Tag Archives: kale

Flamingos and Cake [What I Ate Wednesday]

Hi there! How’s your week going so far? I can’t believe it’s already May; time is flying by! In just two short weeks, I’ll be done with high school classes forever. Although I don’t graduate for another month, not sitting in class all day will be a very welcomed change.

Last Wednesday it was my birthday, so for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday I thought it would be fun to show you some of my birthday goodies.

First, my morning started off with a flock of pink flamingos sitting on my lawn. My mom and I had always joked about this quirky tradition, so it was fun to see it in action. The moment when I opened the front door to find my winged friends, a neighbor walked by my lawn and laughed. Needless to say we were the talk of the town that day!

My mom and I

Another wonderful morning surprise was an Edible Arrangement filled with fresh strawberries, pineapple, and grapes. I don’t know how they do it, but the fruit is always perfectly ripe, juicy, and sweet. Although I love flowers, you can’t really get much better than a basket filled with delicious, healthy fruit. As an added bonus, curly kale was at the bottom of the vase. I’m probably the only customer who gets just as excited about the kale as the fruit.

As far as tradition goes, I did have a cake for my birthday. It was a decadent vegan chocolate cake made by a little bakery near my house.

Since my mom and I know the owner quite well, she even decorated my special cake with hand-stenciled fondant in the shape of yoga poses.

I was amazed by how beautiful and delicious this cake was! I only had a few bites since my sweet tolerance is pretty low, but I can confidently say that this is the best “normal” (aka not health-i-fied) vegan cake I’ve ever had! Unfortunately, I underestimated the effect of the gluten on my GI system. I had to deal with an angry tummy for awhile, but at least I could still enjoy bits of the frosting. That was the best party anyway!

In true Kabochavore fashion, I had another “cake,” just like the one on my sixteenth birthday. I whole-heartedly enjoyed every piece of my perfectly caramelized, sweet kabocha squash. It’s always a treat! I even spread some of the roasted kabocha with sunflower seed butter for a frosting-like effect. I’m usually a coconut butter + kabocha girl, but this combination was delicious, too.

Although I don’t have photos of my birthday dinner at Chipotle, here are some veggie-filled dinner staples that I’ve been enjoying in the past week. You bet I’ve been sticking to the veg-pledge (as if I needed an excuse to eat more veggies haha)!

One of my all-time favorite combinations: roasted purple sweet potatoes (I’m almost out!), asparagus, red bell peppers, and crispy kale.

Another quick weeknight meal: crispy tofu, roasted asparagus and bell peppers, and sauteed kale.

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? Do you have any fun traditions for birthday celebrations?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

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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

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

WIAW #18: Cake For Breakfast Edition

Hey hey hey! How’s your Wednesday going? Have you entered by giveaway yet? (Click here to do so!)

Today is pretty chill around here after an exciting Monday. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on a new recipe, vegan + gluten-free cookie dough cake with creamy chocolate avocado frosting. Because of that, my eats were pretty out of the ordinary, so today’s What I Ate Wednesday is going to be a little…different.

I stayed up pretty late Monday night reading a new book, The Help, and exploring every nook and cranny of one of my colleges’ websites. I’m pretty convinced it’s perfect; if I don’t get accepted anywhere else, I know I’d be happy going there. ❤

Anyway, because of my late night, I woke up pretty late yesterday. I’m definitely taking full advantage of spring break by listening to my body’s natural queues. However, sometimes that means not eating right after waking up. SInce I wasn’t very hungry, I proceeded to bake a celebration cake. I certainly had enough cake to qualify as a meal, though. I had to try it to make sure the photos were worth snapping.

(Oh, and they were. They most certainly were.)

I think that since this cake involves whole grains (buckwheat + oats), healthy fats (coconut + avocado), veggies (pumpkin), fruit (banana + avocado), and a good amount of protein, it qualifies as a meal. So that means I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Am I right?

I continued my dessert-y day by eating a chocolate protein smoothie (pumped up with spinach!) and a steamed veggie salad for “lunch.” I wasn’t very hungry after all the cake taste-testing, but I did have a serious hankering for some sort of protein and greens. Problem solved.

I snacked on some fruit, nuts, and a little more cake before going to yoga… you know, just to make sure it was okay. (And yes, it most definitely was.) After yoga, though, I couldn’t imagine eating anything more sweet. Savory for dinner it was!

Stir-fried veggies (kale, red cabbage, asparagus, red bell peppers, purple sweet potatoes) were really the only thing that sounded good, but I decided to add a block of tofu to pump it up.

However, despite my efforts, my hunger randomly appeared with a vengeance. Many snacks followed, as well as some more cake. What can I say, I’m in love with this cake (and it’s so healthy, it’s crazy!).

What kinds of delicious food are you enjoying today? And what’s the best dessert you’ve had lately?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

WIAW #14: “Veggies are the Apple of My Eye” Edition

Hello, beautiful people! Happy hump day! How’s your week going so far?

I’m so excited to take part in Jen’s WIAW party @ Peas and Crayons again this week. I always love seeing what yummy things everyone’s enjoying and even sharing some of my own. Since it’s still Love Your Veggies month, I couldn’t help but take part. Vegetables are my favorite food group after all. Truth be told, I would eat them all day, every day if I could, but it’s all about balance right?

Breakfast: baked chocolate covered strawberry oatcake

Now that I can buy gluten-free oats at Trader Joes, I have been going crazy with adding oats to everything. In fact, this morning’s breakfast was centered around oats!

Baked oatmeal used to be one of my favorite breakfasts, and I’m so happy it’s back. The only difference I notice with these GF oats is that they seem to be thicker, chewier, and more absorbent than the ones I used to use.

I’m definitely a fan of the texture, but it requires a little different wet to dry ratio. I’ll post the recipe as I continue to revise it so you all can enjoy the taste of chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast, too. Yum!

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Lunch: orange ginger stir-fry with broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, carrots, and water chestnuts; (unpictured) apple and Mary’s Gone Crackers on the side for CRUNCH

Stir-fries are really the epitome of veggie-loving for me. I could honestly eat steamed veggies until the cows come home, but adding a creative sauce and stir-frying it up makes lunch feel extra special. Sometimes just making one little change to usual routine makes all the difference. It keeps things fresh!

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Dinner: two curried sweet potato veggie burgers with roasted asparagus, roasted red bell peppers, and sauteed crispy kale and almonds; more Mary’s Gone Crackers on the side (I just can’t get enough!)

This plate was bursting with so many veggies that I could not even fit them all in the picture, and that’s just how I like it. I believe that you can never have too many veggies!

Veggie burgers are really just another excuse to eat more veggies in my mind. In fact, these homemade sweet potato curry burgers are actually true to their name, unlike so many commercial products; they really are made of just vegetables (plus some beans and oats, of course)!

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I was unable to capture my snacks due to my busy school day, but I did get a chance to work on a new recipe for a healthy dessert, vegan + gluten-free coconut flour cookies with chocolate chunks. I can’t wait to share… the recipe, not the cookies, that is. With cookies this good, sometimes it’s hard to share. (Note: sharing is caring, though, and if I could give each and every one of you a fresh batch of warm cookies, I would. Anyone up for that? Haha.)

Vegan marshmallows from Sweet and Sarah may or may not have also been involved. Hey, they’re not exactly paczki, but I think I paid my Polish ancestors homage anyway.

Did you enjoy a Fat Tuesday treat? And what’s your favorite way to eat veggies? Steamed, sauteed/stir-fried, or roasted?

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Another big thanks to Jen for hosting this WIAW party. Check out more delicious eats here and keep lovin’ your veggies!

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Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

WIAW #12: Hot Flash Edition

Hey, bloggies! How’s your week going so far? Mine has actually been pretty amazing, especially because tomorrow I get to go into the vault at my school’s art museum for one of my classes. We do this every other week or so, and it’s an experience unlike any other. I’m so pumped!

Somehow, though, my week has already seemed very long. Is anyone else feeling this way? Yesterday it was Tuesday, but it totally felt like a Thursday. Maybe it’s just early onset of the February “blahs”? Whatever it is, at least I have yummy food to make this month easier to get through (the countdown to graduation is ON!).

Fortunately, yesterday Mother Nature had a bit of a hot flash; it was almost 60*F outside! Such a glaring change from Sunday’s white-out snow storm called for a refreshing breakfast, popped amaranth. In the winter I often forget about this recipe, but it’s really so simple and filling that I should make it more often. Dually noted!

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I thoroughly enjoyed switching campuses between classes yesterday because it meant I got to enjoy the beautiful weather and sunshine. In fact, when lunch time rolled around, the sunshine had me craving another warm weather-inspired treat, a kale salad and So Delicious coconut milk greek yogurt (!).

This lunch could not have been more perfect. I loved the different textures from the 2 different kinds of greens (romaine, kale), mixed veggies (yellow/wax beans, peas, broccoli, red bell pepper), and beans (black beans).

To top it all off, I used the most amazing dressing, which was actually leftover curry sauce from last nights’ dinner. Last night it was good warm, but today it blew. my. mind.

Not only was it delicious, but it also effictively wilted my raw kale and made it deliciously chewy. Yum!

As for the coconut milk greek yogurt, I’m in love. Seriously, I’m speechless about how awesome it is. If you’re vegan (and even if you’re not), go buy some ASAP. You’ll thank me later ;).

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After school and an energizing hot yoga practice, I came home to a pumpkin protein donut. Last time I tried this new recipe, I made it into bars and it was gone within days. This time, however, I think my donuts will be gone even sooner because I just cannot resist the fun shape. Why do things always seem to taste better when molded into cute designs?

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Dinner was a no-brainer. I had a roasted purple sweet potato with tempeh bacon, asparagus, roasted red peppers, and sauteed kale. Although I love my raw kale, this cooked kale recipe has really stolen my heart. It’s the perfect mix between soft steamed kale and crunchy kale chips. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

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Dessert included several of my new gluten-free ginger pear bars and slices of roasted kabocha squash (no surprise there haha). It looks like I have yet another recipe to share with you all!

Love.

Speaking of which, do any of you use Recipage? Now that it’s free (wahoo! Thanks, Emily!), I’m thinking about imputting all of my old recipes and all of the new ones I have written in my notebook + ready to share. What do you think?

Thank you again to Jen @ Peas and Crayons for another great What I Ate Wednesday!

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

P.S. I just started a Facebook page for Kabochavore.com. Please head on over (click here) and say hello :).