Image

say it with me, “MMMMMMMMMMMMMM”

Tangy Lime Juice + Zingy Ginger + Savory Comfort of Coconut Oil + Heat from Cayenne Pepper

Slurpable Zucchini Noodles + Smokey Nutty Umami Bacon

THIS. IS. MY. SUMMER. GO. TO. LUNCH!

Totally necessary, but I gotta toot my own horn here — I was surprised at how authentically Thai this tasted! And the sauce is so so simple too!

I’ve had amazing success with tempeh bacon as well as raw, dehydrated coconut and eggplant bacon but the tempeh seemed to photograph the best!

——————————————–

Serves 1

  • 1 medium – large sized zucchini/carrot/daikon/etc (don’t sell yourself short here!)

Shave with a vegetable peeler or use a spiralizer

  • chopped carrots/sliced tomatoes/slices of red onion or shallot

Add to ‘noodles’

The Sauce: 

  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1t of fresh grated ginger (please do NOT use the powder for this recipe!)
  • 1/2-1t melted coconut oil
  • a few shakes of Spike or salt and pepper
  • a light drizzle of agave/maple syrup/sweetener

Toss all to combine and let it sit so that the noodles soften up a bit!

While you’re waiting, you can get cracking on the…

Tempeh/Coconut/Eggplant Bacon: 

  • 2t coconut oil for frying in a pan on medium high
  • a packet of tempeh cut into strips (I used a wild rice version)
  • 1-2T soy sauce/tamari/nama shoyu
  • 1/4t liquid smoke
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • a healthy drizzle of agave/maple syrup/sweetener

1. (Cooked Version) – Preheat pan, brown tempeh on both sides, pour sauce over, let the strips caramelize, flip, and serve!

2. (Raw Version) – Cut coconut meat or eggplant into strips, marinade in same mixture ^ for at least 10 minutes for the eggplant (salt the eggplant beforehand to draw excess liquid out) and preferably overnight for the coconut. Dehydrate on 105 degrees for 3 hours for the eggplant and up to 6 hours for the coconut!

Image

Spinach/Kale + Frozen Banana + Roasted Peanuts + Vanilla Almond Milk, topped with my chia-hemp-coconut blend

Image

Lettuce Wraps and Bell Pepper Cups smeared with Chipotle Hummus with chunks of Tofu Marinated in Rice Wine Vinegar, Miso Paste, Chili Flakes, Garlic, and Ginger, topped with Cilantro

Image

Oat Blend for Overnight Oats – Rolled Oats, Flax Meal, Oat Bran, Wheat Germ

Image

Chilled Soba Salad with a Wasabi-Ginger-Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

Image

Pumpkin Flax Granola-Blueberry-Soy Yogurt Parfait topped with my Flax-Wheat Germ & Chia-Hemp-Coconut Blends

Image

Peanut Butter Granola-Strawberry-Soy Yogurt Parfait with Chia Seeds

Image

Honeydew Melon Sorbet

Image

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries made in the microwave with Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chips and Coconut Oil

Image

My new comfort food – Sliced Tomatoes sprinkled with Spike and Vegenaise on Toasted Ezekiel Bread

Fellow vegans will be familiar with the apprehension of restaurant outings with predominantly omnivore friends. I don’t know if you’re like me but I will scour the restaurant’s online menu and craft my meal in my head before consenting to go! It’s a sad task but thankfully the tides are changing and the majority of people I hang out with are open to vegetarian/vegan friendly ethnic places and more tasty, accommodating places are cropping up more than ever!

My rules for a successful and satisfying night out of the kitchen:

1. Go ethnic! Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, INDIAN, Mexican, and Ethiopian cuisine feature vegan proteins and lots of veggies and LOTS of spices and textures opposed to the pathetic garden side salad with balsamic dressing. (I would mention Japanese but I really really am never a fan of a veggie roll)

2. Ask and you shall receive!  Whether you ended up in an ethnic place or a Marie Callendar’s, ASK your server questions.

  • I’ve come across so many chain/mom and pop/hole in the wall places that, when asked, will make every modification for you AND even ask their chef if they can create a special dish!
  • Almost EVERY dish can be made without cheese, eggs, yogurt, sour cream, butter. (almost!)
  • Soups can be tricky and have pieces of meat or cream floating in it that were not mentioned in the description (sucks huh). Lentil Vegetable can turn into Lentil Beef Vegetable!
  • Dressings can be mayo based!
  • Pestos are traditionally made with Parmesan cheese but some places make it without!
  • I heard certain guacamoles are made with sour cream…
  • Sandwiches can be spread with butter/mayo/melted with cheese — I see you Cheesecake Factory
  • Thai curries can have shrimp paste/Japanese broths and dipping sauces can have bonito or fish sauce/Mexican restaurants may still use lard (bleghhh) in their beans AND ask for no cheese garnish on those beans/Indian curries or sauces may have yogurt or cream
  • **TIP THE SERVER EXTRA FOR GRACIOUSLY ACCOMMODATING YOU!**

[I would never snitch on you to the ‘vegan police’ if you didn’t want to bother the kitchen and send your incorrect food back or if you really wanted the Butternut Squash soup that was made with chicken stock. I’ve been in your position and your true intentions are golden, so don’t feel bad or hate on others that make occasional exceptions!]

2.5 Forgive and Forget… If the server screws up, gives you attitude (I work at a restaurant and I’m familiar with the frustration servers will experience with ‘picky’ guests…they’re just stressed because they’re not savvy enough to know modifications right off the back!), food comes out wrong, or if you ultimately have to order something lame. It’s always a toss up when you go out and part of being a veg head in a not-so veg-friendly world is accepting certain sacrifices like dealing with n00bs and flavorless beans and rice.

3. Ditch the salad! Especially at places where there are Balsamic Roasted Veggie Paninis, Kung Pao Tofu, Hearty Vegetarian Chili, South Indian Eggplant Curry, Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce, etc, don’t subject yourself to that salad! You’re out of your house, indulge a little! You’re already living a very clean lifestyle and this is a special occasion! Gone are the days of anticipating the watery iceberg lettuce with shaved carrots and oil and vinegar. Now, unless the salad is crazy and has an insane dressing, garlic rubbed housemade croutons or brown rice, chunks of baked tofu, fresh herbs, or toasted nuts – then by all means, order. that. salad.

I definitely do not live in the most vegan/vegetarian suitable neighborhood but with some Yelp! researching for vegan places and menu tweaking of ‘regular’ restaurants, here’s what I’ve been able to enjoy! 

Image

Natural Cafe – SB Veggie Grill – Grilled Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Scallions, Yellow Squash, Zucchini brushed with a killer Balsamic Marinade, over brown rice

Image

Buddha’s Belly – Hibachi Chicken Salad – (no Chicken, add Fried Tofu!) a Shredded Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, and Green Onion Slaw tossed with Dried Cranberries, dressed with a Wasabi Yuzu sauce, topped with Cilantro

Image

Hugo’s – Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake

Image

Natural Cafe – (custom made by yours truly) Baby Spinach, Olives, Brown Rice, Alfalfa Sprouts, Shredded Carrots, Bacun Bits, and Marinated Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Herb dressing

Image

Jinky’s – Bombay Tofu Wrap (emphasis on the BOMB!) – Spicy Curry Tofu, Bell Peppers, Onions, Potato, Cilantro, and a Fruit Salad

Image

Menchie’s – Honeydew Melon Sorbet (DAAAAAMN, if you like Honeydew Melon Milk Tea with your boba, you’ll LOVE this)

Image

Akio’s – Special Vegetable Roll – Tempura Asparagus, Potato, Sweet Potato, rolled in a Daikon Radish wrap and a Ponzu Sauce

Image

Maria’s Italian Kitchen – Whole Wheat Penne with just a lot of veggies and garlic and olive oil

Image

Curry Leaf – Kara Eggplant Curry – “Eggplant with Dried Chilies in a Spicy Tamarind Sauce” topped with fresh strips of ginger, with Basmati Rice and Whole Wheat Roti

Image

Hip Cafe – Vegan Gluten Free Artichoke Quiche

Image

Lazy Dog Cafe – Hummus Trio

Image

Some seafood shack near San Luis Obispo on a dock – Spicy Seasoned Black Beans and Spanish Rice with Pickled Cabbage (!!!) and the Seaweed Salad with Pickled Ginger on a Fried Tortilla

Follow Your Heart – Tapioca Pudding – I believe it was a Coconut Milk based Tapioca garnished with Sliced Strawberries (though I highly recommend Buddha’s Belly’s Coconut Tapioca with Red Bean paste on top….so good)

Image

Buddha’s Belly – Eggplant Steak – Half of an entire Baked Eggplant slathered with a Saikyo Miso Marinade, topped with Roasted Sesame Seeds and some Pickled Ginger on the side

Image

My school sells these awesome Blue Diamond Flavored Almonds, these were Habanero BBQ! And C2O is the cheapest brand of Coconut Water at Whole Foods

Image

Arigato – Magic Mushroom – 5 Different Wild Mushrooms sauteed in White Truffle Oil and Garlic, rolled up with Asparagus, Avacado, and Chives!!

Image

Some Pho Place in the Valley – Veggie Ham and Tofu Spring/Salad Rolls, Japanese Vegan Curry with Tofu and Brown Rice, and Lavender Milk Tea with Boba

Image

Cafe Gratitude – Raw Pad Thai – Kelp Noodles, Raw Almond Butter based sauce, Shredded Kale, Carrots, Sunflower Sporuts, and Nama Shoyu Almonds

Image

Cafe Gratitude – Raw Crepes – Banana Crepe filled with sliced Bananas and Strawberries topped with Cashew Creme, Maple Syrup and Pecans and Cinnamon

Image

Shojin – Spicy Ramen – Savory Spicy Miso Broth, Wilted Kale, Meaty Seitan bits, Eggless Ramen Noodles, Sliced Onion, Sesame Seeds

Image

Shojin – Yellow Magic Orchestra – Avocado Roll topped with Tempura Kabocha Squash topped with Curried Tempeh

Image

A closeup!

Image

Worried about those pesky B12’s? Indulging in the oh-so-trendy (and pricey eeep) Kombucha drinks will help! Since this is a fermented drink, good bacteria is created which B12 derives from. Guava, Hibiscus, and Raspberry Chia are my favorite!

Image

White Elephant – Pa Nang Curry – Peanut and Coconut Milk based Curry with Veggies and Steamed Tofu over Purple Rice

Image

Sojourner Cafe – Blackberry Fizz and Pink Ginger Lemonade

Image

Sojourner Cafe – Tempeh Taco Salad – Baby Mixed Greens, Spicy Taco Tempeh, Balsamic Black Beans, Guacamole, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Tomatoes and Cucumber, Brown Rice, Hominy Bell Pepper and Onion mix

I will admit that most of these are from vegan restaurants but mainly because when me, my boyfriend, and my friends go out to eat, it’s a rare and special-ish occasion so we set out to discover a worth while eatery. I much rather cook at home because I can almost guarantee the satisfaction and consistency that comes with the meal as opposed to a new restaurant where it’s definitely a toss up. But do your research, set forth, and remember to tip your waiter!

Juicing – a vibrant, tasty, purifying way to get rid of your ‘ugly’ produce and load up vital nutrients in one fell swoop!

Image

Image

Image

Image
^ My favorite combo would have to be kale, cucumber, apple, parsley, ginger, carrot, lemon ^

Image

Image
^ spinach, kale, apple, carrot ^

Image

Image

^ romaine, carrot, apple ^


^ beet, apple, carrot ^

    What’s your favorite juicing combination?
    A great one that yields an APPLE CIDER taste: apples, romaine, and a dash of cinnamon for garnish!

Throughout the blossoming juice craze, there have been many testimonies singing praises about its revitalizing, enzyme harnessing, weight loss, cleansing effects as well as plenty of claims of nausea, lethargy, and stipulation about the raw benefits juicing is proposed to yield.

Two things!
1. Nausea and lethargy are most definitely expected within the first 3 – 7 days of your juice kick.
Shwhy you ask?

“Why You Feel Tired
According to Dr. Stanley Bass, founder of the Life Science International Fasting Center, it’s completely normal to feel tired and weak at the beginning of a juice detox or juice fast. If your regular diet is full of sugar, caffeine and preservatives, your body is in a state of constant stimulation. This stimulation is what causes you to crave sugar, salty snacks or caffeine during the day. When you feel tired, you reach for a cup of coffee or a candy bar. In the first stage of a juice diet, your body is telling you how tired it really is, and how hard it’s been working to keep up with what you’ve been putting into it.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/467210-can-juicing-make-me-tired/#ixzz1tFydREcS

- Combined with the caloric decrease for your *brief detox, your body is merely adjusting to the cleanse and will utilize all the pre-existing nasties stuck in your body before it starts running on the anti-inflammatory/purifying/antioxidizing properties of your juiced fruits and veg.
*please do not bite off more than you can chew! Err…take swigs of. It’s far more beneficial to juice for short periods of time like a weekend or a week throughout the year than for say, month chunks! You’ll be able to hang in there and benefit from these bursts of clean. Think of it as making attempts to go to the gym/get active – it’s better for the bod to get 30 minutes of light exercise PER DAY as opposed to 60 minutes of high intensity ONCE A WEEK. That kind of analogy!

2. The benefits are definitely there – IF the cleanse is well executed (this rule applies to everything from going vegan to having a boyfriend – you’ve gotta do your share of research for the “thing” that suits your needs the best, fits your lifestyle, demands the amount of time and attention you’re willing to pay, and is a sincere endeavor so that you may live for it wholeheartedly!)

