Fall tastings

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I woke up this morning to a cool temperature of 55 degrees. These are the mornings, when the windows are open and it feels so nice to be snuggled in the covers while the brisk air sweeps in. However, I knew my cup of hot water with lemon would warm me up. So I sipped it down and held tightly to the warm mug…Mmmmm. Cooper and I then headed out for a morning walk. I love these mornings. Fall is probably my favorite time of the year. It always feels so refreshing and new. With the scenery changing around me and the colors going from green to gorgeous reds and oranges, Fall always has signified a sense of a new beginning. Growing up, this feeling came about because of the start of a new school year, new teachers, and new friends. Now, even though my school years are behind me, I still get that feeling of Fall bringing about a new start in life.

Along with the beauty of Fall comes some really great tastes. I immediately begin thinking about cinnamon, pumpkin, ginger, molasses, and apples. There are so many great Fall recipes that I cannot wait to dig into. However, today being a somewhat busy day, I opted for the easy route and bought myself Fall in a cup 🙂 Yes, that means I headed over to Starbucks. Starbucks offers some really great Fall-flavored coffees such as pumpkin spice (one of my favorites), cinnamon dolce, gingerbread, and, of course, their chai tea. All of these flavors signify warm and comfort and for a price of about $4.00, you can have your Fall served up in a steaming hot cup. I used to be addicted to coffee, but have now cut out almost all caffeine from my life. I occasionally splurge and get a latte, but most often I order a decaf one. Some look at me weird when ordering decaf, but I love the taste and the feeling of a good latte, caffeinated or not. I will say that the calories and amount of sugar in one latte can be overwhelming, so I recommend keeping the Starbucks splurges to a minimum. Also, they do offer a few sugar free flavors and my new favorite right now, due to the essence of Fall, is the Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte. I feel like I am cheating on Pumpkin Spice, but honestly I don’t need it’s sugar overload. The Cinnamon Dolce is really good and is kind of like have a cinnamon roll in a cup of coffee, but not quite as sweet. The first sip instantly makes me feel warm and cozy.

Starbucks Latte

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Since my day was off to such a great start, I figured I would keep the ball rolling and bring out the soup for lunch. Since becoming vegan my chicken noodle soup days are over, however, there are plenty of great options out there still. One of my favorite brands of soup is Amy’s. She really knows how to make a vegetable soup. In fact many of her soups are vegan friendly so there are tons of options to choose from. A couple of my faves are the lentil vegetable and the minestrone, which are also lower in sodium. Another soup I really enjoy, and the one I chose for lunch today, is Annie Chun’s Miso Soup. It comes with udon noodles, miso, and dehydrated ingredients (tofu, spinach, scallions, etc). Miso is also really healthy for you. It is a little high in sodium, but it offers a significant source of your daily value of tryptophan, zinc, copper, manganese, Vitamin K, protein, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamin B12 (which is sometimes hard for vegans to get). Because of miso’s nutritious qualities, it helps to support your immune system, bone strength, and energy production.

Annie Chun's Miso Soup

Miso soup with udon noodles, tofu, spinach, and scallions

As much as I love the convenience of store-bought soups, nothing compares to a good homemade soup, stew, or chili. I might just have to break out the crockpot this weekend 😀

I am sad to say that the lunch was not followed up with some sort of pumpkin treat. I haven’t been able to find pumpkin anywhere so my dreams of pumpkin cookies, cakes, and puddings will have to wait. However, stay tuned for another comfort food recipe tomorrow. I’m making a special dinner tonight for some friends so hopefully it is blog-worthy so I can share it will all of you 😉


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