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?


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Sprouted Buckwheat Dip

Well I thought today was ‘hug a vegetarian day’ until I double-checked and it turns out that I’m a week late! Today is actually ‘ask a stupid question day’ according to days of the year.com. Oh well; we’re still accepting hugs 😉 .  I also missed ‘Eat a Hoagie Day’, ‘Hobbit Day’, ‘Coffee Day’, and ‘Johnny Appleseed Day’.  Man! It’s just so disappointing.  Have you ever gone to day of the year.com? It’s kind of fun! Although my birthday was ‘Step-Family Day’, which doesn’t really apply to me, and Elysia’s birthday didn’t even have a celebration for 2011, which is clearly absurd.  Speaking of my birthday, I was very excited to receive a Ninja from my parents.  Yes, I do want a Vitamix someday but that’s definitely more of a dream right now, and the Ninja is cool because it has three different sizes to blend things in.

On the day that Elysia and I left for the marathon, I may have gotten a little carried away blending up a variety of foods in the Ninja (similar to when I got Elysia’s present, a spiralizer, but more on that later…). The following recipe is the perfect example of throwing seemingly random ingredients together for a tasty and healthy treat.  I happened to have sprouted buckwheat because I made some energy bars from Thrive: Fitness and had some left over.  If you have never sprouted grains or seeds before, don’t be afraid! It’s really easy to do so. Basically you soak said grain or seed overnight in water (or for about an hour with buckwheat), rinse in the morning, and place in a sprouting jar (or strainer). Then you wait a day or two (rinsing 2x per day) and little sprouts start to grow! If you want a more detailed explanation, click here.  Alternatively, you could probably cook the buckwheat but that may alter the flavor. If you do, let us know how it turns out!

Sprouted Buckwheat

Sprouted Buckwheat Dip

  • ½ cup sprouted (or cooked) buckwheat
  • 2 dried figs, soaked for one hour (optional)
  • ¼ cup cooked and mashed winter squash (I used butternut)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

-Place all ingredients in a blender and mix, adjusting spices to taste.

– I ate this on a salad of Kale with roasted tomatoes and baked Tempeh. It also tastes good as a dip for crackers or vegetables or as a spread on a sandwich.

Tiny butternut squash from our garden! I just cut it in half, took out the seeds, and roasted it in a 400 degree oven until it was easily pierced with a fork.

Blending it up.

The dip, although not very pretty, did taste good. I ate it with Kale, oven-roasted tomatoes, and baked Tempeh.

If you have any questions about sprouting buckwheat or any of the above ingredients, feel free to ask.

Happy ‘Stupid Question Day’! (No, I’m not saying that a question pertaining to these things is stupid 😉 )