What I Ate Wednesday #1

Hey guys! I’m so excited to further expand the contents of my blog by adding What I Ate Wednesday posts from the great blog Peas and Crayons. Today’s what I ate Wednesday is just going to be short and sweet due to the minimal amount of free time I have possessed in the last few days, but I plan to expand further in Wednesdays to come! So here you all, for all that are curious, cause I know I am always curious about others daily eats. ūüôā


-A smoothie consisting of 1 cup frozen mango, 1 tsp. chia powder, 1/2 tsp. maca powder, three huge handfuls of spinach– thinned out with 1/4 cup water.

-One delectable 100% whole wheat, date sugar sweetened cinnamon roll handmade by this girl (me)!



Whole wheat couscous with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a pinch of a dried herb seasoning.

-Green lentils cooked in water with a bay leaf.

Mushrooms dry sauteed until water is released and they are cooked through!

-My new addiction of a smoothie delectable frosty shake, simply including 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 1/4 cup frozen watermelon, and 1 tsp. matcha tea powder. This smoothie is my banana free version of this lovely inspiration of an AMAZING treat brought to us by one of my favorite bloggers herself, Kathy Patalsky!



-1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s kalamata olive hummus

red pepper slices

-a very hard, unripe pear (that’s how I like them dudes, I’m a crazy one :))



-A generous helping of my home made pad thai, made with brown rice noodles, organic tofu, and veggies! Recipe to come, stay tuned! It is soooooooooooooooo AMAZING!

-Tons of sliced mushrooms dry sauteed with three cloves of sliced garlic, sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt.

-Two sheets of nori seaweed dipped/soaked in my amazing pad thai sauce before I added it to my pad thai.



Well, if I do so say myself, I had an absolutely delectable day of eating. Enjoy, and don’t worry, more detailed WIAW to come!


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Creamy Brown Rice Pudding

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. A day off. There’s nothing like it, especially since days off are rare rare rare! This was only an occurrence because of the temperatures. No, it wasn’t too hot. I woke up to 50 degree weather, only to be swimming in an outdoor swim meet an hour later, yikes! Buuurrrrrr! Anyway, the risk of hypothermia was too high to have anyone in the pool I lifeguard at (I guess they didn’t care at my swim meet), let alone the ten lakes around Madison. So, no work. What to do, what to do? Well my friends, a work free, cloudy 55 degree July day sounds like the perfect opportunity to fire up the stove and make a big (or small) batch of creamy vegan brown rice pudding.¬†And that’s exactly what I did. The thought of stewing up a warm pot of rice pudding had been floating in my head for a while, and finally I was given the perfect opportunity to fulfill my desire. Based extremely loosely off a non-vegan, cream laden, white sugar and rice filled pudding I once made at the start of my culinary curiosity way back in middle school, I have created my own, super healthy, whole food, vegan brown rice pudding. Made simply with almond milk, brown basmati rice, and date sugar, with some vanilla thrown in for good (tasty) measure, I bring you my very own rendition of rice pudding. Whether you chose to enjoy this on ¬†90 degree day or a 2 degree day, this pudding will warm your heart and soul, and nourish you at the same time! Enjoy, my friends!


Brown Basmati Rice Pudding


-3/4 cup brown basmati rice

-1 1/2 cups water

-1/4 tsp. sea salt

-4 cups almond milk (unsweetened vanilla works great)

-1/4 cup date sugar

-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (use more if not using vanilla bean)

-seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)


1. Bring rice, water, and salt to a boil in a large (soup) pot. Turn heat down and simmer until all water has evaporated, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Add almond milk, date sugar, and vanilla extract. Then scrape in seeds of the vanilla bean and add vanilla bean to ‘steep’.

3. Stir and simmer uncovered for about 35 minutes, stir occasionally.

4. Remove pudding from heat, take out vanilla bean, and serve! Can be served warm or cold, you’re choice, they’re both great!



