Tag Archives: broccoli

The Swing of Things

I’m starting to get into the swing of things as my new role as student.

And, really, my lunches are not that different from my days as a working woman. Aside from the fact that I no longer have an overflowing snack drawer available (which is, admittedly, a loss), I eat my usual.

Who knew? 

Before I share this week’s lunch post, breakfast. I kept things simple and delicious with a good ole’ Hippie Smoothie with kale.

A lovely start to the day. Easily digestible plant-based protein, lots of fruit, antioxidants, dark, leafy greens…you can’t go wrong!

In fact, this has been my breakfast almost every morning this week. I usually make it the night before and store it in the fridge because I don’t have the time or energy in the A.M. to use (read: clean) my food processor.

Grab and go.

And now on to my last week in lunches. Which is really my lunches from two weeks ago, as I missed posting last Monday. And this Monday. Ha.

Better late than never, right?

MONDAY 

Tofu-Avocado wrap (original recipe here) on a whole wheat tortilla with alfalfa sprouts.

Nothing new here, but tasty as always.

I also whipped up some back-to-school special no-bake granola bars, based on Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed Oat Bars

As much as I love Larabars, I like to keep my bar consumption to a minimum for a couple of reasons: 1) I prefer to eat real food where possible and 2) I like to keep my wallet in tact.

So I gave these bars a whirl–with a few changes of my own.

Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bars

Adapted from Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed and Oat Bars

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup raw cacoa nibs (can replace with carob/chocolate chips)
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • generous 1/3 cup brown rice syrup

If this ingredients list seems slightly overwhelming, check out Gena’s version which is even simpler! And feel free to make the recipe your own; you can go a lot of directions with these bars.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix nut butter(s) and sweeteners, then stir into dry ingredients until well-combined. Press mixture down into a baking dish. Cover with saran wrap to really push down evenly without getting your fingers sticky. Refrigerate for at least four hours before cutting into squares and wrapping individually.

They are totally delicious. My only complaint is that they are a bit sweet for my taste–but it’s hard to get around this as the sweetener is necessary to hold the bars together. So they are a total treat.I store them in the freezer and by the time lunch (or snack time) rolls around, these are ready to enjoy! Yum.

TUESDAY

Half a sprouted grain tortilla with Creamy Hummus (recipe here). Salad with greens, white beans, cucumber, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, leftover millet, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with Gena’s hemp pesto mixed with a bit of olive oil and a balsamic vinegar. No-bake granola bar. Apple.

WEDNESDAY

Veggie pasta salad. Apple.

The pasta salad was made from leftover whole wheat penne and veggies from the night before–with broccoli, onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. In the morning, I added white beans, toasted sunflower seeds, and dressed it with a bit of olive oil and balsamic.

Delicious–and such an easy lunch!

Dessert was a no-bake granola bar.

Yep, these are yummy.

THURSDAY

Apple. Salad with greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, white beans, garbanzo beans, leftover millet, chopped kale–dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, s + p. Half a sprouted grain wrap with peanut butter and banana slices.

This salad was simple–but so good. Sometimes everything comes together so well.

Here’s an inside look at the wrap. Love.

FRIDAY

TJ’s roasted seaweed snack. Almond butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. Apple.

I went with the AB&J sandwich because I was out of groceries–but it ended up hitting the spot.

A great note to end on.

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack to pack in your lunch lately?  

(Or am I the only one that gets super excited about snacks?! Feel free to sound the nerd alert. ;) )

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All Things Running + Pasta Primavera

Good news: I’ve added a new page to Unmitigated Grub! Can you spot it?

Yep, it’s the Run tab.

As you’ve probably deduced, Run is a space for all my running-related posts–including pre- and post-workout fuel, nutrition, injuries, marathon training, gear, and more–meant to serve as a resource of sorts. The info is certainly not prescriptive; it’s all based on my personal experiences, but hopefully having it all in one place will come in handy. Check it out!

