As much as I like to jokingly refer to myself as one, I am not a “health guru” by any means. However, I do think I make a pretty good salad. I used to not be a fan of salads at all, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that making salad doesn’t have to be a dull experience. And thus, my fruity, crunchy salad was born through lots of trial and error. It’s super easy to find ingredients for and whip together, and it’s great for you, too!

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Another thing I enjoy about this salad is that it is easy on my wallet. I buy canned pineapple and frozen strawberries, which really brings down the price of items without compromising nutrition. There are several yummy elements to this salad, but here are the key ingredients:

Kale, as I’m sure many of you are tired of hearing, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. I used to admittedly not be a fan of it, until I decided to buy a sweet kale salad mix and I absolutely loved it. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, which is perfect for the summertime, and it can also help to lower your cholesterol. 

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, so I was really happy to find a salad mix that has both broccoli and kale. Not only is broccoli crunchy and delicious, it’s also a great source of calcium and vitamin K. Both of those are important for supporting healthy bones, so you can feel good about incorporating it into this salad.

Pineapple adds a punch of sweetness to this salad, and it makes the salad look absolutely beautiful as well. I’m a strong believer that food tastes better when it’s pleasing to look at. While pineapple is very high in sugar, it also has several nutritional benefits as well. It contains disease-fighting antioxidants, and some people say it can even aid in a speedy recovery after a workout! I’ve been trying to work out more frequently, so I’ll have to let you know if I see any difference.

Strawberries are my favorite fruit, so of course I knew I wanted to add them to my salad as well. Normally I buy frozen strawberries because they are cheaper, but since the DTA has started increasing SNAP funds due to the pandemic, I’ve been able to splurge a bit and buy fresh strawberries. And what a beautiful treat it is! I love how shiny and vibrant they are, and they’re truly my favorite element of the meal. Just like kale and pineapple, strawberries also have lots of healthy antioxidants! 

Pecans are one of the few nuts I actually like, so that was my topping of choice for this salad. They compliment the crunchiness of the broccoli and kale very nicely, and even though nuts are relatively expensive, I felt like they were worth it for this meal. Also, pecans have loads of health benefits for you! They improve digestion, aid in weight loss, prevent skin problems, and boost your immunity. All good things that I would love to carry with me in 2020. 

The complete list of everything I use in this salad is the Taylor Farms Sweet Kale salad mix, a small container of canned pineapple, 4-5 strawberries, a sprinkling of pecans, and I finish it off with the Panera Poppyseed dressing. It’s sweet and vibrant, and it all mixes together beautifully! I’ve been enjoying this salad a lot lately, and I’m sure you guys will love it too. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, which means it’s also a very inclusive salad.

Thanks for tuning into Recipie of the Season! I’ll see you guys for another installment in the fall.

Being a vegetarian/vegan at college can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Some schools will offer a wide variety of plant-based options for students, but other times, you’ll likely have to do some of your own grocery shopping. I personally like to do my own shopping because I’m much more of a snacker than a “meal person”- I tend to snack throughout the day and have small meals, rather than 3 large meals. Or, I’ll have 2-3 small meals throughout the day, and then something larger and protein-heavy for dinner. I’ve never been someone who likes a big breakfast, but I do try to always eat something, even if I’m not hungry. I also tend to get very snacky around 8:00 or 9:00pm, as I usually go to dinner around 5:00. Whatever your situation is, I’m sure you’ll love the list of snacks I’ve compiled in this article. They’re simple, delicious, and of course, plant based!


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Tofu Scramble Breakfast Wrap | Amy’s Kitchen | about $2.99 ea.

Like I said, I’m usually not a huge fan of breakfast, so I like to eat something on-the-go that packs a lot of protein. Amy’s Kitchen is one of the best companies for plant-based eaters, hands down. It’s also ideal for picky eaters, as they offer frozen homestyle options of your favorite meals (like vegan cheezy mac and meatloaf). I personally love the tofu scramble wraps because they’re easy to make, vegan, and filled with delicious, healthy ingredients. I’m picky about things like spinach, but I absolutely love it in this breakfast wrap! Leafy greens are an ideal source of iron for vegans, so it’s a great way for me to sneak that in. This wrap also has 11g of protein, which is about 16% of my daily value! All in all, it’s incredibly easy to make, and I never get tired of eating them. All I have to do is microwave it for a few minutes, and boom, breakfast on the go is ready.

⌧Vegetarian

⌧Dairy free

⌧Gluten Free

⌧Nut free

⌧Egg free

☐Soy free


Nutritionally Complete Shake | Huel | about $60.00 per package

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I may have mentioned Huel before on here, as I’ve been using the product for about three months. Ideally, you could live mostly off these shakes and still be healthy, as they are nutritionally complete. I don’t drink them every single day, but I aim to make about 3-5 of them per week. One shake is equal to a full meal, and contains nearly all of the vitamins and nutrients you need on a daily basis. They’re often so filling, I can’t even finish one, and I subsequently stay full for up to six hours! The bags of Huel powder I buy are about $60 for two bags, which is actually a pretty stellar deal. You only need a couple of scoops of powder to make a shake, so the bags will literally last you months (they’re huge). This is also an environmentally friendly food option, because it requires minimal packaging to ship and no packaging to prepare, as you can mix the shake in a reusable bottle, or the free shaker that comes with your order. I’ve also significantly cut down on using one-use Styrofoam coffee cups, because I can mix powdered coffee into my Huel and get my caffeine that way. Breakfast and coffee all in one shake- ingenious!   

