What I Ate Wednesday #66: My Last WIAW

Yes, I understand that another “What I Ate Wednesday” constituted my last post, as well. Yes, I understand that recipes, ethical/philosophical musings, and restaurant reviews serve as vastly more intriguing topics than my weekly eats do (perhaps some of you may argue to the contrary, but that’s simply my humble opinion). However, in the midst of authoring an important piece for a vegan-related, non-blogging outlet as well as beginning my second essay in my three-part series exposing Michael Pollan’s ulterior motives, I’ve devoted much of my intellectual/writing-related energies toward venues other than my beloved blog. Fear not though, dear readers, for I hope to soon channel these energies back to the world of the vegan blogosphere. Once that happens, I intend to no longer participate in this weekly meal recap as I have for 66 past Wednesdays, for I’d prefer for my blog to cultivate a more professional atmosphere fostering intellectual discussion among innovative recipes. Hopefully, the elimination of What I Ate Wednesdays from my blog will allow me to provide more intriguing content on a more regular basis. So now, for the last time, please enjoy another round of my stupendously intriguing meals.

Breakfast: A breakfast salad of baby spinach, amaranth, brown rice, goji berries, wild blueberries, and chia seeds tossed in a dressing of plain unsweetened soy yogurt, homemade sprouted almond butter, and Amazing Grass Green Superfoods Powder, sprinkled with the contents of one capsule of Rainbow Light’s Advanced Enzyme Systems digestive enzymes.

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Breakfast Checklist: Protein—soy yogurt, sprouted almond butter, chia seeds. Whole Grain—brown rice, amaranth. Fruit—goji berries, blueberries. Leafy Green—baby spinach. Superfoods—goji berries, chia seeds, Amazing Grass powder.

Morning Tea: Rooibos Red Tea from Alvita.

Lunch: An open-faced sandwich of a lentil-brown rice-roasted sweet potato & broccoli burger on top of a brown rice cake slathered with tahini, sauerkraut, and dulse seaweed flakes, accompanied by a bowl of mushroom, leek, and spinach soup sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

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Meal Checklist: Protein—beluga lentils, tahini. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables/Fruit—sweet potato, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, spinach, mushrooms. Leafy Greens—spinach, broccoli, cabbage in sauerkraut.

Afternoon Beverage: Kukicha Twig Tea from Eden Organics.

A bottle of GT’s Kombucha in Cosmic Cranberry flavor.

Dinner: A breakfast-dinner of savory Sweet Potato Belgian Waffles (made with my new, very own waffle iron!) topped with Coconut-Braised Kale and served alongside strips of Tempeh Bacon, courtesy of Kathy Patalsky—my biweekly dinner contribution to the Ferry household.

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Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpea flour, fava flour, tempeh. Whole Grain—sorghym flour. Vegetables—kale, garlic, onions, sweet potato. Leafy Greens—kale.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #65

Before I dive into regaling my weekly eats, I’d like to direct you toward the essay on Michael Pollan’s that I recently published on the blog. In it, I demonstrate how Pollan manages his audience’s emotions in order to persuade him both of the acceptability of eating meat, and of the impossibility of vegetariansim. I also argue that Pollan wrote the book essentially to justify his own meat-eating. I do hope you’ll check out the piece. Thank you.

Breakfast: A plate of baby kale water-sauteed with cumin and fennel seeds, wilted down, and mixed with nutritional yeast, Bragg’s liquid aminos, ground ginger, and coconut oil—my new favorite way to prepare greens, introduced to me by The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen cookbook. I accompanied the greens with a bowl of Whole Soy’s unsweetened plain soy yogurt, 1 tbsp homemade sprouted almond butter, about 3/4 cup Hemp and Greens Superfood Cereal, and about 1 tbsp goji berries.

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Since returning to Ferry Haus from my two-week-long spring break, I’ve eschewed my habitual morning smoothie in favor of this new breakfast pairing of lightly cooked, ridiculously flavorful, and (dare I say…) downright buttery greenswith a crunchy-creamy bowl of granola, soy yogurt, goji berries, and almond butter. After returning from Austin, I ventured straight to Whole Foods to purchase more of the absolutely astounding raw sprouted granola from Live Superfoods that I enjoyed while in Texas. To my sheer glee, Whole Foods now stocks that very granola in their bulk section, along with a fairly large selection of other sprouted granolas, trail mixes, nuts, and grains. I also partook in a large bag of sprouted almonds, with which I pureed up a batch of homemade sprouted almond butter. After experiencing the ease and frugality of homemaking nut butter, I’m never again purchasing another jar of the stuff. Yay, economics! I’ve seen on a number of blog posts offering directions on how to make almond butter that the almonds take quite a long time to transform into creamy lusciousness; however, my sprouted almonds made the shift from ground to buttery relatively quickly—after about 7-10 minutes as opposed to the 20 that I’ve commonly heard other bloggers experiencing. Moral of the story: if you want more digestible almond butter more quickly, use sprouted almonds.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—soy yogurt, sprouted almond butter, sprouted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp protein. Whole Grain—sprouted buckwheat, brown rice bran & germ. Fruit—coconut, bananas, sultanas, goji berries. Leafy Green—baby kale. Superfoods—spinach powder, spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa powder, dandelion leaf powder, goji berries.

