 3 whole months of enjoying the warm weather, soaking up the sun, going on a couple vacays (hopefully) and my internship, along with some other things that I’ll share with y’all later. Oh, and of course, my 20th birthday is in exactly 3 months–heck to the yes!

I’ve mentioned this about a million times before, but living in a dorm is pure torture for a foodie like me. I really miss having a kitchen and getting to experiment with recipes but luckily that won’t be a problem in a week. Of course, I’ve been planning up tons of things I want to make once I have daily access to the kitchen and it’s been making me really hungry 😛 In case you’ve been wanting some recipe inspiration, I’m sharing a few of them here (note: none of them are my own recipes, though when I make them, I will probably tweak some a lot of things. Plus all of them are vegan or can be made vegan).

Photo courtesy of Peas and Thank You.

Who doesn’t want a fun way to eat their veggies? The sauce alone is drool-worthy.

Photo courtesy of Healthy Happy Life.

A healthified root beer float? Count me in, especially since it’s spiked with coffee! I’m planning on making mine with some root beer stevia and vanilla-flavored almond milk ice cream.

Photo courtesy of 101 Cookbooks.

My tempeh obsession is still going strong, and this Asian-inspired dish looks beyond tasty.

Photo courtesy of Shape.

Would you believe me if I told you the taco filling is made from walnuts and the ‘sour cream’ is made from cashews? It sounds strange but I’m willing to bet it’s really good.

Photo courtesy of Healthy Happy Life.

Pink lemonade is a great summertime refresher, but add in a little coconut water, and it’s even better!

Photo courtesy of Peas and Thank You.

I still need to get a donut pan, but as soon as I do, you best believe I am making these salted maple donuts!

Photo courtesy of Healthy Food for Living.

I’ve tried making chocolate avocado pudding and let’s just say it wasn’t great. But pudding with sweet potatoes sounds promising!

Photo courtesy of The Raw Chef.

I am obsessed with all things Greek/Mediterranean and I’m also interested in raw foods. Combining the two sounds like perfection, especially in this totally raw falafel and hummus wrap.

Photo courtesy of Oh She Glows.

Who wants a chemical-laden, sugar-filled DQ Blizzard when you can have a totally vegan, much healthier cookie dough version?

Photo courtesy of The Vegan Version.

I generally don’t like cheese (duh, I’m vegan!) but nut cheese is a whole different story! This baked ‘feta’ made from almonds seems almost too good to be true!

Photo courtesy of Peas and Thank You.

Who knew watermelon could be grilled? It’s definitely a summer staple for me, so it’s nice to have new ways to enjoy it.

Photo courtesy of Healthy Happy Life.

I always need new overnight oats inspirations–why didn’t I think of sticky banana bread? This topping looks crazy good and perfectly indulgent.

What recipes look the yummiest to you? What do ‘summery’ recipes usually include for you?

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WIAW: Survey Says…

I really, really REALLY missed WIAW last week when I was on vacay–shows how addicted I’ve become to it 😉 It just doesn’t feel right to let a Wednesday go by without doing it! But don’t worry, now I’m back and ready to get back into some WIAW action.

Peas and Crayons

Recently, on Amanda’s and Tori’s blogs (both amazing, BTW) I saw a cute lil foodie survey so I thought “Why not include that in my next WIAW?” Sure, I wasn’t technically tagged in it, but there’s nothing saying I can’t do it, right? Right 😀 So look for that between my meals. This week, I decided to highlight some of my favorite meals I’ve had recently, so while these aren’t all from the same day, they are from the past week or so.

These were the oats that started it all...my "pudding on oats" obsession, that is! This particular bowl is Neapolitan overnighters, topped with homemade black bean pudding (don't knock it til you try it...thanks Tara for the recipe!) and fresh strawbs.

 How do you like your eggs? Ummmm…not at all? I have honestly never liked eggs, ever. I’m not sure if it’s the texture or the smell or taste that throws me off, but I refuse to eat them unless they’re cooked into something, like baked things. Otherwise, keep those eggs far away from me!

Also muy delicioso, today's bowl was mocha pudding! Coffee-infused oats topped with more black bean pudding. It's super chocolatey (if you use dark cocoa powder) and is thicker than typical pudding, but still very yum.

 How do you take your coffee/tea? If it’s tea, that’s easy: only iced. I’ve been living off of freshly-made iced tea this summer and nothing’s better to beat the heat. My family’s been going through 2 pitchers a day, easily 😉 Coffee must be Starbucks (I’m picky haha), and I prefer iced to hot (mostly because I never fail to burn my tongue on the hot stuff). My current favorite drink is any of their skinny lattes, especially the hazelnut. Mmmm…

Favorite breakfast food? As of right now, definitely overnight oats! I’ve had so many different combos lately and none disappointed. In fact, many were absolutely amazing! Some of my favorites are Neapolitan (see above), banana split, cookies ‘n cream and carrot cake.

