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.
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).
A post by Sarah.
After a two day long bus trip from Dallas, TX to Easton, PA (hello, exhaustion!), I’ve spent the past week cooking for a group of girls at the Lafayette Debate Cooperative. My students are all carnivores, although there are a couple vegetarians who joined our little food coop.
As a mostly ovo, sometimes lacto vegetarian, I’m not really comfortable cooking meat even if I’m serving someone else who eats meat. Which is why the food coop was completely voluntary. Students opted in, so I felt more comfortable evangelizing vegetarianism.
For $40, the students got a week of fresh, hot vegetarian meals. Muffin quiche, black bean and grilled corn soup, banana pancakes, cheese pizza, tacos with faux meat filling (they couldn’t tell the difference), stir fry, Yves hot dogs, sloppy veggie joes, spaghetti with grilled vegetables, stuffed green peppers, black beans and rice, salad, and a variety of veggie snacks. Even the carnivores have been very responsive to the veggie dishes. One declared that the black bean soup was her absolute favorite. I try to balance protein intake at every meal. If its not a bean/legume base, I generally use fake meat products to make regular meat dishes veggie friendly. For sloppy veggie joes and pasta sauce, I added MorningStar’s beef crumbles. Yves hot dogs, buns, and condiments provided a cookout feel to a very veggie dish. MorningStar’s chick’n strips made stir fry yummy. Surprisingly, no tofu this week. I’m still not super comfortable cooking it yet.
Every dish got a positive response even from my pro-hunting, pro-meat students. It also opened up discuss about farming practices, hunting (which I tend to support in certain circumstances and needs) v. sports hunting, the environment, and animal rights. I may not have changed minds, but I at least changed the perception they had of vegetarianism.
The coop went well, although I had one bump. I’m not used to cooking for a large group anymore. So I didn’t exactly plan the cost and grocery trips out right. I thought $20 would do it. LOL. Wrong. $20 would have done it if I was at home and had my own pantry to draw from for stock supplies and seasonings. But, of course, I didn’t have my pantry with me. So it looks like $40/person was about right for the week. (Still a huge savings considering their alternative is to eat out at Wawa or one of the local restaurants.) We still have one day of meals left during the end-of-camp tournament tomorrow, and we’ve still got pasta, avocados, tomatoes, an onion, black beans, rice, cereal, and soy milk in the fridge. Certainly enough to feed the six of us in the coop for another day.
It went well enough, that I think I’m going to approach Boyer about making it permanent for next year’s debate coop. The campus has a full kitchen in most buildings, so it shouldn’t be that difficult. With 2 hour long meal breaks, its certainly feasible to cook for every meal, and it would be great for the students to have an alternative to eating out at every meal (and save those $$ for college!).
We make some variation of this recipe about twice a week. Two veggies, a starch, and egg for protein. Fry frozen tater tots in a small amount of oil, add diced orange pepper. When tater tots are soft, smash in pan with spatula and continuing cooking. Add kale. Push veggie mixture aside to create center space for eggs. Crack two eggs open and let cook for a few seconds before scrambling into the rest of hte mixture. Add spices to taste. We’ve been using Penzey’s Mural of Flavor (salt-free).
Today, we paired our scramble with pineapple spears and a glass of soy milk.
Dirty Dish Count:
- 2 plates
- 1 frying pan
- 2 forks
- 1 spoon (for the chocolate soy milk)
- 1 knife
- 1 small cutting board
- 1 spatula
Total Dirty Dishes: 9
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)
A post from Sarah.
Growing up at my grandma’s house, midnight snacks always included Schwan’s ice cream. You could always count on her freezer having a ton of ice cream.
But ice cream isn’t always the best option while pregnant. If I can fill my belly with more nutritious foods, I probably should. So I get my sweet tooth fix with a frozen fruit and kale smoothie.
I add a 3/4 scoop of vanilla SlimFast powder, a few kale leaves (stripped of the stringy membranes), and frozen fruit. I buy the big bag of Great Value mixed frozen fruit from Walmart which contains strawberries, mangoes, pineapple and a few other things. Depending on how thick I want it, I add between 1/2 c and 1 c+ organic Silk soy milk to top it off before blending in my Magic Bullet. The Magic Bullet doesn’t puree the kale perfectly, but its perfect enough that you don’t taste kale when you spoon out your frozen mess of a midnight snack.
Super yummy and very healthy. Lots of protein from the Slimfast powder and soy milk. Vitamin C from the fruit and kale. Calcium from the kale, soy, and Slimfast. Magnesium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K from the kale. Its just good for you! And probably a lot better for the baby too. You know, just probably. ;)
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!
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.