February to May, by KZ

So many fun things are happening lately! The most very fun thing of all being that Alex got his doctorate and is now 100% less busy and fre...

So many fun things are happening lately! The most very fun thing of all being that Alex got his doctorate and is now 100% less busy and free to wander the streets of Philadelphia with me and eat all the vegan food available, of which there is a lot, go to see bands, go to see art, frolic in the many parks of the city, even take trips! Things have been pretty cool, but here is 75 photos catching you up from February to May:

I snagged a reservation at Vedge for Valentines day, and we took and obligatory photo of ourselves in the mirror. I want to eat at Vedge once a season so that we can try all new seasonal offerings, but they don't change their menu that frequently, so it's okay if we miss a season every now and again, because we've pretty much tried everything on the menu by now. Here's us on Valentines day at Vedge, saying "Will Dress Fancy For Vegan Food."

We managed to get a snowstorm in early March, for which I was fortunate enough to work from home. While working from home I got to eat a kewl breakfast of fancy oatmeal, drink some passiontea, listen to vinyl, and even read a few pages of my book :x

 It's true, my standards for normal dinners have gone way down. I willingly eat frozen gardein stuff (because it tastes so good!), I will eat a bunch of veggies in a bowl with mustard and like it, and not have to worry so much about gourmet status or how many stars my restaurant would get if I served this dish at it. I just became a busy adult and moved further away from Whole Foods, so this became my life now. And I don't hate it.

And there are always the weekends to get fancy and make an old favorite recipe or a more labor-intensive and delicious meal. I made this stew from one of the Thug Kitchen books at least twice this winter, It's the veggie dumpling stew with pretty much every vegetable you can name in it, and some dumplings that are basically just biscuit dough sliced with a pizza cutter into noodle shapes. It is the picture of winter comfort food, and though I write this on a beautiful June afternoon, it's got me wanting to go make this and curl up on the couch with netflix.

At one point this winter I re-attacked Isa Does It, setting out to conquer it and finally make every last recipe from the book, and while I did not quite finish, I made at least ten new-to-me recipes from it, including these chipotle-oyster mushroom tacos with pinto beans (top bean in my opinion) and a generous amount of avocado. I also toasted the edges of my tortillas because my life is dope and I do dope shit.

Another of the many dishes from Isa Does It that I made for the first time, was the Thai Red Lentil Chili, which I loved and would make again for sure. Alex made the cornbread. He is so grown-up.

The night before the anticipated snow storm, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on non-perishables including vegan cookies and So Delicious Cashew-based snickerdoodle ice cream and made cookie sandwiches out of them. Because two cookies are better than one RIGHT?!

On the second snow-day I made myself breakfast tacos and drank coffee out of Alex's "Work Sucks" mug. I used to have one too, but I left it at CVS. (Middle finger emoji).

 Some winter weekend morning, I made a smoothie bowl, a habit I fell out of a very long time ago, and enjoyed it with coffee, the way I used to back in NYC. I didn't have any good light, or a window ledge to sit on while I eat it anymore, but that's okay because I'm in Philly now and can write this from my patio instead of my window sill.

More love for Gardein, these chicken scallopini cutlets are sooo good, just lightly pan-fried and sliced up along with some asparagus and pasta with pink sauce from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen. You guys, Alex started cooking a lot more now and he makes that pasta dish regularly and it is v awesome and he is a good cook! He makes tacos the most, but also this pasta dish too. I will let you know when he learns to make something else and document it for all to see here.

I made garlic bread to go along with it because eating Italian food without garlic bread is shameful and I'm not a Monster.

I found these other Peanut Butter cups at the store that aren't Justin's brand and they are HEART SHAPED and also delicious, but twice the price of Justin's.  They are pretty cute, though.

A weeknight meal is more often than not composed of these orange Gardein nuggets, brown rice, and medley of whatever vegetables are in the fridge, then lovingly doused in sriracha and mustard. Like I said, standards? Out the window.

No but have you TRIED the turkey cutlets from Gardein? They come with gravy packets and have breading and all you do is put them in the oven and they are like, Done?? If you are judging me right now, you've definitely never tried them because even you would be like, "Okay true..."

I set out to make this the Roasted and Toasted Bowl from Isa Does It but my fridge suffered from lack of eggplant and maybe a couple of other required ingredients so I played it fast and loose and accommodated whatever I had on hand and put it in the oven. Then I tenderly dumped everything in a bowl ate it for dinner and liked it. It's the new KZ, everybody,

I switched my Vegan Cuts subscription from the monthly Beauty Boxes to the Quartlery Makeup Boxes, because I had way too many products in my custody and would never be able to get through them all at the rate I was receiving them. The makeup products are a little more my speed anyway. Last quarter's box was Clutchh, as you can see. I am also psyched to see more green beauty, which I am shifting more towards. If there are cruelty-free, vegan green-beauty companies out there, why not buy from them? It's stupid to buy makeup that has toxic chemicals in them and put them on our faces
probably, so I am heading in that direction with makeup I have been buying. 

There is an amazing restaurant up the street from us that has mexican food and frozen margaritas... AND A FULL VEGAN MENU. It's called Cantina Dos Segundos and I have had pretty much all the vegan options already and tried all the margarita flavors. There is this super mediocre mexican place even closer, but we can never get a straight answer out of them about if their seitan wings are vegan, they don't have vegan ranch for dipping, and their service is horrendous, so we just go to this new place instead now and never regret it! They have a Vegan Cheesesteak Burrito. Enough said.

More from Isa Does It, the Belgian Beer and Seitan Stew, which I loved, but Alex did not. He didn't like the apples, or something. I dug it, but probably wouldn't make it again because I can't eat a giant pot of it by myself.

This is the Red Hot BLT from Isa Does It, which was pretty perf. So is it not a BLT if I put a bunch of other crap on the sandwich? I put Chao, Just Mayo, and avocado on it, so is it a BLTCJMA? Too long. It's now just called "Sandwich."

This salad was so delicious. It's the Grilled Chopped Salad from Vegan Bowl Attack. I love grilled veggies in a vinaigrette. It reminded me of the Long Weekend Grilled salad from Oh She Glows, but this one has a marinade on the mushrooms and eggplant. It was so good and I would definitely make it again. This is a pretty good book, I have made a ton of stuff from it that I've really liked. I am kind of tough on cookbooks sometimes, but this one passed the cut!

I love me some Kite Hill yogurt with granola, maple syrup and berries, with coffee. I drink a lot coffee, but I decided that it has too many benefits to cut back. All of the things that people say are bad about it don't apply to me. So if no one can give me a good reason to drink less coffee, I'm not stopping!

This is a picture from mid-April when Alex was in the weeds of his diss, growing a gnarly beard and easily irritated, but we are at Milkcrate records in this pic, and it's just too good a shot not to post: Alex's hair is doing a cute thing, it has good Kombucha, my new fave brand, coffee, good book, beats, and a "Snackwich" from Crust bakery, and all-vegan bakery that delivers to coffee shops all around Philly, the snackwich is a cookie sandwich- the cookie is made with potato chips, chocolate chips and pretzels, and in between is Frostinggggg. So yeah, pree good pic.

Here are some of Alex's famous tacos! He makes rice (from a box), sauteed peppers, and special black beans with spices and bbq sauce, and also a special tomato "compote" that is essential to his process. These tacos are good and I adore them.

For my lunch one week, I made the Bow-tie with Pesto and portobello mushroom bowl from Vegan Bowl Attack, and it was so tasty. It called for pine nuts, but they cost a lot and I had almonds already so I opted for that modification. It has roasted cherry tomatoes and some vegan parm by Go Veggie. A v tasty lunch to bring to work :)

Not kidding, we love the Gardein Orange chicken nuggets, steamed potatoes and salad with vegan ranch. Also we re-watched Twin Peaks in anticipation of the 3rd season, WHICH IS AWESOME.