Speaking of which…

Saturday I completed another long run for my marathon training. And by long I mean 14 miles–longer than any distance I’ve raced before (a half marathon being the longest).

I was slightly nervous about the run–but it went really well. In fact, I loved it. I mapped out a run that took me around the Prospect Park loop, through two boroughs (Brooklyn and Manhattan), across two bridges (the Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Bridges), and back home.

It was a total adventure. :)

And now that I’m getting into the long long distances, I’ve started experimenting with how best to fuel my body for the marathon–before, during, and after.

The morning of my run, I woke up early to have a chia seed pudding concoction I had created the previous night–complete with chia seeds and almond milk (for hydration and healthy fats), dates (quick energy), banana (quick energy + potassium), a splash of lemon (alkalizing and aids in digestion), and sea salt (to counter the loss of sodium through sweat). I also drizzled some blackstrap molasses over it all (for quick energy + an iron boost). Agave would work well, too.

This might sound like a strange combination, but I wasn’t going for the Most Delicious Breakfast Award.

Or the prettiest. Ha.

I was going for what would get me through the run. And it was actually tasty–sweet and light. Here’s what I did.

Pre-Run Chia Seed Pudding

  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • a drizzle of blackstrap molasses or agave syrup (optional)
  • a small spoonful of almond butter (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mash banana in bowl. Add chia seeds, milk, chopped dates, lemon, and sea salt. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or until it gels up into a pudding, at least a half hour).

2. If desired, drizzle molasses or agave and top with a small amount of almond butter. Enjoy!

I ate this about an hour before I took off–and to be honest, I don’t think that was enough time for me. Let’s just say I had some digestive issues early on in the run. I will spare you the details.

You’re welcome. ;)

Aside from the aforementioned issues, the run went smoothly and felt great. I had my water bottle filled with water, a bit of lemon, and a touch of agave. I also brought a chocolate Gu packet.

I’d like to find more natural methods of fueling during my runs–and hope to make my own gel or quick energy bars–but, I must say, I do love Gu. It tastes like a chocolate brownie and for whatever reason that does not gross me out while I’m running. I busted it out around mile 10 or 11 and it provided a nice boost of energy.

And after the run I enjoyed a lot of water, stretching, and Brendan’s Recovery Pudding–this time with Sunwarrior protein powder instead of Vega.

It hit the spot as usual. So delicious!

The night before the run was all about carbs.

I’m a big fan of carbo-loading. And loving. ;)

I whipped up a veggie-filled pasta dish based on this recipe–and whatever I had on hand. Plus hummus because that makes everything more delicious.

Vegan Pasta Primavera

Serves 4 (or more as a side) 

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup kale (or 3-4 stalks), stems removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 pepper (I used green)
  • 1-2 cups almond milk (I used about 1.5)
  • 3 T whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)
  • sea salt + freshly ground pepper, to taste

* Note: Any veggies would work in this recipe, so use your favorites!

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onion, garlic, and pepper and saute until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add flour, dried basil, some s + p, hummus, and the almond milk–1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly over medium-low heat to form a sauce. Stir in nutritional yeast.

2. Meanwhile, lightly steam broccoli and carrots, then add to the sauce. Toss in the frozen peas and kale and stir until kale is wilted and peas are heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add more s + p as needed.

4. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, reserving a bit of cooking liquid. Combine veggies/sauce with pasta and stir well. Add in pasta liquid for desired consistency (I added about 1/3 cup; for a thicker sauce, omit). Top with fresh basil, if using.

5. Enjoy!

Lots of veggies. Lots of carbs.

What’s not to love?

What’s your favorite thing to eat before you workout? 

Runners: What’s your fuel of choice during longer runs? 

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Fancy Headbands and Foodie Heaven: A Vegan Abroad

As my weekend in London was a bit of a whirlwind, it wasn’t very tourist-y–often the best kind of trip. :)

I stayed with Tom and his family in their beautiful home.

Tom’s mom kindly stocked the kitchen full of vegan goodies–including cinnamon and hummus because she knew I was a fiend for both.

