Tag Archives: dinner

Baked Vegan Macaroni Casserole


I made this macaroni casserole a couple of weeks ago to satisfy an urge for comfort food.  It hit the spot!  Although I will not claim that it is exactly like it’s non-vegan equivalents, it is pretty darn good all the same.  I served it with my Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup for the ultimate cozy Sunday afternoon meal.  Recipe below!

Baked Vegan Macaroni Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cooked Macaroni noodles (I used whole wheat and it tasted fine in the casserole!)
  • ½ c raw cashews, processed into a powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium chopped potato
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 c non dairy milk
  • Juice of half of a lemon
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 1 tbsp oil/earth balance
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t Dijon mustard
  • ½ t tumeric
  • ½ t onion powder
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • 1/8 t cayenne
  • dash of soy sauce
  • **Garnish:  Paprika, bread crumbs, ground almonds
  • **Optional:  Peas and halved cherry tomates

Instructions:

  1. Grease a large casserole pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook your macaroni noodles according to the package instructions and drain.  Put in casserole pan and set aside
  3. In a food processor, blend the raw cashews with the carrots, potato, and garlic, and process until well combined.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the macaroni, the garnish, and the optional ingredients) to the food processor and process again until a smooth “cheese” sauce forms.
  5. Pour the “cheese” sauce directly onto the macaroni noodles and toss to coat the noodles evenly.  If you want to add optional ingredients to your casserole, now is the time to do it!  I added a bag of frozen peas and some spare, halved cherry tomatoes for color and nutrition.
  6. Top with paprika (for a little kick), bread crumbs, and crushed almonds (for some crunch).
  7. Cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve!  This recipe makes enough to serve about 4-6 people, depending on how hungry everyone is.

-Dominique

Scotland Recap: Edinburgh Eats!


In contrast to Campbeltown, there was such a large selection of restaurants in Edinburgh! It was almost overwhelming to choose which ones to go to, but with the help of our Lonely Planet tour book, we narrowed it down to some great places. Here are my favorite meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in Edinburgh!

For breakfast, I loved the Urban Angel Cafe (also serves lunch and dinner). It was cozy and hip, and boasted local, organic, free trade produce. Gotta love that!



To drink, my mom and I ordered tea

Chai tea with Honey and Steamed Milk


and Nicole and Gigi got smoothies.

Smoothie #1 (Strawberries and Fresh Squeezed OJ)

Smoothie #2 (Berries and Yogurt)


To eat, my mom got mueseli,

Freshly Made Muesli!


Nicole and Gigi got French toast,

French Toast (with Homemade Bread) and Bacon


and I got Eggs Benedict. The Hollandaise sauce was PERFECT, tangy and creamy!

Eggs Benedict

The only thing about Urban Angel was that it was definitely overpriced for what it was. That’s the cost of organic, local eating, I suppose.

My favorite lunch was at the Deacon’s House Cafe, a small cafe built in the space that used to be the infamous Deacon Brodie’s workshop! TO give you the reader’s digest version, Deacon Brodie was an upstanding cabinet maker by day and a thief by night. When he was finally caught, he was hung on gallows he designed himself. Pretty cool, huh? We actually just walked into the cafe on a whim, but it turned out to be quite good, and you all should know by now that I love anything of historical significance.

Deacon Brodie was the inspiration for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


I got some delicious soup and a cheese scone…a very Scottish lunch!

Vegetable Soup and a Cheese Scone from Deacon Brodie's


Nicole opted for a BLT on a bagel and some hot chocolate, both of which she said were great as well!

Nicole with her BLT bagel and hot chocolate at Deacon Brodie's

My favorite dinner, and probably favorite meal in all of Scotland, and one of my top five restaurant meals EVER, was at Mums.

I left my heart at Mums ❤


Mum’s motto is “Eat Great Comfort Food”. As soon as I read that, I knew I was in for a treat. I am the comfort food queen!

My new life motto!


The restaurant itself was small, but cozy. Selections of the day were written on chalkboards, and the waitstaff and cook were very friendly and helpful!
EVERYONE’S food looked delicious.
Nicole’s Mac and Cheese was perfectly cheese and creamy, and so filling that she couldn’t finish! And yes, those are hand-cut homemade chips.

Mac and Cheese with Chips


Dad’s special ordered lamb pie (the chef didn’t want to make it at first because she didn’t think it would taste good, but finally she caved under my dad’s begging). The pastry was as big as a whole loaf of bread! He was like a kid on Christmas morning.

Dad feasting on a lamb pie


Delicious Lamb Pie is Revealed!


I got the classic “Sausages with Mash and Gravy”. They had a huge selection of sausages, even vegetarian ones, all made fresh. I opted for a one chicken and blue cheese sausage, and one classic Mum’s sausage (pork and herbs). Both were equally delicious! There were also tons of mash (mashed potatoes) options! After a long deliberation period, I chose cauliflower and cheese. And I went with classic gravy.

