Blog

Vegainz: Update

I’m going to start this off by saying that being vegan isn’t for everyone. I’m surprised I even lasted as long as I did given that I am addicted to cheese. After three weeks of absolutely no cheese, eggs, meat, or fish, I decided to go back to my pescatarian ways. I wish I could be vegan #forlife, but it was a little too much, even for me.

Life is about balance.

Although many documentaries claim that “everything in moderation” isn’t good enough, I think it’s ok. And why does my opinion matter? It doesn’t. But I’m sure a lot of you would agree with me. I don’t eat red meat, chicken, and will continue cutting back on my fish intake (although I’m pretty sure it’s only the farm raised stuff that’s bad for you?). I don’t eat dairy other than cheese, and I will make a conscious effort to cut back on my cheese intake as well. Pro tip: switch from soy milk to almond or cashew milk. Studies show the latter are better for you!

Veganz: update
Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a Silk Almond Milk official ad

I’ve learned to enjoy so many vegetables.

Which is something I’m really happy about. I would have never been caught dead eating so many green things, and here I am. Almond milk is my new best friend, and I’ve found so many protein sources from mushrooms and beans. While my veganism (is that a word?) lasted only a short while, it was a fun challenge I’m glad I took part in. I commend those who have a fully vegan lifestyle and encourage others to give it a try. Even if it only lasts a few weeks, you can discover a lot about your body & how to keep it healthy.

unnamed-18unnamed-20

Seitan: newly discovered wheat protein source I’m currently obsessing over

unnamed-22

unnamed-19
This week’s meal prep, featuring seitan, brown rice, asparagus, assorted peppers, zucchini, & mushrooms

So there’s my update.

I lasted three weeks (that’s longer than most of you can do anything so shut up) and it was… interesting. I’m interested in any feedback regarding being vegan- share your journey/experience with me!

For those of you interested, I do most of my grocery shopping at Publix, but I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I’d solely shop there, but Publix is more convenient for weekly shopping- especially with my busy schedule.

unnamed-21

Love always,

Nicki G.

Recipes

Meatless Beef Burrito

meatless beef burrito

Having a major burrito craving, but aren’t down to eat meat?

Been there.

And trust me, there are delicious substitutes. Keep reading for my meatless beef burrito- it won’t disappoint.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Lightlife Smart Ground
  • Large burrito tortillas
  • Choice of peppers, onions, and/or mushrooms, diced
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (pre-minced, or two cloves, minced)
  • Diced onions (separate from above)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • 3-5 teaspoons of meat or marinara sauce
  • Cooking wine

Optional Ingredients

  • Shredded cheese
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Choice of seasoning for rice
    • Recommended: salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, 1/4 lime juice

Prep

You can kind of do this in whatever order you’d like. I started by heating up my cauliflower rice for 4 minutes with some water and the seasonings mentioned above. I simultaneously heated a medium skillet with olive oil on medium heat and added my diced onions. After three minutes, I mixed in the minced garlic and eyeballed the paprika. After about another 3 minutes, I added the drained and rinsed pinto beans. I let them heat up (5-6 minutes) and began smashing them with a fork. You can add chicken broth to keep them a little moist, but I just added some cooking wine and olive oil to avoid using chicken broth. Empty into a bowl once they’re done. Keep the beans and rice aside.

Now it’s time to prepare the crumbles. Lightly coat a larger pan with olive oil and heat it up on medium heat. Add the crumbles and break them apart so they start to look like actual ground beef. Add your peppers and ‘shrooms and whatever else you decided to mix in.

If the ground crumbles looks dry, add some cooking wine, olive oil, and a few teaspoons of marinara or meat sauce to moisten them up a little. Stir it all up until it starts looking fire. It should take about 6-8 minutes to fully cook, but use your judgement.

Pour the ground crumbles into a bowl so they don’t overcook in the pan. Warm up a tortilla between two wet paper towels on a microwave-safe plate for 30-45 seconds.

Now we’re ready to stuff that burrito, bitches.

Lay the warm tortilla flat on your plate and load the cauliflower rice first. Next, pile on as much beef as you want, and top it with the refried pinto beans. If you’re adding cheese, now’s the time to cheese it up with your choice of shredded cheese. Finish your stuffing with some lettuce and pico de gallo, and BAM, you’re almost done. I say almost, ’cause you still have to roll up the burrito, which is not as easy as Chipotle employees make it seem. Seriously, kudos to them. You’d think the cooking is the hardest part, but the burrito wrapping takes the cake.

unnamed-14

unnamed-10

Once you master your wrapping, it’s time to munch down on your fat burrito. This meatless beef burrito is a great alternative to your usual beef burrito, and could be a great vegan meal if you skip out on the cheese or substitute it with almond cheese. Try out the recipe and let me know how you like it! This serving of meatless crumbles serves about 4 people, so be nice and cook for the family for once. Or eat burritos for your next four meals. Whatever you prefer. Tag #justnickithings and #eatwithme on Instagram if you try this out! I’d love to check out your versions.

Love, your burrito baby,

Nicki G.

Blog

Hangover Chronicles: II

If you’re reading this, then I managed to survive yet another terrible hangover. Why was I hungover on a Monday, you ask? Because everyone knows Sunday Funday is one of the best trends going around & I might be diagnosed with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I had to go. I just had to.

I attended the famous Kiki On The River to start my night of fun. We ate, we drank, and we had a great time. I’ll make sure to dedicate a post about their food and dining experience one of these days. As if endless frozé (see: frozen rosé) wasn’t enough, my friends and I decided to make an appearance at a new club Mr. Jones on the beach. Been there? Maybe- it’s where SET Nightclub used to be & I see it being one of my new favorite clubs. Side-note: the club was slammed and it was a Sunday night… do you people not have responsibilities? Let me be you!

After a heart to heart conversation with my Uber driver & getting home at 4 a.m. to a very annoyed mother, I knocked out.

Hangover Chronicles
Actual text from my mom. Sunday Funday- that’s why!

Waking up to gardeners outside my window this morning was fun. My friend slept over, so luckily I didn’t have to do this alone. After many thoughts and considerations, I decided that being vegan and surviving this hangover were two things that didn’t go hand in hand. One had to go, and I wasn’t planning on dying today. Stay tuned for a post on my vegan experience soon to come.

It seemed like an eternity went by before the pizza was delivered. I ate some, (which did not sit well AT ALL… how could you do this to me, cheesy goodness?) and was somehow convinced to NOT be a couch potato all day. A few hours of nausea and dehydration at its finest, I somehow managed to hold down my stomach contents and didn’t throw up. I did almost throw up in the Sushi Sake bathroom, though, but again I escaped that horror.

It’s 10 p.m. and I think I’m now getting over my hangover. Either that or I’m just so tired & I can’t tell the difference between my exhaustion and usual shitty hangover.

Stay thriving (and I will too),

Nicki G.

Recipes

Mushroom Chicken Pita

I’m on week three of my vegan diet and I’ve come across some recipes that I really like. I’ll be posting an update on my veganism soon, so stay tuned. For now, here’s my recipe from today’s lunch. My mushroom chicken pita was stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, Gardein chick’n strips, hummus, and almond cheese.

Ingredients

  • Gardein chick’n strips
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Vegan butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Bread seasoning
  • Hummus of choice (I used roasted garlic)
  • One pita, halved
  • Favorite vegan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Prep

Start by preheating your oven (or toaster oven, that’s what I used) to 425. Once preheated, place two pieces of the chick’n strips on a lightly greased tray. Set the timer for 18-20 minutes and flip the tenders over half way through.

Get one half of your pita and warm it up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften it up. Keep the other half aside. After its softened, spread a knife-full of hummus over the inside of the pita pocket.

When there’s about ten minutes left for the tenders to be ready, melt some butter to cover the bottom of your saucepan on low-medium heat. Once it’s warm, add your washed mushrooms. Season them with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. They should take five to seven minutes to fully cook.

After everything is done, cut the tenders into bitesize pieces and stuff the pita with the mushrooms and tenders. Tear up the other half of the pita and put it on the same tray you used to cook the chick’n strips. Drizzle some olive oil and bread seasoning over the pieces and toast to your preference. Finish your pita by sprinkling some of your favorite vegan cheese on top!

unnamed-3

Quick, easy, and delicious vegan lunch packed with flavor and protein.

Try it out and let me know how you like it in the comments!

Happy eating,

Nicki G.

Blog

Vegainz

As a lot of you already know, I’m a pescatarian. September marks one year of no red meat, while my chicken intake has varied throughout the past year. After watching the documentary What The Health (twice), I decided I’d try to go vegan. If you’re interested, follow me and my weekly journey! I’m not sure how long it will last, but it’s definitely worth a try.

For breakfast I’ll be having things like oatmeal made with almond milk & topped with fruit, toasted wheat bread topped with tomatoes and onions, smoothies, or my signature avocado toast (sans the egg, though). Lunch and dinner is where it’ll get more tricky for me. I don’t like tofu or tempeh, so I have to see what I figure out. I love Gardein products, so I’ll definitely be experimenting with all their delicious vegan options. I plan on incorporating new veggies, mushrooms, and pasta.

I think the most difficult thing for me is going to be giving up cheese. I’m a cheesaholic, so this really is a sacrifice. I’m taking it one week at a time to see how it goes. If anyone has any suggestions/recipes, feel free to share! I’d love to try them out and see how they turn out. Also, stay tuned to my Instagram story where I’ll be posting my meals as I go through the week!

Love always,

Nicki G.