Morning Tea: Eden Organic Genmaicha tea.

Lunch: A waffle sandwich of two herbed carrot-chickpea waffles slathered with pesto chutney from the Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen and encasing a brown rice-beluga lentil-roasted sweet potato & broccoli burger inspired by Gena’s Leftover Grain & Bean Burgers. I served the sandwich alongside a simple salad of mixed greens and dulse seaweed flakes tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with brown rice and kimchi.

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Waffles: A savory take on my Spirulina-Mango Waffles with Goji Berries that omits the cardamom, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and spirulina while replacing the mango puree with the parsley and thyme carrot sauce in the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, the plant-based milk with salt-free vegetable stock, and the goji berries with chickpeas.

Pesto Chutney: a generously herbed and spiced spread of tahini, dulse seaweed, lemon juice, flax oil, dill, parsley, fennel seeds, and cumin based on the recipe in the Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen. Perhaps due to my minor substitutions as well as my accidental purchasing of lemon-flavored flax oil, the pesto imparted much too harsh of a flavor for my liking and adopted a displeasing bitterness after a few days of refrigeration, even though the directions assure that it will keep for up to three weeks.

Burgers: Based on Gena’s instructions, in a food processor I mixed together 3 cups of leftover short-grain brown rice; 2 cups of a salad of beluga lentils, roasted broccoli, and sweet potatoes in a lemon vinaigrette (a take on this recipe from Cookie and Kate); and 1/4 cup flaxseed meal to create 14 hearty patties of smoky, crispy deliciousness.

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpea flour, fava flour, flaxseed meal, chickpeas, tahini, beluga lentils. Whole Grain—sorghum flour, brown rice. Vegetables/Fruit—carrot, parsley, dill, sweet potato, broccoli, dulse seaweed, kimchi veggies. Leafy Greens—broccoli, mixed greens, dill, parsley, cabbage in kimchi.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Kombucha in Original flavor.

Dinner: The French Lentil Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing from the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen served alongside roasted brussels sprouts and brown rice.

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Peter Berley, author of the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen and former executive chef of 37-year-old NYC vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, combines toothsome French lentils; finely diced carrots, celery, and bell peppers; and plenty of fresh herbs with a tangy dressing of yogurt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in his French Lentil Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing. Naturally, I substituted soy yogurt for dairy-based, added mixed greens along with the rest of the veggies, and served this refreshing, light salad to my fellow Ferries for dinner to yield rave reviews.

Meal Checklist: Protein—lentils, soy yogurt. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—carrots, bell peppers, celery, dill, parsley, brussels sprouts. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, parsley, dill, brussels sprouts.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #64

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1 cup frozen mango, 3 deglet noor dates, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 4 large leaves lacinato kale, and 1 cup homemade almond milk, all topped with a homemade granola of apples, buckwheat groats, cooked brown rice, walnuts, goji berries, blueberries, hemp seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, maple syrup, and coconut oil.

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I crafted this particular granola on the first morning of my stay in my parents’ NYC apartment over Vassar’s spring break, implementing the limited supply of items in their pantry as well as the various superfood ingredients that had traveled with me. Thus, instead of abiding by my usual template for fresh fruit-sweetened granola by pureeing up a mixture of fresh & dried fruit with various spices and coconut oil in which to coat nuts and grains, I shredded an apple and mixed it with about 2 tbsp each of maple syrup and olive oil to provide adequate moisture for the rest of the granola. Quite crunchy, nicely spiced, and bejeweled with bursts of juicy blueberries, this makeshift granola turned out surprisingly well for a creation comprised of odds and ends.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, almond milk, walnuts, hemp seeds. Whole Grain—buckwheat, brown rice. Fruit—mango, dates, apples, goji berries, blueberries. Leafy Green—kale. Superfoods—Amazing Grass powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries.

Morning Tea: Mayan Secret Green Tea from local NYC store Spices and Tease.

Though the aroma of this tea (which includes sencha green, mate, rooibos, and darjeeling teas mixed with lemongrass and bits of carrot, pineapple, and papaya) promised a complex fruity flavor, the amalgamation of various teas created a harshness that vastly overpowered any hope of a pleasingly refreshing tang. Perhaps I’ll simply have to play around with the steeping time and amount of tea used for each cup, but my experiences with this tea thus far have proved rather unfortunate.

Lunch: A sandwich of BBQ Tempeh strips, celery-apple-carrot slaw coated in Luscious Lemon Dressing from the Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen, and avocado slices between two experimental cornbread fritters. I served the sandwich alongside a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, sprouted almonds, and dulse flakes, tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Green Raw Slaw from Bao’s. For dessert, I enjoyed a raw truffle made with sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted almonds, dates, and maca powder, inspired by this recipe.

