Category Archives: BUDGET

Vegan MoFo: Day Twenty-Seven

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Twenty-Seven

Late afternoon, MoFoes! Obviously things went off-course with our budget theme when we decided to fund Thanksgiving dinner completely by ourselves. I will say that we feel good about the portion of this month we stuck to it, however. It’s been nice to cook and eat at home, getting away from spending excess amounts of money for the food we eat. It’s really showed us that we can stick to a budget while eating a variety of quality food we have control over.

Tonight’s dinner is either soup or the salad we talked about having last night. I plan on recreating the apple strudel I made for T-day, but in a smaller portion since Literate Zombie won’t be having any. His tooth has been bothering him and sugar seems to exacerbate the problem. But garlic bread doesn’t! I will be sure to take pictures of the strudel since no photos were snapped during Thanksgiving.

Come back and check it out later!

*****************************************************

I’m finally here to post pics from last night! It’s been a busy day so far with laundry and the band coming over and a quick step into the co-op just now. So my first priority is coming here to make up for last night with details!

Literate Zombie whipped up a soup using mushroom broth, carrots, green bell pepper, garlic, spices and a big ol’ slab of bread in the bottom of the bowl to make a makeshift “gravy boat”. Add in garlic bread and apple strudel for dessert and I was a very happy girl.

Black olives in soup is delicious!

Apple Strudel!


Vegan MoFo: Day Twenty-Two

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Twenty-Two

Wow I’m posting late today! We had to make a run to the post office to ship out one of my sushi roll pillows. Then we met up with a couple of friends before Literate Zombie had to go to work. But, I’m back now and ready to tell you all about what’s for dinner tonight.

We are having the rice stir fry meant for last night. I have the brown rice slow cooking right now so it will be ready to go when Literate Zombie comes home from work. Carmelized onions, sauted broccoli and zucchini will  be the stars of tonight’s delectable dinner. I am so excited about this!

Tomorrow we’re going to see Harry Potter and then go shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner! This year, we’re celebrating with friends since we don’t have any family close enough to get together with. Delicious vegan food, some ukulele playing and just enjoying the day!

Come back later to read about our plans and how the stir fry ended up!

***************************************************************

 

Broccoli Zucchini Onion Brown Rice Stir Fry

Tender-crisp broccoli, perfectly sautéed zucchini and onion, all tossed together with organic brown rice in our wok equates to a serious factor of YUM. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a stir fry like this. I didn’t realize how much I missed having them until this dinner right here. So good!

Literate Zombie and I have a “date” to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before going to the theaters tomorrow so I must skedaddle. ‘Til tomorrow, MoFoes!

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Twenty-One

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Twenty-One

Hello MoFoes! I’m ever so glad that I made too much chili last night. It’s been sitting and marinating in itself all night in the fridge, building up flavors. Chili is one of those things that gets better as leftovers so I’ll be having some delicious lunches for the next few days. The weather looks like it will be complimenting the dish too so all around, good choice for a dinner this week!

Tonight we will  be having rice stir fry. A simple dish of well, organic brown rice and some veggies. Both Literate Zombie and I love stir fries; you can throw anything in them! Well not just anything but pretty close. When we were interning on the goat farm, the intern house always seemed to have a stir fry going. Oh and the rice cooker too. The combinations of flavors and veg seem endless! Eat in a bowl or throw it in a wrap and there’s your meal. Quick and easy like we like it.

But for now, I must dash off for a shower, prep the rice and head out for ukulele practice. Then we will be back tonight with the yum factor of our dinner.

****************************************************

Change of plans! Practice went a bit longer tonight [6 hours!] and I didn’t end up making the rice. So for the first time for dinner in awhile we’re having leftovers! Chili with the black bean burger mix from two nights ago all crisped up in the cast iron skillet. No food porn though 😦

Tomorrow will be the rice dish with onions, broccoli and zucchini. YUM!

