Over spring break, I stayed on campus and was able to work on my sustainability project. Basically, my project consists of reading, research, recipe testing, blogging, and promoting plant-based eating.

Day One

I went to three grocery stores. My first stop was a small grocery store called Aldi. I really appreciated their lack of paper and plastic bags. (That was the first grocery store I’ve ever been in like that.) I also loved the prices. They had a fair amount of organic products as well. Not the greatest variety, but excellent place to quickly go in and out of for the necessities.

The second store I went to was a small local co-op called Local Harvest. It was a bit of a drive, but definitely worth it. It had special ingredients that I needed such as nutritional yeast, vegan mayo, and Daiya cheese. It was a bit pricy compared to Aldi, but it felt good to support a local business that sources many products locally. I appreciated the weigh-your-own option. There was a variety of nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

My last stop of the day was good ole’ Trader Joe’s. (I’m assuming everyone already knows how amazing this store is.)

After a long afternoon of grocery shopping, I was absolutely famished and in need of a low-maintenance meal. I made a delicious 100% plant-based pasta salad from The Vegan Way cookbook.

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I used pasta made from quinoa and brown rice, kidney beans, organic kale, avocado, and hot house tomatoes.

  • Tip: Brown rice & quinoa pasta great for those who need a GF option.

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I coated everything with a dressing recipe from the book.

My version of the recipe contained:

  • Whole grain mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Olive oil
  • A bit of fresh dried basil
    • For more flavor, use fresh basil and dry it in a toaster oven
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

I stepped up my sustainability game by using local maple syrup made by students at my college.

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This salad is packed with protein, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, texture, and flavor. It was a perfect light, yet satisfying supper. It’s simple, affordable, and absolutely delicious.

I definitely plan on making it again.

My only regret: I wish I made more of the dressing and stored it for a later use. I would use it on anything (wraps, a dip for veggies, sandwiches, you name it).

I was dying to taste the shredded Daiya “cheese” so I decided to make a little post-dinner appetizer type dish. I sliced up a tomato, placed fresh basil leaf on each slice, sprinkled the “cheese” on top, and added a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. I placed them in the toaster oven for a few minutes and….

DELISH!

That’s all folks. Stay tuned for more 100% plant-based recipes 🙂

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