Sunday, February 1, 2015

Month 2

Alright!  So it's February now and we've made it through the first month.  The first month was an adventure, but now I'm sure we can get the hang of things.  I found this cute little picture while surfing through Facebook and decided to post it up for those of you who are still new at this.  Sure, eating Vegan is easy for some, but others need ideas.  I think I'm going to be adding up some helpful little guides about what easy to get meals you can make as well as extra add-ins and ideas.

For example, the Breakfast suggestion on this is great!  My son loves oatmeal and adding fresh fruit and non-dairy to it can make for a great meal.  Rolled oats cooked on the stove or in a crock pot taste best, but you can always get those microwave ready packets or do it yourself.  As for the almond milk, we aren't too big of fans of it.  It's either coconut or soy for both of us.  The great thing is though, that as a Vegan there are lots more options like rice and hemp milk.  They even have cashew milk if you want!  And any fresh fruit works with this in replacement of traditional brown sugar.  Blueberries, strawberries, banana slices, apple chunks, anything really!

Bean and rice tacos are great too!  The best thing about tacos for a Vegan is you can also get meat crumbles from a few different brands now.  As well as make your own taco seasoning and you have a wonderful meal.

And last is their dinner suggestion.  I love spaghetti and to mix things up for my son, we use different shape pasta sometimes and different vegetables and then load on the pasta sauce.  I actually had the cheap and plain version I made posted up last month.  A few days ago we did bowtie pasta with corn, green beans and carrots.  Just use your imagination as noodle dishes are so easy and extremely hard to mess up!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chipotle Sofritas

Alright, so I don't post about eating out much do to Vegan options being far, few and pricey.  However, for today only, February 26th, Chipotle is giving a coupon for a free item with any Sofritas (spicy tofu) purchase.  I ended up getting myself the Sofritas Burrito Bowl, Vegan style.  Some brown lime rice, black beans, Sofritas, mild tomatoe salsa, fajita vegetables and shredded lettuce.  This giant bowl is $7.15 after tax here and I get it with a bag of chips $1.65 after tax and some water (free).  It lasts me 3-4 meals when eaten with the chips which comes out to just $2.20 per serving.  Pretty good for fast food.

What makes today even better?  The free coupon which makes the next item free.  This translates into frugal as making the original item as well as the new item $1.25 a serving since the free item will only be 3 meals without the chips.  So, 7 meals total, $1.25 a serving and super tasty!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Healthy Lunches

Usually when someone says lunch, the normal American would think of a burger or sandwich like food.  While those are both yummy options, I sometimes like to go a little more raw than that.  My little prince likes to have finger food once in a while too even though he's already in Kindergarten.  But finger food is fun, so I get that.

I just thought I'd post a little example of how we eat on a normal basis since my recipes so far probably make me seem like I have $75 a week to spend on the two of us, which I don't.

Today we had a finger food lunch with 5 baby carrots, a cutie (tiny tangerine type fruit), 2TBSP garlic hummus, and 9 herbed pita chips.  The little man had a glass of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and I had two glasses of water.

Pretty simple, fun to eat, and just 92¢ per person.  $1.17 if you have a glass of coconut milk with it.  I prefer to just drink water as it's the healthiest choice you can make, your body needs it and your 8 glasses a day doesn't even cost 1¢ a day if you drink tap or 3¢ if you drink filtered.  This is based on the lowest price (40-60% off) you can find these products at, which is the only time I buy them.

This idea is high in vitamin A (67%), vitamin C (66%), and has a good bit of other vitamins, minerals (iron 12% and calcium 5%) and daily needs such as protein (6g) and fiber (5g).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Budget

I was just reading an article on how to budget for $25 per person a month when you're Vegan.  It had some really good suggestions for simple foods to make that are pretty healthy.  Eating the same things over and over would drive me bananas (one of the foods she suggested, a lot) so I figured I'd give my opinion on the subject.  Not that anyone cares, but I figured what the heck.  I repeat the same items a lot, but make sure to change out things every week and buy at least two staples that will last for a while and can be used for lots of things.