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Raw Zucchini Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Hi all! Welcome, welcome, I hope you’re all doing great! Now, I’ve got a question. What do you when you’re in a pinch because your starving and you have no desire to fire up the stove to cook up a time consuming whole grain? I know this always happens to you ;). Well, I’ll tell ya what I do, I uncook up a batch of raw zucchini pasta, then I make some fresh tomato sauce that I love to serve warm, plopped on top of my ‘pasta.’ I know, I know, everyone is always raving about raw zucchini pastas and such in this vegan blog-o-sphere. Maybe you’ve already had it, maybe you’ve not yet been convinced. But let me assure you, this recipe is stellar!!! It also couldn’t be easier! It took me a while before I finally made the plunge of making raw pastas (there’s really no plunge to take, this is just so easy, but… I like to exaggerate), however once I did, let me tell ya, I was in gastronomic heaven! This recipe is as easy as can be and it extremely variable. Especially the fresh tomato sauce, use as many tomatoes as you have, double it, half it, add extra herbs, add none. In fact the first time I ever made a tomato sauce, I used a recipe, I have since lost it, so I improvised and realized you really can’t go wrong. Well, unless you accidentally eat the whole recipe of sauce before you’re able to serve it with your pasta. Not that that has almost happened to me a few times now, ūüėČ shhhh!


Raw Zucchini Pasta



pinch of sea salt


1. Using a vegetable peeler, ¬†grate long linguine-esque ‘noodles’ from the zucchini. It is your choice if you choose to include the skin of the zucchini, I usually don’t simply because I enjoy the appearance and texture of this raw pasta more without it.

2. Sprinkle sea salt all over the zucchini pasta. Toss pasta with your hands to evenly distribute the salt.

Fresh Tomato Sauce


4-5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil (or use less)

3 garlic cloves, chopped

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

your choice of fresh or dried herbs (I enjoy basil and parsley)


1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, add chopped garlic, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute garlic until golden.

2. Add tomatoes and dried herbs if using. Mix everything with spoon to incorporate the garlic and salt.

3. Simmer sauce on low heat until mixture becomes ‘pasty’ and sauce like. The tomatoes will break down. I generally like a thinker sauce so I cook it a bit longer to get more tomato juice to evaporate, but feel free to stop whenever the sauce is to a consistency of your liking.

4. Turn off heat and stir in chopped fresh herbs.

*note: if you like a smoother sauce, puree in a blender until smooth, I have yet to do this so I can use this sauce as a pizza sauce!


Now, you can go ahead, combine the sauce and the pasta, and enjoy your pretty little self a huge guiltless plate of Italian comfort, healthy vegan style!


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Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes


This recipe could not be more simple or more tasty. Even if you don’t love potatoes, you will¬†love these, I know because I myself am not a huge potato fan, at all! However, while patronizing Madison’s downtown farmer’s market, I felt a strong urge to purchase some of the gorgeous new baby potatoes with speckled the stands of many vendors. So, I got my hands on some, created a simple recipe, and boy oh boy, did I enjoy these little gems.

I’ve already enjoyed these multiple ways, my favorites being 1. on a simple, fresh salad of baby lettuces, carrots, and tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a tiny sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt. and 2. piled on a small plate served with this amazing natural ketchup. I highly suggest both of these ways to consume the baby spuds, they will not disappoint!


Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes


– ~2 pounds tiny red baby potatoes

– one tablespoon olive oil

– 1/2 tsp. each of dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, Italian herb seasoning

– 1/4-1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt (or any other natural sea salt)


1. Either spear or cut potatoes in half, spread on baking sheet, and roast in a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. The time completely depends on the size of the potatoes and the oven used, when I make these, I don’t even set a timer, I simply check periodically and check the potatoes by piercing them with a fork to see if they are done.

2. Meanwhile, add olive oil, herbs, and salt to the bottom of a serving bowl. Mix mixture with a spoon.

3. When potatoes are finished, place in mixing bowl and with a spoon or your hands, completely coat the potatoes with the herb mixture.



