Pumpkin Cheesecake (Vegan and GF)


For the crust-

  • 1 cup walnuts or almonds

  • 1 cup dates

  • 2 Tbsp oats

For the cheesecake-

  • I cup of soaked cashews

  • ½ pumpkin puree

  • 2 Tbsp plant milk of your choice

  • 3 Tbsp of maple syrup

  • ½ tsp of cinnamon or pumpkin spice

  • ¼ tsp vanilla


  1. Blend all the crust ingredients until you get a sticky crumble. Place parchment paper on a sheet and press crumble into the sheet in a square. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes or until hardened.

  2. Blend all cheesecake ingredients and until you get a creamy smooth texture. Pour on top of crust and smooth out.

  3. Freeze for 2 hours and EAT.

Vegan and GF Snicker’s Bars


For the caramel-

  • 1 cup dates

  • ¼ cup of water

  • ¼ Tbsp maple syrup

For the cookie portion-

  • ½ almonds

  • ¾ oats

  • 1 Tbsp oil of your choice

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Final touches:

  • Almonds and peanuts chopped

  • 1 cup of dairy free baking chocolate melted


  1. Blend all caramel ingredients until you get your smooth caramel paste and set aside.

  2. Blend all cookie ingredients until you get a dough mixture.

  3. Line a square pan with parchment paper and spread out the dough so that it’s flat on the pan ½-1 cm thick. Freeze for 45 minutes or until hardened.

  4. Layer the caramel on top of the hardened cookie crust. Sprinkle the extra chopped almonds and peanuts over the caramel. Drizzle the chocolate on top of all of that. Boom.

  5. Freeze for 2 hours and have your mind blown.

Crispy AF Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas

  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp zaatar

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • Hot pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 300

  2. Mix all ingredients together and spread on a baking sheet. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes or until desired crispy-ness. oooooo

Vegan and Gluten-Free ZA!


For the crust-

  • 3 cups of oat flour

  • 4 tsp baking soda

  • 1 ½ cups of almond milk or water (any liquid will work)

  • ¼ olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and mix all ingredients together 

  2. Spray a baking pan or sheet and spread out the dough to the thickness of your liking

  3. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or depending on how thick your crust is or how crispy you want it

For the vegan cheese:

  • ½ cup of cashews, soaked and drained

  • 1 cup any plant-based milk

  • 1 Tbsp of tahini

  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder


  1. Blend all ingredients until it’s a thick liquid

  2. Place in fridge for 2 hours so it hardens a bit

  3. Put mixture over a low heat sauce pan to thicken the cheese to make it gooier.

Pizza Directions:

After the crust has cooled, spread the cheese on top and add whatever veggies you want. I used zucchini and tomatoes and sprinkled basil and oregano for added taste. Bake pizza for another 10-12 minutes.

Veggie Buddha Bowl

There’s a million different variations of what consists of a Buddha Bowl. Here’s my clean-out-the-fridge-because-I’m-going-out-of-town bowl…


  • Handful of chopped spinach

  • Shredded carrot

  • Chopped cucumber

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Edamame

  • Chopped red pepper

  • Trader Joe’s chickpea fusilli pasta

  • Dab of homemade hummus (recipe below)

  • Homemade kale pesto (recipe below)


  1. Do I need to elaborate? THROW IT ALL IN AND MAKE IT LOOK GRAMMABLE!

Homemade Hum Hum


  • Can of drained and rinsed chickpeas

  • ¼ cup of tahini

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil

  • Juice of one lemon

  • Clove of garlic

  • Paprika


  1. Blend and boom. Sprinkle the paprika on top for that added flavah flav.

Vegan and Oil-Free Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups of basil
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp of water


  1. You guessed it…BLEND BABY and add a bit more water to the mixture little by little if it’s too dry.

Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 6 bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup of diced fingerling potatoes (or any kind of your choice)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tomato
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Basil 
  • Oregano
  • Hot pepper flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350, boil the quinoa, and start chopping the veggies.
  2. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and stick in the oven for 10-12 minutes to roast.
  3. Sautee the shrooms, zucchini, and tomato over a medium skillet until softened.
  4. Combine the cooked quinoa, roasted potatoes, and sauteed veggies and mix together. Add the nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, and hot peppers flakes to your liking. This is where you get creative.
  5. Cut the tops of all the bell peppers and place on a baking sheet and carefully stuff the peppers with that fire mixture.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bell peppers soften.
  7. Remove from oven and add more spices or drizzle with sriracha for that added heat!

