playing catch up

it’s been a while since i’ve had any sort of inspiration for this bloggy blog.

so…. since my last post, i attempted a month of soy-free in september. FAILED.
tried to post a blog every day for vegan mofo. FAILED.
i tried to do a 3 day juice fast. FAILED.
i did make some super yummy dishes before leaving for maui…and had a few nice suppers out.

loaded tots – VEGANIZED!

everyone at work is always eating loaded tots and i feel very left out. they smother them in melted cheese, bacon, sour cream, the works. so one night i got the craving for those loaded tots and headed to whole foods for some quality vegan versions of this amazing diner style dish. came out pretty delish i must say. organic tater tots, cheddar daiya, vegan bacon bits, tofutti sour cream and fresh green onions. YUMMERS.

i miss spinach dip. i use to have a bread bowl with publix spinach dip at every gathering i hosted in my pre-vegan days. i found a whole prairie bread loaf (not cut) at whole foods and decided it was time to have a good spinach dip again. this time i made the spinach dip from scratch – with all vegan ingredients obvi. i used one bag of fresh spinach as well as one frozen brick with some minced garlic… after it all cooked down i added one tub of vegan cream cheese, a lot of nutritional yeast, cheddar & mozzarella daiya, and artichoke hearts.

vegan spinach dip in a prairie bread bowl!

i can’t even. this was SO good. i’ll be making this for every potluck & party i attend. โค everyone loves a bread bowl. i need to make some french onion soup in this next time i buy it.

good vs evil. always a battle.

i mean really… i KNOW i don’t need this donut. why am i such a fat kid? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ this particular trip to whole foods with my best good friend i made a new discovery. (not pictured) curry tofu eggrolls with a spicy mango dipping sauce. in the prepared foods section at your local whole foods ((south florida locations anyway)). oh-my-nom. you have to try them. i’m not a huge tofu fan but i have about 3 people addicted to these eggrolls now!

i dip you dip we dip. another amazing meal at udipi

oh samosa chaat (sans yogurt) and cauliflower 99…. you complete me. โค

just keep juicing!
i need a good 10 days off work so i can really do a fast.
Image
juice juice juice

if i had a week or more off from work (and i’m talking photo shoots too) i would TOTALLY be down for a good juice fast. but when i’m working restaurant OR photo shoots i need energy and substantial food. a juice fast can’t happen unless i’m home with my juicer 24/7. so i failed this mini challenge i created for myself. sad face. someday!

and then folks – i left for maui ((october 01-11))

flying into hawaii
flying into hawaii

my best friend rachel got married in maui on october 05, 2013. i had the honor of photographing her wedding. ((vegetarian wedding of course!!!))

aloha from maui!
aloha from maui!

maui is NOT the most vegan friendly place on the planet. it wasn’t difficult to find food, but it also wasn’t easy… nor were there ANY all vegan restaurants on the island that i could find.

moon foods natural grocery store
moon foods natural grocery store

i knew this after researching my options before i even arrived in hawaii. i brought a blender ball shake cup, 10 packets of vega and hoped i’ would find a vegan friendly grocery store. i did. in walking distance to our condo. so i stocked up. i made sure i had plenty of sammies for every excursion we went on. almond milk for my vega drinks in the morning, and ingredients to make supper in the evenings. (fully stocked kitchen in the condo – score!) so i definitely didn’t starve in maui, but it was not a vegan foodcation by any means.

i heart hawaii
i heart hawaii

hawaii is beautiful. it was never really on my bucket list of places i planned on traveling to, but i’m not upset that i went. the flowers were gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the island was very scenic. i think i was disappointed in lack of animals. my ideal hike inย  a rainforest would include seeing monkeys, butterflies and all sorts of species that i don’t see on a normal basis. the rainfall hike i did in hawaii had lots of pretty flowers but almost zero wildlife. nothing is really native to hawaii – everything was brought from other places. my dream is to hike in costa rica. โค THAT is on my bucket list. hawaii did boast many painted eucalyptus trees – my favorite tree ever. so there’s that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

passion fruit while hiking
passion fruit while hiking
shave ice
shave ice

i want to eat shave ice every day. forever. and ever. ohmynoms. my favorties were mango, pineapple and coconut. YUMMMMM.

road to hana
road to hana

there were places i could eat even off the beaten track. on our tour “the road to hana” we stopped at a roadside stand that a health clinic hosts and they had many healthy and vegan options for me! love eating local produce. so delicious. i was able to grab a bag of macadamia nuts, coffee beans, strawberry pineapple jam, coconut granola & crystal ginger candy to bring home with me. i love the local stuff!

snorkeling with turtles
snorkeling with turtles

my brother, his girlfriend and myself went on a snorkeling trip to molokini crater ~ and swam with turtles. so freaking cool. THIS was my favorite day by far. just keep swimming!

joy's place
joy’s place

a mild 30 minute walk from my condo i found this little raw-ish cafe (they also serve fish i believe). the food was really good. the first visit i had a tempeh wrap of sorts. it was good. the brownie was pretty yum too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ the second visit i ordered the raw burrito and it was AMAZING. great way to end my trip to maui.

goodbye hawaii. thanks for the tan and the great coffee!
goodbye hawaii. thanks for the tan and the great coffee!

so since i’ve been home i’ve been working like a crazy person. i have so many photo projects to finish — lots of doubles at the restaurant trying to play catch up with my bills. the first 2 weeks i was home i don’t think i cooked once! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

frankies dogs! (at funky buddha brewery every friday night)
frankies dogs! (at funky buddha brewery every friday night)

i finally made it out to funky buddha in fort lauderdale but never even went inside to check out the beers. just went for the frankies dogs outside. vegan hot dogs with all the right toppings. LOVE me some frankie dogs!

i beg you - don't be the next victim of oreo addiction.
i beg you – don’t be the next victim of oreo addiction.

before leaving for maui i did an egagement session for my best friend josh. we spent a very long day together and in the midst of shooting i discovered these birthday cake oreos on his kitchen counter. i beg you all – don’t do it. don’t try the birthday cake oreos because they are crack. you can’t stop eating them. i saw them at publix and had to buy them. i’ve bought 3 packages. i’m NEVER buying them again. meh! they are vegan but who needs all that sugar and processed garbage? not this girl!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

no carb left behind at sublime!
no carb left behind at sublime!

my very pregnant friend decided sublime was a good choice one night – and we ate every carb we could possibly find. and those carbs were gooooooooood. pretzel appetizer, frito misto and mac & cheese. we also each had our own desserts! i do not like chocolate cake or ice cream so i tend to venture out on my own in the world of sweets. i go for anything “cheesecake” or whatever fruit concoction is available. this night was apple cobbler. NOM.

finally cooked!
finally cooked!

finally made it into the kitchen. made this chickpea / broccoli casserole and modified it by adding daiya and squash. YUMMERS. even though it doesn’t feel like it outside, it is fall and all i want is comfort food – even though it’s still 100 degrees and humid. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

chickpea cutlets and company
chickpea cutlets and company

made a batch of chickpea cutlets, gravy, peas and mashed potatoes. can you tell i’m craving comfort food for days? the leftover cutlets were super yum right out of the fridge with ketchup. just like i use to do with my dad’s famous chicken cutlets years ago. nostalgia!

ruh roh. new veggie indian - woodlands.
ruh roh. new veggie indian – woodlands.

my favorite person came into town from trinidad for a few days this past weekend and i insisted she try udipi with me. so we ventured over for lunch one day but the manager / owner / whoever he was not accommodating to us at all. they only serve buffet at lunch. i begged for my two favorite dishes, samosa chaat and cauliflower 99. i just wanted anastacia to experience my favorite meal! no deal. so udipi and i are in a fight right now. we drove a few blocks north and scoped out woodlands – which i’ve been meaning to try anyway. the manager / owner / whoever he was, gave us menus and i ordered everything i would have at udipi. i wasn’t impressed with the samosa chaat or the similar cauliflower dish compared to udipi, but it didn’t suck. the service was impeccableย  so friendly and knowledgeable. the menu clearly states the vegan dishes. i am super impressed with woodlands – just need to figure out my favorite menu items from them. ๐Ÿ™‚ i will be back again!

new books!
new books!

i don’t even think i can put into words how excited i am about the new isa cookbook. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! #iloveisa

first recipe from isa does it
first recipe from isa does it

i’m a fan. i love bowls. seitan and boccoli and quinoa and LENTIL GRAVY? uhhhhh YES PLEASE. so good!

recipe numero dos from isa does it
recipe numero dos from isa does it

roasted pumpkin with buckwheat soba noodles, black beans and chimichurri sauce. pretty tasty. i enjoyed the roasted pumpkin the most. the soba noodles got stuck together during my cooking process and i didn’t like the overwhelming parsley in the sauce. i hate parsley – almost NEVER use it but since this recipe required two cups i figured i had to use it. blech.

so far this cookbook is a winner! can’t wait to try the hundreds of other recipes i’ve dogeared. ๐Ÿ™‚

consider yourself caught up. congratulations if you’ve read this entire post. i’ll make you a vegan cookie. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

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