Tag Archives: WIAW

In the Dark

Yesterday, the day I usually photograph my What I Ate Wednesday eats, my house lost power. It was a complete shock because the weather was not very hot (which is usually the cause of power outages thanks to the numerous air conditions running). Consequently, I was unable to document my eats as usual. No power meant no oven, no microwave, no lights. It was time to get creative.

I must have been wearing a pair of crabby pants because the minor inconvenience made me quite irritable and grouchy. I was a complete grump—I’ll own up to it. Fortunately, I used it as a learning experience. Instead of giving into myself and just going to sleep early, I stayed up late (as usual) and tried to find things to do. Sure, cooking was a challenge by candle light and flashlight, but reading was actually enjoyable. I very rarely read without any other stimulation (music, lights, tv, etc.), and by the end I found myself more relaxed than ever. Surprisingly, all my anxieties were gone.

Once I realized that I really had no immediate need for electricity and could get along just fine, I wondered what was really bothering me. It came down to this:

  1. Fear. I am very routien-oriented and fear any kind of deviation. Although I did not need power to survive, not having it made me feel off balance and fear the unknown. Ultimately, I was afraid that a bigger problem was at hand. I felt unsafe and powerless.
  2. Hunger. Truth be told, my blood sugar was low, and I needed food FAST. Usually I can keep my hunger-induced grouchiness under control (relatively), but not yesterday.
The first reason, fear, was difficult to remedy. By reading quietly, I finally relaxed. However, I know that the problem is much deeper. I’m a work in progress! Luckily, the second problem was much easier to solve. Here’s some of the eats that the camera caught before the power went out:

Vegan + Gluten-Free Strawberry Scones (made with avocado instead of butter/earth balance)

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Chickpeas, Basil, and Tomato Sauce (Nooch sprinkles on top!)

Vegan Ceasar Salad (Made with Raw Avocado Dressing)

Blacked Tofu with Crispy Kale, Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus, and Eggplant Fries

In the end, I’m almost glad the power went out. It gave me a chance to relax completely and served as a learning experience. In the end, I’m just thankful to have power in the first place. I now realize that I often take this precious gift for granted.

What do you like to cook when the power’s out? What’s one thing you’re thankful for today?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Advertisements

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

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? 

***

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

center>

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!

**

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!

**

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

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

The Waiting Game [What I Ate Wednesday]

~~~Have you entered my giveaway? It ends Thursday night. Click here to enter!~~~

I woke up this morning with a gasp. It’s Tuesday, I thought (though it’s really What I Ate Wednesday now). Suddenly I felt a wave of excitement and nervousness pass over me. My head felt like it had been spun around a million times as my heart was about to beat right out of my chest.

Only two days, I whispered. Two more days until this rocky road of waiting will be over. Two more days until I find out if I have been admitted to my dream school…If my 15 years of hard work at school has paid off…

With my stomach in knots, I focused on what doing what I knew I could rather than what I couldn’t (aka change the decision). For breakfast, I grabbed a few apple nutmeg muffins and some fresh fruit to munch on.

I then proceeded to park myself in front of my new book, The Help, while I snuggled under a heap of warm blankets. I was so engrossed by the dynamic story that my worry faded away. My stomach, however, brought me back to reality when it growled. Luckily, lunch was already waiting for me in the fridge: a chilled chickpea, broccoli, and fig salad.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by eating plant-based, it’s that greens make me feel absolutely amazing. So in my never-ending quest to sneak greens in my diet whenever possible, I served the salad over a large bed of crisp romaine lettuce.

I also added some more salad toppers to my serving-bowl-for-one salad. I like my salads large and in charge!

Since I’m still home for spring break, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen. Baking is my go-to relaxation because it brings out my creativity. I was definitely thankful for some time away from thinking about college!

…and my family was more than thankful for the caramelized banana-stuffed peanut butter cupcakes I made. I’m glad my baking works both ways!

Once the cupcakes were finished, I jetted off to hot vinyasa yoga, as is my daily routine. Even though I was hot from class, the chill in the wind outside cooled me off pretty quickly. (Seriously, what’s up with this weather?) Naturally I was craving something conforting for dinner.

Enter vegan butternut squash mac and cheese made with brown rice spirals. I almost debated eating the sauce straight up as soup. It was so good, I wanted to swim in it. Maybe next time.

For now, though, I was happy to bring back the pasta of my childhood, served up with crispy kale & marinara sauce and roasted asparagus. It was delish to say the least.

And since I just can’t get enough of The Help, after dinner I settled down on the couch to read more. While I was reading, I also enjoyed a crunchy apple (with cinnamon!) and sipped on hot ginger snap tea.

A new-to-me dark chocolate (THE BEST!) was also involved. Fearless Chocolates, I’m speechless (and officially hooked!).

How do you deal with nerves/excitement? What’s your favorite book? 

Reminder: my giveaway is open until Thursday night. Please click here to enter. 

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!

***

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!

***

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)!

***

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?

***

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

***

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!

***

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 ;).

***

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?

***

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!

***

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 :).