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Vegan no bake cookies!

Even though I have been eating a vegan diet for more than 2 years now, there are still some old favorite dishes and other food items that I have yet to replicate minus the meat, eggs and dairy. One of those is no bake cookies. You know, the yummy ones that show up at just about every holiday party? I haven’t had them in years and honestly hadn’t even thought about them much.

Then we had plans Monday night to visit a friends’ house and we needed to bring a snack. For some reason they popped into my head and I went straight to the internet to find a recipe that contained ingredients I already had on hand at home. Success! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! I also wish I had thought to start taking pictures sooner.

Not only are these super tasty but I love the fact that you don’t have to bake them; although waiting for them to cool and harden is almost as time consuming ;)

I found this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter no bake cookies on the Peta website thanks to Google! It was the first one that popped up when I searched for “vegan no bake cookies” so I went with it. I  followed the directions and ingredients exactly so you’ll have to click the link if you want to try it yourself :) But I promise, they are delicious!


Still enjoying them for dessert a couple days later ;)

Chickpea veggie enchiladas

Hello again! Not only am I shocked that I have blogged a record SIX times these past couple of weeks but that I am here again to share another food post with you. I had become so distanced from these type of posts that I was seriously considering a name change of this blog! Oh well, for now, let’s talk about what I made for dinner last night :)

I had a bunch of random ingredients at home that I wanted to use up, plus I was making enchiladas for some friends of ours who just had a baby, so I bought some tortillas and a few other ingredients that I was missing.

I based my enchiladas on this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I find it to be a great site because the recipes are simple and easy to adapt to whatever ingredients you have on hand or whatever your dietary preferences are. I made enough adjustments and substitutions that I feel like I can safely post my version of the recipe here.

Chickpea veggie enchiladas (makes 8-10 enchiladas)

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice (got to use my steamer again!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Pace picante sauce (I used medium)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (you may not want to use this much, this was an accident, I opened the wrong end of the container! But it wasn’t too hot for me)
  • 1 small jar of salsa
  • Daiya shredded cheddar-style non-dairy cheese
  • Ground cilantro
  • A package or two of soft taco style whole wheat tortillas
Directions
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat (use a few cloves of garlic too if you’d like, I couldn’t get my jar open!) until soft, then add chickpeas, tomatoes, picante sauce and spices. Reduce heat, simmer and stir until thickened. Add rice and let cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Warm tortillas on the stove or microwave (I warmed 5 at a time between 2 paper towels for 30 seconds)
  • Spray a 9×13 (or whatever size you want to use) pan with cooking spray.
  • Add a couple spoonfuls of chickpea-rice-veggie mixture into each tortilla and roll.
  • Place wrapped tortilla seam side down in the dish.
  • Once you place however many fit in your pan (6 fit in my 9×13 pan and I had some leftover filling so I could have made maybe 4 more) pour salsa on top and sprinkle Daiya cheese and ground cilantro on top as desired.

Here’s what it looked like before going into the oven!

I should have taken an “after” picture but I’m so out of the “food blogging” mentality that I honestly am surprised I took the one above. However, trust me when I say that these were delicious! Especially when topped with Tofutti non-dairy sour cream :)

“Soyrizo” with brown rice and veggies

I can’t believe I actually have a food post to share with you guys. It’s a rarity these days, I know. I have just been waiting to be inspired. I’m glad it happened!

Truthfully, this recipe isn’t anything spectacular on the surface. Just a few ingredients I threw together that ended up tasting great. And it’s good for those of us who like to save money on meals :)

“Soyrizo” with brown rice & veggies (about 3-4 servings)

Ingredients:

Directions
  • Steam rice first since that takes a good 45-50 minutes (but is so worth it to me)
  • Remove soy chorizo from casing (you have to squeeze it out) and begin heating in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat
  • Cook peas & mushrooms in the microwave per the bag’s directions
  • Add cooked peas & mushrooms to chorizo on the stove and mix together well until everything seems to be cooked enough
  • Place a scoop of brown rice in your bowl, then add a couple scoops of chorizo-veggie mixture and stir :)

It’s also not the most attractive thing but it’s tasty (spicy!), cheap and filling! I can’t put a price on the brown rice really since I just used a cup dry and I buy a huge bag that lasts me forever. But based on the other two ingredients, I’m guessing this meal would only cost $1-2/per serving.

It could easily feed you and a couple of friends or you and your kids or just you for 3 meals like me :)

I used cereal bowls but they were piled pretty high! The above picture was taken about 2/3 of the way through lunch today, when I had the bright idea to blog about this new “recipe” of mine.

My first visit to Trader Joe’s

In my previous post, I mentioned that a Trader Joe’s store has finally come to Kentucky!

Well, there was no way I was going on opening day or even the weekend because I knew it would be crazy busy. I went today around 4:00 and while the parking lot was crowded and there were plenty of people in the store, it was easy to get around and I didn’t have to wait in line but for a few minutes to check out. I went up and down every aisle and was there less than an hour. Score!

So what did I get?

  • Diet root beer (6-pack)
  • Roasted veggie no cheese pizza
  • Strawberry and peach soy yogurt
  • Non dairy creamer (for Josh)
  • Edamame with red chile and garlic (so excited to try this!)
  • Frozen veg panang curry with rice
  • Chipotle pepper hummus
  • Tempeh
  • Veg soy chorizo
  • Masala veggie burgers (4-pack)
  • Twin pack of sprouted tofu

Now for the really shocking part. How much did all of this cost me? I would have expected much more than $26!!!

Granted, I only got stuff for me this time and didn’t happen to need any produce but I still can’t imagine ever spending more than $50 here in a single trip. I would bet that the same stuff above at Whole Foods or another grocery store would have run me more like $40. I was happy.

A couple of things worth noting: the roasted vegetable pizza was the most expensive thing on my receipt at $4.29. The Amy’s roasted veggie pizza I usually buy which is almost identical is $6.49 and that’s at Kroger where it seems to be the cheapest. On the down side, I didn’t realize it until I got home and drank one that the Hansen’s diet soda contains Splenda. Stevia is the only “artificial” sweetener I like to use but I guess even that has some drawbacks. Still, I won’t buy those diet root beers again.

I wasn’t going to but since I was already there, I decided I might as well stop into the wine shop and see what was up. It was really small but they had a great selection, many “Available only at Trader Joe’s” wines and while they did have an expensive section, most were well under $10. I decided it was time I met this Chuck guy everyone talks about.

I got the two above bottles plus a nifty little Trader Joe’s wine carrying bag for $7. Yep, I guess that’s why they call it Two Buck Chuck. I tried half a glass of Shiraz tonight and it was just as tasty as one I would have paid a lot more than $2.99 for. I foresee some Christmas presents coming ;)

A lot of my friend’s don’t get the hype over TJ’s and think the last thing Louisville needs is another grocery store and another store on Shelbyville Road at that — the place is already known for horrific traffic at certain times of the day. Also, a few friends were turned off by the packaging of produce — many items are already placed in plastic containers or bags. I can see their point, but at the same time, having exactly 1 lb of organic grapes in a container seems like a time and cost-saver to me.

I found a couple of articles about the store to be really interesting. First, The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s  — I need to go back for the falafel and veggie burritos, definitely! Another, a local article entitled Seven Things That Make Trader Joe’s Different, pointed out some things about this store I can really appreciate. No sales, no coupons. You will always know how much everything costs and how much you would spend. I can dig that.

What do you think? Do you have a Trader Joe’s in your area? What do you like/dislike about it?

Very exciting weekend ahead

Wait, what blog is this? Who am I? Where have I been? Ha ha!

Sorry for the sporadic posts about who knows what all the time. I feel like that’s the new purpose of this blog. It’s no longer a food only blog, no longer a chronicle of my past weight loss or the many races I have ran, but instead just random — just like my life :)

This weekend there are some very exciting things going on that I felt the need to tell you about.

First, today, the very first Trader Joe’s is opening in Louisville (first for Kentucky too)!

Image courtesy of Cardinal Cam blog

Notice the teeny sign at the bottom and then check it out in the background :) If you are interested in seeing what it’s like right now, check out Ashlee’s photos on or search #traderjoeslou on Twitter.

I’m waiting until Monday to go because I saw the pictures of the line this morning for the grand opening (you would have thought it was Black Friday) and my good friend Mari says to avoid that place at all costs on the weekends. And when Mari tells you something, believe her ;)

Another cool thing going down this weekend is the Mighty Kindness Harvest Hootenanny at the Louisville Nature Center (across from the Zoo).

It’s a free community festival featuring all sorts of things — music, art, crafts, food, coffee, workshops, yoga, massage, etc. I will be there with the Louisville Vegetarian Club selling vegan baked goods and of course, promoting a plant-based diet.

Photo courtesy of Louisville Vegetarian Club Facebook page

There will be trick-or-treating, food trucks (can’t wait to eat Morel’s again!), and so much that there’s no way I could contain it all in this post. You will just have to come!