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Deli Time! Vegan Temphe Rubens

Wow! It’s been a busy, busy summer so far. The frequency of my blogging is definitely not up to where I would like it, but that’s because I’ve been working like a money tree (a.k.a. I’ve been making tons of money so I can return to Europe with my friends, and hopefully also do an ayurvedic retreat in India next summer.) But hey, I must not complain saying that most of my time working is spent on the ten beaches around Madison, I’m a lifeguard. As you probably noticed, my ‘European Sampler Series’ hasn’t made much progress, but don’t give up hope yet my friends! For now I will leave you with a creation I put together from various recipes, Vegan Temphe Rubens! The idea of veganizing the classic Ruben sandwich had been tempting me for some time when I decided to bolt right into this wish of mine a week or so ago, and man oh man, were the results ever satisfying! A classic Ruben would include pastrami, Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut, all piled between two slices of toasted rye bread. But, hey, the only two things on that I would touch are the sauerkraut and the bread, but even the bread would probably be commercially made with tons of refined grains, yuk! So, I intervened with my veganizing skills and voila, a vegan Ruben we have! Complete with marinated, then sauteed temphe, loads of digestive pleasing sauerkraut, and a homemade vegan thousand island, these towering sandwiches hit my taste buds right on the spot!


Vegan Temphe Rubens


temphe marinade:

  • 1 package (8 oz.) temphe, cut 1/4 in. slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp mesquite liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp juniper berries (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)

vegan thousand island dressing:

  • 1/2 cup ‘almonnaise’
  • 1 1/2 tbsp natural ketchup
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry ground mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh chopped chives
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice


-whole grain caraway rye bread (I used fresh bread from the Farmer’s Market)



1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag, add temphe slices, zip the bag, coat evenly, and marinate up to 24 hours.

2. Place all dressing ingredients in a high speed blender, blend until combined.

3. Assemble Ruben by toasting two pieces of caraway rye bread, then generously slather one piece with thousand island dressing, pile a huge mound of sauerkraut on top. On the other slice, layer temphe to the amount you desire. (I was able to make four sandwiches from my 8 oz. package of te

mphe.) Press slices together to make a sandwich.

*notes*¬†In the process of making the thousand island, I ended up making three ‘sauces’ in total, them being the dressing itself, a natural ketchup from includingcake.com, and almonnaise from Dreena Burton’s book Let Them Be¬†


Vegan! The later two both turned out great so I sug

gest if you can find time, make them as well, your taste buds will thank you!

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Sunflower Seed Milk from a new Series: Eating vegan on a budget

As an interlude to my new series regarding my European excursion, I have decided to start a new series, one which I hope will be very helpful to many. I call it: Eating vegan on a budget. The affordability and cheapness of vegan and vegetarian diets is more often than not praised among other reasons as to why one should go veg. I however, disagree. An average, healthy vegan diet may be cheaper than one including copious amounts of caviar, fancy cheeses, and high quality fish and steak for dinner every night. However, last time I checked, these weren’t the foods that made up the average carnivores diet, more like the diet of an unethical millionaire. To be more fair with the “vegan diets are just so affordable” argument, I think we need to compare it to the average American non-vegan diet. A day consisting of commercially produced sugary cereal with cows milk and oj from a frozen concentrate for breakfast, a pb&j sandwich made with reduced fat Skippy peanut butter and smuckers jelly with pretzels, a clementine, and a chocolate milk for lunch, and chicken stir-fry with white rice for dinner, unfortunately costs very little. My point being, to be “fed” on junk food may be the only way some people find it possible to pay their bills. Even the thought of purchasing five times the past amount of vegetables and fruit, along with a whole new world of beans, tofu, and temphe could cause fear that that much needed winter coat may have to wait. I know from experience that simply switching over to a vegetarian diet is costly, stocking the pantry does not come cheap with all kinds of new beans, grains, veggies and fruits, oh and don’t forget the greens that need purchasing. Now, I must intervene and clarify that a big reason I decided to go veg was the abundance of health benefits this lifestyle has to offer, therefore there was no way one could catch me eating meat-free pizza and potato chips for dinner, no-sir-y. Yes, that would fit into the category of vegetarian, however healthful and nourishing, no way Jose! My point is, to be able to be as healthy as you can be, a bit more than a green pepper and a bag of carrots are going to have to make up your weeks vegetable allotment, and big bags of brown rice and black beans, believe it or not, tend to cost more than the frozen chicken breasts and wonder bread many call their grain and protein. I realize that in many developing countries, those types of processed foods are simply not available and the poor do thrive off beans and whole grains, but at the moment, my argument is in regards to the U.S. Anyway, my aim of this new series is to offer tips of how to thrive off a vegan diet while not spending tons and tons on food. It may seem hard at points when there are row after row of health food brands of cereals, crackers, super-foods, nut milks, bars, ect. that all seem to come in eye pleasing packaging, not to mention, a hefty price tag, and the up-rise of veg restaurants makes it easier and more fun to eat out, but I assure you, non of these are necessary to eat vegan on a budget, and still be happy and healthy!

