Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Trader Joe's Haul and Some Meal Prep

Hey everyone. I hope you are well. Today's post is going to be quick. Things aren't great here. I have a family member in the hospital with a serious condition since Saturday so I've been pretty preoccupied and busy. I have a Trader Joe's haul and some meal prep to share but that's about it. I'm sorry I won't have time to catch up on your posts, I just need to focus on this family member when I'm not at work. I'm incredibly stressed out so I'm just going to do the best I can.

For produce I got some bananas, pears, nectarines, a tomato, and avocado, strawberries, butter lettuce, shredded cabbage, the Sesame Crunch chopped salad kit, and broccoli slaw.

For random stuff I got some tots, the chick'n tenders, soy creamer and almond milk.

For randomness I got some sourdough bread, veggie chips, inner peas, sunbutter cups and an espresso chocolate baton. I can't wait to try that.

For meal prep I made The Healthy Maven's Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal. The only changes I made was swapping out the walnuts for sliced almonds because that is what I had and adding chocolate chips.

I can assure you it tastes as good as it looks.

Trader Joe's had these adorable succulent skulls for $10. I didn't get one but I really wish I had. Oh well.

So that's all I have for you today. I'm probably not going to have a post on Friday because I just don't have the space in my head for it right now. I'll be back as soon as I can and hopefully all will be well. It seems like she is improving but they need to keep her there.

Anyway, thanks for stopping in and I'll be back as soon as I can. 💚

Friday, September 13, 2019

More Randomness

Hey everyone! I hope that you are well! It is Friday and we made it through another week (well, just about)! This week has been hectic again and my post today will reflect that. I have some very sad snacky type things to share. I wasn't really prepared this week and didn't really meal plan or prep so I was scrambling and it definitely taught me that I need to think about it in advance and get my life together, ha. I will be going grocery shopping this weekend and I will be planning and prepping so my meals should be so much better next week.

Anyway, here some random stuff I've been eating (mostly snacks).

One night toward the end of the week I was hungry, low on patience, ingredients and time so I made a delicious personal flatbread pizza and it was delicious. Just the comfort meal I wanted at that point.

I've been snacking on some delicious grapes as well. Fruit is seriously one of my favorite snacks.

I have some of these veggie straws in my desk in case I need an afternoon snack. I have an early lunch time so it's nice to have something around in case I get a little hungry later on.

I've been eating a banana with some almond butter for breakfast and have been enjoying it a lot. This one is a little green so I put it in a paper bag and it was good to go in the morning!

So there you have it. I am looking forward to regrouping over the weekend and getting some groceries and meal prepping. I will feel so much more confident going into my week if I am prepared and ready to go. I am also hoping to get a little art time in this weekend. It is my happy place and I've been missing it so hopefully I'll have some pieces to share with you next week.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 💚

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Some Randomness!

Hey everyone, I hope you are well and that you had a nice weekend! Mine was nice but unfortunately flew by way too quickly. I'm still struggling to adjust to my new schedule and new life but I know it'll click and fall into place. For now I'm doing the best that I can. Which is why I have the most random post for you today, ha! I have a little meal prep, some random food I ate and also a new vegan beauty product that I am going to try. I thought it would be fun to share it all with you.

Up first is a vegan beauty product that I'm excited to try. I've been looking to try a new skin care routine (or a skin care routine in general, let's be honest) and I figured starting with a good cleanser was a perfect place to start. I wear makeup more often now thanks to the new job and my skin is such a disaster. I have really sensitive skin that is so red most of the time and it gets even more irritated by makeup remover and just makeup in general. It sucks because I like to give my skin a break but it's so red that I don't particularly want to do that during the week. Anyway, I used to use a cleanser called Fresh Farmacy from Lush but hadn't purchased it in a while. I was going to head over and get it again because I really liked it but decided to make sure they still had it online before heading in and saw the rating was SUPER LOW. It seems like they changed the formula and people HATE it. So I saved some money by not buying it and I have heard that Pacifica makes some great cleansers. I am going to give this one a try and see how it goes! I'll make sure to update you after a few weeks of use.

