Hungry Haley

it's more than food

White Bean Salad Sandwich (Vegan)

Sandwich, Whole-Grain, BreadHaley Hansen4 Comments

"Your summer looks so... chill." 

My friends have not been shy with their apparent jealousy of my summer thus far. Why, you ask? I'm basically working for myself. I took no part-time waitressing or babysitting or donut-slinging (that was last summer) jobs. In fact, I didn't even apply for any. During the winter/early-spring months, when I could've and (some might argue) should've been applying, I was stressing my eyeballs out over school and my current job at the time. I was wrestling with voices inside my head telling me I wasn't good enough to handle just about anything and everything on my plate - academics, future academics, a social life, a non-existent love life, and weight gain. 

All I wanted to do was run into the comfort of my Southern California home, in which the tough Cal Poly professors cannot touch me, in which I can ignore the confusing need to have a social life and a boyfriend, and in which I can hopefully heal my love-hate relationship with food. I wanted to escape. Applying for jobs and searching for summer classes were the LAST things I wanted to do. 

I was offered a part-time internship with NuttZo - an amazing, nut-loving company I call "my peanut butter people" - and could not have felt more pulled towards that opportunity, so I snatched it up immediately and promised myself I'd dedicate the rest of my time to developing my cooking skills + my passion for plant-based recipes (and in the process, healing my torn-up, upside-down, inside-out relationship with food). 

White Bean Salad Sandwich (Vegan)

Despite the excitement and determination that practically oozed from my every word, my parents were a bit more skeptical, wondering about qualifications of the experience, financial needs/income, etc. Understandable. Totally understandable, considering the fact that I'm - speaking exclusively in terms of age here - officially an adult and therefore am socially expected to have most of my shizz together. You probably know the feeling. 

tuna salad sammy stack.jpg

Convincing them of the legitimacy of my summer plans required a detailed explanation of how I'd be saving money, budgeting, and allotting my time each day. Again, totally understandable, and actually much appreciated because it helped whip my booty into shape and realize that, if I want to give this whole blogging-(almost)-full-time thing a go, I need to give it damn hard GO. 

Let me tell you - it's not all that it seems from the mouth-watering snapchats you may be referring to when believing my summer "is so chill". It's actually extremely HOT - I'm in Southern California, so the weather is literally h o t (or hot AF, if you will), but it's also hot because I'm either standing over the stove or in front of the oven on a multiple-times-a-day basis. I'm running in and out the backdoor to snap pictures of a recipe before bees and flies and even the rare cockroach attacks it. I'm up late at night, editing pictures and, when the text portion of each recipe isn't flowing like I always hope, deep-breathing and praying that something with even the slightest hint of relevance and humor will come to mind. I'm price-checking constantly, making sure I don't go overboard on ingredients or run away with the tantalizing temptation that is... dare I say... kombucha. 

White Bean Salad Sandwich (Vegan)

There's more, but I won't brag or complain or maybe even bore you would be the better term. All I'm saying is I'm a baby in this blogging world, but I'm a passionate little one and I fall more and more in love with food each day. I thank God that He's introduced me to a life of peace with the food I love so dearly so that I can chase after my dream, without the effing diet-mentality getting in the way. MOVE OVER DUDE BEFORE I RUN YOU OVER. 

That's right. I'm comin'. :) 

Oh, and about this sandwich! I did everything in my power to come up with a more creative name than what I've got, but I also refused to settle on "vegan tuna salad sandwich". First of all, raise your hand if you like tuna salad - the smell, the taste, the memories (school cafeteria lunch, anyone?). Yeah, that's what I thought. Second of all, my dad has ingrained the idea that my creative vegan recipes deserve so much more than to be called "vegan this" or "vegan that". So, white bean salad sandwich it is! 

I highly recommend seeking out fresh-baked, local bread. Makes. All. The. Difference. Search for something hearty, something thick and substantial to balance out the creamy, light salad. 

This recipe is no-doubt 100% picnic-friendly and a must for days when turning on the oven is not an option, when leftovers are non-existent, and/or when that tuna salad might sound appealing. 


White Bean Salad Sandwich (Vegan)

Makes about 4 sandwiches

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
2 tbsp. mustard
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
2 tsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. lemon pepper
thick-sliced whole-grain bread (GF if needed)
mixed greens, for serving

  1. Mash the beans in a medium-size bowl and set aside. 
  2. In a smaller bowl, stir together the mustard, tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and seasoning. Pour this into the mashed beans and stir to combine. Gently fold in the red onion and cucumber. 
  3. If desired, toast the sliced bread at this time. Spread about 1/4-1/3 cup of the salad onto one slice of bread, top with mixed greens and the other slice of bread. 
  4. Serve immediately and store leftover salad in an airtight container for up to one week. 
  5. Enjoy! 