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Twenty

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Twenty

Good afternoon MoFoes! Today is Chipotle Chili Day [thus the festive bean banner]. What better kind of day to have warm and satisfying chili than on a cold, wet and rainy one like this? I will be in the kitchen chopping and dicing my way through onion, garlic and chipotle chilis to add to crushed tomatoes, black beans and red kidney beans. Simple tastes and perfectly seasoned is what I’m aiming for in tonight’s meal.

There’s only ten more days to go with Vegan MoFo. What an exciting project to be a part of. Literate Zombie really has outdone himself in the kitchen, if I may say so. I know we’ve heard several roommates comment on more than one occasion on the delightful smells undulating from the kitchen at one point or another this month! If that’s not motivation to keep things up, I don’t know what else is. Well, the taste of the food is pretty good motivation too!

After MoFo is done, I have a few reviews I plan on writing about Silk Nog and Silk Pumpkin Spice drinks. And of course, I’ll continue with my ‘Being Human’ series while Literate Zombie forges ahead with ‘Misadventures’. We’ll both get to work on filming the ‘Tutorials’ and writing about basic cooking skills. I really hope that Vegan MoFo has piqued the interest of some non-vegans. I suppose that that’s one aspiration among many for this project.

Okay. I have to get back to work, but I will eventually return with Chipotle Chili details after it has been prepped, cooked and eaten.

*****************************************************************

Okay so that was literally the spiciest food I have ever consumed. Wow! The chipotle really heated things up. So good!

Chipotle Chili

Crisp-tender green bell pepper strips, rough-chopped chipotle peppers, organic mushroom broth, crushed tomatoes, black and red kidney beans make up this sturdy rustic meal. Elemental taste contributes to simplistic elegance. Now I understand why Literate Zombie likes to eat chili very rarely; chili needs to be saved as a once-in-a-blue moon kind of event because chili done right is well-worth the time and effort put into making the “perfect pot”.

Literate Zombie also made an excellent little side salad that we split. Made up of alfalfa sprouts and fresh spinach, leftover cold sweet potato fries [yes they save much better than their Idaho spud counterparts] and covered in a stone ground mustard aoili dressing, it tasted like Georgia summer to me. Full of goodness with a Southern-style note thanks to the sweet potatoes. I want to make the fries again just so we can have cold ones to throw into a salad the next day!

My Kind of Salad

Also leftover from last night were some jalapeño breadcrumbs. We threw them on top of the chili along with some nutch to give it a cheezey element. I believe it complimented the spice well.

So what’s up for tomorrow? I don’t know and neither does Literate Zombie. It could be a rice stirfry or….?

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Nineteen

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Nineteen

Morning MoFoes! The lovely Kara Hadley from her blog Food Pulse [GO READ IT!] asked for the pancake recipe we used last night. I’d just like to say that the carbonated water really IS necessary as it leads to light and fluffy pancakes. The syrup recipe still needs a bit of tweaking, so just use pure maple syrup. You know…the good stuff.

Vegan Pancakes: from The Post Punk Kitchen

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy or rice milk
1/3 cup carbonated water (We used club soda)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

Directions:

Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the soy milk, carbonated water, sugar, and oil. Combine the two and mix until combined.
Grease your griddle or pan with margarine or a little oil. Pour some batter on and flip when it is bubbling.
Serve pancakes with syrup and fresh berries.
*Note: if you want thicker pancakes, use less liquid; thinner, use more.

WARNING: THE OVERUSE OF EXCLAMATION POINTS AHEAD

Tonight’s the night! Black Bean Sliders! Jalapeño Buns! Sweet Potato Fries! Fancy Dipping Sauces! Homemade Grape Soda*!

*No homemade vaniall coke for us. That recipe requires coffee and that’s just not up our alley

I’m really excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything burger-related and I believe this to be  the perfect solution! So come back for details and documentation of Literate Zombie’s mad skills in the kitchen. Word.

**************************************************************

Good news or bad news? I personally always pick the bad first ’cause the odds of being cheered up by the other news is greater. So here goes: no grape soda 😦 Literate Zombie forgot to pick up the grape juice. We were planning on mixing it with the leftover carbonated water from last night’s pancakes but alas; no juice, no soda.

Moving on to the good news! The sliders were pitch perfect, buns delectable, toppings phenomenal, dipping sauces satisfying and sweet potato fries golden, delicious and plentiful. Sadly, no picture came out clear enough to show here 😦 I think there’s such a thing as bad food porn and it should be avoided at all costs.

But, pictures of the Chipotle ketchup, vegan aioli, fixin’s, jalapeño buns and the savory burgers themselves did!

Vegan Aioli! Sooo good on the sweet potato fries!

Organic spinach, Roma tomatoes and homemade Chipotle ketchup and aioli

We felt like part of the "Finer Things" club tonight

Yes, Please!

Tonight was very rare in that Literate Zombie worked a day shift and had this evening off. So he came home and we went to jam with the group we’re forming. There’s something about playing music with other people that brings out the wonderful in life.

I write this with a smile on my face, my belly full of vegan deliciousness and I think of how great today was.

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 

 

 

 

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Eighteen

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Eighteen

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday making one it one more week until Thanksgiving! Last year on the holiday, Literate Zombie and I had a completely vegan meal that we both prepared. We made a HUGE batch of mashed potatoes with tiny cubed seitan pieces covered in a homemade gravy. That was it. Absolutely delicious.

I’m not really sure what we’re going to do this year. We haven’t really talked about it since we’re doing menus by the week now. All I know is that I hope mashed potatoes and homemade gravy make another appearance on the dinner table that night!

As for this evening, we’re having BRINNER! Brinner = Breakfast for Dinner. Warm homemade pancakes and from-scratch syrup will  be tantalizing our taste buds while fresh organic squeezed orange juice will wash it all down. I am ever so excited for this. I’m usually a waffle kind of gal, but I’ve had the taste of pancakes on my lips for a week or so.

So come back to read all about it tonight. I’ll also write a little review on the pancake recipe we’re using because it contains carbonated water. Interesting….

*************************************************************

I normally don’t do this, but because we had no leftovers to eat for lunch [’cause salad really is that good] we had to make something different for lunch. Yummy sandwiches and pretzels for mid meal! And I actually have some GOOD food pics taken in natural light. Feast your eyes on this, MoFoes…

 

Delicious little spinach leaf
Take a peep…

 

Here…
…gone.

Okay I’m serious this time. I’m gonna leave and not come back until after dinner…

**************************************************************

These pancakes were AMAZING! The syrup had a good flavor but the consistency started to change as it cooled off. It became more like molasses but that didn’t matter. Add in the buttery goodness of Earth Balance and all of that equates to an overly stuffed stomach and an aftertaste of yum in my mouth. Oh yeah and the fresh hand-squeezed orange juice? Just a big ol’ glass of awesome.

NOM NOM NOM!

The club soda seemed to add a special something. Literate Zombie says he wouldn’t make pancakes again without it or a cast iron skillet. A nice crisp edge on the cakes like those we tasted tonight only comes from cooking on cast iron.

I ate too much of this...but it was totally worth it

It’s been way too long since we’ve had pancakes. We found a waffle iron in the kitchen but we don’t know if it works. Time before beddy-bye is short tonight so we didn’t want to risk things not working out.

I remember thinking to myself “I can’t believe this is vegan!” while my mouth worked things out with the tasty stacks laid before me by the chef. I’m glad we ran with the idea for pancakes. Not a bad decision. Having brinner was a nice contrast to our savory dinners of late.

But as always, I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow night’s dinner since we came up with it:

Black Bean Sliders on Jalapeño Buns, Hand Cut Sweet Potato Fries with dipping sauces and Homemade Vanilla Cola

I just know it’s going to be good!

