Recent Eats August 2017

I really love to cook. Honestly I don’t even care if what comes out is particularly spectacular, it just makes me feel so relaxed to get in the kitchen. Since moving back to Ithaca and having a larger space to work with, it has been a great joy to actually bust out the Pinterest recipe boards and get my hands messy.

I’ve attempted a few new things over the past month, and thought I’d share them, along with some other sandwich porn from my lunches at CTB.

First and foremost, I made seitan!!! This was a the biggest accomplishment for the summer. It seemed like such a daunting task, but once I got the ingredients and started, it was quite like baking bread. I used this recipe, but cooked it for 90 minutes, wrapped in in foil and added some liquid smoke.


I made Mac and Cheese from The Skeptical Vegan cookbook after finally getting my hands on my friend Eric’s book. I was also fortunate to go to his first book signing at Buffalo Street Books here in Ithaca, where I tried some more Miyoko’s vegan cheese and met the Susie of Susie’s Seitan, a local Ithaca company. The cheese sauce is based from milk, Daiya cheddar and Toffuti cream cheese. It was tasty, but I can see why, after purchasing these ingredients, people think going vegan is expensive. Certainly a treat for my parent’s and me.


I finally started making waffles again after a few month lay-off. My mom bought me a mix a while back (the name of the mix escapes me) but all you do it add water and cook it. It’s actually a pancake mix, so I adjusted the amount of liquid to mix a bit, and used milk instead of water.


The other night I got a craving for baked beans. I really love them (my mom has the best recipe!) and actually will eat Bush’s baked beans out of the can. I was of course on Pinterest that morning, so I made some of my own. Pretty simple and although not exactly like my mom’s, but good enough for me.


For a long while now, on my baking bucket list was Pop-tarts. I don’t know why, but I just wanted to make them. I didn’t even like them overly when I was a kid, they were good, but nothing I looked forward to. Well, I had this great idea to use my mom’s pie crust recipe (only 4 ingredients, but the best thing ever!) for the pastry part of the tarts. So I borrowed that, and made the dough alright…but struggled with the rolling out part. We don’t have a rolling pin, so I tried to use a wine bottle and it just didn’t work.


I ended up with three ugly Pop-tarts filled with strawberry jam. Not one to waste the rest of the dough, I made mini-tarts using cupcake tins. I filled half of those with s’mores peanut butter and the other half with almond butter and jelly. Lesley loved the s’mores ones. I enjoyed the almond butter and jelly, they just needed more jelly, which I added after the fact.


I’ve been having fun making my own sauces after I remembered to buy dressing bottles. It’s so much easier to use them! I made cheese sauce using carrots and nutritional yeast, which paired lovely with my spiral pasta. I think I like my homemade cheese sauce more than making it out of Daiya and Toffuti.


Alright and now for some CTB sandwich porn. I tried Foccacia bread for the first time last week and OH MY STARS, what a treat! It’s basically a lighter bread made with rosemary and saturated with olive oil. It was very tasty even if my hands were a mess afterwards. On this sandwich I had avocado, veggies and one of the sauces I had made (I call it Moo-Shoo sauce…but that doesn’t really tell you much about it haha)


When the Ciabatta bread is perfectly baked in the morning, I usually have my lunch on that. This sandwich is Ciabatta, chive Toffuti, hummus, lettuce, tomato and sprouts.


Pumpernickel bread smells so good to me, yet I forget about it a lot because when I am looking at the bread, it is kind of hidden underneath one of the bagel bins. This sandwich definitely has a great hummus to bread ratio wouldn’t you say?


Then I must end this food filled post with a simple lemon-blueberry scone. Extra butter, and a coffee. A perfect breakfast watching the sun rise.


In September, I have a few things I plan to make:

Salted Caramel Brownies

A different kind of Seitan

Sausage Biscuits and Gravy

Pretzel Granola Bars

Looks like a great start to fall!

Easy Almond Banana Bread [vegan, gluten-free]

I receive products from Barney Butter in which to make recipes and enjoy. I think you will love their products as well, so feel free to head over and check them out!

I missed having an oven at my old apartment. Sure, I learned how to make many traditionally baked items in my toaster oven and microwave, but it simply was not the same.

I remember when I visited my current apartment for the first time to discuss the leasing agreement, my [now] roommate Lesley was baking banana bread.

It smelled HEAVENLY.

She pulled out the loaves just as I was leaving to go to a bridal shower, but seeing and smelling that bread solidified what I was going to bake first thing once I moved in.

Last week, I moved into this apartment and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to bake! Actually, I sort of can because I’ve been a bit busy at my jobs, running and getting my bearings back in Ithaca [reading the Outlander book series obsessively].

It seems all I needed to do was get a little push from Lesley “Please use up all the frozen bananas in the freezer” and a bit of extra time [between book chapters] to put my apron back on.

