Sauteed Coconut Apples

You know the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well I keep the doctors very far away because I eat apples like they’re going out of style. Seriously, 2-3 a day everyday.

Apples are crisp and refreshing and one deliciously healthy afternoon snack. Even though apples are absolutely perfect on their own, sometimes you gotta jazz things up a little 🙂

Sauteed Coconut Apples

(Vegan, Gluten-Free)

sauteed coconut apples

Ingredients

  • 1 apple sliced (I used golden delicious because they’re my favorite, but use what you like)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (but if you’re a vanilla lover like me, you can bump it up to 1 tsp)
  • Pumpkin pie spice, to taste

Directions

  1. In a small pan over medium heat, heat coconut oil until melted
  2. Add apple slices, stirring occasionally until apples start to soften
  3. Sprinkle in shredded coconut, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, stirring until coconut is lightly browned.
  4. Serve!

Makes 1 snack-sized serving

sauteed coconut apples

 

Watch yo’ self owl, I fight you for those.

 

Do you like apples?

What’s your favorite type of apple? I’m a die-hard golden delicious fan, but MacIntosh is a close second

Creamy Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

Happy almost Friday!

It has been one rough week over here and I am more than ready for the weekend. I woke up Monday morning with a stomach ache and welp, it was all down hill from there. I will just say I spent all Monday praying to the porcelain gods and hating life a little. Yeah, rough.

Today I thankfully feel back to normal and it’s about time too. It has been 7 days since my last workout, 5 days since I’ve eaten vegetables or drunk coffee and 3 days since I’ve had peanut butter. I’m not sure how I’ve functioned without all those things, but I can I assure it was not well.

black coffee and kale chips

 

I’m sorry coffee but you still make me want to puke a little. Give me a few more days and I promise I will be back to chugging you like a champ.

Luckily the rest of this week is looking up!

I have a (glorious!) 4 day weekend ahead of me, some much needed time at home (nothing makes you miss your parents more than being sick alone in your college apartment, good thing I have really awesome roommates who bring me ginger ale and applesauce) and some warm spring weather. Boone decided to be a poo-head and dump 8 inches of snow on us the past four days. I think someone needs to tell mother nature it’s officially spring because I’m not sure she’s gotten the memo.

snow on pants

 

I totally ate it on some ice on the way back to my apartment yesterday. No more snow please.

If you’re hoping for spring weather like I am, try making this smoothie, cranking up the heat and pretend it’s 75 degrees outside instead of 25, while you drink your smoothie and bask in the warmth. Just don’t blame me for your crazy how power bill.

Creamy Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothies (vegan!)

creamy peanut butter and banana smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
  • 2 cups of spinach (or really as much as you can shove in your blender, the more vitamins the merrier)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon (or much more if you’re a huge cinnamon lover like I am!)
  • ~1 cup ice, or until desired frozen-ness is reached

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender
  2. Blend. Easy peasy.
  3. And don’t forget to clean out your roommate’s blender because she won’t appreciate you borrowing it if you leave green stuff in it. Though I don’t understand why not.

creamy peanut butter and banana smoothie


What are your go-to sick foods? 
Ginger ale and applesauce, and I remember growing up my mom always mixed juice and sprite together for me when I was sick, it was like the ultimate feel better drink.

Do you have any Easter plans? Is it sad that I really miss Easter egg hunts? Those things were awesome.

Asheville and French Parties {WIAW}

Happy Hump Day! I hope your week is going great! I’m feeling much better than yesterday, I think getting things off my chest really helped. A special thanks to Jessie and Alex for the helpful tips and sweet comments. I love this blogging community 🙂

This What I Ate Wednesday is coming to you weekend style, because I had some really fun eats this weekend that I haven’t gotten the chance to share yet

(Thanks Jenn for hosting!)

Let’s start with Friday…

My roommate needed to take a trip to Asheville to pick up some clay for an art class, and since Asheville is a little bit of a drive, she invited the rest of the roommates and we made a day trip out of it. Asheville is one of my favorite cities, it’s funky, cool and full of hippies (I fit in quite well), so it didn’t take much convincing for me to tag along.

snow day in boone nc

Oh did a mention it snowed Thursday night? But not enough to cancel any of my classes. Thanks App. At least it was pretty the next day!

After picking up the clay (all 300 pounds of it, holy cow) we explored the downtown area, including a stop at Urban Outfitters, I love the store despite it being a trendy hipster magnet and how overpriced everything is. The sale rack is my friend. Anyway, a few sights downtown:

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How cool is that architecture, way prettier than Raleigh, that’s for sure.

Now for the food, and let me tell you it was some DANG GOOD food.

We ate dinner at Green Sage a cute little Cafe in the downtown area.

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This place was like my own little heaven. Almost everything could be made gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian. Whattttttt!!! I know you guys in big cities have probably have lots of restaurants like this but they are a rarity in North Carolina. It took me so long to decide what to order because I could actually eat 90% of the menu, instead of the 5% I usually get.