It was so sweet! And such fun exploring all the new-to-me products.

My breakfasts consisted of marmalade granola with rice milk.

Yum! Slightly orange-y and sweet–and the hazelnuts were a delicious touch.

This bowl was devoured after a lovely run through the neighborhood…

Hit the spot!

And, of course, I had to try the peanut butter.

This actually reminded me a little bit of Skippy or Peter Pan. Very creamy.

Yum. 

As I’m always on the look out for new nut butters, if you have a favorite British brand, let me know!

And, of course, there was tea.

Loved these both.

For dinner my first night, Tom’s mom cooked a lovely meal with wild rice, fresh chili, sesame oil, and toasted cashews, served with sauteed broccoli.

So. Good! The chili and toasted cashews were a nice touch.

Dessert was vegan, gluten-free ice cream from FreeFrom.

What a treat–we all thought it tasted great.

Even the wedding was vegan-friendly. I may have been the only American present, but I was not the only plant-based eater. Woo!

The vegan option was a stuffed pepper–and it was tasty!

I also enjoyed salad, rice, and bread on the side–but forgot to sneak a photo.

How pretty is the cake?

Obviously it wasn’t vegan, but I had nature’s candy for dessert.

Perfect.

The wedding itself was beautiful and so much fun. It took place at Carew Manor, in a building dating back to 1500 (so much history across the pond!) on what turned out to be a lovely day.

The bride looked gorgeous.

And Tom took his best man duties seriously.

Once the his (awesome) speech was over, he finally relaxed and enjoyed the day.

I didn’t end up getting a fascinator like I’d considered (maybe next time!), but Tom’s sister and I picked out some fancy headbands. Or Alice bands, as they’re called in England. ;)

The wedding was full of fascinators, though, so in retrospect I may have been able to pull it off. Tom’s mom rocked a pretty one.

Sunday was a lazy day around the house with an afternoon at the pub to meet friends.

Then it was already time to go back to New York. Whirlwind indeed.

Luckily, I got to take my “best man” back with me. :)

P.S. For those wondering whether or not my Almond-Coconut Oat Balls ended up being confiscated at the airport, they safely made the journey!

And Tom’s family all loved the “vegan balls” I offered them. ;) Success!

Happy Friday! 

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It’s That Time Again

As in, lunchtime!

Okay, maybe not yet; it’s a bit on the early side. But in five or so hours it will be, so get. excited. 

Not that lunch is not the most exciting meal of the day, but we’ll go with it! ;)

Before I get into this week’s lunch post, let’s have some breakfast, eh? This morning I woke up randomly ravenous, so I was happy to have a simple chia seed pudding waiting for me in the fridge.

Lovely–and nothing you haven’t seen before.

In the mix: 1 mashed banana, 2 Tbs chia seeds, 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used coconut milk this time), 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)–all left to gel up overnight in the fridge. In the morning I topped with blueberries. Mmmm.

Okay, now it’s time for lunch.

MONDAY

Roasted seaweed snack.  Quinoa salad with cilantro-tahini dressing. Strawberries.

Let’s take a look at that quinoa salad.

I started with quinoa + chickpeas.

Then I added some chopped veggies.

Then I doused with cilantro-tahini dressing (recipe below) and topped with toasted sunflower seeds.

Yum! Fresh, flavorful, and filling. What more do you need in a meal?

And about that dressing…

Cilantro-Tahini Dressing

Adapted from Angela’s Tahini-Lemon Dressing 

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • juice from 1.5 lemons
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • about 1/4 cup water, or enough for desired consistency
  • sea salt + freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
  • generous handful of cilantro, stems and all
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Eat–on anything!

This was delicious on the quinoa salad, which I enjoyed for a couple lovely dinners, but it would also work in any salad, in wraps, atop veggies–the sky’s the limit. I’m pretty sure it’ll make anything taste even better. ;)

Okay, back to lunch. I’m getting carried away with this salad.

TUESDAY

Apple. Salad with mixed greens, carrot, raw broccoli, raw grated beets, cucumber, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds, and garlic sesame tempeh–dressed with a bit of olive oil, ume plum vinegar, and freshly ground pepper. Carrot sticks. Whole wheat wrap with TJ’s cilantro-jalapeño hummus.

Love this hummus.

And this salad was outstanding. It was underdressed, it wasn’t soggy (I love when I get the dressing just right!), and it had a lot of great textures going on. 

Perfection.

WEDNESDAY

Carrot sticks. Cilantro-jalapeño hummus. Apple.

And a repeat of Tuesday’s salad

Had to be done!

THURSDAY

Pear. Whole wheat wrap. Carrot sticks.

For the wrap I started with the usual: avo + hummus.

Then I piled on the toppings: mixed greens, carrots, beets, broccoli, cucumber, toasted sunflower seeds, and TJ’s savory tofu. 

A lot of crunch. :)

FRIDAY

I just brought an apple, as I had had a lunch date.

But when that fell through, I made a date with my usual Pret instead.

A little miso soup.

And a veggie wrap with hummus, avocado, beets, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, greens, and garbanzo beans. I don’t know how they fit it all in, but I like it. :)
And that wraps up my last week in lunches.

(Not only is that a really bad pun, but I’ve used it before. Recently. Ha. I can’t help it!)

What’s in your lunch box today? 

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Simple Staple

I had big plans this weekend to make a fresh, summer-y, sprouted quinoa salad.

I was excited.

But let’s just say, the sprouting process did not go as planned. If you follow me on twitter, this is not news.

But fret not, friends–I have not given up! I just need a new plan of action before jumping back on the horse. I’m sure I’ll share the whole story as soon as it has a happy ending.

As this latest kitchen #fail came on the coattails of my baking mistake and immediately preceded a batch of garbanzo beans (soon-to-be-homemade-hummus) that soured while soaking overnight (grrr), I’ve been in need of some comforting, easy food.

My banana oat muffins help.

So does store-bought hummus.

I also turned to my go-to dinner meal. My staple. The meal I eat when sprouting goes awry. When I’m too tired to think. When I want clean, nourishing food. When I’ve run out of inspiration.

The meal I’ve been known to, at times, enjoy multiple times per week. (I go through phases.)

It’s brown rice (cooked, not sprouted ha) and steamed broccoli. That’s it. And it’s topped with toasted sunflower seeds and a few drops of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).

I told you it was simple.

The only thing that takes time is cooking the rice (and not even that long!)–but often I’ll have leftovers in the fridge from a batch I made earlier in the week.

If I have it on hand, I’ll add tofu (TJ’s savory) or tempeh. Last night, I added some garlic sesame tempeh to the plate.

Sometimes I’ll switch up the vegetable and go with kale or bok choy. And although fresh is always beter, if I have zero greens in the house, I turn to my frozen broccoli stash and steam away, making this a meal I can make when I’m low on groceries.

And it always involves toasted sunflower seeds–they really make the meal. I rinse and drain about a cup of sunflower seeds, placed them in a frying pan and toast on medium heat, stirring frequently, until they become fragrant and begin to pop. Then I remove them from the heat, sprinkle in a few drops of tamari (soy sauce), and stir to coat every seed.

I store in an air-tight container in the fridge and add them to everything–rice, salads, wraps.

Ever since learning this technique from The Kind Diet, there’s hardly a week I don’t have a batch of these on hand.

Simple, but sometimes that’s exactly what I want.

I’ve also been known to down a bowl of granola for dinner, or eat simply hummus and bread, but this is one of my favorite healthy staples.

Speaking of simple…

Dessert anyone?

Banana soft serve is back! Processed with a bit of cashew butter (yum!) and topped with lots of fruit and cacoa nibs, this is the perfect summer treat.

All is not lost. :)

What’s your go-to dinner staple?

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What I Eat When I Have No Groceries

Doesn’t it seem like I just shared a lunch post? Maybe it’s because I did. ;) Now that I’m back on schedule, it’s time again.