The inner bougie loser in me was missing Matcha-Almond milk lattes that I used to get all the time in Queens, and I finally found them in Philly at Steap N' Grind n Fishtown. They also had vegan coconut bread to go along with it, so yeah- Philly leaves me wanting for nothing.

The first hot day we had, at some point in April, I made the Hot Dogs from Super Fun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, which were so good and relatively easy to make! I also made the Corn salad with Basil Pesto Aioli to go with them from Vegan Bowl Attack. This plate had me ready for summer, despite what I know of the brutal, swampy Philly heat.

When Pacifica launched new summer beauty hair products, I sorta bought all of them, especially all the ones geared towards "beachy waves", which is MY signature summer look. So this summer my beachy waves come to you courtesy of Pacifica and their beautifully-packaged vegan hair and beauty products.

For Easter, everyone was posting pictures of Challah bread and I burned with jealously, before of course remembering that I have this recipe from Super Fun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook to try out. It was actually much easier than I anticipated and got into a marathon-mode making all sorts of other stuff while the dough rose.

More stuff like this Sundried Tomato Seitan Vegan Pot Roast which BLEW my socks off, and I made it again the next weekend. This would make a great holiday meal for any holiday, but especially for a passover or Easter-themed meal, appropriate for whichever lord you worship. I, personally am into both Glob and Seitan. 

As soon as Alex submitted his Dissertation, we immediately went out to get drunk, and here is the two of us so very drunk and happy to have free time to spend at beer gardens drinking too close to the fire pit.

And then Pacifica launched a new Spring collection and I couldn't choose so I didn't...

On a very sad day my Vitamix fell off the counter and broke, and they refused to replace it despite the 8-year warranty I purchased and promise that this would be the last machine of it's kind that I buy. Luckily, I dropped my first canister off the counter a few years ago and it only chipped a little, and Vitamix, at that time, replaced it no problem. So I just drove back to my mom's house and retrieved it from her attic. When I do purchase another machine of this kind, it will definitely NOT be from Vitamix because they are loser-jerks who do not deserve any more of my hard-earned dollars. Middle Finger Emoji.

I am the fire-captain at work for my department and I have to wear this bright read backpack and bright yellow hard hat and it is hilarious. Thought you ought to know.

We went to Record Store Day in Philly for the first time at my neighborhood's record store, also the best record store in Philly, Creep Records. They had beer, coffee, gift bags, and live bands. The people who work there are the best and I love talking about nostalgic music with people, so we were super happy to meet the owner when we first moved here and chat about the emo revival and all sorts of other records we loved from yester-year. Not something you could hope to do in NYC.

I made Dip Night from Vegan Bowl Attack! I made the Buffalo Jackfruit Dip, honestly just because it confused me so much based on the ingredients that I had no idea how this would ever come together and taste good. It has so much junk in it, and normally I would never make anything like this, but I did, in honor of dip night, and it was pretty great. I feel too embarrassed to tell you all the processed junk that it contains, but I ate it and liked it. I ate it with raw broccoli and baby carrots to punish myself for my sins.
I also made the white bean beer dip, which we dipped with apples and bread. So good!

Here is a story of the time I drove from Philly to Rhode Island for my friends' wedding:
Stopped at rest stop for coffee. They only have McDonalds.

Wuf this coffee tastes like cigarettes. Good story.

While in RI, we went to AS220 and got grilled garlic bread with white bean dip- my fave thing we ordered,

A kale-tofu-rice bowl with sesame dressing,

and a spiced chickpea dish with a...lot of mint.

I was coming off being pretty sick when we arrived in Providence and my appetite was about 1/4 of what it usually is, so I'm sure my overall opinion was skewed, but I liked the food fine, and was mainly just psyched to find a bunch of vegan options at the place right by the wedding. Here is a v cute pic of my friends just moments after getting hitched.

OKAY SO can we talk about how effing thrilled I was to receive this beautiful plate of vegan food for dinner at their lovely wedding? It's tofu with a nut-crust and spiced mango chutney over quinoa with roasted veggies and edible flowers. Well, I mean I ate the flowers. We all did. Swear. This was so good and I was over the moon about how well accommodated we felt. I love and miss my friends, I am so happy to be in Philly, but so glad I get to go out of town so many times this summer to visit with them a lot!

