Thanksgiving

I was so ready to go home for Thanksgiving break.  Everything was all packed up and ready to go.

Phone charger? Check.

Black boots? Check.

Chocolate chips and canned pumpkin? Check plus.

Now that I’m back, I have mixed feelings about Thanksgiving being over.

I am in love with stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, but I ate my weight in all three over the weekend so part of me is relieved that I now I can eat without having to unzip my pants.

And no, I did not eat turkey!  Honestly, I wasn’t even tempted this year.  The chocolate pecan pie and thirteen helpings of stuffing was enough to not give in to the carnivorous fare at the table.

First round:

Shall we shed a tear over the blogworld recipes I wanted to make so badly but didn’t?  We shall.  This stuffing. This pumpkin pie.  And yes, I would pay her to babysit her adorable baby.

One thing I did make was a salad that turned salad haters into salad lovers.  Direct quote from my cousin, Leah: “I hate salad.  But I love yours!”

Good enough for me!  I swear, the secret is chop chop chopping!

Thanksgiving Salad

(I don’t have a solo picture because I didn’t plan on blogging about it, but you can see it on my round 2 plate!)

 

  • 2 large heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 bag of Craisins (or any dried cranberries)
  • 3/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 batch of balsamic
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread your almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown (I never time it…I’m guessing about ten minutes)
  2. Meanwhile, chop your lettuce into bite sized pieces.  First I cut off the end and then I basically julienne it, creating thin ribbons of lettuce. 
  3. Add chopped green onions, toasted almonds, craisins, and diced avocado.
  4. Whisk together dressing and drizzle over salad, tossing to combine.

SO simple but SO good!

Another success over break was this mousse. It was the easiest dessert I have ever made, hands down.  Throw six things in the food processor, chill it in the fridge, and you’re done.  I used TJ’s chocolate chips and didn’t even need to add any sweetener.

Hope you had a great Turkey Day!

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first’s

Have you ever seen Wall-E?

If you haven’t, you must go see it.  It’s an adorable movie with a powerful message.

Did you know that “it’s been exactly 30 years since the Secretary of Agriculture proposed declaring ketchup a vegetable in order to avoid serving actual whole foods to children eating government subsidized lunches?”

I recently got an email from the American Dietetic Association about Congress declaring pizza a vegetable.  Yes, the two tablespoons of tomato paste are now qualifying pizza to rise to veg status.

Sad, but true.  Wall-E may be more realistic than we think.

* * *

There were many last’s this weekend, but luckily there were just as many first’s!

First and foremost, BROWN RICE at Chipotle.

Repeat: BROWN RICE at Chiptole.

You can’t even see the brown rice in that picture.  I guess I was too excited to care. Oops.

Perfect veg Chipotle experience:  burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, corn salsa, tomato salsa, lettuce and guacamole.  Heaven.

Ever since Carrie told me there was brown rice at the Chipotle she went to in France, I was dying for Chipotle’s around here to catch on.  Then last Monday I got the phone call of all phone calls that our Chipotle on campus had finally delivered.  I was ecstatic.  So ecstatic that I left the library immediately after I heard.

And let me tell you, it was worth it.

Another first was my friends and I making a Challah out of Fly Pie pizza dough. We made friends with the guy who works there after commenting on his disloyalty as he ate a Jimmy John’s pickle.

“I’m vegan,” he said.

Obviously we chatted for hours (ok, minutes) about how he absolutely had to go to Whole World and Cafe Bella and how I couldn’t believe that he’d never been there.  I told him I was obsessed with hummus and he accordingly went to the back and brought out a 16 oz tub of hummus that he snacks on during work and goes through once a week.

We were mildly compatible, I’d say.

Yet another first was the delicious concoction I concocted  for lunch today.

I’m about to head to Cleveland so the food department is really lacking right now.  I did have a bag of fresh brussel sprouts in the fridge so I whipped up sweet and sour brussels sprouts using maple syrup instead of honey and they were FANTASTIC.  They almost taste like orange chicken from a Chinese restaurant.

Side note: I always thought it was brussel sprouts, not brusselS sprouts.  Is any one with me, here? Or have I been living under a rock?  Hmm, that’s embarrassing.

I combined Trader Joe’s convenient quinoa with about half the brussel sprouts and a tablespoon of hemp seeds.  I was very pleased with the results and I was oddly, like ridiculously, full afterwards.

BrusselS sprouts:

Quinoa:

Hemp seeds:

Dinner was smoky tofu, spinach with sesame seeds and leftover mushroom pasta:

Now go see Wall-E and remember…

Pizza  is NOT a veggie!

Last’s

This weekend was the last date party of college career.

I can’t believe how the time has flown by.

Will I still get super excited when I find a dress I love buried in the sale section at Urban?

I hope so.

Will my roommates and I still spend twenty minutes trying to find the perfect playlist when we’re getting ready?

I hope so.

This weekend was also the last home game of my college career.

The last time I’ll spend game day with my high school friends.

The last time we’ll dance till our feet hurt before we walk over.

