Monday, October 26, 2015

Vegan Recipe: Thai Peanut Soup & Sweet Potato Rounds

Hey everyone, This Thai Peanut Soup was delicious....I just kind of made it up along the way.  I hope you and your family enjoy it too!! 

-1 tbsp of Creamy PB
-soy sauce 
-2 cups of vegetable broth
-A dash of spice: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder & Ground Ginger
-1/3 cup of broccoli slaw
-1/2 cup of corn
1/2 cup of black beans
-1 small zucchini (chopped)
-1 small tomato (chopped)
-1 handful of spinach leaves
-1/4 of an onion (chopped)

1. Start by adding veggie broth into a pan and then put in all the spinach.  Let it simmer and till it cooks down a bit.  
2. Then add all the other veggies and beans.
3. While that's cooking, slice a small sweet potato and set the slices on a plate.
4. Place the plate of sweet potato rounds into the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes.
5. Add soy sauce and seasonings on top of the veggie mixture.
5. Once it's all hot and almost ready, add in the PB and let it melt while stirring the veggies around.

Then it's all finished and you can serve it as a bowl of soup and a side of sweet potato rounds.

Have you ever tried making a thai recipe?  What's your fav thai recipe?  Share in the comments below!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Vegan Travel Adventures: Seattle, WA Edition

Last Friday I went out of town guessed it, Seattle, WA for a weekend work trip.  I am beyond thankful that my job has allowed me to travel so much this year.  I've checked states off my list and am that much closer to knocking out all 50 states (One of my top 100 goals).  Yay!!  Traveling as a vegan can be overwhelming if you're new to it, like me, but it doesn't have to just takes a little Googling and creativity. ;-)

Before leaving work to head to the airport, I checked the airport website to see what healthy options they had near my terminal.  I've found that Mexican resturants generally have a lot of good vegan options, so when I saw Cantina Laredo was near my gate I was excited!!  I googled "Vegan Options at Cantina Laredo and found out their avocado enchiladas were vegan (just ask for no sour cream of cheese on top). 

I also had some tortilla chips and salsa....their salsa is so yummy and not too spicy.  After lunch, I headed to my terminal and waited to board the plane.  

The flight was pretty long, but luckily we got a newer plane with lots of leg room, and new dvd players in the back of every seat.  I read some of the Carrie Diaries before take-off and then watched a few TV shows during the flight. 

Once we landed, a co-worker and I grabbed a taxi and headed to our hotel to check-in.  Oh my goodness, those Seattle views were ahhhhmazing!  I decided to go it alone for dinner so I took an uber to check out a vegan restaurant, The Plum Bistro.

The Bistro had an edgy vibe....waitresses in all black with gauge earrings and tatoos, definately different than my normal routine. haha  They were all super friendly and the food....Oh the food!!  This vegan veggie pizza was to die for.  I could only eat 1/2.  (Saved the other 1/2 for a snack on Saturday lol)

After dinner, I headed back to the hotel and crashed.  Had to hit the sack early since I had to work the next morning.  

On Saturday morning I had to be downstairs ready to head to work at 7:45 so I woke up at 5am and got a quick workout in.  I LOVED that their gym had free headphones, fruit and waterfront views.  Plus, it was right next to their indoor-outdoor should've brought my swimsuit!!

After my workout, I hit up the hotel's resturant from a yummy fruit bowl with nuts and some orange juice.  I got it from the buffet, but the sweet waiter gave me a discount since all I got was fruit. lol  #VeganPerk

After breakfast, I has to work from 9am-4pm....the event went really well and I got tons of work done.  #WinWin Only downside was that they didn't have any vegan lunch options at the event, but I had snuck some free fruit from the gym into my work bag so I had that to tide me over....BUT whew, I was so hungry after work!!

After the event, we went back to our hotel to change and then we all headed out to dinner right off Pudget Sound.  Our hotel was waterfront. (SOOOOO thankful for my job right about now!!)

Everyone wanted to hit up a seafood place.  Luckily they had a vegetarian sandwich option so I just nixed the dressing and cheese and BAM it was a vegan sandwich.  Yay!!  

After dinner, one of my coworkers and I headed out to ride the giant wheel which is a newer part of the Seattle skyline.  

The views from the top were so awesome...I didn't have enough time to visit the Space Needle, but I got some great pictures of it during our ride....Yay!!

