Where did October go?


Where did October go? Or November for that matter?! It’s absolute insanity around these parts of late. I’ve missed you, Veganland, and you lovely community. Like I said, complete and utter chaos in terms of wrapping up this semester. So far, it looks as if I’m in good shape to head into a completely vegan Thanksgiving feast this year. This is the first time the meal has been 100% vegan and I’m thrilled to see my family loving the plant foods as much as I do!

For me lately: it’s been food prepping (LIKE A BOSS!), lots of training including a new exercise endeavor, and lots and lots and LOTS of research/writing. And teaching, and grading, and editing. It’s been a whirlwind but I think I can confidently say that I’ve learned more this semester than any other thus far. Mainly about myself and about how to truly take care of myself. I hope to write more on this after things slow down a bit. Plus details on my food prep days coming your way soon. And I plan to also write up my thoughts on training at a real live gym for the first time in several years. Much to come as the holiday season unfolds, reader. I’m also toying with the idea of doing a write up about veganism, professionalism, and etiquette as that’s been on my mind of late. Any interest there? That idea is not yet fully formed to say the least.


But for now, a few things (in Pop Culture Happy Hour style) making me happy this week.

JESSICA. JONES. The superhero of my dreams. She’s just the right mix of crass, nearly all monochrome clothing, and Lisbeth Salander. Did I mention that one Mr. David Tennant is the super villain? Pure, epic, joy. I’m parsing out these episodes as a.) What’s TV any more? and b.) I really want to savor this as long as I can.

Speaking of Lisbeth Salander (who I think might be my favorite character of modern literature and that’s a high praise considering all of the things I’ve read in my time and things I’ve read with a strong female lead, thank you awesome feminist parents) the new Millenium series hit shelves in September! I’ve downloaded the first continuation of the series to read over Thanksgiving. This will be the first time since the last time I was up in NC that I’ve gotten a second to catch my breath. I can’t wait.

Also, I’m now an Ipad owner? And I love it. SO. MUCH. Goodbye, Kindle Fire. You served me well but I’m just over the moon for this new bit of geeky joy in my school bag.


I have also recently discovered the joy that is parchment paper. I’m now trying to roast anything I can get my paws on.

Speaking of paws…

I’m really not sure how I got away with this, but I thought I should share it ASAP.

More soon, friends. Until then. Savor this very disgruntled Michelangelo.

A Bit of Reading 9/27/15

Happy weekend! How is it almost over already?! Time flies, especially when you’re surrounded by piles of books and lists of lists of lists. A bit of reading to share on this rather dreary early fall Sunday. All photos credited to the corresponding links in the caption below.


The Minimalist Baker is the blog of vegan dreams. A couple of posts from them today. These peanut butter granola bars look simply to die for. Good bit of protein in each too! I’ve been on a serious oat kick lately. Baked oats, overnight oats, granola. These bars are the best of all three of those, with peanut butter no less!


And ramen. Can’t wait for cooler weather and big bowls of noodley umami goodness. Another Minimalist Baker recipe here, for easy vegan ramen.


I’m learning to love stevia, a sweetener that’s taken a while for me to warm up to. Bonzai Aphrodite’s homemade stevia extract looks like a cheap way to make your own extract at home sans fillers.


I also enjoyed the Sexy Vegan’s recent interview with the Blender Girl, one miss Tess Masters. Brian Patton’s wit coupled with Masters’s charm led to a delightful aussie-accent tinted interview that left me wanting to break out the blender for a smoothie or two.

Enjoy the reading and savor the last day of the weekend!

Buffalo Bowl: High Protein, Oil free, Gluten Free


I’m a huge fan of the bowl model of eating. One meal, one bowl filled with everything your body needs to thrive. Tempeh provides the perfect medium for bowl construction. Nutty and wholesome, protein rich and filling this fermented food is becoming one of my favorite items to eat each week.

Buffalo tempeh is one of my favorite ways to prepare the stuff. It’s a very simple recipe and hits that wing zone in my palette. I’m a fan of anything buffalo, but the hefty doses of oils and fried foods that come with the flavor? Not so much. I’m after a crispy slice of tempeh coated in delicious sauce, served up with some fresh, crunchy veggies and a different sauce for dipping. Yes, that’s the stuff that buffalo dreams are made of.


Buffalo bowl (serves 1-2)

1/2 block of tempeh, slices witdth wise into 1/8 inch slices

3 Tablespoons hot sauce (Frank’s red hot, Texas Pete, Crystal… you name it, something buffalo-y.)

1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

Vegan cheezy sauce to taste (I use this recipe, sans Earth Balance and with chickpea flour subbed in for regular flour)

Fresh veggies for dipping: carrots, peppers, celery, tomatoes etc.