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The impetus for this sandwich began with my discovery of a waffle iron hidden in the back of a cabinet in the NYC apartment currently subletted by my parents. Inspired to craft a savory waffle in part by this recipe of Kristy’s, I contemplated a southern-flavored checkered quickbread to complement the Barbequed Tempeh Sandwich Filling that I had made earlier that day from a new cookbook of mine—the James Beard award winning Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley, who apparently served as the executive chef at NYC vegan staple restaurant Angelica Kitchen for nine years. Unfortunately, the lack of gluten-free flours in my parents’ sparse pantry rendered me scrounging for waffle base options. In a bout of vegan MacGyver-ness, I combined 1/2 cup white cornmeal (already in the pantry), 1/4 cup roasted buckwheat grouts finely ground in the food processor, and 1/4 cup almond pulp leftover from the milk I had made that morning to comprise the full cup of flour required for four waffles. After mixing the flours with nooch, baking powder, baking soda, paprika, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, maple syrup, liquid smoke, almond milk, and coconut oil, I excitedly heated up the waffle iron, oiled it, spooned the batter in to yield a satisfying sizzle, closed the iron, waited for the light to signal the waffle’s completion, opened the iron, and…experienced utter failure. The batter had all but completely stuck to the iron, probably due to both an inadequate oiling of the iron and an overly thick batter lacking in a starch of any sort. Sigh. I managed to salvage the remaning batter by pan-frying it into thick pancakes, but still reeled from crushed waffle-based dreams. Curse you waffle iron! I shall prevail eventually.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tempeh, sprouted almonds, sprouted sunflower seeds, almond meal, tahini. Whole Grain—cornmeal, buckwheat flour. Vegetables/Fruit—celery, apple, carrot, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, dulse flakes, ginger, pears, dates. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, radish greens.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of Carpe Diem’s Kombucha in Quince flavor.

With an off-putting taste of artificial sweetener (certainly not one of the actual ingredients, though) and an inadequate amount of carbonation, this particular brand of kombucha failed to fully satisfy my mid-afternoon beverage needs. Try as I might to find a brand of local kombucha (other than the Madison-based NessAlla, of course) of as high a caliber as GT’s, I’ve not yet honed in on one. The search continues!

Dinner: A Middle Eastern feast, shared with my parents in their temporary NYC apartment, of Cookie & Kate’s Crispy Baked Falafel with Creamy Tahini and Dill Dressing, sandwiched between Cara’s Gluten-Free Pita Bread along with mixed greens and cherry tomatoes, accompanied by a side of cauliflower and carrots roasted with cumin, paprika, and coconut oil.

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My changes to Kate’s original falafel recipe include substituting canned chickpeas for dried (I worried about the digestibility of merely soaked rather than fully cooked beans), adding 1/2 cup sprouted almonds and 1 tbsp GF flour blend to the mixture, and omitting the salt. Though Kate warns against implementing canned beans in the recipe, I found that adding the almonds and flour ensured adequate binding of the falafel, even when using the more moist canned chickpeas. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and not at all dry or mealy like many of the falafel recipes with which I’ve experimented in the past, the falafel verily impressed my parents (and fulfilled my mother’s three-day-long craving for falafel), who helped me to scarf down the entire batch of herby chickpea fritters. My only critique of the recipe pertains to the Creamy Tahini and Dill Dressing; the lemon tasted a bit too harsh, in my opinion. However, that minor flaw certainly did not prevent me from slathering the dressing all over my falafel sandwich.

As for the pita bread, I utilized the gluten-free flour blend from Bob’s Red Mill instead of Cara’s homemade blend, replaced the sugar with maple syrup, substituted 1 tbsp flaxseed meal for the xanthan gum, and decreased the salt to 1/4 tsp. I had rather excited myself about the prospect of perfectly crisp, toasty, homemade pita pockets, and therefore became thoroughly disappointed when the pitas would not puff up or slice open as promised (reasons for this fault include the omission of xanthan gum, not allowing the water bath to adequately heat up in the oven, or over-working the dough). Regardless of cooking complications, the pitas still tasted delicious, acting as sliced of bread between which to sandwich the falafel and fixings, rather than as pockets in which to stuff the ingredients.

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas, sprouted almonds, tahini, chickpea flour, fava bean flour. Whole Grain—sorghum flour. Vegetables—onion, garlic, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots. Leafy Greens—mixed green, parsley, cilantro, dill.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: How do you adapt your cooking to kitchens not as well-stocked as to which you’re accustomed? Do you own a waffle iron? Have you had luck with it? What is your favorite brand of kombucha other than GT’s? Have you made pita bread yourself before?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #63

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1/2 a cameo apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tsp maca, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp goji berries, a large handful of kale, and 1/2 cup Gingerberry kombucha, topped with the last half-cupful of my most recent granola creation featuring GF rolled oats, raw buckwheat groats, unsweetened shredded coconut, flaxseed meal, pecans, and walnuts coated in a puree of apples, dried apricots, almond extract, cardamom, cinnamon, and coconut oil.


