How a Vegan Survived Coachella
The time has come and gone already. The biggest event I have been waiting for since last June is over. It always seems to happen that way, anything you look forward to comes and goes with a flash. Coachella stole my heart last year; the music, the event, the people, the everything. All the money you spend for it is truly worth it in my opinion. I kept telling people how crazy this year has been for me, both in my personal life and my work life, that I needed this weekend badly. I needed a weekend where I could dance around without a care in the air and I could be whoever I wanted to be. That’s the great thing about music festivals, it’s a whole other world. The creators build this completely different universe that makes you forget that you’re in Indio, California; even forgetting that you’re sweating away in the desert. You probably think I am being over dramatic, but I seriously have cried a few times because of how sad I am to be back to my normal life.
The best way to experience Coachella is camping. You save a lot more money that way, because you’re not spending extra on hotels and rides back and forth. Yeah you are roughing it for a couple days, but you are already on camp grounds. You wake up, make yourself food, get dressed and then go in and party. It is honestly the only way you should be doing Coachella.
The question I get the most since transitioning vegan is, “where do I get my protein?” and “how do you survive?” I always laugh because of how silly the question is; of course I get my correct protein intake each day and of course I am surviving, I wouldn’t be writing this post if I wasn’t, right?
Since I have been screwed over by my other job, I have been pretty low on funds lately and I knew that I wanted to bring my own food in to save some money. Last year I survived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and no they were not organic or gluten free or sugar free what so ever. Yeah they tasted good, but I knew that I wanted something a little more substantial to hold me over for a full day of dancing. So I created my own peanut butter and jelly on my own, and man do I want to do this more often.
A couple weeks ago I had some pecans and almonds laying around and I was all out of almond butter. So I threw the leftover nuts in the food processor and blended them up to a smooth butter. The combo tasted warm and comforting, it kind of reminded me of the fall season. I knew instantly that this was the nut butter that I wanted to enjoy over the weekend. It’s full of healthy fats, protein, and the nutrients I will need to replace after all the walking and frolicking around.
Pecan Almond Butter Yield: about 2 ½ cups
Category: Nut Butter
Vegan and Gluten Free
2 ½ cups almonds
2 ½ cups pecans
1 ½ tbsp flax seeds
½ tbsp cinnamon (optional)
Combine everything but the flax seeds in a food processor for 3-5 minute intervals.
After the 3-5 minutes, scrape down the sides.
This process will take about 3 to 4 times depending on the power of your processor.
Once smooth and creamy, add in flax seeds and pulse a couple times to combine.
When done transfer to bowl.
I have been on this berry chia jam kick lately. They are so easy to make and adding chia seeds to it adds protein. Berries are one of the best fruit that you can but in your body, they are low in sugar and full of antioxidants. If any of you know me, you know that I can be pretty “extra” with my food sometimes. I go over the top, but at times you need a boujee meal to make your soul happy. So for my over the top jelly I combined strawberries and blackberries to make this sandwich so much better. This jam has no sugar added, with the sweetness of the berries you don’t even need it! If you wanted to make it a little sweeter, try adding in some coconut sugar.
Strawberry Blackberry Chia Seed Jam Yield: about 2 ½ cups
Vegan and Gluten Free
2 cartons blackberries
1 carton strawberries
⅓ cup chia seeds
1 tbsp water
Place all ingredients into saucepan on medium heat.
Using a wooden spoon stir and let berries warm.
Mash with the back of a spoon to breakdown, keep stirring.
When jam starts to bubble slightly, reduce heat and use a masher to combine everything into a jam.
If you wanted a smoother consistency you can try throwing it into a blender, but I wanted mine to be a little chunky.
To make sandwiches, I smothered Dave’s Killer 21 Grain and Seed bread with the delicious spread and topped the jelly side with hemp seeds. This is optional, but it does add extra protein to the sandwiches.
