Does Anything Beat Free Cookies?

I thought I had the most ingenious plan for breakfast.

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I’d whipped together plain Greek yogurt with a scoop of Acai powder for a sweet/tart flavoring, thrown on plenty of toppings and photographed away…

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…Only to dream of yesterday’s dessert as I was eating it!

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I may or may not have “sold” my contact information to SunTrust bank in exchange for the goods…but oh how good it was!

The moment of ecstasy from the free chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness will be worth the countless phone calls and fliers that I’m sure I’ll receive in the near future!

Also in the {very} near future: Chelsey’s vegan egg salad!

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I stole a few spoonfuls from the batch I made last night as I was assembling my sandwich, and I can already vouch for its deliciousness.

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Is it lunchtime yet?

And more importantly, will CookieTrust be back in my building’s lobby anytime soon?

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These Pumps Weren’t Made for Walking

pink tracy reese pumps

But that’s just what I did…

It’s been so overcast here in Orlando today that I had to infuse a little color into my life with my new fuschia Tracy Reese pumps! It’s not my fault that I was so excited about dinner that I forgot to switch into flats before walking home!

vegan Mexican salad

I rocked out even more color with a huge Mexican-inspired salad. This beast included romaine, roma tomatoes, fresh avocado, 365 chili lime refried beans and Daiya cheddar!

Mexican style salad

My sweet tooth promptly kicked in and I snagged a trio of fresh summer berries for dessert:

berry trio

Off to rest my feet! See you tomorrow!


Vegan Blackberry Bread

Good morning, and Happy Memorial Day!

I, for one, am completely exhausted after working like a madwoman for weeks and having my face rocked by the Sick Puppies at the House of Blues last night, but for those of you who have the energy to be productive on this gorgeous holiday, do I ever have the perfect recipe for you!

Bonus points if you make an extra blackberry bread loaf to bring to a veteran!

vegan blackberry bread

I’m talking rich, juicy blackberries nestled in a moist, cake-like bread with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Are you drooling yet, or is it just me?

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Blueberry muffins are so last year!

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Vegan Blackberry Bread

Vegan, gluten-free

Yields two mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/8 cup almond milk (or other vegan milk alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 flax egg (1.5 teaspoons flax meal + 1 tablespoon water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Combine the flax egg ingredients in a small dish and set in the refrigerator to “gel.”
  • In a large bowl, mix apple sauce and sugar. Stir in vanilla and almond milk.
  • Add in flours, flax egg, salt and baking powder. Stir until well combined.
  • Add blackberries (if berries are large, slice in half before stirring them into the batter). Stir until evenly distributed.
  • Divide the batter between two greased miniature loaf pans.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes (until knife inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from pans and allow to cool on a baking rack.

blackberry loaf

Poured into a cupcake tin, these could easily become blackberry muffins instead of a blackberry loaf! Then again, they’re beyond delicious just the way they are!

blackberry bread

What are your plans for your Memorial Day? If you’d like to peek at some more delicious vegan desserts, check out Katie’s vegan recipe submission page!


Drained Brain

Folks, my brain is FRIED! Who in their right mind starts their Monday by researching an article about carbon nanotubes?

By lunchtime, I felt like the contents of my brain perfectly matched the contents of my lunchbox – mush! 

rice with mushrooms and sherry

Thankfully it was more delicious than it looked – I’d steamed some brown rice and stirred in a Morningstar Farms “chicken” patty and mushrooms cooked in a sherry and almond milk sauce. A dollop of vegan cream cheese was thrown in at the last minute for good measure!

I’d also packed some steamed broccoli and carrots to pack in some veggies, but after finishing my main dish, I was definitely more interested in heading out to grab fro-yo than consuming anything green. Indulge my sweet tooth and spend a few minutes away from my desk? Don’t mind if I do!

Mochi Red Velvet 

I filled a cup with my red velvet frozen yogurt (the absolute best flavor Mochi offers) and topped with with white and dark chocolate chips, M&Ms and clear mochi beans. I may love my broccoli, but some days a girl needs her green fix in the form of candy-coated chocolate!

After the fresh air and sweet treat, I felt much more refreshed and ready to handle the second half of my workday. I typically spend my lunch break at my desk, but I definitely need to make it a point to get out for even a few minutes of sun and stretching!

My second wind lasted me just long enough to power through the rest of the day. After walking home and taking Haley out to play for a while, I stirred up a miniature berry smoothie to tide me over until I have the energy to make dinner:

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In the mix for a snack-sized smoothie:

  • Four strawberries
  • Ten blackberries
  • Splash of almond milk
  • One ice cube
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder (Tera’s Whey for me!)
  • 1 teaspoon flax seeds

And off goes the computer so I can enjoy a little bit of technology-free time! The new issue of Self is practically begging to be read (and Haley’s belly is literally begging to be scratched!)

