End of Summer Meals

This summer has been very busy, but full of fun. Since school is starting up soon and I’m enjoying my last two weeks of summer break, this will probably be my last post until September when I’ll be participating for the first time in Vegan MoFo!

A few weeks ago I got to take a local canning class and made spaghetti sauce. It was my first time actually canning myself and it was really fun. I’m hoping to invest in some canning equipment soon and then I’ll be able to make my own jams, relishes, and such.

canned sauce

The sauce was a bit chunky, so I ran it through a food processor and used it in eggplant parmesan. I wasn’t too crazy about the cheese sauce, but the eggplant cutlets were delicious.

Eggplant parm

Fresh salad with fuji apple dressing and olive sundried tomato hummus from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan.

Salad and dip

Brown rice and veggies with red curry paste, soy sauce, and a slight drizzle of agave.

stir fry rice

I’ll be back and posting again in September, so I hope everyone else has a great rest of the summer!

Noms Catch Up

Okay, so I know my blogging has been inconsistent, but I am determined to change that. I’ve had a super busy semester at school, plus lots of other responsibilities to worry about. But I have decided that I need to make time for blogging because it’s something I really enjoy doing.

This post is to catch up and share all the pictures of food I’ve taken up to this point. It’s not a ton because I haven’t been eating a lot that’s “blog worthy”, but I’ll hopefully have more to post soon.

The falafel plate from the Purple Onion. It’s vegan as long as you ask for no cheese on the salad. It comes with a side salad, falafel, wild rice, pita bread, hummus, and fruit. Really good food, for a fairly reasonable price ($9).

Falafel Plate (2)

Here is some tomato veggie couscous I made for a potluck. It’s couscous cooked in canned tomatoes and seasonings, with garbanzo beans and broccoli mixed in to make it more filling. It’s a good thing this makes a whole meal (protein, carbs, and veggies) because, like I expected, there was nothing else vegan available at the potluck.

Coucous bulked upI’ve been trying to slowly, but surely, work through my Pinterest food/recipes board. On there, was a lovely recipe for avocado hummus. I was excited to try it, and when I went grocery shopping I got all the ingredients, except garbanzo beans. Apparently the local grocery store doesn’t carry garbanzo beans, canned or dry. So I had to make do with cannellini beans. The dip was really great tasting, but with a much creamier texture than traditional hummus. It was almost sour cream-like because of the smoothness. I can’t wait to try it out again with the garbanzo beans.

White Bean Dip

Only recently have I discovered the joys of spaghetti squash. I’d heard about it before, but never gave it a try. Peter and I went out to lunch with some friends to Ruby Tuesday and the only vegan menu item was the spaghetti squash with zucchini (without the parmesan cheese). I tried it and loved it! Since then I’ve tried it several different ways and they’ve all been tasty. Below is some spaghetti squash with sauteed kale, tomatoes, and marinara sauce.


Spanish brown rice and black beans mixed with canned tomatoes and chipotle chili. Super simple, but super yummy.

Brown Rice and Black BeansWhile visiting home for the weekend, my sister took me out to eat at a great Asian restaurant in Hunstville called Panda. The server knew which tofu was vegan or not (a definite plus) and so we got the veggie and avocado sushi for appetizers, and then the house bean curd which is served with rice, snap peas, broccoli, and water chestnuts. The food was great and the portions were huge, so both of us got an extra meal from the leftovers.

Panda Sushi

Panda Tofu

Post of the S – Spaghetti, Sandwich, and Soup

Okay, so I have a hard time coming up with cute titles for these posts. So there are others meals in here that don’t start with S, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as yummy as the food included in the titles. 😛

I am way behind on posting regular food pictures, so don’t be too surprised when I mention Halloween in this post.

Tomato herb couscous (recipe coming soon!) and barbecue  Morningstar chick’n strips

Mushroom spaghetti and salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

The glorious thing you are about to see below is an artichoke-bacon chicken salad sandwich. This is probably the best sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s not very healthy, so it will have to be only made on occasion, but anyone who likes chick’n salad should try this.

Peter’s family made a wonderful dinner the other day. I had a Boca burger patty with A1, roasted sweet potato, steamed broccoli, and fried green tomatoes.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Student Group at UM had a Halloween bake sale and so of course I had to make lots of vegan treats!

Carrot cake cupcakes with cheez cream frosting
Peanut butter cereal “bars”, which fell apart so I just mooshed them into balls

Cookie dough bites (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) dipped in chocolate

Soy-Tan Dream Cutlets (which are amazing!) with buttery pasta
Potato soup with bacon bits

Summer Snacks

I have only been back home for a week and half, and I am already incredibly bored. School starts back at the end of August though, so I can survive for that long. But all this free time gives me a chance to cook good meals and try new recipes. Here are some of the things I’ve been munching (or slurping) on the past week:

Cape Breton corncakes (recipe) for breakfast! Little cakes made with creamed corn, flour, saltines, salt, and pepper. Super yummy.

The ultimate Southern dinner. Gardenburger BBQ riblets, mashed potatoes, and fresh corn on the cob.

Vanilla bean frappuccino (made vegan with soymilk and no whipped cream) from Starbucks. It’s so flippin’ hot here, I couldn’t resist getting a giant cold drink like this.

 Peter’s family made an awesome dinner Friday, with grilled Boca burgers, broccoli, and other yummy stuff. Check out the adorable ’60s plate, part of his mother’s collection.

And lastly, I made seitan for the first time in a loooong time. It’s based on the basic seitan recipe from Table for Two, but I added some original Mrs. Dash and chicken bouillon.

I tried to make semi-uniform nuggets with a biscuit cutter. The nuggets were then dipped in a cornstarch/water mixture and breadcrumbs. I then fried them and served the finished (and delicious) nuggets with dipping sauces and stuffed potato skins.

Spring Break Noms

I have been on a blogging break for spring break, but it’s time to start back now that school begins tomorrow morning. I ate a lot of good food over the break and now it’s time to share pictures of all my noms.

Right before leaving for the break, the cafeteria actually made a nice vegan lunch. They had grilled eggplant “steak”, steamed broccoli, and spicy hummus paired with some tomatoes, olives, and cucumber slices from the salad bar.

My boyfriend, Peter, and I went to Arkansas last weekend to visit my mom, so we got the pleasure of not having to cook and let her be the one to feed us. She made some great blueberry muffins with streusel topping for breakfast.

Not everything was homemade though, we did get us some pizza from the US Pizza Co.

We got the veggie-lovers pizza. Though I had to eat mine cheese-less because I had no Daiya on hand, it was still really good. The thin crust gets super crispy and they use canned mushrooms which gives it a meatier texture. Yum.

Once back home in Alabama, I thoroughly enjoyed having my own kitchen to cook in. I am still not used to the icky public kitchens in the dorms. For lunch I cooked up some frozen hash-browns with spicy seasoning, a bit of salsa, and a ton of Daiya cheddar. I topped the hash-browns with Tofutti sour cream and added a Garden Burger black bean patty on the side.

The four ingredients in the following picture are magical… No, not really, but it seems like they are. (scroll down to see why)

Those ingredients turned into one of the best dishes I have ever made, chick’n and dumplings. I brought about half of the container of Imagine No-Chicken Broth to a boil, stirred in a vigorous dose of Mrs. Dash, added the chopped up Gardein chick’n, and lastly threw in the pre-made dumplings to cook. All in all, this meal took at most 15 minutes to make, and it was delicious.

Another experimental dish that turned into a keeper was this creamy pasta with sausage. I threw some spiral pasta in to cook and then began making a sauce. I added a can of diced Italian tomatoes, two big handfuls of chopped kale, a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, a healthy dose of Parma vegan parmesan, and some chopped of Yves Italian sausages. The sauce simmered for about ten minutes while the pasta cooked, then I threw it all together in a pot. I served it with a whole-wheat Alexandria’s roll on the side. This was delicious and my sister and her boyfriend (who are sometimes known to be picky around vegetable filled foods) sucked down all the leftovers with their compliments to the chef.

I know Easter is still two weeks from now, but I couldn’t resist making these cute cookies. They were pink lemonade flavored, and they were *gasp* from a box mix. The cookies tasted great though, but the bunnies were an issue. I found the adorable Easter decorations at  Walmart and since the box said “edible” on it, I assumed it was true. These sugar bunnies could literally chip your tooth if you tried to chew on one, they were like rocks. Everyone enjoyed the cookies though and just pulled off the decoration.

Food Prep Bites

I miss my kitchen at home. Not because it’s fancy or special in any way, but because there I had everything I needed (my food processor, casserole dishes of every size, a million different cookie cutters, etc.) and I didn’t have to worry about other people making a mess. But alas, I am now a college student and must learn to work my way around a dorm kitchen.

 I think that is why I love my Food Prep class so much, because every Wednesday we get to cook a meal in the new high-tech kitchen and eat it afterwards. There is no jostling for counter or stovetop space, and no worries about where to store the different tools/ingredients needed for a dish. Plus there’s the awesome fact that the teacher approves of veganism and always makes sure there are at least two recipes that are animal-free.

Last Wednesday we had a breakfast-based lab. There were lots of different breakfast foods being made, and the vegan options were broccoli quiche, gluten-free banana muffins, and pancakes. The picture above is the quiche before cooking and the one next to this text is it straight out of the oven. Sorry for the low quality pictures, my camera died right before class and I took all these on my phone.

