Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vanishing vacation!

Well, my time at the beach is winding down, but not over.  We have a looooong drive back home Sunday, but I am getting to eat some pretty good veggie food and learning lessons on what to pack on a trip.  The Internet connection here is pretty terrible, so I haven't been able to write daily posts as I had wanted, but next week I will have tons of recaps, including what to pack for a week with your non-vegan family, dealing with restaurants that have nothing for you, and what can you eat at a Brazilian steak house? (Turns out, quite a huge and amazing salad bar if you can get past people walking around with huge meat skewers.)  check back Monday for more posts!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day of Simple Eating

Haven't left for vacation left, but we're packing now.  Here are shots from my last day at work.  Pretty simple eating, really.  Lunch at Trios.  Trying to eat everything we have in the house before we go, so the meals are a little random.

Spaghetti and tofu for breakfast.
(1/2 that tofu shown, the other half is in dinner)

New haircut for the beach!

Veggie avocado sunflower seed sandwich with side salad at Trios.

The rest of the eggplant covered in nooch with slices of tofu wrapped in cabbage.

Packing for the beach!  Man, our bedroom really needs a coat of paint.  It's pretty bland, huh?  We have big remodel plans for the house, but we just haven't executed them yet.

Nails are ready for the beach!

Stay tuned tomorrow for scenes from Osceola, our first stop on the trip!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vanishing Veggie Vacation

I made the best discovery yesterday.  It was earth shattering.  It was magical.


I know this might not seem overly magical to people in vegan friendly cities, but I just about passed out when I realized this.  I took Josh to work this morning, so I was a little late for work.  I stopped at Whole Foods to get breakfast, since it's usually not open when I go into work.  I walked over to the hot food bar, and there it was in all of its glory.

Needless to say, I was excited.  I was also extremely full after eating all of this.  Oh man, it was worth it, though.  I wasn't hungry around lunch, and I was crazy busy, so around 4 pm, I scoured the office for some crackers.

After work, I headed to Barefoot to take Lunar Yoga.  I also got some really exciting news.  They are building a Barefoot Studios West, AND it's going to be near my office.  The sound you heard was me squealing with happiness.  I do think that one of the biggest factors in the reduction (and elimination) of my depression was starting a continuous yoga practice last November.  I really think it's changed my life.  I look at myself, food, and the world completely differently.

I got home glowing and happy from a great class, but I was starving, so I warmed up some of the eggplant from the night before.  It was even better the second day, I think.

This might be my last post for a few days.  Tomorrow, Josh and I are heading to the beach with Mom and Dad V.  I still plan on blogging, but it will probably be a lot more sporadic.  We will see how vegan friendly South Carolina is.  I do know that my mom has promised me Thai Food outside of Atlanta, so that's something to look forward to.  We will be doing a lot of cooking, so I'm sure I'll have some recipes for you.  I have also packed a crate of hemp milk, protein powder, quinoa, green tea, nooch, lentils and nuts to get me through the week.  Should be a good time.  Our friends, Nick and Amber, are graciously Bodhi sitting for us while we're gone.  I'm gonna miss my kitty.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend, and stay tuned for beach side recipes and photos!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eggplant and Herb Spaghetti

In a frantic rush to get ready for my test, I forgot to photograph breakfast.  It didn't help that I was up all night worrying about door swing clearances and lighting knocking down the trees in our yard.  I probably only pulled together a few hours of sleep before I had to head to the testing center and try to prove I can be an architect.  So, breakfast was a few slices of tofu wrapped up in cabbage and covered in hot sauce.  Nothing really glamorous there.

I finished my test, and this time I wasn't in tears, so I will take that as a good sign.  I won't know for about a month.  That's always the worst part.  Every test, though, Josh takes me out to lunch after.  Today, we picked Tokyo House.  I love this place, but I always eat too much.  Today, though, I kept it under control.  Now, I know the words sushi and buffet really shouldn't go together, but this place makes it work.  They have many people making fresh rolls right in the middle of the buffet line.  I grabbed some soup and salad to start, then went back and filled my plate with lots of goodies.  It was a good lunch to fuel me for an afternoon of vacation-prep shopping errands.

They really have a lot of good veggie options.  They usually have a killer tempura sweet potato roll, but today it was covered in eel sauce, and I am iffy on the ingredients of that, so I stayed away.  They have an entire fruit bar, which I usually go crazy on, but I kept it pretty limited today.  The strawberries were good.

