Thursday, November 30, 2017

Last Day of November

Yesterday I was looking for a winter coat which I didn't find. Actually I bought a really cute faux leather coat at Old Navy but ended up returning it. It was a bit more fashion than function, and unfortunately I don't have the budget to have two coats. Since I walk and take the bus I need a fully functional winter coat. Le Sigh. Anyway, I did pop into Whole Foods for another Califia Farms peppermint mocha.  I also saw a few new to me vegan items.
This sounds really good. But the price tag wasn't so good. It's over seven dollars a bottle! It's made with cashews, and has "superfoods" so I get it but at the same time I will never get it because I can't justify that price. But regardless of my limited budget and grumblings it's always nice to see more vegan options!
Remember back in the day when it was only soy nog? I never really minded because I like soy nog but it's just crazy that now there are so many choices. Although be warned, I just got a comment last night on a different post warning me that the malk is a huge disappointment. Weird, watery, sugary were mentioned so drink/buy at your own risk! Thanks Unknown(Trockwood) I agree with you, the price was already a turn off.
I also stopped at a different Natural Grocers and they had the Kite Hill ravioli. I totally forgot they made ravioli because I've never seen them anywhere! They were also super expensive as Kite Hill tends to be and also gluten but I might treat myself to a budget and gluten cheat day. Ravioli is a serious fave of mine.
I had a late night sushi bowl after work last night. For awhile I was getting in a habit of eating more processed food at night, so I'm trying to stick to meals like this that are pretty much as simple as a frozen meal. I feel better and it really is worth the extra few minutes. I like these sea tangle snacks I get at Whole Foods. They have the perfect amount of "fishiness" and I love that they say right on the front vegan Korean Nori.
Yesterday I was on my break at work and realized we had no spoons in the break room. I didn't want to have to run downstairs to the deli so I tried a fork. The cashewgurt is so thick it was no problem!
And one of my coworkers who has sampled some vegan goodies has now gone a full week of no meat!! He hasn't fully committed but a week is a week!
Creepy Afro! They've decided that the new it spot is behind my bedroom door. I guess it feels cozy and private, but they can still keep an eye on things.
I can't believe tomorrow is December 1st.!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Eating Plants

I know I showed these in yesterday's haul, but they deserve their own picture. Trader Joe's now sells dried split green peas! These join black beans, and red and green lentils in their little dried bean selection and I couldn't be happier! Trader Joe's has really been killing it lately!

Yesterday I made some smoky potato and split pea soup. I used smoked paprika and a little liquid smoke. There is no need for a ham bone or bacon or anything else gross!
I also have a tofu update. So yesterday I took my tofu taco mixture to my tofu hating coworker, and it was a SUCCESS!! She, her brother and one of her daughters loved it!! She said she was eating it cold before she even heated it up! I couldn't be happier! She called me a tofu magician! I feel great because now she and her family will be more open to meatless meals in the future! The vegan takeover continues!!!!
After work last night the girls made it hard to get in my warm comfy clothes! I didn't have the heart to move them so  I just found other things to throw on. Kanye's favorite place to sleep is in between Etta and Afro!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Another Vegan Haul

Well, I braved Trader Joe's yesterday before work and all I can say is YIKES. I figured the monday after Thanksgiving early afternoon would be somewhat safe. No. It was like black Friday in there. But like I always say it's kind of good for the wallet because there is no lingering down the aisles when it's like that. I also hit Natural Grocers for a few things. Which was much more pleasant I might add. First I'll show my Trader Joe's haul, and then Natural Grocers!
Green split peas,lemons,frozen strawberries, green olives,white beans,edamame, Earl Grey tea,Green Dragon Sauce,Jasmine rice,Tofux2,coconut oil,coconut milk,green chilis,carrots,bananas, orange and grapefruit

cold brew coffee,avocado,tomato paste,raw slivered almonds
Natural Grocers! Daiya shreds,hush puppies,big kombucha,gardein sliders,cashewgurt and coconut milk yogurt,nooch,cold brew coffee,veg stock
The nooch and cold brew coffee are from Smith's, the rest Natural Grocers. The veg stock was on clearance for $.75 because the box is a little damaged!! The sliders are not for me. I actually have two other coworkers who have asked me questions about veganism, one is pretty serious about it and the other claims he "just likes meat too much" So I got the sliders because they are kind of fast food-y and meaty. They had them yesterday and both of them gave big thumbs up!! Thanks gardein!
For dinner last night I had Buffalo tots! I just drizzled tots with cholula hot sauce and dipped them in vegan blue cheese. Not the healthiest, but man was it delicious! I really recommend trying this.
So I took the tofu mixture along with a can of black beans and some corn tortillas to work yesterday, and my coworker had the day off!! But even better today is Tuesday so she and her daughters can have tofu taco Tuesday! So far I'm having success showing people that vegan food is not all wheatgrass and kale!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tofu Try-Outs

Yesterday morning I was thinking about what type of sauce to make with the tofu for my tofu hating coworker. I had my thoughts stuck on bigger pieces of tofu which is how I almost always eat it. Then like a bright light bulb I thought of tacos. I always hear her talk about taco Tuesday so I thought why not make tofu tacos! I crumbled up a block of super firm tofu into tiny gardein crumble type pieces and then I just cooked it in a little coconut oil for fattiness and taco spices. I let it cook slow and low to get the tofu pretty dehydrated and crispy around the edges. Although I've never had the sofritas from Chipotle, I know that even non vegans have sung the praises so I tried to mimic that. It tastes good to me and it has a nice firm texture so I hope she'll like it. I'm braving Trader Joe's before work today(yikes) and I'll get a can of black beans for her to add when she heats it up. She has two daughters so it will be a nice little dinner for them. She said her oldest daughter who is twelve sometimes doesn't even want to eat meat so maybe we have a little future vegetarian/vegan?
I really hope she likes it. If she tries tofu a second time and doesn't like it, the tofu door will pretty much be closed. It definitely doesn't look like tofu, and I figure the crumbles are the least tofu like texture. I also used more coconut oil than I normally would to give it a little it of a fattier mouthfeel. I'll be bringing it to work today, and I've asked her to be very honest, I won't get offended. I really want to help non vegans enjoy vegan food because I think a lot more people would at least do meatless Mondays if they knew they could have whatever they wanted, only cruelty free! I will definitely report back when she shares her opinion!
I had a bunch of odds and ends and was craving curry so I made myself an odds and ends curry for dinner. This has a few potatoes, half an onion, a small piece of leftover tofu and a tiny amount of red lentils. Add some turmeric, curry powder, coconut milk and cilantro and you have yourself a really delicious curry! And of course sriracha makes everything better!
This was happening yesterday morning. It was originally Afro and Etta sleeping, and Kanye cozied in between them as she loves to do. It was so hard to clean and not crawl back in bed with them!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cheese-y Potato Corn and Greens Chowder. Vegan Of Course!

I had soup and grilled cheese for dinner last night! I didn't think I'd ever have a grilled cheese again! I'm so glad I bought two loaves of that gluten free bread. I also made a potato, broccoli corn and greens kind of cheese-y chowder and it turned out fantastic! It's very creamy and rich but not heavy. I used the So Delicious vegan shreds which worked great in the soup, and it did melt in the sandwiches but it took some work. I caught up on some Young Turks and made this soup. It was a great time! I even wrote down what I did and I'm glad because I definitely want to make this again!

                                                      Cheese-y Potato Corn and Greens Chowder
  • 6 Medium Large Russet Potatoes Chopped
  • 1/2 Onion Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 3/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 Tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 Cup. Chopped Broccoli 
  • 5 Cups Water
  • 5 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Bunch Lacinto or curly kale shredded
  • 3/4 C. Frozen Corn
  • 1/2 C. Lite Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 C. Vegan cheddar shreds
Saute the onion and garlic in oil of choice or water saute(I used a little coconut oil) on medium heat until translucent. Once they are translucent add the potatoes, all the spices and the broccoli. Stir around for a few minutes and then add water and nooch. Bring it up to a boil, and then simmer for about thirty to forty five minutes. Once everything is soft, take about half of the soup and blend it. Once it's smooth add it back with the rest. Add the corn, kale, shreds and coconut milk. Let this simmer for about five minutes, stirring often and then turn off heat place the lid on your pot and let it rest for a few minutes. Enjoy!
This soup was good and cheese-y without the vegan shreds so feel free to omit them. I just figured why not since I had them on hand.
To be honest the So Delicious shreds were kind of just okay. In the soup they were great, and after some nudging they mostly melted in my sandwich. But I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again. It's kind of like an if it's on sale type of thing.
Today is three weeks that I've had this couch. This is what my sweet girls have already done!! It really is everyone, but especially Afro. She puts her whole heart and soul in destroying furniture. She's like a furniture demolitioner or something. I think all cat people can relate!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Stuff

I need to get a winter appropriate pair of shoes/boots for winter. So believe it or not I braved black Friday and went to the plaza that houses Old Navy, Petco, Whole Foods and also a shoe store. I forget what it's called but it's some kind of warehouse type place that offers lower prices. I left with no shoes because they really weren't having that great of a sale in my opinion. It also wasn't a mad house which surprised me,
I did go to Whole Foods which also wasn't a madhouse and Petco which oddly was a madhouse. I got a few things at Whole Foods to tide me over till I have the strength to brave Trader Joe's again.
So Delicious vegan cheddar style shreds(!!) rice noodles, avocado,seaweed snacks,bananas,hazelnut coconut creamer,Forager cashewgurt, kale,kombucha,frozen strawberries, tofu, salted almond butter filled chocolate bar and dark chocolate with peppermint.
I also got some satsuma oranges, ginger,turmeric, cilantro and broccoli which didn't make it in the picture. I saw the So Delicious shreds on Instagram awhile ago and have been wanting to try them. I noticed them at Whole Foods the first time I went but I've always had vegan cheese at home. This time not only did I need vegan cheese, but Whole Foods had it on sale! It was meant to be! I'm going to make a potato broccoli corn and greens chowder kind of soup this weekend and I'm going to use a little of the shreds plus nooch to make it a cheese-y chowder. And since I have that extra loaf of gluten free bread in my freezer I will probably make a grilled cheese to go along with it. I haven't had a grilled cheese in well over a year!
Although my Thanksliving dinner of sides was very comforting and delicious, I needed something BOLD last night! I was super lucky and found an avocado that was ready to be eaten at Whole Foods. That never happens! I used the little seaweed snacks and made little sushi wraps.
I had some of this bar for dessert. I am not a huge fan of almond butter on it's own, but cover it in dark chocolate and suddenly I'm a super fan!
And here is a close up of sweet Joan. She is in a rare cuddly mood and she's been on my lap this whole time! Brenda if you're reading this that is the blanket you sent. We are both loving it!
Happy Caturday!

Friday, November 24, 2017


I saw this gluten free bread at work awhile ago. It's gluten free and it's actually vegan. It is of course pretty expensive which is why I haven't tried it up until now. Since I had to work yesterday I decided to splurge and get it for stuffing. I actually got two loaves. I used one for stuffing and have one in the freezer. I see a sandwich in my future! It's a Thanksliving miracle!
I had a simple dinner of sides. I was actually going to cheat and have a glutinous tofurky or Trader Joe's vegan roast, but I didn't get one in time, and we don't sell vegan roasts where I work. But sides are kind of the best part anyway! I also used the Mayacama gravy mix that I always use, but this time I tried the chicken flavor. It had a nice herb-y flavor. This was a nice little comforting meal after dealing with last minute shoppers all day.
My Thanksliving was pretty lame to be honest, but something that isn't lame and is worth talking about is this Awesomesauce from Hampton Creek. I had pretty much given up on ever finding this sauce, I had almost forgotten it existed!   Then, a few nights ago I  was putting something away at work and this jumped out at me! Who would ever think I would find this at the store I work at! As I've mentioned I don't really work at a vegan friendly grocery store. This is a very new development because just a week ago I checked to see if we sold vegan mayo and we did not.
I had to buy it. I really try not to spend money where I work, but come on it's awesomesauce!! When I got home from work that night I made some oven fries and tofu nuggets and tested out the sauce. It is high level awesome! It's like tartar sauce but with a lot more dill flavor. It seems like a tartar sauce that would be served in a fancy restaurant made by a super fancy chef. This would be AMAZING with some gardein fishless filets!! Hampton Creek does it again