Though I ran out of almond milk for this particular smoothie, later this morning I blended up an experimental milk comprised of the nutty odds-and-ends in my pantry to create a hybrid almond-cashew-pistachio-flax milk. Tinted slightly green from the pistachios, this milk serves as a deliciously creamy precursor to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and boasts those heart-healthy omega-3’s about which we health-conscious folk rave thanks to the flax seeds. I may just start regularly incorporating different nuts into my homemade milk routine to compliment the standard almonds.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed meal, pecans, walnuts. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—apple, banana, goji berries, dried apricots. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries, maca, flaxseed meal, kombucha.

Morning Tea: Pukka Herbs’ Three Fennel tea with sweet fennel seed, wild fennel seed, and fennel leaf.

I picked up three sample packets of this lovely tea at last weekend’s NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and have adored its powerful anise flavor and aroma for the past couple of days. A huge sucker for anything fennel, I fell in love with this tea upon first glance and deeply regret having already exhausted my meager supply of it. Perhaps a tea shipment is in order…

Lunch: A salad of mixed greens, shredded carrots, slivered almonds, diced dried apricots, sage-braised giant white beans, brown rice, and dulse seaweed flakes, all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Bao Fermented Food’s Green Raw Slaw of kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, radish greens, apples, pears, garlic, and ginger.


Unexpected leftovers discovered in the refrigerator comprise a wonderfully positive aspect of living in Ferry Haus along with 20 other talented veg*n cooks. The sage-braised white beans gracing this salad stem from one such occasion of wonderful lunchtime surprise.

As for the Green Raw Slaw, I picked up a jar from Bao’s booth at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and cannot adequately express my happiness with my frugal ($4 off of the original price at the festival!) and mouthwatering purchase. Kale and fermented food all rolled into one immensely flavorful salad topper? Be still my beating heart.

Meal Checklist: Protein—white beans, almonds. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables/Fruit—carrots, apricots, apples, pears, garlic, ginger, dulse flakes. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, radish greens.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Gingerade flavor.

Dinner: A simple saute of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos; an amaranth-millet pilaf seasoned with liquid smoke and paprika; and a pile of crunchy roasted chickpeas seasoned with liquid smoke, agave nectar, and paprika.

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Stay tuned for the recipe for this deeply satisfying dish, inspired by my mother (who recently adopted a vegan diet after watching Forks Over Knives), in an upcoming blog post.

Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas. Whole Grain—amaranth, millet. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, broccoli. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts, broccoli.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Do you like to combine different nut/seed varieties when making plant-based milks? How do you feel about fennel/anise-flavored items? Does your local grocer carry Bao’s tasty raw, fermented products? Have you tried roasting chickpeas before?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #62

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1/2 a jonagold apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, a handful of frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tsp maca, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp goji berries, 3 leaves of kale, and 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, topped with a half-cupful of my latest granola creation featuring GF rolled oats, raw buckwheat groats, unsweetened shredded coconut, flaxseed meal, pecans, and walnuts coated in a puree of apples, dried apricots, almond extract, cardamom, cinnamon, and coconut oil.

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Breakfast Checklist: Protein—chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond milk, flaxseed meal, pecans, walnuts. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—apple, banana, blueberries, goji berries, dried apricots. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries, maca, flaxseed meal.

Morning Tea: Eden Organic Genmaicha Tea.

Lunch: A deconstructed salad of sorts (perhaps “lettuce wraps” would serve as the correct term?) of four large leaves of lettuce schmeared with hummus and topped with quinoa, celery, mushrooms, sauerkraut, and dulse flakes, all drizzled with Liquid Gold Dressing.

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Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas and tahini in hummus. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—mushrooms, celery. Leafy Greens—lettuce, cabbage in sauerkraut, dulse flakes.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Hibiscus (Botanic No. 7) flavor.

Dinner: A comforting and astoundingly flavorful soup of lentils and split peas cooked down into a creamy puree with mushrooms, celery, leeks, and cubes of tofu, served over a bed of wilted kale and topped with a brown rice-black bean pilaf as well as a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.

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Thanks to Franny and Robyn for anoter scrumptious Ferry dinner!

Meal Checklist: Protein—lentils, split peas, tofu, black bean. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—mushrooms, celery, leeks. Leafy Greens—kale.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #61

Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1/2 of a winesap apple, 1/2 of a frozen banana, a small handful of frozen raspberries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 cup WholeSoy Organic Unsweetened Plain Yogurt, and 4 medium leaves of curly green kale, topped with a generous 1/2-cupful of a variation on Amie Sue’s Maple Pumpkin Spice Crunch Cereal.

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I’ve recently embarked on a mission to pack a bit of padding on my slender frame, and have thus started incorporating more calorie-dense, healthy fat sources into my meals—this accounts for both the peanut butter and coconut oil gracing the smoothie I’ve featured here.

