Monthly Archives: January 2012

some things I’m digging right now

Sparkling blueberry juice from Trader Joe’s:

About a month ago I was standing in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s when I noticed a display of sparkling blueberry juice (those checkout displays are always so tempting!). I usually don’t buy things like this, but it was near New Years so I figured I would splurge (it’s $2.99 a bottle, so it’s hardly a splurge that’s going to break the bank).  One lazy weekend afternoon I was reading a book and I was craving a glass of wine. I thought I’d try this blueberry cider out instead and WOW I’m glad I did! I really dug it, as I was sure I would as I like most things blueberry-flavoured. It was sweet without being cloyingly so, as there is no added sugar. It’s not something I would buy on a regular basis (I’m a cheapskate) but it’s nice for a treat.

The return of gigantic salads:

Normally I like to eat a gigantic salad for lunch every day. They are super filling and I get tons of nutrients. I fell out of the habit when I had foot surgery in August and could no longer get to the farmer’s market or the grocery store. Starting in January I made a conscious effort to stock up on salad goodies when I go shopping each week and I feel so much better! I’m planning on writing a salad-centric post in the future, but I stick all kinds of things in my large lunch-time salads. Typically you will find greens, raw veggies, leftover roasted veggies, beans/tofu, nutritional yeast, and flax.

I use a LARGE bowl for these salads. Here is my salad bowl compared to my regular-sized bowls (which are actually quite large themselves):

Smoothies for breakfast:

Ironically, before I moved to California I would almost always start the day with a smoothie. I’ve just recently started making smoothies again. Sometimes I add extra greens, sometimes I don’t. This particular one had a banana, soy milk, some mixed frozen fruit (the kind you buy in a bag at the grocery store), flax, and strawberry protein powder. Yum!


What about you? What are some things you’re into right now?

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Back at it!

Guess what I did this morning?! I’ll give you a hint…

I went running for the first time post-surgery! To summarize, I severed my EHL tendon in my right foot in August, and had to have it surgically repaired. I was cleared for exercise about 2 months ago, but I was told not to run until the end of January. Well, today felt like the day so I gave it a go.

I kept things pretty simple, truth be told I didn’t even break a sweat. I did a 5 minute warm-up (walking), then did 5 intervals of 2 minutes of running (at a very slow pace) followed by 3 minutes walking. Afterwards I didn’t feel ANY pain – which is great news! I am really fighting the urge to do too much too soon, but the last thing I want to deal with is another injury.

I missed you, running shoes!


Souley Vegan

If you ever find yourself in the Bay Area, you simply MUST go to Souley Vegan in Oakland! If you plan a trip to San Francisco, make sure you take the BART or the ferry across the bay. And once you’re at Souley Vegan, order the toasty burger.It’s a combo of bbq tofu as well as southern fried tofu all in one delicious package.

I had a Living Social deal for Souley Vegan to use up, so the husband and I headed up to Oakland during the holiday season. This was my second time visiting, and I must say this burger was every bit as good as I remembered.

On the side I ordered macaroni and cheese, but I must say I was a bit disappointed. It tasted very flour-y, like it hadn’t been cooked long enough. Serves me right – I was GOING to order the potato salad which I know from first-hand experience is fantastic. Oh well, all the more reason to find an excuse to go back.

a very late new years recap

Better late than never, right?

Typically we stay in on New Years. Sadly, staying up until midnight is usually a pretty big challenge for me.

This year we decided to have a pizza night. Using the thin crust pizza from Vegan with a Vengeance (I made mine with all WW flour, and added in some flax seed to make me feel like I was eating something healthy), we got out the pizza stone and went to work.

I usually put waaaay too many toppings on my thin crust pizza, resulting in a mess that typically requires a fork. This time I said no way, and opted to keep it simple with a pizza margherita – just tomato sauce (VWAV again), Daiya mozzarella, some sliced cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. Keeping the toppings so sparring really let me appreciate the flavour of the crust and sauce – I was definitely a fan.