And now some food:

I've been enjoying these plums lately. I think they are called dinosaur plums? Did I make that up because dinosaurs are awesome? Anyway, these plums are incredible, so sweet and juicy! I love them.

Of course I had a bagel this weekend. I used my own Tofutti at home so there isn't an obscene amount like when I go to the bagel store and have them do it. It was amazing, as always.

I brought this delicious sandwich for lunch yesterday. I made it on a roll this time and it has hummus, tofurky, thick slices of home grown tomato and tons of shredded lettuce. OMG so good. I had this with a plum and it was amazing.

Unfortunately that is all I have for you today. I will probably share more stuff I ate on Friday and then I hope to do something fun for next week! Hopefully I'll be able to get my life together by then 😂 I hope you all have a great week and I'll see you on Friday!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Stuff I Ate: My First Week At My New Job!

Hello my friends! I hope that you are all doing well! Today is the last day of my first week at my new job! It has been exhausting and stressful. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do all the time. It's great because time flies but it's been really difficult for me when I feel lost and need help. I came from a place where I've been there for 11 years and just knew what to do. Now it feels like I'm trying to keep my head above water. I'm glad today is Friday and that the weekend is coming up. I have been sleeping so much more this week (which is great because I typically don't sleep well) and I'm looking forward to resting over the weekend. I'll have to figure out some meal prep as well and I'm sure that'll find its way onto this blog 😉 I am still working on getting used to this schedule and daily routine (I went from a 10:00-6:00 schedule 7 minutes away to an 8:30-5:00 schedule 40 minutes away) and I will catch up on all of your blogs this weekend! I promise!

I wanted to keep things easy for myself this week so I decided to just photograph the meals I've been eating and wanted to share those with you today. I'm going to try to get something fun up for you next week but for today, let's check out some stuff I've been eating this week as I get settled into my new routine!

I have been eating a lot of Asian Chopped salad kits. This one was one that I got from a regular grocery store and I also had one from Trader Joe's. I love these. They are so quick and easy. I think that I'm going to try and make my own next week by just getting my own veggies and chopping and dressing them myself. I can get more bang for my buck and it is a great, easy meal to have on hand.

This beige delight is some of the Morningstar Farms Popcorn Chicken and some Tater Tots from Trader Joe's. Not healthy at all but so delicious and a comfort meal for sure.

I've been making sandwiches to bring to work with me on some days (other days I've brought salad). It is a very basic sandwich because I don't have much at home. It is made on sourdough bread with tofurky slices, butter lettuce and some hummus. Definitely basic but so delicious and easy to make ahead of time (the bread doesn't get soggy despite the lettuce and hummus!).

This is the Sesame Crunch Chopped Salad (or whatever it is called) from Trader Joe's. You guys. The toppings that you mix in make this salad the best. It has nori, sesame sticks and cashews. So freaking good. I made a few pieces of the cauliflower tempura from Trader Joe's to enjoy with the salad. This meal was perfect. I brought the rest of the salad for lunch the next day.

Finally, I've been snacking on Skinny Pop White Cheddar Popcorn since finding out it was vegan. It's so damn good. I've missed popcorn in general (I don't know why I stopped eating it!) and white cheddar flavor is definitely a treat when you are vegan! My current favorite snack for sure.

So that is what I have for you today. It has been a crazy week and I'm looking forward to relaxing and catching up on your blogs and my comments. I hope you've all had a wonderful week and I'll see you back here next week! 💚

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Trader Joe's Haul

Hey friends! I hope you are all well! Thank you all so much for all of your kind words and nice feedback about my MoFo posts. I'm really glad I accepted that challenge and really did have a great time posting all month. Today is my first day of work and I'm really excited about this new chapter in my life. It is still surreal knowing that I am not going back to the same place I had gone every workday for 11 years but the new beginning is very exciting. I'm looking forward to sharing how it went with you!

For today's post I have something I haven't done in a little while! I haven't been to Trader Joe's in a while and after receiving a gift card I figured it was time to pay a visit. I got some fun stuff and thought I'd do a Trader Joe's haul post, just like the good ol' days 😉

From the freezer section I got some Tater Tots, Veggie Spring Rolls, Cauliflower Tempura, Corn and some Shredded Hash Browns (I have something in mind, ha!).

