Monday, January 31, 2011

How A Resourceful Girl Manages Sushi Cravings

I *always* want sushi...and miso soup, and a glass(es) of wine, and seaweed salad....but I do not want to pony up the cash for all that. So, I get crafty! I found just enough miso left to make soup and dressing,  a new pack of nori hiding in the pantry, and bought a cucumber and an avocado. Cheap-tastic! 

Here's the breakdown :P


Happy wheel of sushi!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tofu Balls!

I am always on the search for a great/easy/cheap meatball substitute. I have found the best one thus far! Sarah Kramer, I think in Vegan A Go-Go (I cook from all of them so much I can't keep it straight!) has a winner winner tofu dinner!

Slightly messy prep, copious cheap wine :)

I cooked them with no oil to make it a little healthier. 



Atop a pile of quinoa pasta and waiting for some yummy marinara sauce!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Pecan Milk

At Christmas, our very nice neighbors gave us a big ole brown bag full of pecans! We ate some during the holidays, but still had tons. I've been thinking up fun (and healthy!) ways to use them. My first project is Pecan Milk. I googled several recipes but ended up just soaking them overnight, processing with filtered water, and straining through a metal sieve. 
I am happy with the results. The milk could definitely be sweetened, but I decided to leave it alone, as I would most likely add sugar when using it as coffee creamer. 

 



I also saved the pecan pulp to make a flour-like powder. I baked it in a low oven until it was fairly dry, cooled it, and put it it in plastic container in the fridge. I am going to play with using it for part of the flour in some recipes. We shall see!

Monday, January 24, 2011

EVERYTHING But the Freezer Soup!!

Stress monkeys!


Being the proprietress of an adorable, fun, and awesome small business in a cold, cloudy, rainy, slow January is a very effective test in stress-management skills.

Here are some ways I've been trying to combat the tight wallet/rainy day blues:
♥listening to the awesome and attitude-adjusting music (Bitch & Animal, Lila Downs,Defiance, Ohio)
♥dusting off my exercise DVDs and getting funky in my house! Hip Hop Abs, Cardio Cabaret...yay!
♥making my own (happily, effective) deodorant from household ingredients
♥ line-drying laundry - although it takes foreeeever in rainy Louisiana weather
♥dug my homemade laundry soap out of the cabinet for more experimenting and perfecting
♥using paperbackswap.com
♥c-o-o-k-i-n-g-f-r-o-m-s-c-r-a-t-c-h!

I have been a kitchen machine! Soaking nuts, simmering beans, and recycling the heck outta some leftovers. When the going gets tough, vegans make soup! Today I am eating millet and soup that involved the following pre-served and frozen foods:

☺frozen roasted eggplants
☺leftover homemade vegan sausage (frozen)
☺frozen clearance produce: zucchinis, mushrooms, spinach
☺canned tomatoes
☺leftover peas from the night before
☺lotsa good spices



It was very yummy and good for us. Anyone have a favorite blog for cheap vegan yums to make at home?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yay!

This is what I love to see!!


I am super excited to sport this pretty handmade bracelet! Check out the Thief & Bandit Etsy shop and the lovely Belle De Couture blog!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cookies for a Cause!

I am all about some yummy cookies...it's even better when they help someone!

I took the opportunity to try out a new-to-me Post Punk Kitchen recipe for a donation to the Ouachita River Valley Animal League bake sale.

Behold, the vegan-tastic Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles! These are featured in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. 

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats


 Crafting tags...gotta let cookie lovers know when an awesome treat is 100% vegan!


Cookies cooling...I topped them with the cinnamon and sugar in the recipe, and also added a little espresso sugar just for kicks. Yummy!

Happy treats!! 




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deodorant You Can Eat...almost!

 I tend to go back and forth on the deodorant issues. I get all wound up about the scary chemicals in deo, and switch to a natural brand for a while. So far I can remember using Tom's of Maine, Kiss My Face, Desert Essence, all forms of crystal rocks, and so on. Nothing has rendered me smelling very pretty at the end of a long day. I am highly curious about the foofoo Lavanila products, but the price is fully ridiculous within my budget.


Soooo....I got in the kitchen to give a homemade concoction a try. Here's the recipe I used:

5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
10-15 drops of favourite essential oil



I halved this recipe since the first batch is for experimental purposes. I used lavender, rosemary, and a smidge of lemon essential oils. 


I like the texture thus far. It's a little softer than solid deo. I smushed it into a reused tin and applied it with my fingers today. I already use coconut oil as a body moisturizer, so this wasn't much of a stretch to use a fancied-up version as deodorant. It hasn't been a wild day (that will be the real test), but so far, I feel comfortable, dry, and non-smelly. I also have to say, I love seeing my own little tin in the bathroom rather than yet another plastic package of something-or-other. 


I will keep updating! Anyone have a favorite recipe or natural deodorant?



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yay I'm Etsy-fied!

Just a little post to say I started an Etsy shop for some of my crafting and vintage goodies. Learning as I go!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Rosemary-Chickpea Dip

Today we have a nice little dip/spread perfect for raw veggies or in sandwiches/wraps. I used fresh rosemary from my plant outside (the one herb hanging on through winter!) and dried garbanzos that I cooked. Every time I have a few hours at  home, I put on a pot of beans on the stove to cook and use in recipes afterward. It saves money and I really love the taste as opposed to canned beans. 







Rosemary-Chickpea Dip

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

Ingredients

  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped green onions
  • 2  (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth (such as Swanson's Certified Organic)

Preparation

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add beans; sauté 1 minute. 
Place bean mixture and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. (At this point I added more broth to get a smoother consistency- using dried beans as opposed to canned can create the need for more liquid). 
Place bean mixture in a bowl.


Friday, January 14, 2011

21 Day Vegan Kickstart Yums

Bianca over at Vegan Crunk is posting some awesome highlights of her 21 Day Vegan Kickstart experience. I've been picking and choosing recipes to try, and they have been great!

Here are a few highly recommended dishes. These also work well with Eat To Live, which I am revisiting in 2011.

First, Couscous Confetti Salad:


And (despite my un-love for weirdly renamed foods), Kwick Kale:


I coupled these two dishes with some delicious roasted eggplant (I use the first step in Holy Cow's Subzi recipe).

Ahh so good, so healthy, so easy!! (The couscous salad should really be the smallest serving size for ETL.)


I am really excited about getting back into healthy, homemade foods after holidays and a few months of convenience foods. I am back on my exercise program (light running, lovely yoga dvds, etc.) and ready for action!! Stay tuned for TONS of great recipes and pics of our healthy meals and snacks :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yummy Spices!

I'm a lucky laydeeee! My parents gave me a gift card to the local Spice and Tea Exchange. This place is a chain with a local shop right near our record store. They sell all manner of spices, flavored sugars, salts, peppers, blends, and teas. I had a good time selecting my goodies. I am reviving my Eat To Live habits, but still picked a few salts. These smoked salts add such a nice flavor even when I used 1/2 or less of the amount called for in recipes.

Here are the yums I picked!

Dark Chili Powder


Chardonnay Oak Smoked Salt (already used in a homemade pasta salad and it was awesome!)


Hickory Smoked Salt


and for dessert, Espresso Sugar! Any ideas on using this gem?


I also got some neat metal tins with little windows so I can see what's in them.


I love being able to buy spices and pour them into the glass jars I already have. Yay!! Can't wait to try more :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tasty Bite Review!

Today's post is a review of some yummy vegan and vegetarian delights from Tasty Bite. I had some Tasty Bite items in the last few years that left me underwhelmed, but something must have changed, because the ones I tried this time around were super yummy!

Preparation is pretty much as easy as this:


All the dishes just require heating with your choice of tofu or veg. 



Here's a buffet of lentil rice, channa masala, and tofu corn masala. 

Here's my own veggies and tofu cooked with the Satay Partay cooking sauce. 



Bonus round: homemade baba ganoush made with clearance eggplants- yum!!!It was a dinner of many cultures!!


Tasty Bites are indeed bites...I used several packs to make a decent sized dinner. That being said, they clearly list the serving sizes and are prolly meant to be easy one-serving meals, so all's well!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hip Mountain Mama Review: Aroma Natural's VegePure Color Aromatherapy Candle

Ahhhh...do you feel energized and spontaneous? If not, try one of these candles ;)

I chose this Spontaneity-themed aromatherapy candle for my latest Hip Mountain Mama review because sometimes I suffer from the want-to-stay-in-my-fuzzy-slippers syndrome. I am a homebody at heart, so some healthy motivators are always welcome.


Grapefruit and petitgrain scented, and made with essential oils, this candle has a really crisp fresh smell that did indeed creative a dynamic mood in the room. It burns well and comes in minimal packaging, which I appreciate.

That's my kitchen window, glowing with spontaneity! I lit this candle while I prepared for a spur of the moment roadtrip over Christmas, and I quite enjoyed the citrusy, bright smell. 


I'd also like to try the others scents: Serenity and Insight! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Beerthirty & Ranchera Tunes!

On our rcent travels, we visited Grimey's New & Pre-Loved Music in Nashville, TN. It was a really cool place full of new and used vinyl and cd's, with a fabu free box (Sia poster, score!)



Highlights:

The cds had tons of categories, giving me tons of world/latin/New Orleans/etc. music to squeal over. I took home Lila Downs' Shake Away. I absolutely love this woman! Her style and music are amazing. The Manu Chao cds were quite tempting as well. I wanted to give a little hug to the Patti Smith Easter picture disc LP and the very purty Jenny :Lewis albums.

Grimey's also sold yummy locally made chocolate bars by Olive & Sinclair Chocolate. Perhaps the icing on the cake was Beerthirthy! At about 5:30 the very helpful Grimey's lady got a microphone and announced that it was Beerthirty. A quick ID check later and we were sipping on yummy New Belgium beer.

Stop by Grimey's if you head through Nashville, TN. It was definitely a favorite on the trip!