Life Means Food and Crafts

Okay, I am not going to apologize for not blogging. Life has just gotten in the way, not laziness. It’s summer time and now I’m working as a lifeguard. So that, along with preparing for school this fall, is getting my main focus these days. But that doesn’t mean I have no time for yummy food and cool crafts!

Here’s a chocolate pie, made with an oreo crust and dark chocolate ganache.

Spicy fried tofu, basil broccoli, and creamy vegetable rice.

A knitted version of Dr. Who’s sonic screwdriver. Made for a friend’s birthday.

And finally! I have finished the Mario quilt. I started it in December and worked on it here and there until Peter’s graduation  came up in May and it seemed like the perfect time to give it to him. The characters (from top right to left) are: Goomba, Bowser, Boo, Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, Wario, Yoshi, and Toad.

Recipe – Balsamic Pasta and Beans

Here’s the balsamic pasta and beans recipe I promised soooo long ago. It’s not a paticularly amazing recipe, but I do really like it and it’s a go-to for when I’m feeling lazy and just wanted to throw a quick dish together. The great thing too is that the pasta freezes and thaws well, so any leftovers can be thrown into the freezer and used another day.

The pasta with Asian veggies and mini cornbread muffins.

Balsamic Pasta and Beans

Printable Version

Makes 5 servings


1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (or any other small pasta shapes)

1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with onions, drained

2 TBSPs all-purpose flour

3 TSPs nutritional yeast

1 TSP vegan chick’n bouillion powder (I use Bill’s Best Chick’Nish seasoning)

2 TSPs olive oil

2 1/2 TBSPs balsamic vinegar

1/2 TSP salt

1/2 cup water

Black pepper, to taste


Cook pasta as directed on package.

While the pasta is cooking, in a small sauce pan stir together the flour, nutritional yeast, chick’n powder, salt and pepper. Then add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, water and tomatoes. Stir until combined. Simmer that sauce combination over medium heat for 3-6 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot where it was boiled. Then add the drained kidney beans (don’t worry, the hot pasta and sauce will warm all the beans through). Pour the sauce over it and stir to combine, then serve!

Everyday Vegan Meals

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I’ve got no good excuses, I’ve just been being lazy.

No recipes today, but here are some of the things I’ve been eating recently:

I’ve been cooking my way through The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stephaniak and so far everything I’ve made from it has been delicious! Above is Cheezy Rice and Broccoli Casserole served with steamed zucchini and Skallops coated in spicy Shake ‘N Bake then fried. One of the other yummy things from the book is Broccoli Cheez Soup (Can you tell I like the combo of cheez and broccoli?) pictured here topped with Bac-os and served with garlic toast.

On to the more junky food that I consume. To the right there’s a No-Queso Quesadilla with added Nearly Beef TVP and served with Tofutti vegan sour cream. Sooo good.

I also had pizza this week. Topped with onions, green bell peppers, faux ground beef and Follow Your Heart mozzarella soy cheese. Delicious when you broil the cheese until it gets all melty.

I really love Worthington canned faux meats. They’re delicious and convenient, since you can just open the can and fry the contents with some veggies for a quick and yummy meal. Here are the Worthington Veggie Steaks after I fried them in a skillet with onions, green bell peppers and some chili powder then put it on top of a tortilla. I topped the mix with freshly chopped tomatoes and Tofutti vegan sour cream.

Disney Trip and Ethos Kitchen

*gasp* Do my eyes deceive me?! Is that my sister actually eating and enjoying broccoli? Only one thing could cause this: Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, FL.

My entire family went on vacation to Orlando this week to visit Disney World and just take a break from the daily grind. We left last Friday and came back on Wednesday.

On Saturday we ate at Ethos Vegan Kitchen. It was sooo good. I was super excited because it was the first time I’d ever been to a 100% vegan restaurant.

So here’s what everyone ordered:

My mom and I got the mac ‘n cheez (which is only available on Saturdays) and it was delicious.

I could taste that they used Follow Your Heart chedder soy cheese, but it’s way better than when I attempt to make my own home-made mac ‘n cheez with it. It was creamy and rich, but not too heavy.

My dad (the hardcore carnivore) got the Samson Burger. Here’s the description from the menu:  A grilled black bean burger served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, sprouts, spicy mustard, and ketchup. It comes along with a side of blue corn chips and salsa.

It was a huge sandwich but my dad managed to gobble down the whole thing and said it was really good.

My sister got the Sheep’s Pie. Here’s the description from the menu: A meat-free version of Shepherd’s Pie for our sheepy friends. Sautéed broccoli, carrots, peas, and onions in a veggie brown sauce topped with mashed potatoes and oven-baked to perfection. Served with bread.

This dish was so good that my vegetable-hating sister actually ate the broccoli and carrots in it. She shared a bite with me and it was super yummy.

If you’re anywhere near Orlando, go and eat at Ethos! The food was great, the servers were nice, the restaurant had a nice relaxed vibe and some insane art work too.