Taste of Bloomington!

Saturday a friend and I went to the Bloomington’s 28th Annual Taste of Bloomington.


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“Taste of Bloomington is a one day Food and Music Festival that celebrates the Bloomington, Indiana community, especially its food service industry. In addition to raising money for local charities, the fest also features food from local restaurants and live music all day from local, regional, and national acts.”

Taste of Bloomington is one of my family’s traditions.  It’s an easy, relatively cheap way to sample many of the different Bloomington restaurants you’ve maybe never quite gotten around to going to.  It’s generally hot, crowded, loud, and fun.  My mom was out of town 😦 so I went with R and we wandered around in a low-key fashion, enjoying the sights and sounds of Bloomington, IN residents. haha!

I didn’t take pictures since I had my hands full of lemonade and food, plus dodging the many people in the crowd.  So I’ll just give a quick run through of what I sampled and who provided them.  And I found some approximate pictures on the internet, so I’ll use those (at least there’ll be pictures!)

Be warned – this was most definitely not a Raw day!  I could have done a lot better.

*Virgin* Pina Colada – Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees and Smoothies who apparently don’t have an actual location in Bloomington!  Bummer.  But it did come with an umbrella!


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Fried pickles with ranch – Scotty’s Brewhouse Good but a little salty, and of course, fried.


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Potato Okra Curry, Eggplant with bread, baklava – Samira I loved the eggplant, the curry was a little too spicy for a hot day, but good, and I always enjoy baklava.


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Strawberry Lemonade – Mother Bear’s Pizza One of Bloomington’s award winning pizzerias.  My friends & I don’t go here too often since it’s always SO crowded during the school year.  Really close to campus and very popular with students.  But what I’ve had there I have enjoyed.


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After enjoying the sun, seeing my sister and some of her friends, R and I headed back to her apartment and played Wii Mario Kart which I am so much better at than original Mario Kart.  I’m always Yoshi.  🙂


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Then came late night, and we had fried mushrooms on the brain.  We headed out to the Irish Lion and shared an order of them, plus an order of fries.  I love the Irish Lion.  They can handle large dinner parties, they take reservations, have excellent food (only a couple of veg. options, unfortunately) and are also a great bar with an wonderful pub atmosphere.  It’s where I chose to have my 21st birthday.  The Dirty Nellie is one of my favorite drinks, ever.

Yeah, definitely not a Raw day.  But I had a lot of fun.  😀

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These are the days of summer

Wednesday was a true day of summer.  🙂

I got up at 9:30 am to meet R and Maggie for tennis at 10:30 am, and we had a good time hitting the tennis balls around and laughing at our more horrendous shots.  Although, I think we were pretty good for not being “tennis players.”  (Thanks for the lessons, Mom!)

I went home for lunch.  Can you guess?  That’s right, another Woodstock Quinoa salad.  I can’t get enough of this.

Before Woodstock dressing.

And after.  🙂

Then there was a bit of an unexpected nap in my mom’s armchair, before R and Maggie came over to go swimming in my pool!  We had a great time, it was sunny and hot out.  I got a little bit burned on my shoulders and back, despite sunscreen.  I think it mostly started from tennis though.  My face didn’t burn at all!  I was shocked.

The 3 of us split one of my homemade peanut butter cups!  I had no agave, so I made these ones with honey.  Honey gives things a distinct flavor, in my opinon, but it was still good.  My dad had one I made him as part of his breakfast!  😀

Then we packed up and headed to R’s brother’s house to watch a movie, after which we had a dance party.  Can I say perfection?  🙂  I had such a great time.  We ordered pizza, which I probably ate too much of.  Oh well.  Life is for living.

Thursday morning I woke up and wanted something light before I was going to work out a bit.  I didn’t make any overnight oats.  😦  So I had a piece of whole wheat toast with 1/4 avocado smashed and tomato slices.

I got on our treadmill for about half an hour.  From what I’ve read, most people seem to enjoy either running indoors on treadmills or outside.  I have a very hard time running outside.  I just don’t enjoy it.  I much prefer running indoors.  Also, if I work out in my own house, people won’t see how much of a mess I look like after working out!  I swear, any kind of hard workout and I sweat buckets and turn red as a beet.  One thing’s for sure…I’ve never counted on meeting a hottie at the gym!! haha!

I had a big salad before heading to work.  Yup…Woodstock Quinoa salad – this time with a little bit of Goddess dressing as well.  I toasted a little bit of whole wheat bread too.

One thing I love about pre-rinsing my spinach and lettuce and having them in tupperwares in the fridge – it’s so easy to whip together a salad in no time!  I made this salad AND a serving of overnight oats for work in just 10 or 15 minutes.  (The oats just marinate in the fridge for a couple hours and are perfect for eating on a 15 minute break.)

Before adding almond milk.  I usually put in lots of cinnamon, a serving of my kelp supplement and spirulina.

I had a handful of dark chocolate m&ms’s at work.  🙂  They made me happy.

At work I held up pretty well.  A nutrient dense salad is the best way to get greens in and not feel like you’re depriving yourself.  Because if I’m hungry just an hour and a half later, I’ll just end up eating something truly awful cause I’m staving on my break.

Friday was super fun.  I don’t work, so I watched some of the World Cup with my dad, then met up with Maggie, E and R to walk over to a coworker and friend’s house for an Apples to Apples party!  We had a great time, then headed to The Vid for a while.  While walking back to the apartments we got caught in the rain!!  All in all, a great start to the weekend.  🙂

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Deja Vu Tuesday

Sunday afternoon I had these beauties for lunch at work.

A green tea shot, Raw chocolate coconut bite, and a quinoa feta tomato pita.  The pita was so messy!  It didn’t stay together well, but it tasted so good.  But there was this guy watching me try to eat it outside.  I’m pretty sure he was laughing at me.  😉

I also went SWIMMING for the first time this summer after I got home from work!  😀

I had a tomato wrap for Sunday dinner.  Tomato slices, spinach, quinoa, salt & pepper, a bit of Goddess dressing and vegenaise on pita.

Dessert was blackberries and blueberries with 3/4 of a homemade vegan peanut butter cup!

I didn’t go to sleep at all on Sunday night!  :O  I was reading a good book and surfing the internet….not very good for me but it’s summer, and I felt like doing it.  Reason enough for me.  So about halfway through the night I was super craving a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, but I didn’t want to overstuff myself with a sandwich when I shouldn’t have even been eating at all!  So I had a poor man’s peanut butter & jelly.  Or rich, if you can afford almond butter and blackberry jam. 😉  I love eating one bite of each, and then one mixed bite.  I’m weird like that.  haha!

Monday morning was unusual since I was already up, so I didn’t want a “breakfasty” food.  I had a another tomato wraptomatoes, spinach, quinoa, pepper. This time I had it without vegenaise and with Woodstock dressing.

For work I made a double iced coffee.  Kept me awake! haha

2 Via packets
Lots of ice
A bit of almond milk
1 T. cactus honey powder

Lunch after work was Vegan Overnight Oats.  I don’t have any chia seeds [yet!] but it was great!

With a little peanut butter and blackberry jam.  I told you I was obsessed!!

Dinner was the best salad I’ve had in ages!

Baby spinach, lettuce, quinoa, tomato, Annie’s Woodstock dressing, and croutons.

A little bit of heaven on my lap.  🙂

After dinner yesterday I took a bike ride around my neighborhood and a little bit beyond.  Confession: I haven’t been on a bike in years. I used to love riding my bike, and at my old house I’d ride all around the park, but out here it’s a little more dangerous if you want to go outside the neighborhood at all.  And I’m too scared of getting hit by all the speeders out here.  But I climbed on (my brother’s) bike (which needs air in its tires), and had a great 25 minute ride.  I forgot how much I loved it!!  It was great!  I got super sweaty in the heat, but it was totally worth it.

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Tuesday has been a topsy-turvy Monday!! haha!

Vegan Overnight Oats for breakfast this time w/0 PB & jelly.  Sorry, I didn’t take a new pic.

Lunch was Quinoa Woodstock salad with red onions.  Croutons on the side.

And I’ll probably have a wrap tonight!  😀

But for now I’m going to go watch Merlin and ride out this crazy storm Indiana is having.  Tornado season!

And maybe Gus will stop by to watch and stare at Bradley James with me again tonight.  😛  And, really, who could blame him?  😉  I mean, just look at that face.

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Saturday Shenanigans

Friday night I could. Not. Sleep.  Ugh.