Next on the menu, I knew I needed a little more protein. I remember my sister telling me a story last year about how her group every morning would wake up and make camp burritos. Being vegan I knew I couldn’t just have you typical camp burrito, (still laughing at the name) you know because of the eggs and meat. So I whipped up my own version of a tofu scramble. If you are vegan or someone that just doesn’t like eggs, then you need to try this scramble. It is seriously one of the easiest breakfasts that you can make for yourself, crumble tofu into a skillet, add in some veggies, and seasonings and you have a very high protein meal. Last year I didn’t have a small grill, it really made you miss a nice warm cooked meal. This year I was way more prepared and borrowed one from my dads friend and it really changed the whole camping game. It was my own little kitchen away from home. This tofu scramble held us through our long day and I also added in a lot of nutrient rich veggies to keep us satisfied.
Tofu Scramble Yield: about 4 cups
Vegan and Gluten Free
3 packages firm tofu
½ red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 cups chopped red cabbage
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp himalayan pink salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
Chop all veggies up into the same sizes, I did tiny cubes
Add avocado oil to pan on medium heat, then add in veggies, minus garlic.
Once translucent and cooked, add in garlic and tofu
Let combine and then add in all seasonings. Add in more oil if needed
Cook for about 10 minutes to let all flavors marinate
Dump out into large baking pan and cool before storing away.
When reheating, I sprayed a pan with cooking spray and heated the scramble up. I also brought whole wheat tortillas which I crisped up a bit on the grill before wrapping up this delicious scramble.
On of my favorite snacks to have is roasted chickpeas. They are high in protein and so versatile, you can add really any flavor that you want to it. If you toast them a little more, they become extra crunchy, kind of reminding me of Corn Nuts. I usually do a Tex Mex seasoning combo on them, because I love that smokey, spicy flavor. I have also done sesame sriracha and Italian herb before too. Really any combination you can try and it will not disappoint.
Roasted Chickpeas Yield: about 5 cups
Vegan and Gluten Free
4 cans low sodium chickpeas
½ tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper (You can add less, I just like the spice)
1 tbsp coriander
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp Himalayan Salt
Preheat oven to 350 F
Drain and rinse chickpeas. If skins come off you can remove them, this process will take a long time and it is not necessary
Transfer dry chickpeas to foil lined sheet pans
Add all seasonings, if they don’t fit on one sheet pan divide seasonings in half
Place in oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes
Let cool before transferring to container
Here is some of the other food I brought with me:
Nature’s Path Organic Ancient Grains Granola
Vegan Hot Dogs
Hot Dog Buns
Mixed Raw Nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, filler nuts, brazil nuts)
Dried Turkish Apricots and Dates
And maybe some Oreos
I honestly had a lot of food left over, even though I did eat a good portion of it.
Another way that I survived:
Something so simple, and something that a lot of people forget to drink on the daily. We brought in 3 cases of water and went through almost all of it. I also have a Vibedration (hydration backpack) that I seemed to refill almost every hour. The most important thing is to be hydrated, you never want to be passing out in the desert.
The Artists I saw:
We also danced around the DoLab and Yuma Tent this day. And also got to experience Antarctic, the virtual experience powered by HP.
Tyler, The Creator
This day it seemed like we did nothing but walking, but I didn’t mind. I got to luckily see everyone I wanted.
ODESZA (I cried turning their set, it was purely magical)
Eminem (KILLED IT)
Day 3 was my favorite day. I got to see so many of my favorite artists, ODESZA being one of them. Their music just makes me so happy, and I can’t believe I got to witness their amazing performance in person.
All in all, my experience at Coachella is one for the books. They never seem to let me down, and I always have so many memories to come back with. I spent the weekend with my sister and my friend Kat, even though it was a small group sometimes it’s better that way. I unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy as much food as I wanted inside the venue, but I was really there for the artists. I was there to experience my favorite artists live, what you should really be there for. Now I’m going to go back to being sad in my room, until my Coachella blues go away.
Till next year Coachella! You will be very much missed.
Here are some of my other favorite moments: