Vegan on-the-go and Sprouted Sunflower Seed Sandy

South Padre Island, TX

Being vegan on a trip can definitely be a challenge but with a little preparation it can be done with ease.  This year I was fortunate enough to go to South Padre Island, TX for spring break! A week of nothing but relaxing and having fun with friends is definitely what I needed after midterms. Having never gone on a spring break before I wasn’t sure what to expect but it definitely lived up to the hype.

A few of my friends that went with me along with myself of course!

One thing that I really enjoyed was waking up in the morning and going for a run on the beach! The sound and smell of the ocean made for such a relaxing workout and at the end I rewarded myself with a little body surfing in the waves! The water felt amazing after working up a sweat in the Texas sun.  Since we were on an island the wind was pretty insane (~40mph) but at least it made the sun a little less intense! After I finished my run I enjoyed a cup of coffee on one of our three balconies and watched the waves come in. I couldn’t have asked for more!

The condo we stayed at.

Since we decided to save money and drive down from MN I needed a few good snacks for the road.  Ones that I could mindlessly much on was a necessity since the trip was a full 24 hours! With only a few laughs from my friends, I brought cut up vegetables along with some roasted red pepper hummus and peanut butter.

Veggies that made the list:

  • Red Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Fruit that travels well:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Bananas (takes a little bit of care but worth it!)

Other Quick Snacks:

  • Dry cereal such as Cheerios
  • Freeze dried fruit
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Primal Sticks (vegan jerky)
  • Almonds and other nuts
  • Mixed dried fruit
  • Lara and Luna bars

Since we were spending a full day in the car I also packed a couple pre-made sandwiches that I snuck in to McDonald’s :). I made your standard almond butter and jelly sandwich with apples, and then I mixed it up and made a sprouted sunflower seed sandwich that turned out pretty tasty.

Staying in a condo with 8 other people made it nearly impossible for me to make my regular meals.  I also had a lack of fridge space so I was mainly sustained on sandwiches all week that were made with a few types of Tofurkey and tofu. I tried to eat mainly calorie dense foods so I did not have to spend hours in the kitchen. Dried fruit and nuts came in handy when I was in a rush.

Getting our yoga in on the beach 🙂

Now back to my Sprouted Sunflower Sandwich.  A few days before leaving for SPI I decided to sprout a few of my sunflower seeds since I had an overabundance in my cupboard. They turned out delicious and it was a fun adventure, if you would like to try out my recipe here is the link that I used to learn how to sprout the seeds.

Sprouted Sunflower Sandy

  • 2 Pieces Toasted Ezekiel Bread (I like the sesame version)
  • 2 Tbs Roasted Red Pepper Humus
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Reduced Sugar Ketchup
  • ¼ Cucumber Sliced
  • ½ Tomato Sliced
  • ¼ Avocado
  • Sliced Onion
  • 2 Strawberries Sliced
  • 2 Tbs Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
  • ½- 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil (optional but delicious!)
  • Handful of Spinach
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Spread the roasted red pepper hummus on one piece of the toasted Ezekiel bread and the Dijon mustard on the other.  Add ketchup to taste, I like to add more in the middle to use as glue. Assemble the sandwich cucumber, tomato, avocado, onion, strawberries, *ketchup, and sunflower seeds.  Before adding the spinach, drizzle your sandwich with the balsamic vinegar and toasted sesame oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Try to fit your mouth around it!

Trader Joe’s Dijon Mustard is definitely our favorite!

Mmm fresh-cut veggies!

Layer that sandy!

This sandwich was both delicious and filling making it a great travel partner! I simply wrapped it tightly in saran wrap and through it in the freezer over night so it would stay colder.  If you plan on packing it then I suggest mixing the ketchup with the balsamic vinegar and oil then spreading it on rather than drizzling it.  This will make it a little less messy. Of course it is very delicious warm as well!

Do you have any go-to snacks when it comes to staying healthy on the road?


Upcoming Races and a Roasted Salad

I really hope that yesterday was our last cold day of the season! I worked at noon so I did my long run starting around 7:30 and I froze. It was about 9F when I woke up and was 17 or so when I finished. Luckily it wasn’t windy but I definitely did not dress warm enough because I actually started getting really cold halfway through my run. You’d think that I would know exactly how to dress since I work at a running store but I thought that it would warm up a little more along my route.

Why am I doing long runs? I have decided that I’m definitely going to run a marathon in May. I think I’m going to run Madison this time but haven’t actually signed up yet. I tend to procrastinate on those things. Has anyone run it before? OR, do you have any other great spring marathons that I should do? I’m open to suggestions.

I did, however, sign up to run the Get Lucky triple 7K on St. Patty’s Day. Runs themed around a holiday are always fun and exciting because you never know what people are going to wear! I don’t know what I’m going to wear! I really don’t own a whole lot of green clothing and don’t think that it would be comfortable running 13.1 with a shamrock headband on…. Maybe I’ll make a shirt. I wish that Elysia could run it with me but I guess I’m flying solo this time around. Are any of you signed up?

All of this spring training has me thinking of warmer weather, which usually means that I tend to eat quick and lighter meals. In fact, sometimes I just crave a giant salad and because both of us are incapable of making something without adding a gazillion little touches to it, my salads are usually never plain. I love to mix in raw and cooked veggies for a little variety, and roasting veggies is usually my favorite way to prepare the because they turn out to have so much flavor!

If you don’t usually like beets, I encourage you to try them roasted. Adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper to them brings out their flavor, and truffle oil is always my favorite addition. Slicing these beets thinly turn them into crispy chips, but you could always cut them into chunks as well if you want them roasted (they will just take a little longer).

Spinach Salad with Roasted Veggies and Truffled Beet Chips

  • 2-3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 1 cup Cauliflower (cut into large pieces)
  • 1 medium Beet
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 1/2 cup Beans of Choice
  • Garlic Salt, Pepper, Nutritional Yeast, Italian Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp. Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp. Truffle Oil (black or white)
  • 1-2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar (I used Raspberry-flavored)

– Preheat oven to 415° F.

– Slice the tomato and beet into thin slices. I used a veggie peeler for the beet and a sharp knife for the tomato. Cut the carrot in half width-wise and then cut it into smaller pieces lengthwise (2-3 times depending on the size of your carrot).

– Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray and then spread the tomato slices across it. Sprinkle with a mixture of garlic salt, nutritional yeast, and the Italian Spices.

– In a bowl, add the carrot and cauliflower and toss with the canola oil and salt and pepper to taste. Then arrange these on the baking sheet as well.

– Toss the thinly-sliced beet with truffle oil and a sprinkle of salt and then add them to the baking sheet (you may need more than one). Alternatively, I have a bottle of spray truffle-oil that works well too.

– Roast the veggies in the oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through. The beets should become slightly crispy.

– Meanwhile, toss the spinach with the Balsamic Vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. When the veggies are cooked, add them to the spinach and throw the beans on top, mixing everything together. If you like, enjoy the beet chips by themselves! Also, adding a serving of millet or other grain would make a perfect full meal for dinner.

Thinly-Sliced beets. I may have gotten a little carried away with the veggie peeler...

I topped my salad with pinto beans to add a little protein.

Do you have any races coming up??