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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

hello loves, happy thursday! hope all is well. unfortunately i feel like i am on the verge of a cold! i’ve been slamming my body with fluids and skipped my early class this morning to sleep. i also made sure my dinner was spicy in all ways it could be. hopefully i’ll sleep it off tonight but i open tomorrow (3:30 wake up call) so i’m not sure how restful my sleep will be.

but enough whining! i’ll live 🙂 besides the yummy dinner and excellent party, i received some gifts for my birthday. i am not a big gift person and usually tell people to not get me anything. homemade gifts i am always down with, however. something about people spending money on me makes me uncomfortable. however, my family still loves to give them and of course i accept them. and this year i got some really cool gifts!

like this from my brother

look familiar?

bento box! my brother and i were in whole foods a few weeks ago and stumbled across these. i mentioned off handedly how much i wanted one because of all the individual tupperwares i use on a daily basis as well as the plastic bags i use to carry said tupperwares in. apparently someone was listening because he went back and bought it! sweet broha i’ve got, hm?

and someone else was listening, too! a few weeks ago i went to cafe gratitude for dessert with my mom (yes, i have an addiction. counseling may or may not be sought.) and mentioned, again offhandedly, how much i loved their plates! well, guess what i got?

two bowls and four plates! (two of each color). my mom told me she remembered how much i loved them and how it was one of the first things i mentioned after eating there for the first time. sometimes i forget people actually pay attention to the offhanded, sometimes absentminded things i say! this time it came in handy 🙂

but perhaps the best presents i did not yet receive. my parents told me to pick out a kick ass digital camera. because i am going to spain!!!!!!!!!! i am not sure when but i know within the next year, i am going to visit one of my best friends! i’m so excited! i’ve never been anywhere out of the country besides south africa. i love new adventures 🙂

and because i feel so loved and so grateful for all the gifts i got, i have gifts to give you! in the form of two recipes!

tofu with eggplant & zucchini
what you need
1/2 block of firm or extra firm tofu
1/2 c of eggplant (okay, truth be told, i didn’t measure out anything hah! so this is just an estimated guess!)
1/2 c zucchini

for the marinade/sauce
1/4 C hot water
1/4 cup bragg’s liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce or whatever!)
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T tomato paste
1 T agave
1 T + 2 t hot chile sauce
1 T sesame seed oil

what you need to do
press and drain all water out of tofu. cut up into whatever size you like. stick in a tupperware and allow to marinate for a few hours (i did this before class and let it chill for a good five hours or so!). when ready to cook, grease a wok or a pan and, once hot (medium-high), use tongs to place the tofu in the wok/pan. reserve the remaining marinade/sauce. allow to cook for a good ten minutes or so (depending on how chewy/crispy you want it!). once browned to your liking on both sides, add some of the marinade to braise it. then add the vegetables and allow to cook for about five minutes before adding the remaining sauce. continue to cook.

i covered mine like this for a few minutes, too, just to steam it some and cook it faster (because i was starving)

once done, plate and enjoy! this was super good and really flavorful!

next up, a bit of a sweeter treat!

butternut squash muffins!
what you need
1 C baked butternut squash
1/3 C coconut oil
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 cup + 1/4 cup spelt flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t salt
dash of ginger
dash of nutmeg

what you need to do
preheat your oven to 375
mix all dry ingredients together. mix all wet ingredients together. because heated coconut oil will solidify upon being mixed together with the almond milk, i heated the bowl (my mixing bowls are aluminum) over a pot with simmering water to remelt the coconut oil. worked like a charm 🙂

mix the dry into the wet slowly and combine until smooth. grease or line a muffin tin and bake for 12 minutes or until done. allow to sit in pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

so these were so dense and delicious and muffin-y that i ate them all before i remembered to take a picture. phffft, figures. but i can tell you these are very filling and are an excellent breakfast or snack!

one last gift: a review! of these delicious cookies!

a few months ago a friend of mine told me about these cookies from a company called late july. late july does not use artificial ingredients or preservatives and these are vegan! i bought them and i have to say, these truly are decadent! they’re so delicious and so much better than oreos! unfortunately for me these are all gone. i had a bit of a moderation issue a few nights ago. oops! sometimes i cannot be trust around a box of chocolate decadence 😉

anyway, it’s getting to be my bed time (how ridiculous) so i’ve got to go. i’ve got some yoga and light reading to do before i sleep! have a wonderful night, kidlettes!




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