August 30-31 Pittsburgh, PA Food Adventures
September 1, 2014
Hi! I hope that you all had a great Labor Day weekend! What did you do?! I spent most of my weekend in Pittsburgh. Saturday I went to the Pirates game and the Rib Fest. (yuck!!) Then on Sunday I hung out with my friend, ate lots of good food, and grocery shopped. Three of my favorite things!
Today I woke up to cloudy skies, but decided to get in a 12 mile bike ride before the rain. It didn’t quite work that way, but I survived and didn’t melt! Now I’m sitting here sharing things with my favorite people. (That’s you guys!!) I wanted to show you guys all of the awesome food that I’ve been eating lately and talk a little bit about the importance of preparation when it comes to socializing as a vegan. All fun stuff!
I was going to the Pirates game on Saturday with 6 meat eaters. They planned to go to the Rib Fest before heading to the game and you could say that I wasn’t too excited. I don’t enjoy the smell of meat or being around it. But those situations happen and you just have to be prepared to deal with it. So I stopped by Panera Bread beforehand and grabbed one of my favorite salads. The Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad from Panera is so good! Obviously I get it without the chicken, which usually means that they add more fruit. Yeah! I took my salad to the Rib Fest and ate it while everyone else had their food. In my opinion, mine looked much better than everyone else’s. Just look at those beautiful colors!
Yesterday I made the trip back to Pittsburgh and picked up my friend before heading to Amazing Cafe. I love this place! The staff is always wonderful and the atmosphere is great. They have a mostly vegan and gluten free menu with such a wide variety of options. I got the Zesty Zoodles and a peach smoothie (not pictured) that left me full for hours. So good!
After going to Amazing Cafe I went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I got dried mango which is my absolute favorite! Also, Dr. Bronner’s soap, vanilla Sweet Drops, dates, and a few other things not pictured. I always see people using the Sweet Drops in their smoothies and stuff but never wanted to actually spend the money on them. They were on sale at Whole Foods yesterday so I decided to go for it. I tried them this morning and oh my gosh! I need to rant and rave about them in a separate post, but I highly recommend them! I also was looking for a new soap. I’ve been using local soap that I bought a long time ago but I’m almost out and unable to get more. My friend recommended this Dr. Bronner’s soap. I’ve used Dr. Bronner products before but not the soap. So I’ll have to report back about it as well! What are your favorite soaps to use? Let me know!
After a long day of grocery store adventures I ended up at Eden. No surprise there! I got the Burrito Bowl which was a great choice. It was such a large portion! So so good. I loved it. I’ve officially had everything on their summer menu and there isn’t a bad option. Get everything! But really, I devoured this in no time and now I’m sitting here wishing that I could go back right now for more. Mmmm. I also got carrot cake to go. I ate half of it last night and am going to eat the other half in the near future. Can’t go without dessert!
That’s it for today my friends! Do you like when I share posts like this? What else would you like to see? Let me know! I’m going to go enjoy the rest of the day and get ready for another great week. Talk to you soon!
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Milkshake – Vegan
August 29, 2014
Hi there! How are you? I’m doing good. I just started a new job this week and have been working on getting into a routine with it. It’s nice! But I am in desperate need of clothes that aren’t workout clothes. Over the past year I’ve basically been able to live in my workout clothes and get away with it. Well not anymore! It’s kind of nice to wear “real” clothes again though. I used to be so into clothes, fashion, etc. so maybe I’ll get back into that just a bit and play with my wardrobe some. Share with my your favorite places to shop! Along with “real” clothes, I’m also in need of ideas for easy lunches. So expect some recipes for lunch in future. Send any ideas my way too and I’ll see what I can do. Anyways, I have a lot of exciting (unfinished) posts coming your way! I have a terrible habit of starting one post and getting an idea for a new one which just leaves me to have a lot of unfinished drafts. I guess it’s something that will keep me busy! In the meantime I wanted to share this shake with you. It’s 7:45 a.m. and it’s strange for me to be typing this at the moment. I usually write my posts in the evening which is strange because I’m definitely a morning person. Anyways! I was just going to post it on Instagram and move on, which is why I only have a couple iPhone photos of it. (I apologize for that) But then I decided that it’s too good not to share here too. I’m excited to get this out into the world so that you can all make it on this beautiful day and share your photos of it with me. Just use #createnplate on Instagram and I will be so excited about and jealous of your beautiful creation. Enough of the rambles though, let’s eat. Actually, let’s drink!
