Sunday, April 30, 2017

Asian Market Haul, Plus More!

So I was going to go to Trader Joe's yesterday, but it was a little later than usual and I just didn't feel up to dealing with the crowds. I decided that since I was already on the bus that takes me to the Asian market I would just go there. I don't know what I was thinking because the Asian market was a zoo just like Trader Joe's on a Saturday. The last time I went to that market it was a weekday and it was nice and relaxing and calm. Oh well, you live and learn right? I did okay with the crowds at first, but when I got honked at by some little kids in those huge car carts I knew it was time to wrap it up and exit with the quickness. I forgot to get jackfruit which is what I most wanted, but that's okay.

I had to get this shot of the beautiful snow capped mountains from outside the store. It's probably the last time they'll be covered in snow for awhile. There is a strip club, I'm sorry "Gentleman's Club" right next to the market, and I could hear the thumping bass. Those clubs are depressing enough at night, but it reaches new levels of sadness to me when they're open during the day on a beautiful sunny day.
They have so many different Miso pastes! I'm so used to seeing only a few at regular stores this was pretty amazing!
Fried tofu,Persian cucumbers,Chinese Eggplant,coconut milk,soy sauce,sriracha,split mung beans,rice noodles,Jasmine rice,more tofu,genmaicha tea,wasabi paste,mochi,red and yellow onion, green onion and nori wraps
I am so excited that I found split mung beans! Now I can make proper kitchari! I've been using split red lentils which are fine, but traditional kitchari is made with yellow split mung beans and I couldn't find them anywhere!! They also had Persian cucumbers on sale for $.50 a pound!! I got two pounds for one dollar! Deal of the century! All in all it was worth dealing with crowds and getting honked at. But when I go back it will definitely be during the week!
I had picked this up to sip on while I waited for my bus not knowing what to expect. Well, it is maybe the most delicious thing I've ever drank in my life. It's the sap from a coconut tree, and it tastes like liquid cupcakes or birthday cake. Now, I know that might sound sickly sweet, but it wasn't. There is no sugar in this, and it's sweet in the way that dates or raisins are. Sweet but naturally so. I sucked this down so fast and wished I had bought more. If you ever see palm juice anywhere you should try it, it is AHMAZING!
For dinner I made miso glazed eggplant with the Chinese eggplant that I bought. I have seen this dish several times on Susan's blog and it always looks so good. But I can never find Chinese eggplant, and I have a track record of failure when it comes to cooking regular eggplant. This was a success and it was delicious! I threw in a few cubes of fried tofu because why not. I kind of used this recipe, except I changed everything! I sliced the eggplant in circles, and I have no miren or sake, so I just used some rice wine vinegar. I also added some chili garlic sauce cause we all know I love my spice! This was a delicious meal. I've never used miso for anything other than soup!
My neighbor across the street have this in their yard for sale. How awesome is it? I so wish I had a yard, or room for it in my apartment. I've never seen anything like it and it makes me smile!
Speaking of things that make me smile, I love this picture of Etta and Afro. It looks like Etta is holding Afro down. She isn't, but it cracked me up!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe on a box of pasta for a mushroom cream sauce that used heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. It looked really good and very easy to veganize. So, last night that's what I did. I used slivered almonds to make a "heavy cream" and nutritional yeast for the Parm, and also added a few things to make it suit my taste buds. It turned out amazing, one of my favorite pasta dishes I've made in a long time. It was creamy, and garlic-y with a nice bite from the mushrooms. It made me realize I don't eat nearly enough mushrooms! And since it's been so rainy, I'm sure my body appreciated the vitamin D. I wrote down what I used and did, so I could share! It was really easy, and very delicious!

                                                              Creamy Mushroom Pasta
  • 1 Cup slivered almonds soaked overnight
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
Blend these ingredients together and set aside. This is your heavy cream.
  • 5 Cups sliced mushrooms. I used button and Crimini.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 Tsp. dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. lemon pepper or black pepper
  • 8 to 10 oz. dried pasta of choice. I used gluten free Fettuccine
While you're waiting for your pasta water to come to a boil, saute your mushrooms in about a teaspoon of oil, or water saute. Saute the mushrooms for about three to five minutes, then add salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. Turn the heat down to low and let everything get soft and let the flavors mingle. Once you've started boiling the pasta, add your almond cream to the mushrooms and let it simmer. Adjust the seasonings if you feel like it needs more salt or pepper. I ended up adding a pinch more salt and pepper. Take about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and add it to your mushroom sauce to thin it out a bit. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to your mushroom sauce. Turn the heat off and stir it all together. Sprinkle a generous amount of nutritional yeast on top when serving and enjoy!
This was just so good. Thyme, mushrooms and garlic are a trio made for each other. This was one of those dishes that tasted fancy but was really easy to make. I will be making this again for sure!
Here's Roxy all nestled in her paper fort. It is so adorable how happy they are and how much fun they have with paper!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pupusas and Kitty Forts!


I did it! I made homemade pupusas filled with corn, black beans, green onion and cilantro. Served with guacamole of course! They're really easy to make, you just make a dough with masa flour(corn flour) and then make balls about the size of a large lentil ball. Then, you make a little hole, put some filling in and gently close the hole and the flatten it until it's a thin disc. The last time I made these, I cooked them in a skillet, this time I baked them. I wrote down the recipe, but I want to make them again and cook them in a skillet to compare which is the best method. I feel like they turned out better on the stove top, but since it's been awhile I just want to make sure. These would be great to make for a party or potluck because they're delicious hot or at room temperatures. And, they're one of those dishes that seem harder to make than they really are. And the possibilities are endless when it comes to filling them! Any kind of bean/veggie combo would work, and of course vegan cheese would be amazing! Like I said, as soon as I make another batch on the stove top I will post the recipe!
It's a super happy day for us all. I got my shipment of cat litter today, so that means I got all new paper for the kitties to play with/shred! As an added bonus, I ordered cat food from the site also, so that meant two boxes with two sets of paper! Actually three sets because they wrapped the cat food twice! So, I was finally able to get rid of the shreds, and they have all new forts! They are all having so much fun right now! In case anyone is interested, I found this website called, and they have some pretty good deals. I used to order my 40 lbs. of kitty litter from Petco, and I had two horrible experiences with them, so I vowed never again. I don't even know how I stumbled across Chewy, but I have had no troubles at all. I get my shipments in one and a half days every time I order, and they have a big variety of cat and dog supplies, and some great deals. Anyway, in case anyone out there is like me and does not have a car, ordering litter online can be a real back and shoulder saver.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Getting Drenched

I was planning on running into Trader Joe's for a few more things yesterday, but it has been a very rainy week and I of course got stuck in it. I do not own a raincoat or umbrella so when I get caught in the rain I get drenched. So, I just went to Smith's and got a few things to hold me over until the weekend. Trader Joe's is about a block away from Smith's, and even though it's cheaper, and my list was for Trader Joe's, I just had no desire to get more soaked. I am running low on green dragon sauce, so I have to ration it to last. The panic is so real!
Masa flour, pineapple,sweet potato tortilla chips,avocados,Theo peanut butter cups,gluten free pasta, Bengal spice tea
Close up of the WooHoo price on the chocolate!
I also got mushrooms and organic collard greens for green juice. And onion and garlic. I was so frazzled from getting drenched and also going to a different store that I forgot. My list was for Trader Joe's, so being at Smith's really threw me off.
I wanted to get corn tortillas to make my own tortilla chips, but unfortunately all the corn tortillas sold at Smith's had a bunch of weird ingredients that I didn't like. I'll just get some at Trader Joe's when I go there. The sweet potato tortilla chips were on sale, and I can pronounce all the ingredients. I'm super excited for the masa flour because I'm going to make homemade pupusas either today or tomorrow!! And I think I might even try to make homemade empanadas!
I tried this booch to soothe my nerves as I waited for my bus. It's no dreamy orange live kombucha, but pretty tasty. I love anything raspberry.
I was going to get frozen fruit to make smoothies, but it's so much more expensive at Smith's than Trader Joe's, so I'm having green juice until the weekend. This is collard greens, cucumber, carrot and orange. I was too lazy to cut the pineapple, it could have used the extra sweetness.
I couldn't be bothered to cook for dinner, so I made some homemade potato wedges and frozen crinkle cut fries. Perfect easy comfort food. I made a delicious dip with Just Mayo and chili garlic sauce. I almost always go for sriracha, and I forget how delicious the chili garlic sauce is. It's spicy and just a little sweet. It was really a great easy dip.
And here's Kanye being ornery on top of the fridge. I have a bottle opener that is also a magnet and I keep coupons, recipes and other random stuff there. She likes to pull it all away from the magnet. I often wake up to my coupons scattered all over the kitchen floor. She also likes to jump in the freezer when I open it!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Random Tuesday

Vegan for an even longer life!
This is a restaurant in a plaza where my bank is near my apartment. Interestingly enough, in this smallish plaza there are three vegetarian/vegan restaurants. There are actually quite a few vegan/vegetarian restaurants close to my apartment. Even though I don't eat out, it's nice to know there is such a high demand for vegetarian/vegan food!
I mentioned making juice the other day, and I wanted to show what I use to make it as I don't have a juicer. You really don't need one. I just use my blender, and then this mesh strainer over a bowl. Just let it drain for a few minutes, and then gently press down on the pulp to get every last bit of juice. You have to use a smidge of water to get the blender going. I usually use an inch or two, depending on what fruits and veggies I'm using. Your blender will let you know if you need more water. I used to think I couldn't make my own juice because I didn't have a juicer, until I saw a YouTube video using a blender and it's been heaven ever since. You can also use cheesecloth to strain your juice. Years ago I had a juicer and I remember it was such a pain in the arse to clean I barely used it. I'm assuming they've come a long way in that department since then, but this works just fine for me.
I made this super creamy mac and cheese and peas last night. I made the sauce with potatoes, carrot, oats, nooch and miso for that tang. I was out of onion because I actually forgot onion when I went for groceries on Saturday. I haven't forgotten onion in years! Onions are just something I automatically grab, no need to even add it to my list. I just used some onion powder and it was fine. I topped it with green dragon sauce which is a wonderful compliment to mac and cheese! I am seriously going through about a bottle a week at this point, I can't get enough!
Here's a big old pile of floof to make this Tuesday a little cheerier. It's pretty hard to resist if you ask me!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Stuff

Please excuse the horrible picture, it's still dark out so the lighting is horrible! But look what I found! Natural Grocers had it. I forgot to show it with my haul because the first thing I did was get it in the freezer when I got home Saturday. I haven't had a bowl yet, but I did taste it before I put it away and it was amazing! Just like I remember pistachio ice cream tasting! They also have a rockiest road which is definitely on my radar! I've been on a live kombucha and NadaMoo! kick lately, and I noticed their both made in Austin, Texas. A YouTuber I like recently went to VegFest in Austin, and she said it reminded her a lot of Portland.
Here's my orange, carrot ginger juice I enjoyed yesterday. The mandarins I got at Trader Joe's are really sweet and juicy. This really hit the spot. I've been drinking smoothies lately, and it was nice to switch it up and have fresh juice.
I had a simple sushi bowl for dinner. I had been craving veggie rolls for the longest time, and Smith's was out of nori wraps, so I just got seaweed snacks and had a bowl. I also forgot to get cucumber, but this avocado was so perfect and creamy it made it all okay. I had tons of wasabi in my soy sauce. I love the burn!
Someone on Instagram posted yesterday that Trader Joe's now sells canned Jackfruit, like the kind you cook with! I am so excited! I didn't see it on Saturday, but I also didn't check for it because I saw it on the gram yesterday morning. I'll definitely be checking next time I go. It's apparently $1.99 a can, which is cheaper than regular groceries, but not cheaper than the Asian market. But, it's a safer, more pleasant travel experience to go to Trader Joe's, so it kind of balances out. Anyway, I really love that Trader Joe's is on top of food trends, even in the vegan world!
I put a fish for cats video on for Roxy. She was interested at first, but then got bored. I guess she prefers bird videos! I often think about getting another Betta fish, but Joan is just too much of a huntress. And also Brutus can be unpredictable. Maybe one day.
Here's a close up of that gorgeous mug. She has the prettiest green eyes, and she definitely knows it!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

All the Stuff

I am not someone who is into motorcycles or cars, but I saw this motorcycle parked at Smith's yesterday, and I had to take a picture. Have you ever seen anything like it? It's like a part car, part motorcycle. I wonder if the person built it, or if it came like that?
Potatoes,Jasmine rice,Mandarin oranges, Seaweed snacks,avocado,lemons,carrots,red lentils and tofu
Here's my mini haul. I couldn't get much because I usually order huge bags of litter online, and I didn't do that in time, so I had to pick some up to last until I get my delivery. I've made the mistake a million times of getting too much when I get littler, and the walk home from the bus stop is BRUTAL. I'll just make another trip later in the week. Cats before human in this house! I also plan on making another trip to the Asian grocery store. I love that place, but what stops me from going on the regular is the area and the bus I have to take. I think I've mentioned a few times that people in SLC are some of the nicest people of anywhere I've ever lived. But there is a street right up from my apartment called State Street, and once it hits downtown it's okay, but the part near where I live and also going the opposite direction which is where the Asian grocery is is really, really gross. I don't like taking that bus because it's full of  shady people, and it just doesn't feel safe at all. So, I always talk myself out of going there. But there are some things I want, so I'm going to woman up and go one day soon.
I got Mandarin oranges and carrots because after seeing Bianca's juice and smoothie reset, I was craving juices. I also got some ginger root that I didn't show. Orange, carrot ginger juice always makes me feel really energized and happy.
I had the sparkling ginger kombucha yesterday. Enjoyed on the deck while supervising Afro, Etta and Roxy sniffing around outside. This is of course modeled after ginger ale. I never was a huge fan of ginger ale, but I like this.
Potato wedges for dinner. Seasoned with spike seasoning, garlic powder, lemon pepper and smoked paprika. Spicy thousand island for dipping. I'm really enjoying using the sriracha ketchup for thousand island dip.
Here's Joan laying on my lap and keeping me safe while I watch Supernatural. I don't know what I'd do without her!!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

I Scream for NadaMoo! Vegan Ice Cream

Quite awhile ago I had gotten these Tres Pupusas on sale and have been saving them for a rainy day. Well, yesterday was that day, and funnily enough it actually was a rainy day! I had a hankering for crinkle cut fries, so I decided to have a bit of a cheat meal, but the green salad balanced it all out, right? To be honest, the pupusas are probably one of the healthiest, cleanest processed foods I've come across. The ingredients are masa flour, olive oil, black beans and corn. I plan on hunting down masa flour in the near future and making my own. I made them once when I lived in Seattle, and they're very easy to make. Anyway, this was a very tasty meal. I dipped the fries in sriracha ketchup which is seriously so delicious! I think I've seen sriracha mustard which I definitely want to try too.
The star of my day yesterday was this Nada Moo chocolate ice cream. When I was a kid, chocolate and also Neapolitan ice cream were always my favorite. Even as an adult while I do love other flavors, and ice creams with stuff in them, I still prefer plain chocolate with no frills. It's hard to find plain vegan chocolate ice creams, everyone feels like they have to add a bunch of stuff. Since I had coupons, I had picked this up and guys, if you love chocolate ice cream you will DIE when you taste this! Actually, you will feel like the hills are alive with the taste of chocolate! This is hands down the best chocolate ice cream I have ever had, vegan or not. The chocolate flavor is rich, and it's sweet but not too sweet and it's soooooo creamy! If I ever make it to Austin, Texas, I will visit their headquarters and hug them all! I think I might be as obsessed with this ice cream as I am with Green Dragon sauce!
Here's Etta pressed against my legs as I was doing yoga. Everyday is yoga with cats at my place! Most of the time I have Etta on one side and Afro on the other side! But ever since Etta was the tiniest kitten she has loved helping/bugging me when I do yoga!
Happy Earth Day! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cola, Cherries, Weird Coconut Milk and Of Course Cats!

As promised I tried the culture cola flavor of Live kombucha yesterday. Now I haven't had soda in a very long time, especially cola. Cola was never my preferred choice. But I have fuzzy memories of liking RC cola better than Coke or Pepsi, and this kombucha reminded me of RC cola. It's really delicious. Like a wonderful fizzy cola minus all the weird ingredients. And these Live kombuchas are low in calories and sugar, but you would never guess from the taste. Totally recommend!
This was a cherry, banana and hemp seed smoothie. I forgot that I had found frozen cherries on sale the other day. Pretty tasty with bananas. Cherries are very good for you, and I don't eat them nearly enough!
For dinner I whipped up a quick and easy potato and pea curry. Don't make the mistake I made. When I was at Big Lots, I saw that they had canned coconut milk for really cheap. I was actually out of coconut milk, and I knew I wanted to make this curry so I picked up a can. I didn't read the ingredients because it's coconut milk. So, when I opened the can, I noticed it was a weird texture, and smelled super sweet. So, I looked at the ingredients, and it had tapioca starch and a few other things that I had never heard of. So it had a starch thickened consistency, and one of the ingredients had to be a sweetener. I won't make that mistake again. Coconut milk should have one ingredient and that's coconut milk. So, while this was edible, it wasn't the best curry I've ever made. Womp Womp.
And here's Kanye in her favorite place to be, right in the middle of a cuddle. No matter how small the space, she always finds a way to squeeze in!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Liquid Dreamsicle

You guys, this flavor is seriously out of this world! It tastes like a dreamsicle, everyone's favorite concession stand treat at the community pool! That was always the one time I could have treats that didn't involve carob as a kid. My mom would give me a little money before we went to the pool, and I was allowed to get what I wanted.The concession stand was also my first experience with soft pretzels not made out of whole wheat. Anyway, this was a very refreshing treat yesterday. I seriously can't recommend this kombucha enough. I had coupons, so I got the cola flavor that I will be trying today. I never was a huge cola fan, but it's a flavor I haven't tried and I love all the other flavors so much. I will definitely report back!
I found this non vegan channel on YouTube that makes a lot of potato videos. They made a video for cottage fries which I had never heard of. They're called cottage fries because they look like the roof of a cottage. You just slice the potatoes in circles about 1/8 of an inch thick. I cooked them exactly how I cook regular fries. I seasoned these with garlic powder, lemon pepper and smoked paprika. They get nice and crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Circles may be the new wedge for me! The real star of this bowl is the dipping sauce. I combined Just Mayo with green dragon sauce. Um, can we say amazing? It's creamy and a little spicy, perfect!! This dip will definitely be a regular on this blog.
Speaking of Just Mayo, I was waiting for my bus yesterday and the stop was in front of a Big Lots. I've only been in a Big Lots once in my life, and I had some time to kill so I went in to see what they were all about. They had the big vat of Just mayo for $2.50!!!!! I didn't get one because I had just bought one at Smith's, and I thought I got a deal paying $4.50! To be honest I'm kind of regretting not getting it and just stashing it away. I think when I get groceries on Saturday I might pop in and see if they still have some jars left.
Don't mind the gross baconnaise next to it. If you have a Big Lots near you, check it out sometime. They have lots of condiments at really great prices. I am a condiment queen so I'm always looking for deals. I also saw La Croix sparkling water for super cheap, and they had a whole gluten free section with pastas and crackers. Also they had quinoa for a steal, even sprouted quinoa, which is usually a lot more. I was so tempted to get some, but I have no luck cooking quinoa. I fail every single time. I have watched tutorial after tutorial and I always end up with a mushy pile of mess.
Last night as I was winding down, Joan won the coveted spot on my lap, and Roxy tried her best to dethrone her. It didn't work, and so Roxy kind of laid halfway on my lap, and they kind of held paws. I love it when Joan is in a cuddly mood!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Traumatic Bus Experience, and Dillicious Potatoes

I made this smoothie yesterday with strawberries, bananas, hemp hearts and a few blackberries. I thought it was funny how much the blackberries colored the smoothie. There are less than five blackberries and loads of strawberries! They should look into using blackberries for dyeing purposes.
I've been taking public transportation for well over ten years now, and for the most part I'm perfectly happy with my choice. But yesterday I had one of the most disgusting, traumatic experiences I've ever had on a bus, and that's saying a lot because public and bus. So, there was a girl sitting in the front seat who had an open sore on her face. She was scratching this thing incessantly. I mean, it was hard not to stare. So, someone with a wheelchair was boarding the bus and she had to move to a different seat. Even though there were tons of empty seats, she of course sat next to me. Okay, so I'm trying super hard to be okay with the face scratching, and trying to figure out how to get away. At this point I'm wondering if I should just walk. So, her traveling companion turns around and tells her to stop digging at her face. She then decides to say OUT LOUD that she knows she should stop, but that she's been itching ever since they left the shelter. I immediately started feeling like I itched everywhere, and got off at the next stop and just walked. I felt seriously ill. Luckily for me as soon as I got off the bus I stopped itching, so it was obviously in my head but come on!! Sit in an empty seat!
So, needless to say when I got home I couldn't scrub enough, and I wanted a nice, comforting meal. Sometimes I wonder if being kind to Mother Earth is worth it. I'm kind of kidding. Anyway, I made a nice green salad with Greek Vinaigrette, oven baked tofu and Lemon-y dill potatoes. I used lots of dried dill, and my apartment smelled AMAZING!!! It was a nice way to soothe my frazzled nerves.
Thanks for listening to my gross bus story. You know how sometimes things happen and you can't wait to come home and tell someone? Well, I had no one to tell. I mean, my cats cared, but you know.
I had some of this deliciousness for dessert. I think this is my favorite flavor so far. If you can find Nada Moo near you, I really think you should try it. It is definitely my favorite vegan ice cream. And the salted caramel is absolutely dreamy!
These little girls always make things better too. Joan was sleeping in the coveted spot in my bedroom closet, and Kanye made herself at home right next to her. Notice the look of exasperation on Joan's face!