What I Ate Wednesday: Healthy Snacks and…Not So Healthy

Dear All, it’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday! Are you excited??!??!? I am!
Yesterday I won a facebook contest from a local theater for a Beatles movie poster and a free bag of popcorn. Yes I drive 30 minutes roundtrip for a little bag of popcorn. Totally worth it 😀 I listened to the Let it Be album the whole time. Anyway. Let’s begin.

What I Ate Wednesday: Hummus Plate | Orthodox and Vegan
I started off nice and healthy with a small plate of sliced cucumber (sprinkled with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast), and toasted Ezekiel bread with hummus. I prefer homemade hummus, but I had to buy some for an event in a pinch and this was leftover. Hummus is super easy to make if you have the time, but store-bought will do, if you must.
I also had a fat veggie sandwich with hummus and eggplant mousse for dinner. I will share the eggplant mousse recipe with you soon!

What I Ate Wednesday: Theater Popcorn | Orthodox and Vegan
Then, as I said, I had my little bag of theater popcorn…plus the refill I got to-go. With extra butter-flavored oil, and salt. Maybe it’s not the same at every theater, but most use a yellowy oil with artificial butter flavor instead of actual butter. It is still really fattening, of course.

What I Ate Wednesday: Brownie Crisps | Orthodox and Vegan
And just to round out my flawed diet, I finished up a bag of Lucy’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisps – vegan and gluten free! I bought them at Costco. Costco is where I buy my Ezekiel bread, two loaves for $7 (it costs at least $5.50 per loaf everywhere else I’ve found it in town, and and sometimes as much as $7 each!). They also have vegan black bean burgers, non dairy milk, almond butter, and lots of other good stuff at a reasonable price (in fact, that’s where I bought the hummus). And lot of nice produce for salads in case you are more disciplined than I.

What’s your favorite place to shop for vegan food? Tell us in the comments below!

What I Ate Wednesday: Mostly Junk Food

Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to start What I Ate Wednesday posts for a while now, so today I decided to just go through my phone and grab a few pictures for you. This is just another way to show you the many vegan options available. Today I’m accidentally focusing on the fact vegans don’t necessarily eat healthy food all the time. I just randomly chose these pictures, I promise I don’t eat cake and caramel sauce every day! Although I would love to 🙂 Anyway, here’s What I Ate!

What Vegans Eat: Salad Art with Edible Flowers | Orthodox and Vegan
So, we’re starting off pretty nicely. My mom made this gorgeous salad for a dinner party last month. As I have mentioned before, Tiger Lilies (Day Lilies) are edible. We also have salad greens, fresh veggies, and sunflower seeds for protein and a touch of healthy fat.

What I Ate Wednesday: Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Ice Cream | Orthodox and Vegan
For a Young Adults outing, a few of us met up for Movies in the Park. There were several food trucks out, some with vegan options such as fries and tacos, but I opted for this chocolate-dipped peanut butter bar from Love’s Ice Cream (non-dairy, of course).

What I Ate Wednesday: Coco Jam Caramel Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
I found this Coco Jam at the nearby Asian market. It’s not jam, though – it’s a caramel sauce! Perfect for topping your vegan ice cream, drizzling over vegan brownies, or eating straight from the jar with a spoon….

What I Ate Wednesday: Hotdogs & Potato Salad | Orthodox and Vegan
For a recent birthday celebration my family decided to have a picnic lunch at the park. Pretty much everyone else had traditional hotdogs with American potato salad, but I was lucky enough to have vegan hotdogs and Syrian potato salad (Syrian potato salad is waaaaaaaay better).

What I Ate Wednesday: Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake & Ice Cream | Orthodox and Vegan
Afterwards we had vegan cake! I ordered a chocolate cake with caramel filling and caramel drizzle from Rise Grand Rapids. All their stuff is vegan and gluten free and absolutely delicious.

So, I can’t recommend eating these kinds of things every day, but I can say you should never have to feel deprived on a vegan diet. Vegans can have cake, ice cream, chocolate, and pretty much anything else that can give you diabetes (aren’t we lucky).

That said, there are plenty of healthy sweets out there, too. For example, this 6-Ingredient Chocolate Caramel Slice recipe by Blissful Basil featuring almond butter, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup.

So much for the old grass-clippings jokes! What are your favorite vegan indulgences, healthy or otherwise? Let us know down below in the comments!

Food Fight! Grocery in Portland

Sooooo, I haven’t made anything very interesting lately. I’m working on a new jackfruit recipe, but until then, thought I’d take you on a tour of Food Fight! Grocery. This is my favorite place to shop when I’m in Portland. The first time I went it reminded me of a little gas station convenience store, complete with pay-by-weight nachos and a vegan nacho cheese pump! I wish they would bring that back. But anyway, there are a million other things to try. I shared a little something with you last year, but this time I tried to take pictures of everything.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Being in a place like this makes you feel like a normal person. Ya know, instead of feeling so…vegan 🙂

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Tons of fancy cheeses. The Chao is a bit expensive compared to Whole Foods, but still cheaper than Harvest Health Foods here in Grand Rapids.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
A bunch of veggie meats ranging from major brands you can find almost anywhere, to random stuff I normally only see at the Asian market.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Frozen pizza, hot pockets, TV dinners.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
MOAR vegan meats!

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
I did not know these existed. Next time I promise I’ll try them!

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Corn dogs! Mac n Cheese Strudel!!!

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
I always see Alpendough on What Fat Vegans Eat, I wanted to try every flavor. I didn’t have time 🙁

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
So. Many. Cheez sauces.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
At least 7 kinds of vegan jerky here.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Cookies. Cotton Candy. Marshmallow treats.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Four kinds of boxed mac n cheese. I’ve tried all but one now!

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
I’m dying. I only really had 2 full days to eat, and no checked bag to bring liquid-type stuff home, or this aged nut cheese sauce would’ve been mine!

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
I haven’t yet found veggie haggis in Grand Rapids.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
So this was my tiny haul – and the croissant (filled with pizza toppings) and Charlie Brown bar in the foreground actually came from Sweetpea Baking Co.

From Food Fight I grabbed Tofurky pockets, mac n cheese strudel, pizza-flavored mac n cheese from So Delicious, a couple bags of $1 snack thingies, two kinds of fancy cheese, Sweet & Sara graham crackers, a caramel, and a wonderful all-natural vegan deodorant by Schmidt’s (btw, it’s the best deodorant I’ve ever used).

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
I couldn’t stop eating these things. I put them in tacos and filled them with cheese…think I have pictures of that somewhere.

Food Fight Vegan Grocery Portland, OR
Speaking of cheese. It was a really sad day when I had to go home and leave a bunch of this in my BFF’s fridge because it was opened and wouldn’t have made it past TSA. I ate as much as I possibly could. Next time I’ll try harder.

Have you ever shopped at someplace like Food Fight Grocery? Would you pay $25 to check a bag just so you can bring special treats home?

International Vegan Junk Food Day: What Junk Food Vegans Eat

Wouldn’t you know International Vegan Junk Food Day would be August 29th, the day of the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, which happens to be a strict fasting day. But I have also been wanting to do a “What do vegans eat” kind of post, so while I probably won’t eat anything fried or drenched in olive oil today (or round, or on a platter, or cut with a knife) I will gladly share a junk food edition of What Vegans Eat.

So yeah. Whenever someone asks, “You’re a vegan? So…what can you eat???” I freeze up and have no idea what to say because a million things come to mind at once. First there’s the entire produce section at the grocery store, and all the countless things you can create with the numberless combinations of fruits and vegetables. Then you have grains, nuts, seeds, and SUGARY THINGS. There are nut milks, and seed milks, and grain milks. There are vegan meats and cheeses. Entire frozen meals and roasts.

It’s SO easy to be vegan these days, not like 17 years ago when I was lucky to find margarine and soy milk at the health food store. Now we can get doughnuts! But if you’re still at a loss trying to imagine these things, allow me to show you, in no particular order…

Vegan Cookies and Spiked Coffee, What Vegans Eat
Homemade cookies and spiked coffee. There are a TON of vegan egg substitutes for baking (just-add-water powders, mashed banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, baking soda + vinegar, to name a few), and several vegan margarines to replace butter – or experiment with nut and seed butters or oil.
You can also find cookies from Alternative Baking Company, GoodBites, Uncle Eddie’s, and many more online or at health food stores.

And the booze? Most booze is vegan!

Red Rabbit Bakery Doughnuts, What Vegans Eat
Here in Grand Rapids, MI we are lucky to find vegan doughnuts from Propaganda Doughnuts and Rise! Grand Rapids, and occasionally Bartertown Diner. In Texas, there’s Red Rabbit Cooperative in Austin, and Reverie Bakeshop in Richardson. Sweetpea Baking Company or Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, OR. Dun-Well Donuts in Brooklyn. Sweet Freedom Bakery in Philadelphia. Glazed and Infused in Orlando. BeetBox Bakery and Cafe in Denver. You get the idea.

Trader Joe's Speculoos and Peanut Butter Pretzels, What Vegans Eat
If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you’ll have all kinds of fun options, but if you can’t get your hands on the specific brands they sell, you can usually find something similar at your regular grocery store (in this case, Biscoff Spread and H.K. Anderson peanut butter filled pretzels are sold all over the place).

Vegan Burrito Moe's
You can get vegan tacos and burritos from Moe’s, Chipotle, Qdoba, and even Taco Bell! In fact most Mexican restaurants have TONS of vegan options.

Vegan Boxed Macaroni and Cheese
Think you’ll miss the days of quick, convenient boxed mac n cheese? NOPE. Earth Balance even uses similar packets of bright orange cheese-flavored powder!

Non-Dairy Vegan Cheese
And speaking of, we do okay without dairy-based cheese, too. Daiya, Chao, Go Veggie, Follow Your Heart, and Tofutti are some of the big brands out there, not to mention all the recipes you can find for making your own spreads & blocks at home. The vegan cheese scene is improving every day!

Meaty Vegan Sandwich
Arby’s has nothing on meaty vegan sandwiches – we have Qrunch Burgers, Boca Burgers, Amy’s Burgers, tons of smaller brands that can be found at health food stores, and all kinds of deli slices from Field Roast, Tofurky, Yves, and Light Life just to name a few. There are hot dogs, sausages, roasts, chic’n patties, sliders, battered “fish” (checkout Sophie’s Kitchen brand) and whatever else you can think of, we can and probably already have VEGANIZED IT.

Wait. I know what’s coming next. Let me cover this right now:

Cruelty Free Vegan Bacon
Yes, we thought about this, too. There are plenty of vegan bacon options out there, and lots you can make at home.

Dollop Vegan Frosting
Yes, you can even still eat canned frosting by the spoonful 😀 Nom Nom Nom I found Dollop at Meijer (also available at Wegmans, on Amazon, and at Nooch Vegan Market in Denver), along with a few really junky (but yummy and milk-free) brands. In fact, you can find All Kinds of Vegan Things at Meijer, and probably most grocery chains near you.

Make an Amazing Peanut Butter Cake with Caramel Sauce
You can still enjoy a fabulous birthday cake, too! Making your own is easy (from scratch or from a box), but many bakeries do vegan cakes these days, too.

Check out:
Chocolate Cake Recipe from the Minimalist Baker
Vanilla Cake Recipe from The Cake Merchant
Peanut Butter Cake Recipe from Oh She Cooks!
Carrot Cake Recipe from Love & Lemons

Aquafaba Vegan Marshmallow Fluff
And now we have discovered….AQUAFABA, the liquid from cooked beans. It can be whipped up to make vegan meringues and marshmallow fluff. It’s the most vegan thing ever, and it is delicious and amazing.
Look at the Macrons from Crazy Vegan Kitchen made with aquafaba!

Vegan Onion Rings from Stella's in Grand Rapids, MI
Here in Grand Rapids, MI, we have a wonderful bar that serves vegan burgers, potato wings (fried potato wedges coated in wing sauce), a vegan meatloaf dinner, and huge, indulgent beer-battered onion rings, among other things. In fact, you can read about every vegan-friendly (or not so friendly) restaurant I’ve been to in GR by visiting my Vegan in Grand Rapids page.

Koyo Vegan Ramen
Are you kind of person that likes to live off ramen? That’s okay. Top Ramen and Nissan both offer vegan flavors, or for three times as much ($1/ea in these parts) you can upgrade to Koyo brand ramen, made with organic ingredients and heirloom wheat.

Do you see what I’m saying here? YOU CAN DO IT! You can eat good things, and bad things that taste good, and never feel deprived, and be sweet to the animals, and lower your cholesterol. Today is about junk food, but there are a bazillion clean vegan options to balance this stuff out (or not). The point is, it’s easy. So what’s your excuse? GO VEGAN!

Find recipes and inspiration for International Vegan Junk Food Day on my Junk Food Fix page!