from iced coffee to vintage scrunchies: a day in berlin

I’m not sure if I love Berlin because of its culture, street art, and unique fashion sense or because today I was able to enjoy a vegan iced coffee and vegan burrito…but seriously, the iced coffee was a coconut water cold press with coconut milk! Whatever the reason (and I’m sure it’s all of them), I had an excellent Day #3 exploring Berlin. Unlike yesterday, I opted for public transit over cycling, as my day was packed with sites across the city. It was a morning of museums at the DDR museum and Gemäldegalerie followed by the wall art of the East Side Gallery and thrift shopping at Friedrichshain and Europe’s largest Humana (similar to the US’s GoodWill).

East Side Gallery Berlin Wall #100DaysofMiaPrima East Side Gallery Berlin Wall #100DaysofMiaPrima 1 East Side Gallery Berlin Wall #100DaysofMiaPrima 2 20150617_191616

And yes, I bought a delicious iced coffee. But I also purchased five handmade vintage scrunchies, a crochet tank top, a tofu burger, and innumerable postcards. I don’t think I could have topped that.

bis später!

Sarah

This post is #57 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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Hallo, Deutschland!

A Day in Berlin (As Told Through Food)

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healthy goals

For just over a year I’ve tried to stick to a modified plant-based diet. Along the way, I ended up deciding to add back in small amount of fish and eggs (for protein and iron), but otherwise, I more or less committed to healthier plant-based eating habits. However, recent travel in Europe and general convenience led to me eat a bit more cheese than I’ve planned.

That said, I’m ready to start feeling better and eating better, so I have some new healthy goals! One way to help achieve a goal is to make your intensions know; build in some accountability. Which is why I’m sharing my goals with you all today.

Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima

Goal #1: Increase my iron and protein intake

How? Include at least one serving of iron and protein-rich food a day, along side vitamin C (to help absorb the iron)

Foods: tuna, salmon, spinach

Timeline + Measure: Feel noticeably more energized mid-day and during workouts by June 1st

 

Goal #2: Improve digestion

How? Include at least one serving of high fiber food a day. Drink ginger tea four time or more a week. Decrease cheese intake to one meal a day or less.

Foods: oatmeal, whole wheat bread, veggies

Timeline + Measure: Evening stomach issues occur less frequently by June 1st

 

What are your health goals?

 

Cheers!

Sarah

This post is #38 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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the freshest restaurant in amsterdam

Yesterday, my friends surprised me with the most fantastic brunch I have ever experienced. The Restaurant De Kas, which is situated outside Amsterdam’s bustling city center in a serene (but classy. Think: adorable frites stand and it’s own bird king.) park, serves the bounty of its onsite greenhouses on its every-changing menu. I could describe to you what exactly it was we ate, but no words will do the meal justice. Photographs might be second best to tasting the food for yourself…So “Eet smakelijk!”

Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 1 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 2 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 3 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 4 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 5 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 6 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 7 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 8 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 9 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 10 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 11 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 12 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 13 Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam #100DaysofMiaPrima 14

As if the day couldn’t get better, we stopped at a vegan gummy store before ending the day with a Narnia-inspired ballet. Not to mention the simple joy of sitting back– coffee in hand–and taking in the enchanting sites of Amsterdam.


Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima Amsterdam #100daysofMiaPrima

Tot ziens!

Sarah

This post is #31 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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the power of food

Power of Food: Jamie Oliver quotation

Since I’ve run out of British detective shows to watch lately, I’ve turned to documentaries and TED Talks for my evening relaxation. While learning about Viking explorers, the evolution of humans, the “moral molecule,” and a secret river under Dublin has been quite riveting, the video I watched this evening struck a deeper cord. Jamie Oliver’s TED talk on the power of food (to do good or, as is often the case in this country, bad) renewed my vigor for healthy living and eating. I’ve been following (more or less- cookie butter is a weakness, okay!?) a plant-based diet for six months now, and contrary to what you might think, this lifestyle has introduced me to so many new ways of cooking, new food to try, and new methods to make eating and cooking easier, more delicious, and fun. I’ve felt better, ran faster (marathon PR!), and found the joy of making a home cooked meal. I love Jamie’s approach to the power of food: that it should be a part of the daily ritual that makes our lives rich and interesting. And healthy.

Cheers!

Sarah

p.s. Jamie’s website has some great vegan recipes as well! Here are the ones I’m particularly excited to try:

No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Fudge Bars

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

The Best Vegan Burger

Vegan Shepherds Pie

european brunch: vegan style!

Vegan Style European Brunch: recipes on miaprimacasa.com #vegan #vegetarian #brunch #recipes

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

Ah, brunch. Truly the best meal of the day. Especially if you’re vegan. Because, frankly, anything goes! Breakfast food? Sure! Lunch food? Why not! Greens first thing in the morning? Go for it! Brunch in a vegan’s dream. Plus it’s a really good excuse to invite your friends over and chow down on all the excess Trader Joe’s groceries you bought the day before when you made the mistake of grocery shopping after a long run…

I like to think my brunches are European style because I fell in love with breakfast in Siena, Italy while filling up on Nutella croissants (still warm!), prosciutto, pecorino, and espresso. But to be honest, I think Americans do brunch best: lots of food, lots of friends, usually a hangover, and bottomless mimosas.

