What I Ate Wednesday #33

Happy Wednesday to all! And happy first official fall edition of WIAW! Fall is definitely in full swing here, and I am absolutely loving it. This whole week is going to be in the low 70’s and sunny, perfect weather for outdoor studying!


Pumpkin is also back in my life now full swing. Yesterday morning I opened my first can of the glorious orange fall staple. I’ve got plans for pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin smoothies too!


Hello gorgeous!


This bowl of oats was filled with 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats, a small, very ripe banana, two heaping tablespoons of pumpkin, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, a pinch of cinnamon, and topped with some maple syrup, almond butter and coconut. Yum!


Midmorning I had a handful of zals for a snack (yes, in my house we refer to pretzels as ‘zals’).


Also had a few squares of this dark chocolate. This bar is very bitter, almost too bitter for me. You eat a piece or two and that is enough!


For lunch I had a sampling plate, which included a cinnamon raisin english muffin, some carrots, tomato, hummus, grapes, and a salad with almond pulp, cranberries and balsamic vinegar.


The snack I packed for later that afternoon was dried apricots and pistachios. Still a delicious combo!


My favorite bracelet that my little sister gave to me. Love!


And dinner was a new recipe! It’s not the most photogenic recipe but boy was it delicious. I’ll share the recipe for this Lentil Harvest Skillet soon! Basically it is a base of green lentils with sautéed veggies like onion, bell pepper and butternut squash, along with apple, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of cinnamon! The dense and doughy whole wheat roll on the side was also phenomenal. I. Love. Bread.


Dessert was a bit of ginger almond granola, homemade almond milk and cranberries. Eaten while watching an episode of The West Wing with my brother. Great night!

Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting this WIAW gathering!




Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Cookies with Sea Salt

Cookies. Glorious cookies. I love the smell of freshly baking cookies, the taste of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and molasses cookies (to name a few), the soft and chewy texture of freshly baked cookies, and the wonderfully relaxing process of baking cookies. Oh how I love cookies.


Lately I’ve enjoyed experimenting with vegan baked goods. I’ve been playing around with  finding ways to make scrumptious and healthier versions of baked goods without butter, eggs or yogurt. In this case, I adapted a recipe to create Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Cookies with Sea Salt. And they are wonderful! The slightly bitter dark chocolate chips pair perfectly with the nutty almond and sweet coconut flavors of this hearty and chewy cookie!


Sprinkle a bit of sea salt in the batter and you’ve taken the cookies to a whole new level!


These cookies get an A+ for their flavor and texture profiles. Perhaps these are my new favorite cookie…Ever!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Cookies with Sea Salt

Makes 12-15 cookies

Recipe adapted from My Happy Place

Wet ingredients

1/4 cup coconut oil (at room temp)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 flax eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup almond pulp (pulverized almonds-process in food processor until you get a pulp-like consistency)

Dry Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder


1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (vegan)

To make these cookies, start by making the flax eggs. Combine 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp of water in a small dish and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes (until the flax egg becomes thick and gel-like).

While the flax eggs are gelling, combine all the dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl.

When the flax eggs are ready, combine the flax eggs along with the rest of the wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.

Fold in dark chocolate chips, and then place the batter in the fridge for one hour before baking.

When ready to bake, set oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Pumpkin’s in the air,


What I Ate Wednesday #32

Happy Wednesday everyone! And happy fall to all! I cannot believe last week it was 95 degrees here, and when I woke up to go to work this morning it was 49 degrees. Crazy. But I have to say the cool, crisp air is one of the things I love most about fall.

This WIAW post recaps my eats from this past Sunday, so I hope you all enjoy!


My day started with a tasty bowl of bran flakes with homemade almond milk, a sliced banana, chia seeds, natural, unsalted pb and two little vegan cookie dough balls. I made some Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Cookies with Sea Salt the other day, but kept a little of the raw dough to snack on. Recipe coming soon!


I tried to keep breakfast and lunch a little lighter since I knew I would be going to Smorgasburg that afternoon! So for lunch I had a sandwich, cucumbers and grapes. And this was one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time! It was a whole wheat cinnamon raisin english muffin filled with almond pulp, cilantro jalapeño hummus, pea shoots and roasted red pepper. Unbelievable!


I also got to catch the first few minutes of the packers game before I went to meet my friend for Smorgasburg, go Pack!


At Smorgasburg, an amazing food market in Brooklyn, my friend and I split a piece of Honey Sea Salt  cornbread.


We also shared a piece of Garlic and Chive cornbread. Both were phenomenal!


To quench my thirst I got a mango lemonade. Good, but not quite as good as I’d hoped!


We ended by splitting a Laughter and Lemon ice cream sandwich, which I think was made with brown butter sea salted sugar cookies, and filled with vanilla lemon ice cream. I was in heaven!


For dinner that night I wasn’t too hungry, but I had a nacho bowl later that evening. I love nacho bowls! Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for this when I’m more hungry. This particular bowl contained bulgur, cannellini beans, stir-fried veggies, green chilies, avocado, salsa and tortilla chips. Yum!

Be sure to check out Jenn’s page to see where this WIAW party started!



Zucchini Cocoa Banana Bread

Zucchini time! Recently I’ve enjoyed buying zucchini at the farmer’s market and sautéing it with other veggies and some garlic and ginger, or eating it raw and dipped in hummus. The other day, however, I had an urge to bake. And with one zucchini left in my fridge begging to be used, I thought I’d make a classic zucchini bread-with a twist!


In this case the twist is that it is vegan, and instead of the classic chocolate chip studded version I used cocoa powder for a complimentary flavor. It was wonderful!

IMG_8085This bread is quick, easy and tasty. It’s also lusciously moist, perfectly dense and chewy.


If you are in need of a recipe to use up the rest of the zucchini from your own garden or from the market, make this bread today!

Zucchini Cocoa Banana Bread

Makes one loaf

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp almond milk

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 flax egg

1 ripe banana, mashed

1 medium zucchini, grated

Begin by making the flax egg. Combine 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp of water and set in fridge for 10 minutes.

While the flax egg is thickening, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.

When the flax egg is done chilling, whisk it together in a small bowl along with the coconut oil, sugar, almond milk and banana.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and then fold in the grated zucchini.

Bake in the oven for ~30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

With crunchy red grapes,


Protein Power Barley Bowl

Recently I’ve enjoyed making big batches of cold grain salads to last me through the week. I like using some type of grain as the base, then add in all types of veggies and a bean/legume. Using whole grains (such as barley in this case) and pairing it with a bean/legume makes this dish full of protein. Plant-based protein!


Look at how colorful this bowl is! Which means there are a variety of phytochemicals in this dish which are attributing to our health!


For an extra boost of flavor I like making a simple sauce to coat the salad with. For this dish I made a tangy BBQ mustard sauce. Fantastic!


This dish is best served chilled! Which worked perfect this last week because we had a crazy heat wave were it was almost 100 degrees!


Protein Power Barley Bowl

Serves ~5

Barley Base

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup barley, uncooked

1 cup fresh/frozen (and thawed) corn kernels

1 bell pepper (I used orange), diced

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/3 cup raisins

1 cup pea shoots, chopped


1/2 cup bbq sauce

1tbsp mustard (I used sweet and spicy mango mustard)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp water


Roasted sweet potato

Grape tomatoes

Bed of greens

Tahini drizzle

To make this dish, start by cooking the barley to package directions.

While the barley is cooking, dice and chop all the ingredients that need it and add them to a large mixing bowl.

When the barley is finished add it to the large mixing bowl and stir everything to combine.

In a separate, small mixing bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients with a fork.

Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until incorporated.

Place in the fridge for a few hours and serve chilled. Add toppings to you bowl when you serve to make it even tastier, I suggest some greens, sweet potato, tomatoes and a bit of tahini! Enjoy!

Fall is in the air,


What I Ate Wednesday #31

Good morning, and happy Wednesday to you all! This week’s eats was from this past weekend and I’m excited to share with you some simple, delicious and nutritious meals! So let’s get started.


For breakfast on Saturday morning I had a glorious breakfast of kodiak cakes with chia seeds, topped with natural, creamy, unsalted peanut butter, shredded coconut and a sliced, ripe banana on the side.




In addition to my standard glass of water, I also finished up some homemade almond milk. Making almond milk is so easy and tastes much better to me. It literally tastes like almonds, go figure.


Midmorning I had an apple while doing the readings for my Food and Culture class. It was a crisp and sweet braeburn apple, my favorite!


For lunch, I had a tasty bowl of mix-and-match leftovers. This bowl was filled with greens on the bottom, a cold barley salad for the bulk of the dish, and topped with a drizzle of tahini. Grape tomatoes and sweet potato on the side!


That afternoon as I read for Environmental Health Problems, I had another tasty snack. This time it was a little dish of bran flakes, dark chocolate chips and almond milk.


Dinner was a sampling plate of sorts. One of the easiest, and my favorite type of meal to throw together! I probably have this type of meal (veggie, fruit, protein and whole grain) at least once a week. This time I had a whole wheat english muffin sandwich filled with pea shoots, cilantro jalapeño hummus and almond pulp, and a side of grape tomatoes, carrots, pickles and grapes. So much color!


For dessert I made some zucchini banana bread with cocoa, which I will share the recipe for soon. It is a quick and easy vegan bread!

Make sure to stop on by Jenn’s page and thank her for hosting this weekly WIAW gathering!



Lately: Family and Food

The last few weeks I have been lucky to spend the majority of my time with my family! They came all the way from Wisconsin to help move my sister into college, and came early so we could all hang out. It was a great way to end summer!


We walked and talked a lot, saw picturesque views, and ate lots of good food. Here are some pictures that document the fun!


















Spend time with loved ones,