Freedom (for now)…

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Yo.  What is it, Tuesday?  I must be on break from school.  ;)  I wrapped up the semester last Thursday and it was my biggest sigh of relief yet.  I say this every semester, but it was definitely my toughest to date.  I start summer classes on June 7th, and then I intern in the fall.  You know what comes after that?  GRADUATION.  I’m so close!

I might as well just go ahead and tell you that B and I broke up.  It’s over.  It’s okay.  He’ll be fine and so will I.  The End.

After a relaxing, fun, homework-free weekend, I find myself on the fidgety side today.  I’m usually running around like a lunatic and forever mentally assessing my to-do list, so having… oh, what do you call it… free time?… is foreign to me and makes me a little uncomfortable.  I’m definitely the kind of person that thrives under pressure.  Deadlines get me going.  I’m fairly certain that these next few weeks will f.l.y. by, though, so I should definitely try to enjoy and make the most of them.

Ok then!  On to the food…

:D

Vegetable and Edamame Pasta with Basil-Avocado Cream Sauce

I made this a week or so ago for dinner.  It’s a *really* easy and inexpensive recipe to throw together, especially if you grow your own basil.  It’s a nice, light, flavorful, summery meal.  I used brown rice pasta, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think about skipping the noodles altogether and just sticking my face into the basil-avocado sauce…

Last week I came across Gena’s recipe for raw, vegan Bircher Muesli, and it looked and sounded so tasty that I had to make it immediately.

I subbed raisins for the mulberries and used store-bought unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, and it was absolutely delicious!  The raisins and goji berries plumped up overnight, and this made for a cool, creamy, chewy and sweet breakfast treat.

Speaking of sweet stuff, two weekends ago I made the Sea Salt Toffee Bars from Chloe’s Kitchen.

One word: YES:)

I brought these bars to dinner at a friend’s house, and we made veggie fajitas that were ridiculous.  I marinated portobello mushroom caps, sliced onion and bell peppers in a mixture of pureed chipotle chile peppers, adobo sauce, lime juice, agave and cumin for several hours and then the boys grilled ‘em up:

These veggies were out of this world and I will use the same marinade again and again.  Absolute perfection!  Check out my fajita plate:

Two whole-wheat tortillas with guacamole, grilled veggies, vegetarian re-fried beans, salsa, vegan queso (the BEST!) and sliced jalapenos.  See?  Ridiculous.

Last weekend I made Iced Apple Cake, also from Chloe’s Kitchen.  I brought it to a cookout at M‘s house, and it was a hit!

It’s a very easy recipe consisting of flour (I used whole-wheat pastry), spices, canola oil, brown sugar, chopped apple and walnuts, and I was seriously impressed with how it turned out.  A simple glaze of powered sugar and non-dairy milk is poured over top after baking, and it was tasty, tasty love at first bite.  In fact, even after a big plate of cookout food…

(Vegan baked beans, sweet potato fries, coleslaw [from the Vegan Diner cookbook], and a delightfully spicy chipotle Field Roast sausage covered in grilled onions, sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and mustard!)

…and two and a half beers (hiccup!), I couldn’t stop at just one piece of this cake.  I had two and then had to remove myself from the kitchen.  I guess it’s rude to bring dessert to a cookout and then eat it all yourself, or something.  ;)

Last Wednesday I finally got some panini action in my life after a long hiatus.  I used to make paninis ALL the time, and I forgot how versatile and tasty they are.  I made a batch of OSG’s Lemon-Dill Tofu and then piled a couple of slices on sprouted grain bread, along with mashed avocado, roasted garlic cloves (I’m obsessed with roasting whole heads of garlic at the mo’), red onion and spinach:

This made my taste buds and my belly very happy.

Lastly, on Saturday I decided that I simply do not bake enough cookies.  A simple internet search solved that problem with a quickness!

Lucky for me (and my kids), the dough came together just as fast and we had fresh, hot, gooey vegan chocolate chip cookies in no time.

I used all whole-wheat pastry flour in the recipe and it worked beautifully!  In my experience, whole-wheat pastry flour can be subbed 100% for regular all-purpose in baking recipes.  Regular whole-wheat and white whole-wheat do not work as well- they tend to give baked goods a grainy, healthy feel (no bueno).  Whole-wheat pastry flour works like a charm and squeaks by undetected while packing in a lot more nutrition than regular white.  Whenever I see the stuff on sale, I always stock up.  It’s my go-to flour for almost all baked goods!  I buy mine from Sprout’s or in the bulk section of Whole Foods.

Last night I made the Take-out Style Lo Mein from Chloe’s Kitchen, and it was easy and tasty.  I’m really excited about tonight’s meal: Traditional Greek Salad from VegNews magazine plus homemade Baba Ganoush!  The Greek salad calls for tofu feta, which I made yesterday.  You simply press a block of extra firm tofu, cut it into cubes, and then simmer in a saucepan with water, lemon juice, salt, dried oregano and basil.  I haven’t tasted it yet (the recipe advises that you let the faux feta sit in the fridge overnight in the brine so that the flavors can meld), but it looks and smells delicious.  I’ll let you know how everything turns out.  :)

On Friday I’m hosting a girl’s dinner.  The menu: Creamy Avocado Pasta (a long-time fave of mine), roasted asparagus, spinach salad with red onion and Annie’s Woodstock dressing, and for dessert?  For dessert I decided to make my very first pie ever.  The Summer Berry Pie from Chloe’s Kitchen, to be exact.  Because there’s no better time to attempt making a pie from scratch than when you’re supposed to feed a hungry crowd of 7+, right?  Right.  I am up for the challenge.  If it’s a total FAIL, I’ll just cover it with vanilla coconut milk ice cream and call it a crumble.  ;)

I’m off to rock a workout.  Have a happy Tuesday.

XO,

S.

PS- How did you spend Mother’s Day?  Mine was fantastic.   :)   I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

My happy family.  <3 <3 <3

7 responses »

  1. Pingback: Wednesday « Inside & Out

  2. Pingback: Pie Baking + A Tropical Green Smoothie « Inside & Out

  3. Did you have a problem with the apple cake batter being too thick? I thought it might need more liquid than just the canola oil.

    • Hey! Yes, the batter was like cement! But I also chopped my apples way too big, so that also made it rather chunky (I’m the World’s Laziest Chopper). In any case, I didn’t add more liquid and just rolled with it and my cake turned out great! Did yours come out alright?

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