Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #23: Happy Halloween & 7 Philly Treats Under $7

At $2.50, a deluxe Dottie's Donut in pumpkin spice will always be nice-- definitely a huge favorite of mine.
Hello all! Happy Halloween and welcome to the final post of Vegan Mofo October. Thank you so much for stopping by and celebrating a whole month of birthday joy. I have had many wonderful milestones happening as I plan for huge November treks-- the Janet Jackson concert in Atlantic City and a week in Paris, France.

In between films and patrons. Happy that this year's t-shirt was purple.
Here in October, however, I had a blast volunteering at the 26th Annual Philadelphia Film Festival, watching films and meeting amazing fellow volunteers as well as very kind visitors. I think this may have shaped my future in a way that wasn't foreseen.

Without further ado, other sweet treats under $7 and a Halloween end.

October and November is the popular pumpkin pie shake at Hip City Veg. $5.95 for a wicked yummy treat packed with pumpkin flare and spices.

For $5.95, a taste of Franklin Fountain's incredible pumpkin ice cream reminds one of iced cold cheesecake, creamy and flavorful. It has a nice blend of spices fulfilling bite after bite.

In case you're wondering, the birthday month girl had some cake. My favorite slice is a hefty portion of Vegan treats lemon lime cake. It's beautifully decorated yellow and green cake with pink roses running at $6.95 at Govinda's Go Vegetarian. It's a unicorn like treasure.

About 5 of these incredible lemon creams sandwiched between two chewy, plump, little gingersnaps are a little over $5.
Vivi's Bubble Tea is a huge addiction of mine. I love the $4.95 large almond milk with black tapioca pearls. The combination of drinking smooth sweetness and chewing sticky gummies is unlike anything else.

Red Hook Coffee and Tea has an amazing little section of vegan treats. One of my favorites is the lemon cookies with raspberry filling. At $3.25, it's a pleasant dessert with a hot steaming beverage and a book to read.

Honorable mention: never pass on a $4 tehina shake from Goldie. Hence why this is an empty cup.

My simple low key albeit professional Halloween costume.

Snapchat filtered fall equinox goddess mermaid creature.....

Sleeping until October comes back around. What a marvelous month.....

Monday, October 30, 2017

Vegan Mofo #22: Vegan Macarons From Macn By Mari

A taste of sweet delight of Macn by Mari, amazing vegan French styled macarons. Each cookie is airy and light with a dreamy cream center. So happy to have found these at the Vegan Pop Up.
My cute matcha character broke a bit, but was mighty tasty. I loved the flavor of tea. Very strong yet sweet and pleasant. Solid cookie.  

This apple pie is amazing. A burst of cinnamon and apple flavor make this cookie super exceptional-- my personal favorite of the five.

The lemon has a crumbly yet sparkling glittery yellow sugar coating that gives it an exterior crunch that interacts well to the smooth, creamy interior.

Spooky caramel and delicious pumpkin pie were nothing short of amazing (pumpkin pie my second favorite). And I don't have to wait for another pop up to get more. Mari's scrumptious macarons are sold at The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop in South Philly. I want to try as many flavors as possible. Sounds perfect with tea.

Vegan Mofo Post #21: The Vegan Jawn of the Dead Halloween Themed Pop Up

Yummy Soy Café mac n cheese with crumbly topping just the way I like it.
On a dreary Sunday, it rained an endless miserable symphony. Still, I wasn't going to pass up a vegan pop up, especially celebrating my favorite holiday-- Halloween. I took the train and walked in the downpour, entering The Rotunda located in West Philadelphia. Inside was a lively contagious enthrall of dressed vendors and guests, a scary music soundtrack that included Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and lots of food samples. I purchased a $1 raffle ticket (no one called so no big loss). I tried yummy coconut jerky and admired spooky character mugs. I almost, almost got a Frida Kahlo or Jean-Michel Basquiat mug.
My favorite lady, Barb of Gone Pie was setting up. I ordered treats for my friends and I. Kindly, she let me park my wet umbrella in her area while I stalked off to look around the cobwebs and pumpkins. The Food Duo's Carmella and Carlo were decked out in costumes. From their V Marks the Shop, I bought the infamous Miss Rachel's Pantry's Pub Cheese (cannot wait to try it!!!) and Europe's dairy free favorite cheese brand Violife in the mozzarella flavored block.
Overall, I had such a blast. Looking forward to the holiday pop up!

For my final shift at Philadelphia Film Festival, I consumed delicious Du Lapin Bakery vegan croissants. These were just incredible. Sweet, flaky, "buttery."

