:)

“Expect the best; convert problems into opportunities; be dissatisfied with the status quo; focus on where you want to go, instead of where you’re coming from; and most importantly, decide to be happy, knowing it’s an attitude, a habit gained from daily practice, and not a result or payoff.”
– Denis Waitley

monhegan island

Monhegan ’08

Happy hump day everyone! Enjoy this throwback from a trip to Monhegan Island off of Port Clyde, ME  the summer I graduated from high school and started college. Crazy how time flies… make the most of the present & decide to be happy 🙂

Advertisements

recipe: raw zucchini lasagna

When I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy my junior year of college, there was this amazing restaurant that my friends and I frequented called Il Gato e la Volpe. It was known for two things: its out-of-this-world balsamic vinaigrette that had this creamy, thick texture that you won’t find in a bottle from your neighborhood grocery store, and one of my favorite dishes of all time: lasagna. However, this was no ordinary lasagna. It was served on a sizzling hot, boat-like ramekin that I was always warned not to touch, and the cheese and marinara had oozed out so much that you couldn’t even see the pasta layers. It was also big enough to feed a small family, but of course I was always able to clear my plate. (More after the jump.)

Image

THE lasagna

Image

one of many dinners at Il Gato

Did I mention that it was amazing? Well, vegan lasagna is also amazing. At first I was doubtful that a plant-based lasagna could even BEGIN to live up to my Florentine delicacy, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good this recipe from Deliciously Ella turned out to be. And it was super easy to make! Perfect for those days that you really just want to eat some cheese… and resist.

Image

Raw Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients

2 zucchini

6 plum tomatoes

For the avocado-basil pesto:

1 ripe avocado

2 cups fresh basil

1 cup spinach

1/3 cup pine nuts

juice from 1 lemon

salt

water (as needed)

For the brazil nut “cheese”:

1/2 cup brazil nuts

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (I couldn’t find any at the grocery store, so I went without and it was still delicious)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 stick fresh rosemary

1 lemon

Image

Start by making the brazil nut cheese (above). Place the brazil nuts and the lemon juice in a food processor (I used my Vitamix) and blend. Once the nuts are crushed, add the remaining ingredients. Slowly add a little water to help the blending, but keep it on the thick side. Once this is done, remove it from the blender and keep to one side.

Image

Then make the pesto by simply adding all the needed ingredients into the processor and blending with a little water until smooth and creamy. Place to one side.

Image

Next, cut the zucchini in half and then slice it lengthwise (aka hot dog style) into thin slices, about 1/4 of an inch or so. Then cut the tomatoes, also into 1/4 inch slices.

Image

Once everything is ready assemble, place a layer of zucchini on the bottom, then add a layer of brazil nut cheese followed by tomato slices and then pesto. Repeat each layer one more time, sprinkling a few pine nuts on the top for decoration if you would like. Enjoy!

Image

Image

the (inescapable) first post

Hello and welcome!

As the title of this post implies, there’s a first time for everything, and for me it’s blogging. Does that make me a rookie? Yup. And that’s okay with me.

The inspiration for starting this blog came from two sources: missing my hometown and taking the plunge into a plant-based diet. My aunt’s family decided to go vegan about a year and a half ago for a number of reasons, namely the many health benefits of cutting out meat and dairy from your diet. This prompted many members of my family to follow in their footsteps and be more cognizant about what they were eating;  my mom became a pescetarian, my grandmother became vegan and gluten-free, and now me! I attempted being a vegan towards the end of college, but that failed miserably when I ended my month of success my eating a cheeseburger and hot dog. Oops. Cheers to trying again! (More after the jump.)

Ocean sunset in Camden

Ocean sunset in Camden

As far as missing Maine goes… that’s something that will never go away by eating a cheeseburger and hot dog. It’s the type of place where time passes slowly, pickup trucks stop to let pedestrians cross the street, and lobsters reign supreme. It’s the type of place where the ocean breeze wafts through the streets of the small downtown and a successful day is one where you go for a hike, sail, boil some lobster (ten bucks says I won’t be able to resist having lobster when I go home…), and grab a drink with friends at Cuzzy’s. I guess that’s why the state is nicknamed “Vacationland”.

So, enjoy my Maine musings and follow me as I cook my way through vegan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! Rookie out.