Alex refused to shave, but here is a super cute pic of us at the wedding.

Just moments later, Alex dumped this wine on the seat next to him by accident.

Some detoxing was in order after that weekend, so I made the Farro and Fennel Salad from Isa Does It for my lunch that week. I love oranges in salads!! I supremed the oranges, I will have you know.

Oh! The other dish Alex cooks, is a BBQ chickpea salad! I doused mine in Vegan Ranch and was v pleased with the outcome.

We went to Asbury Park last month to see a band we like, and realized we hadn't been to Asbury park since we first moved to New Jersey in 2010. I took pics for future reminiscence. 

Our visit coincided with Pug-a-Palooza, so we saw about 50 different pugs along the boardwalk. It was the cutest coincidence I ever was a part of. We strolled the boardwalk and found vegan pizza behind the Stone Pony. At a restaurant. Not like in the alley behind the Stone Pony. It was good pizza and I forgot the name of it.

This bar is just about as Jersey as it gets. I will end this thought here.

Here is me playing with my Pacifica Crystal Matrix Palette:

This is the first pic I took of DR ALEX! We celebrated with Ethiopian food from Dashen, near Rutgers.

Meh, but still fun!

The next day we went to NYC to celebrate with all our friends, first with Doughnuts from Dunwell, Where else? We then went out for many festivites, and I realized that I was surrounded by doctors! I have the smartest friends!!

On the way out of town we went to the Tasty in South Philly, and my coffee came to me in this mug, and how could I not photograph it and ever live with myself?

A night last week, the universe summoned me and required I make and consume Spaghetti and Meatballs, meatballs from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen, and I obviously did. I tried to bake them, but it just wasn't happening. Mid-way through, or when I grew impatient, I ripped them out of the oven and threw them into a cast-iron pan filled with oil. Sue me.

Alex and I celebrated our little dating-anniversary a couple weeks ago. 13 years ago we were young babies and people still asked each other to be their girlfriend and it was easy to keep track of dates. I dressed up for the occasion. Guess where we went??

It's Vedge. I bet you're shocked.

About a month after the first wedding, the second of five was here! We drove up from Philly to Vermont for our very good friends' beautiful wedding in the middle of nowhere, VT.
The drive from MA to VT was gorgeous. It made us definitely think about moving to Vermont and never coming back. You forget how nice it is while you're away, but when you are up there, dang. It nice.

It was a 2-night affair, and my friends graciously provided veggie burgers the first night and I brought vegan smores supplies for the campfire they had, which was an amazing cap on the evening. The morning after I was okay with some fruit and a granola bar. Sometimes basic food is nice.

The ceremony was hilarious, and so fitting for them. It was in the middle of the woods, and it was a gorgeous and mystical forest wedding! We had such a great time :)

Yesterday we went to the Phillies game! I am not a baseball person, but my friends, baseball people, were in town and we tagged along.

I had a great time, and we managed to find vegan hot dogs, vegan burgers, vegan cheesesteaks, even vegan cookies! Nothing was really that overpriced and it wasn't super crowded. Nothing like what I have experienced at professional sports events in the past!! A+ to Phillies and Citizens Bank Park for making it a dope place for vegans. Phillies lost 10 to 0, but can't say I paid that much attention..

It turns out I am a bad plant-mother. Please help. Leave your kind suggestions in the comments.

Though I am blogging from a computer that is not mine, I still plan to update more regularly! I will see you all soon, be back with 75 more photos or something!

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  1. Those Gardein turkey cutlets are my kinda meal, I wish I could get them where I'm from! I also miss PB cups - I always stock up when I come to the US but I've never had the heart shaped ones!

  2. OMG! I hope you're having fun in Philadelphia. I'm a huge fan of Pacifica (the Ulta on Chestnut St is currently having a buy 1, get one half off sale until 6/24). I had never heard of Steap N' Grind and will be sure to check it out! Plus your food, especially the tacos are impressive to drool over.