Category Archives: Lunch

Free At Last

Well, hello there! How are you on this beautiful Monday? It’s been much too long since we last chatted!

Now that senior testing week and AP exams are over, I’m finally free. I still have one month of school left before I graduate, but it is going to be pretty chill. Instead of going to classes like usual, I am doing an internship at my school’s early childhood center. I look forward to waking up each morning, knowing that I get to play with 16 loveable, sweet, energetic 4-and-5-year-olds all day long.

This weekend was devoted to recovering lost sleep (I’m still greatly in debt!), college shopping with my mom, and just enjoying the smile beauty of summer. Because of that, I haven’t been concocting anything too blog worthy lately. However, I would still like to share a few things I have been enjoying amidst studying.

Now that summer is here to stay, my salad cravings have been out of control. I enjoyed both of these salads (one with roasted asparagus, the other with roasted broccoli and carrots) right before AP exams.

There were the perfect light, fresh foods to keep me fueled through 6 (yes, SIX!) grueling hours of testing.

I was also lucky enough to enjoy big, succulent long-stem strawberries from my great uncle. For Christmas, he gave my grandmother a subscription to Harry and David’s fruit of the month club. Her and I look forward to sharing the box every month. It is honestly some of the freshest, juiciest fruit I’ve ever tasted!

We’ve had quite an abundance of strawberries in my house lately, so I decided to make showcase them in homemade scones.

I made these scones super healthy by using whole grain (gluten-free) flour, stevia instead of sugar, and even avocado instead of butter! These scones were definitely not the butter-and-sugar-laden bricks my great-grandmother used to enjoy with tea, but I’m sure she would have enjoyed them just the same.

 

What foods are you enjoying with the increase in temperature? Have you ever tried to health-ify one of your family’s recipes? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

 

Food from the Day [What I Ate Wednesday]

It’s hard to believe, but this is my last “real” week of high school. Ever. It also happens to be testing week (aka test + paper in every class week), AP week #1, and final club meetings week. Oh, and I have multiple pineapples sitting on my counter just begging to be cut. Doh.

If you see me running around like my head’s cut off, now you know why. Thus this What I Ate Wednesday is going to be a little different.

Included are a few pictures of food from the day, but as you can imagine, my camera was pretty far from my mind the past few days. My AP review book (complete with kabocha stickers!), however, has been attached at my hip.

Fortunately, I did have some escape this weekend thanks to time spent in the kitchen. I not only baked some vegan macaroons (bananaroonies!) to reward myself for studying, but I also prepped a special batch of cookies for a bake sale at school.

Yesterday, the senior class organized a giant surprise birthday party for a sophomore who is currently battling with an auto-immune disease that will eventually take over her body. It was so amazing to know that we were able to give her true joy during such a challenging time. My s’mores cookies may not be able to cure her of her disease, but hopefully they helped raise some money to help fund research for others in need. Every little effort counts!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the pick-nick lunch because I had to take a test. However, I did show my support and even dined on sweet potato fries and other roasted veggies from my packed lunch in honor of the burgers+fries outside my classroom window.

For dinner, I made my favorite sandwich (open face, of course) that I haven’t had in ages. Every time I want to make it, I either don’t have a ripe avocado or roasted kabocha squash. Seriously, why are ripe avocados so hard to find? I can never find them at their peak ripeness… except for yesterday. Perfection: achieved.

But let’s be honest; isn’t everything better with avocado? From a former self-proclaimed avocado-hater, that’s saying a lot. Heck, now I even like avocado with my chocolate!

Well, that’s about it for me. Tell me, what have you been eating this week? Do you like participating in bake sales? 

I’ll be back in a few days with the recipe for the s’mores cookies. Until then, I have some serious studying to do!

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Lentil Burgers

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Mine was (not surprisingly) busy, but this time it was filled with outings rather than mounds of homework… and that’s just how I like it. However, being out so much didn’t leave much time for food preparation for the week. When this happens, I usually try to make the simplest recipe that I know will keep me adequately fueled.

It’s times like these that I revert to old favorites that I can practically make in my sleep. Don’t let the time simplicity fool you; these sun-dried tomato basil lentil burgers are full of flavor! I love eating them on a big romaine lettuce salad filled to the brim with fresh veggies and topped with a drizzle of dijon mustard. Yum!

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Lentil Burgers 

Makes 4 burgers 

  • 8 oz precooked lentils (i.e. from Trader Joe’s; you can make your own if you have more time, but the flavor will be different)
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to process too much or the mixture will become paste-like. Leave a little texture instead!
  2. Divide mixture into 4 equal pieces. Shape into patties/burgers using your hands.
  3. Cook on a medium high heat in a non-stick skilled for ~3 minutes on each side, or until a gold-brown crust is achieved.
  4. Enjoy on a bun, salad, or as is! They’re even lovely cold.
Do you make your own homemade veggie burgers? What’s your favorite flavor combination? 
Have a lovely day!
Mandiee

18 Things for 18 [What I Ate Wednesday]

Hey there, beautiful people! (Side note: does anyone else love when someone calls them that? My yoga teacher called me beautiful yesterday, and it made me smile. Anyway.) How’s your Wednesday shaking up?

Today is a particularly special day over here. Not only is it What I Ate Wednesday  (veggie edition—Jenn, you’re after my own heart!), but it’s also my 18th birthday. It’s hard to believe, but now I’m finally an adult…technically, at least. So what kind of things can I do now that I’m 18? Here’s 18 examples to commemorate the day:

  1. Sue someone/be sued
  2. Work more hours (no more child labor laws for me!)
  3. Buy spray paint
  4. Rent a hotel room
  5. Skydive
  6. Become an undercover cop
  7. Buy a monkey (with a license)
  8. Drive an ice cream truck
  9. Enter a contest/sweepstakes (i.e., “You must be 18 or older” –> That’s me!)
  10. Become a flight attendant
  11. Vote
  12. Get married/divorced
  13. Rent an apartment
  14. Change your name
  15. Pay a utility bill (boo!)
  16. Work with out needing to take breaks (I’m going to miss those!)
  17. Start your own business
  18. Have the freedom and independence you didn’t have before

While some of these are a little rediculous (can you really see me skydiving?), I am pretty excited about the normal rights, such as voting and renting an aprartment.

What was most exciting about your 18th birthday? How did you celebrate? 

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And now, without further ado, What I Ate Wednesday: Birthday Edition!

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Breakfast

My breakfast wasn’t actually all that interesting. (It was a breakfast salad, if you were wondering—Yum!) However, I’m currently working on a recipe that would start anyone’s day off right: vegan apple crumble muffins with streusel topping. I can’t wait to share the recipe!

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Lunch: salad with sundried tomato lentil burgers, roasted asparagus, and roasted broccoli

I made a batch of sundried tomato lentil burgers this weekend so lunch prep would be a breeze. I used Trader Joe’s precooked lentils so even making the burgers was easy. Healthy eating is all about knowing how to make it work for you. It’s hard to make excuses when everything is so simple!

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Dinner: leftover lentils with roasted purple sweet potatoes, asparagus, red bell peppers, and kale (with lots of nooch!)

I definitely fulfilled my veg-pledge this week by centering my dinner around my favorite veggies. Sometimes I just crave a huge plate of roasted veggies. In truth, I would eat roasted vegetables all day, every day if I could.

For a little balance, though, I was happy to add some lentils to the meal. Not only are these Trader Joe’s lentils fast and easy, but they’re also delicious! I love to eat them cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Yum!

I can’t wait for today’s special birthday eats today. My mom is taking me to Chipolte after yoga, so I see lots of yummy black beans and guacamole in my future. I see a kabocha squash “cake” coming up, too. I may be 2 years older and wiser (I hope!), but I guess not much has changed since I was sixteen.

What are you eating today? What kind of cake do you like on your birthday? 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Time Flies [What I Ate Wednesday]

One thing I’ve learned over the past few days is that time flies. Maybe I should revise that; time flies when I  have a million things to do, but it seems to drag when I count down until the weekend. Does anyone else feel like that?

Somehow it’s already Wednesday. How does that happen? Regardless of all the things I have to do, there’s comfort knowing that What I Ate Wednesday will come every week and be a fun time to share meals, even if only through the computer. Let’s do this!

Breakfast: breakfast salad with chocolate protein dressing 

No surprises here! The thing about healthy eating is that it’s sometimes hard to adapt a new routine. But once you’re on the healthy eating train, it’s actually easier to keep going. Case in point: it was easier for me to prepare a breakfast salad than to think of a potentially less healthy alternative. Since time was of the essence, I went with it. I couldn’t be happier that I did. Seriously, breakfast salads are my new favorite thing.

Lunch: salad with ABC roasted vegetables (asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower) and chickpeas 

Here’s another example of food prepping ease. Since I was already chopping romaine lettuce for my breakfast, I decided to throw in some extra and use it for lunch, too. The night before I had roasted some veggies while using the oven for dinner, so prepping the rest of my lunch was a breeze.

Dinner: blackened tofu with sauteed kale and roasted asparagus and red bell pepers

I’ve been crazy about tofu lately. Usually I just eat it plain (after crisping it on the stove top), but this time I decided to do something a little different. It was a complete success!

The tofu was firm, chewy, and even a little spicy. I love enjoying the natural flavor of food, but sometimes it’s fun to ramp it up a little bit (or a lot a bit, as was the case!). I can’t wait to share the recipe with you all later this week.