Given my busy Memorial Day Weekend, I went into the last work week unprepared. No clean house. No groceries. No food prepped.

Not ideal, but I rolled with it. Totally worth the fun weekend.

After a very busy start to the week, I didn’t end up picking up groceries until Thursday night! How I managed three days with little to no food in the house is beyond me, but it happened.

While I don’t recommend delaying a grocery trip, the experience did force me to get a little creative. Sometimes it worked, other times…not so much.

So as you read this week’s lunch post, consider yourselves warned. ;)

But first, I’ll share today’s breakfast, which was devoured after a lovely morning run. I love running in the mornings during the summer because it’s light out–and so much easier to get out of bed.

I enjoyed a hemp chia seed pudding that was absolutely perfect.

Subtly sweet, light, yet filling.

In the mix: 1 banana, mashed, 2 heaping Tbs chia seeds, 1/2 cup hemp milk, 2 Tbs hemp protein powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut, and a few drops of stevia.

A wonderful post-run breakfast: Chia seeds are hydrating and provide healthy fats, bananas offer potassium, and the hemp is an easily digestible form of plant-based protein.

With this delicious breakfast, a decent run under my belt, a clean apartment, and a well-stocked kitchen, I already feel a bit better going into this week. :)

Here is my last week in lunches…

MONDAY

Black bean hummus snack plate with mixed greens, mushrooms, red peppers, olives, and fresh bread. Sly Fox hefeweizen. 

No, I was not at work. It was Memorial Day and, after a visit to Prospect Park, my brother, his girlfriend, Tom, and I wandered into Park Slope for some beer and snacks in the sun.

The black bean hummus was amazing. And my summery beer was delicious and refreshing.

Tuesday was back to reality.

TUESDAY

AB&J (almond butter and jam) sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted bread. Apple (my last one!).

As I’ve said before, PB&J is my default lunch option; not surprisingly, it was the first thing I turned to. Easy to throw together and delicious. The Artisana almond butter was a delicious change.

By the afternoon, my stomach was grumbling, so I turned to my snack stash for a new-to-me banana walnut Gnu bar.

Loved the flavor and texture! And the nutritional stats are pretty great–decent ingredients list, high in fiber, 4 grams of protein, and a good source of iron. I’d definitely get this again.

WEDNESDAY

Half a Hippie Smoothie with kale (recipe here)–the other half I enjoyed with breakfast. Spicy Power-fu Salad Sandwich from the deli.

Though I didn’t have time to get groceries, I did do a mini shop at the bodega the night before for fresh kale so I could at least get in some greens. That’s when I picked up this wild card sandwich. I’ve seen these “egg” salad sandwiches around, and have always been curious about them. To avoid two PB&Js in a row, I thought this week would be a perfect time to try it out.

The verdict? Not good. Not good at all.

It is as gross as it looks. Ha. I used to love egg salad sandwiches, so I was hoping I would love this. Not so much. It was okay, but the bread was a little soggy and the filling was…strange. Not terrible, but not great. It did have some crunch, which was nice, but the flavor was off.

I managed to make it a little over halfway before I decided I had had enough and tossed it. Luckily, I also packed a Two Moms in a Raw blueberry granola bar.

This was yummy as always, perfectly filling, and helped get rid of the memory of the sandwich.

I have struck out twice now with egg salad sandwich imitations! I tried making my own when I was first transitioning to veganism and had to toss that one, too. I think a redemption is in order. (If anyone has a favorite recipe for egg salad sandwiches, let me know!) Third time’s a charm, right?

Anyway. On with the week!

THURSDAY

Dry roasted almonds. Kale + TJ’s cumin and chili chickpeas with toasted sunflower seeds. Dried apricots.

The leftover ready-made cumin and chili chickpeas from Trader Joe’s that Tom had for dinner the night before saved me.

I first steamed some kale.

Then added the well-seasoned chickpeas and topped with toasted sunflower seeds. The result was delicious, filling, and healthy. I love a good shortcut!

