Monday, December 31, 2018

Sexy Potato Video and a Mini Haul!

If you guys think I know how to make a potato, you should watch this video. I have so many ideas swimming around my head right now. If you have a few minutes you should settle in for some amazing potato porn!!!
oranges,avocados,mini sweet peppers,Romaine hearts,kombucha,popsicles,lemons,tofu,carrots and Roxy!!
Of course the one time I don't get potatoes at the store I come across the sexy potato video! This little haul is from Sprouts, Trader Joe's and Smiths. Sprouts is having a great sale on the cuties and avocados. They're also having a great sale on Brussels sprouts but sadly they were all sold out except for a few wilted sprouts that had definitely seen better days!
I whipped up this delicious salad last night. It's got Romaine, sweet mini peppers, black beans, and tofu baked with salt, pepper and nooch!! This hit the spot! I may not be going full Eat to Live, but I am excited to try and eat a salad a day along with at least half a cup of beans. Those two changes seem doable even with my budget. These changes feel realistic for me right now. Maybe if my budget changes I can make even more changes.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Near Year. Please be safe and careful if you're out and about! See you next year! (I know, I had to I'm sorry!)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

More Simple Foods

I'm really falling in love with super simple meals. This simple bowl of quinoa and black beans with a little soy sauce, nooch and hot sauce was so tasty and satisfying. And it kept me full for quite awhile! I don't know why but I'm always pleasantly surprised when I eat something like this. It seems like it would be boring or bland, but it really wasn't. Obviously an avocado would have really taken this over the edge!
I made another super simple dinner. Gochujang stew with rice cakes and baked tofu. I made the stew a little spicier than usual, so I had some Basmati rice on the side.
It's getting close to the new year. Will you be making goals or resolutions?I don't usually make resolutions but this year I think I will. I think in the past I haven't made resolutions because of a little pessimism mixed with not believing in myself. I want to change that and making some goals or resolutions seems like a great place to start. I have some ideas, but I need to process them into actual thoughts.
I caught these two having a cuddle on the beloved pink sweater. Joan had it first and of course Kiki had to have a cuddle. Kiki is awfully cute, it's hard to resist her!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Bits and Bobs and Budgets

This was another meal using bits and bobs and it turned out fantastic! I had a couple of potatoes that needed to be used, some leftover tofu and a few tater tots that have been in my freezer for who knows how long. So I made a potato and tofu scramble with a few tots standing in as hash browns. I also had one of my BFree dinner rolls. I topped it all with some hp sauce. It's not the prettiest but it was delicious! It's been far too long since I've had tofu scramble! I have some shredded cheddar daiya in my freezer and I was going to add some to the scramble, but it was so tasty I didn't even want it!
I've been kind of uninspired in the kitchen lately so cooking with random bits and bobs has been really fun. That's actually how I taught myself to cook.
I'm always searching for plant based, cruelty free cleaning supplies that I can actually afford. Which is not always an easy task.  The dish soap from Trader Joe's has a very light scent and it works really well. I believe it's $2.49 a bottle. And the all purpose cleaner from Whole Foods is my must have cleaner. I can't imagine using anything else now. It works really, really well but it's the scent that is out of this world. It's so orange-y but very natural. I'm telling you, if you hate cleaning get this because you will want to use it!! It's $2.99 which is a really great price.
It's coming up on the New Year and I've seen a few tweets where people are thinking about going vegan in the new year, but the cost is holding them back.
While I think it's AMAZING that a lot of vegan food is becoming really mainstream, like the Beast and Impossible burgers which are everywhere including so many restaurants and fast food joints, the downside is a lot of these products that are getting the most attention are super pricey! For those of us who have been vegan for awhile it's no big deal, we know there are tons of other options. But for new vegans are people who are vegan curious I can see how this would be scary. And even make some people just say forget it. We budget vegans have to be loud too!

Friday, December 28, 2018

What I've Been Eating

I picked this up quite awhile ago and it ended up getting hidden in my pantry. I came across it the other day and decided to have it with some potatoes. I just pre-boiled some potatoes and then simmered them in the sauce while my rice cooked.
Honestly I didn't love it. It was okay, but I wouldn't buy this sauce again. It had a sharpness I didn't like. Plus, I think I prefer curries with coconut milk.
This has become one of my favorite breakfasts lately. I just bake some tofu with salt, pepper and nooch and then top it with an avocado, more nooch and some hot sauce. So easy and really, really tasty. One day I had a tiny amount of leftover black beans so I added those and it was even tastier!
Here is another random but delicious meal. This is just a potato lentil soup with brown rice, curry and some coconut cream. I added a little coconut sriracha sauce on top and called it dinner. I also called it breakfast yesterday and I will today as well. I made this with odds and ends and it was under two dollars to make and I've gotten three meals out of it. Three delicious meals. Not bad.
Last night I had a sushi bowl and used the little seaweed snacks as wraps. I thought I had more veggies to add but alas all I had was an avocado. This hit the spot. Nothing ever compares to the wasabi burn!
In a rare turn of events the Queen of forcing a cuddle Etta was forced to cuddle with Afro and Kiki! Etta had scoped out the coveted couch corner and was hunkered down for some alone time. She taught them well!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Buttah Baby!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful, relaxing holiday. I hunkered down with my girls and made a lasagna and apple crisp. The lasagna only turned out so so because the bottom layer of noodles didn't cook correctly, but the apple crisp was amazing. And I tried the Reddi Whip almond whip which I actually like better than the coconut which is insane given my love of all things coconut. It's a little less sweet and more of a compliment to sweet desserts.
I guess this was my present to myself. Smith's had all three items on sale, and I wanted to use some of the sun dried tomato cheese in my lasagna, and I wanted a palm oil free vegan butter so Miyoko's it was! Guys, Miyoko's butter is the real deal. I haven't used Earth Balance in probably at least a year, maybe longer. I rarely need vegan butter, but when I do I just use whatever accidentally vegan spread I can find with no palm oil. It's nearly impossible which is why I've just lived without it. The Miyoko's is exactly how I remember dairy butter. It's thick and creamy and, well buttery! To me , Earth Balance is more like margarine, and the Miyoko's is like the best butter you could ever imagine. The Miyoko's was on sale for the same price as Earth Balance, but as someone on the gram pointed out it's a smaller package so either way it's more expensive. Since I use butter like once a year I say it's worth it, but if you use it daily the price would be an issue. The butter is hands down my favorite Miyoko's product that I've tried so far.
Here is my apple crisp. I made the topping with oats, almond flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. It was so good with the almond whip!
Whether Joan wanted it or not, Kiki's gift was the gift of constant cuddles for now and ever!! Sometimes it's easier just to give in to the cuddle!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Braving the Stores!

Lemon ginger tea,gluten free lasagna noodles, oranges, onion, garlic,green onions,carrots,potatoes,booch,tofu,Mitokos cheese, avocados
I braved the crowds to pick up a few things yesterday. It was a lot.People were insane and I wanted to fight everyone! The store I work at really doesn't get insane like that and I've forgotten how insane the last few days before Christmas can be. Yikes.
This is the real stand-out of my haul. Most lemon ginger teas that I've had are much heavier on the ginger than the lemon. This is the opposite. It's very lemon forward and I love it!! I think Celestial Seasonings is underrated. Their teas are affordable and tasty.
Whether you celebrate holidays or not, here is a soft , fluffy gift to the world. This is her favorite spot on the couch for serious lounging!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Super Simple Meals plus Cats!

Since I've been feeling a little under the weather. my meals have been pretty simple the last couple of days. Lots of juices and leftover lentil kale soup. I did come up with a kind of strange sounding meal on Friday, and it actually was so tasty I can't wait to have it again!
I baked two medium Russet potatoes, and then cut them, added a tiny amount of coconut oil, salt and pepper, and then a delicious avocado, and some sriracha and spicy mustard. OMG this hit the spot so hard. Why have I never topped a baked potato with avocado before? And who knew sriracha and spicy mustard were such good friends? I also gave a generous sprinkling of nooch because I feel like a baked potato is naked without nooch.
Last night I made Singapore noodles with baked tofu. Most recipes I've seen for this dish use bell peppers, but since I am strongly against cooked bell peppers I used shredded carrot and green onion. I used this recipe very loosely. I baked my tofu and of course changed the veggies to suit me. I also added crushed red pepper to the sauce for that spice!
Kiki and Afro are really going hard for that big cuddle award! I say it all the time, but I really can't blame Kiki for wanting to cuddle in that fluff!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Just Some Stuff

I went to Sprouts to get some avocados yesterday. They're on sale two for one dollar!! I also stopped at Trader Joe's for some lemons and Smiths for a few other things to last until Sunday or so. I've never been good with crowds but this year I'm having an extra hard time with the holiday crowds so instead of doing bigger shops I've just been picking up a few things here and there so I'm not in a store for long.
Avocados,potatoes,clearance apples,clearance seltzer,peanuts for the squirrels,kombucha,carrots,fruit frenzy bars,kale,tofu,clearance grape tomatoes,blueberries, green onion
My stomach has been a little upset and I was going to buy a fizzy water to help, and I came across a whole twelve pack of grapefruit seltzer on WooHoo for one dollar! The packaging had gotten torn up and it was all taped together. And the apples and grape tomatoes are in perfect condition, and were $.99 for each red mesh bag.
I saw this on Instagram and it seems it has made it to Trader Joe's hopefully everywhere? It's made with cashews, potatoes and carrots plus seasoning. My budget is really tight so I couldn't splurge. But awesome that it's here in time for any holiday parties!
Since I've been feeling a little under the weather I made soup for dinner. I used a whole bunch of kale, lots of garlic plus lentils and potatoes. I also added a handful of gluten free macaroni. It was kind of like a minestrone I guess. I swear soup is the answer when you feel a little under the weather. It's easy to throw together, it's a great way to get nutrients in and it's like a big hug.
When there is a fluffy belly nook, you can bet that Kiki will settle in for a cuddle. I really can't blame her!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

What I Eat to Live!

I started my day with some delicious oven fries. I seasoned them with salt and pepper, nooch and a little curry powder. For dipping I used hp sauce and just mayo.
Later on I made a carrot, orange and ginger juice. I've been feeling extra tired lately and this combo always perks me up a bit. And I just love the color!
For dinner I made one of my favorite easy meals, cold sesame noodles with baked tofu. I used the brown rice noodles and they were great! I made a spicy sesame sauce with tahini, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce and a little rice wine vinegar. Oh, and tamari of course. For veggies I used what I had which was carrot and green onion. Better than take out!
My apartment gets a lot more sunbeams in the winter than summer, and the girls LOVE it! Look at Kiki, just lounging! Afternoons are for tanning!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WooHoo a Mini Haul!

Brown rice noodles,green leaf lettuce,tofu,hazelnut nut pod creamer,chili garlic sauce,kombucha,dark chocolate
I got an Email awhile ago asking me to take a survey about microwave rice bowls from Annie Chun's. They sent me a coupon for one free product for taking the survey. Very nice of them considering the survey was like two questions. I went to Smith's and chose brown rice maifun noodles. I've only had white rice noodles so I figured why not try something new? I'm going to make cold sesame noodles and try them out!
This kombucha came with no label so it was only $1.29!! It's Smith's store brand kombucha in strawberry hibiscus flavor. It's funny because my budget is pretty tight and I was mad at myself for not going to a thrift shop for another jug for my kombucha because buying it is so freaking expensive. Then this beautiful WooHoo sticker popped out at me. A magical moment.
For dinner I had super simple lettuce wraps. I used green leaf lettuce, tofu, brown Jasmine rice, and green onions. I made a little sauce with chili garlic sauce, sesame oil and tamari. This was so great. I love the textures, I love using sauces and I love eating with my hands. I'll be eating more of these in the future for sure!
"Sometimes you have to rethink the things you thought you thought through."  Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

More Veggies, Less Stress

This was a super simple and really satisfying meal I threw together yesterday. It's just quinoa with some tamari and nooch, topped with a perfect avocado and sriracha. It just tasted so good and I felt really great after eating it! I forget how delicious really simple food can be. And this kept me full for a long time.
What to do with three potatoes, half a can of chickpeas and a fourth of a block of tofu? Make a curry of course!  This was delicious and as usual I can't wait to have the cold leftovers!
I'm going to continue to push myself to eat and try more vegetables. It's good to try new things, especially things that are good for you. But I've realized what I imagined doing just isn't right for me. The same day I checked out the Eat to Live cookbook, I checked out a second book about different ways we sabotage our own happiness. And the truth is I didn't want to change my diet for the right reasons. I honestly think I already eat pretty healthy. I do want to add more veggies and try more veggies, but other than that I'm not perfect but I'm pretty happy with my diet. I wanted to change my diet because I was comparing myself to someone else, and berating myself. So while I will be adding more veggies in my diet, I won't be making huge extreme changes. I already feel better and less stressed!
Here is sweet Joan literally bathing in the sun! Mornings are for cuddles, afternoons are for napping around here!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Tea and More!

This is my new favorite tea! Thank you Unknown (Ttrockwood) for the suggestion. I actually went out of my comfort zone to find a Target just to try this tea! I'm happy I found a way to Target, because they have a lot of vegan options! They even have their own store brand of vegan ice cream! I should have taken a picture, but it was a madhouse so I wasn't thinking clearly. But back to this tea, with a little splash of vanilla soy creamer, it's heaven. It really tastes and smells like a cookie. And since it's caffeine free you can treat yourself whenever you want!
I've still been eating lots of salads. I really enjoy having salad, now I just need to stock up on accessories for my salad, and also get more creative. When I see salads with greens and grains and roasted veggies with some kind of amazing dressing I'm always reminded I need to get more creative!! Even though this salad was just butter lettuce, nooch and Just Ranch it was still tasty!
I haven't really felt like cooking the past few days. Thank gourd for jarred sauces! One night I just had some gluten free rotini with Trader Joe's marinara sauce,lentils, and lots of nooch. Last night I had a bit of a throw whatever in a pot meal. I made a broth with some tamari and gochujang, added some rice cakes and noodles and soft tofu. At the end I stirred in a little miso paste. This was really tasty and actually fun to eat with different shapes and textures.
Not Bothered!

Saturday, December 15, 2018


I made it to the library to pick up my reserved book, and found an extra along the way! I just can't ever make it out of a library with only one book!
I wanted to clarify that I'm not going to be strictly living Eat to Live style. I really just felt inspired by a video I watched to try and eat more vegetables daily. I also want to eat a wider variety of veggies. I kind of stick to my favorites and don't go out of my way to try new. I feel this is an area I can improve, but I have no desire to get super restrictive and go salt, oil and sugar free. I was raised with a lot of food restrictions, and for many, many years of my life I struggled with eating disorders. Although I don't find veganism to be restrictive at all, I do find gluten free to be restrictive and that's enough for me. When I did that elimination diet where I cut out sugar, gluten and soy I struggled at the end. And it triggered some disordered thinking. I obsessed a little about having soy again. I worried about gaining weight and it was pretty bad. I though I was over that but I guess those thoughts are always lurking. I just want to improve and expand my taste buds a bit.
I picked up this Thai green curry sauce on my last trip to Trader Joe's. Last night was a night that would have been an amazing night to have someone cook for me! This meal was close enough! I just quickly sauteed some tofu with green onions, added the sauce and made some rice. Dinner in under twenty with very little actual hands on time. The sauce is thick and creamy, lemongrass heavy which makes me so happy and it has a little kick. I would say if you're sensitive to spice this isn't for you. I loved it and will definitely be buying this again!
Endangered Species new packaging caught my eye! Also this new flavor! I don't think I've seen this before. It's that time when I just can't say no to chocolate. I used to love Mr. Goodbars and this reminds me of those! Except not milk chocolate and with a little saltiness. I think this might be my new favorite vegan chocolate bar!

Friday, December 14, 2018

What I Ate!

I'm super excited, I just got an Email from the library telling me that one of my reserved books has been returned and is waiting for me! It's the Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I think I'll be able to pick it up today. Just in time, I have today and tomorrow to look through recipes and get ideas and do a shop on Sunday.
I'm trying to eat extra veggies for the rest of the week just to help prepare myself and start forming those good habits! I took pictures of it all yesterday!
I started the day with a salad made with butter lettuce,Persian cucumbers, quinoa and goddess dressing. I felt great starting the day with this meal.
I had an orange, carrot ginger juice while I made lentil burgers. I used this recipe for the burgers. They're really, really tasty, although I would say bake them a little less. If you notice one is missing it's because I ate it. It kind of cracked so I just had it with some horseradish mustard. I like to have stuff like this in the fridge as a little meal or even a quick snack. I like them cold dipped in some mustard.
For dinner I had a bowl with brown rice, more butter lettuce, cilantro and green onion with some baked tofu and gochujang peanut sauce. I think peanut sauce is going to be a useful tool when it comes to maybe some vegetables that aren't my favorite. Or if I ever attempt to eat an entire pound of broccoli for breakfast, peanut sauce might help.
So many cuddles!