Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Feelings

I'm still loving the kitchari for breakfast every morning. This batch has potatoes and spinach and is topped with both sriracha and green dragon sauce. I'm not feeling bored with it at all. It makes me feel so good that I crave it. And it gives me a lot of energy, and keeps me full for a long time. Even on days where I do a ton of walking.
I had some coconut culinary milk in the fridge that needed to be used up, so last night I made a little coconut curry with edamame, rice noodles and oven baked tofu. This was a perfect meal at the end of a dreary rainy day!
I love this picture of Joan sleeping. It's her "I am so weary" pose and it gets me every time!
And here she is poking out of the paper fort. This paper is so shredded and on it's last leg, but there's no way I can get rid of it till I find a replacement. My living room is full of paper, twist ties, hair bands, and crumpled up post it notes! It seriously takes me five minutes to pick up all the stuff to vacuum. Cat lady struggles!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 30, 2017


I'm not sure if this is a tree or a bush, but I saw it the other day and thought it was so cute I had to take a picture!
It's been raining a lot here in SLC, so everything is so lush and green and it seems like everyday more and more things are blooming. I can't say it enough, I so love spring!
For dinner last night I made an oldie but goodie. Lemon-y garlic potatoes from Veganomicon. I love this recipe so much. I also had a green salad with Romaine and sliced sweet peppers. So light and fresh.
I've tried a few gluten free baked goods in the past and to be honest I was less than impressed. But I saw these cookies on sale and decided to try them. Chocolate chunk brownie sounded pretty dang tasty. I am very pleasantly surprised, they're really good! They're soft, with chunks of chocolate and a really rich chocolate flavor. I probably would never guess they were gluten free if I just randomly tried one someplace. I would definitely buy these again!
Although spring started out super warm, it's cooled down a little. Enough that I've had to turn the heat on a few nights. Here's Joan in her favorite spot, laying on the vent in the bathroom. Notice she has a twist tie by her front paw, and her favorite mouse by her back paws. A girls gotta be prepared!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

So Much Vegan Cheesiness

Here is my delicious cashew cheese after it set up overnight! It's soft and creamy, and herb-y and garlic-y! It's very similar texture wise to Treeline cheese which was what I was going for. Like the almond feta I made last week, this is super easy to make. I'm really proud of myself, this is the first vegan cheese I've made without following a recipe.
I've been enjoying it spread on these thin rice cakes. They were on sale and are cheaper than gluten free crackers, and since they're square shape, it reminds me of bread. Side note, I find it frustrating that not only are gluten free crackers much more expensive than regular crackers, they're also very small. Not the best shape for dipping. Okay, gluten free rant over. As I mentioned yesterday, I actually wrote down the recipe for this cheese!

                                                                Herb-y Garlic-y Cashew Cheese
  • 1 Cup cashews soaked overnight
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp. dried dill
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Miso paste
  • 2 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • Juice of 1 small lemon, or 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water (I used 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
Drain the cashews, and add everything to a food processor or powerful blender and blend until thick and smooth. You might need a little more or less water depending on your appliance. You definitely don't want it to be a sauce though. After blending, put the cheese in a double layer of cheesecloth and tie it up tightly. Place it over a bowl in your fridge for twenty four hours.
After twenty four hours, unwrap and enjoy!!
I also made this AMAZING cheese sauce that is made from rolled oats, roasted red pepper, nooch and cornstarch. I used tapioca starch but whatever. It is so freaking easy to make, and it tastes AMAZING!
I made some fries seasoned with chili lime seasoning, and dipped them into this sauce and a little green dragon sauce and seriously felt like a cheese-y queen. It has a perfect queso texture and could easily be made into a nacho cheese sauce. Here is the recipe. I've been binge watching her videos lately. She has an infectious personality, and makes some simple and delicious looking recipes! I want to be part of her family! This might become my go to cheese sauce, because it's even easier than the potato carrot sauce. You can make this in under ten minutes!
Kanye's belly strikes again! She was just lounging around yesterday, letting it all hang out and I love her for it!
And here's Afro, just sleeping in her paper fort with her little mouse friend. She looks so sweet and innocent it's hard to believe that Brutus had just made an appearance!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Feeling Fancy

I had a recipe for olive angel hair bookmarked in Isa Does It,   and I thought I had all of the ingredients, but the recipe called for Brussels sprouts and walnuts, and I had neither. But I decided to make a play on that recipe anyway and it was one of the best pasta dishes I've ever made. I just sauteed some minced garlic with sliced Kalamata and green olives and crushed red pepper and then tossed it with cooked gluten free thin spaghetti, and added fresh parsley and lemon juice. The smell of the garlic and olives cooking together seriously made my mouth water. This is one of those super simple meals that feels really fancy.
I think I mentioned it before, but if you or anyone you know is gluten free, Ronzoni makes a really great gluten free pasta that is really tasty and also affordable. And they make all different shapes which sometimes is hard to find with gluten free pasta. The texture and taste are really good too.
I am so excited. I made some garlic herb cashew cheese yesterday. Here it is in it's little cheesecloth before I wrapped it up to set. I'm going for a Treeline kind of soft cashew cheese. I'll be unwrapping it later today, and if it turns out like I plan, I'll post the recipe tomorrow. I actually wrote down the ingredients I used! I know it tastes delicious, I just hope it's the texture I want after resting and setting up overnight. I really love the Treeline cashew cheeses, but they're so insanely expensive I can only afford them when they're on a WooHoo sale, which is very rare.
Here is a slightly fuzzy picture of beautiful Etta's face. She is by far the most difficult of all my fur babies to photograph. She moves around, and as soon as she sees me with the camera she'll move, even if she's in a deep sleep. She takes after me, very camera shy.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Stuff

Well, I tried one of my clearance kombuchas yesterday and lets just say I wish I would have bought five more! When I lived in Erie I drank Reeds kombucha a lot. At most groceries it was either Reeds or GT's unless you were at the Whole Foods Co-Op. But once I moved back to Seattle there were tons of choices, and actually I didn't see Reeds that often. Same thing here in SLC, I think Natural Grocers is the only place that sells them. And I always just buy whatever is on sale.But I had never had or heard of this flavor. It's so delicious and refreshing! It's nice and ginger-y, and also nice and fruity from the mango, passion fruit and orange juice. This is my new favorite flavor, and I might have to see if Natural Grocers will carry this flavor.This would be really wonderful on a hot day. If you see this flavor, you should definitely try it. And Reeds doesn't have any weird floaties in it, which is another reason I love them!
For dinner I made the garlic curry fries from Isa Does It. I served them with a salad with Romaine and pepperoncini with Greek vinaigrette. I love that the potatoes are sliced lengthwise, kind of like a longboard chip. I dipped them in sriracha ketchup and it was a nice and spicy meal. Just when I think I've done all with the potato!

I found a SubWay on Saturday, and I didn't know how to get a napkin without buying something which kind of defeats the purpose of a boycott, so I just asked the girl if I could buy a few napkins. I was soaking wet from the rain so I guess it wasn't a weird request. I gave her a quarter for three or four napkins. Hopefully she just pocketed the quarter and didn't put it in the register. I sent this to the Humane League, and I will be posting it on my Twitter and Instagram as well. I've also already handed out some pamphlets. I find sometimes when I mention that I'm vegan, people ask questions or express interest so that's when I swoop in with information and a pamphlet. I'm learning that we're all different, and working with our own individual strengths and personalities is the most productive.

Here is where everyone except Joan hides when I vacuum. This side of my bed is so full of fur and in need of being vacuumed, but I just don't have the heart to push it back there because they are so scared! Afro and Etta stay pouty and hidden for quite awhile after I've put it away. Joan isn't scared, as a matter of fact she sometimes goes after the vacuum, like she wants to fight it!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Vegan Haul Time!

Yesterday was another rainy day. Like all day rain. It's very dry here in SLC so when we have these rare rainy days it makes me very homesick for Seattle. Everything is so green and lush today so it was all worth it.
Because of my schedule I had to run into Trader Joe's in the early afternoon, and seriously it almost made me cry. I did make it out alive, but I think I left some of my sanity in the store.

Jasmine rice,bananas,potatoes,coconut oil,Kalamata olives,tofu,lemons,coconut milk, green olives,onions
Have you tried their handful of olives yet? They're sold in little pouches and they are the best green olives ever!
One thing about being in Trader Joe's when it's jam packed is that I really just stick to my list and don't bother with any impulse items! That's one way to stick to budget.

Kombucha,Epsom salts,dish soap, clearance chocolate
I also ran into Natural Grocers because they have Earthy dish soap on sale for $1.99 and I also needed more epsom salts for my achy muscles. I found the chocolove holiday bar on clearance. It's like a vegan version of Cadbury's fruit and nut bar which was a favorite of mine in my pregan days.
Bulk spices, nuts, Chia seeds and hemp seeds, parsley, white beans
Lastly I went to Smith's for cat food and bulk spices. I try to reuse the spice bags that I already have, but I forgot them, and they were out of the normal sized bags so I had to use the big bulk bags. At least I do reuse them for litter box purposes but still, ugh.
This is by far the best part of my day yesterday! It made the rain and Trader Joe's all fade away. Smith's doesn't sell Reeds kombucha, but for whatever reason they had these bottles on an amazing woohoo sale! I like Reeds kombucha, so this was a total score! The flavor is mango passion ginger which I've never had, but I'm excited to try it. Can you believe the price? Happy Saturday to me!!
When I got home, I made this delicious Greek pizza with Kalamata olives, red onion, garlic and almond feta. This was amazing! I really cannot recommend Hot for Foods almond feta enough. It is so easy to make not to mention AHMAZING!!

Hugs to all on this hopefully peaceful Sunday!

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Day of Spuds!

I started the day yesterday with potato tacos and cucumber slices. I seasoned the potato cubes with Simply Organics fajita seasoning, and then shoved them in corn tortillas with cilantro and green dragon sauce. I must mention again that the green dragon sauce from Trader Joe's is everything. I already need to buy more because I generously drizzle it on almost everything. I think I might prefer it over sriracha which is saying a lot.
I hadn't had mashed potatoes in awhile, and yesterday it rained from the time I woke up until the time I fell asleep, so it felt right. Rain always makes me crave comfort in one way or another. I used So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk to make the mashed potatoes. Canned or in this case boxed coconut milk makes the creamiest mashed potatoes ever. They feel and taste like you've used milk and butter (vegan of course.) I had them with some fire roasted corn from Trader Joe's, and Simply Organics vegetarian gravy which is actually vegan. It is my all time favorite gravy, and I'm so glad it exists because I am a failure when it comes to gravy making. This was a wonderful, comforting meal to have after dealing with all the rain.
I mentioned awhile ago that I review teas for Sororitea Sisters. I have learned so much about tea, and discovered so many delicious teas that I never knew existed. I got this big box of tea yesterday and it made my day!!! Even though sometimes I get a whiff of coffee and miss the good old days, I have really fallen in love with tea, and there are just so many amazing health benefits that I am super happy I made the switch. I really was a slave to coffee for far too long.
Here is sneaky little Kanye nosing around in the freezer while I was grabbing my berries for my smoothie.
And here is what I consider a glamour shot of Roxy. It's like the perfect pose. My little supermodel!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lots of Stuff

More beautiful signs of spring. This bush or tree, not sure are in front of a house on my street. So bright and gorgeous!
When I got home yesterday there was a very heavy box waiting for me, and it turned out to be the pamphlets I'm going to be passing out around town from the Humane League. I haven't looked through one yet because to be honest I'm scared it has graphic pictures and I just am very sensitive to those like most of us. I follow a few people on Twitter and Instagram who post graphic pictures and it's very hard. Sometimes I'm tempted to unfollow them, but at the same time it is the truth of what's happening, and in a way those images are what made me decide to volunteer with the Humane League.
I picked up some Maca powder yesterday. I was reading about it, and apparently it can be beneficial to people who have thyroid issues. I'm going to be putting a teaspoon into my smoothies everyday. I have noticed an improvement since I started taking ashwagandha, so I'm feeling hopeful that with a good diet and some helpful herbs I can heal my thyroid!
It's like the universe read my blog yesterday and decided to cut me a gluten free break! This isn't bread of course, but I used to love these Nature's Bakery fig newton style cookies and their chocolate brownies before I was gluten free. They make gluten free versions, but I refuse to buy them because they are DOUBLE the price of the gluten versions. Because this box is all banged up they were on a Woo Hoo sale so I got to try them! They're really good! The texture is nice and I like the tart pomegranate flavor.
For dinner last night, I made this chilaquiles casserole.It's just tortilla chips layered with homemade enchilada sauce, black beans, fire roasted corn, red onion, and a handful of vegan shreds. It's a great use for tortilla chips. I always end up with half a bag slowly dying a stale death in my pantry.
Here is a very rare moment when all five of the babies were in bed together. That seriously never happens. It's a dreary rainy day so I guess it makes everyone want to cuddle.
This is how Roxy was sleeping last night! She likes to sleep in some of the most adorable positions, it's hard not to wake her up to tell her how cute she is! But then again, she already knows it!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gluten Free Struggles

This was my breakfast yesterday. Roasted Brussels sprouts and some kitchari with green dragon sauce. I'm pretty convinced that anyone who doesn't like Brussels sprouts has never had them roasted. I once tried steamed Brussels and gag, roasting is the way to go!
When I went vegan, I had maybe one or two weeks where all I did was dream of cheese, and mourn the loss of cheese in my life. This was back when there really weren't tasty alternatives. But after that small window of time, I have never felt deprived at all. As a matter of fact, I feel like a whole new world of foods opened up to me, and I started getting really creative in the kitchen. But lately with being gluten free I am struggling, and I do feel very deprived and restricted. I miss bread so much. I haven't been able to find a good gluten free bread. I miss sandwiches, and veggie burgers, and field roast and tofurky and gardein. Gardein makes a delicious gluten free black bean burger, but I haven't been able to find it. And even if I could, I have no bread or bun to put it on! Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have discovered the gluten free pizza crusts from Trader Joe's, and Ronzoni makes a decent gluten free pasta, but I still feel restricted and sometimes it's frustrating. I also miss flour tortillas. I haven't had a burrito in forever! And truth be told I prefer flour tortillas for tacos. Sorry for the rant, I just feel frustrated!
Anyway, enough of the boo hoos. Last night I made this big bowl of deliciousness. It's a salad with Romaine, avocado and red onion tossed with Just Ranch and topped with some almond feta, and potatoes and tofu seasoned with chili lime seasoning from Trader Joe's. Seriously the best seasoning ever! I of coursed doused it all with cholula. I guess it was kind of like a burrito bowl without beans. The almond feta got creamy as I stirred it around and just made the whole bowl decadent.
And now just look at that belly! It's completely irresistible to me, and Kanye knows it! She and Afro are total cuddle buddies for life!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Almond Feta Extravaganza!

It's been awhile since I've made vegan cheese. Like real cheese, not just a sauce. I experimented a bit with different cheeses using Agar Agar, and I used to have a cashew goat cheese recipe that I loved. I think it was from vegetarian Times, but it's been so long I can't remember. But for some reason I kind of stopped experimenting. Well, on Sunday I got back into the vegan cheese making game and tried a recipe for almond feta from Hot for Food which is one of my favorite YouTube channels. Here is the recipe I used. It seriously is so freaking easy, it took like five minutes of hands on preparing. The rest of the time is just waiting for it to set.
Here it is just made, waiting to be refrigerated. At this point it could be just a tasty cheese dip if you so wanted.

I had to get creative to let it properly set. The strainer needed to not be touching the bottom of the bowl, so I borrowed a string from the kitties. Afro was very disturbed and was trying to climb in the fridge to get the string back, even though there are five million strings floating around this apartment!
And here is the delicious finished product! To be honest it's now been so long since I've had dairy cheese all I can remember is that I loved feta, but I don't remember the exact taste, but this is delicious! It has a tang from the lemon juice that I remember feta having, and the texture is wonderful. I will definitely be making this again.
I made a pizza with the other gluten free crust and added white beans, shredded Brussels sprouts, garlic, nooch and sliced sweet onion along with some of the feta. This was a super delicious pizza. The cheese added a nice sharp kick.
I feel inspired to make vegan cheese again. The next time I'm at Trader Joe's I think I'm going to get some raw cashews and try to track down that cashew goat cheese recipe! I love being inspired in the kitchen!
Etta was in the mix, but in true Etta fashion jumped down as soon as I showed up to take a picture! I've just accepted that I might never properly make my bed again!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Another Vegan Haul!!

Blackberries, potatoes,Brussels sprouts, Ataulfo mangoes,English cucumber,avocados 
Sprouts is having a huge produce sale. I don't go to sprouts often because they can be Whole Foods pricey, and they don't have a clearance section like Natural Grocers, but I happened to look at their sale ad I got in the mail, and they are selling Ataulfo mangoes three for $.88! Ataulfo mangoes are hands down my favorite fruit, so I bought six. To be honest, I wish I would have bought more. I got all this produce for twelve dollars! I got ten pounds of organic potatoes for four dollars! Afro is very interested in the sprouts!
Lip balm, booch,incense,epsom salts

I popped in to Natural Grocers on my way to Trader Joe's and picked up some much needed lip balm and epsom salts. I've been doing some intense workouts in addition to yoga and my muscles have been aching!
This is the lip balm I found, and it was under two dollars which is pretty amazing for vegan and almost all organic ingredients. It's nice and thick and not chalky, and it has major staying power. Plus, it smells AHMAZING!
Bananas, frozen strawberries,tofu,red lentils,tomato paste, chili lime seasoning,spinach, Romaine,lemons,green dragon sauce,pizza crusts

This is my Trader Joe's haul. The three standouts are the gluten free pizza crusts which I gushed about yesterday, the green dragon sauce which is outstanding, it's vinegary and spicy and just the best, and the chili lime seasoning. Absolutely delicious!! I have no idea why I haven't tried either of these seasonings before!
I usually drizzle sriracha on my kitchari, but yesterday I tried the green dragon sauce and it was perfect! This stuff will be a regular in my kitchen. It's definitely spicy, but not blow your tongue off spicy.
I made oven fries for dinner and seasoned them with nooch and the chili lime seasoning. The best fries ever. This seasoning is amazing, and I can't wait to use it on everything! I saw Collen Patrick Goudreau use it on popcorn on Instagram and so of course I will be trying that. It's a little spicy, a little salty and a little limey, just perfect.
Here's Afro and Etta being cute on their very shredded paper fort. I don't have the heart to get rid of it because even though it's shredded, they love it so!
Happy First Day of Spring! To everyone still dealing with snow and cold temperatures, I hope it warms up very soon. I definitely don't miss those days!