Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sweet Potato Green Chili Cheese Sauce

I've been really loving using raw sunflower seeds in place of cashews for creamy sauces. So far I've made a plain sunflower seed Alfredo, a roasted garlic cauliflower and sunflower seed Alfredo and last night I made a sweet potato cheese sauce using sunflower seeds for that extra creaminess. I'm really happy with the results and raw sunflower seeds are so much cheaper than cashews!!
Green Chili Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce!

Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce
  • 1/2 C. Raw Sunflower Seeds Soaked
  • 1 Med. Large Sweet Potato Peeled, Cubed and Boiled
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup water
  • 3 Tsp, Tahini
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 4 Oz, Can Fire Roasted green Chili
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until you have a nice thick but pourable cheese sauce. I probably ended up using a little over one cup of water.
Why are you so blurry?
I mixed the sauce with some gluten free elbows and black beans and topped it with green dragon sauce. The sauce was thick and creamy and didn't taste like sweet potatoes. The green chili aren't spicy, but if you have a low tolerance you could use half a can to start, and then see if you want more.
This sauce would also be great in burritos or as a dip!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What I'm Loving in 2019!

Since the first month of 2019 is almost over, I thought I would do a little round up of some things I've been loving this month!

I love tea. I drink it everyday. Sprouts has Celestial seasonings tea on sale so I've been stocking up.  The watermelon lime zinger is made with hibiscus tea. I like to make a big batch of it for the fridge and have it with my cardio workouts because hibiscus is very hydrating. And the Vermont maple ginger is like a cookie in a cup!
I found Pukka tea on sale too! My tea dreams have come true this month! This turmeric glow tea is one of the better turmeric teas I've had. Nice and mellow.
I love Live beverages soda inspired kombucha, and these probiotic sodas are great too! They're a little less booch-y and sugar free. They're sweetened with monkfruit sweetener. Really tasty!
I just talked about these the other day, but I had to mention them here because I discovered these just this month an they are one of my favorites! Tots made with millet! They're crunchy outside and soft inside just like a regular tot!
I've tried a few Pacifica products and have never been disappointed. They're a vegan and cruelty free company and they make lots of lotions and potions and make up! I saw this serum for under ten dollars so I decided to splurge. I am a sucker for a good serum! This smells like berries and flowers and it feels amazing on my skin!!
This is my first time trying Elf cosmetics. It's hard for me to find a mascara that I like because I don't like weird or fancy wands, and I don't want it to extend, curl or anything else to my lashes. This has a normal wand, and it's just a basic black mascara. I love it! It's light to medium coverage. No clumps, and it doesn't give me spider lashes. And only three bucks at Target!
And of course who doesn't love kitty feet? Joan is my little introvert and she was safely tucked and hidden under the blanket until she stretched a little too much! Joan always reminds me that it's okay to be an introvert!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pasta Fail

I have been wanting to try red lentil pasta for awhile now. I've tried chickpea and yellow lentil pasta and they're okay, not my favorite but not my least favorite either. A couple of people I watch on YouTube have mentioned that red lentil spaghetti is their favorite gluten free pasta. I've been wanting to try it, but it's pretty pricey and I definitely wanted to hit a sale! Sprouts happened to have Pow pasta on sale so I grabbed a box of red lentil linguini.
Even though this was on sale, the box only contains 8 oz. I understand that bean pasta is more filling because of the protein, but if you have a family of say three or four, you're not feeding them on one box. And the sale price was $2.99. So their sale was still a splurge to me.
The directions on the box said to cook for eight to ten minutes. After four minutes the pot looked like lentil soup and the noodles were falling apart, but also not cooked all the way. I let them go one more minute, gave up and drained them. They had turned into a mushy clump that was sticking together like a yarn ball and it was impossible to stir my sauce all the way into the noodles because they were breaking all over the place.
I made a really delicious cauliflower and sunflower seed Alfredo. The sauce turned out so well but it deserved a better pasta. I had to just kind of pour the sauce over the noodle clump and eat it almost like soup. Very disappointing. But the sauce almost made up for it!!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Restocking The Pantry!

