Saturday, March 17, 2018

Not So Freaky Friday

I thought this was pretty funny. I got a flyer inviting me to the open house of the Scientology center here in SLC. Apparently they have a new center. I'm surprised there would be a Scientology center here in SLC. I'm just so used to everything being Mormon. I've always wondered if Scientology is as weird and creepy as everyone says. I've experienced a few religions in my day and they've all had some creepy people and habits or rituals.
After wondering about Scientology in Utah, and in general I made myself a greenish juice. I just use ginger, carrot, oranges and spinach. The picture is a little blurry, I was having a bit of the Monday blues since Friday is my Monday.
I made some kitchari for lunch. One of the many things I love about kitchari for breakfast/lunch is that I can let it simmer while I'm working out/doing yoga. Then it's ready when I'm done. Since my body refuses to adapt to my late night schedule and I'm kind of slow and sluggish multi tasking is a real plus!
For dinner I had this very sloppily thrown together sushi bowl. My avocado had a few brown spots so it wasn't the perfect avocado, but it still tasted delicious. I felt pretty spotty last night myself. I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari. I eat a lot of dishes that use soy sauce or tamari and that can be a lot of extra sodium so I decided to get in the habit of using coconut aminos since it is so much lower in sodium. Sometimes when I have sushi bowls my eyes are a little puffy in the morning from the sodium. I did notice this morning that I have no puffiness. It's funny how sometimes tiny little swap outs make a huge difference!
This made me do a double take this morning! At first I thought it was Etta and Kanye, and when I realized it was Joan I had to get a picture! Etta is always open to cuddling but Joan is more of a loner. She will sometimes begrudgingly accept cuddles, but never seeks them out.
Happy Caturday!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Look at Me Eating Local

I've used Gluten Free Heaven brownie mix a few times and really enjoyed it. And I always feel like I get a few extra hipster points for eating local. The company is in a town called Pleasant Grove Utah which is under an hour away from SLC. I've only seen it at the store I work at though. Anyway they know their gluten free stuff!
I made a pizza with Carolina BBQ sauce as the base, with white beans, vegan shreds, red onion and sliced baby sweet peppers. I made some coleslaw on the side because coleslaw and BBQ right?
The mix is super easy to make and work with. It comes with a yeast packet which you mix with some warm plant milk. You then just add the wet to the dry, and knead for a few minutes, let the dough rise for thirty and then roll it out on your pan. The dough is a little sticky even after resting/rising but because there is no gluten it's much easier to clean. Taste wise I would say it's pretty dang similar to Bob's Red Mill. The crust holds up well, even to a lot of toppings which I always pile on more than I should.
Yesterday was a cool, rainy day so that of course meant lots of snuggling. Afro's favorite ottoman is her sister Etta!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wenesday in Reverse

I had just a few very small potatoes that weren't enough to make a meal, and a little carrot that was withering away in my fridge so of course that meant I had to make potato queso! I also had a few flour tortillas from last week's quesadillas that needed to be used. Since they were raw I wasn't sure if I could freeze them. I've always preferred flour over corn tortillas so this was a real treat!
I added a small amount of vegan shreds, along with cilantro rice and black beans, rolled them up and smothered them in the queso, covered the pan in foil and baked for about twenty minutes. Since everything was cooked I just wanted to heat everything up and melt the shreds.
Here's my plate with a little extra queso. This was soooo good!! I cannot recommend potato queso enough. It has the smooth texture of those cheese sauces you pump out at Seven-11 or some place like that. It's probably smoother than a lot of cheese sauces I've made with nuts or vegan cheese.  The green dollops are tomatillo salsa. This was a real use what you have dinner, but it was one of the best things I've made in awhile. Funny how use what you have meals usually turn out amazing.
I've been snacking on this popcorn. It's insanely delicious. It's mild, not spicy and just has a great curry flavor. Yikes I see so much cat hair on the corner of my couch in the background. I haven't figured out how to use the attachment on my vacuum. I need to get on that!

I also had this beautiful green smoothie yesterday while I cleaned. It has frozen mango, maca powder, flaxmeal, banana and spinach. I know it's only psychological but I feel like my smoothie is healthier when it's this green. And it looks like a spring drink!
I realized I pretty much showed what I ate yesterday but in reverse. I guess it's kind of a backwards day for me because I woke up and it was very lightly snowing and I almost gagged! Luckily the snow was very wet an didn't really stick, and now it's turned to rain but it really threw me. I feel funky and weird today. Luckily for me and probably the public at large I'm off so I can hopefully shake it off. I was just wearing flip flops two days ago!!
Can you see little Kanye peeking out from in between Afro and Etta? She is in heaven, she's on the sweater and in between her favorite bellies!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hauls and Stuff

Tangerines,lime fruit floes,spinach,carrots,frozen fries and hash browns,lemons, frozen mango,tofu,red onion, avocado,Jasmine rice,bananas,coconut milk,lemons,baby sweet peppers,coconut aminos,brown rice pasta,green chilis,Jasmine tea, coconut water
I wasn't very inspired when I went to Trader Joe's. I tried but once again the crowds got to me. I do have a few fun things I'm going to cook but other than that I definitely stuck to the usual suspects. 
I've been looking for the return of the chicken-less Mandarin orange morsels and the day has finally come! I'm curious if anyone has tried the new formula yet?
Yesterday was warm enough to wear flip flops! I had the time of my life till I had to go to work and lock my feet up in their prisons. When I was looking through old pictures the other day, I came across a picture from last year on the first day I could wear flip flops. It was march 14, 2017. Yesterday was March 13 so one day sooner!
This is Joan every time I take a shower. She loves to watch the water drip down the curtain. She sits on the toilet while I shower patiently waiting for me to get out. She doesn't even care that the tub is wet!
Etta and Afro both love my new reusable bag. Etta has made herself comfy and I still have a few things in the bag!!! But just look at that face!!
As I'm sure everyone knows today the National School Walkout and my coworker who recently went vegan and is in high school participated. I am so proud of all of these kids. I feel pretty cynical about much changing because my whole life I've been told to be patient, things will change/get better and I'm still waiting. But something feels different about this movement. It isn't losing steam, we aren't losing interest and moving on to the next thing. I truly think this generation will create some change.
I also just read that Donatella Versace has decided to go fur free! Gucci and Armani have already gone fur free, so that's pretty big. I am so not into fashion and even I know those are three big names in fashion!
I'll leave you with this sweet picture of Etta an Roxy having the best nap ever. These two rarely cudle so this was another rare and sweet moment. I'm so thankful for my girls.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Food Rut

I made a soyaki marinade for some tofu yesterday before work and let the tofu bathe in the marinade all night. I swear dreaming about this tofu got me through the rough last couple of hours of my shift. It makes such an easy meal when you get home. I just bake it in the same dish it was marinating in while I make rice. Dinner in twenty minutes, yes please! Marinating and baking the tofu gives it that really great texture like the packaged baked tofu from Wildwood, soyboy and whoever else. I love them all but I rarely buy them because they are always like double or triple the cost of plain tofu. It takes two seconds to whip up a marinade, an you just let the tofu soak up the flavor while you're at work. Then it's just a matter of popping it in the oven for fifteen or twenty minutes. Easy peasy and loads cheaper.You can also slice it into thin long strips and it makes great sandwiches!
I've fallen into a bit of a food rut, maybe just a rut in general but food wise I'll be doing my usual weekly shopping tomorrow and hopefully I'll come up with some new things to make. Spring is here so hopefully I'll be inspired by something. It's been beautiful here the last few days so I've been walking to work and trying to soak up the vitamin D and good vibes. You've got to get the good energy wherever and whenever you can!
This is why Kanye loves snuggling on Etta's belly so much. All that cushion and floof how can anyone resist?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Comfort Eats

I wanted to make a tofu scramble yesterday, but I also wanted to do yoga and I didn't have time to do both before work. So I made kind of a baked tofu scramble! That way I could do yoga while my tofu and potatoes baked. I seasoned the potatoes and tofu cubes with turmeric, smoked paprika, onion powder, nooch and salt and pepper. I topped the bowl with avocado and green dragon sauce. Delicious!
We still had some nut pods on the clearance shelves so I bought another pod to make mac and cheese. I just mixed the pods with some tapioca starch for thickening, and of course nooch, salt and pepper and garlic powder. I stirred it into some cooked brown rice pasta and let it bubble and thicken. Then I turned off the heat, added a handful of vegan shreds and covered the pot for a few minutes.
It turned out great! The nut pods are creamy and have a neutral taste which makes them great for cooking!
I was so surprised to see this happening yesterday. Joan and Roxy rarely cuddle with each other. As a matter of fact they both have favorite spots on my bed and they are pretty much on opposite sides.
I saw some very exciting news on the gram yesterday. Apparently Field Roast has now launched three new Chao dips and dressings. Here is a little piece about them. I'm most excited about the peppercorn ranch! Also big points for the wide mouthed jars!!
Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Clearance Shelves

Last night at work I walked by our clearance shelves and saw this green mint tea and these nut pods vegan creamer. The nut pods must have come in a shipment accidentally because I know we don't sell them. I've seen them at Natural Grocers but they're pricey so I've never tried them.
Yes, that's right one dollar for the nut pods!! And I needed more green tea since I forgot tea at Trader Joe's last week. I asked people on the Gram if they've tried nut pods and a few people said they liked it. I might pick up another carton if we have more to cook with since it's unsweetened. It's made with coconut cream and almonds so that could make some creamy sauces!!!
I made some potato wedges for lunch yesterday. I seasoned the wedges with salt, pepper, curry powder and smoked paprika. I dipped them in a ketchup/sriracha just mayo combo.
Quick sushi bowl for dinner. I forgot to have my little seaweed wraps with this. I was so tired and disgusted when I got home it was a struggle to make this super easy meal. I'm glad I made it though, it did make me feel a little better.
They're making the cashiers take this ridiculous test about what department things are in, and also wanting us to memorize the produce codes. There are like five million codes, it's never going to happen. As I've mentioned the grocery I work at is more of a junky store, so sometimes I go days ringing up junk food only, no joke. I'm just really struggling because some of the things that are said and expected are completely ridiculous that it's so hard to not roll my eyes, laugh and walk out. We have kind of a script that we're supposed to say and they actually send secret shoppers in to check on us!! I'm getting dinged as soon as I get secret shopped because I am not a robot and I don't follow the script. So, needless to say I've been casually looking for another job, now I will be aggressively looking.
Joan totally posed for this picture! They're all very excited because yesterday I washed our sheets and duvet cover so the bed is extra nice. She doesn't show her belly often, but it sure is nice when she does!

Friday, March 9, 2018

What I Ate Plus Cats!

I started my day yesterday with this green juice. It had baby kale, orange, carrot and ginger. Really tasty.
This is the Sumo tangerine I've been using. They usually have a bump on top but this one of course doesn't. They're a little bigger an bumpier than a regular tangerine. They're seedless and very sweet. My juice had a lot of baby kale and only one orange and it was still very sweet.
I had this creamy smoothie a little later. This had baby kale, half an avocado, frozen mango, banana and maca powder. This was so smooth and creamy from the mango and avocado.
I don't often buy things at work, but this cashew butter was on a super clearance sale because it's near the expiration date. I know that I don't like almond butter at all, but I've never had cashew butter because it is expensive! Unfortunately for me I love cashew butter! This is probably the only time I'll ever have it because it is freaking expensive, even at Trader Joe's! I wanted to make something with it, so I decided to make cold sesame noodles using cashew butter instead of peanut butter or tahini.
I used brown rice spaghetti for the noodles, and I threw in some frozen edamame during the last few minutes of cooking. For other veggies I used shredded cabbage and carrot. I also baked some tofu and added that to the mix. For the cashew sauce I just used cashew butter, tamari, hoisin, sriracha, crushed red pepper and a little sesame oil. I thinned it out with a little of the pasta water. These were so delicious!! I remember getting cold sesame noodles at a few different take out places and always being kind of disappointed, These were much better!
It's fuzzy because I had to get the picture before Kanye stopped, but here she is red pawed tearing up my couch! Afro has definitely done the most damage, but they all tear it up!
And here's Joan who is less than thrilled with this picture. She was in one of her favorite hiding spots in the corner of the couch under the blanket. Sorry to bug Joan!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some Delicious Vegan Food

Although the Forager Project cashewgurt is my favorite vegan yogurt, I've always loved Silk brand too. It's creamy and the flavors are pretty tasty. I saw vanilla the other day when I got groceries and got one to try at work. I really loved it. It had specks of vanilla bean and you can tell the vanilla flavor is real, not made in a test tube. What I like about Silk is that it is usually less expensive than other yogurts and can be found in most grocery stores. The vanilla would be great with some berries and granola if you're into that kind of thing.
Yesterday's smoothie featuring baby kale, frozen strawberries and mango, banana an maca powder. I forgot how creamy frozen mango is in a smoothie.
I've had one of those weeks and also it is that time when I really need chocolate so I mixed these two things together and made brownies! When you sub a can of coconut milk with boxed cake or brownie mix you don't even need to use an egg replacer!
They came out great! They have that crackle-y top with a fudge-y middle. Very choclate-y and no weird gluten free taste or texture.
I have been seriously craving burritos and quesadillas on soft flour tortillas for awhile now. I've tried gluten free tortillas and in all honesty they frustrate me. I don't even want to attempt to make a burrito with a gluten free tortilla. So I cheated and bought these tortillas that are made with wheat flour but don't have a gazillion ingredients that scare me. I made some quesadillas last night and will freeze the rest for the next time I get a craving that won't go away. I forgot how amazing and wonderful and delicious and pliable gluten is!!!
Yum. I stuffed my quesadillas homemade refried beans, thinly sliced potatoes that I had baked with smoked paprika and garlic, and vegan shreds. I already want more! Served with a side salad and some tomatillo salsa for dipping.
Afro and Etta cuddling and being cute. Notice Afro is not shy about showing her belly. She knows no one can resist it!!
In case anyone was wondering, I changed the belt on my vacuum all by myself! I know it sounds silly but that is a super big deal for me! I only recently learned what a Philips head screwdriver looks like!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Vegan Hauls and Stuff

Potatoes,coconut water, coconut milk,lemons,garlic,onions,tofu, frozen mango,sriracha,baby kale,vegan shreds,bananas,carrots,cabbage,edamame,cold brew coffee, brown rice spaghetti
This is my little haul from Trader Joe's yesterday. Pretty much the usual except in exciting news I decided to get frozen mango instead of strawberries for my smoothies! And I also decided to try baby kale for my greens.
I got this reusable bag and a few goodies for one of my coworker's birthday. Everything is vegan except for the cookie baton things which are filled with milk chocolate. She loves fruit leather or fruit roll ups so I got her a bunch of their fruit strips and the strawberry cereal bars and also the accidentally vegan caramel corn. She loved it and really loved the bag. I told her Trader Joe's makes the best reusable bags. Very sturdy and last a very long time. She even said that since it's so bright and nice it will encourage her to bring it and use it!! Less waste for the win!
I  saw these Lightlife white bean and kale slices. I've heard these are excellent.  They were right above the tofu, next to the tofurkey and other veggie meats.
One of my coworkers pointed out the I can't believe it's not Butter! vegan version at our store last night. The really great thing is that the store I work at is not super vegan friendly, but there is obviously a demand. We sell out of a lot of the gardein products we offer regularly. An almost every day people ask for vegan cheese which for some insane reason we don't carry. Anyway the demand is growing for vegan products and that always makes me happy!
I had to go buy a belt for my vacuum cleaner this morning, an when I was walking home I walked by this! Gorgeous tulips growing right next to a big pile of snow! I don't think I've ever seen that before!!
An something else that always makes me very happy. Kanye and Etta snuggling! That sweater Kanye is laying on is now a permanent part of my bed. It's an ugly old sweater I used to wear around the house, and one day I tossed it on the bed and it's been a fan fave ever since. Kanye in particular loves to lay on it!
Wish me luck changing this belt. I've never changed a vacuum belt before! I guess someone has always helped me. I don't know but I'm not really a fix it kind of person. Or maybe I am, we shall see!