FRIDAY

I have groceries! Hallelujah! Salad BEAST. Apple. 

I had been craving a salad all week, so as soon as I had a plethora of fresh veggies at my disposal, this beast was made. Don’t you just love that first day you get groceries–when you have so many options?  

In the mix: mixed greens, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, chopped carrots, steamed asparagus, TJ’s savory tofu, and toasted sunflower seeds.

It was large and in-charge. The steamed asparagus was a really nice addition! 

I dressed the salad with my vegan ceasar dressing I made the night before. I loooovvvvee this dressing. So freaking good. Yummmm.

The dressing also found its way on a bowl of steamed broccoli and mushrooms later for dinner. So. good!

Somehow I was still hungry after my lunch, and a classic cashew cookie Larabar hit the spot. One of my favorite Larabar flavors.

I survived the week–and even flourished on Friday!

Do you ever go without groceries for a period of time? How long can you last without restocking? I think my mini trip to get kale helped prolong a bigger shop. Having ready-made meals like the chickpea dish helped me through as well.

What foods do you usually eat when you’re low in groceries? I like to have my freezer stocked with frozen veggies and a couple meal options for weeks like this.

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I Heart NY

The great thing about living in New York City is that it’s so big, there’s always something you haven’t seen or done (a.k.a. fun to be had!). I love when family and friends visit because, first of all, I get to hang out with them, but also because it’s a total excuse to spend time with the city.

This past weekend with my brother and his girlfriend’s visit was no exception.

The weekend was full of (among other things)…

D.I.Y. TOURS

Instead of a bus tour, we opted to explore the city on bikes.

Over the Brooklyn Bridge…

…up the west side…

…to Central Park.

which is worse: helmets or helmet hair?

And, of course, we stopped to refuel with beer and grub on the way back at a bar/cafe right along the Hudson–perfect.

Because it was a casual spot, I was slightly concerned the food would consist of fries and hot dogs. But I found hummus! :)

Okay, so it wasn’t the very best hummus I’ve ever tasted, but it totally hit the spot. I never thought I’d say this, but it was too garlicky! Did not know that was possible.

But washed down with a cold, refreshing beer in the sun while overlooking the river, I was unfazed. :)

We also fit into the weekend a boat tour (read: we rode the free Staten Island Ferry) and got a closer look at Lady Liberty.

Another lovely day.

AMAZING SUSHI

New York has a million sushi places, and, really, it’s hard to go wrong. We went to a small B.Y.O.B. place in the East Village called Akina Sushi. I’d been before and it didn’t disappoint.

Edamame for the table.

Miso soup.

Love love love.

Sushi feast!

Rows of rolls.

And now for my brown rice veggie sushi which got its own plate…

I ordered the cucumber, asparagus, avocado roll as well as the sweet potato roll–two of my faves. Yum!

ZOMBIE PARADES? 

Only in New York.

Hundreds of zombies strolled on by us in Williamsburg, no. big. deal.

They were all in character, too! Apparently they were headed to the park to “blood wrestle,” take part in a zombie burlesque show (which featured the removal of body parts), and, well, hang out with other zombies.

Sweet.

VEGAN DINING

We ended up going to Wild Ginger one night, a delicious vegan restaurant that you may remember me talking about before. Funnily enough, I didn’t actually choose or even suggest the restaurant (it was Briana’s friend’s pick), so it was a pleasant surprise for me. :)

I love how their mains always come with either salad or miso soup.

I think you can guess which one I went for.

I can’t pass up miso!

I’ll share each of our mains because I can. :) And because they were all blog-worthy.

Black pepper seitan with broccoli rabe, served with brown rice–one of my personal favorite dishes.

The General Tso’s Soy Protein with broccoli, served with brown rice.

Shredded Moo Shu Vegetables with wrappers. (This tasted so amazing as leftovers; thanks, Briana!)

And lastly, the orange seitan with broccoli, served with brown rice.

