Tag Archives: lunch

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

High Tea at the Talking Teacup


Emma and I LOVE tradition. We have been neighbors and best friends since middle school, so we’ve had a lot of time to develop special things that we always do together!  One of our most treasured traditions is going to The Talking Teacup, a wonderful little teahouse in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.

Christmas 2010 at the Talking Teacup!

Last weekend we visited again, the occasion being Emma’s 20th birthday (a little belated, I know, but this was the only time that we could do it! Check out Emma’s other birthday festivities here and here). My mom got her a groupon for 2 high teas for her birthday, and surprise, she decided to ask me to go with her.

Happy Belated Birthday, Emma!

We started out by selecting our teas, I got a vanilla chai and Emma got an immunity booster. Each pot has about four or five cups, which is great! Way better than the Willow Tea Room in Scotland that I just recapped.

Our first course was scones, hot out of the oven!

Walnut Cinnamon and Chocolate Chip Scones w/ Jam and Devonshire Cream

I LOVE Devonshire cream, I could lick it right out of the bowl!!

Then came the soup of the day. We were in luck, it was tomato bisque! (Actually, every soup I’ve had there has been out of this world, but the tomato bisque is one of my favorites!)

Tomato Bisque Soup

Then the sandwiches! Emma got vegetarian, I got omnivorous.
So many yummy sandwiches
I always forget what kind of sandwiches there are, but I distinctively remember cucumber with herby mayo spread on white bread, ham and dijon mustard on cinnamon swirl bread, egg salad on wheat, chicken salad, artichoke, sundried tomato, and lots of other yummies! I would rather eat a million different mini-sandwiches than one amazing big sandwich. There’s just something about mini food that really excites me!! Especially mini food shaped like teapots…
CUTEST SANDWICH

Something Emma and I love about the Talking Teacup is all of the little details, like the mismatched dishes…
We love the mismatched dishes and cutlery!
and the scone tray that is really just a plate hot glued to a candlestick!! I gotta get on that craft.

NEED TO CRAFT THIS

Lastly, dessert. I told myself I’d just eat half of each, but I couldn’t help but eat the whole thing! High tea only happens twice a year, after all 😉

Trio of Desserts (Sugar Cookie, Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Vanilla Cake with Marmalade Layers)

Overall it was a great time at the Talking Teacup as usual (and even better because we didn’t have to pay! Thanks mom!). I already can’t wait to go again!!

If you want to read Emma’s recap, you can here!

-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

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?

Power-Up Breakfast #2: Raw “Cookie Dough”


As I mentioned in Power-Up Breakfast #1:  Fast Frittata, I strongly believe that every good day should start with a good breakfast!  One of my all-time favorite breakfasts that I discovered in the blogosphere is what people are calling “Vegan Cookie Dough” or “Raw Cookie Dough”.  I was skeptical that anything healthy could mimic cookie dough, but hearing everyone rave about it made me want to try it.  I’m so glad I did!  I probably make raw “cookie dough” for myself about 5 times a week now.  It is SUPER easy, quick, and filling.  When I eat it for breakfast at 8:30AM I usually am not even hungry until 2PM, which is a pretty big deal for me.

I’m going to show you how I make it, but what’s best about raw “cookie dough” is that once you get the idea behind it, it’s extremely easy to customize!  Like I said, I combined a lot of things I saw on different blogs, and my own preferences, to come up with my raw “cookie dough”, and I claim NO OWNERSHIP over this concept or this recipe!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • a couple splashes of liquid (I use Almond Milk, you can use water, soymilk, cow’s milk, etc.)
  • 1 scoop of Protein powder (I use vanilla flavored)
  • 1 spoonful of nut butter (I use almond butter)
  • Mix-ins of your choosing (this time i went with chopped walnuts for crunch and coconut flakes for extra sweetness!  other ideas include chocolate chips, dried or chopped fruit, or other nuts/seeds)

Ingredient Line-up

In my mind, ALMOND BUTTER is the star of this recipe!! I can't get enough of this stuff.

Although you essentially just have to combine all the ingredients and stir, I find it easier if I dissolve the protein powder in my liquid before adding any other ingredients, just so it doesn’t leave my cookie dough powdery!

ALMOND BUTTER, YOU SLAY ME EVERY TIME

All mixed up!

I like to chop a banana on top, it goes perfect with the cookie dough texture and taste!

And ready to go!

It may not look pretty, but if you like oats like I do, I’m sure you will LOVE it!
I like to make my raw cookie dough in a Tupperware container so that I can snap on the lid and take it with me to work.  Portable cookie dough!

What else do I take to work? Here’s was my lunch line-up this morning…

Lots of Water, Apple, Greek Yogurt, Veggies, and a BabyBel Cheese (another growing addiction)

It may not look like a lot, but like I said, the raw cookie dough keeps me full past noon!!

-Dominique

Let’s Chat:

  1. What mix-ins would go in YOUR raw cookie dough?
  2. Do you pack your lunch for work, or buy it there?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments 🙂