Friday, October 20, 2017

Trying New Things

Yesterday I had to run some errands before work, and I found myself in a shopping plaza that had a Whole Foods. You guys know I don't shop there because I can't really afford to. But recently I've been reading about Amazon buying Whole Foods and lowering the prices. From what I could see it's really happening! I noticed that the bananas were only $.49 cents a pound and $.79 for organic. Both prices are cheaper than I've seen anywhere else. All in all I'm glad I checked it out, but I'll probably stick to my Trader Joe's/ Natural Grocers/Sprouts routine. I did pick up a few fun things
Chipotle hummus,frozen raspberries,avocado,cashew yogurt, potatoes, orange, kombucha, iced tea,bananas,carrots,chocolate, tater tots,tofu, turmeric root and ginger root
I also had a second booch that I drank while waiting for the bus. I spent about twenty five dollars which isn't bad, especially for Whole Foods!

I need to talk about this cashewgurt. I've seen this on a few Instagram posts, and have never seen it anywhere, even Sprouts. I finally saw it yesterday in the little vegan yogurt section and I knew I had to try it. It was about $1.69 a container which isn't cheap, but it also isn't super expensive like I had suspected. I took this with me to work as a little snack and guys, this is hands down the best vegan yogurt I've had period. It has a wonderful texture, it's thick but not too thick and it's so creamy on the tongue. It's sweet but not too sweet, and has a great natural strawberry flavor. I wanted the cup to last forever! This yogurt alone is worth a special trip to Whole Foods. I want more right now as I'm typing this!! This yogurt is seriously AHMAZING!!!!
When I got home from work I heated up some tots and had them with this chipotle hummus I found on sale. It's made in Colorado and it is really, really good. Remember how I fell in love with the chipotle veganaise? Well this is the hummus version. It's spicy with just the right amount of smoky. Absolutely delicious. Hummus and tots might sound weird, but don't knock it till you try it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cheap and Cheerful

It seems like over the last couple of years I don't get a lot of questions about protein as a vegan, I get more questions about the expense of a vegan diet. I also have a coworker who thinks veganism seems really complicated. I have two coworkers who expressed interest in becoming a vegan someday, but because it's so complicated they want to wait until they can really commit. I of course have made it my mission to show how uncomplicated it is, and also how inexpensive it can really be. Any diet can be complicated and expensive. And any diet can be simple and inexpensive. Last night's dinner is a perfect example. I made some gluten free pasta, stirred in a little garlic hummus and a few spoonfuls of olive tapenade and nooch and half a can of white beans. Topped it all with some black pepper and crushed red pepper and I had a delicious one pot meal that was fancy and simple all at the same time. And it was ready in under fifteen minutes.
Crappy kitchen lighting, delicious meal

 This dish is creamy from the hummus, and the salty tapenade cuts through with a nice punch of flavor. This meal was neither complicated or expensive. You don't have to eat a frozen meal if you're tired and on a budget. And you don't have to spend a lot of time or money either. Vegan food like vegans comes in all shapes and sizes!
The girls get treats every morning, and yesterday I was having a tough time getting out of bed to hand out the treats. This is Kanye's very subtle stare letting me know I was late. Kanye has always been the treat regulator. She likes to get them in a timely manner thank you very much!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tasty Vegan Foodz

I had a pretty great food day yesterday even though I had to work. For breakfast/lunch I turned some leftover rice into curry fried rice with green onion and edamame. I served it with half of a perfectly ripe avocado, Dr. Praeger's Bombay burgers and lots of sriracha. This was such a delicious combo. It really made me feel satisfied before going to work.
Yesterday morning I also prepped an enchilada casserole so that when I came home from work all I had to do is pop it in the oven. It felt really good to take the time to do that for myself so that when I came home I didn't have to cook, but I also didn't have to grab something quick and easy.
Here it is before being baked. It's just corn tortillas layered with lentils, green chilis, green onions, nooch,vegan shreds and homemade enchilada sauce. I was going to write down the recipe, but I was out of chili powder which threw me off so I had to kind of turn into a mad scientist so I forgot to write down anything. I still managed to make a tasty enchilada sauce with cumin, smoked paprika and a few other random spices.

It came out messier than expected and also my kitchen lighting doesn't help but trust me it was delicious and was such a comforting meal after a long and brutal night at work. And of course I have leftovers for today!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Soup and Cats for the Vegan Soul

This is the delicious coconut curry butternut squash soup I made the other day. It was so easy thanks to the canned butternut squash I got from Trader Joe's. I just sauteed some garlic in a little coconut oil, and added some curry powder and crushed red pepper. Then I added the squash and a can of coconut milk. I let it all simmer while I cooked some rice and baked some tofu for croutons. 

Sorry for the crappy kitchen lighting! This was my dinner last night. Jasmine rice, leftover butternut squash soup with a Bombay burger on top. This was a really delicious combo. The Bombay burger and the soup really complimented each other.
I wanted to mention this kombucha from Trader Joe's. I had been eyeing it over the summer, and I finally decided to try it on Friday. I didn't even read the label because it's kombucha right? I drank it while waiting for the bus, and it was really tasty. Well, after drinking most of it I noticed that it is made with honey!!! I didn't even know that was possible. When I was researching how to brew your own booch, everything I read said you have to use real sugar for the fermentation process to work. I feel so bad that I drank it and worse that I didn't read the label. I just always thin of booch as a safe thing to buy without having to read the label. Lesson learned. I just thought I would warn other people. And from now on I'll be reading kombucha labels!
I had a rough night at work yesterday. I mentioned that standing in one spot has been really making my back ache, well it's Halloween time and we of course sell pumpkins. Some of them over thirty pounds. So yesterday I lugged at least fifteen over thirty pound pumpkins from the cart onto the scale and then back into the cart. My back hurts so much I can hardly stand it. I barely slept and sometimes if I move the wrong way the pain is so excruciating I immediately start crying. I don't know how I'm going to get through these next two weeks with these pumpkins. Anyway, as always my girls cheered me up when I got home!
This has always been one of Roxy's favorite poses. She looks like such a little lady don't you think?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Another Vegan Haul

I was off yesterday and finally made it to Trader Joe's for some groceries. I also stopped at Natural Grocers for a few things. It feels good to have food in my apartment! I've been picking up a few things here and there at work and I don't like doing that. As I've mentioned the store I work at is very expensive for a lot of things. And as I've learned more about the company I really don't like supporting them so I'm happy to be back to normal.
The few things I got from Natural Grocers. Nag Champa, one of my favorite flavors from GT's, carrot turmeric ginger. It's a seasonal flavor and it's really nice. Green tea with Dandelion, and Hail Merry Meyer lemon tarts.
Perfect dessert!

tofu,spinach,spud crunchies, green onions,vegan shreds,gluten free pasta, green chilis, frozen strawberries
Jasmine rice, tomato paste, olive tapenade, coconut oil,butternut squash, avocado,coconut mil, cannelini beans, white onion, corn tortillas,lemons, bananas, lentils
I was super excited to see organic canned butternut squash next to the canned pumpkin. I would eat so much more butternut squash soup if they were easier to cut! Thanks Trader Joe's for making my soup dreams come true!
Here's a close up of the can. I have to ask them if it's seasonal like the pumpkin the next time I'm there. I might have to stock up!

Little buddy was hanging around during the day yesterday so I got a little better picture! I still can't get too close but we are making progress. He is the original kitty I was feeding, and now there are about four or five who come around. I haven't named him yet but something will come to me. He's a handsome little fellow. Please keep your fingers crossed I can get him inside before winter. Believe it or not we're supposed to have our first freeze tonight. It's only mid October!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Food to Fuel and Last

This was my breakfast/lunch yesterday. Leftover kitchari with green dragon sauce and steak cut fries with A-1. I try to force myself to eat a little more than I normally would since I don't get a meal break at work. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

You can always tell my late night meal pictures by the horrible kitchen lighting! I sliced some tofu and let it marinate in soyaki sauce and crushed red pepper while I was at work and threw it in the oven when I got home. While that was cooking I made some Jasmine rice and Asian slaw I had in the fridge. I doused it with sriracha and called it dinner. You can see a tiny bit of Roxy. She was helping me make dinner! Marinating tofu or tempeh while I'm at work is a really easy meal when you don't feel like doing a lot of active cooking. You can marinate it in the same dish you bake it in, so it's an easy clean up too.

Yesterday I moved my blogging table from the kitties room to the living room. I put it by my window. I thought it's a better place to take food pictures than the empty Chewy box I've been using. As you can see, Etta decided it was an amazing place to take a rest. Cats are so funny. Everyone was very upset that I moved furniture without consulting them!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Stopping Hanger