However, since I am not above a shameless plug (or two), I have to tell you my friend Kristin will be there selling her crocheted goods and jewelry at the KB&T booth :) You can also check out her esty site if you can’t make it on Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of Kristin's mom :)

Last but not least, on Sunday from 5-7 p.m. my church, Hunsinger Lane Baptist, is having a Fall Festival! And I’m in charge!

 

There will be a lot of stuff for kids as you can see above so if you or anyone you know has kids, bring ‘em on out! We will also have adults there hanging out and socializing. I’m hoping to make a lot of new friends through this event. Everything is free! This is my first year being the director and I have learned a lot already and have a lot of ideas for next year.

As you can probably guess after reading this post, I have taken a day off on Monday to recover (and make that inaugural trip to Trader Joe’s)!

Have a great weekend :) What are your plans?

Lemongrass Cafe

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you enjoyed yourselves :)

Suzie wants one of these

Image Source

My day was spent with my mom shopping around for things to put in our new home while my husband was out with my dad and uncles shopping for all the manly stuff. It was so amazing to FINALLY close on Friday after the ordeal we went through to get this place. But now that it is ours, it all seems worth it :) Honestly, everyone warned us it would be brutal, but closing was the easiest thing we had to do!

Anyway, yesterday my mom and I were out and about all morning and finally decided to break for some sustenance before our last stop at the Peddler’s Mall. We decided to stop in at Lemongrass Cafe on Shelbyville Road in Middletown. So many places were closed yesterday that we were kind of relieved not to have to come up with a back up plan for lunch once we saw the open sign :)

Since it was a holiday, the place was not crowded at all and we got seated immediately. They also brought us some water, which was nice since it was pretty hot here yesterday. After looking over the menu for a few moments (they have a great vegetarian section and tofu or mock chicken can be substituted in almost any dish) I finally decided on the Spicy eggplant and Tofu, which looked so gorgeous when it came out, I had to take a picture!

The tofu was the perfect texture and the eggplant too! It wasn’t very spicy (unlike the spicy stir fried eggplant from PF Chang’s, which I love) but it was still very tasty. My dish came with white rice which I ate too but on my way out, I noticed a sign that said “we have brown rice now” so I will have to remember that for next time.

My mom isn’t a big fan of spicy foods so I recommended she order a pad thai dish, which she really enjoyed. Her only complaint was that the portion was huge!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this place and I would definitely go back. Maybe I will try something new next time but I would be okay having the same thing again.

Lemongrass Cafe on Urbanspoon

Adobo Mexican Restaurant

On Monday night, a few girlfriends and I met up at the new Adobo Mexican Restaurant which has now taken the place of the old Our Best on Bardstown Road in Fern Creek. It looks exactly the same, just with a new paint job and different decor on the inside. I’m glad we chose it as Mexican restaurants are usually a safe bet for me as a vegetarian and the location was good for all of us to meet up in the middle.

The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we walked in and were seated right away. As we walked back to our table, we spotted the “Guacamole Bar” which I wish I had gotten a photo of. Basically, they make their guacamole fresh right when you order it. We couldn’t resist!

This appetizer was $8 but I swear, it was enough for the four of us and then some! Totally worth it too, I’m not kidding when I say this is the BEST guacamole I have ever had. It was fresh, creamy and even a bit spicy. Sorry, Qdoba, you have been replaced!

Like many Mexican restaurants do, they offered 99 cent margaritas on Mondays, so I decided to try one, you know, to review for the blog ;-)


It was really tasty. I usually don’t do “on the rocks” but I tried it because the frozen version was $1.99, which isn’t bad either but I thought I’d pick the cheap one this time ;-) I’m glad I did because I think I might like it better this way!

I forgot to take a photo of my entree but I ordered the veggie burrito with no cheese or sour cream. The vegetables in the burrito were surprisingly tasty and included zucchini, broccoli, onions, peppers and beans. It came with a side of rice.

Sometimes without the cheese and sour cream the dish can suffer (because they don’t try to do anything else with it) but this one did not. There was a nice garnish of lettuce, onion and spices on the side that I spread over it, plus a few dollops of guac :)

I enjoyed it very much, took the other half of it for lunch today and it was just as good reheated. It wasn’t the best Mexican restaurant I have ever been to but for a new place in a city with so many restaurants, it did stand out to me. The guacamole bar was really unique to me, I had never seen that before.

The prices were good too. For my entree, plus the drink, plus half the guacamole (me and a friend split the cost for the table) my bill came to $15 and I had leftovers so you figure that for 2 meals, not bad :)

We’ve all been bragging about it to our other friends and definitely want to go back soon. Although the veggie options are not plentiful, I’d be perfectly fine just eating the chips & guacamole!

