A Year in Food

At the end of 2015, I decided to start eating a vegetarian diet.  I can’t say I know for sure what prompted the decision.  I think it was a combination of getting tired of the same old chicken I always ate and the fact that I had done a bit of preliminary research advocating the health benefits. It’s been over a year now and so far no regrets with the decision. I never really ate that much meat to begin with so I can’t say I noticed an incredibly drastic difference, but I can say I rarely “miss” meat. Bacon’s really the only thing I think about occasionally.

One of the biggest challenges to this new lifestyle was figuring out what to eat. Growing up, I was an incredibly picky eater and had an aversion to many different types of vegetables. I also decided at the end of 2015 that I wanted to run my first half marathon, so I knew I needed to make sure I was getting enough calories to sustain a training plan.  Over the past few years, I’ve also been getting into cooking.  My new choice to eat meatless foods seemed to pair really well with my desire to find new and unique (and photogenic!) things to cook.

Eating a healthier plant based diet (still with some dairy and eggs in moderation) I think has somewhat changed my taste buds and I now like and eat tons more varieties of foods and vegetables that I never would have looked at growing up. One of the biggest misconceptions about people that eat vegetarian is that they only eat salad, but over the past 12 months, I’ve eaten and made tons of different foods and thought it would be fun to share!

So this is “A Year in Food”:


I freaking love avocado toast.  It appears at least three times in this post I believe, but many more times in my diet.  Although not obvious from this picture, when eating toast it’s important to cut the pieces DIAGONALLY and to almost burn the toast. It won’t taste good otherwise, trust me.DSC01530 (800x533).jpg

Pancakes. I can’t remember specifically what recipes I used when making these different ones. When I make pancakes for myself I try to make them vegan, so googling vegan pancakes should find you some good options.  The last picture also features some homemade granola on top of bananas.

DSC01522 (800x533).jpgDSC01048 (800x533).jpgIMG_2559 (800x800).jpg

Tempeh scramble with potatoes -replaces  eating scrambled eggs in the morning. Tempeh does take some getting used to, it has no taste however and will just taste like whatever you flavor it with. I do try to eat meat substitution (tofu and tempeh) in moderation though. This particular scramble is topped with some tomatoes and avocado for freshness and color.

IMG_3227_2 (734x800).jpg

Cinnamon rolls. A bit of splurge here.

DSC01068 (800x533).jpg

Corn bread

DSC01069 (800x533).jpg

Acai bowls. So many acai bowls. One of them technically has dragonfruit instead of acai berries, but you get the gist. The last picture features some ginger lemongrass tea, as well.

IMG_3308 (600x800).jpgIMG_3279 (800x600).jpgIMG_2611 (800x600).jpg

My normal weekday breakfast is usually a banana, rice cakes, a banana smoothie, or some granola—whatever is easy to grab on the go.


Spread the Health‘s sweet potato steaks and veggie stir fry.  This is a meal that costs less than $5 to make a serving for 4.

DSC00202 (800x533).jpg

Rainbow soba noodle salad

DSC00499 (800x533).jpg

Cobb salad. This is my take on a meal I had at the restaurant in Houston, Americas. No link here, just some couscous, edamame, corn, spinach with a honey mustard dressing and avocados.

DSC00747_2 (800x643).jpg

Mushroom and leek galettes (the link to this pin is broken  so I can’t find the recipe )

DSC00950 (800x533).jpg

Orange Cauliflower.  Honestly, this was meh in my opinion because the fried cauliflower was a little too heavy for my liking, but I would totally make it again with just baking the cauliflower with no batter.  The orange sauce was great!

DSC00960 (800x533).jpg

Thai pizza (made with pillsburgy dough, because sometimes we need to take shortcuts)

DSC01040 (800x533).jpg

Swiss chard with chickpeas and couscous

DSC01070 (800x533).jpg

Lemongrass rice and tofu

DSC01073 (800x533).jpg

Black pepper tofu, veggies and rice

DSC01071 (800x533).jpg

Sandwich with hummus, grilled veggies and corn (Inspired by the leftovers in my fridge that day)

DSC01074_2 (800x716).jpg

Butternut squash and sweet potato enchiladas

DSC01076_2 (800x629).jpg

DSC01078 (800x533).jpg

Sweet potato curry

DSC01077 (800x533).jpg

Turmeric coconut rice

DSC01079_2 (800x607).jpg

Roasted chickpea, mushroom, swiss chard, couscous and avo bowl

DSC01444 (800x533).jpg

Spread the Health‘s honey crisp apple salad and ratatouille.  Another meal that costs under $5 to make!

DSC01511 (800x533).jpg

Simple teriyaki roasted brocollini with pine nuts and white rice. Another meal inspired by the leftovers in my fridge.

DSC01519 (800x533).jpg

Brothers Green Eats’ Kimchi Stew

DSC01539 (800x533).jpg

Vegan butternut squash stew

DSC01696_2 (800x463).jpg

Harissa mushroom trio salad

DSC01709 (800x533).jpg

DSC01714 (800x533).jpg

Southwestern veggie bowl

DSC01719 (800x533).jpg

Zoodles and tofu & Chickpea quinoa salad

DSC01791 (800x533).jpg

Ginger miso soba noodle bowl

DSC01839_2 (800x614).jpg

Mediterranean sweet potatoes

IMG_2484 (600x800).jpg

Another taco bowl

IMG_2519_2 (705x800).jpg

Falafel and roasted veggies

IMG_2560_2 (764x800).jpg

Sweet potato lentil chili

IMG_2576_2 (800x750).jpg

Soba noodle peanut stir fry

IMG_2608_2 (663x800).jpg

Walnut couscous with lemon basil cream

IMG_2766 (800x600).jpg

Teriyaki cauliflower rice bowls

IMG_2828_2 (764x800).jpg

Buddha bowl

IMG_2954 (800x535).jpg

These are things I will normally cook in bulk on Sunday (#mealprep) and then eat throughout the week for lunch and sometimes dinner.  If we are being honest, I eat a baked potato 8 times out of 10 for dinner, but my lunches are on point!


Spread the Health‘s Chickpea Wraps

DSC00201 (800x533).jpg

Sweet Potato Fries/Regular French Fries – I’ve gotten in the habit of taking homemade fries on airplanes. It’s great and filling! I’m not linking a recipe because you should be able to google this one.

DSC00497 (800x533).jpgDSC00877 (800x533).jpg

Infused Water –this was an obsession I had back in the summer when it was really hot out and needed something refreshing. Also doesn’t this picture look cool.

DSC00517 (800x533).jpg

Carrot hummus

DSC00870 (800x533).jpg

Pistachio hummus

DSC00969 (800x533).jpg

Thai peanut hummus

DSC01045 (800x533).jpg

Energy Bites –No recipe provided here because I can’t remember which one it is, also google.

DSC00878 (800x533).jpg


DSC01524 (800x533).jpg

A trio of dips: carrot hummus, black bean, and red pepper cashew

DSC01540 (800x533).jpg

Sweet potato mousse (can’t find the recipe link, sorry). Also for the record, I took the edible flowers off after taking this picture because I’m not sure how I feel about eating them.

DSC01781 (800x533).jpg

Veggie fritters

DSC01852_2 (800x597).jpg

Pad Thai spring rolls

DSC01853_2 (800x698).jpg

Vegan nachos

IMG_2817_2 (800x669).jpg

Cauliflower white bean spread

IMG_3283_2 (800x779).jpg

Eating Out

I don’t eat out a lot, mainly because I hate spending money but also because it can be hard to find healthy options. I’ve found a couple of go-to restaurants in Houston and I’ve also documented some of the things I’ve eaten while traveling in the past year.

True Food Kitchen –Edamame dumpling and butternut squash pizza

TF- Edamame Dumplings (800x600).jpgTF- ButternutSquash Pizza_2 (800x725).jpg

The Kitchen at Dunlavy –Avocado toast, tempeh sandwich and Southwestern breakfast bowl

The Kitchen at Dunlavy2 (800x600).jpg

Local Foods –Chia seed pudding and vegan taco salad

LF- vegan taco salad_2 (800x790).jpg

Indika –Chickpea crepe stuffed with mushroom and tomato masala and millet pancakes with banana blueberries. This was one of the courses from a brunch during Houston Restaurant Week (month)

Indika2 (678x800).jpg

Pondicheri –Thali (sample platter)

Pondicheri (800x600).jpg

Grand Canyon/Sedona –I visited the Grand Canyon with my sister back in May and we stayed in Sedona. We started off every morning getting an Acai bowl from Berry Divine.  We also went to a restaurant called ChocolaTree Organic Eatery. We ordered a sample platter, wraps, and potato/lentil pancakes. Unfortunately, the food here was a bit bland but the patio had tons of hammocks which is the main reason I wanted to go.

Berry Divine2 (600x800).jpg

Berry Divine (600x800).jpgChocolaTree (800x600).jpg

I also had the chance to visit Banff National Park last year.  On the last night in Canada we stopped in a restaurant in Canmore, AB and I ordered this curry.

Banff Curry (600x800).jpg

While in Breckenridge, we ate at this restaurant called Modis and I ordered a cauliflower steak with bok choy and other vegetables.

Breck -Modis Cauliflower Steak2 (800x666).jpg

I visited San Diego with two of my best friends from college Katia and Hari (also another veggie).  We went to some restaurant and got vegetarian sushi of some kind.  I don’t remember the details.  Katia and I also went to a brunch place the last morning and I ordered all this fruit and granola which was perfect for the hangover I may or may not have had.

San Diego (600x800).jpgSanDiego (600x800).jpg

On the way back from Six Flags in San Antonio, Adam and I stopped at Senor Veggie and got these amazing vegan nachos.

SenorVeggie -vegan nachos (800x600).jpg

On the way back from Fredericksburg, Adam and I stopped at Bouldin Creek Café in Austin and got this tofu scramble and veggie plate. The veggie plate has zucchini, vegan corn bread, spinach and brown rice.  For the record, I ordered an “Asian Slaw” and not spinach so they brought that out later.

Bouldin Creek - Tofu Scramble (600x800).jpgBouldin Creek veggie plate (600x800).jpg

My family vacationed to Lake Tahoe in May.  We went to Garwoods, which had a special vegetarian menu apart from the normal menu and they made this great tofu stir fry. I also ordered avocado toast from the hotel for breakfast every morning because –treat yo self.

Tahoe-Tofu Stir Fry (800x533).jpgTahoe- Avo Toast2 (800x713).jpg

On my many visits back to Pittsburgh throughout the year I stopped at these great restaurants.

Smallman Galley –Lentil loaded fries and more avocado toast (look I love avocados, okay)

SG- Avo Toa (800x533).jpgSG- Lentil Loaded Fries (800x533).jpg

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen –Vegan Duck

Nickys Thai Kitchen - Vegan Duck (600x800).jpg

The Commoner –Tikki Masala

Commoner- Tikki Masala (600x800).jpg

Kaya –Jamaican Green Curry

Kaya- Jamaican green curry (600x800).jpg

Basically, I feel like I’ve eaten tons of good food in the past year and I plan to continue that into 2017! So if you have any good vegetarian restaurants or recipes please send them my way.


I’ve also made other things not pictured from these boards: