Tag Archives: collards

Dorm Room Dinners: Raw Avocado Veggie Wrap

Hi, guys! Sorry I’ve been absent so long. I’ve just been eating boring dining hall food (thank God I’m graduating in…nine weeks!), and I didn’t want to bore you. But I think my lunch/dinner today were interesting enough that there shouldn’t be an upheaval of the blogging masses when I publish this post. :)

I’ve been eating a lot of raw food the past few days, which basically equates to green smoothies in my Magic Bullet blender and giant salads for lunch and dinner. Today, however, I felt like having something a little more interesting. To this end, I grabbed some veggies from the dining hall, and combined with a few ingredients from my own stores and a little creativity, I had me some delicious raw wraps!

Basically, I mashed half an avocado with some chopped up cherry tomatoes, a clove of minced garlic, some sea salt, and a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Then I just julienned some jicama, carrots, and cucumbers–and lightly steamed some broccoli in my microwave–and laid them all on some gorgeous collard leaves. I topped ‘em with the “guacanoochy” and called it a burrito!

I ended up with two of these wraps, but only had time to eat one before my 1:15 class, so I had the other one for dinner (and I added some cubed TJ’s baked tofu to that one).

I’m not gonna lie; I’m pretty proud of myself for making this in my dorm room using all dining hall ingredients except collard greens, avocado, and nooch. Still…get me out of here, into my own kitchen, and off of this godforsaken meal plan!!!


Truth: I kind of hate living in this part of California–in the endless sea of suburbia stretching out from the center of Los Angeles. Granted, the weather generally rocks, but I won’t be crushed in three months when it’s time to leave Claremont and start my life somewhere else. Nonetheless, as long as I am here, I sure as hell am going to hit up as many vegan restaurants in the city as I can.

This quest continued two weekends ago when my friends Stephanie and Tori and I almost effortlessly (Hey–have YOU tried driving on LA freeways?!) made our way into Little Ethiopia.

We were headed to Rahel Vegan Ethiopian Cuisine at the glowing recommendation of Quarry Girl. And we were happy we did!

Ethiopian. Good. Vegan Ethiopian. Very good. All-You Can-Eat Vegan Ethiopian for under seven dollars. Um, hello?!

For any of you who don’t know, Ethiopian food is by far the most fun cuisine to eat! It consists of various stews, a.k.a. wots, that you scoop up with pieces of injera, a spongy sourdough pancake-like bread made of fermented teff flour. No utensils are necessary. Isn’t that how we all really want to eat anyways?

My favorite wots are always the lentil ones. Rahel’s lentils weren’t as amazing as those at my local Tempe Ethiopian joint, CafĂ© Lalibela, but they did the trick. As you can see in the above photo, there were both red and yellow lentils, as well as cabbage and string beans dishes. Also, below: a carrot/potato stew, collards, and–my unexpected favorite–eggplant!

That green sauce was wayyy too spicy! But it sure was pretty.

Since the injera under our food got a bit soggy, we used additional rolls of it to scoop up the food as we ate, leaving a colorful collage at the end of our meal. I think it looks like a snowflake. An insanely delicious, savory snowflake.

I say no trip to LA is complete without a stop at Rahel. The service, atmosphere, prices, and food were all out of this world. Or at least this country. ;)

Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps and Giveaway Winners

Yes, I said winners, plural! I decided I’d give away two boxes of Weil bars given that they’re in anything but short supply around here. The winners are Ruby Red Vegan and aTxVegn. I don’t know how to do the screenshot of the random number generator, so please just believe me! Respectively, their ideal bar flavors were fig/almond and tart cherry/coconut. Simple, but delicious combos, if you ask me!

Oh, and did I say there were two winners? Because there are actually three! Surprise! I decided to pick the final winner based on whose ideal bar most piqued my interest – and my appetite! The best idea for a bar flavor award goes to Pistachio and Cardamom, who in keeping with their name, came up with “pistachio cinnamon fig with white chocolate chips!” I just might have to make that sometime…

Congratulations, guys! As it turns out, you can have any of the five flavors (Goji Moji, Chia-Razz, Banana Manna, Chocolada Walnut, or Pistachi-Oh!) of the Weil bars, so please leave me a comment with your email address so we can connect!

For my post-run breakfast today I had the only thing more refreshing than watermelon: frozen watermelon! Seriously, pop some watermelon chunks in the freezer for 45 min to an hour, and you’re golden (don’t put them in overnight – or if you do, thaw them for a while before eating – or they’ll break your teeth!)

Okay, so I know you all want to see another way to eat God’s gift to earth that is the sweet potato! When I saw the recipe for Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps in the September issue (September already?! Jesus…) of the Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to make it. I mean, sweet potatoes mashed with peanut butter, miso, ginger, edamame, cilantro, and tofu, all wrapped in a deliciously fresh collard green leaf? Um, hello!

Okay, they look like something my dog threw up, but they tasted even better than I’d imagined–the perfect combo of sweet, salt, and even spicy, thanks to the ginger and cayenne. Plus, they were perfect for a light summer meal.

Also, last night I helped my sister and her friends make a berry pie with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, using the Oil Crust recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan. I promised I’d blog it for them, so here you go!

I bought ingredients for yet another sweet potato dish for this week!…

NYC Goodies, July 4th Concert, and the Ridiculous Fantasy Cake of My Dreams

Hey guys! I wanted to include NYC and NJ in my Portland travel post, but maybe it’s better on its own. Two posts for the price of one. Actually, that doesn’t make any sense. Just keep reading.

Here’s some shots of the lovely farmer’s market my friend Jo and I walked through:

We then headed over to Sacred Chow for a lovely brunch! We both ordered the Tempeh Hash, crumbled seasoned tempeh with hash-browned sweet potatoes and browned onions, topped with diced fresh tomatoes & parsley, because who wouldn’t want that? Steamed collards on da side, yo.

This dish would be so easy to make at home too! I’ll definitely have to experiment with it.

Fortunately for us–or should I say me? Jo’s not as insane as I am–Peanut Butter & Co. was literally right across the street from Sacred Chow:

You know I picked up a jar of Mighty Maple! (It’s the one I can never find in stores…) Jo nabbed a Dark Chocolate Dreams, which I’m pretty sure is the best one, so it was a good choice as a popper of her PB & Co. Cherry! We may or may not have snacked on it straight out of the jar as we walked the NYC streets on our way to our 4th of July concert in the park…

Speaking of said concert, it was maybe the best concert of my life. First of all, it was free. Second of all, I was with my 2 best friends, Jo and Grace (who are both in NYC for the summer), and my wonderful aunt and uncle, Showie and Mickey (who came in for the show). Third, and most importantly, it was JENNY LEWIS and CONOR OBERST. Together. In one show. (They even sang together!) They are literally my two favorite artists of all time–I am more intimately attached to their music and work than I can explain. If it helps ring any bells, Jenny is also the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, and Conor is the leading man in Bright Eyes. Anyways, add the fresh air, sunny breeze, and 4th of July buzz, and this concert was basically heaven for me.

Jenny Lewis and band member Jonathan Rice:

“Because institution’s like a big bright light,
And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fightin’
But in the desert underneath the charging sky
It’s just you and God
But what if God’s not there?
But his name is on your dollar bill
Which just became cab fare…”

“Like the citrus glow off the old orange grove
Or the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral
It’s been a nightmare to me
Some 1980’s grief
Gives me parachute dreams
Like old war movies
While the universe was drawing
Perfect circles for infinity…”

In the city, we also went to Viva Herbal Pizzeria (vegetarian with plenty of vegan options) and Lula’s Sweet Apothecary (an entirely vegan old-fashioned ice cream parlor), but unfortunately, my camera died. :( However, I’ve found some pics on Flickr of other people’s food from both, so I’ll use those (Hope that’s okay!)

At Viva, I had a slice of the Zen (super anti-oxidant) pizza: green tea-herbed miso tofu, green tea basil pesto, shiitake mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, carmelized onions, sundried tomato, roasted garlic, on a green tea herbed spelt crust. This was hands down the best pizza I’ve had since going vegan (not that I’ve had a lot…).

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Roboppy)

Jo got the Canja: diced onions, tomato and garlic marinated in hemp oil, roasted hemp seeds, hempseed nuts, hemp-herbed basil pesto, kalamata olives, tempeh, and roasted garlic on hemp-herbed spelt crust with hemp herbed-miso tofu. What a mouthful! They really integrate hemp into every element of the pizza, don’t they?

At Lula’s I had a Sundae with both Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter Fudge Nut-Based Ice Cream with Hot Fudge, Strawberry Sauce, Crushed Ginger Cream Cookies, and topped with Coconut Whipped Cream and a Cherry! It was as good as it sounds. Next time I’m getting a banana split!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Vanessa52)

Jo and I also had a really wonderufl time in Long Beach Island, NJ at my grandma’s beach house. The house and the island are seriously one of my favorite places in the entire world. They’re everything you could ever want in a vacation spot (actually, I could live there…). Everything there is so classic, from the old-fashioned ice cream parlor (not that I condone its business), to the kooky mailboxes shaped like lighthouses and flamingos, to my grandma’s back deck and upper patios overlooking the bay. Three days was not enough.

Speaking of not getting enough, this cake, OMFG. My grandma surprised me, Jo, my dad, and my cousin Matt–all the summer birthdays–with a cake one night! When she first brought it in, Jo and I obviously appreciated the gesture, but never in a million years presumed that we could actually have some. And then my grandma told us it was vegan and that she had grilled the shop, Foodies, where she bought it, on the ingredients. I don’t know if Jo and I were more touched that she went through the trouble to find this cake, or more amazed that you could even get a vegan cake on that tiny island–and peanut butter at that! I dub this wonderful creation Chocolate Peanut Butter Devastation Layer Cake.

The bottom layer is chocolate cookie crumb cake. I could honestly swear that the middle layer was just straight peanut butter (which isn’t a problem for me obviously, but still–whoa), and the top layer was a very rich chocolate mousse. It was even better cold, straight out of the freezer!

Now that I’m home, I’ll be posting more regularly, so stay tuned!