Once I got back to the old home on Saturday, I learned that my parents had a fun and easy meal planned out - burgers!
i know i'm not the only one eating veggie burgers on easter.
Mom and Dad got me the original vegan Boca burgers (yum!) and I whipped up fries for all of us. Three kinds: regular potato for my dad, sweet potato with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese for my mom, and sweet potato with cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper for me. I don't know about the other two, but mine were awesome and went perfectly with my burger. I could definitely just eat veggie burgers and sweet potato fries for just about every meal... But that wouldn't be very interesting, would it?
In the morning, my brother and his family came over and we all had a nice brunch together. The only thing I couldn't (and obviously didn't want to) eat was the turkey. Long live my awesome family for being so darned accomodating! My mom made some asparagus with olive oil and lemon and Dad made mashed potatoes with soymilk and no butter, which I mushed up with an avocado for me (so, so good).
I made a tofu scramble that everyone seemed to like, and these freaking amazing pancakes from Veganomicon:
could eat one million of these, please
They're the blueberry corn pancakes, and if you haven't made them yet, please. Please. Do it. Everyone in my family thought they were fantastic, and really, they were. The only thing is that I found I needed to add an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the batter because it was really watery. I don't know if this was a typo in the book (like it should've called for 1 cup flour instead of 3/4 cup) or if I messed up, but I was being pretty careful, so I don't think it was me. But you never know. Anyway, if your batter seems too watery, don't be afraid to add in that extra bit of flour. They were perfect.
As if that wasn't enough - my lovely Mom and Dad made an Easter basket for Michael and I to share that was full of vegan candy and other awesome stuff!
They printed the candy list off Peta and were able to find such radness as: twizzlers, jolly ranchers, ring pops, cracker jacks (omg omg omg!), and these little sour bunnies that are like sour patch kids, but way better. They also got me these little prep bowls that RULE. They have measurements on the insides of the bowls so I don't even need to use my measuring cups (if they're dirty and in the sink, which is often the case). Those are all the food/cooking related gifties, but you can see if you look close that they extended their radness into gaming territory. Plus some stuff for my skin that's great, too.
Soooo that was Easter. All in all, it was filled with fun, food, and hilarious children hopped up on so much sugar that I definitely did not envy my brother's drive back home. 2 hours of pure insanity, I'm sure!
So this week, we've extended our pantry challenge, but I did break and go buy some vegetables after I realized one day that all I had eaten the day before was basically bread. And now I'm trying to not eat so much bread in order to detox from it (though I broke on that last night as well, but not too bad). Therefore when I got soydogs on sale to surprise Michael with, I needed to figure out what to eat mine with, since I didn't want a bun. I came up with this:
sauteed veggies and brown rice
I cooked a giant mass of brown rice to eat with dinner and as leftovers throughout the week with various things. The veggies are some yellow squash, zucchini (both on sale really cheap, yay!), onions, garlic, and cherry tomatoes, plus a bunch of dried dill. They made a perfectly filling side next to a couple bunless soydogs.
Then I used the leftovers the next day to made these bad boys:
I got this totally rad idea from our good buddy Melomeals over at her blog which showcases her and her family eating for $3.33 a day. She's doing something really great over there, by the way, so you really need to check it out. Her food is amazing, it's super inexpensive, and you have to admire her for making the best out of tough times. As far as I can tell, there is not a specific post about her using collard green leaves for wraps instead of bread, but she does it quite often for her lunches. It's such an awesome idea! And delicious, I might add. The bitterness of the collards is cut by all the fillings you put inside. I did blanch my leaves for about 30 seconds to make them more bendy, but I guess you don't really need to do that. Try it out!
Also at the grocery store, I found some pasta shells on the super cheap since their box was dented (um...who cares?! but thanks for the discount, Kroger). I made a nice little mac n cheeze with them, plus frozen brussels (thank goodness for Kroger card savings, seriously).
I based my sauce off the nacho sauce recipe from Yellow Rose Recipes... except for some changes. I subbed in unsweetened soymilk for the water, took out the jalepenos, realized I didn't have any turmeric so added paprika and mustard powder instead, then decided that it wasn't sweet enough so I added about a teaspoon of agave nectar. It was kind of haphazard, but turned out pretty great. We were watching LOST anyway, so it's not like we were paying too much attention to our plates.
This next one was from before the grocery shopping this week, and is pretty impressive as such, I think. Sesame baked tofu from Accidental Vegan with peas 'n' corn (woo frozen veggies last forever), and some couscous that Michael had made over the weekend while I was gone.
Well, let me correct that...it tasted fine - it was just way, way too salty. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup soy sauce, and next time I make it, I will absolutely sub in water for half of that. Or use reduced sodium soy sauce or something. The flavor was really great though... lots of tahini and nutritional yeast. But we ended up scraping off the outside crust and just eating the baked tofu goodness inside, because we simply could not handle all that salt (and I'm usually a salt-lover...it much have been unbearable then). Still, the veggies and the couscous were yummy. All in all, it was a decent, and very quick, meal.
Last night, Michael got a sweets craving.
and made these
'These' being the white chocolate macadamia cookies from Eat, Drink & be Vegan... except with cashews and peanut butter instead of macadamias and macadamia butter. They're really great! And apparently, fast and easy, because he basically had them in the oven before I even realized he was making them. Treats and surprises! What more could you ask for?