Glorious Finals

Hi everyone! Long time no see, huh? Please excuse my absence, but you all know how school and life can be.

Right now I am in the midst of glorious finals week and I only have one more to go and then it’s FREEDOM! I can’t wait, but before I get back to studying my butt off I wanted to update my blog with tons of food pics that have been piling up in my camera’s memory.

In April, this blog turned one year old! YAY! I have had loads of fun becoming a part of this wonderful blogosphere and I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first started Vegan Nurse. I can’t wait to see what this next year holds in store.

On to the food!

DSCN5245

First off, I tried a new Larabar flavor – Lemon Bar. Now usually I am not a huge fan of citrus flavors, but this one was really good. The Lemon flavor was spot on and it wasn’t too overpowering like I thought it would be.

VeggieGirl's Infamous Blondies
VeggieGirl’s Infamous Blondies

OMG, believe the hype people! VeggieGirl’s blondies are the shiznit! What are you waiting for? Go bake some right now!

Inside Look @ Blondies... YUM!
Inside Look @ Blondies… YUM!

I also was able to try some of the BEST COOKIES EVER

Hilary's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Hilary’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

You guys know me and my cookies… but man, oh man, was this the best cookie I’ve ever had (and I’ve had my fair share of them, trust me!). If you are able to find these cookies, I highly recommend Hilary’s – she knows what she’s doin’.

The Best Burger Eva
The Best Burger Eva

My mom has been really awesome lately as she’s been cooking up vegan meals like none other. One day she decided to make the fam Grilled Veggie Pesto Burgers! Oh yes, it is as amazing as it sounds, friends. My mom would grill up portabella mushrooms, eggplants, zucchini, red/green peppers, and the marinate them in a delicous (vegan!) pesto sauce. HOLY YUM.. best burger of my life. Period.

What's a burger without some onion rings?
What’s a burger without some onion rings?

The onion rings were the bomb, guys! They are vegan amd gluten free and so darn tasty. The brand we got we found at Whole Foods and it was Ian’s. Definitely recommended.

New obsession alert!

Wait, these aren't cookies...
Wait, these aren’t cookies…

Nope, but they sure are addicting little fellas! These little cafe twist are really good and it’s amazing that they’re only 30 kcals per twist! Trader Joe’s has managed to create a vegan delicacy with these little cinnamon sugar sticks. The perfect sensible dessert.. or you could eat a ton of ’em and not feel too guilty, haha.

Mystic Mango Kombucha
Mystic Mango Kombucha

This is hands down my favorite Kombucha flavor. Love how it makes my tummy feel.

Another VG Blondie Batch!
Another VG Blondie Batch!

What – you STILL haven’t baked a batch? What are you waiting for?

Chicago Diner Strawberry Vegan Shake
Chicago Diner Strawberry Vegan Shake

My lil sister fell in love with Chicago Diner shakes after she ordered this baby. “This is, like, the BEST THING EVER” she exclaimed as she downed her beverage in two seconds flat. I still haven’t tried the famour PB Cookie Dough Milkshake, but don’t worry it’s definitely on my to-do list, Ruby Red! 😉

I ordered a bit more sensible and healthy drink for my meal –

Fresh Carrot Juice
Fresh Carrot Juice

Ah, nothing beats freshly made carrot juice. So delicious and so invigorating! What did I order for my meal…

Raw B.L.Tease Sandwich
Raw B.L.Tease Sandwich

I ordered the raw special of the day – the BLTease Sandwich. Described on the menu as “eggplant ‘bacon’, avocado, tomato slices, sprouts, cashew-date mustard sauce on kamut-walnut-flax bread. With almond-cashew “mayo” coleslaw & parsnip-sweet potato chips.” Umm, yea, how heavenly does that sound? It was a pretty radical sammy, guys. The flavors were outstanding and everything was just so delish! I was completely satisfied with my meal, but of course you know me – I can’t say no to dessert! My mom and I decided to order…

Raw Pineapple Cheezecake
Raw Pineapple Cheezecake

OMG, was this AMAZING! My mom and I were in heaven with each and every bite. And the awesome thing about raw desserts – they actually fill you up! Of course this put me over the top, but it was so worth it. Nom, nom. 😀

On a routine trip to Trader Joe’s I found something I wanted to give a try.

