June Favorites // food, games, and music

Here’s a few things that just made me really happy this month.


Juice Lab: another restaurant in Denton, TX with a lot of vegan options.

We’ve been to Juice Lab a few times to pick up juices and on occasion for food. We went a few days ago for lunch and ordered the nachos for the first time and they were amazing.

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Sloth friends for my succulent

I haven’t talked about it here, but I have on my instagram a lot. I’m not good at taking care of plants but I want to change that, so a few months ago we picked up a succulent and it’s still growing strong! My parents got us these really cute sloths that they found at Hobby Lobby to place on the pot.

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Cadence of Hyrule

This just came out on the Switch this month and I’ve been playing it nonstop since. This has just made me even more excited for Link’s Awakening coming out in September.

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Discogs – Catalog, Collect & Shop Music

I downloaded the Discogs app a few nights ago and finally organized my record collection. It’s nice to see what I have, especially because while I was going through them I forgot I owned some of the records I did! Here are some of the albums I’ve been listening to lately:

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Vegan chik’n cutlet parmesan

Father’s Day was a few weeks ago, and my mom made us chicken cutlet parmesan for dinner. She made DJ and I our own tray of vegan chik’n cutlets and it tasted just like the original! She used Gardein’s crispy chik’n tenders and Daiya mozzarella cheese, plus they found a vegan loaf of french bread at Walmart and Earth Balance butter to spread on it. It’s so nice that it’s incredibly easy to veganize anything and we can enjoy a nice dinner with family, especially a meal I had all the time for special occasions growing up. ♡

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Those are some of my favorite things that happened this month. What were some of yours? Let me know in the comments!

a junk food vegan day of eating

I just did not want to cook today. Here’s what I ate throughout the day:

breakfast? (honestly it was like 2:30pm)

I was craving fish sticks, so I cooked three of Gardein’s fishless filets and made a dipping sauce with 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard and 1 tbsp maple syrup. I microwaved them for 1 minute, then air fried them for 4 minutes, flipped them, then air fried them for another 3 so they’d be crispy.

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a very late lunch

For lunch I made a quick wrap out of Lightlife While Bean & Kale Deli Slices, Daiya American cheese, and spinach. I used the rest of the dipping sauce from earlier in the wrap too.

dinner

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Mac and cheese with spinach and buffalo cauliflower. It didn’t turn out pretty, but it was so good.

For the sauce I used:

  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 slices of Daiya American cheese
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • paprika
  • a few drops of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of tapioca flour

Also:

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower

For the buffalo cauliflower I took 1 cup of frozen cauliflower and air fried it for about 10-15 minutes on 400º. Once it was a little crispy I tossed it in buffalo wing sauce and air fried it at 320º for about another 10 minutes.

I made the sauce by heating up the soy milk on medium and melted the Daiya cheese in it. I added the spices then let that simmer for a few minutes. I added 2 tsp of tapioca starch and 3 tsp of water to a cup to thin it out, then added it to the sauce to let it thicken.This will be enough for about 2 servings of pasta.

and then oreos (mega stuf)

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That’s what I ate today! It was a very lazy day of eating.

Savory Pasta with Veggies // easy vegan recipe

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Here’s the perfect meal for a low spoon kind of day.

I’ve been bringing this meal to work for lunch for the past few days because it is so easy and only takes a few minutes to put together.

You will need:

  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 2 cups sautéed cauliflower
  • 1 cup collard greens, or whatever frozen greens you want to add
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegan protein broth
  • black pepper
  • nutritional yeast
  • garlic powder

First, I steamed then sautéed the frozen cauliflower in a pan. I didn’t add any oil, just a bit of water so the veggies wouldn’t stick (but try not to burn the cauliflower and set off the smoke alarm like I did, hah). I defrosted the collard greens the laziest way by microwaving it for 1 minute in the microwave, then taking it out to mix it and add in some nutritional yeast and garlic powder, then heating it for another minute in the microwave. While the veggies are cooking boil the pasta. I make a lot of pasta at a time for easy leftovers.

After I drained the pasta I put it back in the pot and added the veggies, tomatoes, the protein broth, then the spices. I heated it over medium heat for a few minutes to warm up everything together.

The second meal pictured above is just with leftover penne instead of rice noodles and minus the cauliflower so it was much faster and easier to make.

And voilà! A really easy meal that’s really tasty. You can also serve it with more nutritional yeast on top or add some hot sauce, and use whatever veggies you like.

Some vegan junk food I’ve been eating lately

We go to Sprouts and Kroger on occasion to pick up some vegan junk food. Here’s some of the things we’ve been eating lately:

We always pick up something to drink, and on this trip I bought a Yerba Mate.

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We also bought some everything bagels. When I was younger we’d pick up bagels for the weekend and have them with either cream cheese or with eggs and cheese for breakfast. Luckily that’s easy to veganize. We bought Miyoko’s Creamery cream cheese, which is in my opinion the best vegan cream cheese we’ve tried. I’ve also been enjoying them with tofu scramble and Daiya Cheddar Shreds. I season my tofu scramble with garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne pepper and it’s been such a nostalgic treat.

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White Castle now has frozen vegan black bean sliders. When I was in college we’d occasionally get the normal frozen cheeseburger sliders and heat them up in the microwave for dinner. Now there’s a vegan version! We had to try them, and they were pretty tasty. We bought Follow Your Heart’s vegan Gouda slices too, so we melted them on the burger and it added a really nice flavor.

I love baking cookies, especially now when the weather has been so rainy, so we picked up some pre-made cookie dough from Sprouts by the brand Just. These always turn out so delicious, especially in dough form (the best thing about vegan cookie dough is that you can eat it raw!).

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Daiya Alfredo Style cheezy mac has been a favorite recently too.

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And I’ve been lazy and eating a lot of rice noodles and avocado rolls.

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(This morning I heated up the leftover rice noodles with sriracha and sesame oil, and air fried tofu. For the tofu I cut it up into tiny cubes and tossed it with black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika).

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That’s some food that we, as junk food vegans, have been liking lately. Let me know what some of your favorite vegan treats are in the comments! ♡

Veganized 5-Layer Burritos

One of the last things I ate before I made the decision to follow a vegan lifestyle was a 5-layer burrito from Taco Bell (I was vegetarian at the time and ordered it without meat, so it was more like a 4-layer burrito?). It was also my favorite thing to order at Taco Bell.

The normal layers in a 5-layer burrito are:

  1. Seasoned beef
  2. Cheese
  3. Beans
  4. Nacho cheese sauce
  5. Reduced fat sour cream

Obviously that is not something that I’d order or could make “fresco style” (substitute dairy for pico de gallo), but I’ve been craving one recently. So, here is my decadent vegan version:

  1. Seasoned beef:
    • Instead of using the usual vegan ground beef replacements (my go-tos are Boca Veggie Crumbles or Beyond Meat Crumbles) I picked up some seitan from our local Sprouts. I warmed it up in a pan with some coconut cooking spray and it was really flavorful and savory. IMG_8028

  2.  Cheese:
    • I picked up Follow Your Heart’s vegan cheddar cheese from Sprouts too.IMG_8027

  3.  Beans:
    • Winco has some amazing refried black beans with jalapeno peppers and no lard. IMG_8026

  4. Nacho cheese sauce:
    • I made the cheese sauce out of 1 cup of cashews, enough soy milk so that it would blend and be creamy, 2-3 tbsps nutritional yeast, a splash of lime juice, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, a little bit of yellow mustard, and a few drops of hot sauce (sounds weird, I know, but it turned out pretty “cheezy”). IMG_8024

  5. Reduced fat sour cream:
    • I found a lot of recipes for vegan sour cream on Pinterest and chose to try this one from Loving It Vegan: Vegan Sour Cream – Tangy and Rich. It turned out SO good. The consistency and flavor were spot on.  IMG_8025

Here’s the finished result! This was so amazing and satisfied the craving. I feel like I say this in every blog post, but you really can veganize everything:

Air Fryer Review // why I try to cook everything I can in our air fryer

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Here’s an Amazon link to the one we have: Avalon Bay Air Fryer. It’s worked well for us so far. It’s a healthier way of “frying” food, plus it heats food up quickly without having to preheat. There are tons of air fryer recipes posted on Pinterest so check those out too!

The Beyond Burger: a review

I got home from work last night and I just really wanted mac and cheese for dinner. We stopped by our local Natural Grocers but made the mistake of being hungry while grocery shopping and stopped to see if there were any vegan treats on sale.

That’s when we found The Beyond Burger for $5.84 and had to pick it up along with Daiya’s boxed cheezy mac.

This was our first time making The Beyond Burger at home. I’ve had it at restaurants before and absolutely loved it. The packaging looks just like meat packaging and it grills pretty quickly and similarly to meat.

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DJ seasoned the burgers before we grilled them with onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

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We added Beyond Meat crumbles to the cheezy mac. I seasoned the crumbles with onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and black pepper. The cheez sauce is usually creamier when mixed in with the macaroni but the pasta was cold by the time I added it. We topped our burgers with pickles, daiya cheese, onions, and ketchup.

These are such a good alternative to meat. They grilled well and have a taste and texture really similar to meat. I recommend trying them out whether or not you’re vegan. Let me know what you guys think about The Beyond Burger in the comments! Have you tried it? What do you think of vegan meats in general?

What I ate today // cosy winter treats

Today was my day off, plus with the holiday season upon us and the changing weather I’ve been sick lately. This time I’m not alone though, and DJ has joined me this cold season. We got our sick butts off the couch and decided to make some tasty treats.

