. europe trip pt 1 .

I’m back!

Well, honestly I’ve been back for two weeks now. I was just too lazy to put together a post;;

If you’re reading this out of the blue, you probably don’t know that I went on a trip to Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. Of course, it was all crammed in two weeks, but it was still such an awesome experience. I’m still thinking back on it and dreaming of my next visit.

The first day started off kind of hectic in Switzerland, because we couldn’t get SIM cards or the car we wanted for rental. We ended up stuck in the airport for 4 extra hours.

P1000763In the end everything went well with the rental. Not with the SIM cards though. Word of advice: make sure your phone is unlocked by your provider.

Day 1: casual sightseeing

P1000766The clean streets of Zurich.

P1000768The beautiful and grand hauptbahnhof.

P1000770A little snack I picked up.

P1000771I actually brought avocados on board with me from Pittsburgh. To be fair, I had three in the fridge and I couldn’t just leave them for two weeks only to come back to see sad looking avocados. Thus, they traveled 6000 km and made my meals much better.

P1000773P1000774P1000777P1000778P1000782P1000784P1000795P1000803

Day 2: Interlaken and the Alps

I’m sure Interlaken is one the must-go’s when visiting Switzerland. Even if we weren’t planning on riding the iconic red train up the Alps, we wanted to see the famous picturesque view.

P1000807P1000831P1000839P1000844P1000857I was seriously blown away by the view. The Swiss Alps certainly exceeded my expectations. Hiking this beauty is added to my bucket-list.

P1000859Our favorite ALDI in its home in Europe.

P1000870P1000869Strawberry near the Alps makes it 100 times better.

P1000871P1000872Also picked up chocolate soy milk, dark chocolate and vegetable spread at a Swiss chain called Migros. There were so many vegan goodies available that I was sad to not be able to explore the grocery aisles more.

Next up is our trip to Strasbourg, France and Heidelberg, Germany! See you in part 2!

. pavement coffeehouse @ boylston .

Right before finals week, I’ve been madly trying to finish one of my papers and I learned that I write best in new environments. For a change of pace, I walked to the nearest coffee house to my dorm which happened to be Pavement Coffeehouse. They have other locations, but the one on Boylston was the closest spot.

P1000619Symmetrical buildings along the way.

P1000622It was such a nice day and I loved that Boylston St. was so empty early morning.

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P1000629.JPGHurray! I was so excited to see this sticker outside of Pavement.

P1000627The typical ‘hipster’ vibe coffee houses emit these days.

P1000628Pavement specializes in bagels too, with flavors like plain, multi-grain, everything, poppy seed, etc. They even had vegan tofu cream cheeses in two flavors: veggie and habanero. There’s also hummus and PB if you want something more natural.

P1000624The seating area. Be prepared, because this place gets PACKED in a few hours after opening.

P1000626I ordered the multi-grain with habanero tofu (nice spicy kick!) along with an iced black coffee. The day started getting really hot during noon, so I appreciated having a nice cool drink to sip on.

P1000625Time to start work!

I would say Pavement is over priced for a bagel, but I should also note that the bagel was high quality. The exterior was wonderfully chewy and the inside was firm yet soft(?). This place won’t be an everyday thing, but it is a nice treat from time to time when I’m being productive hehe.

Pavement Coffeehouse

1096 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215

http://www.pavementcoffeehouse.com

7 am – 8 pm (Mon.-Sat.)

. simple vegan pancakes .

Super fluffy pancakes for those special mornings!

P1000725I usually don’t make pancakes or waffles simply because 1) they’re more time consuming than a bowl of cereal with almond milk and 2) they don’t fill me up. However, I had a weird craving for pancakes one night, so I excitedly got out of bed the next morning and made a small batch for me and my mom.

 

P1000720.jpgAnd it just so happens to be in time for Mother’s Day! If you’re mom digs the whole breakfast-in-bed thing, she’ll surely appreciate this. However, eating in bed is a big no-no in our household; we don’t even have proper food trays, so I had to use this baking sheet for the photo.

This recipe can be doubled/tripled/quadrupled/etc. for a larger batch.

Simple vegan pancakes (serves 2)

Ingredients:

Dry:
120 grams whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
12 grams cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Wet:
236 mL (1 metric cup) plant milk  
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
27 grams coconut oil, melted (alt. 2 TBSP any liquid oil)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir in the vinegar (or lemon juice) into the plant milk and set aside. This will make our “buttermilk.”
  2. Preheat a skillet or griddle on medium-low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. After about 5 minutes, the “buttermilk” should be slightly curdled. Incorporate this into the dry mix along with the oil. Let the batter sit for a minute; it should be pretty thick.
  5. Lightly grease the surface of the skillet/griddle and ladle or spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter at a time.
  6. Flip each pancake when the batter rises and bubbles appear on the top surface. If it does not easily separate from the pan, the pancake is not ready to be flipped.
  7. Serve warm with maple syrup and vegan butter and garnish with your choice of toppings.

