Travelling with snacks on snacks on snacks

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When I’m travelling or out and about, I’ve learned to ALWAYS have snacks on hand.

How many times have you gotten hangry (hungry + angry) at your travel partner?

How many times have you gotten hungry while out and ended up grabbing something that you didn’t REALLY want to eat, but it was the only option?

I always used to feel this way at the airport. It makes me cringe to pay expensive prices for crappy food.

I had an overnight flight last night and I ate a large-ish dinner just before going to the airport. I knew I’d get hungry again later so I brought some snacks that I bought along with my groceries on Sunday:

  • popcorn with Nutritional Yeast
  • an apple
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grapes

I also like bringing ear plugs and an eye mask so I can fall asleep in total darkness and silence. Ideally I wouldn’t even have taken a red-eye flight, because poor sleep quality = a weakened immune system. Also I feel pretty terrible the next day when I haven’t slept well, but sometimes you don’t have much of a choice.

Vegan sushi + my birthday

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Cashew cheesecake
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Candlestick roll

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Surprise Ending

I don’t eat my meal-prepped food every single day. This week I knew I’d be going out for dinner for my birthday (which is tomorrow!) so I made 6 meals instead of 7.

I wanted to go to one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, called Shizen, which is a sushi restaurant where everything is vegan! I’ve been there with non-vegans and they love it too.

They have some interesting rolls, including one called Candlestick, which comes lit on fire. There’s another one called Surprise Ending which comes with one piece that’s spicy as F, and you don’t know which one it is (it’s like a Russian roulette). Whoever gets it takes the shot in the middle as a consolation prize. Thankfully my boyfriend got the spicy piece at the very beginning, so I could enjoy the rest of the dish without worrying 😉

I’m so thankful to live in such a vegan-friendly city. Let me know if there are any amazing vegan restaurants where you live!!

Homemade popcorn secrets

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I’m a HUGE popcorn lover, and I only like to buy kernels because it’s way cheaper. Take a look at these price comparisons from the same online store:

Bob’s Red Mill White Popcorn – 27 oz bag – $3.69 – $0.14/ounce

Newman’s Own Natural Microwave Popcorn 10.5 Ounce – $3.79 –  $0.36/ounce

Skinny Pop Popcorn – 4.4 oz bag – $2.83 – $0.64/ounce

The downside of making popcorn from kernels is it can be a pain to pop them. You can pop them on the stove or in a paper bag, but the best method I’ve found is to use this silicone bowl. I love it because it can fit a LOT of popcorn compared to a paper bag and it’s faster than stove-popping.

My other problem with homemade popcorn is HOW DO YOU SEASON IT? Because I don’t want to use too much oil, anything I put on it falls to the bottom!

I’ve found the best technique.

First, use a mortar and pestle to grind up my salt and other seasonings (I love nutritional yeast) to a fine powder. This is the most important part, because it makes everything small enough to stick to the popcorn.

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Then, spray the popcorn 2-3 times in different areas with olive oil from my mister and sprinkle the ground up seasoning on top.

Enjoy!

How much do vegan meal delivery services cost?

The meal delivery market is really on fire these days. I see companies popping up left and right on a regular basis. People want to eat at home but don’t want to spend the time grocery shopping and meal planning, I totally get it. There are 3 in the Bay Area that actually have vegan meals:

The Purple Carrot: $7.50/meal

Veestro: $7.83 – $11/meal

22 Days Nutrition – $9.50 – $12.50/meal

Out of curiosity, I want to know how much I’m spending in comparison with meal prepping.

I spend $50-80 on groceries each week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 7 days (there’s a lot of variance depending on whether I need to restock something in my pantry).

This is

3*7 = 21 meals — but I usually eat out once so let’s say 20.

Assuming the upper bound on grocery cost, this averages out to

$80/(20 meals) = $4 per meal

which is a little more than half of the cheapest option above.

I’m not putting down these services. They’re great, healthy options for when your time and energy is more valuable than the money you spend on food. At the end of the day, however, I think that cooking is an important but overlooked skill that people in my generation should learn. Eating out and eating these delivered meals isn’t realistic or sustainable for the average joe.

More importantly, I think people are getting further and further removed from knowing how the food we’re eating was made and what’s in it. I’m getting kinda political here because I’ve been reading & watching Michael Pollan’s stuff (he’s a champion for cooking your own food and eating more plants), but food companies are taking advantage of this. One way to overcome this is cooking your own food; I feel that in the process you’ll naturally start to think about all your options and whether or not you want to put something in your body, rather than having someone decide for you in a pre-made meal.

Meal prep for beginners

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When you first think about meal prepping, it can seem really overwhelming, especially if you don’t already cook much.

I don’t really know how to cook.

Do I have to buy a million containers?

What do I make?

Am I going to be in the kitchen for a million hours?

You can start as small as making sandwiches, pasta, salad, or whatever it is you already know how to make. It will be a process of trial and error and you’ll learn along the way. Over time, your dishes will get more creative or elaborate if you want them to.

As for containers, you can buy a couple of plastic Glad containers, which are less than $10 for a pack of 5.

 

This is the typical meal prep process, which you can do all on the same day or on different days.

Step 1. Figure out what you want to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This is my favorite part because I love looking for new recipes to try.

Step 2. Make a grocery list

Step 3. Go to the grocery store and get all the ingredients

Step 4. Cook all the meals at once and put them into containers. I personally spend between 2-4 hours meal prepping, depending on how complicated the dishes I’m making are. Factoring cleaning up afterward, that’s not that much time, compared to if I were cooking every meal every day of the week.

It sounds like a lot of work initially but if you set aside a few hours on Sunday, you’ll save so much time and effort during the week.

Try and it and let me know what your pain points are!

Healthy, lazy snacks with minimal effort (vegan)

I’m all about planning my meals, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball or maybe you don’t want to plan every snack. These are some of my go-tos for when I’m on the hunt for something to munch on between meals.

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Frozen berry “cereal”

I got this idea from Laura Miller (Raw Vegan Not Gross). Basically you dump some frozen berries in a bowl and add non-dairy milk and eat it like cereal. It’s just as easy as eating cereal but full of antioxidant goodness.

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Frozen grapes

Whenever I buy grapes, I pluck them all off the branch and put half in a ziplock bag in the freezer. They’re so refreshing.

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Spicy, savory pineapple

I love pineapples in any form, but a savory way to eat them is to sprinkle them with lime, salt, and cayenne pepper. The cayenne makes it spicy but also is a metabolism-booster!

Dates dipped in Nut Butter

This is great if you’re craving something sweet — essentially you take a date and dip it in a jar of nut butter (or put the nut butter in a bowl first if you wanna be civilized).

Avocado with lemon and salt

I like making this at work in the afternoon when I’m hungry between lunch and dinner. The fat in avocado is so satisfying and it takes like 2 seconds to make this.

What are your favorite quick, easy and healthy snacks?! Tell me, I want to know!