Tag Archives: Vegan

Farmer's Market

Bowl of Farmer’s Market Peppers

After a really tight financial summer, we’re finally making money again! To celebrate yesterday’s paycheck (which is almost double what we were making on a single income), we decided to go on a shopping spree of the grocery variety. We’ve been living off our pantry–a lot of beans and lentil soup. Time for something fresh!

At the Farmer’s Market, we picked up a bag of green beans, a box of mixed peppers (red, yellow, and green!), zucchini, Pace Farm pepper cilantro jelly (really good!), Greer Farms honey, and Greer Farms Strawberry Peach Jam (their Jack Daniels Vanilla Peach jelly is to die for–we already have a jar in the fridge), and a bag of fresh basil (which Sarah is addicted to). Pretty much all the farms are pretty local (as far as Texas is concerned), but we were excited to find that Pace Farms is in Hallsville, just one town over from us. Their jellies might make their way into our Christmas baskets this year.

Jack's Natural Food splurges

Jack’s Natural Food splurges

After finishing up with the farmers, we headed off to Jack’s Natural Foods (also in Longview) where we picked up a few other necessities. Sarah is participating in an Elfster gift exchange in her mom’s group, so she needed supplies for that too. This exchange has to be handmade, so she’s planning on a pumpkin-scented chamomile coconut oil lotion to send along. We both love Jack’s and we just happened to have a 10% coupon on hand to use as well. We picked up chocolate Plant Fusion protein powder, Mung beans (12g protein/serving), Irish oatmeal (let’s be honest, we just wanted the awesome tin can it came in), aloe vera juice (for the lotion Sarah’s making), Tofurky sandwich slices, Tempeh (which they gave to us free), cream cheese alternative (which we won’t buy again–this one slipped by Todd’s trans fat radar), canned Redi-burger (which Sarah fears is a vegetarian Spam), and chamomile tea bags (for the lotion gift).

We tend to cook to much food at once. Which is where we found ourselves this morning with too many cooked pinto and black beans in the slow cooker. No way we’re going to eat that much bean soup.

So we came up with an alternative we had never tried to make: veggie burgers.


We didn’t keep exact measurements, but we basically used the processor to blend pinto, black beans (cooked in cajun seasoning), mushrooms, and leftover curry mashed potatoes together. Added flax meal and flour, alternating tablespoons until we could form patties. Fried in olive oil and added our own toppings.

We both think it’ll be a repeat recipe in the house.

Warning: you may need two dogs to lick the bean mess off your hands. Good thing ours are vegan and readily ate it up, though we’re pretty sure any dog would find it enjoyable.

a post by Sarah

Afternoon tea turned into an afternoon snack and relaxation. Started with a flowering peach tea, then as the tummy grumbled, I added miso soup and a lentil/faux beef stew. It’s been a tiring day so it’s nice to just sit and enjoy a cup of tea.

Nika woke us up at 5am, having slept through the whole night. She was inconsolable. She’s had daycare kennel cough since Week 7 and its never really gone away. We are forgoing our plans to see the matinee of Star Trek to take her to the pediatrician. We think she has her first ear infection. She’s been cranky all day but is currently napping away in her crib with an elevated headrest (we read somewhere that eases the pain). Todd, too, is napping.

I guess it’s time to start looking up natural remedies for ear infections.


When we were dating, we loved to head over to the KFC down the street from our high school and pick up the 99 cent snackers. Cheap eats for high school kids.

Fast forward seven years and our eating preferences have changed. Namely, no meat. Every now and then we’ve nostalgically missed our KFC snackers.

Faux KFC Snacker

So we finally decided to make a vegan version. We’re vegetarian, but we double checked all ingredients and we’re pretty darn sure all the ingredients are vegan too.

A quick stop at Kroger was all we needed.

  • Nayonaise (our first time trying it)
  • Simple Truth Meatless Crispy Patties, 15g protein per patty (made with soy, kamut, amaranth, millet, and quinoa)
  • Non-dairy, non-egg dinner rolls
  • Kale (from our garden)
  • Salt and pepper

Final result wasn’t bad at all.

Faux KFC Snacker 2

Vegan Potato Curry

Didn’t follow an exact recipe on this one, but it turned out delicious! Needed to use up potatoes in the pantry

Boil peeled potatoes.

In another pot, add organic soy milk, diced mushrooms, canned sweet peas, diced garlic, a small yellow onion, 2 tbs curry, 2 tbs cumin, and 1 tsp of salt. Added a little soy flour to help thicken it.

Ended up being very tasty for the humans (and very spicy). And the potato peels will be cooked and added to the dogs’ dinner, so there is no waste! (aside from a few onion skins)

Pumpkin Bread

The first bread in awhile that we haven’t messed up! We had an extra can of pumpkin lying around the pantry that was begging to be used. We originally bought it for the dogs (its good for them!) but Copper decided he didn’t like that brand of canned pumpkin. Go figure. Snubbed it completely when he’s gobbled down other brands before.

2 c wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon (we used Penzeys)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c organic sugar
3/4 c vegetable oil
3 eggs (you can substitute with applesauce to make this vegan)
1 tsp vanilla extract (we added a LITTLE more than that)
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
Whatever topping you have on hand…powdered sugar, toasted pumpkin seeds, etc.

While the oven was preheating to 325 degrees, we mixed all the dry ingredients together with my Kitchenaid mixer. We then made a hole in the middle of the dry pile and added all our wet ingredients.

We poured into a buttered round pan (9 inch diameter, 1 inch height, I think), sprinkled some powdered sugar on top, and baked for 90 minutes. The bread rose above the pan which was to be expected since it was a short pan to start with!

