The past week has been quite a whirlwind. I started and ended my final exams, ventured to one of my favorite spots in the city: Hubbard Street, took a 6.5 hour megabus ride back home to Cleveland and started my first week back at work. Through it all, I somehow managed to sneak in time to go to my local Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s (yet sadly have not made it to Costco yet which really needs to happen… asap).
Another week that consisted of eating out occasionally, as I’m in a rush and with friends most of the time. However, I did manage to make a few meals and also stop at my favorite tea and vegan spots in Cleveland – all in the first week back.
A rare sight… me looking distraught eating a burger. The last week I was craving meat SO badly at school… most likely because I never eat it unless I go out to a nice restaurant considering the fact I don’t trust the floppy turkey burgers in the dining hall that look like rubber. If meat is clearly organic and/or grass-fed, I will go for it. When my friend and I stopped at Hubbard Inn this past Saturday, I won’t lie to you – I really wanted the chickpea crepe with roasted vegetables. Yet my meat craving had to be satisfied. I went all out and got the organic turkey burger with brie cheese on a whole wheat bun ($12) and a side of brussel sprouts. I was SO happy. The burger was phenomenal and despite being 4 inches thick, I sliced it in half so I could actually eat it.
Just one of the mainly highlights of my weekly eats. Thanksgiving on a bun. Into my face. Yum.
For breakfast this week, some of my treats included two organic eggs with half of a sliced organic avocado with crushed red pepper flakes on Ezekial toast. Heavenly. I also bought Whole Foods’ 365 brand mild salsa to top the toast with. Much easier than slicing a bunch of tomatoes and it gave the breakfast more of a Mexican feel.
When I went on the megabus Sunday morning at 8AM, I knew I had to bring food or else there is no way I would be able to survive the long journey home. Every Starbucks near Union Station was closed so I had to head to Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a cup of hot water. By bringing my Purely Elizabeth granola in a ziploc baggie in my purse and another bag of fresh berries I had packed the night before, I combined them both in a styrofoam cup of hot water and added some almond butter I brought as well. I can’t even tell you how many crazy looks I got but it wasn’t hard at all to pack and I not only saved money but didn’t have to deal with nasty preservative-filled breakfasts elsewhere.
A few days this week I also had overnight oats, soaked overnight with almond milk and layered with frozen peaches and strawberries. My fave.
Lunch this week! Ahhh. On Monday I stopped at Tommy’s Restaurant to pickup some black bean chili. Tommy’s is one of the best (and most conveniently located) vegetarian restaurants in Cleveland and definitely a favorite of mine. Their chili only ran me about $7.50 and was super comforting in this freezing cold weather.
Tuesday after work, my aunt took me to one of our outdoor shopping malls in Cleveland and we stopped at a relatively decent lebanese grill called Taza. They have a ton of different dishes ranging from kabobs to lentil soup to falafel salads. I ordered the tuna entree ($12) which came with grilled tuna, rice, veggies and tahini sauce. My aunt ordered their lentil soup and phoenician salad with sundried cranberries and gorgonzola. The restaurant is great for a quick lunch and they have some of the best falafel pita wraps!
I went to Beet Jar Juicebar + Takeaway in Ohio City on Thursday and seriously every time I am in there I don’t want to spend a penny yet walk out with something. This time it was their Bravacado Sandwich but in salad form. It comes with celery, cashews, hemp seeds, avocado, onions, coconut bacon, spinach and a side of cashew mayo. The salad cost $10 but can be split into 3 servings which isn’t bad. Today I ate some of it with added cut zucchini and roasted butternut squash. Terrifically creamy.
Aside from the humungous turkey burger I devoured with an enormous side of brussel sprouts smothered in olive oil, I went to Tommy’s Restaurant on Sunday night with my family and got a bowl of brown rice and veggies. The dish usually comes with tamari (soy-sauce) but I got a side of hummus because there’s is by far one of the best in Cleveland. The bowl was seriously huge and I had leftovers for days. I mean how can one person consume THAT much brown rice in one sitting?! Ah! But I can’t complain because leftovers from Tommy’s are my favorite. Their spinach pies are something else too (which is what my aunt ordered, pictured behind my bowl).
After work on Wednesday night, I made vegetarian black bean tacos. So simple making veggie tacos I wish the world knew! I just sliced up mushrooms, red pepper, drained a can of black beans and tossed it all in a sauté pan with a bit of olive oil. Then topped it with fresh organic avocado and salsa in organic 365 Whole Foods corn tortillas. Tacos are probably my favorite dinner because they can come together in 15 minutes or less. Way too easy.
Lastly, for this week of snacks one of my favorites was homemade leftover hummus I had from Tommy’s Restaurant. It is filled with tahini and a LOT of garlic but it is so fresh and thick, you can’t beat it. I paired it with my favorite Mary’s Gone Crackers that include brown rice, quinoa and flax seed among a list of other ingredients that are whole foods and recognizable names.
I also made my first recipe of the week which was Chocolate Covered Katie‘s Chickpea Blondies. Katie makes super easy and healthy dessert recipes that only require a short amount of time and I usually have all of the ingredients her recipe calls for. These chickpea blondies were just a mix of almond butter, flax seeds, 85% dark chocolate I had on hand and chickpeas blended in my Vitamix and cooked in the oven for 30 minutes. They tasted like fluffy cookies and were extremely light. Granted I am a hummus fanatic so couldn’t even taste the chickpeas that much but when I gave them to my friend to taste she definitely tasted it.
I ended the week with a trip to my favorite tea spot in Cleveland (Ohio City/Hingetown): Cleveland Tea Revival. All of their teas are certified organic and the ginger turmeric is a favorite of my brother and I. We each got a pot for $4 and while he bought the ginger turmeric, I tried to darjeeling muscatel (a black tea). The small shop also has $8 quinoa bowls now! One for breakfast and one for lunch. The lunch option features carrots, avocado and tahini sauce. I will definitely be trying it my next visit.
Until next week’s eats,