Savory Pasta with Veggies // easy vegan recipe

IMG_8985

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.

What I Ate Today // vegan staple meals

IMG_8996

Today was stormy and a super chill day at home. Perfect for being creative, playing video games, and cooking lots of tasty vegan food. These are the meals that have become staples in my diet since they’re so cheap and easy to make:

Breakfast: tofu scramble burrito

96BEAF67-79D0-4126-878C-6CC95518F17A.jpg

I scrambled tofu and added lots of spinach for a quick breakfast burrito. For spices I used paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and garlic powder. I don’t do much to the tofu, I just take a block of extra firm tofu and “scramble” it in a pan over medium high heat. Once it’s mostly cooked and most of the water has evaporated I lower it to medium and add in the frozen spinach. The hot sauce I used was Taco Bell’s Diablo Sauce. Also, I added in some hummus (I use Sabra’s classic hummus) to make it “cheesy” and wrapped it up in a flour tortilla.


Lunch: rice noodles with veggies

  • One serving of brown rice noodles
  • 1 cup sautéed cauliflower
  • 1 cup of a frozen vegetable stir fry mix (broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions, and mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup vegan protein broth
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • and a few drops of low sodium soy sauce

This is a pretty simple recipe: steam then sautée the cauliflower in a pan, and when it’s mostly cooked add in the frozen vegetable stir fry. Boil the pasta, and once it’s drained and the vegetables are soft combine everything in the pot.

Here’s the protein broth and noodles I used:

I have been making some variant of this for the past week to bring to work for lunch. It’s a super quick meal, really hearty, and so tasty.


Today was cosy and rainy so we stayed home, worked on some projects, and played lots of video games. I’ve been playing Pokémon SoulSilver a lot lately, so I wanted to share my Pokémon team:

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Cyndaquil was my starter, and I traded for the Onix in-game. I love how the Pokémon follow you while you’re walking around the map! It’s also my favorite Pokémon game storywise and overall a good time.


Dinner: burrito bowl

I had a burrito bowl for dinner (and DJ made tacos, they looked really good so I wanted to share those too!). This was white rice, black refried beans, a Boca chik’n patty, and spinach with a homemade cashew cheese sauce. We made the cheese sauce by combining a bunch of random ingredients, including cashews, almond milk, yellow mustard, lime juice, salsa, red onion, nutritional yeast, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce. It doesn’t sound like it, but it made a really delicious and creamy cheese sauce.

That’s everything I ate this day! I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole foods into my diet and trying to eat healthier in general. Let me know what your staple meals are in the comments or on instagram: @healthy_ghost. ♡

May Playlist // making music again

9CBA059A-7834-49F2-8D78-0AB631324666 (1)

I’ve been playing a lot of music this month and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve mostly been practicing guitar and ukulele and I’m finally building a pedalboard! For now it’s complete (all I need now is a bigger pedalboard). I couldn’t be happier. I’m using a pedaltrain nano pedalboard with these five pedals:

  • TC Electronic Polytune 3
  • Electro-Harmonix XO Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator
  • EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine Super Chorus
  • TC Electronic The Prophet Digital Delay
  • TC Electronic Skysurfer Reverb (the very first pedal I bought)
  • TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

I now know a few songs on ukulele, most importantly the Mii channel theme, and I’ve been following JustinGuitar tutorials for guitar. His lessons are so good, I highly recommend checking him out on his website and YouTube channel. I’ve also been sporadically playing with the free version of Yousician and working on scales from the exercise book from The Guitar Grimoire.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to this month. Let me know what you all have been listening to in the comments or on Instagram @healthy_ghost.

Tiki Loco // vegan in Dallas, TX

IMG_8830

Here’s a brief review of Tiki Loco, a vegan cafe in Dallas, Texas that serves vegan tacos, nachos, coffee, beer, and baked goods. Check out their website and menu here.

We decided to go out for a late lunch / early dinner because we had plans to go to a figure painting class later that night and wanted to try out a new restaurant. I had been wanting to eat at Tiki Loco for awhile now, especially after seeing their posts on Instagram. We stopped in for a quick bite to eat and had such a great experience.

B8B881BD-5354-403C-ABEC-C2275F268E7E

After we ordered our food I enjoyed a local vegan cider while we waited. We visit the cidercade they brew at every once in a while and have a ton of fun playing arcade games and drinking cider. It’s been my go-to drink lately, especially the flavor Crackberry. Tiki Loco had a ton of other drinks to choose from, from juice to coffee, smoothies, and even shaved ice.

IMG_8729

We ordered the House Original Ground Beef Nachos, the Citrus Chicken tacos, and the Pineapple Mango Sweet n’ Sour Pork tacos (all plant-based!). Everything was so delicious and so filling.

IMG_8728

And then as we were leaving we picked up an oatmeal cookie that we couldn’t resist.IMG_8831

The food was absolutely delicious and we enjoyed the atmosphere and music they were playing. We haven’t tried a new vegan restaurant in awhile, and even though this was a far drive for us the food was amazing and we were so happy we stopped by. If you’re ever in Deep Ellum I highly recommend checking Tiki Loco out!

What I Eat in a Day // easy vegan meals

Getting back on track and trying to be healthy.

