Zoe’s Kitchen

Let me tell you guys about the most amazing restaurant I have ever been to in my whole entire life. Yes, I am very excited to share this place with you guys.

When I first moved to Augusta I was pretty disappointed coming from South Florida where there are TONS of food places. There are so many options and plenty of vegan/ vegetarian friendly places you really don’t have to do research to find one. Now here, you do have to do a little work. There are plenty Bo’Jangles, McDonald’s, Taco Bells and basically every other fast food “restaurant” you can think of. (No wonder as of 2014 Georgia had the 19th highest adult obesity rate in the nation).

But thank the heavens that there is Zoe’s Kitchen.

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I’ve been to this place about 5 times now and it has never failed me. There are Zoe’s Kitchens in Florida ( Orlando area and north, no wonder I’ve never seen one), Georgia, Texas, Arizona and more. They have this whole “Live Mediterranean” theme going on. They have soups, salads sandwiches and kebabs! Most of the time when I go out to eat I feel like I’m getting short changed. Most places don’t take the time to cook good food for people that don’t eat meat, the same time and effort isn’t put into our food and frankly it sucks.

Let me tell you the process. It’s a fast casual place so you order at the register, take your number, sit down and just wait for them to bring your food. And when you’re done you have to resist all urges to clean up after yourself and leave your trash on the table for them to clean up after you.

Last time I ate here I got their veggie kebabs. It came with two kebabs filled with Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and onions. I’m not the craziest fan of zucchini, it has to be made right and guess what? Zoe’s knows what they’re doing with their vegetables. It also came with a salad (They make their own salad dressings that they have available for sale), pita bread and the best braised white beans I have ever had!

Can you tell I love this place?

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I also love this place because I don’t feel crappy after I eat. I absolutely hate that feeling of guilt after I eat. This place doesn’t do that for me! I feel great and so proud of myself every time.

This place is a must try!

Let me know what you guys think, have a great Wednesday.

Love,

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Vegan cheesecake 

Hey guys! I have a great dessert recipe for those that are vegan and those that appreciate vegan dishes, vegan cheesecake! Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, it’s creamy and not too sweet, just perfect. So I decided to make it vegan. It was great, at least to me. My family doesn’t care for vegan things so of course they wanted the real thing and didn’t care for this. 

But stay with me! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cup of cashews soaked in water overnight. 
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup 
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk 
  • FOR ON TOP I ADDED GUAVA! 
  •  -guava paste that I melted and mixed with 1/4 cup of water to make it thinner. 
  • Graham cracker crumbs mixed with melted coconut oil for the crust. 

This is so easy. 

I put all my ingredients except for the guava paste in the nutri-bullet and blended it until it was completely mixed. 

In my muffin tin I placed muffin liners (just so it’s easier for the cheesecakes to come out), then just placed about a spoonful of the crust into each liner and smushed it down with my fingers. 

Then about two spoonfuls of the filling into all of them. 

Once all of them had the filling I added a spoonful of guava into each one and I TRIED to make little hearts, I obviously didn’t do that great but the guava did add a nice touch of sweetness because these are not that sweet.  

Once they’re all set just pop them into the freezer for about an hour and they’re done! To store them I just left them in the refrigerator. 

    

 

These little things are amazing, you guys must try! If you guys do let me know how it goes, I’d love some feedback. 

Have a great Wednesday💜

Blueberry Crumble

So one of my good friends (Kat) A Sample of Alex texted yesterday asking if I’ve ever made a blueberry crumble and I haven’t (Or at least I can’t remember ever making one). She told me I should make one or some blueberry pancakes. I was confused, it was out of the blue (haha) that she’s telling me to make some blueberry thing and she told me I needed to update my blog, and well she was right. So thank you Kat!

Anyway, I made this pretty cool crumble that I actually really like.

Just so you guys know, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, rarely do I crave sweets. I’m more of a savory girl. So this dish is not super sweet, of course you guys can fix the recipe to your liking but I’ll tell you guys how my crumble went.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
    • You can use any kind of nuts, I only had walnuts. But almonds would probably be incredible in this.
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  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 of maple syrup + honey
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 pint of blueberries
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  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
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This is probably is one of the easiest, if not the easiest dish I’ve ever made.

Step 1: Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Coat your pan with coconut oil.

Step 3: Put your blueberries and lemon juice into pan.

Step 4: Mix all your other ingredients in a bowl and place on top of the blueberries.

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Step 5: Place in oven.

And after about 25-30 minutes it’ll be done!

I scooped myself a spoonful and drizzled some extra maple syrup over it.

It was nice, light and refreshing.

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If you guys try this out let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear all about it!

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!

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My Love for Falafel

I recently found out that I love falafels within the last two years. I went so long without eating this delicious thing, what was wrong with me?! What’s best is that it is vegan and amazing. I tried making falafels today (because I was so bored and of course had to make food) But I kinda failed at it. That’s the reason for my post today.