Sunday it was time to head home, but I had slept in my workout clothes so I decided to just get in a quick 15 Min Ab Ripper workout and check out the awesome indoor-outdoor pool. 

After my workout, I got dressed and then had breakfast at the hotel:

Whole Wheat Toast, Avocado, tomato and a bowl of fruit....Yummy!!!

After breakfast, I relaxed in my room for a bit, texted my hubs and then we all headed to the airport.  Got a couple more shots of the pretty landscape on the way.

At the airport, I had lunch and grabbed some snacks for the plane:

Vegan Chocolate and a little snack box....the flight was long so I totally needed the fuel! ;-)

Made it back home around 6pm....whew, what a fun whirlwind of a weekend!!

What do you have planned for this weekend?  Any fun trips coming up?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Vegan Grocery Shopping & Meal Prep

Today I want to share a few tips on how I grocery shop and meal prep as a Vegan.  It's a little different (But really not much) than when I ate all those animal products.

How to grocery shop effectively:

Step 1:  Make a plan!
I don't plan each specific meal, because I don't seem to stick with what I plan that way, but I do skim through a few recipes I might try and then make sure I get the needed ingredients.  If I don't make them, I'm sure to have ingredients on hand to make something yummy. 

Step 2:  Make a detailed list
Before heading to the store I go through our cabinets and fridge with my list and write down any staples we're out of like bread, oats, almond milk, rice, etc.  Once I've got all those on the list, I add any additional items I need for juicing (fruits and veggies) and any food extras I want to try...nutritional yeast and tahini are on my list to try next week....yay!  I like to try at least 1 new item each week....especially since I'm new to veganism....there are a ton of vegan friendly foods I've never sampled.

Step 3: Eat before you shop
My hubby and I generally go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons, but we make sure to eat lunch right after church before heading to the store so we don't overload our carts with processed junk foods we don't really need or that won't fuel our bodies.  Fuel up on carbs before shopping and you'll do a better job of sticking to the list.

Step 4: Go to a grocery store you like
Now this step might seem a little silly, but sometimes when I'm in a rush I head to WalMart or Albertsons, because they're closer to our house....but WalMart is waaaay too busy and Albertsons is over priced.  I always come out with a better mood and cheaper bill if I go someplace I enjoy like Winco, Aldi or Sprouts.  ((Sprouts is my FAV place to snag fruits & veggies!))

Step 5: Get to shopping
I take a list, a pen and my hubby along with me and we go through the store isle by isle....this helps us make sure we don't miss anything and if, by chance, we forgot to add something to the list seeing it generally jogs our memory and we pick it up along the way. 

Now let's get on to what happens after all the grocery shopping is done....Meal Prep!!

I mentioned trying one or two new things a week....well, this week I decided to try making tofu scramble and also sweet potato hash browns. I've seen yummy pictures of both on Instagram and wanted to incorporate them into my meals this week.  

When I meal prep for the week, I generally cook a big batch of 2 or 3 things and then supplement with fruits and veggies to make full meals and lots of different combos throughout the week.  

For example, Monday night I used a little on the sweet potato hash browns inside some yummy veggie spring rolls.  Oh and Tuesday I made a veggie stirfry for lunch and topped it with some of the tofu scramble I made.  YUM!!  

Want to know how to make both of those items?  Well, keep on reading...

Tofu Scramble

-1 package of firm tofu
-1 small tomato
-1/4 of an onion
-A dash of Garlic powder
-A dash of Ground Black Pepper
-A dash of Paprika
-A small spoon of coconut oil

-Put a spoon of coconut oil in a pan on the stove.
-Crumble the tofu into the pan.
-Add the veggies in also.
-The add the seasonings and sitr.
-Let it cook until it's all hot.

Then I simply removed it from the heat and put it all in a large Tupperware container. It's handy and easy to grab as an addition to any meal throughout the week.

I recently got this food processor (Thanks mom!) so I was searching simple to try for my first time using one.  I think anything that comes with a blade needs to be used with caution on my first go-around...I may be a tad clumsy when it comes to sharp kitchen utensils.

Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

-1 large sweet potato
-1 tsp of coconut oil
-A dash of sea salt


Cut the sweet potato into smaller sections

Use the food processor to create the hashbrowns

Then finish them by cooking them on the stove top with coconut oil and adding the salt & pepper along with any additional seasonings.

