Thursday, June 30, 2016

Photo Dump

I had to take this picture of my new/used Ms. Rogers cardigan. I realized it's cornflower blue, so it made me think of  Sarah! My other cardigans are black, grey and deep purple so this felt nice and light.
I went to Trader Joe's yesterday, and I got there a little later than I would have liked so of course it was a frenzy. Weekends are definitely worse, but weekdays can be a nightmare as well. It's funny because most groceries have slower times, where you can feel more at ease if crowds aren't your thang. But Trader Joe's no matter where they are seem to always have crowds.  I'm a label reader, even if I know it's vegan, I like to look and think and ponder and all of that, and unfortunately Trader Joe's is not a safe place to read and ponder. Anyway, I made it out alive. The bus ride home was pretty fun. It smelled like an odd mix of peanut butter and body odor. I couldn't make that combo up if I tried! Also, there was a guy in the back of the bus who was clearly mentally ill shouting about traffic, and the bus being too slow, and all kinds of other things. I have to admit, and I'm not proud of this but I was a little scared. I was imagining what if this person pulled out a gun and started killing everyone. I feel so bad saying that, but I really was scared. I was at some store last week, and someone came in acting kind of aggressive and unstable, and I saw the look of concern on the cashiers face, and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Anyway, sorry for sharing my dark fears, but I have to admit I've always been a little leery of the world at large, and the direction the world is going isn't helping my fears.
Anyway, onto happier and haul-ier news!
Taco shells,chocolate covered banana slices,Ataulfo mangoes,onions,red pepper,shredded carrots and chocolate chips

tortilla chips,spinach,frozen mango,strawberries,lemons and bananas
Limeade,flatbread,tofu,iceberg lettuce,nectarines,and pizza dough
Garlic hummus,mango coconut pudding,peppermint tea, black and refried beans,avocado, red lentils and salsa
kitty hugs
I know this picture is fuzzy, but how cut is Afro? She literally gave me a hug when I was trying to take the pictures! She was so happy that I made it home!
Power to the green!!!
I made a delicious smoothie with spinach, frozen mango and limeade! It might sound crazy, but it was super delicious! The mango and limeade balance each other, and the spinach is just there for color and of course nutrients. Trader Joe's really has the best frozen mango. I've bought frozen mango at other stores, and it seems like they found the most unripe mangoes available. Trader Joe's mango chunks are nice and golden and ripe and sweet. I think of all the greens spinach makes the pretties smoothies.
When I was on the way to Trader Joe's, I was really feeling in the mood to cook. Like I'm talking COOK. But, unfortunately that mood passed, or that ship sailed or whatever. So I decided to go the easy lazy route and have some crinkle fries and try one of the Yves kale and root veggie burgers. Like their black bean burger which I LOVE  this burger is vegan and gluten free. I cooked it in the oven with my fries for about ten or fifteen minutes. I love this burger. I need to go to Grocery Outlet and see if they have more of these. They have such a delicious flavor. It's like a veggie burger, and a meatier burger like the beast met and had some beautiful veggie burger babies. The texture is nice and firm, I can tell these would hold up really well on a grill. I don't think Yves gets enough credit for making some delicious vegan burgers! I had some crunchy iceberg lettuce, vegan mayo, spicy mustard and banana peppers on my burger, and some malt vinegar on my fries. So good!!!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Red Curry Green Curry

Afro, Animal, Scrappy and Chunk
I had to start this post with a sleeping cat pile up. As you can see, Afro is cleaning Animal's head, even though Animal is trying to rest!
Yesterday I found an avocado that had kind of gotten shoved behind my five million jars of opened salsa(!!) and it was not the color that I can eat. I cannot eat avocados or anything involving avocado once it has turned brown. Blech, I can't do it. So, instead of wasting the avocado, I mashed it and stirred in some turmeric powder and gave myself a facial! I smeared it on my face and neck and let it sit for like fifteen or twenty minutes. My face was glowing and gorgeous when I rinsed it off. Turmeric has been used since forever to beautify the skin, and avocados of course are great for your insides and outsides. Turmeric just seems to polish the skin, and really give it a glow.
Yesterday was a curry kind of day for me. For breakfast I made a red lentil and sweet potato soup with a little red curry powder and red curry paste which was really good.
A tablespoon or so of coconut cream made it thick and luscious. It was a white sweet potato which is why the soup is light. Lenny's has a ton of sweet potato varieties I've never heard of. This one had a deep red skin, but was white on the inside.
For dinner I used the green curry paste that I also got at Lenny's. It's so great, you can really taste the lemongrass, which I LOVE!
Here is the jar in case you're ever in an Asian market and looking for some delicious green curry paste. It's soooooo good, and so fresh tasting. If you love lemongrass, you would love this paste!
This was the end result. Green curry with garlic, tofu, scallions and Thai basil served with rice noodles. Yum and Yum. Thai basil makes everything tastier and fresher. I absolutely cannot eat Pho without it. I've tried, and it doesn't work.
I also learned that cats, or at least mine loathe the smell of green curry. I got my curry simmering and then fed them dinner, and it was impossible to get anyone to eat in the kitchen which is their normal dining spot. They were giving me peppermint face and side eyes till I moved their dinner out of the kitchen. Cats!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Grocery Outlet and Oyster Mushroom Fried Rice

I went to Grocery Outlet yesterday to see what kinds of deals I could find. The last couple of times I've stopped in have been a bit of a letdown, but I've never left empty handed. It's just that when you get Chao cheese for $1.99 a package, it's all downhill from there!! I found a few things, even one thing that I was just wondering if I'd ever get to try.
Onion burger buns,booch!!! yves veggie burgers, and crinkle cut fries
I had just watched a YouTube video featuring the Yves burgers, and they had kale root vegetable burgers which I have never seen before. And there they were staring me in the face for only $1.50 a package!!!! And they had my favorite booch ever, Kevita for two dollars a bottle, ahmazing! They had grapefruit and ginger flavors. I love the grapefruit which has been harder to find since they came out with their new flavors.
I made a smoothie when I got home and it was the most beautiful color! I used strawberries, raspberries, mango and a little orange juice. It was as delicious as it was beautiful!
Kanye was less than thrilled to have her nap interrupted! How do they put up with me. Berries have been amazing this year, I feel like I can't get enough. I haven't had blueberries or blackberries yet because hello, expensive but the raspberries and strawberries have been blowing my mind. To be honest, blueberries are my least favorite berry. I only eat them because they're healthy. Blackberries are okay, but here in Seattle they grow everywhere, so there's no reason to pay the RIDICULOUS prices.
I was looking up things to do with oyster mushrooms, and a lot of the recipes involved breading and frying. I didn't want to do that, and I didn't have proper bread for a po' boy type of sandwich. So, I decided to go with oyster mushroom fried rice with Thai basil and scallions! A little sesame oil at the end, and I was in heaven!
I used Basmati rice which I am now convinced is the PERFECT rice for fried rice. It's so fluffy and the grains like to be individuals and do their own thing, not stick together. The last time I was at Trader Joe's and was overwhelmed by the crowds, I accidentally grabbed Basmati instead of the cheaper Jasmine. I now understand the price difference. Sorry Jasmine, I still love you and will continue to buy you, but Basmati really does make an amazing fried rice. Thai basil at the end was really what made this dish for me. I first discovered Thai basil with my first bowl of Pho, and it was love at first sniff. I didn't measure anything as usual, but man my instincts were on point last night, this was maybe my best batch of fried rice ever! Oyster mushrooms have a really nice texture, I almost want to say buttery? I enjoyed them, and would love to maybe make an oyster mushroom po boy in the future!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Stuff

Yesterday was the first all blue skies day I've seen in awhile. May was beautiful and very sunny for Seattle, but June definitely took a turn for the grey. The weather was not helping my mental state at all, so just seeing the sun yesterday was like mainlining an anti depressant. I thought about trying the Ballard Farmers market again, but I realized there isn't enough sun in the world to make me okay with that scene, so I decided to go where I feel like everyone knows my name, Lenny's.
Thai basil, rice noodles, oyster mushrooms,raspberries, and green onion
Pasta,green curry paste,coconut cream,mangoes,sweet potato, and lemons 
Thai chilis
I told myself to throw my camera in my purse and I really meant to bring it, but of course I forgot in the end. It wasn't that busy when I was there, and it would have been perfect for pictures. I obviously will be going back again and again, so one day!
I've never in my life had oyster mushrooms because they are always so dang expensive. These were only two dollars at Lenny's, and they are organic to boot! And the raspberries are organic, and were only $1.99 a pint! That's cheaper than non organic at any grocery store ever!!!That whole bag of Thai chilis was like one dollar.
I had some cooked pinto beans that needed to be used, along with a little Havarti jalapeno daiya, so it seemed like quesadillas were in order for dinner. I threw in a little extra green chilis to make it spicy.
Quesadillas are something that I don't make that often, but every time I do  I enjoy them and wonder why I don't eat them more. Until next time you delicious quesadilla!
I was listening to the Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack podcast last week and this particular episode really was helpful to me, and so I thought I would mention it so maybe it could be soothing to someone else. The podcast was focusing on sensitive people, or highly sensitive people as they were calling them. My whole life since I can remember I have been told I'm too sensitive. I've had people get totally pissed at me for my sensitivity. I always wondered what was wrong with me, why couldn't I be tough and brave and not care like everybody else. It's a really great podcast. It's funny how sometimes strangers can say things that you wish the people who know you best would say.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Free From....

I discovered a new to me vegan candy bar yesterday. It's dark chocolate sunbutter cups, and it's the first kind I've ever seen that are vegan. My neighborhood QFC was out of Justin's and Theo's dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and these babies jumped out and said "Try Me, I'm Vegan"
The brand is free 2 be, and from what I can see on their website, they're about to be totally vegan! Woot woot! These are pretty good. The chocolate is delicious, but truth be told sunflower seed butter is not my fave. I love sunflower seeds, I guess only in their natural state. So, if you like sunflower seed butter, these might be for you! It's nice that kids who are allergic to nuts can enjoy something similar to the ubiquitous Reese's cups.
It feels good to be back. Life threw me a curve ball, and I needed to let myself have a few days of total despair, and now I'm back, and working on solutions and healing. Something I've learned as someone who has A) faced a lot of turmoil and loss and B) battled depression is to give yourself a time frame for totally losing it, and then pick a day and start dealing little by little. Otherwise you run the risk of getting swept away in the depression, and that's when stuff gets bad. I will elaborate more, just not today, I'm working my way back into the world.
Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You Can't Roll Them All

I went to Target on Sunday after my shopping trip for some paper towels and such. I needed some more plain Just Mayo, but I also noticed that I had a coupon for Hellmen's new-ish vegan mayo. What to do, what to do? I am loyal to Just Mayo, and I despise Unilever and Hellmen's, especially after they tried to sue Just Mayo! But, I am a lass on a budget, and thrifting or not I was already spending extra money on clothes, so I decided to use my head and use the coupon. I have been wanting to try it anyway so that I know what we're dealing with.
I also had a coupon for Gardein, so of course I had to try these sliders. Target is really upping their vegan frozen section!!
When I got home, I was famished so I made a quick Tofurky sandwich and used the new mayo.
Guys, it's super thick and creamy. I'm sorry, I did not taste it alone because vegan or not, it is mayo. As a non vegan I was not a mayo or ranch person AT ALL. I've come to enjoy vegan mayo, just never alone! But on my sandwich, it was OUTSTANDING. I wanted to hate it, but they did an amazing job. It's creamy and has that fatty thang, and also the perfect amount of tang. It is as good as Just Mayo, and if I liked Unilever I might say it's even a little better. But we won't go that far.
I also mixed some with sriracha for a dipping sauce for my vegan nuggets that night. Amazing. Here's the thing, although Just Mayo is available at most if not all Targets, and other groceries, not every town has a Target. And, Just Mayo is a new company that not everyone has heard of, where as Hellmen's has been around for FOREVER! And the jar looks very harmless, so I can see Sally from Iowa buying it for her family because she's been reading about organics lately. It seems to me that they are focusing more on the organic, no weird ingredients benefits versus it being vegan, which is fine. But, when Sally and her family fall in love with this mayo, and read the fine print and realize it's freaking VEGAN, and delicious, minds are open, and curiosity sets in. So, of course I will always be a Just Mayo loyalist, but this stuff is great, and I am glad I voted with my  measly dollars to let Unilever know they should continue to explore the kinder, vegan side of food.
In more I love Seattle news, yesterday I looked out of my window and was quite surprised by the van in the parking lot. Hello seventies mellow mood music!

I zoomed in!
What made everything more interesting was that the person whose legs you see looked like a member or maybe roadie of a rock or punk band. So, that was totally awesome enough, and then the person started doing yoga right in the parking lot! It was all to much of everything wonderful. When I first moved to Seattle all those years ago, I was so used to the midwestern way of labeling everyone and everything, and you stayed in your little area. Very High School. And I learned in Seattle that you can look and feel and be into as many things as you want, the weirder the better in most cases! I also truly envy anyone who can be so carefree and just bust out some yoga moves in a parking lot, not caring who is looking!  People always call me a free spirit, but I believe people who do yoga in a parking lot and drive pastel vans are the true free spirits of the world.
For dinner, I attempted fresh spring rolls. Fail. I felt confident because I've really been improving my sushi roll game, so I wrongly thought I was a "roller"! These suckers were a gloopy, loose mess! I gave up after three rolls because I didn't want to waste the ingredients, and made a spring roll bowl. I had made a delicious peanut dipping sauce(Thanks Martha Stewart) so I just poured it on top of my bowl with some sriracha, and it was delicious!
I think I need to adjust the flash, or brightness, or something on my camera. Since I bought it used, it didn't come with an instruction manual, and I'm scared to just start pressing things because what if I make a change and can't figure out how to unchange it? So, please excuse the brightness. Uggg.
And of course, because I am surrounded by total cuteness all the time(when I'm home) I have to leave you with this picture. They remind me of those hokey but sweet precious moments stuff they sell at Hallmark stores.
Those faces!!
 Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Musings, or Ramblings

How funny is it that I came across this video yesterday, right after I had blogged about the dreaded clothes shopping! If you have three or four minutes, you should watch this! And I love that Lena Dunham is in the clip, I love her!! That sales lady in the skit reminds me of all of the snobby woman that work at make up counters in department stores. I loathe walking by them, I always feel judged for my lack of make up and hair doing. Like I'm just so uncivilized and icky or something.
Thrift cardigan I love cardigans sooo much, I could be Miss Rogers!
Half thrift, part Old Navy
So, I went to Value Village, the thrift store closest to me, and I found a lightweight blue cardigan, and the firecracker tank which in a hilarious bit of irony are from OLD NAVY!!!!!! The blue tank is Gap, or Banana Republic. And the the skirt and bralette are from Old Navy. The bralette was $1.97!!!!!
And yes, the skirt is the exact same skirt I had bought before, and returned. But yesterday it was an extra thirty percent off! Woot Woot! I tried on a million pairs of shorts and skirts and dresses at Value Village, and the only things that fit were NOT my style at all. I'm may be a minimalist and not overly concerned with fashion, but I'm also not trying to look like a grandma vacationing in Palm Springs either! So, I feel okay about my choice. I know I could go to other thrift stores, but for right now trying on clothes is somewhat traumatic, and I just want to be done with fitting rooms, and mirrors and all of that for awhile. Because I had an official Oprah light bulb moment yesterday when I was walking home. I realized that I need to get a grip. I need to either accept and love my body, or step up my game and change things, because obviously I've been stuck where I am for quite some time. And I realized that love and acceptance it is, because I'm not willing to do more than what I'm doing for an awesome bod! I sincerely believe that I am healthier than I've ever been in regards to my relationship with food. I eat unprocessed food eighty five to ninety percent of the time, and I leave room for some vegan treats. And I like to have some chocolate before bed. I'm not willing to give up chocolate, and I'm not willing to try something like living salt free or anything like that. And, in terms of exercise, I have really stepped up my workout game, and I walk at least one mile a day, often times more like between two and five miles a day. I try to avoid public transportation as much as possible.
I've unsubscribed to a few vegan YouTube channels that I have enjoyed, but in the end they really kind of trigger my eating disorder feelings. When I see someone who is already much thinner than me cutting out one thing after another because she wants to have a perfect lean body, when She's already lean just is not good for my way of thinking. I felt bad about food for soooooo many years of my life, I flip flopped between anorexia and bulimia for over fifteen years of my life! That's so many years of being miserable around food. It feels amazing to feel good about food, I will never take that for granted. And if it means I don't have the perfect bod, then so be it. It's going to take some work to love my current bod, but I will do it. For all I've put my body through, the fact that I'm even alive and seemingly healthy is reason enough for me to really give the old bod a pat on the back at the very least.
I am so sorry I went on and on like that, and it's not even vegan related really. I guess I needed to say that, and you guys are like my friend, or sister, or cousin or whatever. That person that you share your AhHa moments with. Anyway, after all that body shaming I did to myself yesterday, I didn't really feel like cooking, so I found a bag of chicken-less nuggets and had those for dinner. Like a sad kid, which is what I was yesterday!
They looks scarily real!
Thanks for everyone who read my long ass post today, and every other day. The fact that anyone reads my words willingly is amazing to me every day! I'm used to people not being interested in ANYTHING I have to say. And I  was so scared to even start a blog in the first place! Anyway, I feel like I actually have made real connections and friendships which isn't always that easy to do in the real cold world. So, I just want to really say that you guys have and continue to get me through a lot of dark days, and also light day. You guys and my cats!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Stuff

So, yesterday for lunch I had a nice big bowl of strawberries. I decided to attempt to be like the Intagramers I see who very prettily add passion fruit to their fruit salads, oatmeal, banana soft serve, whatever. Well, I learned that I know very little about exotic fruits, because this was definitely not a passion fruit! I think it was a cactus pear?
I think I tried one of these in Erie that I got at Wegmens, but I can't remember. Anyway, this has a crisp, almost melon like texture, but a little firmer. It doesn't have the most taste in the world, but it was very refreshing. I feel like this would be a good fruit to take hiking or something, it feels very hydrating. And that deep red color tells you how healthy it is. I would buy these again at Lenny's prices, not grocery prices. What's up with a lot of unusual or really beautiful fruit not having a ton of flavor? Like the dragon fruit? And speaking of fruit, has anyone else noticed that strawberries have been exceptionally delicious this year? I feel like last year a lot of strawberries I bought left a lot to be desired, but this year I can't get over how delicious every berry I've had had been! I seriously can't get enough. I ate a whole one pound container for lunch yesterday, and wished I had more!
For dinner I made carrot hot dogs again. This batch was even better because I let them marinate for about five or six hours. I added sauerkraut and banana peppers along with some sriracha mustard and it was delicious! The marinade really soaked in, and man it felt like a junk food meal, but it was carrots! I served mine with some jumbo crinkle cut fries, cause I don't know if you've noticed, but I like my fries on the thicker side. Man, I forgot how much I LOVE sauerkraut!

I should have taken a picture before I put the top bun on. I tried to take it off for the picture, but everything had gotten all mashed together and gloopy. I really need to take some photography lessons, I feel like I have the visions in my head for beautiful pictures, but my execution leaves a lot to be desired. I'm hoping I can find a free class at the library or something. Anyway, all those flavors went really well together.
Well, wish me luck, I am braving it today and going thrifting for some new duds. I only have one pair of jeans at the moment, and although we had a cool streak, it looks like it's going to warm up again, so I need to get a pair of shorts, or preferably a skirt. It's Father's day, so I'm hoping not a ton of people will be thrifting? By the way, if any dads read this, have a wonderful day with your kids, whether human or fur. I had a good workout this morning, and I'm feeling pretty good, so why not tear myself down and try on clothes? (Ha ha)(but seriously) This is where having a super good friend who tells you the truth, and helps you would come in handy. I see other women who have a body type like mine who always have the most flattering clothes on, and I feel like I don't choose, or can't find clothes for my body.
I'll leave you with more cuteness. I caught Kanye forcing her way on Chunks part of the cat tree. He wasn't thrilled, but I think he was too tired to fight about it.
As you can see in the corner, there is a free part of the tree below, but Kanye loves to cuddle! As my grandpa would say, she's a little stinker!
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Caturday Night Fever

When I first moved back to Seattle, one of the first places I wanted to go to was a little fruit and vegetable stand called Lenny's. It's located at 10410 Greenwood Ave. if anyone ever finds them self in Seattle. Go to the Pike Place Market to visit, but buy your fruits and vegetables at Lenny's. You'll save a ton of money that you can use to do something else fun! I should have brought my camera, and taken pictures. I will be going back, so I'll write myself a Post-It to remember my camera next time. In addition to all kinds of fruits and vegetables, they have all kinds of Asian cookies and packaged treats, sauces, canned goods, all kinds of noodles and beans and spices. All at insanely low prices. And they have all kinds of fruits and vegetables you never see at regular groceries, or if you do see them you'd have to get a third job to afford them. I'm going to show you all that I got for sixteen dollars!
Pineapple,cilantro,coconut cream,jackfruit,fava beans with chili,passion fruit, and two HUGE Ataulfo mangoes,and rice noodles
Dried red chilis and tofu puffs
Caught mid chomp!
I have never even had passion fruit, because anytime I've seen it in a grocery it is wayyyyy out of my price range. I think they were forty five cents each or something insane. I used to live like two minutes away, and Lenny's saved me from starving more times than I can remember. When I had NO money, if i could scrounge up four or five dollars, I would go to Lenny's, but a bag of lentils, and onion, carrot, and a few stalks of celery and be able to feed myself for awhile. And their produce is very good quality, they don't have a lot of organics, but other than that they are perfect. And guess what I noticed when I was there? Right next door to them is a little sandwich type shop, and they were selling pupusas!! It inspired me to get the jackfruit! I think jackfruit with some jalapeno havarti daiya in my next batch sounds pretty tasty!
Carrots, potato buns, HP sauce, Sauerkraut,and organic strawberries
I also stopped at the regular grocery close to Lenny's and picked up some strawberries and fixins for some carrot hot dogs I'm going to make tonight. I'm cheap and didn't want to buy a whole bag of hot dog buns, so once again they will be served in veggie burger buns. I was watching a video the other day where someone made carrot hot dogs and didn't care for them. I noticed that they didn't steam them before marinating, and carrots are so hard, I doubt a raw carrot will soak up much moisture. If you steam them first, then let them marinate for at least a few hours, the marinade totally soaks in and really flavors the carrot. The sauerkraut is going to make such a huge difference!
I made some red curry over noodles last night with spinach, onion, shredded carrot and tofu puffs. Lots of cilantro of course!
By the time I got home yesterday, the sun had switched to rain, so this was the perfect meal for a cool, rainy afternoon. OOdles of noodles!
Pretty Yetti, looking like she's up to something!

Afro and Animal sitting in a cat tree!
Happy Caturday!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Rice Paper Bacon or I'm So Trendy!

Well, I finally got over my fear and made rice paper bacon yesterday, and I am very glad to report that it was not as difficult as I thought it would be.
Fresh out of the oven
I cut two sheets of rice paper at a time while dry. I had imagined that they would shatter, and just be very difficult to cut while dry. But I also feared that trying to cut them after soaking would be a HUGE pain. I feel like I made the right choice. Maybe if I ever want to raise my blood pressure, I'll try to cut them while wet and compare! I think you want to use sharp scissors,  it wold be hard with a knife.
After cutting them in strips, I just dipped the two strips in the marinade, and made sure it got in between to help them stick together. I baked these in a 400 degree oven for about ten minutes, give or take. Sorry, I was playing string and I didn't pay as much attention as I should have.But it was definitely close to ten minutes. To be honest, next time I'll probably do eight minutes or so.
Waiting to be made into an amazing sandwich!
It comes out crispy, but also a little chewy, it's really nice. I think mushrooms are still my fave for some vegan bacon, but I would say rice paper comes in second. I swear not in a million and a half years would I ever have thought of this. Creativity is truly AMAZING!!
The finished product, better than a diner!
I layered some up on toasted wheat bread with all the fixins, and had some super wide crinkle cut fries on the side. This is one of the strongest tasting vegan bacons, the rice paper really absorbs the marinade. I've made tempeh bacon in the past where the flavor kind of gets lost in the sandwich. This was bold, and definitely stood out.
I didn't follow any recipe, I just kind of added what I've seen people use until it tasted good. I did write down how much of everything I used. It was really tasty.

                                                      Bacon-ish Marinade
  • 2 T. coconut sugar
  • 2T. nutritional yeast
  • 2T. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 pepper
I was just thinking as I was typing this that I should have melted a teaspoon of coconut oil for the marinade. I feel like coconut oil is what you need when you need a specific kind of fattiness.
Don't leave out the nutritional yeast, because it helps thicken the marinade, and also I think I've mentioned this before, but nutritional yeast and liquid smoke bring out the best in each other. They're the Ross and Rachael of condiments.
Look at that face!!!!
I almost forgot to add that the marinade was enough for eleven strips of "bacon", so I used 22 rice paper wrappers. I did use every last drop, so if you make more bacon, I would double upon the marinade.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gluten Free and Gluten Full

I ventured out yesterday to get a few things, and to take a walk through Ballard to lift my spirits. There's something soothing about all of the Bernie signs and bumper stickers, and I swear you can taste the open mindedness. When I lived in Seattle before, I got so bogged down by life, and my almost constant struggles that I took the progressive tone of this city for granted. But, while I was living in Erie, I longed for Seattle sooooooooooo much. I had gotten so used to liberal people, that being in backwoods Erie where you can feel and taste the racism and misery, I was suffocating.  That's why these hate filled attacks actually shock me less than before. Because I saw with my own eyes the severe amount of ignorant hatred there is in just one city, and there are cities much worse than Erie.So, after this hate filled past weekend, seeing all of the rainbows and signs of unity really made me feel better. Plus, I got to meet the SWEETEST French bulldog puppy that gave me tons of kisses, and it was just what I needed. I wish I had taken a picture, but alas I didn't bring my phone or camera.
I picked up a few things at a bigger Safeway, and they had more varieties of graham crackers, and not a one was vegan! FYI, Honey Maid, the brand apparently really means business because honey is an ingredient in all of their flavors that I saw. I haven't eaten, or thought about a dang graham cracker in years, and now I am desperate to find some! Life is funny that way.
Crinkle cut fries, white tea with cucumber(super yum), potatoes,and frozen fruit medley

booch,tofu,gardein gluten free burgers(new to me) pineapple juice,oranges, and Chao!!!! and Havarti jalapeno daiya
I was looking for the gardein beefless burgers, and these gluten free ones were in the spot. These are different than the chipotle black bean burgers, which I know are gluten free as well. These are made with brown rice and veggies.
Here's a close up of the bag. I have never seen these, have you? I feel so behind the gardein game! I like to be up on all the newest! It looks like maybe a "beefier" version of the original gardenburger? I used to love those burgers so much!
For dinner I had kind of a fail, but an edible fail. I had some leftover pesto sauce, and some tofurky roasted chik'n, so I wanted to make like a pesto chicken pizza, which I see on pizza menus a lot. I used the same recipe I always do for the dough, but for whatever reason the dough was extremely hard for me to work with once it had risen. I feel like my energy got transferred into the dough, and all of my negative emotions made it super testy. So, the crust was wayyyyyy too thick, but the toppings were good!
I just kind of sliced each slice in half to make it less like a huge slab of bread with some stuff on it. Like I said, I know it isn't the recipe, because seriously I have used the same recipe for years. It was totally me. Oh well, at least it was edible, and today is another day right?
If you're into Starbucks, this might interest you!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Comfort Food

Isn't it sooooo adorable when cats sleep like this? I just want to hug her so hard! I sometimes wonder if they ever walk by me when I'm sleeping, and think how cute I am. Somehow I doubt it. I needed this cuteness. The events from this past weekend have continued to make my heart heavy. I saw an article yesterday speaking of the insane amount of assault rifles gun shops are selling. One store in PA said they were selling fifteen an hour. That is absolutely what we need, more assault rifles in this world. Anyway, I won't reveal my deepest feelings, don't want to be a downer.
Last night for dinner I wanted to attempt the rice paper bacon, but I just wasn't up to the challenge. Plus, I have a feeling there is a high chance of a huge kitchen fail, so I though it best to save that for another day. So, I kept it simple with some vegan pierogis sauteed in coconut oil, with garlic and nutritional yeast. I love pierogis sooooo much! I saw Lauren Toyota make vegan pierogis from scratch, and it looked kind of easy so I might try that some day. They looked easier than the rice paper bacon to be honest with you!! If you've never watched Lauren Toyota, she's really great. She and I are friends in my head. And she and her boyfriend make some DELICIOUS looking recipes! And they don't use a lot of super expensive, or hard to find foods either. She's actually really inspiring because a lot of times she just pulls out random ingredients from her fridge and kind of creates as she goes. I guess it speaks to me because that's how I am in the kitchen. Anyway, she's is adorable, as is her boyfriend, and they have a sweet kitty, Snickles and they make great food, so check them out!
Pure comfort

I hope everyone is doing well, and feeling loved. Happy Wednesday.