This recipe uses bananas, almond flour and almond meal conveniently making it gluten free as well as completely vegan. There is an oil free option which I have used previously and it tastes good but well…oil is just my jam so I use it.

I used Barney Butter almond flour and almond meal for this recipe as I find the quality just enhances the taste.

Even though I work at a bread and bagel shop, there is nothing quite like banana bread for breakfast in the morning. My co-workers quite agree and you will too! Make this bread and send me a shout out on Instagram!


Easy Almond Banana Bread

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 8Total:

You'll Need...

  • 2 mashed ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
  • 1 T flax meal
  • 3 T water
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oil (or applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, plus more for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 cups of almond slivers, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch load pan.
  2. Combine flax meal and water and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine bananas, almond and vanilla extracts, oil and sugar, stirring until evenly, but not overly mixed.
  4. Add flax meal and water mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the same bowl.
  6. Stir so there are no flour lumps, but still lumpy.
  7. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of almond slivers.
  8. Pour into a greased 8 inch loaf pan.
  9. Top with the rest of the almond and extra brown sugar if desired.
  10. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

How I Eat Cheap Everyday

I love food and I love to eat. 

I also am on a budget and although I do get a free meal from work, I like to cook some things myself. My mother taught me how to spend frugally and get the most bang for my buck. Watching her cook for us when I was young showed me how to make delicious, simple food.

When I went vegan, I ate tons of peanut butter and jelly. I still do this, but I also know how to cook which I am proud to say I now eat more nutritiously.

At the end of the day, I eat essentially similar things and use spices or sauces to change it up. However, if I am being honest, I could eat the same thing every day.

Breakfast: grain (with milk)+peanut butter, fruit

examples of grains: oatmeal, cornflakes, mini-wheats, raisin bran, bagels, bread, WAFFLES

Lunch: Salad/Sandwich, pickle/chips


example salad: bead of spinach or lettuce, tofu or beans, sprouts, tomatoes, peas, dressing

example sandwich: ciabatta bread, seitan/hummus, lettuce, tomato, cheese/avocado, onions

Dinner: Grain+bean+sauce, steamed veggies 

example: white rice, chick peas, tahini/avocado salsa/sauce (flavored with nutritional yeast, s/p)

Snack: granola bar+peanut butter

There are a few things I do not do, which is simply because I just haven’t added them into my budget. The pros of these things aren’t there for me:

Superfoods (I use protein powder very sparingly and it was sent to me)

Organic (I think eating fresh fruits and veggies is important, if I find myself in a financially enough secure position, I will buy organic, but right now I’m not concerned)

Out of Season Produce (no.)

Zoodles (not enough calories for the amount they cost)

Gluten-free (I am not celiac, and often these products are more expensive, so I choose not to buy them)

Cauliflower rice (I prefer my white rice just fine, and again, not enough calories for me)

Now, saying that I do not buy these things regularly does not mean I will not eat them nor never buy them. I am not black and white with foods as long as they’re vegan. For example, if I go to a cafe or restaurant and they put maca powder or spirulina in my smoothie, I will gladly take it. I also am always up for trying different kinds of pasta like black bean or chickpea, but I do not buy them frequently.

I have a few resources for all those people who want to start making some of their own food, but also mind their budget:

No Meat Athlete 5 Sauce System <—I USE THIS SO MUCH!

Healthy Eating On A Budget

16 Affordable Vegan Finds at Aldis

Rabbit Elite

A few months ago, I was selected to be a part of the Rabbit ELITE racing team.

Rabbit running apparel is made in California and the company was started by two women, Monica and Jill. Both having been in the running business for years, they found it incredible that they had yet to find running clothing that worked for them. So, being entrepreneurial minded, they decided to start making clothes for themselves…and luckily for me, for other runners as well.

Being based in LA, they have complete oversight into their production at each level. This is important to me and to companies I support. “Most importantly, we know for sure that all of our apparel is made in conditions we approve of by workers who are treated well and fairly.”

I have tested out the apparel they have sent me a few times, both in training and in my everyday use and can honestly give it great reviews.


The singlet is bright yellow and is form fitting without overly constricting my torso or hugging in the wrong places. You know those shirts you have that just bunch in the wrong areas? They either chafe or make you look punchy. The singlet gives a very streamlined look and also shows off my summer tan. It also looks great. At the fatass race I did a few weeks ago, other runners asked where I got it and I enjoyed hearing them say “Next lap, I’ll catch the rabbit”. It was a great talking piece.

The shorts are also a new favorite and that is big coming from me, a self proclaimed spandex loving girl. I like the air flow the shorts provide and also pocket options. There is one in the back and two on the sides. What I worry about is that my nutrition may fall out of the pockets because of the baggy nature shorts have. The pockets in these shorts are tight enough that none of my snacks (I’ve put granola bars, Gu and RunGum in them so far) have fallen out. The back pocket also features a zipper, which is where I stash my house and gym key. They do not move around at all while in there, which is a bonus.


