Monday, November 23, 2020

A Few of my Favorite Things

 As I mentioned yesterday, Smith's/Kroger/Fred Meyer has their organic house brand Simple Truth Organics. It seems like every time I look there is a new vegan product. I mean, they even have a vegan Alfredo sauce, and it's really good! 

When I went shopping on Saturday I wanted to get some vegan cheese for the week. So, I decided to try Simple Truth vegan cheese. They have shreds and slices, both are four dollars and change. I chose hot pepper slices, because spice!

I decided to make a breakfast quesadilla with a Gardein black bean burger. My favorite gluten free burger ever! Before I added a slice to my quesadilla, I tried a little piece cold. Great flavor, slightly grainy texture. I would say it's good cold if you have it on a sandwich with other things, but to just have cold slices plain probably not.

It melted beautifully, no graininess detected, and has a nice mildly spicy flavor. I'm really, really impressed, and I can't wait to try other flavors and other uses for this! 

I know I just mentioned this last week, but this popcorn is so good it deserves to be talked about all the time! This is a million times better than that other accidentally vegan cheese popcorn, I can't remember the name of it. This has become one of my absolute favorite snacks!

Miso soup is one of my favorite "I'm hungry but not too hungry and I need a hug" kinds of meals. It's also a great quick meal when you wish someone would cook for you. I like mine with a dollop of hoisin and chili crunch oil on top!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Small Vegan Smith's Haul

I really planned my week horribly. I planned on yesterday(Saturday) being my grocery day, but didn't realize it was the Saturday before a food holiday. A food holiday that's mostly cancelled, but a food holiday nonetheless. 

Yesterday I was having a very low energy day and decided to keep it easy and go to good old Smith's. Smith's has their own organic house brand, Simple truth Organics, and they've been adding A LOT of vegan products to their line! 

I didn't get too much, it was busy and I was overwhelmed but I'll get some more veg during the week when things are calmer. 

Tofu, coffee creamer, popcorn,green onion, vegan cheese slices, carrots, sweet potato puffs, cuties, garbanzo, black and white beans, decaf coffee, clearance pumpkin spice coffee, vegan queso, mango fizzy water

Did you guys know this existed?? I've always wished Chao made shreds, or at least a block that can be shredded. It seems to be so new there were no price stickers on the shelf. I'm on a strict budget this week, so I need to know prices. But one day I will try this. Can you imagine the mac and cheese?

I've seen Bianca rave about this vegan queso, and I second her raves! This is actually the second container I've bought! It's great cold or warm, and it's creamy and has a tiny kick. And it's very fairly priced, $3.29. Eleven out of ten recommend!!

I did purchase this cheese. This was the cheapest of all the vegan cheese, at $4.29 for ten slices. Still not super cheap, but in the realm of vegan specialty items it's a great deal. 

I wanted to thank everyone for the support on my last post. I imagine food shaming and policing happens in the non vegan world, but it seems like it's everywhere in the vegan community. 

I did end up blocking the person because they just wouldn't take no thank you as an answer. It's one thing to offer up unasked for health advice, but it crosses a line when you won't respect when they decline your advice.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Balls and Being Ballsy

 Way back when I first went vegan I tried to make creamy polenta a few times and failed miserably. I kind of decided polenta just wasn't for me. I didn't grow up eating it, so it isn't really something I crave. Anyway, fast forward all of these years to me seeing a picture of some polenta dish and I have a craving. Can you have a craving for something you've never really had? 

This was a clearance find, and I need to use it up so I decided it would be a nice creamy addition to my polenta. 

I also found a random package of Impossible ground in my freezer, so I decided to make lentil/impossible balls (ha ha I said balls!) 

These were a little loose because I really don't like touching the impossible. I know it's plants, but it looks so real, and it feels so foreign I just really, really don't like how it feels. So I couldn't make these fast enough!

Here is the final dish. The polenta turned out nice and creamy this time. Slow and low is the secret. But, even though this turned out well, I didn't love the texture. It's got that porridge-y texture that I'm just not a fan of. 

I've mentioned that in the past I struggled with two eating disorders, for many years of my life. I don't know about anyone else, but for me it's a daily struggle to keep my relationship with food in the healthy area. Especially because I have been trying to drop a few pounds. I have to avoid the SOS vegan crowd on social media, because I find the content to be triggering, and I find it starts to make me feel bad about certain foods. I think some people can be very health focused and it doesn't take over, other people can get a little too obsessed, and unfortunately I fall into the second group. So, I woke up this morning to a message from someone I don't know on the Gram telling me that Impossible has eleven percent more pesticides than Beyond. (??) I responded by thanking them for the info, but that I don't eat this often so I try not to worry too much. Well, now they're asking me if I've heard of some herbicide, so I replied a second time reiterating that I don't eat this all the time so again, I try not too worry about that stuff. 

I'm feeling extreme anxiety and guilt now. As crazy as that sounds. It's like the logical side of myself knows I should blow that stuff off. but the disordered part feels shame and guilt, and like I need to live on wheatgrass, broccoli and artisinal air for the next week to detox. 

I think this person is probably just thinking they're passing along valuable information, but I really could have done without it, you know what I mean?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Chocolove Bites Peppermint Creme


I bought these on a total impulse at Whole Foods this past weekend. I was frazzled and hangry, and the cheery little packaging and the thought of chocolate and mint made the decision for me.

You guys, if you see these and you like chocolate and peppermint, you must try them! The peppermint is smooth. You know how some minty things can be a bit sharp? Not these, smooth, creamy and the right amount of sweetness. 

The dark chocolate is a perfect compliment to the sweet, minty cream. And the chocolate to filling ratio is perfect!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Trying New Thangs!


This is my new addiction. It's so good I almost want to cry! I've seen it around, but it is on the pricier side, and in the past I've been let down by accidentally vegan popcorn. Plus, I tried Lesser Evil's paleo puffs and wasn't a fan. But this is AHMAZING! The perfect amount of salt, the cheesy flavor is spot on, and popcorn cooked in coconut oil is the best in my opinion! Ten out of ten will definitely buy again!

I found this Primal Kitchen no dairy Alfredo sauce on sale awhile ago and tucked it away for a rainy day. Saturday after shopping was that day. I cooked up some Banza chickpea linguine and had an easy dinner. It was easy, just not tasty. The sauce has a decent texture, although a little thinner than I make  mine, but the flavor was both bland and way too lemony. What a letdown. I would give this a one out of ten, and will definitely not buy again!

Since going gluten free I'd given up on spring rolls, but look what I found! The wrapper is made with garbanzo and rice flour, and they are of course vegan!

Last night I had a simple rice, tofu, romaine bowl with spicy gochujang peanut sauce and two of the spring rolls. I am definitely impressed. They aren't as light and crispy as a traditional spring roll, but that's to be expected with gluten free. But they are lighter and crispier than I expected. And the filling is very nice. On just a spring roll scale I would have to give these a six or seven out of ten, but on a gluten free scale these are an eleven out of ten and I will definitely buy again!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

I Got Stuff!

 I needed a new winter coat, so yesterday I did double shopping duty and got a coat and groceries on the same day. I dread clothing stores, love grocery stores! Although the pandemic and 2020 in general has dampened my enthusiasm a bit. I did find a coat, at fifty percent off even, and I found some groceries too so I guess it was a pretty okay day. 

I got groceries at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. I'll start with Natural Grocers.

GF bread, fizzy water from Whole Foods(oops), Treeline cheese, incense holder, yerba mate, coconut cream and milk, Epsom salts, kale, kombucha,vegan cheesy popcorn,soy curls, vegan GF peanut butter bar

I'll never be known for my photography skills or my gorgeous staging of any pictures, but this week's haul pics are particularly bad I'm sorry. I was hangry, and very overwhelmed when I got home. Too much stimulus for this introvert!

Vegan GF cheddar crackers, apples, grapefruit, avocado, banana, chocolate bars, grape kombucha,celery, oranges, carrots, dark chocolate peppermint trees, dirty chai mix,ricemilk chocolate, romaine hearts, bath salts, tofu

You guys I am seriously addicted to the vegan GF cheddar crackers from Whole Foods. They are the best vegan Cheese it or nip type cracker I've ever had. They blow Earth Balance cheddar crackers out of the water! And no palm oil!

Since I save fifty percent on my coat, I had a few extra bucks in my budget so I got something I've needed for years, a colander!!! I've been using my small mesh strainer I have for juice to drain potatoes, pasta, whatever and it's always been a very messy and dangerous ordeal. And the french press was more of a want than need, but man do I love it! I'm having a delicious cup of mocha teecino as I type!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Sweet and Spicy

 I've always loved chocolate covered raisins. Raisinets were always one of my favorite movie theater treats. I haven't had a chocolate covered raisin since going vegan. That's a long time!

I spotted these at Whole foods a few weeks ago and they are vegan! I finally got around to trying them the other night and yum! Pretty basic, nice dark chocolate covering a plump raisin., what's not to love? 

I found these gems at Smith's last week. They're like little Nestle crisps, but even better! And that little touch of sea salt warrants a chef's kiss!

Thursday night I was craving noodles, so I made an old favorite, sesame noodles from The Asian Vegan Kitchen I added some baked tofu on top. Man, why had I gone so long without making this? 

Last night I wanted to make peanut stew, but didn't have quite enough peanut butter, so I made a bits and bobs curry! I had little amounts of things including tofu, red and green lentils, and red potato so I used those up, and I had a sweet potato that desperately needed to be used so I blended that into the sauce along with the small amount of peanut butter I had on hand. Makes it a beautiful color, and adds a little sweet relief.

I swear I truly crave a bowl of lentils in one form or another at least once a week, usually more. It's just so satisfying and comforting to me. 

This is where Joan lives during the winter! if it's not this vent, it's the bathroom vent! At least here she is laying the long way, so some of the vent is at least exposed, but normally she lays along the whole vent so the rest of us get no heat!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Not Too "Meaty" Please


I've been loving these burgers from Whole Foods. They come in original and this smoky and spicy version. I've had and love both. They're very similar to the original Boca burger, which is the perfect amount of "meatiness" for me. And at $3.99 a box with four burgers, it's a good deal. 

I've never had any kind of meat jerky, and honestly I haven't tried many vegan jerky. They're expensive, and not something I crave so I just don't search it out. But I found this on sale at Smith's so I decided to try it. Wowzers, is it good. Nice and smoky, but the good kind of smoky, not the fake, overpowering smokiness in some vegan foods. I also like that it's mushroom pieces, not really trying to be meat.

Yesterday I made another delicious recipe from Wil Yeung! This is coconut chickpea rice, and as all of his other recipes have, this blew my mind! The rice is made in coconut milk, so it's rich and creamy and almost buttery, and the chickpeas are spiced with turmeric, smoked paprika and some chili. Here is the recipe, I cannot recommend it enough! 

I really love his recipes and style of cooking. He doesn't use expensive vegan specialty items like faux meats or cheeses, or superfood this or that. He uses simple ingredients and appliances, just pots, pans and maybe the oven.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Another This and That


Although I always love to try a new kombucha flavor, I was a bit nervous to try this one because while I love apples, I don't love or even like apple juice or cider. I decided to try it anyway, and as I suspected I wasn't a huge fan. I'm not sure what oak tastes like, but this had a smoky flavor that was unexpected. So, apple mixed with smoke in my kombucha is definitely not for me. But, if you're into apple flavors you might enjoy this!

I was getting into a big coffee habit, and I needed to reign it in so I've been enjoying these caffeine free teas with this delicious oatmeal cookie creamer. So, so good!

I picked up these gluten free sweet potato wraps and they're pretty decent for gluten free. 

I put some leftover curry in a wrap and had a breakfast quesadilla. Dipped in sriracha, this was like a poor man's samosa!

Yesterday I had a very late breakfast and I was HANGRY! So I baked some tofu with old bay seasoning and shoved that with lots of greens into two wraps. The wraps are smallish and not very flexible, and I like to really have an overstuffed wrap,  so I had two, one with mustard and one with the vegan habenero blue cheese from Bolthouse Farms. Delicious!

The Mayacamas brown gravy is my all time favorite gravy, and sometime ago I came across this chicken style gravy. Last night I finally got around to trying it with some lentils and horseradish mashed potatoes. it's okay, but it doesn't come close to the delicious brown gravy. 

It's always a race to see who can claim the pink sweater. Kiki usually wins, and will stay just to deprive Bubba. I found an old pink sweatshirt one day, and he seemed to enjoy it just as much a s the pink sweater. But the real scoop is how close they are, it's practically a cuddle!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Yes We Did!!!!

 How happy is everyone that Cheeto lost?? I went through the gamut of emotions. Leading up to election day I felt so confident that Biden was going to win, and then the couple of days after my confidence started quivering a little, but in the end kindness and decency won. 

And a woman Vice President, a woman of color!! I'm not usually a patriotic kind of gal, but damn this makes me cry, and feel proud. I know we have an INCREDIBLE amount of work to do, but we have to take a minute to appreciate this progress!!!

These are not decent. These are the Trump of gummies. I've been hearing a lot of good things about these candies, they're very popular in the keto/low carb universe. Not all flavors are vegan, but they have two or three vegan offerings. They use monkfruit sweetener, stevia and something called allulose which is apparently found in raisins? These tasted so fake, and that's saying a lot because lets face it, it's not like gummy candy tastes natural. But the texture is off, the flavor is way off, and my stomach hurt pretty badly after eating them. 

They're pretty expensive for gummy candy, so I've never been willing to try them. But, eighty cents is a different story!

Unfortunately, after trying them I feel like I'd like my eighty cents back. These are BAD.  

Honestly for me, I'd rather have a banana or dates, or ANYTHING else if I'm trying to avoid carbs or sugar. These are a hard no from me dawg!

Yesterday I was so happy about the election, but so sad about the snowfall we had so I decided I needed a celebratory comfort meal. I made Aloo potato curry, recipe from the AMAZING Wil Yeung. This is the fourth or fifth time I've made this dish, and I love it more every time I make it!! Here is the recipe, I cannot recommend it enough! I've made several of his dishes, and loved every single one. 

Look at that long and graceful back leg!! Supermodel of the world right here ladies and gents!