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Smoothie
2 frozen bananas
1 fresh banana
1/2 to 1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup dates
1 tablespoon cacao powder
Peanut butter, to top
Cacao Nibs, to top
Blend together everything except peanut butter and cacao nibs. Adjust the amount of almond milk used to your preference. (the less water the thicker/creamier it will be) Once blended, pour into glass and top with peanut butter and cacao nibs. Serve, enjoy!!
NYC Vegan Food Post – August 23
August 25, 2014
Hi there! Remember the other day when I said that I was going somewhere exciting? Well I’m ready to share! I went to New York City for the day yesterday. Ever since my yoga training last fall I have really grown to love NYC. If you would have asked me last year at this time if I liked it, I would have told you how it “wasn’t for me.” Funny how things change, right?! My friend was leading a workshop at my favorite yoga studio ever, Strala. I really wanted to go to the workshop but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, so I just did a day trip. It’s about a 6 hour trip from my house to the city so I got up superrr early and went for it! I’ve done it a ton before, so it wasn’t too bad. I was just excited for the day!
I took a banana smoothie with me at 4 a.m. when I started my drive but that wore off by the time I was in the city! I was very hungry and I knew where I wanted to go. Juice Press! I love Juice Press as I said in my last NYC trip post. I was going to stick with my favorite drink as usual, but I felt like going for something new. Trying new things is good! I tried out this F*#%ing Genius smoothie and oh my gosh. It was so creamy and smooth! (Wow, what a surprise. A smooth smoothie.) But the flavor was perfect and satisfied my hunger. Awesome.
After I went to Juice Press, I went to Peacefood Cafe to meet a friend. I became friends with Mary through Instagram after we mutually followed each other. She works at Peacefood and I have been wanting to meet her (in real life) for a while now! So I stopped by to say hi to her and got mesmerized by the baked goods. She recommended the carrot cake cupcake that she made earlier that morning so I went for it. So. Good. I’m a big icing person and that icing was AMAZING.
I find myself frequenting many of the same places in the city when I visit. Sacred Chow is one of those places. They recently changed stopped offering my favorite dish during brunch, so I had to try something new. I got the Nama Gori Kale Caesar Salad. It was good! I’m not a big kale fan, to be honest. But I really enjoyed this dish! It was very simple, yet filling which was perfect to have before yoga.
It’s no secret that I’m in a relationship with One Lucky Duck Caesar Salads. They are a must have when I’m in NYC. No exceptions. I fell in love with this beautiful salad a year ago yesterday! (My first time at Pure Food and Wine.) I don’t even know what makes it so special actually. There’s just something about it that I love so much. Just look at it sitting there in all of it’s beauty. Mmm.
I visited Chloe’s once before this. It’s somewhere that I enjoy, but not something that I want every single time (like my caesar salad). But I felt like stopping by this time. I was only in the city for one day, so why not eat as much good food as possible? Chloe’s is soft serve fruit that is made from fruit, water, and a bit of organic cane sugar. Delicious! The guy was super friendly and patient as I asked to sample most of the flavors. Whoops! I decided to stick with blueberry soft serve and top it with mango, pomegranate seeds, and dark chocolate chips. I loved it. It was the perfect combination and made me so happy.