We have a checkout lane at work called Be Healthy, or Live Well or something like that and it has nuts and seeds and roasted chickpeas and such instead of candy bars and junk by the register. It's pretty comical and kind of doesn't go with the flow of the rest of the store. Anyway I noticed these dehydrated bananas and decided to try them for a snack. I do okay for the most part without a meal, but sometimes the last few hours are tough. I definitely get hangry. I've only had banana chips, not dehydrated bananas. They're chewy and really sweet so nothing like a banana chips! I don't eat dried fruit a lot but these were really tasty and they staved off my hunger until I got home.
For my late night after work meal I had some steak cut fries with Dr. Praegers kale burgers. I dipped my fries in A-1 and the burgers in yellow mustard. The kale burgers are definitely too greasy for my taste. It's strange to have a burger that is brimming with vegetables also be greasier than any vegan burger I've had. I'll be sticking to the Bombay burgers from now on.
Here's sweet Etta cuddling with me this morning. She likes to have about fifteen minutes of cuddle time with me in the morning. Then she hops off and does her own thing the rest of the day!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What I Ate on a Day Off

I had yesterday off and since I'm still battling a cold and still trying to adjust to working nights I just stayed home and tried to take it easy. A great day for a What I Eat post! Too bad my food was pretty boring!
I had some oven fries seasoned with Creole seasoning for breakfast. I didn't have a huge appetite and I figured all the vitamin C in the potatoes would be good for me.
I had this Mystic Mango kombucha while I was puttering around cleaning my apartment. It's been awhile since I've had the mango. I forgot how delicious this flavor  is.
I took a detox bath with powdered ginger, Epsom salts and baking powder and made this carrot orange juice after my soak/sweat.

For dinner I had gochujang veggie soup with rice noodles and baked tofu. Noodle soup sounded really cozy and I knew the veggies and spice would be healing. This was so good and very very soothing.
I also had some Cherry Garcia for dessert. I find sometimes ice cream is important for self care!

So there is a day of boring but delicious food and drink on a day where I'm definitely not feeling like a human. I am feeling a little better today so I feel like the rest and nutrients really helped.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Vegan Stuff

I picked up a few groceries at work last night since I didn't make it to Trader Joe's over the weekend. I will be getting groceries this week, but I needed a few things to tide me over. I was so impressed with the Bombay burgers from Dr. Praeger that I decided to try the kale veggie burgers. Someone on Instagram mentioned they were amazing. I also decided to get the last container of the coconut seven layer bar. It's on sale and it was the last container so I had to get it! I haven't seen any of the new B&J flavors anywhere else which is so weird because as I've mentioned the store I work at is definitely not a vegan mecca.
When I got home from work last night I made some Asian slaw, Jasmine rice and baked a kale burger to go on top. Like the Bombay burger the patty is chock full of veggies you can see. This burger is also rather green so you know they aren't lying about the kale! I have to be honest these are not as amazing as the Bombay burgers. They are pretty greasy. I baked mine in the oven with no oil and it was sizzling in there like it was bathed in oil. If I'm going to eat that much oil I'd rather have a Beyond or Field Roast burger. It also was much mushier than the Bombay burger. It does taste good, very very vegetal. The Bombay burger remains my favorite of the Dr. Praeger line.
This is the little corner of my bedroom that everyone hides in when I vacuum. It really needs to be vacuumed but I never have the heart to scare them away from their safety zone. This is how they settled in. Afro is like Kanye's best friend and protector. So sweet!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Dr. Praeger's Bombay Burgers

A few weeks ago I found a jar of Creole seasoning on a WooHoo sale at Smith's for $.49! Ever since then it's been all I want on my oven fries. It has onion and garlic powder, paprika and I forget what else. I would go check but I have a sleepy cat cuddling with me so I'm locked in position for the time being. Anyway it is amazing on potatoes. And it makes my apartment smell so good! It smells like Alexia seasoned waffle fries. I had this big bowl yesterday for breakfast. Get my carbs in before work!
I was super surprised to see the grocery I work at sells Dr. Praeger's burgers. As I've mentioned it's not vegan friendly at all, and it's definitely more of a typical junk food grocery. Like the produce section is in the back, kind of hidden. Or like an afterthought. I've only had Dr. Praeger's burgers once or twice and I didn't hate them, but they didn't WOW me either. I think I tried just the original burger. Last night I noticed they were on sale and decided to treat myself. I got the Bombay flavor and consider me WOWED! It reminded me a little of the Vegetable Masala burgers from Trader Joe's. I used to love those so much, but like everything good in life they have gluten in them! Anyway these Bombay burgers have corn, peas and carrots and really great curry flavor. They also held their shape and had a better texture than I remember the other flavor I tried. I baked mine in the oven but I bet they'd be great cooked in a pan with a bit of coconut oil. I had these with some salt and pepper crinkle cut fries and was a happy gal. Between the horrible kitchen lighting, and no buns this meal looks so sad but trust me it was delicious! I give the Bombay burgers a strong ten out of ten!