Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Short and Sweet

I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get some cashewgurt and some bananas. I decided to try the vanilla bean cashewgurt this time along with lemon and strawberry. I know I keep talking about it, but this yogurt is just sooo amazing! You can see specks of actual vanilla bean and it's thick and creamy and the perfect amount of sweetness. It was so delicious I swear it put me in a better mood and made the public at large a little easier to deal with! The vanilla bean is competing with lemon for my favorite flavor. Seriously everyone needs to try this yogurt!

I also got this HoDo Soy braised tofu. I always like their products, and this will be nice with some rice for a quick after work dinner. It's braised in five spice broth so it should be GOOD!
Here's my girl Roxy. Doesn't she have the prettiest green eyes? She has been so cuddly lately and it makes it so hard to get out of bed sometimes!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Work Stuff

Has anyone ever seen yellow/orange poinsettias before? We got these at work the other day and they are apparently called autumn leaves poinsettias. I'm just so used to seeing the deep red that I don't know how I feel about these. They do look like fall leaves though.
I also took this picture at work. I was putting some go backs away and had to laugh because right as the Halloween candy ends the Christmas candy begins. I swear that sometime in my lifetime it will just be a constant push for Christmas all year.
I tried these pumpkin seeds the other day as a little at work snack. They're dry roasted with some seasonings and spices including cayenne. The name is definitely right, they are somewhat spicy. What I like the most is the really light and crispy texture. I forgot how much I love pumpkin seeds!
I've now tried three flavors of the Forager cashewgurt. This is hands down the best vegan yogurt. I just can't get over the creamy texture. Yogurt is a great snack to have at work because I can eat it quickly and as long as I've eaten enough before work it tides me over until I get home. So thank you Forager project for making a delicious vegan yogurt. Or yogurt alternative as they say on the package.
A whole post about work stuff. Yikes!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Bitchin Dude

Yesterday I was at Petco again getting a new cat litter scooper. And of course since the new and improved Whole Foods is in the same plaza I stopped in to get some more of the cashewgurt I fell in love with last week. It's so nice to know that I can afford to pick up a few things at Whole Foods! My haul isn't that exciting but here it is anyway!
Cashewgurt, fresh turmeric, carrots,Pumpkin spice latte,Justin's cups,orange,frozen strawberries,kombucha,bananas,avocado,sriracha tofu, regular tofu, Justin's peanut butter packet
I was going to get a single size Califia Farms coffee to take to work, but the single size was $2.99 and the big pumpkin spice guy was on sale for $3.99! I have been avoiding caffeine since I found out about my hypothyroidism, but with these late hours I'm working sometimes I need a boost. My body is not adjusting to this schedule at all.
So this time I decided to try the lemon cashewgurt. That is our dingy break room in the background. I am obsessed with this yogurt. In my experience vegan yogurt goes from meh to really bad, and it's never really worth the cost. This is definitely the star of the vegan yogurt world. The texture is nice and smooth and creamy and there is no weird aftertaste. If you see this yogurt anywhere I really encourage you to try it. It reminds me of dairy yogurt and I mean that as a compliment. I used to love yogurt and I rarely have it as a vegan because they have all disappointed me until now.
I've always wanted to try this sauce, but the price has always turned me off. It's made with almonds and nooch and just a few other ingredients so I always planned on just trying to make it myself. Well shockingly we started carrying it at work and it was on sale. At first I was torn because I'm trying not to buy anything at work because I don't really like the company so I don't want to support them. But I also want to support them becoming more vegan friendly. I decided to go ahead and give it a try.You guys, this stuff is AHMAZING! It's thick, almost like hummus if hummus were made with almonds. And the pesto has a great fresh basil flavor. Like I want to live in the tub of bitchin sauce. It's creamy and cheese-y and just serious YUM.

It looks pretty blah with my crappy kitchen lighting, but trust me this was a thrown together meal that made me lick my bowl! If I were still eating bread a baguette and this sauce could easily be dinner. I don't know what I'm going to do with the original, but I can't wait to try it.
As I mentioned my sleeping is super thrown off and I struggle some mornings. These little snuggle monsters don't make the struggle any easier.
Happy Caturday!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lazy Vegan Meals and Kitty Belly!

Last night's after work meal was another beige one. Tater tots and tofu nuggets dipped in ketchup and A-1 sauce. Another lazy meal. But oh so good! The Whole Foods brand tater tots are really good I have to say. They seem a little less greasy, but just as crispy. And they're about the same price as any other tater tot brand. The tots and the cashew yogurt are definitely worth a trip to Whole Foods!
Awhile ago I was reading Bianca's blog Vegan Crunk and she made Ramen in a sweet potato broth and it has been on my mind ever since. So yesterday morning I made a sweet potato red lentil curry soup and had it with some rice noodles and baked tofu for breakfast/lunch. Topped with gobs of sriracha of course!
Endangered Species chocolate bars were on sale at Smith's for $1.50 so I decided to try the forest mint. I don't know why on earth it's taken me so long to try this flavor! It's so good! The mint flavor is perfect, not too strong and not too mild. This leaps to the top of my favorite flavors from this brand.
And here is Joan feeling super happy that she beat her sister to the vent. Although Joan loves all the vents, the bathroom vent seems to be the favorite!
And here is a bonus belly shot of Joan's adorable cinnamon belly. She doesn't cuddle very often, but when she does, she gives it her all!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Potatoes All Day

When I was at Whole Foods last week, I got some fresh turmeric root. It's the only place I've seen fresh turmeric root since moving to SLC. So yesterday I made a carrot, ginger, turmeric orange juice. It was really zippy and refreshing. And as usual I got a little burst of energy. I figured the turmeric would be good for my back since I'm still not at 100%. People have been buying insane amounts of pumpkins. And the last little bit of my cold is lingering so I figured the vitamin C and ginger would help kick it out of my body.
For breakfast/lunch I made some roasted potatoes seasoned with Creole seasoning and made potato tacos. I kept it simple and topped them with cilantro and green dragon sauce. Super easy and really delicious.
I like the corn tortillas from Trader Joe's. They're a little bigger and sturdier than other brands I've tried. They don't compare to a flour tortilla of course(sob) but they make great tacos.
I decided to stick with the potato theme and have potatoes again for dinner. I was feeling a little blue last night because it was my last day off so I made the ultimate comfort food. Mashed potatoes and gravy.
I haven't seen the Mayacamas gravy mix anywhere in SLC and it's definitely my favorite. Randomly we have it where I  work in the gluten free section. It's so good and doesn't have weird ingredients in it. Although I am working on not buying anything where I work. I don't like several things about the company, and I don't want to give them any of my money. I'm sure I can buy this gravy online.
My girls don't want my work week to start either. They like the extra snuggles and also having meals on a regular schedule!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce

We all know I love potatoes. I love cooking with and eating potatoes. And I also feel my best when I'm eating a potato heavy diet. But I don't cook with or eat sweet potatoes that often. Truth be told they're not my favorite. I always see pictures and recipes on Instagram and they look so beautiful but for me they don't compare to a regular old potato. I decided to pick up a bag of sweet potatoes while I was at Trader Joe's the other day. I want to try to find a few ways to enjoy them because they are so good for us. Since I've had good luck making cauliflower cheese sauces, I decided to make a sweet potato cheese sauce. I went simple for my first try, but will definitely be adding other seasonings and flavors when I make this again. I wrote down what I did too. It turned out creamy and savory and really delicious. It looks like a cheese sauce made out of velveeta to be honest.
                                                            Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce
  • 2 Small or 1 Large Sweet Potato Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Red Onion Chopped
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 5 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 3/4 C. reserved cooking liquid
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C. Canned Lite Coconut Milk
Boil the sweet potato, onion, garlic with a dash of salt and pepper until soft. I boiled mine for about twenty minutes. Reserve 3/4 of the cooking liquid, drain the rest. Add the cooked potato, onion and garlic to your blender with the cooking liquid, the coconut milk and the seasonings and blend until smooth and creamy.

The canned coconut milk gives a little extra creaminess and fattiness to the sauce. And because of the onion and garlic and nooch it has a great savory flavor, it's hard to guess that the sauce is made out of sweet potatoes!
I stirred mine with some gluten free pasta for a really creamy mac and cheese. It coated the noodles perfectly and was a super comforting dinner. I definitely would not have guessed this was made with sweet potatoes if I hadn't made it myself! Adding a little smoked paprika and green chilis would make a wonderful Queso cheese sauce!

Here's Kanye hogging the heat in the bathroom! This is from a night last week when I got up to use the bathroom and it was so cold, then I went out to the living room and it was so cold, and I noticed Joan was hogging the heat in the living room!
I know it's dark and fuzzy, but I had to show it. These two little stinkers just love the vents being on the floor! Such little dorks!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hazy Lazy Sunday

I needed a few things from Trader Joe's and found myself there yesterday afternoon. Saturday afternoon is probably one of the worst days to find yourself there. Yikes. But I lived to see another day and I still have all my hair! It was a quick trip, I just got a few basics.
Sparkling water,red onion,lemons,lite coconut milk, tofu x2,Jasmine tea,sweet potatoes,sweet onion,frozen strawberries, gluten free pasta, garlic,red lentils,tomato paste
I also stopped at Natural Grocers for a huge kombucha, a Hail Merry treat and some chocolate that was on sale. I love the big booch bottles at Natural grocers. They're about $6.50 and I get five servings so a little more than a dollar a serving. And they make great water bottles for later. I promised myself in the next few weeks I'm going to get a couple of jugs/pitchers and a starter set to make my own booch again. It's such a money saver.

For dinner I made pizza. I had a gluten free crust in my freezer so I cooked up some lentils and made a quick pizza sauce. I topped the crust with the sauce, lentils, a few dabs of olive tapenade, red onion, nooch, garlic, vegan shreds and crushed red pepper. It was so delicious! The olive tapenade added such a great salty flavor. I added fennel seed to the sauce so it had a great sausage-y flavor as well.
The picture is a little blurry, but I realized the blur is creating an almost angelic glow around Afro. So funny since she has been being such a pill! She has decided this chair is her favorite place to lay since it's kind of facing the door. She is obsessed with what is going on outside and tries to bum rush the door anytime I open it, or she thinks I'm going to open it.
This is my current view. I'm having a lazy Sunday morning blogging from bed and everyone but Joan is lounging. Joan is too busy staring at all the squirrel activity! I have today off and it feels so good to cuddle and lounge. I'm going to clean, cook and detox bath. My favorite kind of day!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Trying New Things

Yesterday I had to run some errands before work, and I found myself in a shopping plaza that had a Whole Foods. You guys know I don't shop there because I can't really afford to. But recently I've been reading about Amazon buying Whole Foods and lowering the prices. From what I could see it's really happening! I noticed that the bananas were only $.49 cents a pound and $.79 for organic. Both prices are cheaper than I've seen anywhere else. All in all I'm glad I checked it out, but I'll probably stick to my Trader Joe's/ Natural Grocers/Sprouts routine. I did pick up a few fun things
Chipotle hummus,frozen raspberries,avocado,cashew yogurt, potatoes, orange, kombucha, iced tea,bananas,carrots,chocolate, tater tots,tofu, turmeric root and ginger root
I also had a second booch that I drank while waiting for the bus. I spent about twenty five dollars which isn't bad, especially for Whole Foods!

I need to talk about this cashewgurt. I've seen this on a few Instagram posts, and have never seen it anywhere, even Sprouts. I finally saw it yesterday in the little vegan yogurt section and I knew I had to try it. It was about $1.69 a container which isn't cheap, but it also isn't super expensive like I had suspected. I took this with me to work as a little snack and guys, this is hands down the best vegan yogurt I've had period. It has a wonderful texture, it's thick but not too thick and it's so creamy on the tongue. It's sweet but not too sweet, and has a great natural strawberry flavor. I wanted the cup to last forever! This yogurt alone is worth a special trip to Whole Foods. I want more right now as I'm typing this!! This yogurt is seriously AHMAZING!!!!
When I got home from work I heated up some tots and had them with this chipotle hummus I found on sale. It's made in Colorado and it is really, really good. Remember how I fell in love with the chipotle veganaise? Well this is the hummus version. It's spicy with just the right amount of smoky. Absolutely delicious. Hummus and tots might sound weird, but don't knock it till you try it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cheap and Cheerful

It seems like over the last couple of years I don't get a lot of questions about protein as a vegan, I get more questions about the expense of a vegan diet. I also have a coworker who thinks veganism seems really complicated. I have two coworkers who expressed interest in becoming a vegan someday, but because it's so complicated they want to wait until they can really commit. I of course have made it my mission to show how uncomplicated it is, and also how inexpensive it can really be. Any diet can be complicated and expensive. And any diet can be simple and inexpensive. Last night's dinner is a perfect example. I made some gluten free pasta, stirred in a little garlic hummus and a few spoonfuls of olive tapenade and nooch and half a can of white beans. Topped it all with some black pepper and crushed red pepper and I had a delicious one pot meal that was fancy and simple all at the same time. And it was ready in under fifteen minutes.
Crappy kitchen lighting, delicious meal

 This dish is creamy from the hummus, and the salty tapenade cuts through with a nice punch of flavor. This meal was neither complicated or expensive. You don't have to eat a frozen meal if you're tired and on a budget. And you don't have to spend a lot of time or money either. Vegan food like vegans comes in all shapes and sizes!
The girls get treats every morning, and yesterday I was having a tough time getting out of bed to hand out the treats. This is Kanye's very subtle stare letting me know I was late. Kanye has always been the treat regulator. She likes to get them in a timely manner thank you very much!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tasty Vegan Foodz

I had a pretty great food day yesterday even though I had to work. For breakfast/lunch I turned some leftover rice into curry fried rice with green onion and edamame. I served it with half of a perfectly ripe avocado, Dr. Praeger's Bombay burgers and lots of sriracha. This was such a delicious combo. It really made me feel satisfied before going to work.
Yesterday morning I also prepped an enchilada casserole so that when I came home from work all I had to do is pop it in the oven. It felt really good to take the time to do that for myself so that when I came home I didn't have to cook, but I also didn't have to grab something quick and easy.
Here it is before being baked. It's just corn tortillas layered with lentils, green chilis, green onions, nooch,vegan shreds and homemade enchilada sauce. I was going to write down the recipe, but I was out of chili powder which threw me off so I had to kind of turn into a mad scientist so I forgot to write down anything. I still managed to make a tasty enchilada sauce with cumin, smoked paprika and a few other random spices.

It came out messier than expected and also my kitchen lighting doesn't help but trust me it was delicious and was such a comforting meal after a long and brutal night at work. And of course I have leftovers for today!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Soup and Cats for the Vegan Soul

This is the delicious coconut curry butternut squash soup I made the other day. It was so easy thanks to the canned butternut squash I got from Trader Joe's. I just sauteed some garlic in a little coconut oil, and added some curry powder and crushed red pepper. Then I added the squash and a can of coconut milk. I let it all simmer while I cooked some rice and baked some tofu for croutons. 

Sorry for the crappy kitchen lighting! This was my dinner last night. Jasmine rice, leftover butternut squash soup with a Bombay burger on top. This was a really delicious combo. The Bombay burger and the soup really complimented each other.
I wanted to mention this kombucha from Trader Joe's. I had been eyeing it over the summer, and I finally decided to try it on Friday. I didn't even read the label because it's kombucha right? I drank it while waiting for the bus, and it was really tasty. Well, after drinking most of it I noticed that it is made with honey!!! I didn't even know that was possible. When I was researching how to brew your own booch, everything I read said you have to use real sugar for the fermentation process to work. I feel so bad that I drank it and worse that I didn't read the label. I just always thin of booch as a safe thing to buy without having to read the label. Lesson learned. I just thought I would warn other people. And from now on I'll be reading kombucha labels!
I had a rough night at work yesterday. I mentioned that standing in one spot has been really making my back ache, well it's Halloween time and we of course sell pumpkins. Some of them over thirty pounds. So yesterday I lugged at least fifteen over thirty pound pumpkins from the cart onto the scale and then back into the cart. My back hurts so much I can hardly stand it. I barely slept and sometimes if I move the wrong way the pain is so excruciating I immediately start crying. I don't know how I'm going to get through these next two weeks with these pumpkins. Anyway, as always my girls cheered me up when I got home!
This has always been one of Roxy's favorite poses. She looks like such a little lady don't you think?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Another Vegan Haul

I was off yesterday and finally made it to Trader Joe's for some groceries. I also stopped at Natural Grocers for a few things. It feels good to have food in my apartment! I've been picking up a few things here and there at work and I don't like doing that. As I've mentioned the store I work at is very expensive for a lot of things. And as I've learned more about the company I really don't like supporting them so I'm happy to be back to normal.
The few things I got from Natural Grocers. Nag Champa, one of my favorite flavors from GT's, carrot turmeric ginger. It's a seasonal flavor and it's really nice. Green tea with Dandelion, and Hail Merry Meyer lemon tarts.
Perfect dessert!

tofu,spinach,spud crunchies, green onions,vegan shreds,gluten free pasta, green chilis, frozen strawberries
Jasmine rice, tomato paste, olive tapenade, coconut oil,butternut squash, avocado,coconut mil, cannelini beans, white onion, corn tortillas,lemons, bananas, lentils
I was super excited to see organic canned butternut squash next to the canned pumpkin. I would eat so much more butternut squash soup if they were easier to cut! Thanks Trader Joe's for making my soup dreams come true!
Here's a close up of the can. I have to ask them if it's seasonal like the pumpkin the next time I'm there. I might have to stock up!

Little buddy was hanging around during the day yesterday so I got a little better picture! I still can't get too close but we are making progress. He is the original kitty I was feeding, and now there are about four or five who come around. I haven't named him yet but something will come to me. He's a handsome little fellow. Please keep your fingers crossed I can get him inside before winter. Believe it or not we're supposed to have our first freeze tonight. It's only mid October!!!