But for the days you want to stay in for the best meal of the weekend, I’ve put together a delicious vegan brunch menu. European inspired, American made, and to absolutely die for.

On the Menu:

Hazelnut latte with soy milk (sugar free!)

Baguette with assorted toppings: sugar free preserves, vegan butter, Dutch speculoos (In all fairness, I don’t know if speculoos is actually vegan, as the ingredients list is in Dutch! Sadly, I suspect it’s not.)

Local Pennsylvania organic apples

Fresh lemon mango cucumber water*

Sweet potato chips with homemade hummus*

Assorted veggie tofu scramble*

*Keep scrolling for the recipes below!

 

Lemon Mango Cucumber Water

Lemon Mango Cucumber Water

The idea is so simple, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner! Add cut up cucumbers, lemon, and frozen mango to a pitcher of water, and suddenly you have a refreshingly healthy drink that actually makes you excited to drink more water.

 

Hummus

  • 2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained
  • or 1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed, soaked and cooked (I cook mine in the crock pot!)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
Mix the above in the food processor. Run it for a long time (about 6 minutes) to get it fluffy. Add more water if needed.
For a fun variation on the above recipe, use less water and add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Yum!

 

Tofu Scramble

  • 1-2 packages of tofu (1 package=one serving)
  • Assorted veggies, diced, cut, etc. I like to make this dish with any extra veggies from the week. It’s a great way to use up your extra produce in one dish!
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprouted grain toast (optional, of course! But the scramble is delectable with vegan butter and toast)

Wrap the blocks of tofu in a dry paper towel. Set on a smooth plate or cutting board and add weight on top. I sandwich my tofu between two cutting boards and stack my cookbooks on top. Whatever gets a decent amount of water out of the tofu, works! Let the tofu sit this way for ten minutes or so.

While waiting, heat the sesame oil on medium/high heat. When warm, add your veggies. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce. If the veggies are sticking to the pan, add water, a tablespoon or so at a time.

When the tofu is ready, crumble into the pan with the veggies. Stir and add your second tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue to cook until tofu is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Any other vegan recipes you’d recommend for brunch?

Cheers!

Sarah

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Recipes for Vegan Brunch on miaprimacasa.com

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins (Vegan & Gluten Free!)

Guys, this is my first original recipe that I’m posting for you all! *Cheers*

I took inspiration from a recipe in Roberto Martin’s book, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, which is one of my personal favorite vegan cookbooks. Roberto shares recipes that are easy to make and easy to understand, and in the case of this recipe, easy to modify and make your own.

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins- so easy, so good!

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins- so easy, so good!

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins 

Vegan and gluten free!

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Wait Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

Olive oil cooking spray

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups gluten free polenta or corn grits 

1 green bell pepper, minced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste

black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Spray a muffin tin with the cooking spray and set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and add the polenta. Stir the polenta constantly until it begins to get thick (about 1-2 minutes). Add the minced pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper and continue to stir until the polenta becomes very thick (about 3 minutes longer).

Scoop the polenta mixture into the muffin tin and smooth the tops of each muffin with a spoon. Set the muffins aside for at least 30 minutes to reset.

Gently pop the muffins out of the tin with a spoon and brush them lightly with olive oil.

Preheat a grill, grill pan, or, in my case, a non-stick skillet on hight heat.

Add the polenta muffins and grill for a couple minutes on each side, or until the muffins begin to brown.

Serve warm or refrigerate and enjoy as a cool summer afternoon snack.

Serves 8.

Let me know what you think of my first original recipe!

 

Cheers!

Sarah

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins- so easy, so good!

I Hosted a Party! And It Was Vegan!

And, I think, a success! I had a great time hosting (I usually do!), and I hope my guests left full (of plenty of wine and homemade vegan appetizers) and happy.

Delicious Vegan Party Menu (yes, it's possible!) miaprimacasa.com

Mango Red Pepper Salsa/Bruschetta (my own recipe!)/

Cucumber Tofu Rolls/Chocolate Chip Magic Bars/

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Miracle Cookies

I’ve hosted a few parties with my sister and friends before, but never have I tried to 1) make all the food myself 2) cook and bake completely vegan for a party. Honestly, it wasn’t that difficult! I just used some of my personal favorite recipes, which besides being delicious, are also pretty easy too. It felt good to offer my friends delicious, healthy food that they didn’t have to second-guess. Because who wants to go to a party only to stare guiltily at a plate of mozzarella sticks (from which you’ve already taken at least three…)?

My Eclectic Living Room #apartmentliving miaprimacasa.com My Eclectic Living Room #apartmentliving miaprimacasa.com My Eclectic Living Room #apartmentliving miaprimacasa.com Vegan Entertaining…yes, it's possible! AND delicious! miaprimacasa.omc

But let’s be real. The part was also a chance to show off my (nearly) finished living room. I’m quite proud of the color and vibrance that I brought into the space. And how open and comfortable it feels. My only complaint: this horrible futon. I’m sitting on it right now and it’s literally sinking slowly beneath my weight. Here’s to hoping my guests didn’t notice because they were too busy eating my vegan chocolate chip magic bars…

Cheers!

Sarah