Naturally I also worked on a dessert recipe, too. I’m on a quest to find the best vegan brownie recipe, so this was just another trial. This brownie’s claim to fame was it’s slight banana sweetness and ooey-gooey fudgey texture. These got rave reviews, but I still want to try more recipes. Regardless, I’ll be sure to post the recipe because they were just too good not to share.

What are you enjoying today? Do you have a healthy eating prep method or ways to keep yourself on track? 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Snow in April [What I Ate Wednesday]

Oh, hello there! How’s your week shaping up?

Have you ever had one of those days where absolutely nothing sounds good? While packing my lunch Monday night, I was pretty excited about my usual salad duo (breakfast + lunch). Come Tuesday at school, even my delicious packed food didn’t sound all that appealing. Regardless, I still got in some veggies in celebration of Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday. The show must go on!

For breakfast, I had a slight variation on last week’s breakfast salad with chcolate dressing (recipe here).

Even though my appetite wasn’t feeling it, my taste buds most certainly were. I’m pretty sure I could eat breakfast salads for the rest of my life; they’re just so refreshing!

However, I wasn’t so lucky at lunch time. We had a long assembly at school yesterday, so my lunch was delayed until almost 2PM. By that time I was so hungary I had lost all my appetite. Does that ever happen to anyone else?

In addition, the cold weather whipped my salad cravings right away. It was actually snowing as I walked to lunch! Um, Mother Nature, don’t you know it’s April? Please send some warmer weather our way… or at least some april showers instead of snow. Please and thank you.

I didn’t have much time to eat lunch, nor was I very enthousiastic about eating my beautiful, cold salad (seriously, who am I?), so I just ate what I could and supplemented with the snacks I had in my backpack. I always travel prepared!

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to have a warm dinner. I roasted some veggies in the oven and made crispy tofu on the stove top. If the warmth of the satisfying, hot meal didn’t warm me up inside, the heat from the oven sure did. I devoured my meal before I even had a chance to snap more than one picture. Looks like my appetite returned, after all.

After dinner, I worked on a new dessert, vegan banana donuts. I had originally planned to make the donuts, lightly glaze them in coconut milk + powdered sugar, then dip them in toasted coconut.

However before I had the chance, my family devoured half the batch! I guess that’s the test of a good donut: loving them even without icing.

Does your appetite change depending on the weather? How do you transition swiftly from one season to the next?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Salad Morning, Noon, and Night [What I Ate Wednesday]

Heya, bloggies! How’s your week going so far?

Now that I’m back in school after a two week spring break, mine is busy as usual. I only have ~6 weeks until the end of my senior year, so we have a lot to fit in! Fortunately, after that I get to enjoy the final few weeks until graduation by doing an internship for my “Senior May project”. I will be going back to my elementary school to work with junior kindergartners. I can’t wait!

Among other things, I hope to teach the 4 and 5 year olds to try new things (especially vegetables at lunch haha!). In fact, today I put my lesson to good use by trying something new for breakfast. Without further ado, here’s this week’s What I Ate Wednesday…salad style!

This morning I had a breakfast salad with romaine lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, apples, and bananas. For my dressing, I mixed hemp protein powder, cocoa powder, pumpkin, and stevia. It was delicious!

Since I ate it during my free period at 9AM, I was a little worried that my friends would think my breakfast salad was weird. They’re pretty used to my monstrous green eats, but even this was a little more unconventional than usual, even for me. Fortunately, they embraced it with open arms! Many of them told me it looked really good and that they were going to try the combo at home soon. I think it had something to do with the chocolate sauce. Chocolate can win over almost anyone.

Part of my lunch included my second salad of the day. This time, my salad was eaten savory style. Since I had already had greens for breakfast, I felt pretty energized and was excited to enjoy the crunch of more fresh food.

My salad of romaine lettuce, steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans, and chickpeas with a spicy mustard dressing certainly did not disappoint! It was simplicity at its finest.

Although my dinner did not include a traditional (or untraditional in the case of breakfast haha) salad, I still made sure to get in my greens. My nightly sauteed kale is easily one of my favorite things to eat. I change up the flavors and the type of kale so I don’t get bored. Tonight’s version included pan-crisped dinosaur kale with a dash of Braggs Liquid Aminos.

Now I look forward to my kale every night!

Eating so many greens today has really made me feel amazing! I really must do this more often. In fact, I think breakfast salads are going to be a new staple. There’s nothing like fresh food to get you going in the morning.

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I hope that you are inspired to eat your greens as well. If nothing else, try to add an extra serving of veggies to your plate at every meal. Just that little healthy habit adds up and makes you feel great.

What’s your favorite green vegetable or salad combination? What do you think of the breakfast salad idea?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee