Vegan Sushi Sandwiches!

Welcome back!

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For this week’s post, I thought another vegan recipe might be fun to do. I can across this recipe a few weeks ago when I was binge watching CheapLazyVegan on Youtube. I came across this video, and I knew I had to try it. I made it last week, an it has already become one of my favorite new meals. It’s great because it’s easy to make, healthy and filling. It’s one of my new go to school lunches. Without further adieu, here is my recipe for onigirazu (aka “sushi sandwiches”)

*Disclaimer* I don’t normally use measurements when I cook, so any measurements that are present in this recipe serve more as a guideline than an exact rule to follow.

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What you’ll need:

1. Nori
2.1 cup sushi rice
3.1 1/2 cup of water
4.Various veggies (I used cucumber and avocado, but you can really use anything)
5.Rice vinegar (optional)
6.Sugar (optional)
7.Salt (optional)
8.Sriracha
9.Soy Sauce
10.Plastic wrap

The first step is to make the rice. I’m going to suggest that you make the rice according to the package, because that is what I did. However, I will say that you should definitely rinse the rice before cooking it because it will get rid of excess starch. I put my rice in a bowl, filled it with water, stirred the rice around and then drained it. I did this about 3 times until the water was clear.

Once you have finished cooking your rice, place it on a plate and let it cool. I wouldn’t recommend sticking it in the fridge to let it cool, because I have heard that it can cause the rice to no longer be sticky, and it need to be sticky for this recipe. If you want tradition sushi rice, you can add rice vinegar, sugar and salt to the rice before you let it cool. I didn’t do that because I was feeling lazy :D. It tasted just fine without it.

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Now that the rice has cooled, place a sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board or on your counter. Take a sheet of nori and place it on the plastic wrap with the rough side facing up.

Next you’re going to take about a handful of rice and form it into a diamond shape. Then you can place it on your nori.

Now you can start working on your vegetables. As I said, I used cucumber and avocado, but any veggies would work here. You can used bell pepper, carrots, tofu, spinach, pretty much anything you want. The possibilities are endless! Place your veggies on top of the rice.

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After veggies are placed on the rice, take some more rice and make another diamond shape. Place that on top of your veggies.

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Now comes for the wrapping. Take a corner of the nori and place it so that it lays in the center of the diamond. Repeat on all sides until you have something that looks like this:
Wrap up your sandwich and set it aside before you eat it, that way the nori can settle and stick to the rice better. This will make it easier to cut into later, if you decide to do that.

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That is it! Your sushi sandwich is done! I personally like to mix up some sriracha and soy sauce and use that as a dipping sauce for it, but feel free to use anything you sauce you want.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe and decide to try it out for yourself. Please let me know if you do!

Stay fabulous!

Vegan Sushi Sandwiches!

Stay Gold

Hey Everyone!

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As I’m sure most of you know, graduation season is well underway. Seeing my friend’s and family’s graduation pictures has made me think about my own graduation and how I have grown in the years since. It all started a few weeks ago when my classmates told me about about a conversation they had with one of our teachers. According to them, somewhere in the conversation my teacher said something to the effect of “Gianna is a damn good actress. She should quit her job and start acting in some plays.” It kind of blew my mind to hear that, because it brought me back to my original plans for my life once I graduated high school.

I ended my high school year thinking that I was going to move to LA and start auditioning, learning about acting, and working as an actress as soon as possible. But then life happened and I ended up getting a job as a cashier at Whole Foods after a few months and I have been there ever since. During those years, my passions had to take a backseat. That was okay for a while it turned out, because moving to LA was huge culture shock. Having some sort of stability helped me to gain some confidence again. But now, after three years I feel that my life needs to take a new direction.

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I think there comes a point in everyone’s life where they have to try and decide if their dreams and goals are worth risking it all for. What I have decided for myself is that I would much rather “fail” at the thing I am most passionate about, than to be safe and “successful” at something that I hate doing. Life is too short to not live it to the best of your ability.

At my school, we get many opportunities to speak to actors, directors, agents managers etc, who are very successful in the industry. It’s a great opportunity to hear these people speak, and I always feel lifted and a little smarter once I leave. A common theme that I have noticed in all of these talks is this: The only difference between people who “make it” and people who don’t is the level of commitment. It truly does not matter what you look like, where you come from, what gender you are, how tall you are etc etc. All that matters is how much work you are going to put into it everyday. If you want it more than anything else, it can and will be yours. This isn’t just true for acting, it’s the truth for any and every goal set by everyone.

