Hearty Party Bowl

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This is one of my favorite dinners EVER.

Sweet golden beets juicy plump mushrooms + crunchy green asparagus + crispy toasted tofu + purple sticky rice = 
the perfect meal!

It’s a delicious, hearty meal full of veggies, protein, and complex carbohydrates. In my opinion, it’s the perfect meal taste-wise and nutrition-wise!

Enjoy this nutritious, delicious, earthy, and filling meal!

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Hearty Party Bowl

Serves 2-4

    • 3 cups purple sticky rice
    • 3 to 6 large golden beets, chopped into 1or 2 inch squares
    • 3 large sweet potatoes, cubed
    • olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 head of broccoli
    • a few handfuls of asparagus
    • 8 oz container of button mushrooms
    • 1 brick of tofu
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  1. Press the tofu to get the moisture out.
  2. Make 3 cups of your favorite sticky rice. Follow the directions on the back of the rice container for how to make the rice. We love purple sticky rice!
  3. While the rice is cooking, cube the beets, drizzle olive oil over them, then roast them at 400 degrees F for 18 to 20 minutes. Stir them, then cook for another 18 to 20  minutes, or until they’re golden-brown and not as crunchy anymore.
  4. At the same time, cube the sweet potatoes, and roast them with a bit of olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic for about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the tofu into strips and coat the strips with a bit of soy sauce (approx. 1/4 cup). Put it in a pan and roast for 20 minutes per side, or until they’re golden-brown and crispy.
  6. Wash and cut the broccoli and mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Either sauté the broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms OR roast them. When the beets only have 10 or so minutes left in the oven, add in the other veggies and let everything cook until the timer goes off (and the veggies are soft).
  7. Add some rice to bowls, then top the bowls with tofu, beets, broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, and mushrooms. Enjoy!

xx Ellie

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Bear Bowl

I LOVE smoothies. They’re the bomb diggity and I don’t think I can put into words how much I adore them. Especially if they have peanut butter in them. Peanut butter = happiness, world peace, unicorns, and everything else that’s super great. I also heart cute smoothies. Can food BE cute? I think so.

For lunch today, I enjoyed a cute, peanut butter-y smoothie. It was cute because I made it into an “animal” smoothie bowl. I’m obsessed with fun smoothie bowls! Today’s smoothie animal was a bear. Real bears are actually scary. However, teddy bears and the bear emoji, which are what I based this smoothie on, are pretty darn cute.

This smoothie would be so fun to make for a creative weekend breakfast for kids, in celebration of an upcoming camping trip, or just because it’s cute and yummy!

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BEAR BOWL

SERVES 1

GRASS: 1 frozen banana, a huge handful of spinach, and a splash of almond milk. Blend and pour into a bowl.

BEAR face base: a frozen banana blended with 2 big spoonfuls of peanut butter and a bit of almond milk. Blend and pour on top of the “grass” in a bear face shape (an oval-shaped head and 2 dots for ears).

ears: cut a strawberry (fresh or frozen) in ½ and top each “ear” with a strawberry half.

eyes: 2 blueberries

nose: strawberry

muzzle / whisker area: cacao nibs

mouth: a raisin shaped into a smile

Assemble and enjoy!

XX ELLie

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Snickerdoodles (v + gf)

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When I was 14, I had my first love (Justin Bieber, anyone?)

You see, I tried a snickerdoodle for the first time when I was 14. It was love at first bite, even though it didn’t have ANY chocolate in it! It was sweet, had a soft fluffiness, and an aromatic cinnamon and vanilla combination. It was a cookie that deserved to be loved.

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Snickerdoodles fresh out of the oven

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Not so long ago, I was craving Snickerdoodles. So, like any logical person, I searched through my array of cookbooks for a vegan snickerdoodle recipe. I found one in Let Them Eat Vegan, a cookbook by Dreena Burton. They sounded delicious, but they weren’t gluten-free. I wanted to make them gluten-free because I was making them for my tennis team and one of the girls on the team is gluten-free. She’s also my doubles partner, so together we make up the crazy vegan / gluten-free doubles team!

I followed the basics of Dreena’s recipe, but tweaked it by adding gluten-free oat flour to make it gluten-free, as well as adding more cinnamon. They were sweet and delicious! I hope you make them and love them as much as my tennis team and I did!

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oats to be made into oat flour

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Snickerdoodles

vegan and gluten-free

adapted from the “Snifferdoodles” recipe in Let Them Eat Vegan, by Dreena Burton

makes 16 cookies

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour (I made my own by pulsing 1 cup of gluten free oats in the food processor until they became flour) (oat flour can be subbed for regular gluten free flour or whole wheat flour, but I prefer the oat flour)
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (cane or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I used a mixture of vegetable and coconut)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine the maple syrup, vanilla, and oil in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until combined. Cover the mixture and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Roll a ½ tablespoon or so of dough into a ball and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until you run out of room on the baking sheet or all the dough is gone. Do not flatten the cookies, because they will flatten naturally in the oven. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until they are golden-brown. Let them cool for a few minutes, then ENJOY!

xx Ellie

P.s. – What is your favorite type of cookie? I love snickerdoodles, but I also love chocolate chip cookies and these hippie cookies. Give me a cookie and I will be happy!

Pin it Party!

What tin the world is a “Pin it Party!?” some of you might ask. Well, in the words of Liz from pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com, the purpose of a Pin It Party is “for bloggers to share their 5 favorite posts that they would like to see get more traffic on Pinterest. A “Pin It Party” allows bloggers to support one another, while also seeing new content that they may not have stumbled on before!”

I’d never heard of such a thing before, but the minute Liz posted that she was going to host one, I was in!

To be a part of the party, all you have to do is…

  1. Create a post featuring 5 pictures and links to your favorite posts that you want to get more traffic on Pinterest.
  2. Publish the post today, Saturday, April 18th
  3. Visit pumpkinandpeanutbutter.com and link up by clicking the button that will appear towards the bottom of this post. Liz will keep this link open until Sunday, April 19th at 11:55 pm.
  4. Visit at least 3 other blogs from the link up (at the bottom of Liz’s post) and starting pinning!

Below is a list of my five favorite blog recipe posts! Enjoy them, and check out the Pin it Party!

Bunny Bowl

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Raw Snickers

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Hippie Cookies

Hippie Cookies

Banana Balls

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Butternut Squash Bisque

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Thanks for partying with us! Have a great weekend!

xx Ellie

Spring Break Recap (pt. 2) : Asheville, NC

Welcome to the second part of Ellie takes the Carolinas, a.k.a. what I did on spring break!

If you didn’t read all 646 words of Monday’s post, I’ll give you a quick synopsis right now. My family and I went to a lovely resort in South Carolina called Wild Dunes. We spent a week walking the beach, playing tennis, making and eating yummy vegan food, and watching a tennis tournament called the Family Circle Cup.

After we saw South Carolina, we figured we should also see its brother (sister? cousin?) state North Carolina. We drove to Asheville, North Carolina, because my parents almost moved there twenty years before and they wanted to see what the city is like now!

Before we arrived in Asheville, my mom and I made a reservation to Plant, an upscale vegan restaurant! My brother and dad decided to go to a nearby sushi place because they love their meat. However, I couldn’t wait to try Plant! I’d been wanting to eat there ever since I read about how the food was “to absolutely die for” from Liz (from pumpkinandpeanutbutter)! Liz was right : the food WAS to die for!

I ordered the “Lasagna Cruda,” which was a RAW lasagna! I decided to order the lasagna because I’d always wanted to try raw lasagna. I’m glad I did! Generous slathers of herbed macadamia nut cheese and kale & pecan pesto were sandwiched between layers of zucchini, pepper, and oven softened tomato (the “noodles”). The final product was  topped with pea sprouts and oregano and infused with olive oil. I enjoyed the dish, but it got messy when I started cutting it. Overall, I’d give it a 7.5/10 because it even though it was yummy and healthy, it tasted a little too earthy for me and it was difficult to cut.

Plant’s lighting was dark and intimate, which was nice, but said lighting made it hard to take good pictures of food.

The standout meal was the “Lemongrass Seitan” that my mom ordered.  I didn’t get it because I don’t love lemongrass, but it turned out that I couldn’t even taste it! It was the best seitan ever, served on a pile of winter squash puree and topped with baby bok choy, fermented black lentils , salt & pepper cashews, and pickled daikon radish. I stole a bite and MAN OH MAN was it good. 10/10 for sure. It was sweet and creamy, but also crunchy in some parts because of the seitan and cashews. The sweet and creamy squash puree was a perfect contrast to the crispiness of the seitan (which was incredibly tasty!).

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“Lemongrass Seitan” photo from Plant’s Instagram, @plantisfood

We were pleasantly full after dinner, but it would have been a crime to have left without eating dessert! My mom and I settled on the most chocolate-y thing we could find : the “Blackout Pie.” It was a luscious peanut butter chocolate fudge cake crusted with Oreo-type cookies and decorated with berry sauce. A salty, creamy, and delicious peanut butter-brittle ice cream accompanied the rich cake. My mom and I split the cake, but it was so rich that I couldn’t finish my half (me not finishing a dessert is UNHEARD of). It was divine, even though it was a little too rich for me.

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rich, fudge-y cake accompanied by peanut brittle ice cream and drizzles of chocolate sauce and red berry sauce.

The cake was $9, but it was HUGE. Each half was the size of a regular sized piece of cake! In my opinion, the price was a little steep, but it was worth it because the dessert was made from only the highest quality ingredients and it was yummy! My favorite part was the peanut brittle ice cream. I could have eaten a pint of it if I weren’t so full after our meal!

Both meals were $18 dollars, but they were worth the splurge because everything, even the seitan, was made by hand with the highest quality ingredients in the Plant kitchen.  Plant’s menu changes every season or so, but if you go soon I beg you to get the “Lemongrass Seitan.”

After dinner, we spent the night in Asheville at the Downtown Motel (way too noisy because it’s next to the main road). The next morning, we hiked Looking Glass trail in the Pisgah National Forest. It was 5 K up to a steep but scenic view, and 5 K back down, making the hike a grand total of 10 K (6.4 miles). It was a great hike to do because we spent the rest of the day in the car on the way home to Michigan!

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pretty panorama

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So STEEP

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rugged and amazing view from the top

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the nearby “Looking Glass” waterfall

This post completes the recap of my amazing spring break! I hope you had an amazing spring break, too!

xx Ellie

P.S. : Has anyone else ever gone to Plant? What did you think? Have you tried any other restaurants in the area?

Spring Break Recap (pt. 1) : South Carolina

Hello!

I apologize for the blogging absence, but I was on Spring Break! My family and I made the 17 hour drive from Michigan to South Carolina. It was a looooong drive, but it was totally worth it! We spent the week at Wild Dunes, a tennis and golf resort near Charleston, South Carolina. The trip to Wild Dunes was organized by my tennis coach and another coach from a nearby school. During the trip, I got to hang out and play tennis with a few other girls from my team and from another high school team. It was fun!

We arrived late Friday night after a full day of sitting in the car. We immediately checked into our condo and stumbled into bed. Our condo had 3 spacious bedrooms, an open floor concept, and a cute kitchen with cherry red cabinets.

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I love the vintage-ness of these red cabinets with black and white checkered backsplash! This was a fun kitchen to cook and bake in.

We spent the majority of the week walking the beach, maxin’ and relaxin’ by the pool,  cooking, baking, and playing tennis. It was a fun and relaxing week. I’m back  at school today and it feels strange to have a schedule now!

Highlights of the trip include…

  • finding five starfish with my friend Hannah! They were super cool, but touching them was weird because they felt like gravel conglomerated together. One stuck to my hand when I held it for a few minutes! Here’s a picture of my little friends.

 

  • Biking ON the beach! DO IT if you’ve never done it before. It is SO FUN. I felt like I biked faster on the sand. It was fun to bike in and out of the surf (warning : you’ll get wet).

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  • Dinner at our condo with the other girls from my team who were also staying at Wild Dunes. My mom made the Tex-Mex Casserole from the Oh She Glows cookbook for dinner. It was delicious (9/10)! I made my all-time favorite cupcakes (pictured above) from my all-time favorite dessert cookbook, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.
  • We adventured to Charleston for the day. The jam-packed day included a nature hike, a horse and buggy ride around the city, and shopping (because who can resist the temptation of cute clothes? ).
  • IMG_1259We drove to a chill restaurant called Dell’z Uptown for dinner, a vegan-friendly restaurant on the outskirts of Charleston. The restaurant was sketchy from the outside, with peeling dirty blue paint and cracked windows, but the food was good. I ordered “The Acorn,” which consisted of an acorn squash stuffed with quinoa, asparagus, mushrooms, and mango salsa + an avocado side salad (pictured on left). I was a bit skeptical about the mango & asparagus combo, but the meal was yummy! My mom ordered the “My Thai” bowl = veggies slathered with thai sauce on a bed of rice noodles. Our meals were tasty, but a word to the wise : don’t order the cheese pizza. My brother did, and he ended up with a piece of pita bread topped with Colby Jack cheese.
  • Watching the Family Circle Cup, a tennis tournament on Daniel Island (outside of Charleston). I got to meet Madison Keys, a twenty-year-old tennis player who is ranked #20 in the world for women’s singles! She ended up getting second in the whole tournament!

Madison and I are angled selfie pros. We also both like to bake and play tennis. I think we should be BFFs. 

We traveled to North Carolina this past weekend. The recap of our trip to Asheville, NC will be up later this week!

So that was what I’ve been up to this past week instead of blogging. What have you been up to? Have you had a spring break of some sort yet? If so, did you travel anywhere? Leave a comment below because I’d love to know!

Enjoy the spring sunshine!

xx Ellie

Bunny Bowl

The only bunny I’ll ever eat… is a bunny made out of fruit!

This smoothie bowl LOOKS like a bunny, but it’s not! April Fool’s! 

Enjoy this bunny smoothie bowl with a side of sunshine, nice weather, fragrant flowers, and the chirping of birds! Happy spring (FINALLY!)

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Bunny BOWL

SERVES 1

GRASS: 1 frozen banana, a handful of spinach, a spoonful of nut butter, and a splash of almond milk. Blend and pour into a bowl.

BUNNY face base: a few frozen strawberries blended with a banana and a bit of almond milk. Blend and pour on top of the “grass” in a bunny shape (a circle-shaped head and lines for ears).

ears: a slather of nut butter

eyes: 2 blueberries

nose: strawberry (cut in half)

whiskers: a baby carrot chopped into little lines

mouth: a few cacao nibs shaped into a smile

Assemble and enjoy!

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Happy spring, and happy almost Easter!

xx Ellie