A note on the soy yogurt: Ferry House just received a bulk order of 24 oz. containers of WholeSoy Organic Unsweetened Plain Yogurt, the ingredients of which include simply soy milk, cornstarch, and live active vegan cultures. While I usually opt to exclude soy yogurt from my diet, due to the inclusion of various sugars and questionable chemical-esque products in most brands, I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with the WholeSoy yogurt thanks to its probiotic content, creamy texture, and short ingredient list. The yogurt lends a pleasing tang and velvety consistency to smoothies such as the one above.

As for the cereal, I slightly altered Amie Sue’s original recipe by substituting half of the rolled oats for raw buckwheat groats, replacing the pumpkin puree with that of apples, using two medjool dates in place of 2 tbsp of the maple syrup, and baking the cereal at 260° for about 90 minutes. The resulting cereal proved flaky, crunchy, and just the right balance of sweet and oaty (no, these two characteristics don’t seem like opposites, but think about how you would describe unsweetened, “hippie-crunchy” granola. Oaty, right?).

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter, soy yogurt, almond pulp in cereal. Whole Grain—rolled oats and buckwheat in cereal. Fruit—apple, banana, raspberries, goji berries, dates in cereal. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries.

Morning Tea: Numi’s Chocolate Pu-Erh tea.

Lunch: A saute of mushrooms, shredded brussels sprouts, kale, almond butter, and balsamic vinegar, topped with tangy marinated mixed beans and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, accompanied by two thick slices of Leek-Sundried Tomato Bread stuffed with the vegan mozzarella cheese from the Sept+Oct 2012 issue of VegNews (bread recipe inspired by Ricki Heller’s Cheese-Filled Onion and Olive Bread), drizzled with flax oil.

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Moist, dense, hearty, and oh-so-savory, the cheese-stuffed bread provided both novelty and immense flavor. However, I do wish that I had opted to employ a flour other than the quinoa, for its pronounced bitterness tended to overwhelm the palate’s experience of the bread. I would certainly still call this bread a huge success, though! My enthusiastic Ferry housemates would definitely agree.

My changes to Ricki’s original recipe: replaced olives with sundried tomatoes; substituted leeks for green onions; and used quinoa flour in place of amaranth flour, oat flour in place of millet flour, and chickpea flour in place of soy flour.

Meal Checklist: Protein—mixed beans, tahini, almond milk, flaxseed meal, chickpea flour (last four in bread), soy yogurt in mozzarella. Whole Grain—quinoa and oat flours in bread. Vegetables—mushrooms, leeks, sundried tomatoes. Leafy Greens—kale, brussels sprouts.

Afternoon Beverage: Choice Organic White Peony tea.

A bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha in Gingerade flavor.

Dinner: Three Polenta Sweet Corn Cakes topped with schmears of vegan mozzarella and accompanied by crisp greens tossed in a dressing of olive oil, Dijon mustard, cumin, nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar, and topped with both a salsa of tomatoes, cucumbers, mango, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice, as well as a dollop of tangy marinated mixed beans.

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Thanks to my dear housemates Tori and Alex for such a splendid dinner!

Meal Checklist: Protein—marinated mixed beans, soy yogurt in mozzarella. Whole Grain—cornmeal. Vegetables—corn, cucumber, cilantro, tomato, mango, jalapeno. Leafy Greens—lettuce.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: How do you feel about soy yogurt? Do you find the flavor of quinoa flour overwhelming? How do you temper its intensity?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #60

Breakfast: A rather unorthodox green smoothie of a large carrot, about 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp flaxseed meal, about 1/2 tsp each of spirulina and maca, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tsp peanut butter, five medium collard leaves, and 3/4 cup water, topped with the last of a batch of Matcha Green Tea Pistachio Biscotti—that I’ve kept from Christmas in my mini-fridge’s freezer—from Dreena Burton’s latest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan!.

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This unusual, carrot-based breakfast concoction topped with the dregs of my holiday cookies stems from a lack of my staple smoothie ingredients: no frozen bananas or apples to form the smoothie’s base, no almond milk to facilitate blending, no chia or hemp seeds for added omega-3’s or protein, and no granola to sprinkle on top. Oy vey! Though it certainly satisfied my hunger, the “smoothie” left my tastebuds feeling rather underappreciated—so much so that I immediately ran out to Vassar’s nearest health food store to purchase bananas and my two favorite seeds, baked up a loaf of walnut-and-wild-rice-laden Straun Bread from “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread” to slather with almond butter and serve alongside a tall glass of juice the next morning, and set out a bowl of almonds to soak. Ahh, everything has become right with Ali’s breakfast world once more.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—flaxseed meal, peanut butter, chickpea flour, pistachios (last two in biscotti). Whole Grain—brown rice flour in biscotti. Fruit—strawberries, goji berries. Leafy Green—collard greens. Superfood—flaxseed meal, spirulina, maca, goji berries. Added Veggie Bonus!—carrots.

Morning Tea: Numi’s Chocolate Pu-Erh tea.

I’ve reveled in the decadence of Numi’s Coconut Pu-Erh in the past, but opted to sample their Chocolate version at the recommendation of Gabby from the lovely blog, VeggieNook. Certainly living up to my expectations, this tea—deeply flavored and nicely balanced between sweet and bitter—has become my new staple morning beverage.