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As you move forward into the next stage of your life, whether you just graduated from high school, college or you’re still in school, remember to stay true to your passion and dreams. Be the person who goes after their goals regardless of how bumpy the road looks ahead. You matter, and your dreams are important no matter how big or small they are.

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If you leave this blog post learning only one thing, let it be this: Graduation is a time of celebration and new beginnings. It may seem confusing and scary at first, but know that everything you want can be yours if you work hard enough and you believe. It will take a lot of dedication and hard work, but everything that is worth having is worth working for. You owe it to yourself to be courageous and to keep pushing your own personal envelope because you never know what treasures are waiting just beyond your comfort zone. This is how I am choosing to live my life from now on, and I hope to inspire you all to do the same.

Stay Fabulous.

-Gianna

Stay Gold

Vegan Eats: Part 3

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Hello, hello everyone!

This post marks the final installment in my mini-series “Vegan Eats”. In case you’re new to the site, my last two blog posts have been about have to find great vegan replacement foods for those day when you are missing your old favorites. If you’re looking for some recommendations/inspiration, check out my last two posts which can be found here and here!

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1. Califia Farms
This brand is probably the one that I have the least experience with, but I have only good things to say about it. They make plant milks, coffee creamer and coffee itself. And everything is plant based! My personal favorites are the Toasted Coconut Almond Milk and the Vanilla Almond Milk. I love to use them for oatmeal in the morning. Even though I’m not a huge coffee drinker, I’m also a fan of their Salted Caramel Cold Brew Coffee. Overall, If your looking for a good replacement milk, Califia Farms is a great place to start out.

 

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2. Earth Balance
I have been eating Earth Balance products for years. I remember when I first was introduced to them. I was in high school and I was vegetarian at the time. My step-dad had issues with high cholesterol, so he wanted to stay away from real butter. My mom picked up Earth Balance Butter from Whole Foods, and the next thing I knew, that was all either one of them was eating. They both loved it. I was against it at first, thinking that nothing could be as good as real butter, but one day I decided I would try it anyway. I was blown away, and from that day I have not eaten regular butter.

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Since then, I have tried a lot of their products, and now it is one of my most trusted brands. I really love their Vegan Cheddar Puffs, Cheddar Squares and their popcorn. Something else that I really like about this brand is that their websites offers vegan recipes, and info about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. It is truly a great resource from an awesome brand. Check out the website here.

 

 

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3. Tres Pupusas
This brand is not entirely vegan, however it deserves a mention on this list because the vegan products they do make are wonderful. For those of you who don’t know, a pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish of a thick corn tortilla filled with various ingredients. In short, they are deliciousness wrapped in more delciousness. My Father’s family is from El Salvador, so I was excited to see a vegan version of a traditional dish that I usually had to stay away from.

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Tres Pupusas offers two vegan options: Black Bean and Sweet Corn and Kale and Pinto Bean. My personal favorite is the Black Bean and Sweet Corn. These have become a staple in my household because they are delicious and super simple to make. They are perfect for nights when I don’t know what to make, or I don’t have time to cook. I love these little guys, and I don’t know where I would be with out. Thanks, Tres Pupusas, for looking out for us vegan Latinas.

 

And, that concludes this mini-series! I had a lot of dun writing it, and I truly hope that it will help you in your vegan journey. As always, please feel free to ask me any questions that you may think of after reading this. Also, feel free to leave suggestions for future posts and other mini-series. I would love to hear your thoughts.

As always…

Stay Fabulous!

 

-Gianna

Vegan Eats: Part 3

Vegan Eats Part II

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Hello Everyone!

These past few weeks have been pretty crazy as I was gearing up for finals. Unfortunately, that meant that the blog had to take a back seat, but I am happy to say that I am back! Before I took my brief hiatus, I started a mini-series where I list some the essential transitioning vegan food. This list is intended to guide you to some great tasting food for those times when you’re missing your old favorites. I do want to say that most of these foods are not part of what I would call a “healthy” vegan diet, because most of these items are processed. The healthiest vegan diet is the one that pretty much entirely made up of whole plant foods. But, everything in moderation, am I right?

