Saturday, January 19, 2019

What I Ate plus Cats!

I always read about eating simple carbs after a workout on Bianca's blog, so yesterday I did a pretty hard cardio workout with lots of burpees(why). I had some leftover coconut rice so I made a little sushi bowl with some wasabi seaweed snacks and a perfect avocado. This really hit the spot!
I found this in the bottom of a drawer so I had a cup after breakfast. Just the right amount of heat. Perfect with a splash of coconut milk!
I picked up some oranges on clearance so I've been enjoying orange, carrot and ginger juice. It's been unusually grey and dreary this winter. I've already been fighting with my depression, and the grey is not helping. I find the cheerful color and the zip of vitamins from this juice give me a little pep.
I made more beans and rice for dinner! I told you I loved this recipe! This time I added some jalapeno for heat and turmeric for health. I like to follow a recipe just the way it is once, and then I add my little adjustments! The small amount of turmeric I added really made it a nice color! Here is the original recipe I used. I just sub coconut oil for the butter. I really can't say enough about this simple dish. It's a simple, budget dish that packs a flavor punch. It's better than rice and beans I've had at restaurants.
It's a very rare moment when I catch Joan choosing to cuddle someone. She's my little introvert, and usually it's Kiki forcing the cuddle! Happy Caturday!





Friday, January 18, 2019

Bang Bang Baby

I made a new to me recipe last night and it turned out AMAZING! It's called bang bang tofu. I guess there's a restaurant that is pretty famous for bang bang shrimp so this is a take on that. I used this recipe for the sauce, but I halved it because I didn't have a whole block of tofu.
This is the delicious sauce. I want to drizzle it on everything. This is competing with peanut sauce for that number one place in my heart!
For my tofu I just cubed it and coated it with unsweetened coconut shreds which I bought in a bulk bin for $.36! And I have enough leftover for a second batch! I baked the cubes until crisp and then tossed them in the sauce.
I made some coconut rice with some of the coconut shreds to go along with the tofu. This was a really, really delicious meal. It tasted like something you would get in a restaurant, and I made it myself in under twenty five minutes! And all the ingredients for the sauce are staples in my fridge,so  this was super inexpensive. I already want more!!



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Beans on Top of Beans!

Really terrible picture of a really easy and tasty breakfast. Baked tofu seasoned with garlic powder and nooch, some refried beans and a beautiful avocado. This kept me full and satisfied for a long time.
I made some kitchari the other night. I also had the last of my clearance BFree dinner rolls. I'm so sad about that because gluten free rolls are expensive when not on clearance! I just really like to have a piece of bread with my soup. Before going gluten free I used to eat A LOT more soup, but I don't enjoy it as much without bread. I added lots of potatoes to this batch. Still working through ten pounds of potatoes!
I really needed to use the last of my ten pounds of potatoes so I made another curry. I just wasn't in the mood for oven fries. It's been unusually grey this winter, so I've really been wanting cozy and comforting meals. I also like meals like this or kitchari because I can make them ahead of time and reheat when I get home. I never really feel like cooking at midnight, so meals like this prevent me from having frozen fries for dinner!
I've been doing really well with adding more beans to my diet, but slacking in the add more veggies department. My budget was super tight this week and beans are cheaper than veggies. I know frozen veggies are inexpensive, but other than peas, corn and edamame I don't care for frozen veggies. I still remember trying frozen Brussels sprouts. They almost turned me off from Brussels altogether!
The corner of the couch has been the hottest real estate in town lately. Kiki has of course managed to shimmy in an force a cuddle!





Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Monday Eats

I love the color of pink grapefruit an carrot juice! I know that might sound like a weird combo, but it's really tasty. It's that time of year when I just want to get in all the vitamin c I can. I swear it seems like every single human I've interacted with in the past week or so has had some kind of sniffle, cough or wheeze. Or they're right in the middle of "the worst flu ever!" I want to just live in a cloud of hand sanitizer!
Sprouts has been offering avocados two for one dollar, so I have a lot of avocados right now! I had this beauty with just a little pink salt for a snack. I always eat avocados with something, I forget how delicious they are all alone!
I also had some leftover sunflower Alfredo for breakfast/early lunch. I just ate it cold and forgot to take a picture.
I found a new super simple and really, really tasty meal! I made coconut rice and beans or peas. I used this recipe. I just used coconut oil to saute the onion and garlic. I also added a little crushed red pepper for heat. The fat from the coconut oil and milk gave the rice such a nice flavor and made it so satisfying!! I thought maybe it was going to be bland, or taste too much like coconut and nothing else but it was perfect. This is definitely going to be in the regular rotation. Make room potato curry!
These were blowing up Instagram last week so I made sure to grab a package at Trader Joe's. I don't think I've ever had sunflower butter cups because the brands I've seen all have dairy or honey in them. These are only $.99 at Trader Joe's which is a deal! They're pretty good. They remind me of a Justin's cup but a little different because of the sunflower seed butter. I also think they're a little more generous with the nut or I guess seed butter which I like. I will definitely buy these again!





