Thursday, May 31, 2018

Treeless Toilet Paper, Vegan White Castle and More!

I've now used all three of the products I bought from Brandless which is an online store that sells all kinds of stuff for three dollars. I ordered extra virgin olive oil, all purpose cleaner and my favorite of all treeless toilet paper!! I paid nine dollars for all three things. The olive oil is organic, the cleaner is cruelty free and eco friendly, and the toilet paper is treeless(!) so that's a great deal. The olive oil is a standard good quality olive oil. The cleaner is summer breeze scent and it leaves a very light clean smell. And it makes my apartment sparkle! And what can I say about the toilet paper other than I am obsessed. I don't think I can ever go back to regular toilet paper. I was worried it would be kind of stiff but it is not. It's as soft as paper. It's definitely stronger which makes sense because it's made with sugarcane leaves and bamboo. The package comes with six double rolls equaling twelve regular rolls and I find that the rolls last much longer than other double rolls. I am so impressed and I'm also grateful to Brandless for making things affordable. I would probably not be able to afford a specialty toilet paper like this because at a regular store I'm sure it would be triple the price. And now I tried it, fell in love and I can maybe encourage others to try it. I feel like a lot more people would buy more eco friendly products if they were more affordable.  As I mentioned before I contacted them to make sure their cleaning products were cruelty free, and they are part of Peta's beauty without bunnies campaign. So all of their beauty, household and office/cleaning supplies are cruelty free!!
So there I was walking down the very non vegan freezer section at work and my spidey senses stirred and look what I spied just living with non vegan junk like hot pockets and other scary items that are allowed to be called food. I remember reading a few years ago that they were serving vegan burgers, but I didn't know they were also selling them in stores!! I love that Vegan is so proudly displayed on the box!!!
I hate buying anything at work, but this is one novelty item I couldn't pass up. Plus, I was hangry, towards the end of a horrific shift, and an easy peasy dinner felt necessary. I chose the black bean variety. Both of the slider patties are made by Dr. Praeger. I have never had their black bean burger so it made my choice easy. The directions are for the microwave but since I don't own one I just used the oven. I  plopped a little jalapeno mustard on top. Since they are obviously precooked on a grill, or possibly deep fried they have that fast food kind of crispy, slightly greasy in a good way taste. And the burgers were not mushy as some of the Dr. Praeger's burgers can be. I would put these up there with the Gardein sliders. And I think it's great that White Castle is offering vegan options! Non vegans might also be more willing to try something vegan from a known name too. I mean White Castle certainly isn't going to sneak wheatgrass into anything! I feel like fear of the unknown stops a lot of people from trying vegan food so maybe this takes a little fear out.
I had an earlier shift yesterday so I walked home when it was still light out and felt like a normal human being. It rocked. I also got to checkout the neighborhood book box and I found some goodies!! For so, so many reasons books make me feel very happy.
I had ordered this cat grass kit from Chewy last week. The picture on their website showed the grass already grown which was what I expected. I almost cried when my order came and I saw that I had to grow it!! I have a black thumb. If you are a suicidal plant come to me and I will assist you. It's so funny because my mom had the biggest green thumb ever and it definitely skipped a generation. But look, against all odds it's growing!!!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Green Chili Hummus

So I made my first attempt at making Hatch chili white bean hummus and it turned out great! It's pretty dang close to the hummus I love from Lantana. I read the ingredients which included white beans(no specifics, just white beans) hatch chili, sunflower and or olive oil, and a few other things.
I wasn't sure what kind of white bean to get, so I decided to go with great northern. I bought a bag of dried and soaked some overnight and cooked the next day. I always cook my dry beans with garlic and onion powder for extra flavor.
These are the chilis I used. I tasted them and any canned green chili will do. Etta and Keeks are having a tumble in the background!

                                                      Hatch Chile White Bean Hummus
  • 2 1/2 Cup Cooked White beans, or One can
  • 1 4 oz. Can of diced green hatch or green chile (roasted)
  • 1 Tsp. pickled Jalapeno plus 1/2 Tsp. Juice
  • Juice of Half a Lemon
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 T. Tahini
Add the beans, tahini, salt, lemon juice, jalapenos plus juice and three tablespoons of the green chile to your food processor and whiz until smooth and creamy. Once the hummus is blended, add it to your serving dish and put the remaining green chiles on top.

Although the original hummus has oil I made mine oil free. I'm not against oil but I also don't feel a need to use it when it isn't needed. I feel like tahini gives hummus the extra creaminess and fattiness it needs. And this hummus is super creamy. I had the rest of my Lantana hummus right before I made this so the taste was super fresh in my memory and this is pretty dang close! And for people who are spice sensitive, the canned roasted green chiles are very mild. I'm sure there are hot versions, but all that I've had are very mild.
In other kitchen news I made this red lentil, potato and soy curl curry last night. I also made some homemade cilantro lime rice to go with it. I made a big batch and I'm taking some to a coworker. It turned out really creamy and delicious. I really love how the red lentils just kind of become one with the broth. The coworker I'm sharing with is not vegan and I think she'll appreciate soy curls toothsome but not trying to be meat texture.
If anyone is interested these are the jalapenos I used in my hummus. I could tell in the original they use pickled jalapenos because it has that little tang. I think it's the juice even more than the peppers that gives it that extra zip!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

All Natural

I had half of this watermelon for breakfast and juiced the other half. This was the watermelon I got for like forty cents at Sprouts. It was really tasty and juicy. I have a feeling it's going to be a great watermelon season because even out of season they've been pretty tasty.
For lunch I had some oven fries seasoned with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper along with some baked tofu sticks seasoned with nooch. I mixed some Just Mayo and jalapeno mustard for dipping.

Have you heard of Brandless? I kept seeing commercials for them on YouTube, and I lurk their website every week and last week I got an Email with a promo code for free shipping so I decided to order a few things. Although I cook with either no oil or coconut oil, summer is here and that means pasta salads and quinoa tabbouleh are on my radar so I needed some EVOO. This is organic and only three dollars!! And before I ordered the cleaner, I contacted them to make sure their stuff is cruelty free and it is! All of their cleaning, beauty and feminine products are Peta bunny certified to be vegan and cruelty free!! And the toilet paper is the star of the order. It's treeless! It's made from bamboo grass an sugarcane!! I haven't tried it yet, but I will report back when I do. Green paper products are usually crazy expensive, so three dollars made me happy. I spent nine dollars for these three things and at certain stores on certain days each individual item would be nine dollars. If you sign up for their Email list you get a code for free shipping if anyone's interested. I used the cleaner yesterday and it worked like a charm. I got summer breeze scent and it's really, really light.
My whole life I've been called a hippie, and I feel like I've earned it by buying treeless toilet paper! Ha!
I  picked up these bath salts at Natural Grocers last week and I used them the other day and loved them! I'm not a fan of scented Epsom salts especially Dr. Teals because the smell is so overwhelming and intense. Also possibly totally fake. These just had a very mild lavender scent. My body felt great after my bath, an my bathroom still smelled amazing the next day.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Gluten Free and Vegan Pizza Making

I've been craving pizza so I picked up some gluten free flout at Trader Joe's this week. I haven't done a lot of gluten free baking because gluten free flour is expensive, an a lot of the recipes require a lot of extra stuff. Ingredients I've never worked with like xanthan gum and all kinds of other stuff. It's intimidating, and also  just don't have the budget or even desire to track down all these weird ingredients. So I wanted to see if I could make a simple pizza crust with no extra ingredients. I didn't even add yeast because it doesn't really seem to help with gluten free flour.
This was my gluten free dough ball. I added garlic powder and Italian seasoning for a little extra flavor.
I also made a super quick pizza sauce. I just thinned out some tomato paste with water and added Italian seasoning, salt, garlic and onion powder and lots of nooch. Under one dollar and made in under five minutes.
I also made some lentil "sausage" that I didn't snap for whatever reason. I remember thinking I should take a picture, and that's that. I also added sliced pepperoncini because they are probably my number one favorite pizza topping. I also love just eating them right out of the jar!!
I was going to post the recipe for the crust, but I need to make it one more time. I think I should have baked the crust with no toppings first. I was looking at other recipes and most of them called for a pre bake.
Gluten free is frustrating because of the cost. Even at Trader Joe's the gluten free flour is $3.99 for a one pound bag!! That's about three and a half cups. I used two and a half cups for the dough and I have about a cup left. Not really a good deal. Trader Joe's has gluten free pizza crusts in the frozen section for $3.49 and it comes with two crusts!
The warm weather really makes Kiki love lounging on her back. And Etta is laying in her favorite spots, half on the bathroom floor half in the hall. She likes drinking from the sink so this way she's ready to pounce when I go in!
Happy Caturday!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Some Foods

This was a delicious curry I made the other night. It had tofu and red and green lentils. I was out of potatoes so I subbed tofu. This is a curry for people who wonder how vegans get protein!
Last summer I made sushi and sushi burritos quite often, but all winter I've just been using the little seaweed snacks and having little wraps. So the other night when I made sushi burritos my wrapping skills were not what they once were! These barely held together as burritos, I would have been so frustrated if I would have tried to make rolls. They still tasted great though!
Last night after work all I could muster was some tots. I had them with sriracha just mayo. Sometimes tots are the answer to all life's problems. I had the kind of night where the old me would have drank nine million beers and smoked five hundred million cigarettes. Tots may not be the healthiest meal, but they're a million times healthier than my old choices!
I am a huge fan of Lantana's hummus. Every single flavor is better than the last. They use different beans and always have flavorful and interesting toppings. The carrot sriracha has been my favorite flavor up until now. The hatch chili just became my favorite ever. It's made with white beans and topped with green chili and just WOW. It's creamy and smooth with just a mild kick from the chili. Next time I shop I'm picking up white beans so I can try and recreate it at home because I want to eat it all the time on everything!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Two Hauls One Post

Soy curls,nag champa, gluten free vegan clearance cookie,bath salts,natural deoderant, big booch,small booch,daiya yogurt
I went to Natural Grocers for two things, deoderant and a kombucha starter kit. All winter they had the kits and now they don't. This is why you don't wait! I've called Sprouts and the Bigger natural grocers and neither has them!! I don't want to order one through Amazon because I am choosing to not support that company so I don't know what I'm going to do. GRRRRRR!
This is the stand out. When my primal pit paste ran out, I found this crystal rock man's deoderant on clearance at work so I bought it. But it's THE WORST. I swear I stink five seconds after applying. And I've never considered myself a smelly person. So I decided to try this because it's three dollars less than primal. I'm happy to report I still smell fresh as a daisy after an eight hour shift and sleeping overnight. And the vanilla almond smell is really nice.
Spinach,bananas,garlic,potatoes,orange juice,onion, red lentils,red onion, gluten free flour and pasta,frozen strawberries and blueberries,raspberry and lime fruit bars, tofu,complete cookie,pasta sauce and coconut milk
Pretty basic haul. I needed a few pantry staples like pasta and coconut milk and no one can beat Trader Joe's prices for those two things. I got some gluten free flour because I'm craving pizza and I'm going to attempt to make my own gluten free crust. I have a fear of gluten free baking because I could barely bake with gluten, so I'm going to try to nudge myself in the brave direction! Pizza crust seems like a gentle first step. Dipping my toe in.
So I was hoping to hang my winter coat in the closet for the next few months, but the last time I wore it I flung it on the couch when I came home and it has become the new napping hot spot for Roxy and also Joan. I guess it stays!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Stuff I Ate on Sunday

Yesterday I started my day with lemon water and one cup of each of these teas. I'm enjoying my morning tea while I can. In another month or so it will be so stinking hot I won't want to look at anything warm!
This was my breakfast. Frozen strawberries and blackberries, banana, avocado, chia seeds, and spinach.
After my smoothie I had some orange, carrot and ginger juice. This juice always perks me up. It's an all natural energy drink!
I had one of these muffins with a tiny bit of coconut oil and some nooch. I forgot to take a picture of the actual muffin I ate. I know these aren't gluten free, but they were on sale at Sprouts and the gluten free breads are so expensive it offends me so I went for it. I'm keeping them in my freezer so I can just have one every once in awhile.
As I was cleaning I sipped on hibiscus iced tea and had a few bites of sriracha sauerkraut. Gotta balance that gluten with some good probiotics! I really need to get some tofu pups. When I eat sauerkraut, it just screams for veggie dogs and mustard!!!
It was a grey gloomy Sunday and I'm feeling kind of gloomy so comfort food seemed like an important part of my day. I made delicious horseradish mashed potatoes with Mayacama's chicken style gravy which is vegan and gluten free. If you like horseradish, I highly recommend trying it in mashed potatoes.
I had a pina colada popsicle for dessert. These are seriously my favorite thing ever. Thank you Sprouts for making such an amazing treat!
Here is Kiki doing what she does best, forcing cuddle time. Etta looks less than enthused, and like she's holding onto her spot for dear life!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Stuff

I got this lovely care package from England the other day. It was sent by Caroline and it had some tea and these delicious candies, and lots of lotions and serums. I love my lotions and potions! It also had this package of bath crystals with arnica! I take weekly Epsom salt baths to help my back so I was so excited to use this! It smelled wonderful and my body felt amazing after my soak. Thank you Caroline for the lovely package.
This was my simple lunch yesterday. Potato wedges seasoned with seasoned salt, onion powder and nooch and a spicy "chicken" burger from Sprouts. I made one of my favorite sauces of Just Mayo mixed with green dragon sauce.
I was craving quesadillas Friday night, and I talked myself out of getting flour tortillas because gluten. But last night work was so WRETCHED and I was still craving quesadillas so I broke down and allowed myself some old fashioned flour tortillas. I filled them with refried black beans and a little cheddar daiya. These were totally worth the cheat. I had them with my favorite smoky and spicy salsa.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

What I've Been Eating and Drinking

This is the watermelon I got at Trader Joe's last week. It was pretty good, although not quite as sweet as other watermelons I've had recently. I ate half of it and juiced the other half along with some spinach.
The color is a little strange. It looks like those brownish red tomatoes I see sometimes in the produce section. I think they're called kumatos? But it was incredibly sweet and delicious. For some reason if you juice a not so sweet watermelon the juice is very sweet. I just noticed little Kiki in the background having a nap.
This was my quick lazy meal the other night. Waffle fries and tofu nuggets dipped in Just mayo mixed with spicy mustard. If I had agave I would have added a little to the sauce to make a mock honey mustard.
I tried sharing my smoothie but Etta doesn't care for blackberry seeds getting in her teeth. It's super rare when I can get a great picture of Etta's gorgeous face. She is usually super camera shy.
This was my dinner last night. It looks kind of pathetic because my flash is acting weird and I'm not even close to tech-y enough to figure out how to fix it. It was doing this awhile ago and I restarted my phone which seemed to work, and now it's not working so that's frustrating. But this tasted way less pathetic than it looks. More waffle fries with one of the Sprouts vegan chicken patties. I really like the chicken patties, although they're more like a burger. It isn't the texture of the boca chicken or any vegan nugget I've had. They taste great, and I'm okay with it being different. I've reached the point where I don't want realistic faux meats. I have zero interest in trying the Impossible burger. I don't want my food to bleed even if it is from beets. Also these patties are pretty inexpensive, $2.99 a box for four patties.
Etta is camera shy, Kiki however is my little camera lover. I was taking a picture of something else and she started posing to get my attention. She loves to show off her belly to the world!