Saturday, July 15, 2017

Another Budget Vegan Haul

This is my Sprouts market haul I picked up yesterday. I got spinach, cilantro, radishes, bulk Jasmine rice, bulk sea salt, blueberries, 4 mangoes and 3 limes. All for the bargain basement price of five dollars! I used my rain check for the mangoes so I got four for a dollar! Even the cashier commented on how much I got for five dollars! I think some people think Sprouts is expensive, and for some stuff they are, like the vegan meats and cheeses but those are expensive anywhere. But they have some really great deals on produce. They have other great sales too, especially when they have their 72 hour sales. The blueberries were fifty cents!
Gluten free pasta, lentils, bananas, Harissa paste, lemons,2 onions,tofu, light coconut milk, cannellini beans

My Trader Joe's haul was fifteen dollars, and I got ten pounds of potatoes for $2.99. I discovered that the grocery near Daisy and Ivy's house sells ten pounds of spuds for cheaper than my usual spot. So I got all my groceries for under twenty five dollars! I might spend the other five dollars later in the week, or I might see if I can make do on what I have.
I've never had Harissa paste, and I'm really excited to try it. I always look at it when I'm at Trader Joe's, and this week I finally decided to try it. Tonight I'm going to make a cream sauce with almonds, and add some of the Harissa and serve it with some gluten free Penne.I can't wait to try it.
I saw this sign when I was walking Daisy and Ivy yesterday. I've never seen this sign before, and I hope that changes. I also hope people pay attention and think when they see it.
I caught Kanye unrolling the toilet paper this morning. It usually happens at night when I'm asleep, and I always assumed it was Joan because she is kind of the naughtiest of all my girls. That's Afro's tail in the picture. She's having a drink from the sink like you do.
I wanted to thank everyone for the support and kind words. I can't even put into words how much it means to me. My heart is so heavy and it aches in the worst way. Time does heal some wounds, but not all wounds. Whoever said that is a liar. I'm doing my best to cope, and some days are easier than others. Wednesday will definitely be a very hard day for me. But again, thanks for the kind words, I need all I can get.
Happy Caturday!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hello!

There's a little grocery near the bus I catch going home from Daisy and Ivy's house that I never really go to. It's not near my little Trader Joe's, Sprouts circle. I stopped in to pick up some cat food the other day and found this gluten free pasta on in a discount bin for one dollar! Total score! When I got home my downsizing neighbors gave me this lifetime supply of powdered peanut butter because they don't drink smoothies and didn't want it. I don't like powdered peanut butter as peanut butter, but I do like it in smoothies. This jug is over a pound, so this will last me forever!
Here is a spinach, mango, banana smoothie with added peanut butter powder. Pretty tasty. I figure with all the walking and sweating I'm doing extra protein can't hurt right?
I put some of the gluten free pasta to good use with this roasted poblano mac and cheese. I just made a quick cheese sauce with light coconut milk, nutritional yeast and some seasonings. I roasted a poblano pepper, diced it very finely and added it to the sauce. I thickened the sauce with some tapioca starch. Super simple and really, really tasty. The final touch was a nice drizzle of Green Dragon sauce.
Here's Etta's cute little feet poking out from her favorite spot. She loves to sleep under the chair. Sometimes Kanye joins her.
I might be a little absent for the next week or so. In seven days it will be exactly one year since I lost it all, and it has hit me hard. I feel a lot of emotions, and so between that and dealing with this heat I am just in a funk. I feel lost, and sad, and wondering how Chunk, Scrappy and Animal are kills me everyday. There isn't a day that I don't think about them. Not knowing is the worst, and it's weighing heavily on me. So I'm just trying to make it through as best as I can. I just figured I would explain my sporadic posting. I'll get it together soon hopefully.
Happy Wednesday!