Chicken-less Pulled Chicken in BBQ Sauce
Chicken-less Pulled Chicken in BBQ Sauce

It sounded amazing, but it was just ok. I wish the BBQ sauce had a more dominant flavor.

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with raw desserts and I had to jump on the blog bandwagon when I saw these little guys popping up…

Ani Phyo's Amazing Raw Donut holes
Ani Phyo’s Amazing Raw Donut holes

I have Ani Phyo’s “cookbook” so as soon as I saw these babies on everyone’s blogs, I decided to whip out Phyo and make these babies. Oh, yes, it is true guys.. they are as amazing everyone said they are. MMM! But don’t despair if you don’t have Miss Phyo’s book (although it is highly recommended)! You can go here and get the recipe to make ’em yourself. 😀

My local Whole Foods has started stocking up on raw desserts that have intrigued me for quite some time now. I finally decided to give one a try. How couldn’t I when it was the raw version of my favorite dessert ever…

Raw Creations Carrot Cheesecake
Raw Creations Carrot Cheesecake

Raw Creations is a local place that cranks up amazing raw desserts. Check out their website and look at the amazing things they make. This carrot cheesecake, I’m not gonna lie, was the best carrot cake I’ve had in my life. It was AMAZING! Like heaven in dessert form. Yum!

Bob's Peanut Butter Oat Bar
Bob’s Peanut Butter Oat Bar

I found this Bobo’s Oat Bar at my local health food store because it sounded amazing, but it was just ok. The PB flavor was not as strong as I thought it would be.

Last but not least..

Pancakes!
Pancakes!

I’ve been having these babies pretty much twice a week. They are so good and so easy to make. A definite fave recipe, for sure. I used this recipe and I just love how they come out. Fluffy, with just a hint of sweetness. Ah, nothing beats pancakes on a Saturday morning.

Alright guys that’s all I have for you for now! Sorry this post was so long, but I promise to be back more frequently once school is over. You all have an amazing weekend!

‘Til next time,

Evey Out!

Minneapolis Fun

Minneapolis was a good ol’ time! I am such a city girl at heart, so when I found out that the hotel we were staying at was smack dab in the middle of Downtown, I was ecstatic!

LOVE Big Buildings!
LOVE Big Buildings!

The weekend was so fun (with business mixed in, of course) and it pretty much revolved around food! That’s what happens when you travel with food lovers, haha! Our first Minneapolis food stop? Pizza Luce, of course! Cuz who doesn’t like pizza?

After much deliberation, I decided to “Build My Own Pizza” with soy cheese, mushrooms, pineapple, and mock breaded chicken. Mmm!

Nom, Nom!
Nom, Nom!

Afterwards, we decided to walk around town, though it was chilly! Luckily, we used the Skyway.. such an brilliant idea!

The Skyway
The Skyway
View From Skyway
View From Skyway

After walking, shopping at Nicollet Mall and getting to know the city, we worked up quite an appetite and my omni friends wanted to go to The Melting Pot.

Cheese All Gone.. I assume that means it was good?
Cheese All Gone.. I assume that means it was good?

I wasn’t able to participate with the cheese fondue, but I did have my fare share of dippers while my friends gladly chowed down on the cheese. But they didn’t want to leave me out with dessert, so we ended ordering The Original Chocolate Dessert, subbing DARK chocolate for milk chocolate.

Umm, dark chocolate with peanut butter?? YUM, are you kidding me??

OMG! Check out the spread!!
OMG! Check out the spread!!

I gladly dipped my fruit and dipped it into melty, smooth delicious mix of dark chocolate with peanut butter. Oh, yea!

Hooray for Chocolate!
Hooray for Chocolate!

We were all quite content with our first night in Minneapolis. On Saturday it was pretty much all business, attending the conference and presenting our project. It was fun and we learned a lot, too!

After the presentation we decided to enjoy our last night by making a mandatory stop at the Mall of America! On our way there, I was delightfully surprised to find the legendary OatsCreme!

Non Dairy Soft Serve! Score!
Non Dairy Soft Serve! Score!

I ordered the small vanilla with carob chips(!!) and strawberries…

I Scream for OatsCreme!
I Scream for OatsCreme!

I was so happy and I throughly enjoyed my OatsCreme experience. Soo good, and soo healthy, too! Why don’t I have this in Chicago? 😦

When we finally arrived at the Mall of America, all of our jaws dropped! Whoa, this mall is INTENSE! We were so overwhelmed!

4 floors?
4 floors?

And then we saw this…

An Amusement Park.. Inside? Cool!
An Amusement Park.. Inside? Cool!

And they had…

LEGOland
LEGOland

Then it was time to head back…

dscn5234

For breakfast this morning I was able to find another vegan goodie!

Lemon Poppyseed Suncake
Lemon Poppyseed Suncake

I was happy to have found these, since I can’t find them anywhere in Chicago. Ruby Red has recommended the Heart Thrives to me for quite a while. This delicious California Suncake packed quite a nutritonal punch! It totally satisfied me during the trip back home. Oh, and I did nibble a bit on a Pizza Luce dessert…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar (it's vegan!)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar (it’s vegan!)

A delicious way to end my fun weekend at Minneapolis. I was pleased to find how vegan friendly this city is! It was a wonderful place and I hope to visit again sometime and hit up even more of the wonderful vegan places this town has to offer.

Well, I think it’s time for me to get to bed and get ready for another week of classes. Ugh!

I wish you all a happy week!

Headin’ North

Here I go again… I’m off to another location! Oh, how I love to travel! I really hope to be able to do much more traveling once I have me some $$$.

This time the destination isn’t South, but up North. I’m off to Minneapolis, MN! I have never been up north and am prettyexcited for this trip. I am going there to attend a conference (in which I will present in as well!) and I think it’s going to be a great ol’ time.

I will be traveling with two other nursing students and we already have planned in a swim at the hotel’s pool!

But before I’m off, let’s review some of this week’s eats.

dscn5149
PB Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made VeggieGirl’s PB Banana Bread in muffin form for a potluck this weekend. I was inspired by the Hungry Yogini to make this recipe into muffins, plus it was easier way to disperse them at the potluck. I made 24 of these babies and NONE were left. Everyone raved over them and kept asking me for the recipe. Definitely a keeper!

Amy's Medium Chili with Veggies
Amy’s Medium Chili with Veggies

For lunch one of these days I decided to try some of Amy’s Chili. At first, I was lovin’ it. It is chock full of veggies and beans, but then as I started to eat more and more I realized that this was getting a bit too spicy for me. My mouth ended up on fire by the end of the bowl, but it was good. I topped it with Galaxy Vegan Rice Cheese slice, for good measure. Mmm, the only thing I needed was a good ol’ corn muffin.

Fruit N Yogurt
Fruit N Yogurt

Lately, I’ve been enjoying fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Today I had raspberries, blueberries, and bananas topped with unsweetened shredded coconut alongside Silk raspberryyogurt. Mmm! So refreshing!

This week I was  bit by the baking bug, after such a success with the PB Banana Chocolate Chip muffins. I decided to make more baked goods! Once again, I decided to turn to the vegan baking queen for inspiration and decided to make her Almond Butter Hemp Cookies, with one yummy substitution.

Barney Butter Cookies
Barney Butter Cookies

I didn’t use just any almond butter… I used the most delicious one out there – Barney Butter! MMM! These cookies were AMAZING! Better than any peanut butter cookie I’ve ever consumed (and trust me, I’ve had a lot of them in my time). Definitely making these again, though sadly it won’t be anytime soon…

The deliciousness is gone! :-(
The deliciousness is gone! 😦

But luckily this awesome recipe yielded 8 large cookies (my favorite kind!) and I’m able to enjoy the taste of Barney Butter for a bit longer.