I decided to take a look at my local Sprouts advertisement for the week even though I already have my groceries for a while.  I also checked out the 99¢ Store ads to see what I could get for cheap.  I like to think about nutrition as much as price when I start making meals for the week.  A lot of the traditional type foods that I've been making lately have been rather on the pricey end ($1.10 - $1.50), so I'm going to try and work more on budgeting down a bit more.  We eat four meals every day, so I'll make sure to be budgeting for that.

Grocery List (for 2)
1lbs Baby Carrots 99¢
2lbs Cauliflower $3.00
2lbs Halos/Cuties $1.98
2lbs Grapes $1.76
3 Small Apples $0.89
1 Carton Mushrooms $2.00
1 Can Black Beans 88¢
1 Can Green Beans 88¢
2 Bell Peppers $1.00
Small Bag Shredded Lettuce 98¢
1lb Roma tomatoes 88¢
3 Pack Seaweed Snack $0.99
8oz Daiya Cream Cheese $3.12
10oz Hummus $2.98
16oz Firm Tofu $3.00
16oz Peanut Butter 99¢
4 Vegan Muffins $2.99
1 Bag Pita Chips $2.50
1 Bag Pretzels 99¢
8 Tortillas 99¢
1 loaf Vegan Bread $3.79
1lb Brown Rice $0.88
3 Packets Yakisoba Noodles $2.99
1/2 Gallon Coconut Milk $2.00
8oz Olive Oil 99¢
4oz Liquid Smoke $2.00
1TBSP Garlic Powder 12¢
1 Bottle BBQ Sauce 99¢
1 Bottle Soy Sauce 99¢
10oz Mild Salsa 99¢
2 oz Coffee Grounds $1.24
Total $49.56

Food listed is per person.  You can use the sauces as you please and try different combinations.  BBQ mixed with Soy Sauce tastes amazing as a heavier dish ~

Day 1
  • Breakfast - bran muffin in half w/ cream cheese spread (drink - coffee/water) and 1 Cutie/Halo
  • Lunch - 2TBSP hummus, 1/2 cup carrots, 1 Cutie/Halo, and 9 pita chips (drink - 8oz coconut milk or water)
  • Snack - 1/4 cup pretzels and 1/2 cup grapes (drink - water)
  • Dinner - peanut butter sandwich w/ 1/2 sliced apple (drink - water, getting the idea?)
Day 2
  • Breakfast - 1 slice toasted bread, 2 TBSP peanut butter mixed w/ 1 TBSP cream cheese, and 1/2 cup gapes (drink - coffee/water)
  • Lunch - 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup diced mushrooms (sautéed), and 2oz tofu (sautéed) with seasoning (drink - water)
  • Snack - 1/2 packet seaweed snacks and slice of toast w/ 1 TBSP peanut butter (drink - water)
  • Dinner - 2 TBSP hummus, 1/2 cup carrots and 9 pita chips (drink - water)
Day 3
  • Breakfast - bran muffin in half w/ cream cheese spread (drink - coffee/water) and 1 Cutie/Halo
  • Lunch - 1/4 cup mushrooms, 1/2 bell pepper (all sautéed) and 1/2 cup Yakisoba noodles with seasoning (drink - water)
  • Snack - 1/2 sliced Apple w/ 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • Dinner - 1/8 cup salsa, 2 TBSP hummus, 1/4 bell pepper strips and 9 pita chips (drink - water)
Day 4
  • Breakfast - 1 slice toast, 1/2 sliced apple and 2 TBSP peanut butter (drink - coffee/coconut milk)
  • Lunch - 1/4 cup mushrooms w/ 1/2 cup green beans steamed and 1/2 cup brown rice with seasoning (drink - water)
  • Snack - 1/4 cup pretzels w/ 2 TBSP peanut butter (drink - water)
  • Dinner - 1/6 head cauliflower, 1/2 pack seaweed snacks, 1/2 packet Yakisoba noodles and 1oz tofu with seasoning (drink - water)
Day 5
  • Breakfast - 1 bran muffin in half w/ cream cheese spread (drink - coffee/water) and 1 Cutie/Halo
  • Lunch - 1 flour tortilla, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce and 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (drink - water)
  • Snack - 1/2 cup pretzels w/ 1 TBSP hummus (drink - water)
  • Dinner - 1/2 cup green beans, 1/4 cup brown rice and 1oz tofu (sautéed) (drink - water)
Day 6
  • Breakfast - 1/2 sliced apple, 1 slice toasted bread, and 2 TBSP peanut butter mixed w/ 1 TBSP cream cheese (drink - coffee/coconut milk)
  • Lunch - BBQ Cauliflower Wings and 1/2 cup brown rice (drink - water)
  • Snack - 1/2 cup pretzels w/ 2 TBSP peanut butter (drink - water)
  • Dinner - 1/4 bell pepper, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/4 cup brown rice and 2oz tofu seasoned (drink - water)
Day 7

