What I Ate Wednesday & Strawberry Champagne Dressing

Today’s photo food journal is part of “What I Ate Wednesdays” and shows a day’s worth of my healthy, vegan eats.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a green smoothie with some special fruits from the farmers’ market including Concord grapes and pear. I like how the Vitamix pulverizes the grape seeds so I get the nutritional benefits without having to do the crunching myself. I used fresh kale for the green part:

Green smoothie for breakfast

My husband thinks it’s disgusting when I put my food on the floor to get the best light for pictures and the cats sniff it, so this one is for him, ha ha:

Roxy sniffing my smoothie

I went to my surgeon’s office yesterday morning for my almost one-year (!) follow-up exam for my cancer surgery. Everything is good, at this point my interaction with him is limited to getting cortisone injections in my scar to help it soften up (oh yeah, baby, that is just about as fun as it sounds):

Carrie in the exam room.

My appointment ran right up to lunch time, so I brought a brown rice and black bean salad with water-sauteed mushrooms and shallots, chopped bell pepper and celery, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and avocado, served over romaine to eat in the car before heading back home. The apple was my dessert:

Brown rice and black bean salad and apple

I needed just a little something else to tide me over until dinner, so I had some celery and bell pepper served with almond and peanut butter as a topper later in the afternoon and before I went to the gym:

Veggies and nut butter for snack

Side note: I’ve been making tons of grain and bean salads lately, the combinations are endless. I like to make a huge batch on Sundays and then eat it for lunch the whole following week. I use my biggest glass bowl for mixing and storing:

Salad takes over the fridge

I forgot to tell you in Monday’s post that I went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles this past Sunday. It was such a pretty day and the museum grounds and art collections were stunning:

View from the Getty Museum to Los Angeles

I went to the museum on a bus tour and brought along yet another bean and grain combination salad for lunch. This one was my Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Herbed Hemp Dressing:

Vegetable Quinoa Salad on the road

Soaking up the sunshine:

Carrie at the Getty Museum

Strawberry Champagne Dressing:

One of the reasons I find these salads so satisfying is because I use a nut or seed-based dressing for flavor and healthy fat. One of my new favorites is a strawberry herb combination using champagne vinegar, walnuts, hemp seeds, and fresh mint and basil:

Strawberry Champagne Dressing


We are still getting fresh strawberries and herbs here in California, so this is part of my last grasp onto the flavors of summer. Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Champagne Dressing
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: 8
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 large strawberries
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 2 dates
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 2 T hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • ½ teaspoon coconut aminos (or low-sodium tamari)
  1. Juice the lemons and place juice in a high-speed blender.
  2. Chop the shallot, garlic cloves, and strawberries and add to blender.
  3. Add the mint, basil, dates, walnuts, hemp seeds, vinegar, non-dairy milk, and coconut aminos to the blender and process on high until smooth.
  4. Store leftover dressing tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to five days.

I’ve added this recipe to my app!

Strawberry Champagne Dressing on Vegan Delish

Last night’s dinner included leftovers of a crockpot dish using adzuki beans and butternut squash served over salad with chopped onion and non-dairy yogurt. I’ll be sharing this recipe next week:

Adzuki bean and butternut squash dish


I did a Q&A interview with Brenda Davis, R.D. and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D. for Our Hen House. It’s all about their new book, Becoming Vegan, Express Edition: The Everyday Guide to Plant-based Nutrition. This is a fantastic resource and you can read my interview with them here.

I’m headed out of town today for a very special event in Los Angeles that I will be sharing with you soon. I’ll be back here on Friday, though, for a new rendition of our Healthy Vegan Friday recipe link-up party.

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And, if you have an iPhone or iPad, be sure to download my recipe app, Vegan Delish, featuring over 130 healthy, whole food recipes.


  1. Jennifer says

    I don’t know what looks more beautiful – your salads or you :)

    So glad to know you’re healthy healthy healthy!

  2. says

    So pleased the check-up went well :)
    Grain and bean salads are the best, great time-savers too a they hold up well in the fridge so I can make a large batch and eat it throughout the week.
    I love your whale print bag by the way!

  3. says

    Glad everything is all good!

    I need to start prepping for the week, I eat so much healthier that way!! That salad dressing looks amazing!! I just recently read somewhere to use applesauce instead of oil in salad dressing recipes – so smart!

    • says

      Hey Jessica! I knew about using applesauce in place of oil in baking, but using it in a sweet dressing is brilliant, I might have to steal that idea. :)

  4. Patty says

    Ooooh, that dressing sounds amaaaazing. Yum.
    Love the whale print bag.
    It’s awesome you are doing so well and healthy! :) You are beautiful! I love your sense of humor, Carrie! You totally make me smile and laugh. Keep it up….the kitty sniffing food photos! I love it and I love seeing the kitties. So sweet. Alan’ll be fine. :)

    • says

      Thank, Patty, and I’m glad you like my humor; it sometimes veers on the sarcastic/dry side, but I really am a kind-hearted person, I promise! (I have to give my husband a hard time tho, just to keep him on his toes). :)

  5. says

    Mmmm I love grain & bean combos. I think my favourite is red quinoa with black beans (especially in a salad with tomato & cucumber YUM). Your fridge looks insanely delicious.
    Oh and for the record – I like to take pictures of smoothies on the floor too! Haha
    Glad your appt went well! You’re looking so happy & healthy =)
    The salad dressing sounds GOOD! And I’m looking forward to the crockpot dish!

    • says

      Thanks, Kimmy! My scar is finally starting to settle down and I think I am, too. Honestly, it took me almost a year to get back to my normal sleeping schedule that I had before this whole cancer drama began. I underestimated how stressful it was and how long it took my body (and brain) to process it and calm down. Do you remember feeling that way? Looking back on it, I wish I had joined some kind of support group, but I’m definitely feeling better and more like myself again. I feel healthy and happy and I just can’t ask for much more than that. Xoxo. :)

      • says

        Your scar looks great – you can’t even notice it!
        I’m trying to remember 8 years ago… that was a long time ago. I think you mentioned having a hard time sleeping (getting up too early etc), I had the opposite problem. I slept A LOT. A minimum of 9 hours a night and long naps on the weekend. But… my dad passed away 2 months before my thyroid was taken out, so it could have been depression too. I just kind of had a rough first year after my surgery.
        I’m so glad you’re feeling well!

        • says

          Thanks for the note, Kimmy. Sorry I had to vent for a minute there. I’m happy to be sleeping better now, but I would say that this first year after surgery kicked my butt, too. Hopefully it’s upward and onward from here!

    • says

      They are sooo curious! My younger cat loves peanut butter so she is always hanging around when she thinks she might get a lick of something. :)

  6. Nancy says

    Just starting my journey with Dr Fuhrman plan and found your recipes on Pinterest. Your blog has been a big help to get/keep me motivated. Just wanted to point out that I switched from Almond Breeze to Silk almond milk because of the information on carrageenan. Check out article by Dr Weil. Thanks for sharing your health journey and tips and recipes. Nancy

    • says

      Thanks for the note, Nancy! I’m so glad you found my blog. :) Yeah, I heard a teleconference from Dr. Ferreri in Dr. Fuhrman’s office about the negative research on carregeenan. I just bought the Almond Breeze for the first time at Costco, but I probably won’t buy it again. I prefer to make my own, it’s so easy.

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