Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of the Month Food.

8/17/10 Trader Joe's: cash total $15.68
I needed some beer. It's good beer.

8/18/10 Food 4 Less: cash total $19.90

8/19/10 99¢ Store: cash total $14

8/29/10 Ralphs: cash total $14.99

Food Stamp total: $195.40. Cash total, $79.57.

This month was quite luxurious as far as my general food allotments go.

I was able to have a lot of greens, experiment with foods, and bake a lot more.

Made a few loaves of whole wheat, made the Banh Mi again (much better this time).

I sauteed the tofu with soy sauce and added the chili to the slaw instead of the other way around. Next time, I think I'll go back to adding the chili to the tofu because it adds more flavor.

I did however meet up with a fried who is not vegan and she treated me to a night out of a three course dinner which I got a lovely grilled veggie plate, lentil soup, and a nice berry tart. The next day we went to a vegan place close to my house. She's not vegan, and i didn't want to push it on her, so I choose a Tai place across the street. But she said let's go to the vegan place, and who was I to argue?

We shared a few dishes; I ordered some fresh spring rolls, the ones I want to copy some day at home. She got a red curry. I think I'm the only vegan I know who is not a curry fan. I ordered a lemongrass soup with mushrooms. It was the most cluttered bowl of soup with bamboo, tofu and peppers. Delicious! We split an order of Pad Thai which was lovely. Can't go wrong with Pad Thai.

I spent $15 on my share. These are leftovers with some homemade rice.

I've missed eating out. The choices, the unknown, the variety. I guess being at home so much you get the feeling that change on a budget isn't worth the risk. So I don't experiment too much. I might not like it and I don't want to waste any cash if I can help it.

Speaking of cash, it looks like my food stamp contract is up. All that means is I have to redo alllll the forms over again. Provide every ounce of income I have, all accounts I have, and all sources of money I get/make/win, etc. Whoever said that being on public assistance was a breeze has NVER done it. I've never had to provide so much personal information. I didn't even have to give over this much when I rented my apartment!

I had a potential job, but it fell through. At least the hope of it carried me by a couple of weeks.

But in the mean time, I baked.

I used my scalloped cupcake tins again to make chocolate cupcakes. Recipe from VegWeb.

Chocolate Cake Cupcakes *(my alterations)

3 cups flour
*1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa *I used 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup oil *I used apple sauce
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 cups water *I use soy milk
*2 tsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix soy milk and vinegar in cup, set aside. Mix wet ingredients and then blend into dry. Add soy milk.
Pour mix into greased pan.
Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

I think they turned out pretty good except the cinnamon cap came off my jar and poured in a heaping load of the stiff.

Next time Im going to use 3/4 cut of cocoa and omit the cinnamon.

I did however make a great butter cream frosting on the fly using tofruti as the base. Trader Joe's sells it. A soy based cream cheese. Its good.

'Cream Cheese' icing *(my alterations)

1/2 cup room temperature Earth Balance (or cocoanut milk works great too)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Tofruti
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Mix all well. If too runny, add more sugar. If too dry, add a bit more Earth Balance. Want more of a cream cheese bite, add more tofruti.

I dig it. And the icing is sooooooo good. Its runny, though, its the tofruti that makes it that way. I added some cornstarch to see if that would help, but it masked some of the flavor. Perhaps next time I'll try arrowroot powder.

Which brings me to another optic.
I think I'm going to cut back on the soy. I feel I eat a lot of it. I use about 3/4 a gallon of soy milk a week, which might not seem like too much, but if I include all the tofu I consume, I'm not too content with that. I guess this will give me a chance to try out some of that variety I was yapping about.

I started with selecting a 'milk' for my coffee. I'm never giving up coffee, so I need something that will add some body to it. I got some rice, and almond milks. Rice, yeah, its just white water. Almond won hands down. There was a hemp milk at the store, and perhaps if I'm really adventurous I'll give that a try.

The almond adds an interesting flavor. Not soy, but interesting. I'm particular about my coffee, so I hope this will work out. I don't know how long I'm going to be doing this, a few weeks or so. I still have some tofu in my ridge, so I'm phasing it out slowly.

I'll let you all know how it goes!

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