For produce I got some butter lettuce, the Sesame Crunch Chopped Salad Kit, some peaches and a head of cauliflower.

Then I got the fun stuff 😉A loaf of Sourdough bread, Inner Peas, Dolmas, Chocolate Hummus (!), Mediterranean hummus, some marshmallows because they are seasonal and will likely disappear soon and then some Sunbutter Cups (these can be hard to find too so I loaded up). 

So that was my fun haul! I have a little bit of produce left to fill in as well as some things in the freezer. I will likely share some stuff I've been eating on Friday as I get my bearings this week and then hopefully I'll be able to share some more fun stuff next week 💚

Friday, August 30, 2019

Vegan MoFo 2019: Vegan MoFo Wrap Up

Hi my friends! I hope that you are all doing well! I can't believe I made it through Vegan MoFo without missing a single intended post. And honestly, I'm really proud of the posts I did put out there. I did my best to remain creative and keep the content as fresh as possible. My biggest goals were to use this month to revitalize my blog, gain new inspiration and more creativity in the kitchen and to keep up with the schedule. I feel like I've achieved all of these goals and I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm exhausted but really proud of what I accomplished. I just want to thank all of you that stuck with me for the entire month and I truly hope that you enjoyed the content I put out and that you were inspired as well 💚

I figured I would go with the prompt from the MoFo site and just do a general conclusion/wrap up post. I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that I enjoyed most from my MoFo journey. 

First and foremost, I LOVED following all of your amazing blogs!! I loved following Susan's super creative ABC theme, Julie's "Elementary, My Dear Vegan" theme, Food For Dissertating's AMAZING vegan Bento ideas, Jennifer's CSA adventures and all of the other amazing, creative vegans out there! I have gotten so many amazing ideas from them and I can't wait to start trying them out in my own kitchen so thanks for the inspiration everyone!!

As for highlights from my own blog (is that obnoxious? Probably but oh well?) I would have to say that sharing some of the amazing vegan options Long Island has to offer has been really fun for me! I've only barely scratched the surface but it has been great getting out and exploring some of the places that I've been wanting to try!

The sesame chick'n has definitely been a highlight for me and I'm glad I got to share Little Fu's with you!

Finally getting to That Pizza Place was definitely a highlight! I'm so glad I went and tried all of this amazing food and that I was able to share the glory of garlic knot crust with you! 😂

The most special post to me was where I talked about Zen Garden, the amazing restaurant where I shared a meal with Doug before he tragically passed. This restaurant is not only DELICIOUS but it holds a very special place in my heart and being able to share my experience there with you was truly THE highlight for me. I'm glad I was able to introduce you to Doug a little more through that post because he was truly a special person.

Of course the Rocky Road bar from Sweet to Lick was another amazing highlight!

In addition to trying these amazing restaurants (which I will absolutely continue in the future) I also finally tapped into my Pinterest pins and tried out a few of the recipes.

The Ambitious Kitchen's chickpea blondies and this incredible sundae were definitely a must try from me! So so delicious with less guilt for the actual blondie (I mean there is ice cream sooooooo yeah).

FINALLY trying the Viet Vegan's Tteokbokki recipe was another highlight. I have made it again and will continue to enjoy it because it's freaking awesome! Another recipe I would highly recommend trying!

Finally, I really enjoyed taste testing lots of fun products that have been new to me. 

The "thin mint" type of cookie from Aldi was a really great treat! I love thin mints and wouldn't mind having a package of these in the freezer at all times 😂

The Mahalo bar was SO AMAZING! It was also a nice gesture from a new friend that I shared the amazing concert experience with in the beginning of August. I've had a lot of really beautiful moments with new friends this month and it is another reason why this has all been so special.

WHITE CHEDDAR POPCORN IS BACK IN MY LIFE! I was so excited to learn that this was vegan and even more excited when I tried it and it was delicious! Now I just need to get all of the bags the next time I see them 😂

So there you have it, some of the highlights of MoFo for me. If I had to put it into a nutshell, I'd say the thing I enjoyed most about my own journey has been getting out and experiencing more of the vegan scene around me. This blog has been called Long Island Vegan for a long time but I haven't really been showing you what Long Island has to offer. Until now. I'm really excited to spend more of my time on this blog sharing all of the amazing things Long Island and the surrounding areas have to offer. I am also excited to tackle my Pinterest list and share everything with you. And you know I'll continue sharing my meals and hauls with you. It feels so good to be re-invigorated.

