Too many things on my mind. Spent the weekend making delicious vegan food.
Shredded bbq carrots ( faux pulled pork ) or rosemary facasia with cilantro, ginger, lime slaw… ratatouille, and Apple carrot ginger muffins… Oh and roasted beets with apples and balsamic vinegar.
It’s been a long challenge, I’ve always liked ot relax on Sundays, but for the first time, I got it all done!! I created meals for the entire family for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it’s done!! Here’s the rundown for tomorrow:
Breakfast: Blueberry Oatmeal Bake - 6:30 A.M. Lunch: Copycat Panera Fuji Apple Salad with grilled chicken and an Apple Balsamic Dressing with fresh watermelon for dessert Dinner: Homemade foil packs with chicken, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and onions with reduced fat cheddar cheese.
Exercise Plan: Walk up the steep hill by my house to gauge how much time it takes and 30 minute yoga session with sister.
A coworker of mine has decided to try out veganism💚💚💚 (yay!) and asked me for a list of some cheap staple food ideas to buy at the grocery store. So I thought this might help out anyone wanting to transition and not really knowing what to buy!
Bags of potatoes
Sweet potatoes/ yams (whichever is cheaper atm)
Any veggies that are on sale (I tend to go for broccoli, kale/spinach, bell peppers etc)
Lots of bananas (smoothies/nice cream/oatmeal/baking/snacking )
Any fruit that is on sale (also check your stores reduced price produce shelf- there are almost always lots of perfectly ripe bananas, avocados, and lots of other goodies that are “too ripe” to sell at full price aka perfect.)
Beans- black + garbanzos are my fav ( canned are a little pricier but nice for convenience)
Bread + tortillas ( also check to see if your store has a discounted bakery area for stuff about to go stale - I always find herb focaccia, raisin bread, and artisan baguettes for under $2 each so I stock up and store in freezer until ready to use)
Cold cereal/granola (buying in bulk is the way to go for this if you don’t want to make your own)
Canned tomatoes (easily turns into sauce, or add to curries, pastas, Mexican style dishes etc)
Non dairy milk ( look for what’s on sale or deals on bigger sizes / multipacks + you can find smaller sizes in the dry goods area too if you don’t plan to use this much)
Non dairy butter ( I’ll buy this on sale only + in the largest size tub so I won’t need it again for a long time)
Optional: Tofu (firm - to make tofu scramble+ silken/soft - to make “sour cream”)
All in all I always keep my eye peeled for sales and bulk deals and know when to pass on something that week. Going into the store with a general plan for meals is always a good idea too so that you don’t overbuy or fill your basket with a bunch of random stuff that you have no idea what to do with once you’re home. I did not include “luxury” items like faux meat/cheese/yogurt/ ice cream etc because they aren’t necessary even if some of them are very tasty. I personally don’t eat them often and you may buy them at your own discretion. The only faux meat I always have on hand is tvp (aka textured vegetable protein, a dry and unflavored meat substitute that is made from soy that you rehydrate with veggie broth or water and seasonings that can replace any kind of ground meat or even bacon bits when prepared properly that can either be found in bulk at a natural foods store or the natural foods baking/flour area in your regular grocery store for fairly inexpensive ). I also didn’t include some basic stuff like flour, coffee/tea, sugar, cooking oil etc but I buy all these things in bulk and avoid most brands of white sugar and choose to buy my raw sugar in the bulk area of my local natural foods store where I am sure that it isn’t processed with bone char, I also tend to use coconut oil to cook with but this is totally a personal preference. Condiments are completely up to you but some stuff I use include veganaise, corn syrup-free ketchup, stone ground mustard, liquid aminos (soy sauce substitute), worstishire sauce ( look for one without anchovies), sriracha, cholula, chipotle tabasco, (I’m a hot sauce queen), fruit jam, balsamic and apple cider vinegar . Herbs and spices are also up to you but by far my most used ones are basic salt+pepper, garlic powder, Italian herbs seasoning, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutritional yeast(even if that’s not technically a herb/spice and I buy it in the dry goods bulk area of my local natural foods store), and fresh cilantro. If you have a local Asian market I also highly recommend checking it out- they usually have inexpensive produce including lots of cheap fresh herbs (hello basil I’m looking at you), they also have lots of affordable accidentally vegan ramen/ instant noodle soup packs, and tons of rice noodles in all shapes and sizes in bulk for cheap, I also prefer to buy my rice here in bulk. One last thing I do to save a little money is keep a large bowl or bag in my freezer and fill it with veggie scraps like onion peels, pepper stems, carrot tops etc that I will use to make my own veggie broth after it is extremely full- simply put it all in a large pot, cover with water and simmer for an entire day, add salt to taste and use immediately or store for up to one week in the fridge or up to a few months in the freezer.
I hope this post helps you out and shows you that being vegan can indeed be very cheap if you know how to shop, and gives you some ideas for next time you’re at the grocery store. If you have any questions I’m always ready to help! 💁🏻
Hey there, volunteer! I was wondering why Hugo kept glue in the pantry of the caravan.
Wow, er… That has to be the most specific question I’ve ever had the pleasure to receive on this blog. Congrats, I guess?
“There’s lots of sticky things
here,” he said. “I see blackstrap molasses, wild clover honey, corn syrup, aged balsamic
vinegar, apple butter, strawberry jam, caramel sauce, maple syrup, butterscotch topping,
maraschino liqueur, virgin and extra-virgin olive oil, lemon curd, dried apricots, mango
chutney, crema di noci, tamarind paste, hot mustard, marshmallows, creamed corn, peanut
butter, grape preserves, salt water taffy, condensed milk, pumpkin pie filling, and glue. I don’t
know why Hugo kept glue in the pantry, but never mind. Which items do you want?” [The Slippery Slope, Chapter One]
I think it’s just a joke because Klaus is looking for glue in the first place. But he’s the unluckiest person on the planet so of course he finds an extra-long list of subsistutes for glue first, and a a literal pot of glue last. Man, these kids can never catch a break, can they?
The glue isn’t mentioned in “The Carnivorous Carnival”, so I have no idea what Hugo did with it. Maybe he used it to repair the carvan. Or maybe the Carnival Freaks used to smoke it. No that I… would know… anything… about… these things…
Ok the major lesson I have learned so far is on a clean diet you can’t buy a ton of groceries in advance. I have spent most of my time trying to eat food before it goes bad. This is a result of that. I had chicken tenders to use, so I combined Balsamic and apple cider vinegars, my steak sauce, rosemary and other spices and set the strips to marinate. I had asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, spinach and basil that needed used (no eggplant 😜). I drizzled olive oil over the veggies in a Pyrex bowl, added garlic and set them in the oven at 400 for a half hour. I then sautéed the chicken with the marinade removed the strips and boiled it down into a reduction. Then just put chicken on veggies and top with reduction. For my vegan and pescatarian friends just leave out chicken. Honestly best dish so far. It will be a weekly dish with leftover veggies. Every time someone tells me they could not do a lifestyle as boring as mine I laugh
I found this candle at Target today that is literally how I’ve always imagined Derek Hale smelling. “Notes of mint leaves, balsam fir, and apple while the base of sandalwood, moss and musk cultivate a forest scene at night.” Mmm, yes.
Easy Chicken Marinade - For any and all chicken recipes
Summary: a simple recipe using kitchen staples for an all purpose chicken marinade. Can be used for grilled chicken, fried, baked, pan seared, bone-in or boneless, frozen or fresh. Can also be used for steak and turkey!
My fellow no-more-ramen eater, let me share with you an all purpose marinade to make any of your chicken adventures much, much tastier. Even if all you can do is pop it in a frying pan, or in your toaster oven, this’ll make any chicken juicier and more flavorful.
Chicken tips: More often than not, frozen chicken will be cheaper than fresh, but keep an eye out for sales! I tend to only buy chicken drumsticks at 99 cents/lb, but a local store of mine goes as low as 70 cents/lb! An easy $3 can feed 2-3 people, with leftovers! If you prefer chicken breasts, they do tend to cost more, but be wary of how much you spend at a time. Chicken freezes wonderfully, so if you have freezer space, stock up!
ALWAYS make sure raw chicken is cooked completely! 165F internal temperature, at the bone, with clear juices. Cook awesome, cook safe!
The following does not have portion amounts. Season it to taste! But do not taste it once chicken is in there, please! We mix it separately for this reason =D
Olive oil (alternative: cheaper vegetable oils)
Vinegar (balsamic, white, apple cider, rice, any will do)
Salt (garlic salt, seasoned salt, plain table salt, etc.)
Garlic (coarse chopped fresh, minced from a jar, garlic powder)
Most kitchens have the essentials already. This recipe is, in its simplest form, a vinaigrette. You can dress your salads with this recipe, too!
Simply whisk it all together in a separate bowl. Do taste as you go, and flavor it as needed.
Once combined, take raw chicken and add to a ziploc bag. Pour contents of the bowl into the bag, mix together, and ziploc it tight with as much air out as you can. Store in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight, and cook as you normally would whenever you’re ready.
Chicken tip: If you have boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut ½ inch spaced cuts into them. Don’t cut all the way through, but it helps the marinade get inside the chicken.
If you’re more hands-on, feel free to mix the chicken with the sauce by hand, making sure to get some underneath the skin.
Enjoy your flavorful, juicy chicken, my friends! Don’t be afraid to message me (Shaniae) if you need any help or have any questions =D
yo! I’m going to be posting a bunch of everyday healthy + easy recipes from time to time, and put em under the tag “clean eating”, FYI!
this one is soo good. dairy free + grain free + super delish. roasted balsamic cauliflower with apples and bacon
cut ½ head (?? is it a head?) cauliflower into small little cauliflower chunks, and marinate in balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes. then drain all that balsamic outta there cause otherwise it gets too acidic! Slice an apple up reeeal thin and mix it in with cauliflower. put da mixture into a glass baking container and sprinkle with salt + pepper. chop 4 slices of raw bacon (or more slices, it’s up to you) into ½ inch little pieces and sprinkle over the top of the cauliflower/apple mixture and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, or until bacon is crispy on da edges!
Eat for half a week on one pot, the healthy, easy, and cheap way
This is what I basically ate all last week because my entire remaining monthly budget went to my dog and I did not have any energy to cook because hey, new dog. If you are looking for ways to stretch your food, eat decently healthy but cheap, and hate cooking, THIS IS THE MEAL FOR YOU.
*a bag of pasta (I use gluten free from TJ’s, the rice and quinoa blend is $2.99/bag in LA, the just rice pasta is $1.99)
*A pre-roasted chicken (grab this on whatever day it’s on sale at your local grocery store) this is enough protein for a single person for at least 4 days.
*a good sized bag of frozen peas and carrots (or your favorite frozen veggie blend, I can’t eat broccoli in quantities which is limiting)
*Some olive oil (I use about 2 tablespoons)
*Vinegar of your choice (I use whatever we have in the pantry, a rotation of - apple cider, balsamic, or pomegranate wine) - about a tablespoon
*Salt & Pepper
*SPICES - (You can either add this at the time you make it, OR every time you eat it for variety. Use what you GOT, and if you don’t have anything, buy a bulk thing of dried Italian blend next time you go to the store, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I’m also super fond of Mrs. Dash Table Blend, it’s my fave, so next time it’s on sale or you get a coupon, check that out).
