“10 Delicious Vegan Dinners to Try”

Whether you are interested in being vegan or not, you can still make an impact on the environment by trying out some vegan recipes. When you eat vegan, you are actually helping the world reduce energy consumption (it takes a lot of energy to raise animals), purify the air, and it forces you to think more about the nutrients your body needs and live a more healthy lifestyle. Now, there are so many alternatives that exist for meat and dairy products that is easier than ever to be vegan. To help you dip your toes into this lifestyle, here are 10 quick and easy vegan recipes to try:

Vegan Tikka Masala

This recipe is sooo creamy and scrumptious. If you like Thai food, this meal is for you! The ingredients you need include 28 ounces of extra firm tofu, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/3 cup of some water and 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger, 4 crushed cloves garlic, and tomato sauce. Check out the link in the post above for more details on how to make this delicious dinner!

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta

This is pasta is packed with nutrients and will have your mouth watering. It is also very simple and takes only 15 minutes to make! The only ingredients you need are 8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti noodles, 4 tbsp olive oil divided, 16 oz cremini sliced mushrooms, 2 shallots peeled and chopped, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp thyme leaves, 1/4 tbsp fine sea salt, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1l coconut milk, 5 oz spinach, and 1/2 lemon juice.

What more can you ask for than a healthy vegetable medley? All you need for this quick meal is some yellow squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, mushrooms and chickpeas of any amount you choose to put in your bowl. Top it off with some hummus, preferable Trader Joes’ Tabbouleh Styled hummus, and you’re dinner is served!

Vegan Quesadillas

This is hands down one of the easiest meals on this list. If you need to make something and you’re on the go, try out this recipe! Just grab some tortillas and fill them with vegan cheese, black beans, corn, and guacamole. Pro tip: If you want to make tacos instead, do the same but add some sautéed peppers and vegan beetles beef!

Brussel Sprouts

While the taste of Brussel sprouts is somewhat controversial, I find them delicious. All you need to cook some Brussel sprouts is some cooking oil (I like to use olive oil) and add some salt and pepper on top when frying them over the stove top or cooking the sprouts in the oven. I like to slice the sprouts in half to cook them faster and I also like to add some garlic powder and vegan feta cheese on top when they are done cooking. Serve over some rice and you have a meal!

Avocado Toast with a Twist

I couldn’t NOT put avocado toast on this list. This may be seen as more of a breakfast meal, but I eat avocado toast for dinner all the time and have no shame. All you need is one bread (I prefer whole wheat or sour dough), sesame seeds (optional), thyme, lemon oil, and tomatoes (you can them and mash them up into the avocado if you want). In this recipe, they put Trader Joes’ za’atar seasoning on top. I recommend this or Trader Joes’ Everything Bagel seasoning, which I think really elevates your basic, every day avocado toast. Enjoy!

Vegan In n Out Burgers

If you do decide to go vegan, it is really important to not forget to eat protein. A black bean burger is full of iron and protein to sustain your body and this recipe copies in n out so what more can you ask for?? Check out this In n Out Vegan Burger Recipe here to copy this meal.

Mushroom Tacos

These Saucy Satay Mushrooms are to DIE FOR. The yummy sauce for this recipe takes about five minutes to make and includes some coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, turmeric and other additional spices you can add. Then, you fill your tortillas with sautéed mushrooms, cabbage, peanuts (this is optional), some fresh herbs, and drizzle your sauce on top. Yummmm.

Vegan Massaman Curry

This Vegan Massaman Curry is the perfect amount of spice and savory. To make this, all you need are tofu, red curry paste, baby potatoes, cumin, coconut milk, coconut aminos, cooking oil, peanut butter, and some cinnamon or other recommended spices in the recipe. If you are looking to perhaps go out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend making your own curry!

Vegan Waffles

What’s better than breakfast for dinner? These pakora waffles are made out of chickpea flour and totally vegan and allergen friendly! Check out this recipe if you are craving a dinner that is sweet and comforting- like a Sunday morning.

Well, there you have it! Cooking up each of these ten vegan recipes will definitely keep you busy and heathy during quarantine. Trying out new foods and getting out of your comfort zone can really open your eyes to finding different ways to fuel your body and enjoying the journey all the while. Good luck to my fellow chefs (and if you’re not a chef, you’re about to be)!

12 2021 Fashion Trends To Try

  1. Yoga Pants… or Flared Leggings?

That’s right, Emma Chamberlain brought back yoga pants in a singular Instagram post. The old early’s 2000s trend has been revived and this time, teens on social media are calling them “flared leggings.” It is a comfy, casual look for 2021 that you wear when out running errands, getting coffee or lounging around the house.

the iconic Emma Chamberlain post which I sadly can no longer find on her Instagram
that’s me!

2. Corsets

The Netflix show, “Bridgerton,” has caused corsets to sell out everywhere from stores. The fashion trend is a classy, yet sexy look and has everyone feeling as if they too are attending a ball in England during the Victorian era.

