Thursday, December 14, 2017

Just Another Vegan Haul

I made my weekly trek to Trader Joe's and Natural Grocers the other day and forgot to show my haul.Natural Grocers had a few new items which is always exciting!
They have the tofurky ham! I haven't seen this anywhere near me, even Whole Foods! Way to go Natural Grocers! I didn't buy it because I was watching my budget, and also gluten. But I am seriously considering a cheat day because I really want to try it. I love the original tofurky roast. Whether I try it or not I'm super happy to see it becoming more available.
The other exciting new thing I saw at Natural Grocers was Butler Soy Curls! These I did buy. I've only seen these at the vegan grocery store in Seattle and online. I'm super excited to use these again. I tried them once and I remember that I really liked them. I finally have today and tomorrow off so I will be experimenting with soy curls for sure!
potatoes,lemons,bananas,red lentils,sweet onion,tofu,coconut creamer,veggie gyoza,frozen strawberries,slivered raw almonds,sriracha sauce,peanut butter,tofu, coconut milk
I couldn't resist the gyoza even though they have gluten. I haven't had a potsticker since going gluten free and I just had to get them. Honestly this is one of my more basic hauls. I didn't even bother to make a list because it's so hectic at Trader Joe's I just go in and hope for the best. I have my staples like lemon and spinach that I just automatically grab, and wing the rest.
I also found this gochujang sauce on a woohoo sale at Smiths! Such a score. Lately when I have miso soup I add a little gochujang to the broth before mixing in the miso. It makes it a little spicy and really tasty.
And here is Joan and her newest obsession. She loves to stare at her reflection, and then go to town scratching at herself. It's pretty hilarious. She does the same thing in the bathroom mirror. No mater how often I clean the mirror, there are always little paw prints all over it!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Puppy Update and Hummus Pasta

Puppy update! All is well with the lost puppy. She is eating and adjusting. She has touched noses and been sniffed by Etta, Afro, and Kanye. Joan and Roxy are still pissed and not wanting to be friends. I've been checking lost and found pet websites and also walking to work and taking different streets looking for flyers. So far nothing. She has certain very submissive traits which makes me wonder about her humans and if I should even try to find them. I just want the best for her.
Those ears!
She is very, very sweet and loving. She just wants all the love. And she gives really great kisses and hugs.
A lot of this has been going on. As you can see Etta is totally relaxed with the whole situation. Roxy and Joan are under the table having a stare off with her!
This is the situation with Joan. Lots of stare offs and Joan swatted at her this morning. Unfortunately for me Joan was on my lap and got me instead. Joan and Roxy are definitely not interested in making new friends!
My food has been pretty boring and sadly not very colorful. I'm in the middle of a six day stretch before a day off so I expect to have boring food for a few more days. Last night I noticed the roasted garlic lantana hummus had a two dollar off ticker, so even though I am trying to buy less packaged stuff I bought it. Bad me. It's a flavor I haven't tried and hummus pasta sounded so good!
Although it's very beige, it's also very, very tasty. Although I definitely wouldn't eat this on a date, it might be one of my favorite flavors of their hummus. This is the fifth flavor of lantana hummus I've tried, and they are all AHMAZING! But I mean this roasted garlic is out of this world. They are extremely generous with the garlic. Like I said, definitely not date food, but oh so good!
Happy Monday!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Goodies

I've been experimenting with different gluten free brownie mixes for awhile now. Back in October I read about using coconut milk as an egg and oil replacer in boxed cake and brownie mixes. It works really, really well. Gluten Free Heaven is actually a somewhat local company. They are located in Pleasant Grove Utah, which is about thirty miles away from SLC. They have several cupcake and cake mixes plus this brownie mix. I like that they use minimal packaging. Always a big plus!
Unlike other mixes I've used these got the crinkly top like a good brownie should have. I would never guess these are gluten free. I think the coconut milk is super helpful with gluten free baked goods. I think the extra fattiness battles the dryness and totally wins! So far when it comes to baking I've tried both bananas and apple sauce as oil replacers, and now coconut milk and coconut milk wins hands down. And I don't know how available this mix is outside of Utah, but here is their website if you'd like to check them out. I will definitely be trying out more mixes!
This looks like a mess but it was a delicious mess. I really should have written down the recipe because it was amazing! I made a super easy tomatillo sauce by just blending some tomatillo with half a jalapeno, a clove of garlic and a little water. And salt and pepper of course. Then I made an almond cream sauce and layered corn tortillas with cilantro lime rice, white beans, both sauces and a little vegan cheese. I topped it with green onions and green dragon sauce. So, so good. Enchilada casserole is definitely one of my favorites. And I always forget how much I love tomatillo sauce!
Here is a live action shot of Kanye and Afro lazily play fighting with each other. Right after this picture was taken Brutus kind of came out and Kanye fled the scene!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Random Thursday

Oranges,bananas,baby kale,coconut cream,Jasmine tea,lemons,coconut creamer,ginger,garbanzo beans,vegan protein burgers,lentils,coconut yogurt,garlic,green onions, frozen strawberries,frozen blueberries,tater tots,tofu,kiwi,avocado,Chai tea
This is my haul from Tuesday. I made it to Trader Joe's and it was a tolerable insane. I still tried to get in and out as soon as possible!
I decided to try their coconut yogurt. Taste wise it was delicious. Really fresh, strong blueberry flavor. But I hated the texture. It had a super weird, clumpy and thick texture that wouldn't smooth out no matter how much I stirred. I definitely will not buy this again.
So, the puppy is doing fine. She's eating and seems very happy. She loves going on walks and sniffing all the smells. I've asked people who live in the neighborhood to let me know if they know of anyone who lost a dog. She and Etta touched noses through a crack in the door yesterday and Etta didn't swipe and she didn't bark. Small steps. I know that Etta will be the first one to make friends. She has a very warm, sweet spirit and is definitely the lover of the crew.
Last night I was so tired after work all I could muster was some tots. I couldn't even make a dipping sauce! Even with no sauce these still hit the spot! y
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Dog Walked In A Grocery Store

So here I am last night at work,having another typical Tuesday night. Then all of a sudden in the door wanders two lost dogs. One ran towards the back of the store, the other unfortunately ran back outside before we could get him. I finally wrangled this little girl and we got a makeshift leash on her so she wouldn't run away. We also gave her some food when in a which she scarfed up like she hadn't eaten in a week. No one knew what to do, and since the store I work in is smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood, I was asking people if she looked familiar. As it was getting close to the end of the night, one of the managers was asking if we were going to call animal control. That's when I made the decision she would come home with me. She was so scared, I was not going to make her get taken away in some truck and out in a cage with other scared animals. I mean, I have an extra room and a heart so of course it's the right choice? Although my cats STRONGLY disagree. I have five angry felines on my hands but They have to accept that this is who their mom is. I'm going to call animal control and see if their human is looking for her. She doesn't have tags, but she could be chipped so that is an option too. I haven't thought what my long term plan is if I don't locate her human. I just knew she wasn't going to the freaking pound. So wish me luck as I go on this new adventure!
After getting everyone settled in and fed last night I needed something simple myself. So I made some yellow rice and had it with a black bean and corn salad, half an avocado, and lots of green dragon sauce. This was eaten at around one thirty in the morning!!!
Here is Joan, the queen of multi-tasking. She is playing and squirrel watching all at the same time! Such a talented girl!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

You Say Potato, I Say Delicious

Hibiscus tea, cashewgurts,Almond Dream ice cream,big booch,small La Croix, Lundburg pilaf and yellow rice(clearance woot) cherry fruit bar
Here is my haul from Natural Grocers on Sunday. Notice there is no Trader Joe's haul. Usually I hit both places on the same day but I walked in and out of Trader Joe's without buying anything. I don't think I've ever shopped at Trader Joe's on a Sunday, and now I understand why. It was like all of SLC was crammed into Trader Joe's. Anyway I need groceries and I don't want to buy them at work, so I'm going to attempt Trader Joe's again today. I know it will still be crazy, but hopefully less so on a Tuesday. Back to my little haul here, if you live near a Natural Grocers they have Forager project cashewgurt on sale!! Also the Almond Dream ice cream is on sale for under three dollars a pint! It feels so retro to have a Dream ice cream in my freezer!
Yesterday for breakfast/lunch I roasted some potato chunks seasoned with nooch, garlic powder and smoked paprika. I put them in the bottom of my bowl and topped them with salsa, avocado and of course green dragon sauce. Potato taco bowls should definitely be a thing, this was really delicious.
I still have some Russet potatoes from my ten pound bag I had gotten on sale, and I also found red skinned potatoes on sale for $.49 a pound so of course I had to get a few pounds. So my apartment is flush with potatoes which made the decision to have an all potato day even easier. I made lemon garlic Rosemary potatoes for dinner. I just slow roasted red skinned potatoes in a casserole dish with some veggie stock, lots of garlic, lemon juice and fresh Rosemary. I let these roast while I took a super hot Epsom/ginger bath. Epsom for my poor hurt back and ginger to help detox and keep me from catching all the sicks from coworkers and customers and just people in general. When I was done with my bath my apartment smelled like I was in garlic Heaven!
I don't really use veg stock or broth very often because those cartons stress me out. Rarely do you use a whole carton, and then I feel this pressure to hurry up and find a use for the rest of the stock. But I found a carton of organic salt free veg stock on sale for $.75 a carton because the box was a little damaged and I couldn't resist the sale. So these potatoes look super dark because the stock has tomatoes in it and is pretty dark. Plus the horrible lighting doesn't help. But these were so so good! I really like the flavor and texture you get from roasting potatoes in stock for a long time. They really soak up the broth and are just so succulent.
Yesterday Joan was cuddling on my lap, and when I went to get a little picture of her feet, she popped her nose into the picture! Nose and Toes!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

One of Those Days

One of the guys in the grocery department had coupons for free boxes of these goodpop treats. He asked me if I liked "crap like this" (Lol) and of course I said YES!! They have mango, watermelon, and these orange n cream bars. Vegan dreamsicles????  You guys these are so so good! And the ingredients are super simple. Coconut cream, orange juice, cane sugar and vanilla. Also guar gum which is a thickener. I never thought I would have a dreamsickle again! The vanilla ice cream inside is creamy and super vanilla-y and the orange popsicle is nice and orange-y and doesn't fall apart when you bite it. I will definitely buy these after trying them. What a time to be vegan!
This was my dinner last night. Baked tofu, avocado and rice with a super quick peanut sauce. I love this meal. Everything just goes so well together! It could have used a little more green, even if it were just cilantro or green onion, but I am out of both things. Otherwise this is a perfect meal. And it's super easy and cheap. I needed easy last night. I really had a hard day. I just had one of those days where it was really hard to blow off people's rudeness. Like a day where you want to put on your coat, walk out the door dramatically throw your middle finger in the air and walk away. The urge was strong but I resisted and just took all the rudeness. Luckily for coming home and having a hot Epsom salt bath, this meal and the last two episodes ever of The Mindy Project made me feel human again. And of course a dreamsicle for dessert!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Super Simple Green Chili Almond Cheese Sauce

I had the day off yesterday and needless to say the day flew by and I can't believe it's back to work today. I had a pretty mellow day of cleaning, cooking and resting. Along with some yoga for back pain. The back is still pretty ache-y.
I had some potato wedges seasoned with this onion grill seasoning blend that is vegan even though the jar says it's for steaks. Gross. I dipped my wedges in carrot sriracha hummus from Lantana. It's so good you guys. I also had a green smoothie before the fries but forgot to take a picture. I haven't been sleeping well and was in a bit of a fog. But I am still getting in my greens!
Since I still have some of the So Delicious shreds in my freezer I wanted to make mac and cheese. I decided to make an almond cheese sauce for a change from my usual coconut milk sauce. I soaked some raw slivered almonds during the day while I cleaned. I ended up making a green chili mac and cheese and it turned out AMAZING! It was so simple I feel silly posting the recipe but it was so good!!
UUUGH Such a terrible picture! I made this after dark and I just have the worst lighting! Anyway it was so creamy and mildly spicy I really loved it. And raw slivered almonds are a lot cheaper than cashews!

                                                             Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese
  • 3/4 C. Raw Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C. Water
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 5 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 4 oz. Can of diced green chilis
  • Optional 1/2 Cup Vegan Shreds
  • 8 to 10 Ounces pasta of choice
Soak your almonds for at least two hours. Drain them and add them to your blender with the salt, pepper, turmeric and nutritional yeast. Add 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth and creamy. You might need to add more water. I used a little more than 1/2 cup, but not quite 3/4.
Once your cheese sauce is nice and creamy transfer it to a bowl and stir in the green chilis.  Start cooking your pasta, and while it's boiling take out 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Once the pasta is cooked drain, and turn the heat on med. low. Add the cheese sauce and stir, along with the reserved pasta water. Don't worry, it might look watery but it will come together. You need that extra liquid. Once it's come together and is simmering, add the vegan shreds if using. Turn off the heat, stir, cover and let sit for about five minutes so the cheese melts and becomes one with the sauce. If you have green dragon sauce I recommend using a heavy hand when drizzling.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Last Day of November

Yesterday I was looking for a winter coat which I didn't find. Actually I bought a really cute faux leather coat at Old Navy but ended up returning it. It was a bit more fashion than function, and unfortunately I don't have the budget to have two coats. Since I walk and take the bus I need a fully functional winter coat. Le Sigh. Anyway, I did pop into Whole Foods for another Califia Farms peppermint mocha.  I also saw a few new to me vegan items.
This sounds really good. But the price tag wasn't so good. It's over seven dollars a bottle! It's made with cashews, and has "superfoods" so I get it but at the same time I will never get it because I can't justify that price. But regardless of my limited budget and grumblings it's always nice to see more vegan options!
Remember back in the day when it was only soy nog? I never really minded because I like soy nog but it's just crazy that now there are so many choices. Although be warned, I just got a comment last night on a different post warning me that the malk is a huge disappointment. Weird, watery, sugary were mentioned so drink/buy at your own risk! Thanks Unknown(Trockwood) I agree with you, the price was already a turn off.
I also stopped at a different Natural Grocers and they had the Kite Hill ravioli. I totally forgot they made ravioli because I've never seen them anywhere! They were also super expensive as Kite Hill tends to be and also gluten but I might treat myself to a budget and gluten cheat day. Ravioli is a serious fave of mine.
I had a late night sushi bowl after work last night. For awhile I was getting in a habit of eating more processed food at night, so I'm trying to stick to meals like this that are pretty much as simple as a frozen meal. I feel better and it really is worth the extra few minutes. I like these sea tangle snacks I get at Whole Foods. They have the perfect amount of "fishiness" and I love that they say right on the front vegan Korean Nori.
Yesterday I was on my break at work and realized we had no spoons in the break room. I didn't want to have to run downstairs to the deli so I tried a fork. The cashewgurt is so thick it was no problem!
And one of my coworkers who has sampled some vegan goodies has now gone a full week of no meat!! He hasn't fully committed but a week is a week!
Creepy Afro! They've decided that the new it spot is behind my bedroom door. I guess it feels cozy and private, but they can still keep an eye on things.
I can't believe tomorrow is December 1st.!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Eating Plants

I know I showed these in yesterday's haul, but they deserve their own picture. Trader Joe's now sells dried split green peas! These join black beans, and red and green lentils in their little dried bean selection and I couldn't be happier! Trader Joe's has really been killing it lately!

Yesterday I made some smoky potato and split pea soup. I used smoked paprika and a little liquid smoke. There is no need for a ham bone or bacon or anything else gross!
I also have a tofu update. So yesterday I took my tofu taco mixture to my tofu hating coworker, and it was a SUCCESS!! She, her brother and one of her daughters loved it!! She said she was eating it cold before she even heated it up! I couldn't be happier! She called me a tofu magician! I feel great because now she and her family will be more open to meatless meals in the future! The vegan takeover continues!!!!
After work last night the girls made it hard to get in my warm comfy clothes! I didn't have the heart to move them so  I just found other things to throw on. Kanye's favorite place to sleep is in between Etta and Afro!