*Parmesan Cheese (OPTIONAL, leave out for vegan, dairy free, or price reduction)
SPECIAL DIETS OR TO REDUCE THE COST:
GLUTEN FREE if you use GF pasta like I do (seriously, TJ’s is GOOD. Also, costco sells GF pasta in bulk for a great price if you somehow managed to get into a membership)
VEGAN OPTION: When I’m cutting down on meat, or just have been eating too much chicken and need a break, I throw 2 cans of kidney beans or black beans instead (or a can of each together). Add an extra dump of spices to liven it up. Omit the cheese or use vegan cheese and voila, VEGAN.
I CAN’T AFFORD A CHICKEN - a can of tuna and a can of beans work just as well here and is less than half the price of a roast chicken. I’ve been there, BB, I’ve been there.
BUT I AM SO SICK OF PASTA - RICE IS YOUR FRIEND: Boil the veggies on their own and make a pot of rice. Everything else stays the same. This is also cheaper. Want to be healthier than white rice? Use brown. But you said this was easy and brown rice takes 45 minutes! Well, you can get brown rice that takes 15 minutes at Trader Joe’s. BEST FIND EVER.
INSTRUCTIONS (TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes including water boiling time)
1) Get a big pot (you need to fit a bag of frozen veggies and a bag of pasta in it, so your biggest pot babe, your biggest pot. Alternately, just use a half bag of each and a medium sized pot, but you’ll have to cook again sooner) and fill it half way up with water. Get that boiling. Pro-tip: boiling with the lid on makes it boil faster!
2) Add your bag of pasta and your bag of frozen veggies into the pot, dump that all in. Add a dash of salt and a dash of oil tot he mix. Boil this uncovered for 7-8 minutes.
3) Take out your roast chicken and start tearing it into pieces. Just take the whole thing and tear it up. Discard the skin if you are trying to be low fat. VEGGIE OPTION: rinse your canned beans in a strainer. TUNA OPTION: Rinse your beans and drain your tuna.
4) When your pasta/veggie timer dings, dump that pot into a strainer. Add the chicken (or beans or tuna and beans, what have you) into the empty pot and dump the strained pasta and veggies on top (this warms up the new ingredients for you).
5) Add two teaspoons of olive oil, add a tablespoon of vinegar (this is too taste, play around to your preference), add 3 pinches of salt and 3 pinches of pepper.
6) Toss in some SPICES. If you need to follow a recipe, I’d recommend a tablespoon of Italian spice mix but that’s a lot. Also, a dash of cinnamon will cozy it up. A dash of ginger will give it a nice bite. People who can handle red pepper flakes can add those too. I usually add extra rosemary or basil.
7) Add the cheese if you want it! I like the extra flavor.
8) Turn the burner back on for 45 seconds to a minute and STIR STIR STIR!
9) Serve yourself a bowl. Tupperware the rest. Eat today, and eat for the next 3 days.
EXTRA HEALTHY BOOST: If you have an additional $2 grab some fresh spinach or kale (YAY FRESH FOOD) - toss a handful or too into the pot when you toss your protein source in, before you dump the pasta and veggies back on top of it. This will wilt the greens but not cook them. This adds an extra health boost to this meal! I didn’t include it because it ups the cost, but since I mention TJ’s a lot, you can get a bag of spinach or power greens mix for $1.99)
Working on my collection! I can’t wait to go back! The Fresh Balsam candle is the best I’ve ever smelt! And my boyfriend loves it all too! :) #vanillabeannoelhandsanitizerisnotpicturedbecausemyboyfriendstoleitlastnight
Hey girl! Can you share your favorite go-to recipes for when you feel like you've had a particularly indulgent weekend/couple of days that help you get back on track? Usually I'll do a day or two of tea and detox smoothies, but I'm looking for actual meals that satisfy my craving to chew (lol) while still eating light and healthy. Would love for you to share! You look great btw!! V inspired by your journey
Hi, hellllo!! Thank you so much. It has definitely been a really long year but I’m feeling stronger everyday!!
When I’m trying to get back on track, I try not to go so drastic and hard on myself, because it’ll only have an adverse effect. I kind of love the below as options. Give ‘em a try. And make sure you drink a lot of water.