A handful of chopped, fresh romaine lettuce to line each bowl

Another sauce to taste (I used salsa verde for an added kick.) Salsa, vegannaise, vegan ranch, Tofutti sour cream, cashew cream, hummus, you name it.

In a non stick pan, toast the tempeh on each side until the slices are a dark, golden color. Mean while, prepare your bowls. Place a handful of lettuce in the bottom of each bowl and arrange the veggies, leaving room for your tempeh.  Remove tempeh from heat and toss with the nutritional yeast flakes. Add the hot sauce and toss to coat. Watch your eyes for splatters! Serve in your prepped veggie bowls with the cheezy sauce and/or sauce of your choice.


This is the perfect light meal for the weekend, when I’m usually craving something a bit more indulgent and classically seasoned than my typical whole foods based meals during the week. I adore a good vegan buffalo style protein, or cauliflower for that matter! If you’re soy free, just roast up some caulis and prepare in the same way!


This is the perfect fall meal. Spicy, warming, protein rich with just a few of those lingering summer veggies before they’re gone.  Enjoy!



Fueling Up, and Thoughts on Vegan Protein

Well, hello there. It’s been, oh a month give or take. Absolute busy-ness, craziness, whirlwinds around here. I’ve been working hard in several respects: it’s semester time of course and my training has gone through the roof. I’m loving it on both sides. The longer I pursue graduate study, the more my fitness becomes a passion as well as a lifestyle for me. It’s my hobby, my stress relief, my exercise, and something that just really makes me happy. My connection to it has really grown over the past year.

That said, my food choices haven’t always matched my fitness goals, but I’m learning! With a bump up in my fitness routine I’ve needed to alter my eating plan to support my exercise goals, my recovery from weights and cardio, and to nourish my training (and  graduate studying) body.  If you’re working out hard, your food has got to support your movements and training plan. This has led me to pursue a somewhat If It Fits Your Macros approach to eating. For me, this is not super strict but acts as more of a guideline to healthy eating everyday. (I recommend listening to Rise and Resist‘s 2 IIFYM episodes if you’d like more info.) E.g. I use macros as a rough guide. I don’t count calories or do total numbers of grams consumed per day. I just try to think of my foods as a pie chart: I need mostly protein and carbs and a little fat everyday to thrive. Also, I need kale. I’ve mentioned this before, but I consider greens a macro. All hail the kale! Always.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot more about vegan protein. Let me say this, first of all: vegans are usually not at all protein deficient. I personally have never had an issue with getting enough protein. But, I’ve learned more and more about protein and some ways I can enjoy getting it into my eating to support all of that cardio and weight lifting I love to do.

IMG_9704Clockwise from the top: burrito bowl with Beyond Meat chickenless chicken, beans, salsa, and veggies; salad with brown rice, black beans, and more Beyond Meat; tacos; and a “buffalo bowl” with buffalo tempeh, veggies, and cheezy sauce.

So, what are some of my favorite vegan proteins?

Here are just a few that I’ve been devouring of late: tofu, tempeh, Beyond Meat chickenless strips, beans of all sorts, nutritional yeast, and protein powder. I do use protein powder for several reasons: first, it’s easy to consume on the go. I’ve got long classes and multiple things to attend each day. I’ve got to fuel up somewhere in there! I invested in this blending bottle, which has a storage compartment at the bottom, and I’ve been using it almost daily for a quick shaken (not stirred) snack. My favorite protein powders of the moment? Here and here.


Super simple (and fast and easy) small meal: rice noodles, tofu, tomatoes, and kale tossed with sriracha, tamari, and rice vinegar. I’ve started craving this bowl of amazingness all of the time now!


Typical “steamer” lunch these days. The sauce listed above drizzled over a bowl of kale, a little quinoa, kidney beans, tomatoes, and lots of tofu. Amazingly simple and mind blowingly good.

I can’t stress the importance of food prep enough. If you’re working out and you’re working out hard, and you’re busy then food prep is going to be what keeps you sticking with your goals and hitting those amazing lifts and cardio milestones. These days, that’s often a couple of different types of beans, maybe some cheezy sauce (I use this recipe, also nutritional yeast has an insane amount of protein in it.), and some quinoa/brown rice. Tofu stays in the fridge. I cut it up and add it to bowls. I also prep as many meals as I can on Sundays: each of my travel containers full plus a couple of my bowls for home use all stored up in the fridge.

So, to wrap up: proteins–yum! They’re good, eat them. Eat your greens! And keeping putting nutritional yeast (and hot sauce, if you’re me) on everything! Any favorite proteins out there you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments section.