Easy Mediterranean Chickpea Wraps (Vegan)

Whole-Grain, Wrap, Meal-prep, VeganHaley HansenComment

This time, last year, I created this recipe as part of a back-to-school bundle of recipes/posts intended to evoke some excitement in heading back to school. Naturally, I focused on food because, well, how can one feel actually excited for school without some mouth-watering recipes? 

When I read through the original post, I felt the eagerness of heading back up to SLO radiating from me then. Three months of working at a waffle-sandwich restaurant + frequenting the only one-of-a-kind coffee shop just a 10-minute bike ride from my house + missing terribly the Christian community the Lord plugged me into during my first year = me, tired, kinda' lonely, and speechless in describing my readiness to remember what pulled me so deep in love with SLO. 

Fast forward almost exactly 365 days, and here I am, still in SLO - I've only gone home once this summer - and so NOT ready for school to begin. Battling daily reminders of the coming first day, I'm wondering if I ever was actually, genuinely excited for school. Notice, in my list above, I don't mention one piece of excitement for anything related to studying for hours, sitting through long lectures, and/or slowly but surely putting on my "I'm stressed out" hat, along with every other student. I'd rather not trade my warm beach-days with friends, my lazy nights spent reading on the couch, my beloved bonding/recipe-creating time in the kitchen for homework and class and repetition every. single. day. 

Buuuuuuuuut I still have two years left at Cal Poly and I'm twenty years old and I should probably should just take this step in growing up to quit complaining about something I have to do but don't want to. Maybe I'll feel more ready in a week. Maybe I won't have to spend my summer-savings on textbooks and supplies. Maybe I'll absolutely love my classes so much I'll wonder what in the world ever evoked such feelings of angst. Maybe, just maybe. 

Maybe you feel the same way? Maybe you love simple Mediterranean food and chickpeas and perfect avocados so much you'll make this for lunch every single day and wonder what in the world you were still doing, twenty-something years old, with a lame turkey sandwich in your hands all this time. Maybe, just maybe... 

Probably ;) 

Makes 4 wraps

4 whole-grain tortillas (I use Ezekiel)
1 15-oz. can beans (any kind works, but I used chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2 cups spinach
1 medium cucumber, or two Persian (seedless)
1 tbsp. olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, or two cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dried basil
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped radishes
1 avocado, sliced lengthwise

  1. Start by whisking the dressing ingredients - stir the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs/spices in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Toss the chickpeas in a large bowl. Tear up the spinach leaves into smaller pieces and drop them in. Peel and dice the cucumber and then toss those and the radishes in. Drizzle the dressing over the top and stir with a large spoon or cover and shake, then stick it in the fridge.
  3. Warm up your tortillas either in the microwave or over the stove. Remove the chickpea salad filling from the fridge and assemble the wraps - lay the chickpea salad and top with avocado slices.
  4. Serve immediately, and store the leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. 
  5. Enjoy! 

Vegan Goat Cheese Quesadillas (GF)

Vegan, Whole-Grain, GFHaley Hansen1 Comment

Why does everyone love to hate on vegan cheese? No, it's not "real" cheese, but do you want to know what "real" cheese is? I did, so I Googled it.  "What is cheese?" I asked. Google told me that cheese is just curdled milk, so I Googled, "What is milk?" and Google told me that milk is "an opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young." 

Now, that gives us a lot to talk about, but we won't go into it all because the focus here is these quesadillas. I just want to point out one thing: 

  • "an opaque white fluid... secreted by female mammals..." - um EW?! Does that sound appetizing? Put that on a restaurant menu instead of "cheddar" or, everyone's favorite, "cottage cheese". I dare you. 

Like I said, I could talk about that first part - "rich in fat and protein" - and get into all the nutrition facts buried beneath that, and I could also talk about that last part - "for the nourishment of their young" - and reveal the truth behind lactose intolerance (though I'm definitely not the first to do so). BUUUT I'll spare you the fun vegan facts and debates and just share with you why vegan cheese, especially Heidi Ho, is oh so much better. 

For starters, the ingredient list includes nothing about white fluids coming from another mammal. It does, however, include recognizable foods like cashews, salt, lemon juice, and hazelnuts. Some people tend to think vegan cheese (and most vegan food in general, for that matter) is made with weird foreign poisonous ingredients or something. Why? Who knows. 

