Sunday, August 19, 2018

Suja Kombucha, Brewing Problems and Dinner

I'm sure by now we've all seen the Suja organic juices everywhere. I've tried one or two flavors when they're on sale. Well they've decided to get into the booch game and I saw it first at Winco! Much to my surprise it was only $2.48 a bottle! Suja juice is pretty pricey so I'm assuming the super low cost is a Winco thing? I'm not sure but because of the low cost I decided to try a bottle! I chose the pineapple passion fruit. I was scared it was going to be super dry and I don't like that. I also don't like super sweet. I'm a moderate when it comes to kombucha Ha! Lucky for me this is my kind of booch. It has a really nice fruity pineapple-y flavor, it's fizzy but not too much and it's just the right amount of sweet. I will definitely buy this flavor again and I'll have to try the other flavor they have which has slipped my mind for now. 
Speaking of kombucha, remember the jug I found to make my own? Well a week ago I made a batch using some plain booch which you can use to grow your own scoby. As of now I do not have even the babiest of baby scobies in the jug. I read it can take up to ten days so I still have some hope but each day that hope kind of fizzles, I might have to start from scratch again. Kind of a pain but so worth it.

I was feeling fancy so I made a basil cashew cream sauce over some gluten free angel hair. Topped it with some cashew parm! This was actually super easy. I just blended a few leaves of basil and a little parsley with raw cashews and a little soy milk. I've been using soy milk in my cashew cream sauces lately and it makes a huge difference in the creaminess factor!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Great Day!

Here is a close up of the smoked tofu I found at Winco on Thursday. As I mentioned there are several YouYubers from Canada who love, love, love this smoked tofu. I saw one shred it with a box grater and use the shreds to make a vegan crab salad roll. I've never had a crab roll, but when she was making the recipe I was almost drooling! I always love the packets of baked flavored tofu. Wildwood is one of the brands and there are a few others. But they're like triple the cost of plain tofu. So I'm happy that Winco sells this at a fair price. I think it's $.75 more than plain tofu.
I've been craving a Chipotle style burrito for quite some time. I made some garlic-y black beans and a lemon-y guacamole and made myself a big old burrito! I decided to cheat with a flour tortilla and it was worth the cheat!
Like my sushi rolling my burrito rolling is a work in progress. This was one of my best jobs so far. I didn't over stuff or add too much of one thing. Friday nights are for vegan burritos!
So in addition to having an amazing burrito for dinner I also got a call from Sprouts and they hired me! I'll be working in the bakery which is pretty awesome because honestly I'm not the best baker and would love to learn more. She's calling me on Monday to tell me when I start and all of that. Woot woot! I was getting a little worried, like maybe the interview didn't go as well as I thought. I'm mostly excited because I've never worked in a bakery so it's exciting to have an opportunity to learn and do something new!!
Cat on a shelf! There are five little shelves on each layer of this bookshelf and I've been trying to get all five cats in a compartment at the same time but of course they won't cooperate! I had to sneak up and surprise Etta to get this picture!
Happy Caturday!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Winco Loves Vegans!

About three or four months ago a Winco grocery store opened in SLC. Winco is based in Idaho and seems to be a west coast chain? Anyway it's an employee owned store that has super low prices. They're like Aldi in that they don't have baggers and the cashier on't bag anything. They also don't take credit cards, only cash and debit. That way they aren't paying the card fees. These little things save them money an allow the low prices. I've never gone because I knew when they opened they'd be a complete madhouse. Plus the bus I have to take is my least favorite bus in the city so I just always stick to my little safe routine. Well, yesterday a coworker with a car was going to check it out and invited me! I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Are they really that cheap? Are they vegan friendly? Is it too much like Walmart for me to handle? The answer is yes yes and no. I didn't peruse every inch of the store because it's HUGE but the prices are crazy, and they have a lot of vegan goodies, and a pretty big produce section with great prices! I took lots of pictures because It's pretty amazing!
Pretty big booch selection
This case is full of tofu, jackfruit, tofurky and field roast products, and vegan cheese.
They sell Field Roast sausages for under five dollars, and this shook me to my core, daiya cheese is under four dollars. And these are the all the time prices. It doesn't seem like they have weekly sales, and thank gourd you don't have to have a freaking card to get the prices!
I just saw these on Instagram the other day and haven't seen them anywhere else, even Natural Grocers or Sprouts!!
Ten pounds of potatoes!! Seriously my dream!
Yes these prices are correct! I don't know of any ice cream that's this cheap, let alone vegan ice cream!
I've never seen daiya pizza under nine dollars unless it's on sale!
All of their gardein products are under three and four dollars!!
They also have a HUGE and I mean HUGE bulk section. I mean I almost cried if I'm being honest.
Best price in town!
I thought $.69 a pound was a great price!!
The bulk section was surprisingly busy so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked. They have all kinds of things in bulk, peanut butter powder, spices, any kind of bean, grain, or pasta you could ever in your life imagine. They have shapes of pasta I never knew existed! And they have a huge dried fruit section, and so much candy! They have a ton of gummy/jelly types of candy with no gelatin! Lots of red, yellow and blue dye but no animal products!
I didn't go down every aisle because I can't tolerate grocery stores the way I used to and there is a bit of the people of Walmart vibe to it. But I will be back because of the bulk section and potatoes alone!
Tortilla chips, salsa, corn, Haagen Dazs, extra firm and smoked tofu, Fritos, red potatoes, burrito shells, plums, garlic, bulk black beans and chocolate chips

I didn't need much but some of the stuff I had to get. I watch a few vegan Yutubers who live in Canada and they rave about the smoked tofu. I've never seen it anywhere and when I saw it I was almost star struck! I'm really glad I gave Winco a chance. I'll have to figure out a way to fit them into my shopping routine every now and again because I'll lose my budget card if I don't!!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Vegan 7-11 Mini Haul and More!

I was at my friendly local 7-11 yesterday and look what I spied! I didn't even know Silk creamer made the little individual packets, and who knew 7 freaking 11 would be the first place I would see them! These are just sitting right there by all the other creamers! I remember when soy or rice milk were the only options for coffee and neither was great. I was still a daily coffee drinker when I went vegan and the first time I used soy milk it kind of curdled when it hit the coffee. And now look at us!
My mini Smith's haul. I loved the cauliflower puffs so much I decided to try the Brussels sprouts puffs while they're still on sale. They taste pretty much identical to the cauliflower puffs which I am fine with because they are AHMAZING! I also got avocados on sale and some miso paste. My digestion has been wonky so a nice bowl of miso soup should soothe me!
These are the star of my haul. You guys no joke for maybe a year now I've been wanting to try these but they're a little spendy so I always pass. But they call my name every time. They just happen to be on the same aisle as the miso ans the yellow sticker jumped out at me. I cannot wait to try these. I enjoy Dr. Praeger's Bombay burgers and I hope these are as good. I really, really love a WooHoo sale!
This was an amazing meal if I do say so myself! I made some falafel and ha them on a bed of Romaine with half an avocado, some fries, a pickle and a spicy tahini garlic sauce. Why don't I eat fries on salads more often? This hit all the spots and it was really simple to make!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dreams Can Come True

I said yesterday that I was dreaming of making pesto with the vegan parm I made, so when I saw a basil plant on sale for two dollars it seemed like the universe agreed with me! I'm going to try to keep this plant alive, but we all know I have a black thumb so.....
I added some kale to the pesto and you can't even taste it. It's a great way to sneak in some extra greens and I swear no one will know! I tossed the pesto with some gluten free angel hair and had some garlic-y, nooch-y tofu on the side. I like making my own pesto because most store bought pesto usually isn't vegan, and even the few that are are usually so packed with oil. I'm not afraid of oil but I also like to use it in moderation. And pesto freezes beautifully so you can throw together a quick dish of pasta on days where you can't stand the thought of cooking!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Something Old, Something New

My neighbor is moving so she gave me this bookshelf type thing! It seems like it's more for knick knacks or collectables, but I will use it for books. I need to get a lot of books! Believe it or not at one time in my life I had so many books I would have easily filled all this space and probably still have some that wouldn't fit. That will be my life again! As I'm sitting here typing this I feel so happy because my living room is slowly but surely looking homier and cozy. It's been a really long journey but I'm getting there.
Simple Truth is Smith's/ Fred Meyer? Kroger's organic store brand. I was pleasantly surprised to find these rice crackers for only $1.99 a box. For anyone who is gluten free, or has been reading this blog and my complaints about the cost of gluten free you will know what a freaking deal that is!! And the hummus was also only $1.99. I was hesitant to try the hummus because I don't always love sweet potatoes. I kept picking it up and putting it down and so on and so forth. I finally decided to be a big brave girl and got it. And you know what? I was rewarded for my bravery, it is delicious! It's super duper creamy with a nice spice to it. And it isn't sweet! You know what this means now? I need to try and make this myself! I'm starting to think I just don't like the texture of sweet potatoes, but if they're blended into something I'm okay with that. Either way if you live near a Smith's/ Fred Meyer/ Kroger look for this hummus, it's amazing! And the crackers are really great too!!
I had a Romaine, pineapple and green grape juice yesterday. This was so refreshing. Green grapes get incredibly sweet when you juice them. You could hand this glass of juice to any veggie hating person and they would gulp it down!
I've always wanted to make vegan Parmesan cheese with cashews. I happen to have some raw cashews and I finally went for it! It was super easy, I just put some cashews, nooch, garlic powder and salt in a food processor and whizzed away until it was like a Parmesan kind of texture. It took maybe ten seconds. I'm dreaming of making a pesto with this!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

What Won't Cauliflower Do?

I've noticed these Vegan Rob's snacks kind of popping up all over Instagram and YouTube. I finally saw them at Smith's a few weeks ago, and I've been wanting to try them but my budget always gets in the way. Yesterday was a good day and I wanted a small treat so I went for it! They were on sale, I wanted a treat it seemed like the universe was guiding me.
They look like little vegan cheetos. Not freaky orange of course. They do have nutritional yeast in them, but to me they taste like a milder funyon which I am more than okay with. They do not taste like cauliflower at all! They have a great light and crispy texture. Pretty much like the poofy cheetos.
I made some delicious potato wedges for dinner. I seasoned them with turmeric, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Dipped in Just Thousand and Just Ranch. I made the wedges nice and wide to ensure the most dip on each wedge. I'm like a five year old when it comes to my dips.
I wanted to thank everyone for the well wishes and positive thoughts. I feel like my interview went great, and I don't say that often. I had a small iced Americano right before my interview and I swear it gave me the jolt I needed. I feel like I was very on and gave my best answers. Also I really would love working at Sprouts so I came off as sincere and authentic as opposed to phoning it in which is often the case. She said to expect a call this week or next at the latest. I don't want to get my hopes up, but at the same time I feel very hopeful!!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Random Saturday

I tried the pink lady apple kombucha yesterday. Honestly it's not my favorite. It reminds me a little bit of hard cider which I never really cared for. It also is less fizzy which is part of the fun of kombucha. I definitely wouldn't buy this flavor again. If I run into a sale I might try another flavor from this brand but honestly booch is pricey and a real treat and there are just so many other options out there!
Pretty soon I won't be buying any booch! I finally made it to the DI which is a local thrift store. I found this glass sun tea jar with a spout straight from the 80's! It was a total bargain at $2.00! Most of the jugs I see like this are made out of plastic. Hopefully I'll get the rest of my supplies this weekend and start my first batch of homemade booch!
To continue with my week of comfort food you know I have to have some mashed potatoes and gravy. This time with some green peas! This is probably my all time favorite comfort meal.
Happy Caturday! Here is Afro proudly displaying her work on the couch. The other kitties scratch too but she is probably at least ninety percent responsible! And she wouldn't even look at me for the picture!

Friday, August 10, 2018

More Vegan Goodness

Before I show my haul of real food I wanted to show the deal of the week I found! Smith's had this on a close out sale for $1.99!! I don't buy Almond Dream often, but I have always loved this ice cream. It seems like some of the classics have to got to go to make room for the newbies. Can you guys even believe we live in a world where there are so many vegan ice creams?
Bananas, romaine, frozen raspberries and strawberries,onion,avocado, lime, booch, hibiscus tea, lemons,soy milk,Jasmine rice, coconut oil,peanut butter, flour tortilla, red onion,peanut butter, vegetable spring rolls, raw cashews, green tea

watermelon, gold potatoes, vegan shreds, gluten free pasta,soyaki sauce, sea salt and coconut milk
I decided to splurge and try this Health Ade kombucha. I've heard rave reviews and I've never had an apple flavored kombucha.
I also have never had the Trader Joe's vegetable spring rolls. They're filled with kale, edamame, mushrooms and shredded tofu. Delicious. They're better than some some spring rolls I've had from restaurants. Worth the splurge!
This squirrel was giving the girls so much entertainment yesterday morning. For at least five minutes he or she kind of just hung out on the fence chattering away.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Blues Foods

The last couple of days have been a little rough for me. Depression reared it's ugly head and it's been a definite battle. So because of that I've been having some simple meals.
Oven fries and tofu nuggets are always one of my favorite comfort foods. With sweet chili sauce and some vegan mayo for dipping! I'm so grateful that I have AC in my apartment otherwise I would not be able to have my beloved oven fries!
Nothing beats kitchari for when you don't feel well. I find it soothing when I'm off mentally or physically. This is so easy to make and it really does comfort you. I got fancy and topped mine with both sriracha and green dragon sauce.
Yesterday I was craving quesadillas and so I whipped up some homemade garlic-y refried beans. I was going to buy a can of refried beans which was on sale for $.99 a can, then I noticed a whole pound bag of pinto beans were also on sale for $.99! Homemade tastes much better anyway!
I used this new to me daiya cheese. I tasted some cold and it tasted really good! And it melted like a dream in the quesadilla. I have to say that daiya has definitely improved over the years!
I caught Etta and Kiki being the absolute cutest the other morning. Look at Kiki's little white paw on Etta.
I have an interview on Saturday at Sprouts! Although I seriously hate grocery store life, the position I applied for is for a bulk section person/clerk whatever it's called. It's perfect for me, I love bulk sections and also it's a lot less interaction with customers which is what I desperately want and need. Fingers crossed!