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Seventeen

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Seventeen

Hello and good afternoon MoFoes! It’s a busy and bright day here in San Diego. With a couple of projects still needing attention, I feel like I haven’t posted a lengthy update in awhile so here goes.

Sticking to a budget can be hard. Little tips and tricks [like not going grocery shopping when you’re hungry] are always helpful but I think the best thing we’ve learned to do is planning. Plan, plan and then plan some more. Another great tactic is to realize that although you spent all that time planning, a good deal is still a good deal. Being flexible can be beneficial so don’t be afraid to switch up a loaf of bread for discounted bakery bread. Obviously, always check the label for suspicious looking ingredients as well as the no-brainer no-nos. We’ll write a review for the entire month and list all of the lessons we learned this month.

So what exactly has been keeping me away from writing long and lovely MoFo posts? Two things: 1) My Etsy shop. It’s practically the holiday season and some savvy shoppers are turning to their keyboard instead of waiting in line to buy the perfect gift. If those gifts happen to be 100% Vegan Hand-Knit Sushi Roll Pillows, they come to see me here. 2) Literate Zombie and I are now in the developing stages of a ukulele ensemble. So we’re been jamming and practicing and plucking and strumming with the best of ’em.

It’s not that we’ve forgotten MoFo. Not in the slightest. Not ever. But time is a tricky lady; slipping through fingers quicker and quicker and before you know it, it’s time to dream of dancing vegan delights instead of writing about them.

Be sure to come back for our dinner details. I believe we’re having….I honestly don’t know. But not only will I find out- I’ll take pictures and blog about it too…just for you!

****************************************************************

As promised I am back with dinner info. I imagine that salad gets groans out of a lot of people because it always seems to be negatively brought up when non-vegans ask us what we eat [Literally: “So what do ya eat? SALAD??!?] But when you taste a salad like this, it makes me want to retort with a snarky “Yeah I eat salad. YOU DON’T?!??! the same sarcastic and snotty tone.

Fresh organic spinach, avocado chunks, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, onion and bell pepper tossed in a homemade organic citrus vinaigrette then topped with fresh cracked pepper. And on top of that mountain of lovely tastes and textures delighting our taste buds, there’s fresh jalapeño bread spread with garlic-y Earth Balance and sautéd diced onion and spinach- all toasted to perfection.

Plain Ol' Salad? I think not!

Plain-sounding salad and bread can be more than just a side and starter. Church up dull old iceberg lettuce with dark leafy greens. I recommend spinach as the taste isn’t overwhelmingly bitter like some greens can be. Kale is pretty neutral as well. After that, add in any and all of the veggies you like. If you like some kinds cooked, throw it in a sauté pan. Tossing hot vegetables with the rest of your salad components is another way to eat this traditionally cold meal; especially if the winter months always make you feel like you need hot heavy foods.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with plain ol’ salad and bread. Period.

 

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Sixteen

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Sixteen

Good evening fellow MoFoes [and non-MoFoes alike]. We’re jumping into week three with a pasta-bell pepper-onion-garlic-y stir fry. This won’t come until a little later but not because Chaz has to work but instead because we’re having a ukulele jam at our house tonight. Lots of fun with good people.

So I will be back with all of the nitty gritty little details about our pasta stir fry and just how delicious it was.

*****************************************************

Things don’t always go according to plan. Tonight, Literate Zombie was going to cook but I ended up filling as head chef. Sometimes, this makes me a bit nervous as I don’t feel like my kitchen skills are quite up to par. In the end I surprised myself, which made not only my alter ego cook Lucy happy, but my taste buds and stomach as well.

Dinner ended up as a noodle-bell pepper-zucchini-onion-garlic-y thing seasoned with organic toasted sesame oil, ginger and tahini. Soooo yummy. And I mean ‘yummy’ in the most serious sense possible. This is the kind of dinner you just don’t mess around with. There is absolutely no delicious leftovers for me to eat for lunch tomorrow.

I kept all of the veggies tender crisp, which made a nice contrast to the soft noodles swimming in seasoned tahini. Even though I wasn’t paying attention to measurements, it’s not enough to keep me from trying to make this again.