3. The “Bracket”

Celebrities have been sporting this trend all over Instagram lately. The classic bralette- normally worn an undergarment-is now being worn as a top underneath cardigans, blazers, trench coats, and other jackets. The look is an unexpected combination of business and intimate wear.

4. Sweater Vests

2021 has everyone feeling preppy. Sweater vests are in and for Spring and Summer, you can simply wear them as a top without any layering. You can also pair sweaters vests over a collared top (also very in style) to exaggerate the look- they are so versatile!

5. Matching Sets

Loungewear has become all the rage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and matching sets will help you feel put together while staying comfy during quarantine.

6. Cutouts

From open back tops to shoulder and side cutouts, this look is all the rage as it can be styled to be cute or edgy. Cinched cutouts are especially in and you can try this look out while wearing some of the hottest colors of 2021: camel, marigold yellow, sky blue, and hot pink, and neutral tones.

7. Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses will be especially popular in Spring and Summer 2021. You can relax by the pool or take a stroll outside in style with a stunning dress that sweeps down to the floor. Pair this with sunglasses and a tan or black wide brimmed hat and you are set.

8. Wide Leg Denim

If you still have skinny jeans, I hate to break it to you but they are no longer in style! Tightly fitted pants are long gone and have been replaced with more loose fitting denim. Go for some wide legged flare jeans or some baggy loose fitted pants in 2021.

9. See- Through

This is a more edgy, funky look to try in 2021. This look is a bit scandalous and is usually styled with a as a bralette underneath a see through mesh, patterned top or by itself for the more brave. Patterns are very in this year and a uniquely designed see-through top is perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.

10. Exaggerated Sleeves

From puff sleeves to shoulder pads, the more exaggerated the better. This trend will be around for a long time and is predicted to be one of the most popular looks of 2021 as people just can’t get enough go the style.

11. Camel & Neutrals

The color camel along with other neutrals such as peach, light pink, and brown are so in style for 2021! Try out this color and you will surely be a fashionista.

12. Statement Earrings

The more noticeable earrings, the better in 2021. Earrings that are in include one that are geometrical shaped, long and dangly, sparkly, and large in size. No matter if your hair is up or down, these earrings will be a statement.

5 Ways to Know if a Change of Major is Right for You

Choosing a college major can be intimidating- there are so many options and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Many people do not know what career they want to have in the future, so it can be difficult to choose a subject to focus on. It is completely normal to change your mind about what field of study you want to focus on. In fact, it is actually common for college students to change their major at least once. Here are a few signs that you should change your college major: 

  1. You Cannot Pay Attention in Your Classes to Save Your Life

If you are sitting in core class for your major and find yourself online shopping every two seconds or scrolling through your Pinterest boards, this could be a major sign that your major is not right for you. If you are not enjoying your classes, why are you taking them? If you have no desire to engage during lectures for your major courses then maybe it’s time to look into some other ones.

  1. You Want to Try Something New

Perhaps since the ripe age of six years old, you have always wanted to be a doctor. Maybe you always thought that this was your path, but then when you got to college, you found yourself being interested in other subjects such as journalism or computer science. It’s okay to explore other interests- in fact, it’s better than working toward one thing for so long, only to realize later in life that this is not your passion. It can be rewarding and enjoyable to step out of your comfort zone and explore different subjects and potential careers. 

  1. It Feels Impossible to Succeed in Your Classes 

If you spend countless hours preparing for your classes and your grades are not reflecting your efforts, this may be a sign that you should switch to a different major. It is not worth it to continue to take major courses that you make feel stressed and discouraged more often than not. It’s okay to struggle sometimes, but make sure that the challenges you are facing in these courses are worth overcoming. In the end, it may suit your skills better and give you a breath of fresh air if you try to pick a new path of study. 

  1. You Only Picked Your Major to Make Big $

Some people want to live comfortably enough to buy a Lambo or Prada bag in the future. It makes sense to desire a career in which you can make the money to indulge in these things. If you only picked your major because you thought it could help you land a job where you make some big bank, this may be the reason why you should switch. It is important to have a job that sustains you in life, but it is also important that you love that job. Do not sacrifice your talents and passions for money because in the end, you may not only lose the cash, but you just may rob yourself of being happy in life. 

  1. You’re Just Not Feeling It

Sometimes, you have to listen to your intuition and go with your gut. If your heart is telling you that this major is not right for you, have some faith in yourself and take the leap to trying a new major. You may find that it will be the best decision you ever made in college.

If you make the choice to love what you are learning, you may just find your perfect future career. It is important to soak up the wonderful opportunity to explore courses that interest you. By delving into a subject you are passionate about, you will enjoy the process more and make the most out of your time at college. If you find the signs above relatable, have faith in yourself and don’t be afraid to change your major!              

6 Ways to Relieve Anxiety

Ever since the pandemic, I have been experiencing this strange feeling. I will be simply be walking through my neighborhood, doing a workout, or even lying down and suddenly feel my heart racing. Too. Fast. My chest tightens, I feel light-headed, and I can hardly breathe without my breath being slightly shaky. I worry about what is going to happen next.