Lastly, and probably my most favorite is the Rabbit trucker hat. I wore this for my recent 40 miler, Many on the Genny and not only did it keep sweat off my face, it tamed my wild locks and aerated my head so I didn’t get too hot. I love hats when it comes to longer races, so this piece was what I was excited about the most. It did not disappoint.


Overall, I recommend Rabbit apparel for both male and female runners. They have great options on their site not only for trail runners like me, but for track athletes and everyday use.

Right now, you can save 10% off your order if you use this link and head to their website to pick up some great running gear.

Hey, I love rabbit and I think you will too! Check it out: http://rabbit.refr.cc/elliep @runinrabbit #rabbitELITE Click To Tweet

See you out there!

Cayuga Trails Marathon 2017

This past Saturday I competed in the Cayuga Trails Marathon hosted by Red Newt Racing in conjunction with the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships going on at the same time.

First, I have to give a HUGE shout out to my friend Samantha Leblanc for CRUSHING her first 50 mile and coming in 7th female overall! She did so amazing and is one of my trail inspirations. She is so strong! I can’t wait to race with her again!

In short, it was a blast and I found my trail legs again.

I decided to do this race not too long ago and just see what happened. In the same fashion of Thom B. Trails a few weeks ago, I just wanted to get onto the beautiful Ithaca trails that I love and have some fun. The race is also hosted by my team and is a big social event around here. I was excited simply to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones.

I arrived in Ithaca the day before the race to help with registration. I felt really excited and not at all nervous. My sleep arrangements the night before included either a wood floor or a reclining chair, and that was chosen by me. I just needed a place to crash and I wasn’t expecting optimal sleep before this race. I didn’t really care, as it was not a goal race and I planned on DNFing if things went to hell.

The morning of the race, I still felt great and excited. I saw many familiar faces at the start line and was comforted that the trails were full of 50 milers who had started 2 hours before us. My teammate Laura Kline, Nora Mciver-Sheridan and Natalie Thompson were all doing the marathon as well, so I was in good company and felt comfortable. The race began and we all stayed mostly together, trading places throughout the first few miles. Laura and I talked for the first half of the race and she reminded me to hike the uphills.


That saved my legs and I felt great. We even joked that the day was so nice and it felt really good to run, that we should have done the 50. I stayed on top of eating and drinking and from miles 10-20 I felt solid.

The only hitch I had was two times right after aid stations, I clipped my toe on a rock and when I braced myself from falling, my nutrition (I think it was Gu Brew) squirted out of my handheld. I still took in other calories, but that was a bit of a setback.

Nora had caught up to me by about mile 18, and she and I stayed together from 18-22 around the huge stair climb. I felt good getting up the stairs, but at the top I knew I was headed for a bonk if I didn’t get to the aid station at mile 22. I slowed down and let Nora go and just focused on getting to the checkpoint. There was nothing I could do as I had eaten my last Gu and my liquid calories were lost to the trail.


Once I got to the aid station, I scarfed down a few Clif Bars and refilled my bottle and got on my way. I knew Nora was long gone but I started to feel great again, so I picked it up a bit (or it felt like I did) and wanted to finish in second place strong. All was well until we hit a spot near the waterfalls that was full of tourists and people enjoying the day. I got caught up in a leash of a dog held by a boy and took a bit of a tumble. We just both went the same way when we tried to avoid each other.

I lost my breath and started to get upset as one does when you can’t breathe. However, I only had 2 miles to go and the blood wasn’t too bad. I just scared myself so the next half mile was spent calming down. I didn’t want to be crying at the finish line.

The last mile was beautiful and mostly downhill with few things to watch out for.

I finished second female with a watch time of 4:22:59.


I am sore today, but no injuries, blisters or anything to be aware of. I feel very happy with how I did and was reminded that even taking time off will not allow my body to forget what it is capable of.

A few things I learned and will practice for any upcoming races:

Practice going downhill (thanks for pointing that out Ian)

Hike early (thanks Laura)

Eat and drink early (I did this and it worked!)

Always have liquid calories in your bottle in addition to solid calories (Again, it worked!)

For technical races longer than 4 hours like this, carry a pack or try not to fall and lose nutrition (what can ya do?)

Thank you to Ian Golden, owner of Red Newt Racing and the Finger Lakes Running Company for the great event and all the help the past few years. I would not be here without you. Thank you to On Running for the fantastic shoes that drained well and prevented blisters even though I did not wear running socks. Thank you to Barney Butter for pre-race nutrition and the delicious products that fuel my daily nutrition.

Congratulations to my other team Strong Hearts Vegan Power who was racing Ragnar Poconos the same day. My thoughts were with you all <3