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Trying To Beat the Heat

How cute is this picture of Daisy and Ivy? I'm learning that dogs are much easier to photograph than cats. I feel so bad because I haven't been able to walk them, and I don't know when I will again. Temps have been 100 plus here in SLC, and show no sign of cooling anytime soon. So we try to make the best of the backyard. But it's still so hot that there isn't much fun to be had for any of us. My whole life summer has been my time. I love being outdoors and soaking up the sun, but I'm absolutely hating summer this year. I can't stand to be outside to be honest. This is way too extreme. And it might sound crazy, but I miss humidity. This dryness is really killing me. My eyes hurt when I get home, and I'm just really, really miserable. I am so incredibly homesick for the mild weathered Seattle. Sorry for the rant, it wasn't planned but I need to express myself.
Here's Daisy bringing her ball back to me. As you can see the backyard is super dry, the grass is like straw, and like I said, we just try to make the best of it.
I love orange sunflowers. You don't see them very often. This cheered me up a bit when I saw it.
I've been eating super simple meals. Even though my apartment has AC, when I get home I'm so drained from the heat I just can't be bothered to be super fancy or creative.
I had this gluten free pasta with sun dried pesto the other night. I shredded some collard greens and cooked them with the pasta. I added lots of nooch and crushed red pepper to the final product. Easy one pot meal and it was really tasty too.
Last night I made quinoa and collard greens, and tossed them with a mustard and apple cider vinegar vinaigrette. I also had curry fries. I am so incredibly happy that I have mastered fluffy quinoa! It's just so much more delicious when it's fluffy and not mushy and soggy.
I actually got Afro to watch birds for cats for awhile! She got bored after a few minutes though. It's really only Roxy and Joan who will watch the whole show. But while she was into it, she was REALLY into it.
And here's Kanye lounging like her life depends on it. Someone on Instagram pointed out that this picture is almost NSFW!







Thursday, July 6, 2017

Old and New

I was given this table by my downsizing neighbors so now I finally have my little blogging station! Don't mind the litter box in the background, I set my area up in the second bedroom, otherwise known as the kitty room. They're kind enough to share some of their space with me. As you can see, Roxy is checking everything out, making sure the table is sturdy and all that. Such a great helper!
I had this delicious breakfast the other day. I made fries seasoned with garlic, onion salt, smoked paprika and cumin and dipped them in a quick guacamole. I cut the potatoes long board style so I could easily fit lots of guac on each one. Delicious! Who needs toast when you have potatoes!
Last night I made oven fries with smoked paprika and onion salt, and dipped them in a combo of Carolina BBQ sauce and daiya ranch. I had picked up the ranch when Smith's had the daiya dressings on sale. I have to say while it's okay, it is no competition for my beloved Just Ranch. I would definitely buy the blue cheeze again when on sale, but probably not the ranch. The ranch has that fake daiya taste that makes a lot of their cheeses gross when not cooked. Like I said, it's okay but Just Ranch and also FYH vegan ranch are both cheaper and much tastier. Regardless it was still a tasty meal, and Carolina Gold BBQ and vegan ranch are seriously a great dip combo.
Kanye looks so cute peeking out of the window here. There are a couple of stray kitties who I feed, and it drives Kanye and Joan crazy! They're constantly having to look out and see what's going on. And of course Afro is always trying to sneak out, and one of the kitties looks super mean, like he or she has LIVED and they will cut you. I don't even think Brutus is up for that face to face.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cauliflower and Cashew Alfredo


I realize as I am typing this that I am the worst blogger. I so rarely make any meals that have any relevance to any holidays. I don't really celebrate any of the traditional American holidays for a plethora of reasons, and holidays like the 4th. are hard because being gluten free has really taken the burgers and sandwiches out of my life. So, although I made a delicious meal last night, it is definitely not a summer celebration type of meal. But, I am who I am and I ate cauliflower again so that's cause for it's own celebration!
I fiddled around with cauliflower Alfredo again using a lot more cauliflower(four cups!!!!) and less cashews. I would say if you love cauliflower you probably don't even need cashews in this sauce, although they do add a little extra creaminess and probably help make it a little more filling. This was thick, and creamy and rich. The roasted garlic and onion really add a deep flavor and I just really love it. What a sneaky way to get some veg in!!

                                                           Cauliflower and Cashew Alfredo
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Medium to Large Onion
  • 4 Cups Cauliflower (1/2 med.large head of cauliflower)
  • 1/2 Cup Soaked Cashews
  • 4 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper 
  • 1/2 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup Water
Roast the onion and garlic in a piece of foil or a baking dish for about thirty to forty minutes in a 350 degree oven. When they're close to being done you can start the rest of the sauce. Cut your cauliflower into florets and boil or steam for about ten minutes. Allow to cool a bit, and then just add the drained cauliflower, cashews, spices, onion, garlic and water  to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Start with 3/4 cup of the water, and add more as needed. I ended up adding the whole cup. I used about eight ounces of pasta, and it was really saucy so this is definitely enough for close to a pound of pasta. Especially if you thin it out with a bit of the pasta water.
Don't let this sweet, innocent face fool you! Afro had just been a very BAD girl! As I've mentioned she is obsessed with going outside. But she can't just sit in our little space and appreciate being outside. She has to try and run down the stairs every chance she gets. And if I stand at the top of the stairs to block her she does her best to get around me. Yesterday she made it all the way to the bottom and was a total pill to round up and get up the stairs and inside. What she doesn't understand is that there are five apartments in my building, and three of the units have dogs whose humans don't use leashes. That is a whole different rant for a different day, but it just isn't always safe for a curious little kitty! So, she had just given me a huge bit of anxiety and probably shaved some minutes off my life!