Breakfast

F395BF81-8504-4B5C-8DC4-E7A602556BF1

I started the day with two mini bagels with Go Veggie vegan cream cheese and nutritional yeast. Then I airfried a small slab of tofu that I coated with nutritional yeast, turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. I airfried it at 400º for 20 minutes, flipping it after 10 minutes.

 

 Lunch

A sweet potato with peanut butter and a side of spinach that I defrosted in the microwave with nutritional yeast and garlic powder. Peanut butter and sweet potato is one of the best flavor combinations in my opinion.

Snack

IMG_8663 1

A Clif bar and sparkling water that exploded.

Dinner

FCB27E8F-2827-4204-A9F1-663BB80823AF

After I got home from work I made white rice, air fried then steamed some dumplings (instead of frying them in oil), and made another cup of spinach (that I also mixed with nutritional yeast and garlic powder). For the sauce I used 2tbsp of classic hummus, sriracha, and a splash of water to thin it out.

And that’s everything I ate today! Simple and easy vegan meals during a busy day. ♡

Top 10 Vegan Restaurants // Denton and Dallas – Fort Worth, TX

We go out to eat. A lot. My boyfriend and I are also vegan, so the places we can eat at are limited, but luckily we have tons of tasty options nearby. Here’s some of our favorite places that serve delicious vegan food around North Texas.

Denton:

Milpa Kitchen and Cantina

Milpa has an amazing vegan section on their menu! Last time we ordered from there we picked up the Al Pastor Vegano tacos and the Vegan Quesadillas for dinner. We’ve also eaten the enchiladas and the tamales, and everything was so delicious. This is some of the best Tex-Mex we’ve had, including non-vegan Tex-Mex.


For sushi there’s two places that we really like to go to pick up avocado and veggie rolls:

Blue Ginger Japanese Bistro

They don’t have many options for vegans, but I love their avocado sushi rolls, asparagus rolls, and miso soup.Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Mr. Chopsticks

They have a few more options for vegans, such as the tofu sushi for an appetizer. I usually order avocado rolls and rice noodles on the side and drench the rice noodles in sriracha.

img_6236

0b3acf0a-c166-4555-9c31-0b02cd2fefad-1


There’s two pizza restaurants close-by that we also like to eat at:

J&J’s Pizza

Located on the Denton Square, J&J’s is a great place to pick up some vegan pizza. They have lots of veggie toppings, vegan cheese, and vegan “meat” toppings too!

2e6f8cb1-210b-4a9d-a8c5-2f0edc441500

Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom is similar, but they have pretzels that you can also make vegan and hummus for an appetizer! Make sure you asl for no parmesan and no butter on the pretzels. I also like adding avocado to my pizza instead of cheese. They have a huge selection of vegan meats to add for toppings.


Seven Mile Cafe

This is a great place to get breakfast / brunch. They have tofu scramble and vegan cinnamon rolls that are amazing. The burgers and hashbrowns are delicious too.


OMG Donuts

They serve really tasty vegan breakfast burritos and donuts. We go here to pick up something for breakfast quite frequently since it’s so affordable.

Dallas / Fort Worth:

Spiral Diner (Locations in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Denton)

Spiral Diner is the restaurant we probably go to most often. They serve amazing vegan comfort food. I highly recommend getting the Buffalo Chik’n Nachos and the Beyond Burgers, but you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. They also have specials every month, so definitely check them out if you’re ever in town!

0ab4c31b-d561-4bb7-8eb3-2e17e4faef62-1

img_6786


V-Eats

V-Eats is a fancy and modern vegan restaurant in Dallas. They have really tasty nachos for an appetizer and I loved the flatbread pizza. Our non-vegan friends and family love this place too!


Alamo Drafthouse (Dallas, Richardson, Denton, Irving, and Frisco)

They have amazing cauliflower wings, pizza with Daiya cheese, Beyond Meat Burgers, and much more on their vegan menu.


Reverie Bakeshop

Reverie Bakeshop has a nice selection of vegan baked goods, including kolaches, empanadas, quiches, cookies, cheesecakes, and more. I highly recommend eating breakfast here if you’re ever in Richardson.

IMG_7122


Those are some of our favorite restaurants that serve vegan food. It ended up being 11 restaurants, but there’s so much delicious vegan food around Dallas!

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.

img_8237

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.

1df23464-383e-4420-a5bc-bd14cf624c44

0e9fef77-53f6-4d42-83fd-b572e9a270d8

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!).

img_8266

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

img_8268

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

0b3acf0a-c166-4555-9c31-0b02cd2fefad

(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).

AF72A9B5-D3F0-4946-8E2E-956820967886

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! ♡

April Playlist

IMG_8071

This month’s playlist is composed of the music I’ve been playing while making breakfast before work. Calming and comforting. It’s what I’ve needed this month.

I’ve been playing a lot of music lately too. I’m re-teaching myself piano and it’s been a lot of fun. I also ordered a tenor ukulele online and it’s currently on its way. Next month may be a playlist full of ukulele and piano songs I’d like to learn.

What have you been listening to lately? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram: @healthy_ghost.

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:

Make tofu scramble with me

I took a hiatus from YouTube for a few months, but I just posted a new video! It’s about how I make my favorite breakfast.

We’re housesitting for the next few days, and with a much larger kitchen than our own I wanted to make a short cooking video. I was going to make some tofu scramble before work and thought the lighting was good, and just wanted to film it. So here’s the recipe video on how I’ve been making tofu scramble. What’s your favorite breakfast to make? Let me know what you think in the comments!