Can you tell I was a little excited? Because I was, if you weren’t sure.

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After taking way too long to decide I finally settled on the Coconut Curry Rice Bowl which included Stir Fry Napa Cabbage, Carrots, Peppers, Kale, Coconut Curry Sauce, Cashews, Raisins, Cilantro served with Tempeh over Black Beans and Rice. Yes, yes, yes and yes. I never wanted the bowl to end. So. Damn. Good.

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I also treated myself to a Red Planet juice which was made with beet, apple, carrot and ginger. So worth having pink teeth for.

Did I mention this place had GREEN SMOOTHIE on the menu? But it was $6 so I refrained. And can I also mention that they had a dessert case full of tasty looking vegan and gluten-free goodies. Seriously? My roommates were laughing at me because I couldn’t contain my excitement. I didn’t bring home any desserts though because I had lots of baking planned for a birthday party on Saturday (more on that in a second).

Oh and my whole meal was under $13, CAN I JUST MOVE IN?

After dinner we hit up one more fun place before leaving town.

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A double decker bus. That serves coffee.

I. Love. Asheville.

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Of course we had to take our drinks upstairs.

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How adorable is this set up? And you get a beautiful view of downtown Asheville while you sip your coffee.

I’m not sure whose idea it was to turn a double decker bus into a coffee shop but it was a genius one.

And onto Saturday…

My Saturday started with a 7.5 mile run, in 40 degree weather with snow on the ground. I’m proud of myself for trucking out in the snow and for a new PDR. Despite the cold I felt really good and the cold weather meant minimal sweating. That means I don’t have to shower afterwards right? Kidding.

Saturday night my friends had a triple birthday party planned. Two of my friends and one of my roommates had a birthday over Christmas break (including some 21st birthdays!) so we decided to celebrate all in one night, the more birthdays the merrier right?

Someone decided on a French theme, which basically translated into wearing stripes and decorating our friend’s apartment in broken French.

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I think I’m the only one who had actually ever taken a french class and that was back in high school so my french knowledge is long gone. Thank you Google Translate.

We also had french music playing:

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and dancing?

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And a Yule log DVD to help set the mood.

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And lots of (somewhat) french inspired food.

I made chocolate cupcakes

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(I used this recipe and topped it with TruWhip mixed with cinnamon, easiest gluten-free cupcakes ever)

I also made some peanut butter cookies because I’m a dessert over-achiever:

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(I’m holding out on a recipe for you guys because tomorrow is National Peanut Butter)

Neither of those desserts are even remotely french, but I made them anyway. Rebellious.

We also had some much more french-themed foods:

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Crackers and cheese, college style. Wheat Thins instead of fancy crackers and Cheddar, Colby Jack and Gouda cheese. Very french.

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French bread, croissants, home made whipped cream (fancy!) and strawberries.

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Grapes, you know to go with the cheese.

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My roommate’s fancy croissant

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And Champagne! And even more un-pictured wine. Isn’t that the point of a French party?

We also had a rousing game of Telestration (basically a fancy telephone pictionary):

My phrase was “Old Greg” (seriously if you haven’t watched it do it, you will laugh and be highly disturbed at the same time):

oldgregg

And it ended as “angry man with a boner” nice. Not sure how that happened…

Have you ever played Telephone Pictionary? Any other favorite party games?

Do you like themed parties?

What’s the last restaurant you went to that you fell in love with?

Homemade Larabars

What do you do when your Trader Joe’s employed brother brings home a big box of dates (but still no girlfriend. Kidding)? Stuff your face with them when he’s not looking.

Then make him homemade Larabars to make up for it.

This might be the easiest recipe on the face of the earth. Does two ingredients even count as a recipe? I’ll pretend yes.

Homemade Larabars (vegan and gluten-free)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • Heaping 1/3 cup trail mix of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s Simply Almond, Cashew and Cranberries trail mix)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process the trail mix until no larger chunks remain (about 10 seconds)
  2. Add the dates to the food processor and process until glob-y (technical culinary term), or basically until the dates are broken down and the mixture is beginning to stick together. If the mixture looks too dry you can always add more dates.
  3. Scoop the date mixture into a ziploc bag or onto cling wrap, squish and form into desire shape (bars, balls, one giant Larabar log, or dump into a bowl and eat with a spoon, whatever suits your fancy)
  4. I let mine set in the fridge for about an hour before eating because it helps the bars firm up and not fall apart, totally optional though

Makes 4-5 larabar sized servings.

Easy peasy homemade bars. Bonus: it will even saves you a little money.

 

Spah-Geddie

With a last name like Geddie, it’s inevitable that you get the Lea Spaghetti nickname growing up. My mom used to substitute teach at an elementary school and she permanently became “Mrs. Spaghetti” to all of the students. Apparently, little kids really love their spaghetti.

Except me.

I was the only kid I knew growing up that didn’t like spaghetti (well pasta in general, well most food in general, I was a very picky kid). Though spaghetti started to grow on me during my freshman year of college, because I think it’s a requirement that all college student have a love of pasta, I’ve still never been much of a fan.

