Thursday, July 31, 2014

Amanda's Bachelorette Party: COUFEST 2014

This past weekend, I traveled to Tulsa to celebrate my amazing friend, Amanda, getting married!  Her wedding isn't until October, but we're smart to get our partying done early.  We had an absolute blast.  We stayed at the Hard Rock Casino, and in this post, I'll tell you about the fun times we had at the Center of the Universe Festival (COUFEST) in downtown Tulsa.  I'm dumb and kept hash tagging everything #couchfest on instagram, so if you were following me and thought I was taking naps and were confused by the pictures, sorry.

The Brady Arts District, where the festival was held, is a happening place.  I knew I could get good vegan food there.  We arrived around 6:30, and it was still almost 100 degrees (F) outside!  We didn't let it stop us from having a good time.

While we were walking around, we noticed a vendor selling these floral headbands, so we all got one.  I told Devon that hers looked a little silly, and she changed it out.  We made Amanda, the bride, get the white flowers.  It was so much fun!

Don't you love our buttons?  I was "Twatzilla."  I thought I got off relatively easy compared to some of the other buttons.

After headbands, we went to check out the food trucks.  We all split up, and I made a B-line for falafel!!

I stopped by the Pita Place food truck and snagged a falafel (sub hummus for taziki) and some amazing tabouli.  Devon got a falafel too, but we really should have split one.  It was HUGE and so delicious.

Look at that giant sandwich!  It had raw red onions, hummus, hot sauce and tons of falafel.  After that, we were pretty thirsty, so we downed some $3 waters (yikes!).  To be economical, Devon and I decided to split a bottle of wine while we watched Capitol Cities.

It came in a big bike water bottle, and we got quite a bit of bang for our buck.  Now, I don't usually drink my red wine on ice, but when it's 100 degrees outside, it's completely allowed!

The concert was a blast, and we did lots of dancing!  I was really glad that Amanda picked such a fun activity for us all to enjoy.  Afterwards, we snagged some t-shirts and took a cab back to the casino.

I have more posts to come this week from our amazing trip, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Carrot Potato Latkes and Tofu Scramble

As you may have noticed, I have been participating in the Virtual Vegan *Linky* Potluck on Wednesdays for the past few weeks.  This week is #5, and I wanted to do breakfast!  My Summer Tomato Pasta Salad even got called out as a favorite last week!

This would make a quick breakfast or a yummy dinner.  Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner??

Carrot Potato Latkes (Oven Baked)

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs ground chia seeds
  • 3 tbs water
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • oil for baking sheet
  1. 30 minutes before hand, grate potatoes and place in a large bowl of ice water.  Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F).
  3. Lay clean dish towels out and scoop potatoes onto towel and pat dry.  Make sure thoroughly dried out.
  4. Add potatoes to a large bowl.
  5. Grate carrots and add to bowl.
  6. Add chopped cilantro, garlic, salt and oil.  Mix thoroughly.
  7. In a small bowl, mix ground chia seeds and water.  Let sit for 3 minutes.
  8. Add chia mixture to large bowl and mix.
  9. Oil baking sheets.  Scoop out latke cakes and place on sheet.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 10 more minutes.

Soaking the potatoes first is the key to getting the potatoes white and crispy.

Now, let's talk scramble!  This recipe is super quick and easy.

Noochy Tofu Scramble

  • 1 package firm tofu, drained but not pressed
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  1. In a medium skillet, heat pan on medium/high heat.
  2. Add oil.
  3. Crumble in tofu once oil is hot, then add spices.
  4. Saute in pan for 15 minutes.  Add water if the nooch is not incorporating.

Cover in hot sauce and salsa, enjoy, and don't forget to check out the Vegan *Linky* Potluck!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Current Obsession: So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt

Since going vegan so many years ago, there has been an explosion of amazing vegan products.  Sometimes, they don't even come on my radar, until one day I pull one off the shelf, eat it, and become obsessed.  Recently, that happened with So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt.  Now, I have never tried real Greek yogurt, because it became a big thing after I was already vegan, but the coconut Greek yogurt is incredible.  I have been eating it at my desk with a mix of fruit and almonds, and it's heaven.

The fruit I'm loving lately is just apples, peaches and strawberries tossed with a little balsamic vinaigrette.  Yummers.

I am trying to be a little less rigid about food, like adding in some processed vegan items like yogurt.  I'm working on a synopsis of my train of thought, but I feel sometimes I spend too much brain energy limiting the vegan foods I allow myself to eat.  Eating shouldn't be that complicated or that strict.

I have been pairing my fruit and yogurt breakfast with a chocolate protein powder + almond milk smoothie.  It's an incredibly delicious breakfast, and it holds me over all morning.

What are some of your favorite vegan products?

** I have not been contacted by anyone to write this post.  The opinions are completely my own.  I review products I like because, well, I like them!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Eggplant Banh Mi's with Local Produce

One of my favorite things about summer is all the local produce.  Little Rock is surrounded by amazing farms, and almost any day of the week, there are markets bursting with fresh vegetables and fruit.  Last weekend, I headed to the Argenta Market before the SoMa Vintage Market, and I found some great stuff.

I also picked up a fantastic loaf of french bread at Boulevard Bread Company, as well as some items at Whole Foods.  With all that, I was ready to start cooking!

The last time I made my killer zucchini salad, Josh exclaimed, "This would be great on a banh mi!"  So, when I saw the great zucchini and the bread, I knew that's what I needed to make.

This beautiful sandwich was tasty, flavorful and filling.  It's also super quick.  When you use the zucchini salad, those great flavors soak into the bread and help to soften the bread.

As a side item, I made my Farmer's Market Cucumber Salad.  It's sweet, spicy and makes a light, summer salad.

This cucumber salad makes a great sandwich topping, too, but I saved that for the zucchini salad.

Eggplant Banh Mi

  • 1 large eggplant and sea salt for salting
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 2 tbs vegan mayo
  • 1 serving of Killer Zucchini Salad
  • lettuce of your choice
  • sriracha to taste
Take large eggplant and slice into thin circles, then cut in half.

Lay eggplant onto paper towels and apply a generous amount of salt.  Cover with more paper towels (or clean dish towels.)  Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).  Brush salt off eggplant and place in a large bowl. 

Toss eggplant with olive oil, then place on a baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until soft.

Assemble!  Slice bread in half and add mayo to both sides.  Lay the eggplant on one side and then place the zucchini salad on top.  Place a lettuce leaf on the other side.  Add sriracha if you want a kick.

This sandwich really highlights the wonderful produce in the area, and I hope it makes a delicious dinner for you as soon as possible!