Lemon-Kissed Cocoa Date Bites

So you know those yummy and simple Larabars, that are oh-so-expensive for like...barely three bites of bar? Turns out, super easy to create for cheap in your own home. Now I know this isn't a new concept - homemade larabars and snacks using dates is an old concept. But rightly so! Dates are called "nature's candy" for a reason, and they're good for you, too! So I decided to make my own spin on the concept. I had two requirements - 1) Nut free, since nuts are sometimes hard on my stomach and 2) Lemon! Lemon larabars are one of my favorites.

So I made...

Lemon-Kissed date bites! Which could also be shaped into bars, but I found the little ball shapes to be a nice snacking size.

You'll need...
  • 10 soft, pitted, dried dates
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 a lemon (squeezed for juice)
It's very easy - simply put all ingredients into a food processor and blender, and blend until it reaches a mushy consistency that will hold together. Form into bars or little balls or whatever shape you like! Try cookie cutters for fun shapes (like unicorns or ninjas!) maybe. Then eat, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for an on-the-go snack later.



Vegan Alfredo Pasta Recipe

You'll need...
  • Half a package Mori-Nu firm silken tofu (about 6oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2-3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Pinch of dry basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used herbamare)
  • Pasta of choice (I used spinach & brown rice pasta - gluten free)
  • Veggies add-ins of choice (I used a bag of frozen peas, you can use anything you like here...throw in your leftover veggies of the season, like asparagus, or toss in some spinach, carrots,  green beans... find your perfect combo!)
First, cook your pasta according to package directions. Depending on how saucy (oh la la) you like your noodles, this sauce should cover about 3-4 servings of pasta, so keep that in mind. It reheats well. Once your pasta is almost finished cooking, you can toss in any frozen veggies (if using) to thaw them out and warm them up. If using fresh vegetables, you can either steam them and add them in later or blanch them in the water to warm them if you like.

The second part is the sauce. Pull out your blender and add all ingredients above, excepting salt, pasta, and veggies. Blend until you reach a smooth, creamy consistency. Taste and season again to your liking.

Finally, just portion out your pasta and veggies and pour some sauce on top. Enjoy! It's super simple, quick, and delicious - without all the heavy dairy and plus a good bit of protein.


Lentil "Pulled Pork"

So last week my "running out of groceries cuz I just got back from Atlanta and the best weekend of my life" situation led to a rather excellent discovery food wise. I say "discovery" because I'm not sure what follows qualifies exactly as a recipe...it's just too easy!

But as the story goes, before I'd left for the long weekend, I'd bought a pack of lentils thinking - oh, these are so lovely and protein-packed I simply must find something to do with them! (Inner me is sometimes British) I'd also had the great luck of getting a 1$ bottle of chipotle BBQ sauce from Earthfare (seriously, if you have an EF near you...go! Sign up! The deals are amazing!) And, finally, I had some Ezekiel bread I'd taken with me on my trip for on-the-go almond butter and jelly sandwiches. Yum!

So, what's a girl to do with no time to go shopping and a need to fuel up before rehearsal?

She creates a lentil BBQ sandwich!

...which ends up tasting like pulled pork. I kid you not. It even had the same mouth feel. But it's a lot healthier ;)

Okay, here's what you'll need.

Lentil "Pulled Pork" Sandwich
(makes approx. 2 servings)

  • A cup of cooked lentils
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (as mentioned, I used EarthFare's chipotle BBQ), to taste
  • Honey or agave (optional)
  • Bread (sliced, a bun, garlic toast, or simply eat it straight!)

The Process:

Place your cooked lentils in a bowl. If they're not warm fresh from being cooked, now might be a good time to give 'em a little zap in the microwave. Take a fork and mash them up well - not all lentils have to be broken up, but you want a mushy, "pulled" texture that will go well between two slices of bread :)

Then, add your BBQ sauce. You can add as much or as little as you like - I kinda eyeballed it myself, but I'll guess I added maybe half a cup.

