Orlando Vacation 2k13: What I Ate

Hey everyone!! I’m back from Orlando :) I had an AMAZING time and I’m excited that I have tons of pictures to show you! So many, in fact, that I’m going to have to split this into two posts. So today I figured I’d share with you the yummy food that I ate and tomorrow I’ll show you some of the cool and pretty things I saw during the trip. For those of you on Instagram I know you’ve seen most of these pics :)

So here are the yummy things that I ate! Be forewarned that this stuff isn’t particularly healthy… I made a deal with myself before that I’d enjoy vacation and get back on the CSD train when I got back :) So here’s (some of) what I ate on my vacation!

I’ve come to realize that as I get older I’m becoming more and more of a germophobe. Walking through the airport I realized that planes are gross, and people are gross so I picked up some Airborne, mixed it with a bottle of water and sucked it down.

We stayed in for the most part on Thursday and ate there so our first meal out was for lunch on Friday. We decided to go to Loving Hut because it’s so damn good :) I really wanted to try something different but I decided to stick with my usual which is “Combo 1.” It has a fresh summer roll, golden rice, tofu and veggies. It is so good and definitely not too heavy (which is what I was afraid of with some of the other dishes). I could eat buckets of that rice, it’s SO GOOD.

After Loving Hut we decided to go to Raphsodic Bakery, which we first tried the last time I was there. I LOVE that they put the word “Love” on all of their bags and boxes. Anyway, we chose four different treats to share because we couldn’t decide. There is a slice of pumpkin loaf, a chocolate chip sandwich cookie, a chocolate almond biscotti, and chocolate marzipan brownie. Everything was amazing but believe it or not the biscotti was my favorite! And Shen, now I know how you can eat just half of your yummy desserts :)

My friend happens to live near a Mellow Mushroom which I had read offers vegan pizza. This is not something I come across every day so we decided to bring pizza in. I don’t remember what day but it was early on so I want to say maybe Friday night? Anyway, I got a small (10 inch) Kosmic Karma pizza which (when veganized) had roma tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, and daiya. It was great and it literally lasted me all weekend.

For brunch on Saturday we went to our usual brunch spot, Ethos Vegan Kitchen. I really love this restaurant. The food is always good and their new location is larger and has a great atmosphere. However, this is the one meal of my trip that I kind of regretted a little. Not because it wasn’t good because damn it was actually REALLY good. I decided to go for something on the menu that I knew I’d never be able to recreate because sometimes that’s the fun of going out. I decided on the biscuits and gravy. Like I said, the food was delicious but holy shit was it heavy. I got about 2/3 of the way in before I had to throw in the towel. And I didn’t eat again until that night because I couldn’t shake that heavy feeling for a long time. I want to re-iterate though that the food wasn’t bad by any means and in fact was really delicious! I just should have known better than to order a really heavy dish, especially for my first meal of the day. Ethos is definitely still one of my fav spots in Orlando!

Every time I visit I like to bake something for my friend and his friends. This time I decided to take something I found on Pinterest and veganize it. I saw the recipe for Funfetti Cheesecake Cookie Cups and thought they were so cute! I decided to veganize it and make my life a little easier so I made them into bars! Look how cute they came out. Basically I used the cheesecake recipe from Vegan Heartland’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars (doubled with sprinkles added at the end) and the chocolate chip cookie recipe was Super Vegan’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever recipe. I followed the directions on the pinned recipe (I had to cook it a little longer though) and it came out really well! Above is the only piece that I ate but it was damn good.

My laziness got the best of me for Cinco de Mayo so I went the easy route and made some vegan nachos. They were REALLY good. All I did was heat/melt some spicy fat free refried beans and Daiya Cheddar on some tortilla chips. Simple but tasty.

I talked a big game about how I was going to partake in some alcoholic beverages but the reality was that I only drank this single glass of wine. Partially because I am a cheap date and it doesn’t take much for me to start feeling warm and partially because I just wasn’t feeling it. This glass of wine was really delicious though. This is by far my favorite wine and I can’t find it here in NY! Wah!

So these are the meals and beverages that I thought were photo worthy. As you can see we ate a lot of meals in and made some meals and snacks last pretty much the whole weekend. Everything was delicious but I’m definitely craving some fresh produce and am looking forward to getting back on track with a Crazy Sexy Diet inspired lifestyle.

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of my Orlando trip wrap up! I know it was a long post so thanks for bearing with me! The next one is probably going to be even longer since I have so many pics so sorry in advance!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Back to the grind, boo!

A Day In The Kitchen

Hey everyone! Hope your week has started off well. I went to bed last night with the intention of trying a few recipes today so I made sure to rest up for a day of cooking and some errands. I woke up ready to go! Unfortunately I had more fails in the kitchen than wins but I suppose that’s what happens sometimes. I guess at least it happened today and not when I do my holiday baking!

