Thursday, January 30, 2020

Trader Joe's Mini Haul!

Well, I survived getting my haircut and Trader Joe's! Not a single tear was spilled, and anxiety levels were just at my usual level of anxiety! My hair is okay, She trimmed my bangs a little shorter than I like, but hair grows and soon I'll be annoyed because my bangs are too long!!
Apparently Trader Joe's has gotten into the beefy burger game. The price is a lot lower than any other brand I've seen, so that's great news for people who love these burgers! Also more meat eaters might be willing to try with a lower price.
Water Kefir, tofu,celery,potatoes,onion,jalapeno,carrots,romaine hearts, miyokos cream cheese, crispbread,blood oranges,lemons,lite coconut milk, refried beans
I had a budget of twenty nine dollars, and everything above minus the cream cheese and crispbread added up to only twenty one dollars. I always look at the crispbread but never buy it because it's almost five dollars for not a lot. But dang they look so good!
I was scared to try the un-lox flavor of cream cheese for a really long time. I thought it would be really fishy which doesn't sound like a flavor I want in my cream cheese. But it really isn't fishy, it's just really savory and I guess full of umami? Either way I want to lather it on everything!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Everything Old is New Again!

This week I've been really going down memory lane with food. I've been making dishes that I used to have pretty often, but for whatever reason I just haven't made while I've been in my slump.
I used to make cauliflower wins fairly often before going gluten free. When I made the switch, I tried several different gluten free flours and it just wasn't the same. I guess I just gave up.
As I mentioned last week I've been trying to spend some time each day decluttering, and the other day while decluttering my pantry I found some rice flour. I also have chickpea flour, so I decided to experiment with a combination of the two and see what kind of batter that would make.
I used 3/4 of a cup of rice flour, and 1/2 cup of garbanzo flour. I then added enough water to make a thickish batter, and guess what? I think I found my answer!! You know how sometimes you have to just walk away from something for awhile?
I made a sauce with hoisin, some of the too spicy Schezwan sauce, a little sugar to mellow out the spice and some tamari. I drizzled a tiny bit of sesame oil over the finished dish. This was so good, just like seeing your favorite friend you've been missing!I'm getting my hair trimmed today and if that goes okay I'll be popping in to Trader Joe's for a few things. Wish me luck with my hair, I get so much anxiety getting it trimmed. I swear one of these days I'm going to scour YouTube for tutorials on cutting my own hair so I can just do it myself!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Showing Chickpeas Some Love!

Does anyone remember a blog called Peas and Thank You? It no longer exists, but it was run by a mom and featured her cute daughters and lots of recipes. I discovered it fairly new into my vegan journey so her simple recipes really helped. She didn't use a lot of hard to find ingredients or kitchen tools. She has a couple of cookbooks too. One is at my local library and every now and again I check it out.
I can't remember if it was on her blog or cookbook but she had this really simple recipe she called a crack wrap because her kids loved it so much. It was just a tortilla of choice with hummus and then you roll it an crisp it in a pan. She mentions that you can add vegan cheese, but I never feel it needs cheese because of the hummus. I know it sounds so simple, but it is really oh so good! I've made it for non vegans who have loved it as well!
Sunday I made some homemade hummus just so I can use my gluten free tortillas for crack wrap breakfasts this week!
I just add a little nooch and then dip the triangles in Frank's buffalo sauce. Such a perfect combination!
The other day when I realized I hadn't had chickpea salad in so long, I thought of chickpea noodle soup which I've also neglected. I don't know why I ever stopped making this, it's so good! I added lots of dill to this batch which made it really nice!

I'm loving this book. I found it in the librarian recommended section and I'm so glad I did. I like hearing about people's real life battles, and how low they went before working their way out of the hole. In this highly curated world we live in, it's so nice when someone is brutally honest about their struggles. It's refreshing and so helpful, it makes me feel less alone I guess. Anyway, this book is AHMAZING and I highly recommend it, especially if you feel stuck in any way!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Gluten Free Goodies

I've been craving chickpea salad since last week when I saw some on Julie's blog. I used to eat chickpea salad all the time, but since going gluten free I don't eat sandwiches nearly as much. I picked up some gluten free bread on sale at Sprouts and knew I had to have a sandwich!
I cooked some dried chickpeas for hummus yesterday and set some chickpeas aside to make a little salad.
Toasted my sandwich in a pan and dipped it in mustard. Absolute perfection! Great cheerful way to start my day!
Here is the bread I used. It's from a company called Little Northern Bakehouse. I found this at Sprouts. I usually buy a different brand that's a dollar cheaper, but this was on sale for  a dollar off and boasted wide slice on the package so I had to try it. A lot of gluten free bread comes with the tiniest tea party slices and it's annoying. It's of course not as delicious as bread full of gluten, but honestly this is pretty dang good. I will definitely buy it again!
AS promised I baked a batch of these almond flour chocolate chip cookies! I had extremely low expectations. I thought they would be super dry and crumbly. But they are moist and soft and really, really tasty!! All you do is add plant milk and oil or butter to the mix and ten minutes later you have cookies!! These are definitely the best gluten free cookies I've had. I wish I would have bought more than two boxes!!! Buyers remorse!!
For dinner I made the cold Sichuan noodles salad from Some Like It Hot from Robin Robertson. Served with cucumber and baked tofu. The noodles are going into regular rotation for sure! Vinegar-y, a little sweet and definitely spicy! This was a simple meal that really tasted like I went all out for myself! I love Robin Robertson!
And look what I walked into!! Kiki laying on the same couch as Bubba! He and Floofy were there first, and she chose to lay there!! Her attacks have still been happening but with way less frequency so there is a chance we will find peace soon!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sprouts Haul!

I have a small Sprouts haul to show. I wanted to hit Sprouts and Trader Joe's, but I was so tired I barely had the energy to go to Sprouts. I'm going to get my hair cut sometime this week and I plan on hitting Trader Joe;s then. Probably before in case I get a horrific cut. Ha!
Almond flour chocolate chip cookie mix, bulk spices, green pepper, apples, avocado, eggnog candle,onion,jelly,peanut butter,raspberries, cumber, plant earth snacks, gluten free bread, tofu raspberry pops
Carrots, oranges, apples, bbq spice rub,bulk rice,tea and teecino,celery, lemons
Even though there are a few specialty items in this haul, this haul was under forty dollars thanks to a five dollar off coupon and quite a few things being an sale or clearance. I love the Plant Earth snacks but rarely buy them because of the price, but they are on sale two for four. I can't resist!
This was the deal of the day! As I was walking by the little end cap of super expensive gluten free items an employee told me this cookie mix was going on clearance for $.99 a box! The mix is vegan, and you just add oil/butter and a small amount of plant milk. Today is supposed to be yet another grey and rainy day so maybe I'll make a batch.
I've been spending a few minutes each day decluttering my apartment. I never think I'm someone who has clutter until I realize that I have a lot! I have today off and nowhere to be, so I think I'm going to have a lazy productive day. Cleaning,  a little declutter, bake some cookies and of course watch birds for cats!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Fun at the Library

I had to pick up a library book I had reserved, and as always I found a couple of extra books. And as usual I had to stop myself from getting a huge stack of books!!
I went to the top floor and they have a little gallery of artwork for sale. I'm intimidated by actual museums because of the people, so this was nice. I walked through and felt very high brow.
These were my two favorites. Especially the tree. My favorite thing about summer is laying on the ground on a really blue day, and looking at the green from a tree mixed with the blue. So beautiful. If I would have had the cash I would have bought it!
These are the three books I chose. I love Robin Robertson, and I don't think I've ever tried Some Like It Hot. I am definitely team hot so I'm excited.
I was dreaming about sesame noodles from The Asian Vegan Kitchen so I whipped some up when I got home. The recipe is so easy to halve, and would be easy to double too. I made some spicy hoisin glazed tofu to go with.
I was feeling a bit down so I had some chocolate oatly ice cream for dessert. It's so incredible. I have now tried So delicious oat ice cream and oatly, and wow, oat milk really does make some creamy ice cream!! I can't wait to try the strawberry!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Julia's Table Gluten Free Tortillas

You guys know I struggle with living life gluten free. I miss everything about gluten, including making seitan!! I used to love to experiment with homemade seitan! Gluten free products are a million times more expensive and smaller sizes than their gluten filled counterparts. And so many of them are downright horrible! I once paid eight dollars for a loaf of gluten free bread! And it was terrible, dense like cornbread and very oddly sweet.
Gluten free tortillas are even worse! Many have no pliability which kind of ruins the idea of a wrap, burrito or quesadilla. Mission brand makes gluten free tortillas that are okay for tacos or quesadillas. But they kind of do this weird curling up thing when you bend them and also while cooking. They're around five dollars for five or six so I don't buy them often.
I saw a new to me brand of gluten free tortillas on a buy one get one sale at Smith's, and since the package proudly announced they were vegan I decided to risk it. Even though buy one get one is a great deal financially, it can be a bad if they're bad. Cause I have two packages I have to eat!
They have these seedy wraps, and I also saw some with cauliflower. I'm kind of over cauliflower in everything, but that's neither here or there.
I decided to see what kind of quesadilla they would make. I had some cilantro rice, garlic-y black beans and avocado ready to go. Plus a little cheddar style daiya.
The first thing I noticed is how pliable they are right out of the package. I was able to fill them and fold them over with ease, and they don't curl up. They got a little browned, but not quite as crispy as flour tortillas get.
I really enjoyed these and I'm actually glad I have two packages because I really love quesadillas! I used to love to throw leftovers from dinner in a tortilla and crisp it up for leftover breakfast quesdillas! These would probably make great wraps to because as I said, they're flexible. Someone has been doing her yoga!
The package says this is a Utah company, so I'm not sure how available these are other places, but I highly recommend these tortillas!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Happy Food

Towards the end of 2019 I discovered this YouTube channel and I'm so glad I did! I'm pretty picky about vegan YouTubers. So many are obsessed with no oil,salt and fat, while others are using hard to find, expensive ingredients and equipment that just isn't realistic for me. It makes me feel bad.
Some of the health obsessed stuff even sent me back into dangerous areas in terms of disordered eating. For a few months I tried intermittent fasting. It was so painful. My stomach was in pain, and it was not agreeing with me, but yet I forced myself to keep doing it. And the funny thing is, I already don't eat for quite some time when I wake up. It's just that I don't starve myself for sixteen hours.
I also tried water sauteing veggies, and I realized two things. One, I don't like the taste as much, and two while I don't love gobs of oil I am not afraid of some oil, especially if it's a small amount and adds to the flavor of the dish!
Anyway, I say all of that to say I love this YouTube channel. I discovered him around the same time and I love that he uses easy to find ingredients and everyday kitchen appliances.
I made this last night. I didn't have soy curls so I used mushrooms, potato and a little leftover baked tofu. Even if you don't want to make this, I HIGHLY recommend the green chili cashew sauce. I want to dump that on EVERYTHING!! I see myself making a mac and cheese with it sometime soon!
I took a picture of my meal, but it's really not a good picture at all, and I want to encourage everyone to make this delicious dish, so just trust me that it is AHMAZING! And because chickpea flour is full of protein, this meal fills you up and sticks with you!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Delicious Vegan Food I've Been Eating!!

I've got some pictures of some meals I've been eating. I feel like I'm slowly getting more inspired in the kitchen. I don't know why, but I really lost my kitchen mojo in 2019.It feels good to be trying some new things, and my old favorites are still as delicious as ever!
I've been loving the sesame noodles recipe from The Asian Vegan Kitchen. I've tried several recipes and this version is my favorite by far. I like to serve them with baked tofu. This tofu is glazed with hoisin. I want more of this right now!
Last week I was out on a super windy snowy day, and I got pelted in the face all day with wind and hard snow, and I fell on my arse! I was okay, but my ego was a bit bruised for sure. At least I found this Treeline on sale. This is definitely one of my favorite cheeses but the price stops me from buying it often. I've been enjoying this on crackers and rice cakes.
This looks like what vegans had to order at fast food places a few years ago! Fries and a garden salad!! It was what I was craving, and it hit the spot! I seasoned the fries with old bay before they went in the oven which was a great idea if I do say so myself!!
An oldie but goodie! Snobby Joe's from Veganomicon. I used to make these so often I have the recipe memorized!! I love to have them in a baked potato for breakfast. I bake the potato while I'm working out or doing yoga, it works out perfectly. Such a filling and cheap meal.
And you know I'll never stop eating rice bowls with tofu, veggies and peanut sauce!! This is probably always going to be one of my favorite go to meals. I never get bored of it, and actually if I go to long without having it I crave it!!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

I Found Oatly Ice Cream plus Sprouts Haul!

Yesterday was grocery day, so I went to Target and Sprouts. There are a few things I need from Trader Joe's, but I need to go there early on a weekday since Saturdays are just too much for me. Sprouts had great prices on produce as usual, plus a five dollar off a thirty dollar purchase, so I was able to get a a couple of fun things at Target!
Oat everything is all the rage, and I feel like oatly started it all. I've only recently seen oatly milk at stores, and never the ice cream, until now! My Target had three flavors, strawberry, coffee and chocolate. I really love strawberry ice cream, but chocolate caught my eye and made me fall in love. I tasted a bite when I got home and just WOW! Super creamy, and super duper chocolate-y. I now understand the hype!
Target was also having a big sale on Pacifica products, so I splurged on a clay mask and some vitamin c face lotion. I think I've mentioned before I'm super low maintenance  when it comes to makeup, most days all I wear is lipstick. If I'm feeling super glamorous I'll wear mascara. But I love skin care. Lotions and potions are my weakness.
Garlic, carrots, potatoes,apples, veganaise,grape popsicles,oatmilk creamer,frozen cranberries,coconut milk, garden salad mix, bulk red lentils,plant snacks chips/crackers,lemons, oranges,rice noodles, pukka chai tea,tofu, bulk rice,avocados

Sprouts had all Silk products thirty five percent off, so this big container of creamer was cheaper than most of the smaller containers. So far I've had this in coffee and decaf chai tea, and it is outstanding. Very thick, and it even made my cheapo instant coffee packet taste great!
You guys know I love popsicles all year round! I've always stared longingly at these at Sprouts, but at almost seven dollars for four pops that's always a hard pass. Well, yesterday they were on clearance for two something so I snagged a box of grape! I had one last night and wow, the flavor is intense!!!

Friday, January 17, 2020

High and Low!

I needed a potato for my dinner last night, and I was downtown so I stopped at Harmons where I never shop because it's old school Whole Foods expensive.I'm not even talking about bougie products, I'm talking everything is ore expensive. Even things like beans, rice and such are so much more. Even the one potato I bought was more expensive!
Even though I always feel uncomfortable and awkward at this store, I always like to peruse and see if they have any new, fancy vegan things.
I'm sorry, this is a horrible picture, I took it so fast because I was feeling so dorky and anxious. But right near where they have their dairy and eggs, they had this entire display of vegan meats and cheeses! Also Bitchen sauce and some other nut sauce(Ha Ha) I've never really seen an entire large display dedicated to vegan food!
I also saw this! I seriously thought Just Mayo no longer existed! Where did it go. is it coming back, is it now only for rich people? So many questions!!!
This company had these two items, plus vegan hot dogs and vegan shrimp. They range in price from $8/99 to $11.99 a box! Too weird and too pricey for my blood! Some of the vegan alternatives are so expensive it blows my mind!
From expensive alternatives to more humble foods like lentils and potato! I had a tiny bit of cashew butter left, so I made a curry coconut lentil stew with cashew butter subbing in for the peanut butter! I think I like cashew butter even better than peanut butter!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Pass the Tofu!

I've always been on a tight budget, so I've never been able to eat a ton of vegan meat alternatives, but before going gluten free I definitely loved gardein vegan nuggets, and also tofurky deli slices. My beautiful boy Dylan loved tofurky slices too!
About two months ago I found out that gardein chicken scallopini is gluten free, so I picked up a bag at Sprouts when they were on sale. I've been trying to think of something to do with them, and yesterday I finally came up with an idea, vegan butter chicken. I usually use baked tofu for dishes like this so I figured I would see how vegan chicken compares.
I sauteed onion, garlic and ginger, added some tomato paste, crushed red pepper, turmeric and garam masala. Then I added some red lentils and a little water and let the lentils cook down. Meanwhile I sauteed two of the gardein pieces and chopped them up. Once the lentils had melted into the water, I added some cashew cream and the chicken pieces and let that simmer while I made rice.
I tasted a piece of the chicken plain, and honestly it had a weird aftertaste that was not pleasant. Once it was in the dish with all the spices it was okay, but I definitely don't think I would eat these plain.
Honestly, from now on I will stick to tofu or even soy curls. Tofu is much cheaper, and I prefer the taste and texture.
I think gardein has two gluten free items, the chicken scallopini, and the black bean chipotle burger. Next time I splurge, I'll stick to the burger!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

This and That

I love that it's slowly getting easier to find vegan and cruelty free soaps, shampoos, etc. at regular stores at decent prices. I found this conditioner at Winco for a little over four dollars, it would have been three if I would have remembered to rip off the coupon and use it! If I like it, next time! I've been seeing more vegan and cruelty free beauty and cleaning products everywhere!
This is my fifth and so far favorite batch of homemade kombucha! This is limeade booch and it is so incredibly refreshing! Lately I've been getting frozen concentrate juice and only mixing in a little water so that it's super strong. It makes for a nice and fruity and sweet kombucha, which I like. I never liked dry wine, and I don't like dry booch.
Last night I was feeling a little icky. You know that feeling when you're hungry, but also the thought of food turns your stomach? That was me. So, I made a nice spicy broth with chilis, tamari, garlic, ginger and some mushroom seasoning and served that over rice noodles with of course baked tofu. With some hoisin drizzled on top! This was soothing and just what I needed!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Survey Says!

A few weeks before the holidays I got a survey in the mail from The Nielsen Company. It was a television survey which cracked me up because I haven't had or watched TV in a thousand years! I'm not totally out of touch because of streaming services, but I'm certainly no TV expert. I filled out the survey anyway, it took all of three minutes and called it a day.
Fast forward to last Wednesday when I got a random call telling me I won a fifty dollar gift card! Not bad for three minutes of my time!! The gift card was to Walmart which I choose not to support, but fifty dollars bought food for myself and my feline family for the week so that was a super nice surprise.
So here is the human food portion of my haul. I will say this for at least the Walmart here in SLC, the produce section is pretty big with lots of variety, and it's super great quality considering the prices.
Epsom salts, bulk rice, cashews and gfree pasta, peanuts,Chloe's pops, oranges, lemons, pears,tofu,marinara sauce,celery,coconut milk creamer,green onions,russet potatoes,garlic, onion,instant coffee,carrots,limeade
The bulk items are from Winco, I just included them with the Walmart stuff. I will say this, fifty dollars goes a long way at Walmart. Like I mentioned before, I do appreciate that they offer healthy foods for a decent price. There are a lot of people who live in towns where Walmart is one of their only options for groceries. Unfortunately, not everyone has a Trader Joe's or Sprouts. With my tight budget, if I didn't have those options I would probably have to rethink my stance on Walmart.
Anyway, thanks for my groceries Nielsen family!!
When I got home I was feeling very drained. Walmart was extremely busy and it's so big and loud that it's really kind of too much of everything for me. So all I wanted to do was soak in some Epsom salts and have a quick meal. I have this Schezwan sauce that's almost too spicy for me, and I love spice! So, I added a little of the Schezwan sauce with a little tamari and hoisin to a pan and tossed in some baked tofu. Easy peasy and really tasty! The hoisin helped mellow out the spice, but it still had a kick! I added some chopped peanuts for crunch.
Sorry for the flashy picture, but look at that magnificent floof! She was just begging me to take a picture!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Random Meal Roundup!

Last week I got a new/used refrigerator so I was trying to clean out and use the stuff I had in both my freezer and fridge to make it easy for the switch. The most exciting thing for me is that even though my new fridge is used, it looks better than my old one. My old fridge had two fist marks in it!! What kind of maniac punches a refrigerator!!!
While cleaning out my freezer, I found one and a half(!) frozen beyond sausages, so I decided to try a one sheet meal which was al the rage awhile back. So, I roasted some potatoes and when they were almost done I popped the sausages on top to bake. It turned out really well. I have to say this is my favorite way of cookin g the sausages. I've cooked them twice before on top of the stove in a pan, and I don't like the splattering or the overwhelming meaty smell  lingers way too long. The oven is the way to go!!
I had some sauerkraut and iceberg lettuce on the side with a dig dollop of yellow mustard. I see the appeal of one sheet meals. Pretty tasty and easy clean-up which I love!
I'm still drinking celery juice several times a week. I alternate celery juice with orange, carrot ginger juice. I definitely prefer orange carrot, celery is more of a chore. I have to throw an apple or pear in for sweetness, I don't know how people drink it straight!
Still loving oven fries! I found this seasoning on clearance at Sprouts, it's called natures sprinkles, and it kind of reminds me of a ranch seasoning. Not sure what this sauce was, probably some kind of spicy mayo.
I made sesame noodles the other night. Another delicious recipe from The Asian Vegan Kitchen. I am really loving this book! I keep it on my coffee table, I don't even put it back on my cookbook shelf because I've been using it so much!
Last night I attempted vegan California rolls. I believe California rolls have crab salad, avocado, cucumber and some kind of spicy mayo drizzle. For my "crab" salad, I grated smoked tofu, mixed in a little veganaise, and some old bay seasoning. My avocado wasn't ripe(of course), so I used just cucumber. I only had one nori wrap left, so I made a sushi burrito. I enjoyed the "crab" salad, I bet it would be good on a roll with some butter lettuce.
Look at Kiki's ears!! She is so perturbed that Bubba has been sleeping on HER bed!! No one else really minds at this point, but she really doesn't want him around!