No-new groceries check-in

I’m still three days away from pay day and I have bought zero new groceries, true to my goal.

Gotta say, I’m quite impressed with my own pantry-stocking skills. And the beginning of CSA season was admittedly a great help.

I cheated financially and went to dinner with a friend and got drinks with more friends last Friday night, but those were plans made before I knew I’d be strapped for cash. But because I’m using some creativity in the kitchen, I’ve still been spending very little.

Here are some highlights: More

Making it work

Traveling/being on the go/dining out with friends must be navigated more conscientiously as a veghead.

But I’ve come across some nice options and accommodations during my recent hectic few weeks.

First: Safeway is actually pretty all right.

I don’t often shop at Safeway anymore except for its gas station. I feel I find more options that fit my needs at local chain markets. But maybe I haven’t looked in the right places. More

Portland: still awesome

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I both had separate work things going on in Portland, so we got an extra field trip there.

Seattle’s my city, but Portland is pretty fabulous. It contains elements of my two favorite towns – Seattle and Olympia – in one. Some of the sleekness, bigger-city advantages and pop culture influence of Seattle, with more of the hominess and hippie-ness of Oly.

I continued to find fabulous plant-based food there. Probably my favorite thing about Portland. We herbies are truly at home there.

Take a look at some highlights:

Not pictured is the wonderful beer I had at Burnside Brewing Company. Plant-based grub AND excellent beer make Portland heaven.

Dispatch from the CSA rabbit hole

Well hello there. I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. I’ve continued to cook away in a constant struggle to keep up with all the beautiful goods coming through my kitchen via CSA.

Let’s review what I’ve come up with in the past several weeks.

First: Pickling!

I’m a pickle whore, no joke. My whole life. So it’s been fun to work up some quick pickles with the pickling cucumbers that I’ve received and especially the radishes when I don’t have time or ideas for anything special for them. The radishes are perfect to have on hand for salad fixins.

Next: Pastas! More

Brunch in my belly

Brunch is probably the best thing ever invented. A few times a month, Mike and I try to make it out to The Dish or Five-Point Cafe for brunch, or I like to meet a girlfriend somewhere.

As I’ve said before, weekday breakfast is a challenge for this sleepyhead. I can’t muster effort to do anything in the morning. Often I give up on trying to do my hair.

But on weekends or days off when I’m not out brunching or running around, I’ve taken to my own eat-in brunch. It’s nice. I’m cleaning out my fridge, I’m brewing up some coffee and there is no rush. And then there are leftovers, meaning I have a treat to take with me to work and get a good start to my day. (Boom.)

Everyday Happy Herbivore cheesy cauliflower hash and a tofu scramble. Top with hot sauce.

Everyday Happy Herbivore cheesy cauliflower hash and a tofu scramble. Top with hot sauce.

More

CSA OMG

Gorgeous and incredibly daunting all at once.

Gorgeous and incredibly daunting all at once.

I have been busy in the kitchen, now more than ever.

And it’s because of my CSA.

I’ve never had a CSA subscription before. Too expensive for my miniscule salary, all that.

But now that I make a lil’ more money this year, I decided to subscribe to the cheapest farm subscription I could find in Seattle. A half-share. Because, you know, I’m a single person who can’t consume a whole share.

For the past month-and-a-half, I’ve been drowning in vegetables. More

Portland!

After some tough weeks at work for the both of us, my boyfriend and I went to Portland for the weekend.

My main experience with Portland is my mom taking my brother and me to the Clackamas Mall (quite outside of Portland) for sales tax-free back-to-school shopping. Of course I’ve been to Portland proper, the metropolitan neighbor to the south, but I hadn’t explored it on my own.

Seattle is an easy city in which to be vegan, but in Portland they totally cater to you. I had a waiter volunteer to check on the veganness of a salad, went to places with special vegan menus and you can just say “make it vegan, please” and they know what to do (too many people don’t know what that means, so I always have to specify no mayo/sour cream/cheese/aioli, etc.). Portland is particularly vegan-savvy.

Now eating out with the man friend means seeking out omni restaurants that have something I can eat. Homeboy doesn’t quite get that it’s possible to have a meal without meat.

But it was so easy!

Oh and we drank lots of craft beer. So happy beer is vegan.

Not pictured: a grilled PB and J from the famous Bunk Sandwiches. Yeah I’m gonna make those at home now.

Recommended brewery: Pints.

Maybe next time I’ll go to Portland with girlfriends who will eat at the vegan joints with me.

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