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Some Eats

Yesterday for lunch I made a gochujang miso veggie soup kind of thing. I just threw some garlic, ginger and kale in a pot with some water and a little gochujang sauce. Then I added some lotus foods rice noodles and turned off the heat and stirred in some miso paste. I also added some oven baked tofu and a drizzle of sriracha. Everyone I work with has been getting sick and customers have been buying all kinds of flu and cold medicines and coughing all over me so I am drinking tons of airborne and trying to get in all the probiotics I can!
Work was hard yesterday. The whole turkey situation has me feeling really blue. And hearing everyone talk about how they're going to cook it and on and on is really making me sick if I'm being honest. And it's so hard to just smile and act like this is all okay. And I won't go into graphic detail because it's bad enough that I had to deal with this but when people buy turkeys that aren't frozen they can be rather leaky and I think you all know what they're leaking. It's so terrible I'm crying right now. Anyway I could go on but I won't. So yesterday after work I was drained and feeling really blue so I really couldn't be bothered to cook anything. I actually had no appetite but I made myself have something. And that was two Dr. Praegers burgers.
I also added a dollop of hummus just for kicks. This plate I am using is a Cindy Crawford design! Who knew she designed plates? I got it at a thrift shop for seventy five cents so I really scored on that one!
The past few days have been warm and sunny so the girls have been loving the windows being open and sniffing the crisp fall air. And of course Joan and Kanye are always on squirrel watching duty!
I probably won't be posting tomorrow because I have to work late tonight and then be there kind of early tomorrow. But I hope that everyone who celebrates has a wonderful day, and for those who don't I hope you also have a wonderful day! I am so grateful for everyone I've met through this blog. I can't wait to see all the delicious looking food pictures that are going to be floating around!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Simple not Complicated

As I've mentioned I don't really get a meal break at work so I either go all eight hours without eating or I might have a snack of vegan yogurt or some hummus and veggies/crackers. So I like to have a hearty meal before work to tide me over. Yesterday I realized it's been far too long since I've had lentil soup.  This has red and green lentils, potatoes and a bunch of the cruciferous mix. I kept the seasoning simple, just salt, pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric and crushed red pepper. I topped my bowl with some sunflower hummus and of course green dragon sauce. This kept me full for a really long time.
One thing I love about this time of year is that potatoes are cheap! I got a ten pound bag of potatoes for  $1.99! I've been having lots of oven fries and I couldn't be happier. I had been relying on frozen fries too much when I got home from work. It feels better to take the extra five minutes to just prepare my own. So last night I had some fries with some more gardein meatless balls. I always want to laugh and make juvenile jokes when I type meatless balls. Am I alone? I seriously forgot how tasty these are. Delicious, so worth the cheat! I mixed sweet and spicy mustard with vegan mayo for the sauce.
So last week I took one of my coworkers some extra cauliflower cheese sauce and she and her cauliflower hating husband loved it and she asked for the recipe, and now I have a coworker who tried tofu at an Asian restaurant and didn't like the texture. She said she was fine with the taste. So I told her that I'm going to make her some tofu to change her mind! I'm going to use the super firm tofu from Trader Joe's that isn't packed in water and I'm going to make two versions, one just plain baked with coconut oil and salt and pepper which is my all time favorite, and the second version in some kind of sauce. I'm going to find out what flavors she likes today. I love sharing vegan food and also opening peoples minds to a meat free life! I'll definitely let you know what she thinks. I love a challenge!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lantana Hummus and Stuff

I recently discovered this Lantana hummus at the grocery where I work. I've had five flavors now and they are all outstanding. My two favorite flavors are the carrot sriracha and the spicy yellow lentil hummus. Last night I tried the sunflower which is made with sunflower seed butter instead of tahini. It's nice for people with sesame allergies and it has a nice creamy texture with a nutty taste. I haven't seen this brand at any other stores, but I'm sure it's out there. They all have interesting toppers too. Like the spicy yellow lentil has a little apricot and pine nut topping, so it's just a little bit of sweetness with the spicy.
Awhile ago I bought these rice ramen noodles on sale at Natural Grocers. I finally remembered the miso paste last week so yesterday before work I made vegetable miso soup with baked tofu. I added a bunch of the cruciferous vegetable mix from Trader Joe's. It has kale, broccoli slaw, Brussels sprouts and red cabbage. Still getting those probiotics in as much as I can!
For dinner after work I had oven fries with a creamy pesto dipping sauce. I had the tiniest bit of pesto left so I mixed it with some vegan mayo. Soooooooo good!! I seasoned the fries with salt and pepper, garlic powder and nooch. Yum.
I actually had someone ask me where I get my protein as a vegan the other day! I haven't been asked that question in so long I forgot it was a question! I think it took me a few seconds to recover and respond because I guess I thought that question was laid to rest. I love it  when people are looking at you like you must be malnourished except that you are clearly healthy!! I sometimes find it so hard to bite my tongue when people ask dumb questions or make excuses for not being vegan.
Here is something that isn't annoying! Well, Miss Independent Joan is probably annoyed but Kanye doesn't care!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One of Those Days!

Before I talk food I I wanted to let you all know that I have been trying to respond to comments for the last few days and I don't know what's happening with blogger but when I hit reply that little blue circle pops up like it's buffering or something. Yesterday I got to reply to one comment and then it happened again. So I am trying to respond to comments I promise!
I found another delicious way to use the vegan pesto from Trader Joe's. Yesterday before work I roasted some potatoes and then tossed them with the pesto and some nooch. Once the warm potatoes hit the pesto the smell was out of this world!
This was such an easy and delicious lunch! And pesto is a food that cheers me up. I think it's the fresh smell maybe it reminds me of spring? Anyway between this and the sunny walk to work I felt pretty chipper when I walked into work. If only that feeling could have lasted...
It's been about a year since I found out I have hypothyroidism. Because gluten is not good for people with hypothyroidism I have also avoided gluten for that long. It's been tough. Going vegan was seriously not tough for me, but living gluten free has been really frustrating and I do feel deprived if I'm being honest, where I don't feel deprived at all being vegan.Anyway, last night I decided that a few gardein meatless balls would go so well with some leftover spaghetti squash lasagna. I was so right. I have missed gardein so much you don't even understand! I always look at it longingly when I'm grocery shopping. And when it's on some kind of amazing sale it takes a lot of willpower to walk away. So this was a real treat and after the day I had I deserved it. I won't go into too much detail, but the short version is that yesterday we had a special BBQ day where the deli made smoked ribs so people could buy what they call racks. Which are ribs, like the ribs of a being that wanted to live. Anyway I had to ring up meat enthusiasts until I begged to be stationed at the self checkout where there is a lot less interaction with the customers. But the bad part of that was the self checkout is right by where they had the rib sale going on. I was pretty much trapped. So not the best day I've ever had.
I also made some gluten free brownies when I got home from work. I had a brownie mix that I had picked up on clearance forever ago so I just mixed it with one can of lite coconut milk. I didn't have any flax seeds so I didn't even use an egg replacer and it totally worked! You know I had a bad day when I bake at night!
And here is Afro in a ray of sunlight enjoying one of the toys Brenda sent along with the cookbooks. She likes to use it as a pillow! She was sleeping when I was taking the picture, but certain kitties woke her up. (Ahem Etta)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

More New Stuff!

Yesterday was a rainy day and I had the day off so I decided to make spaghetti squash lasagna. I saw a Whole Foods ad on YouTube and they made this lasagna using spaghetti squash as the noodles and I thought, duh why haven't I thought of that?? Gluten free lasagna noodles are expensive and you get like three in a box so you need at least two boxes. Anyway unfortunately I didn't write down what I did because I just kind of wanted to zone out and cook. But it was super simple. I roasted the squash and then layered it with marinara, an herbed tofu ricotta I whipped up, a little of the vegan pesto from Trader Joe's and some vegan shreds.
Look at that melt! I used the vegan shreds from Trader Joe's and they worked perfectly here! I flavored my tofu ricotta with garlic, salt, pepper, fresh parsley and green onion. You know how sometimes you make a dish that exceeds your expectations and it just feels so good? Well this is that dish for me. I figured it would taste good because how could it not, but it was just so much better than good! And the spaghetti squash worked perfectly. It even held it's shape when I cut it!
The horrible lighting is not doing this dish any justice! I would definitely make this for a nice dinner party. With the red of the marinara and the green from the pesto and parsley it looks very festive! It would even be good with no vegan cheese and just an extra sprinkling of nooch on top. But the vegan cheese kind of brings home the whole lasagna feel! So thanks Whole Foods ad for the great idea!
Last night was a dessert night. I needed some sweet relief from life. I have had the talenti mango sorbet and it is soooooo good, especially on a hot summer night. I always assumed all of their ice creams are not vegan, but somehow this peanut butter fudge sorbetto is vegan! You guys if you like peanut butter, do yourself the biggest favor and look for this at your grocery store. It is fluffier than ice cream, but yet still creamy. I don't know how to perfectly describe this but I know that it's a game changer! And the fudge swirls are a soft fudge swirl, like fudge sauce not hard chunks of fudge. It reminded me of a peanut butter cream pie.
Here's my little heat lover Kanye taking up all the heat in my bedroom! But she's kind enough to leave the rest of us a few inches!
Happy Caturday!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Vegan Trader Joe's!

I went to Natural Grocers and Trader Joe's yesterday afternoon before work to get a few things to tide me over for the week. I thought early Thursday afternoon would be a safe time to shop but it was like Saturday afternoon at Trader Joe's! I almost turned around as soon as I walked it to be honest! But I stuck it out and I even got a few pictures of new items I saw but didn't buy. I'll start with the new items and then show my haul!
Three new vegan salad dressings! I want to try them all! They are either $3.69 or $3.49 each.
What the Bitchin sauce is this? It looks similar in texture to the bitchin sauce I recently tried. I think this was around $3.49 or so as well. I bet it's amazing!
I almost got these because not only are they vegan but they're also gluten free! But I still have some Dr. Praegers burgers to finish up before I go buying more veggie burgers. They're made with pea protein so I'm guessing somewhat similar to a Beast Burger?
The chicken-less tenders are back! I don't think they're gardein but someone I follow on the Gram tried them and said they liked them even better than the previous tenders!
These were at Natural Grocers. I have seen the pulled pork and one other flavor pocket but I've never seen the eggless scramble pockets. They look so good but alas gluten.
Here is my little mini haul from Natural grocers. They have GT's booch on sale for $1.99 a bottle! They also have the Califia cold brew on sale so I had to get the peppermint mocha!! It's sooooo good! I also picked up more miso paste because it's been too long since I've had miso soup!
almond nog, coconut milk, tofu,marinara sauce, cruciferous salad mix,spaghetti squash,more tofu,carrots,lemons,kale cashew vegan pesto(!!), garlic,frozen blueberries,bananas

Today I am making a spaghetti squash lasagna with a tofu/almond ricotta, marinara sauce and this vegan cashew basil and kale pesto I found at Trader Joe's. I have my squash roasting right now with some garlic and my apartment smells AHMAZING!!
Here is a close up of the pesto. I'm not sure how long this has been around but it's new to me. Trader Joe's is really showing a lot of vegan love lately!