Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Best Quick Morning Breakfast

Oatmeal. Not the crappy little sugar-filled packages that you by and tear open. I'm talking about the plain Jane ones. My personal favorite is Quick Cooking Rolled Oats. They hold their shape more than instant oats. Bob's Red Mill makes a great product but I've also been satisfied with grocery store generic brands also. Unless you find them on sale, I've actually found that Costco's box of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats is not a bad price. Their website lists them for $7.32 but I only pay $6.79 at the Costco in both Portland and Vancouver.

Some flavor combinations to try:

- Brown sugar and cinnamon
- dried cranberries and walnuts
- Banana and soy milk (or rice milk)
- Maple syrup (the real stuff) and pecans
- fresh strawberries

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Night Dinner

A vegan spin on the kid-friendly Sloppy Joe.

One of the ingredients you may not be familiar with is TVP, textured vegetable protien.

TVP works great in place of ground beef. It has the same texture and soaks up the flavor of anything you combine it with. I purchased it from QFC (Quality Food Center) in Vancouver, WA but if you live near Milwaulkie, OR you could go straight to the source and purchase it from Bob's Red Mill.

Sloppy V Joes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Kraft Original barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
2 cups tvp (textured vegetable protein)
3 cups water
8 Whole Wheat French rolls, split

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, barbecue sauce, Balsamic vinegar, hot sauce and water. Stir. Add tvp to skillet. Stir. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve on whole wheat buns.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend Baking

This weekend I will be baking Whole Wheat Buns. These are great for burgers, sandwiches, or just warmed up and served with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper.

Whole Wheat Buns

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup corn oil or canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/4 cup flax seed, ground
1/2 cup unrefined sugar

In a glass measuring cup, mix together water and yeast. Let set 15 minutes until yeast starts to do it's thing.

In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat flour and bread flour.

Next, in a large mixing bowl combine oil, salt, oatmeal, flax seed, and sugar. Add in the yeast mixture, followed by the flour mixture.

Turn out on a floured board and knead till smooth.

Using a little vegetable oil, grease the inside of a large bowl and place dough in it. Turn once to coat all sides. Put in a warm place to rise, covered with a warm damp towel, for about 1 hour.

When the dough has doubled in size, divide into 16 pieces. Roll into smooth balls. Flatten a little and place on a baking sheet.

Let rise till doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Bake at 350* F for 18-20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack. Store in a sealed bag or closed container.

Grocery List Shopping

My grocery list is going to assume that you are new at the vegan thing but that you have cooked at home before and have some things on hand. The first few trips you'll have to buy a little more than normal in order to stock your pantry (and probably go to an extra store or two). If you have some of the items then just cross them off of your list (and buy some vegan beer instead).

I'am also not going to send you all over town to five different stores. True, you could study the Sunday Newspaper and all the adds, match up coupons to the different stores and probably get some really good deals. But, gas costs money and most vegans would frown on driving all over Portland to buy their groceries. I prefer two trips, one to Costco for bulk items and the second to Safeway. I happen to drive by a Grocery Outlet on my way home every day and they're known to have great deals on organic and/or vegan food so I may stop there but that's it.

May 10th Grocery List

There are some great coupons available right now for Kraft BBQ Sauce. When you use them at Safeway this week for the Original Flavor sauce (it's vegan) with your club card you'll only pay $0.02 for a bottle. Buy four and stock up.

Now that you see coupons are a good thing...

here, register for Kraft Foods website and print the following coupons:

Kraft BBQ Sauce
Wheat Thins
Kraft Salad Dressing
Planters Nuts
Minute Rice
Starbucks Coffee
Kashi Cereal

If you hit F5 you can refresh the coupon and print it a second time.

Also, go
here and print two more coupons. Then go to Safeway's website and try and print a couple more. If it doesn't work, at least get the coupon for the free strawberries.


Planters Low Salt Halves And Pieces Cashews - 9.25 Oz $2.99
Eating Right Whole Wheat Couscous - 10 Oz $2.19
Safeway / Vons Black Beans - 16 Oz $1.85
green onions $0.79
La Choy Soy Sauce - 10 Fl. Oz. $1.83
O Organics Organic Vegetable Broth - 32 Oz $3.29
Safeway Tomato Paste - 6 Oz $0.65
garlic $0.50
lemon $0.50
1 green bell pepper $0.99
1 red bell pepper $1.50
Kraft Italian Salad Dressing $2.59
Kraft Original BBQ sauce (4) $4.08
potatoes $1.79
Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour - 5 Lb $3.49
Gold Medal Bread flour - 10 Lb $5.69
Arrowhead Mills Flax Organic Seeds - 16 Oz $3.39
yeast $1.00
Safeway / Vons Pinto Beans - 16 Oz $1.75
3 tomatoes $0.70
avacado $3.00
Mission Tortillas Corn Yellow Extra Thin $2.19
Diamond Sliced Almonds - 6 Oz $4.99
2 Lipton Spanish Rice and Sauce - 5.6 Oz $3.00
S and W Long Grain Brown Rice - 48 Oz $3.89
lettuce $0.79
Barilla Pasta Tricolor Rotini - 12 Oz $1.00
Barilla Pasta Linguine $1.00
2 zucchini $1.00
red onion $0.70
Total $63.12

Kraft BBQ Sauce (4) -$4.00
Safeway double coupons -$2.00
Mission Tortilla Coupon -$1.00
Lipton sides coupon -$0.75
planters coupon -$1.00
Kraft salad dressing -$1.50
Total -$10.25

tomato sauce $2.79
broccoli $3.79
large bag of spinach $3.79
Quaker Oatmeal $6.79
Total $14.37

Health Food Store
nutritional yeast flakes - 8oz $8.39
vital wheat gluten flour - 1.5lbs $7.55
tvp (textures vegetable protien) - .75lbs $2.61
Total $18.55

This trip is a little more expensive since you are buying some staple items (i.e. flours) but they will reduce your grocery bill the next time around since you'll already have them on hand.

Weekly Meal Planning

Do I really need to plan a freakin menu?

Yes. Planning what you will be eating for the week is one of the most important things you can do to save money, relieve stress and not eat crap. Each week I'll post a sample menu. You can follow it ingredient by ingredient or adapt it to what you like. If you're starting out with vegan living I encourage you to follow it exactly. I'll post links to coupons you can print online to get stuff either free or really cheap. I'll also share my total out of pocket (oop) cost for groceries for the week so you can see how easy this will be.

This weeks menu will be:

BREAKFAST: Oatmeal, Pumpkin Waffles, Banana Carrot Power Muffins, Cold Cereal

LUNCH: Leftovers

  • SUNDAY: Cashew Seitan with Whole Wheat Couscous
  • MONDAY: Sloppy V Joes with Green Salad
  • TUESDAY: Black Bean & Brown Rice Patties with Stir Fry Vegetables
  • WEDNESDAY: Grilled Polenta Torta with Spinach
  • THURSDAY: Tacos, Spanish Rice and Refried Beans
  • FRIDAY: Broccoli Twice Baked Potatoes
  • SATURDAY: Cold Veggie Pasta
Sunday is prep day. I will be making the Whole Wheat Buns for the Sloppy V Joes and soaking the black beans (you could used canned but dried is cheaper). I'll be making the seitan from scratch. I'm also making Banana Carrot Power Muffins and Pumpkin Waffles to have on hand for breakfast during the week. It sounds like a lot of work but it'll go buy fast.