Topping suggestions:

  • banana coins + coconut flakes + cinnamon
  • blueberries + lemon zest + powdered sugar
  • goji berries + cacao nibs + slivered almonds
  • orange slices + pistachios
  • banana coins + cacao nibs + hemp seeds

. random eats #8 .

Hello! I’ve comfortably settled back at home where I could relax all day long~

P1000706.JPGAlthough I don’t have much photos for what I ate during my time here so far (not because I was lazy or anything…), I decided to post something before my trip to Europe. I think my brain hasn’t fully processed the fact that I’m leaving this Saturday, because I feel way too relaxed.

On to the real content.

It was pretty chilly the past week, so I turned to the comforts of a hot bowl of oats.

P1000714.JPGI added sugar cookie PB and a raw apple for a nice crunch.

P1000736.JPGOr I bake it in the oven. This was almost the same combo except with tahini instead of PB. Also, look how cute this mini cast iron is!

P1000716.JPGI’ve been making my lunches consist of just one huge salad. This time I added baked falafels, tomato, cucumber slices and cilantro drizzled with tahini dressing and side of babaganoush and hummus.

P1000718.JPGFalafels have to be one of my favorite foods. I don’t mind the baked ones like here, but I have to say that fried falafels take the win.

P1000733.JPGAnother salad that consisted of the same base of spring mix, cucumbers and tomato, except with the addition of a pesto pasta salad. I bought the same Ancient Grains POW brand of dried pasta, only in the black bean version this time. Tbh I really bought it just for the color, but I ended up really digging the stuff.

I didn’t really care to take pictures of my dinners, because they always consist of the usual Korean food that my mom prepares, but perhaps I should give you guys a peek next time…

This is pretty random, but I’ve been wanting to mention my aroma diffuser for a while. I saw one in MUJI, and I immediately decided I needed one. The price tag at MUJI made my eyes roll to the back of my head, but luckily I found a cheaper alternative at Amazon.

P1000685.JPGThe essential oil is from MUJI though, and my room now smells amazing. I actually think this will make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Speaking of which, I have a pancake recipe coming up— just in time for Mother’s Day! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to prepare a brunch this year, since we will already be in Zurich by Sunday.

P1000725.JPGI made it breakfast-in-bed style, but we’re too much of clean freaks to actually enjoy it that way. My mom ended up taking this back downstairs to the kitchen table to eat this.

Look forward to the next recipe and a veggie eatery! Have a good day~

 

. i’m not dead (yet) + random eats #7 .

Phew, how long has it been?! I actually lost track of the last time I wrote on here with the loads of deadlines looming over my head in addition to finals week.

With that being said, I was able to take a breather during a mini road trip to Cape Cod! My friend randomly decided it was time to check this off her bucket list, so off we went to see the sunset at the beach…

P1000640.JPGP1000643P1000656P1000663P1000666P1000667The wind was wild, y’all.

As for my eats, I’ve been eating the usual plant-based goodness :).

P1000604P1000606Lazy burrito bowl made with black beans sauteed with tomatoes and taco seasoning, tempeh and green peppers (same spices), lettuce, guac, salsa and cilantro rice.

P1000608For some reason, it didn’t occur to me then that the rice was supposed to go on the bottom.

P1000611More excited about the avocados in the back.

P1000615P1000612This is just the prep ingredients for my sammie, but it looked so pretty that I had to snap a shot! Courtesy of Iggy’s bread.

P1000630The classic.

20170418_141746 (2).jpgAs humble and strange as this sounds, one of my all time wishes was to know and socialize with the kitchen/cleaning staff. Sadly, I was too awkward to do that prior to college (I still am tbh), but finally…I was able to hold a long conversation with the woman at the vegan/vegetarian section of the dining hall. I really enjoyed the conversation, which started from how great farmer’s market tomatoes were to how kids nowadays don’t conserve energy (I’m a grandpa on the inside).

P1000674Anyways, she packed me this giant stack of vegan cookies that were there. I’ve been going through them one by one— all day, er’rday. Don’t worry, I balance it out with other nourishing foods, and a cookie will not kill me.  Plus, it’s nourishing my mind ;).

Seriously though, I still have 5 left.

P1000683Leftover arugula got blended into pesto. It was a simple recipe on the back of the package of arugula (thanks TJ’s!) that I adapted by adding sun-dried tomatoes and nutritional yeast.

I also have to clean out my fridge before I move out (in just a few days!), so someone please help me finish my jar of mayonnaise and tub of butter.

20170420_193652 (2).jpgI was lucky to walk into an event happening in one of my dining halls, where the theme was “Educate Your Plate” and the whole place was filled with plant-based menus. The lighting was dim (“to set the ambiance”) so the picture is really crummy, but my plate included: quinoa stuffed poblano peppers with avocado, mushroom tacos wrapped with steamed greens, avocado hummus with pita, green beans, small sample of kombucha and various grilled fruits. The small plate in the corner was also full of roasted root vegetables with some chimichurri sauce. Needless to say, I was happily stuffed by the end of the night.

P1000675They also had a plant-your-own herb station! I was torn between basil and mint…heck I wanted them all! But we were limited to one, so I stuck with mint.

P1000676P1000678Cute froggy for finishing touch.

I feel like I should have written something longer and more entertaining to make up for my long absence. I’ll be sure to come back with more exciting posts once I’m home and able to test recipes!

And I completely forgot to mention this earlier in the year: I’m going to Switzerland and Germany this summer! WOOHOOO! Although it’s only for 2 weeks, I’ll be sure to snap some lovely pics!

Off to finish studying for my other exams~

. veggie fried rice .

P1000580This fried rice appeared in my last random eats, and I thought I’d share the recipe. It’s nothing special really; just toss everything in a frying pan and stir!

P1000583.JPGMe being my Korean self, I couldn’t not eat this with gim (roasted laver). I also added a pickled ume (umeboshi) as a salty/tart contrast. But I think anything spicy or tangy will be good with this dish; kimchi or quick-pickled cucumbers sound awesome!

P1000581.JPGTo be honest, I never measure when I cook, so I don’t have exact measurements. However, I stick to ratios (1 spoonful : 2 spoonful), so I’m guesstimating based on that. Feel free to adjust to your taste!

Veggie Fried Rice (serves 1)

Ingredients:

1/2~2/3 cup cooked brown rice (day-old if using the glutinous type)
1/4 cup broccoli florets, bite-sized
1/4 cup diced mushrooms
2 TBSP diced onion
~2 oz carrot, diced
~1 oz sugar snap peas
3 oz extra firm tofu
3 cloves of garlic (substitue with 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
splash of rice vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
drizzle of oil for pan
garnishes: sesame seeds, crushed roasted laver, spring onions

Directions:

  1. To start off, add nutritional yeast and rice vinegar to your tofu and crumble with a fork. If you have black salt (kala namak), then go ahead and add some to this mixture.This will act as our “egg.”P1000577.JPG
  2. On a frying pan, add the oil (use small splash of water if you are avoiding added oils) on medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onions and fresh garlic to the frying pan and stir occasionally until fragrant and golden-brown. This will take about two minutes.
  4. Add the rest (carrots, mushroom and broccoli) into the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the vegetables have softened a bit, add the egg mixture. Stir and fry for about 3 or 4 minutes, making sure no pieces are burnt.
  6. Finally, add the rice and continue frying until the rice is heated through-out. Pour the tamari or soy sauce while continuing to stir.
  7. In the last few seconds, add the sesame oil and give the whole pan a few more good stirs to evenly distribute.
  8. Remove the pan from heat. Serve on a plate with garnishes of choice.

 

P1000582.JPGIf you could tell, this recipe is highly adaptable. If you don’t have or like some of the veggies, just omit. That bell pepper that’s been sitting in your fridge for a week? Go ahead and toss them in! Have fun with this “recipe” and use it as a base to get creative!

Hope you enjoy~ Happy munching!

. random eats #6: cooking all day .

Just another random post of my eats on Sunday. I was in my room most of the time, so I got the chance to cook! I miss having a kitchen, and using my mini camping stove lessens the pain of not having any direct heat to cook with.

P1000573I woke up a little later than usual (9-ish?) and for some reason I decided to eat pasta. I just used  leftover “mac-n-cheez” sauce made with butternut squash, potatoes, and spices. Maybe it’s the addition of bell peppers (bad idea) or not enough nutritional yeast, but I didn’t get that cheesy flavor. It didn’t matter, because I never liked mac-n’-cheese anyways. It was still super creamy and filling though, especially with the lentil penne.

P1000580As a post-workout meal I enjoyed a huge bed of fried rice. I just love looking at this photo because of all the colors~ It was actually half veggies, half rice. I’ll probably post a recipe for this :).

P1000584For dinner, I got a little lazier. I just cooked off tempeh marinated in gochujang sauce on quinoa and roasted asparagus.

P1000587And to end off sweet, I had a little portion of Nature’s Path Blueberry Flax cereal and some plain soy milk. I know some people think it’s unreasonable to call cereal dessert, but please— I can eat cereal anytime, any day. And I find it so enjoyable that it can be dessert if I want it to be.

I was shocked that I hit my protein goal so easily today (78 grams)! I’m a girl of small frame, so this is the high-end, but I’ve been trying to eat more protein since I workout more often. My goal is to hit 20 grams per meal (more or less), so hopefully I can keep up with this!