To start things out, I will provide you with instructions to make your very own sunflower seed milk. I started making my own almond milk after wishing to reduce even further the amount of processed foods I consume. However, the price tag of all the almonds I was using for my daily usage of non-dairy milk was not very wallet pleasing. Luckily, a light bulb went of in my head and I thought, hey, why don’t I try and make a milk from one of the cheapest ‘nuts’, well seeds, around, the sunflower seed. So I tried my idea out, and ended up being happily surprised with my results.

This seed milk definitely had a strong hint of sunflower seeds, but give it a few tries if you don’t enjoy it at first, the taste really grows on you. And if you are one to simply use non-dairy milks in baking and cooking, you won’t even notice the difference! Another warning, this milk separates a lot after sitting, a not very appealing look I might add. Just shake up your jar though, and¬†ta-da! your sunflower seed milk is ready to drink again! Enjoy!


Sunflower Seed Milk:


-1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked

-4 cups water (plus more for soaking seeds)


-soak seeds in water over night

-add soaked seeds and 4 cups water to a high-speed blender

-blend for about a minute until completely smooth

-drain mixture in a nut milk bag over a large bowl to collect milk

-store milk in a large, sealed glass jar and refrigerate

*will last about a week in the fridge

*a high-speed blender works best with this recipe

*if desired, add flavorings such as vanilla, cinnamon, or dates



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European Sampler Preview

Having just returned from my two week excursion to France, Spain, and Italy, I am now more than eager to share the delightfullness of my travels. I have decided to break my trip up into sections. City by city, I will be sharing both my gastronomical experiences, as well as my more travel related ones. However, in my opinion eating is a huge part of travel and therefore also fits in the later category! All in all, my mom, my aunt, and I were able to experience the individual habits and way of life of eight (well technically 13) stunning European cities and villages. Throughout each post I hope to inspire all to get out and see the world through travel, and that doing so in a non-violent manner, a.k.a. sans animal food, is more than possible and honestly way more fulfilling and enjoyable (not to mention figure-flattering and way healthier!) Check back frequently for a more complete overview of vegan culture, picnicking, and restaurant dining in each individual city, (one which I soon hope to call my home!) If you don’t recall, my plans for the very near future entail my permanent move to ¬†some European country. (After this trip, which I used a bit as a “house hunter” of sorts, I am thinking I will call Italy my home in four years.)

Starting this series will be Paris, the city of lights, and vegan food! Stay tune until my next post to learn more about this Paris’ vegan & vegetarian restaurant outburst and well as a review of my opinion of what sights to see, and not to see in this hustling, bustling city.


Plant lined balcony in San Sebantian, Spain


Wheatgrass shot in Paris, France


My mom and I overlooking Florence, Italy

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