My Sausages and Mash (pre-gravy)


My Sausages and Mash (Post-Gravy) with Dad's Veggies

I have never been so full or so happy finishing a meal. Mum’s is truly the best of British comfort food!

Cute postcard and candies with our check!

Keep reading to find out about all the amazing sights we saw in Edinburgh!

-Dominique

Myrtle Beach Day 3: Tanger Outlets and Fajita Dinner


This afternoon my family and I headed out to the Tanger outlets to do some shopping! I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, but I got some great basics that will definitely last me a long while, all for under $100 total.

White Button Down and Navy Ruffle Tank from The Gap

"Toothpick" Skinny Jeans and Brown Woven Belt from J. Crew

For dinner my sister Nicole, my cousin Cassie, and my mom made a wonderful fajita buffet with Spanish rice, chicken, peppers and onions, lettuce, cheese, black beans, homemade salsa, and homemade guacamole. I loaded my plate up with everything and made my own “Burrito Bowl” a la Chipotle.

Rice, Chicken, Onions and Peppers, and Black Beans

Salsa, Guac, and Chips

After dinner I played with Violet a little…

…and then learned to play Canasta with my grandparents. They LOVE card games, and it’s a fun thing to do in the evening at the beach!

Canasta uses 4 decks of cards, so you need a cardholder!

Of course tonight I had to stop all activity to watch my newest obsession, The Bachelorette! My dad thinks that the Bachelorette should be renamed The Biggest Loser this season because he hates Ashley. I’m not a fan either. Ever since the “roast” session when she freaked out when William did exactly what she told them to, she’s revealed herself to be extremely insecure and unstable. I think she was highly dishonest with the boys about the Bentley situation, and selfish in the way that she handled it.
As for the guys, I am OBSESSED with JP.

My Beloved and My Nemesis

He is so adorable and sweet and romantic and I adore him. I want him to win but at the same time I don’t because I don’t want him to be stuck with Ashley. Alsoooo, does anyone know why they literally give away the entire season at the end of each episode? TMI! Keep a girl guessing!

-Dominique

Let’s Chat

  1. Have you scored any good shopping deals lately?
  2. What is your favorite card game to play?

Weekend Eats: Sandwich Lovin!


This weekend I worked, so nothing too interesting happened, other than these weekend eats!

Saturday morning, after running a little over a mile, I treated myself to a Green Monster (that was actually green!) and an almond butter and banana French toast sandwich.

Saturday Breakfast/Lunch

On my hour break from work (which is at such an awkward meal time, 3pm!) I stopped by Lilly’s cafe in Doylestown for a sandwich!  I LOVE Lilly’s, they make the best sandwiches!  The cafe is so quaint and homey.  There 7 grain bread is deliciously hearty!

Lilly's Cafe in Doylestown

I got a tuna melt with bacon and on 7 grain wheat bread! With a pickle of course 🙂  I ate half and saved half!

Saturday Lunch/Dinner

For dinner on Sunday night, Andy and I wanted to make crepes!

Crepes!

But of course, ordinary crepes aren’t exciting enough, so we stuffed them with Béchamel sauce, eggs, spinach, tomato, pork roll, and cheese. A crepe sandwich! A delicious last meal before the dieting begins 😉

Sunday Dinner

-Dominique

Let’s Chat!

  1. Do you like sandwiches?  What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?
  2. Did you do anything fun this past weekend?

Reasons Why I Loved Today!


Today was a great day in Dominique-land! Here’s why…

  1. I started today with some yoga.  Nothing like some stretching to get your blood flowing in the morning!
  2. My boss bought me lunch!

    Tex-Mex Salad

    We got Tex-Mex Salads (no olives please!) from El Mariachi, a Mexican restaurant a couple miles from work.  It’s loaded with chopped lettuce (duh), chicken, cilantro, cheese, avocados, and tomatoes.  SO FILLING, I always have to leave half the chicken behind.  Work went really slow today, so it was a good midday pick-me-up for both of us in the office.

  3. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I ACTUALLY WON SOMETHING!!  One of the blogs I follow, Just Jac, ran a giveaway with her FitBloggin’ swag.  I entered, but never thought I would win!  Jaclyn said that she liked my comment so much that she had to pick two winners instead of one.  Here’s what I said:”It’s so hard to chose from all that swag, but I’d love any workout DVDs! Living as a poor college student means that when I’m at school I have to rely on home work outs instead of my beloved classes at the YMCA. A DVD would sure come in handy!  I’ve never won a giveaway before, but this is only the second I’ve ever entered! Hopefully I’ll have beginners luck!”I can’t wait to receive my DVD in the mail.  It’s like waiting for Christmas!  Thanks so much, Jaclyn!
  4. Today was Thursday, which is turning into Andy and I’s regularly scheduled date night (it’s his night off work)!  We had so much fun hanging around town and enjoying the warm but mild weather.  We went to Saxby’s for some iced coffee…

    Happy at Saxby's!