“Juice Fasts Aren’t Necessary

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, your body is already well-equipped to flush out toxins via your kidneys, liver, and skin. Cleansing diets that claim to remove “bad” toxins from your system may remove or even deplete your intestines of healthy bacteria required for healthy functioning.
Net Places

- Like I said, don’t be extreme about this because it’s not meant to be a mind-over-matter-Buddhist-monk-walking-on-hot-coals ordeal! I agree that during multiple week stints that there is a chance of reduced gut flora due to a lack of fiber. Short yearly intervals are all you need. But I’m going to counter what this statement claims because from a nutrition standpoint, the healing properties and amount of fluids consumed are in fact tried and true cleansing agents. And if our bodies are really “well-equipped to flush out toxins” so efficiently on their own, then why do so many of us suffer with kidney failure, liver failure, and too frequent breakouts past puberty? Stress may play a large part in the latter BUT I’ve witnessed many accounts where skin starts loving its owner again! I’m not trying to advocate any hippie shit here, seriously, I get annoyed of whimsical explanations from either side of the fence.

- While juicing is not necessary, it sure does not do harm and makes for an uplifting experience to be on pure colorful liquid vitamins for a few days.

I’m religious about breakfast – you will never find me without some form of oats or chia seeds floating in my stomach. I shake my head in disbelief when people tell me they had just coffee or just fruit for breakfast! INSANE. I DON’T WANNA KNOW HOW !

I always make sure there’s gluten free grains (whole wheat PB and apples just leaves me hungry for some reason), nuts, powerhouse toppings, and fruit (tofu scrambles don’t keep me full!). 

All of these recipes can be whipped up in no more than ~7 minutes and can hang out in your body and keep you fueled for at least ~3 hours. Time efficient, no?

 

Image

+ Trader Joe’s O’s (low in fiber, ooops…what can you do when your boyfriend’s mom has to feed an 11 year old!)

+ Hemp Milk

+ Hemp Seeds (a wee supplement to that lack of fiber)

+ the most amazing fresh Raspberries (also fibrous!)

+ Raw Almond Butter

Cereal and nut butter is the best! You grab a spoonful of cold milk kissed cereal with a smidge of almond butter, very swoonworthy.  

 

Image

Same as above but with itty bitty strawberries and blackberries and a green drink for a crazy vitamin surge

Image

My pride and joy, my go to, my oats

+ Multigrain Oats (Trader Joe’s sells the kind I swear by!)

+ Almond Milk

+ Cinnamon, Stevia, Flax Meal

+ Peanut Butter

+ chopped Baby Gala Apple

Just throw the oats and milk in the microwave for 2 minutes, sprinkle the toppings and mix it up to evenly distribute the sweetness of the stevia and the comfy spice of the cinnamon, plop your peanut butter down, and try not to overflow your bowl with apples like I do…sometimes I’ll even use two baby apples (shh)

Image

oh da noms

Image

last but not least, my raw-friendly breakfast, my Chia Pudding

+ Chia Seeds, (hemp hearts, buckwheat groats, coconut shreds)

+ Almond Milk

+ Chopped Deglet Noor Dates (you can use Medjool, Bahri, whatever!)

+ (frozen) Raspberries (strawberries, blueberries, etc)

+ (chocolate powder! vegan protein powder! soaked and blended cashews!)

Soak the seeds and dates in the milk if you don’t have a Magic Bullet. Blend up the dates and milk separately in the Magic Bullet if you’ve got one then soak the seeds in it. The seeds should plump up and develop that nostalgic tapioca “bubble” (gel is just a weird word for breakfast) in 5-10 minutes. Top it off with raspberries and that’s it! 

 

EAT BREAKFAST! You’ll be nicer to everyone and happier to greet the day at such a grueling hour!

I’m not much of a snacky type girl but when I do, you’d best believe there’s some major hummus + crudites/apples + nut butter/kale chip/side dish leftover action going down

Image

honeycrisp apple + pb + cinnamon

Image

Trader Joe’s new frozen chickenless chicken tenders (giving Gardein a run for their money!) + sriracha and ketchup+ peas and corn + dates + almond butter…….maybe this was more of a dinner but it felt snacky nonetheless 

 Image

raw flax chips (the magenta is from the beet pulp from my juicer) + chipotle hummus + baby bells

Image

most consumed snack: pink lady apple + raw almonds

Image

peanuts + dried cranberries + chocolate chips

Image

super rare but mainly posted for everyone to check out that awesome table: matcha tea latte made with ALMOND MILK!! (thank you Ojai)

Image

leftover roasted brussel sprouts + splash of red wine vinegar + preventative measures to assure no lipstick gets in my food

Image

Lazy Dog’s dericious hummus trio and flatbread

Image

peanut butter and mint chocolate reindeer (**note to self: make huge cookie post)

Image

chocolate coconut kale chips a la Averie

Image

my own attempt at cheezy kale chips

Image

and some too too easy banana soft serve/”ice cream” with chocolate and crunchy salty peanuts!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.