|I made these green beans and mushrooms using a recipe from Betty Goes Vegan - retro-licious.|
|Mini Pumpkin Pies, before baking|
I ordered Isa Moskowitz' new cookbook, Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week. As you'd expect, it's gorgeous and is jam-packed with inventive recipes. Just as impressive is Isa's food writing – fresher than a Whole Foods' produce display. Seriously, Isa is part chef, part comedienne and part Herman Melville. Pictured is the Orange Chicky Stir Fry. I used soy curls instead of the homemade chicky seitan [because I was very tired], and also used broccoli instead of the called-for green beans and red peppers because that was what I had on hand. The sauce was delish and versatile; next time I make it, I'll add a sprinkle of cinnamon because that's how my local-yokel Chinese vegetarian place serves up this dish.
I know I've been sharing frugal dollar store recipes, but I saw these at Wegman's last week and decided to splurge. I only tried the crab cakes so far and they were just okay – certainly not worth the money. Plus, I realized, too late, that I could have probably found the same thing at my friendly local Asian grocery for far less money.
|Vegan distressed manicure [Or should I say "distressed vegan"...?]|
My life does not totally revolve around food. Here's a fun distressed manicure I did, following this tutorial. It's all vegan nail polishes except for some the green polish that I had left over from years ago [Nail polish lasts forever. If it gets thick, just add a few drops of nail polish thinner]. Here's a list of vegan nail polishes.
|Punkin came to visit me last week, then went home to his new foster family!|
Dollar Store Challenge Round-Up$25 Vegan Dollar Store Challenge haul. I used the chickpeas, noodles, frozen peas and frozen broccoli to make this recipe from Susan at FatFreeVegan. The recipe itself was solid. I made some substitutions for her called-for vegetables, because when cooking frugal, you use what you have. I've found that the quality on most of the dollar store food I purchased was excellent. The frozen peas, for example, were probably the best frozen peas I've ever tasted and the canned beans were as good as canned beans can be. But I was extremely disappointed with the frozen broccoli – it was littered with tough, chewy stems, and these noodles turned to mush even after though I followed the instructions. Not fun for an al dente girl like me. Do try Susan's recipe though, but with better quality veggies and pasta.
When I snagged the can of applesauce, I knew I'd use it for baking. As a cookbook author who is continually coming up with new recipes, I find it relaxing to try other people's creations – so I ended up using it in this Vegan Applesauce Cake recipe. This recipe calls for 2 cups of applesauce and a 15 oz can only yields 1 1/2 cups but I just went with the flow and used what I had. I made the loaf version. Also knowing that applesauce is a great oil substitute, I cut down the amount of oil to only 1/3 cup. It was a fun use. If you do make this recipe, put a cookie sheet under your loaf pan. I didn't and the batter rose above the pan and flowed like lava on to the bottom of my oven. Needless to say, I had to clean it the next day. Ugh. If I made this again, I would add more flour. It was a bit too moist.
I used the rest of the canned pumpkin and some CSA share spinach to make my West-African Inspired Soup. This is a simple, delicious recipe that I made often, and I like that you can noodle with it and somehow always end up with a soup that tastes creamy, exotic and I daresay, expensive. This time, I substituted the rest of the canned pumpkin for the sweet potato. [I used some in my Pineapple-Pumpkin Muffins.] I also didn't have any fresh poblano or bell peppers on hand, but I did have some frozen Thai chilis, so I tossed in a few and doubled the red pepper flakes.
I finished off the rice cakes with some peanut butter. I tool the Clif Bar to work one day as a snack and have been using the rest of the soy milk in my morning cappuccino. Here's the current tally; all I'm left with now is a can of tomato sauce and a can of black beans:
Forrel [brown] Rice Cakes 12 oz bag Pagasa Eggless Noodles 12 oz Barilla Vegetable Rotini 2 15.5 oz cans Goya Chickpeas
- 1 15.5 oz can Goya Black Beans
1 15.5 oz can Goya Kidney Beans 1 pound bag Rosa dried pinto beans 13.5 can Popeye spinach 15 oz can unsweetened pumpkin 15 oz can unsweetened applesauce
- 28 oz can tomato sauce
14 oz bag frozen pepper stir fry 16 oz bag frozen broccoli cuts 10 oz bag frozen peas 16 oz bag California blend [frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots] 2.75 oz bag sweet potato chips 8.8 oz bag Biscoff speculoos cookies 15 oz can unsweetened pineapple 15 oz can Libby's beets 11.5 can V8 1 Peanut Butter Crunch Clif Bar 2 x 1 quart WestSoyorganic low-fat soy milk