Monday, January 14, 2019

Nut and Cauliflower Free Vegan Alfredo!

Avocados, pink grapefruit,red lentils, butter lettuce, coconut milk, carrots, tofu, bulk rice and spices, sunflower butter cups(!!), lemons, nosy Joan is covering raw sunflower seeds!
I wanted to hit Sprouts again for some more avocados and grapefruit for two for one dollar!!I also made the grave mistake of going to Trader Joe's on a Sunday. I know I said I'd see them in 2019, but never on a Sunday!!! I'm not sure what I was thinking. I envy those people who shop with abandon when stores are crowded.
I went to Trader Joe's specifically for a bag of raw sunflower seeds. I wanted to try and make an Alfredo sauce using sunflower seeds in place of cashews or cauliflower. Sunflower seeds are a gazillion times cheaper than cashews. And even cauliflower can be expensive. I got a one pound bag of raw sunflower seeds at Trader Joe's for $1.99! I see all kinds of sunflower seed experiments in my future! Sunflower seed cheese anyone?
When I got home I soaked some sunflower seeds for a little over two hours, and blended them up with some seasonings and roasted garlic. The sauce is thick, rich and creamy just like with cashews! I'm really impressed!

                                                              Sunflower Seed Alfredo
  • 1 1/4 C. Raw Sunflower Seeds soaked at least two hours
  • 5 Cloves Roasted Garlic
  • 1 Tsp. Miso Paste
  • 1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 3 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 to 2 C. Water
Throw everything in a blender and blend away until smooth and creamy. Start with one cup of water and go from there. I ended up adding almost two cups of water.  This makes enough sauce for one pound of pasta.

Here is my bowl with a little butter leaf salad. I love this sauce, it's thick and rich with a great roasted garlic flavor. This was a very hearty and cozy winter dinner!




Saturday, January 12, 2019

Chocolate and Curry

I treated myself to some chocolate yesterday. The Endangered Species salted peanut dark chocolate bar is really hard to find. It always sells out at Smith's. If you liked Mr.Goodbar in your pregan days, this bar is for you! The other bar is a super dark or as Susan would say Angry chocolate with tart cherries. It's just okay. To me the tart cherries are a bit much with the angry chocolate.
Of course I had red lentil and potato curry for dinner! Last week I scored a ten pound bag of potatoes for $1.49!! So I have been having potatoes with everything. Also I just adore this dish. It's easy to make, cheap, makes a lot and it doesn't taste like you're eating a budget meal. I added peanut butter to this batch which takes it up to a whole new level.
I've also been adding this sauce to my curries. It's a little sweet, has a decent amount of spice and has a little vinegar-y kick. I've had this in my fridge for awhile, I can't remember where I got it. But it's good stuff.
Little Buddy wouldn't come in today. This has been a very different experience than in the past. Most cats I've rescued from outside kind of decide one day that they want in and that's it. But this has been much more of a process. I think maybe he's a little older so maybe that's why it's scarier? I don't know but I hope he chooses us soon, it's cold out there!!




Friday, January 11, 2019

Simple Vegan Food I Ate!

I started my day yesterday with a juicy and delicious pink grapefruit. This was such a refreshing thing to have first thing. Eating grapefruit this way always reminds me of my grandparents. They always split a grapefruit and had coffee and toast every morning. I always insisted on having the same breakfast, minus the coffee. We always sprinkled a little sugar on top, although as an adult I don't need the extra sweetness.
Later on I decided to make an oven hash brown. I just shredded two russet potatoes, added some salt, pepper, turmeric and garlic powder and then baked in the oven till crisp. Topped with ketchup and hot sauce. This reminded me of a time when I worked at a diner and hash browns were the only thing or one of the only things I could/would eat at work.
I had the day off so I cooked some dried garbanzo beans for hummus and I went ahead and roasted some of the cooked beans. I seasoned these with salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. I just spread them out, seasoned them and threw them in the oven with no oil. They turned out exactly the same as in the past when I've used oil. I definitely am not oil free, but I always like to see what really needs oil and what doesn't.
I had some of the Trader Joe's falafel mix lounging around so I decided I wanted falafel and salad for dinner. With some fries of course. The last time I made falafel with the mix I cooked them in a little oil on the stove. This time I decided to try the baked method. I don't think I've ever tried to bake falafel. It worked out well. I think I might always bake them because honestly I hate and am scared of splattering oil. Baking is just so much safer and cleaner!!
This is how much Kiki loves the pink sweater an cuddling with Etta! The line on the duvet under Kiki is where the mattress ends. She's barely holding on, but dammit she's on the sweater and has a warm belly pillow!





Thursday, January 10, 2019

This and That Thursday

This came in the mail yesterday! I still don't know who the VegNews fairy is, but whoever you are you are the sweetest and I can't thank you enough! I know I've mentioned how much I love to read and how much I love books, but magazines have always been a love of mine too. When I was a teen I read all the teen mags and then as an adult I switched to a deep love for the gossip rags. I used to love Fridays, I would go and get them all at once an just read them all cover to back even though most of them talked about the same stuff. I don't really buy them anymore because I can get my celeb gossip online, but I do miss turning pages. And I never can afford to buy vegan magazines because they are crazy expensive. Some of them I'm actually insulted by the price!
I made a special trip to Sprouts yesterday because they have avocados on sale two for one dollar!! And grapefruit are also two for one dollar! Sprouts is definitely expensive for some things, like a lot of the vegan convenience food is expensive, and of course all the trendy superfood-y, local artisinal stuff, but they have some of the best deals on produce out there. And they have a great bulk section including bulk spices. I got some crushed red pepper, sea salt, ginger, garlic powder and dried hibiscus flours. I also picked up some kelp powder because I've read that because of it's super high iodine content it's good for hypothyroidism. I haven't been able to find it anywhere!
Speaking of kelp powder, does anyone know how I should use it? Does it have a strong taste like seaweed? I guess I need to do some research.
I made this beautiful hibiscus tea with the dried hibiscus flowers. I love that beautiful color. I like to drink a lot of this in the summer because it's very cooling and hydrating. Hibiscus is also full of vitamin c, and it helps lower blood pressure! I've also read that it's healing for the liver, and I'm always trying to show my liver love after all of my past abuse.
Little Buddy update, I'm still opening my door every morning and letting him come in and wander around.He's getting braver, but he still chooses to go back outside. It's so hard to not just close the door because I want him to be warm and safe. But I'm not a zookeeper and he needs to not feel forced or captured. So we will continue this journey and see where we end up. At least he gets to warm up for awhile while he's inside. 






Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Vegan Smoky Split Pea Soup

It's been grey and half raining half snowing here. It's just been gross and the grey definitely doesn't help my mood. Yesterday was another day where I didn't feel like cooking, but I also didn't want to be tempted to have frozen fries for dinner. So I made some smoky split pea soup. With potatoes of course! I had it with one of a very few BFree gluten free dinner rolls I have left. This was very comforting. I always say soup is a hug in a bowl.
Although I've posted a recipe awhile ago for this soup, I wrote down and measured everything I used because who doesn't love soup? Also, it is the start of a new year so maybe there are some new vegans, or people who want to find more meatless meals. This is a very filling and inexpensive soup, and it's only maybe ten minutes of actual work, the rest is just letting the soup simmer.

                                                          Smoky Split Pea Soup
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Smoke Paprika
  • 1 Tsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 C. Green Split Peas
  • 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast
  • 5 to 6 C Water
Saute the onions and garlic in a little oil or water for a few minutes, add the turmeric, pepper, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika and the potatoes. Saute for another minute or so on medium heat, add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer until the potatoes are tender and the peas have broken and are creamy. It took me about thirty minutes. Once your soup is done, add the salt and liquid smoke. I like to add those ingredients at the end because the flavors of the smoke and salt kind of dissipate while cooking. This way you aren't adding more salt at the end.



Monday, January 7, 2019

Keeping It Simple and Cheap!

About a year or so ago, I saw a recipe for lasagna soup. It looked so good, and seemed like such an easier way to get those flavors. Since I had a couple of random lasagna sheets left over from my failed attempt at a holiday lasagna, I decided to try the soup version! I just basically made a tomato-y lentil soup, and added the broken lasagna sheets. I topped my bowl with nooch and some baked tofu I coated in garlic, Italian seasoning and nooch. This was delicious, and somehow was a little fancier than regular old lentil soup!
Yesterday was one of those days where I really wanted to pull my hair out. Needless to say I did not feel like cooking. So I just made some rice and a quick peanut sauce. This tasted really, really good. For some reason when I'm feeling a little off I find plain rice to be very comforting. And peanut sauce always comforts me!! This is actually a great budget meal because rice is cheap and you can find it anywhere, same as peanut butter. I got the Kroger brand peanut butter on sale for only one dollar!

Sorry for the horrible, no flash picture. But here is little buddy slinking around my living room! We are making progress, he gets scared less easily now, but he's still not sure. So I'm just letting him explore, and trying to let him know that he is invited and wanted and loved. He knows that there are cats who live here, and I think he's scared of that maybe. I'm not sure, but I'll keep trying!
Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Saucy

Although I've been on a tight budget my whole life, I've only learned the importance of a good sauce in the last couple of years. You can make rice. beans or tofu and some veggies taste like a restaurant meal with a good sauce. It's a great way to spruce up what could otherwise be a boring meal.
This bowl is really just rice, shredded Romaine, avocado, green onion and baked tofu. But the sweet and spicy gochujang sauce made me want to lick the bowl clean.


                                                        Sweet and Spicy Gochujang Sauce
  • 3 Tsp. Gochujang Paste
  • 3 Tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp. Sugar/Agave
  • 1/2 Tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 to 1 Tsp. Garlic Chili Sauce(optional, leave out if you're not into spicy)
Whisk all ingredients together, make sure the sugar dissolves. This is a great sauce for rice bowls, and it's also a good dip for baked tofu or spring rolls.


Friday, January 4, 2019

Cheap Vegan Eats plus Cats!

Yesterday for breakfast I made a delicious chickpea pancake and topped it with some sweet mini peppers tossed with Italian dressing. I love making these pancakes. You can add green onions and herbs to the batter which makes it even tastier. The pancakes are just made with chickpea flour and water. I always buy the Bob's Red Mill chickpea flour. It's under three dollars a bag and you can make a lot of pancakes with it!!
Keeping up with the budget theme, I made one of my favorite meals. red lentil and potato curry. I swear even if I could afford all the foods this simple meal would still be in my regular rotation. It's delicious, filling and so satisfying. It's also super easy to make and the leftovers are even better!
I just had the kitty from outside in my living room for a bit. He's getting more and more comfortable but he's still very skittish but I think he's kind of making the connection that inside equals warmth and also lots of pets. I keep telling the girls they're going to get a big brother.
Speaking of the girls, Etta and Kiki are still holding down the pink sweater. I keep hoping they'll lose interest, but they just keep loving it!



Thursday, January 3, 2019

Tea, Food and Cats!

I found this tea yesterday for only sixty six cents! I love the after holiday sales. Groceries are practically giving the stuff away! Despite the fact that it's eggnog flavored and there is an egg pun on the box, it is vegan. And while the flavor doesn't scream eggnog, it has that cozy winter-y holiday flavor!
This was my delicious dinner Tuesday night. I had some daiya shreds that have been in my freezer so long they were almost freezer burnt, so I decided to make some gluten free mac and cheese with  baked tofu and a big old salad. My favorite was a bite with a little of everything. This really hit the spot!
I scored a five pound bag of red potatoes for $1.48 so last night I had potato wedges seasoned with salt and pepper, lots of garlic and of course nooch. I dipped them in ketchup and hp sauce. Delicious!
I got this hilarious picture of Joan and Kiki. They were napping together on the vent.I caught Joan mid yawn and  I love how it looks like Joan is laughing hysterically and Kiki is giving her the side eye!
I spent some time with my door opened yesterday. The kitty not on the blanket is a female who also comes around. She used to be VERY scared of me, now she'll come up to the food when I put it down, but if I move too fast she runs away. They both came in a tiny bit, but then ran out.
This morning I spent about twenty minutes with him in the living room. I tried to get him on Joan's beloved heat vent but he was scared. He ended up going back out, and when I tried calling him back in he just stayed on the blanket outside. We'll try again tomorrow. Do you guys think I should just close the door when he's inside or keep doing what I'm doing? I don't want to force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!





Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Courting a New Roomie!

This was a super delicious dinner that I randomly threw together! I made some mayocoba beans, baked some tofu with lots of nooch and made some cilantro rice. I threw it all in a bowl with some sweet mini peppers, avocado, cilantro and some hot sauce. And it looked so pretty you just wanted to dig in. I don't know what's going on, but I've been finding great deals on avocados lately, and they've been so perfect and delicious!
So this is one of the stray cats that I feed. Somewhat recently he has started letting me pet him, and sometimes I'll sit outside with a blanket and he'll cuddle up to me under the blanket. I'm trying to get him to come inside to live with us. So I put the girls in my room with the door shut and opened my front door. He came in, ran out an came in several times. It was a little like sensory overload I think. So I put some food close enough to the door, but inside my apartment and he did eat inside. I let him explore, but kept the door open so he didn't feel trapped. It's going to be a process, but I hope he'll move in with us!
Happy New Year!!