Next, taste it. For me it was a little too much spice kick - I was trying to clear out a cold, but I didn't want my tongue on fire! - so I added just a little spoonful of honey to offset it. And it was done!

I slapped a couple large spoonfuls between two pieces of toasted bread and bit in...perfect! And if you just try a forkful or a spoonful with your eyes closed, you could almost swear it was traditional BBQ. Or maybe that's just me. Let me know what you think if you end up trying this!

Have a wonderful week guys! I'm gonna go start my Sunday off right with a homemade chai tea latte and baked oatmeal...mmm...


Garbanzo-Pesto Sandwich

You know that point right before you go grocery shopping, where you're sort of at a loss as to what to eat but you're not quite ready to hit the store? Well, sometimes that place inspires some great creations in the world of noms.

For instance, this afternoon I invented a whole new sandwich! I had a bit of leftover pesto (but I was out of pasta! Oh no!) and two whole-grain wraps...but not much else.

Luckily we have a nicely stocked pantry, and there's almost always some veggies around, so I had a can of garbanzo beans and some lettuce and tomato to create a meal out of.

It may sound strange, thinking garbanzos would make a good sandwich, but I was inspired.

What You Need...

  • One wrap of your choice (I used a multi-grain tortilla like wrap, same kind I use to make personal pizzas)
  • Half a can of garbanzo beans
  • Lettuce of your choice (I recommend a fairly strong lettuce - spring mix will probably wilt under the heat)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pre-made pesto (vegan recipe to come)
  • Earth Balance vegan margarine
  • Any accents you like - for example, I added a few capers for a zing

Drain and rinse your garbanzos, and then take half (or the portion size you would like) and mash them a bit with a fork. Add a tablespoon or two of pesto and mix well. Then, take your tortilla and smooth on a bit more pesto, then your lettuce and tomato. You've created the bed for your garbanzo mix, so add that next and then perhaps your capers or olives, or any extra veggies you might like. Fold over your tortilla to make a sort of taco shape. Then, spread Earth Balance on one side. Just as if you were making a grilled cheese, place the Earth Balance-side down in a hot pan. Then spread Earth Balance on the other side, and once the pan-down side is browned, flip and brown the other side! It doesn't take too long, maybe 15-30 seconds on either side depending on how crisp you like it. Then just cut in half and enjoy!

It's super delicious. Super quick and easy. And with a nice, short ingredient list...perfect for a last-minute meal. You could always use a different sauce that you have on hand as well - maybe some veganaise, marinara even? Or if you're not a vegan, some added cheese would probably be great!


Pizza Fusion

Pizza is amazing. We all know this. Several of my friends appeared very distressed on my behalf when I told them I was going vegan, professing their dismay that, "But...you can't have pizza..."

Oh ho ho my lovely and well-meaning friends. Of course I can have pizza! Not only is pizza without cheese and loaded with veggies a fine option, there are some lovely vegan cheeses out in today's world.

Daiya has what I've found to be the best, most usable and cheese-like brand and I finally found a restaurant that would go through the effort of making a vegan pizza with it on my behalf! (I did not want to try the mozzarella version at about 5-6 dollars a bag without being sure I liked it first)

Pizza Fusion's hybrid delivery vehicles :)

Pizza Fusion is amazing, and for more than just the (absolutely phenomenal multi-grain thin crust) pizza. This hip little restaurant is all about going green as well as providing healthy, mostly organic and all-natural options for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike!

They had several little signs around the place detailing their environment-saving efforts, which include building their booths out of reclaimed wood and using hybrid vehicles for delivery.

Even their bathrooms were green (in the environmental sense).

The place itself was very attractive and cool, and as I've mentioned the food was incredible and so satisfying. My mom order a vegan pizza as well and loved it! The leftovers were even better, in both our opinions.

I'd highly recommend this place. They have a few different locations, so look em up and see if you can try it out.

