Tag Archives: Vegetarian

The Most Amazing Pink Juice Ever Created

24 Jun

This post is a little off topic for me, since I rarely post about my amazing domestic creations – but the juice I made last night was so incredible, delicious, and gorgeous I just couldn’t help myself. I have to share it with the world. I want everyone to be as delighted with this juice as I am. Life changing. Sheer JOY.

Behold: The Pretty Pink Juice (not just for women)

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How did I make this amazing thing you ask? Well, I am totally willing to spill the beans

The Pretty Pink Juice (How To):

Ingredients:

1 medium beet (raw, but peeled)

2 large carrots (peeled)

2 celery stalks

1 red apple (any kind will do, except for red delicious. I despise red delicious)

1 handful of red grapes

1 splash of coconut water (stirred in – obvi not through the juicer)

Place all ingredients in the juicer, mix in coconut water, add a couple ice cubes and a cute straw and enjoy!

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PS. I do not peel my apples, I just chop em up with the fun little apple slicer

PPS. Did you know you can just throw a top on your mason jar and keep this in the fridge for up to 2 days?? I learned that on Google so if you do that and die please don’t blame me.

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I hope this fabulous juice recipe has inspired you to make one and become as happy as I was last night… have fun!

A Year in Review… Asia, Europe and back to the States

9 Jan
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A truck in Hong Kong

One year ago from today I was packing my bags in Bangkok, Thailand and beginning the long trek back home to Florence, Italy. At this moment in time, I was a little confused about where my life was going. I was no longer sure that I wanted to stay in Europe, but I couldn’t think of another place that I was ready to call home. I decided to take the last few months I had before my sisters April wedding and just sit in Florence and think, feel, reflect. Things people normally do when they need to make a major decision in the course of their lives. Well a year has gone by and what have a accomplished? (So cliche using the passing of a year to reflect on ones life but get over it, its happening). In my life, according to my standards I’d say… a lot. More than I could have ever imagined on that day sitting in my Bangkok hotel room.

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Thai food in Thailand

1. I’ve let go of people in my past that had to be let go of (a tough thing to do in life). I think this is something I’m most proud of, since its a very hard decision to let go of things and people that no longer serve you. Sometimes we use the past as a safety net, not wanting to let go for fear of missing out on something that “might be”. But holding on to the past will only inhibit your future.

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Drinking a watermelon smoothie on the Island of Koh Chang, Thailand

2. I decided that I needed to return to the States. After more than 2 years of constant travel, I finally realized that I had to go home for “a little while”. This has since turned into a long while, being that up until a few months ago I was still convinced that one day I would be returning to my old life in Europe (more about that later).

2. I started my first business with my dad and finally listened to his words of wisdom. Examples of Dad’s words of wisdom:

  • “If you make enough money, you’ll always be able to return to Europe”
  • “If you don’t get a job I will stop paying for your shenanigans”
  • “Listen to what I say, not what I do”
  • “Just listen to me, I am the boss”
  • “You probably don’t need to be eating that second piece of cake”

He’s so wise in so many ways. Especially about the cake.

3. okay, get ready, this is going to sound super corny. Reason number 3: I fell in love. When I never thought I would. Did I just get lucky? Was I in the right place at the right time? Did I have anything to do with making this happen at all or did the universe just slowly guide me to that bar in downtown Raleigh? Maybe my dad was right all along, “listen to me and I will find you a husband”. (and he’s the one that convinced me to move to Raleigh, coincidence?)

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Working the Hong Kong metro

I always believed in the power of love, that love could move mountains, heal illnesses, stop a war if you loved hard enough. But I never thought love in all its power could keep me from Italy. But if you asked me now which I would choose, love or a life in Italy? Well, I’ll let you answer that one.

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Wes and myself on his birthday

This past year has taught me a lot about myself and my life. I’ve learned that I can order vegetarian food in thai, traverse my way through the Hong Kong metro system, that the laws of the Italian visa system don’t apply to you if you don’t want them to, that I can give up on old dreams and begin working on new ones, that I can feel so much love in my life that if I think about it long enough it will bring me to tears. All this and more has happened in just 12 months and I wouldn’t change a single second of it, because it brought me to where I am right now, still not completely sure of where my life will take me, but unafraid of where its leading.

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A night at the NC State Fair (fried oreos included)

28 Oct

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Its that time of year again! The North Carolina State Fair… rides, pig races, games, ginormous vegetables and lots of food that is fried, fried, FRIED. While I like to pride myself on being healthy, I am secretly a fried food, cheese puff, dessert loving poor excuse of a  vegetarian. While I absolutely love fruit smoothies and vegetables, I’ll be the first to tell you that ANYTHING tastes better fried. Including oreos. Therefore, I dedicate this post to the NC State Fair and all of its versions of fried food. This list includes, oreos, candy bars, cheese, vegetables, dough, and BUTTER. Yes, there is such a thing as fried butter and it can be purchased for a ridiculously over priced fee at the State Fair (I don’t know, however, what this fee is because I knew that by asking the butter frier how much his fried butter costs I would have been too easily convinced to purchase and consume the fried butter- as an avid baker and semi trained pastry chef I have a strong bond with butter)

List of fried foods

List of fried foods

Now lets get to the Oreos —  Even though I just went on a rant about how much I love terrible food, for obvious reasons I do not consume them on a daily basis and only reserve myself one night a year to indulge in fried Oreos. If you haven’t already guessed that night is the State Fair (or any fair that has fried Oreos – so yes I ate them a few weeks ago at the MNO Party — hehehe!!)

Dousing my beloveds in powdered sugar

Dousing my beloveds in powdered sugar

After having to wait an excruciating 4.5 minutes for our Oreos to be freshly fried , my little babies were finally in my hands. They were fresh out of the frier and piping hot.  But that didn’t stop me.

HERE THEY ARE

HERE THEY ARE

Next are a series of photos documented by my little Wesley

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Next, a picture of Wes and Myself after the massacre.

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 He’s terrified and disgusted at the same time. His face explains it all, he is definitely rethinking his choice in women. He’s not sure wether to laugh or cry, stay or leave. Just eat an Oreo Wesley, just eat an Oreo.

He eats an Oreo and his faith in our relationship is restored.

Giant pumpkin winners

Giant pumpkin winners

 We finish walking the rest of the fair and saw the winners of the giant vegetable challenge (that may not be the actual name of the event). The biggest pumpkin was over 700 pounds!

After moseying around in the cold a bit more, we finished the night off with some fried mozzarella sticks and a vow to never eat like that again. Until next year. At the North Carolina State Fair.

A surprise visit to Toronto, Ontario

24 Oct

This past weekend I was granted the pleasure of surprising one of my friends, Laura Aloise, in Toronto, Ontario (In case you weren’t sure, yes, that’s in Canada). She is currently living there after moving from Florence, Italy where we met!

Little piece of the Toronto skyline

Little piece of the Toronto skyline

Let me do a quick recap of how this all came together. A few weeks ago, Laura’s boyfriend Mikey found me on Facebook and asked me to help him plan a surprise for his beautiful girlfriend. At first, the plan was for him to send Laura down to me in Raleigh so she could have a little getaway, but after some deliberation we decided that it would be nearly impossible to pull that off since she would eventually have to find out where she was going. Example, you can’t just force someone to go through customs at the airport and get on an airplane bound to God knows where with them blindfolded. It just wouldn’t work. So we changed the plan to me flying to Toronto to surprise her! Makes much more sense.

Mikey was suppose to pick me up from the airport, bring me to their apartment, then wait in silence until she arrived totally unsuspecting. But when I landed Mikey surprised me with a giant stretch limo and a driver! Very fancy.

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A few hours later Mikey and I were anxiously waiting with glasses of champagne to hear Laura’s footsteps down the hall. Our plan when she opened the door was to jump out and and attack her like female fight club (Bridesmaids anyone?) but we ditched that plan at the last minute for lots of hugs and champagne toasts!

Champagne Toasts!

Champagne Toasts!

When she opened the door and saw me standing there she screamed like a hyena then became utterly confused and said “wait, I don’t understand, how did you get here??” and I responded, “an airplane and a stretch limo brought me!”

Fresh juice at fresh!

Fresh juice at fresh!

 

We spent the remainder of our weekend basically just stuffing our faces. The food in Toronto is utterly divine. Our favorite restaurant is a vegan/vegetarian place called Fresh that we ate at twice in 2 days. Everything is local, organic, vegan and delicious! Our first trip I had the world’s greatest veggie burger and a fresh juice, (Apple, carrot and coconut water) and the second day I had a vegan breakfast made up of a tofu scramble, toast, baked beans and hash browns. Yummmyyy!!