I’m a wuss when it comes to using the peel. I’m always afraid I won’t be able to get the pizza from the peel to my stone. Luckily that’s what husbands are for.

I’m not big on “New Years resolutions,” but I do believe in goal-setting. A lot of my life is uncertain right now, but here are some of my current goals I’d like to achieve in 2012:

1. Read 50 books (cookbooks don’t count!)

I used to be quite an avid reader, but that has been tapering off in recent years to the point where I’m averaging about one book a month (not including cookbooks). I’d like to bump this up to one a week if I can. Often I’m wasting my time doing something boring when I could be reading a book and actually expanding my mind instead of boring myself silly.

2. Make a comeback to running

I would love love LOVE to actually have a goal of running a marathon in 2012. Since my surgery in August I haven’t been able to run. I’m just now getting to the point where I can walking a few miles (in my stylin’ orthopedic shoes) without limping. My surgeon says I should be able to try out running at the end of January (that’s so close!) and see how it goes. Because of this, I am hesitant to actually set a goal of running a marathon this year, as I obviously don’t want to push my foot too far too fast and end up injuring myself. So I am purposely leaving this goal non-specific.

3. Make peace with my body and “dieting”

Like most women, I am always wanting to lose a few pounds. I’m not overweight, around a size 8, but of course for vanity’s sake who wouldn’t like to drop a jean size or two. Heavily motivated by Stop Chasing Skinny, I want to make 2012 the year I focus on eating right, being healthy, and accepting my body for what it is. As long as I’m healthy, I shouldn’t care what the scale says. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it’s time I stop chasing an unrealistic ideal that I’ve been spoon fed. My emphasis in choosing foods and exercising should be on health, not losing weight.


Of course I set goals for myself throughout the year as well, but these are the three that I am currently working on as 2012 begins. What about you, do you set yearly goals?

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finally a sign of life…

Okay so this blog has been deadly silent for an embarrassing length of time. Life got turned upside down when I found out some bad news in November. Life has been pretty topsy turvy since then and there are some big decisions to be made in the coming weeks. But onward and upward. ‘m trying to stay positive. And what’s more positive than blogging about delicious vegan eats?

During the holiday season I made a trip up to Canada to see my parents. My parents live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, but the closest airport is in Winnipeg. Before dropping me off at the airport when I was flying back to California, my mom and I stopped at Boon Burger – an all vegan veggie burger cafe. I lived in Winnipeg for four years way back when I was an undergraduate student, and boy do I wish something like this had existed back then. Their menu is great and they have daily specials that change all of the time. It is kind of small and they have communal seating, which I really hate, but I love how busy it seems in there. Lots of Winnipegers are loving their vegan burgers!

I perused the menu for a good long while and finally settled on the “bacun cheese burger” – a grilled patty, mayo, dijon, Daiya, smokey bacun (which definitely seemed to be tofu-based), pickled, red onion, tomato, and lettuce. The patty itself was made out of mushrooms, brown rice, tofu, and oats. Wow. Words cannot describe this. It was hands down the best burger I have EVER tasted. I’d love to recreate the patty here at home, since flying all the way to Winnipeg whenever a craving strikes seems a little extreme (and expensive).

My mom had the Oslo burger – same patty as my burger, mayo, a caper remoulade, cranberry sauce, pickles, fresh beets, red onion, gravy, and dill. I wasn’t sure about that combo of ingredients, but I had a taste and it was really good too! I think it’s hard to go wrong at this restaurant.

On the side we split an order of poutine. This poutine is pretty non-traditional – it comes with green onion, Daiya cheddar, and gravy – but it was still delicious! Their fries are made with sesame oil and they were super crispy and fantastic. I do wish the Daiya had been more melty – I’m thinking they just throw it on and then top with gravy. A little zap in the microwave or a little time under a broiler would help with the melting. But that’s a pretty small gripe, overall my experience was fantastic and it was such a great end to my trip.