Lunch: A massaged kale salad consisting of 3 large leaves of curly green kale, four shredded brussels sprouts, and three large button mushrooms massaged with the Curried Almond Dressing from Dreena Burton’s Kale Slaw recipe and stirred together with alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, dulse seaweed flakes, and wild rice, dusted with nutritional yeast and topped with a dollop of kimchi from Hawthorne Valley.

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Yet another astronomic benefit of living in Vassar’s veg*n co-op known as Ferry House, a generous pile of kale constantly waits in the communal refrigerator, practically begging we Fairies to massage it with homemade dressing and a mess of mixed veggies. Since moving in to Ferry, I’ve happily obliged the demands of this crucifer during most of my lunches, and thus enjoy massaged kale salads even more often than I used to (which could never be a bad thing).

Meal Checklist: Protein—almonds in dressing. Whole Grain—wild rice. Vegetables—mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, kimchi veggies. Leafy Greens—kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage in sauerkraut, dulse seaweed.

Afternoon Beverage: Eden Organic Genmaicha green tea.

Dinner: A black bean-brown rice burger, loosely based off of Candle 79’s Chipotle Burgers, topped with caramelized onions and bell peppers as well as a slice of fresh tomato, accompanied by a pile of mixed salad greens tossed with the Curried Almond Dressing from Dreena Burton’s Kale Slaw recipe.

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My darling housemate Noah prepared the burgers and caramelized onions, while I supplemented the otherwise green-less dinner with some salad and dressing. Incidentaly, the burgers tasted especially divine when dipped in the dressing—though I suppose that anything would when slathered in one of Dreena Burton’s culinary creations.

Meal Checklist: Protein—black beans, almonds. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—onions, bell peppers, garlic, tomato. Leafy Greens—mixed salad greens.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: What do you have for breakfast when supplies are running low? What is your go-to morning tea? How often do you enjoy a kale salad? What is your favorite recipe of Dreena Burton’s?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #59

Breakfast: A juice of apple, kale, carrots, and beets, accompanied by a bowl of Cocoa-Pomegranate Granola garnished with goji berries, spirulina, and hemp seeds and moistened with a dash of homemade almond milk.

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breakfast (3)

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—flaxseed meal, walnuts, pistachios, hemp seeds, almond milk. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, millet, raw buckwheat groats. Fruit—apple, goji berries, pomegranate, prunes, coconut. Leafy Green—kale. Superfood—pomegranate, flaxseed meal, cacao nibs, goji berries, spirulina, hemp seeds. Added Veggie Bonus!—carrots, beets.

Local Ingredients: Apples from Wicklow Orchards.

Morning Tea: Numi’s Chocolate Pu-Erh tea.

Lunch: A massaged kale salad of curly green kale massaged with roasted sweet potato, Liquid Gold Dressing, and button mushrooms, mixed with julienned carrots, navy beans, dulse seaweed flakes, and a mix of amaranth and quinoa, all topped with sauerkraut and accompanied by a spoonful of peanut butter (unpictured).

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Meal Checklist: Protein—navy beans, peanut butter. Whole Grain—amaranth, quinoa. Vegetables—sweet potato, mushrooms, carrots. Leafy Greens—kale, cabbage in sauerkraut, dulse seaweed.

Local Ingredients: Sauerkraut from Perry’s Pickles (no website).

Afternoon Beverage: Rishi’s Cinnamon-Plum tea.

Dinner: A large bowl of vegan three-bean (pinto, black, and kidney) chili chock full of veggies—including onions, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers—dusted with nutritional yeast and accompanied by a simple, gluten-and-sugar-free apple crisp topped with walnuts and almonds sitting atop a pile of mixed salad greens.

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Meal Checklist: Protein—pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, walnuts, almonds. Whole Grain—none. Vegetables—onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, apples (fruit, but whatever)Leafy Greens—mixed salad greens.

Local Ingredients: None.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #58

Breakfast: A smoothie of 1/2 a honeycrisp apple, 1/2 a frozen banana, about 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp carob powder, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 4 large leaves of lacinato kale, and 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, accompanied by a Raisin-Almond Butter Cinnamon Roll adapted from “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread.”

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raisin cinnamon rolls (1)

Cinnamon roll close-up.

Forever enamored by the plethora of yeasty, hearty, whole-grain, scrumptiousness of the recipes featured in Jennifer Katzinger’s “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread,” I once again opened my already copiously stained copy of the cookbook I received just this Christmas to try my hand at another one of Jennifer’s sweeter offerings—Raisin Cinnamon Rolls. One of two cinnamon roll recipes featured in the cookbook (the other is for Pecan Cinnamon Rolls), these subtlely sweet, intensely-cinnamony rolls boast an extra helping of decadence due to their filling of maple butter and plumped raisins. However, because maple butter costs quite the pretty penny, I opted to employ roasted almond butter in its place, imparting an extra level of unctuousness to the rolls. Though these rolls prove superbly moist and light when enjoyed straight out of the oven, I’ve found that they do not keep well and turn rather dry and crumbly after a mere two days of sitting on the countertop. Thank goodness I only made half a batch! I’ve also slathered these cinnamon rolls in an Orange-Scented Fig Jam spiced with fresh rosemary to yield astoundingly tasty results.