Brunch: tofu scramble with daiya cheddar cheese, waffles, Boca chick’n, and hashbrowns.

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The only thing I had to make was the tofu scramble, and I threw everything else in the oven.

Dinner: leftover soup with pasta and dumplings (I forgot to take a photo of the dumplings).

I remember as a kid having this pasta in soups when I was sick, so I figured it would be the best pasta to cure us. I added the cooked pasta to some leftover soup DJ made a few days ago. He threw together a bunch of stuff we had in the fridge and freezer, including vegetable broth, corn, tomatoes, spinach, onions, and green lentils.

(Soy)nog:

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I had a cup of this with some cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Winco brand Apple Jacks:

With cashew milk.

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That’s everything I ate today during a super lazy day at home. More winter treats and comfort food will be posted soon!

A Vegan Thanksgiving // what I ate today

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I ate a ton of vegan treats on Thanksgiving and I wanted to share it with you guys. Here’s everything I ate this weekend:

The day before Thanksgiving: 

We made most of the food on Wednesday so we wouldn’t have to worry about it on Thanksgiving. For the main dish we made a vegan lasagna with homemade tofu ricotta, Daiya Mozzarella shreds, Boca veggie crumbles, and Tofurky Italian sausage. The recipe for the tofu ricotta is on this blog post that I made last year.

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We also made a vegan apple pie that night too. We found a gluten free crust at Kroger that happened to also be vegan, and mixed together chopped apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and lemon juice.

That night we also wanted to try a new So Delicious ice cream flavor after all of our hard work (plus the self control it took not to snack on the lasagna and apple pie), so we had a little bit of that for dessert. It was a lot creamier than I thought it would be. I figured since it was blueberry flavored it would be a sorbet, but instead it was so creamy and so delicious.

Thanksgiving: 

We started the day off with a late afternoon cheese platter. We’ve almost always had one for every holiday, so it’s nice that I can make my own vegan version to have.

I made this one with Miyoko’s Creamery vegan mozz, Lightlife veggie deli slices (White bean + kale and Chickpea + red pepper), Chao Creamy Original slices, Treeline Treenut cheese, and Go Veggie cream cheese. We also had some bread on the side including sourdough bread and bagel thins.

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A few hours later we had dinner. My plate included sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes made with cashew milk and earth balance butter, cranberries, broccoli, spinach, and rutabagas also with vegan butter. I also drank some Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Blue Moon, which is also vegan according to the app Vegaholic.

Finally, the dessert. The pie we made the night before was amazing. I also had a scoop of So Delicious’ Vanilla cashew milk ice cream on the side.

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That’s everything I ate on Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my family that helps us make amazing vegan food on the holidays and tries some too! ♡

My 5 Vegan Staple Foods

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As a vegan trying to eat cheap and easy meals, I usually have a few go-to food items that I’ll buy every time I go grocery shopping. Rice, oats, and beans (especially chickpeas) aren’t on this list since I usually buy those in bulk and they last awhile so I don’t need to pick them up every time we go to the grocery store. Here’s a few of the things I buy nearly every time we go shopping:

Pasta

Pasta is my go-to meal for lazy days. I try to add in a ton of veggies to bulk it up, and I’ll make a quick sauce out of hummus or cauliflower. I don’t buy pasta in bulk since I like to try different pastas once in awhile and the type of pasta we buy depends on what recipes I want to cook that week.

Creamy Tomato and Chickpea Pasta Recipe // Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

Hummus

We go through hummus like crazy. We use it for everything from dipping veggies and chips into, to tofu scramble to make it “cheesy” or in pasta as a sauce. It’s so versatile. We bought a mild hatch chili hummus made with white beans this past week, and it was really nice as a pasta sauce.

Hummus Pasta Recipe

Frozen fruits and veggies

Mostly for smoothies, but I buy a lot of frozen cauliflower for making alfredo sauces or as a base for a mac and cheese sauces and queso. I also always buy frozen spinach and kale, for both smoothies and adding to pasta dishes. Blueberries are another staple in my diet, since whenever I make oatmeal 99% of the time it has blueberries and peanut butter in it.

Smoothie Recipe

Tofu

I love making tofu scrambles, and I use tofu in a lot of dishes. It’s another versatile food that you can used to make a ricotta “cheese”, pasta sauce, baked tofu with buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, or peanut sauce, or as a filling for shepherd’s pie and burritos. It’s cheap and you can use it for a lot of different meals, plus it has a ton of protein.

Tofu Scramble Recipe // Vegan Quiche

Bagels / mini bagels / or tortillas 

I buy some kind of bread every week, but I’ll usually go for Thomas’ mini bagels or tortillas. I’ll turn any leftover into a burrito if I can.

Mini Bagel with Chickpea Tuna Salad

Those are some of my staple foods I buy when I need groceries and just want to pick up a few things. What are your guys’ staple foods?

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