But what about the taste? The texture? The ingredients might be on point, but convincing requires much more. I decided to put this cheese to the test inside a veggie-filled quesadilla. It didn't melt, but that's because cashews don't melt. Fine with me. It was creamy and thick and everything I remember good "real" cheese to be. Taste? OH MY LORD THE TASTE. Rich, salty, aged, ugh I can't even describe it. 

Anyway, I'm ranting now, but if vegan cheese freaks you out, please ask Heidi Ho for some better understanding about what genuine vegan cheese is all about. And then make these quesadillas because they will blow your mind. 

Makes 2 quesadillas 

1/2 10 oz. block tempeh, cut into thin strips
1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
2 handfuls spinach leaves
1-2 roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
2-3 tablespoons Heidi Ho Ne Chevre Black Lava Cheeze
Salt and pepper, to taste
Basil and balsamic vinegar, for garnish
Oil, for the pan

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and lightly oil the surface.
  2. Start by sauteeing the zucchini until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from pan and repeat the same for the tempeh. 
  3. Spread the goat cheese on half of each tortilla and top with spinach, avocado, tomatoes, zucchini, and tempeh. Close and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
  4. Enjoy! 

Stuffed Veggie Sandwich (Vegan, GF option)

Sandwich, Bread, Vegan, Whole-GrainHaley HansenComment

My lab group had just whisked the whole-wheat flour with the all-purpose into a cup of sugar-and-salt-dissolved warm water, and were ready and excited beyond measure to conquer this focaccia recipe. Stand-mixer mixing, now all we had to do was wait, let the dough rise, and bake. Easy, right? 

Easy when the lights are on and the mixer actually works and the oven heats; not so easy when the power goes out and the entire kitchen becomes a pitch-black enclosed box of hungry nutrition students, sole intention to stuff our faces with six different loaves of bread. Yeah, well, there goes our hopes and dreams for the day. There goes any plans of face-stuffing with freshly baked bread. There it goes. 

That's just a little story - a not-so-happy one, might I add - from my nutrition class last quarter. Seriously, there's NOTHING worse than feeling your excitement for bread breathe its last breath, as if its oxygen source were the power systems keeping Cal Poly's student kitchen up and running. Ugh, it still brings tears to my eyes. 

BUT I'm a big girl (I'm 20 now!) and Fergie says that "big girls don't cry". And I say that big girls just dust themselves off, walk home, and make their own darn sandwich with store-bought bread, pack it up nicely and take it to-go for a long afternoon of studying. Big girls don't cry; they make their own food and study hard. 

Man, that doesn't sound too great... 

Okay I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry - I'm done being a Debbie Downer. This sandwich deserves so much more than my self-pity because it lifted my crushed spirits on that dreary, freshly baked bread-less day. It restored my hope and confidence in my ability to do big-girl things. 

YOU TOO CAN DO BIG GIRL THINGS. I believe in you, and so does this sandwich :) 

Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices whole-grain bread (or gluten-free, if needed)
2 tbsp. hummus
1/3-1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 bunch fresh spinach or lettuce
Nutritional yeast, to taste
Optional: hot sauce, cilantro, vegan cheese 

  1. Toast the bread, if preferred. Spread 1 tbsp. hummus on each slice, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, and lightly press the black beans into each slice to make sure they have something to hold onto in the sandwich. 
  2. Lay the veggies on top in any order you like, then close 'er up and dig in. 
  3. Wrap in a paper towel and plastic baggie if you're packing lunch (no refrigeration needed if eating in the same day). 
  4. Enjoy! 

Lentil Meatball Melt (Vegan, GF)

Bread, Sandwich, Whole-Grain, VeganHaley HansenComment

"Well, those sound really good, but can you really call them 'meatballs' if they don't have any actual meat?" - my parents, when I practically drooled over the phone about these so-called meatballs. 

"I mean, it's either that or 'lentil-balls', which, for some reason, sounds even less appealing to me than an actual rolled up ball of animal flesh," - me, in response (slightly self-questioning at first, but then in solidified self-assurance). 

Thoughts of this recipe (yes, I do actually genuinely dream about and think about food several times throughout any given day) first popped into mind as I scrolled through my collection of recipes and food pictures from two-three years ago all the way until a few days ago. It wasn't so much an act of conceited pride as one of innocent boredom, which illuminated how my diet has changed since I first started photographing and documenting my food. 

The most drastic changes appear within my transition to veganism. Cutting out meat and dairy was a pretty big step (duh), but even bigger were the steps I took back and forth between the well-known high-carb, low-fat (HCLF) branch of veganism and just plain vegan. HCLF caught my attention during my first few weeks as a vegan and I absolutely loved it, but then veggie burgers and deep-fried falafel and donuts (vegan, of course) and oreos (did you know they're vegan?) got all up in my HCLF business and flaunted themselves oh-so-irresistibly. What was I supposed to do? Pass them up for some dates instead? 


Don't get me wrong - dates (the sugary, juicy, sweet, caramelly kind that do not involve awkward car rides, fancy dinners, and cute boys) hold their own special place in my heart, but come on, you can't expect me to just walk on by that vegan mozzarella cheese on the grocery shelf and ignore it's pairing ability with these (oil-free, anyone?) lentil 'meatballs' solely because it doesn't fall under the list of whole foods. A list I follow about 85-90% of the time, might I add... 

Hmm, so these are deceptive little "meatballs", themselves, and then I slide some phony vegan "cheese" underneath - who do I think I am, anyway? Sometimes I don't even know, but in the context of this post, I guess you can think of me as the forever-hungry creator of one of the best, easiest, most eye-catching (not to toot my own horn) not-so-meaty "meatball" melts - vegan-college-student-version. 

Makes 10 meatballs, 2 half-sandwiches 

For the Lentil Meatballs:
1 cup cooked lentils
1 tsp. minced garlic (or one clove, minced) 
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. flaxseed meal + 5-6 tbsp. water) 
1 tbsp. grated vegan parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) 
3-4 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (or any other whole-grain flour)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley

For the melts: 
2 slices whole grain bread
1 cup steamed kale
1-2 slices vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)
Extra grated vegan parmesan cheese
Extra parsley, for garnish
Lentil Meatballs (I used two per slice of bread)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. Using a food processor or high-power blender, process the lentils, garlic, flax eggs, vegan parmesan cheese, and tomato paste until almost smooth. Set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, spices, and parsley and add to the lentil mixture. Stir until combined. 
  4. Form the "meat" into golfball-size portions, set on the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly. 
  5. Lay the steamed kale, cheese slices, and lentil meatballs on each slice of bread and sprinkle with extra grated vegan parmesan. Broil on high until the cheese slices have melted, then remove and top with extra parsley. 
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

White Bean Sweet Potato Sliders (Vegan, GF option)

Sandwich, Bread, VeganHaley HansenComment

I'M SO CLOSE. Just under 16 hours (but who's counting?) until winter quarter is officially OVAAAA. Peace out. Almost. 

If you follow me on Instagram and/or snapchat, you know that my study breaks always involve food, and usually me spending an hour or two in the kitchen, isolating myself from all things study-related, and letting my inner culinary queen rule. 

Earlier this week, I craved something sweet, something I could bake. Surprised? You shouldn't be. That recipe (one involving pumpkin, coconut flour, protein powder, and dates) will be up soon. 

As I perused my pantry and fridge for ingredients, I took some inventory of what I need to eat before I leave... to make a long list short - I'll be eating A LOT and I'll be eating well for the next few days before I head home. What am I going to do with four fat sweet potatoes? Fries are getting boring... I thought. 


Well, sliders - they're small. Why are they small, you may ask? Because along with all those sweet potatoes, I have the equivalent of about three loaves of bread that I need to eat up within the next two days. Challenge = accepted. These little sourdough rolls from Brian's Bread (a local brand in SLO) are DA BOMB and I may or may not have eaten two rolls, each with one slider and some avo, then another thick slice of sourdough with two (or maybe it was three?) more sliders... 

I'm so winning this bread challenge. Thank goodness for sweet potatoes and beans and burger ingredients and... 

Thank goodness for food :) 

Makes about 14 small patties 

1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. red curry paste
1-2 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 garlic cloves (or 2 tsp. minced garlic) 
1 flax egg (1 tbsp. flax seed meal + ~2 tbsp. water)
6 tbsp. oat flour
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional, but preferred)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Buns or bread (GF if needed), spinach, avocado, hummus, for serving
Coconut oil, for the pan (if needed) 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil lightly coated with coconut oil. Prepare the flax egg and set aside. 
  2. In a blender or food processor*, add the sweet potato mash, white beans, curry paste, mustard, spices, and garlic cloves. Pulse until the ingredients are mixed through, but not completely smooth. 
  3. Stir in the flax egg, oat flour, and nutritional yeast. Form small fist-size portions into flat circles and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm. Remove and allow to cool before serving. 
  4. Serve on buns or bread with preferred additions. Enjoy! 

*If you don't have a blender or food processor, don't fret! I barely even used mine in this recipe because the hand-held Ninja blender doesn't like these kinds of recipes as much as smoothies and such. Just mash the beans as best with sweet potatoes by hand as best you can until it's all pretty smooth. 

