Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Time To Really Think

 I've been really hating my blog posts recently. I started this blog as an outlet to express myself. People in my life didn't give any shits about veganism, or animal rights or anything. Blogging has always been something I enjoyed, a very positive outlet for me. Especially as I was walking away from so many unhealthy outlets like drinking and smoking. 

Lately I just haven't felt like I can express myself here. Mainly because I am extremely unhappy, some of it is my depression which is just always there, but some of it is real unhappiness with my life. I'm miserable in Utah. I miss Seattle so much, but more than that I'm just not happy here. I feel stuck and hopeless and I just don't have the energy to come on here and be inauthentic. But I also don't want this blog to turn into Days of Our Depression or anything like that. So, I'm just kind of stuck. 

I'm also in a rut in the kitchen. My hauls are all the same no matter where I shop because I've been sticking to simple foods. I haven't had a huge appetite or desire for trying new recipes. And I've pretty much given up on trying new vegan foods. Each one is more expensive than the last and I can't do it. My rent has been raised twice in the past year and I'm not making more money so the newest vegan whatever isn't even on my radar. 

I don't know how long I'll be gone. Maybe something amazing will happen tomorrow and I'll be zapped back to life. Since life is unfortunately not like a feel good movie I doubt that will happen. But either way I'll be back either when I feel better or if I decide blogging isn't for me I'll be back to say goodbye.

I've been out of the blog world for awhile. I just feel bad seeing things I can't afford, or recipes I wish I could feel like making. But I'll shake it off and be back. How can I expect to feel inspired if I don't peruse things to inspire me? 

See you guys in the future.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Trying Some Trader Joe's Vegan Thangs!

 Years ago I had tried a scallion pancake when I was having takeout. Like so many years ago. Anyway, I remember loving the onion-y flakiness of it. I tried to make scallion pancakes myself at some point, but mine were just a greasy, oily mess and they kind of hurt my stomach. I've been dreaming of them ever since. 

Trader Joe's has scallion pancakes in their main freezer section, but they aren't vegan. Every few months I forget that I know they aren't vegan, get excited, read the ingredients and then feel sad. Well, on my last trip I noticed they have a tiny little frozen "What's New" by the ice cream, and they have Taiwanese scallion pancakes that say vegan right on the package!

They're so good, and easy to heat up. You just throw it in a pan for a few minutes each side, and bam you have a flaky delicious pancake!

Yellow curry soup with a pancake on the side. Better than takeout!

You guys, this stuff is so freaking good! I've been dipping lots of pita bread, and this morning I made a little breakfast wrap with seasoned soy curls, lettuce and lots of this humus slathered on a flatbread. It's $1.99 which makes it even better! Ten out of ten!

I finally tried these Lightlife smart tenders. I've been looking at these for years at Trader Joe's! They're basically a "chicken " tender with no breading. I just cooked mine in a pan on the stove top, but if you are a griller I bet these would be great for that! At Trader Joe's these were $2.99 for six. Not the best or worst price. For me, I'll just stick with tofu!

Monday, July 19, 2021

I Tried Meghan Markle's Zucchini Pasta

 Yesterday morning I went on a four plus mile walk. Walking has become a kind of therapy for me. I really hash out and think about things. Sometimes I even talk to myself. I've been busted by people sitting on their porches having morning tea or coffee. Pretty embarrassing! 

By the time I got home I was drenched in sweat and beyond hangry, so I made a refreshing smoothie while I figured out what I wanted for my actual first meal. 

Frozen mango, banana, avocado,spinach, flax powder

This is so ugly, but boy was it tasty. So tasty I had the same thing today. I picked up the Mideast feast from Trader Joe's. It was a splurge, I've always wanted to try it! It has hummus, stuffed grape leaves, lentil salad and this bulgur tomato salad. So I slathered my pita with the hummus, and added the lentils and some of the bulgur. The lentil salad is so tasty I have to figure out how to season my lentils like this!! 

A very long time ago I came across Meghan Markle's zucchini pasta. It's a very simple recipe, you basically cook zucchini and onion slow and low for four hours, then serve the sauce with pasta. I don't love zucchini, but I always like to find a way to love a vegetable since I struggle. Anyway, I finally got around to trying it. I used this recipe. (No Parm of course)

I can tell you that my apartment smelled INCREDIBLE!!! Now, I didn't love this recipe but it's my own fault. When you really cook something down, you're concentrating the flavors so I don't know why I thought this would be life changing for me. The sauce is very, very earthy and squash-y. If you love zucchini, this is for you. It's very inexpensive to make, especially in the summer, and especially if you have a garden because I know zucchini like to grow!! You could easily throw in some white beans or a little tofu for extra protein. So, even though I didn't love this, I recommend this recipe to anyone who loves zucchini, on a budget or not!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Heavy Trader Joe's Haul

 I knew someone in Seattle who was a hoarder. Like the tv show, no exaggeration hoarder. She had both an insane amount of things,but she also really never cleaned because one, how could you with all the stuff in the way, and  I don't think it was important to her. I asked her one time how it all started, and she said she got depressed, and then one day her house was like this. I know all to well how depression can kind of make time stand still in a way, and then suddenly it's next year. Ever since hearing her explanation, I've made a rule for myself for when I get depressed. Three days maximum of losing it and letting things go like cleaning, self care, etc. That includes shopping for food! I really wanted to order from Whole Foods again, but I also knew a lot of things I needed are cheaper at Trader Joe's. I filled my cart at Whole Foods with my budget, and I just knew I could get more for my bucks at Trader Joe's. So, I forced myself on that bus and went to Trader Joe's! One point for frugality, zero depression!

Ginger, coconut milk, vegan caramelized onion dip, cilantro, shredded cabbage, dill pickle chips(not vegan), sriracha tofu, romaine lettuce, pita bread, potato, nectarines, plum, green pepper, tabbouleh style hummus, lightlife Chicken strips, frozen mango, spinach, kombucha

I got to the store right when they opened and at first they weren't busy, but by the time I got to the chip aisle it was picking up so I guess I didn't read the chip ingredients. I assumed since Lay's pickle chips are vegan these would be too. But sadly they have whey powder. I didn't notice till after I took the picture. I really wanted to snack on these yesterday too!! :(

Vegan drumsticks, tofurky slices, frozen strawberries, tofu, bananas, Mideast style feast,spicy lentil wrap, vegan gummies, Thai green chili sauce, fruit frenzy bars, spiced chai concentrate, garbanzo beans, red chili flakes, turmeric, lemons, fizzy water

You know how sometimes you're just in a bad way and a kind word or gesture from a stranger can make a difference? Well, my cashier was so freaking sweet, and I mentioned something about the bus and he was so worried about me getting home, he took extra care packing my fizzy water and said he would give me a ride if he weren't working. And he also thanked me for being so nice to talk to! I can't remember the last time anyone has said that to me! It really made my day, and it made the bus trip home easier. He was so nice I pulled a reverse Karen and called to compliment him and the store!

Joan is like me, she likes her alone time and seeks out safe places. It always makes me laugh when she tucks herself away but leaves her tail or a little tootsie hanging out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Kind of Homemade


I found this on sale at Smith's last week. I've tried a few jarred curry sauces that I haven't loved, but I've also had a lot of Private Selection products that I have loved. I like to have little shortcuts like this so you can kind of half a half homemade meal. Does anyone remember Semi Homemade with Sandra Dee on the food network?

I simmered some red lentils and baked tofu in this sauce. It was a little sharp, like maybe too much citrus for my liking, so I added a little extra coconut milk. It was pretty tasty, and it was nice having the help on a day when I barely felt like cooking.

Seven out of ten, would buy again if on sale.

I made Singapore noodles the other night, but I didn't have enough curry powder so they were very mild. I can't believe I've let myself run out of curry powder! I hate cooked bell pepper, so I had mine raw on the side instead of in the noodles. 

Last night I baked some tofu and threw it in some flour tortillas with jalapeno, cilantro, radish and a spicy peanut sauce. This hit the spot, and reminded me that I need to think outside of the taco box more often!

I hope to try another seitan recipe today or tomorrow. It's this recipe, and I think it looks like it could be the one! I still haven't found a go to seitan recipe, so fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Vegan Haul and Pizza

 I really wanted to go to Trader Joe's this week to stock up on some things, but between depression and triple digit temperatures, I just couldn't make myself do it. So, I got a small Whole Foods delivery, and thankfully a friend gave me a ride to Sprouts for some desperately needed fruits and veggies. I struggle with public transportation when I'm feeling this way. If I can just run into a store I can handle it, but when I have to walk in the blazing sun, wait for a bus in the blazing sun, deal with the people on the bus and then walk home in the blazing sun with heavy bags, it can really just be too much. I'm struggling with living in Utah in general to be honest, but what can I do other than do my best to stay hydrated and moisturized so I don't turn into a raisin. Utah raisin?

Red lentils, oatly, avocados, tomato, fizzy water, celery, strawberries,citrus pop ups, coconut milk, bath salts, parsley, garlic

Grapes, rice noodles, BBQ corn chips(not very good), live booch soda, tofu. strawberries, spring rolls, carrot,oranges, potato, kombucha, Jalfrezi curry sauce, watermelon, mini peppers, cherry plums, red onion, yellow and white nectarine, garlic

If you see cherry plums anywhere, do yourself a favor and grab some! They taste like a plum with just a little extra pizazz. I've eaten half the bag in a day and a half!

Last night my friend and I split a vegan pizza from a very vegan friendly place called The Pie Pizzeria

I'm so used to places maybe having vegan cheese if you're lucky, it was a bit overwhelming to see all the vegan meats and such as options. I've always been a cheese or veggies kind of pizza person, so we went with just a vegan veggie no green peppers, sub banana peppers. 

This had onion, black olives, mushrooms, banana pepper, vegan mozzarella and cheddar, and topped with fresh tomato. It was pretty tasty although honestly it had too much cheese. You know how it has to be just the right amount of vegan cheese? But the cold leftovers were great for breakfast!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Stuff I've Tried

 I've been kind of absent around the blogosphere lately. This summer so far has been a struggle for me. I feel like Pigpen but instead of a cloud of a dirt cloud I'm just dragging around a cloud of funk. I haven't been eating the most exciting food and I struggle with what to say. I don't want to be fake positive, but I also don't want to moan and groan all the time. I know a lot of us struggle with mental health and it can be so hard to try and be "normal" whatever that is. 

I have tried a few new to me things in the past week or so, so I guess that gives me something to say right?

I try to make my own cold brew coffee, but I have a lot of learning to do. I think Dunkin makes great coffee. The hype is true! 

This tempeh is so freaking good! I don't love tempeh, I will always choose tofu but this stuff is pretty great. I don't even fry it, I just take it out of the package for sandwiches. Chef's kiss!

This little dinner of red lentil coconut curry, flat bread and spinach pakoras include two new to me things! 

The pakoras are from the Indian market and are really, really tasty. The bouillon cubes are from Sprouts. I used one cube in place of my usual curry powder and it worked out great! 

I found this little kit at Smith's. They have several flavors, but Korean BBQ sounded best to me! It comes with rice, spices and sauce. It's accidentally vegan, and I had just gotten some soy curls so it seemed meant to be. 

It's really easy to make, and I was pleasantly surprised that the sauce has a little kick! This was a nice, quick and easy dish. The rice was the most time consuming element and that's hands off. I would definitely buy this again!

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Hauls, Free Apricots plus Bubba!

 I have a tiny Smith's and Natural Grocers haul this week. I really need to do a bigger shop at Trader Joe's or Sprouts, but I couldn't handle any type of crowd this week. I bought more candy than I should have, but sometimes Natural Grocers has good candy for a nice sale and I just can't resist!

Fizzy water, nectarines, Asian salad mix, lemons, popsicles, Korean beef meal kit

These were brand new and on sale. The sauce packet is accidentally vegan, so I'm just going to use soy curls! I've watches some Tasty videos, so I have high hopes!

My favorite salad at my favorite price!

Green onions, strawberries, kale, seasoned tofu, unreal peanut m&m candies,Ocho chocolate peanut butter bars, Little Secrets chocolates, Treeline cheese (clearance!) Epsom salts, soy curls, avocado, vitamin c packs, nag champa, Udon noodles, kombucha

This random mish mash is what happens when I just can't focus on the smallest thing like making a freaking grocery list! Hopefully I'll feel up to a busier store this week so I can stock up a bit more.

I discovered this apricot tree on my morning walk! It's in the parking lot of this abandoned building so I think that means free apricots when they're ripe! I've never had an apricot fresh off of a tree so this should be a treat!

Bubba has taken custody of the pink sweater mid morning till sometime in the afternoon. It all depends on his mood!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Clearing Out and Trying New Things

 The condiment section of my fridge has gotten a bit out of control. I'm trying to go through the various sauces and dressings to use them before they go bad. I'm a sucker for a sauce, especially on sale!

I found this on sale awhile ago, and I don't love it. It's okay, but I'm not reaching for it all the time. The other day I wanted to make a noodle dish, and I decided to make some kimchi slaw to go on the side.

I just tossed the noodles in some garlic chili oil, added some baked tofu and had the slaw on the side. I probably won't buy the mayo again, but it's fun to try new things!

Awhile ago I was watching someone make pizza, and their crust had such a crunch that mine never gets. I noticed they were using bread flour so I picked up a bag and made this roasted garlic and broccoli pizza. What a difference the bread flour made! The crust had a nice crunchy outside, but it was still soft on the inside. I don't think I'll ever go back to all purpose again! Apparently bread flour has more protein than all purpose, so I think if I ever decide to try the Tik Tok washed flour seitan, I'll try with bread flour. 

This pizza was so good, I really should have tried to get a better picture, but my nerves were frazzled from renovation noises plus more handy men having to come in for the never ending drain issues. Yes, that's still happening. 

A few weeks ago I grabbed these as a treat/impulse buy at Sprouts. I wish I could say that I loved them, I really, really wanted to love them but they were just okay. They were very, very sweet. Like sweet is all you taste. It took me three days to eat one, and the other two are in the freezer for a rainy day when I need a serious sugar rush!

Last summer I discovered this peach tree down an alley near my apartment, and the other morning I saw some little baby peaches! I can't wait till they're ripe and falling off the tree. "Millions of peaches, peaches for me, millions of peaches, peaches for free!"

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Small Whole Foods Haul plus Lentil Sloppy Joe's!

 I've been struggling with my mental health lately, and since I only needed a few groceries to tide me over, I decided to have some Whole Foods groceries delivered again. The order needs to be thirty five dollars or more for free delivery and that fits in my budget window. Could I get more for my buck at Trader Joe's? Of course. But this week it was worth it. 

Garbanzo and black beans, marinara sauce, oranges, potatoes, oatmilk, coleslaw mix, strawberries, kombucha, celery, cilantro, strawberry popsicles, broccoli, taco seasoning, gravy mix, red onion, jalapeno

Last night I made some sloppy lentils. It's basically the sloppy Joe's recipe from Veganomicon with a few changes I make depending on what I have. I didn't have hamburger buns so I used a hoagie roll and topped it with some creamy slaw. Fries on the side of course! I've made these so many times I have the original recipe memorized. It's one of my favorites, leftovers get better and it's so inexpensive and filling. The leftovers are great stuffed in a baked potato!

Happy Weekend!