Tofu Salad Bowl

Doing something a little different for this post. I recorded a video because I’ve been wanting to start doing some video things. It’s not at all professional I shot it on my iPhone 8 and then edited it in iMovie I don’t have any editing software but if I like this whole video thing I’ll invest in a camera and software.

So, this is a video and rough recipe of a salad I’ve been doing lately for lunch/dinner.

First blot your tofu then cut it into chunks or squares.

Season them how you want. I was doing an Asian inspired salad so I used ginger, coconut aminos, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and siracha. You can see in the video I don’t use measurements it was too hard with one hand. And then I baked them at 400 degrees for 35 minutes to get them crispy on the outside.

The salad was a mix I bought from Publix with cabbage, cut brussel sprouts, and kale and I added chopped carrots.

Finished tofu. If you’re baking tofu and not using oil like me I recommend using parchment paper and not foil it gets the tofu crispy on the outside but soft on the inside like a really good french fry.

And added siracha, follow your heart vegan Caesar dressing and walnut “cheese”.

This is a really filling salad and I know I won’t be hungry again until way later and will probably have a banana smoothie.

edit- I ate this around 1pm yesterday and I ended-up eating another salad later in the evening but used lettuce (I know) and today I feel so sick. I threw the bag away already. While I was eating something told me to stop because the lettuce wasn’t crunchy at all and I had a bad feeling about buying lettuce when I bought it (should’ve listened to instinct). So, I hope y’all are all staying safe with your greens right now and not taking your body or health for granted.

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Friendsgiving 2018

Friendships are important. Some might even say more important than family. Friendships are people that you choose, you share with, you trust. And what better way to celebrate friendships than having a Friendsgiving chilling with your friends, eating, and showing them how much you appreciate them. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Bring grateful. Being appreciative. And just like we are grateful for family we should also be grateful for friendships. Since last year my closest friend has been hosting a vegan Friendsgiving at her house. Last year I brought Sage to the Friendsgiving and oddly I have no pictures from it – but this year I just wanted to hang out with my friends and have a rare but needed time off from mom duties.

I bought a vegan cherry pie from Whole Foods because I had to work all weekend and was being lazy and didn’t want to bake/cook anything. It was really good but next year I’ll probably suck it up and just make something because it was $15. There was vegan or seitan fried “chicken” cheesy vegan scalloped potato’s, vegan macaroni and cheese, and a cucumber- onion-tomato salad. I’ve had cashew cheese macaroni before and it was so rich and filling but so good. I may never do macaroni another way now. And the cucumber salad was very needed because everything else was heavy.

We played uno and jenga. My friends boyfriend has a studio in their house where he makes beats and we attempted (and I use this loosely) to make a beat. We watched big mouth, drank wine. And talked.

I ate my leftovers Sunday morning before I went to work and they were even better than I remembered! I left the macaroni for Sage to eat so hopefully she likes it as much as I did cause that’s how I’ll be making it from now on.

I’m an anti social person I like my me time and my own space more than others. I also can feed off others energy really easily and I get anxiety / stress from situations that can go “bad”. The people I do like to engage with I love them. They are very close and very important to me so Friendsgiving is easily one of my favorite social outings of the year. I like eating, drinking, and being with my friends.

If you’re like me and most of your family lives in a different state or if you have to work on thanksgiving having a Friendsgiving another day than on the actual holiday can allow you to experience the feeling of thanksgiving and celebrate. Everyone needs someone get in the spirit of celebrating who is there and shows up for you.

If you don’t have a Friendsgiving tradition I say start one! Even this year it’s not too late yet!

November Playlist

I know I said last month I wasn’t going to make a playlist for Novemeber because they take a lot of work (I like the vibe to be just right) but I made a playlist for this month anyway and its all my favorite throwback songs from middle school and older. So, Brittany Spears, nsync, Christina Aguilera, Sisco, B2k. You guys know. Back when music was really fun. I’ve just been feeling really nostalgic lately. Time is moving really fast it seems. I can’t believe its already holiday season again. Every year seeing how much Sage is growing just reminds me that I’m getting older. Things are changing. I’m no longer in my early 20s and the 90s was almost 30 years ago. It honestly makes me so sad and anxious for what’s next. But I’m trying my hardest to just take it easy and reminisce without getting stuck. Celebrate my age and the things that made me happy in childhood.

So, yeah check out the Novemeber playlist and ill have a playlist in December which will be all my favorite bops from 2018.

November Playlist

november playlist

And in honor of me feelin so nostalgic here’s a throwback flash too bright photo of me and my mom from 1995.

Crystal of the Month

Orange calcite is this months crystal as I’m currently focusing on my sacral chakra and using my orange crystals to tune into this second chakra. I’ll also touch on carnelian which is my other sacral go to crystal. And mookaite jasper which is another crystal I’ve been meditating with currently. Orange calcite is this translucent colored crystal that is mostly grown and harvested in Mexico I have been sleeping with orange calcite under my pillow the past couple days. It really is gently easy flowing energy. And I’ve already started painting again I painted yesterday for a little bit and I don’t paint consistently (at all cause of stress & things) but I’ve been feelin a creative “spark” since using the orange calcite. Just wanting to not let fear eat at me and go for it. Orange crystals are perfect for confidence, joy, creativity, fertility, abundance, inventiveness, independence, self-esteem, strengthening identity, happiness, and creative / artistic ventures. Orange calcite is a powerful yet gentle stone and even my 2 year old is attracted to it and always wants to hold it. It’s warm energy.

The sacral chakra which is associated with the color orange is one of the three “lower” chakras and is the second chakra above the root. It’s area on the body is the lower abdomen. It deals in your sense of pleasure, abundance, joy of life, well-being, sexuality (and sexual energy) and creativity.

Orange Calcite is gentle restorative and revitalizing energy. Helps improve the flow of chi,creativity, and sensuality. Clears blocked energy in the sacral chakra, improves digestion, and strengthens the immune system. For a more relaxed state wearing orange calcite can help. Orange calcite also helps bring your emotional energy back into a state of balance. If you have trouble with mood swings or dramatic shifts in mood and temperament (my Gemini self does at times) then orange calcite can gently moderate this imbalance while you can seek out the cause of the moodiness. Meditating with orange calcite and carnelian (another sacral chakra stone I’ll talk more in depth about in its own post) can help you to feel more pleasure about life- if you are feeling unenthusiastic or blocked from experiencing pleasure in any form.

Element: fire.

Planet: Sun

Helps in balancing sexual energies. As well as removing any and all creative blocks one might be feeling. Though I got this crystal just to work on my sacral chakra it is really helping me to heal and clear creative blocks and fears I’ve had this year. I’ve began writing my manuscript for my book of poetry and painting again – finding my own creative style and not looking and envying what other artists are doing.

This is a good stone to have if you’re a beginner in crystal healing. Or if advanced. If you’re a creative. Or just as a chakra crystal stone.

okay, so let’s touch on mookaite jasper and carnelian a bit. Carnelian is passionate, determined, fiery energy. Excellent for creatives. Helps with empowerment and boundary issues, modified destructive impulses, increases feelings of confidence and self-worth. Mookaite Jasper helps relax you and surrender to the natural flow and rhythms of the earth and of your body. Improves sleep patterns. And feelings of being grounded and connected to earth. Both of these crystals would also be excellent for the sacral chakra in opening it and balancing it and if you just want certain qualities to stand out in your personality more.

Got this chunk from @wildandfreepeople on Instagram they also have an Etsy where they sell lots of crystals. I have a physical store I love to buy crystals from in Atlanta but I can’t always get there. So, having online alternatives is good for me.

if anyone knows of woc online sellers of herbs and crystals please send me their info!

Vegan Loaded Potato Soup

I love soup. I’ve said already how I love fall well I was even eating soup this summer in 90 degree weather. I love comfort food if I’m eating it needs to be enjoyable it needs to bring me comfort. So, I told myself this fall instead of buying canned soup I would make my own from scratch so  I found a recipe online for loaded potato soup and just veganized it – I’m sure there are vegan loaded potato soup recipes out there but I didn’t want to just follow a vegan one but see if I could make the changes and still make a delicious soup. I honestly haven’t had potato soup since I stopped eating meat. I remember when I was vegetarian in high school I went to O’Charleys with some friends and ordered the loaded baked potato soup and asked for no bacon (it came with cheese too but I wasn’t vegan) and it came to the table …. with bacon. Yup, and I sent it back. That was the very last time I had this filling soup. Since then being vegan/vegetarian I don’t think is as hard now. As a soup person I don’t think soup is just an appetizer to the main course but that it is the main course and I don’t necessarily need a sandwich or bread with it either. Potato soup is definitely a filling soup. It’s creamy. It’s thick.

When thinking about doing this soup I wondered if I should just skip the bacon part. If I should just crisp up some maple tempeh or if I should do coconut or eggplant bacon and not use anything processed. I also knew I wanted a “cheese” and I wanted a creamy soup there are tons of plant based diary products out there now – I tend to always go to almond based ones but thought maybe I should try oat milk for this soup for a creamier thicker consistency. I thought about making my own cheese too but then realized this recipe was getting complicated. So, cause I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen and for the sake of this soup being toddler and mom time friendly I decided to make the cheese sauce from scratch but to just do the maple tempeh for a topping.

Here’s the recipe:

a bag of potatoes I used red potatoes roughly 6-8.

Roast them first I roasted them for 45 mins

Then cook onions (about 1/4 a cup) tempeh garlic and carrots in a skillet in some oil till tempeh is crispy onions are translucent, garlic is browned, carrots are soft.

Add this (tempeh, onion garlic,carrot) and the roasted potatoes to blinder with veggie stock and water I used about a cup of both

Keep some of your tempeh to top soup

Also add in coconut milk unsweetened in a can is better for that creamy thickness. Keep some of the coconut milk to swirl across top of soup (if ya want)

Blend until creamy (I also added nutritional yeast)

Top with whatever toppings you want. Sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, tempeh a green (I used the carrot tops as mine)

Btw I wanted this soup to last a couple days. So if you don’t like leftovers I suggest cutting the recipe in half.