Like this recipe? Repin it! Did you make it? Take a picture and tag me and #hungryhaley on Instagram

Simple Vegan Sushi (Vegan, GF)

Haley HansenComment

Real talk - can sushi be vegan? My dad is a firm believer in sushi's inability to be made vegan... 

I've tried convincing him, but my attempts haven't worked, so let's look at the definition. Merriam Webster says sushi is "a Japanese dish of cold cooked rice shaped in small cakes and topped or wrapped with other ingredients (such as raw fish)".

BAM! Sounds pretty vegan friendly to me, how about you? Sorry, Dad, but I think (with the help of Mrs. Webster) I've proven you wrong this time. 

Now, want to come make some sushi with me? :)

Makes about 3-4 rolls 

2 cups sticky rice
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 sweet potato, sliced into fry shapes
3-4 nori seaweed wraps
Optional: cilantro, Sriracha, sweet chili sauce, tamari or soy sauce
Bamboo rolling sheet

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the sweet potatoes in a uniform layer and bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  2. Cook the sticky rice according to package directions. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and cool. 
  3. Assemble! Lay a nori sheet on the bamboo rolling sheet, scoop sticky rice onto the nori and spread into an even layer. It will be sticky, so be patient and do your best. Lay the veggies in a horizontal line parallel to the edge of the nori sheet, pressing them together as you roll the nori sheet over the vegetables, making your sushi roll. 
  4. Repeat until all the rice is used up, and serve with optional toppings and sauces. 
  5. Enjoy! 

Crispy Breakfast Quesadillas (Vegan, GF)

Haley HansenComment

Guess who’s on her second day in a row of eating completely vegan…

THIS GIRL. That’s right.

Talking about changes? Let’s keep going.

  • I’m listening to country music right now to get prepared for line dancing later tonight.
  • I’ve been practicing yoga at least twice a week for the past month. Like, taking each session seriously, breathing into each pose, focusing on my body’s needs, all that fun stuff. Read more about that later.

What hasn’t changed is my love/obsession with nut butter. In fact, I think have about nine jars of peanut/almond/sunflower seed butter in my pantry right now…

Which is the perfect amount, considering I eat some of it at least once a day. Also, a month ago I ordered a 4-pack of these gluten-free brown rice tortillas off of Amazon to make sure I stay stocked up since many of the stores around here don’t usually carry them.

Stacks upon stacks of brown rice tortillas + jars upon jars of nut butters = mouth-watering, warm, crispy VEGAN QUESADILLAS.

These are crazy-good, people. If nut butter and rice cakes are an amusement park, then these quesadillas are Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Six Flags, and every single country-fair combined.

Yeah, like, magical. And what’s really cool is that this recipe was a total experiment. I was looking for a way to make brown rice tortillas not taste like cardboard.

I think I nailed it.

2015-05-17 10.57.02.jpg

Anyway, I need to finish some homework before I tune into my inner line-dancing country girl. Sorry, Dad, it happened.

Last thing – for this recipe, please don’t hesitate to add as much nut butter as you want. The other day, I measured how much nut butter I actually eat with breakfast, and it makes the recommended 2 tablespoons look like 2 teeny tiny teaspoons.

Whatevs, bro. Girl’s gotta’ get her protein in somehow.

Bye, friends! Let me know what you think! 

Makes 1 serving 

1 brown rice tortilla 
3 tbsp. nut butter (yes, more than the recommended serving size) 
Coconut oil, for greasing the pan 
1 tsp. cinnamon, for garnish 
Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, shredded coconut, raisins

1.     Heat a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. 
2.     Fold the tortilla in half so that you have two symmetrical pieces. Spread the nut butter evenly on both the pieces. Sprinkle with cinnamon and your choice of add-ins and fold each piece in half again. 
3.     Lightly grease the pan with coconut oil and lay the pieces on the pan. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes, until each side is golden and crispy. 
4.     Remove from pan and turn off the heat. Sprinkle the quesadillas with more cinnamon and serve immediately! 
5.     Enjoy! 

Crispy Grilled "Cheese" (Vegan, GF option)

Haley HansenComment

I gotta' say, this whole RawTil4 experiment is going really well! 

But, I can't but wonder, is it normal to come home at night and devour just about every single warm, cooked food in my pantry? Because that's what happens... 

No worries though - I'm pretty sure I know how to solve that problem. EAT MORE! Eat more bananas, eat more salad, eat more dates, just eat more. And when was eating more, without having to worry about calories or quantity or carbs, ever a problem? Lol SCORE. 

Anyway, yesterday I came home from work absolutely starving, even after my weekly Tuesday muffin the size of my head. My appetite and stomach capacity never cease to amaze me. So, I decided to create a throwback-meal of one of my childhood favorites - GRILLED CHEESE BABY. 

Minus the cheese. And the butter. Plus the spaghetti squash, whole grain bread, avocado, and hummus. Now that I think about it, is that even a grilled cheese? Is it any sort of throwback to my childhood favorite, considering I probably never ate spaghetti squash, whole-grain bread, avocado, or hummus before age 10? 

Hmm. Oh well, this sandwich is better than the typical grilled cheese because...

  1. its vegan - dairy-free, meat-free (my dear mother used to sneak some ham in mine as a kid... that's a problem)
  2. it's loaded with spaghetti squash
  3. it tastes absotively, posilutely divine, my friends
  4. oh, and it's totally college-friendly! 

Crispy, "cheesy", gooey, warm, comforting... good :) I'll never need another grilled cheese sandwich again. 

Makes 2 sandwiches 

4 slices whole grain bread (I recommend Trader Joe's Sourdough, but any bread will work)
~2 cups cooked sqaghetti squash (butternut works too)
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves
Optional: 1 tsp. mustard
1/2 large avocado
2 tbsp. hummus
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil, for the pan 

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with a little oil. 
  2. Mash the avocado and spread evenly over two of the slices and one tablespoon of hummus on the other two. Set aside. Stir the nutritional yeast and garlic (and mustard, if using) into the spaghetti squash and divide evenly on top of the two avocado slices. 
  3. Close each sandwich with the hummus slice and lay in the skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the side facing down turns brown and crispy. Flip and repeat. 
  4. Serve immediately! I recommend a little hot sauce on top, too :) 

Crispy Baked Pumpkin Spice Flatbread (Vegan, GF option)

flatbread, veganHaley HansenComment


Yepp. Me :) God has officially flicked the switch in my brain and convinced me that suffering through a few tough chemistry and biology classes is a) worth it, b) more applicable in my field of interest than most journalism classes, and c) only a small portion of what I'll be studying and dealing with later on in life. 

I've also been kicking myself in the butt for using "chemistry and biology are too hard/not my thing" as an excuse to settle for journalism rather than challenge myself in following my passion. 

So, just three classes from now, hopefully next Fall, I'll be a Nutrition Major! Prayers please :) 

Let's talk pumpkin for now. More specifically, this recipe. I don't like to consider myself "basic" when it comes to my obsession with all things pumpkin, but I have yet to come up with a description less degrading to the #typicalwhitegirl and less extreme, fear-evoking than "obsessed". Oh well. 

I lit my newest pumpkin candle a few nights ago and sniffed it a billion and four times, carried it around with me wherever I went, and wished for nothing more than a snuggle-buddy with whom I can bask in the basic-white-girl-pumpkin-spice-loving-obsession. Then I made this flatbread and let God consume my desires, and concluded that maybe I don't need a boy. Me, my pumpkin spice candle, and baked flatbread (and weekly muffin), and I'm gooooooooood. 

P.S. - if you don't have a pumpkin-y candle, bake this and your whole kitchen will smell like said missing candle. And this is even better because you get to eat it too :) 

Makes 1 serving 

1 whole-grain tortilla (GF option - rice tortilla) 
1 banana, sliced
~1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. maple syrup or agave
1 tsp. coconut palm sugar or turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon & nutmeg
1 pinch cloves
1 tbsp. peanut butter (or any nut butter) 
Optional: oats, cereal, granola, raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a small dish, stir together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup/agave, sugar, and spices. Set aside. 
  3. Lay your tortilla on a pizza pan and spread evenly the pumpkin puree mixture on top. Lay the banana slices next, and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon if you're feelin' that. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the perimeter of the tortilla turns a golden brown. 
  4. Remove from the oven and turn off the heat. Drizzle the nut butter on top, and then add the oats, cereal, granola, raisins, or whatever you choose. 
  5. Enjoy! 

Sea Salt Almond Butter Apple Sandwich (Vegan, GF, Paleo)

Haley HansenComment

Have you ever eaten something that's just too sweet? FOR THE RECORD: If Hulk has a sweet tooth, mine would take. his. down. buuuuuuuuut I do have my limits. Like, a whole bar of dark chocolate? Too sweet. Cake batter ice cream at Cold Stone? Unbelievably spot-on in the flavor department, without-a-doubt worth the calories, but too sweet. Especially if you've "Gotta' Have It". But hey, #noshame.

