Friday, November 30, 2018

What I Ate on a Thursday

I've been a little off for about a week or so. Just not feeling my best, feeling a little sluggish and I've definitely been going to war with depression. I'm trying to eat really simple nourishing foods to kind of help with my energy. Gotta have energy to fight depression! I had the day off yesterday, and it was cold, grey and rainy so I stayed in and cleaned and snuggled with some kitties. I also took a picture of my simple meals!
Carrot, orange, fresh turmeric, celery and ginger

I toasted up two slices of BFree sandwich slices, and topped them with mashed avocado and green chile sauerkraut. Oh, and there's also nooch of course. This was so tasty!! I might have it again today!
For dinner I made a tofu bowl with rice, baked tofu, carrot, green onion and a delicious gochujang peanut butter sauce. This bowl was supposed to have lettuce but my lettuce had gone slimy. It was still really, really delicious once everything was mixed together.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Trying Some New Stuff

I've tried a few new to me items in the past few days and I thought why not share my thoughts and opinions.
I'm a big fan of Brew Dr. kombucha. I've tied several of their flavors and loved them all and I expected to love this one but I just didn't. It's made with white tea and flavored with rose so I expected it to maybe be too floral-y but actually I thought it was just dry and bland. It had a mild floral taste but it was too dry for my taste. It did not make me happy.
I love hodo soy tofu. They make these tofu curry nuggets which are one of my favorite things ever. The texture of their tofu is hands down the best of any tofu I've ever had. I would eat their tofu all the time if my budget allowed. Luckily for me Natural grocers has a sale on hodo soy so I finally got to try these burgers, and I'm so glad I did!
These are basically their amazing tofu shape into a burger. It has that chewy delicious texture. It has that meaty texture without being too meaty. In addition to tofu the burgers have cabbage, carrot and shitake mushrooms. You can eat these right out of the package, or if you heat them up it takes minutes because it's just already cooked tofu. These are probably the best vegan burger I've ever had. I love everything about these. The flavor is mild so you could take it a lot of places with sauces and the texture!! These get a nine out of ten and the only reason a point is deducted is because of the price. But flavor wise these are beyond a ten!
I've been trying to add more probiotics into my diet. So, everyday in addition to my kombucha, I try to have miso or sauerkraut. If I can ever find a sale on vegan kimchi that will be in the rotation too. I found this Farmhand Organics green chile kraut on sale and had to try it. It definitely has a kick. This would be great on a tofu pup with some mustard.
Last but not least I found these at Winco for a decent price. I've seen them at other stores an they're pretty pricey for only three popsicles. They're made with strawberry puree, water and cane sugar. That's it. They taste like the ingredients. Like frozen strawberry pie filling. Yum!
These get an honorable mention because I saw these at Trader Joe's on Monday but haven't tried them. They must be brand new because they didn't even have a price or description yet. I never had a crab cake in my pregan days, and honestly the crabless cakes by gardein are my least favorite of their products so I don't know about trying these. But I know a lot of people might be really excited for these!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Vegan Gluten and Soy Free Stuffed Mushrooms

I had an idea to try and make a stuffed mushroom. I found some beautiful stuffing mushrooms on sale the other day and so it seemed meant to be. These would be great little finger food for all the holiday parties this month. Or even football/sports parties! Or you can just have them with some pasta like I did! I stuffed them with a garlic-y cashew cheese plus the stems and garlic sauteed. They are savory and cheese-y and taste great hot or room temperature. Oh wait, I just tried a leftover shroom straight out of the fridge. Also tasty!
Before Baking!
Fresh Out of the Oven!
These are pretty easy to make. You can also stuff them ahead of time and bake them when you're ready!

                                                          Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
 Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • 12 Lg. White Mushrooms
  • 3/4 C. Raw Cashews Soaked for at least two hours
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C. Water
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, 1 whole 3 minced
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 Tsp. Pepper
  • 3/4 Tsp. Miso paste 
  • 1 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Tamari, Soy Sauce of Liquid Amino
To make the filling, remove the stems from the mushrooms. Dice them up along with three cloves of garlic. Saute in fat of choice or water saute. I used about a teaspoon of coconut oil. Saute over medium heat until slightly browned and soft, about five minutes. Add tamari, soy sauce or aminos and remove from heat and make your cashew cheese.
Add the soaked and drained cashews to a food processor. Add 1/2 cup water, your whole clove of garlic, salt and pepper, miso paste and nutritional yeast. Process until smooth. If you have to add more water start slowly. You don't want your cheese to be too runny. In the end I added 1/2 cup plus about three tablespoons.
Once the cheese is done, fold in your sauteed stems and garlic.
Gently wipe off the mushroom caps and place in a very lightly greased baking dish. Fill each cap with the cheese and place in the dish. Once all the little caps are filled, place a sheet of foil over the mushrooms and bake for twenty five to thirty minutes.
Since I have the Miyoko's smoked mozzarella that needs to be used very soon, I grated some and added it on top. But they really don't need extra cheese. Or if you wanted it I'm sure daiya mozzarella or Trader Joe's vegan shreds would be really, really tasty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Two Vegan Hauls in One!

I have another haul! I actually went to Trader Joe's again. I got a super early start and went when they opened. I was still shocked by how many people were there, but it wasn't crowded and it was tolerable. I also had to exchange the items I bought and hated from Old Navy so I picked up a few things from Whole Foods and Natural Grocers.
Butter lettuce,tomato paste,almond chocolate peppermint creamer,tiny avocados,onion, garlic,bananas,tofu,tempeh,cauliflower pizza crust,basil marinara, green onions,garbanzo beans,coconut milk, English breakfast tea, gluten free pasta not from Trader Joe's!
I got the gluten free pasta at Smith's, along with more gochujang. I've been able to find a few brands that are vegan, but never gluten free so this was a great find!
Cilantro, Mary's gone crackers, Miyoko's smoked mozzarella,  green chili sauerkraut, baked tofu,wellness shots,probiotic soda and booch,ginger fizzy water, Epsom salts

This was really, really good! Like sparkling grape juice!
I scored at Natural Grocers. The baked tofu and smoked mozzarella were both in the clearance section. Gotta love those close to the date sales!!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Some Stuff I Ate on a Sunday!

Ever since sparkling water has kind of blown up, I've wondered why there's never a ginger flavor.I mean La Croix alone has nine million flavors, and there are so many fizzy water brands and flavors, but never ginger. Until I walked into Whole Foods! This is the perfect flavored fizzy water. The ginger flavor is strong but not too spicy. It's like a ginger ale without the sugar which for some might sound awful, but for people who don't drink soda this is perfect! This might be my new favorite flavor of fizzy water, sorry grapefruit!
I forgot to show in my mini haul, but I picked up some fresh turmeric root from Whole Foods. So I added it in my orange, celery, carrot juice. This is my favorite combo, especially in the winter. The cheerful color and surge of vitamin c give me a little pep and cheer me up.
Yikes I miss natural light so much! I have two favorite recipes from Veganomicon. They are the lentil Joe's and the lemon-y roasted potatoes. I've made both recipes so many times I have them memorized! I have made one change from the original.  The original recipe calls for 1/4 or 1/2 cup of olive oil and I use about one tablespoon. I've made it both ways and I swear I don't notice a difference. I also use half of the lemon before roasting and I squeeze the other half after to keep the flavor super fresh.
I had my potatoes with some stuffed grape leaves from Trader Joe's. This was a really, really delicious meal. This is another dish you can prepare ahead of time and pop in the oven when you're ready.
I finally found one of the newish flavors of Ben & Jerry's awhile ago and it's been in my freezer for over a month! I finally tried some last night and just WOW! They are very generous with the peanut butter. And there are huge chunks of brownie which I'm sure aren't gluten free. It was worth the cheat and it's so rich I only had a small amount. Remember when the only vegan ice creams were chocolate or vanilla soy milk ice cream?? Which I still love by the way!
legs crossed like a good royal!
Here's my little diva Roxy being her cutest self. And if you gaze off to the right you can see the floofy sleepy Afro! She has kind of taken over that chair. I call it her throne!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Mini Haul and Pasta

I need a new pair of jeans so I made the insane mistake of going to find a pair yesterday. Seriously, black Friday weekend, what was I thinking?? I went to Old Navy and while I didn't get trampled I also did not get jeans, and got a different pair of pants that I don't even like, and weren't even on sale! Now I have to go back and exchange and all of that. I don't shop well under stress. I had planned on going to Trader Joe's thinking it wouldn't be too busy after such a big food holiday, but after seeing the carnage of black Friday I wasn't willing to take a chance. There is a very small Whole Foods next to Old Navy so I just picked up a few things to get me through until Monday when I feel it might be a little safer.
pasta,pasta sauce,,Miyoko's sun dried tomato cheese,grapefruit and ginger fizzy water, wellness shots,potatoes
The pasta, sauce and Miyoko's are actually from Smith's. They had the Miyoko's on a WooHoo sale because it's close to the sell by date.
I never buy stuff like this, but they were on sale at Whole Foods and I was feeling very frazzled and in need of extra nutrients. I had the vitality when I got home and it was very tumeric-y.
For dinner I had gluten free rotini with roasted garlic pasta sauce and shredded violife Parmesan. Plus nooch.
If you have a Smiths, Fred Meyer or Kroger near you, I highly recommend this sauce. It's one of their store brands and it is really, really tasty. It's not too acidic, not too sweet and no funky ingredients.
I stopped at Petco and they're handing out these little hats. Etta is the only one who would allow it. It's now become a toy, and they all are working around the clock to remove the white ball!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Feel Good Lentil Soup

I went all out for my mac and cheese on Thanksliving and used three different cheeses plus cashews, plus stuffing/dressing so I was feeling a little blah yesterday. I decided to stick with a smoothie and juice during the day, and a simple lentil soup for dinner. It must have worked because I feel back to normal today.
Usually I just throw whatever in a pot, especially when it comes to lentil soup. But I decided to write down what I did, and I'm so glad because I will definitely make this again. I also thought I would share because it is the season for soup!


                                                               Feel Good Lentil Soup

  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Stalk Celery, Diced
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 1/4 Tsp. Smoked Paprika 
  • 1 1/4 Tsp. Garam Masala 
  • 1/2 Cup Red lentils
  • 1/4 Cup Green Lentils
  • 2 to 3 Cups water
  • 1 Can Light Coconut Milk
Saute onion, garlic and celery in coconut or olive oil or water saute on medium heat for about four or five minutes. Add all the spices and saute for another minute or so. Add the lentils, water and coconut milk, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for thirty to forty minutes. You might need to add a little more water, depending on how thick or soupy you like your soup. I started with two cups of water, and ended up adding about 3/4 of a cup more. I also added about a tablespoon of sambal oelek and about a tablespoon of Bragg's liquid aminos. Those are optional, but I find that a splash of tamari, soy sauce, aminos gives soups and curries that little extra oomph.
This had the perfect amount of warm spices and creaminess from the red lentils an coconut milk. It really hit the spot! I had it with a gluten free roll, but if you aren't gluten free it would be great with some vegan Naan or even warmed pita bread!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thankful for Sides

Although I didn't go all out yesterday, I did make some gluten free stuffing and gluten free mac and cheese. Although I really love stuffing, or I guess dressing because I didn't stuff it,  I only like it one time a year. I don't know why but I never feel that great after eating it, even gluten free.
I also had some salad for balance! I know it seems crazy that I of all people didn't include mashed potatoes in my feast, but the ten pound bag of potatoes I got on sale had quite a few pounds of bad potatoes. It's okay though, I was more than satisfied after this meal.
The mac and cheese turned out really cheese-y and creamy thanks to a trick I learned from Edyn Jacks. I used the last of my violife cheddar slices and I blended them with the cashews instead of cutting them and letting them melt into the hot pasta. When I first saw her do this I thought she was crazy, but I've done it now many times and it makes the sauce so thick and creamy.
Kiki was very thankful for a moment alone on the pink sweater!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Miso Soup!

I can't get enough of this song all year and it's of course meant to be played all day today! Maybe hum it in your head if you have any uncomfortable social situations today! I hope everyone has understanding families. It's really hard to deal with feeling teased and sometimes even bullied for having compassion.
Although I work today and I also don't really do holidays, I still like to make something kind of traditional just to feel sentimental I guess? I decided I wanted to make mac and cheese with the violife cheese and also gluten free stuffing. I have a loaf of BFree bread in my freezer from a WooHoo sale, but I'm hoarding that and want to use it for sandwiches and stuff. It's really, really hard to find gluten free bread that's vegan. Gluten free bread seems to have either eggs or honey, sometimes both. It's maddening.
Luckily Natural Grocers had this gluten free bread clearly labeled vegan! It's from a bakery in Provo. UT. Look at me being all local and stuff. If only it was artisan! I also picked up some miso and these veggie burgers I always want to get but never do. Hodo soy makes the BEST tofu but it's pricey and so are these burgers. Since they were on sale for under four dollars a box I decided to go for it!
Since I'll be having heavier food today I kept it light last night with miso soup with mung bean noodles and baked tofu. It really hit the spot as miso always does.
Whether or not you celebrate, and whether or not today is even a holiday for you I hope it's a warm and cozy day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Nog Coconut Yogurt and Violife Parmesan

I like to take yogurt to work because it's a quick snack that keeps me from getting hangry. I tried Trader Joe's coconut milk yogurt awhile ago and I was not a fan. I don't even remember if I liked the taste because the texture was so offensive to my mouth and that's all I remember. It was super thick in a very weird fake way. Like I could feel whatever starch they used. 
Someone posted this on Instagram and said the texture was much better than their other yogurts. I decided to give it a try. I was so scared to take that first bite. But Instagram was right! They improved the texture, and the flavor is seriously out of this world. It's very noggy! I really wish I would have gotten more! This is by no means healthy yogurt. It has only one or two grams of protein and obviously a lot of sugar, but it's a really tasty treat! Tis the season!

I finally decided to try the Violife Parmesan last night. The first thing I noticed was how much it smelled like Parmesan! And I tasted a bit and the texture and flavor are pretty dang spot on!! I have to say that Chao has been my favorite vegan cheese for years, but I think Violife might be my new fave.
Atrocious picture, but delicious meal. I just tossed the gnocchi with some of the sun dried tomato pesto and shredded parm and had an amazing salad with baked tofu, pepperoncini and sunflower seeds. The violife added that salty unctuousness that I remember from Parmesan. I love nooch on top of pastas, but this was a nice treat. I felt like I was at a restaurant or something!
I also made another pan of delicious, fudge-y black bean brownies! I always use this recipe and they always turn out perfect! This time I added chocolate chips and used coconut sugar and maple syrup instead of regular sugar. They even get that brownie top!!! I've tried a lot of gluten free brownie mixes which are always double the price of gluten full mixes and these are my favorite brownies ever. They're so fudge-y and inexpensive and easy to make. Yum!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

See You in 2019 Trader Joe's!

Well, I braved Trader Joe's yesterday and it was pretty brutal. There was a time last year during the holidays where I actually left my cart and left. I just couldn't do it. I felt like such a dick because I work in a grocery, I know what a pain that is! Well, I almost did it again yesterday but I really needed groceries and I realized everywhere is going to be crazy this week. But in all honesty this might be my last Trader Joe's haul until 2019! I am trying to practice self love and sending myself into what feels like guerrilla warfare just isn't very loving.
Butter lettucex2, seaweed snacks,celery,green onion,carrots,concord grape juice,coconut milk,stuffed grape leaves,cranberries,nog coconut yogurt,apples,onion,lemon,tofu(!!!!) banana, dish soap,frozen strawberries, peppermint tea and chocolate peppermint almond creamer

I also went to Natural Grocers to see if they had any amazing clearance sales going on. I found a few goodies!
Kite Hill peach Greek yogurt(clearance) booch(clearance) thyroid health supplement(clearance)sun dried tomato pesto,roastaroma chicory herbal tea
You guys know I love Teeccino, but I rarely buy it because it's pretty pricey. But Natural Grocers has Celestial Seasonings tea on sale, and the roastaroma is very similar so I lucked out! I also found a thyroid health supplement on clearance. It's vegan and has things like iodine, zinc, selenium and other things for thyroid health.
This is what made all the stress from Trader Joe's worth it. I saw this the other day on Instagram and knew I had to try it. When I got home I made a cup of the roastaroma and had it with a little coconut sugar and some of this. DELICIOUS!!!
I didn't buy these but I thought I'd show a picture for anyone interested. These are new to me so that's always exciting!They also had a buffalo chick'n flavor. Dr. Praeger's can be hit or miss for me, so maybe if these are ever on sale I'll try them because they're also gluten free!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows that I don't really do holidays. So every year I feel like a horrible blogger because I don't have gorgeous pictures and recipes for super fun, festive food. Not that I ever have gorgeous pictures, but you know what I mean!
Yesterday I realized I have a lot of potatoes, plus some cashews, so why not try to make vegan scalloped potatoes? I feel like that could be a side dish that would be widely accepted by vegans and non vegans alike. I tried to make this early so I could have some nice natural light, but the day got away from me so the pictures don't do the potatoes justice!
I also made garlic-y Brussels sprouts, but the recipe wasn't as awesome as I hoped it would be. I decided to get all fancy and attempt a maple syrup glaze type of thing and it wasn't my favorite.
This is what I'm most proud of. In the past my scalloped potatoes have been looser and messier than they should be. But this time I precooked the potato slices and used a thick cashew cream and they turned out really nice!

                                                             Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  • 3/4 C. raw cashews soaked for at least two hours. ( look for raw cashew pieces in the bulk section, They're much cheaper than whole cashews!)
  • 6 Medium russet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 1 C. Water
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/ 4 Tsp. Onion Powder
Boil the potato slices for about eight minutes. You want them to be Al Dente. Once done rain and set aside. I put the slices on plate in a single layer so they didn't stick together. Blend the cashews, water and seasonings until smooth and creamy.
In a non stick baking pan add a layer of sauce, then a layer of potato slices. Add a little more sauce to cover, and then the rest of the potato slices. Cover with the rest of the sauce, cover the dish with foil and bake in a 350 oven for forty minutes. After thirty minutes I took the foil off and added a handful of daiya mozzarella shreds and let those get all melty. That step is optional of course, they didn't really need the cheese. Let rest for five or ten minutes before slicing!
I live with too much cuteness!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Hello Old Friend!

I was supposed to get groceries yesterday, but it was a cold, grey day and I just couldn't force myself to leave early because it was really cold, and well it never got nicer and the stores only get busier the later it gets on a Saturday. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm really struggling with the change of seasons this year. More than any other year I think. If I don't absolutely have to go somewhere it's sometimes hard for me to make myself.
I had stuff to eat for dinner, like potatoes, lentils and such but what I really wanted was tofu. Like all the tofu. So I did something I rarely do and got delivery. I got spicy lemongrass tofu and it was AMAZING!!
This had big triangles of deep fried tofu in a spicy lemongrass sauce. Since I never deep fry this was the perfect meal to break my tofu fast!
These girls don't help me want to leave when I don't have to. They make sleeping look GOOD! And they're just so much nicer and cooler than most humans!!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Tis the Season for Potato Sales!

I was near a store I never go to called Harmons and I stopped in for kitty food and scored a ten pound bag of potatoes for $1.50!! Ten pounds! I never go to Harmons because they're expensive, like Whole Foods before the Amazon takeover expensive so finding deals there is super satisfying. This might soun weird but I love cold baked and roasted potatoes, so I like to bake of a bunch of wedges an keep them in the fridge for a quick snack, or take to work because they're quick and easy to eat.
I also saw the Just Egg at Harmons, which is my first time seeing it anywhere, even Whole Foods! I was going to snap a picture but it was crowded, and I always feel awkward and like I don't belong as it is. It was $8.99 for a smallish container. The same size container as their dressings. At first I thought it was just Harmons, but a few reviews I've seen have noted the price being high. I'm a little surprised because I thought Hampton Creek was all about vegan food at affordable prices? I don't know if I'll ever try it because I would rather splurge on vegan cheese. I never was crazy about eggs, and I remember in Seattle I tried black salt and I was offended by the smell and it ruined a perfectly good tofu scramble!!
For dinner I had a big butter lettuce salad with sunflower seeds and banana pepper rings with Italian an a little just ranch. I also had some longboard fries dipped in just ranch. Kind of boring but it really, really hit the spot! Plants are just so delicious!
Blanket weather!

Today is the first day of no elimination, well except for gluten. I have to get some groceries this morning and I can't wait to buy all the tofu!!

Friday, November 16, 2018

The End of the Elimination!

Today is the last day of this elimination diet I've been doing and I couldn't be happier! For anyone who doesn't know, I have hypothyroidism and I'm trying to heal my thyroid so I cut some things out of my diet to see what would happen. I cut out gluten, soy, green tea, sugar, and raw goitrogen vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli. I also tried meditating, my plan was to do it every day, but I did maybe three times a week which is still an improvement. Why is meditating so hard!!!!
To be honest I don't feel much different. I've watched videos of other people who eliminated certain foods for whatever reason and they always seem so enlightened and healed and changed. That hasn't been my experience and I feel like a failure. I'm half joking.
Moving forward I will be continuing to live gluten free, because every single article I read screamed to avoid gluten. It seems gluten is bad for all auto immune issues from what I've read. I will also continue to avoid goitrogen vegetables in their raw state. I read some articles saying avoid soy, and others saying have soy, so since I feel no differently I'm adding soy back in. The bottom line is that I'm on a budget and tofu is a great, inexpensive protein source that I truly enjoy so I'm going to continue to enjoy it. I'll have sugar again, but only in moderation and I'll continue to experiment with coconut sugar for baking.
So instead of amazing news and changes to report, I'll just show what I've eaten these last couple of days!
Frozen berries, banana, avocado, hemp seeds and maca powder

Not really food, but homemade booch!!! Look at the bubbles!
Keto fudge brownies
I found a few gluten free low to no sugar desserts on vegan keto websites! The fudge that I made was a keto recipe and so are these brownies! They're made with almond flour and I used coconut sugar and maple syrup for sweetener. They were pretty all right, although I actually think I prefer black bean brownies!
Red lentil and potato curry
Last night I had this delicious mushroom ramen bowl! I sauteed mushrooms in sesame oil and garlic and made a really savory broth with ginger, garlic, Bragg's liquid aminos and mushroom powder. Put it all together with these rice ramen noodles. Delicious!!!
She plays hard and sleeps hard!