Everyone left very happy. Success!

I realized I really need to branch out next time I go; there’s so much on the menu I still want to try!

BREATHTAKING VIEWS

We headed up to one of our favorite rooftop bars for a view of the city–Rare View.

Who needs to go up the Empire State when you can enjoy the view of it from a lovely rooftop?

Speaking of great views, we ended the weekend with Alma–which you probably remember me raving about here.

A rare view indeed. This place is a true gem.

The menu didn’t have the seitan tacos I loved last time, but I wasn’t disappointed for long because the vegetarian fajitas sounded amazing.

Delicious margaritas, fresh chips and salsa, yada yada yada–let’s cut to the chase.

Check out that spread! Grilled mushrooms, squash, and chayote (a type of Mexican squash), fresh salsa, creamy avocado, lettuce, and a side of grilled asparagus.

Delicioso!

Slightly blurry photo, but at least it captures the glow of the city, right? Right!

We may not have gotten in much peeking this visit, but, as promised, we did have a lot of great food!

It was a lovely way to end an epic weekend with great company. I really wish they didn’t live so far away! Tom and I will just have to plan another trip to San Francisco! ;)

What was the highlight of your last weekend? 

Happy Friday! 

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First Things First

Chocolate for breakfast.

A fabulous way to start the week.

I had picked up a single serving of Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer Chocolate a while back, so I added it to my overnight oats.

And this is what happened.

Mmmmm. A whole new Peanut Butter Cup bowl! (It’s been done, but it never gets old!)

In the mix: 1 ripe banana, mashed, 1/2 cup oats, 1 packet of chocolate Vega, 1/2 cup hemp milk. Stir, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Top with peanut butter.

Okay, now that chocolate is in my system, we can talk lunch. ;)

Here is my last week in lunches…

MONDAY 

Apple slices with cinnamon. Leftover Azuki Bean-Brown Rice Salad with Kabocha Squash (recipe here), topped with avocado and sesame seeds. Gotta love leftovers!

TUESDAY

Orange slices. Tofu-Avocado Wrap. Ironwoman trail mix (recipe here).

I spruced up my favorite wrap recipe this time with radishes and cucumbers.

Extra crunch! 

WEDNESDAY

Apple slices with cinnamon. Salad with mixed greens, more Azuki Bean-Brown Rice Salad with Kabocha Squash, avocado, radishes, toasted sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. AND a peanut butter banana pretzel ball (recipe here).

I guess wrap Wednesday didn’t happen this week!

THURSDAY

Sliced apples with cinnamon. Wrap on a whole wheat tortilla with garlic hummus, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, radishes, edamame, and toasted sunflower seeds. Pretzels. 

Let’s get a look inside that wrap.

Delish.

FRIDAY

Apple. Garlic hummus topped with edamame and hemp seeds. Broccoli. Radishes. Whole wheat pita. 

It’s not easy to estimate the ratio of hummus to dippers. My rule of thumb: When in doubt, bring a LOT of hummus.

For shits and giggles, which day of the week looks best to you? 

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Bright And Early

Good morning!

I am up and at ‘em early today as I have another physical therapy session at 8am (whose bright idea was that?).

I am so not a morning person (though I really really wish I was; it would make my life so much easier!), so I created an OOIAJ breakfast that I could pack and eat at work.

There’s almond butter somewhere in there, I promise. Also in the mix: half a ripe banana, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup hemp milk, spoonful of hemp seeds, spoonful of flaxseed, cinnamon, pepitas, almonds, and raisins.

Before I left the house, OOIAJ in tow, I had this to tide me over.

A Peanut Butter Banana Pretzel Ball. Mmmm. And half a banana. I can’t commute without a lil somethingsomething in my stomach!

Now to my lunch eats, because that is what Mondays are all about. To catch up on former lunch posts, click here; to see where it all began, check out this post.

Here is my last week in lunches…

MONDAY

Apple slices with cinnamon. Yellow and orange peppers. Cilantro jalapeño hummus. Whole Wheat mini pitas.

This lunch was all about dippage. Crunchy veggies, hearty pitas, delicious hummus. Simple, but great.

TUESDAY

Apple slices with cinnamon and a coconut peanut butter concoction. Salad with mixed greens, leftover beer-braised brussels sprouts, quinoa, black beans, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with vegan ceasar dressing.

Tuesday called for an afternoon snack so I obliged: dry roasted cashews.

Terrible photo, but tasty snack! :)

WEDNESDAY

Kicking off Wrap Wednesday with a Black Bean Hummus-Sweet Potato Wrap. Apple slices with cinnamon.

The wrap was simple. Start with a generous dollop of black bean hummus on a whole wheat tortilla. Add leftover baked sweet potato and mixed greens.

Wrap and enjoy.

THURSDAY

Newman’s unsalted pretzels. I-Swear-You-Can’t-Taste-the-Broccoli Smoothie (recipe here). Apple.

I put the smoothie in an old peanut butter jar and stored it in the mini fridge in our office.

I wasn’t sure if a smoothie for lunch would hold me over, but it was actually really filling–and so delicious! I may have gotten some weird looks from drinking blue/green stuff from a peanut butter jar, but it was totally worth it. ;)

FRIDAY

Apple slices with cinnamon. Salad with mixed greens, spinach, grape tomatoes, cucumber, TJ’s savory tofu, a broken up Livin’ Spoonful Coconut Curry Raw Cracker, TJ’s raw seaweed snack, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed wtih olive oil, ume plum vinager, and a bit of vegan ceasar dressing. Half a whole wheat pocketless pita with chunky black bean hummus.

This was my first time trying this seaweed snack and it was really good. Crisp and flavorful.

A lot of different textures means a great salad.

Yum.

I ended up saving my apple for later as this was a filling meal.

And another one week bites the dust. :)

Are you a morning person?

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Secrets Are No Fun

…unless they’re shared with everyone! Thus, today I will be spilling a few secrets.

Secret: As much as I love cooking, I sometimes love not cooking even more.

Like when it’s Monday.

And I’m tired.

Amy’s to the rescue!

I had this with a slice of Ezekiel sprouted bread, toasted and spread with tahini, because, let’s be honest, these bowls are not a full meal!

Pretty good, but I mean…are they kidding??

And three bites later…. :)

Secret: I don’t always rinse my quinoa. I know I’m supposed to, but it’s such a tricky process and I always lose so many little pseudograins along the way! I try to buy the no-rinse kind for this reason.

I like shortcuts.

[And now I will also be searching for fair trade certified quinoa. Here's why.]

Secret: I’m at work right now. Don’t tell my bosses. ;)

Hehe just kidding. Well, I am at work, but I actually wrote this post last night, while icing my hip injury.

Secret: I iced my injury/butt with frozen edamame. Is that gross?

Meh.

Secret: Yesterday I had a smoothie with a very secret ingredient.

I’m almost scared to share, because it’s not going to sound good.

But it is masked with lovely banana, Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer Vanilla Chai, frozen blueberries….You can’t even taste it, I swear!

“You can’t even taste it, I swear!” What a great way to preface a recipe, huh? HA.

So what’s the secret ingredient?

Frozen broccoli.

Such a great way to get your greens! Read allll about the innumerable benefits of broccoli here.

If you love green monsters, you just may like this, too. Or maybe you’ve even tried it before! I usually use spinach myself to boost my smoothies (like in this green monster bowl of oats). So why not broccoli?

And you totally can’t taste it.

Don’t believe me? Try it.

I-Swear-You-Can’t-Even-Taste-the-Broccoli-Smoothie

DIRECTIONS: Blend until well-combined (I used a food processor). Enjoy!

Just remember: looks can be deceiving. And so can taste!

Delicious! The Vanilla Chai Vega is really yummy and totally overpowered the broccoli.

And it’s such a healthy way start to the day; you can never eat too many greens!

I dare you to try this.

So what’s your secret?

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