Let's all just beat the broken pinata one more time and remind ourselves that most desserts and treats have too much sugar. Duh. But where's the fun in life without something sweet and indulgent and (I hate this word) naughty? Which begs another question: how do we enjoy a bar of chocolate or cake in the form of frozen cream without feeling like you're driving under the influence of sugar? 

You grab one more "no-no" off your naughty shelf and BAM. Sea salt, my friends. Sea salt. 

Balance. Sweet and salty. Sure, I'm a nutrition-sinner for adding salt to my food, but I'm not frying the sandwich or dousing it in almond butter (portion control is hard) or laying a steak on top, so whatevs. 

When the time comes for summer goodies plums and berries and zucchini to mush, apples become, well, the apple of my eye? The Fuji kind are my boo-thangs because the green ones, while practically perfect for baking, are just too sour and tough and honeycrisp, while large and juicy and *gasp* sweet, are just too expensive. 

This morning, I found an apple nestled in the fruit basket in the kitchen and I could just hear it's faint whisper, "Eat me, Haley. I'm from the Farmer's Market and I'm organic and home-grown and everything that's right in the world so if you don't eat me today, I'll go bad." *tear emoji*. And with that, I popped two pieces of hearty and healthy Ezekiel bread in the toaster, gathered the other two party-people (almond butter and cinnamon) and sliced up my apple. (Wow, that sounds rather carnivorous - listening to an apple talk to me and then cut it open... oh well.)

Of course, I had to take a little bite of my apple before actually officially inviting it to the party. Juicy, crisp, and... insanely sweet. But I've got that sea salt trick. BAM. I sprinkle that ishh on everything. 

Ahhh, so lovely, so balanced. I see this sandwich making several appearances in my life this school year. Stay tuned - I'm psyhic...

... and hungry :) 

Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices whole-grain or whole-wheat bread
4 tbsp. natural almond butter, plus a tad bit more
1 medium apple (use your favorite kind)
Cinnamon and sea salt, to taste

  1. Place the bread in a toaster and toast until warm and crispy to your liking. 
  2. While the bread is toasting, slice your apple in thin little slices and lay them flat on a glass plate. Warm them up in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds to soften. 
  3. Remove the bread from the toaster and spread 2 tbsp. of almond butter on two of the slices. Spread that "tad bit" on the other two slices so the apples have something to stick to. Top with cinnamon and sea salt and close. 
  4. BAM. Lick your fingers 'cause it's worth it. 

How was it? Easy, huh? Tell me more below, or tag me on Instagram and twitter using #hungryhaley. Thanks for reading! 

Summer Veggie Quesadillas {+ Orange Home Grown Farmers' Market} (Vegan, GF)

vegan, summerHaley HansenComment

I just opened an email with an article attached titled "Are You Addicted to Food?" Hahahahahahahaha

Yes. Yes I am. 

I LOVE FOOD and you don't even have to pay me to run through the streets of NYC in my underpants shouting those words at the top of my lungs. Food makes me happy - since when should I be fearful or ashamed to proclaim my infatuation with both taste that goes beyond satisfaction and nutrition that caters to my body's needs? Just a little thought. 

My parents are the two people in my life who have the clearest understanding of my unbreakable fondness of food - after all, they pay most of the bill. LOL. I love you guys, and thank you for funding my devotion, putting up with the never-ending refrigerator-tetris game, complimenting me on my baked goods (even the batches that turn out more like burnt bricks/dense protein-powder-somethings/chewy what-are-these-called's). Hey, (inedible) fudge happens to the best of us, right?

Currently, they're dealing with an abundance of hummus in the fridge (thanks to yours truly). When I went to the Orange Home Grown Farmers' Market last Saturday, my mom reminded me, "We don't need hummus..." Which is totally fine because plums, veggies, sheep's milk yogurt, and some mysteriously creamy/mind-blowingly delightful, fermented cacao treat were the main necessities on my list. I found and sampled all of those as well as an almond milk chai tea latte (from Aussie Bean), homemade strawberry fruit leather, fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, Okinawan sweet potatoes, aaaaaaaand vegan/GF cookies and banana bread. It's no wonder my family calls me "The Bottomless Pit". #noshame. 

Thank you, Orange Home Grown, for a consistently appetizing, unforgettably pleasant experience! It's people like you who keep us Bottomless Pits happy :) 

Oh, and here's the beautiful abundance I blessed my parents with. But, most importantly, DAT ZUCCHINI DOE. Like, do vegetables take steroids? No, because they're organic ;) The largeness of this green beast will forever be a mystery to me. 