Adobo Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Vegan Cinnamon Muffins

I have been reading Jenna’s blog for years, which means that for a long time, I have been drooling over her recipes! But it’s possible that I have either a) never made any of them myself or b) I have but it’s been so long that I can’t remember.

Well, whichever situation it is, I finally remedied that!

Jenna has a lot of vegan recipes on Eat Live Run but I chose to recreate her originally non-vegan Cinnamon Toast Muffins because I knew they were something my husband and friends would enjoy and that I could easily make some substitutes for myself in order to make it vegan.

Vegan Cinnamon Muffins (adapted from Cinnamon Toast Muffins by Jenna @ Eat Live Run)

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze)

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Ener-G egg replacer “egg” (1.5 tsp powder + 2 tbsp warm water)

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

Dash of salt

Topping: 4 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1 heaping tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in one big bowl and the wet ingredients in a second, smaller bowl. Combine the two together and mix until well combined (I always have trouble with flour sticking to the bottom of my bowl so I make sure to scrape the bottom really good as I mix). Bake in a greased muffin tin for 25 minutes, poke center muffin with toothpick to make sure they are done.

To make the topping, melt the butter on the stove and then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. I thought mine was too chunky so I added a little water, then it was too runny so I couldn’t get it to stick very well. Next time I will just roll the muffins in the chunks :)

This recipe yielded 8 muffins for me, I actually used the wrong measuring cup for the flour, milk, and sugar and you will see that Jenna’s original recipe called for more of those three ingredients, so if I had managed to do that correctly, I may have gotten 9 or 10. But they were still awfully delicious!

I took these for dessert to my in-laws house a while back and everyone seemed to enjoy them, but I also had some for breakfast, which I have to say they were probably better suited for. I recommend 10 seconds in the microwave, plus a smear of peanut butter.

Thanks Jenna for sharing amazing recipes with the world. I will definitely make this one again!

Have you tried any great recipes recently? Feel free to share in the comments section!

Off to a great stop?

So I merged my two blogs back in May, in hopes that I would feel less intimidated and overwhelmed by the concept of updating two blogs regularly and that I would be able to get back to blogging here on a regular basis.

*Crickets*

What happened?

I guess you could say life happened. Josh and I are in the process of buying our first home, which, if I ever get my blogging mojo back, I hope to do several posts about. The process of getting buying a home is a post in itself and then this condo we are hoping to close on soon needs a lot of work so I hope to do some before and after posts to share :)

But another thing that happened was last summer. I had a lot of stuff going on and I just lost that urge to blog all the time. Frankly, I got tired of it. And for the past year, off and on, I have been toying with a name change, a change of focus, and many other changes for this blog in hopes that it would inspire me to get back here and write some great posts again.

Well, nothing has been nailed down as you can see. But I have been reading other blogs regularly again and I am inspired to see so many that are not limiting themselves with a certain “topic.” I always thought since this was called See Sarah Eat and I established it as a food blog that it had to stay that way forever. Luckily, I have gotten over that (even letting a certain food-driven ad provider go) and I do now feel like I can talk about anything pertaining to my life or my experiences and not “worry” about whether or not it fits in here.

This is my blog! I can write whatever I want! I am changing, life is changing, so it’s only natural that my blog should follow me. Not to say I will never write about food or weight loss again, I will, just not all the time. I actually do have a couple of recipes to share. But there’s also so much more to life that I want to discuss.

Why do I always put so much pressure on myself? I’m so silly.

Anyway, that’s just an update. Hopefully it won’t be another month before I come back here. In the mean time, here is a picture of me with Louisville’s own Morel’s Food Truck, which I finally visited at Abbey Road on the River, a Beatles festival that was here in Louisville over Memorial Day weekend.

Photo courtesy of my BFF, Courtney :)

The guy who runs it is actually a dude I went to high school with. Pretty cool, huh?

Noelle’s “Natural Products Expo Prize Pack Giveaway”

Didn’t win the Happy Herbivore cookbook but looking for another great giveaway?

Head on over to Opera Singer in the Kitchen where Noelle is hosting a giveaway of some really amazing vegan items from the Natural Products Expo that took place in Anaheim, California.


By entering the giveaway, ONE lucky reader can feel like they went to Expo because So Delicious will send them some products including $25 worth of So Delicious treats, a months worth of vegan Popchips (worth $30) and some other fun goodies!

This is only open to US readers. Go to the giveaway post and get commenting, plenty of ways to enter :)

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