First Dinner in Jaipur

India is a whole new world. I'm in love with the people and the culture so far and it will only get better from here. The streets are zoos both literally and figuratively...but I'm not kidding, there are cows, goats, and camels actually roaming the streets with no intentions except to not get hit by the crazy motorcyclists. Traffic laws don't exist and it's really just a free for all - I love it. Michelle and I had a very long couple days in transit (all made better by our food crawl in the Dubai airport). Jaipur is the first stop and there's a beautiful restaurant in our hotel where we had our first dinner. Since about half of the people in India are vegetarian, I knew that coming here would be my version of Mecca. I normally never have to look at a menu for more than a few minutes because of limited vegetarian/vegan options, but I seriously spent 10 minutes devouring over the details of every single option on this menu. I don't think I'll ever leave here.

Naturally, there was falafel on the menu. The dish was titled "Lebanese Mezze Experience." Mezze is a small portion of several dishes all surrounded by the grain. In this case, the menu said it was hummus, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh with the falafel and pita. If food is labeled as "experience" on the menu, then I'm pretty sure it's a given that it'll be in my mouth at some point.

The consensus: seriously so good. This has been the best international falafel I've had this summer so far. Very fresh and soft on the inside with lots of spices added to the mix. I obviously loved it with the hummus as well. The atmosphere was great too, food service in India is unreal. I feel way too pampered because there are always at least 3 people waiting on us and constantly check in to make sure that we have everything we need. Needless to say, the Lebanese Mezze Experience was quite the experience and this had to be the most satisfying meal after 2 days in transit. More to come...

The Last Supper in Lisbon

Our 2 weeks in Portugal is sadly coming to an end, and Michelle and I have really fallen in love with this country. Its history is so immense and rich, with beautiful cathedrals on nearly every street corner of every city, the easygoing culture, and truly hospitable and welcoming people. We ended back in Lisbon for a couple more days where we are flying out of and stayed with our same Airbnb host as the last time. Naturally we had a night out in Bairro Alto to celebrate our time here, and I'm now nursing a bottle of water at the airport. Before arriving at the airport however, I made one final stop and I'm sure it's a no-brainer guessing where that might be. 

Our Airbnb was about 10 minutes north of Rossio Square in walking distance, and all along his street line small grocery stores and fast food restaurants. We've had to constantly walk by a small restaurant called Comida Halal (talk about a blending of cultures...) and the small pictures of the food on the menu had me salivating from the beginning. I thought that this would be the best option at 10:30 in the morning before heading to the airport so I pulled the trigger. 

Comida Halal had mostly kebab and fish wraps, but also had falafel on the menu, as well as Portuguese pastries and desserts, coffee, and alcohol. It's nice to have options. The man behind the counter was very sweet and looked of Middle Eastern descent, not speaking much English. Nevertheless, I ordered a falafel wrap which came with lettuce, tomato, carrots, and onion for 3 Euro. So cheap for a great amount of food. 

The consensus: very good! A little dry because again, no hummus, but the falafel was definitely made from chick peas which is my jam. Presentation featured below, one bite taken before realizing to take a picture. The atmosphere was also nice with a couple of tables inside, as well as a few tables on the sidewalk which we noticed is always flooded with people post drinking all night. In this case, it was the morning after meal and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. 

Maybe I'm not looking in the right places or consulting TripAdvisor enough, but the restaurants that do have falafel in this first month of travels have been touristy and not very authentic in terms of ingredients and what the falafel comes with. It's been hard to find any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean influenced restaurants that would be more authentic, but I've been in Western Europe and Northern Africa for the majority of my time, so not necessarily falafel hubs. I haven't had any hummus in over 30 days and I could seriously cry. I'm about to board a flight with a layover in Dubai however, so we'll see what I can find before a week and a half experiencing the Golden Triangle - Jaipur, Agra, and Dehli, India!! See yall in Asia where I'll finally be in possession of a cellular device, hallelujah!


Lisbon - First Meal in Portugal

I chose Portugal for my next adventure because I've wanted to go to Lisbon forever and have heard nothing but great things about it. I also wanted to experience how Portugal is similar and different to Spain in terms of language, food, and culture. We were originally going to be in Portugal for about 5 days and only go to Lisbon, Aveiro for a day trip, and then Porto, then head to Greece for a week, but instead decided to extend our time here for almost 2 weeks and really see the whole country and get a taste of its culture - it's about quality, not quantity.

We landed in Lisbon and took a subway right downtown to our Airbnb. Our host is the most down to earth guy, originally from Italy and now living in Lisbon, and told us about a few good places to eat and drink. We started walking towards the main squares downtown which are easy to locate because of the beautiful monuments and buildings surrounding them. Along the way, we stumbled upon a big park called Campo Martires de Patria in the Santa Justa neighborhood with trees, gardens, and benches, as well as food trucks and beer/sangria stands. This is what dreams are made of. Seriously in my element. Coming from more than 2 weeks in Morocco, we were ready for a different environment. It had a very hipster and young vibe and we definitely felt that we had hit the jackpot in terms of finding dinner.

One of the trucks, of course, boasted everything Middle Eastern including shawarma, gyros, and falafel plates...so happy! I ordered the plate and it came with tahini sauce, a side salad, and fries. I also got a sangria to drink as a pregame for the night out in Bairro Alto. Michelle tried to be sneaky and catch me in action (see below). Overall, 5 Euros bought me pretty good falafel, but not the best I've had. The sangria was great but I think we were just more excited about being able to finally have a drink in public without breaking any kind of social norms unlike the previous couple weeks. The atmosphere also played a role, it was Saturday evening and people were just beginning their night out to dinner and bars after. I just loved Lisbon as a city so much and I'm so glad we're going back for a couple more days before heading to India on Thursday, where I'll finally be reunited with a phone and my laptop! Hopefully I'll have a couple more falafel experiences to write about before then.

Essaouira, Morocco - Falafel Finally Found

Disclaimer: sorry that there are not going to be amazing pictures of falafel in this post, seen as I was mugged on our second to last night in Morocco in Marrakech and my phone was stolen. I literally lost thousands of pictures documenting this whole summer and won't have a new phone for 2 weeks. Text Michelle if anyone needs anything. But now, back to our regularly scheduled programming 

Before coming to Morocco, I originally thought that this country would be a falafel Mecca, since there is a heavy Middle Eastern and Arab influence. I thought I would have an overwhelming amount to eat and write about, but I've been proved wrong and I'm attributing the vast majority of my diet to tagine and couscous for the past two weeks (no complaints though). However, located on the western Atlantic coast of the country, Essaouira is a significant port city to the Moroccan economy, as well as a fun beach town that many Europeans spend their summer and holiday vacations in. Here, I finally found the buried treasure.

Exploring the squares and medinas in Morocco is like being on a game show called "Guess My Nationality." You really can't walk for more than a couple minutes without workers from the food stalls beckoning and approaching you to eat their food in 5 different languages. All we heard was "Hola! Bonjour! Ciao! Hello! Spain? Italy? France? Are you American? Nicki Minaj is that you?" Seriously, these people are aggressive and aren't afraid to pull your arm into their restaurant and proceed to shove 4 different menus in your face, all in different languages so you'll understand what you're ordering. Coming from the salesperson in me, I'll give it to them - they're smart, funny, and as annoying as they are, they have to make money somehow, and if I'm getting compared to famous pop stars, I guess it won't hurt to sit down for an inexpensive meal. 

There were several food stalls boasting falafel on big signs in the Essaouira medina, so I just had to choose the one that looked the most cleanly, because we all know to avoid street food in foreign countries. I stopped in front of one, and without fail, the only English speaking waiter approached me, handed me a menu, and started spouting off the day's specials...point of no return. He sat me down at a small table facing the medina and began making me a falafel wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber. Restaurants in the squares and medinas in every single city have very touristy/Western items on the menu such as pizza, paninis, hamburgers, and even pasta, so it was no surprise that the waiter added French fries on the side with the wrap, when there is virtually no relationship with the two at all. 

Overall, definitely not traditional falafel. Instead of chick peas or rice, it was made out of couscous, which I thought was hilarious, since couscous is such a Moroccan delicacy. It really had no flavor, no seasoning, and was pretty dry without hummus or baba ganoush to accompany it in the wrap. Falafel is pretty universally recognized, so it was understandable that they wanted to satisfy this market of people in Essaouira, even if it wasn't made by traditional standards. All in all, a bit of a disappointing experience, but what do you expect when these food stalls are ran by teenagers just looking to make a few dollars. It was filling though, and only cost 25 Dirham ($2.50 USD) so definitely a post-grad diet bargain. 

While I was hoping that Morocco would satisfy my falafel fascination, it just didn't cut it unfortunately. Let's see what Portugal has to offer.