2015-09-12 14.31.07-1.jpg

So, my task yesterday was to put a significant dent in our hummus collection and conquer this monster of a zucchini. Mission accomplished in the most mouth-watering way possible. 

This is like comforting, cheesy child-hood staple meets an organic, LA-hipster-cafe's most popular appetizer, and the two fall deeply in lust and give birth to a crispy, flavorful, can't-even-tell-it's-vegan love-child. What a mouthful... 

You'll be so happy you'd tried this. Heck, maybe you'll even get addicted.

Makes 2 quesadillas 

2 brown rice tortillas
1/3 cup of your favorite hummus
1/4 cup pinto beans
1 bunch of spinach
Your favorite summer veggies - eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, whatever you like!
Fresh basil, or a smaller amount of dried basil
Coconut oil, for the pan

  1. Start by combining the hummus and pinto beans in a small bowl and mash the beans a little so they aren't all completely whole. Set aside. 
  2. Cook the veggies (I used grilled zucchini and asparagus, but if a grill isn't available then just steam or saute what you've got) and let them cool slightly on a plate. Break each tortilla in half and spread an even amount of hummus-bean combo on each piece. Lay a few spinach leaves down, then your veggies, more spinach, a sprinkle of basil and close your quesadilla. 
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat and lightly coat with coconut oil. Let it heat for about two minutes and then carefully lay the quesadillas on the pan. Cook for about three minutes, or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Flip and repeat the process on the other side. 
  4. Remove them from the pan and serve :) 

Did you try it? DID YA DID YA DID YA?? Leave a comment below! Also, head over to the Orange Home Grown Farmers' Market for an array of fresh fruits and veggies, unique vendors and entertainment, and plenty of passionate, happy faces. 

Happy quesadilla-ing! :) 

Grilled PB & B on Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread (Vegan)

whole-grain, vegan, sandwichHaley HansenComment

Anyone else here LOVE peanut butter and banana? I know I’m not alone. Sometimes with the kids I babysit, we play a game called “Would You Rather?” I’ve been asked if I’d rather be stuck in a cage with a live, angry tiger or lick peanut butter off a hobo’s foot. When I was told I could have banana with my peanut butter, I chose the latter. (I hope that doesn’t change your opinion of me, after all, it’s peanut butter and banana we’re talking about here).

 Anyway, a few nights ago – let’s just say it was Wednesday night - I had been lying in bed, wondering what I’d eat for breakfast the next morning. (My dad and I are known to plan out our breakfasts the night before. I guess that’s just what real foodies do.) I had already had eggs Wednesday morning, and I knew that I’d have my protein pancakes on Friday after my workout. Peanut butter and banana on toast had come to mind multiple times, but I wanted to spice it up somehow. I thought maybe a quesadilla, but then I started craving Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread, which pairs so perfectly with peanut butter its outrageous. Then, BOOM!, it hit me – a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich on Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread. “Haley, you’ve outdone yourself yet again”, I thought to myself as I closed my eyes, pulled my sheets up, snuggled myself in my bed, and fell asleep.

About 8 hours later, I was cutting into crispy cinnamon-raisin-y bread that held warm, gooey peanut butter and caramelly bananas. I had to stuff some of the peanut butter-banana guts back into the bread as I prepared my first bite, which by the way, was absolutely magnificent. In fact, each bite was more magnificent than the one before, as I carefully sliced off the crust first and then devoured the center (the best part).

Long story short, make this sandwich. I know many people who hate peanut butter, and many who hate bananas, and I’m talking to those people, too. And don’t be afraid of the Ezekiel bread – I am aware of its reputation as “dry”, “crumbly”, “tasting too healthy”. Believe me, you won’t even know this sandwich is healthy. Make. This. Sandwich. It doesn’t even have to be for breakfast. Haven’t you ever had breakfast for dinner? Or lunch? Or dessert? Or a post-dinner-pre-dessert snack if you’re awesome and think you can handle that. No matter when you decide to chow down on this angel, enjoy it. 

Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread
1 banana, sliced
2 tbsp. peanut butter (or as much as it takes to coat one side of each slice of bread)
3 tsp. olive oil (or coconut)

1.     Heat a large skillet on medium – high heat and coat with 2 tsp. oil.
2.     While the skillet is heating, spread the peanut butter on one side of each slice of bread.
3.     Lay one slice of bread in the pan and top with banana slices.
4.     Lay the other slice of bread on top and cover the skillet, allowing the sandwich to steam for about 2 minutes.
5.     Uncover, and flip the sandwich, careful not to let the banana slices fall out or the bread to slip, which can happen.
6.     Cover again, for 1 minute, or until the crispy as you like it.
7.     Remove from pan and serve immediately.