Welcome, spring.

Spring is officially here, the sun is shining, and here I am sitting on my couch eating grape nuts with no milk out of a bowl with walnuts and raspberries — which is pretty much just as fun as it sounds.

In a really horrendous turn of events, I am 180(ish) miles away from my debit card and the one I currently have doesn’t work due to some fraud prevention thing my bank is doing. I’m so thankful for the precautionary measure, really, but an invalid card has made my life a nightmare for the last three days. So, long story short, I have no soy or almond milk for my morning oatmeal OR coffee (it’s a truly harsh situation) and can’t go to the bank until tomorrow afternoon to make a counter withdrawal. It’s isn’t a difficult deduction to make, then, that I have been miserable without having kitchen staples and I have to go another 24 hours without them because of some card fraud that shouldn’t have even happened in the first place.

Okay, I promise I am done venting now.

Apart from that, it has been a really nice first-week back. I have been drinking a lot of iced tea now that it is warming up a bit:

I'm cheating on soy lattes.

I’m cheating on soy lattes.

getting some homework done and even trying a few new things in the kitchen. Today, I have two new recipes and an old one that I thought I’d bring back in case you had forgotten about it. Let’s start with Thursday night:

[Vegan] pizza is go.

[Vegan] pizza is go.

I have had a bag of Mozzarella-style Daiya shreds (vegan friendly cheese for those of you who aren’t a part of the Daiya party as of yet) and Lightlife pepperoni-style slices in my fridge for weeks and was sick of looking at them. Lucky for me, I had a requisite need for pizza on Thursday night. I normally use a whole-wheat tortilla as a crust of sorts, but had found this quinoa crust recipe that I was dying to try. It was a bit pre-meditated since I had started soaking the grains the morning before so I think they soaked for upwards of 30 hours. Throw everything in a food processor (or blender if you’re me and still need to buy a bowl for your food processor) and cook accordingly:

This crust was looking too perfect for words.

This crust was looking too perfect for words.

Top with whatever you want — I chose plain pizza sauce, mozzarella Daiya, the pepperoni slices and olives and never looked back:

Getting this thing out of the pan and onto a plate was a MESS.

Getting this thing out of the pan and onto a plate was a MESS.

I still have a few leftovers of this but the crust made a huge difference. I wasn’t really confident when I was blending it because it is very liquid-y — much like a batter — and I didn’t think it would form anything resembling a crust. I was wrong and I have never been happier. Moreover, the crust is gluten-free and paleo-friendly in addition to being vegan. This was also my first time trying the pepperoni slices and they were DELICIOUS. Before I was even a vegetarian (more than 10 years ago), I wasn’t a huge pepperoni fan and since it has been so long since I have had meat, I really don’t remember the texture or taste of pepperoni but these vegan slices were so good. Highly recommend! And they are really lean, which I am sure goes without saying.

Friday night was spent in my apartment working on a gift for a friend, watching “Uptown Girls” and making pasta. Search “avocado pasta” anywhere on the Internet and you will be bombarded with choices. Before I went vegan, I pinned this recipe for Stovetop Avocado Mac & Cheese. I rarely have all of the ingredients to 1) make something this seemingly elaborate or 2) veganize something this seemingly elaborate. Such was not the case two days ago.

If you look at the recipe, it calls for milk, butter, cheese — none of which I can have. I started experimenting and replacing things with abandon and this was the delicious end result:

No dairy, no problem for this pasta.

No dairy, no problem for this pasta.

And here is the veganized version I did myself:

And finally, last night. My friend, Rowen over at Fantastic Flavor was kind enough to open his home and kitchen to a group of classmates to cook dinner for 10. Rowen is a foodie by all definitions and is always cooking something new and sharing his pictures and recipes which always look great. He planned out a fajita dinner for our class and we all helped out by bringing a dessert or necessary ingredients. The thing that really made me the happiest is Rowen’s attention to detail: he checked every single ingredient list on each food item to make sure it was all vegan-friendly for me (it was) and was so careful with prep to make sure everything was safe for me to eat. I can’t explain how much I appreciated it, or the fact that he opened his house and cooked for all of us. I don’t have any pictures of the actual meal — though I am sure Rowen will on his page if you check back in the next week or so — but suffice it to say that my first #FoodByRowen experience was a great one. Good food, friends, conversation…all around good night.

Drinks and dialogue.

Drinks and dialogue.

For dinner, I had a vegan fajita in a wheat tortilla: peppers that rowen made up, mushrooms and Morningstar Farms “chicken” strips tossed with some seasoning in the skillet. I made some of my favorite guacamole from scratch and ate my weight in chips and salsa. But what’s a casual dinner party without dessert, right?

Brownie batter everywhere.

Brownie batter everywhere.

I made these vegan brownies before, but made them again to share with my friends. Thanks again for your hospitality, Rowen!

Obligatory at any get together.

Obligatory at any get together.

Phew, that was lengthy today. So what’s on the agenda next? Today is the day to do all of the things I should have done but didn’t do yesterday or Friday: homework, laundry, tying up all of the loose ends. I am going to try to start a few projects ahead of time since I am going to miss a few days in the coming weeks to return to the great state of Indiana to (hopefully!!!) find a place to live come May and sign on an apartment. Fingers crossed for me!



2 thoughts on “Welcome, spring.

  1. Reblogged this on fantasticflavor and commented:
    Check out this wonderful post by my dear friend, Danielle (a.k.a. Queen) to see a highlight of her week in vegan. Also, try out her brownie recipe. I can’t get enough of them!

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