I haven’t posted in forever because I was busy with work, travel, the holidays, and of course our new pup Kasper!


But today I have to post about breakfast because we had Menemen, a Turkish family favorite, and it was sooo good!


It is 4 eggs, Turkish sucuk beef sausage, two seeded tomatoes, and an Italian pepper. We had feta cheese and TJ’s multi-grain baguette on the side and watched Fareed Zakaria’s GPS in CNN.

Rarely have I eaten a home-made breakfast more slowly. So delicious and tasted just like when my dad makes it.

Thank goodness Dave discovered a new Turkish international food shop downtown. In State College of all places!

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Vegan Chili


I’ve never been a big chili person at all, but my recent love affair with the slow cooker made me more adventurous.

There was no big secret to this recipe. I bought a variety of beans (black, kidney, garbanzo, white, and lima), added some carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and spices and cooked it all over night. It was actually really good, especially when served with some fresh cilantro. My favorite were the lima beans.

Good to know that I can make meat-less chili with almost no effort and eat the leftovers for several days!


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For the Sweet Tooth

I am currently obsessed with this quick dessert:


Plain Greek yogurt, frozen organic berries, and honey.

For our Thanksgiving road trip to Wisconsin, I made this banana pumpkin bread:


It was vegan, using chia seeds and water as an egg substitute, and super moist and delicious. I think Dave and I each had three pieces during our 13-hour drive. Other snacks included organic raspberries, kombucha, cashews, kale chips, potato cakes, and more fruit.


This may be my favorite banana pumpkin bread recipe ever. I think the reason it was so good is that I used brown sugar and white flour. Usually, I use maple syrup instead of sugar and almond flour, but I was worried that the “chia egg” would be enough gamble. I may have to try combining all three next time.

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Two Grainy Lunches

Quinoa and Couscous are currently tied for my favorite grains, and they recently made bases for two veggie-packed lunches.


Couscous with roasted pumpkin, zucchini, roasted pine nuts, and olive oil. Easy, filling, vegan and nutritious.


Quinoa Quiche. This had quinoa, eggs, green peppers, tomato, and a cheesy sauce based on nutritional yeast. If I re-make this, I’m going to go with spinach instead of green peppers – I was just out at the time.

I like eating grains for lunch if I’m going to exercise after work, which has been the case pretty much every day recently. Six days of exercising in a row gets pretty exhausting, so the least I can do is feed myself a filling lunch.

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Chia Oats

Why settle for regular oats when I can have gooey chia goodness? Well, there are reasons, I guess, but I wanted to try oats with a twist. Turned out that was a good idea because it was the best post-dentist meal when my gums were sore and my numbness lasted longer than my fullness.


The trick: preparing this several hours in advance. The mixture is

  • half a cup of oats
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • .25 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • splash of vanilla
  • tbsp dried cranberries
  • brown sugar (to taste)

The best approach seems to be letting the oats and the chia seeds sit in the boiling water while also adding half the almond milk right away. After the chia seeds have gooed up a little bit, add the rest of the ingredients and put the bowl in the fridge over night.


Next time, I may use a tea bag (chai, green tea… the options are plentiful) in the boiling water before adding it to the oats. Mmmmmmh. Yes, there will definitely be a next time.

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Leftover Lentils

What do you know? It’s crock pot time!



When I planned my meals for the week, I knew I would have a lot of leftover veggies, so I knew a lentil stew would be the perfect way not to let it go to waste….

So, all I did was put lentils in the crock pot with some vegetable broth, added two left-over vegan sausages, carrots, celery, and green peppers, plus some spices, and let it do its thing overnight.



The result: a delicious hearty stew that lasted us for days. During stormy and chilly fall days, this is pretty close to the ideal office lunch. Leftovers made from leftovers — winning.

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Goat Cheese Basil Pizza

What’s the best part of having had a restaurant cooking job during my early college years? My mad pizza dough making skills.

Not that it’s very hard. But everything is so much easier when it’s something we’re used to…

So, I decided to try out a new topping combo last weekend: goat cheese and basil. Deliciousness to the max.


For the dough, I used

  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4.5 cups flour

I kneaded it until my arms hurt and it was solid and doughy. Then, I covered the bowl with saran wrap and let it sit out and rise for two hours. After that, I kneaded it again before covering it back up and putting it in the fridge overnight.


The next day, all I had to do was roll it out into two pizzas in a greased baking pan with corn meal, cover them with marinara, and add the toppings of basil and goat cheese.

Gluten and carbo-loading. No better excuse than working out 6 times a week!


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