Passed inspection with both Todd and Sarah. We doubt we’ll have any more available after tomorrow night. Don’t remind us of the sugar!

Kale and Potatoes

Subtract the cheese and its vegan. But we love our cheese, making for a great vegetarian dish.

A staple in the Rainey house. We make it slightly different each time. Todd doesn’t love kale, but says eating something that’s good for you even if its not your favorite is the mark of an adult.

Ingredients: Potato, kale, cipollini onion, garlic, Penzey’s mural of spices, and cheese.

  • Add one medium potato (cubed) to a skillet, steaming them in about an inch of water.
  • Add one cipollini onion sliced thin to the pan.
  • Add two cloves of garlic, sliced thin.
  • Add a cup of shredded kale (to wilt it).
  • Add Penzeys Mural of Flavor or whatever you have in your spice rack.
  • Add freshly crushed lemon verbana to taste. We have dried, home-grown lemon verbana on hand (we grew it last summer…so yummy!).
  • While everything is simmering, you may need to add more water to keep the potatoes soft and avoid burning the bottom.
  • Cut a half inch slice off a block of colby jack cheese and slice into thin strips. When the potatoes are fully cooked and the kale is wilted, remove from heat. crisscross the cheese across the top of the hot potatoes and allow to melt.

Serves two. Only one pan of mess. We paired ours with an iced soy chai latte during the meal and tea/coffee afterwards.

Cooking Kale

Potato Stir Fry Dinner

Dinner was pretty simple…potato stir fry, but yummy as usual. Cubed potato steamed in water and organic olive oil, then fried with soy sauce, two small Cipollini onions, and a handful of broccoli florets. Served with a side of wild rice. Mmmmm….

Yolie's Avocados

(A post by Sarah)

Through a Facebook friend, I found out about Yolie’s Avocados and Gifts in Fallbrook, California. Its a family-run 2 acre avocado farm; they use well water for irrigation and no pesticides on their trees. They also grow several types of citrus. They ship their goods across the country priority mail, and we are so glad we gave them a chance!

We ordered 8 jumbo (9+ ounces) green-skinned Fuerte avocados (in season right now). I ordered them on a Friday, I believe, and received them on Monday. Pretty quick turnaround. They came with a little sticker announcing when they were picked fresh from the tree, the day they shipped! Still very firm when they arrived. I knew I’d love them so much I also sent a gift pack to my brother- and sister-in-law.

I was right…they are delicious! Yolie lets you know that it may take 10-14 days to ripen, but gives you a few options if you need to ripen them sooner. We wanted to stagger our avocado ripening…when we go to the grocery store and get avocados, they all seem to ripen and go bad within 2 days, unfortunately. Such a waste. So we put a few in the fridge and a few in our open fruit basket to ripen. One in the fruit basket ripened in three days, so we were eager to mash into it.

Oh my goodness…they are so good…extremely creamy goodness. We mashed ours with sea salt, rainbow pepper, and curry. One avocado made an entire bowl of dip, a bowl which Todd and I eagerly ate up.

Can’t wait until the rest ripen too. We will definitely be ordering again!

Halo Vegan Wet and Dry Dog Food

Wow, is all we can say. After they had already eaten dinner for the night, both Copper (the 2 year old basset hound) and Apollo (the 8 week old pitbull puppy) DOWNED a can of Halo Vegan Garden Medley for Dogs (wet formula). At the price it costs, its certainly a treat and not a go-to meal replacement. Plus their V-Dog kibble is higher in protein, but as an added calorie boost for the puppy and a treat for the basset, we’re surprised they love it so much. Or maybe we shouldn’t be surprised…they are, after all, vegetarian-but-mostly-vegan dogs as is.

Dogs, unlike cats, are omnivores. Our cats remain on a meat-based soft food diet thanks to Watson, who has urinary tract/stress issues and needs the moisture. Even if wet food wasn’t an issue, there really aren’t good cat vegan options available because they haven’t been able to formulate a good alternative that works well for felines.

Luckily, our pups can share in on our vegetarian-but-mostly-vegan lifestyle. And they don’t protest about it either. Copper transitioned to V-dog food sometime in the last year (can’t remember) and has been eating more than he did on a meat-based diet. We think he may have had a meat allergy…to which meat, we cannot say because he basically snubbed it all. With V-dog, Copper began eating more and steadily gained 7 pounds which was good for his size and frame.

We had been feeding him a local brand of dog food then switched to Halo meat-based products (which he ate more of, but still snubbed) before we switched to V-dog. Sometime in the switchover to V-dog, Halo started producing their own line of Vegan dog food (wet and dry). V-dog is formulating a wet food but doesn’t have it out yet. (They do have tasty greenie type treats that Copper devours.)

We’re glad to see more vegan dog foods on the market. This allows us to rotate their food source bag to bag, filling potential nutritional gaps. Even meat-based diets normally suggest rotating the type or meat source just to round out nutrition.

We just wish Halo’s vegan kibble came in a larger bag! Its 4 lb bag ($14.99) is so small compared to V-Dog’s 30 lb bag ($52). Pound for pound, V-dog is cheaper. For $14, you can pick up a $5 bag of V-Dog with free shipping ($2.80/lb). For the largest bag, V-Dog is just 1.73/lb. Halo’s (only) small bag is a lot more expensive: $3.74/lb…not including shipping (add a few more dollars there). For its canned food, Halo charges $47.88 for 12 cans ($3.99/can–more than we can handle on a regular basis). Let’s just hope V-Dog’s wet food beats that price!

Vegan dog kibble is good for dogs who have meat allergies or have owners who are vegetarians/vegans.

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