Sunday, June 24, 2018

Me Myself & I

I had to get a few things yesterday so I ran to Smiths and they were having a little sale on Dr. Teal's, so I decided to treat myself and try the Super Moisturizer. This heat is no joke here in SLC, and since there is no humidity a girl's skin gets dry. I used some last night in a bath and it was amazing! I feel like it helped my back and skin! The fragrance is very light which I like. I usually don't buy Dr, Teals because I find some of the scents to be way too strong, but this is just barely there.
I also decided to try this new to me flavor of the simple truth organic kombucha. It's really, really good. If you live near a Kroger, Fred Meyer or Smiths I highly recommend. It was light, not too sweet and not too dry.
I also couldn't resist these ice pops. They are vegan, but they also have lots of dye #all of them which I am choosing to ignore for now. I couldn't resist the flavors. Don't judge but I used to love circus peanuts!! I used to always feel sick after eating them, but I ate them anyway! The popsicles actually taste like what I remember circus peanuts tasting like! Also they totally nailed cotton candy.
Last night I wanted curry, and I decided to kick it up a notch as they say. I added some peanut butter and made it a peanut curry. I remember trying a peanut sauce recipe that used curry, peanut butter and coconut milk and it was to DIE for. I'm pretty sure it was an Isa recipe. Anyway I thought of that peanut sauce around the time I had decided to make curry. It turned out great! I used red lentils and potatoes in the curry and I may never not use peanut butter again! It just made it richer and gave it a deep flavor. I had a nice day of self love and this was the perfect meal to end the day!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Struggle Bus

I've got some more beige meals to show today. I've had a really rough couple of days. I try not to bore everyone with too many boring details of my job because if I let myself truly unleash it would be a five million page novel of complaints. And honestly a month or so ago I was applying an looking for other jobs. But lately I've been in a rut because I am so burned out on customer service or service jobs. Like it's all I've ever done and I swear I can't listen to another complaint. So because those are the only jobs I qualify for I just gave up. It isn't that I want to stay where I'm at, it's just that depression kicked in big time. I've noticed that depression is harder for me to fight with these late night shifts because I'm just always feeling tired.I'm just really in a rut, and my job is becoming more unbearable to me, but then I look at job postings and it's all customer service, so I stop looking and I just get more depressed. I really only have myself to blame which makes me even more down. UUGGHH. It's so frustrating. I have experienced having a shit job, getting a different job and somehow that one is worse. It's sadly happened more than once so that always is in the back of my mind. It's the feeling trapped and stuck that's the worst I think. I'm doing my best to keep it together but I've done a lot of crying the past week. Wow, sorry to go on. I've been wanting to talk about my depression issues for a few days, but it's scary because I feel like I'm going to be judged because I'm so stuck. But this is my life and what I am going through and I know I'm not alone in the battle with depression and all it brings to the table.
Now I guess we can move on to my beige meals for the last couple of nights. I have definitely relied on easy and quick.
On Thursday night I decided to try the Original Griller from Sprouts market. These are gluten free and of course vegan. I had mine with some potato wedges.
I really like them. They taste similar to a Boca vegan patty or the gardein beefless burger. I guess it's a little more like the gardein because it's a little oilier than a boca. In a good way, they are juicy when they're done cooking. And they are $2.99 for a box of four which is definitely one of the better prices for veggie burgers. I will definitely buy these again!
This was my dinner last night. Crinkle cut fries with sriracha Just Mayo. Even though it's not the healthiest this is one of my favorite meals to be honest!
Caturday Cuddles

Thursday, June 21, 2018

What I Ate on a Wednesday

I started my day with a cup of green tea and lemon water followed by a vegan bulletproof coffee. All in bed since it was my final day off. My first smoothie of the day was this blueberry, mango, spinach, maca powder and banana concoction. Of all the berries I've used blueberries definitely make the murkiest looking smoothies, especially if you add greens. It was tasty though.
As I was cleaning and prepping for dinner I made a second smoothie with frozen strawberries, spinach, half an avocado and a banana.This one isn't really the prettiest either, but it  was really creamy and sweet.

I made tacos for dinner! I used mayacoba beans, and potatoes and tofu baked with lots of nooch and the South African smoke seasoning. I'm addicted to that stuff! I also have green dragon sauce under the lettuce. These were so delicious. I used flour tortillas that I had picked up a few days ago because of an intense quesadilla craving. I got organic uncooked tortillas because they didn't have a bunch of weird ingredients. But because of the lack of weird preservatives I felt I should use the tortillas soon. Usually I try to space my gluten cheats out a little more. I really do prefer flour tortillas over corn so this was a nice treat.
Speaking of gluten free, I have some bad news for any gluten free Trader Joe's shoppers. When I was there on Tuesday, I was looking for their frozen gluten free pizza crusts. I asked an employee and apparently they discontinued them and replaced them with the cauliflower pizza crust!!!! NO!!!!!!
The gluten free pizza crusts were a great value because they were like $3.49 for a package of two. The cauliflower crust is a little more than that for only one, and it's smallish. If you're cooking for several people you would need a few of these crusts. I know cauliflower everything is all the rage, and even I, a lifelong cauliflower hater have embraced cauliflower wings, cauliflower Alfredo sauce and cauliflower gnocchi. I haven't tried the crust but I'm sure it's fine. It's just the point that sometimes I  want a pizza on a crust not made of vegetables. And also as someone on a budget I appreciated the value of those crusts. I blame the keto people. It's like it's 2000 all over again and carbs are the DEVIL!!
I tried this kombucha one day last week an it's worth mentioning. For some reason I was scared to try this flavor, but wherever I picked this up only had the original and lemonade. The unflavored original is the worst, and it has a million and one floaties in it. GT's isn't my first choice when it comes to kombucha.  But I would definitely buy this flavor again. It had a nice lemon flavor, wasn't too vinegar-y and most important no floaties! I had this on a scorcher of a day and it was very refreshing!
Remember the dark days when GT's was the only brand you could find anywhere?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Vegan Trader Joe's

Potatoes, tofu,pickle popcorn,avocado,spinach.lime fruit floes,butter lettuce,lemons,gluten free pasta,frozen blueberries and strawberries,Jasmine rice,South African seasoning blend,olive tapenade,tahini,red and yellow onion,maca powder, complete cookie, bananas
I decided to get my groceries at Trader Joe's this week. I needed maca powder and they have the best price I've ever seen. I also kind of started craving tofu again and I've never had an issue with their tofu. I was only going to buy the high protein because it's vacuum sealed, but I made myself buy one water packed container just to face my fears!
I know I always get the same things pretty much everywhere I go. But these are two new two me items I tried and they are definitely the standouts. The popcorn is almost gone because I couldn't stop snacking on it yesterday! It has an amazing pickle flavor, and isn't super oily or messy. Seriously if you like pickles you need this popcorn in your life! I also decided to try the South African smoke seasoning blend. I used it last night on some potatoes and tofu and it was AHMAZING! The ingredients are paprika flakes, sea salt, garlic and basil. So it isn't spicy but it is very smoky. I took a bath while the potatoes and tofu were baking, and when I came out of the bathroom my apartment smelled so incredible!! I feel like this would be great on grilled veggies and corn on the cob for all you brave grill masters out there!
I also ran into Natural Grocers for some Epsom salts and booch. They have Kevita booch and probiotic drinks on sale for $1.99 so stock up if you live near one! 
This was my delicious and healthy dinner last night. Tofu and potatoes roasted with a little coconut oil and the smoke seasoning, quinoa and butter lettuce all in a bowl drizzled with a lemon sriracha tahini sauce. Yesterday was the anniversary of losing everything in Seattle so it was obviously not an easy day. I requested yesterday and today off because pain and customer service don't mix. The jerks can smell frazzled nerves and will be the worst. Honestly I also thought I was maybe going to drink and I wanted to have today off to nurse the hangover. I'm very proud of myself for getting groceries, and taking a soothing bath and having this healthy dinner instead. I also let myself feel and cry. I'm glad I just woke up sad, not sad and hungover.
My little bird/squirrel watchers! All the girls love to watch, but Kiki and Joan will spend hours running from my bedroom window to the spare room window and so on an so forth. It's pretty hilarious. Not to mention great cardio for them!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Monday

Yesterday morning I took the time to whip up a red lentil and potato curry before work. That way all I had to do was make rice and warm the curry after work. I also packed some up for a coworker. He mentioned the other day that he's never had  curry!! That is not living in my opinion.

This is one of my favorite meals of all time. Not only is it delicious, quick and easy, it's also one of the cheapest meals ever! My coworker loved it too! Vegan food for the win!
Funny story about where I work. I know I've mentioned over and over that the store I work in is very old school. Produce is all the way in the far back corner as if it's something to be ashamed of.  And it's shocking how little produce we actually sell. Some days I wonder why we bother. Since I've started working there we have gotten a few new vegan items and I always love seeing people with gardein in their cart. So the other day I was SHOCKED to see vegan mochi being sold right in the front of the store by the cash registers. With a huge vegan af sticker to boot!!! Here's where it gets hilarious. The next day when I got to work the vegan af stickers were gone. Apparently the president of the company found it to be not family friendly. First of all, I live right next door to an elementary school. I hate to break it to everyone but small children know a lot more than you think. And second of all, the amount of food waste and plastic use in addition to the fact that we DON'T RECYCLE is enough to make me gag. But that's all behind the scenes. Also, the low wages to the point where one cashier I work with who is a single mom is on public assistance because she Doesn't make enough to pay bills and FEED HER FAMILY. I could actually rant on and on but I won't. I fantasize about being a real journalist and writing a scathing expose on what is really going on behind the scenes in grocery world. Regardless of the BLINDING hypocrisy of that decision, I am super happy to see something so proudly vegan being sold front and center at such a standard grocery store. And A LOT of people have been buying them. Woot!
If you look really closely on the tree you can see a little squirrel. It was so cute this morning he or she chatted with the kitties and I for a good five minutes. They had a lot to say. I know my girls love being surrounded by trees!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What I Ate Greens Edition

I started my day off with this beautiful green juice made with pineapple, baby broccoli, fresh turmeric root, and some Romaine hearts. This was good, but I forgot how strong Romaine is. It's weird how it's mild in a salad, but juice it and it turns super grassy.
I also had a strawberry, nectarine, mango and banana smoothie but I drank it all down with no picture. I'm really trying to give my body a lot of nutrients and love so I can get out of this rut I've been in. Although I love my green smoothies, fruit smoothies are such a treat!
I was wanting something different for dinner, and I had some lentils marinating in Korean style BBQ sauce, but I was also kind of wanting sushi or sushi burritos, so thanks to Google I came up with this very inauthentic version of Gimbap, or a Korean sushi roll. I just made a Gimbap burrito with the lentils, some Romaine and green onion. I made a gochujang dipping sauce and this was AMAZING!! It was pretty messy and maybe best for solo meals, but so delicious! It was different flavors and temperatures in each bite, and the sauce was spicy and a little sweet. One of the differences between sushi and gimbap is the rice. Rice vinegar is stirred into sushi rice giving it a slight sweetness, and toasted sesame oil is stirred into the rice for gimbap making it very savory.

This is a total out of order post in terms of food! I almost forgot about this beauty I had for lunch. I toasted an Ezekiel English muffin in the oven and spread some perfectly ripe avocado on top with  salt, pepper and of course nooch. I haven't had avocado toast in so long, is it even still a thing??  This was amazing and worth the gluten cheat!
I also finished these green grapes that have been my work snack. These were excellent grapes from Sprouts. Crisp, tart and a little sweet.
This post makes me feel a little better, I may eat a lot of beige meals but I  also eat a lot of green. It's all a balance right? Sometimes scrolling through Instagram can make you feel really horrible. People always having fresh vibrant beautiful organic meals while I can barely muster the energy to heat up some tater tots!

Friday, June 15, 2018

What I'm Going to Eat

Grillers burgers, spicy chicken burgers,avocado,red mango,pineapple,strawberries,nectarines,coconut milk, bulk rice and red lentils,whole wheat tortillas,citrus booch,green onion,potatoes,baby broccoli,green grapes,bananas,yellow mangoes, lemons,crinkle cut and steak fries,Romaine hearts,
I went to Sprouts on Wednesday and they gave me a ten dollar store coupon for the tofu which was very nice of them. The guy also tried to talk me into some different types of tofu they have to offer, which I politely declined. I told him that I need a break from tofu because THE SLIME!! I didn't have the heart to say when I do decide I can eat tofu again it will be from Trader Joe's!! Or anywhere else really. Even though the tofu incident was pretty gnarly, I still love Sprouts and their produces prices are seriously the best. I got all this gorgeous food for forty nine dollars, and with my coupon thirty nine dollars. The best thing about shopping at Sprouts on a Wednesday is that the sales from the previous week are still going plus the new sales so it's a bargain shoppers dream!!
I've been having issues with spinach freshness from Trader Joe's and also Sprouts. So I'm going to make green juice with the baby broccoli which is organic and was only ninety eight cents a pound!! So I'll have green juice and then fruity smoothies. I've been really depressed and feeling like poo so I'm trying to flood my body with nutrients. Especially because I tend to eat a lot of beige dinners on my work nights.
I wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions on getting rid of the stench in my fridge. I scrubbed it two times with my cleaner from Brandless, then I cleaned it with vinegar and I have a bowl of baking soda sitting on the bottom shelf where it happened. The smell is about ninety five percent gone. I just put the baking soda in last night so hopefully by tomorrow my fridge will smell normal.
Found this flavor of lip balm. I'm a huge fan of this bran, I've tried three different flavors and loved them all, and they're under two dollars which is pretty great.
As I was taking a picture of my lip balm I saw Roxy just sitting like this! She's bird watching but in the funniest position!! She looks drunk!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Good and Evil

I finally found the new GT's summer edition kombucha! It's cherry, coconut and lemongrass and it is AHMAZING! I think it's my favorite of all their summer editions. And how beautiful is the bottle? The coconut seems to smooth out a lot of the vinegar-y flavor and it's just really fruity and mellow. Sometimes GT's can have a little too much bite but not this one!
So two weeks ago I got some tofu at Sprouts and about two days after buying it the package poofed up like this. No big deal, flukes happen, I exchange it for a different package. Well, yesterday I had two packages in my fridge, one had poofed up like this, and the other had not. So I took the package that hadn't poofed up, opened it to press it and it was smelly and slimier than I ever knew tofu could be. Also as soon as I touched it it totally crumbled. I'm gagging thinking about it, slimy is the worst! I'm getting groceries today so I planned on taking in the poofed up package. Well this morning when I woke up and opened my fridge the absolute WORST smell of super stinky Parmesan cheese assaulted me, and I saw that the tofu had exploded in my fridge overnight and the tofu/Parmesan water was EVERYWHERE!! Everyone is milling around my feet for breakfast, and here I am scrubbing my fridge at 7 am!! I'm obviously never buying Sprouts tofu again, and believe it or not I think I'm taking a break from tofu. The slimy crumbly block really got to me. Any suggestions for stench killers for the fridge? Although I scrubbed it down, it still reeks. Like I'm about to beg my landlord for a new fridge!! I know baking soda is helpful, but I feel like I might need something stronger! I don't want to put my nice groceries in this stink bomb today! Everyone I've spoken to at the store has been super nice and all of that, but seriously there seems to be an issue with their tofu distributor!
I couldn't have my planned sushi burritos last night so I made some mashed red potatoes with vegan gravy and I also made some 'chicken" style soy curls. I just coated them with nooch, garlic and onion powder and a poultry season blend and baked them in an oven dish while the potatoes cooked. Perfect comfort meal when I really needed it. A little hug in a bowl!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Some New Treats

A million and one people buy these popsicles where I work. Apparently they are made by a diner somewhere near SLC, and people love the diner and the popsicles. I don't much care for diner food, but I do love my popsicles so I just had to try them. The package I chose has lime, peach, cherry and grape. They have three different packages each with four different flavors. I tried the peach last night and it was pretty tasty. I feel so local and in the know!
I finally tried these vegan cheddar cassava root chips. They are so great. Really crispy. To me they're kind of a cross between a chip and a cracker texture wise. They have a great cheddar flavor. I will definitely splurge on these again!!!
I am totally in love with Sprouts vegan spicy "chicken" burgers. They're not breaded like Boca patties, they're kind of just like a super light burger. They almost have hints of a sausage flavor too. They're just really tasty and gluten free too. And they don't have a lot of funky ingredients either. I believe they have three or four Sprouts brand veggie patties, and I believe they are all vegan and gluten free. I plan on trying them all.
Last week I chose the Southwest black bean burger. These have whole black beans, corn and red bell pepper. They have a great smoky taste. I would say they're definitely smoky and not spicy at all. The texture reminds me of a Boca griller. Not quite super meaty, but not quite super mushy and vegetable-y either. These would be great on a bun with avocado and a slice of fresh summer tomato. All of Sprouts burgers are $2.99 for a box of four burgers which is a GREAT price!
Every time I bring groceries home in this bag and set it on the floor the girls go nuts. I don't know what it is about this bag in particular, but they love it!  Well, last night when I was walking home from work, the strap completely broke free so it is now the new hiding spot. I think Afro speaks for a lot of us especially on a Monday!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Shiny New Things

Friday I had to go shopping for two new things, one a pair of shorts or a cute denim skirt and also a new shower curtain. Afro and Joan had my old one hanging on for dear life. They chew on the sides, Afro on one end Joan on the other. They move towards each other like little beavers. As a result my old shower curtain was almost sawed in half. I lucked out and found a cute skirt for forty percent off, and the shower curtain I found at Bed Bath and Beyond was also marked down to nine dollars. Because I was able to get what I needed and stay way under budget I allowed myself to bop into Natural Grocers and get a couple of treats.
This is the shower curtain I chose.  I usually choose flowers or animals for shower curtains. But since I am fighting a losing battle with a rut I decided to go for something different. This shower curtain will be ruined in about four or five months anyway. But I actually love it!
Here is my skirt and these super cheap canvas shoes from Old Navy. I am one of those people who wears my stuff into the ground before I buy new and my old Vans are in horrible shape. Again the pink tennies are a little different but I felt like I needed to go different. These are just for work anyway. On my off days I am all about sandals and flip flops! I got these two things plus a basic black tee for thirty nine dollars. I've always appreciated Old Navy because you can find such great prices and their clothes last for awhile. I refuse to buy clothes from a lot of bargain places because it's not really a deal if the clothes fall apart after two wears.
I really love the Earth Balance cheese-y crackers, but I've been trying to avoid palm oil so pretty much everything Earth Balance is out of my life. As soon as I saw these I knew I had to try them. Maybe they will fill that void in my life. And the great news is that Sara says they're delicious!
The nuts and coffee drink was on clearance as you can see, and the Kite Hill yogurt was on sale. I really try and avoid single yogurt containers but I couldn't resist the lure of key lime and a sale. I'm a bad less waste person. I had both of these at work yesterday. The yogurt was AMAZING. Creamy and smooth with a great key lime flavor. The drink was just okay. I definitely would not buy it again, especially at full price. It has oat milk in it and I just am not a fan. I've had homemade and store bought oat milk and like rice milk it needs to stay out of my life. So, I don't really fault Forager project, I fault my dislike of oat milk.
The last treat I got were these Hodo Soy Thai curry tofu nuggets. I've only had these one other time, and if I could afford it I would only eat this tofu. Hodo Soy knows tofu. It has the best chewy texture ever. I just can't believe it's tofu! They must have a whole process of freezing and refreezing and pressing and who knows what else. I had my tofu nuggets with some quick cold sesame noodles. This was a cool refreshing dinner after being out in the scorching heat.
Lounging under the paper fort. I took the packing paper and draped it over my coffee table so it's like a fort. It's been a very popular hangout. Does anyone lounge better than Keeks?