Barney Butter Cookie and Almond Milk
Barney Butter Cookie and Almond Milk

Yes, this snack had almond goodness all over it! 😀

I also had some very ripe bananas that were begging to be made into Veganomicon’s Lower Fat Banana Bread, although I don’t think my version of it was exactly “lower fat”. I decided to add in two tbsp of coconut oil and boy did it take this recipe to a whole nother level! This bread was so moist and bursting with banana goodness with a subtle hint of coconut sweetness. I highly recommend it!

Straight out of the oven
Straight out of the oven

I am going to finish up packing for my weekend excursion up north. My flight leaves tomorrow morning and I’m hopeing to have a swell time in the twin cities. I’m hoping to hit up the legendary Pizza Luce and grab some fresh baked goods at the French Meadow Bakery and Cafe. I’m excited!

Have a great weekend guys!

Back From Break

Actually, I’ve been back for almost a week, but I barely found time to post until now. My, how time flies! I can’t believe that it was 3 weeks ago when I started my Spring Break Medical Missions Trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

It was an awesome experience, where it was both rewarding and challenging at times. There were some days in which I wanted nothing more than to be at home, relaxing and having a break, but most of the time I was so happy and glad to have helped out so many people in need. It feels good to help others! Here are a few photos to recap the trip…

Arrived @ San Jose, Costa Rica Airport
Arrived @ San Jose, Costa Rica Airport
Pretty Blue Costa Rican Building
Pretty Blue Costa Rican Building
Costa Rica's National Theatre
Costa Rica’s National Theatre
1st Clinic Day... Dressed in Scrubs!
1st Clinic Day… Dressed in Scrubs!
Setting Up the Clinic
Setting Up the Clinic
Kids Playing Outside the Clinic
Kids Playing Outside the Clinic
Patients Waiting to Be Seen
Patients Waiting to Be Seen
The Pharmacy
The Pharmacy
See the Rainbow?
See the Rainbow?
@ the Costa Rica-Nicaragua Border... WELCOME TO NICARAGUA
@ the Costa Rica-Nicaragua Border… WELCOME TO NICARAGUA
1st Stop in Nicaragua? Restaurant!
1st Stop in Nicaragua? Restaurant!
Volcano
Volcano
Ahh... hammocks by the water...
Ahh… hammocks by the water…
Closer to a volcano... check out cloud on top!
Closer to a volcano… check out cloud on top!
At the Beach
At the Beach
The Clinic in Nicaragua
The Clinic in Nicaragua
Ready for Another Day of Clinic, Dressed in Scrubs
Ready for Another Day of Clinic, Dressed in Scrubs
Clinic
Clinic
Another Volcano.. so many in Nicaragua!
Another Volcano.. so many in Nicaragua!
Last Night, so we had a Fiesta.. pinata included!
Last Night, so we had a Fiesta.. pinata included!
Yours Truly took a couple swings @ it, blindfolded of course
Yours Truly took a couple swings @ it, blindfolded of course
Bye Nicaragua... It's time to go back home!
Bye Nicaragua… It’s time to go back home!

There is so much more photos of the trip that I can post, but I think this post already has enough pics, but if you have any questions about the trip, please don’t hesitate to post it. Like I said, it was an amazing and uique experience and I am so happy that I got to be a part of it.

Oh, but this is a food blog of course, so without further ado, the obligatory cookie post. 😉

ABC Cookie of the Season - Peppermint Chocolate Delight
ABC Cookie of the Season – Peppermint Chocolate Delight

Very tasty.. if you love the combo of chocolate and mint, this is the cookie for you! Added bonus – vegan white chocolate chips!!