So I took spaghetti matters into my own hands. I bulked up the sauce with more veggies (because I can’t help myself), added some protein and replaced the noodles – with more vegetables.

So here’s my hippie-fied, Lea-approved version of spaghetti and meat sauce. Or Spah-Geddie as I like to call it.

Spah-Geddie (gluten-free and vegan)
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a small spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 block of tempeh*
  • 1/3 cup of chopped spinach (I used frozen)
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s, he’s my favorite)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

*Make sure you’re using gluten-free tempeh if that’s an issue for you, not all brands are

Directions:

  1. Cook the squash using which ever method you prefer, I like the microwave because, well, I like it for everything. I microwaved my squash on high for 8 minutes, but the time may vary.
  2. While the squash is cooking, grate the tempeh into a small sauce pan on medium heat.
  3. To the sauce pan add the diced onion and spinach and cook until the onions are translucent and the tempeh is beginning to brown.
  4. Add marinara sauce and stir to combine, continue cooking until sauce is heated throughout. I added some cayenne pepper at this point because I like things spicy! Totally optional though.
  5. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and scrape the flesh into a bowl
  6. Add the sauce to the spaghetti squash, top with nutritional yeast and enjoy!

My sauce to “noodle” ratio was a little, um, disproportionate, and there was way more sauce than “noodle”, but I liked it that way. You could easily scale up the noodles or scale down the sauce if you like things a more balanced

Not the most photogenic meal but it tastes much better than it looks, I promise!

Easy Peasy Meals.

As a college student, and a busy (or let’s be honest, sometimes lazy) I definitely appreciate a quick and easy meal.

I also like meals that dirty a minimal amount of dishes. Doing dishes sucks, and my roommate gets cranky if I let them pile up in the sink. I know what’s her problem?

So to keep the peace, and quickly tame the hunger beast here are two easy recipes for yummy vegetarian, gluten-free and nutritious meals.

They’re so quick and easy that calling them recipes might be a stretch, but let’s not worry about that detail.

Eggplant Pizza  – Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan (with modification)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant or 1/2 of a large eggplant
  • Approx.1/2 cup of pizza sauce (I just use Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce)
  • 2 cups chopped veggies of choice (I used bell pepper, onions and tomato)
  • Cheese to your hearts content (or Daiya if you want to keep things vegan)

To Make:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the eggplant into about 1/2″ thick slices, it’s important that they’re fairly thick or they’ll turn to mush before the cheese melts.
  3. Place eggplant slices on a greased baking sheet and layer on the remaining toppings. I typically put the cheese on last because it holds the toppings on the pizza better, but that’s definitely not necessary. The topping possibilities are limitless, so layer to your heart’s content.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until all the cheese has melted and the eggplant has begun to soften. Dig in!

Using half of a large eggplant I made a pretty hefty portion that was plenty for me. The serving size can be easily adjusted to fit your needs.

This meal is a little low on the protein side, it could be nice to incorporate some tempeh, tofu or other plant based protein into the toppings.

And if you’re not an eggplant fan, portobello mushroom caps make a very tasty substitution.

Teriyaki Tofu Slaw Salad – Vegan and Gluten-Free (with slight modification)

A light but satisfying salad, that I might have already made for lunch 3 days in a a row.

Ingredients:

  • 1/5 block of Firm Tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Broccoli Slaw
  • 1/4 of a medium cucumber, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce separated (head’s up, teriyaki sauce usually not gluten-free so if you have serious gluten allergies substitute with Tamari, or a similar certified gluten-free sauce)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp (or to taste) Sage
  • Pepper, to taste

To Make:

  1. Mix tofu with 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce and set aside to marinate (I’m impatient and only waited a couple of minutes, but it will be more flavorful if you let it sit a little longer)
  2. Place the tofu in a frying pan over medium high heat
  3. Flip the tofu every 5 or so minutes until it is browned on all sides
  4. While the tofu is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining teriyaki sauce with the oil, lemon juice and seasonings and whisk until combined.
  5. Place broccoli slaw and cucumber in the bowl with the teriyaki mixture and tossed until evenly coated.
  6. Add the tofu.
  7. Enjoy!

This recipe is pretty wide open as far as flavors and vegetables go. I like how the teriyaki mixes nicely with the crispiness and freshness of the broccoli slaw, but feel free to have some fun with the ingredients. I don’t make anything that’s easy to mess up, because let’s face it, if I did I totally would.

The recipe makes one serving, but can be easily scaled up.

I’d be lying if I said I won’t have this for lunch again tomorrow.

It’s important to mention that while I try to maintain a gluten-free diet, I do NOT have celiac’s and I’m not bothered by small amounts of gluten. If you do have celiac’s or any other serious gluten allergy, please be sure to double check that all of you’re ingredients are certified gluten-free.

See? Easy Peasy.

What’s your go to quick and easy recipe?