My budget was pretty tight for a few weeks. Thank gourd for lentils and potatoes! I never have what I would call a fully stocked pantry, but I do like to have basics like beans, rice, condiments and spices on hand. So I kind of blew through a lot of my pantry items and needed to restock. I braved the crowds at Trader Joe's and Sprouts on Saturday and here I am, alive to tell the tale!
Tofu,seaweed snacks, soy creamer,coconut oil, Harissa paste.EVOO, lime, red onion, green dragon sauce, dish soap, blood oranges, lemons, tortilla chips and blue tortilla chips, butter lettuce, sunflower seeds, bananas,cucumbers,red wine vinegar, nooch,Goddess dressing,onion, sweet potato,sweet mini peppers.carrot, stuffed grape leaves,coconut cream, salsa,frozen raspberries, Stir fry veggies, frozen edamame,tomato paste
Cauliflower, Cara Cara oranges, Opal apples, vanilla and onion powder, rice noodles, live probiotic root beer, blueberries and blackberries, hummus, avocado,tahini,tea,chocolate coconut yogurt,red lentil pasta, rice cakes vegan gummies (Trader Joe's)
This was a bigger haul than usual, but I got a lot of staples that will last for quite awhile. And I got some great deals at Sprouts. I had a dollar off coupon for Celestial Seasonings tea, and they're on sale two for four so I got two boxes of tea for three bucks! I felt like an Extreme Couponer!!
Here is my delicious dinner I had last night. Every single thing is from Trader Joe's! I made a Greek salad with cucumber, mini peppers, red onion, red wine vinegar and a little EVOO. I had that with some butter lettuce, stuffed grape leaves and baked tofu. So fresh and satisfying.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Way Out of my Zone!!

Every time I'm at Trader Joe's I look at these vegetables. And every time there is an employee noticing me staring, they tell me how delicious they are, especially the sauce. This has been going on for months. I finally decide to be brave and try them. Although they turned out to be not my favorite, I'm proud of myself for trying something new and very outside of my comfort zone!
I had some rice leftover, so I stir fried the veggies for a few minutes, added the rice, cooked for a few more minutes and then added the sauce. It was a really easy dinner that took under ten minutes to throw together!! I also added some frozen edamame. The veggie mix has broccoli, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrot, red pepper, water chestnuts, and baby corn.
The sauce that comes with the veggies is amazing. It's thick and a little sweet. Really, really good. For me the veggie mix is not my favorite. I don't like cooked bell pepper, and I prefer sugar snap peas to be raw too. And then the baby corn. I forgot that I really can't stand baby corn! But the rest of the veggies are great, and if you like cooked red peppers and sugar snap peas you will probably love this!
Kiki wedged herself into a cuddle pile. Look at her face, she looks pretty dang happy with herself!!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Rollin Greens Millet Tots

I look at these millet tots every time I'm in Whole Foods. Who doesn't love tots? The problem is these are pretty pricey, and in the same freezer are traditional potato tots for a fraction of the cost so...
But, the other day I ran into Whole Foods for my favorite orange cleaner and I noticed these were on sale so I just had to try them. I have over a year of curiosity brewing over these tots!
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was a wonderful onion-y smell, even frozen. Onion flakes are the second ingredient after millet so it makes sense. I popped them in the oven for about twelve minutes and they came out golden and crispy, and the onion smell was even more inviting. I knew these were going to be good.
Look at how golden and crispy they are!
So the inside of the tot isn't exactly the same as a potato tot, but this is still definitely a tot! Crispy exterior, soft interior. But these are so much more flavorful! I really love the onion flavor, and I really like the texture.
I had some for dinner the other night with a big salad and some carrot sriracha hummus. The tots were excellent dipped in the hummus by the way!
Bottom line, I love them. I'm going to Whole Foods today to get more while they're on sale because these aren't in my budget. Even their sale is still more of a splurge to me but they're worth it!
They only have five ingredients too! Millet, onion flake, granulated onion, seal salt and sunflower oil. And because of the millet you're getting some protein, iron and potassium.
Here is their website. They seem to be a vegan company from what I can see. And they have quite a few really creative recipes for using the tots and they all seem to be vegan. Either way I really, really love these tots!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sales and Treats

Wednesday is the best day to shop at Sprouts market. It's the last day for last week's sales, and the first day for the new weekly sales. I got some great deals along with a few treats.
Frozen mango,bananas,spicy "chicken" burgers, blackberries,onion,lemon,cuties,morning thunder and ginger tea, millet tots.fizzy water,household cleaner,tofu, almond flour crackers,nag champa, Bfree bread and bagels, turmeric green tea,carrot sriracha hummus,coconut milk
The cleaner, millet tots and fizzy water are from Whole Foods. Their orange cleaner is now the only cleaner I want to use. It cleans really well and smells amazing.
These beauties I got at Smith's. I've never tried the BFree bagels. When I first went gluten free I tried a bagel that was made out of garbanzo bean flour. I wasn't really a fan, they were really thin and tasted too much like a chickpea pancake. But these are nice and thick like a regular bagel.
These were two of my treats. Gluten free crackers can be hit or miss for me, and it's frustrating when they're bad because like everything else gluten free they're way more expensive. I've always wanted to try these Simple Mills almond flour crackers but usually they're about five dollars a box. They're on sale two for six dollars at Sprouts so I had to try a box. And as luck would have it my favorite brand of hummus is also on sale!
The crackers are amazing. Hands down the best gluten free cracker I've ever had. The texture is light and crispy, but it holds up to hummus.They're kind of like a wheat thin! I'm definitely getting more while they're on sale!! Although I thumbs down the price, thumbs way, way up on flavor and texture!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

More Food and Cats!

Last week I was reading an article about the health and longevity. Sweet potatoes, particularly purple sweet potatoes are a big part of health and longevity. Unfortunately for me I am not a fan of the texture of sweet potatoes. I can eat them in pureed soup but any other way I can't even tell if I like the taste because I find the texture to be just NO.
I saw purple sweet potatoes at Sprouts and decided to give them a try. I was hoping maybe the texture would be more pleasing. I just cut them in wedges and seasoned them with a little salt, pepper, and curry powder. This was my breakfast by the way. I dipped them in sweet chili sauce. I did not appreciate the texture of these either. It was a chore to force myself to eat them. When I see people just bake a sweet potato, cut in in half and not only eat it but enjoy it I feel so many things. Confusion, envy and a little blech are just three things I feel. I'm just going to have to make blended sweet potato soups and cheese sauce for longevity I guess.
Of course I had more carrot, orange and ginger juice! I got a great deal on cuties at Sprouts so I'm good on my favorite juice for the week.
I just can't seem to get enough peanut sauce! Rice, Romaine, sweet mini peppers and baked tofu smothered in sweet chili peanut sauce! It's just so simple and delicious and a great way to get in lots of veg!
My girls have been extra cuddle-y this winter! Kiki and Etta are really the dynamic duo of cuddling! I think they both could teach a Masterclass actually!

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Little Haul, A Little Meal and A Little Cuddle!

I remember when I was a kid I thought it was so lame to go through the weekly grocery ads and look for coupons and sales. But that's the luxury of childhood, it's not your money paying for the food! As an adult I look through those weekly ads to see where I'm going. I suggest looking at those ads to anyone on a budget. It can help cut down on time if you know right where to go.
Last week I wasn't able to afford a lot of fresh fruit and veg, but luckily for me Sprouts is having a great sale on produce! I know I've said it before but Sprouts has a bit of a reputation for being expensive, and on certain fancy specialty items they are, but those items are expensive everywhere! They have great deals on produce, and their bulk items are very fairly priced, including their spices. Actually their bulk spices are cheaper than Winco!!
Carrots, Romaine, green onions,cuties, lemon lime probiotic soda, purple sweet potatoes,avocados, sweet mini peppers, tofu,lemons,onion,coconut milk,Jasmine rice

I got the sweet peppers and tofu at Smith's everything else at Sprouts. I just can't buy tofu from Sprouts after the exploding tofu incident of 2018! I spent around twenty dollars total. Not bad right? It would have only been around sixteen dollars, but the live probiotic soda was on sale and I treated myself!
I love this stuff so much. It's sweetened with monk fruit extract so it has no sugar! The sodas are a lot like Live beverages kombucha just a little smoother.
I have been craving salad so much!! You always want what you can't have. Since I got my hands on some vegetables, I made a big salad of Romaine, sweet mini peppers,avocado and baked tofu. I made a sweet chili peanut dressing. This was heaven in a bowl. And because of the tofu and peanut sauce, it was hearty and filling. Not to mention a lot of protein!
The cuddle is real!

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!