There's also apparently a pizza joint that offers Daiya cheese pizzas near my university ... I'll have to check that out sometime, but I just don't know if it will compare to the magic of Pizza Fusion ;)

Happy noms!


Insta-Foods Take 5

I have been the absolute worst in updating the blog. I'll admit, I fell off the blogging wagon - and that is all thanks to my last show. Being involved in theatre is time-consuming, hard work, and sometimes so stressful you'd rather not do anything but the work, sleep, and eat. So I ended up just not having time. But the show ended April 1st...

So the rest is just my lazy self. And in part finishing out my junior year of college, but let's be honest. I was lazy.

Let's hop back into it with something easy - another instagram foods report!



  1. One of Chocolate Covered Katie's chocolate frosting shots, made for my mother as a little mother's day treat. This stuff is delicious - a smooth, chocolatey (and healthy!) chocolate mousse.
  2. Oh She Glows's version of vegan mac-and-cheese. This has pumpkin in it! And nutritional yeast instead of expensive non-dairy cheese :) With kale and pea mix-ins. Soooo good.
  3. My first meal from Sweet Pea Cafe, a restaurant I'd been meaning to try for awhile. It's all-vegan and my new addiction. This is a "cheez" quesadilla with sweet potato fries, which are to die for.
  4. Brunch at Sweet Pea! Breakfast tofu scramble quesadilla with roasted potatoes. My mouth waters just thinking of their food (their black bean quinoa burger is THE BEST).
  5. Home-made blue corn tacos - black beans, salsa, avocado...yummy.
  6. Soul Veg's BBQ tofu plate with sweet carrots and hebrew rice...avec a side of cornbread. All vegan...and so.so.so good. It's hearty southern soul - made vegan!
  7. My roommate and I made a pizza together. Using the Peas and Thank You crust recipe and topped with simply sauce, mushrooms, and olives. Yes please.
  8. Mom and I stumbled upon a cute little cafe last weekend while walking in town and I was pleasantly surprised to find this roasted veggie wrap on the menu. I asked to do it without the cheese, and the guy making it was very understanding since he's also lactose intolerant! It was a great find for sure.
You know, looking over this it's odd because...9 times out of 10 I eat at home and make my own food! I guess restaurant food is just much prettier. That and I eat a lot of the same stuff...don't want to bore anybody ;)

Well thank you for reading! Expect more posts soon - product finds, restaurant reviews (what can I say? visiting the parents means I eat well!), maybe even some recipes...


Home Life: Going to the Farm

I am a big supporter of local, organic farming and produce. I know it's not always plausible (believe me, I know - college student here) to buy fresh and organic, but it can be very beneficial to your health and taste buds to stop by a local produce market once in awhile. My mother and father are lucky enough to have a local organic farm in their area, which they subscribe to. My mom goes once a week!

During my break last week, I was lucky enough to make the trip with her, my sister, and my niece. It's a lovely operation with tons and tons of delicious and colorful produce. They also sell homemade goat cheese, goat's milk soap, jam, and fresh farm eggs. Plus, they even had baby chicks this time!


They didn't have any of my favorite (sweet potatoes) left (sad face), but we got plenty of awesome goods. I picked out some lettuce, swiss chard, yellow squash, and beets that were of course taken back to college with me. My sister got some corn to take home with her, and we also picked out some nice tomatoes and broccoli for use in salads that week. Nom nom nom.

Oh, and a cucumber shaped like a crescent moon...really brings me back to my Sailor Moon days.

Seriously. Veggies are so good fresh and straight from the source. It really makes a difference! It's really sad to me that it's so much harder to find and buy organic produce when it's crazy better for us and better tasting. My mother, who has a strong distaste for raw broccoli, loves it from the farm! Also, some produce from the supermarket is so inundated with pesticides and other chemicals that it can make us sick if we consume a lot of it. And you need a lot of veggies.

...or I do, at least ^_^

And farms are just great places to be sometimes. Ahh, nature.

And my niece loves it, too!