Hope this helps when your meal prepping and planning a grocery trip.  Let me know any good tips you have in the comments below!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Vegan Approved Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Honestly, I've been swooning over #VeganFoodShare on's incredible and one of the meals I was always drawn to, because the presentation was awesome and it just looked so delish.....yup, you guessed it, Veggie Spring Rolls.

I found this sauce recipe on the back of the Rice Paper package and thought I'd give it a try with ingredients I already had at home.  Here's their version:

Here's my version perfect for a just one or two servings:

-1tbsp of peanut butter
-A few Tbsps of water
-2tbsp of soy sauce
-A few sprinkles of ginger seasoning
-A few sprinkles of garlic powder

-Add all the ingredients into a small bowl.
-Stir vigorously until the mixture is combined 
(AKA I was too lazy to get out my food processor, let's be real. HAHA)

Once you've made your sauce you can set it aside in the fridge while preparing your rolls.  Here's how I made my Spring Rolls:

-1 small carrot
-1 small zucchini
-1/4 a bag of broccoli slaw (I got this kind from WalMart)
-a handful of Spinach leaves
-A small handful of parsley
-3 pieces of Rice Paper
-2 extra plates

-Begin my thinly slicing the carrot and zucchini.  
You won't need a lot.  Just a few pieces for each roll.
-Put a plate on the counter and pour and 1/4 a cup of water onto the plate.
-Put the rice paper in the plate and let it sit for one minute 
-Once it's soaked, lay it on a dry plate.
-Fill the roll with a little of each of the veggies (carrot, zucchini, broccoli slaw, spinach and parsley)
-Fold the paper together in the middle like a burrito to seal it.
-Repeat to make 2 additional rolls.

I piled on my leftover veggies for a side salad and also dipped that in the sauce too...yummy!!! This recipe is super simple and tastes just like you're dinning out at an Asian food restaurant!  Hope you take some time to try it out too.  

So are there any specific types of recipes you'd like me to try and share?  Let me know in the comments. :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Vegan Travel Adventures: California Edition

Last weekend was my first time, post-reboot and as a new Vegan, to travel out of town for the weekend.  I went to Santa Ana, California for a work trip and want to share the experience along with how I managed to have a blast while keeping my eating habits on point.  

The view right outside the hotel I stayed in.

Before I even left town, I had googled to find a few vegan restaurants that looked yummy and even made plans with a friend who lived in the area to take me out to dinner to a vegan place she knew.  By making plans ahead of time, I saved myself from being unprepared and making last second decisions that would be less than healthy.

On Friday, I worked 1/2 a day in the office and headed to the airport around 1pm.  Work was so busy that morning that I didn't have time to grab lunch so I grabbed some fruit, juice and water in the terminal to tide me over.  When at the airport, fresh fruit is always a good choice! ;-)  Starbucks always seems to have lots of fruit and even yummy fruit cups's my go-to option when traveling in a pinch.

By the time I got to Cali, was picked up and got to my hotel, I was super hungry.  Luckily I just had about an hour till my Beachbody friend, Stacy, & I planned to meet up for dinner.  

Here's what I wore out to a casual dinner:

Stacy's not vegan, but she had a vegan friend who recommended we try out Native Foods in Santa Ana, CA and it was adorable and had TONS of yummy sounding options.

We found so many yummy options that we couldn't pick just one so we ended up ordering the Twister Wrap and the Bacon Cheeseburger and 1/2 each of them along with each having an order of sweet potatoe fries.  The burger was my fav, but the wrap was really good too.  

This was an awesome first experience in a vegan really locked in my belief that going Vegan did NOT mean missing out, but actually trying tons of new things and adding healthy, cruelty-free options to my meal plans. 

After dinner, I wanted to get a snack to take back to the hotel and enjoy over the weekend. Native Foods had lots of dessert options, but I settled on an oatmeal cookie.  There was a period of time in college where I basically got super addicted to these and ate them for like every meal for a week or two.  Yeah, it was out of control...hahaha Luckily, this version was delicious, but also healthy and not stuffed with processed.

Once I got back to the hotel I was so stuffed for the food, I didn't even try my dessert...I just decided to save it for later.  

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5am to get in a quick 30 minute Slim In 6 workout before heading to my work event.

I'm a big fan of hotel gyms....this one wasn't anything fancy, but they did have free headphones for you to take along with mini-flat screen tvs on the treadmills.  

It was a busy day at the event...We didn't really get an breaks for food so after it ended around 3pm, I was super hungry.  I headed back to the hotel, changed clothes, charged my phone a bit and then took an Uber to Laguna Beach.  If you haven't tried Uber're missing out.  It's inexpensive and they drivers I've had have always been super friendly.  Waaaay less of a creepy experience than taxis, for sure!!

