My favorite thing about spring and summer is being able to sit out on the deck and people watch. Right now, I live in a nice little community so there are people out and about all day every day. I like to just wash up a bowl of fresh fruit – preferably raspberries because they are essentially work-free, and just watch everyone. The only problem is…. they are gone in about five minutes. 😀
I wasn’t sure how I felt about vegan cheese. It really isn’t that great. It usually tastes pretty salty, and the hard cheddar kinds are just that… hard… and kind of cheddar-y? So we were with some friends away for a weekend and I packed a bunch of different vegan items to hold me over. Then I realized, I have a vegan cream cheese – that tastes like virtually nothing – but hey it’s creamy right? And I ALSO had that hard cheddar cheese. So, what better way to enjoy a grilled cheese than to mix the two!
BEST IDEA EVER. I got the salty cheddar-y hard cheese mixed with creamy tasteless nothingness but had added texture benefits, then grilled it up and dipped it in tomato soup. The tomato soup was the winner for flavor, and the bread and combined cheeses really added the texture I was looking for.
See – grilled cheese can be good vegan too. Thank goodness.
You know when you’re in a super rush? Which happens to be like almost every day of the week? And you are like… I swear I said this vegan thing wasn’t that hard but seriously, who has time to wash up everything and make it nice? Well, that’s how I feel a lot. Especially now that I am in school and I have so many exams all the time, all year! I don’t even get summers off!
Well, when things get kind of crazy, my go-to vegan foods are basically tacos and Mexican style foods. I will take anything that’s diced up, stir fried and eaten in a taco shell or scooped up with a tortilla chip.
For example: Guacamole, salsa, beans mushed together, blended beans with random spices, “chili” that may or may not be chili and all you know is it’s completely vegan and has some spices in it…. those are just a few. And for a summery touch even some squash and tomatoes cooked up with some rice makes a good filling.
Bring on the easy, non-expensive vegan dishes!
I took this picture while out on a friends boat. I always feel kind of at peace in the evenings. I know our lives our hectic, and every day its just another thing happening, all day, every day. It feels like we never get a break. Then you realize.. wait, I had a break when I was on that boat that one time – and look at how beautiful it was!
So basically, don’t forget to appreciate all the little moments you have. Let them inspire you and give you hope for more peaceful days. Love and embrace these moments, because in this hectic world, they always seem so few and far between.
If I had an easier waffle maker to clean, I would literally be making these every single day of my life.
*Side note – does anyone know if there are easy to clean waffle makers? Mine has a cord attached to it and I have to hang that out of the sink while I rinse off the waffle iron part of it and I’m like.. This can’t be safe*
You might as well just make a waffle IV. The first time I made them, I forgot to put in baking powder, and they still came out awesome. This picture here is from my second attempt. And trust me, I will be making more.
Waffles are essentially some flour, vegan chocolate chips, agave/honey, oats, oil, and maybe some baking powder or water/almond if you don’t forget. When there are so few ingredients, how could you not try and make them?
I got my recipe from the Minimalist Baker, but like I said – I messed it up a few times and it still came out fine. And my fine I mean amazing. You should try them too.
Who wants a salad when you can have some of these little collard roll ups?
Instead of using taco shells or quesadillas – I just use some collard greens! Inside is some guacamole, beans, rice, and corn.
What do you think? Delicious 😀
I have been doing this vegan diet thing for a year and 9 months. Before that, I was a vegetarian for about a year. Now, I know I have posted something similar in the past, but I’d like to reflect on how difficult the vegan diet is.
When I say that, I know there are tons of people who will go on about how cheap it is, and how easy it is if you are just prepared etc. and more often than not I would agree. Basically, I think the vegan diet is completely accomplish-able if you set your mind to it. Just be ready to eat more, more frequently. I do think, however, that depending on who you are, where you live, and the circle you have around (for example do your friends always want to go to a steak house?) that there could be more challenges. It’s obvious, by my 21 months of being a vegan, that it is not impossible even without endless smoothie shops and dedicated vegan restaurants in your area. I just do my vegan thing using a regular grocery store and some interesting attempts at cooking where I basically alter every recipe I find because I don’t like to have too many steps, and I prefer to use what I have.
I would also like to make a note that in the 21 months I have been a vegan, not a single friend who lives close by to me is also a vegan. The BF who I live with is also an omnivore, but he is trying to eat more plant based, although he hasn’t made a complete switch. I have been unable to tap into a local vegan community with real people here where I live to go to places with and try and make recipes. I have met plenty of people online, and have been completely inspired by the enthusiasm there, but in terms of a real human being in my area – it has yet to happen. Part of it might be a reluctance to share my information over the internet, and my hope that I will just run into people. I even went to a local vegan restaurant to read by myself (a book called How Not To Die). I ate vegan appetizers and expressed to the wait staff that I was hoping to meet some vegans! Guess what? The one I spoke to was a vegetarian. At least the food was vegan. I guess it time, maybe it will just happen.
What I am trying to say is, even though I will never eat meat again, it is just exhausting when you go out to restaurants and you have to ask a million questions. What is this made with? Can I see the ingredient list for your home made “power bars”? Does that have egg in it? Do potato pancakes have egg in them? Can they be cooked with olive oil and not butter? What about Chinese noodles? Some are rice noodles, some are egg noodles – how do you know? And Chinese brown sauce? It’s all over the broccoli but is it made with beef broth or oyster sauce and am I allowed to eat that? Is it thickened with a gelatin? Or agar? Or is it just corn starch to thicken it? I just can’t tell. So sometimes, you think you are getting just a veggie dish, and it turns out the sauce might be made from something else – how do you send it back?
That being said, I am still trucking along. Also, I am trying, to be perfect. We can’t always be perfect all the time. Sometimes you mess up. Sometimes, especially if there is a language barrier, you might now know exactly what is in what you are getting. The best bet here is to eat out less often, and make more at home. But guess what? Sometimes you are on the road a lot and it just can’t be helped. We all do our best. I do my best, and I will continue to do so, but I recognize that this path is more of a journey, where I find things that work for me, and some that don’t. And with each little bit of discovery, I try and make it work towards my vegan goals the best I can. I hope that people can at least recognize my efforts and know that they are based in a strong belief that we are meant to get our nutrients from a plant based diet.
When starting off this holiday weekend don’t forget to prepare yourself for the BBQ vegan style! The worst is when you show up to a BBQ, and then you realize there was nothing for you anyway, and you probably should just eat the lettuce.
That’s why you have to bring your own stuff.
Featured above is a photo from my Instagram (@razzledazzlelove) from my last BBQ. They are fabulous veggies skewers! They have onions, potatoes, tofu, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini on them. I would recommend cooking the potatoes first in another fashion, maybe baking them before putting them on the skewer or they do not cook at the same rate as the other veggies.
If you’d rather not put in the effort for skewers, there are those sweet grilling baskets that you can buy for anywhere from $15-$30 in a grilling section of almost any store.
Happy and safe BBQ-ing to all!
I used to flip through magazines and say “oh hey look there is a vegan cruise! But it’s 9x the cost of a regular cruise” and then not go on a cruise. This time, I said, “The heck with it” and took my chances with the run of the mill budget cruise.
So it was a Carnival cruise… and first of all, the fruit selection was AMAZING. The fact that there are options at any hour of the day/night for the duration of the cruise is also AMAZING. Additionally, on Carnival, the room service was free, so even when the only thing that was open was the pizza place and the ice cream parlor at 1 am, I could order free fresh fruit and oatmeal delivered right to my room! I mean, I didn’t even have to walk to get my vegan fix, how great is that?
Also on cruises, the BF and I try and jump start our healthy lifestyle choices. I would say this is my favorite part. So healthy fruits, fresh raw options, and some jogging with a side of salsa dancing? I’ll take it. We went jogging on the track, swimming in the pools, dancing in the clubs, and even visited the gym to check it out. Overall, cruises make me happy 😀
Oh, and if you go to the service desk when you first get on the boat, and tell them you have special dietary requirements – they tell the kitchen! And at your dinner time, since you have the same wait staff every night, they come up to you and alert you that they were told about your food preferences. I was offered to select an entirely vegan cooked meal not on the menu for every single night. The only caveat was that I had to let them know the night before, but they usually gave me two or three choices to pick from.
Needless to say, I will be cruisin’ more often for vacations! Less work for food prep, and fresh fruit around the clock! Sign me up!