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1. Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
In my last post, I mentioned “Yours Truly” by Toffuti, and how it’s some of the greatest vegan ice cream known to mankind, I have to say that Coconut Bliss is pretty high up there on my list too. I really like this ice cream because not only is it absolutely delicious and comes in a wide variety of flavors, but the ingredients list is also pretty simple.

That means that when you eat this product, you’re not ingesting a bunch of crazy chemicals. It’s mainly just coconut and agave and whatever else is needed for the flavor itself. My favorite flavors are Chocolate Peanut Butter and Ginger Cookie Caramel, but you’d be safe buying any one of these flavors. I haven’t been disappointed yet!

 

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2. Field Roast Sausage Links
I’m just to go ahead and say that these right here are the best vegan sausages I have ever had. These are my go to 100% of the time now. As far as I know, they are only available in three flavors: Mexican Chipotle, Smoked Apple Sage and Italian.

My personal favorites are the Italian flavor and Mexican Chipotle, but Smoked Apple Sage is delicious as well. Field Roast as a brand is absolutely wonderful because I haven’t had one product I didn’t like. Their meats are so flavorful, I guarantee you won’t miss eating the real thing. I highly recommend any and all of their products, but especially the sausage!

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3. Amy’s California Veggie Burger
I mentioned in my last post that I have invested a lot of time in finding good veggie burgers. Today, I am proud to present to you another great veggie burger for your consideration. When I first bought these, I hadn’t heard anything about them either way. But after trying them, they quickly became one of my go-tos and favorites. What I love about these burgers is that they have a wonderful flavor on their own, but you can easily put any kind of toppings you want and it will be good. Anything you throw at these burgers will be great.

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4. Gardein Ch’kn Strips
Last, but certainly not least are the Gardein Ch’kn Strips, which is some of the best tasting fake chicken I have ever had in my life! This company had a very impressive range of mock meats, and their “chicken” is some of their best. I honestly don’t even know if I would know that this wasn’t real meat if nobody told me! I know many vegans now who have made this product a staple in their diet because of how remarkable it is. If you’re a huge fan of chicken and you miss the taste, look no further, because Gardein has got you covered.

So that concludes my post for this week! I hope you all enjoyed it and found some of these suggestions helpful. Also, please keep in mind that I’m suggesting all of these products because of personal experience, and you may find that you like other products better. That’s totally fine! This list is meant to be a guide if you are having trouble finding things you like, or you feel stuck in a rut. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Thank you all for reading.

(P.S. The top I am wearing in the first picture was made by Feminine Boutique’s own Marta! She is quite talented, and these tops are perfect for the summer. She wrote a post about her new business not long ago and I highly recommend checking her tops out.)

Stay Fabulous!

Vegan Eats Part II

Tuesday Spotlight: Sophie F.

Sophie is a Canadian-born, Boston-bred student studying over the northern border in Montreal. While she spends much of her time working on getting her degree, she has some favorite pastimes. Makeup, traveling, going on walks, and baking (her baking is seriously amazing). Most recently, she has gotten into bouldering. In case you haven’t noticed, Sophie is a writer here on Feminine Boutique! She writes about the realm of makeup and (soon) travel.

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MG: What gets you out of bed in the morning?

SF: Honestly, my alarm probably, and having to go to class.

This article is the beginning of a mini-series for the Tuesday Spotlight—featuring the writers on this blog’s team. I am excited to share these writers’ stories, and just showcase just how amazing each of these ladies really are. Sophie is a close friend of mine and a great writer! I love her passion for makeup and future success, and her down-to-earth-but-also-wanderlust nature.

Sophie is the most sarcastic person I know with the most literal answer to my first question in every interview: what gets you out of bed in the morning? Yes, she is a motivated person. Yes, she does cool things every day. And, yes, her alarm clock is definitely her call to roll out of bed every morning. “Also, I’m not the type of person to just lay in bed, even on weekends. Once I’m up, I kind of wanna get up and get my day started.”

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My other big dream is to be happy, and that’s always about finding things that make you happy, and finding people that make you happy and surrounding yourself with them.

There are many things in life that can motivate us. There are also many dreams we might have that go hand in hand with our motivations. For Sophie, it is a lifelong dream to one day have her very own puppy. “The little things I am doing to get there is getting my education so I can get a job and pretty much just support a dog.” You can just feel the excitement in her voice when she talks about this.