I have never experienced this before until these past three months and I wonder if it has something to do with COVID-19. Maybe it’s something I’ve always had. Either way, I’m in the process of learning how to deal with this sudden feeling. I’ve found some helpful tips to relieving anxiety and thought it would be beneficial to share some ways to manage stress in your life. Even if you have never experienced a feeling like this, these are all great ways to let go of negative feeling and embrace positivity to help your mind and body simply feel good.

  1. Yoga

I cannot begin to describe the benefits of yoga. This exercise builds strength, endurance, and confidence. It has a spiritual aspect that makes you feel loved, such as the movement of holding your hand over your heart. It makes you feel relaxed by helping you focus in on the present, release the tension in your muscles, and focus on your breathing.

2. Meditation

Learning to breathe is a great tool for calming yourself down. Meditation can also help with breathing and put you in a more relaxed, even spiritual if you’d like, state of mind. I have not personally tried much meditation yet, but I will begin to try. I think it would help me become more patient and be valuable in some way for you as well.

3. Drinking Hot Tea

Drinking a cup of hot (or warm) tea when waking up or before bed can start and end your day with you feeling less stressed. Drinking hot tea is like feeling a warm hug all over your body. It makes you feel cozy and happy. Apparently, chamomile tea can even relieve physical pain such as cramps (ladies, you know what I mean). Green tea is also good for clearing your skin as it is has inflammatory powers due to containing antioxidants. I would recommend it mostly for in the morning, as it gives you a burst of energy with caffeine.

4. Gratitude Journaling

Writing down how you feel is therapeutic. Take the time to take out a trusty journal and write down just a few things your grateful for. It will help you gather positive thoughts and focus on what you have and living in the present moment. Writing down how you feel will help you accept your emotions and recognize the feeling as being okay and natural as well, allowing you to figure out how to relieve your stress or anxiety.

5. Eating Healthy & For Your Body

You need to eat good to feel good. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and trying to eliminate processed foods will give your body the fuel it needs. Also, make sure to eat enough food to sustain your body and its functions. Drinking plenty of water is super important as well (and I am sooo guilt for not doing this) to keep you hydrated, focused, make your skin glow, help you just FEEL good.

6. Doing the Hobby You Love

Some great hobbies that you may love and may reduce stress include playing an instrument, painting, photo editing, photography, hiking, traveling (obviously during this pandemic this is not the best option), reading, surfing, etc. Doing something love will make you feel happy and more alive. It will keep you busy and keep your body/mind in shape.

Coming home from college for the first time

It’s that time of the year again- college freshman are finally heading back home for the first time since starting their adventure on campus. Ahh this November break has everyone on the edge of their toes, with some wonder if they will fall victim to the dreaded turkey drop (aka break ups between high school sweethearts), or feel caged inside their homes after experiencing so much freedom at their new school. Perhaps, the fall break is music to your ears because you have been homesick the last few months and just can’t wait to see old friends and your family. Well, whatever the case may be, here’s a list of the feelings and changes you might notice once you come home the first time from college:

  1. You will notice everything that moved around in the house

That picture in your room was moved to a different spot on the wall by your mom?? You’ll notice it. A new decoration was hung in the kitchen? Your eyes will jump right to it.   The smallest changes will be made and they will feel huge to you- like a blow to the face. You no longer live in the house and it feels as if everything is moving on without you. Just realize you’re moving on from it, too.

2. Your group of friends from high school will gradually become smaller

The people that surrounded you in high school were your world- that is, until you came to college and there were fresh faces everywhere you turned. There is only so much time to see your best friends- the ones who will stay by your side through thick and thin!

3.  You may be slightly out of shape

The freshman fifteen is real guys. Going to college is a transition and often, it is hard to find time to workout in the middle of meeting so many people and trying so many new things! Honestly, give yourself a break if you haven’t done your normal trip to the treadmill. Just try to eat well and begin to set a plan for yourself that will help you stay fit- a little goes a long way. Working out will relieve stress from school and make you feel not only healthier, but happier as well!

4. Everyone got older

I came back from college and my little brother had grown so much- I couldn’t believe it!! It may be a slight shock to see people you know grow up in the time you’ve been away. It may be even more of a shock that YOU have grown up and people see you now as a young adult now. Like I still feel 16 what happened??

5. Freedom is everything

You will crave freedom. Coming back home means coming back to live under your parents’ roof- and their rules. You can no longer go to Taco Bell at 1 am. You may not be able to crack open a cold one with the boys (I mean a soda) or have a day with the girls without reporting what time you will be coming and going and where. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may be frustrating to some. Have patience and know that it is temporary!!

6. You will appreciate everything more

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room…. Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home…. that’s right, Taylor Swift said it best! She wished she had never grown up and sometimes, you get that feeling when you come back from college. So appreciate those home cooked meals, laughing with loved ones, and going to sleep in your bed. You never know how much time you have, until it’s gone.