So Saturday morning at a ridiculous hour not even close to morning I got up and started cleaning, doing laundry, and listening to CDs I haven’t listened to in ages, a couple new ones, and importing some of my favorite mixes into my iTunes that I hadn’t gotten around to yet (Hello, House Rules…I’ve missed you.)

I had some Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk around 7 am.  These are pretty processed, and sugar is the 2nd ingredient, but I do love them.

Mom and I went to the Farmer’s Market in the morning and got some great fruits and veggies.  The weather was awful but it cleared up quickly and was pretty cool, if a bit humid.  I forgot to take pictures of 2nd breakfast!  I had a hot tamale with potatoes, zucchini, cheddar cheese, and green salsa.  My 1st tamale, and it was quite tasty.  I also had a “jitterbug” coffee smoothie which was good.

Got home and took a nap, updated my iTunes a bit more, and did some laundry.  Gus came in looking for a place to lie down.  Too bad my laundry took up too much room for him to make himself comfortable like he did a few days ago does all the time.  😉

Apparently all my animals love to sleep in odd places.

Including where I should have been sleeping Saturday morning!

So silly.

Saturday evening, friends and I went to a friend and coworker’s apartment to celebrate her birthday.  Fun was had by all, although there were some strange moments at the end of the night.  Including a crazy neighbor lady who invited herself over for a period of time.  Very strange.  But we had a wonderful time.  The birthday girl is kind of a new friend, and I’m someone who is not used to branching out too often (aka one of my best friends currently is the 1st friend I made after moving back to the U.S. in 3rd grade!).  And I just graduated from college!  Of course I’ve made other friends – fantastic friends, actually – since then, but I wouldn’t call myself a social butterfly by any means.

We had some wonderful food that night, mostly various types of salad with couscous, tomatoes, and onions.  Also pita, hummus, guacamole, spinach artichoke dip and salsa.  I loved it!

It was a great night.  XD

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Upland Brewing Co.

Friday night my friends and I ate at Upland Brewing Co. and had some fantastic food.

Upland is an award winning microbrewery that has been around since 1998 in Bloomington, Indiana.  You can get their beer in many local stores in Indiana, and their restaurant isn’t half bad, either!  Upland is a good choice for supporting a local brewery that is also focused on energy conservation and community.

I was really excited to get there and see a pretty good variety of vegetarian options.  There was even a salad designated as vegan!  Of course, it’s pretty easy to make a vegan salad, but the fact that it’s pointed out on the menu is pretty cool.Their menu is online, too, which is nice.

One downside is that they don’t take reservations, and you can’t call ahead to put your names on a list.  So we had to wait to get a table, and they are basically always busy.  The good thing?  They told us it would be about a 30 minute wait, but we got in around 10 minutes after that.

I decided to get the Upland Wheat Ale.  I’ve had this beer a couple times before and I enjoy it.  It’s light and summery, has a hint of bitterness, and is served with a slice of orange.  Plus, it’s beautiful.  Unfortunately, I was a little remiss in taking pictures (shock!) and the only picture I have is after I drank almost half of it and squeezed the orange to death.  :/

I chose the Coconut Tofu with Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette for my entree.

Coconut breaded tofu, cherry tomatoes, carrots julienne, sliced cucumbers, mixed field greens. (It doesn’t come with a pickle, but a friend didn’t want hers.  I love my pickles!)

The orange-ginger vinaigrette was awesome.  I want this dressing in a bottle to eat at home!  I was dipping my last bites of tofu into it – odd since I usually don’t like semi-sweet dressings, or ginger.

Along with my Wheat Ale and Coconut Tofu I got a cup of the tomato florentine soup, which was delicious.  I loved the wilted spinach in it, and it had some surprising veggies and a light tomato flavor.

All in all, despite being a little more expensive as restaurants go, I would love to go back again soon.  I loved the food I got, the company I was with, and supporting a local business!

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Maple Sesame Tofu

I decided to make a tofu sandwich.  Sandwiches are basically perfect, in my opinion.  I love a well made sandwich.  My sister watches me make them sometimes and tells me how crazy I am for the time I put into mine.  But a sandwich made with love is a sandwich with taste!  Tofu is totally new to me, so some experimenting is necessary.

Vegan Maple Sesame Tofu Sandwich

To start: buy tofu

I probably would get extra firm next time.

Squeeze all the water out, however you choose to do that.  I used some paper towels and a cutting board.

Gather marinade ingredients together.

I used (all these are kind of rough estimates – use however much you want, basically):
2 T. Maple Syrup
2 T. Agave Nectar
2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
1.5 T. Hot Sesame Oil
Cracked black pepper to taste

Place tofu in a bowl with the marinade.

Let it marinate at least 2 hours in the fridge (I let mine go overnight).

Take tofu out, and place on a lightly oiled skillet.  Let cook until it’s as firm/crispy as you wish.  I liked getting mine a little brown and crackly.

You can do whatever you want with this – it’d probably be good with a vegetable stir fry of some kind.  I went with my original idea, which was reminiscent of my dragon tofu sandwich from Bloomingfoods.

On toasted whole wheat with red onions, spinach, and vegenaise.

This was great!  I’m looking forward to trying more combinations and seeing what I can do with it.

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Memories are made of this, and Vegenaise

Tuesday morning I had a piece of toast with Soy Free Earth Balance and a coffee smoothie.  While I don’t totally avoid soy, I don’t rush to replace everything animal based with it.  All things in moderation.  And I really liked it.  It tastes just about the same as butter, & is easy to spread.  I’ve never liked “fake” butters before, so this is a keeper!

For lunch I had half a dragon tofu sandwich from Bloomingfoods.  I love this sandwich.  I’m planning on trying different tofu sandwiches in the future (see, this is me not avoiding all soy).  I had the other half after I got home from work around 4 pm.

Before I headed home I actually went out to the the east side Bloomingfoods to pick up some Vegenaise, which I’ve been wanting to get.  I love it on the sandwiches I’ve gotten at Bloomingfoods so I thought I’d try it for real.  Tomato + mayonnaise sandwiches have been my late night weakness lately.

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Funnily enough, I ran into one of my best friend’s mom at downtown Bloomingfoods, and then again at the east side one (she manages them – another reason I love B-foods, brand loyalty!), with her son and his girlfriend!  Then another of my best friends walked in!  It was pretty priceless having everyone just meet up like that.

Bloomingfoods is stocking lots more Raw foods than I can believe!  Too bad I can’t afford $12 granola and $9 energy bars.  That’s okay, I can make all that at home.  🙂

Then I was planning on going out to a show at The Bishop to see a band I haven’t watched since high school!  They were good, and it was fun.  I had to fuel up before I went out.

Quinoa with Soy Free Earth Balance and black pepper.  I really liked this, and I love that quinoa is a complete protein.  It’s so good, and easier to make than rice.

Then half a piece of toast with almond butter and blackberry jam.

After the show I went to The Vid with Maggie.  A couple other best friends stopped by for a drink and a game of pool.  Maggie and I must have played 3 or 4 games of pool.  It was so much fun!!  Memories for a lifetime, that’s what I’m making right now and loving it.

I always have a craving for pizza when we go out drinking.  Probably because Greek’s and Rockit’s are just down the street.  Mmm…  Good thing I thought ahead and brought a Prana Bar – Mango Maca.  This was very good, if a bit too sweet, and saved me from buying pizza.  I ate totally vegan the past two days!

Afterward I walked home with Maggie and we hung out and chatted for hours. Such a good time – life with my friends right now is making me so happy.  They are such blessings in my life.  ❤

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Wednesday I got up and had a slice of whole wheat toast with almond butter and blackberry jam, and 1/2 cup of orange juice.  Notice a theme here?  😉

Dinner was a mixed bowl a la Angela.  She makes bowls like this a lot, and as someone who loves mixing textures and flavors, it’s right up my alley.

Quinoa with some hummus, salsa, garlic pasta sauce, some green chili paste (made by one of my dad’s coworkers who’s Indian – I don’t know everything in it) and 1/2 an avocado.  YUM.

For dessert I wanted ice cream.  My bananas weren’t quite frozen, but I had some banana soft serve anyway.

It had:
1 semi-frozen banana
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1 T. peanut butter
A little less than 1 T. almond butter

I put a little blackberry jam in the bowl, and the last bit of my chocolate coconut snowballs.

I’m a happy girl.  🙂

Stay tuned for some experimenting with tofu and a surprise breakfast treat! I’m super excited to see how they’ll turn out!

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