So I ran over to a store called The Health Nuts (they don’t have a website, sorry!) that has a pretty nice selection of organic, vegan and gluten free snacks and foods. They have a lot of specialty items that I can usually only find at Whole Foods, and I keep forgetting that they have them, and closer! They also have a cafe attached to the store that sells fresh, organic juices, smoothies, salads, soups and sandwiches. I have been dying to drink some fresh juices so I opted for a juice called “Immune Booster.” It contains orange, carrot, ginger and lemon. It was really fresh and delicious and I only wish they used a little less ginger. I’m not a huge fan of the taste of ginger, I just eat it in small quantities for the digestive benefits and the flavor was a little overpowering in the juice… a little less would have been nice but it was still really delicious!

So I came home and decided to break out the waffle iron and make a big batch of waffles to freeze.

I know most people are kind of over the whole pumpkin deal by now but I’ve actually barely eaten any pumpkin-y treats this season so I decided to try Isa’s Pumpkin Waffles from Vegan With A Vengeance! I made my first three waffles exact to the recipe and then added chocolate chips to the remaining batter for my last three waffles.

That’s a lot of waffles!

I didn’t eat a whole one yet but I did try a little bit of the excess dough hanging off the side of one and it is AMAZING! Perfectly spiced and just enough pumpkin flavor. I cooled the waffles on a wire rack and wrapped them up and popped them into the freezer. These are by far the best frozen waffles you can pull out of your freezer for a nice, warm, comforting breakfast :)

Unfortunately it was all downhill after this…

I decided that I’d try to make some of my gluten free recipes todays. The first one up was the Herbed Chickpea and Sesame Crackers that I mentioned a few weeks ago. To be honest I’m not in love with the flavor and texture of these crackers. I think I would probably like them a little more if they had a little more seasoning in them? I’m not quite sure what it is, but I’m just not loving them.

 The fact that I used my Ninja Cookie Cutters to make the crackers was pretty phenomenal though and probably the only reason I decided to take a photo of them. They make me smile when I see them, ha! :)

And finally, I tried to make were the Gluten Free, Sugar Free Pistachio Date Slices that I also mentioned a few weeks ago. These were an epic fail. It was my fault because I am just too cheap to buy some of the super high priced ingredients needed for the dough so in cutting corners it was just a giant, disgusting disaster. It bummed me out because it was a giant waste of time and ingredients but I guess I’ll just have to put this recipe on the back burner until I am ready to splurge on some of those high priced gluten free baking ingredients.

I’m bummed about the fails but hoping that I got these fails out of the way so my holiday baking will go smoothly! I’m going to be working on a list of treats I’ll be making this year probably later on today. It’s so hard to narrow down!

I guess that’s all for today. I hope Monday has treated you all well! Have a great day!

Grocery Haul and Sunday Brunch

Hey everyone! Today’s post is going to be kind of quick since I have to head out to babysit Delilah soon but I  just wanted to show you some yummy stuff I have going on. I am not going to be able to bake like I wanted to today but I’m going to get on that tomorrow morning :)

Woke up early and hauled ass to Whole Foods. Check out the haul:

A neti pot and some neti salt. Getting kind of desperate for ANYTHING that will help, especially after I had my second straight migraine yesterday.

I forgot I had already bought Earth Balance Sticks so I bought more. No worries though, they’ll get used ;) 2 containers So Delicious Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk. Why 2? I was desperate to try it last year and couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! As we learned with the Candy Cane Joe Joe’s when I finally find something I want, I hoard. Organic almond milk and one chocolate and one vanilla greek style So Delicious yogurt.

Baby spinach, baby carrots, some rosemary, a lemon and some organic pears.

Organic Yellow Corn Meal, Oat flour, vegan chocolate chips, black sesame seeds, pistachios (they only had shelled roasted, salted pistachios of course so I had to sit and crack every single one of them for a recipe I’m not even making today, haha) and some Raw Cacao Crunch Cereal

The cacao crunch cereal a little closer. Just got a little to try because it sounded interesting! Whole Foods is seriously stepping up their game in the raw department. There were TONS of bins in the bulk section with raw, sprouted ingredients and cereals. It was so hard to choose!

After I finished putting everything away I decided to make myself a really lovely vegan brunch… mostly because I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my new waffle iron! Obviously waffles were on my mind so check out my AMAZING breakfast!

Blueberry Cornbread Waffle anyone?! I used Isa’s Cornbread Waffle recipe from Vegan Brunch and added some blueberries to it. I also made it gluten free by subbing out the regular flour for oat flour. Isn’t it perfect?!

The waffle itself wasn’t sweet at all really but the blueberries and maple syrup I drizzled on top brought out a hint of sweetness that was just perfect. It had a great texture. I’m so excited about my waffle iron, haha!

That’s all for today! Hope to be back tomorrow with some baking projects I have in mind. Have a lovely Sunday!!