Weekly Wednesday Round-Up – Raw Pasta, Pita Pizza, and Whole Foods

I want to start doing a weekly Wednesday roundup of yummy meals I’ve made. Basically anything I’d put in the PPK’s Food Porn section, but doesn’t deserve an entire blog post.

One of my first raw food meals ever (not counting salad)! Spiralized zucchini and rich marinara sauce.
raw pasta

The mini restaurant inside our local Whole Foods has a vegan sandwich! It’s toasted sour dough bread with balsamic tomatoes, arugula, onions, and basil hummus. Served with a side of roasted red skin potatoes.

Whole Foods sandwich

Fried tofu (from Whole Food’s hot bar) and mashed cheezy bacon potatoes.
fried tofu and potatoes

Pita pizza with mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and nutritional yeast.

pita pizza

Veggie stir fry with kale, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms all piled on top of brown rice. rice stir fry

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Dorm Noms

I finally got a camera cord, yay! Well actually I got a camera cord a few weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy to blog until now. School work is taking up more time this semester, so my posts will be more sporadic but will probably have a lot more stuff covered in them.

Here’s what I’ve eaten so far this semester:

Carrot cake muffins from a recipe on The Flaming Vegan.

Seasoned black beans mixed with Daiya on top of chipotle tomato rice.

The local eatery, Eclipse Coffee and Books, has added several new vegan items to their menu and I decided to try them out.

First was the couscous and quinoa salad. Gotta be honest, I don’t really like the texture of pearl couscous or quinoa, so this wasn’t a huge hit for me. It had a great taste, kinda spicy with a citrus-y undertone, but the texture was a deal breaker for me. The coconut macaroon cookie from Alternative Baking kind of made up for it though.
Although the first vegan dish was a bit disappointing, the second definitely wasn’t! They added a veggie burger to their menu and it is fantastic. It’s made with quinoa and beans and is served on rye bread with your choice of toppings. I got mine with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and ketchup.

I guess Eclipse’s burger got me in the mood for sandwiches, because a few days after that I tried my hand at making my own veggie burgers. I very loosely based it around this recipe, but made lots of changes.

I mashed up a drained can of black beans, added about 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup diced onions, 2 tbsp taco sauce, and some Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy. Then I formed them into four patties and cooked them in an oiled  skillet for a few minutes on each side. They were sooo good. After making these, I may just stop buying pre-made veggie burgers altogether. I need to make another batch and test whether they can withstand freezing very well. I ate my sandwich on a onion bun with pickles, tomato, and some Vegenaise mixed with Sriracha.

I broke out the slow cooker this weekend too and made some Mom’s Chili, seen here topped with some Tofutti sour cream.

On Saturday I spent time with my friend Skye and her lovely mother Sally. We went to Whole Foods and ate lunch at their cafe. I got fried tofu (with ketchup), a seasoned mixture of black eyed peas and butter beans, and a grain salad with millet, barley, and brown rice. It was all really yummy and I will definitely be going back their to eat soon.

And also for dessert at Whole Foods I got a double chocolate vegan cookie, woot!

Disney Trip – Part II

After getting stuffed at Ethos Vegan Kitchen on Saturday, we went to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on Sunday.

We wandered around, rode a ton of the rides and then after working up an appetite, stopped at Pinocchio’s Village to grab a bite to eat. The only things vegan on their menu was the Mediterranean salad (if you remove the chicken and cheese) and Smucker’s uncrustable PB&J sandwiches.

  I chose the Mediterranean salad and it was suprisingly good.  When I’m eating out, salads usually (when you remove the meat and cheese) end up just being flavorless lettuce and some pale tomatoes, but this salad had tons of fresh veggies and flavor.

It had a mixture of spinach and lettuce, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, black olive and red onions. I topped it off with a baggie of olive oil/balsalmic vinaigrette that was on a rack of pre-packaged salad dressings for customers to choose from.

We also had some little visitors to our table.

People often feed the birds their leftover crusts from the pizzas they serve at Pinocchio’s Village, so they weren’t at all timid and just hopped onto our table.

Here’s me being goofy and my dad enjoying his pizza.

After having fun in the park, we went back to the hotel and rested up. Then when my stomach started to growl, my mom took me to a Whole Foods that was only five minutes away to pick up some yummy vegan food. Since the closest Whole Foods to my house is over two hours away, I always hit one up when I get the oppertunity.

 Here’s my haul.

Here’s what I got (from left to right):

Smoked chedder style Shreese, Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake frozen meal, a sandwich from the whole foods deli that had seitan, vegan soy cheese and bell peppers in it, Chreesy instant mashed potatoes, five different flavors of Larabars that aren’t available in my area, boxed shells and Chreese, two Bumble Bars (original and hazelnut), Enjoy Life snickerdoodles, Ricemellow creme and fresh fruit.

The first three things on the list were disappointments (the Shreese, frozen meal and sandwich). The Shreese doesn’t melt or taste very good (in my opinion), I think I’ll just stick with Follow Your Heart soy cheese for now. The Kashi frozen meal was just totally gross, it was kinda sweet and mushy and just totally wrong.

Sadly, the seitan sandwich was icky too. The package claimed to have vegan soy cheese, but there was nothing on the sandwich that looked anything like soy cheese, all I saw was seitan and peppers. The seitan was totally flavorless, it tasted like they’d just mixed together vital wheat gluten and water, then baked it. They’d also apparently put the sandwhich in the plastic it when was still hot, because the bread was totally soggy. A big dissapointment.

BUT, now that I’m done complaining (which is my forte) I have to say everything else I bought was delicious. I knew the shells with Chreese and Larabars would be since I’ve eaten them before, but all of the other things were a pleasant suprise after being so disappointed with the first three things I tried.

The Enjoy Life snickerdoodles were soft and tasted home-baked, the Chreese potatoes were creamy with a hint of cheezy-ness, the Bumble bars were chewy and tasty (despite looking frighteningly similar to bird food), and last but definitely not least the Ricemellow fluff was divine! It tasted like the marshmellows I remember while having a great consistency and all completely vegan! It’s amazing in a peanut butter sandwich.

So all in all, Orlando is a very easy place to have a vegan vacation. Now I’m sitting at home, typing this up with Charlie (our huge pitbull) on my lap. I had fun, but I’m happy to be home, because I missed my baby dog!