When I'm in full test mode, I barely have time to do anything, so things like cooking dinner don't usually happen.  I love to cook, so I decided that a good way to relax would be with a glass of wine and some Italian food.  My mother is half Italian, and I used to wake up on Saturday mornings to her saying, "Let's make Italian food!" We would then proceed to cook AAAALLL day, and by the end of it, the house smelled like olive oil and garlic, and we were all full and happy.  So, needless to say, that kind of food has a special place in my heart.

Tonight, I decided to make an eggplant spaghetti with olive oil/basil brushetta.  I picked up a beautiful loaf from the Argenta Market, and Josh ate just about every piece that I made.


2 medium sized eggplants, peeled and diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jar tomato sauce (I used a whole foods herb)
1 bunch dino kale
1 handful of thyme 
3 green onions
handful of black olives, chopped
1 handful whole wheat pasta
salt and pepper to taste


Boil water for spaghetti, cut up all vegetables
Heat olive oil in a large pan, then throw in eggplant and zucchini
Cover with lid and let cook down/steam for 4-5 minutes
Once water starts to boil, add pasta, cook for 10 minutes, drain and set back in hot pot
Add half jar of tomato sauce to a small sauce pan, put the rest in the skilled with veggies
Cook down until eggplant is soft.
Add salt and pepper and fresh thyme
Take off heat, stir in chopped green onions and black olives
Serve over pasta with remaining sauce on top.

Of course, we had to have our bruschetta too!

Garlic Basil Bruschetta

(I know it's not really bruschetta without tomatoes, but Josh doesn't like them.  Add if you do!)

1/2 loaf fresh french bread
1 large bunch basil, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 d F
Slice bread and place on baking dish
In a bowl, mix olive oil, garlic and basil
Brush on bread
Heat in oven until crispy!

I thought I would get fancy and set up our kitchen island dining spot.  I will be pretty happy when we remodel our kitchen/dining room and have a real place to eat dinner.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Buffalo Grill Guac Salad

Sorry this post is coming so late today.  I had a test today and I'm just getting home.  Eeep.  Guess I'll know in a month if I'm an architect or not.

I started Monday off with a new rice protein powder from Whole Foods, which I took one sip of and had to throw out. WHY can I not find a protein powder that I like?!  Luckily, I had some Vega One in the pantry, so I brought that to work.

I spent the whole day worrying about my upcoming test.  I did have time to find some snacks.  Morning was olives and pumpkin seeds, afternoon was goddess dressing and green pepper.  Isn't the carrot container cute?  I found it at Kroger.

The office was pretty empty, but a few of us headed to Buffalo Grill for lunch.  This is kind of a greasy burger place in West Little Rock, but they do have a veggie burger, baked potatoes, and a pretty great guacamole salad.  This usually comes with chips, but I opted out.  Sometimes I add black beans, and that makes this a REALLY filling lunch.  I make due with what I have here.

Around 4 o'clock, I really started freaking out about my test.  So, after work I headed home to practice the drawing part several more times.  Josh offered to bring home dinner, and we decided to order from Newk's.  I have eaten here once when it first opened, but we have never had takeout.  I ordered a half veggie sandwich, no cheese or pesto, but I added some Earth Balance Mayo.  I also had a side salad with it, minus cheese.  This was ok, but I didn't have to cook, and I could keep studying.

I couldn't sleep all night, and the storms didn't help.  I can't believe how crazy these systems have been the past few days.  I'll have more about my tests and things tomorrow.  Josh and I are gearing up for a beach trip, which we are VERY excited about.  We have our house/Bodhi sitter all lined up!  We have some really amazing friends in Little Rock that give our kitty lots of love when we are away.

No calorie counting today.  I am trying to be on the wagon, but I don't think I'll be in the driver seat until we get back from vacation.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reddit Drew Me!

So, I'm a redditor, and sometimes I contribute to the subreddit r/redditgetsdrawn.  I usually post the pictures on my Scribbly Brain blog.  You can find my submissions here and also here.  So, the other night, I posted this picture:

I got a couple submissions, and they were great!  See the original post.

Here's the first one by terribleatkaraoke.

I think the likeness was captured for sure!  Look at that scary carrot!!

The second submission was by I_may_be_Dead.

I loved this one too!  The art style is kind of creepy, and the skull earrings were a great touch!

It was really fun to be drawn, and I will try to post drawings for a lot more people this summer.  You can check them out on Scribbly Brain.

Weekend Recap

It was a beautiful weekend here in Little Rock, but unfortunately, most of my time was spent inside practicing stair calculations.  Josh did a lot of yard work, and I helped pull some carrots.  Saturday, we went out, which we don't usually do.  We had a good time, though.  There was need for a hangover brunch on Sunday, where I had a huge roasted vegetable wrap from Bar Louis.  There was lots of studying and not a lot of other productive things, but it was a good weekend overall.