So, for now, I will be taking the weekend off and then going back to my twice per week schedule as I adjust to my new job, new schedule and new routine. Once I have it all well managed I will probably try to add on at least one more post per week. I will definitely let you know when the time comes 😃 What have been some of your MoFo highlights? What did you see here that you'd love to see more of in the future? Is there anything you'd like to see less of or not at all. Let me know, I am so curious to know what you think and what you are enjoying!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend and I'll be back here next week 💚 Thank you all so much for taking the time out to come here and read my ramblings. It truly means so much to me!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Vegan MoFo 2019: Taste Testing New To Me Products!

Hi my friends! I hope you are all doing well! For today's post I thought it would be fun to taste test and review some of the new to me products that I've found recently. Some may be new to the market and I believe some have been out for a while but I've never tried any of it. I thought a roundup would be a fun MoFo post! I can't believe it's almost over! I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of relieved. The last week has been stressful with house/pet sitting and posting 5 days per week is exhausting!

Anyway, let's check out some cool products!

I heard that Skinny Pop popcorn had a Vegan White Cheddar option out there and I knew I had to try it! I found an individual bag of it and picked it up to see how it was. Before I get into the review, I will say that I did see a Cheddar option that was not vegan so make sure you check before purchasing! I think the non-vegan bag was orange.

I love popcorn and I particularly love Skinny Pop. I don't know why but it is my popcorn of choice (I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just love their popcorn) and I always get the regular one. Once I heard that this White Cheddar flavor was vegan I knew I had to get on it quickly. You guys. This shit is SO GOOD. At first the cheddar flavor is quite subtle but it actually builds a bit and it's really delicious. I will DEFINITELY be repurchasing this!

Up next I have the American Flatbread Vegan Harvest Pizza. This was on sale down from $9.99 to $5.99. The pizza is small and very thin. I ate half and wasn't super satisfied to be honest. It may have been because I hadn't eaten much that day or because I was just hungry but it wasn't satisfying. Anyway, the flavor was fine, it wasn't a bad pizza but it wasn't even worth the sale price of $5.99, never mind the original price of $10. I enjoyed the flavor of it but I wouldn't re-purchase. I like my flatbread pizzas that I make and my money goes a lot further that way.

Up next we have the new Morningstar Popcorn Chick'n!! OMG you guys, this stuff is so good! I tried them on their own for this dinner and loved them. They get nice and crispy, taste great and are super fun! These would be amazing in a salad or in a wrap or even on a pizza! I love them and will definitely repurchase!

Up next I tried the Gardein Sausage and Homestyle Gravy Breakfast bowl. It was a little weird because everything kind of tasted like the real versions. The egg like product freaked me out the most because it looked so real. The Gardein sausage is great and I love that they use chunks of potato with the skin on. I actually liked this bowl but I do wish it came with more gravy and that it was on the side in one of the sauce packets you get with stir fries (I totally agree with you The Student-turned-Doctor!). I just think it would work that way and I really wanted more of that gravy. Otherwise I really did enjoy it. I would totally have it again for a quick meal.

Finally, I tried the Kite Hill tortellini and the Follow Your Heart shredded parmesan cheese. The tortellini was pretty good! I am not a pasta person so it's hard for me to really get behind pasta but this was definitely good. The flavor was great and it had a nice texture. The only thing that was weird to me was that the filling kind of stuck to my mouth, almost like peanut butter does. It was definitely good but I doubt I'd purchase it again for the hefty $10 price tag. If you love pasta and are missing tortellini I bet you'll love this!

I tried some of the parmesan on the pasta and then I also made parmesan garlic bread on the side. I freaking loved the garlic bread. I had been craving it for so long and I finally satisfied that craving and it was delicious. The parmesan is by far the best vegan parm I've ever tried. I really loved it.

So there are some new (to me) products that I've recently tried! Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of them? 💚