⌧Vegetarian

⌧Dairy free

⌧Gluten Free

☐Nut free *due to cross contamination*

⌧Egg free

⌧Soy free


The Complete Cookie | Lenny and Larry’s | about $12.99 per box

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Lenny and Larry’s cookies (and their other nutritionally-complete snacks) are a perfect grab-and-go option for the days when you’re running low on energy. I don’t eat them every day, because they’re expensive and not really designed to be eaten as a casual, light snack. The company was originally aimed towards bodybuilders or athletes trying to build muscle, as they are high in both protein and fiber. I like I throw one in my bag to save for emergencies- for example, if my blood sugar drops suddenly, or I’m out in Boston doing lots of walking and I’m starting to feel peckish. This is another one of those snacks that keeps you full for a long time, so I appreciate having it in times of emergencies. Their snacks come in a variety of forms and flavors, but not all of them are vegan (some contain whey). They’re absolutely delicious and have a great mission, so I’m honestly surprised not a lot of people have heard of this company!

⌧Vegetarian

⌧Dairy free

☐Gluten Free

☐Nut free

⌧Egg free

⌧Soy free


Naked Noodle | about $3.50 ea.

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Naked Noodle is a new item that I’ve recently added to my snack collection. My mom actually picked them up for me, so I’ll have to ask her where they’re from! These dairy-free, vegetarian ramen cups are easy to make and taste extremely fancy! Why would you go out and spend $20 on some over priced restaurant food when you could make a top-notch meal in four minutes? I’ve tried to do extensive research on this company, but I wasn’t able to come up with a lot of nutritional info. Just from looking at the ingredient list, I can tell you that this is not egg, nut, or soy free, so please keep that in mind if you have any serious food allergies. Ultimately, I’m really happy that my mom picked some of these cups for me, and I’m totally loving all the diverse flavors! It’s a college student’s dream when you can take ramen to the next level. 

⌧Vegetarian

⌧Dairy free

☐Gluten Free

☐Nut free

☐Egg free

☐Soy free


Nut Bars | Pure Organic | about $5-10 per box

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The pure organic bars are yet another new snack I hadn’t tried previously. I’m not so much a granola bar person, because I don’t like the mess, so I appreciate soft bars like this. I’m not someone who really likes to sit down for meals at school, so these bars are a great essential for me to have in my bag when I’m starting to get peckish. Usually, the way I eat throughout the day starts with a Huel shake (gotta get those nutrients in), a nut bar or a salad, and then a fulfilling, protein-heavy dinner around 5pm or so. Some days I eat more during the day, especially if I’m on my period, but for the most part, I don’t even get hungry until noon or so. Additionally, these bars only have seven simple ingredients, so I can trust that I am only putting good foods into my body. I’m admittedly not a fan of nuts (pun intended). Like, I would never willingly reach for a handful of almonds, so these sneaky fruit and nut bars are a great way for me to make up for that distaste. If that sounds like you, I promise you’ll love these bars, too. 

⌧Vegetarian

⌧Dairy free

⌧Gluten Free

☐Nut free

⌧Egg free

⌧Soy free


Coming up next: Moving back into college! Sarah’s Weekly Catch-up

If you also grew up in the mid 2000s as a die-hard Nickelodeon fan, then I’m sure you remember the iconic television show, iCarly. And if you watched it religiously, like I did in middle school, I’m sure you remember the carbilicious glory that is the spaghetti taco. 

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Admittedly, I have tried to make spaghetti tacos in the past with my good friend, Eli. We had pretty high hopes for the recipe, but I have to say, the spaghetti tacos tasted TERRIBLE. And to this day, I have to wonder how we could make something as simple as spaghetti tacos go wrong. How could pasta in a crispy corn tortilla taste bad? Somehow, it sucked, and we couldn’t even finish the tacos. 

Looking back, it was a pretty hilarious experience, but then again, anything with Eli is a hilarious time. He’s unfortunately out of state for the summer, so I will have to carry out the spaghetti taco legacy without him. Hopefully, the spaghetti tacos will be better this time around, so let’s get into it now!

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Preparing for the delicious monstrosity with my friends!

This isn’t going to be a particularly informative or exciting article, because the recipe is as basic as it sounds. Boil some spaghetti, add in your favorite sauce, and boom, stuff it into a taco shell. One thing I will say is that it probably would have been a better ideal to toast/bake the taco shells, because eating them straight out of the package definitely tastes a little blah. I found that seasoning the pasta with a lot of salt and pepper really helped to flavor it and make it more appealing than the last time I made spaghetti tacos, and it also wouldn’t be a bad idea to add seasonings like oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc. I’m also curious how the spaghetti tacos would taste with more “taco” toppings, such as cheese and some sort of spicy beef. Of course, I live an ovo-vegetarian lifestyle, so I would have to use vegan cheese and meat to amp up my spaghetti taco game.

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Glamorous.

This time around, the tacos were waaaay better than the first time. I don’t really know why- I used essentially the same ingredients and steps, but for some reason, the first spaghetti tacos tasted like I cooked them in toilet water. This time around, they tasted flavorful, delicious, and smooth with a crunchy twist. This dish is an ode to the legendary iCarly, and it’s hard to hate something as basic as a spaghetti taco. I myself am a pretty simple eater, and would be satisfied to have spaghetti tacos again on a day that I feel like “cooking.” I put “cooking” in quotations because, like I said, it doesn’t take much to whip up a batch of these goodies.

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Not my picture, but come on- tell me this doesn’t speak to your soul.

I have three more installations of Taco Tuesday planned, and next week, I will be tackling the very unique “tofu taco” from The Sims 4. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s article, and I have some really exciting articles planned for August. I can’t wait to fill you all in on what I’m doing!

Coming up next: What’s in Season in August?