This Gone Pie pumpkin blondie with little chocolate chips was such a treasure. I loved every bit of this chewy, moist exceptional blondie. It brings such a joy to a huge pumpkin aficionado.

I handed out my pumpkin and witch treats to my friends. These goodies are filled with cashew and caramel.

My little stash: Gone Pie's Harvest Pie (a blend of sweet potato, pumpkin, and butternut squash), Miss Rachel's Pub Cheese, Violife Mozzarella, and cute vegan macarons by Mari. We got a free bag of Dandies! Always happy to have those.

Just a piece of my Halloween costume for tomorrow. Heehee. Thank you to the amazing ladies of Light Beings Healing Company for this gorgeous crystal flower crown. I also received a vile of beautiful smelling water. Then again, I might wear this every day.

Vegan Mofo Post #20: Mint Chickpea & Spiraled Veggie Salad

Nothing more engaging than a colorful medley of veggies and chickpeas. 
Spirals and spirals and spirals. I broke out the old Vegetti tool on fresh, organic zucchini. With carrots being tougher (maybe I should get a machine?), I fortunately found a large container of pre-spiraled carrots for $3. I came to Iovine Brothers Produce in Reading Terminal Market to pick up mint and lemons. The carrots were an unexpected surprise. So yes, I cheated.
With my light tahini dressing and pumpkin seeds, this lovely artist's eye salad has a lot of delicious flavors to chew on. It's rarely a dull moment.

Mint Chickpea & Spiraled Veggie Salad Ingredients and Preparation

1 15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini spiraled
1 large carrot, spiraled
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon salt
a sprig of mint, chopped
edible flowers, for garnish

Combine chickpeas, zucchini, carrots, and pumpkin seeds.
Mix together tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, and black pepper.
Add dressing to chickpeas, veggies, and pumpkin seeds. Mix well.

These edible flowers from Iovine Brother's Produce in the Reading Terminal are better than most. 

A work of art.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #19: Cherry, Banana, & Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

At the work desk, purple posing with much needed breakfast beverage.
My schedule changed. Temporarily, my duties have gone from gallery girl to front desk lady who arises Monday through Friday at 5:30AM to reach my 7AM post. Although it's been my first week at this new (but not permanent) duty, I haven't always penciled in breakfast. It's not smart, yes, I know.
As I prepared my smoothie, I remembered my three months living in Denver, drinking a smoothie and power walking often. My friend, whose place I was house sitting, had hooked me on to flaxseed oil aka the vegan's way to getting Omega 3. It has no flavor, but seemed to make the drink so smooth and creamy. I returned back to Ohio putting it in everything.
Now I have resumed, after not using it for years. Not sure what made me think about the flaxseed. It just came back like that Celine Dion song.
Cherries and bananas with crunchy peanut butter goodness brings joy to almond milk and flaxseed in a simple smoothie-- great for those hasty mornings when time is running out and you have to be the smiling face that greets everyone.

Cherry, Banana, & Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie Ingredients and Preparation

2 bananas, ripened
10 dark sweet cherries, frozen
3 tablespoon cacao powder
2 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other dairy free milk alternative)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together.


Bubbly blend that keeps one fulfilled until the wonderful lunch time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #18: Exceptional Side Dishes at El Vez

Surviving on sides.
El Vez is a popular Mexican fusion restaurant located in the hopping happening part of Center City Philadelphia. There are plenty of vegan items to eat when your friends decide to eat at a non-vegan spot.  I was skeptical, a little hesitant. It's not my usual haunt, but for the girls I would. After all, I'm sort of like the Lynn Searcy. In fact, I'm the Lynn Searcy in every group of my girlfriends (only the vegan, bohemian spirited, "strange" dresser aspect).

Speaking of Lynn Searcy, happy birthday to Persia White who portrayed the vegan character on Girlfriends.
Although El Vez has a kale salad with creamy cashew ranch dressing, I was pleased by the side menu items, especially Plantains con Queso that I could order without the con Queso. They even let me have grilled corn straight off the cob sans the butter and queso. Together, with the amazing black beans and rice with generous slices of beautiful green avocado, the lovely presented meal was delicious. I would definitely go again for the plantains alone. They had an addictive crispy exterior with a soft, tender texture that made it a little hard to share with my meat taco loving friends.

Grilled corn scraped from the cob and black beans and rice with pickled red onion on top.

Black beans and rice, plantains, corn, and avocado together-- so good.