Also I’m not one of those cooks (I’m not even a cook lol) who measures things out perfectly but I cook to taste. So I’m constantly tasting as I cook and adjusting so I would advise you to do the same.

Happy fall everyone! I’m looking forward to making and sharing more soups. 🍵

Diary #1

I had a planned blog post for today. It was going to be recipe for cabbage stir fry with all the veggies. But for reasons that post has been postponed. But because I want to hold myself accountable and stick to my schedule of posting every Monday I thought let me tackle some questions and thoughts that I have here to create dialogue in diary/journal posts. So, here’s my question for today.

Are we really defined by our things and not who we are? Or do our things that we own (clothes, where we live, our cars, our phones) do they measure success? Is there value greater than our own?

I think about this a lot. Mainly cause I’m in no position (yet) to afford a lot of things that people measure as forms of oh that persons successful or cool or worthy. Last year for the whole year basically I had an iPhone 4 yes an iPhone 4 I had a iPhone 5 but had broken it and didn’t want to pay for a new that would’ve been $500 because I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade. So, I opted not spend a whole lot of money on a phone because it wasn’t important to me. Instead I bought a refurbished iPhone 4 off amazon and that was that.

Having an iPhone 4 didn’t bother me but it seemed to bother other people. I went out a couple of times with friends and of course would pull out my phone to take pics to show them something whatever and on occasion this one friend would say things like you need a new phone. It’s not that my phone didn’t work it was cause it wasn’t the latest model.

So, this of course would make me feel some type of way like maybe I did need a new phone maybe I wasn’t cool enough cause I didn’t have an iPhone 6. (Or whatever this is just an example) But then I realized none of the things we have should really mean anything.

What is value? What is success?

Is it only measure by how much money I have in my bank account and if I have the latest and greatest thing. Is it the model and make of my car? Or a fancy apartment with a $1500 rent bill. Is it being able to afford things you want?

Of course I’m not saying that things are bad. I know we’re human and wants and desires are natural. But why is it so important?

Social media has turned value and success into showing off. And there’s a difference.

I don’t think owning things and having things is wrong. I just think it’s become a sense of status to have certain things and I’m not sure if I want to give value to things that much over people and relationships.

I don’t know. What are your thoughts on what success looks like to you? Does having certain things help you feel good about yourself/life? And why.

I think success will look different to everyone but I think it’s mainly a feeling not so much a surplus of things. Not a nice house not a fancy car. But being able to take car of yourself really take care of yourself. Your mental health your emotional health. To be able to pay your bills. Not struggle not be stressed about money.

It’s more of abundance of the spirit and not an abundance of things.

It’s the libra new moon today and I’ve just been thinking about my relationship to things and to “status” social media and what it means to me.

I hate that social media has become a popularity contest a numbers game. Aesthetics. For myself I just want it to simply be about connection. Connecting to others and sharing parts of myself and that’s it.

My Capricorn moon the past couple of months had me feeling upset. Sad, ungrateful, anxious for all the things I want. New clothes, jewelry, shoes. And not being able to afford these things. Overlooking that I have so much to be thankful for. I can pay my bills. I have an apartment. I have a healthy daughter. And if I continue there will be a break where I can really start to save money and afford some of the things I want. But if I can’t afford them now there’s no reason to feel negative feelings about that.

I’ve had to be really patient with myself and my feelings and figuring out why I felt so upset about not having the latest fashion or being able to buy those really cute boots I want. But looking at all I do have and saying I’m good where I’m at and being satisfied. Life is not about always chasing the next thing. I know with social media and instant gratification seeing how celebrities live that it can be daunting seeing all these things people show off but they are just things. I’m abundant. Maybe not by society standards (or even my own financial dreams) but I’m abundant in love and understanding and those things matter too.

And I’m ok. I’m more than okay.

October Playlist

Hey hey!

It’s my favorite month of the year, I love October. Halloween’s my favorite holiday. Falls my favorite season. I’m happy I’m feeling it. This playlist is probably the most “alternative” playlist I’ve made. Lots of “soft” rock. Some Jimi. Some 6lack. Some trap mixed in too. I definitely got into the Halloween spirit with Santana’s “black magic woman”. I’m so ready for Halloween. Sage wants to be Elisa *rolls eyes* but I’m excited to take her trick or treating. It’s the first year she vocally could say what she wanted to be. And I’m of course excited for Halloween parties I still dress up. There’s way more alcohol involved in my festivities though and I’m hype to say the least.

Anyways, hope y’all enjoy this playlist I know the songs won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But it’s a-ok. I’m going to be jamming out to these songs all month long. 🎃

October Playlist

p.s.

thinking of doing something different for November and posting my fav SoundCloud mix (or mixes) for y’all to listen to instead of making a playlist myself but I’ll be back with a playlist in December ♥️

Artwork @serpentfire