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, almond milk, almond butter, garbanzo bean flour, chia seeds, almond meal (last three in cinnamon roll). Whole Grain—brown rice flour, teff flour. Fruit—apple, banana, blackberries, goji berries, raisins. Leafy Green—lacinato kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, goji berries, Amazing Grass powder, chia seeds, carob powder.

Local Ingredients: Kale from Don’s Produce (no website).

Morning Tea: Organic & Pure Peppermint White Tea.

Though I usually harbor an aversion to peppermint tea, the delicately sweet note of the digestion-friendly herb featured in this surprisingly complex tea blend nicely complements the almost perfume-like taste of white tea—perfect for quiet afternoon contemplation and aiding your gut after lunch.

Lunch: A Mushroom-Spinach Melt Sandwich of cashew cheese melted over the filling of Green Kitchen Stories’ Spiced Spinach and Mushrooms in Almond Tartlets in between two slices of the Focaccia recipe in “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread,” accompanied by a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, purple carrots, two spoonfuls of adzuki beans, and dulse seaweed flakes all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Fizzeology’s “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut.

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I recently experienced a bit of an epiphany in realizing that I could craft hot, melty, ooey gooey sandwiches in addition to their (still delicious) cold counterparts with all of the gluten-free bread-baking in which I’ve engaged lately. This Spinach-Mushroom Melt comprises the second hot sandwich I’ve created, right after my quite well-received Roasted Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese. After warming two slices of herbed focaccia on my built-in stove-top griddle, I piled on the spinach-mushroom saute offered by Green Kitchen Stories, topped it with three thin slices of cashew cheese, placed the now open-faced sandwich back on the griddle, and covered it with a large pot lid until the cheese melted, then slapped the second slice of focaccia on top. Yum.

Meal Checklist: Protein—cashews, adzuki beans, chia seeds, garbanzo bean flour, flaxseed meal (last three in bread). Whole Grain—teff, brown rice, and buckwheat flours in bread. Vegetables—onion, shiitake and crimini mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, purple carrots, sauerkraut veggies. Leafy Greens—spinach, mixed greens, dulse seaweed, greens in sauerkraut.

Local Ingredients: Purple carrots from JenEhr Family Farm, alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts from Troy Community Farm“Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology, mixed greens from Don’s Produce (no website), “farmhouse mix” sprouts from Garden to Be, spinach from Snug Haven.

Afternoon Beverage: Half a bottle of Reed’s Culture Club Goji Ginger Kombucha.

Though the locally produced NessAlla still wins the place in my heart dedicated to my favorite kombucha brand, the Goji Ginger flavor of Reed’s Culture Club kombucha could give NessAlla a run for its money. Tangy, sweet, and deeply flavored, this superfood-boosted kombucha tastes like a true work of fermented art. Funnily enough, Reed’s also produces my father’s favorite variety of ginger beer—perhaps I can fool him into trying this more nourishing beverage instead…

Dinner: A scrumptious vegan bowl of sprouted quinoa, roasted brussels sprouts leftover from my grilled cheese adventures, Black Pepper & Thyme Tofu adapted from Olives for Dinner, and Parsnip Bacon adapted from Food & Wine, all slathered in a dilly version of Christy Morgan’s Cashew Basil Aioli.

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I feel that this meal needs no explanation. How can one ever go wrong with a vegan bowl? I would like to offer one suggestion, however: run to the kitchen and make the Black Pepper & Thyme Tofu immediately. You won’t be sorry.

Also, on a quick recipe-related note, I subbed liquid smoke for the smoked sea salt in the Parsnip Bacon—my mother’s obsession with the concentrated smokiness of this genius product has now transferred over to me.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tofu, cashews. Whole Grain—sprouted quinoa. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, thyme, parsnips, dill. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts.

Local Ingredients: Parsnips from Driftless Organics.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: What is your favorite cinnamon roll filling? How about your favorite vegan hot sandwich? Have you tried/seen Reed’s kombucha before?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.

What I Ate Wednesday #57

Breakfast: A green juice of applecarrotkale, parsley, and lemon, blended with 1/2 an avocado, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, and 1 tbsp goji berries, accompanied by a hefty slice of Raspberry Rooibos-Tea Bread from Jennifer Katzinger’s “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread.”

avocado juice (1)

raspberry rooibos bread (1)

As with so many other healthy eating techniques and recipes (banana soft serve and perfect tofu burgers, anyone?), my virtual buddy Gena of Choosing Raw first introduced me to the notion of blending juiced veggies with avocado to yield a creamy beverage more substantial than yet just as nourishing as a standard green juice. Figuring that if I could blend avocado into my morning juice, I could amp up its nutritional content even further by also pureeing in hemp seeds and goji berries. New breakfast triumph!

I alluded to Jennifer Katzinger’s Raspberry-Rooibos Tea Bread in my last post on the gluten-free sandwiches in which I’ve recently reveled, promising more details in this post. The recipe that called to me the most earnestly out of Jennifer’s entire book, this bread did not disappoint my high expectations for it. The bread’s base of teff flour imparted a deep hue, hearty texture, and a unique flavor wavering between earthy and nutty, while the rooibos tea lent a slightly red tone and sophisticated taste. Each layer of the bread took on a distinct characteristic—the bottom proved oh-so-moist and chewy while the top held an almost coffee-cake-like crumbly texture. Studded with tart raspberries and only mildly sweet from a minimal amount of agave nectar, the bread appealed immensely to my sugar-sensitive tastebuds and provided a complex way to wake the palate after a night’s rest. The next time I make this recipe, I intend to incorporate a bit of cocoa powder as I think it will nicely complement the bread’s flavor; besides, aren’t raspberries and chocolate a match made in heaven?

Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds. Whole Grain—teff flour. Fruit—apple, avocado, goji berries, raspberries, lemon. Leafy Green—kale, parsley. Superfood—hemp seeds, goji berries. Added Veggie Bonus!—carrot.

Local Ingredients: Carrots from Tipi Produce.

Morning Tea: Triple Leaf Tea’s White Tea.

Lunch: A TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce, & Tomato) Sandwich with Avocado on Jennifer Katzinger’s Light Teff Sandwich Bread, accompanied by a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, carrots, and dulse flakes, all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with the “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology.

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If you haven’t yet witnessed me waxing poetic about my recent sandwich ventures, I encourage you to do so by checking out my latest post. There, you can find the details of the TLT with Avocado featured above.

As for the “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut, this month’s mix of lactofermented yumminess contains a surprising plethora of unorthodox vegetables, which I will now list to fulfill your veggie-loving needs: green and napa cabbage, bok choy, brussels sprout tops, black radish, red pepper, carrot, red beauty heart radish, onion, cilantro, turnip, burdock root, dandelion greens, lotus root, yellow dot, evening primrose seed, wild parsnip, garlic, delicata squash, bok choy root, wild carrot, lambs quarter seed, apple, eggplant. Um, wow.

Meal Checklist: Protein—tempeh, chia seeds, almond meal, flaxseed meal (last three in bread). Whole Grain—buckwheat and teff flours in bread. Vegetables—cherry tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, carrots, sauerkraut veggies. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, greens in sauerkraut.

Local Ingredients: Carrots from Tipi Produce, alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts from Troy Community Farm“Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology, tempeh from the Simple Soyman, mixed greens from Don’s Produce (no website), “farmhouse mix” sprouts from Garden to Be.

Afternoon Beverage: A glass of NessAlla Kombucha in their seasonal Cardamom Hibiscus Ginger flavor.

Dinner: Two of Dreena Burton’s Mushroom-Pecan Burgers topped with Julie Morris’ Superfood Goddess Dressing from her book “Superfood Kitchen“; a Mixed Veggie Slaw with Peanut Lime Dressing (recipe below); and the leftover wrappers and marinated veggies from the Raw Falafel and Hummus Wraps with Marinated Mediterranean Veggies that I brought to the raw potluck last weekend.

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Super hearty, densely textured, and wonderfully savory from a thoughtful combination of seasonings including miso, sage, oregano, balsamic vinegar, and tamari, Dreena’s Mushroom-Pecan Burgers filled in every box on the “Great Veggie Burgers” checklist. Slathered in Julie’s tangy Superfood Goddess Dressing—deemed as such due to the inclusion of hemp seeds, flaxseed oil, and Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder—the burgers provided a delectable focal point to my dinner.

I drew inspiration for the Mixed Veggie Slaw with Peanut Lime Dressing from Fresh Restaurant’s recipe for Tangled Thai Salad. My simplified version of the recipe I’ve provided below—I used most of the veggies listed in the recipe simply to clean out my refrigerator, so feel free to substitute any other veggies you like.

Mixed Veggie Slaw with Peanut Lime Dressing

Serves 4-6.


1 small head savoy cabbage, shredded
2 small beets, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup butternut squash cubes, shredded
1 medium bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground
2 tsp coconut milk (can sub any other plant-based milk)
3/4 tsp agave nectar
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

Place all of the veggies in a large bowl and toss to combine.

To make the dressing, place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well to coat.

Meal Checklist: Protein—pecans, tahini, flaxseed meal, peanut butter, hemp seeds. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats. Vegetables—butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, zucchini, bell peppers, beets, cucumbers. Leafy Greens—spinach, savoy cabbage, Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder.

Local Ingredients: Spinach from Snug Haven, beets from Harmony Valley Farm.

After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.

Comment Provoking Questions: Have you ever tried blending juice with avocado? What is your favorite sandwich? What veggies do you like to incorporate into slaws?

Happy WIAW!

Until next time, Ali.