Here’s the rest of the menu for week 3:

-Rice Stir Fry with Beets

-Wraps

-Salad with Homemade Citrus vinaigrette with Literate Zombie’s Garlic Bread 🙂

-Fruit Killer’s Chipotle Chili

-Black Bean Sliders on Jalapeno Buns with Sweet Potato Fries and Dips and Homemade Cola

-Pancakes with Homemade syrup and Fresh Squeezed OJ

 

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 

 

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Fifteen

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Fifteen

Today is officially the middle of the month as there are only 30 days in the glorious month of November. We’ve had a blast for the first part of MoFo this year and we’ve learned a few things about budgeting too. I know I haven’t scanned in the receipts for this week yet as some other projects have been needing attention. So I plan to do an overview of each week at the end of the month as a way to wrap up our “theme”.

We’ve been eating some pretty tasty food. My favorites that stand out so far:

Who Needs Cheese? Pizza Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Seitan Baked Beans

Literate Zombie’s Garlic Bread

These four were ever so delicious and we plan on making them again. I’ve also enjoyed the time we spend in the kitchen together now that we’re taking the time to cook GOOD food for ourselves. Well, mainly the chef handles the cooking part, but it’s a reminder that slowing down and taking the time [without distractions from all of these gidgets-gadgets] to talk with your loved ones face-to-face is the best way to form a stronger relationship.

Tonight we are having BURRITOS! I’ve been looking forward to this meal as I’ve had a taste for some spiciness. But ya have to come back to read about it!

**************************************************************

Tonight was the first night we had leftovers with dinner. We learned that it is not necessary to make a whole box of spaghetti for the two of us; I had leftovers for lunch one day and even with both of us eating on it tonight, there’s still noodles in the fridge. Lucky for us, it’s delicious but we are highly against wasting food. Plus, cutting down portion sizes will save us money too.

The burritos were so simple they killed. There’s just something about black beans and brown rice that knock my socks off and if that makes me easy to please well then so be it.

This may look like an average burrito but the taste was impeccable

We still have yet to come up with week three’s menu, but I’m looking forward to it already. We’re also knocking $5 off the budget which puts us at $40 for the week. I think about Rachel Ray spending just $40 in one day and it makes me laugh. And yes I do get that the show is about hitting up local spots in a town you may be visiting for a vacation, but it makes me question myself if I could do it all. $40 could feed us totally vegan, healthy and nutritious meals all week long without us having to compromise anything really.

Literate Zombie has been talking about doing cost breakdowns for each dinner to give another aspect to the budget. For example, I think it would be interesting just how much it would cost us to make a veganized copycat take on say a popular restaurant dish.

We hope the middle of MoFo is treating you all well!

Read. Comment. Spread the MoFo.

Much Love,

Fruit Killer

Happy MoFo’ing!

 

 

 

 


Vegan MoFo: Day Fourteen

 

Vegan Month of Food: Day Fourteen

Good afternoon, MoFoes! We are sitting here discussing what to have for dinner tonight so I figured I’d pop on here to write about it. Literate Zombie will be making “some kind of bean-themed meal”. Works for me. I’ve had the taste for something spicy the past couple of days. But a sweet kind of hot. That’s one of those tastes that only go away if they get satisfied so I’m hoping tonight’s dish will do so.

So come back for the particulars and whatnot a lil later…

******************************************************************

Banana Gets Invited To Dinner

Literate Zombie cooked with flair again tonight. My only qualm is  it could stand to be spicier. The rice was perfect, the bananas complimented the other components well and the texture was varied enough that it wasn’t boring old beans and rice. The kale added bursts of color and also substantial bites that make you feel good about what you’re putting in your body. A dish that makes you want to pat yourself on the back for eating it.

I’m glad the portion was too big for me finish in one sitting. Tomorrow’s lunch will be leftover heaven!


%d bloggers like this: