Monday, March 25, 2019

More Riceless Dishes!

I started my day with another smoothie with raspberries, blueberries, avocado and peanut butter. I also used some coconut milk this time which helped with the tartness a little After my smoothie I roasted some Brussels sprouts while I was cleaning. I tossed them with some tamari, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and nooch. I also had some cucumber with an olive oil vinaigrette. This really, really hit the spot. All of a sudden I can't get enough Brussels sprouts!!
For dinner I just kept it simple with Thai green curry soup with edamame, baked tofu an scallions. Normally I would have this with rice or rice noodles, but it was still tasty on it's own. I'm surprised at how easy it is for me to live without rice! I thought I would be struggling a lot more because I have rice a couple times a week, but so far it's okay!
I had decided to avoid processed sugar for a week before deciding to flirt with vegan keto, so I had picked this bar up. It's sugar free and the keto approved! Extremely dark is an understatement in my book. This tastes almost exactly like baking chocolate!! Susan you would LOVE this bar! She is definitely dark, angry and very pissed at the world!!
This is what went down at my place all weekend! It's been grey and dismal and Kiki is making the most of it. Of course Afro doesn't seem to mind at all!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

More Stuff, Sunday Edition!

I saw this flavor at Natural Grocers and I had to try it. I'm a big fan of Brew Dr. but I usually like fruit or ginger flavored kombucha so I was a little nervous. No worries though, it's great! It almost has a root beer or cream soda vibe to it. Really tasty!
These are one of my favorite veggie burgers ever! To find them on a WooHoo sale makes them even better!
I decided to try the mozzarella shreds since I like the cheddar so much. I'm happy to report that the mozzarella shreds are just as tasty, even right out of the bag!!
This smoothie taught me how sweet bananas really are! Since I'm experimenting with vegan keto/low carb no bananas for me this week. So this smoothie got it's creaminess from an avocado which made it nice and creamy, but not sweet. It was still good, just tart. I think this is the first smoothie I've ever had with no banana.
I had less than zero urge to cook last night. So I went for a super easy meal. Butter lettuce salad with sunflower seeds, pickles, violife mozzarella and two Yves burgers on top. This hit the spot, and I felt very satisfied after eating this!
Today is day three of my kind of keto experiment. I'm basically eating very little carbs and upping my protein and fat. So far I feel good. I don't feel sluggish or tired or anything like that. And so far I'm enjoying the food and I don't feel like I'm lacking anything. I feel like I might start to crave a potato at some point this week, but so far so good.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Trying New Things

I've mentioned on this blog that I have hypothyroidism, which isn't serious, but one of the symptoms is weight gain, or difficulty losing weight. I definitely struggle with the difficult part. I feel like I've been trying to lose the same twenty pounds for over five years.
I told myself this was going to be the year that I find a way to drop these pounds. I'm tired of feeling helpless over something that should be so easy to fix.
I've decided to try something crazy. I never thought I'd ever be typing this, but I'm going to experiment a little this week with vegan keto!!! Any keto traditionalists will hate me because I'm only experimenting, dipping my toe in. I've been thinking about this for over a month, and I just want to try it. From all the videos I've watched keto can force people to be a bit micro-managy about food, and I definitely don't want to live like that. So for a week I'm going to just decrease my carbs and up my fat and protein. I mean it seems like people lose weight when they cut carbs so why not try it. I'm also cutting out all processed sugar for a week. That's something I've been wanting to do for awhile, and since sugar is a carb it make sense to try it this week!
I will be eating A LOT of green veggies and tofu. I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and it's pretty darn green!!
Mint green tea, iceberg lettuce, sunflower seeds,lemons,Brussels sprouts,onion, Romaine lettuce,butter lettuce,cilantro, green onion,kombucha,avocados,
Cauliflower gnocchi,frozen blueberries,tofu frozen raspberries,black olives, same booch(ha ha) coconut milk, peanut butter

I'm kind of embarrassed to even be admitting this because I have rolled my eyes SO many times at the keto trend. But this weight was put on many years ago when I was very unhappy, unhealthy and lost. I was drinking and smoking way too much, and making pretty bad and self destructive decisions. I've come a long way and I just want to fully shed that part of my life.
So I'm going to experiment with the low carb thing a little and see how I feel, how my body reacts and what they hype is all about.
This was my dinner last night. I tossed some Brussels sprouts and tofu with a little coconut oil, garlic and tamari and roasted for about thirty minutes, and then had that with a salad. I drizzled the whole plate with a spicy peanut sauce and added some sunflower seeds on top. I didn't even miss the rice to be honest with you. I definitely know I'll be having this again!
There is so much activity going on outside. Spring has made the birds and squirrels much more active, and since the tree right outside doesn't have leaves yet, you can see it all! Joan goes insane, chattering and being a bad girl with claws on the screen! We're working on that issue. The branches are so close to the window!!

Friday, March 22, 2019

What I've Been Eating plus Cats!

I've been trying to eat less sugar, but yesterday I was feeling the blues and I needed gummies! Finding vegan gummies is really difficult sometimes! I don't know what made me read the ingredients on these because every single other gummy by this brand has gelatin, but for whatever reason the sour heads do not. I liked these a lot better than sour patch kids, they weren't as in your face sour and they had no weird dyes.
I tried so hard to get Etta to look up at me but she is just not cooperative when it comes to pictures! We are so alike in that way!I've still been on the salad for breakfast train. I added some Violife shreds to this one, and it was so tasty! That's something I appreciate about the violife shreds, they taste good cold. I would never add daiya or FYH shreds to a salad, that would ruin my lettuce!!
Another week, another curry! Red lentil, potato and tofu curry.With tomato paste and some mushroom powder for extra umami flavor! I know I eat this a lot, but I crave it. It's definitely one of my favorite meals.
I treated myself to this booch along with my vegan gummies yesterday. This is one of my favorite flavors and brands of kombucha. When I see it on sale I have to have one!
The pink sweater forever remains!
I love Cherry anything so I was excited when I saw that Natural Grocers had the cherry Forager cashewgurt. It's so good!!! Really great, natural cherry flavor.
More Tom Yum soup for dinner. I'm so happy I found a vegan Tom Yum paste. It makes it so easy to have this delicious soup anytime I want. Yesterday was a grey, dismal day and this woke up my senses and hit the spot.
These two have the right idea when it comes to grey, dismal mornings. Just cuddle up with your best friend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring has Sprung!

This is a new to me flavor of Live kombucha. I've been a fan of their kombucha and probiotic soda for quite some time. It's pretty good, I wish it had a stronger raspberry flavor, but overall still tasty.
This has been my favorite yogi tea for over five years. It has a nice light flavor, and I swear my skin does glow when I drink it! I feellike at this point my dry winter skin needs all the help it can get!!
Flowers are finally starting to pop up, and there are just more signs of life everywhere. Spring is definitely my favorite time of year. Everything smells so clean, and I love the crisp mornings.
I made japchae last night and I used the baby bok choy greens! I just sauteed them with the garlic right before I added the noodles, sauce and tofu. I like them! I will definitely buy bok choy again, you can never have too many greens in your rotation!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

New and Improved Hummus and More!

I went back to Trader Joe's yesterday to exchange that thin, runny Buffalo hummus. The customer service person agreed that the horrible texture is too much. He also said the avocado hummus is really weird too. So avoid both of those flavors if you don't like runny hummus!
I chose the cilantro jalapeno hummus because it sounded really, really good and I've never tried it! I tried it when I got home and it's AMAZING! Don't let the jalapeno scare you, it's not really spicy. I also picked up some baby Bok Choy. I've never had Bok Choy, baby or not!! Crazy right? It scares me to be honest. When I see people eating it steamed it looks slimy and weird.I'm gagging just thinking about it! My mom ruined steamed veggies for me. I can't think of a single vegetable I'll eat steamed to be honest. If steamed veggies are my only option, I'll wait till I have more options. I'm making japchae this week, so I'm going to use the greens only in that, and I'll use the weird bulb part in juice.
I also picked up these random items. While at Natural Grocers last week I forgot Nag Champa which was the whole reason I went there! They had Live Kombucha on sale for $1.69 a bottle too!! I've never seen the raspberry flavor! I also love the Tuscan Bouquet bath salts. It makes my bathroom smell soooooooo good! Even the day after my bath it still smells like a Tuscan Bouquet!
I decided to try the Explore Cuisine edamame spaghetti. I don't know why, it's double the cost of gluten free pasta and triple the cost of regular but I wanted to give it a try. So I made some baked tofu and peanut noodles using the pasta. I will say that the texture is much better than other bean pastas, but it tastes so strongly of soy it's distracting. I know I'm in the minority because bean pastas are all the rage, even with non vegans but I am just not a fan.  I would just rather eat regular less expensive gluten free pasta with some actual beans. Beans are one of the cheapest foods out there, but yet bean pastas are the most expensive pasta. Weird right?
Afro's favorite spot, the corner of the couch with her favorite blanket. This was a rare moment when no one was crowding her and she had the whole corner to herself!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Violife For the Win!!

English cucumbers with balsamic vinaigrette and a little black pepper is one of life's little treats. I think balsamic was meant to be paired with cucumbers! This is one of my new favorite snacks!
I'm a big fan of Violife's smoked provolone and mature cheddar slices, so I was excited to see the shreds at Natural Grocers. I wanted to make some mac and cheese yesterday so this seemed perfect!
When you open the bag you are not assaulted with a weird smell like when you open a bag of daiya. The shreds are also very dry, and almost fluffy? This is hands down my favorite shredded cheese I've used. I tasted some right out of the bag and it's GOOD!! It tastes like the cheddar slices, only shredded! Makes sense right? With daiya I definitely notice a difference between their farmhouse blocks and shreds.
I saw a recipe for Buffalo "chicken" mac and cheese and couldn't stop thinking about it. I used baked tofu for my "chicken" and it was great! The recipe I saw drizzled some vegan blue cheese on top which looked nice and I'm sure tasted great. Vegan ranch would be nice too. But it was also nice with no sauce! I used soaked cashews and Violife for the mac and cheese and I just baked the tofu and tossed it with Frank's red hot sauce. This was very comforting and delicious. I've made vegan mac and cheeses with quite a few different cheeses and I definitely think Violife is my favorite!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Three Stores, One Haul

I made it to Trader Joe's again! I went on Friday and I managed to get there a little earlier than usual so it wasn't so intense. I also went to Natural grocers and Smiths for a few things. 
Buffalo hummus, onions, tofu,peppermint tea, Romaine, potatoes, tangelos, cherry tomatoes, lemon,blueberries,sriracha,avocados,nooch,coconut milk,carrots,banana,peanut butter
This was my splurge/new to me buy. It tastes pretty good, although not my fave hummus flavor, but the texture is what really turns me off. It's thin and runny. Back when I had a low quality blender I would have to add a significant amount of water to hummus to get it going. I never liked the results. So not only will I not buy again, I might exchange this for a better hummus.
yogi tea, mini chocolate bar. booch,gluten free pretzel sticks,violife shredded cheddar(!!!), Forager yogurt,Epsom salts

I absolutely love Snyder's gluten free pretzels. The best gluten free snack I've tried hands down. And they aren't ridiculously expensive either! I'm excited to try the violife shreds too. I really love their slices so I have very high hopes!
Frank's red hot, English cucumbers, black beans, pickles, Silk yogurt, sweet potato noodles,rice noodles, cauliflower puffs
I love the Vegan Rob's cauliflower puffs but I've only had them once because they're expensive, but Smith's had them on sale so I treated myself. They also had sweet potato noodles on sale, so I will definitely be making some japchae this week!!

Friday, March 15, 2019

What I Ate!

Another breakfast salad! I've done salads or smoothies every day this week and I feel great! I do prefer the salads, I feel more satisfied and I definitely stay full longer. Even when I add peanut butter to my smoothies I just don't stay full long. 
Still on the orange carrot juice train! I love this as a pick me up, and I swear it has helped me stave off any sickies this season. (So Far) I know celery juice is all the rage, but for me this is all the juice I need!
Another red lentil, potato and tofu curry! This time I used curry powder, garam masala, and tomato paste. The tomato paste made it really dark and rich. I have a recipe for vegan butter chicken I've been wanting to try, so I kind of borrowed from that recipe. Basically this is butter lentils, potatoes and tofu!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Some Delicious Vegan Foods!

All this week I've been having either salads or acai smoothies for breakfast. I have to be honest I prefer the salads! When you add beans or baked tofu, the salad really keeps me full for a long time.
I added peanut butter to this smoothie to make it a little more filling. I think in general I like to start my day with something savory.
I wanted sushi the other night, but I kind of overstuffed the wraps, so I just had sushi burritos. I filled them with avocado, tofu an cucumber. Super tasty!
Last night I made Tom Yum soup, It's so easy with the Tom Yum paste I got at the Asian market. This used to be one of my favorite things to order out, I never thought I'd be able to make it in my own kitchen!! This was so satisfying and really hit the spot.
I've definitely noticed that I feel really great starting my day with a big salad. It makes me feel clean and light and then I don't worry so much about getting my veggies in. I feel like when I start the day with veggies I naturally crave them more during the rest of my day. Funny how that works!
I've been battling the end of the winter blues and I can always depend on Roxy for some cuddles and love!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Taco Sunday!

In my opinion this is one of the best values at Trader Joe's. It's vegan and gluten free, and it doesn't have a bunch of funky ingredients. It's either $.79 or $.99 for a packet, and it's pretty strong so I get like three or four uses out of one pack. A bit of this with some black beans you have delicious and super cheap taco filling! Which is what I did last night!
I just sauteed red onion, black beans, and corn in a little coconut oil with some of the taco seasoning. Taco filling in five minutes!! I know crunchy shells aren't authentic, but they were dang tasty and I love that crunch!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Some Things I Ate and Some Things I Love!

Yesterday I started my day with this big, beautiful salad made with Romaine, red pepper, cucumber, pickles, broccoli sprouts, white beans and goddess dressing. Really delicious and the beans made it nice and filling. Also, sliced pickles are amazing in salads! I ate this while wrapped in a blanket watching the snow fall. Yuk. I really feel great when I have a salad for breakfast. I plan on doing this a lot more. Spring is almost here and I want to feel great!
For dinner I made homemade pesto and tossed it with cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's. Pesto and the gnocchi seriously compete with peanut butter and chocolate for best performance by a duo. I had half a can of white beans leftover from my breakfast salad so I tossed those in too. This was a very, very tasty and easy dinner. And it felt fancy!
I also ate some green grapes and had a carrot orange juice but I forget to take pictures. I drink orange carrot juice pretty dang regularly so you've seen it a million times!
I also snacked on some of these pretzels and AMAZING hummus!! I have to say that Trader Joe's makes some nice and creamy hummus. The pretzels are pretty amazing too. I always assumed Snyder's gluten free pretzels weren't vegan but they are! For anyone gluten free, these are hands down the best gluten free snack I've had. They taste exactly like a regular pretzel and I would give them a nine out of ten for texture. Really, really good. And I threw the Schmidt's deodorant in the picture because I've now been using it for about a week now and I have to say it is working for me! It is a little rough like I'm exfoliating and deodorizing, and it is a little thick and pasty so I could see it staining a white shirt, but to me those are small issues because it does keep me smelling like a vanilla touched rose! I think it's hard with any deodorant because we're all different so it's hard to recommend this but I can say it's working for me!