ABC Luscious Lemon Poppyseed Cookie
ABC Luscious Lemon Poppyseed Cookie

Wowee!! This cookie was the bomb diggity! Luscios lemon flavor and the awesome crunch of the poppyseed made this super sweet cookie a joy to eat. While some may find it a bit too sweet, it more than satisfied my ever present sweet tooth. Yumo.. go get yourself some vegan cookies!

Til next time, peeps!

Off to Central America

Hello all!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be departing to lovely Costa Rica and Nicaragua tonight, so I just wanted to tell you all I won’t be here for the next two weeks. I will try to take as many pics as I can to show you all… I am very excited to help out those in need! 🙂

I won’t leave you without sharing some eats I’ve had, so…

Berry Almond LUNA Bar

Berry Almond LUNA Bar

I wasn’t expecting much out of this bar, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is very fruity in taste, but the texture of it was kind of weird. Still pretty good, though.

Chocolate Chip CLIF Bar

Chocolate Chip CLIF Bar

I know a lot of people seem to really enjoy this flavor, but I wasn’t really into it. I thought it was just ok.

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

NOW THIS was TASTY! My new favorite CLIF Bar, hands down. This tasted NOTHING like an energy bar – it tasted like a freshly made baked good. The banana permeates the whole bar and there are chocolate chips thrown in there for good measure. I warmed mine up for about 15 secs, and it made this bar 10x better (ooey gooey goodness). I also noticed no weird aftertaste that some of the energy bars have. This is really good, guys. Definitely give it a try.

Shells & Chreese

Shells & Chreese

I had this the other day and thought they were pretty tasty, but I found myself adding a bit more salt and seasonings on it to my liking. It’s great for a quick meal, but it tasted just like Lindsay’s Fat Free Mac n Cheeze.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Of course, no post is complete without my fave dessert ever – cookies! I made a batch of The Everyday Vegan’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies to have throughout the week. Simple, fast, and oh so good! *NOTE, not my picture, but I thought you guys might like a visual, 😉

Heather asked me a good question in my last post about how I deal with my veganism when traveling to foreign countries. Well, I have been to Nicaragua before (this past summer, actually –  you can read about it here) and I was able to eat vegan while down there just fine. There is an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies available, as well as the staple of rice and beans provided at every meal. So, I am not worried at all about my being vegan, but just in case I am not able to find something to eat (which can occur in fast food places, restaurants, etc), then I have some CLIF, LUNA, and Larabars packed just for such an occasion. Thanks for pointing that out, Heather!

Alright, foodies, I’m out! See you in a couple of weeks, 😀

Nicaraguan Volcano.. Cool!

Nicaraguan Volcano.. Cool!

A Week Til Spring Break

Hello all!

I’ve been really busy as of late (who isn’t?), so I don’t have any food pics for you, bummer!

Just wanted to let you know that this week will be CRAZY as well as my Spring Break commences THIS FRIDAY and will go on until March 15! Yea! As happy as I am that it’ll be vacation time soon, that means tons of exams, projects, and work to do before I get my freedom.

Also, for my entire Spring Break I will be on a Medical Missions trip to the lovely countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua!

I’m excited, but also stressed out with all that has to be done before my departure this Friday morning!

AAHH!

Wish me luck guys and I hope you all have a great week, too!

V Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!

I normally don’t do much on this “holiday”.. it’s probably because I’ve always lacked a significant other. But I’m sure once I have one this day will have more meaning. Plus, it is my personal dream to have my wedding day take place on Feb 14! 😉

Anyhoo, not only is it Valentine’s Day.. but it’s also my Veganniversary! What a coinky-dink that it falls on Valentine’s Day, no? It was a year ago today that I made the decision to become a vegan (having been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 9 months). I took the plunge and haven’t looked back since. I have never looked or felt better in my whole life and I owe much of that to my vegan diet. I am very happy to have made this decision.. it truly changed my life (for the better!).

What better way to celebrate V Day than to have a delicious meal at none other than The Chicago Diner?