Peanut butter: smooth or crunchy? Well, considering I haven’t eaten peanut butter in several years (probably since elementary school!), I can’t really answer this. Oh, except for almond butter, my one true nut butter love! I love it smooth or crunchy, but I think crunchy wins out. The texture is the bomb.com.

I love this lunch! I found these soy chorizo-filled vegan taquitos at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and I had to try them. They did not disappoint! I always chop one up on top of some greens and add a Southwest-inspired topper, like black bean hummus or spicy Greek yogurt dip.

 What kind of dressing on your salad? I really like the Annie’s mango vinaigrette, or any simple light balsamic. Or, edamame guac/black bean hummus/spicy Oikos dip like on the salad above!

Coke or Pepsi? I haven’t had soda in at least a year, but I always preferred Coke, hands-down. The diet vanilla Coke was my fave.

I get stuck in ruts a lot at snacktime. But it's not necessarily a bad thing! Lately, I've been loving on the Kashi TLC crackers, with fresh berries and an almond butter-stuffed date on the side. Snack plates rule.

You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? It depends on what meal. Breakfast, probably cereal or overnight oats. Lunch, a quick banana and almond butter wrap on an Ezekiel tortilla. Snacks, Oikos Greek yogurt, possibly with some Bear Naked granola. Dinner, a cheeseless tortilla pizza (those can get pretty crazy, though!)

You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Definitely something sans cheese. I’m no vegan, but I just don’t do cheese (unless it’s soy or almond-based). Plus I think cheeseless pizzas taste so much fresher.

Excuse my strange face. I just got back from the dentist with less-than-good news (a cavity). No bueno.

You feel like cooking. What do you make? Possibly a quinoa bowl, a vegan BLA (tempeh bacon, lettuce, avocado) or some grilled shrimp tacos. I do the meatless thing a lot, but I really like seafood.  

Do any foods bring back good memories? I used to really love those Nutrigrain bars when I was little! Also, eating uncooked ramen mixed with the seasoning in a Ziploc bag as a snack. I haven’t eaten those things in years, but they still remind me of being a kid.

There, that's better! When life gives you bad news, smile!

Do any foods bring back bad memories? When I was struggling hard core with my ED, I would eat teeny tiny amounts of cold black beans and white rice. I do love black beans still, though, so that’s not really bad. I’d also have sugar-free Jello and those lame “light” bread slices. I can’t believe I deprived myself that much.

Why get takeout when you can make it at home? I made a Chipotle-inspired quinoa bowl, filled with black beans, salsa, lime slices and edamame guac.

 Is there a food you refuse to eat? I’m kind of embarrassed to admit (thanks to my ED) that there are a lot of things I won’t eat anymore. However, some of those things aren’t because of lingering fear, but true hatred, like: tomatoes, eggs, meat (minus the occasional chicken, ground turkey and seafood, of course), ketchup (yet I love salsa, go figure), cheese and corn.

What was your favorite food as a child? I was a big cereal lover (I think I really liked Honey Bunches of Oats and Berry Berry Kix) and I also loved candy. I didn’t really eat junk food a lot, but I looked forward to Halloween for sure!

Is there a food you hated as a child but now like? Yogurt (Greek yogurt is amazeballs), a lot of veggies (like artichokes and asparagus), tempeh bacon and other vegan things (but I never really tried them then, so I can’t be sure).

I randomly thought this up last night, and thought "Why not?" I call it cheesecake yogurt, because it kinda reminds me of cheesecake. I took some plain Greek yogurt, added a packet of Truvia to sweeten, mixed in a little black bean pudding and stuck in a Whole Foods duplex cookie. Deeeeeelish!

 Favorite junk food? I honestly don’t eat junk food anymore (doesn’t appeal to me). Do froyo and Whole Foods sandwich cookies count? 😛

Do you have any weird food habits? I prefer eating off small plates–larger ones are too overwhelming. I always eat my overnighters in the same bowls. I always have to have a little “dessert” or something sweet to end my lunch with, like a granola bar or a homemade raw treat.

Favorite dessert? Hands down, gelato. I don’t get it a lot, but when I do, I’m in heaven. My favorite place to get it is called Gelazzi, and they have tons of flavors, but my favorites are soy chocolate and birthday cake. In fact, I’m thinking of getting a gelato cake for my birthday (which is in two weeks, eeeek!).

My baby strawberry plant is growing up.

I tag…everyone! Seriously, please do this if you want to. It’s fun to find out about other bloggers. In fact, why not answer one of the survey questions in your comment if you wanna!

P.S. I’ll post the last two vacation recap posts ASAP!