Before leaving I google Vegan resturants in Laguna Beach and found this one:

I had the Uber driver drop me off there and there was The Stand Natural Foods...a cute little walk-up resturant, check it out:

They had tons of options on the menu and I finally settled on a veggie burger, because I actually knew what it was and it sounded yummy since I was sooooo hungry.  Here's how it looked:

It was huge so I just ate a little over 1/2 of the burger and all the chips....then I headed out to explore Laguna.  When leaving the restaurant, I passed their adorable van

Then I walked along the street peering into art galleries and checking out local boutiques.  I even snagged a Laguna Beach tank for just $9.99- SCORE!!  After that I was ready to head to the beach..

It was fabulous, I spent over an hour just walking along the ocean, taking pictures and taking in all the beauty....

When my phone was almost out of battery and the sun was beginning to set, I caught an Uber and headed back to my hotel.  By this time it was past dinner time, but I wasn't too crazy hungry since I had a late lunch.  I went to the hotel breakfast and grabbed a meatless stirfry and only ate about 1/2.  It was good, but def not my fav meal of the trip.

After that I headed back to my room and watched TV until I fell asleep. 

Sunday morning is my rest day so I didn't get a workout I had to be at the airport by 7am to catch my flight back home.  I woke up, got all packed and headed to the hotel restaurant to grab some fruit and juice.

Once I got to the airport, got through security and found my gate, I headed to a gift shop to get a snack and water for the long flight.  I found some cookies I'd heard about on Instagram so I grabbed 2 for the plane and one for later.

Let me just have GOT to try these....they were both so yummy and tasted like the Grandma's Cookies I always ate growing up.  MMMM!!!

All in all, I had a fabulous time...especially at the beach and this makes me even more excited to start planning a beach vacation with my hubby.  Hopefully next year we'll be celebrating out 3yr anniversary on a beach somewhere. haha

So how do you make traveling fun & simple as a vegan?  I'd love to hear your tips & ideas in the comments.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vegan Chipotle Style Bowl

Hey everyone, I recently posted a fabulous Chipotle style vegan bowl on Instagram & FB and received lots of requests for the recipe, so here goes.  BTW, it's super simple & I think you're gonna LOVE it!! ;-)

-1 can of organic, non-GMO corn
-1 can of chickpeas
-1 can of black beans
-1 bag of brown rice (microwaveable)
-Spinach (1 handful per serving)
-1 large sweet potato
-1 large carrot
-1 avocado
-1/4 of an onion
-1 small tomato
-Garlic Powder
-Slat & Pepper

1. Turn the oven on preheat to 425degrees.

2. Combine the beans, chickpeas and corn into a strainer and rinse them thoroughly.  Then put them in Tupperware and set them aside.
3. Chop the carrot and also cut the sweet potato into thin wedges. Once the oven is heated, put the carrot and sweet potatoes on a pan covered with foil, season the potato with garlic powder and then put them in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Chop the 1/4 onion and small tomato into pieces.
5. Cut the avocado in 1/2 and scoop it into a small bowl.  Then mash the avocado.
6. Add the chopped onion and tomato to the avocado and mix well.  Then set aside.
7. Cook the 90 second rice in the microwave.
8. Heat up a serving (3/4 a cup) of the bean/corn mixture in the microwave for about a minute (or longer if needed). 
9. Once the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked, take them out of the oven.
10. Now it's time to add everything together.  Begin by laying a bed of spinach into the bowl.  Then add 1 serving of rice.  Top that with 1 serving of the bean/corn mixture and carrot slices.  Then garnish with 1/2 the sweet potatoes on the sides (save the other 1/2 for leftovers).  Lastly, top with a scoop of your homemade guacamole.

NOTE:  If taking this to work, then here's how I transported it in my cooler: 
-1 serving of spinach in a ziploc bag.
-1 serving of sweet potato in a ziploc bag.
-1 tupperware container of guacamole.
-1 tupperware container with rice and the bean/corn mixture.
-Plus I added 1 container with extra onion and a little parsley.
-I also carried my own bowl, since a paper bowl wasn't big enough.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I have so far.  I still have lots of the bean/corn mixture left so I'm using it in creative ways to add to my dinners and lunches throughout this week.  Isn't it nice to have leftovers to work with?!