****I NEED HELP****

Anyone that knows who to make falafel help me! I desperately need it. I’ll tell you what I did.

Since I didn’t have chickpeas I decided to use the kidney beans that I had.

In my food processor I put:

  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of minced red bell pepper

And all my seasonings I just eye-balled it. It was salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and chili powder.

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The thing is my mixture was wet, I mixed it too much unfortunately and when I tried to make it into a ball it was just like cake batter. I floured my hands and kept adding flour but I couldn’t add the whole bag of flour, then where would my falafel flavor be? So I made a ball as well as I could and covered it in flour and put it into the hot oil. Once it was done I let it sit and when it was cool I ate it, not as good as I wanted it to be. I just was not pleased.

In the end I just made a stuff red bell pepper.

I boiled one pepper for about 7 minutes, stuffed it with my bean mixture and topped it with some slices of mozzarella.

It came out good, I liked it. But it was falafel (so sad).

Anyway LET ME KNOW IF YOU GUYS MAKE FALAFEL AND TELL ME HOW TO DO IT PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

Have a great day,

-Love Nicole ❤

Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding

I’m a chunky peanut butter kinda girl and this peanut butter is great! It’s unsalted and chock full of peanuts, which is perfect. I decided to try to make chia pudding with the peanut butter.

Each serving of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) provides 8 grams of fiber and 4 grams of Omega3 fatty acids!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of the best peanut butter ever
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • less than 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of almond milk

I literally just mixed everything together, it’s seriously that easy.

And I popped it into the refrigerator.

After about 20 minutes I took it out and made a little bowl for me and topped it with just a little bit more peanut butter.

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It’s simple and sweet.

I hope you guys like it and I’d love to hear about your favorite chia pudding recipes!

Have a great Tuesday

-Love Nicole ❤

Vegetable soup

Since Hurricane Joaquin wanted to terrorize the eastern coast of the U.S. there has been nothing but rain here in Georgia. So as a result I have gotten sick. Whenever I’m sick I just want to lay in bed and watch Netflix. I lose all motivation to do anything and it’s honestly disgusting. So I decided to make soup! I was looking up different soup recipes and came across one that has potatoes, lentils and carrots (which I love) and we had all the ingredients in the house so it was perfect.

I am the only vegetarian in this household so of course the meat eaters were expecting something for themselves other than just vegetable soup, so they grilled some sausage.

But I’ll tell you how this vegetarian soup went!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 3 carrots (chopped as well)
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic (minced)
  • 4 potatoes
  • 16 0z of lentils
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 6 cups of water or vegetable stock (I didn’t have stock so I settled for water)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar

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The original recipe I found online also called for 1 teaspoon of dried oregano and dried coriander and it did not call for red kidney beans! But if you get anything from this post I want it to be that you don’t have to follow recipes you have to follow instinct and yourself. Given, I only didn’t put those two items because I didn’t have them but you have to make due with what you have!

Before I actually started the soup I got the lentils, cleaned them and made sure there wasn’t any unwanted foreign objects. Then in a bowl, I soaked the lentils in water to softened them.

After an hour of letting the lentils soak I started to work of the soup! (finally) I got a pot and heated up my teaspoon of oil, added the garlic, potatoes and carrots to it. Once the onions were soft (make sure you stir often so you don’t burn the onions) I added 6 cups of water (or your vegetable stock) and then the lentils (after they were drained), bay leaves, potatoes, and cayenne pepper. I brought it to a boil, then reduced the heat and let it simmer.

  • It’s important that while you’re cooking you’re constantly tasting your food. Everyone relies on the cook to make sure the food is seasoned well! So taste your soup and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Once my soup was almost done I added the red kidney beans. Since the beans came from the can they’re easier to work+cook which is why I added them at the last minute.

Once the soup was finally done I mixed in the vinegar, surprisingly the vinegar really transformed the soup.

Also while the soup was cooking I made a pot of rice. I have become accustomed to eating soup with rice and I’m not sure if others are or not but I love it!

In my bowl I placed spoonfuls of rice and covered it with my soup and garnished it with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a slice of avocado.

The soup was hearty and warming. It didn’t take my annoying cold away but it was nice nonetheless. Not the best soup I’ve ever had BUT the point is to try.

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Side-note: Meat eaters are constantly crying about protein and why vegetarians don’t get enough of it and how not eating meat is horrible. Not to be rude but it’s extremely annoying. I KNOW meat provides protein, I get it. Protein is not the reason I stopped eating meat. I’m not pushing vegetarianism, I really couldn’t care less if people ate meat or not. I firmly believe that is a decision you take on to benefit your body. With that said lentils are a great source of protein for vegetarians seeking protein, 1 cup of lentils provides 18grams of protein. Some say that the average woman needs about 46 grams of protein a day. Eating nuts and legumes is a great way to get all your protein and nutrients. I’ll explain my vegetarianism in detail in a later post.

With that I will leave you guys to have a great Thursday, if you guys have any comments let me know!

Happy Thursday,

-Love Nicole ❤