    …peeked at some books at the local bookstore, and went to one of my favorite casual Doylestown restaurants, Jules Pizza! Jules makes (delicious) thin crust pizzas, and uses mainly local, organic ingredients. They have your classic pizzas (plain, meatlovers, buffalo chicken, veggie) but also feature more unique toppings such as apples, brie cheese, butternut squash, pears, almonds, and edamame!

    Some of the Jules Line-Up

    My go-to Jules pizza is a bit boring, but it never gets old to me! I go with what I like to think of as the “adult” plain pizza, fresh mozzarella, basil and greens, organic tomato sauce, and tomatoes.  Everything always tastes so fresh.   YUMMY!

    My Favorite Jules Pizza

    Andy got the “adult” plain as well as a slice of the Buffalo Chicken, which is always his favorite. He let me have a couple bites of his, and it was delish! Usually the Buffalo Chicken pizzas I’ve tried are too greasy, but Jules’ still was loaded but light.

    Andy's Selections

    He’s such a good sport for putting up with all my photo-taking!

    THEN, we went grocery shopping and cooked up a special treat!

    More info about that will be in tomorrow’s post, for now all I’ll say is that it was surprisingly delicious!

  5. The heat FINALLY broke, so my room doesn’t feel so miserable (our upstairs air conditioning has been broken and I’ve been living/sleeping in an 85 degree room…yikes!).
-Dominique
Let’s Chat!

  1. What did YOU love about today?
  2. What are your favorite pizza toppings?  Are they classic or unique? 

Picnic Dates, Complaints, and Freebies!


Yesterday was Andy’s day off of work, and he ever so kindly used his time to drive me to work in the morning so that we could hang out afterwards.  It was going to be 84 degrees (Fahrenheit) and sunny!  Our big date plans?  Picking up hoagies from Wawa (Hoagiefest 2011!), having a picnic dinner at a local park, and then checking out Central Bucks West’s spring Choir Concert.

Ready to Go!

All I had to do was get through the workday!  I work a 9-5 office job in customer service that can sometimes be wonderful and other times be extremely frustrating and trying.  Yesterday was of the frustrating variety, so I was delighted when my boss told me to check out the cupcakes in the fridge.  What a great middle of the day pick-me-up! 😉

Chocolate with Coffee Icing, Peanut Butter Inside, and a Peanut-Butter Cup on Top!

Finally I was done with work, Andy picked me up, we got our hoagies, and set up our blanket at Peace Valley.  Picnicking is always one of my favorite date ideas, because it is cheap (you can even make your own food if you want!) and it allows you to spend time outside.

Ready to Picnic

It was a BEAUTIFUL day outside, quiet and peaceful, and warm with a light breeze off the water!

Beautiful Peace Valley Park

Just as I was about to dig into my hoagie (actually, when I was taking this picture) I realized something…my hoagie wasn’t right! I had ordered a “shorti” on a wheat roll with turkey, provolone, a little bit of mayo, lettuce, onions, and tomato, but that’s not what I got! They forgot to put on the tomatoes and the onions, and everyone knows the tomatoes are the best part!

Of course I still ate it, but I was sooo bummed. I had been looking forward to this hoagie all day (a lot of my life revolves around looking forward to eating), and I hadn’t had a Wawa hoagie since last summer! The most annoying part for me was that everything else about dinner (the setting, the weather, the company 😉 ) was absolutely perfect, except my food! After complaining about it for two minutes, I declared that I was “over it” and proceeded to enjoy my “sandwich” (I refuse to call it a hoagie without the tomatoes).  The whole wheat roll (new to Wawa) was actually quite delicious and hearty!  I approve.

Hoagie Fail

That’s how I (at least try) to deal with a lot of small disappointments that I come across. I allow myself to be upset about the problem and whine about it for a short amount of time, then I just drop it and try to enjoy all the other wonderful aspects of my life. I used to be more negative person, but I began to realize that dwelling on the negative just causes me so much anxiety, and actually affects my health! The anxiety that I generate when I complain or think negatively literally makes me sick to my stomach. It’s a blessing in disguise, because it forces me to think positively.

Sometimes, however, complaining can be a good thing! Andy never hesitates to complain when he receives bad service or unsatisfactory products. Of course, he is never mean about it, and he always ends up getting more than he asked for in the first place! He was really disappointed that I wasn’t satisfied with my hoagie, so he called Wawa and told them that they messed up my order. He spoke (politely) with the manager, who took down his name and phone number, apologized, and told us that we could come in and get a replacement hoagie whenever. Score! We actually ended up going in later that night to claim it. We split it though, I promise! 🙂 Sometimes I wish I could be more assertive when I’m disappointed with service or products. After all, when I’m spending my hard-earned cash, I deserve to get what I pay for!

Overall, tomatoes or no tomatoes, it was a beautiful day to spend outside soaking up the sun and catching up with Andy before the busy weekend!

-Dominique

Let’s Chat!

  1. What is in your ideal hoagie?
  2. When you receive bad service or products, how do you react?  Do you just blow it off, do you politely complain, or do you explode with anger (I used to work at a restaurant, I’ve seen it happen)?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments 🙂