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Just Stuff

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I stopped at Harmon's yesterday for some cat food, and did my usual perusing for any "Last Chance" sales which sadly there were none, but I did finally see the new labels for some of the Hampton Creek products. I swear I am the nerdiest because I got super excited and had to take pictures. I like the new labeling, but I liked the old labeling too. If you haven't tried their mayo or ranch, you're really missing out. I love dipping oven fries in their chipotle mayo.
I was going to make my more cauliflower less cashews Alfredo last night, but while riding the bus home I got a sudden craving for lettuce wraps. Luckily for me I had some iceberg lettuce, leftover tofu and a super ripe avocado! Butter lettuce is my favorite for lettuce wraps because it's so tender and flexible, but iceberg gets high points for being sturdy, and you gotta love that nice cold crunch!
I made a dipping sauce that might sound weird, but it was lick the bowl dry delicious. I just combined the gyoza sauce from Trader Joe's with some sambal olek and sweet chili sauce. It was perfect!!!
And here is Joan fast asleep on her throne. Life is perfect for her because she has it all to herself, no pesky friends to tolerate! Just enough belly is showing that she did get a bugging from me after I took this picture!



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saturday Vegan Eats

I thought I'd do a What I Ate post today because yesterday was a pretty delicious day. And a pretty great day too.
I took a break from my usual morning kitchari and made cottage fries seasoned with onion salt, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. I dipped them in a ketchup green dragon sauce combo which I highly recommend. Very delicious way to start the day.
I had this hideous but delicious smoothie with banana, blueberries, strawberries, maca powder, hemp seeds, spinach, and a little peanut butter. So ugly but so delicious!
I also enjoyed this lavender melon kombucha. I'm so happy Natural Grocers had these on sale!! This is such a nice flavor combination, especially for a nice chill afternoon.
For dinner I made one of my favorite meals. Cauliflower wings with Trader Joe's gyoza dipping sauce. I added a little crushed red pepper and Sambal Olek to the sauce for an extra kick. I also used coconut flour for the batter, and they turned out great. Cucumber slices on the side. I love that a ton of stores have been having excellent sales on English cucumbers which are my favorite!
I also had a lemon bar for dessert, but didn't take a picture. It was tart and juicy and delicious!



I mean can you even stand it? Look at that super adorable, extra floofy belly just waiting to be kissed and rubbed!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

It's Vegan Haul Time!

It's haul time again! I didn't do a budget week this week because I needed a few condiments and such. But I mean, it's basically the same stuff because I'm always on a budget. I probably spent forty dollars instead of thirty. I just went crazy, ha! Believe it or not, I've been eating pretty basic foods for so long now, I really don't crave a lot of the gardein and tofurky and such. It's super surprising to me to be honest. I do still mourn bread and all things sandwiches every single day, but that's it. I need to get over my fear and start making some of the breads from my new cookbook. Anyway, here is my off budget but still budget haul for the week.
Frozen strawberries,bananas,iceberg lettuce,limes,cauliflower(!!),complete cookie,tofu,lemons,coconut oil,gyoza sauce,red lentils,red and sweet onion
Potatoes, sriracha,tomato paste,bulk Jasmine rice,sprouted brown Jasmine rice on clearance ,raw cashews,nag champa,avocado,garlic,gluten free pasta, blueberries
Booch! And drinking vinegar
The nag champa should have been with the booch, as those were my Natural Grocers items. I couldn't resist, they had the Live beverages drinking vinegar and the Kevita booch on sale for $1.75!!!
I forgot to show these in the haul. I forgot my beloved fruit frenzy bars from Trader Joe's, so I tried these lemon bars. Really good and no weird ingredients. I promise I will try the Simply Organic almond milk ice cream, but lately all I want is tart and fruity frozen things, not creamy. But I'm sure sometime soon the chocolate will be calling my name, if you know what I mean.
I plan on using the cauliflower two ways. I'm going to make cauliflower wings with the gyoza sauce, and I will use the other half in a new batch of cauliflower Alfredo. I'll up the cauliflower and lower the cashews a bit and see how that turns out.



I had neighbors move out, and another neighbor who's mom is moving in with her, so they are majorly downsizing. Because of these changes I have been the lucky recipient of some new to me stuff! My favorite so far is this little teapot. It holds about two and a half mugs of tea and I love it so much. It has just made my morning and typing this blog so happy, cozy and cheerful. One man's junk and all that!
Here's a rare shot of Roxy being calm and good out on the deck. Of course as I was taking this picture, Afro and Etta were trying to sneak down the stairs!
Happy Caturday!



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Miracles

So I did make cauliflower Alfredo on Tuesday night! I am shocked to say that I loved it and couldn't even taste the cauliflower. I would have never known if I hadn't made it. I didn't even add a ton of stuff to cover the taste. Just nooch, miso, and roasted garlic and onion. I wrote down exactly what I did, but I want to play around and see if I can add more cauliflower and still enjoy it. I used a twelve ounce bag of frozen riced cauliflower because it was cheaper than a whole head, and I was scared to use too much.  I could not smell or taste anything funky. And that is a miracle because I really hate the taste and smell of steamed cauliflower. I used a little more than a half a cup of raw soaked cashews. I'll see if I can up the cauliflower and use a half cup, or even a little less of cashews next time. Now there are two ways I'll eat cauliflower. Who am I???
Two weeks ago I decided to try this Primal Pit Paste deodorant. It was on sale for under six dollars at Smith's, and I've never tried it. I had been using Crystal mineral salt deodorant which was okay, but no match for this hot weather. I'm very pleased to say this deodorant is seriously AMAZING! I mean, I've been out walking and sweating and dying in this 100 plus heat, and seriously I've never smelled better. I have the lavender scent, which is not too strong at all. It's made with shea butter, so it's nice and moisturizing. Living in such a dry climate I appreciate all the moisture I can get! I just thought I'd share because there are a lot of not so good vegan, non toxic deodorants out there and they're definitely pricier so it's frustrating when they don't really work. This one is definitely not the pits!
I love it when dogs lay froggy style! This was how Ivory plopped down after our walk yesterday on the cool kitchen floor. I love the over the shoulder look too!
And Daisy tried something new. She kept looking at the fridge and looking at me. I know she wanted some kind of treat and was hoping to charm me into it. She is very much a charmer. I plan on checking with her mom on her feelings on treats after a walk.
And here's two of my sillies being weird. I walked into my room and find Joan and Afro crammed together in the corner.
And right next to them Etta living her best lounge life ever! I'm so glad I have all these animals in my life to really cheer me up and remind me to laugh and have fun!







Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Deal is Out There

I forgot to show the WooHoo deals I got last week at Smith's. They have a little clearance shelf or maybe it's called an end cap I don't know, but it's an area. Anyway, it's where they put a lot of really random stuff for really cheap. All bakers should definitely check it out, there's always tons of sprinkles and different cake decorations. I found a jar of all natural, organic peanut butter for $.99 because the jar is a little smooshed in, and a bottle of Thai sweet chili sauce for $.75 because the label is a little beat up. I've been out of sweet chili sauce for awhile, so perfect timing!
There's a house up the street from my apartment that I remember had their whole yard full of sunflowers last year when I moved here. I moved here at the end of summer, and so now in the beginning of summer here is the first of the sunflowers making an appearance. Sunflowers must be mid to late summer flowers. I remember having so, so many mixed emotions, and getting lost all the time and just all kinds of issues and all those sunflowers always made me smile. I can't wait till they all grow. I'll definitely share a picture when they do.
Laundromat Life
So Sunday morning after putting my money and soap in the washing machine at my apartment I discovered it wasn't working. I had every item of clothing in the machine except the sweats I had on, and I had a dog to walk in a few hours. I had to make an unfortunate trek to a laundromat and to say I was not thrilled would be a huge understatement. I was so happy to have this kombucha in my fridge. It made the visit a little more tolerable. I had tried the blood orange flavor last week and LOVED  it, and this guava mango flavor is pretty great too. It's fizzy and not too vinegar-y but also not too sweet, and it actually tastes like real fruit. The blood orange is still my favorite but this is right up there.



Here's a tuckered out Daisy after our walk yesterday. I feel bad because it's just so hot they're happy to see me when I show up, but at the same time taking a walk is kind of a drag for all of us. Luckily I've found a little park with lots of shade, and I've learned what side streets have the most shade so we have a nice little somewhat covered route.
And here's Kanye doing what she does best, giving me good belly. She knows I can't resist, and has accepted all the kisses and tickles.
And here she is squirrel watching which is a favorite activity around these parts. The squirrels stop on the fence and stare in and make their cute little defensive noises at the cats, who just don't even know what to do with themselves!