The last time I’ll eat an overly salty pretzel and five bites of some one’s Danatos pizza at the stadium.

Not too sad about that one.

The last time we’ll do the wave because we don’t realize we’re supposed to be doing O-H-I-O.

The last time I’ll watch OSU lose to Penn State.

Hopefully.

we found dove in a soapless place

Ya know that catchy Rihanna song you’ve been hearing thrice daily on the radio?

The girls like to say “we found Dove in a soapless place.”

And they’re divas, so what they say goes.

We had a little too much fun with my new picture apps.  And turning the camera into a flashlight.

Since no one likes to read long blog posts, here is my week in pictures!

Trader Joe’s trip: I ate the 1/4 of my favorite hummus on my way home.  16 servings is a joke.

Triscuits or TJ’s version?   THAT is the question.  The answer? TJ’s version! Triscuits are usually on sale for $2.75 at your standard grocery store.  The TJ’s version is always $2.29 and it’s made me safflower/sunflower oil, which I prefer over soybean oil.  Let’s face it, who needs more crappy genetically modified soy in their diet?  NOT I!

I made fabulous kale chips with TJ’s new Smoked African Sea Salt, nooch, and pepper.  The smoked sea salt made SUCH a difference.  I’ve been obsessed with smoky things lately.

Paired with smoky tempeh, with ketchup and mustard of course.  I know you won’t believe me, but the crunch of the kale chips and the smokiness of the tempeh really made me feel like I was eating a healthy hot dog and chips!  Divine.

P.S  I am in love with TJ’s almond butter if you didn’t already know.  One of my favorite breakfasts is two pieces of Ezekiel sprouted bread slathered with almond butter, banana and cinnamon. You can’t go wrong!

Dinner tonight is a frozen TJ’s non-dairy pizza that is secretly the same as the Amy’s brand.  For not having cheese, it’s strangely creamy–in a good way!  Very enjoyable.

Other recent eats having included a heart minestrone soup and pumpkin brownie pie.  The roommates were quite excited.

Ugly picture, fantastic soup!  Full of onions, carrot, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, kale, beans and whole wheat elbow macaroni.  I added nooch and balsamic vinegar and the end and couldn’t have been happier with the final product.

We were supposed to let this pie cool for two hours, but let’s be real.  I put it in the freezer for ten minutes and called it a night.  Definitely adding it to the Thanksgiving to-make list. 

Half gone…tear.

And here’s some more writing on the wall in case “I heart soy” wasn’t enough.

Happy 21st birthday, Jen!  Remember when we were freshman?

Remember when Nikki and I turned 21? We don’t!

Now it’s your turn!

the writing on the wall

I’ve been MIA because these past couple weeks were filled with non-stop studying. Boo.  Luckily I had great snacks to keep me going, like butternut squash fries and coffee that I regretted by chapter three.

As I was walking out of my exam last Wednesday, I noticed a little love note that some one left me on the wall.

Hmmm.  Leaving an insightful note about God, a phone number, a bizarre quote, a haphazard attempt at graffiti…all normal.  But I heart soy?  That’s probably the last thing I’d ever write on a wall second to I heart Trader Joe’s original hummus.

Better than this, right?

Oh dear.  We’re in college, people.

I think it’s fair to say that if you’re writing POOP  and *troll face* on the wall than you have lost the game.  You should go eat some tofu and write about it on the wall with purple paint.

In other news, the Buckeyes won!

OH

IO.

* * *

Nik and I went to Cafe Bella this morning and it was phenomenal as usual.  If you haven’t been, you are really missing out. It’s a quirky little gem about three minutes from campus.  There is no menu–the chef serves up whatever local produce he has on hand that day.  He can make a wonderful meal no matter if you’re a vegetarian, meat-lover, vegatalogist, allergic to soy, etc.  Everything is served family style and it’s always nothing short of delicious.

“Cafe Bella is an evolving concept, restaurant and catalyst for neighborhood and community development. Untraditional in style and service, there are no set menus as food is purchased that day and dishes are created to showcase the bounty’s quality and freshness. Our menu usually consists of a vegetarian dish and a chicken or fish offerring; salads, subs and pastas are also served. Prices are suggested, but not set. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday.”

Did I mention the owner has donated 500,000 pounds of fresh vegetables to local food pantries and food banks to date? Go to support this effort, if nothing else.

First course: banana bread oatmeal.  Made that name up because there’s no menu so it’s always a surprise!

Second course: fresh vegetable salad and potato kale hash

The owner then offered us some of his homemade cider with cinnamon and cloves.  Nikki said it was the best apple cider she’d ever had.  Our reaction was a little something like this.

Did I mention that all this was only SEVEN DOLLARS??  In other words, it was free.

More pictures from past Cafe Bella trips:

According to wikipedia, “the writing on the wall” is a euphemism for impending doom that is so obvious only a fool would not see it coming. It also provides the origin for the similar expression “your days are numbered.”

There may be impending doom if you don’t try Cafe Bella.

 Impending doom on your taste buds.  Impending doom on your wallet.

And impending doom on all the hungry people in Columbus that thrive from the business you give Cafe Bella.