Along with this, Sophie simply hopes to be successful and happy. “It’s up to me to define what that means.” She is still in college, figuring out what she wants in the future, and learning more every day. While her definitions of success and happiness may change overtime, it is safe to say that she is on her way to figuring out where she is going.

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I always remind myself that [gender roles] are a societal construct. It’s not something that I have to be a part of, and I can change that.

Sophie has worked internships primarily in the field of finance, and has definitely experienced being one of the very few women in the room. “To me, that is actually more motivating than anything else… I can do this.” While it is frustrating to see that she will have to really fight her way to the top, she is ready for the challenge. She hopes to change the male-dominated industry simply by working in it.

In school, Sophie has spent some time learning about gender biases in the workplace. “It’s always so interesting to see what companies are doing to change things and how we can make those differences.” At the same time, she knows that no matter how frustrating her path may become, she cannot let anything stand in her way. She recognizes there may be many obstacles, but she must keep moving forward in order to push past gender norms.

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Do whatever the fuck you want… At the end of the day, you are the one looking out for you.

In her advice to other young women, it’s this: “Be confident and know who you are… keep looking out for yourself.” She uses makeup as an example, and how people tend to think you need to feel a specific way about it. Sophie loves makeup because… she loves makeup. That’s it. That is all there is to it. She doesn’t need rationale to back it up, nor does she need to use makeup in a certain way approved by everyone else. “You are you and that’s amazing.”

Tuesday Spotlight: Sophie F.

Ask Mighty: Parents, Self-Esteem, and Communication

Why do my parents think I have self esteem issues because I’m not as social as I was last year? I don’t want to be the same person I was last year. -V

Dear V,

The first question I wanted to ask you is, have your parents ever come out and said those words to you? Or are you just assuming they think that of you?

When I was a Junior in high school, I became a recluse. I was in depression and nothing really interested me. My parents were concerned but they never asked me outright. The fear of being judged and questioned always led me to assume that they thought I was lazy and a loser.

Communication is key, dear V. Its very, very important. I think the biggest mistake we make when it comes to people who are closest to us (especially, parents) is that we assume they would just understand us. We think that they’re connected to us via some telepathic, mystical device that helps them read our minds. But darling, you have to realize that they’re people too. You have to tell them what’s going on.

They are old and wise and much more brilliant than any of us. They’ve experienced the highest highs and the lowest – things that we cannot even fathom. Talk to them about what’s on your mind. Let them give you an input about your ideas about how things have changed. You probably won’t agree with them, or don’t necessarily have to take their advice. But opening up to them or just putting these ideas about this particular situation out there would help them understand you better. Maybe even open up a conversation about their life!

Sincerely,

Mighty

Ask Mighty: Parents, Self-Esteem, and Communication

Ask Mighty: School/Life Balance

How can I balance what school asks of me and what I want out of school? I want to pursue something outside of my classroom and campus resources, and I feel like school gets in the way of my life plans.

I find myself more in my head than in real life. How do I motivate myself to be present instead of in my head?

-M

Dear M,

I work 2 jobs, 3 classes, write a blog, go the gym every day, curate a weekly newsletter, do the regular apartment chores, and find time to do homework every day. I am not complaining, not even close. I signed up for all of that. But I also, I am not comparing me to you. Just jotting down things that I do – some for myself, and some that I have to do. There is no way out of the things that you need to do.

You made an explicit choice to do all that you do, right now. And that’s the truth.

I think that life after school, the “real life,” is a myth. Real life is right now. School is as real as the job you’re going to get after college. If you die right at this moment, will anyone say that you didn’t really live a real life? I am not saying that you have to live in fear and do as much as you can, just because you’re going to die soon. What I am saying is, that you have to continuously remind yourself that what you’re learning in school, doing in internships, absorbing in a college campus, is absolutely precious and worth it. I know people keep saying that classroom knowledge does not amount to much. But it is still a warm up to get to situated in life. It’s a glimpse into things that you could possibly see yourself doing.

Learn how to appreciate everything and everyone in your life. Get out of that zone of self-pity, and accept where you are right at this moment. What you’re doing is important and if you try to keep that in sight, you’ll find your motivation. I promise. That one small thing will only lead to a need to do so much more.

Remind yourself, “I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am blessed.”

I hope this isn’t too harsh, but I hope that you understand that this is necessary.

Love,

Mighty

Send your questions to info@feminineboutique.com. You’ll remain anonymous!

 

Ask Mighty: School/Life Balance