Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Veggie Benedict

Hey everyone. This post is probably going to be kind of short because I had a bad day and am in a bad mood and don't want to get all crazy in a public forum haha.

Here is another trip down memory lane with a throwback. This recipe was part of my Vegan MoFo restaurant recreation theme and is my Veggie Benedict. Enjoy!

Veggie Benedict
1 Whole Grain English Muffin (I used Ezekiel)
1/2 cup firm tofu
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1 packed cup baby spinach
2-3 tbsp favorite Vegan Hollandaise sauce (I used the Vegg Hollandaise Recipe)
1. Toast English muffin and prepare your hollandaise sauce.
2. Brown tofu in a skillet. Remove the tofu then add onion to hot pan. Cook onions until soft and slightly browned.
2. Once onions are cooked, add spinach to the pan. Cover pan until spinach is wilted (about 2 minutes).
3. Uncover pan and add tomatoes and tofu to pan. Season with your favorite seasonings. I use pepper, garlic and nooch.
4. Once tofu scramble is finished, spoon the mixture on top of the english muffin halves. Top with hollandaise and enjoy!

It's not pretty but it does taste good.

There you have it, my version of Another Broken Yolk Cafe's Veggie Benedict. I had such a good time with that MoFo theme, too bad it was too rich for my tummy. I'll have to start doing more restaurant recreations again, just spread them out this time.

Hope you all have a good night. It seems I'm going to have Fridays off for a while so I'll be working on Saturday's Nerd Alert post tomorrow. See you on Saturday!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An Oops and A Bonus Throwback

Sooooo... today is supposed to be What I Ate Wednesday but like a jerk I accidentally formatted my memory card before I downloaded it. I thought it was my other card but unfortunately it wasn't so for the first time in my life I formatted the wrong card and lost my pics from the week. I feel like a total moron but I assure you that you are not missing much. I haven't even tried any of my new products yet so luckily I didn't lose any of those pics. A lot of smoothies and salads and whatnot. Sigh.

I still wanted to get a post up today so I decided to post some bonus throwback recipes for this week. It is cold and snowing again in NY so I'm going to post two comforting, warming oatmeal recipes.

First is a baked oatmeal recipe inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie's Baked Oatmeal:

Raisin and Walnut Baked Oatmeal 

1/3 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 packet Stevia
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp choppd walnuts
1/2 banana (mashed)
1/4 cup plant milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze)
splash vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Spray ramekin or baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl.
3. Separately combine wet ingredients.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and thoroughly combine.
5. Put mixture into ramekin and bake for 22-25 mins.
6. After 20 minutes put oven on BROIL and cook for another 3-4 minutes until you get a crispy crust on top.
7. Enjoy!

Second is an Apple Pie Oatmeal!

Apple Pie Oatmeal


1 Gala Apple (peeled or unpeeled depending on your preference)
Pinch Cinnamon
1/3 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp raisins


1. Sprinkle chopped apple with a pinch of cinnamon and bake on 350 for 12-15 minutes until tender.
2. While the apple is baking, cook oatmeal in 1 cup of water.
3. Top oatmeal with baked apple, raisins and walnuts. If you want to add some sweetness you can drizzle some maple syrup as well.
4. Enjoy!


So there you have it. Sorry about the mistake, I definitely feel like an idiot. I do have some fun things coming up for the rest of the week though, including my first Nerd Alert post on Saturday. I'm really excited about it because it will actually lead into a series of posts and a fun Spring project for me because I was really inspired in my research. I can't wait to share it with you.

I hope you are all having a great week. I'll be back tomorrow with more Throwback Recipes. Have a great day/night.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Last Week On Instagram: February 24, 2014

This past week was a pretty slow week with Instagram posts. I feel like I'll have more posts once we enter the spring and I'm able to get outside and explore a little more. There appears to be a theme that has started to pop up recently though. I am drawn to the evening light... that soft light that appears just before sunset. I don't think there is any more beautiful time of the day. I've also enjoyed taking red light photos to document my travels and routes I take. I only have four pics this week so it'll probably be a pretty short post.

I honestly thought this was just funny when I passed by. First, there is the absolutely filthy, disgusting black snow that almost looks like a crazy crystal formation. Then there is the random soda sitting there. It looks like someone put it there to chill until they were ready to finish it... and I really hope that's not the case because half of the dirt in Long Island is on that snow.
*Edited to add - I don't condone littering and not recycling your bottles/cans. We pick up bottles and cans tossed in front of the studio on a regular basis and add it to our recycling. I just thought the imagery was amusing.

I took this one because it is the light that I absolutely love. The soft evening light coming in through the bare tree. It's so pretty and the weather has been so warm it was such a pleasure to spend some time outside without risking hypothermia.

This is probably my favorite photo of the week. More red light photography ;) This is one of my favorite roads to drive. The tree lined streets studded with big, beautiful homes make the drive really pleasant. This photo was also taken at sunset so the sky is fiery and pretty and I even love the reflection of the red light in the puddle. And it was taken super super quick too. This is definitely a lucky picture ;)

This one is leaving the sunset behind me. Like I said, the weather has been so amazing and you can't tell by the giant snow piles in the rearview mirror but the snow has been melting very rapidly and the weather has been balmy and really pleasant. I've been enjoying being in the car (which doesn't happen often) and I've even been driving around with my windows open enjoying the fresh air :)

So that's all I have from Instagram this week. I hope you all enjoyed my yesterday's Nature Box review post. I'll be back Wednesday with some food pics for you! Have you all been liking these new themed days? I've been enjoying it quite a bit... it has definitely helped to keep my interest which is always a good thing.

Hope your week has started off well! Have a great night!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Show & Tell Sunday: Nature Box Review

It seems as though monthly subscriptions boxes are the newest trend. They have them in just about everything including fashion, beauty, beer, food, etc. Vegan Cuts even introduced two options for strictly vegan monthly subscription boxes: the beauty box and the snack box. I had subscribed to these before and enjoyed them but ended up having a growing pile of products and snacks that I either would not end up using or were not my taste foodwise. I loved that everything was guaranteed to be vegan, especially in the beauty box but in the end I decided to cancel after a few months.

Fast forward a few months to me sitting at work listening to one of my favorite podcasts. They have advertisers and at this particular time they decided to do a live read for their new advertiser. They began to speak about a new subscription service that boasts healthy snacks straight to your doorstep. They then proceed to joke and make fun of everything in their normal fashion... even stating that the people that would eat this stuff are douchebags anyway (you would have to hear it in context of the ad). I laughed so hard tears streamed down my face and after an eventual glowing recommendation of the products I couldn't wait to check out the Nature Box website.

First of all, let me start off by saying that this company is clearly awesome because not only did they take the commercial in stride, they freely referred to it in their twitter hashtags with the podcast fans. I LOVE that they don't take themselves so seriously and were able to laugh at comedians joking around at their expense. I tweeted them when I first received my box with the hashtag #notjustfordouchebags and they got a kick out of it.

So after checking out the website and utilizing the generous discount code offered on the podcast, I decided that I would sign up. They have different options but for just $19.95 a month they will send you 5 full sized bags of healthy snacks (you can opt for more snacks if you have a larger family). With the discount code my first month was just $9.95

The first thing that I loved about this box was that you have the option for the company to surprise you by sending snacks of their choice or to select your own snacks:

As you can see in this screen shot, they let you narrow your search to best fit your dietary needs, making it easy to choose your vegan snacks. It's this attention to details that set companies apart in my opinion. After selecting my 5 snacks (make sure you do it when you sign up since you have limited time to select) all I had to do was wait for delivery.

My cute Nature Box!

Here it is all snuggled in it's box. You'll notice that there are 6 snacks instead of 5! They surprised me with an extra bag and hooray, it was one of the vegan snacks!

My snack choices: Cranberry Macaroon Granola, Harvest Nut Mix (my surprise snack!), Everything Bagel Stix...

... dried Fuji Apples, Sunshine Chips (Veggie Chips), Praline Pumpkin Seeds (!!!).

I have not tried all of the snacks... mainly because I know what dried apples taste like and the Sunshine Chips are sold in stores under another name and I've had them before. But I did try a few of them.

The Praline Pumpkin Seeds! This was the snack I was most excited to try and HOLY CRAP!! They are incredible. Sweet and nutty with some spice, they are absolute perfection. I could kick myself for not getting an extra bag because they don't seem to be on the list of snack options this month. I'll be eating these sparingly because I want them to last! Yum!

This is the Everything Bagel Stix. I heard rave reviews of this snack and it was vegan so I had to give it a try. This snack is crunchy and savory with all of the best flavors of an Everything Bagel. It is a great snack and I imagine it will taste even better dipped in some hummus.

This is the Cranberry Macaroon Granola. Again, this stuff is incredible. I heard rave reviews of other (non-vegan) granolas so I decided I really wanted a granola in my box. There are several vegan options and I decided to go for this one first. It is so good guys! It is not overly sweet and it has some tartness with the cranberries... definitely a great choice.

As I mentioned before, the thing that drew me in was the claim of healthy snacks.  

As seen in these two screen shots from the Nature Box website, they boast wholesome snacks that have no yucky ingredients and certain snacks are minimally processed (including 4 of my 6 snacks).

Something else that is cool about this company is that they provide food for Americans that are currently going hungry. Very cool of them to do (this picture was also a screen shot from the website).

As you can see, I'm very happy with this subscription thus far. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested in trying new snacks without having to worry without yucky ingredients. This review is coming 100% from me as a consumer, I've had zero contact with the company about reviews or anything other than me tweeting them in my excitement upon its arrival. I purchased this box on my own (at a discount thanks to the promo code from the podcast, yay!) so the review has not been influenced by the company.

So there you have it! Sorry I missed my first Nerd Alert post... I finally came up with an idea for it yesterday but the nature of those posts means it will take a lot more time to write them as research will be involved. I do have a post that I think will be interesting lined up for next week though!

I hope you all enjoyed this review! I'll be back with Instagram pics tomorrow :) Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Bake Shop Smoothies

Get ready to have your mind blown my friends. This week's Throwback Thursday recipes will feature smoothies inspired by some of my favorite bake shop treats! If you are like me you've woken up in the morning craving sugary baked treats but don't want to give in to temptation. These smoothies are the perfect compromise... all of the flavors of your favorite treat with none of the guilt. Enjoy this walk down memory lane!

Carrot Cake Smoothie!

1/4 cup oats (I used gf)
3/4 cup plant milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk), plus a few tbsps
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
pumpkin pie spice to taste
1 giant carrot or 2 small carrots, grated
1 serving vanilla protein powder (I used Vanilla Almondilla Vega Energizing Smoothie Powder)*
As much ice as you like (you could probably also use a frozen banana!)

1. The night before, combine oats, milk, raisins, walnuts and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Mix and cover and place in fridge overnight. 
2. Put contents of bowl in blender and add protein powder, carrots and ice (or banana).
3. Blend until smooth and add plant milk until you reach desired consistency. I added 2 tbsp.
4. Enjoy!
*I use the Vega Energizing smoothie powder because it has 2 servings of greens in it :) No spinach required in this one!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Smoothie

                                                                      1/3 cup oats
 2 tbsp raisins
 pinch cinnamon 
1 cup Almond Coconut milk
2 small frozen bananas
 Vanilla Almondilla Vega Shake & Go Powder (optional)

1. The night before, make your overnight oats. Combine oats, raisins, cinnamon and almond milk in a container and refrigerate overnight.
2. In the morning, combine overnight oats with frozen bananas and protein powder (if using) in a blend. Blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
*If you don't want to add protein powder, add a few drops of vanilla extract for a rich vanilla flavor.

Morning Oats Smoothie

1/3 cup oats (I used gluten free)
1 cup plant milk (I used Unsweetened Almond Coconut Almond Breeze)
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
1 tbsp raisins
2 small frozen bananas

The night before, mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate overnight to soften everything. In the morning add your overnight oats with toppings along with your frozen bananas to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie
(adapted from this Blueberry Muffin Smoothie recipe)


1/3 cup gluten free oats
1 1/4 cup Almond milk
generous dash of cinnamon
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 serving Vega Vanilla Almondilla Shake n Go Smoothie powder

1. Soak oats with 1 cup almond milk and cinnamon overnight.
2. Blend the overnight oats with blueberries, Vega powder and additional almond milk. 

So there you have it, four amazingly rich, decadent and GUILT FREE smoothie recipes for the upcoming balmy weather we are going to be enjoying in the midst of this brutal winter. Hope you are all having a great week so far!