Raw Linguine and "Crab" Cakes
Raw Linguine and “Crab” Cakes

I ordered today’s raw special, which is zucchini-liguine noodles with crimini mushroom cashew alfredo sauce, with macadamia-porcini “crab” cakes, served with marinated kale-vegetable salad. Wow, was the “alfredo sauce” soooo good, guys! I don’t know what they did to the zucchini, but they totally felt like actual noodles. The crab cakes were salty with just the right amount of crunch to them and the marinated kale salad was so light and flavorful, it rounded off the meal ever so nicely! This was a great way to celebrate my veganniversary, though sadly, they did not have the dessert I was planning for (the raw blueberry cheezecake), but I think it was for good reason.. this meal left me stuffed! Maybe next time?

Another view of the rawsome meal
Another view of the rawsome meal

Before I left to go to the Chicago Diner, I had my mom prepare a favorite of mine.

Mmm.. coconut!
Mmm.. coconut!

A Thai baby coconut that was filled to the brim with delicious and refreshing coconut water. The meat was so good as well, being slighty “slimy” and perfectly sweet. Yum! If you’ve never drank pure coconut water, you’re missing out!

While on a Whole Foods run this week, I noted a new prepared goodie available at the prepared food section: a vegan tamale!

Tamale proudly proclaiming its "vegan-ness"
Tamale proudly proclaiming its “vegan-ness”

The tamale was very good! More tasty than the chicken ones I used to eat in my pre-veg days. I used to LOVE eating tamales in the wintertime.. but ever since I became veg, I knew I would have to say goodbye to these lovely packets of masa goodness, because lard is used to make them. But thanks to my WF, I can FINALLY get my tamale fix. Hooray!

My yummy mushroom-spinach tamale w/ veggies and pico de gallo. YUM!
My yummy mushroom-spinach tamale w/ veggies and pico de gallo. YUM!

Others eats this week include…

dscn4600

Chocolate PB Swril Spiru-tein with Larabar Banana Bread
Chocolate PB Swirl Spiru-tein with Larabar Banana Bread

Umm, I didn’t really like this protein powder. Has anyone tried this flavor? It tasted like.. nothing! Is there any tasty vegan protein powder anywhere??

dscn4603

Gluten-free Soy Cheeze Baked Ziti with Peas, aka HOLY YUM
Gluten-free Soy Cheeze Baked Ziti with Peas, aka HOLY YUM

I didn’t know Amy’s made gluten free pasta, but VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE PASTA.. I had to get my hands on some and I was so glad I did! This was 100x better than I imagined it to be. Kudos to Amy’s for making a bowl of deliciousness.

I tried a new bar this week…

Luna S'mores Bar
Luna S’mores Bar

I decided to give this a try after Brooke raved about it, but I found it to be just ok.

My first raw breakfast!

Raw Coconut Pancake topped with shredded coconut
Raw Coconut Pancake topped with shredded coconut

The recipe comes from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen and while at first I was hesitant about this pancake, I found it to be super filling. I was surprised this little pancake could satiate me for a full 5 1/2 hours, but it did just that. Not only was it filling, but it was quite tasty as well. Delicately sweet with a hint of coconut in every bite. Raw food does it again!

dscn4620

Ramen! I mean, Udon Noodle Soup
Ramen! I mean, Udon Noodle Soup

This soup sent my taste buds back in time to the days in which I had Chicken Ramen Noodles for lunch. It was so good, the noodles were perfect and so reminiscent of ramen, I felt a bit naughty eating this. It’s actually quite healthy!

MY SECRET CUPID!

The goods!
The goods!

Allison from Green Dog Wine was my secret  cupid and she sent me a box full of goodies! She noticed my love for Larabars and WCMN Clif bars, and also added in some cute VDay stuff, such as socks and a kitchen towel (how did you know I needed one?). THANK YOU SO MUCH ALLISON.. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift. You seriously rock, girl!

And before I leave, here’s a little dessert I had from Borrowed Earth Cafe

Out of this World Vanilla Chocolate Cheesecake
Out of this World Vanilla Chocolate Cheesecake

And yes, it was out of this world.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend guys!