Chickpea “Tuna” Bowl

This fresh chickpea “tuna” bowl is one of my favorite summer lunches.

It’s so easy to make, it only takes like five minutes to make, has five ingredients, AND it’s protein-packed. Plus it’s yummy… but it wouldn’t be on the blog if it wasn’t! It’s packed with some of my favorite ingredients: chickpeas, celery, and fresh tomatoes (from work!).

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Believe it or not, tomorrow is my last day working at the hydroponic tomato hut. Say what!? Where did the summer go?

I have mixed feelings about my last day of picking tomatoes. On one hand, it’ll be nice to be done with work for the summer. Plus, I won’t get so dirty ever again- that is, unless I work there again next summer, which IS a possibility.

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Seriously, look at how dirty I get.By the end of my 9 AM to 3 PM shift, I’m covered in dirt, pollen, and tomato flowers!

On the other hand, it means summer is almost over. Which stinks because summer is my absolute favorite season. Also, I won’t be picking any more tomatoes which means I won’t get to bring any more tomatoes home. I’m seriously going to go through fresh tomato withdrawal. Which is why it’s a good thing that the cherry tomatoes from my garden are ready- at least I’ll have those to eat!

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Beautiful purple tomatoes from my family’s little square foot garden. Perfect for snacking!

Other than working at the tomato hut, I babysat a lot this summer. Boy do I have stories to tell about that. One boy I sat for almost shocked his dog to death with a shock collar that his grandmother gave to him to use, and another family I babysit for had to come to my rescue with putting a stop to it while we were out on a walk. By the end of the night, I wanted to cry. Mostly for the poor dog who was probably in a lot of pain. That’s the worst thing that happened though, besides having to babysit six kids by myself multiple times (HARD work). Other than that, babysitting this summer consisted of lots of beach days, trips to the candy & ice cream store, and outside playtime. Fun stuff.

Within the next week I’ll be posting some snapshots from my summer for you! 

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But before then, let’s all enjoy this chickpea “tuna” bowl. Because it’s summer, and it’s nice out so you don’t want to spend a lot of time inside preparing food, and there’s a lot of fresh produce to use.

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Chickpea “Tuna” Bowl

Serves 2

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp Vegenaise (or other vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp coarse seasoning salt
  • 2 tomatoes, optional but recommended

Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them to a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the Vegenaise.
  3. Smash the chickpea mixture with a fork (so it looks more like tuna).
  4. Chop the celery then add it into the mixture.
  5. Either serve “as is” in bowls or on bread as a sandwich OR add in tomato and serve in bowls. OR you can hollow out the tomato as a bowl and spoon the chickpea mixture into it. YUM.

Happy end-of-summer!

xx Ellie

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Fab Five Friday 8/12/16

Happy Friday!

Can you believe it’s already the weekend? I can’t! I also can’t believe it’s already August and that I’m leaving for my first year of college in a few short weeks (!!!). Where has the summer gone?

This week, I went home for a few days after being “up north” for the entire summer. Now I’m back up north though. I guess I couldn’t stay away. 😉 While I was home, I finished a great TV series, went out to breakfast, and did a yoga class for possibly the first time all summer (oops). What were the highlights of your week?

1. VEGAN GRILLED CHEESE

IMG_3220If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you missed my mini freak-out yesterday over having a vegan grilled cheese for the first time EVER. It was also the first grilled cheese I’ve had in like 5 years. It was super creamy and good. 

I put a few handfuls of  vegan mozzarella cheese shreds between two slices of fresh sourdough bread (from a local bakery) and cooked it on a panini maker for a few minutes. Then I added in some greens and a sliced tomato I picked (from the hydroponic tomato greenhouse where I work). Finally, I snapped a picture or five for Instagram and devoured my sandwich of cheesy goodness. 

2. The Vegan Calculator 

This site calculates how many animal lives you’ve saved by being vegan. It determines everything based on the number of months/ years you’ve been vegan. I’m not sure how accurate this calculator is, but it does show that one person makes a difference in conserving the word.

Here are my statistics:

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3. Going out to breakfast, specifically at Bartertown Diner

I went out to breakfast this morning to a local diner with vegan friends (Hi Savy and Emily!!). I ordered the ultimate hash- it came with a mixture of potatoes, veggies, and Nutcase Vegan Meat chorizo covered by a sunny sauce and a side of toast and homemade jam. NOM.

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Do you ever go out to breakfast? Do you have a favorite breakfast food? I love waffles. And french toast. And smoothies. Really, I’m not picky as long as the food is vegan (which is a bit of an oxymoron).

4. Gilmore Girls

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image via Collider.com 

I finally finished all seven seasons of the hit TV series “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. I started the series last August and finished it a few days ago. I really like it. The plot was a bit unrealistic at times, but that’s okay because it’s funny, lighthearted, and the relationships in it between the different characters are realistic. The series f0llows single mom Lorelai Gilmore and her teenage daughter Rory as Rory grows up in the fictional town of Stars Hollow. I recommend “Gilmore Girls” if you need a new series to watch- just beware of the time commitment! There are 7 seasons, each with 22 forty-five minute long episodes. Now is the time to watch it though as the four episode series wrap-up is coming out November 25 on Netflix.

I need a NEW series to watch now that I’m done with this one!! Any suggestions? 

5. The Summer Olympics

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image via Wikipedia.org

How could this once-every-four-years competition NOT make my list!? I love watching the Olympics, especially the gymnastics and the beach volleyball. It’s amazing to watch how strong some people are!!

So that’s it, folks! Have a fun weekend and make sure to watch the Olympics since another one won’t come around for two more years. I’ll talk to you all soon. 🙂

xx Ellie

 

Avocado Toasts

You guys, I’m obsessed.

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With avocado toast.

Have you heard of the magical “avocado toast” before? Have you tried it?

If you’ve never even heard of it, you must be living under a rock. Or at least in a cabin in the middle of nowhere without social media or internet (that honestly sounds kind of nice). In which case, how did you find my blog!? Okay no more me trying to be funny- let’s get to the real reason why you clicked on this post- avocadooooooo toasstttttt.

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What are your thoughts on it? I used to hate avocado before I became vegan, but then I tried it again and liked it because it’s just so creamy and it pairs well with so many other foods!

If you’ve never tasted avocado toast before… try it RIGHT NOW! Please.

Creamy avo on crunchy toast, sprinkled with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice = perfection, both texture and taste wise.

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It’s super easy to make and super customizable. Just follow these steps!

  1. Grab your favorite hearty bread. I love going to local bakeries and finding their nuttiest, oatiest (not a word?) vegan bread.
    • You can toast the bread or leave it untoasted. Up to you (see, customizable!).
  2. Slice up an avocado. You can either top your toast with these slices or mash them with a fork until they become a creamy mixture.
    • You can add about a half teaspoon of lemon juice to the avo mixture or save it for the top.
  3. Spread the avocado on your toast and top with sea salt, pepper, fresh squeezed lemon juice (cut a lemon in half and squeeze some juice out of it and onto the toast), and whatever else your sweet heart desires! Red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano, italian seasoning, basil, tomatoes, cheese or a poached egg for my nonvegan friends)… you choose! Heck, you could even just throw a salad on top of the avo toast and enter it into the museum of modern art!

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Avocado toast… a wonderful food invention. You can also eat it with salad or with some delicious soup, like this green asparagus one from Minimalist Baker.

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What are your favorite ways to top avocado toast? Are you a purist or do you like to add other toppings? Actually, what are your favorite ways to top toast in general? I really only eat avocado toast, but I love peanut butter and banana on toast too (pictured below)!

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Happy Tuesday!

xx Ellie

 

5 Minute Quesadilla

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Quesadillas are perfect for days when you a) don’t feel much like cooking, b) are trying to clean out the veggies from your fridge, or c) when you’re running late and need to make and eat something quickly.

This quick and easy quesadilla takes only 5 minutes to make! And it’s customizable — you can put whatever veggies you have on hand into it! Hooray for simple recipes! Quesadillas are also a great way to eat more veggies, which we need a lot of (look at this neat food pyramid!).

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I enjoyed this quesadilla a lot. I hope you do too!

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VEGAN QUESADILLA

MAKES 1

  • 2 tortillas
  • ½ cup vegan cheese, such as Daiya mozzarella (sold at most grocery stores)
  • 3-4 tablespoons salsa
  • 1 cup sliced broccoli
  • green beans
  • ½ cup spinach
  • olive oil OR cooking spray (for pan)
  • OTHER ADD-INS: mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, avocado, zucchini, swiss chard, meat substitutes (tofu, tempehseitan, etc.)

Chop the veggies. Drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan OR spray the pan with cooking spray. Add a tortilla to the pan. Sprinkle cheese on top of the tortilla. Add the veggies and the salsa. Add more cheese. Add a second tortilla on top. Turn up the heat on the burner to medium-high. Let it cook for a minute or two, then spray the top tortilla with cooking spray. Now, flip the quesadilla with a giant spatula if you have one! The flipping is the trickiest part of the whole recipe! I’m proud of you for doing it. Then let the other side cook for a minute. When both sides are light brown and crispy, turn off the heat, take the quesadilla out of the pan, and put it onto a plate. Cut it in fourths (like in the pictures), or just eat it as one gigantic thing. Your choice!

I HOPE YOU’RE HAVING A FUN WEEKEND! WHAT ARE YOU UP TO?

XX ELLIE

PB+B “Quesadilla”

all food tastes divine if you slather it with peanut butter. 

Peanut butter on banana is no exception. Banana might actually be the food that tastes the BEST slathered with peanut butter! Mmmmm peanut butter and banana. Dare I say it is the GREATEST combination known to human?

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You have a sweet, creamy banana. And then you add sweet and creamy (or crunchy) peanut butter to it. It creates an I’M IN PARADISE AND I’M NEVER COMING HOME combination. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are my favorite type of sandwiches. It’s two of my favorite foods packed between 2 slices of bread. I mean, why WOULDN’T I like it!!? “But… what would happen if you took a PB&B sandwich and GRILLED IT?” I thought to myself one day. HEAVEN happens, that’s what. And when you put the peanut butter and banana on tortillas, it takes the grilled sandwich to a WHOLE NEW WORRRRRRLD (like from Aladdin? Yes, I went there). 

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If you don’t love banana, swap it out for strawberries or raspberries.  Add chocolate chips into the tortilla for a combo that will rock your universe.

LOOK at this GIF to see HOW TO make this simple and easy recipe!

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Peanut Butter & Banana “Quesadilla”*

*Quesadillas contain cheese in them. This doesn’t. However, it looks like one because it’s stuck together in tortillas… but it’s not because it doesn’t contain cheese! It’s BETTER than a quesadilla in my opinion!

serves 1

  • 2-4 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 2 small flour tortillas
  • a handful of chocolate chips
  • cooking spray
  1. Slather 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter onto one side of a tortilla.
  2. Spray the bottom of a medium-sized pan with cooking spray.
  3. Add the peanut-buttered tortilla to the pan.
  4. Cut the banana into ½ inch sections and top the peanut butter tortilla with the slices.
  5. Add chocolate chips (if desired).
  6. Put a teaspoon or two on one side of the remaining tortilla. Top the filled tortilla in the pan with it.
  7. Turn the stovetop to medium high and cook the quesadilla until it’s brown and crispy (for about 1-2 minutes). Then flip it and do the same thing on the other side.
  8. Take the quesadilla off the stovetop, cut it into 4 pieces, and DEVOUR.

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What are some of your favorite flavor combos?

xx Ellie

Fluffernutter (v)

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Two words: Vegan. Fluffernutter.

A “fluffernutter” is a sandwich made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff stuffed in between two pieces of (typically white) bread. It’s fluffy because of the marshmallow fluff, and it’s nutty because of the peanut butter. Hence “fluffernutter.” It may not be the healthiest sandwich, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest.

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close-up of the fluffy deliciousness that is called a fluffernutter

Fluffernutters typically aren’t vegan, since they’re slathered with marshmallow fluff that’s made of gelatin. However, now VEGAN FLUFFERNUTTERS CAN BE MADE WITH INVENTION OF THE MAGICAL AQUAFABA (!!!). Aquafaba is the leftover liquid from a can of chickpeas, and it fluffs up into a marshmallow fluff type substance if you whip it with sugar! Many other uses for aquafaba are on the rockin’ Aquafaba Facebook Group.

So back to the fluffernutter. Make the “marshmallow” fluff, then slather it onto your favorite bread. Then grab some peanut butter and  spread it on another piece of bread. Smush the two halves together and ENTER PARADISE.

 

VEGAN FluffernuttER

Serves 1

Marshmallow Fluff (I made a small amount of this recipe):

  • 2 tablespoons aquafaba (bean liquid — I used chickpea liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • A drop or two of vanilla

Put everything into a mixer and mix ON HIGH for 12 minutes, or until the liquid fluffs up into a, well, fluff.

For the Fluffernutter: 

  • Peanut butter
  • Marshmallow Fluff (see above)
  • Your favorite bread (the sandwich will be gluten-free too if you use gluten-free bread!)

Spread a few tablespoons of homemade marshmallow fluff onto a piece of bread. Spread a few tablespoons of peanut butter onto another piece of bread. Smush the two pieces of bread together and enjoy!

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Hooray for aquafaba!

xx Ellie