Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vegan shopping at Aldi

My husband and I have decided to keep an eye on our grocery spending- turns out going to Whole Foods on an empty stomach isn't very friendly.

So I decided to see what Aldi could offer to vegans. I was pleasantly surprised. Here is what I picked up this past Sunday:

2 cans tomato paste @ .39 each

big can pinto beans @.999

regular can kidney beans @ .59

can corn @.55

2 cans stewed tomatoes @.55

24 oz jar medium salsa @1.49

chili powder @ 1.09

frozen hashbrown patties @ 2.99

Apple Crunchies cereal @ 1.49

Choco peanut butter cereal @1.89

2 lbs red grapes @ 1.58

peanut butter filled pretzels @.99

adzuki bean and brown rice chipes @.99

With tax I spent $16.81.

I supplemented this with some produce and tortillas from our local gocery store. My total for the week is $27! What a bargain!

Lazy Sunday

Keeping up with a blog is harder than expected! I am a dedicated lounger and the thought of typing a post can be exhausting! So here is a mega post from the past week or so.

I found this sushi kit when I visited my sister in Peoria:

I was intrigued. Inside was seaweed wrappers, soy sauce, and brown sushi rice.

I filled each wrapper with cucumber, carrot, the rice, and avocado. Clearly, this was my first attempt at homemade sushi. It tasted great, though.

Valentine's Day provided me with a wonderful opportunity to make my first raw dessert!!

I made chocolate lava cake from Ani Phyo's Raw Desserts book. Well, it wasn't totally wrong because I used cocoa powder instead of cocao powder, but the taste was awesome. I can't wait to try more raw desserts!!!!!
The raspberry sauce really made the cake!

In closing, I leave you with a big bowl of delicious kale. I ate an entire bunch! I LOVE this recipe. Heaven in a bowl.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Give Away at Ginger is the New Pink

Check out this awesome giveaway on Lauren's blog!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Banana Coffee Cake, Brunch, and BBQ Tofu

I had a mini hiatus due to a combination of laziness and a mini business trip. I went on a three day trip to the Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games for work. Now I'm back in action!

Last weekend I made a Bisquick coffee cake, replacing the egg with banana. This was a much better use for our 5 lbs of Bisquick than our attempt to make pancakes with the mix.

It's turning into a weekly tradition to have our friend Natalie over for brunch on the weekend. This time I made a variation of Egg McVegans. Even though we didn't have any vegan cheese, this recipe was still great. I used tempeh bacon instead of the vegan sausage it calls for.

One night for dinner I made the super easy Crockpot BBQ Tofu. I served it with mac n cheeze with veggies and a biscuit. A nice vegan take on a traditional family dinner!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

YUM YUM overload

I spent Sunday doing laundry at my parent’s house in exchange for being their personal bartender. I have the title of making the best mojitos anyone has ever had (no one had ever had them before) but I totally ruined that reputation on Sunday. Not sure where I went wrong…

Anyway, on Sunday evening I made a thai inspired meal for the hubbub and myself. I mixed a can of light coconut milk with Thai Kitchen red curry paste, added veggies and Trader Joe’s beefless strips and served it over brown jasmine rice.

The curry was a little milder than I would have liked, but overall this was great. Next time I would replace the beefless strips with tofu to introduce some more texture into the dish.

My mom gave me some fresh ginger while I was over on Sunday, and I decided to make Ginger Muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking. These came out awesome- really refreshing and a great way to start off the morning!
I started off Monday morning with a banana, papaya, blueberry, lettuce and green tea smoothie. It was the first time I added cold tea to a smoothie and although I went overboard, I could tell that in moderate amounts it will be a nice addition.
My new love is carrot spaghetti!!!! I saw this recipe on Vegweb I had to try it. I actually don’t like carrots that much, but this intrigued me. You peel the carrots, sauté them in olive oil, add onion and garlic, and salt and pepper and let cook.
The recipe said to add marinara sauce and enjoy, but I was worried about straight up carrots, so I mixed in some pasta. Next time I am going to do all carrots.

Have a good rest of the week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Brunch

Our friend Natalie came over for brunch this morning. I made a casserole last night and baked it in the morning. It had whole wheat bread, tempeh bacon, tofu, potato flakes, and vegan cheese. I got the recipe off someone's blog but now I can't remember who's! This was an indulgent treat after my boot camp class. I served it up with a raw kale and tomato salad and coffee.Yay for veganizing recipes!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Lunch and Dinner

Hello! TGIF to the max. I am running on 4 hours of sleep and 400 pounds of stress! Damn my type A personality. Anyway, on to the food! For lunch one day I had an organic apple (nothing beats a freaking organic apple. pure and fresh) and a sunshine burger in a pita with lettuce and hummus. woohoo!A few nights ago I veganized a recipe I found on the interwebs. It was something like bisquick, milk, parmasean cheese (I subbed in nutritional yeast), a ton of veggies and maybe something else. This was TOTAL bollocks. It never really firmed up. It was an ooey, gooey, messy pile of nasty. Epi-nasty.
I'm looking forward to actually getting some sleep tonight and to an enjoyable Saturday and Sunday. I hope to have some better recipes from this weekend to post!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vegans Beware!

Since I had Monday off for MLK Day, I visited my sister (who attends school in Peoria) on Sunday-Monday. I got to experience her janky apartment for the first time and reminisce about my janky college apartments.

We went to One World Cafe on Sunday for dinner. We had hummus for an appetizer. The hummus was good but whoever poured the oil on top had quite the heavy hand.

For my entree I had the falafel pita and vegetarian fries. The falafel itself was very good though eating it was a bit difficult. The fries weren't anything special.

A personal pet peeve is that they offer soy cheese for their pizza, but it contains casein. What is the point of a soy cheese if it still has milk in it!!?

On Monday we saw Leap Year, which was a total piece of shit. We also went to a small natural foods store and Mediterranean store and I picked up a few goodies. This picture was at a butcher store near the natural foods store.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vita-mix contest link

Check out this blog to win a Vita-mix! (the world's greatest blender!!)

Good luck!!

Long, Cold Week

I've had a very busy week at work and completely forgot about posting! Here are some drool-worthy pics for your enjoyment:

Last Sunday I met my friend Natalie at Pizza Fusion in Naperville. They serve vegan pizzas with Follow Your Heart Cheese (I am pretty sure this is the cheese they use). We ordered a "Very Vegan" pizza that had roasted garlic and mushroms and a "Farmers Market" with assorted veggies (pictured). The pizza is pretty good, but it is a bit pricey and I feel that I can make just as good pizza at home.

One morning this week my hubbub made blueberry pancakes. Yum!

This is Maple-Mustard Potatoes and String Beans from Vegan with a Vengeance. They came out really delicious. I will be making this again for sure.

Tomorrow I am going to visit my sister and we are planning on making a day trip to Springfield on Monday (I am off work for Martin Luther King Jr. Day). I've never been to Springfield and I'm looking forward to checking out the Lincoln museum!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Roundup

The weekend, as usual, went by too fast! I started a boot camp fitness class on Saturday and I’m so sore I can barely walk. It feels good to start exercising again.
Earlier this week I made Curried Cauliflower and Kale from .This came out really yummy. I will definitely be making it again.

On Saturday night I put together a taco fiesta for the hubbub and myself. Yum! We had Fantastic Foods Taco filling, black beans with garlic, Tofutti sour cream, garlic salsa, homemade guacamole, lettuce, tomato and onion. The only disappointment was the brown rice tortillas I had bought. They broke when we tried rolling them. Tortilla chips to the rescue!

After dinner I really wanted dessert, so I made a half batch of chocolate chip cookies (recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance). Delicious, as always.
This afternoon I am meeting my friend for window shopping and lunch at Pizza Fusion. I’ll post the pizza review tomorrow.

P.S. The husband starts nursing school tomorrow! Good luck!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

WF 365 Vegan Pizza Review

While shopping at Whole Foods the other day, I noticed a Whole Foods brand vegan pizza. It is a cheeseless pizza with shitake mushrooms, red pepper, artichoke, with a balsamic glaze. I love Trader Joe’s and Amy’s versions of this pizza, so I picked one up. For $4.99, I really couldn’t pass it up!

When I took the pizza out of the box, it smelled strongly of the balsamic vinegar. I noticed that it was a bit smaller than the Trader Joe’s version and the crust was definitely thinner. I don’t think the other two have the mushrooms, so I was excited about that.

the pizza, frozen

After a few minutes in the oven I was ready to try! Sadly, I was disappointed. The pizza had way too much vinegar. The mushrooms were soggy. The crust was very thin. My husband couldn’t even finish one slice!

Looks like we will be sticking to the other versions of this vegan pizza.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mid-Week Blues(berries)

It is so cold in Chicago! It is hard to get up and go to work every day. Luckily, I have some fun things planned for the weekend, so I have something to look forward to.
Monday morning my husband made hot bulgur wheat cereal. I added blueberries, maple syrup (too sweet), and walnuts. I enjoyed it alongside a soy latte. This was sooo good. I don’t know why I don’t eat hot cereal more often.

I try to bring healthy foods to work. My theory is that I only have one option in my lunch bag, so it should be a healthy choice. On Monday I made a salad with lettuce, flax crackers, sprouts, avocado, and a squirt of lemon. I also had an apple.
It was really tasty, but I was STARVING by the time I got home. I fried up some eggplant, added crushed tomatoes, and served it over pasta. Eggplant is not my favorite, but it was on sale. I sprinkled vegan parmesan on top.

The meal came out ok, but I ate WAY too much. I had to stay up and wait for it all to digest! Oh well, live and learn.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello Sunshine!

Hello world, allow me to introduce myself. I’m 24, vegan for 2.5 years and married for 3.5 months! I work full-time in the recreation field and live in Illinois. Here is a picture of myself and my wonderful husband on our wedding day (September 19, 2009). We look all stiff and nervous!

I am really looking forward to see what 2010 has to offer us. My husband is starting nursing school in a week. My goal is to go on more adventures and be less stressed about work (recreation is not all fun and games)!

I LOVE reading blogs and thought it would be fun to start my own. My main focus will be on vegan cooking and eating out, with a few other tidbits thrown in. To get started, here is a picture of the salad I had for dinner: hearts of romaine, baby lettuce mix, sprouts, red onion, a sunshine burger and a squirt of lemon.

So refreshing, but now I am contemplating a snack….