As usual, I had to bring some goodies home. I brought the expected caesar salad and a mallomar! You all know what I think of the caesar salad, so I won’t rant and rave about it again (until next time) but I have never shared the mallomar so here we go. I ate this last night. Oh. My. Gosh. I’m not sure if it tasted so good because I’m currently 309 miles away from One Lucky Duck or just because it is that amazing. Probably both of those things were large factors. But I instantly regretted buying only one. I know for next time though!
My NYC trip was short this time but still wonderful. I’ll be back in NYC sometime in October, so stay tuned for more awesome food adventures in the coming months and share with me your favorite places and foods to get in the city!
Chocolate Chip Cookies & Chocolate Icing – Gluten Free
August 22, 2014
These cookies were an accident… a beautiful accident. The best recipes seem to be the unplanned ones. So fun! I can hardly type this, I’m so excited for a semi-secret trip that I’m taking tomorrow. Follow my Instagram for live action on this event or wait until Sunday when I share it right here. Either way, that’s all that is on my mind and I can’t focus on writing about these cookies. It’s a shame because they deserve as much love as they can get. I actually used this chocolate date sauce from my oatmeal earlier this week as the icing. It was a good decision and I highly recommend it!
Also, this is a cooked dessert! Big news, my friends! I rarely ever make cooked desserts but I was feeling it this week. Why do I never make cooked desserts? I’m not sure actually. They exist, but they’re rare. So let’s cherish this recipe! Especially because it’s so easy to make. You know how I love easy recipes and I know that a lot of you do too. Beautiful simplicity! Let’s do it!
Chocolate Chip Cookies & Chocolate Icing
makes 8-10 cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup dates
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 teaspoons almond butter
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Chocolate Date Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend together all ingredients except cacao nibs. Once blended stir in cacao nibs and spoon out small/medium sized cookies onto lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Make chocolate date sauce and spread on top of cookies. Serve, enjoy!
What I Ate Wednesday – Vegan
August 20, 2014
Happy Wednesday! Can you believe that it’s Wednesday already? I can’t! I have exciting this happening at the end of this week and I’m excited but also not ready for them! I also have a lot to do before then and I’m not sure if I’ll get it done. Time will tell! I’ve been working on all kinds of things all day and as soon as I post this, I’m calling it a day and going to do some yoga with a friend.Exciting, right?! But first I’m here to share with you all what I ate today to fuel me all day long.
Breakfast #1 : 1/2 watermelon
Yes, breakfast #1. I always like to have something before I workout and watermelon is my go-to. We all know this by now though! I had half of a watermelon to start off my day and hydrate me for my morning workout. Perfect! What’s your favorite post workout snack? Let me know!
Breakfast #2 : Fresh Orange Juice
I have gathered an impressive amount of oranges in the kitchen lately. It’s been unintentional, I swear! I don’t know how it happened but there’s an overabundance of them and I have been neglecting them lately. Poor little guys! That all changed today though. I made fresh orange juice blended with ice for a nice cool treat. Mmm. It’s so good. After I have oranges I always wonder why I don’t have them more often. Do you ever do that with foods? Anyways, I had about 5 oranges blended up into pure orange heaven. So good!
Lunch: Green Smoothie
I try to drink at least 1 green smoothie every day. For vegetables and stuff, you know? I’m getting much better with my veggie intake, but still love sneaking those greens into my smoothies. I post this one all the time and it’s obviously my favorite. It’s so refreshing! 10 bananas, spinach, and coconut water. Yum!! Plus, look at that beautiful color!
Dinner: Pasta, Zucchini, Tomato Sauce
I’m not a major pasta fan. I mean, it’s good! But I can’t eat it every day like some people. Still, it’s nice to have on occasion! I was cleaning out the cabinets yesterday and found some corn pasta that I bought a while ago made by a local company. I got excited and have been looking forward to it since my discovery! I chopped up some fresh garden zucchini and used some homemade tomato sauce too. It was a great way to end the night!
That’s it for today guys! I’ll leave you with these bananas that I’m freezing for some banana ice cream. Mmm!
Thanks for reading! Share with me what you guys have been eating lately!