Afterwards, we hung out at a gelato place for dessert. Good times. PAFA alums and current PAFA students from undergraduate and graduate programs.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #17: Macaroni With Butternut Squash & Avocado

The Libra days are leaving and the feeling leaves bittersweet sentiments. We have this last full week of October and next week is Halloween. I still haven't found the perfect green skirt for my mermaid "fin," but I'm sure to be close.
Also, I have been having the most wonderful time volunteering at the Philadelphia Film Festival. Just saw Greta Gerwig's first directed film, "Ladybird." It's so sad, profound, and excellent.

My friend canceled on the Paris trip. I am planning to go solo, staying at a popular hostel (we were going to split rent on an apartment), purchasing a 4-day Paris Pass, and mapping out my itinerary. Although not in October, these well-crafted plans are another belated birthday treat for me, a gift before the year is out. I think it's imperative to please wanderlust every once in a while, especially if manageable.
Today's recipe is one of happiness and pleasure. Not a true kind of mac n cheese. There's no soaked nuts, no nutritional yeast,, no dairy free cheese. Just the simple enjoyment of seasonal butternut squash puree and avocado becoming friends in a pretty bowl.

Macaroni With Butternut Squash & Avocado Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup macaroni
1 15 oz can Farmer's Market Organic Butternut Squash Puree
1/4 cup almond milk (or any other dairy free milk alternative)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 avocado, ripened
basil leaves to garnish
Bac N Bits (optional)

Prepare macaroni to package directions.
Drain and place macaroni back on stove, adding butternut squash puree, salt, turmeric, garlic, and black pepper.
Stir together, heating for 7-10 minutes while preventing macaroni from sticking to the pot.
Pour some mac into a bowl and top with avocado, basil, and bac n bits.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #16: Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk

A hot mug of golden milk with pumpkin spice makes everything so sweet.
I haven't had a Califia Farms Ginger AlmondMilk in forever. While some stores just aren't carrying it around, the price for a small bottle went for around $3 or more. I still remember the first taste. It was a pretty yellow and brown speckled drink with a spicy kick. For me, I realize that I was paying for the experience of eating out at Whole Foods Market, getting a drink to have alongside my hot bar food. Plus, I have to save as much as possible for the upcoming overseas trip.
Why not make golden milk on the cheap?
Now this is a simple beverage to concoct. Everything needed is in the fridge and cabinet.
If you need a break from pumpkin lattes and apple cider, golden milk is a treat perfect at any time of the year-- hot or cold.

Pumpkin Spice Golden Milk Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ginger

In a small pot, bring milk, maple syrup, turmeric, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and pinch of ginger to a boil, stirring continuously along the way.
Serve hot.

A delicious easy drink.
Also good with a warmed pumpkin bagel with Field Roast Chao.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #15: Turmeric Rice and Tofu

Turmeric rice always hits the spot.
I used Tastybite Rice for evil purposes. Well, not evil. Just, well, I don't have the best experiences with microwave rice. It tastes better simmering slow and steady on the stovetop. Nonetheless, I zapped my rice and have the shame of desperation for quick hunger resolution staining my heart and mind. Also, I feel like laughing for disclosing this info.

Turmeric Rice and Tofu Ingredients and Preparation

Tastybite Heat & Eat Vegan Long Grain Rice
1/2 cup cubed extra firm tofu ( I didn't cook my tofu)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander

Warm your rice in the way that makes you happy.
Mix in tofu, turmeric, salt, and coriander.

Simple as is. Turmeric makes everything beautiful.

Golden bowl for one.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vegan Mofo Post #14: Tis The Season Grocery Hauls, Birthday Cards, and Self Love Presents

At Trader Joe's, I picked up favorite seasonal items: Pumpkin Bagels, Pita Crisps with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Spice, and Lentil Soup. I also picked up a basil plant! Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce and Soft & Juicy Mango are my usuals.

Pumpkin! I had visited Trader Joe's three times prior. It didn't take til the fourth visit for my pumpkin treats to be in stock.

Basil! Look how beautiful and green it is. I hope it can somehow last through winter. Until then, I look forward to cutting leaves and making pesto. 

Birthday cards from my Ohio gals.

Fun! Fun!

I bought the 20th anniversary edition of Bic Runga's "Drive," one of my favorite albums. Also, realized that I almost forgot what a physical CD felt like.

Remember these booklets with nice pictures and such inside? Wow!

I love the copy of her handwritten scrawl of "Swim" lyrics, my favorite song of hers.

Three years later, back to checking out books and media, after finally paying off my library fine. I promise to return my things on time and not hoard them as if the ten cents and dollar fines don't add up. It's a privilege to utilize the library.

New face and body treats: Valentina's Naturals Refreshing Body Mist makes you smell like sweet oranges and Dickinson's Witch Hazel with Aloe has been a great face/scalp cleaner.