Do you eat lunch at your desk or take breaks to get away? How much time do you get away from technology (TV, phone, computer) each day?


Frosted Vegan Apple Bread

One would assume that when I go to photograph and blog about a recipe that yields 12 individual servings, you would get to see all 12 pieces.

frosted vegan apple bread

Think again.

frosted apple bread 

If two people can demolish nine of the squares within a 10 hour time frame, I’ll take that as a compliment 😉

apple cake

They may not be pretty – but this may have something to do with our eagerness to dig into the cake. It came out of the oven smelling so incredible that all resistance was futile!

Frosted Vegan Apple Bread

Makes 12

Ingredients (for cake):

  • 1 large apple
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup walnut or pecan pieces
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp water)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Ingredients (for frosting)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp almond milk or other vegan milk
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance or other vegan butter
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In a small dish, combine flax and water, stir and set in refrigerator for 5 minutes or until gelled.
  • Preheat oven to 350*.
  • In a large bowl, mix together apple sauce, sugar, vanilla extract and flax egg.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir dry mixture into wet.
  • Chop apple into fine cubes and stir into mixture along with the nuts.
  • Pour into greased 9 by 5 dish and bake for 50 minutes (or until inserted knife comes out clean).
  • Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour. In the meantime, stir together frosting ingredients. If necessary, add additional powdered sugar to thicken the mixture.
  • Remove cake from dish. Slice, frost and serve.

vegan apple cake 

What’s your go-to baked good when you’re trying to impress?


The Little Things

“In the end it’s not about what you have; in the end its all about where you want to go, and the roads you take to help you get there – I hope you think that’s fair. Because we’ve only got one life to lead, so don’t take for granted the little things – cause those little things are all that we have” – A Day to Remember, The House That Doubt Built

Sometimes those little things are peanut butter chocolate treats from the cafe you pass every day on your walk home:
peanut butter chocolate dessert

Sometimes it’s eating breakfast off of a heart-shaped plate:

asparagus and cream cheese

Tortilla with vegan cream cheese and sautéed asparagus.

asparagus breakfast wrap

Sometimes it’s watching your hyperactive puppy stand frozen in terror by the idea of walking out onto your balcony.

puppy on porch

Sometimes it’s frozen blueberries after a particularly sweaty workout.

frozen blueberries 

Or packing your favorite bagel sandwich for lunch:

vegan breakfast bagel

Plain bagel, vegan cream cheese, tomato slices and alfalfa sprouts.

Then again, sometimes those little things are staying up all night talking to the wonderful people in your life instead of writing a blog post with much substance…and not regretting one second of it 🙂

What’s one of your “little things” lately?


(Delayed) Lessons From the Weekend

-I cannot transport grapes home from the grocery store without helping myself to several handfuls. Who washes all of their fruit anyways? 😉

-The chip gods love me. Honey dijon??? Tell me those don’t sounds a) like they have my name written across it, and b) like they would blow your mind. I actually don’t remember the last time I purchased chip, so I quickly gave these a go.

Kettle Brand Honey Dijon Potato Chips

The best part? They taste just as good as they sound! No overrated expectations here! They tasted like a tangier barbeque chip – with all natural ingredients and a serious cruuuuunch factor! Way to go, Kettle Brand!

-In a pinch, the honey dijon chips + a slice of vegan mozzarella make a passable snack.

chip and vegan cheese

Unfortunately, the cheese was far less remarkable than the chips. Next time I’ll stick with Daiya!

Clif Bars Peanut Toffee Buzz bars are equally unremarkable. Surprisingly, given my love of toffee, I had yet to try this flavor. It wasn’t bad, but not quite as good as the mint chocolate, almond black cherry or chocolate brownie!

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-Breakups suck – even the second time around. Even when you do it on your own terms, and even when it happened a while ago but you’re just now processing it. They suck even when you’re better, stronger and happier for it. I’m the kind of person who wants everyone to stay in my life forever, so acknowledging a healthy time to let go can be hard…but – as with everything in life – doable.

-Cookies make aforementioned breakup better. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta wallow.

white chocolate honey cookies

– For once in my life, I’m perfectly capable of consuming just one cookie, even when my emotions are directing me otherwise.

– Pedicures in Orlando may be crazy expensive ($35 + upcharges for lotion and exfoliation or pumice stone!) but having my toes resemble Dorothy’s ruby slippers is totally worth it.

What was the last product that you found that just had your name written all over it? Anything you particularly learned this weekend?