 

 

 

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My second favorite restaurant was an Italian place called Ciao that had amazing Gnocchi! I had it with a fresh tomato sauce instead of the Gorgonzola and I devoured the entire thing in seconds.

After a weekend of lots of eating, drinking, shopping and talking we woke up to Monday morning when I was scheduled to return back to the States. I had such a great weekend with Laura and her wonderful boyfriend Mikey! I can’t believe its been almost a year and a half since she left me in Florence…

 

As for Toronto, its a beautiful city with amazing restaurants. It reminded me a lot of NYC, which also reminded me that I am definitely not a city person. I love visiting them but I am so happy to be back home in Raleigh, with my car and my fried food! hehehe

 

Dundas Sqaure, Toronto

Dundas Sqaure, Toronto

Just in case anyone plans on visiting Toronto soon the addresses of my too fav restaurants are below:

Fresh: 894 QUEEN STREET WEST

Ciao: 133 Yorkville Ave.

Ending note: Canadian money is plastic and un-rippable… how genius is that??

Did you know Canada shares Queen Elizabeth with England?? She loves being on their money!

Did you know Canada shares Queen Elizabeth with England?? She loves being on their money!

Being Vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) in Italy

6 May
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This is not exactly relevant to this post but kind of is when you think about it.. I doubt that sandwich is vegetarian! hahaha

After living in Italy for a total of about 8 months (4 months this semester, 4 months two years ago), I have learned that meat and cheese are wonderfully delicious Italian traditions. Since becoming vegetarian two years ago however, I have been deprived of many fabulous Italian specialties. Currently, I am making the transition to a mostly vegan diet (the key word here being mostly, cheese is just too wonderful/important in Italy to pass up on all the time), which means that not only has my indulgence in pizza and wonderfully cheesy Italian pasta dropped dramatically, but also my indulgence in awesome baked goods and desserts (gelato anyone?). After doing some research on typical Italian desserts, I found a simple and delicious recipe for vegan biscotti which may be a fun thing to experiment with on a rainy Sunday like today…

Vegan Mocha-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Ingredients: (Approx. 56 biscotti)

  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ – ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup non hydrogenated shortening
  • Flax seed egg replacer for 4 eggs (3/4 c water + ¼ c ground flax seed)
  • 1 ounce bakers chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon coffee extract
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flours, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Set aside. Blend sugar with shortening. With a hand blender or mixer, add egg replacer, melted chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and coffee extract. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing until a stiff dough forms. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

Form into three logs and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the logs’ tops slightly. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove and let logs cool for half an hour before slicing.

Set oven temperature to 325°F. Cut logs on the slant into 1/2-inch slices. Lay slices flat on a pizza screen and bake for 25 minutes or until cookies seem fairly crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Total calories per serving: 54 – Fat: 3 grams – Carbohydrates: 8 grams – Protein: 1 gram – Sodium: 11 milligrams – Fiber: 1 gram

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Veggies!

While the Italians appreciate a nice vegetable (eggplant for example) many of their meals revolve around the goodness of meat. Rabbit, veal, wild boar, beef, stomach lining, brains, pork; you name it, they eat it. As a vegetarian living in Italy I have had to find some creative ways to stick to my normal healthy vegetarian diet (contrary to popular belief it is very easy to become a unhealthy vegetarian). I must admit that my first month or 2 here consisting of below freezing weather and grueling winds allowed me to feed my appetite for heavy, cheesy foods. The many spoonfuls of pasta and double servings of pizza kept my bones warm but they were not doing much to ensure that I had a healthy and balanced caloric intake. To keep myself in check I decided to frequent some amazing vegetarian/vegan shops and cafes which I have listed for you below:

  • Brac Café: Via dei Vagellai, 18 (Has some vegan options and a vegetarian menu – also has awesome brunch on Sundays but make sure to make a reservation!)
  • Dolce Vegan: Via San Gallo, 92 (Sit down place, completely vegan with small market)
  • Panino Tondo: Via Montebello, 56 (Vegan burgers and salads plus free delivery.. winning!)
  • Sugar Blues: Via dei Serragli, 57 (Market)
  • Perche No! Gelateria: Via Tavolini 19r (Soy gelato, obvi)
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Soy Cappuccino from Dolce Vegan!

I hope this little post inspired you to try something new (hopefully not the sheep brains)

Happy Sunday, and eat your veggies for Christ’s sake! (or don’t, who am I? Your mama?!)