  • Breakfast - 1 bran muffin in half w/ cream cheese spread (drink - coffee/water) and 1/2 cup grapes (drink - water)
  • Lunch - 1 flour tortilla, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/8 cup diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 bell pepper, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce and 2oz seasoned tofu (drink - water)
  • Snack - remaining snack type food (drink - coconut milk/water)
  • Dinner - Yakisoba noodles mixed with remaining vegetables (drink - water)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vegan Root Beer

We almost never drink soda, but I bought some of the root beer at Sprouts for our pizza nights.  The options they had were Hansen's, Zevia and a couple others I didn't look at.  I wanted to start with just these two and try them out.

The Creamy Root Beer was just that.  It tasted a lot like the normal brands of root beer you would get from a fountain drink dispenser, so tasty.

The Ginger Root Beer was a little different though.  It was made wih stevia, so it was 0 calories.  I was afraid the taste would be gross like most diet sodas, but it was pretty good.  It tasted like root beer with just a hint of ginger ale instead of vanilla like normal root beer.

After trying both, I think I'll be getting the Zevia do to it being just about the same price and having 0 calories.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Vegan Oven Grilled Cheese

Dinner last night was grilled cheese, Vegan style.  I tried out three different cheeses with two different crispness makers (yeah, that's made up) and found the one that works best!

Ingredients you'll need:

* 4 slices wheat bread (check the label)
* 4 TBSP Mayo (I use Vegenaise)
* 2 Slices Cheddar Cheese (Go! Veggie)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Put a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet so that the grilled cheese will be cooked properly.

Place two slices of bread on the cooling rack, followed by cheese, two more slices of bread on top of the cheese and spread 1 TBSP mayo on the top side of each piece of bread.

Cook for 6-8 minutes or until mayo has settled in and looks bubbly golden.  Flip to other side.  This side should be the hardness of normal toast.  Spread the remaining mayo and cook an additional 6-8 minutes until both sides are golden.

Serve with some delicious tomato soup and you have yourselves an easy, cheap dinner for the night.

Vegan Chocolate Dream

Today I was craving something chocolatey, which is very rare for me.  I decided that after reading the article about Safeway carrying Vegan cake, I just had to have some.  To my dismay, my location does not and will not be carrying it.  So, I decided to make cake at home.  I really wanted cake and didn't want to wait (or have leftovers hanging about) so I decided to try making a mug cake.  I've never done this sort of thing before and it turned out so wonderful that I'm not sure I'll be baking cakes very much anymore.

Ingredients needed:

* 1/3 cup all purpose flour
* 3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
* 3 TBSP granulated sugar
* 1/8 Tsp Salt
* 1/3 cup Regular soy milk (or coconut)
* 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
* 3 TBSP Chocolate Syrup
* 2 TBSP Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips

Mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt.  Make sure to get out any little lumps.  Slowly add in milk and oil until well blended and slightly thick.  Once mixed well, add chocolate syrup and mix until it looks like brownie batter.  Put in mug if you hadn't mixed the batter in one and pour chocolate chips on top.  Gently press them into the surface a little.  Cook in the microwave on high for 60-75 seconds.  The middle should still be slightly uncooked.  Voila!  A yummy, moist, chocolate cake in a mug with a gooey chocolate lava center.  Not healthy, but oh so tasty.